Friday, May 28, 2010

Late as usual

Tiny, tiny successes....

1. Doing better on the ongoing clean up, clear out and keep it that way event that I am participating in.

2. Finally started planning around a difficulty in my life. This is as opposed to what I had been doing which was assuming everything would work out perfectly and then when it usually did not, having to reschedule and make apologies.

3. Scheduled an appointment for a haircut and not at the cheapy place. (Thanks, Real. You inspired me to do this.)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Small Successes


1.  Revised my chore schedule, again, and this time it seems to be working.  I have one child 100% dedicated to laundry.  This child is now receiving a larger weekly allowance than the other kids because of this job (although, we generally don't pay per job.....laundry for 9 is a biggy...and it is helping me soooo much).

2.  Made a list of "to do" items.  It is a bit overwhelmingly huge.  To the left of the list are columns for Priority, Due Date, Talk to dh, Something kids could do.  (I really do love Excel!)

3.  Took the kids to Mass last Friday and we are going again this morning (if I can get everyone up and moving soon!)  God has put me in the wonderful position of having older kids who request to go to Mass.  Now, if he'd only give the younger set a nudge in that direction :)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Small Successes


For more small successes click on the link above.

1.  Made an appointment for a haircut and got it!

2.  Got the oil changed on the van.  Even though it cost me an extra $30 because the only time I could get it done without messing up our school day was at lunchtime.  We'll call it a Field Trip!

3.  Took Therese (only Therese) to play tennis with on Sunday.  It was so fun and the one on one time was great!  She's a pretty good player!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pause or X-out.

Something weird is going on here.
The other day I was helping my 5 year old do some dot-to-dots.  She stopped drawing and said, "Mom, pause."  And then she ran off to sharpen her pencil.

Today I was in the kitchen and turned off the fan over the stove.  My 8 year old was in the room and said, "Mom, why did you X out?"  (He had the timer going for something and thought I had turned that off).

We are WAY past the point of kids being able to figure out the electronics before me.  AND that totally frustrates me.  During high school and college I worked in the electronics department of a retail store.  Part of my job was to hook things up.  I never understood what people thought was so different.  It was easy, intuitive, I enjoyed it (maybe that's why I pursued a mathematics major with a quantitative methods minor in college.  Now, the new stuff is intuitive to my kids, but not me. 
After college I got a job working at an insurance company as a software administrator in their marketing department.  It was my job to test software/hardware combos and write the installation programs before sending it out to the numerous salesmen (this was when Windows was just coming out, and we weren't using it, yet.).  Now, if the computer isn't doing exactly what it's supposed to do I am at a completely loss.  My dh, on the other hand, is busy taking care of all our computer needs.  If he doesn't know something he calls our brother-in-law (who, incidentally, I used to work with, we shared a cube, but that's another story).  And they can have a conversation.  He knows enough to understand.

I used to think my brain for this type of stuff was just on pause.  As the gap widens, I think I've X'd out.  But, I can change a diaper in the dark.  Now, that is talent, don't you think?

Smoke and Fire

I watched a special a couple years ago that was focusing on the fact that kids don't wake up to the sound of a fire detector.  It was disconcerting, to say the least. 

But, what about smoke?  When they are awake nonetheless?

This morning something burned onto the stove top and started smoking.  There my 4 younger kids sat, eating away, completely oblivious to the smoke surrounding them, and completely oblivious to their mamma opening windows.  I would have thought they would have noticed the smoke.  They most certainly did when I pointed it out, and they ran around opening windows too.

When we add some bedrooms to the basement for our older kids we will likely invest in some of the talking smoked detectors (apparently the teens in the study awoke to a voice saying something like, "Fire.  Get out.   Fire Get out. " etc. even though they didn't awaken to the alarms beeps.).  We will have to do some checking before we just run out and buy them...But it's certainly something we'll need to look into.

And...maybe we should invest in talking alarm clocks as well.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Small Successes...the I am really reaching version


For more small successes click on the link above.

And, yes, I am really reaching here...I think that's when I need this the most.

  1. Made some phone calls, mailed some mail.
  2. Helped Henry and Nathan with their piano lessons.
  3. Finally made it to one of my Godson's games.  He plays Lacrosse (and hockey).  I've never seen a Lacrosse game before.  It looked like a cross between hockey, soccer, and rugby.  It was fun!

This cold week reminded me of one of my favorite youtube videos....and also reminded me of another beautiful place (greenhouse) we could go to escape the drizzly weather we've been having.........

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Not your ordinary parent....

This afternoon I saw a headline that really enticed me. The article was called Baby Gear: The Only Five Items You Need and you can read it here.... (Sorry, I do not how to do that fancysmancy blog click on the link thingy.)

Anyhow, I thought "Great! Someone finally gets that you do not need a ton of the junk to raise a baby!" I clicked only to realize while the author and I agree you do not need a lot things to raise a baby, our must have lists are very different. After raising five babies I only have two of the article's must have items. Stacey Bradford, the article's author, sites her must have list as: car seat, crib, stroller, bouncey seat and baby bottles.

Of course, the car seat is a must - no doubt about that. My infant carseat of choice is the type that double as an infant carrier. They snap in and out of a base making going in and out of the car super easy without having to wake a sleeping baby. While not a requirement, I highly suggest a carseat bunting, especially if you live in a cold weather area and have a fall/winter baby. This is a sac made of cozy fleece is specially designed to cradle your baby in their carseat without sacrificing the safety of the seat. The edges unzip so you can remove the top layer without disturbing the infant.

I do not have a crib. If you are ecologically breastfeeding it is possible (and way easier) to safey co-sleep with your baby. No crib needed. Instead I would suggest that you use some of the money you would spend on a crib to get a few nursing shirts and a nice warm nursing pj top or two.

The other item on the original list that I have is a stroller. Actually, I own four strollers - a single, a double, a running, and a cheapy umbrella one that lived in the back of the mini van. There have been times when I could not have gotten by without a stroller, but there were more times than I care to count where I am pushing an empty double stroller as my two toddlers dawdled along beside me and I cradled the baby in a sling. More often than not, the main use for the stroller was not as a kid hauler but a stuff hauler. There was no way I could have kept track of five coats, five sets of mittens, five hats, five water bottles, my purse/diaper bag, etc. but the stroller does it, no problem! So, yes, a stroller would make it onto my top five must haves even if it ends up being just a glorified shopping cart.

I agree with Ms. Bradford that you need a safe place to put the baby while you do things. Stacey's choice for this is a bouncey seat. For me, it is a sling. Slings keep baby close and content while you go through your activities of daily living. If you need to back a break or need to do something that it is not safe or easy to have baby in a sling then I would suggest strapping them in their infant carseat. With the use of the infant carseat there is no need to have a bouncey seat as well. Neither the bouncey seat and the carseat should not be placed on a bed or table.

Last on Ms. Bradford's list is baby bottles. I would replace this item with breasts and knowing how to use them. Nursing is the best for both baby and mom and there are no bottles needed. I strongly encourage new moms to attend La Leche League meetings from the time they know they are pregnant. The information about nursing, labor and delivery and raising a child, not to mention the support and friendships I found at LLL helped shape me as a parent. As a side note, I find it amazing that pregnant moms read an average of six books on birth but few read an entire book dedicated to breastfeeding. Labor and delivery happens once per baby. Nursing will happen daily for months if not years. Seems like moms should be more prepared for it.

While I do not agree with all the items on Ms. Bradford's list, I am glad to see there are other parents out there forgoing all unneeded gear and accessories in order to parent more simply. It seems as if most of the items in baby superstores now days are simply places to put a baby and/or ways to keep the baby entertained so that a parent (or nanny) does not to actually parent.

Oh and while you are at that baby super store do not forget to pick up the non-gear items. Baby will still need clothes, blankets, diapers and those cute little socks!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day all you mother's out there.  I hope you had a wonderful day.  Ours didn't turn out the way we had originally planned, but that is OK.  I have learned to be very flexible, especially on mother's day.  (but, it was still a great mother's day).

My funniest/most strange mother's day story was when my dh and I stayed up late to watch an old Star Wars movie the night before mother's day, something we rarely do.  I was exhausted and lamenting the fact that I just wanted to spend mother's day at home alone with my family. (My dh worked 14 hour days 6 days a week at that time, I really just wanted to spend time with him and the kids).  As I walked past the kitchen counter I saw the water detector laying there.  It needed a new battery and needed to be put back into the basement near the sump pump.  But, I was so tired, and we had never had a water problem anyway.  I bet you can see where I am going with this one....  The next morning we got up early for Mass and I went downstairs to get something.   I was met with, you guessed it, WATER.  The sump pump had quit!  We have a very large basement (rambler style house) and about 1000 sq ft of it was flooded.  I got my wish.  We spent mother's day home alone, just my dh, myself, and the kids.   with rain boots, rags, and fans....

What is your funniest/strangest mother's day story?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy National Train Day

Today is National Train Day.  Trains are a big deal in our family.  We have an O scale layout we all work and play on and we even made my husband a bumper sticker that said, "Caution :  This vehicle stops at Railroad Crossings hoping to see a train" because he really does.    Who would have guessed that as I was growing up I was so afraid of trains I would close my eyes and plug my ears when we had to stop for a train.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Small Successes


For more small successes click on the link above.

1.  Made a firm commitment this week to stop simply deleting junk from my inbox but instead taking the extra 17 sec. each to unsubscribe.  I've unsubscribed from alot of unnecessary lists.

2.  Took 3 extra kids with me to the zoo last week.  That meant my 10, 8, 6, 5, and 2 year their 12, 9, 6 year old friends.  And it went so smoothly I would do it again!  

3.  Hired Nathan (12) and Henry (8) to take care of everything related to laundry.  So far it's going great, but I need to tweak everyone else's chores a little to accommodate.  Hopefully that can be next week's success!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

So you've had a bad day...........

That's the song I am listening to on the radio right now.  It makes me realize that today wasn't all that bad.  We've had no major health scares, not operating in the red, the kids are good kids (everybody has a bad day now and then), etc.  So, while today was frustrating.....I guess it really wasn't that bad. 

1.  Broke something on the blinds in the family room this morning.  So, on top of a gloomy weather day, we have no sunshine in that room.  And, my poor dh will have another thing to add to his to-do list.
2.  Logan and Henry have colds...and I really suspect many others are coming down with them as well (don't ask me how I know...if you're a know what I'm talking about).
3.  Kitchen needed some necessary attention first thing off the bad...I won't go into those details.
4.  Our PSEO planning stuff has become extra complicated.
5.  I rearranged chores, giving the younger ones more, forgetting someone has to show them what to do!
6.  So, the house was really a disaster this morning when a serviceman called to say he would be able to be here in 20 minutes for some measurements. 
7.  Turns out our fence broke - behind our shed where we can't see it so well.  Not good given that we've got about 4 feet of water left in the deep end of the pool.  My dh is out as we speak trying to repair it.

1.  My children are all safe and healthy (other than a little cold).
2.  We have windows/blinds...heck...we have a house.
3.  The pit pool in the backyard, plus the windy day, caused my kids to ban together and clean up the yard before their toys blew into the swamp pool.
4.  Someone is coming this week to give us an estimate on removing the pool.
5.  Anna smiled at me and said, "Tomorrow will be better".  Yes, she cheered me up a bit.  But, she has/will be gone to 5 different events over today and tomorrow.
6.  I called CrunchyMamma.  She always cheers me up.  Mostly because our lives are very similar even though 1000 miles apart.  And, she doesn't whine.
7.  Having a husband who has the tools and the knowledge for fixing things.