Sunday, January 1, 2012


It hit me after my last blog post about efficiency and getting multiple things done at once that there is something missing. It hit me when I was outside playing with my kids and kept searching for something else to do during that time that there is something missing. It hit me when I grabbed my iPhone tonight when I was giving Maddie and Noah a bath there is something missing.

Me. I'm missing. Missing out on those tiny moments with my kids. (Damn you iPhone).

I'm not retracting my two-fers post, as that is simply a part of this part of my life. I have three kids, I help to run a small business, I work part-time, and I have a boat load of things that I need to get accomplished. Efficiency is a way of life. However, it has hit me that it has become normal for me and often when there is only one thing going on it feels as if I'm missing something. So I end up distracting myself, squeezing something else in, where in reality I should choose to engage with the moment I am in.

Becoming aware of this is one thing, but how do I resist the temptation to pick up the backyard when were out there playing, check Facebook or e-mail hourly? That is the question. I believe I need a new mantra, for this is one of two goals I have for myself for the upcoming year. I need to be able to say to myself in that moment when I want to do yet one more thing...don't miss out on this, make a memory, love your kids, take this time. It will come to me. There must be an app for that, right?! :)

Monday, December 12, 2011


I pride myself on being able to be efficient. I like efficiency and I like to think of ways to be more efficient, and multi-task (even though I know that it probably isn't more efficient, it FEELS like it is). Part of feeling efficient is a certain choosing of tasks that need to be accomplished, and then paring down how well they need to be done, and also how picky I can be about stuff (ingredients, matching, dirtiness level of most anything, etc.) So I've gotten really good at the two-fers. Basically its how can I accomplish two things at the same time and get meaning out of it. Over the course of having three kids I've learned that I'd rather have them with me than not. This comes from baggage that I carry with me, I know that it is not normal and can be an issue, Im also not ready to address it or change anything about it. That being said, I work with my baggage. I go for two-fers. How can I benefit both myself and my children? Two-fers. Examples, Madeline takes swim class on monday mornings. Instead of watching her swim class, I swim laps alongside the class. I get to watch her and get a workout in. My work girlfriends are great at this. We had our Christmas get together this weekend. Normally a cookie exchange, not this year! We assembled dinners to freeze, while drinking wine. Putting one of the kids in charge of sorting the recycling or putting the silverware away while I work with them and chat. Two-fers....its a way of life.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I've always been kind of weirded out by how well and I know my kids, and in at the same time just how long it takes for me to get to know them. With the addition of more children, the time it takes for me to really get to know them (or, notice these said things about them) increases.

Madeline is a lot like me, she can be sweet and kind and then if you piss her off just right she will let you know just where you can go. I've sort of aligned her with me most of the time, we team up girls vs. boys, she is my helper. She's my girl. I've always had an extra special spot for her in my heart and feel extra close to her. Just in the last several months her personality has really started to emerge. She has become very maternal, taking excellent care of those around her. She loves to help and complete tasks she starts. She loves to dance and sing and takes pride in doing things her own way.

The most interesting thing that I've gotten to observe from her recently is that she is very clever. She has a way of solving problems in interesting ways which offer such a nice insight into her emerging personality. I feel that I can be clever at times. However I do have to give proper credit, John is very clever and is able to solve most any problem quickly and creatively. It is very humbling to have your three year old daughter suggest a solution to a problem that you would have likely never considered yourself.

The best example I can give of this is this, she was to go to bed however her over sized puppy had gotten wet due to a leaky sippy cup left in bed. This puppy is very important for sleeping with at night. Both John and I tried to convince her that she shouldn't sleep with this puppy, etc. Suddenly she suggested "why don't we do like this" and flipped him over so the underside (aka the dry side) was up and she proceeded to lay down and settle in for the night. Very simple solution and very clever girl.

I sure hope that this is a sign of more creative, innovative and outside the box thinking that we will see from Madeline...Dr. Madeline, perhaps?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Holy Monsters.

Monsters have invaded the Linstad household. In the last 36 hours they have completely taken over and terrorized our poor Noah Bug.

In the last few weeks he has started to wake up VERY early and sing, yell or scream until someone comes and gets him. John has a magic word or spell that he uses (which he hasn't shared with me) and is able to either get him back to sleep in his own crib, or cuddle with him on the couch and get him back to sleep. However it happens, he is able to get Noah back to sleep...oh yes, and go back to sleep himself. Awesome.

He will not do this for me no matter what.

So since John has been gone hunting I've been up with Noah. A lot. It reminds me a bit of when they were tiny babies and I was up with them a lot. But this is different. There isn't a promise of an afternoon nap to catch-up the next day. In the past 36 hours 98% of everything Noah has talked about has to do in some way or another with monsters. He woke up at 4am this morning, terrified of the monsters. Knowing he isn't the best at putting himself back to bed, I went and got him and brought him to cuddle with me. He grabbed onto me with the grip of death and would not let go. He truly was scared. He did cuddle with me for awhile in my bed, but it was a wiggly unsettled cuddle and he started bothering Jack (who sleeps in my bed when John is gone). So we got up.

Most of the day was spent talking about monsters and who would do what to them. Daddy will shoot them, Mom will "get" them, Maddie will poke them. Everyone has a job. Despite his early morning and ample time at the Y today, there was no nap for him. So he was completely exhausted by bed. The more tired he got the more critical the monster threat became. He needed sleep so after a refused dinner, it was off to bed. Oh yes. As the kids ate, I whipped together a monster of his own. A stuffed animal which we named Happy Monster. It is a brown polar fleece odd shape with button eyes and yarn mouth, and a beaver like tail. But Happy Monster was immediately accepted and loved.

Bedtime routine as normal, and NOPE. Sleep in Maddies bed, monster spray, sleep with Maddie, add in extra lights, music (classical), tape their bed off with a "No Monsters Ever" sign...NOPE NOPE NOPE!! I send Grandpa Lumpy (one of the many perks of living mere blocks from grandparents) to Trader Joes for Melatonin.

At the moment, Im sitting outside their room "on guard" for monsters. Its been awhile since the last this battle may be over. Now I just have to deal with Jack Attack who was ever so quietly sitting on the couch as this debachle was going on, eating abundant halloween candy!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

New Club

The minute Noah was born people started asking when we were going to have another baby. Even in the throes of labor with him I vividly remember the nurse asking if we were interested in permanent birth control during the hospital stay, I remember even hesitating at that moment. I have never felt the "Im done" feeling that friends of mine have described. THIS IS NOT AN ANNOUNCEMENT. It is, a slight observation of how I've been feeling this summer.

It feels like we are on the verge of joining a club. This is not a secret club, but I sure didn't know about it until recently. This is the parents with bigger kids club. This is the club where kids can do a lot of things for themselves, and play with other kids and be okay. This is the less equipment and stuff to tote around club, the we can get in the car in less than 5 minutes club, the things are getting easier club.

On that note, I guess I didn't really have time to notice just how much work it was to have three very young children. (I still do have three very young children, but like I said, we are on the verge of joining a new club). I surely have become accustomed to the work, the volume of laundry and dishes and the permanent organized-mess that is our home. But now that the kids are gaining independence Im starting to have moments where Im not really needed. Moments, as in seconds.

This really came into perspective this summer. We had the wonderful opportunity to go to family camp this summer. It was so super duper great and I enjoyed being up there with my family. It was at this camp where I had the chance to observe other families with older kids and the mobility, freedom and moments each of them had. This summer I had the chance to compare the same activities we did as the previous summer, beach, pool, playgrounds. I was able to get in there and play like I wanted to with all three kids. That is the real gift.

Monday, August 1, 2011

A change.

Today marks the first day of the last week of pre-kindergarten for Jack. This program as a whole has been marvelous for him and us as well. It marked a lot of firsts for us and helped to usher in a new and prominent fixture for our lives as a family, school. Madeline also had her first day at Vacation Bible School, which she adored and was very excited about as well. It also marks the day that I became a shuttle. We got Jack on the bus to school, got Maddie to VBS, went to the YMCA with just me and Noah, picked Jack up at home, went to pick up Maddie and then stopped by the community center for lunch. Koo Koo Kangaroo had it right, we really are rollin' in the minivan.

It made me reflect that in just a few short weeks, Jack will begin full-time Kindergarten and Madeline will start preschool 2 days per week. How fantastic. I'm not as sad about it as I thought I might be. I'm very excited for them and their new adventures. I'm looking forward to time alone with the Bug. But more than my feelings, are the LOGISTICS!!

This change that is coming in a few weeks will wreak havoc on the one thing that I have come to depend on and crave and have refused to let go of....nap time.

My kids all nap. I really haven't given them the choice not to nap. I nap, and I love it. I try to be the uber productive mom getting the things done while the kids sleep. But it always bites me in the ass, because here is the deal. I love naps. Even if I get 20 minutes of rest and then get to watch a crappy reality TV show alone, I feel much better. Laundry, and dishes be dammed. I'm getting my nap on!!

But this will likely all go down the tubes here in a few short weeks. It really is okay. I will miss them, but will probably be too busy being the Linstad Shuttle Service to notice...and I can totally drive through for coffee a little more often, right?

Friday, June 3, 2011

Hard to be...

I had to have a heart to heart with Jack last night.

He has been very curious and energetic and destructively loud lately. We've worked to curb his energy, but he is my son. Therefore he is strong willed, independent and will figure out a way to do what he wants to do regardless of what I say. I have known this about him for quite some time and I give him a lot of leeway to figure things out on his own. My mom did this for me and I am appreciative of it. I learned to think for myself and stand on my own two feet very early. I appreciate that I got this experience at an early age where the consequences were not severe, so that when the stakes were high I knew how to handle myself.

But he has been nasty. Simply nasty, and hurtful to us.

So last night he and I were rounding out our evening, catching up on a little Thomas the tank engine on TV. I told him "Jack I love you like crazy, but it is sometimes very hard to be your mom". I went on to tell him that sometimes I just dont know how to help teach him to cooperate and behave, and that sometimes I feel so angry at him for the things he does. I asked for his help to figure this out.

He was sad. He curled into a little ball and cuddled even closer. He told me "Im sorry, mom". I wanted to take it all back and tell him that he is the best boy ever, and perfect and smart and awesome. But I knew he and I had to sit with this for awhile. So instead I waited until bed and then went through the series of sentences we say sometimes at bedtime. I say the first part and he fills in the rest.

I love you all the... time
I love you no matter... what

In everything that we do together, or thing he does on his own, if he knows those two things I think I've done my job (even on the rough days).