Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tearing down the walls...

So, here's our old living room, looking in through the kitchn doorway...

Former messy toyroom

The view from the kitchen doorway before sans the mess... that's my old massage room behind those walls.

And... Here's what happens when your husband tears the walls down... looking in from the kitchen doorway, again.

And, that's that. A few less walls, a little bit of paint, some lights, and a lot more room to breathe.

"Hey, MOM... got a plan?"

Lydia asked me this today while watching me run around trying to pack/wash clothes/get supper made/get my things together for class. I guess I must have looked like I needed a better plan than the "run-around-the-house-gathering-anything-I-see-fit" plan that I was working with. Hm. And here I thought that was working out so well. Takes a three year old to point it out that trying to accomplish several things at once only ensures that you will forget half of what you were supposed to do in the first place. Multi-tasking should be outlawed.

But for the next week or so... the plan is oh-so-simple:
Go to camp.
Sit on beach.
Have bonfire.
Cook hotdogs.
Chase kids. (I can't get too dreamy here. Reality is unescapable, afterall.)
Take sauna.
Chump in da lake.

Oh! I'm going to post those before and after pictures of our living room that I promised... As a new post.

Okay. I'll just go do that then.

Have a great week!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Lazy, crazy, dog days of summer

  • My cold is gone. Lots of Vitamin C & Zinc seemed to knock it out of my system rather quickly.
  • I survived last week
  • One more night of class is out of the way
  • One more night this week and then we're on VACATION!
  • Two weeks off of class
  • Now, that sounds niiiiiice
  • I'm rather tired right now... thanks to our visitors that stayed till 3 a.m. this morning!
  • Sheesh! Some people! ; )
  • Kidding. I wouldn't trade sleep for awesome company. Fun times, good laughs, great people!
  • And I did better on the test tonight on half the sleep than I did last week on double the studying. (Yah, whobitywhaty, now?)
  • Go figure.
  • Only two more days of obligations before relaxation. (I'm trying to follow my advice from last week to slow way down. It's hard!)
  • Looking forward to a few days at 'the camp' this week/weekend... ahhhhh.... sauna, swim, sleep, bonfires, s'mores, blueberry quickie pies, baked potatoes cooked to perfection in the bonfire, starry nights, warm weather (we hope!)... no computers. no schoolwork. ultimate relaxation!
  • Always the best week of summer.
  • I think.... I think I might (gasp!) actually read a non-school book.
  • Woah.
  • Now that would be a little much, don't you think?
  • Get fired up, people! It's supposed to be in the 80s for the rest of the week!!
  • And, I'm going to leave it at that.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Just be still

Well, now.
I did it.
I tried to cram so much into a single week- didn't listen when my body told me to slow down- and wound up with a terrific summer cold. Yay. Scratchy throat, stuffed-up-congested head and all.
AND... it's a georgeous day to be outside enjoying the weather. Only... All I really feel like doing is crawling back into bed and staying there for the day. Or a week... (Hey... I can dream can't I?)

Awww... The thing is- when we know we are overworking ourselves... when we feel like we can't take on anything else- and then we do- this is what happens. It's an inevitiable response from our body saying, "You're so dumb! Stop and listen to the signals! YOU. CAN'T. DO. IT. ALL. Okay- you're not going to listen? Then, I'll show you how to listen. I'll make you sick if that's what it takes to slow you down." And then... why is it still so hard to listen? I'm pretty sure you can all relate at one point or another in your lives.

So... My advice for today? Slow down. Sit down. Relax. Enjoy the summer sunshine. Read with your feet up, a glass of ice water with lemon, and breathe. Don't cook supper. Cheat- and have an easy meal like sandwhiches, instead. Let your kids wear the same clothes as they did yesterday and realize- they are going to get dirty- that's what kids do. That's what makes them healthy, spirited, kids.

It's summer- make things easier on yourselves and be gentle with you. Stop rushing around thinking everything has to be done RIGHT now.

Because when you look back, you're not going to remember your house perfectly clean or your laundry all done. You're not going to think, "I remember on June 20th I completed my entire to-do list." What you will remember is that time you hauled out the sprinkler for the kids- how excited it made them to run through it on a hot afternoon. The time you sat down, kicked off your shoes and played in the sandbox with them- how happy they were that you would slow down and join them in their play. Those are the things that are important.

Learn to say "No" to others more- and "yes" to your kids more. You'll find yourself more relaxed, more able to enjoy life, and less worried about everything that didn't get done. And you'll stay healthy. Because what good is a mom who has worn herself to the bone and is sick and tired and finds hereslf always declaring, "I just can't do this anymore." It's true- you can't. So instead- listen to that inner nagging voice that tells you you're doing to much and find ways to make life easier, slower-paced, gentler. I know with kids this can be difficult- I'm there. But that's when it's most important to realize you don't have to fly helter-skelter-at-break-neck-speed 99.9% of the time.

These are the most precious moments of your life. Right now. Not tomorrow's "must-dos" or yesterday's "should-haves". Right now, today, is what is important.

Go enjoy your life.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Do you ever get the feeling you're talking to a wall?

Ahhhhh! Talking to a three year old, eh? Today Lydia was really into responding to everything I said with "Huh?" or "What?" She'd say it practically before I got done saying whatever it was I was telling her:

"Lydia, will you please-"
"Please go check if you hear Hannah crying."
"Please. GO. Listen. FOR HANNAH."

Finally I told her, "I want you to stop saying 'what?' everytime I say something."
And how does she respond?: "What?"

Now... I know that she can hear me perfectly fine. It's not an issue of hearing- it's an issue of let's-play-a-little-game-here-and-see-how-annoyed-we-can-make-mom. It's working. It gets extremely annoying by 4 in the afternoon as I'm trying to get supper cooked.

Anyways. It was a beautiful day today! I took a break from everything and spent the day outside. Hannah had one of her sleepy days (Slept in till 11 a.m., back for a nap at 1... slept till about 4 p.m.) I dug up the "garden" in the backyard and let the kids scatter some seeds in there this morning then gave them instructions not to walk in there so we can let the flowers grow. Haha! I also mentioned that we needed to remember to water it daily so I'm sure the thing is going to get adequate amounts of water... I think the seeds were already floating away. And- about 15 minutes later I saw Jack trudging across the backyard with the shovel in tow so I'm now quite certain we are going to have "gardens" all over our backyard. I guess I'll just have to go get some more seeds as well, right?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Where did this weekend go?

The weekend is over already and tomorrow starts another busy week of school and work for us. It was kind of a productive weekend around here. Saturday we woke up early and brought the youngest two to their grandparent's and took Lydia garage saling and out for breakfast with us. We rarely (actually this is probably a first!) do anything with just Ryan, me, and one of the kids. I think Lydia felt pretty special!

After garage saling we came home and Ryan finsished painting the living room because the carpeting is coming tomorrow. I worked on cleaning the upstairs and for the first time in a long time I have a neat and organized bedroom. I feel like I could just go in there and read a book... If I only had the time to read a book. I'm really wishing to divulge in a good book right now- forget everything else.

After seeing the clean bedroom, Lydia said, "Mom, where did all your junk go?... Is it under the bed?" haha!

We tried to put Jack in Lydia's room the other night so that Hannah could get moved out of our room. They laughed and giggled and talked for about an hour or so before Jack started yelling, "All done! ALL DONE!" So... With little patience for kids being up till midnight, I rolled his crib right back into his room.

Plan B: Move Hannah into Lydia's room. This one actually seems to be working... And since they're both early risers, it makes more sense anyways. We'll let Jack sleep till 9 or 10 in his own cozy little room. Lydia was so worried about Hannah getting moved back out right away like Jack did. She told me, "If she cries, I'll just sing to her.... deee-duh-deeeeee-daaa. It's okay if she cries."

Even though I'm always ready to move the baby out of our room (because it gets so crowded and I feel like everyone sleeps better) I still get this twinge of sadness. It's like... they're not that little, tiny baby anymore. Even though I wouldn't want to still be going through the twice-a-night feedings, I do always feel a little lost when they aren't sleeping a foot away.

Oops. I was looking at some of the older posts on this page and realized I titled one "...Middle july." What? Let's hope it's not the middle of July already... The fact that it's the middle of June is shocking enough as we still have not had much for summer weather.

Happy Father's Day to both of our Dads! And to Ryan of course- who does so much for our kids!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Here's how I cart Hannah around...

Here's the finished mei tai (pronounced "may tie"-- I think). It's an "asian-inspired-baby carrier." For some reason, I was obsessed with finding a good baby carrier for Hannah and when I looked at these ones online (google it: you'll find a thousand different types), I knew I really wanted to try making one. So, I found a few different measurements and set out to make it. It did consist of a few headaches but that's probably just because I'm not much of a sewer. It's actually very comfortable- I even tried putting my older kids in it to test it's strength- and I realized I could easily lug them around in it if I had to! The "professional" ones online claim they can hold infants to toddlers. You can wear it on your front, hip, and back... but so far I've only mastered the front. With the great lengths of (padded) straps that wrap around you, criss-cross across your back it's very comfortable and supportive. It's also reversable. And it's really not that hard to make once you figure out what you're doing. Fun project- and useful!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The heat ran today and it's almost the middle July.

It is cold out there tonight! I half expect snowflakes to start falling and to wake up to the snow plow rumbling by in the morning! For myself I guess I don't mind that it's not 90 outside because that would make school that much harder... But for everyone else- my kids included- I'm feeling like this summer is really going to be a chilly one and that stinks. The kids put their sweatshirts and jackets on this morning and stood out on the back porch grimacing as the wind whipped through them. Then turned around and came back in without even taking a step into the yard. It had to be cold becuase usually they are not detered by anything. Looks like we shouldn't have put the winter jackets away this year.

See over there on the right? In my profile, there? You know that tearing-out-of-the-hair thing I was talking about? It's starting to happen already. I won't sit and complain, but I'm really wondering how I'm going to make it through these summer classes. There is a LOT of information in an extremely short amount of time. I came home from class feeling as though I had been told to learn a foreign language and come back next week to find out how much I don't know.

And... Kind of funny, but you know that saying "If you build it, they will come"? Not true. If you tear it down they will come. Tear down the massage room and the calls suddenly increase. (Which is a good thing, I must add.) Plan was to just do home visits... Well... Didn't really think about what happens when it doesn't work out to go their home. Hm. Well, then.

So tomorrow I need to start organizing/rearranging this house. I feel like I've been in a fog for the last week studying for tests. Housecleaning has definetly taken the back burner. Well, I'm not studying tomorrow. No matter how much I need to know for next Wednesday... tomorrow I make a nice, big pot of coffee and tear through this house. I have so much frustration built up from my classes that it will be a good way to put all that steam to use.

And, oh yeah... Exciting news. We have air in our van now. Looks like I'll have ample opportunity to try that out, huh?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Like I'd seriously give away my laundry basket.

  • Had class tonight and learned something really important: my brain shuts down after 7 p.m. No warning, nothing. Just ceases to function properly.
  • This is not good at all. Class goes till 10.
  • Which technically means... Anything in the first hour of class has a chance of being filed in the archives... Anything after that first hour... Well...
  • I'm struggling with summer classes if you haven't noticed. I don't think I was cut out for this. Summer is supposed to be: summer. There's nothing about that word that tells a person to work harder.
  • My house got cleaned tonight while I was gone.
  • My husband knew better than to leave it a mess. : )
  • I'm making a new plan: go to bed earlier, wake up earlier.
  • I find I function better if I get that morning cup of coffee in before my kids wake up.
  • However... adding that extra hour in the morning could potentially mean my brain will begin to shut off at 6 p.m. Hm. Like it matters at this point.
  • I'm already dreaming about that morning cup of coffee.
  • Wow. help!
  • Garage sale went okay Saturday.
  • 'Cept someone walked off with my laundry basket.
  • Okay, it was my fault. I put free stuff in and taped a sign to the side that said "FREE". Well. What did I expect to happen when everything emptied out.
  • Still, I'm bitter. Who would give a perfectly good laundry basket away??
  • Positive thoughts.
  • But this means I have to subtract, like, $4 off the profit of the garage sale... which is like... 10-16 shirts worth of profit. Actually. I don't even know if you can get a laundry basket for $4. It could be more than 10-16 shirts. It could be like, 20 or something. which is like... an entire gallon of gas. which could get me like... to IGA and back 10 times... (I only live about 5 blocks away).
  • The price of gas is hillarious. It's so cheap.
  • If you think about how high it will be by the 4th of July, that is.
  • I'm learning to drive our car... it's a stick shift...So, it deserves to be said- I'm giving you fair warning: if you're stuck behind a little blue car this summer that's either a) not going anywhere or b) hopping slowly down the road... please give me a friendly wave and kindly pass by- I'll be busy saving on gas.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Funny mixed up phrases

After spending part of last week at my sister's house, my daughter came home with some new phrases that she learned from the older kids. It's rather funny because she's the oldest around here and so most of what we hear her saying came from one of us. But... being around her older cousins she picked up all kinds of good stuff. I've been rather amused. Here's my favorite one so far:

Today Lydia & Jack were playing in her room and I was down the hall folding clothes (ahem. I just had to add that in there to make it seem like I was being really efficeint and getting all caught up on my laundry and stuff. That line does paint a nice cozy picture, now doesn't it?) Anyways I heard her saying, "You missed me, missed me, missed me! Now you have to come give me a kiss!"

I also learned today that Jack calls Lydia simply "A". Forget the first two syllables. It surprised me that I hadn't caught on to this before, but he was looking for her this afternoon- going from room to room saying, "A? A?" He's learning more and more words every day but I guess "Lydia" is a little complicated.

Wow. We're getting some awesome thunder outside right now. Wish it was a bit warmer, I'd go sit in the front porch and watch the storm. Not that there's actually room to sit in the front porch right now due to some rather bulky garage sale finds... but maybe I'd just go out there and lean against one of the piles for a bit and admire the storm. I always love a good summer storm- the smell of the rain radiating off the blacktop, the thunder that rolls across the sky, cracking right above you... The flashes of lightening that make the midnight world look like noon for an instant. But it's late and I'm cold and my head is pounding... So instead this complainer is going to bed.

Take care.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Phone company support guy

The following is an actual conversation that took place sometime in the last week of May between me and the phone company support guy. Names have been omitted to protect the devious. After being on hold for a good period of time and hearing the "your call is important to us. please stay on the line..." message about 15 times... After running from room to room to get away from whiney, fighting kids, even locking myself in the bathroom at one point before deciding whoever did decide to finally answer my call deserved to hear some background music... this guy answers the phone:

phone company support guy: This is blah-blah-blah what can I help you with today.
me: Oh. Uh... Yeah, I was wondering why the price of my internet went up 5 dollars. I was paying around $15 and the price went up to around $20...
phone company supprt guy: Okay, let me just pull up your file and I'll take a look. clickity-clickity-clickity-click.(after he's retrieved my internet/phone info and probably half my life's history as well.): Okay. Okay, you should have recieved a notice that we were raising our rates begining this billing period.
me: Oh. Ohhh. Really? You guys, uh... sent something that said that? Um. I don't remember getting anything. (Or perhaps it's left in my unopened mail still? Huh. Wonder what else is in that stack then. Wherever it is.)
phone company supprt guy: Yes, it should have been mailed out to you.
me: Oh. So. You can't, like, give me my old rates back?
phone company support guy: I'm sorry, m'am this was a decision made cooperately. but I'll tell you what I can do. Since you were unaware of the rate increase I'm going to credit your next bill $5. That will not be effective until your next bill so it will not change this bill. This will be a one time credit, noticible on your next bill.
me: Okay, uh, thanks. That was my next bill, then?
phone company support guy: Yes. That will be on your next bill. Okay, just a minute while I go ahead and apply that credit to your account. clickity-click-click-clickity. click. Ooookay. I went ahead and applied that credit... (let me guess... I should expect that on my next bill???). All right m'am, what I'm going to do for you today is send out a $20 rebate for you. I'm going to get that in the mail to you right away just for upgrading your internet to our mega-ultra-super-fast-speed internet. (okay, so that wasn't the exact name.)
me: Um....?
phone company support guy: All right, I'll just send that out to you. You'll get our mega-ultra-super-fast-speed internet for only $24.95 a month...blah, blah, blah.
me: Excuse me? I called to ask you why my price went up to $20... I'm not interested in upgrading so I can spend even more.
phone company support guy: Oh. Okay. Is there anything else I can help you with today, m'am?
me: No thanks.

Wah. They get you. Watch out- dealing with these people is not for the faint-of-heart.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Remember those stacks of material?

Well. I finally finished a couple of bags (which were promptly given away as gifts.) I know... I posted pictures of the material months ago but I gave fair warning not to hold your breath waiting for me to actually turn them into something. Anyways, here's a picture of one of the finished products. I also made myself a baby carrier- also called a mei tai. I was kind of excited with the way that turned out. Okay. Just tried to post a picture of that, but it's not letting me for some reason- even though I just posted one. Not sure why that is. Maybe it's a hint- no one wants to see your little projects! Stop trying. Okay. I can take a hint.
I returned home from my "vacation" Sunday to find- thankfully- the house was still standing. No caved in upstairs. That's always a good thing. And... My living room has suddenly doubled in size! No more massage room. I'm going to post before/after pictures, but I want to finish the painting before I do that. You know- so you can see the final results. Again- don't expect this real soon. We're not known for our efficiency around here- although lately projects have been geting done. Imagine that.
School is back in full swing. Two nights a week for me- Ryan doesn't start till July and then he only goes one night a week. Just when I feel like I'm not sure I'm going to make it through I hear the cost of diapers is raising 20%... Hm. Suddenly motivated again. Is this true or...? I don't know, I haven't been shopping lately, but those are the rumors I hear. Cloth diaper suddenly don't seem quite so bad. Woah. Did I really just say that?
Hah! Lydia was looking for her bear before bed tonight. I asked her where it could be, tried to get her to think of where she had left it and she says, "I don't know! I put it somewhere safe." Yep, she hears her mom say this all the time... "I have no idea what I would have done with it... I probably put it somewhere safe and now I can't find it."
I'm determined to get somewhat organized. Starting right now. My sister & I are having a garage sale this weekend so I've been plowing through the upstairs getting things in piles for it. Step one: remove all cluter and useless junk. I'm still thinking it would all be so much easier to just rent a dumpster.
Enjoy your day!