The Mommy

The Mommy

about us...

I'm The Mommy, a SAHM to Maggie & Ellie. I'm married to Big Daddy, an engineer, grad student and our hard-working provider.
I blog instead of scrapbooking in hopes of preserving a part of our life for the future.
We enjoy beach trips, going to Church and spending time together...all as a family...because that's what we are.

our VP miracle, Maggie

our VP miracle, Maggie
loves homeschooling, sign language, Jesus, reading, church, writing songs and dancing

our sweet Ellie

our sweet Ellie
loves her sister, going to church and the library, singing, babies, chocolate and being naked

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

All Figured Out

Today is my grandmother's birthday. I probably wouldn't even think about it that much, but since it's exactly a week after the date that she died, I do. I remember right after we found out that she had lung cancer I knew that I should ask her any questions that I wanted answers to. Her cancer came as a bit of a surprise. She had been having breathing issues, but had never smoked and everything had been leading to bronchitis. Needless to say, it wasn't easy from the time that we found out about her cancer until the time that she died. There were tests, procedures and surgeries and then we almost lost her once. From the time she was discharged after a surgical procedure until the time that she went back to the hospital to have her lung removed, she lived with my parents and my mom spent every minute just being with her.

That's when I really saw my mom as a daughter and not really just my mother.

Then fast forward to not that long ago and I really started to realize that my mom was just a person too and not just my mom. It took me many, many years to really see this!

And then of course, I started thinking more and more about how Maggie and Ellie will see me one day. I want them to know that they are a huge part of who I am, but there is also a part of me that's just a person. Right now, they both have certain things that they think only Mommy can do. As much as I like that, I know it won't last forever.

I have been trying to blog lately, but nothing would come out. I realized today that it's not because I have nothing to say, but because there's so much that I feel like I need to preserve in some way for them.

A little something I want to remember...
On Sunday afternoon Maggie asked me to spend time with her during rest time and after 15 minutes of "resting", I could tell that she didn't feel like napping. I got her up and we went to the grocery store together. She started asking about Aunt Clara, so we visited her grave at the cemetery. And after Ellie's nap, we went to visit "Grandma Louise" (I never called her this, but that's how Maggie refers to her since her middle name is Louise after Grandma) at her cemetery. Maggie and Ellie had way too much fun! I kept thinking about how happy they were just looking and smelling of all the flowers and visiting graves that had sat lonely for some time.

Seeing Maggie and Ellie at the cemetery being happy in stead of sad (like I usually am) was so refreshing. Maggie told Ellie that Grandma Louise was in Heaven and that she wasn't really there! (She doesn't understand that my grandfather died before I was born so I don't talk about him as much since I didn't know him.) She also asked about the "baby rock" beside of my grandparents' tombstone and was shocked to find out that my Grandma had a baby that was stillborn. She wanted me to tell her all about Baby Michael and she said he was probably "really cute and sweet".

I think we may go to the cemetery a little more often and we'll probably visit my paternal grandfather's grave next weekend.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My New Job

Big Daddy and I have attended three Churches together. My home Church, our beloved Church in Sanford and the Church that we attend now. Each Church has gotten progressively bigger and had a little more to offer and the Church that we attend now is well over 10 times the size of the Church that I grew up in that had somewhere around 300 members/in attendance. And it offers a lot.

I haven't hesitated to sign Maggie up for the special activities that our Church offers. She attended the Preschool Worship and Music class last year and will be starting again in September. She loved going to Preschool Summer Day Camp and I helped out with the babies (including Ellie) in the nursery. I will not lie...I really didn't enjoy staying in the nursery. Ellie did not like it. At all. Then, our Week of Wonder (VBS) came and I really enjoyed teaching one of the four year old classes.

I filled out Maggie's papers for her Awana Cubbies class and mailed them in yesterday. I decided that I would email the director of preschool ministries today and see if they needed any other teachers. Wouldn't you know that she called me before I had a chance to email her!? She was thrilled that I wanted to help and I am happy to be of service to someone other than Ellie & Maggie.

I have been feeling like the role of wife and mother (housekeeper and cook and grocery shopper and the list goes on) had taken over me and become my sole identity. Although this is my dream job, I don't think any job should take over all that you are. Big Daddy, Maggie & Ellie are my life and an enormous part of who I am, but sometimes I feel like I need to do a little more with myself other than sing Taylor Swift songs into a wooden spoon (along with Maggie) and stress over what to serve for three meals and two snacks a day. As Big Daddy starts another semester of grad school with an extra class thrown in, I feel like I'm in charge of everything even more than usual.

A couple of days ago I suddenly realized that I had become a desperate housewife...desperate for some sort of something that didn't have to do with the three people that I spend most of my time with. I never felt this way when I was the mom of one and we lived in Sanford. I think the combination of Maggie becoming more involved with activities, adding an Ellie to our family, moving to a smaller town, Big Daddy's longer hours at work and his school schedule left me feeling a little lost.

So, I have decided to embrace my role as helper-outer at Church and do whatever I can. I'll be close to Ellie and Maggie without having to be with them and they'll be learning and playing and growing in lots of different ways.

My schedule is going to be busier than ever, but at least I still have Tuesdays and Saturdays free of planned activities.


Today we said goodbye to the real summer vacation. Callie starts the fourth grade tomorrow. We'll miss her, but I'm sure we'll also enjoy these last few days before things get crazy with preschool and Church activities that come with September.

Today we'll go to say a final farewell to my great aunt, Aunt Clara. Over the years we've lost all of my granfather's siblings and Aunt Clara was the last of their spouses. I'll always remember her sweet voice, seeing her hair out of a bun for the first time (I had no idea it was so long and thought it was strange that and "old" lady would have long hair) and hearing her repeat the last line of a certain soap opera before it went to commercial.

Seven years ago, we said goodbye to my Grandma D. I can still remember way too many things about the last day/night/late night/early morning of her life. I had been with countless people (patients) at the hospital as they died without their family by their side, but my grandmother was surrounded by her family.

It's already been a big week and hopefully the jumble will be out of my head soon and I'll be able to function again.

Monday, August 23, 2010


I keep thinking of things that I need to blog about because I don't want to forget things that are happening right now.

And then I forget.

Sometimes I think that we should just get a mini van and have another baby and I want a mei tai...the baby carrier NOT the drink.

Then I wonder if I am anywhere close to being able to handle what's on my plate right now.

I get stressed over trying to figure out whether or not I can go to a funeral with both kids in tow (I can't) because the only people I could use as babysitters are at work, at school or going to the funeral themselves.

I'm tired of trying to figure out what vegetables who will eat and when they'll eat them.

Three meals and two snacks is a lot of menu for me to plan.

Today, I'm counting points. Tomorrow we will see.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Family Beach Trip

This little family beach trip actually surpassed my expectations which rarely happens! We were only away for four days and three nights, but we've found that this is just about the right amount of time for us. I have to say that it was four days of pure bliss!

Maggie started out the day on Saturday by wanting to go back home. Before we were twenty minutes from our house, she missed her room and her own bed. Our room wasn't quite ready when we were, so we went for walk on the beach and gave Ellie her first chance to walk in the sand and experience the ocean as a big girl. It's hard to believe that she was only three months old on our last family trip! After a few minutes in the sand, Maggie wanted to stay...forever. We were pleasantly surprised to see the (really big) grassy area between the pools and the beach covered in cheerleaders! The National Cheerleaders Association was hosting a college cheer camp at our hotel! It provided a lot of entertainment for us. Ellie really enjoyed Sunday's final competition when the cheerleaders were doing their game day cheers with mascots.

Now...a few pictures.

We were only on the beach or in the pool for a short time on Saturday evening, but I felt like we had enough fun for the whole trip!

We took a long walk on the new boardwalk on Sunday morning. Then we were ready to hit the beach and the pools and have fun in the sun. Ellie loved the in-room safe.

We walked to breakfast, went to the pier in the afternoon, had ice cream and Maggie played with the phone in our room.

On Tuesday morning, we walked on the beach one last time and then shopped and had lunch before we left. Maggie cried when it was time to leave, but both girls went to sleep and had nice naps.

We were so busy having fun that we didn't take as many pictures as usual. Big Daddy and I tried to keep everyone happy so we had to try the "divide and conquer" approach a few times. Ellie preferred sorting seashells on the beach to the pool, so there were times when I took her to the beach while Maggie & Big Daddy were "swimming".

Having two strollers was really nice! We like to go on long walks and Maggie likes to get tired. I always try to put the ring sling in the stroller basket just in case Ellie gets tired of riding and this really saved us! She also enjoyed the Baby K'Tan when we walked on the beach...until the sand started calling her name! Ellie enjoyed having Maggie right beside of her when the strollers were connected, but she still prefers to be held. I didn't wear her the entire trip like last year, but she can only stand the stroller for so long.

All in all, I cannot imagine the trip being any better.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


We are now in the recovery phase of our family vacation!

We had THE BEST time and I'll have lots of pictures to share (hopefully) tomorrow.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Thankful For The Little Things

Five years ago today, we found out that we were expecting Maggie.

I had been feeling bad for a couple of weeks, but really didn't have any idea that I was pregnant until I sort of added up all that I was feeling and took the test on the morning of August 15,2005.

Someone once told me that no matter how bad you wanted to be pregnant or what you had to go through to get that way, you would always be surprised when it finally happened.

We were.

Now, we can barely remember what it was like before we became parents.

It must have been quiet and boring and the house was probably a lot neater and a little more clean. I bet I slept a lot more too.

I had never heard of succentriate lobed placentas, velamentous cord insertion or vasa previa.
and I didn't have a crooked, off-center scar across my lower abdomen.

Thanks Muffin for being our glue.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Maggie On The Brain (alternately titled: Muffin Head)

For some reason, I cannot get his image of Maggie out of my mind! I think it's because I was so surprised when she turned around and I got my first glimpse of what her teen years will look like! I knew that Cousin Callie had brought her make up and I knew that they were playing with it in the kitchen, but this shocked me.Needless to say, I obsess over a lot of parenting issues. For several weeks, I have been trying to make decisions on our schedule for the next preschool year. I want Maggie to be involved in fun activities without being over scheduled. Maggie will have school on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for three hours each day. She insists on going to Storytime at the Library on Thursdays, so we are left with one free weekday, which I think is great. I was asked to join MOPS at our Church, but it's every other Tuesday so our free days would be cut in half. I think I've decided to skip MOPS and take her to Awana Cubbies, but I'm still not sure! She also has children's choir on Sunday evenings. We (me & Maggie) had talked a little about signing up for dance classes (for her, not me) but I'm pretty sure we won't be doing that. I have no doubt that she'll enjoy all of the activity, but I also know that she loves having free-play time.

So...I'm curious. What coordinated activities did you do as a child?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Around here...

we wear too much make up
clean a lot and wear hair bows while doing it

we buy shoes that are too expensive...
but light up the whole house

we spend way too much time playing around in our bathing suits

we make lots of silly faces

life is good

Friday, August 6, 2010

Ellie at 14 Months

You love to play with purses and your favorite seem to be of the Vera Bradley variety. I can't remember why you were upset in this picture, but I think someone tried to take your Silly Band stash. You usually have a purse and a baby within reach.

You feed yourself most of the time. You use a fork really well, but haven't quite figured out how a spoon works. Luckily, you don't mind if I feed you oatmeal or applesauce! If there's something on your plate that you don't want to eat, you line it up on the table in front of you.

You love to do art when Maggie does art. Your favorite thing to do is take the lids on and off of markers, but you scribble some too. We don't let you use crayons because you always try to eat them.

You'll go along with Maggie and do almost anything that she wants you to do. This will probably get you into trouble one day, but right now it's cute. Here you are being her baby.

You try to share all of your food and drink with us and always make a little noise (like the babies do when they drink the pretend bottle) when you offer it.

You like privacy when you use the bathroom. You will go in the kitchen or in the tent and come back and let me know (by patting your diaper) that you need a clean diaper. If I don't understand you point to your room where the diapers are. You sometimes let me know when you pee pee too. I'm wondering if what they say about cloth-diapered babies is true.

A few new words that you have started to say:
butt- for button

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Having School At Home

No matter what I do or how much I think I've made my mind up I cannot get away from the idea of homeschooling.

Homeschooling Maggie.

Homeschooling Maggie, my strong-willed child.

Homeschooling Maggie, my strong-willed child that pushes me to my limits nearly every single day.

As soon as I'm sure that she'll be attending a traditional and public school in the fall of 2011, something happens that brings homeschooling back up. She begs to do her school work (letter and number workbooks) while I'm cooking dinner and she loves to learn.

I want to do what is best for her and more and more I'm thinking that public school may not be it.

I'm scared and unsure and terribly worried that I'll mess her up.

Pray for me??

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

It's that time again...

I get this feeling every once in a while.

Like I want to throw most every single thing out and start all over.

I wish I'd picked a different material for our couch (and all the pillows).

The curtains in there are all wrong.

The girls need something else on their walls. Maybe it's time to buy the letter for Ellie's name and some sort of fun zebra canvas for Maggie's room.

I've got lots of ideas, but this type of thing just doesn't seem worth spending a lot of money on.

What do you do when you want to change up a room (or a few rooms) in your house without breaking the bank???

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Happy Birthday

We had a BIG weekend!!

On Saturday, we drove a little over an hour to visit one of our favorite towns. We use to go to Southern Pines a lot on the weekends to walk through the downtown area or go to dinner there for a little something different. This time we were also attending the birthday party of one of Maggie's little boyfriends in a nearby village. This gave me a chance to visit with my favorite mommy-friends and Maggie a chance to visit with her old boyfriends and make a few new friends. (Of course, Big Daddy was there with Ellie too!) Ms. K gave me yummy smelling candle for my birthday and Ms. A brought matching dresses for Maggie & Ellie. A good time was had by all!

Sunday was my birthday! I was greeted with a sleepy "Happy Birthday" from my sweet Maggie. She insisted on giving me my birthday present immediately. I decided to get a new Vera Bradley handbag since I'll one day stop carrying my Vera Bradley Baby Bag constantly. I was also surprised to receive a new Liz Claiborne bag from Gammy Gladys. It arrived by mail on Saturday.

I've said before that Big Daddy isn't big on celebrating birthdays. He always gave me gifts and cards when we were dating, but then stopped once we got married. I decided a couple of years ago that he needed to change that for Maggie's sake. Maggie thinks that everyone deserves a party- regardless of their age.

Big Daddy planned a little party with just my family and said he would take care of everything. The surprise was that my favorite little preschool girl also came with her parents. I had an idea that she would be there, but of course, I didn't let Big Daddy know! I had a great time catching up with Kelly Grace and getting to know her as the young woman that she has grown up to be. She'll be leaving for college in two weeks and I spent a little time telling her all about her three to five year old self. She is a remarkable girl and I couldn't be any more proud of her. After everyone left and I had put my girls to bed I fell apart and cried because Kelly is leaving for college! I'm worried about her safety and if she'll be happy and about how she'll adjust to being away from her family and how her sister will adjust to driving to school by herself every day. I'm planning on going by to visit (she lives at the other end of our street) before she leaves and I'm hoping that her mom doesn't start to cry in my presence because I'll absolutely fall apart if she does!

Anyway... my most memorable birthdays have happened in the past few years. Some good and some bad.
2005- I had been off of birth control for a year, thought I'd never get pregnant and found out that my then sister-in-law (she and my brother-in-law have since divorced and he's remarried) was pregnant. I found out I was pregnant shortly after, but I didn't have a very happy birthday.

2006- I had my sweet Maggie, but was still in the fog that I now know was post-partum depression. I was having a lot of issues dealing with Maggie's vasa previa and spent most of my birthday imagining what my birthday would have been like if she had died. Not real happy, but better than the year before...sort of. This was also the year that my mother-in-law called a couple of days early and argued with me about when my birthday was on top of everything else. I swear I could write a book about the crazy things that woman has done!

2007- I woke up with a horrible summer cold, Gammy Gladys saved the day by bringing gifts and lunch, I felt awful all day and had to cook dinner- even prepared one of Big Daddy's favorites. I was in tears by the time my daddy called to wish me a Happy Birthday. It wasn't the greatest day, but it was even better than the year before.

2008- I decided to take my girl out to lunch. We ate beside of the father of our soon-to-be triplet-friends (Collin, Chloe & Keegan). Maggie had a fit in the restaurant and I felt awful that the triplets' daddy couldn't even have a peaceful lunch without a child having a tantrum! It was so much fun to take my daughter out for my birthday, even if she did have a tantrum!

2009- No real celebration, but we woke up for the first time in our new house. Great gift after 7 weeks in that cramped little apartment.

2010- A real party, cards made by Maggie, my sweet Kelly Grace and great chocolate desserts. I think it goes down as my best birthday yet. Although the year that my parents gave me a bike without training wheels and my dad spent the evening pushing me around the yard comes as a close second.

August 1 is also my paternal grandmother's birthday. She turned 94! My dad went to the nursing home to have cake with her and his brother's and sister before my party. She didn't really know that it was her birthday, but was asking why everyone was there. When I was little, she used to always tell me on our birthday that I was her best birthday present ever.

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