Tag Archives: babies

They’re getting so big…

Sometimes, just the briefest outpouring of words is worth sharing.

I glimpsed my middle child on the monitor last before I went to bed. He wasn’t making any noise, but I always turn the screen on to take a peek before I fall asleep. I was taken aback by how big he looked, how much of the bed was covered by the body I can still pick up and snuggle so tightly. He still fits in the crook of my arms when he’s still enough to cradle. But he’s getting so big…

My youngest asked me relentlessly to hold him yesterday. I was constantly picking him up, switching him from hip to hip, trying to convince him he was too big to hold for that long. Deep down, I actually loved that he needed me a little more than usual. I know it won’t be long before he’s too busy for me, and too independent to need me. He’s getting so big…

My oldest is smart, brave, and takes care of herself. She can get herself a snack, tie her shoes, and entertain herself for hours if I let her. But last night, she asked me for another song, another snuggle, a longer prayer. I could tell we hadn’t seen each other enough during the day, and she craved a little more attention. I knew she’d be fine if I left her, but I stayed. She’s just getting so big…

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday! I’ve got a lot of funnies from EK this week, mostly because J’s vocabulary has (sadly) deteriorated into frustrated grunts and lots of “FINE!” and “OKAY!” Hopefully he’ll be back next week. Enjoy!

After J got in trouble…
EK: J, you know what? Even when you make bad choices, Jesus still loves you.

J: Did you remember that I was locked out on the porch and there was a robot?!
EK: You’ve been saying that for forty-nine years!

EK: These jeans have a hole.
Me: It’s okay, some people love holes in their jeans.
EK: I don’t want to wear them with a hole!
Me: Please. We aren’t going anywhere, just wear them to make it easy on me.
EK: Fine….
Two days later…
Me: *puts holey jeans in the trash*
Ek: Wahhh! I’m really gonna miss those jeeeeeeans!

EK: Look, mom! My booboo is getting better! I’m magical again!

EK: I tried to not dream about Teka, but I dreamed about Teka, that he would get Moana and kill her! Haha!
Me: Umm…

EK: Look, Mom! It’s the one with Darth Vader!
(For those who don’t know, that’s evil Emporer Zurg from Toy Story.)

J’s three major food groups:Broccoli, pickled radishes, and bulldozers.

J: You remember babies don’t do what they’re doing?
Me: Sure, babe.
J: And babies need help burping.
Me: Yes!

Tootsie roll=tweetsie roll (can you tell my kids are obsessed with trains?)

EK, singing: Oh Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, please slide down on me! Wait… is it slide or lie?
Me: Shine… It’s shine.

Arguing about how to pronounce “Motonui” (Moana’s island)…
EK: Listen to this! She says Motchnui!
Me: I think it’s Motonui.
EK: She knows how to say her own country’s name!
Me: I know, but I don’t think you’re hearing her correctly.
EK: I’m gonna listen to her again.


When You Wake, I Will Snuggle You. 

I began this post in the middle of the night one night, up with a cranky baby, who eventually fell asleep on my chest, breathing slow and deep in the nursery. I finished it up, and submitted it to a few places, but it was never published on any site but my own.

Life is fleeting.

Children grow quickly. Things happen fast. When you look back, you’re always surprised to see how much has happened.

So when you wake, little one, in the middle of night, I will snuggle you. I’ll be tired; don’t doubt that. It will be hard, at first, to pull my groggy self out of bed. I’ll complain a little. I’ll stumble into your room.  I’ll scoop you up, sniff right behind your ear, and settle into our chair.

It’s the same chair, you know, that I nestled into with your brother and your sister. I’ve spent hours and hours in this chair. The time probably amounts to days or even weeks, actually. But I’m not sad. I’ve loved those moments. Snuggling, nursing, rocking, booty-patting, back-rubbing and snoozing, all done for long, delicious moments with three gorgeous, cuddly, sleeping (or sleepless) babes in this same chair. I knew even then that the moments were numbered. You would not always need me like this. Want me like this.

But times have changed, and in the best way. You are independent. You are doing many things on your own, playing happily alone, communicating with others, asking for what you want, and showing me you aren’t as helpless as you once were. But in the dark of night, waking from your sleep, you cry out. And I hear you. Unsteady and dazed though I may be, I rouse myself from my warm bed, groaning with effort and sleep, and struggle across the hall to your room. When I open the door, there’s just more darkness, but I know exactly where you are. I reach down, and feel your tiny arms reaching for me. You knew I was coming for you, even before I got there.

That’s how we are made, you and I. We know that we’ll find the other, in dark of night, in the depths of our exhaustion. I will find you, love you, snuggle you. No matter how old you get, when you need me, I will come. Regardless of the reason, or direness of need, I will be there when you need me. And for now, when you wake, I will snuggle you.

This post is part of my NaBloPoMo, where I publish a piece every day in November. I brought this one up from the depths of old drafts, and I hope you enjoyed it!


I wrote this some months ago, thinking of submitting it here or there. It never seemed fully cohesive, but I’ve come to a stand-still on how to improve it. So here it is, unfinished, but meaningful to me. It’s time I let it go.

I was overcome.

In an instant, I was overcome with thoughts and fears and hopes and dreams, and overwhelmed by the flood of emotions.

I saw my little ones for what they would become… Independent. Whole. Grown. I saw them that moment not needing me anymore. Not wanting to hold my hand, or worse, preferring to hold someone else’s instead.

The tears came then, even as I strapped my baby into his car seat. His brother was dancing around the room, chanting the name of the cousin we were off to see. That dancing boy wasn’t as clumsy, and he spoke more clearly. What had happened to my barely toddling, nonsense-jabbering baby? He is still there, the same chubby smile beneath the same blue eyes. But so many things are different. The mixed emotions of pride in his growth and sadness in his disappearing babyhood flooded me at the same time. Excitement mingled with nostalgia is the feeling that replaced the months of tiredness mingled with nausea.

I know that when I have a baby, he won’t stay that way. I’m not surprised by the growth and the change. It’s actually the fun part, discovering alongside them, helping them learn and talk and walk and become a little more self-sufficient each day. But there’s a sadness, too, and sometimes, some days, I’m overcome by it. I need to shed a few tears for the baby they’ve left behind, because all I’ll have is memories of that little round face, bald head, or chubby hand. But I will have gained a runner, a cook, a hugger, and a singer. I’ll have a new friend, a hilarious joker, a brave and athletic boy, a smart and sensitive girl. I am glad for the shift. I am glad for the change. But that doesn’t mean I won’t miss the past.

This post is part of my NaBloPoMo, where I publish a  piece each day in November.

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?


How is it possible that summer is almost over? I can hardly believe that it’s halfway through August, and we are gearing up to get back in the schoolyear routine. I won’t lie – I love it. I love the routine, the schedule, the way my kids love school and the way it improves them to have it in their week. But before we get back into the swing of things, we’ve got a couple more weeks of being lazy, sweating, and relaxing. Here are a few things I’m currently up to…

Planning || my best friend’s baby shower! She’s due at the end of October, so I’m planning things with a few of our friends to celebrate her baby girl! I’m so excited! I’ll post about the shower after it happens – don’t want to ruin your surprise, Lauren!

Anticipating || Another friend’s gender reveal this weekend! I’ve never actually been to a gender reveal party, and the only “gender reveal” I did with any of my kids was let EK devour a cupcake with blue icing and post a photo on Facebook. So, needless to say, I’m excited to see what they choose to do! AND I can’t wait to start getting a few things for the baby, once I know the gender!

Stressing || about toddler life. J has proven more difficult (in some ways, at least) than EK was in regards to toddlerisms. For instance, he’s been doing this (disgusting) thing where he takes a bite of something, decides he doesn’t like it or want it, and just holds it in his mouth for a super long time. Like, up to half an hour. And it’s been different things… a bite of squash, a BBQ flavored potato chip, a spoonful of yogurt, a bite of okra. It’s not like it’s been spinach every single time or something. But it is GROSS and I’m over it. He also tantrums more often and more intensely than EK did. I’m certainly not giving in to it (like bribing him out of them), but it’s uncharted territory to figure out whether to just leave him in the living room floor, or move him to his room, or try to sit him in time out. He just goes belly-down and kicks his legs on the floor. Yikes.

Baking || a garden fresh squash bake! We had a few large squash from the garden, and I wanted a creative way to use them up. My big kids don’t really like squash, so I didn’t worry about choosing a recipe they would like. After scrolling through twenty or so recipes for “stuffed squash” of many varieties, I settled on making my own. I had read several with sausage, and several with a grain of some sort (quinoa, etc), so I stuck with sausage, and added grits, fresh tomatoes (also from the garden) and some pepper jack cheese I had in the fridge. It was delicious!

Well, that’s about it for our last little bit of summer here. What are you doing until school gets started again? Or has it already started for your family?!

Revoking My Bragging Rights

Sometimes, it’s good to brag on your kids. There are times that you’ve worked so hard for something, spent time, effort, or money on making something work, and it all finally clicks. But if you’re like me, sometimes you may brag a little early. 

Recently, my youngest has been going through an awful phase (it is just a phase, right?) of sleeping for an unpredictable number of hours at night. I don’t mean, “Oh, it could be 8 or 10 or 12 hours.” It’s more like whether he will sleep through the night, or get up three times. He can sleep 12 hours in a row, several nights in a row. And then one night it’ll all go away. Like magic, he reverts back into a newborn schedule. In my opinion, even though you’re more well-rested, it’s harder to get up in the night after you’ve had that few nights of good sleep.

So now, every time someone asks “How is he sleeping?” I’m unsure how to answer. I don’t want to complain. The bags under my eyes do that all on their own. But I don’t want to jinx myself either, if the night before happened to be a good one. I’ve learned that any time I say out loud that he’s sleeping better, I’ll have the night from hell to pay for it. For instance, we had three good nights in a row, Thursday, Friday and Saturday night of last week. On Sunday night, our small group got together, and because we’d been asking them to pray for good rest in our home, they all asked how he had been doing. “Great!” we replied. “Three wonderful nights in a row of the baby sleeping all night!” Sunday night, you might have predicted, he was up four times, including once where I just fell asleep in the rocker with him on my chest for two hours.

The moral of the story seems to be something along the lines of “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.” Not that I’m counting chickens, but I suppose I won’t say he’s sleeping well until he’s in middle school and I’ve got to dump cold water on him to wake him. I guess I won’t be mentioning that our daughter hasn’t worn diapers in a week, and we haven’t had any accidents…

A Mom’s Day in the Car

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus!

Last week, my family did the unthinkable: we took a road trip. 

 Now, I don’t say that because we didn’t want to leave town, or even because we packed a lot. (In fact, Hubby and I remarked about how we felt like we packed the same amount for this trip as we had packed for our eldest’s first road trip – even though now we have three times the number of children.) I say that because the 350-ish miles to my parents’ house took us way longer than it should’ve. Hubby and I used to do it in 5 1/2 hours before we had kids. Now, it takes at least 8 and maybe more. Basically, road tripping with small kids is a long, arduous process. Here are a few reasons why:

Poop. Yes, as we are constantly telling our children, everyone poops. However, when poop happens into a diaper, there’s quite the clean up to be had. And sometimes if it takes us a little longer than usual to either realize there has been a poop, or to find a place to go to clean up said poop, the mess may have just gotten bigger. For example, on the way back to NC, my youngest (8 months old) went through three changes of pants. All I have to say is thank goodness the child seat wasn’t ruined, because there’s no way to change that in small town SC.

Food. Everyone has to eat. The problem is that everyone eats different things at different times and sometimes, they’re pickier than usual. For instance, my terrible two went completely bonkers when I suggested he drink lemonade and eat oranges. For crying out loud, HE LOVES LEMONADE AND ORANGES! But for some reason, when those were the most readily available things, he flat out refused, via a tantrum. We ended up making it the last two hours with jelly beans. That was the only reason we made it home. 

 Scheduling problems. My kids typically have an afternoon nap all at the same time, (within about half an hour of each other). My youngest also has a morning nap. But when we’re in the car all day, and no one has let out any energy, we’re just watching movies and eating jelly beans, naps are a little wonky. However, at some point each of them are going to have a meltdown (probably about how we won’t stop the car and let them out) and get tired. It’s just tough when one goes to sleep, and another has a meltdown and wakes that one up. Then finally those two are asleep, and the third one gets hungry and starts yelling. I’m telling y’all, it’s one of the circles of hell.

Movie preference. We are extremely lucky to have a car that has a DVD player and screens in it. We’ve not even had it a year, and before that we were using the iPad, harnessed between the two front seats (that had to be exactly side by side). But even with the screens, there’s a little bit of complaining about what we’re watching. Why can’t I just put on Frozen? Why can’t we watch endless episodes of Sofia the First? Well, what about Chuggington? Because MY CAR DOESN’T HAVE NETFLIX. That’s why. I brought 8 DVDS. CHOOSE ONE AND BE HAPPY.

All in all, we made it out alive and well. There might be some emotional scarring, but in a few days, I’ll be okay.

Questions You Ask As the Parent of Small Children

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus!

  When I was a kid (and even now) it seemed to me my mom knew everything. If I was sick, she knew exactly what I needed to feel better. If I had lost something, she knew where it was. Even when I was a teen, she knew the fastest way to get anywhere and the best place to buy anything. Now that I’m the mom, I’m constantly confronted with questions that I’m asking my mom, my other mom friends, or even Google. (“Thank goodness for Google!” said all the millennial parents.) Here are just a few of the questions I feel like I’m constantly wondering:

Why won’t she eat banana anymore?

How much Tylenol do you give to a one year old?

What color poop should the baby have?

What day is it?

Will my kid ever get all his teeth?

Will I ever sleep again?

Where is the other sippy cup?

When will my kid just put his own clothes on?

How do I get up this many times in a night, and not die?

When did I last shower?

What does a concussion look like in a toddler?

How do I get that stain out?

Do I really have to wash my coffee mug every day?

How can it possibly still be two hours until bedtime?

Weren’t we just at the doctor’s office?

Does the baby have any clean pajamas?

Why does my daughter outgrow her clothes so quickly?

What’s the liquid on the floor?

Why is formula so expensive?

Is potty training this hard for everyone?

Do the grocery store people know me by name?

When will my kids be able to buckle themselves into the car?

What would I be doing right now if I didn’t have all these kids?

How fast do toddlers run?

How do we go through diapers so quickly?

Where’d that come from?

How am I out of clean underwear again already?

What sound does a zebra make? (Okay, I didn’t wonder that one, but I did have to Google it for my daughter.)

If you’ve ever asked Google or your own mom any of these things, then we could be friends. Just be careful when deciding if it’s poop or chocolate.

When My Family of Five Leaves the House (It Takes 60 Simple Steps)

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus!

Getting ready to go anywhere is a big job for my family. With three kids under four, including an infant, there is a long list of things we need to do before we go, and things we need to bring with us – no matter where we’re going. This is a little glimpse into the process of getting the family ready to go somewhere. Maybe you can relate! 

 1. Announce that it’s time to get ready to go. 

2. Ask threenager to get her clothes on. 

3. Snatch toddler up from running away, and take him to get his clothes on. 

4. As I’m walking away, ask Hubby to change baby’s diaper. 

5. Remind threenager to get dressed. 

6. Get toddler into clean diaper and clothes, amid shouts of protest and attempts to jump off the changing table. 

7. Suggest to threenager that she should dress appropriately for the weather (aka it’s cold, so no, she may not wear that sundress and sandals).

8. Ask threenager to stop wailing and please put on socks and shoes. 

9. Catch an escaping toddler, and cram his pudgy feet into socks and shoes. 

10. Succumb to toddlers request for boots instead. 

11. Let him put his boots on by himself. 

12. Calm him down when he gets frustrated at not being able to do it himself. 

13. Help him get his boots on. 

14. Ask threenager to please wear a jacket. 

15. Check to see if Hubby changed the baby’s diaper. 

16. Usher threenager and toddler of the door. 

17. Put threenager into car seat, because it’s better to have her locked in somewhere. 

18. Retrieve toddler from neighbor’s yard. 

19. Put toddler into car. 

20. Retrieve threenager’s doll she dropped in the floorboard. 

21. Retrieve toddler from driver’s seat. (He is fast.)

22. Put toddler into car seat, finally securing that he isn’t running away. 

23. Close the car door. 

24. Breathe. 

25. Listen for screaming inside the car. 

26. No screaming? Go inside and check on the status of Hubby and baby. 

27. Change baby from his brother’s pants to his own that fit him. 

28. Put baby into car seat. 

29. Take car-approved snacks to toddler and threenager, who are now screaming. 

30. Go back inside and fill sippy cups.

31. Make a bottle for the baby. 

32. Put in your own shoes. 

33. Grab your tube of mascara for when you’re stopped at a red light. 

34. Locate a bag (any bag) to put diapers, cups, and a bottle in. 

35. Go outside. 

36. Remember the wipes. 

37. Go inside to grab wipes.  

38. See your coffee cup, and grab it. 

39. Go outside. 

40. Remember you were grabbing wipes, not coffee. 

41. Go inside to grab wipes. 

42. See your baby’s favorite chew toy, and grab it. 

43. Put your hand on the doorknob, and remember the wipes. 

44. Grab wipes. 

45. Go outside. 

46. Realize that you haven’t seen Hubby in a while.

47. Go back inside to find Hubby in the bathroom. 

48. Go outside to wait on Hubby. 

49. Threenager has finished her snack and wants more. 

50. Since Hubby isn’t outside yet, go get more snack. 

51. See your purse by the door, and thank the Lord you had to go back to get it.

52. Grab the purse and the snack, and go back outside. 

53. Give the threenager more snack. 

54. Give the toddler more snack, because he is now angry that the threenager got more snack and he didn’t. 

55. See Hubby walk out the door. 

56. Praise Jesus that everyone is outside the house. 

57. Get in the car. 

58. Crank it up, and turn on some preemptive Taylor Swift. 

59. Pull out of the driveway. 

60. Hope for the best. 

So if you’re ever wondering why didn’t attend your event, or why I said we couldn’t go to a play date that was only for an hour… know you know why. I love you, but this is why.