Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sick Day

It's an unusual day for us today -- all the kids are home with me. Caden is still not feeling 100% and now he says his throat hurts (I think it's just a ploy to take some medicine -- my kids love medicine). Addison came in our room at 5 am saying her tummy hurt so she crawled in bed with us. Reese had an EXPLOSIVE diaper this morning: PJs & sheets had to be changed -- she's still not eating much either. I figure it's just a matter of time before Ethan is sick although he's sometimes the one that skips it. Aaron was sick all day on Sunday and I didn't feel the best yesterday either. So I made the executive decision for us all to stay home. I'd have to pack them all up in the van to drop off and pick up Ethan so I figured let's just stay home and take it easy. Ethan said to me after we were dressed, "ready for school, Mommy?" He is really talking up a storm in sentences and it is getting more and more clearer to me. So it'll just be a relaxing day here at home and I will have to somehow, someway get to the grocery store tonight since we seem to be out of staples of milk, veggies, fresh fruit, and the ever important ketchup! But Aaron called and said his truck is not working right again so that will have to be taken to the mechanic tonight and he also has one little part to finish on the back porch roof. So if I could please have about 2 or 3 extra hours added to this day, God, that would be great!

Anyway I have been working a little bit on some projects:

Because I have so much Halloween paper and I NEVER scrapbook Halloween I thought I use a little of it and I made this pennant out of chipboard, scrapbook paper, modge podge, and ripped fabric. After I made it I realized I have no good place to hang it. It was too small for most places and too big for others. I ended up putting it between the big doorway between our dining room and living room. I had to use those removable sticky hooks not the best but it works and the kids love it.
Here's another project that is going to help me {I think} organize my printed photos so I can scrapbook more effectively in little bits of time that pop up from time to time. Right now when I have some "extra" time to work on something, I usually end up spending the entire time looking for photos and supplies and then my time is gone. This is only part way done, I have to buy some foam (which I had planned to do today) before I can finish . . .

I did make a lo for Caden's first day of Preschool last night too but I need to take photos of it. I'm off to watch my house become a disaster area since all the kids are home today!

Monday, September 29, 2008

My day so far . . .

It's 9:02 am here's what has happened this morning:

  • It's raining I got up at 6 am and normally the kids are up before or right around then but at 7:30 I had to do a lot of coaxing to get them all up.
  • 7:30 is too late to get up and make it to school on time so we were rushing around to get ready.
  • Nobody, even Reese, wanted to eat.
  • Addison spent most of the morning crying because she was supposed to go to a doctor's appointment to get her ear rechecked so she was going to miss a little bit of school this morning, she loves school.
  • While she's crying some more and getting her hair combed Caden throws up.
  • I tell him he's not going to school because he's sick so he's crying saying he's not sick and Addison is now ecstatic because I have to cancel her appointment and she gets to go to school.
  • While I am on hold with the doctor to reschedule the ear appointment I send the kids out to the van to get in. I walk out the door just in time to see Ethan jump in a huge puddle, soaking his socks and shoes.
  • My wonderful BIL (Thanks, John) just spent 2 hours yesterday in a RAK cleaning our van inside and out (no small job) so I didn't want Ethan in the van muddy. I tell him to wait by the side door while I go in to get new socks and shoes and Addison decides she is in charge and yells at him, he gets upset and sits down in the mud.
  • I got two of them to school after a lot of yelling in my front yard -- I'm sure the neighbors are loving me today -- and now I have 2 down for naps and resting!
Just another day in my life!

10 months

On Saturday Reesey turned 10 months old, 10 MONTHS OLD! I can't believe how fast she is growing up!

Here's some Reesey fun facts:

1. She loves to clap and actually makes sounds when she claps now.

2. She waves bye-bye (sometimes says it), I think she says "up", and she just started saying "uh, uh, oooooh".

3. She leans in toward my hands when she realizes I am picking her up. She gets so excited.

4. She's learned to throw a small temper tantrum when something happens that doesn't go her way.

5. She is now cruising along the furniture ---- walking is in our near future!

6. She loves baby dolls! Addison never cared about them much until she was past 2 years old. Reese hugs them and pats them on the back and holds them out for me to kiss them and she laughs every time I do it.

7. She loves her brothers and sister so much. And they love her back. They fight over playing with her in the morning. Addison feeds Reese breakfast everyday -- cheerios and it helps me out a great deal when I am making the kids' breakfast and packing lunches. Addison and Reese play some sort of game where Addison calls her name and Addison runs away from her and Reese crawls super fast to get her. They both have a good time doing this.

8. She points at everything that she wants or when she sees some new or excited.

9. She sucks in her breath with a loud "oooooohhhhh" all the time because she is excited about this, that or the other thing. It must be wonderful to see the world through her eyes and be so excited about everything.
10. She is totally channeling Ethan (and looks so much like him). She loves to swing and loves Elmo a ton (even though she's hardly ever seen Elmo on TV). She's wild and crazy like him too. She's the female version of him. How could there be two of them?

11. All the diapers and wipes that we recieved at her baby shower last October are now gone. I can't believe they lasted 10 months -- what a blessing that was. I was trying to remember how long all the diapers we recieved for the triplet diaper drive lasted -- I think it was 18 months. I thank everyone of you who ever gave us any diapers, wipes, or other wonderful items. It was truly appreciated.

12. She's still a great napper taking two 2 hours naps a day. She's going to bed now at 8pm but still waking anywhere from 2-4 times a night. She probably is a little hungry since she is not nursing well at all during the day -- she's too darn busy to stop and eat most of the time but I also think her night nursing is mainly a comfort thing that she uses to go back to sleep. We'll have to be stopping that soon!

13. She's mean to people. She scratches faces a lot. Including her brothers and sister, mommy and daddy, even her aunts and cousin Jeffie. It hurts and I'm not sure why she does it but I can't get her to stop.

14. She plays shy a lot with people. Looking at them and then when they start to talk to her she looks down and shrugs up her shoulders -- she does it over and over again. She does it with people she knows and strangers too.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Week in The Life Project

I am so excited that Ali Edwards is doing her infamous creative project that documents a week in her life. If you don't know who Ali Edwards is you can check out her blog. She is a scrapbooking celebrity but more than that she calls herself a life artist. I would also add designer, wife, mom, autism crusader, author, and just an all around cool person to her list.

She emphasizes documenting your life through photos and words --- that's it. And that's exactly what A Week in the Life Project that begins Monday is. It's taking photos of your everyday life and adding some words to tell about it. It can be a BIG project, a small project, or anywhere in between. I already can hear people saying this: my life is boring, I'm not creative, or I don't know how to scrapbook. But this project is taking your life as it is, in the here and now, and documenting it for later. Think of all the things that happen in your life right now that will be changing in the next few months or years that you won't remember or that your kids or grandkids will find interesting to know -- things that would normally be forgotten but will be sweet memories later on to you and to others.

Even if you don't scrapbook this is a neat project. This is the basis of all scrapbooking just taking some photos which we all do and adding words so we remember it all later. I'm doing it! I've wanted to do a project like this for a while but never get around to it, Ali will be doing hers online so you can follow along with it. A fellow scrapbooker, Kim, who also work s at Scrapaganza taught "A Week in the Life" class last year that now I wish I would have taken. Here's Kim's album that she made.

You can read more about Ali's project here and here. Join me, Ali, and a bunch of other people for this fun project.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Favorite Thing Friday

The internet is a dangerous place for many reasons! This week I am realizing it can be downright unhealthy.

I love finding cool blogs. I have found so many of them on photography and crafting and scrapbooking and just cool people. I realized the other day that I have been hoarding a HUGE secret. It's the Pioneer Woman. Now maybe you know about the Pioneer Woman. I just discovered her a few months ago . . . how? I don't know. But I thought I had stumbled on to something fabulous that hardly anyone knew about. I was slightly wrong. She had a contest one day about a photo she had taken to give it a good title. I looked at it thought of something clever and realized that I am not the only one who knows about the Pioneer Woman. I should have known she had a big following since she was giving a $600 e-card to Amazon for that contest -- that's a great prize. I went to enter my clever title and as I started scanning to see if anyone else thought of my exact title and I realized 400 people had already entered the contest that day, scrolling to the bottom of the page I realize 400 entries fit on the first page and they were 9 pages. 3582 people submitted a entry for that contest in one day! As I browse the many blogs I frequent, I started to notice that the Pioneer Woman is a pretty standard blog that many bloggers follow. So maybe I was the only one in the dark about her, but hey if I am . . . why didn't you tell me about her, huh?

Why do I like the Pioneer Woman so much? Well she takes fabulous photos. She lives on a working ranch and most of her photos are of the daily goings-on of their ranch. Farm life. Plus I just love cowboys and there are cowboys there . . . I wonder if Aaron could become a cowboy? I would really like that . . . I'll have to see. Anyway, she has 4 kids and homeschools and she gives great photography advice and she's self-taught on that and I need lots of easy to understand photography advice!

Mainly why she's my new favorite thing is her recipes! Oh, I made the mistake of looking at that portion of her blog last weekend. So I added some ingredients to my grocery list and made some Pioneer Woman vittles. Serious weight will be gained here if I continue to use her recipes on a regular basis -- no lie! So far I've made:

Crash Hot Potatoes These are AWESOME! I could eat these every day!

Onion Strings These are good too just like in a restaurant and the kids love them even though they hate onions, but I remembered that I can't eat too many onions at once or I get a bad tummy ache!

Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich This one we really didn't care for but it gave me a spring board to make another sandwich changing the ingredients a little.

Chicken Spaghetti This is was really good. It made a ton! 2 out of 3 kids liked it too but next time I make it I'm putting it in 2 smaller casserole dishes and cooking one and freezing the other. We'll have enough for a meal and still have leftovers with half the recipe.

I also want to make her wings, olive cheese bread, bacon wrapped Jalapeno thingies, Cowboy Nachos, and about a million other things . . . I think I've gained weight just typing this!

So if you want some great recipes, good photography tips, or just see how the cowboys live check her out!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Mind Clutter

I am totally into Simple Mom and her ideas. Some times something she writes really gels with me. Her post on Wednesday was about GTD. I started reading and she was answering someone's question about GTD and sometimes I am very out of touch and I said aloud part way through this post "What the hell is a GTD?" Simple Mom can read my mind and she very specifically explained that a GTD was:

Some of you might be wondering - what is GTD? If you Google it, you’ll see that there’s quite a pseudo-cult following on the idea, even though GTD simply stands for “Getting Things Done.” Coined by David Allen, his system of productivity spawned a whole generation of people embracing the idea of sticking with a simple system to - well, Get Things Done.

I did all the googling and you have to pay to receive an e-book to get the GTD discussed above. I've never bought an e-book before however I'm sure they are wonderful. But if you read Simple Mom's whole post she challenges every one to do a version of their own GTD by writing down everything on their mind in about 5 minutes. At first I thought I can't empty my mind in 5 minutes and how will I organize this but that's the key just jot down all the stuff on your mind as it pops up in no sort of order. I did this in about 5 minutes.

Simple Mom was totally right, it does make you feel less stressed. I can take this page of my mind and organize it into some sort of "to do" list. I think it will help with the "oh yeah, I forgot to . . . " things that keep popping back up every now and again but as soon as I remember them they are forgotten again kind of thing. I know there's no way I'm doing everything on this page in a day or two or even in a week or month but just getting it down that the garage needs to be cleaned takes off the pressure of constantly thinking about it. I think a lot of my stress comes from the "I need to __________" that I'm constantly thinking all day and all night long.

I've been meaning to do a post on "I wish there were more (awake) hours in a day just for moms". I keep thinking I need about 2 or 3 more hours a day to get all these things done that I never get done. That's riduculous to spend mind space on that idea because it's not happenin' no way, no how, no Obama . . . sorry too much policitical news. Then I saw Brooke Shields interviewed discussing her role on Lipstick Jungle (which I don't watch, but wish I did) where she juggles a career and family and relationships just like her real life. She said something to the effect that everything is not going to be done and great all at the same time and with kids and work and a husband it's going to be stressful and that's okay as long as you acknowlegde that. I need to acknowlegde it more. She said being a mom is about juggling a lot of things and hoping you don't drop any of the balls. Life isn't about getting things done it's about living and learning and loving and enjoying and hopefully you have clean underwear to put on and a place to have a visitor sit if they come over and time to reflect and enjoy the life you create. I need to remember that . . we all need to remember that.

So maybe I'll try to do a little mind decluttering everyday (hopefully at the beginning of the day) and see how it works for me. I'll keep you updated and let me know if you decide to do a little decluttering of your own.

Maybe my new motto should be "Keep on Juggling".

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

I really do hate spiders!

I don't like spiders at all. They are creepy; they aren't as bad as bats -- just looking at bats on TV or in a picture gives me the creeps and if I seeing them swooping around outside which I sometimes do, I really feel like I could hyperventilate or pass out or both. But at the same time, I can't not look at bats. Spiders are kind of like that too.

Last week the neighbor girl was outside playing in the yard with the kids, I could hear screaming. I try to block it out but it continued and continued then I thought the boys were probably torturing the girls or vice versa since the boys scream like girls too. I look outside and here's what I see:

Ethan looks as if he may touch this GINORMOUS spider that was hanging down from the tree at any moment
and every time he put his hand up it made the other kids scream loudly and shrilly. Of course Ethan found this to be hysterically

he has an odd sense of humor like when people on TV get hurt he laughs hard. Yesterday he was playing a 4 wheeler video game with Daddy and his siblings, every time someone wrecked I thought he was going to fall off the couch laughing. I wouldn't put it past Ethan to touch that spider. It was HUGE. I had to get a photo. In the end I poked at it with a long stick and it was no longer with the living.
Then Aaron said did you see that big one by the garage, why no, I hadn't or there would be 500 photos of it. The web was gigantic. I looked at it and said we have to check this every day to see if it says "Some PIG" or some other important message. Of course that was lost on Aaron since he doesn't read much. This spider is really big too. It's caught a lot of food too which maybe is why I'm not minding them much in the yard -- they are eating other bugs. I might feel differently if one gets in my house but as long as they stay outside and the kids don't touch them I don't mind them.

Plus I'll get some more photography practice on them. In my non photographing skills I get a lot of blurry spiders:

or spiders that look like Glenda the Good Witch floating down:

and once in a while I get this:

It's hard to get good at it, when you zoom in you feel you are so close to them that they are going to jump on you and that would probably be the end of me. Because I really do hate spiders, really!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Story Matters #5

Here's a layout for a challenge for The Story Matters. The challenge was "What affects you?". I've been meaning to blog about the controversy surrounding immunizations and my decision to go with a modified schedule but never got around to it. This kills 2 birds with one stone. Click on photo to read the journaling.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

2 [scrapbooking] Bucks!

I've been working on scrapbooking . . . yeah for me! 2 whole layouts done!

Here's one that I made on Addison's first day of preschool (the boys layouts are still brewing in my mind):

I love those little apples on this page -- I lifted this idea from this blog I read.

And the next one is a bit unusual but I totally love how it turned out, a little "vintagey" (except for the song title part). I totally threw out all the standard "rules" and just did what I liked on it.
Click on photos to see them bigger.

The journaling reads:
"She's so little" is what everyone says -- at 9 months you weigh bout 17 pounds with most of it in your booty and legs. The pudge is so cute that I can't help but squeeze those thighs -- I never want to forget those legs!

So I have $2 {so far} to spend at the scrapbook store next time I go! Whatever shall I get?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Favorite Thing Friday

Aaron and I are late for many things. We have trouble getting to appointments on time but he's good about work. We never leave the house early when going to a social engagement -- we don't have that many social engagements with 4 little kids anyway. We live approximately 20 steps from our library and I had books that were 3 weeks overdue. Sometimes we owe late fees for bills even though I pay everything on the computer. My sister let me borrow a scrapbook book and I was supposed to return it the next week when I saw her, that was in July -- I still have the book (sorry, Monica). We end up paying beau coup bucks for rented movies too, enough that sometimes we should just buy the movie rather than rent them.

Movie rental is especially hard for us because we live in a little town in the middle of nowhere and for us to rent the movies we have to drive about 20 minutes to get the movies and by the time we get there they are all picked over, we can't decide what to get, and then we usually have a late fee from the time before. We have to watch them and get them back when they are due. So much time and gas for movies that probably stink and I will more than likely sleep through. Then my sister, Keely, talked about how she liked NetFlix. I got a free one month membership in the mail and tried it out. This is the best thing ever!

Basically it works like this: You choose your plan (we chose to get one movie at a time for $9 a month -- there are other plans like from 1 to 8 movies at a time for varying monthly fees). Then you choose your movies and put them in your queue (this is like your want list or cart) you put the movies in the order in which you want to receive them and you can change that at anytime. They send you a movie and you can keep it as long as you want -- there are no late fees at all! We just had a movie for 3 weeks before we returned it. You return the movie in the envelope it came in and there's no postage/shipping to pay ever, you just drop it in the mail. NetFlix emails you when they get the movie and then emails you to tell you a new one has been sent out. Lately they have been super quick. I mailed a DVD on Monday and we had a new one by Wednesday.

Another great feature of this company is they want you to rate the movie with stars and then based on how you rate movies, suggestions are given as to other movies you may enjoy based on your ratings. Movie ratings are shown so you can see what other people thought was great or not so great. There is also the option of viewing many movies online so there's no wait. I've never done that as I don't want to sit in my hard computer chair for 2 hours and watch a movie but it's a nice option to get extra movies especially for kids. There hasn't been one thing that we have disliked about it so far. We pay with our check card once a month -- it's automatically taken out and you can cancel a membership at anytime. A while back they emailed me and said they were sorry it took so long to send out a movie and gave me a $2 credit for the month. I hadn't even noticed that it took a day or two longer but it was super great customer service.

If you are interested in joining NetFlix, I have been given five one free month memberships. You can join for one month and see if you like it and it will cost you nothing if you decide to stop or you may discover it to be a favorite thing like we did and keep going. If you are interested in a trial membership, email me and I'll get the information to you. Check out Netflix here.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

I {heart} fall!

Fall is my favorite season. I love the crisp weather and the colorful leaves and the smell in the air. I love having the kids (and me) play in the leaves and I have some great photos of this in years past like . . .

Last year was our first trip to the apple orchard and the kids loved picking apples -- it really was a great day!

I really am looking forward to going back.

We always make a trip to the pumpkin patch unfortunately the last 2 years weren't so great. Two years ago it was cold and muddy and we had kids who looked like this the entire time:

Last year was okay but the pumpkins weren't in good shape so I'm hoping this time is better -- I wonder if they are ready for the corn maze yet -- they have a haunted one and my kids LOVE scary stuff but maybe they aren't ready for this quite yet. I can't wait to prop Reese up on a big pumpkin for a photo like this:

Aaron is the one who does the carving of the pumpkins -- he picks some elaborate pattern and makes something REALLY scary so much so that if you say to my kids what does a pumpkin say they would scream.

Then there's Halloween. We've been bees and flowers, the 3 Little Pigs, and monkeys.

This year's going to be fun because our whole family is dressing up in a theme but I'm not letting the cat out of the bag as it ties in with our birthday party and I like to keep our "themes" top secret. The kids are really excited about Halloween and their birthday of course. I am too. Reese's birthday is 3 weeks after the older kids so this is a super busy time of year for us but I love it all the same.

I broke down and made pumpkin bars last night with Addison and Caden's help. (Secret Message: save me before I eat the whole pan!!!)

I love pumpkin stuff so much. I had super good pumpkin pancakes at IHOP last weekend and I just found what looks like a fab recipe for them so I think we are having pumpkin pancakes this weekend -- yum yum! I am so in the mood for soups and chili too. I just want to jump right into fall I guess so I'd better get going and dig out our fall decorations and our little scarecrow out of the garage!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Another Giveaway

I swear I'm not going to blog about giveaways all the time now but this is another good one. Simple Mom is giving away one of my favorite things: A Lisa Leonard Necklace! I love the one I have with my kids names on it and this one is super cute with a trendy bird on it.

Go here to enter (but I secretly hope I win and you don't!)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

I love Scrapbooking . . .

but geez do I ever do it? No! I thought when the kids were in preschool I could easily work on layouts almost everyday. I did finish one that was already started one day but that's it. I made another layout for a challenge blog but that was late on a Friday night and finally on Sunday afternoon I created this (sorry for my poor photo during our monsoon)

which I totally lifted from my friend, Penny. I'm so busy trying to organize that I don't have time to create plus the whole photo-out-of-control thing is still going on. Let's not even get into the whole supplies out of control thing too -- it seems I'm either into making scrapbook pages or into buying things to make scrapbook projects. It seems logical that these would work together. You buy some stuff, make some layouts, then buy some more stuff and make some more layouts. Instead I buy some stuff, then I buy some more stuff, then I decide to buy even more stuff, my sister (who works at a scrapbook store) buys me more stuff and I never quite get around to making anything mainly because the stuff is overtaking my work area and as we all know even though I have 1 million plus photos stored on the computer and approximately 5000 photos printed I can't find and/or decide which photos to use. I'm overwhelmed by all the supplies too. I also just need to get into it again. I decided I'm stopping the stream of supplies right now and I asked Keely to hold off too. I have enough Halloween paper to scrapbook every Halloween from now until my kids head off to the nursing home and I'd probably still have some left over paper -- I'm not kidding. It's a disease.

So I am cutting myself off from new supplies. It's not that hard. I live more than hour from my nearest scrapbook store, Scrapaganza and I don't usually shop online so that's that. Now I am going to let myself have a $1 to spend for each layout that I finish with a limit of $20. So the more I want to spend, the scrappier I better get, huh?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Have some Vanilla Joy!

I don't usually post about all the giveaways on other people's blog. Although I enter them all the time, I never, ever win but this one is a really good one!

Vanilla Joy is giving away The MiniBox. Look at it -- isn't it super cool?

It's valued at $800! I love how it can hold a ton of supplies but it closes up and looks like a regular normal piece of furniture that could be put almost anywhere in your house and no one would know about your severe craft/scrapbook addiction! I have my stuff stored in about 3 or 4 different places at the moment but I'm pretty sure I could fit all my scrapbook supplies in this with a little room to grow.

Even if you're not a scrapper, this could be utilized in lots of ways. If you sew and you have fabric -- you know you all do then this would be a great place for fabric and thread and patterns and the sewing machine could be stored right on top. Crafters of any kind could store their supplies in this MiniBox too: yarn, paints, brushes, beads, etc. I even think how I could store all the kids art/craft supplies that I have in this and then it would be accessible but still out of their reach until I was ready for them to use them. I am even thinking this could be used as an office to store all the paperwork and supplies.

So go check it out and enter today!

{un}Organizational Chaos

I must absolutely have to make a HUGE mess when I organize something. It's a disease or something. I've always been that way. Certainly not the most efficient way to get things in order but it's how I work I guess and I seem to be super slow.

I'm in the middle of organizing several things at once because why would I make it easy and concentrate on a single thing at a time?

1. My photos on the computer! I don't know how many hundreds of thousands I have and everything is organized by month and year. I don't rename my photos as this would take me way more time than I have. I took 1,039 photos in Feb of this year alone now think back to 4 years of kids how many photos I have. I usually just upload/download (whatever it is called) several times throughout the month. I don't go through them and I don't print them (much to some people's disbelief). Think if I printed all my photos or even just the good ones? I started doing that when the kids were first born and trying to put them in albums . . . but after a few months I didn't have enough time to do that and the money that the photos cost would have been outrageous. I used to print photos out for other people too but that began to add up and if other people are like me when someone gives you their copies they just end up being tossed in a pile. Instead I try to "share" photos online through Walgreens that way family and friends can look through them and order what they want, if they want any at all. It doesn't cost me a thing.

At the moment my goal is to go through 2 months of photos each week and delete the bad, blurry, stupid, doubles, and keep the good ones. This week I did August and July of the current year and I deleted over 1000 photos. My computer is breathing a sigh of relief!

I do go through spurts of printing photos when they are on sale at Walgreens. Photos {I think!} I want to scrapbook but then this becomes a mess (see number 2). I plan to upload photos to my Walgreens account from each month just my favorites in case my computer decides to die or the house burns down. I also would like to buy an external hard drive to store my photos on but it's one of those things I think about but hate to spend that extra money and then will I be able to figure it out . . .

2. My printed photos. Oh my . . . this is out of control.

As I said I do go in spurts of printing photos that I intend to scrapbook. However if printing photos were instantaneous and I could reach out the window and get my printed photos and scrapbook them when I was excited, had an idea, had time, and wasn't exhausted then there would be no problem. However by the time I pick up the photos and get around to scrapping them then I can't remember the idea or why I even printed this photo or I can't find the photos I printed. Most of the time they get thrown in a pile and the pile grows and grows. Now I have several (hundreds) envelopes with a mixture of photos from 4 years in them. So I started to try to organize them this week. This is going to be a long drawn out process. Some photos I knew why I had printed them but others weren't obvious. I've also printed some photos more than once (like 3 times and I think I even have scrapped some of these duplicated photos already anyway!). I have (what I think) is a super fabulous idea for scrapping my printed photos once I get them organized.

Right now I have this box to store my photos and to me it makes no sense to organize them by date because I don't remember when anything happens and they are already that way on my computer -- so why do it twice? I really don't like the box (sorry, Cropper Hopper, it's big so where do you keep that out of sight but in an accessible place when I need to get to it). I know all you organized super neat freaks are thinking, what's the problem but since I am not an organized super neat freak that is the problem. This too will be an ongoing process that I will dread.

3. Cleaning out the closet from Hell upstairs. However once I dug through the heaping pile that was in the middle of the closet I found that the perimeter of the closet that I cleaned over 2 years ago was pretty much untouched and intact. This photo was from August 2006 (yes I have photos of my closets thus why I need to weed through my saved photos) but this is also how it looked when I removed the crap in the middle.

It was the last minute, where the hell do we put this before the birthday parties that made it look like a giant mess. I'm still working on this. This closet is in our bedroom so I only have about 45 minutes a day when the older kids are at school and Reese is awake and we have time to clean this. It's not so much fun with Reese though, she thinks it's a pretty cool place to hang out. If you look closely at these photos you will see a couple baskets, containers of printed photos -- these are in addition to that giant basket from number 2. I won't even talk about the other random boxes of baby and wedding photos we have.

4. Kids' clothes. How many times do I complain about kid clothes on this blog? Too many, every size and season change. I love fall but I hate the 90 degree day today and the 30 degree day tomorrow plus since it's monsoon season at my house I have no idea what to dress these kids in and believe it or not they all grew in height since last spring so pants are now too short but finally fit them in the waist so now we have to go to the bigger size which is long enough but won't stay up because these children are missing rear ends and are skinny as poles. So pretty much I have to have 2 seasons of clothes out until November. We don't have room for all these clothes out. I just got Reese's clothes out for the next size today so maybe tomorrow I will tackle the older kids. If I were to have children again, I think I would forgo all hand me downs and just go out and buy 5-7 mix & match outfits so we didn't have so much but even that would cost me an arm and leg with 4 kids and I'd have to keep up on laundry a little better but we would have more closet space without all these tubs of clothes waiting for us.

No wonder I always feel unorganized and overwhelmed all 4 of these projects are time-consuming and involve a lot of STUFF and yes, if I were to do one at a time maybe it would easier . . . but I'm not for the easy way out of anything!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Girl who loves Chocolate Milk

Addison discovered chocolate milk since preschool started. I don't think an hour goes by where she doesn't remind me how much she loves chocolate milk which is followed by Caden stating he likes white. I drink white too if I have to drink milk -- as a matter of fact I only like to drink milk out of those like cardboard cartons you get at school. I drank it all through school and while I taught and while on bedrest at the hospital. To me it just isn't the same out of the plastic gallon in a regular old cup. Ethan likes white too. His teacher finally discovered this Thursday: he kept putting his milk clip on the chocolate cow every morning but never drank it, on Thursday I helped him do the clip and I knew he didn't like chocolate because we got a "free" gallon of chocolate milk from the grocery store this week and he likes chocolate candy so he said he wanted some but took on look at it and said yuck and spit at it so I put his clip on the white cow and she said he drank all the white milk -- this could have been part of his problem at school too if he wasn't eating anything at snack time because he hates chocolate milk -- low blood sugar and Ethan don't get along.

I got our free gallon of chocolate milk on Wednesday and by Friday it was three quarters gone. Aaron says he only drank one glass. I had to take Addison to the doctor. She woke up 6 times the night before. Once she peed on the bathroom floor, once she was in our bed, another time she was getting out of our bed, another she was wanting the blanket she left in our bed, and I have no idea what the other two times were about. Finally at 4am when I was in there for the umpteenth time I said what is wrong with you, she said "my ear hurts really, really bad!" Then she proclaimed she was going to school without me even saying a word about it. Well, she didn't go to school and I called the doctor as soon as they opened and got her an appointment. I thought it was weird because she didn't have a fever and the night before she ate TWO plates of food plus desert. She hadn't acted sick except that she was a tad bit more whiny but she's always whiny. Doctor took one look in there and said "oh that's a good one, she's got an ear infection" so weird without any other symptoms. She kept telling Dr. Larson make it better and asked if she had to get shot medicine. She's so darn smart after 3 weeks of preschool. Now she's feeling a lot better and can't wait to get back to school. At the doctor's office she weighed 29 pounds! I swear she has gained 2 lbs in the last three weeks, all that smartness must be making her brain bigger (plus a little chocolate milk too).

Saturday, September 13, 2008

She talks

Okay some of you are going to think I'm nuts but Reesey said her first words. I know she's only 9 months old but I swear she did and more than once! Aaron didn't believe me either but then he heard her later on and he agreed so I'm calling it official! We were in a sporting goods store for what seemed an eternity with 2 three year old playing "golf" on the putting green while Caden and Aaron were gallivanting off somewhere and then when it was finally time to go. Ethan wouldn't follow along like the other ducklings, Aaron and I stood by our old stand-by of acting like we are leaving him and saying "bye". Of course, he was in a pile on the floor, crying and not coming so we were both continually saying "bye, Ethan" I was carrying Reese and she waved her little hand backwards to herself and said "buuuhhhyyyye". I told Aaron he said "yeah, right" and she wouldn't do it again. At home later on I did it a few times and she waved and said it. She even says "buuuhye--buuuhye" with that little wave. It's adorable! I had a hard time trying to photograph it but I got a little something!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Preschool Update

Where have I been? I don't know except for a busy weekend with a carnival and zoo visit and this is our first 5 day week of preschool. If I don't blog almost every day I get used to not blogging need to do better!

Addison and Caden still love preschool. Caden normally starts to cry when I pick him up but I think he's tired. He's usually ready to go back the next morning except Tuesday he kept telling me he was "sick" and didn't want to go -- where do they learn stuff like that? I think he was cold and tired!

I've been concerned about Ethan. Last week he started to cry when I dropped him off. I don't mean a few tears but fall down in a pile screaming crying "Mommmmmeeeeee, stop, wait, come back" kind of thing. Nothing I can do but walk away. I just hate having him start his day off that way. The first day I think it was started by the fact that he heard me tell one of the other kids I was taking Reese to the doctor and when we drove to school I think he thought he was going with us to the doctor because he wouldn't get out of the car seat. Everyday after that, he was crying. On Sunday and Monday when I asked him if he wanted to go to school and see his friends and his teachers he said "No thank you, Mommy!" Ugggghhhhhhh! seemed like this is going to be one long school year and then he only has 14 more years to go!

On Tuesday when I took him to his room, he tried to push me out the door and say "get out". No tears . . . and yesterday I told him it was time to get dressed and he said "go to school?" so he's getting it. His teachers told me he has had two really good days in a row. Ms. Flynn came for a home visit last night and she said the first couple days she was really worried about him. But she says he's beginning to get the routine down and follow the rules better and she's on to him that he knows a lot more than he lets on -- which is the understatement of the year. He's probably smarter than all of us put together in this family but he likes to act aloof and like he doesn't hear or understand anything he doesn't want to do (which is most things)! She informed me he is yelling at his friends -- nice! but they try to tell him to use nice words then he shushes everyone and stops yelling -- I'm sure it's in his gibberish and he's saying "stupid" 5000 times (thanks, SpongeBob). She said yesterday that he went up and hugged her (first time) and then he started laughing. He starting to like it -- it will just take more time for him. Ms. Flynn said he has bonded with Mrs. Cornell which is good because she probably spends 90% of her time with him when he's there and he has to sit on her lap during circle time or he runs away. He is interacting with the other kids too something I was concerned about but that's a good sign. She also said that she thought the half day schedule was perfect for him (whew!). We were/are having a meeting about him attending full day after one month of preschool and Ms. Flynn had kept mentioning this the first week or so of school but I just didn't think he'd be ready and she agrees. Maybe later in the year he can go all day but were definitely going to wait on that.

So we are all adjusting to the routine. I've gotten one closet completely cleaned and took a humongous garbage bag of clothes to goodwill. Only three more closets to go, and two of them are like black holes if I don't post again you'll know I was swallowed in the abyss.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Story Matters Challenge Family Tree

Here's my take on the challenge for The Story Matters Blog. The challenge was to tell something interesting about your family tree. I don't know how interesting it is but since I have never, ever scrapbooked anything on our wedding (which Aaron reminds me about every other day) I decided to use a wedding photo and to write about how our relationship began. Click on photos to see them larger.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Wild Woman

Today she licked the hard wood floor at home. She licked the carpet at the doctor's office too several times hmmmmmm . . . She scratched at the carpet like a cat too. She was a total show off in the waiting room. Two 6 month old babies were there too and about her size but she was going to show them who the boss was by trying to take away their pacis and hitting their face. The other babies just sat there so quiet, having no clue what was going on. She's just crazy and goofy and she's got the most gorgeous long eyelashes so she'll bat those a few times to make people forget her weirdness. I love her to death!