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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Spouse Sweetness

My husband and I had an especially romantic evening this week.

My boys conked out early in the night, but I finally made enough mean mommy threats to get Evie (5) and Dani (7) to stay in their beds.   All was blissfully quiet.

About half an hour later, Husband and I were both leisurely relaxing in our adjustable bed, working side-by-side on our laptops, just across the hall from our girls' bedroom.  That's what we call date night.

I'm not usually a songstress, but something overcame me and I broke into a little ditty.

"Start spreading the news!  I'm leaving today!"  

Husband joined in.  I don't like to brag, but it was quite a spectacular performance.

I grabbed a bowl of cereal and brought it back to bed.  I noticed Husband seemed to be the tiniest bit irritated by my cereal serenade, but I continued with my mostly inconspicuous chomping.

My better half then pressed the vibrating button for his side of the bed, in his attempt to dilute my crunching noises.  It makes this terrible "jjjjjjjj" noise and shakes the whole house!

Teasingly, but dead seriously, I made my complaint known, "Nooooo!  Turn it off!  You're so mean!  Why do you test me so!?!" To which my husband replied with a victorious, "Ah-hah!  I'll turn it off, if you take your chomping into the other room."


I punched him and tried to grapple the remote from his devious little mitts.

But then!  It occurred to me that one of my girls could still be awake.  They may not understand that we were teasing.  Only, I really wasn't teasing.  I was mad, which makes it worse!

I stated loudly, "Oh dearest, I was only teasing.  You are a most wonderful husband and I love you."

Husband gave me a look that only many years of togetherness can muster.

I continued, "And also, don't we just have the best kids?   I can tell that Dani is really trying to be nice lately.  And Evie is doing so well in school."

Husband catches on, "They're asleep."

"You don't know that.  Hey kids, is anyone awake!?!"

"I'm awake" says Dani. "I heard everything and you guys are the best singers."

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Working on my spouse sweetness, even when my kids aren't listening.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Heated Debate: One more?

I have some shocking news!  Sometimes, occasionally, OK--quite often, my husband and I disagree.  I know! I can't believe it either!  You'd think he would just go along with all of my wise ideas and plans for our future.

Our latest disagreement is one we both feel very passionate about--more children!

I'm visiting a blog friend today.  Janette from The Johanson Journey is creative and hysterical and someone you should get to know.  She's taking a little break with her new sweet baby, so I am over there pleading my baby case!

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Day: Convincing my husband of my great wisdom. 
comments closed

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Mother Daughter Moments

I love my seven-year-old daughter.  She's fun and smart and talented and a bit DRAMATIC.  So, when I got a call from her school a couple weeks ago, I was skeptical:

School Lady
Your daughter wants you to take her home.  She's sick.

Does she actually seem sick?

School Lady
I'll let you talk to her.

Hi, Mommy.  I'm really sick. I need to go home.

Are you sure?

Yes, I'm so sick.

Where does it hurt?

Well, I have a headache.

You have a headache? (She has a lot of headaches.)  Did something else happen at school that you're upset about?

No. I just don't feel good.  Also, my throat hurts.

Uh-huh.  Well, I'm not really sure.  I--

Interrupting School Lady

I'll come in, but I can't right now.  I have to drop my other daughter off for kindergarten in half an hour and I'll check on her then. 

I dropped Evie off and grudgingly lugged Dax and Mase inside.  Dani was lying in the nurses room, sound asleep.  I felt her head and neck.  She was burning up!  Oh no.  I am the worst mom!

It turns out my daughter had the stomach flu.  Thankfully, it only lasted a little over a day.  As a reward for my initial lack of empathy, Dani gave me a gift.  I came down with the same headache/stomach flu a few days later and even had a relapse just last week.  Lesson learned!

As a bonus, I thought I'd share an additional mother/daughter moment from this past Saturday.

Mom!  You look pregnant. 

I'm not.

But you look pregnant.

Dani, you really shouldn't say that to people.  It's not nice.

I would never say that to people.  Just to you.

(Awww.  I'm special.)

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Day: Cutting back on my ice cream consumption.

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Saturday, September 24, 2011


Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Encouraging brotherly kindness. 

Enjoy your weekend!

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Friday, September 23, 2011

A Little Homework Diversion

Yesterday, after a fun-filled morning:
There was still more fun to come.  I picked up Evie and Dani from school.  My girls walked into the house, dumped their backpacks, and immediately changed clothes, only because that's what they do every day.

The kids all foraged for snacks, then I got down to business, "OK, let's get your reading and homework done quickly so you can go play."  And with that simple statement, Dani made a mad dash for the back door, followed by my other three bandits.

I headed out to corral the kiddos and noticed something spectacular.  Raspberries.  Lots of them!  I love raspberries and this NEVER happens.  My children are like enormous hungry bugs that inhale every last raspberry and blackberry, sometimes even the green ones.

But! The kids were happily playing a homework diversion game, completely oblivious to the latest raspberry development.

I casually strolled over to the raspberries and picked, maybe two, when I hear a loud yelp from Dani, then, "Look at Mom!  Raspberries!  It's the mother load!!!"

All four of my bugs stormed over and this is what ensued: a mass raspberry annihilation.
I kindly let the kids eat and play for another twenty minutes outside.  I know, I should NOT have allowed my girls to play after saying it was time to do homework, but I do like to stay consistent with my parenting inconsistencies.  It was such a beautiful day!

Our yard is gated and I left the back door wide open so I could hear any catastrophe.   You may remember the last time I did this, it did not end well.  But my kids were happy, giggling, giggling, a lot of giggling.

Then Evie hollers, while giggling, "Mo-om, Dax is covered in bird poop."

Thankfully, it was not bird poop.  It was much better!  Dax had decided to paint himself with the black gunk from our grill dripping pan.  He was quite proud to show off his hard work.
As his punishment, Dax had to take a bath, his favorite thing.

Good times.

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Week: Watching and waiting for the next batch of raspberries.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Loves of my Life

Today I'm sharing some possibly odd, but heartfelt things I am passionate about.  Hopefully, we can still be friends.

10 Things I Absolutely Love

I LOVE Hamburger Helper.  Sometimes I get this unreal craving for the salty goodness.  Though I still only make it once or twice a year because my husband refuses to eat all versions!  He's definitely missing out.

I LOVE the number 11.  A few years ago I started noticing 11s--everywhere!  For some reason they bring me a little peace throughout my day.  Crazy, huh?  Now you're going to start seeing them too.

I LOVE large headed children because that's what I've been given 3 out of 4 times.  I still love my normal headed one too.

I LOVE to watch people wrap presents, the gifted ones.   It fascinates me.   How do they do it!?!  I actually despise wrapping.  Beautiful wrapping takes such precision and detail.   I could watch for hours or at least minutes.

I LOVE kiddo snuggles!  Occasionally, I don't even mind when my kids are a little sick, so I get more cuddles.

I LOVE snow skiing.  I became addicted in college and even worked at a ski resort.  Only I haven't gone since I became pregnant with my first, 8.5 years ago!  This could be my big year, if I even remember how.

I LOVE our remote control bed.  I didn't want it!  My old squishy bed was heaven and this bed is not so cozy.  But I love that I can sit up in bed.  And!  It has significantly cut down on my husband's snoring.  Woo-hoo!

I LOVE that Mase sings to me.  We found out he was in the bottom 2nd percentile for speaking just a little over a year ago.  So, it thrills me that he is mostly caught up and is taking such joy in using his voice.

I LOVE paper plates.  I just treated myself to a glorious stack of them yesterday.  I've seen some debate on whether or not they can be recycled.  If I find out for certain that they can be, I may toss my dishes and go entirely with paper.

I LOVE that I live in the United States in 2011 and not in days long ago.  I love epidurals, contacts, grocery stores, wet wipes, my clunky van, and indoor plumbing.  I'll stop there.  I know I take things for granted too much, but what a relatively easy and great life I have.

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Extra cuddles for my sweet large heads. 


Monday, September 19, 2011

An Amusing Adventure!

After a three-year break, my family just couldn't stay away.  We made the hour trek to a local amusement park.

Mase was our official tour guide.

  My oh-so-shy daughter Evie was meeting her best friend for the day.  So, as expected, when Evie saw her friend, she frowned and nearly ran the other way! 

It only took THE ENTIRE DAY for Evie to warm up to her bff.  But in the end, they were best buddies again.  

Early on, Dax had only one mission--a stroller breakout!

When I obliged, he was temporarily stunned by his freedom and even posed for a photo.

Then took off!

And decided to join another family. 

Later, he was also caught stealing drinks.

Here's a random bad picture of my husband immediately after he asked me in a panicked voice, "Where did we put the backpack?"  It wasn't hard to find.  Note the location of the backpack. 

Also missing?  Mase.  
He followed his Dad to a ride, instead of staying with me and I didn't see him go!  Mase was only displaced for about sixty seconds, but I think I aged another year!

Now onto a lovely shot of how Dani spent her first big roller coaster experience.

And finally, our adventure wouldn't be complete without a scuffle.  Evie won a cheap-looking red shark.  The cheap-looking red shark then became the coveted possession of the night.  Evie happily played keep away.  

Mase did not play so happily. 

The end.

Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Appreciating my adventurous amusements.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Valuable Lessons in Motherhood

I'm acquiring vast amounts of knowledge lately. I think I could even write a book.  I'd call it:

What NOT to Do as a Mom

Do NOT spend too much time on the computer in the morning.
Your children will get creative.

Do NOT let your one-year-old eat sherbet with a pencil.
He will squawk when you take the stolen goods away. 

Do NOT try this at home.
Thankfully, my kids are kitchen counter-jumping professionals.

Do NOT trust children in the kitchen.  
OK, I spilled the pepper.  The second time this year!  But I'm certain the lid was tampered with by one of my minions. 

Do NOT buy markers--ever!
My girls like to decorate.

Do NOT allow your daughter to bring a dangerous looking bug in the house!
Dangerous looking bug will likely escape.

And finally, do NOT let your toddler get his drinks from the dishwasher.
Or at least stop him immediately, before you take a picture.

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Hiding all markers. 

And I'm linking up:

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Wednesday, September 14, 2011


There was a miraculous occurrence last week.  The second this year!  My seven-year-old, Dani, was sent to her room for a brother scuffle.  She didn't immediately go as asked and received a much harsher room sentence.

Evie went into the same room to get something.  After only a few minutes, that's when I hear screaming and giggling coming from my two girls.  "Mom!  You have to see this!  There's an army in our room!  They're everywhere!  One just landed in my hair."  I slowly made my way to there room.  Our long-lost friends were back!

Fruit flies.
Dani could not have been happier!  Not only did she get to leave her room, but there was an entertaining diversion from her punishment--a true miracle!

I glanced around and found my suspected source.  I opened the trash can.  A cloud of fruit flies immediately evacuated.   And there it was--THE BANANA PEEL.
My Mom told me that she learned from my brother who I'm sure learned from a reputable source that the fruit fly eggs live in the stem ends of bananas.  If you cut off the ends when you first buy the bananas then--no fruit flies!

I've been doing this.  Only after several years of being fruit flyless, I got lazy.

Luckily, they're not nearly as distracting as our other flying visitors--loud, taunting, buzzing, attacking flies!  We don't get very many flies, but we have a few in our house right now.  They're fearless and angry!  Buzzing our heads and ears constantly!

Don't let his calm demeanor fool you. 

I've heard that the Electronic Racket Fly Zapper is the only way to go, but I haven't made the $6 investment quite yet.  I strongly suspect my kids would try to zap each other!  So I've been using only natural methods; a tempting watermelon trap for the fruit flies and my swatting three-year-old for the angry buzzers.  This method is also dangerous.  We've all been swatted.

Our other guests: a myriad of spiders, some tiny black beetles, and a few cute little ants by the back door.

Anyone else want to stop by for a visit?

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Week:  Kicking out all current visitors.

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Monday, September 12, 2011

The Morning Routine

I think it's important to record family history.  I feel like my kids are changing so fast. I don't want to forget these times.  So, here's a little of our family's history from this past week.

September 7, 2011   
The Morning Routine   
(a condensed version)
 Starring: Husband (age 38), Me (age 35), 
Dani (age 7), Evie (age 5), Mase (age 3), and Dax (age 1)

We don't use alarms at our house.  My husband wakes up like clockwork. On this particular day (and many others) I have some additional wake-up help.
My husband usually takes off early, but today he lets me doze a few extra minutes!  He helpfully takes Evie, Mase, and Dax out of our room and feeds them breakfast.

Then I hear the dreaded words:
"I'm leaving now, which means you should probably get up and come out here. Really."

I linger out.  That's when I notice Dani, still sound asleep!

 "Out of bed sleepy head." No movement.

"You need to wake up now or you won't have time for breakfast." 

Dani gets up.  I pour her a huge bowl of cereal and convince Mase to give me a good morning hug. Everyone runs to give Dad a hug goodbye!  I then drag my crying toddler away from the garage door as he attempts to leave with my husband. 

Evie is lying on the couch in her swimsuit; her latest pj trend.  "I don't feel good. I'm so sick," says Evie.  (Feigned sickness is a common ailment for her lately.)

"All right monkey.  Lay on the couch.  I'm sure you'll be fine in time for [afternoon] kindergarten."

"I'm still hungry!" Dani chimes.

"You don't have time to eat another bowl of cereal.  Get ready.  If you have time, you can have more. "

I go to change Dax's diaper as he mightily attempts to flip and flop away.  When I return, I see Dani is still in her pajamas with her second bowl of cereal!  I confiscate the cereal and firmly tell her to get dressed. She is unmoving, except to take another bite of cereal!  I then physically remove the cereal.

"Get dressed," I growl in a low grover-like voice. (Lately I've been attempting to replace my snapping with a much sweeter, but meanish growl;  although, it doesn't seem to be as effective.)  Dani leisurely saunters into the living room where I've placed her clothes.  

I glance over.  Dani has turned on a cartoon and is just sitting there!  "You have school in ten minutes.  Get dressed--NOW."   I'm back to snapping.  She casually starts getting dressed.  No rush.

I then attempt to put in Barry, Dani's contact.  She wears one contact--(long story involving a lazy eye and many pairs of broken glasses).  She squawks, "You poked me!"

"Open your eye." After several attempts, Barry is in!

I glance into the kitchen.  Dax is crouching on the table, eating Dani's cereal with his hands.  I remove cereal-covered toddler and wash him off.

"Go brush your teeth and your hair, quickly." I say to Dani, "We're going to be late."

She slowly slides her feet to the bathroom and comes out only seconds later.  Her hair in not brushed and the water hasn't even been turned on!

"Dani," I growl.

I then race to the bathroom and start brushing her hair.

Meanwhile, Dax joins us in the bathroom and starts dropping random items into the toilet--a long cherished practice.

"Everyone in the car!"  Dani heads to the garage.  I spot Mase.  He's running around half-naked.

"Where's your underwear Buddy?"
"I no find underwear."

 I snatch up some underwear and throw it his direction.  Mase puts it on backwards.  He's still pantless, but I tell him to get in the car.   I load up Dax.

"Evie, get in the car."
"I'm too sick."
"Go."  She goes.

But Mase is now missing!  I know where to look.  He's hiding in my bathtub again, giggling.  "I twicked you."

He still won't get out!  I carry my not-so-light Mase and, as gently as possible, wrestle him into his car seat.

Dani even made it to school on time.

"Bye Mom.  Love you.  You're the greatest mom in the whole world!"

I'm grateful for my crazy mornings.

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the School Year: Working towards some peaceful mornings too.

my spirited second grader

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Chaos and Confidence of Motherhood

Life is usually unexpected and chaotic at our house, but there are some things I can count on.

Ten Things I Know

  • I know that there's a high probability my three-year-old, Mase, will have to go potty right as we're heading out the door.

  • Meanwhile, my five-year-old, Evie, will never have to go potty until five minutes after we leave!

  • If my kids are laughing and playing nicely, I know at least one child will be crying soon.

  • When I'm all caught up on laundry, I know that if I don't fold the following load of laundry, I won't fold the next ten loads, and it will be piled up again.

  • I know that if I have all my children ready for church an hour early, then one or more of them will get some sort of food or unknown substance on their outfit and will need to change.

  • I'll then have to hunt for new clean clothes out of the piles of unfolded laundry.  Then we'll be late for church.

  • I know that if I leave my purse anywhere Mase can see, then my driver's license will go missing.  So will my gum.

  • The gum will later show up glued to the carpet.

  • The driver's license will still be missing.

  • And most importantly, I know I am so blessed to have my crazy family and wouldn't trade them even on my worst mom day...though I may stay here and ship them to Iowa to have a vacation with my parents.  Heads up Mom and Dad. :)

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Day: Searching for my driver's license. 

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Thursday, September 8, 2011

A Child's Prayer

I am a huge believer in the power of prayer.  I've written a post about this before, but I believe God is not a respecter of denominations when it comes to prayer.  He listens to anyone who's sincere.  

We say a family prayer every morning and night.  It is usually anything but reverent!  My husband said last night's prayer. Mase and Dax were climbing onto my husband's back as he prayed.  Meanwhile, Dani and Evie kneeled, but were having a battle with a broken piece of hula-hoop and a trash picker upper.

I also have the kids say their own personal prayers at bedtime.  Here are a few prayer excerpts from last night.

Dani (age 7):
...Thank you for this day.  Bless Mommy, Daddy, Mase, and Dax.  And please bless that I won't be afraid of the girl's bathroom at school any more...

Evie:  Did Dani bless me in her prayer?
Me: Yes.

Evie (age 5):
...Thank thee for Mom, Dad, Dax, Mase, and Dani.  And please bless Dani to be nice...

Mase (age 3):
...Help me be nice.  Help me not hit.  Help me choose wight.  Please bless food.  And help me to make mow hats at pweschool...

He's been praying not to hit for a good three months now.  I'm not so sure this is a sincere prayer.  That may be why the prayer hasn't been answered yet! 

And here's a little background on Dani's prayer.  This is part of a conversation we had after school yesterday.

Dani: I heard creepy music in the girl's bathroom today.  Then someone said, "You're doomed."  Then, I saw lots of blood.
Me:  Lots of blood?  Did you tell someone?
Dani: Just my friends.
Me: You didn't tell a teacher?
Dani: Well, there was just one drop.
Me:  I thought there was lots of blood.
Dani: Well, it was a lot of a drop. 

Tomorrow night I think I'll encourage her to pray for help with truthfulness!

Grateful Mom Goal: Having gratitude for my children's prayers.

Me with my little prayers.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Bill and a Ban

There was a dreadful occurrence at my house yesterday.  My husband beckoned me and solemnly showed me the results of my negligence.


He inquired whether I had paid it.  I hadn't even seen it so, "". 

My husband then kindly handed me the bill and didn't say a word after that.  He owed me a pass after my sweetness during his August driving miscalculation.

What I've learned: Apparently, if you mostly ignore the fact that a library book has gone missing, then the problem does not go away.   You will receive a bill for a ridiculous amount with a bluntly worded threat that your bill may be sent to collections.

Four books contributed to the crime, but here we have the main (over $20!) culprit.
"Duck on a Bike."
(not actual book, as actual book is missing)

I"m sure it's a phenomenal book.  I wouldn't know.  We never read it before its mysterious disappearance.

Last week I helped my kids shovel out their room in an attempt to locate the book--nothing.  Though I did find several missing shoes.

I actually have a specific place for library books.  We just haven't been using it!  I should have known the library was too risky right now.

So!  I'm implementing a self-imposed ban on the library until...

A.  My house is perfectly clean and organized.

B. My children become exceptional examples of put-backedness.

(the more likely option)

C.  A magical windfall of money falls from the sky.

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:  Pay the fine.

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Monday, September 5, 2011

The Daily Grind

Sweet Success!
May your Labor Day not be so laborious.

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal: Working on my perseverance.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Wild Ride!

I took my boys just last month, but Mase has been begging me to go again.

"Pease Mom.  We go today?  Peeeease."

Well yesterday was his lucky day!  After convincing my daughter with the stomach flu that this would be fun, I loaded the kids up and headed to our anticipated destination.  It's a little pricey to go two months in a row, but I've been slightly cranky lately.  I needed to earn some extra cool mom points.

And I splurged!  It was only a few dollars more for the SUPREME ride.  

I love to see those joyful faces.

Grumpy Grateful Mom Goal of the Day:   Planning our next memorable adventure.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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