Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Daily Routine...what a notion!

A heartfelt "Thank You!" to all who replied to my post about schedules, etc. I feel like I have at least cracked the heretofore impenetrable fortress of un-ordered life. Rather than thank you each for your particular contributions, I'll give you a glimpse of where I've gotten to, and you might just see some of your suggestions mirrored in my skeletal daily outline:

7:30 - wake up, make coffee and breakfast

Prayer time alone in downstairs family room while Mark wrangles children upstairs as needed
Shower, if there's time

8:30 - "Shift change" report as Mark gets into work mode or leaves

Get kids dressed, fed, etc.
Quick kitchen clean up

9:30 - Morning Activity (play outside, library, hang out with other mom/kids, etc.)

10:30 - Lydia nap, Iain snack - if we're home

12 - Iain lunch

12:30 - Iain nap, Betsy lunch (Lydia nap or awake depending on morning nap)

Betsy's afternoon to-do time: laundry, cleaning, tidying, phone calls, (blogging)

2:00 - coffee break. Ahhhhhhhh! :)

3:00 - Iain awake (anywhere between 2:30 and 4 - yes, his naps can be crazy long, please don't hate me, though I can imagine that if I were you, I might struggle with that).

WOAH - pardon the interruption, but as you might recall, we live directly across the street from our church and parish school. Not infrequently, there is a police car (speed trap) in the church driveway directly across from our living room window. As I was writing the above, I thought that was what was going on, until I actually looked across the street and saw that there were 3 police cars (one unmarked) parked in the driveway followed shortly by a State Trooper Helicopter landing in the parking lot. Pretty impressive. I'm very sorry to say that Iain is sleeping and is missing the whole thing.

Thinking that I was witnessing something hugely dramatic, I waited eagerly to see what would happen next (yes, I realize that as "exciting" as it might be for those 2 minutes as something dramatic unfolded right in front of me, it would not be so exciting to realize that I live right across the street from such dramatic events.) Fortunately for me and more importantly, my dear children, it wasn't anything "dramatic" (ie, not a crime) but rather a school demonstration of some sort. I assume they didn't just deputize the mass of school children running eagerly towards the helicopter.

Back to my day...

4:30 - dinner prep, tidy, tell Iain 25x that he can't "wash dishes" right now, feed Lydia

6:00 - dinner time

After dinner - clean up kitchen, run dishwasher

Family prayer, husband/wife meeting (includes scheduling, "how are you doing" check-in, etc.), couples' group, family date night, (depends on the day)

8:30 - kiddos in bed

10:00 - Mark and I go to bed and watch one show online (this is my carrot to get me into bed b/c I'm naturally a night owl - funny thing is, as soon as I lay down I realize I'm exhausted and about 40% of the time I fall asleep before the show is over).

Friday, May 21, 2010

Confessions of a girly-girl wannabe

This is a post that I am writing in hopes that I may be of help to at least one other woman. If you are not a woman, don't have sisters or aren't married, you needn't read any further. And, if I am talking to you, sole woman in need of the following tip, I'd love to hear from you although I will understand if you don't want to publicly admit that I have helped you. Fortunately for you, I don't mind admitting that...

...For the greater part of my makeup wearing years, I've wondered how on earth to manage the fine peach fuzz hair on my face that always made me feel about as beautiful as a nicely decorated dusty fireplace mantle.

Before you go assuming embarrassing things about me - no, I am not growing a beard. I may have an errant hair or two that needs occasional plucking, but that's not what I'm talking about here. (If you are concerned about actual "beard" hairs in a quantity that is beyond the scope of tweezers, you may want to discuss this with your doctor/endocrinologist. I am afraid I can not help you.)

Back to the topic at hand. Here are my two tips for removing the peach fuzz that keeps you from feeling/looking your best:

In my experience, and I assume that everyone is different, neither product works effectively on its own. However, paired together, used on different days they produce exfoliated, hairless facial beauty.

Day 1: After a shower, when your face is still all nice and moist (without any product on it) apply Nair cream to face, wherever you wish to remove fuzz - chin, upper lip, cheeks.

You may want to do this at a time when no one will see you, or lock yourself in the bathroom, esp. if you have small children who won't understand mommy's cream beard, or housemates who will laugh at you.

Leave this on for somewhere around 3 minutes. Then GENTLY wipe off it with a wet washcloth. Don't worry about any 1/2-removed fuzz that remains. That will come off tomorrow. Be gentle with your skin, apply some moisturizer and be on your way. If you happen to over-do it and end up with a red "sunburned" area, please a) remember this for next time and be more careful and b) wait for this to heal for a week or so and start over.

Day 2: Pull out your handy-dandy Smooth Away buffer thingy - I use both sizes on my face, depending on what area I'm focusing on. GENTLY buff in circles around your face. Again, I stress, GENTLY. Trust me, it doesn't take any pressure to remove whatever is left after yesterday's Nair and if it does, you need to use tweezers. If you apply pressure, you will exfoliate too many layers of wonderfully healthy skin and give yourself a skin burn. Ouch and not pretty!

Follow-up by splashing some water on your face to remove all the debri (even if you can't see it, it's there and needs to be rinsed away so it doesn't settle in your pores). Pat your face dry, moisturize and be on your way (apply makeup, whatever).

The end result is beautiful, hairless baby-soft smooth skin that looks so beautiful, you won't even want to use that foundation anymore. If you're married, carry your face over to your husband for a little "check this out." If he's not thrilled, well, sorry about that, you're stuck with him. ;)

Every couple of days, I notice that my skin needs a little exfoliation rehabilitation to return it to it's beautiful fuzzless baby-soft smooth state. So, here's what to do...

Maintenance: Take 2 minutes and pull out that Smooth Away buffer thingy. GENTLY buff in circles around your face. Seriously ladies, this takes about 30 seconds to 1 minute, max. That minute of your time every couple of days saves you from needing to apply Nair, which saves you time and money. Bonus! :) If you "fall off the wagon" and let your face go back to its, uh, natural state, simply apply the Nair, followed by buffing the next day and, Ta-Da, you're back to beautiful!

The end. Hope that was helpful for someone out there.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Garage Sale Bliss


No, I haven't reverted back to middle school (though in my day, that phrase didn't yet exist).

Rather, that's how my email to Angelique started, because, let's just be honest, that's about all I could manage to type as the shock/awe settled in. I was emailing her to ask if she'd like to join me for the city-wide 88 home garage sale event in a town 20 minutes south of us. This was 1 day after I mentioned that I would keep my internet eyes peeled for upcoming garage sales, having no idea that such a windfall was just days away.

Yes folks, 88 homes, with a map and brief description of what they're selling.

We were out for a few hours today, kids and all. She and I both found some awesome deals.

I came away spending a grand total of $13.60 and got the following:

- a Lawn spreader = 50 cents!!!!!!!! - yes, it's dirty and a bit rusty, but it'll do just fine!
- a Teach And Talk Laptop for Iain (works, batteries thrown in to prove it) = $3
- a toy cowboy hat = 10 cents
- 3 sleepers for Lydia = 50, 50 and 75 cents
- A sun hat for Lydia = 25 cents
- 2 brand new pairs of tights for Lydia = 50 cents each
- a summer top for Lydia = 50 cents
- a new-in-the-package potty/step stool = $5
- Once Upon a Potty book for Iain = $1
- 2 Corduroy books = 25 cents each

I didn't find the sacred cow - a wheelbarrow - but I don't doubt I'll stumble across it sooner or later. And hey, 50 cents for a lawn spreader is enough to make me blink back happy tears.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Nearly Pentecost!

"The Church has endeavored to help us experience Easter as the feast of feasts, as the basic reason for all celebration and all joy, by causing the Easter octave to last for seven times seven days. So the feast of Pentecost on the fiftieth day after Easter is not in fact an entirely new feast; it rounds off the circle of the seven times seven days, which signify our breaking out of subservience to time into the boundless joy of the children of God" (Joseph Ratzinger, Seek That Which is Above).

As an aside, I LOVE this little book. It's short chapters of reflections for the church year speak to me every time I read it!

I've mentioned before how I appreciate that I live in a climate where even the weather reflects our Lenten journey - the slush, mud, leafless trees and dead grass all help me enter into the Lenten experience. It a very real way, it is a fast of the senses.

How beautiful too, that the feast of Easter and it's glorious 50 day celebration has (at least this year) taken us through the journey of Spring green, flowers, sunshine - everything in nature that is new life. I was sitting in the sun yesterday, just basking in the glory of God's creation and the blessing that is all that God has given us in this house and property. It is all so beautiful and I am so deeply humbled and thankful for it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Haiku Nights

Insomnia, you
had me at "hello." "Goodnight,"
drifts beyond my reach.

cotton candy sugar crash
sure to help me sleep.

It's hardly fair. When
all day I dream of sleeping.
Now I can, but can't.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


4.5 years of marriage and 2 kids later, I'm coming to the end of my rope trying to reinvent a wheel when I know so many of you have the directions down pat. So, I welcome and actively implore your lengthy comments about the following (any or all):

1. What does your daily/weekly schedule look like?
2. How do you manage to get routine housework/prayer/etc. done when your children (esp. small ones) need you NOW...all the time.
3. How do you balance restorative and productive time (ie, breaks in your work during the day).
4. When and how do you have time and energy for anything crafty when you have children and housework and meals and, well, etc.
5. Just out of curiosity: what time do you put the kids to bed? What time do you go to bed? What time do you get up? and how on earth do you ever feel rested? - do you ever feel rested?
6. Do you plan your meals in advance? If so, is it just dinner, or all meals?

Please! Whether I know you personally or not, please please please leave me ridiculously long comments. I'm just trying to get an idea of how to make this whole mom/wife/homemaker/me thing work and I sure would love a glimpse into how some of you manage it (or don't, if that's the case.) :)

Now I have to go because Lydia is trying to eat something off the kitchen floor. yuck.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Winnie The Pooh, aka...

Iain has a new favorite video, Winnie The Pooh, which he has seen about 4 times through in the last 24 hours. As you may have guessed, I've gone downhill, again. :( Anyway, for your enjoyment, here are the characters, from the mouth of Iain:

Christopher Robin: Kahmis Wobin, Thomas Wobin, and occasionally just Wobin

Pooh: Sa-poo (yes, as in shampoo)

Piglet: Pig

Little Roo: Baby Mouse

Tigger: Diggoh

Iain calls the video Kahmis Wobin/Thomas Wobin

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Redemptive suffering & my husband, my hero

As for the first, this illness has really kicked my butt. I am no good at suffering. I can "offer it up" for about 2 minutes, as I try with all my might to stop focusing on how completely miserable I feel and pray for the grace to suffer well and pray for those in need of prayer. I have about as long as that thought takes until I'm right back to self-pitying misery. "Offering it up" only seems feasible AFTER the meds have kicked in. I may not feel like myself, in fact I may feel like a drugged, dizzy, exhausted, water-logged version of someone similar to me, but at least I'm not in pain. So now I can "offer it up." Really impressive, I know.

On Friday I was on the upswing and I was looking forward to Saturday when I was sure I would feel even a bit better. Much to my chagrin, Saturday found me downhill, again. This time it was fever/aches/chills, sinus pain/pressure and ear pain that went from bad to worse through the day. I went to urgent care in the morning and was told I had a sinus infection (no surprise there as my kleenexes all looked like they'd been used to wipe up a hot-dog condiment station,) and fluid in my right ear, but no infection. So, finally, I was put on antibiotics. I was told that if I still feel like this in 10 days, I'm to refill the perscription, and in 20 days if I still feel awful, to go see my doctor. Great. Well, lets hope for the best and not a 20-day marathon of "offering it up" practice!

As for the fever and pain, extra-strength Tylenol and Sudafed have done the trick. (Sometimes I wonder how I made it through nursing school. I'd been avoiding Sudafed, like an idiot, b/c I'm nursing Lydia and didn't want to affect my milk supply, and couldn't think straight enough to realize that it would decrease the pressure as well as dry up the congestion). Mark was rightfully shocked to discover that I hadn't tried it yet. Well, needless to say, it worked. So, I still have all my symptoms, but very little actual pain, Praise the Lord! I am sooo thankful for modern medicine!

God must be dumping Niagara Falls amounts of grace on Mark because he's been A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. He's taken care of the kids, cleaned, cooked, worked really hard on a 30+ page strategic plan for work, run errands for me, and that's just in the last 24 hours! I am very humbled by this man I am so blessed to call my husband!

One last humorous story to wrap up this post. If you know me, you know that I'm a big dork. If you had any doubts (in which case, you must not know me), I'll give you an example. Yesterday, as I was feeling miserable and listening to Lydia wake up from her nap, it suddenly dawned on me that it was Saturday. That meant that the Menards flier would be sitting in our mailbox, waiting for me. Yes folks, I love Saturdays and the Menards flier that it always brings me. Did I mention....dork!? :) Well, I opened the door to get the mail, and a package fell at my feet. It was a care package from my mom! That's much more exciting than a Menards flier! It was mostly full of things for the kiddos; bath toys, clothes (including a pair of blue crocs for Iain that match his Daddy's! and, incidentally, the very dress I saw at the store and wanted to get for Lydia, but couldn't justify spending anything then...thanks, mom!!!!) and chocolates for the grown-ups; yum!!!...well, yum in a few days. Right now they would taste about as good as glue. Mark's been enjoying them for both of us. Thanks, Mom! :) Oh, and the Menards flier wasn't all that interesting this week...or maybe it was just outdone.