April 28, 2011

There Are Times...

My sweet and happy SIL posted a "There are times..." status on Facebook today that made me think. This has been a kinda awful week for me in a few ways that I won't ramble on about. Oh wait, I probably will. This week makes me want to wallow and I probably will after I get done writing this supposedly upbeat post.
  • There are times when I feel like a truly sucky mother because my 8 month old STILL doesn't sleep through the night. Sometimes I get so frustrated repeatedly helping him fall asleep that I want to let him scream himself to sleep and I hate that feeling. Makes me cry and rush to him after only a couple of minutes. Which leads to:
  • There are times when I want to smack anyone who gives me any kind of parenting advice when I don't ask for it. I should also stick to this and sometime smack myself. Also:
  • There are times when I want to stop listening to and reading what other people have done successfully with their kid and go live in a cave so no one will contribute my already "is this how I raise my kid right?" feelings.
  • There are times when I feel like a lazy ass when I find a damp load of clothes in the dryer smelling nice and musty. Wonderful. Now I only have 12,000 loads of laundry to do today.
  • There are times when I read the news and National Geographic and I lose faith in humanity. We are so divided and unthinkingly destructive.
  • There are times when I want to be emotionally immature and hold a grudge or get angry for what someone has "done to me". I have to fight this to be accepting of others and look at the big picture and remember I LOVE/LIKE THESE PEOPLE. And no, I'm not talking about you, don't worry:)
  • There are times when I want to spend time with my hubby, just me and him. And then I tell myself shut up, think how lucky you are to actually HAVE him.
  • There are times when I wish I wouldn't tell myself how good I have it. Even lucky people deserve to wallow sometimes, right?
  • There are times when I wish people and relationships didn't change with distance, age, and time.
  • And there are times when I wish people would just grow up and grow a pair. This applies to me as well:)
  • There are times when I hopehopehope I will be a good mama. When I plead/beg whoever/whatever to please let me do this parenting thing right. I want my kid to know I love him unconditionally, no matter anything. Which is what I whisper to him as he screams and goes through this "Sleep is for the WEAK!!!" phase.
  • There are times when I wish everyone would think EXACTLY as I do. And then we'd all be so dull that we'd collectively explode and actually implode, simultaneously.
  • And last, the one that bothers me a little: There are times when I gleefully murder the ants that crawl on my counters. What is wrong with me???
PS- Please return to your normally scheduled life.

April 25, 2011


Well, it has been a busy 2 weeks and we've accomplished a lot. Hopefully life will get back to it's normal routine starting today! Here's a very brief summary of what we've been up to lately, depending on what I remembered to take pictures of:)

Went to IU to listen to preety musak:)

Made raised beds, began filling them according to lasagna gardening theory, and planned our garden layout according to companion planting and books we read. Not the Wonder Weeks though, that's a baby book:)

Worked on the house more. Finished the guest room for Josh who moved in Saturday morning. The guest room is so pretty, I want to live in it now!!!

Fed our kid food mostly to amuse ourselves. Watched him eating in the most talented no-hand method possible. Listened to him practice yelling and screaming. Pried Easter eggs from him.

Made a family event of cleaning out my mom's attic. I sorted through all my many boxes of things collected as a kid, including my treasured American Girl dolls that I bought with my own money. Smiled at all the doll clothes I made. Sweet nostalgia:)

Some of the coolest things I found included a generous letter from my friend Kendra, a confusing envelope from Abby, locks of my hair and Summer's (yes, we exchanged locks of hair!!), and a cross-stitched present I never finished. Happy early birthday Summer!!!

Blew out candles on Saturday AND Sunday:) All the kids wanted to help. Pretty sure C wanted to eat the fire.... Today I am 30!!!!!

My kiddo got to eat someone elses shoulder for a change. He liked my aunt Carla.

Try to read this. My 5 year old niece Bella wrote it after finding a bone in our woods that she said was an ear muscle bone. I'll tell you at the end what it says:)

PS- I now have a pile of bones on my back deck. Also, want to come hunt for morel mushrooms soon?

She wrote- "This is my ear muscle" in 5 yo speak:)

April 22, 2011

Earth Day!! And My Baby

Happy Earth Day!! To celebrate I'm painting more (Zero VOC paint), watching my babe, cooking dinner, and cleaning my house. What about you??

I feel as if I haven't blogged in a long time since I've been so busy with the house. Getting a room ready to be lived in takes a lot more work than we thought it would! The guest room will be orderly and complete today and I'll post pictures later.

C has learned how to do a lot this week: pull himself to a standing position on furniture, crawl, make funny mouth sounds, and move from his tummy to sitting. All this learning sure has impacted his sleep! Funky naps, weird night wakings. I will be glad to sleep past 5:30 again when he gets back to his normal schedule! For now I'm getting a lot done in the mornings since I get up so early. However, by afternoon, I'm drooping and ready to nap.... And then I get really grouchy and sarcastic. Must ACTUALLY take a nap this afternoon, not just think longingly of it.

BTW, this whole "C pulling himself up, standing, and grabbing everything in his reach" phase is a new, ahem, challenge. And he's been doing this for 2 days. 2 DAYS????!?!?!?!? Where did my immobile little sweetie go?? Now he's this scooting, crawling, standing sweetie who I watch carefully. Any second he'll fall and hit his head/mouth/forehead/general face area. I feel like a helicopter mommy but for now, I'd rather catch him than let him fall and cry. He's such a baby still:)

He's getting little bruises on his arms and legs from crawling over blocks and such.
He's eating bits of paper and dried drywall mud and my rainboots.
He's outwitting his mommy!!
He's exhausting me!!
He's 8 months!!

I love watching him grow, it's amazing:)

Back to it, C cannot distract me from my purpose: Happy Earth Day again!!! The following quote/status has been running rampant on Facebook lately:

Gas to jump to $5/gallon by Memorial Day. Obama said to get used to it and "trade your car in for an energy efficient car." With unemployment above 10% in many states, can YOU afford to trade-in? REPOST if you want Obama to get used to being a one-term President!!!

It makes me laugh heartily and scoff heartily. Please don't repost that quote. Americans are such greedy consumers, heaven forbid we buy fuel efficient cars or less crap or listen to anyone who suggests that.

I shall stop now before I begin a rant.

April 19, 2011


In my kitchen right now there's a spider dead on a sticky mouse trap. And this spider is probably THE LARGEST SPIDER EVER KNOWN TO HAVE LIVED IN A HOUSE. I think. The light was kinda dim and I really didn't want to see it closely. Thus I just assumed it was horrifically big, nearly the size of a mouse (but not really).

So sorry insect world, out comes the diatomaceous earth. And sorry spiders. I know I was going to let you control the insect population in my house but you are too big and hairy for my mind to deal with. Plus what have you done about the ants? I understand you are also scared of the wasps with their pulsing stinger behinds, but the ants? You can't gobble them up?

Sob. I want to NOT feel creeped out in my house. Sigh.

Yeah, I know, cry me a river. Unsubscribe from me if my whining gets too loud.

April 18, 2011

Happy List

A few things I love today:
  • The fact that my boy did all his bathroom business in the toilet this morning. Love using just 1 diaper all morning:)
  • The guest room color of paint J and I mixed up from leftover paint. Sweet, simple, refreshing.
  • My new lappie.
  • No wasps for 3 days!! Dare I hold my breath??
  • A load of clean cloth diapers drying.
  • Waiting for C to wake from a so far 1.5 hour nap so we can eat lunch with my mommy:)
  • Taking C to his first orchestra performance yesterday. He alternated among: hugging my neck, eating a Mum-Mum with J, and watching the musicians in amazement.
  • After listening to them play wonderful music, I got to eat lunch with my lovely seester and her Harvard bound boyfriend at a vegan cafe.
  • I will be 30 next week on Monday!! My birthday!!!!
  • Sunny springs that pop up overnight.
  • The fact that I can now grow as many dandelions in my lawn as I want. No neighborhood image to stress about, just cheery yellow flowers to smile at.
That's all folks!!

April 12, 2011

C's Sad Cold

C has a bad cold so he's officially Cranky Baby:( Sad:( The good news is he slept until 8 this morning. The bad news is he woke up crying every 30-60 minutes pretty much the whole night Sunday and Monday. Poor little boy:( It's not a pretty sight when your kid with a snotty nose sneezes (thrice in a row) and while you are diving for a tissue, he rubs BOTH fists on his face. Yum. Those of you lacking imagination, NEVER FEAR, I was able to take a picture of one instance of this!!! Feel free to avoid looking at the last picture in this post.... It's pretty gross.

C has had 4 colds so far in his 7.5 months of "out of the womb life" living:
  1. Mommy could handle it= tiny cold. 2ish days.
  2. Mommy could handle it= tiny cold. 2ish days.
  3. Mommy could handle it= medium cold, sad little cough. 5ish days.
  4. Now: Mommy is struggling= BAD COLD. Snot everywhere, fussy, Sleepless in Indiana, "put me down and I will die" and such. Mommy is going crazy.

So Cranky Boy won't tolerate being put down so pretty much I'm holding him all day for 2 days now. Plus I've sheeted (pinned sheets over the doors) off my kitchen and closed the doors to the guest room and upstairs bathroom due to random wasp appearances. SHUDDER. Today we have a carpet guy coming to give us a quote for the guest room, tomorrow an exterminator for the HORRIFIC wasps, and Thursday a plumber to fix the pipes in the gaping hole in C's wall. We worked all weekend (when I say that, I mean it) and due to C's lack of normal sleep and naps, I had a pity party yesterday.

Such is life. MUSTMUSTMUST stick to our goal of only working ONE weekend day, not all day Saturday AND Sunday. Why do we keep FAILING at that????? Nothing like putting in a few weeks of NEVER ENDING work days, 7 days a week to make a Me cry.

In other news: Sadie has become very disobedient lately. As in: "I shall never respond to "Here!!" or "Come!!" unless they've dropped food on the floor!!!"
Living in a wilderness (sort of) has turned her into a WILD ANIMAL!!!! She's intent on feigning deafness when outside so the squirrels and groundhog will think she's cool. Fortunately she'll still obey me when I tell her to sit and stay in front of C so he can be entertained by someone other than me for a minute.


He prefers getting his toys out himself. See how neat the playroom looks? The rest of the house is in shambles.

Mommy, pick me up, I have a cold!!!

Fine then, I'll come to you!!! YOU DON'T LOVE ME!! PUT DOWN THAT CAMERA!! Can't you see I'm tired and sick????

Oh, you do love me!! Thanks!!

She plopped me in front of the bookshelves!??! How devilishly fun!! I shall create havoc!!


Wait, these down here are more fun to pull out.

Hmmm, what about these?


April 8, 2011

Savings Accounts

So with the whole federal budget crisis that nearly happened Friday night, I started thinking about moola. And the oftentimes absurdity of our government. Government (commence eye rolling and tsking. That's enough, you can stop now, please don't sprain your eyeballs). That all I have to say, just: Government (your eyes worked hard last time, sigh very deeply this time). And moola (cheering!!!! We love M-O-N-E-Y!!! But not excessively.).

So the budget passed with little time to spare and 800,000 federal workers get to report for work tomorrow and receive their paychecks just like normal. Yay for work and money and having both of them!!

Loosing a job or not receiving a paycheck is a terrifying thought to me. I'm not sure if this is a "me" thing or the fact that most women prefer lots of financial stability and security. I know from personal experience though that having a stable paycheck and especially an emergency savings account really makes life more harmonious. J and I don't argue about $ often and that's not because we're rolling in it (mostly we just bathe C in it). We have a budget that we generally stick to and a savings account should terrible tragedies befall us. I do remember those $ knock-down-blowouts in the beginning of our marriage though! Fortunately we're oh so perfect now:)

I was on CNN on Thursday reading about the "no paycheck for you right now but you still have to do your job" situation that military personal were facing. One woman whose husband is in the military said:

"Living a military life it doesn't really give you the option to put away money," agrees Amy Tersigni, whose husband is currently serving in Iraq. "You don't get to put reserve because you live paycheck to paycheck. You pay your rent, you pay your bills, you feed your kids and that's it. You don't have extra," she said.- Rachel Rogriguiz, CNN

I think this sentiment is true for many people, not just those in the military. For 3+ years, J and I had a two income household and now we are down to one income. We were exceedingly lucky to get a money-reality-slap-in-the-face early in our marriage and that motivated us to find a solution. We worked pretty intensely to pay off $38,000 of debt (cars, college loans, credit cards, etc), then to set aside an emergency savings of at least 3 months salary, and finally to save a substantial amount for a down payment on this house. We were able to do this by living on a very tight budget for 1 year (while paying away debt) and a careful budget since then. Having two salaries made this goal so much more achievable though we certainly didn't (and still don't) make awesome score-alicious money.

The idea of starting a savings account by initially depositing a large amount of money sounds optimal. A tax refund? A thousand dollar raise? Sure, dump it in and let's add to it!!! Motivation GALORE!!!!

Starting with a realistic amount of $50 or so from a twice a month paycheck makes the savings account goal much more insurmountable. It would take forever to get a good savings account going with that paltry amount!! I think that's the problem: it's psychological. But that $50 does add up after even a couple of years!!

So what does a person/family's salary need to be in order to save for an emergency fund? Or a house in today's market where you must put down 10-15% to get a mortgage?

And my order is: IF YOU ARE YOUNG, SAVE YOUR MONEY NOW. PLEASE. DO IT. Pretty please?

Also: I found a small roach dead on our kitchen floor this morning. Ick. Suggestions? Tips?

April 6, 2011

I Wish I Could....

A couple different blogs this week have reminded me I don't need to be Superwoman to be a successful SAHM. You might be spitting out your coffee and sputtering in shock right now: What???? You AREN'T Superwoman????? Seriously???? NO WAY!!!!!

Yeah, I realize most of you have me on a preeeeetty high pedestal. Sadly, I'm about to knock myself off. Whatever that sentence means when you read it out of context.

  1. a sweet baby who loves my attention,
  2. a fixer upper house that wants me also,
  3. the daily tasks necessary to keep our abode orderly,
  4. yummy foods I must make,
  5. sleep I very much need,
  6. a hubby I long to see more than a few hours in the evening,
  7. that stack of books I pass every once in a while and caress tenderly,
  8. plus lots of Community and 30 Rock to be watched,
I feel stretched very thin sometimes. Sadly, Me Time is often the last thing on my list. But seriously, what parent does get enough Me Time? Anyone raising her or his hand out there?


No one?

COULD IT BE OUR JOBS AND KIDS ARE SUCKING THE LIFE OUT OF US?????? And oh you amazing working out of the home moms and dads, you are heroic.

Poor us. Poor women. Poor men. Poor humans. Let's have a pity party at my house this weekend!!!! I just need to clean, plan, and prep for it.

So here's a list of everything I DON'T do often. And I'm trying really hard to be okay with this list.
  • Sew curtains, mend and alter clothes
  • Go for walks or any form of exercise out of my house
  • Mop
  • Call and chat with my faraway friends and family
  • Write in my or C's baby journal
  • Play with my puppy dog
  • Dust
  • Organize all those bags in the guest room and C's closets
  • Read magazines
  • Fold and put away my laundry in a timely manner
  • Do the dishes each night so the bugs won't get to them
  • Finish all the projects I start during nap time
  • Read all those tabs I have open on my Internet browser
  • Remember to eat meals and snacks when C is awake, even if he does wants to grab all my food
  • Coupon clipping and ad browsing before grocery shopping
  • Work on my house to make it gorgeous
And a trillion other things. I wish I could do it all. I want to do it all. But I can't and I NEED to be okay with that. Over achievers like me struggle with not being able to do everything:)

We took C to a conservatory and he delicately, quietly touched the plants. So sweet:) Much different from the generally intense little guy he is at home.

April 5, 2011

Elimination Communication

For a while I've been meaning to try Elimination Communication (EC) with Baby Boy. EC is really just a fancy way of saying you
  1. Notice your your baby's signals for "I'm about to pee/poop!".
  2. Set your baby on the toilet/bowl/outside ASAP.
  3. Baby pees/poops.
  4. Teach baby to associate a noise with peeing/pooping.
  5. Wipe and repeat.
And btw, what do you think people did before diapers? What do parents in other countries do with their kiddos? Did you know about 50% of babies in this world never wear diapers? EC is natural!! And if (in the summer) my kiddo pees in our yard, how is that any worse than Sadie (our dog) doing the same? At least C doesn't eat his own poop (although given the chance, I doubt he'd turn it down, as I've said before).

What??? Doesn't everyone look ridiculously happy on the toilet??

Last week (Wednesday, Thursday?) we were enjoying a quick family breakfast when C started grunting in his high chair. You know what that means??? POOOOOO!!!! I seized the opportunity and we whisked him to the living room where his Baby Bjorn has been living for 3 months (btw, I like how BB potty's slogan is: Maximum comfort while sitting. So refined for a baby's butt). We took off C's diaper and plopped him on the little toilet. And out plopped his poo.

IT WAS AWESOME:) One less cloth diaper we didn't have to spray or scrape off! Yay!!! Then he peed too!!! WOWO!!!!

We're easily amused. Please still accept and love us.

After such a dazzling initiation, we now set C on his toilet or ours when he wakes from any sleep so he can laugh and pee. We also do this every hour or so while he's awake (the laughing and peeing continues, punctuated by occasional pooping). And the darling loves it! He generally gets right down to business and then we put his diaper back on. I have been shocked how quickly C has caught on... or maybe he's always preferred it this way and I've just now been brave enough to try??

And (preview, don't read if you are already disgusted) C has become much more regular in the last week. Used to be he'd poop every 2-3 days and now, he's gone every single day we've been EC'ing. I guess I would avoid sitting in a diaper full of gooshy grossness if I could.

C's favorite toilet sport- the Toe Reach. He also enjoys the Desk Reach, the Couch Grab, the Eating of Mommy's Face, and the Squealing Happily While Already Trying To Pee Standing Up.

  1. C is happier and actually holds his business until we set him on a toilet (who knew!?!?!).
  2. We are happier with less diapers to wash.
  3. The environment is happier with less water being used.
  4. Our cloth diapers will last longer for the rest of our kiddos to use.
  5. And it's pretty darn cool:)

PS- EC isn't potty training!! C can't do this on his own and will of course go in his diaper if we don't give him toilet access. He can't fully control his bladder/bowels either. So for now it's a partnership until he's 1-3 years old:)

April 4, 2011

Update On Ze House

3 Things: I love going barefoot:) I love seeing my baby barefoot:) I love rain:)

Well, we had a delightful, busy weekend:) Here's a summary in pictures, the BEST way to remember a weekend. SO MANY PICTURES!!!

Sweet baby boy cheesing during a pre-bedtime Hyper Happy Session due to few completed naps:) If there is ANYTHING exciting happening in the house, C wants to be involved and never sleep.... So weekend naps are harder than boring weekday naps.

J with his woodpile. Dead willow tree was felled (and cut some) last weekend with the help of David A. and this weekend J's parents helped finish the job.

Morning tea, garden planning and research, tiny tomatoes, and a walk outside for bed layout planning:)

After a fun Sunday trip to Menards for stuffs, a drive in for sustenance, and Garfield Park Conservatory for fun, we came home to work. And pull all this from under the deck. Later in the week I'll highlight lots more junk we find around the estate:)

I tried working but this little guy needed attention. Did get thorn bushes trimmed, dining room and kitchen trim painted with first coat, and some of the deck cleaned.

J pulled out these extension cords that were buried side by side in the backyard. Get this: the previous owners had DRILLED a hole in the exterior of the house in to the dining room. If this doesn't seem CRAZZZZYYYYY to you, imagine: extension cord plugged in your dining room, leaves dining room through a hole in the wall, goes outside into a hole drilled in deck, under deck, buried in yard 20 yards or so until it powers a pump used to bring water from the creek to the pond UP THE HILL. Yes, an extension cord....


Oh, there's the pump. Hmm....

C had enough playing by himself so we go down to visit J.

Hot J and bare butt C. His diaper was coming off....Oops, that what happens if I don't put it on carefully after he potties!! BTW, he wore this diaper dry for about 5 hours:)

Next Ridiculous Thing: The water pump pipe. Let's follow the path!!!

Down the pond ridge...

Oh, a pump!!! We think this was the midpoint and was a small "pond" for the water transfer.

Pipe keeps going...

And going...

We are finally at the creek!!! There's another pump in there!

Parting shots: C eating his hand and my hair. Mmmmm yum!!!

J posing like a fireman with his coiled extension cord. We're thinking of reusing it to power the Love Shack for friends and family staying over. Who wants to be our first guest????

April 1, 2011

Parental Thoughts

Just finished my second breakfast: scrambled eggs with cheese, bread with butter and raw honey, apple cider, yum! We race through about 2 dozen eggs each week due to our/my breakfast consumption. Yikes!! Cheapest form of protein out there though!!

2 Pop Up Thoughts-
  1. As a kid I was always told: eat your crust, it's the most nutritious part of the bread. That's not true, is it? I THINK NOT!! Sneaky way to get me to eat the crust!!
  2. However, the white part of the orange is super good for you, I understand that now and tell J to eat it when he picks it off.
  3. I am bossy.

Pop Up Parenting Thought #1 (Yes! Like a camper thing or a Pop Tart!!)

As my kid grows, I want to nurture his emotional self. I want him to know it's acceptable and normal to cry, to be angry and sad, and to learn how to voice those feelings. I feel marriage catapulted me into emotional maturity that I did not possess previously. I'd rather C learn these skills a bit earlier!

However, the media scorns men expressing feelings, portraying them as weak if they cry. And I'll admit, sometimes, deep down, I feel that way too. But when it comes to my son, this little person who I would readily give my life for, I want him to have EVERYTHING. I want him to have the full breadth and depth of life, to not be denied anything every. Sigh. I'll either shelter him, spoil him, ruin him, or scar him. But my hubby is awesome and will keep our baby normal:) YAY FOR MY LIFE PARTNER!!!!

Pop Up Parenting Thought #2

The other day I posted a list of wonderful things about breastfeeding my baby boy.
Here's the flip side.
Do you want to know the worst part of breastfeeding? The fact that only I can do it. C needs me to eat, to fall asleep, and to be comforted back to sleep at night and this interrupts my entire day. Not in a major or negative way but sometimes, honestly, yes. It is hard and frustrating to work and sometimes not get much done simply because my boy needs me every 2-3 hours to fall sleep and every 2-3 hours for a meal. Not to mention every 2-3 hours all night. My "me" life, work, and errands get accomplished in spurts that happen between my son's life. Plus he's at the age that when he's awake, he is my focus. He DEMANDS this! It's frustrating to watch my hubby (who said he'd care for C all day last Sunday) get more done than me simply because I am the parent with the LIFE FORCE flowing through my mammary glands.

Oh Mammaries,
You supply my Babe with life,
Fresh, perfect, always flowing.
Did you ever think about me?
My body has not been my own
for 15 months.
It will not be mine again for
Each Babe will take more and more.
But then I will reclaim it!!
But my Babes will always be my mind
For Ever.
And that is fine.
I love Him and future Them
more than me:)

And in the end the love you take, is equal to the love you make- The Beatles. I would NEVEREVEREVER stop breastfeeding C so I could get stuff done around the house. HAHAH!!!! Health reasons, yes, but I have none of those. I am in awe of women who breastfeed while working jobs out of the home, while ill, or who have discomfort when nursing. My minor issues are minor:) Very minor. So I will hush:)

But did you like my poem? Isn't it ARTSY??!?!!?

This weekend I am hanging out with my lovely extended family and working on my pretty but needy house. And I'll leave you with some totally scorealicious pictures:)

C loves his feet! If he could, I think he'd pour ketchup on them and go to town....

C also loves every part of his dog Sadie, even her behind. If he found her poop in the yard, I'm quite sure he'd eat it without ketchup!!!