Tuesday, December 21

Saturday, November 27

Somebody's growing up

Happy 6 month birthday to our "Addy Bell, Little Bit, J Bird, baby Addy." You are the sweetest, most good natured baby. (more so than your big brother and sister). Your joy is contagious. Now that you are a grown woman you decided it was time you started crawling, pulling up, and babbling mumma, and dada in the same week! We love you little one, but could you please slow down just a little for momma?

Monday, November 8

Myself, Jolyn & Kaci. Lifetime friends. This weekend was Jolyn's baby shower. This was the first time we were together in two and a half years! Needless to say the time was sweet. Can you tell which little girl goes with which big girl!

Sunday, October 31

Halloween treats and one trick

Nothing better than a nose pickin' princess and Scooby with a forced peanut butter smile.

We brought home a little more than candy tonight. Apparently someone decided to dump this sweet kitten. Of all the hundreds of people out in our neighborhood tonight how did I end up taking this kitten? Must have been meant to be. She's pretty sweet. Names suggestions?

Saturday, October 30

Gwyneth's Third Birthday

The night we got our Halloween decorations out of the attic. This cracks me up.

Saturday, September 18

Simple Pleasures & More

Today I had the pleasure of spending a little time garage-selling at a neighborhood wide sale-a-thon. In addition to finding things for the kids, I found a few treasures for me: retro dishes from which I plan to have cereal and coffee, a vintage ceramic owl (see pic), and a ceramic dove plant holder. I was thinking about a few of my collections that have unofficially evolved (to name a few): milk glass, even if it's fake I love it, ceramic doves, including a set of my grandmother's, & sewing things. This one is funny because I don't sew. Today I brought home my grandmother's sewing box from the garage sale. In it were zippers, patterns, ricrac, crochet things, string, buttons, old patterns, fabric and ribbon remnants. Oh the crafts that could come out of these little things. I will have time to make you some day. (I heart button rings!) For now, I am happy having this little pink box and all of it's wonderfully musty smelling contents on a shelf in my closet.

I often wander why I am so attracted to things from the past. I feel like I was born with a natural tendency to go backwards rather than forward like a normal person. Maybe it seems like a simpler time. Maybe a domestic lifestyle that I crave. Maybe I feel like I'm preserving something I don't want to be lost.

It is sort of ridiculous how many things of my grandmother's I have now in my home. I am missing her terribly today. My mom brought us all of the food from her pantry this week. Having her canned goods in my pantry is strangely comforting. Maybe if I cook with her food and use her bowls it will taste like her cooking, like her goulash I've never been able to make as well? There is another reason I'm missing her today. In her life there was a period in her life that she raised 4 children by herself. I've been thinking about this lately as I'm feeling extremely suffocated working with my three. And I'm married and have a wonderful husband. I can't imagine doing it on my own. Thinking about what she endured makes me want to keep on, or at least try to have a good attitude. I'm sad that she's not here to call when I'm really tired, just to hear her say it will get easier.

I need help being a better mom on Saturday. Today I was short with my kids too many times. Luckily they are quick to forgive me when I apologize. Just a little time right now not to be Mrs. Collins or mommy would be beneficial, I do believe.

Just one adorable thing about Adalyn: She has started sucking her thumb. Pretty darn cute.

My brother left Iraq today. Have a safe trip home brother.

I think maybe we have a ghost in our house. The floor has creaked three times since I've been writing this post.

Pandora, vanilla caramel tea (from grandmother's pantry), a dark room with the window open, some time to process, and a sleeping baby that I'm about to join. Good therapy.

Monday, August 16

Saturday, August 14

It's my party...

I asked Blake tonight, are 4 year olds fragile or is our boy just fragile? He said a little of both but Wilder is just tenderhearted. I'm trying not to feel like the worst mom in the world because Wilder cried three times at his party! I was reassured that it's bound to happen and that it's a sign of a successful party. I planned some balloon games to play. I didn't think about how loud balloons are when they're popped. The first game all the kids had balloons tied around their ankles and the goal was to chase each other and pop somebody else's balloon without yours being popped. This was a hit until Wilder's balloon got popped and it broke his little heart. Then we played a game where the kids had to pop the balloons with their bottoms to get the candy out. The popping scared the bageebies out of Wilder. Funny how the babies didn't seem to care. Anyway, I felt bad. I just wanted him to have so much fun. Tonight at home I was telling Wilder I was sorry he was upset during the games. He told me to never play those games again, and to play games he liked like tag, and hide and seek. Duh, mom. Sigh.

The third time he cried was during the cutting of the cake. He did not want me to cut through his name. We barely had enough cake for everyone so I started to cut into it anyway. He went hysterical! So I managed to keep it. I guess he can eat it Monday on his actual birthday. I thought is was cute how he covered his ears when we sang to him. I think he was a little embarassed by all the attention.

Overall, think Wilder had a good day. He was so cute helping me get ready for the party. He helped with the cake and filled the treat bags. He was so thoughtful to put treats that he knew each person would like specifically.

Oh my sweet 4 year old. You are: smart, silly, thoughtful, specific, tender, creative, energetic, loving, stubborn, impatient...mine.

I love you Wilder Blake.

Tuesday, August 3


i just miss her. so much. already.

there is nothing like losing a loved one to make you appreciate life. makes life feel really short. makes me want to be more open and honest with those close to me. of course there are things i wish i would have said to her. it doesn't seem possible that i was talking to her in her chair a week before she passed. i wanted to tell her thank you for loving me so well. for always making me feel special and valued. for how comforted i felt when i was with her. i wanted to tell her how beautiful i thought she was. even the last time i saw her, two days before she passed, her eyes were beautiful. the same eyes that stand out to me in her childhood photos.

a few things i will miss:
receiving cards with her handwriting in the mail.
being able to call her
hearing her say "now then" after she makes something better
everything about her house
her cooking
her hugs and kisses
her goody bags of whatever was on sale at the grocery store. usually a random assortment of things.

things that will remind me of her:
cantaloupe. a staple at her house.
the smell of noxema. i remember her rubbing it on our sunburns when we were at the lake together.

in addition to my husband she was the most selfless person i know. even two days before she passed she was trying to make arrangements for all those who were coming to visit her to have lunch. She was also signing birthday cards for the remainder of the year. she always made me want to be a better person. i hope people will be able to say the same about me.

now that she is gone i feel closer to God, Heaven, knowing she is there.

Monday, July 19

Just Stay Cool

"Gwyn, open your eyes for me"

It's nice living only a few miles from a public swimming pool! Today we needed to get the kids out of the house - fast, so we headed up to Chandler Park. We had a good time despite the grossies that come with public swimming pools. Is there anything more gross than wet toilet paper?

How about my new main photo? This is what happens when you don't supervise the sprinkling of the sprinkles. I saw this idea in a magazine for watermelon cookies (the white stuff is yogurt). They may have been ok if the sprinkles plus the juice hadn't created cosmic goo. Oh well, this is the same magazine that convinced me that if I made Wilder and Gwyn a "reward jar" that they would pick up toys without me nagging them just so they could get more marbles in their jar to eventually earn a reward. Ahem, still waiting for that.

4 more weeks until school. I'm getting there. There meaning mentally in a place that if feels doable. Planning has begun. I'm trying to do everything I can to make it as easy as possible. I'm so thankful to have a job. It feels like God wanted me to have this job so with that I feel like everything will work out...if I let Him help me. That's the hard part for me.

Oh, Adalyn is in her 9th week now! She is so wonderful!

Happy I got a few new photos on the blog! More updates soon including photos of my latest rummage find!

Sunday, June 13

How to prevent a sleepless night hangover...

...on a day when you're by yourself with two toddlers and a newborn.
Preface. Adalyn is a good baby. She's pretty easy going, however, as most babies do, she has a fussy time. Hers happens to be from about 2-5am. It's a dark, ugly time of night for me. There have been a few nights I've felt miserable having no idea how I'll face the day, then after a couple hours of sleep between 4 and 6 a little part of me wakes up thinking "Ok, I can do this. I can get up and have a good attitude." Some mornings are easier than others. For those particularly difficult mornings here are a few sobering tips that helped me get over the hump and not be grumpy.

1. Make homemade blueberry pancakes for the very first time since your baby was born. (they're pretty regular at our house) Granted you will have to have enough patience for your 3 year old to help and probably have to wear the baby in your sling at some point. Once made, eat as many as you possibly can. Tell yourself it's ok and you need the calories because serving as an open-all-night-all-you-can-eat-milk-buffet is hard work.

2. Get outside. Walk the kids to the playground and get a high dosage of sun and laughter. Warning: the heat may seem a little overwhelming because of the added heat of the two warm milk jugs you're wearing under your shirt - don't let this keep you from having a good time. Maybe I can just sweat off some baby weight. The warm breezes seemed to be a natural sedative for Adalyn, so she was perfectly content in her stroller. I was really able to play and focus on Wilder and Gwyn, which has been difficult since Adalyn's been home. Wilder found this particularly refreshing I think. He said at one point, "we're having a nice day aren't we mommy" I think he was craving the interaction. Sidenote: What would you do if your 3 year old told you he had to poo-poo and couldn't hold it long enough to walk back to the house? Which is more disgusting, having him go in his pants or squat in the grass?

3. Smell and cuddle your baby. I don't think I'll ever get tired of feeling Adalyn's sweet face next to mine. And I mean really smell her. Put your nose right behind her ear and breath in deep that earthy, sweet, sour milk sort of smell. Ahhh

4. Bribe your kids with candy to stay in their beds for 30 minutes so you can get a power nap. The only way this one can be foolproof is if you tell your toddler that there is NO MORE CANDY. Otherwise, 10 minutes into your nap as you're dozing off you'll hear "mommy, I gotta ask you something" requesting more candy. Oh well, it was a good attempt!

5. Remember the simple fact that your new baby is a GIFT and you are blessed to be taking care of her. I would much rather be taking care of her in the middle of the night than NOT be taking care of her, right?

Monday, June 7


Today Blake and I are celebrating our 7 year anniversary. Ok, so not much happening in the way of actual celebrating. Anybody want to babysit two toddlers and a 3 week old? :) However, we do have a lot to be proud of and thankful for. I couldn't be happier and am so lucky to be married to such a wonderful husband and father. I love you honey, we have accomplished so much in our short 7 years, it hasn't always been easy but we are blessed beyond measure!

There is so much I want to say about Adalyn's birth, summer break, and becoming a family of 5, eventually. For now, here are a few of my favorite recent snapshots.

Thursday, May 20

I think I'm in love, again.

Adalyn Jane Collins was born at 2:02 on May 16th. I'm overwhelmed with love and adoration. Sad that I'm not pregnant anymore (and will never again be) and by the realization that Wilder and Gwyneth aren't babies anymore!

Sunday, May 9

I like this job

Happy Mother's Day!

39 week belly

Just so I won't forget!
Taken at my baby shower. Me, mom, grandmother, and aunt Sheila.

Sunday, May 2

Patiently Waiting

So twelve more days until my due date. It's hard to beleive I've made it to a point that I'm actually prepared for this little baby to come. Folded, clean, newborn clothes, a clean house, nursing accessories, I even have a new boppy and fancy new bedding for our not so fancy crib! Two weeks ago I was dialated to a 3-4 and 70% effaced. This created a lot of histeria that I might go into labor anytime. So much that I had my party at work the next day instead of like 5 days later and lots of teachers and students asking "you're still here?" I did actually have a false labor shortly after that check that got us moving and our bags packed. Since then I've felt great, no contractions just a growing belly. So for my last appointment I decided to not have the doctor check me. I didn't want any false hope. So anytime you want to come little girl we're ready. I can't wait to see your little face. To see how you, the last piece to our family puzzle, will fit in.

Thursday, April 1

Welcome Spring

and all that you bring!

Monday, March 22

Please Help

I knew it might be a little bit of a challenge going back to work after a week home with the kids. Tonight at bedtime I told Wilder I had to go back to work tomorrow. What proceeded was me attempting to explain to a 3 year old why I had to go to work. "But we already have new clothes and a house and lots of money." Then, yes, he said it..."why don't you love me anymore?" I about cried. I'm curious what has worked for other working moms in helping little ones understand.

Sunday, March 21

Spring Break

Overall I think Spring Break was a success. Of course we didn't accomplish all that we imagined we would, but is that ever the case? We made a little room for baby with some Spring cleaning, spent tons of time with the kids, spent too much money on a trip to OKC, and recharged our batteries for the weeks ahead. The next 8 weeks are going to be crazy busy and stressful. But, as my friend Tasha so optimistically stated, after they're over we'll have a new baby girl to fall in love with and a teenage-free summer.

I thought I'd post this photo of Gwyn because she thought it was hilarious. She will NOT sit on the potty. She will simply say "I already did." However, pair a bare bottom and an empty bucket and she will ask you about 10 times to "take one more picture of me." Oh, my stubborn, sweet, soon-to-be-middle-child, how I love you. I just hope your little sister is like your brother.

Friday, March 5

I think they understand

I had a conversation with Wilder and Gwyn tonight that was just too precious to risk forgetting. It was the most intense and lengthy conversation we've had yet about our new baby coming. I asked Wilder where our new baby was going to sleep when she got here. Of course he said his bed so he could love her. This then opened up a huge discussion of what we're going to do with the new baby when she gets here. We went through everything from bathing, feeding, to showing her all of his new toys. Gwyn chimed in now and then, I think she really understood. At one point they were both showing me how babies crawl so that they could teach her to crawl. The sweetest was when Wilder said we have to snuggle her on the couch and give her lots of hugs. I think I'm just dumbfounded at how smart Wilder is becoming lately. He understands so much now. His curiosity and sincerety never fail to make my heart be still just for a moment. I know he is going to be an incredible, loving, protective big brother who will love taking care of both of his little sisters.

Thursday, March 4

30 weeks!

Well the March issue of Tulsa Kids came out this week! Pretty fun to see our little family in print. Here's a link to the Tulsa Kids Website. There's a little photo of us and you can read the story. My friend Holly Wall wrote the story about VBAC's (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean, what I had with Gwyneth). Hopefully the story will be helpful and a few more women will realize that VBAC is an option!

I am 30 weeks today! I'm realizing it's time to start thinking and preparing to actually give birth to this baby. I ordered some books from the library to get myself inspired for natural childbirth once again. I'm confident and nervous!

I need losts of grace to get through the end of this school year. My tolerance level has been pretty low this week. Doesn't seem like there is much of a differnce between dealing with 14 and 15 year olds and coming home and dealing with my 2 and 3 year old! If I can just get past April 6th I think I'll survive. The 6th is the date for our school plays we're working on...you are all invited!

Come Spring come!

Sunday, February 21

Sunday Evening

A friend at church gave me this poem today. Written by a jewelry artist she loves. I think I loved it because I related to almost all of it!

I love my life.
I love what I do.
I am a Leo. (or a Gemini)

I am obsessive.
I am shy.
I am strength.

I love coffee.
I can't be without my designer boots. (or new retro New Balance tennis shoes)
I am at peace when I can hear the water and feel the wind.

I am socially awkward.
I love to observe.
I believe in balance, patience, and what lies ahead.
I recycle.

I work hard and give everything
to my family and career.
I love being a mommy.
I am learning as I go.

It has been a journey for me
and I am thankful for every tear
and every laugh.
My family and friends are beautiful.
My husband is my rock.
I am in love.

I create from the heart.
Sometimes it works and sometiems it doesn't.
I dedicate my line to the enormity of
(I may need to think how to adapt this last line specifically)

Other weekend highlights:
Weekend Highlights!
-My house is in much better shape than it was Friday night.
-Celebrated my mom's birthday at my grandmother's house. Hence, got to see my grandmother and the rest of the family.
-Spent some quality time painting, cutting, gluing, and playing with Wilder and Gwyn this afternoon.

Sunday, February 14


Just had a great lunch with mom and dad. Wilder and Gwyn have enjoyed Valentine's Day. Wilder keeps saying "Happy New Year" instead. Of all holidays I guess New Years made a lasting impression! Mom made a super yummy cheesecake for Valentines Day. I, with no shame, asked for a second piece. Nobody else did. This sweet craving is getting out of control. Blake has been buying chocolate candy for our Sunday school class we're teaching. Needless to say he's had to rebuy some because of my candy habit. Last week I told him to hide the bag from me. I found it in Roy's dogfood tub. Gross. I didn't think the kids would appreciate smelly dog food candy so I exercised some self control and put it in the pantry.

We get another ultrasound tommorow. Maybe I can post some pictures of the baby and my quickly growing belly. A little discouraging to think I have three more months and my shirts are getting to small already.

Our fridge died this week. Because of it our house smells like rotten fish. I guess it stayed thawed out in the freezer too long and after scrubbing it, it still smells. On the night we threw out all the food and Blake headed for the grocery store I had to be a little creative on what to feed the kids for dinner. We made what I called "peanut butter cookie oatmeal". Not bad. Pb, sugar, butter, raisins, and oatmeal. Wilder also ate practically a whole avacado with it. Gwyn ate cheetos.

I don't know why but I have become much more relaxed about what goes into my kiddos and my body lately. During this whole pregnancy really. It seems less significant than in times past. Maybe I realize there's bigger things to worry about? We'll see how long it lasts.

I took Wilder and Gwyn to the museum yesterday for free second saturday. I love this program. The kids had a great time and really enjoy the activities. Yesterday they made paper mobiles which they drug over the whole museum and outside garden. I had to staple them about 100 times back together last night. Each time you go they give the kiddos a free art supply. We got watercolor markers yesterday that we haven't tried yet. As we were leaving our friend was on her way to paint with her daughter. We had already been there for 2 hours and needed to go to the grocery store so I made Wilder leave despite the cries of "I want to paint!" What did I do? I coaxed him out of the museum with the promise of ice cream. Ok, so I wanted some too.

So at the grocery store I was lucky to find a front row parking place. On the way out I was taking a long time to pull out because I was handing out peanut butter whoppers - see I'm out of control. (actually Wilder ordered a pineapple shake at Sonic and didn't like it and was upset so I told him I'd get him some candy inside the store). Anyway, apparently I was taking a really long time and there was a man in a truck waiting for my parking spot. He honked to get my attention. Does anyone else think this is rude? So as I was pulling out I honked back. Then he flipped me the bird. How rude. Really, to a pregnant lady with two kids? He could have found another spot and have walked in to the store with all the time he waited. Lazy jerk!

Friday, January 29

Geez, it is STILL snowing!

I'm starting to feel like our snow day was a little more justified. So far, it's been about the perfect day. I don't remember the last time both Gwyn and Wilder were taking naps at the same time. I've been taking care of little things at home like nagging chores. I might actually do some painting tonight. Last night I wasted too many brain cells on two hours of American Idol catch up, so feeling the need to be a little productive!

I made an effort to check my facebook page today. Arrgg, my computer will not let me share. Oh well, to all you "friends" that have left comments or sent friend requests - it's not personal!

Snow Day

I don't know that there is much sweeter than a snow day. Defenitely one of the perks of being a teacher. Nevermind the fact that we'll have to make the days up at the end of the year right? I convinced myself that I needed to stop at the grocery store on the way home yesterday to get some groceries in case we couldn't get out today. Truthfully, I was just hungry and saw it as an excuse to satisfy some cravings. I bought ice cream, frozen pizza, blueberry muffins, and stuff to make cherry crumble. I made the crumble last night, delicious! Speaking of food, aren't chocolate cherrios the best thing since sliced bread?

Yesterday I woke up and felt like my belly had grown over night. Funny, a few of my students agreed. I'm blaming the growth spurt for all the junk food.

Sunday, January 24


Sometimes I really love our beagle. He goes on these kicks every once in a while where he decides he needs some action so he digs out of our backyard. Luckily he chose to do so this week when the ground was nice and muddy. He's been able to track in lots of mud. I mentioned before how I can't keep up with the laundry. This afternoon I put Gwynny on her bed to change her diaper and above her head was an animal bone from the woods that Roy obviously had drug in. (we have a doggy door) It still had fur and gross things on it, looked like maybe a cat or a possum? Awesome. So all of Gwyn's bedding to be washed. After all this I still love him enough to put a blanket on our bed so he can sleep on top of our pillows. Poor little dog. Blake and Wilder are currently giving Roy a beagle bath to remove the rotting flesh smell.

I saw a quote the other day on a piece of wall art that I should have bought: "Cleaning up after kids [and beagles] is like shoveling snow in a blizzard"

More on motherhood. I was thinking more specifically how my love is maturing for the kiddos. I'm thankful for the emotions that come with being a mom and how they make my life richer. My capacity to feel these emotions grows as they do. I don't think I knew what it felt like to be proud before Wilder and Gwyn. Or protective. Or sad. Or sympathetic. Or to feel such adoration. Or frustration.

If your toddler is bored buy him/her a flashlight. And lots of batteries.

What is everyone reading? Any good recommendations?

Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God" Probably one of my favorite verses. So simple. That's what I'm shooting for, a little more time to be still this week.

Saturday, January 23

Random Thoughts

I had a sad realization that a great amount of my daily energy is spent trying to control other people's trips to the bathroom. At home, I'm practically dragging Wilder to the potty and in bizarre contrast, at school, I'm asked about a billion times a day by my students if they can go to the bathroom - much to my annoyance!! To make things worse, it seems pee smell has taken over my house as well. I can't do laudry fast enough to wash all the pee soaked sheets and underwear and cloth diapers. Not to mention all the pee that does not make it into the toilet in my bathroom now.

Feeling [and looking] more pregnant these days. Friday was the first day I really had any discomfort with cramps and such. Also, I think the hormones have made me a little irritable this weekend. I'll be 24 weeks this week. Doctor still thinks it's a girl. Wilder will randomely ask now in conversation what we're going to name the baby. It's pretty sweet. Having a new baby in May still feels sort of unreal. I can't get my mind around what this little person will be like. Time is going by so fast yet I'm not feeling panicked or the need to prepare much at this point. I DO know I want a Moby Wrap though! To all baby mommas out there, I think it's the perfect baby sling! I know, this is my opinion, not only is it great for wearing the baby in the house, but also so much nicer than toting a newborn around in public in a carrier when all the baby really wants is to be close to his momma!! I've been looking at baby slings and discovered the Moby last week. It's so comfortable for the mom (soft fabric) and very womb-like for the baby. You have both hands free and from what I hear the baby is very comfortable in it.

I'm falling more in love with Wilder and Gwyn every day. I'm understanding how my love matures as they do. Each little conversation they have with eachother is so precious to me. Sometimes I just can't get enough squeezes in one day. My happiness is so tied up in theirs. I miss them even being away one night. Wait, I probably should add my unhappiness too. Motherhood is not all rosy. This morning deep in dreamland I was awakened by little footsteps and Wilder standing at my bed at 6:11. On a Saturday. Then, ten minutes later Gwyn was in our bed. On a Saturday. Pregant lady needs her sleep. So I admit I wasn't the nicest as I was making pancakes at 6:45. Did I mention on a Saturday? The pancakes, btw, were made in outer space molds that I got from Williams and Sonoma. Really, I probaby wouldn't have been in the mood to make pancakes had it not been for the desire to try the new molds. I figured out why I couldn't get teh pancakes out of the molds when I realized I had the molds upside down. So the second batch was better. Also I used whole wheat flower. Ok, gross. I know it's healthier but I really didn't enjoy them as much as I could have. (and pancakes are high on my craving list right now).

Also, I am having a hard time lately with Wilder's OCD. I think it's just a toddler trait, I've even heard it's a first born trait. Sometimes he will absolutely refuse to eat or drink something because it was not prepared in the correct way. A certain number of books at night, a specific anything really. This coupled with the "I do it by myself" desire is pretty challenging at times. Especially when you're in a hurry.

School is satisfying. I was thinking the other day that in contrast with my old job, I don't feel like I'm wasting time anymore. I've come to terms with the fact that each day is a collection of little defeats and victories which is just part of being a teacher. You have no idea what a relief it is when the one student who is a thorn in my side is absent on a Friday. I do have plans now to attempt my first theatrical production on April 6th with my drama classes. Scary but exciting. Also on the school front, there is a strong possibilty that I won't have my job next year! Yep, Sand Springs is predicting a reduction in force due to budget cuts and little me on the bottom of the totem pole will be at high risk to be let go. So a lot of unknown on the horizon. We'll know more in about a month hopefully. At this point I'm really not freaking out. I have a feeling that everything will be as it should.

Good night everyone, I've got some American Idol to catch up on! (and Lost starts in two weeks people, it's a good time for TV)