Friday, December 17, 2010

This next statement will shock you; I love Christmas! We have been happily looking at lights, staring gooey-eyed at our tree, sipping cocoa, reading stories, laughing at the twins attempts at candy cane wrapper infiltration and visiting a lot with the kids about why we celebrate. The girls had a little fundraiser to earn money to donate to the Children's Hospital, and Seth has been anxiously deciding what to get his beloved Bunny for Christmas. The babies play with the tree ornaments like a cat does with a dangling string, which is why the tree looks a bit bare from about two feet down. We spend much of our family time huddled in the front room and it has been magical.

I kept my list of things to do simple this year. But I did manage to get a couple of dolls made for my girls. I am by no means a skilled seamstress. I love to create but I also like to work quickly. And on top of it, I am overly critical of my work. A few years back, I made some dolls as gifts. Though I sewed with my mom while growing up, it was not something I was too interested in and lacked practice. As an adult I truly wanted to add it to the list of things to improve upon and looked at many cute patterns and ideas with wide eyes. But when I made those dolls, and looked at my work, I decided not to give them away. They just showed my lack of skill too perfectly. Shawn was the one who told me to give them away with the intention I had made them; to share my love with some special little girls. He was right and so I gave them with equal parts of excitement and embarrassment. And it was something that has helped me grow. I can now say that my skill is improving and on this round of dolls, I am happy with the results. I finished Abigael's first. I altered the pattern a bit by making the skirt removable since the girls love to dress their dolls. I made a few extra accessories for Jane like the hair bow and felt brooch, and made the face a bit differently in an effort to make her look more like Abi. Anyway, meet Jane. I like her.... a lot.

I can't wait for the girls to snuggle them every night. They aren't perfect. But perfection is overrated anyway, right?
The original pattern is from bitofwhimsy on Etsy.

Friday, July 30, 2010

I was asking myself which way I should make my bed. Just pull the duvet up and toss the pillows on or fold the duvet over and style the pillows nicely. Maybe I will be a total rebel, revel in all sorts of willy nilly and not make it at all, I think to myself. I was feeling like I could justify ignoring my bed a bit. I had a sink full of dishes, babies to feed and bite and three other kids with a long list of summer adventures filling their daydreams. I decided to fold the duvet over because whenever I ask myself those kinds of questions, I always end up taking the "extra mile" route.

It's kind of like me with shopping carts. I am generally mindful to run the shopping cart back. And even though I park next to the Shopping Cart Return to simplify, there are those few occasions where I don't. Where the kids are going nuts, the babies are fussing, and let's face it; I'm just wanting to get home ASAP. I will tell myself that just this once it is okay to leave the cart. But then it comes. That guilt over the fact that some poor kid is going to have to work extra hard in the heat/cold to wrangle all the stray carts. And maybe, just maybe, my extra cart will be the one to send him into a fit, make him quit his job, and never go to college. So I sigh and return the cart anyway.

Okay already! I will make the bed pretty! I looked at my bed with satisfaction. Such a fluffy welcoming bed that tells me I don't hang around as much as I should. "But I have five kids and a set of twins.", I tell it. "But look how soft and pretty I am now that you dressed me." "I know bed, I know. There will come a time when I will visit more often." "Just for a minute?!", the bed pleads. And then it happened. I gave in. Just like that I fell right into my soft pillow and into sweet bliss. As quickly as I hit the bed I began negotiating the terms of my stay. Two minutes and that's it! I started bouncing my thumb on my hip in thought. There is definitely more bounce on this hip then there should be I think to myself. I need to get on that. Then I think about breakfast for the babies. Stonyfield yogurt and pureed berries I thought. I laid there staring into the ceiling fan. There is a slight, slow mechanical wallop sound and I think to myself that even my fan has a southern accent. The shadows on the ceiling change quickly as a group of clouds moved over head. I think to myself that I should blink.

"Pssssst!". Stinky Pete has slithered in silently and is now staring at me sideways. He leaps up on to the bed effortlessly and immediately begins to jump. "Hey, Mom! Loot at me!" Then he starts into his signature break dance moves. He tells me to "Look!" repeatedly so I won't miss his next trickier trick. All the while he has that look on his face. That look of I am so cool becauseiamabreakdancerandiloveitwhenmymomcheersmeon look. Then he asks me to MC a break dance show on the bed for him. I smile and grab my imaginary mic and we are set. "Wasssuuuup yo! Welcome to the greatest break dancing event in history. Tonight the Red Devil will blow you away........" My two minutes in bed turned into more like fifteen (because after any good dance-off there has to be tickling. Lots of tickling). Soon, Stinky Pete moved on to his next conquest and I was energized. Thanks bed. 'Til we meet again, bed.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Memory lane...

I am a big time thrifter. I don't have much time to run around but I have been lucky to find some really great treasures. The kind that make you gasp with delight. Yesterday, I found some Fisher Price Little People sets. It was an instant rewind to my childhood. For a couple of bucks each, it was a great find.

I LOVED playing with these sets as a kid. Anyone else?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

La Floride!

I have heard the word sugar used to describe the sands on Florida's beaches but I didn't realize how true it was until last week. Shawn and I took the kids for a mini getaway to Panama City Beach. We had planned on staying in Pensacola which is not quite three hours from us. With the issue of oil dotting some of the shores, we decided to go a bit further. It was a good decision and we loved our time at the beach. I had fallen asleep in the car and I woke up to Shawn saying softly, "We're here." We were on the final stretch that runs along the beachfront. In the most cliche way, I rolled down my window, closed my eyes and just let the sound and smell overwhelm me. I don't just love the ocean, I am IN love with it. I always have been and I always will be. It is a friend and a comfort to me. And no matter how long we are away from each other, we always pick up where we left off. I turned with tears in my eyes, and feeling like a complete nut asked Shawn if we could stay forever. He smiled and without teasing me for my emotional display, simply put his arm around me and said, "Yes." He knew I would eventually return to reality and figured humoring me would harm nothing. He's cute like that.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Naptime for Twins

The twins are finally napping. Sam is teething and Charlotte was overly tired and therefore having a hard time falling asleep. When they were smaller, I could rock them both to sleep in my arms. Now that they are bigger, we have to take turns. Though they each have a turn now for me to shamelessly moon over them, I can't help but be ever aware of the other baby standing in their crib with that "what about me, mommy?" look on their face. The one consolation to this dilemma is that a lullaby can reach and soothe them both. There is a reason that the power of a lullaby stretches beyond just a tune or string of words. I love that in one breath, I can convey what would otherwise become a wordy message. I can tell them there is peace and calm and safety all around them. I love that a mothers (fathers, aunts, etc.) voice may be weak or strong, controlled or raw, but all that little one will hear is love. There are times where my mouth sings the words though my mind is still detained by the craziness of the day. There are other times though, where I am aware of each little finger and toe and revel in the classic battle between their minds desire to be awake and their body begging for rest. Where I can let the magic of watching a little one fall asleep completely surround me. Why , oh, why do they have to grow so fast?!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Last Night

When my husband is away, I can be sure that what starts as me lying down alone in a big bed, becomes an artful human basket weave of arms, legs fingers and toes as the number of sleeping bodies multiplies by morning. Truthfully, I look forward to this. I like knowing that my little ones are tucked in around me safe and warm. I woke to the sound of one of the kids murmuring something in their sleep. It is sure that all children seem angelic as they sleep. As I lay there I was able to truly study their little faces; something you can't do so easily with the constant motion of their little bodies during the day. Each of them carried their own expression. Stinky Pete's face carried the subtle smile of a four year old satisfied with the completion of an adventurous and mischief filled day. Maddie's face was peaceful though her mouth seemed poised to finish the sentence that sleep had kept her from the night before. And Abi, my complex Abi, carried an expression of melancholy in her brow. It has been especially hard for her to be so far from her best friend this year. I wished I could take that sadness from her.

Each glance allowed me vivid replay of their individual journeys over the course of their young lives. I felt satisfied as I watched them take in deep, rhythmic breaths. I could convince myself that even for a moment, the spinning of the earth would slow and somehow buy me time to keep them this close forever. At least our hearts have the depth to hold these precious moments where our memories sometimes fail us. These are the shining moments in my life. I am truly grateful.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Today was one of those days. The kind where from the moment you awake, it feels like the day is waiting with a sweatband on ready to make you run faster and harder and longer than you want to. My kids are awake early, already asking for pancakes on a morning where pouring milk and cereal into bowls seemed reasonable yet somewhat ambitous. It is not a feeling of unhappiness, just that of being truly tired. I know I am blessed and watched over. I know I am doing the most important work EVER. As I stood over the sink, an image of my Grandma King popped into my mind. And when I think of her, I can't help but smile. She is one of the most amazing women I know. While Grandpa handled the responsibilities of a Ranch, Grandma cleaned, cared for her children, kept a large garden and cooked (not just for her family but several ranch hands) each day. She knows the art of sewing, quilting, frugality and resourcefulness. She is a teacher and always emphasized the importance of reading. Some of my most warm memories are of visiting with her. She is down to earth, straight forward, and kind. She always has a hug ready and a listening ear. Her home has always been one that I know I am welcome in and offers a neverending source of peace. So as I finished cleaning the kitchen, I felt grateful knowing stellar women who have gone before me. I felt new energy and an uplifted spirit.

Luckily, my children have a gift of silliness that can bless (ok and sometimes curse) at the perfect moment. I opened the fridge to find a bottle of Elmers glue and couldn't help laughing out loud. Life really is good.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Conversations with a now four year old

Stinky Pete walked in with his fire man boots and a razor and said, "Mom! Why won't you let me shave?!" I explain that as soon as he has 8 whiskers he can shave. Then he asks, "When I'm 10?" For some reason, he thinks that 10 is when you can do it all. I told him that if he has 8 whiskers when he is 10, then he could shave. He then says, "But I am ten!", to which I reminded him he just had his 4th birthday. Then he leaned in as close as he could and with his hand turned my face until it was directed right at the spot he wanted me to examine. "Mom! There are whiskers right here!" I took his soft, little whisker free cheek, kissed it and said, "Invisible whiskers are the best kind." He squinted his eyes, chuckled, and walked out of the room to begin his next conquest.

Friday, April 2, 2010

We are still alive.....

Fatty and Flower McFlannagan are 8 months old and we are still alive. Since our last post, we moved (still in Louisiana but we needed more room), Mardi Gras'd, and much more. I hope to get some of that on the blog. We'll see.