My daughter, the three year old

In my parenting journey thus far, I have found 3 year olds to be very interesting.  They are so many things, I could list off adjectives for hours.  Funny, cute, mischevious, emotional, curious, inquisitive, brash, spirited, brave, fearful, energetic….the list goes on and on and on! Each one is so unique too. But at 3 years old is when it seems that the child really comes into their own and develops more of their child personality and leaves behind more of what made them a baby or toddler. I have also discovered that 3 year old’s moods, tones and opinions change very very quickly, so hold onto your pants (literally).

Since I hope to read back on this blog in years to come as a kind of virtual diary about our family, I wanted to take the time to document our current 3 year old, Amelia, because there is just a LOT about her.


I love her crooked smile

Amelia is, by far, the liveliest of all of all the 3 year olds we’ve had. She’s our wild child. Every family has one, right?! She’s also the loudest, bounciest, most emotional and most energetic. She will bounce all. day. long on her mini trampoline, with breaks for running and food, and maybe some Lego time with G. She’s incredibly loud. So loud that I had her hearing checked. Nope, no hearing problem, just a loud personality. I hope it serves her well someday, but for now we are working on the idea of toning it down. She has energy, does she ever. The other day she ran 3 LAPS around our block with me. We figured that out to close to 3/4 of a mile on those little legs. I’m really hoping she’s our runner because, well, I need one of our children to carry on with running! She never once was carried when we hiked for 6 hours at Maquoketa Caves. The kid has some amazing endurance and is always up for an adventure.


Always a blur

Oh, she does stand still and hold still sometimes, but she definitely prefers to be on the move. She loves to cuddle and read books and books or watch a movie. She loves hearing stories about when I was a girl, doing puzzles, marble run, Legos, coloring, and doing workbooks.

This 3 year old is covered in bruises, bumps, scratches, and most days a thin (to thick) layer of dirt and stickiness. I know this just means she’s an active kid. She’s not going to miss a thing, that’s for sure, and she keeps up with her siblings at an amazing rate.


Frequently a mess, but a cute one at that!


Tonight after every other kid was asleep I hear the loud whisper attempt that only a 3 year old can do, ‘Maaaam. What are we going to do tomorrow?’ Why is she always so concerned about what’s up next? This kid… I tell her what’s on the agenda, then tell her I gotta go so I can go to bed myself. ‘Maaaam. But where are your pajamas?’ In my room, go to sleep. ‘What color are they?’ Blue, go to sleep. ‘What color of blue?’ Dark blue, go to sleep! ‘What do they have on they?’ Nothing, just plain blue, go to bed! ‘G’night mom, love you!’

The other morning when we actually all had a chance to sleep in, I awoke to the sound of the battery powered pencil sharpener running. I knew Gabriel was up, then I figured out that Amelia was up too as the sharpening continued and continued and continued for several minutes. I don’t know if she was trying to sharpen the pencil to a stub or what. No one understands the mind of a 3 year old, and this regularly amuses me….and drives me crazy at the same time.

She is absolutely one of our most affectionate 3 year olds. No one gets out of our house without a hug AND a big kiss, usually several of both! She tells me at least 5 times at bed time ‘I love you Mom!’ and has loves on Ruth constantly. It’s pretty much adorable.


She also loves to instigate fights. Lucy is her favorite sibling to fight with. She’ll hide the toothpaste, kick Lucy’s bunk or steal her comforter, or sing for wayyyyy too long at bedtime. Sometimes she’ll shut a door and sit behind it, throw things down the steps, or push her until she gets to stand on the step stool. Working on all of these…..I sometimes have to try not to laugh when Lucy tattles on Amelia for taking something away from her. 3 year olds are tough and determined! Sister love is also interesting…..

This 3 year old is very resistant. To naps, that is. She will crash and burn HARD after resisting a nap, but not before going completely crazy. There have been days when I or Nana cannot get Amelia to nap and she literally bounces off everyone, everything, and every wall until she crashes and burns. She literally goes nuts when she gets super tired. The lack of sleep seems to make her high strung, hyper, and delirious. Amelia, please just take a nap. It’s for everyone’s safety. Mmmmkay? Thanks.

Amelia is our ball of fire. I cannot wait to see what she conquers in her life. I love her zeal, determination, energy, and affection. If there is one word to describe her, it might be fierce, in a good way 😉 I hope she keeps all of the above mentioned attributes, but just remembers to talk in an indoor voice. 😉



Things that made my week happy

In no particular order, things that made me happy this week. Photos, for your viewing pleasure.


Lucy lost her 2nd tooth this week while watching G play ball. The tooth fairy failed to make an appearance that night (whoops) so Lucy thought a note was appropriate. The tooth fairy apparently can’t read though as she did not leave her autograph. HA!


Sharing a little sit’n’spin on the porch.


We surprised the kids and took them to the long-awaited “coconut caves” AKA Maquoketa Caves this week. They LOVED it and we had such a great time caving, picnicking and hiking. Here’s Amelia in the massive ‘Dancehall Cave’ with her tiny little flashlight.


Amelia wanted her toes done. I was in the middle of something so suggested Lucy could do them. And off they ran. I then came upon this lovely site. If only they always got along this well.


Gabriel and his 2 buddies down the street conjured up this ‘fort’ with our landscaping bricks and random other things they found in the garage. We have since taken it down due to safety reasons, but they were so proud of it, thought it was the best thing since sliced bread and played in it for hours. Our neighbors probably think some homeless people have moved into our driveway…..Hopefully this is a sign that they will all become successful engineers or architects someday.20170610_082608

Lucy made me this crown. It’s made of wood, metal, duct tape and screws. She had Papa cut the triangles and she painted and wrote the words herself. This may be one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten, although it is quite difficult to actually wear. Seriously precious.


Lucy had her first tball game. She was a bit too concerned with chatting with her friends and the post-game Gatorade, but did have fun. I think she’s starting to get the idea, but we’ll see. 7 more games to go. 😉

And with that, I’m signing off!

A few thoughts on having 4 children



  1. I’ve adopted a ‘mom code’ for dressing. Things that are allowed: high vnecks, crew necks, skirts lower than lower thigh, shorts that I can bend or squat in without looking scandalous, jeans that are built for people with child-bearing hips. Camisoles must be worn under anything and everything, tucked in, because it’s safe. It is not safe to wear things such as strapless maxi dresses (ask me how I know) or a heel over about 1 inch.  Spaghetti straps themselves are hit or miss, so I try to avoid. I will never again wear a mini skirt and most likely never a bikini again, which I’m completely ok with….I’ve discovered there is no such thing as a flattering nursing-friendly dress. It’s a unicorn – beautiful, stunning, and lovely, but does not exist. I can’t wear my hair down, it’s always in a pony tail, messy bun, or some version of a braid. My hair gets caught, yanked, or chewed on otherwise and sometimes no matter what.  If I try to wear white, it usually lasts about 3 hrs. Dangly earrings are a HUGE no-no.  Wear a necklace if you want to be strangled courtesy of Ruth.
  2.  I’m hoping this is just me, but I feel like the main floor of our house always smells of POOP. My kids are notorious for not flushing, because they want to SHOW everyone. Sometimes we don’t discover it for awhile. Gross. Ruth has the smelliest diapers. I take the trash out all. the. time. The living room is adjacent to the busiest bathroom in the house. Tell me I’m not alone on this one.   
  3. My kids are never full. I can feed them the healthiest food on the planet with unlimited protein, and G still has hollow legs. “Mom, what can I eat?” is always ringing. We ate an entire watermelon yesterday for an appetizer. The. whole. thing. G has consumed an entire pint of blueberries in one sitting, although that didn’t end well. (See above second point) We’re going through 4 bunches of bananas and 4 dozen eggs a week! I hide M&Ms and dark chocolate covered blueberries behind the vitamins. NO SHAME.
  4. People constantly assume one or more of the following: a) we are crazy b) we’re borrowing someone else’s kids c) we are terrible at family planning (or just the opposite) d) we are done e) WE ARE CRAZY!
  5. Many days I count the following as ‘The Mom Workout’ and commend myself for getting it done. I tote around 18 lb baby for approximately 12 hrs with constant isometric contraction of my left arm, squat 150 times to tie shoes/retrieve lost pacifier/wipe up spill, lift/bend/reach to buckle/unbuckle carseats 6 rounds x 2 kids each time, push the swings for 18 and 30lb kids for 30 minutes, carry hampers on one hip while baby is on the other, load the dishwasher (twice), walk up and down and up and down the stairs at least 40 times, walk to and from various parks, kid activities, appointments, shops…….I could go on, but I’m tired. Repeat.
  6. I’ve decided that the people who invented carseats do not actually have children, let alone 4 kids in carseats simultaneously. Carseats are a beast! 2 of our kids are completely independent in buckling, but the other 2 require assistance, of course.   Why is there not such a thing as the self-buckling carseat? How about a car that self-installs a carseat? Or better yet, a car that self-cleans a carseat? Do you know how much stuff disappears into the never-to-be-seen again world beneath a carseat? Have you ever tried to disassemble a carseat covered in puke? How about install  or even just use a carseat while pregnant? Ever had to pay for one? Hundy dolla bills…..$$$$ And it’ll either expire or they’ll outgrow it within no more than 7 years, if you’re lucky. I’ve got 4 kids. We currently own 10 carseats and Nana and Papa own 4 more. We need STOCK in Graco. Ugh. Carseats are my nemesis.
  7. There is nothing in the world catered to a 6+ person family. Take cars for example. Trying to fit 6 people into a 8-seater SUV with 4 carseats, diaper bag, chairs, sports equipment, backpacks, extra clothes, yard quilt, baby carrier, tiny stroller and there’s NOT ENOUGH ROOM. And that’s before Lucy insists on bringing the ART ROOM and G his entire collection of Legos and Amelia her bag ‘o who-knows-what. We’re heading toward the 12 passenger van, no lie. I seriously envy the people I see that drive them because they have space. No shame here once again. Having 4 kids makes you re-evaluate your priorities and pride, and if we’re all going to have to sit happily in a vehicle for several hours at times, we need some room!

With all that being said, I would not trade my life for anything.  Kids are so great and really do make life worth living! Ours are especially full of life, spunk, character and personality. They are amazing and we love them dearly, each and every one! Large family life is fun, messy, busy, and FULL, but not for the faint of heart! 😉