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Archive for March, 2010

College is on my Mind

My son is going to be a junior in high school  in the fall.  I have started the process for him to begin classes at the local community college while finishing his high school diploma program.  A few of the classes we are interested in start at the end of May.  It seems impossible that we are already at this stage of his life.  Just yesterday he was born and then I blinked.  I know all mothers can sympathize with how I feel right now.

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We Are Sick

We are going on our third week of illness. In a large family illness doesn’t hit us all at once but gets us a few at a time, in dribbles and drabs.

  I went down this weekend.  Thankfully only a head cold but a real nasty one it has been.  Yesterday I could barely lift my head from the pillow and when I did it was misery.  Today I am fighting every urge I have to crawl back under the covers and beginning a Harry Potter marathon.  I figure by the time I get to the last movie I should start feeling better. 

Life goes on, however, and there is  laundry that must be done, dishes to be washed, curriculum to be written and food to be prepared.  These things just don’t care about aching heads and muscles, stuffy noses and sneezes.  They are relentless and no housewife is spared.  So I take my Dayquil and go about my day in misery.   My fluffy, warm bed will just have to wait for me.

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*Note-this story is pre-liberal, progressive Vermont.  Raccoons are now safe here in all of the wildlife habitats and lack of hunting lands.  Now they just enjoy snacking in my trash cans each night during the summer without fear of being made into clothing.*

My aunt shared a story with me about my dad and uncle pinning a squirrel skin to their wall as decor.  It reminded me of my first gift from a boy when I was in the first grade.

His name was Mike and he had blonde hair and blue eyes.  He was the cutest seven-year old on the playground.  We were smitten and played on the jungle gym together everyday during recess.  One day he brought me a gift.  It was a raccoon skin cap that he had shot, skinned and made himself.  It even had the tail!  He didn’t do the best job with it and it smelled horrible but I was in love so I stuck it in the bottom drawer of my dresser.  I even wore it a few times.  Hey, when a rodent loses his life in the name of love you wear it on your head! 

I kept that hat for just about forever.  Well at least until the next boy declared his love for me and offered me a rodent free gift.   I kinda wish I still had it.  It probably wouldn’t smell anymore and not only would it be a fashion statement but quite a conversation starter.  Mike, I have no idea where life has taken you but I sure hope if you got married your wife likes varmint.

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Three kids went down with the stomach bug and one is left to go.  Mom and Dad are still standing strong.  We spent the week burning through the first 5 seasons of Scrubs.  In between the sickness there were lots of laughs, lots of explaining and many life lessons learned. 

This week I also finished the back of the Inishturk sweater.  I have started the front.  The stitches still look sloppy to me and I know where there are a few mistakes but it is done.   Once I am finished I will  need to lose the 22 pounds I gained over winter to fit into it.

Photography frustrates me.  I have tried some of the techniques I am learning and I am not sure if my camera is up to the challenge.  I blame the camera so as to not have to look internally at any fault that may in fact lie with me.  I am not giving up at all but I feel quite challenged.  I am truly a jack-of-all trades, master of none.  I know a little bit about a lot of stuff.

I pulled the household notebook back out.  I have started and stopped this thing for years now.  I use it now and again and then life gets in the way and I spiral back out of control.  The irony of that is that the notebook is supposed to ground me, keep me centered with the whirlwind starts.  Instead I just get caught up in the chaos and let it carry me to wherever the dust will eventually land.  Anyway, I hauled it back out and I started back at the beginning.  The calendar is the most important piece right now so I am focusing on making it work for the family.   It’s a start.

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Oh What a Week…

In the past week the Giant had the stomach bug,  there was a Pinewood Derby, a St. Patty’s Day celebration and more illness.  Phew.

  Friday Jake and Bella participated in the AWANA Pinewood Derby.  Jake took second place for speed.  Bella was a really good sport about not winning any awards and cheering on her fellow racers.   It was a good night.

Saturday we finally celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with brisket, cabbage, carrots, pot roast, potatoes,  and Irish soda bread.  It was so delicious and makes me thankful I married a man with a little Irish heritage.  Another good night.

Sunday we made it to church with some out of sorts littles but by the afternoon the kids were back to complaining that they didn’t feel well.  By Sunday night we had a sore throat and an earache.   Not such a good night.

 I braced for the storm that seemed to be brewing but yesterday everything seemed to be at a status quo.  A not so bad night.

I thought perhaps we had escaped a rehash of last weeks stomach bug but alas it was not meant to be.  Bella, Jake and Bug all woke up feeling like their stomachs were flipping.  Bella was the first to go down and the other two are hanging on by a tiny little thread.  I fear a long night lay ahead of me.  I think I will take a nap.

UGH I hate weeks like this.  I am not my best this week either for more reasons than I care to count.  My poor babies.  I hate to see my kids sick.  Summer is almost here right?

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I was going to write about what a procrastinator I am but I will just do it later.  Does that joke ever get old? 

I have been so bad lately.  I have so many plans and good intentions and then the alarm goes off.  When I finally drag my body out of bed an hour and a half  later my plans don’t seem to matter much.  It has become a really bad habit.  Why can’t I ever develop a healthy, good for me habit, like exercising or eating right?  

 This new year started out so well but we took a few punches in the first few months of the year ( financial, medical etc.) and it knocked the wind out of my sails and along with that it knocked all of my desire to do good things like laundry, dishes, feeding the kids… I am kidding- I feed the kids.  I keep pawning off my chores to tomorrows to-do-list.  What is that old adage? Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow.  I would embroider that on a pillow except we all know I would never get around to it.

I know what I need to do but I need the desire to do it.  I am searching deep within to find that motivation.  The inches of dust hasn’t done it, the wayward dust bunnies (that seem to be gathering momentum in their plotted coup), the stacks of dishes that I never seem to be able to catch up on or the baskets full of laundry that need to be folded and put away.  If the kids are clean, dressed and fed then I consider that a successful day. 

 I would love to blame it on the fact that I have four children but people are less sympathetic to your plight when your baby is almost 10.  What happened to those merciful smiles from other knowing mothers?  You know the ones.  They are smiling and nodding  when you are standing in line at the grocery store,  wearing  stained clothing, your hair half in a pony-tail, half in your face, stuck there by the pouring sweat,  a baby carrier in one hand, a toddler on your hip and another climbing on your shoulders, all  while you try to sort out your coupons and write a check.   Now if I leave the house with stains on my shirt it just means  I am a slob.  If my coupons aren’t in order and my check’s not  pre-filled in I am lazy.  If my kids were using me as a jungle gym we would be freaks.  How would one  carry  a 6 foot, 15-year-old anyway?  Maybe something like this?

 I miss my built-in excuse of being a harried mother of 4.  Now all of the same things that made me sympathy worthy  just make me  kind of pathetic. 

My goal next week is to start and finish my household planner.  Ok, I admit that it is sort of started already(as in has been for years now)  but it needs some fine tuning and above all  it needs to be finished.  Then I need to actually use it.

I will take it slow, one day at a time.    Baby steps, don’t want to pull a homemaking muscle.

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Leprechaun Traps

Each year my kids design and put together Leprechaun traps in hopes of capturing one of the elusive creatures.  They have yet to actually get one but the Leprechaun’s are always generous and leave behind a gold coin and some candy.  We have done this for years now and I cannot tell you how glad  I am that even the older boys are still willing to participate.  It has just been a fun tradition with the kids saving recyclable materials well in advance and plotting on how to best catch one.  You can even see in the pictures some Leprechaun dust that was left behind as he made his escape. 

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