Monday, July 31, 2006

Word of the Weekend -


This was helped along by the fact that my body has reached that stage of pregnancy in which it begins preparing itself for night and early morning feedings. I was awake at or before six, so figured I might as well get up and start the day. It was fine, except for the fact that by the time the rest of the house was awake I was already contemplating nap time.

I managed to keep dh and myself on task throught the weekend, and the children alive, if not entertained.

Saturday I took a huge load to the thrift shop so that the garage could have room for the last of our stuff. I again have another two boxes and two more clothing bags to take over this week when we run errands.

Stuff is slowly coming back into the house. And, I am impressing myself with the ability to say "NO" to some of my things. Books are back in the house, which is a very, very nice feeling. Love to have my shelves filled with all my friends. There is a box in the garage of books to either take to the library or the used book store. I am still back and forth on that one. We have one more box of toys to sort through - which is probably the box that has the most toys we can get rid off. There is also a box marked homeschool materials and kits. I am not sure what is in it ;) The only other two boxes still needing my attention are smaller ones that I basically dumped out the contents of my desk into. Not looking forward to it.

DH did finish emptying out the storage unit, so that is another monthly bill that we don't have anymore. He also installed the drain box and pump under the house yesterday. Digging a two foot deep hole in a crawlspace is nasty, hot work. But, he did it for us.

I have changed my mind about having Em room with the big girls. We are having too much trouble getting them to settle down at night. Mainly, K and Em. So, I spent yesterday rearranging the rooms again. EM and the baby are actually going to fit in very well together in the smaller room. It gives MB and K a huge amount of floor space to play on, and they have been told that their room does double as the play area right now. K spent three hours this morning playing by herself in the room with all her Little People toys and the train sets that had been packed away. She is very happy to have her toys back at her disposal.

Time to get back, the girls are done entertaining themselves now.



Friday, July 28, 2006

Good Friends

Yesterday a friend called to ask if MB could go the homeschooling bowling with her kids. During the course of our conversation I told her how bad my back had been lately. Turns out she went through college working as a massage therapist. So, when I took MB over this afternoon, she gave me a free massage to try to loosen up my back. Apparently I am pretty bad off - as she wants me to come back over next week for more work. That's okay - its free!! She says that she does this as a service to her community now. I really wish I could find something like that to use as a service to my community. What a great idea!!

My back feels much better. It did feel better this morning anyway, but the massage sure did help. Now, I realize my hip hurts again. Oh well, only 13 more weeks.

School, Wednesday and Thursday, was kind of a wash. Between my back and my mom being in town there were just too many other things capturing our attention. But, I guess, MB was bored because this morning she pulled out her school books and sat down to do her math and reading. Of course, she got a lot of stickers for that!!

Today was payday - which means that I got to spend a lot of time at the computer using my new Quicken. I felt really good to move money into the savings account right off, and to still be able to pay the rest of the bills. What was even nicer is the ability to have three different balances showing while I am working - current on-line balance, current balance of to-date entries, and ending balance if I have entered a transaction for a future date. I know it sounds like nothing, but I have found recently that I cannot trust this pregnancy brain with something as simple as balancing a checkbook. I can plan out all my bills for the next two weeks and figure out how much I actually do have that is disposable.

Anyway, bills are paid and groceries are bought except for a few items I need to get from farmers market this weekend!!

We are scheduled to have Ginger's (hyper golden retriever) neutering next Wednesday. Dh has a friend that owns a mobile vet office, so he is bringing over his 'camper' next week and will take Ginger out and do the surgery right here. Also, he says that he will give the girls a tour before the surgery. Nothing like a field trip that comes to your house.

And, the best news of all: DH just called me, and told me that he had a meeting with his old supervisor and new supervisor and he is finally getting his raise. About a year ago they came up with this whole knowledge tier system and supposedly as you moved through taking tests, attending classes and just longevity, you would move through the tiers with a raise at each point. It was a wonderful idea, and except for reassurance that the system was going to be put into place, nothing ever happened. Anyway, they have kicked it in and DH automatically was moved up two or three tiers.

We still have our debt that we need to get under control (gone) and we have the home renovation we need to do. So, I am going to still be working on our budget and trying more frugal, simple living things. This is just something that helps to relieve some of the stress of making it month to month.

Looking forward to a weekend at home.



Tuesday, July 25, 2006

That strangely occuring pain in my upper back came back today with a vengence. It makesmy pain with the sciatica seem like nothing. I had to break down and call dh at work today and ask him to come home. I never do this. I can have the flu, yet I will still brave it - generally (I might call my mil to take the girls for a few hours).Today there was no one else to call and I almost broke down in tears while driving the car home from K's gymnastics. The pain was radiating down my arm and I could barely lift it. Combine that with the girls just constantly needling one another and I just couldn't brave it out today - I needed to call in the reserves.

It was funny that after I told them that daddy was on the way home they were all nice and sweet with each other.Perfectly capable of sharing the same room to watch a movie.

The day was not a total waste. MB and I did manage to complete math while K was doing her gymnastics class. She also did a small writing practice worksheet I had thrown in the bag for the heck of it. We were supposed to start lesson 2 in Latin today- but that can and will wait until tomorrow.

Why is it when I am the most incapacitated is when feel most internally motivated to do things around the house. All day I kept thinking about all the boxes and bags I need to sort of stuff, and how I need to get on the ball about posting items on craigslist. So then I just managed to lay around and feel guilty about it.

While hunting my heating pad I did locate a box full of infant blankets and extra crib sheets. I was sure that it had been purged before we found out about 'junior'. It was a good find!!

Frugally, we actually had a good day. Of course, besides gymnastics, we didnot go anywhere. And dh coming home before his 'lunch' hour kept him from spending any money out today. This morning we had a nice cooling rain shower. So, I opened our windows and turned on the house fan. It brought the temp down to the mid-70s inside the house and kept the air conditioning off for a few more hours. We are still managing to not run the ac before lunchtime.

I also was able to write out our menu for the next 3 weeks, until Aug 8th. Generally I am still able to eat out of the pantry/freezer,thanks to the sale meat I picked up a coupleof weeks ago. Dinner tonight was yummy- yes,I was up to throwing a few things in the oven. We had two more of the 39c/lb chicken leg quarters (from april) and I used two of our zuchinni to make a casserole. The zuchinni casserole was large enough to split and cook half tonight and put the other half in the freezer for later this month.

My recipe box was cleaned out today and made room for a bunch of recipes that I am more likely to make. I also found some recipes that I had totally forgotten about that would be good to have again.

I did not do any laundry today as the laundry was bin was not full yet, and it was raining so I would not have been able to hang anything out.

DH is starting to get trained to our new methods. He actually remembered that I had turned off the 'heat dry' function on our dishwasher and opened the door to air dry after the load was finished running this evening.

Now I am just waiting for dh to get back from the airport with my mom. She is coming back from a trip to visit my sister. The timing could not be better, she had already planned to spend all day tomorrow with us and go home on Thursday. It will be nice to have her around and give my back one more day of 'rest'.


I guess today really wasn't a total washout. I guess between the back problems and starting to reach some limitations in my mobility/abilities due to the pregnancy,I am just ready to get back to full strength again- which probably won't be until this winter.

Monday, July 24, 2006


We are back from our long weekend away. I have no pictures of this trip, because I just didn't feel like saying, "wait! Hold that until I get back." Only to end up with a second rate photo of what captured my attention the first time around. Besides the girls never really settling in and calming down, the visit was nice. We spent a lot of time exploring for animal tracks, especially the deer tracks from where they come to eat the apples off the tree.

Apparently though, my weekend was much more productive than hubby's. As we planned this weekend away one of the reasons that came up was to give dh some 'alone' time to be able to complete some projects. The two notable ones being - dig/install new drain boxes and lines and a sump pump in the crawl space (remember issues we had about selling the house several months ago). The second was to get some more boxes out of the storage unit since we have to be out next weekend.

Anyway, we talked last night an I asked him how the digging went and

he said that it was raining, and anyway the boxes he got were too big and he thinks he needs smaller ones.

Okay, well how many boxes do I have to go through when I get home.

Well, it was raining and we don't have room for the boxes right now.

I had to ask, how was golf?


You do know that I am now going to find a weekend that you leave with the kids and *I* stay home.


I did manage to come home with a good supply of groceries that are at this moment sitting on my counter waiting for me to work magic on them. Most notably is the grocery bag full of fresh peaches from my in-laws tree. I also got some zuchinni and am thinking that some of it is going into a zuchinni casserole tonight. I had to leave my two bags of blueberries with the in-laws to bring down later this week for lack of room. At the local cheese factory I picked up two blocks of my favorite cheese (mountain marble) and two pounds of fresh butter - mmmm!

Since they are also leaving the cabin this week they gave me a bunch of food to take for them - loaf of bread, 1/2 a gallon of milk, cereal, some cookies and crackers. Nothing like having my grocery shopping for the week done for me.

That is kind of the quicky on this trip. My sis-in-law has given me an awesome idea for our home remoldeling/addition (that we may not get to for awhile). I have to talk to DH about it - but it is so simple and we wouldn't have to change the footprint of our house at all!!!

Off to deal with some fresh produce!



Friday, July 21, 2006

Grits: The New Brain Food?

So, I got up yesterday morning and tried to decide how to follow up Wednesday morning's magic lesson on making shiny pennies with nothing more than lemon juice and water. How do I capture their attention this morning? My mind blanked. I shrugged my shoulders and figured that this morning we would just have to drudge through it.

Breakfast - I needed to finish off the package of sausage links we had opened earlier in the week, but did not want pancakes again. Instead of standing in the kitchen asking: who wants cold cereal? who wants a frozen waffle? etc. I began fixing sausages and scrambled eggs. Then MB asked if we could have some cheesy grits, something I normally reserve for winter mornings. Sure - why not.
A lovely breakfast, with all of us actually sitting at the table at the same time! It was a nice way to start an unexceptional day.

School didn't begin until after lunch, but when it did - gracious.

K went first with her OPGTR lesson, while MB played on the computer. (note to self: remember to have MB in separate room when working with K) Thanks to Leapfrog and Leapster K knows the sounds of her letters. She is very excited about learning right now. It was about a 10 minute lesson, then we moved over to a quick math lesson. Then she wanted to write her letters on the whiteboard - which entertained her while MB and I got started.

Latin: We started Lesson 1 on Monday, but had not done much of anything with it since. I figured we would start back over. But, MB wanted to do the review questions first. Yeah - she remembered it. The entire lesson! She wanted to do all the writing. We had a lot of fun - people are right Latin is fun.

Math: Thursday was a Horizons day. I pulled out some of our Rightstart manipulatives and we had a great time with the clock - trying to get her to remember when drawing where to draw the big vs little hand. Then she flew through the rest of the lesson, while I prepared some math for our mobile school today.

Reading: Normally the point in our day when things start to go downhill. Generally, because of MB's tendancy to get very tired while reading we struggle to get through 5 pages. We made it through the 1st story with MB doing much, much better than usually. Then - she wanted to read another. Two stories in one day out of her primer. I am doing my mental happy dance. Yes, towards the end of the 2nd story (about 12 pages) some of her 'normal' mistakes started popping up again - but she read more than twice of what she is normally able to do!

Science - we finished the day reading and answering questions on Mercury. While I read and asked questions MB and K drew pictures - whatever I didn't care, as long as they were in the room and quiet. Both were able to answer questions and MB drew a most awesome picture of the solar system - as if you were in a spaceship beyond Pluto looking back. I wish my scanner had not died as it would be a wonderful picture to brag about.

It was a good 'brain' day!! Maybe grits should become a more normal part of our breakfast.

Unfortunately, when MB got back from her evening ou with daddy she was running a fever and complaining about a headache. I am hoping when she wakes up this morning she will feel well enough for us to head for the mountains today.



Thursday, July 20, 2006

Science or just housework?

Where did I spend my Wednesday? I found this new home - Frugal Village. I could spend days here investigating. As it was it got me writing down all my debts, making lists of all those little things I can be doing and then some time curled up in a ball crying over our horrible financial situation. Thankfully, Wednesday is also my therapist day. So, I could get knocked back into reality, a little.

School was inventive yesterday. Very cool science project in the morning that morphed very nicely into math. When packing up for our almost move a few months ago, I stumbled across a couple of jars of coins. Mostly they were dirty and corroded. Dh figured them for a lost cause, but I thought I could do something with them. And, so they sat. Until yesterday. We mixed up a half-an-half solution of lemon juice and water in a glass bowl. Either K or MB would agitate (stir) while I went through sorting the next batch to clean (some were so badly corroded that there were holes through them). Of course the older coins cleaned up very nicely. The newer ones I think we managed to salvage more than half. When I combined this science experiement with our existing coin jar - we counted for our grand total - $35.00.

Not a bad windfall. A year ago I would have shouted and danced around that this was two weeks worth of gas. Alas - $15 short of that now. But, it is something.

Weather wise, I have to say that the heat wave has not been nearly as bad as I had been expecting. 100-degree heat in July is not all that unusual, yet we still never made that mark. The first two days of the heat, or humidity levels were down - and what a difference that makes. By yesterday we had gotten used to the '90s and with a northerly breeze blowing our back deck was actually comfortable to sit on. I have kept the air conditioning set above 80 until lunch time when I turn it down to 79, so that it actually comes on to reduce the inside humidity. That way we can be somewhat cool during our nap/quiet time.

If I don't get back on. The girls and I are heading to the mountains this weekend. Poor DH has to stay behind and work Friday, Saturday and Monday. He also got the parts in to replace our drain system along the front walkway and, install a drain and sump pump in the crawl space. I told him that there were a couple of steaks in the freezer with his name on them for all that work.



Tuesday, July 18, 2006

We have a routine around this house - I get up around 6:30 - before anyone else. It gives some quiet time, computer time, whatnot before the girls wakeup. By the time they get up, between 7:30 and 8:30, I have had my selfish time and am ready to be a mom again.

This morning I get up at 6:30, as normal. By 6:45 all three of them were crowded on the sofa with me, pulling the newspaper down, whining about not being able to go get the newspaper - etc. Lets just say I didn't feel very sorry for them. Once we got dh off to work, quite a crowd waving him off this morning, I gave them breakfast and put on a Scooby DVD so I could come here to the computer. Must have computer fix.


Yesterday, for all the heat went pretty well. I must find out what horrible experience EM relates to the library though. As soon as we cross through the doors it is like she becomes some possessed child and literally tries to throw herself out of the stroller and screams. Thankfully I had done my catalouge check before we went and new exactly where we needed to go for my books**. Once we got to the children's area I could relax a bit. Unfortunately, Em still did not want to be there so we couldn't do the whole relax thing an just hang out.

**Side note: oh please tell me why I have to go to four different call numbers all along the spectrum(from 158 to 975) to find four books on simple living? One of my pet peeves with the library. I want to browse - like it is a store.

Uh, yeah, yesterday. We did or grocery shopping, came home, ate lunch and began school. MB's day was pretty easy:
1 page of math (review work)- can do alone
Begin lesson one of PL, with me
Reading from primer
Decorate folders to store schoolwork in

I figured her math and decorating the folders could be done during K's 5-10 min lesson from OPGTR. What I didn't count on was that MB really doesn't want me to teach K. All last year I heard, "Why doesn't K have to do school?" This year, now that K has things to do also MB is irritated that I am not 'focused' on her. Frustrating.

Can you tell that we are easing into this year. Homeschooling is such an experiment. What works for a few weeks or months suddenly stops working and then we have to re-adjust. Em gets older and more mobile, we change the intense school hours to her nap time, MB decides she suddenly loves a subject she used to hate and wants more of it - all sorts of things. It is just parenting, with a plan. I guess this is why I have never been that big on making school schedules, once I figure it out things change.

Today is gymnastics day - two trips. Yeah ;) MB and I are working on getting at least one subject done during K's class on Tuesday so that she has more downtime in her afternoon before her class. At least that is what I am trying to tell her.

Better get back to herding the kittens.



Monday, July 17, 2006

The Heat Cometh

It is mid-July and time for the heat to settle over our neck of the woods. Before it could get here I got great joy out of paying what I am sure will be the last of our low utility bills until October. In fact I was actually quite pleased to be able to say I have actually paid all of this months bills but one, which doesn't need to be paid until the end of the month. I have enough money to make our escape to the mountains this coming weekend and to buy what few groceries we will need for the next two weeks.

I have had such great success with someof our meals this week I just feel like I have to share. We are in the midst of doing a lot of freezer cabinet cooking - until I get to the point that we have to go shopping based on our two-week menu plan. Right now we base our menus on what we alreay have and what is in season at the farmers market.

Monday - we had meatloaf, mashed potatoes and corn-on-the cob
Tuesday - it was baked chicken leg quarters (I purchased at 39c/lb a couple of months ago in 10lb bag) Two leg quarters feeds our family of five. These turned out really well when I just added a bit of butter, some salt, rosemary and black pepper. We had cheesy rice and broccoli with it.
Wednesday - This is my normal night for eating light, as dh normally stays after work to participate in some golf league. But, he called in the afternoon to let me know that it was too humid and hot to play. Our normal Wednesday meal for the girls and I are baked potatoes and soup. Quickly we changed it to hamburgers on the grill, baked potatoes (already in the oven), salad, fresh fruit and baked beans (for the two little ones who don't eat baked potatoes yet). For a last minute, thrown together meal it was a great meal and ended up being a wonderful family night.
Thursday - DH did daddy/daughter night with MB and K. So they went out to dinner. Em and I had grilled cheese and soup.
Friday - Mom and neice passed through for the night before flying west. She treated us to take-out chinese - which I am still eating on.
Saturday - I had a great meal planned, but DH took MB out in the evening to play golf and got back too late. So we ate leftovers for dinner.
Sunday - I got to fix the meal that was planned for Saturday. It started with a recipe for spaghettini with garlic and olive oil. I diced a chicken breast, sauteed that with the oil and garlic. Added some pepper, basil and thyme to the mix. Then tossed the pasta into the pan with the chicken and garlic. Added parmesan cheese - voila. It was really good. We had it with salads and french bread. Even the girls loved it - calling it 'white spaghetti' I think that it would be even better with one sweet italian sausage added.

So, that is how we eat when we are trying to only eat out of our stock foods. The funny thing is that we eat better and cheaper this way. I find myself being much more aware of what we eat and more creative with what we have. It is a lot of fun for me!!

This weekend was mainly just chores and some family time. A time to catch up between trips out of town. My laundry basket is all but empty this morning - yeah!!! DH and the girls took both the cars and washed and vacuumed them. They look great, except for the very noticeable scratches on my van :(

Today I will be ordering an auto paint kit to fix the scratches on our car that resulted when the handle bar grips came off K's bike and someone didn't watch what they were doing - several times - ouch!! It looks like dh can fix it for less than $50, much better than an auto shop. If the car was older it wouldn't be such a big deal, but we have not even had the car one year.

I think we might head out to the library - to use someone else's air conditioning this morning. Then a quick trip to the grocery store to pick up some necessities and a few produce items they have on sale. Back to the house for school this afternoon (fingers crossed).

Stay cool



Thursday, July 13, 2006

I really am in good spirits...

I just need to rest my head here on the keyboard for a minute and whine. We are taking a mid-morning break from oh, about 45 minutes of school. Things were good for about the first 15 minutes. Em had a puzzle to play with, K was working in her preschool book on short and long , and MB and I were sitting with the whiteboard reviewing hundreds and thousands.

Then K and EM started scuffling over the colored pencils, when I went to break that up and get Em another puzzle I realize that all the puzzle pieces, from all the various board puzzles were in a heap at the bottom of the box. Of course I had to start cleaning those up. K then announced that "school is stupid" and went into the backyard and MB was upet because I was no longer sitting with her. I did get MB refocused on showing me fractions on the board. K came back inside to help with some of the puzzles and Em brought me a diaper and proceeded to lay own at my feet for a change.

The girls have gone back to play with their hermit crab for a little while and I am regrouping. Our focus on home science and home ec has gone so well, I am not sure if I can grab the reins and get everybody focused again on 'school'. One step at a time. One new subject at a time.

It is a new world this year. MB has/needs a little more structure to complete her course work, K is going to be included much more and has her own preschool work that needs to be done, I have an active/interested toddler that wants to be in the middle of everything. I feel we need to get going now, mainly because of the baby coming in the fall. I might actually need to spend a little time working on a schedule for us - gasp.

Time to start working on lunch. Maybe after EM goes down we can have a little more focus around here.



Wednesday, July 12, 2006

A side benefit of simple living

So we have started this whole process of living more environmentally conscious, simply, healthly and yes - cheaply. We are still in the process - so it is too early to tell whether this experiment is working. But, I have noticed a really great benefit I had not been expecting. The girls' excitement and enjoyment out of helping us. They have not been complaining about less stuff, they love to help me cook the meals (a lot more from scratch), and love helping with the laundry. It has in fact made them more willing and even volunteering to do more of the normal chores around the house.

Today we hung a clothesline - the girls are excited and keep asking me when the first load of laundry will be done in the wash.

Yesterday they swept and mopped the kitchen floor for me.

Being involved in the process of how things are done, instead of having someone or something else do it for us has been great!

I am still investigating buying a compost bin vs. making one and trying to convince my husband that a rain barrel would be great for reducing some of our water intrusion problem (without having to dig a french drain) and give us a cheap source of water for the garden.




Last night at dinner dh dropped a bomb on me. He has been asked to consider a position in the upper midwest, which would be a field position for his company. Working out of home (insert giggles here) and vehicle, covering Wisconsin, northern Illinois, northern Indiana and Michigan. The position doesn't exist now, but are looking to create it over the next year - which means we woul probably be moving next spring if we took it.

We are North Carolinians through and through. The idea of moving away is scary and a bit exciting. I know nothing about that area, except I know that we would not want to live in Chicago. We are small-to-medium size town people.

The fact is that my husband would love to get back out into the field somehow. He worked 'outside' with customers, getting his hands dirty for more than 10 years. This would be a good opportunity for him, and I am not going to stop him. But, he will stop himself. He is afraid of what all the travel will mean to me and the girls, being away from home. Not to mention, he is leery of moving away from his home town and his aging parents. I don't know how to convince him that we will be fine, and that he should take the chance. He is not a big risk taker.

This maybe a background saga for the next several months.

If anyone has any experience living in this area please leave me a comment about areas to research (cost of living, housing, homeschool regs, etc.) We have some choice in where to actually move to as long as he can easily travel from it. Thanks



Tuesday, July 11, 2006

I think that I am really boring right now. Here I sit trying to think about what exciting, noteworthy thing to blog about. The list of things I want to share sounds oh, so pitiful. But then again, boring isn't bad. This stable, not running from one fire to another, is just the type of life I desperately desired coming out of my teen years. Now that my excitement is charged by a purchase of new sheets, or finally finding a slipcover solution for our extra-large, hideously stained sofa I can bore you all with the details of what constitutes my life.

School, after a few weeks break for day camps and a trip to the beach, was set to resume yesterday. That was before sitting down at my calendar Sunday afternoon to do my weeks menu and discovering my prenatal appointment was for Monday, not Tuesday like I had been thinking. With no time to find a replacment sitter, all the girls got to go to the appointment with me. K was very excited to hear the heartbeat for the first time!! She spent the rest of the day taking about her baby brother that was swimming inside mommy.

And, since we were out I decided to run over to the home store and get some new sheets for the master bed as they were on sale. Dh over the years has convinced me of the value of having very nice cotten sheets to sleep on, versus what is the cheapest option. Because of this we tend to only have two sets of sheets for the bed - more than enough really. The sheet set, regularly $99 were marked to $49, plus I had a coupon!! This replaces the 8-year-old set that I recently moved to the rag box.

While there I of course had to look at some covering options for the sofa that is the bane of my family room. It looks so disgusting that the only people who ever want to sit on it are the ones who have made it look like that. I have horrible luck with slipcovers, if I even could find ones that fit an extra puffy, extra long sofa without costing me a fortune. Standing in the sheets I had a lightbulb moment. Why not buy a few extra flat sheets and cover the thing. Worse comes to worse we have some extra sheets for our guests to use. With the white sale I was able to purchase two king and one full size flat sheet for less than a standard slipcover. After washing/drying I put it all together. It doesn't look to bad. I still need to pull it off, do some stiching together to get a little bit better fit - but it serves its purpose. It didn't require the contorting slipcovers do and is much easier to wash.

Home in time for lunch and for me to get off my feet. My sciatica flared up over this past weekend and I can only seem to get a good half-day in before I have to get off my feet. Em napped, and amazements of amazements, the big girls pulled out some of their board games and played them, nicely, together, for over an hour!! I was so stunned I could barely remain laying down I kept wanting to go check what they were really doing.

Can we just say at this point that the thought of starting school was shot. So maybe today, maybe tomorrow. We were going to start slow anyway - it was just to get them back into the routine. That is my justification, don't blow it for me.

A few other things that have made me gleeful these past two days and to further prove the point of my 'boring' life.

-- making up the menu for the week I realized that except for milk and juice, we didn't need to go to the grocery store again this week. A trip to the farmer's market - probably for fun, but not necessary.

-- researching toaster ovens and microwaves as possibilities as gifts for my birthday, only to discover that really our old ones are just fine and that I really don't need to replace them. (I was hoping to find some space saver type to put in our kitchen - but everything seems to have gotten bigger). Of course this still leaves me trying to figure out what to tell my mom to get me ("nothing" has not worked so well). I was gleeful to discover that within myself I no longer have the need to replace something perfectly good, just because I have the means.

-- Having afternoon and evening clean-up time that everyone participates in, and having it start up in an impromptu way. Dh and I each take K or MB and we work together to clean up around the house, clean the kitchen after dinner or whatever. We teach the girls as we go, and for some reason entertain them so we are not having so many of the evening meltdowns. It is nice to see this becoming a routine thing.

Off to begin the day -



Sunday, July 09, 2006

There's no place like home

We got home a little after lunchtime yesterday. All of us let out audible sighs at being home again. We enjoyed our vacation, but really is there anyplace better than being at home.

We had pretty good weather for our trip, what rain and thunderstorms we did have didn't affect our plans any. We had lots of pool time, collected shells and took a couple of day trips. I still need to find my camera before I can upload our pictures from the week.

The amount of time in the pool allowed K to make great strides in her water comfort level. This summer she has been very leary of swimming and going under water. By the end of the week she was excited to show everyone that she could go under water and blow bubbles, as long as she was holding on to the edge.

EM has a definite thrill thing going on with her. Not once, but twice she purposefully threw herself out of her floaty so that she too could 'wim.' Only, she is 18 months and has not a clue. Down at the sound she would try to lay down in the water, face first - like she saw MB do at the ocean when she was boogie boarding. The sooner I get that one swimming, I think the better for all of us.

Not to miss MB - our original dare devil, this trip was all about picking back up the boogie board and hitting the waves. In the pool she practiced getting her balance to stand on the board. Why do I feel that a surf board might be in her future. I can already forsee her teen years and her spending her summers with the grandparents at the beach. If she wasn't on the board, she was practicing her new variety of dives - racing dive, pencil dive, pike, flip, cartwheel and handstand layout.

We have another trip to the mountains in a couple of weeks, then back to the beach twice in August. After that I would love to get one more trip in to the mountains, but am afraid that my travel my be temporaily halted for the last 8 weeks or so of my pregnancy.

Man, how this pregnancy is flying by. I am almost to the third trimester - when did this happen?? Last night I realized that my feet hurt and looked own to find them swollen. I don't feel pregnant enough for this all to start up. After getting the girls to bed last night I rewarded myself with an herbal tea bath in candle light - remember, I spent 4 days at the beach with the girls, alone. Ahhh - the best nights sleep in a long time.

Today is family day. I am going to try to knock out some household paperwork this morning before anyone else is up. After that, we chill.



Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Still on vacation

Thought I would drop in for a moment before heading down to the beach to play. We are still on vacation, visiting family and just generally hanging out.

We are actually visiting my parents in my home town, a beach/coastal community. All the benefits of a beach vacation with very little price. This summer we have lucked out and one of my dad's apartments is empty. So, we have our very own 1 bedroom apartment to call home. It is attached to my dad's house, which allows us visiting time and family privacy. We are a block from the Bogue sound, where we can play. Have a private yard and swimming pool and are only 3 blocks from the bridge to go to the island. What more could we ask for!

DH was able to be with us for a 4-day weekend, but unfortunately had to head back yesterday before the fireworks. My dad and step-mother took MB downtown for the fireworks and concert. I stayed behind with the little ones and we watched the fireworks from the beach in front of the house. They were great this year, partly because of the tall ships festival that had been going on.

The girls and I will be staying on until the weekend, when we finally have to return. If it wasn't for gymnastics and a couple doctor appointments we might stay longer. It has been a great trip!

I will be on and off the computer as time and interest permits.


A family of six living and learning. You might catch us outside in the mud or working on crafts. We always seem to be on the go, come on and join us.