Monday, February 25, 2013

Warm Weather and Warm Thoughts

The girls have been nuts over play doh lately (I mean really, what toddler isn't?) I'm sure the fact that we have been trapped indoors has contributed to this obsession, but they want to play with it all.the.time. I also found a super fun little pack of cut-outs and play doh tools that they (and maybe me a little bit) have really loved. I just thought this sweet little scene we created below was a lovely reminder that we can make it through the rest of this dreary winter. I hate to sound like one of those people who is never content whatever the season (wanting fall in the summer, summer in the winter, blah blah blah), so I'm forcing myself choosing to look at our ginormous amount of time spent indoors as an opportunity to spend more quality time with my precious little monkeys. 

And also an opportunity to do some reflecting. It's funny how losing your mind on a daily basis brings this about...

As insane as our days are, they are blossoming into such incredible little ladies. A lot of nights, we put Burke down about an hour before them, so we get a lot of one on one time with them both. Any parent with multiple children knows how precious that is. I really cherish that time I get with just my girls to giggle, tickle, snuggle, and love on them. A prayer I've been praying a lot lately is that God would help me to seize these precious moments and not take them for granted. Our days are crazy. Every single one of them. If Burke isn't needing to be fed/changed/bathed/played with, the girls are needing those things, too. There are whole days that go by that by the end, I can hardly remember a single detail other than filling up sippy cups, bottles, changing diapers, and the million other things that have to be done every day (oh, and did I actually play with Burke or did he just sit in the jumperoo/have stuffed animals thrown at his head or sit on the floor with toys the entire day?) and feel that wave of mom guilt wash over me because I'm not sure if I even took ten seconds to really look into my babies' faces. I know that when God brought these miracles into our lives, He had a specific plan. It was hilariously different than my plan, but when I have the clarity to try and see things through His eyes, I know that it is all to mold me to be more like Him, and less like the perfectly in control mom and wife I try my darndest to be every day. It's a painful thing for me to let that go. Really, really painful. 

Slow down, Stephanie. Breathe this in, forget the things that aren't important. Focus on what I'm trying to show you. 

And when I can do that, when I can let the dishes, smashed goldfish in the carpet, crayon on the wall, all go, I know that watching four chubby little hands make a play doh sunshine while I hold my smiley seven month old is what I live for. It's what I prayed for exactly three years ago. If you had told me in February of 2010 that this would be my life in three years, I would have danced for joy and praised God for being too good to me. I wouldn't have believed you that I could have three beautiful, healthy babies when all I wanted was one. 

And then I would take a friggin chill pill over thinking I'd never get pregnant.

So I hope that all of my dear mom friends reading this, who I know are all getting a giant dose of "quality" time with their little rug rats, feel a ray of hope and warmth in knowing you are all rockstars and an inspiration to me. 

Oh, and spring will be here in approximately 5-6 weeks. 

I also maybe think this is a sign we need to take a tropical vacay soon? 

P.S. HERE is another link to more fun toddler activities. Thanks Natalie! ;)


Friday, February 22, 2013

Activities for Two Year Olds: Day Three

Ok, so I don't have stairs in my house, but how freaking fun does this look?! I would totally do this with the girls if I had access to a gigantor box and stairs! 

This is a really cool blog with a lot of messy and not-so-messy activities. The one that caught my eye, as usual, was the one that involved the least amount of effort on my part to assemble. We have a TON of those magnetic letters/numbers that sit, untouched, on the magnetic dry erase board part of the girls' easel. I may have to grab a big bag of rice/beans (rice krispies pictured above) to throw them in and let the girls dig away for letters. I will for sure be waiting for a nicer day that we can go outside for a bit to do this. I've tried activities indoors like this before that resulted in me busting out the vacuum and yelling at the girls for making a huge mess. Which is totally the point of doing fun things with your kids, right?

Go HERE for more fun ideas.

Activities for Two Year Olds: Day Two

Well, this one is pretty self-explanatory. I also think most toddler moms have these materials already on-hand. Considering my girls are big fans of cheerios, play-doh, and mindless activities, I'm hoping this one is a hit. 

Ashley, this one is dedicated to you and your play-doh loving Charlie girl. I think the sweetness of the cheerios will really balance out the saltiness of the play-doh. 


My iPhoto is malfunctioning or I would share some pics from yesterday's activity. It was a hit, and the girls sorta did what they were supposed to before just going crazy all over their letter A's. 

Happy Weekend!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Activities for Two Year Olds: Day One

Am I the only mom who is going INSANE this winter? It seems like the days fly by with rare moments of boredom when the weather is nice, but days like today that are cold, wet, and awful make me want to run away and never come back. As I'm sure other good moms do during the unbearable days, I park my kids in front of the TV for as long as they will watch it, and when they decide that's enough, I try to distract them with food, and when that doesn't work we turn to the toys and books we've played with a gazillion times. And any mom reading this knows how well that works.

Like a lot of moms, I've pinned and re-pinned those dumb toddler activity pins. You know, the blogs of moms who homeschool for a living and think they have invented electricity because they came up with the idea of letting their two year old finger paint by pushing paint around in a ziplock? (Yes, I totally tried this, and the girls started throwing fits after 20 seconds because they wanted the paint "OUT! Fail.) And make you feel incredibly guilty because the extent of your mom creativity ended at letting your kid dump out your tupperware drawer? No? That's just me?

Well desperate times call for desperate measures. After combing through many of these silly pins, and realizing I don't want my kids to cover my entire kitchen in dry rice and jello, here are a few *tolerable* and promising activities I've discovered and hope to try soon. And since my days are filled to the brim with taking care of these little ones, I'll post one a day for the next ___ (?) days. Don't you love how reliable I am?

For the past 5-6 months, I've been doing my best to teach the girls their letters. Some days they have fun and love telling me which letters are which. Other days they yell "Noooo Mommy!" when I point to letters and ask them what they are. You would think I'm some alphabet drill sargeant the way they say it. Their current favorite way to practice their alphabet is with those foam letters we play with in the bath. However, I recently grabbed a pack of these bingo dobber paint pens at Hobby Lobby (which were a huge hit and the girls love painting with), and then stumbled upon these downloadable alphabet dotter prints. Love of bingo dobber painting meets learning letters? I hope so.

Entire downloadable alphabet found HERE.

P.S. I once read on another blog that the best way to teach letters is to focus on one per week. That has worked well for us so far. The girls know approximately 15 letters now (on a good day). Clearly I have weeks that I'm way more ambitious than others. ;)

Stay tuned...


Monday, February 18, 2013

My Monthly Post

Do you like what my blog has turned into lately? Having three children under three has really taken its toll on me as of late. With our baby boy being not such a baby and down to 2 (sometimes not-so-long) naps a day, a house that needs to be tended to, and two rowdy two year olds, I feel pretty depleted. I've been working on fixing this, but in the end, I decide that there just should be 28 hours in a day vs. 24. Can anyone make this happen for me?

It should make you feel a little better that my mid-February resolution is to blog more, because it is something that I enjoy and would like to do more.

So, once again, here are some fun pics of what our crazy family has been up to lately...


Bath 'hawks

Campbell looooves throwing the football with Daddy. Apparently it was nice enough this day to be sans clothing outdoors? Actually, it probably wasn't, but my little nudists decided they would be naked anyways...

This picture pretty much sums up Sophie in a nutshell.

And this pretty much sums up our CJ

Sister, we are princesses! 

Getting WAY to big! (and practicing his super hero skills)

Having too much fun with our cousins

Sophie loving the snow

Campbell being not so crazy about the snow at first...

Burke just going with the flow like he always does

First bath with all 3 monkeys. It was the highlight of Burke's 7 months life thus far...

These 3 fill up my heart so full.

The day before coming down with the flu... :(

Hey look! I made a picture! ;)

My little Valentine

My new favorite pic of the girls. The first phrase that comes to mind when I see this is "twins but not really." Yes, Campbell really is THAT much taller than Sophie!

My little stinker, Soph

My little buddy on a nature walk behind our house with the girls

Valentine kisses for brother

So cute, even when he's sick. 

Here's hoping I stick to my mid-February resolution!


Monday, February 4, 2013

My Little Acrobat

This is a picture of Sophie crawling out of her crib for the fourth time before falling asleep for her nap today (and Campbell trying her best to join her). We have already lowered their cribs another 6 inches lower than the lowest setting (thanks handy Kyle), which begs the question:

Do we find another way to further lower the mattress?

OR (big gulp)

Make the move to toddler beds?

I'm about 60% sure moving to toddler beds is the answer. Maybe 50%. The thought of them having free reign of their room terrifies me. And furthermore, losing sleep terrifies me even more. 

The girls are 2 and almost 4 months. I was hoping to keep them caged up until at least 2 1/2 or as long as they would allow it. 

Thoughts? Success or horror stories? 


Friday, February 1, 2013


This sentiment has been on repeat in my heart and in my head as of late. Couldn't all of us conquer the world if we lived by these words on a daily basis? This may be a little heavy for a Friday, but my children's attitudes don't always reflect the day of the week. Do yours? ;)

Have a peaceful weekend.