Olivia has created an alter-ego.

"Evil Girl"

She ran around all morning snicker and saying, "I"m Evil Girl!"

She dropped guacamole on the floor. I told her that wasn't nice. She replied, "No Mom, it's not nice - it's EVIL!"

... we may need to stop watching Phineas & Ferb.

And I may need to reevaluate my parenting if she's relating more to the villains in these TV shows.


Oscars in the background

Once my sister-in-law Molly told me a story that she was relaying from a teacher. It was probably four years ago. I don't remember the details of the story at all - something about a donkey with a lame foot. But the line at the end of the story has stuck with me all these years...

"He's just doing the best he can with what he's got."

Isn't that what we're all doing? I just looked around me today and saw all these families. All just trying to do the best they can. We don't all parent the same way. We don't all believe the same things. But we are all just trying to do the best we can with what we've got. 

I thought of people that I've been quick to judge. You know... random people... none of you reading of course.. ;)  ... but nonetheless, this thought always comes back to me. They are just trying to do the best they can with what they've got. I have 4 working legs so who I am to judge a fellow donkey who only has 3?  Or something like that.

And I think about it with myself. Some days my best is not my best on another day. I just have to do the best I can with what I've got that day. Some days I have a full nights sleep. Those days are better than ones when I'm struggling on just a few hours of sleep. 

I guess what I really want to say is - as Moms we are all in this together. Before we judge another mother no matter what her situation - we should remember she too is just trying to do the best she can with what she's got.

I don't know where I'm going with this. I just really love that image of a poor donkey doing the best he can with what he's got. I wish I could remember the rest of the story.


Our house at 3am

The scene: The girls' bedroom, 3:06am. Abigail crying for 20 minutes straight (highly unusual for her) in her crib, wearing a soaked diaper and she's gotten her pajama's halfway off. Cut to Olivia in her bed across the room, sitting up wide awake.

MOM :  Changes baby's diaper, not saying a word.

OLIVIA : Mom, I want you to make a pie. Acawully I want you to make me dis many pies. holds up three fingers. I want a raspberry pie. Have you ever had a raspberry pie before, Mom? Dem are so good. And I want... a .... uhhmm... Mom? What's your fabrit pie to make faw us?

MOM : mutters sleepily Pumpkin.

OLIVIA: Okay Mom! You can make me a pumpin pie! Aaand.... uhhhmmmm.... what else?... Oh Mom! A strawberry pie! That's my fabrit. Okay tomorrow when we wake up you can bake us free pies.

MOM : Puts baby back in crib. 

OLIVIA: Okay, Mom? You can make us free pies. Okay? Mom! Okay. Mom, lay wif me a tiny bit.

MOM : Goodnight, Olivia.

Mom walks out the door praying that she won't see those precious faces again until daybreak. Climbs back into her bed and realizes after 2 hours of sleep she is wide awake. Scene closes as Mom "blogs" about it.


It's hard to put up pictures...

When my child is naked every time I take a picture of her. Olivia does not keep clothes on for any length of time. It drives me nuts. She has gotten good at putting her clothes back on by herself, but it never lasts long. Seriously every picture I have of her recently she is half or completely naked.

Anyway I have been feeling extremely lazy this week. My house really went to pot when the kids were sick earlier in the week. I haven't been feeling great myself, so right now there is a pile of things to be taken down to the toy room, some things scattered about the living room that should be in that pile, and about 32,000 pounds of laundry to be washed, dried, folded and put away. So I'm going to declare tomorrow a "screen free day". No TV, or internet for me all day tomorrow.

Is it sad that this would be a great accomplishment? Hopefully I will get things straightened up around here in time for the weekend. So we can mess it up again, and I can do this over and over again and again until I die.

Too dramatic?



I have been counting to myself a lot today. My patience is worn so thin.

Kids have been sick since Saturday. Today they seem to be coming out of it, but have entered this stage of grumpiness that is unparalleled.

Olivia wanted hot chocolate this morning. She let me know by yelling in her whiniest voice "I want hot chocolate" and then she expects me to make it. Does anyone else have trouble doing things when their kids "ask" like this. I told her she had to ask nicely. So she added a please. So I get up and make some hot chocolate. Bring it to her, and she cries like I gave her mud to drink. What's wrong with it? "IT'S NOT HOT ENOUGH!!!" Times like this is where I breathe and count to keep from strangling her. It makes my blood boil. You are 2. You don't order me around!!

And then my sweet Abigail is just miserable. She cried and screamed and cried and whined and screamed. And then something must have happened because of all of a sudden she started to sound like a monkey in the zoo. Like some kind of howler monkey. This nonstop screeching noise in a pitch I have never heard a human reach. Again... breathe... count...breathe. Eventually we found her pacifier and put her in her crib and she fell asleep.

It's only 8:30 AM and I'm ready for bedtime.


Writers block

I have like 10 unpublished posts in my dashboard. I have plenty to say, but then I think about you - anyone who may be reading this blog - and I worry about what I've said. It may be something as simple as what my kids did today and I worry I might offend someone.

No one has ever told me they were offended by blog. I have never gotten a negative comment, or email. And I still worry about what people think about my blog. There is something wrong with me.

Mainly I worry about how I will sound when I talk about how wonderful my life is. Because really, it is wonderful. I feel so spoiled. I don't know what I ever did to deserve such a wonderful life.

But kind of I do.

I have always, always wanted to do what is right. I have always tried to please people - and none more than my Father in heaven. I keep the commandments. I live His teachings. I am not perfect by any means. I fight laziness more than anyone I know. I lose my patience. I hurt people's feelings I'm sure. But I try, and try and try to do all I can to do things that are pleasing unto God. And I honestly feel that is why I am so blessed.

I hesitate in publishing this because I'm afraid it's saying that people who have bad stuff happen to them aren't good people. And that's not true. At all. But I know the reason I am happy is because I keep the commandments of the Lord.

Just thought I'd share that. Maybe I can get over this writers block now. Expect something good this week.   :)


I love to try to capture my children at a certain age so I can look back in a few years and remember what these days were like.

Olivia will be three in less than a month. She has been waking up in the middle of the night and completely changing her pajama's. She doesn't wake anyone else up when she does it - but each morning she's in a completely different outfit than the one she was in when I put her to bed. Or she's completely naked under her blankets.
She's also started shortening words. Like creating her own slang. It cracks me up. Instead of saying sorry, a lot of times she will just say, "Sor". And potty has become "potta" or just "pot". I have no clue where she gets this stuff. She's also a little ham. Yesterday we were playing dress up. She was a "beautiful princess". We had made some popcorn she was eating, and she looked at me and said, "Mmmm, the bad witch made this popcorn me." And I said, "Oh no a bad witch??" And she said, "Yeah, and it's not poi -- uuuughh" And fell over pretending to be dead. At which point Abigail dropped her book she was reading, stood up, made a similar dying sound, and fell beside her sister. What a production.

Abigail still doesn't talk much. She gets her point across very well. With grunts and pointing, and some inventive use of sign language. I was reading my blog from when Olivia was this age and she had 30 words she used that were recognizable, and was adding words every day. I had pretty much stopped counting because I couldn't keep up with how fast her vocabulary was growing. And I won't lie. My heart was puffed up with pride in Olivia's extensive vocab. I now realize Olivia spoke because she wanted to. It had nothing (or at least little) to do with me and everything to do with her. I try to do the same things with Abigail and she just doesn't see a need to use words. Sometimes I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that Olivia never slept as a baby. Her naps were only 45 minutes at 15 months. Abigail naps for about 3 hours a day. She is mostly happy. She still uses her binkie. She loooves to read books. And rip books. And take anything she can away from her sister.

I love watching them play together. Sometimes I can't believe we made sisters. It's just a crazy feeling, realizing we are a family. We are creating this little family and it's so fun. And exhausting. But mostly fun.


those pictures

Ready for picture overload?








                                                                *My brother Jesse with Olivia.
                                                                    *Best happy faces ever
                                                                     *Best funny faces ever
                                                                    *Best blurry picture ever.


Valentine's Day Recap

So I heard a lot people this year hating Valentine's Day. Claiming it's a "greeting card holiday". Aaron once told me the history of Valentine's Day. I take everything he says as truth and he's rarely wrong - but I decided to look it up this year anyway. It is an interesting story. It is the celebration of St. Valentine, but which one and why? Currently the Catholic church honors three Valentines with sainthood. And all three were martyrs. But my favorite one of all is:
 One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men — his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

I think it's fun to imagine young lovers seeking out this Claudius for private little weddings. And how important he felt marriage was. I love marriage and take marriage very seriously. So therefore, in this sense I love Valentine's Day. And think it's a holiday worth acknowledging and celebrating. (And of course, like all other holidays that have religious origins, there is a Pagan holiday around the same time... I don't feel like typing the whole story but if you're really interested you can read here.)

We gave the girls little Valentines with little boxes of chocolate. And then we went to a playgroup and exchanged Valentines. Olivia absolutely loved it. She was thrilled with every Valentine she received, and she loved making the Valentines to hand out. Then for dinner I made the kids grilled cheese sandwiches and used a cookie cutter to make them heart shaped. And they got to eat on a blanket in the playroom, while watching The Little Mermaid. Basically I felt like the best mom ever. Then Aaron put them to bed while I cooked us a yummy grown up dinner. Of lobster tails, steak and salad. It was delicious and so fun.

Anyway I wanted to write this all down because last night we tried remembering every Valentine's Day we've celebrated together and couldn't remember them all. Now we won't forget this one.


I'll have to add pictures later

NJ Recap.

So the kids really feel at home now at my mom's. It has made our trips much more restful. Usually there were a lot of sleepless nights, our first few nights in town. Now Olivia can't wait to sleep in Jesse's bed. As usual there wasn't enough time to see everyone and do everything we wanted. But the nice thing about being in PA is knowing we'll be back soon.

I made my first baby blanket on the trip for my friend Laura who is expecting her first baby in May. It was so much fun, and I am in love with my Nanny's sewing machine. I think it was her mother's. It's an antique Singer. It was so fun to use it. And my blanket came out kind of messed up, but that's the fun of a homemade one, right? It was also fun to catch up with Laura. At least as much as we could in the hour we were there, between trying to keep my children from destroying her apartment.

We also took the kids to the Fun Time America one night. Olivia was so hilarious on the Himalaya ride. She had her hands up and everything. It's our favorite Tuesday night spot in Middletown, NJ.

The kids got lots of presents from my very generous family. We are having lots of fun with our beautiful new doll stroller, and dress up clothes. We will have to host a play date here very soon. My mom also got the girls tickets to see Elmo's Green Thumb in April. We can't wait. I think Abigail is the most excited of all. Considering her vocab consists of, Mom, Dad, Hi, and Elmo... I guess she thinks pretty highly of the little red monster. So that will be fun.

The car ride home was looooooooooong. I think the longest ever. We just a had a lot of stops. Because of grumpy kids. Olivia also threw a toy at Abigail's head and cut it open. There wasn't much blood, but a big bump. I was seriously afraid we were going to have to stop at the emergency room on the way home. But she seemed fine, and it's nothing more than a goose egg now.  I'm glad it's over.

And now my house is seriously in shambles. I haven't lifted a finger, besides cooking dinner. There is a path through the living room. Everything was just dumped there after we got home, and it's still there. Tomorrow I will attack with my usual Monday gusto. But not yet - tonight I will pretend I'm still on vacation and lay on the couch and watch TV. Tomorrow back to normal.


I love my mom!

It is so nice coming "home" to visit my family. It's a long, exhausting drive, but so worth it. This week has felt like vacation. Every night once the kids are in bed, Aaron and I have been able to go out. One night we just went to return something, and grocery shopping. The next night we went and roamed around Barnes & Nobles. Last night my mom and dad watched them so we could go out to eat and then go to the mall. We came home to sleeping kids. It's pretty much the best thing ever. We are going to squeeze in one more luxurious date before we head back to Erie on Saturday.

I am so grateful for my family being so willing to watch my kids. And so grateful that my husband loves to take me on a dates. And so grateful that after 5 and a half years of being married, I still love going on dates with my husband. Probably even more than I did before we got married.

Also my mom and I went and got our nails done together yesterday. What's better than a manicure date with your mom?

I'm happy. It will be so nice to start this term feeling refreshed. Man it's good to be me! I have needed this trip.


Finals Week Sucked

Aaron just finished finals!!! My days have been never ending this week. Right now Aaron's at the DMV finally registering our car in PA. And he took Olivia with him, while Abigail is napping. I'm in heaven!   :)  I have to admit there were times I was bitter this week, thinking how much I'd rather be studying than trying to entertain my 2 and 1 year old. But then I remember how much my brain hurt when I tried to do simple math in my head at Bunco this week. And I'm glad I'm not trying to memorize ridiculous formulas, and impossible drug names. Literally Aaron can tell me what he's studying, and I can't repeat it back it to him 2 minutes later. I don't know how he keeps it all in his head.

....and I should probably be embarrassed to admit that. But I'm not.



There was a rare moment the other night where both girls were playing up in their room all by themselves. When I realized almost 10 minutes had gone by and I hadn't heard anything I started to worry. Usually there's a cry from Abigail, or lecturing from Olivia by now. So I ran up the stairs and decided to just peak in the door. Abigail was sitting on the rocking chair reading a book. And Olivia was sitting on the floor, arms folder in prayer. And she was saying out loud, "Please help me be good. And help me do all my jobs. And help me be nice. InthenameofJesusChristAmen!"

I just closed the door as quietly as I could and tiptoed back downstairs. It was just such a sweet moment. And funny, because, "help her do all her jobs"? She has one "job" that she does every day. She sorts the silverware from the dishwasher and puts it away for me. And she loves doing it! Anytime I ask her to come do her job she comes happily running. It just cracked me up.

And then just as I sat down, thinking to myself what sweet wonderful children I have, the crying and screaming came. Olivia had taken Abigail's book. Or something.

.... I really wanted a post about how sweet and grown up Olivia is getting. But it's hard right now because she's currently screaming her head off at the top of the stairs because of all a sudden she's developed a phobia to coming down the stairs without me carrying her. My patience is wearing thin lately.