Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Socks

I am not a fan of socks. I wear flip flops in the summer and slip on's durring the winter. I own socks but rarely feel the need to wear them. Matt steals my socks. He is an avid sock wearer, which I believe many men are, and he looses/destroys his own so he steals mine. I have taken to buying pretty socks just so they will stay in my drawer. He is never desperate enough to reach for the pink argyle.

My children don't wear socks which isn't all together shocking considering the battle over undies. But now it is winter. To earn my ever fleeting "Mother of the Year Award" I feel the need to make my children wear appropriate foot attire when it is under 30 degrees and that means socks. Eliana always whines "but I can't FIND any". I thought she was being dramatic. I went into the sock drawer, which is FILLED with socks. Single socks. Baby socks. I sat for a good 20 minutes and sorted the socks. I found several pair of matching socks...in sizes that would maybe fit Annabelle. I found princess socks, but not two of the same princess. I found red, pink, baby blue, striped and white socks and out of the whole drawer I found only 3 matching pair.

Where do socks go?! I am sure I buy them in pairs. I am a little behind on laundry but can't imagine any socks are in there because MY CHILDREN DON"T WEAR SOCKS! In my defence. I have found many a small animal tucked into my girls socks. Apparently, when not being used as footwear, socks make terrific sleeping bags for all sorts of doll's and toys.

A long time ago, maybe at my baby shower when everyone was passing around great motherhood advice, someone mentioned socks. I believe they said "buy all the same kind, in white". That sounded like no fun. I am pretty sure I completely disregarded that advice all together. And that is why my children's sock drawer looks the way it does.

Once again the "Mother of the year Award" has slipped through my fingers. Don't mind me, I am just off to target to get my children socks. White socks. All the same kind.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thankful

Ok, so it isn't a very original topic for a blog post, but it seemed appropriate for today. Today I am thankful for:

- My country. America, with all its screwed-uped-ness is still the best place in the world I could hope to live and raise children. And though I try not to make it a habit to quote Oprah, the fact my girls were born here already makes them some of the luckiest women on the face of the planet. I don't have to worry about my home being bombed, weather or not my girls will ever learn to read or be allowed at school, and weather or not they will be able to follow there dreams to become whatever God created them to be.

-My state. Both of living and of mind. Colorado is beautiful, lots of opportunities to appreciate the beauty God created for no other reason than He is a God who loves beautiful things. My state of mind is content, my needs are met as are so many of the desires of my heart.

-My family. The in-laws, those under my roof, my sisters, nieces, nephews, grandparents, aunts uncles and parents. I was raised in a family who knew how to love and taught me well, as was my husband. My sisters married awesome men who make fabulous fathers to my nieces and nephews. My Grandparents are an inspiration, both sets married for over 50 years.

-Matt and my girls. I am so lucky to be married to a man that I not only love, but usually really like too! I wake up with my best friend who shares my heart and inspires my dreams. A man who is an amazing father to 3 beautiful little girls who are the water that overflows my cup. Eliana, the thinker, Addilyn the stinker, and Belle the babe. I couldn't be more blessed.

On this day I will chose contentment. I will choose a grateful heart. I will let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be joyful. I will be thankful for all that I have and everything yet to come.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Blog Ideas

Some time the land scape of my brain is baren as a sand dune. I couldn't come up with an idea to blog about to save my life, some days it seems like a struggle to just come up with a conversation topic. I can always write about my life, my kids and what my day looked like, but that is very surface, and rarely captures my heart. I came accross this list and was inspired. I stoll it from another blog, don't give me credit, but I thought it might help some of you other blogging friends. Maybe I am the only one so sleep diprived that I need help, but if not, here is a little inspiration.

1. What was the funniest/nastiest/most memorable prank you ever pulled on someone?

2. Describe your first date/first kiss. Hmm.. did you see stars or you just felt gross?

3. What is scariest experience you had?

4. What kind of games did you play as a kid?

5. What do you miss most about your childhood?

6. What kind of child where you? Shy? A bully? Popular? Loner? Stubborn? …

7. Do you have any phobias? what thing do you fear most?

8. Who was your celebrity crush during your teens?

9. What outfit did you wear before that you swore you’d never wear again? If you have photos and the right amount of courage, then post it!

10. Do you have any regrets? Whats the biggest mistake you ever made?

12. What’s the weirdest/hardest/funniest job you ever had?

13. What’s the most embarassing thing that happened to you?

14. What’s your wildest dream?

15. Create characters about your family and friends and talk about their unique characters. Use avatars!


Lists:

16. Your dream gadgets..

17. Top 5 places you want to visit in your lifetime.

18. TOp — movies you’d watched over and over again. OR if you are in the mood to be negative – movies you wish you didn’t watch.

19. Top 5/10 songs that makes you want to wish for ear plug..

20. List down your beauty product must-haves.

21. What’s inside your closet? Talk about your fashion style..

22. Gifts you’d like to give your husband/wife?

23. What’s always in your grocery cart

24. List your favorite / influential blogs or make a weekly/monthly blog picks list

24. Search the net for available resources for a particular interest.. ie. scrapbooking, ebooks, downloads, recipes..

26. 5 things you want to change in yourself..

27. What was the last book you read? Write a review..

28. Review a friend’s blog or any blog you find interesting.

29. Like eating out? Review a restaurant.

30. Talk about the last hotel you stayed in.

31. Review a product. Gadgets, beauty products, household products, whatever you fancy.

32. Review a TV show, a soap or a movie.

33. Talk about an excellent service you got..

34. Tell your readers how you got into blogging..

35. How did blogging change/influence you?

36. Have any special skills or hobbies? Make a tutorial. (This could actually make a series of post Hmm)

37. Want to know how your readers think (ie about elections, products, news etc)? Run a poll.

38. Check out the latest weird / odd news and talk about it.

39. Youtube, MetaCafe, Veoh etc offers a lot of interesting videos. Embed one and discuss it.

40. check the latest news and state your opinion about it.

41. Post something funny. A cartoon. A funny photo.Funny lists..

42. Find a quote. Share your thoughts.

43. Learn something new, a language, web design, graphic illustration, anything.. and share your progress and tips you pick up to your readers.

44. What are the things you won’t write about in detail? Why you won’t blog about this topics?

Now is your chance to get back at them..i would suggest not naming them I’ve done this and somehow it got something off my chest.. lol!

45. that college professor you who almost made you pee in your pants.

46. the school bully who took pleasure in pulling your pigtails.

47. that ugly boyfriend/girlfriend who left you for an uglier girl/boy.

48. the nosiest neighbor you have.

49. that obnoxious co-worker who keeps grabbing credit for your work.

50. what gift would you give the person you “don’t like”

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pretty

My dad posted this video a while back and it has stuck with me. Warning, she drops the "f" bomb. But it is still worth watching.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6wJl37N9C0

Pretty. Even Eliana is already obsessed with the idea of 'pretty'. Princesses are pretty. Dress make you pretty. Make-up is pretty. Bows in your hair, lace on your socks, ruffles on your clothing...pretty.

I consider myself happily average when it comes to looks. Happily now, but I remember obsessing when I was younger. Boys didn't help, making comments about my flat chest and long skinny legs. I have always felt to skinny, to tall, I talk too much, have too many opinions, I'm too loud and clumsy. I don't have a dainty or graceful bone in my body.

I am not sure when it all changed, not my appearances and everything else but my reaction to it.
My body is not nearly as good as it used to be. But I am OK with what it is now. The scars show my history and the body I have is the one that brought three children into this world and nourished them for months. My looks don't define me. I am a sum of my body, my beliefs, how I spend my time and money, my relationships, my personality and my passions.

How do I communicate this to my daughters? In a world that show little girls that your only as worthy as you are pretty, how do I compete with that message? How do Matt and I teach our girls that "pretty" is in the eye of the beholder? Pretty is a state of heart not appearance. Pretty is an attitude.

I believe that there is something hard wired in girls that make them desire "pretty" and that, in and of itself, that is not a bad thing. It is only bad when it is the only thing. How do I keep that from happening?

Pretty. My daughters will not be reduced to five letters.

Party Time













Us Crocker's know how to party. Well, as long as the party includes insane amounts of children, obscene amounts of candy and copious amounts of cake. This weekend, we rocked it. Here is the proof.










Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Time

In 5 seconds:
-Annabelle can flip over and escape a diaper change, naked hiney flashing as she crawls down the hallway, stopping only to pee on the floor and giggle.
- A one year old can fill your cup of coffee with what ever was left on your breakfast plate. Eggshells can really ruin a cup of joe.
- A 2 year old can completely forget what she was supposed to be doing and get side tracked by just about anything.

In five minutes:
- A baby can completely empty a cabinet of Tupperware
- I can take a full shower including washing my hair and shaving my legs
- My girls can go from best friends to mortal enemies
-I can start a load of laundry, brush my teeth, put on my make up and find one shoe

In five hours:
- I can get all 3 girls down at the same time for a nap
- I will have made 2 meals and at least one snack for 5 people
- A five year old can pretend to be a princess, a vet, a mommy and a monster
- A clean house can look like a tornado hit

In five days
- I will make a least one trip to the store, the library, a fast food joint, a gas station and some nameless activity decided upon by my children.
- My eldest daughter learns some basics of reading
- I will make at least cook enough to feed at least 75 people a meal, not counting snacks

In five years:
-I go from teaching others children to teaching my own
- I learn that I really had no idea how truly selfish I was
- I gain a deep understanding of sleep deprivation, have gained over 75 pound and lost it again, and believe deeply that there is no better thing for a child than time with mommy

Monday, November 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Baby Belle


One year ago today I met Annabelle for the first time. Tiny, loud, and very much adored. She is becoming such a little person. Gone are the days where she is a paper weight, smoshed in a blanket, staying in one place, demanding constant minding. Now, one the move with a sense of humor to accompany her sense of adventure, she is becoming more and more herself. She hates to be excluded from any fun or food, dances to music both audible and in her mind. A tiny peanut of a person, I am loving watching her grow. Happy birthday baby!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Awwww Crepe.

Crepes make me happy. Crepes filled with chocolate or lemon curd and strawberries or marscopone and cherries make me really happy. Alas, those are hard to pass off, in good conscience, as a nutritious meal for 3 small children.

At our house Matt is in charge of the dishes. I hate dishes. I love cooking. This, and the picky appetites of the other female members of the household, leaves me with a real problem when Matt is out of town. I must come up with a meal that uses as few dishes as possible and that the girls will still eat. I could serve the munchkins pb and j every night of the week with nary a complaint from them, but when it comes to meals I prefer a little variety, and by that I don't mean the occasional hot dog.

And we are back to why crepes make me happy. With 2 dishes, a skillet and bowl, I can make a meal the appeals to the masses (if you consider the 4 of us a "mass") and is quick to clean up. A bonus is that I clean out the fridge from left overs too!

If you have never had or made a crepe, your missing out. These thin little French pancakes are good for so much! Tonight I had mine stuffed with left over chicken from last night, onion, cream cheese, avocado and black beans. Mexico, say "hi" to France. The girls like theirs with peanut butter but I have, on occasion, convince them they are good stuffed with a little cottage cheese and topped with strawberry preserves.

Next time you need dinner in under 20 minutes, try this. Make a batch of crepes:

2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
2/3 cup all-purpose flour (GF use 1/3 tapioca and 1/3 oat/brown rice)
1 pinch salt
1 1/2 melted butter

Mix up and pour in thin pancakes on a medium-hot, small skillet that you have lightly buttered. Think tortilla thin. Wait until the top looks pretty dry and no more bubbles are coming to the top, no need to flip, they will cook in 1-2 minutes.

Now go look in your fridge. What do you have left over? Think meat/mushroom, veggie or two, and cheese. Toss the meat and veggies into the skillet with a little butter and some onion, pepper or garlic (or all of the above!) until warm. Scoop on to half of the crepe, top with the cheese and fold over.

Here are some combos to get you started:

chicken, asparagus and goat cheese
mushroom, spinach and feta
black bean, corn, pepper and Cheddar.
sausage, tomato and mozzarella
chicken, mushroom and cream cheese
Bacon, mushroom and cream cheese
Mushroom and any cheese veggie

There you are. Your left overs are used up, your family is fed and your kitchen isn't a mess. If your feeling really on top of your game, make extra crepes while you still have all the stuff out. Layer them with waxed paper and keep them in your fridge or freezer for a super quick and healthy snack or meal.

Now, on to the good part. There is no end of very yummy dessert crepes. If your in the mood for blintzes or you just want to impress your mother-in-law or the women at bible study, fill your crepes with a mix of beaten egg and marscopone cheese ( you can use cottage cheese or ricotta in a pinch). Roll them up and top with cherry pie filling and stick in the oven until the cheese firms up and the topping is bubbling hot. Other, less flashy, ideas are:

ice cream and chocolate sauce
slices banana and carmel sauce
fresh fruit and powdered sugar
lemon curd and strawberries
jam and fruit
peanut butter and chocolate

Now, go clean out the fridge from the last bits of cheese, the chunk of chicken that isn't enough for a meal and left over veggies. Happy crepe making!

Monday, November 8, 2010

5 years ago today

Eliana was born and my life hasn't been the same since. It has been nosier, more exhausting, more fulfilling, less restful and so much fuller. I am so proud of our little girl. She is starting to learn to read, she is kind and loving and the best big sister. She takes care of those littler than she is, is learning to love Jesus, has lots of friends and is such a sweet child. I am blessed to call her mine.

Eliana today, all dressed up in her new cowgirl outfit.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

What works

My friend Jen just posted a blog post about "time- out's" that got Matt and I talking. Jen is a great mama who loves her girls a ton and I am so happy they have a system that works for there family. That got me thinking about what works in our family.

Our discipline strategy is different for every kid and every age. With Eliana we have some expectations. She is big enough to use words to let us know what is wrong and mature enough to have some self control. She is not, however, quite old enough to always stay on task without help, not melt down when she is really hungry or tired, and she is still learning what "truth" is.

I don't believe in disciplining children for things that they are still learning. For instance, if I ask Elie to do something and she blows me off, she gets in trouble for not obeying. But if I ask her to do something and she only gets it half done before getting side tracked, I will help her by reminding her to stay on task or setting a timer to keep her focused. My goal is not punitive, but instructive, my goal not being superiority but helping her to figure out how to grow into a little girl who can finish what she starts.

For being mean to her sister she is removed from the situation for not being a good friend, she has to go play by herself. I don't force apologies because I don't think it speaks to the heart and it is to easy to have them become power struggles. I strongly suggest saying "sorry" if you have hurt someone to make things right and usually my girls will do it, often without being told.

Addilyn is different than Elie, not only in personality but in age, so our expectaions are different for her. She is still learning self control and still learning to say words instead of coming unglued. We don't punish for her for throwing fits because that doesn't teach her anything. If she is upset to the point she is on the floor we do one of two things: if we catch it before complete melt down she is told to stand up and we get eye level and help her find the words. If all out fit is all ready started, we remove her from the situation. She is allowed to have her emotions and express them, she is not allowed to make everyone miserable as she does it. After giving her a few minutes to blow off steam, we help her get herself together. It is pointless to put her in her bed until she can "behave". If she was able to get herself together, she would have, but she is still learning. We help her take deep breaths and snuggle her until she can find the words for what she was so upset about.

For hitting or general unkindness, she is also removed from the situation. We talk about being kind when she has calmed down and again suggest making things right. If she is not inclined to obey, we just help her so she understands it isn't a choice.

Annabelle is an entirely different story. At almost one, she can sometimes be demanding, loud and can even throw fits with the best of them, all things she SHOULD be doing at a year old. We try to keep our reactions both age appropriate and logical. If she throws food from her tray at a meal she is told sternly "food is not for throwing". When she does it again, she is removed from the table. If the meal isn't over, she may try again in a few minutes. For throwing a fit she is picked up and distracted. There is no point in telling her not to when she is too little to be able to control her emotions, get herself together or understand. We do our best to help try and understand her needs so she doesn't get to the melt down stage.

Basically, we try to respect where are children are developmentally. I try to keep in mind that self control is something that is developed over time with age, not punishment and that "truth" is something that can only be understood when a child is old enough to understand the difference between real and pretend. We believe respect is learned by example, that children have a right to there emotions and empathy comes with age and maturity.

Fits are normal for all kids who are learning how to deal with powerful emotion and I know many a grown-up who still loses there cool from time to time. The rule with fits is two fold: one, you won't get what your throwing a fit about and two, you can't make everyone else miserable just because your mad. I will always help you regain your cool so that as you age you have the tools to do it yourself. We try not to discipline a child for things they are not yet able to control, no matter how frustrating we find them. We rarely spank, almost never do a "time-out" on a child but have been known to put a toy there, and try to focus on what we are teaching instead of what we are punishing.

Some families choose to bring God into the discipline process, we don't. Our big focus is that "God is love". As children get older they are able to better understand that because God loves us he has rules for us, right now that is just not something we are ready to shove down our kids throats. We do talk about loving behavior, about God loving us no matter what we do and about expectations, but I don't want my kids thinking God being the big man in the sky who they are always disappointing until they are able to grasp a little more the depth of his love.

Parenting is an ever-changing process directed as much by personality of both parents and kids as it is by anything else. I love to watch what works for my friends, I do my best to respect the choice they make for their families. I don't have all the answers and Matt and I do our best and by the Grace of God maybe we won't end up screwing this parenting thing up.

Monday, November 1, 2010

When Matt's away

I use his mug for morning coffee
I have to make my own coffee and it just isn't as good
I sleep on his side of the bed
I use his pillow
We eat fast food more
I cook less
I get more done
I have to do the dishes and take out the trash
I get less sleep
I don't eat as well
I miss him
The girls miss him
The dogs miss him