Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Busy doing nothing.

For the last several weeks I feel like I've been 'going' constantly, but when I look back, I feel like I haven't accomplished anything! I suppose this is part of the season I'm in right now with little ones at home. I can spend a whole morning doing nothing but making chocolate milk, nursing the baby, picking up toys, carrying the baby, finding requested cartoons, rescuing puzzle pieces and barbie shoes from the baby, searching for a nukey, setting up the baby gate, moving the baby gate for the big girl, resetting up the baby gate, refilling milk cups, saying no to requests for candy, fishing pieces of soggy paper out of the baby's mouth, wiping snot, changing diapers..... and then, realize it's lunchtime, my kindergartner is home, it's time to feed them, and I still haven't even gotten dressed! Most days I'm tired by noon, and have nothing to show for my exhaustion.
I think that's why I like 'projects', because I can focus my attention on one, visually satisfying task while feeling justified that there's still dirty dishes on the counter and mounds of laundry to be folded.
To be honest, I have actually accomplished things in the last couple weeks that I'm very pleased with, but sometimes I just get overwhelmed by what still needs to be done, that I'd like to just curl up and cry.
And, to wrap up the whining, I didn't intend to be a Negative Nancy.... These were just the things floating around in my head as I have been being challenged by my desire to be more intentional with my days. At church, we've been challenged to 'do the hard thing' and press in to find out what that particular thing is for us right now. And, that's one of the two things I've felt the Lord calling me to in this season - to be more intentional. And as I've been contemplating this idea, I'm having to realize that being 'intentional' isn't quite what I originally thought. My first thought was that I need to be more organized and use my time better, in turn, getting more accomplished. An overwhelming thought, yet exciting at the same time, because I desperately desire to be more organized. But as I pressed in to the father's heart on this matter, I'm realizing that being 'intentional' has very little to do with time management. It has everything to do with seizing moments. Recognizing teachable moments for my children and myself. Discovering new truths about God in my everyday tasks. Learning more about who my kids are and what their hearts look like, and how I can encourage them in who They Are, and not just what I want them to be. And, to me this is a hard thing right now. I tend to so easily get caught up in what needs to be done - homework, cleaning, laundry, etc.
But I'm praying for new ears, to hear what's on my girls' hearts, new eyes to see their giftings, and a new filter on my mouth, to encourage more and scold less. So, my 'hard thing' may not be an amazing evangelical effort, or discovering new witnessing opportunities, but in my way, it's changing the future by shaping these little women, and I pray for much grace in doing it to the best of my ability.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Hello February!

The last two weeks in our house have been a complete flurry of activity, mostly focused on dealing with sickness. Each of my girls took a turn with the stomach bug that was going around, one right after the other, mostly in the middle of the night. Even Joe was taken out one day by it. I thought I had tiptoes my way through it with little effect. Unfortunately, I took my turn with it at the marriage retreat weekend. And, apparently that puke fest can overload your throat with acid, triggering irritated vocal cords which results in no voice. And, lets just say that having no voice, while having 5 children, makes life a little interesting....or difficult...or gosh darn it, plain old frustrating! I whistle, clap or psst to get my kid's attention...I hope they don't feel like they're cats....
Sickness aside, we did have a fabulous time at the marriage retreat. We watched a series called, "Laugh Your Way To A Better Marriage", and boy did we laugh. It was very entertaining, but also very informative. I still feel like I'm processing. The retreat was held at this beautiful house called Creek Haven Retreat, and the house alone was enough to make me feel at rest. But Jess had put a ton of effort into making the weekend flow smoothly and be enjoyable for everyone, and we so appreciate it.
This week could prove to be rather interesting as Anna and Elley are involved with a Children's Theater production at their school and are supposed to have rehearsals every night. They're putting on 'The Tortoise and the Hare'. Joelle has a small part as part of the fan club, and Anna is one of the 4 Assistant Directors, so unless someone gets sick, she won't be on stage, but judging by the binder she brought home last night, holds a lot of responsibility! I'm not sure how things will work out in regards to the weather this week, but it will be a fun experience I'm sure. Oh, Lily did also audition for the production, but didn't get a part. She was rather disappointed initially, but has readjusted her attitude and seems happy to be home to help me with the littles. I have such good girls, and I couldn't be more proud of them all.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Jan 20

1. I'm lazy. I've had my Christmas decorations down for several weeks now, but I only just put them in the attic today. Why? Because it's freakin' cold up there - and it took several trips, and I'm lazy and just got used to seeing the bins in my closet for the last month...
2. I love physical, visual change - like moving furniture, getting a new hairstyle or making crafts. I hate circumstantial (is that the right word?) change - like friends moving away, children growing up, grandparents dying, moms and sisters getting jobs so we can't shop or have tea whenever the mood strikes...
3. I would really like to be thin enough to wear leggings. I love the trend right now of tunics and leggings and boots - but my hips, not so much.
4. I really want to lose some of this baby fat, and get in better shape - but I really, really don't want to change my habits. I guess this kinda refers back to #2.
5. Unless I know someone is coming over or I have plans to go out - I don't get dressed. Like I could stay in my jommies for days. You know it's bad when, in an effort to motivate myself this morning, I got dressed first thing and my preschooler says, "Ooh - where are we going?!".
6. I seriously think I have cleaning ADD. I started tidying my computer desk this morning while Lu and Eva played together. An hour later, we ended up rearranging every piece of furniture in my bedroom. And my computer desk is still a mess...
7. I'm utterly random - this post is proof.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

January 19

I've been busy that last few days trying to work on some projects I've started and just trying to maintain some semblance of order amidst a holiday weekend, birthday parties, little people visiting overnight and another snow day! Poor Lil had a friend over on Sunday night and ended up getting sick in the night and her friend went home at 1am. I think we've weathered that sickness and currently all in our household seem basically healthy - Praise the Lord!
I was soundly scolded about not posting pictures of my craft projects, and so I'm hoping to finish some things in the next couple days and take and post pictures of those. Specifically for Ang.
My goals for the year have gotten a very slow start. I started my workouts with gusto, and then my knee started really acting up, so I've slowed that down immensely, and added in some of my rehab exercises. I'd like to actually weigh myself and post a picture of my 'before' self to hopefully give me a kick start with a bit of accountability. I'm doing really well with my commitment to drinking more water and I'm rather proud of myself there.
As for my goals regarding laundry.... I've not made any headway. None. I may have even regressed some... It's bad, folks. I'm a little frustrated as I try to figure out what works to get tasks done with a tiny, attention-seeking crawler who seems to be phasing out one of her three naptimes.
So, that's my last couple of days in a nutshell. Yes, I know, my life is so exciting. Oh well.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Jan. 12

I've spent the last several days in a bit of a funk, and let the blogging go by the wayside. I do believe that this current funk is due to a hormone shift heralding a visit that I haven't had to deal with for 17 months. Alas, as cranky as I am right now, I hope there is some relief in the near future. Anyhoo...
Yesterday I had a great morning having a tea party with my Eva while Baby Lu slept. It never ceases to amaze me the joy I find in setting out my teacups and teapot. It's been a while since I used my pretty things on a regular basis, as I've migrated more to sticking my chunky mug in the microwave for a quick cup of cappuccino. But yesterday reminded me that I should get back to my teatime. The whole spirit of a tea party is soothing to me. It's quiet and delicate and feminine and refined - a lot of things that I dream of being and fear I may never achieve. Teatime is a special gift that I love to share with my girls now and hope will be a continued event as they grow up.
Also, yesterday all the weather reports were preparing us for quite a little snow storm, and with thoughts of a cozy snow-day ahead, I decided to build a tent in our living room. Original plan: build a warm nest of blankets, snuggle down with all the little people and enjoy getting snowed in. Actual experience: Tent attempt #1 - blankets and clothespins - FAIL. Tent attempt #2 - real tent borrowed from Aunt Beth, got it set up but couldn't get it to stay in one place and wasn't big enough for all of us, and I was afraid it would scratch the hardwood - FAIL. Tent attempt #3 - An old roll of plastic tablecover from the shed, a roll of painters tape, some twine and a stapler - 3 hours later - success! I gathered cushions and pillows from the basement and we had our cozy plastic dome. We enjoyed our movie (Despicable Me - great movie!), hot dogs, pierogies and baked beans and broiler smores - all while the snow piled up outside. Realization at bedtime - woops, where's the baby gonna sleep?! Eventually got Lu settled in the pack and play in the office, and lay down on the couch to join the rest in peaceful slumber..... and then realized just how loudly my children snore. After a restless night, the phone rings at 5:30 with the long awaited phone call from the school! Hopes dashed as the recording announces a delay rather than the dreamed off cancellation. Pooh. But at least we get to sleep in. Or not. All children awake before normal time. Cranky. The oldest sobbing as she put her coat on for school. *Sigh* The best laid plans.....
And now, finally the three littles are napping and maybe I can lay down for a bit!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

January 6

Wow - Happy 8 month birthday to my sweet Lulu-bird! Time is flying! I can't believe that my littlest girlie is growing so fast. She is crawling around the house like a speedracer, pulling up and creeping around furniture, scooting right up the stairs if we forget the gate.... She also is constantly amazing me with her ability to communicate. Last night I tried feeding her mashed peas mixed with rice cereal - she DID NOT like it. There was faces and coughing and gagging.... I kept trying to sneak in a spoonful here and there while I ate my dinner, and she was not enjoying it. Then, she convinced me to let her off the hook by signing, "All done" for the first time! It was adorable and amazing, so she won that battle. (I'll be trying the peas sans cereal tonight tho!) I am grateful every day for the gift that my Lu is to our family.
As for how my projects are going...
I am still plugging away trying to catch up with the horrible mountain of laundry that accumulated over 'vacation' - I've gotten almost all the laundry washed and folded, but I'm stalling putting it all away so I can sort through and pack away out of season or wrong size clothing - it's a big job.
I"m a little disappointed that I didn't get to work on my shelf yesterday, but I realized that I can't move forward til I get the curtain rod to know what size to cut everything and I can't paint till I cut it out - so tonight we run to Home Depot again... And I'm going to use my Christmas gift card to Joanne Fabric to get what I need to make the curtains too - thanks Aunt Beth! I will also be taking Lil to get her haircut tonight, and she convinced her daddy to let me put some pink highlights in her hair - cause she's Lil and pink highlights suit her. I love my girls.
One project I did get to yesterday was the hutch! I carefully took apart the glass doors and removed the grids, used my Dremel to cut off the cross pieces and put them all back together. I love the change. Of course, once I put it back together, I realized I needed to tidy (ie. redecorate) the whole hutch. This is how I function - I have housekeeping ADD.
I also am proud to say that I successfully made it through my second workout and am not hurting nearly so bad today! Wondering if I could drop 2 dress sizes by the summer....

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Jan 5

I started my workout program on Monday, using the EA Active for Kinect, and tried out a "pre-fab" workout. By Monday night, my knee was swollen and sore, and I woke up Tuesday barely able to walk. So, after resting yesterday, today I plan to get back to it with a much easier on the knees, customized workout. It was so easy to look through the list of exercises and put together something I think will be very low impact and yet hopefully effective. I'm still feeling pretty positive about it!
Also, last night, Joey picked up some supplies for me to start my first building project for 2011 - my custom designed curtain rod/shelf for my dining room window! I'm just a wee bit giddy about that - can't wait to get started! I've also been having a hankerin' to take out the 'grid' panels in the windows of my hutch, but couldn't quite figure out the best way to go about it. Joey suggested using the cutting head on my new Dremel tool - so I think I'm gonna try that out today too.
Unfortunately, Luci has been sleeping terribly this week and I'm feeling rather worn out this morning, so I'm really hoping my morning cappuccino kicks in and gives me the boost I need to even get started on these exciting plans for my day!