Saturday, December 31, 2016

10 o'clock nachos

Well hello me,

A potentially impending cold and the normal tiredness of post-kid bedtimes nearly prevented me from sitting down to type out a year end blog to myself and my tens of readers, but some prayer and a glorious plate of 10 o'clock nachos have re-inspired me toward a little reflection. 

It's been quite the year. I have THREE tiny humans now. I'm not sure how this happened entirely (I have some idea). I mostly can't believe I'm responsible for THREE tiny humans! I feel like the person who is truly qualified to be in charge will show up at any moment now. But I'm doing my best in the meantime, trying to veil my subtle naughty words muttered under my breath at various points in a day when given a one way ticket to crazy town courtesy of the aforementioned children. I really don't think I swore until I had children.

Actually, I do distinctly remember one time being maybe 10 years old, crouched next to a car in the neighborhood I grew up in saying all of the cuss words I could think of, along with my friends. We were the coolest. And I was super rebellious. Also, I knew a LOT of cuss words. My father invented roughly 98% of the current swear vernacular as I understand it. #proudheritage

I hope hashtags are still a thing in 2017 because I am awesome at (my version of) them.

I am quite thankful for 2016. My husband continues to be phenomenal and handsome and phenomenally handsome, as well as an incredibly kind and loving partner in marriage and parenting. I could not begin to imagine being married to a man better suited to me. Jesus is so kind to us. Almost 9 years now of getting to wake up next to this man! Or, more accurately as of late, getting to wake up 2 hours after this man wakes up and tends to our 8,000 children. I read the title of an article that talked about women needing LOTS of sleep, so I am currently participating in a self-induced sleep study to see if it's true. I love science.

When I'm not riding the train to crazy town, I sit in awe of the three amazing individuals who call me "mama." (Claire says the sound "ma-ma" sometimes so this counts). 

I love how Emma's imagination can steal her away for hours to play with her stuffed animals, to put on special shows for us, or dance with the grace and elegance that has obviously been genetically gifted to her from her mother. Homeschooling for Kindergarten this year regularly makes me want to extract my own teeth, and yet I have to celebrate the wins of watching her proudly write out all of the words she can spell on her own, count by 5's and 10's, master whatever new concept I've pulled from Pinterest that day, and of course recite the entire Chinese dictionary by memory. We also pray that 2017 is the year that she successfully eats her first peanut, and then her first 25 peanuts, and then is able to eat without fear for the rest of her life! It is incredible to watch her go through this immunotherapy process. I look forward to signing up for an Amazon subscription for reeses. #healthyhabits

Ben (aka Bennyboo) regularly swallows me up in his big brown eyes and threatens to never let go. Also, his love language is totally physical touch, so he literally threatens to never let go for hours of the day each and every single day. I love his sweet snuggles and that he twirls my hair in his little man child hands. I also love getting laundry done and dinner made, so we have to compromise somewhere. He feels things very deeply and is doing a beautiful job of finding alternate ways of communicating those feelings other than via deafening screams. We all appreciate this. He loves superheroes, coming "to the rescue!," drawing, building, and determining what is and isn't scary in life. For the record, everything is scary. Except for hot chocolate and snuggling for 8 hours of the day.

One of the best things in life is getting to watch the way Ben and Emma play together. It is sweet and creative and cooperative roughly 97% of the time. The other 3% of the time mama cries in the bathroom and they are handed Kindles and told to not speak a word for the next 4 hours. I think this adds some structure to our days. Schedules are good you guys. 

Our tiniest little almost 10 month old Clairebear is the sweetest baby we could imagine. She thinks we are the funniest, most delightful people, and we cannot argue with her on this! She has resolved to learn to crawl by age 2 and get her first tooth by age 4. She realized at around three months old that she would never have her own baby book and thus these major milestones would only be loosely recorded via Facebook, so she doesn't have much motivation...

She has sleep trained me to her liking, which involves us interacting multiple times a night and is not at all conducive to the sleep study I created, but I don't birth sleepers you guys. I birth kids with a good sense of humor and awesome dance skills. 

I have no specific list of resolutions for 2017. My husband launched his personal training business this week which means I have to know what Lululemon is and not talk about eating nachos at 10pm...

I saw a friend post on Facebook today her intention toward gratefulness for this next year. When met with disappointment, call out an area of gratefulness to counter it. Like when my son was screaming at the bathroom door this morning while I was getting ready and I gritted my teeth and said, "Thank you Jesus for my children." 

I daily need Jesus to show me how to love these children well. They are so consistent at revealing their brokenness, and unfortunately uncovering mine as well in the process (highly inconvenient). They are miraculous and incredible and fascinating, and desperately need a savior just as much as I do.

I pray for boldness for myself in the new year. Our world is a pretty scary place depending on how you look at it (I guess Ben is right after all). You don't have to look far to find fear inducing news. I pray for the boldness to have hope in the face of such intimidation. I don't want to dismiss the global realities or grow numb to the tragedies, but I want the boldness to retain hope and offer it in whatever way I can to those around me. I pray to have eyes that see what's truly beautiful and to be an example to my kids of loving and serving well. I have a hundred other lofty ideals I pray over this next year. I know I can't accomplish any of them on my own. I'm mostly focused on keeping my kids reasonably bathed and my crockpot visible to give my kitchen the appearance of meal planning

I am thankful that 2017 will greet me with the same sufficient grace and strength to get through the year as I found at the beginning of 2016.

1 Thessalonians 5:24 "He who calls you is faithful..."

Friday, December 16, 2016

Bunny band-aids and shot doctors

After my husband kindly defrosted the van doors last Wednesday morning, he left for work and I set off for Bellevue with my 3 tiny humans and approximately 98% of our house in tow (mostly in the form of toys and snacks). We were headed to another peanut Oral Immunotherapy appointment, this one lasting five and a half hours. We began with the dose Emma had been at for the last week (.06g of crushed peanut) and sailed through four or five doses throughout the course of the day. I texted my husband at one point with a celebratory, "3 doses away from a whole peanut!"



We finished the last dose of .30g of crushed peanut and she began complaining of a stomach ache. I didn't think too much of it, hoping it would subside quickly. It continued and then she developed a dry cough. She has that occasionally so I wasn't too alarmed. When her breathing became increasingly wheezy however I knew she was officially reacting to the dose. The nurses came calmly and said they'd need to use some epinephrine. I couldn't quite wrap my brain around what was happening because I didn't know what this would look like, I only flashed back to conversations with my kids in the van on the way to the doctor when my three year old son wanted to be CERTAIN that this doctor was not a "shot" doctor.

"No shots today buddy, don't worry."

Fast forward to three nurses plus myself restraining my crying 5 year old on the floor to get a small needle of epinephrine inserted into her arm.

The good news is that the process was complete in a matter of seconds, the staff was prepared and handled everything so well, and the reaction ceased quickly. Emma was given a makeshift bunny band-aid by our nurse Shannon, which she thinks is the coolest thing ever. She refuses to take it off even two days later (this will only become problematic when our quarterly bath time rolls around again).

Emma was up and playing with Ben soon after as if nothing had happened. And Ben appeared to not be too terribly scarred for life by it all (he's more concerned with monsters and some creeper named Santa Claus coming into his house). They kept us for a while for observation and sent us home with a reduced dose for the week. We're two days into dosing at home and aside from some stress dreams of me having to epi my daughter, dosing has gone beautifully. SO thankful!

I am hopeful for what's ahead and amazed every day when I look down into this cup and have hope that my daughter can live a life without fear of what a simple bite of food might mean for her.

We're coming for you Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Aw nuts

When our 5 year old daughter Emma was six months old I received a phone call that changed everything about the way we would raise her. We learned she had a potentially life threatening peanut allergy after some tests were run in attempts of figuring out the cause of her eczema. I think it took us years to actually process this information in its fullness. We didn't have any allergies or know anyone with peanut allergies. And how could Halloween be complete without Reeses peanut butter cups?! I implore you. 

We've become quite skilled at carrying "safe" foods for her wherever we go and reading food labels obsessively. She has handled it all beautifully, never complaining or showing any signs of food related anxiety. I've gotten used to checking her face after meals just to be sure no signs of a reaction are evident. She's never ingested peanuts as far as we know, but has broken out in hives after eating hummus (she has a garlic allergy as well), and had an itchy throat after eating raw snap peas (we now know she has a pea allergy as well). 

I had heard of a treatment called Oral Immunotherapy from some Facebook message boards and I always dreamed that perhaps someday we could pursue it for her. Being a mama is filled with enough concern without adding in the wild card that your child could accidentally take a bite of the wrong kind of food and it could end their life. 

I prayed that an opportunity would open up close to where we live to pursue OIT. I decided to call a place 3+ hours away from us and at least set up a consultation and see what happened. Thankfully we never had to make that drive (people drive and fly many miles to pursue this treatment) because when I called, the girl I talked to said they were opening an office near Seattle! I was beyond thrilled. I didn't think we would get in until 2017 because of existing patients who would obtain first priority, but I received a call a week before we were set to trek down to the farther location, asking if we'd like to come in the next day to the new office on its opening day! 

Our Emma has now been ingesting an incredibly small amount of peanut every day for over 2 months! We began at .1mg of peanut and we are now up to 20mg and will return tomorrow for another updose. When we reach 100mg we switch from a peanut powder cellulose mix to actual ground peanut. Mind blowing. 

Our appointments are usually weekly and consist of the (amazing) staff mixing her peanut powder with applesauce, dosing her, and then waiting for 20 minutes to see how her body responds. We've ended our updose appointments for reasons like itchy skin, slightly elevated blood pressure, and a small hive on her cheek. There's no set schedule for each patient, it's completely dependent on how each person responds, which I so appreciate. Emma LOVES going to her appointments, partly because she gets to be spoon fed applesauce (like royalty), and also they have Shopkins in their stash of toys there. Jackpot. 

We do her peanut dose at home every day at 3 o'clock and she's supposed to observe a "calm time" as we call it for 2 hours prior and 2 hours post dose. She's done beautifully with it so far. 

She's attending a one day a week co-op this year for Kindergarten while I homeschool her the rest of the time. 

Homeschooling is not my gifting, people. Just so we all know. 

Emma would much rather be in a classroom setting (she longs deeply for her glory days of preschool and Miss Deborah) and I would much rather not have to bribe her (not that I do...) to do a phonics worksheet. My Pinterest boards make me look like a pro, but the reality of our days are far more based around Leap Frog videos and PBS. Not that my kids watch TV.   

After we complete peanut OIT we'll begin something called SLIT (Sublingual Immunotherapy) for her other allergies including cow's milk, eggs, sesame, garlic, and snap pea. It's incredible that this exists at all and the idea of Emma being able to walk into a restaurant, bakery, grocery store or birthday party and be able to eat ANYTHING is beyond what we can fully comprehend. But we plan to throw her a birthday party EVERY day after she officially graduates from this treatment. It's reasonable :) 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Baby you're a firework

I know it might seem a bit excessive to do TWO blog posts in one day, surpassing my usual two per year, but I couldn't keep the general public from hearing a little bit about our Fourth of July Eve festivities.

Our afternoon family nap, courtesy of 6:11 am (see previous post), brought back to life my sweet, happy, well rested tiny humans. Glorious. Things were going so well. I even made a pot roast in the crock pot that my children actually consumed. Monumental.

The glory was short lived my friends.

Here are some fun stats from our life post-pot roast.

8:00 Baby Claire is settled down for the night (aka 3-4 hours)

8:15 Bedtimes for the elder two begin.

8:18 The husband and I excitedly anticipate our new Sunday tradition of an in home date night consisting of board games, snacks, and gazing into each other's eyes for hours on end.

8:20 The neighbors and surrounding neighborhoods can sense the impending cover of night and my children preparing to slumber.

8:21 The neighbors and surrounding neighborhoods begin the process of blowing up approximately $80,000 worth of firework explosives, destroying both our childrens' sense of safety and our previously held dreams for snack size bags of chips and Uno.

8:22-10:30 Our children exit their room 73 times, shed 42 real tears, 23 fake tears, beg 172 times to sleep in our room, are given 1/2 tsp of Benadryl (in my defense, they were truly itchy from outdoor allergies...), have not one, not two, but THREE sound machines placed in their room on full blast. I internally rage and eat cheetos while my husband tries to calmly convince the tinies that the "boom booms" are simply the equivalent of really loud toots.

10:32 The Sequence game gets officially returned to the garage to sit on a lonely shelf with all of our former in home date night dreams.

10:35 Both children are given their Kindles and told not to come out of their room until Christmas.

11:05 One child remains in bed snuggling a Kindle, one is on the couch with a Kindle, the tiniest (and current reigning favorite child) is still in her room, my husband is getting ready for bed, and we figure in another brief 5-6 hours the firework extravaganza will finally let up and we will all get a high quality hour of sleep to ensure we have energy to do this all over again tomorrow night!

I will regain my love for you on the 5th of July, America.

OK to wake

Upon initial inspection, I may appear to be living the life currently. I'm sitting here in the sunshine with our eight year old MacBook laptop (our oldest child), I have my homemade Starbucks Verismo iced espresso with dairy free creamer (because eczema) perched atop the filthy tiny tot table next to me, and I am blogging without children in my ear because they have all been banished to their rooms for forced afternoon naps.

The making of this moment was brought to you by 6:11 AM. THAT is the time seared into my brain today as I awoke to the sound of my son crying and my daughter coming into my room confidently carrying her blanket and stuffed Curious George, ready to begin her day.

Our days do not begin at 6:11 am my friends.

I will provide the disclaimer that my incredibly brave and beautiful friend Brenda has a sweet son who gets up in the 4 am hour every day. I can't speak to her pain right now.

I had a good 31 year run with sleep (minus a brief season of colic in infancy that I feel as if I can actually recall for the vivid way my parents have recounted it to me), then our first daughter was born.

It has been a blessed, miraculous, sweet, itchy, exhausting series of days and nights ever since.  Not every night, but many, many, many, many nights. Lately my son wakes up because the zebras and the camels are coming into Benny's house (he talks in the third person. we hope it sticks) and he has to hide.

I gently come into his room, softly snuggle him in my arms while stroking his hair, and tell him I will let ALL the zebras and camels into the house if he doesn't close his eyes and go back to sleep.

I'm kidding. I simply pull my almost four month old into bed with me for most of the night every night so my husband will get up with the elder children. You learn some valuable life skills by the third kid.

My husband set the early risers up this morning with some educational television (I'm thankful PBS is willing to parent that early in the morning) and sugar laden vitamins that we take to keep the cold germs circulating regularly in our house. I got the tiniest back to sleep next to me and awoke a bit later with a start as her diaper gave up on life and exploded 87% of its contents as far as it could reach.

I changed her into something more presentable and figured I was clean enough (overachiever). Entering the living room, I was met with my favorite morning greeting by the offspring I lovingly carried around for 9 months.

"We want oatmeal!"

I love you too.

At some point during the morning I caught my son singing through his ABC's and then self-congratulating himself at the end, "Now I know my ABC's...good job!" He could sense there would be no parental affirmation today.

My very generous and kind mother (Nonna) came to save me from the nonsense so I could escape to China (Target).

I will say that my time there was lovely. I can't say exactly how Nonna's time went here at home, but I can say that it was terrible. Being voted the most positive person in the world 5 years running by the other people in the world, you know when Nonna says it was was bad.

Aside from early mornings and stink fest 2016, I have much to be thankful for!  Now I'm off to personally confiscate every fire work from every house within a 20 mile radius so we can all retain our sanity over the next two nights.

Happy Holidays you guys.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Fire Cats

My kids have a favorite book about "Pickles" the fire cat. Admittedly, it's kind of a lengthy read at 7:45 pm when my brain has been officially unusable for a good 45 minutes, my unbathed children are using their bunk beds to hone their acrobatic skills, and there's a bowl of granola, American Ninja Warrior, and the glorious absence of parental responsibilities awaiting me in the living room. So, Pickles' story ends up getting "condensed" a bit and my tinies are none the wiser.  

But from what I've gathered in my bedtime paraphrasing, Pickles starts out a bit of a cat bully, ends up living at the local fire station where he learns kindness, fire safety, and how to rescue cats stuck up in trees, rather than being the one who chases them up there in the first place. In the end, the nice cat lady who befriended Pickles said she always knew he would do big things and Pickles raises a paw to her as if to say "Nice cat lady, this is only the beginning."

I have a distinct memory of being maybe 9 or 10 years old, riding in the back of our car, and looking toward the sky believing intrinsically that I was made to do big things.  It didn't feel arrogant or prideful or wrong.  It felt securely wrapped within deep hope and belief.

I also believe there is a very real enemy of our souls who holds such hopes and beliefs in contempt, and as a result the years have chipped away at that car ride revelation. I think the true God-given versions of ourselves are a threat to the darkness in our world. Our identities become skewed by other broken people grappling with their own potential. Eventually it can be so much easier to give in to what identity the world has attempted to assign to you. Conversations and comments will inevitably find ways to ensure you remain feeling small and insecure. 

Occasionally however, something will whisper truth

And it will resonate within the depths of you, because it recognizes you.  The real you. 

My current season is largely about pouring into three tiny lives who pretty much believe whatever my husband and I tell them. Unless we're telling them that they need to respect each other's personal space boundaries.  They cannot conceive of such nonsense.

They do however believe that they are loved. They believe that their amazing feats of physical prowess (like jumping off the couch), their living room performances, and their latest art creations will be met with appreciation and delight by their parents (and any fortunate house guest who gets to hear their Jingle Bells/Let it Go/Awesome God medley on repeat). I wish I could shield them from ever having to doubt that they were created to do great things. I don't want to build their ego, but I do want to help build their foundation on their identity in Jesus. 

To live freely in the reality of the image we possess would bring a confidence no insecurity could undermine. I am far from achieving this. I mostly just want people to like me and think I'm funny and a decent Pinterest-loving mom. But I do a disservice to my kids if I allow my identity to be defined by less than what I was designed for. 

The people I most admire in life are the ones who are willing to fight for their true identity. They believe they were made for bigger things than what the limitations of life would dictate to them. Some of these people are swinging from ropes and giant hoops on American Ninja Warrior, and some are simply loving Jesus and people in quiet, honest, powerful ways. 

I think we all have a bit of a tiny yellow fire cat inside of us and we'd do well to affirm it in the lives of those around us :)   

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Happy Holidays

As I attempted to make dinner tonight, both of my children were watching two different episodes of "Caillou" on two different devices (not that they even know what "TV" is or are ever given electronic "devices" to entertain them while I accomplish things. Obviously.)

If you're unfamiliar with Caillou, he is a tiny, bald Canadian child who selflessly offers to teach your child how to whine in a variety of situations including (but not limited to): home, school, at a friend's house, at Grandma's house, at the grocery store, and in any and all indoor/outdoor settings.
I try to balance out the whiny influence with equal amounts of a small, well-intended monkey who seems to curiously create problems only to then be praised for uncovering their solution later on.

I heard the man with the yellow hat telling Chef Pisghetti the other day, "He never does this at home..." 

I say the same thing yellow hat man. I say the same thing.

Today we celebrated one of our family's very favorite holidays. It is at least the one we observe most frequently. That's right, as the preschool calendar could tell you, today was "Pajama Day."
We pride ourselves on celebrating National Preschool Pajama Day not just on February 17th like the rest of the western world, but also on many, many, many, many...many other days. We have celebrated in a variety of public settings, thus bringing further notoriety to the holiday, as well as further shame to my mom for having a daughter who takes her children into public in their pajamas. I'm very festive, it's no one's fault. Also, my children have approximately 83 pairs of matching pajamas. It's how I compensate for not having twins.

Because we love holidays so much, we even decided to celebrate something called Valentine's Day last weekend. This is a special day where a kind woman (we'll call her "Nonna") watches your children for hours while you attempt to escape the juvenile antics of your tiny humans and go partake in some real grownup, mature type activities.

But sadly, after you walk the 7 miles (approximately) from the car to the movie theater entrance, you see that the two o'clock showing of Kung Fu Panda is completely sold out

So instead, you walk through the mall, sitting down occasionally so you don't go into labor, and taking in the glorious, mysterious, preposterous, absurdly magnificent sight I like to call, "helmet-less children riding around a busy shopping mall on musical mechanical animals."
People, I implore you. What. Is. This. ??? I don't know how this is a thing (though it totally seems like something we would have seen in Thailand or Cambodia), but I am hoping the local authorities don't shut it down before my own children have the chance to participate.

Hold onto your dreams.

Speaking of dreams, after our Kung Fu dreams were dashed, we decided to head to the most logical Plan B Valentine grownup adult times adventure.
Drinking Starbucks while playing free foosball at the local community center!

Now what's not important in this memory is who technically "won" at the multiple rounds of foosball we were able to get in before the nice lady told us the place was closing for the day.

What is important to point out is that my side of the table was clearly crafted in such a way as to slant toward my own goal. Is this fair toward a very pregnant, normally quite accomplished foosball player? Obviously not. But that's not a grievance for this blog.

It's a grievance for the next few Valentines Days of my marriage, as well as a few community center feedback cards.

We ended our competitive times (sidenote: competition is not helpful for our marriage) with a lovely, balmy encounter with the beach, and a lovely, spicy encounter with some Thai food. We are available for a small fee to help you plan your next romantic outing on the town as well.
 You're welcome.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016


I think if I could choose one super power to possess in life, it would be the ability to simply look at a fitted sheet and know exactly which end to start with when making up the bed.  This would save me probably a solid 4 minutes over the course of my entire life based on some highly scientific mathematical equations I just came up with, and the embarrassing infrequency of my sheet washing.

"This is a cool car!" - Emma living large in the backseat of our fancy new minivan. She gets it.

Sadly, the former David Blaine status I'd achieved with my children abruptly subsided when less than a week after purchasing our fancy new minivan, the side with the magical self-opening power door became entirely unusable...

Until my husband magically fixed it this evening using some logic, skill, and a head lamp.

So now we're more like Penn and Teller, both incredibly magical, and one noticeably taller than the other.

In other news, you can be moving along at a fairly steady pace in life, feeling like maybe you're not doing such a bad job at this whole parenting thing, until one day you look over and your 4 year old is licking the booth at Alfy's...

I take solace in the fact that at least we weren't at McDonalds. Alfy's makes us sound kind of sporty (there was football on the giant TV's) if not impressively cultured because we're totally willing to wait for our cuisine to be freshly cooked. We don't need our chicken nuggets sitting under a heat lamp when we arrive. Why we even went so far as to have olives on our pizza because we're classy and love vegetables.

Speaking of classy, my husband and I had our wedding rehearsal dinner at Alfy's almost 8 years ago now. It was like celebrating having won the *8th grade regional volleyball championships all over again.

I'm almost 36 weeks pregnant now. My Baby Center update says my baby is equivalent to the size of severe discomfort and "Get whatever fruit equivalent this thing is out of me immediately."

I have a hair appointment on Saturday. Baby can come any time after that. Even a baby should be able to appreciate this.

We have this new fancy Jetsons-esque chair all ready for her to cozy up in for 4-6 hour sleep increments right from the beginning. I just keep having children to see if I can get one that sleeps.

George tests out all of our baby gadgets first. And then breaks them. But is somehow rewarded for it in the end. Just like in the books.

I think one of the surest signs that I need to have this baby outside of the womb is my apparently increasing pregnancy brain, which includes sending my child to preschool without a jacket (I figured her newfound immunities from the lining of the Alfy's booth would be sufficient protection...) and beginning to place a pack of frozen ground turkey in our pantry to defrost, rather than the fridge. I think having a third child to care for externally will only sharpen my memory and decision making skills.

*My team did not actually win, or participate in, the regional volleyball championship at any point. I did play volleyball however, as I have the awkward photos to prove it. And my mom says I'm very athletic.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Bugs and Snuggles

I've had to wash my brand new slipper boots twice in the last week...

The first time was definitely hot chocolate. The second cause for laundering has slipped into an array of memories I thought I was repressing but have now apparently decided to delve into with this blog regarding #TummyBug2016.

My son threw up on my slipper boots last weekend not once, but twice. Tragic. I was so unprepared for this predicament as we've always had issues with itchy eczema-ridden tiny humans in our home, but this was the first time we were all sick with something no steroid cream or shea butter/coconut oil/beeswax/manuka honey natural lotion blend/gluten free/dairy free/flavor free diet could suppress.

We went down like a set of dominoes, beginning with the youngest of us and ending with the tallest.  It was like a free ab workout for me and some sort of bouncy house contraption for my unborn daughter.

Speaking of this unborn kid, she is now the size of a cantaloupe hanging on the front of me!
So I basically have a giant cantaloupe, plus whatever the fruit equivalent of a 2 year old might be, hanging off of me the majority of the day. I love that my son is so snuggly, but I genuinely fear for us all in how he will adjust to sharing my lap with a smaller human.

My Plan A is to invent some sort of velcro suit that I wear around so he can hang from my side at all times.

I will put cantaloupe, once she is birthed, on the other side so as to balance things out and have my hands totally free to accomplish all of the virtual ideas Pinterest makes me want to do in a day.

Plan B involves inventing a giant Mama pillow, one that somehow remains warm to the touch and comes with at least one mechanical arm that can move across my son's back in a soothing rhythmic motion. And retrieve his water cup. How terrifying this Mama Robot might actually be in reality to a 2 year old still doesn't compare to the level of frustration I anticipate him having over this sibling transition.

Plan C is me convincing my two 13 year old delightful nieces to quit school (like there's anything more to learn at this point) and come snuggle Ben all day. Colleges call this "life credits." I call this my ticket to maintaining some small remnant of sanity.

I think one of the biggest clues about the season of life I am currently in is that I went from thinking this was the coolest thing to drive around in...

To dreaming of something more like this...

Can you envision with me how many Costco boxes could fit in such a beautiful, spacious vehicle!? And now my children can both be contained within our car when out of their car seats, rather than having to wait in the vacant parking spot next to us until I can unstrap the other kid. Safety first you guys.

I want to throw a soccer ball in the back just because it seems so fitting.

Along with all of these important milestones, like having a third child, procuring our first minivan, and sharing stomach bugs as a family, perhaps the most important event to come about in our nearly eight years of marriage is that a Jimmy Johns is opening 11 minutes away!!!!!!

You guys!!

Can you envision with me how many Jimmy Johns sandwiches can fit in the back of our beautiful, spacious sixteen year old minivan?!


I don't know what their delivery hours are, but if my third human is anything like her older siblings, there will not be a great deal of sleep filling my life in the months (and years) to come. Because I like to acquire the most bizarre conversation pieces for my home as well as support the Himalayan economy, I purchased one of these beauties for Emma's room.

Emma calls it her "volcano." It's supposed to help with allergies and sleep, two things I am always seeking to remedy in our home. Also, the "Wellness Mama" told me I should have this in my possession, and I pretty much just do whatever she tells me, hence the elderberry syrup, spirulina, cod liver oil, and fermenting cabbage located in various parts of my home currently.

Emma slept solidly for 5 days straight after the volcano came to live with us. Miraculous.

Then it's been back to normal ever since...  :(

All this to say, if I can be eating a Beach Club #12 sandwich from Jimmy Johns at 3am while nursing a new tiny human and rubbing the backs of two other restless children, I think I will fare much better in this next season of life.

While some people like to sneak away to some quiet location like a library or Starbucks to journal their deepest, most philosophical thoughts, I prefer the calming ambiance of the movie "Frozen," a handheld device playing "Yo Gabba Gabba" songs over and over, and a 4 year old continually saying something about "needing dinner" as I pursue my creative outlets. Like a day at the spa.

Time to reheat something or other.