Category Archives: Da Beans

Happy 14th Bean!

Dear Bean,

You are starting your second year of being a teenager. I see a few little signs of teenagedom sneaking in. You love to stay up late and sleep in late. Ok, that’s always been you. I also hear and see you push back with your attitude. That can be challenging. Most of the time you think you’re being funny – most of the time it’s just annoying. But really, if that’s all I can complain about, it ain’t much!

You are still hilarious. I love your sense of humor and your quick wit. You have the best one liners and great timing. I hope you always keep your great humor.

You are still athletic. You played varsity volleyball this fall. It was a big leap up for you. It would have been easy to keep you on JV where you probably would’ve been the star player. But in order for you to grow you needed to be pushed. You’ve shown a lot of growth. Your coach has said you’re going to be a beast on the court. Up next will be varsity softball. I can’t wait to see what happens on the field!

You still love all things Harry Potter. I am amazed at your memory and recall. You remember the tiniest of characters and quotes. You’ve added some other things to your fandoms. You love Stitch from Lilo & Stitch. You love P!ATD (Panic! At The Disco). You pretty much love all music – I’ll give your older sister the credit for introducing you to a lot of bands and artists.

You have a lot of friends. It’s safe to say that every friend, teacher, and coach has said that you are kind. I’m so glad that you have that quality. Keep it. It’s rare in this world.

For your birthday celebration this year we took you and a few friends to Castles ‘n’ Coasters. You spent a few hours riding coasters and viking boats. At the end you all decided to tackle the ropes course. You didn’t make it very far. That’s okay – you tried.

I am so proud of who you are – who you choose to be. I’m excited to watch you grow this coming year.

I love you!


Labor Day

In honor of “labor” day….

How long were your labors?
Kid #1: 16 hours
Kid #2: 5 hours
Kid #3: 9 hours

How did you know you were in labor?
Kid #1: I was out to dinner with my hubby when I felt the first contractions. We started to time them and when our waitress popped by the table she exclaimed, “Are you in labor??!!” and then promptly left to get our check and didn’t return for a really, really long time. Um, hello?!
Kid #2: I was induced 1 week after his due date.
Kid #3: I was induced 1 day after her due date.

Where did you deliver?
In the same hospital for all three kiddos. Loved, loved, loved the staff!

Kid #1: Epidural! Easy peasy.
Kid #2: Epidural – but only one side went numb.
Kid #3: Epidural – mostly worked great until the end when the pain got ahead of the drugs.

Nope. I was so terrified – and relieved that I never did.

Who delivered?
Same doctor for all three 🙂
Kid #1: My doctor was scheduled to go on vacation. I had my baby on her last day at work! I had my hubby and my mom coaching me.
Kid #2: Same doctor. This time I had my hubby, my mom, and my sister by my side.
Kid #3: Same doctor. Switched it up… had my hubby and my BFF.


Last year I started telling my kids to have a super duper alley-ooper day when I dropped them off at school.  I guess I said it enough because there came a point that I would say, “Have a super duper…” and they would respond, “alley-ooper day!”  I knew the tradition had become cemented when I forgot to say it one day and the kids just stayed in the car waiting for me to say it, “Mo-om… c’mon, say it….”

Now I have to do it twice every morning.  Once when I drop off my high school Chickie at the bus stop and again when I drop off the Boy and the Beans.  This morning it took Beans a little longer to get out of the car and get her backpack out of the trunk.  She walked around the car to the driver’s side window and pressed her sign language “I Love You” fingers up to the glass and waited for me to do the same so she could line up our fingers.  I love that she’s 10-years old but still loves to do little things like that.

I want to soak in these little things that put a smile on my face.  Who knows how much longer she will want to press her fingers to the glass to show me that she loves me?  There will come a day that she will roll her eyes and decide that’s too baby-ish.  But for now I’ll look past the fingerprint smudged glass to the smile on her face and soak it all in!


I am really enjoying my kids right now.  Sure they drive me nuts with their sibling bickering and some days I’m ready to sell them off to the first bidder… but really… I love them!
The kids are old enough now that they can be trusted at home by themselves.  Which gives the hubby and I more time to reconnect.  But it’s more than just that.  They are old enough now to have deeper conversations, their own opinions, sarcastic remarks.  Each one has their own distinct humor and they never fail to crack me up.
Chickie is in high school.  High. School.  She’s getting ready for her first set of finals.  And then next semester she starts her first college class.  I am amazed at her motivation.  She’s a smart cookie – I tell her that all the time.  She loves school and loves to learn.  This semester she had to memorize a Robert Frost poem and has been working on learning how to read poetry aloud – with a microphone *gasp*.  She is so proud of herself – I am too.  Almost every day she comes home excited to tell me something new that she learned.  She especially loves it when she gets to go out to the stables to see the horses.  The white mare is her favorite.  We have been encouraging her to get involved in extra curricular activities.  She finally picked an after school club – archery!  Surprised me but I’m glad that she is trying something new.  It’s fun to listen to her talk about her friends and the crazy things they do at lunch.  I am sure she will look back on her high school years with fond memories.
The Boy is in seventh grade.  He’s a tall bean pole – all arms and legs – but starting to show some muscle definition.  He’s playing flag football and getting ready to start soccer season.  I like watching him connect with his teammates.  He’s been more of a one-friend kind of guy and so to see him with a group – it’s fun.  He isn’t the star on his team but he’s the reliable one.  He’s at every practice and makes sure to practice at home too.  He’s usually the team captain at the games – the one the coach pulls over to give the plays to.  I’m excited to see how he does in soccer this year.  He did okay last year but didn’t really have the confidence he needed to follow through.  I think this year will be better.  He’s still really into survival shows like Man vs Wild.  He’s watched every survival show on Netflix.  He loves, loves, loves to camp.  I would really like to find a summer camp for him where he can learn survival skills.  I’m also hoping to send him on his first hunting trip in February.  He won’t have a license to hunt but it will be good for him to tag along and learn the necessary skills.  He’s been doing so much better since his surgery.  His spelling has improved tremendously.  In fact, he’s won a few in-class spelling bees.  He still struggles with reading – especially when he reads out loud.  I don’t know how much of that is a result from his tumor or how much is hereditary.  It’s fun watching him grow into a teenager.  He would be embarrassed to know that I think he’s cute in his skinny jeans and snapback hat.  He knows he wants his hair just so, his jeans to fit a certain way, a particular pair of shoes.
Beans is in the fourth grade.  It’s her second year with this teacher and we just love her.  She is the perfect teacher for Beans right now.  She is so encouraging and constantly brings out her strengths.  She works hard on school projects and does a really good job with time management.  She studies for the spelling bee and for class speeches.  She is also a class leader.  She makes new students feel welcome and maintains close friendships.  Now that I am working at her school I get to see her in action.  As her mom I know that she has two best friends but in class she spends time with other students too.  She’s been starting to have stomach problems like her sister.  It’s been difficult to figure out her triggers though.  We have learned that sugar too early in the morning is a big no-no; things like cereal and syrup.  There are other triggers we haven’t figured out yet though.  It’s very much a trial and error process.  Beans has the greatest sense of humor and is very quick witted.  She comes up with the best one-liners.  She is still not a morning person and now that it’s winter and the mornings are dark… well, it’s a struggle to get her going.  The other morning she finally rolled out of bed 9 minutes before we had to leave.  We piled into the car and headed out.  When I commented on the pretty sunrise she hissed like a cat.  I laughed so hard!
I love my kids so much and I love watching them grow into the people they are becoming. No, every day is not rainbows and glitter – in fact, some days are grey clouds and thunder – loud thunder!  But I love them just as much on those days.
I am so blessed.

Double Digits

Happy (belated) Birthday Beans!!

I can’t believe you’re TEN already!  You are such a fun kid.  You have an amazing sense of humor with a quick wit.  You come up with the best one liners.  Your sister was giving you grief for walking through the house wrapped in a towel (after your shower) so you flashed her and said, “Feast your eyes!”  What a stinker.

You’ve discovered fashion this year and you’re figuring out your own style.  You love to wear the nerd glasses.  This year you asked Uncle for knee high Converse high tops.  Plus you spent some of your birthday money on fake reading glasses – for those days you don’t want to wear your nerd ones.

You begged to have bangs – but not just any bangs… no, you wanted side-swept bangs just like your sister.  You’re starting to hang out with her more.  You even had an accidental sleepover in her room after watching Netflix too late.  I think someday the two of you will be best friends.  For now you’re content to spend a little time with her.

You recently asked to be baptized and I am so excited for you.  You like to read your Bible and you are good at remembering to pray for your friends.

You love to hula hoop.  And you’re good at.  Your newest trick is to start standing up, then go down on your knees, and then get back up.  You’ve discovered the Lemony Snicket series.  Every night you love to climb in bed with me and read to me.  You have also starting playing Minecraft like your brother although I don’t think you’re as addicted as he is.  Earlier this year you decided you wanted to play piano and you started teaching yourself.  You would practice a song for awhile and then ask me to listen and help you figure out the next one.  You love music!  You have an iPod and more often than not, you have headphones on.  Last year you really liked One Direction but I think peer pressure made you think they weren’t cool any more.  Now you like to listen to Taylor Swift and Katy Perry’s “Roar”.

You are larger than life and it’s so hard to describe what makes you who you are.  You are fearless and sensitive and funny and compassionate and a quiet leader.  You are silly and stinky and brave.  You are your own person.

I love you so much.  I am proud of who you are and who you are becoming.

I want to remember

Once our kids grew beyond their toddler years we essentially kicked them out of our bed.  We never really had a ‘family’ bed to begin with but we would snuggle with them and occasionally let them pass out and be carried to their own bed.  But once they started to grow up we reserved our bed for just us – me and my hubby.  I still snuggle my kids but we’re either on the couch or in their bed.  If a child wakes up with an ailment I steer them back to their bed and comfort them there.

But last night I let Beans climb under the covers and snuggle up next to me.  She’s long and lean like a string bean and so when I wrapped myself around her she filled the length of me.  Her feet lay on top of mine, her back curved into my belly, her neck and cheek right by my face – allowing me to breathe her in, my arm wrapped over her and holding on to her.

It was really hard not to go to a dark place.  I’m already emotional with The Boy’s 1 year MRI coming up next week and the Bean having had her first migraine… Holding her in bed last night it was hard not worry about what might be in her future.  I wanted to stay wrapped around her and to protect her as any mother wants to do.

I felt her body relax and she slipped into sleep.  Little twitches confirmed she was out.  We roused her enough to get her tucked into her own bed.  When I climbed back into my bed the spot she had curled into was still warm.  I snuggled down and assured myself – she’s gonna be okay.

Never gonna grow up

Beans:  Do I have to go to school tomorrow?
Me:  No.  It’s fall break.  You’re off all week.
Beans:  Do you have to go to work?
Me:  Yes.  I don’t get a fall break.
Beans:  That’s not fair!  When do you get lots of days off to celebrate?
Me:  I don’t.  We don’t really get breaks at work.
Beans:  That’s not fair!!