Thursday, January 28, 2010

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Starting with the end of my day and working backwards...

7:52 p.m. - Everyone in bed asleep. I am sitting in Iain's chair, cup of hot tea, remotes, reading glasses, recipe book, candle burning, watching Damages. Love that show. I also have just realized I have had my shirt on backwards all day long. Duncan must have been pretty tired tonight because he nodded off fairly quickly. It's raining so maybe that made him sleepier. While we were listening to the rain he said, "that's Jesus...taking a shower."

5:14 - Have cup of coffee. Shepherds pie is heating up. Goal is to have everyone fed by 6:00 and twins in jammies and in bed by 6:30, then Duncan. I go get nighttime diapers, jammies, I'm ready. Am distracted on my way to the twins' room by how much I have to do. And the fifty or sixty Thomas trains in the hallway. Go back to kitchen with diapers and finish coffee. Walk over to other computer to download picture (above) and am again distracted by how much I have to do (before we have a Realtor over here.) See Claire crawling towards me with my keys in her mouth. Decide it's time to eat.

4:53 p.m. - I am baking the rest of the cookie dough so I don't eat it. Cookies, while tempting, are no match for a bowl of dough sitting around. I actually fit into a pair of jeans I have not worn in a few years yesterday so I don't need the temptation. Doughn't tempt me! Will freeze a sample from this batch and tuck them away for the taste test (I am seeking the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe).

4: 32 p.m. - Hear large thud and notice Finn face down on the floor and Duncan and Claire sitting on said couch. "Did you push him off?" No response. "Duncan, did you push him off?" "Yes, mom. But hey, now there's room for one more!"

4:31 p.m. - cute! All three kids sitting together on the couch! I run and get camera and snap pic (see above.)

4:30 - Claire talking in room...go get her up from nap.

3:45 p.m. Mix up dough (I was so smart to fix my mise en place!) and start to bake cookies. Put rest of dough in fridge.

3:30 p.m. Get Duncan out of his room and explain to him that we expect better behavior at school. He dashes into kitchen and is on his stool at the counter, examining my mise en place.

2:50 p.m. - Home from pickup. Duncan to room because of his behavior at preschool. Claire to bed. Finn toddling around with me.

2:30 - Pick up Duncan at school and bring meal to friend Emily. Find out it was not a good day for him and that he spent alot of time "in red." Should have suspected something when he met me at the door to his classroom saying, "Mom...I love you." Apparently, he told his teacher that his "bottom told him to be rude all day." Hmmmph.

9: 50 a.m. - 2:10 p.m. - Home with the twins. Put both down for a nap at around 10:00 and only Finn really takes a good nap. I hear them jabbering to each other for at least 30 minutes, and Claire is back up at 11:15 or so. Finn sleeps until 1:00. I make dinner for us and the Guthries, and by the time I get them both fed and changed it's time to go pick up Duncan from preschool. Also get all ingredients measured and in little bowls ready to make chocolate chip cookies as a fun thing for us to do this afternoon. I am hoping he had a good day!

9:10 a.m. - Load up everyone and take Duncan to preschool. On the way we talk about having a good day! Have a good day! Stay on green!

7:40 a.m. - Finn wakes. Go get him out of bed, completing the trifecta of children.

7:00 a.m. - Claire wakes. I go get her. She is so happy to see me. I love her little face first thing in the morning! She is already chattering away with me as we walk down the hall. She lights up when she sees Duncan.

6:40 a.m. - Duncan convinces me to get out of bed. I get coffee immediately.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

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You can't really tell from these pictures, but to me, Duncan and Claire are really the two who look alike. Duncan says they "both have flat hair" which, sorry Claire, is true.

So, there is really no grand theme to this post. I noticed that I have way too many drafts of posts to finish so I'm going to just start knocking them out. We are on Day 2 of Iain being gone and things are fine. No preschool today, just church tonight. Not a difficult day in terms of logistics. Everyone did wake up quite early, so we've had morning naps. And by "we" I mean Claire and Finn. Oh, if only that we included me. I will also try for a short afternoon nap, since we have church tonight. I am trying to nut up for dinner at church with all three of them. It's really a double-edged sword for me. On one hand, I get all of them out of the house at 4:45, which as you mommies know is a terrible time of day. But, I have to get them to church, get them all downstairs, which means using the double-wide, getting them to a table, near the high chairs, leaving them unattended while I go gather high chairs, park the stroller, then hold my breath while I make several trips to get everyone's food, my tea, etc...Another plus is that I get everyone fed. No messy kitchen. Well, no messier kitchen, because it's probably not completely clean from lunch. Which seems to last for hours. Then, the biggest plus of all. I can take them all three to music and missions. Drop them off. With other loving, saintly people who take care of them, entertain them and get Claire and Finn in their nighttime diapers and pajamas. It's fabulous. Duncan loves it. Sees all his buddies and I get about an hour and fifteen minutes to myself for something. Sometimes a meeting, sometimes not. Then I pick them all up and wag them home and straight to bed.

How did I ramble off down that road? Wow. I digress.

We are having fun today playing with empty boxes, aluminum muffin pans, cardboard paper towel tubes and the couch cushions. Duncan even did some drawing. That doesn't happen very often. I was going to make cookies with him but don't think I'll get it done, and besides it would make a huge mess and then there's the dough. Don't need that temptation. I really don't think a single toy has been used. Very informative. Granted, Duncan will immediately show a great interest in any toy the babies decide they might want to play with.

Oh and my biggest mommy genius moment? Um, set up the pack and play in the living room. I can put the babies in it and like, shower. I know I did it with Duncan. Why did I feel like I had to have free range babies this time? Note to self: confinement works.


Saturday, January 23, 2010

Goals for 2010

  • Learn to once and for all, get our kids' bags packed the night before.
  • Put a great effort into enriching and improving my prayer life.
  • Take sewing lessons.
  • Get my hair ponytail length again.
  • Finish Echo in the Bone.
  • Join or start a book club or Bible study.
These are mostly personal goals, not so much as a wife or mother. I love setting goals, but I love crossing them off a list even more. So, in hopes that I will get to blog again later this year and tell you that I've accomplished these will give me great satisfaction.

I am in the process of learning to pack the kids' bags the night before, especially Saturday nights in preparation for Sunday morning. I have learned to set out the clothes for the twins, but Duncan is a bit different...almost easier. It is easier now that they don't have to have formula, and can go longer without eating, but they still need to be fed at church.

I have never been a prayer warrior, but have had a full and rich prayer life. I'd like to get back to that. I would also like to start praying for my children and for their future spouses. It's not too soon, people.

I have a sewing machine. I want to learn to use it.

A ponytail is a good friend to a mother of three.

Echo in the Bone...ahhh. Diana Gabaldon is my favorite author. She writes long, lush, detailed, intoxicating stories. I love to savor them. This is her 7th, I believe in a series. I fear close to the last.

I do not know when or how, but I want to join or start a book club. Iain and I met in a small group Bible study and I really enjoyed it. I'd like to have that again. We'll see what comes to fruition...maybe I'll pray about it!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

For a few reasons, today feels like a fresh start. A new week, cleared out alot of stuff at a great Mommy Swap last night, and am looking forward to a productive week.

Oh, and the Cowboys are in the playoffs, but I'm almost afraid to talk about it because you know, they are the Cowboys. Okay, well, that sentence was a total waste of time and space.

I now feel like I am getting the cold that the twins have both had. And Iain is leaving tomorrow. And there is no school until Thursday. Sudafed and Advil are my friends. This post will be short because my eyes hurt. You know how your eyes get kind of burny feeling when you are sick? That's how mine are. But I'm waiting for my turn in Duncan's room for "Mommy Time" so I will continue writing until then. I will probably fall asleep with him, and be all warm and cozy, then when I wake up thirty minutes later and come back out into the house I will feel cold. That's how it always is. He is like a space heater.

Oh, and I made the world's worst gravy today. I am usually a very good gravy maker. I come from a long line of spectacularly good gravy makers and grew up watching them. So, I can make a mean gravy. Any kind. Brown gravy, cream gravy, gravy from a pot name it. But today's? Was a horrific outcome. I think my biggest problem was that I made the roast in the crock pot and not in the dutch oven, in the oven. I like my Crock Pot, but am pretty convinced that the only way to a good pot roast is in the oven. Low and slow, but the oven. I did brown it first on the stove, then transferred it to the slow cooker. I then tried to use the brownings in my dutch oven to make the gravy. I would have probably been okay if I hadn't had a total lapse in brain power and added milk to it. It was like I had never made it before! I froze. Completely unable to remember how to do it.

I will try to give my poor, sad gravy new life as vegetable soup and let you know.

I think I need to go to bed. That whole gravy thing really took it out of me.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Window To My World

I love my kitchen window sill. Is that two words? Because right now I cannot remember. To save my life. Anyhoo, I love it. In the spring, the view is my antique roses, green grass, trees, shade, sunshine, and now children. I also get sunsets, fall foliage and the occasional ice storm. I look out this window and sometimes see my husband coming home from work, or more often, inside the house from his garage office. I also use the sill for many things. Today, my sill tells this story:
  • Finn's sippy cup...he had some water then tossed it aside. He's not too great with the cup yet but I am trying to get him to use it during the day. Since it was just water, I rinsed it out and set it up on the sill to dry.
  • Nail clippers. Claire and Finn need their nails trimmed often. They both have allergies and will scratch their itchy little eyes at night and end up looking like we "let them play in a briar patch", according to my mother. The sill is one of the few places that even Duncan cannot reach. So I put them up there for safe keeping.
  • Tiny flower pot. This was part of one of the kids' Christmas stockings. I've put the seeds in it and water it daily in hopes the flowers will grow.
  • Candle holder made of sand, from Dollar General. I took Duncan to do his Christmas shopping at the dollar store and this is what he picked out for his dad for his office. It broke, but I think it can be glued and I keep meaning to at least go put it on a bookshelf in Iain's office, but I never do. Meanwhile, it sits on The Sill.
  • WalZyr - A/K/A Fake Zyrtec. See "all our kids have allergies."
  • Googley Eye - This came off of a turkey decoration that Duncan made for Thanksgiving in school. It's really cute because it has two googley big and one small. I love it. I need to glue this eye back on.
  • Bottle of vanilla extract. We made banana muffins today and this is just where I put it when I was done adding it to the batter.
  • Little People Shepherd and Baby Jesus. Apparently our Little People nativity scene got put away without at least one of its' integral characters.
  • Two medicine droppers. Integral to my life.
What does your windowsill say about you?
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

This is the day...

Somehow, we all managed to stay in bed until at least 7:30 this morning. Claire until 8:00. Now we are all up, fed, changed, coffeed, and playing. One of my goals for this year is to have a less chaotic life. Going from one child to three has really put the C in Chaos for me. Most of the time, I relish it. It is what I've wanted for a long time. I see it as my job to take care of these kids and keep this house. However, going from one to three was kind of like being promoted to a Ph.D. level position with only a Bachelor's degree. But I am learning on the job and getting better all the time.

So, today my house is cleaner that it has been in months. That's because I had the lady who has cleaned for us come yesterday and help me while I cleaned/watched children/purged clutter. She cleaned. I cleaned. I purged and took things in boxes out to the garage. It was great. And I feel lighter! The house looks better. And there's more to go. We will most likely put our house on the market soon, to move to a better school district, so there is work to be done. And I am really feeling motivated and pressured to get it done.

One thing I have learned is that I need to be diligent in my upkeep. I cannot get behind on laundry, dishes, picking up...any of it. I used to have that luxury, before kids, and even with one child. But now, I do not have that luxury. There is not alot of down time. One load? Takes a long time to get from laundry basket to put away. I did not keep track, but there was a pretty long lag time on the couch for a certain load. We wont talk about it any longer.

I will take any and all suggestions. I have dusted off the crock pot and am going to put it to good use. I have GOT to get more done at night but dang. At night? I am so tired. Waking up early? Before the children? Hard to do. They are roosters. I think I need to get the majority of it done during the day. It will work out. I will keep you posted.

So, here it is, 8:30 p.m. All are in bed, but me of course. I have the kitchen halfway cleaned up and will finish before I go to bed.

So, do you keep up with the house work? What are your tricks and secrets? Help a sister out.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Random Thoughts Revisted

  • I wish I knew how to do more fancy stuff with this blog.
  • My hair is at that awkward stage where it's not short, but it's not long.
  • I am grateful for mild Texas winters, after living through the Bitter Blast of '09/'10.
  • I am once again getting sucked into The Bachelor. Why?
  • I do not understand why bridal consultants do not put the brakes on more brides who want to wear strapless.
  • I look forward to the day we are out of high chairs with great anticipation.
  • I love to read and have reading glasses everywhere. I get a little panicky when I can't find a pair. Kind of like how I feel about my Chapstick.
  • Why do the girls on The Bachelor wear high heels to Six Flags?
  • It really bugs when the girls on The Bachelor say things like, "I really like it when it's just him and I." It's him and me, ladies. Don't be afraid of grammar. (Can you tell what I'm watching right now?)
  • I love a good thrift store find and will brag about it probably more than is necessary.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Pickle sandwich, cut into triangles, with the crusts cut off

We are trying to get Duncan to sleep later. Because, it makes for a very long day when you have a kid ready to go at 6:30 a.m. We are going to put a clock in his room and tell him he has to stay in his room, quietly, until 7:00. I am hopeful, but realistic. Quiet for Duncan and quiet for me are two different things, and his room is right next to ours. We will see. What I really want is for him to stay in his bed all night. He rarely comes in our bed anymore but when he does (it's a queen) he simply cannot stay still. He rubs my ears, plays with my hair, and has early onset restless leg syndrome. It is not much better when I am in his bed with him, but have realized that I do have more room in his twin than I do in half of our queen. Sad, but true. I will let you know how we do. Of course, I realize that kindergarten is looming and I will have to have him up, dressed, and fed and out the door at some unGodly hour. The irony is not lost on me.

So, today we had a birthday party at Pump It Up. He has been primed and ready for this party for weeks. When will I learn not to tell him so far in advance? Part of me wants to tell him to make him happy! He will be excited! But then it always backfires on me and I get a million questions for every minute of every day we live and breathe until the party. But finally the party came today. He was so fired up in the parking lot we had to do our breathing exercises. Made it inside, and finally into the big room with the bounce houses and I really did not see him for an hour and a half. And lots of my favorite mommy friends were there! This, however, was all tainted by the fact that I had Claire and Finn with me. They are at the delightful age where they no longer are content in their stroller and instead want to be free! To roam on dirty floors! And through open doors to nowhere! The party ended, I left a trail of Baby Goldfish, Duncan was pumped full of sugar and friendship, and we headed off to Duncanville so he could spend the night with his beloved Aunt Becky. She is taking him to his first real movie, The Princess and The Frog. I'm anxious to hear how he does! He is not one to sit still for long periods of time.

Claire and Finn have hardly napped all day, and what naps they did get were in their car seats. I am hoping they go to bed early and sleep late. Ha! But for now, they are climbing on the storage tubs full of Christmas decorations and Claire is teetering near the edge, trying to reach the key in the back door. I must go.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

2010, Day 2

Totally intended to blog last night but friend, I was just too frickin' tired. I know you will find it hard to believe but we've had the sick again. Lovely ulcers in tiny throats make for long nights 'round these parts. Claire had it first, as usual, and was up two nights in a row screaming her head off. Last night, Finn seemed to have it but I could not see down his throat to verify. I do not think the handle end of a pizza cutter and a Cars flashlight were the best tools to use but it was all I had, ya know? Needless to say, we say nothing but the fronts of his teeth as he clenched them shut.

So, today is Saturday but feels like it should be Monday. Duncan has been home from preschool for two weeks, and I am starting to feel his enthusiasm for being home drain and some times, my life force drain with it. I could not love that child more but instead of waking each morning asking what we are doing that day, he now asks the night before. He is up with the roosters and getting antsy by 9:30. Gratefully, this third and final week at home is a fairly busy one and ends with a bang with me off to a MOPS Steering Retreat and some serious girl time. I'd rather have a weekend away with Iain, but I'll take what I can get in the break department.

All that to say I am also adjusting my paradigm, to use a much-loved 80's term. I have had some changes in my weekly routine. No longer will I have my faithful, helpful, saintly friend Janie coming two days a week while Duncan is in school, to keep the twins for me, setting me free all on my own for hours at a time. Can you hear my tears dripping off my cheeks onto the much in need of replacing counter-top? They drip more slowly now. I am slowly but surely coming to grips with my ability to be with at least two of my three children most of the time, and certainly Claire and Finn all week. I just have to get organized and regroup. I have to find new strategies and things that work for me, and get used to it. I thoroughly enjoyed my year of having some time two days a week to do as I pleased, but I will readjust and figure it out. I am a true introvert, however, and time to myself is critical to my well-being so part of the process will be negotiating with Iain (**waving to sweet husband**) some time to myself during the week. And, it's only about 8 months until kindergarten. But that's another post for another day.

Don't think I'll make it through the Alamo Bowl, but do think Claire and Finn have finally gone to sleep and given up on being whisked out of bed.