So long, sweet summer

So long, sweet summer

The calendar says it’s fall but it was 90 degrees outside today and my kids swam in the pool. It’s hot, humid, the leaves are all on the trees, but it does feel like fall in one very key way: we’ve been sick for the past five weeks. This is Thomas doing jumping jacks to

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Pyramid Solitaire for the win

Pyramid Solitaire for the win

This post is sponsored by MobilityWare but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. I have four young kids, so to say I’m busy is an understatement. I have almost no free time, and if you don’t believe me, I’d like to call to the witness stand: my laundry pile, my junk drawer,

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Semantics

Semantics

Thomas tripped, and when he put his hand out to catch himself his palm hit a rock. He walked to me, holding out his hand, crying, and I did what all moms do. I said, “Thomas, come here. Let Mommy kiss it.” I took his hand in mine and as I drew it to my

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Friday exhale

Friday exhale

One side effect of having two kids in school is that we look forward to the weekend more than ever. “Is today the weekend?” Mary asked me one Tuesday morning. By Friday we are all tired and ready for a break from the bus stop, packed lunches, and wrestling all that hair into a school-appropriate

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10 months

10 months

As I type this, everyone in Richmond is traveling from grocery store to grocery store, looking for bottled water and batteries in preparation for Hurricane Florence. And me? I’m prioritizing my girl’s 10-month update, because my neighbor told me that the last time a storm this big came through, our neighborhood lost power for TWELVE

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Brave Mary

Brave Mary

This summer will go down in history as the summer that Mary looked her fear in the eye, balled it up, and stomped on it. She became confident on her bike, is a completely independent swimmer, and went to summer camp all by herself. These are huge accomplishments for a little girl. Mary and I

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Vacation photo album

Vacation photo album

I’ve been blogging a ton this week — way more than I normally do. It’s because I feel a deadline looming to post everything from vacation, if I don’t do it this week, I never will. This is the last week of summer. In just a few days my two big kids will get on

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Everybody has a buddy

Everybody has a buddy

After writing two kind of complain-y posts about our trip to a beautiful lake in a phenomenal house, I would be remiss if I didn’t say: our vacation was awesome. I love finding humor in mishaps and sleep deprivation, but those moments were honestly the exceptions. There was a lot of work, sure. We were

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Embracing creativity, mess, and clean-up

Embracing creativity, mess, and clean-up

This post is sponsored by The Libman Company but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. [CLICK HERE] to learn more about The Libman Company and get a $3-off coupon when you sign up for their newsletter. As proof that literally everything can be divisive among moms, here’s an example of a seemingly

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Mark this day in history

Mark this day in history

My kids pulled out our bathroom scale this morning and weighed themselves. That’s how we found out that they weigh 55, 44, 33, and 22 pounds. If you’re thinking, “What a coincidence!” you’re completely wrong. I’ve lowered and completely eliminated standards on my kids’ haircuts, wardrobe, and bath frequency, but doing whatever it takes to

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Water baby

Water baby

We’ve had this thing for three summers and no baby has ever really used it. Every now and then someone comes over and their baby tolerates it for a bit, but it never lasts too long. Usually they put the baby in, it’s happy for a few minutes, then it realizes it’s been tricked! It’s parents are

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Time and babies

Time and babies

One morning after I put Anna down for a nap, the middle two were distracted so I stole a few moments with David. He’s doing big kid stuff — working a 300-piece puzzle, drinking seltzer water, wiggling his two loose front teeth with his tongue. Moments earlier, I’d just peered into Anna’s mouth, checking to

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Semantics

Semantics

Thomas was standing on the pool stairs, bending his head backwards into the water. When he stood straight, his hair was all slicked back. His curls, when wet, reach his shoulders, and his hair is so blonde on top it almost looked like he was bald with a mullet. “You guys, look how funny Thomas’s

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Postpartum chic

Postpartum chic

This post is sponsored by Degree Women but the content and opinions expressed here are my own. I regularly walk around, unwittingly, with stickers on my clothes. At the beginning of this month I hosted a birthday party with a nursing pad stuck out of my shirt. Whatever, my look is “discombobulated mom of four”

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Semantics

Semantics

Thomas walks up to me, gives me a big hug and says, “This is the best mommy ever!” I lean down, hugging him back, “Thomas! You think I’m the best mommy ever? Thank you!” Thomas pulls away, confused, “No, Mommy, my TIGER is the best mommy ever.”  

Five years old

Five years old

Today is Mary Virginia’s fifth birthday. She was born on her due date, June 7, 2013, with a scowl on her face. Mary took her first breath at 10:53 a.m., and since then she has not stopped talking long enough to take another breath. Now she’s five. Happy birthday to my curly girly, my Mary

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Summer screen time

Summer screen time

This is Mary’s new iPhone. My niece made it, and it’s easily the most coveted item in our house. Everyone wants it but no one can touch it. After all, Mary has a data plan to consider. Mary uses it like a fully functional phone — she takes pictures, she texts, she FaceTimes my mom.

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Cue the graduation march

Cue the graduation march

Me at David’s preschool graduation: “Whoa!? People dress up for this?” Me on the way to Mary Virginia’s preschool graduation: “I have an inappropriately fancy dress, and three dress shoe options.” (She decided on her Crocs.) \ We also brought along an eye-rolling kindergartener who kept accusing me of not going to his preschool graduation.

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Remarkably self-aware

Remarkably self-aware

In the middle of a spontaneous walk that ended up being admittedly too ambitious, foolishly close to lunch time, and with a stroller that was much too small to be of any help, Thomas decided he was done. He stopped, laid down in someone’s yard and yelled, “I can’t walk, Inna go ni-night!” I did

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6 months

6 months

Anna is six months old, and she is all chub and drool and baby smiles. She is delightful, cuddly, ticklish, and almost always happy. People stop me all the time to tell me she looks like the Gerber baby, a Cabbage Patch doll (I actually agree with that one), or to comment on her rolls

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Semantics

Semantics

Mary Virginia, talking to herself while playing with a mound of freshly-picked Azalea blossoms: “Flowers are so wonderful! They tell us, ‘God is good! God is great! God loves us! … They’re also nice for weddings!”  

Mother – daughter time

Mother – daughter time

I told myself I’d never straighten her hair, but today she needed some Mama time. I did her hair and listened as she talked about Pound Puppies, and I told her about my girlfriends in college who used to straighten and curl my hair. When I lifted her onto the counter, I didn’t notice that my compact

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Easter traditions

Easter traditions

A few days before Easter, as soon as we had nice enough weather to be outside, we dyed Easter eggs. I marched all the kids outside and told them to sit at the table and wait while I made several trips inside to get everything. Asking kids to WAIT and NOT TOUCH is a big

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Happy mama, happy kids, HappyFamily

Happy mama, happy kids, HappyFamily

Sometimes when I’m in a conversation, I can’t find the word I’m thinking of, so I say, “Sorry, I forget words, but you know what I mean?” And sometimes they offer the very obvious word that I have not been able to fish from my brain of mush, “Were you going to say you took

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Two parts cornstarch, one part water

Two parts cornstarch, one part water

David is learning about solids and liquids at school, so on a recent snow day I decided to mix up some cornstarch and water. I remember loving this as a kid, and as I mixed it up for my kids, it was equally fascinating. Is it a solid? Is it a liquid? IT’S IMPOSSIBLE TO

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Snow day traditions

Snow day traditions

At the first sign of snow my kids start begging for hot chocolate and popcorn. I welcomed them inside from snow once, and that’s exactly how long it took for the tradition to stick. It’s funny how every single morning I tell them, “It’s time to go to the bus! Put on your shoes, get

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HAWK! HAWK! HAWK!

HAWK! HAWK! HAWK!

We spend most mornings doing dignified things like practicing our table manners, reciting the larger catechism, and discussing foreign films. But on this particular morning it was unseasonably warm. Thomas went outside in his normal uniform — no pants, no shoes, and his favorite hand-me-down orange shirt. He ran around pretending to be a bird,

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Blue on blue on blue on blue

Blue on blue on blue on blue

Both of my boys were born with slick bald heads, and eventually grew shaggy blonde hair. Both of my girls were born with the slightest bit of brunette fuzz. We’ll have to wait a while to see if Anna’s hair grows into spiral curls like her sister’s, but I think it’s already safe to say

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Semantics

Semantics

Recently Thomas hit some sort of verbal milestone. He’s been talking in sentences for a while, but now he’s putting together real sentences, not baby sentences. For example, instead of saying “I go OUSSIDE!” Now he says, “Mommy! I want to go outside!” Since he’s our third child, phrases like, “She did it on PURPOSE”

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Sick as a stuffed puppy

Sick as a stuffed puppy

Early this fall I put flu shots at the tip top of our “things to do before baby” list. Not every member of our family was as motivated to cross off that particular task. I tried to explain the modern medical miracle of inoculation against a terrifying virus, but ultimately it was the promise of a

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The butt of their best jokes

The butt of their best jokes

I’m slowly coming out of the general malaise of pregnancy and newborn exhaustion. With that, I’m doing everything I can to run a tighter ship at home, and reverse some bad (lazy) habits we’ve fallen into. No, my kids are not wearing matching clothes. Yes, the pumpkins I put on the porch back in October

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Super Rowl

Super Rowl

We don’t normally follow pro football very closely, and this year if you had told me the NFL took the whole year off I might have believed you because, well, let’s just say I’ve been a little distracted. (Except for this. I did hear about this.) This year we watched the Super Bowl with some

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Semantics

Semantics

One day over lunch Mary Virginia and I were talking about how things were when I was a kid. I explained that we only had one phone and it was attached to the wall so we couldn’t take it into the yard or in the car. And the only thing it did was make phone calls. It

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