Monday, April 23, 2012

Four-Letter Word.

Somewhere between the rain, spring, mud, dirt, soaking white-turned-black socks, dirty knees on sweatpants, sand and filth ALL over the house, sweeping and sweeping and sweeping, I decided enough was enough.

LEGO in our house is quickly becoming a four-letter word.

We have thousands of Legos, and the kids have a great deal of fun playing with them. However, they've also spent a fair amount of time outdoors lately, running in and out, grabbing a sweatshirt, running in with their rain boots on to use the bathroom, dragging inside toys out, and outside toys in. The house is dirty, I carry a broom from room to room, and it's driving me crazy.

What's this have to do with Legos, you ask? Well, I have, until now, had a fair amount of patience with our Lego situation. When I found a small, yellow Lego amid the unmentionables of a dirty diaper, I didn't take them away; only gave a stern warning that Legos were to be out of reach from the baby. I get used to finding Legos in my bed, under the rugs, or sorted in our kids' bowls and plastic plates.

But this weekend, I packed them away. It was a breakdown of sorts that I'd like to call TMC, which stands for TOO MUCH CLEANING. There is too much sand and dirt, hand towels full of boy grease and boots and shoes that have seen better days. Right now I have little to no patience for those tiny little Legos under my feet that I don't exaggerate have infiltrated every single room in the house, without exception.

I packed a large box away on Friday, told the kids calmly what I was doing, and why, and spent the remainder of the weekend picking up residuals. They were okay with it, and even though it rained all day Saturday, they understood that for an undetermined amount of time, that the privilege of turning our home into Ninjgo was being revoked.

With the mom guilt being stacked quite high for packing MORE of the boys' toys away, my rationale is that fewer toys for the kids is worth it if mom can keep more cool and collected and spends less time ranting about the condition of the jungle gym we call our home.

How do you keep up with the toys AND the outdoors-come-indoors mess?

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Mark and I have been having fun today with "Spotify," playing all of our favorite old, and new songs.

Mark was on a roll playing songs from our junior high and high school years, roughly...a-hem...ten years ago. Just because I was that kind of girl, I knew all the songs on the radio then, like lots of girls at the time. Mark was quizzing me this afternoon.

Better Than Ezra, Live, The Verve, Cardigans, Everclear, Incubus, Deep Blue Something, Savage Garden...on and on and on. Mark was impressed, because he apparently didn't spend his adolescent afternoons blaring music in his bedroom.

He thought he would stump me for sure when he played the first few notes of "Freshman," and then stopped it before the words started.

"Verve Pipe!" I shouted.

"How do you know all of these?" He asked.

I sang back, "When I was young I knew everything..."

Hee Hee.
(If you don't laugh, you didn't grow up in the '90's  ;-)  ).

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Is This Thing On? Working Moms Edition.

In the past two weeks, Hilary Rosen's comment about how Ann Romney "hasn't worked a day in her life," has sparked a lot of controversy, most of which has left me offended with my feelings hurt.

For the  record, for all the good moms out there, there is no such thing as a mom who doesn't work. We are all working moms, regardless of where we are putting in our time. I have never taken a moral stance in the "Mommy Wars," and have never criticized working mothers, but on the flip side, I have to defend my decisions, too.

Since I'm not a pundit or a comedian, I'll just vent my frustration.

First off, some on the left defend Rosen's comments and have suggested that working women are superior to the ones that choose to stay home with their children. One particular comment went as far as describing the day of a working mother (getting up early, traveling in the car, being tired, etc,) and comparing it to my life (I suppose), indicating that I was both lazy and uninformed. (Let's just say that I get up pretty early, strap a lot of kids in and out of car seats, and cry sometimes because my eyes are burning from fatigue).

How can you respond to people that suggest a stay at home mother is lazy and unintelligent? Is there really anything I could possibly to say to such ignorance? Clearly, the lack of spending a minute in the shoes of a stay-at-home mother is making members of the left look out of touch, and downright cruel in the way they are diminishing the God-given role of Motherhood to an unnatural urge that needs to be weeded out in order for women to understand the economy.

The economy. That's how this whole thing started. Because apparently a women who doesn't work can't understand things like that because she...doesn' the home)? I am still failing to reach the connection. Someone help me here.

So let's see here, since I don't know anything about the economy, I must know nothing about budgeting, gas prices, home sales, or flat incomes. These problems are just illusions to me, Silly Girl, who spends her day propped up on the couch reading french novels with a bowl of potato chips at hand. I can't be bothered with the increase in food prices and feeding a family of five, nor the price of anything, really. Obviously I leave those trivial issues to the people who go to work.

And clearly, I haven't worked a day in my life, either.

Ann Romney raised FIVE boys. I have three, and even when I humor myself thinking about what wealth may have provided Mrs. Romney in cooking, cleaning, and childcare, there isn't a part of me that doubts that carrying her five sons, tending to them in the night, and nurturing them during the day was not only hard work, but absolutely consumed and drove her life.

I'll go as far as believing that if wealth bought Ann Romney household comforts, that those things only allowed her to work harder, freeing up more of her time to volunteer, work with her husband, attend more events to keep her political mind sharp, and be more present to her sons' activities.

I defend Ann Romney, as well as myself, and all mothers, confidently knowing how hard I work, and the great responsibilities that rest on my shoulders to manage the government within my own home.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Happy Kids.

For your viewing pleasure, here are my bookends entertaining themselves while I was on the phone (forever!!!!) with the IRS today (long story, you don't want to hear it).

While I was on hold I took this video. Luke really has him going, huh!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Hey, Baby.

 So, you all remember Michael, right? My third son who turns ONE YEAR OLD today. 
 I wasn't looking forward to this day, because this year went too fast. This baby grew too quickly, and he's reaching milestones I wasn't ready for. No little one, stay wrapped up in your swaddling blanket. Keep your baby bonnet on. Sit and play no mind to the big boys getting dirty and wrestling on the floor. You are a baby, little sir. 
 And while a mother can't play favorites, I do have to admit, that this little one has been my favorite baby. Who couldn't love a happy-go-lucky baby, content and easy to please. This mama enjoyed this one very much. 
 Dad loves him, too! Our three sons. Is this a dream? Have we really been this blessed?
Has a child ever been so loved? This baby, who gets a cheering squad every morning and after every nap, "Michael's awake! Michael's awake! Yeah!"  
I could search this temporal world my whole life, work tirelessly to achieve, but I challenge anyone who doubts that anything is more important than this.  
 In a word, this boy, this child, this life, all life, always, only, and forever will be good.

Happy Birthday, Michael. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Things I Love.

I love bread. Who doesn't love bread?

We leave the house one morning a week for a sizable drive for piano lessons. On this drive, we pass a bakery outlet which happens to have a 10% discount the same day we drive in.

Coincidence? I think not.

Because we eat so much bread, I try my best to buy the healthiest bread I can. My requirements are 1)Whole Grain 2) No enriched/bleach flour 3) No High Fructose Corn Syrup.

My kids eat this healthy bread because it's all they know. I tell you, white bread is something along the lines of chocolate cake around here, especially since it only makes the rare appearance for French Toast or garlic bread.

And so, I love to buy bread in bulk. Often I can buy loaves for only $1.00, and bagel and English muffins as well. The same loaf at the grocery store costs $3.49. Other treasures I've found at our bread outlet include spices, bakery buns, cereal, cookies, and specialty applesauce.

It seems likely that nearly every city should have something similar, and they are definitely worth the time and effort to reach if your family like bread as much as ours does. If you have a deep freezer, freeze the bread and it won't mold or stale.

For years to come, I have a feeling our "Bread Store" expeditions will be a weekly tradition.

Any other discount stores worth noting? Anything I'm missing?