Monday, June 29, 2009

Controversial Monday- Laundry

Sometimes I want to tell the boys that they can run naked for awhile- just so I can actually have ALL the laundry done at once. I am pretty sure they would take me up on it.

Which is why I haven't offered.

My oldest son likes to wear "sport guy" shorts and a variety of Tee shirts. He prefers Tees with dangerous animals or sports themes.

Roman will only wear pajamas or longsleeved shirts and longsleeved pants.

Lincoln freaks out if he has a drop of water on him and well, he is 2 and he goes through a lot of outfits- even with my greater than average tolerance for my children wearing stained/dirty clothes.

Why did I tell you all that?

I just basically want to make it clear that what we wear around here is decidedly in the "play clothes" category. Decidedly. Also, 95% of the boys clothes have been given to me and passed down through my troops as well.

So here is my secret: I am not a thorough laundry sorter.

I just don't care.

I MOSTLY try to get all the darks generally together.

But if a pair of socks sneak in, oh well.

And I mostly keep the whites together.

But sometimes a red tee ball shirt gets tossed in.

And sometimes I will just do a combination load of lights, darks and bath towels.

Just because I am the mom.

And I am in charge.

And I have bigger and better things to do than freak out about my laundry.

I am sure some of you are wincing right now (just so you know, I have only turned something white pink 1 time and that was years ago).

How do you do your laundry? Do you tolerate combo loads, or is everything separated down to the littlest baby sock?

Friday, June 26, 2009

New Challenges with 3 Kids

I will get some pictures up at some point...but I am too lazy to go use the other computer!

2 years ago during labor with Lincoln I had a panic attack. And it wasn't really about the labor. It was about how in the world I was going to take care of 3 kids the oldest of which was not quite 3 1/2. And it was a logistical nightmare.

At the store if there were no 3 little person carts left, I would just about leave. I used a combination of baby carriers, strollers, and helpers to get my little people where we all needed to go. Oh, and a lot of blood, sweat and tears.

But over the last 2 years it has gotten easier. They all walk along with me when we go somewhere. I don't have to push anyone in a stroller unless I deem it easier nor do I have to carry anyone on my hip. Well, unless they are being noncomplient. Which does happen.

The logistics have been easier. Until yesterday.

May I introduce to you: 3 little bikes + 3 little boys + very little steering knowledge + cars + hot + tired + hated helmets + inappropriate bikes = 1 crazy mother of 3

Deacon is riding a 2 wheeler now and with the bigger wheels and no training wheels, he goes really fast. He is pretty cautious about cars and knows to stay by the curb. But yesterday on our ride his pedal fell off. There is always something.

Roman insists on riding his Big Wheels. He has no control over his big wheels, and has no concept and/or ability to stay near the curb. Not good. The baby would like to ride that one and actually seems to be in more control over it, mostly because he pedals with his feet and not the pedals. Roman has a small training wheel bike which he does well with. He just prefers his big wheels. Oh, and helmets make him claustrophobic.

Lincoln tries to handle his cup of water while riding on the inappropriatly sized training wheel bike (because Roman has the big wheels) which is pushed by mom.

Now, I know all you hardcore parents are saying, "just don't let them. Tell them that they aren't going if they don't get with the program and comply." And I do insist on helmets. But it is a whole compromise. If I told Roman he had to ride the other bike to go, he would just say, "I would rather not go then." And then Deacon wouldn't be able to go. Because, remember they are too close in age and too young for additional independence.

But next time I may try to think of a good way to convince the 2 younger ones that a stroller ride is truly in everyone's best interest.

I know it is in mine.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Knowing Big Families

I like to know all kinds of people, and to have friends from all areas and stages of life.

My single friends are awesome because they are usually more willing to go do stuff whenever, and they actually WANT to do stuff and go places.

Our couple friends without kids are fun because we don't have the "double babysitter dilemma". They can come over after our kids go to bed.

My mom friends are fun because we can get together while our kids play, but we can still have a good time without our kids.

But knowing familes with older kids and grown up kids has other benefits. Parenting advice, hand-me-down clothes etc.

Last Friday we were invited to a small, private beach by some friends. This friend, Brigetta, has 5 kids ranging in age from 17 down to 5. Her kids are used to having a 5 year old around, so they included my kids, and Brigetta and I were actually able to talk because I was the only one monitoring little babies and so we both weren't running in different directions.

And then the big thing: Roman had to go to the bathroom, and so I was going to have to take him to the porta potty. I went to pick Lincoln up to take him along (for safety) and Brigetta said, "I can watch him". And so she did. That, my friends, is huge. And awesome. When you are with another mom who also has 3 little kids- and there is water involved- you can't just leave them with an extra one. But a mom whose own kids are self sufficient...well, that is a whole 'nother thing!

I love big families.

And I love moms who remember what it is like to be in the preshool/baby trenches.

I am going to be one of those moms someday.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The 3 year old's Mental Health Day

Roman has always been our homebody.

He likes his toys.

He likes to imagine.

He likes free play.

After we looked at the "faces" at Mt. Rushmore he turned to me and said, "let's go home, Mom!" I said, "back to the cabin, right?" "No" he said, "back to our green house."

So I have always had to balance Deacon's enthusiasm for going places, my agenda and Roman's desire to stay home.

But lately Roman has wanted to go more places. "Let's go, go, go" he says.

So we have.

But he apparently doesn't exactly know what he needs.

Last Sunday morning (after a full week at VBS) he was done. I could see that he really needed a mental health day. So as much as I hated to do it, he and I stayed home from church and cuddled and read books. It was good.

But it has gotten worse. And I am pretty sure now that it is less the going places and more the sleep factor.

I have been putting them to bed at 7:30, but they haven't been falling asleep until 9:00. And Roman really needs that extra sleep. Basically the baby keeps everyone awake at night and wakes everyone up in the morning.

I really need them to have 12 hours of sleep a night.

They really need to have 12 hours of sleep a night.

So I am not sure what to do yet.

We really need an extra bedroom.

I am sure I will come up with a great plan.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Here I am

I love the summer. Even when it is 97 degrees out.

I chose to do my 8 mile run at the Y today. (by the way, I hit the 500 mile mark of the 500 mile challenge today! Yahoo! Also Congrats to Erica, Billi and Matt who also are done! Oh and Billi just completed Grandma's marathon this weekend too!)

Anyway, even though it was inside in the airconditioning I was still a sweaty mess when I was done. It was so bad I developed a welt on my arm from rubbing on my tank top. I had been considering a 1/2 marathon, but honestly, having to worry about arm chaffing seems slightly high maintanance for me.

What I didn't tell you last week (mostly because I am under strict orders from my husband not to divulge such information on online sources) was that Noah was out of town for 6 solid days. Which just about killed me. Especially since it was VBS week. He was in Seattle dining on clam chowder and sushi and I was home eating the leftover Easy Mac and managing his 4 year old Tee ball team. Nice trade.

But we are very grateful that he has a job, and of course we are ultra grateful to all of our wonderful family that always assists in the childcare realm.

One of my VBS assistants was an older woman named Carolyn. It is awesome that she helps with preschoolers. Anyway, we were chatting and she knew that Noah was gone. She mentioned that when her kids were little her husband traveled for work and would be gone 2 weeks at a time. Of course there were no cell phones, and she said that he would call 1 time a week. She chuckled and than said, "I am surprised he even called. Everytime he called some crisis would have just occured and I would just cry the whole phone conversation. Those single parenting times are not one of the high points of most marriages."

And I laughed and thanked her for sharing.

Because the phone conversations we shared last week were not highlights of our marriage either.

There was a message left: "where are your drill bits?"

And another: "I locked myself out of the house...but don't worry I climbed through a window"

And another: "do you think I could pull the stump in the front yard out with our minivan?"

And then the converations: N: "What are you doing?"

J: "I am sitting in the hallway outside the boys rooms keeping Lincoln in one room and the other boys in the other. And I just brushed 3 sets of gnashing teeth. What are you doing?"

N: "Well, we just got back from the Falls and I think we are going to grab something to eat."

J: "I really need you to come home now. I am going to have a nervous breakdown."

N: "I can't come home now."

J: "But I want you to."

I won't go on.

Needless to say, I am glad he is home.

And yes, I missed more than just his mad teethbrushing skills.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Baby

When, exactly, is Friday night?


Work stuff.

Coaching TeeBall.

Lincoln learning how to open doors.

Lincoln becoming nap free.

Plus a couple other things.

All are making for a very long week.

I am claiming Saturday.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Wrestling with Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes 9:3-12 (New Living Translation)
3 It seems so tragic that everyone under the sun suffers the same fate. That is why people are not more careful to be good. Instead, they choose their own mad course, for they have no hope. There is nothing ahead but death anyway. 4 There is hope only for the living. As they say, “It’s better to be a live dog than a dead lion!”
5 The living at least know they will die, but the dead know nothing. They have no further reward, nor are they remembered. 6 Whatever they did in their lifetime—loving, hating, envying—is all long gone. They no longer play a part in anything here on earth. 7 So go ahead. Eat your food with joy, and drink your wine with a happy heart, for God approves of this! 8 Wear fine clothes, with a splash of cologne!
9 Live happily with the woman you love through all the meaningless days of life that God has given you under the sun. The wife God gives you is your reward for all your earthly toil. 10 Whatever you do, do well. For when you go to the grave,[a] there will be no work or planning or knowledge or wisdom.
11 I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn’t always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn’t always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don’t always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.
12 People can never predict when hard times might come. Like fish in a net or birds in a trap, people are caught by sudden tragedy.

Sometimes, I really feel like Soloman.

When I read Ecclesiastes (or listen to a sermon on it!) I find myself resonating with so many of Soloman's hopeless statements.

I want to ask so many of the same questions.

I want to draw so many of the same conclusions.

I want to reiterate so many of his profound thoughts.

I want to scream, "why isn't life fair! Really! I don't get it!? Why do the righteous suffer? Why do the evil succeed? Why do people who squander their money have an endless supply and those who don't struggle to break even."

The underlying question in my mind, "why isn't God fair? Doesn't he know the rules? Doesn't he keep the score?" I like scores to be kept.

I was teaching the preschoolers a lesson today on God's protection. We were talking about calling on Jesus in every situation. That he will hear us and he will help us. And I believe it.

But what about the child who prays for food. But food doesn't come.

What about the child who prays for healing. But her mom still dies.

So I tried to tell the children. Call on Jesus. He will help you. He might not take it away, but he will be there with you.

And as for the meaningless?

Soloman concludes in Ecclesiastes that having a relationship with the creator of the universe is the only thing that gives meaning to the meaningless. Hope to the hopeless. Life to the dying.

"Remember him (your Creator) before you near the grave, your everlasting home, when the mourners will weep at your funeral." Ecc. 11:5b

Drama Follows Me

Monday was the first day of "SonRock Kids Camp" VBS.

I am codirecting the preschool portion of it.

Sunday night my sister helped me assemble 24 fishing poles out of laminate tubes, 2 beads each and string. Oh, and a drill.

Now that the stupid fishing poles are over, it is smooth sailing.

Well, smooth sailing until Wednesday when I decided we will make stepping stones out of quick dry concrete. Great, great plan.

Got the kids up and dressed, myself ready and out the door by 8:15am. Not too shabby, huh? I didn't forget a thing.

Made it through the day fine. Roman was a bit of a problem, but he has been told he will be banished to the nursery if he can't behave; so here is to hoping he will choose to toe the line.

I took a babysitter home with me to watch the kids. Basically I had 45 minutes to get everyone lunch, get Lincoln down for his nap. After that I was going to drive down to the hospital for a stroke training class. (by the way, yes. It is difficult to switch from mom to preschool director/mom to nurse back to mom etc).

So the babysitter, kids and I all unload at our house to head in. The door between the house and garage was locked. Not good. Not good at all.

I usually do keep a key in my purse "just in case", but things got switched around during vacation and we had a bolt break etc and it just never made it back into my purse.

So there we were. A babysitter, me and 3 hungry cranky kids. My parent's only live 3 miles away, but I was not sure if they actually had a key or not.

Then I remembered a second story window that was slightly open.

So I hauled the ladder to the back yard and with it and the help of a crow bar to remove the screen managed to climb into the house. The boys climbed up through the window too. The babysitter walked around.

We were like firemen.

And then I went to my class.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Controversial Monday: The Writing on the Wall

I bought a mirror for our newly redone bathroom.

It is really too narrow. We were debating what we could do on the sides of it, or if we should keep looking.

Wis- sconces are an option (that is what Noah calls them). But I am not a huge fan.

Noah suggested we paint-write some words on the wall around it. Words like "love", "family" and "believe".

And we both laughed.

The painted "writing on the wall" is not really our thing. Especially when it sounds Hallmarky

But it seems to be the new thing.

Have you seen it? Painted, flowy greeting card words/sentences on people's walls?

What do the readers think? Cool or not?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Where I draw the line

I am a perpetually busy person and I don't usually say no to things.

But I am getting older and I have figured out that there are some times that I need to say "no" to keep myself from completely losing it.

I drew the line several years ago and wrote a personal policy for myself.

"Julie will never, ever, no matter how good the specials are or how much I am begged, ever host a "party" whether it be candles, cards, cleaning products, makeup or kitchen supplies/food."

Doing that pushes me over the edge.

I have nothing against those parties, and if I am invited to one I will certainly go if I am available- it is just hosting one that stresses me out.

But I really, really would like to GO to a Norwex party.

Of course my personal policy forbids me from hosting one myself.

But I want the washcloths and the window cleaner thingie.

I love my Norwex all purpose microfiber silver streaked blue cloth.

Anyone going to one and need a guest?

Please bring me.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Birthday Wishes and Rolling Eyes

I turn 29 on Saturday.

All I want for my birthday is a whole day to spend just with Noah. And what I want to do is this:

-go through all the boxes of his from his parent's house
-finish all the "little projects" around the house
-go through the closets, the drawers
-come up with a huge pile of stuff to give away
-go on a long bike ride
-maybe grab a chicken critter salad from Texas Roadhouse

That's it. It doesn't take much to make me happy :)

I was telling my friend Valerie about this yesterday. I said "that is what I want to do. But when I tell Noah he is going to roll his eyes and be annoyed that I don't want to do something more fun. But he won't be able to say anything because it is MY birthday and I should get to pick, right?"
So I told Noah.
And he sighed and rolled his eyes.

Because he wants to do something fun (and he doesn't want to get rid of any of his junk).
And that is the way we are.
I may have asked this last year, but since I don't label my posts I don't know.
What do you like to do for your birthdays?
Surprise parties?
Family parties?
Dinner out with friends?
Hanging with the kids?
Time with spouse?
(obviously everyone wants a trip, but lets keep it realistic and in budget, people. I am, after all, a practical girl)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I left you hanging after the rockclimbing adventure in Sioux Falls. Sorry :) I am sure you all are dying to know how we spent the rest of our vacation.

We stayed over night in Sioux Falls at a very nice little hotel with a pool. The next day we headed for the Sioux Falls Zoo, where Roman found this:

Yes. He sat in this thing (without it being on, I might add) for about a half hour. He was pretending that it was his dune buggy. See how he is side hugging the gorilla? He is crazy about dune buggies. And big plastic gorillas, apparently.

Deacon in a tunnel with a map. He really likes maps. He can't read them yet, but he likes to hold them. It is like a security blanket kind of thing, I think.

Roman has no interest in zoo animals. Plastic cow udders, though? They are fascinating.

Camel rides for all! Well, for four of us anyway. That is Lily the camel there, isn't she a beaut?

Here is Deacon, Deacon and Lincoln. Yes, that is right! The other camel's name was Deacon!

Sorry guys, but I must continue the vacation saga. You last saw us in Sioux Falls South Dakota, climbing rocks.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I can be slightly obsessive.

About somethings, anyway.

I am obsessive about talking about cleaning my house.

Unfortunantly I am not really obsessive about finding the time to do it.

But that is neither here nor there.

I had a 4 hour shift this week from 0300-0730. I hadn't been to work recently enough to check that what I had on my calendar was in fact what was on the schedule (things are not always right - nursing schedules are complicated.) Because I am obsessive, I decided to call and double check. Lo and behold the staffing office told me that no, it was not Tuesday morning, but Wednesday morning that I was supposed to work. My calendar was wrong! This of course validated my obsessiveness.

Before I went to bed I had a nagging desire to call my actual unit and just verify that what staffing had said was right. But I didn't do it. Double and triple checking what people tell me is something I am trying not to do as much of.

0310 the phone rings.

Yeah, it was work. Whoever I had talked to in staffing had read the schedule wrong. I got dressed and was clocking in within 35 minutes. That is pretty good for being 20 miles away.

I won't make that mistake again.

Obsessive is back.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Controversial Monday: Carrot Cake

I was really intending to get this post out earlier today, but sometimes other things happen.

For example, today my computer time was eaten up by comparing composite decking materials and prices and setting up estimates on our Bear bitten bumper.

Oh, and trying to track down pie pans for making stepping stones at VBS next week.

Yes, folks, I am in full blown VBS mode. Today my friend Becki came over (if you have a day off work and I know about it, I will rope you in too!) and we fashioned a sort of cave out of my lawn mower box. Last year it was a pirate ship, the year before that it was a castle and a paper mache garden.

At least it is not the day before it starts, which is my norm.

But enough about that, it is time to talk about carrot cake.

I don't think that carrot cake deserves to be called cake.

Oh, I will eat it. If it is the only dessert option.

But I object to something with a very orange vegetable in it being called "cake".

And what is up with the tiny frosted carrots on top of each piece?

Must it declare itself so unsubtly?

"Huh! look at me, I am a vegetable masquerading as cake! And I have tiny cute carrots made out of frosting. Isn't that clever? The veggie is a cake and the frosting is a veggie..."

Not impressed.

But, I know that not everyone feels that way. I know this because the other day I was at work and we were discussing cake. (why not? It seems a safe topic). Carrot cake came up and I mentioned how I feel (very casually). Conversation stopped. You'd think I'd just come out and told them I overdosed my patient with 10 times the correct morphine dose.

I am not above delving into the hot topics here...

What do you think?

Carrot Cake: yay or nay?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sermon and cute pics

Yesterday was the 2nd anniversary of the only sermon I've ever had the privilege of preaching. If you care to give it a listen, follow the link.

On to the pics (Rapid City, SD):

Staying hydrated. But seriously, who dresses that kid?

8 Seconds on the Buckin' Bronto!

Batman strikes a heroic pose on Skyline Drive.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

How Ironic

*Thanks for all the maid comments! I like controversial Mondays. And I like comments. I will let you know what I decide to do! I still have a hankering to be supermom, so if I did do something it would be someone to come in once or twice a month to do a big job like windows, blinds, baseboards etc.*

I have worked 32 hours at the hospital over the last 4 days. In some ways it is nice to clump my shifts and then have a lot of time off, and in other ways I would rather spread them out. But oh well, I take what I can get.

On days like today though when I am really tired I like to have lots of activities planned for the boys and me so that I can keep moving and thus avoid just falling asleep.

So we met some friends at the "faraway" park...still within walking distance, but not as close as our main haunt. I had mentioned to my friend (yes, Jamie, that is you!) that I didn't have any clue what I was going to make for supper. We have some interesting food in the fridge right now, and I haven't been grocery shopping. I only go when we are out of milk or peanut butter, and right now we are still well stocked. With those items at least.

Jamie mentioned that I could always make pancakes and eggs, which is what she does when she has nothing else in the house. I said that I suppose I could but that I feel bad about making just that after Noah cooked this weekend. On Saturday before I headed to work he grilled steak with gargonzola cheese, cooked fabulous green beans and mixed up some alfredo sauce for noodles.

And so I did nothing. Because sometimes nothing is better than pancakes, right?

I got home and my back was really hurting (wrenched something trying to avoid crashing my bike this morning. Stinkin' clip shoes.) The boys were settled in with their "4:30 screen time" and so I laid down on the couch to rest my back. Next thing I know Noah is home and I hear puttering in the kitchen. The kitchen that is devoid of food with not a supper preparation in sight.

And so he made supper.


He put mine in the oven to keep them warm while I slept.

Sometimes something, even if it is just pancakes, is better than nothing.

Maybe I will rememember that next time.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Controversial Monday

I was thinking it might be fun to address some controversial issues on Mondays. You know, important stuff like Medical marijuana, end of life decisions, carrot cake, politics and religion.

So the first Controversial Monday topic is this: Maid Service: To have, or to not to? (to borrow a Materism).

Now, I read "Nickeled and Dimed: How to get by in America". After I read it I resolved never to have a maid. But I am reconsidering. Not a maid service, mind you. Just someone to come and clean my house sometimes. For pay.

I don't like to clean. I have other things to do. I have delusions of grandeur and scrubbing koolaid off the bottom of the fridge doesn't really fit into them.

I have flight nurse envy. If I was a flight nurse I could just be scrubbing vomit off the inside of a helicoptor. And it would probably be mine. *sigh*.

This is scattered.

Bottom line?

What do you think about the Maid Issue. Would you ever hire someone to come clean? how often? Have you ever done it? Do you think it is embarassing? Do you think it is hoity toity? Tell me, tell me, tell me!

I want my comments section to be full of all things Maid!