Monday, March 30, 2009

Stray Thought

I love, love, love when my friends have babies!  I haven't been blessed with any nieces and nephews yet (which is a good thing because my sisters and brother aren't married), so I fully appreciate having little ones to play with and without having to worry too much about disciplining or any of the other not-so-fun stuff that comes with being mom.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Yesterday, we had a slow start to our day, but what I thought I was "settling" for turned out to be one of my new favorite St. Louis secrets!

I had planned to take my kids to Cahokia Mounds, but when I found out that they had guided tours during the summer, I decided to postpone that destination until after school is out. Knowing that my kids were expecting something fantastic, I turned to my mother for some fresh ideas. The typical St. Louis attractions were mentioned: City Museum, The Magic House, The Zoo, Purina Farms, The Arch, and Grant's Farm. I was in no mood to take the kids to the same exhibits they've seen multiple times. I wanted to introduce something new to them, so we kept brainstorming. Eventually, we decided it would be fun to take the kids on a train ride, just for the heck of it. We looked up the Amtrak schedule hoping to take a ride from Kirksville to Herman and back again. Unfortunately, we were about an hour too late for the morning train, and the afternoon train would not allow us to return until close to midnight.

Driving down I-270 to meet my sister for lunch, we saw a sign for the National Transportation Museum. My mom had taken my brother decades ago, so I hoped it would be entertaining enough to pass for a day trip! It exceeded my expectations. Kids 4 and under are free, and prices are $4 for kids and $6 for adults with a military price of $4. The grounds included an indoor exhibit of classic cars and fun models of how cars run. For kids 5 and under, there's a creativity center available for $1.50/session. Outside, there are tons of trains, many which can be explored. The kids were able to ring the bell of one of the trains. Train rides being in April, so we will absolutely be looking for some friends to invite back with us soon!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mystery Solved

My son loves his Daddy, and he's always asking me where Daddy is, when he'll come home from work, and so on. This morning, the little guy got to find out what Daddy's work was all about. I really think that all kids should visit their daddies at work. My children see that Mommy is around all the time, and Daddy works very hard so that Mommy can stay home to take care of them. Daddy's life outside the house is a big mystery to the kids, and I think it's important for them to have a clear idea of where Daddy is when he's not with them.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Wide Open Spaces

I love the setting of our home! I will never take for granted that my children can play outside without fear of running into the street. Praise God for allowing us a similar setting with the new house but with SPACE! Cherishing the last weeks here!

Yep- my kids on a typical photo-shoot. They're just as bad as anyone else's when it's time to get them together!

Confessions of an At-Home Mom

I am a stay-at-home mom.  I am not a convert.  I have always planned to stay at home with my children.  I sought a husband who would value the role of a mother as much as wife.  I am blessed.  

Yes, that's me 90% of the time.  90% because with 3 children, odds are one of them is being sweet most of the time.  The other 10%-- that's when I have a pre-schooler throwing a tantrum, a 16-month old hanging onto my leg begging for anything off-limits, and a 3rd grader dawdling over homework all at the same time.  It's when I'm waist deep in laundry- sometimes dirty, sometimes folded piles- that seem endless, when I've swept Rice Krispies off the floor 4 times in an hour, when I've fought a bedtime battle for 45 minutes.  The other 10% is when my husband has been gone to work for 4 days straight so that I can stay home and go insane alone with the kids.  The other 10% I wonder what in the world made me sign up for this!

This blog is about sharing the world of a stay-at-home mom with the rest of the world.  It's about letting women know that, while it's not easy and not always enjoyable, while I screw up daily and have more to learn about mothering than I can imagine, I AM the one screwing up!  I am the one who knows my children.  I am the one responsible for molding their values.  I am the one who gets to witness the milestones.  I do not have to keep pictures in my purse to show off to others because my kids are alongside me to show their true colors to anyone who cares to take notice.  I AM MY KIDS' MOM. 

Abort Mission

Ah, Spring Break.  I love you, I loathe you!  This morning, while paying bills online, I was accused by my 8-year-old spring-breaker of valuing the computer over spending time with my kids.  I considered two interpretations of this comment.  1:  It was only Monday, and already she was feeling bored out of her mind.  2: This was her toe-the-line way of telling me to scoot so that she could dive head first into!  Yesterday, I had shared with my daughter that today would be a business day.  We would clean bedrooms, do the laundry, pay bills, run the week's errands and so forth in order to leave the rest of the week for fun.  At 6:30 AM, I was awakened by a brother-sister cleaning team in the kids' room.  By 10:30, when I was in the midst of balancing checkbooks and paying student loans, the two of them, along with my 16-month-old, had reached their cooperation limit.  After ten more minutes of whining and bickering, I aborted my mission and resigned myself to a cluttered house for the day-- maybe the week.  

During nap time, I sent the older two out to play and finalized the week's plan:

Tuesday: lazy morning, picnic lunch (weather pending), yard work/sidewalk chalk during nap time, visit Great-Grandma, mother-daughter night out
Wednesday:  go to the city with Grandma to run errands, dinner with Daddy, stay at Day's Inn with an indoor pool, kids' pool, and padded indoor playground ($52 after taxes!)
Thursday: Cahokia Mounds with Grandma
Friday-Saturday:  house renovation
Sunday: Mass, re-organize for school, get to bed early

That's right, no housework on the schedule.  After an afternoon trip to Wal-Mart, we spent the evening kite-flying and hiking with the double-jogging stroller.  After the little ones were bathed and tucked into bed, I morphed into nail technician and produced a manicure that would excite any 3rd grader, complete with glitter and flower decals.  Now if we could just manage to keep the dirt from beneath them...