Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What the Kids Do While I Draw

I drew this because I really wanted to remember the way Scarlett was hanging onto Michael in church on Sunday. She was so cute...she actually behaved well for the entire meeting! That was awesome and completely unexpected. She seemed to be enjoying herself, raising Michael's hand for the sustainings in ward business (if you're not Mormon, I'm sorry-- that probably sounds like a jumble of nonsense). She was quiet and sweet. 
Now I will take you backstage! While I drew that picture, I wore Michael's headphones. They make this soundworld bubble that drowns out all other sounds. 
>:) Yes, even children-sounds. It was like a vacation. 
So I completely zoned out of the world and zoned into drawing. I drew that picture up there, but I also drew some really dumb pictures with the "sticker" feature in another program...uh...so, I pretty much scribbled a ton. It was super fun, and I figured out a few new tricks in the art program. Makes me feel smart. 
But of course, when I zone out, the world keeps going even though I could swear it doesn't. 
After my little vacation, I learned just what the kids had done when I was deaf to their mischief. 

Over all, it was worth it. I mean, here I am again with the headphones and drawing! (Avoiding my laundry...I swear my laundry doesn't intimidate me, but it just fails to persuade me that it's the priority).
I think the kids enjoyed their own vacation from me, too.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Art and Valentines

 My eyes are gloriously tired.

Yesterday ended well; I felt especially aware of how my son is full of good intentions, and Michael was just plain awesome in helping me with the kids. When I left the house for some time alone, my mood had improved drastically! I ended up buying birthday presents for Ender. In fact, everything I bought was for him (except for some Grasshopper cookies). 
(Those are definitely for me). 

We had a truly wonderful Valentine's Day. 
Our cousin babysat the kids while we went to the temple in the morning (THANK YOU!). Even though I forgot my bag (miscommunication-- totally thought Michael had it) and didn't realize until we were AT the temple and had to go all the way back for it, it was reallyreallyreallyREALLY wonderful. 
I think being in the temple is romantic. 

After our lovely temple visit, Michael took me to brunch. That food was delicious! And then guess what he did? Oh besides kissing me, of course. He bought me a present... a present that is perhaps one of the COOLEST presents ever. A Bamboo Splash pen. 
It's a sort of pen for drawing in a program on your computer instead of using your mouse, so you get your beloved hand-drawn effect (plus some wicked awesome special effects) right at the computer. 
I have been playing with it for a long time! :) 
THAT is why my eyes are so tired. 
Computer screens can be so bright. 
Aaah! Dismembered legs!
Something happened to the skin color in saving...woops!

Those are a couple from one of the art programs; there's another program I played with, but I haven't yet figured out how to convert the files so I can share them. I did a couple sketch-looking ones that are fun.
So you know what this means for me? It means I will be drawing so much more! And sharing my drawings! And learning more and more, too! These doodles are what I've figured out so far with some of the tools, but I think I'll be getting better all the time.

Today was a peaceful day in other ways, too. After picking up the kids, I put Scarlett down for a nap and did some crafts with Ender. I very rarely do that! I usually just show him how to do something and let him go at it. But for Valentine's Day, I wanted to give him a little more attention. When it wasn't windy enough for his kite, I sat with him to make some paper pinwheels. That was fun, and it progressed to making hearts and Valentines and paper circle fan things and making a mess with glitter. We both really enjoyed it!
Ender and Scarlett made Valentines for us while we were at the temple, too. That was just SO sweet. I'd scan them, but my scanner's being funky lately. For Michael, Ender wrote "Dear Dad" and then drew a perfect little rocket. Scarlett had her hands traced (and then gave her drawn handprint a high-five).

Oh, goodness-- she's growing up! We took the kids to the bookstore on campus, and Ender asked me what the sprinklers were in the ceiling. When I explained that they make fires go away, Scarlett said "Where's it go?"
I practically shrieked in her face, I was so excited. She asked me a question that related to the conversation in a FULL SENTENCE! And several more times today, I felt like I knew exactly what she was saying, like when she asked me to sing a specific song to her, or when she was explaining that my phone wasn't working for her. Oh man. Kind of makes my heart burst in both directions...my baby's growing up! It's crazy that she's definitely not such a baby anymore, but I'm also really enjoying the way she's growing up. She is very fun. I kept staring at her tiny face today with absolute adoration while sharing my dinner with her. I guess I have a Mom Crush on her. :)

Our day was so nice. When we were packing the kids in the car to go home (after having a leisurely stroll around campus and the bookstore), Ender asked Michael "was this sort of a date?" Yep! A date with the kids! And it was really, really fun.

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

In Which My Kids Test the Limit Every Minute

When I talked to my mom briefly, she asked if I was having a good day.
I sort of laughed and answered honestly, "I'm having a hard day. But we're doing okay right now."
Want a peek at how my day went?

There's a peek for you. If you can read my handwriting. Things have mostly improved...I told Michael that I need to get out of the house. He's such a wonderful husband. He often asks me if I would like to get away from the kids, and I'm usually so tired with everything (and wearing pajamas and not wearing makeup) that I don't feel up to getting out of the house and would rather send the kids away with Michael or just wait until the kids are in bed so I can have some Me/Us time. But today, I need to get OUT. 
Hey, I'm even wearing makeup. And real-people clothes. And my hair looks normal (instead of like a heap of dung on my head). 

Scarlett seems to be doing better since Monday; we think she had a 24-hour bug (from nursery???). But she hasn't been sleeping well. Today, she didn't really sleep at all with her nap even though I kept her in her crib for the length of time her nap should have been. She just kind of played and fussed and babbled. Without that much needed sleep, she is one cranky child. She is crying about everything. EVERYTHING. Scarlett is normally a bit of a diva when it comes to Ender bothering her, but add crankiness to the mix, and she's a nonstop show of L'Enfant Miserable. 
(Okay, maybe that was only funny to me, but at least I appreciated my own joke...I needed it). 

Ender is doing fine. He's performing gymnastics on every surface in the house, which does bother me, but I happen to have my headphones in. Ah, the Sound of Music. Much more appealing than the Sound of Crazy Kids. (Why another movie joke?! I must stop that). 

I have felt very encouraged and helped today. Abby said just the right things to help me gain some perspective and simmer down enough to get back on the battlefield. Thanks for letting me lie down on the telephonic couch for some sound conversation, Abby! 
And my mom told me that she thinks I'm a wonderful mother. :) I said I'm trying! And she said that's why I'm a good mom. It's always good to hear that, especially from my own wonderful mother. 
Michael reassured me that I can indeed get out of the house when he gets home. He is on my side. 

And guess what? Now he really is-- like, he's HOME. 
So this woman: SHE GONE! 

*signing out...like really OUT*

Monday, February 11, 2013

Stay at Home

Well, Scarlett is sick. And please don't remind me that we seem to get sick a lot. I am aware of that.
It kind of hurts my feelings when people say that, to be quite honest. It leaves me feeling like they're hinting that something is lacking in the care of our family. I feed my children well (with the occasional exception on my very tired days, haha!), we avoid mingling with sickish people--though not to the point of paranoia--and my children get as much sleep as they'll have. Far be it from me to steal any sleep from them!
So it just happens sometimes.

Scarlett was cranky today, just a little more than her usual complaints against Ender's big-brother-teasings. Judging her needs, I had her take two naps today. Still, in the evening, she wanted to snuggle with me. When she rested her head on me, I kissed the bridge of her nose (a favorite spot on her cute face) and noticed she was burning with a fever (it was 100.2 last I checked). Poor thing. I gave her some apple juice, which she gulped down with a crazy fervor, and she sat in my lap resting for a very long time.
Even though I feel sorry for my kids when they're sick, I love to take advantage of the pause it gives them and cuddle them and encourage them to rest. When they're sick, they finally hold still! I can gaze at them longer, hold them longer and even get more rest for myself once in a while if they can manage to be quiet and still. The home feels somewhat peaceful despite the worry and concern.

After an evening of flopping around on us, Scarlett seemed to get a burst of energy during FHE and squirmed off Michael's lap to toddle over to Ender and me. Suddenly, she threw up. It was a surprise for all of us, especially her. She seemed frightened by the experience. I'm glad we were able to clean everything up quickly, and she actually really enjoyed her bath.

I don't know why I write about things like that sometimes. I just feel like writing, and I feel like writing about something that is a very ordinary home-life thing. My life is wonderful, but that doesn't mean every day would be fascinating for anyone. Is this what people call Mommy Blogging? A kind of daily drivel that serves mainly as an outlet for a mom who's at home so much of the time?

That's what it often is for me. I need it. As lame as it might seem, on the face of it all, this is often my biggest connection with the world outside my house. My world is little. I have very good friends, but we don't hang out that often. I go to church (across the street). I go to the grocery store (up the street). I go to the library (a little farther up the street). The gym is just around the corner. Every now and then, we go out to eat or make a trip to campus all together. Sometimes we even go to the mall (a little farther up the street than the library).
It's not depressing, but it's not a wild life by any means.

Today, I made quiche for dinner. Throughout the day, I grated cheese, chopped spinach, crumbled bacon and made pie crusts. Dinner happened all day. I also folded and put away some laundry. I helped the kids with stuff...it's always hard to recall just how that took as much time as it did, but they kept me busy. Making messes, bothering each other, doing their chores, wanting food.
I checked my email here and there, a bit bored with everything Internet since it didn't seem to have anything to offer. Pinterest looked the same as always, my inbox was droolingly empty, and Blogger had nothing going on. Aaaaand...that's actually all I really get into online!
My phone got stupid and wouldn't text but ate up its battery anyway, and since I had no texting fanciness going on, I didn't feel motivated to charge it.
The day wasn't a bad one, but it was an oddly paced one.

I wonder how long Scarlett will be sick. :(
Maybe it's a good thing we have nothing planned this week.
Not even for Thursday...the 14th...of February...

It almost feels like this is the kind of thing "Mommy Bloggers" avoid writing about. Who wants to!
...besides me, that is. :)
I just really like writing. Not so much to "hear my own voice," if you know what I mean, but to write. To think past the confines of my skull (sorry, I'm not pretending that's poetic, it just kind of came out cheesy like that).

I guess I'm sort of apologizing for making a "report" of nothing very eventful while at the same time not feeling very sorry because it just feels good to talk about things.
To make sure you realize this is not me complaining about being a stay-at-home-mom, here's a happy picture:

We are indeed in our jammies. In the daytime.  It's one of the perks of my "job." :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Dealing With Souls

Our Stake Primary President visited the week before last, and when I mentioned my kids, she asked how many I have.
"Just two," I said, smiling maybe a bit bashfully for having made it sound like I had an army of them in describing getting out the door that morning. But remembering what I had once overheard my mother tell another woman, I added "but it takes all you've got no matter how many you've got!"
And she said "Yes, because you're dealing with souls."
That was thought provoking. And I still might not know exactly what she meant. But it's because I'm "dealing with souls" that makes what I do so important. They need me, and children need mothers in a way that is perhaps unequaled in the rest of the world.
Might I add that this is why mothering children is not the same as caring for dogs? You know some people who say their dogs are their children? If they are unable to have/adopt children, I get it. Otherwise, I don't.
It's a big deal to have kids. It's a big deal to be a mom. Today, as I think about all of that, I feel really grateful and blessed and even lucky that I get to be a stay at home mom. I get to care for my children in my home. I love what I do. I don't have to keep a job somewhere.
I usually focus on the other side of the matter, that there are women who would criticize what I do. Today I'm realizing that there are a lot of women who probably wish they could have what I have. I would, too...because even if it's the hardest thing in the world, it's the best thing in the world.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Saturday Morning of Awesomeness

Do this:
Get a thick duvet cover and a fan. 
Voila! A tent! Or should I say...DuTent?

It is so cool. 

I love how Ender's eyes go scrunchy when he's smiling for a camera.

:D Hehehe!

I'm not sure why this was so funny, but Ender was outside the DuTent and sticking his hand into the corner. It just looked weird and alien-y. And funny. Especially when he quickly popped his hand away from it.

Lynnae's pants are floating towards us. In apologizing for using a picture of Lynnae that is deceptively unflattering, let me divert your attention by pointing out that Ender and I have the same stubby toes. 

I felt like we were in a space pod or something. 
I also felt like a kid again. :) 

The uber complicated magic behind the making of a DuTent.

Our documentation of this kidly adventure together...
Obviously, part of a Saturday Morning of Awesomeness is not being all glammed up. 
And that part doesn't need to be documented.
So we sent in our handy substitutes to take over.

Are you jealous? Make your weekend awesome too! 
Guys, you have to try this. It's too fun to pass up.

Monday, February 4, 2013

My Day in Doodles

I started my day crunched into a tight ball. 
It is that time of month. 
That time of month makes me want to curl up and not move.

Then an awesome friend of mine wanted to hang out with me (aww! Me? Thanks!). 
That helped me perk up! 
We talked birthing and stuff. 

And then I crashed again. 
I devoured lots of dark chocolate while watching documentaries.

As the day moved on, I got droopier.

Poor Michael.

Still, even as I flop around the house, 
I would call this a very happy day. 
I feel cheerful and taken care of.

Even while I look gross and insist on wearing Michael pajamas.
(Maybe I'm still recovering from the withdrawal of having him gone all weekend).

Brought to you by: My Art Supplies.
Oh yeah, and me.