Our conversations used to be about teachers and homework, now they are about how we’re going to school our own kids.  We used to discuss boys and dream about our future, now many of us are married to those boys and discuss how many children we plan to have.  They were the ones I called when Scott first told me he liked me, and when he first kissed me, and when he asked me to be his wife.  They were also the ones I couldn’t wait to tell when we were expecting our first baby (and our 2nd, and our 3rd, and our 4th). 

So many things have changed since we were in high school.  We’ve traded in the plaid uniform kilts for nursing bras and maternity clothes.   We see each other a lot less frequently.  Used to be we saw each other every day, now months can go by without a phone call or a visit. 

But when we get together again, in many ways it truly feels like nothing has changed at all.  Because these friends knew me then, but they know me now as well.  They’ve been around as I’ve grown and changed and so our friendship isn’t solely rooted in the past, but very much in the present and the future as well.  In fact in many ways, I feel more closely bonded to them now, than when we were teenagers.

This month 3 of the 6 girls from my high school circle of friends had babies.  And this week the gang all got together to swap delivery stories and introduce the newest babes to each other, and celebrate these precious new lives! 


And even though I got home at 1am and still had to feed my baby and get up a few hours later to feed him again, I truly had a fantastic time and left with a full heart… so grateful for these women who have been  part of my life, my heart, and my family for so many years. 


I hear his cries and stumble out of bed.  Cradling my son in my arms I make my way down the hall and to the couch where I sit to nurse him.  My eyes are burning, begging me to let them close again.  Instead I grab my phone and start scrolling through face book trying to keep myself awake while my little guy eagerly chugs down on his 4 am meal.  Not much has changed on face book since I last checked at 1 am.  Oddly, most of my friends aren’t up between 1 and 4 am and if they are, they aren't doing anything they want posted on face book for the world to see. 

So, I grab the remote to see if there is something to entertain me keep me awake in these early morning hours.  One night I struck gold and found a rerun of The Cosby Show playing on Nick At Nite (when did I become old enough for the shows I watched as a kid to be played on Nick At Nite)? 

This night however I found myself watching an infomercial on Space Bags.  Have you seen these things?  It’s amazing how much you can fit into them once you vacuum up the air.  As I sat there watching, they just kept making the offer sound better and better.  “But wait, if you order now, we’ll double the amount of bags… that’s right 4 space bags for only $19.95…”  the longer I sat, the more they kept throwing in, a nifty organizer to put the bags in, another set of bags…. I found myself way more tempted than I care to admit to “pick up the phone and call now.”  It sounded like such a great deal!

I have decided that these infomercials are played at 4am for that very reason… they want to prey on you while your weak.  When your too tired to even change the remote from a 30 minute commercial, you are also too tired to think clearly enough to make a purchase.  Thankfully, I was also too tired to hunt down my purse and credit card info. 

As I relayed the amazing deal to my husband the next day he chuckled and said it reminded him of the property in Florida. 

“Property in Florida?” 

Didn’t know the Circus had beach front property in the Sunshine State?

Well, we don’t… but boy was I tempted about 6 yrs ago.  Again I was up in the middle of the night nursing, (different son, same couch)… this time the guy from CHiPs (a show I watched on Nick at Nite as a child) was on telling me about a great deal for ocean front property in Florida.  It sounded amazing and the price was unbelievable!  I sat for longer than I care to admit trying to figure out what could possibly be wrong with this neighborhood and why wouldn’t we want to move there right away…it was all I could do not to run down the hall and wake Scott to check it out. 

When I told him the next day, I tried to tell him in a “ha ha, you’ll never believe what I saw on tv last night” way but couldn’t hide my enthusiasm as I relayed the location and price of this property.  

We stayed put in Maryland. 

Careful what you watch at 4am… you could find yourself packing all your belongings in a space bag and moving to Florida! 

When I told you of the never ending science lessons going on at the circus this summer, I was excited about my children getting to watch the baby birds grow until they were old enough to fly from the nest.  We learned that Daddy Robins help Mommy’s feed their babies, as we saw both the Mom and Dad at the nest at the same time.  By day 3 we even started seeing their little beaks peak out over the top of the nest in our “Robin cam.”  I was surprised to see how often the Momma left the nest to find food for her little ones.  It seemed she would no sooner arrive at the nest and feed her little babes, that she was off again hunting for food. 


Sadly, on Thursday morning when I turned on the “Robin cam”  I didn’t see any activity in the nest.  Hoping the Momma had just left for awhile, I silently kept an eye on the camera as I went about tidying the house.  I never saw the Momma bird return to the nest.  I never saw the little beaks peaking over the top.  After a few hours with no signs of life, I called Scott to mention my suspicion. 

The kids hadn’t picked up on it and I hadn’t yet voiced my concerns. 

Scott had me go out with the mirror to check the nest. 

It was empty.

We were both so sad.  He said I could wait till he got home to tell the kids and I did.  I just knew he’d  be better at telling them than I would. 

Before they went to bed last night, we sat them down.  Scott carefully explained “the circle of life.”  He didn’t make what we suspect was a cat or raccoon out to be evil or bad, like I am sure I would have done.

My son took it the hardest, as I suspected he would.  We were all looking forward to watching them grow and learn to fly.

This was def not the lesson I was excited to teach them this summer.  But, it seems it was the lesson they were meant to be taught.  I do hope we have the opportunity of watching baby birds grow again in our yard, next time hoping they make it till they can safely fly away on their own. 

I can’t believe my little guy is 3 weeks old already.  I feel like he is growing up so fast!  We’re settling into a routine of sorts here at the circus.  We ventured out this week to a friends house for a play date and to gymnastics…even had some friends over a few times.  I was reminded of how good it is to fellowship with friends and to let the kids play with their buddies.    It had been a while.  I am so thankful we had our baby in the summer as we have 3 months to play and take it easy and settle into a rhythm and routine before school starts in the fall.  (We do need to do some work over the summer and I plan to hit the books next week with the crew, but it will be at a more relaxed pace than in the school year). 

I actually can’t believe the 4th of July is around the corner, summer always seems to slide quickly by once the 4th hits.  Our calendar is filling up  already (4 kids has a way of doing that to a calendar).   August is going to be here in the blink of an eye!

Here’s a few pictures of our sweet growing babe from last week and this.  They don’t really fit a theme, but this Momma just felt the urge to share some pics of her baby boy!





Last night he seemed to find his hands, he kept waving them out back and forth almost like he was trying to figure out what they were and what they did.  I love that! He’s also getting much stronger with his neck… he holds it up longer now.  Friends have commented on how he looks so much like a boy these days… I fear he is quickly growing out of his newborn status…

I think I’ve mentioned before that my oldest three all share a room.  This week the kids have started taking turns sleeping with the baby. 

Sunday night the boys got to sleep together.  My oldest was so excited about sharing a room with his little brother.  I couldn’t help but snap a picture as I peeked in on them before going to bed.


When I went to look in on the girls I found them both cuddled up together on the floor… it appears they decided to have a sleep over of their own!IMG_0655

The next night my oldest daughter wanted to sleep with the baby.  As she was getting ready for bed she told me to make sure when I put him to sleep that I put his pacifier where she could reach in the crib so that she could help him if he woke up.  She told me she’d take care of him and I wouldn’t have to get up.  One of the times when I went in to feed him, I found her by his crib giving him his pacifier and talking sweetly to him.  In the morning I found she had moved off of the bed and onto the floor so she could be closer to him. IMG_0727 I wonder how long it’ll be before all four of them are sleeping in the same room?!

Just because it is summer, doesn’t mean we have to stop learning here at the circus.  God presented us with a wonderful science lesson, right in our back yard.  The best part is, I don’t even have to do any prep work for the lessons!IMG_0606

A very brave and trusting Momma Robin built a nest under our deck.  Apparently, she doesn’t require peace and tranquility to feel safe as our crew stomps back and forth across our deck belting out songs or squeals or tantrums from morning till night. 

Because of the location she chose to build her nest it is pretty much impossible to see inside.

Though my brilliant husband  is not easily thwarted by Momma Robins. 

 IMG_0679First he took the camera from our baby video monitor and set it up beside the nest so that the kids could watch her on the video  monitor inside the house.  The first night we let them sleep with the monitor in their room.  They feel asleep watching the Momma bird sit in her nest.  Then the bird cam was moved to the kitchen counter so we could keep tabs on her throughout the day. 

I still wanted a glimpse of the actual eggs.  Scott found a mirror and was able to snap a picture of the eggs using the mirror. 


This afternoon as we were watching the bird cam I noticed some movement in the nest.  I was fairly certain the eggs had hatched and when Scott got home he was able to prove my suspicion correct!  If you look closely at the bottom bird you can actually see his beak!  I can’t believe how tiny they are!


This poor Momma bird comes and goes all day long bringing food back for her baby birds…I thought I had it bad nursing all day and night, but at least I don’t have to go hunt it down! 

Last week my mom came and spent the week with us.  My parents live 5 hrs away from us and even though they do an awesome job of coming to visit for weekends, it always seems like the visit is over before it starts and I am often left wishing I had some more time to spend with them.  Having mom here for a week was such a blessing.  Not only did she do my laundry for me all week as well as cook our dinners and even do the dishes, but she also shared my days with me.  A treat I don’t often get to enjoy with her.      

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We had a blast…  she took the kids for bike rides, raced my 2 yr old on the basketball court, went swimming in the bay with the kids, let them help with dinner preparations, watched Scott’s sailing race, worked on projects—(such as building an ant farm, and sewing cow costumes for Cow Appreciation Day), ate picnic lunches on the deck, enjoyed tea and scones for lunch, and snuggled the baby…

Thanks Mom… for a fabulous week!! 


First baseball game

Caleb cheers on Daniel First Wednesday Night Sailing race


First trip to the beach


So many firsts for him to experience…

Those of you with more than one kiddo know how insanely difficult it is to get a good picture of all your children together….if you don’t know what I am talking about, check out this post or this one, and you will get an idea of what I am referring to.  You have aspirations of all three children sitting still, smiling, and looking at the camera.  After about 30 clicks of the camera and at least 20 begs and pleas to “look at mommy” and “please sit down” you suddenly set your sights a bit lower and just hope for all of them smiling… who cares where they look and how they sit….

After an almost 3 year quest for that perfect picture of our children together, we finally got it.  (we got really close this Easter with our “best group shot yet” picture)

On our way to the hospital to have our fourth child, Scott decided to quick snap a picture of the kids as we dropped them off with Great Grandpa.  He told the kids to smile really nice b/c this was the last picture we’d have of our children, when it was just three of them. 

Apparently, that was all it took b/c they totally turned on the charm and Scott clicked away.


Of course we get that sought after picture of our kids together only to have it become completely outdated a mere 5 hrs later!

And if the secret to getting a good picture of all of my children together  requires me to be in labor for their next sibling, then I am pretty much guaranteed, to never have a good picture of the 4 of them together.

Oh well… it was good while it lasted!!



Visit here or here for more Wednesday pictures.

Mark your calendars now for the 2024 Olympics… our little gymnast has started training!  IMG_8550

I must say I have truly enjoyed watching her at her gymnastics class this year.  Since I can’t even do a forward roll, I am always so amazed as I watch her do back rolls or “flip overs” on the bars.  Neither Scott nor I did gymnastics growing up so it is not a sport we would have normally thought of but she is so short, strong and flexible (remember she still sleeps folded in half) that we just had to get her involved.  Add to that her fearlessness and toughness and I think you have all the attributes one looks for in a gymnast (and a whole lot of attributes her mom does not share).



She’s had a ton of fun this year at gymnastics and it turns out our intuition was right.  This summer she was invited to the join the precompetition class for the next session.

Perhaps one day we’ll see her on another medal stand? IMG_8611

I think we may have a future engineer on our hands.   Which quite naturally brings a smile to the face of his engineer father. 

Last week my son came out one morning and told us he thought up a robot in his mind the night before.  He wanted to know if he and Daddy could build it.   The timing couldn’t have been better as Scott had taken the week off of work as we welcomed the baby into our family.

Scott told him to first draw a picture of the design because before you can build something, you should first have a design for it.   Here is the initial drawing my son came up with.

IMG_0160After drawing it, they talked through the design.  Scott brought up some potential problems they might encounter and my son would go away and come back having brainstormed a solution.  My son wanted the robot made out of a paper or plastic cup.  He wanted the head to be a light bulb and he wanted one arm to be a light bulb.  He also wanted one of the arms to be an actual retractable arm.  The legs were to be made from bolts.  Scott was able to steer him away from the articulating robot  arm though he admitted it would be cool.

Scott then helped him draw an official looking engineering drawing which would include the details of how it should be wired.  Scott drew most of this one as he explained to my son how the battery would make the light bulbs work.   My son doesn't have it all down yet but he does understand that the electricity leaves the battery and has to make it all the way back to the battery or nothing will work and that that is why a switch works.


The next day they had a father/son outing to Radio Shack to buy the supplies.  During their car ride they discussed a few revisions… they decided against the paper cup and for a tin can instead as the body.  They also decided against wheels on the bottom and went for “rocket boosters” instead. 

My son came home quite excited with his robot supplies.  The next morning they got to work building the robot. 

My son was beyond thrilled to get to use a “real drill” to make holes in the can. 


He then got a lesson in what soldering is and how it works. 


Even getting to hold the iron


Then they put the switch in.  While they were working, the girls and I were inside playing games, reading, and baking cookies (baby brother made all of this possible by taking a long morning nap).  The girls however were very curious about the project outside and came to see how it finished up.

IMG_0214 They got it to work.  It lights up using a real switch.  IMG_0221

He named his robot, Roady the Helpful Robot.  And it really was his brain child.   He was so excited about coming up with it all in his head and then actually building it and being able to use it.  It was a wonderful learning experience for him as well as a bonding experience for the father and son. 

And because it just seems too soon to do a post without still including a picture of the baby, here is a completely unrelated picture from last week that I love.   Look, we caught him “smiling” in his sleep.


They say newborns don’t do much other than sleeping, eating, pooping, and crying.  While that may be true, I gotta tell you the circus crew has not yet tired of watching their baby brother do these things. 

It’s been a week since we brought our little man home from the hospital.  And every-single-time we have to change his diaper, one can hear a stampede of feet as the three of them race for a spot by the changing table to watch.  They even brought a stool in there so they can better see.  Need a paper towel moistened to wipe his bottom?  No problem, there are 3 eager volunteers to help with that.    My youngest daughter will eagerly grab a diaper from the basket and open up the tabs for me. 

IMG_9786  Bath time was a huge hit at the circus household.  The kids were so eager to watch as I gave him his first sponge bath.  One could hear a rousing rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star being belted out over the sounds of his cries of protest.  IMG_0008

Their favorite thing to do with their baby brother is to hold him.  Nothing lights up their face more than the opportunity to hold him in their arms.  You can hear my son tell his brother all the things he wants to teach him when he grows up… how to read and write his name, how to throw a baseball, how to climb a tree…. he can’t wait for him to get bigger so they can play together.  Meanwhile the girls want him to stay a baby forever.  They love to hold his hand and snuggle up next to his face.  Every time he makes a peep, they peek in to check on him in his bassinet or crib.  When my 4 yr old returned from an outing with Daddy the other day, she quickly ran to check on her baby brother.  She came out and lamented, “Momma, I think he got bigger while I was gone!”  IMG_0088 

I love how this picture captures my younger daughter’s enthusiasm for holding her brother… I gotta tell you she looks like this every time it is her turn to hold him… Arms wide open with an eager look of anticipation on her face.


I love the way they love their brother.  They loved him before he was even born and their love has only grown since he arrived.

IMG_9724Funny how time dulls the memory.  It’s been 3 yrs since I’ve had a newborn around the house and it seems I forgot a few things, like….

  • How many diapers a newborn goes through…this little man seems to poop, all-the-time, already went through the two small packs of newborn diapers we had in less than a week.  Thankfully I had bought a huge box of Swaddlers size 1-2 which he can technically fit in and which totally saved the day night when we ran out of the newborn sized diapers in the middle of the night. 
  • The  importance of pointing *it* down when sealing up a diaper… went through many onesies before Scott reminded me of that little nugget.
  • The amount of time one spends nursing.  This little man eats every 2 hrs, with a few 3 hrs stretches thrown in there and one long 4-5 hour stretch in the morning.  I am not complaining mind you.  But, when he eats every 2 hours and he falls asleep while nursing, requiring me to go to great lengths to wake him… well, then nursing takes about 45 min….  so, if you do the math, it leaves me with just over an hour between feedings. 
  • The adorable little squeals they make that sound like there is a baby seal sleeping in the nursery. 
  • How hard it is to put them down when they fall asleep in your arms…especially when he’s up on my shoulder with his arms around my neck…my heart totally melts and I don’t want to do anything but sit and hold him forever. 
  • The sweet way they smell (before they poop).
  • How soft their skin is.
  • How quickly they grow… he’s already passed the one week mark.
  • How cute they look when they sleep with their arms above their head.

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