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Monthly Archives: April 2017

Motherhood: When you give a woman some children…

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Sometimes my days feel like exhausting versions of If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. One thing leads to another thing… all. day. long. I started writing out this mini-series probably two years ago. So keep in mind that we are talking about 2 and 5 year olds. There are things that I just cannot even make up. Let me tell you some of my stories. If they exhaust you enough, you can bring me a coffee!



I was having a day at home and trying to just catch up on phone calls and things I needed to do. The girls and I were just in pajamas all day. I needed a shower and I knew a package would be coming. I figured it would show up as soon as I got in the shower. I had ordered several things but assumed the package to come was a gift for our niece. I clearly instructed Adelynn that no matter what she was not to open the door, even if it was the mailman. So, I’m taking my shower and 5 minutes later she knocks and tells me he came and left a package. Well, Ava had nothing on but a pajama shirt at that point. Adelynn said he was waiting out there for a long time and he left before she opened the door – which was especially good, because where Adelynn is, Ava is also.

So I finish my shower and am working on making a couple of phone calls. While I am on call #1, I think the girls are playing in their room down the hall, Adelynn comes in and says “Mom, Ava is cutting her hair.” So I ask the lady to hold on a minute and go get the scissors from her after she added to the chaos that is the left side of her hair – it’s still a mess from the first time she cut it! I also thought the hair scissors weren’t accessible… She only snipped a tiny part, so it could have been worse.

I am on call #2 when the girls are sitting beside me and they have the afore mentioned package on the couch. They are so eager to know what is inside that they have gotten their kids plastic knives out of the kitchen and are tearing into it. I figure it will occupy them for a while and they will see their cousins’ gift when they open it. All I need are those 2 minutes on the phone. I am chatting away when they start yelling and getting excited. They have succeeded at opening the package and it is definitely not for their cousin. It is definitely a Christmas gift for Ava that she has been wanting. Well, shoot.

This was also laundry day. I was downstairs switching over loads of laundry after my phone calls while Ava played down there. She still had nothing on her bottom half. She came over to me and very excitedly said “Mommy I went poop!” And I was thrilled! She was thrilled! There was much rejoicing in all of the land! Until I realized that I hadn’t helped her wipe or anything. “Ava, did you go in the big toilet or the little toilet?” “Um… over there.” And she points the opposite way from the stairs that lead to the bathroom. Ugh. I had told her that if she needed to go potty that she needed to go upstairs. Well, apparently when I say that, I also need to specify poop as an option. There it was, in all its glory, on the floor of the basement. What made it even better was the fact that she tried to cover it up with shapes from a shape sorter toy, and by “covered” I mean smooshed into each of the little shapes. Baby #3 is getting a brand new shape sorter.

I cannot make this up.

That evening was a little wild as we got Adelynn off to dance class. On that dance day, Ava was going to my mom’s so I could take Adelynn to dance. We were trying to leave and I could not get Ava to put a shirt on to save my life! She decided this was the battle to pick and I just let her have it because if she went to Grammy’s house half naked while it was 60* out – fine! We were meeting some of our family for dinner after that and so my Dad brought Ava to dinner. I became concerned that he would have to figure out how to get her shirt on, but he got it. Even after my mom and I both tried. Granddads are magic.

So those were my consequences for trying to make phone calls, do laundry, and get my daughter to dance.



Friday (right. 3 days later):

Ava was being cooperative and let me take off her night diaper in the morning. I went to put pants on right after that and that was the WRONG thing to do – or so I am told. I battled her for about 10 minutes, but that was all the time I had before I had to take Adelynn to preschool. I told her that she could just be cold if she wouldn’t agree to wear clothes. I hated doing that because it was cold out! But I didn’t feel like it was fair to Adelynn to be late to school. Thankfully, we have an attached garage and so the car wasn’t nearly as cold as it could have been, and she didn’t have to go outside in her diaper. She got in, I took Adelynn to school, we came home, she still wouldn’t let me dress her. I tried multiple times throughout the day and gave up. We weren’t going anywhere. I did have to load her up again to pick up Adelynn, but the teachers escort them to/from the car, so she never has to get out (that is nice!) I asked my Dad his secrets from a few days before and all of his secrets I had already tried. So I gave up on that one.

The girls have quiet time every afternoon. They have gotten to the point that they often do it together, which is fine. They just know they are supposed to play quietly for a while. They asked if they could have it downstairs and I told them they could. They have done that many times before. It gives them more space to do their own things if that is what they choose. Adelynn came to tell me that Ava had gotten one of the play kitchen cups and had scooped some litter out of the litter box……. I go down there and she has just casually spilled some in several different parts of the basement. I decided I would enjoy my break and would pull out the vacuum later. The litter in our big laundry room was like walking on sand. (I didn’t know how bad it was until later, so I continued to let them play. I just talked to Ava about touching the cat box and leaving the litter in it.) We had just cleaned that basement too. This is why we can’t have nice things.

Adelynn comes up again and says that her dress is wet because Ava dumped out the cat water. What?! Is she 18 months old today?! Has she never been in the basement before?! So I am aware there is water spilled. I planned to wipe it up later, I had assumed that they would be done in the laundry room. Well, several minutes later she comes up crying. She is holding her face. She slipped and fell in the water. She got her face pretty good. She says she is all wet and I look down at her leggings… clearly, the water was spilled ON TOP of the cat litter. Because, where else would it be spilled at? So she has a clay consistency of junk all over her pants. She takes them off and comes back to get a homemade ice pack, because someone left the Boo Boo Bunny out and it wasn’t cold. The ice pack is just a freezer Ziploc bag that is full of rubbing alcohol and blue dish soap. She takes it into Ava’s room where they moved to. She brings it back and says it is melted. She also says it is wet. I believe it is condensation and tell her to put it back in the freezer. A little while later I take Ava into her room to change her diaper. There is an unfamiliar smell in there… I look around and see droplets of blue ALL. OVER. Dawn dish soap on new carpet is fun.

Like I mentioned, potty training has been on the radar. Ava has been very undecided about it. But I heard her actually going to the bathroom and rushed in there to congratulate her. I cannot express how rare and surprising this is. Most days we can’t get her to even sit and try! I was SO excited and praising her and she was just yelling at me to stop. I guess she didn’t want the attention! So I left to give her some privacy while she flushed, then I came back to help her wash her hands. I saw her with her hands in the toilet and was just standing there being amused. (I knew she would freak out if she knew I was watching her. She was in a mood.) So I am standing there, and to my great surprise, when she pulled her hands out of the toilet, she pulled her two toothbrushes out of the toilet… and brushed her teeth with them!!! She did this once before, you know, when she was 18 months old! Oh, Ava. (We bought her a new toothbrush before bedtime.) I have a hilarious video of this, but because she is naked and I don’t know how to blur it out, you’ll just have to believe me.


If you give a woman some children… they will scoop out cat litter and dump out cat water on top of it. That will cause an innocent child to fall and hurt her face. She will ask for an ice pack. When you give a child an ice pack, it will somehow come open and there will be tiny droplets of blue dish soap all over the bedroom. That is when mom throws the ice pack in the trash… and then notices that the cat’s white feet are now blue.

The End.


Mi Mess Es Su Mess

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It’s so cool how God has wired us for human connection and for community. I spoke to two different moms the other night about the need for human interaction. The interesting part was that they both brought the subject up to me! I spent several hours over dinner with one of my mom friends, and we talked about this season we are in. How it’s only a season – a short one that we will miss – and yet it feels like it drags on forever.

We talked about a lot of the ins and outs of motherhood. We talked about how we crave adult interaction to do our job better. It’s not that our kids aren’t enough for us, but we are happier when we get adult interaction and maintain relationships because we were created for it. Literally on my way home from that dinner, another friend sent me a voice message that detailed some of the same things about this season and how she just needed to tell someone who understood: sleepless nights, kids are sick, having bad dreams, wanting to be in mom’s bed, etc. Our kids seem to think the same thing about being close, about having connection, a community. It’s interesting that God hasn’t only wired adults that way.


We are busy so we think other people are busy too. Too busy for us. So we don’t text or call. We think their calendars and jam-packed full like ours are. So we think we are all too busy to call. But please call. We will find time for you. For adult interaction. For letting the kids run off their pent up energy.

Saying yes to spending time together is time well spent. We welcome that text and the conversation.


So maybe you invite us to the park and we don’t actually read it until the next day and we missed it. But you thought of us. You took one selfless minute to reach out. That minute of being thought of is awesome. You invite us into your mess? Even better. I’ll bring my kid with the shoes on the wrong feet and the same Owlette costume she has worn for days. And I’ll bring those muffins I made for something else that we couldn’t go to because we had a sick kid. And you’ll feed us the leftover dessert from your event the other night and no one will care because we are doing life together! Exactly what we were made for! We are having adult conversation and creating more memories and more messes. We are letting the kids get some of their creativity out, we are bouncing ideas off of each other and talking about the hard things that we were created to do.

IMG_3275(This is better than the Pinterest surfing we could be doing while we compare our messy house to those Joanna Gaines style farmhouses and eat our dried out cookies from the recipe that is classified as a Pinterest fail.)

We try to have a conversation mixed in with taking turns nuking our coffee and speaking to our kids about sharing and fishing Barbie shoes out of the littles’ mouths. We say a lot of “Um… I don’t remember what I was saying.” We might make macaroni and let the kids watch a movie. We stop to change diapers and feed babies. But we are getting adult interaction. We are low on sleep and we are doing it together. IMG_1085

And it’s all because you took 2 seconds to send a text and did no other preparation. You were cleaning our your hall closet and got interrupted and that’s why there are winter coats on your couch and hallway floor when it’s 70*? I didn’t even notice. You don’t have to explain it! Just because we have different weird messes doesn’t mean that we don’t both have weird messes. No shame here.


Please feel free to share your mess with me.

My encouragement is this: take 2 seconds to send that text and invite your friends over for a box of processed starch and powdered cheese. (Although you won’t be mad if she picks up sushi on her way over). Let your kids share the screen time with someone else. Make someone’s day by inviting them into your chaos so you can celebrate this season together. This short season where we can’t give up on our need for connection.

And have no shame in sharing your mess.IMG_2957