Stay-at-Home Mom Style outfit for the week jeans leggings cheap chic fashion frugal style mom on the go

these days

I am doing So much better.

Today, I actually went grocery shopping. I think the last time I did that, by myself with assorted children, was early this summer. Ever since I started having pregnancy complications we have just been doing food triage, where we run in to get the things we think of, or I send Kevin in with a *very* short list. Today, I planned a menu and made a list.

Last night, I created. I made Denton some training bundies. I used his Gerber ones as a guide and made the outside out of fleece and the lining out of an old pair of flannel boxers (not going to say whose ;-)) He’s had them on all day and he’s been dry all day, so I have no idea how well they work. *grin*

This was such a joy for me to have my brain work right. Losing all the blood I lost during Elivette’s birth really affected my mental process a lot more than I realized. I was extremely emotionally fragile and fuzzy headed to the extreme. Being able to figure out how to de-construct a simple pair of bundies and then make a pair myself has been out of my reach for too long.

This week, I have been in control of my emotions for the most part. I could feel myself  slipping, for no particular reason, just the overwhelmed-ness that so easily creeps in. I cried but I didn’t “lose it” with the chiddlers. I went into our pantry while they were having lunch and sobbed a bit; breathed deep and prayed long. The day went on and I was in a much better frame of mind.

Simple things, but things that have been out of my grasp. These days, I’m doing SO much better.

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Stay-at-Home Mom Style outfit for the week jeans leggings cheap chic fashion frugal style mom on the go

I’m productive even when I don’t mean to be.

And sassy too.

Here are some of the great and mighty things I got accomplished today.

Duct taped the toilet seat after it cracked under me. Nothing like that happening to make you feel like you’ve gained 300 pounds. I used zebra duct tape because really, how can you not?

Ate some blonde brownies the seven year old made.

Cut both the boys’ hair. They love getting their hair cut with the clippers. I mean love it. If they had their way, they’d both be bald. Denton’s still hasn’t recovered from when his brother cut it (and Cadrian’s is growing out funny from the same incident) so it’s a loh-hot shorter than before. Denton looks so different. And old.

Started a new book.

Started to do dishes until we realized the freshly installed (and apparently not quite correctly or completely) water heater was gushing water out into the room, so I got out of that.

Planted the rest of the square foot garden.

Hung out a load of laundry. It’s still there.

Hired a birth photographer!

Called one of my besties and pinned down a date to take her to get pedis.

Took a few pictures of the house addition.

Now I’m just sitting here, sans pants, being awesome.

Look how productive I am. *grin*

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Stay-at-Home Mom Style outfit for the week jeans leggings cheap chic fashion frugal style mom on the go

This week…

It’s been interesting. Crazy and calm and hot and cool, windy and still.

I signed the three oldest up for VBS at a church about 6 minutes away. And let me tell you, there is NOT much in my life I can say is about 6 minutes away. They are gone from 9-11:30. The girls also have had Five Day Club for a couple of hours in the afternoon; they are gone from 12:30 – around 3.

It has been a break for me to only have Denton in the morning and only Cadrian (because Denton is sleeping) for part of the afternoon. I have been able to rest more, put my feet up more, read more, do a bit of scrapbooking, plan ahead more, THINK more. I have been thankful for the one on one time with my boys.

It’s been crazy because we have to be out the door every day by a certain time, and I have to go get the kids at a certain time and we have to eat lunch right away when we get home because the girls get picked up about 40 minutes after our arrival.

It’s odd to have them not be around me. To not really have them have time to unwind, to go around their home at their pace. It’s odd they haven’t had time for a many of their self initiated craft projects (although they still made time to make sandals from cardboard, construction paper and chenille stems).

It’s been different, and I’m not sure in a good way, for Denton to only have me around to play with. He was much more demanding (much like my oldest was at this age…hmmmm) than normal. He didn’t quite know what to do with himself without his siblings to follow and emulate. He misses having his favorite people with him all morning.

The house has been tidier, and yet I’m not sure it’s worth it.

As wild as is our normal, as busy and frazzled as I often feel with all four of my chiddlers ganging up on me, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I like having my children here at home, the whole family in our house where it belongs. And, I daresay, they love it too.

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Stay-at-Home Mom Style outfit for the week jeans leggings cheap chic fashion frugal style mom on the go

Ok, I’ll admit it…

…right here in public for everyone to see.

I’m weird.

True story.

I have my clothes hanging by color in my closet and my DVDs alphabetized. But I hardly ever have a clean kitchen floor and it drives me bonkers to take the time to make tater tots in nice neat rows for a casserole.

I like to write my dates like this: 25 August 2012 which is European instead of August 25, 2012 which is American. And I am oh so very American. I also wish we were on the metric system because I can always remember there are 1000 meters in a kilometer, but never how many feet are in a mile. Plus I never say it’s however many miles anyway; I always measure distance in time. As in, “It’s about 20 minutes to the grocery store.” or “My aunt lives 8 hours away.”

I love chocolate. I’ll eat Nutella right off the spoon. I adore milk chocolate, dark chocolate, my grandma’s recipe for hot chocolate syrup, but I really, really don’t like chocolate cake or chocolate ice cream. If that is the only kind offered, I won’t even have any! Cake! or Ice Cream!

I read a lot. I am on a first name basis with all my librarians who automatically pull my holds when I walk through the door (I know! They are THAT awesome!) But I have some sort of aversion to buying books. As in, I never do. Unless they are a quarter at the library sale or part of our homeschool curriculum (shout out to Sonlight right there). As in, we checked out Everywhere Babies probably 30 times before I finally decided it was buy worthy.

One of my pet peeves is discovering everyone left their toothbrushes out on the sink after they’ve all gone to bed. It doesn’t seem to bother me to step over my own shoes for the third day in a row however.

I don’t really like tea that much. But I wish I were a tea drinker. I love the image that tea seems to personify for me: a mama sitting at a tidy table, gentle breezes blowing in through the crisp lace curtains, a canary singing softly in the corner, red geraniums on the window sill and a calico kitty purring contentedly on the lap while the children joyfully-yet quietly– play with their handmade wooden toys at her feet. In fact, I buy into this image so much I have an entire cabinet shelf dedicated to tea of all flavors. Truly.

And yet, my sick little tea fantasy never comes true. When I do make a cup, my children are still loud and squirrelly, I’m still allergic to cats and still a houseplant killer, canaries actually annoy me, I don’t even have any curtains, and the tea is found the next day half drunk and cold.

It’s true. I’m weird. I’m a walking contradiction. It’s a good thing I like me that way.

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Stay-at-Home Mom Style outfit for the week jeans leggings cheap chic fashion frugal style mom on the go

Pain free?

I have had my share of pain with a history of migraines, but never have I had chronic debilitating pain. I know God is allowing me to walk through this (pun intended, since some days I can barely walk) so I can have more empathy for others, and I’m sure a host of other reasons. I can see now why chronic pain is so often associated with depression.

I went to see my sister in Colorado, which hopefully will be another (positive) post. While I was there, I had an appointment with her chiropractor who specializes in muscle testing for food allergies. It is good to know that the only thing I need to avoid is chemicals, which we are already trying to do. It is challenging to know that we need to avoid dairy for Brielle and reduce wheat for Aviana; a bit of overwhelming, to be honest.

That evening I started developing a terrible pain in my thigh. I had been playing with my three year old nephew and thought maybe I had just overworked my muscles a bit. It continued to get worse and extended to both legs. By the time I got back to Iowa, I was up most of the night in pain, in pain most of the evening and only able to lie on the couch with a heating pad and moan and cry a little bit.

I went to see my chiropractor here, contacted my midwife and the chiropractor I saw out in CO and everyone is somewhat stymied. My midwife did say I could take Tylenol, so that is helping. Last night I was able to feel almost normal and laugh at funny websites. I was optimistic that I would sleep through the night, but I was wrong.

To compound matters, Brielle has a sore throat and has been waking up in the night. I’ve been sleeping in our newly cozy guest room (so at least I’m not keeping Kevin up too) across from her room so I’m the one getting up with her to comfort her and give her medicine.

This morning has been the first time that I’ve really even felt coherent enough to write some thoughts…

Praising God for that. Praising God for Brielle’s stuffy nosed happy cricket voice. Praising God the other children aren’t sick. Praising God for a reprieve from the pain. Praising God for my husband who’s been a saint–a bona fide saint.  Praising God that He’s right there with me through the pain, when it’s all I can think about.

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Reading Last Light by Terri Blackstock.

Buying a generator.
Building and stocking a storage pantry.
Wearing my poet shirt I got in high school.
Trying to talk my husband into a wood burning stove.
Researching composting toilets and water sanitation systems.
Harvesting some veggies from the garden.
Freezing them plus more I bought from real gardeners at the Farmer’s Market.
Falling in love with Backwoods Home Magazine.
Implementing the Two Minute Tidy.
Not stressing about the state of my home. (it’s been a beautiful thing)
Brushing off the sand from my bed (see the post about the two sandboxes :-))
Designing our Christmas photo card.
Getting ready for my brother’s wedding.
Noticing that I am up before the sunrise now.
Making stuff with my sweet girl.
Spending a lot of time outside.
Preparing to make a lot of applesauce.
Learning how to can tomatoes. (And hopefully applesauce)
Loving my first cup of coffee and my second and frequently third (and even, sometimes, fourth) (I tell myself, hey, it’s better than the Diet Dew habit!)
And snuggling with my husband under a yummy fleecy sweatshirt blanket free from the seed corn salesman.
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My Life in Lists

praying for our Compassion children

Praying for my live-in children

What’s in my recipe box

Tens list–what I’m reading in the Bible

An old schedule of what we did that day; I’m trying to figure out a semi-permanent routine…

The dates our co-op picks up raw milk.
Brielle’s thankfulness list.

The states Aviana needs to collect all 50 state quarters

What we’ve named the calves this year

quotes and notes from books I’m reading

books to put on hold and websites to look up

the girls’ measurements

my thankfulness list

scriptural blessings to pray for my children

our grocery list and Aviana’s “grocery” list

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Stay-at-Home Mom Style outfit for the week jeans leggings cheap chic fashion frugal style mom on the go

Composting, Jessica’s way

What is it that compels me to, when googling a recipe for egg noodles, bypass the first five links and click on the one posted by “Hillbilly Housewife?

I’m feeling all mighty today.
Maybe you don’t know this about me, but I’m not really a girl who likes to get her hands dirty, or wield tools, or ‘work with my hands’. Today though, I wrestled an old snow fence I discovered in the barn we’re tearing down into an Aviana sized (4×4) oval. I pounded some electric fence posts into the ground and cut wire. Kevin was there to assist if needed, but I wanted to do it myself.
Then I raked and piled old leaves from my shade garden into the wheel barrow (yep, I actually pushed it!) and dumped them into the bin. Twice. Then Aviana and I dug up some dirt from the pile by the barn we’re tearing down and filled the wheelbarrow.
Then Denton woke up.
But still! I made a compost bin by myself.
I told Kevin I wanted to buy some red worms to help it along, but he scoffed and said buying worms is for city people.
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Stay-at-Home Mom Style outfit for the week jeans leggings cheap chic fashion frugal style mom on the go

Fabulous Friday

What a day!

Maybe it’s the being off sugar and God is blessing me for it–but I have been chock full of energy all day today.
I was up at two with my sweet four year old who just can’t seem to get used to her big bed and new bedroom upstairs. I had a headache and took some medicine which had caffeine in it. So by the time the headache was gone, the caffeine (which I haven’t had in a couple of days either) kicked in and I could NOT fall asleep. And you’d think, listening to four other people sleep soundly, oh so soundly, it wouldn’t be hard to doze off myself, but no. (yes that would mean there were four other people in my room)
So I finally I was convinced it was fruitless to just lie there and I got up and did a little cleaning and went to the gym. The gym! In the dark! Me?! Imagine! I just left a note on the fridge and left the house. I felt like a rebel.
It was an awesome class too.
Then I hit the store. By myself.
By the time I got home it was time for Kevin to get out and do chores. I did a little hanging out with the kiddos amid the putting away of the groceries and such, then we went to story hour. I kept Cadrian on a VERY tight leash, no running out the door or taking his pants off this time! I also bought a lamp for a quarter.
Home again. (and you must keep in mind when one lives in the country, going somewhere tends to be quite the production–you can’t just get there in five minutes) After lunch, stories and ado, we started quiet time. The boys were sleeping and I showered.
Brielle wanted to rub lotion on my legs afterward and I allowed her. Then she wanted to massage it on my back, and I acquiesced to that as well. Then she said, joyfully, “I’m like your servant. Except you don’t pay me, so I’m really your slave!” Even so, I still enjoyed the back rub.
Denton woke up and the girls thought that meant they didn’t have to be quiet anymore. I did manage to doze off while rocking the baby back to sleep.
We had some friends over to play and join in Forced Outdoor Fun, which now that the weather is warming up (she says with her fingers crossed), is muddy but back on the schedule.
Kevin took the middle ones to go get the pizza. We did the bedtime thing. I skimmed a book I might buy, Grow Your Own Drugs. It’s a really well written book (and I’ve read several home pharma books like it), but I still have a lot of questions. Learning from a book is good and all, but I would really like my grandmother in my kitchen guiding me through all this. *wistful sigh*
Now, my energy is flagging and I need to snuggle up in my bed.
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I think I need drawing lessons

My two year old brought me his Magnadoodle.

“Daw! Cow!”
“you want me to draw a cow?”
“Eh!” (yeah)
I’m having a bit of trouble, but I hand it back to him with a four legged creature on it.
He takes one glance and emphatically retorts, “No *snort* *snort*! Cow!”
“Oh, you think that looks like a pig?”
Attempt number two, still not much improvement. I hand over the Magnadoodle once again.
He looks at me as if I’m joking. “No *snort* *snort*! COW!”
By this time I’m laughing so hard, I can barely see, let alone draw a straight line.
I hand him back this:
I asked, “Is that good?” He kind of shrugged and smiled sympathetically…
I think he gave up on me.
In other news, Brielle just was getting a game out of the preschool cabinet and found the sandwich I lost yesterday . Sigh.
It’s tough to be me some days.
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