Category Archives: Around the House

Spring and other things…

Right now, my kids are in the backyard playing. They’re wearing bicycle helmets and are alternately battling each other with giant sticks or sliding down the slide head first, upside down and every which way. (They’ve done both of these activities before and I’ve thought about stopping them, but they’re wearing helmets and haven’t sustained any major injuries, so they continue!) They are barefoot and D has taken his shirt off, because he was just soooo hot. It’s 59 degrees and gloriously sunny.

At this time yesterday, my kiddos were sitting at the kitchen table drawing pictures and making books. They asked for hot chocolate and were wearing their slippers. It was raining, windy and the real feel was in the 30’s. We’d had at least 4 days in a row with the same, dreary weather.

This is springtime in Iowa, or maybe just Iowa weather in general 😉  At times, I find it to be almost more trying than winter, and I hate winter! It’s always tough when you get a taste of something great – sunshine and wonderful, warm weather – only to go back to something less desirable – the cold, rainy weather. My kids certainly don’t like the days when I insist that they wear socks and shoes, after running around barefoot the days before.

However, I try to keep reminding myself that spring is a sign that summer, and all the things we love about summer are on their way. Soon, we’ll be able to have playdates at the park and spend hours at the pool. We will be able to enjoy picnics, evening walks and bike rides on a regular basis. As the weather improves, we happen to be finishing up some of the curriculum we chose for this year, so we’ll be able to wind down and spend less time on schoolwork – which means more time playing!

I’m so very thankful for days like today that remind me that the sun will come out again, regardless of how many cloudy days we have in a row. And in case you missed it, I’m not just talking about the weather. There’s a deeper meaning to all this too 🙂

Although, seriously, I much prefer the sunshine! Oh, and I’m also singing “Tomorrow” from Annie – the 1980’s version…

On a side note: I’m also so very thankful that summer is on its way, because summer is flip-flop season and baby-time! At almost 34 weeks, I’m just done tying shoes. Even boots that I have to pull on are just too much some days. And 34 weeks means that in a month or two, this baby will get to be in its parent’s arms. How awesome is that?!?

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Filed under Around the House, Surrogacy

Another Day, Another Mess

When my children are at their most creative, and generally getting along the best, they are also at their messiest. Sometimes, it seems as though the contents of an entire room have been rearranged or moved to another room for the sake of their game.

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The kitchen of their tiny house, aka – the living room.

The problem is, when I ask them to clean up said mess, you would think I asked them to eat liver and onions while standing on their heads. I’ve learned that there’s a little less resistance if they’re given plenty of warning, but even still, it is a painful experience. C has to examine each individual item very carefully before putting it away. Sometimes, she has to reorganize everything before she can start putting anything away. And D, he just shoves things away. When cleaning out his bookshelf, I found dirty socks, dog toys  and used tissues shoved onto the shelves.

Additionally, D loves to keep everything he ever touches. Or sees. He might need it some day, you know, for an art project. To give the boy credit, he does like to create using boxes, empty bottles, cardboard tubes and tape. Lots of tape. And I love that about him. But, that doesn’t mean he needs to keep the plastic ring from a Cool Whip container or every single toilet paper tube that’s ever been in our house. Good luck trying to convince him of that though. Here’s what I hauled off the top of his bookshelf and the floor in front of it today:

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Now, I’m trying to figure out how to keep everything in balance. I’m not a neat freak by any means, but I’d like to have some semblance of order in my house, without having to do all the work myself. This seems reasonable with a 7 and 5 year old – at least more so than a few years ago! And I’d prefer if my son didn’t end up on an episode of Hoarding: Buried Alive some day. They’re good about helping with specifics jobs, such as laundry, dishes or even scrubbing toilets. Putting things away and knowing what’s important enough to keep are the things we struggle with. So, my question is, how do you teach your kids to keep a (reasonably) neat house, without nagging or stifling their creativity? 

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Filed under Around the House, Need Input, Parenting, Uncategorized

“If You Give a Mouse a Cookie…”

If you’re unfamiliar with this story, it involves a demanding little mouse who requires milk after being given a cookie. Then he needs a straw for his milk. And it snowballs from there. By the end of the story, he’s back to needing a cookie. Our recent project around the house feels a bit like that to me. 

Aaron found out he was getting a year-end bonus and we decided to use some of the money to buy a new laptop. Ours is older than our children and wasn’t that great to start with. It is painfully slow to use at this point. 

Upon deciding to get a new laptop, I wanted to add a workstation in our dining room. Our laptop currently sits downstairs, plugged in, connected to the printer. That’s pretty much the only way it’s functional. With a new computer, I hope to be able to use it more on a daily basis, but want it somewhere safe from crazy dogs and spilled drinks. We had a slightly broken bookshelf that was no longer serving its purpose, right in the perfect little corner. 

But before we installed the workstation that my handy husband was making, we decided to paint the dining room. 

In order to paint the walls, we moved the broken bookshelf (straight to the garbage!) When we moved the bookshelf, which had pretty much been there since we moved in, we realized how dirty and disgusting our tile floors really were. So I spent a day scrubbing every grout line and tile by hand. Then Aaron could paint. 

After several trips to Lowe’s and a little time in the freezing cold temps, we were finally ready to go! At that point, I realized my husband is a genius. Here’s his version of a stud finder – a magnet to find a nail holding the sheetrock the the stud. img_7005With only a few choice words, which required me to distract the kids in another room, Aaron got our desk and shelf installed. It looks so much better than the bookshelf, seems like it will be more functional, and should require less dusting on my part. Pretty much perfect!

img_7010It won’t be somewhere we can sit and work for hours or spread out to work on a big project. But we tested it out with Aaron’s work computer and it seems like it should work perfectly to write a quick email or store a pile of bills to pay. 
 Now all we need is the new computer…

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Filed under Around the House