Keeping up with the Littles

keeping up with littles_2

Sometimes exhaustion takes over and all you want to do is leave them in their beds.  Trapped.

And you would be resting.


But then you begin to think.

Oh no!  What if they are stripping down to their diapers?

What if they are taking their diapers off?

What if they have poopy diapers?

What if they are smearing it all over the walls???

Because you know EVERYTHING like that has already happened.

I remember the first time my son stripped his diaper, I walked into the room and caught him ever so happily standing and peeing all over his crib. He was smiling so brightly!

Later, after we moved back to Poland, my son refused to move into a “big boy bed”.  At first, I really tried to convince him he was a big boy and to sleep in a bed, but sense took over and I thought—holy cow!  Why take him out of his trapped environment?

And he loves his crib.

But I am also a big believer that sometimes we ask kids to grow too quickly.  Therefore, I am VERY content my son loves his crib.

Although he loves his crib, and he remains trapped, doesn’t mean that I have freedom.

The other day I walked in and he had fresh rice milk handprints all over his wall.  He found a way to smear his rice milk all over the wall—but there is literally about 50 handprints that can be seen on his brown wall.  And they are so cute.  And I am not sure I want to cover them up.

And, believe me, I have already had enough poopy episodes to last me a lifetime.

Keeping up with my littles is hard work.  And tiring work.  And sometimes I feel so unfit to be their mommy work.

But then my little man comes and throws himself in my lap and tells me he loves me.

It’s a brief moment because he is not the most cuddly child…but it’s a moment.

And I take it.  And sometimes I get to extend him my hand.  And he gives me a finger.  And I take it.

And my littlest trails after me pulling my sweatpants off all of the time with her constant tugging at my leg.  And I pull them back up over and over again, picking her up at the same time.  And she cries, “Momma!”

And I love it.

I have gotten to stay home with my babies the last 3 weeks—and as utterly exhausted as I have been stoking coal, lighting wood fires, cleaning baby puke and poop…

I have loved every moment.

My son today, after I put my daughter down for a nap, said to me, “Sit down and play with Maxwell, Momma!”

And I sat on the floor and played sensory water marbles spoons-thingy with him.  For about an hour. And we moved marbles back and forth and scooped water.  And did pretty much nothing except sit with spoons, water, marbles, and one another.

And it was blissfully beautiful because it was with my boy.

I have not kept up with my showers or hair combing.  I haven’t kept up with wardrobe changes or even really eating much except soggy cereal leftovers from their remaining breakfasts, but I have loved them much these last 3 weeks that I have gotten to stay at home and be mommy.

I don’t do the best job at keeping up with my littles—but I do the best job I can at loving them way more than a little.  I love them a lot.

And perhaps during all of this crazy diaper pooping puking playing crying trying time in my life, I will actually understand that keeping up with my littles simply calls for loving them enough.

And, if that is the case, hopefully I am doing a swimming job of it all.


This literally just happened to me!

My youngest woke at 5am crying as if she was in agony.  She shares a bedroom with her slightly older brother, so I popped out of bed and ran into the room.

It was bad enough that I was going to have one awake at 5am—but two ages 1 and 2—no way!

So I grabbed her and brought her downstairs.  I kept her cuddling with me for an hour until I decided it was safe to put her back to bed.

Quietly I tip-toed up the stairs and laid the babe gently down.  She was so content and tired.  So she quickly rolled over and went to sleep.

Or at least for the 10 seconds it takes me to go down the stairs and flop myself back on the couch.  Because as soon as I did that she started screaming bloody murder once again.

I ran quickly up the stairs to find her covered in throw up.  Her bed.  Her floor.  Her clothes.  Her pajamas.  Her stuffed animals.

So, I scooped her up where she proceeded to empty whatever remained in her belly ALL OVER ME!  And I headed to the bathroom.

But, you see, the bathroom was a gamble.  I have a home heated by coal.  And my hot water is heated by coal.  And yesterday I noticed that there was no hot water—hence no coal.

I went to the coal furnace and noticed it was empty…the coal oven completely stone cold dead.

I am not a pioneer woman.  I am fired from that job.  But, alas, I had only one choice—to get that coal stoked again.

So I did.  And I hoped beyond hope that tomorrow we would wake up to hot water.

I just didn’t expect to be testing my pioneering at 6am.  Hesitantly I turned the hot water faucet on and waited.

Cold.  Cold.  Cold.  Warm.  Warmer.  Hot!

Woot-woot.  I had it.

Hot water, tempered with cold water, and I plopped a throw-up baby in the bath.

I bathed her, cleaned her, and brought her back downstairs to try and keep her quiet while the 2-year-old still slept.

WELL—eventually the 2-year-old, little Maxwell, woke.  And he and Josephine played for a brief bit until I could tell Jo needed down for a nap.

I went upstairs and barely had placed her in her clean bed before I heard agonizing screaming downstairs.

So, I dropped her the rest of the way (Okay, kidding), and ran back down the stairs.

At this point, my son is now covered in throw up.  The floor is covered.  The carpet is covered.  And he said, “It came out of my mouth, Momma!”

Oh.  Thanks, Maxwell.  So, that is how this works, huh?

Needless to say, had to get a bunch more cleaned.

I have not had any coffee at this point because I was certain that I would catnap while Josephine napped and Maxwell watched a show.

After the puke number two episode, mind you, I decided that I needed coffee stat!  Three shots later, I am still barely surviving because THIS happened…FOR REAL…NO KIDDING…Next!

Josephine has arisen at this point from her nap.  Both kids are puke free.  We play a bit upstairs and then they decide they are hungry.  So as we head downstairs, I notice one of our three dogs is running around in the field.  Which means that she is NOT in our backyard (that’s how she came to be—her momma ALSO escaped our blasted backyard).  Anyhow, I had the 1-year-old tucked into her high chair.  The 2-year-old on the armchair.  They both had their lunches and the television going.  So, I put on my stomping boots and ran outside to call the pup in.

She was great and immediately came to the gate.  The back gate.  But it was chain locked and I couldn’t seem to find the hole that she got out of to get her back in.  So I abandoned the back gate and tramped through the yard to the front gate hoping she’d follow me there and not get sidetracked in the neighbor’s fields or barn or compost pile (we lose our dogs to those a lot).

THANKFULLY she came.

I get her inside our property and head to the house when I realize the front door is locked.

Oh.  That’s okay—I came out the back, I’ll just go around back and come back in.

And as I walked I thought—the day could not get any crazier when YES.  YES it could.  And did.

My 2-year-old LOCKED the back door.

But, you see, the back door has no back door doorknob.  It is an inside only open door.  Which meant that in my pajamas and bare legs (it’s still cold here).  In no proper undergarments and no socks.  I am L-O-C-K-E-D out of my house.

You should know we have windows of steel.  Even Superman would have a hard time getting these suckers open.

And, no.  We have no spare key outside.  Why should we?  We live in a peaceful village and hardly lock our doors during the day because we have three enormous dogs that protect fiercely our home and howl like crazy.

Howling dogs have nothing on meddling toddlers because today I was a victim of inside intrudering (if there is such a thing).  I was locked out of my own home with two littles stuck inside.

So I did what any parent would do, I banged like crazy on that back door.  “Maxwell, Maxwell, help mommy!  Let Mommy in!”

“No, Mommy.  I can’t open door.”

It’s probably very true because the doors are extremely heavy and the handle has to be pushed UP not down.  That’s why it was so easy for him to lock it—but unlocking it is another issue.

“Maxwell, go and pull the chair over to the door and stand on it and push the handle UP for Momma, okay?!”  This is also probably a good time to tell you that he ALWAYS gets his adjectives and prepositions opposite.  You know up for down.  Hot for cold.  In for out.  AHHHHH!  If he does opposite of what I ask, the door will become even harder to open.  Now I am really nervous.

I proceed to ask, but then this happens.

“No, Momma.  I can’t unlock door.”

“Yes, Maxie.  Yes, you can.  Go get the chair.”

Blasted carpet by the back door.  Poor kid couldn’t pull the chair to the door because we have a back carpet there.

“Okay, Maxwell, move the carpet!”

Grunting and groaning as my little man is pulling and moving the carpet and pushing the chair to the door.

And then it happened  He tried and couldn’t, and so he sat down.

And gave up.

Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang.  “Maxie—you have to open the door.  Momma is locked outside.”

“Too hard, Momma.  Too hard.”

But he tried again.  And again.  And again.

I look through the window, my littlest is eating a hot dog with her fork.  Oh GREAT!  A choking hazard and an eye-stabbing device and I am locked outside.

I can go to my neighbors—but I am literally in my pajamas with no undergarment.  I look ridiculous and this will be my LAST resort.

So I bang and plead and ask and holler and …

None of it was convincing him to bring about super strength to open the door until I spied his Easter basket.

“Maxie…If you open the door, Momma will give you cookies! Just try and push open the other handle (to the attached door).”

Lots of effort and groaning and whatnot, he got the second handle sightly up, combined with the first handle, and I was able to shove the door open!

Glory day!

He came and hugged me and I told him how PROUD I was…(And I was also thinking—THANK YOU, LORD, that I do not have to go to my neighbors in my tank top, shorts, and bare legs!)

Max came and hugged and hugged me and told me “I zuw you, Momma!”  Which, if you speak Max, means “I love you!”

Oh glory day.

Now he is eating his Oreo cookies and I am wondering when oh when I will be cleaning them off of the floor???

It’s only two in the afternoon my time—but I think that so far I have lived two lifetimes in one half of one day.

So that leaves me to beg the question—who is babysitting tomorrow?

Just kidding.  I’ve got this!

Well, as long as I remember to stoke the coal, and clean the puke, and NEVER ever go outside again when the front door is also locked, and give away the dogs (just kidding?), and buy more cookies for my devilish slash hero son…

And live off of coffee until my husband returns home.

I’ve got this.


Philippians 4:13 “I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!”

Summer Activities…Cheap and FUN!


Totally had planned on signing off of the blog, for the most part, until I was resettled in Poland…But I couldn’t pass up this brilliant link.

Here it is.  Yes.  Some activities take up a lot of space.  Some of them look a bit messy (sugar writing).  But all of them fun.

Cheap.  Creative.  Fun!

Have a click and a try.  Let me know what you do!

Signing off as the 1/2 of Crazy that resides in AZ…My better half has gone before us—Polska, baby!

xo for now…


Click and enjoy:

33 Activities for Kids that Cost Under $10

Isn’t this what life is all about?


Well, my daughter had been complaining about not feeling good for two days.  She’s not normally a complainer, but I dismissed it as emotions drained by her daddy being away for the last 3+ weeks.

Oops.  I took her temp.  No, it wasn’t through the roof, but it was 100F.

She told me later that at school every time she took a step her head felt dizzy and she thought she was going to fall.

Can we say, “Mom Fail”?

I can.

To top it off, my son…my wonderfully jovial son…only had a 1-hour-nap because I went and got my nails and toes done.  You know—so I could look pretty for my husband’s return.

Can we say, “Mom Fail”?

I can.

But, by golly, we were going to make it to the portrait studio to take photos as a surprise for Richie’s return.


Adelyne doesn’t get out of school until well after 4 on Thursdays because she is in an awesome club for writing/theater.

So, I scooped her up, dragged her home.  She’s complaining the entire way she doesn’t feel well and she’s freezing—ummm…It’s like 105F, girl.  Get a grip!

As soon as we get home, she climbs under the covers.

I succumb and take her temp.  Oops.  Low grade.  That’s okay, I’ll Motrin her up, baby!

Max—he hasn’t slept at all (well, an hour is not much for him).  He’s crying.  Trying to get an outfit on him is pure torture, and his hair…For crying out loud, his hair was like the end of the world!

But I finally got his Mohawk.

I threw my daughter in a dress and pulled her messy school hair in a bun…Poor girl had to scarf down cheesy crackers while I tried non-gallantly to pull my hair back.

Thankfully my mom was there to help and drove so that I could apply make-up in the car.

On the way, Max slept.  Adelyne played my phone—a HUGE deal because we don’t do electronics during the school week.

I was certain the photo shoot was going to be glorious.

At the studio, both children were now calm and happy.  And I was so proud to see my 15-month-old playing at the Lego table with his sister.  What a big boy!  How he’s grown.  Look at him play.

I didn’t realize that same table would also become the enemy.  As soon as the photographer called our names, we picked Maxwell up to take the photos and all Lego Hell broke loose.  He started screaming.  He started crying.  He started throwing himself on the floor.

We tried bribing him with Legos on the floor.  Adelyne and I could do the posing.  But no…

He EVEN fell off a chair trying to clamber on it in hopes of chaining himself to the Lego table.

I used to be a Lego fan…

Well, now we have a bruise on his forehead and his eye and a screaming kid.  If only we can get ONE picture.  Just one.

Miraculously, one photo was snapped where he was physically drained and clasped my finger and put his head against my leg.  That was it.  It was as if his 15-month-old brain said, “You got your one…I’m outta here.”

And we never got him back.  We lost him to Legos.

All was well, Adelyne, Belly Josephine, and I had fun the rest of the shoot—80 photos worth!

80 photos and only 1 decent one with my son…BUT…1 priceless one with his desperate attempt at escape.  See him crawling on the floor to get away from us?

Of course, as soon as the session was over, it was as if the Lego table did not exist.  He ran around with a giant grin that stretched from ear to ear.  He gave me High 5 and his Nana kisses.

Max was back.

But Life…Ahhh, Life.  Isn’t it really like this?  Never as you envision or expect.

Life.  Full of disastrous surprises that sometimes make for picture-perfect reminders of a little thing called Reality.

Just like this photo.


In case you missed the original photos, here they are:

Belly Josephine…And my Ada and Max!

Well…It’s not a blog posting, but we sure had fun preparing a gift for daddy’s return from South Africa and Zambia!  Won’t he be surprised?

And my joyful boy thought the Lego table was far more fun than taking pictures—therefore, he got to play while my girls and I posed all pretty.

(Adelyne is the gal…Josephine is the belly)

It’s hard finding a dress to wear when you’re all big and preggo like me—so I went with the cute blue one I found and then we accented it with pink.  Twas the best we could do.  And SCORE—the dress only cost me $10!  Can’t beat that, eh?!

Anyhoo…Hope you enjoy.

And, in case you’re wondering…She’s coming January 2014.  Woot-woot!