Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I'm Tired

I'm tired of screaming, crying, noncooperative kids.

I'm tired of prepping, cooking, and cleaning up 3 meals a day, every single day.

I'm tired of going places every day (I really would be a hermit if I could).

I'm tired of messes.

I'm tired of cleaning up said messes at least 6 times a day, and when Kydon gets home, he is greeted by a mess.

I'm tired of trying to cajole a certain child into doing their work (and it makes me even more tired when their only work is to get dressed, and I will even help them, and they still won't do it). I'm not naming any names *cough*aidan*cough*.

I'm tired of forgetting things that I should remember.

I'm tired of kids who argue about everything.

I'm tired of figuring out what we are going to eat for dinner. (I enjoy the cooking and baking, but my ideas are all gone).

I'm tired of getting mad over little things that don't really matter.

Sometimes it just feels good to complain.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Glutton For Punishment

Why am I obsessed with dollhouses?

Why?

Can someone please explain this to me?

Please?

First, I tried to make some. Cute, soft, fabric dollhouses. They turned out okay... but they were so much more work than I anticipated. And the kids did like them- sorta- for a couple days. Now they are in a basket in the basement, probably never to be played with again.

So, on our trip to Williamsburg, I was browsing an overpriced shop, and found one. It was the cutest fabric dollhouse, with a couch, table, and little doll all made out of fabric. Totally adorable, and was pretty exactly what I wish I had been able to create. It was $35, and I snatched it up. Now, I am generally a pretty cheap person, and would normally never buy such a thing. But, for some reason, I... I mean... Abigail needed it.

She loved it. For a day. Hasn't been touched since then except when I have moved it to dust.

So? What is a crazy mother to do?

OF COURSE! Try another! This one made of paper! Yep, paper. For my daughter. You know, the one who likes to rip things.

I spent all evening last night cutting, glueing, and double-sided taping. How did I get here? How I am knee deep in ANOTHER doll house project?

I remember seeing a really cute link for some paper dolls on Etsy. I clicked the link, and thought they were adorable. While browsing around, I also found this cute little dollhouse. When I showed them to Abigail, she didn't care for the dolls, but she did like the house. So, of course, I got suckered bought it.

Before I knew it, I had purchased the house, plus the furniture, plus the dolls... and then paid to have it all printed. Seemed like a good idea at the time, until before I knew it I was another $30 in, and I still had to make the darn thing.

It has sat in the bag on my table for a few weeks now, just waiting for me to get the courage to start. It wasn't easy- I was very intimidated by 35 pages of exact cutting.

However, once I started, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it wasn't nearly as hard as I had feared. The pieces were big and easy to cut out, and I had it mostly assembled after just over an hour. Of course, we won't talk about the 15 pages of furniture with teeny tiny details and annoying slots to fit together.

I just keep thinking- why am I knee deep in *another* doll house? When will I figure out that Abigail doesn't like them nearly as much as I do? When will I realize that the amount of play time does NOT make the amount of work/money worth it??

If you hear me speak of dollhouses, please, for my sake, stop me.

Monday, June 28, 2010

On my recipe blog, I posted two recipes today:

Enjoy!

Three Crazy Kids

The other day we tried to go hiking and it started to pour down rain. So we quickly detoured into the nearest ice cream place. We got this picture of the kids, and I thought it was pretty funny- I love to capture their personalities like this!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Matching Skirts

The other day I saw a woman at the pool wearing this really cute, casual tiered skirt. I fell in love, but didn't know where to buy it... so I decided to try and make it myself.


Since I was going to the effort, I went ahead and made Abigail a matching one.




I think they turned out pretty great! I sort-of regret choosing such a *bright* fabric palate, I think if I did it again I would go with something just slightly more calm, but overall I really like them both. We wore them yesterday, and it was the perfect thing for summer- casual, comfortable, and cool!


The other day Cecilee asked me how I had time for such things. It definately helps that my youngest is 5. There is a huge difference in how much supervision a 2 or 3 year old requires compared to a 5 year old, but my real secret is this: ignore the children allow for independant play!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Pivotal Moment

I felt my internal radar sound the alarm. There was no specific alert I could name, but rather a combination of sounds and absence of sounds that I knew usually meant trouble. A giggle that was a little bit hyper. Voices that turned to whispers, and a soft closing of a door. All three kids working together without conflict (if that doesn’t mean trouble, I don’t know what does). I ran up the stairs two at a time and very quietly opened the door.

Immediately all 3 kids froze. I took in the scene, and I’m sure there was an expression of shock on my face. A huge pile of blankets, pillows, and to top it off, the huge rug from our living room. As I sat there wondering how in the world they got such a heavy and large rug all the way up the stairs, a small smile broke across my face, and I laughed.

As the laugh broke free, the tension and slight fear dissipated from the three little ones staring intently at my expression. They all began to laugh, even rolling around on the floor with joy. One ran up to me, hugging my legs, and said “Mommy, I thought you were going to be mad”.

In that moment, I was reminded of how easily it could have gone the other direction. I could have been upset. I could have handed out reprimands and punishments. I could have been mad, and they would have started crying, which would have made me frustrated and angry. I’m so glad I smiled. I’m so glad I laughed. I still told them to clean up, and to return the rug. But, said with a smile, they accepted it, and even complied without difficulty.

I hope I can do it more often. I try to remind myself constantly that these days, though they seem long, are short, and I should cherish the moments. I don’t do it as often as I should, but I want to do more laughing. I want to respond with humor instead of annoyance. I want to enjoy the moments, to remind myself that it is just a rug… just a glass of milk… just a bathroom full of water- and laugh with them as we clean the mess together. It worked out magically today, and I hope to repeat it often.

This is a post I was writing for the Deep South Moms blog. However, they will be closing that site, no longer publishing posts. I have enjoyed writing and being a part of that collaborative effort. I will miss the challenge to produce better posts, and I will miss reading the thoughtful and evocative posts from the other writers. I will also miss being able to get freebies now and then. Goodbye, DSM, and thank you for the opportunities.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mon... uh, I mean Tuesday

Can you tell which is which? I will put the answer at the end, just in case you want to venture a guess!

In typical fashion, she needed one for each hand, plus a few extra. I guess her attitude of "I want it all and then a little more" started early! :)

I uploaded pictures yesterday, and then the day happened so fast I didn't even have time to write the post.

This is what I had planned: Mow the lawn, apply weedkiller. Clean the house, return books to the library. Try not to go crazy.

This is what happened: Get ready super fast, pack food in a bag. Meet some friends at a park and see one of our favorite dogs, Charlie. Eat a picnic lunch, then go to Target and actually find some cute things. Head to the pool with cousins, aunts, and Grandma. Drop the kids off at Aunt Melinda's and I got to leave- fabric shopping for a skirt I want to try, then grocery shopping (alone- yay!) Head home, bake up a quiche for dinner (I love baking now!), put the pumpkins in their bed, then I went off for a little exercise.

We also ate our first cucumber from the garden- Jack was estatic. He has been waiting for that guy for at least 6 months!

Today we are heading downtown to meet Daddy for lunch. There is also some cleaning that should happen, but maybe instead I will ignore it and start cutting up the fabric I bought yesterday!

ps- Aidan is on the left with the chubby cheeks, and Jack is on the right with the pointy chin!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Peaceful Hours

Brought on by a late bedtime, a morning playing with friends, an extended swim during the hottest time of the day, and full tummies, I experienced a few peaceful hours this afternoon.
3 cute kids, wrapped in Daddy's soft orange blanket, dozing on the couch!

My only regret is that I didn't join them!

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Honeymoon is Over

Summer Vacation started out so nice. Relaxing, fun, happy kids. That all came to a screeching halt sometime on Thursday. Friday was the day of my nightmares- kids screaming, crying, throwing fits, making huge messes of everything they touched (crowning example was after a morning of them being really naughty I decided to get them out of the house and go swimming. When I went upstairs to change my clothing, Abigail grabs a can of root beer, shakes it up, and pops it open- spraying it all over EVERYTHING).

The rest of the weekend really wasn't much better. Tantrums, disobedience, messes all over the place. I think the summer vacation honeymoon is over. They are trying to figure out this new schedule. A new dynamic between the three of them, and a new way to interact.

I hope they figure it out soon!

I decided THIS week would be better. I will tighten up on discipline. I will be strict with TV (they were getting their tv tickets on Monday morning, but now they will get one ticket at the end of each day if the behavior has earned it). I will keep them busy with school work and reading and activities. We will go somewhere fun each day to keep the boredom at bay. I will limit my computer time (scary, I know, but drastic measures are needed).

It has been 2 hours, and so far it has been better. I hope it continues. And reading this post, from Sarah (one of my favorite bloggers), gives me hope that it WILL get better!

Friday, June 11, 2010

A Dinner Worth Blogging About

Thanks to my new oven and a few other things, we had a fantastic dinner the other night! We started with the perfect Lasagna, recipe here.

I then tried a new recipe for rolls, and they actually turned out amazing- by far the best rolls I ever made (nevermind that Aidan was climbing on the counter tops and *accidentally* sat on half of them as they were rising- at least a few survived!). I have never been able to make rolls, and I am so excited that these turned out so well!

And, finally, we picked the first yellow squash from our garden! Sauteed with a little vidalia onion, some salt and pepper, and it was amazing!

I think cooking for the family will be a joy this summer! It has been rather stressful these past few months with being limited, but now I am really having fun! I'm sure it won't last forever, but today I'm planning to make pigs in a blanket, granola, pumpkin bread, and pizza rolls. And dinner will be roast, baked sweet potatos, and a few more fresh rolls.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A few pics from Williamsburg

Here are just a few pictures from our trip to Williamsburg a few months ago. Today I am going to be busy- baking up a storm, cleaning, and hiking with the kids.




















Monday, June 7, 2010

A Thing Of Beauty

Tonight.... grocery shopping.
Tomorrow...... baking!

Adoption Understandings

The kids and I had an interesting conversation the other night. I love to watch as their understanding of adoption grows and changes. One of them asked me what my middle name was. I explained that my Mom and Dad didn't give me a middle name, but I use my old last name as my middle name. That led into a whole discussion about last names, and how when a girl gets married she sometimes uses the last name of her husband, and how your name shows what family you are in, etc.

They were very interested in it, and we spent some time naming different people we knew and what their name is now and what it used to be, etc. Jack then asked about his birthmom, and what her name was. I told him, and he said that his whole name included her last name. He put it between his middle name and our last name. I asked him why he thought her name should be in his name, and he said "Because- Jack is me and then I was with A., and then I was with you, so that is my real whole name".

I thought it was so amazing that at 5 he can recognize and appreciate those relationships. I love that he recognizes that he "came from her" and is in her family as well as ours. My deepest hope is that they will all be able to know, understand and appreciate their past. I want them to know that there is no competition or any feelings of "them or us". I thought it was so cool that he feels connected enough to include her name into his family name, because she is family to us.

We then talked about how each of their birthmoms helped select their names, and how special their names are because of how many people worked to think of just the right ones. Abigail has had some recent feelings of sadness about her adoption, and she chatted away about her middle name and that it was what her birthmom called her when she was growing. I was so relieved to see that she seemed to be just fine with the subject and that she was not sad at all to be talking about it. I had heard before that age 5/6 is a time when they develop deeper understandings, so I have been watching and listening with much curiosity this year!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Are We There Yet?

Kydon's Christmas present was a GPS unit. We absolutely love it, and the kids do too.

An unexpected benefit that is now my favorite feature... we never get asked "how many more minutes"! The GPS has a setting that gives a count down timer to your destination, and once I showed the kids what number to look at, they can just check it out themselves and I don't have to spend my time trying to figure out how close we are!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Spinning Around

I go to sleep each night weighing oven options. I wake up each morning with a new decision, only to be changed not long after by something I read, or see, or someone I talk to.

I am obsessed, is what I am saying. Despite the obsession, I am still a long way from making a decision!

Yesterday I had finally decided, for sure. I knew what I wanted. I had Kydon go on his own to check it out. When he came home, we went right back to one of our earliest decisions (gas v. electric) and the decision was back under review.

After talking about it for several hours (crazy, I know), we made a decision. Done. Then this morning I read something on the internet, and now I just. don't. know. :)

We will also be spinning around the house today. One cute kid had some really terrible behavior in the car on the way to the baseball game with Daddy, and then yesterday on the way home from the pool with Mama, 2 cute kids were at it again. The result? They are grounded from the car. My thinking is that if they can't behave, they can't enjoy the benefit. Of course, that also means that 1 cute kid and myself are joining in the punishment.

They have been sad from the minute they woke up. Trying to think of alternatives (Grandma could come pick us up, we could invite everyone we know over for a party). Sorry, no. Much to their dismay.

Luckily, I do have an option up my sleeve in case it gets bad... thank goodness we are withing walking distance of a great park!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My Never Again List

There are only a few things I have vowed never to do again.
  1. Attend a Braves baseball game.
  2. Eat at Hardees
  3. Stay at a Microtel Inn

Because of #1, I get a night to myself tonight. Ahh... bliss!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Gone!

Memorial Day was extremely productive...
Our built in oven and the cabinet that housed it is gone! The kitchen already feels more open!

We also went oven shopping. Kydon likes the best (and most expensive)... no surprise there! I found the one I wanted, but then I got sent on a tangent. I found there is an option in a few ovens of having a free standing range with a double oven! That was very exciting to me!
I'm still weighing all the pros and cons while we are busy patching the floor and running a gas line.