Folding laundry


Let it be known that folding laundry is my very least favorite chore. This pile has been accumulating for two weeks, and I finally sat down and folded it all. They have a machine to wash them. They have a machine to dry them, but they haven’t figured out a machine to fold them. That would make laundry the most stress free part of running a house. I wonder if I could pay someone to fold my laundry for me. For anyone out there who hates folding laundry as much as I do, you are not alone!

How I Stopped Biting My Nails

When I was a kid, I bit my fingernails a lot. I bit them so far down that it would make my fingers hurt. My mom was constantly telling me that I needed to stop, and I think she even tried ways of making it unappealing to me, but they didn’t work.

In eighth grade, I decided that I was done biting my nails. I wanted my nails to look nice, and I didn’t want my fingers to hurt anymore. I evaluated the situation and realized that I liked to chew on things, and my nails happened to be the most convenient. So, I started chewing gum. If I was chewing gum, I had no need to bite my nails.

When my nails started growing back, I became annoyed at their length, and chewed them back down. In the midst of painful fingers, I realized that I needed to keep my nails short as well. So, I began clipping my fingernails once a week, and voila, I stopped biting my nails cold turkey.

The gum chewing did become a habit that replaced the habit of biting my nails, but after a few years of that, I grew tired of it, and stopped completely. Chewing gum is not even remotely appealing to me anymore. About once every five years, out of some freak nervousness, I bite my nails, and am reminded of why I stopped.

How to Teach Colors

Teaching the names of colors is much easier than I thought it would be, and now that we’re in the thick of it, I don’t know why I thought it would be so difficult. As much as colors are lumped in with art, the names themselves are actually a language thing. Good writers describe things using colors when it is warranted, and as a parent, that’s exactly what you should do.

Purple Shoes Green Tree Pink Flower

There’s no need to break out flash cards that will soon be torn to pieces or chewed on. Rather, talk to your child about all the different colors of things. “Where are your purple shoes? Do you see the green tree? Thank you for the pretty, pink flower.” This is a natural method that allows a child to learn at her own pace. Soon enough, she will be describing things to you using the colors you have taught her.

If you are the kind of parent that likes to evaluate if your efforts are paying off, feel free to ask, “What color is this tomato?” But, don’t worry or worse, over drill, if she can’t immediately answer, “Red.” She might need time to think about what you just asked, or to even figure out that you were asking her a question. She might not know what the word, “color,” means yet. Don’t fret. She’ll figure it out eventually. Just keep talking to her.

Failed Placement

My dear cousins are experiencing the heartache of a failed placement for adoption. My cousin wrote about their experience here, and I was thrilled to see that they are choosing to not hate the birthmother. Clearly they are hurting, but that is no reason to hate. They are some of the kindest people I know, and will make the best parents. Please spread their information around, so that their family can grow.

I am mourning for their loss today, and my sweet little girl can tell. She asked me what was wrong, and not knowing how to explain everything so that she could understand, I simply said, “Grown up stuff.” It seemed to suffice, and we moved on with our day, but I have cried many times for them. I wish I lived closer, so that I could be there to support them. The thing that breaks my heart every time I think about it is what my aunt posted on facebook. “I rocked my baby girl today and we wept together.” I can only imagine how difficult it would be to watch my girls go through something so trying.

Memorial Day Tribute

FamilyAs I write, someone is setting off fireworks, which is cool, considering that it’s Memorial Day weekend. We just finished a wonderful evening with family, remembering those we love, who are no longer with us. Earlier in the day, we visited the burial site of my granddad. I have his ham radio call sign, and I think of him often. I do believe he is my guardian angel. At the site, we commented on how well and healthy he feels to all of us, and we marveled that my grandparents were born in the roaring 20s and grew up during WWII.

Lizzy with FlowersMy girls have never met my granddad, because he died when I was still in elementary school. But our oldest understood that we were going to see great grandpapa, and was thrilled to bring him some flowers that she helped me pick. Upon setting up the flowers at our relatives sites, she proceeded to upright the flowers that had blown over at other sites. She is entering a new phase of understanding and caring that gives me extreme pleasure to see. Our youngest is still too young to grasp the general idea, but she knew that she was with family, and was completely at ease.

AdorableAfter we chatted and pulled a few weeds, we had a picnic dinner at my house. Since my grandmother will be ninety this year, we stayed in, rather than finding a park. We had our standard hamburgers, potato salad, and chips, with cookies and my grandmother’s ginger bread, one of my favorites, for dessert. Lettuce, radishes, and broccoli were provided from my garden. Then we enjoyed the BBC version of Sense and Sensibility, which although long, was just what we needed to relax for the evening.

I am so grateful for my family. They are absolutely fantastic, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them. My grandmother has always been an avid reader, and passed that down through my mother to me. My mother has guided me on my path through life always. Because of her guidance, I have the most wonderful husband anyone could ask for, and I am learning how to be the kind of wife and mother that I want to be.

My Birthday

I had a birthday recently, and as part of the celebration, I went to the Piano Guys release party for their second CD. They are all such fantastic guys. I got to compliment Steve on Berlin, which I love, and found out that he was actually nervous about the response he would get. It’s hard for me to picture him being nervous, but it helps him seem more like a real person. When I told him that it was my birthday, he insisted that they all sing to me. This is the video we got of it.

Reading to my Kids

I am obsessed with learning. It is one of my very favorite things to do. I am the kid that loved going to school, was frequently teacher’s pet, and was thrown for a loop when I stopped going to school. I read non-fiction now more than fiction, because my desire to know has surpassed what fiction can provide. I desire, every day, to share the passion of knowledge with my children. With both of them being younger than pre-school age, my initial idea of them learning by me teaching specific things at specific times had to be scrapped to make way for how kids really learn. I can’t spend hours and hours with them going over reading, writing, and arithmetic. Simply because they can’t sit there for that long.

The one thing that I can do, which breaks the boundaries between parent and teacher, is reading to them. Reading to your kids creates the perfect setting for bonding time, while still allowing you to teach them on an academic level. From the parenting side of things, you get cuddle time, a chance to provide one-on-one attention, and a break from the stresses of everyday life. From the teaching side of things, you are teaching them whatever it is that you are reading about, how to properly use a book, and language skills. It’s perfect, because they don’t even realize that they’re learning something, because they’re so caught up in getting attention from you.

With our children’s young age, we prefer to buy books, rather than check them out from the library. So, then it becomes a matter of having enough books to keep them interested, while still saving money. As far as keeping them interested, they’re at a point in life where reading the same book over and over again is completely acceptable. We could probably get away with only having ten books, but then I’d probably get bored, so we have close to 50 children’s books. Anyone who’s been to their local bookstore can attest that children’s books are not cheap, so we have only ever bought a few there, and about as many have been given to us.

The bulk of our children’s books come from the dollar store or the dollar section of stores. My favorite place to buy books for my girls is at the dollar section in Target. You can buy whole sets for under $5, and spend hours reading them over and over again. Plus they are made out of material more durable than paper, so kids can read them by themselves if they feel inclined. Another place that I have found children’s books for a very good price is yard sales. We have gotten primo books for $.25 each, and walked away almost doubling our collection.

Reading is fun, and reading while cuddling with your children is even more fun. You can make up random voices for all the characters, and your child will copy you. Together, you can pick out a favorite section to memorize and have it as an inside joke. And, you can relax, knowing that you are teaching your child in a way that is conducive to them enjoying learning.

My Dream Come True

GirlsThese two girls are my dream come true. Ever since I was twelve, I have wanted to be a mom, and then when I became a mom, I was blown away by how difficult and exhausting it is. But, precious moments, that sometimes only last mere seconds, like this picture, are what make being a mom completely worth it.

This picture was taken, by me, at the tree house at Disneyland. Getting them to sit still, together was nearly impossible. I didn’t even think I had succeeded in capturing this kind of cuteness until after the trip when I was going through all the pictures.

I love getting pictures of them together, because you can see how similar they really are. Being the mom, I see all the little details that make them different, and who they are, but it’s fun to see that my girls look like sisters. The thing that stands out the most to me is their amazing, blue eyes. Neither my husband nor I have blue eyes, so it’s fun to see the blue from our family’s be passed on. Especially such a beautiful, intense blue.

My Amazing Man

My Amazing ManAs a teenager, my trust in men was basically zero. I did not see any good in them. But, I still dated. I think because I hoped that I could find one that was good, or (cringe) change one into being good. When my parents got divorced, I received counseling as part of the whole process. The lady my mom picked to help me was instrumental in helping me put all of my pieces back in place. We worked on my weaknesses, and then addressed the subject of men. In short, she told me that I had to start trusting men again. The decision to do so was completely my own, but it was as simple as saying, “I trust men.”

And with that, my journey into dating men began. I dated control freaks, porn addicts, arrogant snobs, and finally, I’d had enough of it. I started saying, “no,” to dates and even cancelling if I’He's their's too.d stupidly said, “yes.” I focused on making myself the kind of person that someone I would want to marry would want to marry. Then about a month and a half later, I met my husband. He looked like an alien with his wireless headphones. Yet, I went home that night, knowing that I’d found someone special.

We married quickly, because it was obvious that we were supposed to be together. Marrying opened my eyes to an entirely new world that I did not know existed. I call it the world of amazing men. These men go way beyond my expectation of what a good man is. They perform incredible feats all in the name of taking care of their families. When these men got married, rather than remain a little boy, they rose to the occasion and became amazing men. They all still have their boyish tendencies, but in the eyes of women, they are amazing men. I believe that there are more of these kind of men in the world, than the kind that made me stop trusting men in the first place.