Saturday, March 26

things i learned this week....

-ten hours of sleep at night is not enough for matthias.
-a pizza cutter is great for cutting up spaghetti.
-hiba is ready to drink out of a normal cup by herself...but matthias is not.
-matthias is very strong-willed. very.
-i love spring weather.
-the number of times a day i can listen to hiba tell be "but i will try to XYZ" (where XYZ is whatever i have just told her not to do) without losing it is seven.
-matthias loves to imitate hiba's every move. like her screaming. and talking back. but also her hugs.
-hiba loves her little brother and really does want to make him happy.
-hiba, matthias, and i all need regular interaction with other people. we all go a little crazy when this doesn't happen.
-the phrase "don't touch that" means as much to matthias as the phrase "xlkjfdsiaopihgkl;jfdls" means to you.
-trolly rides will become a regular part of our lives this summer.
-a snickers bar and coffee make a very yummy breakfast. not so filling though.
-there is such a thing as too much coffee.

Thursday, March 17

two new favorites

i like good deals. one of the things that i realized while living in palestine is that you can always get a better deal. always. this knowledge does make it a little tricky for me when i'm shopping, because i'm always convince that i can find it cheaper if i just wait - but, it also helps me to find new awesome ways to get good deals. and i have recently found two.

the first site is for all you bookworms. it is called PaperBackSwap. it's a huge online community of readers who want to share their old books and get new ones. basically, you post books and mail them to people who request them. you get one credit for each book you send. when you sign up, you get two credits for just posting 10 books. when you request a book, you don't have to pay anything for it - the owner just sends it to you, yours to keep, and then you read it. we got the help and secret life of bees with our first two credits. and we've shipped four books so far (two of which we laughed at every time we saw them on our bookshelf...), so there is more to come. it's a fun site and there are tons of books to choose from. check it out.

the second site is for all my mom friends. maybe you already know about it. it's called thredUP. it's a clothes swap site. basically, when you sign up, they send you flat rate boxes that you can pack full of your kids' old clothes and list. then you can look at other boxes that are listed and get one. each box costs $15.95 ($5 to the site and $10.95 for shipping), but when you ship a box you don't have to pay for shipping - you just print of a shipping label from the site and stick it in the mail. i just got a box for matthias yesterday and it had 14 articles of clothing - all in great shape, spring clothes. he's in desperate need of clothes. so it came out to just over $1 per item - which is a pretty fantastic deal if you ask me. plus, i got to avoid going to a store, rummaging through clothes, trying to find the best deal - i did that all while sitting on my couch. because it's a swap site, you get credits for the boxes you send and you can only pick boxes if you send one. when sign up, you get two free picks, but after that you get one pick for every box you send. it's a pretty great way to get rid of old clothes and find new ones. i'm totally hooked.

so there you go. two fun sites with a little community involved and a lot of great deals.

Wednesday, March 16

the best laid plans....

*note - i started writing this on monday. it's been that kind of week.

a few weeks ago, a lady came to our MOPS group and talked about organization. she focused on ways to "manage the chaos" that is in the home when you have little kids. she emphasized that the chaos is there, and always will be, so we need to find ways to manage it. i already do a lot of the things she talked about - lists, lists, and more lists, grocery planning, mean planning, calendars, etc - but it did remind me that i can do them better.

so this week i planned to start my new organized life. with managed chaos. we woke up at a leisurely time on monday morning (thank you, daylight savings time), i got my coffee, got my planner out, and started to plan. i planned my week in broad strokes, made sure our meals were all planned and made sense with our schedule, planned my day in detail. errands in the morning, cleaning, laundry, emails and sleeping during nap, workout in the afternoon, maybe a few more errands, in-laws house for dinner. it was a pretty great plan.

so we got going, made the rounds to different thrift stores and target in the morning (trying to find clothes for hiba and matthias for a wedding this weekend that can double as easter outfits - fail) and made it home by lunch time. got lunch on the table for the kids, planned what i was going to enjoy as soon as they went to nap, made sure the laundry was rotated so i could fold it all during nap time. i'm doing great. making my list and checking it twice. crossing things off.

and then J called. J is a teenage girl who is part of a group that i volunteer with for teenage mothers. and she was in labor. well, at least she thought she was in labor. and her mom's boyfriend had the car and her boyfriend's mom's car was broken, so could i take her to the hospital.

i didn't want to. i had my day planned and it was going great. i had a nap coming up, i was actually being productive. i didn't want to take a teenage girl to the hospital to give birth to her first child. J said i could just drop her off, i didn't need to stay. but i knew i needed to. she didn't have anyone else.

so i packed up the kiddos and went to get her. she was pretty unprepared - no hospital bag, no one to go with her, and no real idea of what was coming up. so i took her, got her checked in and called a friend to take the kids. she called her boyfriend who had just gotten off work and told him i was on my way to pick him up.

i picked up M, her boyfriend and went back to the hospital. and then we waited. she was definitely in labor, but it was more of pre-labor, so there wasn't a lot they could do for her. no drugs till she progressed more, but they wanted to keep the monitor on her for 30 minutes at a time, so no moving. after what seemed forever on the monitor, she finally got to get up and walk some, which i think helped.

i spent all afternoon there, answering her questions about what was coming (although maybe i lied a little about how awful giving birth is...), making sure M had food to eat so he didn't have to leave her side, a quick run to target to get her some things for her recovery, talking to the nurse and asking the right questions since J didn't even know where to start. when i left, they were about to officially admit her, hook up an iv and help the process a long a little bit.

she gave birth to a healthy baby girl at 11:30 that night, via c-section. i visited her on tuesday and she was beaming. so was M. and M's mom was there, helping out a lot just like a good grandma should. i'm going back this afternoon to take her some formula for the baby and snacks for her.

so now it's wednesday. i'm finally caught up on my to-do list and back on track to manage my chaos. back on track to live my wonderfully planned life. i think it's good to manage chaos, to make plans, and to try to follow them. but i'm also thankful for the things God throws at me that i haven't planned for, the times when He lets me help, just a little, to manage chaos.

Saturday, March 12


i've never given anything up for lent. i don't know why - we never really talked about lent growing up and then once i was an adult, i just never really thought about it. this year, a lot of my friends have posted about what they are giving up, why, etc. and it got me thinking. so i've decided to give something up this year. (and yes, i know lent started on wednesday. i'm just a few days behind....) so what is it that i'm giving up? not napping.


that may sound a little silly and trite, so let me first say that i am not trying to take lent lightly or make a joke or be offensive. but here is the deal. i am in the wonderful stage of my life where my kids take naps at the same time every day. 99% of the time, they are asleep in their beds between 1 pm and 3 pm. which means that i have to be home during that time and i have two hours to myself.

i used to use this time wisely. i would spend the first hour or so being productive. i'd do dishes, fold laundry, make phone calls, write emails, clean, plan for dinner - things that need to be done and are waaaaaay easier without thing 1 and thing 2. then i would spend the rest of the time sleeping. these naps were a very vital part of my day. i love sleep. i do not function well without it. i keep thinking that one day i will learn how to get by with waking up early and not sleeping during the day. but that is just not the case. i need my rest. i need to have a time where i don't do anything, don't talk to anyone, and just rest. sometimes i actually sleep, other times i just lay on the couch and enjoy the silence. it was wonderful and really helped the rest of the afternoon to go well. i had energy to love my kids, take care of my house, and not be on the edge of a nervous breakdown when jason walked in the door.

but then i discovered netflix. i will watch anything on tv. i will get sucked into the dumbest show you could ever think of and watch it obsessively. i don't do that whole "just watch one episode and then get up and be productive" thing. i don't even watch tv and fold laundry at the same time. i just watch tv. i sit on the couch, watch as many episodes of whatever trashy show i happen to be obsessed with in the alloted time, and i get nothing done. it's also not restful. because at the end of naptime, i still have a pile of dishes, a pile of laundry, dinner to make, errands to run, two kids to play with, and no energy or interest in doing any of it, and definitely not enough time.

so for lent, i'm giving up my laziness. which may sound ironic since that includes napping, but it's really not. i promise. if i use their naptime to get a little work done and then take the break that i need - usually in the form of sleep - i am way better off.

and it is a sacrifice. because it's way easier to save all the dishes for the end of the night or to leave the pile of clothes in the laundry room or not vacuum and sweep when it's needed, and instead just sit and watch mindless entertainment. it's easier to not plan my time out, to not care about what the house looks like. it's easier to get sucked into these shows where i watch people live extravagant lives that i'll never have and imagine what it would be like. it's easier to just not care enough to take the time to rest. it's easier to not nap.

but for the next 40 days (well, minus a few....), i'm not watching tv during nap time. i'm going to sleep. because it helps me to be a better wife, mom, and friend when i do - and isn't that the point?

Wednesday, March 9

so i missed february. i don't know what we were doing that kept me from blogging, but i'm sure it was super exciting and super important. which is why i didn't write about it....

so now it is march. this year is flying by. spring is on the way, which makes my life a lot better. days always go better with the windows open, at least in my opinion. we're all staying busy with life - mops, play dates, rugby games, teen mops, dishes, laundry, dishes, laundry, rugby get the idea. mostly it's the same old, same old.

but, i do have one interesting development. i've figured out what i want to be when i grow up. i think. my plan right now is to go back to school in the fall for occupational therapy. only this time, it's more than a plan. i've emailed and chatted with the admission counselor for OT at UCA, looked at the classes i need, figured out when and where i'm going to take them, filled out my fafsa. which is much more concrete steps than i've ever taken towards this whole "back to school" thing. so i think it's for real this time.