Saturday, January 26, 2013

My Kids Throw Up In Public Restrooms

A couple of years ago Eden went and spent the weekend with Uncle Bug and he took her to the Omaha zoo. She was gone for roughly 48 hours and I had no influence over her diet for the weekend whatsoever. Uncle Bug said he tried to eat healthier than usual, and I know she had her uncle wrapped around her finger so she got lots of treats. Which is fine! We knew that would probably happen!

He brought her back to Kearney on Sunday afternoon and met us at Pane Bello (like Panera but not as amazing). We were all sitting there talking and Eden was silent. I looked at her and saw someone as close to green as I’ve ever seen. At her first whine of ‘throw up’ we rushed into the bathroom.

It was a Sunday lunch. The restaurant was full. Chances of an open stall? Nada. I stood there with her for a second not knowing what to do while a mom who recognized our plight urged her daughter to hurry up and get out of the stall. It didn’t help.

Eden started to throw up before I could get her to the sink. All over the floor. Bathroom full of people. It was epic. Oh, and did I mention that she had drank a Bug Juice on the way home. A blue one. (Shudder)

Fast forward to yesterday. Eden and Adaleine and I all had dentist appointments. Adaleine had mentioned a couple times that morning that she didn’t feel well, but I chalked it up to boredom or something like that and let it go. She made it through the morning and our dentist appointments and we were all happily on our way to Arby’s for a quick lunch before taking Eden back to school.

After ordering our lunches, I looked down at Adaleine to find her with tears streaming down her face and her lips clamped shut. Someone in my head shouted an expletive (I take no responsibility!) and we rushed to the bathroom.

She almost made it. She was so close! So terribly close…but not close enough. She threw up all over the floor of the stall. Then on the toilet seat. Then in the toilet. It was—again—epic. Poor thing.

Adaleine’s feeling fine now and everything. I just thought I’d share with you how awesome it is to see the teenage kid coming around the corner with a mop and bucket to clean up your child’s vomit. I know they hate me a little bit, no matter how much I apologize. Sorry, teenage vomit-cleaner! I wish I could promise it won’t happen again, but somehow I don’t think I can make those guarantees.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Confessions of a 29-Year-Old Housewife

I realized recently that it’s been a year since I wrote a Confessions post and decided I was due for another one. I mean, what am I here for if it’s not to share my awkwardness with you to make yourself feel better?

Ready? Ready? Ready? Okay, here we go. Let the oversharing commence!

Sometimes instead of walking between rooms I do a funny hop or dorky run. I figure that burns like an extra 3,000 calories per day, so my brownie batter obsession is okay.

When I was younger and my parents owned a little cafĂ© I used to earn my allowance by sweeping. And I was pretty sure I rocked at it. I had aspirations of going on to win some kind of ‘Sweep ‘Til You Drop’ contest. Unfortunately, I never saw any kind of entry information for such a display of unbridled awesomeness, so my dreams of a broomstick trophy to put on my mantel have yet to be realized. Also I don’t have a mantel.

I’m going through the Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred with a friend. During the jumping jacks I’m painfully aware that I have had three kids and that things don’t…hold together as well down there. Too much information? My bad. : )

I have an unhealthy relationship with chocolate. Let’s just say I’m glad Landon and I don’t have a prenup because I think he could make a case that I’ve been somewhat unfaithful.

I have to use a special cream under my armpits after I shave to prevent them from breaking out. I was going to just stop shaving them altogether, but Mr. Bug enlightened me to the fact that that is not cool. You heard it here first, folks!

It’s very hard for me to allow the kids to help me fold laundry. I’m uber weird about the way my towels are folded and I know Adaleine means well, but frankly she sucks at folding hand towels. I love her eagerness—maybe we can channel that into something different. Scrubbing toilets? Putting her undies in the hamper?

Speaking of kids, there are some things that just aren’t cute if they do it wrong. Putting their shoes on the wrong feet can be cute, using too much toilet paper and clogging the toilet is not. Clothes on backwards? Hilarious. Finding stains in the undies that were hilariously worn backwards? Nowhere near as cute.

I kind of wish I was English and in an older time. Pretty much I wish I was in Downton Abbey. But as one of the family. Not one of the servants. Obviously. I love the accent, the style that goes into everything, changing clothes for every meal, and Matthew Crawley. He is by far the coolest cat in the series. And yes, that is the first time I’ve ever used the term ‘coolest cat.’

The Ray Lamontagne album ‘Trouble’ is very sexy. Just FYI.

You know those ‘I’d rather be cycling/running/sewing/sailing’ license plate holders? The people who make those are a limited in their selection, because I have yet to find one that says ‘I’d rather be watching TV.’ What up wit dat?

And there you have it. The second installment of Confessions of a Housewife. You’re very welcome. Happy Wednesday!

If you want to read Confessions of a 28-Year-Old Housewife, click here

Friday, January 18, 2013

Cry Me a River

Haha. Now you're going to have that song in your head all day. : ) Here's the video, but I just watched it and it's totally creepy. Not cool, JT. Not cool.

I heard an interesting statistic on the radio a while ago. According to some study somewhere, the average woman cries an average of 30-64 times a year. (I didn’t hear on the radio exactly where they got their info, but I Googled it and here’s the Wikipedia entry.) This seemed incredibly high to me. I cry probably 6-10 times a year, depending on how many times I stub my toe or if I’ve had a baby. : )

Seriously though, most of the time I just don’t see the point. When we packed up our house and left the home that I had brought all three of my babies home to, I didn’t cry. Even when Adaleine got burned last summer I didn’t cry. When we were in the emergency room with her right after it happened I didn’t cry. When I was with her in the burn center a couple of days later and they were scrubbing her arms and she was screaming and crying—I didn’t cry.

I know that makes me sound heartless. If someone else told me that they didn’t cry when their little girl got severely burned and was screaming in pain, I would probably think the same thing. But I love my babies very much and to use that old phrase, I hurt when they hurt.

In situations like that, I could very easily dissolve into tears and cry for my little hurt bug. But if I stop to think about it, it just doesn’t make any sense to me. If she sees me crying it will upset her more, right? Scare her? Make her think there’s something bad happening? Even if there were something to be scared of, even if there were something bad happening, wouldn’t it do more good for me to be strong for her? To look into her big brown eyes overflowing with tears and give her a smile to help her get through?

I know there are moms out there—and dads for that matter—that just can’t help it. And there’s nothing wrong with that! I don’t want anyone to think that I am calling them a wimp for crying about anything that they might experience. Life is hard and we all handle it differently and the things that affect me might seem silly to them.

I used to cry pretty regularly. Tuesday morning? Sure, I’ll cry about that. Puppy with no home? I’m on it. I’m out of Mountain Dew? Wait. I still kind of cry about that. : ) But I think I hit a point where I smacked myself in the forehead and said, “Brittany cut it out. Are the tears doing anyone any good? No. Do they give you a headache? Yes. Does it help anything? NO! So cut it out!” I’m affected but I’ve given up the tears.

Would you like to know when I cry? I cry when I’m up late at night and I think about my babies and whether I am a good momma to them. I cry when I listen to the news and I think about my babies getting hurt the way those kids on television are hurt. I cry alone. Very rarely do I cry in front of anyone, including my sweet husband. I don’t seek solace. I don’t want attention. I just get them out and move on. I don’t like to hurt in front of everyone.

I love the honesty of tears. I love it when someone can be vulnerable enough to show their emotion like that and be real with it. Maybe I’m just not that brave, I don’t know. But if you’re a crier and it makes you feel better, keep doing it. If you’re like me and the tears sometimes burn more than soothe, I feel your heart. There’s nothing wrong with you either way. : )

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

So Many Books...So Little Time

It all started in about 1991. I was eight years old and had just had my tonsils out. My favorite movie was The Little Mermaid and I had been promised lots of Jell-O and endless movie-watching while I recovered. But after about 600 viewings of my ‘favorite’ movie, it was getting lower and lower on my list of favorite things.

I’m not sure why, but my cousin (well, my second cousin actually but who’s keeping track) loaned me five books. Up until then I don’t remember being much of a reader. But all of that changed with my very first Mandie book.

 What’s really funny is that my (second) cousin didn’t lend me the first five books in this series. I think I ended up with books 6-10 but I was nevertheless completely hooked. Thus began my life as a reader. I consumed the Mandie books, saving my allowance to buy new ones when they came out and becoming more and more invested in the characters and their lives.

An argument can probably be made that I started reading so obsessively to avoid other, more messy things that were going on in my family and my life at that point. But the fact of the matter is that I’m no shrink and I just loved to read! : )

After I started to outgrow my beloved Mandie, I started another series called the Twelve Candles Club. I was so in love with this series that I even started exchanging letters with the author, Elaine Schulte. Looking back, I so appreciate her willingness to take the time and energy to answer the letters of a young girl whose life she was affecting.

I always had a book with me. I took a flashlight to bed and read under the covers waaaay past bedtime. I hid a book in my lap at school so I could read when I should be listening to the teacher (not terribly proud of that). I read in the car, I read while I walked home from school, I even took books to most family gatherings and shut myself off in a room somewhere. I loved that even though it didn’t feel like work I was learning so much and getting to experience different times, lives, and places.

Fast forward to the present. It is 2013, I have three kids, a husband who is gone a lot, a house to keep, and bills to pay. Needless to say my reading time is limited to the bathroom (just keeping it real!) and those few moments I can keep my eyes open after I crawl into bed.

I still recognize that there is so much to learn from a good book—fact or fiction—and want to continue my…education in many areas. As the stacks of books piled up and toppled over, I decided I needed to get a bit more organized about what I’ve got and what I really think will have a positive effect on the little life I live here with my munsters and husband. So I busted out one of my handy dandy notebooks, rounded up all the books on my nightstand and kitchen counter and went to work.

I have books about money and home-making, books about marriage (and sex!), books about parenting and then Pride & Prejudice. I’ve read P&P about 12 times; I just love it and I’m due to read it again. : )

After listing them all out, I decided that some of them are just going to have to wait. Sorry, Jane Austen! You’re at the bottom of the list. I’m currently reading One Thousand Gifts and Miserly Moms. I’d like to keep myself limited to reading three books at the most at once, that way I won’t get overwhelmed. Because when I get overwhelmed, only Hershey’s and Netflix can fix it. And that seems like a step in the wrong direction. : )

Do you have a list of books a mile long that you’re reading? Any tips on how to prioritize what books to read first? Does anyone else have trouble finding time to read? Take books to the bathroom? That always reminds me of that “Seinfeld” episode when George takes that book to the bathroom at the bookstore. Ah, George. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Puttin' My Crafty Pants On: Crib Spring Memo Board

Judah has recently decided that it would be a good idea to start climbing out of his crib. Because he doesn’t think I should ever sleep well again. And the truth is I know that I should have been really concerned about him falling and hurting himself. I was concerned—I’m mean, I’m human and not completely heartless—but once I got past that I was actually really excited.

Granted, now I have to worry about keeping him in his toddler bed, which has proven to be basically impossible. Oh and yes, and he rolled out of his bed three times the first night he slept in it. Apparently he got really used to those rails on the sides of his crib. So there are certain problems that arise when your munchkin starts climbing out of the crib, but there’s one really big pro. Ready? Wait for it…Wait for it…

Crib spring memo board!! I saw this idea in January 2011 on one of my favorite blogs, The Handmade Home. I was instantly in love and slightly irritated with the little munster in my belly (I was pregnant with Judah Bear at the time) for delaying my ability to delight in this awesomeness.

On the blog, Ashley cut a frame for the spring out of MDF to give it a more finished and polished look. I, on the other hand, do not have easy access to power tools, the motivation to learn to use them even if I did, or the ability to convince Mr. Bug that he needs to do any of that for me.

My solution? Take advantage of my wonderful husband (not like that! Get your minds out of the gutter!) and allow him to take the girls to run errands/kill time with him for a whole afternoon. I tossed Judah in bed for a nap, turned on an episode of The Kennedys, and got to work.

I had some plain white fabric lying around leftover from an old project. Well, maybe it was purchased for a project I never finished. Either way I had it. : ) I just tore it into strips, fired up the glue gun and went to work wrapping around and around the outside of the spring until the whole thing was covered. I briefly considered using a fun and colorful fabric, but decided that since I hoped to put colorful things on it, I should probably go with simple. Also, I already had the fabric so I didn’t want to spend more money or wait to find just the right fabric.

It probably took me less than two yards of the white fabric to get it wrapped all the way around. That and about three hundred glue sticks. Those things go fast! By the time I finished my Kennedys episode plus half of the pilot for Eli Stone (what can I say? I needed some noise) I was done. And since it is fairly light I just used Mr. Bug’s level to hang three small nails aaannnd…BOOM goes the dynamite!

Thar she blows! I dressed her up all nice and purty with some pictures I had lying around leftover from a couple of Christmas projects (I’ll tell you more about those later) and my magnets that I made a few weeks ago. I also used my handy dandy glue gun to attach some of the letters that my sister got the kids for Christmas. They’re super cute letters and the munsters love them, but I love them on here. We’ve got a letter on here for everyone plus the ‘S’ for our last name.

I am so happy with how it turned out. I may add a couple of fabric flowers to it as some point, but I really like the white fabric frame against the light light blue of the walls. And I think it takes care of this big blank space on the dinette wall perfectly. Or maybe that’s the breakfast nook. Dining room? Place where the kitchen table is. Yeah, that’s it. We’re fancy like that.

I’ve got more plans for the head and foot of the crib so hopefully I’ll be able to get that done sometime in the next…sometime. : ) Wish me luck!!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

My Book Came! One Thousand Gifts

My book just came in the mail today! I'm so excited to start reading this book. I am hoping that some of you ladies will go on this journey with me. : )

If you'd be interested in me trying to figure out how to set setting up a discussion forum so that we can go through this book together, leave a comment here or on my Facebook wall. I'll get on it : )

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Easy Handmade Gift: Fabric-Covered Magnets

I don’t know if I mentioned this, but I made almost all of my Christmas presents this year. Totally not tooting my own horn because they were super simple and anyone could do it, but I kind of wanted to share one of my projects in case anyone out there has a gift to give soon. (And limited funds to spend) : )

For my sisters and my dad’s wife, I did an all-out copy of this idea I saw on Pinterest. I followed her tutorial exactly so if you want to make these, head on over to Kitty’s blog A Law Student’s Journey and follow her steps.

I got all of the supplies at that Great Crafting Mecca: Hobby Lobby. The buttons were only $1.99 for a package of five. If I had been more patient I probably could have waited until they went on sale, but I wanted to get all of my supplies at once and didn't feel like making multiple trips. The little magnets were $7.99 for a package of 50 and I used one of HL’s 40% off coupons for those, making them about $4.80.

The fabric, glue and glue gun I already had so I spent less than $2 on each set of six that I gave. (Yes, I am that cheap. Yes, we are trying to spend less. Check out my post about that here.) I tried to tailor the fabric choices in each set to the tastes of each lady I was giving them to in order to make them a bit more personal. Because I’m lazy, I didn’t take pictures of all the different sets I made. But since I’m selfish in addition to being lazy, I also made myself a set! So here are a couple pictures of the set I made for myself.

I have a few other projects that I made for Christmas this year that I hope to report on, so hopefully you won’t mind a few crafty posts coming up before too long. Happy crafting and I hope you’re enjoying this new year!

Update: I'm linking this project up to the Homemade Ginger linky party! Check it out here!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Happy New Year! Resolutions? Choices? Challenges?

Last week the kids and I spent a few days at my sister Tiffany’s house in Omaha. She and her little family are preparing to list their house for sale and she’s packing and painting and organizing like a boss. (I love that phrase, by the way!) It just so happened that the first day we were there was New Year’s Day and in the true spirit of trite conversation, I asked my sister what her resolutions were.

One thing that’s important to know about my older sister and myself is that we are both cynical. Not in an “I hate the world” kind of way. Just in a “sometimes life punches you in the face and then laughs as it kicks you in the gut” kind of way. You know what I mean, right? Everyone has had to deal with their crap in life. Tiffany and I like to laugh at it all and just call it an opportunity for humor and a phone call. : ) Someday maybe I’ll write about all the stupid stuff we’ve collectively had happen to us. Should be interesting.

Anywho, we were painting the trim and doors in her upstairs hallway—a horrible job, to be honest—and I sprung the resolutions question on her. In true ‘Thalls girl’ fashion, we laughed and made jokes about resolutions and how unrealistic they are. She listed off a few of hers after thinking about it for a minute and then asked me for mine.

If you’ve been around here for a while, you know that I blogged last year about New Year’s Choices rather than resolutions. As I stood there putting another coat of paint on the linen closet door, my mind flashed back to that post and how quickly I abandoned my goals. Complete and utter failure.

Do I really want to make resolutions for changes that I may or may not keep? Do I want to give myself something else to fail at? Something else that I wanted to do and couldn’t? Something else that I have to look back on and ponder how foolish I was to think I could be…better?

Yes, I would like to lose weight. I wanted to lose weight last year, too. Do I want to be more organized? You betcha. I wanted to achieve that last year, too. Do I want to write more? Uh-huh. I wanted to do that last year, too. Are you seeing a pattern here?

The next day, a friend of mine posted something on her Facebook wall about a gratefulness challenge. She linked to this blog post that summed up my thoughts and fears so well. The writer of the blog, Ann, is responding to her friend’s question about why she wants a ‘do-over’ for 2012. Here is the part that was so true to me:

“Well…. do I tell you that 2012 was the year I didn’t lose 10 pounds, forgot every morning for. a. year. to exercise, didn’t finish reading the Bible, failed to write what I really wanted, never got the basement backroom gutted, rammed about in the same ruts on rinse and repeat, only read half as many books to the kids as I’d planned, and missed living up to what I’d named this year?”

This was it. This was just how I felt. In a rut. A rut I just can’t see a way out of. So although I do have goals for this new year, I think that the one thing that will be best for both me and my family would be to focus on all the blessings that God has given me. I ordered the book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are just today, and I’m looking forward to getting started! I’ve even got the perfect notebook sitting around from a past resolution that never happened. All set to go. I’ll let you know once I get the book and get started. Feel free to join me! : )