Task Master

My lovely little lady is what I would call a dawdler. When given a list of tasks to complete, rather than doing them, she meanders around, get distracted or downright ignores them. It gets a bit frustrating – especially when we’re trying to get out the door.

I went online to find a cute chore chart that I could tailor to our schedule. I found these adorable and really reasonably priced magnets. I made up a little white board with WET Erase (genius. They don’t rub off!) notes and now when I need her to get it together to get to school, get ready to nap, get ready for bed, whatever – I simply ask her to help me find the magnets. We load up the board and she dashes off to finish her tasks and move the magnets. It’s amazing. There’s dramatically less arguing about getting down for a nap and we don’t forget things when we leave because we’re not in a rush.

I know it could use some creative touches…but it’s getting the job done for the moment!

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Cute pictures and words


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I bought the stars too for a reward. I haven’t decided yet what the stars are for or how many she gets until she gets something…but she is thrilled to get them and gets very serious when they get taken away so I’m sticking with this for now!

I bought these cuties from Cucumber Lime on Etsy (https://www.etsy.com/transaction/155939903?). They were a great price, nice quality and came super fast!

Just A Reminder

I had to chuckle when I opened a package from Amazon today. As if I didn’t remember I was on the slippery slope to 32…the contents of my order were a good reminder:


A second knee band because I’m now unable to run a 5k without pain in both knees…an elbow ice pack for the tennis elbow I’ve developed from lugging around a chunky 15 month old and sinus rinse. Holy. Moly. Add some Bengay and an AARP membership and I’ll meet you at Denny’s for the early bird discount.

Think It. Say It. Do It.

Think it. Say it. Do it. This is my plan for this year. These are the words I need to remember. To live by. To DO this year.

For years there has been something bubbling, churning and working in my brain and in my heart. I’m not 100% sure what it is. It’s a drive, a need, a passion but it’s fuzzy. There’s no definition. It’s like a magic eye picture and I can’t cross my eyes enough to get the full view. But it’s there and it’s stirring me into action. My problem is I don’t know what action to take, what to do or how to do it.

What I do know is that I’m on the right path. While the map doesn’t make sense, I somehow instinctively know I’m headed in the right direction. I know because in a conversation I had with a good friend a few weeks ago, the words that came out of my mouth made perfect sense despite the fact I hadn’t really thought them. The words came from somewhere other than my brain – somewhere that knows the answer but can’t clearly communicate it. My heart? My gut? I don’t know. All I know is that when I said this, the picture became a little clearer:

“I need to have more confidence in my writing. I have ideas all the time, but I don’t commit them to paper because I can’t quite make it all come together. And then I will read it somewhere written by someone else. Exactly what I was thinking about! They were able to put into a cleverly written prose what I didn’t. It’s not that I couldn’t, it’s that I didn’t. I need to let others be the judge and get out of my own head”.

So I’m in. I’m going to put one foot in front of the other no matter how many things are on my plate. No matter how tired I am. No matter who has what going on that is more important, pressing or time consuming. I’m going to start finding the answers I need to get to where I want to be. Where is that? I’m not totally sure. But I’m going to find out and I’m going to enjoy the ride getting there.

Seemed Like a Good Idea

A walk in shower seemed like such a good idea…until this guy.

mac shower

“Oh heeeey! I didn’t know you were showering. That’s cool. I love water. Like really love water. In any form. Like the water on the glass. Or by the drain. Or on your leg. Do you want me to lick that off for you? Cause I’d be happy to. With or without your permission is fine with me. I also love soap so if you have any of that, I can take it off your hands for you. Just say the word. I’ll be right here”.

Enough Already

If I read one more post, article or link about how to slow down, cut back on the to do list and or enjoy life, I’m going to punch someone.

No really.

Telling me to forget those dishes, stop running errands and don’t sign my kids up for activities is not only pointless, it’s down right mean. So my kids are going to be deprived of swim lessons, play dates and visits to the museum because it’s a lot of work? I should let the dishes, laundry and other housework pile up in the name of bonding time? How can I work more “efficiently” at my job in order to avoid having to multitask?

Also, these people clearly do not have a “spirited” four year old whom they stay home with who has ideas of her own and she. will. get. her. way. No matter how severe the consequences. So yes, while sitting down and spending time together is a good thing, there are days where if she doesn’t go to swim lessons, I might run out the door an never come back.

I get it. I do. I see the point these articles and posts are trying to make and in general, I agree. I do think there are limits on the day and what can get done – but while the message is clear, the call to action (or non action) is ridiculous. Show me a mom who is not stressed, worried or overwhelmed in some form and I’ll show you a mom who is not paying enough attention to her life. I’m not saying it’s healthy, I’m just saying it’s part of the gig. Learning how to not just survive but thrive is essential to make the most of your life and your kid’s lives. Quite time, unstructured time and alone time are all great, but they are only part of a fulfilling life. Getting kids dressed and out the door to church is annoying, but essential. Loading up for tennis lessons, t-ball games and riding lessons is difficult, but it provides the enrichment we all need. And let’s not forget our jobs. Fun as they are, they are necessary not only to provide for our families, pay for college and groceries.

So unless you’ve got a technique that will teach me how to thrive on 4 hours of sleep (how does Martha do it?!), spare me your warm and fuzzies. I’ve got work to do, children to raise and laundry to be folded.

Let ’em Go!

Baylor is in that phase where she’s ready to do some things on her own and it’s hard to let her. The pastor at our church has been calling all the kids at mass to the alter to sit and talk about the Gospel each week. So when he called for the kids, I shoved her out of the pew to run up. It turns out, they were instead taking all the kids over to the school to do a more kid focused hommily – something B has never done before. I raced to the back of church ready to escort her back to our seats after I explained where they were going. She looked at me with a confused look, shrugged her shoulders and said “I don’t mind!” and followed the herd. She returned happy, unscathed and I think more educated on the readings of the week.

I know I sound like a helicopter mom and in some ways I’m sure that I am, but it’s not a safe world. There are bad people and bad things and I couldn’t live with myself if I knew I let her walk into an unsafe situation – even unknowingly. The quote about having children means you understand what it’s like to have your heart walk around outside your body has never been truer…I’m taking deep breaths. I’m talking with her about what is appropriate and not appropriate when mommy is not there to help her judge. I’m giving her the skills to be able to go out into the world and be safe…I’m drinking lots of wine just thinking about it.

Dear God…what am I going to do when she’s driving?!

Peter the Carpenter

The carpenter is at it again…after visiting with friends who had made a wooden snowman family, PW was hooked. He couldn’t stop talking about, planning and designing his own snowman family. And once he start cutting, we didn’t see him for the rest of the weekend until it was done.

To be honest, I did not see his vision. It wasn’t until I was pulled from my nice warm bed to the cold patio to see his final creations that I got it. And they really did come out pretty cute!

I think Auggie’s top hat is my favorite!

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Amok Amok Amok

Monday afternoon I was busy in the kitchen throwing things in the slow cooker, making a week’s worth of smoothies for us and for Bay, whipping up Auggie purees and hard boiling eggs – pretty much anything that would keep us fed with something other than frozen pizza for the week. Baylor protested napping and Auggie woke up early from his so I banished asked them to play outside for awhile while I finished. For about an hour and a half, they wandered, played, whined, played some more and then finally got settled into a game they made up. Everyone played nicely and complaints turned to giggles and belly laughs.

The entire time I was having pangs of guilt for not being outside with them. It was like the devil on my shoulder was telling me that I was a horrible mom for not playing with my kids. I tried to convince myself too that we played by ourselves all the time as kids and we loved it! Peter has told me the stories of how he and his buddies would “hunt snakes” with the pool cleaning equipment in the desert for hours as kids. And he’s a fancy lawyer so it can’t be all bad, right?

That night I read this article on someone’s FaceBook page. It makes a great argument for letting your kids get bored. It talks about how bordem, unstructured playtime and the freedom to run amok teaches kids how to problem solve. How to make their own fun and how to be self motivated. It makes a great point that at some point in life, no one will be there to tell them what to do or how to do it. Playing alone now will start to give them the tools to think outside the box and learn to fix their own problems.

I used to spend hours in the yard, the trees and roaming our neighborhood. I had tree houses, forts, made mud pies, tied the dog to the wagon and made him pull us, dressed up the cat, and had Olympic events with our friends. I’m not sure if it made me a better person, but it did make me an excellent mud pie chef.

So as long as I’m making healthy, delicious meals, I won’t feel guilty. And I’ll feel just a little guilty when it’s for Real Housewives and Nutella on graham crackers.

Happiest of New Years

We’re old. We know it. When people in your house refuse to A. Sleep more than 4-5 consecutive hours and B. Don’t sleep past 6am it makes staying up really late just seem like punishment. So we’ve implemented the cozy, kid friendly version of New Year’s Eve. And I have to say, it’s a lot of fun. This year while Peter’s Philo wrapped Beef Wellington cooked on the grill, we made s’mores with the kids. After Auggie went to bed, we took our homemade noisemakers of pots and wooden spoons out to ring in the Icelandic New Year around 8pm with Baylor. And finally we watched a really dumb movie, drank a lot of good wine and dug into Peter’s amazing dinner. We kissed the New York New Year and promptly went to bed. We kissed the Arizona New Year only because the fireworks from the W were so freaking loud, you would have thought they were shooting them from our back yard!

fire flowers

The first batch…


It might come as a shock – but Auggie loves s’mores

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Wishful thinking Mackie boy


Auggie likes to dance. Auggie dances when he’s happy and when he wants something. Dancing for s’mores takes his dance skills to a whole new level.auggie dancw