Saturday, June 25, 2011

Things to Read

I've found some cool mom blogs lately that I like. Thought I'd share the wealth. Because what every mom needs is something to cause her more pain in the management of her time. :)

I think Simple Mom looks interesting. This has some great stuff about organizing your home and educating you kids. It has sister blogs for cooking, general girl stuff, and fun things to do with your kids. It is written by multiple contributors, who each have their own blogs as well. You might find someone you really click with and love their ideas.

One of Simple Mom's contributors is Steady Mom. She's on sabbatical right now, but her archives seem great. I have yet to dive in to them. Another contributor I've really latched onto is Lora Lynn who writes at Vita Familiae. She's down to earth and funny. She writes about life with her six kids under the age of seven, the youngest of which just came home to them from Uganda.

A nice blog about living a simpler, more organized life (without buying more containers) is Small Notebook. She's living in Italy right now. How romantic.

A great resource I just found from a friend "liking" it on Facebook is School Sparks. It has amazing resources for getting your child ready for kindergarten, and it's all FREE! There's a crap ton of worksheets. It's free, but it still looks cool. Rare. Sometimes it's a little too obvious that the people giving away resources have no money to pay a graphic designer.

"Liking" School Sparks led me to a sweet little blog called A Mom with a Lesson Plan. It looks like it has a lot of very doable ideas for the average mom like me. And it has me highly motivated to get my girls to the library.

So there you go. A whole evening of reading at your fingertips. :) Just what you needed, right?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Potty Queen

Violet is still rockin' the potty. On the morning of my birthday she had some nasty surprises in her diaper when I got her up. Happy Birthday, Mom! But other than that she has been putting poop where it belongs.

I haven't even tried super hard with the peeing. She does pee when I put her on the potty, but I don't take her enough to keep her diaper dry. I'm waiting on the motivation that cute new cloth trainers will bring. Which I am planning on sewing. So after I get the motivation for the sewing then we'll be ready to go!

She is seven months old now. I still take her potty at the same times as I always have. Right after nursing or eating, and right when she wakes up. She will occasionally show signs of straining and I will get her to the potty to do her business then, too.

I feel really happy we chose elimination communication. Every family is different, and you have to do what works for you. So far this process isn't causing anyone in our family undue stress. So we're still plugging along with it. And I really like it, actually.

If you are getting ready to have a baby or are just dreaming about someday let me say: You can totally do this! It's normal and natural and not as crazy or time consuming as it sounds!

If you already have small children, are pulling your hair out today, and want to punch me in the face when you read about my baby going potty let me say: I totally understand. And, you're right, nobody ever goes to college in diapers. One way or another, kids get potty trained.

This is just something that works for us. So what about you? What's your thing? Every mom has something that they do that other moms think is crazy. Spill it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mundane Mmm...Wednesday

On Tuesday I could tell that sickness was creeping up on us. I went ahead and cancelled my Spanish class for Wednesday. Good call. Nolie was coughing all morning. She even said at one point, "Mommy, I sick." She layed on the couch all morning watching PBS kids shows. Wearing her hippo on a bicycle jams, cuddling boolah, and sucking her thumb.

I didn't get much done around the house either. I was sort of feeling the ache of sickness myself. Just yucky enough that if I had a job to go to, I'd be there. But since my job is mostly self imposed here, nothing much got done.

After lunch, we were going to try and get out to see Ryan at his office and breathe some fresh air. But Nola fell apart. She wanted to go, but she was crying and crying and she decided taking a nap was a better choice. Seriously. She got in her bed herself. Poor little honey. She fell right to sleep after I sang all four verses of "In Christ Alone" while stroking her knotted, curly hair.

Violet took a nap at the same time. Speaking of which, she's such a little doll at nap time and bed time. I just tuck her into her fleece sleep bag. You know the kind that zip up and leave their arms free? She pops her two fingers in her mouth and calms right down. Even while we do all the little things to tuck Nola in, Violet lays there contentedly in her bed. I love it when we come downstairs and they've both calmed right down, and all we hear in the monitor is the suck suck suck from Violet every few seconds.

The girls only slept an hour, but I decided not to fight it. So we jumped in the car and went to see Ry at the office. Nola really perked up when we go there. She was so happy to see Gamma (that's how she's saying it right now) and Papa. She likes seeing Daddy, but mostly she just wants to sit on Gamma's lap and watch Youtube videos of kittens and puppies.

We didn't stay long, but came home so Violet could have one more nap. Nola watched yet even more tv while cuddling on the couch. Ry came home. Violet woke up. Ry took Saint for a run while I played with Nola and Violet outside. At first I wasn't going to go outside, I mean, she was sick and all. But after she asked and I said no, she let out a heartbroken "Pleeeeeeease!" accompanied with huge, fat, disappointed tears. And I thought, what? is fresh air going to make her sicker? So out we went. We played with sidewalk chalk and checked out the baby bird in our clematis bush out front.

Ryan took Nola and picked up some Little Caesar's pizza for supper. That was so nice.

The girls went to bed early. When Nola was going through her night time rituals she was having trouble producing on the potty. Ryan said to her, "Are you sure? Do you need to go potty?" She answered, "Ummm...No thanks." When she got to me, I said, "Nola, you need to try. One more time." She said, I kid you not, she said, "Actuallyyyyyyyyy...I don't need to." Actually? That's a new word for her.

After another round of all four verses of "In Christ Alone", this time accompanied by Ryan on his rock star guitar, we said goodnight.

Now I'm surfing the internet and updating my blog, while Ryan watches Predators.

Wow. That's a lot of boring personal details in one blog post. (And yet you stuck with it. I tried to reward your heavy reading with lots of pictures.) Share the wealth. What's the most mundane thing you did this Wednesday?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mundane Monday

We made the grocery shopping trip of a lifetime this Monday. I carried Violet in the BabyBjorn front carrier, Nola sat in the cart, and I loaded the basket full of stuff. I usually only shop for a week at a time. This helps us stay on budget, and it helps me to shop alone with the girls. With Violet's huge car seat in the basket I can't fit much else in the cart! But I realized that we were often eating out on the weekends because "we need to go to the store". Convenient excuse. It may not completely curb our eating out, but it will help to have two weeks worth of suppers and lunches available. When I went to check out I plopped Violet in the front of the cart beside Nola so I could get the groceries out faster. Violet was sitting kind of strangely in the cart. The mom behind me was having a heart attack, evidently. She finally said, "I'm sorry! Every time she leans over I'm like..." And I replied, "Oh, I know. Don't fall!" After I got the basket emptied I threw Nolie in the basket and moved Violet to the center of the front so she could hold on to the bar and balance better. That way the mom behind me could breathe.

Nola and I ate a snack on the drive home. It was a little past lunchtime and we were hungry. Once we pulled in to the garage, getting all the groceries and both girls out of the car is a feat, I tell you. I left them both buckled in while I took the frozen stuff in. Then I came back, closed the garage door so Nola wouldn't run outside. I let Nola out, grabbed the rest of the groceries and dumped them right in the entry way, and went back for Violet who was starving.

Nola watched some tv while I fed Violet. Then we had peanut butter and jelly. Followed by naps for both girls. They were asleep in seconds. It was awesome. Nap time is usually a little more stressful than that.

I cleaned up the house while they slept. With a little break for checking email, Facebook, and my newest time stealer Pinterest.

When Ry got home he tried to motivate me to work out with him. I was kind of a party pooper. So he went for a run, and then I took the dog for a walk when he got back. Kind of a weak workout, but better than nothing.

Nola went to Grandma Nita's for the evening. I'm sure she had a ball.

I tried a new chicken recipe for dinner. Peachy Balsamic Chicken. It wasn't superb, but it was different. Since Nola was gone we ate in front of the tv. (Believe it or not, we do actually eat at the table most nights. This is partly because we feel it's important to eat together as a family, and mostly because we don't have a table downstairs big enough for all of us anymore.) We watched an episode of the British Comedy "The IT Crowd". Violet was a little fussy, but we managed.

Nola got home around 7:30 and the girls went to bed. Bed time stresses me out sometimes. I get so DONE at the end of the day. I know the girls do better with a little routine before bed, but I just want to throw them in their beds, shut the door and be done with it! But, still, we powered through. We kissed Grandma and Grandpa's picture on the nightstand, said night-night to the blue birdy on Nola's lamp, prayed, and gave kisses and hugs.

Ryan and I successfully made it to the couch after saying goodnight. We watched more of "The IT Crowd", and an episode of "House". Then we both went to bed. We're such an exciting couple.

The weekend was far more eventful, as weekends usually are. We went to the Omaha Summer Arts Festival Saturday night with Ry's family. (That's what the pictures are from.) Sunday afternoon Nola and I went again with my sister Felicity, her husband Dan, and their three girls to see the Ballet Folklorico perform Mexican folk dances. It was pretty cool, I'm glad we went. The girls all got balloon bracelets and snow cones, too. Free. Sweet deal.

Hope your Monday was as Mundane as mine!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mundane Monday, of course

We spent the morning at the zoo with some friends from out of town. (I had fun talking cloth diapers with them. I'm like a Jehovah's Witness for cloth diapers.) It was pretty hot at the zoo, but the humidity wasn't too bad. The a/c in our car isn't quite up to par, though. That's frustrating. After a few minutes in the car Nolie's little nose beads up with sweat. She's hot blooded anyway.

We had a long weekend with meetings at church. My mom came to help out with the girls and it was awesome. Nola really enjoyed her time with Gramma Kaffy. Violet even seemed to smile at her more "knowingly" this visit.

The girls shared Violet's room the whole time mom was here. They did great at nighttime. Naps were a little tricky, but doable. The are usually both napping at the same time in the afternoon, but Nola has been having a harder time with naps lately. She plays and plays, and we do our best to discipline her to stay in her bed but she just seems to take forever to fall asleep. And Violet thinks Nola is funny so her antics are occasionally encouraged. Never the less, we've decided to keep them in the same room. Maybe Nola will need to rest somewhere else in the afternoons.

I'm excited that they're together because now I will really finish decorating their room. Last night I moved the furniture around until I found a configuration I liked. Their room is small. The only things in it will be their beds, their dresser, the changing table with diapers, and a small nightstand with a lamp on it. I thought leaving toys out of the room might help encourage sleeping for Nola. Fingers crossed. And I would like to be more zen, like my sister Serenity.

No big plans for this evening. It'll be nice to hang at home with the family.

The girls still aren't asleep. It's 4:36. Should I give in? For Nola, maybe. For Violet, no way. I'm about to fall asleep myself, but it's much too late for that!

Oh, yeah, Violet hasn't pooped in her diaper since I posted about it last! About two weeks, I guess. But now that I've said that, she will probably wake up poopy or something. :) This blog always jinxes me.

And the picture is from our trip to the zoo on Memorial day. The sisterly love is overwhelming. And,yeah, we're zoo crazy here. We're going again this week with my sister Felicity. What can I say? We can't get enough of those tapirs and caymans.

Hope your Monday was as mundane as mine!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Worth It

Parenting is hard. I don't know how it will be in the future, but parenting small children is exhausting. Right now I feel... tired. They need lots of things. Some things that only I can give. It's hard work.

But...the rewards of it rock. I have never done anything, and probably never will, as cool as bringing people into the world. Nothing I have ever done, or dream of someday doing, is as wonderful as being Nola and Violet's mom. (Aside from being Ryan's wife. That was the best decision I ever made, and it just keeps getting better.)

Somedays I have to remind myself how awesome the rewards are. Really. Seriously. I have to stop, breathe, and think of the happiness.

Like chubby cheeks.

And back-lit, crazy hair running around my backyard.