Things Toddlers Say

Hello, and happy Tuesday! I’ve got a few good ones for ya. I spent two and a half days away from the kids this week, taking care of a friend… so it’s possible this one is a little short. But it’s good! I even got some FaceTime hilarity for you. Anyway, happy Tuesday and ENJOY!

 EK, on the phone with my mom…

Necie: Has J been doing well using the potty?
EK: Yes! J has a peanut, he points it down to the floor, and pees in the potty!

EK: There’s a cricket over there!
J: Yeah, we need to get a hammer and shout at it!

EK, at carpool: There’s Miss Angie (her teacher last year)! Before I got in the carpool line, I popped into her Peacocks class and gave her a hug and a kiss!

Learning to BURN…
EK: I want to sit next to Daddy!
Me: You’re across from him, so you can look at him!
EK: But I’m across from J and I don’t want to look at him!
Me: Then close your eyes.
EK: Close your BUTT!
Hubby: *dies laughing*
Me to Hubby: Whose side are you on, anyway?!

J: I got a scratchy booty – I better go potty.

EK at dinner: Can you feed me like a baby?
Me: …..

Me: Your bangs need to be trimmed.
EK: Yeah. They’re longest than Rapunzel.

Eating outside at a restaurant downtown, an acquaintance stops to say hello. When he walks away, EK says, “How about we could invite him to the house to hang out before the kids go to bed? He’s never visited our house before.” Don’t say we don’t have hospitality at our place.

On FaceTime with J, when he doesn’t want to talk to me…
Me: Daddy sent me pictures from this morning (at the children’s museum). Did you have fun?
J: No
Me: Oh, okay.
J: It’s nap time.
Me: Well, I love you!
J: I love you. I’m going to turn off the talking thing now.

Later that day, on FaceTime with EK…
Me: EK, could I say hi to J?
EK: Sure! J! Mommy wants to say hi!
J: Hi, Mommy!
Me: Hi, bud! How are you?
J: Good!
Me: Did you have fun at dinner?
J: Yeah! I’m gonna turn this off now.
Me: Wait! I want to talk to daddy!
J: *tries to cut me off*

Let’s hear what your kids are saying! Are they able to talk on the phone? Or do they just hang up on everyone?


Happy Monday evening! Yesterday after church, I drove to Raleigh to spend a few days with my friend Katelyn. She had back surgery two weeks ago, and her hubs had to go back to work, but she wasn’t quite ready to be on her own. So here I am, babysitting my friend! We have been catching up, grading papers (she’s a third grade teacher!), resting, and meal planning for when I leave tomorrow evening. Hopefully she will be fed at least for the week! 

Anyway, here’s what’s been going on besides all this…

Pretending || to be a tourist in my home town! I read a post recently about having wanderlust, but not being able to travel, and being a tourist wherever you live instead. I liked the idea a lot, and so I mentioned it to Hubby and figured we would try it! Trying new restaurants, walking whenever we can, and taking pictures as if you were on vacation. In. The. Bag. 

Wearing || boots and skirts! It’s not really cool enough here to wear boots, but when I got dressed for church yesterday, I couldn’t say no to the boots. They were looking longingly at me… or maybe I imagined it. Either way, my pencil skirt and blouse NEEDED some boots to complete them. 

Enjoying || being back in the fall groove with my Thursday morning women’s service. They break for the summer, and so we’ve started back up, and this past Thursday, got to meet the new ladies in my small group!

Relishing || the last few days (weeks?) of summer sunshine. It’s already light for less hours a day, but the sun is still warm. And as much as I love fall, I also love the sun. So I’m soaking it up while it lasts. 

AND! Just because I noticed this post looks like I’m a mom of only two, here’s a picture of the baby, who could probably walk if he wanted to but he is too lazy. 

I hope your weekend treated you well, and that you have good things going on this week!

Things Toddlers Say

Hey, y’all! We had a lovely week at the beach last week, not completely but fairly unplugged, and so this might be a little short. But still, I would never leave you without the funnies. Have a great Tuesday!

 EK: Okay, you say, “What am I eating?” and I’ll say, “Cucumber and chip.”

Hubby: What?
EK: You say, “What am I eating?”!
Hubby: What are you eating?
EK: Cucumber and chip!
That’s her new game: telling someone (usually J) “You say this, and I’ll say that.”

J: I want to listen to the muskick!

EK during a “dance party”: I’m gonna do my naked girl dance now!

J, stepping on crumbs around the table: Ugh, Mom, I stepped on lunch!
Me: *brain explodes*

J, feeding D some of his dinner: Here comes the airplane! Choo choo choo, nnnnnyeeeeerrrrrr!

When we got home from the beach, we were late for nap time and everyone was exhausted. They went down for late naps, and I had to wake them (for dinner and so they would eventually go to bed). It took several wake up attempts to get everyone up. Then, EK had a 30 minute meltdown that started with D wanting her swaddle, and ended with missing being a baby and how D got all of her stuff (like her high chair). It was exhaustion-induced ridiculousness.

Announcing success to a busy restaurant…
J: I just pee-peed in the potty!

Future cheerleaders….
J: You say, “What the” and I’ll say, “heck!”
EK: What the!
J: Heck?!
EK: What the!
J: Heck?!
And on and on. Told you it was her favorite game.

*Chris Stapleton’s “Tennessee Whiskey” comes on*
J: Mama, you sang this upstairs at church!
Me: Did I?

J: Are we on (our road name) Mom?
Me: Yes we are!
J: Yeah, where our family and friends are!
Me: We’re never moving.

Hogwarts-style punishment…
EK: I broke his wand in half.

EK: Mommy, I told your husband that he made a nice dinner. 

Well, those are the things my kiddos are saying. What silly things do your kids say?

5 Tips for Eating Out with Kids (and 5 Reasons It’s Still Gonna Be Hard)

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus

Hubby and I are foodies. We like to eat out at lots of different restaurants, try new things, get ideas to use in our own kitchen, and experience local flavors. We want those things to be valued in our kids as well, but who are we kidding? It’s tough to be at a restaurant with small kids. Just yesterday, we went out to brunch after church with our three kids, at a fairly nice restaurant downtown. We had a mostly successful time, and we’ve agreed that it’s experiences like yesterday’s brunch that trick us into thinking, Our kids are so good at restaurants! I’m here to tell you it isn’t always that way, BUT! I have a few tips to make it go more smoothly.

 1. Bring activities. This sounds a lot like “bring your tablet”, but it doesn’t have to be that way. My kids love those cheap little activity/coloring pads and a “magic” pen that only writes on the pad. They also like stickers and a pocket-sized notebook. Or games on an iPhone. I would love to say I’m above it, but I’m totally not – especially in a pinch.

2. Order an appetizer. Or order the kids’ food right when you arrive. The quicker a little food gets on the table, the better. If you don’t want to spoil their dinner, I totally get it. Order a healthy-ish appetizer, or look over the menu online, and be ready to order their dinner when you order your drinks. That bloomin’ onion might actually save your dinner.

3. Allow yourself to set the bar low. I don’t mean let your kids run around screaming, but sometimes, if they’re switching seats with each other every three minutes, that’s better than popping up at other people’s tables to say hello to every single stranger in the room. It’s hard to allow a few things to slide, but if they have a small amount of freedom, that little bit will take the place of having a bigger problem.

4. Go out when the kids are well-rested. If your daughter missed her nap today, it might not be the best night to try out that new restaurant. You’d hate to be that couple who were escorted off the premises for bringing a mountain lion into the restaurant.

5. Let them have a special treat. My kids are all about some special treats, whether they’re special drinks (lemonade, anyone?), dessert (to share, of course), or even an entree I wouldn’t normally consider the best choice. But when we’re at a restaurant, they know that it’s a special time for our family, and ordering chicken and waffles for dinner is okay by me!

Now, those tips are not fool-proof. They are not a recipe for a drama-free dinner with your children. It does not ensure a date night feel, or a happy, clean, relaxing experience. And yes, the childless couple in the corner is still eyeing your table with disdain. Here’s why:

1. Your kids hate the activity you brought.

2. Your son doesn’t like fried food, bread, or salad. He only eats macaroni and cheese from a box, and this restaurant doesn’t serve that.

3. You set the bar low, but your kids set it even lower.

4. They got their naps in, and so they’re bundles of energy that cannot be contained to a booth.

5. That maple syrup just got EVERYWHERE.

So, going out to eat is always an adventure, but they’ve gotta learn to be polite at a restaurant sometime. Why not now?

My Childhood Home

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus.

A couple of weeks ago, my family and I traveled to my hometown for an end of summer visit with my parents. It was a normal trip – we played in the pool, saw my grandmother, aunt, uncle and cousin, ate at our favorite restaurants and generally relaxed. But there was an undertone of sadness, or maybe nostalgia, throughout my week.
You see, my parents are building a new house, and moving out of the one I grew up in. We moved into that house when we first moved to what I consider to be hometown. I was 7 at the time, and so it’s the only home I remember very well. The house is too big for my parents, as well as the land it sits on, and the effort that taking care of a pool requires. My brother and I are planted firmly (or at least I am) elsewhere, and only come back for a few days at a time. So they’re downsizing, and I don’t blame them.

But still, I shed a few tears throughout the week, thinking of coming “home” the next time, but not to my home. Sure, I’ll be coming back to the same town, the same restaurants, and the same people… but it will feel strange to pull into a different driveway, and sleep in a different room. I still sleep in my childhood bedroom when we go, even though now it has a king-sized bed and my husband sleeps in it, too.

All in all, I’m glad we went down one last time, to the home I have loved so well, to let my kids swim and play, snuggle in my mom’s bed in the mornings, and wreck the driveway with chalk drawings. I’m glad I got to ask for a few things to be saved when they were packing up, and to make sure there were pieces of my childhood heart that weren’t thrown away. A lot of life has happened in that house, and I have so many memories tucked away there. The perfect last week there was like a promise from the Lord that even though the house wouldn’t be there for me to visit, my memories there won’t fade.

Things Toddlers Say

Hey y’all! Happy Tuesday! We’re on VACAY this week, so this one is a shorty… but I wouldn’t leave ya without some funnies. Enjoy!

Staring out the window during breakfast…
Hubby: What are you looking at, J?
J: The trees and they’re so beautiful.

J, one morning: And then we could have ice cream! But right now we can’t have ice cream.

EK to J: Your peanut looks like a tail! (peanut=penis)

J, singing a song he made up: When a bulldozer goes bye bye…

EK to J: Yeah, Mom can call the police officer and tell them to put the bugs, and crickets, and stink bugs…
J: and crabs and crickets!
EK: yeah and put them into jail. Can you do that mom?

Hubby was on the phone…
J: Dad! DAD! DAAAAAD! Can you, can you, um, get me some, some, some, um, some milk?

J, to Hubby while he was practicing mandolin: Dad, excuse me! I need to talk to you!
Hubby: What’s up?
J: You’re the best and I love you.

EK, handing me a doll: Will you hold the baby?
Me: Sure! (I hold the baby for a minute.)
J: Mom, let me shake that baby for you.
Me: Umm…

J: What’s that red store, mama?
Me: Target!
J: Can I get in there?!

Hubby: EK, this is Holly.
EK: You mean there’s a second Holly in the world?! (Her aunt’s name is Holly, too.)

J, coming down the hallway from the bathroom, crying, pants around his ankles: Moooooom I need help!
Me: What happened?
J, crying: I need new pants!
Me: Did you pee in your pants?
J, wailing now: No, but I got pee on them and it’s on my face!
Me, noticing his hair is wet, and trying not to laugh: How did you pee on your face?
J: I thought it was pointing down! (Cries more.)

J: MomDad (said as one word), can I put on my trunks and get in that hotbathtub? (Also one word, meaning hot tub.)

Hope you enjoyed! What silly things are your kids saying these days?

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday! I hope y’all had a wonderful holiday weekend, and hopefully a restful day yesterday. Since we had just gotten back in town from Georgia, we stayed in town for the weekend, celebrated a friend’s birthday, got together with our small group, and hung out with family. Here are a few of our funnies from the past week – enjoy!

While building with blocks with Necie…
EK: How’s that?
Necie: Great! You could be an architect one day!
EK: But I want to be a mommy when I grow up!
Me: You can be both!
EK: Both!?! I can be a Mommytect!
Me: Yes. Yes you can.

J has been using the potty a lot recently, and we decided when he started talking about his body, we’d just use the word penis, instead of coming up with a nickname or baby talk. I didn’t regret it, until the bigs were in a name-calling match in the back seat of the car, and I heard him say, “Well you’re a PENIS!” He only good thing is that it meant nothing to her, not having one herself. He also uses the word “peanuts” instead of penis occasionally.

Smoothie=soomie, snoothie, or smovie, depending on who you ask.

Hubby and I were trying to talk to my aunt. We were interrupted three times by J yelling our names, in turn, and asking, “What’d you have for breakfast?”

J yelling from the back of the car: Mom! Excuse me! MOM! EX. CUSE. ME!

EK, pointing out the car window: Look at those bozozers! (Bulldozers)

Apparently trying to imitate me…
EK: J! D! J! D! Whatever your name is!

EK: Can you come downstairs with me?
Me: Sure! What’s down there?
EK: I’m gonna show you (*twirls*) the new clean living room I’ve been working on!

J: I can’t remember EK’s name.
EK: *sighs*says her name*

Words of wisdom…
J, holding a veggie straw over a bowl of salsa: I don’t wanna put my veggie straw in theeeeeeere…
EK: Well, just don’t do it.
J: Okay.

J: Mom! Brownie is just like poopy!

EK: Mom, um, excuse me. It’s EK trying to talk to you. 

Well, what have your kids been saying recently?

The Beauty of the Balance of Parenting

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus.

This weekend, our pastor kicked off a series about the beauty of balance (you can listen to it here if you’d like). He spoke of how Christ is balanced not by being mediocre, or lukewarm, but having strong feelings in both directions. When he loves, he loves fully, fiercely, and sacrificially. When he is angry, he is filled with righteous anger. Jesus was altogether human, and is fully God. He is full of grace, yet spoke only truth. Some might say He is a contradiction, but He simply embodies the beauty of balance.

As I listened to the metaphors of balance, it seemed even more apparent to me than usual that life is more about a balance of extremes than pulling ourselves into the middle, and letting go of what’s on either side – and especially better to have a balance than leaning on one side too heavily.

Even more than that, as it often happens with me nowadays, the pastor’s message spoke to me particularly through the lens of motherhood. It is important to have balance in every aspect of parenting children. You need lots of elements to raise well your tiny humans, and to emotionally and physically survive parenting. You need silliness and discipline. You need exercise (or at least getting out some energy) and rest. You need community and time to be alone. You need a balance of all these things. Parenting consists of small moments of a single feeling or a lesson learned, all of which are built up together to grow up your little people. Yes, there are moments where your children learn security from love and affection that you show them. There are moments where they will learn about integrity, because you went through with a consequence, even when you didn’t want to. There are joyous times for being silly and making faces, and growing imagination through pretending. There are hard conversations about right and wrong, and mistakes made and how to fix them.

But each of these things, on their own, don’t create and nurture a life. It takes all of them together, interspersed through the long days and short years of being a parent and loving a child. The beauty of balance in parenthood is what grows up our helpless babes into Jesus-loving men and women who can impact the world in a positive way. The seasons of sleepless nights (cue any “mombie” jokes you’ve ever heard), potty training (when it’s often easier to leave them in the diaper), driver’s ed (where you might be literally fearing for their lives) and college tuition (where you’re sacrificing your current comforts for their futures) all matter. The beauty is in the balance of your love for them, your willingness to make sacrifices for them, and your desire for them to be independent, well-meaning and compassionate people.


Hey y’all! Thanks for bearing with me through a summer of travel, kids out of school, a few changes, and general laziness. School starts for my eldest two kiddos next week, and I fully expect to be back in my writing swing.

In the meantime, there are a few fun things I’ve been involved with that I haven’t had the chance to write about! There have been parties and celebrations, trips and concerts, yummy food and drinks, date nights and play dates. I’ll attempt to recap you a little on what we’ve currently been up to.

Discovering || the gender of our dear friends’ first baby! They hosted a little get-together to share with us whether the sweet babe would be a boy or a girl. We found out that (just like us and most of our close friends, oddly enough) their first baby will be a sweet girl! The mama-to-be Andrea baked cupcakes with pink icing inside, and let our kids all tear into them. It was ADORABLE.

the girls, celebrating adding one to our number!
EK and her buddies dancing

Celebrating || my best gal from college Lauren, as she prepares to welcome her first baby: a girl! Three other friends and I got together to put together a baby shower this past weekend, and it was SO fun. We held it in the same place on our college campus that they held my first baby shower, and one for another friend in our college roommate group. It’s a beautiful space to begin with, so we spend more of our efforts on food, games, etc. than we do on decorations. The crowning achievement for me of this particular shower was the favor. I had seen an Instagram post a while back about a favor that was a splitter of champagne. It had a homemade label with instructions to save the splitter till the baby arrived, then post a photo of a toast on Instagram with a specific hashtag. Since Lauren is a Prosecco lover (as am I), we bought Prosecco splitters, and my friend Andrea (yes, the other one having a baby girl!) made cute tags for them. EK helped me tie the tags on, and I was VERY pleased with the result! They were definitely a crowd pleaser.

i got macarons, but when the mama-to-be is a baker, she wants to contribute, too!
the Salem girls! (and Callie, class of 2038!)

Listening || to the Dixie Chicks! I listened to them during their height of popularity, and have tapered off listening to them recently. But when I saw that they were coming close by on their next tour, and on my friend Mary Katherine’s 30th birthday no less, I decided to go. I got together with some girlfriends, tailgated, and went to their concert. I was a little sad that I didn’t know more songs (they were mostly songs off their new album, which I didn’t know very well), and a little aghast at the blunt political statement they were making (I know, I shouldn’t have been surprised) since I just wanted to hear them play music. But all in all, I enjoyed myself! The tickets weren’t that expensive, so I won’t complain anymore.

i stayed that night with my gal pal from high school. love her!
the birthday girl and our photobomber. it was SO HOT that night. those hats were freebies at the venue, and they say, “No hate in our state.” oh dear.

Enjoying || the last few days of no routine. The kids and I went downtown for breakfast treats and to the park this morning. It won’t be long until we don’t have many morning dates, so I’m relishing that time with them.   

Eating || summer salsa and quesadillas! Between tomatoes and peppers from the garden, and local tomatillos, we have been tearing through salsa. Fresh salsa, cooked salsa, mild or hot… It’s one of our summer favorites, and I’ll be sad when the season is over. 

you know it’s good when it’s all gone!

Shopping || for Christmas! I know y’all think I’m crazy, but I love being the early bird and getting sales before other people are even thinking about Christmas. When I sat down to order our Halloween stuff (I am so excited!) I also got a few things for Christmas presents for the kiddos. Online shopping is the actual best!

Well, that’s a big update on my life- what have you been up to? Are you happy to have school back in session and slip into a routine?