Google Didn't Teach Me to be a Christian Mother

cross-on-hillWhen I first turned my life over to God and accepted Jesus into my life I thought was faced with a hefty learning curve. I had grown up attending church, I had taken courses on Christianity and had read loads of articles. As an adult I’d attended church sporadically but ultimately I’d never truly lived my life for God. I felt like I had a mountain of change to make before I could actually be a good Christian role model for our daughters.

Soon after making the decision to living as a Christian and praying about it I was feeling overwhelmed. What does a Christian life look like? Will I be good enough? How do I make sure my children are raised in a Christian home….Google had so many answers for this, so many articles float around the internet on this topic, I was quickly confused.

Being the researcher I am I didn’t stop with Google, I continued on to ask all of my Christian friends these questions. Thank you to all of you for your patience! I cannot imagine how it felt having me walk up to you on the children’s playground and ask you “How do I teach my girls about God the right way?”

It may seem silly to some of you but I was like a dog chasing its tail. I was very concerned about being a good Christian mother for our girls. I wanted to be someone who shares Jesus with them in a way that they naturally understand his Love for us.

After asking practically every Christian woman I knew, I moved onto researching private Christian schools. We happen to have a fantastic Christian school near us but frankly the tuition is out of our budget. Realizing this I prayed, I asked God to provide a way for our girls to attend because of COURSE it’s the place where they’ll learn what a Christian life would look like.

Alas, my prayers were answered but not with the outcome I’d wanted…..our girls wouldn’t be attending anytime in the near future.

This all happened over the course of about 6 months, in the meantime we had continued with our daily routine of talking openly about Jesus through the day at home, saying grace at meal time, praying for others at bedtime and attending church.

So life was carrying on but this nagged at me, looking back I can see the dog/tail behavior I was perpetuating and it makes me a smidge embarrassed.

From the moment I’d made the decision to turn my will and my life over to God I had begun praying, seeking God’s guidance in my life with my decisions and choices. I’d made conscious efforts to change my patterns, to accept that I cannot control life and trust that he could and would if I sought a relationship with God.

But somehow I missed this one.

Somehow in all this motherly worry I’d forgotten to turn to God for help. Finally I was exhausted by it all, I had no idea what to do and finally prayed and asked God in a very petulant way what I was supposed to do, demanding he throw me a bone already!

The next evening we were at the dinner table and Chelsea (6) was telling a story how her good friend had told her she wasn’t inviting Chelsea to her birthday party the following week even though many others in their class were going. Immediately my heart dropped, expecting her to be devastated I sat on the edge of my seat waiting for the emotional fall-out.

Sydney gasped and said “Well she can’t come to your party then!”

Chelsea replied, “Well I think I’ll invite her, Jesus wasn’t mean to the people just because they were mean to him, right Mama?”

WHAT???

I swear I could hear the sound of thunderous applause in my head, my inner psyche was chanting “Chelsea, Chelsea” as I calmly smiled and said “Yup, that’s exactly right Chelsea. There’s no point having hurt feelings over this.”

The conversation didn’t end there, next Sydney related it to an event I hadn’t been invited to recently that she’d happened to notice. We sat as a family connecting the dots in our lives to those we’d learned about in scripture. It was a lively discussion and often strayed far off-track but in the end we had a great time learning as a group.

That night as I prayed, I laughed at myself and gave God the props he was due.

Once again God’s sense of humor had smacked me across the face and I’d learned a lesson I thought I was beyond.

As long as I’m seeking an active relationship with the Lord and openly sharing that with our children…..well it turns out that we had been living the Christian life I’d been researching all along.

It’s not a simple, sudden change when you change your life dramatically but a journey of learning and relationship. As long as I remember to turn to God first, I can learn faster and enjoy the outcome which bleeds down to our children.

I know I’ll mess this up again, if the past is any indication I’m a slow-learner but thankfully God has that sense of humor and is happy to redirect me when I ask.

How about yourself, do you question your faith as a parent?

~~~~~~~~~~

Deuteronomy 6:5-9

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Wrestlemania 28 Was a Blast! Proud to be a #WWEMoms

This past Sunday I did something I rarely do, I let the kids stay up late AND we had my niece sleep over on a school night!

GASP…yes it’s true, I bent the rules because it was a special day in our house…..it was Wrestlemania #28!!!!!

To some of you that may seem strange, perhaps you missed my article last week where I let you all in on my secret love of the WWE? Go ahead, go over and have a look, I’ll wait.

The-Edge-Hall-Of-Fame

Source: WWE

As I said in that article I’ve watched WWE since I was a girl, in fact I used to play the WWE action figures with two guys who are now WWE Superstars. That’s very strange in itself, somewhat surreal to see people you knew become super-famous. Christian and The Edge have worked so hard for their success, each of them have given back to their communities and their fans. I’m proud to have grown up in their hometown and known them.

A special congrats to Adam aka The Edge for his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame on April 3rd.

Sunday night arrived and the excitement here in our home was palpable, the squeals of 3 little girls were painful at times but their smiles outweighed the discomfort.

Match 1 arrived, Sheamus vs Daniel Brown was first on the card. The girls were bouncing on couches as I tweeted at the #WWEMoms Twitter Party. In came Sheamus and the girls were clapping, they didn’t really have a preference for this match so they were encouraging….mentioning how “disgusting” it was that he was wearing “panties” and he should get some basketball shorts next time.

Sheamus

Source: WWE

Daniel Brown made his entrance followed by an attractive woman whom he took the time to give a lingering kiss farewell over the ropes. The little ladies in our house were going nuts voicing their displeasure with comments such as “GROSS!!!”   being yelled at the screen. Interested to see what was offending them I looked up at the TV screen just in time to hear the bell ring, Sheamus approach Daniel Brown rapidly and deliver the knock-out punch.

Well there goes the first match, 18 seconds and Sheamus had won the World Heavyweight Championship!

As Daniel Brown’s body hit the mat, my husband may have been heard to mutter “Get a room…”

Sunday night Wrestlemania 28 was a fabulous event for our family, we loved rallying around our favorite stars, the banter in the room was classic! My husband pitting my daughters against me and screams as our chosen star won or lost.

As a Mom, I truly appreciate the WWE’s family friendly entertainment!

WWE is strictly entertainment and our storylines are centered around good vs. evil, where conflicts are resolved in the ring. This is not how WWE talent, nor WWE as a company, deal with differences in real life. One should deal with differences by showing tolerance and respect. WWE is committed to sharing an anti-bullying message to show our fans how to resolve conflicts in the real world.”

Have you heard of WWE’s Be A Star anti-bullying campaign?

“The mission of be a STAR is to ensure a positive and equitable social environment for everyone regardless of age, race, religion or sexual orientation through grassroots efforts beginning with education and awareness. be a STAR promotes positive methods of social interaction and encourage people to treat others as equals and with respect because everyone is a star in their own right.”

This is a campaign which I can support 100%, WWE’s superstars visit schools and speak out against bullying. Children are easily influenced, by having their role models speak openly about positive issues they’re making a difference!

Head on over the WWE’s main page to catch up on fab videos, photos and info on past events and to see what’s coming in the near future!!

I have been compensated by The Online Mom for this post – all opinions expressed here are my own 

 

 

Yes, It's True….I Love the WWE..#WWEMoms Twitter Party 3/27

wweI wasn’t always the girlie girl you see before you. When I was a kid I was into more “boy” games, bmx biking, climbing trees and outdoors play. Now that you know this, I hope you’re prepared for my secret……I’m a closet WWE lover.  Now that it’s out there, let’s move along….

Having one daughter that is a “tomboy”and one who is a “girlie girls” hasn’t been easy. There is a bit of a gap between our girls when it comes to playtime, many arguments have been had over whether they’re playing Barbies or Star Wars.

The one game which they always agree upon is Wrestling, no matter if they’re playing on the Wii or using our bed as their ring they suddenly become best friends when the WWE is involved. Now this I understand, when I was a girl my friends and I loved the WWE (known as the WWF back then).

I grew up with the Edge and Christian from WWE.

Oh you didn’t now that? Yes Adam and Jason grew up in my small town, they were both great guys in their youth and have done amazing things with their lives. I can remember playing with the action figures with Adam and our other friends.Imagine my surprise when he came into the restaurant where I worked during college and lifted me off my feet, spinning me around. It was hilarious because we’d had no contact for a long time and let’s just say my fellow employees were HUGE WWE fans; that day Adam raised my street cred miles beyond what I could have.

Nowadays I love the action of WWE but also that it spans across all age groups and is safe for the children to watch with us.

WWEMomsButtonLgDid you know that Wrestlemania XXVIII is coming on April 1st? We will be watching it on PPV and you can bet I’ll be snapping photos for a blog post in between refereeing my family’s antics.

My eldest daughter is a die-hard John Cena fan, while I’m supporting the ROCK. I love getting her all riled up and cannot wait for Wrestlemania when my ROCK will prevail!

Chelsea has chosen Kelly Kelly as her fav and hubby has remained non-committal so far, I’m sure this will change as the event draws closer.

If you’d like to get involved in some banter on Twitter please follow the #WWEMoms hashtag, I’m honored to have been chosen to help promote the #WWE and get those closet fans talking.

If you are lucky enough to live near Miami or need a fun spring break adventure, you can experience WWE live with WrestleMania Axxess, the biggest interactive fan event of the year. It takes over the Miami Beach Convention Center Thursday, March 29-Sunday, April 1 featuring live matches, Q&As, autograph signings, interactive activities and Superstars like John Cena, CM Punk, Randy Orton, Triple H, the Divas and more! Tickets are on-sale now and are available at Ticketmaster.com. For more information visit http://www.wwe.com/shows/wrestlemania.

I’m calling out all Moms and Dads out there, join with me and admit your love for the WWE. I just know we can come out of the closet and share our fond memories and support their efforts to provide entertainment for our families. Come on out and show your love, tweet using the #WWEMoms hashtag…even if you’re not a Mom!

Hey if I can admit I love WWE wrestling, can’t you?

Join me at #WWEmoms Twitter Chat

Come join us as we discuss the new, family friend WWE. Share you childhood memories, your favorite wrestlers, and tell us who you think will win Wrestlemania XXVIII

When: Tuesday, March 27, 2012 at 8pm EST to 9pm EST

Where: On Twitter

Who: @lisasamples, @TheOnlineMom, @RachelFerrucci, @WrestlingAddict @SoberJulie @skconcepts

What: Come join us as we discuss WWE’s PG Family Entertainment and their awesome anti-bullying campagain be a STAR

Prizes: 3 awesome WWE Swag BAGS and a grand prize Xbox 360

We would love to see you all there! Tweet about the party & RSVP by leaving a link to your Twitter profile below.

 I have been compensated by The Online Mom for this post – all opinions expressed here are my own

Are We Raising Unhealthy Kids?

Are We Raising Unhealthy Kids? How Parents CanTurn this Trend Around!

We hear it on the news and read about it in the newspaper, the obesity rate in kids is growing, leaving them at risk for serious health problems now and as adults.  As parents, it raises a lot of concerns. How can we turn this alarming trend around? How do we raise healthy kids?

It’s proven that parents who are committed to their own healthy, active lifestyle raise healthy, active kids. Our own family participates in multiple sports – from my husband who swims and cycles to myself who runs and goes to the gym to our kids who dance, ski and do triathlons. It’s an integral part of our lifestyle as a family.

So what’s the difference between our family and all these other families whose kids are at risk? What are we doing differently than other families? The difference is commitment and effort. . . . from the parents.

Commitment to Staying Active

It takes a commitment to staying active, and effort to teach kids to ride bikes, play hockey, swim, do gymnastics. It takes effort to make the time for them to play or practice, to drive them, to organize games, to get outdoors with them and have active play dates.

It also takes parents modeling an active lifestyle. Parents need to plan active family time, not just family time. Go for a skate, a bike ride, a jog, a hike as a family. Be active yourself.  Active parents have a better chance of raising active kids and active families are healthy families.

Commitment to Healthier Foods

healthy-snack

Source: Claire Bloomfield

It’s about more than just taking vitamins, it takes a commitment to eating healthy and an effort to make your kids healthy snacks.  Starting with stocking the fridge with healthy fruits and passing up the convenient processed foods at the grocery store.

I know we are all busy and it’s so tempting when it’s right there to just skip the effort this one time. It takes two second to purchase the pre-made cereal and marshmallow snacks at the store and 10 minutes to make them at home. Is the extra 8 minutes worth your kids eating the artificial chemicals and dyes found in most of these packaged snacks?

It’s one thing to see all these brightly colored convenient snacks with familiar cartoon characters begging children’s attention on grocery store shelves, its another to see a child after child with a lunch box completely full of processed food.

Today, kids are going to school with lunches made entirely of prepackaged convenience foods. Too often their lunches consist of a cello bag of chips,a plastic tube of yogurt, a packaged soft cookies, a wrapped tray of meat,cheese and crackers and a can of soda. Most of these children are too young to have packed that lunch on their own or to be responsible for making their own healthy choices.

As parents it takes our commitment to not buy so many packaged foods and to take the time every couple of weeks to make healthy snacks that can be stored in the freezer and popped in lunch boxes on school mornings.

Parents have the opportunity to teach their children about healthy food choices and healthy activity choices.  Show your kids that exercise, staying active, eating fruits,vegetables and homemade foods is a commitment to a healthy lifestyle that your family is willing to make.

We have so much opportunity to teach them healthy habits that will last a lifetime. As parents, we certainly do influence what our children eat and how they stay active when they are young.

Are you raising healthy kids?

BIO: Deb Lowther is a mother of 3 young daughters who,when not running after the kids, is running in the trails! She blogs aboutRaising Healthy Kids and ensures her own have fun while eating healthy & staying active.  You can visit her websites to learn more www.iron-kids.com & www.adultgummies.com

New Mother – #JustWrite

Your little body is swaddled up as tightly as I can manage. I have you against my warm flannel encased chest where you must be able to feel my rapidly beating heart. My left arm is supporting your tiny bottom while my right hand rubs smooth circles on your back. As I bounce rhythmically, my lips purse and release the “shhhhhhhhshhhhhh” sound I am desperately hoping will soothe you.

This is our secret weapon, one which we only use in dire situations. Lately it’s been impossible to settle you; I am lost, past my depths of understanding. Aren’t I supposed to be able to soothe my own baby? I’ve researched everything and none of the suggested tricks have worked.

This has me in our living room at 3am with the blue light of the moon highlighting our constant movement. As your cries become louder so does my “shhhhhhshhhhh” sounds, as you begin to relax so my sounds quiet.

Sitting is impossible; I must remain in fluid motion…walking, rocking and swaying to calm you, struggling to convince you that slumber is to be embraced.

I cannot imagine what is going on in your little mind, why do you become so over-stimulated during night-time feeds? Every 3 hours we repeat this pattern lately, I’ve ensured aren’t hungry or wet and have tried all the tricks known to Mothers online and still I battle to settle you.

Seeing your little arms flailing in your crib as you scream and gurgle out your frustrations is just too much, you’ll only be this small once in my life I think to myself as I hold you.

As your cries continue I am wearing thin, lack of sleep and self-confidence have overcome my bravado. The tears stream down my face as I unswaddle you, and lie down with you on my chest. Your body flails and your face reddens and I am at a loss……I am truly empty and lost for ideas on how to save my precious child from this pain.

Through my sobs I hear my Mother’s voice singing…it’s a memory of her English accent singing to me as a child on sleepless nights. The moment the memory tickles the edges of my consciousness I begin to hum.

Embracing the internal echoes of my Mum’s voice, I am singing softly…You are my sunshine….through my tears with soft, deep breaths I sing myself into relaxation. I feel you upon me, your movements slow down and your cries soften.  Lightly and soulfully I sing my childhood song to you and within those effortless breaths we take together, my baby and I fall asleep.

***I wrote this in response to the following prompt to “free writing your ordinary and extraordinary moments” on Just Write with Heather***

just-write

God Made Me a Mother

This morning I was awoken by the sweet-smelling over-night breath of my six-year-old as she full lip kissed me and said “Morning Mama”. My eyes were much too heavy to open and knowing my breath was certainly not sweet-smelling I tilted my chin slightly away from her warm face, pulled her into a snuggle and responded “Morning my Chelsea-belle.”

Being the love bug she is, with a bit of grunting-effort she snaked her arm under my torso and moved quickly into a belly to belly position. Lying there with the strawberry scented strands of hair tickling my nose I thought of how different each day can be. This little gift from God wasn’t doing anything spectacular, this moment could quite possibly be happening in many other homes with Mothers and Daughters, but this one moment was creating a memory for me.

Before I had my daughters I didn’t think I wanted children, in fact I took great efforts to make that clear to everyone. In conversations with friends who were expecting, I’d thank them for populating the Earth so I didn’t have to. I’d posture, affect the appropriate do-not-care attitude and wish them well for their choices while appearing firm in mine.Mummy&Syd

I didn’t know.

I didn’t know I could do it.

My Mum was amazing, so loving and supportive….a part of me knew how selfish I was and truly thought I wasn’t made for the capacity for such greatness. The role of a Mother was one I wouldn’t even allow myself to consider, I watched my sister give birth to 3 children and as I’d expected she was a natural. The seeming ease which she parented with was beyond me, so far from my perception of my reality that I couldn’t even acknowledge it as a possibility for a very long time.

After meeting my husband in my late 20’s I began to thaw out, before this I’d been functioning on high-alert with all shields up. Looking back I know this but at the time I recall being surprised at how much I loved this guy, how affected I actually was. Time passed as it’s wont to do and my walls crumbled away. We began to discuss children and figured why not try….I hadn’t allowed my heart to hope…somehow I still felt this was a role not meant for me. A gift I wasn’t to be granted.

We tried for some time, I was checking my temperature, charting and monitoring my ovulation and each month would experience an overwhelming sense of loss as I realized I wasn’t pregnant. I really should have realized how invested I actually was but being the oh-so-strong woman I thought I was I fooled myself into thinking I didn’t care.

The time came where we gave up, we decided to buy a home instead and put off trying for a year. The new focus took the stress off of me, I wasn’t charting anymore and life became much more fun again. We did get our home and along with it a surprise…..of course that’s exactly when I became preggers!

The first moment I saw my first-born Sydney, I found a feeling I didn’t know I had, this love was strangely overwhelming. Suddenly the snow-storm outside became so beautiful, my husband became more tender….life change instantly…I felt the richness of everything.

I had indeed become a Mother.

Life has become busy over time and God blessed us with our 2nd daughter, little Chelsea to brighten our days with her constant chatter and joy with everything she sees.

Unfortunately the world doesn’t always afford me the ability to remain gracious, I lose sight of the gifts I’ve been given with the worry of the day. Yesterday is a fine example, I experienced an unjust situation which was out of my control and has potential to affect my family negatively in a great way. In my panicked state I scrambled to figure out how to resolve the situation, how to protect my family……I became increasingly frightened and ended up in a massive panic attack.

The fear overcame me and lying on the bathroom floor, in physical pain as my muscles spasmed, breathing raggedly….I was spent, utterly lost and defeated. In that moment I began to pray, this is of course what I do but if only I’d done it sooner perhaps I wouldn’t have reached quite the point I did.

Lying there I reached out to God and begged to feel his presence, ranted at him for the predicament and the unfairness of it all. I poured out my heart in a very messy way, using no fancy words nor curbing my heart. God was there, I couldn’t feel him nor did I get a response but my faith tells me he was.

Getting up from the floor wasn’t easy but moving slowly I did, I went on through my evening as best I could, pasting a smile on my face for the kids. There were signs, as I drove one of my favorite songs came on the radio….there’s a verse about God lifting us up on wings like Eagels….a TV show had a line something like…wait for your answer…..

Was I looking for signs? Sure, I firmly believe God answers prayers and we should watch for the answers.

I happened to have a therapist appointment and spoke to her about the situation which provided some clarity, then after speaking with Hubby and praying together I truly felt some peace that no matter the outcome we were fine.

You see, I still don’t know what the future holds for us in the regard but I do know that there are much more important things for me to focus upon. I know that God truly IS in control and will only allow me to experience things which I can handle with his strength.

So many more important things, like the sweet-smelling breath of my morning wake up kiss…..this warm, cozy moment which I will cherish for much longer than I will worry about worldly concerns….in this I realize how I do have the capacity to be a Mother, because I am one.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Philippians 4:6-7  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

1 Peter 5:7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Family Humor & Inappropriate Comments

Lately I haven’t been inspired to write, it nothing horrible but I’m in a quiet state of mind in most areas of life at the moment. It’s not really a blah feeling, I’m not especially down or sad but I am somewhat hibernating in my mind.

I’ve always been like a bear this way, when I foresee something on the horizon which I’ll need my energy for I take the time to store it up and am restful during the process.

Time for a family update!

Ousydr daughters are fabulous as always, I’ve realized I haven’t posted much about them lately….bad Julie. One wee moment comes to mind to share with you all. For a very long time Sydney, our 8-year-old has been asking to watch Twilight, finally this weekend we allowed it. It was hilarious to answer all the questions and to hear her groan when the kissing scenes came on. I believe the actual statement she made was “Gross do they really need to kiss that much!”.

I loved her disgust.

Chelsea our diva 6-year-old asked what a honeymoon is, Hubby told her it was a vacation taken by a couple after they get married to relax….Sydney laughed really hard and said “When I was a kid I thought it meant people went in a boat and ate honey and looked at the moon, isn’t that hilarious Mom?”

Yes, yes Syd it’s hilarious that you think you’re not a kid anymore.

 

Hubby also had a stellar comment this week, one that sheds light on why partners pray for each other….and provides a blatant example of his warped sense of humor. We were in church when he leaned over to me, touched his jaw line and asked “What’s that on your face?”. Confused I reflexively wiped at my face and whispered “What, where?”. Hubby smiles and with a naughty glint in his eye said “Oh it’s your chin….haven’t seen it in a while, looks good on ya!”

That’s MY man!

Of course I was instantly aghast,  I was in church and couldn’t hit him so I smiled and weighed the situation in my mind. In the ends I’ve chosen to take it as the compliment his wacky mind meant it as and embrace the fact that I may be on my way to a single chin situation.

Fistpump!

 

Does your partner make comments like these, ones you know are meant well but the delivery is utterly horrible?

 

The Laundry Dance with Mom

Joining us today is Deanna who can be found at Maple Leaf Mommy, Deanna is a friend of mine who is filling the gap for me! She’s witty, so generous and my hero today as I am resting off a migraine. Maple Leaf Mommy is a fabulous site, full of stories like the one below, products reviews and the giveaways we love!

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I have two small kids, one is almost two and the other is four. Of all things this makes doing the laundry ridiculously difficult because my four-year old, who normally appears to have zero separation anxiety issues, freaks out every time I go into the basement. She seems to be possessed by a fear that I actually snuck out the side door, or perhaps the basement ate me.

My laundry room is a danger zone, filled with tools, cat poop and beer bottles. It’s off-limits to the kiddies, so when I need to do the laundry I need to head in their solo. I’ve tried the get kids playing and then sneak away quietly variant. This does NOT work. Their mom-radar goes off, they almost immediately notice I’m missing and then freak out.

So the usual routine goes something like this:

      • Set up toys or colouring books and attempt to get both kids playing independent of me
      • After five or so attempts at the above, and breaking up several death-matches and or stopping kids from colouring on the walls, things are as good as they are going to get. Time to head downstairs.
      • Tell four-year old, “I am going downstairs to do the laundry. I will be right back.” Pause and wait for response. Repeat. Ask, “Did you hear what mom just said?” When she says, “Yes, you’re going to do laundry.” I reply with “Ok. I’ll be back in a few minutes.” emphasizing again that I will indeed return.

        • Jet to baby-gate, lock it behind me and zip downstairs as fast as possible
        • Step foot in the laundry room.
        • Hear four-year old yell, “Mom?”
        • Walk to the washing machine, open machine door.
        • Hear her yell, “Mom?” again.
        • Race to toss clothes from washer to drier as quickly as possible. As in, if this were time trials for an Olympic event I would so qualify.
        • Hear the sound of kids shaking the baby gate. The big one is yelling “MOM are you there?!?! While the toddler chimes in “Mom!! Mom, where aww eww?!”
        • Realize things sound like they are reaching a frantic pitch, so even though I’ve only transferred 3/4s of the laundry I run up the stairs to the gate and reassure my children that I am alive. “I. Am. Downstairs. Changing. The. Laundry. I. Will. Be. Right. Back. Ok?”
        • Jog back down stairs and finish swapping loads, while kids continue to yell “Mama? Mom? Mama? Where are you? Mom??”
        • Look at pile of dirty laundry and wonder if I should put a second load into the washer.
        • Hear sound of baby gate shaking wildly.
        • Yell at the top of my lungs, I AM IN THE BASEMENT DOING LAUNDRY. I AM HERE. I WILL BE RIGHT BACK.
        • Start to load washer as quickly as possible
        • Notice kids are now screaming “Mom, Mama, Mom” over and over and sounding quite frantic.

        • Worry that something is actually wrong.
        • Run upstairs to check. “What’s the matter?!?!” Are you ok?” Four year old responds with “I didn’t know where you were. I thought you were gone.”
        • Try to remain calm. Take a deep breath. Ooookay. One more time. “I am not leaving the house. I am going downstairs to the laundry room and I will be RIGHT BACK. I can hear you down there, you know? Just play quietly and I’ll be done in a minute, ok?”
        • Make it all the way back to the washing machine and start to swap clothes. Notice it’s quiet and think hey maybe they finally caught on…. Bang, shake, howl. Or maybe not.
        • Rinse and repeat.

If it wasn’t for the fact that my girl gets genuinely distressed, I would laugh about this. Does anyone else have this problem? Do you run the laundry race?

Valentine Heart Crayon Craft, Thank You Pinterest

In January I announced I have No Hope of Winning the SuperMom Title…well back that truck up friends because Julie’s on a roll here!

Yes it’s true, I’ve redeemed myself. It’s like I’ve been possessed by Mrs. McCrafty and I have Pinterest to thank for my daughter’s admiration. If you shied away from the computer screen when you read the word Pinterest then you know what I mean when I say it sucks time like I used to eat old cheddar cheese!

Seriously this site is amazing, essentially it’s a photo/link sharing site where you create “boards” which you title and you can “Pin” all the photos across the Internet you dig. This is great for recipes and crafts because the photo actually contains a link to the website it originates from, allowing you to access instructions.

Sounds great until you factor in my complete inability when it comes to crafty things.

This one time I managed to complete a craft successfully and it only cost me approximately 1225566 hours on Pinterest to do so!

The Craft: Valentine Heart Crayons

I don’t know the original source for this craft, I’m sorry I can’t give credit.

Step 1: Find all of the broken crayons in the house

Valentine Crayon

Step 2: Remove the paper from the crayons, this is a real pain so eventually we got wise and soaked them in warm water to help

Valentine Crayon heart

Step 3: Spray a silicone heart pan with cooking spray and fill to desired level with crayon pieces

Crayon Heart

Step 4: Place silicone pan onto baking sheet (in case of overflow) and put in over preheated to 200 degrees F

Valentine Crayon heart in oven

Step 5: Cook for 10 minutes or until crayons are all melted and remove to cool

Valentine Crayon cooling

Step 6: Carefully peel the crayons from the silicone and Viola, Julie is Brilliant in the eyes of her daughters!!

Valentine

Whew, redeemed at last!!