just me and ella...i must remember this.

i won't have someone talking at me 24/7
she'll be at school like her brothers.
but for now.
for another year or so, i get to hang out with this really funny, sassy, opinionated little lady all the time.
she does go to preschool a few days a week, but we still have so much time together.
just me and ella.
as each day passes i learn more about her and who she's meant to be.
i like her.
and she worries me.
i guess thats motherhood.



just give up.

we have weak teeth in my family.
 my kids have them too.
those lucky little rascals....
so when we have to get fillings, we've started a bit of a comforting tradition to let the "victim" choose the jello flavor that i make for the after party.
i always say no to the idea of "rainbow" for obvious reasons.
too much work.
but this time i couldn't resist my middle child's sparkly baby blues as he asks for it.
i tried to follow a recipe...
i think it was this one?
but it wasn't working for me
and i am just one of those people that starts out an idea and then just ditches it if its getting to be a pain.
i just find an easier way.
and I'm not that picky about perfection.

i basically just made all the colors of jello and then, in its floppy jelly form layered it into jars in between layers of cool whip.
i am sure there are ways to make it all perfect and smooth on each layer.
but i am not really interested in that kind of waiting and work.

honestly, this did the trick.
don't over think it, people.
this is shauna reed saying,
"sometimes you need to just give up and do it the easy way"

oh gosh, don't faint.
you know its true.
look how much my kids loved the easy way....



"i'm different than other children"

this is actually NOT ella and i....it's my mom and i

"i'm different than other children"

my mother told me she remembered thinking this thought as a child.
she thought she spent more time thinking deep thoughts than others.
and it turned into a way i'd sometimes tease her when i was a teenager.
she'd tell me what she thought about something and, if it seemed a little crazy to me, i'd quote her "i'm different" speech.
it bugged her.
in a good way.
in a way that'd make her laugh and punch my arm.

but now...of course...i think a lot about that speech.
i sometimes think, "i'm different than other mothers"
not like better....
just different.
there's this thing, this feeling, that most seem to have toward their kids.
it's an understood connection between most moms.
something that i don't have.

it's like like this...
"don't grow up! stay small and just as you are forever!"
now, i'm not saying i don't get this.
in fact, if i sit here and really think about never having a tiny baby again or never helping another child wiggle their first tooth again or never having them grab one finger with their tiny baby grip, i can freak myself out.

but, i do feel like i lack that thing that connects everyone else.
that, "noooooo!" feeling as i leave behind phases of baby and child hood.
i've thought about all of this a lot.
and, being me, tried to figure out why i am how i am.
i thought maybe it's because my kids are all pretty close in age and as one is phasing out of a stage the other is just getting started?
i thought it might still be coming and maybe your youngest has to be in kindergarten for it to happen?
i thought i might be heartless and stupid?
i thought i might be too eager for the next thing?

but this is what i really think it comes down to.
it is really hard for me to imagine getting to my fifties.
not in like a morbid, doomsday way.
in a practical, just a "needing a mental picture and example that is close to me so i can imagine it" way.

so, there is this part of me that i think just tries to raise my kids the very best i can with this unspoken attitude of "i better just enjoy what i can and do what i can for my kids since i'm outta here by 47...".
each new phase is one step closer to them being able to be ok with out me?
each lesson learned is a box checked off?
each year older is me taking sigh a relief that i'm still here with them?
each milestone passed is one that i got to see and be their mother for?

i'm not saying this is healthy.
i'm just sorting myself out here.

so because of all this particular craziness in my head, i think opposite "than other mothers".
not right there in the front of my mind, but somewhere back there underneath the brokeness and pain.
i think...grow big and strong.
i think...soak up everything i can help you with.
i think...don't ever forget my love for you.
i think...learn to help each other and remember that someday you will need each other, when i'm gone.
i think...i want to build a wall of protection around you to shield you from loss.

and, like most personal issues that i deal with, it all comes down to faith.
do i have faith in God's ways over my ideas?
do i really think that i can manage myself and my family so that, heaven forbid, i leave them early, it wouldn't hurt them as bad as it hurt my family when we lost our mother?
do i really want to wish away anything if it is part of god's allowance to mold my favorite people, his beloved children into men and women that please him?

so, there's some food for thought for you today....
and if, by chance, next time we are having lunch or hanging out at the park, i look at you with a blank stare when you want to exclaim about how you want your kids to be babies forever....you'll know that i'm not being a jerk, it's just that "i'm not like other children"... and you can just pat me on my little confused head.



ty. my seven year old.

seven long years ago this sweet boy came into this world screaming.
we both were.

he was face up and it was so incredibly painful 
(isn't that always the way?)
and he had this strange "lady" cry that nurses thought sounded like another woman in labor.

yes, on may 12, 2005 i delivered my second born son.
but this year on may12th i helped wiggle teeth.
his first one to be loose! 
(late bloomer)

and i helped staple little notes and smarties to packs of scooby snacks for 35 children.
...and by helped i mean pretty much did it myself.

i amazed myself 
(and ty too, i guess)
 by making these little ninjago cupcakes for ty's dojo "ninja night" that just happened to fall on his birthday eve.

i let him pick what he wanted to do on his birthday and went along when he chose the pool.

i made buttermilk strawberry waffles with fresh cream and sausage on the side for his dinner choice.

and i cheered for him as he got his grandpa to try out the water bombs that he gave him for his birthday.

his grandpa had no mercy.
he didn't with me either, if i remember correctly.
i have visions of him cramming snow in my snow suit when i tried to throw a snow ball at him as a kid.
that crazy fella...

but man, ty was in little 7 year old boy heaven!

and then, since he was sorta wound up during dinner and could barely finish his special meal that he'd picked, he was hungry at 10pm...and so were the others.
so even though a huge "mommyish" part of me wanted to say 
"no guys, stay in bed.  its late and we've had a long day"
 the birthday voice told me different.
so, with all the lights off, and just a flashlight to guide us, we snuck downstairs for cinnamon toast and chocolate milk in the dark.

and it sure beat pushing that kid out seven years ago.



girl trip with my best girl.

ella and i love the to visit some of our favorite friends, the proutys, but they live a few hours away.
so we don't go as often as we'd like.
but a few weekends ago we went up for a sleepover!
so lucky, i know.
and on top of that joy was doing a little vintage sale....
so that wasn't too hard for me to participate in, either.
so, donuts, babies, swings, lemonade stands, snuggles, lots of vintage seekers, a bed all to myself, chickens, and lots of love...
here is our trip in pictures.