He’ll be 11 months old tomorrow… I can hardly stand the thought…
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
I was re-packing my diaper bag this morning, and I started thinking about what a blessing it has been lately to have what I need in there for unexpected occasions…
For instance, we got to church and found out that it was our co-teacher’s birthday. We decided to go out to lunch with her. I prayed that I’d remembered to re pack the baby food… and I had! Yeah!!!!
So, items that a mom with a 3-year-old and a 10 month old should have in her diaper bag at all times:
Baby food for one lunch or dinner out
Spoon for baby food (Boon spoons are awesome!!!)
Change of underwear and pants for 3-year-old
Plastic produce bag (for any kind of accident)
Change of clothes for baby
A couple of small cars or other toys
Granola bar (for Mom or toddler)
A plastic bag full of Cheerios
Small camera (in its own compartment where it will NEVER come into contact with water)
Small makeup pouch filled with sundry essentials, feminine products, hand sanitizer, kleenex
And for the car…. always have a plastic ball and a plastic shovel available for any emergency playground digging that must be done. Sun hats for both boys also always stay in the car…
Anything that you would add?
Monday, April 26, 2010
It’ll probably come as no surprise to the 5 of you still reading that I’ve been running on fumes lately. David being out of town and trying to take on something currently energy sapping (exercise) all in the same week was enough to take me to the brink.
He came home, and we were talking, and I told him how overwhelmed I feel lately. Seems like the ever increasing list of demands just towers at times, and I want to hide my eyes when it gets that bad.
I asked him what he wanted to do on Saturday night, and it was watch a favorite movie. We made plans for him to pick it up after the boys got up from naps.
But after he got Seth up, he came into the kitchen, and casually said as I fixed dinner… “I’m not going to watch a movie tonight. I want to help you out with whatever it is that you need tonight. How about if I clean the shower?”
I dropped the knife onto the cutting board and burst into tears. And hugged him. And cried some more. There aren’t any words to describe my gratitude for his unselfishness…
So our Saturday night saw me steam mopping the Cheerio dust covered floor and him upstairs in our bathroom. God bless him.
I feel a lot better just being caught up. And I’m learning, very slowly, to notice the cues that tell me I’m taking on too much. I told a very loved friend that I couldn’t playdate today, even though I wanted to, because I had a sense that it would be too much for us. Seth was a new boy having Mommy to himself for a couple of hours.
I decided not to try to hit 3 stores before afternoon naptime after the toilet overflowed unexpectedly. Gotta readjust expectations, take a deep breath, and do a little less than originally planned. We went to one store, the most urgent one, and then we came home and played in the yard again.
It’s so easy to just try to do one more thing… but that one more thing is the thing that’ll send me over the edge. This needs to be a slower time of life for us, and I need to stop fighting that…. =)
Saturday, April 24, 2010
I found this article through Amy’s Humble Musings. I enjoyed it because I like snark and because the organic, whole food movement gets on my nerves from time to time.
For instance, a local chiropractor came to our MOPs meeting the other week. We all thought that the title of her talk was going to be building a healthy pantry. Instead, when the power point slide went up on the big screen, I was jarred with this title: “Poisons in Your Pantry.” She was a lady who’d grown up in Colorado in a family that did a lot of juicing, and she threw around words like “big business” and “feeding your children poison” like hand grenades.
There was a very long list of things we shouldn’t eat and a very short list of helpful suggestions. If you gave your child a donut, it was implied that you were making a very bad choice for your family. Vitamins were useless because they were nothing but “very expensive urine.”
I left the talk pretty angry. Instead of empowering the women at my table, arming them with good recipes or alternative suggestions for easy snacks other than fruit rollups, she just left them feeling stressed out and guilty and like there wasn’t much healthy that could be put in their children’s mouths. Or like they’d have to spend many hours slaving in the kitchen that they already don’t have…
I wished I could’ve given the talk instead. At least I wouldn’t have done harm by making the other stay at home moms feel lousy. There are so many great resources out there for feeding a family well on a budget. It can be as simple as learning how to pop your own corn with a little canola oil in a pot instead of using the microwave kind. Or a recipe for easy homemade pizza sauce that you can make in bulk. A healthier pantry doesn’t have to be oppressive and stressful… and you don’t have to do EVERYTHING from scratch to feed your family well.
Oh yeah, I like this website for healthy recipes on a budget. And you can buy your ingredients at Walmart and not the local farmer’s market if you don’t have the time or gas money to trek out there…. =)
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
As in, I need to cut myself some lately.
Don’t know why, but I’ve been pretty stressed the last couple of weeks. Could be the whining coupled with the increased fighting over toys that comes from a newly mobile baby…
But who knows? There’s always something new and hard just around the corner, it seems, and the easy phases don’t ever seem to last long enough for me. I’m greedy…
But I need to start laughing about it when I forget one of the things I meant to take back when I was doing some much needed returns this morning. (Mom’s here making all that possible). I need to smile and chuckle when I realize that I forgot to pick up that pack of chips for the fundraiser while I was doing returns. After all, the grocery is only across the street. It’s not the end of the world… My brain can be fried for a few years. It’ll be ok. The boys are wearing clothes, they’re fed, and things are reasonably clean. And I’m a much happier mother if I’m not rushing around like crazy and worrying about everything that’s not getting done. Happy mommies are worth a lot of dust bunnies…
If there’s a mountain of empty diaper boxes in Seth’s closet, I’ll get to it one day. It’s no big deal (as I tell the toddler daily when he dissolves into tears over dropping a Goldfish on the floor). Right? Right.
I can feel an upswing coming around the corner… (crossing fingers)
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
If anyone had told me 5 years ago that I would spend this morning kickboxing to Christian pop, I would’ve told them they’d lost their ever lovin’ minds.
And yet, that is exactly what I did. I signed my two boys into child care in different rooms of the church, paid my money for a 9 week, two-day a week course, and lined up with a bunch of other young mommies in the church gym. I kicked and side stepped and crunched and spun and ran in place for an hour. It wasn’t too bad, really. I felt pretty good by the time we were cooling down by twisting our legs into pretzels above our heads.
I got the boys, and we headed home. I didn’t take a shower (big mistake), and I didn’t pig out, even though I was hungry. Being tired and slightly shaky from muscle fatigue was not a lot of fun, but God was gracious, and the morning went pretty smoothly. The boys are now tucked into bed, I’ve had a shower, and I’m thinking about this whole exercise thing. And I have a theory…
I’ve been blessed with a high metabolism. This means that most of my life, I’ve been able to eat pretty much whatever I want without gaining weight. I am 5’ 5 1/2”, and I graduated from college weighing 100 lb. soaking wet. Go ahead and throw rotten organic veggies at me. I did nothing to deserve it… I just got to enjoy it. I still do… for the most part.
But I’ve had my second baby, and things are a little less than stellar in the ab department. Evan is 11 months old, but I still look about 10 weeks pregnant with him. We may have another baby at some point, and if we do, I want to start out with a better looking tummy than I currently have. So I’m attempting to kick my tail into gear.
It’s requiring time and energy from me that I would rather not expend. I have to put my babies in child care, or I have to leave my husband at night to take a class. I won’t be having playdates on Tuesdays and Thursdays again until June. I have to come home and try to entertain my small ones until nap time on low reserves after each class, and frankly, I’m worried about that. I would rather talk to other women or study the Bible with them in the few precious hours I have with them than kickbox next to them. Any. day. of. the. week.
So here’s my theory. There are a lot of enthusiastic, slightly smug, exercise afficiendos out there. You all know who you are. I love you…. but I’m not buying what you’re selling. You say that you exercise to feel good, to take care of the body God gave you, etc., etc.
And I say bull. A giant, steaming pile of it.
Because, in my opinion, if most youngish, generally healthy women could have flat tummies, tight tushies, small thighs, and non-jiggly arms from eating one less cookie and one more apple a day and taking a leisurely stroll around the block a couple of times a week, they would never sign up for another aerobics class or step on another treadmill again until they hit menopause. Why do we do it, ladies?
Let’s just cut through that steaming pile, shall we? The reason is… VANITY. I’ll spell it again for you. VANITY. We want to look good. Do we feel better afterward? Sure we do. Is it a good thing to do? Sure. But that’s not our primary motivation. Those things are not enough motivation by themselves when the costs in time and energy are high.
So I’m exercising. And I’m being HONEST about why I’m doing it. I’ll probably be moderately cranky on Tuesdays and Thursdays until June. And if I don’t have a tighter tummy to show for it by then, my yoga mat is going in the trash can…
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Sunday afternoon is for napping, so I’m including an old picture of Evan from last summer, snoozing away with Papa. Now that baby is “ba-ba”ing and “bee bee BEE”ing and trying to climb my chair legs…
But I digresss. Sunday afternoon is mainly for rest and relaxation and minor housework… it is not for what David just did. Which is put his suitcase in the car, kiss us all goodbye, and drive away…
He’s got a class in S.C. this week. And the anticipation of him leaving has been rougher than usual. We’ve decided that that is because he hasn’t spent the night away from us for work since mid- December…
Last year, he traveled a lot. Far too much. We hated it, but we got used to it. Now we’re not used to it anymore, so the parting is harder.
And I feel more vulnerable and frail than I used to when he went away. David is such a huge, important help around here. He is essential to the smooth daily functioning of this house. Apparently, that’s a mixed blessing.
I know I’m a whiny weenie. We’ll make it. I’ll be doing lots of praying for good attitudes and infrequent temper tantrums (for all of us). God is usually pretty gracious to answer those requests. And Nana is coming to help on Tuesday. We’ll be fine.
But we miss Daddy already…
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Sittin’ here in my chili pepper pajama pants, just drinkin’ my cocoa…
Evan’s playing happily around the corner with some sort of rattly thing…
And I enjoyed this blog post a minute ago…
David is awesome that way, too. When I feel like I’m not on top of anything at the moment, like everything is falling apart, he’s there with a kind word of encouragement for me… and best of all, he reminds me that I’m doing the main things that really matter to our family…
Which reminds me… I haven’t really been feeling all that on top of it lately. I was talking to him last night, and I realized that I’m a little discouraged about how the things I’ve taken on are going…
A couple of ideas that I had for MOPs didn’t go as stunningly as I’d hoped they would. Leadership told me they were good ideas and supported them. They went fine… but didn’t get the participation I was hoping for. So I’m a little confused and discouraged about that. Numbers don’t mean anything, Ellen. Just keep repeating it to yourself…
I feel like I’m not as good of small group leader as I’d like to be. And I’m not exactly sure how to improve… other than give more of myself and my energy than I’m feeling like I want to invest right now. But I’m not sure that even that would help, so why gamble, right? Again, nothings going badly, but I was just hoping for more assurance that all is well and meeting all the needs of the ladies, and I’m not sure it is. Maybe I’m just expecting too much feedback…
I’m planning on being a leader again next year. I think they need me to be because of the general need for leaders. But I’m wondering a little if I should keep going or not… I want to step out of the way if another person would be a better leader to the group at this time than I would.
Finding the right balance for family and service to others only gets more complicated the more children I have. It seems like there are an endless number of good things I could be doing. I don’t want to sacrifice “best” for just good.
And speaking of best, I’m going to go cuddle the baby now and get off this computer… =)
Monday, April 12, 2010
We’re still doing “school” about once a week during Evan’s nap time. Friday last week was Butterfly Day!
- We read “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”
- I wrote a capital “B” on his Magnadoodle, and had him identify it. We talked about lower case and capital letters, and I wrote out the word “butterfly” for him.
- We watched this video about three times. He loved it, and it was a great, short explanation of butterfly metamorphosis. YouTube is a homeschooling mom’s best bud…
- And then we made butterflies for the playroom! This has to be one of Seth’s favorite crafts so far. So easy, and so much excitement for so little effort. =)
First, take a white sheet of construction paper, and fold it in half. Open it up, and dribble different colors of paint on ONLY one side of the crease. Fold it back over, and have your preschooler pat and pat and pat the paper. Then have him help you open it up again! He’ll be amazed by what he sees! Let the paint dry overnight, cut around the butterfly shape, and then glue construction paper antennae on him. You’re done… and you’ve fired up your child’s imagination and color recognition skills (since they have to identify the color to choose which paint to use next.)
We have a colony of beautiful butterflies populating our playroom walls right now, and they will stay with us through the summer…
Oh yeah, and I had these on my office wall when I taught preschool many moons ago. And I didn’t even have kids yet. =)
In the interest of full disclosure, things started going downhill after the pancakes…
Candyland was a dud. He wasn’t interested. No problem… we’ll move on…
to incessant whining, fussing, crying, begging for things over and over and over again, time outs… which led to…
trying to cut down on the amount of time outs and other disciplinary action by escaping the house, just as we’ve done every day for the last few weeks because of this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad “phase”….
which led to… Evan eating mulch at the park, and me getting whacked in the face with the swing Seth was in as I came back up from the mouth finger sweep…
fussing as we leave the playground, back home, to being peed on while reading to the temporarily happy boy on my lap…
who became unhappy again as I stripped off his clothes and put him down for a nap…
Seth has always been on the easily frustrated side. And its always been hard on me to see most other children handling small setbacks and disappointments better than he does. But these past few weeks have been on another level of awful entirely.
I wake up trying to be optimistic about what the day will hold. I have nice plans and hopes, and things go well for a little while, but it doesn’t take long for him to get upset with me after hearing several “not right now’s” and “no’s.” And then the day gets very long. And by the middle of it, my nerves are strung out waiting for the next temper tantrum. I usually don’t have to wait long…
Please tell me this is going to end soon… because it makes me sad that I’d really like a vacation from my 3-year-old.
1. Sleep in until 8:30 (Evan included!).
2. Make pumpkin pancakes for Seth.
3. Watch the baby crawl around in the bedroom sunlight while I get ready.
4. Put homemade butterflies all over the playroom walls.
5. Teach Seth how to play Candyland. Bonus: learning color recognition.
6. Take a leisurely stroll down the street.
7. Listen to the laundry whirling away.
8. Give lots of hugs and kisses.
9. Sing “Deep and Wide” loudly on the porch without caring which neighbors hear me.
10. Make David one of his favorite dinners after giving him a big kiss hello.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
We’re helping friends move in today…
They’re old friends from our D.C. days and law school days. And sometimes I still think it’s crazy that they bought a house just down the street from us. They’re embarking on this new suburban life just like we did, new baby and all. Nice to be able to relate and remember…
Now there’s somebody new to borrow a cup of sugar from… someone else cherished to swap babysitting and recipes and jokes and prayer with…
David’s bolting together beds and moving furniture. I already got to unload book boxes and exclaim over all the titles I greedily hope to borrow one day. Babies and toddlers played and grabbed and “helped” in the middle of the chaos and balled up packing paper and random stuff...
And now it’s naptime for our two, and I’m home making dinner for the tired crew when they’re done. I’m glad that I get to be a part of this. The potential and chaos of a new home is sweet and precious in its own way…
Especially when its not my chaos and my boxes needing unpacking. =)
Friday, April 09, 2010
Friday, April 02, 2010
Thursday, April 01, 2010
It’s spring, and I’m excited about marinated chicken and pasta salads and all kinds of springy food. =) I’ve decided to try making my own salad dressing this year. It’ll also double as chicken marinade or stir fry sauce if I’m feeling that on a particular day.
I found these wonderful containers in the kitchen utensils aisle at WallyWorld. At $1.50 a piece, they’re worth it. The side shows measurements in 1/4 c. increments, so I poured my wet stuff in right there without having to dirty up any measuring cups.
And to get you started if you want to join me, here’s the recipe I have in this container… It comes from “Family Feasts for $75 a Week” by Mary Ostyn, a fantastic healthy and frugal resource…
1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 c. water
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 T. sugar
1 1/2 t. garlic powder
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. dried basil
1 t. black pepper
1 t. salt
1 t. onion powder
2 cloves minced garlic
Shake together and enjoy. Label with an oh-so-stylish band of masking tape and a Sharpie, and make sure to put an expiration date 2 months from the day you made it.