Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Can I Just...

...brag about my little boy for a minute? You don't mind? Good. We are leaving for our trip to Wyoming on Friday, so today was all about running those last minute errands. I had library books to return, Fritter needed a haircut, I needed my eyebrows done, there were a few things I needed to pick up at the second hand store, AND I had to get to the grocery store for our trip food (we're driving and don't want to survive off McDonald's).

I was a little nervous taking Fritter to get his hair cut. We've been dealing with some terrible twos around here lately, and I prepared myself for a Fritter Total Meltdown. Before going into the salon, I told Fritter what was going to happen. He said, "No! I am not getting my hair cut, Mama!" *sigh* In we went.

As we were checking in, he spied suckers at the counter, and I told him that if he was a good boy, he could have one after his haircut. (In my book, bribery is fair game.) Amazingly, he agreed. While waiting, he quietly playing with a toy. And then it was his turn. He bravely went to the chair, sat down, and stayed perfectly still while he got his hair cut. As promised he also got a sucker. Then it was my turn, and again, he sat like a perfect angel. He even chatted it up with the other hair stylest and some customers. The lady doing my eyebrows sighed and said, "I can't wait to have kids." ;-)

We were gone all morning, and still Fritter was well behaved. Hey, maybe that consistency thing is paying off! Or maybe today is just an off day for him. Either way, I'll take it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

We Have A Crawler

As usual, this is a little late, by about a week, but Ladybug is officially crawling. Amazingly, I also have caught her trying to pull herself up on things too. I told her she's not allowed to grow so fast, but she's not listening.

Pictures of the Day

"Here Kitty, Kitty!"

Messy carrot face.
Eating his veggies.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Prayer For Today

Let nothing disturb you,

let nothing frighten you,

all things pass away:

God never changes.

-St. Teresa of Avila

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Value of a Timer

I am starting to find the value of a timer. I am tweaking my MROL again, trying to really make it work for us. I am finding that I have high expectations, which tend to contribute to my sense of being overwhelmed and a general loss of temper. Those expectations need to be lowered, but that is easier said than done.

So, to start with, my day no longer depends on what time we get up in the morning, and how long I have before Fritter wakes up. This doesn't work for us, because whatever time I plan on waking up, Fritter will wake up 1/2 hour before me. If I'm depending on that time alone to get my day off on the right foot, I will always end up walking on the wrong foot. ;-)

So my plan has changed a little. After breakfast and sending my dear husband off to work, I sit down with my planner and figure out what needs to be done. For example, today I needed to get the main floors swept and Ladybug's floors swept and mopped. This would be done with 1/2 hour set on my timer and Fritter playing outside while Ladybug napped. I also needed to get the dust bunnies out from under our bed, the front room windows cleaned, and the furnace vents cleaned. 1/2 set on the timer, and Fritter playing in his room while Ladybug napped. Morning cleanup including changing sheets today, with 1/2 set on the timer, and Fritter playing at the table while Ladybug napped. (Ladybug naps a lot.) I say my Rosary along with Rosary Army on my iPod during this time.

In between each of those times, I'm making sure that I do an activity with Fritter and Ladybug, and they get my full attention. I've done this all this week, and it seems to be working. My chores are done before 11, giving us plenty of time to play or run errands or whatever before afternoon naps. During naps, I plan a 15 minute organizing project, and free time for me. Some days this means a nap for me, and other days it means reading a book or whatever strikes my fancy. After naps, I've decided that no routine is the best routine for us, besides getting dinner on the table and the bedtime routine. This leaves time for us to swim or read or play or whatever, and I'm not left feeling guilty about a messy house.

The timer holds me accountable, because I'm working to stay on task instead of getting sidetracked on other projects or cleaning. Also, I don't spend my whole morning cleaning, without spending time with the kids. So far, laundry is the thing that keeps getting put off, and it takes me at least two days to get it folded and put away. But the timer thing is working.

Each day, I just put on a pretty apron (like the one I won at the Bloggy Giveaways Carnival and forgot to blog about) and clip my timer to it. I'm also not being really rigid with it, which helps. If the timer goes off before I'm done with whatever task, I'll just add a few more minutes. The important thing is that I'm keeping track of the time and the task at hand. Do you do anything to keep you on track with housework?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Twitter and Faith & Family Connect

I'm diving into the world of Twitter. Who knew it could be so fun? And I also have a profile on Faith & Family Connect. Way better than Myspace or Facebook. ;-) I'm guessing that's why the blogosphere has been so quiet the past couple of days. This seems like such a great way to connect with the other mom bloggers. How about you? Are you on Twitter or Faith & Family Connect?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Camping Trip (A Little Late)

Looking through pictures today, I realized that I never blogged about our camping trip from a few weeks ago. Late is better than never, though, so here goes.

Hubby and I had talked about the logistics of having the four of us sleeping in the tent. For those of you who have your baby sleep in bed with you, I suppose this would have been a non-issue, but I have always been petrified of rolling on the baby, or suffocating the baby, ect., ect., so we've never done it. I've always just had the kids in the crib in our room. So for this trip, we decided we would put Ladybug in a laundry basket (made snuggly, of course), and Fritter would sleep in his own sleeping bag. The basket seemed like a great idea, but Ladybug was a little long for it.

We decided to go for it anyway, as I didn't see any other option. It worked out fine. At first.

The weather took a rotten turn, and dumped rain most of that first day. Fritter went through all of the clothes that I brought him, and Ladybug spent most of her time in the tent. It was cold, especially for us coming from 90 degrees. Thankfully, the rain did eventually stop, and the kids were so tired that when we put the two of them to bed, they both fell asleep right away. Hubby and I enjoyed our S'mores in peace.

When we went to bed, we thought the worst was over. However, it was a cold night (that happens at 9500 ft. when it's been raining for three days straight) and Ladybug woke up around 11. After nursing her and warming her up, I bundled her and put her back in the basket, but she just cried and cried. After trying everything I could think of to calm her down (I could not figure out what was wrong with her), her little hat accidentally fell off. She stopped crying immediately. It seems the hat was a little too small and she didn't like it. But it was cold, and she doesn't have much hair to keep her head warm, so I had to come up with something different.

I bundled her next to me, and made a little papoose-like-thing for her out of the blankets. She finally slept, but I didn't sleep much at all. I was so worried about the blanket being over her head, and though there was enough space for her to breath and get fresh air, I still worried. (I sound like a first time mom, huh? ;-) ) Eventually I did sleep, but very lightly.

The next morning was beautiful, with no sign of rain. We took a small hike next to the creek that went through camp.

Here's a great picture of Fritter, doing his Fritter thing.

Ladybug and I hiking.

A closer look at the sleepy head.

The family.

We did head home a little earlier than we had planned, but DH and I were so tired that we were happy with that decision.

We learned a few things on that trip. We are going home to Wyoming for the Fourth of July, and will be taking a camping trip to the family's cabin. While we may not be sleeping in our tent (although we may), I will be bringing plenty of blankets this time. And I am going to try to find one of those sleeping bag sleepers for Ladybug, with a hat that fits her. ;-)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Little Things

So, I haven't blogged in over a week. Wow. Sorry about that. Things have been...normal. And busy, all at the same time. What have I been doing? Well, I couldn't really say, except my husband and kids seem to be happy, so must be doing something. You know how it goes, right?

So many times, my day will go by and when I look back and ask myself what exactly it was that I did, I don't come up with anything specific. How do you tell someone that you have swept the floor twice, folded and put away three loads of laundry, cleaned two bathrooms, emptied and reloaded a dishwasher, read 5 books, played with playdough, kicked the ball, drank a cup of tea, ect., ect.? That's how it's been lately, and you know what? It's been good.

Too often, I think I look for those big exciting things in my life, when the best things are so small, that they are mostly unremembered. Not blogworthy, really, but they do bring a certain amount of comfort, and love, and...grace into our lives. It's cliche, but true. It's the little things that count.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Weekend Project and MROL

Our new home has two very large closets in the dining room. Which is great, except they are hanging closets, and here in Arizona, we really don't need that much space to hang coats and things. So I bought very cheap shelves to put in there. Unfortunately, the shelves were too tall to fit, so my dear amazing husband cut them down to size for me. Here are the before pictures of the closets...

Nice, huh? ;-) Don't you just love the cat box, front and center?

Here are the after pictures...

My hubby thinks it's the best set-up we've ever had for our movies, and I'd have to agree with him. In our apartment, we stored the movies in the pull out drawers under our futon. We'd really have to work to watch something. Oh! And did you notice that I have a shelf all to myself to put my purse and keys down! Do you have any idea how nice that is for me?

I'm excited about our future projects. I have decided to once again jump in with flylady. At least as far as the organizing 15 minutes a day thing. I'm also going back through my Mother's Rule of Life and making it actually work for us. Before, I set it up to be how I thought things SHOULD run, not how they actually do. So it never worked for us, and I think I managed to follow it for about a week.

Now, I'm taking it slowly, revising as I go. For instance, I had set aside a block of time for putting away the laundry and also sweeping the floors. These were to be done when I first put the kids down for their afternoon nap. But, what about when I needed to put away their clothes or sweep their floors? So, those things will be moved to another part of the day that makes more sense. I'm excited about it.

Since Ladybug has been born, I have struggled with not only getting everything done, but making sure I'm spending enough time with the kids and that they are getting what they need from me. While cleaning, I would feel guilty for not playing cars with Fritter or dangling toys for Ladybug to bat at. While playing with the kids, I would feel guilty for the mess I had in the house. And at the end of the day, I would be frustrated and short tempered.

But now I have actually sat down and thought about what they need from me, and am remembering Holly's rule to be able to stop whatever I'm doing and give 100% of my attention to one of the kiddos if they need it.

It's not perfect yet, Fritter thinks he requires 100% of my attention all the time, and Ladybug is content to play quietly alone most of the time, so finding that balance is tricky. I am making sure the time spent with Fritter is quality, so when I do need to tell him it's time for him to go in his room or outside to play, that that's ok. I am also slowly coming up with activities that I can engage him in that he can play at the kitchen table while I'm cleaning in there or whatever. I now have a box of homemade playdough and tools to play with, and another box of plastic dishes in a cupboard he can get into. It's coming together, and this time I know that it won't happen overnight.