Thursday, July 31, 2008

Kitchen Window



I improved the inner view of my kitchen window at least with two lovely flower pots I got on clearance at Walmart. My son decided to harvest tomatoes that weren't ripe yet, so I have them in the window hoping they'll ripen up so as not to waste them.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Feeling Better

When I recovered from yesterday's stress, I was in such a good mood and had energy, again. I've come to the conclusion that it's ok to have a good cry and even a small pity party, so long as you have the discipline to get up when your done and get on with your life with even more strength. To do this, your good cry needs some good prayer with it, too.

I had a good night's sleep and was able to get out before 7 am this morning and pull up a big patch of weeds at the end of the garden. I'm thinking today's project might be looking into improving the play area down stairs. Now that our TV upstairs has been broken, the TV in the basement is getting more use. (We can't bring the basement TV upstairs because it's HUGE and it doesn't fit in our TV armoire.)

If it doesn't rain, I'm going to get outside and do more garden work. When I was in Scotland, my host's house had a lovely garden. It was neat because their beds were down about 2 or 3 inches from the grass level. The grass was like a bridge, or raised walkway. I want to do that with my garden. It'll help keep the weeds out and it'll help hubby mow the edges of the garden.

I've also decided that next year I'm getting weed control matting for the garden. This weeding takes up way too much of my time and I always get behind on it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Taking a much needed break

It's been so busy this summer and I'm starting to feel the weight of it. There's just so much to do and so much getting piled on top of it. I can't seem to keep things straight any more. Even my efforts to keep things straight are just an added effort I have to find time for.

I'm always multi-tasking. I blog when I'm on the computer for something else that I'm waiting to download, for example.

Things have really come down around me recently and I've tried to keep my chin up, but the stress has murdered me physically and worn on me emotionally.

It was the last straw last night when we arrived home from visiting my ailing FIL and found that the dog peed on the bed. I could have sworn I shut the door to the bedroom before I left! It was already after bedtime and I was stripping the bed and doing laundry and redressing the bed. Then, my daughter decided not to fall asleep and when she finally did, my son woke up screaming from a bad dream. I didn't get to sleep until after 11pm. Poor daughter had gas, so I was up a few more times a night before the alarm went off at 5 am. I could literally barely function and just barely made it back to the sofa to fall asleep for at least another hour.

Then, when the morning finally got rolling, my son decided to decorate the living room with his milk and cheerios. Twice, I had to call and argue with a credit card company, but what really threw me over the edge was finding out I completely forgot about my auto insurance payment and it was over due.

With children safely in their cribs, I let my emotion out with a good cry. I felt better on the inside afterwards, but physically I could barely function. As I wrote out the checks for the bills I had to pay, I could barely get the pen to move to make the letters and numbers.

So, my dear son asked to watch "Cows" (Baby Einstein MacDonald's Farm) and invited me to sit and watch with him.

A little rest mixed in with a little industry and amazingly things are getting done around the house.

I really just needed this rest, and I pray for a good night's sleep tonight. I really need that, too.

Monday, July 28, 2008

tagged


Julie at http://www.keepersathome.blogspot.com/ had this, so I copied it and Tag, you're it.

1. Who is your man? The Dashing Gentleman Above

2. How long have you been together? 8 years total, 6 years married.

3. How long dated? A year and a day...then we got engaged.

4. How old is your man? 34

5. Who eats more? Not sure.

6. Who said "I love you" first? He did.

7. Who is taller? Him

8. Who sings better? Me

9. Who is smarter? He's got more common sense and "street smarts." I've got more book smarts.

10. Whose temper is worse? His, but I'm a close second at times.

11. Who does the laundry? Me.

12. Who takes out the garbage? Me.

13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Me.

14. Who pays the bills? He makes the money, I write the checks.

15. Who is better with the computer? Me.

16. Who mows the lawn? Him.

17. Who cooks dinner? Me.

18. Who drives when you are together? Mostly me, because we take my truck.

19. Who pays when you go out? Him.

20. Who is most stubborn? He'd say me and I'd say him. :)

21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Me.

22. Whose parents do you see the most? Mine. They're closer and my dad's retired.

23. Who kissed who first? I kissed him on the cheek first and he was so surprised that he gave me quite the kiss on the mouth afterwards. *blush*

24. Who asked who out? I dropped the major hint, but he did the asking.

25. Who proposed? He did.

26. Who is more sensitive? Me.

27. Who has more friends? Him.
28. Who has more siblings? Me, unless you count steps and halves then we have the same.
29. Who wears the pants in the family? He does, but he calls me "the boss."

30. How did you meet? At a re-enactment recruitment.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Looking Forward To A Productive Week

I enjoy being productive and I look forward to a productive week. I'm considering doing away with my 1/2 an hour of exercise in the morning this week in favor of getting chores done so I have time to take my little 'uns outside and get some yardwork done. There's so much to do in the garden and I want to start landscaping and turning beds for next year's plantings. I'm sure all that heavy work will suffice for exercise. :)

Other plans for this week includes going through ALL of my son's toys and organizing them. I'd also like to pull up all the boxed books in the basement and find homes for them as well.

I'm also considering turning the smaller walk-in closet into the re-enacting closet...but I'd have to find a home for the coats living in there now.

I'm also going to try my hand at beet kvass. My neighbor gave me a bunch of beets from her garden.

Those are my main projects for the week on top of my regular tasks and working on Bubby's quilt.

I love having projects! Between the cost of gas and not having a TV, I'm sure I'll get more done. My mom did give me a huge pile of Colonial Home and Country Living magazines, so I'll have to avoid the temptation of sitting out on my window seat and pouring over those.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Little Women Musings

This line from the movie, "Little Women" popped into my head today:

Laurie: "What do they do all day." (possibly paraphrased and in reference to the Little Women next door.)

I always have a smile at this scene because his tutor gives him some silly line which basically means he hasn't the faintest idea.

Then, I began thinking of all that Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy did:

They made their own clothing.
They kept the home spotless.
They worked and did charity efforts.
They tended the gardens.
They educated themselves.
They indulged in their own hobbies.
They played and imagined.
They took care of each other.

They did so much! I bet they rarely, if ever, flopped into a chair and moaned, "I'm bored."

They accomplished so much and were never idle. Spare moments were spent enjoying nature in a refreshing walk or scribbling away stories, or playing music, or painting, or enjoying children or reading.

No TV's. No sterios. No video games....just pure activity.

I like that.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Blessings out of a Crazy Week

While my last post was about all the ick-stuff that happened to me last week, here's the good that came out of it!

Friday: Hubby came to my rescue and was so loving and supportive I fell in love with him all over again. I also got to spend a relaxing afternoon at the farm.

Monday: I got to visit with my FIL who's house I passed to get to the place where I had to get hubby's boots. We had a lovely visit and he got to see the grandkids. Bubby cheered him up...they're two peas in a pod.

Tuesday: My father went with me and we had a great time chatting away in the car and he loved spending time with his grandkids and daughter.

Wednesday: The rain kept us home and indoors so we all got to play together, even the dog! We had a grand ol' time.

Thursday: I had the pleasure of figuring the problems out myself and getting them fixed (with a little help from hubby). I like learning new things and using tools and hubby's such a great teacher.

So, when it rains, it pours, but every cloud has a silver lining.

Crazy Week

I'm just shaking my head and laughing. Granted, the laugh may sound a little like old Hollywood insane-asylum laughing, but I'm at least laughing.

Friday, I'm driving hubby's truck and it breaks down. I'm stuck in the swealtering heat and humidity with a hungry 2 month old. Thankfully, I was smart enough to grab hubby's cell phone and he came and rescue us.

Monday, I was to drive 80 miles round trip with a 2 year old and a 2 month old to pick up boots for hubby. He desperately needed new boots and I volunteered for the task. Well, I get all the way up there and they are closed!

Tuesday, I went back up and got the boots.

Wednesday, rain and lightening like you wouldn't believe. Our basement (which we spent over six grand waterproofing) and garage flooded and we were struck by lightening twice. The second strike broke our TV and tripped our well pump. We got the well pump to work, but I have no water in the kitchen and only hot water in the washing machine. At least the water in the bathroom and the basement sink works.

I priced TV's at Walmart and we can't afford one. They're way too expensive now that all they sell are flat ones.

Well, I have to go knead my bread and transplant my aloe and persian violet.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday's Baby Weight Check-In

I like laying out my progress on this blog. It keeps me motivated, especially since my sister reads my blog! Last week, I only did actual work-outs for three days (1/2 an hour in the morning and walks later in the day). The last 4 days I had to really tone it down. My body was letting me know I did enough. It's important to listen to your body, but not let it be an excuse for not doing what you should be doing. In my case, I had to remember two things: I'm barely 8 weeks post-partum and I'm still nursing. I tried to exercise, but my body said, "NO!" I needed sleep.

Today, I did 30 minutes of The Firm and hope to follow it up with an evening walk, but it's stormy today.

I have noticed one thing, though. I don't mind hubby seeing me undressed even though I have extra pooch and poundage because I know I'm working on it and so does he. He doesn't find me unattractive, anyway. Even this morning, I took my measurements in his presence and we could both celebrate in the results. He's proud of me for taking control of my health and making sure I'm in top physical condition before we get pregnant again. Pregnancy is HARD WORK! We owe it to ourselves to be in great physical shape (I'm not saying skinny, I'm saying healthy and strong), before we undertake such a joyous task.

The question I see written and hear asked most often is, "How do I get myself motivated?" There is no "magic word" or special tonic or prayer. There's only you making up your mind to get off your tush and move it. Believe me, I know! I don't like exercising. I'm not athletic. But, we're doing a great disservice to the body the Lord created and gave us by not getting ourselves to our own healthy (we all have different needs and abilities when it comes to our health. You might be disabled or have an illness, but that's no reason to not make sure you keep yourself healthy. My father has a broken back and a slipped disks in his neck that cause him constant pain, and stents in his heart, yet he bicycles 16-20 miles a day.)

So, you hate exercising. It does get easier as you get used to doing it. So, just move. Play with your children. Take up dancing. Go for walks and enjoy the scenery.

So, you don't have the time. Surely there's something you can give up. When watching TV, for instance, rather than running to the kitchen for a snack during commercials, get up and march, jog, run, jump-rope or jumping jack in place. Or, get up a 1/2 an hour earlier and do some sort of work-out.

So, you get discouraged. If you're a beginner, don't be doing work-out videos designed for intermediate or advanced people. If you have coordination issues, avoid dance-style workouts and stick with walking work-out videos. If you hate the boot-camp style work-outs, look for more fun ones like dancing work-outs. If you get aches and pains, look for low-impact work-outs. (Remember, you'll feel a "good" ache and pain after a decent work-out, but it should feel like your muscles have accomplished something and not that you've injured yourself.) If you're doing a work-out and the moves get too difficult (you're not strong enough for them yet, or not coordinated enough) just march strongly in place and pick it up when you can. Do what you can and build up as you go.

Remember, you need to combine strength training with aerobics. Muscles burn fat and increase your metabolism, but in order to see those muscles, you have to burn the fat you have.

Also, remember to not soley go by weight lost. Muscles weight more than fat. Results should be over all, that's why I've included my measurements.

Also, Also, remember that I'm a petite girl. Tall or stockier ladies should not look at what I'm working towards and be discouraged. 140 lbs may very well be the healthy weight for you, whereas for me, it's actually overweight. We're not one-size fits all here.

I'll post my current weight later on today. I don't own a scale, so I have to use my parents' scale.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Improving the View

www.homeliving.blogspot.com and Victoria Magazine both had articles about improving the view from your kitchen window. Oh, how I'd love to improve my view, especially since I only have one window in my kitchen, unless you count the window on the door and that just leads to a tiny porch. I am improving that view because we're redoing the porch. However, the view from my kitchen window could use a little touch-up. It faces our driveway and stares are our garage and shed. It's a bit of a catch-all for things like garbage cans and scrap. It's all weedy, too. I don't think there's much I can do with it this spring, but perhaps I can tackle it this autumn after frost kills the weeds. Otherwise, it'll be a spring project.

In the meantime, I'll continue to work on that little porch and just do little things around the window, like washing the glass, tending the plants on the sill and keeping the curtains tidy.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Ground Beef

It's getting so you can't afford the cheap stuff anymore, either! Ground beef is rarely below $2.50 a lb. and as much as $4.50 a lb. for the extra lean. I don't bother with extra lean. 75% is fine with me (read Nourishing Traditions). However, it is quite often that London Broil gets down to $1.59 or $1.79 a lb. So, my parents, my older brother and I have pulled out our antique cast iron grinders and we buy the on-sale meat and ground it ourselves. Today, I ground a roast and made 4 batches of meatballs...Swedish and Italian.

My father also gave me a pasta maker. He got two at a garage sale for $1.00. I haven't found the time to dabble in making my own pasta yet. I'm already making my own yogurt, bread, cottage cheese, cookies, spaghetti sauce and ground beef.

By the way, my grinder is from 1899! Love old stuff!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Baby Weight Update

I don't own a scale, so I won't be able to tell you what my weekly weigh-in is. I guess I could stop by my parents' house today and use their doctor's scale.

I was quite surprised I actually dropped nearly an inch everywhere, though I'm shocked to have gained 1/2" on the thighs. I am massively bloated below my waistline, probably due to the Italian Bridal Shower I attended yesterday. I kept my portions very controlled, but the salt content was more than my little body could handle.

I didn't exercise as much as I wanted to last week, but I had milk issues, so I didn't want to take calories away from milk production. My daughter had a 3 or 4 day growth spurt and for some reason my evening milk supply was inadequate, so we several evenings nursing every hour for several hours. I hand-extracted milk as well. Now, I have more than enough and baby girl is quite happy. I'm sure that helped burn some calories.

I started The Firm today. I did 1/2 an hour of the high-def workout. That's all I really had time for. Besides, I'm not one to spend loads of time working out. I'd rather burn my calories doing heavy-duty yard work or home maintenance or improvements. I'd also rather take my children and dog for a walk. Now THAT'S a sight to see. Petite me pushing a double stroller with one hand and walking a "pit bull" (she's not really a pit bull, but she looks like one) with the other. Usually, I'm wearing a skirt or dress as well! You should see the stares and waves I get!

I did notice with The Firm, that while I consider myself a beginner having to start from scratch due to my time off for pregnancy, working without the weights wasn't enough. I'm going to start off with just the handles, instead. I guess my arms are fairly strong from working with light weights prior and hauling around a 25 lb. toddler and an infant in a car seat/carrier.

In other weighty news, I'm really trying to cut back on my sugar intake, although cookies are my weakness (I'm down to 2 a day). However, to keep my milk adequate, I'm eating fatty, but lower calorie foods like eggs and my homemade yogurt (thanks again, Candy for that recipe). I've also started making the Yeasted Buttermilk Bread from Nourishing Traditions for healthier carb consumption.

I felt great after my workout! While showering, I thought what a disservice so many women do to themselves by not exercising even a little. Exercise alone changes so much in us for the better! Stronger, healthier, less hormonal, more awake, better sleep, better intimacy with hubby, less aches and pains, better mental awareness.....couple this with time with the Lord every day and it's amazing how healthy and accomplished a woman can feel and be!

So, get off your computer and MOVE! :)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

A Realization

I realized the other day that I officially became a Titus 2 woman the day my daughter was born.

I never really considered myself a candidate for being a Titus 2 woman just yet because I am still young and I still have a ways to go in experiences and learnings. However, regardless of my experiences, education, and any leftover ignorances, I am (or should be) a Titus 2 woman. So, now I have something to stand up with and for and work towards with all my heart. I have a daughter who needs a Titus 2 woman and I am that woman that God gave her for that role.

Amen.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Elimination Communication

Saved Sinner asked if I've considered Elimination Communication and as a matter of fact I have. For those who don't know what that is, it is reading your infant's signals and having them use the toilet rather than wearing diapers.

I've read a few articles and visited a few websites, but it is something I don't personally feel is workable for me, nor is it supported by hubby. No Greater Joy is supposed to have an article on it in their next issue. I'll see after I read it, but I honestly don't feel comfortable with the whole thing.

Interestingly enough, in the 1940's baby book I have, they do have a section on "bowel training" for infants...where an infant uses a chamber pot. I find the whole concept of EC interesting, but not for my family....at least not at this time.

Perhaps if I had an EC mentor to come over and show me how it is done, I could work on it.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Diapers!

The good news is Bubby is heading out of diapers. It'll still be a while, but he's started potty training! In the meantime, I have him in cloth diapers most of the time.

I had extra money from my weekly grocery budget, so I headed over to JoAnn Fabrics. I bought materials to start making my daughter's cloth diapers. In their remnant section, I found some vinyl fabric that I'm going to attempt to make into diaper covers. I'm not sure how successful that'll be.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Yesterday's Project




Today, I'm pretty much taking the day off to work on better nursing with my daughter. She's fallen into a pattern of lazy latch-on and sucking. It sufficed a few days ago, but she's hit a growth spurt and is now not getting enough to eat. The milk's there, but she's just not getting at it and I returned my pump on Monday.




Yesterday, my big project was to remove the doors from the sink cabinet and replace it with curtains. Also, I painted the inside of the cabinet, which was all rusty and dirty and gross. It's a metal cabinet from the 1950's. The left hand door was broken and I had it tied shut, so half the cabinet was unusable. I've posted pictures of the end result. Now, I have a space for my recycling, papers to burn and garbage. The white trash bin is my garbage. I try to make as little as possible and I change it out every day to avoid bugs, vermin and stench.


The whole project only cost me a couple of bucks for the tension rod. The fabric matches the existing curtains in my kitchen and was once the slip cover for my chair. The paint was actually a white Kilz primer leftover from another project. The pails and bins I already had floating around the house.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Wisdom From the Past

This passage is from a 1940's Better Homes and Gardens Baby Book that was given to me recently:

Your adored and precious baby has left your lap. He's an eager little runabout, going everywhere, wild for experience and adventure. You couldn't keep him sheltered in your arms if you tried! He's on his way!

You have a right to be proud and happy because the love and careyou've lavished upon him have provided him with so healthy a body, so eager a mind.

Now comes the question, "How can I best fit him for what lies ahead?"

We have seen in the past that the world can change overnight from a safe, pleasant place to one of grim effort, sacrifice, and hardship. FAthers and mothers can't be blamed for wondering whether the gentle philosophies which have dominated child-rearing these past years will prepare children adequately for such a world. It's natural that we should ask ourselves whether sterner attitudes and punishments are called for.

But let's stop and consider. The boys who accepted the disciplines of the last war so splendidly and who endured hardships we can never know, were reared by that philosophy. It has proved itself under fire.

A wise man has pointed out that a gardener doesn't expose his tender spring seedlings to frost and chill, just because he knows winter is coming. He doesn't keep pulling and tugging them up by the roots to accustom them to future hurricanes.

Instead, he cherishes them with the utmost tenderness, so they'll have a chance to grow sturdy and strong before they meet the storms. He knows such care will give them the best chance to survive.

Thus it should be with our children. The colder and harsher world outside, the more they need warm affection in their own homes. Don't be fraid to love and cherish this precious little chap. Don't give up trying to see things from his viewpoint. Don't give up working problems out ina gentle, understanding way. These will do for him what the glass covering of the houthouse frames does for delicate plants. Warmed and sheltered by your love, he'll have a chance to strike deep roots and to stand staunchly when the protective covering is removed.

Adorable as he is, your little rascal is going to try your patience many times during the next four years. In days of strain and anxiety, there will be a tendency to expect too much of little folks. Don't fall into that error. Don't allow yourself to get stern or cross or frantic when your preschooler merely acts as any preschooler will. Keep your poise and your sense of humor. Keeping them for your child's sake will help you keep them in dealing iwth the real problems that press in from outside your home.

Enjoy him! Two to six is one of th emost entertaining and intriguing of the ages of man, if you hold fast to your perspective. Let no unfounded worries rob you of the pleasure and fun you should find in your preschooler.

Strengthen your child by encouraging him to be self-reliant, independent, and responsible for his own needs. Insist upon the health habits which will keep his body strong and fit. Provide the means for turning his interests and abilities into skills and definite knowledge.

When he passes at last thru the gate of adolesence into maturity, from the shelter of your home into the unknown, he'll be strong, confident, and fearless. He'll be kind and generous because he himself is rooted in love and in gentle ways. In short, he'll be the kind of lad you'd like him to be!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Monday Stuff

Today was my 6 week post-partum check-up. Things are going great and the doctor is quite impressed with my progress and overall attitude. Either I have an easy baby, or my whole outlook is just so different from many other mothers. The doctor suggested that I make sure to get time away from the baby and to myself on a regular basis. I just smiled and nodded. Frankly, I have a very hard time turning either of my child into the hands of someone else, even hubby, because I just love 'em to bits!! Of course, I make sure they get plenty of time with daddy and with their beloved grandparents, especially Bubby. He's at the age now where time with mommy should be a bit more limited and time with daddy and the grandpas should be increased.

So, I am now at a full green light to work on getting myself back in shape. In my right hand margin you'll find my current/starting weight and stats. I'll keep it updated periodically with my progress. I hope to not get pregnant again until I'm back in shape. Pregnancy is too much work to start out with in poor physical condition.

Also, if you're interested, in my other blog http://allthingsfeminine.blogspot.com, I'm doing a "Week in Feminine Dress."

Thursday, July 03, 2008

I Love a Good Challenge

One month after giving birth, I spent 5 days in an 18th century tent re-enacting with my family. Other than the humidity, mosquitos and the monsoon that went through on Saturday, we had a good time. It took quite a bit of preparation for the trip, including my getting the trailer inspected, 3 runs to the grocery store, and new outfits for Bubby and one new one for me. But, I did it! :)

Monday, as we were packing up our tent and equipment, hubby said we'll have a picnic on the 4th of July. Ok! So, this whole week has a been a last minute scramble of cleaning up from the event, tidying my house and yard in preparation for guests, and shopping for the picnic. On top of it all, I cleaned out the fish tank and, with help from my mother, moved it to the basement and moved the bookcases to where the fishtank was. I also purchased a new, bigger bookcase for the nursery and put it together myself.

I feel good! I love when things work out and challenges are won! Now, I don't win every challenge. Some of them beat the tar out of me.

The problem with this is I'm being called "supermom" by other mothers who can't believe all that I do. I'm hardly "supermom." I just have these nesting spurts that I take advantage of. There are negatives to these nesting spurts, including a crash at the end and lack of special time with my children and husband during the spurt. However, the spurt soon ends and I'm back to my regular life, or even a "vacation" of sorts where I sit on my unvaccumed floor and catch-up on some playtime with my children.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

New Goals, Exciting prospect

Now that I'm pretty much recovered from child birth and getting back into the swing of things, I'm working towards new goals in my every day life. These goals are silly goals in that they shouldn't be goals at all, but just what I'm supposed to do. I like to equate my housewifery with a career in that I have a job description and I'm expected to fulfill it and if I don't, then I've failed. Of course, I completely understand that as a housewife, my job description is rather enormous and constantly changing and needing revamping and priorities constantly shift.

Here are my goals:

Bible and prayer time every day.
Walk the dog at least once a day, preferably twice.
Get back into exercise and eating according to Nourishing Traditions
Work with son on education and skills

In other news, we have the exciting prospect of possibly getting a horse within the next few years! In the very least, we might horse-sit for a month so hubby can train on horseback. I've always had a dream of being able to ride side-saddle. I'd like to fulfill that, but I've never ridden a horse. I've sat on one and was led around pony-ride style. Horses are expensive and we do have other pressing needs, including a truck that can seat 6 and the addition on the house. However, the Lord provides and I have a husband who can do anything he sets his mind to. :)