Tuesday, October 30, 2012

iPhone Halloween Costume Complete!

Update:  Here are my 4 costume-clad little people at 7:45 this morning!

I finished it!  I made this iPhone Halloween Costume for my 9 year old son using the idea from here.

So the picture is not great with a shadow and all, but maybe tomorrow I can get a better one of the 9 year old actually wearing it!  LOVED the printable template for 6 of the app icons from the link I mentioned.  They made things super easy to cut out with my felt.  But since I was making a larger size costume, I added 3 more apps for a larger screen area.  Those were considerably harder to create (the 3 on the far left of your screen)!  My husband and kids love the "Plants Versus Zombies" game, so my husband helped me create an icon to match the one from the game to surprise the 9 year old.  He drafted, I cut out and glued on.  It turned out pretty cool, if I do say so myself!

Find more Wordful Wednesday here.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Hot Chocolate and Other Fall Fun

Usually in our part of the country it still feels like summertime for Halloween, but this year we had a very nice cold front and it actually feels like fall!

Which led to me inventing Halloween Hot Chocolate:
(Don't be too impressed, it's just regular hot chocolate with whipped cream and then orange and black sprinkles!)

My 7 year old even got to wear her cute, new boots to her friend's birthday party on Saturday!

There was a soccer game with a need for long sleeves under the jersey!

And unrelated to fall but completely reflective of The Chaos, I told the little kids to pack any toys they wanted to take with them to their brother's soccer game.  The 5 year old came down with a suitcase!  We were running late, so I just shrugged my shoulders and let him load it in the car.  But, I had to giggle at the crazy as he rolled it across the field!

There was pumpkin carving complete with a lot of pumpkin goo.

And Little Girl doing her best imitation of the new jack-o-lantern:

I'm loving all the fall fun, and even was inspired (okay, forced because nobody had anything to wear that wasn't too short), to unpack the winter clothes into the kid closets and figure out what fit which child and who needed some new stuff.  BUT, I'm not entirely packing away the shorts yet, it's supposed to be back in the mid-80s here by the end of the week!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

How do you explain trick-or-treating?

One day this week I tried to explain trick-or-treating to our little girl adopted from Ethiopia 10 months ago.

Me:  "You dress up in a costume, go to the neighbor's house, knock on the door, when they open the door you say, 'Trick-or-treat!', then they give you candy, and you say, 'Thank you!'"

She laughed and laughed, thought that seemed like the most hilarious thing she'd ever heard!

So, yes, Lil' Pumpkin as you've figured out a million times over, Americans are weird!


In other Halloween related news, for some reason that I can't remember right now, I showed my 9 year old this idea for making an iphone Halloween costume.  He was completely sold and excited about it!  So guess what we'll be making over the weekend (only not for a baby, but for a 9 year old)?


                                    Source: eatsleepmake.com 

I hope it's not too disastrous and of course we had to wait until the last minute!

At least I had the huge win of talking my 7 year old daughter into wearing the Dorothy costume again this year, (The one I sewed from scratch last year, and purposely made big because it was so much trouble I wanted years of wear out of it!).  She just needed some bigger ruby slippers and she was set.   Like last year, it was the allure of getting to take a stuffed dog "Toto" to school in a little basket on the Halloween parade day that won her over!

And the younger kids were happy to pick out a costume we already had from our costume bin!


We will not be giving out the typical snack-sized chocolate candy bars this Halloween.  Now that we've learned more about the issue, the tie between candy bar makers and child slavery in Africa is just too horrific.  And it seems all the big names in candy are suspect or guilty.  So, it's small, organic, fair-trade chocolates for our trick-or-treaters.  If you'd like more info. about the tie between chocolate and forced child labor,  this post from Kristen Howerton is excellent.

I am ashamed that it took us having a daughter from Africa before we became more interested in issues like these.  It should have mattered before, too!


Happy Friday, Friends!

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Mommy's Idea

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Those Two!

My youngest two children are only about 18 months apart in age, currently 5 and 4 years old.  They were as thick as thieves all last spring after Little Girl came home from Ethiopia because the bigger kids were in elementary school and the littles had precious time just the two of them.  But over the summer there was a lot of the boys playing together and the girls playing together and then my 5 year old joined his big brother and sister at elementary school this fall.

I was beginning to worry that the sweet friendship between my youngest two children had faded, but they've hit their stride again.  Lately they've been scurrying up to the playroom for their own adventures while the two oldest kids are busy with homework!

I'm trying to focus on how much I love that they are playing together, because together those two are quite the mess-makers!  Last night I refused to give them dessert after dinner until they'd cleaned up all the messes they'd made in the playroom.

Those two are double trouble for sure!  But, oh my at the cute!  And the loud!  Those two are my two loudest children and you put them together?  Well, just be glad I'm only posting photos of those two and not videos!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

He Rides!

I had this post a few weeks ago where I talked about how my husband and I would sometimes sit up late at night and say, "Wow, we have totally failed as parents! We are incapable of teaching our kids to ride bikes without training wheels!"  And then finally our 7 year old daughter learned to ride, which made us feel tons better, but there were still 3 other children to teach.

Well now we have achieved 50% of our kids riding a 2 wheeled bike!

The 9 year old figured it out a couple weeks ago after a very frustrating 60 minutes out in our driveway that aged my husband and me by at least 5 years.  At least!

His desire to learn lasted for about the first 45 seconds.  But we would not let him quit.  There is a time as a parent to push your kids and a time to back off.  I think we get that judgement call wrong pretty often, but this time it was obvious that we couldn't let fear win.  The cost was far higher than just him not being able to ride a bike.  I could see the future holding many hard things our oldest would need to do, things that would be scary at first but in the end he'd be so glad he did, like going away to college or the first day of his first real job.

I let about a week pass and then when he was so excited to get his homework finished to go out and ride his bike, I casually asked, "So, are you glad now that your Dad and I forced (and it was forced) you to learn how to ride?"  He could actually say, "Yes!"

Imagine that, sometimes Mom and Dad really DO know best!

Find more Wordful Wednesday here.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Little Girl Turns 4!

Celebrating a 4th birthday with a child who has never before had their birthday celebrated is something special!

I first had this experience about 8 years ago on a case as a volunteer advocate for kids in CPS custody.  The little girl's foster mom and I planned a small party for her at the foster mom's house with cake, balloons, and some neighborhood kids.  Due to circumstances in the home she was removed from, the little girl had never had a birthday celebration before.  The way she lit up over the modest cake and candles, the way she was so very incredulous that the balloons were for her!  I will never, never forget it.

Little did I know back then, that there would be a day about 8 years later that I'd be celebrating another very special little girl turning four who had never had her birthday recognized before, my daughter home from Ethiopia 10 months!

Our Little Girl turned 4 years old on Saturday!  And her excitement over it all was huge!  She knew it was HER day and ate up every bit of it!

Sweet Little Girl,

We were so thankful to be able to celebrate this day with you.  Last year we were so sad to have met you, to know it was your birthday, yet not be able to be together with you when you turned 3, but God comforted us with the amazing news we got on your exact 3rd birthday that we had officially passed court in Ethiopia and were legally your family!!  We vowed that it was the final year.  That never again would your birthday pass by just as any other day.  Forevermore we would make sure you knew how loved and special and precious you were!

Your face radiates joy, just like in that picture, every single day.  You are spunky and loving and feisty and sweet and loud and bossy and athletic and smart and active and amazing and really larger than life!  It is a privilege to be your family!  God created you and He has watched over you every second since.  He has already done tremendous things in your life and we can only imagine what else He has planned for your story!  Now that we can be, we will be loving you and cheering you on every step of the way!

Much love,
Your forever family

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Not so much a week in review

-This is really going to be short this time because I'm tired!

-It has been such a busy week that right now I literally don't remember what happened early in the week, so this little week in review is really just focusing on today.

-Amid a variety of other activities today, we did family pictures with a photographer.  Four kids plus trying to get good pictures taken is an Olympic event!  It really should have had it's own day, or maybe it's own week so I'd have time to recover!

-Did I mention the photographer had us meet her at this really pretty location, but it had all these decorative water fountains?  We keep chasing the kids away from walking right on the edge, but they were super drawn to the fountains and I was sure one of the four kids would go in before the photo shoot was over with.  Thankfully nobody did, Little Girl just stuck her arm in once.

-I didn't realize my boys' hair was a little long for the pictures until the night before.  Because I'm completely nuts, I attempted a little home trim with my husband's electric razor, you know just to clean things up a little on the sides.  Not quite disaster, but close.  The boys kept moving at the wrong moments and then I couldn't get the sideburns even, so they just got shorter and shorter! 

-And I convinced my 9 year old to wear shoes that were too small for the pictures because I haven't gotten his fall dress shoes yet (the boys are still wearing brown leather sandals to church in our tropical climate), so he wore last year's. 

-I'm going on a kindergarten field trip to the fire station with my son's class in the morning, so off to bed I go!
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Mommy's Idea

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


In a Bible Study I'm doing we recently talked about Passover.  As I was thinking about the Jews having a celebration every year to commemorate the Exodus, where God freed the Israelites from slavery and brought them out of Egypt, it struck me how powerful it is to have set times to remember what God has done in your life.

One year ago today we were waiting on a phone call to let us know that we'd passed Ethiopian court in our adoption of our littlest girl.  You can read this post from last year to really get a feel for the experience.

We had already visited her, played with her, testified in court, said "good-bye" to her, left her in an orphanage, and traveled back to America to await news that our case had actually passed court, making our little girl legally our daughter.  We waited two and a half months!  Very, very long months where we had no idea how this whole story was going to go for our family.  Would we pass or would the whole thing fall through and this little girl we'd already fallen in love with was no going to be ours?  How long would it take to be able to bring her home?  How would she transition into our family and life in America?  Would our family be strong enough to handle the challenges or would we buckle under the stress of it all?

There were so many unknowns!

But, God has done BIG things in a year!

One year later it isn't all sunshine and roses, but she's ours, an orphan no more!  She's home!  She loves her family and we love her!  She's healthy!  She speaks English!   She goes to preschool!

And she recently prayed this prayer without coaching from us:

"Dear God, thank you that I'm so happy in my family.  Help other children who don't have families to be adopted."

We must never, never forget what He's done!

Psalm 126:3 "The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy."

Find more Thankful Thursday here.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Try Again

I have a parenting tactic for dealing with bad behavior, particularly defiant behavior, that really works!

I learned this idea in our pre-adoption training, it is covered in the awesome book The Connected Child: Bring hope and healing to your adoptive family by Karyn Purvis and David Cross, but it works beautifully with my biological children as well as my daughter who joined our family through adoption.

It is the re-do.

Here's how it works from a real life scenario I had with my 3 year old daughter tonight:

Me:  "It's time to put the napkins on the table for dinner." (This is one of her regular chores.)

Her:  "MOM!  NO, I'm doing stamps and markers!"

Me:  "Try again."

Her:  "Okay."

And she literally put down the craft stuff she was playing with and went and did the chore!

In times past I might have handled the defiance with a consequence, maybe a lecture, too about obeying.  Or maybe I would have repeated the request and counted to three to emphasize that it needed to be done right then.  But, those tactics often just escalate the issue.

 The beauty of the re-do is that there is no frustration, no arguing, no tears!  The child realizes they answered wrong because they were told to "try again" and then they have a choice to take the re-do and do it right without any further consequence or lecturing.

Of course every child is going to have times that the re-do doesn't work and they either refuse to try again or when they do, it is still bad.  Then I have to step in with more sternness.  But, I've really been amazed at how often "Try again" works, even with my strong-willed children (50% of my little darlings)!

Here's another way I daily find use for the phrase "Try again":

My 3 year old puts her shoes on the wrong feet 95% of the time!  Really, wouldn't you expect her to get it right at least half the time?  And flip-flops!  Who could stand to wear flip-flops on the wrong feet?  My 3 year old.

Do you use "Try again"?  Does it work for you?

Find more Works for Me Wednesday here.

Monday, October 15, 2012

9, 7, 5 and 3

We are in the midst of magical days.  Did you know that?  

For a brief period of time my children's ages are 9, 7, 5 and 3.

This time period will last about 2 months of every year, and during that time it is SOOOOO much easier for us to answer the question, "How old are your kids?"

But, then lo and behold someone will have a birthday and throw off the perfect counting by 2's.

I'm enjoying it for now.

Here they are in all their 9, 7, 5 and 3 glory (only lined up in order 7, 3, 5, 9):

on a large pile of dirt, because really it is a glorious spot for a picture, no?

So, go ahead and ask me how old my kids are, just don't ask me next week or for the 10 months that follow. 

Yes, someone has a birthday coming up very soon! Who could it be?

Hint:  It's not the sheep, but that one really stuck his neck out for us (sorry, couldn't resist)!

Find more The Parent 'Hood here and Wordful Wednesday here.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Better than a Seaweed Snack

Yay!  It's almost the weekend!  The weeks are so busy these days that they are flying by!

My kindergartener told me a funny story this week.  He sits by his best friend at school for lunch and his friend needed help opening something from his lunchbox so the friend raised his hand and called out, "Cafeteria Lady!  Cafeteria Lady!"  One of the ladies who supervises the cafeteria came over to help him and asked him if he was "a cafeteria man?"


Speaking of my 5 year old, I have no idea why because we've talked a lot about the "writing needing to be in the back," but he often puts on his shorts backwards.  His shorts are cargo shorts with an elastic waistband so it's not super obvious when they are on wrong, the side pockets are still on the sides, but the front pockets are in the back!  I've caught the mistakes many mornings and had him fix them, but I'd say probably 3 or 4 times now he's worn them backwards all day at school.  I'm sure his teacher is thinking to herself, "Yep, obviously too many children in that family!"


Since the backwards shorts I noticed today at 3:30 pm, I've given my 7 year old daughter an additional morning job to help make sure her little brother's shorts are on the right way!


We have a Trader Joe's grocery store in the area now, and I've been twice in the past couple of weeks.  The Trader Joe's food fits in really well with our quest to cut out foods from our diet that have artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.  

However, I think I took the health food thing a little too far with the Roasted Seaweed Snack:

I'd heard from another blogger that her kid loved them for snack, but nobody in my family of 6 could stand them and really, it wasn't surprising, I mean they look like this:

 But, actually, thankfully there is one creature in my family who likes them:

So, now we have some new dog treats and a dog with really fishy breath!


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Adoption-Related Issues

It's now been 9 months since we brought our daughter home from Ethiopia, I still stand by what has been my quick and true summary of bringing her into our family: "She's doing amazingly well!  Things have gone better than we expected!  God has done a tremendous work in her life and ours!  But that doesn't mean we don't have issues, we do.  That doesn't mean it isn't hard, it is."

I believe all kids have issues and adopted children just have more complication to their issues.  I know parenting is tricky and parenting a child who joined your family through adoption is extra tricky!

I am very much still in the fog of it all and have no great wisdom to share at this point, but Kristen Howerton from Rage Against the Minivan had a great blog post recently: alerting teachers to adoption-related issues: how much do you divulge, and when?  The article is an interesting read is an accurate glimpse into a few of the day to day issues adoptive families face.  I can relate to a lot of what she said, especially the "trifecta of attachment-related drama" she talked about!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Remembering Names

Having 4 kids in 4 different school classrooms and a variety of activities in addition to going to church and a weekday Bible Study myself, means I meet a lot of moms.  The problem is I have trouble remembering names and keeping people straight, sometimes I'll see a mom somewhere and I know I know her, but I'm not sure from where.  Or worse, I know exactly where I know her from, remember visiting with her for an entire hour of a child's practice, but now a week later I can't remember her name!

Really, I should have started this LONG ago, most of you probably already do this.  But, somehow last week after meeting a mom a my oldest child's swim practice, I entered her name into the "Notes" app. on my phone and even the name of her son who is in the same swim group as my son and her daughter who is the same age as my older daughter.  Then this week as I was driving to practice, I thought of her and knew I'd see her, but I couldn't remember her name!  I could think of her little girl's name, but not her son's.  Then I remembered I'd made a note in my phone, and my today self really thanked my week ago self!  It was a gift opening that note and then being able to greet her by name when I saw her!

Now I just have to keep remembering to enter those names in my phone when I meet someone new!

What works for you?

Find more Works for Me Wednesday here.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Enlisting My Work Crew

I figured out the trick to catching up with Clean Mama's 31 Days to a Clean House, enlisting my work crew!

Okay, so that picture was totally posed, here's what it really looks like in action (hence the blurry):

All 4 of the kids were eager helpers (with homemade ice cream as an incentive) and knocked out the baseboard cleaning of the whole house in no time armed with just a few baby wipes!

They even moved some light furniture which I would not have done!

Shortly after bringing home our 4th child, I had a conversation with a mom of 3 children where she asked me how it was with 4 kids and I joked about the laundry being crazy and she said, "You should probably hire someone to do that."

I just responded something like, "You're probably right."  But I walked away from the conversation thinking, "I don't need to hire someone else to help with the household chores because I have four children.  I have four children to help with the household chores!"

Find more Wordful Wednesday here.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

When the Chick Hits the Fan

I fully intended to follow along with Clean Mama's 31 Days to a Clean House.  It started October 1st and each day she features a cleaning task that should take roughly 15 minutes and challenges everyone to do it.  I've thought to myself, "I'm going to do it.  This is going to be great to finally accomplish these tasks I've put off for too long!  And it's 15 minutes, surely I can find 15 minutes."  But, it's day 4 and while I've read the task each day, I've done exactly 0.  Sigh.

I'm going to rally this weekend, though, it should only take me about an hour to catch up, right?  Anyone care to hold me accountable?


I did get the pantry cleaned out last weekend, though, even before it was an assigned task by the Clean Mama!  I cleaned out some clutter, rearranged some things, and added a few new containers.  I love it and have several times this week opened it just to gaze inside!


And to continue the theme of cheering on my accomplishments if only to make myself feel better about the fact that a clean load of laundry has been waiting over 2 days now to be put away, I've managed to kick my once-a-day Coke Zero habit -- tea and coffee get me through, but no weird chemicals in those, just good old fashioned caffeine!


My 3 year old has really latched onto the concept of "line leader" that she no doubt learned in her new preschool class.  Now at home she declares herself the "line leader" and commands me to follow her around the house.  If I get out of line she corrects that I need to stay "right behind" her back.  Awesome. 


Since returning their classroom mascots to school, my daughters resurrected a small yellow chick that had been buried in the bottom of our stuffed animal bin in a closet.  Each day they have traded off with the chick.  So one day the 7 year old takes it everywhere and sleeps with it at night, then the next day the 3 year old gets it.  I'm really impressed with the imagination behind the arrangement and that the 3 year old is being such a good sport when it is not her day with the chick!


Today was the 3 year old's turn to have the chick all day and she was so excited to show us what she did with it.  Can you find the yellow chick in this picture?

Apparently she was throwing it up in the living room.  The chick stayed up there for the afternoon and then this evening when I was driving the girls home from their gymnastics, they were talking about how to get it down.  Because I am the fun parent I suggested they just turn on the fan and then the chick could fly off.  They were so excited to do it and ran in the house screaming.  Sure enough the chick flew right off!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Family Redefined

I cannot really describe to you the feelings I have for Ethiopian people since traveling to Ethiopia twice and adopting my youngest child from there.

We truly fell in love with the people.  So, so many we met were beautiful inside and out.  They exuded this joy that typically had nothing to do with their immediate circumstances.  They are a strong and proud people, always hard-working, but with smiles that light up a room.

I've had the great pleasure of meeting Ethiopians that live in my own city here in the U.S. and again, it is always a lovely experience.  To me Ethiopians are very distinctive looking and I can spot them from a mile away.  I haven't been wrong yet.

We eat Ethiopian food fairly often.  We have two restaurants we frequent and then this past weekend we went to a new one that opened up even closer to our house.  This time as something special, we let the kids wear some of their traditional Ethiopian clothes.  We walked in the door, Ethiopian music was playing, the incense was burning, and it was crowded with Ethiopians (which we haven't experienced at the other places, typically it's more of a mixture of people, some Ethiopian and some not).  We were the only white people there and I was so happy, this feeling of contentment, of being surrounded by family, and being home washed over me and all I could do was smile at everyone.  Especially the precious little Ethiopian boy sitting near us in a highchair.  He was the cutest little boy and he reminded me so much of the precious little boys some of my fellow adoptive parents brought home from Ethiopia!

We visited with one man who had ties to the same region of Ethiopia that our daughter is originally from, and we traveled there last August.  Talking about it with him made the world seem very, very small.

Adopting a child from a different culture than your own is not all hardship (although there are hard things), there is great blessing, too.  Because as you allow God to redefine your immediate family and what the people look like who live under your roof, there is a whole new culture of people that become your family, too!

We took pics at the new restaurant for the classroom mascot journals (long story, turn back a couple posts if you're confused):

Find more Thankful Thursday here.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

She rides!

Before I get on with this post, let me preface it with this:  We have 4 kids ranging in age from 9 to 3 years old and before very recently, NONE of them could ride a 2 wheeled-bike.


Really, my husband and I would sometimes sit up late at night and say, "Wow, we have totally failed as parents!  We are incapable of teaching our kids to ride bikes without training wheels!" 

We tried several different times and it didn't work.  The teaching sessions left us adults sweaty and sore from running along stooped over holding onto the unsteady bikes and both us and the kids frustrated.   There was one day we thought we'd teach the then 8 year old and 6 year old on the same day -- that was neither a fun nor a successful day!  I started joking (but also a bit serious) that we needed to send our kids away to a school or a camp that could teach them this classic life skill because clearly we as their parents could not teach them.

It came to a point that the 9 year old couldn't have training wheels on anymore, because you know, his image, but he couldn't ride well enough without them so he just stopped riding his bike.

Then there was a long hot summer of about 4 months where one really could not go outside without sweating to death.  But, we recently had some cool nights (meaning less than 90 degrees) and the 3 younger kids have been riding their bikes with training wheels a bunch on our street.  Then last night, the recently-turned-7 year old asked if we'd take her training wheels off again.  Okay!  We were eager even though I think my husband and I both expected the training wheels to go back on again soon.

But, this time was different.

First, my girl was determined (nothing like the prodding of the fact that 2 kids on our street her age recently started riding their bikes without training wheels). Second, my husband had a plan this time!  He'd either read or heard of a method where you teach your kid to ride a bike first by having them coast down a small hill without pedaling, then once they were good at balancing, you get them pedaling on level ground.  So he sent her down the last 8 feet or so of our slightly sloped driveway and said she needed to have 20 good times and then they'd go to "phase 2".  I was standing guard in the street watching for cars (helps that we live on a cul-de-sac), the first few times I kind of caught her at the bottom and helped her steady herself and stop.

And, it was really amazing, the trick worked!  It took about 45 minutes to get through "phase 1" where she could control the bike coasting down the driveway, but then "Phase 2" was easy and took no time at all!

 It was so awesome to see how proud she was of her new ability!

 And the 9 year old (who was doing this while his younger sister was learning)?

Well, thankfully for preserving his ego at being upstaged by his little sister, he'd just recently brought home some really, really good results from a standardized test he took the end of last school year.  I had to ask what the code "PHS" meant for one category under the column "Grade Equivalent".  It means "Post High School", so as a 3rd grader his skills in that category were the equivalent of a post high school student!  What??!!  So we got to have a talk about everyone having things they are good at and things they have to work harder on.  And the 9 year old is now eager to try his dad's new two-wheel bike learning methodology.  I think talking in terms of "a methodology" is going to make all the difference for that smart kid!

And my little ones are crazy, lacking a natural fear of falling, going over curbs and such with their training wheel bikes so I imagine they'll be much easier to teach once we take their training wheels off.  Maybe we'll even have all 4 kids riding 2 wheeled bikes by the end of the weekend!  That or we'll be visiting the ER for stitches or a broken arm!

Find more Wordful Wednesday here.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Advice For My Daughters on Choosing a Husband

I have a huge problem (actually many problems, but let's just focus on one for now) with shows like The Bachelor as far as what they portray to young women about dating and choosing a husband.  Yes, a girl should expect some sort of romance and courting, but helicopter dates to exotic locations?  Not so much.  And besides, ANYONE can act lovely when they are on a helicopter date, especially one that he didn't pay for himself.  But in real life, with not fun situations, how does that guy act?  To me this is the most important criteria, because let's face it, married life is not an endless helicopter date!

I have one very important piece of advice for my daughters for many, many years from now when they are deciding on a man to marry.

Precious daughters, there is a key criteria I believe you should consider about a man before you agree to marry him.  Here it is:  Imagine being awakened at 2am by your child calling for you and walking into his room to find that your 9 year old son has thrown up over the side of his top bunk.  There is vomit running down the side of the bunk bed onto the bedding of your 5 year old son on the bottom bunk and coating the carpet below.  Now tell me, is this man you think you are in love with, the one you want to tackle this situation with?  Will he be your wingman, co-armed with rubber gloves and Clorox wipes or will he refuse to wake up to help?  Will he help the sick child in the bathroom while you evacuate the well child to a clean bed or crawl back in bed himself?  Will he wimp out, calling it "too gross", or will he stuff vomit-coated bedding into your washer and cheer, "It all fit!"  Will he complain or will he run the carpet cleaning machine as many times as needed until you finally sniff the carpet on your hands and knees and deem it back to "normal smelling"?

As you probably guessed from the level of detail, I do know this experience personally, and I was very thankful the man I picked over 13 years ago was the one beside me for that unfun situation.  I deal with a lot of minor middle of the night issues letting my husband sleep, and have since they were nursing babies, knowing my husband had to get up and go to an office job the next day, but I walked into that bedroom and knew I needed some serious back-up!

It was our second experience with the loveliness that is a child sleeping on the top bunk throwing up.  Love those bunk beds most of the time and the floor space they save, but hate them during a stomach sickness!  And we did have the conversation with the 9 year old once he felt better that went something like this, "I know it seems strange to throw up all over your own covers in bed, but really that would be much easier to clean up than if you throw up over the side of your top bunk!"

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