Brain Dump

When all else fails and I have not blogged in a while- there is always the brain dump.

The rarely seen (or taken) photo of just us

1.  How about this weather?  Mid-80’s for the high, in the middle of October.  WTH.  It seems I was premature on busting out the flannel sheets and down comforter a couple of weeks ago.  

The up side is that I got to go through my clothes and bag up a bunch of warm-weather stuff I didn’t wear much and pass it on elsewhere.  I am way into doing that sort of thing, as you may know.

2.  I’m back to a cash system for some of our budget areas.  Time to curb some of that impulse spending.  There is nothing like going back through my credit card statement and adding up all of those little purchases to the tune of hundreds of dollars for the month of September…  I am a pretty firm believer that knowledge is power, even if it made me slightly sick to my stomach to see the final tally.  

The ultimate side eye to the craw dad; camping 2016

I maintain that sometimes you gotta throw money at the problem, but this last stretch has gotten out of hand.  I withdrew cash for my personal spending, spending for the kids, and home purchases.  We have a debit account for our groceries, which keeps me on track with my spending there every month.  

3.  I read 11 books in September and have read 5 so far this month.  I read I Let You Go in a day, because I got all sucked in before realizing it was a suspense/thriller type book (never ever what I like to read).  But I had to know what happened!  Other notables: A Man Called Ove, The One in a Million Boy, Scary Close, Before We Visit the Goddess, and Love Warrior*.  All brought to you by your local public library.  Scary Close and Love Warrior are both memoirs and I liked a lot about both of them.  Hate to say it, but I didn’t actually LOVE Love Warrior.  Just liked it.  No offense, Oprah.  

*I am not linking to all of those titles on Amazon because I am lazy.  

Pretty into the pigtails these days

4.  A few other factors that have allowed for extra reading time: my rad husband took the three oldest kids on two separate camping trips.  I went to Bermuda with my dad, sister, and numero tres for four days (what is this life I am living?!?!) And I am mostly staying off Facebook during the weekdays.  (Here’s where I am embarrassed about how much time I have given over to Facebook, ESPECIALLY during election season.  That does not serve me well.) 

Bermuda was okay… If you go for that sort of thing…

Twinning with Poppies

5.  I have said something to this effect before, but I increasingly see life on the other side.  We are in the last stretch of diapers, nap times, 5 point harness car seats, and frantic bedtime searches for the lovey.  We are crossing over into more independence and into some headier parenting.  It’s not just kneeling down to break up a fight over a toy; it is also talking about anxiety and uncertain friendships and “I’m not sure I believe in God” sort of things.  It is bittersweet, for sure.  

My kids are extremely fun little humans and I am so thankful for our little crew here.  What a crazy gift (and responsibility) to be their mom. 

Life on our street. His name is Maestro, btw, and he pooped in our yard.


Two Excellent Push Present Ideas

1.  Never ever use the phrase “Push Present” again.  That word choice makes me uncomfortable.  Just get your wife a present, okay?  She had the baby, get her something.  Don’t call it the poorly-named “push present”.  Ick.  Just don’t.

2.  Oh-you want an actual gift idea?  Here you go.  But- bad news- this is only applicable if this is your second (or third or fourth) baby.  But typing out “Two Excellent Push Present Ideas If Your Wife Just Had Your Second (or Third or Fourth) Baby” seemed excessive.

Here’s my idea: When that newborn baby is a few weeks old, and nursing/bottle-feeding has been established, and baby is healthy- take your older child(ren) and get out of town for a few days.  Leave your wife at home with that new baby.  Give her time in a quiet house, with no toddler waking her up at 6:30 a.m. after she has been up feeding the baby all night.  Give her time to feed the baby and go back to bed- all day if she wants to.  

This would not have felt lovely and glorious after my first was born, but subsequent babies?  Heck yes. 

My husband took the older three out of town for six whole days, when our youngest was six weeks old.  She had been home from the hospital for a few weeks at that point, was gaining weight like a champ, and doing all of the cute things that babies do.  Leaving me alone with my youngest one was heaven.  I took long walks around Charlottesville with her bundled in the Bjorn, I enjoyed hours upon hours of quiet in my own house (a rarity, and maybe only enticing for an introvert, now that I think about it), and finished little nesting projects that had been waylaid by numero cuatro’s sudden arrival.  She napped on my chest as I watched Netflix.  I got up with her at 5:00 a.m. and didn’t care- because I could go back to bed pretty much any old time that day. 

It was the absolute best thing ever.

So there you go.  The dreamy present my husband gave me, after our youngest’ arrival.   

Does that appeal to anyone else?  Or- who would opt for good old-fashioned jewelry over the scenario I just described?

  P.S.- Yesterday we switched the kids’ bedrooms around and I found this while cleaning a certain child’s bed.  Tucked neatly into a sparkly Easter egg: two frosted mini wheats, some shredded cheddar, and one kernel of dried corn.  What could it possibly mean?

Brain Dump

1.  Writing again because my friend Carolyn remarked that she misses my blog posts and two people “liked” her comment so THE MASSES HAVE SPOKEN.

yup. riding an elephant.

2.  I was feeling frustrated by the mess in the playroom yesterday so I decided to get rid of 30 things today.  (Remember this challenge?) I started with two board games that my kids play once every six months, yet somehow the pieces end up strewn everywhere and in every room in the house.  Goodwill.  Plus 28 more things.  

3.  Here is life with four kids: We arrive at the pool.  One of the kids announces he feels sick.  Said kid pukes in his brothers’ brand new sand bucket.  (Fills it almost to the top.  So gross.)  Brother/bucket owner is, understandably, sad.  Maybe even a little distraught.  A friend watches the baby while I take Puker and Brother up to the bathroom to  dump out the puke and get Puker some water.  Fourth child wanders the pool grounds.   

We stay for two more hours.

Mom of four does not let a little thing like puke send her packing up those kids.  Do you know how much effort it takes to get four kids to the pool?  Mucho.  Puke and rally, kiddo!

(He was fiiiiine).

maybe taken on the puke day. i don’t even remember! because: four kids.

4.  Speaking of four kids, the end is nigh!  We are almost finished diapering baby butts!  Imagine how rough those cloth diapers look, then imagine them a little bit rougher.  They are threadbare and barely hanging on, but I am nothing if not committed.  

5.  Remember my meal plan?  Sometime in March I decided I could not eat another round of those meals again.  I have been looking for a few good recipes to start over with ever since.  I have a good number of meals in place, but I welcome any easy addition you can offer.  Bonus points if it is freezable.  

he packed his own bag for grandpa and grandma’s. included: puddle jumper (shown) and 7 pairs of underwear. not included: anything else.

6.  Summertime means a loose schedule around here.  Daily chores, daily devotions, daily activity, daily rest time.  Repeat repeat.  We are off to a good start.  Schedules don’t work for everyone, but they are my good friend for the long weeks of summer.  I post it on the fridge for all to reference and enjoy.  

What works for you in the summer?  Schedules or total go with the flow all day, every day?  And- any easy recipes I should try?