February recap

This winter has been a little busier work-wise than normal, so this blog, which normally sees much activity in the winter months, has languished.

I long ago gave up hopes of making regular appearances here, but I definitely miss the time I used to have for visiting others’ little spaces on the interwebs. ūüė¶

Here are a few February highlights:

Husband and I got to attend a marriage retreat, which was fabulous and just what we needed. This is at the “dress-up night” banquet.

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I’ve had that skirt since high school. It fits a little differently now, but it was nice to get another wear out of it. ūüôā

Markus transitioned to a toddler bed (since he was climbing out of his crib 10-20 times a day/night anyway, we figured this just made it slightly less dangerous).

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Anja and I made a bunch of valentines for her classmates. We used this printable butterfly version.

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I made a spur-of-the-moment decision while the kids were napping on V-day to have a tea party as our snack. Nothing too special, but it seems special to them! The cupcake frosting had been frozen, so its texture was a bit iffy, but both kids and Daddy assured me it tasted fine.

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We’ve had out the marble run a couple more times. They both enjoy it.

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Anja and Daddy went to the Daddy-Daughter dance again this past weekend. She has talked about it–I kid you not–probably weekly since she went last year, describing what a good time it was, so she was stoked to go again. Her hair was too short to do any fancy up-dos this year, but I dug out my old curling iron and was pleased with the results.

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Husband wearing a tie twice in one week has never happened before, I don’t think. He’s not a fan, so we appreciate him being such a sport! Markus came out the door after them and decided he needed to be in a picture, too.

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She is SO hard to get decent smiles out of right now! I ask for a smile, get some sort of weird face, and then tell her just to keep her face straight. I crack a few jokes, and then I can at least get something genuine-looking, if not “perfection.”

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That’s about it so far. How has your month been? I wish I had some great craft, or even some clean house photos, to post, but my crafting has been finger paints and cotton balls and glue and popcorn and rice.

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Dallas, Day Two

juice and store-bought cereal in our room (in our Wal-Mart bowls)
Heidi left for the workshop
Husband worked a little bit
received word that Anja was sick
Husband went to went to BWW for lunch, then Wal-Mart and Best Buy, then finished up some more work
He ordered room service supper, tenderloin sandwich, had a migraine and watched Ocean’s 11
Heidi got back from workshop and spent time online planning next day

See some photos from my workshop here.

Once Upon A December

Lots of updates!

We closed on our house last week, and my mom came to watch the kids while we began renovations. ¬†We’ve never really DIYed many big projects, so we’re both cutting our handyman teeth on the house. ¬†It is essentially move-in ready, but there are some cosmetics that (in our opinion) need updating, and we figured we might as well do it now so we can enjoy the changes rather than wait until it’s time to sell again (someday). ¬†Here are some “before” shots I took. ¬†Can’t promise I’ll be good about taking progress pictures, but eventually, there should at least be some “afters.”

Here’s the living room:

Kitchen/Dining:

Master bedroom:

Kids’ room (they’ll still share for now):

Family room:

Bedroom #3:

Office/Guest room:

We began by ripping off the trim. ¬†Thought it would be easy, but they used 3″ Godzilla nails (as Husband calls them), and lots of them. ¬†Plus the baseboards extended down to the subfloor, so the carpet kind of pins it to the wall as well. Within the first baseboard I did, we discovered mold under one of the pieces (joy!). ¬†So Husband had a friend stop by to look it over, and they found more in the subfloor and the wall. ¬†Thankfully, said friend knows a lot more about construction than we do, and he’s going to help Husband fix it up. ¬†Hooray!

So while Husband continued to rip out trim and take down doors, I cleaned the ceilings and painted the ceiling in one bedroom. ¬†I have had an impinged bicep tendon since I was 22, and I have to be really careful what I do if I want to keep the pain manageable. ¬†As soon as I finished the painting job, I told Husband, “This is going to kill me tomorrow.” ¬†Sure enough, two days later, I am still in so much pain I can barely get my own shirt on. ¬†Le sigh.

We had two more fab friends stop by to help Husband with the painting Sunday, and I can’t wait to see the progress.

Markus came down with a double ear infection last week (and initiated me…Anja has never had one, so this is my first experience). Poor little guy was soooo fussy. ¬†He’s on the mend, but Anja spiked a fever last night and has been really fussy and needy today. ¬†She was up last night fussing every 10 minutes until around 4 a.m. ¬†Gack. ¬†It really makes me thankful that my kids are healthy most of the time. ¬†Funny how God uses hard things to make you appreciate the blessings.

Husband said he wasn’t going to let me decorate for Christmas at home, since it is a “waste of time,” but after Anja asked multiple times if we could have a tree like Grandma’s, he gave in and brought up a miniature tree and the advent house from the garage. ¬†I also took out Anja’s nativity so the kids can play with that.

So far we’ve really been enjoying our Jesse Tree devotions and Advent activities. ¬†I will admit that I’m probably more excited about both things than Anja is. ¬†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.

Summer and Blogging Don’t Mix

At least, that’s the way it seems in my life. ¬†I haven’t had time to read blogs virtually all summer, and I think I posted a couple times. ¬†Soo….here in October, I’m hoping to have a little more time to do both. ¬†And I’ll probably be cataloging our summer, so feel free to skip that. ¬†This is our “scrapbook,” in a sense, so it’s important to me to get all our family memories on here.

What have you all been up to? ¬†I’d love to hear!

Let us pause in life’s pleasures…

Isn’t it interesting how much the seasons affect blogging? ¬†I can post multiple times a week in the winter (less work, less playdates, less trying-to-squeeze-in-every-possible-activity-while-the-weather’s-nice), but summer whizzes by in a second and my blog sits here, neglected. ¬†And it’s kind of our family scrapbook. ¬†So nothing we do in the summer gets documented with words. ¬†And sometimes not with photos, either.

But I guess that’s part of living life in the present, right? ¬†Won’t always have time to record the memories.

Anyway, Markus was 7 months yesterday, and the little bugger is just a hoot! ¬†So full of personality. ¬†He’s a “talker” just like Daddy and big sister. ¬†He rolls everywhere in lieu of crawling. ¬†He’s sitting up okay (not great) now for 2 minutes at a time before he loses balance. ¬†And we now play “catch,” rolling a ball back and forth (he catches really well, actually), on an almost daily basis. ¬†He started solids at 5 1/2 months and likes his rice cereal, peas, prunes, applesauce and sucking on the occasional piece of fruit through one of those mesh thingies. ¬†He sleeps, mercifully, from around 9:30 pm to 8ish am most nights, and even if he does wake in the night, is usually comforted easily with a pacifier and goes right back to sleep. ¬†He loves to watch his big sister dance, read, play with toys, just about anything, and he always tries to get in on the action. ¬†Very social. ¬†He also has about the saddest little face ever (which is amplified because he’s so happy all the time normally) when she does something mean to him or he’s scared.

In other news, Anja is FINALLY making progress with potty training. ¬†And just in time! ¬†She’ll soon be three and starting preschool, and the potty readiness is a prerequisite. ¬†After 5 months of torture, she has decided to cooperate and pee on the big potty. ¬†Happily and (usually) willingly, I might add! ¬†Thank you, Lord!

Lots of weddings and seniors have kept me busy in the photography realm lately, which is why I haven’t been able to read or write much for leisure. ¬†Sad, but it’s what helps us pay for groceries and air conditioning (which we’ve actually needed this summer—another praise!).

The end, since I have work to do during naptime. ¬†Hope you’re all well and enjoying summer as well!