Saturday, December 13, 2014


Ryan was taking Boomer, our dog, out to walk through the tall grass to see if he could hunt up any pheasants - just walking/training.  As they were leaving Cora yells out "Bring home a dead bird!"  I looked at her with a "WTH" kind of look on my face.  Milly then chimed in (not to be outdone) with "Bring home a dead turkey! Then we can eat the dead turkey."  She then turned to look at me and said "Mom can you cook the dead turkey?"  I said "Honey.  Mommy gets her food at the STORE."  Not be swayed she said "Well I get mine from HUNTING and I'm going to eat a DEAD TURKEY!"

Friday, December 5, 2014


Milly: What do you want for your birfday mom?
Me: Just my family and hugs and kisses!
Milly: Do you want a real elephant but dead?
Me: Do I want a dead elephant for my birthday?
Milly: Yes!
Me: No!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'm reposting a blog post that is perfectly stated.  Just perfect.  The original can be found here:

There it was, clear as day, two blue lines staring back at me from the small pregnancy test I had just purchased.
I double checked...
One line = not pregnant.
Two lines = pregnant.
Yup, I was definitely pregnant.
My heart was pounding.
My head was spinning.
My stomach was churning.
I was nervous, excited, scared and ecstatic all at the same time.
This was actually happening! After years of dreaming, preparing for and anticipating this day, it was finally here. I was going to be a mother.
Little did I know that in nine short months, I would begin the most exhausting, life-changing, heart-wrenching, but indescribably rewarding journey of my life.
In nine months, I would learn the price of motherhood firsthand. I would know exactly what it takes to be a mother. I would gain a whole new understanding of and gratitude for the beautiful woman I call Mom.
I would learn about things mothers experience that their children often know very little about.
Here are 10 things your mom never told you.
1. You made her cry... a lot. She cried when she found out she was pregnant. She cried as she gave birth to you. She cried when she first held you. She cried with happiness. She cried with fear. She cried with worry. She cried because she feels so deeply for you. She felt your pain and your happiness and she shared it with you, whether you realized it or not.
2. She wanted that last piece of pie. But when she saw you look at it with those big eyes and lick your mouth with that tiny tongue, she couldn't eat it. She knew it would make her much happier to see your little tummy be filled than hers.
3. It hurt. When you pulled her hair, it hurt; when you grabbed her with those sharp fingernails that were impossible to cut, it hurt; when you bit her while drinking milk, that hurt, too. You bruised her ribs when you kicked her from her belly; you stretched her stomach out for nine months; you made her body contract in agonizing pain as you entered this world.
4. She was always afraid. From the moment you were conceived, she did all in her power to protect you. She became your mama bear. She was that lady who wanted to say no when the little girl next door asked to hold you, and who cringed when she did, because in her mind no one could keep you as safe as she herself could. Her heart skipped two beats with your first steps. She stayed up late to make sure you got home safe, and woke up early to see you off to school. With every stubbed toe and little stumble, she was close by; she was ready to snatch you up with every bad dream or late night fever. She was there to make sure you were OK.
5. She knows she's not perfect. She is her own worst critic. She knows all her flaws and sometimes hates herself for them. She is hardest on herself when it comes to you, though. She wanted to be the perfect mom, to do nothing wrong -- but because she is human, she made mistakes. She is probably still trying to forgive herself for them. She wishes with her whole heart that she could go back in time and do things differently, but she can't, so be kind to her, and know she did the best she knew how to do.
6. She watched you as you slept. There were nights when she was up 'til 3:00 a.m. praying that you would finally fall asleep. She could hardly keep her eyes open as she sang to you, and she would beg you to "please, please fall asleep." Then, when you finally fell asleep, she would lay you down and all her tiredness would disappear for a short second as she sat by your bedside looking down at your perfect cherub face, experiencing more love than she knew was possible, despite her worn-out arms and aching eyes.
7. She carried you a lot longer than nine months. You needed her to. So she did. She would learn to hold you while she cleaned; she would learn to hold you while she ate; she would even hold you while she slept, because it was the only way she could sometimes. Her arms would get tired, her back would hurt, but she held you still because you wanted to be close to her. She snuggled you, loved you, kissed you and played with you. You felt safe in her arms; you were happy in her arms; you knew you were loved in her arms, so she held you, as often and as long as you needed.
8. It broke her heart every time you cried. There was no sound as sad as your cries, or sight as horrible as the tears streaming down your perfect face. She did all in her power to stop you from crying, and when she couldn't stop your tears, her heart would shatter into a million little pieces.
9. She put you first. She went without food, without showers and without sleep. She always put your needs before her own. She would spend all day meeting your needs, and by the end of the day, she would have no energy left for herself. But the next day, she would wake up and do it all over again, because you meant that much to her.
10. She would do it all again. Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs anyone can do, and it will take you to your very limits sometimes. You cry, you hurt, you try, you fail, you work and you learn. But, you also experience more joy that you thought was possible and feel more love than your heart can contain. Despite all the pain, grief, late nights and early mornings you put your mom through, she would do it all again for you because you are worth it to her. So, next time you see her, tell your mom thank you; let her know that you love her. She can never hear it too many times.

Sunday, November 23, 2014


I was listening to classical music while puttering around today...
Milly: Is this die music?
Me: What kind of music?
Milly: You know, music that plays when you lay down and die?

Saturday, November 15, 2014


Milly: Mom when were you a boy?
Me: Well I don't remember ever being a boy. I think I've pretty much always been a girl.
Milly: Well then when was I Jesus?
(we come out of the store to snow falling)
Milly: WOW look at all these flurries.  They're so tiny I can hardly see them?
Me:  Isn't it pretty?

Monday, October 20, 2014


Stream of consciousness by Milly:
{Following me up the stairs} I like purple. I like it very much. And I'm going to watch you change your clothes. {I head to the restroom} And I'm going to watch you pee because I'm your kid. I have brown eyes, and you have brown eyes so I can watch you go potty. Everyone in our family has brown eyes. Amelia at school has brown eyes - but she's not part of our family! Amelia licks me sometimes. ME: Well that's a bit odd. MILLY: No, its ok because she has brown eyes!

Saturday, September 6, 2014


I told Cora last night that I bought her one of MY favorite books as a child and we could read it together (Little House in the Big Woods - the first "Little House on the Prairie" book). She asked what it was about and I told her it was about a family who lived a long, long time ago when our country was very new. Her response:

Cora: So before cars?
Me: Yes! They used wagons pulled by horses. There were no roads!
Cora: Before radios even?
Me: Before radios, ipads - even ELECTRICITY!
Cora: OH MY GOSH! Before SELFIES even???

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Cora: Mom - can I have this ice cream?
Me: Oh honey that's been in there a long time - it's probably expired.
Cora: Oh I don't care! I'll eat anything as long as it has sugar!
Truer words have never been spoken

Monday, August 18, 2014


Yesterday (the 17th) we went to an I-Cubs baseball game.  We got to enjoy box seats as we were there for a group function.  Milly needed to use the restroom so I took her on in.  There were two teenage girls in there - one waiting, one using the restroom.  Milly went on into a stall and informed me she needed her "privacies" so I stood outside the stall, holding the door shut for her.  When I thought she might be done, I called in "Milly - are you all done honey?"  To which she loudly replied "No Mom!  I have to get my poops out!" and then started to, very spiritedly (and loudly), try to poop.   The young girls (who were both at the counter by then) just looked embarrassed.  I just smiled.  I wanted to say "Look what you have to look forward to ladies!"

Friday, August 15, 2014


Tonight the girls wanted to switch rooms - Milly sleeping in Cora's room and vice versa. We decided to go all in, with each girl going through the other one's bedtime routine. It was eye opening and really nice! I got to sit up in bed to read to Milly like a big girl and I got to rock with Cora as I read her a "Little Critter" story in the recliner. It was nice to see Milly as a more independent little person and to remember that Cora is still a relatively little girl even though I forget that sometimes.

Saturday, August 2, 2014


Ryan to the girls:  Daddy probably has a big ego I guess.  Some people have very BIG egos. And they can get hurt very easily.

Cora:  OH I know what an ego is. Its your privates!

(mom trying not to bust up laughing was a complete FAIL)

Saturday, July 12, 2014

7-12-14 (Annual Kiddo Questionnaire)


Nicknames:  Coco, Cor

How old are you?  That's easy! 7

What is your favorite color?  Aqua and pink

What is your favorite animal?  kittens

What is your favorite book?  The Magic Kitten

What is your favorite TV show?  Nina Needs To Go (a short cartoon series)

What is your favorite movie? Malificent

What is your favorite song? Timber (by Kesha)

What is your favorite food?  Cotton Candy (later she told me to change it to Sweet Corn)

What is your favorite drink?  Sprite

What is your favorite breakfast food? Waffles 

What is your favorite snack? Banana

What is your favorite outfit?  My new pink skirt that Meme gave me (pink eyelet ruffle skort)

What is your favorite game?  Kinectimals

What is your favorite toy? Stuffed penguin from the zoo

Who is your best friend?  Sophidene

What is your favorite thing to do?  Play with my friends

What is your favorite thing to do outside?  Play with Boomer

What is your favorite holiday? Memorial Day  (??)

What do you like to take to bed with you at night?   My bear (white one)

Where is your favorite place to go?  To a indoor pool at a hotel

What is your favorite restaurant?  Chili's

Where do you want to go on vacation?  Adventureland

What do you want to be when you grow up?  A vet

What do you want to do on your birthday?  Go to the zoo

What do you like about Mommy? That she hugs me and keeps me warm

What do you like about Daddy?  That he keeps me safe


Nicknames:  Milly Moo, Mills,

How old are you? Um 4

What is your favorite color?  Purple

What is your favorite animal? Giraffes

What is your favorite book?  The God book (a little Golden book)

What is your favorite TV show? all the Bubble Guppies

What is your favorite movie?  Malificent

What is your favorite song?  Rude (by Magic)

What is your favorite food?  Pizza!

What is your favorite drink? Juice

What is your favorite breakfast food?  Cereal

What is your favorite snack?  Poptarts

What is your favorite outfit?  Blue/white/floral dress from H&M (she pointed to it)

What is your favorite game?  Duck Duck Goose

What is your favorite toy? Barbies

Who is your best friend?  Maddison Peebles and Tinley H

What is your favorite thing to do?  Play with the dog (Boomer) 

What is your favorite thing to do outside?  Swing

What is your favorite holiday?  Christmas

What do you like to take to bed with you at night?   Dead animals (I hope to God she means stuffed animals)

Where is your favorite place to go? To Nana and Papa's

What is your favorite restaurant?  Hy-Vee (the Market Grille)

Where do you want to go on vacation?  To the Zoo

What do you want to be when you grow up?  A sister

What did you do on your birthday?  Eat the cake!

What do you like about Mommy?  Playing!

What do you like about Daddy?  Painting my fingernails!

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Cora just selected a career path. She informed me she wants to invent flying cars for a living. This led to a discussion of college, majors, venture capitalism, and factories.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


This morning, when I came down from getting dressed, I was greeted by Miss Milly wearing her nightie... and swim goggles. She told me, for the 1 millionth time, that Miss Emma was going to bring her swimming suit today and they were going to go to the water park. When I asked her to get dressed she was much distressed to find out I had not set out her swimsuit as a choice. I explained it was too early in the morning to put on her swimsuit - that the pool didn't open until after lunch and she would want to play outside until then. She very forlornly told me, as she was getting into her shirt and shorts "But sometimes you just hafta follow your heart mommy - and I think following my heart would be wearing my fwimmingsuit."

Oh and also.....

Sunday, May 25, 2014


My youngest child is outside, in the sprinkling rain, in her rainbow zebra shorts-pajamas, with her fairy rain boots on, wearing her fuzzy white jacket, inside out, carrying the umbrella from the sand table around. *sigh*

Friday, May 23, 2014


This morning Ryan was yelling from upstairs for Milly to come brush her teeth. To which she yelled back "Daddy! I will give you ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS if you just let me sit here and eat my breakfast!"

Sunday, May 18, 2014


Cora to Milly: You can use this for 3 seconds ok? I'm going to count to 10 three times and then that's three seconds.
Me: .......


I was sitting on the couch when I heard the back door open and a little tiger-painted-face (Milly) comes in. I said "Where's your sister" to which she replied "Back at the birfday party". I said "Honey did you walk back here all by yourself?" She said "Yes because I needed to ask you if I could have these." She had walked all the way back home from the party to ask if she could have the fruit snacks that came in her goodie bag.  Sometimes the words that come out of my mouth DO stick.

Monday, May 5, 2014


Cora was not feeling the morning today. I went in to help get her out of bed and she was grumbling about wanting school to be over. Then this happened:

Me: You know babe, I know how you feel. Mondays are hard. But you know what I said to myself this morning. I got up and said "I choose to be happy today." Because being happy IS a choice. It's not something someone does to us or for us ya know. Some people don't know that.

Cora: *stretching* Today, I choose to be... grumpy.


Cora is clearly not owning my super insightful mother-of-the-year platitudes. Tonight at dinner we were talking about Native Americans so I told the girls the old tale of the two wolves inside each of us. I ended by saying:

Me: So basically, whatever you look for, you'll find it. If you look for anger and hate, you'll find it. If you look for kindness and love, you'll find it.

To which Cora responded

Cora:  I'm looking for chunks of gold.


Sunday, May 4, 2014


Milly: Is today a stay at home day?
Me: Yep
Cora: It's Sunday
Milly: No - it's STARBOX and MCNONALD'S day!  I would like cimanon bites and a salted caramel cakepop please.

Thursday, April 17, 2014


I made pot stickers tonight for the first time and Milly was already in a MOOD that she had to come home from the park to eat so she came in sobbing and mad at the world. I had the sauce already by each plate and when she saw it she  whined:
 "I don't liiiiiiike dis black stuff! What IS it??!" 
Being frustrated after cooking all evening I snapped "It's poison Milly - don't eat it!" After we all sat down and miss Hangry got some food in her she was throwing them back like there was no tomorrow. As she was dipping her last one she said:
 "This poison is good mommy but it hurts the scratch on my lip a little." And then we all busted up laughing.

Friday, April 4, 2014


From the Playroom:
Cora: (to herself) I'm just gonna ignore this little thing and just pretend it's not even here.
Me: What are you ignoring?
Cora: Milly.

Oh so proud:
Ryan: I'm just gonna sit here with a beer ok?
Ryan: Milly! You do NOT. That is not a good thing to say.
Milly: (sulking) But I do.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Two comments from Cora tonight:

Cora: Do you ever have that feeling when you get so mad at someone you want to do something bad to them too?
Me: Yes, I do.
Cora: I get that feeling at Milly. A lot.
Cora: Thanks for my new lunchbox mom! You and dad are the best parents I've ever met!

Sunday, March 16, 2014


Today, Milly came up from the basement sobbing... about this: "Cora is hexing me!!" While Cora is screaming up after her "They were NICE hexes!!" *facepalm*

Sunday, March 2, 2014


Tonight at bedtime were some gems from both girls - in different ways.

Me: Milly, you can't wear that ring to bed ok?  Besides, that is Cora's
Milly:  But I'll be careful!
Me: It's just not a good idea to wear it while you sleep.  Maybe someday we'll get you one.
Milly:  Can I have a diamond ring?

Cora and I were reading a book called Sisters as our bedtime story.  It is about two sisters who are different in many ways, but also in many ways alike.  As they listed all the ways the sisters were alike, Cora was giving a "thumbs up" to all the things she also liked (sugar snap peas, playing in puddles, etc).  At the end the way the girls are most alike - is that they "love each other so very much."  Cora stopped and said - "That is a big thumbs up."  Then on the last page of the book the older sister is sitting hugging and cradling the younger sister.  Cora silently put the book down and gave that page two thumbs up.

Monday, February 17, 2014


Milly: Fletcher and me are at Gen Next and are true love.
Me: Who is Fletcher?
Milly: His mom is Angie. He's nice.
Cora: I thought you had a crush on Jacob?
Milly: No. Not anymore. He's outta there.

Friday, February 7, 2014


Feeling sad for BLG. Apparently the V-day "daddy daughter dance" (being held tonight) is a BIG DEAL around here. Only we had never heard of it being transplants (it's not put on by the school - rather, the city). By the time we knew it was all booked up. Cora came home today and said "I'm not going to the Daddy/Daughter dance." I said "I know, I'm sorry honey - mommy and daddy did't know about it until it was too late." She sat down on our stairs looking down and said "I wouldn't have wanted to go anyway." Poor sweet little liar. 


Milly keeps asking me when the Markles start. Pretty sure she means the Olympics but you never know....

Monday, February 3, 2014

Monday, January 20, 2014


Milly to Cora: Do you smell that?
Cora: Yeah...?
Milly: It's my toot!

Sunday, January 12, 2014


I just sent my children outside - in 46 degree weather, in snow gear, after record freezing temperatures for days - and they came back in within about 10 minutes telling me they were getting frostbite.  I may be raising them a bit soft.

Then, while they were taking their coats off in the mudroom I heard Milly tell Cora: "Frostbite is when your fingers turn brown then black, and then they fall off."  To which Cora responded: "Well that's pretty close.  Actually your fingers do turn brown and then black, and they might fall off, but not always. And sometimes you have to go to the hospital and have surgery. Do you know what surgery is?  That's when the doctors cut your hand open and take out the bones."   So glad she is there help mold young Milly....

Friday, January 10, 2014


This morning I was in my closet and heard Cora, in my bathroom, talking softly to Jupiter (who is, as the vet described him "a typical teenage boy right now with strong prey instinct"):

  "You know I love you Jupe.  Even when you're naughty and even if you bite. Because you're part of our family.  So we love you always."