Monday, January 18, 2016


There is no question that the three girls who live in this house crave independence and it occured to me today, that based on their ages, independence means something different to each of them. I encourage and try to cultivate an environment for them that allows for that independence and exploration of their world. I am not going to be there for every step, it is impossible and I don’t want to see EVERY step they make (but I do want to hear about them!).


Vivian is at the most innocent age of independence. She wants to walk and crawl and just be alone to explore the corner of the living room or the dollhouse around the corner. Her little world is expanding a bit but she still needs to be able to peek around that corner and see her mama. She is starting to talk some and communicate in any means necessary! Her independence grows a little every day and it is adorable to watch.


Aleesia is very nearly 3 and she is full-on in the “I do it MY OWNSELF” independence is everything mode. She takes the independence that comes with learning to do everything herself to an extreme. She yells. She screams. She fights that battle of getting her shirt on herself so hard some days! (she put a dress on backwards the other day and she would not let me help her fix it, but she got it right her ownself!) She wants to be in the mix of everything all the time, and usually she wants to be leading the mix. I always let her try to do whatever she can/wants to do. She loves to help cook, do dishes, clean up, vacuum, feed the dog, dress herself, etc. If I could channel that independence into potty training that would be amazing! Her world is growing too, she realizes there is power in doing things her ownself and that is pretty fun to watch even when it is incredibly frustrating!


Gianna is 6 (and three-quarters) ((that is a really important part of her age, if you ask her!)). She is without me all day at school, she is without me for several evening hours a week when she is at her activities. I feel like the idea of independence is taking on a whole new tone with her. She doesn’t need me to help her do really anything related to her everyday needs besides remind her of certain things. She loves to be the leader but she struggles when others don’t follow her lead. She feels so much emotion, which can actually be very hard when you are trying to be an independent 6 3/4 year old because you still feel scared or nervous a lot. I see it in her eyes – she wants so badly to be older at times, but she isn’t there yet (and that is okay, I’m not ready for that either!). She enjoys time alone, she always has. I love watching her learn to navigate a world that is much larger than she ever imagined.


I am learning with them, as I always do. I am learning that they might be sisters but they are each 110% their own person. What worked well as encouragement for one girl doesn’t work so well for the others. What one considered a perfectly acceptable activity to do alone, the others may not. Their uniqueness often makes me take a step back and evaluate each situation differently because I find myself saying “well this worked before….” but before it worked on a different person and this is a new person! My favorite part of being their mom is watching them grow and learn and do things on their own.  Their worlds are the same but so very different, just as they are.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Another "I never" reality check

Kids have big imaginations and they wish and hope so fiercely that you absolutely will so whatever you can to make that wish and hope a reality.

Toddlers especially have a special way of taking your pre-parenthood"I never" list and ripping it to pieces. Successive toddlers take whatever was left of that list and burn it!

With Gianna, among a thousand other things, I swore I'd never let her eat anywhere but the kitchen table. But then it was so sweet when she munched Cheerios while singing to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I swore I'd never let her go out of the house mismatched or in dress up clothes. Turns out those  things are basically considered regular outfits around here and I don't even ask Aleesia to get out of her jammies some days because it isn't worth the struggle.

I usually can't deny requests for more snuggles, milk, snacks, teets (treats) when a pwease is accompanying the request.

Aleesia loves animals. She cried when we moved to our new house because she missed my parents dog so much. She even asked to move back to "weno's house" (Reno!) recently.  She loves when my sister's dogs lick on her and love her.

All Aleesia wanted  for Kissmiss (Christmas) was "a weel bawkin dawg" one that would "yick" her and snuggle her. She repeated this request over and over to anyone who would (or wouldn't) ask. I was SO AGAINST this idea. We have a new house! I have enough on my plate. NO DOGS ALLOWED. EVER. NEVER EVER! We can visit dogs and love on them then go home.

(You see where this is going, don't you?)

Santa bought her a FurReal dog that barked! She would love it. (She did). But I felt bad, like her heart would be broken into a million pieces without a REAL dog. Mike and Gianna both tried to convince me to give in.

It turns out, they won.

We found this little pup (she is a chihuahua/mini pit bull mix) on Christmas eve. My sister kept her & the girls were SO SHOCKED! (Video!)

We weren't disappointed by the surprise. Or the love that Aleesia, especially, gives her. It will be sweet to watch this other kind of relationship unfold.

I'm still not a dog person and really can't believe we did this. But it will be fine. Thankfully, she is tiny and so far a pretty good pup!

That "I never" list is totally torched - Vivian will probably be able to have whatever she wants before she even asks.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Merry Christmas!!

This Christmas season has been a busy one. Our family lost a loved one recently also making this time bittersweet in many respects.

Aleesia has taken a special interest in the Grinch (or Ginch!), which is one of my favorite books & movies. The movie is hilarious and the message is so solid - Christmas isn't about all of the things, but the time. The people, the memories and the time we take to just love on each other. Tomorrow is not guaranteed, take the time today to share kindness and love with everyone you know.

We are in sort of a chaotic season of life with these little ones everywhere & usually I'm not sure which way is up. But the little ones bring the magic. They bring the innocence and the spirit so raw and unjaded you cannot help but smile when they speak of Santa.
We've been teaching our girls about the birth of Jesus and Gianna really gets the reason we celebrate now, which is its own kind of magic. As she belted out the words to Silent Night at Christmas Eve mass I couldn't help but to cry. Here I am in a packed church with all 3 kids - G listening intently, V trying to wiggle from my arms & A acting as if we don't go to church weekly. I was stressed, sweating, questioning if we should hi-tail it right out of there before things got worse. But we stayed. And the message of hope and birth was what I needed at that moment. And to hear my sweet girl sing those words, priceless.  The chaos calmed down and Cheeze-its saved my sanity for that hour and I was able to have a quiet moment of reflection with my 3 girls around me. I thought of the loved ones who are no longer here celebrating together from above & how their spirit lives within each of us. What a blessing each new day is to be healthy and to live a life that is meaningful and fulfills our soul's desires. About how I can do a better job at living a life that brings honor and glory to Him and my family as well.  I truly felt the spiritual magic of the season, and I think G did too. And I was grateful to be in a church that embraces the spirit of the little ones ;)

We were able to spend time with much of our family and most importantly with the girls. Their excitement continued to be infectious the whole day. They were gracious (as gracious as I expected them to be) receivers of gifts and thoughtful givers of gifts. I heard manners. (I also heard some attitude, so don't be fooled!) And saw lots of joy!

We scaled down some on the number of things and it was great - everyone got what they really wanted and I am sure those things will be enjoyed thoroughly! We also took time to donate some cheer to our local Children's hospital - it was such a blessing and a joy to do so. This is a place that has not only taken care of my kids & my sister (30 years ago!) but of many kids we know & love and a place I give back to any chance I have.

As we embrace the holiday hangover period and closely examine all of the new goodies that were gifted, I continue to be amazed & humbled at where life has taken us. This season (of life & the year!) is chaotic and stressful, but the magic that comes with that is unbeatable. I am excited to see what comes next & I have hope that the wonderful days will always win out amidst the difficult ones. Life is what we make of it, and there is no reason we should make it any less than great.

I hope the holiday was just as magical for you as it was for us!
Merry Christmas!!

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A letter to my {third} daughter: One Year!


The lack of formal documentation of your first year, with the exception of your life lessons, is in no way a reflection of how we feel about you! It is a direct reflection of how busy we have been this year, though.

I will say it a million times throughout your life, but it is seriously amazing how fast time really flies.

To me, there are times that I am holding you that I so vividly remember your birth day. The excitement.

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Your cold feet (really, you just didn’t want to come out there for several hours a second).

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The hard work at the very end.

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How quiet you were when you came out.

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And the moment when they finally put you on my chest.

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Your first life lesson. (Head to Instagram and search #vivislivelessons to see the full year of lessons!)

When you met your sisters. Gianna was positively giddy and she still adores the ground you crawl on to this day.

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Aleesia truly didn’t know what to think, but she warmed up to you over the months. And now? Well, now she loves to snuggle you and play with you.

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You have maintained your sweet & portable status and are still the snuggliest girl. There were moments of concern over why you just weren’t growing, but your big blue eyes and cutie smile put my mind at ease. We’ll continue to keep an eye on it (looking forward to your official 1 year stats this week!) but I’m not too worried – people come in all sizes!

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Your first word was “boo” (as in, peek-a-boo!) followed by Hi! and Mama and you will occasionally says dada. I just got you to say wow and OH! Baby babble is a familiar sound in our house!

You were baptized.


You love to clap, dance, wave, crawl super fast with your head down (always on a mission!), sneak up the stairs and cruise across furniture. There are times where you will walk holding on to our hands and sometimes you’ll stand on your own for a few seconds. Walking will be in your future before we know it, I am positive of that!

Sleeping would not included on your list of “favorite things to do” – some nights are good, most are not. Naps are hit and miss. I am sure you’ll figure it out eventually but until then I’ll continue to be thankful for coffee!

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This year you have lived in 3 different places! Our first house. Grandma & Papas. Our new house. I think that is enough moving for a loooooong time.

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We visited Cedar Point and you mostly slept the whole time.

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We visited the beach and you loved the ocean – who doesn’t?! Besides we made memories with our whole family, which was so wonderful.

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There is a special bond between you and I, there is no question about that. I’ve never been home as much as I am now – working at home changes things. It has helped us to be bonded in a way that I didn’t know was possible. You are a pretty great work partner, most days! (When I am gone, now you will crawl to my office to come and look for me.)

There is something magical about you, sweet girl. You light up every single room that you go in to. Everyone comments on those big blue eyes and, when you are awake and in a good mood, that pretty amazing smile. You are slowly learning to embrace being the center of attention.

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I’ve been putting together a life lesson for every day of life for your first  year, but I can’t believe the number of lessons that YOU have taught ME. My soul is happier with you in my world, and I think I can speak for the rest of the family in saying that they have no idea what they would do without you.

Life might be too busy to capture everything I had hoped in writing but that is because we are busy living – doing things that make each of us happy and fuel us to make it through the hard days that will inevitably come our way. Be patient with me on the days that it seems my own patience is running thin. Know that I am always working to make sure you have everything you need, and hopefully everything you want. I will always try my very best for you (and your sisters) and there is no love more unconditional than what I hope you feel. I hope that you always remember that you can come to me when you need refueled. That your sisters love you, even (and especially) when they are picking on you. That we can’t imagine live without you in it. And it might be possible that you have me wrapped so tightly around your little finger that I totally don’t even care.

I can’t wait to celebrate many more moments, days, years and an unlimited number of life lessons to come.

Love you little peanut!



Monday, November 2, 2015


I have so much to catch up on - so, so much!
The short version, since that is pretty much all I can manage:
  • 1st grade is some SERIOUS education, you guys. I have a lot I want to say related to Gianna and school but I can sum it up to: Public school is the best place for her. We moved into such an amazing school system and we are so lucky to have the support for her.
  • Aleesia has a preschool screening this week. This blows my mind for so many reason, but seriously, how is this coming up so fast??
  • Work is work, no complaints at all.
  • The girls love dance.
  • I have a mandatory 8 hours of email training for work. This is the silliest training I have ever attended.
  • Vivian is such a stinker. She has a weight check on Wednesday this week, I know she has for sure gained over the last few weeks so that helps to take any anxiousness away.
  • We are in our new house. It is amazing. I still can't believe it is ours!
  • Speaking of new house, I really love decorating!
  • Our new neighborhood has so many kids, it is great!
  • I've recently gotten really "into" all natural cleaners and using stuff around the house that is a bit more environmentally friendly. My house smells so yummy all the time!
  • I'm also really into eliminating unnecessary stuff from our life - unpacking is the perfect time to purge things we haven't missed over the past few months. It's a great, cleansing, feeling if you ask me.
  • It is NOVEMBER???? I purchased my first christmas gifts. I'm 85% in planning mode for Vivian's 1st birthday. Time just keeps moving on. 
What is up with you??? I so miss this outlet!