trying to create something beautiful out of the broken pieces

Everything in Three’s?? August 16, 2010

Filed under: Family,Life,parenting — kunderwood @ 3:32 pm

We are hitting milestones in three’s this week!  I have to admit it:  I’m (not so) secretly excited!  I’ve always gotten excited when my kids have hit a milestone.  It’s my internal battle with not wanting them to grow up too fast, yet liking when they learn something new/accomplish something/ BECOME MORE MATURE… 😉

This week Tessa started potty training.  If you know me, you know I’ve always said it’s my least favorite part of raising kids to date.  But… as much as I’ve been dreading the process, I’ve been anticipating the outcome- of being all done w/ diapers, potty training, etc.  FOREVER.  So, not only has she been potty training- and doing WELL at it- she has been waking up dry in the mornings and from naps for the past three days that she’s been training.  God knew I needed this!

Avery has started riding her bike- without her training wheels!!  She will have it completely before the end of the week.  She is so excited for Daddy to get home from work today to show him how much more she can do today than she could do yesterday!

Trey… is turning 11.  Eleven.  ELEVEN!  Isn’t that officially pre-teen??  He at least keeps telling me he’s a preteen, so maybe I’ll start believing him.

I think that if it is preteen… that if I am old enough to have an eleven year old/preteen…  that certainly I should be able/old enough/please, dear God, ready… to have all of my children potty trained.

Don’t you think??


Ch-ch-ch-changes August 9, 2010

Filed under: Family,Friends,Life,pieces — kunderwood @ 4:52 pm

It hasn’t gone unnoticed by me that it’s been awhile since I have posted something.  I have thought of it from time to time.  When the thought has occurred to me to maybe write something, I’ve used the excuse that I’m still adjusting to the changes.  Which is true.  But I’m just starting to realize just how deep the changes have been… and how deeply they’re affecting me.

Frankly, I’m not even sure what to say about it.  It’s not like it’s been all bad.  In fact, it’s been so good that it’s been easy to brush aside the hard parts.  I can’t say enough for living near my family.  That has been priceless.  But, it definitely cost dear friendships.  I am just not good at keeping in touch with people.  The great part, though, is that I’ve come to realize (not for the first time) that I have been so blessed with amazing friends in each place I’ve lived!  It’s pretty incredible, actually.  It keeps me going with the hope of making great friends like that here.  And again, my sisters fill that role in such a great way!

One of the many changes taking place is that I am returning to the *paid* workforce for the first time in 11 years.  The last time I taught was when I was pregnant with Trey- who will be 11 next week!  I will be teaching 2nd grade this fall at the local Christian school.  I wasn’t anticipating going back to work this soon.  However, in one year Trey will be entering middle school… and Karis the year after that.  After lots of talking (like for the last 11 years) Brent and I felt strongly that we didn’t want our kids in public middle school.  Middle school is plenty hard enough, without all of the extras.  The only way we could afford to send them to CCA was for me to teach there.  So I applied.  I’m not sure how this first year will go.  It will be an adjustment for all 6 of us for sure.  But the funny thing is that we’re all excited about it!


Yelling November 7, 2009

Filed under: Family,Life,parenting,pieces — kunderwood @ 10:53 am

Over the last few years (or maybe over the last few kids) I’ve become a yelling mom.  It doesn’t happen all the time.  In fact, most of my friends would probably say that they’ve never seen me yell at my kids.  I think my neighbors would disagree.  But sometimes I totally lose it and yell.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that this isn’t a good thing.  In fact, I think it’s extremely detrimental to my kids.  I don’t approve of my behavior, because frankly, it says 1. I’m out of control and 2. I’m selfish enough to know it, and yet do it anyway.  So, I’ve been trying really hard to stop yelling.  And when I do, I have been having to apologize to my kids… which usually results in them thinking that whatever behavior they were doing in the first place to get yelled at suddenly became okay to do because mom was the one apologizing, not them.  So then I’ve had to go back and fix that too.  It’s really a lot more work on my part in the long run to yell.

Well, I came upon this blog this morning from a reformed yelling mom.  It’s such basic information, but it’s a good reminder for me.  Plus it’s just nice to know that I’m not the only mom who has or does struggle with this.

Welcome to my Brain

And here’s her “How to Stop Yelling” post


Terrible Two’s… Here We Come! September 13, 2009

Filed under: Family,Life — kunderwood @ 2:12 pm

It is so hard to believe that my youngest celebrated her 2nd birthday yesterday!  This last year has flown by, but she has been busy.  Along with speaking a lot more and going from walking to running, here is a list of some of her accomplishments over the past year:

  • got a CAT scan after falling from a chair
  • taught herself to climb the ladders of her siblings’ bunkbeds
  • started drinking coffee.  black.  don’t even try to put creamer in it- you’ll see her temper.  just ask Brent.
  • removed the letter keys of the laptop one by one
  • scrubbed the bathtub while her sister was in it… with the toilet brush
  • learned to open the doors and leave the house all by herself… without bothering to tell anyone
  • pulled all of Trey’s birthday cupcakes off the counter onto the floor… and then helped herself
  • learned to defend her property from her siblings… by screaming bloody murder
  • dumped the dog’s water dish countless times… or poured the dog’s food into the water dish
  • bathed herself in an entire bottle of pure maple syrup

Yep, it’s been a busy year.  And it wasn’t even the “terrible two’s”…  she’s on the fasttrack! 🙂

But with all of her craziness, she’s the funniest, sweetest, most cuddly 2 year old I know!

August 2009 109

Tessa's 2nd Birthday 021


Celebrating a Decade August 19, 2009

Filed under: Family,Life — kunderwood @ 11:46 am

A decade is a significant amount of time!  A lot happens in 10 years.  It is so hard to believe that 10 years ago right now I was laying in a hospital bed waiting to meet my firstborn, my son!  Brent and I were beside ourselves with excitement.  Well, technically, I think by this point in the day I may have been beside myself with some “happy drugs”… boy, did I like those!  But, I was very happy!  And very insistent that I wasn’t falling asleep… although Brent would beg to differ… since he was the undrugged, wide-awake one of us and all.

But then he came!  Trent Whittaker was born!!  We were so in love!  That hasn’t stopped in the last 10 years.  At times we have been frustrated, angry, confused, and bewildered by him and his antics… but way more than any of that we have been enamored, proud, awed, and pleased at the boy growing up before us… and in many cases, in spite of us.  We are excited to see what the next 10 years hold for this young man… because that is exactly what he is becoming!

Happy Birthday, my sweet boy!!  We love the kind, sensitive, loving son, brother and friend that you’ve always been!

August 2009 114


Happy 5th Birthday, Avery! August 1, 2009

Filed under: Family,Life — kunderwood @ 8:57 am

It is so hard to believe that Avery is turning 5 already.   She has been so excited for this birthday to come, and I have to be honest, I have been too.  I think I sort of survive the toddler years, which I’m sure is a horrible thing to say.  They fly by and there is  fun in watching each child learn new things and become the little person that they are.  But it’s soooo hard!  I’ve always “joked” that I would have a ton of kids if I could have them from newborn to 1, then have someone else take them and then get them back again at 4.  Yeah, I know… CPS is on its way…!  (All I can say is that they can spend a morning with Tessa and they’ll agree… but it’s not her story today,so.)

Avery.  She has grown into such a sweet little girl!  She has grown up so much this past year with her emotional and social maturity.  She has learned that now she’s a big sister too, not just a little sister, and she cherishes the role and does it very well… most of the time.  She has learned how to write her name and her ABC’s.  Avery has learned how to be a good sharerer (her word) and how to talk when she doesn’t get her way- instead of constantly melting down.  She has learned that mom and dad really mean what they say.  She has learned to take responsibility for her things and herself and her actions.

I’m guessing that I’m not the only adult that is still working on a lot of these things.  It amazes me how I am constantly being humbled that I don’t get half of this right all the time.  Kids have an amazing way of teaching us that we are still learners too.  And they have a much nicer way of teaching it than I do.  Avery loves to remind me that I am her “favorite mommy EVER!” and that she loves me “every day, and every night, and every sight.”  Love this girl!!!



watching July 15, 2009

Filed under: Family,Life,parenting,pieces — kunderwood @ 12:58 pm

I have decided that the hardest thing about parenting may not be potty-training after all… although that still holds a close second.  The hardest part is watching your child’s heart get broken.

You can do your best to keep them from getting skinned knees, getting a splinter, getting run over by a car… but you can’t really keep them from getting their heart broken.

This year I have watched one of my sweet kids navigate through friendships, growing, and maturing.  I have watched my child lose their best friend this year because the friend chose an older kid over my child.   I have watched cliques form around my child.  I have watched my child get confused because they’ve never thought they can only have 1 or 2 friends, and now they are left wondering what is wrong with them that no one will play with them.  I have watched my child get bullied because my child is trying to treat the other child the right way rather than retaliate.  I have watched my child retaliate only to be the kid who got into trouble.

This year I have watched my child make friends with whoever they came into contact with- including the child sitting next to them on the bench waiting for their swim heat’s turn.  I have watched my child be a friend to someone who isn’t like them.  I have watched my child help a friend overcome something they were scared of.  I have watched my child be a kind, helpful, loving sibling.  I have watched my child make the choice to tell the truth- even though it got them into trouble (see retaliation).  I have watched my child succeed at something they didn’t think they could do.

I never imagined before I became a parent how much more my heart would break when my child’s heart was broken.  But I also never imagined how incredibly proud I would be of my child when they overcame, when they succeeded, when they fought their way through, when they made the right choice.