Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sick . . . Again!

Last night . . . well, actually it was early this morning, around 1 am, Ali was crying in bed. I went to comfort her, which seemed to work for about 5 minutes. Then she was crying again, complaining of a sore tummy. So, Jay went and brought her upstairs to lie down on the floor beside me. 15 minutes later she quietly says she needs a pail - I quickly grabbed the garbage can (lined with a lovely scented bag) and into that she spewed the contents of supper. She did not get any on herself or on the carpeted floor all around her (one of only 2 carpeted rooms in the whole house!). The next 2 hours saw repeats of this event (though I had gotten an icecream pail after episode #1). Just as she falls asleep . . . finally . . . (because Momma has gotten up every time she made a moan, which was about every 5 minutes, and was very tired) big sister comes up complaining of a sore tummy. So, we get her settled on Jay's side of the bed, with a pail, and she empties the contents of her tummy. Ack, yuck. I don't handle vomit well. At all. Anyhow, she too, kept herself clean. So, while today was supposed to be a homeschool co-op morning with me in charge of the craft time, we are stuck at home with 2 sick little girls. Just a couple of days ago baby girl vomited all over herself and her playpen, just after giving big brother a hug so he very nearly got showered with vomit. How do you clean a playpen? Lots of chemical cleaners, I tell you! We now have her on a crib mattress on her floor with a bed rail on one side and the dresser on the other. We figured the plastic coated mattress, wooden dresser and laminate flooring would be easier to clean than the playpen. After 1 night and 2 naps, she has learned to stay on the mattress to sleep. I guess this is the transition from baby bed to toddler bed we knew would happen sometime soon. We just didn't think it would be for this reason. So, anyway, here's hoping the boys stay well.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Laundry Lessons

Laundry! Just the word itself usually brings about serious dread! I can always picture the heaps and heaps of dirty clothes waiting (and waiting and waiting and waiting) to be washed, the clean clothes waiting to be folded and the folded clothes waiting to be put away. Laundry was never done. Laundry was an all-the-time every-day stresser. No clean clothes in the drawers, the clothes that were clean and folded were suddenly unfolded and unclean, the list goes on. I wanted to conquer the laundry monster and tame it, control it, bring it back to where I was in control. So, after Christmas we found the usual "Mom, I have no clean clothes in my drawer (and they were right)" situation happening yet again. We spent hours washing clothes, drying clothes, folding clothes and finally, finally (even delaying school just so we could get it done) putting all the clothes away. And since then, since that day 2 weeks ago, I have been completed caught up on laundry. And I like it. No, I LOVE it! Does that mean there is no dirty laundry in the house? No, of course not! We are 7 people, we make a mess. We pee our bed. We throw up. We spill our food. We play in animal "matter". We make a mess. There is dirty laundry right as we speak. But, there is also closets full of clean clothes. And, in these two weeks, I have learned some lessons. Some valuable lessons that I know will allow me to rise above the patterns of the past and follow these new, much better habits. Here are the lessons learned (in no particular order, more so to remind me of the great thing I have going than to tell you what to do!):
  1. Never leave clean, folded laundry out where the littlest members can undo your hard work. If you cannot put it away right away, put it somewhere safe. For me, this is back in the laundry room (which was previously not an option due to the probability that it would be considered dirty laundry and rewashed!)
  2. Do two loads of laundry every day. And, since I have stayed on top of things, that actually means I don't need to do laundry on Thursdays (Homeschool Co-op in the morning and office work in the afternoon leaves little room for laundry) or the weekend! Imagine that! A weekend without having to be chained to the washing machine! It really is freeing!
  3. Get the kids to bring their hamper of dirty laundry for sorting on Tuesdays and Fridays. This prevents them from spilling over the top (remember, we have both boys in one room and the three girls in another - we need to empty them often).
  4. By doing laundry on a regular basis, the 4 laundry sorters are all that is needed. The loads have been reduced to only 4. Before, no joking, with the once every 2 weeksish laundry marathon, we would have 2 black loads, 2 denim loads, 2 pink loads, 1 light blue load, 1 dark blue/grey load, 1 white with bleach load, 1 lights load, 1 color load plus all the bedding and towels (these may actually be on the low side). My 4 laundry sorters were stuffed full plus there were piles! By doing laundry every day, all the loads stay in those sorters, my many laundry baskets are empty waiting to be used and I can actually walk to the washer/drying without tripping over piles of clothes!
  5. Lost socks are found!
  6. No more complaining there is no clean underwear. No more looking through baskets of clothes on Sunday morning to find clean tights or dresses to match the tights that are actually clean.
  7. The favorite clothes are almost always clean.
  8. When your clothes are washed so frequently, you don't actually need that many! The kids drawers are stuffed full! We needed that much when I didn't actually wash them but now? Now we need to sort!
  9. Jason no longer needs to help with the laundry. I feel more like I am being the wife I should. I see all these household chores as ministry opportunities for me to minister to my husband and kids and when I fall short, I feel like I failed. Yes, I am well aware that should not be the case but now that I am doing what I want to be doing, blessing my husband with clean clothes, I feel blessed in return!
  10. Oh, having a dresser for the clothes instead of cubbies right above the laundry hamper is a much better idea! In our "old" arrangement, most of the girls clothes were in the closet. All dresses and sweaters are hung up, the pants, shirts and pj's were on a shelving unit with cubbies for each. The problem was when they took out the one thing they wanted, 3 more fell out onto the floor and by the dirty laundry. Somehow it made its way into the dirty laundry and I was washing clean clothes. I had bought a long dresser I intended to use as a vanity in the new house. I decided to change out the buffet I was originally using as a change table/toy storage for the long dresser. All the girls clothes (minus the hanging stuff) is now in the dresser and the toys are in baskets in those cubbies previously holding the clothes. Now, if the clothes fall out when they are taking out their clothes to wear, it is no big deal. It is not close to the hamper so I can just pick it up and put it back. Or they can. Yeah, right! Like I said, I can!
  11. The kids can put away their own clothes. The boys have been doing it for a while already! What a huge help! They are 6 & 7 and completely capable of doing this chore. I don't even sort their clothes, I just put them in a basket, put the basket in their room and tell them to put it away. They know what belongs to who. The girls' laundry I still sort into piles. RJ (4) is very good at putting them away, Ali (3) is helpful as well and baby girl Ari (1) is already learning to do it. Monkey see, monkey do, right?! :) It may not be put away exactly like I would do it but it is put away. I can always fix it later!

There! My lessons learned! Maybe you will learn a tip or two. Now, if you will excuse me, I have some laundry to put away!

Beauty School and Riding Lessons

Sometimes it is the very everyday ordinary things that make the kids ever so happy. The other day the girls wanted to do my hair. I always do theirs, they figured it was time to do mine. So, out came the hair brushes, the combs, the spray bottle, the ponies and the clips. And, just as a little secret between you and me, I LOVE having my hair brushed, just about as much as I LOVE having my head rubbed. Instant happiness on my part. Instant relaxation. So, consider this Beauty School, with no discrimination based on sex (notice my little man joining in!). After probably half an hour of pampering, I had to insist I was done. The excessive amount of water sprayed on my head was making me cold, thus ending the relaxation!

Then the other day the horse arrived in town and they all got their riding lessons. This is a pretty amazing horse as it holds 5 riders comfortably, though it was the older 4 who raced through the house, giggling the whole time!

Yes, it certainly is the simplest of things that makes the biggest of smiles!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A New Look for A Little Man

At the beginning of December we learned AJ was far-sighted. Quite seriously, too. The cut-off for "needs glasses" and "doesn't need glasses" is a -3.00. AJ was showing about a -2.5. However, there were other signs that were suggesting he was maybe hiding some sight issues. He would comment that if he made his eyes close a bit he could actually see better. Sometimes he said his eyes were fuzzy. Often it would take him forever to copy what was on the whiteboard but if I told him what to write he would do it quickly. So, when I mentioned all these things to the optometrist, he decided to dilate his pupils so he could see the full measure of his farsightedness. He showed a -5.00 and a -4.75! Wow! That is quite a bit of hiding. So began the search for glasses. Now, AJ is a little man. He has small features. All glasses we tried on seemed to dwarf his little face. We went to at least 3 different opticians to try on glasses. The selection for children is small to start off with then if you take out all the girl glasses you are left with a small handful that are all too big. I decided to check out Zenni online. If you are in the mood for different glasses, give them a try! The selection of children's glasses is huge and by using a photo of AJ and "trying on" the glasses on line, I was able to pick 6 glasses I liked on him. I gave him the final choice of what he wanted. He picked one silver pair of memory-wire glasses and a black-framed pair of prescription sunglasses. I love the look of my new even cuter little man with his spectacles! They are certainly thicker than I was anticipating and so they do make his eyes look much larger. I am really sensitive for him because I remember how much I hated my first glasses. Honestly, they were huge and awful! He has not enjoyed this process one little bit but he loves having his sunglasses. Hey, if he wants to wear them all day in school, I am fine with that! So, we wait 3 weeks then go back to the optometrist to see if the prescription is too strong or just right. As of right now, he tends to look over the glasses or lift them up in order to read without them. Time will tell, I guess. Now I think I need to order a pair or two of new glasses for myself!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Choosing That Which is Best

Every day a time comes when the kids are all tucked in bed, all the many hugs and kisses are handed out (and then handed out again), the doors are quietly closed and I look forward to "me" time (or to the laundry or the many other things on the "to-do" list to accomplish though, truthfully, I usually just plop onto the couch with a big sigh and wish I could do nothing!). Every once in a while, little Ali asks me to snuggle as I give those hugs and kisses. I usually pause, think of all the things I have yet to do and the very short time to do it in and I say "No. Not tonight, honey. I have to go do the laundry. Maybe tomorrow?" She looks disappointed, starts to cry and I give in. "Okay. But only for a little bit." She smiles as I snuggle in, wrap my arms around her and stroke her hair and her cheeks. If I am lucky, she strokes my hair and gently caresses my cheek. Just a few minutes is all she needs and then I sneak out while she falls asleep. Then the next night it happens all over again. It has become part of our routine. But I am learning. I am learning what is good and what is better. What is good and what is best. Because does the laundry really matter to a 3 year old? She couldn't care less if her pants and shirts match or if they are even clean. What she does care about is if her mommy loves her and to her that means quality time and lots of it. It means a couple minutes of snuggling at the end of the day. She is not here tonight. All the kids are sleeping at Grandma's since we had a late night with a few dear friends, our care group. And I miss her stroking my hair, I miss snuggling with her. I miss her sweet dimpled smile as she snuggles into the pillow, sneaking looks at me every once in a while. I miss that little lady. The Lord is teaching me what is good and what is best and you know what? I don't say, "Maybe tomorrow" anymore. I just crawl in her bed, wrap my arms around her and love that little lady. I am hoping that as she receives love from Jesus through the arms of her mom in those moments of quiet that it will seep into her soul and give her confidence. Give her courage. Give her security in knowing Jesus loves her. She keeps asking, "Does Jesus love me?" Oh, yes, my little lady, he sure does. So much more than I ever could.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Why The Paperwork Is Late

Dear Sir,

Please excuse the late paperwork. Again. As you may not know, I have acquired a computer virus. A couple of them, actually. Maybe they are best referred to as "bugs". They pop up immediately once the computer is turned on, may disappear a short while later only to reapper intermittently In the meantime, all attempts to do my paperwork in an efficient and timely matter are completely ruined. I apologize for the Crayola pictures on the back side of the faxes - they are somehow mistaken for scrap paper. Be assured, we are trying to remedy the situation. As for the spelling mistakes and other general errors, it is most difficult to be accurate when the screen is blocked by aforementioned "bugs" and paperwork is constantly moved from one place to another or has gone missing altogether. I am well aware that 3rd Quarter reports are just now making their way to you even though 4th Quarter has already passed. Perhaps a raise would be in order to facilitate a system in which the virus is contained to another part of the "office". Once again, my sincerest apologies. I have included for your viewing a photograph of the "bugs" and how they have been hindering my work. I welcome all solutions.


Your Administrative Assistant

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 - A Year of Promise

A Year of Promise. That is really what every year is, isn't it? A year full of possibilities, of dreams, of questions, of wondering where I will be and what will have happened in exactly one year from now and is it at all what I was hoping it would be? I am not one to wax philosophical so I won't but I really do love new beginnings and wondering ever so much about the journey that lays ahead!

I am not as keen on looking back at what as happened mostly because I hate looking at my shortcomings! Exactly one year ago today, I made these choices:
  1. No sweets. That's right - no chocolate, no Kit Kat bars, no cheesecake, no Pepsi, no Saucy Hot Fudge Pudding, no homemade Hot Fudge Sauce to smother my ice cream, no Slurpee's, no homemade iced tea - get the point??!!
  2. Run 500 miles. That sounds a little extreme, however, if you break it down, it is only 1.36986301369 miles per day or 9.61538461538 miles per week. Totally doable! Check out the running woman on the side to watch my progress.
  3. Lose weight! #1 and #2 should help with this. So will Jillian Michaels and Billy Blanks. One of the reasons I love being pregnant is because I don't worry about my weight. If I have a big tummy, it is for a reason. Now I have no excuse (and I don't consider 5 kids an excuse!!). So, by the time 2011 rolls around, I'd like you to see about 15 pounds less of me.
  4. Read through the entire Bible. I see this one as being the most difficult. I tend to get bogged down in Leviticus and Numbers. Something about all those lists. Okay, so if I get through most of the Bible, I will consider this done! After all, just watching the state of your physical being and ignoring the state of your spiritual being is pretty useless. Hell couldn't care less if you are thin.
    There you have it. My goals for 2010.

Oh, boy! How did I do?

#1 - Success! A whole year without sweets! Some people say they could never do this! You know what, you totally can! There are sweets people and there are salty people and I am far over on the sweet end of the scale. It is simply a matter of saying no to that sweet option. Not that hard. You could totally do it. Not that I am suggesting you need to but it is a great way of stretching your will-power. At times I felt like this was a dumb decision but it was made and I am stubborn so I persevered and here I am!

#2 - Running. Oh, how I hate running. I actually did run for a few months. And I hated pretty much every minute of it. Well, some of it wasn't too bad but really, on the whole, I hate running. This was the dumbest decision I made (dumber than no sweets) and I really failed. But I am still okay. I still like me. I just don't like running! I also realized that sometimes I may set my goals just a teensy bit high. Maybe just a tad unrealistic. You think? So maybe just setting more reasonable goals (for myself and those around me) would be a really good thing to do!

#3 - Lost weight! I started the year at 142 pounds and am now comfortably at 130lbs! I fluctuate between 129 and 132 but that is to be expected. I am lighter now than I have been my entire married life. I guess no sweets and no pregnancy probably helped! I have now dropped from a size 8-9 to a size 6 and I am no longer wearing medium but size small. For as long as I can remember, my whole adult life, I have been a medium, a size 8-9. It feels really weird to be shopping in the small section or looking to see if they have a size 6. I swear the selection is smaller! But, I am so excited to have lost about 12 pounds and couldn't be more proud of myself!

#4 - Read through the Bible. This is my greatest disappointment and, unlike running, I really feel I failed in this. I admitted when I made this choice that it would be my toughest and it was. Why is it so very hard to take a few moments a day to spend pretty much zero energy (as opposed to running) to read my Bible. I know it is a battle but this is one I really want to win. I will not give up on this. I will read through my Bible in a year one of these years!

That brings you up to speed on how last year's goals went. I am not one to make resolutions. I rarely do, actually. But I will make one this year. Only one. One that is very important to me. READ MY BIBLE! I bought myself The 365 Daily Promise Bible in the New Life Version. It features one of God's promises for every day of the year. Each day contains a OT passage, a NT passage and a passage from the Wisdom Literature (Psalms, Proverbs). Hopefully this year will be my year of victory. Hey, if I can go a whole year without sweets, I can read through the Bible, right? I mean, how hard can it be??!! :)

Now I am off to have a steaming cup of hot chocolate, something I haven't indulged in in over a year and accompany it with some Death By Chocolate Trifle! Mmm, mmm, good!

Related Posts with Thumbnails