Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Most Eventful End of the Year, Ever

Well, 2007 is almost over, but the last two weeks have been crazier than any other weeks I've ever had. As I mentioned in my last post, Daniel's mom visited us off and on for the last two weeks. Abby had her first school play - she was the best stage-frightened angel I've ever seen. Last Friday was Daniel and my 9th anniversary! Not bad for two kids who married their first love at age 18.

Unfortunately, two sad things happened in the last week as well. The saddest of the two still makes me cry a little from time to time. Our little kitty, Saliva, had to be put to sleep last Friday. She was just really, really sick, so I made an appointment with the vet. I thought maybe they would say that she wouldn't last too long, maybe one or two months... But they said she needed to be euthanized right then, she was so sick. Her kidneys had shriveled up, and there was no way she could have lived much longer. So, instead of going out to dinner for our 9th anniversary, Daniel and I headed to the vet with our tiny, sick cat. As the vet said, we'll never forget this anniversary...

The next sad thing is more bittersweet than sad, really. I like to breastfeed all my babies to a year old, at least. I breastfed Abby for 15 months, and I literally had to force her to stop. I did the weaning that time. With Avery, I didn't have much milk after 9 months because I was pregnant with Ethan, so on Avery's first birthday I said, "This is your last boobie, baby." Avery agreed and didn't fight the next night at all. With Ethan, though.... He just decided this week that he no longer wants mommy milk. *sigh* I was hoping to breastfeed him to 15 months or longer - after all, he is possibly my last baby. But now, I offer him milk and he just sticks out his tongue and smiles. How did this little cutie go from demanding milk every hour as a newborn to this?

So, in the last couple of weeks we've had to let go of a lot. That's always been hard for me - especially when it comes to letting the kids grow up. I can definitely see why some people have lots and lots of kids - it helps you postpone the final letting go for a while. If weaning is this hard, how will I deal with sending my kids off to college??

Saturday, December 15, 2007

New Boots!

Grandma is visiting! And, once the first snowflake hit the ground, she said the kids needed snow boots. She headed to Kohl's, and came back with all the snow gear Abby & Avery will ever need (until they get bigger, at least).

Avery put on his boots and started posing provocatively - yes, I have spared you of photos that are both provacative and of Avery in his underwear. I swear, he does own pants.

Abby loves her new coat, snow pants, and boots! What parent can deprive their child of the joy of wearing their new snow gear indoors for an hour or two? She kept saying, "I need water...."

And, for good measure, here is Ethan wondering where his new snow stuff is. Silly boy - it's right there on Avery! He'll realize that next winter.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Monday Memories

Avery is definitely my drama baby. I've said this since the day he was born, and he proves it again and again. I have to keep a very close eye on this one. As you read this list, keep in mind that he is only 26 months old...

  • When Avery was born, I went to the hospital and was sent home 3 times without being admitted. I was told that I wasn't "really" in labor. Two hours later, he was almost born in the car. We got to the hospital at 9:51 p.m. and he was literally born 6 minutes later, at 9:57 p.m.
  • Before he was even born, my OBGYN wanted to do a C-section because Avery was breech, with his head tipped back, and his foot headed out first. Apparently this is not good at all.
  • We couldn't find anyone to circumsize him until he was 13 days old. The doctor informed us that he screamed more than any baby he had ever circumsized.
  • When he was 3 weeks old, he peed in his own eye while I changed him. He ended up getting a yeast infection in his eye. (Please see the lovely picture for more detail.)

  • At 16 months, Avery broke his pinkie finger on a door. The cast covered his entire arm - shoulder to finger tips.
  • When the doctor put the cast on Avery, he had to have three additional nurses hold him down. I was told that Avery is very strong.
  • On vacation this year, Avery woke up with sores all over the inside of his mouth. He had hand foot and mouth disease.
  • Avery is now deathly afraid of doctors.
My poor pumpkin. I don't know if I should ever let him play sports.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

We woke up this morning to a beautiful white-covered yard.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007


"Phooey! Hard work! Vacuum is hot!"

Yup, it's hard work to vacuum the whole house - especially in only underwear and a t shirt.

Monday Memories

Pacifiers. How did parents ever live without them? Earlier this year, Abby gave up her pacis - by force. Come on, a three year old with a pacifier? I'll admit, I was afraid of what other parents might think, so I told Abby the paci had to go.
We tied the pacis onto a beautiful ribbon, hung it on the front doorknob, and waited until morning. We were so surprised - the pacifier fairy had taken those pacis and left Abby a huge purple sparkly box filled to the brim with princess paraphernalia and play make-up! That fairy sure knows what Abby likes...
The next day went smoothly - no asking for the paci, just pure revelry in that purple sparkly box. However, when bedtime came and no paci was offered or requested, I started to realize what we had taken from Abby. When she came in our bed around 4 am, crying because she wanted her pacifier, it only made me feel it more. We hadn't just taken away the pacifier - we had taken away the last little bit of baby left in Abby. Not that she's now an adult, but what about her is baby-ish anymore?
"Where did she take my pacis?" "Can you call her and ask her to bring them back?" The questions killed me as we lay there in bed, consoling Abby. I tried my best not to cry - this was my first little baby, heartbroken.
She still sneaks Ethan's paci from time to time, and of course we tell her no. But really, it was a three year addiction that we forced her to quit cold turkey. How would you have reacted?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Top 9 Things I Learned From Cleaning Carseats

I cleaned out the kid's carseats the other day. Interestingly enough, it was a definate learning experience. Presenting... The Top 9 I Learned From Cleaning the Carseats!

  1. Where Abby's gum always ends up (hint: she doesn't swallow it, after all).
  2. Where Lightning McQueen's lost car parts went.
  3. Where the baby toys (yes, ALL of them) went.
  4. Where 10 or more of Abby's hair barrettes went.
  5. Nerds turn into a solid mass of melted pink goo, eventually.
  6. Carseats do mold.
  7. What that smell is.
  8. How Avery finishes his McDonald's chocolate milk faster than anyone else in the car.
  9. Why we go through Cheerios and Banana Puffs so darn fast. (see picture)

For those of you with no kids, or only one really small kid, you might be thinking that I'm disgusting and never clean our car. I cleaned these carseats out about 2 months ago. Seriously. Just wait - really, really soon your little "angel" will be a toddler too.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

My Mama Told Me Not To Do It!

You know how parents have all those funny rules? I mean, like you have to finish all the veggies they give you before you get dessert? Well, I've found that it's really hard to get past those rules once you're the adult, and can make your own rules. There are a lot of things that my mom said I couldn't do, that I've found actually, yes I can do!

  1. For instance, I can drink a soda before 11a.m. It's true! I've tried it - but I felt really guilty and totally expected to get sick afterwards. In the end, it all turned out okay. Go figure!
  2. I've also learned that I can have more than one soda a day. It may kill me one day - but not yet!
  3. Tampons. I can use them. Turns out that's not what makes you lose your virginity!
  4. It's perfectly acceptable to shave above the knee. Many people (like me & Daniel) prefer it, and no one thinks I'm a tramp.
Despite these few rules that were made to be broken, I do find myself dishing out the same sort of advice to my kids:

  1. Always tie your shoes - you'll trip if you don't. Avery has actually tripped on his own shoelace several times, but Abby has not.
  2. Don't eat standing up. This bugs me even when Daniel does it.
  3. Don't leave cabinet doors, drawers, etc. open. Ditto for Daniel.
  4. You can't stay up even one minute past your bedtime, because you'll be cranky tomorrow. This is true. Very, very true.
I think mom-hood is just a never ending cycle. Moms make moms, and so on. How careful do you think Mary was with Jesus? After all, she knew He was God' s Son and the Saviour of the world. Imagine what that would be like! On the one hand, you wouldn't want anything to happen to Him - think how God would respond to that! On the other hand, you know God is watching over Him every second of the day - He's His Son, after all. If only I could have that kind of trust in God for my own children!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Does This Make Me a Bad Mom?

A little confession... But first, some background information...

Today is Ethan's very first Halloween! Abby was 3 weeks old on her first Halloween & Avery was 5 weeks old on his first Halloween. Of course they didn't get any candy... And Ethan is only 9 months old - I refuse to let my kids have candy that young... Right?

Now the confession:

I gave Ethan two little, bitty bites of Reese Cup today! He literally started bouncing after tasting it, and has been in such a happy mood since! Now I know why people say they have to have chocolate after a bad day. Although, if we go by that rhetoric, he should be trying alcohol soon.

Here's my little chocolate fiend!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

"Pick me up, Mommy!"

**** 2 seconds later... ****

"Is that a camera?"

Sunday, October 14, 2007

The Full Hands

I realize I have a 9 month-old, a 2 year-old, and a 4 year-old, but why does EVERYONE smile at me and my kids and say "you've got your hands full!" Is that code for "what the heck is wrong with you - get some birth control, lady!"...?

Since I had Ethan, I've realized how different it is for mothers of 3 (or more) kids about a year or two apart compared to moms who wait longer between kids. I didn't exactly plan to have my little sweeties this close together, but it is really, really hard. Seriously - going to the grocery store with all three kids makes me feel like I'm going to have a heart attack right there in the bean aisle.

I wonder what people with multiples do? I would never, ever leave my house.

On a blog I like to read, Peanut Butter and Jelly Boats, I found a great reminder that all the pandemonium I go through daily with my kids is actually a gift from God:

"He gives childless couples a family,
gives them joy as the parents of children.
Psalm 113:9 (The Message)

Isn't that a great way to look at a pile of kids that all happen to be yours?

Friday, October 5, 2007

Chi-Chi's Birthday!

Happy birthday, Abigail Horizon! I can't believe you're already 4! You keep proving to me again and again that you're not a little baby anymore - you're a little girl. Even though I miss the days when I rocked you to sleep and changed your diapers, I'm so proud of you and I love the little person you're becoming.

Monday, October 1, 2007


It's the funniest thing - as soon as I begin to actually stop and try to do something while shopping, my kids become hyperactive tantrum experts. What is it about my eyes looking at clothing, my hands swiping a credit card, or just any part of me not paying full attention to my kids that makes their sugar levels suddenly soar?

The other day we were all at The Children's Place, where Avery and Ethan were content to be in the double stroller, and Abby happy to walk alongside me and look at clothing. I stop, try to find a size 18 months in boy's jeans (which I never could find in girl's jeans when Abby was that size, either - do all people have that size kid?), and they all start screaming and trying to climb the shelves of jeans! I finally settle them down enough to ask a sales associate if they have any 18 month jeans in the back, and they're at it again! Do shelves full of jeans really look like mountains begging to be climbed? Finally, we headed to the counter to pay for our stuff. The kids are acting great by now - but wait, I stop to pay for it all! Out they climb, running around and around (not Ethan, mind you) the stroller.

As all this is going on, I'm noticing another woman with 2 kids the same ages as my oldest 2. They quietly, perfectly sit in their stroller and watch my kids with huge eyes. I look at my kids performing a Chinese Fire Drill around their stroller. I look at those 2 boys and their mom, who quietly says to the smallest one, "what do you see? Do you see a doggy?"

I understand the concept of "The grass is always greener" - but come on. Did that woman ever have her kids in that stroller fighting over a sucker, pulling tags off the clothes, and knocking shoes off the shelves while she looked at my kids and thought how well-behaved they were? Probably, but that's not my point. Why do my kids seem harder to have than other kids?

While Avery, Ethan, and I wait for Abby to get out of her preschool class, Avery is pulling bulletin board borders down, and Ethan is pulling all of the mailbox trays out of their cubbies. The other mom's kids? They're standing politely next to their moms, quiet as can be, staring at my kids.

Is this normal, or am I doing something wrong?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

All About Me - For Strangers

I'm Sara M. I'm very mysterious, in that I show pictures of myself and my family on my blog, mention places and friends, but for safety I never mention my last name. Do you see the logic in that? Me neither.

So, I'm married to a (usually) great guy named Daniel, and we've been married for about 10 years. He works, while I go to college (I should graduate in December 2009). He's also quite a nerd, playing fantasy football and watching news channels all day. However, he is also extremely handsome and a good husband and father. And I love him. But, this is supposed to me about me, not Daniel.

We have 3 kids, which we still don't believe. Abby is 5, and in Kindergarten at a Christian private school. She's all about princesses and fingernail polish - not a drop of tomboy in her. She's very hard to convince to eat, sleep, or clean her room, but she is very eager to help me around the house.

Avery is 3, and has a very loud voice and high-pitched scream. Do not go around him if you have a headache, or your hearing aid turned up all the way. He loves pushing his trucks through the house, and turning on his remote control trains and letting them drive themselves into walls all day.

Ethan is about a year and a half old. He's the baby in every way, and quite spolied. He's big and cuddly, but tough and headstrong all at the same time. I hate seeing him get older, because he may or may not be my last baby.

We live somewhere in the midwest (hint: there is a Springfield in our state), although I grew up in New Mexico and Daniel grew up in Louisiana. We're a Christian family, and we're trying really hard to be outdoor people. We don't have a dishwasher, but we do have a really nice kitchen that Daniel made all by himself.

So, there you have it. One is too many.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Best Part

Have you ever been asked that horribly hard to answer question, "what's the best thing about having kids?"

Seriously. How do you even begin to answer that one?

Is it when they're sleeping? Even though it might sound like a joke, aren't all babies especially precious when they're sleeping? Or what about when they first look up at you and say "mama"? Or when they first learn to give kisses - those adorable, wet, open-mouth, sloppy kisses that they want to give you for about ten minutes straight? What about when you're nursing your baby and notice they've stopped slurping away, and when you look down they smile up at you with their mouth full of mommy, and milk drips out of the corners of their mouth?

As my kids grow, I find that my "favorite" thing about having kids is constantly changing - sometimes by the phases of their growth, and sometimes by the minute. There are so many "moments" when you're raising kids, and sometimes these moments affect you differently than other times. For instance, sometimes it's really as cute as can be that Avery loves to help me so much with laundry, washing himself in the tub, getting the mail, etc. But those other times... Man, it gets on my nerves to take so long to do everything.

Yes, kids are cute and it's fun to raise them. But is it really possible to have just one thing that's the best about having kids? Maybe you have to have kids yourself to understand this? But really, think about it - do you have any one memory with your kids that's better than any other memory? If you think long enough, aren't there just so many times that you've really loved having kids, or doing certain things with your kids, or even certain things your kids have done or said?

One thing. Sure....

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Avery Gravy

Avery the two-year-old!

Happy Birthday, Sweetie!
Who knew little boys were so adorable and sweet?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Hippie Mommies

I remember when I was about 14 and wanted to be a hippie. It was just a cool thing to be - you know, the in thing. I got over that, and maybe even ended being a little preppy considering what I aspired to be in 1994. Now I have 3 kids, and I find myself in competition with other moms to see who can be the most hippie-ish. If that's even a real word.

So, it turns out I'm considered a partial follower of "natural parenting," and I didn't even know it. Some of the characteristics of "natural" parents include breastfeeding, babywearing, med-free births, etc. My philosophy has always been "if it sounds right for your family and it's pretty easy to try, then why not?" Of course, I'm very adamant about breastfeeding and natural childbirth, but still, do what's best for your family and your situation.

Now, if I happen to mention these things I do to other parents, or they see me do them, it seems like some moms are compelled to tell me about their own breastfeeding antics, or teaching their baby to sign, or making their own baby food... etc. Don't get me wrong, I love hearing these stories - but why are we (mothers) so competitive? It's as if we're trying to prove that we're better parents than anyone else, simply because we've tried different things.

I find myself guilty of this all the time. I'll judge another mother if I see her making formula for her baby in public. I'll shake my head if I see a mom give her 6-month old French fries and Coke (that's Coke-A-Cola, not the other coke). And if you're so inclined as to smoke with your kids in the car, you'll definitely see me give you a "what the heck?!" kind of look. Yup, I know all us moms think we're the best. Maybe we are, but should we maybe just lay off the other moms for a while?

Maybe instead of paying so much attention to other families, we should try something along the lines of "Zen parenting" - being in the moment, every moment, and enjoying your kids just as they are. As a Christian mom, I don't think I can call myself a "Zen parent," but what could be more in line with God's gift of parenting children? Wouldn't you think He wants us to just enjoy them, teach them to love Him, and enjoy them some more?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Weeping and Sprouting of Teeth

Ethan did it! He beat Abby in the race of getting the first tooth. Although Abby's first tooth actually sprouted years ago, she was eight months old when that happened. Ethan was one day away from turning eight months - the champion! For the record, Avery was only four months old when he laughed and we noticed he had his first little tooth already in place. I don't know, it could have possibly been there when he was born... You know how it is with the second kid.

In other toothy news, I was brushing Avery's teeth the other night and noticed he has half of his second year molars already. Now, we do brush his teeth every night, but when did those get there?

One more mouth item - Abby has been saying really creepy things lately. Out of the blue, she says "I hate America!" What?! Daniel and I know she didn't get that from us, so we ask her where she did, in fact, learn to hate America. She says her teacher told her that... What?! I'm guessing she's really just confusing Ohio and America, since Daniel has been known to say he hates Ohio. She does sometimes say she wants to live in Massachusetts after ranting about America. We've learned that if anything is said in this house, chances are it will be repeated by some kid or another.

However, Abby has also just randomly been saying "I hate." Hmm... She's also now a "good" pirate and all boys are "bad" pirates. My little feminist in the making :o)

What worries me is that Avery repeats everything Abby does. The other day Abby fell down and started crying because she hurt her mouth. So Avery runs over, throws himself down next to her and does the same. When I ignore him, he stands up, climbs on the couch, and falls off. Poor neglected kid.

Thursday, September 6, 2007


This week Abby started preschool. School. Wasn't it just yesterday that she was screaming her pretty little sweaty head off as Daniel held her in his arms, squatting down to the floor over and over again, saying "squeaky, squeaky, squeaky"? Wasn't it just yesterday that I would lay her in her crib after rocking her for an hour, slowly tiptoe out of the room, and then start that all over again once my head hit the pillow?

Where does time with your kids go? Avery is now almost two - yet his first birthday party mess is barely cleaned up. He's mommy's little boy - yet mommy has another little boy now. Avery can sing, climb anywhere, and throws a mean tantrum when you refuse to let him wear three pairs of Thomas underwear at once. But all that is forgotten when he wakes up in the morning and says "Wanna cuddle Mommy," then throws himself on me, on the couch, and just lays there hugging me and snuggling.

Meanwhile, Ethan is learning all the tricks babies learn as they try to escape their mommy's safe, loving, cuddling arms. He's crawling. He's unplugging phones and televisions. Last night he even slept the entire night without needing mommy milk. What's next? Maybe he'll start taking the New York Times or find himself enjoying a nice cigar...? Or maybe walking is next. Or even talking.

Time to have another baby. "Oh Daniel..."

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