Monday, January 31, 2011

Product Placement

After all that heavy stuff I thought I'd share some fluff with everyone. So here are some of the things that our household has fallen in love with lately.

Note: These are just things we like. I'm not being paid for any of it. Even though I totally should be.

The first item isn't actually an item. It's The Home Depot which we seem to be frequenting a lot more lately since we started working on our house again. I can not tell you the excitement I'm feeling about being able to move my bedroom furniture out of what is, for now, the playroom. Turns out it isn't the best scenario to have the master bedroom double as the playroom.

Greg has graduated from My Big Truck Book to The Little Engine That Could. He loves it and we read it, a lot. I have pretty much the whole thing memorized, but at least there's actually a storyline.

This is what finally got the purple off the sofa. The only problem now is that the sofa needs to be aired out and we're having freezing rain. Can't really air it out now.

Thanks to Angelina my daughter is constantly practicing arabesques. She learned that word, if not the real meaning, from one of the eight books of Angelina Ballerina that we have been checking out from the library. She loves them.

Well, this one is only recommended by me. Dan thinks it's a waste of money. He's probably right. But after having sickness after sickness rip through our house I'm pretty much willing to believe anything. If someone told me to sacrifice a chicken in the front yard to avoid the next nasty thing headed our way I would have some serious consideration to do. I got a cold a few weeks ago and took them and the cold was so mild I couldn't even really say I was sick. And that, my friends, is what we like to call indisputable medical evidence of efficacy.

So there you have it. What are some of your family's favorite things right now?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Reassuring Inspirations

I went to bed grumpy last night. The house was dirty, the kids were naughty, I was tired and Dan wouldn't be going with us to church in the morning. He had to work.

I left the dinner dishes on the table.

This morning I woke up with a grumpy hangover. At least that's what I'm calling it. Having never had a real hangover, I'm not sure if its a fair comparison.

We got ready for church. Despite the million times I had to tell Charlotte to "come on already" and the blackberry jelly Greg wiped on his freshly ironed shirt we managed to get to church on-time-ish.

I sat there during the opening hymn and thought about how all my good intentions to be a great mom and wonderful wife seem to last about two days before they start to crumble around me.

For example.

I instituted quiet play time for Charlotte in the afternoons. This is a period of time for her to play quietly by herself. She can play with whatever quiet thing she wants, but she has to stay on the sofa. Worked great until the purple crayon incident.

I thought it would be good to start up her reading lessons again. In fact, she asked me to. After scouring the house four separate times I had to throw in the towel and admit defeat. It is gone. With the latest shuffle of items from room to room upstairs it vanished.

TV tickets. She gets two tickets a day. Each is good for a half hour or she can give me both if she wants a movie. She gets to chose when she uses them so long as it's not quiet play time. Works great until 1) TV time is over and she's suddenly so bored 2) she wants to use a ticket 10 minutes before we have to leave. Then we start to fight.

Greg seems to only ever want to be about 12 inches from my body. Really he'd prefer to always be touching me. I should be patient with this, knowing this phase wont last, but I'm not. I'm anxious for him to get out there and explore his world. Go with the other kids and have fun.

And above all is the constant nagging I hear in the back of my head. What do we do when (this activity) is over? That's when the sibling fighting, the mess-making, and the day starts to unravel.

Depressing thoughts for church huh?

So I'm sitting there thinking and feeling, well not depressed, just deflated when a comfort comes and seems to inflate me just a bit. Here were the thoughts I had.

"We get strong by working against resistance."--My mother-in-law

"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into diverse temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." --James 1:2-4

I think that must be my favorite scripture right now. Or perhaps just the one tat the Lord wants me to learn right now. Patience. I suppose that this lack of obvious success must be my resistance right now.


On I go into the week with faith, and (hopefully) patience. Let me learn from last week and then let it go. Knowing that what I'm doing as a wife and a mother is important and is making a difference in my family and then (hopefully) into the community. With this in my mind, my goals for the coming week are:
  1. To keep a clean kitchen. I don't know if its the same for you, but the state of my kitchen usually mimics the emotional state I seem to be in. This is completely unintentional. Is that normal? I don't know.
  2. Stick to last weeks institutions of TV tickets and quiet time. One week is simply too short a time for a fair trial of the plan.
  3. Figure out some activities that my kids and I can do together that I like. If I have to play Candyland one more time I think my mind might implode. Plus, then Greg can't play with us.

I wish you all the very best in the week to come with full confidence that ours will be as well. I hope.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Would Killing Her Be OK?

I knew Dan would be gone all day today so my game plan was to also be gone today. I got the kids up and then headed out to Whittle Shortline Railroad so they could play with the Brio type trains until lunch. I had lunch at a friends.

Naptime did have to be at home. So Greg went down for a nap and Charlotte had quiet play time on the sofa.

Directly after nap we headed out to a different friend's house. Straight from there we went to a third friend's house for dinner.

We came home 30 seconds before Daddy.

That's how he was the one to discover the purple crayon all over the sofa. At first Charlotte didn't want to admit it was her. Then when she did she said, "My mind just couldn't think of anything else to do."

I'm sure using that same reasoning wouldn't be adequate reason to beat her.

It's Over

Today Dan is doing his very last interview. Interview number 11. Let's hope that's enough. It feels good to be done with that segment.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Worth It

After graduation Dan's family is having a family reunion/Disneyworld vacation. Let's just take a moment to be super excited that my husband is going to actually be a doctor soon. One that people can call doctor. One that will actually make money. Yes! So the trip, at least for us, will probably just be celebrating that fact. That's the way to do a family reunion isn't it? His sister, very much like my mom and sister, has started planning. In fact it sounds like she's been thinking about planning for quite some time and now feels its close enough to the vacation date that she's willing to admit it. This feels very comfortable and familiar for me since I grew up with this type of planning happening around me. I prefer to happily agree to plans that are already made rather than make plans myself. Dan is the same way. That's probably why we spend about the first hour of every date driving around getting angry at each other. "I don't care where we go to eat! Just chose a place before I decide to eat YOU."

One thing that she has considerately helped us plan is a possible stroller rental. Dan told me so the other day and then said, "But I don't think we'll even need a stroller." HA! We will be walking all day everyday for a week and our son will only barely be two. We're going to need something. I'm sure he's thinking we're going to be taking our little umbrella stroller with us. And that would be the ah-hem, thrifty thing to do. He is always very responsible that way. But look at what you can get for only $15 for the first day and $8 each additional day:

So worth it.

Monday, January 24, 2011

This Weeks Goals

January has to be the worst month of the year for me. That being said, it is also Dan's birthday. Hooray! His birthday is today actually. So yesterday we celebrated it with a pancake cake and presents and then cake and ice cream in the evening. I'm not sure why his birthday helped me to decide this, but I've decided to make weekly goals. (We'll see how long that lasts.)

Here they are for this week:
  • Enjoy my kids more
  • Discipline with love instead of annoyance
  • Start trying to teach personal prayer to my kids
  • Formalize and write out a routine for our days and our weeks

If you can't tell by these goals, we have been having a less than peaceful atmosphere in our home. There have been many tears and frustration. I'm trying to lessen that. If it's just a week then I think we can do it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Things That Make Me Happy

It is amazing to me that just about the time that I decided to change my attitude my situation changed and made it much easier for me to be happy. Yesterday it was like the fog lifted and everyone in the house was happier. Here are some things that contributed to my happiness:

Fresh vegetables that aren't exactly in season. They are so beautiful and yummy. Usually I don't buy them out of season because they are hugely expensive, but last night it was totally worth it.
The kids actually had enough energy to play by themselves yesterday. That meant a little more work for me trying to referee the two of them, still a little grumpy, and picking up a little more. Even with that though it was pretty awesome because who wouldn't want to come up on a kazoo loving tucked into bed for naptime?Last week with everything happening I decided one day that it was the day to start fixing another bedroom. I took the doors off the hinges and the hinges off the walls and the chair rail down and the molding along the floor up. I started to scrape the walls, but that was tiring so I stopped. Monday Dan must have decided it was time to start too because he picked up the work where I left off and scraped the rest of the walls and then painted the wood trim. I don't know why, but this project seems to be making me super excited. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel!
And this last photo Greg is wearing a new shirt that Aunt Katie sent us in a care package. Her husband's family always does a "sick run" when someone in the family is sick. They pick up medications and treats and other things that will help the invalid. Even though she couldn't do a technical sick run she thought we might need it. Turns out we did. Dan took this photo of Greg after he ate his jellied toast for lunch today. Who couldn't be happy when they see that?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Change of Attitude

Well, nothing changes one's attitude like serving someone else, which I got the opportunity to do last night. I had a friend's son sleep at our house while she went to the hospital to have her baby. With both kids still sick I was worried that none of us would get any sleep.

Truly the Lord blesses you when you serve others. This blessing was immediate in that our sleep over guest slept through the night entirely and my kids only woke up a handful of times and were easy to calm and put back to sleep. We all woke up this morning well rested and the news from my friend is all positive.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Poking my Head in the Sand

Daddy was welcomed home like a rock star. The kids were super excited. Greg learned over his week long absence that he is not actually Mama, but is Dada. He decided to show Dan that by saying it over and over all the way home from the airport. I think the excitement gave them more energy than they would have had because we played outside in the snow and went sledding down our little hill. Charlotte was super excited to tell Daddy about our "Ice cuticles."

Then that afternoon Charlotte's fever came back. Then the next day Greg started his fever. Then last night nobody slept for more than an hour at a time.

Dan has to leave today for another interview tomorrow. I'm sure it'll go great. At least it's a low pressure interview.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

With A Cherry On Top

In case this week weren't long enough, we woke up today with Charlotte having a full blown cold. She's puked twice this morning before 9 AM. And I'm almost out of Motrin and Benadryl.

AND, it's snowing. So I had to shovel the walks before the little entrepreneurs came around looking cute and then taking me for all I've got.

Less than 24 hours left.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Making It With Style

I don't do well on my own. Some wives seem to do much better than I. For me at around day 4 or 5 I start feeling like it would be a good idea to start shooting people. Or at least saying really mean things. Because who doesn't like to be around a really grumpy person? Then I call my husband and find out that in fact his trip is going to be a day longer than I originally thought. In my attempt to make him want to never return home again I start to get angry and tell him I have to hang up the phone now. The next morning, after getting some sleep I have to call him and tell him that I'm sorry and I really just want him home.

I'm married to a very understanding husband.

Post Edit:

Also, I would like to direct everyone's attention to one of my friends and the person that has managed to pull me through this week. She posted on her blog about an amazing accomplishment of my little girl. (And with only one complete egg landing directly on the counter this time!) Hope you all enjoy.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Lewis and Clark

Sometimes when we go to the Magic House it really is magical. We went yesterday sometime after naptime. The kids had been up since 5:30 and Greg's nap was unusually short. In short, we were all cranky.

When I turned into the parking lot I hoped it would be a good day. The lot was maybe a quarter full. We would have the place pretty free. Then we started with the Lewis and Clark exhibit on the first floor. When I shot this video I knew we were going to have a good afternoon.

I've never seen Sacagawea and Lewis portrayed so well.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


I don't think these are new year's resolutions. It's just that I've been thinking for a while now about things I would like to change and do better at. Then Christmas came and I had a lot of free time suddenly. So I decided there was no reason to put off starting (or re-starting) my goals. So, boring as it may be, here they are:

Make honest to goodness meals at lunch. You know, ones that involve more than one slice of the food pyramid. I think healthy, fulfilling lunches have been my lynch pin in our family's eating habits that I have neglected and has lead to much unhealthy snacking.

Also, I would like to be better about writing down our budget and making sure we stick to it. Fourth year in medical school pretty much trashed all our dilligence in that respect. We need to be keeping better track again.

Actually read the Sunday school and Relief Society lessons before going to my classes on Sunday. That's a pretty low bar to set on my scripture study, I know, but it's totally do-able and you have to start somewhere. Plus, I've really had the feeling lately that I need to "prepare myself." For what, I don't know, for when I don't know, but I'm pretty sure that this is part of it. I've learned to not ignore those feelings, even when I'm not sure how to proceed.

And finally get my body moving...again. I'm nervous about sharing this goal because I know it's so ambiguous. Here's the story, Dan and I are going to have another kid sometime. I want another one, he wants another one. Right now isn't the right time, but that time is coming. When that time comes I want to start out the pregnancy in the best shape of my life. That's not really that big a goal to set because I've never really done any organized sport or been the type to workout. The drawback to this situation is that I don't know what sort of physical activity I like to do. And also I've got two kids, and a husband that's either out of town or in a sub-internship. So what do I do that could actually work long term that I enjoy? What time commitment am I going to have to sacrifice to get this goal going? I'm not sure, but I do want to do something.

So there they are. My Resolutions.

PS. Also, Dan left this morning for another round of interviews including Utah, Seattle, and Fresno. Everyone think positive thought tomorrow for him.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Change Of Plans

I had great plans for productivity today. I was going to get out and go grocery shopping first thing in the morning and clean and organize all day long. I have so many projects on the precipice of being done that I think if I work hard today I will be able to check of so many boxes on the list that I never wrote down in the first place.

I woke up this morning excited and got to snuggle with the kids. Then we went downstairs to breakfast while Dan got to sleep in a little. After I was done eating breakfast I thought I would unload the dishwasher while the kids finished eating. I was all proud of my productive self.

That is until I found the mouse poop! YUCK. So I spent the "first thing" hour and a half seeking out and cleaning any area that had mouse poop. Luckily the mice did not get to the pantry. Now I'm going to be lucky if I can get everything together and in the right direction to get to the grocery store before the time that Greg would fall asleep in the car before a nap.

It seems like my plans never quite work out how I thought.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

I Guess It's Time We Moved

Did anyone catch the weird weather in the Midwest on New Year's Eve? I had called my mom that morning and was sort of bragging about how even though it's December our weather was a balmy 62 degrees. As it turns out I think I would take snow, lots of snow, over 62 degrees in the end of December. Do you know what happens when that warm air mixes with the cold moist air?

Tornadoes. Lots of them.

I was at the Schnuck's parking lot when the tornado siren went off. It shares the lot with the fire station, which is where the siren is located. It was so loud I couldn't even understand what it said. And this part is where I know I've lived in St. Louis for too long. After hearing it go off a couple of times I thought, "ehh, I'll probably have enough time to finish my grocery shopping."

I finished the shopping and then came home and brought the groceries in just as the wind was really picking up and drops started to come down. If this had been three years ago I would have already been in the basement for half an hour. But since living here three years I've noticed that they have that siren even if the tornadoes aren't even close.

Even with the callous that had been worn into me I decided to turn on the TV and take a peak at the projected path of the storm. I wasn't really going to head to the basement. With that curiosity in me I saw the meteorologist say that a few tornadoes had touched down just south and west of the city. The vector path was heading directly for our neighborhood!

I realized I wasn't that seasoned I guess because we gathered ourselves together and brought Suzie to the basement while the rain came down and the tornado path moved through. We weren't in the basement for that long though because Charlotte was bumed we didn't break out the granola bars or the weather radio.

No tornado hit us or our neighbors, but you know it's a big one when it has it's own wikipedia page.

Happy New Year!