Thursday, March 29, 2012

who lives in a pineapple under the sea?

This week is spring break...a blissful, relaxing time filled with high hopes for cleaning, organizing, and refreshing the house.  It's also a time to sample a bit of the freedom that summertime has to offer.  Lunches with friends, endless hours playing outside, grilling, spending an entire morning doing nothing but reading.  In other words, we're enjoying spring break. 

Today, the kids and I took advantage of not having to follow a true schedule, not to mention the gorgeous weather as we joined some of my wonderful girlfriends for lunch at a quaint little restaurant in Louisville.  As we were driving there, the older two were chattering in the back seat while Raegan snoozed in the middle seat. 

Their imaginations never cease to amaze me.  It seems that some days, they spend more time in their imaginary worlds than in reality.  Today, they decided to spend the car ride to Louisville in a pineapple under the sea.  That's right.  Spongebob Squarepants. 

Brynn suggested that they "play Spongebob".  As I contemplated the logistics of how you 'play' Spongebob, I found myself turning down Adele and tuning into to the apparent screenplay that was miraculously generated in the brief moments between suggestion and agreement to said 'game of Spongebob'.

Within these moments, it was decided that Brynn would play the role of Spongebob.  This seems fitting, if you think about the character of Spongebob.  Energetic.  Optimistic.  Naive.  Silly.  Creative.  Talkative.  Brynn fits into this role *fairly* well.

Brynn--yellow and square, as Spongebob

Gavin, sweet and loving Gavin, would play the role of Gary, Spongebob's loyal pet snail (who happens to meow like a cat).  Gary is primarily a silent partner in this duo, which is more often than not the situation in our home when Gavin and Brynn are playing.

Gavin--curled up, as Gary
Raegan was assigned the part of Patrick the Starfish, the loveable, yet slightly inept friend of Spongebob.  While I don't think Raegan is 'inept' (in fact, she's a heck of a lot smarter than any of us give her credit for!), I do understand that the older two don't see her true potential and abilities--just yet.  I was contemplating my blog post this afternoon and evening as I was cleaning/cooking/crafting (hence the pictures above).  Raegan was especially fitting into the role of Patrick today, as teething has once again taken her (all of us, really) into its evil grips until those first year molars pop through.  She spent the better part of the afternoon and evening crying, splayed out on the floor, in the shape of a starfish.  When she wasn't laying on the floor, she was pressed up against the (recently cleaned) back door, reminiscent of a starfish suctioned to the side of an aquarium.

Raegan, splayed fingers, as Patrick

Daddy was given the role of Mr. Krabs, the miserly crab who is obsessed with money.  The parallel I can draw between the cartoon and my husband does not include the words 'greedy', 'cheap', or 'bossy', which are words typically associated with the owner of the Krusty Krab.  My thoughts are the kids know that Daddy works--a lot--and when they ask why he's got to go to work, his general response involves the statement of making money.

Miss Sam, our sweet and wonderful babysitter, was cast as Sandy, who is a karate expert (however, Miss Sam is an awesome basketball player) and another one of Spongebob's good friends.  The kids adore Miss Sam, and most likely associate her with Sandy's smart, creative, loyal, and hardworking persona. (They hit the nail right on the head with that--Sam is such an awesome girl!)

That leaves the role chosen for mommy.  Anyone who is familiar with the mind-numbing, pointless, waste of 30 minutes of life that is Spongebob Squarepants knows that there is one key character missing from this little charade.  The role of the antagonist, otherwise known as Squidward.  He is an arrogant, bitter, and ill-tempered squid.  .........?


I was kind of taken aback by this assignment by my darling children, who were being driven to a yummy lunch, driven to get fitted for a tuxedo, driven to the store to get some new things for the bathroom I am redecorating for them, and then driven to Target to buy a few necessities (not to mention a stop at the Starbucks inside for a mid-afternoon treat).  A fun, and delightful day with a mommy who spent the morning reading to them, helping them with sticker books, making them breakfast, and cleaing up after their endless toy tornado.  I tried not to take too much stock in them likening me to this miserable and grumpy squid on a silly children's television show.  I tried--but I wasn't too successful.  Afterall, hadn't they been pretty spot on with the other character assignments? 
And then, bam!  They hit me with the grumpy character.  Tonight, I asked the kids why I was Squidward.  The response I heard back?  "You get mad like Squidward does".  Ouch. 

I spent a bit of time thinking about this tonight, as I was doing all the 'mom' stuff that is typical of daily life.  I have been working hard on keeping my calm and patience in check, even if we are running late (something I hate!).  I've been making sure that despite the laundry and dishes, toys and clutter that collect around the house, that I spend quality time with them as often as possible.  I've been doing all the 'mom' things in what I thought was the 'right' way.  Apparently, I have some work left to do.  My stress levels are apparent, and, as they informed me, coming across as 'angry mommy' rather than 'busy mommy who is doing her very best to be the best she can for everyone she needs to be there for'.  Sounds like a shift is necessary. 

The good news is that I still have 4 days left of spring break in which to try and shift my role.  I'm thinking that I'd like to play the role of Mermaid Man, albeit a male character, he is one of Spongebob's favorite superheroes.  What mom doesn't want to be considered that?

photo courtesy:

my own little pineapple under the sea

Sunday, March 18, 2012


A month from today, our little munchkin will be turning 1.  It seems so unbelievably impossible that this fact is true--the past year filled with very long days, but all the while passing by in the blink of an eye. 

Raegan has been developing quite a funny little personality as she approaches the big '0-1'.  She smiles and chatters a lot, especially because I think she's trying to make sure her voice isn't lost amongst the constant volume created by her older brother and sister.  Recently, she's been shaking her head 'no' pretty vigorously at random times, and dances to catchy tunes.  She's learned to blow kisses and give 'aa-aas' to her loveys, blankeys, and mommy and daddy.  One of her favorite times is bath time, and I'm beginning to think she's made the connection between eating dinner in a ridiculously-over-the-top messy fashion, and bathtime.  Her little dimpled tushy waits in anxious anticipation as the water fills the spot where she will soon splash and play. 

And then, there's the toddling.  It's still odd for Randy and me to watch our little one walking, especially since our older two waited until a few months after 1 to make that daring leap into 'freedom'.  She seems too little to be walking, however we know that since she's our kid, she's definitely not *little*.  I'm realizing how tall she is as her little fingers reach sky high toward the drawers in the kitchen, searching for whatever trouble she can get herself into.  She's mastered the art of drinking and walking, as she opts to have her mid-afternoon/pre-dinner bottle while walking around the house. 

Being a direct relation to me, she's mastering the gift of gab at an early age.  She's still trying to form words, but she does say 'doot' (foot) and 'dook' (you guessed  She'll attempt to say 'cracker' and 'puppy'.  Mama, Dada, and Baba are old hat at this point, and so she's left them by the wayside in order to work on expanding her vocabulary.

Of course, there are the games and toys that are becoming more familiar, desired, and common in her daily life.  She adores playing with my measuring cups and spoons, finds the specific thing that Brynn wants and attempts to claim it as her own, and has fun playing on her mini musical piano.  Raegan's favorite place to play is a toss up between in the cereal cabinet and in the dog's water bowl.  And peek-a-boo.  She.loves.peek-a-boo.  I've rarely met a baby who didn't have the potential to find countless hours of thrilling excitement trying to figure out where it was that mommy/daddy/brother/sister went when their hand/blanket went up in front of their face.  Thankfully, she doesn't disappoint, and is enamored by the question, "where's mommy/daddy/Gavin/Brynn/Raegan?"  I guess you can say we're almost equally as mezmerized by it, because we know that we'll be rewarded with her toothy little grin and addicting little dimples.  She's approaching an age, however, that you *need* to be there at the reveal part of the peek-a-boo.  You can't ask, "where's...?" and try to trick her by popping around the corner.  She relies on that certainty of you being there when the curtain falls.  Or else...she cries.  A lot.

I feel like this last year has been playing peek-a-boo with me.  I feel like it was just a few weeks/months ago that I was in the midst of acclimating a nursing newborn into our lives that, while not perfect, were pretty well set in our roles.  I remember crying often, frightened by the reality of baby blues (post pardum?--I don't really know...but I wish I'd gone to talk to someone).  My life was turning completely upside down, the semblance of organization that I was making progress toward was being spit up on, pooped on, and sleep deprived.  The system and routine we once held was gone.  What.had.I.done.?  Feelings of guilt permeated my being and tried to overtake the love, bliss, joy, and gratitude I felt for the most beautiful gift God had given our family. 

All the while, my hands kept coming up to my face, and I'd ask myself, "where's Erin?"  At first, it wasn't all to often that I could honestly reply, "here I am!".  I didn't feel like myself at all.  I was on this weird conveyor belt, moving me from one part of my routine to another, from one requirement to the next.  Every now and then, I was able to step aside and check in with *me*.  I don't want to sound selfish--I'm not asking for a standing appointment at the salon (although, now that my hair color is lighter, I need one!), nor do I require a time when no one can bother me, talk to me, ask me questions, etc, etc, etc (that's not to say I haven't tried this...just this weekend in fact, while attempting to eat my salad for lunch.  Do I really have to tell you how that went over?!)

Now that I'm approaching the one year anniversary of officially meeting our littlest princess, I've realized that while I'm navigating toward the light at the end of this tunnel, my days of asking myself, "where's Erin?" and being able to say, "here I am!" more often than just 10-15% of the time are still quite far off.  Three kids and a husband, two dogs and a more-than-full-time job, one house and many friendships, one mind and one soul...that's a lot of things that need attended to.  And, if we want to get nit-picky, it's not just my mind and soul I'm needing to keep filled and refreshed.

I'm trying to sound neither selfish, nor ungrateful.  My life is blessed, my heart is filled.  I thank God each and every day for all of the gifts He has given me and continues to give me.  My desires do not lie in the 'changing' of things in my life, but rather in the 'adjustment' of my response to them.  I'm a work in progress, as we all are.  Life plays peek-a-boo often, and for me, I'm going to make sure that when there's a block between myself and something else, that I'm there for when the curtain falls.


tiny toes peeking out from fuzzy pink of my favorite things :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Happy Birthday, Brynn!

Our little girl turned 4 today,
What's happened to those years?
Bottles, diapers, crawling,
And lots of teething tears.

Now she's into Barbies,
Disney princesses abound,
To find her when she's sleeping,
Search 'neath stuffed animal mound.

She's got a personality,
As wacky as her hair,
It's crazy, cute, and frustrating,
Especially her angry stare.

When she gets a case of giggles,
It's sure to make you smile,
But when she gets upset,
She'll stay that way a while.

Brynn loves to be artistic,
She'll color all day long,
Create, explore, experiment,
And sing her favorite songs.

It's strange to think that next year,
She's heading off to school.
The hard part for her teachers,
Might be for her to follow rules.

While she listens to her daddy,
For mommy, it's half and half.
I never know what her response will be:
A tantrum or a laugh.

As trying as she can be,
Her heart's as pure as gold
We love our princess B-Bear
I can't believe you're 4 years old!!

Mommy and Daddy are so blessed to have your beautfiul spirit grace our lives each day.  Thank you for the smiles and giggles and your free-spirited soul that captures the essence of what it means to be a dreamer.  I can't begin to express how much joy I feel when I watch your response to your world.  I anticiapte amazing things for you, are such a unique and special gift!  Love you to the moon and back! 
xoxo, Mommy and Daddy

our first few moments

curiosity and love :)

pretty much the moment she began wrapping daddy around her finger
quirky, typical, wonderful Brynn

thank you, Grammy!

her response to an easel from mommy and daddy