it's a monday night, and it feels like a monday night. that almost never happens.

I don't have any funny stories to tell or particularly cute photos to post.
I have a lot of thoughts in my head, but I haven't really had the silence required to untangle them into blog worthy subjects. Alice has been waking up a lot again and eating all night long. She's also had some strange allergy-like symptoms that we will be discussing with the pediatrician tomorrow. I've felt particularly challenged. As Jessi said in my comments once (I am very much paraphrasing) there are hard times and easier times and it all cycles around. Right now I feel like I am reacting to the chaos instead of leading the way through it all with a plan.

In fact, as soon as I think I have a plan to control the chaos someone poops in the tub.


Okay I lied earlier. This is photo is pretty cute.


Positives in this scenario:
1. It's really cute.
2. They are asleep, not making messes. Or noises.
3. It's really cute.

Negatives in this scenario:
1. Clark sleeps in weird positions that sometimes wake Alice before she is ready to be awake.
2. I had to stand next to the bed and watch them through the whole nap to be sure Clark didn't randomly put a pillow on Alice's head.


Dreaming of places to put...

I am in love with this chandelier shade.
It looks like an outfit Wilma Flintstone would wear out on the town.
It looks like it belongs in my house. (Hmm... It's a chandelier shade. It's tiny. I would need two at the very minimum. Let's ignore reality and money and budgets for just a moment, okay?)
Other color choices here-- all adorable.


You know what? I think maybe I do need a DJ.

I don't know why this sign made me laugh, but it surely did.
I wonder if my DJ could follow me around and soundtrack my daily activites?


You Capture: Reflection

You Capture, week five. Sorry for the long space between posts this week. We've been out doing stuff. I can't remember what exactly we've been doing because I haven't had any coffee yet this morning, but from the pictures it looks like it involved a claw machine.






reason #54 I should stop shopping while in a brain cloud

Something is wrong with my brain. I know I talk a lot about being tired, but I am. I'm tiiiiired.

The other night I needed a break and a loaf of bread, so I left the sleeping kids at home with Luke and went to Target. (I can't quit you Target but I need to FOR REAL. I just counted and I've been in four different Targets in the last week. Indianapolis! Land of Targets! Another post for another day.)

I purchased a $7.00 coffee maker (ours only works sometimes which is not nearly enough-- I figured having backup was worth $7.00), a pair of jeans, a four-pack of bottled Starbucks, a loaf of bread. And a box of wine. Or more accurately, a cube of wine.

I am generally not a wine drinker. I prefer beer, honestly. Good beer is delicious. Good wine tastes like... cheap wine. I cannot tell the difference. I tend to be picky and foodie about a lot of things, but wine is not one of them. My only explanation for purchasing a Wine Cube is that I was in kind of a desperate state of mind and it was on sale and the packaging was appealing.

So as I am ringing up my stuff, I break the silence (and I do mean silence, Target was closing and I was one of the last people in there) and start telling the cashier why I am buying a coffee maker.

Me: That coffee maker was only $7, can you believe that? My coffee maker broke and it only works sometimes. And it was not $7, it was like $100, it was a Christmas present from my husband a few years ago. I have two kids and our fancy $100 coffee maker decided not to work this morning and it ruined my whole day.

Her: Oh yeah, girl, you need that caffeine. (Awkward smile)

She rings up the four-pack of bottled Starbucks.

Me: Oh... and that is for backup! Ha ha! Just in case this new coffeemaker doesn't work either! Boy wouldn't that be a hoot!

Her: Yeah, now you'll never run out of coffee again. (Awkward smile)

Me: No, it wasn't the coffee that ran out... it was uh, the coffeemaker that uh... (I watch her as she struggles to put the $7 coffeemaker into a bag)... it's okay! You don't need to bag that. I can just carry it.

I put the coffeemaker in the cart.

Her: Thanks, yeah, that wasn't fitting at all.

She continues to ring up my stuff.

Me: So yeah, it was the coffeemaker that broke. And it makes me mad because my kids are really young and wake up really early, especially now with Daylight Savings Time. I mean, I can't even get up and go to the bathroom without drinking a cup of coffee first--

And as I am talking, no BLABBING on, I walk over to the very far end of the conveyor belt and pick up the cube of wine and carry it over to my cart and put it in.

Her: WHAT are you DOING? I did not ring that up yet!

And then she gives me a look. This look says, "I know why you were just having that ridiculous distracting conversation with me now-- it was so you could STEAL THE WINE."

I am telling you:
I am 100% sure she thought I was trying to steal the wine.
I was not trying to steal it.
It was in a red box, just like the coffeemaker I had just carried to my cart.
My brain was on auto pilot.

But cashier-lady had already pegged me as a crazy because of the rambling on about coffee, so stealing wine was obviously not a reach.

We were silent as I paid.

And then I looked at her and said, "I cannot believe I did that. I think I thought it was my bag or something. I usually carry a big bag when I have my kids with me... I feel so stupid."

And she totally didn't buy it.

Maybe I'll just quit that particular Target store for awhile. I do have three others to fall back on.


moving right along

I'm posting this photo to move that last post down the page so I don't have to look at how lame it is anymore.

And also because Alice with a Crocus behind her ear makes me instantly feel a lot better about everything.



under the bamboo tree

You Capture, week four . I'm doing it! I'm still participating! Me, Erin, the girl who flakes out on everything hasn't dropped out yet!

I'm discovering that the only thing I am at all decent at photographing is my kids. Really, photo "assignments" are proving to be waaaay beyond my range of talent. I thought challenging myself would be fun, but I am instead just getting frustrated and feeling stupid. I don't like doing things I'm not good at. This "only enjoying things I can already do" thing is NOT my best quality, so I am pressing on.

The theme this week was shadows.

I ended up getting this picture of, uh, my kid... with, uh, some shadows.


And no-- it isn't a bamboo tree. It's a willow tree. But that isn't as fun, because it doesn't conjure up the image of Judy Garland and Margaret O'Brien doing the cake walk.


getting real

It has come to my attention that I maybe made it seem like I have my act all the way together. When I read other bloggers blogging on their "I have my act together" blogs they stress me out. I wonder why I can't be like that, why I am so disorganized, why my house isn't decorated so well, etc. I don't want anyone to feel stressed out after reading my blog.

Here is the truth.

Sometimes I stay up late and do the dishes and enjoy doing so and have a chirpy sunny place to eat breakfast in the morning. Sometimes.

Other times, my kitchen looks like this.

Sometimes I take my kids shopping all by myself like Supermom and tote Alice around in the baby carrier while Clark stays in the cart due to his wonderfully developed self control (and by self-control I do in fact mean bribes) and have an entire fridge full of delicious healthy groceries to cook for dinner and send with Luke for lunch. Other times we have no groceries. Zero.

And we eat frozen pizza or cereal for dinner. Last week Luke took (...wait for it...) PopTarts to work for lunch. I almost died of embarrassment.

Sometimes I keep up with the laundry. Sometimes I don't.

Sometimes I do fun and educational activities with my son. But not always. Sometimes he watches television. Sometimes I leave him unattended so I can do important things (like my makeup) and he writes on stuff with markers and ballpoint pens.

This list is in no way all inclusive. For instance, I also think I accidentally taught Clark to say "damn it" when he's mad about stuff.

So there you have it.

I hope we can still be friends.


maybe the dishsoap has gone to my head

I am probably a little strange (we all knew this already, yes?), but I am a very extreme form of an old soul. When I think about tasks, everyday life, making sense of my laundry, etc., my first instinct is to wonder what they did back then. Why is it that my grandma never seems to struggle with laundry? What about her mom? Or even earlier than that? What did they do with laundry in biblical times? Did they all do it at the same time and chat? I imagine a bunch of women all congregating around a stream or something, washing their one garment and chatting. I think I could get on board with that type of laundry system.

But it isn't the mechanics of washing their clothes or caring for their children or decorating their abodes that interests me. I spend quite a lot of time thinking about how it felt.

Did they whine, like we do now? Did they grumble over their daily tasks?

Two nights in a row I have stayed up extra super late doing dishes. Like, until midnight. And both nights, I threw kind of a fit first. You wanted to watch TV and now there are dishes and now of course I have to do them even though I was the one who cooked dinner and now everyone else gets to sleep while I stand in the kitchen and work! I've said. Nevermind that I wanted to watch TV too. (Wednesday is Lost and Thursday is 30 Rock and The Office. I am addicted to the television.) And I know if I leave them until tomorrow Luke will help me when he gets home from work. I also know that having a clean kitchen shapes my attitude, and in order to be a nice and functional mom tomorrow I will need to have the sink empty tonight. Even if it means begrudgingly doing midnight dishes.

So two nights in a row, I have gone to the kitchen and started doing dishes with a bad attitude and two nights in a row I have found myself secretly enjoying the dishwashing kitchen-cleaning chore. I've gone to bed feeling lighter and woken up ready for a new day, a day that will surely keep me busy enough with its own chores, really-- why pile on leftover chores from yesterday?

And my brain really goes a mile a minute as I scrape the dough from the pizza stone in the silent kitchen. I can actually hear myself think. This is something that happens never during the hours my kids are awake.

My grandma (the same one I referenced above who never has laundry pile-ups) does not own a dishwasher to this day, because she doesn't want one. She just does the dishes every night, standing over the sink sipping wine. If you try to do them for her she always says no, it's okay, I kind of like to do it myself, it helps me relax.

I guess my point is that part of being a mother has always, I think, been forcing yourself to do stuff you really don't want to do at all. It would be so much easier to not make dinner and not do the dishes and not do the laundry and not take the kids outside to play and not do your best to draw turtles and nutcrackers and every other thing your son requests. It would be much easier not to go to the park, to not explain "why" all the time, to not read bedtime stories. But it wouldn't be better.

I love what I am doing right now. I love this phase of my life. I even secretly kind of love doing dishes at midnight. Not because it's easy, but because finally, it all makes sense: my kids are worth every single second of the hard stuff. The driving force of every mom who has ever lived kind of makes sense to me. And that is very satisfying.

Does anyone know what this weird green thing is?

Or why it's in my yard?

Spring has not really sprung, but at least it's thinking about it.

This is my You Capture week four photo. I have obviously given in to my innate procrastinating ways, doing this a day late. I was ready to forget the whole thing, but dear Jessi made it clear she wanted me to participate, and I don't want to let her down. She is someone who would never let me down. And she's pregnant. How can you say no to a friend like that?


greetings from inside the fog

I do not sleep enough. I am not doing anything particularly well. I am going through the motions and my house is clean and my blog has stuff published on it but I don't remember cleaning the house or typing anything. I have not been a very good friend. I have not been very inspired. I have not returned emails. Or written thank you notes. Or showered every day. I lost my eyelash curler this week and kind of hate my new hair cut. I feel weird and not at all like my normal calm collected self.


I have been a pretty good mom. That's good enough for now. If I can say I am doing one thing okay, that's the thing I would pick.

(Right? How long can I get by telling myself that? Because in all honesty, I would prefer to be a pretty good mom with a cute hair cut and a memory of the last time she shaved her legs.)


brevity is the soul of wit lingerie shopping with kids

I went to the Salvation Army the other day. I am so crazy. I went to the Salvation Army after we left a Chick-fil-A playdate that ended with my two year old lying on the restaurant floor pretending to sleep (with a smile on his face) while customers stared. How do you get a 33 pound two year old to cooperate and bear weight on his own legs while you are holding another child? (This is a real question. I want to know. How do you get them into the car? I don't get it. I think I may take my stroller everywhere from now on because IT HAS A SEAT BELT that HE MUST OBEY.)


I left the spectacularly failed playdate and suddenly thought that moment would be a brilliant time to check the Salvation Army for a copy of Dr. Seuss's ABC. Clark is obsessed with this page...

(This should be a photo of the page. Google image search is failing me, and our copy of the book is in Clark's room where he is sleeping, so I'll just go ahead and tell you-- it's the "B" page. You know, the"What begins with B? Barber Baby Bubbles and a Bumblebee" page. I might replace these goofy over-explainy sentences with a real picture tomorrow.)

...and I wanted to find an extra copy (to remove the "B" page and hang it at his eye level in his room) like, right that second. I'm impulsive sometimes. Impulsive and... brave.

I don't know if it's like this everywhere, but our Salvation Army is an absolute hoot. It's like a normal thrift store's weird grandfather.

First of all, it's HUGE. The building used to be an Office Max, if that gives you an idea. The clothes and goods are not really organized so much as they are in heaps. Going through them felt a little like sorting through someone else's pack-rat of a grandmother's garage. When I was back in the far corner looking at an old babydoll pram (that I did not end up buying mostly because I couldn't figure out how to get it up to the counter) I was suddenly surrounded out of nowhere by a throng of people and for a fleeting moment was slightly concerned about the possibility of being mugged. (This was a silly thing to fear, as it turned out, everyone was quite kind and chatty.)

The rows were too narrow. Sometimes the merchandise fell on me. Almost everything was under a dollar. It was fantastic.

Oh, and Clark was good. I came away with a huge trash bag (yes, trash bag) full of marvelous stuff (the two photos below are just a sample) and spent under $15.


The childrens books were scarce. I found only a few, total, in the whole huge overloaded facility. And guess what? One of them was a coverless Dr. Seuss's ABC. I can't wait to go back.


i'm super bad at math, but i think this adds up to "motherhood"

Hours I've been awake: 3

Times I've taken Clark potty: 3

Number of outfits Clark has worn so far today: 3

Number of outfits Alice has worn so far today: 2

Number of outfits I have worn so far today: still in my pajamas

Number of hair accessories tried on myself: 1

Number I am actually wearing: 1

Number of hair accessories tried on Alice: 5

Number she is actually wearing: 0

Number of things spit into my hand so far: 3 (cereal, a chewed-up jumbo sized crayon, and actual spit)

Cups of coffee: 2.5

Times Clark has told me "Nutcrackers are scary": about 6

Times Clark has told me "I'm hungry mommy": oh, dozens (He is going through a hungry phase and has eaten more than I have today.)

Books read out loud: 1 (Go Dog, Go)

Books Clark has gotten in trouble for coloring in: 1 (Go Dog, Go)

Markers taken away from Clark: 3 (And I hear him getting into them again as I write this.)

Number of times Clark has barged in and woken Alice up as I was getting her to drift off to sleep: 2

Hours until Luke gets home: 7

And he wonders what I do all day.


you capture, week 2

The challenge: to take a photo of something ordinary from a new perspective.

I almost forgot all about it this week, but I'm posting at the last minute anyway. I want to make myself actually commit and participate in something instead of flaking out right away.

(This is something I'm working on.)

(Also, this week Beth is giving away a camera strap cover to a random participant and I sure would love to win.)

This is our chandelier.
I found it hidden way back in the corner of the basement of our old house. I think it was the original chandelier from that 1948 dining room, but the previous owners had replaced it with a much less interesting Lowe's fixture. We brought it to this house when we moved in, and had it rewired and hung.

You can see it is slightly rusty. This is because I am kind of irresponsible and accidentally left it outside for about three days when we were moving into this house. And it was rained on. This was obviously before it was rewired. Anyway. I tell myself it gives it character. Character I put there with my ADD.

(The second photo is just to show you what the chandelier looks like when I am not underneath it.)

(Also, the layout of this entry is really bothering me. It is messy looking and I am too tired to fix it so I am going to leave it as is and go to bed and not let myself get back up when Luke is asleep to fix it. I don't want to be such a perfectionist about the appearance of everything, including silly things no one else cares about, all the time. It's a problem I have and I'm working on it.)

(Also, remember when I said I was "working on" not using parenthesis so much?)

(Also, I did go back and edit the layout of the post so it is a little cleaner. I cannot control myself.)


Part 2 of a 2 Part Series On: CHEEKS

As I said on twitter, I haven't blogged in DAYS and I think I forget how.

I am working on a post that attempts to outline this mom of two's actual hierarchy of needs, but it isn't done. I tried to draw a diagram for it very late last night (in the dark) and ended up getting in over my head. It doesn't look quite right. So maybe tonight I'll finish it (with lights on) and I'll be able to post something mildly interesting.

I want to briefly but publicly share how many of my prayers have been so clearly answered recently. Nothing big or newsworthy, just little stuff here and there that amazed me. I just wanted to tell everyone. God is good.

Oh yes and here are the cheeks: