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.


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?

Brain Dump

Greetings from Charlottesville on this cold Friday afternoon.

1.  If you want your kids to enjoy their perfectly good playroom again, but they keep NOT enjoying it, here are two tips for you:

  • Clean it up*
  • Move things around.  I’m not talking about moving furniture (necessarily).  I am talking about taking that basket of cars that is usually on the floor and putting it on the bookcase.  Move a stack of books onto the couch.  Get a large Tupperware and group all the red cars together in it.  You know how your eye moves over familiar spaces and doesn’t see anything new?  Change things up by moving them around, and see if your kids notice books or toys in a new way.  

*If you want to read extensively about how tidy’ish, pared-down play areas are great for kids, check out Simplicity Parenting from your library.  That book speaks my language.  

2.  My five year old and I are 8 days into NOT biting our fingernails.  It has been an lifelong habit of mine that comes and goes.  He started biting his nails a year ago.  It was his idea to stop, even though we’ve tried to curtail it in different ways over the year.  This time he was into the challenge.  We are using nasty tasting stuff that we paint on every few days.  Totes effective. Fingernails or bust!

3.    We are doing a few minor changes to a house that we own and want to put on the market.  It has mostly gone okay and we have great people taking care of the work AND we do not even live there.  Even so.  When the city turned the water on and water started bubbling up through the yard and we had to troubleshoot that?  Or when the vanities I chose highlight the plumbing to the wall, instead of hide it?  Or when it is too cold to do exterior painting, and there is no warmer weather on the horizon? It confirms what I have long suspected- I would never want to deal with a big, legit renovation.  No thank you.  My hat is off to you, DIY’ers.  You have all of my admiration.  

Lots of time in Lowes lately. Lots.

4. My five year old recently discovered the joy deejaying the radio in our kitchen.  He landed on a “Classic Country” station, which immediately takes me back to my high school years.  Who can name the major hit of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band?  Who knows all the lyrics to “John Deere Green”?  And don’t even get me started on Diamond Rio- some of those songs still bring a tear to my eye.  Go Vikes!  High school forevah!