"The real winners in life are people who look at every situation with an expectation that they can make it work or make it better." - Barbara Pletcher

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Lost & Found | Bike Ridin'

Let's be honest here, I am more excited about this than Rowen is.  He hasn't complained about his piggy being gone once.  He barely even asked for it.  He did jump around a little when he found it, and gave the legs a good chewing before I made him put it in his bed.  I'm so happy I can now go through the process of taking it away and hiding it in his baby box :) It's RITUAL!

And, in other Rowen news, the boy has basically potty trained himself over night!  How did I get so lucky?  I love him so much I can barely stand it.

And speaking of doing things over night (and speaking of people I love so much I can barely stand it)...Rugger has suddenly learned to ride his bike!  For real, as if a flip switched, he just hopped on a bike and started riding it.  So weird!  And, so cool.

He thinks we can take the trainers off his bigger bike; kind of made a bored face and shrugged like whatever when I suggested it.  He's too cool for me!

I'm happy to have a few boys around here, sure keeps things interesting!

Choosing to love,

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Loving right now...

Well, first of all...I'm NOT loving the Bumpit!  I was so mad at it last night that I carefully packed it all back into the box so I didn't throw it across the room.  Really, it was funny.  I'm going to try it again and have my handsome husband video it.  It will surely be good for a few laughs, if nothing else.

I'm loving being a stay at home mom.  My kids can wake up leisurely and wander out to the living room in their pajamas.  Mix-matches pajamas, since Daddy did bedtime last night.  It's summer, which I am also loving, so there's no rushing or hurrying to get breakfast done.  The windows are open and the birds are chirping, and it's just blissful to snuggle on the couch for a while before the day starts.

I didn't print off my daycare schedule this week and hang it on my fridge like I usually do.  My girl Ry goes there every morning because she likes to know what we're eating, where we're going, what we're doing.  I am LOVING that about her.  She loves order, structure, plans and lists.  A girl after my own heart.  I am also loving that she can go with the flow, and break out of the routine now and then.  See, a girl after my own heart.

I am loving the library summer reading program.  My chickens are reading like crazy, and I just can't think of a better gift to give a kid than a love for reading.

I am loving Becky's Bedtime Bootcamp.  After several weeks of summer party nights over here, it was time to get back to happy decent bedtimes.  It's been fun, but everyone's happier when they've had enough sleep.  So, we're well on our way to going to bed cheerfully, before 10pm (like, closer to 8!), sleeping through the night, and getting up early enough to start our day before 9am.  After five nights of going to bed cheerfully and staying in bed, each kid gets to go on a date of their choice with the parent of their choice.  We are all looking forward to those dates!  Reise is trying to figure out how to get a two-fer.  "So, can we go to the pool, and then stop to get our nails painted on the way home?"  then... "How about we bring our nail polish TO the pool, and paint our nails there, and then stop for ice cream on the way home?"  This was after she spent five minutes listing all the reasons she would not be getting out of her bed.  "I won't get out of my bed and wake you up. I won't sneak into your bed. I won't sneak into your room to get chapstick."  I am loving her!!

Cool nights with the windows open and cool mornings for baking.  Cool enough afternoons that I can leave my air conditioner off and hear my chickens in the back yard through my kitchen door.  I love hearing what they talk about, the things they come up with, the games they make up. 

I am loving potty training.  Call me crazy, but I love this stage of life!  It's so much work, but two year olds love to accomplish stuff.  They learn so fast, you have to pay attention every second or you'll miss something!  Next thing you know he's singing all the words to every Michael Jackson song on the album.  I am loving how relaxed I am with child #4.  I don't think I was particularly anxious with my first, but I definitely think the last couple kids benefit from all the experience I got from the first couple ;)  Hooray for potty training!

Late night pizza with my handsome husband.

Sonic Happy Hour.  I hope they never take this away from me.  Sonic, can you hear me?  Happy Hour is a bright spot on a drab afternoon, and can turn around a sour day instantly.  Worst case scenario, I'll still buy your drinks at full price...but it won't be the same. 

Toddler tan lines.  Even with SPF 50 reapplied twice in a few hours, those babies just soak up the sun.  I am especially loving those bright white buns in the bath tub!  It doesn't get much cuter, if you ask me.

Everyone is loving our new summery kid dishes.  Aren't they fun?  Thank you, Target clearance!  The only problem I see is we won't be able to tell who's cup is who's throughout the day.  I am thinking about getting some thick colored rubber bands and designating a different color for each person.  Then we can just switch the bands out each day for a new cup.  Hmmm...

Um, those half eaten sandwiches and greasy plates look delish! Eeew!  Oh, well.  This is real life, folks!

I am loving this week of anticipating a long holiday weekend.  Making my grocery list yesterday for the week totally got me in the mood.  Chips, pickles, brownie mixes, crystal light packets...all sitting in my basement closet ready to be packed into coolers and hauled out to the lake.  DJ Steele is working a big party, and we're going to tag along.  I am envisioning myself in a lawn chair sipping a cold Diet Mountain Dew, relaxing while the kids run around dancing and playing with bubbles.  In reality, I'll probably sweat my face off and won't sit down once because I'll be too busy chasing Rowen ;)  HA!  Oh well, it'll still be a blast, and they'll eventually wear out, probably be tired enough to sit through the fireworks display!

Choosing to love,

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Day at the Ballpark

My handsome husband and I made a very quick trip to Kansas City on Sunday to see the St. Louis Cardinals play the Royals.  I married into a family of huge Cards fans, and discovered that I really enjoy baseball.  Indoor sports are not for me, and I've always known this.  Loud gymnasiums with weird lighting and stinky, sweaty people all crammed in together with no windows??!!  No, thanks.  The sound of shoes screeching on the wood floors makes my skin crawl.  The buzzers, the whistles, did I mention the smell...I don't like any of it!!  Whew, I'm glad I could get that off my chest!!

Mama needs a pedicure, right? 

This is my husband's imaginary boyfriend.  He's pretty dreamy really, I can't blame him for checking his stats constantly and talking about him every day. 

The outdoor sports are totally more my style!  I was so relaxed and warm, I literally caught myself falling asleep several times.  The fact that I'm generally sleep-deprived could have had something to do with it.  The sugar crash I was experiencing could also have had something to do with it.  But, really, the warm air, the white noise of the crowd, actually sitting for a significant stretch of time...pretty wonderful sleeping conditions!

Hello, funnel cake. 

Sports fans really intrigue me.  My husband's obsession with Albert Pujols isn't unusual, evidently.  Grown men wear clothing with their sport idol's name and number on it!  So weird.  I know it's not new, but I still think it's weird.  I do love me a little Molina tho, I must admit. 

I'm so thankful for my brother and his wife, who kept our little babies while we were on our 12-hour whirlwind trip to watch baseball!  The kids had a blast, and I love that they got to do a little bonding with these really awesome humans we're blessed to be able to call family.

They were all snuggled up watching movies when we got back...pretty cute!

See, there it is again.  That sign that everyone had a great day.  Rowen is sleeping under that blanket, it's not just his arm riding in that seat!  Such a crazy boy.  

Choosing to love,

Multiple Post Monday?

I feel one coming on!!

A Sunday at the ball park...fabulous ;)

And, can't wait to try this!!

Thanks, Stef!

But first thing's first...Zoo Monday is replacing Zoo Tuesday this week because Daddy's home today, hooray!

Choosing to love,

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Sometimes, you have to create your own perfect.  This is what I told my oldest child this morning.  When things don't go like you thought they would, you can just change your perspective, and make a different "perfect".  Why not?  Just let circumstances ruin your day?  Heck, no.  It's taken me almost 30 years to figure that out.  Lucky for my girl, Ry, I'm letting her in on it early! 

Once in a while, you don't have to try for it.  It's just perfect on it's own.

We've had crazy, stormy, rainy, humid weather around here.  Perfect for staying inside, baking, watching movies, running the air conditioner, doing crafts.  Not perfect for camping.  Until Wednesday.  Suddenly, as if we'd ordered it, we got perfect camping weather....the day we left to go camping.  See?  Once in a while, it just happens that way. 

And when it happens that way, you'd better appreciate it.  And we did. 

Camp grounds are the perfect place to ride bikes.  People who camp are a special breed.   They are polite and cheerful.  They smile and wave at you when you and your herd of small children go by.  They drive really slow. 

"Mommy, make your camera flash again, there's a bug in here. We lost it. Oh, there it was. Do that again!!" 

The Fashion Police do not frequent camp grounds.  Praise the Lord for that. 

Did you know that if you break a glow stick and the gooey stuff gets on your hands, you can wipe it all over stuff and it will glow for hours?  We didn't.  Now we do.

If anyone saw my child in this BMX helmet and thought "well, gosh, that seems a little excessive", they obviously don't really know Rugger.


Yes, you are seeing it correctly.  It's upside down in a ditch, halfway into a drain pipe. 

Rugger, I love you. I don't know how I got so lucky to be able to see all the weird, funny stuff you do every day. 

This might be the last ever picture of Rowen's piggy blanket. I could honestly cry thinking about it.  Rowen's a big boy, and he's ready to be done with it.  I'm not ready!  I wanted to put it in his box of baby stuff and keep it around for a while.  So sad.  Maybe it'll show up, but I am afraid it's at the lake somewhere.

These boys slept so well in the camper, I was amazed.  They love to sleep together, and they're really good at it.  They don't really mess around or keep each other up.  They do a little chit chatting, get themselves arranged, and then just go to sleep.  I thought the camper would be so exciting for them that they'd never settle down.  Such a proud mama I was, to find them sacked out like this each time I put them down.

Rugger tried to dominate Uno with a very sketchy strategy and Ryleigh rolled her eyes about a hundred times at his "clever" tricks. 

Did I mention that the weather was perfect?  Honestly! 

A great couple of days, tons of awesome memories, good quality family time...and the promise of one more day to do it all over again!  So perfect!

Poor Rugger.  He was in no mood for a photo shoot at this point, but it's all part of it, you know?  One minute this kid was running around, eating, asking for lotion, begging to go swimming, and then next he was unable to move his arm. 

I really thought it was broken.  I felt around, couldn't find anything that seemed out of place, so I assumed the bone was fractured.  He was screaming his head off!  I'm such a psycho that I actually thought-does this kid have some sort of brittle bone disease?  He was just sitting there, and now he's got a broken arm!?? Oh great, there goes our trip to Great Wolf Lodge, he can't go down a water slide with a cast...  For real, I'm a psycho.  I admit it.

So, assuming we'd be at the dr's office for hours doing x-rays and a cast, we packed everyone and everything up.  In 40 minutes.  Pretty impressive, if I do say so myself.  1/2 way to the dr's office he's suddenly yelling "hey, looky!!" and I about wreck my huge van whipping my head around to see him waving his arm around like a mad-man. 

Dr. Mommy has diagnosed a dislocated elbow.  I could be wrong.  Nothing appeared to be dislocated when I looked at it earlier, but to just have it suddenly pain-free and working again?  Me thinks it popped back in on its own.  Praise the Lord for that.

So...awesome, and huge bummer at the same time.  Now what are we going to do?  We're totally packed up, and 1/2 way home.  The whole-kids crying because they thought we were staying another day-rushing around to get packed up and on the road-relieved that we don't have a kid with a rare bone disease-thing sort of killed the happy vacation mood we had going. 

This is where you have to make a decision.  Live with a ruined day, or create your own perfect? 

Hello, lake, good to see you again. 

It was actually better that it would have been.  We went all the way home to discover our garage door was wide open.  Weird.  Nothing was missing.  Praise the Lord for that.  I'm really glad it wasn't left for another whole day!  We unpacked our coolers, grabbed some extra life jackets, packed our lunch, and headed back. 

We had a blast. 

We played longer than we would have without those extra life jackets.  The boys got an unexpected nap in the van, so they were happier than they would have been.  We didn't spend our time dreading the packing and cleaning and loading up at the end.  It was already done (and in record time, too).

It wasn't what we had originally planned, but it didn't matter.  We made a decision, chose to have a great day, and made it happen.  I have discovered you can do this with your entire life.  Circumstances have created a life for me I never thought I'd lead.  It's so weird.  All of a sudden, I woke up thinking-how did I get here? And life was no where near the perfect I thought it would be.

There was a day when it was perfect on it's own, and I didn't have to try for it.  Where did those days go?  Now I'm here? No one would choose to be here.

Well, so what?  Make a choice, change your perspective, and create your own perfect. 

And when those perfect days come on their own. You'd better appreciate them.  And we do.

And when they end like this, you know it was good.

Choosing to love,

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Meet Sadie

I'm not the type to "rescue" things, especially high-maintenance things.  It's not that I don't care about whatever it is that needs the rescuing, it's just that I am busy. So, I will call the humane society if there's a stray dog hanging in our yard for a day.  But I probably won't name it and let him live with us.  Catch my drift??

Meet Sadie.

Poor thing.  I think she got blown out of our tree (along with her little brother, R.I.P.) and we found her in the middle of the yard with the sun just blazing down on her.  She had her little mouth wide open, obviously hungry!!  What could I do?  I knew if we left her there our cat would take care of her...but, the kids would not understand that "logic".  I do have some compassion, for pete's sake!

So, here we are, feeding this bird by hand every hour.  (Only during the day, mama doesn't get up in the night to feed birds!)  I don't think she's hurt, just too little to make it on her own.  Hopefully we can keep the cat away from her long enough to get her a little bigger and she can take off on her own. 

Hope Sadie likes to go camping, because we're bringing her along, heaven help me.

Choosing to love,

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

passing the afternoon




Rowen's face was so sad the whole time he was trying to get that ball and paddle to connect.  He finally just laid the paddle down and put the ball on it!  Please notice Micah in his poke hat (or as he says it.."poe-Kat") in the background, eating a banana. He makes me laugh, I LOVE having him over!

Choosing to love,