Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Mittens, mittens everywhere...

When you live in a cold climate, you might as well embrace it.

These were the mittens I made for Christmas presents. (Alas, the tinsel & coat hangers did not work out so I tried these instead.)


We had a nice Christmas over here. Little bit different than we're used to, but good. Had the last of our Christmas parties last night and the tree will come down today.


Here is another one of the projects I did:
I knew a special little girl was asking for Mia for Christmas and I couldn't resist. I've never sewn doll clothes before, so this was new- and so much fun. Now, to make some for Lydia's dolls...
I'm still borrowing my Mom's sewing machine and now I'm inspired to get going on some curtains for my living room. One of the shades is quite mangled and broken- doesn't even pull up and down anymore. Yet, each morning I take the thing down, stuff it under the couch, and each evening I put it back up. I refuse to buy a new one for temporary purposes because then I'll never get the curtains made. Hah!

Today is the first real quiet day since Christmas Eve. And, I'm soaking it up. The kids are happily playing- still highly entertained by their presents, and I made extra coffee because I have a fun new cup to use. Yep, my sister- actually both- gave me new coffee cups for Christmas. I guess I whined loud enough when I broke this one!
Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to all! May this season
be a joyful time for
you and your family!
And special wishes for a happy Christmas to my family in C & B! I wish I could be there with all of you (or that you could be here with all of us?). I'll be missing you!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

And, while the world was covered in a blanket of white outside...

My dear children were busy making the inside was just as snowy and white!
I opened the door to Jack's bedroom and was met with a nice pile of "snow" all over the floor, the rug, the space heater, the rocking chair...
...the toys...


Then, I moved on to Lydia's room... And found more. All over the rug again, her clothes...


...the CD player...



And, so... Should you like to create an indoor snow scene inside your house, just pick up a bottle of baby powder, hand it to your kids and let them go at it. It really is quite festive, I think. And it does make for a lovely aroma throughout the house.
As I was gritting my teeth, trying to control my anger, I sent both kids to their beds. Jack, sitting in his crib told me, "All done crying, mom," in hopes of getting out. "Ha," I replied, "I'm not done crying. Your staying put, pal."
Lydia's response? "Santa will still come, right mom?"
Hmmm. Let me think about that one for a bit, please.



Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Pinata


Every year at our annual family Christmas party, we have a pinata for the kids. If you've never done this before, I highly reccomend it- it's extremely entertaining. Picture this scene: fifty or so kids crowded around a paper mache Snowman head hanging from a broom stick, and a two year old with a hockey stick. Actually it's not the two year old that scares me, it's the eight year old with wild, gleaming eyes, a sugar-high from frosted cookies, and a plastic bag for gathering loot shoved in his back pocket that makes me want to pull out my camera and run for cover at the same time. To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever gotten seriously hurt. Yet.

So, the kids are given Walmart bags that have their names written on them in black marker. These things are like gold to them- they are very careful to inspect them- making sure they've received the right bag and that no holes exist in the bottom. Then, there's always some shouting and arguing as the kids are told to line up from younest to oldest (we draw the line somewhere around the age of 12, I believe). The one year old who can barely stand is handed the hockey stick or wooden spoon or whatever the weapon of the year is. Each kid gets one or two hits, and as the stick gets handed further down the line the volume in the room increases with age. By the time the older boys get ahold of the thing, the moms are yelling out warnings, "Stand back! Watch where you're swinging! Move away!". The one or two year olds are hiding their faces in their dad's shoulders- appaled that they were expected to take place in such behavior. It's like a feast for wild dogs. The moms stand on edge certain someone is going to be missing a tooth or an eye before it's all said and done.

Then, one lucky kid breaks it open and out spills a mass of candy and cheap trinkets. The moms who can now breathe a slight sigh of relief with the weapon forgotten, dump out more bags of stuff that wouldn't fit into the pinata. Kids are scrambling everywhere- no one worries about gender specific items like headbands or matchbox cars- there's plenty of time to negotiate trades later. When the last pencil is snatchted up, the kids retreat to various corners of the room to spill out their loot and begin the trading process.

This tradition has been around since long before I can remember. Growing up, I participated in my share of pinatas. As an adult, it's easy to think little things like this aren't that important, but they are. Sure- most of the stuff eventually ends up lost, tossed, or forgotten. But in that moment, for that short time, it is pure excitement. A tradition that will hopefully continue to live on in our family. Some things are just too good to let go!

Monday, December 15, 2008

True Happiness

As I'm sitting here, kids in bed, husband outside- battling the snow with a snowblower that doesn't sound as though it wants to cooperate- I'm so thankful. I'm feeling so content being here in our little home. Yesterday, Ryan and I went out of town for the night with some friends. We had a great time away: quick, yet enjoyable. Such a breath of fresh air to spend some time with other adults.

Yet, driving back tonight, I realized how happy I was to be coming home. Could be the Christmas season and the need to be near my family, or maybe it was the raging snow storm we had to drive in for the last hour of the trip. Whatever the real reason, I feel as though I can appreciate the quick trip away for what it was while looking forward to tomorrow and spending the day at home with my kids.

Sometimes, I get too caught up in worry. I worry what tomorrow will bring or what the next year has in store. My thoughts start to snowball and pretty soon I'm worrying about things that are so far beyond my control. It takes a lot of strength sometimes to remember life will work it's way out. I hear constant news of people losing jobs, clinging to jobs that are hanging by a thread, and it's scary. We're met everyday with news of hard times, rough patches, uncertainty. And it can add up- leaving a pit of doubt and fear within us.

Yet, it's Christmas. It doesn't matter what the situation of the world may be- or whether we feel sad or content- because it's Christmas. The most beautiful time of the year because of the real reason we celebrate. And, remembering that first Christmas eases fears, crosses out doubt, and refills my heart with joy and happiness. Worry is waste of precious time, ungrounded fears are usually far beyond our control. And as this Christmas nears, I feel such peace in knowing- we are so blessed. There is so much beyond our control and so many worries that can keep us awake at night... Yet, right here- in the quiet comfort of my home- I can put that aside and be thankful.

Whether you are in high spirits this season- humming along to Christmas carols, lining up rows of cookies on cooling racks on the counter- or feeling weary instead- strained from having too much to do, sad in knowing you will not be able to be near family- hold onto the real meaning of Christmas. Let your heart remember all that it is thankful for. And share that joy. Because that's what it's really about.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Random Thoughts

  • I think I have found the cure for freezing cold feet. Seriuosly. Right now, my feet are sighing a sigh of pure content as they are shoved inside my mammoth crocs. These sweet things were an early birthday present and I can tell they will getting hours of use during this chilly winter. I'm kind of like a little kid with a new toy today.
  • I'm feeling like I might be starting to maybe, uh, fall behind. Ahem. I was being so calm and relaxed this past week- trying out my new "doesn't really matter attitude". I think I took that relaxation a little far because I'm just ever so slightly coming to realize my list of things to do has not gotten any shorter this week.
  • My Christmas cards are still sitting in a pile atop the cabinet in the living room. Still unsigned. Still unadressed. Will they make it out before Christmas? It remains to be seen.
  • Speaking of Christmas cards- I love getting the mail this time of year and seeing how everyone's families are growing, changing, adding on. But, I'm slightly overwhelemed becuase it seems it is no longer acceptable to have one decent picture. It now appears that you need two or three or four??! In other respects- I did follow suit and do a collage card- and spent way too much time finding the pictures for it, I might add.
  • The baby is teething... And that pretty much sums up that one.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I've been tagged.

Okay. Six things about me that you might not know?

1) I hide things under my couches and in clothes baskets when people are coming to visit. That's not all. Dirty dishes? In the stove. Dirty clothes? In the toybox. It's almost a game trying to figure out where I can stash stuff in a moment's notice.

2) I require just the right amount of half-n-half in my coffee. Too much is disguisting because it gets all cold, too little is blah. And my coffee needs to be steaming hot. Sometimes I pour my coffee from the pot into my cup and put it directly in the microwave to heat it up.

3) I never, ever, ever, ever remember people's birthdays. I hate it. It's like an illness. I always remember the next day, or a week later, or whenever. Never remember to get a card in the mail on time, never remember to call. Oh, and presents? I've been known to finally deliver them months after the fact. And then when poeple remember mine I feel really, really guilty.

4) I'm not a morning person. I function best at about 11 p.m. That's when I like to work on projects, write, whatever. Mornings are really bright and loud (perhaps directly related to the fact that I stay up way too late.)

5) My favorite place in the world is my parent's camp. There's kids running everywhere, sand on the floors, a fire in the sauna stove, and blueberry pie in the kitchen. And who could possibly need more?

6) I love duct tape and hot glue. Amazing products. Yes, my sisters taught me well.

So. Now I have to tag six people to blog about six things people may not know about you. (Sorry if you've already been tagged somewhere else.) I'm going to tag: Karen, Megan, Tina, Heidi, Aleena, and Becky S. Have fun!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Quiet morning

Quiet, rare, morning over here today. Because I have massages to do this morning, I woke up with an alarm instead of with Hannah. And now I'm all ready to go and the only one up with me is Lydia. I really should do this more often. Mornings are such a peaceful time- if done properly. (i.e. Getting up before the kids- not getting dragged out of bed by them saying, "MOM! It's morning time! Wake up, Mo-om!")

I'm feeling content this morning. Every year it seems I get so caught up in searching for the right presents for people that Christmas sneaks right up one me and I feel as though I've hardly enjoyed the season for what it really should be. Typically, I get stressed with all the things to be done- and even more stressed that I'm letting presents stress me out. It's a bad, bad cycle. I'm learning to do things differently this year. I kept the shopping minimal this year- and did some online- and what a difference it makes. (Duh.)

My one trip to the stores had me running for cover. I was pushing my cart slowly down the aisle in one over-crowded store the day after Thanksgiving when I noticed a woman up ahead talking to friends. Her back was to me so I was watching her cautiously in case she should decide to step backwards. Of course, right as I was directly behind her she did just that and stepped backwards- right into the front of my cart. Naturally, I appologized. Yet, she turned around and gave me an awful glare as if I had been tearing down the asile like a mad-woman with my only goal to run her down. Later, standing in line, some guys behind me had decided they were somehow elite and able to skip to the front of the line. No one said anything to them and they thought they were pretty smart. People like that scare me more than anything: so focused on being first, getting the best.

This year- I'm enjoying December. Enjoying keeping old traditions and starting new ones. Appreciating how blessed we are. It's much better this way. I hope you too are staying calm (and sane) and remembering the real reason we celebrate Christmas.

Have a wondeful Tuesday.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Tinsel & Coat Hangers

At last, Christmas break has arrived. And I- amazingly- survived the semester. Up until this point, school has honestly not been too bad. In fact it has often been a welcome break. However, sometimes- every once and awhile- I would find I was holding my breath. Letting the little things build up, turning the little things into big things. So, by the end of this semester I realized how in need of a break I really am. Five weeks off. The longest break I've had since starting school last year. I think maybe I'll practice learning to breathe again.

I'm looking forward to the next few weeks. There' so much to be done... yet... I'm anticipating it- not stressing about it like I have some years. (I'm really putting an effort into this relaxing thing.) I'm making some presents this year- and all I'll say is- it's so much fun! No, really. It's amazing what one can do with the odd shaped junk-piles in one's cluttered craft room. Hah. Now you're picturing me holding up a wire coat hanger, 1/2 a ball of tangled yarn, and a strand of gold tinsel straight out of 1979 going, "Yes!! I know what I can do with this!" Hey. You never know.

So. Monday tomorrow. For the first time in awhile I will be looking forward to my Monday. I think I'll just jump right into my homeade Christmas concoctions. Goal for tomorrow? Wrap said tinsel around said coat hangers. I think I've got a pretty good start on this. It's gonna be swell.

Monday, November 24, 2008

For my not-so-little little girl

Today, Lydia turned four years old. (But, according to her she won't be four until tomorrow. Her party is tomorrow.) And, yes, she's having a party. Just a little one with three of her cousins, but in her mind it's the biggest bash of the year. She's been planning it since May when she went to one of her cousin's birthday parties. And... Part of me was thinking- she's too young for a party. She can wait till she's in school. And then I realized that life is way too short not to celebrate things like birthday parties. A fun afternoon with her cousins? What could be better.

At 4, Lydia is energy. She loves to run. Runs laps around the couch endlessly- instructing me to cheer, of course. Wakes up early, always asks where we're going today.

She can be a good helper- watches out for her little sister with such care, but has enough spunk in her for the three of them combined.

And she's drama. Lately she loves everything. Everyone. Every toy. Just loves them.

She is imagination. And I, of course, am fascinated how everything comes to life with her.

She is my cheerleader. It all started around the time of Mark & Emily's wedding. She was a flower girl and was swinging her little bouquet around when one of the heads fell off the tulip. It's okay, she quickly assured us, don't worry about it. And that's what she always tells me when something goes wrong- don't worry about it, mom. It will be fine. And, how true that is.

She is understanding. She loves her cousin Travis and wants him to stay for her birthday... Yet, when it's time for him to leave she yells from the kitchen, "See-ya, Travis!" then runs in the living room to play.

She is short tempered (like her mom), and determined (like her dad).

She is the first to remind me she's not little. Jack's little, Hannah's little, but she most definetly is not little. She's a big girl, the big sister, but to me... she will always be my little girl.

Happy Birthday, Lydia.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Dashing though the Snow

Dashing through the house
In a very frenzied state
O’er the mess I go
Cringing all the way
Baby starts to cry
Supper starts to burn
Don’t know if I should laugh or cry
Or even be concerned

Oh, winter time, winter time
The kids are running wild
The snow falls down, all around
And I’m trying hard to smile
Winter time, winter time
Christmas will soon be here
Runny noses, missing boots
Almost brings me to tears

A day or two ago,
I thought we’d take a ride
It took us at least an hour
Just to get outside
The mittens, they were lost
One jacket wouldn’t zip
Soon everyone was crying
And I thought I might flip

Oh, winter time, winter time
The van was in a drift
Locks were frozen, hands were numb,
My thoughts began to shift
Count to ten, then count again
Not ready for this snow
The kids are yelling from the porch
They just want to go, OH!

Winter time, winter time
Love this time of year
Tell myself to just relax
As through the snow I steer
Oh, winter time, winter time
Another snowy morn
It’s just begun, another one
And I’m already worn.

Haven't gone MIA. Yet.

Really, I'm still here. Just haven't posted for awhile because life is catching up with me at the moment. Or I'm trying to catch up with life? End of the semester rolling in, tests, final clinicals, a craft show this weekend, and a slight addiction to watching eBay auctions (and losing because I have this idea that I'm somehow entitled to this awesome deal on bitty baby twins).

And, in case you live in some sort of bubble and are not aware- or you live somewhere where the temperature never goes below 65 (in which case I'd gladly trade places with you), the snow is here to stay. It's a mixture of feelings for me. Pretty, yes. A pain, no-kidding.

It's well into the morning and there's way too much to get done today. And something loud just crashed upstairs. Ah, Tuesday.

Monday, November 10, 2008

There's got to be a better solution

If you've ever dropped by my house unannounced, you might have wished you hadn't. Now... I always welcome unannounced visitors- don't want to scare anyone off- but you know those days when you'd like to throw a stack of disclaimers in the front porch that requires a signiture before entry? Something that states, Whatever I find inside this house, I will not disclose to any third parties. On any given day- that's me.

However. Today... (and maybe not three hours from now...) but right now at this moment- I'd like to hang a sign on my porch that says "Unnanounced visitors welcome." They thought that election last week was so historical? Well, this tops it. My house is unnatrually clean. This happens so rarely.

Of course, a few days from now when things are back to normal someone will stop by and I'll be scarmbling around the living room in my pajamas when Lydia announces, "Mom? Someone's coming here." Oh. And for the next thirty seconds I'll tear through the living room grabing anything in my sight while shouting orders to the kids to please do something!

Ah, it never fails. Not that I think flying around the living room on a rampage is going to convince anyone about to walk through those doors that I don't live in complete chaos... Nor do I believe that if someone did come over today they would honestly believe that's the way I live. That can no longer be disguised.

I never learn. Take the time about a year ago for exmple. Outside, the gas company was putting in new lines or something. It would stand to reason that any normal person might assume that they would need to come in the house... but me? Oh, no. Until the man knocks on my door and tells me he needs to go in the basement to shut the gas off. So, okay, the basement is not my territory, but still. I usher him to the basement steps only to discover the top step is so covered in junk it's nearly impossible to get past. And as I survey the rest of the stairs I discover that it's nothing more than an ankle-twisting narrow trail. Ugh. He went on his way and I hoped he'd make it out in one peice. A few minutes later, he returns and tells me he needs to check the gas stove in the kitchen. Haha. I'm sure I stood there stammering something like, "Uh. The kitchen... Um. Really? Like. Right now?" In my head I was mentally recalling the pot of cream of wheat that had boiled over, the cheerios that were litering the floor- crunching under every step. Ugggggh.

And, as I'm writing this, I know, I just know there are some who can relate and then there are some going, "Uh... Hm. Never seemed to have that problem."And then there are others who would just never admit it. I know you're out there. Or maybe that's just what I try to make myself think to feel better. Sigh. Such is life.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What I really meant to say...

I had a post all typed up. It had my true feelings about yesterday's election in it. And I even posted it for a few minutes. And then I deleted it. Because I have never gotten into politics on this blog (a decision I made months ago) and I decided right now is not the time to start.

The election is over, today is a new day. The sun forced it's way through gray clouds for a few mintues this morning- it's still there. The kids made me laugh today when we were eating lunch. My daughter looked at fish in Wal-Mart with her grandpa this afternoon. I talked to my sister on the phone this morning. My little boy gave me a hug a few minutes ago as he left for the grocery store with his dad. The point is: life goes on. We make the best out of the situation we are given and we go on.

And we are thankful for what we do have in this temporary life.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

After the Candy Attack

We took the kids to all of about 7 houses last night, but they got enough from the grandparents for me to raid their pails without feeling guilty.

As we got home last night, Lydia says, "I see candy when I close my eyes."

... And there you have it: a sucessfull night of trick-or-treating for a three-year-old.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Before the Sugar-high

It's October 31st and we've got one reluctant horse, a third-year-in-a-row butterfly, and the sweetest little pumpkin all set to gather treats over here. I'm excited to see the sun shining outside because Halloween seems to have a reputation of rain and high winds in this neck of the woods. Perhaps this year we'll actually be able to walk through the neighborhood. Who would have thought?

Yesterday Ryan, Lydia, and I cleaned up the backyard while the other two were napping. Put away the sandbox toys, brought the bikes down the basement, surrendered to the changing of seasons yet again. The yard is neat and tidy now but it looks lonely. The sandbox is just a heap of cold sand- no trucks parked in lazy rows, no colorful buckets turned upside down and sideways. The picnic table is put away leaving just a patch of dead grass where it stood. And standing there after it was all cleaned up I felt quiet inside- missing the long summer days. Looking at Lydia she didn't seem to mind that summer and now fall nearly as well had passed. Kids have such a good perspective: live for right here, right now.

So quickly the seasons change, turning faster, faster, leaving glimpses of each one in our memories. It was only a blink or two ago that I was luggging a pillowcase of candy around town with my friends on a Halloween night-then thinking we were so brilliant as weighed our candy on the bathroom scale. Seasons come and go, time passes, we get older, but we never really change.

This Halloween- I'm happy to say I still feel like a kid. And I hope you're feeling the same. It makes life much more entertaining. And so much easier to watch the seasons change.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Make-believe fights and Sleepless Nights

Today is about cleaning corners. It has come to my recent attention that this house has been in neglect for far too long. The pile on top of the piano is looking so dangerous I forbid the kids to play within a three foot radius in the event everything should decide to come tumbling down like a landslide. Similar situations have arisen around the house. So, alas, I cannot put this off any longer.

But, wait. Hold that thought. There seems to be some excitement coming from the other end of the living room. It appears as though the argument is about who should go let the imaginary friend in the door. Lydia's trying to convince Jack, "Please, will you go open the door for my friend?" And Jack is holding his ground, shaking his head, slugging his juice. Finally she gets up to go "answer the door" and determines, "Oh, she already came in." I think sometimes they invent arguments just to confuse me. It's all part of a plot, I'm sure of it.

Happily, the baby is back to herself this morning. It took her three days to recover from the wild weekend. I think she needs to learn a thing or two about girl's weekends. See, she was under the impression that she needed to stay awake for the entire thing. Even the nights. I tried to inform her we needed to recharge our batteries so we could make the most out of the daylight hours but she seemed a bit confused. She also decided it would be a fine time to be shy when there were seven other pairs of arms willing to hold her. I'm curious if there was a conversation that took place between her & her dad before we left. I imagine it had something to do with tiring mom out so that she had no energy left to spend money. Or something. Just speculating, that's all.

But, here it is- quarter to eleven already. L & J have retreated upstairs, slammed the door to her room, and become suspiciously quiet. I'm weighing my options: go check and risk disrupting the peace? Or pretend I don't notice and then kick myself later when I find they've unrolled toilet paper all over the room and are proceeding to color themselves with markers? Ah, decisions. In true slacker-mom style: I'll chose the later. For a few more minutes of peace and quiet.

Monday, October 27, 2008

What goes through their little brains?

Me (lazy because it's Monday and Ryan's gone to class): What do you guys want for supper?
Lydia: Um... A surprise maybe?
Me: Hm. Well. How about a frozen pizza?
Lydia (wrinkling up her nose, shaking her head): Nah.
Me: Why not frozen pizza?
Lydia: I don't like pizza frozen. I like warmed up pizza.

I can only imagine what she was thinking. Ice chunks hanging off the mozzerella, solid sauce and a rock hard frozen crust. I think I'll take mine warmed up as well, thank-you very much.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

And so on, and so forth

  • The plan was to wake up early.
  • Like 6 a.m. early so I could get a start on all the things I need to get accomplished today.
  • Before the kids woke up
  • (I'm going with my sisters & mom & some neices on our anual weekend tomorrow.)
  • The plan (to wake up early, that is) fizzled
  • It's now 9:25 and I've managed to a) wake up b) feed two of the kids and c) plop myself into this chair to drink some coffee.
  • Oops
  • What about that third kid, you ask?
  • I'm not really sure to tell you the truth
  • Moving right along, now...
  • In other news: we have punk-men at our house (formerly known as pumpkins)
  • I'm not correcting the pronunciation- I'll do that next year.
  • For now it just makes me laugh everytime she says it: Are we going to the same punk-man patch we went to last year? Mom, I want this punk-man... MOM! Jack broke my punk-man!!
  • Oops
  • Any tips on re-attaching a stem to the top of a punk-man?
  • I'm feeling slightly guilty that I'm escaping for another weekend in less than a month's time.
  • Okay, okay. Not really.
  • Just thought I should put that in there to make it sound like I'm nicer than I am.
  • I'm little kid-giddy right now to see my sister & nieces tomorrow
  • And... Moving right back to that to-do list...
  • Right after I get that third kid some breakfast
  • And then, right after another cup of coffee
  • Why, oh, why am I always talking about going to get another cup of coffee?
  • I never fail to mention it.
  • It's like I can't live without it or something
  • Hah.

Monday, October 20, 2008

How To Magically Be A Better, More Productive, Nicer, Happier, More-Perfecter Mom

When Lydia was a baby I subscribed to a parenting magazine. I suppose I must have seen an issue with something like "How to get your baby to stop crying tonight" printed on the cover with a picture of a smiling, chubby baby dressed in an adorable little velvet dress and thought it was the manual the hospital forgot to give me. More than likely I was still in that new-mom stage of thinking. You know the stage- starts as your about to leave the hospital? The nurse comes in, takes the baby's security tag off of her ankle and says, "Okay, I'll walk down with you now." And suddenly panic starts to bubble up, and all you can think is, they can't let me go home yet. Seriously. Wait...really? They're just going to let me... leave? Are they sure they don't need one more set of vitals or something?

The stage that lasts a week or two. Or three or more. The one that finds you complaining how hard it is to get out of the house with a new baby to your sister-in-laws who politely smile and nod while their own six or seven kids run around at the family Christmas party. The same stage where someone says, "Oh, I was ready to leave the hospital hours after he was born." And you gulp and agree becasue you think that you must be a bad, bad mom if you didn't experience the same distaste to the safe, secure walls of your protected hospital room.

Somewhere in that quesy-nervous-stomach, sleepless-night stage a wave of weakness settles in. You stumble across something that might help you through- and you grab it up. In my case it was ordering (aparently) a lifetime supply of this magazine. Lydia will be four in November and this thing Never. Stops. Coming. Not kidding. I just got my November issue today. This must have been a whopper of a deal or something becasue I really only signed up once.

Every month it shows up in my mailbox promising me awful, untrue things like how I can trick my kids into eating more vegetables or how to have a relaxing meal. (Uh. Leave kids with sitter and go out to eat? Even I can figure that one out.) And the funny thing is- after you've read 6 months of it, the articles begin to repeat themselves. Same information- the words are just jumbled around and an even better more promising title is plastered across the front cover. Whew. It exhausts me just to read about all the things I should be doing. I should be buying organic foods. I should have gotten rid of Jack's plug-go at 9 months not 29 months. I should never sleep my baby on her tummy. Just reading it makes me feel lazy.

Now, I'm not saying there's never any good advice or that I have better solutions. Trust me, I don't have a clue what I'm doing. I'm just saying reading it makes me feel winded, exhausted, out-of-breath. It's a workout in itself to read about what good moms do.

So with that being said, please excuse me while I pour myself a cup of coffee and sit down to my most current issue. I'm off to learn how to get my kids to stay at the dinner table longer. They say I should give him a napkin to tear into little pieces or ask him to sit on my lap. Um. I don't even have a comment for that one.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ugh. Seriously?

A few nights ago, Jack got sick. I wasn't home at the time- the kids were left with my neice (poor girl). Ryan arrived home shortly after the kid threw up all over the place. By the time I arrived home, the place had been cleaned up. So, I spent the night running into Jack's room and changing the towells spread out on his bed. But that's beside the point.

The point gets much better. Promise. (Just in case you were dozing off at this point). So, fastforward to tonight. We're getting the kids ready for bed, Ryan's goofing around chasing them and making them laugh. Suddenly Lydia starts crying and she says through her tears, "I'm having an accident." She's been so good lately, hasn't had an accident for weeks (it was a bit of an issue for awhile.) Anyways. I reassure her that it's all okay, not to worry about it, we'll get her cleaned up.

So, I bring her into the bathroom and Ryan follows to grab a towell that's hanging over the shower door. "I'll just use this to wipe it up," he says, "It's the same one I used the other night to wipe up Jack's puke."

Okay, so now you know I'm not the most efficient housekeeper. But if you're just figuring that out, then you haven't hung around here long enough. I nearly choked when he said that and then I burst out laughing and said, "That's the towell I used after my shower this morning."

Yep. And that is the way we operate around this place.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A perfect day for a color tour



We went for a beautiful fall color tour on Sunday afternoon. When we stopped at this place, Lydia couldn't believe her good luck. "A road for me to run on!" she exclaimed and proceeded to run up and down it several times. Jack was content to watch for the moment as he was missing his afternoon nap, and Hannah, being the baby, and also missing her nap, didn't even get to get out of the car seat at this stop.

The dry, earthy smell of leaves reminded me of a day several years ago when Ryan & I were not yet married. We went on a color tour that took us all over the place. Skipped school, called in to work, the whole nine yards. Back when gas ran about $1.18 a gallon and time was ours for the taking.

Autumn is such a colorful season. For awhile it seemed that I overlooked fall because I knew winter was coming- but perhaps I've learned a thing or two about time now. Often it feels like we're on a tilt-a-whirl being pulled this direction, then that, then the other way again in a matter of seconds. And it's easy to get caught up in everything that needs to be done, has to be done. Fall does set the stage for winter's entrance, it's obvious. But there's so much beauty in this season- warm golds, rich reds, brilliant crisp oranges- it arrives before the grays and whites of winter in perfect timing. Slips in like a whirlwind, paints an attractive splash of colors across the earth, and slowly fades, leaving memories to unearth next season.

Now, we're making new fall memories. The type that are punctuated by kid's laughter and amazement. Seeing things again through their eyes is what makes it new again. Watching the kids jump in the leaf piles- they didn't know such fun existed- makes me grin. Wasn't that long ago Emily & I were doing the same in her parent's yard. It was a memory I had let slip away slightly, but seeing my kids do the same brought it back.

I realize now, the feeling of running full-speed ahead into a cloud of leaves never really goes away. And even though some days I feel as though I'm running full-speed ahead into complete fog, I just have to remember to land softly like we did back then.

Fall is like life, really: Laugh uncontrollably, run with the wind, squeal in excitement, and watch the eruption of beautiful colors floating around you. It's only here for a short time, so enjoy it. And make some beautiful memories.

Friday, October 10, 2008

There's a storm brewing inside this house

It's one of those mornings...
You know. The type of morning where the kids cannot. stop. fighting. A pull-your-hair-out-why-are-you-acting-like-this-type of morning. The type of morning where suddenly the two year-old needs your help getting up on the couch and the three-soon-to-be-four year old forgets how to put on her pants without whining. It's one of those days where suddenly everything they've been doing independently for past year or so is temporarilly forgotten- resulting in their tears and frustration and this feeling of an odd little bubble rising up inside of me threatening to burst through.

"MOM! I need a pencil!!"
"Jack, get outta my way!"
"Ooowwwww! STOP it!"
"That's MINE!"
"Mom, I wanna do the Berenstein Bears coloring thing. I said I wanna. Why can't I? I wannnnnaa!"

Well. I wanna go back to sleep. I wanna have my house magically clean itself. I wanna have five minutes to sit and not listen to whining. Let's all join in together, shall we? It sounds much better if we all contribute to the tune.

Oh, today is predictable. It's gray and cloudy outside- looking like rain again. And, I hate to sound so eyeore-ish but the mood hanging inside this house is darker than the skies. It's one of those mornings where coffee doesn't cut it, bribery isn't working, and the only thing that might make it better is curling back up under the blankets and getting some more shut-eye. Only... that is no longer an option.

There is one other option that runs a close second. It's top on my list of true confessions from a real slacker mom: find a good book, tune out the chaos, and hope the storm blows over by noon.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I promised I would let you know...

...And even though I'm slightly embarassed to admit it... I've been listening to Christmas music. Once and awhile. I won't go through my disclaimer about why I pull it out so early again. I'll just sheepishly admit that I do. There. Now you know.

The funny thing is: I'm not a fan of winter. By any means. And, I think this house is in agreement on that one. I mentioned something about winter this morning and Lydia said, "NO! Don't say that!" as she ran off into the other room. At three-going-on-four it's pretty easy to be in I'm-going-to-run-away-and-not-listen-and-then-it-won't-be-real-denial. I'm going to join her on the whole winter-idea, I think.

But.. Is anyone else in disbelief that it's Thursday? How could this week go by so fast? I'm really baffled on that one because Monday through Wednesday are just a blur in my mind. I know that I studied. Every. Single. Spare. Minute. For the type of test that leaves you wondering if you had the material right. But, after this week the semester is at it's halfway point. There's a motivating thought.

So that brings me to today. I woke up this morning and thought "Nooo... Can't be Thursday already." It was that same feeling you get when you're driving somewhere and you get there and think, "Yikes. I don't really remember the ride here. Scary." And that's how I feel about this week. As I look around my hosue, I know for sure that nothing got accomplished in those days. The dirty laundry is making a tell-tale trail through the house and I don't recall making supper or if we even ate for the last three days. Yikes.

Such is life: laugh about it or cry about, it still goes on.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Now that was what I call a weekend!

Did I mention I was going to skip town? Well, I did. This weekend. And it was a great time- a long-deserved, enjoyable, fun time with some of my closest friends. Can't beat staying up till 3 a.m. like a bunch of teenagers... only to be reminded at 6:50 a.m. by the baby that I am most definetly not a teenager anymore. Yep, the baby came with me. But she's the easy one so it was not a difficult thing to have her along. (Except, of course when she woke me after four hours of sleep. But, now whose fault was that?)

While I kind of wish it was two days ago, life must go on. Memories are a beautiful thing- and we made some new ones, shared some old ones this weekend. I will long remember this trip, adding it to the scrapbook of memories in my mind. These girls and I? We go way back. We've been with each other from skinned knees and playground swings to first dates, first babies, and first jobs. We don't always get the chance to see one another that often now. There are children and careers and familes and seperate lives that keep us busy. But when the chance comes along to put all that aside for a couple of days and catch up... we jump at it. No matter how much life changes- some things never, ever will. And that's what's so beautiful about old friends, that's what we cling to, that's where we pick up when so much time has passed between visits. And that's why I can't wait till next time I see "my girls" (as Lydia calls them!) again.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Do Wednesdays make you feel claustrophobic?

Mid-week blahs. Yesterday I was so motivated to get things accomplished. I worked on a bag, I cleaned the kitchen, I crammed chunks of ham down the garbage disposal and backed up my sink. Mmph. Don't ever try this. Turns out the little chunks of ham often have big chunks of fat attached to them... And for some reason those chunks of fat just to not do well with the garbage disposal blades. If you should happen to accidentaly do this- don't pour half a bottle of Draino down after it hoping to magically clear the problem. If you do that- don't stand over the sink that is now half full of recycled water and tiny peices of ham, and everything else you shoved down there in the last 24 hours, trying to plunge it out by yourself until your nose is running, your eyes are burning, and your chest is getting tight from the fumes. I'm not saying this is what I did. But. You know- just thought that advice might be helpful if you should ever run into that particular problem.

Ah, today.

Today it's raining. Again. Perfect welcome for October. I don't really mind the rain so much- it makes being indoors feel warm and cozy. But it also has the negetive impact of making me feel attatched to this chair. I did wake up with the intent to make cinnamon rolls... Because it just felt like an October-thing to do. But when I poured the last teaspoons of milk on Lydia's cereal I tossed that idea. Phew. Let off the hook again. There's just no way I'm in the mood to venture out to the grocery store with three kids on a rainy day for milk. We will survive. Even if it means no cinnamon rolls. And my kids sure aren't going to complain if it means an extra cup of juice or two today.

I'll be looking forward to class this evening. Pretty lame when that's my best bet of getting out of the house solo.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Cleaning cupboards leads to unnerving discoveries

I cleaned out my cupboards Saturday. It's safe to say this job is not one that happens very often. There's really no point as far as I can see:

Empty cupboards
Wipe down shelves
Neatly re-align boxes of pasta, cans of tuna, and baby fruit on the shelves
Stand back
Admire
Congratulate self
Realize there's still a pile of stuff lying on the counter
Lose patience
Start cramming the leftover stuff in on top of previously neatly aligned items
Stand back
Cringe

No point. Except I did find one interesting thing. It was almost worth the whole project. I unearthed an extremely detailed set of instructions about what Lydia should eat and do the first time we left her overnight at her grandparents. I had such a good time reading it- the list for what she could have for breakfast was longer than the choices my kids get in an entire day now.

I was standing there reading it, my eyes growing wider by the second, going, "Heyyyy. Good ideaaaa. Cut up apples with her oatmeal. Who would have thought?" Now my kids get two choices: Marshmallow Mateys or Wait-Till-Lunch. I'm starting to sense that I've gone downhill. Lost control, spiraling downward. What was once a healthy, hearty breakfast of oatmeal and fruit is now... sugar coated cold cereal?! And I wonder why my kids act the way they do? I cringe to think of what I'll be doing in all my laziness a few years down the road. I have this sinking vision of me standing there starring blindly into my cupboards that haven't been cleaned since September 2008 going... So. Um. You guys just want some syrup or what?

Ah, well.

Maybe what I should do is begin consulting that list of instructions for ideas. In fact maybe I'll tape it right inside my cupboard door where even in a sleep-deprived stupor I should still be able to locate it.

But, seriously. Who was that woman who wrote that list? It appears at one time she knew what she was doing. I think I'd like to meet her. I have a few other questions I'd like to ask. Like... Was her daughter really satisfied with rice puffs and banana slices for a snack?!?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Teething Baby + No Sleep = Lazy Sunday

So I'm eating my words over here, feeling a bit sheepish. I was so satisfied with the fact that this "bug" went in & out of our house in a matter of hours... Only to spend all of last night awake with the baby. I'm thinking she's teething. Which also is ironic because I'm always the first to say that my kids aren't bothered by teeth coming in. Usually they just pop through. I've never understood the big ordeal here. Until now. Now I'm realizing that people aren't kidding when they talk about the high fevers, the whining, the inability to sleep. Hah. Now I know. And I promise not to ever say again that my kids weren't reallly affected by their teeth coming in.

It's all coming back to haunt me. Kind of like the way I used to stand by the couch and pry my mom's eyes open when I was just a little one and she'd try to take a nap. "MOM! Can you see me?" I'd keep asking. My own haven't done quite that yet, but if they see me headed for the couch, It's a sure bet they'll drop what they're doing and think it's a big game to pile on mom.

Aside from that it's a beautiful, sunny fall day. Perfect day for a Sunday afternoon car ride. And since they're practically giving gas away now, why not? Hah. Never mind the fact that if I actually was to be a passanger in a moving vehicle, I'd fall promptly asleep and miss all the crisp fall colors. Argh.

Okay, okay. I'm getting a little cranky here. I promise, I'll go fill my coffee cup now and be quiet.

Enjoy your Sunday. And your Monday too since we all know that's on it's way.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Remembering...

The flu hit our house last night. Thankfully, it ran it's course in about seven hours or so. High fevers, aches, and a little throwing up...Very short lived. Whew!

I was sitting there holding Hannah, my cheek warm from pressing it against her forehead every few seconds to see if she was still burning up, and I recalled the time- just a week after her birth- when Ryan thought he was coming down with the flu.

He wasn't feeling well so he went upstairs to lay down- telling me not to worry he was not bringing the flu into our house with a brand new baby. He was willing himself not to get sick. I sat downstairs holding Hannah tight- she was so tiny as she had arrived in this world three weeks early. And as I sat there, all I could think is: this baby cannot get sick. She can NOT get sick. She's too little.

It was smack-dab in the middle of flu season and when I had brought her in for her check-up only a few days after birth, the nurse hurried me down the back halls so I could bypass the germ-infestd waiting room and rushed me out just as quickly afterwards. Do NOT stop to make an appointment, she warned, just call when you get home. The flu and RSV are running crazy.I rushed out of the hospital with those words ringing in my ears and a blanket completely covering my baby in an effort to keep away airborne illness.

And yet, here we were at home a few days after that, and Ryan was feeling sick. I went crazy. I pulled out the bottle of Lysol and sprayed and wiped down every surface possible. I slathered my hands with anti-bacterial gel until they were raw, dry, and burning. And I did the same for the other two kids. Whenever they'd walk by, I'd make them smear hand sanatizer on. Lydia began to call it "Hannahtizer."

Thankfully, whatever it was, it did not settle in our house. It was not meant to be and for that we were so relieved. Looking back on my outburst of fear, made me realize how strong that need is to protect our children. As any mother who has given birth and loves her children can relate- with the birth of a child also comes the fierce determination to do whatever we can to gaurd those precious ones from harm. It's overpowering, even when we know the end result is not up to us.

Kids will drive us crazy sometimes, they test our patience on a daily basis... they say things we'd rather they didn't every now and then... They fight with each other until we feel like we'd like to run away, they tattle, they taunt, they make us understand what our own mothers went through.

But that need to keep them safe... it never goes away. No matter what.


Anyways... If your house is getting hit with this bug, just know it's short-lived.

Enjoy your weekend. We're off to visit with some couples after awhile and I'm really looking forward to it. Beautiful evening for a bonfire!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What I'm missing rignt now...

I'd settle for five minutes.
To sit on that beach, in the warmth of the sand,
and breathe.
To feel the spray of the waves,
to hear the whisper of summer's laughter,
to quiet the world around me.
Just five minutes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Just some random thoughts...

Why is it that...
  • every time I start to study I also feel like eating? (and not stuff that's good for me either)
  • whenever the phone rings my kids chose that moment to poke the other one in the eye? or stand at my leg yelling "MOM!" over and over and over?
  • whenever one kid has a rough night, the other two do too?
  • whenever the baby goes for a nap, my three year old decides she needs something from her bedroom and goes "quietly" to get it... thus waking up the baby?
  • information goes into my brain, gets me through the tests, and then immediately seems to be lost? As in... not even retrievable a few hours later?
  • I can be exhausted to the point of dragging myself up the steps, barely staying awake to brush my teeth... and then I can't fall asleep?
  • whenever I'm in a hurry to get somewhere... that's also the day I can't find someone's shoes, we're missing a pacifier, and the keys are nowhere in sight?
  • kids pick up on the things you think you're keeping secret... but can't hear you when you tell them to pick up their toys?
  • I'm finding any way I can to put off studying?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sometimes... You just do what you gotta do.

In our tiny little kitchen is a tiny little table and four sticky chairs- one of them with a broken rung. (Rung... funny word.) It wobbles when you sit down it it. It shakes, it teeters, and it feels like it's going to leave you sitting in a heap on the floor. That chair has been fixed. And fixed. And fixed. And it has fallen apart again, and again, and again. So we gave up fixing it.

Well. Everynight I brew up a wonderful home-cooked meal and my family comes walking from their various locations around the house with smiles on their faces and pleasantly take their places at the table. Okay, so that's not exactly how it goes but it wouldn't sound quite as nice if I said I stand at the microwave burning hotdogs and yelling "I saaaiid supper. is. ready!" and then admited that they come shoving their way into the kitchen, fighting over those three good chairs while I'm left portioning out the mac-n-cheese.

Anyways.

As it always turns out, I'm always the last to get my food, and coincidently, the last one standing. (Which means it's "easier" for me to get the forgotten napkins, the extra fork, the milk, etc, etc. You know....Since I'm still standing.) Which means... by the time I get to the table with my cold supper... the three good chairs are long-since occupied and once again I get to climb my into the broken chair (which is wedged between the baby swing and the wall... so getting to that broken chair does require some athletic ability and delicate maneuvering).

Well.

One day, I came to my senses. As I turned from the stove with my plate of cold supper and saw my family gobbling down their meals on the three good chairs, I announced, "Yes! I get the broken chair!!" like it was some kind of reward or something. Well, let me tell you: never, never, my friends, underestimate the power of a little reverse psychology. All it took was to do that a couple of times and suddenly... Sitting on the broken chair is a luxary. Okay, okay. I didn't convince my husband... And Jack hasn't really caught on... But, Lydia? She now proudly announces, "I get the broken chair!" To which I reply, "Ooh! Lucky!"

And then? And then I sit down with my cold, burned supper in a sticky, unbroken chair. Ah, the simple pleasures in the life of a mother.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Fixing up an old friend



Well... Today finds me doing reconstructive/surgical repair to Lydia's ratty, tattered old bear. It's flattened from little arms clutching it, breaking open at the seams from being loved, and it's fabric is so soft and smooth I forget what it originally looked like. Now, some may say let it go! She is, afterall, almost four. Some may think I'm crazy to put a little more stuffing in it, stitch up the gaping holes, and even attempt to give it some new eyes. But... This mom is too much of a softie to heed that advice. Yes, it would be easier to just let the thing fall apart completely... but, without much consideration I've realized simply: I can't do that. I'll admit, I just don't have it in me to let this bear wither away like that.

You see, this bear has slept with Lydia every night except one since she was ten months old. It was a gift from her Granmda H. and once she took a liking to it, she never let it far from her sight. She clutched it as she learned to walk, held it as she toddled around on usnturdy legs. She's reached for it whenever she's sad, kept it under her arm when she's been sick.

At one point, "Bear" went everywhere she did. To Grandma's, to the store, to church even. And more than once we've had to turn back and retrieve it when it's been left behind. Eventually we had to get past that stage and she learned that Bear couldn't always be dragged along. And she was okay with that- as long as she could still have it when she snuggled into bed at night.

Well, lately Bear has been looking rather sad. Two nights ago when I was tucking her in she said, "Mom, maybe you could wash bear and sew him up tomorrow." And because she said it so sweetly, and because she was clutching it so tightly, and becuase I know she loves this old bear... I knew I would.

And so here I am. Sewing the seams tight, stiching a smile back on it's face, giving it some new fluff... And feeling like this could be the most important thing I've done all week.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tuesday Morning... and the coffee's hot

It's a quiet morning over here. Lydia and I are up, the other two are still snoozing. Looks a lot like November out there today with the heavy gray clouds. The heat is running, coffee's brewing... Feels like a cozy day to stay inside and get some things accomplished. It's an organizing kind of day, I think. The kind of day to pull out the rest of the warmer clothes and surrender to the fact that the shorts can probably get packed away for the season. I'm no meteorologist but by the way things have been going, I'm not really forcasting any weather that warm. Just gray, November clouds. And there's your five-day forcast, folks.



I'm enjoying these quiet, peaceful moments this morning and realizing how so much in life is a trade-off. Often in a good way... But, take this past few weeks for example. Lydia's moving away from always requiring someone to play with her to making up more on her own. But then there's Hannah. Giving me a run for my money with her disrupted sleep schedule and the fact that she's started army-crawling all around the house. Did I mention that? I know that children must grow, and we're glad when they do becasue it means they're healthy, but... I'm thrown off balance here again. Now there's her to chase. Get that away from Hannah! What does she have in her mouth? You can't play with that puzzle right there, you'll have to block it off somehow! And she does cruise. I don't remember my other kids doing this, but maybe my memory is just that shot. Seems to me they sat like chubby little lumps until they were around nine months old and then started crawling. Not her. She's got places to go and things to see... leaving mom feeling just a bit frazled.



But... It's going to be a good day. And I hear the coffee has finished brewing so I'm off to pour myself a steaming cup. No better way to start the morning.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

And just like that... There goes the weekend.

Well, we're on to Monday again tomorrow. Hope you're all ready for it. Honestly, I'm not sure that I am. It's just that it's... Monday. I guess it's best to get the most dreaded day of the week over with first, huh? Now, there's the bright side I was searching for.

It was a wild weekend over here. Didn't get out much so we are all feeling a bit cooped up. Ryan hit the books all weekend preparing for a busy week of tests ahead. I'm begining to see how much work that full time program is (and I'm quite happy to be doing this part time, thank-you-very-much.... There's enough days when I think even part time isn't possible!)

To add to the excitement... Hannah decided... She doesn't like the new crib we put her in. Or something. Because she has been an excellent sleeper. Twelve (or more) hours a night, three naps a day, no complaints going to sleep. Loved going to sleep. Until now. Last weekend we put her in Lydia's old crib because Lydia got a new bed (which her dad and cousin Dave built-- I'll have to post pictures when I get a chance.) Up until then, Lydia had been sleeping in her crib with one of the sides off and Hannah was still in a pack-n-play. I was feeling bad that she was still sleeping on that thin little mattress and assumed she'd love the crib. Hahaha. Joke's on me. Suddenly she's waking up at night. Huh? I'm not programmed for going backwards. It's not supposed to work that way.

Oh well. I've been spoiled because she has been so good... But...this can't continue forever. Right???!

Have a happy Monday.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Three year old logic strikes again

The two older kids went to Grandma's this morning so I could get some studying done. When she brought them back she said she told the kids she was going to have to take all the toys away and put them upstairs if they wouldn't clean up when they were through playing.

It is an ongoing struggle to get these kids to pick up their toys, their crayons, their play-doh.

So. After Grandma left, I told them I needed to talk to them. I gave them a little lecture about how it's important to clean up our messes after ourselves. When we're through with our toys, we pick them up, I explained patiently, whether we're at Grandma's, Auntie Trudy's, home, wherever. Because, the next time you don't clean up, Grandma's going to take all your toys and put them upstairs. Okay? They nodded as though they understood perfectly and they would never leave a single toy out again.

Feeling accomplished, I gave them a quiz. So, what will you do next time you go to Grandma's? I asked. Without hesitation, Lydia replied, "I'll go upstairs and play with the toys."

Monday, September 8, 2008

Monday evening musings

Pondering. Wondering. Reflecting.
It's Monday. Possibly the longest day of the week. Early a.m. clinicals, a good old case of the blahs, a test to study for, two fighting kids, and a husband who has class all day and all evening. One feeds off the next, and then the next, and so on and so forth. Gives me the shivers. It's so tempting to go pull out a book from my garage sale stash, make some coffee, and imerse my brain cells in a thoughtless plot. Instead I'll continue struggling my way through the efects of phosphorous imbalances and acid-base disorders. Wa-hoo. But, Tuesday's right around the corner. And Tuesdays typically make up for Monday's so it's all good.

I'm still not giving up on fall being long and warm... but my hopes have diminished greatly. Summer more or less shut off like a switch last week. It came on Friday (or was it Saturday?), left on Tuesday, and pretty soon I'm going to pull out the Christmas music. Nah, not really. But I will let you know when that debuts. I have been known to start listening to it before the leaves are done falling off the trees. It scares some people. I just like the songs. Relaxing. Reminds me of waking up at home as a kid, eating cream-of-wheat, feeling the heat of the woodstove radiating up from the basement. Pure comfort. But I am not a fan of winter, so I promise I'll wait till October to pull out the tunes. Just so chilly out there today, I couldn't help but let the thought cross my mind. (Now I've really shocked some of you: Christmas music? Summer is just walking out the door and she's already talking Christmas music? Wah. Nuts.)

Just to redeem myself- I'm not a fan of the all the Christmas stuff out in the stores in, like, September. I just like Christmas music... And how did I get on this subject?

Note: In the few minutes it took my to type this blog entry my kids emptied out the entire contents of the toybox, smeared chapstick all over their faces, gave the end table a spit-bath, and retreated upstairs giggling about something. This is not good. They're moving too fast for me again.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Jumper cables & Lost microwaves

As we were taking off this evening to go to my sister's, I looked in the rearview mirror and there's Ryan standing on the middle of the road waving his arms. (We were going in two seperate vehicles in case I felt like staying later than he.) So... I reversed down the road to see what the issue was. The hood on the car was already up, so I pulled in right along side of him, hopped out and without a word went to retrieve the jumper cables from the back of the van. Something felt much to routine about that whole act. Too well cheoreographed for me. Like... Maybe we've done this one to many times recently? Ryan said we were like a regular pit crew. Huh. Not sure that's real great, but, okay. It's always good to work as a team, I figure. And if jump starting our lousy cars seems to be our specialty... well... at least we can do something right.

Okay. Gotta go find a microwave for Mark & Emily. Remeber not so long ago I was questioning how we could lose towels? That suddenly doesn't seem so bad anymore. I've now lost our old microwave in my upstairs. It's like quicksand up there. Put something down and SCCHLLOOOP! Gone. Never to be seen again. I'm begining to think it would be pretty great to have personalized GPS to navigate my way around. Make a left turn at the next basket of unfolded socks. Go straight over the crayons lying on the floor.

No... I'm pretty sure the microwave is part of the massive leanging tower in my craftroom, but one can only guess. Is it the base...? Or the lump halfway up? Searching for something is always an adventure in this house. Never know what you might come across. Maybe while I'm at it I'll find a birthday present for my sister who's birthday was this past week. Hey. You never know until you've seen my upstairs.

And, I believe I should stop right there. I've exposed enough of my true habits for now. G'night.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Garage saling, McDonalds, and sugar-loaded cosmic brownies

In a weaker moment of parenting, we decided it would be fun to take the kids garage saling tonight. That led to McDonald's for supper, to Wal-Mart, and then to a playground. Aside from Grandma & Grandpas, I'm pretty sure this covers all of their favorite places to go. So the brilliant ones we are, we decide to cram it all into one evening.

Garage saling was a hit. The second sale had been going on since 10 a.m. so at quarter to five it was rather dismal. However. Let me tell you: the free bins were gold mines to the kids. We let them go at it for a few minutes selecting things like broken cameras and plastic jewelry boxes. They tore through the boxes hardly able to believe their good luck. It was a chorous of: Mom! Can I take this? to which I'd reply, Oh, sure... why not? So as we tell them it's time to go, Ryan fills his arms with Jack's treasures and I turn around to take Jack's hand to lead him out to the van. There he is, busy grabing whatever else he can possibly fit into his hands as fast as he possibly can. I wished I had my camera because it was... great.

Then it was on to McDonald's. I sat there in amazement as my kids marched right in, knew exactly what they wanted (cheeseburger happy meals, thank-you very much) and proceded to find a booth for us to sit in. It got better. When Ryan came back with the food, they proceded to lay out their meals in front of them, plop their straws in their cups, and divide up the ketchup with no help from me. Okay. Backtrack. I think the last time I was at McDonald's with these two Jack was sitting in a carseat sucking on french fries making sour faces from the salt. Yet here they were: as comfortable with the whole scene as if we were eating pb & js in the backyard. I believe Grandma and Grandpa might have a hand in that one. Considering Hannah was the one in the carseat chewing on fries tonight I came to the prediction that the next time I'm in their with my kids will be, oh, I'd say 2 years from now? (Note: this does not mean I haven't eaten there since then. But my idea is a trip through the drive through with 1$ cheeseburgers all around, an order of value menu fries to split, and a few waters. This particular experience was all new for me.)

Wal-mart turned out to be much the same. I rarely step in that store with kids anymore, but apparently my kids frequent the place at the same time they're off eating at McDonald's. And then on to the playground- my three-year old gave us directions how to get there. Something tells me that wasn't her first time there.

So. After an event-filled evening, we made it home and ate sugar-loaded-cosmic brownies for a snack. Kind of fun to play Grandpa & Grandma. Every once and awhile.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

If you don't listen...

As a mother, I find myself throwing out cautions to my kids on a daily basis. You know, things like- If you don't eat your vegetables, you won't grow tall like Dad. Or... If you leave the caps off your markers one more time I'm throwing them all in the garbage... OKAY. Next time, I'm throwing them ALL in the garbage. And that's a promise. And then there's the good old things uttered in moments of little patience like, If you don't brush your teeth, they will fall out... You're gonna get a bellyache if you eat anymore candy... see? What did I tell you?

Oh, as mothers we just can't help sending out warnings- even if we see those warnings simply rolling off our tounges and onto the floor at our children's feet. Huh? All I heard her say was something about eating more candy! Yessss!! Yet... it's one of our greatest duties to keep firing those warnings out. Don't run with a sucker in your mouth- you'll choke. You need your shoes tied- you'll trip. Ah. It gets exhausting, all this warning.

But one thing I find myself saying far too often and much more than anything else is: You're going to fall and crack your head open. Hm. I think I was told this a lot myself as a kid. So now it just spills out of my mouth without control as my kids are climbing on the table, jumping on the couch, slithering over the arms of the chair, standing at the top of the slide, balancing on the side of the sandbox. It's like the ultimate warning to a kid. The top-of-the-line, can't-be-outdone, better-listen-because-I-think-this-is-serious warning. And oh, what images it must conjure in a three-year-old's brain. Because lately the favorite response to that open-ended threat is: "I didn't crack my head open, mom! See! It's still there!"- and then she pats the top of her head as if to prove to me and herself that it's still there. And that, I believe, is my cue to breathe a sigh of relief. Whew.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

So, with Monday outta the way

... We're on to Tuesday. And Dad's been gone all day and won't be home until the kids are in bed. And it's a humid, hot afternoon which leaves me feeling lazy, tired, and... well... lazy. I did manage to wash some clothes but my washer and dryer are located on the second floor- and since the upstairs feels like a sauna- welllll- I used that as a good excuse to stay as far away from there as possible.

Instead, I pulled out some material... looked at it for awhile... debated, considered, imagined... and then left it there and read a book instead. Wah. Productive, eh? I can't even get inspired to sew on a day like today.

School started today for many. We have a bit longer before that becomes a part of our routine which is okay with me. But I do have a bored almost-four year old over here who... loves my continuous, undivided attention. "Mom, wanna help me do this? Mom can you play with this with me?"

Okay, I'm smelling smoke... I've deteremined it's not coming from my house (pretty sure anyways) but I think I gotta go check this out.

Allright, checked it out, and as far as I can tell it's probably just my neighboor burning supper. Hopefully. Nothing major.

Time to go start our supper. Hm. Pancakes? Dad's not home, sounds good to me.

Friday, August 29, 2008

There is a chocolate cream pie in my fridge...

... And no one here to help me eat it. There aren't too many positive scenarios that could result from this one, that's all I know.

Monday, August 25, 2008

I'm not someone who likes too much planning...

Ah, such fun to jump right into a brand new, um, schedule. Ha. Today was somewhat of a crazy day as the fall semster started up and Ryan & I began classes. Hm. Now, there's a sentence I would have never thought I'd utter a few years ago. Clinicals began and once again my class was somewhat thrown into the whole experience. Once again I questioned why I was doing this. And yes, once again, I reminded myself it's too late to back out now. I'm still trying to become convinced of that fact.

In some respects, it will be nice to get back into a... ahem... okay, I'm just going to say this... a schedule. As you may or may not have gathered... I rather despise that word and try to use it as little as possible. Schedule? All I can think of is plans and set times and requirements. And those words do nothing but increase stress levels as far as I'm concerned. I love my to-do lists dearly... but actually scheduling things for a set moment and time? I'd rather leave that to the experts, thank-you very much. But, yes, I will humbly admit that I am ready to get on with it.

Sigh.

The kids are tired and crabby from running to the camp everynight, and I'm cranky that my house is burried in dirty dishes, stacks of laundry, and unopened mail teetering off the table by the door. So, that's it. I'm putting my foot down. Bedtime is moving back up to 8 p.m. (for them, not me!) and I'm once again setting my alarm instead of sleeping in until they wake. And I think I'll go buy a planner tomorrow.

Oh, wow. Seriously. I don't even know who I am anymore.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

And Time Moves On

Well.
Whataweek.
Had an awesome last hurrah of summer for the past week and a half while my sister and her family were in town. Lots of visiting, laughs, good desserts, saunas, swims, and blueberries. Even I broke down and went picking a few times. I claimed I was on strike from picking this year because I had too many left in my freezer from last year... but at the rate they were all hauling pails out of the patch, I had to join in the fun. It's addicting when you see how much is really out there.

Wouldn't it be nice to bottle up all the awesome summer memories and open it up, say, sometime in January? I felt sad leaving the camp tonight. Time to say good-bye to family... Family that's going back to their home and family that's moving to new places... Good-bye to the beautiful, carefree days of summer.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Enjoying the moment

Nothing like an uxpected break! Today is the day I usually take massage appointments. Only... I had two last night that were supposed to be this evening... and I had the two afternoon appointments cancel on me... And that was all I had lined up for today. So... Suddenly my schedule is wide open. Blank. I love the feeling of suddenly having nothing to do.

Now, technically, technically I should just take the afternoon to read a book because, really, I wasn't going to get anything done if I was working, correct? So therefore it stands to reason that I really don't have to do anything. Or- I suppose I could/should take the opportunity to get some projects done around here that I just can never to find a minute for.

Hah. I should know better by now not to make plans before the kids are even awake. What seems like endless time to spare is usually spread out quickly once they're up.

To make today even sweeter- it's the day my sister and her family come to town! I've been looking forward to this for much of the summer. It's one of those things that- you can't wait for, yet at the same time you're trying not to get too excited because it also means: after this week- summer is over. Done. Not to sound negetive or anything (because I actually am coming to terms with school starting. Gasp!) But, so it goes. Half sweet, half sad: time moves on.

So today is all about savoring the sweetness of the moment. Enjoying unexpected breaks for all they are worth, relishing in one more week of vacation. Cherishng visits with family, taking in the sunshine. Living for this moment righ here and now.

Time to make some coffee, sit back, and read a book. Er, um... I mean... uh? Scrub the bathrooms?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

This one? That one? I. Don't. Know. What. You. Want.

Wouldn't you know... We went to a beautiful local beach this evening with the kids... and the batteries in my camera were completely dead. Not even an speck of juice left in them. I even tried switching them around (like I could trick the camera or something) just to get one shot of the beautiful lake. No luck. No pictures. So it's locked away in my memory and hopefully we'll get back there on another nice evening. It's one of those places where we never go. It's not that far... and it's so pretty... But it's always forgotten. New vow: we will get back there one more time this summer or fall.

The kids loved it there. They wouldn't have wanted to leave but we promised them ice cream cones... Only we got cheap on the way home, and after calculating what it was going to cost for us all to get cones- and have two of them get thrown away half eaten- we decided to just stop at the grocery store for a 1/2 gallon of ice cream and continued home to the box of cones there. Funny how life changes things like that. The kids really didn't know what it was to go out for ice cream when we took them about a month ago- at this age they're easily pleased.

Hah. Most of the time.

I laugh, becasue these days my 2 year old is not so easy to please. The funny thing is- he's always been my easygoing, carefree, smiley kid. In fact, I often receive the comment, "Is he always so smiley?" And typically, he is. But these days... these days he's trying my patience. Argh. I think he's getting his two-year molars. And that makes for the following scenarios:

Me: Jack do you want this? (offering him cereal)
Jack: Noooooo.
Me: How about oatmeal?
Jack: Uh-uhhhhh!
Me: Ooookay (breathe... count to ten)... This?
Jack (now begining to really whine): Iwannit!
Me: WHAT? what do you want? (I will stay calm. I will not lose my temper.)
Jack: jink
Me: Juice?
Jack: Yah!
Me (pulling a cup out of the cupboard and starting to pour)
Jack: NOoooOOO!
Me: What??? (Come on, kid. It's just a cup... The stuff inside is gonna be the same.)
Jack: dawon.
Lydia (who has recently aquired a patience with him she's never had before): My brother wants that one.
Me: This cup? (Counting, counting... My patience is fading fast.)
Jack: Noooo!
Me: Okay. You want to go back to bed or you want juice? I am NOT going to stand here all day trying to figure out which cup you want! (And there goes whatever patience I had. Great way to start the day.)

And so goes our mornings. Nearly every morning these days. And our lunches. And our dinners. I'm so ready for this stage to be over. Or his teeth to come in. Sigh.

Monday, August 11, 2008

August Is...



It's backyard picnics and sunny afternoons. It's warm evenings but cooler nights. Shooting stars that leave glowing trails across the midnight sky. Bonfires on the beach where everyone huddles around- trying to stay warm. It's toasted marshmellows, it's hooded sweatshirts at night. It's barefeet for a little while longer.

August is the moment between the lazy days of summer and the crisp days of fall. It's those last dips in the lake that never really warmed up. It's high winds and massive waves, whispering that fall is approaching with each thundering crash. It's visiting with family, it's one last vacation, it's quiet and still and crazy all once.

August is meant for finishing summer plans, forgetting September's schedules. It's remembering and celebrating and cherishing the quiet part of summer. August is blueberries and pies, hot coffee, good visits, and family. It's taking in the best that summer has to offer and wrapping it all into a few precious memories.

August is holding on to summer for as long as we can.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Beautiful Moments


Tonight as I was sitting in the living room, I noticed rain had begun to fall outside even though the sky was quite bright and rays of sunshine were still peaking through the clouds. I went out on the back steps and saw the faint beginings of a rainbow tracing it's way across the sky so I called Lydia out to come and look at it. (Jack was already in bed.)


When she saw the rainbow glowing brighter and brighter in a perfect arc above us, her eyes became so big and round. She remarked, "I never saw a rainbow in my whole life!" and I was suddenly so glad I had let her stay up later than her little brother and sister tonight. Such a sweet moment!


This picture hardly does justice to how pretty it really was. We're surrounded by houses and telephone wires and... well... taking pictures that aren't obscured by all of this is virtually impossible. Oh well.

So glad it's the weekend! Hope yours is a good one.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

18 Days to go

Not like I'm already counting down... But I can't help realizing that August 25th is quickly approaching. And that makes me nervous. I'm already hearing people saying how it's kind of nice knowing fall is coming and how it's always good to be getting back to schedules. Not me. Nope. Not even a little tiny bit. My palms start sweating, my heart picks up it's pace, and I start to feel like it's not so easy to breathe. Just a little mild anxiety setting in. Minor.

August 25th in this house means... the start of the fall semester. Ryan starts school full time. I start my clinicals that day. Just thinking about it, a fine layer of sweat pops out over my forehead. AHH! What in the world have we gotten ourselves into?? Oh, and just as a side note: I would not reccomend going to nursing school at the same time as your spouse. You tend to run into all kinds of issues. Like... oh, I don't know... Who's gonna watch the kids at 6:45 on Monday mornings? Or, lets see... what's life going to be like without my hubby working?! Or gee, here's a good one: how might exam week present itself?

All I know is this: the countdown is on whether I'm ready or not. On good days I'm feeling allright about all this... yeah... we can handle this! Woo Hoo! On other days I'm only aware of this nagging sensation that I'm going to choke. And I feel like being a little kid, stomping my feet and whining, "But my break just started. I'm not ready to go back." Ack.

The bright side of going back to school with kids, however, is they give endless hugs, have endless love. And that makes everything seem a whole lot better. And they can usually make us laugh. Unless of course it's the third time milk has been spilled at dinner. Or your two year old dumps his half-eaten-cereal back into the box, milk and all, because he's decided he wants a different kind. Or you've just gotten the kids dressed and set to go, running somewhat behind, and you find them in the backyard splashing in the kiddie pool, soaked to the bone. Then things tend to get a little, uh, tense.

But, hey. This is what we signed up for. We had our fair warning... Now here we go. 18 days.

Friday, August 1, 2008

August 2nd, 2003... Was five years ago already!?!

Time flies when you're having fun! That's what they say, anyways. Tomorrow is five years for my husband and I... I can't believe it's been that long, really. It's been just one big barrel of laughs and a non-stop party so that would explain why it's just flown by then, right? hah. Haha.

No, seriously. It has been a crazy, exciting, beautiful trip so far. Three kids, one move, six vehicles, a few different jobs, two decisions to finish school, and one (usually) smiling family. As the quote goes, "We may not have it all together, but together we have it all!" Happy anniversary to my wonderful husband!!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

My Biggest Fan

The other day, Lydia said to me, "Mom, you're a pretty good singer." And even though I know I am far from it (my voice waivers and cracks all over the place as I sing along to the radio and I can't even seem to get the tune right when I rock my babies and sing to them...) Even though I know no one else in the world would ever venture to say such a thing to me, I'm grinning.

And, no. Not because I want to be a good singer.

Because I know someday my little girl will grow up and won't think I'm very cool. Because I know that one day she'll look at me and roll her eyes when I start belting along with the radio in my crazy see-saw voice. But at three years old, in her eyes, she gives me her vote of approval. And that makes my day.

Because right now, in this moment: she things I'm pretty good.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Stacks of Fabric VS Stacks of Laundry

Now, there's a no-brainer. Hit the fabric, of course.

Awww... Now that schools out for a few moments, I'm dreaming of all the projects I could get done. I'm pulling out the stacks of material again. Pouring through the second-hand decorating magazines. (Every summer I stock up on a large pile of decorating magazines at garage sales). Time to start creating. But where do I start? I really want to sew a couple of bags and maybe another baby carrier. And then there's scrapbooking. I'd love to get caught up (or at least put a start on) my kid's albums.

And then. And then, there's my house... It's so in need of a major overhaul- starting with my laundry room that erupted sometime in July and never really quit exploding. Here's a humbling admission: I started packing away "winter clothes" sometime in the spring... And never finished. So those things are kind of floating around my craft room (which happens to be right outside the laundry room) with no real home. Stuff em' in a box in the closet or just stick them back in the drawers? I guess at this point there's really no point in packing those things away, now is there? I have never been known for my efficiency, that's for sure.

But, I'm seriously feeling giddy with energy to get a move on some things around here- even the housework. Gasp! I know I have a limited time before the dreaded schedules start back up so I'm going to make the most of it. With ample time to sit around and read my book and enjoy the sun, too, of course. Haha, I'm a dreamer...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Last night of class for the summer!

Today, shortly after breakfast, I found my daughter consuming a green fun dip. Her lips were green, her tongue was green, and green sugar was spilled on the counter, the table, and the front of her shirt. Always good to get that sugar high in at nine in the morning. Puts a nice twist on the day. As she's quickly munching away she asks me, "Is this healthy for me?" Yah-huh, ya think? After that she wanted "some of those things that I saw way up high on that shelf." Hmmm. However, as my kids were heading to Grandma's for the day, I had to refuse for Grandma's sanity. You see, anything "way up high on that shelf" is generally not low in sugar content. It's the place where I store sprinkles, and chocolate chips and (best of all) my dark chocolate collection. You know, all the good stuff.

Tonight I have two exams... but I couldn't be happier because after the exams- I am done for nearly a month! Done with summer classes, finally. Done with probably the busiest semester I've had or will have. And I heard this week is supposed to be beautiful so I'm prepared to enjoy it to the fullest. AND. dum-dum-dummmm. After tonight I'm officially over halfway done with the LPN program!! Two more semesters to go.

Okay. I must finish studying. Can't get too excited because it's not over yet.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Construction Zone

You know... I really hate to ramble about gas prices so often... Because they are what they are. But I'm kind of annoyed at this one: Our street is being torn up (or the side of the street, I guess) for whatever reason. New something. I'm not really sure. That's beside the point. Yesterday afternoon when I put my baby up for a nap, a dump truck was parked right below her bedroom window. No one was in it, but it was running. Two and a half hours later when she awoke from her nap that very same dump truck was still unoccupied, still running. Um? I'm no rocket scientist but it doesn't take me too long to figure out these are our tax dollars paying for these trucks to run for hours on end. Are they really that hard to turn off?

Not to mention, I'll be glad when they're done. They woke Lydia & I up this morning with their beeping and rumbling at quarter to 7. There isn't coffee strong enough to keep me functioning this morning as I went to sleep well after midnight. Such is life. On the bright side of it all, it did keep Jack occupied for quite awhile yesterday afternoon. He stood in the porch and watched every thing, taking it all in for reinactment in the sandbox. Holes being dug, sand being hauled- it's a little boy's dream. Front row seats at a construction site. My girl, on the other hand, has as about as much interest as me. I'm just hoping I can get out of my driveway this morning.

Okay. Off to pour myself another cup of coffee. I think I really just need a nap.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

And the run is over. Whew.

Well, I'm still standing. Barely. The run went really well today- I felt pretty good the whole way. It wasn't until some time after I had finished, after I was all stretched out, and had sat down for awhile, then tried to stand up again that I felt it. My knee. My ankle. My arches. Ow! The kids thought it rather funny the way I was hobbling around the house, limping down the stairs, making funny faces with each step. I, on the other hand, was not quite as amused. But it's over and done! And I'm glad to say I finished. Only... I didn't get a t-shirt. Yet. Had to order it.

I found myself a little out of my element this morning. The last time I ran a race was in high school. So, needless to say, I was absorbing it all: the "miniature flat screen t.v.s" (as my husband called them) that seemed to be strapped to everyone's arms, the cute-chic running skirts that I can't ever imagine myself wearing, even the water stations threw me for a loop. I can't stand litering. It took some effort for me to just toss my cup on the ground. I knew there were people there to clean them up, but of all things, my thoughts were, "Ohhhh... I feel so bad just throwing this here." Duh.

Overall, it was a lot of fun. Quite the experience... and aches and pains aside... I'm pretty sure I'd do it again.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Here we go...

Ah... The crazy part of the week is over, the chocolate cake is all gone. In my defense, I didn't eat it all myself- although if I hadn't had help, I probably could have. Ooookay. Moving right along, now.

I'm looking forward to the next few days: L & J are going to spend the night at Grandma & Grandpas and Saturday morning Ryan and I are running the canal run. Let me just step back and compliment my husband for a few seconds here. He's never been a runner. He played basketball in high school, but only started running at the begining of April of this year. At the time he began, he was running 60 seconds/walking for 90. Three months later- he's running ten miles- and looking forward to the run Saturday. He lowered his heart rate by 25 beats per minute! So... don't say you can't run because you're "not a runner." I have to say... he surprised me and I'm quite proud of him. And the bonus: he got me back to running. I haven't run since we got married (closing in on 5 years, here).

I used to run cross country in high school, but I thought those days were long gone. Three babies in three years, busy with school, I had my excuses all lined up, ready to fire them out like defense weapons. In my mind I was like, running? You had to get interested in running? Yah, it's good for you, blah, blah, blah. But... Can't we just walk? Whose in a hurry, here? Yet, I knew that if he was running I had to get off the comfy couch and join him- as much as I wanted to sit on said couch and shout as he strolled out the door, "Yeah, you have fun, now. Running. I'm going to just sit here. I'll just be here, sitting when you return." Turns out my excuses were rather lame. Turns out, the more he talked about it the more I was interested. Turns out it's a terrific stress reliever from my prior excuses.

So. Hopefully we make it. And just so you know: We're not speedy. All we're looking for is to finish the run. And get a t-shirt. Hey. I want proof, okay?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Chocolate cake + studying = dangerous combination

  • It's Monday.
  • Again.
  • I'm in over my head.
  • Again.
  • This week is off to a bumpy start... is that a good or a bad sign?
  • Tried to take a little Sunday drive yesterday as we haven't done that since gas prices sky-rocketed
  • And... the van broke down.
  • yay
  • So it's in the shop
  • Both rear brakes are shot
  • We should be getting our stimulus check any day now, so I guess I know how we're going to be stimulating the economy... brakes & diapers & gas... Just in case I wasn't sure how to spend it all, you know. haha
  • I was going to try cutting out sugar today after I heard of Karen's success
  • And... then I baked a chocolate cake this morning.
  • oooohhh... it smells good.
  • My life is full of good intentions.
  • I'm looking forward to Friday
  • That's not good. I hate waiting for Friday when it's only Monday early afternoon.
  • On the bright side... I ran 8 miles this weekend... and felt good too!
  • Hopefully this means I'm all ready for the Canal run on Saturday. yikes.
  • Two tests again this week...
  • But, only two more weeks of class.
  • This week has the serious potential to push me right over the edge
  • Stay tuned for results
  • Okay. Kids are sleeping. House is quiet for the moment. I can't waste anymore time.
  • This mom needs some chocolate cake, some coffee, and some big-time studying.
  • Happy Monday to you