What a wonderful day I had yesterday. Not to brag or anything…

Aviana and Brielle have been semi sick and cranky for almost a week. We all have had some sort of eye infections. Sunday night it seemed like I didn’t get to sleep until almost 4 a.m. because one or the other of them would cry out in her sleep or worse, fully awaken. It’s also hard to relax because of Baby C’s acrobatics and the fact that Kevin is such a heat pump, and sometimes a girl just needs space and no one breathing on her.

So yesterday…my dear mother-in-law had the day off and came over around eleven and picked up both my kiddlets. And kept them until after five!

I seriously considered lying in bed all day reading, but I decided to be productive instead.

I purged and organized the girls’ toys. I had just had bins, though labeled, with a bunch of toys in them. Some of the toys were junky, and invariably it seemed like they would just dump the entire bin on the floor, maybe play with one thing, and leave the mess. We always cleaned up before bedtime, but what an odorous task! I took a tip or two from Montessori thinking and put their toy shelves in order. I want them to be able to find what they want easily, and most especially be able to put it away!

I got all the books out of Kevin’s music room and got them organized and put away in the book nook.

I got some butterflies and maps hung that had been lying around waiting for attention for ages. (Maps? –total cost $3. D.ollar Tree: I love you. Butterflies-o.riental trading co)

I cleaned and vacuumed the entire upstairs. This is a task, I’m partially chagrined to admit, that only gets done every couple of months.

I got my scrap room organized finally. I couldn’t even see the counter before because creativity doesn’t lend itself to order. Then inspired by all the tidiness (and by that time, my back really hurt), I made 20 cards. They are all about the same, but it was a great way to use up a bunch of little pieces of paper. I scrap lifted the idea from a H.allmark card.

I made pork stir fry for dinner (and can I just say, rutabaga goes really well in stir fry).

And after bed time since Kevin had band practice I was still alone, I got started on the scrapbook baby calendar project I want to make for Baby C. The plan is to have the picture part of the calendar all made, so all I have to do each month is add some pictures for him. (We haven’t decided on a name yet…) Then I’ll record his milestones or whatever action is taking place on the date part. I got the 12×12 calendars at the Dollar Spot at Tar.get, originally to make a year in review calendar for the grandmas’ Christmas presents, but that never materialized.

It’s amazing how much I can get done without “help”.

That’s probably enough productivity to last a while.

If you need me, I’ll be on the couch with my feet up eating bon-bons (or graham crackers with frosting, ‘cuz that’s more like the girl I am).

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A Meme

My cousin tagged me for 6 Random Things.

1–I’m barefoot. I love to be barefoot. I stay barefoot when I wake up in the morning until my toes are numb and I’m forced to put on socks. When we got our corn burner, I thought I would be able to be barefoot all winter. I was wrong.

2–I may have pink eye. It hurts.

3–I hate to clean the kitchen. I love a clean kitchen. Do you sense a problem?

4–On my bookshelf: A Treasury of Children’s Literature–this is the book from which I am reading onto CD. Learning about the Changing Seasons– super easy science experiments. Authentic Beauty and Authentic Beauty:Going Deeper (the study guide)–Learning to see myself through His eyes. Raising Maidens of Virtue: A study of Feminine Loveliness for Mothers and Daughters. Second Touch–the second book in the A.D. Chronicles by the amazing Thoene duo about the times and life of Jesus Christ. I don’t know why I feel the need to read more than one book at a time. I guess then I can read what I feel like.

5–I’ve had my hair blonde, brunette and redhead. I’ve had it long and short and in between. I don’t have a favorite.

6–I finished two scrapbook layouts last night. I was forced to use a new kind of adhesive. I don’t like it.

I guess I still have journaling to do on the yummy yummy layout…

Doing this meme reminded me that my 101 things is over three years old. Remind me to update that sometime when I’m just sitting around, looking for something to do.

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On Branching Out

So Sunday nights at our house are traditionally low key.

I cook at least one meal a day all week long, usually from scratch. Sundays at noon we may do a crock-pot meal or we may stop at a deli on the way home from church (which lately, to be honest, is what we do.)

Sunday night I like to follow in the tradition of my dear ma, who always settled us in with popcorn, cheese and apples and the Disney movie playing on ABC. I still remember snuggling up with my brother and sister our shared plate of apple and Monterey-Jack slices on our laps, and our paper bag of salty popcorn in between, watching Pete’s Dragon or Swiss Family Robinson. Good times.

We almost always have popcorn, cheese and apples on Sunday nights too. It took Kevin a while to adjust to the idea this could be a meal, but now he likes it too. It doesn’t feel like Sunday night without popcorn, cheese and apples.

Tonight, however, I branched out. He’s out in the fields, so I just made what I felt like, which turned out to be sweet rolls from a tube, and cheesy scrambled eggs with ham and broccoli. It was good.

Next week, I’m going back to popcorn, cheese, and apples. Sometimes, you just have to stick to tradition.

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melt my mama heart, why don’t you?

Me: Whatcha thinkin’ about Miss A?
Her: I’m dist finking about ouwr new baby!
Me: You are? What are you thinking about him?
Her: I’m dist so esited, I tuld twy!
Me: You are?! I’m pretty excited too!
Her: I tan’t wait to meet him, and see his face, and hold him, and snuddle him. I tan’t wait for the end of Doowhy! I’m dist so esited, I tuld twy!
Me: *big hug* Me too sweetheart, me too.

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Letter to Dr. Laura

I love Dr. Laura. Her book The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands revolutionized my marriage. Literally. In fact, I need to read it again. And you should too.

I love how she cuts to the chase in almost every conversation. I love how she ‘gets’ the heart of the matter right away, and genuinely helps people see their responsibility in their problems. I love how she doesn’t take any guff from anyone, how she sticks to her guns, how she stands for what she believes in, no matter how unpopular those views might be. Most of all, I love how she staunchly supports stay-at-home moms, the man acting the man, supporting him in the role of head of household.

She always opens her show with a letter from her readers. Today’s letter made me weep:

I Want to Go To Day Care – My New Attitude

Dear Dr. Laura,

I am a stay at home Mama for two sweet natured, good hearted, and sometimes exhausting little boys, ages 3 ½ and 1 ½. Yesterday was one of the hard days for me – my 1 ½ year old was up a lot during the night leaving me tired and irritable, I was hormonal, and it was Monday – always a day with a lot to get done for us. We were out running errands, and when we got to the door of our first destination, I found they were unexpectedly closed. We headed back to the car, where my little guy suddenly decided he hated his car seat. After our wrestling match I turned, frazzled and a little disheveled, to my older son to get him buckled in as well. He was entranced watching some kids play outside at the day care next to the building where we were parked.

“Can I play, Mama?” he said.

“No, sweetie. It’s not a playground, it’s a day care. Now hop in, we need to go a couple more places before Daddy gets home tonight.”

“Can I go to day care?” he persisted.

“No honey, you don’t go to day care. I stay home with you.”

“I want to go to day care!” he said.

I closed my eyes for a moment and took a deep breath. “Sweetheart, I know it looks like fun to play outside and that errands aren’t much fun, but I don’t think you really want to go to day care.”

“Why not?” I could tell I had his attention because he was letting me buckle him in now.

“Well, those kids go to day care really early in the morning – like before Daddy leaves for work in the morning. And they stay there all day – like until after Daddy comes home at night.”

“Who takes care of them?”

“Their teachers.”

“Who reads them stories?”

“Their teachers.”

“Who plays with them?”

“The other kids and their teachers.” By this time I had the car started and was pulling out of the lot. There was silence for a minute while he digested what I had said. Then his voice from the backseat…

“Don’t they get sad being there all day long without their Mommy and Daddy?”

I glanced in the rear-view mirror and into his earnest little eyes. “What do you think?”

“I think they would be really sad and miss their Mommy. I don’t ever want to go to day care.”

And that’s how I went from being impatient, frustrated, frazzled, tired and cranky to grateful beyond belief that I made the right choices in my life (my wonderful hardworking husband, buying the house we could afford on one salary, driving older cars without payments, leaving behind my “fabulous” job with the six figure salary) so that I could have this exact conversation instead of the reverse. Because I can’t imagine looking into those little eyes the day he asked me “Why don’t you stay home with me, Mommy?”

Thanks for all you do to support families and children by validating the importance of staying home with our kids.


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The Farm Fresh Ride

One of the funniest mamas I’ve never met asked to see the inside of your minivan. I thought I was too tired to go out and take pictures, but then I changed my mind. So here you go:

Our lovely “new” van–new to us in January, ‘cuz even though I was sure they would, three car seats will not fit in the backseat of a Taurus

My make-up kit, because “on the way” is where I do my make-up and the kiddlets’ CD’s

The nastiness that is our console, banana sticker and heart foamie notwithstanding. My keys and sunglasses.

Glove compartment: because life is too short of bad breath or headaches
Maps for three states: Because you never know where you might end up Notebook: to jot notes for the journey Owner’s manual: because Hubby likes to look things up in it. Envelope with our insurance info

Aviana’s overnight bag: All set for an impromptu visit at Grandma’s (although the clothes in it may be used. I can’t be sure)

A dress I borrowed from a friend last July for Brielle’s one year picture. I keep meaning to get it back to her. Word search books: Meant to be a gift to the old lady we sometimes visit in the nursing home. I’m sure we’ll visit again someday…

Blankets: in case it’s cold

General disgustingness. A stuffed animal. An umbrella: in case it rains. The scraper: which I hope we won’t need again until next November.

A rock: in case I need it for Sunday school (Aviana picked it up for me at the park; and I really did use a rock in a discussion with my Sunday school hooligans about Stephan, the first martyr–though we did not talk about the whole story, just that rocks can be used for fun, and to hurt people.) A phone book: just in case.

Tripod: because we might pass a Perfect Picture Place and might need to stop and take pictures (and we might have the camera with us) Jumper cables. A tire inflater. A mei tai wrap for Brielle. Can someone tell me what those semi-circle ‘holes’ are for?

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I’ve been keeping my soda in the fridge out on the front porch in hopes that since I have to go out there to take a drink, I would drink less. I’ve been on again off again trying for practically ever to quit, but I always miss it too much. All I’ve accomplished so far is feeling like a lush because now I’m illicitly sneaking drinks.

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