Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Friday, October 31, 2008

A budding toddler keeps you busy.

And water is wet.

Louie is walking more and more. Which means he gets in to more and more trouble, faster.

For example, there's this little room in our house with a big, cool white thing. Cool both ways: temperature and interest. It's even got water in it that he can reach and splash in! Yes, folks, he's discovered the toilet.
We try to keep the lid down as he hasn't figured out yet how to open it. That'll be next week.

He hasn't developed the same fascination with sampling the dog food that his older siblings had, which is sort of a relief. I think it's because the dog eats all of her food before anyone has a chance to play with it. Instead, he his hobby is to bang her empty bowl on the floor. It's stainless steel so he won't break it.
Or, more likely, head over to the cat's litter box. It's like a magnet.

I can't wait until he's got the hang of walking. Really. If I do wait, he'll be ahead of me by a mile.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Nine years.

Happy anniversary, best friend. I mean it when I tell our children every night that marrying you was the smartest thing I ever did.


Hey, cat-owning moms!

When the baby gets into the litterbox, do you wash the whole baby or just the parts affected?

I erred on the side of caution.

Labels: ,

Friday, October 17, 2008

Christmas in October!

You know how usually babies' first Christmas involves lots of blinking and noisemaking with the paper, along with general confusion and a tantrum or two? The whole "unwrapping presents" is completely beyond them, right?
Not so fast.
Lou's getting in his "unwrapping" practice with the three or four dozen rolls of Costco toilet paper in the bathroom.

Labels: , ,

Just because

Eomer was one of my favorites from the LOTR movies. And he's easy to look at. And right now, this about sums it up for me.

Tip, Rachel Lucas. Language warning.

Labels: ,

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It finally happened.

We figured out how Madeleine could get an American Girl doll. She bought it with her First Communion gift money.
She is thrilled with it and has not let it out of her sight since the UPS guy brought it.

Since there are lots of accessories and outfits--okay, not as many as Barbie, but still--I would think Santa's job is going to be a tad easier for our Tall Girl this year.
And next, too, probably.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Because it feels so good to stop.

R: "I'm sorry, Mom! I'm sorry! I'M SORRYYY!"
Me: "Go calm down in your room. Dale, why is Rachel screaming?"
D: "She went like this [squeezes his cheeks hard] to me." (We would call that scratching because squishing your face is too long.)
Me: "Why did she do that?"
D: "I was going to tell that she scratched me."
Me: "Why did she scratch you?"
D: "Because I was going to tell on her."
Me: "What did she do that you were going to tell on her?"
D: "She scratched me."
Me: "You were going to tell on her for scratching and so she scratched you?[Affirmative nod.] How many times did she scratch?"
D: "Once."

My head hurts.

Labels: , ,

Less than three months!

Yes, that Christmas craziness is approaching like a freight train. I'm taking it upon myself to offer some survival solutions. Given there's a spectrum of family situations, but most encounter the same kinds of problems, feel free to add your own survival tips in the comments.

1. Use Kmart's layaway. I got this from Kate Gosselin (of Jon and Kate Plus Eight). It spreads out the payments, it's easier to keep within your budget, and the stuff stays out of your house that much longer. What's not to like?

2. Hat and mitten sets are never a bad idea. While Madeleine has actually worn out mittens she kept them so long, Dale has managed to lose them on their very first trip out. I'm told it's a boy thing, and it's astonishing how fast boys do this. By Christmas, with three kids (I'll still be keeping track of Lou's this year), we've usually lost at least one hat and one mitten. By Dale's birthday in February, he's usually managed to lose at least one more, so he gets another set for his birthday that I put aside in late fall. If by some chance I don't do that, I have an ace in the hole. My mother-in-law knows how to knit, God bless her. Trying to find hats and mittens in February is tough, what with the bathing suits and shorts already out.

3. Memberships to local attractions are gifts that keep on giving. How many of us say, "I'd love to go there, but tickets are so expensive!" Like the zoo, local art museum, or science center. Once you're a member, the cost is negligible. Those things take up no space at all, which is a consideration for us, and you'll be grateful all year long. Especially on those nasty winter days where the kids NEED to get out, having somewhere interesting to go where the only cost is parking.

4. Magazine subscriptions for your young readers. They only take up space for a little while and are term-limited. You can cut them up for art projects. They encourage reading without the time commitment of books. I think mine will be getting some this year, for example, Ranger Rick or National Geographic for kids.

Now your turn. What are your tips?

Labels: ,

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

All together now....

I'm so glad we're homeschooling.

I'm so glad we're homeschooling.

I'm so glad we're homeschooling.

Labels: , ,

Monday, October 06, 2008

We could have put off buying furnace filters.

Seems the furnace doesn't want to work. It was fine in May when we shut it off, but it seems to want more of a summer vacation. At least our house is well-insulated and hasn't gotten below 61 in the morning, and it's supposed to be in the 70's later in the week.
The Trustworthy Furnace Guy just left, since we're waiting on finding a couple parts--one is a gas valve, the other is the tough one. I don't remember the name.
We're looking at $500. And toeing the line on budget-limits on this one.
He told me frankly, "I'm not a salesman, especially not a pushy one. But you might want to think about a new furnace come tax return time. We typically put in eight or nine in February for people we first saw in early fall."

St. Joseph, keeper of the home, pray for us. St. Joan of Arc, who knows a bit about keeping warm, pray for us.

Labels: ,

Saturday, October 04, 2008

What to do with LIMA BEANS?!

Madeleine's favorite food is lima beans. Seriously.
When I make chicken noodle soup, if the mixed veggies have them, I graciously pick them out so she can have my share. Such is the sacrifice of motherhood. Once when she hadn't realized the soup had them, it was like Christmas come early. "Mom, this soup has lima beans in it!"

I've told you my kids are weird.

Anyway. What can I do with them to serve them as a side dish? I have a package of frozen beans, but eating them straight is... more than I can bear. They just don't sound good with cheese. I'm taking suggestions for how to make my little girl happy without horrifying myself.

Labels: ,

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Little Things of my life

I've said before, my life is comprised of little things. This week, we've had some big Little Things.

Madeleine has learned how to ride a two-wheeler. She and Daddy tried on her little purple one but she's gotten too big for it. What to do? I thought of the 20-inch one her brother won this past spring, and they were off. She still needs practice with turns and starting herself, but that should come by next spring. She'll be taller then and able to touch the ground more easily, not to mention Tax Return Time will mean a girl's bike for her. She wants streamers on the handle grips.
And she just learned how to tie her shoes. Yes, it's an almost-archaic skill like cursive writing, especially for girls. My mother had to force me to learn back in the day. Today, though, she's attending her cousin's soccer game and brought out a pair of tie shoes we'd been given.
"Mom, can I wear these?"
"Sure. You know what? They're not going to be here for another 45 minutes. We can try to teach you to tie them."
I went with the easier bunny-ear method and she got it the second try. Now if Dale could get it, we'd be set for tap and church!

What of the others? Louie has found something better than taste-testing Hot Wheels: rolling them on the floor. Or his tray. Or whatever flat surface he can reach.
"Good news and bad news, son."
"What's the good news?"
"You have a little brother."
"What's the bad news?"
"He wants your toys."

Like I said, little things. Bike riding and shoe tying and rolling trucks.