Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I love the way toddlers think about things. I often look at my two-year old and wonder, what on earth are you thinking?

Take this picture for example. We were on vacation last August, staying in a waterpark hotel, and the toddler opened all the dresser drawers upon arrival, putting one grape in each.

Which just made me stop and think, what does he see when he sees this empty dresser? Is it just crying out for grapes or what?

And the TV. We kept taking the money out, but he just kept putting it right back in. Because obviously that TV really needed a little bit of money sticking out from the front of it. (If you look closely, you'll see several coins sticking out from the bottom left of the TV.)

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Serious Tower

The weekend before school started, we took the noisy boys into the City to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. We had been reading Roald Dahl’s books all summer, and they were quite taken with the magic of live theater. (Especially how they rolled Augustus Gloop up in the brown sheets to symbolize getting sucked up into the chocolate tubes…)

On our way into Chicago, the boys were pointing out buildings and asking what they were. Twin A. was impressed with the Sears Tower, and couldn’t stop talking about the “Serious Tower.” (We tried to correct him. "Sears. It's the SEARS tower." But to no avail. I don't think the kid has ever even heard of Sears.)

A few weeks later, he and his brothers built this. He took a picture and suggested that it "would be great for my blog." And so it is.

Behold: The Serious Tower.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

packing lunches

The noisy boys bring a lunch to school every day. Well, every day except Thursday, which is hot lunch day.

But every other day, I pack their lunches. It’s only been a month, so I’m no expert, but I have collected a few lunch packing ideas that seem to be working.

The first one? These thermoses, called “funtainers” are my favorite invention ever. I heat these up with boiling water, then put the hot food in and it stays hot (or at least warm enough) until lunchtime.

A few of our favorite funtainer lunches: mini hot dogs, mini meatballs, macaroni and cheese, and potato soup. The funtainer also keeps things cold, so sometimes I pack vanilla yogurt with a side of granola, or fruit salad.

I’m a planner, so when I plan our dinners for the week I also plan the noisy boys’ lunches. It’s usually pretty simple, but just knowing that Monday is sandwiches, Tuesday is leftover soup, and Wednesday is mac ‘n cheese is helpful.

I spend an hour or so on grocery shopping day prepping food for the lunches: washing and putting grapes in baggies, packing carrots, dividing chips and cookies and crackers into single serve portions, making pudding cups, and so on.

This small investment of time planning and prepping is well worth it during the week when I can pull together yummy lunches in a snap.

Head on over to Rocks in my Dryer for more great tips!

Monday, September 22, 2008


I’m bored.

(Can I just say that out loud and get it over with?)

I’m dreading this week, not because there’s anything special going on, but because this week looks a lot like last week, which looks a lot like the week before that.

I get up, drink coffee, pack lunches, make breakfast, walk the kids to school, clean up, entertain the toddler, clean up some more, fix more food, throw in a load of laundry, and on and on it goes,

It’s not like I don’t see the importance of it all, I do. That’s why I’m doing it. But honestly? I’m bored.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Supermom is a figment of my imagination

My alarm went off at 5:30 this morning. I jumped out of bed, started the coffee, and went right down my to-do list. Lunches—check! Breakfast—check! Crock pot scrambled eggs for MOPS group later this morning—check! The toddler’s diaper bag packed and ready to go—check! Kids up and dressed and fed—check!

By the time we walked to school, I was feeling pretty good about myself. For about five minutes, I entertained thoughts like, “I’ve got this mothering three thing down. The toddler’s on a nice schedule, the noisy boys are getting their homework down and going to bed early. Look at me! I’m amazing!”


On our way to school, I noticed a few kids on bikes looked kind of dressed up. As the noisy boys joined their classmates in line at school, I noticed everyone looked nice today. That's when it dawned on me: it’s picture day.

And my boys are dressed in old t-shirts and army shorts.

Yeah, I’ve got this mothering thing down all right. When I remember to look at my calendar.

And the toddler with the nice schedule? Yeah. He’s been jabbering for the last two hours instead of sleeping. And now it’s almost time to walk back to school and get the noisy boys. No nap today.

Any illusions that I’ve got it going on over here are just that: illusions. I was reminded of that this morning at our MOPS kickoff meeting. If I try to do this motherhood thing on my own, it just doesn’t work. I need to rely on God and reach out to friends and family for support.

Supermom doesn't exist. At least not at my house!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Somebody call Supernanny

It’s been one of those days. Baby b., who is no longer a baby, but very much TWO, gave me a run for my money today.

Sitting down for dinner tonight, he threw a full-on tantrum because he wanted candy instead of scalloped potatoes with ham. As I put him in our “time out” spot to serve his two minutes, Twin B. commented, “You should think about calling Supernanny to deal with him. She could come while we’re at school.”

“Yeah,” Twin A. agreed. “I think that would make a very interesting show.”

Thanks for the vote of confidence, guys. I’ll keep that in mind if things get worse.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

What do I do all day?

I have been in constant motion since 5:30 this morning, and have very little to show for it.

Anyone else feel this way?

I got up, made a pot of coffee, checked email, started a load of laundry, unloaded the dishwasher, packed lunches, cuddled my toddler, woke up the noisy boys, fixed breakfast, then walked the boys to school.

That was all before eight o’clock.

Things slowed down after that with a walk along the river with my toddler to say good morning to the ducks. We stopped on our way home to watch the construction trucks that were breaking up concrete at the gas station on the corner.

Home to play choo choos, a quick trip to the grocery store, lunch, books, and a nap for the toddler. More laundry for me, putting away groceries, making a batch of banana muffins, chatting with a friend on the phone, picking up the house, and folding laundry.

At 2:20, the toddler’s up, time to get the noisy boys from school. We walk to school and back, then gather around the table for muffins and milk. The noisy boys take the toddler outside to blow bubbles and run around, so I take advantage of the quiet and write this.

Because, to be perfectly honest, I’ve got to get that sex post off the top of my blog. Judging from the email I’m getting, people think we’re doing it all the time over here. Just for the record, I am no sex expert. And my husband’s not even in town at the moment.

Enough said.

Anyway, time to start homework, make dinner, and take the noisy boys to soccer practice.

Then back home for baths and bed. And for me to sit and think about what on earth I’ve done all day.

Monday, September 8, 2008

the one where I talk about sex

Cameras were everywhere on that first day of school. Parents hovered like the paparazzi, snapping photos and waving. And when the kids went in, the crowd dissolved into a mixture of tears and happy dances.

(I was one of the Moms doing a happy dance, by the way.)

As we walked home, I chatted with neighbor, who had taken the day off work to commemorate the day. Her husband is a stay-at-home Dad.

“What will you do with your day?” I asked. Both of her kids were in school all day for the first time.

“Oh, I don’t know,” she said.

“You can go to lunch! You can take a nap! You can have loud sex during the day!” I joked.

“Now why would we want to do that?” She asked, as if I had suggested pulling her toenails out one at a time.

To keep romance alive. Because your husband looks good to a lot of bored housewives on this playground. Because you can. I think all of these things as we part ways.

In our sex-saturated culture, it seems that married sex is an oxymoron.

Chrysalis is hosting a conversation today on Marriage and Romance.

After eleven years of marriage, I’ve got a few things to say about romance and how it evolves and changes over the years, especially when children come along. But I’ll keep my advice short and sweet: one way to keep romance alive in your marriage is to have more sex.

(This is the part of my blog where I try to forget that my dad reads it. And my grandpa.)

But really. Next time your husband winks at you across the dinner table, don’t roll your eyes. Wink back. Marriage is not meant to be a miserable endeavor. Flirt. Have fun. Have sex. And see if the romance meter in your home rises.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Is anyone else tired of politics?

Everywhere I go, it follows me. People I barely know feel compelled to tell me how they feel about certain candidates and their families—the good, the bad, and the ugly.

And honestly? I’m tired of it.

As a Christian who doesn’t always fit the mold politically, or in any other way for that matter, I find myself feeling awkward and uncomfortable when conversations inevitably turn to politics.

It’s a good reminder to me to guard my words—not just about politics, but about everything. Even if something is true, do I need to say it? Right now? To this person? How can I be an encouragement to the people around me whose beliefs and life experiences are vastly different from my own?

I recently read the book unChristian by David Kinnaman. (Which I highly recommend by the way.) The statistics in this book will make you stop and think. The one I keep coming back to? Three percent of outsiders (or nonchristians) have a positive perception of evangelical christians.

Three percent.

Something to think about.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


The Fall schedule is here, but not fall. Yesterday it was 93 degrees. (Thank goodness the noisy boys’ school has air conditioning!)

And Fall? It brings lots of activity with it.

So…in honor of the backwards edition of WFMW, here’s my question: what’s your “it’s soccer practice night and we just walked in the door, but I’ve got to get everyone fed” go-to meal? (It can be make-ahead or super-fast, either way!)


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

being flexible

If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a Mom, it’s the importance of being flexible. It’s fine to make plans and have a schedule—in fact it’s great—but everything is subject to change. Everything.

Llama Papa was planning to meet a friend for dinner and bowling on Sunday night. He took the noisy boys to the pool that afternoon while I settled down at my computer to write during the toddler’s naptime. About forty minutes later Twin A. ran through the door, yelling “Emergency!”

I was on the phone with my sister-in-law, and jumped up to see my husband walking in, holding his dangling arm. He dislocated his shoulder. (He’s done this before, so he knew right away what happened.)


A kind neighbor drove him to the ER, and his sister met him there. (She offered to stay with the kids so I could go, but honestly, she is so much better with these kinds of things, I knew she could offer him more support than I could. And after hearing the details from the experience, I’m sure I made the right decision, seeing as I would have been passed out on the floor...)

I tucked him into bed a few hours later, drugged up and muttering that he needed to get those hooks hung in the closet.

I assured him the hooks could wait.

As can everything else on our schedule. I’m always amazed at how quickly time gets freed up when something like this happens. Nobody is ever too busy for a trip to the ER.

(Please pray for my husband. He’s feeling much better and planning to follow up with an orthopedic doctor this week, Lord willing. He leaves for a trip to Yosemite on Friday for a week of backpacking with friends. And, yes, he’s still planning to go.)