Tag Archives: abby

the baby

Rylie Joy (7) taught me to be a mom. She redefined normal and changed all the filters on our life. Gideon James (4) is the toughest, sweetest, most ridiculous child I’ve ever met. His name is generally spoken and spelled in ALL CAPS for a reason.

Then there’s Abby.

She is her own whole book of awesome.

Abby June Mulder is our third and final (biological– hey, who knows?) child. She turned 2 just before Christmas.

summer 2014

Shortly after the New Year, Abby decided she wanted to potty train. Within a couple days, we were home-free and she wore a diaper only while sleeping. There weren’t even undies small enough to fit her tiny little chubby buns. But, she was all about it. She would stop herself while playing and run to the bathroom. She would tell the nursery worker at church she needed a potty break. She would hold it all through grocery shopping and errands. Curt and I high-fived each other- we were almost finished with diapers.

Three months later, Abby June Mulder (as she calls herself) decided she’d had enough of the responsible life. It started slowly… a little leak whilst playing outside. Then a full-blown accident right in the living room. THEN a test for the babysitter who put her diaper on wrong. And then, THEN y’all… the poo. She started skipping the potty and “painting” instead.

I heard her downstairs, absolutely not taking a nap. I gave her 20 minutes and then went down to have a little chat. The smell met me before I even got through the door. Abby June Mulder was hiding behind the curtain in her window seat, completely naked and covered in gross.

“I don’t want a spankin’,” she said quietly.

“I’m not going to give you a spankin’,” I replied evenly. “You’re going to help me clean this up and then I’m going to give you a shower.”

“I am sorry,” she said, without a hint of remorse.

When I returned with a bucket and some water, I flipped on the light and surveyed the damage. She had painted the window. The window seat. The curtains. The wooden treasure chest. The door knob. And everything I hadn’t noticed the first time I walked in. Everything. Lawd, everything.

ABBY JUNE! I yelled. “What in the world, Child? This is the third time you’ve done this! You totally know how to go to the potty. I know you do. This is YUCKY and this is NOT FUN. I absolutely do not understand what is going on with you.”

She lifted her chin and squinted her beautiful, hazel eyes.

“I did say sorry.” 

And that, friends, in a nutshell is our Abby June. Twenty-five pounds of the most brilliant, dramatic, street-smart, guarded, gorgeous life to ever grace this farm. She is everything I would ever want my child to be- at 18 or older: confident, independent, daring, hilarious, tough as nails, and a really decent singer.

Lord, please help me be smarter than my children for just a little bit longer.

And Lord, I pray for the hearts and egos of the boys who will love- and likely lose- Abby in the future. She is in a league of her own.

Also? Thanks.

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home on the range

1185973_10100361327668312_475637321_nFor a year now, I have been on the Dayspring (in)courager volunteer team as a co-leader of an online community group for moms with kids of special needs. For three months now, I have been a (volunteer) mentor for the leaders of 13 other Special Care groups in the (in)courage community.  There are almost 70 groups with almost 140 total leaders out there right now, getting ready for registration to start today.

If you find yourself hesitant to join a small group in real life because of time commitments or hermit tendencies (ahem, Katie Mulder), this faith-based community may be exactly what you’re looking for. This session runs from Sept 23 to November 8, and registration starts today. Each group is limited to 30 women (sorry, Dad) and each group marches to their own beat. Maybe it’s a Bible study, maybe it’s a life-stage, maybe it’s a profession that is the common link- but there is something for almost everyone. You’ll find a complete list HERE.

•••

aj

First of all, look at this child. Is she not stunning? Even with the scar of having a brother on her face? She is the toughest kid I’ve ever met and can stare me down in a contest, which is something. I love her.

We have spent a lot of sweet time with our herd this summer. The boys of summer, the steers who will feed family and friends come January, are a year old now and so, so fun. Wooster (say that out loud) has a white patch on his forehead that looks like a chicken. He begs to be scratched every day. I have lost count of how many time Abby has made her way into the boys’ pen and held them captive with a monologue or two. She always starts with, “HOLA, COW.” I think that’s wise. Always start with ‘hello.’

wooster

Here is proof-positive that these are gentle giants if treated well and given the respect any large animal deserves. No doubt, they are still wild and unpredictable… and very, very strong. But, they are so fun. And so pretty 🙂 We love ’em.

I’ll show you this year’s babies later this week.

Have a good one, Folks.

We love you here at TexasNorth!


Thursday’s vacation postcard

The Mulders are making their way through Maine with a mini-van, a trailer, and a tent. Let us pray for the Northeast, amen? There’ll be a postcard here each day this week.

Thursday

It is becoming increasingly clear that, of the three children in our family, it is Abby (the youngest) who we need to keep an eye on.

She’s crazy.

If you know anything about the other two children, this should make you hit your knees now.

abby


Wednesday’s vacation postcard

The Mulders are making their way through Maine with a mini-van, a trailer, and a tent. Let us pray for the Northeast, amen? There’ll be a postcard here each day this week.

Wednesday

My children.

Not a sane one in the bunch.

kids collage


I’m not kidding.

In the year of our Lord, 2013, on the 10th day of the 6th month,

(Monday, People. This past Monday.)

I loaded my children in the van and headed West.

After 35 minutes of bliss tempered by Babe on the DVD, we stopped at Meijer to buy a gift. Our friends, you see, had just returned from a land far, far away with a new babe and were in need of a highchair. I offered our own, but an evening of Abby throwing spaghetti quickly solidified her need of meal-time restraint for a few months more.

A NEW high chair, we all squealed! It will be a surprise!

Now, you are aware that Meijer is frequently the setting for Mulder miracles-

there was the incident with the fish,

and then the lady in the parking lot,

and who can forget Pam?

This morning would prove no different.

Abby

There were 2 choices: a minor choice and a major choice… and I left it up to the eldest. “Which do you pick, Rylie? Which one should we bring?”

She, of course, picked the major choice… because she is of my genes.

At the checkout, the kind teller rang up our purchases: the highchair, 2 bags of m&ms, a box of baby wipes (ABBY JUNE) and some emergency bananas. He sang out my total.

I tilted my head.

“Erm… did you beep the highchair in the cart here? I didn’t put it on the conveyor belt.”

“I did.”

*blank stare*

“Well, can I just see the receipt to make sure?”

He smiled and turned his monitor to face me. “See? Right here. Looks like it’s on sale. For basically nothing.”

“Yes and thank you. We’ll be seeing you in heaven.”

And off we went, with our beautiful brand-new gift for a beautiful, new-to-them baby starting a beautiful, brand-new life with a beautiful, lovely family.

Meijer, sometimes you are magic.

Gus Man

We passed on the gift (and m&ms) with much, MUCH glee and were quickly on our way back to the farm. As a reward for 2 hours of driving plus a trip to the grocery store, I pulled into McDonalds to let my herd frolic on the play land. It was a remarkable day, after all, and the kids were doing so very well.

Until they weren’t.

Until Gideon ripped off his socks and stuffed them down the webbing holes of the tunnel, never to be seen again.

Until Abby grabbed my Coke and poured it on herself.

Until Rylie decided she would take another girl’s shoes home.

Until Gideon told her she couldn’t.

Until Rylie smacked him with the force of an undiscovered fly-weight.

Until Gideon bit her on the arm and bolted through the emergency door in the play land, initiating a piercing BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! and lockdown sequence for all the lucky customers.

People, I did not even flinch. I grabbed all three shoeless children by their collars and marched them out to the van, alarms still flaring in the background.

Ry and Coco

I locked Abby in her seat. I nudged Gideon to GET MOVING, and his little legs began to climb in the van.

Which exposed his superhero undies waistband at eye-level with Rylie.

Who instinctively and with the vengeance of a girl scorned, bit him squarely on the butt.

THE BUTT.

Oh, we are not finished.

Before I could summon Jesus to return, my eldest pulled away from her brother’s buns in fear… because her mouth was pouring blood.

What is this madness, you ask?

Quite simple, Friends.

SHE LOST HER TOOTH.

Her wiggly tooth that had been tormenting her for days… the tooth came out as she bit her brother. And so, she wailed.

We cannot go back inside to use the restroom because, well, see above. We can only go home. We can only go home- a mother, stoic, with her 3 whimpering children in the backseats.

We can only go home and THINK ABOUT WHAT WE’VE DONE for a good, long time.

*sigh*

Let us mark that establishment as yet another parking lot we shall never grace again.

Happy weekend to you, Dears.

May your socks be dry and your drinks strong.