Working on her next best seller

Working on her next best seller

Recently Mary has become obsessed with letters and writing. I credit this newfound hobby to kindergarten and her phenomenally creative and motivating teacher. I also credit it to Mary deciding she wants to know letters, because Mary does not learn things that she does not want to learn. Not for her phenomenally creative and motivating

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Have yourself a beary little Christmas

Have yourself a beary little Christmas

There’s a reeeeeeal bear problem in Richmond these days. I wriggle this bear outfit onto Anna on our coldest bus stop mornings. She bearly fits. (I cannot and will not stop with the bear puns, I’m sorry.) But this happens to be another one of the few things that all four of my babies have

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Semantics

Semantics

We had four full days of Thanksgiving travel and festivities. We had a great time, and at the top of my “Thankful” list is all my relatives who bent over backwards to accommodate my rambunctious crew and their various eating and sleeping requirements. Despite everyone being amazing, the kids were out of their normal routines.

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Same, same, same, same

Same, same, same, same

This summer Anna blew through baby clothes sizes so fast I could barely keep up. 6-9 months, 9-12 months, 12-18 months. “Hmmm, this can’t be right,” I thought when shimmying a pair of 2T leggings on my 11-month old baby. I kept a very weather-inappropriate fleece sleeper in Anna’s drawer all summer because I wanted

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Tastes like summer

Tastes like summer

This summer, in the strip of yard where we grew pumpkins last year, we planted watermelons. We decided on a watermelon because when I left to go pick up a few seedlings, Thomas shouted, “I want watermelon!” Certain that what he meant wasn’t “I want watermelon NOW,” but instead, “I want to plant a watermelon

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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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The worst birthday ever

The worst birthday ever

Almost every year I write a blog post about my birthday. I didn’t do it this year because I had a really, really bad birthday. In the week before my birthday, I went to the grocery store and bought a few things to celebrate. Cinnamon rolls, bacon, and a watermelon. “I’d like to have some

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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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