Tuesday, January 31

Stating the Obvious

Finally, as promised, George with Jude in ERGO.
On that note, I just have to go ahead and state the obvious. I can think of nothing on this Earth more attractive than a good Dad. I am sure so many Mothers, Grandmothers, Great-grandmothers, etc. out there can agree. It does it for me.
And this brings to my mind a quote I mulled over many times during our Indiana summer. My Mom had it taped to her bathroom mirror, there for the taking. I read over and over, seeing more and more in it each time I took it in.

"A good man leaves and inheritance to his children's children"
(Proverbs 13:22)

We couldn't ask for anything more.

And no, this is not going to become a religious blog, but I did have to ask Elsa to borrow her Bible so I could look this verse up. Thanks for sharing Elsa.

Sunday, January 29


A few days ago I reorganized and changed up the kids play area a bit. As you know, their "playroom" is in what is supposed to be our dining room but the space works much better as a playroom, for now. Honestly, they just bring whatever is occupying them for the moment to play with next to us anyway, so we're just going with the flow. 
I also find they look at books so much more when the books are placed out in the hub of our family hangout space. And I am happy anytime my kids have a book in hand. Because who really wants to have to retreat the isolation of a bedroom to take in a few books? (Me, me!)
So after the change up, they woke up and got right to playing with such Christmas morning vigor. Giving such concentration to things that have been around forever. I guess the change in location, different groupings, or the discovery of that missing piece somehow made their things shiny and new again. 
For us, an organized play area is key. Because from watching these little ones day in and day out, it seems to me that play and learning are one and the same. I want to provide them with a clutter free learning environment so they can play, and thus learn, to their fullest potential.
I couldn't help but snap these photos, so early in the morning (one still with no clothes), as they were so intensely playing, because it was really one of the first moments all three of them were fully engaged in play together. They were doing it peacefully without mauling one sibling, which usually happens to poor Jude, or finding the others toy the absolute best thing ever invented, must have it right now or I will loose all control and act completely uncivilized.
They were each doing their own thing, deep in their own thoughts. Though this only lasted a few moments, I hope there will be many more mornings like this to come with these three. Because how awesome would it be to have two other siblings, so close in age, to navigate and discover this world with? 
Must rearrange and reorganize more often (and find a more gender neutral rug).

Friday, January 27

Her Current Read

Yup, that would be the Bible, as in the Holy Bible. And one Bible won't do. This little girls rolls with two. 
She found them on the top of the back of her bookshelf, filled with dust I am sure. She totes them both around like a prized possession. Pauses, sits, and flips gently through the delicate pages, closes the good book and is on her way. 
George and I don't know what to make of this, her attraction to a pictureless book. We know she loves to "read" but really? So needless to say, we've been on best behavior.

Wednesday, January 25

Wednesday Promises

And the cycle continues. Mid week arrives and I make a personal vow that I will set aside time for myself when the weekend arrives. Take time do something with empty arms, without my shadows skipping behind.

Doing what? Well, I haven't got that far yet. The ideas of quiet and peace and not being responsible for anyone or anything are as far as my mind wanders. My mind lingers on these little things which sound so enticing each Wednesday. 

Then, before I know it, the weekend is the now and I can't resist the fun, the caring, the happiness, the chaos that is our family and it would take an army to pull me away from it all. 
And inevitably, Monday morning comes before I am ready and three days into going to the restroom with help, showering with and audience, and preparing dinner with one baby crying on my hip and two girls arguing, I start making empty promises to myself. Again. 
It's a vicious cycle, I tell ya, but one I am so blessed to be caught up in.

Friday, January 20

Homemade Beauty Products

I have been on a homemade beauty regimen kick lately. And it might not be a kick at all because I am quickly falling in love with these products. Not only because they are natural and cheap, but because they are easy to make and don't require a trip to the store (yes, still avoiding shopping with Elsa) when I run out. 
Running across the house in a towel to mix a new batch is perfectly acceptable and something I can do now because we finally have blinds. Privacy at last. 

A few of these beauty product were included in the gift sacks I gifted to my mom and sister in law for Christmas. My mom texted me this morning to inform me that she was out and could she please have the recipes to make more. So, I thought I would share with you all.

So here we go.

Eye Make Up Remover
1 part witch hazel
1 part olive oil
(Go a little heavier on the witch hazel to avoid an oily feel.)

I picked up a big bottle of witch hazel (a natural toner) at the local health food store and it has lasted me through numerous bottles of eye make up remover with much to spare. The bottle I use for mixing came from Michael's in a pack of three, but anything will work. 
This is by far my favorite of the homemade products and the one I credit with making me look sane at pre school drop off in the morning, especially after one of Jude's all night benders.  

I give the mixture a good shake, dab a little on a cotton ball, pass a couple of swipes under my eyes and all of last nights make up is off and we are ready to go. And the best part, absolutely no burning of the eyes.

Sugar Scrub
1 1/2 cup sugar (brown or white)
1/4 cup olive oil
Add a few drops of a favorite essential oil or vanilla to make it smell wonderful. I have been using lavender oil.

Mix ingredients patiently. It takes a little time for the oil to mix with the sugar. Continue mixing and add more oil or water if needed until desired sandy consistency is reached. I keep mine in a Glad container (so chic) because I don't trust myself with glass in the shower. I scoop a little into my hand while in the shower and exfoliate away.

Skin Peel
Lemon juice

No real science here. Add sugar into a small container (you don't need much) and squeeze lemon juice in and stir until a sandy consistency if achieved.

Warning: use this sparingly. The acidity of the lemon is strong and you may end up with a red face. I use only once a week, when I can remember.

3 parts water
1 part olive oil
A few drops of essential oil.

Mix ingredients in spray bottle. 

A friend of mine with awesome curls suggested this mixture to me over the summer, but I only recently adopted it during the whole lice fiasco. At the time I was adding tea tree oil to the mixture to ward off any lice bugs who tried to come home from school with Nyah. I quickly noticed how nice it made Nyah's curls hold without being oily. 

Since we are in the clear from lice at school, I have replaced the tea tree oil with lavender oil. In the morning I give it a good shake before spraying it on Nyah and Elsa's curls. But on really rough mornings, I still rely on the ol' detangler.

Hope you give some of these homemade products a try. And if you have a favorite homemade beauty product you use and would like to share I would love to hear about it.

Thursday, January 19

Guest Post with TheBarefootMom

As I was getting started with this whole blogging hobby, one of my favorite go to bloggers and a major source of inspiration was TheBarefootMom

If you haven't already discovered her blog on the blog roll to the right of the screen, I highly suggest you check her out. Whether you are an island dreamer or island dweller, she always has something interesting going on. And you might even catch a glimpse of her two beautiful blond babes or her husband, The Fisherman.

I met the bfm while living on St. Croix and she does a perfect job of writing about what life is really like living on an island. She lives the motto that paradise is a state of mind, not a location, a lesson I have been lucky to learn these past few months. 

Need even more reason to head on over to TheBarefootMom this morning? Well, I am featured on her blog today where we discuss the transition from life on an island to stateside living, "Life from Bush to Bustle"

This was such a wonderful experience with a one of a kind Mom and I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed preparing it with TheBarefootMom. 

So here's to "paradise".
Sending much love to all.

Monday, January 16

Catching Colds

Today is just going to be one of those days. 
We felt it coming earlier in the week when Nyah woke up one morning with a cough. It never takes the other two long to catch on. Jude's set in yesterday and the sounds of his hoarse cries in the night were enough to break a heart. 
So we are snuggled in for the day, eating lots of oranges, and drinking tea (Nyah's new thing), hoping all colds clear up. 
It is mornings like this that I long for the beach. Because nothing can clear a kids nose out quite like a dip in the sea.

Wednesday, January 11


Here is the conversation that went down as Ny and I were taking a walk around the block over the weekend. As the slow deep hum of the motorcycle made its way past this is what was said...

Nyah: Mom, will you buy me a motorcycle?
Me: Um, well, ask Dad. But you know, you will have to learn to ride your bike without training wheels first because motorcycle don't come with training wheels.
Nyah: Oh. Okay then. I will.

So we went with it.
She still needs a lot of practice but loves the idea of riding a bike with no training wheels, like the neighbor girls. 

And I just discovered that balance is definitely one of those things better felt than explained. But I am most positive she is feeling it because she breaks out into the sweetest giggle the moment I let go, even if it's only for a split second. And then she looses all control, all balance, and we both end up in a heap of laughter as we turn the bike around to try it again. 

Tuesday, January 10

Laying Low

I think I have mentioned this before, but I absolutely love each and every thing about having a baby boy, including ironing his little shirts. 
Wait. Did I just use the words love and ironing in the same sentence? Who am I? 

Actually, I just trying to catch up on things around here after having an amazingly lazy weekend. As in Nyah and I only left the house once to buy some food. I don't think George did as much. But it was so nice to chill out, enjoy our house, our yard, our neighborhood and give the kids the time to work out their imaginations. 

Elsa and Ny breezed by occasionally and watched a little of the Cruzan Christmas Parade with us in between puzzles, running around, arguing, napping, and giggling.

And rest, oh did we rest. Because little dude still isn't sleeping through the night. An hour or two is the longest he can make it so by the weekend we are whipped.

I guess having down time is one of the benefits to not having any friends in town. Wondering if we will ever find them. I guess we will enjoy our rest until we do.

Monday, January 9

A Moment with Elsa

Elsa has really started to talk and put sentences together lately. The things that come out of her mouth are usually so funny but occasionally they surprise me. Which is just a friendly little reminder that kids are always listening. Like when she said, "Blush you," on cue, after I sneezed yesterday. And when she told Nyah, "That's a gwate idea!" as Nyah was picking an outfit out for school this morning.

The moment Jude wakes up from a nap and lets out the smallest of whimpers, she is always the first to let us know that, "Jude cwyin'! Jude cwyin'!" and continues until we get him. Not that we let him wail it out in his room our room all alone, but sometimes we have to dry our hands, close our book, stand up to walk into the room, etc. She is all over it though.

And I can't leave out the truth, that her only defense against her sister taking her stuff is to let out a blood curdling scream which takes my eardrums past the point of comfort and into the ringing stage. Lately though, she has let out a, "NO NY-YAH!" which seems to get her point across quite well or at least alerts us to intervene. We are hoping in the future more words come out and less screaming but we'll see.

In the mean time, here is a minute with the big two year old and a preview of her various hairstyles.

Thursday, January 5

Soaking It Up

It warmed up over the weekend so we headed out to take advantage and soak up as much vitamin D as possible. 
And at our house, I guess that means pants and shirts must come off.
Ah, freedom.

Wednesday, January 4

Life With Socks

It is really no small feat getting three kids out the door in the morning, on time especially. Nyah to school and the youngest two and I to the gym. No, I am not on some major New Year's resolution kick off, I have been a regular member of the gym pre resolution season. Promise. 

Since Nyah has returned to school and the morning routine is back in action, we have had a few bumps in our quest to get back in the groove. 

And I am sure you know what I am about to write. I think it is a complaint of mothers and fathers generations old, but I am just coming head to head with the problem. 


I am really not into letting things get the best of me, especially inanimate objects, but oh how I loathe socks.

It's the same old story, I wash two, at least I think I wash a matching pair, yet only one makes it out of the dryer and the pile of orphans builds. Then morning comes and no one can find a matching pair, someone cries, I get frustrated as my arm begins to burn from carrying my big boy around as I frantically search for the lost match, seconds away from being late. 
And the lost sock always lies the most inconspicuous of places, especially since Elsa can only take about ten minutes in the car before she takes both shoes and socks off and tosses them. This from the girl who didn't wear shoes, much less socks, until she was a confident walker. She can't be tamed. 
I guess we are just not a sock, nor shoe family. Next to our door we have a basket where we dump our shoes the moment we walk in the door. Probably an old island habit, but a necessary one I feel, especially when little ones frequently occupy the floor. Shoes are dirty, its a fact.
And though it is so tempting to think back on a time when we didn't own socks and flip flops ("fliddy flops" as Nyah calls them) and sandals protected our feet, I can't let myself go there. Because socks are here to stay. 
So my vow today is to, one, stock pile mass quantities of socks in my kids' drawers so a matching pair is always just a reach away. Second, I will put a sock basket next to our shoe basket so each and every sock has a home as soon as they leave a little foot. And finally, I promise to not let the socks get the best of me, allow me to become frustrated ever again, or be the source of my child's tears. 

Because socks are too tiny an object to evoke such big emotions.

By the way, if you didn't already click on the link above, click here to watch some of Elsa's first steps. You won't be sorry.

Sunday, January 1

His Sixth Month

I can't imagine a better day to begin your final six months on the quest to celebrating your first year of life. Happy New Year George Jude.

What a busy month you've had meeting more family and enjoying the company of your Pop for the better part of the month. The two of you have quickly become best friends.
It is so wonderful to watch the bonds you are building with your family members, most who met you for the first time as we celebrated your first Christmas together. Your chilled out personality made it so easy for each of them to get to know you. Your sweet looks, smiles, loving touches to the face resulted in instant love between you and who ever held you. No one could fight it. 
You are still a little suspicious of this eating thing but are trying your best. 
You newest hobby is giving full blown open mouth kisses, drenching us in drool of course, since your are doing some hard core teething these days. I wish you could bust those guys out so we could all get some sleep, especially you. 

You are still growing exponentially and are wearing 9-12 month clothes. You made life easy for us starting wearing the same size diaper as Elsa. One size 4 box for us these days. 

I can't wait to enjoy the next six months and forever with you because I know you will start to change and become you more each day. I love the dimples on your cheeks, the flatness of your feet, your curly mohawk, and the way you hold my hand when you nurse. You are my dream boy. Happy half a year sweet guy.
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