Friday, February 27, 2009

Brush like the Dentist

L had a visitor to her school yesterday. It happened to be Mrs. Danielle, one of our neighbors, who is a dental hygenist. She talked to the kids about brushing, nutrition, etc. And she brought a bag of samples. L couldn't wait to show the entire family her SpongeBob toothpaste. I'm not a fan of SpongeBob, but I guess toothpaste is okay!

L told us all about the right way to brush and she even got a little timer so that she'll know how long to brush. And then she said the words I didn't want to hear...."Momma, you aren't supposed to drink Dr. Pepper". Yep, she's right, I shouldn't. Nothing like a 3 yo telling you!

So last night, she brushed and was showing me her "shiny, clean" teeth. And then she says, "I need to look in the mirror at my baby teeth." She starts pulling her gums back, and says, "Wow, I have a whole bunch of baby teeth. Why do I have so many baby teeth? I'm not a baby." Hmmmm...I tried to explain to her that when she is between about 5-7 years old, she'll start losing her baby teeth and get "big kid" teeth like her brother. This then leads into the question, "When I turn 4, will I be as big as bubba?" Uh, no.... my sweet girl, you will probably never be as big as bubba. He's 3 1/2 years older and quite the tall boy himself. Ahh!

The signs of growing up are all around us now. She outgrew her ballet slippers that we bought in August and we had to buy new ones on the fly before her class this week. She is now wearing a size 12 shoe! Size 12?!? Her brother is only wearing a 1 1/2!!! I can't believe it! And when we looked at her old slippers, she told me she would have to give them to a baby now. A baby? But, L, you were just wearing these a week ago. Were you a baby then? It's funny to me, but anyone smaller than her or anyone wearing diapers is a baby even if they are her age.

Her last question last night before falling asleep...."Why did God give us hair on our arms? Good question, my gal, good question.

I love this girl. And my oh my, she has grown up so much this year of being 3. I'll tell you, my girl is not the same as she was a year ago. I'm so proud of how far she has come. It has been a struggle and some days Lance and I didn't know if we'd make it, but the hard work has paid off. She is a joy.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

helpful hints

I'm hosting Bunco at my house this month. This Tuesday to be exact. And considering, both L and I've been sick the past week and now N is home sick from church today, I'm a little behind in the keeping of the house, if ya know what I mean. Plus...I am really feeling the need to scrub these germies outta the house.

So, while N sleeps and watches cartoons, I've been busy scrubbing this morning! I found this advice - FlyLady about making your sink shine. So, I've tried it this morning and it works! My stainless sink looks great! I'm not a fan of the stainless sink, but since the porcelain ones are in the neighborhood of $1,000...stainless is what this gal has.

Fly Lady has other helpful hints as well that I will be trying to sanitize this house!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Another birthday and the winner

Today is my mom's birthday. I'll not announce her age on this ole blog.

My mom is such an awesome person! Along with Lance and my dad, she is my biggest cheerleader. She is an encourager and great advice giver (even if I don't always follow it, I always listen and take it under advisement)

I'm thankful for all the help she has given me when I've had sick kiddos. She is extremely talented at all things homemaking -- cooking, sewing, decorating! I got my love of homes from her --- just wish I would have gotten the cooking and sewing!!!

My mom is loyal and has sacrificed so much for her family. She has nursed all of us thru surgeries, illness, and hard times.

One time in particular that will always stay with me is when N was only 4 months old. N had a TERRIBLE stomach virus which then Lance got as well. I was running back and forth trying to take care of them both, and trying to work and of course N is getting first shot. My mom came to stay with us and risk getting this terrible virus herself. She stayed up all hours with me caring for these guys. On the last day, she fell into bed at 4pm with her blue jeans on and slept until the next morning. That is tired!

I'm so thankful for my mom. She has made my life better.

Happy Birthday Mom - I love you!

And the winner of the drawing contest.... it's Lacey
Lacey, I'll bring your gift card to the luncheon tomorrow! Congrats!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Can you name this guy? and HB SIL

This is a picture that N drew at school this week. I thought it looked really good and I could immediately tell who it was even though it's not labeled and he didn't tell me who it was. He scoffed at me and said, "I did that in about 10 seconds, I wasn't even trying."

This kid has an artistic touch. I think he's good. 'Course he is my child, so I may be a little biased. Or ALOT.

So, can you name who this drawing is of? I'm sorry for the poor quality - it was drawn on construction paper and I scanned it in.

Everyone who comments and gives the correct answer will be entered to win a $10 gift card. You have until noon on Thursday (2/19) to comment.

Today is my sister-in-law's birthday. She is 30-something today. As we would say in my family, she is in her young 30's!

M --- mother of 4
I --- incredible seamstress
N --- nine plus years being married to my brother
D --- decorator of cakes
Y --- young

Happy Birthday Mindy! Hope it's a great day for you!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Two miracles occured in our family last night and they were both HUGE!

The first involved N. He had decided last fall that he in fact no longer liked soccer. Despite the fact that we had already paid for the entire year and HELLO, Lance is the coach! So, we told him, too bad, you will finish out the year. Next year, you can pick another sport or activity, but this year it's soccer. Well, last night was the 1st practice of the spring semester and I was a wee bit nervous. But! He ran in the front door after practice last night and he had a good time. No, not good, GREAT! He scored goals, ran fast, and most importantly listened to the coach (aka Dad) Yippee N!

The second miracle involved L. She succesfully took her bath and got into bed. Not only without screaming, but with a great big hug for me and a great attitude for Lance! I'm so proud of her! So, tonight, I promised her that I would read her story and tuck her in. We'll see if she is able to maintain her sweetness for me.

Today a woman who has already raised 3 children told me, "Being the parent of small children is an extremely tough job. It's exhausting, and stressful and you think it will break you. Hang in there, you are doing a good job. Someday, you will look around and realize that you are no longer disciplining your children every 5 seconds, you will get to enjoy the fruits of all the discipline you are doing now." I needed to hear that. I think all parents need to hear that from time to time. Being a good parent is hard work and sometimes it's tempting to give in. But a good parent won't give in, they'll keep working and trying their best. Our children deserve our best. So, to all you parents of young children (and not so young!) hang in there! We can do it! And if you ever need a break, call me and let's commiserate!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I heart houses!

One of my passions in life is Interior Design. Duh, that's why I went to school got my degree and became a designer. What you may not know is that I don't feel like my expertise is in the "decorating" portion of design. I feel way more gifted in the space-planning and functional layout portion of the process. This is why I work in commercial design instead of residential. But even with this love of design, I don't have a budget to match my love. Thankfully, design has evolved and changed and you don't have to be a multi-millionaire to have a nice home and sometimes the simple, small home is actually more welcoming than the huge one!

This post is an excellent one about just that. I love how she shows what her family chose to do and the result is beautiful and warm and cozy.

Our house doesn't have a 2-story living room, but it does have a 2-story entry and it is a bit overwhelming. I know when the time to paint comes, we will have to hire professionals. So, lesson learned...if we ever buy another home, we'll think carefully before having 2-story rooms. And, I truly believe you could build a new house every year and still not get it "right". There are always things you love about a home and always things you would change. And some of the things you love right now, you might not be able to stand in 10 years. It's a process and the most welcoming homes are those that slowly morph and transform over time. Not those that are instantly "decorated" the moment they are moved into.

My love of houses has been a life-long one. My parents took me with them to look at model homes and that is when I fell in love. I began drawing floorplans in 4th grade and looking back I can tell they were not good design at all. It was a straight hallway from the front door to the back door. But, as time went by, my skills improved. The childhood love turned into a career and a passion.

Makes me wonder....will N's passion for volcanos, trains, and earthquakes and his skill at building and design lead him into becoming an amusement park ride designer? You never know!!!

Will L's passion for cooking and animals lead her into developing gourmet canned food for animals? Or leadchef at a pet spa? Or maybe if you add in her daredevil skills she could be part-time stunt woman/part-time chef to the animals in movies.

I can't wait to see where God leads their passions. And it may be that they have a "desk job" during the week and follow their passion on the weekend and that's okay too!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Date night!

Friday night Lance took L on her first date. Originally they were going to attend the Daddy/Daughter dance at the Children's Museam. But, evidently, this is the social event of the year for the 3-6 y.o. set and he didn't get a reservation soon enough.

So...instead Lance let L select where she would like to go. And her choice? a little mouse place - Chuck E. Cheese.

Here is a pic of them in the photo booth:

This was a fun time for them and N and I enjoyed our time together Friday night as well. I love it when all of us are together, but sometimes it's fun to enjoy the one-on-one time and get to create special memories that are all their own.

We are realizing more and more everyday that even though these two are only 3 years apart they are interested in very different things. N has moved on to more "mature" things like burping his ABCs and watching America's Funniest Home Videos while L still likes watching Dora and playing Hungry, Hungry, Hippos 15 times in a row.

Fun times!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


If you've read this blog anytime in the last 6 months, you've noticed a pattern. We have sleep issues at our house.

These sleep issues were brought on by a certain little girl giving up her cassie (pacificer). Once the cassie was gone, she didn't have her comfort item any longer. We offered to buy her a lovey, a special blanket or anything for nighttime sleepiness. Oh no, she wouldn't have any of it. She didn't need those things, 'cause she had me.

I have become the cassie. She doesn't suck on me, but she uses me to pat her, sing to her, etc. In short, I've become captive to a 3 y.o.

This is my own fault. I've failed as a mother in this area. Despite my best intentions, I've become an enabler. My name is MommaJen and I am a 3 y.o.'s nighttime crutch. There, I've said it, my secret is out.

But...we've had an intervention at our house. Momma is no longer providing bedtime assistance for this gal. Daddy is now the one and Daddy is much more firm. And the results......

screaming, fussing, etc, but eventually.....SLEEP! All night, no getting up, no playing musical beds...just sleep, glorious sleep. And this momma has needed it, 'cause there's nothing like walking around in a newborn-momma stupor when you in fact DO NOT HAVE A NEWBORN!!

Here's to many more nights of sleep and less and less screaming! Oh please, oh please! Oh, Please!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Fact or Fiction?

I've always enjoyed writing. It's fun, it's enjoyable, I even like the grammar and sentence structure parts. I was taught well in my early years. I don't worry about grammer, etc on the blog, 'cause really who cares? But resumes, business letters, the like? oh yeah, I'm picky.

So....the 1st grader has writers workshop at school everyday. And he enjoys it too. He's a writer and getting quite good at it. There is only one problem. The boy doesn't want to write about the "small, true moments" like his teacher has requested. Oh no...who wants to write about getting dressed for the day or cleaning the room or other such BORING topics.

His preferred topics include volcanos, earthquakes and other such natural disasters. These are much more exciting! And you know, I think his kindergarten teacher would welcome these topics since last year all he wrote about were TRAINS. She had to tell us to please ask him to not write about trains ever.again. AMEN.

So, this year, the teacher has had to ask us to remind N about writing TRUE stories, not CREATIVE writing which is much more his forte. So, as much as I would like to read the last of the Trilogy entitled THE HUT by NCM (his initials), we will now be forced to read, "I brushed my teeth" and other such mundane writings.

I know it's important to follow directions at school, but wow, is it a struggle for this uber-creative boy. Lance and I are much more the "rule-following", by the book people, and this boy he challenges us each day. But also, he makes our days richer. He sees life in technicolor with a twinkle in his eye and I thank God for that!