best monday ever

•May 4, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Today we took a day, just took it and ran with it all the way to the beach. It’d been a while, it was much needed. I’ve been in that place where there’s just enough to make it the next step and no more. No margin, no extra. The beach takes me back to fuller again. It was a good choice. I left the weekend frustrated that our home study still wasn’t approved and the person responsible was leaving on vacation. I know they work hard, I do. But that doesn’t really lessen my frustration with how much waiting we are doing before we are even officially waiting. I left the weekend feeling like it was once again too short and to full of work. But oh Monday. Monday has been good to me. Monday was full of the good stuff.

Like a little girl finally finding the magic mix of wet and dry sand for her castle to work this trip!

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And make believe birthday cakes and candles and wishes too!

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And the most awesomest construction team ever and their giant pool!

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Complete with an underground basement, can you see it under there? They started tunneling under ground. It was impressive, they were proud.

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When we got home I jumped on the wifi and checked my email. First I saw we have a renter! I don’t even remember if we posted that our renter that was going to renew decided to leave instead, because you know when you’re fund raising having a refill fee and empty rental is what you’re going for, clearly. But we have a new renter and we were able to get more rent than last year and they move in Friday! Very exciting, but not the most exciting email. The best email was the next one.

WE ARE IN OFFICIALLY IN WAITING!!!!!!!!!!!

So pumped, I may just set up the pack n play and hang up the baby quilt tonight. AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH. Happy dance (in my head, maybe).

Best Monday ever.

the beginnings of a project

•April 27, 2015 • Leave a Comment

We have new paint! The upstairs of our townhouse is finally all painted, and it feels so good! Of course, now every little nick and scratch on the downstairs paint is jumping out and punching me in the face. But there’s only like, you know, 1, 2, 10…20….*cough cough* infinite nicks and scratches on the downstairs paint.

Moving on…the hallway/stairwell has got to be one of my favorites! It’s dramatic and daring and so dark you’ll never see the fingerprints! Our previous stairwell (should have gotten a picture, sorry!) was a lovely two tone work of child art. Chalky flaky white up top and a smudgy art project in various shades of grey a steady 12 inches under the banister on both sides of the wall. Almost like chair rail or wainscoting really, the children worked hard on their creation. I’m glad they weren’t too crushed to see it go. They are appeased to know that the dark walls (resident evil walls the oldest has dubbed them, Bycemaster was pleased) will soon be displaying photos of them and their artwork (artwork I have a bit more appreciation for than the former…)

So far it looks like this

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The idea is for it to eventually lean more toward this, sorry gotta actually click, not my picture! I probably won’t have them quite that low, kinda asking for it here. Though we have gone almost a year since the last picture frame break! Mostly because the recent soccer ball that jettisoned two of my picture frames to the floor managed to knock them to the carpet this time. The record stands. However, the variety of photos and art work in different mediums and the different colors and types of frames is all the hope. It will be a constant work in progress, and I’m OK with that, life is constantly evolving and changing and growing. I already have boxes of frames to start painting and filling thanks to a super generous former neighbor (you know who you are, thank you again!) I’ll post new stages as they come!

Side note, I went to see Cinderella with my sister and daughter. I actually enjoyed it! Me, the Disney hating, princess cringing me. It was pretty good and showed a strength of character not typically found in a princess movie. I’m sure there are lots of critiques to be found in it still, but I decided not to look for them. Also my daughter ran up and did this to the poster when I asked if she wanted a picture with Cinderella.

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I seriously heart her. Glad she has some better princess movies than I did.

the fundly is here

•April 20, 2015 • Leave a Comment

I know I know it’s been weeks since I’ve given any adoption updates. We had passed the ball into the agency’s court weeks ago and have just been waiting for it to pass back. It’s back! We got our profile book back in the mail yesterday. Filled with edits! I really should have expected this, I mean I edit the crap out of my own work, usually, but my initial response was still overwhelmed, again. So many edits! I get it, we want their input and really I do. This is their job, they know better how certain things come across, but I am so ready to just sit around in waiting. I know the big ‘they’ say waiting sucks, and I’m not doubting them (ok maybe I am, if I’m honest, but only a little), but it will at least be a different kind of sucky. I will be developing patience and a greater capacity to deal with the unknown WHILE doing fun things like setting up the pack n play and buying cute diapers and making a new baby blanket. I’m ready to be there. Almost there. I’ll be plugging through the edits this week and hopefully we’ll hear our home study (which is now complete) has gotten it’s final directorial approval soon as well. Those are our last steps and I’ll get to announce we are in waiting. Right now we are just waiting to wait. I feel like I talk a lot about waiting.

Also cat’s out of the bag! We (and by we I totally mean Bycemaster) researched and set up our funding page. It’s not quite finished yet, as we are now into my part, but it is up and active. We totally didn’t intend to publicize yet, we thought when we hit skip last night on the publish to Facebook part, it wouldn’t publish to Facebook (now why would we think that….). But it turned out to be a happy accident as we’ve already had multiple likes and shares and even a DONATION! I must admit I was almost crying when we realized that someone had already responded to our unfinished accident. We have hope and faith, but I don’t expect it. It still never stops amazing me every time we are on the receiving end of someone’s generosity. We have such incredibly generous people in our lives. We are so grateful for everyone that has already contributed in funds or social or moral support. You all are invaluable and I hope you know how much you mean to us and our new little baby.

Well I had a cute little post about my co-op art lesson planned for today (the kids did so well!), but life interrupted. I’m toying with the idea of moving this up to twice a week. Are you guys ok with that? And also ok if it doesn’t actually happen, ha! Once a week has been doable, I’m thinking I can handle twice a week if you can…we shall see.

Click here to view and contribute to our adoption fund, just remember, it’s still under construction!

to watch or not to watch

•April 13, 2015 • 1 Comment

We started a new screen time regimen. Today is one of our no screen days for the kids. There are already pros and cons to this new plan, we are barely a week in. Con numero uno (and I really feel like this counts as more than one) without screens the boys wake up and come TALK TO ME. I am trying to appreciate this, having your children want to talk to you is a good thing, and I love him and when I am conscious I know this. But I do not wake up when they wake up, I have not since they were able to turn on Netflix and get themselves a snack. The oldest in particular has always been an early riser, I spent years up at 5:30 with him. I relish waking up in daylight, it is a serious perk to my current job, LOVE IT. I am not a morning person and he apparently still wakes up talking a hundred miles a minute (most of that about what ever will he do without a screen!) and now it’s to me. The little one comes in and cuddles in bed, which is all sweet for about 30 seconds. Because he doesn’t do still, so I’m getting kicked and petted and crushed by a no longer little “baby” while I’m still getting talked at by the other one all while still trying to wake up myself. But the beautiful girl child is still sleeping past me, and now longer whining that the boys got so much more screen time than she did (due to aforementioned earlier wake up) so there’s that.

We’ve always had screens off after breakfast through nap time on the weekdays. But the total time had been gradually inching up as I had to get more and more paperwork and baby stuff done. It was just easier, but it also meant that there was more whining about it, inconsistency breeds it. I know this. I just don’t always have the energy and mental fortitude to do anything about it. They also can sense these things and the whining starts. But why can’t we have more today? We had more yesterday? Surely if we ask at least 20 more times we can bend this rule again? Right? They were all secretly meeting about this I’m sure. It’s what they talk about for that hour they play in their room before actually falling asleep. They had a schedule with assigned shifts to badger me it about ALL AFTERNOON. I’m convinced.

So it was time for a new rule, one that had never been broken! A fresh start. No screens at all on Mondays and Fridays and a time limit on the other three days they are allowed to manage within the an allowable window. So far Friday, our first complete screen free day was glorious (you know after the morning wake up part). The afternoon was so peaceful without Barbie Life in the Dream House and stampeecat (I’m sure I did not spell that correctly) minecraft videos simultaneously invading my house. It was like we had finally booted an unwelcome house guest. Don’t let the door hit ya on the way out! Oh wait! Do! Do let it hit ya and kick you to the curb sucker!

Looking forward to seeing how it continues to play out. Hoping for the best.

Disclaimer: This post is in no way intended to start any type of mommy wars over the appropriate amount (or non amount) of screen time. Also just say no to the guilt. If you need it more right now, use it. I did when I needed it and now we can cut back again. Do what works for your family  :)

a birthday for a girl

•April 6, 2015 • Leave a Comment

We added a new 7 year old to our bunch this weekend. I had every intention of writing this for her on her actual birthday, but she had friends sleep over for the first time the night before and though it actually went very well (I admit I was slightly terrified), my brain was certainly not up to full capacity. I was doing just fine, if I was, you know, sitting, doing nothing, but that actual thinking thing, was a bit delayed (you know, like this over-comma-ed sentence). Then we had Easter and they were all up early again! Which was really more of the problem with the sleepover, the insane hour they awoke (like my fancy wake up there?). I am not used to predawn hours anymore, I don’t wake before the sun, it’s unnatural people. My cushy job of eating bon bons and watching soaps all day allows for me to wake with the sun, not before, its on the pro side.

Dear 7 years old,

You are 7 now my dear. This much anticipated birthday for you has come and gone and just as you seem to do everyday, you got bigger. Baby years have long been gone, and you are continually becoming more and more of who you are. This year you started gymnastics. You have excelled, which was the point, we knew you would. You spend your days in one endless cartwheel, why walk to the table when one can cartwheel? why eat at a table when one can chew and cartwheel at the same time? why ride your bike when one can cartwheel down the sidewalk? Long hair splaying, skirts a flying, cartwheeling is how you spend your days.

You got a sewing machine for your birthday this year, you were thrilled. You already have plans to make new pillows and blankets for your dollhouse and I look forward to seeing what else you come up with (and I look forward to seeing how you manage to cartwheel while using a sewing machine). Your generosity and creativity have not abated. I’m sure the sewing machine will end up being a new outlet for those as well. love watching the joy you find in creating and in giving your creations to those in your life. Even if at the moment your incessant momma, Momma, MOMMA!!!! coming from the room you are “sewing” in is not bringing the most pleasant thoughts of you in my head. You are relentless, this has great potential to one day be an asset, to be honest most days it wears me out. But even in my mentally exhausted state from helping facilitate your endless endeavors I am still excited to see where you will go with them all. I am also very very proud of who you are becoming, and as always look forward to watching you grow.

till next year baby girl,

your MOMMA!!!

side note to you readers. I just finished reading The Pioneer Woman’s book: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels, go read it now. It was fabulous, I’m semi obsessed with her and her blog now and may or may not have been internet stalking her all weekend. It also made me sorely miss working with Bycemaster. I miss him.

it’s all about sleep baby

•March 30, 2015 • Leave a Comment

So I’m reading a new book, surprise! NutureShock by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman. OMG, it is amazing! I was going on and on about it to Bycemaster last night when he ever so politely says, why don’t you blog about it? Was he getting sick of hearing about it? Possibly. Was he very kindly and politely asking me to stop? Probably. Was he right? Definitely!

Every chapter so far has been amazing. Last night was the sleep chapter, I was ironically staying up late to read. But it was so fascinating, and validating! (See kids, mommy DOES know what she’s talking about!) When they studied elementary students they discovered just one hours difference in sleep a night resulted in a two grade level reduction in performance, 2 grade levels! Here’s the quote “a slightly sleepy sixth=grader will perform in class like a mere fourth-grader. A loss of one hour of sleep is equivalent to [the loss of] two years of cognitive maturation and development.” Sleep deprived kids also had problems with impulse control, concentration, emotional stability, and were more likely to be obese. To quote the authors again “The surprise is not merely that sleep matters – but how much it matters, demonstrably, not just to academic performance and emotional stability, but to phenomena that we assumed to be entirely unrelated, such as the international obesity epidemic and the rise of ADHD.” Wow.

After a number of melt down incidents we had over here last week and then our discovery that said incidentor (like that new word, Bycemaster would be proud) had been getting up an extra hour earlier all week, this totally rang true. It truly was a complete regression in “cognitive maturation and development,” which is really frustrating when you know how old they are supposed to be! It’s possible this experience could be exponential in adults…just throwing that out there. I mean you can see it right? It could explain A LOT. Just speculation people!

However, the fact “that sleep-deprived people fail to recall pleasant memories, yet recall gloomy memories just fine” (I haven’t quoted someone so much since my college paper writing days!) is not speculation. Ok excuse my nerd out here, but they actually explained why this is happening and I must at least attempt to pass it on (you really need to read this book people!). So our brain processes and stores the information from the day while we are sleeping. How the person feels about a memory determines what part of the brain processes it. Your amygdala processes your negatives memories/events and positive or neutral stimuli are processed by your hippocampus. But when you get too little sleep the hippocampus suffers first and hardest. Leaving you with a brain full of negativity and little capacity to even add anything neutral or positive to the mix the next day. The situation is compounded for kids due to the different quantities of sleep stages they have at night. The surly teenager stereotype is beginning to make much more sense. I mean I know what I was like as a teenager, I wasn’t nicknamed ice princess for nothing. I was also sleeping 6 or less hours a night for years. My already existing plan of enforcing naps in my teenagers has now been set in stone.

diapers

•March 23, 2015 • 1 Comment

It’s still Monday! I didn’t forget! Well I did forget, but I remembered again before it was technically too late. We’re calling this a solid WIN.

I just spent 30 minutes dancing with my daughter to all her favorite picks on Dance Central. My word, she likes the active ones that make you get low to the ground. It’s a little harder to get that low when you’re so much higher off the ground kiddo! I’m skipping any other work out today. It is finished. But it did succeed in waking my brain up enough to remember this, so it’s all good.

Quick adoption update! Not much has changed, still sick of talking about this photobook, hopefully not much longer. We are through with the first round of edits. We had to take a few more pics, add some more verbiage and just shuffle a bit. Over all the editor really liked it. I have a few more things to go over that I received in an email this morning and then tonight I will be ordering one to send to the agency! That will be, Lord willing, the final step before this phase is over. It has to be approved by the crisis pregnancy councilor and then we print them all. Then you can stop hearing about them all the time :) Exciting for all of us!

So now that we are in range of “baby could be here soon” I’m trying to figure out baby stuff, again. I always said I’d cloth diaper if I was home with next one. Well here I am, home. A few of the kids I’ve watched have used cloth, so I’m not a total newbie. I have not, however, done the washing and buying. I know I have a lot of friends out there that do or have cloth diapered in one way shape or form. I’m open to a shape or form that it’s strictly one way or the other. So school me people. I need to know the best compromise. What do I do? Where do I buy? What kinds? Laundry? Cleaning? Stripping? Costs and cost effectiveness? Honestly well you’re at it give me your best sales pitch, cause right now the thought of more laundry kinda has me groaning…

 
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