Friday, July 29, 2011

Letting The (Hot) Air In

Having three little ones in the hot Arizona summer has made me realize something.  Our house stinks.  It's too hot to open windows and let it air out.  The hot sweaty air, with garbage that seems to decompose the moment it's out of the fridge, with cloth diapers that always seem to need a good washing, and a cat that's stuck inside most of the time all combine to make our actually mostly clean house into one smelly place.

So this morning I said who cares about the electric bill?  This place needs air.  I opened all the windows I was able, turned on all the bathroom fans, the kitchen fan, the one ceiling fan, and the automatic fan on the AC.  Diapers are being washed, catbox is getting scrubbed, trashcan is getting bleached. 

Alas, I know this freshness is not destined to last.  But for today, at least, we are going to bask in sweet smelling air.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Thinking About Technology

On our way home from a jaunt up north to escape the heat, the kids were restless and fussy.  It had been a long day, and they'd spent quite some time in the car.  After putting a movie in for them I had a twinge of guilt.  "It's probably good for them to be bored," I told my husband.  We both kind of shrugged this off and continued on our merry way home.

But that thought has been tickling the back of my head since.  I doubt Ma and Pa ever found themselves saying, "It's probably good for them to be bored."  It's just how it was sometimes.  There wasn't another choice.  And so, seamlessly, children before the technological era received certain benefits without their parents ever having to think about them.

I love road trips.  Staring out the window, wondering at the world, it's comforting to me.  Because we moved around so much as a child, I spent many hours of my childhood doing just that.  I can recall the sight of rolling hills and waving grasslands, tall mountains and clear lakes.  I remember playing a game with myself, bouncing the spots on the window over telephone poles.  And I read.  A lot.  Was I bored?  Maybe a little.  Did I complain and annoy my mother?  Probably a lot.  But what I received was so worth it, but hard to put my finger on because it's so intangible.

I'm convinced (although I've not read anything to support this idea) that what I read in a book is lodged in my mind much more than what I read online.  When a person is bouncing around from one page to another, there is really not too much organized thought going on.  It becomes just a bunch of pointless information.  Don't get me wrong.  There is a ton of good things to read online.  But the satisfaction that comes from finishing a book is real.  I'm never really satisfied after closing a webpage.  When I spend my leisure time on the computer, I come away feeling restless and unfulfilled.  But it is the complete opposite when I spend my leisure time with a book, even if it's just a paperback novel.

So I'm thinking about the use of technology in our family.  How sometimes it removes us from the real world, and so takes away things we may not even know are being taken away.  Talking with my husband about this last night, we decided we are going to try a little experiment.  Our TV use is already very limited (no cable, and it's rarely on unless we're watching a movie together).  Computer use is going to be limited with the use of a timer.  But the funnest experiment?  In the evenings after the kids go to bed, we are going to only use lights if we really have to, and rely on candles to light our discussions and time together.  I have all these candles around anyway that never get used, and my thought is, how much better is candlelight than glaring overhead lights?

I'm not sure if we will notice any real benefit from this experiment.  But perhaps the benefits are so slight, but still important, that it will be worth it anyway.  My guess is after the transition period, we will be unwilling to go back to the way things were before.  And maybe that's a good thing.

Monday, July 25, 2011

In Which I Neglect My Own To Read Another's

It's been quiet over here.  I've been so busy reading other people's blogs, I've neglected my own.  That's how it happens sometimes.  And then I'm so impressed by all the wonderful things others have to say, I can't really think of anything to say myself.  It's all been said, it seems.  And the longer I stay away, the harder it is to come back.

So, to just ease myself back into things, I'm going to tell you where I've spent most of my computer time.  I'm sure many of you have heard of the wonderful blog Like Mother, Like Daughter?  Finish reading my post before you go to that link, because you'll be so busy reading and getting wisdom and inspiration, you won't remember to come back here.  :)

After digging through all the posts on the sidebar over there, I've started reading through the archives.  I actually clicked on all the categories I was interested in, and went through those and put all the posts I wanted to read on different tabs in Internet Explorer.  But then my husband came along and wondered why all these "things" were up on the computer slowing it down, and so he closed out all of them.  To his credit, he did apologize, though I'm sure he still wondered what in the world I was doing and why he was apologizing in the first place.

So today I did the same thing, and to my astonishment I found more that I wanted to read!  I was smart this time though.  I made myself a little folder in my favorites called "To Read" and put them all in there.  Now I can go and read at my leisure. 

So, if you need a little inspiration I highly, highly suggest subscribing to their blog.  Just don't blame me if you end up spending all your computer time there instead of facebook or your own blog!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Because I Have To Tell Someone

And I know you all care so much about my laundry...

I finally, FINALLY, got the coffee stain out of one of my husband's nice white work polos.  I had just about given up after trying everything I could think of.  And then?  I decided to look on my handy stain removal chart for coffee stains.  A little vinegar, a little bleach, and wallah!  No more stain.  Go me!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Because I Need To Laugh

I bring you Summer In Arizona jokes!

It's so hot in Arizona that...

* the birds have to use potholders to pull worms out of the ground.
* you can say 113 degrees without fainting.
* you learn that a seat belt makes a pretty good branding iron.
* you would give anything to be able to splash cold water on your face (oh how I wish what came out of the faucets was actually cold!)
* you discover that in July it takes only two fingers to drive your car.
* a sad Arizonian once prayed "I wish it would rain, not so much for me, because I've seen it, but for my seven year old."

Selected from Judy Hedding at

Babies, Babies Everywhere!

Compliments of Ladybug.

We Interrupt This Rough Day remember that these children really do know how to smile, really do love each other, and our days are not always this hard.

Catching bad guys.

You may return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Fritter came in this morning after dressing himself.  I kissed him on the forehead and said, "A handsome boy."

He kissed me on the cheek and said, "A pretty mom."

Someone needs to pick up the puddle of pretty mom on the floor.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Our Holiday In Pictures

I don't have much time to write, the children are all sleeping (again! Love it!) and I need a nap.  We were up late last night enjoying the fireworks.  So to put this post up before I forget and it gets too late, we'll do a picture post.

We found that Ladybug doesn't much like fireworks.  She spent much of yesterday like this.

We spent the afternoon at an Independence Day festival in the park.  It was tons of fun.  Fritter is our little dare-devil.  He had a blast on the giant inflatable slides.

Squeezing out.

At first Ladybug wasn't sure she liked the whole jumping-in-a-bounce-house thing.  But I got her to smile and jump anyway.

Our timid girl going down the slide.

Sunflower spent much of her time in the stroller, smiling at mom.  I spent much of my time smiling back and hiding from the sun.

There was lots of waiting in lines.

Ladybug and her balloon.

Tired Fritter and his balloon.
It was hot, we endured a sandstorm, and the kids were antsy by the time the fireworks started around 9:30.  But it was a good show.  It took us close to an hour to get out of the parking lot, but it was a peaceful hour.  All three kids fell asleep as soon as we got in the van. 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Summer in Arizona

When it's 115 outside, and 82 inside, there is no escaping the heat.  Mostly we are just trying not to move.  Or breath, or eat.  On the bright side, maybe by October I'll have sweated* off all the baby fat.  Lovely idea.

*My spell check says sweated is not a word, and I'm not sure it sounds right.  But I looked it up, so I guess it works.


We had plans to go to the festival in our downtown area yesterday.  It looked like fun, but mostly we were excited because it was free.  I'm all about free, aren't you?  My husband teases me and says if someone put their garbage on the curb and said it was free, I'd take it.  I'm not quite there, yet.  :)  Anyway, when we realized just how hot it was supposed to be, we had second thoughts.  Having a newborn in the heat just didn't sound like that much fun.  And then Fritter ran a fever most of yesterday so we were confined to the house.  I encouraged my husband to go without us and enjoy the car show.  He stayed because he didn't want to ditch me with three tired, hot, grumpy kids.  I love that man.


At the end of this month, my dear husband leaves for a two and a half week work trip.  I shouldn't complain.  It's not six weeks, and this time he'll be on this continent.  But still, no fun.  We've turned the tv off pretty much completely (with a few exceptions) but I think that rule is going out the window for half a month.  I'm preparing myself for all the extra discipline that comes with the daddy leaving, more tv, daddy coming home cycle.  And all the extra snuggles everyone seems to need.  Including myself.


After July comes August.  August is when we get to go on a very much needed family vacation home to Wyoming.  I miss my family.  We'll escape the heat.  We will need all the extra family time when my husband returns.  It's going to be good.  I cannot wait. 


When we return it will be almost September.  Summer will be nearly over.  We will venture outside once more.  Until then if you need us, we'll be either in the pool, or hiding from the sun indoors.