March 31, 2012

Twitter updates: January - March, 2012

Selected daily updates from January - March, 2012

March 28, 2012
Claire's going on hour 13 of sleep.  Ouch.

Jack: It's a really good thing my last name isn't Mississippi, or people might get confused.

March 26, 2012
There's one move we do in my baby/mom yoga video that makes Claire chuckle. Therein lies my only motivation to work out.

Big take away from this morning's sermon: The Holy Spirit deals in specifics, not generalities.  I've been thinking about it all day.

May the odds be ever in your favor.

March 21, 2012
Dear Jehovah's Witness - If you had a chance of winning me over, it would have been destroyed by ringing my doorbell twice during nap time.

March 19, 2012
Earlier Jack said,"You're the best thing that ever happened to me, Mom." Thank you, Ray LaMontagne, for planting that li'l gem in his head.

Last week, Claire started sleeping 9 - 10 hour stretches, and the boys started sleeping in until 7:30 & I honestly feel like a new person.

March 17, 2012
 While I was nursing Claire, Ben walks up and says,"I spilled your medicine." And by "medicine" he meant "entire bottle of pink nail polish."

March 16, 2012
"I'm the smartest one in my family, am't I mom?"

March 14, 2012
If people really laughed out loud as much as they typed "lol," the world would be a better place.

March 13, 2012
Great news! Our neighbors found a radio loud enough for them to hear above the equipment they're using to re-side their house. Awesome.

March 2, 2012
It's hard to remember a time in which I did laundry once or twice a week, rather than multiple times a day.

March 1, 2012
After 6 weeks of batting at the giraffe, she finally got it! Now she just can't figure out how to let it go.

February 26, 2012
Someone has enjoyed his sick days . . . Jack: We get to watch a lot of tv, don't we?  Kyle: Sometimes.  Jack: We're just living the dream.

February 25, 2012
Me: Jack, do you want to play with your sister?   Jack: Yeah!  And you don't have to pay me a single bit because I love her so much!

February 24, 2012
I’m so thankful that fevers and sore throats are temporary & the worst we have to deal with. Too often I take my family's health for granted.

February 19, 2012
I just made this threat: "If you don't stop screaming, you'll have to eat pizza instead of corn dogs for lunch."  Seriously.

February 17, 2012
If I had a quarter for every time I left the house in the last two weeks with a piece of clothing on inside out. . .well, I'd have 75 cents.

February 9, 2012
While helping me put away the dishes, I caught Ben licking each piece of silverware before he put it in the drawer.  That's fun.

February 2, 2012
Jack keeps wishing everyone a "Happy Groundhog's Day."  I think he's secretly hoping that I'll pull out Groundhog's Day gifts.

January 30, 2012
I love it that everything Ben says makes him sound Irish. "I eat me oatmeal." "I find me truck." "I put on me pants."

January 28, 2012
I wonder if Claire will speak with a British accent, given how much Downton Abbey I've been watching while I nurse her.

Learning how to bargain . . . Me: What would you like for breakfast?  Ben: Me have 18 cookies.  Me: Um, no.  Ben:  Otay. Me have 1 cookie.

January 27, 2012
My first day of getting all three up, ready, and out of the house was an overall parenting fail. And, I have the next two days to try again.

Me: Did you take a cookie, Ben?  Ben Nope.

January 24, 2012
"I really think the statue of liberty is the golden idol that King Nebuchadnezzar built, only painted green." - Jack

January 22, 2012
At dinner tonight, Jack says, "Oh yeah, mom . . . I've been meaning to ask if I could see how your water broke.  Did you keep the cup?"

January 21, 2012
I woke up thinking Claire slept through the night, but she was laying right next to me. Neither Kyle nor I remember how she got there.

January 20, 2012
3 yrs ago this month everything changed when we found out we were pregnant with #2. I didn't know how I'd manage.  And now, 2 seems so easy.

January 18, 2012
Ben keeps saying, "Me tired."  Really?  Then sleep in past 5 AM.  There's an idea.

January 15, 2012
Jack told me that they learned what the Bible says about Daniel. I asked what the Bible says and he replied, "The same thing as the movie."

Dear postpartum hormones, thank you for making it impossible for me to go 30 minutes today without crying.  You're awesome.  Love, Sara

January 14, 2012
Just finished a brutal game of Monopoly Jr in which I repeatedly referred to Kyle as "the 1%."
Snowsuit up!

January 12, 2012
The boys have been whispering in the kitchen and Jack just exclaimed "You've got yourself a deal!"  I'm just a little bit scared.

January 10, 2012
My office assistant is totally slacking.

January 9, 2012
"Hey Mom - I love you so much that I'll never tell you your food tastes disgusting, even if it does." - Jack

January 8, 2012
Our newborn's fast asleep, but our 2-year-old and 4-year-old are awake and screaming.  Awesome.

January 7, 2012
It's so cute that Ben always tries to wake up his sister.  So very cute.

January 6, 2012
We eventually found Ben . . .

January 5, 2012
Overnight, Claire entered that "If you don't hold me and move continuously, I'm going to scream my lungs out" stage.  It's so cute.

Dear weatherman, please don't refer to a temperature of 27 degrees as "relatively mild." It's just depressing.

She just LOVED her first bath.  Can't you tell?

January 3, 2012
She's relatively unimpressed by this season of The Bachelor.

January 2, 2012
Someone's ready to play in the snow.

Having a baby the day after Christmas makes this the only holiday season ever during which I lost weight.

March 28, 2012


I've mentioned before that after Claire was born, we made it a full month and I only had to cook dinner once. And that one time was only because I had alerady purchased produce and meat for a meal and I didn't want it to go to waste.

I thought I'd be dreading going back to cooking when the meals ran out, but it turns out that January was the little break that I needed. I started enjoying planning our meals. I don't know why I've had this change of heart. I think it has something to do with being a little more organized about it. And I think pinterest had something to do with it, too. The fact that Kyle isn't coaching baseball makes a difference, because when it was just me and two boys eating dinner, it was way tempting to throw chicken nuggets and fries on a tray every night so that I don't have to argue with them alone. I also give a little credit to Danica, who posted something in December about making freezer meals for after her little guy was born. It really started me thinking about how I can plan farther ahead than just one week. I found quite a few freezer recipes and we'll sometimes prepare several meals on one day so all we have to do is stick it in the oven on the day we want to eat it.

Here are a few recipes we've tried that have worked for us.

1. Chicken enchilada soup. Everyone in our family loved this. I've made one single batch and two double batches. I froze a few batches to eat later and ended up bringing a few to friends who had sick kids. I LOVE having meals in the freezer to do that with. It's a nice surprise for them and it's nice to be able to do it without having to drop everything and make something that day.

2. Honey mustard chicken. This was WAY better than I had anticipated. Jack had three servings before I cut him off.

3. Baked zucchini sticks. These make a great snack or small meal. I've made them twice and we all loved them. I made the dip, too, and it was really good, but it is time consuming. The second time I made them, we just dipped them in ranch.

4. Chicken Gyros. Kyle and I liked these, but the boys weren't as crazy about them. They ate them reluctantly. The bread was incredible. I'm not sure we'll make them again because it was a lot of work for a meal that only half of us enjoyed, but I'm glad we tried them once. Maybe we'll try again when they're older.

5. Grilled Cheese Sandwich: Adult style. A little piece of heaven.

6. Freezer Breakfast Burritos. I've made two batches of these for the freezer. The boys don't eat them that well, but they're perfect for Kyle and I. It takes so much work to get everyone ready and out the door on Jack's preschool days, that we got into the bad habit of running through the drive through after dropping him off because we hadn't had time to eat breakfast. Being able to pop one of these in the microwave while we're getting their shoes on and eat it in the car has made a huge difference. I DID mess with the proportions a little. Bacon and sausage was a little too much for me and I ended up putting more eggs in (which made more burritos) because they were a little too meaty at first. On my second batch I just used a pound of sausage, half a green pepper, one onion and 24 eggs. I think it made about 30 burritos.

7. Bacon, Ranch and Chicken Mac and Cheese. This has been a family favorite since this fall and we've made it more than I can count. I made up two pans before I had Claire and just thawed them and popped them in the oven in January and they came out as if I had made them fresh that day.

8. Zuchinni Muffins. Again, I made them and froze half. THen I forgot I had frozen them and they made for a fun little surprise when we took them out of the freezer last week. Just as good as when they were fresh! Add a piece of fruit and you've got a decent breakfast.

What have been your most recent favorites?

March 26, 2012

Claire at 3 months old

3 months old

At 3 months old, Claire . . .

. . . sleeps from 7ish to 7ish every night. We. Are. Thrilled.
. . . smiles when she hears her brothers' voices.
. . . probably weighs between 15 and 16 pounds. That's just a guess.
. . . stays with her brothers and her babysitter, Kelsey, several mornings a week.
. . . will take a bottle really well from her babysitter. Not as well from mom and dad.
. . . has rolled over from her back to her front once. She and her mother were equally surprised.
. . . is getting better at tolerating tummy time.
. . . loves, loves, loves bath time.
. . . hates, hates, hates getting out of the bath and drying off.
. . . has a joyful little chuckle that started during baby/mom yoga time.
. . . has now been to Chicago for a girls' weekend with Grandma Wietholter and Aunt Karina.
. . . is still fussy in the evenings, but it's definitely getting better.
. . . sucks on two of her fingers to get to sleep.
. . . hates her car seat and won't fall asleep in it as easily as she used to.
. . . loves the hanging baseball teddy bear that her brothers both loved when they were her age. Especially when she figures out how to get its foot to her mouth.
. . . wears some 3-6 month clothing still, but mostly 6 month.
. . . resists being rocked to sleep and prefers to be laid down. This breaks my heart.

March 25, 2012

Bennett at 30 months

At 30 months, Ben . . .

. . . is speaking really well. In November, we had a consultation with a speech therapist because he was only using one word at a time. By the time she came for his first therapy session in December, he was speaking in 3 & 4 word phrases, so she just closed his case. Since then, he's come quite a long way and strings sentences together like he's been doing it all his life. He still struggles with pronunciation, but I'm sure it will get better. It's awesome to hear all of the things we knew were in his head but that he couldn't get out. He's a funny kid.

. . . has cute (and sometimes profane-sounding) ways of pronouncing things.

. . . the cutest things he says are "Aw, nutso!" or "I'm supa hungee!" or "This taking forever!"

. . . will ask the same question over and over and over.

. . . will say "huh?" to your question even though he can hear you, if he doesn't know the answer or doesn't want to answer.

. . . has no fear of getting dirty. Mud puddles are a magnet for him.

. . . loves playing with his fire truck, dump trucks. police cars and anything superhero related.

. . . likes to have books read to him, and will sit down and make up his own story by looking at the pictures.

. . . runs everywhere.

. . . when asked to find something, will turn once in a circle and say, "Can't find it ANYWHERE!"

. . . likes to watch Chuggington, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Caillou, Curious George and Clifford (or as he pronounces it, Bifford).

. . . will do anything over and over if he can find someone to laugh at it.

. . . is VERY stubborn.

. . . wears a 3T/4T

March 24, 2012

Losing it . . .

Oh. My. Goodness. In preparation for a workshop I'm doing this weekend, I stumbled across my old photo-a-day blog. Oh, how I wish I still had time to do something like that. I loved looking at these daily glimpses of our lives from 4ish years ago.

I could look at every photo and pick it apart technically, but I can honestly say that I love these photos more than anything I've taken in the last year. I feel like I've kind of "lost it." I don't feel inspired when I'm behind the camera. Ugh. I hate that.

I feel like my photography has become way boring and my post-processing has become rushed and sloppy. I think that might even be part of the reason it took me forever to send out Claire's announcements . . . I'm not thrilled about any of the photos I've taken of her. The photos I used to take told our story. But now they're just kind of blah. I have the most beautiful subjects living right here in my house, but my mind feels like it's been sapped of all of its creativity.

I wonder what it'll take for me to get my motivation back . . . more time, perhaps? More sleep?

March 23, 2012

Dear Jack and Ben, Months 57 and 30

Dear Jack and Ben,

You both are WAY into being super heroes right now. I'm not sure where you learned about Batman, the Green Lantern, Superman, Captain America and the Flash. They aren't in any of your movies or TV shows. You don't read comic books. Perhaps you hear about them at preschool, Jack. I don't really know. But you love to play "super hero."

When I came home the other day and asked you, Jack, what you did with Kelsey, you told me this elaborate tale about how bad guys tried to come and get Claire, but you and Ben put your capes on to protect her and fight them off. When you're playing in the back yard, Ben, I often see you leap from the deck stairs and take off running yelling, "To the rescue!"

I've read a lot of books about raising boys and in them, they always talk about how boys love adventure. I've read about how you both have this innate desire to be a hero and to fight for someone or something. I'd say that I've seen more of that this month than ever before.

I love it that my boys have that need for adventure and the desire to protect. I really love it that you want to defend your sister and each other . . . I hope that continues. But I also hope that your desire to protect others extends beyond your family.

My desire for you boys is that, just like super heroes, you'll develop a 'radar' for finding the people in your lives that need defending. I want you to become the kind of people who look out for those who are in need or hurting. Flying and fighting are great, but sometimes just befriending the lonely guy or inviting the less popular kid makes you more of a hero than anything else ever will.

There will be people in your lives who seem less desirable. Weak. Weird. Awkward. Sometimes even mean or grumpy. And if we're really honest with ourselves, we've all fit into one of those categories at one point or another. Your first instinct might be to avoid them or ignore them. But my prayer is that those will be the people you'll befriend. And that they'll befriend you in return. I don't want you to feel sorry for them or to think of them as less. I want you to remember that God loves you in all of your weirdness and awkwardness. And that He loves them as much as He loves you.


March 19, 2012

One of my favorite compliments

"Hey mom, can you build this with me?"

"Actually, that looks like something you'd be better off building with Dad," I responded.

"What do you mean?" Jack asked.

"He's just better at that kind of thing. You know how Dad's better at some things and Mom's better at others?"

"Yeah, like you're really good at cuddling."

"I'm so glad you think so! I love cuddling with you."

That was such a great compliment . . . but it didn't stop there.

"You know what else I like about you?"


"Your feels."

"Uh . . .my what?" I asked, though I wasn't completely sure I wanted to know what he meant.

"You know . . . your feels. Like when I feel you, you're soft and warm or when you scratch my back it feels so good."

I know the day is coming where he'll be reluctant to hug me and he'll be too big to sit in my lap, so this conversation is one that I'll remember for a long, long time.


Last week, Claire started sleeping 9 - 10 hour stretches, and the boys started sleeping in until 7:30. I honestly feel like a new person.

I thank this weather we're having. Consistent 80 degree highs in March? In Michigan? Unheard of. I'm loving every minute. The 10-day forecast shows a 46-degree high next week and I'm terrified it's going to be the end of this glorious stretch of warmth.

The boys play outside for at least an hour or two every afternoon and I think that, coupled with our "spring forward" have added to their nightly sleep.

And Claire had a stretch over several weeks where she was fussy from 6 - 11 every night. We're not sure what caused it, and in retrospect, I don't think there was any one cause. Last week, I posted about her fussiness on facebook, and within an hour she stopped and hasn't had that evening fussiness since. I've had enough experience to know that just her night-long sleep for 5 nights now doesn't mean it will continue. She could regress at any time. As could the boys.

My post-partum hormones have settled in and I'm in that stage where everything seems worse than it really is. I wouldn't exactly say that I'm depressed . . . just emotional. Added to that is my shoulder pain . . . you know the pain that goes away when I'm pregnant? It's rebounded and it's bad. It's keeping me from exercising as much as I'd like to. With all of the summer weather, I'm lacking clothing that fits . . . which, of course, adds to my emotion.

So, with all of this going on, the warm weather and extra sleep have been good for my mental health.

Kyle isn't coaching baseball this spring, for the first time in the 9 1/2 years that we've been married. I know he misses it, but I'm so grateful. If I were home every night with all three kids on my own, I'd be a mess. So glad to have him home!

March 7, 2012

Jack's take . . .


Jack: How old are you?

Rose: Really, really old.

Jack: But how old is that?

Rose: I'm 35.

Jack: No way . . . you have way too many wrinkles to be 35.


Dan: Are you eating your vegetables?

Jack: No. I'm eating carrots.

Dan: Carrots are vegetables.

Jack: No, they're fruits.

Dan: Let's take a vote . . . who here says carrots are vegetables?

*All adults raise their hands*

Jack: Hmm . . . I think we should pray about this.


"Hey mom, can my birthday theme be "Superheroes saving animals from bad guys.""

"Hmmm . . . how about just Superheroes?"

"Yeah, but I don't think they're very super if they're not saving anything."

Dear Claire, Months 1 & 2

Dear Claire,

I've literally been thinking about what to write to you in your first letter since August 3 . . . the day that we went in for my ultrasound. I had a feeling that something was different when she began . . . but I couldn't believe that we weren't having another boy.

Claire, 2 weeks old

I was all set to have three boys, and was shocked as I saw the technician begin to type . . . "I-T-S--A--G- . . . "

All I could think was "A what? Wait . . . "Boy" doesn't start with a "G". She forgot the apostrophe in 'it's' so perhaps she just isn't that great with spelling and grammar"


But there were no typos. You are a girl. And I sat there the rest of the appointment and watched my daughter wiggle around on the screen. I loved you from the moment that I knew we were pregnant. And I loved you even more as I watched you dance while the technician measured every last bit of your anatomy.


It took some getting used to . . . the idea of having a daughter. I had trouble wrapping my mind around it, and that's when I started thinking about this letter. Would I tell you how inadequate I feel raising a girl? Would I explain that I'm afraid that we'll be completely different and even more afraid that we'll be exactly the same? I spent the next 4 1/2 months imagining what it would be like.


And then you were born. I will never forget the moment that I saw you and heard you because it was the moment that none of my fears mattered any more. The nurses wrapped you up and handed you to me and I couldn't imagine anyone else in my life. I couldn't stop crying. My heart overflowed. You were perfect and you fit perfectly. I couldn't believe that I had ever hoped for a boy. It seemed crazy.

Brand new

Your Dad and I spent your first night just staring at you and marveling over how beautiful you are. Your brothers came the morning you were born and I was a little worried about how they'd react, but they both held you and showered you with kisses. You are so special to all of us.

Big brothers

In your short life, I've already demonstrated on several occasions that I'm not perfect and that I make mistakes. You'll figure out soon enough that I don't always parent the way I should and that, on some days, it is by the grace of God alone that I make it through the day. But I hope you'll always know that your Dad and I love you as much as we possibly can and more importantly, that there is a God who planned for you and loves you more than we ever could.

You, little girl, were meant to be.


March 4, 2012

Two Months Old

Claire - 2 months old

At 2 months old, Claire . . .

. . . is super fussy from 6ish to 11ish every night.
. . . sleeps from 11 to 5 and then from 6 to 10 every night/morning.
. . . has the most infectious smile I've ever seen on a baby.
. . . has the most mischievous smirk I've ever seen on a baby.
. . . measures 23 1/2 inches long.
. . . loves to admire and smile at herself in the mirror.
. . . weights 13 pounds, 1 ounce.
. . . has birth announcements that have been printed, though mom is considering having them reprinted because she's not happy with how they've turned out.
. . . has more hair than her oldest brother had on his first birthday.
. . . has the hiccups for a good 10 minutes every time she finishes nursing.
. . . can be most often caught starting at the television and ceiling fans.
. . . has grabbed a dangling toy three times now.
. . . chomps, smiles and slurps every time she assumes the position for nursing.
. . . likes to lay on her changing table.
. . . hasn't quite figured out how to let go once she grabs on to a toy.
. . . is getting better at lifting her head during tummy time, but still screams about 30 seconds into it.
. . . has chubby little rolls all over her thighs.

March 3, 2012

Winner, winner

As with most things in my life these days, I'm late. The winner of the book giveaway is . . .

Angie Peterson! I have your address and will be sending that your way!

If you didn't win, you can still buy it here, or keep track of Ann and all of the crazy things people get in trouble for on here blog here. This week Ann's flying to New York to tape a segment about her book for the John Stossel Show on Tuesday! Get it while it's still easy to find!Link