What I learned at the Park

Does anyone else get major anxiety when going to the park?!

Maybe it’s just me. I usually hope that it is just us when I get there, mostly because I don’t want to compete with the other moms.

The ones standing around in their mom groups in work out clothes and you ask yourself “did they really just go to the gym or is that for show?” I can get a little catty in my head and think …. “you know they just ate a huge candy bar before they got out of the car” 

They are seriously chatting about books and recipes and using soft voices when talking to the kids.

I stand back.
I use “soft voices” too, I don’t want them to think I am some sort of psycho… but how do you tell your dare devil 3 year old not to jump from the top of the playset in a calm voice!?SNLF5986[1]

I did the things you do at the park… I had the reminder about strangers talk, I brought bread to feed the ducks, I packed a picnic lunch and still I stood there feeling like the other moms were staring me down. So inadequate as a mom.

I laid out there lunch and I remember I didn’t bring a wipe to wash their hands, {just lay it out, have them eat and pretend you don’t notice}  but then I remembered that Alex sat a sandwich on the porch yesterday and I am pretty sure he went back later and ate it with mud caked hands.

Then the playground clears out and the anxiety fades and I remember why I brought them….
To play and get dirty.

I hate feeling like I always need to be better, like I am in some sort of “mom court” all the time. And if I don’t do something just right then my kids will grow up and remember the one time I took them to the park and forgot the bread.

I used to really beat myself up about not being that perfect mom…. but is there such a thing. We all mess up and shame on us if we ever make another mama feel like she isn’t doing enough, or doing it just right.

I am about 100% sure that Braxton was my guinea pig child. I know that I have “messed up” more with him than the others, but then I sit back and watch him and I realize that he is smart, kind, a great student, he loves, and seeks to be pleasing to others. So, I suppose that all those times I forgot the bread to feed the ducks and those times that I yelled across the playground not to push, helped him along the way.

Momin’ ain’t easy, but I am learning everyday. I am loosing the anxious feeling and just living with my kids and for my kids. I want them to grow up and think “My mom was always there… she was firm and we knew she meant business, but she was there to kiss the bumps and bandage the scrapes. She was there to hug us when someone hurt our feelings and she was there to kiss us and love us” …. that’s what I want them to remember.

So, I guess I said all this to say, I know that I’m not the BEST mom in the world but I know I am the Best mom for my quartet. God thought so, so I’m going to try really hard not to beat myself up for all my imperfections and just do us.


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An Experience

I thought being a mama would be a walk in the park.

I laughed when “seasoned” mama’s would say “just wait until you have your own”.

Then I had Braxton and I immediately thought I knew everything, when in fact I didn’t know anything at all. I didn’t know if he could fall asleep in a swing. I would sit by his crib and hold a mirror to his face to make sure he was breathing. (true story) I called the pediatrician the first time he fell and busted his lip, the nurse giggled, I remember getting a little upset, and she said, “give him a popsicle this is the first of many bumps”.
I thought “I don’t have any popsicles don’t those have sugar in them.”


I was strict with his diet and gave him only organic foods, only milk and water and never ever gave him a “dip” for his organic, free range, stress free chicken nuggets.

I was a “helicopter mom” to the extreme. I remember watching my sister in law, while on our first family vacation give her son, who was 4 months younger, a pudding cup. I stood there silently appalled that she would do that to her child!!!

Then one day we heard the words that no mother wants to hear and my views seemed to change almost overnight. MY child wasn’t supposed to be sick, he was an organic baby, who NEVER got sick or had a cold. He had never even had an ear infection. MY child was not a statistic. But in fact, my child was.  And I realized then that I didn’t know anything at all and that I had a lot of road to cover!

Then as time went on we added 3 more monkeys to the bunch and I became “seasoned”. QUICKLY!!! I became that crazy mama, going through Wal-Mart with one in the front, one where you are “not supposed to put a child”, one hanging on the end, in flip flops {an accident waiting to happen} and then Braxton wandering aimless through the aisles as if he is the only one there…. That is EXPERIENCE! I learned to listen to those other mama’s … fast!!!!

Now, while I don’t know everything, I do know a lot. I know about emergency room visits. I know how to put a band aid on extra tight to avoid another ER visit. I know how to pack lunches that they will actually eat. I know that cupcakes can smooth most things over. I know that kids have disagreements and that I can’t always come to their rescue. I know that girls are dramatic and that I still have A LOT to learn about raising a girl in a house of testosterone. I know that boys are gross and they literally smell, and I know that they will fight regardless if we are at home, church or an aisle in a store.


I have learned to smile when they are embarrassing me to know end and make some sort of awkward joke out of the situation. They have taught me that being serious all the time is lame and that sometimes you have to use a funny voice when ordering processed food in the drive through. I have learned that messes get made and they get cleaned up eventually.

Who said being a mama was a job you had to apply for and have a perfect record. I have said it before that I am no “pinterest mom” and I admire them and I wish they would come decorate my house and teach my children how to keep white furniture clean and how to meal prep and make birthday parties the best thing ever. For now I will stick with leather furniture, cheap carpet, my “less is more and big is better” philosophy, no pretty curtains {because that is how Tarzan gets around} and sometimes dinner isn’t what everyone loves and cereal is OK for dinner!
I learned that Nerf wars are a blast ESPECIALLY when we ambush the Barber when he comes through the door…. I will take full responsibility for this because it was epic.

Being a mama is a privilege that I will never take for granted. It is fun and stressful, noisy and sometimes too quiet, it is runny noses and wet kisses and it is late nights and early mornings. But that is OK with me… we are going to make the most of EVERY crazy moment, live life and make memories…


That is my Friday thought!

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Wilderness Rescues and Easter Baskets

Y’all!! What a fun and interesting Easter Holiday we had!!! 

The quartet had a 4 day weekend and we were determined to make the most out of it.
{Of course, they just went back to school after a 2 week Spring Break, so I’m not sure why 4 days was necessary}
Friday and Saturday were spent running from here to there doing last minute things for church on Sunday. And the baby got his glasses. This is proving to be a challenge that I was not ready for. Within, minutes of having them on, he had them pushed across his belly, then thrown into the floorboard and then, when we got home,
they were thrown on the couch before he ran out the back door!!! UGH!!!

Guess who forgot baskets??!! This mom!! Seriously, 4 kids makes it a little more challenging and I am pretty sure that the oldest one knows that I am behind them but kudos to him for playing along for the other 3…. I need to remember to get him a “just because” prize.  So I conquered the aisles of Wal-Mart with the other last minute moms and dads and managed a pretty decent haul. Again… I am the farthest thing from a “pinterest mom” you will ever find!

 Allergies have hit full force and I have 4 sniffling, hacking kids running around. The front yard is full of those dandelions and there little faces are puffy and itchy.

Monday, we went to a local state park for a day of hiking and burgers and it turned out to be a very interesting day. We did a trail once and came out muddy, and stinky and one of us… the one with pigtails…. was not happy after she managed to step in a huge mud puddle and dirty up her favorite pair of grey chucks.
I promise, sometimes she is as rough and tough as her brothers and other times she is a dainty, Miss. Priss that hates nature. At the end of the trail, she had vowed and declared that she was never doing that again!! Only to learn we were going in a second time when our friends arrived. IMG_4281[1]

Oh, the day just got more interesting when our friends arrived and we decided to do the trail again.

That dreaded mud that ruined Zoe’s outdoor experience, claimed my friend when she fell in it, trying to keep her daughter from falling and dislocated her knee!!!

So, there we were, 4 adults and 8 kids in the middle of the woods, sitting in the worst smelling mud ever trying to figure out the best way to get her out. We ended up calling 911 and they dispatched 2 cops and then moments later, 2 paramedics showed up and then about 8 DNR guys with a stretcher on a bike wheel!!!

Nothing gets your adrenaline pumping like a real wilderness rescue! So after 45 minutes in the mud pit with my pal, they finally had her leg stabilized, had her drugged a bit and then they hiked back through the woods to the ambulance…

In true Adkins form, it is not an outing unless someone goes to the ER. Caleb managed to get whacked in the face with a swing, resulting in a shiner and then managed to have a bandaid on at least 4 fingers! Alexander almost fell into the lake twice. And then the wilderness rescue!!! Oh, what a fun day, it really made me miss the ER and the hospital life. I used to think being a mama would be boring but it is turning out to be WAY more interesting than I could have ever imagined!!!

I am so thankful that I had Thrive on this particular day. When we finished up at the park, we were all dirty and smelly and the Barber insisted we stop and get groceries before we went home…. I only wonder what the people in Kroger had to be thinking about my rustic, mountain looking family.  By the time we got home, the Barber wanted to finish a furniture project so I rolled up my sleeves and kept going, thankful for the extra energy.


We made so many new memories over the weekend and we smiled for lots of pictures and I am pretty sure that mom-ing is officially on the “top 10 most interesting jobs” list.

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Living the MOM life…

Today I was chatting with another mom about some things and somehow we drifted into working away from home…. once upon a time that was me…. anyway, at the end of our chat she said, “it was so nice to have an adult conversation.”

OH MY WORD!! She is totally not kidding. Given it was through messenger but still we were kinda sorta talking as I was throwing things back to the kids in the back seat while sitting in the car line…. 7 more weeks of that by the way… can’t tell you how excited that makes me. Another friend was all buzz kill when she said “but there is only 8 weeks of summer”, to which I replied, “by then they will more than likely be sitting on the curb of the elementary school because I couldn’t deal anymore. {true story}


When I worked outside the home, I feel like I took those “adult convo’s” for granted.  Now, I am home all day, rarely do I have an actual phone conversation thanks to the comfort of texting and these online “mom communities”,  I mean seriously, I have to “schedule” calls to make sure they coordinate with nap time and in the event that I have to take a call, like today, I find myself setting them up with a cartoon and enough snacks and juice to occupy them for the duration of my 15 minute conversation.

I usually make all my calls, like for appointments and stuff, from my office…. aka my mini van, while sitting in the car line because on a great day they fall asleep from the house to the school… on a GREAT day… that’s not often.

And, when on the phone, I have learned to keep it short and sweet and take advantage of bluetooth and the mute button (for those moments I am sure will happen and I have to “encourage” them to be quite)

Seriously, where did my social life go. Unless, my friends come to me, I see no one and and unless they text me I talk to no one…. because my phone is usually occupied by someone who only uses it for gaming purposes or decides to hide it…. {another true story}

So, I found this “job” that allows me to work from home and requires me to talk to adults, about a product that I love and I realize now that I mostly do it for the chance to talk to other grown ups.

Whatever will I do when the kids are ALL in school…. I know!!!! I am going to call everyone in my contacts list and just chat! I am not sure what I will talk about seeing that the last 10 years of my life have been, Mickey Mouse, Backyardigans, Elsa and Anna, Legos, Matchbox cars and Baby Dolls…. That is going to be the most interesting of conversations.

OK before I sign off, If you are not Thriving let me recommend it again. I have found something that allows me to no longer be a Zombie mama, allows me to keep up with them without feeling like they have laid the smack down, and allows me to take a few extra minutes once they have all been tucked in without fighting sleep. And then when I lay my head down, I drift off into a peaceful, restful sleep, thanks to the melatonin that is released… I am loving my Thriving Experience. I get to stay home, make a little extra money and love a fabulous product….


  Start Your Thrive Experience HERE

Cheers to all the mamas who read more conversations than speak them ♥♥


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A little Slumber! 

Me and another mama took on a hotel sleepover with 8 little ladies last night. 

If I wasn’t Thriving I do not believe that my 31 year old (not so young anymore) self couldn’t have hung on as long as I did! 

Zoe and her little friends ate junk food, giggled and danced, swam and giggled some more until the wee hours of the morning. Eventually they started dropping one after another and then we crashed too. Then, up bright and early this morning, when they were going full throttle again. 

Sheesh!!! To have half the energy of a 7 year old again!

The Saturday before Easter is always so busy for us… once Eron came home we loaded up and have shopped the day away! Now as the quartet snores a sweet little melody in the back seat I finally have a minute to recoup! 

I ain’t the same young whipper snapper I once was and those girls gave me a run for my money, but watching Zoe giggle in a testosterone free environment made all of today’s minor aches and pains worth it!!!  

We finished up the night with dinner with some good friends and tomorrow will surely bring on new challenges but for now I am going to remember the success of today! 

I Need a few more … YEARS!!!

Happy Friday!! Well, the sun is shining, I have an all girls sleepover tonight with Zoe and Alexander is going 100 mph…. see picture ⇓⇓⇓⇓


How does looking for ONE toy turn into this!!!!!!!!???? And, I was completely nuts to think he would clean it up …. they are all “too heavy”!!!  OF COURSE!!! …. Well, no one is fighting so it’s a good day!!!

Yesterday I registered Caleb for Kindergarten! {insert sobs and tears here}

How is it possible that he is already going to Kindergarten??

It’s kinda funny really, with each one I have talked about how excited I would be once they started school. I am pretty sure that I said that as a way to psych myself out once the day came… but it doesn’t work once the day is upon us.

I sat in the school library with a friend of mine. I watched them fill out their forms and then I watched as the daddy’s eyes started to tear up as he wrote how amazing his little girl was under the section “describe your child’s personality and strengths and weaknesses”. I think he probably needed another form.

Then while I was filling out the same section for Caleb, I felt the tears come up and then that sad feeling in the back of my throat that makes it hard to breathe. I am thinking to myself, “keep it together, you have done this before, don’t cry, don’t cry….”

Caleb has become so independent since starting Preschool last August and I am so proud of him. As he walked off with the Kindergarten teachers and the other soon to be Kindergarteners, it dawned on me that I would be in that same place next year with my baby… my last and then, that’s when I had to choke back the tears. Alex kept asking when Caleb was coming back and I knew then, he was going to be completely lost without his sidekick in August.

I get asked all the time what I am going to do when they are all in school and I usually say “lay around the house and do NOTHING  for the first week” but honestly, that is probably not going to happen.

I miss my babies being little. When Braxton started school, I literally stalked him all day and cried BIG tears when he walked in and I was in the carline like an hour early!!!  When Zoe started school, I worried about her, wrote her room number on her right hand with a BIG heart and her lunch line on the other hand. My separation anxiety was a little better with her, mostly because she is so independent and rarely accepts help with anything.

But, I will probably be in prayer at the church all day when I drop Cabby off for his first day…. mostly because I am the “ultimate helicopter mom” when it comes to him. Who will keep him in his “safety bubble”??? Honestly, I will probably stalk him too. And for now we will not talk about Alex because on that day I will probably need to be committed to a special kind of hospital 🙂 .

Being a mama is the most bittersweet job in the world… you pray for them to grow up healthy and smart and independent and then one day you blink and they are 10 and fixing their own food and making straight A’s and you are thinking “when did you grow up”!!  I am a mess now!!!! I will be a puddle of goo when they are all teenagers!!! If you need me I will be looking through old pictures, eating a tub of frosting, crying over my babies not being babies anymore!!!!

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“He has what???”

Today I am going to talk about Caleb… “my Cabby”.

Caleb is number 3 in the line and the only introvert that I have! He is quiet and loves his mama.

He is 5 and probably has one of the best imaginations of all my quartet. He is happy playing alone and he loves books.

When he was growing in my belly. He gave us quite a scare when the doctors thought he had “black bowel”, a condition common with babies who may have Cystic Fibrosis or Down Syndrome. They did multiple ultrasounds and followed him closely and I believe that God touched him from the very first prayer that went up.

caleb baby

Of all my quartet, he took the longest to learn to walk. He prefered to be carried and even after he started walking, he was content being stationary with cars and books. We later thought he was just a little on the “lazy” side. Completely different from his brother and sister.

We quickly learned that Caleb was probably one of the clumsiest children ever! By his 2nd birthday he had stitches in his lip, staples in his head twice and stitches in his eyebrow, all from random falls. I knew the ER must think something suspicious was going on but he was just so “accident prone”.  Caleb became my bubble boy. I was always worried that he was going to get hurt at any moment.

While on a vacation when he was about 3, he started to complain about his legs hurting… again we thought he was lazy and just didn’t want to walk anymore. So I carried him, or always made sure to have the stroller. My introvert was becoming more isolated.

caleb maine 2

When we got home his legs were still hurting and some mornings he would wake up and not want to cross the room they hurt so badly. Then the pain started to show up in his hands, so much that he didn’t want to hold a pencil or open things, like bottles. Then, his arms started hurting in his elbows and I became more concerned.

That’s when my mama radar started going off.

My first concern was cancer, only because of Braxton’s history. So I took him to the pediatrician where they too, became a little concerned. After blood work and some minor testing, they still had no answers. They sent him to have a bone scan done in Cincinnati just to make sure they were not missing something. It came back ok. So, as relieved as I was, I was still concerned because we still had no real answers and he was still hurting.

The next step was Rheumatology to rule out Juvenile Arthritis. Although he had no markers they still wanted him to be seen. We had been going to doctors for about 3 months at this point so I was ready to have some kind of answer.  Thankfully, the doctors at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital were wonderful. They tested him, had him do several exercises and finally we had an answer!


Caleb has “Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome”, it’s rare and difficult to diagnose and inherited. It explained his clumsy demeanor, his pain and discomfort and his flat feet. We learned that he was only using about 50% of his leg muscles and that he was overcompensating in those muscles. Explaining the pain. They explained that he was going to have to work a little harder to strengthen the other muscles. People with Ehlers Danlos also have hyper-mobility and double jointed areas and this makes dislocations common. They are often tired and strenuous activity can be difficult because they are overexerting muscles that they don’t commonly use.

They told us to avoid any high impact activities like football and jumping. I’m thinking “he’s a boy, his whole life is going to be high-impact“.

It is very under researched and often times misdiagnosed.

We were set up with physical therapy, he was given shoe inserts and things became a little easier for him.

Today, he runs and plays with kids at preschool with very minor discomforts. His physical therapist was wonderful and he has overcome several obstacles and now he loves to write and color.

I have learned that you have to adjust and with more than one child you sometimes have to adjust to more than you would have expected. Caleb still has days when his legs and hands hurt him quite a bit but for the most part he is overcoming daily.

He has a very mild case compared to some that we have read about and for that we give God all the glory.

Learn more about Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome here.

Happy Wednesday

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