Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Look Out World, Here She Comes

And she will take no prisoners!

No crumb will be left unseen/fingered/eaten.

No string/strap/hanging object of any sort shall be out of her reach.

Just in time for school to start next week. Oh boy.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Secrets To A Great Weekend

As summer days die down, we're squeezing the most into them and fondly holding on.

Weekend simplicity can still be found with just the right mixture of ingredients:

Work & Play

Start off with a Friday afternoon dip in the lake to cool you off. It helps beat the heat when the 90 degree weather decides to make an unexpected return.

Saturday morning goes best when you ease into the weekend with some playtime while still in your pj's.

There's always plenty to do around home and work can be turned into a Fun Family Activity, at least as long as all of the hooligans can cooperate and help.

A huge storage tote full of delicious apples will easily turn into either an excellent penance or a project of productivity.

We'll be glad come winter when we have applesauce and apple pie filling to retrieve off the shelves.

A long worked on project will get finished and the months of long labor, planning and coordination will finally come to fruition. Final touches will be made and move in day will arrive. After five years together, brother and sister will be separated and each will find a new way to live separately.

Bittersweet moments are the perfect addition to the weekend.

Top off Sunday afternoon with another little dip in the water and boat ride. In Minnesota you never know when it just might be the last of the season.

You can see more great weekend moments in Cari's Sunday Snapshots.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Beginnings And Ends

Preparing to bid farewell to another summer gone too fast, I find myself playing the game of catch-up.

The beginning of summer bloomed promising. There were going to be so many things done, so many projects finished, so much accomplished. Well, that's not completely true. In my mind, although I wanted to do so many things and try to make the summer super fun for the kids, I knew it was merely going to be about survival.

After being pregnant the last two summers, this summer we were reaping the reward of those two pregnant summers...two healthy little girls. We were just going to focus on the juggling act of daily living and merely survive.

And you know what? We didmake it. We even made some great memories along the way and managed to fill the summer with plenty of activity.

As I took all four kids by myself to the county fair last week, I thought about beginnings and ends. There was no way I would've thought of venturing out on my own with all the kids in public way back in June. Most every outing away from our front porch left me worried and waiting for just when the dreaded meltdown of one of the little girls would happen. Yes, they are very good girls for a toddler and a baby, but you know how that is, right? It's the fear and the what-ifs that can scare you into never leaving the confines of your yard again. It was one such meltdown and screaming/crying bout that almost sent me to the convent running.

Instead, I stayed. We all thrived and grew and suddenly we are coming to summer's end and I can grasp more fully the beauty of the moment. The ability to breathe without anxiety in my chest and fear in my head.

Beginnings and ends teach us a lot throughout life, don't they? Sometimes a path we started on didn't lead to the obvious ending we originally sought out. Something that in the beginning was so exciting and new may have just ended in regret and disappointment.

Think of a good book. It maybe wasn't the greatest read when you started out, but then you fell in love with the characters and you could barely set it down until you finished reading it.

The perfect job that you find and love, only to lead to a sudden buy-out and you out of work.

Even in pregnancy, most often it either begins or ends with sickness, being uncomfortable and miserable, but then to be rewarded with a beautiful child.

Or even the exercise workout that was going to revolutionize your life, change the way you think about food and make you shed inches, but eventually got monotonous just like the others.

Sometimes if we knew what lay ahead, we may not have even wanted to begin. The other times, we begin and press forward, we live, we learn. Months pass, seasons change, life keeps moving forward.

Now it is August and the stressed mom with the Irish twins rests a little easier. Each day is one more success, one more triumph of a day won. Now a silent tear is shed with thoughts of months quickly gone by and babies and children growing too fast, not a tear of anxiety and life that overwhelms her.

Sometimes the end is bittersweet. Sometimes the end is the beginning of something very wonderful that lies ahead.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Magic Baby Bottom Cream

In my almost ten years of motherhood, I have only a couple of times had a baby with diaper rash and not even remotely serious.

So, when Gianna got severe sore bottom the other week when she was sick and she had horrible sores, I cringed and my heart broke as she screamed with every diaper change. And when the toddler has diarrhea, you know I was changing A LOT of diapers.

After trying so many diaper creams without relief for my poor Boo-Boo Girl, I called our favorite doctor. He sent a prescription right away for me to pick up at the store. After driving the almost half hour to the store, having to submit insurance information, waited another half hour and then finally go to pick it up and they tell me there's a problem. Oh, wonderful.

The pharmacist comes to inform me that because all of the ingredients in this compounded prescription formula can be obtained over the counter, the insurance won't cover it. Thankfully, I ended up with a very nice pharmacist who went out to the store aisles and grabbed all I needed. She wrote down the ingredients and amounts, gave me directions to mix them all up and then gave me a plastic tub/jar like they would've given me had they mixed it up there.

After about the second application, Gianna's bottom was SO MUCH better. I thought I had to share this mixture with all of you, in the event you are ever in my shoes and need sweet relief for your child. Perhaps many of you have heard of this before, but since I hadn't I thought I may not be alone.

Total cost for all of the items was just under $11 at my local Walmart and so worth it!!!

Mix the following together and store in a sterile covered container. Apply three times daily.

*Petroleum Jelly (30g)
*Bacitracin (30g)
*Hydrocortizone cream 1% (30g)
*Anti-Fungal cream/Athlete's Foot cream (Clotrimazole) (30g)

**Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional and obviously would encourage you to check with your doctor before trying this cream if you have serious questions.

Monday, August 13, 2012

She's A Gem

Lest the poor little girl, child #4, ever look back here and think she was lost in the shuffle, I'm finally posting a 'she's-already-six-months-I-cannot-believe-it-oh-my-gosh-how-did-this-happen-and-I-didn't-post-photos-sooner' post.

You know, because life happens. And kids were sick. And it's summertime.

Our little Margaret (aka Greta, you may call her either), turned six months. She most certainly has lived up to her given name while in utero, Baby Gem. She is pretty easy going, rarely really cries and lives life in wide eyed wonder as she keeps an eye on the other resident hooligans.

And while she has had to roll with the punches (and head-butts) from Gianna who sometimes loves her a little too much, she is starting to bring out her personality.

She is learning that when her little big sister is laying near her and she can get a handful of hair, she can get a really good response if she pulls really hard. I think she's learning what payback is.

Margaret has now sprouted her second little tooth and seems fascinated with it as she is also moving that little tongue like crazy.

She has decided that eating is way too much work and either doesn't like the texture or taste of neither her cereal, veggies or the fruit we just tried the other day.

When she isn't busy watching the kids and tracking their every move, the wheels in her little head must be turning on how she can become more mobile. Last week she decided to give scooting a try and will do that in addition to rolling around all over in an effort to keep up with everyone.

She truly is a precious addition that has blessed our family so much. Again, God proved that He had a very wonderful plan set aside for us when He decided to surprise us with another little girl to love.

Happy Six Months, Little Margaret!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Point, Shoot, Click

I don't know that I have a {passion} for photography and photos, but I do have a strong interest/desire/intrigue for it. I have long enjoyed pulling out the camera in the effort to find the perfect shot with a simple click.

Of course, my favorite subjects are my children and still-framing the big (and little) moments that remain in my heart, but will also remain embedded on my jump drive for years to come.

Over the time that I've been reading and following blogs I have been privy to some amazing photography. Pure beauty and awe-inspiring.

I often wonder (and sometimes dare ask in your comboxes) what kind of outrageously expensive awesome camera you use. Realizing fully that it's not necessarily the camera that does all the work, but the handiwork of the artist/photographer mom as well.

With the plan of having many more years to capture life's moments, I've been scheming and plotting how to save up my pennies for an upgrade. Keeping in mind that I don't follow nor understand much of the camera jargon, all I can say is that I want a simple and easy to use DSLR camera with more capability than my current model (Canon PowerShot SX120).

Did I mention that I don't want to spend $500, if possible?

So, my dear witty, talented, smart and phenomenal readers, enlighten me.

What camera do you use and what would you suggest? 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Proud To Be An American

Did you see it Saturday?

The Men's 4x100 Medley Relay, the last swimming event of the London 2012 Olympics?

And the last Olympic swim for our Golden (& Silver...& Bronze) Boy, Michael Phelps.

18 Gold + 2 Silver + 2 Bronze = A well-decorated/most decorated Olympic Champion

While I am not a sports enthusiast in the least, when you have the likes of Michael

and Ryan

and Missy

in the pool, it's so much fun to watch!

Of course, I can't forget young Gabby who gives God the extra shout-out when reflecting on her Olympic Gold.

What amazing athletes that God blessed with talent, determination and perseverance. It makes one proud to be an American!

And almost makes you forget about all of the other things going on in our fair country right now that make us feel a little less American. Almost.

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