Saturday, June 30, 2007

heard today....

Kain- I'm really bored today. Really.

Me- Well, you could help me clean.

Kain- Aunt Mel, I wish you'd be serious at a time like this.


John was sitting on the coach between Jack and me. At one point I kissed John, and Jack climbed on John and leaned over and said, "No. Kiss Jack."

Friday, June 29, 2007

a long due meme

I was tagged with this meme months ago by Entropy and put it off *forever*....I guess because, like Entropy, most of the books I read anymore seem to be either children's books or nonfiction books about the church/faith. Honestly, I spend most of my reading time pre-reading stuff for the kids. I do very much enjoy good literature though, and I have many well-loved books kicking around in the deep recesses of my aging brain, and I know that I'm going to do this meme and then go, "Shoot, why didn't I say blahblahblah...." But, I'm finally going to do it anyway. Even if some of my answers come from children's books. :) I did glance around my bookshelves a little to jog some ideas, but it wasn't very helpful because I don't own a lot of adult fiction. We are major book hounds with overflowing shelves already, and so except for classic children's literature I try not to own a lot of fiction books we can get at the library. I do have lots of nonfiction and a couple of handfuls of grown-up classics have either been gifts or that I've had for years, and I'm sure will increase as my oldest gets older so I can (make her read them) introduce her to them.

Booked by 3 Meme

Name up to three characters . . .

1) . . . you wish were real so you could meet them.

1. John from The Green see what it's like to speak to an innocent soul.

2. Atticus Finch, one of the most noble characters in all of literature, from To Kill a Mockingbird, the best grown-up book ever. I just want to sit and have a cup of sweet tea on his porch and pick his brain.

3. Jo, from Little Women. Any explanation necessary?

2) . . . you would like to be.

1. Dickon's mother in "The Secret Garden". She just seems like a really warm, confident mother. This book one of the loveliest books in the whole wide world and if you haven't read it you must simply drop everything and do so *right now*.

2. Meg, in A Wrinkle in Time. I think part of me was Meg as a kid. I just remember really identifying with her as a kid, and I have since reread the books and like her a lot.

3. Alec, from The Black Stallion...because he had the Black Stallion. I was crazy about this series as a kid.

3) . . . who scare you.

1. Daisy in The Great Gatsby. What a nut job. She doesn't scare me. I just don't like her. A lot. Does that count?

2. The Savage's mother in Brave New World. I don't remember her name. I just remember feeling really disgusted with her every time I read it. I guess there's not many characters in literature that are truly scary to me...many are victims of circumstance, many unlikeable, even detestable, but scary?

3. Jack, from Lord of the Flies. Ok, he's pretty creepy.

Whom shall I tag? I'd love to see Cay Gibson's responses to this, just because I know she's a book-hound too and would have some great replies. :)

a morning laugh

This is really cute...and my daughter loved it...a little too much. Yes, most of these words have come out of my mouth a bit too often I guess...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

All About Kansas

I guess I should post about my trip, because I keep thinking of things I want to post on and think, "No, you still need to post about the trip!"

I left early Friday morning and in a terrible mood. I had very mixed feelings about leaving all along, and suddenly late Thursday night I just didn't want to go anymore. I was completely anxious and unhappy about it, for no particular reason whatsoever except that I just knew that something terrible was going to happen to one of my babies while I was gone (sniff, sniff). But I had reserved an expensive hotel room, paid to pre-register at the conference, and made John take time off of work, so I was going regardless. I snapped at John all morning, especially when he decided just as I was walking out the door that he absolutely *had* to go check the tire pressure on my car,,,,the I tearfully apologized, cried on my 2 year old's head, and I was off. Once good and on the road, I was fine and wondered what the heck all that emotion was about!

My trip up was a bit complicated. I had a doctor's appointment on my way out of town. I don't know why I thought scheduling things that way was a good idea...I guess because it was a rare day that John was off of work and I could go to the doctor without three kids in tow! I also had Maria with me. She was invited to a friend's birthday slumber party that night and I was dropping her off on my way. John's tire check made me 10 minutes late for my appointment and they had already taken the next patient back, so my appointment took *forever* the time I finished that, dropped Maria off, stopped at Walmart for a couple of last minute purchases, etc., it was nearly 1pm by the time I really got on my way.

The drive up was uneventful and actually really relaxing. I realized that I'd never actually taken a long car trip without kids. Ever. I discovered that between here and Kansas City there is pretty much nothing at all....4 hours of tiny towns and flat roads. But there was an impressive selection of radio stations, especially as I got closer and closer to KC. At one point, I was scanning through the stations and kind of half-listening when something very vaguely familiar grabbed my was a rap song, which was odd. Not a big rap-listener here, although I do sport a token 10 year old Salt-N-Peppa cd in my collection (yes, really). I back-tracked and found the station...Vanilla Ice. Seriously. Someone was playing Ice Ice Baby on the radio. It cracked me up. And it cracked me up more to realize that I still know ALL THE WORDS. So, if you live in KC and spotted some crazy white girl in a Ford Taurus car dancing to Ice Ice Baby, that would have to be me. Sad but true.

When I arrived in KC, it was getting close to the first events of the conference. I'd hoped to check in and settle into my hotel room first, but I decided I'd better find the conference center first. The conference center was actually outside of KC and down a long road to nowhere. I found a large building with a cross but no was dark at this point...I wasn't sure if it was it or not, but since there was nothing else around I pulled into the parking lot to check it out. There were lots of minivans sporting pro-life bumper stickers...promising...but still, could just be a bunch of Baptists! I decided to park and walk around. Lo and behold, I began to notice rosaries hanging from probably 80% of the vehicles' rear view mirrors. Bingo! So I left my own rosary-wearing vehicle and found the front door.

I registered in time to get 15 minutes to browse the used curriculum sale and pick up a couple of things. I'd already bought my curriculum for the year, $400 worth, so I brought a set amount of cash to keep my spending under control. Then I found the room with the rosary and the two talks of the evening. I won't go into details on the talks here. They were all worth traveling for and a few of them have triggered some post topic ideas, so I'll come back to them later. By the time the talks were over and I found my hotel around the corner and checked in, it was after 10pm. So much for making much use of my hotel room! I'd looked forward to having some time to veg/read/watch cable tv which we don't have at home anymore, but no time. The conference started again early the next morning. I did spend about half an hour giving the TV a shot...a quick check at EWTN revealed again why my dh calls the station "All Mass, All Rosary, All the Time". I flipped through some channels and re-affirmed that we really weren't missing much at home without the cable. I ended up watching a Dharma and Greg episode...oh, that crazy, crunchy Dharma....

The next day was a long one. I attended a couple of talks, walked the vendor floor and quickly spent nearly every cent I'd brought with me, attended a wonderful mass with the KC Archbishop (anyone that doesn't think the Novus Ordo can be done respectfully and solemnly oughta have been there), had lunch, attended a couple more talks, one of which was given by the lovely and talented Cay Gibson...I finally got my copy of Catholic Mosaic and then made her autograph it like a big ole groupie. I even met a couple of her girls, which was very surreal because I've seen and read so much about them on her blog. By 4pm I was on the road back home. The drive back home was a bit more tiring than the drive up...I was beat. By the time I got home, all the kids were in bed, so I had to wait until morning to smooch on them all properly. It was totally worth it though. My favorite part was just the atmosphere, the huge collection of lovely homeschooling families, at least huge compared to our small Catholic homeschooling group back home, so many Moms that I had so much in common with, many with several children, many pregnant or with a little baby in arms, all with so much wisdom and support to share. So often I feel like such an odd duck in my world, and it was nice, for an evening and a day, to be surrounded by so many familiar souls.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

back from Kansas City

I just returned from my first homeschooling conference. This one was in Kansas City, a four hour drive from here, and I was away from the kids OVERNIGHT! I'll post more details in a day or in-laws are coming in a few days and I have a lot to do...I'm just going to say that I had to make an emergency pit stop for "supplies" at a gas station on the way, and WHO is buying these maxipads without WINGS?
I mean, the winged maxipad is the finest innovation in the feminine hygiene product line since, well, probably EVER, and since they are still SELLING the wingless ones I can only assume that SOMEONE must be buying the dang things. So, WHO is shopping for their monthly necessities going, "You know, I don't really WANT the nice, winged pad that stays where it is supposed to...I want the WINGLESS one that will twist itself into a useless little cigar-shaped WAD." This is the second time in recent history I have been forced to buy these useless, wingless things, and I am most unhappy. I know it is shocking to some of you to read about such an uncouth topic on a nice family blog...the rest of you know me well enough to not really be surprised at all.

Other than this unhappy occasion, the conference was a great experience and I've got details to come....

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

"Yes, Jesus Loves Me!"

My parents came to spend the day with the kids last week so that John and I could have an anniversary date. It was very nice, and the first time we'd been out in a very long time. That night, while I was rocking Jack to sleep and singing his requisite couple of songs, he demanded for me to sing "Sigh-No". I didn't know what the heck that was supposed to be, but he sure did. He kept crying, "Sigh-No, sing Sigh-No!" I realized that this must be something my mom had sang to him when she put him down for a nap that afternoon, but I couldn't figure out what it could be. I distracted him with other songs, but the next couple of rockings he would continue to demand that I sing "Sigh-No". I thought and thought about what on earth she could have sang that he would be thinking of. Finally, it dawned on me that he was talking about "Jesus Loves Me". I started to sing it and he gave me a big smile and said, "Sigh-No!" and laid his head on my shoulder as I continued to sing..."Jesus loves me, this Sigh-No".

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Dear Maria,

I'm sorry I couldn't let you go play inside your friend's house today. I'm sorry that you don't understand why I can't let you play in other people's homes that I don't know very well, and why saying "hi" to someone's parent a couple of times is not enough for me to tell whether or not that person runs a meth lab in their garage or has a liking for young girls. I'm sorry you don't understand why I laughed when you said, "But his dad's not even home, no one's home!", like you thought that would make me more likely to say yes. It doesn't help, judging from the numbers of random neighborhood kids who parade through our home all the time, that not many other parents seem to have the kind of rules we do. I know you think I'm strict and overprotective. I promise you will only feel like that more as you get older. You are so lovely and sweet, so friendly and trusting, and I'm trying to keep anyone from taking that away from you....I am walking a thin line of trying to keep you as safe as I can without becoming a neurotic freak that scowls at every guy that glances at you in Walmart, a line between trying to make you believe that most people are sane and ok, but that there's enough crazies out there to really make these kinds of precautions necessary, and everytime we have a conflict like this I wonder if I've crossed too far to the other side of that line and if *I* am going to be the one to screw you up. If you only knew how I worry every time you spend the night away from home, how I wait with worry when you pedal your bicycle to the library 4 blocks away. I let you go anyway, because I hope these small freedoms will be enough. And I hope that someday, if you are lucky enough to have a precious girl of your own, that you will start to understand. Right now, I guess you can keep on being mad and hiding in your room if you want. Sooner or later, you'll want to eat.

Monday, June 11, 2007

A day in June- only 11 days late!

Today was our first day of homeschool with Kain...definitely a day worth recording! Lots of kinks to work out....

The night before--I fell into bed after a long day at the pool with the kids, wiped out, and begged God for help in getting up on time in the morning. My watch was in the diaper bag downstairs and I didn't want to go down and get it to set the alarm...and John already had the alarm set for him.

6:37- I wake up, feeling pretty good, and look at the clock. I whisper a quick "Thank you Lord" and I get up and get ready to head downstairs. Once up and good and awake, I look at the clock again and see it's *5:40*, not *6:40*. Oh, that God. What a sense of humor. I spend the hour talking to John, at least as close as I can come to intelligent conversation that early in the morning, making coffee, toasting John a bagel (the closest he'll come to a hot breakfast this early), unloading the dishwasher, and gathering the massive laundry waiting to be folded. Then I head upstairs to shower.

6:45, for real- Back downstairs, I give a "preliminary wake-up" to Maria and Kain, i.e., I turn on their bedroom lights and rub their backs. Kain is extremely irritated. That promises a good day. Generally the mood he starts out in is the mood that sticks. I go and start hot cocoa and oatmeal, put out fruit and milk, and start sorting the aforementioned laundry for folding.

7:00-ish- Jack is awake and I go change and dress him quickly. I notice when I go into his room how dark it's very cloudy and gloomy looking. Everyone is finally at the table for breakfast. The kids love the hot cocoa..."Get up, your cocoa is getting cold" is a good motivator for getting them out of bed. After breakfast, everyone clears their place at the table. We also say our Morning Offering with Grace.

7:30- I send the kids off to do their morning lists while I fold some of the laundry. I nag after Kain and smile at Jack sitting on the dining room floor with a pile of board books. I wash some backed-up dishes and make a mental note to call someone to come fix the dishwasher.

8:00- Maria starts her typing, Kain plays in the playroom with the train set, Jack is playing in the living room with his alphabet blocks. I start beef stroganoff in the crockpot and love the fact that it's 8:00 and I'm practically done cooking dinner! I wanted to make something homemade for tea later, but no such luck...maybe later. Lots of thunder outside...storm coming.

8:30- Maria starts some cursive and map book pages. Kain has computer time. Jack and I go into the playroom for his "school" time, which is pretty much just play time with Mom at this point. We stack Lauri pegs and roll roll-arounds mostly. I fight the urge to let him play while I do other stuff and concentrate on being present with him. Kain wanders into the playroom about 15 minutes later and I lose my time with Jack because Kain wants to give me a play by play of what he is doing with the train set. I make a mental note to tell him gently tomorrow to leave Jack and me by ourselves during this time.

9:00- I put Jack at the dining room table with play dough while Kain and I start his school work. During the summer, this is just a reading lesson from "Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons", a page of printing in Handwriting Without Tears kindergarten book, and a couple of easy math sheets. We plan on accelerating him through 2nd grade this year because it bothers him so to be a year behind, and I think he'll be able to handle it,,,except for handwriting. No way he's ready to start cursive this year. Even printing is difficult and tedious. He struggles still just to hold a pencil properly. We work slowly on it and I work with him to take his time and properly form each letter. The lessons in this book are short and I go for quality over quantity. We practice with the slate board first and then the book. In the end, he has painfully made a few decent "F's". Kain does pretty well at first and then starts to get restless halfway through. But he does ok. Jack is demanding that I make ice cream cones with the playdough..."Make purple ice cream! Make green ice cream!" He doesn't really do a whole lot with it himself. Maria is at the table too and very distracted. I tell her tomorrow to work in the schoolroom or in her bedroom. At 9:30 it's Maria's time to entertain Jack. She sits and does playdough with him for a while and then they go into the playroom.

10:00- The kids pick a quick snack and then Maria and Kain go to pick up their zones. I make some pasta salad for lunch.

10:30- Maria sets Jack up to play Jumpstart Toddler. Maria and I sit to do school, which at this point in the summer is pretty much playing catch up with math. Kain is supposed to play in the playroom, but he's irritable and wants to play Then he wants to go to the store and spend his allowance. I tell him we will go after Jack's nap and he throws a fit. His attitude has been pretty lousy since we finished his school work. He ends up going for a timeout. I'm pretty irritated myself and remind myself that this is standard. Any behavior problems a kid has are magnified when you start homeschooling. You have to root out all the bad attitude stuff. He comes out and we talk it out and make nice and go on.

11:00- It's Kain's turn to entertain Jack. He does this for a few minutes before complaining about being bored and wanting to play pacman. He's just lovely today. I finish folding laundry while Maria does her lesson practice problems. Kain starts whining about going to the store again, and I tell him I'm going to start taking ten cents back from his allowance for every time he nags me.

11:45- The kids are outside playing in the rain. They insist it's "barely sprinkling". I go into the playroom with Jack and work on some piles on the school table.

12:30- Lunch, pasta salad, veggies and dip. Kain has a cow about what's offered and after three "thank-you bites" he eats peanut butter. Jack eats peanut butter too. He had peanut butter for breakfast also, with a banana. Jack's hopeless, even worse than Kain with the food thing. I lose my temper, finally, with Kain. He is griping and moaning about the food, something I don't allow, making a huge episode over each minute bite, and I finally lose it and then regret it. After lunch, Maria is in charge of clearing while Kain and I tidy up in the kitchen. I soak some more dishes.

1:00- I change Jack and lay him down and tell the kids to get something to read. Then we have reading and rest time for 30 minutes, my favorite time of the day. The house is completely quiet for 30 minutes...what bliss! I lay down on the couch for a few minutes, then my mom calls and I chat with her.

1:40- The kids are done with R and R and we sit to say the rosary. Kain is quickly learning the prayers. He doesn't sit and hold a rosary...instead he looks through the box of holy cards and medals. This works better for him. He does remarkably well for sitting still for so long!

2:15- I get Jack up..he has been fussing off and on this whole time and is obviously not going to sleep. I'd planned to spend this hour working on the piles in the laundry badly needs a purging and organizing. This is his second day in a row with no nap. He does this every so often lately, and just when I start to worry that he's going to quit napping altogether he starts sleeping well again. I put away some laundry while Jack watches Signing Time, and then I check some emails, wash some dishes...

3:00- Tea time...I never did make anything, so I break out some Chips Ahoy that John has stashed. We read Pascual and the Kitchen Angels, finally...been meaning to read it for a week!

3:30- off to the store, finally. I have a migraine and take some ibuprofen on my way out the door. Kain and Maria go off to decide what to spend their money on while Jack and I get milk and a couple other things. Jack has brought his three favorite trains and carefully holds all three at once, refusing to put any in the diaper bag. I take my time...this will be Jack's outing for the day. The afternoon is hot and humid after the storms and I don't want to go outside to play anyway!

4:30- We are home after careful deliberation. Kain bought some transformer toy and Maria bought a jigsaw puzzle. I sit and read with Jack a bit and just feel lazy and tired for a bit. Headache is gone now at least. We read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom and Chicka Chicka 1,2,3,,,these are his favorites and he knows them by heart. He then brings me a few more...Spot Can Count, Thomas and Friends Colors...he loves to be read to, sweet boy.

5:00- To the kitchen to soak some more dishes, start a load of laundry, and get dinner on. I also pick up the playroom a bit. It's Maria's job today, but Jack has trashed it so much that I feel bad about leaving her with the whole mess! I make some egg noodles and some frozen broccoli/cauliflower/carrot mix. Kain plays video games, at least what passes for them in our house...we have a couple of those joysticks that plug into the TV and have pac man and pole position..that kind of thing. Jack loves to watch and does for a bit, then goes back into the playroom to play. Maria works on her new puzzle and then watches Even Stevens when Kain is done with the tv. Apparently no interest in neighborhood kids today.

6:00- Time for dinner...Kain eats mostly plain noodles and bread with butter after the obligatory Thank You Bites. Jack eats plain noodles and rolls a carrot around on his plate. Darn kids. I ignore it. Not gonna do this battle again. After dinner we clean up, Maria clears and sweeps, Kain and I clean the kitchen.

6:45- Starting the tub for Kain, and I'm fading fast and trying to keep from being irritable. Maria is having a cow. She has sunburn and poison ivy and doesn't want to take a shower, but I insist. I really am not entirely sure when she had one last, and she looks like a greaseball. I can hear her wailing and moaning upstairs in the shower. What a drama queen that one is! When she comes downstairs, she tells me she took an ice cold shower because she was afraid any warmth at all would make her poison ivy itch worse.

7:30- Kain is still marinating in the tub. I've decided to go ahead and put Jack to bed since he didn't have a nap. I can tell he's beat...he just lays still and limp on me while we rock and sing. I snuggle him and smooch on him and wish I could just sit and rock him for a long time, but not tonight...bigger kids yet to fry.

8:00- finally done with Kain's bath. We sit and read Owl Moon and That's Not My Dinosaur...the later is a baby book, really, but he likes dinosaurs and wants to read it. It's also very short, so I'm not arguing. We say our evening prayers and I find out that Kain hasn't brushed his teeth yet, and I haven't given him his meds either.

8:40- Finally Kain's in bed after his nightly singing of Over in the Meadow, only 25 minutes late, haha. I sit to blog this. John calls and says he's on his way home.

9:20- John is home and I realize how late it is! I shoo Maria to her room, put John's dinner in the microwave, reboot laundry, and go tuck Maria in. Then I sit and talk with John, and we watch a MASH rerun. I just want to finish this entry and go to bed, but I know he'll be going to bed as soon as he's done eating and so I sit with him instead.

10:00- John goes up to bed and I finish blogging. After this I will reboot laundry again and throw a roast and some sauce in the crockpot for BBQ beef sandwiches for lunch tomorrow. Then I'm off to bed too. I'm wiped out and won't even read this before posting, so I hope it makes sense!! Lord, help me wake up again tomorrow!!

Back to the Ordinary- again

Been meaning to post a picture of our Ordinary time altar now that Easter season has come and gone...there's a picture of the Sacred Heart there, and a heart shaped box that has a picture of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on it, and Sacred Heart and Immaculate Heart votives. June has the feast days of both of these. Then there's a Father's Day gift Maria made last year, a frame with a prayer to St. Joseph for Fathers in it, and a boutonniere from our wedding in honor of our anniversary.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

If you give a mom a muffin...

This has been circling the web for a while...I posted it in empathy with Entropy...(say that five times fast!).

If you give a mom a muffin, she'll want a cup of coffee to go with it.
She'll pour herself some.
Her three-year-old will spill the coffee.
She'll wipe it up.
Wiping the floor, she will find dirty socks.
She'll remember she has to do laundry.
When she puts the laundry in the washer, she'll trip over boots and bump into the freezer.
Bumping into the freezer will remind her she has to plan supper.
She will get out a pound of hamburger.
She'll look for her cookbook. (101 Things To Make With A Pound Of Hamburger.)
The cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail.
She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow.
She will look for her checkbook.
The checkbook is in her purse that is being dumped out by her two-year-old.
She'll smell something funny.
She'll change the two-year-old.
While she is changing the two-year-old the phone will ring.
Her five-year-old will answer and hang up.
She'll remember that she wants to phone a friend to come for coffee.
Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was going to have a cup.
She will pour herself some.
And chances are, if she has a cup of coffee, her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Happy Anniversary! and the "8 things meme"

To my wonderful husband, my best friend and soul mate. When I was a kid, I knew so many people that were divorced that I pretty much thought that hardly anyone was really happily married. I'm still not sure all that many people are! But I am one of the lucky ones, praise God. A good marriage is truly a blessing, and nothing is more stressful than living in an unhappy one. I should have a wedding picture to paste, but I am not motivated to dig one up. Maybe next year! John and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary yesterday. That's right, you can do the math. Maria is 10, we've been married for four years.....

And that leads me to the "8 things Meme" I was tagged with by Barb a little while back in which I am supposed to list 8 random things/habits about myself. So here's the first.

1. Maria is not John's biological child. In my "away from the faith" late teen/young adult days I married (sort of...if you call getting married by a notary public in your neighbor's apartment "getting married") when I was 19 and Maria was born two years later. A year after that we were separated and he disappeared very shortly after...kindest thing he ever did for both of us. I had started attending mass again when I was pregnant with Maria and made a general confession and came fully back into the church after my divorce. John and I met when Maria was 3 years old, so he's the only father she remembers, and he adopted her soon after we married four years ago. Told you he was a good one.

2. I used to be a smoker. It always amuses me when I tell people this because they almost always say, "Wow, you don't look like a smoker." I'm not sure exactly what this means, except that I think it means I'm too fat to be a know, like I should have that oral fixation thing covered by the overeating. :)

3. Well, that's all the dark history-of-me stuff I can think of, at least all that I'm willing to put on a public blog. What else? Habits... I can really only clean with music on, preferably Aretha Franklin or some other kind of Motown. We are not a "religious or classical music only" kind of homeschooling household. Life is not complete without Aretha. Or without my Beatles LP collection.

4. That being said, I have a weird collection of music and people are usually perplexed when they notice cd's like Aretha, Bonnie Raitt, Janis Joplin, Brooks and Dunn, Tchaikovsky, and Weird Al all on the same cd rack. What can I say? I am a complex individual who refuses to be pegged. And Weird Al is a musical genius.

5. I don't much like cleaning, and my house shows it. I do, however *love* organizing...this means that even though my house is generally messy, there are weird pockets of anal-retentive organization, like the immaculate condition and rotation system of the boys dressers (Maria is in charge of her own now,,,nuff said), or the complex toy-rotation system I have in place. This causes me great stress as well, because there are certain areas of my home that refuse to be organized. For example, like most homeschoolers we have a large book collection. Most of our books are kept in the dining room simply because there is a lot of shelf room in there.

These cabinets came with our new kitchen, even though they face the dining room. That's my kitchen on the other side. Other than the little drawers right under the counter and the pretty stuff behind the glass doors, every inch of this space is filled with books.

These shelves are built onto one whole dining room wall. This room has not been remodeled yet, so excuse the newsprint wallpaper. The shelves go almost from floor to ceiling, and they are filled with children's books.

There is plenty of room here for our books, but other than separating them into adult/children books there is no way to organize them. The shelves, as you can see, are very different in size...the inside of those cabinets is the same way. So the books get shelved where they will books with fiction books, craft books with history books,,,it's madness I tell you! The only attempt at organization is that Jack's board books are down on a low shelf where he can reach them.

My pantry is the same way, a big built-in floor to ceiling deal with shelves of very different heights...this leads to vegetable oil on the same shelf as breakfast cereal, taco seasoning packets on the shelf with dried beans and's enough to keep me up at night!

6. We are social nerds here. The three biggest "adult conversation fodder", politics, current events, and sports, are subjects I choose to be completely ignorant about. I think politics is a worthy enough subject...I just don't have the interest for it, and I find politicians extremely irritating. I read current information, don't get me wrong...I can tell you the latest treatment for neonatal sepsis or discuss with you the recent article is Discovery magazine in which they discussed whether time exists on a subatomic level...I just am disinterested in politics and government completely. John, as a compulsive newspaper reader, keeps up with these subjects better than I do and he will often point me to articles worth reading. And before an election, I try to give myself a little crash course so that I can be an Informed Voter. Usually though, I am interested in current events that affect my little world or interests, which I know is really narrow-minded of me...I can live with that.

7. The third "fodder" subject, sports, does not exist in my house. It just doesn't. I realize this is blasphemy to many. It's not that I think there's anything wrong with sports. There is just absolutely zero interest in sports by everyone in my house, including my husband. In January we have been known to say, "Hey, did you know tomorrow is Superbowl Sunday?" "Oh yeah? Who's playing?" "I don't know...the Lakers?." ", I think that's basketball."

8. I miss being a nurse. Don't get me wrong, I don't miss being a *working mom* in the slightest little bit. I love, love, love homeschooling and raising what I hope will be a big family, and those things are not very compatible with working. But I loved being a nurse, I loved pediatrics and obstetrics, and before becoming a stay-home mom I had the pleasure of working at a great Catholic hospital on an awesome unit. There were things I didn't like to be to moral challenge of attempting to see Christ into some wretched excuse for a parent that was going to be allowed to take a precious newborn home in the morning, or sending a child that I *knew* was being abused back home with their abusers and fighting the urge to smuggle the child down the back stairwell during the night, or most of the obstetricians. But I loved the challenge of managing a challenging, very ill child and knowing that that child survived the night because of my care. I love helping a family make it through a very challenging time in their lives. I loved being one of the first people to make contact with a sweet newborn, fresh from God's hand, all ooky with blood and vernix and crying mad at the abrupt and shocking changes to it's little world, and being one of the first people to snuggle it and coo to it while I bathed it and wrapped it in warmed blankets before sending it back to nurse with Momma, making some kind of small but surely forgotten impression on that child's psyche. My husband is a nurse to, and a very good one. Our big "if we win the lotto" dream is for John and I to build and run a home in which we take in a slew of foster kids with special medical needs and disabilities. Just waiting for the money, Lord! :)

Sunday, June 03, 2007

not fit for company

What have we been up to this weekend? I haven't posted in a few days because I've been in a less than rosy mood, one that doesn't make for nice reason in particular except I've been burning myself out trying to catch up on things that need to be done around the house, my dear hard-working husband has been nearly unseen since Wednesday because of his work schedule, and I'm just feeling...petulant. Isn't that a great word? Some words just sound exactly like their meaning, and I'll bet if you've never heard of the word "petulant" in your life it would still bring an image to mind....

I don't know this child, it's a stock photo, but isn't she the most fabulously petulant thing you've seen your life?

So, anyway, Friday and yesterday I worked my tuckus off around the house, just generally cleaning, catching up on laundry, grocery shopping, meal planning, etc., etc. I missed my Day in the Life post,,,,Friday was June 1st,,, but it was intentional. You wouldn't want to read a whole day of my whininess! But I will do that later this week. Today after mass we went to our parish's annual picnic. I *did not* want to go. I hate going to those kinds of things without John. But Maria really wanted to go, and Kain was at his dad's which made flying solo a bit easier, so off we went, and it was a nice afternoon after all. When we got home I laid Jack down for a too-late nap that will come back to bite me in the rear-end at bedtime tonight, but I was frantic to take one soon as I fell asleep I got a phone call from Kain's dad saying he wanted to bring him home already...I swear he picks him up later and brings him home earlier every weekend,,,,and my sour mood returned. Yuck, I can hardly stand to be in the same room with myself! So, aren't you glad I posted today so as to share my loveliness with the world?! I'm off now to have a cup of tea and try to lift myself up from my funk. And to give Kain the computer so he will quit hovering around my head and nagging me...AAAACCCKKK!!! Not helping, Kain!!