Stuff and Thangs

Fact 1: You cannot listen to Queen’s “Fat Bottom Girls” without playing the air drums–at which, coincidentally, I am a master.

Fact 2: I need the soundtrack to “Chipwrecked”. Also: still convinced that David Cross would have to play the part of me in a movie about my life.

Fact 3: The fifth season of TWD has already achieved a level of bad-assery unmatched by any program in the history of television–and we’re only in 2 episodes. Seriously, it’s almost too much.

Fact 4: Carol is no longer a burden, just a burden.

Fact 5: Bob, however…

Getting there.

Alright alright alright! Sheet rock is in da house! And for the first time in forever, I can really, really envision what it’s going to look like when it’s all done.




Also, our driveway has rocks in it now so we don’t sink into the mud on rainy days.

Let us camp out here for a sec: this is the house I drew. This is the house Caleb literally built (and is still building.) I love that it’s finally coming together and I just know it’s going to be a house that our kids can enjoy in all the ways I pictured them enjoying as I dreamed up every nook and fun little cranny. It’s also kind of mind-blowing that Arbor will not remember a time when we didn’t live there.

One glistening tear.

And then back to unchecked hysterical excitement.

We are planning to play it fairly safe as far as finishing touches but the creative side of me wants at least one stand-out feature. Barnwood accent wall–too overdone? (It is a farmhouse in a field in the middle of the country, after all.) And what about the regular stuff? What if I get bored with a white subway tile backsplash? What if I end up hating that mushroomy gray color that we used in all the rooms? I want–I need–an overall calm house, but my heart loves me some taxi-cab-yellow.

Can someone just come pick everything out and put it all together?

Sucking Snot

This is real:


And I can tell you from personal experience that it works. Arbor has been suffering from a vicious head cold and a friend of mine suggested this mind blowing contraption. Now, this is my home-schooling super-mom friend who is paleo–and you know I normally don’t trust those people as far as I can make my own organic granola bars. But she had this thing sitting around, and I was really tired from sleeping zero hours, so I took it, just in case. Well, I put it off, hoping to get away with not having to use it at all ever, but “just in case” did indeed come, later on at about 3:00 a.m.

My child was congested and screamy. I put the mouthpiece to my lips and gagged a few times, pretty hard. And then, when Arbor was about to explode from the most epic hissy fit an infant has ever thrown, I sucked.

I got mad amounts of snot out of her precious red nose, and none of it got in my mouth. (I gagged some more anyway, for good measure and dramatics.) I sucked again. And again. And Arbor breathed. And nursed with ease. And slept long. (2 entire hours at a time!) I will never use a booger squeegee thing again.

Today I have to call a realtor to see what all I need to do before we list our house. I imagine we will be cleaning our brains out and finding a temporary home for the dogs; I do not see how it will be possible for me to sweep, vacuum, hide the giant crates, and then load up baby plus kids plus dogs into the car for last-minute showings. Like, that will never happen.

I also wonder how smart it is to list our house so close to the holidays. I’ve never sold a house before. I’m kind of freaking out. What if people just don’t like it? I will feel so personally offended (and also bankrupt because 2 house payments are fast becoming uncool.)

Any thoughts? Tips? Suggestions?…or potential buyers?

Raging Baby

Can I just be real for a second here? I mean, realer than usual? I’ve got 4 kids. And I still have no idea what I’m doing. So if you parents out there would like to clue a mother in and sound off on any one of these following bafflements…yeah, that’d be great.

1. Babies with colds: this week friggin sucks, true story no lie. Not because I’m inconvenienced, not because I’m drinking more coffee than what’s medically recommended (all decaf btw, so I don’t know what the hell good it’s doing). But because there is almost nothing I can do to help my child. She can’t breathe, can’t eat. I’ve done the steamy bathroom and the nose sucky thingy. Essential oils has been suggested but our budget for all that is about negative ZERO dollars (plus it seems really complicated and I hate things that smell like not sugar and coffee). You can’t give a newborn any medicine. The universe can be so cruel.

2. Taking temperatures rectally. This has always been beyond uncomfortable for me, so imagine my delight when I was told at the hospital that this practice was outdated and thus not recommended. And then imagine my supreme gross-out when the dial-a-nurse at my pediatrician’s office told me to go ahead and take that rectal temp so I could get the most accurate reading. On the phone, while she talked to me. So here I am, with my poor unsuspecting infant daughter in my lap, and I’m trying my best to mom-soothe so the cold metal stick in her butt doesn’t send her into a fit of hysterics from which there would be no escape–not fun at all ever under regular private circumstances, but having that strange lady hear the play-by-play of the whole process in my best baby-talk? Awkward.

3. The crying baby in the backwards-facing infant carrier–MOTHER OF GOD is there nothing more nerve-wrecking than driving anywhere at all with a 6-week-old rage-a-holic screaming bloody murder in the backseat? Never in life do I ever get such a strong almost-uncontrollable urge to ram my car into a tree except for moments like this, which occur essentially anytime I go anywhere with any baby. And somehow, despite being approximately 80 feet out of my reach way back there in row 2 passenger side, she manages to sound like she’s standing on my actual ear drum. I cannot bear it.

4. And while we’re on the subject, what the devil is up with you moms and your car seat obsessions? Stop it, just stop it. Stop demanding all the safety studies and stop getting all excited when new laws come into play dictating that all children under the age of 20 are required to be in a $700 rear-facing car seat that’s welded into the frame of your SUV. Quit keeping me up to speed by posting Facebook articles and smiley faces. I don’t care! I hate the rules and I count the minutes until I can break them. Does my 4th grader really need a booster seat? It doesn’t matter, because I threw it away when she was 5! Apparently my own mother held me in her lap when went anywhere in a vehicle–and I’m totes fine. So the law can suck it.

5. I’m totally kidding, I care about my child’s safety and also my ability to live outside of prison. I will use the correct car seats for the correct children…but I will hate that new rear-facing law and so will my one-year-old who is sure to get car sick by looking at backward scenery. When she’s not busy screaming her head off in a blatant attempt to drive me nuts.

6. Babies poop on you. That’s real. I’m not complaining; I just thought I’d bring it up. This happens–sometimes three times a night, and it always, always, takes you by surprise. They poop on you.

That is all. Signing off with this baby, who I will be rocking all night long:


The Trenches

Cold and flu season–Shoot me in the face now. The kids have stuffy noses and scratchy throats; Arbor is downright miserable. I am committing myself wholly to the destruction and annihilation of every germ in my house. It’s negative 1000 degrees outside this morning, or 48, or whatever, and no one wants to move or eat or do life today, so it’s early fall break for us.

On the farmhouse front, we’ve got insulation. Sheetrock will be up in the next few days–we are crazy looking forward to that. I will be posting pictures at that point but for now I will leave you with this baby, back in better times, when she wasn’t stuffed up and raptor crying:

“Thanks Mom! That breast milk was on point!”

Oh happy day.

It’s crunch time at the farm house, and I’ve never been more frozen with indecision, because PAINT COLORS–UG. Should I go with soft duckling in the living room? Or lemon curd? Or sunbutter? SO MANY CHOICES–and they are all ridiculous, and I just can’t even.

After insulation and drywall come a whole mess of decisions that I thought I’d be ready to make–turns out I procrastinate on even the fun stuff like picking lighting and faucets. Plus also husbands who do much of the physical labor in the building of a home apparently want their opinion to count for something when it comes to paint swatches, and no, fuchsia of any shade is not a remotely viable option for the kitchen.


Life is exceptionally crazy today and all days these days. Merrick is taking required reading lessons after school. Soccer and softball take up 4 days a week. Arbor just screams…adorably. I’ve come very close to making a successfully un-burnt dinner, and the laundry hasn’t once mildewed in the washing machine over the past several hectic weeks. We’re operating at 70% normal which I think is dang impressive with a month-old baby.

On the even brighter side, I heard Cheyenne’s actual voice on Sunday when she called to chit chat with the kids–I even got to have a mini-conversation with her afterwards, and I’ll tell you: college makes your tiny baby children sound like adults on the phone. I can’t actually be sure if it was Cheyenne, or some grown up impersonator. Either way, there is a skip in my step and a smile in my heart and all is right with the world again and I just love her and I’m proud of her little college self.

Also this baby:


That which is happening right now.

Today I began my journey into cloth diapering, and my child suddenly has a butt the size of Texas. We’re going with pre-folds and diaper covers for now–so far so good, sort of…Arbor is still in an adjusting phase. And me? I’m a cloth-diapering, co-sleeping, breastfeeding, un-showered, leaky, exhausted MESS.

Arbor is gassy and constipated and fidgety and very, very screamy. She sleeps in my arms at night. I use the bathroom with her wrapped up tight next to my chest. Everything else I do is done with one arm. (Because I just excel like that.)

I don’t write this to get sympathy or offers of help; I say it because it’s easy to post cute pictures and funny, adorable stories about life with a new baby. A person might take one look at my Facebook page and gag on all the awesomeness that seems to be my life.

No false impressions over herrrr, baby. Arbor is still tiny. She eats constantly and sleeps what feels like never. We struggle. Like, a lot. The kids are tired and clingy and very much upset that we can’t just get up and go do whatever whenever anymore. A new school and an impending move contribute to their worries. Mia adjusts to change about as well as I adjust to lighting myself on fire.

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t stressed out 95% of the time (and sleeping the other 5%.) Babies are hard. I don’t handle chaos very well. In fact, I kind of lose my mind. Loud noises, visual clutter, disrupted schedules–it’s all enough to push me off the cliffs of insanity.

This child is all-consuming but I’ll tell you one thing: whenever I start to feel overwhelmed or frustrated, I pray. And I remember how it felt to not have a baby that kept me up at night–that perspective helps me power through any sleep-deprived challenge.


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