jen groeber: mama art

4 kids in 3 years: reflections on motherhood, art and life.

Category Archives: Surviving Motherhood

Who Are You Going to Be When You Grow Up?

I was driving to school to pick up the kids in my minivan. Like I do every day. Repeat, repeat, repeat. I pulled up behind this truck. WOOD PELLETS HOT … Continue reading

March 5, 2015 · 12 Comments

In Defense of Winter

My four-year-old daughter said it to me this morning. “What if this-” she gestured pathetically out the car window, “-is still here in June?” And I felt for her. She … Continue reading

March 4, 2015 · 15 Comments

Melancholic Birthday Girl, Carry On

I’m a melancholic birthday girl, and it shows. I think my kids picked up on the impending doom of my birthday and my sad-sack state, because they were straight up punks for the week … Continue reading

February 28, 2015 · 25 Comments

Something About Now (Valentine’s Day 2015)

Tim found some old videos on his computer. What with hard-discs being full and switching from desktop dinosaurs to laptops and iPads and iPhones, we hadn’t seen these videos for awhile, … Continue reading

February 15, 2015 · 4 Comments

Reading (to My Children)

I love books. I love to read them. I dream about writing one someday. My shelves are covered, covered, covered with books. Because once one has acquired a book, whether … Continue reading

January 20, 2015 · 19 Comments

The Betta Fish, the Sugar, and the Fevers

I had a dream last night that I killed one of the betta fish. In the dream it was in the same glass bowl we had goldfish in as a … Continue reading

January 12, 2015 · 4 Comments

Ten Minutes of Thankful (and Then Some)

I was talking the other night with an old friend. She was feeling sad, and bad, and blue. The holidays, the dark winter days, family pressures and perceived failures seemed … Continue reading

January 1, 2015 · 27 Comments

The Twins Turn Six (from the Basement Tapes)

Again and again this year I found myself beginning posts I never finished or finishing posts I never polished enough to post. So they’ve sat half-lost in a virtual notepad, … Continue reading

December 20, 2014 · 10 Comments

Elf on the Shelf: A Re-Purposed Re-Poem

It’s the first day of December and what should appear? But Mr. Elf on the Shelf, the puppet so dear. He’s hiding in nooks, humping a small wooden lamb Frosty Bo … Continue reading

December 2, 2014 · 19 Comments

Sleeping Children, Peace, and Other Thankful Thoughts

Tim brought Mica to me last night. I was in bed. We were watching television, the president juxtaposed against Ferguson, burning cars and police in riot gear throwing tear gas, … Continue reading

November 26, 2014 · 8 Comments

Life’s a Journey: This Woman’s Work

[I’ve been away. And honestly, I’ve missed you. And this. And feedback (jazz handsssss.) But I had some art to make and a birthday party for the twins and so … Continue reading

November 14, 2014 · 39 Comments

One Year Blog-o-versary, 100 Years

It’s been a year in the blogosphere since I first began, and I had such high hopes. I wanted to write a one year post with that song 100 Years by … Continue reading

October 1, 2014 · 22 Comments

Life is More Than a Chopped Up To-do List

Today, at pre-school drop-off a convergence of exhausted harried Mamas met somewhere between the butterfly garden and the fairy garden. We stood, sort of gasping for air, and my eyes … Continue reading

September 30, 2014 · 14 Comments

On Acrobats, Motherhood and Friendship

I am a circus performer. I am the tightrope walker, the fire breather (although usually only in the morning before brushing my teeth), the clown in the striped shirt doing jazz … Continue reading

September 18, 2014 · 29 Comments

Found in the Fog

Last weekend was our last in Maine, or at least the last real day of summer for us. I awoke early, crept to the window and was despondent. There was nothing, … Continue reading

September 9, 2014 · 16 Comments

Pompeii, I Was There

The craziest thing happened tonight. Actually, I should probably begin with a Trigger Warning: for poop and putting your hands into toilets filled with poop. In case you’re eating an egg … Continue reading

August 23, 2014 · 23 Comments

Ocean Stones and Memories

Summer is the time for visiting with family. The summer months are just brimming with relatives. And it’s so necessary, this grounding, these reminders of where you came from. But … Continue reading

August 7, 2014 · 19 Comments

Motherhood, Sisyphus and the Fitbit

I am Sisyphus. At least that’s what I tell myself most days as I walk through the house matching shoes and placing them in rows, hanging jackets on hooks, replacing … Continue reading

August 7, 2014 · 18 Comments

Head Stands, a Walk in the Sky

In my teens and twenties, over half a lifetime ago,  there was no end to the possibilities for positive personal discoveries. Who me? Play field hockey? Well, I’m not very … Continue reading

July 22, 2014 · 24 Comments

Between Sunset and Moonrise

It was that kind of ride north, Tim in the driver’s seat, a crew of children glued to a National Geographic documentary on volcanoes or polar bears in the back, … Continue reading

July 19, 2014 · 13 Comments

I Don’t Like 7-Year-Old Boys and Other Zen Thoughts

  I’ve recently come to the conclusion that I don’t like 7 year-old boys. As a 43-year-old adult female, this is neither a shocker nor a tragedy. I mean, it’s … Continue reading

July 2, 2014 · 37 Comments

A Bat in the House is Worth More Than Two in the Bush

This has been a growing weekend, the most bat-tastic  weekend ever, in fact. There’s so much that I want to share. But early symptoms of rabies include cerebral dysfunction and … Continue reading

June 17, 2014 · 16 Comments

Letting the Days Go By (Same As It Ever Was)

Do you remember the movie Big? Or maybe 13 Going on 30? 17 Again? Any of these sugar-coated yummy morsels ringing a bell? The premise is you get covered in glitter … Continue reading

June 1, 2014 · 21 Comments

I Am Afraid

Mica lost his first tooth today. It’s been wiggling in his mouth, nestled in his tiny deep-ocean gums like a pearl, since mid-winter. Today, in honor of Roald Dahl, it … Continue reading

May 27, 2014 · 45 Comments

(Not So) Superlative Jen, Baby Steps

I called the doctor last week to inquire,  “So about this shingles thing, if I can’t just rest and I just keep pushing even though my leg hurts and I’m … Continue reading

May 24, 2014 · 8 Comments

Circle Time, My Baby Boy Turns 7

Today is Jasper’s seventh birthday. I actually forgot it was today. It turns out that with planning the big party for a million kids and apparently hundreds and hundreds of … Continue reading

May 17, 2014 · 19 Comments

Motherhood is… (A Toenail in Your Eye)

I should have something to say about Mother’s Day. When Tim asked me what I wanted for Mother’s Day I initially said I wanted two hours to go use the … Continue reading

May 11, 2014 · 19 Comments

Punting Motherhood

I want to write about this week, but I have nothing much to say, or at least nothing orderly, entertaining or lyrical. (How’s that for a first line? This can … Continue reading

May 4, 2014 · 12 Comments

1/4 Inch Short

I ran into a friend at the kindergarten art show late last week. “How’ve you been?” she asked. “Ugh. I have shingles.” She started to laugh a little. “You know, … Continue reading

April 29, 2014 · 60 Comments

A Blanket of Children

These days seem to be more and more filled with distancing moments. Moments when I try to manage my five-year-old daughter’s Mean Girl moments and she rolls her eyes and … Continue reading

April 23, 2014 · 17 Comments

Forgetting to Remember

I thought of this thing today, but then it left my mind. It left my mind amidst the tumble of things I’m supposed to be doing, the school auction, the … Continue reading

April 15, 2014 · 16 Comments

Mama lost her brain… again.

Today, cleaning out my e-mail from weeks ago, I re-read an e-mail from one of my college roommates. We’d had a girl’s weekend in Washington, D.C. complete with walks to … Continue reading

April 4, 2014 · 17 Comments

Building a Neighborhood One Cup of Corn at a Time

I needed corn for the crockpot. The Chicken Taco Bowl crockpot to be exact. Canned? Frozen? Honestly, no one cares. At my house we call them the “filler calories”, because each … Continue reading

April 1, 2014 · 4 Comments

Littlewing, A Mother’s Anthem

Today it was cold, but with the promise of spring. At least that’s what we all told each other. One Mama grabbed me by the arm, literally grabbed me, and … Continue reading

March 28, 2014 · 13 Comments

The Librarian, the Library and the Words

Part I. My Mother It always begins here. My mother was a librarian. Let me clarify. My mother was a librarian for about as long as I bagged raw chicken … Continue reading

March 24, 2014 · 41 Comments

Typhoid Mary, A Poem

There was a girl named Mary Mallon one hundred years ago She lived in the city that never sleeps, moving from home to home An Irish cook, some would call … Continue reading

March 21, 2014 · 10 Comments

The Winter of Our Discontent

Now is the winter of our discontent Made glorious summer by this sun of York; And all the clouds that lour’d upon our house In the deep bosom of the … Continue reading

March 11, 2014 · 10 Comments

The Big Girl Crib

My baby is still in a crib. I don’t mean like phat cribs on MTV with diamond bedazzles and an indoor treehouse. That would be Lindsey-Lo-tastic, but it’s not us. … Continue reading

March 7, 2014 · 9 Comments

Wonder Woman and the Lost Tooth

I want to remember this. Today I picked up Jasper at the end of school, and he had that face. It was the classic chokey-voice face, the quiver chin, patchy-cheek … Continue reading

March 1, 2014 · 21 Comments

If I Wrote a Food Blog, Dreams of a Stay-at-Home Mom

If I wrote a food blog, it’d only have one page, A single recipe that would take center stage. Single moms would use it, grannies on the go, nursing moms … Continue reading

February 18, 2014 · 11 Comments

Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief

I was standing at my usual station by the kitchen sink and Cabot ran by, reeking of lavender… Lavender Soft Soap, that is. I don’t know what her obsession with soap … Continue reading

February 11, 2014 · 13 Comments

Guest Blog, Yo! The Things We Carry With Us

Guess what. I’m not here. I’m HERE! Wait, let me explain. Remember when I said I hadn’t even read a blog before writing one, except maybe the craniosynostosis one? (And … Continue reading

February 9, 2014 · 6 Comments

Craniosynostosis (My First Blog Experience)

I remember very little from the first year of preemie twin motherhood (three kids in 17 months… zoiks!). I remember kangarooing our preemies every day in the NICU and navigating … Continue reading

February 4, 2014 · 29 Comments

My Mother’s Letters

I remember we had at least one television on all day and night for Butchie and he would scream in his stinking chair in the corner while cartoons blared. I … Continue reading

January 29, 2014 · 181 Comments

Cleaning House: The Craft Table

This is the part I wrote two weeks ago: Once a week I take all the recycling piled in the mud room out to the garage, put it in five … Continue reading

January 28, 2014 · 17 Comments

A Love Supreme (Mother of the Year 2014, Fingers Crossed!)

Dear Committee Chair for Mother of the Year (CCMOY), First, I hope this finds you well. I know it’s been one heck of a crazy week with snow days galore. … Continue reading

January 24, 2014 · 11 Comments

Give Me Strength

Today I had one of those mornings. You know the mornings I mean. I woke up a little late; he wouldn’t get his clothes on and rolled his eyes when … Continue reading

January 21, 2014 · 14 Comments

What Kind of Mama Are You? (A Cosmo-Style Quiz)

1. It’s 7am. You open the dishwasher and pull out your kids’ four favorite farm animal plates, their four juice cups, pour some milk, slice some bread, cut up some … Continue reading

January 17, 2014 · 12 Comments

Why I don’t curse. (Because I’m a good girl, that’s why…)

When I was a kid, a young kid, like with a Benjamin Franklin lunchbox with a Liberty Bell cartoon on it, I was what they call “a pottymouth”. I was … Continue reading

January 14, 2014 · 8 Comments

Blogging Neophyte

Confession. I know nothing about blogging. True story. I’d never read a blog let alone posted on one before I began writing my own. I was shocked when I got … Continue reading

January 12, 2014 · 33 Comments

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