Tuesday, September 6, 2011

And we're off!

Hey, faithful blog readers (if there are any of you left!) Things have been a leetle crazy lately, what with Chet taking the bar, family vacation, moving out of our house, and planning a six-month road trip/farming adventure.

So for the next six months, come find me blogging over here. Hopefully we'll make it through the road trip and onto the farm ;)

Friday, July 8, 2011

5 years

About a month ago we celebrated our FIVE year anniversary. Sometimes that seems like so much time and sometimes it seems like nothing at all (most days I still feel like a newlywed) .

Five years is still five years, you know? But the time has passed so quickly.

I guess we must be having fun.

Time flies, am I right?

Anyway, thanks to some generous family and friends, we got to have a whole weekend to ourselves. One night here in town and then to a bed and breakfast at a winery nearby.

We relaxed. We rested. We enjoyed.

We used to be theoretical. We used to talk about our vision for our family and our hopes for the future. But this time we didn't.

We laughed.

Maybe what we needed back in the day was to plan and create a vision. Maybe what we need now is rest from that. Or maybe we are a little more realistic with ourselves three kids later.

Whatever the case, we are the Lord's. We are thankful for our five years and three kids and are hopeful for many more to come.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Smiles and hugs forever

You need to watch this. Repeatedly. (Or once. It'll have the same effect, i.e. once it's in your head, it will never leave.)

Goes without saying that it's the Number 1 Most Requested Song here in Hutchville.

(At least it's not annoying.)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

I plank, you plank, we plank

After my sister showed Sharks some pictures of her planking, he wanted to try it.

First attempt:

Planking on the couch. Also known as lying on the couch. Little did I know I've been planking for years.

Next attempt:

Planking on a chair. Creative.

Third attempt:

By jove, I think he's got it.

Friday, June 3, 2011

They say silence is golden

This time, silence was an overturned aloe plant and a one-year old throwing dirt.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I'm dying over here

This five-year old girl wandered over to our yard to play yesterday and we got to talking.

I asked, So do you have any brothers or sisters?

Yeah. I have a brother, but he's really sick. Like, really, really sick. You know the kind of sick where you die? Umm, I can't remember what his sickness is called though...but I know that it makes you die.

(I'm thinking, cancer? And I was really sad. Because having a sick brother who is going to die has got to be tough.)

Then she says,

Oh! Yeah! I remember! It's called DIahrrea!


Gold medal for my effort in keeping a straight face?

Saturday, May 28, 2011


These law school years have felt like a really, really long pregnancy.

Growing, stretching, and discomfort.

Sleepless nights.

That sense of expectancy, the knowledge that there is a point to all of this pain.

So graduation was a pretty awesome night. We decided not to bring the kids because all we wanted was to be able to soak in the moment, and I wanted to yell really loud when Chet crossed that stage to get hooded.

(I was thisclose to yelling, "I WANT TO HAVE YOUR BABIES!" but I've already had his babies, so it seemed a moot point.)

You know when you have a baby, how you are more proud than you have ever been, and you just look at each other and say, "We did it, babe! We did it!!"

And you are amazed and humbled that the Lord brought you to that place?

Well, that's what it felt like.So very proud of this man.

By God's grace, WE DID IT, BABE!!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

The straw that broke the camel's back

I've got some big things to post about, like Chet's graduation (which was last week) and Chet's birthday (which was two months ago.) As you can see, I am on top of things as per usual.

But for today, I want to tell you about why I am never going grocery shopping again.


And that is not an exaggeration.

Within the last six months we have successfully:

1. Knocked over a six pack of beer.
2. Knocked over a display of tomato sauce.
3. Dropped a glass bottle of iced tea.
4. Knocked over a full bag of groceries at the counter.

But today took the cake.

Maybe it's the Grocery Store's passive-agressive way of telling me to LEAVE AND NEVER COME BACK without actually saying it. Well, Grocery Store. Never let anyone tell you that being passive-agressive isn't a good way to express your feelings. Because it worked.

Like I said, NEVER going back.

We did our usual Grocery Shopping Configuration. Buckled Finn into the front of the cart. Plopped Deedo into the back. Sharks was walking.

There was that one time I let both Sharks and Deeds walk and that ended badly. So now the general idea is to keep as many kids contained as possible, and we (usually) manage alright.

I stopped to get some hotdogs for our camping trip and as I was deciding how many packages to get, there was this CRASH. A really loud one.

Followed by some screaming.

I turned around in a hurry to see a tangle of flailing legs and arms and the cart tipped over sideways on top of Sharks.

Much, much screaming.

I did not know it was possible for all of my children to hit their heads on the floor at the same time, barring a tornado or car accident or something.

(It's possible.)

Poor Finn was stuck, hanging there upside down. It's a good thing he was buckled, or he could have also been squished under the cart.

Deeds was the least injured and the loudest screamer. Go figure.

Sharks, unfortunately was trapped under the cart and ended up with the worst injuries (which were just big bruises on his shins and a bump on his forehead.)

It was one of those things where everyone is screaming and you don't know who to help first and you kind of want to lose it too and join in the screaming.

Thankfully they hire friendly people at Trader Joe's (I'll be honest - sometimes they are too friendly and a little creepy-like, but today I was thankful, even for the creepy-friendlies) so we were quickly assisted and given lollipops.

The funny thing is, we had just been at Target and the lady in line behind us mentioned how well behaved the boys were and how sweet they were.

(Pride comes before the fall, anyone?)

Somehow, she was standing right next to us at Trader Joe's when this happened and was the first to run over to help. She was kind enough to hold Finn while I tended to the other two. And she didn't make me feel any worse than I already did.

Anyway, the boys are all fine. Ultimately I think it was more dramatic than traumatic. I mean, it was a scene. People all over the store kept asking how the boys were doing, which was nice, but I still felt all adrenalined up and it was stressing me out. Even after a relatively normal trip to the store, by the time we make it back to the car, I usually feel like I am about to have a panic attack. This time I just wanted to cry.

So that's it, Grocery Store. We're through.

Friday, May 6, 2011

There's room on the bandwagon

This is what my sis-in-law was working on a week after her sweet son, Elijah was born.

Impressive, no?

Her video is sooooooo close to 20,000 views! Check it out and get her a few more.

Pretty please?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


We made these. After that terrible horrible no good very bad day. Totally worth it.


Radish seeds in empty strawberry boxes.

Here's hoping they grow.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Why I am not a fashion blogger

1) Throw up and/or poop don't count as accessories.

2) Waking up with my hair stuck to my face is not the same as gently tousled "messy" hair.

3) Just because the dark circles under my eyes match the purple in my shirt doesn't mean I coordinated my outfit.

4) My photographers are less than three feet tall. And no matter how hard we try, all we end up with is this:

Clean Food even if I don't have a Clean House


I think I mentioned that I meal planned every meal for the whole month this month. For maybe the first time ever. Well, I have planned before. It's the follow-through that gets me every time. And I'm a little worried I'm not going to make it this time either.

You know how I go crazy over library cookbooks? This time it was this cookbook called Clean Food. I totally judged a book by it's cover. What can I say? It did look...clean. Everybody needs a little clean somewhere.

I'm going to go ahead and blame Clean Food for my meal plan attempt because everything looked fantastic and fresh, and since the book is split seasonally, I was dying to make a bunch of the Spring recipes. (Even if the weather still thinks it's Winter, at least our bellies will think it's Spring. Take that, rain.)

I picked out a ton of recipes from Clean Food for our meal plan because they were all sounding amazing. They reminded me of the stuff I would make when we were part of a CSA and got a bunch of weird veggies every week. That kind of cooking really gets me excited.

Somewhere round about the Cashew Cream and the Flax Egg (say what?) I got to thinking that there was something strange about this here cookbook.

Oh, and where'd all the meat go?

Turns out, Clean Food means Vegan Food. (Is this something everyone else already knows and I am just late to the game?)

So the other day I whipped out my meal plan. I had been avoiding it since I had no groceries, but after (finally) successfully making it to the grocery store, it was time to get down to business. It had been another one of those days, and I was hoping the Meal Plan said that bacon and eggs with lots of cheese was for dinner.

But...it seems that I was delirious when I planned those meals.

Sweet Potato, Corn, and Kale Chowder?
Swiss Chard with Roasted Golden Beets?

The Black Bean Burgers with Pineapple Guacamole we ate last night really was delicious. And I love a good beet. Truly, all the food does (still) sound wonderful.

But when dinner time rolls around and you are starving and the little people are screaming and you have been chopping this veggie and that veggie and then you plop a mound of greens on the table...oh, the silence.

I mean the kids do not care that the beets are special, non-purple beets. Or that the greens (swiss chard) we had last night are totally different from the greens (kale) we are having tonight.

They are all, Where is our dinner, mama? This looks like weeds.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Inside Out

"Do you see it, Mom? Do you?"

"I wrote your NAME!!"

Thursday, April 28, 2011

To laugh or to cry, that is the question

Long day yesterday. In the morning, we tried to go grocery shopping but ended up leaving with no groceries because of tantrums from both older two. Later that afternoon, there was a point when I was stuck in rush-hour traffic, all three kids screaming and hungry, when I thought, It can't get much worse than this.

Then Deeds threw up his dinner all over the table. (Yes. Yes, it can get worse.) For awhile we all just sat there in stunned silence.

Note to self: it takes throw up to calm everyone down?

But after that he was totally fine. That seemed like the end of it.

We had been planning another assault on the grocery store this morning, seeing as we had nothing in the house (which is ironic since I actually took the time to plan every meal for the whole month.) I guess meal plans don't work if you don't have food. Rookie mistake.

But then, Sharks threw up his breakfast.

So we gave up the Big Grocery Trip and determined a quick trip for the basics was in order.

I should mention that I was wearing a button down dress shirt of Chet's, you know like in the movies? How a lady will wear her man's shirt and look all sexy?

Well, since we're being honest here, you should know that my wearing of his shirt is not an attempt at hotness, but more of a testiment to how long it's been since I've done laundry. We were cracking up about it this morning because it was not cute at all, just big and hideous...oh, I think part of the problem was that I was wearing pants.

Note to self: sexy shirt thing only works WITHOUT pants (and I'm guessing without throw up on it? Jury's still out on that one though.)

Since we determined that a) we had no groceries, and b) I looked like a frump-monster, it was clearly my job to hit up the store.

After I made it back to the car with the groceries, I looked down and realized that the middle button on my shirt was completely and utterly unbuttoned.


I probably shouldn't say this, but it can't possibly get any worse than this.

Monday, April 11, 2011

There will be mud

"He was covered in mud, like a...umm...like a brown dog!!"

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Sweet Sixteen

In our house, The Wiggles is contraband. Chet figures that there is better shows for the boys to watch, and let's face it - The Wiggles aren't exactly manly.

Yesterday though, Sharks asked if he could take a Wiggles dvd on an upcoming road trip. Chet said no.

Of course Sharks tried to go all lawyer on us:
Mom! I have an idea. Maybe when Pops is at school we can watch The Wiggles!

(I tried my best to nip that in the bud - and explained that even when Pops isn't here we still remember and obey his words. I think he understood because he didn't ask about it anymore that night.)

The next morning at breakfast though, Sharks started chucking to himself and said,

Mom! I thought of something really silly. What if Pops died, and the rest of us were still alive - then could we watch The Wiggles?

(Sharks almost got his wish because Chet and I both just about died of laughter right there in the kitchen.)

After we recovered, Chet told Sharks that when he turns sixteen he can decide for himself whether or not to watch The Wiggles.

So my son is looking forward to being sixteen not because he'll be able to drive, but because it means the freedom to choose...to watch The Wiggles.

And I for one cannot wait for the day when I get to remind him of this moment.

Friday, March 18, 2011

You talk weird

My husband has many gifts but one of them is not doing fake accents. Actually every time he tries I tell him he sounds like a constipated, drunk Irishman whether he's doing an Irish accent or not (you might think that means it sounds legit - but in this case not so much.)

Let me think for a sec about how to describe this to you in all it's glory. Ummm...ok. Here goes. He sounds like he was terribly constipated, then got drunk to forget about the constipation, except he got so drunk he forgot where he was from or what language he was speaking and yet somehow what comes out of his mouth still sounds constipated, with a twist of gibberish - there's his fake accent in a nutshell.

Lest you think I am being mean to the hubs, let me just say that few things in life bring me as much joy as his Irish accent.


Most of you peeps know that I spent my junior high and high school years in Scotland. I came back with a funky accent, a sort of American-Edinburgh hybrid. My first week back here I overheard some girls talking about me and they were like, "Why does she sound so weird?" Awesome. Every high school girl wants to be told they sound weird.

Like most teenagers, I wanted to be like everyone else and tried my best to get rid of my accent as soon as possible. (Boo to my high school self.) So now, though accent-less myself, I love listening to other people talk.

Which is how Chet and I ended up watching Celtic Thunder infomercials last night (him for tips, me for enjoyment.) So many levels of embarrassing right there that you will only comprehend if you have seen Celtic Thunder yourself. I guarantee that no matter what you watched yesterday, it was less embarrassing than that.

Anyway. Fast forward hours later and we were getting ready for bed when out of the blue Chet bursts into song and sings, "Damn Birdie Show!"

If you are wondering, What's a birdie show and what is so awful about it? then you are thinking the same thing I was.

Turns out he was actually singing, "Down by the shore." Apparently that's a line from a Celtic Thunder song.

Somehow he is convinced that my miscomprehension of what he said means that his accent is good.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fur pillows are hard to actually sleep on

If you haven't seen this, (originally found here) you should. Josh Groban mocks quite effortlessly, but let's be honest. Kanye was kinda asking for it.

For the record, I would be totally ok with Josh (first name basis, why not?) singing my facebook statuses. I'd particularly like to hear his rendition of: "Still puzzled over how Deeds actually managed to swallow a foot-and-a-half of dental floss..."

Yes. That really did happen. Yes, (sigh) I really did give him dental floss. Now that I think about it, it doesn't seem all that intelligent. But at the time...

I really did not think he would EAT it. That never even crossed my mind. He came to me all proud and said,

MOMMY! I ate it!

You ate what?

The floss!

No, really. (dumbfounded. completely.) Where did you put the floss?

In here! (opens mouth. points inside.)


That's going to be a treat on the flip side, ifyouknowwhatimean.


I was going to try to wiggle that fur pillows comment into something on this post, but all that jumps out at me is the (bad) grammar.

Split infinitive, ending with a preposition (apparently Winston Churchill disagrees and I like Churchill so I may have to rethink my position on this). I realize that it was a tweet, but something about hearing it Josh Groban-style raises expectations, you know?

However, fur pillows now sound quite intriguing.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Deedo's Birthday! (last July)

Nope. We don't have three birthdays in a row.

I simply forgot to post about my middle son. Apparently I forgot last year when he turned one too. Poor little guy. At least we didn't forget to celebrate, so that's something.

We were actually visiting Chet's family, so his mom took over the cake decorating and it turned out GREAT! (I actually took her idea and ran with it and made Sharks a basketball cake this year...right now, simple=perfect.)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Shark Attack!!

Today, this little buddy turns four!

Way back before we started law school, a friend said, "When Chet gets finished with school, Sharks is going to be 4!" At the time, looking at my 18 month old baby, I couldn't picture him as a real boy (as opposed to a baby).

But he is. Both a real boy AND a four-year old one at that. With a brand new (to him) shiny red bike to show for it.

We started a tradition this year of Chet taking the birthday boy out to breakfast. So off they went to Steak N Shake for pancakes and milkshakes (Sharks' choice.) Now if that's not the best way to start a birthday, I don't know what is.

I will always have a special place in my heart for this fellow, who ushered me into motherhood.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

To In-Finn-ity And Beyond

This fellow is ONE! And we can't believe it.

Remember when we thought we were going to call him Samuel? How confusing of us. (Sorry.)

Happy Birthday, little one! You truly are Finntastic!

I think now is when I am supposed to write down all of the awesome stuff he can do.


The List Of Stuff You Can Do, Darling Finlay:
-Throw your own diapers away in the trash (as well as a bunch of other things we actually need)
-Eat like a champ (In fact, tonight your father said that he thinks you eat more than he does. That might be true, but to be honest I think it says more about your father's eating habits than yours. Carrots and celery do not count as a meal.)
-Dabble in ye olde sign language (please, more, and all done)
-Unravel and eat our last roll of toilet paper. Now that was a bummer.
-Follow your brothers around the house, showing them your love by knocking down everything they build. And they love you for it. Kind of.
-A bunch of other stuff that most 1-year olds can do.

Finn-tin-tin. What a guy.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Laundry day

I've been having this competition with my laundry. Kind of like a stare-down, or like a wait-out. You know?

Like when you wake up way too early in the morning to one of the kids crying, and you know your husband is awake too, but you are both too tired to move and so you each figure you can pretend to sleep the longest so as to avoid dealing with the situation.

That's what's going on with me and the laundry, your basic wait-out. When the laundry piles up, I throw it in the basement, and there it sits. End of story.

My logic is that that if I wait long enough the laundry will get sick and tired of sitting around, and wash itself. Then dry itself. And iron, fold, and hop in drawers all by itself.

(We have smart phones. So why not smart laundry? Are you with me, people?!)

Anyway, Sharks went to bed without any pants last night. (I was out.) Apparently Chet couldn't find any pj's or pants for the poor buddy so pants-free was he.

Really I think it was Chet's way of telling me that the laundry won.


Laundry: 1, Erin: 0

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Children are people too

I wasn't really a kid person before I had kids. I didn't like to babysit, didn't know how to play with kids, and just generally felt awkward around them. After Sharks was born, I read all these baby books about how it was important to play with your baby and talk to them and engage with them, and I was like, huh? Babies don't do anything but sit there, and poop sometimes.

Then my friends would come over and would be all cute and sweet with Sharks and come up with all these games to play with my baby and I'd think, OH! That's what I'm supposed to be doing. And I was a little jealous because it just didn't come naturally to me.

Anyway, as Sharks grew and after we had Deedo, I was able to see that these little babies pretty quickly develop personalities, and all of a sudden I was the one baby-talking and coo-ing and tickling. And come to find out I am actually a baby person after all.

The thought that these little guys are real people, and the older they get the more we see and shape their little selves became an encouragement to me during those wakeful nights and scream-filled days.

I have no idea what my boys will be like when they grow up, but to see certain traits already cracks me up. For example:

Every day before nap time, I lie down with each boy individually and ask if they have anything they want to chat about. Sharks usually asks if we can talk about Why Pharaoh Didn't Obey God And Let The Israelites Go, or maybe Will Jesus Know Where To Find Me When I Die, or even Does The Street Sweeper Come On The First Tuesday Or Wednesday Of Each Month?

On the other hand, after I get all snuggled up with Deeds, he says, Let's Laugh! So then I have to bust into an uproarious fake laugh. That's all he ever wants to do, just laugh and laugh.

Obviously I don't want to label them or force them into a particular personality box, because we all grow and change. But that right there is a picture of their little personalities at the moment. And I can't wait to see what Finn will be like as he grows.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Weirdo runs in the family

Ever have one of those moments when you look at your children and you think, Wow. They are only 3 and 2. How did they get so weird already?

The boys have been doing this thing where after they go to the bathroom but before they put their pants back on, they pull their shirts down over their knees and waddle around like ducks. Except.

They call it Playing Naked Mole Rat.

So they are like, Mommy! Mommy! Don't put my pants on yet! I want to be a Naked Mole Rat.

See what I mean? Weird.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tom Sawyer style

Yesterday I gave the boys a bath. Okay, actually what happened was the boys scrubbed the tub for me. They needed a bath (boys get stinky sometimes) and the bathtub needed to be scrubbed, so we did things Tom Sawyer style (you seriously have to read Tom Sawyer if you haven't, and even if you have, re-read it. Classic.)

I have this mixture of baking soda and castile soap that makes a "natural" soft scrub and I told the boys they could each have their own sponge (what a thrill!) and I would let them go crazy with some scrubby stuff and they could knock themselves out scrub-scrub-scrubbing the tub-tub-tubby. (They like rhymes so it was sure to be a hit.)

That way they got clean, the tub got clean, and I got a chance to clean the rest of the bathroom while they "played." So we were all together and managed a lot of cleaning in a very short amount of time and I am very okay with that.

It was sort of a way to work in some work without stressing too much.

Post-bath, and they wanted to run around naked for awhile. I was thinking maybe up and down the hallway a couple of times, then they'd be ready for clothes. But no. Sharks told me he was running a half-marathon so we (Finn and I) should sit and cheer for him like we cheered for Pops at his race.

He then proceeded to run for half-an-hour straight. Up and down the hallway. Over and over and over. One time I made the mistake of cheering, "Go Sharks! You can make it!" and he said, "I am not Sharks, I am pretending to be Pops, so say 'Go Pops!'"

It was insane. I can't even run that long. About ten minutes into the "race" he said his side hurt. I was like, Yeah, that's called a cramp and sometimes runners get them but you just have to power through. He whispered "power through" to himself and started running faster.

The only running phrase I know is "Put down the hammer!" and actually I am not sure if that is legit or if that is just a Chet-ism, but I started saying that to Sharks and then he was running with his arm up and down like he was hammering. (I think it is in reference to your legs hammering down on the ground, but I am not sure.)

He would get tired and I'd tell him he could stop, but he kept saying he was in a half-marathon and that it was a very long race and he couldn't stop til the very end. I finally had to set the timer for ten minutes and told him once it beeped he had to be done. Those last few minutes were tough for him, but he kept going.

I have never seen anything like it. And now, I am off to exercise, with my three-year old as inspiration.

Monday, February 7, 2011

This is the face...

...of a man who has a job!

Praise the Lord!

Unbeknownst to Chet, I had been praying that he would be offered a job by the start of the semester (Monday, January 10). My reasons for praying this prayer were mostly so that Chet would be relieved of the stress of job-searching (which in itself is a full-time job) before school began.

We hadn't heard anything, and after many "no" responses last semester, we had no reason to believe a yes was on it's way so soon (not that we doubted God's provision, we just assumed it would take some time.)

Then on Thursday, January 6th, Chet received a phone call offering him a job. I have no doubt that this is the job I had been praying for.

After much prayerful consideration and conversations with family and friends, we have decided to take the job. This means that Chet is going to be a JAG Corps Officer in the US Army.

There are still quite a few steps in the process, including passing the bar, passing a background check, and passing the physical. And we don't know much about the where or the when. Even so, we are very thankful.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

How to warm up on a cold winter's day

I'm supposed to take soup to our Kingdom Group dinner tomorrow. No big deal, right? I went to the grocery store, picked up all the ingredients, and came home to start cooking.

After chopping and sauteing all the shallots and opening all the cans of beans, I realized that I had forgotten to buy chicken broth. Rookie mistake. So I figured I'd just make a simple vegetable broth, with onion, celery, and carrots.

Are you sensing the impending disaster?

(I wasn't.)

Just as I was measuring the broth to add to the soup pot, I knocked the whole pot of boiling hot broth all over myself.

I totally lost my cool. (Why do I love puns so much? Somebody stop me.) The only thing I could think of other than AAAaagggh the PAIN! was, "Get these clothes off of me!!" so I started ripping my clothes off and crying. I mean, it really, really hurt.

Then I screamed for Chet, and he came running, and poor Sharks saw the whole thing and was just standing there, stunned.

I hopped in the shower for some relief from the burning. And then, at the advice from a doctor friend, I headed to an urgent care since my stomach was already blistering.

But due to all the snow, I couldn't get our van out of the parking space. (We live in the city and our streets aren't plowed and it's a real lose-lose situation for everyone.) So that was fun. I was thinking, Forget this, I'll just lie down in the snow for a few minutes.

Thankfully my husband is awesome and got me on my way. The doctor asked how I got the burns and I told her that I poured boiling vegetable broth on myself. She said, "By accident, I hope."

Ummm, yes. If I wanted to pour boiling liquid on myself, I would have just used water and saved myself the trouble of chopping all those veggies. Anyway. The nurse "dressed my burns" which is just fancy talk for "covered it with a couple big band-aids," and gave me some ointment.

On Facebook this morning I was joking that I'd rather give birth again than cut Deedo's hair (which I did this morning - bad idea #1 of the day.) Now I know that I would also rather give birth than pour boiling broth on myself.

Friday, February 4, 2011

How to live life

(for the record, this isn't supposed to be a complaining post...it's more just searching for answers from other moms who have been there.)

Finn is at the stage where he puts everything in his mouth, knocks over stuff he shouldn't be playing with in the first place, pulls out toys we've just put away, and so on. He's a sweetie; he just happens to be a curious sweetie.

I used to do my daily jobs with the boys (making beds, getting dressed, doing dishes, vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, laundry, all the basics.) But add Finn to the mix, and it's more than I can handle. I used to put him in the Ergo, but now my body is too tired from exercising to even contemplate that. Plus he's heavier now.

So I've stopped doing those things while the boys are up, thinking that I'll get to them during nap time.

But guess what? Nap time rolls around, and I'm tired too. So I take a nap (or exercise), thinking that I'll finish up the dishes after dinner. And the laundry and whatever else I've neglected.

Suddenly dinner is over, and who wants to tackle a mountain of laundry or a whole day's worth of dishes? Or move at all?

Usually by then I am so wiped out, it's all I can do to organize the dirty dishes into the sink to soak until morning. That way I feel like I'm doing something without really doing anything.

Which means that nothing substantial gets done, and the cycle continues the next day. So, basically, I need help. Without the daily jobs to give us a routine, the days seem very long.

For the most part, the older two boys play pretty well together and I can manage to get quite a bit done while they play if the baby is sleeping, but then I feel like I am wasting the time we have without the baby (usually we read together.) Or I feel as though I am too task driven and never stop to play with them.

In all honesty I am not a big fan of housework (who is?!) and would gladly not care about it, but I have just enough house-pride to be embarrassed if someone came over and saw this place. Plus, I really like the idea of having the boys work alongside me throughout the day because I think it teaches good work habits, I am just not sure how to put it into practice.

I have a feeling that some of the experienced moms out there would just tell me to get down to business and deal with the inconvenience. That simply being with the boys, whether working or playing is what is important. And that is probably the truth. Good results take hard work.

So, I've got the theory, I just need the practical knowledge (and encouragement!) Any suggestions of how to do this with three little ones?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Things that made me laugh

1) Last week at MOPS: "Erin! You look really pretty today, I didn't even recognize you!"

Ummm, thanks?

2) Finn's first word: "Amen!"

Unless you count fake burping. He's had that under control for a couple of months.

3) Sharks walking backwards, pants at his ankles, dragging Finn by one foot out of the bathroom. Now that was a sight. I guess somebody wanted to pee in peace. (I know the feeling.)

4) Three snow days with all of us at home. Chet looks at me and asks if he looks as rough as I do. Answer: yes.

5) And Deeds. The kid remembers. I knew he would. Every time I put on his pjs, he says "Don't zip it on me!"

6) Finally, another Jeopardy moment. So, we watch Jeopardy pretty much every day. And we bet on who's going to win. And my favorite part is that the boys go crazy and jump up and down when someone picks the Daily Double. Jeopardy is just THAT exciting. Right now you can actually take the test to become a contestant!

Monday, January 31, 2011


Here's the honest truth (isn't all truth honest?) After the insanity of P90X Week One, I have had to re-evaluate. Five hour-long workouts per week turned out to be a little much. So now my goal is to work up to five times per week.

And I'm ok with that. This week I'd like to maintain three workouts and add in the Ab Ripper (sounds delightful.)

So even though not making my goal was a little disheartening, I did have the encouragement of discovering that I lost five pounds. And sometimes a little encouragement is all you need to keep up the good work. And eat less donuts.

Clearly, there are a few perks to exercising. Right now my favorite thing to do is shove my arm in Chet's face and flex my bicep.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Two heads are better than one

So the other day at breakfast, Sharks had an epiphany: Mom! If Finn had two heads, then he could eat from BOTH at the SAME TIME!


Mooo-ving on.

Remember how not too long ago I decided to go for a run and how I was all excited about it? And then I ran another time?

Well, that was it.

So I'm giving P90X a try since it's still too cold to run outside. My plan is to do it 5 times a week for one month, then re-evaluate. A friend is doing it also, for accountability, which is kind of laughable because we've tried to be exercise buddies before and that lasted maybe 3 times?

No matter. This time we're going to Bring It! because This is the MOTHER of all P90X workouts! I mean, it's motivating the first time you hear that, but I have now realized that the guy says that for every workout, and I'm pretty sure that by tomorrow I'll be annoyed enough to chop his head off.

Anyway today is Day Two. It is hard enough to exercise on a normal day when I am feeling fine but after yesterday, which was the "Chest and Back" workout, also known as Push-up Torture, well I can hardly lift my arms and can't even imagine exerting the energy to put in the dvd.

My arms are so dead that it was painful to switch the baby from one side to the other when he was nursing last night. Right about then I was wishing for a two-headed baby.

Monday, January 24, 2011

The results are in...

...and the first person to get it right was...Me (which I think is Katie?)! Look forward to some tasty chocolate coming your way!

And yes, I picked tricky pictures on purpose...otherwise it's no fun.

I especially liked that some people guessed wrong twice.

But this just goes to show that there's a reason why I felt like I gave birth to the same kid three times over (all boys, and all within 3 oz of each other.) Thank goodness their personalities are different or I would call them by the wrong name even more than I already do.

Like, Obey mama's words, Harceefin! or maybe Finndeearks, eat your dinner! or even Don't sit on the baby, Cedafinkins! but usually it's just, *sigh* whateveryournameis.

Maybe we should have given them rhyming names, like Ed, Ted, and Fred. So that when I get it wrong, I could play it cool, like, "No, I said Ted. Really."

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Who's Who in the Hutch Household?

UPDATE: So I guess this is a little tricky! No one has gotten it right yet. Not even Chet. First person to guess it right can pick a kid to borrow for the weekend.

Just kidding. But I will send you some chocolate.
(By the way, Mandy, I owe you some from last time...oops.)

You tell me.

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Home Date Night Extravaganza

(Note to Chet - halt in your tracks - no reading this one, mister. You'll ruin a surprise.)

It came to my attention a few weeks ago that my hubs has never had pizza delivered. Ever. Is he even American?! I didn't grow up getting pizza delivered regularly or anything, (my mom was a homemade pizza maker), but I know that at some point, I've ordered pizza.

It's time to remedy that. So tonight we are having Date Night At Home (thanks for that Brite idea, pun totally intended, sorry in advance.) Plus I have all the pieces to wear an outfit like this and since I have no reason to wear heels in my everyday life, Date Night it is. Not to mention the fact that it will be great to eat and talk together without interruption.

I mean, Chet is almost thirty after all, and he needs the experience of a delivered pizza before the big 3-0. So, thanks to a little Christmas gift from my Grandma, expressly for this purpose, I am secretly ordering pizza, to be delivered after the kiddos are all tucked into bed.

I can't wait to hand him the cash and say, "Here, go pay the delivery guy." Because that is when he will learn what dinner is. Ha. We have definitely never ordered food to be delivered in our married life, and since it's not going to be a regular thing, it feels kinda extravagant.

So here's to beer and pizza that I didn't have to make. And a sweet date night at the homestead.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

All That Glitters

Today, at breakfast, Sharks burst into tears and said, "I'm really scared!"

"I'm afraid that King Midas is going to turn me into gold!"

Ok, so being solid gold wouldn't be awesome.

We went through our usual routine when fears are involved (praying, saying a memory verse, etc.) He also says this little line - GO AWAY bad thoughts, I'm resting in the joy of the Lord - at bedtime sometimes if he is thinking about something scary, so we repeated that for awhile.

Then I explained that King Midas wasn't real, so he couldn't turn him into gold.

Sharks countered with, "I know he's not real, but I'm afraid he's going to turn me into gold in my dreams."

Oh boy.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Back in the fall, I found a couple of fashion blogs that I've enjoyed. One of them is kind of vintage-inspired, and I like that she wears weird things but still rocks them.

Since our clothes budget is practically non-existant, I thought I could find a few things at a thrift store that would add a little vintage-y fun into my wardrobe without breaking the bank.

Enter this skirt. I chopped off a couple feet and hemmed it above the knee. Throw on some tights and boots, and it was ready to go.

(Evidence that I am a mom and not a fashion blogger: baby sock on floor.)

I was well satisfied with my afternoon's sewing project and was feeling all cute in my vintage-inspired skirt when Chet came home and asked, "Is that your Halloween costume?" I admit I could have styled it better, but come on!

Guess how many times I've worn it since?

So, after finding this blog, which I love and would wear almost everything she does, I noticed her easy skirt tutorial. After the Halloween skirt debacle, I decided to give it a try to redeem myself.

I went on a hunt to find some material or fabric of sorts, and found a beautiful curtain panel for $3 at Goodwill. Including the cost of the elastic, the skirt - or skirtain, get it?! - cost $4 total. Not too bad. I think it turned out quite well.

Plus, I am loving the flannel plaid pockets, made out of an old shirt of Chet's.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A pain in the...refrigerator

UPDATE: Success! We have a fridge! Sharks told the delivery men, "Thank you for making our fridge healthy!" as though they were fridge doctors. Close enough.

So remember this? Well, after almost a week, our landlord got us a new fridge. It is being delivered as we speak...or, as we write/read?

But since we live in an old house, the doorways and hallways are quite small. And there happens to be this little shelf that juts out into the hall that is blocking the way.

Which means that the fridge doesn't fit.

I would really, really like to have a fridge in my kitchen. I mean, the coolers have been fine and all, but to have to run out back every time I want some milk in my coffee has really made me question my second (and third) cups.

Anyway, now the kind delivery men have to take off the doors off of both the new and old fridges in order to attempt to get one in, and one out of the kitchen. And even so, it's a little iffy whether it'll fit...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Coal train...I mean Coltrane...

Every time we pass under the train bridge near our house and I say, "Look, guys! It's a coal train!" I chuckle to myself and think, "Coal train/Coltrane! Hardy-har-har."

So today I figured we'd go for it - we played "coal train" while listening to Coltrane.

Sharks thought it was funny too. I guess word nerds run in the family.

Then we had this enlightened conversation:

Sharks: This train has to go to the coal line.

Me: You mean the coal mine?

S: I thought it was coal line.

M: Well it's called a coal mine because you have to mine for the coal.

S: Oh, like you use your mind and say, "Where is the coal?"

Anyway, you should try the coal train/Coltrane combo sometime. It made for a very relaxing train time. In fact we were so relaxed we forgot how to properly communicate.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy Warrior

Finn's name means "little blond soldier" and since he's such a happy fellow, Chet's dad calls him the Happy Warrior. I find that quite fitting.

Ask Chet who our "soldier" is supposed to be fighting, and he says, "Satan." Which struck me as a bit dramatic at first, except that we really are in a battle with the Enemy.

Today Sharks asked me if God is holding Satan back so that he doesn't distract us to make us sin. We have been listening to these cds everyday, which I think provoked his question. I'll be honest, I had trouble answering him coherently. At least in a way a three-year old would understand.

We've been working on self-control a lot around here recently (tantrums seem to be cropping up in the wake of weeks of sickness), and one thing we've been coming back to is the verse that says "Be sober minded and alert, for your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." (in 1 Peter, I think.) It has helped Sharks to realize that in being self-controlled he is fighting God's enemy. Still a work in progress. Aren't we all!

That was kind of random. Funny how one thought leads to another and suddenly the blog post where you planned to post pictures of the baby ends up being about fighting sin.

Oh well, I don't know about you, but I need the reminder to fight.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Born on a mountain top in Tennessee

I made the boys these Davy Crockett/Daniel Boone outfits for Christmas, following this pattern, with just a few alterations to make it more Frontiersman, less Neverland. (For the record, it was very, very simple. Hardly any hemming and only a couple of straight seams.)

I wasn't planning on making Finn a costume at all, but I accidentally made Deedo's too small. So much for very, very simple. Good thing I bought extra fleece. So Finn doesn't have a coonskin cap and definitely looks more Monk than Frontiersman. Well maybe those frontiersmen need some religion.

Of course I had visions of them running around wearing their costumes, playing and exploring and killing bears.

Instead, they wear them for a maximum of 5 minutes. But perhaps in years to come they will enjoy them more?

One day during those 5 minutes of costume-wearing, Sharks told Deeds they were going bear hunting but that only he could kill the bear because he was three and Deeds was only two. (Nice literal interpretation of how Davy "killed him a bear when he was only three.")

For now, I am still convinced that a little boy in a coonskin cap is the cutest, ridiculous-est thing ever.

Out with the old, in with the new...

Old fridge:

New fridge:

Good thing this happened in winter, eh? Plus we feel a little like Little House on the Prarie. Because having your fridge in two coolers on your back porch is just like the pioneers.

Monday, January 10, 2011


(shelf from smartfurniture)

Since I forgot to write a book list last month, I figured I'd just mention what's on my shelf at the moment.

Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky


a bunch of books about beekeeping. Which I have been loving, but I figured they would bee unbeelievably boring to most of you. Unfortunately, it looks like I will have to postpone getting my hive for another year.

So, no idea if anyone really cares what I've read, but I figure C & P will take awhile, so there may not be any list updates for a bit.

Let me count the ways...