Friday, December 30, 2011

fun craft

Milk in a cake pan, food coloring, and dishsoap =

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Elana May

I feel like I haven't posted any pictures of Elana for awhile, so I'm going to remedy that right now.

Friday, December 23, 2011

fun chores

I don't think I have mopped the kitchen floor since Elana was born, since it's kind of hard to mop with the kids around. So, I decided to mop with the kids.

With the help of baby bubble bath and two willing helpers,

the floor is nice in clean. For a few minutes, at least.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

deep convo's

Here is my latest attempt at making the gospel real for Leah:

-"Mommy, you and daddy woke me up last year!" (everything is last year)
- "Oh, I'm sorry. Did that make you sad?"
- "No, it made me angry!"
- "I'm sorry it made you angry, can you forgive me?"
- "Yes, but you woke me up!"
- "yeah... i know I woke you up, but I said I was sorry, and you said you forgave me. Do you know why we have to forgive others?"
- "Because you woke me up!"
- "No, its because God forgives us whenever we sin, right?"
- "NO, you woke me up!"
- "Yes, I know that... but we are talking about what Jesus did for us. He died on the cross for our sins, right? So now we can forgive others. "
- "Jesus didn't wake me up, you woke me up!"
- "your right. I'm sorry."
- "yeah... you woke me up."

I let it go after that. One track mind.....


Her name is kind of legible, right?

Sunday, December 18, 2011


The big day has arrived. I was really really worried that I had built up all these expectations, and they would all be dashed, but the Magic Kingdom did not fail us. We had a fantastic time. Leah was in absolute heaven the whole time we were there, and I think Elias enjoyed it as well.

Every time there was a parade, or a show, Elias wanted to get out of his stroller to dance.

There are a lot of parades and shows at disney, so this happened a lot. I think we came at the perfect time of year. The weather was perfect, and the crowds were not too too bad. The longest we had to wait in line was about 20 minutes.

Elana was in my Moby wrap almost the whole time, so she was able to go on all the rides with me. I use the term "ride" very loosely. We didn't do Space Mountain or anything like that.

We rode on the massive carousel, and they all loved that.

We spun around on the teacups,

(I swear Eli was a lot happier than he looks right now)

We rode on the pirates of the Caribbean ride, which was probably a little bit too scary for them. But Tony and I enjoyed that one :). We also flew through neverland, and we Tony and Leah rode on the Dumbo ride.

I think the most fun we had was on the river safari ride. None of the animals were real, but they looked really really good, and leah didn't know the difference. At one point we were surrounded by about 30 elephants, and she was absolutely freaking out. "Mommy there's a baby elephant, and a daddy elephant! and Baby Dumbo! and Big Dumbo!"

We also watched a couple of shows, danced and twirled on the street, and got some pictures with our favorite characters.

But the highlight for Leah was meeting some of the princesses. There was such a long line to meet all of them, and at first there was no way I was going to stand in line to meet someone dressed up like a princess. But then I realized that to Leah, this WAS a princess. She literally thinks that its the real cinderella, and the real Belle, and the real Sleeping Beauty, and she could not have been more excited to see them.

The day was fun and exhausting. Just as a side note, I remember going to six flags as a family, and my dad would take me, Zach, and Katie and would do all the big roller coaster. I have no idea what my mom did with the other 3 all day, but I realize now that it was probably not easy.

Anywho, we had a great time! I can't wait to come back in a couple of years when our kids are older :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Orlando, days 3 and 4

Okay , so I had a nice long post written, but for some reason it didn't get saved. The long and short of it is that on wednesday we went to the zoo, and on thursday after Tony got off work we went to downtown disney. A good time was had by all. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Orlando, day 2

On our second day there (tuesday) I decided to take the kids to the Orlando Science Center. We had a blast! They had a little kids section called "Kids town".

I like this picture because it seems like I made it purposefully blurry, to be all artsy and stuff. I didn't. It's just blurry.

They had a great time splashing in the water, 

playing with all the musical instruments

Running through the "streets"

And playing in the spaceships, among many other things. 

You might be wondering where Elana is during all this fun. Well, she is in my moby wrap. She loves that thing so much, and it's great! 

The hardest part of these outings was getting from the hotel room to the van and vice versa, but once were actually at our locations, things went surprisingly well. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Orlando, part 1

So this past week Tony had to go to Orlando for work, and after much deliberation and trepidation, we (the kids and myself) decided we would go with him. Kinda crazy, I know, but we had a pretty great time.

Now, what to do all day, by yourself, in Orlando with 3 kids 3 and under, one of whom nurses every 2 hours? The obvious answer to that is Disney World, but as it turns out, Disney world is a little pricey, and I'm just not sure going to disney by myself with them would be worth it. Not to mention it would be exhausting. So we decided we would go to disney on Friday, because Tony could come with us, and the rest of the time I came up with fun "alternative" outings because there is no way I am spending 4 days in a hotel room by myself with 3 kids. (just a pet peeve side note, when I google "fun free things to do in orlando with kids", why are the suggestions things like: go to the beach??? The beach is 2 hours away!!!! I want things to do in Orlando.... like in the city!!!! Not some natural spring halfway across the state! Moving on..... )

Before now, I was pretty much terrified of going anywhere by myself with all 3 them. All the worst case scenarios kept going through my mind: "what if Leah decides to melt down, and Elias starts throwing a tantrum, and the baby starts screaming and I'm all by myself.... what do I do?? What is Leah needs to go to the bathroom, and Elias runs away, and Leah pees on herself, and the Elana throws up everywhere, and then Elias has a dirty diaper..... what do I do???"

Well, by 10:00 monday morning I knew I had to at least try, cause the hotel room just wasn't cutting it. Our day 1 outing was to a pretty little lake and park near our hotel room.

We played on the playground,

climbed trees,

went for a walk

played by the lake

and walked out on the dock to look for alligators. We didn't see any alligators.

But I did realize that being on the dock with two kids while wearing your newborn was probably not the smartest move.

So we left the dock pretty quickly. On a side note, when we left the dock there were thousands of black birds in the trees behind us. It was kind of scary.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Day in the life of a sinner saved by grace

*So first off, let me say I am totally copying this idea from the really popular blog, The words and everything are mine, but I definetely got the inspiration and format from her recent post.

Here is an example of a day in the life of me.... Keep in mind that all of these times are just general gestimations, not an actual schedule.

6:00- Elana wakes up again. I pick her up, start to nurse her, and promptly fall back asleep.

7:00- Leah starts yelling MOMMY!!!!!!!!!!!  At this point, if Tony has not gone to work yet (on days that he works out he leaves at 6:30) he will go in at get Leah. On other days I get her.

7:02- Leah and I go into the living room. I turn on Curious George (love me some GPB), and I silently thank God that Elias is still asleep.

7:03- Elias wakes up. I get him, hold him for a few minutes, then put him down and he watches George with Leah.

7:04- I make some coffee and start making breakfast. I cut up onions, green peppers, and start scrambling some eggs. I think to myself "man.... look at me making such an awesome breakfast for my family. I'm a great mom. I feel bad for all those poor kids who eat poptarts for breakfast."

7:05- I remember that yesterday I fed them goldfish and craisins for breakfast, and I quickly repent for my arrogance.

7:30- Breakfast is ready, George is over. We eat.

8:00- Elana wakes up. I feed her. Elias and Leah play in the playroom.

8:10- For the next 45 minutes or so, we go from room to room, getting each kid (and myself) dressed and do quick clean up of the bedrooms. By the time we leave the bedrooms, they are messy again. Very productive. But at least we are dressed!

9:00- Elias and Elana are both super cranky. I don't know why Eli is cranky every morning at this time. He just is. The next 30 minutes are spent holding them and hoping Leah is not destroying things.

9:30- Elana is asleep. Elias is happier. During this time Leah has gone into my bathroom and has put makeup on. "I'm beautiful!" she says. She looks ridiculous, and I leave it on her all day. It's funny, don't judge me.

9:30-10:30- During this time, we usually read books, do puzzles, paint, color, listen to music and dance, among other things. If Elias is happy and playing nicely by himself, Leah and I might do a little craft, or work on numbers and letters. If it's pretty, we go outside. I try to sneak off and get a few minutes to myself now and then. My "alone time" usually lasts about 30 seconds until they come careening down the hallway to find me. As Leah says "mommies don't need privacy."

10:30- Snack time. The kids eat something generally healthy like apples or bananas. Maybe some cheese and raisins. I eat nutella bread. It's not fair, I know.

10:35- Elana wakes up again. I feed her while the others eat. After she eats she is usually awake for a while. She is either happy and sitting in the swing, or she is not happy, and I hold her in my Moby wrap. Both good.

10:45- 11:30- This is kids play by themselves, (either voluntarily or forced), and I make lunch and try to pick up a little time. Also known as kids destroy one area of the house while I clean up another. Seems counterproductive....

11:30- Lunch time!

11:45- Lunch is over. Kids play by themselves for a few minutes and I clean the kitchen. Leah sometimes "helps" me sweep and Elias likes to climb in the dishwasher.

12:00- We all clean up the playroom. We don't do this every day. Okay, so we hardly ever do this, but it seems like a good idea. Maybe I will start doing this more.

12:10- 1:00- Elana is sleeping. We read books, play together a little more. I put Elias down and I spend some time reading "big girl books" with Leah. I put Leah down.

1:00- 3:00 ish: NAP TIME!!!!!!!!! I spend this time diligently cleaning, preparing for the rest of the day, organizing and decorating. HAH.... thats totally not true. I clean up quite a bit, but I try to actually relax during this time, watch some netflix, and unwind. I feed elana at some point during this time, and then she usually stays up for about an hour or so, then goes back to sleep. Gotta love it when newborns sleep 18 plus hours a day.

3:30- Leah starts yelling "Mommy, I want to wake up!".  I yell back "Well then get up!"

3:32- Elias wakes up. I go in a get him. He usually has a dirty diaper, and Leah says "yuck! Eli stinks... change him mommy!". Naturally, because I'm a great mom like that, I change his diaper. We spend a couple of minutes getting everyone dressed.

3:38- snack time!

4:00- If it's not raining,  and If I feel like it, we go outside. I'm usually wearing Elana at this point. I don't know if I will ever be in shape again, but I'm telling you I'm going to have an amazingly strong back (because of the babywearing, not because I'm obsessively working out my back. That would be weird.) Just an fyi, we really really love playing outside. Life is better when we can play outside.

If we can't go out, then we usually paint, play with play-doh, or try to do some sort of craft (usually involving paint or play-doh. Sometimes we paint play-doh). Leah likes to paint random things, like pinecombs, and acorns, and boxes, and her clothes, and Eli. She will find something in the house, like my phone, or a book, and say "Mommy I paint this and make it BeaUtiful!" Sometimes I am too absorbed in something super important (like facebook) and I'll just say "okay, sounds good". Then she paints it. (Elias and I read a few books together, do puzzles, and he plays with his toys and Elana is usually super happy around this time).

Leah usually melts down several times between now and bedtime. Only when seriously provoked, though, like if her sock doesn't fit right, or if Elias drinks her apple juice. I patiently and gently spend several minutes with her during each meltdown, disciplining her appropriately with no anger or frustration and refocusing her heart on Christ. All right, maybe not every time..... and even if I do, in the back of my mind is the thought "wow, I nailed that one. I'm pretty awesome. Good thing she has me as a  mom!" The blood of Christ has to redeem my good parenting as well as my bad parenting. Pretty humbling.

I start telling Leah "That's a great idea! I'll bet your daddy would love to do that with you when he gets home!" every time she asks me to do something.

4:30 ish- Tony gets home anywhere between 4:00 and 5:30. It just depends on what time he leaves in the morning. I leave one, two or all three of them with him while I take an actual walk. (Since I don't have a triple stroller, and since Leah can't walk very fast it's impossible for me to take all three of them. I am hoping that Leah will learn how to ride a tricycle soon and we can all go together. )

5:00- The kids and Tony play outside. I feed Elana again and start making dinner.

5:30- Depending on how they are acting, and how tired we are, they watch TV from now till dinner. Usually curious George, or a part of a disney movie.

6:00- We sit down to eat. Elana starts crying literally the moment I pick up my fork. Seriously, it never fails. I'm just about spent at this point. It's becoming incredibly hard for me to be patient (because before it was a breeze).

6:15- Tony does dishes and I give the kids a bath. Or vice versa. Or I just decide that I don't feel like giving them a bath, and I let them watch a little bit more TV instead. It usually depends on how much TV they have watched until now. I try to keep their TV viewing to less than 1 hour a day. Doesn't always happen.

6:45- Kids are dressed for bed. Elana decides she only wants to held. We let Eli and leah run around in circles for a while. Leah like to yell "I'm gonna beat after my buddy!" while chasing him around the room. I have no idea what this means, or why she started saying it. Sometimes she knocks him down "accidentally on purpose" but thankfully she is not doing that much anymore.

7:00- I read a few books to Elias, right now his favorites are "Mr. Brown can moo", and "sleepyhead", sing a few songs, give him milk and put him to bed.

7:15- We read a few books to Leah. Tony reads her a story from the Jesus storybook bible.

7:30- Leah goes to bed. I sing "baby mine" and Jesus Loves Me, and we both pray with her.

7:35- Party Time!!!!!!!!!!!

I was going to write more, but this is ridiculously long and I highly doubt anyone will actually read it to the end. It's probably the most I have ever written in 4 years. And it took me about a week to write it. Sad.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Playing together

Life is a whole lot easier when Leah and Elias get along and play well together. Life is also a whole lot easier when we can play outside.

Leah loves hanging and swinging on the bar and rings.

Elias is learning how to sit on a swing like a big boy!

Elana usually sleeps through all the fun :)