The birthdays of Thing 2 and Thing 4

Almost two weeks ago…yes, two weeks…we had Mikey and Katie’s combined birthday party. Their birthdays are a little over a week apart so it made sense to do them together.

Below is my facebook status from the end of December. I really had some fb friends who didn’t get it. Seriously? You guys need more coffee.

“I’m looking at cakes and decorations galore to get ready for the birthdays of Thing 2 and Thing 4. Thing 4 will be 3 and Thing 2 will be 6, and I’m just not decided about the theme I will pick. Can you help me decide? Can you help please please please? It’s a very special day when you turn 6 and 3. ;-)”

This is one shot that I had to get! Does it look familiar?


The sun did not shine.
It was too wet to play.
So we sat in the house
All that cold, cold, wet day.
I sat there with Sally.
We sat there, we two.
And I said, “How I wish
We had something to do!

So we had a birthday party!!


I spent way too much time and money throwing together Dr. Seuss inspired treats. And then I didn’t even take pictures of half of them because I was running around doing other stuff. In typical Mikey fashion, he got mad about who even knows what and spent probably an hour or so mad and griping. I’m not going to make Katie share her party with him again. He’s too consuming. I didn’t get to focus on her enough. But this is supposed to be a happy post so I guess I shouldn’t write that stuff. Anyway, here are some of the pictures that I did take.


Mikey finally did decide to be happy and the lower right photo is of him laughing his butt off at the whoopee cushion that he got. He was so excited about that and his cherry berry gift card! Probably his favorite gifts. A friend told me later that Katie was “pure joy” the day of the party. I hate to say that I was kind of too consumed by other stuff to notice. We had a good day, but I think we’ll scale down our parties from now on. With four kids, big parties are kind of a big pain.

And if you were there, I’ll be mailing out pictures in the next day or so.


She likes to do this.

Since I FINALLY got my old office/mudroom/disaster of gigantic proportions room cleaned (with Phillip’s help), the kids have really been enjoying it as our new playroom. Katie likes to do this. She likes me to wrap her up and turn kid music on my phone.


She also really likes to do this for some reason.


So just to break it down for you…


Just when I thought I couldn’t love him more

Just when I thought I couldn’t love him more, I watched him hold his newborn son.

Just when I thought I couldn’t love him more, he suffered through the loss of four pregnancies with me.

Just when I thought I couldn’t love him more, he welcomed a newborn son who wasn’t his blood and fell in love hard.

Just when I thought I couldn’t love him more, he adopted two more kiddos because of his commitment to God, me, and Mikey.

Just when I thought I couldn’t love him more, he totally stepped up his game around the house to a crazy degree.

And the most recent….

Just when I thought I couldn’t love him more, he not only supports me trying to eat as vegan as I can, but he does the bulk of the shopping and cooking and even eats vegan(ish) with me.

I do believe he’s crazy. And I know that he’s crazy about me. I honestly don’t know why, but I’ll take it.

Either Way – revisited

Almost two years ago, I posted this.

It was a low time. I couldn’t really talk about how low it was, but it was low. And things stayed low for a while, maybe as long as a year. I don’t really know.

Mikey has been tough most of his life. Beautiful, funny, awesome in many ways, but still very tough to parent. He improved leaps and bounds…and then we got the girls. And I don’t mean to make this a negative post about the girls. Not at all. But the truth is that he regressed much more than I could have anticipated when we added the girls to our family. At the time of posting these song lyrics two years ago, I was very depressed. I was afraid we had made a mistake. I was afraid he might not recover. I was afraid of a lot of stuff.

Maybe the sun will shine today
The clouds will blow away
Maybe I won’t feel so afraid
I will try to understand
Either way

Maybe you still love me
Maybe you don’t
Either you will or you won’t
Maybe you just need some time alone
I will try to understand
Everything has its plan
Either way
I’m gonna stay
Right for you

Maybe the sun will shine today
The clouds will roll away
Maybe I won’t be so afraid
I will understand everything has its plan
Either way

Wilco Either Way

But at some point, without me really noticing, the sun began to shine a lot more. The clouds did begin to roll away. They came back off and on and sometimes they came back with a vengeance. But somehow in the last two years, we have all found our place and our rhythm.

Somehow Mikey and Brittany have bonded to a degree I never would have predicted. He despised her with his whole heart for quite a while. He was mean and hateful to her so often. She loved him with her whole heart from the beginning and has never wavered. And I think that’s what Mikey needs. People who will love him with their whole hearts, without wavering. How could Brittany have become exactly what he needed when 2 years ago, I thought she was going to destroy him? And oh my goodness…how I love her for it!

The clouds have been coming back more frequently lately. And I’m starting to feel afraid again. Or maybe my expectations are just too high. But I heard this song again today and I felt hopeful because he and we have come so far in the last two years. Maybe he’s just hit a rough patch where he needs us to love him as hard as he hits back. He needs us to stay right for him.

Mikey turned six yesterday. And I would say that in the six years of his life, there has been infinitely more sun than clouds. But for whatever reason, sometimes the clouds seem more prevalent even though they’re not. And I just needed to take a moment to write this down to remind myself how far we’ve come.

The end of an era…or something like that.

He was by my side as often as possible for the first two years of his life. Then he was in preschool a few hours a week until he was 5. Then he was in Kindergarten and 1st grade in public school. But for the last 3 1/2 years he’s been home with me. I’ve done my best to homeschool him in spite of moving to a different house, starting a business, and adding two kids to our family. I’ve been feeling lately that I wasn’t doing enough and it was time to put him back in public school. So the tough decision was made and today was his first day back.

I thought it would be no big deal. But as I got up to leave him at the school, the lump formed and all I could do was pat him on the leg and say, “See ya, boy. Have a good day.” I couldn’t hug him. I couldn’t look him in the eye. If I had, it would have been all over. I kept it together until I took the girls to school and then I cried for like an hour and a half. It was ridiculous!

It’s going to be so strange not to have him home with me. But I think I’ve become too dependent on him as my helper with the younger kids and my social outlet. And he’s been craving friends to hang out with. It’s good and necessary for him to be back in public school, but I’m still sad. I’ve been sad all day.

I didn’t get any photos of him before school, but I made him suffer through a few after school. He’s turning into such a handsome young man. I’m so proud of him.


Mom of many

*just in case you don’t want to read all of this, at least check out the cute kids at the end of this post.*

I am a mom of many. Three or more kids qualifies as many to me, although it may not to some people. You know, like those crazy people that have five or more. Anyway, just for fun, here are some things that moms of many do or don’t do. Or at least I do. Don’t judge. Unless you’re a mom of many. And I’m in no way saying that any of this stuff makes moms of many any better or whatever, so you one or two kid moms, just settle down. You’re equally awesome in your own right. And you probably have a much cleaner house.

– Moms of many will take the shirt off of the child, wet it in the sink, and use it to clean the child’s hands and face after dinner.
– Moms of many yell. They have to yell over the thoughts and sounds of many kids. Moms of many will yell even when they have company over.
– Moms of many rarely use hand sanitizer. I don’t think I even own any. Seriously, what is the freaking point??
– Moms of many let their kids watch too much t.v., according to the stupid Surgeon General or American Academy of Pediatrics or whatever.
– Moms of many don’t care what their children wear around the house and to some public places.
– Moms of many have lots of boundaries and rules, some of which may seem arbitrary or unreasonable to outsiders.
– Moms of many cuss. That’s right! And it’s a good day if they don’t slip in front of one of the kids.
– Moms of many use the same scanning technique that lifeguards use to make sure all of their kids are reasonably safe and accounted for.
– Moms of many pick their battles. But we sometimes pick stupid ones.
– Moms of many let their children suffer natural consequences. “You don’t want to wear shoes outside and it’s 50 degrees? Whatever. They’re your cold feet.” “You don’t like this food? Don’t eat it. I don’t care. It’s your hungry tummy.”
– Moms of many say “not my problem” 100 times a day.
– Moms of many yell. Did I already say that?
– Moms of many may say things like, “You’re making a really bad choice doing that. If you knock your teeth out, I’m just throwing them away.”
– Moms of many apologize a lot!
– Moms of many have certain things down to a science. Like going out in public. I believe that I’m the only person who can single handedly take our four kids grocery shopping without incident. It’s not fun, but it’s very doable.
– Moms of many can bathe three children at the same time in under five minutes.
– Moms of many have to say, “Yep. They’re all mine.” I usually add “sort of” at the end just to confuse people.
– Moms of many don’t give a rip about the dust on the ceiling fan. Seriously. Don’t. Care.
– Moms of many pray a lot, but sometimes it sounds like, “Oh, for the love of God!!” (Don’t judge)
– Moms of many lock themselves in the bathroom and take much longer than they need to just so they can have some time alone.
– Moms of many eat standing up.
– Moms of many are blessed, but it’s so easy to lose sight of it amidst the demanding chaos.

I could go on and on and on and on. But it’s time to make these kids clean up their messes and get on to bed. Moms of many love bedtime and they don’t let their kids stay up late.