6.27.2016

Wishing the village would mind its own business

Almost there, just three more day until swim lessons are over. Last week was incredible hot for June in our area. Temperatures in the upper 90s and humid and of course, Lucy had lessons from 3:30-4:45 so I'm out sitting in the tiny speck of shade I can find with a sweaty baby crawling on me and a bored 3 year old who doesn't find watching his sister swim to be that entertaining. Delightful! But at least the mom's were friendly and chatty. This week, the temperature is a bit more moderate but today's lesson was still a test of my patience. Three different people (one mom, two grandmothers) who were there felt the need to "help" me watch Norah. I think I managed to hold in my frustration and answer politely. Mostly, I just "oh, okay" when what I really wanted to say was more along these lines:

-Yes, I know she's holding a stick. It's fine.
-No, she can crawl on the concrete. It's not hot, I tested it and if it bothered her knees, she's probably stop.
-Yes, I know she has something in her mouth. It's the snack I just gave her.
-No, she isn't really "very tiny" for her age and she's perfectly healthy thank you very much. And since I've had a skinny baby that we worried over, if she was, I know for a fact that your comment wouldn't help make me feel better.
-No, she didn't put the wood chip in her mouth. I see it in her hand. Which I am looking at.
- Yes, I know she crawled under my chair. I watched her and can feel her banging it with her hand because I am sitting on it. Contrary to popular opinion, I do tend to keep an eye on my small children when we are next to a pool.
-No, you really don't have to physically restrain her from pulling up on that chair while I strap my carrier on. She's been pulling up for over a month now and is pretty good at it which is why I am standing next to her allowing it! Also, I am clearly about to pick her up so get your hands off my baby!
-Don't you people have your own kids to worry about!!!

That's not even taking into consideration how I let Jonah pet the owners (very sweet, calm and well groomed) dog while the grandmother next to me kept telling her granddaughter "oh no, you don't want to pet that dirty puppy, that wouldn't be nice, just stay here on my lap. "Jonah was on my side for that and kept looking at the grandmother like she was crazy while he was sitting and happily petting his "golden we-tweiver" friend from last week.

Yep, I'm that crazy mom that lets her kids pet friendly, well-mannered dogs and bang sticks around! Oh my, It's gonna be a looonnng week. But on the positive side, Lucy is doing great! Which is good because I really don't want to have to do this again next year.

6.25.2016

Bathroom Basement Beginnings

We're starting a new project - adding a bathroom to the basement! But this time, someone else gets to do the work and we just have to make decisions. Turns out, that's still a lot of work! It's fun work but I'm starting to get decision fatigue. When that happens, I have to step back and try to see my vision. (Or grab a mug of ice cream and watch some Once Upon A Time.)

Luckily I started pinning bathrooms way before I even thought this bathroom would happen. And they are pretty consistent. I like what I like. (It also tells me that I LOVE pinterest at times like this. I'm not sure how I'd be able to do this without it. I need to see somethings to make sure what I'm seeing in my mind will work)






So white subway tile it is. I'm not crazy enough to think I can keep a white grout decent so I'll go with a light gray, which pinterest also told me that I like:




That's my basic starting point. I also want to keep hints of the 50s since that was when our house was built. Similar to my aim with our kitchen remodel. It's gonna be new. I'm not out to be featured on retro renovation but I do want a subtle nod to our home's roots to shine through. And you can't get more classic than black and white which works for us because Craig was partial to a darker floor and he didn't have a whole lot of opions so I feel like I should at least listen to the few he has. We're still working out exactly what we'll go with but so far, some sort of black hex tile seems to be pulling ahead.



So far that's a lot of black and white. Mostly white. Which is really not as easy as it sounds. I'm trying to make sure 4 different whites at least go together and don't clash. And white is not white. No, it's gotta be soft white or crisp white or artic white. Ahhh! I was actually dreaming about shades of white last night. Literally.

I've picked out as much as I can online and comparing what I can get it stores and now I just gotta wait and see what it actually looks like in our space. Cross your fingers! Then I get to work on a few of the smaller, and hopefully less stressful details.

But seriously, it's gonna be fun! And hopefully since I won't be swamped doing the actual work, I'll be able to keep y'all up to date with other decisions as they happen. Until next time...










6.22.2016

A Day in the Life

I've been wanting to do another day in the life post for a while now but kept waiting for a "normal" week. Then I realized that I'd be waiting forever. So I just picked this past Monday and went for it. Swim lessons aren't a normal thing and its very very unusual for me to not eat dinner with our family. I think that only happens 2-3 times a year. But otherwise, this is pretty much how my life goes right now. 

6:30 - Everyone's up and going. It's Jonah's "sunshine day" so he gets to let the chickens out but wants Lucy to go with him. I get going in the kitchen putting away broth that's been simmering all night and then start oatmeal for breakfast. Jonah helps me when he gets back (he cracks some eggs, stirs the oatmeal and sets the table). Norah gets started with some strawberries and Lucy gets dressed. They don't have to be dressed until after breakfast but they think they are beating the system or something when they are already dressed by chore time.

7:15 - Chore time! I was nice to myself and unloaded the dishwasher before going to bed last night so my job is pretty easy and I set the timer so Jonah's not dawdling like normal. Jonah's table chore is wiping the table, Lucy's is sweeping and then they have to get dressed, make their beds and brush their teeth before I shoe them outside. While we work, we listen to our composer Hildegard von Bingen. I tell them that I have a friend who studies music who's dog is nicknamed Hildie and see if they can guess the dog's real name. They think that is amazing. Then they start talking about when we get a dog. I move the conversation along. I love dogs but I also have enough poop to deal with right now as it is. 

7:45 - Kids are out playing and I can finally get dressed myself and nurse Norah away from distractingly fun siblings. It's a good thing we don't live in New Albany, Ohio I guess but they know to stay together and I can hear them so I' not worried.

8:00 - We join the bigs outside.  I bring my bible study but get distracted (I guess Norah gets it from me) by watering the garden. Four trips with a 5 gallon bucket full of water and the veggie garden is done. I don't mind doing it by hand since its good movement/exercise but by the last trip, Norah is tired of being left behind. Carrying a full bucket of water and a 17+ lb baby is not as much fun but I manage. I'm just thankful kids are involved in a pretend game and don't want to "help" me like normal. I always let them if they ask but sometimes its nice when they don't :-) Then Norah and I water the front (with a hose!).



I ask Lucy and Jonah if they want to join in but they are busy playing so they don't - until I'm done and then they are upset they were too late. I distract Jonah from melting down by asking if they will pick blackberries while I start the laundry and I hear them start to bicker on the way out but stop and try to find a compromise. I forgot to restart the diapers last night so unfortunately nothing is ready to hang and then Norah dumps out a trash can. Normally it would not be a big deal because it would only have dryer lint but Craig and I picked up basement and swept so trash is full of dirt and dead bugs. Yuck. I grab Norah before she shoves any in her mouth, ponder my choices for a second, then restart the laundry and leave dirt for another time before I go check on kids. I cross my fingers but when I go outside - happy pickers! They worked together to decide Jonah would carry the container out, Lucy would carry it in and everyone was happy. Yay!



9:00 - Norah and I are pooped. Kids want to come in but I remind them it will get hot today so they agree to play outside a little while longer. Its supposed to get to 95 today so I know once they come in, they won't go out again and its so much easier to put Norah down while no one is playing on the other side of the wall. White noise can only do so much. And we are switching her from a 3 nap to 2 nap schedule so I say a prayer my plan works with her needs.

9:05 - Success! She's sleeping in her crib! I decide to let kids play for a while longer while I start dinner preparations. I'm pretty sure I get meat browned before they come in.

9:10 - Kids come in whining about heat. Meat is half way browned but we start table time anyway. If they start playing inside, it will be much harder to do school. They like table time but nobody likes to be interrupted in the middle of a game. Hymns are sung, poems and recited and bible verses are talked about. We decide to add "Jesus died on the cross to our "want versus will" chart which I think was a great idea of the kids.

9:15 - Jonah does some Rod and Staff preschool books while Lucy writes a thank you note for her copywork. I'm hoping to finish her birthday thank you notes before June is over (since her birthday was in May :-) but she's writing them all herself so its a slow and steady process and the results are a bit abrupt. (Dear X, Thank you for the presents. Love Lucy) I'm thinking the family will understand though. We move on to reading a section of the Blue Fairy book, half of lesson 85 in MEP Year 1, and an aesop fable. It's a bit shorter than normal but we've got swimming lessons this afternoon so I won't let us go over an hour and won't be adding in extras like art lessons or tea time this week.

10:15 - Kids go off to play. Lately they have been cutting up cardboard into doll accessories. It makes a big mess but they are having fun inventing things (that all tend to look the same).



 I write up this first section of the day and finishing assembling my crockpot meal. Norah is still sleeping. I breathe a sigh of relief. She's been so overtired lately and with a busy afternoon, I was really needing her to get a good nap. I manage to finish dinner, make lunches, clean up the dirt from earlier, and hang the laundry before I spot my bible study still in the grass outside. Oops. Get it and actually sit down and complete the day's lesson.

11:15 - Baby still sleeping. Now I'm thinking I need to wake her up if I want her to take another nap before we leave. I hate waking babies. I'll give her 15 more minutes and maybe I'll just walk a bit lounder until then.

11:20 - Norah's up! And happy. Call kids up to eat lunch but Norah's just nursed so she's not hungry yet. Hmm, have to figure that out. I already feel like I'm feeding people all day long. But she's happy with cheerios while I eat and read our poems from Now We are Six. Kids go downstairs to play more but I hear some bickering. Instead of making them come up, I put on Brave songs and they run up to dance around to them. I feel like the pied piper but less creepy.



11:45 - Lucy's pinched her finger pretty badly. I move up nap reads while she's recovering in bed - Make Way for Ducklings and two chapters of On the Banks of Silver Lake. Playing resumes. Jonah and I hang the second batch of laundry outside and bring in the first batch.

12:30 - Lucy reads two pages of The Cat in the Hat Comes Back. She's worried about her finger when it is piano practice time but we realize that her current song doesn't use that finger so all is well.

1:00 - Norah is hungry now. She eats while Lucy and Jonah put on a musical theater act for her. I'm not sure if this helps her eat more because she stays sitting for longer or distracts her from eating.

1:30 - Naps. Norah falls asleep easily and I rest (aka - read) for a while too but have to rush out because I hear Jonah call "Mommy. I need you. I almost made it to the potty to poop"...not exactly what I like to hear. But it wasn't too bad. I mean, it was bad, but it could have been worse. And moving on.

2:15 Norah's up. I get us ready for swim lessons then we play "So big" and "Pat-a-cake" while we wait for the kid's quiet time cd to stop. I cross my fingers that neither of them is actually asleep.

2:30 - Everyone's up and we're scrambling to get in the car for swim lessons. We leave and listen to On the Banks of Plum Creek in the car. I was reading on my phone during nap and forgot to plug it in before we left and I've never been there before so I need GPS. I'm praying my battery lasts long enough to get us there. It does, but no more pictures.

3:30 - Lucy does great at her lesson. Jonah, Norah and I sweat it out next to the pool in the quarter size spot of shade we can find. I have to hold Norah the whole time because she really wants in the pool which gets old way before our hour and fifteen minutes is up but Jonah entertains himself by coloring and making origami boats.

5:00 - Lessons ran a bit over and we're late. I meet Craig at the library and I pass off the big kids so I can head to a restaurant for a volunteer dinner with Norah as my little tag-along. Despite being in the car or held for the last 2 hours, she does well at the dinner. When she gets tired of Cheerios and pieces of chicken, she entertains herself (and everyone else?) playing peek-a-boo. The meal/meeting is the big switch over from last year's committee to this so before I leave, I'm given the key to the church and am declared the chair of our church's women's steering committee. I'm a bit worried about what I've gotten myself into but no looking back now!

7:00 - We head home and find Craig finishing up bedtime (and Lucy's stuff is hanging out to dry on the line for tomorrow and the kitchen is clean already! Go super husband!). Norah should be asleep by now if I'm following the new schedule but she slept in the car after swim lessons. That car trip is going to do me in these two weeks. Oh well, at least she got enough sleep so I'm not gonna complain. (I'm big on routines but not on schedules, we just do the best we can around here). I change Norah into jammies and let her play a bit while Craig finishes reading Prince Caspian. 3 rounds of hugs and kisses from Jonah to me and Norah and I finally get out of the bedroom.

8:00 - Norah's still not sleepy :-( I bring the last load of laundry in from the line, fold it and put it away then leave her with Craig and grab a quick shower. I try again to put her to bed. Nope.

8:30 - Norah is out too thanks to a little walking and singing by daddy the baby whisperer. I read a bit (Pioneer Girl), picking out bathroom faucets for upcoming project (still no decision. Too many choices! Ack!), go back to reading and by ten everyone is in bed and falling asleep....

10:10 - Just kidding. Jonah has a night terror. He's crying and kicking the walls but isn't really awake. I try to comfort him (stop him from hurting himself or putting a hole in the wall) but nothing ever seems to help these but waiting it out. This time, I try singing our table time hymn and he calms down. Hmm, is that the solution? Tuck him back into bed and go to sleep.

10:30 - Now everyone's asleep.

6.18.2016

Norah at 8 months


You turned 8 months old last week. I think I said a few months ago you were a slow to smile kid, well that has changed. You are all bubbly smiles and laughs now. You have this little giggle you do. Well, it's really more like a half-giggle. But it makes me laugh to hear it. Sometimes its in response to us saying something (often completely random) and sometimes its just to yourself as you play. But bring out your brother and sister and its full belly laughs. And you did great on our trip. You let everyone hold you and were so happy to see all the new faces.

We have had some tears though. You have gone from a great napper to a really awful one. At least when daddy is not around. For daddy, you will fall asleep in his arms and then transfer to your bed like a little angel and sleep for hours. For me, you will fuss and flop and cry and finally give up and sleep - for 20 minutes! I think you just need to transition from 3 naps to 2 and we'll be okay but its hard to keep even a regular nap schedule going when you travel, let alone try to adjust one. Yesterday I gave up on your morning nap completely and we just left early for our play date at the creek so you could fall asleep in the car but we were out swimming for a long time and when we got home, you protested for a little while but eventually took a nice nap for me. So it is possible! We will persevere!


I'm happy!


Just kidding, I'm incredible overtired but have barely slept all day because daddy is gone. 


You can't make me sleep ! Or maybe I will just stop here in the middle of crawling and pass out asleep. Just don't think of moving me, touching me, leaving the room or even looking away or I'll be up again. 


Blueberry picking. Didn't want to eat the blueberries but thought the dirt was quite yummy. 

But despite the lack of sleep, you've got lots of energy. You have places to go and things to explore (the cat food, the house plant's dirt). You really mastered stairs last week at Grandma and Grandpa's house and are starting to let go when your pulled up. Just for a second or two then you grab again but you make a face that says you know what your doing and are pretty proud of it.

You went swimming for the first time last week too and loved it. Especially when you could splash. You'd get water all over your face, stop and blink then smile and do it again, and again, and again. 

You are starting to enjoy books a little more. And games.You love pat-a-cake, "so big" and itsy bitsy spider. You don't really care about baby toys but you love my phone and any little tiny toy of your big siblings. And you love it when they are super loud in your face. It drives me crazy but I have a hard time telling them to stop when it makes you smile. Now that you are getting bigger, we're having a bit of trouble with you getting too much love from Jonah but you hold your own pretty well. 


Shakespeare in the park 


Though she be little, she is fierce.

You have two teeth now and you use them. You love to eat. Finger foods, purees, any body part of others you can get in your mouth. Watch out! You want your three meals a day just like the big kids. You want to be just like them. I want you to stay little for just a bit more. How about we compromise and you can get bigger but stay my baby :-)


Baby selfie! 

6.17.2016

Big Summer Trip #1- Ohh, Ohio

We just got back from our first big trip of the summer. We headed off to Ohio but of course, being us, we had to make a few stops along the way.

The Clabber Girl museum was small but interesting.


And then pics next to "that big guy"





Once in Ohio, we spent most of our time visiting family. I think Lucy and Jonah were a bit overwhelmed by the number of cousin they were introduced to. They don't have any first cousins and only knew about a couple second before this trip but at Saturday's bbq there were cousins everywhere! At one point there were 5 generations of people from my mom's side of the family there. It was great catching up with so many family members but it took a little while for the kids to be more than 6 inches away from me.

We also did a bit of genealogical sightseeing. My dad drove us by some buildings my family had owned (or empty lots where buildings had been). This was the house my mom grew up in.



And the next day we found this picture of her, her parents and all but one of her siblings in front of it. (My mom's the one sitting down.)

,

After driving down "memory lane," the kids were happy when we made it to Malabar Farm for some hiking. I picked this fun hike because it was short, shady and had a cave. Turns out, the very idea of a cave freaked Lucy out and she got upset when the men-folk tried to go close to it. She warmed up to the idea by the time we finished the circle so we went back and this time, Ben and Craig were "allowed" to check it out. Jonah was very proud of himself for being brave enough to go to the entrance and watch the big boys go in. Not brave enough to go in himself but that's brave enough for three.




Then our private wagon tour of the farm- because we were the only ones there that morning! Sometimes it pays to go sightseeing on a Monday :-)






Apprently this area has several Shawshank Redemption filming sites. This is the "Shawshank tree." I have yet to see the movie (Craig is attempting to remedy that soon) so I'm not completely sure what that means but I guess it means something. 




We still had lots of downtime at my grandparents' house. This is my granddad's hunting trophy area. The mountain lion in particular used to completely freak me out as a kid. His glass eyes would reflect light and I would run through the room to get to the backyard if it was even a tiny bit darkish outside. So of course, seeing as my kids have long distance fears of caves, I thought I'd better prepare them. But this didn't bother them at all. Jonah really liked petting them! They keep me on my toes, those kiddos.



Happy to hang with my Oma.


video

Slackline practice with Grandpa and Uncle Ben. It's harder than it looks! (At least for the grown-ups)





A Cicada selfie of Craig's. Not shown is Jonah playing with his cicada friends. He only liked the dead ones. 


Who is this guy?

 Grandpa? Okay. I think I like him.



Wait, I thought that was Grandpa? Who is this then? How many of these "grandpas" do I have? Three!?


Family Picture Time! Jonah didn't really want to be in it but Craig bribed him with m&ms. 

The day before we had to leave, Craig, Norah and I headed off to hear Karen Glass speak and I got to catch up with another AO mom I know.


Grandpa and Uncle Ben took the kids to explore the Children's museum and ride the Carousel. I remember my mom and grandma taking me to ride that same Carousel when I was a kid.




Jonah had one too many wardrobe malfunctions so they also hit up a boutique next door for some snazzy suspenders. 



Jonah loves them!


We had hoped to tour the old prison for some more Shawshank Redemption tourist spots but Norah refused her morning nap and fell asleep right as we got there. With several hours driving to go, it seemed prudent to let her sleep. Sorry Craig :-(



But then I got to meet long time internet friend Karen! It was a great end to a great trip. Now I gotta go do some laundry. 


Random sidenote: "Oh, Ohio" come from an episode of Arthur which may seem a bit random but when my little brother was a preschool he was really into Arthur and every morning my mom would get up and run and I would babysit by sharing a couch with him while we watched it together at 6:30am. And we both started saying it whenever we heard the word Ohio. I don't even know if he remembers that but I still think "Ohh, Ohio" in the same tone as that show.

6.08.2016

Mother's Daybook - Birds and Books edition

Spotting - Birds! We had been spending so much time outside last month that I worried starting up school again cut into that but nope, its been the weather more than anything limiting us. But on the days we did get out, we've seen some really cool stuff. A box turtle, a wild turkey, and my favorite bird spotting - a pileated woodpecker. We see downy and red bellied at our suet feeder quite often now but I'd never IDed a pileated so that in itself was neat. But this guy was so engrossed in an an anthill he found that we didn't care that we were only 6 feet or so away from him. And yes, we were close enough to see his mustache and I'm pretty sure it was a HE. He was flinging the ants and eating them up. Then when he finally did fly off, we went up and saw the ants scurrying around to fix their home and close up the holes he had made. So neat!

The wild turkey was also a fun spotting. We were only stopping in at the nature center to return something before heading off to hike elsewhere but I decided to take advantage of the couches and air conditioning and feed Norah by the bird watching area. The only things there were a bunch of squirrels and a blue jay but after a few minutes Lucy asked me what the big bird was.  When I said "it's probably another blue jay," Lucy replied "no, it's big!" And, truthfully, I wasn't really paying attention because every time she talked, Norah would sit up and want to see what was going which meant I was paying attention things other than that the birds on the feeder. I quickly looked and told her I didn't see it and I could tell she was getting frustrated by my inability to spot what turned out to be the GIGANTIC Wild Turkey right in front of me. Oops. But it was fun to watch it interact with the squirrels. They didn't want to leave the feast but also didn't want to get too close to the turkey so it looked like the turkey had a invisible shield around it.

Being - Restless. I mentioned a bit of that in my recent book review but I also feel restless when it comes to ideas. I like to always have at least one project type thing I need to be researching or reading about or thinking about and I feel restless when I don't have anything. Don't get me wrong, I don't think that's always, or even mostly, a bad thing but right now I'm feeling like I really just need to rest and be. And its so hard for me. I don't need to plan or prepare. I need to do the things that need to be done, day in and day out. That's not nearly as interesting but ever so important. And hard. Very hard.

Reading - I need some light fiction. I've got two classics I'm reading right now and a couple good devotional type ones but I need some things I can read with a bit more speed (probably to take my mind off the issue above ;-), preferable hard copies since I am making an effort to take real books outside so the kids see me reading instead of looking at a screen. I tried picking up a book (Jane Steele if you must know - but I don't recommend it) from a popular blogger's summer reading list recommendations, I've come to the conclusion that this particular blogger and I just don't have similar taste. Which is sad because she writes really great reviews that make me want to read all the books she recommends. But then I read the books and I don't like them ;-( They are just so - modern. I'm also sad because I have a whole list of books I want to read but they reason they are still on my "to-read" list is because the library doesn't have them. Because they are old. Time to put in some ILLs I guess. But waiting several weeks for a book then reading it in 48 hrs is also sad. All of this is so frustrating and books are not supposed to be sad or frustrating! Books are fun, gosh darn it. #endrant

On a much happier book note, Lucy is so excited that I am finally reading her the next Little House on the Prairie book. I had stopped us after On the Banks of Plum Creek and wanted to wait until she was a bit older for the next few but we're planning on a trip north later this summer and have decided to visit a couple Little House tourist spots on the way so I've relented. I mistakenly told her when we still had a couple chapters to go on a previous read-aloud and she could hardly contain herself. So we are listening to On the Banks of Plum Creek on CD in the car and reading On the Shores of Silver Lake and I hope to get us through Long Winter before we stop in De Smet.

Once I finish them, we might even listen to them on CD too. As much as I love the idea of audiobooks, Lucy and I both struggle at times with them (I'm too impatient to read new books this way with my limited audio time, she seems to struggle with comprehension if its a new story - but we also don't have the quietest car/house at times) but we love these. We just finished the part in Plum Creek where the badger stops Laura from going to the creek and luckily Norah was asleep because both big kids were completely silent until Lucy finally says "Oh, its so scary!" and let out a sigh when Laura finally runs back home. See, books are fun!

6.05.2016

May Photo Dump

May was our first big school break. And despite what seemed like a much rainy may than normal, boy did we pack in the fun. And I actually got a few pictures of it.

Science Museum:
 It seems like just the day before this Norah was taking her first steps with her walker wagon and look at her now, exploring the moon!



  Baby Selfie!

Extra time for Art and a first time with soft pastels - messy but fun!



Bread dough turned into dog food, dog bowls and dog toy





Climbing trees at the park (helmets leftover from riding scooters to get to trees). 




Rolling down the hill. A childhood classic.


Not all fun, we had a few bumps and bruises.

And some tantrums. 


 Lots of reading. Lucy did the read aloud challenge and did great! About half way through the month she told me that she was so much better at reading and that it was a lot of fun because the "words go so fast its like a real story now!" She's been stuck at the level where she can read but lacks stamina and speed and gets frustrated with herself so this was a big step up for her, motivation wise. 

 Jonah "reading" to Twilight Sparkle? Or diamond somebody?  Sorry, I don't know my ponies.


 The Sculpture Garden. We hadn't been there before and I was underwhelmed. But that might also be because I picked the hottest and most humid day to go.


 Some handicrafting


 Lots of pretending.


 Daddy/daughter cake decorating contest to finish out the American Heritage Girl year.


Some math for fun. Really, I mean, not really Norah. But Lucy found a partially done Singapore Kindergarten book from last year and treated it like an activity/coloring book. Weird homeschool kid doing math for fun ;-)


And now it's June and school's restarting. Kinda. We have lots of adventures coming up so we'll be on and off but I'm glad we are back in our regular routine on the days when we are home at least.