Thursday, December 28, 2017

Thankful 12.29.17


  1. Granny wrapped every. single. present. we have and put them under the tree. She is fantastic.
  2. I was able to take a steaming skin burning shower when all my kids were awake without rushing. I was even able to dry off completely and put lotion on before I heard one of them crying. It was everything.
  3. A last minute decision to make an hour round trip to the international grocery store (for the second time this week) because my entire family is on a serious ramen kick right now, and apparently the ramen noodles at Aldi aren't good enough.
  1. Getting our grocery shopping done before the craziness of the weekend. Also, finishing up the last Christmas gift. Whew, that was close.
  2. Danielle's neighbor Jan gave me another kombucha start. I am starting out the new year with a better gut health. Ha! The last time I made kombucha, things were going well until I thought it would be a good idea to double my production. Like so many other things in life, more is not always better and I quickly became too overwhelmed to maintain the work. This time, less is more.
  3. Our friends TheDavidNashes (Ina's name for them) came over for dinner bearing gifts for the girls. They are just the sweetest - and quite the baby whispers. 


  1. The lovely people sitting around us in the movie theater that didn't try to kick us out when Mira and Cora were crying at the same exact time. It only lasted for about a minute, but it seemed like an important part of the movie. I think. I wouldn't know for sure. I was a little distracted.
  2. Everyone else that puts up Christmas lights on their houses. The girls just love looking at them and anytime we are outside after dark, which I admit is rare, Cora yells, "I see them! Christmas lights! Up ahead!" and I vow that next year we will put up lights outside.
  3. Eggnog and coffee mixed together. You are welcome.

  1. A White Christmas. I woke up, looked outside, and immediately logged into Netflix to watch the movie. 
  2. Granny brought over the mother load of treats for us! 
  3. Grandma Frankie continues to be an awesome grandma to us and the girls and constantly welcomes us into her family, even though we aren't "technically" blood related. She is fantastic. 

(Ina's new face)
  1. The birth of Jesus.
  2. Christmas presents. Between my mom and grandma and family from Texas and my dad, the girls were so, so, so spoiled. We are beyond blessed.
  3. Family game night. Sitting around the table and laughing uncontrollably to where I didn't know if I was going to catch my breath. It was fantastic. 


  1. Cora sat on the potty for an hour. Nothing happened, but she did sit there, which is an improvement. 
  2. I didn't hurt myself too much when I wiped out skating with Ina. I haven't fell the last few times I skated, so I was pretty surprised to be holding Ina's hand skating one second and flat on my back the next. Ina fell plenty of times, but generally appeared to enjoy herself. Maybe by next winter she will be able to fully skate by herself.
  3. Rest.


  1. Granny doing Ina's new science kit with the girls while I was working upstairs. (Also my cousin for gifting it to Ina!) Ina is learning so much and she absolutely loves it. 
  2. Dan was able to visit his favorite Fun House Pizza before they close at the end of the year. He said he cried for 30 minutes and I believe him - he is such a tender heart.
  3. Getting most of the Christmas decorations put away and most of the gifts in their new spots. The house doesn't feel near as cluttered, which is lovely.
I only cooked one healthy meal this week, but because of how delicious and quick and healthy it was, I feel the need to share it - pork chops and kale. Although the girls didn't touch the kale, they loved the pork chops and Dan loved the kale. 

Looking for something to make for NYE? This hoagie dip is always a hit. 

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas 2017

On Christmas Eve Eve slept in and then made breakfast sandwiches for breakfast and ate them while trying to finish up watching the previous Star Wars movies. We eventually packed up and headed to the theater, making a quick stop to buy some candy.

Some might say that taking a loudly questioning five year old, a clingy, missed her nap, two year old, and an infant to a 2.5 hour movie is crazy. I am sure most of the people who gave us wide eyed stares around us would agree. However, thanks to popcorn, candy, my nursing cover, and room on my lap for two kids, we were able to (mostly) enjoy the movie.

After the movie we went home for a little bit before venturing out again to Deanna Rose for their Christmas light barn show, which we enjoyed for about 4 songs before Ina announced that she needed to use a bathroom. Immediately.

After a gas station stop we started to drive around to look at Christmas lights, but the girls all fell asleep before we reached the first house.

We woke up Christmas Eve to SNOW! I didn't know this was even a possibility, so what a surprise it was. As soon as the girls woke up, they donned layers upon layers to go play.

Ina, who unfortunately had the thinner gloves, was ready to go inside for hot chocolate after approximately 2.5 snow angels.

Cora, on the other hand, decided she loved snow more than life itself and refused to come inside despite offers of cartoons, chocolate, and warmth.

She kept on telling me to "play in the snowing!" She would run around to find a fresh pile of un-tainted snow, give me an innocent look and ask, "Can I?" and after my permission would shove both hands in and scatter it around.

She also loved going down the slide, or at least I think she did, because every time she flat out landed at the bottom pile of snow she would ask, "Was that fun?!?"

We eventually drug her inside to get ready for church, where we listened to a great sermon on Help from Heaven and sang some beautiful worship songs.

After church we came back home to lounge, watch the Chiefs game, make jalapeno poppers and chicken wings, and enjoy some time as a family.

After the last present was wrapped and Cora finished her nap, we loaded up and headed to Grandma Frankie's house where we Dan and I feasted, the older girls played with the boys, and Mira was passed around like a baby doll.

We came home just in time to lay out cookies (and chapstick, on Ina's request) for Santa, who left the girls a scavenger hunt with clues that led them to a plasma car and a scooter. (Partially assembled, because Santa was tired and couldn't find a 17 mm socket wrench.)

Granny came over before the girls woke up and was so excited to run upstairs and tell them that Santa came!

After opening presents and stockings at our house on Christmas morning, we headed to my Grandma Beverly's house to celebrate Christmas with my mom, grandma, and aunt. We ate a delicious brunch and were all spoiled, especially the girls. Ina even received her beloved Hatchimal.

After my kids had sufficiently destroyed my grandma's house, we left and went to my other grandparents' house where we celebrated with my dad, my family from Texas, and my grandparents. The children were once again spoiled and the adults had fun playing games. We played some new to me games that I loved. (Anoimia was so fun! What do you Meme? was also fun, but best played when children aren't listening).

Ina stayed the night with everyone staying at my grandparents' house while Dan and I drove the younger girls home.

I am now typing this to void the disaster that is my house. I mean, disaster. Memories take precedence, right?

I hope your holiday was just as fantastic. <3

Friday, December 22, 2017

Thankful 12.21.17

  1. Clean teeth at the dentist. Nice and fresh.
  2. My new planner came in the mail! This is actually my second 2018 planner. I ordered a different one, started to fill it out, and realized it wasn't going to work exactly like I wanted it to, so I did something completely out of character and bought the one I decided I wanted, instead of dealing with my bad decision for an entire year. 
  3. Tacos carne asada. Do they ever get old? 
  1. Grandma Frankie came to the rescue to watch the girls last minute when Danielle couldn't because Gunner was sick.
  2. Finishing up fellowship phone interviews. The first step is complete!
  3. Getting legal license plates. I recently discovered I was unknowingly driving a van with the old owner's license plates still attached. Right after we bought the van I went to the DMV and licensed the vehicle, came home, and thought Dan switched the plates. Turns out, he didn't. Once we discovered the misunderstanding we had no idea where the new plates I had to go and get new ones. Irresponsible, party of one.

  1. Mira slept the entire 2.5 hours we were in IKEA. She is a golden baby.
  2. One of my gym mates generously covered the tab at our Christmas party. We had such a good time, like we always do when we get together.
  3. My dad and his girlfriend watched the girls, brought dinner, played games, did laundry and put them to sleep. We couldn't get more spoiled.
  1. Watching people get baptized. I just can't help but cry.
  2. Having time to food prep to my heart's desire...which resulted in my cleaning the kitchen 3 times and still going to bed with dishes in the sink. 
  3. Matching Christmas jammies (pictures to come)
  1. My mother in law offered to help me wrap Christmas gifts. I think she noticed the space under our tree was completely empty and was slightly concerned, as I usually have all of my shopping done and gifts wrapped the week before Christmas. This year, well, I think everyone has a gift...somewhere in the one of the 30 Amazon boxes sitting in my office that I don't have the time/energy/will to open.
  2. I was finally able to stop my thumb from bleeding after slicing the top of it off while trying to make a cucumber salad with the mandolin. Right before dinner the salad was still warm, so I put it in the freezer...and left it there. 
  3. Opening Christmas cards. I know some people think they are a waste of time, but I have to respectfully disagree. I love hearing from people that we don't see very often and reading how their family is growing. 

  1. Mira ate 12 oz. while I was at work, which is great because she has only been eating 4 oz. However, I only pump about 9 oz. a we are going to have to get strategic if her appetite continues to increase.
  2. One of my gym mates made us chicken pot pie for dinner. It was everything. Cora skipped the chicken pot pie (more for me) and ate the majority of a carton of baby spinach and arugula. Go figure.
  3. Clean babies. The smell is straight from heaven.

  1. Granny was sick, so Dan stayed home with all three girls by himself and they all survived! He actually looked significantly more together than I did the first day I had all three of them by myself.
  2. Past-me that made extra pizza dough and froze it. I never regret that decision.
  3. Mira's new obsession with sticking out her tongue. It is hilarious.

Recipes from this week:

Lunch prep: pressure cooker quinoa/rice/chicken breast topped with kale pesto

Yellow curry paste: I froze it to make curry after the first of the year.

Spiced shrimp - seriously, one of my favorite "recipes" of all time because it takes like 5 minutes to make and the flavor is out of this world. I wish my girls liked it, but it isn't so bad, because that means more shrimp for me.

Artichoke dip pizza - oh man, I wanted to swim in it. I added half a bag of fresh spinach to make it "nutritious." 

Buckeye brownies: these might be the unhealthiest treat in history, but they are worth it.

I hope you have a fantastic Christmas weekend! <3

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Thankful 12.14.17

  1. Ina didn't have a fever today...but Cora woke up from her nap with a fever and a barky cough. Whomp whomp.
  2. Our parents as teachers teacher is fantastic. My kids love her and I want to be her best friend. She came armed with Christmas crafts even after I told her my house was a contagious zone.
  3. Leftovers for dinner plus an early bedtime make for a relaxing evening.
  1. Starting out a day that I know will be hard with a workout. Really, I don't know why I sometimes dread working out...I love going to the gym and I feel so good afterwards. Sometimes the mind can be a little silly. 
  2. Cora was such a good girl staying home with me all day while I worked. She quietly watched a movie, played in the toy room, and then took an epic nap. 
  3. King crab legs. It is exciting to know that heaven will be even better than eating crab legs. 
  1. The ability to push my pride to the side, say "I'm sorry" and move on. I need to learn to do that more often.
  2. Getting our Christmas cards sent out. There are still lots of things on the Christmas to do list, but that one is done. The rest will fall into place. I am determined to not stress...which has resulted in a lot of shopping left to do.
  3. The great and brave volunteers of the live nativity scene we visited - it was cold outside that night.

  1. Parchment paper. How did I ever put anything in the oven without it?
  2. Convicting sermons and the fact that I can listen to them over and over (and over) again.
  3. Our small group. They are just the best.
  1. Heated seats on a super cold morning. 
  2. Mira FINALLY took a bottle. Praise God! My momma heart was about to burst thinking of her crying and hungry all day. The munchkin latch was the winner. 
  3. Starting fellowship interviews. Even though they take a lot of time and energy and sometimes make me nervous, I like how they remind me of my own career goals and aspirations. If you need some inspiration, listen to the drive and enthusiasm of someone interviewing for a job she really wants. 

  1. Everyone is finally healthy, which means I get my bed back (mostly) to myself, with occasional visits from Mira. 
  2. A delicious carb heavy Italian Christmas lunch at work.
  3. Listening to my kids laugh hysterically at the same parts of Home Alone that I found hilarious as a kid (and still do). 

  1. An unexpected bonus at work.
  2. My department did a white elephant gift exchange, where everyone brought something from home they no longer wanted. It was hilarious and fantastic. I also ended up with a veggie spiralizer, which I am super pumped about.
  3. Just how excited the girls were to see the lights of Christmas in the Park. They squealed their hearts out. It was one of those moments when Dan and I looked at each other and honestly couldn't believe we get to be a part of this. 
I haven't cooked a lot of recipes this week, but did make our fave cheeseburger soup and some white chicken chili

Have a great rest of your week!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Weekend Review

Good Monday morning!

I am determined for this week to start out better than last week, and it already is because none of my children up-chucked in my bed while coughing their lungs out with a fever.

The weekend was a great one - filled with too many celebrations to count, but try to document I must.

I picked Mira and Ina up from Danielle's Friday afternoon (Cora stayed home with me because she had a fever Thursday), quickly fed Mira at home, and then took the older girls to Ina's school for  Winter Wonderland.

Ina's school knows how to put on a party. We excavated icebergs, shoveled fake snow, built snowmen, decorated gingerbread men, ate marshmallows, and, of course, saw Santa.

Cora walked up to him long enough to get a candy cane and then immediately reversed towards me after telling him she wanted a door for Christmas.

A door.

Ina, who has been adamantly telling everyone she was asking Santa for a Hatchimal, told him she didn't know what she wanted. That sure makes things easy for Santa.

We came home just in time to celebrate Granny's birthday with a meal Dan and Mira had been preparing. King crab legs (with the finest cracking apparatuses money could buy), scalloped potatoes (this is a deliciously decadent recipe), and green beans.

We called it a night after opening up one of Mira's Christmas presents early. You can never have too many humidifiers when coughing children are involved.

Saturday morning I woke up early and finished addressing Christmas cards, prepped and baked a few desserts, and then had to work for a few hours.

After showers and getting ready, Ina and I headed to Target to buy an assortment of bottles. Mira still isn't taking a bottle (from anyone now), so we are trying out a few new ones.

From Target we dropped our cards off at the post office, and then headed home to pick up the rest of the family for my niece Hallaway's Christmas dance recital.

The dances were so cute, Hallaway rocked her one handed cart-wheels, splits, and backbends, and both Cora and Ina were throughly entertained for the first 45ish minutes.

Then Mira started crying, Cora kept asking for water, and Ina couldn't keep from chatting with her cousin Kauffman who was sitting next to her. Therefore, we took the opportunity given at intermission to congratulate Hal and then gracefully leave on our own free will.

After a quick car nursing session, we drove to The Nybergs', where we met them to go to a drive thru live nativity scene at a church near their house. It was so charming, educational, and even had live animals. We returned to their house for dinner and dessert. I brought these buckeye brownies which were amazing, but these pecan pie bars were a close second choice.

Sunday started with more baking for our small group Christmas cookie exchange. Last year Danielle made the best gingerbread men, so I asked her for the recipe and thought nothing of it until Sunday morning when I realized I actually had to roll out, cut, and decorate the darn things.

Note to self - next year, pick a cookie you take a spoonful of and drop on the pan. I finally got the hang of the rolling and cutting, but the icing was a miserable failure. I can only hope the people we give them to assume that a child decorated them.

Once the last cookie was iced we rounded up the troops and headed to church where I listened to an absolutely amazing sermon on anger. I really think I need to re-listen to it every week.

From church we went to my nephew Jake's birthday party at our favorite pizza place where Grandma Frankie picked up Ina to take her to see The Nutcracker.

The younger two girls and I hurried home to help Dan clean the house and an hour later our small group arrived, loaded down with cookies and snacks. We had such a good time filling the boxes, chatting, relaxing, and watching the kids play. I love those people with my whole heart.

After everyone left our house I forced slippers on my feet and met Dan's grandma to pick up Ina, who had a fantastic time at the ballet.

We all slept all night long. I didn't even set my alarm for the gym, but Mira woke me up right on time.

I hope you have a fantastic week! <3

Friday, December 8, 2017

Thankful 12.7.17

Good morning! 

I just returned home from the gym after one heck of a week. You will see a lot of the details below, but I am more than ready for Friday. 

  1. We saw the Oscar Meyer Weenie Mobile at the grocery store and they gave us whistles. Yay.
  2. The girls and I visited my grandma. While there was piano pounding, candy eating, and statue breaking involved, it is always good to see her.
  3. The beautiful weather we have been having. I love getting chances to take everyone outside.

  1. Cora loving on Mira. Honestly, I was pretty worried about how Cora would be with Mira, but right now things are going pretty well. Lately she has even asked to hold her, carry her, and always notices when she isn't in the room with us. She calls her, "My Mira Belle" and isn't all that happy when someone she doesn't know is holding her.
  2. My last day with Mira by ourselves. It was a good maternity leave, but I am ready to go back to work.
  3. My entire family's love for Star Wars. I love having something we can all enjoy together.


  1. Granny came over to help before the party started. Sometimes "helping" means baby snuggles.
  2. We are blessed with a family that helps us celebrate our new five year old, who entertained her desire to dance and paint their faces. 
  3. After Ina's party, we wiped off the face paint, changed out of the icing covered clothes, and headed to a 50th wedding anniversary party. Dan's family was so welcoming and covered the girls with love. We just felt so blessed.

  1. Waking up early enough to clean up most of the party craziness. Unfortunately, the elves I hired didn't show up.
  2. Mira went to the nursery at church and loved it. She was spoiled by getting rocked for the entire hour service.
  3. We had an afternoon with absolutely nothing to do, so I took that opportunity to prepare for my work week. I laid out the girls' clothes for the week, prepped my breakfasts and lunches, assembled my pump bag, made sure everything necessary for the office was in my work bag, and removed all the goldfish crackers, tiny shoes, and random art projects from my car.

  1. Dan's mom and grandma watched the girls on my first day back to work. Ina was sick (fever, croup, and vomiting) and Mira all of a sudden wouldn't take a bottle and cried all day, so they had their work cut out for them. Although I was excited to go back to work, the guilt of leaving my work as a mom for someone else to do was pretty strong.
  2. I still have a job after a significant layoff from my company today. (Weird first day back, huh?) I almost feel selfish for saying that, because those who lost their jobs cannot. However, I am also thankful that they received good severance packages and I am praying they will find good opportunities somewhere else.
  3. After coming home and feeding Mira, I still felt off from the day. Dan turned the evening around my pouring me a glass of wine, cooking dinner (ah-mazing smoked chicken thighs, cheesy broccoli and cauliflower, and an arugula/spinach salad), and turning on Star Wars. He knows the way to my heart.

  1. While Ina still has a fever, her cough at night was so, so much better. I am hoping she can go to school tomorrow. (Editor's note: nope, she missed school all week.)
  2. A successful and professional exchange of projects at work. 
  3. Our parents are teachers teacher was nice enough to reschedule when I couldn't leave work in time to meet with her.

  1. This post about seasonal affective disorder made me not feel guilty about going to bed at 8 PM during the winter. Instead I am going to own it. Now, the fact that I go to bed at 9 PM during the summer is a different story...
  2. Granny is being a trooper taking care of the girls while I am at work. Ina is sick. Mira won't take a bottle, like she is going 9 hours without eating. I think most people would run out of the house screaming as soon as I walked in the door, but she peeled and chopped potatoes to help me with dinner. 
  3. Nebulizers, humidifiers, steam showers, and ibuprofen. Thank God for modern medicine.
Recipes I have made this week - not very much. Dinners have pretty much been on the fly and I fully anticipated a few to-go meals, but thankfully we have cooked every night this week. While not gourmet, the meals included a protein and a vegetable and prevented us from starving, so I will call it a win.

- My favorite breakfast casserole. To note, Cora also loves this, which is surprising because she generally despises eggs unless in casserole form. She has started to wake up, walk to the fridge, and ask for it. As it is loaded with spinach and sweet potatoes, I will continue to make it as long as she eats it. 

- Paleo gingerbread: I am enjoying this as a sweet treat after dinner

- Prepped Greek bowls for lunch of brown rice, chicken breast, feta cheese, pickled onions (my new obsession), cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, and a dallop of hummus. This is the perfect lunch and keeps me full until I get to my container of mixed nuts on the drive home. I really hope I continue to take the time to prep breakfasts and lunches on Sundays. Being able to grab a few bowls from the fridge and walk out the door makes a huge difference.

I am hoping to have more of a "plan" for quick dinners next week. 

Have a great end to your week and weekend! <3

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Things Ina Says: 5 Years

Five going on thirty.

At five Ina is determined, focused, and loving. She takes her job of being a big sister incredibly seriously, and has no problem telling Cora (or anyone else within listening distance) exactly what to do. She loves cuddling with her dad. She enjoys "projects" and "activities" and would be happy watching DIY videos on YouTube all day long, breaking only to work in a workbook. She asked for an alarm clock for Christmas.

(Her most recent "project")

How in the world is she five? I watch her long legged five year old body walk down the stairs each morning, and every day I am surprised that she so big. It is almost like she grew over night.

We celebrated with a family lunch. I gave Ina the option of having a bigger party at a place we could rent, or having a smaller party and saving that money to go on a family outing, like an indoor water park. She chose the smaller party, but I had to find a way to make it special.  Glow in the dark basement for the win.

I purchased a few items on Amazon (glow sticks, light up balloons, a disco ball, and UV face paint), foiled up the window in the basement, turned on a kids Pandora station, pushed the couches to the wall, and called it a party. While the kids at the party enjoyed it, I think my favorite part was the family dance party that took place the night before. Cora literally screamed for 30 minutes straight in excitement and Ina and I danced so hard that we sweat through our clothes. Even Mira contently sat on the couch mesmerized by the lights on the wall.

Supervising the paint area may have been a better idea, but Ina did love painting her cousins (and grandma's!) faces.

I kept the food so simple and made pulled pork sandwiches (<-- my favorite way to feed a crowd), slow cooker mac and cheese, a kale salad (kit from Aldi), and put out a few bags of chips. I ordered a few cookie cakes from HyVee and we were set!

My house is now covered in spare glow stick parts, still blinking balloons, new toys, and icing smears. A sure sign of a good time.

To honor the five year old, here are a few things she has said lately:
Ina: Mom, is this the way Moana's boat looks? (Trying to get the sail to sit right on her toy)
Me: Yeah, that looks pretty good.
Ina: Mom, I don't want "pretty good". Let's start again. Is this the way that Moana's boat looks?
On a walk I told Ina to hold Cora's hand and have her walk on the inside of the side walk to keep her safe and Ina said, "Well, it wouldn't be too big of a deal, we are having another baby..."
Huge sigh of frustration at not being able to open the child-proof lid of her gummy vitamins followed by, "UGH! How does this thing know I am a child!?!"
Mom, do my teeth keep food in them because they are still hungry?
Do princesses toot?
Ina: Are there pie people in the world?
Me: You mean people who like to eat pie?
Ina: No, the number pie.
Me: There are more than the number pie of people in our house.
Ina: Oh, OK. Which is bigger? A pie or a google?
Me: Sigh
Mom, I hate to tell you this. I know this is bad for a child, but I am addicted to cigarettes.
(After further conversation I did verify that she is not addicted to cigarettes, and instead an incredibly dramatic child.)
You just never know what that girl is going to say!

I go back to work tomorrow, and I hope to continue to post at least once a week, but judging how much time it will take to get out of the house in the morning, it might be a year before I post again. Ha!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

A Day in the Life During Materntiy Leave

2:13 AM: Mira is stirring. I scoop her up into bed and feed her for about 15 minutes until she falls back asleep and I follow her shortly after.

4:29 AM: I wake up one minute before my alarm. I cannot believe that both Ina and Cora slept all night. This was the best night of sleep I have had in weeks. I dream feed Mira in bed for about 10 minutes, grab my gym clothes I laid out the night before, brush my teeth, put on deodorant, change, and pump to make exercising comfortable. I get a few extra ounces every day, which is creating a great stock for when I go back to work.

5:00: I pull into the gym parking lot, right on time. It was leg day and the workout did not disappoint. I am still so weak and my endurance is low, which can be frustrating, but I can't think of another place I would rather be to build those both back up.

6:10: I come home and thank my lucky stars that all three girls are still asleep and take that opportunity to take a shower in peace and quiet. 

6:25: I make myself a cup of coffee and sit down for a little internet time: online Christmas shopping, planning Ina's birthday lunch, planning our meals for the next week, etc. Dan leaves for work.

6:52: Cora starts yelling "Momma" from her crib. We snuggle for a few minutes and read a few books before Ina joins us. We tidy up their rooms and I get Cora dressed. I change my first of 14 diapers for the day. Jealous yet?

7:24: Cora wakes Mira up. I take Mira downstairs to feed her in the recliner while Cora is yelling at the top of the stairs for me to carry her down (she can go down the stairs fine but doesn't like to) and Ina is asking me what she can have for breakfast and arguing with me over what she did with her clothes that I laid out for her only a few minutes before. She can't find them and is blaming me for not knowing where they are, which results is me sending Ina to her room to think about the way she is talking to me. Our relationship is definitely going through a rough spot right as I learn to balance my attention with three children. Ina spends the next 40 minutes resting in her room, which is a good thing.

8:00: I make myself a breakfast smoothie and Cora drinks half of it. 

8:15: I turn on Christian music videos on YouTube while I pack the girls' lunches. Those videos and songs always always help to get us in a better mood. We really like this one.

8:30- I turn on the Disney Channel and scramble around the house trying to pick up all the rogue toys and laundry because our house is getting cleaned and the vacuum doesn't run very well over blocks and Christmas ornaments. During this time Mira does not want to be put down, so I take breaks now and then to hold her and play with her. 

9:30: We are ready to leave just as the cleaners arrive. It is better for everyone if we are out of the house, so we head to the park for a few minutes. I did not plan my outfit appropriately and seriously wished I would have worn socks. 

10:04 We leave the park and head for HyVee to order Ina's birthday treats for her school. After the girls get cookies we grab a few things that we needed. Ina pushed the cart with Mira in it and Cora rode on my shoulders and I got the feeling our craziness was entertaining all the other customers. After grabbing a few balloons we are out the door.

10:42 We park at the library and I feed Mira in the car while Ina and Cora beat eat other with their balloons.

11:00 Story time at the library. Ina sits and participates while Cora wanders around playing with blocks, pulling out books, and occasionally stopping by the circle to hear part of the story or sing a song. I try to corral her, but I also have Mira in the stroller, so I mostly just try to keep us both as quiet as possible. We stay at the library for 30 minutes after story time and read a few books Ina picked out, chat with the librarian, etc.

12:05: Load back in the van. By this time I am ravenous and I inhale a protein bar while Cora eats her lunch on the way to drop Ina off at school.

12:32: We come home after dropping Ina off, walk in the door, and I immediately take Cora upstairs to her crib. She knows it is nap time and isn't happy about it, but after a few minutes of fussing she gets quiet. I come downstairs, grab Mira out of her carseat, and sit down to feed her. This is our only quiet time together all day, and as if she knows it, she prolongs eating and often stops to smile and coo at me. 

1:15: I heat up leftovers for lunch: steak, sweet potato, and roasted vegetables. I play with Mira while I eat and then she acts like she is still hungry, so I feed her until she goes to sleep

2:00: I take Mira upstairs and turn on the baby monitor. I finally have a chance to enjoy some time to myself in a clean house, so I peruse the internet, write the first half of this post, drink some sparkling water, throw dinner in the crockpot and watch Outlander, my maternity leave guilty pleasure. 

2:30: Cora wakes up, yelling, "Momma, I'm a bad girl!" from her crib. Mira wakes up a few minutes later. We hang out in her room for a little bit, reading books and playing.

3:00 Time to get Ina and fill up the van with gas. The van was on empty all morning and I don't want to run out of gas in the preschool pick up line. Once Ina is in the car she tells me that she and one boy in her class are in love, but she will probably marry another boy in her class, but "Don't tell Daddy!" 

3:30: We get home and I hit my typical afternoon energy wall. I feed Mira and finish up dinner prep while the girls watch a few cartoons. I snack on some mixed nuts.

4:55: Dan's home! This is usually the time of day where I get an emotional break from single parenting. However, Ina is in a mood and they immediately get frustrated with each other. I tell Ina to go to her room again and tell Dan to go unwind with a long shower. Afterwards they both "start over" and everyone is in a really good mood for the rest of the night. Somewhere in there I poured myself a glass of wine. 

5:45: We eat dinner - slow cooker buffalo chicken sweet potatoes with mixed vegetables. Mira is an angel baby and lets me eat my whole plate. Cora wanders away from the table after a few minutes, but Ina sits with us and we enjoy some family conversation. I really want dinner to be a time for our family to be together, but I don't want to force it. 

6:10: Dan does dishes and wipes the counters while I feed Mira. We all watch Star Wars as a family - we are trying to watch them all again before we see Episode 8. Mira sleeps on my through the whole movie and Cora is cuddled up right beside me.

7:40: The movie is over and we head upstairs for bed. I give the girls their allergy medicine and their vitamins. Dan and Ina hang out in Cora's room while I wash my face, brush my teeth, etc. I hang out with Ina in her room until she falls asleep.

8:15: I lay down in bed to wait for Dan to come in from Cora's room and immediately fall asleep.

9:06: I wake up on the phone with someone from a dance studio I had called over a week ago. Apparently her phone just showed her she had a message and she wanted to immediately return my call. I am sure I sounded a mess, because she kept on apologizing for calling so late. We talk about Ina's dance class options for a few minutes and I immediately fall asleep as soon as we get off the phone.

11:15: Mira wakes up to eat. She usually doesn't wake up this early, but she fell asleep earlier than normal.

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