Sleepless in Iowa

I sit outside on my porch at 6:30am this lovely late spring Saturday morning, watching my 3 year old rollerskate in her pajamas.  Why? That’s a great question.



Most people are sleeping at 6:30am on a Saturday morning. But, most people also sleep at night. I am not one of those privledged people  some nights, and last night was one of them.

Here’s how we arrived at current situation:

Friday 8:30pm: G, L and  A are all in their own respective beds, asleep I presume. I shower and pick up around the house a little bit, then decide to go to bed.

9:30pm: I go to bed, poke my head in kids’ rooms just to hear their little breathing. In G and L’s room, a small voice says ‘Mom? I scared. There’s monsters on the wall.’  I go in and reassure Lucy that nothing is on the wall, and her big brother is in the same room so she will definitely be ok. I go to bed, thinking maybe I’ll only have to be up once, as we had a very active day outside and Amelia would for sure sleep well…..




11:20pm: I hear Amelia crying from her crib. I get up and fetch her in the dark, and lay down and feed her in our bed. I doze off.

1:15am:  I have to use the bathroom very badly so I rouse J enough to make sure Amelia doesn’t roll of the bed then run all the way downstairs and across the house to the bathroom. J sleeps like a rock and rarely wakes up at night unless I wake him. But since I’m nursing it’s usually me who has to do the work anyways.  I come back to bed and take about 10 mins to fall asleep.

2:20am: Amelia is awake again, in our bed. She is hungry, again. I’m so tired. I feed her again.  I’m halfway awake now so I put her into her rock’n’play bassinett next to the bed. I take about 15 more minutes to fall asleep.

3:30am: ‘Mom. Moooom. Mommmy!!!!!’ Now what!?  I hear a little voice coming from across the hall. I drag my tired bones out of bed and go to see. It’s Lucy. ‘Mommy! I have to go potty!’ I tell her let’s go and she practically launches out of bed. I hold her hand as we walk down the stairs and across the house again as I know she will surely trip in the dark and without her glasses on. In the bathroom she wants to change her pajamas to put on ‘the pink ones’. No. We go back to bed and I re-start their music in their room and reassure her that  there are no monsters anywhere. I climb back into bed.

4:20am: Amelia is up AGAIN. I feed her AGAIN. She is just hungry!!!!  I am feeling very drained, literally and figuratively. I’m hoping this means she will sleep for another 2 hours.

5:40am: Amelia is crying from the bassinett. I lift her up and she has wet through the back of her diaper, onesie and into the bassinett. Awesome. I guess that’s what happens when you eat that many times overnight…..a diaper can only hold so much. I go and get a new diaper from her room and leave her laying in our bed and she screams for the 30 seconds I am gone. I return and put the new diaper on her and will her to fall back asleep. I’m spent. She lays there and grabs/scratches at me, kicks me like my legs are a trampoline and plays with my tank top strap. She’s so happy and I’m glad, but just tired. Mental note to clip her finger and toenails at a later time.

6:15am: I realize she’s not falling back asleep anytime soon. I grab Amelia, my phone and water bottle and tiptoe out of our room and down the stairs, hoping no one else wakes up. 3 steps from the bottle I hear Lucy talking about who knows what. I get down to the living room and change Amelia’s wet onesie–I put her in a super cute new outfit I picked up at my favorite consignment store yesterday, just because cuteness at least makes my exhaustion a bit more tolerable. As I’m dressing her I hear Lucy singing ‘Do you wanna build a snowman?’ from Frozen at the top of the stairs.



I now know it’s all over.  No more sleeping for me. Lucy comes down and immediately finds her roller skates I also just bought her yesterday at my favorite consignment store. She is ADAMANT about wanting to try them out. I agree, partially because I don’t want to hear her whine, partially because I don’t want her to wake anyone else up, and partially because I’m too tired to care.

We venture outside and I help her put on  her shoes, skates, and helmet. Gabriel comes down, steps outside and announces that he is going to change his clothes and then will be out to play too.  I step in and now J is up too, completely unaware of the night that went on next to him all night, bless his heart.

So I sit here, at 6:30am on a beautiful Saturday in late May, watching my 3 year old rollerskate in her pajamas.

-The {sleepless} Costello(s)



Project House: D-Day

So we bought a house!

My brother is joining the Navy, leaving June 11.  He owned a house just across town from us, substantially bigger than ours. He of course wants to sell it before he leaves.  He had remodeled the entire 2nd floor and did a beautiful job, including 3 large bedrooms, master bath, 3 walk-in closets and a potential 2nd floor laundry/closet. All that we have to do is flooring. The first floor remained……in need of work.  But the house has many perks; the yard is much bigger, there is a 3+ stall garage, a perfect tree for Gabriel’s treehouse that he has been asking for for a year, open staircase, 10-foot ceilings, 3 large bedrooms, it’s across the street from the city park, TWO bathrooms (we have only ever had ONE), an easy-sitting massive front porch, and the potential for a very, very large kitchen.  Hooray!

So we bought a house!

We are not newbies to house remodeling. As a kid, my family bought an acreage and remodeled a lot of the house along with cleaning up much of the land and buildings surrounding it.  Jeremiah and I’s current (first) house was an ongoing project for about 2 years, including new roof, windows, flooring, A/C, removal of walls, painting every room, tiling, tree removal, landscaping. The ‘new’ house will also be a project of new windows, completely new walls and 1st floor layout, re-routing the plumbing,new wiring, a new 1st floor bath and kitchen, a very large family room with attached dining room.  We also will be repairing the stucco exterior and painting the house and garage.  Treehouse, landscaping and painting the exterior will probably have to wait until next summer. 🙂  Jeremiah is done with school in 5 days. Guess what his summer ‘job’ is this year?! 😉  He’s quite the handyman and is looking forward to days of hanging drywall and mudding and coordinating contractors….I think 😉

G and L standing in their new walk-in closet

G and L standing in their new walk-in closet

One of the bedrooms

One of the bedrooms

So last Thursday Jeremiah bought a plethora of sledge hammers, pry bars, claw hammers and dust masks to add to our ever-growing tool collection.

Friday we closed on the new house. I love how banks give you a travel coffee mug in exchange for a mortgage. Seems like a pretty expensive mug to me!

Saturday was D-Day, as in Demolition Day with 3 great helpers.  Gabriel got to help on this day as the majority of the work included removing doors and some vintage trim that we are hoping to find a new home for.   The girls and I delivered lunch and dinner and ran errands.

Sunday was bust-up-the-plaster-day, with 5 great helpers. {Read: a dusty mess}  Sledge hammers and plaster dust is no place for kiddos, so all 3 of the kids and I delivered lunch and stayed out of the way. I did snap a shot when the dust had settled.

Plaster down in the old living room

Plaster down in the old living room

Monday was lathe-removal-day, with 5 great helpers. {Read: a dusty mess, and watch your step….}  Nana Sandy graciously offered to watch the kids so I could get a hand in on the demolition.  Got some pent-up aggression? Grab a hammer and come our way….  I was amused with the ‘tools’ being used. At one point they included a foot, a metal garden rake and long handled garden hoe (both worked great for ceilings), a 2×6, a sludge, a claw, a pry bar.

Ceilings are a b*tch...

Ceilings are a b*tch…

Lathe and plaster down and hauled away. Now to remove some walls!

Lathe and plaster down and hauled away. Now to remove some walls!

We filled 4 large dump trailers full of plaster, lathe, old ceiling fixtures, toilet, sink, countertops and whatever else. The house itself is solid as a rock and is going to be great for our family.  Stay tuned for more Project House updates!!!

-The {remodeling} Costellos



Glamorous life of a mother

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Today I……


Watched Gabriel put holes in his jeans on the merry-go-round; 1 of the 2 pairs he has left this year

Attempted to teach Lucy to write her name, she instead wrote on the the library book cover

Did dishes in 4 shifts; and they are still not done

Put Amelia to sleep on her belly and checked on her every 15 minutes because I was nervous

Loved how Gabriel found it his mission to entertain Amelia in the car so she would not cry

Prayed for a mama friend giving birth to a baby girl today

Let Gabriel play a Lego game on my phone so I could blog!

Let Lucy lick the beater from cookies

Left the house 3 times; twice to go to preschool

Talked to Lucy about what things belong in the toilet (don’t ask)

Fed kids mac ‘n cheese and hot dogs for lunch and felt guilty about its lack of nutrients

Made a savory vegetable and sausage soup for dinner with homemade bread to make up for it, hopefully

Washed 7 loads of laundry, folded some

Had a deep conversation with Uncle Cam about mustaches

Read books about robots, Batman, princesses, Pinkalicious, Strawberry Shortcake, Transformers

Listened to Lucy sing the alphabet song all by herself

Accepted a dandelion as a gift picked by Lucy

Put Amelia to sleep at least 6 times

Got spit up on by Amelia at least 6 times

Loved how Lucy called it ‘cookie sauce’ instead of ‘cookie dough’

Got all 3 kids to nap at the same time! (fist pump!)

Dreamed about all the books I would like to read, while doing dishes

Marveled at how grown up G and L are becoming

Made a grocery list

Dreamed about what absolute cuteness Amelia should wear for 6 month pictures, while doing dishes

Changed Amelia’s clothes 3 times

Dreamed about my future family closet, while doing laundry

Thought about how Lucy’s sheets need washed….but never actually did it

Dreamed about planting my garden this weekend, while doing laundry

Did not shower until 7pm

Watched Lucy have several tantrums over cookies

Wiped a lot of bottoms

Wished my father in law a happy birthday

Tried to teach G and L that yelling is not how to treat your mom!

Went to bed early, because, well, I was tired

Loved this day with my kiddos!


-The {growing} Costellos



SIX months. Amelia is almost half of a year old! Her babyhood has truly went the quickest of all 3 of the kids thus far. I cannot believe she’s almost SIX months!

That being said, I’ve always thought that 6 months is the funnest age of babyhood.  I love the tiny-itsy-baby stage, and the walking-and-mobile-almost-a-toddler stage all in baby’s first year, but the time between those is my favorite.

Reasons I love SIX:

1. Ability to *almost* sit. I love how SIX is top-heavy and can sit for a few seconds then becomes a weeble wobble and falls over, rolls, and looks up wondering what just happened.

2. Baby food. I love making it. I love feeding it to SIX. But I don’t love the diapers it produces.


Pears, peaches, sweet potatoes and carrots; round 1 of baby food -- done!

Pears, peaches, sweet potatoes and carrots; round 1 of baby food — done!

3. Cuddling. SIX is still young enough to love to cuddle and does not try to get away, as she has not discovered how to be mobile yet. I like it that way.

4. Smiles. Smile and talk to her, and she will return the cutesie faces. And if that face doesn’t melt your heart, you ain’t got one….

5. Chubbiness. Baby thighs, lack of ankles and wrists, and those CHEEKS! SIX is chubby all over, and it’s so adorable.

6. Headbands and tiny clothes. Amelia is my first girl that has been able to wear those adorable baby headbands. Lucy had too much hair from the beginning so she rocked the tiny barrette.  And the clothes are irresistible, just sayin’…

7. Sibling love. G and L love to play with Amelia, and she is finally old enough to interact with them. Sometimes she pulls on their ears or hair, and sometimes she just laughs at them. I love how they are all starting to play together!

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Yes, those are his shoes on her feet

8. Curiosity. SIX thinks something like this, “What will happen if I stick my fingers in my mouth? Mama’s mouth? My brother’s mouth? What’s that loud sound over there? What if I smack this toy to oblivion? What’s that deliciousness on my mom’s fork and can I try to put it in my mouth? Is there anything that doesn’t fit in my mouth?”

9. Tote-ability. SIX loves to go out and be toted around pretty much anywhere. Makes for a great shopping buddy!

10. Growth. SIX is healthy and growing like crazy. Sometimes I think she grows overnight, literally. Her onesies get stretched to the end and pants get a little short–guess it’s time to go shopping!


I thank God that we have been allowed to be her parents!


Have a great week!

-The {growing} Costellos

Journal to my kids

I got the idea awhile ago from somewhere to write a journal to my kids. Seemed like a fun idea. I bought them each a composition notebook and hoped to write in it 4 times a year, which seemed do-able. I’m not the best with keeping up with all that ‘memory’ stuff….I don’t scrapbook and I haven’t printed pictures off my phone/camera for a year (that is also on the to-do list) and sadly Amelia’s baby book is still in the plastic {gulp}. But honestly, taking 20 mins 4 times a year to write my thoughts about each child has been much easier for me, and I like to read back on my past entries. I make it easy and write exactly 1 page on each child.  I think the kids will be interested in reading these some day.  I can say I have successfully completed almost a year of journaling! Here’s my most recent entries about each child and my current observations and thoughts about them. Enjoy 🙂


Amelia   April 27, 2014 (5 months and 1 day old)

You weigh 14lbs! You have the cutest chubby cheeks and love to smile, especially at me! You nurse about every 2-4 hours. We tried cereal for a short time but you were not a big fan. On average you wake 1-2 times a night to eat and spend  about 1/2 the night in bed with mom and dad. You are getting very fun to play with! You grasp things and bat at toys. You are very close to sitting independently and can roll tummy to back and back to side.  You are definitely a mama’s girl and love to ride around in my sling or wrap or Ergo. People debate whether you look like G or L but usually decide that you have your own look. I’m unable to eat any straight dairy as you are sensitive to it and it almost gives you an allergic response. You still spit up a lot but we are used to it now 🙂 You wear a lot of cute little headbands. You enjoy time in the exersaucer, bouncy seat, and bumbo (sometimes) and play gym. You cry if you are left alone and love to be entertained by G or L. G loves to hold and play with you and L loves to sing to you and put things on your head! I can’t believe how much you have grown already!


Lucy   May 5, 2014   (3 years and 9 days old)

You turned 3 a week and a half ago. Your favorite thing to play is dress up. Cinderella and Belle are your favorite princesses. We often hear you singing snippets from ‘Frozen’ and you actually have a very pretty singing voice. Sometimes you sing and make up words. You carry a purse everywhere. Your baby’s names are Princess Baby, Amelia, and Kris. Your best friend is Tessa, but you make friends everywhere and love to hold hands with other kids your age. You point out when things or people are ‘your size’ and get disappointed if there is not a little potty in a public restroom. You compliment people on their outfits or accessories and idolize your Aunt Mel. You always point out if I’m wearing a tank top, and then get mad if you’re not wearing one. You sing to Amelia if she is crying. You still nap daily 1 1/2 to 3 hours and never complain about it. Your glasses are your latest fashion accessory. You always ask me to turn the radio up in the car, even if it’s already blaring. You eat mostly everything, but especially love chocolate milk. You love going to your Nana’s house. You love to play preschool, mommy/daddy, ring around the rosie, house, and ‘frozen’. 🙂


Gabriel     May 5, 2014     (4 years and 10 1/2 months old)

Each day you surprise me; something that you say or do, or create. Legos are your favorite – you start with them many mornings at 6 or 630am.  You really like preschool and have a few ‘buddies’ there, namely Matthew, Jarret and Justin. You have an amazing imagination. You love treehouses, robots, superheros, legos. You never sleep with a shirt on, only pj pants. You have a treasure chest under your bed with things you have made from random things around the house. You are very proud of your recycled creations. You like to jump out and scare us first thing in the morning. You sleep with a teddy bear named ‘Blue’ and ask me when I am making him clothes. You really like working in the shop with Papa Dave and he lets you use the real tools.  You are just starting to ride a bike without training wheels. You are really good with Amelia – love to hold her, entertain her, play with her – and she always laughs at you. You and Lucy finally play well together but still fight a lot. You love the show Chicago Fire and old Ninja Turtle movies. You love to play outside all day. You can sing the entire Lord’s Prayer. You want to do everything Daddy does. You sunburn too easily. Your eyes get a lot of compliments how pretty – and mischevious – they are. 


Have a great week!


-The {growing} Costellos

It’s the little things

Ha ha! Not quite where I was going with this, but true!

I recently came across a website that lists little things upon little things that are just nice and make life worth living. Nice feelings, nice actions, nice ways to see the world. I love it! I would like to print the entire list and hang it all around my house, to never forget the little things. We have a sign in our dining room that reads ‘Do small things with great love’. They are what make life sweet.

So here’s my take on my favorite 30 little things, at this stage in my life, realizing that someday they may be the big things. 🙂

1. Warm sheets out of the dryer and crawling directly into them.

2. Seeing the creatures and creations that G makes with his Legos. Relatives, gas stations, Star Wars planes, jails, spaceships….it’s all there!

3. Lucy’s hair. ‘Nuff said.

4. Teaching the kids to eat chocolate chip cookies before they go in the oven. They’re best in raw form!

5. Making sand castles in the sandbox.

6. Answering questions like ‘How do they make cranes?’ ‘Is God real?’ ‘How do rockets fly?’ ‘When are you going to make Blue (teddy bear) some clothes for his summer?’ Hmmmmmm.

7. Getting hair shampooed prior to getting it cut. One of the best feelings! I always wondered if my dog felt the same way when I gave her a bath?

8. Doing situps with a 32lb toddler on my chest.  Extra resistance!

9. Seeing the sunrise over the awakening Iowa fields. One of the most beautiful scenes!

10. Putting a baby to sleep on your chest. Even better–the baby smell. You know what I’m talking about.

11. A good thunderstorm. The loud, rattle-the-windows kind of storm.

12. Someone telling me ‘what a beautiful family you have!’ Thank you!

13. Mustang rides. The kind with the windows down and no need for a radio because we have pipes. And the people staring when we pull all 3 of the ‘ol Fords into Culver’s for ice cream afterwards.

14. Getting the intense stains out of one of the kids’ white shirts. Fist pump–mama score!

15. Hearing the birds chirp in the morning with the windows open.

16. Picking up the kids from Nana’s and having them run to me with arms open, shouting ‘Mommmmmyyyy!’

17. Watching G and L sing to or try to teach Amelia new things.

18. The intensity in color of the green grass this time of year.

19. First run in the spring while wearing  shorts.

20. Waking up in the middle of the night and being thankful when you realize that you still have 4 more hours to sleep.

21. Hanging clothes on the line.

22. Seeing the tiny garden seedlings first coming out of the soil in the spring.

23. An empty laundry hamper.

24. An empty sink.

25. Slip ‘n’ slides. You have not lived until you’ve been in the Costello Slip ‘n’ slide tournament!

26. Baby belly laughs.

27. Finishing a book that you have been working on for months.

28. My mom’s orange salad and my dad’s pea salad. They’re famous. And they’re good!

29. Putting a smile on someone’s face.

30. Naps on Sundays


What’s your favorite ‘little thing’ in life?


-The {growing} Costellos