Monday, April 28, 2008


Everyone is feeling better...we're left with just a few sniffles and stuffy heads. Everything looks better after a visit to Grandma's house. The pecan trees are in bloom - maybe not so great for my allergies, but definitley balm for my soul! I don't know why Grandma's yard makes me feel so much better, and I don't know why I don't load up the kids and go more often. They had a blast fishing...

And I got to eat fish and unwind while the kids played and my uncle put the baby to sleep... It just doesn't get much better than that.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Still sick...

The kids are all better and straining at the bit to get outside and play. It is beautiful here - blue skyies, light breezes. Casey is even feeling better. But I'm still sick. I'm guessing it's a full-on sinus infection cause I feel lousy! I'm going to doctor myself up this evening and go to bed early. I have to get better before Friday - my grandparents are having a fish fry!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Some Sort of Spring flu has knocked us for a loop

I think this is the first time that all of us have been sick at one time - a right of passage, I suppose for moms of "large" families. We've all had fevers, sinus issues, and assorted other aches and pains all week. Well, Brenna has really only had a runny nose so I guess this might not qualify as my first epidemic after all. But it was major enough to keep us all home from church today and that almost never happens. I hate to admit this, but it was so relaxing to get up and just hang out at home. Casey is usually home on Saturday mornings now that he's quit his side business, but he's usually up bright and early to work downstairs (that reminds me, I need to post more pictures soon). So it's pretty rare that I get to sleep in but that's just what I did this morning. It was lovely.
Despite being quite sick this week, I've still had more energy than I can remember having in a long time. Nursing Christian has been tough for the last few months and, as sad as I was to end it, I feel a lot better physically. It's been the perfect time to start the getting organized plan. The new grocery plan is up and running. I've really just gone back to the way I used to do things, which I'll have to write about after the kids go to bed. But I'm also making a lot more things from scratch and looking for a lot of substitutes for the convenience foods we've gotten (much too) used to. The reality of having four little kids doesn't always match my ideal of making all our food from scratch. Sometimes it's better to feed them frozen pizza if it means we have time to do a science project or play outside a little longer. But we all like Casey to be home to play, too. And the better steward I am of our resources, the more he can be home. It's all a big balancing act. Which hopefully will be easier when my ears stop popping.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Field Day Is Tough on Babies

Here's a picture of Christian because I can't believe I forgot to take the camera with me to Field Day. We're just getting involved in the homeschool group here in town and so far Levi is really enjoying it. Today was the first really good and hot day - to hot for me and the littles to stand outside and watch, but that was fine with Levi. He made new friends and was fine. It's always me that's a little nervous.
We were all pretty tuckered out when we got home though.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Spring Schedule

Okay, here's the first draft of the new spring schedule. We'll see what gets tweaked over the next few days...

6 AM
Feed Christian
I’d like to get up and have some quiet time in the mornings
7 AM
Jack’s usually up by now, I’d like everybody to get up and start on their morning chart before Casey gets home
We can all sit down for breakfast together and then I can take a shower while Casey hangs out with the kids
Before 9 AM
Casey goes to sleep
School time
Feed Christian and put him down for a nap around 10
Around 11
Finish up school for the morning
Kids play
I can do whatever I need to work on for that day
1 PM
Lunch for everybody
Kid need to pick up toys while I fix lunch
After we eat, Jack goes down for a nap and big kids pick out books for reading time
Quiet Rest Time/ Reading Time
Big kids read or are read to for 30 min to an hour, then rest w/tv
While they rest I can work at my desk or on whatever I didn’t get done earlier
Around 2:30, feed Christian and put him down for an afternoon nap
After QRT (3- 4)
Go outside to play
5 PM
Come inside to fix supper
Wake up Casey
Kids can play
6 PM
Eat supper
Clean up kitchen, kids pick up toys
Baths & get ready for bed @ 8
Feed Christian at 8 and put him to bed
Around 9
Casey gets ready for work
I can finish up my projects
Go to bed at 11

Well, that would be a "regular" day. There are lots of exceptions to the rule...
Grocery shopping on Thurs @9 - Levi can do school after we get home
Library Tues @ 10:00 - Levi can do school after we get home
Church Wed @ 7 - supper at 5:30
Baseball practice 5:30 Monday - supper @7
6:30 Wednesday - supper @ 5:30
Baseball games? Who knows?
Thorough housecleaning - Friday mornings 9-11, short school after
Field Trips/Play dates - Friday afternoons

I got something on my list started! I'm so excited! I've already missed my bedtime, though. I'm going to need to work on that.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Getting Organized

This sure seems to be a recurring theme around here. That's probably because, while I love getting organized - containers! lists! schedules! - staying organized is not my strong suit. Hmmp. Not my strong suit, indeed. And things change so fast around here that I have to revamp everything pretty regularly so even if I did manage to stick with a plan for any length of time, I'd be making lots of adjustments all the time. At least that's my story.

So back to the organizing. When the first Duggar special came on tv (and I have them on tape, y'all) I just knew I'd pick up a couple of tips. And I did - we now write our names on cups and only buy one kind of socks - the thing that stood out the most was a comment the dad made about the mom not really being all that organized until their fourth child came along, at which point it became a matter of survival:) I, um, see what they mean. I have Mommy Brain in the extreme. And, yet, I essentially have to be the brain for myself and four other people. If I don't write it down, it never happened. Also, as the kids get bigger there's more to do - homeschool, baseball, church things, etc.
So all of this has been to say that I'm going to spend this spring getting things in order with a system that will be easy to live with. Some things I've already got figured out, but I'll be writing about all of it here because, like I said, if I don't write it down, it never happened. And on that note, here are the first areas I'll be working on...
  • getting the car in order for spring/summer outings - I have a good start here, but I still need to clean out the car and get it nice and neat
  • kids rooms need to de-cluttered. I like the way both rooms are organized, but sometimes there is just too much stuff
  • the grocery shopping system is working very well, but I want to get it written down and I want to work on spending less on groceries
  • laundry! I've tried doing some every day and I've tried saving it all for one big laundry day, but neither of those plans seem to work to well for us.
  • my kitchen needs organizing something awful - the fridge is crowded with leftovers no one ever eats, I can't remember what's in the downstairs freezer, and my cabinets are pretty inadequate for the way I shop.
  • Jack needs to start potty training, which doesn't sound like an organizational issue. But trying to get four kids quickly to the potty in Walmart for an emergency is a feat for a civil engineer:)
  • Our daily schedule needs revamping now that we're going places again. Staying home has been lovely this fall and winter, and I'm still trying not to run around much, but it's time to venture back into the world.

That's not all (by any means), but it's all I can think about right this minute without my brain exploding so I'll leave it at that for now. Hopefully, I can get some work done on our schedule today and post an update tomorrow. Hopefully.

Monday, April 07, 2008

I can't decide if this is scary or hysterical...

I just read this article, "Three Kids? You Showoff" by Pamela Paul, in the Post. It's hard for me to imagine that people really think it takes a million (that's right, the author guesstimates a million) dollars to raise a child. Or that anyone would have a child to show off. They do realize that children are real live people, right, not a new purse or a cool car. Right? And children need a nanny? Or two nannies? And squash?!? Are people really making their kids take squash lessons to get them into Harvard? I had no idea my poor children were so deprived! Only one mom to care for all four of them? Only one extra activity per year (regular old baseball? I guess a state school is in their future, huh?)? Cold diaper wipes? Plain old wooden blocks instead of an iPod or Wii?
Check back with me in 12 years to see how much we spent on Levi - I'm guessing we'll come in a little under Ms. Paul's budget.