26 June 2013

My Child I love you...adjusting to life after a baby

I came across a blog today that spoke volumes to me...click on the title to read her post.

My Child I Love You

It was all about how to adjust to life with a new baby...and this christian woman has had way more than 3 children.  She talks about body image, and losing the baby weight, and loving yourself, and being aware of sat*n attacking your thoughts as you do the most important job God has given you as a mom.

Please read it...it really changed my focus.

It's amazing how we can focus on something that really doesn't matter and how the enemy will use that to prevent you from cherishing every minute of your baby (which I really try to do) and family.  I'm so thankful that I read her post.


25 June 2013

Gone are the days...

Gone are the days that I had two free hands.

Gone are the days where I could complete a list of 25 items.

Gone are the days that I only needed one cup of coffee which lasted me throughout the day.

Gone are the days when I would blog the night before and plan my posts weeks in advance.

Gone are the days where I would plan my meals a month in advance.

Gone are the days where I would plan my outfits in advance.

Gone are the days when I could food shop for the entire week and use a full cart.

Gone are the days where I could wear a normal bra and didn't smell like breast milk, and probably didn't have spit up on my shoulder.

Gone are the days when I could just go to the movies with my bestie.

Gone are the days when I could fit anything in my closet.

Gone are the days where I can wear a bikini in front of my husband.

Gone are the days of having a flat stomach.

I'm a mom of 3 kids and I'm in Full Swing of survival mode! Bear with me!

It takes me longer to most things because I have a 3 month old who loves to be held.  I have a four year old who feels mildly neglected and is struggling as the middle child, and a first born who gets bored when we aren't doing school every day...although she is loving the social aspect of our summer.

I'm in a stage of life that says it's ok not to have everything planned weeks in advance (although we have a pretty packed summer schedule of play dates, field trips and outings).  The kids are fed, their clothes are clean, and they take their own shower/bath every other day.  We are coasting through the hard part of adding a new baby to the family.

But there are still some things I miss.


24 June 2013

Big Mac--18 lbs and Loving Life

How many 3-month-old children do you know that double their birth weight?  He was 9.2 at birth and is now 18lbs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Which means he gained 2lbs this past month.

Obviously, Micah is advanced and brilliant and adorable!

He has the best thigh rolls, the best double chin, and the cutest two dimples you will ever see!

He can roll over, push up, and grab things now.

He listens carefully for mark and Julia and smiles really big when they come near and talk to him.

My good sleeper has been waking up every few hours at night to nurse yet again because he is having yet another growth spurt!

But I can't be angry because he goes right back to sleep and he is so soft and cuddly. I just love this guy to pieces and so does everyone who meats him.

So, we have a new nickname for Micah...

Big Mac :)


20 June 2013

Turning a Mommy Fail Day into a Mommy Rocks Day

Some days I just can tell it's going to be a mommy fail day.  It could be I wake up extra tired, or maybe I just didn't start off the day in God's Word like I should and I just don't do well.  I know I can be super hard on myself, but sometimes that is a good thing.

Anyway yesterday started off great, we got things done around the house we headed to the park to meet friends, but once we got there it just was a rough time.

Try watching 3 little people at a park as huge as Dorbrook and you will probably understand why.

By the time it turned 2:00 I couldn't wait to leave...and by now Julia and Mark were crying because they didn't want to leave.

But we had to hit up the potty one more time...on the way there I saw the ice cream truck. Great. (sarcastic tone) Perfect spot to drive kids crazy and bug their parents to buy over priced ice cream which we can get for free at home.

"Mom can we have an ice pop...pleassssssssssssse?" Julia asked

"Mom was I good today?" Mark asked with a longing look.

And you know what, I just said "Yup, right after we go potty."

And then I thought to myself...really, Kristi $2.50 per pop, not necessary, too expensive.  And then I thought, you know what...I just want to do one thing right today.  And after they got their pops the smiles were big.  They walked super slow to the car.  There was no whining.  There was no fighting.  There was no crying.

And I felt like, wow, all it took was $2.50 per pop.


19 June 2013

Julia's First Trophy

Well, our little Chinese linguist got her first trophy two Saturdays ago!  She graduated from her first year of Chinese School which she went to every Saturday morning for 3 hours!  And let me tell you...this little girl would come home very tired (brain work makes you so tired!).

I was so proud of how well she did this year.  She got an honorable mention as the Most Improved Student this year, and she got a trophy for 2nd place in the Speech Contest that was held in May.

I think Julia has made a name for herself at the Monmouth Chinese School.  Her teachers say she is very popular with all the kids.  I think that is because she is friendly and very outgoing and many of the other kids are a bit more shy and reserved.

She made two very close girlfriends in Chinese school this year, Olivia and Ava, both girls were adopted by Caucasian parents, and are extremely sweet (and very bright young ladies).  Olivia got a trophy too!

We are so proud of Julia this year.  Not only did she graduate from our home school but she continues to excel and thrive outside of the home.  All I can say is...You Go Girl!

God has gifted her with a great personality and a smart brain!  I love asking her, "Who made you so beautiful and so smart???"  And I'm so glad she knows who gets all the glory!  "Jesus!" she says proudly.


18 June 2013

Date Nights

I LOVE dating John.  He's just the best husband I could ever have or need.  One thing I really appreciate and love about our marriage is that it never gets old.  We always are looking for new ways to spend time together and share our life together.

On my birthday weekend my Mom took ALL three kids so that we could go see a movie.  I just didn't want to bring Micah to the theater and be "that mom" who has a crying disruptive baby in the movie theater.  And one can never predict when a newborn will sleep or get fussy.

So we gave mom a bottle of formula (he's never had formula before) and we basically said a BIG thank you and good luck!  And she texted me an hour later that he drank the bottle, took it like a champ, did a few burps and went fast asleep!  I was amazed.  I fully thought she would call us to come home (the movie theater was 5 minutes away).

But instead we got to see Iron Man 3...and it was awesome!

Then this past weekend, our church gave all the young couples a FREE babysitting night from 7-11 last Friday.  We had a young couple babysit Mark and Julia and we got to go to the Jersey Shore Outlets and then went out to dinner.  Thank you Vince and Jen!

The thing that I like the most on a date night is actually being able to talk to John and think and not have to be interrupted a million times.  We can actually start a sentence and actually finish it.  We even had time to enjoy Micah together without interruption.  Micah slept most of the date, which was fine, but during dinner he was wide awake and we got to hold him and talk about how great he is and how different he is from Julia and Mark.  This kid, besides being extremely chubby, talks so much.  Julia and Mark never cooed this much!  He is so smiley and so chatty and I really think he has thoughts and opinions already.

We got to just love on him one on one, it was such a great date.

I'm really a lucky lady.  And sometimes I get overwhelmed by how good God has been to us and I wonder why He loves us the way He does.  It makes me very humbled and grateful, and I definitely don't feel like I deserve it, but I know in His goodness that it is just the way God is.  He blesses us beyond what we could ever imagine.  Not because we deserve it but because he loves us so much.


17 June 2013

Our New Normal

This is a picture of a picture...but I had to show you because it's all of us!  And each of us has changed so much in the past 2 1/2 months.

Let's start with Julia...

Julia has graduated from Kindergarten and her first year of Chinese School.

She is learning to ride a big girl bike (no training wheels!)  John even got her elbow pads, knee pads, and gloves to cushion any falls she may have...and they are all pink!

She loves to swim in the pool...any pool, and enjoys inviting herself over to people's houses who may have a pool!

She also is always drawing a picture of her family.  I love this because she draws every detail down to the purse I brought, the leggings I wore, and even draws Marky's and Daddy's spiked hair.

She is also going through growing pains in her legs again and has been eating me out of house and home.  This girl can eat! (I don't know where she puts it!)

Next we will see what changes have taken place in me...

For starters I have lost 27 lbs since Micah has been born!  I gained about 33-35 depending on whose/what scale I stood on during the pregnancy.  So I still have a few more to go.  I did a paleo diet for 6 weeks with my sister (mostly veggies, fruit, meat, no dairy, no sugar, no grains) Then after the diet on Mother's day weekend I joined a gym and got myself a trainer!  I meet with him every Saturday afternoon and now Monday nights and I have never sweat so much or have been pushed so hard.  (I am finally getting my confidence again!)  I fit in all my clothes again, but I still need to strengthen my core and find my ABS...where did they go??? I seemed to have lost them between Julia's birth and Micah's birth.  I am proud of how strong I am and how hard I work at the gym...John allows me to go at least 3-4 nights a week because he says it's "kristi time" and even if I only go for an hour it is great to just work out and get re-energized for the next day!

I also have a few more grays here and there...trust me I pluck them with a tweezer if I find one...but I refuse to dye my hair ever again, and I am growing out my hair until at least August...I want to have long hair when we renew our vows at COTW.

I also have begun serving on the Hospitality committee at my church and I finally feel like Jacob's Well is becoming my home.  God has been so faithful in allowing me to make friends and fit in.

Next we have Daddy-John-

John has begun working out daily also.  He transformed our garage into a workout area by using the whole space by covering it with taekwondo mats.  The kids love to play in there now.  He wakes up early and trains in the garage before work each morning.

John has also been remodeling our landscaping out front.  He has done an amazing job with our vegetable garden and now with redecorating the front of the house with more flowering plants instead of the juniper trees we had.  The bushes were hiding the front of our house so we took them all out.  John had a landscaper draw some ideas and we got some ideas from friends too.  We even put in a new sprinkler system...I should say, John did!

He has been so handy around the house!  He has such a strong work ethic.  He never just sits down and vegs out in front of the tv.  He's always bettering our home.  I love that.

On our most recent date, we took Micah...it was so neat to just have one baby in tow...and John was just loving on Micah, and I loved watching him.  I get to hug and kiss the baby all day long so I know he must be wishing he could do the same.

On to Big Brother Mark-

Mark is now 4 years old!  (He reminds us all the time.  ALL.  THE.  TIME.)
He changes his outfit at least 5 times a day.  I think that's why I am always doing laundry.  ALWAYS.
He loves to pop his collar.  He loves to wear work boots.  He loves to wear jeans.  Even when it's 85 degrees out.

Mark loves John to pick him up.  He loves his dad.

However in the car this morning on the way to church he told me I was his best friend.  LOVE HIM.

Mark loves talking to Micah.  Every time I am nursing Micah (which is like every 10 minutes...just kidding) he comes over to talk to Micah about his milk.  And Micah just smiles and drinks away.  I really like to nurse in privacy but at this point.  Privacy just isn't happening.

Mark got a new glider bike from my in laws that he loves, and today John bought him a cool new helmet.

And last but not least Micah--

We call him MJ, Mikey, Bubba-boy, Bubbs...buddy, he has so many nicknames!

He has been holding his head up since week 1...he is so strong!  But now his legs are going a mile a minute and he has tree trunk thighs!  I think nobody is going to mess with me or Julia...Micah is our built in body guard!

He laughs and coos and smiles all day long.  He wakes up so happy and peaceful and content.

Everyone who meets him says, "Does he cry?"  He just isn't a fussy baby at all (okay, unless gas is involved).

Every day trip we've been on, Micah is in the carriage asleep.  He wakes up to nurse and goes right back asleep.  He just fits in with our schedule.  He is our go with the flow boy...and we all ADORE him!  He is the life of our home party!

Well, that is us right now.

It's our new normal.

Life as a party of five.

And Mommy has finally got a rhythm to the day, and life is grand!


13 June 2013

When he comes home...

When he comes home....

You can hear "Daddy!" For miles

When he comes home....

Dinner is waiting on the stove.

When he comes home....

Every sentence begins with "Daddy did you know that....Daddy watch me....Daddy I missed you!"

When he comes home....

Mommy is happiest.

When he comes home....

Daddy loosens his tie, stoops down low, and scoops up one of the kids.

When he comes home...

He finds mommy first to give her a kiss hello. And he always asks about her day.

When he comes home....

Our family is complete.

Happy Fathers Day Daddy... No one can fill your place.


12 June 2013

Summer Time

I cannot tell  you how happy we are that School is Out and Play time is IN!

We have been going to play dates, had play dates at our house, visited parks, went strawberry picking, and even played in the pool with friends.

This week we are headed to Dorbrook Playground and Sprayground with our Mops friends and church friends.

Being the playdate coordinator has been awesome because I have the opportunity to plan some really fun trips all summer long.

Next month we will be cherry picking and in August we are going peach picking and apple picking.  You know what that means?  BAKING time!  I already made a strawberry shortcake after our strawberry picking outing and now we can plan for some Peach Cobbler and Apple pie...and mommy will have to research how to bake a cherry pie!

Being a stay at home mom who home schools also means that I am always on the look out for new curriculum ideas...this year we are going to try to add a science curriculum and history curriculum!  And in addition we just joined a home school coop at Lincroft which will be all day Friday for us...meaning we will have music, cooking, art, bible class, etc.  More on home school stuff in another post.

The day is sunny...we are off!


06 June 2013

Short Accounts

Photo in Princeton by Erin Nicastro Photography
This morning I did my normal routine of eat breakfast, feed Micah, bathe Micah...put him down for nap while I shower.  The big kids know they are to play in the play room by the kitchen downstairs while I am upstairs showering.

After I was done dressing and putting my makeup on I began to pack their lunches for our trip today.  I saw two fruit roll up wrappers on the table.

Me: Who ate fruit roll ups?  (as if I didn't know)

Mark: I told you we should ASK mommy Julia!
Julia: We did mommy.
Mark: Mom I told Julia we should ask you, I don't want to hear you scream (ughhhh...do I yell that much?)
Me: Mark, I'm not going to scream but I am upset because you were supposed to at least ask.
Julia: It's all my fault mommy, I'm sorry.
Me: It's okay baby, I forgive you.

You know what?  I'm really really good at asking God for "stuff"...Dear God, help John pass his test.  Dear God, keep my children safe.  Dear God, keep John safe in New York.  Dear God, please heal Grandma Sue's body...etc.

But, I'm really really bad at keeping short accounts with God.  Dear God, I'm sorry I was so sarcastic with John today.  Dear God, I'm sorry I had a short fuse with the kids today.  Dear God, I'm sorry I'm so impatient right now.  Dear God, I'm sorry I always want to be in control.

Today, I am remembering to stop my laundry list of prayer requests and start remembering to have a relationship with my best friend.  A relationship not a religion.  People are always saying, "Kristi we know you are religious."  But religion will kill you!  It's about knowing how much you NEED God and not being afraid to come to Him with all your short comings, and KNOWING He still loves you.

Was I sad that my kids did something naughty? Sure...but do I love them any less? No way.

I'm thankful for my relationship with the Lord that constantly keeps growing.  That He doesn't give up on me.  God remains faithful when we are not faithful.  He keeps right on loving us and waiting for us.

Today, I am keeping short accounts with Him so He and I can be closer.  God you are so good.

05 June 2013

Gymnastics Recital--June 2nd, 2013

On Sunday, after church, we took the kids out to eat at Panera Bread, then we changed the kids into their gymnastics clothes and we headed to the gym.

It was so great to have Mark in the program this year!  I decided to start him in his own big boy classes in January.  The first day he went straight in with no tears and I knew he was ready.

Julia's been going to gymnastics school since she was 2 1/2.  This was her 3 year.  I even enrolled both kids to gymnastics camp where they will tumble, do a craft, have play time, and snack, and Micah and I will go food shopping and run errands while the kids are having fun.

My in laws came to see the kids at their recital and my sister Sara.

It was great to hear what they said about each child as they do their floor routine.  Julia said she wanted to be a dentist and hair dresser when she grows up...and Mark wants to be just like his dad...the whole audience said "Awwww!"

Julia likes to bake cookies with mommy in her spare time...Mark likes to look up at the stars in his room (he has glow in the dark stars on his ceiling).

Julia's favorite sport is Karate and Gymnastics and Mark's is soccer (ummmm Mark has never played soccer, I don't know where he got that from.)

Julia did awesome on the bars and beam.

Mark did great on the rings and the parallel bars.

Mark and Julia you guys are awesome!  Mom and Dad are so proud of you!

04 June 2013

Julia's Kindergarten Graduation

Monday was such an emotional day for me.  On the one hand I am so stinkin' proud of my 5 year old daughter Julia for doing so well this year in home school...but on the other hand I was so sad she is graduating Kindergarten and moving on to bigger and brighter things!

Sad because it is just another reminder that she is not our baby girl, she is such a big girl now!

At our Kindergarten graduation (we are a part of a 164 family educational home school group at Calvary Chapel Old Bridge) we invited our immediate family and Aunt Debi and Uncle Tio and Aunt Christy and Lizzy.

The 10 Kindergarten graduates (7 boys and 3 girls) sang a worship song "God's Shining Stars" very fitting for my Julia Star.  I loved the hand motions and their shining faces as they sang.  I was so glad John and our families got to be there to see how large the HEG is...with 164 families you are talking A LOT of kids!!!

Aunt Debi homeschooled her kids K-12th grade!  She is an inspiration to me!

Julia was so happy all her aunties were there and her grandparents.  It made her feel SO special.  I could tell.

During the program the moms were able to give their student his/her diploma.  And at the end of the program they honored all the moms with a red rose and a standing ovation.  It was sweet.  Embarrassing to go up on stage and receive your rose but sweet that we were honored for all the time and work home schooling is.

I would like to thank God for allowing John and I to have the wisdom and strength to decide to home school, to stick with it, and to have the patience on the hard days.  There were many days I texted John after our home school time that I was giving up, that Julia wasn't getting it, or wasn't focusing, or wasn't excelling, John always heard me out and let me vent, and watched me dust myself off and get back in the game.

I would also like to thank Julia for putting up with me this year.  It was a growing year for both of us, and she still was excited each day to learn something new and practice her letters and do math and reading.  I am so proud of you Joogie.  You are so smart!  I love how you continue to ask questions and figure things out on your own.  How you remind mommy it's journal time, or math time, or time to practice reading.  I can't wait for the Fall when we start all over again!

First Grade...Here we Come!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


03 June 2013

The Crazy Lady Inside Me: Overcoming Perfectionism

My name is Kristi Anne McInerney and I am a  perfectionist.

I do not say this proudly.  I say this as truth.  And being a perfectionist is horrible.  It is tiring.  It is even more exhausting when you have kids because not only do you seek to be perfect but you expect imperfect little people to be perfect.

I have this crazy lady inside of me.  She is constantly nagging me.  She is constantly calling me to do just one more task and fix just one more thing.  It is never ending and there is so much to fix.  I am never done.  The list goes on and on.

It starts out like this: Get the kids dressed, make sure they match.  Give them a breakfast, make sure it is healthy, looks appealing, and totally cleaned up and put away the minute they finish the last bite.  And if somebody happens to spill something at the table.  OH MY WORD!  Really? Really?  How many times did mommy say to move your drink?

The crazy lady hates messes, hates fingerprints, hates dust and dirt.  Glitter...oh please, don't even mention glitter.  We don't play with glitter.

The crazy lady inside of me is way too intense about everything.  She wants to loosen up, she does, really.  But then the strive for perfection just pulls her into this black hole.

The crazy lady inside of me has a list of things that must be completed before any outing, or a panic attack ensues.  I'm serious.  I feel short of breath, I feel like I'm losing control and I can't think.  It is so stressful.  The happy go lucky girl inside of me just wants to leave the house in harmony, but the perfectionist needs the beds made, clothes folded, lights turned off, back packs on, (she even lines up her children at the door).  There are many times I am so anxious about leaving because there is just so much to do before we head out, that I turn into mean mommy.  And I really want to change.

I want to be able to just go with the flow.  I want to be able to be at peace and not feel so overwhelmed all the time.  Every mom is busy but you shouldn't have to feel so crazy on the inside.

This is something I am really praying about.  I'm asking God to show me ways to loosen up where I need to be loose and to care about the things that really matter.  Things like: making my kids feel loved and safe, not lecturing them because they spill something.  I don't want them to feel bad because they make a mistake.


02 June 2013


If I could pick my 3 favorite months they would be August (my anniversary), September, the start of school, and June (my birthday month and the start of summer)!

June 1, was my birthday! Woot Woot!!! I love my birthday! I love starting off the month, I love the sunshine and warmth the month of June brings, and I love the winding down of school time and all the "extras" that the school year brings: BIBLE study fellowship, gymnastics, AWANA, MOPS, etc.

I'm so looking forward to strawberry picking, Julia's graduation, gymnastics recital, Julia's graduation from Chinese school, Fathers Day, Flag Day, and the lazy days of the summer.

I can't wait for picnics in the park, playing at the playground, pool play dates, swimming lessons, gymnastics camp, peach picking, gardening, blowing bubbles, and the ease of doing nothing so to speak.

I still plan on blogging during the week and you can expect the following topics in the next few weeks to come:

Zoo Adventure
Gymnastics recital
Julia's Kindergarten Graduation
My Birthday
Fathers Day
Red, white, and blue fun
House projects

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