Monday, February 22, 2010

New Eyes

I had someone come over to babysit a few days ago. Well, house sit really. James has class on Wednesday night, which is also the night our ward has young womens. I'm the secretary, so I don't have to be there every week, but I like to go a few times a month, to keep up with the girls and their activities. So those nights I get a babysitter, usually a young couple without kids. I have my kids in bed already so it's a boring night.

I'm sure there was an easier way to set all this up, but blah. There is the situation.

Anyway, I had someone new come over this week. This couple has been married maybe a year or so, and is pregnant (twins!) with their first- children, I guess. :) I was having a good night- dinner wasn't too traumatic, meaning the kids ate it without too much complaining. And they went to bed well and the house was looking pretty nice and clean. This couple was super nice about coming over- I usually feel bad about disrupting someone's night- but they were insistent that they didn't want anything in return except being able to watch TV. Because they don't have one.

I was chatting with them afterward, and it made me remember those years when James and I were first married. Going without and not having much. We slept on an air mattress for the first few months. Rented a couch from Wymount so we would have furniture. Brighton's bassinet was a box lid. :)

Lately I've been feeling like the list of things that I want to have upgraded- our wobbly table that we're outgrowing, our pots and pans that are scraped and have loose handles, things that we have used hard and are wearing out- that list is getting longer and longer. Having been in school pretty much the whole eight years we've been married, I always thought things would be better after we were finished with school. Not better, that's not what I mean. But maybe easier? I'd be able to start checking things off of my list. Not be using storage boxes as night stands. And as the end of school keeps coming (mid April) and no strong job possibilities are apparent, I'm thinking that my dream of so many years is not going to happen.

So I freaked out for a few weeks. I'm better now. :) No one really knows when I freak out except James and my sister. And maybe Brighton, who I lectured on the cost of envelopes when she wanted to use some to play with. That was a low point. :)

Anyways, back to the point. When I was talking to this young couple, I started to see my apartment as what it must look like to them. Two nice couches, nice entertainment system, double monitor computer, big ol' printer (more on that later), pictures on the walls, etc. I felt like telling them, "No, we're really poor! It just looks like we have a lot!" Most of our furniture has been given to us, or somebody was junking it and we sanded it down and fixed it up. Things like the computer, printer, entertainment system we saved up for. Or James worked an extra job or we sold something. But I realized that over the years, we've accumulated some nice things. Not everything on my list, and we take advantage of hand-me-downs and craigslist, but we have a lot. A lot for me to be grateful for. My list can wait.

I'm not a very good writer, but I've been thinking about this a lot and wanted to vocalize it. So thank you, poor young couple. :) You've helped me have a better perspective, and to appreciate what I have.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

See, we go outside sometimes!

Daddy made trails through the snow for the kids to walk through. He did that a lot as a kid, playing tag and other games.
-snow angel-

Mountains of snow! How fun!
This is the front of our house. James piled all this snow in front of our window to help insulate us from the cold wintry wind. Which goes right through this poorly made window. :) The snow really helps, and it makes an instant fort/slide for the kids to play on.

This was a few weeks ago. Now it's usually too cold or windy to play outside. And the snow is all crunchy and yucky anyway. Oh well, we had fun with the snow for a few weeks anyway.

Spring, anyone?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Winter day activity

Isn't he cute? We are starting to feel the winter here in Iowa!! It seems like every day I wake up to more snow. The kids are still pretty good in the mornings with school, but the afternoon doldrums are hard. We all get cranky.
If this sounds like you, here is an activity idea! I found it here. Can I tell you what a lifesaver the internet is?! I especially love how many mommy blogs there are with activity ideas. I bookmark a whole bunch so I can revisit them. If I wasn't so lazy I'd put buttons on my blog, but again- lazy.
Edible peanut butter playdough that they decorated with pretzels, raisins and candy dots. Basically, whatever I had in the back of my cupboard. :)
Guaranteed to keep kids busy and happy for at least 30 minutes.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

It's like I have a 9 year old boy...

Brooklyn is obsessed with bodily functions and noises. She loves to talk about bottoms and other parts of the body- she'll even have conversations in the bathroom between herself and her bottom.

She voices both roles.

I'm sure this is just fine and normal, although annoying. We've restricted her potty talk to the bathroom, but right now our current issue is burping. She looooves to burp at meals. We tried to give her timeouts for burping, but they weren't having an effect and I didn't feel like it was a logical consequence. So right now, if she doesn't want to use her manners she doesn't get to sit at the table with us. If she wants to burp she has to eat in the kitchen.

I like this consequence, and I thought it would work because she hates being separated from the family. However, in this case, she doesn't care. She's happy to sit and burp it up in the kitchen.

How to kick this habit?!? Will she just grow out of it? Any ideas???

Monday, February 1, 2010

kids playing

Good to see that Brighton's developing handwriting skills are being put to good use...