Routine is good


Matt and the children with his two brothers, Ben and Sam,
and his grandparents
Lincoln, England
20 July 2007

For the past month, my little family and I have not been settled.  For two or three weeks before we left for England, we worked really hard cleaning the house and clearing all the baby clutter out.  We also fixed up Lily’s room (it looks soooo pretty now; I just go in there and sit on the bed because it’s such a cute little girl’s room filled with toys and cute pink lamps and plushies).  While we were working so hard, we quit going to the gym (Lily also had ringworm and was not allowed in the child center until the ringworm was gone) and we ate out so we could stay focused on the work.

Then we went to England for ten days.  We had an amazing time.  Matt was rejuvenated by his visit to the homeland and seeing his brothers who he hadn’t seen in two years.  Lots of chocolate and fish and chips, no gym.

We returned with a feverish desire to get back into our normal routine.  But we were thwarted by severe jetlag and impending family visits.  More eating out, no gym.

By Thursday of last week, my stomach could not take another greasy meal.  I was feeling really ill.  So, for the first time in a month, we made a meal at home.  Matt cooked bangers and mash with broccoli and green beans.  Never have vegetables tasted so good.  And we’ve been eating meals at home since then, but still with lots of cookies and chocolate.

So here it is, Monday morning.  The fresh start of a fresh week.  We’ve already reserved a spot in the infant area of the child center at the gym for Damian.  We’re ready!  I’m ready!

I’m ready to feel better.  I’m feeling really run down from all that terrible food.  But on the upside, the house is clean and we had an amazing visit with both Matt’s family in England and my family before my mom left back for Kentucky.  But I am definitely ready to get back into a familiar daily family routine.

July 30th, 2007 | Marathon/Fitness, The Life of a Suburban Mommy | 2 Comments -

Family lunch today…


Matt and the kids with Matt’s two brothers, Ben and Sam
Lincoln, England
20 July 2007

We’re having a large family lunch here today — 14 people. This is mom’s last day in Texas; she flies home to Kentucky tomorrow. She’s been here for a month, and I’ve only seen her one day. We picked her up from the airport the day before we left for England. And the day we came home from England, she had just left for Fredricksburg to help my grandmother move. So she’ll be here sometime this morning, and I’ll see her today and some of tomorrow, and then I drop her off at the airport tomorrow evening. I’m really sad I didn’t get to see her, but that’s how it works out sometimes. Our schedules were just too conflicting during this visit.

The whole house is clean for the lunch party except for my computer room. My desk is currently not visible. I keep putting this chore off, but now it’s time. It’ll be nice to have my desk back even though I’m not looking forward to the chore itself.

July 28th, 2007 | General | No Comments -

Are we the sum of our experiences or the sum of our decisions regarding those experiences?


Me, Matt, Uncle Sam, Jo, and the kids in the hot tub.
Lincoln, England
19 July 2007

My new favorite quote:

I am not bound to win, I am bound to be true.
I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live up to the light that I have.
— Abraham Lincoln

And I covered my Book of Dreams a couple of days ago. It was just a black three-ring binder, so I covered it in pretty fabric and ribbons. It was my first time to cover a book in fabric, and I did a rush job because I have children and, when you have children, many things become rush jobs, but here is the final product:


Fabric-covered Book of Dreams
27 July 2007

I know it’s not a very polished final product, but I think I did a good job for being my first time to do something like this.  As the quote goes: “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly at first.”  The pages are printed from the templates on this DIY Planner site (a very fun site to surf if you are completely into lists and office supplies like I am).  I used the Classic 2-up templates.

By the way, I apologize for the completely unrelated, random title to the post. It’s just a thought that has been running through my head for the past couple of days.

July 27th, 2007 | Planning Nerd | 1 Comment -

… but I prefer rose-tinted glasses


Damian (6-months-old) with Auntie Lily (90-years-old)
(Auntie Lily is Lily and Damian’s great-great-aunt,
and Lily is her namesake.)
18 July 2007

The sun is up, and I’m in a much better mood. So I decided to add a post that is a bit more upbeat.

Random happy things:

  • Lily’s curls.
  • Damian will sing in tiny, soft baby coos as you dance with him.
  • Matt is conscientious, kind, generous, responsible, reliable, honorable, honest, hard-working… basically the perfect father and husband, and the children and I were lucky enough to be the ones given him.
  • Lily and Damian make us laugh… a lot.
  • My mom, Deb, and Lindsey are coming for a visit, and I’m really looking forward to it.
  • People send me greeting cards in the mail, sometimes with money. 🙂
  • Matt really enjoys his work.
  • I really enjoy Matt’s family.
  • I really enjoy my family…
  • … and my friends although I am not very good at keeping in touch with them. Their presence in this world makes it a better place.
  • Ultimately, most people believe in good although they sometimes make bad decisions.
  • The world is full of creative people.
  • The sky is blue and the grass is green.
  • …and I think to myself, “What a wonderful world.”

Hmmm… a much better way to start the day.

July 26th, 2007 | General | No Comments -

Chemical sunglasses that paint the world gray

I’m moody this morning. I try to write peppy, happy entries, but that’s difficult to do when you are moody.

I’m moody because Matt, Lily and I have been eating badly.  (It’s one thing to feed yourself, an adult with choices, crap food that makes your body feel run-down, but it’s another thing entirely to feed that sludge to your child.)  I’m moody because we haven’t been going to gym.  I’m moody because I live in a dark house filled with chemically recycled air because our houses weren’t built around the use of prevailing winds, naturally insulating materials, and daylighting.  I’m moody because we live in a sea of toxic chemicals — chemicals seeping out of our plastics, chemicals in our shampoos and moisturizers that we apply directly to our skin, even chemicals in our food.  I’m moody because our environment is polluted and toxic.  I’m moody because our planet and our bodies are sick because of our choices as individuals and as a society.

These things make me sad. 🙁 I’ve been thinking about these things a lot this morning, and it makes me sad.

But you can’t just claim the emotion and wallow in the pity, can you?  No.  I can’t change everything, but I can change some things.

I’m still sad though.  We all have to change what we can change.  All the small changes made in each household will equal a huge planetary change.  And then this weight will lift off of my chest — off of all our chests and we will be able to breathe again… literally.

July 26th, 2007 | General | No Comments -

Home again, home again…


Pictures of the children in the back garden taken by me mum-in-law.
(Sarah has the most amazing natural talent for framing pictures… truly amazing.)
17 July 2007

We got home Sunday night, but everyone had really bad jetlag.  The journey was hardest for the baby. He cried and fussed all day yesterday.  And he wouldn’t let me put him down; he wanted to be right up against my body all day.  He just was not a happy little guy.  He’s back to his normal self this morning though — smiling and busy.  He is extremely good-natured.

And the journey had absolutely no effect on Lily, as far as we could tell.  She was chirpy and playing all the way home… all 21 hours.  Seventeen hours into the journey when we were waiting in the long lines at immigration and then waiting in the long lines at customs, Matt, the baby and I were at the very end of our patience.  There was nothing but grumpiness, extreme fatigue and general nastiness left inside of us.  But not Lily.  She was having a good ol’ time.  Even when we arrived home, after a 21-hour journey, she stayed up for a couple of hours and played with the toys in her room.

I have lots of piccies from England.  Shelrie asked me to send her photos of England so she could travel vicariously, but I realized that I don’t take pictures of scenery.  I take pictures of people.  So all my pictures are of Matt’s family and the children.

I would like to learn to take pictures of scenery.  Maybe I should start practicing.  I’m not good at it.  My landscape pictures are very dull — like being forced to watch a slideshow of your aunt’s vacation to Oklahoma.

It’s nice to be home.  I like my home.  🙂

July 24th, 2007 | England | No Comments -

England!

No picture with this post because we are in England right now.  I didn’t bring my camera with me and I am seriously regretting that decision now.

We came for Matt’s grandparents’ 60th wedding anniversary.  The party was yesterday, and it was very nice.  I really like Matt’s family — a lot.  They are quirky and fun and silly and they all love each other very much.  I have a very good time when we come to England.

And my children are doted upon.  They are snuggled and kissed and everyone plays with them.  As a parent, there is nothing in the whole wide world that makes you happier than seeing your children loved.

And it’s chilly!  Isn’t that completely whacky?!  It’s July!  I was dumbfounded.  I didn’t bring warm clothes because… well, because it’s July.  I didn’t even think it was possible to be chilly in July.

I really like England.  I would have no problem moving here.  I like the way the cities are organized; cars are not used nearly as much — a lot more walking and public transportation — which gives the cities a sense of community because everyone is on the streets.  In Texas, all the cities are designed around cars, so the streets are empty.  I know why this is: we have the room for the sprawl and the heat is prohibitive.  But designing a city around walking and public transportation gives the city a much more pleasant feel.

I also like the weather which is funny because the English are always complaining about their weather.  But Texas is just so hot, and the heat is very oppressive.  The heat drains your energy, and you don’t want to go outside.

Anyways, we’re having a great time. 🙂

ps. House Beautiful!

The house was beautiful by the time my mom arrived.  It was really important to me that the house be clean for my mom.  I want my mom to feel comfortable in my house — to actually enjoy coming to my house because the house itself feels inviting and pleasing.

And, just in general, I’m in a much better mood when the house is clean.  Matt was such a sweety to work so hard to make the house clean for my mom.  He would put in a full day at work and then, when he got home, he would work really hard with me to get the house clean.  And he did all this because he knew I really really wanted the house clean for my mom.  He’s such an excellent husband.  I truly am lucky to have him.

July 15th, 2007 | England | No Comments -

Order in chaos… at least, I hope that’s what it is…


Daddy tickling Damian.
02 June 2007

Matt and I have been scrambling to clean the house before my mom visits and before we leave for vacation.  And yet, the house is still very chaotic.  Now the question is: is the house going to all come together at the end, like a dinner seems to come together magically right at the end, or is it truly chaotic, just disguised as a work in progress?

Only time will tell — six days to be exact.  Mom will be here in six days. 🙂

July 5th, 2007 | The Life of a Suburban Mommy | No Comments -

Purge-atory


Lily can make an ensemble out of anything.
Here she is working on costume ideas
(using florescent orange swim goggles and a lanyard)
for the next post-apocalyptic Mad Max movie.
02 June 2007

You would not believe the sheer volume of toys, clothes, and shoes that come into the house when children come into the house.  It is an avalanche of kid stuff that threatens to consume your house.

Carla’s baby is due in two months.  I just spent the last week washing all of Lily’s baby clothes and packing them.  I went through the toys, packing three trashbags worth of toys to pass onto Carla.  And the bassinet, swing, crib (along with all the crib accoutrements), carseat, stroller… so much stuff being passed onto Carla.  Or, more accurately, so much stuff being passed out of my house.

I love purging.  I feel light and free when my house is uncluttered — stuff feels like an iron ball dragging me down into a cold, dark deep.

I’m so happy right now.  I’m so happy that all that baby stuff is out of my house.

July 4th, 2007 | The Life of a Suburban Mommy | No Comments -

There is a direct correlation between how long you have lived in Austin and how many domains you own…


Aunt Deb made Lily some new earrings and a new necklace.
Deb gave her these on 11 June 2007, and Lily hasn’t
taken the earrings off yet. They are her new favorite pair.
11 June 2007


And a picture of Aunt Deb covered in kids.
11 June 2007

So I registered romancepodcast.com.  There is nothing there at the moment; it is “parked.”  (What a funny term.)  I can’t believe it was available.  It seems like that one would have been snapped up pretty quickly as podcasting became more and more popular.  Well… I guess it has been snapped up now.

I don’t have the time to work on my current pet project at the moment.  My mom arrives in nine days, and the house is still in no fit state for a royal visit.  And we’re leaving on vacation ourselves two days after my mom arrives, and the house is in no fit state for us to leave for an extended period of time.  So we’re very house-centric right now.  Cleaning, laundering, building raised beds, packing baby stuff up to pass onto Carla.  Busy busy busy.

So I’ll play with romancepodcast.com when we return.  I’m really looking forward to it.  I’m itching and itching to begin!  It’ll just have to wait a little longer…

July 2nd, 2007 | Austin, General, Podcast | No Comments -