Friday, June 29, 2007

Confession time.

I hang out at a cool message board for secular homeschoolers. There is a lively and interesting conversation happening there right now on how to achieve the balance between running an efficient household and finding time to smell the roses--with and without your darling offspring. The women at this message board have the added challenge of teaching their kids at home, in addition to all of the other things that must be done in a day. I find myself struggling every day to figure out how not to get buried under housework and still have fun and play with my kids. We have been helping each other out by supporting each other and offering helpful hints. Check it out for yourself. (I'll wait.)

In addition, we also want to reassure each other that ours is not the only home around to be in a constant state of disarray. The challenge has been given to take pictures of the common areas in the house as they are in their natural state; as opposed to the state they are in just before the inlaws come to visit.

Here is my confession:
These pictures show the areas in the house the kids play the most: the living room and Emmett's room. This is how they look most days of the week. Note the rack with bins designed to organize toys sitting empty with bins scattered around the room (there is a bin on the main floor too) The second I tidy any of these areas within minutes they look much like this again.
I have decided that clean is more important than tidy in my house so that means that the bathroom and kitchen get almost daily scrubbings, the floors get vacuumed a few times a week, and the toys stay where they are most of the time. I have started keeping track of how many days it's been since I've yelled at the kids. I have decided this is more important than how my house looks to outside eyes.

Click on any of these pictures to enlarge them, if you feel you must see my mess full-size.

Ok, how tidy is your house right now? Spill! Post pictures at your blog if you are brave enough.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

What the heck? three posts in one day? I had better slow down!

I found out yesterday that the church I belong to voted on whether it would allow blessing of same-sex unions. The powers that be said no. I am quite disappointed. The story can be found here. More info can be found here. I am proud to say that the priest in my church was for the blessing of gay unions and wanted the vote to go the other way. I can feel comfortable going to my own church and continue to teach Sunday School in a place where I feel like my own beliefs are being supported.

I truly believe that no harm will come to my religion and to humanity if people are allowed to love whomever they want, marry whomever they want and raise children with those people they love and marry. I am a Christian, I believe in God and that Jesus Christ died for my sins. I do not believe that homosexuality is one of those sins. I believe it is a sin and far from Christian that people will judge and condemn other people for living their most authentic life and being true to themselves and their feelings.

I also think, just for practical reasons that gay people who choose to spend their lives together as a family should have all of the same rights as straight people who choose to live their lives together as a family--I mean boring things like being able to file tax returns and sign medical consent forms and permission slips for school trips. What is so wrong with that???

I am borrowing this list from blogger Toni. I really liked what she had to say about this issue. I am not sure this will open the can of worms that my previous stance on pole dancing opened, but hey, this is my blog and I will say what I want to!!

10 Reasons Why Gay Marriage is Wrong

1) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, and air conditioning.

2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.

3) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans.

4) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.

5) Straight marriage would be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Brittany Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.

6) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.

7) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.

8) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.

9) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.

10) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.

What do you think?

She will never doubt me again.

Lately to help prevent a bedtime tantrum when Charlotte asks to watch TV shows we have taken a new tactic. Instead of saying "No. It's bedtime. You can't watch TV." We tell her Dora or Blue (her usual two requests) have gone to bed so she can't watch. She is pretty OK with that and there is usually no debate.

Last night at bedtime when she asked for Dora we told her the usual line--Dora was in bed sleeping so there was no show to watch. After that I picked Charlotte up and carried her off to bed. Who do we see waiting for us when we get to her room? Dora! A Dora doll had been tossed into her bed at some point in the day. Char smiled, tossed her beloved Bear aside (shocking!) snuggled Dora and we did not hear a peep out of her after that.

I need to find a Blue doll now.

Things you think about......

......When you are up in the night willing a storm to pass over your house and leave it unscathed:
  • It's a good thing I did the floors yesterday because whoo boy, am I going to be tired later today!
  • How can Char sleep through this, but can't sleep through any other night?
  • I really need to wash my curtains (noted when sitting by the window makes you sneeze from the dust)
  • I really should get Richard to take the kitchen curtains down in the morning and get started.
  • I need to buy new curtains for our bedroom.
  • I need to go to Value Village and drop off the junk that has been sitting in the front entranceway of the house for a week. (noted when pacing through the house and you see the pile)
  • Even though the satellite images on the weather website say the storm has passed, why am I still up???
  • How can Char sleep when her room sounds like a wind tunnel? (noted when I laid down beside her for a minute to make sure she was ok. She didn't budge.)
  • Seriously. Why is she sleeping so well tonight but not any other night?
  • Why did I let myself listen to the "live from Elie, Manitoba" broadcast on the radio yesterday? I was better off not knowing how bad it got there. (wanna see? check out the video someone took.)
  • I am gonna have to phone mom tomorrow and let her know we are ok.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

T minus 10 weeks and counting....

9 weeks along
30 weeks along

I feel like I am on the home stretch now. Third trimester insanity has fully set in. I am starting to nest and am trying to figure out how to fit the new little baby into the house once he or she makes his/her grand entrance. Diapers are being washed and I have made a spot for a bassinette in our room. I have attended a La Leche League meeting so I can make contact with my old friends there. Baby is strong and active. You just have to look at my belly and you can see movement now. I can push my belly and Baby pushes back sometimes. In another week or two I am sure I will be able to figure out body parts by pressing down. The air conditioner is my new best friend!!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Emmett's Makeover



That was a very hard haircut to do--it involved chasing Emm around the house with scissors and spray bottle. He HATES having his haircut so I try to put it off as long as possible, but my boy has thick bushy hair and the hot weather is coming, so I knew it was time to give him some air conditioning. I think I did a pretty good job, considering the wiggling. I only drew blood on myself once. Some day when he can sit still I hope I can add a bit more style to his look. I also hope no one heard the screaming.

Monday, June 18, 2007

TV time.

My parents have five (5!) televisions in their modest three-bedroom bungalow. Since we only have two and one gets no channels and the other gets three, one in French, this was a bit of a shock to my ears at first. Emm thought he was in Heaven.

Things I have learned by watching network TV for almost a week:

  • Having two TVs on in adjoining rooms on different channels really, really bugs me and gives me a headache.
  • There is still nothing to watch.
  • Ads are getting even crazier, and I am so glad we don't get "children's channels" where the ads are all crappy toys and sugar laden cereal.
  • The kids on the children's sitcoms are all snarky and rude and really bad influences. The parents are all doddering fools who have no control over their homes. This really gets on my nerves.
  • I miss watching reruns of Friends. (That will soon be remedied with a quick email to Richard!!)
  • I saw a shampoo ad that featured a woman breastfeeding. I am still trying to figure out if it sent a positive message about nursing. (the tag was " Pregnancy can make your boobs and hair flat. We can help with one......." They showed a before and after of a lady nursing her baby with messy hair and no makeup and then pretty hair, nice clothes and makeup still nursing her baby.)
  • I don't miss having cable and being a slave to a time slot to keep up with my favourite shows.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Random Thoughts.

I am home again. I can't seem to form a cohesive post today, but I have some thoughts swirling around in my head that I want to record. Here goes..........
  • The trip to Mom's house went better than I thought it would. No one threw up in the van, despite spitting out the meds I gave. The kids also managed to not freak out until the very end of the trip, coming and going. This is the first time I have not had to go into the back seat to entertain kids one on one. Singing children's songs off-key at the top of my lungs along with a CD helped a lot.
  • I am getting tired of sleeping with Charlotte--there was only one night this week she slept alone. I don't rest well with a two-year old kicking me half the night, but the toss up is laying awake in my own bed listening to her scream. I don't know what to do, but all I want is to grab a bit of sleep before the new baby comes and wants me all night too.
  • When we got home today I was amazed at how quickly the house went from pretty tidy to absolutely trashed when the kids walked in. 45 minutes. I timed it.
  • I was impressed that Richard cleaned while we were gone--the dishes were done, laundry washed and garbage cans were emptied. The Honey Do list was 99% completed!
  • How clean is your house? I don't know if it is of coming home to my comfortable mess after being in my mom's sterile home or nesting kicking in, (maybe a combo) but I have this sudden urge to scrub everything in sight. It started innocently enough when I started to throw some dodgy vegetables out of the crisper that had been neglected while we were gone. All of a sudden I had a bucket and a rag and the refrigerator was scrubbed down and science projects in condiment jars were tossed. The crisper is empty and I have two empty shelves in the fridge now. My suitcases have not been unpacked but my fridge is gleaming. Tomorrow's to-do list is getting longer and longer.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

See you next week!

Emm, Char, and I are piling in the minivan for a trip Up North to visit some friends and family. We'll be back next week! Since it has been a slow news week since the birthday party I leave you with a meme I've been tagged to do. If you feel moved to do it yourself, consider yourself tagged.

The game is SCATTERGORIES…it’s harder than it looks! Here are the rules: Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the following. They MUST be real places, names, things…NOTHING made up! If you can’t think of anything, skip it. Try to use different answers if the person before you had the same 1st initial. You CAN’T use your name for the boy/girl name question.

Your Name: Jen

1. Famous Singer/Band: Justin Timberlake

2. 4 letter word: Jock

3. Street: Juniper Crescent (it is in my city, you'll have to trust me)

4. Color: Jade Green

5. Gifts/Presents: Jewelry

6. Vehicle: Jaguar

7. Things in a Souvenir Shop: Jesus bobbleheads

8. Boy Name: Jack

9. Girl Name: Juliet

10. Movie Title: Jarhead

11. Drink: Julep

12. Occupation: Janitor

13. Celebrity: Johnny Depp

14. Magazine: J-14, for all of your teenybopper celebrity gossip needs

15. U.S. City: Jackson Hole, Wyoming

16. Pro Sports Teams: Toronto Blue Jays

18. Reason for Being Late for Work: Just slept in

19. Something You Throw Away: Junk

20. Things You Shout: Jeez!

21. Cartoon Character: Jimmy Neutron

Sunday, June 10, 2007

What do you get when you find yourself in a place....

where there is face painting.....

a cake made out of cupcakes with a car and tonnes of sticky icing......
a boy opening gifts.....
A sticky kid eating cupcakes......
and a shiny new red bike???
You get Emmett's Fourth Birthday Party!!!!

Happy Birthday, Magoo!! We love you!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Seven more random things....

For SV, because she is a sweetie and I can't say no to her.

1. I met Pauly Shore in Minot Airport when I was on a high school band trip. I had no idea who he was at the time, but a friend of mine was freaking out about him so I went up and asked for his autograph. My class shared a plane with him to LA. When we got home I watched Encino Man and recognized him.

2. I learned to knit when I was a wee sprog at my Grandma's knee. I went hardcore through Junior High and even completed a fair-isle sweater in 4 colours. I took a break through high school and early adult hood and only started to really try to push myself again in these past couple of years.

3. My oldest boy was conceived on our wedding night. He is the wedding gift I never wrote a thank you note for!!

4. I read cookbooks like some people read novels. The last cookbook I read and enjoyed was Feast, by Nigella Lawson. She writes recipes that are fun to read but can be infuriating to make since her measurements are often quite vague and the instructions are written in a very conversational style.

5. My tolerance for grossness goes up if I am wearing scrubs. I have an awesome poker face at work and can keep my shit together until a crisis is averted. I tend to freak out at home more.

6. I have become hopelessly addicted to Facebook. Seriously. I think I may need some sort of intervention so I get my housework done.

7. A friend is coming over with homemade cookies for me just because I "was nice to her". I am baffled that that is all it takes to get cookies and also incredibly touched.