One of my goals is to capture life as it is rather than rely on my memory.  One of the ways that I want to do that is to take pictures of my house as it is today, so that it’s easier to remember.

Since we’ve just moved, every room is undocumented.  Get ready for some pictures!

Boys Bedroom – Before


  • The glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling.  In both bedrooms.
  • The lovely kitty & puppy wallpaper border.
  • Carpet that looks pink-ish (to me anyway).


Boys Bedroom – After:

We took down the stars (easy), ripped up the carpet, removed the wallpaper (surprisingly and thankfully easy!), replaced the light fixtures with a ceiling fan,  and painted everything!  We painted:

  • The ceiling white (you have no idea how un-white your ‘white’ ceiling really is until you paint it!)
  • The woodwork white – except for the windows as I had plans to replace them, but I’m now re-thinking that.
  • The closet white – you might not think it makes a big difference, but oh boy, does it!
  • Sammy’s room became a soft tan color – Home Depot’s Almond Wisp
  • Finn & Stephen’s room has white walls with a big silver stripe running throughout.  It was the same as at the previous house and a) I still liked it and b) it was nice to keep something the same for them!


These aren’t the best pictures.  We finished the room at least a few weeks ago, but then just last week, we moved Finn out of their shared room to share a room with Sammy.  So the pictures don’t quite match.  But it’s the pictures that I got!

Stephen’s entered the “Terrible Twos”, right?  Some experts say that it starts at 18 months and he’s now 21 months.  If he is, then it’s a different experience than we’ve had with Finn.  He’s definitely starting to want his way a lot more.  And we’ve seen a couple of big crying sessions when things don’t go his way.  But, by and large, he obeys (when he understands what we’re asking for).  He doesn’t mind following me (or others).

He’s starting to talk so much more.  He still isn’t very understandable to others except for me and Jeff, but he’s talking ALOT more.  And every day, he’s becoming understandable.

He’s very affectionate.  Maybe too much so!  He’s always giving hugs.  If someone comes over, he hugs them.  If Aunt Tiffany comes over, he hugs her and any of her kids she brought with her.  Sometimes, he’s too aggressive!  There have been occasions when I’m holding him and he’ll take both of his hands and forceably turn my face so that he can give me kisses.  Over and over and over.  It’s cute, but it is aggressive at times.

He’s clumsy.  This is a phase, I’m sure, because he didn’t use to be so accident prone.  It isn’t his shoes – he trips in different shoes.  It isn’t his walk – the pediatrician watched him walk and didn’t see anything wrong.  He’s just clumsy lately.  Growth spurt maybe where his feet have grown faster than his mind has adapted.  But that boy always has small bruises and cuts.

He loves his Elmo.  Except it isn’t his.  Finn got a stuffed night-time Elmo as a gift at least a year ago.  He really liked it and slept with it.  A few months ago, as soon as Finn & Stephen started sharing a room, Stephen started really wanting it.  We even caught him waiting until Finn fell asleep, then Stephen would go grab it from Finn’s bed!  Eventually, I just asked Finn if Stephen could sleep with it.  Finn gladly gave it up.  Now Stephen always sleeps with it and his blankie.  Sometimes, he even goes and grabs it as a way of saying that he needs a nap!

He’s an eater!  He eats much more than Finn, at least on a consistent basis.  Finn’s kind of hit-or-miss.  Sometimes, he’ll eat alot and sometimes, practically nothing.  No matter what it is.  (I’ve heard that’s quite normal and he’s growing, so I don’t sweat that small stuff).  But Stephen usually eats more than Finn and does so at almost every meal.  I haven’t really found anything that he doesn’t like – he eats it all!  (So far.)


Bedtime battles

In preparation for our 3rd child, Finn and Stephen started sharing a room.  Finn in a bed and Stephen in a crib.  A whopping 3 weeks later, Stephen learned to get out of that crib!  Thus entered the bedtime battle blues.

Jim Gaffigan says:

“Bedtime makes you realize how completely incapable you are of being in charge of another human being. My children act like they’ve never been to sleep before. ‘Bed? What’s that? No, I’m not doing that.’ They never want to go to bed. This is another thing that I will never have in common with my children. Every morning when I wake up, my first thought is, ‘When can I come back here?’ It’s the carrot that keeps me motivated. Sometimes going to bed feels like the highlight of my day. Ironically, to my children, bedtime is a punishment that violates their basic rights as human beings. Once the lights are out, you can expect at least an hour of inmates clanging their tin cups on the cell bars.”

This became my world.  Hands down, it was the worst part of my day.  I DREADED it.  I tried to get out of it and make Jeff responsible for all bedtimes for the next 18 years.  No dice.  We tried just letting the boys play, figuring they’d eventually get tired.  Nope.  Instead, they removed all the clothes from every drawer and pulled out every wet wipe from every container.  (They don’t even have toys in their room – can you imagine what they’d do if they had toys to strew about!?)  What tipped the scale is that they discovered that they could get the mattress of Stephen’s toddler bed and jump on the rails!  Which, of course, broke.

For the next 3 months, I cowered in fear of bedtime. My blood pressure shot up to 220/150.  (Not really.  Didn’t measure it.)  Even at the new house, the battles continued.  We tried to exhaust them before bed.  We tried putting 1 to bed before the other.  We tried everything.  It was always, always a fight.  And it always took hours.  (Or it seemed that way.)  And it exhausted me.

Finally, last week, we separated them. The toddler bed finally completely broke.  So we headed to the furniture store, and bought a bunk bed for the boys.  The kind that can separate into 2 twin beds.  We put Finn in with Sammy.  We left Stephen in his room alone.

It has been WONDERFUL!!!  So wonderful.  Without an audience, Stephen no longer tries to entertain someone at bedtime.  Without a playmate, Finn falls right to sleep.  Sammy sleeps through the night most of the time and the couple of times that he has cried, Finn sleeps right through it.

I no longer fear bedtime.  And it’s so incredibly freeing.  I have my life and sanity back.


Phinehas is such a blessing and a handful to us.  In the last 6 months, especially, it’s been so fun to watch his vocabulary and logic skills just skyrocket!  He can communicate so much more clearly.  He’s capable of increasingly complex thoughts.  It’s just fun to see him and to hear him process his world.

He is a very strong willed little boy. It’s hard to talk him into anything.  It’s even hard to expect little things from him – like potty training.  He knows to use the potty.  He doesn’t forget to use the potty.  It’s just that accidents don’t bother him.  Until you notice the accident, then he’s bothered by it.  The other day he didn’t want to go to the playground with the other kids in his Sunday School class, so he ran off.

He can be so kind and affectionate.  Sometimes, I’ll give him a cup of water and you would’ve thought I’d given him the moon.  “Thank you mommy!” he’ll exclaim. And he’ll randomly give me a hug or blow me a kiss.  If Sammy starts crying, Finn’s the first to go over there and talk to him saying that he’ll (Finn) make him happy.  Not get him to stop crying, but to make him happy.

He can also let his anger take over.  If he gets mad enough, he’ll just throw whatever is in his hands.  Just chuck it.  Or reach out and kick (usually Stephen) if someone is nearby.

We’re still learning how to parent him.  I suspect we will be for the next 16 years.  And that’s okay.  We’ve prayed.  We’ve read the books.  We’ve taken the parenting classes.  We’ve sought out opinions from wise people.  And from people on facebook.  We’ll continue to do all those things.

He’s just so precious to us.  Here are some of the things that I want to remember about 3-year-old Finn:

  • How he wants to make Sammy happy when he cries.
  • The other day he couldn’t find his shoes right away. “Mama, I’m disappointed.  Disappointed means sad.”  His tone said that he didn’t think I knew that.
  • He just started sharing a room with Sammy instead of Stephen.  Sammy woke up in the middle of the night one time and it work up Finn when I went in there.  I got Sammy out of his crib, but Finn tried to stop me: “No mama, he’s MY Sammy.”  Sorry Finn…gotta feed him.

And some great conversations:

Finn: Mama, I built a house (showing me his ‘house’ he built out of blankets.)
Me: How many kitchen tables does your house have?
Finn: ALOT! 3 of them.
Me: That’s good. How many bedrooms?

Finn: 2!
Me: How many bathrooms does your house have?
Finn: None. We’ll just wear diapers.


Finn: “Mama, sometimes I wanna be big. But sometimes I wanna be little too.”
Me: “Me too, Finn, me too.”


Finn: “Mama, Jesus gave me lots of pennies.”
Me: “He did?”
Finn: “Yeah. But He said that I just have to go find them.”
Me: “Interesting.”
Finn: “Mama, do you have any pennies?”


Capri: Hi Finn.
Finn: Wanna play Hide N Seek?
Capri: No. Wanna play House?
Finn: Okay.
Capri: I’ll be the mom. You be the dad.
Finn: Okay! I’ll be the dad that plays Hide N Seek.
Capri: Okay.



We had a guy come and mow the lawn.

Finn: He’s half nakkie mom!
Me: What?
Finn: Yeah, he has pants. And shoes. And a shirt, but I can see his arms.
Me: Oh…well, that’s not really half nakkie Finn. That’s just him wearing a tank top. That’s okay.


Overheard when he was playing with Little People:
“Do you hear that plane? It’s in the sky.”
“We went on a walk last night.”
“Mama and me made a cake. We get to eat it tomorrow.”
“I have to listen to my body.” (For when it’s time to go potty.)
“When the house is on fire, I have to shut the fire down.” (He likes to pretend he’s a fireman.)
“Sometimes, we have to go to bed even if we aren’t tired.”
“When Sammy wakes up, we’ll give him a bottle.”


Coming up for air!

Holy buckets, do I feel like my world has been crashing and burning the last few months!  I don’t think it’s the addition of a third child – that’s still been a pretty easy transition.  I think it’s the move.  Just as I was establishing a routine and really starting to feel like our house was our home, we moved.

While we’ve moved a few times in the 5 years we’ve been married, this one was the hardest.  BY FAR.  The first time we moved, we didn’t have any kids.  The second time we moved, we had a 1-year-old (and I was 38 weeks pregnant).  This time, I had 3 kids.  So much different.

Getting the old house ready to sale was much harder.  A 3-year-old/1year-old sibling pair is way messier than a 1-year-old.  And we had the house set up for how we needed it – with a playroom instead of a living room.  And with changing tables in 2 bedrooms.  One bedroom with a toddler bed and a twin bed.  No closet doors in the kids bedroom – just one more thing to get in the way.  And boxes and boxes and boxes of diapers in storage.  Those things are not good for getting your house ready to be on the market.

Getting the new house ready to live in was much harder.  Just like the last house, we carpeted and painted before we moved in.  Just like the last house, I hired most of that to be done by other people.  The key is “most”. There was still significant amounts of stuff for me to do.  Especially once I took a look at the bedroom woodwork and said “Let’s paint it!  Now!”  It wasn’t the amount of work to be done that made it harder than last time.  It was that every hour that I was needed at the new house to do stuff, was an hour that Jeff (usually!) was home with 3 boys alone.  So it was a lot of sneaking over after bed time to paint.  Or clean up.

But we’re in!  And just now it’s been 1 month since we moved in.  And I’m just now starting to get back into a routine of planning meals and cooking.  It’s been a fair amount of take-out, frozen pizzas and flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants.

The good news?  We love this house.  This will be a great house for us.  For now.  And for years to come.  I say that even knowing that we’re on the verge of a very expensive, very extensive, very impactful basement, bathroom and kitchen remodel.  Let the craziness begin!

3 months old!

Samuel is 3 months old!  We usually call him Sammy though.

Here’s his scrapbook page:


And a recent family picture at my cousin’s wedding last week:


Here we go again!

Here we go again!  (No, not another baby!)  Another move!

Tomorrow, Jeff & I go sign some papers, hand over a really big check and get some keys to our new house!  Then it’s moving time!

Well, almost.  We’ll own 2 houses for 1 week, giving us that week to move.  Tomorrow, complete with family, we’ll attack the house by tearing out carpet, prepping walls for paint and doing some general cleaning.  The rest of the week, we’ll paint most of it.  And on Saturday, new carpet will be installed.  Just in time for us to move in on Sunday.

We’ve been talking to the boys about moving (since, you know, the house is just down the street from us).  Today as we were getting into the car to go to church, this conversation ensued:

Finn: “Mama, I don’t think we should go to church.”

Me: “Why not Finn?”

Finn: “I don’t think we should leave our house.”

Me: “It’s okay, we’ll be back after church.”

Finn: “But if we leave our house, someone else might move into it while we’re at church.”

Me: “Oh, Finn…no one else will move into it until Mommy and Daddy say its okay.  In another week, me, you, Stephen,  Sammy and Dada are going to move to the new house.  THEN someone else can move in here.  But we will have a new house first.”

Finn: “Okay.  But I like this house.”

Me: “I know.  But the new house will be good too.”

Sad, huh?  Poor little guy.  Especially since we’ll see the new people who move in.  I suspect that will be confusing for a while!  For that reason, I plan on making his new room at the new house look as much like his old room at this house as possible.  Something familiar!


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