Sweet & Sour Kids

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You know those Sour Patch kids commercials? “First they’re sour, then they’re sweet.” That’s about what it’s like every day with kids.

My day usually starts around 3:00AM (sour) with a wake up call from my baby Sarah letting me know she’s ready to nurse. I usually groan, hit my cell so I can use it as a flashlight, then get my baby girl and make my way to the couch. As I nurse her, sometimes I’ll scroll through Facebook, sometimes I’ll close my eyes and doze off again, but other times I’ll choose to soak in the moment. I look down at my (sweet) baby girl and realize she will never be this little again, she will never need me as much as she does now again, and I kiss her cute little cheeks before putting her back in her Pack n Play while I crash back in my bed next to my sleeping husband.

Then my alarm goes off at 6:15AM telling me it’s time to start getting ready to take Noah to school. I snooze it a couple of times, knowing Nathan will be up and starting breakfast for everyone (thanks, babe). I finally drag myself out of bed in time to make Noah lunch and see how crazy his bedhead is to fix it. We walk to school, and he chats with me about his new friends and recess (these walks are so sweet). As soon as he walks inside the school doors I realize how freakin’ hot it is at 7:30 in the morning in October, and sweat like a pig on the walk back (sour).

The rest of my morning is filled with watching Tim and Isaac make a huge pile of pillows and blankets to jump on to (sweet) and being a referee when they both jump at the same time and knock heads (sour). Baby Sarah is quick to remind me every few hours to nurse her and will coo and laugh with me (sweet) until she poops (sour), and then laughs some more at me. The amount of diapers I go through a day with 2 littles still in diapers is ridiculous.

After lunch everyone takes a nap. I think most people will admit that kids look the sweetest when they’re sleeping. Some days I nap with Tim (sweet), other days I decide to tackle the dishes or work on the pile of laundry my kids create (sour). Then I wake them up to drive to get Noah (because I’m not walking 2 miles in 100 degree South Texas weather with all the kids). Now, that pick up line is something else: it seems no matter what time you make it in the line you end up waiting at least 20 minutes, and then occasionally our A/C goes out when the Suburban isn’t moving (oh so sour moments).

The rest of the day is a blur. I just try to keep the boys from hurting each other until Nathan comes home, feed and bathe them, and then put the boys to bed. This is usually when baby Sarah wants to tell me about her day so we chat and giggle at each other… These days aren’t glamorous, but they’re mine. These days are demanding and not always encouraging, but I know that even though I have some sour moments, I’m guaranteed some sweet moments too.

How about you? Share some of your sweet and sour moments below!

Kindergarten Is the Coolest

Kindergarten Is the Coolest

Well, it happened. Just like those sweet white haired ladies said it would… Time flew by. Those first 5 years with my oldest son whizzed past me, and this week he started kindergarten. I didn’t believe them when they told me it would be here before I know it.

When Noah was about a year old, I remember wanting to punch people in the face when they told me the time would fly… It seemed to be going by so slow at the time. My days were filled with endless diaper changes, sweeping up Cheerios at least 3 times a day, and baby food flung in my face on a regular basis. Well… with 3 other kids at home 2 of those activities are still true with the other boys and baby girl!

Somehow Noah managed to get potty trained, learned how to walk and talk, and before I knew it he started school. Honestly, I was more nervous than he was when we were walking him to school his first day. He was chatting endlessly with his Ninja Turtle lunch box in hand. He was thrilled to start school; he’d been looking forward to this day since he was 3.

We walked him to his class that first day (barely making it on time!), and he sat right down with a huge smile on his face, looking around at everything going on. I made up an excuse to unload his backpack so I could have a few more seconds with him (don’t worry, teachers, I don’t do that anymore), gave him a kiss, held back my tears and left with my husband who was just so freakin CHILL about the whole situation.

It was such a weird day… I’d be washing the dishes and think I wonder what he’s doing right now… Or during nap time I asked myself Is he tired by now? He’s still used to taking a nap! Silly thoughts ran through my head all day long, my prayers were filled with him and his teacher, and 3:00pm couldn’t come fast enough.

As I was waiting in the car to pick him up (because I wasn’t about to walk a mile with all the kids in 100 degree South Texas heat!), I was so nervous. Y’all, I wasn’t this nervous when I went to school, and the day was completely over. My nerves made no sense!

We FINALLY made it to pick him up (those pick up lines are NO JOKE), and he climbed in his booster seat and said, “Kindergarten is the coolest! I can’t wait to go back tomorrow!” And I think I let out a breath for the first time all day. That was all I needed. I was relieved to know he had fun, ate his lunch, and made friends with a boy in a blue button up shirt. He’s going to be fine, and I will too.

Not-So-Small Act of Kindness

It had been one of those mornings… Well, it started as one of those nights. Baby Sarah had woken up to nurse 3 times, which may not have been so bad but we (as in, her and I) didn’t go to bed until close to midnight. To say I was sleep deprived is an understatement.

I somehow managed to get us all dressed and to church, then I got there and realized Timothy didn’t have shoes. I sat in our Suburban and thought for a good two minutes if I wanted to go home and get him shoes, are just let him be barefoot and free. I decided on barefoot, and he didn’t care. I highly doubt anyone else cared either. He stepped on a few sticker burrs, but he survived.

When I went to pick up the kids after the service was over, and I lost Timothy in the shuffle. So I had successfully gotten 2 of the 4 children and started walking into every room at church looking for my curious 3 year old. I finally found him, and then got the rest of the munchkins.

I started walking to the door and preparing myself for the nightmare of corralling 4 children in the parking lot solo. Then, a sweet teenager, the daughter of one of my good friends, asked if she could help. I gladly took her up on her offer… Which was no small offer.

Once we all got buckled up in the car, my eyes filled with tears. This was probably for a number of reasons: I was hungry, and hormonal, and had told my husband goodbye for his third of four trips out of town this summer. I was so touched by this sweet girl’s help, and then I realized sometimes I just need help, and that’s ok!

I think there was some false belief that I couldn’t ask for help because I have to prove something… Like I have to prove that people are wrong for thinking we shouldn’t have 4 kids, so therefore asking for help in some way proves them right… Truth is, whether someone has 1 child or 19 children, it’s ok to ask for help! We aren’t meant to do this life alone.

This not so small act of kindness really made me reflect on my life. When was the last time I intentionally looked for an opportunity to help someone else? Sure, I’ve got 4 kids and life is crazy, but there’s always time to share God’s love. It could be holding the door open for someone, bringing someone a meal, a simple text to say hello and let someone know they matter… I want to challenge you, and myself, as this week begins to do a random act of kindness each day… Because you never know how it will bless someone.

When’s the Last Time You Blogged?

“Hey babe, when’s the last time you blogged?”

I cringed and kept scrubbing the pan that had bacon grease practically burnt on it. I really need some new pans!

“It’s been a while.” I casually responded back.

The truth is, I’ve been avoiding it. I kind of just feel like a big failure in the blogging world. I had told myself over and over I’d be consistent, and time after time I dropped the ball and stopped blogging for extended periods of time. I felt like I didn’t deserve to take another crack at it again… Then I thought about it some more, and decided Who flipplin’ cares if the last time I blogged was when I announced we were pregnant and now our baby girl is one month old?! 

I was a little busy growing a human, chasing 3 boys, and teaching essential oil classes! Now, I’m still doing all of those things (minus growing a human, now she’s just attached to my boobs every couple of hours, which is still pretty time consuming). I’m still trying to figure out how to run a business, keep 4 children 5 years old and under alive, and occasionally take a shower or brush my hair. I probably “don’t have time” to write consistently, and I probably will still have times where I fall of the grid for a while, but I LIKE writing. It makes me happy, and sometimes is the only time I think about things other than what I’m going to make for the kids’ lunch. So, I’m back at it! Yay!

Even as I wrote those words down I thought: What am I going to write about? Will I be able to come up with enough topics/stories/recipes to keep readers engaged? What am I going to make for the kids’ lunch? Didn’t they JUST eat? 

I don’t know… I don’t know what I’ll write about, or if it will even be something people will enjoy reading. I may just ramble about my kids, or how I dream of what it would be like to shower every day… But that’s okay. I think this will help keep me sane because, as I confessed to a friend, “I feel like I’m drowning in diapers, laundry, and nursing pads.” If all else, it should help keep my mind sharp because right now it seems like all my mind is good for is singing the theme song to Bubble Guppies… In my defense, it’s pretty catchy.

So if you’re curious (as am I) to see where this leads, join me and follow me in this new adventure of my life.

New Braunfels Camping

This past weekend we went camping again! Well “glamping,” as my friend Angie calls it. I’ll admit, it’s not quite “roughing it” like camping in tents, but when you’re taking along your 4 year old, 2 year old, and 1 year old, camping in your dad’s travel trailer is pretty close!

So, I got us lost again driving there (my husband really should fire me from being the navigator), but it was worth the confusion and extra time getting there. We actually got to Huaco RV Park when it was dark outside, so I was in for an amazing surprise in the morning. See?

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Noah led me down to the river in the morning to go throw rocks while Timmy slept. My soul was already being filled with goodness and sunshine. Once all the boys woke up we all went to Landa Park. Best. Park. Ever. Seriously, I want to move to New Braunfels just for this park (and the scenery, and the river, and the hiking trail).

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We went to the playground and I was already razzled and dazzled. Geese, squirrels and deer were surrounding the park while we played. There were multiple playgrounds arranged by age. A little free library was nestled in between playgrounds, and creative monkey bars were made in to a fire truck. My boys could have stayed here for hours, but we had a potty training 2 year old.

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Since we worked up an appetite at Landa Park my dad took us to Naegelin’s Bakery, the oldest bakery in Texas. Yummm. It was delicious and the service was great. Even though we came in with 3 hungry and excited little boys, the workers were so sweet and helpful. They have a variety of options from decorated cookies, donuts, breads, and pastries. I apologize in advance for not taking a picture of my donut, but if you ever go you need to get this donut. Here is what it is: a glazed donut BUT the donut hole hasn’t been taken out and they filled it with a chocolate cream that you’ll want to swim in. Y’all, seriously it’s delicious!

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After that we headed back to Huaco RV Park to eat some lunch and take a nap. Little Isaac decided to take a nap next to me, and I didn’t mind at all. I got a good one hour snooze in. It was a rare occurrence. Once we all woke up we went down to the river. Now, lucky for us, it was Friday so we had the river pretty much to ourselves. We did what young boys do best: explore and throw rocks. Note to self: when planning on playing in the river, bring better shoes than Old Navy flip flops. I almost lost one! Before we knew it, it was dinner time. We spent the rest of the day relaxing outside, playing cars and killing ants.

On Saturday we had a mission: ride the train at Landa Park! After breakfast we headed for the park. We arrived a little early so we got some wiggles out on the playground before going riding on the train. Noah and Tim wanted to ride the caboose so we rode on the back. It was well worth the wait. The tracks take you all around Landa Park: the playgrounds, the river and past the swimming pool. The conductor was very friendly too, and dressed the part!

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The rest of our time was spent at the RV Park. We explored the river, and enjoyed the natural springs swim area that was in the park as well. If we didn’t have our kiddos with us, we would have tubed down the river, but we settled for splashing around the shallow areas and throwing rocks. We all had a blast. We will be going back for sure next summer!

I hope you enjoyed reading about our adventures, now go outside and make some of your own! Go feed your soul and get some sunshine! What do you love about the outdoors?

Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day! I hope all you moms out there are having an amazing day! Sadly, I know that’s not a reality. Some moms are truly struggling today, whether it be mentally, physically, or spiritually. Motherhood is an amazing blessing, but at times a struggle. A couple of years ago I wrote a poem for a friend of mine who was a single mom of young children. Children too young to know about Mother’s Day, and all the expectations that come with this holiday. Mother’s Day is bittersweet for many. Children that have lost mothers, or mothers that have lost children, single moms in the trenches, or for the mom that has it all but still battles with depression and is overtaken by the guilt inside. For all you moms out there, I hope this may brighten your day and bless you this Mother’s Day.

For everything your kids are too young to say…

Thank you for the 9 months in your belly
For carrying me, even when I got heavy
Thank you for the sleepless nights
Gently rocking and holding me tight
Thank you for teaching me what to say
What, when, and how to pray
Thank you for learning my favorite things
And making up those silly songs you sing
Thank you for showing me right and wrong
While having patience with me all along
Thank you for all the love you show
Caring for me more than I’ll ever know
Thank you for being the perfect playmate
And for those nights you let me stay up late
Thank you for showing me how much God cares
And how much love He has to share
Thank you for trusting in Him each day
Knowing with Him it will always be okay
Thank you, Mom, for all you do
I hope you know how much I love you…

For everything your kids are too young to say
Happy, happy Mother’s Day.

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