Monday, March 28, 2011

Cocoa Bean Moment....

Today, I've spent some wonderful time contemplating the way my String Bean's mind works.

My eldest daughter likes things neat.

She likes them streamlined - if you will.

So, yesterday while I was nursing Boy Bean, she decided to try and eliminate wasted space in the living room.  

By combining 3....boxes....of puzzle pieces.


"Mommy, they can all fit in one box!"

And today I've had the treat of assembling the puzzles to sort the pieces out.

Now if I could only find the three missing pieces.

Her desire to help was sweet...although misplaced. :)

Copyright 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011


The beauty of life is the chance for the next chapter. No matter what the previous chapter contained, every new day is the chance for something different, something new, something exciting, something sweet, something sad, something happy.

We are entering a new chapter, and it is all of those things.

A few weeks ago I packed up all my maternity clothes.  They were not packed away to wait until I needed them again; they were packed away to pass on to someone else.

And I cried.  Hard.

It may seem like a crazy-woman thing to do - which it probably was - but the deep combination of happy and sad at this ending/beginning was overwhelming.

I will miss feeling the first kicks of a tiny human being. 
I will miss getting hints about a child's personality. 
I will miss the newborn smell. 
I will miss the tiny-baby-cuddles. 
I will miss the first moments of meeting a little person. 
I will miss getting head-of-line privileges in the women's restroom. 
I will miss being able to get seconds....and thirds....without anybody commenting.

I know it may seem strange - I mean, I already have four children - but each one is such a treasure.  I can't imagine not meeting any more.

But I am also excited.

I am excited to figure out our family rhythm, and have it stay there. 
I am excited to enjoy the growing up phases, without constantly having to go get the newborn. 
I am excited to sleep through the night one day. 
I am excited to lose the baby weight and stay there. 
I'm excited to figure out how My Love and I work - again - without me going through all the crazy emotions/hormones/weight changes.

Yet, I find the knowledge of Boy Bean (probably) being our last Bean, has made me treasure his moments more. It has caused me to relish this exhaustion, instead of resent it. I am not balking at the scheduling challenge of nursing Boy Bean - because there is an end in sight.

And I have lived so many years without any personal space - it really doesn't make a difference.

I am entering a new phase - a phase where the newborn gear is not being saved for later; a phase where each time Bitty Bean grows, it will mark the last time of seeing those clothes; a phase where diapers will not need their own cart.

And I am sad.

Because I have only recently learned how to intensely relish pregnancy and newborn and infant.  I wish I could make it up to my older Beans.

Sorry girls, your mama is a slow learner.

And I am happy.

Because recently I have learned how to intensely relish the moments of each day - each chapter - as they fly by.

Time to turn the page.

Copyright 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Time for a Tour....

of Boy Bean's room!

I think the pink swing we've had since Jumping Bean - a $50.00 purchase that saved our lives - really goes with the Blue Airplane room theme, don't you? 

The Pluto cross stitch was originally a gift to My Love when he was a little boy from his Aunt Karen. It is such fun to use in our own son's room now!  The Wooden Glove is also from when My Love was a boy. Hooray for history!

Lovin' the airplane from Marshalls!

The wooden shelf is also from My Love's younger years - it was made by his maternal Grandpa....the tool box was a thrift store find for $1.00.

Another thrift find for $2!  I think it is super cute.

And it appears sweet dreams can now occur....not that he was bothered by the "undone-ness" of his room....but this Mama sure was!

Copyright 2011

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

And the Thank You goes too....

Toy Story. 
Or Pixar. 
But mainly Toy Story 2 and 3.

Please tell me I am not the only mommy in the world who has used TV/Movies to help her cope through a day.  Because with the addition of Boy Bean - I don't know what I would have done without Toy Story.
Or The Incredibles.
Or Tinkerbell.
Or Thumbelina.
Or Horton Hears A Who.
Or The Sound of Music.

We don't have Cable/ Movies are it.....we are old school like that.


I wish I could write a personal thank-you-note to the people at Pixar (in general) and Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, and Joan Cusack, in particular.  So, instead of writing it to them directly....and wasting a stamp on mail they would throw out anyway.....I'm gonna write my thank you here.

If any of you know them, could you just pass on the link?  Thanks.

Dear People-who-have-helped-me-hang-on-to-a-shred-of-my-sanity,

Thank you. 

Thank you for making the following movies where excellent character is celebrated. Movies where persistence and loyalty are modeled by the heroes.  Movies where the heroes make mistakes - but always choose right in the end.  Movies I don't mind my young children quoting. 


When it comes to Toy Story - I have to thank you for making a movie that encourages my children in their imaginative play. For helping my quiet-pensive-Bitty-Bean add a word to her (small) vocabulary....she now says Woody.  Unfortunately, it applies to Woody....and Jesse....but it is still verbal progress. 

When it comes to The Incredibles - thank you for making a movie that perfectly illustrates the struggles of:
Mamas to stretch in all the ways they are pulled,
Daddies to have the strength to carry the family,
Girls to find and protect their Identity,
Boys to find their place where they excel,
And of families fighting to stay together.

Thank you for creating movies that our entire family enjoys watching together.  And then laughing about later. 

Thank you for the very cheap babysitting you have provided. 

Please accept this "thank you" as payment. Sorry it isn't more...maybe we could meet sometime and discuss a better retribution. ;)



 Copyright 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mommy's Law.....

I originally posted about Mommy's Law a bit ago....but recently another one was brought to my attention.

#4 If you say you have never....then you probably will the next day.
Unfortunately, I forgot this rule and was speaking with a friend regarding my total-awesomeness...

NOT. I'm totally gonna bring that phrase is often applicable

...and mentioned I had NEVER locked my keys in the car.  Well, at least since I've had children.

Jumping Bean locked the keys in the car....while inside....but I don't think that counts.

Since God really likes to showcase his sense of humor in my life.....the following story had to occur....the very day AFTER the above "I have never" statement.

I had a doctor's appointment that I thought was at 1:45. I had planned and prepped and scheduled to the nth degree to get Bitty Bean and Boy Bean their naps, Jumping Bean and Bitty Bean their lunch, and pick up String Bean from school.

Unfortunately, I had misread my calendar....about 45 times.  I've got skills.

At noon I looked at my calendar for the 46th time and realized the appointment was at ONE O'CLOCK. That is a HUGE difference.  So after a tornado in the house of getting everyone in the car and lunches thrown in bags....we picked up String Bean from school and drove to the office.

Not gonna lie, I ignored a few "speed suggestion" signs. Thankfully, no one was harmed.


We got out of the car....loaded 2 sleeping Beans in the double stroller....and locked the car.

Not until I was inside...waiting for my blood pressure to be checked...did I realize I was missing the diaper bag. AND my keys. And my cell phone. And my wallet.

So I started laughing. Hysterically.

Like only a crazy-woman-who-has-not-slept-in-5-years-because-she-had-4-children-in-5-years can laugh.

It was not pretty.

At that precise moment - they were ready to read my blood pressure.  And it was so LOW - they had to do a second reading!

I couldn't call My Love - he was flying, and the only other phone number I have memorized is my parent's. And they live 8 hours away. Not very helpful.

Thankfully, a wonderful nurse looked up the phone number for my car insurance (they have roadside assistance....I LOVE USAA!!!) and allowed me to use her cell phone.  So it all ended well.

Boy Bean and Bitty Bean had to sit in their own poop for a bit....but that is not the end of the world, right?


I've decided my next "I have never" comment should be "I have never had a day where I didn't repeat myself." I'll let you know how that goes.

Copyright 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Out of the "NORM...."

So, yesterday was a planned Commissary day.  Except I forgot yesterday was ALSO payday.
For the ENTIRE military.  
Not the place you want to go with 3 Beans in end up battling all sorts of crazy just to get your food.

So, we deviated from "The Norm."

We went to Kroger.  More on THAT in a minute.

First, a walk down memory lane.....

7 1/2 years ago I was about as civilian as you could get.

In fact, up until February 13th, 2003 - the day before I met My Love - I was POSITIVE I would NEVER even date a man in the military
Aaaaaand God's sense of humor strikes again.


Before My Love left for Basic Training, I didn't speak in acronyms....know anything about moving....had no clue what "E2" stood for - although I thought it had something to do with a robot on Star Wars - .....and constantly forgot what the NEX and Commissary carried.

As in, I couldn't remember the words. OR their purpose.  I was often heard saying things like "I need to get food....what is the name of the military grocery store??" And "Is the Navy Exchange like Wal-Mart?"

Yet, we thought we were prepared for military life.


I guess ignorance is bliss.

At least when it comes to huge-life-changes-that-will-stretch-and-grow-you-in-mostly-painful-ways-to-make-you-a-better-person.

But I digress.

I'm pretty sure My Love's recruiter was given countless hours of laughter-at-our-expense due to the extreme naivete with which we embarked on this adventure....more on that another day.

Back to yesterday....

Apparently, my children have been so thoroughly indoctrinated into the world of the military, the pendulum has swung to the opposite side.  Because yesterday, when I informed Jumping Bean we would be getting our food somewhere OTHER than the commissary, she was shocked into commenting:
"They have food in other places??!!!!"

Why yes, sweetie, they do. And mommy apparently needs to expand our routine just a tad.

I will freely admit grocery shopping in a civilian store is something I have done very little of over the past 7 I was a little nervous. 
Actually, I felt completely like a fish out of water. 

Did you know they have special parking places - at the FRONT! Next to the cart return! - for customers with children????

Did you know their aisle signs actually tell you what is ON that aisle???

They don't taunt you with a feeling of knowledge from reading and following the signs....and then the item is nowhere to be found.  Unfortunately, that does mean my feeling of superiority from knowing where everything is located DESPITE the signage did not accompany this trip.
Minor letdown.

They had a plethora of specialty cheeses - we can only have goat cheese - and they were ORGANIZED!

It was quite an adventure. 

However, in defense of my Commissary....

I could not believe how narrow the aisles were at Kroger.  Between the Suburban-sized-car-cart toting my groceries, Bitty Bean, and Jumping Bean; and the Baby Bjorn on my belly carrying Boy Bean....there was very little room left for someone to pass. 

Which wasn't the end of the world until our "random stranger" encounter. 

Apparently, stories don't just come free-of-charge at the commissary.

A sweet-looking older-lady was in the same aisle, presumably also desperately trying to figure out where Polenta was kept....and coughed into her hands. Which is not a big deal. At all. Except....

....when the freshly-coughed-on-hands immediately follow the visual contact with a baby.  She made eye contact and then reached out and grabbed Boy Bean's finger.  

I normally am pretty relaxed about germs....but I saw no need for her germs to be shared with my Baby boy.  So, I reached up and held his hand...which took her hand off of his...unfortunately, that also made her hand she reached out to touch Boy Bean's face. His FACE, people!

Please tell me I am not the only one who finds that distressing!?

After I turned him so she couldn't mess with his face....we were able to extricate ourselves and continue shopping.  Unfortunately, I didn't have a quip that would have conveyed my feelings at the time. However, after deep thought...I know what I will do next time!

I will immediately reach out and put my hands on the random stranger's face.  Should get the point across, don't ya' think???

 All in all, it was a great trip....but I am very happy to return to my Commissary next week.

At least when my Beans reply "wilco" to a direction, people won't look at me like I'm crazy!
Which is naval-aviation-speak for "will comply." Cause that's the way we roll...we are completely fluent in acronym.

Copyright 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


My life is a very delicate balance of craziness...and recently I've had quite a few people ask me how I order my days of housekeeping, blogging, child-rearing, nursing, cooking, laundry, errands, and holding the amazing-amount-of-mess-4-beans-create at bay. 

Not necessarily in that order.

So, I thought I'd explain what I *try* to stick too....

Disclaimer:  I totally don't have a corner on the market for brilliance in motherhood....but I have learned a couple things in the years I've been at this.  SO - I don't know it all. AT ALL.  
Please feel free to disagree/share your tips/laugh at my crazy. 

Some people will read this and think I'm a psychotic-clean-freak-slave-driver-who-does-not-allow-her-children-to-be-children.

Some people will read this and think I'm a waaay-too-relaxed-flexible-scheduler-who-will-not-instill-self-discipline-in-her-children.

Oh well.

First - this house cannot work if I'm the only one doing it all. So, each of my Beans....well, Boy Bean is exempt at the moment.....have jobs that are their responsibility.  Would it be faster for me to do all of these items? Probably.  But I don't think that would teach them about the work it takes to keep a household going. So, here are the things they each do...

Bitty Bean (21 months) -
1. She makes her bed....basically that means she makes sure her pillow, blankies and babies are placed on the mattress.
2. She always puts her diaper in the trash. AND she is responsible for throwing away Boy Bean's diapers if she is available.
3. She puts her dirty laundry in the basket.
4. She picks up her toys.
5. Helps unload dryer.

Jumping Bean (3 1/2) -
1. Makes Bed.  I do not expect it to be perfect - but I expect the pillow to be in the correct location, the comforter to be pulled straight-ish, and her baby and blankie to be on the bed.
2. Puts away her own clothes.
3. Puts dirty laundry in basket.
4. Picks up toys.
5. Helps unload groceries.
6. Helps load washing machine.
7. Helps change laundry to dryer.
8. Helps unload dryer.
9. Wipes down table/counter.
10. Dust.

String Bean (5 1/2) -

1. Makes Bed. I expect her comforter to be on straight and smooth.
She also is responsible for #2-10 of Jumping Bean's list.
In addition:
11. Cleans Mirror in bathroom.
12. Wipes bathroom counter.
13. Fills water bottle for school.

All girls take turns in setting the table.
They are also responsible for bringing whatever items they take OUT to the car - back IN to the house.
All 3 help in collecting the small trash bags from bathrooms/bedrooms and carrying them out to the trash bin - daily.

Second - I run my days by a scheduled-ish life. 
First thing in the morning everyone makes their beds. (Including me!) Then we all collect trash from upstairs and do a quick pick-up and put-away.
Depending on when Boy Bean needs to eat - it varies daily - the girls will get dressed before or after breakfast. (I can aid/oversee the daily dressing one-handed.)
While the Beans eat breakfast, I assemble String Bean's lunch and pull out meat for dinner, or assemble dinner (Depends on if I'm using the crock pot).
I do AT LEAST one load of laundry every day.
I vacuum one room - at least - every day.
I sweep the kitchen every day.
I work-out 3 times a week right now by doing a video (P90X or Insanity) in the living room while Boy Bean takes one of his naps. The girls LOVE to work out with me. :)
Devotions occur during the middle of the night/5am feeding.  It is the only time the house is quiet and I can concentrate.
I blog most often by one-finger-typing while nursing.
I spend about 30 minutes a week meal-planning and grocery-listing.
We work on our AWANA memory verses over breakfast.
While String Bean is at school, Boy Bean and Bitty Bean take a nap that overlaps for one hour. During that time, Jumping Bean and I work on her school things. Prior to Bitty Bean laying down, we have story time one-on-one.

Third - we run on ROUTINE!
Especially at night.  While I finish up dinner, String Bean completes her homework.
Bitty Bean and Jumping Bean are bathed together. While they are being dressed, String Bean showers. Then String Bean gets dressed, we all read our Bible story and say prayers. Then we read a special story one-on-one with each girl in opposite age order and put them to bed.

Do I accomplish all the things I desire to every single day? Nope.

But the goal list helps keep me on track and gives direction to each day.

Because, really, I'd much prefer to do nothing all day. I'm a lazy/messy person at heart.

Copyright 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Little Things....

So you know those little things that need-to-be-done to complete a project that just kind of hang around and annoy you like an ingrown hair on the back of your thigh?

I mean seriously, how annoying are those things?! 
You have to get into insane positions to cause pain to yourself so they don't continue to be a bother. 
 You don't know what I'm talking about? 
Well fine then. 

You lucky-no-excessive-hair-person. I probably shouldn't be blogging right now anyway.....I need to pluck something.


Those little 5 minute things that would just finish out a room or a baby book or a project, DRIVE ME CRAZY.  So, since I stuck (mostly) with one of my two New Year's resolutions last year.....1) floss everyday.....2) finish each project before I start a new one....I decided to go through the house and be sure all loose ends are tied up.

As the daughter of a dentist, you would think I would take excellent care of my teeth, right? I mean flossing and cleanings and mouthwash and.....nope. My poor father. 
I brush every day - twice! 
And have altered that resolution to flossing once a week. 
My last cleaning was in 2006. 
Mouthwash makes me gag.  
Thankfully, my Dad loves me anyway.  
I guess he can think of it the same way we think about driving a Suburban:  Job Security.

And I digress again.  Bad Whitney.

So this week I finished up some stuff that has been annoying me like....oh wait. I already told you about my hair growth issues.

BOY BEAN'S Room.  It is done. I'm just waiting on the pictures I ordered to fill his frames....and I will not be messing with the stuff in there theory. As soon as all  those are loaded with pictures of the correct child - I promise to take you on a tour of the room.  From the totally-blue-nursery-for-Boy-Bean. Should be fun!

Then I found a frame at the thrift store in my utter-bliss-Saturday-morning-solo-treasure-hunt.....
Don't you love a sale?
Poor little guy had to go. 
and turned it into this.....

a spot for my Favorite Artist's Artwork. :)
Jumping Bean -
"Look! (Holding it vertically) It's a BIRD!  And if you do THIS (Turns it horizontally) it's a GUN! BANG BANG!"

"An alligator ate the rainbow."  I love that girl.

String Bean -
(Who takes concentration on art to a whole new level.)
"Mommy, this is a rising sun over the mountains while the clouds part softly." 
 Direct quote. 
And "A rainbow resting on two dark clouds....I love how rainbows always come right after it is yucky out."

She is a warrior poet I tell you.

I've been up to other things....which I know you are dying to hear about....but I can't sit down any longer.  I need to get rid of a particularly annoying growth...and separate my eyebrow.

Copyright 2011

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Things that make me SMILE.....

So, I have words in my head - some are even funny!! - but I wanted to share other stuff today.

And since it's MY blog...I can do that.

I feel the power.

Anyway.....on to things that make me SMILE.....

Boy Bean and his Daddy grins.....

My Love and his Boy Bean grins....

Silly Jumping Bean faces....

And sisters enjoying time together....

In their pig-tailed/pebbles hair-do's....

Telling stories....

And just being close.

Aaaaaaahhhhh, a cocoa bean moment for sure. 

Did it matter that moments later they were both sobbing in frustrated confusion over the same toy?
'Cause you take the sweet seconds whenever they pop up.

Copyright 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

Fun Times...

So, SuperMOM, I am not.

Because Wednesday night....around 3:30am....I wanted to break down crying.

What caused this eruption of emotion?


I was puked on....for the second one hour.

I am not cut out for anything medically related - but God has a sense of humor and still allows me to experience other people's bodily fluids exploding all over me.

Poor Jumping Bean woke up at 2am throwing up....well, she was technically still asleep...but I heard her hacking and went running into her room.  When I saw the puke, I did what any sane-mama would do....I scooped her up and ran into the NOT-carpeted bathroom.  And started making very loud I'm-totally-grossed-out noises.  Thankfully, that woke up My Love.

Poor man.

While I stripped and bathed Jumping Bean to get the food particles out of her hair.....he stripped the bed.
We were hopeful - oh-so-hopeful - that it was a one-time thing.

We were wrong.

So Jumping Bean and I got to hang out in the living room, watch Little Einsteins, snuggle under the blankets, and I got to periodically catch puke in a bucket and then run her to the bathroom for the extra treat from this particular-brand-of-flu.

Super fun.


(Yeah - I went there. I'm so-totally-90's.)

The were two super-aewsome moments that happened though it all.....

1. Boy Bean decided to be hungry and wanted to nurse for an hour of the double-whammy-every-20-minutes with Jumping Bean.  Brings Multi-tasking to a whole new level.

2.  At one point...moments after throwing up....I brought a wet rag to wipe my little Jumping Bean's face.  She looked up at me with those big blue eyes and said, "Mommy, this is best treat ever. I love getting to have special time with you."

That's how you know you have more than one child....they are HAPPY to be sick in the middle of the night because they get a  parent all to themselves!

(For the record, none of the pictures were taken during the illness. Not like you thought they were!)

Copyright 2011

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Sky is Falling!!

Well, not really....but crazy things are happening because I still am sewing and crafting daily! And I'm definitely NOT pregnant. (A few people posed that question after the last crafty post)

My most recent project?

Boy Bean's glider cushions.

First, a bit of history....

This glider was purchased at a yard sale in March of 2008.  Yep. Almost 3 years ago. And for the past THREE YEARS I have hated the cushions. Abhorred them. In fact - when we bought the glider, the only caveat was that I would get to replace the cushions.....immediately.

Apparently "immediately" is defined as "almost 3 years."

Good to know.

Why did I dislike the cushions so?

Because they were dirty, aged, and purple. And an ugly purple at that. See?

I think I've clearly stated before my lack-of-skill with a sewing machine...but just to be clear...I've only recently been able to use it without having to throw out whatever I was working on.

However, I had a leftover king fitted sheet from the material pile for Boy Bean's bedding...I purchased it on clearance at Target for $3.50...and I thought why not try to make a matching cover for the glider?  I mean, it couldn't possibly look worse than it has for the past 3 years!

So, with my trusty scissors, sewing machine, and staple gun.....I sewed a completely removable slipcover for the back of the glider....and recovered the ottoman......

and it sat that way for a week! Totally tacky. But now I have finished the seat as well.....So, here's the finished product.....

I know it isn't perfect - but for practically no $$, I think it turned out well!

Even though I broke out in a cold sweat of fear each step of the way. 

Copyright 2011