Babies Under The Weather

2017-03-29 edited

My son may not be to too happy with me for posting this picture someday. And I am sure I will have some embarrassing pictures of me placed for all to see. I’ll take it like a big girl because it will be worth it! I am not putting this picture out to irritate my little man, but because it tells a story and sparks a memory.

You see, while it sounds exhausting and overwhelming, this day is a day I will cherish, vomit and all.

The plans for the day were to take my daughter to the hospital to have her tonsils removed because she kept getting strep throat, among other illnesses. This did happen. It was gory and gruesome and broke my heart to see her in so much pain. Then we were told she we was at an elevated risk because her tonsils were so large and damaged from the repeated episodes of infection.

After we were able to visit her in the recovery room, my husband returned to work and I was to check her out of the hospital and then take her home to sleep. But shortly after he leaves, I get notification from the school that my son is throwing up in the classroom trashcan! So, now I have one in the hospital, one puking at school,another one that has to be picked up, dogs that needed to go out, a husband that needs to return to work, and a partridge in a pear tree!

It was amazing how the story went from there. I called my husband who had to check out my son on his way back to work. He called MiMi (his mom) to wait with my son briefly, until I got home. As the day progressed, I had a post op little girl on part of the couch and a feverish vomiting little boy sitting on the other part cuddling with his trashcan. We ended up with her sleeping on the short part of the couch, the little dude on his mattress that we pulled to the living room floor and me on the longer part of the couch for the next couple nights. This let us have plenty of room to stretch out and rest, and allowed me to be present for my son’s high  fever hallucinating ninja kicks in the middle of the night!

Aside from that craziness, these days were filled with cuddles, nurturing, preparing special food, and simply taking care of my little ones. It seems so strange, but I had permission from my busy life to concentrate on their well-being. Everything else was able to be put on hold as I simply loved them. It seems so strange that I look back at this time with fond memories. Even if they were sick, we I got to camp out in the living room and just be together. I look past the gross stuff and the pain of seeing my babies suffer to bask in the idea of being able (for a short time) to let them rely on me for all the little things we have taught them to do themselves. My arms and hands can still feel me cradling them as their long extremities dangle freely because they can’t fit in the nook of my arm anymore. I took delight in giving them “custom” meals when, in healthy times, they can make their own. Being certain they would heal soon, I loved the warmth in my soul from being blessed by  knowing that they are capable of so much, but in their time of pain from injured bodies, they drew close to me and let me show my love for them.

It is amazing what all you can get from a picture of a little boy hugging a trashcan full of bodily fluids.  And it never ceases to amaze me that, even in rough times, the little tidbits of fondness shown in the moment can be how we remember the entire event.

Springs Smiles Post it

Check out these links for more stories on hidden blessings and simply loving your kids for who they are!

To Read or Not to Read?

Sports in our House

Ba- Humbug!

Muddy Memories

When the Tornado Hits

As soon as your life seems situated, with schedules in place for a sense of normalcy, something else happens. Yes, something is always happening. This time, a tornado. I mean, I live in the middle of the Midwest, so what was I to expect? The week before it was a hail storm. I am not sure if it is a good or bad thing, but as much as my allergies and achy joints hate the crazy Missouri weather, I love it! I find it exciting that we can have all four seasons in a single week (or less)! I love thunderstorms and snowstorms just as much as a sunny day and look forward to the changes. I’m not big on the extreme heat in the summer, but all of the fun we get to have with the kids, family, and friends more than makes up for it. And the cold…well, it’s not too bad. It is a great excuse for using the fireplace, drinking hot cocoa, and snuggling up on the couch (or a really good excuse to get some inside projects accomplished!).

The promise of the fresh newness of spring always brings the potential for dangerous weather! It never really seems real until you experience it. And even though tornadoes are not new to me, it was the first time I have personally experienced the effects- creating a whole new respect for Mother Nature.

It was strange. I didn’t even know bad weather was predicted until I started getting watches, and then warnings on my phone. Honestly, we get weather alerts so frequently that I don’t get too worried, but look forward to watching the wind blow and hearing the precipitation drum on the roof and tap on the windows. I love the distinct smell when rain is on the way and the change in the color of the clouds when they are about to release the moisture bursting to be free.  I love the rumbles of thunder, the magnificence of lightening, and that eerie feeling in the air when the pressure changes and Mother Nature puts on a spectacular show.

Tornadoes though…this was different.

As you’ve probably deduced, we had some nasty weather move through recently. There was that exhilarating rush of excitement as adrenaline coursed through my body. Quickly though, that excitement turned to fear. I’d been watching the warnings, as I lay in bed. But suddenly the large windows in my bedroom started to shake and clatter loudly as the wind howled and hail beat on the glass. A final warning: TORNADO – TAKE COVER NOW! I jumped from bed, throwing on my robe and trying to get our Labrador to follow me. (Note: if you want a dog to follow you in an emergency talk calmly. If you scream at him in terror he will hide, forcing you to carry him.) My husband was in the living room yelling something at me about a flashlight and he already had the kids running down the stairs to our safe room with our tiny mutt in tow. Screens were popping off of the windows and the drastic change in pressure pushed open the interior door into the garage.

Once we all got to safety, the hubs looked at me and asked where the flashlight was… “I have my phone…” I explained and then threw my kids under the bus, tattling that they had used up the batteries and lost/hidden the 20 or so flashlights we had. We all sat in the safe room, that doubles as a bathroom (thankful for that decision) but wondering why I hadn’t completed getting an emergency kit ready in that room! I thought that my kids would be freaking out but they couldn’t hear the storm so they were quite giggly. The dogs had calmed down and my husband kept peeking out the door, making the occasional step or two into the basement.  At one point, he returned with a concerned and a tiny bit terrified look on his face. He said he felt a pressure, or maybe wind, some kind of air rush into our home only to quickly suck back out…then we noticed the water in the toilet had drained itself… Freaky stuff here, people!!

When we thought the worst was done, he ventured out again stating that there was water pouring in my daughter’s ceiling through her floor and into the basement. We had a new insurance unapproved addition in our home that now had multiple Nature Made Water Features.  Ugh!!! After about 30 minutes of loud giggles, we were able to emerge from our refuge to start the clean up. We all worked together, so it went pretty quickly, and somehow we all actually got to sleep pretty easily. (Probably, because we laughed so hard we were exhausted.)

The next morning we awoke to a very large tree blocking our drive, shingles everywhere, and water in places we really would have preferred to keep dry. But, more importantly, we had new appreciation for our crazy Mid-MO weather, and a profound amount of thanks that our home was still standing and we were all safe.



Sports in our House

I often reflect on the busyness of my family’s schedule…this is the life we have chosen. Do I like being at home? Absolutely! And we do Sports Momthis, but I am an extremely social being, as are my kids; especially the younger two. My husband and I feel very strongly about teaching our children to have a healthy lifestyle: eat healthy, exercise, sleep, etc. We are both have a passion for watching and playing sports.  I love volleyball, basketball, and getting a good workout in the gym. He loves volleyball and baseball. We enjoy the feeling of stress being released as we strengthen our bodies and build relationships with teammates and friends. These are lessons I want my kids to learn. I want them to learn to take care of themselves; to work hard, to work as a team, to be dedicated, and find a passion that gives them confidence and joy.

My babies all do different activities based on their own unique personalities. So this mama does a lot of running. To us, it is worth it. We coach whatever we can and spend time practicing with them when we are at home. I have even tried to do some of the fancy dance twirls with my younger daughter. She gets a good laugh since I was clearly always a little bit more of a jock. Are there days I think we need to pare back on our constant schedule?Without a doubt. I am mindful and we step back as needed, but are certainly not perfect. Is this for every family?


But, I am beyond thankful for the opportunities for our kids to find something that drives them and this is just our thing. As long as they love it, I will love it with them because this time of having them with me every day will be gone before I know it. They will be leaving our house in the blink of an eye and I pray that they will have many fond memories, learned life lessons, and passions that drive them along the way.


Ba- Humbug!

bah-humbugThe last few months for our family have been quite crazy. Between sicknesses and surgeries (both of which brought this Mama down), I can’t seem to get caught up with anything. Not cool when this Type A, busybody has taken on quite a few extra commitments while spearheading a house full of furry and non-furry kids. I seem to be
running in circles putting out the proverbial fires and not making the time to plan- and if I do circumstances keep changing.

Have you ever had that feeling of everything being out of control and not knowing where to start, so you just …don’t.  Maybe if you sit on the couch and stare at the wall it will all just go away…

Add the holiday season on top of all that and you might find yourself sympathizing with Mr. Scrooge. There are gifts to be bought and wrapped, decorations to go up, food that needs to be made, cards to be sent, cookies and candy to prepare, travel and holiday plans to be made while watching the budget, your waistline, and keeping a great big fa-la-la-la-la smile on your face because the holidays are a happy time. It can be a lot to handle on top of the bills, laundry, grocery shopping, work, basketball, piano, school (plus extra programs), gymnastics, dance, etc. still have to happen…and remember to keep being happy!!

Can you breathe right now?  I think I need to go hyperventilate in a paper bag! Earlier this week I sat down with my crew for a little family meeting. I told them that, regarding Christmas decorations, the tree was up with minimal adornments and they might get plastic bags for stockings…and that’s all. While I have been running in circles, they have been leaving food, trash, clothes, toys and papers everywhere. Their laundry comes to me all balled up, sometimes wet from whatever water in which they decided to play, and is typically quite disgusting. I found 2 half full cups of milk that were a single chunk of coagulation- one of which was growing fruit flies. Dishes were in every room, and since I had not been able to get to the basement after my ankle surgery, they trashed it- including my things! Mom finally met her limit!

As we discussed why I didn’t even care if Christmas happened this year. We actually all connected. I went through my flaming list and they listened (possibly because their dad was staring them down). I told them that my favorite part of the day is picking them up from school because I have missed them all day. I look forward to their hugs, kisses, stories and songs. I loved having them home over Thanksgiving, and am so excited to have them home over Christmas…but, they have to do their part. When I explained my frustrations in a loving way (and believe me it was a firm loving way), they got my point. It wasn’t nagging, but saying it like it was, “I want to enjoy you, and I am not doing anything else that will create more work for me if you don’t do your part because you guys have been disgusting.”

While they have, for the last few days at least, been “doing their part” my perspective has shifted. My stance on their household participation has not changed, but how I choose to view it has. There very likely will not be anymore decorations put up, a few of my non-urgent commitments my have to wait a little bit, there may not be as many cookies and candies, the house may not meet my standards all of the time and the Christmas cards… well, we’ll just see.

But it will all be ok.  

The Earth will not quit spinning or open up and swallow me if I don’t get the Oreo balls made.  And if more decorations don’t get hung it is less I have to put away. Ultimately, stepping back from the life/holiday chaos and seeing if for what it is helped me gain perspective and will allow me to remember what is important. My  faith, my family, and my friends. My babies will be grown soon, and I would be broken to know I got too lost in the busy of this world and missed those precious moments with them and my husband. I am thankful for this lesson. Not just for me, but hopefully it will be passed on  to my sweeties so that they will be able to keep priorities in place and FEEL the love of their family, of their friends, of life, and of the true meaning of Christmas.  love-1415561__340

Smiles- Merry Christmas


Happy Mother’s Day!

Hey Ladies!!

Mother’s Day is just around the corner!  Here is a little deal to get 25% off personalized photo gifts for those special moms in your life! Check it out!!

We Love Mom Logo

Enjoy 25% off a photo gift!

Use code: LOVEMOMS



Coupon code expires: Sunday, May 15, 2016

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ID-9 for Mother’s Day!

Hey Ladies-

So, if I may, I will reflect a moment on a Mother’s Day gift I received. I am aScan0017-001 sucker for anything with my kids’ finger prints, hand prints, or pictures!  This year my son gave me this sweet picture with a poem, his finger prints and his picture!!

If that wasn’t good enough, the image that was used was from a product we give teachers to use for just such surprises. The product is called the ID-9. It is a page ID-9 Sample.inddcontaining 9 photos of varying sizes for the school to use for many reasons, including surprising Mom on Mother’s Day!!  I would have to say, I am thankful from a mother’s standpoint and a professional standpoint!!

Have an amazing day!
Summer Smiles

Happy Mother’s Day



To all you amazing women out there, Happy Mother’s Day!  Not just to those of you who have your own biological children, but to those who love, care for and nurture those around you , Happy Mother’s Day! To those who guide the next generation, and to those who guide those of us who are already adults, Happy Mother’s Day!  To those of you who provide the strong quiet backbone of your family, school, church, or workplace, Happy Mother’s Day!  To all of you incredible ladies that bring love and joy into this world, I wish you an amazing day in which you can delight in the knowledge that you are loved and appreciated.  Happy Mother’s Day!