Friday, December 26, 2008

I'm in Texas!

My friends in Indiana knew that I was planning this trip, but my family in Texas did not (except for Jeshurun, who helped me plan). We left Indiana at ten till 4:00 a.m. on Thursday and arrived at 1:30 a.m. Friday. Mom and Dad were asleep when we got here, so Dad was very surprised when Elijah walked into the kitchen in the morning and said "Good morning, Grandpa," and Mom was even more surprised when Dad woke her up and she found Elijah standing at her bedside.

The weather here is phenomenal (one of Elijah's favorite words, by the way). We slept with the windows open, and the boys have been playing barefoot in the driveway. This is definitely the right time of year to visit Texas. Sadly Noah came down with a bit of a tummy bug, but he seems to be recovering already. Perhaps it was the stress of the trip, though the boys were remarkably cheerful in the car, which is why I drove straight through instead of stopping for the night someplace. Though they handled the drive well, I was exhausted! I don't think I'll do that again any time soon, at least not when I'm so far behind on sleep to start with.

The rest of the family is enjoying dinner at another family's house. I am home with Noah since he was sick earlier today. Hopefully he is fine in the morning so that we can visit the aquarium downtown with Caleb and Leah and others. I think the boys would love it.

Off to do some housework. Bye!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Photos! Yes, photos, at last!

I was trying to get a nice picture of the kids together--that is, my two boys, and the two little girls I watch full time (I also watch a littler one part-time, but alas, she was not present for this picture-taking session). Well, as I'm sure many of my readers are already aware, getting small children to pose for photographs can be a bit challenging.

Take one: (I have at least a dozen similar to this one)

Take two: (I find this one hilarious!)

Take three...aha, they are all looking at the camera! Close enough!

In the above pictures you may have noticed some shaggy-looking hairdos on my boys--well later that evening, I took the clippers to their heads (took some bribery) and the result is as follows:
This picture represents a sweet moment in which Elijah gave Noah a hug and kiss. Of course the camera was too slow to capture the moment, but I still thought it was a cute picture. Doesn't Noah look so much older with his curls cut off? I think he looks adorable (but I always think that). Elijah's hair looks pretty good too.

Oh, and in case anyone was wondering, yes the couch cushions are standing up against the back of the couch--the children love it when I do that for some reason. And yes, the littler girl is still in her pajamas. She was brought over in her pajamas, but for some reason they didn't look particularly pajama-like to me, so I kept forgetting to change her into her regular clothes. I didn't get her changed until about ten minutes before her parents came to pick her up! Oops!

ETA: I uploaded these as "large" pictures. Is there any particular reason not to do this? Do they take longer to load this way? Will I run out of space in my blogger account or something?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Things that make me happy

I was getting ready to order some new prefolds (Noah is getting so big!) and saw that Green Mountain Diapers has a new size in stock! The dark brown edge prefolds will be just perfect for us. I'm so excited. The light brown edge unbleached were just barely the right size, and the toddlers were huge, so I'm glad they've come out with something in between.

I had to order some new diaper covers as well. A few months ago someone at the park walked off with our diaper bag, which of course contained most of my diaper covers. They were thoughtful enough to call me and say that they had gotten my bag by accident (looks just like theirs), but then never followed through on their promise to return it. I bought some of those Gerber vinyl covers from Walmart to get us by for a while, and they were horrible. Most of them are already unusable. So I finally ordered some more covers. I hope they come soon because I am desperate. But I am really excited about having more nice diapers and good covers. :)

Okay I know this post is entitled "things that make me happy" and there are a lot more things to list! But I'm out of time so perhaps I will post more later (and maybe I'll even post a few pictures, as I now finally have a digital camera!)

ETA: diapers have arrived! Noah is excited too, as you can see in this picture (I know it's dark, haven't downloaded a photoediting program yet).

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The bright side

I hope I didn't leave my readers with the impression that I am wallowing in misery. Generally speaking I am able to stay positive. But once in a while it does all kind of hit me at once, so I wanted to vent. By the time I was done writing that post I was laughing at myself, so I suppose the post served its purpose.

Most of my complaints from the last post are resolved or soon will be, thanks in large part to my wonderful and generous family who have come to my rescue more than once in the last year. My car will be repaired this Friday, I should have a new dishwasher in place by this weekend, new glasses and contacts are on their way, etc. My dryer seems to have fixed itself. I thought it was broken because one day it kept running and wouldn't shut itself off, but it's worked perfectly ever since, so perhaps that time was a fluke. And a few more lamps and brighter lightbulbs (and a Mozart CD on loan from a friend) have been enough to dispel the gloom brought on by the perpetual cloudiness. I suppose I am still a few pounds heavier, but that was by far the least of my worries. :)

I suppose I haven't made specific mention of this in my blog before, but I have been a single mama for about a year now. Lately I've been receiving a lot of commendation for choosing to do what I've been doing, that is, working as an in-home childcare provider so that I can continue to stay at home with my boys. I've kind of been wincing when I've been getting those compliments, though, because the reality is, it's not working. :) I still believe that in theory it ought to be possible to support oneself working as an in-home childcare provider, and perhaps I will return to doing so in the future, but the reality of my specific financial situation at this time is that I can't make it work.

So this summer, I will be packing up and moving to Texas to live with my family for a while. Living with my family will feel like living in some sort of paradise, I think. To not have the financial stress, and to live in a nice home that's not a perpetually unfinished work in progress, and not have to work so much and be able to focus on my boys a little more, and to have other adults to talk to at dinner time, and my wonderful parents and siblings all close by...well, I get teary-eyed just thinking about it. It will be wonderful.

Of course, to get to that point, I have to dispose of many of my belongings, pack up the rest, do some repairs and get my house ready to sell, and prepare to move across the country, all while working fifty hours a week providing childcare, caring for my own two children almost 24/7, and attempting to sell a few crafts on the side to pay my bills--a daunting task to say the least. :) I feel like I have to climb this mountain of impossibility to reach a valley of repose on the other side. I must remind myself of the verses taped above my sink: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." And again, "My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory through Christ Jesus."

Perhaps to find the time to do all I need to do, I should give up blogging. What do you think? :p

Thursday, December 11, 2008

When it rains, it pours: a pity party

My dishwasher broke

My dryer broke

My glasses broke

My contacts expired three years ago

My car needs new brakes (and more)

Elijah outgrew his car seat

My HOA fees went up

My mortgage went up

My water bill went up

My income went up (Oh wait, no it didn't)

It's been cloudy for weeks

I gained five pounds


Coming tomorrow: the bright side

Maybe I'm weird, but I think this post is kind of funny. LOL

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Are you a scanner or a diver?

Came across this article today:

Are you a Scanner or a Deep Diver?

This article discusses the philosophy behind the book Refuse to Choose!: Use All of Your Interests, Passions, and Hobbies to Create the Life and Career of Your Dreams, by Barbara Sher. I haven't read it yet, but would like to.

A quote from the article: "Deep Divers can by temperament and disposition fit happily and deeply into one career focus. Scanners can't, or at least not easily and happily. Scanners by temperament need to do different things, follow different ideas, fulfil different parts of themselves, and in many cases have a series of careers or be involved in parallel fulfilling activities."

I am most definitely a scanner! A serial scanner, to be precise. I think this is part of why being a stay-at-home mom is such a perfect fit for me--I have the freedom to pursue a variety of interests, at least as time allows. And since most of my interests are related to the home in some way (however tangentially), the home is the perfect setting for me to pursue my interests!

Thought I would share this in case any of my readers are finding themselves frustrated with the notion that one must find that "perfect career" and stick with it for life. Are you a scanner or a diver? Feel free to comment and share!

p.s. Did I use the term "tangentially" correctly? Any vocabulary enthusiasts want to comment?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


This evening I had a sad memory. About a year ago I participated in a big rummage sale. I met a lovely elderly lady selling an assortment of antique toys and dolls. Atop an old crate sat a lovely quilt top--a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt top in beautiful antique fabrics, bold colors and excellent workmanship. I like to quilt, so I asked how much she was selling it for, and she told me she would let it go for thirty-five dollars. At this point I remembered that I didn't actually have thirty-five dollars to spare, so I made some sort of apology and departed (after a little conversation about quilting). At the end of the sale she came over with her hands on her hips, fixed her clear dark eyes upon me, and allowed that she might be willing to part with it for a mere $32. But (this is the sad part) I still declined to purchase it.

Tonight as I was drinking my evening cup of tea (Bigelow Cinnamon Spice, if you're curious), I was suddenly struck with regret about that quilt top. I am thinking of it this evening as "the one that got away." I would have gotten a great deal of enjoyment out of quilting that quilt. I might even have been able to sell the completed quilt for a nice profit. Ah well.

If you want to see what a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt top looks like, do a Google Images search. They are made with hexagons. Hexagons are great. I remember reading something about why honeybees use hexagons to build honeycomb. I tried Googling this and came up with some interesting phrases like "tesselations" and "tiling of the plane" but nothing I could put into my own words for you. Suffice it to say that hexagons are the most efficient way to enclose the space for the honey. Less wax, more honey. Okay, it's waaayyy past my bedtime, so bye.

ETA: please note that this post was supposed to be tongue-in-cheek. I am not actually in misery over the loss of this quilt top. Sometimes I think that my sense of humor does not come through well in my posts. Or perhaps in general?