Friday, June 29, 2007


The camera is not lost! If you know me, you know I don't really keep track of my things too well...and things go missing...and it's no big deal, things are replaceable and they mostly turn up again at some point. So, that happened to the camera for a while (no big loss because i HATE it) and then it appeared under the sofa so here's some pictures. Since the last post the kids have both turned into super strong swimmers on their own (floaty suits and noodles have been cast off) and we have been to the library like 8 times.

Here we have Jackson knitting on a loom (though he prefers knitting with sticks now...this was taken like, 2 weeks ago) while Sloane dusts him off with her duster and a shirt I made her from her old baby onesies. And Sloane in a dress I made her which is SO the best thing I've ever sewn. And Billie with her girlfriends who came over yesterday and played all afternoon and had SO SO MUCH FUN.

Friday, June 15, 2007

simple living...who knew it would actually WORK?

So...I'm feeling a little guilty about my post yesterday and when the kids grow up they'll know how totally slack i could be at times. I think i should write about some things i'm proud of. Lately, i've been feeling really good about our home and the amount of crapola it contains. I think we've FINALLY reached a manageable level (of crapola). For the most part; the house basically stays clean (not perfectly dusted or anything worthy of me sharing with Flylady). There are no toys upstairs, things get put in their place. The kids have a simple morning routine which involves making their own beds and getting dressed, putting their reading time books back on the shelf, etc. This can take 6 minutes or over an hour depending on how focused they are...that's okay...there's no time limit on it, they just can't get to lessons until it's done. They've been doing this since each turned 2 so the beds didn't actually look 'made' for several years..but that's alright too. I just say "Nice job!" if they've made the effort and let them wear whatever clothes they wanted. While they're doing this i have time for my own morning routine and our morning ritual makes for a good start to the day.
Mostly i give credit to having a small house. This house is the PERFECT size for us right now (and if the kitchen had major modifications and doubled in size i'd want to live here forever). There is no room to throw clutter and procrastinate sorting...and that's a very good thing for me. All the rooms stay pretty straightened and if needed we can do a quick run through for guests and have it looking quite nice (granted, my standards may be lower than yours 'quite nice' is a relative term) in under 10 minutes. Another thing that helps with is this is that my certain belief that Finished is better than Perfect. It makes for some pretty 'creative' knitting projects that i DO complete.
I'm proud that my weekly donations to the thrift store, not shopping, being VERY selective in my purchases, and weeding through all the loads of stuff we somehow constantly acquire has finally gotten me to the point where i feel control over the stuff and keeping house. I can hear some of you snickering that I never stressed about a messy house...this is true...because, honestly, i just don't care that much. But i still did wish for a house that stayed pretty clean and to not be a big job i dreaded doing.
I'm there! Yay! Thanks, Roomba- I love you!
Other things I'm proud of: The kids have never slept away from us until last weekend. In all 11 birthday parties no one has ever had one of those gross frosting, tacky, store-bought cakes. Most days I don't cry or yell at the kids and we have really lovely, wonderful days together. Some days are so much fun you wouldn't believe me if I told you and I feel like I could burst with love. I'm proud I taught Jackson to knit on sticks yesterday and he's sitting on the chair with a furrowed brow, working very hard on his SECOND animal cape creation right now. I'm proud that Billie just said "Jackson look at the kite I you want me to make one for you? I'll need to cut off the string to your balloon...but it'll turn out to be an excellent kite."
There. Some good things. I'll get out of the hammock again in August, I won't keep up reading four books a week forever. And it won't really hurt Sloane if she grows up and when reading Anne Tyler books somehow, they remind her of Curious George.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Billie, enterprising as she is, created a 'Rootabega stand' hoping for some pocket money at the playground. Sloane finds herself in the mirror and sadly waves goodbye to the tent and Grampa Les as it's time for us (the lame members of the family to go home and sleep in air conditioning). Sleep is hard enough even with my 1000 thread count sheets...i'm NOT attempting anything else. Seriously, sleep is just something i NEED more than other people. So two nights ago when Billie woke up with her first ever ear ache and I had to rub her back and tell her stories in a 300 thread count bed...well, it was just not the most fun. When we finally moved downstairs to watch a movie on the computer (the only TV is in the basement) so that she could be distracted. Then i had to curl up on the love-seat with NO SHEETS and wonky the next day...well, was probably one of the worst days as a Mom i've had and i did not get through it without tears and yelling at the kids. Billie is sort of the same way (affected by any upset in her nightly 11 hours of sleep) and was SO ROTTEN to Jackson and myself that I could not believe my ears. Thankfully, today she's been kind and friendly...helpful even and I am going to be more appreciative of what I thought was brattiness before yesterday. She's not really much.

I should mention Jackson here- because I write (complain) a lot about Billie. Jackson is super nice and good. He's smart and says the funniest things and he has the most clever thought process for figuring things out. Jackson can come up with a possible outcome for the stories we are reading "maybe he could disguise himself as a dragon and when Ruggedo tries to attack him he will be frightened off at the sight of a reliable dragon" His vocabulary is the funniest because he knows all these outstanding words but can't really place them all correctly in a sentence. He is totally into games and asks me at least 4 times a day to play a game with him. "Wanna play candyland? Can we play chess? How about a convincing game of scrambled states of 'merica, Mom?" Get ready for another (yes...another) Mom confession. I am TOO tired to play the games with him (which would involve really nothing more than sitting on the floor or at the table and lifting my arm to move my piece when required). So, I say "okay, I'll set up the game" and then he just ends up sitting at the table in front of the eager that he starts without me...thrilled with the game I get a fully commentary "Mom! You got a moose! You just need one fox and a zebra or I'll have to block you with my giraffe if I'm so sneaky for'll be pretty amazed at that. My turn! I'm just so pleased I didn't get a penguin!" and he proceeds to finish the whole game of Sequence by choosing cards for me, placing my chip, and then himself...and then getting totally frustrated if i win!
What am I doing while all this goes on? I'm on the couch reading, of course, while holding open a kids book that Sloane forces at me each time I sit down. Then I just hold my own book in the other hand and make silly voices reading The Secret Life of Bees aloud so that Sloane is under the impression that these are the words of her book. Ha ha ha! Her book doesn't even have anything about South Carolina racial tension in 1964...but she thinks it does. So easily fooled, I'm embarrassed for her.
So...are you wondering if there is anything...anything at all that I am willing to get off my selfish bottom for (butt is not polite)? Well, yes there is. There is one thing I jump up for and it's a plastic baby. We have two main baby dolls here; Peach and Lola. Sloane calls them both 'Ma Ma' just to be ridiculous and she has decided that they have a lot of needs. She comes to me saying "change...change" "should we change your diaper?" I ask. "ma ma! ma ma!" "change the baby's diaper?" "yeah" (she says yeah ALL THE TIME) rather than learn more words she just makes us guess at what she wants and when we finally get it right there is an instant one-syllable "ya!" So, I jump up and we lay down the baby and change the diaper and then I have to go get a cup of cheerios for the baby with a baby spoon so that we can feed the baby. Sometimes the baby wants to nurse and sometimes to read "Book! Ma Ma!". Nursing is the most absurd but i hold the baby and nurse each time she asks. What do you mean that's retarded?!!! It's so good for her to see me taking care of some other baby...holding someone else in my arms and taking time to do things for some random baby who is not Sloane. She hasn't really seen me do anything for anyone else in the last 6 months. Billie and Jackson are fully functioning at managing the house and coming up with their own games by now (see above how Jackson plays a game with me without me even participating). I hope this is making some kind of impact on Sloane so that when the baby gets here she will allow me to hold and cuddle someone else. Oh Sloane...your world is about to change. I have to go narrate Ina May's Guide to Childbirth over the pictures of Ferdinand the Bull right now and hope Sloane understands.

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Grampa Les and Nana Carrie took the kids camping last weekend. The first time any of the kids has spent the night away (yeah, six years and we're still not ready to vacation without them). They had the best time ever- as you can see from the Joy of S'mores photo.

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