Mar 11, 2016

A Not Yet Forgotten Moment

I have one grandma that loves telling us stories, but my other grandma never thinks her stories would interest us and therefore keeps them to herself.   Now that she's aging, she's sadly starting to forget the stories.  And besides that, she's wrong - her stories would very much interest me.

My grandma Deonna (Morgan) Van Nosdol, my dad in the middle, and my two uncles.
Sometimes I try to get tricky and ask round about questions to get her to tell me stuff from her past.  She gets upset when she can't remember certain things.  But then sometimes things just come right out.

For instance, a few weeks ago I was talking to her about a frustration I was having with one of my kids, and asked what my dad was like when he was younger.  Grandma started talking about how my dad was a very calm and serious child.  He would go outside behind their house, over by the clothes line, and build stuff all day.  He had wood and nails and he would keep himself entertained while my Uncle Bart played Tarzan by climbing all over their swing set.

She got a little smile on her face while she remembered.  It makes me think that maybe she misses those days.  And that maybe I should focus a little less on the frustrating parts of raising kids because some day I'll be the old forgetful one, happy to remember things like nerf guns and school plays.

Mar 10, 2016

get it together man

We've been making changes around here lately.  Because I was tired of feeling like we were constantly playing "why is life going too fast, how many things did we forget today, and can't I just take a nap?!"  (It's not a very fun game to play, and yet we seem to be doing it a lot.)

So I made a meal plan - complete with assigned children helpers (because my kids should really know how to cook stuff by now).  And we listed ideas as a family, and individually, on what we could work on.  Then I made "expectations of...." papers for each person that are now hanging on our wall.  (Not that everyone always follows through on what is expected of them, but at least now no one can claim, "I didn't know I wasn't supposed to shove my dirty socks in the crack between my dresser and the wall!" and "You never said I had to shower more than once a year!" and "What homework?")

I also made some work goals.  Among them was finally launching my own independent online store (which wasn't hard, but took many many hours).  If you want to look at it, here you go:

One of the biggest changes though is that I gave up my office.

I really liked having an office.  It had a door that closed and everything, and it wasn't in my bedroom (that was my least favorite arrangement ever).  But now we have another bedroom and my office lives here.

That's our living room.  Except we call it "the front room" because it's not like it ever functioned as a formal living room or anything.

Most of our books were in this room before.  We made the kids move all of them.  You wouldn't believe the amount of drama that incurred.  Opie was like, "I'm sweating!"  And I was like, "It's good for you - it's exercise."  And then Two Bits was like, "I hate exercise!"  And that was followed by very loud complaining, some tears, and much whining.  But it got done and no one even died.

And now Monkey has his own room for the very first time ever, and Opie is preparing to share his room with Spike (once Spike decides to start sleeping through the night - because I'd rather hang out in my room at 3 AM than in a room that smells like 11 year old boy feet).

There are some pros and cons to this new working situation.

For one, I can no longer pretend to not be home when someone knocks on the front door.  Because the widow right there looks out onto the front porch, and it's really hard to pretend to not notice when someone is looking right at you.

Also, I really miss having a door.  Doors are my favorite.

However, this new location has greatly improved my ability to multitask.  For instance, I can now do laundry, and play peek-a-boo over the edge of my desk, while working all day.

And it's not just a game for babies, but is enjoyed by children of all ages.

Also, it gave Opie the amazing opportunity to make and enforce this sign:

I'm starting to feel like things are running a little more smoothly around here.  I wouldn't say that we're completely on top of everything, but I don't feel like I'm constantly on the verge of becoming Gertrude the Unstable Stress Donkey anymore, and that's never a bad thing.

Nov 20, 2015

Snowpocalypse 2105

Monday was a really bad for probably everyone in the town in which I live.  Because on Monday we had a fairly decent SNOWPOCALYPSE.  And it was not pleasant.

Monday was the day that Opie was supposed to get braces.  His first set of braces.  Because he's lucky enough to need them twice (and while we're on the subject, teeth are ridiculously expensive.  If you're planning on having a lot of children and you have small mouth genes, just DON'T DO IT, the orthodontics bills are killer).

I had worked out my day perfectly.  The Jr High gets out early on Mondays so I had scheduled Opie's appointment for when Two Bits would be home to watch Spike.  Because being baby free for an hour long orthodontics appointment sounds pretty heavenly.  However the skies were being the opposite of heavenly.....if hell can come in frozen form.

It snowed.  And snowed.   SO MUCH SNOW.

I went outside an hour and a half before I needed to pick up Two Bits and Opie and tried to clean off the driveway a little.  There was over a foot of heavy snow out there.  I spent 20 minutes freezing all of my parts off while Spike screamed (alone) inside, and it didn't really make any difference because the snow had recovered every dent I made.  So I gave up and hoped our minivan could power through it all.

This wasn't even all of it, because at this point it was still falling.

It just kept snowing.

I left the house 45 minutes early because I was afraid it would take longer to get to the schools.  I bundled up Spike and he thankfully fell asleep in his carseat, because the next hour was pure torture.

For the record, our minivan CANNOT power it's way through deep snow.  In case you were naive enough to think it I did.

Also, here's some handy information - if you run out of salt, using potting soil and charcoal briquettes DO NOT work the same.

After trying to dig myself out for an hour my next door neighbor came out and tried to help.  Then I slid off the edge of the driveway into an area between our driveways that has gravel and we knew I was doomed.  So she tried to get her car out of her driveway so she could help me get my kids.  But then her car got stuck.

And it just kept snowing.

And then severe desperation kicked in.

The Jr High is about a mile from our house, and Two Bits was expecting me with no other way home.  So I got out our wrap and attached Spike to my chest.  I threw my coat on backwards to keep him warm and started walking.

In over a foot of snow.

In my jeans and boots that really weren't meant to ever see snow in their lives.

And it just kept snowing.


Luckily I had only gotten to the end of the block when a teenager we go to church with offered me a ride in his truck.  Because it was going to take me a LOOOOOOOOOONG time to go that mile.  And then back.

After that I made Husband come home early from work.  And between him, our next door neighbor, the 12 year old boy across the street, me, and another hour we managed to get both vehicles unstuck and back in the garages.  Then Husband stayed outside shoveling the rest of our driveway and pushing every car that attempted to go down the street.

That day I know of at least 5 cars, a delivery truck, and a school bus that managed to get stuck in our neighborhood.  Trees and bushes (including two of ours) were breaking and falling from all the extra weight.  Then every cell phone and landline in town went out.  And the internet went down everywhere.  And I wondered if we should start boiling water or pulling out our oil lanterns.

Every time the internet goes down I feel like the world is ending, and this time it felt so much more real.  Because, you know, SNOWPOCALYPSE.

That's our tree - - it USED to stand upright without problems.

However the world didn't actually end.  And it didn't even snow much other than in our little town.  And we woke up to phone and internet service the next morning.  And everyone was expected to resume life as usual even though there were still mountains of snow outside and the mild cold I had been sporting had turned into razor blades in my throat and a monkey doing calisthenics in my cranium.  But we did it anyway - we resumed.

But we did have to reschedule that orthodontist appointment.  I don't think Opie minded.