Weaning Woes

I am currently convinced that Sweet Pea will, in fact, be the first child to go to college still nursing.

I kid. . mostly. . .

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Doom on Us This Flu Season

I generally try not to think too much about germs. Around here, I generally encourage some hand washing and try to prevent the girls from doing anything too disgusting like licking the toilet, but otherwise just let the whole germ thing play out naturally. What this really means is that you will see my kids eat food off of our floor and there may be a fair amount of dirt-eating occurring. Whatever happens, I try to be chill about it.

Well, until everyone starts losing their ever lovin’ minds about influenza.

Initially I try to ignore the reports. Flu? What flu? There’s no such thing as the flu? We go about our business as usual–shopping trips, playdates, doctor visits, etc. But after a few weeks of the spread of influenza it’s hard for even me to ignore the stories.

Rationally, I know that our little family is healthy and therefore unlikely to have severe complications from the flu. But I think fear wriggles into any parent’s heart whenever they hear of children dying from influenza. So I get nervous and start questioning leaving the house. Should I reschedule the well-child visit? Should I find a babysitter for the girls while I go grocery shopping? Should we just give up and stay inside until May?

Ultimately, I’ve decided to go with some slight precautions with prayer. So this past week my husband and I were trying to make a plan for his day off. “What should we do on Friday?” he asked.

I thought and then said, “Well, I need to do the monthly grocery run. We could make it a family outing and go to Chick-fil-a afterward. The girls could play in the play area since it will be cold again.”

My husband replied, “That sounds okay.”

I made a face. “Oh wait, flu. . .”

We decided to avoid the indoor play area. Instead, I just took Babykins to Aldi with me so we could have a Mother-Daughter outing while my husband had some bonding time with Sweet Pea. Babykins is mostly over the put-everything-in-mouth phase, so I figured the grocery store wouldn’t be too bad.

We got through Aldi without an incident. However, as we were driving back I heard Babykins’s little voice say, “Look, Mommy, look!” I glanced in the review mirror and saw this:

Babykins had taken off her shoes–the shoes she had worn all through Aldi–and was rubbing them on her face. What do I even do with that?!

The moral of the story: Kids are gross and we’re all going to get influenza.


Dear Self: Do You Ever Learn?

Dear Self,

Did you not learn last year? Did you not remember how little time it takes to input tax receipts if you do it on a monthly basis? Could you refrain from repeating the same mistake every year?

Apparently not, because here we are in January and I’m staring at a massive pile of housing and work receipts. What would have just taken 10 extra minutes once a month is now a time consuming project.

You seriously have enough to do with taxes already. Why are you making this harder on yourself? Just do your monthly receipts NOW and bask in a job completed next January! Or just keep doing what you’re doing and we’ll revisit this conversation in about a year.

It’s a date? Oh, okay, great. See you in 2019. I’ll just keep working on 2017 taxes. . .


Reading Goal 2018: MMD Reading Challenge

I used to not be into New Year’s resolutions. It made much more sense for me to try to make improvements either when the fancy struck me or at the beginning of the school year. However, it’s now been several years since my life has followed a school year schedule. Consequently, I finally get why people choose January to make resolutions. You might as well try to make a change while everyone else is excited about self improvement!

One of my goals this year is to read more. In this season of life, it’s easy to go days or weeks without reading anything more substantial than a picture book (don’t get me wrong–picture books can be awesome, but I’m trying to aim a little higher here). Consequently, I’ve opted to participate in the Modern Mrs. Darcy reading challenge. The goal is to read 12 books–1 for each category–to motivate readers to read amazing books. Here is what I’ve planned to read thus far:

-A classic you’ve been meaning to read: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (I was supposed to read it for a Facebook book club this past summer and never did)

-A book recommended by someone with great taste: All American Boys by Jason Reynolds (Recommended by my literature teacher-friend from vicarage)

-A book in translation: Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

-A book nominated for an award in 2018: TBD

-A book of poetry, a play, or an essay collection: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling and Jack Thorne

-A book you can read in a day: The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stuart (I’m not even sure how long this book is, I just picked a children’s chapter book that I’ve been meaning to read)

-A book that’s more than 500 pages: Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett (I technically started this book in 2017, but I was less than 150 pages in and it’s almost 1,000 pages)

-A book by a favorite author: TBD (Can you believe I have a hard time deciding who is my favorite author? Maybe I’ll reread something by Austen or perhaps find something by Jasper Fforde or Neil Gaiman)

-A book recommended by a librarian or indie bookseller: TBD (I hate talking to people)

-A banned book: Fahrenheit 451

-A memoir, biography, or book of creative nonfiction: Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

-A book by an author of a different race, ethnicity, or religion than your own: TBD

Additionally, you are given several different printables to help track reading when you sign up for the challenge. This year I’m focusing on trying to read a hard copy of a book every day (I’ve already missed some days, but that just means there’s room for improvement!). I really upped my reading in 2017 by actually figuring out how to checkout books on my Kindle and reading while nursing Sweet Pea, but I can only read certain types of books on a screen–nothing too dense. By taking the time to read hard copies, that will allow me to tackle some “harder” reads.

I’m so excited to participate in this challenge! I’ve been plugging away at Pillars of the Earth and I just checked out The Mysterious Benedict Society on my Kindle.

Do you have any reading goals for 2018?


Silver Lining of Illness: Christmas Edition

‘Twas the week before Christmas and unsurprisingly, one of our kids wound up sick. Poor Sweet Pea caught a little cold, which then turned into an ear infection, which then lead to thrush. Several sleepless nights, 1 trip to the doctor’s office, and 1 trip to urgent care later, Sweet Pea and I were both so done with her not feeling well. She and I missed both services on Christmas Eve and she was a miserable grump on Christmas Day. It was a difficult week for our family.

I don’t think either girl had been this sick before. Most of their illnesses have been little colds and an occasional fever and they’re generally over the worst of their illnesses in a couple of days. The whole miserably sick-for-a-week thing was a new experience for us. Now that Sweet Pea is back to her healthy, happy self, I have a chance to realize we really are fortunate that this has been our girls’ worst illness. There was no ER visit, no hospitalization, and no chronic illness diagnosis. Even though it’s not a bundle of laughs for a pastor’s family to be dealing with illness the week of Christmas, Sweet Pea is healthy now and we can move on with our life.

Merry Christmas!


Pinterest Mom I am Not

Remember that time I had the brilliant idea to have Babykins make Easter cards? It didn’t work. But now that Babykins is almost 2 years older, I thought now she would be able to make some little crafts to send to grandparents and her sponsors. So I did what every savvy mother seems to do: I headed to Pinterest.

I found a simple Christmas tree craft that I modified. Babykins would cut out 3 triangles (look, we would learn about shapes!) and then glue them together to make a tree. After that, I would have her use a Q-tip and dab paint on the trees to make ornaments (hey, we would learn about colors!). I made an example for Babykins to see:

I then drew some triangles and had Babykins start cutting them out. It took some convincing to get Babykins to cut out all the triangles but she eventually had 6 shapes that somewhat looked like they had 3 sides. I gave her a glue stick and helped her glue on her first triangle. I then left the vicinity of the dining room table to grab something. By the time I came back, Babykins had managed to paste all the triangles onto her two papers. They were all over the page and looked nothing like a tree. Sighing, I told myself that it this way it looked like Babykins did her own work.

Next I set her up with some paint. I showed her how to use the Q-tip and watched as she dabbed on a few “ornaments”. Then Sweet Pea woke up from her nap and I made a rookie parent mistake–I left my 3 year old unattended with paint while I went to take care of the baby. I returned to find Babykins painting her hand and this on her papers:

Honestly, it could have been worse, but it certainly wasn’t what I had envisioned for a gift.  I gave up. Rather than trying to get her to make a proper tree, I just gave her some paper and told her she could paint it however she wanted.

It was time for a bath after Babykins finished painting because she always insists on covering her entire arm whenever we use finger paints.

The moral of the story? Pinterest is filled with caregiver crafts, not preschooler crafts. That, or I’m very lazy about making my preschooler follow directions during art time. Either way, it usually leads to a mess.


Letters to My Family

Dear Sweet Pea,

You are 11 months old–almost not a baby anymore. Please get your act together and start sleeping longer than 2-hour stretches at night. Seriously, I’m tired. But I do love how happy you are to see me in the morning, despite the fact I was with you only 2 hours earlier–it does give my ego a boost.

Love, Mommy


Dear Babykins,

I know you’ve been a little deprived of attention lately thanks to your sister’s clingy behavior, but you have got to stop standing right under my feet in the kitchen. Also, please stop yelling during quiet time because it wears on my nerves. Mommy needs quiet during quiet time. However, I do love how you’ve been walking around saying, “I love my mommy so, so much.” It’s adorable and please never stop doing it.

Love, Mommy


Dear Husband,

Please bring home chocolate.

Love, Your Wife


Dear Cats,

You are no longer “Creature #1” in the house. Please act accordingly. Isn’t enough that you won the battle to come into our bedroom? I suppose you make up for it by being cutely fuzzy.

Love, Your Owner


Creepy Preschooler and Her Doll

Babykins loves her dolly that we bought her for her first birthday. Dolly is a simple 12-inch baby doll whose blue eyes close when you lay her down. Babykins plays “Mommy and Baby” with Dolly regularly. Yesterday, Babykins was cradling Dolly on the couch next to me. “What are you doing with Dolly?” I asked.

“Me rock her,” Babykins replied. Then she shifted Dolly upright so her head was resting on Babykins’s shoulder. Babykins continued her story, “Dolly is up now so she watch you. She always up so can watch you aaaaaalllll the time.”

Because that isn’t creepy at all.


2017 Open House

We had our annual open house yesterday. This is the fourth open house we’ve hosted since moving here. After constantly moving and changing during the seminary year, it’s marvelous to have annual events like open houses and know exactly what to expect.

Mom does the baking and I do the cleaning (Dad and my husband are the people Mom and I tell, “Hey, go do this!”). We can quickly set up the chairs in the living room because we already know how they will fit. I know about how many people will show up.

Note: Knowing the numbers doesn’t mean I know how much food to make. We always make too much.

We never get a big crowd at our open house–usually about 15 people–but I like to think that everyone still enjoys good food and good company. At any rate, I feel much better about than our first open house. 3 years does make a difference.


We’re Back, Part 2: Some Updates and Thoughts

Goodness, now it’s October?! I’m guessing one of these months you’ll get tired of these, “Wow, time really flies–here’s a brief update!” posts. But here we are. Another month has come and gone.

Babykins turned 3 years old last month. She loved her birthday party, especially the lovely cake a member made for her. Sweet Pea is now 10 months old. She is pulling herself up on things, starting to cruise next to furniture, and has made it her life’s mission to eat the cats’ food every time I turn my back. Oh, and our cats also turned 4. I made cupcakes for their birthday (actually, I just wanted cupcakes but pretended they were the reason).

In other news, you might be wondering if this blog is more or less defunct. Not officially. I keep thinking that I’ll get my act together and put together some awesome posts with hilarious illustrations, but it just isn’t happening. Most of the reason is that the biggest chunk of free time I get during they day is after the girls are in bed. Sadly, I’ve never been a night owl and my brain just doesn’t have the same creativity that it would have at 6 a.m. Both girls are typically up around 6:15 a.m. There goes creative work time. I suppose I could always get up at 4 a.m., but Sweet Pea would have to start sleeping through the night. . . or at least stop waking up every 2-3 hours throughout the night. But it’s not entirely due to the girls’ poorly timed wakeups that I’m not posting–I also have a tendency to waste time on Facebook during nap/quiet time.

At any rate, this rambling post was to give you a quick update as well as prove that evening writing isn’t my strong suit.