Friday, December 28, 2012

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House

Hubby bought me a DVD collection of Cary Grant films for Christmas.  The best part was the set contained one of my favorites, The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer, and it had other Cary Grant movies I've never seen.  One of them was Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House.

I was busy attempting post-Christmas clean up around the house when hubby popped the movie in after a long morning of snow removal.  He started laughing soon after the movie started and asked me to come in and watch it with him.  Soon enough I was laughing right along with him.

"Honey, it's like watching us," I exclaimed!

The beginning of the movie shows Mr. and Mrs. Blandings in their cramped NYC apartment and how they go about their morning routine from sharing oddly organized drawer and closet space to a complete lack of privacy in the bathroom to shimmying around people and furniture just trying to move about.  We recognized the same thing with us and our little cottage and laughed right along, embracing each other in the familiarity of it all.  It certainly is cozy, snug, and yes, cramped.  Would we have it any other way?  Yes!  Preferably something a little bigger!  But, we fondly endure what we have and the creativity it takes to live here.  Small living has its perks.  One of them being ample opportunities for impromptu embraces.  We can't help but run into each other!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Getting A Head Start

In anticipation of the Christmas Haul that the kiddos are going to receive, I've started organizing early.  I purchased a bunch of plastic totes and labeled them to store the toys  I know they are going to get.  Hubby and I went easy this year and didn't get them very many gifts, but who knows what they may receive from relatives.  Last year, we could barely fit their haul from the inlaws in the back of hubby's truck!

Thankfully, I unloaded a LOT of stuff this past year.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Peace on Earth and in the Home

With the usual theme of the season coupled with the horrible tragedy in Newton, CT, I can't help but think about a haven of peace being so desperately needed for people.  The famous song, "Let There Be Peace on Earth, and Let it Begin with Me" by Sy Miller and Jill Jackson runs through my head.  Let it begin with me.

Let it begin in the home.

I am brain storming how I can make my home a haven the best I can.  What ways can I create a peaceful environment, a safe environment?  How can I give my children freedom from unneeded stress and fears?

How have you created a haven for your family in your home?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!

For weeks I was planning to do a big ol' birthday celebration for myself.  The day came and I changed my mind.  Into my yoga pants I went after a long soak in the tub.  I then took advantage of a napping baby to tackle my basement.  Happily I went throwing away years of accumulated junk, reorganizing and sweeping.  It actually felt good to haul so much out of there!

In the middle of my basement project, a friend and her sons stopped by to sing me "Happy Birthday" and present me with a gift.  What a blessed treat!  My oldest presented me with a lovely homemade necklace that I've been proudly wearing all day.  The baby loves it, too.  Something to play with while breast feeding!

After a popcorn, fruit, cheese, and trail mix luncheon while watching "Beauty and the Beast," my toddler and baby went down for their naps and I returned to my basement clean out.  Did I mention how good it feels to get rid of so much accumulated junk!?

Tonight, we're having a (nitrate-free) ham dinner and after the kiddos get tucked in, prayed over and kissed goodnight, I plan on curling up on the sofa a big mug of tea (so improper, I know), my Better Homes and Gardens magazine that arrived in the mail today, and "Sense and Sensibility" playing on my DVD player.

No cake.  The idea of cake turns my stomach for some reason.  Instead, I whipped up some homemade dairy-free rice pudding and I've been eating that like it's a pint of Ben and Jerry's.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Here at Home

Christmas is in full swing at Taigh Beag.  The children indulge in those old holiday tv specials nearly daily.  Rudolph and The Heat Miser and Frosty tickle their fancy.  It is a nice diversion from many weeks of strange illnesses and mysteries.

It started with my daughter having digestive upsets and quitting using the potty.  She is now on a strict dairy-free diet until just after Christmas to see if she improves.  If she does not improve, she may be tested for Celiac since it runs in the family.  I am so proud of her.  She's only had two small meltdowns about not being able to have dairy.  Otherwise, she takes the initiative to ask if it contains dairy and readily accepts the dietary changes.

Then, the baby developed croup and pneumonia at the same time!  He remained happy-go-lucky, sleeping well, eating well, never a fever.  He had a little cold with a chesty cough, but nothing alarming at all.  I've been through colds with babies many times before and this one seemed quite mild.  That is until the cough started getting worse and suddenly turned "barky."  I quickly made arrangements for babysitting and headed to the ER.  I fully expected a diagnosis of croup and thought they'd admit him.  Instead, they found not only croup, but basal pneumonia.  He was treated with a steriod and a breathing treatment and sent home.  Several phone calls to the doctor occurred, and I kept him quarantined for 3 weeks.  He was a remarkable patient.  He slept and ate well and giggled and played, though the improvement was marginal.  He had his 6 month appointment anyway, so I took him then and the doctor discovered that he still had the pneumonia, has an ear infection AND stopped growing.  The doctor and I stared at each other and then at my baby.  We're both mystified because he looks and acts so stinkin' happy and healthy!  You'd NEVER guess that anything was wrong with him other than a chesty cough and his small size.  He's hitting all his milestone on time or early.  We seem to have killed the pneumonia, but the ear infection is being stubborn.  I am hoping he has finally hit a growth spurt because he eats 6 times at night, is breast fed on demand throughout the day, and is supplemented with a doctor approved diet of solids 3x a day!  We had some testing done and are awaiting the results.

During that time, my toddler started growing his 2 year molars and as such has those nasty poos to go along with it.

Despite it all, we are a merry bunch....a constantly smiling, giggling baby certainly helps!  Our advent calendar is part of our morning routine now.  Our tree is up and decorated with ornaments both meaningful and hand made.  Presents are bought and wrapped.  Mistletoe has yielded plenty of kisses and cuddles.  We've driven around to look at Christmas lights.  My oldest and I plunk out Christmas songs on our clunky spinet.  And we await Christmas Day with great anticipation.