Monday, February 28, 2011


You know the days where your children are perfect and they do everything right and you are patient and calm and loving all day?

Or how about the days where your children are definitely NOT perfect, but it doesn't matter because you are patient and calm and loving all day anyway?

Or how about the days where you wake up to little faces wanting to dole out kisses and snuggles and love and your heart just explodes with thankfulness about this gift of motherhood??

Well, Saturday morning was not like those days. At all.

By the way, I am never perfect. There is always some way I royally screw up the day.  Which just means I am human. AND greatly in need of my Savior's grace, strength, and wisdom, to get me through each day.

Back to Saturday....I woke up cranky. VERY cranky. I was tired and just wanted to sleep....but I couldn't because I had four people who-can't-feed-themselves awake and hungry. My children were all being sweet and adorable and fun and funny.....but I just didn't want to be Mom on Saturday....

I wanted to sleep until I felt like waking up. 
AND wake up slowly. 
And then I wanted to eat what I wanted to eat, when I wanted to eat it, at whatever speed I felt like. I didn't want to discipline anybody. 
I didn't want to listen to anybody saying...pretty much....anything. 
I didn't want to check a diaper bag and make sure it was properly loaded. 
I didn't want to plan my day around naps, meals, feeding schedules, and other people's attitudes.

I wanted to just be selfish and self-consumed for one cotton-picking-morning.

Well, that didn't happen. Even though I acted like I was wearing an itchy sweater 2 sizes too small for quite a few hours.....and had to get an attitude check from My Love...eventually my attitude did improve. It was a slow, painful, process. I really just wanted to stomp my foot and whine "But I don't wanna!"....but then Boy Bean woke up and needed to eat and lunch needed to be made and noses needed to be wiped and laundry needed to be done and dishes had to be washed and booboos needed to be kissed all I couldn't play hooky on motherhood.

The truth is, everybody struggles with their job. And that is normal. And expected. And accepted. People say, "Of course you don't like the people you work with every minute of every day! Naturally you have days you don't want to go to work!"

But not if your job is "mama."

It doesn't matter that the job is extremely hard. It doesn't matter that the job is utterly rewarding. Some days, you just want to skip work. And you can't. And - at least for me - there is a struggle.

There is a struggle between my natural selfish desires and my roles as mommy and wife and friend and daughter and sister. Because really, whenever you open yourself up to a relationship with another person - you are acknowledging there will be times where your wants and desires MUST take a backseat.  As "Mommy" - especially - this means all day of every day. Even after the beans go to bed - I still need to pull out the meat for the next night's dinner....I need to make sure all items are gathered in String Bean's book bag....I need to put the house back in order and the dishes away and fold the laundry - just so I don't start the next day behind.

In my Saturday struggle, I was reminded of Philippians 2:3 "Do NOTHING out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves."

And hopefully, I'll remember this lesson the next time I feel like playing hooky. 
Copyright 2011

Friday, February 25, 2011


Okay people. It is time for me to lay down some honesty for ya'. Brutal honesty. About myself.

Brace yourselves.

I really, really, really like to shop.

There. I said it. Whew.

The problem is this....I have some very good reasons for NOT shopping....

String Bean...

Jumping Bean...

Bitty Bean...

And Boy Bean.
(String Bean and Jumping Bean were all dressed up as Middle-Easterners for Missions night at AWANA....I felt left I had to get in a picture. Boy Bean pretty much has the most adorable feet ever...and I wanted a picture of them. So there.)

While they are great reasons for purchasing things...they kinda suck the fun out of browsing.  Shopping is a mission - I prep: Snacks, bathroom, drinks, diapers, feed Boy Bean, time it post-nap; I list - must know exactly what I'm looking for....and then stay on target; I get the item....and then get out.  Hopefully all of this occurs without a melt-down.

From me.

Because I like to browse. And meander. And let the clothing/decor/item speak to me.

In an effort to hinder my shopping desire - I've decided to try and re-work my girl bean's clothes....and even give mine an up-cycle shot.

You know - make something feel new...even though it isn't. If I am successful - that will mean my Jumping Bean and Bitty Bean (especially) will enjoy the hand-me-downs they are almost 100% clothed in.  Because it will be customized for them.

If I'm not will get a funny blog.

Sounds like a win-win to me!

My first attempt at up-cycling was with a pair of String Bean's pants.  She has a serious vendetta against the right knee of her pants.

Currently she has 6 pairs of pants/leggings that fit her....

4 have a hole in the right knee.

So, I took this hand-me-down dress-up dress...

(chosen primarily because it was corduroy)

and patched the knee. (Please do not closely inspect the hand-sewing. It is HORRIBLE.)

Thankfully, my 5 year old style maven didn't seem to mind the uneven stitching with two different color threads.  Oops.

I have since been made aware of some products that will help the "repair the pants project" the future repairs should look much better!

One can hope. ;)

Copyright 2011

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

How to Look Good...

....Well, at least My tips for lookin' good with an infant-toddler-preschooler-kindergartener underfoot or in your arms.

Feel free to adjust the number/ages of children to apply to your life.

First of all, I'm not claiming I look good....all the time...or ever. These are just the things I do that make me feel like I'm lookin' good. Take it with a grain of salt. Or a piece of chocolate cake.

Actually, you have my permission to always take what I say with a piece of chocolate cake.

You're welcome.

On to this oh-so-not-important list.....

Sling courtesy of The Industrial Cottage
1. Wear your baby. Have you noticed where slings and baby packs sit? Directly over your tummy! Which is really lucky for me, because it completely covers my love-pot. In my opinion, that makes them a very slimming item. If you are not like me, and tote your baby weight in other regions of your body - Don't fret! People will be so enamored with your adorable bean in it's pod...they won't even notice your cinnamon buns. Promise.

2. Dress your kids cute. Again, utilize the distraction factor. If your kids look cute, people will be soo enamored with their utter adorableness...which, in my case, typically involves tutus, tiaras, pig tails, and necklaces.....they won't notice the fact that I haven't slept in about 5 years. And that brings me to item #3...

3. Use under eye concealer and an eyelash curler. My two good friends. Especially since random strangers like to comment on how exhausted I look. The concealer is a miracle worker in hiding the bags under my eyes...and the eyelash curler allows my eyes to appear fully open.....even when they are half-closed.

THIS is what happens when a 5 year old is your photographer....

AND THIS is what happens when it is a 3 year old.
4. Get dressed. You don't need to wear designer anything....but just try and make an effort to get out of your pajamas. Even if you are just changing into "work-out clothes." I say "work out clothes" with quotes around it, primarily because they are currently my "clean-the-house-clothes"...but don't tell anyone....because right now I am spending as much time cleaning house as I am working out. Which is barely above none.

Hey! Don't look down on days are spent sustaining human life...what did YOU do today???
Painting nails at Christmas....putting the belly to good use!
5. Wear something cute and unexpected. I normally try for a fun hair thing....a scarf...a necklace....or earrings. But some days the only thing cute I'm wearing is my baby (see #1); and the only thing unexpected is the snot-spit-up-puke-poop-pee somewhere on my body or clothes. Which brings me to item #6.....

6. Shower - or at least splash water on your face - every day. Trust me. It doesn't matter that you take a military-esque will make you feel better. It also doesn't matter if you are showering purely to remove your  "unexpected" accessory from your hair-face-body....just do it. And it helps you peel your eyelids up after not sleeping for months on end.

7. Smile. Because no matter how exhausted-dirty-flabby you are (Or feel!), this phase is just that - a phase. It will pass. And once it's over you will look back and remember the insanity of these moments fondly. You will look at mamas in this phase with nostalgia and a psychotic pull to return there...until you realize you have actually slept through the night more than once in the past year. Without medication.

You will smile an encouraging smile...then hand them a wet wipe to remove the snot from their shoulder.

Copyright 2011

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I've lost it.

Not really. Actually, I've hardly lost any...weight that is. With my 23 pound weight gain with Boy Bean I thought it would really just disappear VERY fast this time around. (In comparison to the 55/55/35 pounds I gained with each of the girls, respectively.)

I was wrong.

My Boy Bean is now 8 weeks old....and I have lost a TOTAL from when-he-was-IN-my-belly-till-now of 10 pounds. TEN. He weighed 6 pounds 3 ounces. And ALL that water-weight....and I still have only waved goodbye to ten actual pounds.

Slightly discouraging.

On the up-side (Because there is one most of the time)....
This is my first baby born in the winter. So it gives me months before I can wear shorts or...horror-of-horrors...a swimsuit. And since I would look rather insane wearing a circa 1920's swimsuit.....I'm pretty thankful for getting to keep my body under wraps for a few more months.
I've also seen 8 1/2 inches around my abdomen disappear. Which would be super-awesome....except when you stop and consider a HUMAN BEING was inside there. Then it isn't so impressive. I mean, I had 19 1/4 inches of squirming-kick-boxing-human squashed in you'd figure my inches would drop a tad.

Which is exactly what has happened.

This all means - as usual - I will have to work to lose weight. Oh the injustice! Shouldn't the weight just fly off your post-baby body? It isn't like I'm already running around like a crazy woman trying to hold back the tide of dishes-laundry-mess that threatens to overtake our home at every turn. Nor am I being lazy and sleeping....instead, most of my waking moments are spent feeding someone in the house....and rarely is it myself. Now I get to add in to my day...somewhere...working out.  Which is fine - because I actually really enjoy fitness  - but frustrating because I don't know where it will get squished in.

Oh well. It will all come off in the end....I just would rather have my cake and eat it too. 
Chocolate preferably.

Copyright 2011

Friday, February 18, 2011

Got a Jealous Bone....

Okay. I'll admit it. I have a super strong jealous bone. I am intensely jealous of the life of another person.
I know it isn't their fault that they live an absolutely-amazing-life-filled-with-ease-and-luxury-and-sleep. But there are some days I would just really, really, like to try and suffer and in their shoes.

Who is this person who makes my jealous bone grow?

My son. 

Yep. My little Boy Bean. 

I mean - really - how wonderful would it be to live his life???

I would get dressed up in adorable outfits that were always soft and comfortable. I would not be expected to wear shoes. People would constantly tell me how cute I looked - even if I was trying to poop. Even my burps would be cute!

If I was having trouble sleeping - I would get carried around cuddled to someone I love....or I would just get to lay my head on their chest.....and they wouldn't move....for hours....because I would need my sleep.

Speaking of sleep - if I ever got cranky, people would immediately check if I was hungry, needed a change, or just tired. AND THEN - they would feed me, change me, and rock me. I would be expected to sleep for hours and hours.

People would be HAPPY as I gained weight - in fact, they would be worried if I didn't! They would ooooh and aaaah over my adorable roly-poly-thighs and double chin. Bliss.

I wouldn't wash, dry, fold, or put away my laundry. I wouldn't be expected to make my bed. My sole responsibilities would be to eat, sleep, and poop.

The only down side would be pooping on myself. 

My Boy Bean has NO idea how good he has it.

Oh well. Instead I get to clean up everybody else's poop. And kiss their little heads while they sleep. And watch them grow. And dress them. And teach them. And hug them. And kiss them. And love them.

And when that jealous bone grows....I remember - I have NO idea how good I have it.

Copyright 2011

The Itty, Bitty Bean...

Oh, Bitty Bean. My little itty Bitty Bean.

It's a good thing she's so stinkin' cute.

 Because right now - she's exploring her all aspects of her sin nature.
She looks like a terror, right? 
This is what happens when she eats spaghetti.
It's known in our house as "insta-bath."

The little lady has suddenly decided her butt is allergic to her car seat. This translates to a great upper body workout every day as I wrangle her squirming body into the Suburban and then get her buckled into her car seat.  Not only does she writhe, kick, and scream - like a wild banshee - she has added sobbing hysterically to her "pitching a fit" repertoire. I can't imagine what the neighbors think.  It takes 12 - TWELVE - minutes for me to get my four Beans loaded in the car.....from arrival in the garage to pulling the car out. How is that possible??  String Bean buckles herself....Boy Bean is already loaded in the infant car seat.....all I have to buckle is Jumping Bean and Bitty Bean!
 It takes me almost 2x as long to load up the car - 12 minutes - as it does to drive String Bean to school - 7 minutes. And that is only IF I remember everything on my first trip out the door. Which is a pretty big "IF."

My little pensive-munchkin gave me quite the scare this week. She choked on a pretzel...while I was nursing Boy Bean - right next to her. In the time it took me to un-latch and place Boy Bean on the floor....unhook her high chair tray...unbuckle her seat clips....and get her to throw up.....she managed to scratch her face in an attempt to get the food out of her throat.

Thankfully, she is fine.

I needed to mop the kitchen anyway.

My Love is super jealous of her facial wound...he is cursed with an non-scarred face.

What lengths my poor girls have to go through to get their nails done! 

Just another boring day in my life.

Copyright 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cocoa Bean Moment....

Well, its been a while since I documented a Cocoa Bean Moment....thats because things have changed a tad with the addition of Boy Bean.

I'm not gonna lie. Life is massively more hectic...more of a delicate dance on a high wire....with just snippets of sleep....but it is also glorious in its insanity. I didn't think anyone would appreciate the moments I've been having, because, well, they are just crazy! But, last night was a moment I couldn't pass up....

The following all was occurring simultaneously: 
Dinner was in the final moments of preparation....timers were going off;

Jumping Bean was yelling from the bathroom....she had a NEED for her mommy;

Boy Bean was cursing at me from his nap-spot on the floor....he thought he HAD to be held - or his eyeballs would pop out;

Our babies don't ACTUALLY curse....but they all have had a certain yell that sounded full of four letter words.

Bitty Bean was SCREAMING - happy screams, but still - in her high chair;

And String Bean was singing - AT THE TOP OF HER LUNGS - Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I'll go eat worms....

After pulling the food from the oven, wiping the bum, loading the man-child into the snugli, retrieving a juice from the refrigerator, and giving a hug....I sat down and laughed. 

Because REALLY - what else could I do???

Copyright 2011

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hoppin' on the Bandwagon....

With today being Valentines day....I wanted to not hop on the bandwagon and not say anything about Love....or My Love.  
Dating in 2003

But I couldn't help myself.

Valentines Day is extra special to us because on this exact 2003....My Love and I walked by each other and lightening struck. 

I had no idea how my world would be flipped upside down and my life would be completely different because of that one moment where our eyes met. 

I know it sounds corny....but its the truth.

I met him....and that was it. 2 days after we met, we had a four-hour-long phone conversation....if you know My Love - you know that isn't normal for him.

Within two weeks I knew either he was the man for me to spend the rest of my life with....or I would be single.  I couldn't imagine anyone that could possibly be a better fit.

And eight years later....I feel the same way.
December of 2004
 I just had no idea what love entailed.....

Summer of 2008
Love is not just roses on a windshield with a love note attached.  
(Yep. He did that!)
Love is not just special picnics on a secluded mountain top. 
(That was me)
Love is not just long walks....fancy dinners...dancing in the rain....or fireworks.

Love is an act. A choice. A daily decision for selflessness.

Love is joy in the monotony.  An encouraging touch when the bottom falls out. Love is letting down your walls and your defenses and allowing someone in to those places where the deepest wounds can occur. Love is making hard decisions. Love is being another's greatest cheerleader.  Love opens you up for the greatest joys....and the greatest sorrows.  

My Love is not perfect - we are very alike in that - but he is perfect for me. 
January 2010
 This man I am blessed to share life with is exactly right for me. He is passionate and loving and opinionated and brilliant and funny and loyal and strong and adventurous and brave and tender. 
February 2010

He is the kind of man I hope our girls will find...and our son will become. 

So on this day, all I have to say....he already said in an early love note...and - even though he plagiarized - it is worth repeating:

"I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine." Song of Solomon 6:3

Copyright 2011

The Craft Devil....

....Strikes again!

Well, since right now my life is pretty much consumed with the care and feeding of an infant, toddler, preschooler, kindergartener, and aviator.....and keeping the house clean enough to keep bugs away....and tackling mountains of get the idea.


Since that is how the majority of my day - and night - is occupied....I only have two free hands about 3 hours of the day.

It might be more...but during those brief moments of not-nursing, I must fold laundry, wipe noses, wipe 4 little bums, make 3 meals, do dishes, vacuum, sweep, clean toilets, make beds, and maybe go to the bathroom....but I really don't think so. 

All of that is pretty much why I'm not writing very much right now. While I LOVE my is hard to let go of any down time. I know it will return....but boy am I tired at the moment!


That really doesn't have anything to do with the title of this post. Or the subject. I just wanted to say it. And, since it is my blog....I can say what I want. HA!

I mentioned that I was possessed with an insatiable desire to craft something...everyday....while pregnant with Boy Bean.  That was quite a change from, well, the rest of my life. I assumed the crafting desire would disappear with the arrival of my mini-Love....and was actually a tad relieved when I was no longer obsessed with learning how to use my sewing machine.

Well, that was premature.

This week, I scoured the house for items to use in decorating Boy Bean's room.  I came up with 4 picture frames that didn't match...and that really weren't my thing.

There were 2 of these. :)

So, I figured I could paint them to make them all go together.

First, I dry brushed a gray base coat...
The Big Beans wanted to help model.

 Then, I dry brushed a pale blue over the gray....which I totally forgot to take a picture of before I had put them back together. I can't remember who was crying or needing to be fed...but I'm pretty sure that is why there is a missing picture!

I didn't make them smooth looking - I wanted some gray to peek through - and I am quite pleased with how they turned out!

I haven't printed off any pictures for his I used various cards we received to fill the frames....and leftover fabric from his bedding to matte the cards.

Total cost for 4 unique wall hangings?  $0.00

Now to tackle the slipcover for my glider....

Apparently, the Craft Devil isn't done with me yet!

Copyright 2011