Monthly Archives: April 2012

Mochi and Salad

Have ¬†all of you who live by TJ’s tried this Mango Mochi? Oh my gosh, it is so good. Actually, I am just now noticing that the brand isn’t TJ’s, so I am wondering if this brand is sold at other stores as well. Have you all tried the non refrigerated peanut sauce at TJ’s? […]

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Angie Miller - April 30, 2012 - 6:25 am

Ugh..the dreaded dinner. I really, really want to be a good cook but to be honest…I’m kinda terrible. I think I get frustrated with my lack of knowledge and resources (until now). So, this is one of my goals is to become better at making yummy dinners. We have bbq’d lately because the weather has been nice. Our go to, easy and quick, are the salmon burgers from Costco. I also just tried Costco’s black bean burgers and I thought it was great! I too like the idea of simple and light dinners. Stan and I both need to lose a few lbs. so I know this will help. Your salad sounds yummy…to bad no TJs around.

kara - May 4, 2012 - 8:58 am

I love hearing what other people get at Costco. The black bean burgers sound so good, and I want to see if I can make those from scratch. Do they fall apart on the grill? I have that problem with veggie burgers. Oh, and Chris and I could join your quest to lose a few pounds :)

Naughty and Nice

When I talk to my wonderful and down to earth mama friends, it is common for us to share our parenting struggles and triumphs. I’ve heard many stories about hard mama days and how naughty our kids can be (told right before the story about something sweet that the said naughty kid did). I think […]

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Karli - April 18, 2012 - 11:59 pm

If it makes you feel any better, my laundry may or may not have just been sitting in heaping (clean) piles in the baskets in the hallway (we have no laundry room) for the last 10 days… just saying :).

Love that you keep it real. I’m sorry your kids are naughty and glad mine NEVER are. Oh wait, that was a heaping pile of sarcasm bigger than my laundry loads. All I know is, I was a REALLY good parent before I ever had kids… and I have to keep having them until every single one of my soapboxes is smashed into smitherines.

I even have one child who I pretty much thought pooped roses for awhile… he was occasionally cranky, but pretty much the easiest going little guy… Heavenly Father must have seen me starting to play favorites (because he was SOOOO much easier than his siblings) and turned on the mean switch, because overnight he became what all the other four year olds are… whiny, angry, and self-absorbed. At least all my kids are back on even playing fields now :)

Rachel - April 19, 2012 - 2:00 am

If you ever need a mom to keep it real for you, you know where to find me. :)
On a side note, I sure wish parents would stop labeling their kids as my TAG kid, or my ADHD kid. Nothing like a label to put your kid into a track that is really hard to break.

Wendy M. - April 19, 2012 - 7:10 am

Thank you Kara- I love that you are honest! You know my trials and tribulations with my oldest- I most certainly do not have it all together as a parent. Sometimes I really only want to be around other parents with difficult children! It’s easier than hearing about all the perfect days with perfect children that the parents you described love to brag about. I agree that most of them are likely coming from a place of insecurity.

christa - April 19, 2012 - 8:44 am

there seems to be a certain amount of maturity that comes at some point (some sooner or much later than others) when you kind of have this “aha” moment and you finally stop comparing yourself to others.
i think you’re there.
when we are more real with one another we can help each other stop comparing and one-upping.
we are all proud mama’s and want everyone to know how awesome and talented and cute our kids are but sharing real moments can help us all feel connected and renewed!
we should want to lift each other up and give words of encouragement and not tear each other down.
the media tears women down so much from an early age that it’s really hard to get to that point when we feel secure, happy and at peace with who we really are. Of course that comes after years of catty, insecure behavior and not loving how we look and trying to figure out who we are not what media tells us to be.
i’ve been trying really hard not to judge people lately because I don’t know what they’ve been through. Women of the world let’s lift each other up and change the world for our daughters!!
ok, I’m done.

Amanda W. - April 19, 2012 - 10:31 am

Karli nailed it: “I was a REALLY good parent before I ever had kids.” So true!

It totally cracks me up, and I have to work so hard not to laugh, when I’ve asked Naomi not to do something/touch something/stay off of something and she makes eye contact, gets this look on her face, and then ever so slowly (while keeping eye contact) starts doing what I just asked her not to do. Agh! Total limits testing, and foreshadowing bigger challenges to come. Little stinker! Good thing she’s so cute!

I hear you, Kara. I feel like I am totally learning as I go, and support and feedback from other parents (Dads, too!) has been the most helpful thing through this big adventure.

Elisabeth@SimplyParkers - April 19, 2012 - 10:03 pm

Lol Kara. One of my biggest parenting fears is having some sort of confrontation down the road with those parents who, in your words, think their kids poop roses. Am so thankful for fellow “keeping it real” kinda mamas like you! Would love to get Judah and Miriam together one of these days by the way :)

kara - April 20, 2012 - 9:45 am

I just listened to a song by Lucy Schwartz that other day that says: “The only thing that I know… is that I don’t know a thing.” Yep, parenting is pretty humbling, and I am so grateful that it forces to me to grow as a person. Send fiesty Nolan our way.. he will fit right in over here :).
You are a keep it real mama Rachel, and I love that about you. You are also hard on yourself (as most of us are). You do a great job, and I can’t wait to hear news of #2. And in regards to labels, I think that one of the thing that has worried me with my kids starting school is that they might be labeled for something and never be able to shake it.
You feel like you don’t have it together, but you really are such a good example. I am amazed by your patience (even if you don’t feel that way) and love for Brenden. You have been such a good mama and advocate for him even when it has been very draining, and I really admire you for it.
Preach it girl. Preach it on the mountain tops :).
It is a good thing that they are so cute and endearing. That is why I am worried when they are teenagers and not so cute/charming any more. Will we still want to keep them :)??
You most likely will run into a mom like that. Unless it is a severe situation (that directly involves your child), I have found that the best thing to do it to smile and nod my head in agreement to how wonderful their child is and then just flee as quickly as possible when there is a break in conversation. It is certainly important to speak up for something seriously, but if it is just enduring the bragging, there is not much I personally am going to be able to do to change a parent like that. Yes, let’s get together. Maybe a walk next week?? I will email you!

adrienne w - April 20, 2012 - 10:16 am

What a good post! I have to say that I am so grateful that I am at a point where I am rarely hard on myself because of comparing myself to others. I do get a little annoyed by the people who only paint rosy pictures of their lives, parents or not. And I love to hear other people’s REAL moments. But for the most part, I try to focus on myself and my family and how I feel about it. That being said, I have found a little dose of “Mommy Guilt” to be useful. I want to be continually improving and just writing off my shortcomings as “the way I am” isn’t good enough. I am in no way a perfectionist (and again, I am thankful for that), but I think that a little guilt can help us improve. For example, I should feel a little guilty when I lose my temper and yell at the kids. That guilt helps me strive to do better. Does that make sense?
I just wanted to make a little comment about labeling kids: Though I think it can be dangerous, I also think it can be necessary. Coming from a background of child development education, I know that if I’m working with a kid it can be very helpful for me to know if there is a “label,” even in every day situations. I had a mom call me to RSVP for Thatcher’s 5th birthday party last year and I was asking her if there was anything I should know about her son in relation to him coming to the party. She hesitated, but said he has mild autism. She didn’t want me to judge him (or her). Having been an aid in the past, that was great for me to know. It helped me think outside the box and consider anything that might make the party more enjoyable for him. Someone once told me that kids get labeled, so it is better that the label be accurate. A kid might get labeled as “bad” or “difficult” when in reality that label should be something like ADHD or Asperger’s. In that case, I think it’s positive to label. BUT I think as parents, we should treat our children as unique individuals and the labels should have little value in our relationship with them. So I think it is kind of funny for a parent to be using labels to justify their child’s behavior. I think I would throw up a little in my mouth as well! And I laughed at Karli’s comment about being a perfect parent before having children! So true for me!

Angie Miller - April 21, 2012 - 5:46 am

Kara! I have missed your blog and you!! I’m trying to catch up on all the posts I missed. You are simply amazing my old friend and your kids are so blessed to have you!

kara - April 22, 2012 - 9:17 pm

Good points. Yes, it is better to have a proper label than a more negative label like you mentioned (the bad kid) etc… That was nice of you to go out of your way to be helpful to that boy at Thatcher’s party.
I miss you. You don’t live in Klamath any more do you?? We need to catch up!! Sounds like you guys have had lots of changes! Hugs friend.

juliette - April 25, 2012 - 7:54 pm

So nice to know my 3 year-old is TAG! And I thought she was just being naughty!

Jesse - April 25, 2012 - 9:44 pm

I love reading your blog! I am so thankful for honest mamas. Motherhood is hard enough!! Regarding your Simplicity Parenting post- I would love to hear more about you getting rid of your “stuff”. I really want to go this direction but am overwhelmed by the task and can’t figure out where to start! I think I need to meet Audra :)

kara - April 25, 2012 - 11:01 pm

I know Juliette, it’s a good excuse… right?

I am glad that you are reading friend. Not only do I need to write more about getting rid of more stuff.. but I need to get rid of more step. I have definitely made steps in the right direction, but I need to keep on working at it! I definitely could part with way more stuff. Audra is very nice. You should make friends with her, and then I bet that she would help you too :). Oh, and she is Nova’s babysitter, so you guys have that connection. Hop you are well. I would love to catch up sometime!


Easter Sunday was great. Church was great and then we went with our friends the Bannisters to deliver flowers to the residents of Corvallis Manor followed by a great dinner. We set up a flower arranging station outside and the kids had tons of fun making flower arrangments. More updates to come soon!

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Kelsey - April 15, 2012 - 10:19 pm

Miriam doesn’t look like a baby anymore, what happened?!?! Those pictures are adorable

Kara - April 18, 2012 - 9:47 pm

It’s true. She doesn’t look like a baby, but she often still wants to be treated like one :)

Simplicity Parenting

  These two have a special bond. They don’t always get along perfectly, but for the most part, they play well together and love being in the others’ company. I hope they are always close. If you have talked to me fairly recently, there is a good chance that I have brought up the book […]

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adrienne w - April 2, 2012 - 9:29 am

Oooooh, sounds good. I agree that it makes me feel good about some of the things I’m doing that I feel outside pressure about. Like scheduling things. My kids are not in any extra-curricular activities at this point. That is for financial reasons, but in the future, we plan to keep it to a minimum. Something like one physical activity/sport and one music lesson. Even that will make things hectic, I’m sure. I will have to check this book out!

kara - April 2, 2012 - 7:36 pm

Oh Adrienne,
I always love your comments. I think you are one of the few readers left of my blog since I am MIA from facebook, and I love our little blog conversations. Thanks for you support and effort to keep in touch, and let me know what you think about the book!!

Shawnde - April 2, 2012 - 9:46 pm

I completely agree about this book. I took the class with Alice & Jessica last Fall and watched our family calm down in the process. I remember one afternoon of coming home and pulling apart Eddie’s room, removing half the toys and organizing what was left. The change in him was dramatic and instant. But we can’t seem to sustain it! It seems like a constant battle to stay simple!
I highly recommend the local class as well as the book.
Thanks for posting about this, Kara!

Adrienne W - April 3, 2012 - 10:16 pm

I have a follow up question: How do you keep the kids occupied when they want to play computer or watch TV? I use technology time to get things done, but sometimes it’s too much. So what do you do to help engage the kids in something? That sounds bad, but obviously with 4 kids I’m often looking for ways to keep them occupied. Any suggestions?

Rachel - April 5, 2012 - 10:41 pm

I’m still here! Keep posting! I’ve been feeling pressure (that I put on myself) when I see friends who have their kids involved in lessons, classes, and activities. Seamus doesn’t do much. But, I need to remind myself that I didn’t do anything as a preschooler except be a preschooler. In fact, I didn’t even go to preschool. I turned out okay. I’m sure he will, too. I do have to disagree about books, though. I don’t think kids can ever have too many books. It’s the only thing that I buy without guilt.

Kara - April 6, 2012 - 9:18 pm

The nice thing now is that they have stopped asking (just in the last week). They have a Movie night on Friday, so they will talk during the week about which movie they want to watch, but I can’t believe that they are hardly asking at all anymore. A few more thoughts:
*You live in a much colder climate, and that makes things trickier. It is mild enough here that we can get outside pretty often during the winter. You are probably in need of more things to do indoors with your kiddos.
*LIke I said before, the longer my kids go without tv, the more creative they get together.
*This is random, but one thing that made making the decrease easier is that I have a crazy one year old who has to be watched anyways and wouldn’t watch tv even if I showed it to her. I figure if the most time consuming child doesn’t get tv, then it doesn’t really help that much if the other kids are watching tv when I am trying to get stuff done.
I hear that you are having a baby soon!! You are totally fine without Seamus in a bunch of activities. He is too busy counting with his mama at home :)
In regards to book Rachel, I was and partially am totally with you. I love children’ books. I have a ridiculous amount. The only difference now is that I have a lot of them in my garage. I mentioned that I still have way more in my house than the author would approve of :), but I scaled back as much as far as I could go. The cool thing now is that my kids can take an inside book and trade it for a garage book. They love going to the garage to pick out a new book. The idea behind not having as many books inside is that kids will actually focus on and enjoy the books that they do have more if they don’t have too many choices. When I was going through books with my kids to decide which ones to put in the garage, they said things like “Oh, here’s that book, we haven’t seen that book in a long time. I love it. Mommy, will you read it.” We have so many books, that they couldn’t even find their favorites, because there were too many.
Keep me up to date with baby news Rachel!!