Friday, July 29, 2011

Deep Thoughts

I love eavesdropping on Henry and Adam. Their "conversations" mostly consist of Henry telling Adam things, Adam saying "No He (Henry)!"  and Henry yelling, "Yes Adam!!!" The other day as I was making their lunch and they were arguing conversing I heard:

HENRY: Adam, did you know God made us for his art?

I froze. In stopped production of the PB&J factory on my counter and my eyes teared up. In moments like these I am so in awe of my children and my God. I am amazed how He reveals himself to the little ones such as these. And I am humbled by the simple faith of a child. In the midst of slathering jelly on crust less bread I was reminded that "we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which he created in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10)

Thank you Lord, for using my children daily to draw me closer to you.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Word To The Wise

Three car seats in the backseat of a big truck can be difficult to coordinate. Picture Adam on one side, Claire in the middle, and Henry on the other side. Poor Claire is stuck between the boys because otherwise they fight way too much. Today as I was attempting to place a sleeping Claire in the middle car seat Adam kept trying to touch her and I desperately wanted her to stay asleep.

ME: Adam please don't touch baby Claire. If you wake her up she will scream her head off and none of us want that.
HENRY: Adam, we don't want that. If she screams her head off one of us will have to sew it back on. And it won't be me.

Not sure whose comment was more effective, mine or Henry's. But Adam didn't touch Claire again.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Tahoe Blues

When you're 4 the blues sound a little like this ...

Yes Henry. There will be plenty of time to sing about silly girls breaking your heart. Rock out a chorus about marble games and butterflies while you still can.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

It Takes Three Baby

I am in love. Deeply and madly in love. Part of this overwhelming feeling may have to do with the fact that we are vacationing in beautiful Lake Tahoe where all of life feels just a bit sweeter. I'm sure it also helps that I have seven extra sets of helping hands around to lighten the load that three children can create. Maybe my children have just cast a spell on me. Whatever the reason I've never been more content to be a mom. Or more in love with my three blessings.

This feeling of sweet contentment started to blossom when Claire was about 2 months old. I've been trying to put a finger on just why I am so satisfied with my role lately and while I think there are many contributing factors one thing above all else seems to have made the biggest difference ... I became a mother of three. And in doing so, I am now completely outnumbered, and overwhelmed, and exhausted and somehow more relaxed than I've ever been. I am enjoying my children to the fullest. Henry seems more charming and clever. Adam more witty and full of life. And Claire is just precious. If this feeling continues we just might end up with all the kids (5!!) Matt has always wanted. Maybe. Or maybe that's just the thin Tahoe mountain air talking.

Monday, July 4, 2011

All Our Thanks

We are officially moved into the new house and I would like to take a few minutes to recognize all that helped us accomplish this goal.

A bottle of Windex.
(hours of entertainment for Adam)

A box of Lego's.
(one of the last toys left in the house)

My (always available) babysitter "Thomas the Train."

A 2 year old boy who isn't opposed to falling asleep on the floor.

A baby girl who started taking 3 hour naps.

And last but not least, THANK YOU to all the good folks at Dreyer's. I would not have made it through the last week without you.

*     *     *

Truly the biggest thanks goes to our friends and family. My mom was grandma on call all week and even took the boys for a night. THANK YOU! Matt's best friend Mack flew up for a week and did a bit of everything: wood flooring, fence building, babysitting, and cooking. Matt worked LONG hours (day and night) and still kept his cool at home while his wife had one emotional breakdown after another. My sisters entertained the boys with rodeos and sleepovers and my dear Chico friends Mea and Becca willingly took the kids so I could have moments of child free packing. Thanks to all of you our roots are now firmly planted in good 'ol Chico.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Someday I'll Miss This

I had to run errands yesterday with all 3 kids in tow. It was exhausting and by the end of our outing I was ready for a nap. Picture me walking into the post office with Claire's car seat hooked in the crook of my elbow, Adam "holding" (I use that term very loosely) the opposite hand and Henry gripping the pocket of my shorts. A gentleman held the door open for us on our way into the post office. I said, "Thank you." He smiled and replied, "You sure have your hands full." On our way out of the post office another gentleman held the door open for us. I said thanks. And he replied, "You sure have your hands full." Henry looked at me and said, "Why does everyone say that to you?" I was too tired to even respond. I just looked into his big brown eyes and smiled. And this song popped into my head.

I love that song. Every time I listen to the lyrics I am reminded to slow down and appreciate my life and my children. It's not much fun to take three kids age 4 and under to the post office. But I do believe that one day I will look back and miss this.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hiking With Hemorrhoids

When Claire was about a week old we went on a family hike through Upper Bidwell Park. It was really more of a stroll but Henry thought we were "hiking through the woods."

About 5 minutes into our hike I realized that Claire's birth had left me with a raging case of hemorrhoids. I wanted to stop right there and throw a royal pity party but instead I put on my happiest face and continued the trek. Because let's be honest, I knew I wasn't going to get much sympathy from my husband, my 2 and 4 year old boys and my week old baby. Somewhere along that wooded path I had a pain packed Ah-Ha moment as the title of what I hope will one day be a book came to me: Hiking With Hemorrhoids. The premise? An honest, humorous and endearing look at the unexpected things you learn as you journey through motherhood. So here it is. The beginning of my book - in bullet format.

  • A bad hair day can ruin a 4 year old boys morning.
  • It does not come naturally for me to be "slow to anger and abounding in love" with my children.
  • Coffee and goldfish crackers are now staples in my diet.
  • My boobs are capable of swelling to a shocking size. And sadly shrinking to an even more shocking size.
  • I can survive on just a few hours of sleep for months at a time.
  • I hate glitter and play dough and syrup (always have). But I let my kids enjoy ALL 3 of these things because it makes them smile.
  • I love the smell of morning breath on my boys and sour milk in my baby girls neck rolls.
  • It is easier to be friends with people who parent the same way I do.
  • Baby number 1 was so much more difficult than baby number 3. Even though looking back baby number 1 was really an easier baby.
  • I fall more in love with my husband every time he folds a load of laundry or vacuums the floor.
  • My sense of hearing has evolved so that I can detect a child who is out of their bed at 2:00 am the second their feet hit the floor.
  • I can wipe a poopy bottom, nurse a baby and talk on the phone at the same time.
  • Few things are more dangerous to a tranquil home than the unspoken expectations I have of my husband and my children.
Motherhood is changing me into the woman I never knew I would love to be. If you feel like sharing I would love to hear some of the things you are learning as you journey through motherhood.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What'll It Be? A Book or A Boulder?

In this house unexpected silence does not mean someone has found a book and they are curled up in a corner reading. It's much more likely someone has crawled into the bathroom sink, turned on the water and filled it with bubbles (that happened earlier today). So when I was making dinner tonight and an eerie silence fell over the house I knew I needed to investigate.

This is what I found ...

Yes. That is Claire's room. No. That is not her tricycle. And no. Adam is not allowed to ride his trike in the house. Which leads me to believe he snuck the trike into the house and used it as a tool to aide in mischief. Say, as a stool perhaps. I investigate further. And what (or should I say who) do I find?

Claire, you are going to be one tough little girl. I hope you enjoyed your story time.
I was actually relieved she was only covered with books when I stumbled across the load Adam was carrying in his trike. 

Yes. That is a HUGE, sharp rock in the trunk of Adam's tricycle! Thank you Lord that he filled the crib with books and not this boulder.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Time Out ... What Did You Just Say?!?

Henry was in a time-out for doing who knows what. Take your pick. You're probably right. As he was serving his time I was just around the door and heard him mumble, "I hate this damn place." WHAT?!? I'm shocked and sad and confused and also (I hate to admit) very amused to hear those words come out of his mouth.

ME: "Henry, what did I just hear you say?"
HENRY: (looks at me like he has no idea what I'm talking about)
ME: "You just said two words you are not supposed to use. "Hate" and "damn."
HENRY: (looks at me like he has no idea what I'm talking about)
ME: "Where did you hear that word?"
HENRY: (looks at me like he has no idea what I'm talking about)
ME: (because this conversation is obviously going nowhere and I need to pull out the big guns) "God doesn't like it when you use those words Henry. And neither does momma. They are not nice words."
Henry: (with what I believe was a glimmer of smart-ass in his eye) "God is in the other room right now momma."

Fine. I give up. Enjoy your damn time out Henry!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Summer Math

When you take one hour of this ...
Plus two hours of this ...
You are left with this ...
And an early bedtime!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Thanks Kid

We closed on our house this week and Matt and I have been filling boxes as quickly as our schedules allow. The other day Adam really, REALLY wanted to join the packing party. I put aside my Type A, task oriented, get it done personality and obliged him. Even though I kept telling myself to "relax and let him help" I found myself cringing every time he threw something in a box. The more he "helped" the more anxious I became about what was going inside my boxes. And then I looked over and saw this ...

I laughed. He giggled. And we resumed our packing feeling more lighthearted. Thanks kid.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Children Are A Blessing (in Disguise)

My favorite defintion of the word blessing is "a favor or gift bestowed by God, thereby bringing happiness." I can't tell you the number of times people have looked at my kids and said to me, "you are so blessed." I couldn't agree more. I am blessed with three beautiful children. But I have to be honest. At times my children feel more like a blessing in disguise.

A few mornings ago Adam - my sweet 2 year old - was my blessing in disguise. He woke up at 4:50am. He did not want to cuddle in my bed. He did not want to quietly eat breakfast. In fact, he did not want to be quiet at all. He wanted to cry, and whine and quite frankly be very obnoxious. In order to prevent him from waking the other two kiddos I made the executive decision to take Adam on a walk ... at 5:03 am.

I am a morning person and I love early morning exercise. What I love most about early morning workouts is that it is my time. It is the only time during the day when I don't have to get a snack, or a toy, or nurse a baby, or wipe a bottom, or read a book or blow up water balloons. You get the picture. It is my time to enjoy the sunrise - a physical reminder that God's mercies are indeed new every morning. It is my time to pray and meditate on God's word. Most importantly it is time to set my mind on the things above before my little blessings start overwhelming me with earthly requests. On this particular early morning I begrudgingly accepted the fact that I would be pushing one of my blessings in the stroller as I enjoyed "my" time with God.

As Adam and I started the trek up the hill near our house I began to chat with God. It was tough. I was grumpy. I didn't want to be up quite this early. I didn't want to be pushing the stroller. And then Adam started to sing. As I listened to his sweet voice, I started to notice the beautiful morning around me. I thanked God for the sunrise. And I asked Adam, "Who gave us the sun?" His reply? "God."

ME: Adam, who gave us this morning?
ADAM: God.
ME: Who gave us healthy bodies so we could go on a walk?
ADAM: (no reply ... but I'm pretty sure he knew).

And from there it happened. I was filled with the most incredible joy, and peace and appreciation for my children, my husband and my God. As Adam and I reached the top of the hill the glorious sun was up. We stopped for a minute to take it in. I stooped down by my little man, gave him a kiss and thanked God for revealing Himself to me. And for using my little blessing in disguise to do so.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Wound is in the Eye of the Beholder

Henry suffered an injury at the park this morning. It was serious. See ...

What?! You didn't see it? Look a little closer. It's on his foot very close to his heel. Maybe this will help.

Okay. Now that you have some context for the size and scope of his injury I would like to share the conversation we shared in regard to his wound.

HENRY: (a brief pause in sobbing) I can't believe Adam never gets hurt like this.
ME: No, Henry. Adam just breaks his arm, knocks out his front tooth and gets stung by
        a bee and doesn't even cry.
HENRY: This is much worse than a broken arm. (sobbing resumes)

Monday, June 13, 2011

It's 5:00 o'clock Somewhere

This is what awaits me this evening.

And this is why.

BONUS PARENTING TIP: If you give your child a fork, knife and spoon your nearly empty bottle (don't judge) of margaritas becomes a drum! Everyone's happy now.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Boy And The Bean ... One STINKIN' Bean!

 This is the tale of two brothers and some beans. Little brother loves beans so when Mama Barron made (opened a can of) baked beans tonight she knew little brother would enjoy every minute of his meal.

Just as Mama Barron was certain little brother would love his beans she knew big brother would HATE them. Mama and Papa Barron did their best to "encourage" big brother to eat the bean. They started by telling him he could not have his coveted corn on the cob until he ate a bean (ONE stinkin' bean). To speed the process along they also threatened to eat all the corn on the cob if he didn't hurry up.

When this attempt to get the bean down didn't work, momma and papa Barron tried a new tactic. They tried to help big brother Barron realize that there was no reason to fear the bean. They also tried to cheer big brother Barron to victory over the bean.

Momma and papa Barron are very dedicated (stubborn) parents. They knew big brother Barron could conquer this bean so they decided to give him a practical tactic used by children for ages.

Failure was not an option. Big brother Barron was so close. With just a little cheering moma and papa Barron were certain  big brother Barron would eat the bean. And maybe - if everyone was lucky - he would even like it!

Friday, June 10, 2011

I Was A Great Mom - Before I Had Kids

Before I had kids I knew a few things for sure.
  • My kids would always say "please" and "thank you".
  • My kids wouldn't drink juice unless it was watered down.
  • My kids would nap when it was nap time. No exceptions.
(And perhaps number one on my list?)
  •  My kids would NOT be television junkies. Ever.
Well parenthood (and the reality of three kids age 4 and under) has a way of humbling even the most rigid parent.

Case in point. Here is Claire. Age 2  1/2 months. She looks INCREDIBLY happy right?

Well this is what she is watching.

So far it appears that her two favorite shows are "Dino Dan" (on nick jr.) and "Say Yes to the Dress" (on TLC). And yes. This mom who thought I knew everything about parenting (before I had kids) is enjoying a big piece of humble pie as I type this entry. While my kids watch a movie I might add.

Monday, June 6, 2011

If These Walls Could Talk ...

... they might ask us to move out.

The walls of this home are mostly privy to dirty diapers, burnt dinners, scraped knees, the battling burps and farts of 2 little boys and recently a baby sister who can already hold her own. These three kids are my pride, my joy and often my very embarrasing appendages. Mostly they are my comic relief. For those of you who find crazy children and a mother creeping closer and closer to insanity entertaining I invite you to join me as I share (vent) about my bunch of Barrons.