Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

This was the third picture taken and the first one all three were looking at the camera.  I think Fritter has run out of smiles.  How did anyone survive without a digital camera way back in the day?  :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Inspiration on Display

This morning I loaded all three kiddos into the van and headed bravely out into the world to find Halloween costumes.  We started at Goodwill and I had the idea of The Incredibles for our family.  Elastigirl?  I could totally pull that off!  :)

When I didn't find even one piece for our costumes, we loaded everyone back up into the van and headed to Walmart.  After what seemed like hours of walking through their Halloween aisles, and shielding eyes when I needed to, (does anyone else find the Halloween aisles to be nothing short of scandalous?) I still had...nothing.

So we started walking back towards the food, defeated, when I noticed a scarecrow on display.  My brain starting whirring and clicking, and before I knew it, we were walking out of the store with the makings of one scarecrow and a couple of rag doll costumes.  What's even better is that I managed to make it so the minor clothes I bought will be incorporated into the kids' winter wardrobes.  Score!  I'm still not sure how it's all going to come together, but it will. 

Any tips on how to make Raggedy Ann hair with a ball of red yarn?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Poor Babies!

Fritter has come down with quite the sickness this past week.  He looks miserable, he sounds miserable, and basically he is miserable.  I've been doing what I can to keep him comfortable, but he's an almost 5 year old boy, and keeping him still on the couch is next to impossible.  I fear this one is going to be a doozy.

Ladybug started coughing this morning, and has already woken several times tonight coughing and crying.

I moved Sunflower back into our room tonight until this virus passes.  She may find herself on quarantine until cold and flu season passes.  The dreaded RSV season is upon us, and I'm not looking forward to it. 

I'm consoling myself with the fact that it just means we don't really have to go anywhere.  I was starting to get overwhelmed with all I needed to accomplish anyway.  For now, the house is a mess, but I'm keeping the laundry going.  All preschool stuff has been set aside except for impromptu activities to help keep Fritter and Ladybug still (or at least mostly).  We are filling our days with stories, TV (unfortunately too much), and orange juice.

My poor babies!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

All Things Through Christ

Often when I'm cleaning up my kitchen in the evenings, I glance out the window over my sink. The curtains there are usually left open, because that window is my connection to the outside world. It overlooks my backyard, but what's more, it looks directly into the kitchen window of the neighbor behind us. Many times, I've noticed, the mom of that particular house and I will be cleaning our kitchens (or getting dinner ready, or whatever) at the same time. She is bent over her sink, I am bent over my sink, and together we are doing what mothers for centuries have done. Serving our families. Funny enough, I've caught her glancing my way a time or two as well, and I wonder if she notices the same thing. At least, it must not bother her that we see each other doing our chores, because she never does close the curtains of her window.

I don't know much about those particular neighbors. We've only spoken to them twice. Once when their dog jumped into our yard, and another time when Fritter kicked a ball into theirs. I do know her children are older than mine, and I think she works outside of the home. And I couldn't even begin to tell you their religion (or lack thereof). But in the end, we are both mothers. It makes me think of the connection I have with mothers the world over. Even if a mom works outside of the home on some fantastic project that seems to have so much meaning and bearing in the world, I believe that she still finds herself sweeping floors, washing dishes, and being loving even when she doesn't feel like it. Doing things that sometimes seem to have no meaning whatsoever.

I didn't realize it until tonight, but feeling that connection as a mother with other mothers is important to me. Seeing that I'm not the only mother that fails and then keeps trying. I'm not the only mother sweeping the floor at 8 o'clock when I'd rather be in bed. Seeing that my children really are just kids and striving for perfection for them is not only unrealistic, but can be harsh and unmotivating. Of course it's important to have standards, mine just happen to be sky high. And in this way, I not only set them up for failure, but myself as well. Which brings me to my next point.

Monday was a very bad day, and Monday night was a very bad night. I yelled, I cried, and I fought tears most of the day. I felt inadequate, I felt that nothing that I do makes much of a difference. I was tired and my negative thoughts got the best of me. It didn't help that nothing went as planned and my dear husband has been working almost 12 hours a day. Every. Single. Day. I was being selfish and could think of nothing but myself (and how imperfect I am). Tuesday found a better me, after a night's sleep (I won't say good, I'm still nursing at night, you know how it is), but those nagging thoughts continued to haunt me into today. I wondered what God was thinking when he gave me my precious children. Me? When I'm so imperfect? What business do I have raising children?

And then this evening my husband asked if I ever read Little Catholic Bubble. I said I do, but hadn't had time recently to catch up on it. He (providentially?) stumbled upon her newest post Why I Never Should Have Had Eight Children.
When I was a happy mother of four, seriously considering and deeply desiring another child, an odd feeling overcame me. Over several days, my excitement at the idea of a new little soul became mixed with feelings of discouragement and fear. It began to dawn on me that I was barely good enough "mommy material" for the four treasures I already had, and that any further parenting would be irresponsible. It came to a head one evening: I remember standing in my kitchen, full of fear and anxiety, telling myself that I had no business -- no business! -- having another baby. Not now, not ever.

All my shortcomings and sins came to the forefront of my mind, and I stood there reeling from the truth of it*:
After reading the rest of the post, I realized what I had been doing to myself (and what lies I had allowed the devil to tell me about myself). None of us is perfect. Many of us fail time and time again. But we were given this vocation of motherhood from God himself who knows all of our shortcomings. And yet he decided to entrust these precious souls to us anyway. If we stay open to His grace, allow Him to change us, and seek support and give support to others around us, we have a chance. And so do our children.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." --Philippians 4:13

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Yogurt Face

I had stepped out of the room for just a second and when I came back I saw that Ladybug decided Sunflower was hungry.  She fed her the yogurt still on the table from lunch.

 I think she likes it...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pumpkin Patch Kids

We went to the pumpkin patch today, and of course I forgot my camera.  Friends took pictures of my kids though, so at least someone will have proof we were there.  The kids loved the hayride, decorating their pumpkins, the maze, and the bounce houses.  But the highlight of the trip?  The one thing they can't stop talking about, including at the lunch table?

Ladybug:  Mom, why did that cow poop in the grass?  He needs to use the toilet.  I use the toilet.  I don't poop in the grass.

Mom:  Mmm-hmmm.  Weren't the baby pigs so cute?

Fritter:  Yeah!  But that cow made a cow patty!  Mom, what's a cow patty?

Mom:  Hmm?  Well...

Ladybug:  Mom!  The cow pooped in the grass!

And of course Fritter thinks this is the funniest thing in the world.  I think Ladybug was just scandalized that the cow didn't have the decency to use the bathroom.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Recent Projects

Actually one is not quite as recent, I made it soon after we got home from our trip to Wyoming.

My dear husband replaced our front door a few months ago, and when he did, he also replaced the window next to it.  It used to be an orangey plastic thing that did nothing to keep the heat out or the cold in, or add security to us in any way.  So we went with a double paned clear security glass for the window.  We were amazed (and pleased) with how much light it let in, but it also let anyone who walked by an unobscured view into our home. 

I searched high and low for a few weeks for a curtain for the window, and I knew in my head what I wanted.  I knew I didn't want to pay the money for anything new, but the thrift stores just didn't have what I was looking for.  So I decided to make one.  I found this wonderful lace in a thrift shop in Wyoming (the same place I found the book).  The problem was, the lace was not quite long enough to cover the window.  What to do?  I had some white satiny material left over from the bridesmaid dresses from our wedding, and decided it would be perfect.  A little on top, a little on bottom, and wallah! A new curtain!

The other project I have completed recently (do you ever find that you have tons of projects but very few actually make it to completion?) was one that I found in our preschool curriculum, which I adapted.  We found a few Fall leaves from a walk (it's Arizona, we really had to look for Fall leaves!), shaved a few crayons for extra color, put it all between two pieces of wax paper and ironed it.  Then I cut them out, and taped around the edges.  I wish my tape had been a different color, maybe yellow, but I went with what we had.

The original idea suggested taping them to the window, but I got inspired to create something else.  The tops are cottage cheese lids, and I tied all the yarn on top of the lid to the circle from a bubble wand which then hangs from a hook in the ceiling.

The result?  Two Autumn mobiles for Fritter's and the girls' rooms.

Next up, throw pillows, updating my Bum Genius diapers and napkin rings.  AND I'm working on painting the kitchen and redoing the kitchen chairs.  Busy, busy!