First, we went to bed much later than we should have. Especially poor Jeff, who leaves for work at 5am.
Then Katelyn woke up a few times. Where did my good little sleeper go?
Then our power turned off, and came back to different parts of the house at different times. When it came back on to where Jeff and I were sleeping, it made the fire alarm go into test mode. I woke up kind of groggy and remembered that this had happened once before and I hoped it would turn off on its own like it had last time.
Then the power came back on to the kids' rooms, and made the fire alarms right above their heads go berzerk, which absolutely terrorized the babies. That wasn't a fun situation to wake up to.
Me: Jeff, the fire alarms in the kids' rooms are going off!
Me: How do we turn them off?!
Poor Jeffy was screaming his head off, so I went and got him first. I put him on the floor and he kept pointing at the alarm, screaming. I took him to the family room and put him on the couch, then went to get Katelyn, who was less terrified, but only marginally.
As soon as I got them to the family room, the alarms stopped. I don't know why they did that, but I plan to call housing today and figure it out!
Katelyn got calmed down pretty quickly and went back to bed, but Jeffy wouldn't even go back in his room, so I brought him into bed with us. Bad idea, but I didn't know what else to do.
He doesn't sleep with us very often, so he was pretty excited. He kept asking "what's that? what's that?" not caring if I answered or not. I couldn't get him to whisper, so he was kind of loud. He had a hard time falling asleep and kept me awake too. I think Jeff got some sleep, but it wasn't very good sleep.
About three hours later, (I'd gotten a few pockets of 15 minutes of sleep) Jeff gets up to get ready for work, and I put Jeffy back into his own bed.
I slept from 4:00 to 7:00 and that was the best sleep I got all night.
Today we finally did our first summerish activity. Yay! After a sick first trimester, then sick babies, we are back to being able to go on outings.
Yesterday on our way home from errands we found a sprinkler park! I was so excited!! So today, we tried it out. It was great! There were sprinklers, sandboxes, playgrounds and merry-go-rounds, and plenty of dirt, sticks, and rocks for Jeffy. :) Jeffy warmed up to it eventually and had a great time playing in the water and "talking" to other kids. Katelyn even liked it too. She wasn't as adventurous as Jeffy, but she liked sticking her hands in the water, and crawling around on the grass. We stayed there for quite a while. And the best part is it's free! There was a really nice sprinkler park in SC, but I didn't like paying $1 per person every time we went. Free is much better!
After we dried off, we went out to ice cream and this little mom 'n pop outdoor place. Jeffy ate a giant swirl cone all by himself and loved it! He got very angry when I tried to help him clean up before he was done. After we enjoyed our ice cream and washed up (there was a hose we put to good use!) we swang (swung? swinged?) on a big wooden swing for a full half hour before heading home. It was nice and relaxing.
I plan to make this a weekly outing at least, we had such fun. Sometime we'll have to take Daddy with us!
It's been a rough couple of days. Katelyn caught a cough from Jeffy, and usually her colds will just last a day or two, but this time it's worse. Poor little thing. I think she's teething too. Bad combination.
But she still does super cute things that give me a minute's reprieve and help me get through the hard times. Lately, she's been doing this thing where she grabs an item of clothes and drapes it over her head like a scarf, then looks up at me and smiles. I don't know if she's playing hide-and-seek or dress-up, but either way, it's so cute! She'll do it for like 15 minutes straight and loves the smiles and claps we give her.
She woke up much happier today, so hopefully that's a good sign that the worst is over. I can't wait till my happy baby girl is back, being adorable all the time. :)
If any of you have ever been to my house unannounced, you know it's not very clean. Sigh. I hereby admit to being a horrible house cleaner/organizer (is that called a housekeeper?). I really am bad. If someone gives me a few hours notice that they're coming over, I spend those next few hours feverishly getting my house to "adequate" status, hoping they'll think they just caught me on a rough day. Pitiful, I know. I have heard it called the CHAOS syndrome. CHAOS = Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome. Sounds just about right.
Anyways, since my weight-loss project has been put on hold, I decided it's time to tackle a new project.
This is my ultimate goal:
Have and maintain a completely clean and organized house by the end of 2010.
Sounds like a pretty hefty goal for someone so admittedly slobbish, huh? But I have six months to do it and I am feeling very confident. My mom once told me as people we tend to overestimate what we can do in a day, and underestimate what we can do in a year. I think she's right. I'm using that idea and Alma 37:6 as my mantra: "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass."
The first thing I did was write down everything I could think of that would be a part of my ultimate goal. Everything. It was a long list. Then I organized those into categories, and assigned each category a place in my priority list. First came the kitchen.
Man, I hate the kitchen. This has been a common utterance in my grown up life. And probably earlier too. I really hate it and everything associated with it. As one example, I wear heavy-duty gloves every time I do the dishes.
And now, let me tell you about my current kitchen situation.
It'y tiny. As in most of my kitchen tools are in boxes in the storage closet. As in you can reach every cabinet within one step from the exact middle. As in it has to have a mini-trash can under the sink because that's the only place for it. It's literally a closet. Except it's a bad closet, because it doesn't have doors. And it's the first thing visible to others when I open the front door. It really is the WORST CASE SCENARIO!
Ok, I'm sure you get the picture.
But, I decided that the kitchen is the most important thing to get under control and will make the biggest difference in my family's happiness and productivity.
So I made a plan for the kitchen. It's called "July: Month of the Kitchen." Catchy, eh? :)
This plan will obviously start in July while I do some other stuff for the remaining days of June.
I'm going to write out my whole plan here. Feel free to skip it if you want. Or even better, read it and offer me suggestions. Posting on the blog accomplishes a few things: 1) Another copy of it if my original is lost or destroyed. 2) Accountability! 3) Feedback, suggestions, and ideas. I hope so, at least.
clean up completely after every meal, including dishes, counters, leftovers, table, sink, and sweep
label groceries with purchase date and put away as soon they're brought in
maintain list of food in house and leftovers in fridge
have cupboards organized and labeled
have 1 month's worth of meal plans (breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks) compiled, with recipes printed on cards and organized into weekly packets
organize heavy duty cleaning needs
grocery shop the same day each week
pack daily lunches for Jeff
Daily: dishes, counters, sink, sweep, leftovers in fridge and added to list
Weekly: mop, dump out old food
Monthly: oven, fridge, wipe down cabinets and walls, make food storage list
As Needed: trash out
Kitchen Maintenance Goals:
Plan 2 weeks meals at a time
Have one regular weekly shopping day
Maintain food lists
Keep current on cleaning plan
Do everything mentioned above
Keep floor clear (yes, this is hard for me)
Clear table off after every meal
Throw away trash after every meal
Get dishes caught up
(See what I mean about small and simple? The above goals are totally do-able, but will still make a big difference overall. I'm feelin' good!)
Wash dishes after every meal
Organize cupboards and make labels
Gather recipes and make packets
Plan how to make food lists and make them
Buy calendar for fridge door
Clean out fridge and freezer
Make meal plan for next 2 weeks (including Jeff's lunches)
Go shopping, label groceries with date, put away immediately, mark on list
Completely clean after every meal
Last bit of catch-up cleaning
Maintain food lists
Shop on regular day
Mark on calendar for next month's cleaning days
Assess and make needed changes
And now one of my favorite parts, a motivational note to myself. (And yes, this is actually written down on my plan.)
This is a great plan! Stick to it everyday, ask for help from Heavenly Father, and expect Him to bless you. Doing this consistently through June will help you become a more organized person, will bless your life and the lives of your family, will bring you much happiness and satisfaction, and will get you one step closer to Godliness. YOU CAN DO IT!
And now one final scripture: Ether 12:27 "for if they humble themselves before me and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."
I am determined that with hard work from me and help from Heavenly Father, I can beat this once and for all and make home cleanliness and organization a strength instead of a weakness. I am excited to get to work! Wish me luck!
If you made it all the way through, I'd love to know what you think and if you have any suggestions for me. Thanks so much!
The state of New York requires lead tests. I don't know the details of who, when, etc., but so far 2 of us have been tested.
A few weeks ago at Katelyn's 9-month well-baby, she got the mandatory prick. Her test came back high, so they wanted us to go to the hospital and get real blood drawn for a more accurate test. Understandably, I've been putting it off. I HATE when my babies have to be stuck with needles, especially since normal hospital people seem to suck at doing babies (in contrast to those at a childrens hospital).
But I couldn't procrastinate any further, so off we went to the hospital this morning. They looked at both her arms and said they couldn't find any good veins. The familiar dread set in. Yeah, I knew how this was going to go. Oh well. They tried to find a vein in her left arm. I held her while she screamed and writhed in pain. (By the way, Jeffy was doing sympathy screams from the stroller. Poor little guy was worried about his sister. :))
They couldn't get it, so they stopped. Then one of the technicians noticed that her arm was all red and a few bumps were appearing. Her other arm was red as well as one of her legs. I wasn't especially concerned. You hold a baby down tight, and the places you're holding her are going to get red. That's just how it is. But the technician was weirded out by the bumps, so she called her supervisor, who went and asked someone else what to do. A few minutes later she came back to tell me that she was calling it a code green, like I knew what a code green was.
Apparently a code green means the emergency room team is called in to evaluate. A few minutes later, a flood of people came in, expecting an emergency. The redness and bumps had mostly disappeared, so they just kind of looked at her, looked at each other in confusion, and left. So the code green was over. It was all kind of weird.
After they left, the technician asked if I was comfortable with continuing with the test. Um, yeah, Get this over with and get us out of here! She still couldn't find a vein. Ugh.
Thankfully, she called over another technician, who made me feel immediately more at ease. She asked Katelyn's name and started talking to her about what a good baby she was, how pretty her eyes were, etc., and she calmed down and just looked right at her. I could tell this technician was much better (at least more experienced). She found a vein and got it all done without too much screaming from Katelyn. I was so grateful she had been called in. Who knows how many tries it would have taken the other lady.
So that was our adventure for the day. We came away with two pricked arms, no allergies noted, and about 7 stickers, all of which ended up on Jeffy's shirt.
Not ideal, but it always could be worse. :)
Just for kicks. Katelyn being patient with Jeffy's foot. They're cute.
Thanks to all your suggestions, church went a MILLION times better this week!
I bought some snacks that are to be only for Sundays and they were a big hit. I held out as long as I could, then asked Jeffy to sit on the bench and fold his arms, and when he did, he got a snack. That was pretty much how the whole meeting went. He stayed in that position for varying amounts of time, but would always come back for a snack. I also got him a new cup for Sundays only, but I don’t think he liked it. Either that or he didn’t like that it only held water. I brought books and a few small that I know he likes and those helped too. I didn’t have to take him out of the meeting the whole time! Hallelujah!
Granted, Jeff was there and able to help, but I could have done it on my own. Katelyn was more trouble this time than Jeffy. She was fussy and needed to be taken out (which Jeff did), but Jeffy didn’t try to follow him or throw a fit when he left either. And I made sure not to sit close to the family with crazy treats so Jeffy wouldn’t get jealous.
All in all, I’d say it was a very successful Sunday!
Thank you again, everyone, for helping me figure this out. Your help is VERY appreciated!
(Don’t forget to scroll down to see some majorly cute baby pictures! :))
Today I was brave. I took the kids grocery shopping (that's not the brave part), and this time I had Jeffy walk beside me instead of sitting in the cart.
Usually I have Katelyn sit up in the little seat so she can be strapped in, and Jeffy sits in the main part of the cart, squashed in with the food. I knew I needed to buy a lot today, so Jeffy walked beside me. I was afraid that he would run away or throw himself on the ground or something even worse, but I was very pleasantly surprised!
He stayed right by me most of the time, holding on to the side of the cart. He would let go and run a little ways ahead of me, but then when I asked him to come back, he did! He always came right back to his special spot. I was so proud! I'm not usually the one who has well-behaved children in public, so I felt very spoiled. And Katelyn was good too!
I got lots of comments on how cute they were (I don't get a many comments like that when the monster comes out!) and I was just beaming. Yes, thank you, my children are adorable. Yes, thank you, they are well-behaved. Yes, thank you, I am the most amazing mother in the whole world. Hee hee.
This, and a few recent purchases have made me feel more confident about church on Sunday. And Jeff should be there too, so here's hoping for a better week! :)
What's a post without a picture? This was in South Carolina. :)
Yesterday I watched a little boy while his mommy had a baby. He's really cute, and for the most part, the day went really well. He went to bed at about 8:00, and his grandma came to pick him up at 9:45. Jeffy was still awake when she got here, and after I got our little guest buckled into his carseat and grandma took him away, he flipped out. He kept saying "baby! baby!" and crying, trying to get out the door. I think he thought I just gave away Katelyn. It took a little while to calm him down, but eventually he went to bed.
This morning he was very excited to find Katelyn alive and well, and has been very nice to her. It's sweet to know he loves her. :)
Not the best picture of her, but you get the idea. :)
Part of the problem is that I don't know how to control Jeffy, another part is that I'm usually alone, and there are probably other parts too.
Sacrament Meeting is a killer. Jeffy will not sit still, and if he sees some kid eating a treat, he goes berzerk because he's not getting any. It's really hard to try to control him, when I have to hold Katelyn. I can't put her down on the bench because she'll roll off, and I can't put her on the floor, because she'll crawl away. So making Jeffy be reverent is impossible.
I really need help. I don't know how to teach him the correct way to behave. Help!!
We're still new in our ward, so I don't really have any friends to help me. Today, though, a very nice lady helped me survive. She was sitting two rows ahead of us, and took Katelyn for a while so I could tame the beast. Then when the kids behind us started eating fruit snacks, and Jeffy started screaming, I took him out to the hall, then I heard Katelyn start screaming. Moments later, some other sister brought Katelyn out too. The nice lady dug around in my diaper bag and made a bottle for her and brought it to us. I was so grateful for her help, and tried really hard not to send mean vibes to the lady behind us who just looked disdainfully at Jeffy while her angels munched away on treats.
Then I spent the next two hours in nursery. I don't mind working in there, I just miss the association with the Relief Society. How am I supposed to make friends if I'm stuck in there? But it wasn't a calling, just substituting, so hopefully it won't be permanent.
With Sundays like this being the norm, it's hard to want to go to church. I skipped a lot in Charleston, because the task just seemed too daunting. But when we moved here, I decided that I was going to go to all three hours of church every single Sunday I was able. Some days I am able to not think about what it's going to be like, but on other Sundays, it takes every ounce of my will power to get us there.
Does anyone share in this struggle? Any words of advice or comfort?