Monday, June 18, 2012


Here's a secret...I don't handle disappointment very well. Especially when it relates to my children.

It tends to throw me into a funk. It makes me want to quit everything. I tend to gain weight, waste money, and let my house go...when something big hits me. Or something little and trivial, really, if it's something that means a lot to one or more of my kids.

And that's what has happened. I don't feel like going into details, but why I can't just pick myself back up and move on? I don't know. And the kids may handle it better than me, but in my heart I know (or believe anyway), that their hearts are broken and it just kills me.

I know that I should deal with it better, to model for my children how life's not fair--and that's okay. I know we could have worse problems. I know, for the most part, things are going well. But it's one little (big) thing that is a sticking point, that just gets me down. And it's just one kid this time--just the boy. My little guy. My little 6 year old, curly headed, funny, smart sweetheart. It's heartbreaking for him, and I am having a hard time letting it go.

I am praying that God will give me a sense of peace about this thing. So I can move on, and not let a dark cloud hover over the summer. But I feel like it won't get better, and I really have to struggle to not be bitter about it. And not obsess about it. So I'm praying for peace in this disappointment.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

School's..........out, for summer...

And it's 61 degrees. And rainy. Fab.

Here, in Indiana, we had 85 degree days in March, and over Memorial Day weekend, it reached into the mid-nineties. But now that it's June, and school's out, and all the kids want to's raining.

So we will march on, making our summer list, awaiting nicer, warmer, sunnier weather. Maybe we'll stay in and clean house. Oh, the kids would love that. Haha. Mean mom!

Henry's baseball game may get rained out tonight, and the first swim team practice of the summer may get cancelled due to cold--but our house will sparkle! What a fun mom I am.


So here it is. And you can tell it's the last day of school, too.

There are piles...and I'm not exaggerating...PILES of papers, art projects, worn out folders, broken down crayons, and dried up highlighters---littering our living room floor. The place where the kids come in the door and plop it all down. It's summer again. :-)

Friday, June 1, 2012

June 1 Already

SO I've been remiss. again. in blogging. and here it is June.

The kids have just 2 more days of school--Monday and Tuesday--til they are out til mid-August. I love summer break. at least until they start arguing.

And then there will be a 7th grader, a 4th grader, a 2nd grader and a....? I don't know what yet--grader in the house. Bea has a September birthday, which is bad in Indiana, where the cut off is early.

But I want her to start kindergarten this fall, anyway, despite her not turning 5 til mid-September. that would be okay, right? she wouldn't be scarred for life, would she? she wants to go to the big kids' school, she'll be fine, I'm sure.

Hopefully. So we'll see how the summer goes.

Today she read her first "Bob" book. Mostly read it, with a little help from me. She found it hysterical when Mat sat on Sam. And Sam sat on Mat. We'll keep working on it and see how the summer goes.

I know I'm not the only one who thinks, this will be the best summer ever!, every summer. because I do. I know, cheesy. but I hold out hope, every year. and it isn't usually, or maybe it is. but they go by so quickly.

This weekend I want to make our family's 2012 Summer List. It won't probably be as cute as some I've seen on pinterest, but it will be our summer list. And hopefully, just maybe, we'll get it all done. and before the first or second week of August, when I typically realize summer's almost over and scramble to get it all finished. :-)

So we'll see how it goes. I plan to blog more, for sure, not because it's on any list anywhere, but just because I want to. So we'll see how that goes too.

Happy June!

Saturday, March 10, 2012


For the first time in I-don't-know-how-long, we had a mostly free day. To be fair, not totally free but we were finished with what we had to do by 9:30 a.m.

Out the door by 8 a.m., home by 9:45, and then just the day to do what we wished. The mailman was doing his mail thing and Paige was at this event. And the 3 younger kids and I stayed in.

i did yoga meltdown dvd (have I mentioned that it IS TOUGH! today made the 2nd time and IT WAS TOUGH!)

kids played with waffle blocks and little tiny people and lightsabers (and there were injuries, which resulted in all 3 kids sitting on the blue couch watching me do the yoga dvd)

middle kids taught Bea her letters ("when 2 vowels go walking, the first one does the talking" Henry told Bea as he attempted to teach her how to read the word "eat")

all 3 younger kids built a huge Webkinz jungle gem with these fun building straws

i made pizza dough from scratch again. one to bake for supper, and one to freeze (it is rising as we speak)

i cleaned. a lot. and trust me the house needed it. bad.

and the kids cleaned, against their wills, really, but still, they cleaned.

and now I feel I can breathe again in this house. It had gotten so cluttered and so overwhelming. and our days had been so busy, it was just nice to stay home and have the day to ourselves.

Tomorrow will be another busy day with church, a birthday party, JBQ, and preparations for the week. But for once, we had just a day.

and it was so nice!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

And the case of the missing motivation...

Today was probably the first warm, consistently sunny day we've had in, oh, I don't know how long. It was the sort of day that makes you want to go outside and run, if your knees don't hurt too much.

Today, Bea went to a playdate, but had to come early because the friend she was intending to play with was she played with the friend's grandma instead.

Today, El was diagnosed with ringworm on the back of her leg. And all 4 kids and I got a good giggle waiting on the doctor to come in because one of the other kids remarked that the spot looked like a piece of pepperoni. And of course, giggling and overall silliness ensued. To the point that the doctor couldn't help but laugh when Henry told him that we thought it looked like pepperoni.

Today I lost my motivation too. I always think, if the sun would only shine, THEN I would be motivated again. But somehow, somewhere along the line...even with the sun shining today...I lost it. Just sort of gave up. But the good thing is, instead of doing what I needed to be doing, I hung out on the back patio while the 2 younger kids played on the treehouse for the first time this season. I witnessed the inaugural treehouse meeting of 2012, if you will.

Today I realized for real that there is a good chance Bea won't be ready for kindergarten in the fall. She apparently can write her first name, but 99.9% of the time, chooses to just write "B". So, either lack of readiness or any case, she'll likely not be ready.

Today I read lots of other people's blogs and got that awful, dreaded feeling I get sometimes when I am aware of my inadequacies. My house is not organized like it should be, I don't have one surface in my house covered with chalkboard paint, and I have never made a decent banner out of fabric.and I've never made cake pops. And I don't photograph newborns for a living. Sigh, blog envy. 

And today I realized I can't do it all. Not all at once. I have all these voices in my know what I mean, right?

All of these things I should be
thinking about
praying about

Enjoying? I know I will someday when it's all perfect. But why not now, when it's not perfect?

I'm sure I'm not the first, or only, person to feel that way. So here goes.

off to heat up cans of soup for supper, clear the junk off the kitchen table, and serve the warmed up soup to my children with their messy hair and mismatched socks (because, yeah, laundry is probably behind).

I've got to be okay with that.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

In which she realizes she has had it all wrong...

So, I was at Target this morning. And that, believe it or not, is a fairly rare occurrence. As much as I love it, I know better. We have been credit card/credit card debt free for at least a few years--and my distance from Target is one of the reasons we have managed to remain so.

...but that wasn't my point. sorry.... ;-)

Anyway, it occurred to me, while I was at Target this morning: kidless (three in school, and one in preschool) that most of the Wednesday morning regular clientele was made up of women with young children. Children being pushed in carts, children munching on popcorn eaten out of red bullseye print bags, children prancing down the aisles with their mothers, their pigtails flopping, full of life. And it was a regular thing. I get the feeling that some of these moms go shopping at Target with their toddlers and preschoolers regularly.

and I can't remember the last time I went shopping at Target, just a regular day, with my kids in tow. Not that shopping at Target is the stuff dreams are made of (not the children's dreams anyway...mine are a whole 'nother story). But it's just that since I've been a stay at home mom, which has been--let me think--over 7 years--really? Wow---I have never, ever made a habit of going shopping--or anywhere other than the grocery store--and then only because we had to. With the kids.

It's all too easy when your parents live 5 minutes from your house and are retired--to just drop off the kids whenever it's easier to go alone. Or just drop them off for the day so you can get stuff done at home. It is easier, right? And I know plenty of moms who would if they could, but their parents are working, or live too far away, or generally are just busy. So I guess it's a blessing to have close-by, ready, available and willing parents to watch the kiddies.

But also, sort of a curse. It's too easy. I haven't stepped up to the plate to be the stay at home that I should have been.  Especially these last 2 school years--it has just been me and Bea. The others all in school all day long. Why hasn't she become my little buddy? Why haven't I made her play dough from scratch? Why haven't we made a tradition of baking cookies every Tuesday, or visiting the library every Friday? or making crafts? or having tea parties? or meeting friends for playdates at the park to play and eat lunch?

I know it's too late to go back and fix it. And the truth is, I tried. She didn't like the library story time--it was too loud--and she would prefer to just stay home. And tea parties? Well I guess we sort of have them every time she brings me piles of play food when I'm at my computer and I pretend to eat them. ("yum, yum" I tell her, pretending to take a bite, and she smiles, knowing I "tried" it). And play dough? Well I don't know if there's a reason for why I didn't make homemade playdough. I seem to be the only mom on the blog block who hasn't.

The truth is, I feel inadequate. I feel like I haven't done a very good job. And to be fair, when I quit my teaching job when my now-8 year old was 18 months--I did so with the promise that I would still bring in my share fair of income by selling on ebay. Which I did. For many years. And still do, to some extent.

But as a result, I've always felt like that was what I needed to be doing.  Deal with the kids then get back to listing. I know that regular, non work at home moms don't do crafts and bake cookies and have tea parties and shop at Target all day long. But that's part of the package right? And I admittedly have felt guilty while being bored playing Dora Candyland on those many occasions I tried to be the good mom and play.

So why is it plaguing me today? I guess now that I am in the midst of looking for a job (the one I interviewed for didn't pan out, needless to say), and that Bea might go to kindergarten next year (still not sure though), I feel time is slipping through my fingers. I feel saddened and overwhelmed.

The everyday-ness of being an at-home mom, whether it's a strictly nonworking (for money I mean--please don't misread the phrase "nonworking"), an ebay selling mom, a crafty etsy mom, a blogging mom...or whatever--the everyday-ness of it all--I've let slip by.

I've stressed
about money
the house
the kids
losing weight
doing this better
doing that better

and now where am I?

Probably feeling a little sorry for myself, sadly, but still, sorry and saddened enough to hopefully do something about it. Still looking for a job, still working on the house, the weight loss, the all of the above. But determined to do something about it.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I don't know about the job yet--I'm still not sure what I'll say if it is offered to me. I considered working as a substitute teacher instead. Or doing nothing. And staying home and trying to get some things in order: house, kids, myself, take care of that laundry list of things I have been putting off forever.

I still thought maybe I could sub once or twice a week. And then Sunday night I had this awful dream. It started out as my son's birthday party, but none of the kids would listen to me. All I wanted to do was take a group picture--and none of them would be still and line up.

I kept saying, "okay, tall kids in the back, mediums in the middle, littles in the front" like they were lining up for a class picture or something. Only the kids were running around screaming. And I kept looking at the Mailman, and putting my fingers to my mouth as if I wanted him to whistle to get their attention. Because they clearly weren't listening to me.

Then somehow it morphed into a school situation, in which all the kids abruptly left the classroom, and left all of their papers on the floor, and on the desks, and on the tables and chairs. And suddenly it was the lunchroom--and everyone came in for lunch: hundreds of kids and teachers marched in. I was crawling around on the floor frantically picking up the kids' papers and coats they had left behind. And I felt awful, and inadequate. And I realized when I awoke that maybe substitute teaching wouldn't work out either.

So last night I had a nice talk with the Mailman and we determined that maybe I do just need some time to put things in order. Starting with just one thing at a time. Some days I try to tackle it all at once, and end up feeling unmotivated and frustrated.

So today I'm going to make a list of what is reasonable (and not what *I* think is reasonable, but what is really reasonable), and tackle what I can. Like today, maybe that means dishes. Getting things back in reasonable order then tackling one thing at a time.

Matthew 6:25-27: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?"

Monday, January 9, 2012

Job Interview

Yes, me. Job Interview.

It's been a while. But I had one today. And it didn't kill me. I walked away relatively unscathed. And calm. And I didn't feel nauseous the whole time.

Ten plus years ago (the last time I had a job interview...yikes!), I felt just horrible every time I had an interview. Nervous, shaking, miserable, sick to my stomach, pretty much the whole time.

So what has changed? I'm older--perhaps being in my thirties (and way too close to forty, even) helps? Perhaps having four kids--does having kids really give you nerves of steel? or do you just get so used to stress and chaos that in contrast, sitting in a calm room being peered at by five women seems like a day at a spa. Or a lunch out with old friends?

or maybe it's that I wasn't nervous about being perfect because going in, I wasn't 100% sure I even wanted the job. It's more hours than I want, ideally, slightly later in the afternoon than I would like--and honestly, do I really even want to go back to work after this long being home?

At any rate, I felt oddly relaxed, confident, funny even--got a few giggles and knowing smiles from women who were not intimidating. I didn't feel like a little kid who didn't know what she was doing, as I have in previous job interviews.

So whether or not I get it, I think I'm ready. If the interview went that well, surely the job couldn't be too bad. Right?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Today was the last day of break

Last day to have 4 kids home. All together: playing, fighting, running, teasing, singing, screaming, creating.

Playing school, Star Wars, house, orphans (yes, they like to pretend their parents are dead...what does that say about me?), making up plays, huddling together to watch movies, accidentally injuring, then retaliating, then forgiving. And so on.

And the Mailman goes back to work tomorrow too. Sigh.

I love having them all home. I know some parents can't wait to send their kids back to school after a two week Christmas break. But I love having the house filled with all the sounds of having 4 kids. Even when they are quiet, I know they are here. and he has been here to help. Which has made it all better.

He doesn't want to go back to work tomorrow either. And the girls would rather have more time at home. Henry, though, loves first grade and can't wait to get back to his teacher, his desk, his friends, recess, whatever it is that 6 year olds love.

And it's coming whether we like it or not. The house is undecorated for Christmas, the presents are unwrapped and integrated into the rest of the toys in their rooms, lunches are packed, it's all ready to go.

and it will just be me and Bea again tomorrow.  I'm sure she'll want to watch her new Tinkerbell movie,

and I'll be made and offered many plates of play food, and many scribbled drawings, made with love by a special 4 year old.

So good bye, break, and hello reality.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

January 1

Today didn't really feel like a New Year's Day. With church in the morning and lunch at my parents' house, it just felt, odd. Like a regular Sunday really, not the typical lazing around all day New Year's.

But the Christmas decorations came down. Like any good New Year's Day. And though the kids were sad about it, especially the sight of the bare tree standing in the living room, it must be done. We did get it up early this year so I don't feel quite as bad as I might have other years.

and I am practicing trying to use my new camera. One of my goals for the New Year is to learn how to really use it. And use it!

I started my 365 Photo Project. With practice shots of the kids eating frosted mini wheats at supper. (yeah, we eat cold cereal every Sunday night for I don't win Mother of the Year award...)

and we got Bea's room re-organized and cleaned up. Which is quite a feat in itself.

So I guess it was a good enough day.

I feel like I should say more but it's late and I'm tired, so once again, Happy 2012.