Bedtime Blessings

Baby sleeps in his own bed 2014I have a deep dark secret.

My two youngest kids sleep with me.  Now, I love sleeping with a newborn baby. Is there anything more luxurious than to cuddle up to that soft warmth and that clean baby smell? Listening to their quick steady breath simultaneously relaxes and revitalizes. There is just nothing better.

But. Yes here is the but. Things get problematic as this bundle of joy grows into a cyclone of tossing arms and legs and demands for midnight drinks. And I wake up immobilized in a sweatbox of my own making. DD5 sneaks in every night. Sometimes she doesn’t even wait till I’m in bed. And DS2 has slept with me since he was born. And I still might not mind, but Darling Baby is due in May, and I need space, mobility, and air circulation. I need to make a change.

I’m also hoping that DS2 already having his own bed will lessen any resentment he might feel. So we’ve started rearranging sleeping situations. And tonight is night one of operation Empty My Bed Before the New Baby Comes. So far, as you can see from the picture, so good.

I’m cautiously optimistic. DD8 and DD5 are crashed downstairs in the “girls’ room.” I’m not taking wagers on them making it through the night. But sometimes we moms have to take the win that we get. I’m off now to celebrate my roomy bed with some much-needed sleep. Good night.

What’s Stopping You?

Our little local museum has a fun "please touch" table. That and the caboose are always highlights.

Our little local museum has a fun “please touch” table. That and the caboose are always highlights.

Sometimes I don’t do things I should. Now that I’m an adult I report to myself quite a bit of the time. This makes it easy to slack off. So what’s a woman to do when she’d like get back on track? Stand by for truly profound and life-altering advice:
Do a little bit.
I know. It’s astonishing. But it really can be that simple if you let it.
I have fallen into a trap of indecision paralysis. You might be familiar, you can’t quite decide what would be best so you do nothing. I’m also prone to over-whelmed paralysis: where a task seems so daunting that I plain flat don’t start it.
And once you procrastinate something, it becomes a big, fat, hairy deal. But the opposite is also true. Take your first bite out of the task before and you’ll likely discover it wasn’t as bad as you’d told yourself on the sleepless, worried nights.
Take our family for example: We’ve got the homeschool year underway, I’ve done some of the “get ready for winter” list, mostly wardrobe related, and I am sort of semi-prepared for this month’s pack meeting tomorrow. Yay, me! What was I worried about?

Alright, next time we feel our steps slow with dread, we’ll take heart. Remember (Mary Poppins was it?) “well-begun is half done.” And half-way done is a good start on any project!

Grandma’s Biscuits

My Grandma was a serious cook. She worked on farms and ranches and for a while ran a restaurant. She didn’t cook for fun, but I know she was pleased to see you eat.

This is my proportion version of her biscuits. I multiply them up according to how much flour I think it will take to feed the group I need to feed. (That’s why it’s all easy multiplying.) My Grandma used milk; they always had cows. But I find water easier to come by.

Grandma’s Biscuits

Heat oven to 400F.
Mix together:
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbl Baking Powder
1 Tbl sugar

Cut in: 1/2 cube butter (that’s 1/4 cup. And when I say butter, I mean margarine. Use the fat of your choice.)

Mix in 1 3/4 cups water. roll onto floured surface and cut rounds with a glass, a canning ring, or whatever makes you feel like a frontier woman and cuts the size you want.

Place them into a baking pan so that they just touch, and bake till they’re golden on top, maybe 25 minutes. Mm-m. Grandma was famous for her biscuits.

 

The Power of the Uni-Task

So much to do, so little time. That is often my attitude in general. I used to be a fantastic multi-tasker. I never sat down in front of the TV without papers to proof or my latest crochet project.

But the last year or so I’ve started to appreciate the value of doing just one thing. I think I can credit my children for this change. Let me brainstorm my reasons:

  • I am always one second away from catastrophic distraction. Seriously, you never know what might happen next, anything from blood to floods to broken eggs or just the unfounded piercing shrieks that punctuate our day.
  • I’m in a half-stupor more than I realized was possible. I worked a lot of overnight “sleeping” shifts throughout college, so I was no stranger to interrupted sleep, but boy-howdy my kids (and hubs, let’s be real) have taken that to a new level, a walking sideways, dreaming of diapers level where I can’t always tell real from imagined come morning.
  • Teaching things to kids is hard. You don’t want them doing anything other than what you say when you say it. I find it is a bazillion times easier to work with them if I’m not trying to do ten things, or even two, at once. I can focus, and so can they, sort of. And I won’t find them in their underwear, swim flippers and overcoat wandering into the bathroom with a peanut butter sandwich.
  • But mostly I want to grab snatches of joy where I can get them. Never have I had more reason to be happy. I always wanted to be a wife and mom. But now that I’m here and now that there are people whose lives are affected by my whim and fancy, I find that cheer is an elusive butterfly that I just don’t even think to catch and carry with me until after I’ve stormed all over somebodies fun day parade.

I still love the washing machine, because I s long as it is running I am always getting two things done at once. But I’m learning to follow Ecclesiastes “To every thing there is a season, and a time . . .”

Let each activity have its time. The things I get done will be more meaningful and less often burned. Maybe I can learn this lesson while I still have children. Otherwise I’ll have to practice it on the grandkids while their harried mothers follow my frantic, crabby example of motherhood. Ouch.

What Are You Memorializing?

Did you make big plans for Memorial Day weekend? And did you think about what it is you want your kids to remember?
I am usually good about making a plan for holidays, partly because I think anticipating is half the fun. But also because I think it is important to give a bit of consideration to the family traditions we develop with our children.
All of our holidays seem to have thoughtful and thoughtless options. The thoughtful ones are those that get us thinking outside ourselves. Memorial Day options, for example, could be visiting the grave of a departed loved one or attending one of the many veterans’ memorial events that are held today.
Find out what local observances are available to you are put them on your calendar for next year. Also remember Father’s Day, Flag Day, and Independence Day are all coming up.

How about beefing up our family traditions to give our children a sense of heritage?!

Hallelujah for Endings

We agree on the best way to spend a snow day.

We agree on the best way to spend a snow day.

Today was the last day of school for DS9. It was also his last day of weekly Cub Scouts and twice weekly Taekwondo lessons.

Let me tell you I am ready for a break! The only person more ready than I am is DS9. And he is not really the reflective grateful type (yet). So I’ll think about my gratitude more often than he does.

Now I’ve given this some thought. “How can I be so happy for these endings?” Well first, I could so use a break from reminding, re-reminding, checking up, and physically prompting him every day. Or as he sees it interrupting, annoying, prying and spying. Okay, I’ll still have to do this, mainly for dog duty and dishes. But we won’t be on a schedule.

And second, these endings are temporary. He isn’t graduating or getting married or anything permanent and life changing. We still have time together. I can take a deep, oh so deep, breath and relax and just enjoy my son.

I love him. I like him, too. I want to revel in that. Now if I can relax my uptight personality and embrace the joy-that-is-ever-present-when-you-care-to-look. Does that sound like a summer vacation plan?

I think I’ll have to make three summer lists:

Work To Do’s—yeah there are things that need doing.

Fun To Do’s—because if you don’t schedule them in these fleeting summer days will
pass us by and in December the kids will ask me yet again why we didn’t make
ice cream.

And

Love To Do’s—this will be my stop-and-smell-the-baby’s-hair-and-don’t-you-dare-
take-off-those-rose-colored-glasses-cuz-you-know-you-wanted-nothin’-but-to-be-a-
mama-since-you-was-a-girl-and-girl-this-is-it.

Thanks, guys. I get my best ideas when I’m thinking through, because it’s for you.

Latest Update–What have I been doing?

What have I been . . .

Reading?

I finished book three in the Beyonders trilogy. Very good. DD 15, Hubs and I enjoy read quite a bit of YA lit. One stand out line was “sacrifice is giving up something good to get something better.” I enjoyed the excitement of the story, but it is the struggle to be selfless and to cling to faith through trials that will bring me back to this book.

Procrastinating?

Removing clutter. I have gotten rid of a few things, but there still seems to be too much. I am overwhelmed.

Accomplishing?

Our living room has made some strides toward becoming nice. I donated an exercise bike, moved furniture, and made a plan to make the sewing machine accessible. There’s more work, but its getting close.

Planning?

Fall high school courses for DD15. I’m also planning to let her drive more. I have to put her need to learn about my own comfort (and safety–ahem).

Anticipating?

Lots of weekly outings to our local Drive-In! Yes, you heard me right; we have one of those!

Not planning to fix?

Typing. I can’t blog in the dark, ‘cause I gotta look at my fingers!

Promising myself I’ll do?

Clear off my desk, blow up my Mother’s Day hippity-hop, write in my kids’ journals. Seriously, why do I put that off?

And what do I wanna do?

I want to start tomorrow like it’s a whole new world! Like Miss Hickory, I want to graft myself into a whole new life of vitality and usefulness. (Just finished reading that book with the littles tonight, too.)

So, in case I don’t see you, . . .good afternoon, good morning, and good night!