Saturday, May 31, 2008

Did you see this?

Seriously the funniest thing I've seen all week. I was literally laughing out loud and clapping my hands. That kid ended up winning the whole shebang.

Friday, May 30, 2008

To baby or not to baby?

That is the question.

I've really been struggling with this lately. For some reason, I feel like we need to make the decision now, or at least very soon, about whether or not we are going to have more children.

On the one hand, I look at my boys, and they fill up our lives so much. They are busy and boisterous and fun. We've gotten in to quite a routine around here, especially Sweet Hubby and I. It takes us very little time to get out the house and when we are out, we work really well together keeping the kids together and getting everyone taken care of. Marc-Adam will be out of diapers within the year, I think. And soon, it will be easier to get serious about homeschooling--once he gets a little older and is better able to sit and be entertained by whatever activity we are doing. (For the last several months, he's just been whining and screaming and tearing things off the table when we try to do school.) It's hard to imagine getting to that point and then starting all over again with a little one. I also consider my pregnancies. I border on narcolepsy when pregnant. The fatigue is killer. It's gotten worse with each pregnancy, I guess because with each pregnancy, I have more responsibility than I did with the pregnancy before. I also have to deal with gestational diabetes. And the chance of morning sickness. That seems like a lot to think about when these days, I'm lucky to get two meals and a shower in one day. Once in a while, I take a look in the rearview mirror of my van, or around my dining room table, I look at the sweet faces that fill me with so much love and joy and I think, "This is so good....this could be complete."

On the other hand....well, on the other hand is my heart. There are many more days when I think that there's no way our family is complete. I look at the faces of my boys and it's hard for me to imagine what my life was like before them. For a long time after Z was born, Sweet Hubby wasn't sure he wanted a third. Finally we decided that we would have a third child. I look at Marc-Adam and I can't believe what we would have missed out on if we had the decision the other way. I don't want to miss out the next little person, either. I realize that that way of thinking could get us in a situation like this, and while I admire that family, that's not where I think our family is headed. For so long, I thought that we had at least 1 more child in our future, maybe even 2. But the further away we get from babyhood, the more I'm starting to wonder.

Complicating things even more is Sweet Hubby. Usually his head and heart are in agreement. He may have them decided one way for a long time and then change his mind, but he always has it made up one way or the other. But he's feeling the same way as I am. We had a long discussion about it yesterday. We have a lot to consider. And it's not a decision we'll run into lightly. We also realize we're not the only ones making the plans. So, after we talked about it for a while, we decided we were both going to spend some time in prayer about it. It seemed silly that we both were struggling with this decision and not even thinking to pray about it.

I also don't want to let Marc-Adam get too old before we try again. Me still being in my mid-20s, I have plenty of time. But I honestly don't want Marc-Adam to be 4 0r 5 and then start all over again. So I feel like we should be making this decision and doing something about within the next year or so. The original plan was to try for a Spring '09 baby. That thought scares me now. It doesn't scare me as much as it did 3 or 4 months ago, but maybe that's just because M-A is getting a little easier to deal with.

So that's the question. And I just don't know the answer. I want an answer. I don't want to spend the rest of child-bearing years asking that question.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

My week-brought to you by the letter P

Peaches~We took the boys to an orchard yesterday to pick peaches (we did this last year as well, I might have blogged about it then). It was so much more fun than last year because we went early in the morning and besides it being cooler, the kids were in much better moods first thing early in the morning. I never really liked peaches until we picked our own last year. I still don't eat them often, but these are really good. Stephen's eaten three today. Marc-Adam even ate one (he had to eat it whole as he refused to eat one when I chopped it up). Zachary tasted one and still doesn't like them. Anyway, we got a large box full. Last year, I made lots of baby food for M-A and froze it. This year, I have no idea what we're going to do with all these peaches. I guess we'll be eating lots of smoothies and maybe fruit salad.

Piano~My piano came yesterday! I'm very excited about it. The kids love it. It sounds much better than I thought it would. However. It is very large. Large. Much larger than I anticipated. It sticks out quite a bit in our living room. Making the rest of my furniture look like doll furniture. I suggested to Sweet Hubby that maybe we could move it to a different part of the living room. He moved it yesterday along with my dad, father-in-law and cousin (THANK YOU GUYS!). After I suggested moving it....well, let's just say that if looks could kill.... I'd at least be in a coma. So it might stay there for a while. Drawing all attention from everything else in the room. Which I guess could be good since my floors are in need of a good clean.

Promotion~I just got a call from Sweet Hubby saying that his manager pulled him to the side earlier to tell him that he (the manager) told HR that Sweet Hubby is promotable now. Which means a promotion may be in our very near future. Please pray about that for us.

Pfamily (I know, let's pretend the P is silent, just roll with it)~ I haven't blogged about our weekend, but we spent it with my cousins and aunt who might be the nicest people, well, ever. I always enjoy spending time with them and I wish we could live closer so that we could do that whenever we want. The kids all get along splendidly together, too. And I love the late-night talks. Can't wait to do it again in a few months. We got some great pictures of all the kids together. Which leads me to my last P....

Pictures~ I seem to have lost my camera so I can't provide proof of the peaches or the piano, but I can show just how cute my kids and "the cousins" (as my boys call them) are.

All our kids (8 of them! Under the age of 6! I daresay this is the best looking group of kids around):

My boys (I love the pictures we got of them):

Pfun, pfun stuff! :)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Ask me why I feel the need to say this

Zachary: (holding up his forefinger to his daddy) Daddy, I have a boogie!

Sweet Hubby: Well, go get some toilet paper to wipe it on.

Me: Take a piece a toilet paper OFF THE ROLL before you wipe it!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

VERY interesting

Not quite sure what I think about this. (Scroll down to the very bottom and read the paragraph that says, "Contest open to...." on the bottom right of the page.)

On the one hand, I think they should be allowed to make whatever rules they want for their contest. It's their company, their contest, their prize. We can't just boycott because we don't like they way they've set it all up. We CAN however make a choice to not patronize their restaurant. But we certainly don't need to grab our torches and pitchforks. On the other hand, it's slightly offensive that they are so explicit about their ruling. There's not even an explanation (although, any rational thinking person could probably see why they've excluded homeschoolers, even if it's still not a good explanation).

And by the way, in Texas a homeschool IS a private school. So there. I think some homeschooler should enter and then when they win, they should point to Texas law that says so.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Oh, the chaos. It must end.

So y'all. My house. It is such a mess. And not just now. Always. I just don't know how to make it not be so. It's such a delicate balance between housewife/homemaker and SAHM/homeschooler. Those things, in my mind, are two totally separate jobs. Just because I'm a SAHM does not necessarily mean that I'm also a housewife. But I think that logic might be just my way of justifying the fact that I suck at housewifely duties. The cleaning and the cooking and the decorating and such, it's all so unnatural to me. If it weren't for these three little boys that I love so dearly, surely I would be destined to live a life of total simplicity and have a job which requires NO organizational skills or the ability to make order out of chaos. If I had had some forethought, I would have taken some pictures of my living room before I straightened up this afternoon. I could take some pictures of the rest of the house to show you, but then I'd have to shut down my blog, take my children and move in to hiding because then I could never have contact with or look any of you in the eye ever again.

I suppose I AM making progress. I'm actually getting slightly better in the kitchen. I'm actual starting to enjoy my own cooking and the process of cooking. Even if the rest of my family still doesn't enjoy my meals, at least I do now. And I have meal planning and grocery shopping down to an art. I am proud of that. What's more, I actually enjoy that.

A while back, I also started a Flylady inspired "control journal"/household notebook of sorts. It's still unorganized and things fall out and stick out of it all over the place (oh the high school flashbacks!), but it's all there in one spot, and I do use it several times a week at least.

But everything else is just an unorganized mess. Behind every door and in every cabinet and drawer is evidence that things are getting out of control. I keep thinking that if we just had a little extra spending money I could go to Wal*Mart or (the mother-ship) IKEA to get some Stuff to help get me organized. But really, y'all, I think it's me that's the problem. Not my lack of Stuff. I probably have plenty of shelf space and tote things and storage space to make sense of our home. I just have no idea how to get from Point "No really, we just got hit by a freak indoor tornado" to Point "Yes, we have everything under control and know exactly where a pair of scissors and a flashlight (WITH WORKING BATTERIES) are in case you should need either of those during your visit". I'm a grown-up now. With a family and responsibilities and such. My house should not look like just a larger version of my childhood bedroom (which, by the way, was also a nightmare).

And I won't even get into the actual cleanness of my home. I've tried every kind of routine and schedule you can imagine. I can't make anything stick (I could, however, make a routine stick if I just dropped it underneath the kitchen table....everything else gets stuck to the floor down there). There just doesn't seem to be enough time to do everything that I think should be done. And it's more important to me that I spend a lot of time with my kids than it is for my baseboards to be swept or my windows to be cleaned. I did talk to Sweet Hubby about this and we decided that we would take one day a week when he is off to actually CLEAN the house, not just straighten up. Once we get it relatively clean (considering we have three perpetually clumsy, sticky boys), I don't think it'll take more than a couple of hours one morning a week to get the whole family working to clean the house. So I'm hopeful (and grateful to Hubby that he seemed totally onboard) about that. I do get the boys to help as much as I can now, but they are about as good at the cleaning jobs as I am. So not much happens. But hopefully, with the new plan, I won't have to worry (or feel guilty) about it anymore and I can focus on the dishes, the laundry, the straightening up (all of which the boys help with) and just spending time with the kids and homeschooling.

But in order to start really feeling good about it all, I feel like I have to get the house straight, clean, and organized to start with. I have no idea how that's going to happen. I did get quite a bit done today while the kids were with my ILs, but there's still SO MUCH left to do. It's a tad overwhelming. Actually, it's a lot overwhelming. I want to tackle it and change and be better about the housework and the organization thing. And there are times where I put my mind to it and attempt to be better. But then I feel like I'm forcing myself to be something I'm just not and I always fail. I've prayed about this quite a bit. And I think that's where the small improvements (with the menu-planning and household notebook) have come from. But I still need big improvements.

Like a maid.

I'm not a lazy person. Why is this so hard?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

It's MINE!



Just a few tidbits from the last week at the Sweet House.

There was a major haircut last week. I hadn't cut his hair in months. It started to get curly, which fascinated me and it was so cute! It got hard for me to decide to cut it. But I finally did.

He also had a major milestone!

"My very own liberry card!"

Marc-Adam had a milestone of his own in that I had to put up a Pack 'n' Play to use for "time-out". This is what he thought of it.

I should have known.

And my new favorite picture of Zachary.

We've been doing some fun homeschooling stuff this week, too. I'll post details and pictures in a few days.

Also, I don't want to say too much yet, but I've got my eye on something big that I've been wanting for a while. A couple of friends got one of their own, so I decided to start looking for myself. I'm bidding on one on ebay right now. The auction ends tonight and so far, I'm the highest bidder. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be thinking good thoughts for me. It would be a dream come true to get it and if I win this auction, I'll be getting it for a STEAL!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Oh, my. And ew.

Don't read this if you're squeamish and/or plan to eat eggs in the next decade.

But if you're a fool for weird stuff, like me, then please read on.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Speaking of simple satisfaction....

After I wrote yesterday's post, I had a playdate with another mom. She's super smart and does all kinds of neat things with her kids and she should totally be homeschooling, but she's not (well, not officially right now at least). Anyway, she and I started talking about a unit that I'm getting ready to start with the kids and she suggested that I check out the library near her house. I'd thought about that before, but we don't live in that county and I didn't think we could get a card to a library outside of our own county. Our library is mediocre, at best. It's small and most of the books are older. I can rarely find what I'm looking for if I go in there with something specific in mind. It really had me kind of worried because of the unit study approach we're going to take in homeschooling. I can't afford to buy books all the time and our library just doesn't have much.

So, back to yesterday's conversation....she said she would ask at the library the next time she was there. I decided I couldn't wait that long, so I called them yesterday afternoon and asked if I could get a card. They said yes!! I was so excited that I loaded Stephen up (I was already at my mom's so the younger two stayed with her) and off we went.

Y'all. Talk about simple satisfaction. My library card to that library has made my year. It's HUGE (the library, not the card). Just the children's library is the size of our entire library here at home. We can check out SEVENTY-FIVE books at a time each. And the kids can have a card whenever we see fit! Which means we could have 375 books if we wanted. And, oh the selection! I got several books on our new unit study and still left the majority on the subject on the shelf. They have so many different series of books and rows of early readers. We were there for over an hour and a half and I still didn't get to explore everything I wanted to look at. We can also search their card catalog online and reserve books or transfer books from other libraries in the county.

If you've always had access to a large library, please take time to really appreciate it next time you visit. It really is something special.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Simple Satisfaction

Here's a sort of meme that Shannon started and that my cousin did. I thought it looked fun, so here's a short list of some small, simple things that are very satisfying and that make me happy:

*watching my kids eat ice cream cones or homemade cookies

*sending someone an e-mail and then having them reply immediately (it tickles me to think that that person is sitting at their computer at that very moment, too)

*thin cut, homemade onion rings

*seeing my kids show a small act of kindness to a stranger

*getting the kids to bed on time, crawling in to bed with my favorite marshmallow cookies and watching LOST with Sweet Hubby

*playing hide and seek with all the boys and Sweet Hubby

*the way Marc-Adam pats my back when I pick him up

*the way Marc-Adam says "thank you" ("tin too?")

*reading out of chapter books with the kids at night (I love how they remember what happened in previous chapters/books and how excited they get to see what happens next)

*my pink rubber gloves

*my "Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" ringtone

*the smell and sound of sauteeing onions

*how Z says "chocolate" ("shockwit")

*waking up before anyone else in the house is awake

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

And it only goes down hill from here.....

You know you have at least two little ones of the boy variety in your home when a good portion of the conversations begin with:

"Hey, you know what would be really gross....?"

Monday, May 05, 2008

Oh, yeah...

I meant to mention in my last post that the other day we went to a small town festival on Saturday. While we were walking around, Stephen saw a sign and then quickly informed me "Hey, mom, there's a horseshoe tournament at 1:30."

He just read "HORSESHOE TOURNAMENT" as quickly as you or I would read it.

He's five.

I don't know if I can keep up with this kid.

Decent sleep=better perspective

So I wanted to update you with what's been going on with Stephen and his sleep issues. Thankfully, most of the behavior issues have resolved (I think I've mentioned that before), even though we still have outbursts every now and then.

The sleep issues have NOT resolved, however, he's not having the outbursts at night anymore.

As I mentioned previously, after they broke the air mattress (and for the helpful commenter telling me where I could get a new one, I DON'T need a new one but thanks for the "help") I started sleeping with Zachary. That got old fairly quickly and then it suddenly occurred to me, "Hey! HE'S the one that needs to be in the same room with me. Why should I be the one to be uncomfortable trying to make that happen?" So I made him a little pallet in our room (from the day of his birth I've been adamant against sharing my room with a child, but I had to surrender a little) and told him that if he woke and felt the need to wake me up to go into his room, then he would just have to lay on our floor, because I would not be sleeping in his room. He wasn't too keen on the idea and told me that he was going to hit me with his pillow. Nice. And true to his word, I woke at 5:30am (that's the latest he's ever slept without waking since all this started) to a slap in the stomach with a pillow. I convinced him somehow to go back to bed for a few more hours, and he did. He got a lot of praise, a new movie, and a piece of candy AND a breakfast date with his Grammy the next morning. Obviously though, all that didn't matter because he hasn't done that again since. But he has been using the pallet, has even said it was comfy, and I've finally convinced him to not wake me up when he comes in (he still does wake me up, but he tries not to). So I've been sleeping in my bed!! YAY! And then I had a playdate with a mom that I really really like and she told me that all three of her boys sleep in her room (and she's pregnant! go figure!). That made me feel better about our little arrangement. I'm hoping that eventually, he'll just quit getting up and coming in our room.

And on an ego-stroking note, the other night, I was praying with the kids before bed. I said something that I say a lot in my prayers: "Help me be the best mommy I can be for them." I finished up the prayer, we all said amen and Stephen crawled up in my lap. He said, "Mommy, you don't have to pray to be the best mommy. You already are."

*sigh* Have I mentioned he's my favorite?

I'm kidding!! Totally kidding.

But it was the best thing anyone's said to me in a long time and he was totally my favorite in that moment. He was completely sincere and it's fascinating to me that I can be so crabby at times, yell at times, fall short and make him mad and he still thinks that I'm the best. He knows I'm not perfect. And he's taught me that being the best and being perfect are two separate things. I can be my best by doing the best I can with what I have and by continually striving to be better. But I'll never be perfect. And that's okay. Heck, that's freakin' GREAT! How boring must perfect be?