Saturday, December 31, 2011


today as i thought about the passing of another year and what i wanted to say about it, i cried. yes, i'm exhausted from a very busy week, which always makes me more sensitive, but honestly, it's been a pretty tough year. not that any of our last seven have been praticularly "easy" years, but this one has been especially hard on me. tim's job keeps him away from our family a lot. our boys are exhausting. i don't know what the future holds for our family.

but i also know that these struggles are blessings. tim has a secure job that he likes. our boys are amazing. these challenges help me to grow and to trust.

and a lot of really great stuff has happened this year too. our friends and family have welcomed so many beautiful babies into this world. we've had many really great days together as a little family, finally learning how to treasure the precious time we have.

2011-you brought me to my knees many times. but you also taught me a lot. i'm tired but thankful. thank you Father.

holiday recap

yes, i know that it's still the Christmas season, but after new year's it doesn't really feel like it to me. i wish we had wonderful traditions with our little family, somehow highlighting the 12 days of Christmas, the Feast of the Holy Family, Epiphany, etc, but we don't. so to me, this is the end of the Christmas season, and i can officially say that we survived.

after my whiney post about santa, i decided i could either be a grinch about Christmas or i could just do my best and roll with it. tim insisted that he wanted to do the santa thing, even pretending to call santa on his phone when ben was having a meltdown on Christmas Eve. i really had to bite my tongue, but i did. in fact, when tim fell asleep on Christmas eve when he was supposed to be helping me get everything ready, i was the one who placed their santa present under the tree and disposed of the santa snack. the boys were excited in the morning, but they really didn't make a big deal out of it and really didn't have much time to linger thinking about it because we needed to get out the door to Mass.

our Christmas miracle was that we made it to Mass ON TIME and the boys were mostly good. it was a wonderful gift to me.

after spending a fun Christmas Eve with my big family, we spent a relaxing Christmas morning with Tim's family. the boys got some really cool, thoughtful presents and we had such a nice time being with his smaller family. Christmas night was spent at a big gathering of tim's extended family, which was also a really nice time to catch up with some of his cousins that i hadn't seen in awhile.

by the time we finally made it home we were exhausted, but also filled with gratitude to be surrounded by so many wonderful people. if we were responsible adults who made good decisions, we would have went to bed, but instead we welcomed one of tim's oldest friends out to our house. since we hadn't seen him in a while and he was only in town for a very short visit, we didn't want to miss out on catching up with him.

the 26th brought another very fun but very exhausting night as we hosted a gathering of friends late into the night.

the rest of this last week has been a whirlwind of more wonderful people and not so delightful mornings, being woken by the boys far earlier than i would prefer.

we are so, so blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful people. for tim and i, the struggle is in how to balance our desires to socialize with our responsibilities and with the needs of our family and our wimpy, sleep needing bodies. i think if i could sleep for a week straight, or maybe all of january, i would feel recovered.

blurg, blog

back in november my fantastically nerdy brother pointed out that i should try to make it to 40 blog posts for the year. in 2009 i had 30 posts, 2010 had 50 posts, so 40 posts would nestle right in the middle. at the time i think i had 7 to go. although my posting has been pretty few and far between, i figured i could do it. i had several projects i had never gotten around to posting and i knew i would have something to say about the holidays, so in my usual style i procrastinated.

well, it's now new year's eve and i'm only at 37. i've oscilated between being lame and doing several filler posts like last year or just leaving it at 37. this has been an odd year anyways, so why not leave the number that way. but i just can't do it. and it's my blog. and anyone who reads this is kind enough to put up with me anyways, so...onward to 40.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

santa santa santa

i am stranded in bed and i'm bored. if i lay still in bed, i don't feel sick. then i think maybe i'm feeling better and get up, then feel sick again. no, i'm not pregnant, just trying to fight off a bug. since i've exhausted apartment therapy and because it makes me want to get up and do projects (cue nausea) i figured i'd dust off some cobwebs over here.

for most of the month of december the boys have been talking about santa a lot, which reminded me of these posts i had written way back in the day about Christmastime. rereading them was funny. not so funny that it's pretty much the same stuff that i'm struggling with two years later.

before the holiday season rolled around, or maybe it was right after thanksgiving when some people were starting to put up decorations, ben declared one night while we were driving home that, "santa's not real, right mom?" i asked him a little bit why we thought that, but before we really got into it, we somehow got distracted. i kept meaning to revisit it with him and clear things up once and for all, but i'm a little paranoid that if i tell him the truth, he'll ruin it for some other kid. and with all the santa stuff swirling around now, he's back to thinking santa is real, mostly.

i've always been vague about santa. when he asks questions i ask him what he thinks. i talk about the santas we read about in stories or he sees in shows. now that max is older, him and ben have santa discussions-does santa have a car, does santa have kids,etc.

last year we were at the mall in december and he saw the santa that was there for picture ops, and although we didn't do pictures, because it was a tuesday morning and the mall was mostly empty, we had a really sweet experience with a very kind man. the other night as we were driving into my parents' neighborhood i saw a santa walking out of a house to his car and intentionally didn't point him out because i'm mean like that and didn't want to deal with the questions. but then ol maxey the hawk piped up from the back seat, "I JUST SAW SANTA!" ben chimed in that he saw santa too, but thought max was referencing the snow globe inflatable that we were driving by and then we were at grammie and poppa's. but as i unbuckled him from his seat, he said very definitively to himself, "i really saw santa."

so they've seen the guy (although even when we saw the mall guy, ben knew it was a guy dressed up as santa, but then goes back and forth in his belief) and santa is what every acquaintance talks to them about and what toys they're going to get from him. i want to make them wear shirts that say, "please don't ask me about what santa is going to bring me" because it totally reinforces the message that christmas is all about presents. i don't want them to be the brat that i was and only care about the stuff part and be disappointed when they don't get everything they want.

i just don't think i can make a convincing enough case for Jesus and "the reason for the season" when the competition is presents and the big guy in red.

i really just want to blurt out "SANTA'S NOT REAL!!! SANTA IS ***NOT*** REAL!!!" but oh man, i do not want the dirty looks from another parent when ben says matter of factly to their kid that santa's not real.

on my other "issues" i wrote about two years ago, we're still working on those as well. i just don't think there's any way around the Christmas eve/day chaos. my family has always celebrated Christmas eve with our immediate family. it got moved to new year's a couple years ago because my sister's family was sick and i tried to push that that become the new tradition, but it was not well received. i love the tradition and of course, the time with my family but it's just hard to then wake up early the next morning and catch Mass as we drive across town to make it to brunch with tim's family; something i also really enjoy and people i dearly love and want to spend time with, but just tiring. in tim's family, they then celebrate with cousins/aunts/unces at a big, big gathering on Christmas evening. this has always been the exhausting icing on the cake. i like his extended family, but we are just ragged by that point in the day. last year i put my foot down and declared in advance that we just couldn't do it. and we didn't, but i still felt badly about it. this year, since the boys are older and max isn't nap dependent, we're going to play it by ear. there are some members of his family that we would really like to spend time with and catch up with since it's been a couple years, but not if we're melting into tantrum puddles. (i'm not just talking about the boys!)

i suppose this all wouldn't be so stressful if tim had off more time from work, but he doesn't. he'll be back to work on the 26th and we're actually hosting a gathering of tim's old high school friends on the 26th with them possibly arriving before he's even home.

it's just sooo difficult. i genuinely like all these people and want to spend time with them. just not in the span of 48 hours!!!

(and this is where i feel like a totally ungrateful brat. some people have NO ONE to spend the holidays with.)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

vanity, thine name is boots.

for over a year, i have been on the hunt for the perfect boots. i've spent at least a few nights staying up too late searching around online for the perfect boots.

one of the problems with finding the perfect boot is that i wanted a boot that was casual enough to wear with jeans but nice enough to wear with skirts for church. the "church" part of that being the hitch. there have been several pairs i've found that would look totally cute with skirts in a bohemian, hippy way, which is totally fine for me. but i try to be normal for church. the pairs that i have found that would be nice enough to wear for church are too boring for everyday jeans wear. i'd finally given up on finding the perfect hybrid boot and decided to just look for something that i liked.

and i found them! tonight, while looking on amazon for toy dealz for wee ones on my christmas giving list, i got a little distracted and stumbled over to the women's boots section. okay, i'll be honest-i got onto amazon to look at toys, but never even made it there. and there they were: all leather, motorcycle boots that weren't too motorcycle-y, perfect color, and way on sale. like regularly $199 on sale for $52.05 with free shipping. these boots. i got tim's approval. i didn't even have to get up off the couch to get the credit card thanks to amazon's oh so dangerous saved credit card info feature. but i just couldn't hit "add to cart".

although i had resolved boot finding problem #1, there's still pesky problem #2: i don't really need boots.

for practical purposes, it would be nice to have some warm, hiking boot type footwear for when it's snowy, but that's obviously not the kind i had picked out. no, the kind i picked out are completely and totally for cute purposes. which is a little silly considering the hip and happening places i go, like aldi and... my parents' house.

i know i could totally justify them, telling myself that even moms deserve to look cute sometimes. after we had our garage sale, i was going to use my allotted fun money as boots money to finally pamper myself. but i just haven't been able to pull the trigger. not even with the super on sale ones i found tonight.

when it comes down to it, it just feels too frivolous to buy shoes that i absolutely don't need, purely for the sake of cuteness, when i could do something worthwhile with that money. for $100 i could buy three piglets for a family in need through food for the poor . or, less altruistic but still not completely selfish, i could use the money to buy some yummy, healthful foods i've been wanting to incorporate that just seem a bit too pricey or some fun schoolish stuff for the boys.

but when all my analysis boils down, i think the truth of the matter is that i would feel fake wearing them. i'm not a boots-to-the-grocery store kind of gal. sure i try to look decent when i'm out and about, but boots are a statement item and i don't really feel like i need to be making that kind of statement. i'm okay with being a nondescript, non-attention getting dresser who just goes about my business. i know when i see gals wearing boots at the grocery store i take notice and start judging-do they pull off the look? look totally ridiculous? maybe if she weren't so full of herself she would be a better parent and could control those wild children? gah-how is she so put together-cute clothes, perfect kids? i know i'm neurotic that all that goes through my head just analyzing someone else's apparel, but i also know i'm probably not the only one. and i sure as heck don't need to be trying to get extra attention. ben and max are plenty helpful in the getting attention department.

i think i'll just stick to wearing my mario bros shirt that i stole from my little brother ten years ago when i'm feeling wild and crazy.

what do you think? am i being totally crazy? do you have issues as well? the more i think about it, i'm reminded of this post about my pigtail issues. hmmmm.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

oh ye internets

this post was supposed to be about the things i've been doing instead of blogging. things that i've enjoyed, but that just don't allow much extra time to write. and then of course, the jessie spano, saved by the bell quote comes to mind, "no time! there's no time! there's never any time!" and then the meltdown where she sings to zach:

i think this is a pretty memorable saved by the bell moment. so memorable, in fact, that when i googled "jessie spano there's never any time" i found these blog posts.

creepy. me and jimmy think alike.

and then i also found this...

or i could just copy and paste this whole post and pretend i wrote it. she even uses the you tube video i used.

when the huffington post has a graph of jessie spano's caffeine intake i feel like my joke is sufficiently lame.

so, this post actually morphed into another post that's been in my mental drafts for over a year.

the internet is, to me, fascinating and inspiring and totally bizarre. i'll come across blog posts of complete strangers that i have never read before that are exactly what i am thinking at the time, like they are my cosmic internet brain twin. sometimes it's amusing, but usually, it weirds me out a little.

a long while ago, i was thinking about renaming my blog to something that wasn't so frivolous. i thought, "oh, 'the extraordinary ordinary' would be a brilliant, totally profound name. like how motherhood is totally ordinary and yet totally extraordinary all at the same time." so i googled it. of course, there are several other blogs with this name, several of them with the exact same tagline that i was thinking of. one of them, this one to be precise, had a picture of her feet wearing red shoes, much like the picture in one of my first blog posts. and, when i looked up her blog to link to it, she had posted about halloween, when her two boys dressed as ninjas. MY BOYS WERE NINJAS FOR HALLOWEEN. as were probably several other million little kids, but still, weird.

i've never liked to be a copy cat. in seventh grade, i wore elmo bowbiters on my bright blue adidas shoes to show the world what a bad ass nonconformist i was. if i do copy, like with projects, i try my best to give credit. but come on-people are stealing the content right out of my brain.

at least i'm not the only one who seems to have this problem, as evidenced by this article i had read awhile ago about that steve jobs/apple silhouette that was all over after jobs died.

it's hard to be an original these days.

Friday, November 18, 2011

a funny

since i don't seen to have any "time" for a real post, let me share this. i'm a little embarrassed by how much it amused me. i may have snorkeled a few times.

hope you enjoyed. and maybe snorted or snorkeled.

Monday, October 24, 2011


to those of you who use google reader: when i publish a post, then realize there's an error in it and go back and edit it and repost it, does it show up as a new and different post? what i'm asking their proof of my neurosis lurking in your google reader?

happy faces happy tummies

of course when i muster the energy to write, blogger has changed the format/template. dear world: i don't like change. it is not helpful. regardless:

today was a good day.

i used to think that a perfect day would look something like a hallmark commercial. breakfast in bed, tidy, well behaved children always smiling and laughing but never actually making any noise, nice house that's perfectly clean and in order as the backdrop, yummy looking food that the mother either doesn't have to prepare or clean up after or that she joyfully prepares in her cute stylish outfit without nary an interruption from those quietly smiling children.

yah, that's just not doing to happen around here. tim tried to make me breakfast in bed once and the boys screamed from the dining room table because they wanted to be with me. when i gave in and let them join me, they stole all my food and something ended up getting spilt. not relaxing. i've come to accept that even the best of days, at this stage of my life, are going to involving preparing food, breaking up squabbles, wiping bottoms, and weathering max fits. because in case you didn't know, it's really hard and totally traumatic for max to have to get his own socks out of the drawer. not even put them on, just get them out. we had two of those meltdowns today.

i have this yummy yum yum to thank for setting the mood of our day. when i saw the recipe last night on angry chicken, i knew i wanted to make it today. this was the fourth recipe i've tried for something like this. for awhile i was stuck on trying to make them in a muffin pan as individual popovers, but they always got stuck and i hate cleaning the muffin pan. this recipe was perfecto! gotta love cast iron. ms. amy karol called hers a dutch baby. when max asked what i was making for breakfast and i told him a dutch baby, he seemed confused and suspicious. i decided to just call it a puffy oven cake, which is what my nephew calls this same sort of creation.

we put extra butter and a little maple syrup on ours after taking it out of the cast iron. the boys enjoyed watching it deflate but it always makes me a little sad. so lofty and then so flat. side note: i used whole wheat pastry flour and it was still totally delish.

i was a little nervous serving it to the boys because, like i've said, i've tried something like this before and i don't remember the boys loving it, but i think i put jelly on it once and blueberry sauce another time. plus, since it was super easy to make and fun for me, i figured naturally they would hate it purely to spite me. but oh happy day! they loved it! so much in fact that i made another one for our afternoon snack. i love how easy these are.

because the weather was absolutely beautiful, i decided we should have a picnic. puffy oven cakes are even better when eaten lying down soaking up glorious sunshine.

and a little kombucha because momma was feeling really wild and high on vitamin D.

ben wanted to use the camera and this pose was his idea.

while the boys played on the driveway and in the forest, i enjoyed this view.

last monday the wind blew from the north and it was cold and cloudy all day. max's behavior left me in tears several times, i was totally depressed mourning the end of sunshine and the approach of winter and tim and i had a huge fight.

today i spent my day washing windows, preparing food, cleaning up, doing laundry, and parenting. AND BASKING IN THE SUNSHINE. it was no hallmark commercial for sure. the moms in hallmark commercials certainly don't raise their voices or discover their darling offspring throwing wet, dirty rags at the freshly cleaned windows.

but today was still pretty great. thank you God for the sunshine. and the charming offspring who say sweet things like, "momma, i like your fancy hair."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

oh my darlins'

i've mentioned before that my boys drive me crazy, right? what's that you say? "every time you mention your boys, you explain how they make you crazy. it's getting a little old mary." well sorry. this is my life. a big 'ol pot of crazy.

a lot of the time, the brand of crazy is of the frustrated/annoying persuasion. max is a bit volatile and we're never quite sure how he's going to react to things. plus, even when the kid is happy, he sometimes headbutts me, HARD, to show his happiness. and screeches like a pterodactyl. if you hear the screeching and look over to see max grinning at you with crazy eyes: protect yourself.

max is capable of doing a lot of things, like dressing himself, but if he doesn't want to, which is most of the time, he just won't do whatever it is you want him to do and will throw a mega huge fit about it. there are also a few things that max can't do, or that i don't have the patience to allow him to do, like doing every step of making the french toast, including cracking the eggs, that he very adamantly insists he can and should be allowed to do. i've been hesitant to let him carry the one precious egg that we get every few days from our hens because i don't want it getting broken. the first time i let him carry it he kept running after ben, even after i told him to stop running, and was being silly and dropped the egg. it didn't break but i confiscated it from him because of his unfriendly to precious egg conduct. he found that majorly offensive. the next time he was with me when there was an egg, he begged to carry it and i let him, reminding him not to run with it. i was so proud of him for carefully marching next to me and making it all the way to the house without any egg offending behaviour. then he smashed the egg on the big tree stump we have by our front door. careful, careful, careful, SMASH!!! yep, that's max alright.

so sometimes, they make me crazy with frustration.

but sometimes, the craziness is of the mind blowing, totally beautiful love kind. a lot of those moments take place when they are sleeping. i love me some sleeping boys. they're so quiet when they sleep. except for when they thrash and talk in their sleep and sniff their nose eighteen times while sharing my pillow with me. but i'm not talking about those times.

i'm talking about times like tonight when ben sings me a song. we were driving home from tim's parent's house and were talking about something that reminded ben of a song from veggie tales: madam blueberry. he started singing "i'm so blue" and i started to laugh. he asked me why i was laughing and i told him that his singing made me so happy that my happiness came out as a laugh. he then said, "well, this song will make you even happier."

"i love my mom.
she is the best.
we are so happy when we are together.
she is so nice.
i love her and she loves me."
(lots of repeating)

during ben's singing max started to sing but then started to yell at ben for "erupting" him. (how appropriate that max pronounces interrupting as erupting. he certainly is our little volcano.) for about ten minutes the boys fought over who's turn it was to sing to me. i tried to intervene, but i find parenting while driving to be really difficult. i finally just turned on the radio and turned it up to block them out/distract them. it was a bluegrassish instrumental song and it caught their ears. then they started singing again, together but singing their own songs. i turned off the music so i could listen to them. i couldn't hear max very well and he kept fading in and out, but what i could hear was "i love momma" over and over. ben was singing his song again and he also sang about looking at the clouds and about how he wished we lived in metrocity where robots would take care of us.

yep. crazy beautiful. with a little dose of crazy frustrating thrown in the middle to keep me from floating away, of course.

oh those boys.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

going going going (and a prayer).

this month has been way busy. not just the normal exhausting that comes from trying to wrangle my boys day in and day out, but some days,literally, leaving the house in the morning and not getting home until bedtime kind of busy. those are of course the exceptionally busy days, but we are just not used to that level of activity. and even our regular at home days have been quite full catching up on the things that don't get done on the "going" days.

i'm again working part-time, so that ties up at least one full day and two mornings a week. i also watch a niece and nephew two other mornings a week. that schedule leaves us with two open days a week, which had been working pretty well for us, keeping us from getting stagnant at home and on each others' nerves, while allowing time for necessary tasks like laundry, cleaning, etc.

but september feels like it hasn't had any free days. the first week of september a dear friend welcomed a sweet, chubby babe into the world, so we were helping out their family on our free day. the second week of september the boys were sick, but i was still getting things ready for the party i hoped they would be well for. they weren't, but since it was a joint party for our whole family, food still needed to be made and delivered. last week we had a garage sale with several families. this week we had an end of the month goal we needed to make, so there was some extra push at work. our family was also blessed with another handsome little guy this week, so i've been working to get some extra food made so i have an excuse to go snuggle him.

all of that is a very long explanation for something that (if it weren't completely impossible for me to be brief) equals...i've been too busy for writing.

there have been so many things that i've wanted to share, and maybe i'll get around to them yet, since i'm fully expecting october to be lazy and peaceful and full of long stretches of uninterrupted time ; )

in the meantime, i'll leave you with this prayer. my brother introduced me to it and we start each workday with it. this last week, he invited the other people in the office to join us and it's truly beautiful hearing our voices join together in petition to St. Joseph. we've prayed it enough that i've started to memorize it and when i'm feeling exhausted or discourage or becoming too prideful, i remind myself, "all for Jesus, all through Mary all in imitation of thee oh Patriarch Joseph."

Glorious Saint Joseph, patron of all who are devoted to toil, obtain for me the grace to toil in the spirit of penance, in order thereby to atone for my many sins; to toil conscientiously, putting devotion to duty before my own inclinations; to labor with thankfulness and joy, deeming it an honor to employ and to develop, by my labors, the gifts I have received from Almighty God; to work with order, peace, moderation, and patience without ever shrinking from weariness and difficulties; to work above all with a pure intention and with detachment from self, having always before my eyes the hour of death and the accounting which I must then render of time ill spent, of talents unemployed, of good undone, and of my empty pride in success, which is so fatal to the work of God. All for Jesus, all through Mary, all in imitation of thee, O Patriarch Joseph! This shall be my motto in life and in death. Amen.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


late last night as i was getting ready for bed, i recalled to tim that three years ago at that time, i was accepting that i really was in labor with our little one and that i wasn't going to be getting any rest that night.

i pulled out max's birth record and we reminisced for a little bit about that wild night. so much of it seems a blur. a very exhausting blur.

kind of like the last three years of life with max. a very exhausting blur, with flashes of time and experiences that are so beautiful that we decide to keep him around for a little while longer.

max, you make me crazy. with frustration and with love. you are just as stubborn as i am and as handsome as your daddy. you have always been a boy with an opinion. you never stand still and smile for the camera because you are too busy going, going, going. or because you just don't want to. you are so inquisitive and observant you wear your momma out.

for all of those things, for you, i am thankful to God every single day. some days i have to wait till you've been asleep for a couple hours to feel that thankfulness and sometimes it floods me and moves me to tears as i lay between you and ben, stroking your hair as you lay your head on my tummy and drift off to sleep. you, like your brother, have pulled me and stretched me and made me grow in ways that i've never wanted to grow, but know that i need to.

happy birthday maximo.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

kc time

a couple weeks ago my mom and i, along with the boys, escaped to kansas city for an overnight stay. because the boys get restless in the car and are quite tricky going to bed, we'd never done any long trips with them or stayed the night anywhere other than grandma and grandpa's, so this was an interesting experiment.

i realize that some might not consider a 3 hour car ride a long trip, but for me, that qualifies. amazingly, miraculously, happily, the boys did very well in the car.

we left around 3pm, hoping that maybe, just maybe, the boys would nap in the car. and they did!! for about half the way up!!

mom and i enjoyed the time to talk and the glorious cloud displays. as much as i don't like riding in cars, the flint hills really are a pleasure to drive through.

i love clouds.

when the boys woke up and were getting restless after a pit stop, we were saved by the DVD player.

(ben's tv stare kinda freaks me out.)

we had such a great time spending saturday evening and sunday with my brother and his family. the boys loved cousin time...

and new electronic toy time...

and it was so nice to just get to hang out with my brother and wonderful sister-in-law since we usually only get to see them at big family gatherings where it's always a little (or lot) hectic and overwhelming.

plus, i finally got to see their oh so cool house in it's completed form. tim and i had seen it the summer before they moved in when they were still finishing it, but we hadn't been back up that way in almost three years and had only been able to marvel at it in pictures.

i totally have a crush on their house. i didn't want to be creepy and take tons of pics of their living space, but their house is just so. dang. cool. (if you want to read more, the house was featured in dwell magazine here.

i love the clean lines, the unconventional use of building materials, and ALL THOSE WINDOWS. definitely not your average suburban ranch! i have to admit, if i had just seen this house featured online and hadn't personally been in the space, it would seem a little sparse and a bit cold-so much open-ness would seem uncozy i suppose. but it is the perfect blend of cozy and private in the bedroom areas and open and peaceful in the living room/dining room/kitchen area.

they designed this gorgeous wooden room divider to basically create another "room" in the big open living room. so, so beautiful. (i was super thankful my wild ones didn't slam into it and break it.)

did i mention the windows?! such a view!

on sunday afternoon my kind and patient sister-in-law took me to trader joe's, which i had been longing to go to for a long time. although the store had been open for over a month, it was like it was the opening day and was totally packed. i'm sure part of that was that it was the weekend-it seemed like a lot of people where checking it out and just wandering along. although it didn't live up to the utopian grocery i had built it up in my mind to be, i would be happy if one came to town. some of the prices were pretty good, some just the norm. the selection was interesting and it would have been fun to just wander and look but the crowd just made me want to grab a few things and GET OUT!

we honestly waited in line for about 20 minutes. but the company was good and the people watching was top notch.

after checking in with the boys and picking up mom, j took us to urban arts + crafts-a totally awesome fabric/bead/yarn/crafts stuff shop that is within walking distance of their house.

it would be seriously dangerous to our budget if i lived so close to soooo much beautiful fabric.

it was cool to see anna maria horner's fabric in person-i have long drooled over it via the interwebs. the voile feels as soft and light as she describes it to be and would be so delicious to make skirts and dresses out of if i had those skillz. serious fabric lust occurred at that store.

after a little more time back at the tree house snuggling the sweet little princess we had to get on the road.

again the boys did well in the car. thankfully grammie is very, very patient and i'm pretty sure, loves the boys more than i do.

a long post for a short trip, but it twas a good trip.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

da shelf

i have some blog catching up to do. i blame tim's work schedule. and my laziness.

we have hard water so we have to buy bottled water. it's a major pain and has led to much marital strife and annoyance-it's actually pretty rediculous how much stress this issue has caused tim and i.

for several years now, our system has consisted of refilling our five gallon water jugs and then filling a pitcher from those that we keep on the counter or fridge, depending on the season. but the pitcher would never last the whole day and always seemed to be annoyingly empty at the worst possible times. plus it was hard for the boys to be able to get themselves drinks with that system. ben was finally able to get himself drinks with minimal messes but when the pitcher was full it was too heavy for max to handle. after five years of getting drinks for little boys, i was ready for them to take over that task.

back in september of 2010 meg at sew liberated had this great post: quenching thirst, montessori style. at the time i read it, her system seemed like a great idea, but i just never put it into action. i think i was being cheap and decided i would just muddle along with our free pitcher system instead of buying a water crock. plus, i was pretty certain the boys would make huge messes with unlimited access to water.

but the idea stuck with me and this spring i was totally fed up with our annoying system. while researching water crocks online, i remembered that my aunt and uncle used to have one on a stand in their dining room, but knew that they no longer used it. being the cheapskate that i am, i called her up and asked if she still had it around. sure enough, she did, and gifted it to me, but no longer had the stand. it needed a new faucet and gasket so i set it aside and procrastinated ordering them.

i finally ordered the new parts in july and when they came, gave the crock a good scrubbing and had tim put it together. we started using it with it just sitting on our counter. it was nice because it held more water than the pitcher we had been using and ben and max could reach it, but tim wanted to be able to just put the whole five-gallon jug on top of the crock instead of filling the crock every couple of days. but when he would do that, it would block the upper cabinets that stored everyday essentials like plates and glasses--no good.

tim wanted to order a stand like this one but i really didn't want to spend almost $50 for something so simple, plus i wanted to have shelf space on the stand. so i said i would build a shelf. *insert tim's skeptical eyebrows raised look here.* in our years of marriage, i may have developed a reputation for saying i would make things that haven't quite materialized. tim has been patiently waiting five years for a tshirt quilt and a lemon meringue pie.

but this time i was really going to do it. i drew up a rough sketch-pretty good for me since i usually just start screwing things together-and called my little brother to see if he would be game for helping me.

with my boys at my parents' house, i went to lowe's to get my supplies: sandpaper because i forgot to bring some from our house, screws, and one 2x12x12 untreated board. fyi: lowe's will price match anyone else, plus 10%-no printed ad necessary.

i thought i was so clever for having them make my cuts for me, which is free, saving myself and brother the time of getting out the saw and adjusting it, but they didn't make the cuts the right length. brother and i persevered anyways, just screwing it together and ignoring the gaps, because i was running out time-the boys' movie was almost over, and i really just wanted to get the project done.

when we stood up the finished shelf it looked great, except for a suspicious feeling that it looked a little too wide to fit in the space i needed it to. i tried to ignore the feeling all the way home, but upon bringing it in the house, it was proven that yes, it was too wide. being the expert carpenter that i am, i hadn't accounted for the width of the boards on the sides of the shelf, which was about three inches because of my thick board.

i was soooo frustrated. i had already been having a very cranky week and i needed this to be an easy project to perk me up and that wasn't happening.

after literally dreaming about fixing the shelf, the next day i took it all apart and attempted to cut it with our circular saw. the thing with our saw is it doesn't cut staight through the board-it cuts at an angle because it's messed up. i tried to adjust it and thought i had fixed the problem, but nope, it still cut at an angle.

totally irritated, i called another brother (there's a lot of perks of having six brothers)and asked if he could help me. i think he could hear the crazy in my voice because he kindly agreed to let me and the boys come over. i would say he helped me fix the shelf, but he actually did all the work while i stood there and watched. he sympathized with me-we both enjoy doing projects but with limited free time, we both get really frustrated when they don't turn out right the first time because then we have to wait awhile to be able to fix them. granted my projects are small and simple and his are big and amazing, but it still made me feel better knowing i wasn't totally crazy for getting so annoyed over a shelf.

the shelf now fits perfectly and allows for a nice display space for some on my colorful treasures, as well as a spot for glasses so the boys (and second kind brother's kids)can help themselves to a glass of water-YAY! admittedly, we had a few accidents in the first couple days of use-max would be so mesmerized watching his glass fill up that he would stand there watching as his glass overflowed and water poured onto the floor. but now with a couple weeks of use under their belts, i think the novelty has worn off and we haven't had any more spills.

now, whenever i get a drink, i think of two of my very sweet brothers who helped me. and the price:

$24.78 sure beats $50 and i still have a few screws leftover and the sandpaper has me ready for my next project.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


as a mother of two "energetic" boys, i sometimes fantasize about having one of these suits.

like tonight, as i was getting the boys' toothbrushes ready for them, max was jumping up and down on his stool and landed on the back of the stool, making it flip over....on top of my foot. steel toe boots should be worn around here at all times.

then as i was putting on max's night diaper, we was wiggling and kicking. i asked him to lay still, which he responded to with a high pitched chirp and a bicycle my nose. i did not keep my cool. that's a silly little quirk of mine-i don't react well to nose smashes.

the protective face mask would have saved the day on that one.

the other night, after a pretty rough day, the boys were being wild as i laid down to read to them. while i was correcting max about something, ben delivered the book he wanted me to read by dropping the hardback book on my eyeball. again-protective mask would have sava da day!

i can't count how many times i've been reaching over to help the boys with something and they jump up or throw themselves backwards, smashing my nose/mouth/teeth.

when i tuck the boys in at night, i lay between them and read to them and we say our prayers. max is always getting up to get more books or get a better view of a page or get yet another drink of water. to get up from a laying position, he has to firmly plant an elbow in my chest or ribs to heave himself up. both boys have also always done that if they're sitting next to me in a chair or on the couch and they get up. chest pads-yes please.

i feel like i'm a pretty tough gal, but geez, sometimes i'm just ready to throw in the towel. it's particularly tough because tim's not home very often, so i don't have a tag-team partner to throw into the ring when i just can't be patient anymore. and i've never been a very patient person. although i joke about my frustrations a lot, some days, it all just seems like too much.

God, grant me the strength to mother these boys.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


this week is "national natural family planning awareness" week. when i saw that in the most recent issue of family foundations, the magazine of the couple to couple league, i filed it away in my brain, thinking, "hmmmm, that would be a good time to hash out some of my thoughts that have been floating around in my brain."

but when i try to sit down and write about nfp, i can't get past my amusement that, in my head, when i think of "n. f. p" i can't help but mentally sing the letters to the tune of "lbj" from the musical hair. then i get further distracted thinking i should make up my own nfp appropriate lyrics to go with the rest of the tune. the part that amuses me the most about this is that i've only seen hair (the movie) once and listened to the soundtrack a few times while my brother learned the lyrics to one of the songs for an audition back in high school. so tonight, i decided to youtube the song to hear what the rest of the lyrics were, because all i remembered was the "l.b.j" part. and this is what i found.

after listening to the song, i still couldn't really figure out what they were saying. (i can never understand the song parts of musicals-which is why i have a hard time following the plot and don't like musicals. i know, i'm weird.)all i could catch was lbj, lsd, cia, fbi, cackle, cackle, cackle. so i looked up the lyrics and they are:

LBJ took the IRT
Down to 4th Street USA
When he got there
What did he see?
The youth of America on LSD




no wonder it didn't make any sense. and then i thought, "well, those lyrics are pretty simple, i should be able to come up with something nfp appropriate to go along with that." but i got nothin'.


on a somewhat related tangent, initial abbreviations really annoy me. i'm very literal, so when i read clever, instant message/texting abbreviations, my brain gets confused. like when someone comments on facebook "rofl" to something that amused them, my brain thinks, "why are they rofling?" (which is like ralphing. translated-they are vomiting.) i hate all the mothering related message board lingo-"cding and bfing sahm to 2 dds". WHAT DOES THAT MEAN!!! okay, i know what it means, but come on people-use words! (i know, i know, this coming from the girl that refuses to capitalize, but still.)

as i was reading family foundations the other day, embedded in an article, it had an info box entitled, "understanding TOB". i read that as, understanding tob, like a word that rhymes with job, like the guy in the bible. and i'm thinking, who is tob? is that short for toby? i don't remember there being a toby in this article. and then i realized they were talking about theology of the body. dangit people. words. words i tell you!

little black dress, when mentioned in magazine articles like, "every woman needs a LBD" makes me think "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender" (lgbt) or "latter-day saints" (lds) "why does every woman need a mormon lesbian?" it's so confusing to live in my head.

and finally, this rant wouldn't be complete without a discussion of the term "woot". a lot of people use it on facebook (yes i'm looking at a few of you) and it makes my brain glitch. at first, when i saw it, i just didn't get it. then, after seeing it enough in context, i figured it meant something like "hooray" or "good for you/me". but where did this come from? so i googled it and this is what i found on wikipedia. i still want to ask people, "why do you use that term?" i suppose i'll still be your friend if you do, but just know that your making my brain hiccup when you do.


well, i think i've sullied the good name of natural family planning enough. i really thought i'd be able to pull out of my goofy mood, but the headache that i have makes brow furrowing deep thought hurt, so i just couldn't do it.

peace out. woot woot!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"i'm dyyyyyyying"

in case you haven't noticed, it's a tad on the warm side around here. yesterday i was really tired from a busy weekend and my tolerance for everything, but especially the heat, had reached an all time low.

as i stumbled around the kitchen trying to figure out what to feed the boys for dinner, i kept catching myself almost crying out, "i'm dyyyyyyyying!" the only thing that stopped me was the knowledge that my boys would then repeat it in moments of boredom or annoyance and i would have only myself to blame for the new addition to their whining repertoire.

searching the fridge, the only thing that sounded edible was iceberg lettuce. cool and crisp. "yes", i mentally declared, "i'm going on an iceberg lettuce hunger strike until this heat lets up!" figuring the boys might not be too wild about the idea, i think i finally made sandwiches for dinner.

when it's this hot, i have no motivation to cook. (not that i'm really super motivated when it's a more reasonable temp.) standing in front of a hot stove-nope. steamer or crockpot heating up the kitchen-no thank you. baking-out of the question!

i actually did all those things for a good part of the day on saturday and sunday morning to get ready for ben's birthday party on sunday, which i think brought on my "i'm dyyyyyying" episode yesterday.

while i find the weather and the parched landscape it's creating pretty dreadful, the colors in my kitchen these days, when i brave the heat and make it to the store, are quite beautiful.

to me, the color combinations in a peach (and the flavor) are proof of God's existence.

and of course you have to have watermelon in the sum, sum, summertime.

though i'm not a big sweet drinks type of person (unless it has alcohol in it), my guys sure enjoy "special drinks", so i made watermelon lemonade sweetened with stevia.

i think i enjoyed the color as much as the flavor.

since we can't live solely on pretty fruit, the grill comes in handy.

for me, the epitome of summer food is any combination of basil and tomatoes. with fresh mozzarella, on fresh bread with parmesan, cracked black pepper, and evoo, with pasta, i love it all.

my issue with summer food is that i have a hard time buying it at the store. my parents always had a big garden growing up, so summer food was food we grew. watermelons and cantaloupes came from a family friend up the road. cucumbers came from my uncle next door. tomatoes were so fresh i swore i could taste the sunshine in them.

but so far, my own attempts at gardening have proven pretty worthless. i work on saturday mornings, so the farmer's market is out of the question. i treasure produce that we're given by family, but this year it seems like everyones' gardens are suffering. to buy a melon or tomato that i know has been shipped across the country seems silly when i live in the agricultural heartland. but alas, i should just be thankful i'm able to buy food for my family. and continue to try to improve my garden soil. and maybe check out a few gardening books ; )

so what do you like to eat in the summertime?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

little big chair.

when we were engaged tim's mom gave us a cool vintage chrome dinette table and a couple of unmatched chairs. i used it in the house i shared with a couple other girls and then after we got married and settled into our house, we fetched them.

one of the chairs had seen better days. it was fine comfort wise, but esthetically, it was gross. or more specifically, the seat was gross.

a couple of years ago, in a fit of random crafty energy, i took it apart, determined to recover it and make it presentable. when i was taking it apart, the bolts were really weird and i wasn't sure that i would ever be able to get them back together, so i abandoned the project. (i do things like this a lot.)so there it laid, disassembled, under my craft table for a couple years.

(i also wasn't very motivated to finish it because we didn't really need another chair. i don't like doing projects just for the sake of having a project, especially if it's going to cost me anything.)

in june i was cleaning out and decided that i needed to either finish the chair or just trash it.

spurred by my self imposed ultimatum, i went for it. i burrowed my dad's staple gun and went to town on the seat, using a thrifted sheet that hopefully had a busy enough print to hide wear on the fabric. fast and dirty is an appropriate description of my reupholstering style. seriously, looking at the underside of this chair makes me laugh.

i just went over the old fabric because i knew the stuffing of the chair would crumble if i took it off and i wasn't at all interested in having to buy new batting or stuffing.

once i finished the seat i decided to put the chair back together, that way, if the bolts wouldn't go in (the problem i suspected two years ago) and i had to pitch it, i wouldn't have wasted any more time on the backrest part of the chair. after trying to put the chair together for over 45 minutes, some swearing involved, i was about to throw it out the window. instead, i went to bed and asked tim to take a look at it on his next day off. he got it in less than 10 minutes. (score one in the "why i should keep him" category ; )

i hesitated on the backrest part of the chair for several weeks because i wasn't quite sure how to recover it. the way it had been done before looked a little more detailed (read: effort requiring). remember, i am a lazy, fast project crafter.

last sunday, i was in a cranky mood and i was tired of the unfinished chair sitting around so i went with the "i don't care how you turn out-i'm tired of looking at you" method.

i learned a pleasant thing about myself: i enjoy hand sewing. that's what i had been trying to avoid, but turns out, it's very peaceful and satisfying.

so i got the chair done. i feel like it turned out well, but honestly, just like i felt two years ago, i don't really need another chair. sure it's nice to have to pull up to the table if i need an extra chair, which i have already used it for, but i actually already have another extra chair stashed in a different corner. so right now it's the glorified basket holder for toys and other stuff that need to go upstairs but i'm too lazy to actually take upstairs.

the thing that i really do like about this chair is the funny little face that the back of it makes. i had planned to paint the screws white, but decided to keep it this way. it reminds me of the little brown guy in a game my brother plays, little big planet. apparently, his name is sackboy.

it's okay if you don't see the resemblance. i know it's there.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

an ode to june

i'm not ready for july. i'm pretending that the awesome celebration we had monday was Family Fest 2011 and that we're still leasurely hanging out around mid-june.

i don't know why, but july makes me feel a little panic-y. maybe because as a student it meant summer was almost half over. then as a grown up, the first july of our marriage, we grieved the loss of our first little one. the next year, when i was pregnant with ben, july meant baby was coming soon and we were not at all ready. and then he came, not in the way we had planned, the first of many trials in those early months. and of course there's the crushing kansas heat that sucks the life out of you ten seconds after being outside.

but june, oh how i love june. this year i decided it is officially my favorite month, even though it was a questionable june this year.

if we're lucky it starts out coolish and sometimes even rainy. it's laid back and slow with little expectations or plans.

i love the first sounds and sights of summer that emerge in june. lightning bugs. berries. summer nights.

i fell for tim in the summer nights of june. i lived by myself for the only time in my life starting that same june.

i quit a job that i hated in june in a bit of a huff and it felt awesome.

tim and i seemed to finally hit our stride that first year of our marriage in june and then were filled with excitement when we found out we were going to become a family of three the same day my brother got married. we carried that fun little secret for a couple weeks and then got to know the joy of sharing that news with family.

when i was pregnant with max, ben and i had a really good june. we ate breakfast and lunch on the deck most days. we puttered around the house and the yard. ben was between really trying stages of development and was really fun to hang out with. we enjoyed my parents being closer after their may move.

the last two years i don't remember much of june, but i'm sure they were above average.

goodbye june. i wish you would have stayed longer. and been longer. i miss you already.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

oh mittens

max has been having a hard time lately expressing his wants and needs. and by lately, i mean the last 2 years of his life. here are some recent examples: max-"i don't want a fork. i don't want THAT fork. I DON'T WANT A FOOOORRRRRRKKKKKKK!!!!" while pushing the fork away at the table. me-"well then you can go get whatever utensil you want to eat with max." max, completely calm and cheery-"i want that fork." and then he happily eats his dinner.

or: max-"i don't like this dinner. i don't want that food." said with varying degrees of snotiness. me-"just try one bite max. usually you like (insert whatever we're having for dinner)." max-more snotiness and pushes his plate away, resulting in a time out complete with screaming and crying. when he is finally returned to the table and given one bite-" i like this dinner. thank you mommmy." then proceeds to eat all of his dinner and ask for more.

yesterday, to prevent a meltdown about a lost sticker, i quickly intervened and gave him a new sticker. little did i know, that darn little helicopter sticker would cause us much strife. me-"max, do you want it on your shirt, right here, like this?" carefully asking to avoid a freak out over an ill placed sticker. max-"yes." then, instantly upon me placing the sticker in the approved place and position, max-"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! NOT LIKE THAT!" i encouraged him to ask nicely and helped him flip the sticker over, which he declared the proper position. again-"NOOOOOO!!! NOT LIKE THAT!!!" and that's how the insanity continued. i told him because he was being rude i couldn't help him. and we were trying to get out the door. he kept flipping it from right side up to up side down. nothing was right. after screaming and tears he finally got distracted, only to resume the fit at my parent's house. God bless my mother for intervening with some different, less frustrating stickers. curse you helicopter sticker.

this morning at breakfast i served max his fried egg whole because we've had some "issues" in the past over me cutting his egg into pieces. after eating his toast he asked me to cut up his egg. i asked him several times if he was sure he wanted me to cut it up. yes, he was sure. and for about ten seconds after cutting up the egg, i thought everything was going to be okay. but no. suddenly and very dramatically, he had a change of heart. he NEEDED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! his egg to be whole again. i just cleared my plate and went and got dressed, soo not in the mood to listen to another egg fit.

i'm recording these max moments so that in 30 years, when i look back at pictures of max, i'm not fooled by those golden curls

i love you dearly max, but you make me crazy. you're lucky you're cute.

and that, occasionally, you sleep.

Friday, June 24, 2011

nom nom nom

the other night i made these black bean burgers. i changed the recipe a little bit to suit my taste/laziness, leaving out the cumin because i didn't think i had any, but i'm pretty sure i do, and used one can of well drained rotel in place of the green onions and tomatoes. for the cilantro, instead of measuring it, i just chopped the stems off the end of the bunch and threw it in the cuisinart. me loves cilantro so too much isn't a concern.

i froze most of them but then ended up pulling them out of the freezer for an easy lunch to serve my sisters and some nephews. popped in the oven for about 15 minutes at 350 and they were ready to go. i served them with an avocado mashed up in mayo, but i think guac would be a better topping. i just didn't have enough avocados on hand to make quac.

overall, i thought they were pretty good. not like crazy delicious, order them at a restaurant good, but tasty, healthy, and pretty economical considering they probably cost $2.50ish to make eight good sized patties-something i'll make again to pull out for lunch.

you see, i'm terrible about eating lunch. the boys usually eat pb&j or quesadillas with carrot sticks and fruit, but i get tired of that, so then i just don't eat. and then, mysteriously, i'm really crabby and tired all afternoon and get to the point were nothing would make me happier than a double cheeseburger. drool.

i'm trying to be better about taking care of myself instead of investing all my energy (or lack of) and resources in the boys. not only does my body feel better when i eat-duh, but my mood is better. instead of feeling like a frumpy sahm who eats the boys leftover lunches as i clear the table, i feel like a grown-up who is rewarded with a tasty lunch after a morning of work and play.

the challenge is doing this on a modest food budget. i've often told tim that if we had excess money, i would much rather spend it on food than a bigger house or better cars. buying all organics and not thinking twice about buying five new ingredients for a recipe that i will have no other use for-yes please. but for now, not my reality.

so my lunch criteria is healthyish, tasty, and frugal. oh, and easy. leftovers are great but not always available. so what do you have for lunch?

Monday, June 13, 2011

ye elusive time

yes, i haven't posted in a while. most of the things on my mind these days are too tricky to try to hash out into words. or not very positive. or we're too busy having fun and living to stop and write about it. you know-life.

so let's see...what have we been up to?

:: outside time!! sandbox. water time. the pirate ship. the park. picking mulberries. it doesn't matter what it is. the day is always better when we get outside time. i'm sure the vitamin D helps a bit.

:: chickens. we got a new batch of chickens last week and so far, they're all still alive. we haven't had the best track record with remembering to lock them up at night to protect them from predators. i'm determined to keep these ladies alive, so here's hoping. the boys think they're pretty interesting-max especially likes them. he calls them the "stister chickies" (because he thinks they're all sisters).

:: garden. i had hoped to have a big garden this year since i didn't have a nursling or baby demanding my attention and energy, but that just didn't happen. now i'm glad i didn't waste my energy because the whole thing got smashed by the crazy storm we had last week. i also cleaned out our front flower bed that had gotten hideously overgrown and mulched it-such a sense of accomplishment every time i come home.

i don't understand how the hail made the rest of the plant vaporize. apparently an hour of hail will do that.

:: kiddos. in addition to my own two beautiful little beasties, i've been watching a few extra little cuties two mornings a week.

it certainly gets a little hectic at times having five very strong willed cousins under my care, but it also provides a few moments of great beauty and bonding.

mr. j man is the perfect bridge between ben and max and really adds to their imaginary play. he can be pretty shy, so it's really nice getting to know his personality and listen to his stories.

little miss is so fun to have around and it's so sweet watching my boys with her. whenever she gets upset ben is quick to jump in and cheer her up. and as much as i never would have thought i'd hear myself say's kinda fun having a toddler on my hip to chat with, especially since everything she says is sooooooo adorable.

the five year old crocodile (or is she an alligator?) is definitely the most challenging, i think because she's the most hard-headed and is so independent. but man, when i can get her to laugh or when she belts out a song while swinging, it's pretty awesome.

:: not sleeping : (
max migrates into our bed almost every night. i would be fine with it, except he's a really wild sleeper and likes to turn sideways and start kicking in his sleep into my back. if he would climb in on tim's side that would also be okay, since tim sleeps like a big, furry log. but no, only on my side. most nights i don't even wake up when he comes in, so it's hard to break him of the habit. some nights, like last, i put him back in his bed after i was woken up by his flailing, only to be woken up again early this morning to more flailing. i would love to have a night vision video camera to catch all the sleepless nonsense.

max is also at the stage where he's up way late if he gets a nap, but a total mess if he doesn't get a nap. i NEED the break of his nap so then i just put the boys to bed later. unfortunately, ben really needs to go to bed earlier, otherwise, after a few days of staying up too late, he has meltdowns galore. plus, their late bedtimes cut into my precious quiet me-time.

to top off the sleep issues, tim's work schedule is always changing and he rarely gets off when he's supposed to, so he's up really, really late and then sleeps out really late. sometimes, right as i'm getting ready for bed, he comes home, and since that's our only time to chat, i stay up late, without the luxury of a later wake-up time. i, like ben, have been known to have meltdowns galore when i'm exhausted. i fantasize about going to my parents' house every night to sleep, uninterrupted, ALL NIGHT LONG!!!

oh sleep. how i miss you.

honestly, i think messed up sleep is one of the hardest things about parenting, and the thing i was least prepared for.

hope your summer (although technically it's still spring-HA!!) is off to a good start.