Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Part III: My Favorite Superpower

Part I: Superpowers at the Armory

Part II: Superpowers Aren't Enough

Part III: My Favorite Superpower

I slowly stood up and turned to walk backwards, leading Joel to the bathroom.  Bent over, taking tiny steps, I was encouraging him as we went.

"Come on, buddy, you're doing great."

*hurl*

"Walk with me, buddy.  Good job."

*yack*

"You can do it, big guy."

*gag*

By the time, I was out my bedroom door and starting around the corner into the bathroom, Kyle was by my side.  I pleaded, "Help me.  Get him to the bathroom."  

"Here's the bowl," he insisted.

I didn't see the bowl, but I looked again... I didn't see it because it wasn't one of my shiny stainless steel bowls, it was a clear bowl - the bottom piece of our salad spinner. 

Oh, the stainless bowls are dirty - I knew that.

Kyle was securely holding the bowl so I uncupped my hands and allowed the contents to fall into the bowl with a thud.  Then, I lightly shook my hands.  Plop plop. 

I washed my hands while Kyle tended to Joel. 

Joel puked again.

I washed my hands again. 

Joel stood there in a retch-induced stupor.  

I smell-checked my hands and washed them again.

Kyle poured the contents of the salad spinner down the garbage disposal.

I washed my hands again. 

I heard the blades chew the chunks Joel had not. 

I washed my hands again.

We got Joel a drink of water, assisted him in brushing his teeth, and examined his pjs in the light.  To our surprise, they were clean - vomit free.  So we tucked him back into bed and hoped for the best. 

We went back to our room and climbed into bed, but I got back up immediately and washed my hands - again - and rinsed them in bottled lemon juice. 

We laughed at the whole debacle to calm our nerves and eventually went back to sleep. 

It wasn't until the next morning that I noticed my cupped hands could not, after all, hold the contents of a toddler's stomach.  There was one quarter sized spot of upchuck that had spewed on to the side of the bed and landed on the sheets.  Ew.

And then, I sank to an all-time low.  I made the bed.  That's right, it was on the vertical surface and I wasn't going to touch it so I left it there. For two days.  Without regret. 

Some of you are totally appalled that I would actually leave my child's expelled vittles on the side of my bed and not lose a wink of sleep, but I implore you: don't judge me.  I was (and still am) using my favorite, most essential, and most revered Parental Superpower:  Survival. 

Salad anyone?

Monday, October 15, 2012

Part II: Superpowers Aren't Enough

Part I: Superpowers at the Armory

Part II: Superpowers Aren't Enough

As Joel's dinner magically reappeared beside our bed, we both responded with catlike reflexes.

My cupped hands found Joel's chin.  

Daddy lept to his feet to assist. 

I heard him fumbling about with items on the nightstand on the other side of the bed. Kyle's blind without his glasses, but surely LIGHT would help.  I wish I could say I asked with honey dripping from my lips, but I'm sure it was a menacing growl:  "Could you turn on the light?" 

"I'm trying."  He gasped. "My hand is asleep." 

My momentary sympathy was usurped by my own disgust. There are warm chunks in my hand.  The knob on the lamp is one thing, but the switch on the wall would also help.

Finally, he got the light on and ran out of the room, presumably to fetch a receptacle. The nesting stainless steel bowls I got for Christmas from my mom a few years ago have come in handy for similar situations in the past.  I heard him searching in the kitchen.

With the light on, I could see my legs trapped under our 30 pound down comforter.  This problem solving Zombie Mommy had no idea how to get out from under the weight without hands.  Finally, I slinked my legs out the side and turned to a sitting position pulling Joel's chin with me. This is no small feat - do you know what 6 pregnancies can do to your abs?  Obliterate them. You should try this sometime.. while holding a palm full of someone else's regurgitated dinner.  There is no superpower for this. That was pure adrenaline.

*Gameshow idea: Parenting Fear Factor.  I've got poop and vomit scenarios to keep them on air for years.  I digress.*

An eternity (like 5 whole seconds) passed and Kyle had not returned. Maybe he slipped on a puddle of water on the tile floor and was lying unconscious in a pool of his own blood.  No matter, it was time for me and Joel - still tossing his cookies - to make our way to the bathroom. 

To be concluded...

Part I: Superpowers at the Armory

The other night, Kyle and I discovered another Parental Superpower. We already know that Mom has Eyes in the Back of her Head, and Dad can Read Minds (especially mischievious little boy minds).  And then there's The Voice. The Voice that causes even the most rogue of toddlers to stop dead in their tracks.  It is only possible in times of imminent danger and saved our oldest in a parking lot once.

The extent of this Superpower had not been fully tested until the other night. It had already been one of those nights. Samuel had been fussy off and on from midnight to 1:30am.  By the time Joel was standing bedside at 2am, we were already sleep deprived zombies.  I told him 3 or 4 times to go back to bed, but there he stood with his fuzzy blanket over his right shoulder and his left thumb securely vacuumed into his mouth.  I must've dosed off, but then...

it happened.

There is a noise.  A harrowing noise that the body makes as the sphincter between the stomach and the esophogus opens and vomit rises through the throat forcing air out of the mouth. It is such a distinct sound that it can raise Zombie Mommy and Corpse Daddy from deep sleep to ready-for-battle in a millisecond. 

Ask me how I know.

I call this Superpower: Bat Ears.

In all fairness, this isn't a new superpower. I've used Bat Ears before. It is most likely the same Parental Superpower that helps me distinguish one squeaky bed or door from another and to hear when the refridgerator door has been penetrated.  It allows me to know the answer to the question, "did you wash your hands and flush the potty?" before I ask. I can hear cabinets open and stuffed animals fall.  I would most certainly win Name that Sound if it was my family making noise in my house.  However, I did not know the extent of the Bat Ear superpower and that it works even in my sleep.

The other night, my Bat Ears roused me from deep sleep to cupped hands, but they did not prepare me for what came next.

To be continued...

Friday, October 12, 2012

Being Pregnant Is...

Being pregnant is...

...dreaming you got up to pee and then being so glad you actually got up to pee because everyone knows what happens when you dream you're in the bathroom but you're not.

...being mildly frustrated that the 2 ½ year old woke up shortly after you got back to sleep.

...wondering why you have to pee so bad since you just went pee.

...realizing - while you're getting him a drink of water - that you had a dream within a dream and hadn't gone pee at all.

...being so grateful that he woke up thirsty because everyone knows what happens when you dream you're in the bathroom but you're not.

...not being able to go back to sleep because of mild pregnancy induced insomnia.

...always an adventure.

I'm 14 weeks along with "Six Pack"!

Monday, October 8, 2012

"He not"

A few weeks ago, Kyle was on his way out the front door to go to work. He saw a rainbow and came back through the house to gather our little crew and take them outside for them to admire God's reminder in the sky.

After a reasonable session of Oohs and Aahs, he brought them back in and headed off to work.

The next week, Joel started out the back door on a perfectly clear morning. I said, "Where are you headed?"

"To see da wainbow."

"I'm sorry buddy, there is no rainbow today."

[dramatic pouty lip, overemphasized shoulder droop] "Why not?"

"Well, God didn't put one in the sky today.  But you can ask him to."

"God, put a wainbow in da sky. [shoulder shrug hands open] He not." 

Then, he did the most amazing thing after the slightest of pauses... he went about his day but with no less faith or enthusiasm.  Joel didn't get upset.

Let me tell you, I have a few things on my list I think God ought to prioritize... a suitable house to rent, energy to face my day, patience to homeschool, more money, etc...  I know that if He can part the sea and allow his children to pass on dry land, my list is pretty easy for the Creator of the Universe to just check off. 

Many days, I think I get a gold star for moving on after a brief pause of disappointment.  And some days, I can barely pick myself up off the floor because I can't go on without getting my way. 

I hope I can re-learn to have the faith of a child.  Like my really cute, chubby, 2 1/2 year old child, I can make my requests known to my Heavenly Father - who loves me and has my best intentions in mind - then trust that He is working all things for my good in His perfect timing.  And just maybe, I'll learn how to not throw a fit when I don't get what I want when I want it.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Futile Resistance

If a bed creaks...

If a 3 year old "whispers"...

If a foot hits the floor...

If a stuffie takes a dive...

If a giggle can be heard...

If a book is cracked open...

If an obnoxious noise is squeaked...

I'll be there.

Oh, I'll be there.  More accurately, I'll be here.  Every day. Same time. Same place.  Same door.  Same futile resistance.

Na na na na na na na na NAP TIME!


Friday, September 21, 2012

Mommy Fail: Ferdinand

The Story of Ferdinand.jpg
Image Credit: Wikipedia


A few weeks ago, I was reading The Story of Ferdinand with the kids.  After we read it, I showed them the globe and where we were and where Spain is.  We talked about how people around the world do things differently. 



To broaden their cultural awareness, I Googled "Spanish Bullfight".  The top headlines caught my eye, something about "Bullfights will be allowed on television for the first time in six years".  And then I found what I was looking for on YouTube.  The children huddled around me and my Smartphone and we watched and learned... together.



(The following images are from Google Images.)

 

Mommy: See, kids, the bull chases the Matador because he has a red cape.



 
Mommy: The bull chases him.  It's like they're dancing.
Kids:  Do they hurt the bull?
Mommy:  No, they just dance together.  


 
  
Mommy: See, they're still dancing. 
My Internal Dialogue:  Um... what's that poking out of the bull's back?


Mommy:  And there's more dancing.
My Internal Dialogue: Oh no, that's his sword in the bull's back.  Do they kill the bull?


 

Mommy:  So, I was wrong.  They do actually kill the bull.    
Kyle: [from the other room who tuned in just in time NOT to rescue me from myself] What?  You thought they just danced with the bulls?  Bwa ha ha ha ha Bwa ha ha.  Really? [writhing in laughter]  Bwa ha ha ha ha...  
Kids: [look at Mommy with incredulity as if to say, "I don't care what other cultures do, I'm too young to see that kind of violence."]  Let's go to bed.
My Internal Dialogue:  Oh... that's why the Spanish banned it from television.  It's too violent for young children. 


You can't make this stuff up.





Friday, August 24, 2012

Snap Out of It

It's hard to know how transparent to be on a blog.  I don't know who's reading and I can't control how they perceive what they're reading.  It's a careful balance to be honest about the challenges of having so many small children and not cross over into complaining about the chaos.

A friend just told me that she reminds herself often about 'that look' on the faces of women in older generations.  East Coast or West Coast, the grandmas at the grocery store are the same: they look fondly at me with my brood, and I can almost see the memories of dirty faces, mounds of laundry, screaming siblings, broken furniture, and sleepless nights flooding into their aging minds.  They remember 'the little years' affectionately?

I'll be honest though, as I just put two tired, wailing children down for the horrible, dreaded punishment - a nap, I don't think I'll remember these years fondly.  I don't see how feeling like I'm running after a train I have no hope of catching is something I'll remember with any joy.  I do, however, revel in the idea that they will all be well-adjusted, contributing members of society who vote for conservative political candidates and make a positive difference in the world.

Then deep inside, I ache because I know.  I know that my children feel my annoyance.  They sense my regular unhappiness.  They know that they play second fiddle to my priorities for the day, my desire for quiet, my ideas of order, my love of hot coffee, my abhorrence of vomit... 

My. 

Me. 

Mine. 

I.

I ache because it hurts their tender little hearts when I don't love them the way my Loving Heavenly Father patiently loves me.  I don't delight in them the way He delights in me.  I don't long for their company the way He longs for mine.  

I know people sometimes don't have children because their own childhood experiences were too hurtful and the thought of repeating it is too weighty.  Sometimes they volunteer: I'm too selfish. 

Aren't.  We.  All.

I know that I won't say in my old age, "I wish I had a cleaner house."  It's true that I'll say, "I wish I had spent more time with my children." 

I won't say, "I wish I had berated them more."  I'll say, "I hope they know how much I love them."

God help me, though, I have days when I cannot get it together: my nerves are frayed, I can't find a clean surface anywhere, and the idea of starting homeschool in 11 days makes me break out in hives.  It all seems so insurmountable, so I just get out my pity party hat and sit in the corner and cry. 

How I wish someone knew exactly when my party is starting so they could stop by, slap me across the face, and say: SNAP OUT OF IT! 


Unfortunately, we live in a world with privacy fences and fake smiles.  And I'm usually the one delivering the slapping to myself. 

Here's a few other things I'm doing these days...

Get help.  I just ordered a book called Rebuild from Depression because I suspect after 5 pregnancies in 6 years that I'm a little deficient in a lot of things.  I have also been scouring the author's blog because I can't wait the 5-8 days it takes to ship it to do what I can now to make myself feel better.

Exercise.  Exercise makes me feel better.  And as goofy as I look stepping up and down on the Wii balance board, as annoyed as I am that my children won't let me exercise without a cheering squad, as much as I'd rather have a conversation with my husband, I absolutely have to make 20 to 30 minutes of exercise 2 or 3 times a week a priority. 

Positive surroundings.  When I'm down, it's easier to get down-er.  If I'm around critical, negative people, I feel sapped.  Because I have 5 little sap suckers, I have had to back away from some of those less-than-stellar relationships.  I need all of my physical-emotional-spiritual "sap" for my children - my family is a higher priority than anyone in my life even if it means I cannot be a good friend to someone who needs it.  I know a good counselor... I'll refer them. 

Time out.  It is okay for me to re-discover myself by having a quiet bath after everyone is in bed (milk and honey is where it's at), a date with a good book at a nearby coffee establishment, a window shopping expedition at the mall, or a walk around the block (not a jump-in-the-car-and-speed-away-because-I've-had-it drive to the nearest bar).  And it's okay to spend some money on date night with my husband.

Fill up.  I have a favorite coupon blogger, and I have a favorite mommy blogger.  She has one post that God uses to speak to me every time I read it.   She also contributes regularly at this blog.  I also try to read daily devotions put out by Proverbs 31, and I listen to faith-filled music (I have 6 or 8 Pandora stations I love). When I am full, I can pour out.  When I am empty, not so much.




Main Entry:
fond [fond] Show IPA
Part of Speech: adjective
Definition: have a liking or taste for
Synonyms: addicted, adoring, affectionate, amorous, attached, caring, devoted, doting, enamored, indulgent, keen on, lovesome, lovey-dovey, loving, mushy, partial, predisposed, responsive, romantic, sentimental, silly over, sympathetic, tender, warm  


Main Entry:
dearly [deer] Show IPA
Part of Speech: adverb
Definition: lovingly
Synonyms: affectionately, devotedly, fondly , tenderly, yearningly

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Homeschooling with Young Children

A few weeks ago, Seth, was up and at 'em early... per usual.  He asked me about a pillow on my bed, but he pronounced it "padoh".  This is not strange, his pronunciation is often wrong, but it reminded me "Oh yeah, I'm his teacher, I should teach him his short 'i' sounds."   That led to a brief homeschool session.

It seems so natural to me to teach him things as we go and as he needs them rather than just going to the table at 9:30 am for some obligatory reading time.  I prefer to take advantage of those "ripe for the picking" moments when he wants to learn something.  Incidentally, he read the word "hit" that morning. 

I realized soon after that... it's August.  August comes before September.  With the arrival of September, my preference for schooling when he's ready and I'm willing has to come to an end.  We start kindergarten (again) in the Fall with Korynne too.

*panic*

*deep breath*

Our first attempt at homeschooling was rough (read: disastrous) because I'm completely overwhelmed by all of it: a structured day, wrangling the other kids, lesson planning, and managing my home. I sometimes daydream about sending them to public school.  I can even see it in my mind's eye: it's sunny day that I would put the youngest one on the bus and I would - finally - have a quiet house and finish my coffee while it's hot, go grocery shopping alone, and even "do lunch" with other Moms of school-aged children. *sigh*  I digress^. 

 
And that's what brought me to this blog post.


One of my biggest challenges is the younger sibling(s).  I Googled "homeschooling with small children" and found a plethora of ideas in no time at all!  The Internet is a tremendous resource (how did our moms do this without the Internet!?!)!  And then I looked a little closer, I am too darn cheap to make Elaborate and Themed Sensory Boxes, I'm too stinkin' busy to make Eye Spy Books, and I'm too bloomin' distracted to manage Shaving Cream Art.

If that's your thing, the Interweb is full of expensive, time-consuming, messy ideas for people like you (I don't resent you, I just don't relate).  This post is for people who have not just one, but two or more YOUNG children to occupy while *attempting* to homeschool the older one(s).  You know who you are, and I hope, like me, you know your limits.



My Criteria: cheap (made of items you already have or can pick up at the grocery store), quick (5 minutes or less to prepare), hands-off (little to no "instruction" required) and not-too-dirty (doesn't make my eye twitch to imagine the mess).


This is what I came up with so far, and I hope it helps.  Maybe you don't, but I need all the help I can get... 

Moving objects with tongs.  Sometimes the simple things work best.  Find two wide-mouthed containers (like large mixing bowls) and fill one of them with smallish items from around the house or yard: rocks, blocks, foam letters, cotton balls (if you're willing to part with them - those actually cost money!) or WHATEVER YOU HAVE ON HAND.  Give your child a pair of tongs from the kitchen.  By moving items from one container to another, children are developing fine motor skills.  For added fun while the school kids are occupied, encourage them to sort or ask why they chose certain items first. 

Toddler Toothpicks Fine Motor
Photo Credit.
Toothpicks in Jars.  I suppose it could be just my quirky kids, but putting toothpicks in spice jars entertains my children for a chunk of time... seriously.  I love this.  Why didn't I think of it first?  I try not to throw anything away that might be useful, and I love re-purposing things.  For me, it seems only prudent to snip off the sharp ends of the tooth picks for obvious safety reasons and let them work on those fine motor skills.  Cut up pipe cleaners would also work if you have them. 

Photo Credit.
String Beads.  Stringing beads is a great activity for fine motor skills which help develop needed muscles for good handwriting skills.  Except, I don't want to buy beads I have to clean up for YEARS to come (I found one under an area rug just yesterday).  I cut up straws instead (I'll still have to clean them up, but I can make bigger "beads" and they don't bounce) so they can string straw beads.  I might even be willing to give up that 88 cent box of pasta I bought the other day for them to use.  I use yarn (tape up stringing the end) or twine or whatever I have that I reclaimed from a broken Sunday School craft so they can string beads to their hearts' content.  

Play dough.  I was really intimidated when I saw that you had to cook the play dough, but I tried it and it really wasn't as terrible as you would think.  It was easy and turned out GREAT!  My favorite part is that it's really really cheap and nice enough to give as a frugal birthday gift.

TV watching linked to waistlines in children, study finds
Photo Credit. 
Television.  I'm not ashamed.  I let my kids watch TV.  This can be problematic because the school-aged kids want to watch too, but I can reward the older kids for finishing their work with a little screen time.  Then, the younger kids can have my undivided attention for a little while. I usually opt for semi-educational stuff.  Leap Frog makes some great phonics stuff and it's available on Netflix Watch Instantly or at the library. 

Sensory Boxes.  Not all sensory boxes are messy or complicated or expensive.  I remember as a kid getting in trouble for putting my hands in the bins of pinto beans at the store.  Well, guess what... my kids love putting their hands in pinto beans, too.  I'm in favor of putting McDonald's toys in tubs of pinto beans and calling it a day.  I did dye pasta once.  Just once.  And in case you're wondering, I'm no fool - I'm not about to dye rice and give it to my 2 year old.  Instead of buying bins and having them on hand all the time.  At my house, space is an issue so I don't have room for multiple boxes just for play.  Instead, I fill hole-free plastic shopping bags with my sensory stuff (one for beans, one for popcorn, or whatever) and I fill one bin with the contents of one bag at a time.


Let them roam.  I am a little more hands-off than many parents.  It must drive my friends nuts when I encourage my kids to figure it out or when I actually let my baby cry for 5 seconds.  I think safe independence is a great chance for their imaginations to develop.  You probably have a playroom or a backyard far from your school room where the younger sibling(s) can play while you have lessons.  There are amazing technologies that make out-of-sight safe(r).  Web cams are cheap, and there's an app for that so you can look at the real-time feed from your webcams and keep a watchful eye on your kids from your smartphone while you're schooling the older kids. If you needed an excuse to get a smartphone, you're welcome.  I have more where that came from.



Finally...

messy play sink
Photo Credit.
Sink cleaning.  I think this project involving frozen vinegar and baking soda can eek in as "not-too-dirty" because it can clean while they play.  As an added bonus, it can be a science lesson.  After the little ones play, the big kids can play and learn!  I'll be honest, I haven't tried this yet.  I feel like I have to clean off a counter in order to minimize the mess.  One of these days, I'll have a clean counter and a lesson planned so that my 2 and 3 year olds can hop up on a stool and play a bit.



Does that get your creative juices flowing?  I've started a Pinterest Board for reference.  If you have some tried and true methods of entertaining littles, please post them in the comments and I'll add them to my board. 

^My reasons for homeschooling are many.  It's a very personal decision and one of these days I may actually tell you all about it.

As promised...

I alluded to my "First Five" in a previous post*.  I said I would share them with you and that's exactly what I'm doing.

I must give credit to the gal at the homeschooling convention.  I don't remember her name, I'm not even sure I remember what else she said^, but this nugget was worth the price of admission which was $20!

She mentioned in passing that she instructs her children to do their First Five - get dressed, brush teeth, wash hands and face, make their bed, and eat breakfast.  And my brain started spinning... I can do a Final Five, a Potty Five...  Aaaaahhh! *squealing with delight*

You may not get as excited about an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper with Clip Art as I do.  But with 5 small children (4 of whom can do many of these tasks without assistance), I am so tired of repeating myself.  Instead of each item two times per child (5 phrases x 4 children x 2 times = 40 things to say).   It is so much easier to say each child twice "Do your First Five." (1 phrase x 4 children x 2 times = 8 things to say).  That gives me the opportunity to say 32 nice things to say that encourage instead of being a drill sergeant... and that's all before lunch!

My First Five


Imagine saying "Potty Five" instead of "Close the door."  "Wipe your bottom."  "Flush the potty."  "Wash your hands."  "Turn off the light."  Every time your potty trained ones do their business?????  In a word:  Freedom!!!
Potty Five

True story:  A few weeks ago, my husband and I saw the storm clouds rolling in, looked at the calendar full of evening activities, and realized that if we didn't mow right then and there, we would have to rent a goat.  If I mowed and he weed-eated (weed-ate sounds funny), we could knock out our homeowner responsibilities in 30 minutes or so.  But, it was bedtime and there were 4 munchkins (ages 6, 4, 3, and 2) in dirty play clothes.  We put toothpaste on their toothbrushes, dressed the two year old in PJs, and said, "Do your Final Five or else..."  We put the baby in the Johnny Jumper and went to it.  When we came back inside 30 minutes later, *silence*.  The only noise was a babbling, bouncing baby boy.
Final Five.

We were just as shocked as you are: It worked!


I usually give them ample time to do the tasks (20 to 30 minutes).  It gives them an opportunity to learn to manage their time.  So far, I have not regularly rewarded them except with a High 5. 


*The police incident was a one-time deal.  "First Five" has worked well at my house for 2 months (minus 1)!

^There was one other thing she said that was very profound, for me.  It was something I needed to hear and maybe you need to hear it, too:
No one else on earth loves my children and wants the best for them as much as I do. 
That fact makes me the best teacher they could ever have!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Just Another Day at the Armory

Yesterday was one of those rare days I decided to take a shower.  The kids had eaten breakfast and were busy finishing their "First Five^" (eat breakfast, wash hands/face, brush teeth, get dressed, and make bed).  A friend was coming over and it had been 2 1/2 days since my last shower so it was a high priority.  

When I came out, I noticed that Seth's face was red and his eyes were puffy.  He said something about Korynne...  "Whatever.  You all need to finish your first 5," I said and carried on. 

I was mostly dressed when the doorbell rang.  "My 10:30 playdate is early," I thought.  But as I opened the door, it wasn't my friend.  It was someone in uniform.  A police uniform.  It wasn't just any officer.  It was the Chief of Police.

Hand hovering over side arm.  Ever ready, the Chief asked, "Is everything okay?"

"You mean other than the fact that I'm standing here with wet hair, wearing my nursing tank (before I've fed the baby this morning), and talking to you instead of finishing up guest preparations?"  I smiled tentatively, "Yes?"

"We received an anonymous call about a child being locked outside and screaming."

*lightbulb*  That's what Seth said.  He said Korynne locked him outside. 


With all four of them looking on - oh wait, the baby's crying.  I should get him.  With 4 of them looking on and one on my hip, I said, "Yeah, I took a shower."

I looked over at Korynne, and she was nervously grinning.  She confessed without even being interrogated, "I locked Seth outside."

The Chief nodded knowingly and stated the obvious, "You're a busy mom."


"Ya think?  I'm going to be even busier smackin' her bottom when you leave*," I screamed - in my head.  I said, "Do you have children?"

"Two - 9 and 5," she said, and then we talked for about 10 minutes.  

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is just another day at the Armory. 

One of these days, the kids will be sitting around my kitchen table with my grandchildren on their knees sipping coffee and reminiscing, "Do you remember when Korynne locked Seth outside and the police came?"  *laughing uproariously* 

Oh, I do. It was the last time I took a shower! 


^We also use "Final 5" and "Potty 5".  We have visual aids!  I'll post those soon. 
*No children were punished as a result of yesterday's events.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Natural Remedy

Sometimes, the "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" adage is for me. My children bicker and pester and whine (as all children do), but I'm the one who needs to put on my noise-reducing head phones, listen to uplifting music, and go about my day saying as little as possible.

Today, I think I need to break a sweat too.

Turns out, I do this faithfully once a month for about a week.

Which reminds me, I have a theory.

Waiting with bated breath for another installation of Mommy Theology, are you?  If so, it's your lucky day. 

What if the junk that is common to human kind has natural remedy?  Garlic can rid the body of parasites and bacteria (and keep vampires at bay too, I hear).  Grapefruit seed extract is a personal favorite for all manner of things.  Lavender is another miracle of God's creation.  So it would only make sense to me that the remedy for some of the other junk we deal with - insomnia, anger, depression, PMS/PMDD, etc... - has a natural remedy too.

I think the remedy is a weed.

Finally, a Goody Two-Shoes who advocates smoking pot.  

Um, no.

Literally, weeds... that grow in the garden, threaten beauty, endanger nature's bounty.  You know, weeds.

Don't you think that God knew what He was doing when He cursed Adam to toil the earth?  Sin, evil, disappointment, disease, and separation from God entered our realm that day. To cope with all of the stress associated with The Fall, we have the privilege of working hard for our food.  Taking it one step further, in a culture where we sit in front of computers all day and cultivate the aisles of our grocery stores instead of the rows in our garden, is it any surprise we have so many "issues"?

What if weeds (literally, those things festering in my garden) are not the actual punishment?  What if the separation is the punishment, and weeds (well, working really really hard to remove them) are the built-in coping method?

Deep, huh?  Deeper than those [insert favorite expletive] dandelion roots.
Ironically, even the weeds have useful properties too!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Breaking Plates

rehashing a previous post...


Maybe I'm just a little slow on the uptake. 
Maybe my BS (bachelor of science) didn't actually give me any CS (common sense). 
Maybe my Pottery Barn catalog world just doesn't exist.

I feel overwhelmed a lot of days.  I mean, come on... I have five children five and under.  I've been mistaken for some kind of Supermom.  Please let me dispel that myth once and for all:  Do Supermoms raise their voices?  Hide in the bathroom with the fan on?  Call their husbands in tears two or three times a week?  Have puddles of spilled milk on the floor... from yesterday?  Well, if they do, sure I'll go pick up my Wonderwoman uniform from the cleaner's.   

Spanx don't fail me now.  

I always admire the Mommas who always have clean houses, home cooked meals, pretty blogs, Gap Models for children, and a smile to boot.  I aspire to be like her (she's not a myth, I met her)... I want shiny floors, homemade whole wheat bread, a cupcake blog, children whose shoes are on the right feet, and a shower at least every other day. 

But I don't always get what I want. 

This hit me a while back after I let my son watch Blue's Clues after he got home from preschool.  I told my husband because I was so excited by this revelation:


When my patience runs short
and my to-do list is long,
my kids can watch TV.
(told you I was slow)

I know many of you have lived by this principle for years.  I, however, am eating my typed words.  I never wanted to be the Mommy who sits my children in front of the television as a way of avoiding them because I don't want to interact with them.  On the contrary, I love my children and I wish I had the energy to keep up.  Instead, I find myself losing it because

 I can't keep that many plates spinning.

Photo credit.

We all have them.  We all have plates we keep spinning. 

Clean floors. *spin* 
Hot meals. *spin*  

Never raise my voice. *spin*
Complete Pinterest projects. *spin*
Homeschool. *spin*

These are not bad plates.  But whose plates are they? And where did they come from?  And let's call these plates what they really are: unrealistic expectations. 

I have a few plates from being an oldest child.  I have a few my mom handed down, others I borrowed from my mother in law, a few more from girlfriends, and I just picked up a couple more from that lady with seven kids at church who homeschools and has it all together and even looks cool. 


I stopped spinning my "no TV" plate and it hit the floor and shattered.  Now, my kids watch TV three or four times a week.  Sometimes, I nap while they watch the Man with the Yellow Hat... you know, the negligent one with the mischievous primate.


And that's okay.  I am letting go of unrealistic expectations.

I remind myself often that...

  • Studies show that dirt builds immunity.   
  • Meals from a box won't kill anyone.
  • It isn't a sin to be angry.  Be angry but don't sin (Ephesians 4:26).
  • Kids are simple.
  • And don't pick up everyone elses' plates.  

Here's what I've found about myself... when my unrealistic expectations aren't reality, I'm disappointed.  When I'm disappointed, I get mad.  When I get mad, I get loud.  And I don't want my children to be afraid me.  I also know that God hasn't given me a spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).  If having trouble spinning plates is messing with my peace, God probably didn't give me those plates to begin with.

His yoke is easy.  His burden is light.  
Matthew 11:30


So let me say it again... If keeping up with [unrealistic] expectations is causing strife, it isn't what God expects. 
 
Besides, God didn't send His Son to die for a plate-spinning circus seal to entertain Him.  I'm a dearly loved, adopted daughter.  I guess that means I can stop performing (and teaching my children to perform) all together.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Letters from the Armory

It must be a rough day at our house if I liken motherhood to a battle. And while many of my days are spent battling Chaos, I'm not talking about those losing battles in the ongoing war of Order with 5 - 5 and under.  While many of my days are spent battling Grime in my 100 year old house, I'm not talking about the dust bunnies that have retreated under my couch to strengthen their numbers and attack my (almost) crawler another day.  I'm not referring to the Battle of Wills or dirty diapers, I'm referring to the battle against the forces of darkness.

"Oh, you're just being melodramatic."

Am I?

We live in a world that values nothing less than children.  As Rachel Jankovic observed:

Children rank way below college. Below world travel for sure. Below the ability to go out at night at your leisure. Below honing your body at the gym. Below any job you may have or hope to get. In fact, children rate below your desire to sit around and pick your toes, if that is what you want to do. Below everything.
When I agree with what God says: children are a blessing, I am bucking the system.  I am challenging convention.  I am looking my enemy square in the eyes and saying: you're wrong.   

When I do that, I am starting a battle.  Them's fightin' words. 

And when I am the aggressor and my opponent has nothing to lose, my opponent will fight harder.

Wouldn't it stand to reason that if I value what God values, The Enemy hates it even more?  So what's going to happen?  I am going to come under heavy fire.  My enemy is going to pull out every stop.

As Mothers, so many of us deal with depression, fear, doubt, anxiety, money problems, ridicule, lack of support, unfaithful husbands, and so on.  Why are Moms facing all of this?  Our biggest problem should be what's for dinner and keeping snotty noses wiped.  We're some of the hardest working members of society under "normal" circumstances, but I think we face more than our fair share because we're dangerous.

We are our enemy's worst nightmare because we are responsible for the honing of weapons... arrows.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.  Blessed is the [Mommy] who fills [her] quiver with them! [She] shall not be put to shame when [she] speaks with [her] enemies in the gate.  Psalm 127: 4-5


Arrows aren't cute little accessories. 

Our children (cute as they may be) have a role in God's kingdom and my role, as a Mom, is to help them find their role and equip them to do it well. 

Once those arrows, my children, are released with precision, they will pierce the darkness.  They will bring good news to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, and comfort all who mourn.  

It might look like I'm washing plastic plates and folding tiny tshirts, but I'm working in the armory getting ready for battle.    


Photo credit.

So I'm changing my blog title (again).  The content will stay the same: funny stories, stories of God's faithfulness, frugal stuff, and more.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

'Tis the Season

I am too cheap for Goodwill unless it's on sale (love me some $1.29 days). I'm too cheap for resale or consignment (unless I've turned stuff in for store credit). I am even cheap at garage sales! 
I really like Garage Sale Season!
For example: if you're selling a DVD movie for $2 and a mixed bag of plastic Easter eggs for $0.50, I'm going to offer you $2. If you tell me they're from two different families, I'll still give you $2 and tell you to duke it out as I make a swift getaway (true story). 
So... I made out like a bandit today! 
For Seth...
2 swim trunks
2 t shirts
1 dress shirt
2 jeans
2 Zip off pants
1 pair of pjs
1 pair of Teva sandals (Joel's... where are all of Seth's!?!?!)
For the Girls...
4 dresses (one of which is Gymboree)
4 pjs
1 sandals
1 jeggings
Other...
7 plates
1 fry daddy
7 My Little Ponies
1 tie rack
1 garden kneeling pad
1 changing pad
2 books
1 box of breastmilk storage bags
All of that for... (you probably won't believe me) $22.
How I do it:
I'm a planner. I scour craigslist, make a list, then make a map of sales I want to hit.
I take the kids and roll down the windows.  They wait *patiently* while I shop. 
I pass out snacks for the kids and let them watch Netflix on my phone (thank you Verizon for unlimited data... I was grandfathered in). 
I ration water thereby avoiding an early pit stop.
I make a planned pit stop!  It doesn't make sense to me to save all of that money on clothes and shoes only to get gouged on fast food faire and coffee. I like parks with restrooms or Fred Meyer's childcare and I take my travel mug (hence the planned pit stop).  Besides, Samuel still needs my undivided attention eventually.
I buy multiple items and round the prices down.  Most people take my offer or give me *seemingly* legitimate reasons why they can't (like: "it's the neighbor's I don't have negotiating power").  If it's a kid sale, I might haggle (for learning purposes) and then donate the difference to their cause (usually, kids are raising money for camp or charity or something).
I have been known to walk away. Yes, I want and could probably legitimately say "need" a 4 slice Krups toaster, but $15 would've blown my budget.  I'll wait.  
I like neighborhood sales where I can hit 10 sales in a 1/4 mile.
I always look through the FREE box... matchbox cars, tie racks, breastmilk storage bags, Easter egg dye... you'd be surprised what people think has no value. 
Prices I like to pay...
Kid shirts and shorts $0.50
Kid pants, shoes, and pjs $1
Adult shirts and shorts $1
Adult pants $2
Generally, I like to pay 90% off retail
Keep in mind, they're going to give it to Goodwill or a friend if you don't buy it, your quarter makes them happy.
And just so you know, if you're selling me something, do not under any circumstance say the price like a question, "it's $2?"  If I smell blood in the water, I'm offering you way less!
Today, my pit stop was a huge score too! 
Grocery store...
2 gallons of milk - clearance for $1.50 ea
3 lbs of 93/7 ground beef - clearance for $5.67
18 oz chicken italian sausage - clearance for 1.87 less 55 cent peelie
2 - 6 packs dahlias @ $3ea
5 books (free - Skippyjon Jones was there in the plush - Jenna hugged him)
4 water bottles (free)
4 bicycle helmets (free)
6 chocolate samples (2 of each: dark, milk, caramel she said it was okay! 3 for me and 3 for Kyle if he gets home at a reasonable hour and I don't eat them and destroy the evidence)
8 sunscreen samples (don't tell someone like me "take as many as you like"...I have 5 kids)
5 cookies
and live music
Total: 47 cents (and 2 - $3 catalinas, 2 - $4 catalinas, and 2 - 0.99 catalinas)
AND (I love this) they have a family restroom and a coffee shop with a corner table for Samuel to receive nourishment.  
A word of caution: buyer beware!  Always have a plan for items that don't work, don't fit, or have unnoticed stains.  Give them away, sell them, whatever.  If you negotiate, you won't be terribly disappointed if your $0.50 shirt has a stain on it.
Personally, once I know I can get things this cheap, I am more likely to wait on something. I've wanted a Fry Daddy for ages, but I wasn't willing to pay retail prices - glad I didn't, got it today for $3.  Have patience, Young Grasshopper, you will find what you're looking for.  Wii Resort, I know you're out there somewhere.
And to the two rude ladies, both of whom got to what I wanted seconds before I did. You two, who arrogantly rubbed my nose in it ("should've gotten here sooner" and "gotta move faster"), I'm happy for you... but you're not very nice.   One of you in particular, forgive me for giving you the stink eye as we apparently followed one another all over town all day giving me ample time to forgive you. I'm okay now, and I forgive you... 9 hours later. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Organization, Part I

People ask me sometimes how I do it. I have 5 children 5 and under in less than 900 square feet and we live in a culture where storing our extra stuff is a Billion dollar industry.
 

If you saw my house right this second you would say: "Ew" and "Why would I ever listen to anything you have to say about organization?"  and "Why are you blogging when your house looks like that???"

Let's define some terms though...

clean - adj.  the absence of a gross film on surfaces.  In a sentence: My house isn't clean.
messy - adj.  the presence of clutter that can be put away.  In a sentence: My house is messy.
organized - adj.  the ability to find what you need when you need it. In a sentence: I am organized.
My Dad always says, "Everything has a place, everything in its place."

So, at my house, I have a place for everything... and that says a lot since I coupon and gather things in quantity regularly.

But I have a couple complications: 1) I strongly dislike my house looking like the kids have taken over and 2) my space is very limited.  Therefore, I have to be creative about where things are stored.


I put extra diapers and wipes under the steps.


I pull out my bathroom cabinet drawers and store things in the gap behind the drawer.



Underbed storage is fair game.
Yes, we added "spacers" so that this drawer would fit under our bed.  The drawers are on casters and they were free.  Whatever works!


This might be my first "series".  Stay tuned for more.
 



Magic Bag

I'm like a plastic grocery bag. I have tremendous capacity. I'm versatile. I'm useful.  I'm adaptable.

After a while, though, a bag wears out. Time and heavy loads degrade the bag.  A hole here, an over-stretch there, and then the smallest burden makes the bag burst open and spill its contents all over the floor.  

"Why did those dirty clothes make the bag break?  They're just dirty clothes." 

The analogy stops there, you can replace a bag... I, however, am irreplaceable and will NOT pick up dog poop.  

But imagine if plasic bags could magically be renewed, healed. Once the contents of the bag have been vomitted everywhere, the bag is restored to pervious capacity and can - at least for a while - carry the weight of the world.

That's right, I'm a Magical Bag.   

Friday, May 18, 2012

Talking to myself

I admit it. I talk to myself. Aloud. Often.

Sure, the kids can listen in - they are my most frequent companions - but, as is common, they have tuned out the sound of my voice. It's remarkable, really.

But today, I'm talking to myself. Aloud. On the world wide web.

I let you in on these little conversations because I'm too chicken to pick up the phone and tell just one person that I feel sorry for myself today.

There.

I said it.

Come on over to the Pity Party.

Today is the last MOPS of the year. It starts in 15 minutes. And I'm at home in my pjs surrounded by munchkins in their pjs and the mess they create.

I feel guilty for complaining (and crying) because I'm home for a darn good reason: Kyle has a job.

What does that have to do with it? 

We haven't been able to fix the car - the shame of the neighborhood - that has been on blocks since a selectively forgotten time in 2009.

You know how it is: the stars of time AND money rarely align.

So he has the family car - a situation that neither one of us is particularly fond of - to go to work and provide for our family, and I'm home without a car.

I'm sans transportation in a society where the love affair with our cars is 100+ years old. I've had a car since I was 16. I hardly remember life before motorized independence. Well, the one exception is my 6 month stint in Central Asia, but that wasn't this restrictive.  In Kyrgyzstan, any car with an open seat - or lap - was a taxi for hire and buses came every half hour - give or take two hours.  There is no public transit in my bustling metropolis of 3,500 people.  Even if there was... 5 kids on a bus?  Um. No.

I keep reminding myself that it's Date Night, but each sibling scuffle and kidlet cry is like lemon juice in the papercut of disappointment.  Get me out of this house.  And it's hard to keep perspective.  They need to get out too so cabin fever is in full effect AND it's dreary outside.  See... this is one heck of a Pity Party.

It's not like I don't have enough to do to distract and keep me busy for the next two decades, but I don't want to do more laundry, wash more dishes, wipe more noses, organize more drawers, and diaper more bottoms.  

I want to pout. 

I like to do what I'm good at.

I'm a skilled pouter.

At some point, my whining will stop, and I'll make the best of the day because this too shall pass.  And I have so much to be grateful for... like a good reason to repaint my toe nails - Date Night!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

JIT

Here is one more way God has abundantly provided for my family. Someone gave these to our church, and our church - without knowing the need - gave them to us... a giant stash of size 3 diapers for my behemouth of a 5 month old.

Kyle asked me, "Do we need size 3s?" 

Um.  Yeah.

Last week, I noticed our supply was dwindling. I didn't fret, but I know things will still be tight for a while.  Diapers are an expense I'd like to put off until we get a second paycheck (the first one is spoken for) at the first part of July.  

Whatcha bet this is a 6 week supply?  This is what we business folks call a Just In Time (JIT) supply chain.

Ain't God good?


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

There are hundreds of bloggers telling you about their homemade cleaning solutions.  I use them.  Vinegar is my friend.

As I was cleaning my kitchen yesterday morning because a friend was coming over, I noticed the ring of grossness around my burners.  I thought to myself: Ew.  I should clean that.   I decided then and there to do a blog post answering all of your burning questions about which is better: commercial or homemade cleaning supplies.  I know you've been waiting with bated breath for this one...

My gas cooktop.

Here you see my cook top.  It's a lovely 5-burner Dacor that we picked up at a weird little appliance store in the sketch part of Seattle when we were remodeling our kitchen 3 years ago.

On the right:  the Bar Keepers Friend I purchased with a coupon a few weeks ago.  My mother-in-law swears by it.

On the left: I wanted to compare the BKF to an oldie but goodie - Baking Soda.  Those geniuses over at Dwight & Church Co., Inc have made millions and millions selling sodium bicarbonate for - seriously I just looked it up - over 150 years! 

I tried to be as scientific as possible...

Sprinkled powders.

Made a paste using identical brushes.



I then employed my secret ingredient: Elbow Grease.  I scrubbed for at least 30 seconds, maybe 45.  I wound up using a Scotch Brite sponge and I wiped it down with a wet cloth.  The results are as follows...

Drum roll please...

Bar Keepers Friend result.

Baking Soda result.

As you can see, the difference is negligible (to be fair, the Bar Keepers burner was a lot dirtier).  So save your pennies and use Baking Soda (for most things).  I'll let you know when I find something only Bar Keepers Friend can clean.
And lest you think I spend my whole day cleaning...  I'd much rather blog about cleaning than actually clean.
Ugh.
Of course, it's not like I get to clean after all, I looked out the window to find that my wee children had turned the wheel barrow into a swimming pool.  Kudos for creativity. 

mmm... tetanus bath.

PS... I will most likely blog about cleaning a few more times.  My mother-in-law will be here in t-minus 25 - nope, make that 24 days (but who's counting?). 


UPDATE:  Seriously, 5 minutes after I took the picture of the sink, Kyle sent me a text that he was on his way home.  I did not get that text until just now... he's already 20 minutes into his 45 minute commute and the house is a disaster and I gardened since my last shower.  *scramble*

Bigger and Better

Well, "my" dishes were gone. I didn't cry... too much.

I do wonder what my next dishes will look like.

Friday, May 11, 2012

*kick kick*




Last Friday, I went to pick up Kyle from work. We stopped at JCPenny on our way back to look for some additional work clothes for him on their bi-monthly markdown day.  While we were there, I wandered through the home department looking for a steal of a deal on an iron.  I didn't find one.

What I did find was even better... Fiesta dinnerware.  Square place settings of Fiesta marked down to $4 per setting.  My best guess is that someone ordered them online then returned them to the store and the store wanted their shelf space back.  There were probably 20 place settings in an array of colors: red, yellow, orange, and a cute Mexican print.

It gave me pause, but I've been in the "I have no money" mindset so long that I didn't see the bigger picture.  These place settings retail for $25 and I found them on ebay for $35.  If nothing else, I could've hocked them and made a profit.  But, much to my eternal shame, I didn't buy them.

I didn't buy them?  *kick myself*

Really, I didn't buy them? *kick kick*

*kick kick*

I was telling my mom this story last night, and you'd think a puppy had died... we were both almost in tears.  I wish I was kidding.

I could've had service for 12 for $48!  Service for 12.
 
So today, I asked Kyle to stop back by JCPenny.  I have not had 24 hours without thinking about those silly dishes.  Keep in mind, the service for 8 I bought 3 years ago is already down to 60% of the original set.  But this stuff comes with a 5 year chip-warranty.

Did I mention that they were only $4?  $48 for service for 12!!!!!  AND a chip warranty!!!!!
I didn't buy them? *kick kick*
So I opened my mouth to whisper a prayer... for dishes.  Say what?


Well, I started to open my mouth to whisper a prayer for dishes, and I stopped.

I stopped because I think it's kind of irreverent to ask The Creator of Heaven and Earth for dishes.  Isn't He a little preoccupied with... something?  But then I remembered the ties.  The Creator of Heaven and Earth saw fit to align the stars for Kyle to have a lovely tie collection, why wouldn't The Lover of my Soul align the stars for me to have a lovely set of dishes too?

So, I did it.  I said (and I'm saying it again right now as I type it),

"Dear Jesus, You are so good.  It seems silly to ask for something so simple yet I know You are in every detail of my life.  Could You please keep everyone else from buying my dishes - since You are outside of time - and save them for me?  It would bless me immensely and bring glory to Your Name as I serve delicious food on beautiful place settings for years to come.  Of course, if they are gone, I trust wholeheartedly that You have something even more beautiful in mind for me.  And I really look forward to that surprise!"


Stay tuned...

Ties

I posted this on Facebook, but it's totally blog worthy and since I referenced this in a blog I just wrote, I ought to put it here too...

A little over a month ago, my Dad was cleaning out items he had in storage for almost 6 years.  He sent most of it to Goodwill and kept only a few things including a large collection of ties.  Three weeks ago, Kyle accepted a job and found out the dress code is white shirts and ties.  Five days after Kyle started his job, Dad came for a visit.  He brought those ties.

You say coincidence, I say God loves blessing His kids!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Motherhood

A friend of mine just told me that she had finally gotten past not wanting to be a Mom. Mother's Day is this Sunday, and let's be honest, being a Mom isn't always glamorous or fulfilling or rewarding or fun. Sometimes, I don't even think it's bearable, personally.

This is her first child, but I vividly remember that day in my journey.  I couldn't tell you the exact date but it was sometime in the 14 months after Korynne was born and before my new kitchen (I was standing in my old kitchen for this "aha" moment).  I had 2 small children. At most, Seth was 2, Korynne was 1, and I was pregnant with Jenna.  But it was probably in the time before I was pregnant with our 3rd, and I had a non-walker and a babe in arms.

I remember thinking: I don't want this life. I don't want to be a Mom.

I'm not sure where I would've gone. Anywhere but here. Then the thought occurred to me:  Where would I be if not here? 

I wouldn't be a wife or a Mom. 

I probably started talking to myself out loud:  If I weren't a wife and a Mom, I would be working. 

I would be working and looking for a husband. 

I would be working and looking for a husband so I could be a Mom. 

If I weren't where I am today, I would be trying to get where I already am. 

Since I am where I want to be, I ought to put on my big girl panties and make the best of it.

Sure, it's not as glorious as I had imagined... some sort of Pottery Barn catalog photo... but it's what I want. It's my life.  It's the realization of my girlhood fantasies.  And I have been blessed beyond measure.

You know, once I had that pep talk with myself, that was it. I realized I was in it for the long haul. I reference that realization on the days where I feel like I'm spinning my wheels.  And, fortunately, I haven't despaired quite like I did that particular day when I was almost ready to run away.

My friend, Happy Mother's Day!  You're doing a great job.  Keep it up. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Socks

I don't like socks. I don't like wearing socks. I don't like folding socks. I don't like putting socks away.

Socks stink.

I procrastinate with many household chores.  Mainly, unloading the dishwasher and folding socks. These two chores give me no satisfaction of a job well done.  The sink is full before the dishwasher finishes, and I can never match up all the socks.  I feel like an utter failure.  Not only that, but socks make me feel stupid!  If I can't figure out which sock belongs with another, how can I expect my 3 year old to help?

Who needs that sort of discouragement!?!?!  Life is too short for downers like a box full of lonely socks!  Have you ever noticed how they breed like rabbits? 

When my kids are older, I will delegate. Until then, I will whine like a little girl (I've been taking lessons from the 3 and 4 year olds).

 


Friday, May 4, 2012

Preemptive

Here we are. It's Friday, and the weekend is upon us.  It's been fun to see Kyle put a tie on everyday. 

But let's be honest: I'm tired.

I shouldn't complain because most parents of young children are sleep deprived (like my friend who got in on the passenger side of her car yesterday and waited and waited until her 3 year old offered to drive). But you sort of adapt to what your normal is.

This is my new normal.  I have not adapted.  I'm not very fond of it yet.

In preparation for what I knew would be a rough morning, I preemptively made my bed today. I make it everyday, but this morning I knew that it would give me pause - it looks so pretty when it's made - before I let Dora babysit and catch a few more precious minutes of sleep. 

Instead of curling up with my head gently resting on my pillow basking in the peace of dear-to-my heart sleep, I'm disgruntledly - is that a word? - how do you pronounce it: dis-gruntle-ed-ly? disgruntled-ly - whatever.  I'm bitterly hanging on to my coffee mug for dear life, wondering: Why did I sabbotage myself like this?    

Grrr...


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Observations

As you know, Kyle started his new job yesterday. I have already made a few observations about this new season:

The inventor of "delay brew" deserves a Pulitzer.

Our house is, in fact, small. That is why our children get up as soon as our feet hit the floor (or when Kyle violently throws clean cutlery into the drawer).

I like coffee.

5:30 evil (you can call it "am" if you want to) is EARLY.  I didn't know that before because I only knew about one 5 o'clock hour in the day. I was better off in ignorance.

Coffee is like volume control. The more I drink, the quieter the kids seem to be.

Children under the age of 6 who are eating buttered noodles for dinner as Daddy arrives home from work should wash their hands before greeting him. This is to minimize laundry and extend the life of his pants.

Decaf coffee is like dry water... what's the point?

The table top ironing board I received as a gift upon graduating from high school was ideal for ironing three times a year. It is, however, insufficient now that I'm using spray starch (the same can I bought upon graduating from high school) on white cotton dress shirts.  I will find it a new home unlike The Betrayer, that is, the Mr. Coffee from the same era.

Coffee is the nectar of life.


If I have more hours in the day (because I get up earlier), I get to do things I like... I like to blog! 

With enough coffee, I could rule the world.
http://www.etsy.com/listing/90749402/with-enough-coffee-i-could-rule-the