Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Phase 1 Operation Squeaky Clean

Sometimes I get asked how I get some of the projects I do done with three little kids running around. Here is my secret....They "help". If I need magazine pages (like I did for the art) they rip out pages in magazines. I let them dig the holes for planting (Porkchop especially likes this). Sometimes I come up with jobs that don't have anything to do with the project, but will keep them entertained- like vacuuming the recliner. This is tricky and you've got to admit bloody genius! but I swear Porkchop loves it. I usually preface these kinds of jobs with, "Hmmmm...I don't know. I'm not sure you're quite big enough," which of course, totally works.

Sometimes, or always, it makes for bigger messes than we start out with-like the tape and the wrapping paper that's still spread on the counter from wrapping Christmas books yesterday. But the alternative is to never sleep or never accomplish another project for the next eighteen years. I'm sort of not okay with that. They are used to being told not to touch a certain wall because it's still wet or to wash their hands in the other bathroom for the day because I just Refreshed the grout. When they ask if they can help, 85% of the time they get put to "work" and the other fifteen I say, "No." "This is a Mommy job, but you can watch." They head for the sandbox or ask for a snack. Ever watched paint dry? Lame.

Climbing up on the ladder behind me is the biggest pain and the one that drives me the most nuts, but for the most part Porkchop is starting to get that the answer is and always will be, "GET DOWN!" Now when I get out the ladder he tells Juju "Get down Juju!" over and over even if she's across the room happily playing with her blocks. I think it's his way of reinforcing the rules for himself. I will not climb on the ladder. I will not climb on the ladder. I will not climb on the ladder. And then he caves and just stands on the bottom rung. Sometimes I cave too, but at least with him standing in one spot I know where he is.

Against my better judgement I let them "help" me in the garage yesterday. Porkchop was happy to play with the keys (the wrong set) and the van- turning all the lights on and off and flipping the windshield wipers. Scrunch sat on a paint can eating Costco apple sauce cups or talking to the neighbor girl over the fence. Juju doesn't let my projects interrupt her need for a nap which definitely helps, but otherwise she crawled around making bigger faded patches in her knees and picking up all the little screws and tiny bits she could find.

It took us all damn day but with their "help" we completed phase one of Operation Squeaky Clean.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spring Cleaning

This week was not as productive as the last, but it's Spring now so I don't care. I'm so happy to see the bless-ed sun that I don't care abut crappy, un-fun things like cleaning out the garage. Instead I'm looking forward to all the fun things I have plotted for the summer. Every year during January and February I plot our move south. I try and figure out where we could live for less, but get more- especially when it comes to winter sunshine. I announce to my husband that he needs to start updating his resume cuz I'm out of here! Just when I have him just about convinced that this time I'm really serious, it's March and I'm over it. The redbud trees on every corner blossom and I remember how much I like it here, and how ridiculously grateful I am that I don't live where it snows. It would be sad, sad, sad, for my SAD if I had to deal with snow. Womp, womp.

I did get a head start on my Spring cleaning this week. Sort of. The sheets on all the kids beds have been washed at least twice. Spontaneously puking right before bed will do that for you. Poor Scrunch hasn't puked, but she's not feeling well. She spent all evening curled up under her Fancy Nancy blanket listening to Storynory. I'd love to talk like Natasha. Scrunch hates it when I mimic her. Maybe it's because I don't sound anything like her, and she can't hear the intro to her story, but whatever. We're going to be listening to a lot of audio books this week. I proclaim this week Spring Cleaning Week.

I downloaded The Paris Wife on Audible because I really am going to focus on the garage this week. I also made a list of cleaning projects- one per day. By Friday the garage will be clean, some extra cleaning will be done, and I'll be ready to spend every day at the lake.

* Clean fan blades on all ceiling fans
* Scrub sliding door tracks
* Take apart and wash the vacuum
* Magic Erase baseboards
* Wipe down all doors

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Um, Honey?

"I'm in town and was wondering if we could switch cars and if you could go pick up Scrunch and I'll meet you at home?"

This is code for, "I'm going to pick something up off Craigslist, the dump, or IKEA and it won't fit in the back of the van because of the three car seats so I'm going to need your car."

Today it was tires. Ten of them. And they were free. You don't know how happy this makes me.

Oh, come on. Don't act like you've never thought about calling a used tire repair shop asking for tires on the way home from the a check-up at the pediatricians office. No? Well, maybe it is just me. But don't tell my husband. He thinks this is totally normal.

Monday, March 18, 2013

I reinstated my FB account temporarily last week. I totally and whole-heartedly did not miss it. I know it's supposed to be a way to connect (which is why I needed it again), but honestly! I might (okay probably guarantee) that I'm being totally wenchy when I admit to this, but it makes me think not so nice thoughts about people. If I had a dollar for every time I thought, "You're an idiot!" when I read people's comments, I could go this weekend to buy all 15 chairs I'd really, really like for the back patio. It just serves to confirm their stupidity. And oh, the drama. Love the catty drama between FB "friends". It's better than t.v. But the thing that bugs the crap out of me the most is people's comments, especially about their kids. I know, I'm a horrible person. If you're funny, have cute kids, or I like you I think it's great. But I laugh (not in a nice way) when it turns into this crazy stupid competition between a bunch of bored housewives who need to get some freaken hobbies. Someone posts a pic or a status and suddenly there's all the comments about how their kid does the same exact thing, but better. The one-up-ing is awesome. And I just want to post "oh, shut up!"

That being said, I need to totally brag on my Scrunch. My Scrunch has turned into such a nice little person lately. Not that she wasn't nice before, but it's just different right now. 

I prepped her all last week that I was so glad she was five now so she could be my special helper. It worked like a charm so by Saturday she was ready to go when we woke her up early to head to the church. It would have been easier and more productive to leave them home with one of us and have the other go help clean the church, but I really wanted to make it a lesson. We spent the morning shining drinking fountains, vacuuming hallways, and wiping windows. I wanted them to appreciate the fact that just like at home, there are no magic fairies who keep the church clean so we need to be respectful and careful in our treatment. After cleaning the church she accompanied me to serve lunch and work in the kitchen at a funeral. She helped keep watch for empty dishes, helped to wash them, and set water pitchers out on the tables. At one point I lost sight of her and got worried when I saw a bunch of kids running through the chapel and up on the stage and went to look for her. I got even more worried when I couldn't find her. When I finally did, she was reading a book quietly in the hallway. She had hoped that she would get to have a piece of the pink cake, but I asked  her to wait and do something for me and when she went back the cake was gone. I know she was crushed, but handled her disappointment gracefully. We left for the baptism directly following the funeral and although she didn't understand a word (it was in Spanish) she kept herself reverent and occupied pretending to knit with the needles I had in my purse.

Sometimes (like always) you wonder if the things you try to impress on them are going to make a lasting impression. You put in all this work and effort and wonder if they are really going to get it? I can't deny how much I appreciated seeing results the very next day. We had our twelve year old neighbor accompany us to church to help with the kids since we'd both be up on the stand to speak. She was in the back of the van with the kids and during the ride there was handing back to Juju whatever she had dropped and helping to distract Porkchop. At one point Scrunch told her, "I can tell you're such a big helper at home!" Ding! This is working! This parenting stuff is working!! While at church we went to use the restroom and she stopped to notice the drinking fountains, "Look Mom! We shined those!" Once inside the bathroom, "Look how clean these bathrooms are! Mom, aren't they clean? I hope they keep them clean." Double ding! But my favorite was during my Sunday School class. She wanted to come because she didn't want to leave Bradie, and I let her. I asked the kids to write/draw/whatever a picture or scripture on a transparency and then share how it increased their testimonies of Christ. For Scrunch I just asked her to draw something that was special to her about Jesus. Then each kid took their turn presenting with the projector in front of the class. In front of a class of 12-18 year olds Scrunch stood up first and showed them her picture of water. "Why is the water about Jesus?" "It's the Sacrament." "Oh, ok. And why is the Sacrament about Jesus?" "It's when we remember Him." Oh, sweet hallelujah! They actually listen, and pay attention, and at some point start getting it!

#atleasticanadmitthatidontmykidscrapstinks, #idontcareif youthinkyourkidiscuteryourewrong, #yesiknowihavealottolearnfromher

Sunday, March 17, 2013

This Week

If I sit down to blog I will probably fall asleep. I hope. 

This week was a little over the top.

We...(and I say 'we' because I don't do anything,up to and including going to the bathroom, by myself.)

Plucked Cadbury's first coat.

Made some art.

Painted a chalkboard wall.

Discovered the wonders of GroutRefresh and refreshed the kitchen floor, counters, and one bathroom.

Took Porkchop to meet with the panel and saw the social worker, speech therapist, audiologist, ENT, plastic surgeon, dentist, orthodontist, oral surgeon, his surgeon, clinical nurse specialist, and the pediatrician. We ditched the geneticist at my request since I don't care to ever see her again after she counseled us to carefully consider having more children. I was ready with my pictures of Juju just in case she showed up. See?!? See?!?!  I will never complain again about his not holding still for an hour of Sacrament or wanting to go nursery since he spent all morning cooped up in an exam room and was such a good boy!

Went for lots of bike rides.

Sewed the first vinyl cushion for the dining area.

Enjoyed sunshine at the park.

Moved the rugs around. And around. And around.

Worked my paid job.

Said prayers for Scrunch, Aunt E, and Uncle Possum after finding out that Ani was put down.

Learned an actual song on the violin.

Went to knit night.

Cleaned the church.

Served at a funeral.

Attended a baptism.

Planned my lesson...in Spanish.

Planned and gave a talk...in Spanish.

Oversaw the hanging of a light fixture in the dining area.

All sprinkled with some nursing, laundry, plant watering, and toys put away-ing.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Dear Aunt Marti, 

I am trying to upload a video where I interviewed Porkchop on his feelings regarding nursery. I thought it would work this last time, but as you can see by this letter- it didn't. My Husband has been extremely preoccupied with an exam this week so my YouTube uploading/"how do I just get the damn thing off my phone?" has taken a backburner. I will post it soon. 

In the mean time, please know you were the first person I thought of when I opened my Groupon e-mail this morning. Only $19.99!!?!?!?!?

There is a Snuggie lover in all of us, and I have just taken the mystery out of Christmas shopping for the kids this year! Please tell Jacob I said, "You're welcome."


Faithfully blogging Niece who is not on Facebook anymore.

Oh, and just to clarify...my gift idea was not the blonde triplets. Or the twins if the girls were hoping for one also. On second thought, I don't think this is a very good gift at all and should not be purchased until certain changes have been made. With our cultures emphasis on body image this cuddly robe/blanket/armed tent?/potato sack racing jersey?? could potentially give someone, ahem...a complex.

TTYL, LOL, and ATJ (All That Jazz. I just made that one up. Do you think it will catch on?)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

I neglected to mention my very best friend a couple weeks ago when I was recounting the ways I've been buoyed up. I don't talk about my Husband on my blog very often, except to include him in the cast of characters. This is because my marriage falls into the category of 'None of yer damn business!'

Plus, it would seem like I was bragging on him all the time. He's the guy who mops the kitchen weekly, bakes custard pies, folds laundry, washes diapers, and completely takes over bedtime so I can practice.

If I say, "I want to take a sushi class." He says, "I will go with you." If I say, I need you to read something and keep an open mind. He takes the hour to read it and then spends the next three discussing it and trying to understand my perspective even if there's a game on. If I say, "Honey, I found my cable spools!" He will rent a trailer and spend a weekend chasing them down. If at ten-thirty at night I mention that I'm craving junk food and want some Flaming Hot Cheetos, he will climb out of bed, get his shoes, and offer to drive the twenty minutes to get me some. It wasn't even a pregnant craving either. I declined and he brought me a bowl of ice cream instead. My favorite though might be when I called him up at work and ask if he could spend his lunch hour at Home Goods picking up the rug I'd fallen in love with the night before. All he had to go on was my description and an attempt to describe it's location in the store. He was successful.

Don't get me wrong, we are still growing. There are times we grate on each other's nerves. Sometimes we completely miss the mark in communicating. This summer we will be married for ten years, and he really is my best friend. I am kind of proud that I don't have a single girl friend, family member, or other person on the planet who knows me better or more about me than he does.

I was really young when we got married. I'm still relatively young, but we were really young and dumb then. I'm not sure if I got lucky, or we have managed to bring out the best in each other. During a play date a friend and I were talking about choosing to be home and raising kids. She found out just how young I was, and asked if that didn't scare me for my daughters. That maybe I would want them to wait and be older. I responded with something like, "I want my daughters to feel that they have choices and to not make choices out of fear." While that is still true, what I should have said is, "I will be grateful if my girls choose someone like their Papa whether they be 17, 27, 47, or 74."

Oh, and he totally has good taste in women and in rugs, but I'm taking credit for how well the cable spools turned out.

Our family room is the other room I've been working on. It feels like my whole house has been in upheaval since Christmas because... it has. I am the decorating equivalent of  "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie..."and it all started with this rug.

We finished a makeover on this same room a while back, but that was over a year ago and before we decided that all of the toys were going to stay here and that we wouldn't have a playroom. You already know that most everything came either off Craigslist or Goodwill...the couch, table, lamps, globes, one of the dollhouses. The cable spools were free from behind a warehouse. I made the curtains out of the brown ones that used to be in Porkchop's room and some cheapo white ones. I sewed some of the pillows. Is it bad that I painted an Chinese antique table? He probably would not have sold it to me if he know I was going to take some chalk paint to it, but now it might be one of my favorite pieces of furniture. 

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