Monday, January 17, 2011

Another Great Debate

I know you were all waiting with baited breath to find out whether or not I ate the sad M&Ms at the bottom of my purse.  I didn't.  I forgot about them and stopped using that purse.  When I found them later, I didn't have time to pick off the lint so I threw them away.  Sad.  Very sad indeed.

Speaking of SAD (that was a very bad segue, but it worked, right?), I am fairly confident that after 5 years of pregnancy and/or nursing, my body has been completely depleted of Vitamin D.  This means that the distinct lack of sunshine in the Pacific Northwest actually bothers me.  It makes me very blah.  I have no energy.  I feel like I should eat or sleep, but I don't need either.

Two weeks ago, it was brilliantly sunny and I blogged 4 times in a week and still got all my chores done and cooked dinner almost every night.  Last week, I was not as productive and now it has been 12 or so days without the sun that so graciously gives life and energy.  Wednesday, there's a chance, but that's 48 hours from now. 

It makes me want to curse the day that I suggested that we move to Washington. I'll never forget the day... he, with wile and wisdom, brought me from Texas to Washington at the end of July and proposed on a ferry coming into downtown Seattle at night.  He knew I'd be hooked.  It's all his fault.  Had he brought me in January or February, I'd have still said "yes", but I would have required solar lightbox before saying "I do."

The great debate is not whether or not to move back to Texas (once you move across two mountain ranges, there's no going back).  Rather it is, to or not to go to the store to get Vitamin D supplements.  They're on sale, and I have a coupon, and there's a rebate.  They might actually pay me to take my vitamins.   Besides, it may not even help.  " study did not show a link between vitamin D levels and depressive symptoms in elderly Chinese."  Wikipedia actually says that.  HA!  Since I am neither elderly nor Chinese, I should give it a shot.  

BUT... to go to the store, I have to:  make my list and gather my coupons, load up all 4 chilluns by myself and get them into the car, drive 15 minutes to the nearest Rite Aid, unload the chilluns, do my shopping with 2 in the cart and 2 carrying baskets following me through the store, check out with my coupons, re-load the chilluns into the car, return 15 minutes home, unload the chilluns, herd them into the house, and make dinner while they all scream "I'm hungry" in various stages of verbal development.  Last week, I was too SAD to put new batteries in my keyboard (and I'm glad since the spacebar is working again) what makes anyone think that I would be up for the aforementioned task!?!?!  I'd much rather sit on my couch and blog as my almost 2 year old disassembles my coupon binder and the 9 month old cries and the 3 and 4 year olds color without supervision. 

To make matters more "fun", the other parental unit won't be home until late.  A trip to the store makes bedtime much more bearable.  What to do!?!?!

*deep sigh* 


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I'm so cheap...

So, a few monthsago, I told you that wewereseriously considering movingJoel into thelaundry room and me and my computer upstairsto our loft space.  Well, planschanged.  We got our newTV afterThanksgiving andnow, my computerisin thelivingroom andmy monitor is the 40"ofblood, sweat, andtears hanging onmy wall.

I'm usingmy wirelesskeyboard as I sit comfortably onthe couch.  But asyou can tell, my spacebar isn't working so well.  It's becausethe batteries arerunning low. I could take them out and replace them, but I'm so darn cheap, I don't wantto.  I bought batteries onsaleatRiteAidbefore Christmas, but I amdisinclined to throwaway something that obviously works part of the time. 

Whatshould concern you, Dear Reader, is that I'm too cheap to put in therechargablebatteriesthat Ihave sitting unuseda mere20 feetaway.  I'dmuch rather challengeyourreadingskills.  I'd still have to throw these batteriesaway in order to use the rechargeables! Ijust can't until the batteries arereally really dead.

Much Love andHumor and Entertainment, CnC

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My New Favorite Toy

This will surprise you... it's not my new TV (though entertaining), it's not my new sweater (though flattering), it's not my new earrings (though lovely)...

It's my new 3/4 cup measure. 

Strange, I know.  I just discovered yesterday that when I double my Popover Pancake recipe, it calls for 1 1/2 cups of flour... or 2 - 3/4 cup.  Just now, I discovered that my go-to pizza dough recipe calls for 2 1/4 cups of flour... or 3 - 3/4 cup.  I'm so grateful.  I only have to dirty one cup measure now.  Isn't that AMAZING!?!?!

Simple pleasures, I suppose. 

A New Year, A New Detergent

A few months ago, I posted about my homemade laundry detergent.  Well, my friend, Hollis, posted a comment about a dry version. 

A month or two ago., I made that version... and I'm never looking back. 

When I researched recipes for detergent, I saw dry versions everywhere.  I opted to make liquid because that's what I'd been using for a long time.  But why?  Do you do this?  Do you question why you do things?  Or how they're done? 

Personally, I started using liquid laundry detergent because when we bought our house in April 2007, the washer and dryer left behind were horrible.  They didn't dissolve the powdered detergent.  I was sufficiently grossed out by finding clumps of detergent among my "clean" clothes so I bought liquid detergent and pretended that my clothes were getting clean. 

When we remodeled our kitchen in 2008, we got a set of Front Loaders (on Black Friday with 0% financing for 12 months).  I heart my washer and dryer... I really do.  It's probably wrong to love appliances as much as I do, but I also love my on-demand hot water heater and my heated tile floors.  Being the wife of a contractor has disadvantages (like an unpainted exterior), but there are some strong advantages too (bells and whistles in the virtually brand new interior of my 100 year old home). 

Anyway, I kept using liquid detergent because that's what I had and I had to buy High Efficiency Detergent.  I can't remember if I even looked into powdered HE detergent.  But a while ago (I lose track of time), I needed more detergent and had no inclination to make the liquid stuff as it is a little labor intensive.  I gave Hollis' friend's powdered version a shot.

Love.  True love.

It's easier to make... less mess, less time.  It works.  My clothes are clean.  It takes up less space than my 2 gallon container.

So goodbye, liquid laundry detergent.  Hello ease.  Hello clean. 

Recipe:  1 bar Fels Naptha, 1 c Washing Soda, 1/2 c Borax

Directions:  Shred Fels Naptha with the grater part of your food processor.  Then, use the blade to turn the Fels from shreds to a fine-ish powder.  Add one cup of Washing Soda and 1/2 cup of Borax.  Mix it up.  Use 1 tablespoon per load.  The end. 

(I use an old sour cream container and an old formula scoop.)

You're welcome.

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Curse

I'm certain that Moses left out one important part of the curse as a result of the first sin.  The curse also included isolation of Stay at Home Moms. 

If you are privileged enough to get all of them down for naps concurrently, you so love the silence that calling a few friends to catch up on holiday happenings and new year expectations is not going to happen.  If you wait until the children rise, they will play quietly with one another until the last number is dialed at which time the screaming will commence.  It is clear, to me, that this is not a result of anything I have done, rather it is Eve's consequence passed on from generation to generation. 

Thank you, Mother of Humanity for isolation.  My friends don't know how much I miss them. 

Thank you, Al Gore for the Internet.  Maybe my friends will read this and know why I don't call as often as I should.

Happy New Year Friends!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Reflections on Absence

I've always liked the old adage that "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."  It was true with me and Kyle when I hopped a plane to the Krygyz Republic just after we started dating.  I feared that the fervor of young love would fade but evidently, it did not.  He proposed three months after I got back.  I said, "Yes yes yes yes."

So, in celebration of our 7th anniversary, we went away without our four children... for four days and three nights.  Our oldest is 4 1/2.  It's the first time since his arrival that we have been alone for more than 24 hours.  While it's nice to have a day here and there, nothing really refreshes the mind and the body quite like not having to do laundry or change a diaper.  Heck, I didn't even cook or do dishes... my amazing husband did that too.

When we first started planning this time away, I thought to myself, "Finally, I'll get to breathe."  But as the time drew nearer, I realized that it might be the bittersweet end of an era. 

Five years and three months ago, I found out that I was pregnant with Seth.  And today, I only nursed Joel once.  That means that this is the first time in 5.25 years that I have not been pregnant or breastfeeding or both.  And yes, I'm sure I'm not pregnant.  Just trust me. 

I had a fresh realization about how much I really love my role as Mommy to Seth, Korynne, Jenna, and Joel.  I really really love it.  I felt genuinely lost without them or doing something on their behalf.  I know some women lament that they don't remember who they were before children.  But I do.  I remember: I was selfish.  I didn't give or receive hugs all day.  I had too much time on my hands.  I didn't think about the long term ramifications of our government's decisions.  I didn't get skittish around water.  I didn't go on high alert in parking lots.   And I didn't need coffee within 30 seconds of waking up.

Today, I told Seth that he would be going back to school on Monday.  Since it's only Saturday, he got a little prematurely excited.  I got a little sad.  I'm going to miss seeing him all day every day.

Tonight, we gave the kids a bath.  Korynne likes to be wrapped in her towel and carried like a baby.  I'm not sure why.  But I do it gladly after every bath because someday she'll be too big to carry and I won't be helping her rinse her hair.

This morning, Jenna acquired 8 new words.  I can't remember what all they are, but she's catching up with her siblings' vocabulary FAST.  She's not a baby anymore.

Right now, Joel is trying to pull up on everything, eating peas with the best of them, and getting too big for his infant carrier.  Where did the time go?

Needless to say, I'm not looking for a career change anytime soon even though my coffee consumption (and thickness) has increased exponentially with each child.  The way I figure, they're only in my care for less than 20 years.  If I live to be 80, that's only 1/4 of my life.  I can't think of a better way to spend my life.