Sunday, June 28, 2009

I'm Behind Again

These last couple weeks have been CRAZY! Week before last was Campmeeting, where Adventists from all over our state (and some from surrounding states since not all conferences have campmeeting anymore) can gather for a week of meetings, and fellowship. It's about 45 min from our house, and I wasn't feeling ambitious enough to camp up there all week with the kids (hubby needed to work all week so he couldn't be up there) and was planning to just take them up for some of the meetings, some days, but the big girls begged to go to ALL their meetings, they were afraid they might miss something, so we spent all day every day up there. It re-confirmed that I'm not cut out to be a working (outside the home) mom, getting us all up and dressed and out of the house, with lunch packed by 9:30 every day, and not getting home till near bedtime exhausted me LOL.

But the girls had a BLAST at campmeeting. They went to their meetings and between meetings they played on the swings & in the sand (there's a sand volleyball court there that the littler kids take over as a huge sandbox during campmeeting), made friends, bothered people at Locating (the office where people can go to find out information about meetings, etc. It's staffed by Daddy's co-workers all week, so the girls had fun visiting with their "grown-up friends" there, and "helping" LOL), ate lunch (we packed picnics most days, but bought lunch at the snack bar a couple of days), etc. Rodney was working late every night, so we'd stop by his office for a little while on the way home in the evenings. Little Bit did well hanging out in a sling or wrap most of the time. She wanted to be facing out anytime she was awake (and not nursing) though, so she could "talk" to everyone we met LOL.

So that was an exahausting, but fun week. We all managed to catch colds though, so last week instead of catching up on stuff around the house, we laid low and worked on getting over our colds. Thankfully Little Bit was just a little congested, never got really sick.

And now we're down at my parents' for the weekend. They had a membership to the Baltimore Aquarium that expires the end of June, so we wanted to go one last time for this membership. We went down on Friday afternoon (it's open later on Fridays, and much less crowded). The big girls found a volunteer to answer their questions and probably would have stayed there all night if we hadn't told them they needed to let other people ask questions LOL.

The girls have had fun helping Papa on the roof again this trip (he's almost done re-shingling the whole thing).

We spent this afternoon at my friend, Vicki's house. She has 2 girls, a 3 yr old and a 7 mo old (give or take, babies grow up way too fast) so all our girls had fun together. Though the babies are still abit young to "play together" they did grin at each other for awhile LOL. The 3 big girls had fun in the wading pool (or more accurately emptying the wading pool . . . they decided to make "Mr. Ron" (Vicki's husband, who was at work this afternoon) think it had rained by making the entire deck and surrounding area wet), on the new swing set, playing hide-and-seek, and playing school.

And now A&L are back up on the roof. We'll head home, after a stop to visit another friend, tomorrow, and then hopefully have an uneventful week at home getting the house back together, and just enjoying being home!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Recipe: Ranch Pasta Salad

1 lb whole wheat pasta (spirals, or shape of your choice)
2 handfuls baby carrots, chopped
handful of chives, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 cucumber, chopped
1/2 pkg frozen baby peas, thawed
1 c mayonnaise, more if it seems dry
1 pkg ranch dressing mix

Mix all ingredients, chill for 1 hr or more.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Past Week or Three

Not sure when I updated last, some of this might repeat, but here's what's been going on around here, in no particular order:

  • The girls and I visited my parents a couple weeks ago while hubby was in Pittsburg. My parents are working on replacing the shingles on their roof, so the girls had great fun "helping" Papa up on the roof (I repeatedly reminded myself that my brother was only 4 when he helped put on the original roof & he lived to tell about it, so my 6 yr olds were safe up there too LOL).
  • We met my friends Kim & Vicki and their kids at the park Sat. evening for a picnic and playing on the playground. Gotta love it when a group that ranges in age from 2 mo to 12 yrs all gets along well together (ok, so the 2 mo old, 6 mo old, and not quite 1 yr old pretty much sat on grown-ups' laps while we visited, but the 2-12 yr olds all got along well!
  • My parents came up last weekend to babysit while hubby & I (and Little Bit) went to hubby's boss's retirement dinner. A & L decided THEY needed to have their own party since we were going to one. So they discussed it w/ Mama the weekend before & put in their order for the menu. Mom humored them and brought fresh flowers for the table, set with a nice tablecloth, made their menu of tortellini in alfredo sauce with chocolate pie for dessert (actually they requested cake, but she talked them into the chocolate pie instead, easier and tastier IMO lol (not just for my tastebuds, while my girls like the idea of cake, they generally eat the frosting & leave the cake, just like their mommy does LOL)). They also played games and stayed up later than usual.
  • While my parents were here they also helped me finally get my garden planted. And it's rained ever since so hopefully my baby plants are enjoying a drink and not drowning out there LOL. We have tomatoes, peppers, green beans, sugar snap peas and lemon cucumbers planted, plus we added cilantro, dill and borage to the existing herb garden (and I'd added this summer's basil plant a couple weeks earlier).
  • Ever since we moved here last summer, I've been wanting to hang a swing from a tree in our yard that has a perfect swing branch. Dad didn't bring a swing but DID throw a rope over the branch to make sure it's sturdy enough. Once the rope was there he took a piece of trim that was on the trellis thingy in my herb patch (that we took down) and set it over the rope to create a "seat" of sorts (but it's only like an inch wide LOL). And the girls have been loving their "swing", definitely need to get a real one up there sometime soon.
  • We also hung a swing for Little Bit. I'd mentioned to my friend, Vicki, that I wanted to get a toddler swing to hang on our front porch, for sure for next summer, but thought it might be a good place for her to hang out while I worked in teh garden & hung laundry & such this summer too. Turns out Vicki had one she wasn't using, so sent it our way & my dad hung it while he was here too. She's not so impressed at this point (and not sure it'll ever work well for hanging laundry time since the morning sun shines right down on it & would be in her eyes) but I think she'll love it once she gets abit bigger :)
  • Little Bit has fallen into a schedule of sleeping a 4-8 hr solid stretch each night, starting anywhere from 9pm to 11pm depending on how much she's slept during the day & such. She sleeps that stretch in the co-sleeper and then I pull her over into my bed to nurse/sleep the rest of the night. So I'm doing quite weSll in the sleep department these days (and am reminding myself not to get TOO used to it, the big girls did this same "schedule" but reverted to nursing throughout the night once they hit 8 mo or so . . . then again, they nursed ALL day at this age, and Little Bit is already stretching the nursings out quite abit during the day)
  • I had to laugh last night, I think she decided that my boob was her security blanket &/or pillow, she had stopped nursing but was laying w/ her cheek right against it, so I pulled away, she immediately fussed, so I moved back, and offered it to her to nurse, but she had no interest in nursing, but would fuss whenever I tried to move away from her, silly kid.
  • We got small laptops for each of the girls that came this week. I'm in love w/ L's 9" one! (A opted for the slightly larger 12" version). It's so tiny & light & easy to balance on the arm of the recliner while I nurse. I grab it the instant L goes to bed each night LOL. The girls are also loving them, especially L. So far we just have them set up on pbskids and they're having a blast.
  • The hospital that's right down the street from hubby's office was having a "garden party" this week to raise money. Kiddie carnival games & rides, food, etc. So Wed. we went over to hubby's office around lunchtime and walked over with him to check it out. The big girls had a blast! It's been rainy all week, but that day was just overcast (much better than hot & sunny for something like this) and sprinkled off & on while we were there, but never rained hard. Little Bit slept/nursed/hung out in the sling the whole time.
  • I'm officially "employed" (well, guess I haven't filled out the paperwork yet, but still . . .). Hubby's boss asked me to be a part-time/temp employee and help them with their cash flow statement that needs to be done prior to the audit, and potentially other things that come up over time. I figured it was a no brainer to accept at least the cash flow stmt, while it's been 9+ yrs since I've done one, I can still remember/figure it out faster than anyone there (who has never done it, or it's been 20+ yrs) and if I don't do it, that's just one more thing adding to hubby's work-load, and we already hardly see him. I started playing with it last night, need to go talk to people to get numbers next week, and such, but don't think it will be too bad.
  • Little Bit has discovered "toys", She loves to lay on her playmat & watch the toys "dancing" on the arch above her (w/o really meaning to, I laid her on the mat in a position where she could kick the arch, making everything jiggle, so that makes it much more fun than just staring at stationary toys, now I make sure to lay her like that). She kicks & giggles & grins, it's too cute (must get video of it!) She also enjoys watching the blinky lights on her bouncy seat & swing, though her favorite "entertainment" is still having her big sisters talk to her.
  • As yet another evidence of "every baby's different" Little Bit does NOT like having too much fabric on her in the sling. She hates the newborn nursing carry in a wrap, so I end up using a ringsling (or rebozo) alot of the time because she prefers that for nursing. She also wants her feet out in whatever carrier I'm using. In constrast, even at age 4, the big girls liked to cuddle down into a carrier as much as they possibly could. I can remember when L was around 3, I took some fabric that was still 45" wide (was planning to cut it down to wrap-width, but hadn't yet) & used it for a back carry. She was literally "giddy" at being able to pull it up all the way over her head and cuddle down inside it LOL.
  • We finally tried letting one of the big girls (A) wear Little Bit in a sling. Found that the wraps they got for their birthday are just a tad too short for the carry I want them to use at this age (should work well for hip & back carries when she's older though) so we used my storch instead. Little Bit wasn't sure about it at first, but A took her outside and walked around the yard and talked to her & she was happy as a clam. L has been begging for her turn but I think the walking outside is a key element & it's been raining ever since. I took pictures so will post those once I get them off the camera.
  • I've discovered that if Little Bit is overtired & won't nurse, the solution is to put her in a carrier and start working in the kitchen, she cries for a couple minutes & then falls right to sleep, generally mid-cry which is just wierd . . . because it's an instanteous deep sleep.
No doubt there are things I'm forgetting, but that's at least an attempt at getting caught up.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Book Review: Dahveed, Yaweh's Chosen

My mom gave me Dahveed, Yaweh's Chosen by Terri Fivash for Mother's Day. I LOVE Terri Fivash's biblical novels, so it's no surprise that I loved this one too. Funny how, despite claiming to have no time to read, needing to sleep when the baby sleeps, etc, I somehow found time to read this rather large novel. It's the first in a series, this follows the life of David (as in David & Goliath) from childhood until soon after he kills Goliath, now I'm anxiously awaiting the next one LOL.

It's a biblical novel, which means it's based on the Bible story/character, but becuase the Bible doesn't give us a complete biography of most people, the author then adds fictional details to "fill in the blanks" and make it a complete story. I won't go into the details of this story (in case you want to read it for yourself), it certainly points out how little I know/understand about the worldview (for lack of a better word) at that time & place.

Anyway, AWESOME book! (so are Joseph and Ruth & Boaz)

Book Review: The Mission of Motherhood

A friend loaned me The Mission of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson.

Sally is the mother of 4, ranging in age, at the time the book was written from 6 to teens. While I didn't find much practical help for my season of life (it's all well and good to stop cooking supper to help your teen with his video project, or to tell the 6 yr old & older teens that they need to wait because you're spending some one-on-one time with the 13 yr old, but abit trickier to figure out a way to find alone time for 2 six year olds when there's a baby who nurses all the time. . . ), I did find it to be full of good reminders of, well . . . the mission of motherhood. Sally came from a "professional" background and addresses the struggles of giving up a career, or putting it on a back burner to raise the children God has blessed her with. While this wasn't a struggle for me personally (while I enjoyed my career, I had no desire to continue it, and try to juggle career and children, once my kids were born, nor have I ever regretted my decision to stay home with my kids), I know it IS a very large struggle for many of my mommy friends, so I can appreciate how she addresses it, and shows how she came to realize that God's will was for her to be a full-time mother to her children.

Sally also addresses letting housework, volunteering, church work, etc take precidence over your family, and emphasizes, with many personal examples, the importance of having a true servant's heart toward your children. This is a great, encouraging, gentle reminder that God calls mothers to a scared calling!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Kids say . . .

Background info: the girls enjoy watching reruns of "Full House", in one episode Stephanie is nervous about going to the dentist and Joey tells her that everyone has their own place to keep their courage, he keeps his in his throat, it's the little thing that hangs down in the back of his throat.

So, out of the blue yesterday as we were driving home, L says:

"I keep my courage in my nose." HUH?!?!? (keep in mind that we weren't currently WATCHING Full House, and hadn't for several days, so the whole Joey thing wasn't exactly on my radar LOL. After she explained, she asked A where she keeps HER courage and A replied (in a "duh!" tone) "in my brain" Both answers made me giggle :o)