Carving Pumpkins

Even though she refused to get her own hands dirty with the “icky gooey pumpkin,” it didn’t stop her from being pretty interested in watching it happen.

102010 Pumpkin

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Grr…

Hello lovely blog-world friends. ¬†This might be a TMI post, so if you don’t feel like reading emotional drivel, best stop now. ¬†ūüôā

I think my body might be preparing to get back into cycles again, because lately it feels like I’m having the worst case of PMS ever. ¬†At least, I kind of hope that’s what it is! ¬†Did any of you mommies notice your PMS symptoms got worse after childbirth? ¬†Prior to having kids, I never had cramping, bloating, mood swings…pretty much nothing. ¬†But now I get all those things. ¬†Primarily mood swings. ¬†I get depressed, lonely and needy when I’m PMSing. ¬†What’s up with that?

Here’s another question for those of you with young kids. ¬†How often (say, how many times a month) do you hang out with other women, just for fun? ¬†Don’t count organized things like MOPS or small group, but things like a girls’ night out (even if just to meet for coffee) or a playdate so you can chit-chat while the kids play. ¬†I’m just curious if I’m setting my expectations too high and that’s why I feel so friend-less. ¬†I often think about college and how fun it was to live in community with my friends, all just a stone’s throw away from each other. ¬†I obviously don’t expect married-with-kids life to be just like that, but I think it would be fun to just “do life” with another friend or two–run Target errands together, plan a party together, take our kids to the mall or the zoo or church events. ¬†But again, I think I may have unrealistic expectations.

And since I hate to put up an entire post without a photo or something fun, here’s a lesson:

epic fail photos - Lesson WIN
see more funny videos

Christmas 2010 Gift Ideas – Round 1

I realize it’s a bit early to be doing this, but since I’m already starting my Christmas shopping myself, I figure others might be doing the same. ¬†I’ll try to pass on great ideas from now leading up to Christmas! ¬†And I’d love to hear of great items you’ve found, especially for those hard-to-buy-for types (Husband!). ¬†ūüôā

I’m a big supporter of mompreneurs/the handmade community. ¬†If you do something you love and are able to make a profit doing so, HAPPY TIMES FOR ALL.

Our family has never had stockings before (since we don’t really do “Santa”), but since our new house has a mantel, I thought it would be fun to have some hung. Enter: my friend Janet. She made these ADORABLE stockings for her family last year, and now she’s making more and selling them ($15 apiece). She also makes aprons (also adorable) for $25 apiece. This is a steal considering all the handmade work going into these lovelies! Click on the gallery below to view, and leave me a comment if you’d like me to put you in touch with Janet to order some (I don’t think she has a website).

Obstinance at its Funniest

Background information: Lately Anja has developed the habit of holding her pee in, waiting until the need to go is urgent and she can barely make it to the potty.  This has resulted in a slew of recent accidents.

——–

Today, we arrived home from preschool pick-up. ¬†Anja keeps dropping to the floor in a position that leads me to believe she’s straining her bladder again. ¬†I tell her to go pee. ¬†She assures me that, no, she doesn’t have to go.

Me: Just know that if you have another accident, you will be receiving a spanking and a time out and time in your bed.

Anja: I will not cry when you spank me.

Me: Okay.  Will you cry when you have a time out?

Anja: I will not cry when you spank me.  I will not cry when I have a time out.  I will not cry when I have time in my bed.

Me: Okay. ¬†But if you have an accident, YOU will be the on cleaning it up. ¬†I’m sick of it.

Anja: Well, THAT could be pleasant.

I have to turn away at this point because I’m laughing.

First Day of Preschool

From early September. You might think she was looking through the gate in anticipation (because we’d been talking about it all summer, and she WAS excited).

090710 Preschool 01

I asked her to turn around so I could get a picture of the front of her.

But it was just “one of those mornings.”*

090710 Preschool 02

*Note that if she had really been sad or scared, I would not be posting these photos. But she was just throwing a tantrum. Like normal. ūüôā

Sunday Sunshine 10.24.10

Why is there something so satisfying about beginning and ending the date with a 10?

Anyway, here’s a great article from Jo at Mylestones via Kelly: Wasting My Life, One List at A Time

Fun, creative ideas for moms

I have tons of experience building cardboard models from architecture school. ¬†Now I can finally use my degree! ¬†With my kids… ūüôā ¬†Mom, aren’t you proud? All that $, well-spent.

Fears

Working from home while I have a new baby has not been a walk in the park. ¬†In fact, since Markus was born last January, ¬†I think I have slept through the night twice. ¬†Twice! ¬†And not because of him, but because of my own body. ¬†My health has suffered (just one example: I’ve had four colds since the beginning of September, when I normally get one or two colds per year), my marriage has suffered (Husband wants me to quit, but then has no suggestions as to how we would make up the difference financially), my spiritual life has suffered (Quiet Time? ¬†What’s that?), my social life has suffered (I don’t have much time for hanging out with friends). ¬†I say these things not to complain, because I am so thankful to have work and to also be able to be home with my kids. ¬†But as they say, “something’s gotta give,” and a lot of somethings have.

Since we got married, our goal has been that when we had children, I would stay home with them. ¬†That didn’t work out with Anja, but my work was flexible enough to allow me to work two 10-hour days, and Husband’s employer let him work four 9’s and a 4. ¬†Anja only had to be in daycare one and a half days per week.

As of October last year, I was able to quit my other job and work from home. ¬†I thought this was a huge blessing at the time, and now I’m starting to wonder if it would be better for my health, our marriage, the kids, and my soul if I worked ONLY 20 hours per week again. ¬†Being self-employed has its benefits, but the fact is that you are never. away. from. work. ¬†As soon as the kids are napping, I’m working. ¬†As soon as Husband gets home and we’ve eaten, I’m working. ¬†Then, after the kids are in bed, I’m working. ¬†Usually until midnight or later, when I fall into bed stressed and exhausted. ¬†No time with God. ¬†No time with Husband. ¬†Time with the kids, but I’m often running back and forth between them and answering emails or packaging orders.

So here’s where the title of the post comes from…I still would love to make mothering a FT occupation (at least while the kids are young), but I have some fears and some legitimate concerns. ¬†Would you help me out, those of you who are making it work somehow? ¬†I’ve wondered how people manage to make ends meet for years, but I don’t know that I’ve ever had the courage to ask anyone in person.

FEARS

  1. That if I don’t keep current on some sort of job, I will never be able to find work I like again upon re-entering the workforce.
  2. That I will grow bored with “only” mothering.
  3. That I will take my boredness out on my children, causing them to feel undervalued.

LEGITIMATE CONCERNS

  1. Even with the new house (and lower monthly payments), there is no way we can make ends meet without me contributing to the family income. ¬†I cannot “penny pinch” $1000/month. ¬†We have no car payments. ¬†Our one luxury is a gym membership, which we’re not willing to give up (and wouldn’t make much of a dent, anyway).
  2. I don’t know that I could make enough doing a PT job outside the home to cover daycare for two kids. ¬†PT daycare is usually more expensive, too.
  3. I enjoy photography, and I don’t really want to fully give it up. ¬†But I can’t really do it halfway and expect to have any sort of client base.

So what’s a girl to do? ¬†Keep burning the candle at both ends at the expense of everything I hold dear? ¬†That seems to be my only option. ¬†Prayers and advice welcome.

Anja, 3 years

A bit belated…

My precious pumpkin, bursting at the seams with personality…this year has not been easy. If someone had told me the terrible twos would be this hard, I may have reconsidered having children.

That said, I am taken with you. I love:

  • Your fascination with the smallest of things
  • The way you carefully enunciate every word
  • The southern drawl you seem to have picked up somewhere (“My favorite color is ray-ed”)
  • How you ask to wear a beeeauuutiful dress every morning
  • That you don’t put up a fuss when I make you wear pants instead some days
  • Your voracious desire to read
  • The incredible stories you weave, almost all of which include a spooky forest or cave
  • How much you adore throwing tea parties
  • When you have the most random smattering of guests to your tea parties (like Mommy, a stuffed dog, and a tiny worm sitting in a giant chair)
  • Your long, blonde hair
  • The way you form words with your little mouth
  • When you try to tickle me
  • Your knock knock jokes (the punchline is always: “___ went to school”)
  • How you are 3 going on 13 (when we tell you no to something, such as a cookie, and you stomp off to your room, saying, “Then I will never, EVER eat a cookie. ¬†NEVER!” and slam the door). ¬†Wait, this might be also something I hate…
  • Your huge heart for your extended family (you just looooove your grandparents and aunties and uncles, etc.)
  • How you make up random songs about everything and even tell entire 15-minute long stories via song and rhyming verse

True, I could do without the power struggles, tantrums and drama, but I keep praying God will use that strong will of yours to His glory some day.

We love you, Anja.

my big girl