Saturday, August 29, 2009

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

True Confessions of the Mommy Variety...

I am married to a wonderful man who often travels for work. This gets interesting with three children that we homeschool. They say confession is good for the soul, so here goes.

  1. If you knock on my door at 4pm, I will probably be in my pajama pants and a tshirt. You might think to yourself "oh look, ready for bed early tonight?". But the truth would be that unless we have plans, I never make it out of pajamas. I have been known to shower, and put on a clean pair of pjs in the morning. Someone should start a movement for wearing pajama pants in public, they're hello kitty and they're comfy.. why not? Hello fashion.
  2. When Brian is out of town, I let the kids complete their hygiene routines unsupervised... Yeah, I know cavities, but these are baby teeth after all .. right? Honestly, I try not to think about it too much so I don't overwhelm myself with mommy guilt.
  3. Sometimes when I hear the kids going through the house calling "Mooooommmmmy", I don't answer... if it has been a really bad day sometimes I hide.
  4. Even though nutrition, and natural foods are important to me, on a desperate day, I say a little prayer of thanks for Happy Meals. We don't even bother with the milk and apple dippers, we head straight for the soda and french fries. Sometimes I ask myself if its wrong to have a cheeseburger happy meal for lunch, and a chicken nugget happy meal for dinner? I mean, there is at least some variety.
  5. Later in life my children are going to think I had horrible intestinal illnesses. I have been known to lock myself into my bathroom to catch a few minutes of peace on a truly difficult day.
  6. I'm a flylady drop out. I decided that whomever said "cleaning the house with small children at home is like shoveling the walk while it is still snowing" was an absolute genius.
  7. I strategically take pictures for my blog so that you can't see the mess. The zoom function is my friend and hopefully the adorable children distract they eye.
  8. When some of our pets like the fish and the mice kicked the bucket I was secretly very, very happy. The children were devastated. I hid it well, but inside I was gleeful. Its hard to look properly somber at a fish funeral when you are that happy.
  9. We don't recycle cans,bottles or paper, I have the best of intentions but I can't keep track of which day I put out the little red recycling box. So I usually end up just popping it into the trash container. I can make my own bio friendly laundry detergent, but can't remember which day is recycling day.
  10. My husband staged an intervention and begged me to stop renting any movies from the "red box" machines. I have trouble remembering to return them.... for weeks.... and then we pay $30 for the movie I didn't like enough to buy for $20 in the first place. If you ever want to watch a mediocre movie, call me first, I might have it. Now we do netflix=no fines. We don't even want to talk about the library and the fines.
Don't get me wrong, it is a crazy life.. But I love every second of it and it all seems to be passing by too quickly.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Bold new Idea... The Coppock Family Unplugged

Every once in a while I get this idea that we should totally unplug, go off the grid, homestead in a little teepee and live like Mary and Laura in little house on the Prairie. I told Brian that sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong era. He gently reminded me how fond I am of indoor plumbing, electricity and how attached (huge understatement) I am to air conditioning. Plus, the dishwasher and washing machine work via electricity, and I can barely keep up with them automated, I can't even imagine pulling out the old washer board and trying to keep up. Frankly, he is right, I can't even camp, I am a total prissy cake.

But there is a charm in a simpler life, one that doesn't include electricity .. the little chats, reading a good book in a corner, sewing and cooking, knitting and embroidery, puzzles and board games. Paperdolls, like the ones the girls are playing with in the picture. I like that slower pace. I like not feeling as though we are all one decibel or megahertz away from sensory overload. With the idiot box always on, the house just seems so loud. Because of course the kids have to speak to each other over the tv.

Ideally, I want to be the family that doesn't own a TV, a phone, or a computer at all. I know, the horror. My children totally agree with you to be sure. Although that is what I would want, at the same time, I just don't think that its realistic. Half of my school ideas, sewing patterns, and recipes come online. Its a huge help. Brian's work depends on it. I couldn't hang on to a slip of paper to save my soul, so I lean on my computer for all my documents and pictures, and my blog. Its like a robotic memory. Plus, its a crutch, I use facebook and my blog to keep up with friends and family.

However, I think each thing should have a time and a place. I would like to reap all the benefits of the technology, without it overtaking our lives. I do want to unplug our TV during the day. Its just a time sink. As Kevin Costner might say (if he was super cheesy) "If its on, they will watch it". But if its off, they are forced to use their imagination, or their creativity to create fun. So I think I want to have the TV off until 4pm each day. I should probably buy some riot gear and tear gas for when I break it to the kids....

**update: we are two days of no tv until 4pm. Today it is 4:14pm and no one has even asked to turn on the TV. Its spookily quiet with everyone drawing at the kitchen table.

God has a purpose for me....

Our devotional this morning was really fun. We have been using a veggie tales devotional book and the theme for this morning was God's purpose. But I really liked the way that they presented the material, the devotional was focused on how the things that you do can make the people around you feel. They concentrated on telling other people about the nice things you think about them. One of the exercises was to think about each member of your family and say one nice thing you think about them, and then you were supposed to tell a nice thing about yourself. Funny how that is always the hardest part isn't it?

This pic is a snapshot of the huge hugs that went around as we all gave our compliments.

Emma's List
Daddy: is funny
Mom: plans lots of fun
Chloe: loveable and loyal
John: is full of good ideas***
Emma: Sweet and Understanding

Chloe's List
Daddy: Helps us solve problems
Mommy: Takes care of us
John: Comforts me at night (they share a room)
Emma: is Understanding
Chloe: Loyal and Spunky

We realized at the end of this how important it is not just to think it, but to take the time to say it outloud or write it down. We decided as a family to create an "interfamily mail delivery system" so that we can pass notes to each other each day.

*** Yeah, so lately John and Emma have been some kind of naughty destruction force trying to force me right over the edge! Last night John was egged on to take a leak on mom and dad's bed... YIKES! So while Emma sees that as a blessing in her life, Mom might have a different notion of that.

Check out what we did in school today:
preschool today
Narnia dinner

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sew Nerdy

So I started sewing because it was so hard to find cute, affordable, non hoochie momma clothes that would fit my little girl who was super tall and super thin. Maybe I shouldn't have started this. Now I am just good enough for it to be feasible for me to do it, and it makes it harder to purchase retail clothes. Sigh, see that stack in the back of the photo, yeah, that's my "to sew this week" pile. I need at least three more hours in a day to make this happen.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Boyhood in Bloom

Today we did a totally impromptu play date with some friends. It was awesome. John has been experiencing what can only be described as the full flush of his boyhood blooming. Up until recently, he was a bit androgynous. Yeah, he played with trucks, but he would also dress up like a princess with the girls. (PS, John, if you are reading this when you are older... you totally loved it and it doesn't qualify as abuse).

Suddenly, really just over the past few months, we have been in the midst of a pink-hating, chest beating, yelling, plastic gun toting, "I live to annoy my sisters and make them scream", crotch scratching, mom ignoring man fest.

You can imagine how well this has fit into homeschooling. I have a huge resource pool to pull from parenting the girls.... with boys, not so much. I got some great advice from my friend, Terra. She is the mom of three very manly men. And she gave some great advice, mostly it was to treat him like a little man. Try to use charm and subtlety to bend him to my ways and LOTS and LOTS of physical playtime before we ask him to sit still. Guess what? it worked, look who joined us for schooltime today?

We went over to the splashpad and then over to her house this morning, and John cheered when he heard where we were heading. Her place is a little boy wonderland! When we had to leave, he cried.. lol. Clearly, I need to invest in a bit more hardcore boy stuff.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Cute Hyacinth Paper Flowers

We decided to tackle this craft today. The girls loved it. I loved it too. We made about seven of them and put them into one of my vases. THAT made it super special. They really are pretty, I am hoping we can keep them water free for a very long time. Both girls loved looking at the centerpiece they made. John didn't join us for this, he is on a craft/school strike.

Emma told me, "Mom, these are the perfect flowers for you, you can't kill them. Maybe you can practice with these."

Gee, thanks kid....

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sew Nerdy

I am so thrilled with this pattern. I have this problem with sewing (and other things in life) where if I see the finished project I can work backwards from there. However, if you give me all the pieces and a set of directions, I am SO LOST. This alone is the reason my husband has had to put together all of our IKEA furniture.

Many of the patterns I pick up are almost too detailed. Its like those directions from google maps that say "Make a slight right" except you aren't really turning at all, they are just overly detailed. I get lost every time with those.

Most of what I have sewn, I did by making my own patterns. However, I swooned over this one by Kwiksew, and rightly so. I felt like Dora at the end, I wanted to sing the "We did it!" song. It was awesome, just the right amount of instruction.

Unfortunately, it inspired me to buy a bunch more fabric, so now I have a bunch of dresses to make. The girls want to be "twins".

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

I thought boys were made of snails, snakes and puppy tails.... not needles and emergency rooms

I usually don't believe God makes mistakes... but I might not be cut out for mothering boys....

This is part two of yesterday's post. Because I had only managed three hours of sleep the night before, Brian told me to go and lay down for a bit before dinner. I was just about to nod off when I heard John crying and Brian's voice. Maybe it was maternal instinct, but I knew something was wrong. I came out to John bleeding from a deep slice in his finger right through a big washcloth. Thank God Brian had it all under control cause as I mentioned in my previous post, I am not good at managing my emotions when I haven't had sleep. True to form, I sank down crying against the cabinet and generally made myself completely useless.

Just two months ago John had stitches in his forehead, and the doctor wasn't careful to make sure he was numb before he started sewing. So John, who realized that this was probably going to require stitches, was hysterical. We couldn't talk to him at all. By now, I collected myself up off the floor and started trying to locate our nearest urgent care clinic.

When we got there, the doctor gave us the good news that he could use the glue, and John had missed severing his tendon. So, a MUCH relieved John even managed to smile for crazy mommy and her ever present camera. Nothing says lovin' than your mother documenting all your ER visits.

Here he is all wrapped up!

The girls were so worried about John, but were kinda glad they came along when I pulled the organic lollipops out of my purse for everyone to celebrate John's good health!

I of course went home to clean the crime scene up. John spent some time in the bathroom trying to "fix" himself and, well, it looked like a murder had taken place in there. I still haven't managed to get all the blood out of the carpet.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Palm Beach

Today started off with a thud. I only got 3 hours of sleep the night before, and I knew I was going to struggle. I am not a person who can "get by" on that kind of sleep. On three hours of sleep I am easily startled, a little grumpy, and scatterbrained. But I figured we were headed to the beach for the morning with friends, and I had plans to attend a babyshower I was really looking forward to that evening, so I inhaled a couple of coffees and a TON of diet coke. Really, cut me and I bled diet coke today. We did have a blast at Palm Beach, and here are a ton of pictures... but our day took a completely unexpected turn after palm beach, I will have to blog about that tomorrow, because tonight, I need SLEEP. Brian, don't you dare snore tonight!!!