Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Blogging Troubles

So, I've been trying to update my blog for a few days but we are having some computer problems.

Three weeks till my due date; the house is in order, warm weather has arrived, yard sales have supplied me with a fresh supply of newborn sized clothes, we're just all waiting, waiting, waiting. I hope we don't really have a whole three weeks left to wait, but even if we do, I know it will fly by. Then I'll have a crying newborn and think of how good I had it during pregnancy, lol.
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Monday, May 14, 2012

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

I've been thinking about laundry lately.

I have a love-hate relationship with my laundry. I really like sorting the piles, filling the machine, hearing it all working as I'm doing something else, and even switching out the loads. But when it comes time to fold and put away... ugh. I hate it. I mean, in theory I like it... fresh, clean clothes for the family, stacked neatly in all the designated drawers. But in reality, it's always been the most horrible, daunting, BORING task ever.

That is, until I started listening to my husband.

Martin has been practically BEGGING me for YEARS to start doing smaller laundry loads. I felt this was impossible because then I'd never catch up. In my own laundry method, I fill the washer with as many articles of clothing as I can possibly fit (too many, it's true) and then I have to run each load through the dryer at least twice and usually three times to get them all dry (my loads are too big to hang it all on the line outside, but usually a few things get out there) and then when they are finally dry they sit in the dryer for days (DAYS) getting all wrinkly again.  Sometimes the pile comes out of the dryer and sits on a chair or bed or floor for an extended period of time until it's been stepped on/slept on/sat on so much that it all needs to be washed again.

Yeah, my laundry method is awesome.

So, I finally decided to try Martin's way. Small loads. Just a few things at a time, but more frequently.


I've been caught up on my laundry for about a week, and it's incredible. With small loads I never feel like I don't have the time to fold and put away! With small loads I can do MANY loads in a day and I actually enjoy it!! I have been hanging up shirts again and putting away my own clothes! (My clothes all go upstairs... it's a long way from the laundry room to the bedroom.) I'm telling you, this method of laundry-doing has changed my life!!  And the best part is, I never feel like "laundry" is a dark cloud chore looming over me all day long. I encourage all of you reading this to try doing laundry this way (if you don't already... maybe I'm the last person to hear about this.) See what you think! I love it.

In other news, we all have sunburns, which is a nice way to start out the summer season. Mothers Day was really, really fun, aside from one very, very obnoxious trip to Lowe's that the girls and I had to endure in the morning.  We spent the afternoon over on campus celebrating Mothers Day along with Martin's sister's graduation--I guess she is now Dr. AunT!

As you can see, we had lots of fun! The weather was absolutely perfect. PERFECT. And I love graduation time... it's such a happy time! Being on campus on Sunday was really fun. And from there we went out to Prophetstown for a picnic with my side of the family which was also really fun.  The girls were sunburned and filthy when we got home... it was a pretty good start to the summer.

This morning on Facebook I saw that the local u-pick orchard was ready for strawberry picking. Yahooo! Martin left us the car and the girls and I met my sister and her kids out there.  Greta and I together picked 10lbs of delicious, juicy, sweet strawberries while Anja and her cousin Grace picked 11 pounds! They won the prize (a dandelion.) All those berries went home with Grace, which is fine with me because we ate strawberries all day long and still have half our box left. Yikes! I guess we'll be eating strawberries all day again tomorrow.

And here's a picture of the little May Altar that Anja made. That pretty statue was my own contribution... but she liked having the Little People Mary on the table, surrounded by a flower headwreath and then completely buried in these funny pink silk flowers that we have. While she made it she was wearing a cat costume.

And speaking of costumes, Anja is in another I-Only-Want-To-Wear-THIS-Dress phase. Her dress of choice is her very fancy Easter dress from last year which is a pale pink with little white beads all over the bodice. She loves it, and she seriously wears it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Oh look! She's wearing it in the picture above at the strawberry patch! About once a week she brings it to me and tells me I can wash it. It's getting so gross.  It has a hole in it and is covered in stains. Ew. I hope that since it's such a fancy dress and she is a 4 year old girl people who see her will realize that she is wearing a nasty princess dress because she loves it.... it's not like when they get attached to one t-shirt that gets disgusting and then it looks like you just don't do your kid's laundry.

And we're back to the laundry.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Preparing the Nest

You might remember my last post where I voiced my excitement at my clothes fitting again. Well.... they already don't. Again.

I still have more than four weeks left till my official due date. If the baby keeps growing at it's current rate, I'll have to have a homebirth simply because I won't be able to fit out my front door. *sigh*

In the meantime, I've been nesting in a completely insane way. It's nuts. I am not the "cleaning" type by nature--I have lived for many years in perfect harmony with my clutter and dust bunny friends-- but suddenly I've been struck with this urge to clean EVERYTHING. I mentioned a few things I'd done last week, but recent activities also include washing the inside of my washing machine lid, dusting all the baseboards in the house, scrubbing the outsides of all my kitchen cabinets, and painting the stairway (finally!). That last is my biggest and most important accomplishment, and here is a picture to show my pride:
 I am so, so pleased with how the landing is turning out as painted floors. Martin chose the absolute perfect color--he chose exactly what I had envisioned, except if I had been the one to go to the hardware store and choose it, I would've gotten it wrong. (Those who remember my nuclear glow bathroom might have an idea of how bad I am with paint color.) Upstairs on the landing it's mostly painted except for a little strip which is holding two dressers and a very large trunk full of fabric. All that furniture has to be moved before we can rip up that last strip of carpet and finally finish the floors. Maybe this weekend! But more likely next.  I have plans to make the landing a sort of extension of the bedroom. It will have a chair and a dresser that will be our changing table (the same green dresser that we used for the other girls) and it already has a shelf full of diapering stuff, including this adorable cover that we recently got:
 Love it. I'm so excited to have someone in diapers again. It's been a long time! And newborn diapers are SO TINY!!!!

Another thing my nesting has gained us is a cleared out, cleaned out, rearranged bedroom where we all fit and we all have our own bed! Greta was thrilled to have her own little bed at last, and Anja was happy to once again have her bed all to herself. And I am happy to not be sleeping in a twin bed anymore! Our room looks great (so great, in fact, that I invited my sister up to see it yesterday--usually the entire upstairs is a place of great mystery to visitors.) Now I'm ready for baby to come, and I hope he/she does so before the house turns to shambles again. That would be a little frustrating.

But the nesting urge has slowed. In fact, maybe even stopped. Yesterday I had these vague ideas of things I'd like to get done--organizing Martin's closet where our shoes and sweaters are heaped on the floor, doing a bit of outside work, clearing out toy baskets--but none of that happened. Instead we went to McCords with my sister and her kids for lunch!
And then I spent the afternoon mostly knitting and doing a teensy bit of laundry. The organizing just didn't seem so important anymore.

By the way, it's so fun to go out to eat at McCords and have all the kids sitting at their own table! It was soooooo cute.

Happy Weekend! And Happy Mothers Day to all the mamas reading this blog. May your day be full of pampering and sticky kisses.

Friday, May 4, 2012


Our local weatherman says that we’ve seen the end of our freezes and frosts for this year and so I feel more confident about getting the household ready for summer. We’ve done a little planting and yard work—four tomato plants in 5 gallon buckets, and one garden box filled with tomatoes, peppers and garlic. I think I’m going to devote the other garden box to pole beans and do that teepee idea with them, making a little fort for the girls (and neighborhood cats.) I know I’m really late for planting beans…. But hopefully they won’t mind the heat and will survive. And in the other garden plot, I don’t know what we’ll do.  I threw some melons back there last year so maybe if I weed it out we’ll get some melons growing back. Who knows.

Other than that, we’ve been mostly making plans for our yards and mulching the front—but we ran out of mulch, so the front of our house looks really lousy still and will until we get more, which we hope to do soon.  It’s funny—we kind of were hoping so much to not be living here this summer that we actually started planning our lives around not being here… hence the late start on the garden. So we have a little catching up to do, but I have confidence that by Memorial Day our yard will be looking swell.

On the inside I’ve been packing away winter clothes and maternity clothes. If you are ever in a pinch for clothing storage and happen to have some of those giant paper lawn bags on hand, they work beautifully for storing clothes!  They are heavy-duty so they won’t rip like regular paper bags, they are HUGE so they hold an entire seasons worth of kids clothes and as long as you mind that dotted line that says plainly “Do Not Fill Above This Line” they are manageable once filled too!  I was able to haul one all the way from the upstairs bedroom clear to the Back Room!  (The second one I ignored that important dotted line and I ended up having to ask Martin to take it downstairs for me. SO, MIND THE LINE.)

Does it sound like I’m nesting?

I love nesting. I LOVE IT. After many weeks of not having the energy to do anything but sit in a chair and knit (even though I DID more than that, that’s all I felt like I wanted to do) I suddenly this week am feeling this blissful end-of-pregnancy energy. The only downside is that with the energy comes a sense of URGENCY. I look at my house and I see so much that needs to be done before we can bring a baby home. Of course, I know this isn’t true—the baby will fit right in whenever it arrives. But still.  I’m getting all sorts of really important household chores done with all this crazy nesty stuff—like lint rolling my rugs and scouring the entire outside of my oven. It’s incredible. And then there’s the more normal (and truly more important) stuff like organizing the diapers, rearranging the bedroom to make us all fit, finding all the tiny baby clothes that I know are in a place I thought was smart and accessible at the time of putting them there, but now are buried under who-knows-how-much stuff in who-knows-which room.

And aside from all the work getting done, showing that this third pregnancy is nearing it’s end, the baby suddenly dropped on Tuesday afternoon.  It was very sudden.  And with this little development (especially paired with my new energy level) I wouldn’t mind being pregnant for a few more months!  My clothes fit! I can breathe! And I feel cuter than I have through this entire pregnancy.
 This is not the exact picture I posted on facebook... for one thing, it's not Instagrammed. But as I explained on there, I find it very hard to take my own picture in a mirror. My grandmother used to find all the photographs with her in them and cut out her face. I would totally do that if I knew how to use photoshop! I would gladly leave empty holes in my photographs where my face ought to be.

Ok, on to the other things going on in our lives lately. My nieces and nephew had an open house last weekend for their homeschooling co-op. We were late (if you can imagine that) because no one wanted to get dressed (shocker) and then we realized only after we were over on campus (horrible place) that we would have really been better off walking to this thing or at least taking the trolley over. But, it was too late by that time and we eventually got there and saw the very important people, one of whom is pictured here:
 Anja and her cousin, Bella, being awesome while Greta looks uncomfortable and like she doesn't really want to admit that she knows them. ("Why was I asked to be in this picture with these strangers? I've never seen these nutjobs before in my life! I swear!")

Afterward we found this really, really, really cool stick sculpture that I didn't know existed. It is SO FUN.  It's like a house made of sticks, except it's more like a maze with little rooms. We played in for a really long time, we all loved it.
 Here is my little family looking out one of the windows.

My other niece (Bella's big sister) made her First Communion this past weekend and it was a lovely day, but I forgot to put the picture of it on here that I meant to. She looked so pretty!

Oh, and I advertised on Instagram that there would be a story here explaining what the girls and I did TODAY.  Today we went to Toys "R" Us to ride a mechanical Garfield.

So, a looooooooong time ago, we went there to get somebody a birthday present and on the way out the girls wanted to ride this mechanical Garfield thing, so of course I let them. Anja had her ride and she thought it was great, and then it was Greta's turn and the blasted thing ate ALL my money and kept saying (very loudly and in a British accent) "Another Coin, Please. Another Coin, Please" every three seconds. Greta, of course, was upset and I was upset because such a simple thing as a mechanical ridey thing should NOT leave little toddlers devastated.  So, ever since then she's been talking about it and every once in awhile she mentions that we should go back and see if it's fixed. (By the way, she thinks it's a tiger and yells at me whenever I accidentally call it a cat... which is always, since it IS a cat. A very famous cat, really, but Greta has no idea.) Well, anyway, today we finally had the car on a day she remembered this broken ridey tiger, and suggested we go and see if it had been fixed yet. Great idea! We immediately scrounged up many quarters and headed out for Toys "R" Us. Only to find that the Garfield ride wasn't there anymore. It had been replaced by a car with a big mouse in it, wearing a sign that read "Out Of Order." Even that was okay, because there was still this big train that could be ridden, so the girls got in and I put in the quarters, which immediately plinked out again. It wouldn't take my money. They were BOTH BROKEN.

Toys "R" Us FAIL.

Luckily, I know that there is a ridey carousel thing in our mall that the girls rode once last fall and loved. So we went there. But we went in the wrong door (because I hate the mall and never go there) so the first thing we came to was a collection of ridey toys that were not the carousel, but more like the ones at the crappy toystore. Hop in girls! Ready... Set... OH WAIT, IT'S BROKEN AND NOW IT'S EATEN THREE OF MY QUARTERS!

And of course, it was Greta's that wasn't working. I slipped her into Anja's choice ride, which WAS working (thank goodness) and everyone was happy. Then we headed off to find the carousel.

And this is where our trip greatly improved. There are three different vehicles on this carousel and I just happened to have two dollar bills in my purse and we had one dollar left of quarters so we were able to ride the carousel THREE TIMES, so each girl got a ride on each vehicle! Everyone was happy and once we were out of money we went to the indoor play area which is actually pretty great because it's designed for pretty little kids and it's just a place to climb and slide, which is awesome. Nothing is high enough that a fall would do any damage, everything is really spread out but contained, so there's plenty of room for everyone, and climbing and sliding are my girls' favorite things to do, so they were extremely happy to be at this place. I tried to pretend we weren't in the mall (where I was quickly realizing that I am waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay behind in the fashion world. Like a decade or more. Yikes) and I tried harder to pretend that the other three parents there were not all glued to their smartphone screens while their kids were being so cute and funny.

 Cute and funny, like mine! I'm so glad it's summer.