Everybody Paint Your Dinosaur

I thought it would be a mess.   I was a skeptic.  
But in the end, it turned out to be an amazingly fun adventure for Kira and I.  



Do you ever have those days when you don't feel like you do anything right?  It's been one of those days for me.  I don't know why, maybe it's tiredness, hormones, who knows, but I have been so cranky lately.  I nearly lost my temper with Kira again this morning.  That is so unusual for me, how has it happened twice in one week?  It makes me feel like such a bad mom.  I believe in God, believe He doesn't make mistakes and, therefore, my kids have exactly the mama they should have.  I would never not want to be their mama, I don't think anyone could do a better job overall than me, but some days I think they might be better off with someone else just for a little while, just for that day.  The worse part is that she just wanted my attention.  I was trying to talk on the phone to the guy who will hopefully be fixing our carpet downstairs tomorrow.  I could barely understand him as it was and, as we were talking money, it was important that I heard him right.  But Kira kept pulling on me and asking for colors and wanting me to color with her.  And I got so irritated with her.  When she just wanted me, she just wanted some love, some play.  She was being a little girl, essentially doing nothing wrong.  Now, I know, even as mamas, sometimes we need a minute and we should be given the liberty to take it, but the way I handled the situation was so wrong.  Yuck.  I wish I could go back and do better.
I still have no idea how we are going to pay to have the carpet fixed, all I know is that I can't sleep upstairs in that crappy bed anymore.  Maybe that is my problem.  I don't sleep well in that room, it just feels wrong.  And I work in there, so that is what I am always thinking and dreaming about.  As awful as it sounds, I sleep better with a little distance between my kids and myself.  Isn't that horrible?  I just feel weird being so close to them.  Away from them, I can allow myself to shut down just a bit more, just enough to get a really good rest in.
The sad part about today was that I have been in such a crappy mood that I almost missed so many amazing things.  Like Kira and her friend reading to each other at playgroup.  Or Kira's pseudo-boyfriend telling her how pretty she looked today.  By the way, kids are amazing, and so utterly entertaining.  Tonight, after bath, Kira took us into Ariana's room.  She laid Steve and I down on the floor, put a blanket over our heads, and said 'night-night'.  When I started laughing, she pulled the covers back and said "shhhh.  shhhhh." until I stopped and feigned sleep.  Then, after we 'woke up' she pulled her sister into the rocking chair and rocked her.  When Aria had had enough, she pulled me into her lap and rocked me.  She even sang something somewhat resembling (in a very toddler babble way) Rock a Bye Baby, a song I often sing or hum to her.
And now I wonder, how often do I get so caught up in stupid little things and miss the wonderful moments that are happening all the time?  Wouldn't that be horrible to look back and only remember those hard times?  Yes, we have some stress in our lives.  We still haven't gotten paid from the Navy.  Last month we only got half pay, this month we got nothing.  We were dumb and sang all summer instead of preparing like we should have, and now we are broke.  Like seriously broke.  We bought Ramen noodles this week broke.  At the same time, I feel like this is a great opportunity to really sit down and re-evaluate, to see things in a new way.  This is my chance, instead of taking my children here and there, running all around with them, it is nice to able to sit back and chill with them.  Our bills will work out, they always do.  Eventually we will get a sweet backpay check and all will be right and well in the world, but until then there are so many precious moments.  I need to shape up or I might just miss them.
At the end of the day, I can't help but sit back on the vast joy compacted into this one, little mama life.    


To my Future Son in Law

My mother is all about the embarrassing pictures. She gets a huge kick out of them.  And she has quite a few of us.  So in that tradition, here are some great ones I got of Kira in the past week or so.  I am sure she will never forgive me, but I just couldn't help myself, it's in my blood.  Let the hilarity ensue:
She was rebuffed trying to pick my nose, so she picked her own instead.
Kissing lesson with her fish bath toy?
I don't even think there are words for this one.  My mom is all about the potty pictures though.  It is totally necessary we got one, lest we be disowned.

That was a newborn skirt.  i am not sure exactly where it came from, but she found it, managed to get it over her big old toddler butt, and then dance around in it.  I was amused.  Here she is messing up my pile of Goodwill clothes.

Run Away!  It's the sweater monster!

Hehehehehe...  And fun was had by all.

Fred Drama

If my house caught on fire, I can tell you what I would save, I wouldn't even think twice.  I would save Fred and Ned.  Unfortuantely, I would probably die trying to find them.
If you don't know much about our family you are probably wondering "what are these hiding creatures?".  If you do know us, you probably understand why I say that.  Fred and Ned are the glue that hold our house together.

This is Fred:

This is one of my all-time favorite pictures of Kira
Fred is Kira's very best friend.  She NEEDS him!  She gets quite dramatic when we can't find him (which seem to be always).  We had four....  Then three...  I think we are down to two now...  And I swear they hide.  Luckily, she is yet to differentiate between them, so as long as I have one, we are good.  She has, in fact, been known to wander around and find them all and cuddle them.  She also gets extremely distressed when they happen to fall under the bed in the middle of the night.  This has somehow happened multiple times and is also very distressing to mama when she can't find him in the dark either.

But that is neither here nor there.  Back to the point at hand:

This is Ned:

Really, Ariana could care less about Ned.  He sometimes amuses her, but what she really wants is the binky attached to him.  I can't take credit for this.  There were many moons of severe frustration as I frantically felt in and around the crib looking for the dang binky.  I tried hooking it to her shirt to no avail.  She would just roll over and pull it off.  Steve, brilliant as he is, came up with the idea to clip it to Ned, thereby making it much harder to lose.  For the record, the original binkies are still stuck on Ned, we haven't lost one since.  And I can almost always find it on the dark quickly, so that I can pop the bink back in her mouth and go back to bed, the most important thing in the mama life. Haha.  I told you, Brilliant.

Well, in the hubbub of trying to get out the door with two small children, Aria often ends up carrying everything with her in her carrier.  Well, just light stuff, like jackets we are bringing but not wearing, juice cups, and even (dum dum DUM) Fred.  Normally she takes no notice as she is generally grumpy in the carrier unless it is moving, however, yesterday something must have caught her eye. She found...  a Fred foot.  Both Fred and Ned have three little "feet", areas where the material is drawn together.  When Kira was younger, these feet spent an inordinate amount of time in her mouth (thus the nasty faded color despite my frequent washing).  Nowadays (and kind of more hilarious), the Fred feet spend most of their time in her ears or tapping against her nose.  These are our best indications that she needs a nap.  Strange child.  Anyway, since I can't seem to stay on topic tonight, Ariana found none other than a Fred foot and did what she does with everything: stuck it in her mouth.  Kira usually gets pretty upset if she sees anyone else touching Fred, but she was outraged to find someone else chewing on him.  She threw a huge toddler temper tantrum, yanked him away, and gave Aria a serious stink eye.  And then, she tried out the Fred foot.  Only to find that it was ruined. RUINED!  (insert all the toddler drama you can muster).  She threw him on the ground and has since had nothing to do with him.  Now, poor lonely Fred is hanging out in the laundry room waiting for a bath that will hopefully wash off all of the sister germs so that he can be played with.
Who knew toddlers could be so crazy/attached/dramatic?  Oh man, such fun to look forward to in about 13 years.  Steve and I both had to leave the room because we were laughing so hard.  Poor Kira and her cheating Fred.  Luckily, we have extras so the drama was short lived.  And they all four still love each other:


The results are in...

And I'm pregnant!  No, I am totally lying.  No more little ones for me for a bit.  Wouldn't that have been something though.  I gotta tell you, there was some part of me that was disappointed.  Ok, actually a big part of me that was.  And that makes no sense.  But it is still the truth.  I guess I just got used to the idea.  Maybe it wouldn't be so bad.  We would adjust, we always do.  We could have another little girl.  We would name her Raina Mae.  All three of them would be so close.  But, now, we will have to settle with what we have.   Fortunately, what we have is already amazing and often more than enough.  It's funny to me how things don't turn out like you planed them.  However, it has been my experience that when you let go and follow your instincts, things turn out better than you could ever dream.  Now if I could just figure out how to do that consistently...  


It's getting late..

But I feel like I have been neglecting the blog.  School started back last week and I feel like I am already up to my ears in work.  Ironically, I was just writing a post in my English class about how writing was such a great outlet and I love to sit down and unwind at the end of my day.  And yet, I haven't done it.  So, I figured tonight I should hop back on.  I am trying desperately to stay on top of things this semester to avoid the several meltdowns I experienced last semester.  Luckily, I like my classes a lot better this semester.
The schedule this semester does seem to have made a huge difference in my relationship with Steve.  I guess we weren't just putting off happiness after all.  We are so much less cranky.  Both of us.  We still need to tweak a few things, but the overall attitude in our house has become much more pleasant.  He is home on Thursday, but Kira is at preschool.  We got nothing accomplished today.  Which was nice, because we just hung around and got some quality cuddles in.  You know I love me some time with my honey.   But also sucked because we had about 8,000 things that could have gotten done.  But could shmould.  It was a great day.
It has been a great week.  I truly learned the value of friends this week.  I have missed my girls so much, but I got a chance to really reconnect with my playgroup this week (one of my goals for the new year).  I forgot how nice it is to have a set time every week to get some quality adult conversation.  And it is equally enjoyable to watch Kira interact with the other kids.  And have other kids to play with her so I don't have to.  Not that I don' love that, but every mama needs a break once in a while.  I can only sing 'Ring Around the Rosie' so many times before I am about ready to bring back the plague.
Yesterday started out pretty sucky.  I lost my temper with Kira, which seems pretty rare, but was out of control yesterday.  She picked up my full juice glass, then ignored my increasingly frantic demands that she put it down.  I went over and snatched it out of her hands, only to fling it all over the living room.  I almost certainly made a much larger mess than she would have.  The thing is, you want to scream at her, scream at someone, even more after something like that happens, but the only one I had to blame was myself.  We were rushing around the house, trying to get out the door to make it to story time at Barnes and Noble.  After a few quiet minutes in the car, I realized that I was flipping out because we were late for story time.  Infant story time.  What, are they going to send us to the principal if we are late?  We have to go to the playground instead?  I am still not sure why I let myself get so worked up about it.  I haven't been sleeping well.  It messes with my tolerance.  Luckily, I ran into a friend at story time that I haven't seen in way too long.  Ironically,we had been texting just that morning about how we needed to get together.  And, just as surprisingly, what started out as an awful day turned into a great one.  We went to lunch, shared our misery, then let the kids run out all of their energy at the playground while we had a wonderful chat.  Kira literally ran out ALL of her energy.  Right before we left, she literally laid down on the floor, face down and cried "Bye Bye! Bye Bye!".  Poor thing.  She had so much fun chasing 3-year-old Jonathan around though.  And I Loved seeing Issac, who is just a month younger than Aria and full of personality!  And adorably big ears!  If you have met my husband, you know I dig those!  Haha.  Anyway, praise the Lord for good friends.
But now I am tired.  Aria hasn't been sleeping well.  I haven't been sleeping well.  So I am off to bed, to hopefully not to toss and turn and wake up wandering around my house in the middle of the night.  (I have done it at least twice in the past couple of days, never a good sign).  Good night all.      


The Devil's in the Details

And some of the Greatest Joys of the Mama Life
Are in the small things...

Small feet
That go Pitter Patter
Pitter Patter

Small hands
And small stickers on small shirts

Small faces

Peeking around the Couch

Small bodies coming to get Mama

And even Beautiful (not so) small messes...

I have found 
one amazing part 
of being a Mama 
is finding beauty 
in the small things.