Tuesday, June 16, 2009

i love this girl...

lucy turned 5 two weeks ago... and i wanted to commemorate a bit. better late than never.
i snapped these pics a few days ago.
in true lucy fashion, they were spontaneous and not the least bit contrived...

i often watch my daughter...

and marvel at her ability to be so comfortable in her own skin

maybe she's still just too young to know that she should care

... to know that people are watching

... that maybe, even, they are laughing

but maybe she does know... and is ok with that

after all, what does she have to hide?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

what a difference a year makes

chloe finished kindergarten and now has a whole year of school under her belt.  i'm proud of how she's grown over the last 9 months - in so many different ways.  although when she started last fall, i was concerned that she often seemed self-conscious and overly eager to please, her teacher identified her as a confident leader in the class by her end of the year conference.  

i thought these two pictures summed it up perfectly.

first day of school... eyeing up the new girl

end of the year class picnic... new girl turned bff

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


i used to post these update-sort of blogs all the time.  not sure why i haven't been.  oh well... for now, i'm in the mood, so i guess i'll just go with it.

as my facebook friends have noted, i'm in the market for a new coffee maker.  my carafe broke yesterday - fell off the dishdrain and shattered into the sink.  unfortunately, the coffee maker i had was not the kind with easily replaceable carafes.  ah well...  a few months back, i had considered upgrading simply because my current one was not performing as well as i would have liked.  but, instead, i decided to use it til it died instead of purchasing a new one that i did not necessarily need.  i'm proud of the fact that i waited... but now feeling the pressure to buy one quickly is not something i'm enjoying.  

i think i've made a substantial change to my laundry methods.  i realize this will not thrill many of you... but when you spend one entire day a week doing laundry, new discoveries are a big deal.  so, here's the thing.   i wash every item according to it's tag's specifications - warm, cold, gentle, etc.  that means i usually divide things into "cold-light," "cold-dark," "warm-light," "warm-dark," "delicates" (sometimes divided into lights and darks), then "underwear" which i always wash in hot water.  (ok... honestly, i can't believe i wasted so much time explaining all that.)  it occurred to me, however, that maybe i don't need to bother washing things in warm water - unless they are so dirty they need warmer temps to help remove stains.  as far as i can tell, using cold water only is more budget friendly and it allows me to combine loads - possibly shaving down my total load count by one.  any comments as to why this may not work?  really, i can't believe i have nothing better to talk about...

the kids have 3 more days of school.  they will be glad to be out... but i don't think they've considered what they'll do all summer.  as it is, by bedtime, they sometimes are wandering around the house complaining about how bored they are.  really?  bored?  i wish i had time to be bored...  in all fairness, patrick is never bored.  he would hole up in his room with his legos all day long if i let him.  but, i'm not sure that's the best way for a boy to spend his summer.  so,... in addition to family vacations, vbs, and church camp, i'll be planning a few things here and there.  chuck will be busy with contracting jobs and summer camps he's running, so it's not like he'll be around that much more often.  i've been looking into some fun activities provided by local libraries and movie theaters.  each child will also be doing a certain amount of school work, as well.  in fact, the three older ones have chosen topics to "study" throughout the summer and will be researching and producing to that end.  

my most exciting piece of news is that i am working with tucker on giving up his thumb.  he's only 3 1/2, but he's had his thumb longer than the others had thumbs or pacifiers.  i think that's partly because he's the youngest but also because he is the most strong-willed of our children and really doesn't like to be told what to do.  i had been talking to him about why he should stop using his thumb and how it would take him one step closer to being a big boy.  as with each of our other children, i told him that after a week of not sucking his thumb, he could pick out a new toy (which for him right now would mean a Thomas train).  i was so proud of him last night when he went to bed without his thumb!  i gave him a few "strategies" and he did really well using them.  i'm sure once he was asleep, the thumb ended up in his mouth a few times, but the real goal is to get him to fall asleep without it.  he even managed to nap without it today... although it took an hour for him to fall asleep.  it's ok... a few hours may be sacrificed here and there for the greater good.  we'll see how he progresses.

if, by chance, you've stuck with this entire post, i'm impressed.  honestly, i bored myself a few times there...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

another one-of-those-days

i had one of those mornings.  the kind where i wake up not quite rested to children who are not quite listening.  the kind that can dangerously and quickly turn into one of those days.  i felt myself giving way to irritability, and only felt more irritable at my inability to "get over it."  no,... it's not the kids' faults, although, they do hold their share of responsibility for their own bad behavior.  but by the time i was getting the older two off to school, all i really wanted to do was get home and comfort myself.  in my mind, that meant, clean up breakfast and spend the whole day reading while keeping an eye on my other two, not-quite-feeling-well children.  and sulk.  i also wanted to do some of that.  

as i straightened up the kitchen in an effort to move on to the more comforting part of my day, i began to think about what exactly it is that causes mornings like these.  i like order.  i don't like anything that threatens to impede that order.  i don't have to tell you that the combination of early morning and 4 kids is not a catalyst for order.  i'm learning that, despite my longing for order, i can not (nor should i) control my children.  as infants and toddlers, maybe.  but mine have quickly left that phase of life and are dancing precariously into school-aged, pre-adolescent childhood.  and, as much as i love to watch them grow up, adapting to each new phase can be challenging.  despite my desire to force them into obedience, i now need to continue to instruct and then watch them make their own decisions... and then, of course, be there to either praise or discipline them based on the choices they've made.  

this thought process followed me as i emptied my dishwasher and loaded the breakfast dishes.  then it tagged along as i scoured the counters, wiped down the microwave, and vacuumed out the freezer (don't ask).  before i knew it, i had abandoned my planned date with the novel i've been reading for some serious housework.  by the time i had gathered up the towels for the laundry, scrubbed the bathtub, cleaned the bathroom floor, detailed the toilet with a toothbrush (really, don't ask), and cleaned the rest of the bathroom, i was no longer in search of comfort.  in fact, i was no longer irritable.  

by the time i was putting away yesterday's laundry, folding towels, and cleaning the toilet again due to another round of someone's explosive diarrhea (sorry...), i realized that wanting order is not a bad thing.  i just need to find order in more realistic places.  i can't control my children, but i can control my laundry.  obsessing over my child's every choice is not healthy or productive,... but scrubbing my bathroom is.  by lunchtime, my house was relatively clean and my mental health was restored.  

the house is quiet now and that book is calling me.  i think i'm gonna just step over the pile of matchbox cars in my living room, grab my book, and go sit for a while.