2 Blondes and a Ginger

2 Blondes and a Ginger

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Summer I Drank Hot Coffee

When I first had kids, I didn’t drink coffee. I just didn’t care for it or think I needed it. But at some point in the last 6.5 years I grew up, bought a coffee pot, and started drinking. At first it was the super milky, sugary stuff. Now I drink it with just a little half and half. Sometimes I drink it black. Yes, I’m that hardcore. But for a while, I pretty much gave up drinking hot coffee. I got sick of sticking it in the microwave. I resorted to iced coffee.

This summer has been different. There have been a few times my kids have been at grandparents. Yes, all 3. Sometimes I just have one kid. For 3 nights I had no kids and no husband. Just the dog and me. I don’t think that has ever happened before.

And I’m not going to lie, it’s been nice. I’ve had several cups of hot coffee. When my older 2 kids were gone for several days, I got to enjoy time with the youngest. It was incredible to focus on one child. I actually got down on the floor and played Mr. Potato Head and did puzzles. It dawned on me that I’ve never had a 2 year old and not either been pregnant or had a newborn. That means I actually feel like doing something more than sitting on the couch and praying for naptime.

This week all my kids are back around. There is no camp or VBS to attend. We can sleep in and wear PJs all day if we want. I did acquiesce and took my kids to the library this week. I should love the library, but for some reason I always leave beyond stressed. My kids look at me with those eyes that say, “please, please take us to the library where we can read tons of books and better ourselves and be amazing contributors to society.” But all I think of is the temper tantrums and the million books my kids will pull off the shelves, and the fighting over the computer.

 But like I said, I gave in this week. And my youngest had numerous tantrums, and each child chose 50 bazillion books, and then I ran into a friend. Thank goodness she was there, because I was then able to go to the bathroom by myself. And she watched me struggle. She knows…she has three kids. One kid would drop his library books, then the other would drop her library card, then the other would drop his library card while trying to pick up the books, then the two year old would through a fit, then the middle child would roll her eyes at my friend’s son who was just trying to be polite to her. People, I just don’t have enough hands to go to the library by myself. So my sweet friend asked her middle school aged son to carry our books to the checkout counter. And I was still struggling, so she had him walk with us to the parking garage and put our books in the car. I felt like I needed to tip him. But the only tip I could have given was, “Hey buddy, when you’re old and married and want to have kids, maybe don’t have one every 2 years.”

Another dear friend of mine warned me to not have kids this close together. She told me to wait until one got in school before going for #3. And I love her and respect her, but I didn’t listen. I told a friend the same thing… “Well it is easier if you wait a little bit longer.” But she didn’t listen to me. In fact, I’m pretty sure she was pregnant within the week. Because when we want kids, we want them. And we know it’s going to be crazy, but we just want them. And sometimes we go crazy because God doesn’t give them to us exactly when we want them.

I was thankful for this week when all the kids were back home. I smiled at our first meal together because this is exactly what I wanted when I was a kid. A table full of kids. Silly kids, messy kids, life-loving kids. And I want to pull my hair out over this table of kids some days, but it’s still exactly what I want. Hot coffee, cold coffee, no coffee. I’ll take it however; I just want these kids. And the truth is that I probably should stop writing this sappy stuff because my coffee is getting really cold.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Going to the Big K

Last week (more like 2 months ago), I dropped my firstborn off at kindergarten. With my 3 year old thinking she was in kindergarten, and with my 1 year old in tow, I helped him find his assigned seat. I hung around for a few minutes, and then it was time. “I love you. Have a great day!”

“No, Momma. Don’t leave. No!” He held onto my leg and cried. He never does that.

“I love you, but I’ve got to go. You’ll have fun.”

I peeled him off of me, walked towards the door, and left him crying in a room full of kids and a teacher he didn’t know. Tears filled my eyes. My heart ached…a lot. Was this the right thing to do? Should I homeschool him tomorrow? Should I enroll him in the private, half day school down the street? 

I remember that feeling of being all alone. My parents dropped me off at college. I was in a new city, and I didn’t know a single person at my school. I went to my dorm room and cried for about 5 minutes. It was short lived because I knew college was going to be one of the best experiences of my life…and it was. My hopes for G were the same. The parting would be difficult, by the experience priceless.

One week later, I don’t even walk him to his room. He jumps out of the car rider line every morning. Sometimes I get a kiss. “Hey Graham!” said a little girl with a Frozen backpack as he exited the car yesterday. He walked in with his friend. I’m used to accompanying him on play dates and knowing the moms and kids, but I only know this friend as Frozen Backpack Girl. And that’s okay. I’ve got to let him go.

He comes home from school telling me about the science lab and playing with the parachute in gym class. “It was AWESOME!” he yells. He tells me all about getting his lunch on a little tray. He asks if he can ride the bus.

It’s a long day without him here with me. I check the clock a lot. I wonder what he’s doing. I pray for his protection. I pray that he’s taught truth. I pray that when he isn’t taught truth, he will be able to distinguish it. I pray for good friends. And I wait for him to come home. And I trust. I trust a whole lot. I miss that kid like crazy, but I have faith that this is good for him and our family.

Friday, August 1, 2014

My How Life Has Changed

6 years ago, I woke up at 5:15 every morning.  I got dressed in business casual. I got in my car and made the 45 minute commute. I investigated claims, reviewed medical records, looked at pictures of auto accident fatalities, conversed with insureds, claimants, attorneys and engineers throughout the day. I took an hour break for lunch. I listened to whatever music I wanted to listen to on the drive home. I made dinner for 2, talked with my husband, watched some TV, and went to bed.

6 years later I wake up to a baby crying or “Momma, I wet the bed,” or “Momma, can I choose something to watch?” I roll out of bed and ask my 2 blondes and 1 ginger if they’re hungry. The youngest nods her head vigorously. The middle child wants goldfish and asks if she can eat dessert if she finishes her goldfish. I ask her if she’s kidding. She’s not.

I blink and it’s 10 am. We’re all in our PJs. I think, “I should go to the gym,” but then I see the redhead rubbing her eyes. “Oh yeah, that probably won’t work.” So I lay her down. My oldest asks if I can play Ninja Turtles. All I can think to say is, “Party dude!” and “Can we eat some pizza?” I think of all the things I should be doing, but he loves it, so I oblige him for a few minutes.

I finally get around to asking the middle child why there is a huge puddle of water under the kitchen table. I noticed it about 30 minutes ago, but I’m just now getting around to doing anything about it. “I peed on the floor,” she says in a matter of fact tone. I have no idea how there could be that much pee and why she would do it. We potty trained a year and a half ago.  

A friend comes over for a play date. We sit down and drink coffee. We try to talk, but I’m not sure that we get in more than 2 sentences before there are continual interruptions.
“Yes, hopefully you can have an Elsa birthday.”
“We might be able to buy My Little Pony panties.”
“No you cannot have a cookie after breakfast tomorrow.”
“Please don’t interrupt while I’m talking.”
“I guess Ninja Turtles are kinda like superheros.”
“Someone smells stinky, who?”
"Please stop interrupting.”
“You’re tummy is tired everyday, please go play.”
“Is it really important? Please stop interrupting.”

No wonder friendships aren’t the same now as when I was in college. We could sit in the dorm room or in a coffee shop talking about life for hours. Now I have little time to even think about life, let alone talk about it.

It’s time for lunch. I could have sworn I just fed them breakfast. The plates from breakfast are still on the table, so why get another plate dirty? I turn on the Children's Folk Songs station on Pandora. The kids ask to make their own lunches. I let them. Soon peanut butter is everywhere. I know my husband wouldn’t be able to stand the mess, but I smile at their peanut butter and Nutella faces. “We forgot to pray!” I yell. So with half eaten plates, we bow our heads and thank the King of all Kings for his daily graces. In my heart I thank him for my Ninja Turtle lover, my spunky Frozen princess, and the redhead. I smile at the chaos in front of me and think about Instagramming a picture of my kitchen. My life has changed a lot in less than 6 years. I think how in 6 more years this kitchen will probably be a lot cleaner and quieter but with no peanut butter and Nutella faces smiling back at me every single day at 11:30. And so I pause. I pause to give Him thanks.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

For the Mommas: Having Babies Ain't for Sissies

Having babies ain't for sissies. And I'm not talking about all the stuff that women go through during pregnancy. All the aches and pains and morning sickness, being kicked and prodded and having things stuck up you. It's rough. But I'm talking about actually having the baby and then life immediately after baby.

One minute you have this life inside of you that no one else really knows like you know. And then suddenly he's out in the world for everyone to see. Something so private, so personal is now out in the public. And it's wonderful to meet your baby, but you still find yourself putting your hand on your tummy or feeling something inside like a kick. Oh wait, I'm not pregnant anymore. Can't be a kick.

The nurse gives you the baby, and at first you think it's just so you can hold him. But then you realize you're supposed to feed the baby. "Hmm...how exactly is that supposed to work?" Your arms are awkward; your baby is awkward. You just don't know what body parts are supposed to go where. So you call the lactation nurse. And if you haven't already, you let go of all modesty.

After you have the baby, you feel pretty special for a few days. You have breakfast, lunch, and dinner (as disgusting as it may be) brought to you in bed. You have visitors. You receive gifts. You are full of joy. And yet there's another side to it.

When the the nurse first tells you to get up and walk (keep in mind I've only had c-sections), you look at her like she's come from another planet. "Ummm excuse me, but my insides might completely fall out if I do what you are requesting." But with moaning and gritted teeth and crying on your husband's shoulder you somehow make it to the bathroom. Forget pulling down your underwear. There's no way you can handle that yet. Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

People come and see you. And you look like death. I know there are some of you women out there who look as good as you did on your wedding day, but I'm just not like that. I wish I were, and I can't say I'm not a little jealous of those post-baby beauties. But seriously, I look like I just died. My face is pale. My lips are peeling. My eyes have deep, dark circles under them. And I'm supposed to take lots of pictures like that?

And then they tell you it's time to take your baby home. And if it's your first time, you try to look like everything is fine, but inside you're thinking, "Are they crazy? I have no idea what I'm doing. I babysat in high school but never took care of infants. I still get nervous that I'm putting the diaper on wrong. I might forget something. Don't you need a degree in Parentology to take this kid home?" But, you go through the motions and get cute pics of the baby in the car and pray that your mom is at the house to help you get this baby bathed and dressed because he might wear this sweet going home gown for the rest of his life.

And once all your relatives leave your home, and once your husband goes back to work, you think, "What in the world am I doing? Are you sure I can do this BY MYSELF?" You go to Target to get out of the house and people say he's cute. And you want to say, "Do you know what I just went through? I just had a baby inside me and it was pulled, pushed, vacuumed, tugged, or cut (you chose the method) out of me days ago." But everyone just smiles at your baby. You're glad they smile, but you think people just don't get it. He was just INSIDE me. He's more than just cute. It's pretty miraculous that he's here. And it's pretty miraculous that I'm still here. And you continue to walk through the store with breasts like anatomical bombs that might explode at any moment. Or maybe you just get depressed when you pass the nursing bras and hooter hiders because you're one of the ones who can't feed your baby.You try on some clothes but determine that there no longer exists a size that fits you. Liz Lange for life!

You leave with a pack of diapers and some Mylicon drops and get in the car. What do you know? There is a radio commercial for St. Jude kids and you burst into tears. You go to Walgreens to pick up some medicine and they have the wrong insurance information. You burst into tears again. And you just can't stop crying. And it's embarrassing. And you feel like you have absolutely NO CONTROL over your emotions. But you need to stop crying because you have this adorable baby, and everyone will think you are sorry you had a baby if you don't stop crying.

You see, having a baby can make you a bit of a crazy person. It can make you pretend that you're something you're not. You feel like you need to prove to everyone that you know what you're doing, but the truth is all us parents are trying to figure it out. We're trying to make sure we don't screw our kids up by buying the bottle that causes tooth decay and we're debating on whether we should eat peanut butter while nursing because it could either give our kid an allergy to it or make him not have an allergy at all.

I just had my third kid, and I still don't feel qualified for this job. I've only been doing it for 4 1/2 years. It's rough having babies. It's the most natural thing in the world and yet the most unnatural thing in the world at the very same time. And it's precious and wonderful, but man, it just ain't for sissies.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Crazy Life

So let me just sum up our last 10 months for you. Beginning in October we found out we were expecting #3, we celebrated Lucy's 2nd birthday, put our house on the market, sold our house in a few days, celebrated mine and Jeff's birthdays and 7th anniversary, bought a new house, celebrated Graham's 4th, potty trained LP, got put on bedrest for 3 months, became an aunt, found out I was going to become an aunt again, had a baby, had surgery on a kidney stone, cried, laughed, survived.

Norah Kate is 8 weeks old today and needless to say it's been a crazy few months since we first found out we were having another kiddo. All the chaos has made me a crazy person at times, but I'm thankful that it seems we are settling down and things are getting back to normal, our new normal.

I have many posts that I started over the last several months, but none that I've completed. I guess that speaks to what my life is like these days. It's just incredibly hard to get anything finished. I'm trying to come to terms with that. I'm trying take in all the baby smiles, smells, and cuddles in the middle of the night. I'm trying to cherish the last year I have with Graham before he goes to Kindergarten and enjoy being with my spunky, sweet Lucy. It's hard to appreciate life when your older two are fighting and the other needs to eat every time you try to nap or eat something yourself, but it's a sweet time nonetheless. I'm thankful to not have to sit on the couch anymore. I'm glad to be able to take care of my kids by myself. As Lucy said the other day, "Mommy are you better now? Can you play with us now?" Yes, LP, I can finally play with you. Let's just hope I have the time!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013


"I wunna wash my face, Mommy. I wunna wash my face," said Lucy. What kind of mom is going to argue with that? "No you can't wash your face, my child."

"Ok, Lucy. Go wash your face." She left the room, and it kept her occupied. But at some point I thought she was being too quiet. I peeked into the bathroom and there she was dipping toilet paper into the toilet and then rubbing the water all over her face! "Ahhhhhhhhh!" I yelled. I'm not a germ freak, but I really don't like toilets. Especially when toilets come into contact with mouths. I threw her in the bathtub. That's the only way I knew how to decontaminate her face. Graham wanted to hop in with her.

A few minutes later, "Ahhhhhh!" I yelled. Of course they would try making the bathtub a wave pool. That's what all kids do. Just turn the bathtub into a water park? For some reason my kids think the slope in the tub is a water slide  Not cool. So not cool. The bathroom floor was sopping wet. This is what kids do on that nanny TV show, right? I mean, I don't even know the name of the show because there's no need to watch it because my kids aren't that bad, right? Real kids...my kids don't do that, right? What was I to do?

"Get out and go to your rooms!" I quickly dried them off and sent them to their rooms. I was in the middle of an important phone call, and that seemed like the easiest fix. They were out of control, but I could control them once I sent them to their rooms. Logical? Of course so!

"Ahhhhhhh!" While I'm wrapping up my conversation, I see little naked bottoms running from one room to the other jumping on the beds. Yes, it was one of those days. One of those days that doesn't seem very real and yet so real at the same time. One of those days when you think, "How am I ever going to take care of 3 kids?"  But somehow, someway God just gives you the grace to get through it even though you might be an eligible contestant for a parenting show. We all have moments like this. Hmm...at least I think we do.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My Little Super Hero

"Why does Batman wear a cape?" I could tell from the start that this conversation was getting serious. I didn't let the topic of Batman fool me. I was talking to my son which is a lot like talking to myself. There is no simple answer. "Ummm. Because it's part of his costume," I replied. "You mean Batman is pretend?" I stammered and thought and stammered and thought some more. "But he's a SUPER HERO!" Graham exclaimed.

I found myself in a discussion with my 3 year old that I wasn't sure how to handle. I mean, of course I didn't want to lie to him. But I also saw him looking at me with eyes that seemed to say, "Mom, please, please, please, don't tell me Batman isn't real. I just don't think my heart can take it." So I didn't lie, and I didn't tell him the truth either. I avoided the truth which might be the same as lying. I started to tell him about Batman being pretend, and then I ended with the "it's complicated" statement that I use when I just don't think either of us are ready for a conversation. Because Batman is a complicated conversation...trust me.

Needless to say, super heroes have been on the brain. In the mornings I ask him what he dreamt about. "Super heroes!" is always his reply. It's like something happened to him overnight, and he became obsessed. I know diddly squat about super heroes, but I'm falling in love with them myself. I've never seen G light up the way he does when he talks about Spider Man, Batman, Iron Man and Captain America. And if you ask him why he loves super heroes so much, he replies, "Because they SAVE people!" Why wouldn't you like someone who SAVES people?

I had the rare opportunity to spend the last few days just with G alone. We went to the movies, played in the rain, painted pottery, got ice cream, drank hot chocolate, and of course went to super hero night at Chick-fil-a. I've loved my time with him. I've never had a day alone with him since Lucy has been born, and it was so special to me. Most of the time I spent hanging out with Spider Man or Captain America, but I also got some quality time with G himself. It was priceless, and I'm thankful for every day I have with my own, personal super hero.