Wednesday, February 25, 2009
I also went to the fabric store last night and found this adorable fabric. Since deciding to make all my Christmas gifts this year, I have been scanning ideas. For my niece, Rachel, I came across the idea of making a tablecloth/picnic blanket and coordinating napkins for a tea party. I decided to give it a trial run on Anna first. Here it is:
pre-wash my fabrics this morning. We'll see what happens after a spill and a wash.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
In case these pictures don't make sense, I will explain. The picture above is a counting activity that involves hand-eye coordination as the child ties the rods into bundles that correlate with the numbers on the cards (which the child places in order). Erik loved this activity.
Hmmm . . . I think I have some learning to do.
Monday, February 23, 2009
Saturday, February 21, 2009
There is a lot to be said for stripping your house down to the bare bones. We are all getting quite comfortable, and actually enjoying, our nightly tradition of hauling the living room table into the kitchen to serve as our dining table (we no longer eat in the dining room - one less floor to keep clean). We wind up all very close crammed around the little table. There is something about sitting directly on the linoleum that makes us all feel a little giddy - like we are breaking a rule and getting away with it.
Another perk of having a virtually empty house is that there is nothing to do. Consequently, we talk. We play tickle games, and one or two of the board games salvaged from the packing boxes to help us ride out these last few weeks. A trip to the library is monumental, providing bedtime reading material for a solid week, instead of library books being tossed and lost among all of the other books in the house within hours after bringing them in the door (we ALWAYS have at least 50 library books checked out - we have had to seriously cut back in order to keep the empty house looking empty - library books have never felt so precious).
The kids have a modest-sized toy box with a handful of toys in the family room. The result - they actually play with the toys! There is nothing else to do so my kids have dumped out the pillowcase full of blocks nearly everyday and then actually built something with them. It's amazing! They say blocks are one of those timeless toys that allow little imaginations to run wild. Before the extradition of all other toys in the house I would have said, "Yeah, right." But, no more. I am a believer in the power of blocks. My children produce castles, caves, parking garages, car ramps, race tracks, and compounds (complete with courtyard, main house and hidden sleeping quarters). The list goes on.
I have had the wonderful opportunity, now that the zoo-i-ness of "remodeling" is over, to get serious about being a great mom again. I am amazed at how easy it is to lose track of the good stuff and why I do it. This slight lull between transitions is turning into a blessing of peace and serenity in our lives. We can do nothing but wait on others at this point, but we are blessed to wait in a splendidly sweet manner.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Jamba Juice today which also reminded me of many happy mornings heading through Downtown Disney to get my daily Jamba Juice and muffin (I only indulge in such things while vacationing). But I digress . . .
And lastly, if Anna looks like she is a glowing angel, that's because she is. (I so love braids and ribbons and pink dresses and little girls who adore having their picture taken - even if it is of the back of their head).
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
I am an escapist. I learned the art form from close examination of my father when I was a child. As I have matured I have honed it into a skill that I employ from time to time when my coping abilities are stretched beyond comfortable levels. Usually this means I escape either before or after dinner to the library or the fabric store or just an empty parking lot down the road where I can hear myself think. Tonight I thought it best to bring Sean along for the ride. "Honey, let's call Jen to watch the kids, and go out to dinner."
I have never been thanked so much for spending money! It was just the break we needed. While we waited for our babysitter to arrive (she was still at school - after school), Sean calmly made dinner for the kids and the babysitter, and I calmly helped Djeryd with homework. Just knowing we were on our way out the door - escaping - helped us to calm down and deal with things in a loving, rational manner. We knew that by 6:30pm we would be the heck out of Dodge. So we could be cheerful and calm for the hour that we had left.
I don't think we give ourselves permission to take real breaks often enough. I know that sometimes in the middle of the day I will take a break, but I am not mindful of it, so I do not revel in the break. I do not emerge from 20 minutes of reading, or knitting, or staring out the window refreshed if I am not conscious of the desire to be refreshed, of enjoying my task thoroughly because I may not get another 20 minutes to do exactly what I want to do until tomorrow.
Sean and I were fully aware of tonight being a break. Our lives have felt so stressful lately for a variety of reasons (not the least of which is moving). We are stressed out with ourselves and our kids and circumstances and a house that has to be ready to show to perfect strangers at any time. We chose tonight to take a full, conscious break. We savored every moment of our escape (and the most amazing spinach and artichoke dip I have ever had!). And I feel refreshed. I feel ready for tomorrow, and excited to spend it with my children (and my sister - yea!!!!!!). And I am grateful to our dear little babysitter who squeezed us into her hectic schedule so we could take a break.
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Last night we took a bed apart and hauled an empty dresser downstairs. In an effort to present our home as a blank canvas to potential buyers, it loses more and more of its personality. In a way it makes moving easier as the years of our life here are being stripped away one box at a time. All of the pictures are now off the walls. Closets and cupboards are slowly being emptied. Toys are disappearing. And all of our books have literally vanished (oh, how I miss them!).
Unfortunately, some things are not relinquishing their hold on my house - laundry, dirty dishes (though clean dishes have been boxed and moved off-site), scummy showers, and toothpaste-encrusted bathroom counters. If only I could figure out a way to box these things up and haul them away while a house is being prepared for selling. I would be a millionaire.
There also seems to be endless amounts of clutter. Papers that we might need over the next month, but we have no place to put them because normal storage items were extricated previously. Oh, the woes of moving.
The upside is the excitement of change - especially good change. The first thing Djeryd and Sean say when they walk in the door these days is, "I can't wait 'til we move!" Djeryd is excited for a space to leave up his Legos away from Mommy's itchy cleaning-fingers. Sean is excited for an office all to himself and a greatly shortened commute. Erik wants a place to build forts in his room (probably so he can hide all of his dirty laundry in there, instead of under his bed). Anna is clueless. And me - visions of a sun-drenched turquoise design studio have been floating in my head for quite some time.
I find it interesting that we are each excited to be able to carve out a space all our own. It worries me a little, in all honesty, because I truly believe in the saying that "love grows best in little houses." And yet, I hope that by each of us having some space to be alone with ourselves, we will be much more grateful for our time together. And if we aren't on top of each other all the time, the kid-contention level should decrease, right? That is putting a lot of hope and expectation in a structure of shelter. And I believe it is misplaced. The Proclamation on the Family has much more solid guidelines for a happy family - and it has nothing to do with square footage - just don't ask me to give up my studio.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Yummy yarn - I am making a hat for Sean. He has patiently waited through me making hats for everyone else in the family.
Yummy cousins - I could gobble them both up. Sunshine in my day!
Yummy Mr. Mom - Erik was all set to push Savannah in the stroller, while toting Anna in the doll-carrying backpack (needless to say, it did not work out as the kids had hoped).
Yummy boys - Djeryd is turning into quite the handsome fellow (despite the silly faces), and Sean (sigh), what can I say more? (Besides, what is more attractive than a man washing dishes? - A man teaching his son to grow-up and be a man washing dishes!)
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Hey All! Today is the day you have been waiting for! We are selling our house and moving to Canby. It is a done deal (aren't we good at keeping a secret this time?). We are listing our home offically on Feb. 18th. However, if you find someone to buy our house before we list, WE WILL GIVE YOU $400 - IN CASH!!!
The following are some pictures of our house. New carpet and countertops will be in installed on Feb. 17th. We are asking $262,000. That is $30,000 LESS than comparable homes in our area! And like I said, you can get a finders fee of $400.
We will not accept any contingencies. It is a great house (approx. 1,675 sq.ft.) on a big lot (almost 9,000 sq. ft.). Full of sunshine and vaulted ceilings. We are happy to give out any and all details to an interested buyer.