Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Child Labor Laws

I'm so excited to finally be entering that fun stage of motherhood--kind of like a secret club!

Yes, my firstborn is finally at the age where he can actually help me when he endeavors to help me!

It's awesome.  I'm starting out with little things.  No longer am I the envious mom on the outside who watches in total surprise as my other mom-friends nonchalantly ask their oldest to do complicated tasks like serve food to younger siblings, help out in the car, or even--now I haven't quite made it here yet, clean the kitchen.  Yes.  It is true.  Some kids actually help their moms with complex tasks that involve breakable items!

Now, my kids have their own chores, but I try to limit them to stuff that actually ends up being helpful instead of stuff that will take 5 times as long for them to do and result in frustration for both of us.  For my six year-old, I stole the chore idea of wiping down the sink and toilet with Lysol wipes and emptying the bathroom trash from one of my mom-friends.
Go figure, he loves to do it, and I love not having toothpaste caked to the sink daily.  It's win-win.

My four year-old is another story-- her one chore required of her daily is just to clean up after herself in the toys department, and that doesn't come about without lots of whining and complaining about phantom leg maladies and crippling fatigue.  It's a work in progress.

But the real corner was turned this week-- I realized that, in my big new Expedition Beast, where I have to climb in the backseat to reach the 3 year-old's seatbelt-- I can have him buckle and unbuckle her.  This was a major revelation.  This morning I hopped into the front seat and marveled.  No climbing into the back??  No twisting my clothes all around whilst hanging halfway over seats?  No bruises from contorting my body in ways it's not supposed to go??  Not even hitting my head on the ceiling, messing up my hair and breaking my sunglasses!!  I just couldn't believe how wonderful that felt.

So as I ruminate on my new ease of existence, I think greedily back to the mother of all kid-chores... the kitchen...

*Choir singing, light shining from heaven*

Perhaps someday soon.....

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Kid quotes

Here's a collection of some of the fun things my kids have said that I actually remembered to write down.

Adrian: Mom, are there allergies in this pillow?
Me: Uh... what ARE allergies?
Adrian: The stuff inside rice, that you cook it and it makes rice!
Me: Uhhh, no.
Adrian, while playing with a pillow stuffed with the white squishy beads.

“The Bad Queen drank too much water, [....] and turned into a new lady!”
—Adrian, Describing the movie 'Snow White'

Becca: Remember the bad lady dropped her sippy cup?
--About the evil queen in Snow White

“Hey, Daddy, this makes me get a beard on my chest, like you!”
—Adrian, after getting caught sneaking a drink of Daddy's beer.

“Look, Mommy! There's a big Black Squidow crawling on the rocks!”

Adrian:  “Emma needs to drink some juice because she's compontided!" 
Me:       "Constipated??" 
Adrian:  "Yeah!”

“But I don't WANT to get tired!!”
—Adrian, sobbing, after being told that he was obviously getting tired.

“I want to eat some vegetables so they can grow me up.”
“For (In) ten minutes I will be a Jedi because I am not a big boy yet.”

“Bow to me! I will never bow to you! I will broke you into pieces! ”
—Adrian, Acting out a scene from Star Wars.

“..and thank you for Darth Vader killing good guys...”
—Adrian, During his bedtime prayers.

“NO! He's NOT a bad guy! He doesn't have a gun!”
—Adrian, Sharing his thoughts on our creepy neighbor during a stranger danger talk.

“My Mommy says I can't talk to you because you're a bad guy!”
—Adrian, yelled to our slightly creepy neighbor soon after a "stranger danger" talk

“Baby Emma cries, and poops, and it's gross.”
—Adrian, laughingly telling folks at church about his new sister.

“My stomach hurts! See? (opens mouth)”

“You wanna piece of meat?!?”
—Adrian, Adrian, challenging us in a roughhousing game, instead of "you wanna piece of me??"

Does she have ants on her?Adrian, after hearing me call Emma "antsy"
You finished your dinner!! Good MAN!Becca, To Daddy, instead of "good boy"

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Long and Short of Sales

So the process of moving begins! We are in 60-day escrow, I feel like I can let a breath out that it's actually happening! We first began pursuing a short-sale before the beginning of 2011. At first the realtor wouldn't even talk to us without us being late on our payments. My husband insisted, and after hearing him out, he agreed to give it a go. Well, as September approaches the process nears its end!

I can't help but be amazed-- we had such an outpouring of love and support from our extended "family" from all over the country. I was constantly surprised at how many people would come up and ask me how the sale was going, that they were praying for our situation daily, and voice their support. It was really humbling, and we're thankful beyond words for the daily sacrifice of prayers on our behalf.

My husband had all sorts of people that told him he was crazy, and I'll admit that I was completely unconvinced that it was the best way to go. He stuck to his guns, and endured the criticism of those he worked with, and God answered prayers in a dramatic way. The realtor said he had never seen a bank accept a short sale bid under our circumstances, and on top of it not ask for a thing from us.

"The one who makes a promise and does not break it, even though he is hurt by it. [...] He who does these things will never be shaken."

Psalm 15:4-5

The biggest lesson for me! Do what you have promised, follow through in a blameless way; lean on God, He will take care of the rest of it. I didn't have the patience or faith to do this when we started this process. We are all being refined, slowly.


I am determined to be organized during our move, this time.  We lived out of storage for a few months over 3 years ago, and I can tell you, my lack of organization caused a LOT of wasted time and money.  This time we will have our boxes numbered, a corresponding detailed inventory, room-based color coding, and will prioritize how we put things into storage.  We'll be staying with family through the end of the year to save some money, so most of our belongings will go into storage, and it'll be kind of like we're camping, in the sense that we'll have only the necessities with us.  Simplicity will make all the difference, I think...

Whatever happens or wherever we end up, we will have renewed faith that God will take care of us, and is there to call upon for help.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I built a bed!

Here we go!  I have completed the project, and even remembered to take step-by-step photos!  I built a queen-sized bed, and have shown you how to do it, too!

I start my cut on a carefully marked line on each side of the 4x4 before cutting through the center.

"Why, yes, I do own weights.  I even use them!"

After much sawing, and a blister or two, I have all the 4x4's notched for support of the frame.

Sniff!  She follows in my footsteps.

The raw materials-- the 2x10's and 2x4's cut by a power saw operator at Lowes.  Fast and accurate!

I set up the frame to get started.

The frame is secured by 3: 2 1/2 inch wood screws.

Carefully, I balanced the frame on the 4x4 posts.

Balancing precariously on the 4x4's; holes were pre-drilled.

5" bolts hold the 4x4 to the frame.  Had a slight miscalculation on that hole location.   Oops.

Joist hangers support the 2x4s.

The 2x4 slides in nicely, and can be removed for easy moving.

The 2x4's offer cross support.  Slotted angles offer extra support on head and foot ends.
 Since I am using the 2x4s upright, instead of lying flat, they are stronger and do not need a center support.
Time for the 3/4" under-layment.  Hubby helps with the heavy lifting :)
My hubby was so excited he got me a gift. <3

Adding finish...

Finished product, curing.  I haven't put the mattress on yet, as the instructions said "3 days until normal use."  Sigh.

Storage space!  Beautiful storage!

Mattress added. :)

Hope this was helpful or interesting to you!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cakes of Birthdays Past

So if birthday cakes bore you to tears then you may want to skip this post!  Here are the cakes I have made in years past: