My kids are funny 

In my opinion, my kids are very funny! 🙂 

Maximus, while driving home. 

Look! There’s the nursery home!

A nursing home is across the street from our house. 

Quinten, while listening to Maximus ask for a sucker. 

NO! Two wait! No Max-mus. Two wait! 

Translation: too late. It was 5 pm. 

Quinten, every night before bed. 

No nap time. No dark out. 

Also every night. 

Sing me mommy. Sing wheels. Kitty. Doggy. 


I’ll be back mommy. I’ll be back in a Jimmy.

Maximus, while I was trying to redirect Quinten. 

You’re just trying to astract him.

My favorite Quintenisms,

No me whike. 

Too fits. 

Translation: I don’t like

Translation: Too small 


They may be learning different things, but they have the same sweet sleeping faces. 


Socks. Lots and lots of socks. 

When I used to get baby and toddler socks, I thought they were so cute. Our most recent gift was a bunch of crew cut mustaches. MUSTACHES! As if my two-year-old could possibly exist without mustache socks. seriously. I don’t even care that the colors don’t match his outfits. They make the outfit. 

Socks. Small socks. They have become my thing. That House Thing that drives me a little nutty. Thankfully, Wrigley could care less about socks. That’s good for our budget and my sanity. 

These little socks are everywhere. Every room I walk into, I see socks. Sometimes next to their mate, but usually strung about hanging out with other misfits. It’s maddening. These socks that are never clearly labeled clean or dirty

People say dryers eat socks. I don’t believe it. My house eats the socks. More specifically, my small children feed their socks to my house. And then they whine and plead for an adult to go get them socks from their room. Quinten is obviously the worst. Having a toddler is a lot like living with royalty until you can teach them to use those little legs and hands to do it themselves. 

Where my socks? Go get them. Get my socks. 

It’s a super cold May day and I’m feeling extra bitter about it. If it wasn’t so cold out, they wouldn’t require socks. If it was nice out, I could put them in boxes! Forever. 

These adorable little sport socks that are inside out and in all the wrong places. Never where we need them to be and probably worn for days at a time. These small socks that are in constant need to be picked up, washed, sorted, matched, and put away. Only to be flung around the house before they make it onto little feet or tossed aside after coming in the house. 


These socks. 

Leger Band 

The Leger Band has been around for a few years. It’s no surprise given the talent my husband has. {Proud wife moment.} It’s one of the rare activities that is mostly fight-free. Although we do have some fighting over specific drums or sticks. But, compared to all other activities this one is the most “together” they can get. 

I love it almost all times they break out in music. {Unless I have a headache, of course.} I love it enough that I might allow some real instruments when we finish our basement. But, until then they’re doing ok with the plastic stuff.

It’s not always easy

It’s been one of those days. It ended with Quinten spitting on my sweatshirt when I put him to bed. That’s a pretty accurate summary of his day. Some days can be such a challenge. Or maybe those days when you’re the only parent are really the ones that are challenging. Yesterday was A Day in itself. A super tired preschooler gave us both flashbacks to his 2-year-old days. So many tears at so many random things. We all thought today had to be better after a full night of sleep. It kind of was, except during the night Maximus lost all of his listening skills. All of them. I can’t count how many times I repeated myself today. Or how many times I said, “please use listening ears. Mommy doesn’t want to yell or repeat herself. Please listen.” I can count how many times Quinten was in time-out…three. And how many times I found him on the deck, going down the stairs, or in the grass…three. By the way, it was cold and rainy all day. Not a good day to play outside, even though we all wish it were.

Sometimes at the end of a long day, happy meals are the only answer. In an effort to feed them before they got hangry {hungry + angry}, I stopped on the way home and used it as a distraction. It’s a little out of character for me and maybe the second time I’ve been involved in them getting happy meals. It did result in a couple of cute brother moments, but only because Maximus didn’t complain {this time} about Quinten sharing his chair. I also didn’t have to threaten to put Quinten in his highchair during that meal! Maximus was also pretty nice when he offered the rest of his sandwich to Quinten {who had been asking for more sandwich.} Unfortunately, it didn’t buy me as much quiet and togetherness time as I’d hoped. In fact, it resulted in one of the Quinten escapes into the grass.

I know there’s a learning experience all kinds of character building in the 2-year-old and 4-year-old ages, but some days it’s hard to make it through a day without raised voices. Not that they help any. It doesn’t seem to matter if I talk quiet or loud or repeat myself many times, those little ears are not into listening right now. So I take the Starbucks as they come, try to sneak in a couple of minutes of reading, and be calmer the next time I’m repeating myself for a second and third time.

These moments help


Letter ‘A’

The school year is almost over and we’ve had a lot of fun with preschool. We love our preschool and Maximus is so excited to go every school day. 

The month of March we worked on a project to turn in book strips every time we read a book. The class was trying to create a chain around the entire classroom. Maximus took that project very seriously. And it’s about the cutest thing I’ve seen. They decided they were so close they extended it a bit longer. So we’ve been writing down our books again and Maximus has been more interested in books than cartoons. {hallelujah!}

This week he got to bring home a special project. Items in our house that start with the letter ‘A’. He started kind of slow just coming up with words that started with ‘a’. Apple made the first list. I convinced him we should look around the house and we came up with more items than I thought we’d find. {You try finding specifics toys.} He got excited and spent 45 minutes walking through the house sounding out everything he saw and telling me what letter it started with. It was my favorite proud parent moment of the week! 

What we found:

  • Alligator clips
  • Astronaut (X2)
  • Astronaut car
  • Ambulance
  • A puzzle piece
  • Apple puzzle piece
  • Ace playing card
  • Airplane

Maximus vetoed my food items saying that he couldn’t take real food. Guess I’ll keep my apple, applesauce, and almonds. 

I think I’ll hold on to this idea and use it on one of those rainy days. 

Out with the Toddler Bed, In with the Big Bed

I can’t think of anything left to signify Maximus growing out of toddlerhood and into the big kid zone. His toddler bed was still adequate, but was itching to get him into a big bed. I had visions of laying next to him and reading him a story, or just snuggling. 🙂 One of those visions I’ve had since I was pregnant with him. For Christmas, we bought him a transportation sheet set from Pottery Barn Kids that isn’t online anymore and a red quilt. We told him we’d convert his bed to a big huge bed. “What’s a convertible?” Heh, I love the words he hears.

As with most projects, all hands were needed to assist in the disassembly. Although, only one extra set were actually doing anything. Before they could get to work, Maximus had to pick up his room. Read: throw everything into his closet. His brother quickly joined in and helped clear the space of all those legos that.are.always.on.the.floor.


I used the opportunity to vacuum under those furniture places. When asked why I was vacuuming again {I did it earlier this week}, I told him a little secret that I hope most households follow. “We don’t move the furniture when we vacuum… By the way, did you know you had so many plastic balls under your dresser?”


Maximus is pretty good at screwing or unscrewing things, so he got right to work on his “job.” Quinten helped by putting the screws into a bucket {after he got in trouble for taking them out and putting them in his mouth}.


When you have multiple helpers, things go a little slower. However, teaching and doing projects with little hands is a rewarding, yet frustrating process. Somehow it all equals out and the boys have a lot of fun. We took a few breaks for visitors, lunch, nap time, a trip to Menards, and supper. Luckily, I had enough time to remember that I needed to wash the sheets. Since it was laundry day, it worked out well in my brain. {No more laundry for a week! Er, maybe I better wash our sheets and another load of kid clothes. CRAP! It never ends!}

Maximus and Bryan helped me make the bed and I got ready to take a picture. Maximus wanted the picture to be perfect so he crawled under his covers. His smiled alone made me so happy we’d done it! I said, “Thank you daddy for putting together Maximus’ big boy bed.” Maximus quickly followed with, “Yes, thank you daddy and me for putting together my new bed!” Heh.

First time in his big bed!

First time in his big bed!

I gave him an extra pillow from our room and he told me it was for when he had a friend stay over. “He can use that one.” While Maximus and I were grabbing pillows and blankets, Quinten was also bringing in random pillows and blankets for Maximus. You can see that he put a Cyclone pillow on the edge of the bed as he watched Maximus test out the new setup. Maximus quickly invited his brother in and asked me to take another picture, but not until Quinten was under the covers. By the way, Quinten stayed there for at least ten minutes. I was pretty sure he was going to throw a fit when he went to bed. He did, but he never mentioned wanting to be in Maximus’ bed.


My first thought … tonight when Quinten wakes up 78 times, I’m putting him in Maximus’ bed. He’d probably sleep. Last night, after he’d been up five times, we tried putting him in our bed at midnight. Forty-five minutes later he was kicking me in the head and was still wide awake. Tonight he’s armed with cough medicine and we’re crossing all things that cross in hopes that he sleeps. If not, best of luck Maximus.

With his new bed came a new room arrangement. I thought it might bother him because he likes his door wide open, the bathroom light on, and a couple of night-lights in his room. Now, he’s across the room from the door so the night-lights are different and he asked me to shut his door. He has an extra puppy in his bed for “when a friend sleeps over” and he decided to sleep on the pillow closest to the wall. He came out of his room right away to tell me we forgot to put his new slippers on, but otherwise we haven’t heard a peep from him. I might have thought a little longer if I knew this new bed was going to bring another level of independence! And now we have to be sneaky about checking on him since his door is shut…

Traumatizing Our Child with Santa

Now that the craziness of Christmas is over, I have time to share our Santa experiences. The boys had many this season. Thankfully, we worked on our wish list early. Maximus and I took it very seriously, he told me what to write down and we put it up on the fridge. The awesome thing about four? His list didn’t change! And he always remembered what it was when people asked him. 🙂 {Plus, it was a reasonable list!}

We went to breakfast with Santa at our church {also Maximus’ preschool}. We walked right in and got our pictures taken with Saint Nicholas. One of Maximus’ teacher was helping and as soon as she saw Quinten, she suggested we do a family picture.

Good call, Miss D. Good call.

Good call, Miss D. Good call.

It turns out that a family picture was a very good idea. He wasn’t happy about it, but a grumpy kid is better than the alternative. Maximus didn’t get to talk to this Santa, but he was happy to get a picture taken.

Next up was the daycare Christmas party. Each kid buys for another kid and she gives them each a gift also. {We obviously give her gifts also. I mean, she’s dealing with The Naughty One. Ahem.} We talked about the Christmas party and Maximus told us what to buy for one of his friends. That’s also the cool thing about four! He told us what the kid said he wanted. 🙂 I didn’t mention that Santa would be there, even though I knew he would. The pictures we got were exactly what I expected. Maximus told Santa he wanted a combine. And, well, Quinten probably just told Santa NOOOO!


Maximus (4 1/2)











Quinten (2), Maximus (4 1/2)









Quinten wasn’t traumatized enough to talk about it when he got home, so I guess it was just an unhappy moment. Heh. That poor man who was trying to hold on to that wiggling child. I have a hard time holding on to him when he’s throwing a fit.

Our next experience was full on planned out. We wanted to have a family Santa experience. Maximus got a little confused about what to tell Santa because he’d already asked for a combine, but he decided he’d ask this Santa for a tractor. We struggled a little deciding where we were going to go so we had to explain why some Santa’s were busy and why there were other Santa’s we could go find. He decided that there were many Santa’s helping because there were lots of places they could live. {I love four-year-old logic about homes. Our pediatrician also “lives” at his work.} We eventually made our way to Ames, a Santa that Maximus had seen before. We pulled up right as Santa was walking into Jimmy John’s to grab a drink. I held Maximus as his mouth dropped open and he just stared. He whispered, “Santa’s in Jimmy Johns. Why?” Well, we soon found out that he was going to feed the reindeer and would be back in an hour. AN HOUR! What the heck do you do with two children in a mall for an hour?! We had one final gift to get and made a cookie stop. What better thing to do during nap time?

Cookie monster

A happy cookie monster. No sharing for us.

When Santa came back, we got in line with the rest of the families. Bryan tried to talk Quinten up and they looked at Santa. I heard Quinten say, “No lap.” Heh. Guess he didn’t want to talk to Santa. I asked Quinten what he wanted from Santa, “Truck. Car. Tractor.” Spoiler alert: he asked for none of those things.

As the two-year-old handbook says, “Thou shall not make nice with the scary Santa man.”


Maximus hopped up on his lap before I could even stow the stroller. He was talking away when I came in close. He asked for a tractor. “What kind of tractor?” “A green one. A John Deere one.” {Because the 8 that we already have aren’t enough.} Then, Bryan put Quinten on his lap and the above happened immediately. I told the girl not to worry about getting a smile. And we picked the best cry face picture! 😉 While Maximus smiled away and didn’t pay any attention to his brother.

Also in the handbook, “Thou shall always say thank you when Santa hands you a coloring book.” Yep. He screamed at the jolly man and did the slow sob when Bryan picked him up. {You know, the deep breath, skip a breath, and hiccup thing.} Santa handed each boy a coloring book and Quinten quietly said, “Thank you” between sobs. Manners unlocked.

Quinten fell asleep within five minutes in the car, but it was 3:30 so he was a little tired. We drove the slow way home and enjoyed driving through our college town and seeing what had changed. Maximus eventually crashed also and we headed home. Santa visits completed with a picture that is a pretty accurate depiction of our life right now. Maximus trying to look like the “good one” while his brother wails next to him. Ah, four and two may be the most challenging combination we’ve experienced.

My face. Bryan's thumb. Sleeping boys!

My face. Bryan’s thumb. Sleeping boys!