Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Toothfairies, rashes, glasses and baking......oh my!

Today was my major baking/cooking/domestic diva day, so I was looking for a little bit of peace and quiet to get my "chores done" (insert kinda scary jokeresque laughter here), like THAT was gonna happen.

Poor Chloe had a major allergic reaction today to something that led us to the pedi, who prescribed a steriod cream, go figure? not many pharmacies on this side of town stock them, we did a bit of driving.. which really doesn't mix with baking at all. Then we tried to locate a rentable copy of "tinkerbelle" for her to recoup with, but I couldn't find one. The best laid plans of mice and moms.....

We picked up John's glasses today. He only needs them for reading, but seriously, I could just eat him up with a spoon in those!

Emma lost her Front tooth to her lollipop!!! Ironically without ever taking the lollipop out of her mouth. She was SO excited and really, so was I. I have only gotten to play tooth fairy once. Now, my kids understand who the tooth fairy is, I had a bad experience with Santa, and didn't want to leave room for that. But that almost makes it more fun, and more challenging. They know its a game we play where we all pretend. I went all out this time with fairy dust and everything!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happy Tiwes dæg

Or better known as Tuesday by those of us who don't speak Old English...

Random facts about Tuesday....

Tiwes dæg, named after the Nordic god Tyr, who was the equivalent of the Roman war god Mars, and Greek god Ares.

In the Eastern Orthodox Church. Tuesdays are dedicated to Saint John the Baptist.

In the Greek world, Tuesday (the day of the week of the Fall of Constantinople) is considered an unlucky day. In Judaism, on the other hand, Tuesday is considered a particularly lucky day, because in the first chapter of Genesis the paragraph about this day contains the phrase "it was good" twice.

For me, Tuesday was Sewing day, so it doesn't leave me much to blog about. "As the seam rips" wouldn't make a good soap opera. It was productive, I love being free to sew. I actually managed to have all the rooms of my house in order at the same was like the stars aligned, it was extraordinary. I mean even the closets are organized, can I get an amen? So below are a few of the projects I can't wait to finish. I love love love the hot air balloon fabric. The part on the left will the be the bodice of the dress and the cloudy part will be the bottom. I'm going to try for some accessories this time as well. I want to find a way to make a hair thingy with it to.

The girls made flags for their "kingdoms" yesterday at art that they were waving at me all day..... too cute! They also tried to make up rules for their kingdom. Not surprisingly, both of them decreed today all you can eat dessert day... princesses can be so very demanding. Lucky for them tomorrow is baking day.

Today was also an awesome school day. Emma will be beginning all her second grade work this week, which is amazing because she should only be in first grade if we had remained in public school. Chloe is about 3/4 of the way through Kindergarten, which she wouldn't even be beginning until next year. I have been so super impressed with how quickly they learn and how little time it takes us to accomplish it.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Super Plaugey Pumpkin Patches

It is a clear sign that the economic hard times are hitting everyone when your favorite lush pumpkin patch is reduced to diseased and rotting pumpkin carcasses. Or perhaps a sign of a rarely seen biblical plague?

So today we had a busy day, we did our school work, went to art class, and then decided "HEY!!!" we haven't done our yearly pictures at the pumpkin patch!" So we decided to go vote early, and take pictures.

When we got there we were looking for the perfect pumpkin. We found that most of them, probably from all the rain and heat were on their very last legs, some of them had been reduced to slime already. So Brian found us one good side of a pumpkin, (the other side you don't want to know about, that happy look on John's face is because he discovered all the bugs in the back of it). "Come children, huddle around the good side of the one lone pumpkin".

So we found a new mission, to find the grosses, ickiest, most disgusting pumpkin we could to take a pictures with... Clearly from the pictures we had many candidates to choose from :).

For the kids this was the best visit to the pumpkin patch EVER! It pretty much hit all their cool points: It was gross, Mommy squealed and shrieked for them not to touch it or step in it, or wipe it on your dress, and there were bugs, oh and did I mention the lovely aroma of rotting pumpkin? So in the end we decided that when life gives you rotting pumpkins, make pumpkinade.... OR roll with it, and whatever you do don't lose your head Ichabod! (okay sorry, pumpkins just leave so much room for candy corney puns),

Update: At the end of all this fun, Emma's teeth connected with Chloe's head. Hey guess what? Chloe's head won! Another fun family memory, can this day get any better??? So, if you go to the same pediatrician we do, we may be seeing you in the am!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Murphy's Law for Mothers

Murphy's Law: If you take your normally gregarious, flirty, chatty, active, wiggly children into church or a movie they will not be able to contain themselves. However, if you take them somewhere and say "go for it, be yourselves, dance, sing, twirl....." they will sit down calmly with their hands folded for hours on end.

Today we went and participated with The Feel Alive Project . It was really very fun, and we plan to do it regularly. I don't think we added much today, but I hope we will in the future. I hadn't had the time to prepare the kids enough in advance, so they were a little shy today at first, although they did warm up right at the end. However, the whole way home they were dreaming up what they want to do and perform for next month. I had to explain twice that high wire walking wasn't practical. (can you tell we recently rented cirque de soliel?). Tomorrow we start narrowing it down and practicing.

This is really our most important adventure for this year, volunteerism. It has been so hard to find "hands on" volunteer opportunities for the family to do together. I mean, yes, we have always dropped off toys for tots, we have made blankets for Project Linus , cards for soldiers in Iraq, or turkey dinners and such; But there hasn't been an way for the kids to really SEE and interact with people. Its a more personal sort of giving. So I am very grateful to have found this project. Once we get over the inital shyness I think it will be a very good fit.

All of this is so important to me because I think volunteering shaped alot of my character, world views and really has alot to do with who I am today. I was raised in a family that jumped at the opportunity to volunteer (thanks mom and dad). We fed the homeless at St John's Church downtown each week, and it seemed like we always had someone living at our house for one reason or another. My parents taught me charity as a very casual, normal part of life. Isn't everyone supposed to be doing something to leave the world a little better than they found it? All of these opportunities also taught me something else, that we are a whole lot more alike than we are different. I think alot of people take comfort in seeing people as "other" and not like them. But we are all just a few decades away from being elderly, a few wrong turns and any of us could need help or a home.

Charity doesn't just run one way either. I got, and still get just as much out of helping others as whatever it is I am bringing to the table. I learned more about myself good and bad through giving of myself. As a kid, I understood how lucky I was, I had seen real poverty both here in the US and abroad (we did missions trips). I remember feeling very lucky and almost guilty at times for what we had when I saw what others lacked. Don't get me wrong, I was a pretty normal kid, and I could open a can of pout over blue jeans. But I had this as a reference point.

I want my kids to have these same advantages. And more than my selfish desires for them, I feel that I wouldn't be doing my job as a parent if I didn't instill in my children a sense of service to their fellow man, love for the entire rest of the world, and social justice.

Okay this last part is my personal rant..... avert your eyes.....
The only thing I ever saw in volunteering that I didn't like was when certain organizations would come in to feed the homeless and hungry, but would make them listen to a sermon BEFORE they would feed them. That bothered me. If you are hungry and I have food, Im going to give it to you. Whether you want to listen to me chatter or not, regardless of whether we are the same relgion or you want to convert, I will feed you because you are another human being on this rock with me and I have the means to feed you. I just think it is a moral obligation. Plus, I mean, if your sermonizing is so lacking that you have to hold hungry people hostage to listen to you..... perhaps you should take a class or something, to make you more interesting. Just a thought......

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Air Show

We went to the Air Show today and had a BLAST!!!! It was well worth the time. We scored some discounted tickets and it was a last minute decision, but I was glad we went. Emma wore her dress I made and sunbonnet, and the pictures crack me up. Its like Holly Hobbie went all commando. Its so funny I have more people stop me to ask where I got that sunbonnet, it is sooo cute, but it is also way shadier than a normal hat is. John had a FABULOUS time! We spent the whole day there, and he has of course decided now that he would like to be a pilot, and instead of a remote control dinosaur for christmas, could we please get him a helicopter? Its only fair since the girls are convinced they are getting ponies. We are trying to make sure that we do more "guy themed" events. I am not quite ready for the monster truck hauls, but maybe I will get there by next year.

Kids are so funny, we take them to see these amazing planes, and what was the girls favorite part of the day, ..... the frozen lemonade! Brian liked the jet planes, but I liked the warbirds and the stunt pilot. John liked it all. He even asked to go back again tomorrow.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I think that in my life right now, I am so completely content in my marriage, with the children, homeschooling them and generally with the current state of things. I am satisfied with the way things are, I just enjoy being. I almost used the word "happy", but it is just too transient of a state. Being happy will come and go, and being content doesn't mean there aren't ever any struggles, but overall, I am content. I find myself lately in a very peaceful state.

It could be my age, when I look back, it seems like during my twenties I was always "striving" for something, I had "ambitions" and that was really the focus of my energy. At the same time, there were a bunch of changes during my twenties, going to college, getting married, having children, there was a huge period of adjustment with every change. It could be the natural order of things, I mean, things have settled down quite a bit for me, my kids are older and its all less frenetic. I also notice that during my twenties I was influenced by what other people thought of me, by societies expectations, I was influenced by external forces. Now don't mistake what I am saying, I have always been a free thinker and my own person, but those external forces doesn't hold much sway over me at all now.

When I first began staying home with the kids, I felt like I needed to offer an explanation for it. "oh well, we couldn't afford the daycare for three kids, we wouldn't make any money, if we could I would have a job in a heartbeat!". That wasn't true at all, I wouldn't ever make that choice unless I was forced to. I know myself well enough to know that my priorities fall in different places, and I would really suck at making the hard choices that would entail. (Which again, to be politically correct doesn't mean that is the case for each mom). There is a certain amount of weirdness involved in being a stay at home mom when it come to filling out forms. You get the general impression that people might think you are a slacker. And you get alot of "woman power" lectures in college that really don't ever revolve around a woman nurturing and taking care of her family, that has somehow become a "less than" role, its always about a woman going out and working and making some amazing contribution. But I think the contributions of Moms who nurture their children and do an incredibly awesome job of it have been underestimate and grossly overlooked. It is seen as a backwards choice, as some sort of a crime against womanhood. Being a homemaker clearly doesn't make you any money. And I am not advocating that every Mom should be a stay at home mom, I have a great deal of respect for moms who work. I don't believe that every woman should make the same choice I do, I just don't think that either choice should be disrespected.

I really enjoy being a homemaker, and I make a distinction between that and a currently stay at home mom who plans to pick up her career as soon as humanly possible. Its not that either is better, but there is a shift in thinking that occurs. I see my career as being a homemaker, its not a transient state for me, even if I "moonlight" for some extra cash. My higher priority will always be my career as a homemaker. I don't' think everyone has to, or that I have chosen a morally superior way, its just what is right for me and my family. I get a tremendous amount of satisfaction from baking and preparing meals for my family, its a source of pride to me that most of what we eat is made from scratch by me. It just happens to totally float my boat. It also makes everything cheaper, but that's another source of satisfaction for me, when I am able to save our family money that would be wasted on piddly little things that we can use purposefully. Being careful with money isn't a source of shame for me, wasting money would be. We have very purposefully been removing ourselves as much as possible from the consumerism end of things. I love looking over and seeing the girls wearing clothes I made for them. I think I would be right at home in an episode of little house on the prairie (as long as they had washing machines, beating the laundry on a rock down by the river is a bit much for me).

I feel as though we have chosen a slower, less popular way of life with homeschooling, and having very traditional gender roles that probably isn't going to win me much respect, much less a Nobel peace prize (they really ought to change the standards for that though, I mean, anyone who can broker peace between siblings deserves it). But the rewards I get are much deeper, and more meaningful to me than that ever would be. I feel as though I have the opportunity to be there for everything, to nurture and teach my children, spend time building a relationship with my husband, and to make a beautiful home environment for us that really is a sanctuary and a haven that we look forward to retreating to. The things I could purchase with extra money would be forgotten quickly, but the rewards of a peaceful home life and the memories we create will last us a lifetime.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Jailbreak, and other stories

One of the women in a homeschool support group has adapted the love dare challenges for kids. So today's challenge was "Love is Kind". The challenge was to consciously make it a point to be kind to your siblings. Chloe and Emma have both really enjoyed these little devotionals and sometimes that Chloe girl just CRACKS me UP. We were at the Museum of Fine Arts for their storytime today, and Chloe opened up the door for Emma, turns to Emma and says "Hmmm, well that was nice of me. I have done 6 nice things today for you Emma. Im SOOOO beating you on kindness" LOL! I guess that is sorta what they mean by "killing them with kindness?"

Our hamster, our beloved hamster, will NOT quit breaking out of her cage. I don't think she really thinks the cat is serious. Before we left this morning for the art museum she broke out AGAIN! I fed the cat some tuna, on the theory that maybe if she has a full tummy, she won't feel the need to eat the hamster... then halfway to the museum a thought occured to me, maybe I just gave her the taste for flesh with the tuna?

I know, its been a week since I blogged and I was feeling blogger guilt. Especially when people would mention it to me :). I find the blogging really cathartic, and it gives me a sense of accomplishment to look fondly over the days as they pass, so I missed it. Part of what got in the way was a major de-cluttering and cleaning mission I was on, it got so bad, all of Brian's work papers would poaching on my side of the office.... now they sleep with the fishes, or really with all the other random papers in a box so at least I don't have to look at them anymore. I find clutter really distracting, I can't function in it. I want to borrow Martha Stewart's support staff to come and set me up for homeschooling in the morning, bake us lunch ( not bake us for lunch, but bake lunch for us), and then tidy up afterwards while I play with the kids. A girl can dream right?.......

I have also been just desperate to find some time to sew. We have had so much going on with roof repairs, and reorganizing, and continuing on with homeschooling. The sewing really is my creative outlet and it such a stress reliever for me, I can't wait to get back to it! I bought some really cool hot air balloon fabric I was going to sew for the ballunar festival, and now that they called that off because of the hurricane; if I can swing it, I'm going to sew them for this weekend at the Wings over Houston show. I'm hoping the kids like going to the wings over houston and aren't bored out of their skulls, or terrified by the noise.

This was so cute, we took the kids to Chuck E Cheese's, and Chloe wanted the same bracelet Emma had, I was so proud of Emma, she gave Chloe tickets to get the bracelet without any prompting from Brian or I. We brought our niece and nephew along with us as well!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

RenFaire 2008

We went to the renaissance fair this weekend on Sunday. It was a ton of fun, we went with some friends, and we took our niece and nephew with us. The girls dressed up as fairies, I tried to talk John into dressing up as a pirate, but he was having absolutely NONE of that. ALL of the pictures of the kids in the chain mail headbands were a result of the guy who owned the shop thinking they were just way too cute and asking them to come in so he could try them on and his wife took pictures. Yeah, its the easy way to flatter me, to compliment my kiddos. I mean, like I am going to argue??

While we are on the subject of chain mail. REALLY ladies and gents???? seriously?? If you choose to wear a chain mail bikini to the festival as your costume, don't forget your underwear that day, its not a good day for that, especially if you are not friendly with your depilatory agents. And I am really not sure why the equation seems to be that the more out of shape a person is the less likely they are to be wearing? There is no shame in wearing a belly dancing gauzy like skirt under your chain mail (with, oh, lets say your UNDERWEAR???). I think maybe they are going for a sex kitten kind of shock, but really its like horrible gruesome, accident scene shocking, and trust me, I am not even a prude. But its UNSANITARY. I mean, like, eweth.

Okay rant over, I can get back to our fun time. Im always so obsessed by the costumes, because I want to make some really cool ones for next year. Speaking of costume choices, there were tons of fun ones, I mean of course there were all the ladies in their humongous ball gowns. It was pretty warm, I felt sorta sorry for them. And there was a guy dressed as a saytr on stilts, that was way cool! And then the centaur man was there, he is there each year, basically he has a costume that is half him, and half a frame he has stretched hides on to look like a horse half. But I felt him, and I wanna know what kind of skins those are. I am hoping they aren't acutally horse.

Oh and then there was this poor woman who had on well, I think it was supposed to be a barbarian loin cloth, except it had too much bulky material around the thighs, and it was really a fake plasticy diaper. That poor girl, she was half squatting half walking because it was obviously painful, there is probably not enough baby powder in the world to make that better for weeks. I mean, it doesn't breath and its like ninety degrees.

The kids favorite part was riding the elephants, they talked about that the whole ride home. It was unanimous when I asked "okay so what was your favorite part of today?".

Chloe told me at the beginning of the day that she was NOT going to smile, no matter what I did. Of course, she and I are so much alike I made it my mission to catch her smiling LOL! I only caught her once at the very end of the day, tricky girl, she is a tricky girl.

She asked me why I say that she and I are alike, and I told her its because her grandmother always wished that I would have a little girl just like me. So at dinner, she announced that she wanted us to take her to the hospital, because she wanted the doctors to not let her have any babies. (Okay she doesn't know anything about the birds and the bees, but she knows that babies come from hospitals). Brian just lost it bursting out laughing at that. She is afraid she will get one like her!

Oh and John has decided that when he gets older he is going to live next door to me, and chloe is going to live on the other side of me, and emma will be our back yard neighbor.