January 26, 2012


The girls have been getting along really well lately. It's been so nice to have them being so kind to one another. There is still bickering, of course, but the majority of their days have been spent playing, drawing, laughing together and there have been a fair amount of giggly sleepovers, too.

January 25, 2012

Errand Boy

I admit, my depression has left me in a disheveled state. I have been washing my hair far too infrequently and lazing around in pajamas most days. The only reason I get out of the house is for my kids, mostly. Basically I actually leave the house for the kids but end up gaining so much myself from spending time with other people. The things is, I know that I will feel better once I get dressed and get out of the house but that doesn't seem to be enough to make me actually do it. I had to run some errands today and I almost skipped my outing because I didn't want to get ready but I dealt with it and made myself get out. I took Alex with me and he was so good for me. He really is a sweet boy and even though it made my errands take much longer, I was happy to have him tag along with me.

He literally fell right on his nose almost the minute we walked out the front door because it was slippery and he was running with his hands in his pockets which meant that he had nothing to break his fall. It was so sad. He held it together pretty well but cried a little bit. Once he was in the car he was just fine except that he started to fall asleep immediately. He falls asleep in the car so easily now that he doesn't take naps. I have to be careful about when I take him out and I have to do things to keep him awake like roll down the window for a couple of seconds or talk really loudly. He thinks it's pretty funny. Anyway, he fell on his face again later during our trip! This time he screamed and cried for a good five minutes and I finally got him to calm down when I told him we would be riding the elevator. He loves elevators! So then he was just fine.

He's so darn cute I can hardly stand it and he's started talking sooo much lately! It's so fun to hear him talk in four to five word sentences and it just started so suddenly. I've been trying really hard to remember to talk to him a lot and describe things to him and I've been reading a lot and talking about the books more than before. Sometimes it can be hard to remember to do those things. Sometimes I feel like there is so much talking going on between the girls that I don't remember that he needs more interaction. Sometimes I feel silly talking to him when I don't think he understands but I am learning to do it and it is paying off. Today, on the way home from the grocery store, he was so sleepy and I was trying to keep him awake so I asked him if he wanted macaroni and cheese for dinner. He nodded his head sleepily so I asked him "Do you like macaroni and cheese?" again, he nodded his head very slightly and then he looked up, suddenly, and said loud and clear "Um, I LOVE macaroni and cheese!" And he looked so serious when he was saying it.

Then my heart melted... :)

January 24, 2012

Do Something

A wise friend shared this with me "Don’t do nothing because you can’t do everything. Do something. Anything!" and so I have been trying to do just that. We've been working on school things. Not a lot but something. More than we were doing anyway. Let's just say we had a long winter break. :) But I've been trying to be intentional about doing things with the kids to help grow their minds and it has been paying off. Having something constructive to do has made things much more mellow around here. I have been in a better mood, not a great mood, but a better mood and I'm working on improving that a little every day. Baby steps, right?


January 23, 2012


Last week, Jenna was given some homework to do for Girl Scouts. Each girl was to be assigned a notable female figure to learn about and dress as so that the girls could play a "Guess Who I Am" game. Jenna was assigned Sandra Bullock and I was not satisfied with her spending her time learning about an actress. I mean, I think actors are great and I would have no problem with my children wanting to be an actor. However, I think at this critical time in their lives they are already bombarded with celebrities and pop culture and media and I just would rather that she learn about women who have had a significant and beautiful impact in our world.

So, I asked if we could choose someone else. I just wasn't comfortable with the subject she was given. My guidelines were to choose someone the girls would know. I knew, however, that the majority of children Jenna's age would not know who Sandra Bullock was so I decided to just pick someone that I felt was a good role model for my daughter. I chose Temple Grandin because she not only is an amazing female educator, biochemist, writer, and inventor, but she also has Autism.

Jenna is also on the Autism spectrum and I believe it is important for her to know this and to understand it. I want her to understand why she sometimes struggles to come up with the right words or why she gets anxious when there is too much noise. I think it's okay for her to know that these differences are a part of her but that it's not something that she should be afraid of but rather that she has a different and unique way of learning that is actually really interesting! Temple's mother told her "Be proud you are different!" and I want Jenna to understand that "even if you don't do well in school or have a lot of friends, you can still do many things." (Mary Carpenter, Temple Grandin: My Life in Pictures) Though, we have been blessed that Jenna has not had too much trouble in the friend department.

I think Jenna learned a lot about Temple Grandin and she asked me a lot of questions about Autism and why she struggles with certain things. I am so glad that we were able to learn about her together. I think we'll watch the HBO movie about Temple Grandin together sometime soon.

January 22, 2012


Today Jenna decided to make dinner and dessert for the family on her own. She has been trying to be more helpful because she knows how stressed I have been. I feel bad for showing that side of my feelings sometimes but then other times I think maybe it's good for her to see that sometimes we get overwhelmed. At the very least it has awakened her compassionate side and led her to put forth a helping hand when needed and that is always a good thing.

She made spaghetti which was noodles and sauce with no meat and she made brownies for dessert. We gave her very high praise and she felt very proud of herself. I think we might have to create a cooking night for her with meals she can create on her own. That would be wonderful for me and foster a sense of independence and responsibility for her. She asked me if I was sad that she was growing up and I told her no, just a little sad that she won't ever be a little girl again. Then she gave me a sympathetic look and hugged me tight.

I do so love that girl.

January 21, 2012

Taking care of business

I haven't done much around the house lately. I've managed to keep things running but it seems just barely. I do have the kids help me but sometimes I even get lazy with enforcing that. Lately my life has just completely revolved around caring for the children, worrying about Eric, stressing about money, and generally making mountains out of molehills. The littlest things send me crashing into frustration and drowning in tears. So I have all but abandoned housework, doing only the most necessary things to get by on a daily basis. Okay, honestly, I haven't even done that much. I've pretty much done laundry and had the kids do dishes and picking up. Our home is in a sad state of affairs.
So, today, I have decided to fix that dilemma because, really, who can get anything done when their home is in disorder? Alex is napping and Eric and the girls are at the movie theater so I have made it my mission to get things in order this afternoon. Unfortunately it's a big job and so I won't be able to get it in perfect order (although I don't know if that would be possible regardless of the amount of time I have) but I am planning to at least get it to where I'm not overwhelmed whenever I look around.

My goals for today:
* get things in some semblance of order at home
* fill out my student loan reduced payment paperwork
* crochet 6 rows in the blanket I'm making
* make a plan for school for next week
* make a menu plan for next week

My goals for Sunday:
* Print out any worksheets or other materials needed for school
* Gather any supplies needed for school projects
* vacuum, dust, sweep, and mop the house
* Write out plans for turning the dining room into a school/play/craft room
* Move the bookshelf in from the garage
* Write out a calendar for the week so that appointment and meetings are not forgotten
* crochet 6 rows on the blanket

January 20, 2012

Grown up conversation can change the world

We were invited for a play date to my friend, Trina's, house today. I had no idea so many people were going to show up! The kids had a great time playing with all of their friends (13 kids were there) and I enjoyed my time with four other women who share many of my interests and beliefs but also challenge my beliefs and introduce new interests. This kind of collaboration always stimulates my mind and renews my spirit. We are, all of us, uniquely made and I enjoy celebrating the differences between myself and others in my life. :)
Thank you, Trina, for having us over. It was just what I needed to end a pitifully emotional week.

January 19, 2012

I should really write this stuff down

I don't remember what happened on Thursday. My days seem to be turning into one big blur. Same ol', same ol'... I should probably at least have a little notepad that I can write on for days when I don't find the time to sit down and blog.
I say that, but I betcha it won't happen. ;)

January 18, 2012

Hunker down and cry it out

It's ridiculously cold today. -15 with windchill. We are just cooped up in here and if I didn't have the kids I would probably enjoy it. Hunker down with a good book or some crochet work, watch some movies, drink coffee and hot chocolate, sleep... yeah, lots of sleep would be had. However, I do have kids and they are tired of being cooped up. So instead I just want to cry. I feel like life has just been a big fat whine fest lately and I'm sorry to everyone who has to read my bitter ranting.
In good news, Eric gets his medicine delivered today and so we're hoping it will help him start to feel better. It's the same medicine he has taken for several years and so it might do nothing but I have nothing if not hope... so I hope.

January 17, 2012

Friends and Fairytales

The kids and I went to visit a new friend today. Heather sat and talked to me about gardening and gave me some seeds to work on my own produce garden this summer. The girls, Grace and Abagale, played with the kids and had a good time. Marah and Jenna really liked spending time there and the girls are very sweet.

After our play date we all headed to the library for a workshop about fairy tales. Teressa Wilde read to the kids and then the elements of a fairy tale were discussed. All the kids had the opportunity to write their own fairy tale and the girls really enjoyed it.

Eric had the scope done but nothing was found. The doctor basically recommended that he cut out dairy for a week to see if things improve. I'm really disappointed by the lack of results and I feel like the doctor didn't even really try to figure anything out. A whole week of wait and see which means 2 weeks of no working. This is really hard on us and I'm having a really hard time not falling into a deeply depressed state. It's so frustrating after the high I felt when Eric got this new job. One week of work, one week of feeling like things were getting better, then this happens and I just don't know how to deal with it.

January 16, 2012

Still Sick

Eric is still sick. It's just so hard to deal with. Got the results of his tests back today. Appears to be a flare up so he will be going in for a small scope tomorrow. I just want them to find the problem and treat it. :(

January 15, 2012

4-H Project Expo

Jenna had her first project fair for 4-H last weekend. It was definitely a learning experience. We had no idea what to expect and we were unclear as to what the project guidelines were and so she left with one of only 3 red ribbons that were given out (the lowest scoring projects of the day) but she knows what to do for next time. Her project ended up being more of a science fair type project and I think that hurt her score a bit. Anyway, here are the pictures of her working on the project and the display at the expo. It was a good experience for her.

January 14, 2012

Birthday Gifts

Marah created a little treasure map to help Daddy find his birthday gift that she made for her. He had fun playing along with her game. And the gift? A homemade version of the story of Snow White and the Seven "Dwarfs." Jenna gave him a painting that she had planned to sell but decided to let him have it. ;)

Sorry about the bad quality of these photos. I am too lazy to edit them and my camera is just getting worse and worse I think.

"Is this my present?"
"Dad! Oh my gosh!"

"Dad!! *laughing* No!"

He finally found it!
"Did you wrap this all by yourself?"
"Wow! You are getting as good as mom!"
"I know!"

I just loved watching her watching him as he read her book.

January 13, 2012

Unlucky Birthday

Friday the 13th and it's Eric's birthday. Unlucky, indeed. It's been a week of not feeling well with a Crohn's flare-up which has had him laid up in bed most of the week. C'est la vie.

January 12, 2012

Library days

I love library days. New books in the house. Lots of time spent snuggled into sofas and blankets in the midst of reading marathons. I'm gearing up to start FIAR (Five in a Row) and our first book will be Katy's Big Snow.

PS Marah's voice is way too much cuteness. I already mourn the day when it's gone.

I saw this idea

I read an article in Good Housekeeping today about journaling. I thought it was really interesting and I would like to try to do it but I don't know if I can. I'm too wordy. Oh right, the idea! This lady said that she journals just one sentence a day. Every day. Just one sentence.

So, like I said, I don't think I can do just one sentence EVERY day. Some days will need more words. But I like the idea of not feeling pressured to write a novel every time I post. Not feeling like I HAVE to include photos every time I post. Those things take time and my days are already so full. However I do need to be better about writing things down and really, who is this blog for if not for me? It is mostly for me and my family. I want to print out my blogs in books one of these days and have them as keepsakes for my family. Lately though, I have just been getting worse and worse about posting. Going a month or more at a time without any news is just not the way to keep track of what's going on. So I think I am going to try to make this change. Just one sentence a day. More if I have time or am motivated to do so. No worries about pictures. Post them when I have time. But at least one sentence each day.

This is my goal for 2012. There. I finally made a goal for the new year. :)