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There are days like this that I am so glad that my children are less than 20 months apart.  They can be the best of friends at times.  Today my oldest was showing my youngest how to trace her hand using markers.  She even put on finger nails!  Mind you, she also pretended that the marker was nail polish and proceeded to ‘paint’ her and her sister’s nails the most lovely shade of magenta! 🙂  I so remember doing that when I was a kid!  Unfortunately the markers were not so washable back then!  Anyways, sometimes the washable markers that I have at home are a bit more stubborn.  Here is my little trick for removing marker from skin:  Baby oil on cotton balls rubbed gently on the skin is a quick way to remove the marker.  If you’re really adventurous, you can also let them play with shaving cream on a table and just spreading it around cleans the skin.  Shaving cream is a little messy so I take a garbage bag, cut off the bottom seal and cut a slit all the way up the side of the bag.  Before putting down the ‘work mat’, I make sure that the table is damp to ensure the garbage bag stays on the table.  When they are all done, just fold the garbage bag up and toss!  For more ways to remove pesky stains, visit the Crayola website.


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I love for my children to get the “I told you so” from their own choices.  I try to warn them and keep them safe as much as I can, but there does come a time when they have to experience things first hand in order to get it.  That is exactly what happened today.  My youngest and I do our shopping when the big sister is at preschool.  My youngest gets to feel important in our very own one on one time.  When shopping, I usually let her walk next to me unless we are in a hurry.  If we are in a hurry, she gets the choice of sitting in the small baby part or the large basket part.  She usually asks to be in the larger part, however, she tends to want to stand instead of sit.  I told her on numerous occasions how unsafe standing in the cart could be.  She never listens and instead of fighting with her, I just kept a good eye on her.  Usually this really is not a problem because most shopping cart baskets are tall enough to keep her safe.  However, today we visited a store with much smaller, shorter baskets.  So I go through my whole “its unsafe to stand in the cart.  You could fall out and hurt yourself” lecture and she kept on standing.  Today was the day where the natural consequence unfortunately came into play.  She was leaning backward on the cart as I was slowly pushing her and out she tumbled onto the floor.  I hear a small thump as her head bumped the floor and the eruption of crying and screaming.  Lucky for me this is winter in Michigan and she was wearing a winter coat with lots of padding and her hood, so that cushioned her fall.  But she unfortunately learned a very valuable lesson.  Now I don’t recommend this as a teaching tool, because kids can get seriously injured falling out of grocery carts.  She had a little guardian angel with her today as she recovered quite quickly with no apparent bruising.  However, she probably will never stand up in the cart again!  Mission accomplished??!!

Here is what the American Academy of Pediatrics says about shopping cart safety:

Since you cannot do good to all, you are to pay special attention to those who, by the accidents of time, or place, or circumstances, are brought into closer connection with you.

– St. Augustine of Hippo

I read these words today and cannot be more blessed for all the wonderful people that have walked into my life.  I am forever grateful to have known you all.


The other morning, I was enjoying a nice cup of hot coffee and watching my oldest child pretend to be the mom to my youngest.  She was covering her up with a blanket, bringing her a drink and some snacks, reading stories to her.  It was the sweetest thing, that is until one of them crossed the line with the other.  I don’t know what or how it happened and I was in the room with them.  But all of a sudden, the mood changed.  Being only 20 months apart, they still have a problem with the yours, mine, and ours part of their relationship.  They tend to get into some pretty heated disagreements that to me resemble a girly, WWF match.  Imagine lots of scratching, hair pulling, and smacking during one of their love fests.  Mind you, this typically lasts only 30 seconds, because I will intervene and have them get back into their separate corners (insert bell sound here), but nonetheless they both end up crying and losing.  Some days I feel more like a referee than a mother.  They find out quite quickly and concretely that there are no winners when problems are solved with violence.  Kids are so smart to figure this out at such a young age.  Too bad the leaders of our country don’t take advice from young children. 


So not only are we cooped up inside due to illness over here, but we are stuck inside due to an Arctic Blast storm that continues to dump snow on this part of the world for what seems like forever!  Mothers definitely are earning extra special bonus points with the Big Guy during these points in our lives.  I think I actually grew wings today.  I have two sick kids, a sick husband, I too am recovering from the flu, and still manage to make sure that everyone is medicated, fed, and wearing clean clothes.  When I am able to dig out of this house child free, a major pampering will be due without hesitation or budget discussion!  Amen!