Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Was it worth it?

What price do you put on sanity?

I really needed to go to the grocery store yesterday. We were out of yogurt, waffles, and pretzles, and close to being out of milk, eggs, bread, apple juice, and anything to make a meal out of.

My options were:

a) Keep Austin from his nap, and take he and Annie to the store while Ellie was at school. Now, I didn't really like this option, because like all my kids have been, when the little man misses his nap, it messes him up for about 2 days. Not to mention the crankiness that would have ensued at the grocery store.

b) Have the hubs grab the essentials on his way home from work, and go to the store with the 2 youngest ones tomorrow. Ah, this would have been my pick, except that we were forcasting snow last night and today, and there was a distinct possibility that we might not have school, which would mean I'd have all three kids at the grocery store, in the snow. Which, as it turns out, we are having a snow day today!

c) Go to the store alone last night, without kids, after they were asleep. Again, normally I might have picked this option, except that I was tired, so very very tired yesterday, and American Idol was on. And yes, I have tivo, but I was already behind by one night, and I was afraid if I fell behind another night, it might have just been too much for me.

d) Go to a store with just Austin, while the girl's were at swimming lessons. Now, because of the location, and duration of swimming lessons, I had to go to a store I NEVER go to. This option meant marathon shopping, in a unfamiliar store.

Which would you pick?


Yes, me too, I picked option 'd'.


So, after dropping off the girl's at their lesson, Austin and I zoomed off to the grocery store. We had 30 minutes to get in, get the goods, and get out.


We started off fairly well, and made it through the produce section with super speed. We actually did pretty well overall, considering I wasn't too familiar with the layout of the store.


We hit some speed bumps about halfway through the store, when the pile of groceries in the cart grew high enough for Austin to reach. He delights in throwing the groceries overboard, and watching me say "No Son", and pick them up.


We reached the frozen section, which at this point in my life, has become my friend. As I reached for frozen pizzas, frozen crock-pot meals, and frozen veggies, I noticed something...the PRICES.

Now, I am not a bargain shopper. I am not a coupon clipper. I don't even watch the ads. I do try and buy less expensive brands of some things, and at my normal store, I always use my discount card. All that to say, I normally don't pay a lot of attention to the prices, but I do kinda know them. So as I was grabbing a few of our favorite Smart Ones, I about fell over when I saw the price! This store was charging double what Target does, and almost triple what Wal-Mart does!


I paused, my arm frozen in mid-reach.


Do I continue to shop? Do I buy these? How much is everything else?


All this ran through my brain in approximately 1.5 seconds, and then I remembered my other options. With a sigh, I continued to shop, filled up my cart, and proceeded to the check-out. My total? Well, it was at least $30 more than my normal bill.


At least.


So now I am wondering, was it worth $30? $30 can buy you a lot...


A new sweater.


A new mirror.


A new lamp.


A cute pair of these. (if I were a model.)


Or it can buy you a marathon grocery shopping experience, at a store you don't like, with only one child, so you can watch American Idol in peace, while your children are sleeping, and go to bed at a decent hour.


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Where oh where do I begin?

Really, I have no idea what I'm about to write, so consider yourself warned.

Where do I begin? My last post was five days ago, and as usual in our crazy house, much has happened since then.

The craziness started after a glorious playdate at my good friend Jen's house, on the very day of my last post. After we played, and Austin finished destroying Jen's house, we headed towards school to pick up Ellie. Like the sweet boy he is, Austin fell asleep immediately as we drove, and I breathed a sigh of relief, as I always do when he falls asleep.

The relief didn't last long.

Just as we arrived onto the school drive, I heard the sound of gagging, and turned around just in time to see Austin lose his lunch. I will spare you the rest of the details, and just say that he threw up several times in the next 45 minutes, all in the car, as we drove the girls to my mom, and then home. And when we finally arrived home...

Yuck.

Double Yuck.

Triple Yuck.

You get the picture.

I tried to make myself have an out-of-body experience, as I extracted Austin from the Yuck, and delicately carried him to the bathtub. And then...

He was fine.

Just as fine as could be. He played, and splashed, and smiled. After a while, I was convinced he was OK, and I put him to bed. I was perplexed, to say the least. What in the world made him so sick, so fast, and yet was over so quickly? I called Jen, to give her a warning that maybe she should spray some Lysol around her house, as my son might have just spread some awful flu bug to her family. I left her a message, and prayed to God that the rest of us wouldn't get sick.

Thankfully, none of us did, because it turns out that Jen had some news for me. If you haven't already read her post, you can read it here, turns out she poisoned my child!

Unintentionally, of course!

Seriously, Love ya Jen!

Anyway, all of that to say...I have an idea for someone out there that is much smarter than me.

Would someone PLEASE invent a carseat that is EASY TO CLEAN!

We bought this very nice carseat when Annie was little. It seems quite safe, it is easily adjustable, it is nicely padded...but it is a &$#*@ to clean! Oh my WORD! Seriously, I just finished getting that thing back together this morning! I seriously considered just throwing the entire seat away and buying a new one. I still might. As I was screwing the many screws back on the seat this morning, that you have to unscrew just to get the cover off the seat, I swear I could still smell puke. I've sprayed it with Lysol and Febreze, if that doesn't do the trick, we may be in the market for a new one.

I mean SERIOUSLY people, we can invent cars that drive by themselves, can we not invent a well designed car seat?!!!

So, if you are a smart person, or know someone smart, that wants to make millions of dollars, this is a job for you! Invent an easy to clean car seat, market it to mothers of young children, and you will be successful!

And I will be forever grateful!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Last of the First

I had a fabulous haircut yesterday! I didn't do anything drastic, but I do feel lighter and much prettier! I wasn't the only one who needed a trim...
(please excuse the mess and apparant lack of clothing!)


May I present...Austin's First Haircut!


He did pretty good. He was finishing breakfast, when I started. At first he kept trying to see what I was doing, but once I sprinkled a few chocolate chips on his tray, he totally forgot about me!


Those chocolate chips have served us well! Every one of our kiddos has been bribed to sit still for chocolate chips! Heck, I'd sit still for chocolate chips!

I just trimmed his bangs a little, and a little around his ears. I know he needs a little more, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it! I think that job will be better handled by professionals! I left his little curls in the back. I'm not sure when I'll be ready to part with those! He had those curls when he was born, just a few wisps, but they were there...

(those red marks are birthmarks called stork bites, in case you were wondering :)

The first haircut of our last child. Sigh. He's moving into toddlerhood. Oh who am I kidding? He's running into toddlerhood, full throttle! He'll always be my baby though!


Even if he is a little boy now!


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I've snapped.

Out of it, that is.

The house is semi-clean once again.

The dishes are done, and so is most of the laundry.

And today, as I drove Ellie to school, my mood finally snapped out of the dungeon that it's been in.

Little things usually do it for me. This morning it was several little things...

A morning when the almost 6 year old doesn't yell/scream/get mad at me for not having her favorite pair of panties clean.

A morning when I don't wake up with a headache for the first day in a while.

A morning when I get slobbery baby kisses.

A morning when I get pure sweetness from my 3 year old.

A morning when the fog is rolling on the lake. Beautiful.

A morning when the sunrise over the hills is breathtaking.

A morning when, although it's 11 degrees outside, I'm warm and cozy.

A morning with my hubby at home.

A morning when I get to get my hair cut!

They add up to me feeling like...well, me. Wish me luck and good hair! I doubt I'll actually do anything really different, but it always feels good to get pampered! I'm not brave enough to cut off 9 inches like Big Mama. Nor will I be posting my personal hair saga. I am far to lazy and unorganized to go and dig out all those old pictures! However, I will have highlights that go all the way to my roots, and a bit less hair to pull back in the clip I wear daily! And that...that's enough for me!

And...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALANA!!!!!!!

I love you my friend, and am blessed to have you in real life and blog life! Don't forget me on your way to the top! :)

Monday, January 21, 2008

The lack of motivation I have is nothing short of amazing.

Unmotivated: 1) The feeling a mother of 3 young children has when looking at the piles of toys that need to be picked up, only to know that they will quickly be on the floor again. 2) The feeling that a mother of 3 young children and the wife to one husband has, when looking at the piles of laundry that need to be washed, only to be worn and dirtied again. 3) The feeling that a woman has when faced with a sink of dirty dishes needing to be cleaned, only to be eaten on again. 4) The feeling a woman has when she as much to do, but doesn't want to do any of it. She only wants to curl up on the couch and watch HGTV all day long, and maybe order a really fattening pizza and eat the whole thing by herself. Oh, and for dessert, eat some Java Chip ice cream.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Ode to my Hand Vacuum

The crumbs scatter on the hard wood floors,

the leaves blow in from the opened doors.

The dirt tracks in on many feet,

someone drops another treat.

The laundry room floor is a mess,

with cat food, litter, and fur that spreads,

throughout my home, into every room,

Until I pick up you, my trusty Hand Vacuum.

You have great powers, and many strengths,

you don't shy away, and you go to great lengths.

You pick up the dust, the dirt, and the fur,

even the leaves from the opened doors.

You put other hand vacuum's to shame,

I won't even mention their names.

You were my gift, last Mother's Day,

from the children who cause all the messes with play.

Some might think it strange, how I love you so,

but others will not, because they too know,

how important it is in the messes of life,

to have a great vacuum, it lessens the strife.

So thank you my friend, for being there,

when there is another pile of hair.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sometimes all it takes is a little caffeine...

I hate early mornings.

So does Ellie.

She's been begging me to take her to school for a few days now.

Usually it's daddy's job.

Thank God for Daddy!

I usually get up and help them get out the door...

then go back to bed.

But this morning, I wavered. I gave in to her pleas, and let the daddy sleep in. I drove her to school, and then headed toward home.

Toward two more children, now wide awake.

Toward the dishes and the laundry.

Toward the meal-making and the chaos-managing.

And then, as if it had a mind of its own, my car steered its way into Starbucks.

Seriously!

And then, as I realized where my car was taking me, I saw a familiar and friendly face.

I parked next to Michelle, and we sat, in the comfort of our own cars, and talked.

Without interruption.

Without little voices in the background.

Without fights and screams to distract us.

For 30 minutes.

It was nice. Really nice.

Then I followed her through the drive-thru, and we went our respective ways.

She to teach pre-school, me to my own pre-schoolers.

I arrived home to the happy cries of MOMMY'S HOME!

I smiled.

I felt good.

I felt like I could handle my day.

All thanks to an unexpected visit with a friend/sister-in-law,

and a little caffeine!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Well, what do you think?

I think I like it!

I love customizing stuff! I had so much fun playing with colors and fonts...I guess it's kind of like scrapbooking...which has been sorely neglected lately! I can't wait to add my elements back in. I think I'll stick with this look for awhile, so I'm excited to add some new and fun things! But all that will have to wait for awhile. I'm pretty sure Austin has an ear infection, so we're off to the Doctor...again.

Seriously, I'm starting to feel like I should just go to medical school.

I'm pretty sure by the time I'm done raising my kids, it would be cheaper.

See ya!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Just a moment of my life...

I took this video clip yesterday morning. I love to do this, catch little snippets of "real" life. This video is very real. Maybe a bit too real! Please forgive my gravelly, 80 year old smoker voice. I am still fighting the never ending cold that has plagued me for a month now! Also please overlook the snotty nose that my son has. I did not realize that he had the gunk until I zoomed in with the camera. (and notice how I quickly zoom back out!) This shows my two younger children as they usually are when we're home all day...in PJ's with un-combed hair! The "evil laugh" was inspired by my niece, who absolutely cracked me up the other day when she demonstrated hers for me! My oldest daughter was practicing hers, when Austin started joining in. It was hillarious! I was trying to capture it on video, and he does it a little, but of course not nearly like he had been before the camera came out! The "belly button" thing comes from a Veggie Tales song, that was also introduced to us by our family. The song is too funny, and we just love teaching our kids to immitate it! The reality stops short of me showing myself though. I didn't think anyone really needed to see me in my PJ's! Enjoy!

video

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

And I wonder where she gets it...

MOMMY!!!

I jump. I hear this scream come from my nearly 6 year old...

MOMMY COME HERE QUICK!

I run. I fear the worst. As I arrive in the living room I scan the floor, looking for a hurt brother or a sister, possibly blood...

LOOK! She points...not to an injured sibling...but to the TV.

"I want that for my birthday!"

What? I think, That is what you made me almost have a heart attack for!

I walk away, trying to calm my racing heart, and muttering something about "we'll see dear". I am frustrated. This scene has played over and over again throughout the Holiday season. She literally received Everything she wanted this Christmas. How could she be so selfish, to already want More. She has a bad case of the "I wants". I suppose it was brought on by Christmas, by all the people asking her "What do you want for Christmas" over and over again. I'm tired of it. I just want her to be happy with what she has, because she has so much, she is a very blessed child...

Last night after the kids went to bed, I excitedly picked up my new Pottery Barn magazine...I relaxed in a chair, and began to look for new and exciting decorating ideas, something I love to do. I wouldn't consider myself a frequent shopper of Pottery Barn, but I do occasionally order something, or make it to a store. I love to look, to get ideas, and have been known to take a picture of a display now and then (but you do have to be sneaky, they don't really like that!) Anyway, as I looked I began thinking...

I'd really like some new throw pillows for my new couches that we just got. Something with a punch of color...My birthday's coming up...Oh, but I wanted those picture frame magnet boards too...

Later on, as I was trying unsuccessfully to go to sleep, I started thinking about the house and the yard. I want to paint the living room. I want to hire someone to get the backyard in better shape. I want a big new swing set for the kids. I want to take a vacation soon. I want...

Wham!

Sometimes it's like God slaps me in the face!

Wow. When did I get the case of the "I wants"? Mercy, and I was annoyed with Ellie! I wonder how God feels. Here I sit in my nice house, with my healthy kids, a great husband, lots of beautiful things. I have incredible friends, and live in a wonderful community. I think I've gotten a little off track in my thinking...Again! That's the sad part. It's not the first time I've caught myself being selfish. Don't get me wrong, I think it's OK to want things. To strive for things. I've posted something like this before...I know God wants us to be happy. Just like we want our kids to be happy. I think it's when we become discontent with out lives, our very blessed lives, that the sin creeps in.

So I prayed, and I thanked God for my incredible blessings, and asked Him to clear my heart of discontent. It's a continuous lesson, for me...and my kids.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Ouch!

I am a graceful swan.

My movements are fluid and gentle.

I glide through life delicately...

and float around corners...

and lose my balance...

and crash into walls...

and slam into the hard wood floor.

I did this while perfecting my "ice skating" skills on our hard wood floors.

Note to self: You are not really all that graceful, and maybe should think about getting socks with "grippers" on the bottom so you don't break something.

Thankfully I'm pretty sure nothing is broken or sprained. However, I do feel the affects this morning.

Ouch.

Friday, January 4, 2008

What we've learned...

We hear at the House O' Craziness believe in learning. Even when school is out of session, we believe that our minds should be continuously challenged. That we should explore new horizons daily. We use every moment of every day to expand our brains and stretch our minds.

Or we watch Dora and Scooby Doo all day long while mommy is curled up in a fetal position rocking and chanting "when does school start?" over and over again.

Anyway. We really have learned some new things over this holiday break, and I thought, being the sharing person that I am, that I would share them with you.

Ellie: My oldest child has an aversion to learning things that she cannot do perfectly the very first time. Fortunately for her, she is naturally smart in most areas, and can often do something very well on her first try. However, when she comes across something that truly challenges her, she...well, freaks out. She screams, she cries, she gets mad, and finally she avoids it all costs. A few months ago when we started kindergarten, I read somewhere that she needed to learn how to tie her shoes. So, I sat her down and showed her how. Then she attempted to tie her laces into a nice neat bow.

KABOOM!

She exploded with anger over the difficulty she was having, and wouldn't hear of trying again. Over the last few months I have tried to sit her down a few times, for a "Learn how to tie your shoes" lesson, but she refused. So, I made a goal. Teach her how to tie her shoes over Christmas break. Yesterday I sat her down, and told her it was time. She balked, of course, but I held strong, and eventually...


WaLa! A (almost) perfectly tied shoe!

Annie: My sweet middle child has a free spirit and a great imagination. She loves to "draw". However, when I try and show her how to really draw something, she shows no interest whatsoever. My goal for her this Christmas break was to learn how to write an A. That's it. Just the first letter of her name! And...


WaLa! A (almost) perfect letter A!

Austin: My sweet baby has an adventurous spirit, to say the least. On Christmas day he accomplished a new task, all on his own...


WaLa! "Look mom! I can climb onto the coffee table now!"

Daddy: Jason learned that when you strain too much to lift something too heavy, in an awkward position, you WILL pull a muscle.

Mommy: I learned today, that on day #14 of a 16 day school "vacation", after we've dealt with cases of Ringworm, had to call Poison Control, Bronchitis, a possibility of a lice outbreak, a husband who likes to be babied when he's in pain, and my never ending cold...my patience runs out. Completely and utterly O-U-T!

2 days left until school starts...

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Home...

Home is where the heart is...

along with the piles of dirty laundry,

the sink full of dishes,

the dusty shelves,

the dirty floors,

the piles of toys,

the "coming off a sugar high" kids,

and the decorations of Christmas past, still up.

Can I come over to your house?