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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Semantics

Semantics

On our second snow day last week, the boys went outside. Since it was too cold for Anna, I stayed inside. Since I stayed inside, Mary Virginia stayed inside where she could maintain at least one point of contact with me. The boys were running around, criss-crossing the yard and going into our playhouse, so

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Half marathon, full pregnant

Half marathon, full pregnant

At my 39-week check up I happened to casually mention that my husband was running the half marathon over the weekend. Immediately my doctor got very serious about developing a plan for what I would do if my labor started while the race was happening and there I was, on the sidelines of a race

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The week before Halloween

The week before Halloween

Discerning readers will notice that I already posted about Halloween night, so a post about all of our Halloween prep is out of order. But I cannot move on with my life without showing you the REST of our Halloween fun. I’m super pregnant. Tying on my shoes is a huge accomplishment, so imagine how

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All Hallows’ Eve

All Hallows’ Eve

Way back in May when I found out I was going to have a baby in mid-November, I immediately thought through the calendar. It will affect Tom’s birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. And then there’s Halloween. At 38 weeks, I wasn’t expecting to have a newborn, but I was expecting to be very big, very exhausted, and

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Semantics

Semantics

I lose Thomas a lot. Like, in my house. It’s not because we live inside of a TJ Maxx, it’s because Thomas is a lot faster, quieter, and more creative than me. This has been happening since he was very young, but now that he’s older and can work our doors I get more worried if

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100% Juice + Coconut Water = deliciously Welch’s

100% Juice + Coconut Water = deliciously Welch’s

Click here for more information about Welch’s 100% Juice with Coconut water. One thing my kids and I have in common: we both love treats. I love celebrating, making ordinary days special. I love baking half cakes for half birthdays, and surprising the kids with a dollop of homemade whipped cream on their pancakes for absolutely no

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Semantics

Semantics

Whether it’s dolls or stuffed animals, Mary Virginia is always very, very busy arranging and preparing things. Her hands are always full, she is always rushing to pack her purse and runs out the door with it swinging against her shoulder. One day as she was struggling to multitask, she handed me a doll and

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Semantics

Semantics

When I try a new snack with my kids, I’ve learned to expect anything. They have rejected all things sweet, savory, salty, crispy, and crunchy. Recently Mary Virginia stuck a dagger directly into my heart when she told me that she doesn’t like Cheetos anymore because they’re “too juicy.” Recently I made these, hoping they’d

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31 weeks, 2 days

31 weeks, 2 days

This morning at the bus stop, one of the kids looked at me and said, “WHAT is in your belly?” Me and my belly have been at the bus stop every morning and afternoon for two weeks, but for some reason he JUST NOW realized that I’m a dead ringer for Humpty Dumpty. My first

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Rapidly approaching the hill

Rapidly approaching the hill

The day before my birthday HAPPENED to be the our first full day back after vacation. I don’t know if my kids are the only kids who do this, but my kids spend at least one entire day after vacation punishing us for going on vacation. Like, if you parents think you’re going to take

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