Thursday, May 31, 2012

Summer Time Fun, Hillbilly Style

With the crazy warm May temps we've been having, we decided we needed to partake in some water activities. While we only live 20 minutes from Lake Michigan, it's a lot of work to load up two little ones and all the crap stuff they need to fight the crowds on the beaches. So we decided to break out Emma's new slip n' slide.

Only one minor issue- the slide portion only covered about half of the hill along the side of our house. Most people would just drag the slide down the hill until the pool section was on flat ground. Not my hubbs. He cleverly fashioned a slide extension out of an old tarp. I informed him that it wasn't going to be slippery enough.

His next solution- soap. Not any old soap though. He used the soap he washes our vehicles with. The kind that includes a wax coating. I told him it wasn't a good idea since it was bound to get in the eyes. After a few trips down the slide himself he agreed. We used up an entire bottle of baby shampoo. A minor price for an afternoon of entertainment!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!

We decided to take the big rig in the parade this year instead of sitting on the sidelines watching. Which is probably a good thing since this momma is trying to loose the remainder of baby weight. A giant grocery bag full of candy would be completely counterproductive!

Emma loved throwing candy to the kids. She's got a pretty good arm- I don't even think she hit anyone! I was a little nervous about the whole process and voted to do a trial run in the driveway. The hubby said we didn't have time for that.

Little man got all the attention on the passenger side. A ton of kiddos said they loved him and commented about how cute he was. Towards the end the shout outs diminished due to said cutie screaming his head off.

What a great memory for Emma. She loved every minute of it. Including peeing in a bucket, but that's a story best saved for a later date. I was afraid we were going to have a hard time parting with the candy. She surprised us though and threw with abandon.

Let's not forget that Memorial Day isn't just about parades and backyard barbeques. Thank you to all those who have served and those who are still serving to protect our country today. Hope everyone enjoyed their holiday weekend!

Friday, May 18, 2012

In My Spare Time...

Yeah, I know. Free time- what is that when you are a parent??? I have always loved to read, but it has taken a backseat these days. It's hard to find time to get lost in a story when there are kiddos climbing on you, begging for your attention. Since I truly love to read I've been working hard to fit time into my schedule to crack a book. What better way to do this than to review books? It forces me to make time to read a book and gives me a deadline to complete it by.
Photo from
Thanks to Bethany House publishers who sent me a free copy of Chasing the Sun by Tracie Peterson. It is not required that I give a positive review, but to express my own opinions of this book. I was excited when I saw this author. I have read numerous other books by her and have yet to be disappointed.

Hannah Dandridge is a stubborn, strong willed woman who is left to care for her siblings and the family ranch during her father's absence. However, her father's business partner has his own ideas for the family, stirring up trouble as he goes. He offers to marry Hannah which would solve many of her problems, but she does not want to be forced into a loveless marriage.

When William Barnett shows up things become complicated. His family owned the property prior to the war and he has come home to claim what's his. The wounded solider is surprised to find the ranch occupied by Hannah's family. What follows is a captivating story of love, apprehension, trials and faith. Peterson does a great job developing her characters and you really find yourself rooting for the 'good' guys.

I highly recommend this book which is Book 1 of the Land Of The Lone Star series. I cannot wait until I can get a hold of Book 2. Finding time to read it is another story....

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mom's Day

Being a mom can be a challenge some days. It's hard work, your on the job 24/7 and there are no raises along the way. It's about patience, sacrificial love, flexibility, selflessness. I have found it incredibly important to surround yourself with awesome examples of motherhood to make the journey a bit smoother. There are several ladies in my life I'm blessed to walk beside, but my mom has set an amazing example from day one.
After my near meltdown last week my mom felt the need to come for a visit on Wednesday. Emma and I anxiously awaited her arrival and I was completely surprised when she showed up at 8:20 that morning (no small feat since she has a 3 hour drive) Bonus: she came armed with Micky D's for breakfast, a rare treat for us!
We spent the day hanging out, taking in a Tulip Time parade, junk food and each other's company. I couldn't ask for a better day! Everyone was spent by that evening. Typically, we'll stay up late chatting, but the lack of sleep caught up to us all. The plan was for her to get up in the morning and hit the road when I left for work at 6:50.
Imagine my surprise when I came down to pack the car the next morning and she was still sound asleep on the couch. I told her to take her time and let herself out when she was ready. Throughout the morning I checked in with her a few times to see how she was doing, but I never suspected a thing. Little did I know she was keeping herself quite busy.
She ended up heading home around 11 after she dusted, vacuumed, mopped, cleaned the bathrooms and put dinner in the crock pot. I came home feeling like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. It felt like I almost had the night off. All I needed to worry about was tending to the kiddos. This isn't such a daunting task when the house and meal are taken care of.
All morning she busted her tush to get this done for me, while she had to get home and do the same thing since she was hosting her small group that night. Not to mention the 3 hour drive home and squeezing in a few hours at the office. Good thing she has such an understanding boss :)
This is just one recent example of her awesomeness. My mom shows me time and time again the parent I hope to become. Today's a perfect time to celebrate her- what she means to our family, her love and support, her generous spirit... everything that I admire.

Happy Mother's Day Mom!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Three Months

Easton, you have been with us for such a short amount of time, yet I can't remember what our lives were like before you were born!

*Three month pic to come- I'm awful about this!*

You are still a busy body, but you still stay in one place which is fine by me. Based on how much you move when you're little body is stationary makes your mommy nervous about what's to come once you are mobile!
Normally your all smiles, but it was apparently too late in the evening for that. As you can hear in the background, my other kiddo wasn't in such a great mood either!

You still wear 0-3 and 3 month clothing at this point and your cloth diapers are still on the smallest setting.
You are constantly blowing bubbles! You also chew on your fists a lot lately which makes me nervous that teeth are in your near future. We've had a great nursing relationship thus far, but I fear that may all go right out the window when you get chompers. You weren't nicknamed 'pirhana' for nothing!
Sleeping habits are quite lacking these days... Nap time doesn't exist unless you're being held. You are waking up every 2.5 to 3 hours again which leaves mommy exhausted. Your sister was sleeping 6 hours at night by this time.... Once summer is here I hope to have baby boot camp and get you on some sort of schedule so I don't go insane!
You continue to be very vocal when you are awake. All of your babbling makes me smile. Emma continues to hold your attention when ever she is near. You don't cry often during the day, but when you do you really let it belt. There is no variance in volume when tears are involved- it's either off or LOUD.

Happy three months E-man! We look forward to each new day with you and seeing the world through your eyes.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Burn Out

Coming off a week battling sickness with Emma, this is how I'm feeling these days. Drained, exhausted, running in circles. She had an inconsistent fever and complained of a sore head, neck and throat. After several doctor appointments, throat culture, chest x-rays and blood work the doctors discovered it was plain ol' strep throat. While I didn't work this week, I felt like I wasn't able to get anything done either. Jason was busy trucking and working in the fields so we were on our own.

90% of our time was spent vegging on the couch in front of the television, all rules regarding screen time thrown out the window. Life is more complicated with two, but gets even more convoluted when one of them is sick. Sleep is unpredictable, as well as everyone's mood. If I wasn't nursing, changing diapers or bouncing one to sleep I was cuddling, monitoring temp or waiting on the other one. The days were long and repetitive with one running into the next.

At the end of the day I'd find myself wondering if I'd accomplished anything. Straightening up the house in the evening would take two hours and the next morning it would be trashed again in two minutes. Once a meal was made, placed on the table, consumed and the kitchen cleaned up it seemed like it was time to start on the next one. I was often left feeling like I just needed to make it through the day. Yet the next day was just more of the same.

According to some people's standards I didn't achieve much this week. I have to remind myself that I know better. All the little things ARE the big things- snuggling little bodies, nourishing them, coddling a sick child, playing games. Being a mom means being on duty 24/7. There is no checklist (which is so hard for me since I love lists!) I want a sense of accomplishment, some sign that I've done something.

They're there too, but I have to be looking for them. It's when Emma picks me flowers or Easton gives me a huge grin. When Emma is polite to another child on the playground or when she helps me with something around the house. I'm raising little people who need love and guidance every day to grow and flourish into the adults God wants them to be. I'm not perfect, but I'm doing my best with His help. We can do it!