Category Archives: Patting myself on the back

To Do: Done.

I wish I could say that my lack of writing lately has been due to the laid-back, restful life that I am leading as I go through these last few weeks of gestating. You know, like how they tell working women to start maternity leave a couple of weeks before their due date so they can rest up and be prepared for the marathon of labor and the impending sleepless nights.


There has, of course, been the added stress of my father-in-law’s surgery and stay in the hospital. Sean has spent a lot of time there, which has left me alone with the boys during parts of the day when I would normally have a little bit of help. Originally, they thought they would be sending Tom home on Thursday, but he ended up having several hours of racing heart rate that day (significant enough that he had to watch them pulling out paddles in case they needed to shock him back to life), as well as some breathing issues. He finally came home today.

And then, there has just been life. The normal, day-to-day stuff, as well as the extras to keep things interesting. I would claim to be nesting, but it isn’t like I’m doing all of this stuff out of some hormonal urge. It just needs to be done, and it makes more sense to get it out of the way before the baby is born.

Today, I decided to do it in quite the frenzy. It is past 10:30 pm and I’m just finally sitting down and trying to wind down. Honestly, though, I’m rather proud of all I’ve accomplished today.

I started out by going to our local farmer’s market. The deals were not nearly as good this week as last, seeing as how we showed up last week right as a massive storm was rolling in. Somehow, it is hard to get excited about normal prices when you’ve scored a dozen peaches for two dollars. Not that it matters. I’m not supposed to be their to score deals. The fact is, it’s an election year for my mother and every politician needs to be seen with a baby. The vendors seem to be remembering Eli. No word on how long she’ll give me off before Violet and I will be expected to make an appearance after her birth.

I came home and cleaned the fish bowl, the gecko vivarium, and the ferret cage. We won’t even talk about how horrible that last one was.

We have wanted for awhile now to move rooms around. Last week, we convinced Wyatt to move into the bedroom downstairs with Noah. In a few months, Eli will move in with Caleb. The only thing we had left to do was to convert our small bedroom, where we have kept all of the boys’ dressers, into a spare bedroom (which will, eventually, become Violet’s room). The only problem is that that room was essentially the equivalent of a walk-in junk drawer.

With Sean’s help, we got all of the dressers and junk out. I washed the walls (no small feat, given my size) and scrubbed the carpet. Sean has begun setting up the bed. Tomorrow, we’ll bring in the dressers so I can organize all of the baby’s clothes.

My other albatross of a room was the school room. In the past week, all of our school supplies have shown up (amazing, considering everything was two weeks late last year). A good portion of today was spent packing up all of Noah’s supplies from last year, then unpacking everything for Noah and Wyatt this upcoming year. Which, of course, felt incredibly stupid since I was packing and unpacking the exact same freaking books, given that Wyatt will be doing what Noah did last year. Oh well, it’s done. (And, yes, I did officially get Wyatt enrolled. Funny, once I sent those IQ test results in, it was only a couple of days before everything was taken care of and his materials were shipped.)

In between the big projects today, I went to the grocery store, sorted clothes to go to my new nephew, and cleaned and froze TEN POUNDS of strawberries. Someday, when I’m not so busy, they will become jam.

Most of my To Do list has been crossed off. Now, I just need to find a rice field to give birth in while life goes on.


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Filed under Daily Life, Patting myself on the back, pregnancy

Ready for Spring

Yesterday afternoon, it got above fifty degrees in my area. I gleefully told my kids that they could put on their shoes and go outside to play—no jackets required.

The long, cold winter has obviously messed with them. During the summer, I can barely force them to stay inside when there are raging storms outside. Yesterday, on a gorgeous day? They did NOT want to be bothered with going out.

Too. Freakin’. Bad.

I informed them that they WOULD put on their shoes, and they WOULD go outside. And, ten minutes later, when they said they were ready to come in? I told them they WOULD keep playing outside until Daddy came home (an hour later). And then I enjoyed the beauty of having sent all four children out to play.

Yes, you read that right. I even sent out the baby.

Now, before you go trying to match my comments up to your map widget to figure out where I live and report me to Children’s Services, let me explain. My kitchen has a door in it. That door leads to the beautiful, large deck that my husband and father built a few summers ago. A deck that they built with a very secure gate. I like to think of it as a giant, outdoor playpen.

While the older boys climbed their favorite tree, scrubbed their little red wagon, and used a fallen tree in our woods as a balance beam, Eli happily toddled around and watched what his brothers were doing. I put a ball and a walker toy out for him to play with, although I must admit he was a little more fascinated by the plastic bottles in the recycle bin.

My boys got some much needed fresh air and my kitchen got tidied up while I watched their progress and cooked dinner. It was a beautiful thing.

This morning, I woke up and could tell that it was already shaping up to be another warm day. I was so excited at the prospect that I walked around opening windows and turning off the furnace. Then, I looked at the weather bar on my computer and realized that it was only 43 degrees outside.

You know what? I decided that I just didn’t care. The furnace stayed off and the windows stayed open all day long. My house never got too cold, and I got to enjoy some fresh air, which probably helped me as proceeded to never stop moving for the rest of the day.

I’m not one who usually feels inspired towards some big Spring cleaning. Truth be told, I really don’t enjoy the task of cleaning at all and am frequently overwhelmed trying to keep up with the messes that my kids make. But the prospect of having somewhere around thirty-five people in my house for a birthday party this weekend? Yeah, I’ll get my butt cleaning for that.

Originally, my goal was to get the upstairs carpets cleaned this morning while Sean’s grandmother was here hanging out with the kids (life lesson 5,600,032: carpet should NEVER be put in an area where small children eat on a regular basis). It took me all morning to get everything picked up, vacuumed, scrubbed, furniture moved, and scrubbed some more.

By the time the kids’ quiet time rolled around, I definitely had earned a break.

I didn’t take it.

The rest of my day was spent clearing off those surfaces and corners where the clutter accumulates, dusting, sorting through and throwing away stuff from the accident that we had held onto for insurance purposes, and working more on my kitchen (which still isn’t done). All day long—I never quit moving.

I finally stopped when it was time for the kids to go to bed. My body is acknowledging all that it has done today. My back problems are starting to complain at me. I’m ready for a good night’s rest.

So I can do it all again tomorrow.


Filed under Daily Life, Kids, Patting myself on the back

Turtle Power (Powered by Diet Dew)

You may have noticed that I haven’t been around a lot this week. (What? You didn’t notice? I’m crushed.) This is because late last week, as I was talking to my mother, I said something about trick-or-treat this coming Saturday.

“It’s not on Saturday,” she said. “It’s Thursday.”


I know. I know. If I bothered to look at a calendar occasionally, I would have realized that this Saturday is November. Whatever.

So, it occurred to me at that moment that I had two less days to make Halloween costumes. I got my fabric and spent several hours on Saturday cutting out pattern pieces.

At church on Sunday, they reminded everyone that they were doing a Trunk-or-Treat for the kids tonight.

Double crap. Scratch off one more day to make costumes.

Growing up, we never had store-bought Halloween costumes. My mother wouldn’t hear of it–too cheap looking. Why pay for something poorly made when you can make it yourself?

Well, my kids have always had store bought costumes because, until last year, I was convinced that I didn’t know how to sew. This year, knowing better, it was time to step up to the plate and make three Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Honestly, I had originally wanted to make these costumes last year. My big plan back then was to make the costumes for N~, W~, and C~, and an empty shell to stick over my still pregnant at the time belly (Mommy in a half shell). I thought it would be fabulously clever (especially if I made a little turtle head and legs to stick out from my back). I asked my mom if she still had the TMNT costume pattern from when she made one for my little brother (in 1990!!!). She couldn’t find it. My kids went as Darth Vader, Spider Man, and Superman–all thanks to WalMart.

A couple of months ago, I was in my parents’ house and noticed the Turtle pattern sitting by their telephone.

“Where did you find that???” I asked, knowing that we had searched everywhere for it.

“Oh, it was in the trunk of my car,” was my mother’s reply.


OK, I don’t think that they even made Saturns eighteen years ago. I know that particular one sure as heck wasn’t around when she made the costume for my brother (who is now 25). How that pattern ended up riding around in that trunk for at least a year is a mystery that my never be solved.

So, anyhow, I had my pattern. And, as I realized a few days ago, I had less than a week to make it. Three times.

I was up until one o’clock Monday night. Last night, I got to bed around two.


C~, W~, and N~ showing off their costumes. I’m not sure if C~ looks more like Michelangelo or Mush Mouth. (You get this without a password since they are wearing masks)


As I stand to accept this award for The Best Mommy Ever, I would like to take this opportunity to show my appreciation.

First, I would like to thank Joann Fabric for having the foresight to stock solid green pre-quilted fabric, without which I would have actually had to quilt a turtle shell design on by hand. My mom pointed out that I still could put the concentric rings over the quilted pattern for added effect. I could have but, you know, monkeys, orifices…it didn’t happen.

To my mother: Thank you for teaching me to sew (even though I didn’t realize it until I was 30). Also, thank you for letting me borrow your sewing machine when mine went wacky at just the wrong time. I now know that everything they say in the commercials is true–nothing runs like a Husqvarna.

And finally, I’d like to thank the soft drink engineers at Pepsi Co. I couldn’t have pulled off the short nights without you.


The costumes are made, and I doubt that my children will ever begin to comprehend what a representation of my love and devotion to them they really are. I don’t sacrifice that much sleep for just anyone. Which leaves me with just one more thing to say:

Mom, thanks for all of the Halloween costumes.


Filed under Daily Life, Kids, Patting myself on the back

Time Flies When You’re Baring Your Soul

One year ago today, I dipped my toe into the blogging water and introduced myself to the great unknown. I’m not sure who I thought would end up reading anything I wrote, or who would even care. Especially because I didn’t plan on telling my family about it at first (too bad I didn’t understand click-throughs–my sister knew I was here within the first couple of days). I was amazed when two different people left hello comments on that first post. I still read their blogs.

Over the past year and 225 posts, I have learned a lot. I have learned that I am more sane when I write out the things on my mind. I have learned that I can truly care about the well-being of people that I have never actually met. I have learned that, strangely, I can find out so much more about people I do know from the other side of a computer screen than I sometimes do face to face. And I have learned that people with wild ideas can find others who will agree with them no matter what they think (heck, I’m not even talking about you Obama supporters! LOL.).

It really is amazing to look back and see how much life I have lived in the past year. I’m so glad I’ve been recording it, and I plan to keep going. I’ve also been playing with the idea of starting something else–something that focuses less on me and my life and more on some broader topics. I’ll let you know when I’m ready to go there. Until then…

Happy Blogiversary to meeeeee….

Happy Blogiversary to meeeeee….


Pretends there is a candle to blow out before stuffing last last mint Oreo in her face.


Filed under Patting myself on the back, The Me Behind the Mommy

I Embarrassed My Husband

So, how do you deal with a fat dog that only walks towards the house?



Yep, that’s right. When we took the kids for a bike/stroller ride this evening, I plopped the fat dog on the stroller’s bench seat. She rode until we got to the end of the street, then I took her down and made her walk back.

We passed a few other people walking normal dogs on the way down the street. Sean was mortified. If he could have, I think he would have pretended not to know me. Whatever. It worked.

Later this evening, I took her out again and actually got her to walk both directions down the street. This may be easier than I expected!


Filed under A Scary Look into My Mind, Just for Fun, Patting myself on the back

Starting School…More or Less

Alternate title: We Aren’t Failing Yet

Monday was the official start to our school year. And the school materials that K12 has been promising us will show up “on or before” the first day of the school year? Not here yet. Well, ok, my history stuff showed up yesterday, but I’m not even supposed to be doing history lessons every day, so I only see it as mildly helpful. Ironically, my sister, who isn’t even planning on starting until after Labor Day, already has her stuff. Grrr

In hopes that my materials might actually show up on Monday, I decided not to do lessons and, instead, did an educational field trip to the local children’s museum.

I couldn’t justify two field trips to myself, so we did our best to start lessons yesterday. Most of my phonics and math lessons can be done from the computer, so we are making due in those subjects. We’re missing out on some of our teaching aides and workbook pages, but at least we’re making some real progress in those subjects (as well as history). Literature, unfortunately, is a different subject (Get it? Subject–ha, ha…oh, never mind). It is a little difficult to teach stories and poems that you can’t read to your kid. Sigh. I hope it shows up soon.

If you had asked me at the end of school time yesterday how things were going, I would have admitted that I was scared. I walked around all afternoon reminding myself that I had chosen a bad day to start (Tuesdays are my weird day–Sean leaves before we are out of bed and it throws everything off for the morning), and that I hadn’t prepared everything beforehand like I should have. It was stressful and disorganized, but we made it through.

Last night, I organized as much as I could (we haven’t finished building our school room, so everything is scattered around my dining room at the moment). I made a daily schedule for myself just as a visual reminder of how I want my day to go. I printed out all of the worksheets that are online. I made sure that I was ready to teach when I woke up this morning.

And you know what? It made a huge difference. We’re still adjusting (N~ complained that it wasn’t fair that his brothers were having fun on the trampoline while he was learning phonics), but it flowed. It is harder when W~ and C~ decide that they want to be involved, too, but I make sure that I have extra copies of everything printed out so they can color and cut, too.

The difference between yesterday and today was drastic. Everything is prepared to go for tomorrow. Well, everything that can be.

Dang backordered supplies.


Filed under Daily Life, Homeschooling, Kids, Patting myself on the back




Carpets cleaned. Thanks Mom!



Groceries bought.



Youth watermelon spitting attended.



Ferret cleaned.



Bears made.


All that is left to do is wait for T~ and her family to get here. We’re all excited for the visit (even if I am ready to collapse!).

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Filed under Daily Life, open adoption, Patting myself on the back