Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Where I've Been....

So - while I LOVE blogging;  sometimes, you just gotta set the computer down and live in the real world. Which is exactly what I've been busy doing! I'm slowly working on some posts-of substance - my goal is to get a good post out by July. We'll see.

In the meantime, here's a snippet of what that real world has been full of....

Happy, laughing, growing baby Boy Bean 

He's now 14.2 pounds!

Special tea-time with String Bean

Sisterly snuggles

And just hangin' out.

And THAT  is  where I've been.

Eventually, I'll figure out where-the-heck blogging fits in the delicate balance of my life. 
But until then - I heading out to LIVE it.

Copyright 2011

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

15 minutes.....

Sometimes, my life is PHENOMENAL.

I mean, my children are perfect angels and smiley and the house is spotless and I'm rested and all the meals prepared are done ON TIME AND DELICIOUS!

Shortly thereafter....I wake up.  :)

Oh well.

Here is a snippet of my morning - just 15 minutes of it.

As we went to load up in the car to take String Bean to school - Bitty Bean decided (with an evil glint in her eye) that it would be funny to hide her shoe.

In the trash bin.



After scrambling around hunting for the lost shoe - I managed to get all 4 beans buckled in the car.

To date I haven't left anyone.  
Which is truly miraculous.  
Especially since last week I almost left Boy Bean napping in his crib when I went to pick up String Bean.  Thank the Lord Jumping Bean was ECSTATIC about it just being girls in the car.  
Otherwise the poor man-child would have had to fend for himself.


We arrived at the school and String Bean says, "Mom! You forgot my lunch!"

Insert extremely-frustrated-sigh-and-serious-levels-of-annoyed-mother here.

I then picked Boy Bean up out of the car seat to transfer to the stroller for the walk to String Bean's class room - and discovered he had pooped.

All. Up. His. Back.

Poor kid just had to deal with it until after we dropped his sister off because we were running late due to Bitty Bean's twisted sense of humor.  

But I can state with complete confidence he is no longer full of poop.

His onesie, diaper, pants, and socks?  Not so much.


Then Jumping Bean needed to go potty - which was no big deal. She accomplished her business while I was trying to clean Boy Bean with the 3 wipes I had with me.

During all of that chaos, Bitty Bean decided not enough was going on and fell off a stool and hit her head on the floor.


And THAT is what my not-so-perfect-days typically look like!

Copyright 2011

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Parenting....Military Style

So, we are a Navy family. This is apparent in many ways - my children understand deployment, I decorate in easily-removed ways, My Love has no hair, military ID is utterly more important than any other ID, and.....our parenting is peppered with military terminology.

What do I mean?

Most parents probably don't brief and debrief the children before and after each evolution.

Now, we don't do this EVERY time - although that is the goal! - but every time we do, we are very glad we did!  So, if ever you see us sitting in the car before the unload process begins, you will know the brief is occurring:
"Alright kids, we are about to go into a parking lot. What does that mean?"
"We have to hold a hand!" (From one of the girls....normally String Bean's hand rockets up high whenever we ask a question.)
"Good job. And we are going into Chick-Fil-A (best place ever. EVER.) and this is how we are going to behave:  No whining, yelling, pitching fits, or crying when we have to leave. We will go in and you can play while we order. Then, you MUST eat your food. Then you may play. When we tell you it is time to go - it is TIME TO GO. You must be happy leavers - or we will not come back for a long time. Got it?"
"Got it!"
(That was String Bean, Jumping Bean, and Bitty Bean's answers. For some reason "Woody" has been deemed an appropriate response to everything.)

Does it work? Sometimes. 
Are our children perfect angels?  Not by a long shot.

But I think it helps to prepare them - as much as possible - for what will be expected of them when we go places. It helps us (the parents) to have a game plan and be on the same page for outings. Which is ALWAYS a good thing!

However important the brief is, the DEbrief is just as important - or more!

When we re-load after our outing, we praise them for their obedient areas and good behavior, and discuss what could have been better. Unless it needed more than "discussion." Then that is normally handled immediately.

All in all, that is one thing the military has taught us and I think we are better parents because of it!

What non-parenting places have you found parenting pointers?

 Copyright 2011

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

Sorry this is so long - but I kinda have a lot to say on this day!

Since my last Mother's day - I have added  a nephew, 
Baby Ronin - December 10, 2010

a niece,
Baby Ali Mae - December 15, 2010

a son, 

Baby Landon - December 28, 2010
and numerous baby friends. 

And that isn't even all of them!
I have been stretched, exhausted,  

overwhelmed, hugged, kissed, 

and loved-with-abandon.

I have had the privilege of witnessing the birth of a family. 

I have been blessed with the opportunity to be mothered. 

This holiday can be an exceptionally hard one - for those who have lost their mother (or a mother-figure), lost a child, or are made acutely aware of their non-mother status.
But I want to tell you this - my dear-friends-without-children:
You don't have children, yet you encourage me with mine. You have taught me the importance of waiting patiently on the Lord's timing. You have shown me the value of humility. You have exemplified a spirit of joy in circumstances that are not your preference, but you cling to the hope that God's way is best.  While you do not have children - I am a better mother because of knowing you.

I have had the gift of not only having a wonderful Mom, but a wonderful Mother-in-law. 
I love you both. 
I am immensely grateful for all the things I have learned from each of you.

Due to our moves - I also have a military mom, a local mom, and numerous mom's-who-help-me-keep-sane.  I don't know what I would do without you. 

This time of year many people are pondering what their Mother's have meant to them.....while you are all at it, I thought I could throw in my idea of what Motherhood is.......

Motherhood is so much more than being a doctor to a skinned knee. 
Or a counselor for a bruised heart. 
Or a nutritionist who provides balanced meals. 
Or a teacher for just about Everything
It is not a job where you can clock in or clock out, call a substitute, or quit. 

To be completely honest, there are days I would like so much to be able to call a substitute.

Once you are a mommy there is no going back. 

Being a mother is more than any number of titles because it is one title that will stretch your heart beyond your wildest imagination. 
It will cause you to cry and laugh at both joy and sadness; because sometimes there is nothing else left in you. 
It shows you not just who you are - but who you want to be. 
Motherhood is a constant mirror held up to you to reveal your true self. 
I've only being doing this Mommy thing since August 31, 2005 - but I've managed to mess up and outright fail in a few areas already. It is a blessing and a trial that improvement is such a slow process. 
I don't think the "great" moms are the so-called "perfect" moms - because your children both know and readily pick up your flaws and errors - a Great Mom is one who is always seeking to improve and realizes that being a perfect mom is not the goal. 
There are moments that I wish I could just freeze forever - the little moments that I know I will wish for one day. 
The kisses on my face that leave me sticky with jelly. 
The joyous squeal that is brought because a supposed lost toy is found. 
The unabashed - and earnest - way in which hugs are given. 
The moment where String Bean cupped my face in her hands and said "I love you my mommy." 
The way Jumping Bean runs to my lap with her blankie when she first wakes up just to be sure she can snuggle. 
The way Bitty Bean giggles with excitement over every morsel of food she sees.
The times when Boy Bean cries and all his sisters crowd around him to sing "You are my sunshine."

There are so many beautiful moments in motherhood - 
and yet it can seem as though, at times, there are none at all. 

Sometimes my focus is turned on the wrong thing and instead of relishing the moment, all I see is the mess. 
I wish away these early years to where I will get a break every once in a while. 
I think of the constant questions and chatter as a burden instead of a gift. 

I know that one day I will look back and desperately wish for them to come to me with a waterfall of words about their day and their thoughts - and yet at this moment, all I desire is quiet. If only I could remember to keep the right perspective always and truly treasure the gift that motherhood is. Instead of resenting the interrupted sleep from a bad dream or an illness - be thankful for the opportunity to hold them a moment more. 

One day - a day that is speeding toward me - they will no longer be here with me and my empty arms will ache and I'll wish for the noise and the laughter and emotion and chatter that only they could fill my home with. 

So, what is Motherhood? 
To me, it is a gift. 
A life-long gift where laughter, joy, pain, heartache, wonder, and love all meet together. 
Mother's Day 2010 - we didn't know Boy Bean was already in the POD!

Copyright 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

For Real.

I was challenged recently by a friend's blog post about being REAL - and showing your emotions.

Something my children have absolutely no problem expressing.
And, while I seek to be straightforward in my blog - I think I've put up a bit of screen about what my life is REALLY  like at this moment.

The transition from 3 children to 4 children has been exceptionally overwhelming lately.  I don't know why I'm suddenly feeling like I've been tossed in the deep end and barely keeping my head above water  - but that is how I feel.

At the end of each day, I normally look around the house and see mess. Dirty windows, dirty floors, toys strewn, dusty everything, sticky counters, dirty bathrooms, mountains of laundry to fold.....I could go on, but you get the picture.

If I DON'T see that image - then I know I didn't play with Boy Bean....or play and read with Bitty Bean....or play and read and work in school with Jumping Bean....or talk and dance with String Bean.

I don't know how to balance it all.  
I can't think in a messy house.  
But I can't be the mommy I want to be if I have a clean house. 

Bitty Bean is ready to potty train - but I haven't been able to do it because of nursing Boy Bean and the daily required-leaving-of-the-house for String Bean's school.

I just feel surrounded by failures. 

I'm thankful for the mess because that means my Beans are home and can make one. They aren't in the hospital. They aren't paralyzed. They aren't grown-up and living on their own.

But some days, I would just really like to have a clean house AND be a good mama AND have a yummy dinner for My Love. 
Right now all those "ands" are "OR."  

Please tell me I'm not the only woman to struggle with balancing it all. I know many will say "just let the dishes be" or "have them wear dirty clothes" - but the problem is, I do!  The dishes often sit in the sink all day before I can get to them and the mountain of laundry is with things being worn the maximum number of times possible.

I truly love my life. LOVE IT!!  

But I'm overwhelmed and tired. Perhaps that is just the way things are when life involves a 5 1/2 year old, a 3 1/2 year old, a 22 month old, and a 4 month old.

Maybe, as Flannery O'Connor said, I need a wife.

Much more to come on this particular topic....
Copyright 2011

Monday, May 2, 2011


I know I've been rather MIA lately - and when I've actually written something, it hasn't been that great.

C'mon. I read my stuff too.


We've been totally slammed with life in this greenhouse. No huge problems - I mean they really just add up to a hill of beans - but the weeds of busyness and exhaustion have definitely been taking their toll on me. And my writing.

For some reason, I have a LOT of trouble coming up with anything coherent - let alone funny! - when I'm exhausted.

So, after much thought, deliberation, and a major reality check; my blog will be getting a makeover.

I'm actually pretty excited about it!

There will be a good bit more focus and less of a "random thoughts that just hit my head" feel.  There will not be daily posts - but hopefully the quality will make up for  a lack of quantity.


I'll be doing focused posts on the military lifestyle/experience, parenthood, living healthier, and cocoa bean moments.

I'm trying to get everything together this week - so changes can go into effect next Monday!

Let me know if you like them.

Let me know if you don't!

I like feedback - pointers - critiques. :) (As long as they are nice.)

For the fun of it - here is a family Easter picture...and I know it is a week late. :)

See you next week!!

 Copyright 2011