Sunday, January 31, 2010


Dear Meg~

Nine years ago yesterday you made me a mama. In nine years we've gone from this
to this
You are a smart, caring girl. Your love of your cats, books, and the color yellow are legendary. You've grown from loving Barbie dolls to American Girl dolls, from Teletubbies to Harry Potter, from Twinkle Twinkle to anything Taylor Swift. Your room has gone from Pooh Bear to a collage of Hannah Montana and Bruins hockey and fairy pictures you've created.

Some days I don't know where the time has gone, because sometimes I still see you as this when you are clearly this young lady

You'll always be my baby, my first born, no matter how old you get. I'll always be here for you, whether for hugs, kisses, homework help, piano lessons or even boy trouble. I love snuggling with you at night and reading to you, even though I know that pretty soon you're going to want to read by yourself in your room for hours on end. And even though we have our differences, we really are so much alike that you'll be amazed when when you realize it.

I hope this next year brings you lots of happiness and that you remember that I love you bunches and bunches.



Thursday, January 28, 2010


I almost never make my bed, but I love when it's made and I crawl into it at night. Especially if the sheets are fresh.

I wish I had the interior design skills shown in my Better Homes and Garden magazine.

I don't have a matched bedroom set. Heck, I don't even have a headboard for my bed.

Now that I've lived in my house for 3 1/2 years, I wish I had designed my kitchen a little differently.

The upstairs of my house rarely gets vacuumed. But I really love the look of a freshly vacuumed rug.

I can't stand the smell of most candles. They need to smell like food~vanilla, sugar cookies, pumpkin spice. Otherwise, I just sneeze and I've never been diagnosed with allergies.

I'm addicted to the following TV shows: Bones, The Mentalist, White Collar, NCIS and NCIS LA. I will watch NCIS anytime it's on TV (thank you very much USA).

I wish I had money to go to North Carolina to see an old friend from high school. We reconnected through our blogs. Her photos are fabulous. What's Down With the Browns? is where she blogs; go say hi.

I want to take the kids to Disney this year. It's not happening. It makes me sad.

I want to be sitting on a beach sipping a drink with my husband. That's not happening either.

I'm really excited that Daughtry is coming to Maine this summer and will be buying myself tickets for my birthday. So what if I'm going to be 38; he rocks.

Even though I complain about winter in Maine, I was happy it snowed a bit today. Spring is a long way off and I just couldn't look at the nasty brown grass that the rain uncovered on Monday.

Tonight I'm filling out paperwork for the twins to attend Drew's preschool in the fall. Instead of making me sad, it makes me jump with joy. Six whole hours a week to myself to do whatever I want. I haven't had that in five years and my sanity is suffering for it.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Updates, Updates, Updates

It's been a lousy few days here, with the kids succumbing to some sort of a quick flu virus. My plans with friends here at the house on Saturday had to be canceled as Meg was up all night vomiting. We thought the other kids were spared, but Sunday night at 11:15 Izzie got up to be sick, and Annie joined her at 4 am. Drew joined the party today. It's a very short virus, which is nice, but enough already. We've already had the flu, swine or not, plus Meg and I had strep throat. I'm quite done with this winter, thank you very much.

Meg's birthday is Saturday. She is NOT having a friend party, save her one good friend B who is coming over for the family party. After all my deliberating, she really could have cared less about what we did. At that, I'm a little dumbstruck. She was the one who went on and on about wanting her friends to come to a party, then when I told her that it wasn't happening, she didn't really care. We had a "discussion" (which means that I talked, she ignored me, and life went on) about how her inability to control her attitude and behavior was the reason for not inviting friends over, and she just blew me off. So, family party it is on Saturday, complete with a heart-shaped cake.

Potty training is NOT going well. Considering that I've already potty trained two kids, you think I'd be able to work with the girls, but quite frankly, they chose to do their own thing. Izzie does a much better job than Annie, who is perfectly content to pee in her pull-up or diaper. I think that I'm going to have to resort to plain old undies and lots of clothing changes to get them to pay attention. This method disturbs me to no end (whatever the hell that means) as I already do enough laundry, but I'm kind of at a loss otherwise.

The girls are doing great sleeping in their toddler beds. They no longer nap, unless we go somewhere in the car. If they nap in the car though, they won't go to sleep at night. Double edged sword. Oh, and when they're done sleeping in the morning (even if it's 5), they get up, tear all the bedding off their beds, yell, scream and play in their closet, waking up the whole house. Frustrated isn't even the best word to describe how I feel about this. There is no way of getting them to understand that they need to stay in their bed; they just DO NOT LISTEN.

Anyone have any ideas on how to get my loving 5 year old son back? He's been replaced by a foul-mouthed (as in, I HATE YOU MOMMY), whining, crying monster. He throws toys, screams and throws himself to the ground all damn day long. When he's in a good mood he's loving, kind, plays nicely with everyone, but then WHAM he gets nasty. Of course since that's how his older sister acts ALL the time, it's hard for him to learn otherwise.

Lately I've been wishing myself away from all of the crap of raising my kids. I mentally (and sadly, sometimes verbally) lament having to change diapers, do laundry, make lunches/snack/dinner, clean cat boxes. I feel overwhelmed and under loved. I literally want to throw myself on the floor, kick my feet and scream that I don't wanna do it. How awful is that? So then I beat myself up for feeling angry with THEM, when it's not their fault. They're just kids after all, and I would do well to remember that.

What do you do when you're feeling overwhelmed?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Memories Lost and Found

Yesterday Doug and I were cleaning up in the basement. I have friends coming over to scrapbook on Saturday and thought they'd prefer to be able to walk into my scrapbook area and not leap over empty wrapping paper rolls, empty boxes and about a thousand other items that have been tossed down there since Thanksgiving. It's an unfinished basement, and I use half of it for my Creative Memories business. Once Thanksgiving rolls around, my business goes into hiatus for a bit so that I can use the tables up in my dining room, and wrap Christmas presents away from the ever-prying eyes of four children.

Once we tackled organizing one part of the basement and realizing that indeed, we DO need to hold a yard sale, we started on the large stack of boxes that we have moved with us several times. Doug and I have lived in 1 apartment, 1 rented house and 2 homes of our own since 1997 and we have lots of STUFF. Things like a street sign from the street he grew up on. Things like a rather large collection of cassette tapes (for LISTENING, not WATCHING) from back before either of us owned CD players. I pulled out a tape yesterday and it happened to be one that he made for me in 1991 (yes, that would be 19 years ago!) and popped it into my very ancient, but perfectly workable, boom box. Yes, a mix tape from my boyfriend-now-husband that I used to play on that same boom box. It was fun to listen to the music while we worked, and we had a good laugh at the schmaltzy music we liked to listen to.

In another box Doug found a little wrist rattle that belonged to Megan. It was a little pink elephant head. We had named it Ellie Funt and she loved it. I have a ton of pictures with her wearing Ellie on her wrist when she was little. I got really emotional looking at that silly little elephant rattle, partly because holy cow I STILL have it, and partly because she's going to be 9 in a week. That little girl that loved Ellie is a big girl who loves American Girl dolls, Taylor Swift and books.

We'll be finding more memories in the basement over the next few months as we figure out out what to put in our yard sale. We'll be trying to sell lots of the kids clothes, old toys, cribs, things that have been a part of our lives for the better part of 9 years. Part of me wants to hold on to them, to hold on to the past, but the other part of me is ready to move on. There are plenty more memories to be made, clothes to outgrow, toys to put aside. We have to make room for those, even while we hold the past in our hearts.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I Heart Faces "We are Family"

I'm entering another photo at I Heart Faces this week. The theme is "We are Family" so I thought I'd enter a candid shot from our visit with my grandmother last month. My grandmother's Alzheimer's is pretty advanced, so she doesn't always speak coherently. My parents say she laughs, a lot, and that is what I caught her doing in this photo while my dad was introducing the kids to her. Drew and Annie weren't quite sure what to make of their GG, but I just love that while her mind isn't what it used to be, she's healthy and happy.

Check out the other entries at I Heart Faces!


Dear Annie~

I can't believe you turned three on Saturday. THREE! You've been telling people for a couple of months now that you'd be "free" on your next birthday, and you happily showed them 3 fingers. You're such a big girl now. You sleep in a toddler bed, you're working on potty training, you love vegetables but could care less about meat, and you give the best hugs known to man. You didn't like Mr. The Grinch (your words) but loved his doggy. You're my quiet observer, taking it all in with your giant brown eyes. I can't wait to see what this next year brings for you. I love you to the moon and back.

Love, Mama
January 16, 2007

January 16, 2008

January 16, 2009
January 16, 2010

Dear Izzie~

Three years old. You've changed so much in three years. You were a skinny wisp of a thing when you were born, and while you're still petite, you have a big voice and a big heart. Your love of lambs knows no bounds. I'm constantly amazed at your ability to put together puzzles without batting an eye. Your favorite Christmas song is The Little Drummer Boy (aka "Izzie's Lamby Song") and you sing all the time for us. You remind me of Boo in Monsters, Inc. when she was singing in the bathroom. Like your brother, you go from the minute you get up until the minute you go to sleep snoring at night. I can't wait to see how you grow this year. I love you to pieces.

Love, Mama

January 16, 2007

January 16, 2008

January 16, 2009

January 16, 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Delurk! Please?

It's that time of year again. You know:

Will you stop by, say hi, have some coffee and riddle me this:

What is your favorite blog to read?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

There are days

There are days when I don't want to get out of bed. Those are the days when the kids have been awful and the thought of dealing with the same crap all over again is just too much to bear.

There are days when I yell. Too often. Too loud.

There are days when nothing gets done. No dishes get put away, no laundry gets washed (let alone dried), no cat boxes get cleaned.

There are days when the shit hits the fan and it seems like it's coming from everywhere and why can't we just get ahead just this once.

Then there are days when I can run an errand with three kids who not only listen to the rules, but follow them. And get a tv reward because of their good behavior.

There are days when Annie and Izzie play nicely together for more than two minutes and I can do a small project with Drew and we laugh and he writes his name so nicely it makes me want to cry thinking that in 9 months he'll be in kindergarten.

There are days when I not only think I might be a good mom, but I actually feel it in my bones.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I Heart Faces Best Face Photo

I thought I'd playing along at I Heart Faces again this week. This week's theme is "Best Face Photo" and I'm entering this little photo of Annabelle outside on my porch in the snow in early December 2009:

I hope you'll go check out all the other entries!

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Dilemma

I have a dilemma and I'm asking for some advice, because quite honestly, I have no idea what to do.

Meg's 9th birthday is 3 weeks from tomorrow. This is the year I promised another kid party (every other year to save my sanity), and we've been throwing around ideas. We've come up with one that would work~have some friends over to watch a movie and make their own pizzas. Nothing too jazzy, but still fun for everyone and not too expensive for my rather tight purse strings.

But the issue is my child. My beautiful, smart child isn't very good with friends, especially at parties. She has had a meltdown at every single kid party she's ever had. It's rather easy to pass that off when your kid is 5, and maybe even 7. But 9. Nine is an age where kids start to talk at school, if they haven't already. I dread putting her into a situation which could cause embarrassment for her. We don't even have her friends over except one because she cannot handle the situation and ends up alienating her friends.

I wouldn't at all be concerned if she hadn't had a full on meltdown during Drew's family birthday party last week. Her behavior was so incredibly embarrassing for all of us, most especially for herself. The five of us are quite used to her attention-getting meltdowns, to the point that it didn't even phase Drew and he went about his business. My poor sister-in-law (who is a 4th grade teacher) ended up spending a lot of time dealing with Meg, but really no to avail. Meg did manage to behave well enough at Drew's kid party last week, and we praised her for that.

I love my child with all my heart, and I want to do things for her that make her happy. She wants this birthday party. I would love for her to have her friends here and for her to have a good time with them. Is it wrong of me to question whether she could handle herself? I've been down this road too many times with her and I'm at the point where I think that I need to save her from herself. Talking to her is almost a wasted effort. She gets defensive, cries, and doesn't listen. Round and round we go.

So dear friends. Help. Give me some advice. Should I have the party and let her deal with the consequences of her actions if she melts down, or should I just pull the plug?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sights and Sounds

I sit at my messy computer desk watching the drip, drip, drip from my farmers porch.

I hear the kids sliding down the stairs on their bottoms chattering away.

I utter phrases like "please don't step on the book/puzzle/cat" and "please clean up all the crayons you just dumped on the floor".

I watch my cats sit in the window sill chattering at the ever growing population of ladybugs in the bathroom.

I look at all the snow and the trees that surround my home.

I hear that the dishwasher is done, again.

I hear requests for more snack, more juice, fresh pullup.

I see a large bag of items needing to be shredded, and yet another box of items to go to the dump.

Thump, thump, thump go the small feet of small girls running up and down the hallway above me.

Drip, drip, drip goes the melting snow outside my window.

Chatter, chatter, chatter from my son.

The day may change but the sights and sounds of my life remain constant.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I don't make New Year's Resolutions. The list would be alarmingly long and daunting. There are some days that I can barely manage to feed the kids meals and snacks what with all the fighting and bickering and toys to clean up, so adding one more thing to my "to do" list would put me over the edge and drinking by 9.

However, this year I have resolved to take better care of ME. ME ME ME. Right before 2009 ended I went out TWO DAYS IN A ROW with friends, once for dinner and to see New Moon, and once for lunch and a little shopping at Target and I have to say I was so blissfully happy to be Kristin for those short periods of time. Not Doug's wife or the Mama, but just ME. A me who likes movies and food and friends and books and good lord so many things that I just don't get to do. I know I chose this life~one with a passel of kids with commitments, homework, potty training, etc.~but I also know that eventually those kids will grow up and move onto their own lives and I need to have some of ME around so I'm not a lost wandering soul when that happens.

So, it's resolved that I'm going to take more time for me. I'm not sure yet exactly how that's all going to play out, but I know that I have to do it for myself and my sanity and probably even my marriage. I'm not a good wife or mother if I'm a tired, cranky "woe is me" bitch all the time. A little battery recharge now and then to remember who I was and who I want to be is on tap for 2010.

What about you? One resolution you want to share?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Babies no more

The end of 2009 also marked the end of me being a mother of babies. The girls are in the throes of potty training; some days are good and some days, like when Annie stands 2 feet from the toilet and pees all over the floor, are bad. Training two simultaneously is completely exhausting and I am so darn glad that I've already gone through this with two other children because I'd lose my ever loving mind otherwise.

We also took down the girls' cribs last week. We had one toddler bed and acquired another for $10 on Craigslist just before Christmas. My doctor had told me to take them out of their cribs after the Izzie incident but quite honestly, you couldn't pay me enough money to take not-yet two year olds out of their cribs. As it is, the girls are at this very moment upstairs for a nap that they ASKED to take and are jumping around and tearing apart their room. The thought of having still 1 year olds out of cribs was enough to make my hair stand on end and I'm not even totally happy with my almost 3 year olds out of their cribs. BUT, I have to give them credit, because once they go to bed at night, they fall right asleep and stay asleep and in their beds until they wake up in the morning (where they immediately get up, bang around and wake everyone else up).


I have babies no more. They will be THREE in twelve days and that thought is amazing to me. I don't have any pangs for more children; the four that I have keep me plenty busy and rather exhausted most of the time. I don't even miss the babyhood of the twins. While they might make me crazy with their hair pulling/face scratching fights, they are quite fun at this age. They color in their coloring books, they give fantastic hugs, they oftentimes play together nicely. They do puzzles, dress themselves entirely, sing the ABCs, giggle together, share a chair to watch Dora or Max and Ruby.

So while I no longer have babies and I'm ok with that, I have big girls who are in need of some attention to be reminded why we don't jump on our toddler beds. Ah motherhood.