Two in the Hand, One in the Bush…or something like that.

This weekend we were caretakers of Tom, the class turtle.  He’s not real which is a good thing because I’m certain he wouldn’t have survived three days with us if he was.  He’s a stuffed puppet, but to Lainey, he is more than real.  He has feelings. 

Tom comes with a journal in which you are to record his adventures and tape pictures.  And being that we are this far into the year, many kids have already taken him home meaning Lainey had read through every journal entry and stared at every photo.  Translation: my kid had high expectations for Tom’s stay with us this weekend. 

It started Saturday morning when Lainey asked to go to Dunkin Donuts.

Deep in a lazy morning haze, I answered, “Not this morning.  I’m going to make pancakes.”

“But Mom–Tom,” Lainey argued.  “He wants donuts.”  She held up the turtle so that his googly eyes were staring at me.  And you can’t really argue with a stuffed turtle.

We made it through Saturday evening convincing Lainey that our little weekend home routine was “super fun” enough for Tom’s adventure log.  But by Sunday, she wanted more–something that involved buckling Tom into a carseat and going someplace.  So we headed downtown because the beach was a little chilly and Kilwin’s Ice Cream on Fifth was second best.

I remembered the stroller which never happens.  And the fuel light wasn’t blinking when we started the car which also never happens.  Both girls let me do french braids, no one cried to wear a pair of flip-flops that didn’t fit, and Lainey didn’t have a meltdown over sock seams that didn’t line up with her toes, so really we were off to a good start.  Lainey carried Tom and walked next to the stroller while Nella sat inside and turned around every five minutes to smile and flash her “this is fun” face.  It was good.  Like “Three kids?  Of course I can handle it” kind of good.

Three ice cream cones later, we walked to a nearby street opening where locals and tourists shared fountainside benches and tables–a Fifth Avenue gathering place for anyone looking to enjoy a good sunny Sunday morning.  I unleashed the girls and let them run free in the opening while I stretched out on a bench and watched, lulled into a good motherhood trance by the warmth of the morning sun and the sounds of my girls laughing as they chased each other.  For twenty minutes, the girls played chase, running up and down the slight incline of a wheelchair ramp in front of our local theatre (stage, not screen), tossing Tom the Turtle back and forth as they ran.  I marveled at how far Nella has come–running steadily, cautiously slowing down with the incline and picking up speed when she reached the bottom again.  Everything was perfect. 

(before I proceed–everyone’s fine in the outcome of this story, so don’t hold your breath)

And then I heard Lainey scream.  Blood-curdling, shit-just-happened, National Defense Alarm scream.  The kind of scream that sends a mama bolting off her bench without her brain even telling her that’s what she’s supposed to do.  She’s shrieking “NELLA! NELLA!  NELLA!  NELLA FELL!”  And I could hear a muffled Nella yelling close by but couldn’t see her.  Until I looked into the line of bushes edging the wheelchair ramp.

I saw feet.  Straight up in the air.  Two little moccasins kicking from a bush.  I repeat, a bush. 

Look, I drew it for you because, believe me, the image is important.


I had to pull Nella straight up by her feet to retrieve her from the bush, and the whole time Lainey is losing her mind in fear that her sister’s really hurt.  Two kids screaming in the middle of Fifth Avenue, people everywhere, and a pregnant mama hoisting a toddler by her feet from the bushes.  I kissed and consoled Nella, her face a little scraped up, her feelings hurt more, and promised Lainey it would be okay. 

Here’s where it gets more interesting.   Because more seems to preceed interesting in my life quite a lot.  Lainey lunged to hug Nella (both kids still crying) and in the process, got her earring stuck in Nella’s hair.

Oh, you thought the first round of screaming was entertaining?

Shit just got real.


Their heads were attached and both were pulling to get away, still traumatized from the first round of injuries but now exacerbating the situation–and the screaming–by a hundred billion percent.  The screaming.  The SCREAMING.  Seriously.  It was out of control, not to mention their heads were glued, an earlobe was stretching beyond its capacity to stretch, and I was about to give birth from a squatting postion on Fifth Avenue in front of a hundred people. 

I attempted careful precision of head/hair separation, but it didn’t happen that smoothly.  There was a yank, more screaming, an earring went flying, Lainey’s right ear joined Nella’s cheek in Things That Were Bloody, and then–oh yes, there’s an “and then”–Lainey realized Tom the Turtle was missing.

Cue third round of screaming. 


Tom apparently went down with Nella in the bush, so now it was my job to crawl on all fours on the cement, eight-and-a-half months pregnant, in the middle of downtown Naples, two kids still screaming, and search the bushes for a blasted class turtle.

And I found him.  Cowering under a bush.

Never did find the earring but I did tap into this amazing sense of I-Can-Do-It-ness as I carried Nella over one shoulder while pushing a stroller with a whimpering five-year-old six blocks up Fifth Avenue to our car. 

It’s like Marathon training, right?  You have to condition before adding another kid to the roost and, silly me, I hadn’t been practicing.

Nella has a nice chafed face.  And we keep laughing and reminding her of her battle scars and the story that earned them.

“Did you fall in a bush, girlie? ” we ask her.  “Was that scary?”

And she smiles and says, “Bush.  I cry.”     


And a few pics from the less interesting but every bit as lovely parts of our weekend:

morning blocks

playing with the lizard who snuck inside with our firewood

Panera cookies (Tom asked for them, of course)

Taking Tom to visit his “real cousins” at the pet store.

Spa Night

Nella’s all WTH trying to figure out what Lainey’s doing with the cucumbers on her eyes.  But then…

…tries it herself.


Love the way she adores and copies her big sister.  For every single thing.  She’s learned so many things through Lainey.

Pre bed reading

Nella Photo Bomb

Loving this quote to start the week: 

“Though we travel the world to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find it not.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happy Monday.


Leave a Comment
  1. Your picture cracks me up!

  2. Hilarious post, loved it!

  3. I can just see you trying to retrieve a toddler from the bushes while so pregnant – did anyone offer to help you? I find it amazing that everyone will watch on but nobody even offers a hand. Why is that? And I know it wasn’t funny at the time but it makes for a funny story, complete with drawing re-enactment! LOL

  4. best mom story EVER!

  5. You’re such a wonderful mother, doing this while eight and a half months pregnant Kelle, you’re just wonderful and inspirational.

  6. oh my gosh. Bless your heart!

  7. That Emerson quote is one of my favorites. Love these images of your weekend. xoxo

  8. This absolutely killed me! Cried with laughter, and even more so when I got to the picture of Nella’s battle scar! Your kids are brilliant. x

  9. Your life is hysterical. Lainey’s ear must be okay. I can picture it all. But thanks for the drawn picture. I would have wet my pants if I had been there laughing so hard. That probably would not have been nice but it had to be so funny. So sorry that Nella has a boo boo. Love her cucumbers. I love how Lainey gets into her spa day.

  10. As I sit here nursing my 3rd child who is 17 days old, I’m pissing him off because I keep shaking with laughter. Even my 5 year old keeps asking me why I”m laughing. 3 is definitly different, but you are off to a great start! :)

  11. After I read that everyone was ok and then proceeded to read the story- Nella vs. the bushes had me laughing and your picture was hysterical. I am so glad they are both ok. I love Nella’s look in the WTH picture. Thank you for being so real and sharing your life.

  12. Such a great story! Your way with words made me feel like I was there, with you, in the panic…and the screaming. Also, I love those cookies from Panera. They are delicious!

  13. Now that was funny!! Love this story, so glad I am not alone, I seem to have a few that can match it. One story goes like this, we are on the way to the zoo, I am pregnant with my fourth, oldest daughter announces that the baby is eating his poop, sure enough look back and stop light and explosive diaper is all over the boy including his face and mouth. We pull into the parking lot and I start the extensive cleaning project then oldest daughter announces she has to pee we are far from a potty and she can not hold it, I have to let her pee in the parking lot between the car. I finally get everyone cleaned up and put the boys in the double stroller my middle buddy Sam starts screaming as the van door shuts and I realize that his finger is stuck in the back of the van door. I start screaming and emptying my purse and diaper bag for the keys. Random people gather round. I finally find the keys and open the door and scoop up my boy. I am terrified to look at his finger. A man ask if he can help and I beg him to look at his finger because I can not bare it. The man looks and calmly says I think it is fine maybe just a little bruise. Everyone survives accept my dignity!! good story though!

  14. Good mama-of-3 training! LOL. Especially loved your drawing.

    I remember having to retrieve my 20-month old son from a 2nd level tunnel in one of those indoor playgrounds when I was 8.5 months pregnant. In a short dress. I kept looking around for someone (surely, someone??) to come to my rescue but there was no one around, and so I climbed. Oh well, I’m sure anyone who was looking on from a distance was highly entertained (or horrified! 😉

  15. The picture of “Scarface” just made my day! That smile melts my heart!

  16. super momma.
    and super hilarious.

    just love this story.

    xo – heather

  17. Oh my the bush picture! Best thing ever highlight of my day haha! You rock mama!

  18. Well, now you know you’re ready!

    The night before my 2nd boy was born, I was at McDonald’s with my 21 month old (don’t judge. It had a playground. I was tired.) when he decided he was a big kid and could climb aaaaallllll the way to the top of that tunnel-climbing thing.

    And he did. But then he couldn’t get down. There was no way I could fit my giant ass in the tunnel, so I just stood there helpless until some really nice man offered to climb up and help him down.

    Which he did. Thank heavens. I don’t know his name but, 16 years later, I’m still grateful.

  19. wow fantastic story. glad no one was seriously hurt tho!

  20. Ah, thanks for the laughs! You remind me of myself…I’m just a decade ahead of you. :) People always tell me that nothing phases me and I’m never rattled. Well, that’s just because I’ve been through it all before and you really do get the sense that you can handle it…whatever it is!

    and I have to say that Tom really is adorable! Maybe the next family will be incredibly boring and he can rest up. lol….

  21. Classic, Kelle, just classic! Oh man, it’s craziness when you’re in it, but so much fun to laugh about it after the fact. So glad Nella won! I can totally imagine it all. Sounds like it was a good weekend all in all. :)

  22. Oh, man! I haven’t laughed so hard in a while! I love Ralph Waldo Emerson. Thanks for the quote. Hope the next few days are less eventful.

  23. Omg…. You couldn’t have made that story up even if you tried to. Glad everyone is ok.

  24. Omg…. You couldn’t have made that story up even if you tried to. Glad everyone is ok.

  25. this whole post is just awesome and hilarious. so glad that Nella, Lainey AND Tom are safe and sound :)

  26. SERIOUSLY!!! LOL so so much!!!
    I love me a good ol’ “my-kids-are-train-wrecks-and-in-turn-so-am-I” story. It always makes me feel so normal. I remember not to long ago, taking a trip to the mall, in which I am sure I was judged and laughed at. Yeah, I know I should have brought my kid to the bathroom to change her but it was just SO far away!!!
    I will be laughing about this one for a while…thanks so much for sharing!!!!
    “Give birth in the street…” LMAO!!!

  27. Oh my word Kelle! I know I shouldn’t be, but I was crying laughing so hard.. The visual you put forth in your stories makes it like we’re there with you.. So glad all babes and stuffed turtles are okay!!

  28. You said it just perfectly.
    That is the life of a mum.
    Later your kids will jump up for you and help you out and you will be glad for all the kind things you did for them.
    Love your drawing.
    Love you photos.
    Thanks for sharing this story.
    We had the preschool class pet rabbit and it was real and it really ran under the car and stayed there for a long time.

  29. Another McDonald’s story. Nine mo this pregnant with #3, #2’s first birthday party at Happy Place. #1 (2 yrs old) happily playing in ball room. #2 loves driving the car up some obscure tunnels in a tube with a glass bubble to wave at the happily pregnant and ready to bursting mom. Time to go home and put said mom down for a nap. #2 not coming out of the tunnel. Wants to continue to drive his space ship. Momma tries to coax #2 son down to no avail. Ten minutes of bribes, threats, stomping feet, #2 not listening. Big momma enters in tunnel to retrieve child. Momma doesn’t fit. Momma stuck. Number two happily driving. Number one crying, “!Momma stuck!” Momma crying. Police / rescues to get momma and number two. I hate to say it, but I look back on this day as a “good” day!

  30. Thank you so much for sharing this and for drawing that hysterical drawing and for making me laugh so hard during a very uneventful Monday at work. So funny!

  31. they are so stinkin’ cute…even with Nella having a little raspberry on her cheek….I can just see those little legs sticking out from a bush! you’re gonna be a great mom of three….i can’t wait to “meet” little fox. And as I said on IG after seeing the spa night……you’re the coolest mom!!!!!!

  32. my heart is always warmed whenever i read your blog. thank you for being you – sharing your life and precious pictures. just want to send hugs and kisses your way!

  33. i am crying i am laughing so hard! i can picture the whole scene and sounds exactly like something that would happen to me!:) you guys are awesome!

  34. Sorry Nella, but I laughed looking at that drawing. When I was very pregnant with my fist. 71/2 or 8 months I locked myself out of my place. Only way in was through the kitchen window which was not very reachable from the ground. I had to climb wall and hurl myself head first onto kitchen sink. I was wearing a dress.

  35. Kelly, Im all done raising my babies, but I keep coming back to your blog because you make me smile. And by the way, been there done that.


  36. Oh my! Best pics ever. And the drawing. I see a future in children’s books. You’re an adorable mom. The quote is perfect.

  37. the illustration is HILARIOUS.

    glad all are intact. you are a rockstar, mama.

  38. This entire post made me smile.

  39. Your picture is very funny. I love how serious Lainey looks during spa time!! Hilarious post!

  40. Died laughing at the drawing. My worst mishap was going around a corner in our vehicle and the backseat passenger door flies open! (apparently wasn’t closed all the way) Things flew out and kids start screaming! We eventually make it to the park and we hear a siren. My son tells me the police are coming to get me because the door wasn’t shut when it was the kids who shut it! LOL…. oh my!

  41. that picture rocks my socks. lol!

    so, my OB told me that the transition to 3 is easier than the transition to 2 and she was right. the toughest thing for us continues to be the kindergarten pick up, it will be much easier when it’s not -13 every day so this may not even be an issue in naples! lol!

    so is lainey’s ear ok? ha!

  42. This may seem like a weird comment but I love how your family hangs out in y’all’s room. I grew up the same way and never realized there was any other way until I got married and my husband thought it was strange. To this day if all three of us girls are back in the house we will inevitably wind up tangled up on my parent’s bed talking. It is a fond memory from being a kid, teen, and now adult that I am glad your girls will get to have too!

  43. Oh wow, that is solo my world. I’m a mother of 4 and my youngest has ds. I just want to tell you that I love our blog and all the pictures. I love that you don’t talk down syndrome all the time. With my family I never think about it unless it is therapy. My son is Levi a precious baby boy first. You have a beauitful family. Can’t wait to see your new addition.
    Thank you,

  44. Thanks for sharing this story! I am so glad Nella and Lainey (and Tom) weren’t seriously hurt. Love your drawing!

  45. I’m so glad my girls aren’t the only ones TOTALLY flipped out by sock seams. All of a sudden sock seams became enemy # 1. Ha ha!

  46. Thanks for the laugh. We’ve all been there. It’s like, “Really!? I couldn’t make this stuff up!”

  47. I laughed out loud at your post. “This shit just got real”. Hilarious!! 3 kids rocked my world. Good Luck with that 😊

  48. Wow, that is quite an adventure. I can definitely relate to the third child is coming moments. You have the moments where your all snuggling in bed or reading stories and you think- i totally got this. Then- the moments where you have 2 crying children escaping the cart at Target and screaming as you try to check out and stop them from destroying every display in the convenience aisle. and you think- what int he world have I gotten myself into.
    I’m just excited that it means more birthday posts and pictures of another of your precious kiddos. Your blog has been a blast to read and follow. Your creativity and amazing pictures inspire me to be a better more present momma (not that I always do a good job of that, but I’m a work in progress.) thanks for being willing to share you picture perfect, and too crazy to actually take pictures stories.
    Oh, and props to Lainey’s teacher. The stuffed class pet is an incredible idea for little ones.

  49. I have all boys, an 8 year old, 2 year old, and a 7 month old surprise, that my 8 year old says is God answer to his prayer. I told my husband the other day after a normal (crazy) trip to the grocery, “I don’t intend to make a scene, we just are.” Have fun! Congratulations on your growing family!

  50. I am laughing out loud. That was one seriously funny story.

  51. Oh thank YOU so much for that laugh…i chuckled all through my lunchl….im sure that brilliant story will be told over and over in your fam!!!! When those moments happen you can’t wait for them to be over but honestly are these not the times that just make us a family. Love it!!!!!!

  52. OMGosh! hahahahahahahaha….seriously…I’m still laughing! I can hear the screaming, and totally empathize with the whole “about to give birth in front of a hundred people while trying to save the lives of already birthed children and a turtle” experience. Been there. Glad Nella is OK, and that baby boy was NOT born on the street in front of a hundred people :-)

  53. I loved this post. Welcome to three kids :). Reminds me of the time my 5yo boy got his finger stuck in the dollhouse headboard, and while I was trying to get him to the butter dish, I smacked the baby’s head into the door frame.

  54. omg I’m cracking up. Those moments are just awful and hysterical all at the same time. Glad the scratches aren’t worse, and glad you didn’t give birth in the middle of downtown Naples 😉

  55. Hahaha! I just dribbled a little! Real life is the bomb isn’t it!?

  56. Women who have given birth three times (twice to ten pounders) ought not read stories like this without warning….ask me how I know. So funny….so relatable.

  57. Love this! I have had to many of those “shit just got real” moments, complete with the screaming. The SCREAMING! Keep up the good work and the fun words. We love hearing from you!

  58. Funny & so glad everyone is okay! LOVE Nella’s WTH pic – too, too funny – & her adoring one is just precious! With 3…there will be more craziness (inevitable), but the love will be tripled too!
    In Tejas,

  59. Oh my goodness!!!!! I nearly died laughing. I totally understand those moments because I come from a family of eight. I just have to tell you that you totally just made the day of a college student with two upcoming tests and a paper due this week (and more next week) who is suffering from a horrible head cold without any meds. I called my sister to tell her to go read this post and I’m pretty sure she couldn’t understand a word I said because I was laughing so hard. She’s probably convinced that I lost my mind this semester.
    Ah! Thank you so much!
    Enjoy your family life…I know you will!

  60. Oh, that picture of Nella and Lainey with the masks! Such purity of heart. That’s sisterhood wrapped up in one beautiful image.

  61. ohmyword…i fought a bush and i won! you are hilarious. why can’t you live down the street? i need some hilarious. motherhood is a wild ride. love those girls. love how nella looks at lainey. it pure precious!

  62. I’m so sorry that Nella fell in the bush and got hurt, but what a sweet and funny post.

    Love the pictures of your weekend.

  63. First let me say….I am so glad everyone is ok! I have not laughed that hard in a very Lon time. Your pictures were great but your narrative was priceless! You certainly are a super momma and handled the excitement with a cool head! Love following along and cannot wait for your little baby boy to join in!

  64. Thanks for prefacing your story with “everyone’s ok,” because then I felt free to laugh so hard I have tears in my eyes. It’s nice to know there are other moms who have these moments, too—and your ability to tell stories with humor made this story great. There must be a time limit on how many minutes/seconds we can feel like we’ve pulled the mom-thing off, because it seems like as soon as you get there, it’s over. Thankfully without too many injuries!

  65. My husband was staring at me wondering why the hell I was laughing so hard at my iPad! I’m so happy everyone is ok but good lord, that story was hysterical! You’re a trooper mama (and Nella and Lainey too)

  66. Fabulous story! Love it!

    Also love your spa night. Makes me *a little* sad that I don’t have a little girl to do that with. Ah, but my boys, they do keep me busy and entertained!

  67. laughing so hard right now. I misread this line: “where locals and tourists shared fountainside benches and tables” as “where locals and tortoises shared mountainside benches…” the mental image had me in stitches and then thinking maybe the pregnancy hormones were REALLY getting to you…



  68. I blame Tom.

  69. Loved the story! Loved the drawing! Loved the pictures! It is awesome to see Nella copying things Lainey does. It makes me want to give my little girl a sister.

  70. The bush story was hilarious! I can picture you and the girls! Love the pic of Nella’s little owch with the “I fought a bush and won”. So cute.

  71. I am dying of laughter over here! SO funny! And your illustration was perfect.

    Glad all children, mamas and turtles survived the story.

  72. You have no idea the joy you bring into my life (and I’m positive I’m not alone there). Thank-you.

  73. Haha, the look on Nella’s face in the “I fought a bush and I won” picture is the best. She’s so sassy. Also, I laughed super hard at this story. I nanny for two little boys, and dear GOD, the random trouble they can get into. I’m glad everyone emerged mostly unharmed from the situation =]

  74. Long time reader, first time commenter. Ha, this made me laugh so hard! I was just in Naples on vacation and we spent some time on 5th ave so I can picture it pretty clearly. Glad everyone is ok!

  75. Oh, my goodness – I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard while reading a blog post in a long time. I’m so glad to hear your girls are alright, Tom was recovered and you know that you can do it! Thanks for sharing the hijinks with us! And thank you for the laughter!

  76. Laughed so hard! I love it!

  77. My 2 1/2 year old is currently stuck at this stage: “Lainey didn’t have a meltdown over sock seams that didn’t line up with her toes.” Sigh.

  78. People on the bus think I’m cray now – I was gasping ang laughing along – I may or may not have said oh shit out loud

    It was a good distraction from being stuck next to a poopy diaper. (Not mine!)

  79. While nursing my nine week old( third child) to sleep.. No small task…I just lol!!! Waking her… Not funny

  80. Your rendition of the screaming made me laugh out loud. Thanks for a good laugh.

  81. Well, at first I was dying laughing cause my eldest used to do the same thing with her socks. She outgrew it. Then all I could do was laugh and laugh and think “oh Lord…have MERCY on this mamma!!!” it’s so good to share stuff like this. For us and you!! xo

  82. I can not tell you how hard I laughed at this…Then when I could regain some composure I had to read it to my husband who also had a good chuckle…Not at your misfortune, or the injuries sustained by your precious girls, but by the true circus-ness of it all. I’m just glad to know things like this don’t only happen here at my house. I’m convinced God just uses my family for comic relief! I’m so glad that Nella came out on top! Love her precious little smile!

  83. This is the most I’ve laughed in any blog post ever….Hahahaha!!!
    But you can bet if it had been me in that situation, I’d be cussing! And like I’ve said before, I rarely cuss, so I wonder what words I’d choose…hahaha!
    Spa night KILLS me and Nella on the bed with her cutie do splays me, too :)

  84. *slays

  85. I nod, I smile I laugh. Why? Because I have four cherubs and I can sooo relate.
    You have to see the funny side, because trust me there *WILL* be many more of these moments with #3 added into the mix (and in my case #4)
    YOu can do this and you will have lots of funny and not so funny moments to look back on.
    Love this post!
    Ps Glad Nella, Lainey and of course Tom are all okay :)

  86. I loved this story!! One of my all time faves! So excited for you and your soon-to-be-here addition!

  87. I read alllll your posts & this one is definitely one of my favorites!! In the midst of studying for my accounting exam tomorrow i took a break & read your post & it was a the best study break i could have asked for!

    Ps. Hope lil fox is born on my bday feb 21, Winter bdays are the best :)

  88. You are one talented writer…and illustrator too! Great drawing of Nella’s little flaring moccasins! Glad to hear that the girls walked away with only minor wounds and that you did NOT give birth in a squatting position…on Fifth Avenue in front of a hundred people…phewf!!

    I see children’s books in your future “The Adventures of A Cub, a Bunny and a Fox” written and illustrated by their Mama Kelle Hampton

    Cheers! here’s to fighting the bush and winning!!

  89. That quote us one of my favorites. I sent it out in a letter to all mummy kids last week and just this morning in court, one of my girls said ‘I have been thinking about those words at the end of your letter last week’

    I am so glad Nella best the bush! Also very glad Tom got to experience your fun family.

  90. Oh my gosh I was laughing so hard! In a sweet, mothering, not my children kind of way. Seriously I could die at Lainey’s absolute terror- love it! The way she copies her big sister kills me! I have a boy and a girl, but I feel that my girl needs a little sister to follow her around 😉

  91. Faithful reader for 2 years… and I have never laughed this much at one of your posts. I am seriously still wiping away the tears from laughing so hard! …. But only because everyone is ok <3 Love your blog and you can totally handle 3 littles!! Just wait :)

  92. Oh no! What a spectacular mess! When I got to the part with the drawing, I busted out with so much laughing I may or may not have snorted. Hysterical. In fact, I’m still laughing as I type this!

  93. Hilarious!!! I was laughing out loud!!

  94. OMG! I’m not laughing at you, I’m laughing with you!! Thanks for the belly chuckle! BTW, your girls, they are the cutest little patooties ever!

  95. This is so well-written. You had your A-game on while writing this. Hilarious!

  96. I cried. That is how hard I laughed, I laughed so hard that I cried.

    I also have to admit something: I cannot always relate to your blog posts. I know people have criticized you for being perfect, and I know that you’re not. No one is, it’s probably just that the grass always looks greener on the other side.

    But this post? To me, this post was perfect. It was a reminder that you have days like every other mom, days like me. Today, my 2 year old daughter had a run in with a bush, too. She tripped in the snow and went face first into it, and emerged with snow covered and cold cheeks.

    Hmmm . . . on second thought, your grass is greener since mine is covered by a few inches of snow! 😉

  97. My goodness! I was in tears laughing so hard! My husband thinks I’m crazy b/c he just can’t see how this is THAT funny (he laughed but no where near how much I did) I guess it is a mom thing b/c you are in total “I can’t just walk away, as much as I want to. I just gotta handle this and see the humor later.”

    You are so real and so awesome! Thank you!!

  98. Oh, my gosh! Funniest. Story. Ever.

    And, the pictures are totally precious beyond words!

    You rock, Kelle! Amazing mama award goes to you!

  99. Thank you for sharing this. My kids are your kids’ ages and you’ve been making it all look too easy.

  100. OH.MY.GAWD!!! I literally just so hard and so loud! My son’s preschool class also has a class pet…a stuffed teddy bear. None of our “adventures” were as fun as the bush diving! Your poor kiddos though…I hope they have recovered…and you too!

  101. OH.MY.GAWD!!! I literally just so hard and so loud! My son’s preschool class also has a class pet…a stuffed teddy bear. None of our “adventures” were as fun as the bush diving! Your poor kiddos though…I hope they have recovered…and you too!

  102. OH.MY.GAWD!!! I literally just so hard and so loud! My son’s preschool class also has a class pet…a stuffed teddy bear. None of our “adventures” were as fun as the bush diving! Your poor kiddos though…I hope they have recovered…and you too!

  103. the drawing. i’m dying. your next book project: a children’s book with illustrations.

  104. Laughed so hard I cried. I am glad everyone is OK. The battle-scar picture is the best!

  105. I bet this was Tom’s best weekend yet! Great stories. Love your writing. Thanks for all the fun and inspiration, Vickie

  106. My favorite post of yours so far. I swear, its like some sort of SUPER woman comes out of me when it’s needed the most, and I have patience, strength, and an impossible sense of Calm in the midst of sheer chaos with my two kiddos. I’m sure it’s going to get even better for you with three. Can’t wait for THOSE posts!

  107. Hilarious!! I think the hand-drawn visual just about takes the cake along with nella’s bush battle scar smiles! :) I don’t usually comment but I love reading your blog and loved reading Bloom. This is one of my fav posts! can’t.stop.laughing.

  108. Oh My f-ing god, priceless. Sorry, but I had to smile, and glad the girls are all right!!! :)

  109. That was Hysterical!

  110. haaaalarious. seriously.

  111. This is a wonderful story!! I just read it out loud to my husband, and he was laughing along too :)


  112. Hahaha — ‘I fought a bush and I won.’ Best picture/caption ever.

  113. Yeah! The story-telling! That drawing! Oh my god that drawing is awesome.

  114. Of all the brilliant posts I’ve read over the years on your blog, this is the first I’ve felt compelled to respond to. It made me laugh out loud, in my office, all by myself and I had to thank you for that. I’m just sorry it was at your expense, but my goodness, that was a hilarious story. Love your writing – you’re a beautiful mama.

  115. The picture is what did me in, lol…

    And the stuffed turtle, what a smart teacher, ha!

  116. sounds like my weekends every weekend, haha. My kids are tornadoes!

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  118. Made me laugh out loud, until I saw the drawing then I was hysterical.
    First time commenting on your blog but I read it a lot from all the way across the ocean in Ireland

  119. HILARIOUS!! Please please write a book… complete with illustrations, I really love your drawing!!!!

  120. Cracking up! And love that you felt the need to illustrate it with a drawing!

    When I was about Lainey’s age, I once went to explore a drift of snow that was up against the wall of my school. There was a hole by the wall and I promptly fell in, head first. Thankfully it was just under a window, so the teachers could pull me up by my feet into the classroom!

  121. What fun! Yeah, I know, not in the moment. But it’s a moment you can look back on and laugh yourself silly! Just what life is all about. . . the little ups and down, battle scars and lost earrings. Things to look back on and remember with happiness in your heart. What a great story! Thanks for sharing.

  122. Love love love this post! Might just be one of my favorites ever. That frickin drawing of Nella was enough to send me over the edge! Sorry you and the girls were traumatized but at least all is right with the world 😉 thank you so much for sharing and cracking me up! !

  123. funniest. post. ever. the drawing makes it.

  124. I almost spit out my coffee. Hilarious! I love coming to this space, thank you for letting us in and expanding our horizons!

  125. Loving this story! (And glad everyone’s okay). But, seriously, the mental images of you trying to crawl around to pull kids and stuffed animals out of bushes had me giggling to myself at my desk this morning. The picture of sweet little Nella smiling sheepishly next to the words, “I fought a bush. And I won” is the BEST! Love, love, love:)

  126. I’ve never left a comment before but this post has compelled me to do so…. OMG! I was literally laughing out loud! Thanks for morning laughs! I am glad I am not the only mom who find herself in these kinds of situations!!!

  127. I can’t stop laughing….and crying…..and laughing! The warmth, beauty and truth of your writing never stops inspiring me.

  128. LMBO!! You just can’t MAKE this stuff up! too funny… the joys of motherhood! :)

  129. You are amazing. That’s it. Just amazing. Your words and pictures lift so many souls. Thankful today for you.

  130. Ahahaha!I loved this story!!laughed too much for your drawing!!

  131. I envisioned everything as I read… I’m sure it wasn’t funny then but, hilarious now!

  132. Thank you so much for the laugh! I’m sitting about work with tears streaming down my face from laughing so hard. (Yes they know I am nuts and don’t pay attention anymore). It reminded me so much of when my kids where little. I’m glad the kids and the turtle can all laugh about it know and are ok.

  133. “Shit just got real” CRACKED ME UP!! Wonderful story telling! Love your drawing (it did help. LOL) and I love Nella’s photo bomb! Great pictures! Way to start my day!

  134. Omgosh… I just had the most amazing laugh-till-your-stomach-hurts-and-tears-are-streaming-down-your-face session. :) Thanks! I so needed it!

  135. After having several similar parenting experiences, when my kids were younger, I adopted a little saying for myself, “Beware of days that start off extra well…you never know what’s gonna happen” – it is a lot more negative than my usual way of thinking, but…there did seem to be a pattern! :)

    I enjoyed reading your story! Nella’s battle picture is so sweet! It sounds like Tom the turtle had quite an adventurous weekend!

  136. Wonderful post! Made me smile this morning. We all have crazy adventures like this, I think the characters just vary!

  137. I was laughing like crazy! You should really write and illustrate children’s books. Your drawing was impressive! Your girls are precious and their adventures crack me up. Thank you for sharing!

  138. I didn’t mean to but I totally busted out laughing during this whole post because it was just too perfect:) I have experienced the same insanity-how could this possibly be happening-what do you mean you are upping the ante moments. The drama just increases in obsurdity. But you know what lady? You totally won that hand. And the way Nella copies and looks at Lainey completely loving and idolizing her, and the way that Lainey is wit her little sis, well it’s just beautiful.

  139. I’m sure it is funny in hindsight but not at the time. You sure made me laugh….I fought a bush and I won…

  140. Hilarious!! I laughed out loud :) So glad everyone is OK and you made it through. You can do it mama!!

  141. Thank you for a great laugh this morning and for the little Nella toes!

  142. Nella in a bush, torn ear, pulled hair, missing Tom. What an exciting morning:) I think Tom needs to take a spin in the washing machine after all that fun.

  143. I’m sorry I’m laughing. Really I am. What an eventful weekend! I’m glad you didn’t give birth on 5th Ave! and have you ever tried turning Laniey’s socks inside out? My brother has done it for years. So much more comfortable!

  144. Oh dear God, I haven’t laughed that hard in a while! Thank you for sharing. You got this!

  145. How courious! Some years ago, when my kid was in nursery school, we took Tula the turtle home for a weekend to take care. Things are not that different so far here in Barcelona, are they?
    Lovely story, thank’s for sharing!

  146. I’m sorry that your little ones were slightly injured in the making of one really funny, laugh out loud at my work desk story. They will love reading this post some day.

  147. Love it all. I hope you’re laughing now that it’s over. I am :) But only in the most sympathetic way….

  148. OH.MY.GOD. truly hilarious, im sure it wasnt in the moment.. but makes for a great story! love love love.

    and thanks for reassuring us mamas that its not just our kids that get to shenanigans. ha!

  149. Love it! Seriously, sitting at work laughing my butt off, only because I have two little girls at home (5 & 3) and can picture this happening:)

  150. what a great story. Love the “spa day” too a lot. How did you make the chalk frame? I must make one too. Thanks for the giggles <3

  151. Okay….I pretty much laughed my ass off through this whole thing!!!! My boy heads to kinder this fall (or summer I should say..what is up with school starting in August?)so I’m sure I will have to deal with this soon…Anyway…I digress. You KILL me…I love your blog, I follow you on instagram…I get a lot of good ideas from you…and I am reminded to stop and really enjoy the small things. Thanks for sharing your life with us. You give a lot of ideas and encouragement to mamas out there all the time…it may just be in little doses here and there…but believe me…it makes a difference.

  152. And this is why you write….because you are so damn good at it!!!! Loved this post! The drawing was the best! Have a great one!

  153. Oh my goodness! That one made me laugh out loud, at work, with customers at the counter. OOPS! :) Thanks for making my day. Glad everyone is doing well, and no serious injuries happened.

  154. Oh my goodness! I was laughing one of those laughs where no sound comes out? Had tears. And an awesome visual! I have a turtle and I guarantee, yes, Tom was cowering :)
    So funny….thank you!

  155. Hilarious! I know, not in the moment but something to laugh about for years to come.
    Your comment “Love the way she adores and copies her big sister. For every single thing. She’s learned so many things through Lainey.” I could plug in my older daughter’s name (Abbey) and say this sentence over and over again when talking about Maddie (my little with DS). My girls are a little less than 3 years part and I have always said – Maddie is better off in this world because of her big sister. She adores her big sister and learns so much from her. Her PT always said – Maddie has a live in PT, her sister!!!
    Thanks for being you and sharing your family.

  156. I have four kids and I can MORE than relate! Good job not freaking out!

  157. Thank you thank you Kelle! I needed that laugh and I rolled :)

  158. This post had me laughing out loud and the pictures – too dang funny girl!

    Thanks for the laughs!

  159. This was a GREAT post! Had me giggling up a storm. So glad that both girls, and the turtle were ultimately alright, but what a great story to carry on as they get older!

  160. Your life is magical, Kelle. Thanks, for sharing it with me…with us!

  161. This comment has been removed by the author.

  162. LOVE this POST! Seriously, I have laughed and laughed! Goodness, I can so relate… they way you tell it makes it so real, and interesting, and funny! thanks for sharing!

  163. Kelle, you are seriously the best storyteller out there. Reading about the turtle-bush fiasco made my day. I love reading your blog because I find so much of my child-self in Lainey. The loving on little ones, the peanut counting perfection, and even the sock-seam alignment.

    I don’t know if I’ve told you but I’m studying to become a teacher and have worked with kids with special needs and I have to say, they are some of the best students out there. Nella’s smile is infectious and she inspires me to try harder each and every day. :)

  164. OMG! I cried so hard I was crying!! I feel so sorry for you my dear, I only know this because I have two little ones also and “The Screaming” makes my head want to pop off of my neck! Bless you my dear, bless you!

  165. I can’t decide if it’s the way you tell stories, the story itself, or a combination of the two but I was laughing so hard I was crying reading this. Hilarious (although I’m sure not in the moment)! Thank you for sharing. I don’t even have kids and can appreciate it but I can’t wait to share with my friends who are mom’s.

  166. Tom the Turtle certainly had a big adventure! You’re a great drawer Kelle, perhaps your next book could be a children’s book written and illustrated by you.

  167. This might just be the funniest post I have read this year! Your illustration was the best! I am actually headed to Naples for vacation in two weeks. Will be sure to try Kilwin’s ice cream. Thanks for always making my day with the words you write.

  168. That is some seriously funny stuff!
    Glad everyone is ok :).

  169. I LOVED that story! LAUGHED OUT LOUD! Bless you, honey! And your super hero-ness! All Hail Super MOM!

  170. So funny, and I can say that because my kids put me in the stupidest situations all of the time, and all I can do is first cry and then laugh at the ridiculousness of it all. :) It’s great though. I know what you mean, though, I’m expecting baby #4 and everything that happens makes me wonder how I could possibly add another human being (in the bush scenario, for example). But if it makes you feel any better, I was worried to death about adding #3 and the entire first year after her birth was wonderful. She is in her toddler years now, so she adds to the chaos, but at least I had that wonderful first year of rocking the three kids. :) Hope that will happen with #4!

  171. That is real life right there!! You are a champion mama!!!

  172. ahh, motherhood. laughed until i cried, this is a-mazing! love that little nella.

  173. I know an event like this is no laughing matter, but come on, after the fact, it’s got to be hilarious. I about died of joyous laughter while reading this story. L.O.V.E.D. IT!!! The mental images still have me rolling. Thanks for brightening my day with what probably felt like a gloomy part of your day. :)

  174. I can not tell you how hard I laughed and then laughed again as I read this to my comment. With my boys (6, 3) and 6 mo. daughter, I have never related to anything I have read so much. You know how when your pregnant with the first one and people ask “Should you be lifting that?” “Why don’t you sit and rest.” No one ever says that again when you are bringing the subsequent members of the brood into the world!

  175. Oh my goodness. I feel horrible but I blame your writing. I was crying from laughing at that story. It’s one of those times where you just can’t believe what the supermom in you can handle. I love your blog and your pictures. And you give me so many ideas of things to do with my kids. I gave my daughter a hand massage the other day because her hands were chapped and she said “Mom, I need pickles for my eyes!”

  176. Hmmm, I guess no one can have a differing opinion without getting their comment deleted.

    I guess you don’t want readers to check out this link??

    Did you see this? No one else has posted it…..or have they? Hmmmmmm

  178. Is there a pay pal link to be your friend? I’ll pay. I could have told that story & not a one damn person would have cracked a smile but here I sit dying!! So just to re-cap if your current friends just aren’t cuttin’ it anymore I’m totally here!! I can laugh like no ones business!!

  179. I think you should have 1 illustration a week!

  180. I agree that your drawing was an integral part of the story. Without it, I wouldn’t have laughed as hard as I did.

    Oh, and I’m glad you didn’t birth your third child in the middle of everyone. I can almost imagine the screaming that would have accompanied that event!

  181. Oh yeah, and what Kera said too! I’m totes up for a Paypal payment to be your friend! :)

  182. Aww I’m glad everyone made it through that ordeal ok! The visual of the two girls screaming their heads off and you about to give birth while squatting had me in hysterics!

    I also have a question for you – the chairs the girls are sitting on in the bathroom. Are they wooden and covered with something? My daughter has a similar wood chair in her room and I’d LOVE to get creative with it. Thanks!

  183. OMG that was so awesome. Sorry for the trauma, but appreciate you sharing it!

  184. Thanks so much for sharing your life with us. Stories like this just make me laugh and other stories encourage me to want to do better.

    That picture of Nella – “I fought a bush and won” PRICELESS.

    LOVE your family!

  185. How cute are your wains? ONLY EXTREMELY CUTE. Bless the lot of you.

  186. Please tell me you wrote – I mean Lainey wrote – all about this in Tom’s journal, because this is the stuff kids will like. What a great Mom you are, and braving Olde Naples staring at you on all fours is a feat in itself. Best of luck with all that is upcoming; not that you need it.

  187. Oh my gosh, what a day! At least you can look back and laugh about it now :)
    I always love catching up on your blog, Kelle! Your photos and words always make me smile :)

    “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

  188. Oh my gosh. So good. I laughed. A lot. I’m sorry Nella…but you have to admit it is adorably funny…given that everyone was ok.

  189. haha I needed that laugh, (sorry it was at your expense though lol!) The best thing about that story is you know it’s true, because days like that, you can’t make up if you tried 😉 Love your blog!!!

  190. Brett is such a legendary dad! He must free you up so much for your decorating, blogging and photographic adventures! Gorgeous pics.

  191. I think I peed from laughing …

  192. I never ever say this, but OMG, I have tears running down my cheeks reading this post. What a great way to end my Friday!

  193. I laughed so hard I had tears!! My son was looking at me like I had lost my cotton picking little mind until I had him read this. The accurate drawing of the bush eating Nella should be framed. Thanks for always making me so happy to come visit your blog. Can’t wait for the newest addition.

  194. This is one of my all time favorite posts. LOVE it. Squeeze those girls for me, I love them so!

  195. Love the story. Love the drawing!

  196. Thank you for this post {complete with drawing!}!

    You made me laugh and helps me get ready for life as our sweet 7 month old girl grows!

  197. Bhahahaha!!! LOL!! Best thing I have read all week! Congrats on baby Dash also, what a little charmer!!

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