Category: The Vacuum

Pending Post: Disney Recap

We went on vacation! We drove to Orlando for nearly two weeks of (mostly) computer-free family time. Once I pry photos away from Brian, I’ll write up a proper recap post. 

For now, I’ll leave you with these:

Teddy Toddler Tantrums

Our Teddy is almost 18 months and has discovered that he can throw a fit. He’s really good at it too; most times the only thing I can do about them is to carefully lower his tiny, rigid body to the floor and wait for him to start sobbing over something tiny and insignificant. 

He had tantrum after tantrum for a solid hour this morning so I decided we needed a hard reset. I plopped him in his crib with toys, books, and all the comfort items he might need if he spontaneously decided to take a nap. I put a favorite Baby Einstein on my laptop across the room and crept into the bathroom for a shower.

Teddy needed some downtime

Shout out to all the parents who have already done resorted to their backup strategies to make it through the day!

Happy Independence Day 

 

Benny and Brian at the parade
  
Teddy and me at the parade
  
Teddy’s first time in a swing. He was all smiles!
  
Ben discovered my silicone cupcake cups this morning and carried them around all day
  
M’ boys
  
“Sup?”
 

Day in the Life: 2 Years and 3 Months Edition

Now that life has settled down a little and we have a tenuous schedule again, I wanted to write another day in the life post, mostly for my own benefit. I get a kick out of looking back at these months and years down the road and reminisce about life with younger babies. I had high hopes that I’d remember to take enough photos throughout the day that it wouldn’t be all text but nope, that definitely didn’t happen.

4:15 AM: My day starts far earlier than I’d like when Teddy starts grunting in his bed next to mine. I had slept pretty deeply though so this wasn’t the worst wake up I’ve ever had. I feed the baby, put him back in his bed, and fall back asleep.

6:15 AM: Again, Teddy? Teddy lets me know that he is awake by talking to himself and loudly filling his diaper. I pray that a diaper change and another meal will put him back to sleep for a little while. It does! I don’t want to move him back to his bed because he would surely wake up again so I settle myself next to him and doze off.

7:30 AM: Teddy is still sleeping but I can hear Ben shuffling around in his room. Ben knocks on his door when he is ready for us to get him up so I have time to check email and Twitter. Brian is gone at Pressnomics right now so I don’t have backup for mornings and evenings.

7:50 AM: Ben knocks and Teddy is still sleeping. I slide out of bed, leaving Teddy sound asleep and let Ben out of his room. I change a gross diaper and get his breakfast while cleaning up the kitchen and listening for Teddy.

8:00 AM: Ben requests to watch Toy Story 3 and since we don’t have any plans to leave the house today, a long movie isn’t going to throw off the day. He also wants some frozen veggies to snack on. Weird, yes, but my thought is that he likes how cold they are on his gums. We’re all ready for him to be done teething!

8:30 AM Teddy wakes up and goes to play in his activity gym while I drink a chai latte and start this post from the floor next to the baby. I also complete a few surveys since my computer is out and the boys are happy. Brian thinks the surveys are silly since they don’t amount to much cash flow but over the years, I’ve paid for my maternity wardrobe, got free gift cards for presents, and funded an iced coffee addiction without a cent coming out of our bank account. I redeemed enough points earlier this month to get $70 sent to me via Paypal for our Disney trip next month. Every dollar helps and $70 is a lot of dollars!

9:30 AM: My mom and youngest sister come over to play! I didn’t tell Ben and he is thrilled when he sees his Grammy’s van pull into the driveway. My youngest sister and Ben play really well together and Mom volunteers to snuggle the baby (hardship) so I can shower in peace.

12:30 PM: I tuck Teddy in bed for his nap. He falls asleep in about 3 minutes. I make chicken nuggets and sweet potato waffle fries for the kids for lunch while mom and I figure out details for our upcoming Disney trip. Mom asks Ben if he’d like to spend the night and the answer is a resounding YES from both of us. He hasn’t slept over at my parents’ house since Thanksgiving and he is very excited. I’m excited to just have the baby tonight and hopefully sleep in tomorrow.

1:00 PM: Ben goes down for his nap and I pack for his night at Grammy and Papa’s house. I sit down for my own lunch and figure out my plans for nap time. I put together some baja butternut squash soup in the crock pot to cook while I’m bringing Ben to my parents’ house later. I finish fleshing out my grocery list because I’m going to stop on my way home tonight. Grocery shopping with only one kid sounds like such a treat!

3:45 PM: Both boys are up from their naps. The first words out of Ben’s mouth were, “Go to Grammy’s house now!” He is totally ready. It takes a while to get this circus out the door though. I stop at our rental house on the way to pick up some mail that got delivered there instead of to the new house.

4:30 PM: At my parents’ house, Ben takes off like a shot to find his toys. Mom cuddles the baby (again) while I hunt down the rest of the bedding for the doll bed Mom returned to me last week. Ben has loved putting the babies to sleep and telling us all to shhhhh so I know he’ll appreciate having enough blankets to go around.

5:15 PM: Teddy and I give Ben kisses and leave to go grocery shopping. Shopping takes me at least three times as long because I decided to go to a different store than usual. I do find everything on my list though plus an extra special loaf of sourdough bread that was still warm from the oven.

6:45 PM: We arrive back home and Teddy is grumpy and exhausted. I feed, change, pajama, and swaddle him and put him in bed. He is asleep in no time. I puree the squash soup in the crock pot, slice the fresh bread I just bought, and collapse onto the couch for a few episodes of Iron Chef America.

10:00 PM: Bed time for me! It takes forever to get the kitchen cleaned up to my liking, toys put away, and get Teddy fed and changed again. I have the brilliant idea to see if Teddy would sleep better without a swaddle blanket so I don’t wrap him after he eats. He flails around for a while but seems to sleep ok. Maybe this will work?

11:50 PM: Going without the swaddle was a bad choice! I give up and swaddle him again. Teddy falls asleep immediately and so do I. Good night!

Winter Slump

DeathtoStock_Creative Community8Sometimes I wonder if I’d enjoy going back to work part-time. Has the honeymoon period of being a stay-at-home mom worn off? I love being home with the boys but it is really hard most days and relatively thankless, even with as great of a husband as Brian. The boys never seem to thank me for cleaning up poop or scraping dried food bits off the dining room wall. Having two very small people dependent on me 24 hours of every day of the week makes it hard to measure personal accomplishments in any other units of measure than “two kids still alive and relatively clean” or “4 loads of laundry washed today.”

I know so many people who work in a field they love or, if they stay home with their kids, have a hobby that stretches and reenergizes them. I have yet to find a pastime that does the same for me and while I was a superb administrative assistant, that was not my life’s calling. I loved being around people and enjoyed having new stories to tell at the end of the day though. Staying at home with kids is as tiring as I expected but more lonely than anticipated.

Part of me says I keep revisiting this idea because we’ve been cooped up at home for one too many days during frigid weather over the past few weeks. Cabin fever is alive and well here in Michigan during the winter! Maybe I just need a change of pace? January is always a bit of a letdown after all the excitement of the Christmas season.

Part of me says I think of this often because, while many of the risks we took last summer for our family’s finances have paid off, not all have and due to that, we are in the process of dusting off skills we haven’t used in years and figuring out what thrift looks like for a family of 4. If I worked even just a little, that would help our budget’s bottom line.

Part of me says that while my job is to manage and stretch our family’s resources to the best of my ability, it is difficult to reconcile being the one who only spends money and never replaces it.

In short, I don’t know where this is heading. I used to think that by my upper 20s, I’d be all grown up and not need to make any big life changes or decisions. I’m starting to realize that there isn’t an “up” to grow to and that we should all continuously grow forward in one form or another but where is my personal forward leading?

Welcome

I thought it time that I finally act on my idea of starting a blog to record some of the happenings around the Richards residence as well as share some of the things I’ve learned about running the house and family.

I’ve always been interested in the skills people attribute to homemakers. I’ve been sewing, washing laundry, cooking, crocheting, cleaning (yuck), and ordering people around for a long time. I remember being frustrated during my freshman year of college when I had to declare a major because I already knew that all I wanted from life was to be a mom and take care of my family. It took a few years to find the right guy who supported that life goal and a few years beyond that for me to be able to quit my day job but I love what I do today.

Things I am good at: Telling people what to do, remembering where things are kept, finding recipes my family will enjoy, loving my boys

Things I don’t do well: Dust the house, deal with bugs or spiders, part with any sentimental object, take out the trash in a timely manner.

I’m not entirely sure what I’ll be posting here but I’m excited to start!