Saturday, September 29, 2012


My favorite color is blue, then the girls must like blue too.  My favorite food is pizza, then the girls' favorite food is probably pizza too.

Of course not, but it took me a while to realize this.  Just because something is my "favorite" doesn't mean the girls have to like it---a little or AT ALL.

This is what makes each girl an individual.
Mariah likes purple, Ambria likes pink, Ashlyn likes owls.
Mariah like peanut butter and honey, Ambria likes cheeseburgers, and Ashlyn likes macaroni and cheese.  Mariah loves fruit and vegetables, Ambria doesn't, and Ashlyn chews them up and spits them out.
Mariah likes wearing socks to bed, Ambria doesn't, and Ashlyn doesn't care.
Mariah likes drinking warm water, Ambria likes cold water, and Ashlyn likes juice.
Mariah likes to read, Ambria likes to draw, and Ashlyn likes to write in books.

I could go on and on, but what I love is what makes each daughter unique!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

In the Mind of a Two Year Old--Syrup

"While mom is on the phone, I'm going to sneak this bottle of stuff out of the kitchen cupboard, the same stuff that mom pours on my waffles and pancakes.  Oh, look, I can open the cap!  Bonus!  I see mom turn the bottle upside down and the stuff comes out so I will do that too!  Oh, look, some spilled on the living room floor and it made a cool design!  Let me make more fun designs!!  Let me try to pour some on the table, more, more, more!  This is sooo fun and sticky!  Ok, the bottle is almost gone so I must move on to the dining room floor to make a design, and now on to the kitchen.  A little dab here, a little dab here, a line here, a puddle there, wahoo, it like a new kind of paint brush or marker!!  Oh no!!!  Mom just saw me!!  I'm caught!  She is chasing me....!"

Monday, September 24, 2012


Mariah is in her second season of cheerleading and she absolutely LOVES it!  She really excels in cheerleading, she enjoys going to practice, making new friends, making up new cheers, and of course cheering in front of the crowd.

I was not a cheerleader.  It really isn't in my blood, but when Mariah said she wanted to try it (and do it for a second year), we agreed to it, even though it is a huge commitment for us as well (practice three times a week for two hours and games on Saturdays and a big competition).

Mariah has learned so many lessons from cheerleading, like following through on a commitment, self confidence, team spirit, humbling winning, accepting losing, and so much more!

I'm glad that Mariah has found an extracurricular activity that she loves, and little does she know that she is learning so much from it!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Displacing Blame

I went to the store to buy some curtain rods for our house, I had my list in my hand of the sizes and kinds of curtain rods that I needed.  Checked that off the list and went home to put up the curtain rods in the basement, kitchen, and bedrooms.

I got home, and there was one less curtain rod than I needed!  Ugh!  I counted again and again, and yup, I was one short.  Darn!  Without even thinking, I blamed the girls and thought, they must have dropped one out of the cart, they put it back on the shelf, etc.

I blamed the girls first, not myself.

I wonder how often I do that, when in reality, it was MY fault.  The girls had nothing to do with MY mistake.

I'm going to try to pay closer attention in whom I place my blame and try not to jump to conclusions and think that if something went wrong, it is the girls' fault.  That isn't fair to the girls.

So, even though I had to go back to the store to get another curtain rod, I learned a valuable lesson.

Friday, September 21, 2012

In the Mind of a Two Year Old--Miscommunication

"I cannot understand why my mom doesn't know what 'ki at' means!!  I keep yelling 'ki at, ki at, ki at' while driving in the car and she keeps guessing all these absurd things.  No, it doesn't mean, music or snack or water or toy!  'Ki at!!' And then she keeps guessing and she is STILL wrong!  Since I am strapped in my car seat, I can't get up and show her what 'ki at' is but gosh darnit, I MEAN IT 'ki at!'  Fine, I will just settle for the crackers that mom is trying to hand me to try to help calm me down.  She wins."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Not a picture of health, but a picture of a happy child.

No, this doesn't happen all the time, but friends kept giving Ashlyn goodies and she kept accepting.  She only had one sip of Mountain Dew and a few licks of the sucker. :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Bad Mom Award

Hoping that I can be a better mother today than yesterday!

I felt like I kept snapping at the girls and losing my patience with them.  I'm glad tomorrow is a new day!

Friday, September 14, 2012

In the Mind of a Two Year Old--Chewing Gum

"While I was walking around the store with my mom, my gum jumped out of my mouth and landed on the floor.  Mom was yelling something like 'eeww, NOOO, gross' but before she could intercept the gum, I quickly peeled it off the floor and put it back into my mouth.  Mom said 'oh oh oh, no, no, no' but I said 'mmmmm.'  I was so happy to have my gum back!"

Monday, September 10, 2012

In the Mind of a Two Year Old--Lollipop

I've been inspired since my last post about the Terrible Two's, and I'm going to start a new feature on this blog called "In the Mind of a Two Year Old."  Every now and then, I will write about what might POSSIBLY be going through my child's mind.

So, I will start with this:

"While mom is driving, I will take this sucker and rub it all over my hair.  I'm not sure why mom keeps telling me to stop and that the sucker belongs in my mouth.  I know it belongs there, but I want to keep rubbing it all over my face.  Now I will rub it all over my hands too.  The funny thing is that mom can't do anything about it because she is driving and her arm isn't long enough to reach me.  She is trying to trick me to give her the sucker because she said she wants a lick, but I won't hand it over.  Oh boy, mom is starting to get really upset.  I will just keep rubbing this awesome stickiness all over, because I want to."

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Terrible Two's

The Terrible Two's are out in full force.  All my parenting experience and skills are out the window.

One minute, Ashlyn is being absolutely adorable, the next, screaming for some absurd reason that I'm unaware of.

One minute, Ashlyn is laughing, the next, having an all out tantrum.

One minute, Ashlyn wants crackers, the next, she wants raisins.  Then she decides NEITHER and then screams.


One minute, I am laughing with her, the next, I am almost in tears with frustration.

It is amazing how someone so small can control MY mood.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

School Project?

You know that school project I wrote about??

Note to self: Keep school projects out of younger sister's reach.

Deep breath, thankfully, it was only pencil, but I still had a minor heart attack.

Friday, September 7, 2012

School Project

Mariah, our 3rd grader, completed her first big school project.  We went out and got a big poster board and it took everything I had to not try to do the project for her.  I wanted to do the project one way and she wanted to do it her own way.  True, it is HER project.

I took a step back.

I coached Mariah into completing her first project by telling her to write in pencil first, then marker, spell everything correctly, write big, etc.

Well, she wrote small, spelled a word incorrectly, glued things in place where they didn't fit, used ugly colors...

I held my breath and my tongue.

This is HER project.

Other than a few tips, I allowed Mariah to do HER project, HER way.

I was proud her Mariah and her first project, and even better, Mariah was proud of herself!

One down, ALOT more to go!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Missing Bubble Gum

Ashlyn has a new addiction: GUM.  It is the FIRST word out of her mouth in the morning.  She usually only gets a small piece when we get in the car (or if she sneaks a piece without my knowing).  She has been doing a really good job of chewing her gum and we are teaching her to either give the chewed up gum to us or throw it in the trash.

It doesn't always make it to the trash.

I found a small wad of pink gum in the middle of our kitchen floor.  I know who to blame.

On another day, Ashlyn was chewing a piece of gum and I put Ashlyn in the ERGO carrier (you know where this is going) and we walked around for about an hour, talking to people, etc.  I just randomly looked at our reflection in a window....


I had on a v-neck shirt and a blob of pink gum was stuck to my skin!!  NICE.

I guess it could have been worse, it could have been stuck in my hair.

Laugh it off...

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Chiari Malformation Awareness

Our lives forever changed seven months ago when we got that dreaded phone call from the doctor explaining that Ashlyn had an incurable brain malformation called Chiari Malformation (in short, her brain was sinking down into her spinal cord) and that she was being referred to a neurosurgeon.  I will always remember that day and the feeling of my heart sinking as tears streamed down my dismayed face.

Ashlyn had brain surgery 5 months ago to help open her skull and remove her top vertebrae to make more room for her brain.  I remember our time spent at Duke Children's Hospital all too well.  I remember the doctors and the nurses who cared for Ashlyn, I remember Ashlyn's swollen face, screams of pain and tender incision in the back of her head.  I remember the sleepless nights, I remember crying out to God.

It was a tough journey, but Ashlyn has made GREAT strides!!  We choose to focus on the positive, on her reaching new milestones, her laughter, and her developing personality.

CHIARI will forever be a part of our vocabulary and our life now, as it is INCURABLE, but that won't stop Ashlyn!  She is our little miracle.

You can read more about Ashlyn's Chiari journey on my other blog called Chiari Hope.