Living In Tents

So, I joined Pinterest a few weeks ago and LOVE the eye candy. It's so much fun to look at interiors and creative ideas. (note, I did not say "crafty". I am NOT a crafty person. Don't let the Jesse Tree project fool you)

Anyway, all these beautiful and fun houses that give me beautiful and fun ideas can be helpful, but also rather frustrating. I mean, here I am, bursting with creativity and married to a former finish (not Finnish) carpenter who can do just about any DIY I could conceive and I DON"T OWN MY OWN HOUSE!

It is possible that when we retire we will have our own home, but until then, if we stay where we are, I'm constrained to surface DIY. Constrained to pesky things like cabinets where I don't want them and walls without windows. How can I ever have my "Fried Green Tomatoes" moment where Tuan comes home and finds me demolishing a wall with a sledgehammer while declaring, "I NEED MORE LIGHT!" while living in a house not my own?

I suppose I could have one of those moments. It might guarantee we don't live here much longer, and then I just might end up with a house of my own.

Living here does trump the house crazies I occasionally get. I also comfort myself with the promise of a mansion in glory. Not that it will need renovating or "more light." It will be perfectly right.


What's going on around here

1. We found out baby #4 is a girl!! We are so thrilled. Now onto picking out a name. I like old-fashioned and odd, quirky names. Fortunately, Tuan reigns me in and our daughter will not be named Beatrice. : )

2. Today we are 19 weeks and 1 day. While the first trimester drug on and on and on, the 2nd is flying by. I've begun having Braxton Hicks and so that's rather fun.

3. T and I have been doing lots of yard work. We discovered a gold mine of Liriope in my parent's yard and brought some home. It sure beats buying some from the garden center. Dad is quite generous with is and told T he could use the front end loader on the tractor to scoop some more up. That's how much there is. You can scoop it up with a tractor and still leave tons behind. He also offered me a banana tree. I have nothing to give back 'cept some Wandering Jew.

4. T planted a blueberry patch this evening. Five bushes in a sparse part of our front yard. Not only do we hope to have a HUGE crop of blueberries in a few years, but we are glad for the privacy screen they will offer.

5. I think everyone is sick of snot right about now. I was sick all weekend and the only relief available was Zyrtec-D which messes me up so much I cannot drive, much less care for children. My sweet mom took the kids so we could rest and the house was so quiet!

6. I want to know why my body responds to antihistamines and decongestants the way it does. It cannot be normal. I literally cannot function or drive or do anything but sleep if I take one. My limbs feel like fettucine.

7. I've been organizing and tackling projects and stirring up quite a mess around the house. Tonight I'm recovering chairs and was waiting on the delivery of a staple gun. Now that it's here, I'm off to re-cover!

8. I'm also very, very, tired. : )


An Amazing Thing Happened on the Road of Parenting

Since J was a toddler, I've been striving to teach our children to be useful, cheerful helpers around the house. These five and a half years, I've often felt outnumbered and overwhelmed--and sometimes it just seems so much easier to DO IT MYSELF. But wise women have counseled again and again the importance of teaching and training our children to be useful cheerful workers and so we have worked and worked on cleaning our rooms and helping and doing whatever we ask the kids to do. Mr. J can just about clean his room by himself, and Miss A is almost there with me pointing out missed items.

It is neat to see the joy and pride our kids have in doing a job and being helpers, but this past week, an incredible thing happened that REALLY encouraged me and helped me see some light at the end of the tunnel.

All of our Disney laundry was washed and in baskets in the hallway. I gave J and A baskets and told them to grab their own things out of the pile, while I worked on our clothes, O's clothes and towels. They each filled a basket full, then I said, "Okay, now put your clothes away." AND THEY PUT ALL THEIR OWN CLOTHES AWAY!!

This was hugely encouraging as putting away laundry is my bane. Now instead of one person tackling laundry for five, it's one against three and that is WAY easier. I'm so proud of J and A.

Like Mother Like Daughter is a great resource and encouragement in this area. Here is a recent article along those lines. All her practical advice is so helpful! Below is an example:

Auntie Leila, you think children should be miserable?

Well, here's the thing.

Children just do spend a certain amount of time being miserable. You might as well have their misery be about something real. For instance, it's far better for a child to feel a little hungry while he finishes putting the clothes in the dryer or moves the woodpile a foot to the left than to grumble because you forgot to buy him the newest version of his favorite video game. The first problem will result at least in his sense of accomplishing something, followed by a meal that he's more likely to appreciate. The second will result in feeding the lazy, disrespectful beast within. Very few things are worse for a child than feeling justified in a grudge against the world, embodied in his parents.