The Everyday

{P, H, F, R} in our new normal

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Well, I have a few weeks to catch up on, but if you’ve been keeping up you’ll see that the surprise arrival of Littlest has completely changed any plans we had for the month. She’ll be two weeks old tomorrow and I keep looking at the calendar and musing that if babies followed their predicted due dates then I would still have had a week to go, and she would probably have weighed over 10lbs at birth considering that she was only 2oz below 9lbs when she arrived. Now I’ve gotten to hold her, love her, share her with her adoring family, and I have some of my energy back plus I can bend over and even run again. Pluses all around!

Pretty

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It was about a week after coming home before I walked over to our Mary garden in the front yard. The peonies are beginning to bloom and my Lafter roses from the Antique Rose Emporium are really taking off! In the wider circle of the bed the mint that over-wintered are spreading like crazy and the four blueberry bushes are actually berrying! My lavender plant overwintered as well and this year rewarded me with flowers.

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I hung them in my bathroom mainly so they would survive. Hanging herbs and flowers don’t survive anywhere a toddler can grab a chair.

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The Mary garden looked so lovely I used it as a background for Littlest’s birth announcement picture. I even included one of the Lafter roses that was starting to lose its petals.

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Adding some pictures to our house. Actually the girls’ room has had these pictures in it since we moved them into the larger of the two kids’ bedrooms, but I never got a picture.

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These are stationery cards from Sarah Jane. They have all the months of the year but I singled out the girls’ birth months and put them in quick frames until I can do something better with them. Some of the girls were jealous that Littlest, being born in May, got the girl holding the flower bouquet. That would mainly be Princess, who being born in September gets the girl holding the lunchbox. 😉

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The girls make nice wall companions for Jill’s ballerina. 🙂

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Then I found this gem and knew I HAD to have it in my foyer.

Happy Funny

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Rascal drew this sign for the new baby’s homecoming. He was so excited he apparently forgot all the rules for capitals and punctuation.

Funny

Two weeks ago, Posey Pie seemed like such a tiny baby. Now she’s a giant one.

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Big enough to share our new acquisition with Littlest (and luckily enjoys it).

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I’m head over heels for this stroller. Part of it may be because I got it for only $14 thanks to carefully hoarded Amazon points, and part of it may be because it truly is the best double stroller I’ve ever owned, and I’ve owned two others.

Real

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Sunshine cut her hair again. Above her ear. She now has an official “pixie cut,” unless you’re asking Dino, who will just tell you she looks like a boy. So we don’t ask Dino. And actually, Sunshine looks pretty darn cute with that pixie cut, and it saves me time getting her out the door, so I’m reconciled.

The Everyday

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

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Notice my {} keys work again? We finally got a new keyboard for the computer. That was just stubbornness on our part. But it is nice to have every key working again.

Pretty

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Morning sunrise this morning through the window next to the front door.

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My dogwood blossoms out front. I took this on a cloudy day, though, but I really wanted Mom to see them since her visits will be after the blossoming time.

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As the weather warmed I began to take stock of the children’s warm weather clothing. The year’s growth meant that Miss M inherited a good deal of Sunday dresses from Princess and Sunshine, who together share a wardrobe as they still wear the same sizes. I needed to do something for Princess and Sunshine until Grandma’s Easter dresses arrive (she’s finished sewing them, with matching doll dresses to boot. When I grow up I want to have that much time to sew. ;)), and luckily over the weekend I discovered a clearance at the Carter’s website.

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Ironically, this was the dress I thought Princess would like, but when I laid them out for the girls to see, they each picked the ones I had imagined for the other. No matter, they’ll be sharing them all year. 😉

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 They danced and twirled and wanted to stay in them all day, until I told Princess she couldn’t wear hers outside if she wanted to wear it on Palm Sunday. So she changed her clothes. Sunshine deferred going outside so she could wear her dress longer, in a spurt of pure girliness. Then she managed to get butter smeared on it because she saw me cooking in the kitchen. C’est la vie!

Funny

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Posey Pie uses a knitted hat to pretend-wash our front storm door. This was during my attempt to stow away the winter gear.

Real

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Homemade herbal balms. Getting ready for the bumps/bruises/bug bite season. My sis and I have plans for these to be in our Etsy store later. Stay tuned!

housekeeping · The Everyday

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real — End of March edition

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Thank goodness for Thursdays. You might never hear from me otherwise!

Of course there’s plenty of excuses for not blogging, but the main one is that we’re still holding down the fort as Haus Meister pulls 60-70 hr work weeks, and sometimes just going to bed twenty minutes after the kids do is the best option. Oh, and then there’s the stomach bug that hit last week and proceeded to make its way through the family. Fortunately it did not hit everyone with the same intensity. Four children had it worse, one boy had it less, Haus Meister and I suffered slightly, and Miss M and Posey missed it entirely. Whew.

One wonderful thing to come from this week is a new family prayer tradition, but that deserves its own blogpost so I will make time to do that this weekend.

Meanwhile…

Pretty

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On Tuesday we had snow. Yes, snow. It didn’t stick of course. It came down sometimes in gusts and sometimes like flurries and meanwhile I stood looking at my daffodils bending in the breeze and wondered just what month it is again? 😉 I had already removed my pots of blueberry bushes and the lavender plant to shelter from the frosts of the past three nights. This is most likely Winter’s Last Hurrah down here, but Sunshine at least is still enjoying it. In the picture we are leaving speech therapy (she and Trooper go on the same day–she has an expressive language delay that is rapidly improving, especially based on her charming rendition of “Hot Tross Buns”), and while Trooper had already hopped into the van (he does not like snow), Sunshine wanted to stand and revel in it.

Happy

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Happy girlies in the morning. I draw your attention away from their lovely smiles and the cheerio mess behind them and toward the doll in Miss M’s arms. That doll and I go way back; she was a Christmas gift from my aunt and uncle on Christmas Eve, 1986. She was a “preemie” edition Cabbage Patch doll, which was appropriate since nearly six years before I had been the preemie of the family. Her name on the Cabbage Patch papers was Ella Giselle but I had it “legally” changed at Cabbage Patch HQ to “Melissa Anne,” thinking it was more elegant and less like the elderly Avon lady who visited my mom often, whose name also was Ella. Bless her. Anyway, “Melissa” was my favorite doll all through childhood and was the nostalgia item I took with me to college after graduation. And of course after I married she came down South and waited five years for the first girl to show up. Sporadically loved by both Princess and Sunshine–and patched up when the latter discovered scissors and wanted to see what the doll’s stuffing was like–“Melissa” has now found a loving mommy again in Miss M. Only now she isn’t called “Melissa,” but has the very original new name of “Dolly.”

So once again Dolly goes everywhere with her new mommy (even moreso, I think, than she did with me) and has many adventures. Like hiding in the tupperware drawer.

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Funny

I feel guilty that most of the pictures on the blog lately are of the younger set of kids. This has nothing to do with favoritism or anything like that, but more because the older set don’t stick around when I’m taking pictures. But last night I took one of Trooper being silly.

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Oh yes, it’s haircut time.

Real

My sister and I aren’t exactly alike in everything but often we have similar ideas. This year we beat off the winter doldrums (more necessary in her case with three months of non-stop snow) by planning ways to make our homes sparkle without harsh chemicals.  My older kids are helping with the chores more so I wanted to have something I could trust in their hands. And making citrus-all-purpose-vinegar cleaner is kind of spring like and nice smelling (when you get past the vinegar). Funnily, we each began ours at the same time without knowing it. Recipe found here. While this is great, my other go-to is a 1:1 mix of water and white vinegar with a few drops of Mrs. Meyer’s Lemon Verbena dish soap. But back to the citrus thing now.

Mine:

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Hers:

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Then there’s the five gallons of laundry detergent I whipped up in my kitchen and the jars of homemade dishwasher soap.  Those are working pretty well so far, although I get the occasional cloudy glass still. I have seen little difference between the store bought laundry detergent and the one made here–except mine smells nicer. 😉 My sister and I are also brainstorming ideas for our Etsy store this spring and comparing orders and label ideas. She’s making lip glosses and moisturizers, I’m making salves. Or at least I will, once the MountainRose Herbs order arrives. 😉 I’m pretty sure our dad thinks we’ve jumped off some neo-hippie deep end, but it’s been a fun way to spend the cold end of winter.

family life · homeschooling · The Everyday · The fine art of crafting

Yarn Along & P,H,F,R for the third week of March

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Happy St. Joseph’s Day (a day late) and Happy First Day of Spring!

I was going to stay up a bit last night and make these two separate posts, but I’m glad I didn’t because we had a preschool night owl. We’re talking wide awake from 3:30-5:30. Two hours doesn’t sound so bad I guess, but it is when she’s constantly crawling in and out of your bed. It’s one of those things you know happens for a reason but I’m not sure what that reason is right now. 😉

I did get more work done on the special vest this week. A few more rows and the back will be done and then I’ll be working on the front.

photo 4Admittedly not the best picture but I took it yesterday hoping to post it then, and the lighting was way off. See the little cable owls there in the front of the vest? I’ve been wanting to do something with cable owls ever since I started knitting again.

Next to the vest is my pile of Lenten reading. Small Steps I’ve been reading since last October. It’s the best I’ve ever done with a daily devotional book, which says a lot. I am almost through with Fulton Sheen’s Life is Worth Living which has been excellent. Guardini’s Learning the Virtues is not a quick chapter book. You definitely need to take it a chapter and a time and ponder it as you go. That book is better than I expected, and I’m only three chapters in. Lent with St. Therese is something I’ve incorporated into our morning prayertime before school so the kids have something to do with me during Lent.

And now….

Pretty

Let’s talk Easter a moment, shall we?

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Easter dresses, specifically! The fabric is from Sarah Jane’s Wee Wander collection. The blue is for Sunshine and the pink for Princess. Miss M is going to wear Princess’ dress from last year because that girl has a surfeit of fancy dresses for Church, let me tell you. She’s finding it very good to be on the receiving end here. Posey will wear the dress and pinafore my mother-in-law smocked for Princess four years ago. I find girls’ church dresses much easier to pass on than their play clothes. It’s all the pastel colors–they attract every stain. Particularly when you’re a toddler fond of frozen blueberry snacks. But I digress. The pattern for this year’s Easter dresses is hot of the presses at Oliver & S. And no, I’m not making these myself. My mother-in-law once again graciously volunteered. 🙂

Meanwhile I’m starting to gather ideas for Easter baskets. Haus Meister and I usually give each other a little something just because and this year our gifts to each other arrived long before I’ve finalized the plans for the kids’ basket.

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A yarn sampler and a homebrew kit. We’re going to be quite happy with our projects in April. 🙂 The yarn is the Billow line from Knitpicks and came packaged as a “Garden Fresh” sampler. I want to make a baby blanket out of it for the Littlest but am not sure yet how to arrange the colors into stripes. I’m trying to finish my other projects first. 🙂

Happy

Ah, Posey Pie’s birthday. It was quite fun. I still don’t have all the pictures but I’ll share some that I do.

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Not very impressed with the crown that Grandma is trying to keep on her head long enough for a picture. In fact, Princess commandeered that crown and is now wearing it like a fascinator, which is pretty amusing.

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The Blueberry Pi Pie! This was Haus Meister’s favorite. I also made an apple pie and a coconut cream pie. Oh so good. Oh so not Lent.

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The loot, comprised of gifts from parents, aunts & uncles and grandparents. Can you tell she’s an English Literature major’s daughter? We needed more board books in our home library and these are all charming. The Cozy Classics Austen ones are hilarious–felt dolls acting out scenes from the books and one word descriptions of the scene introduce the youngest reader to Jane Austen. The S&S opposites primer was quite amusing as well. Those are holy cards on a keyring for Mass as well as the faith related board books. At Christmas I gave the little girls a “first Bible board book” but learned quickly that we couldn’t bring it to Church as they would look at the animal pages and loudly inform me what sounds each animal made.

And incidentally, that’s the third copy of 1 is One that we’ve owned. You know it’s good when you go through so many copies.

Funny

Dino was here.

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I walked into the boys’ room to put their laundry on their dressers (ostensibly so they would actually put it away) and nearly tripped over his collection.

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Last night I sent the kids downstairs to clean the family room/playroom and instead they seemed to have artistically rearranged the toys. On top of the rug that is in sore need of a good clean. The person at the foot of the table is getting a good deal of protein in their diet. 😉

Real

The pies I did well. The cake for St. Joseph Day? Not so well.

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I noticed as the layers were baking that while I had separated the five egg yolks and added them to the mixing bowl, I had neglected to add the five egg whites. And to please a family member who doesn’t like cream cheese, I used  Greek yogurt in the icing but something tells me that wasn’t the best substitution. I was going to joke that “this is cake baking with pregnancy brain” but seeing the list angle of our layer cake I realized that no, about 50% of my cakes turn out that way. This one particularly channels the cake I made long ago for my parents’ 19th Wedding Anniversary. Both that cake and this reminded me of the cake in Sleeping Beauty that the fairy tries to prop up with a broom, and both also had very drippy powdered sugary icing. The kids, however, loved this cake. Miss M is about to steal a finger of icing there, and I caught her with Sunshine later scooping up the icing that spilled off the cake with an ice cream scoop. This is probably why Sunshine had such an awake night. You’d have thought it would have given her a sugar coma. Ah well…

The Everyday

(p,h,f,r) in the second week of March

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Every week I tell myself that I will blog more in the next seven days so that there’s something in between the (p.h.f.r) days. However, it’s one of the busy seasons at Haus Meister’s work so when he’s working overtime there, our schedule runs a little differently here at home. Flexibility is key, and some nights I’m just too tired to sit in front of the computer. Or I’m doing my Lenten reading. Or I’m knitting. I thought for sure I’d make the Yarn Along link up because I’ve been knitting away at a special something for a very special birthday boy, but lo and behold I haven’t stopped to take a picture of my project yet! It’s so close to being done that I am not going to bother until it is finished, so you can wait in suspense for next Wednesday. Meanwhile, some things from the past week….

Pretty

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I cut this off the cover of last year’s Susan Branch calendar when 2013 ended. I fully agree with the sentiment, and it looks good on my very reflective refrigerator. I also love our growing collection of icon magnets. However, I only just remembered yesterday that this one had the Alleluia printed on it, so I put it to the dark side of the fridge (over there, to the right) until Easter. 😉

Happy

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A bit of Real here. I didn’t make my batter thin enough for perfectly round waffles. Be assured this glorious labor-saving device does indeed produce perfectly round waffles. It even makes two at one time. My parents gave this to me for my birthday and I have used it nearly every week since. Best thing to happen to the kitchen since the refrigerator and dishwasher were replaced!

And just one year ago today…..

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Our niece “Pookahbear”

It’s 3/13/14. Do you remember where you heard the news that white smoke was coming from the Sistine Chapel chimney? We had the Vatican news service going on our computer screen, my sister’s iPod and my phone, and based on connective issues my sister had the news about ten seconds before my phone registered it.  Then I called my in-laws so they could come over for the first glimpse of our new Pope.

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We all gathered around our computer (doubles as a TV) for the occasion. The manila envelope was an instant Pope costume.

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 Funny

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My shopping “helpers.” I do really enjoy taking them grocery shopping with me.

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Backyard fort building.

Real

The girls’ room did get painted this weekend! It’s a lighter blue now (Lowes’ Valspar Oatlands Dainty Blue from their historical collection). To be honest, I think I was tired of all the pink. I suggested a lovely light blue to Princess and she agreed. Blues, warm tan, and reds seem to be my favorite decorating colors, I find. The idea for their new room color may have been inspired by the eeboo growth chart.

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Plus the  blue just sets off all the pink in there to perfection, instead of being just one more pink amongst many. The above is a morning photo; below is the nighttime photo. It is so bright and airy in there now–feels so much less like a dark cave!

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Best of all, it feels genuinely like a girls’ room. Considering that four of them will be in there by May, that’s a good thing (I’m standing where Posey’s toddler bed will go–when she grows into it).

Next week the Restore Workshop begins. I debated with myself about signing up for it. I have had my days of burning the candle at both ends, but compared to lots of the women talking about it, I don’t think I’ve experienced burnout quite like they have yet. However, I don’t want to, and I know those days happen to the best of us. The longer I debated, the more I asked myself, “Is this something you are going to wish you had done and wish it was there for you 5, 10, 15 years from now? Or would you, 5, 10, 15 years from now want to look back at the notes and things you’ve printed and be better able to work through it?” Then I saw it was open also to people who just plain want to avoid burnout, so I signed up and I’m really looking forward to it!

If you haven’t heard about it yet, the workshop website is here, and another great description is here.

LEGO · The Everyday · The fine art of crafting

Yarn Along & (p, h, f, r)

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Pretty

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From the phone camera archives–a tableau from this past New Year’s Eve. Those are bayberry candles burning down in the old tradition: “This bayberry candle comes from a friend /so on Christmas eve burn it down to the end. / For a bayberry candle burned to the socket, / will bring joy to the heart and gold to the pocket.” Now our candles came from a store and not from a friend, and I burned ours on New Years instead of Christmas Eve, so it’s probably a good thing I was just doing it for the sake of an old colonial tradition and also because it smelled great! 😉

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I am still working on my mom’s Shalom cardigan. She knows it is for her now so I can openly boast that I’ve finally knitted something for her. Unfortunately I ran out of yarn, having under-budgeted for the sweater when I bought the yarn a year ago. Since I had to send off for more skeins via mail, I took the time to start on Ysolda’s Mystery Shawl Knit-a-long, only a week behind everyone else–even though I bought the pattern and joined the Ravelry group on January 5! Other knitters might possibly recognize this poor picture as part of Clue 1-B. I know I’m going to go on to Clue 2-A, hopefully before the third clue is released on Monday!

Happy

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The picture I meant to post last week for Yarn Along but never managed to write. See my lovely new Georgette Heyer collection? Perfect for the winter doldrums! Also a new paperback edition of Mansfield Park from Ignatius Critical editions so I don’t have to worry about crazy weird introductions or essays included. Ahhhh… Oh, and the gardening book might just be the answer to our backyard gardening woes. Maybe, just maybe….

The big reddish thing there is the Shalom cardigan in progress. The two skeins of Classic Elite Firefly there propping up the gardening book are for the mystery shawl.

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A blurry look at my cute Miss M in front of my yarn cupboard. Miss M makes me happy. Yarn also helps keep the morale going. The fact that Miss M can’t get to that yarn keeps the peace.

Funny

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I found that I had a “little” extra help taking down the Christmas decorations.

Real

The news of Baby Girl #5 meant that there needed to be a change-up in the bedroom arrangements. When we bought the house, the boys got the larger of the two kids’ bedrooms because they had more stuff (read:LEGO) than the girls and also the girls’ room had a closet organizer that I thought they should appreciate (there were also just 2 girls in the room and Miss M on the way). The girls did appreciate the closet organizer but only as a ladder, so the organizer was ditched pretty quickly. Now the thought of trying to fit five girls into their pink room was getting pretty claustrophobic so we determined to switch out the kids’ rooms.

Enter a friend who owns a professional custom tile company, who had a client who wanted to get rid of a wooden bedroom suite. Knowing our family as he did, our friend arranged for us to get it and came over on Sunday to help Haus Meister unload it. I meanwhile quickly painted over the pink and in a few hours the transformation between rooms was mostly complete (still doing the odds and ends). 

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(I’m standing next to Trooper’s bed, which is the same one that Haus Meister made for him when we lived in the Old Haus).

There is one more thing that the girls need to make their room completely theirs again, though.

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 A new coat of paint!

family life · my thoughts on the subject

Now another Monday…

The plague has for the most part subsided. Trooper is still coughing and sniffling every so often but as soon as school was over for the day he wanted to go outside for as long as the sun was remotely in the sky.  I think I remember the docs telling us in the NICU that by the time he turned eight his lungs would have repaired themselves from some or most of the damage sustained by his premature birth. He’s almost ten now. Since he’s rarely had a problem with breathing since, I doubt we’ll know for sure just how much of the old scarring is still there. I’m just grateful we’ve not had to worry about his lungs for a long time. Now I don’t know why I am saying all this. It’s rather a stream of consciousness stemming from my realizing he really is the last of us to shake the cold/cough/flu/nastiness that hit us two weeks ago.

So anyway it was back to school for us today. We took a Fall Break last week since the floor was half-finished and we were all dropping like flies. Streaming The Magic School Bus episodes on Netflix got us through some of the days. The kids had never seen them before and I had the consolation that we were getting some small sort of education in during the downtime. Still, today was nice to begin our routines again, at least for me. For the kids it was “Do we haaaave toooo???”

Yes.

Moving on.

Haus Meister finished the living room floor last night. He needs to put up the baseboard trims before I can move all the furniture back around. Our huge dining table is at its shortest right now, the extra leaves sitting against the wall so my recliner and some other things have space until my nook is finished. This is the view from my recliner this afternoon.

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It’s dark in the living room because the afternoon sun is shining on the back deck there. Our walls are still “pecan,” not blue. 😉 The door is wide open because Fall came last night and the breeze was cool and delightful without being too cold (while the sun was up). Some fallen leaves even skittered in and I was glad to see them.  So there’s the glimpse of the living room floor and the sign of things to come. Unfortunately this is one of the busiest months of the year at Haus Meister’s workplace and so really that weekend we all got sick was probably indeed our best bet to get this floor done in one fell swoop. Ah well, even though it goes up a bit at a time it is still a far far better thing that we have done. Seriously, now when something spills on this floor I smile like the moms in the paper towel commercials and swipe it all away. It’s glorious! Before I’d be groaning and mentally calculating how much chemical laden carpet cleaner we had sitting up in the cabinet.

And now someone can propel herself across the floor as much as she likes!

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Princess dressed her in the tutu. She thought it was very nice. I think Posey did as well, it’s hard to say. She raspberries at everything these days.

In the front corner of the room I moved two armchairs back from the various parts of the house where we’d left them as well as a random end table. They had been in front of the windows in the previous arrangement but I think I like them here. It must have exuded cosiness because not ten minutes after I arranged this, Miss M crashed there for a nap.

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Sleep is sounding very good right now, so signing off….

family life

I said that on Monday….

…I would be a happy camper. My floor would be down and my not-so-white carpet would be a thing of the past.

It is well, now Tuesday, and the flooring project is about 45-50% complete. I’m writing in my sewing nook but I can see right into the living room and sigh happily at the beautiful flooring that covers almost half the room. I know it is going to be finished soon. I’m content.

The kids all love it. They slide around in sock feet and even Trooper took time out to walk over it. He was also highly amused by watching Haus Meister use the noisy nailer and also the fact that Haus Meister willingly wore ear protection. His toddlerhood history of terrible ear infections means that Trooper lets no one touch his ears without warning. The fact that Daddy voluntarily uses these things caused a quizzical look worthy of Mr. Spock.

So what happened to our plans? The plague, of course!

Well, that’s  melodramatic. Basically everyone in the house except, miraculously, myself, has a terrible cold/flu bug of varying proportions. For example, today Miss M has just the sniffles and can still run around at full tilt eating and scattering frozen blueberries along the way. Haus Meister is flat on his back, utterly wiped out. On the plus side, Miss M was like that on Sunday night so maybe he’s on the mend.

In the meantime I’m drinking my tea and praying to dodge the bullet, caring for the ones who need me most, and taking a moment out of about every fifteen to peek into the family room and smile at the sign of things to come.

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And a hip-hap-happy birthday to my sister!

The Everyday

(pretty, happy, funny, real)

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Starting with REAL.

Not good with Carpet.

A major update is coming to the Haus this weekend and I have to move some things around to get ready. WE’RE GETTING HARDWOOD FLOORS!!!! My heart rejoices! Three things I miss most about my Old Haus are the neighbors, the maple tree in the backyard, and the hardwood floors. The neighbors still rank high in my esteem–we’ve not been able to connect as much with our current ones. They aren’t the stand at your mailbox and chat type. The maple tree has been replaced by a forest, true, but I loved the way the afternoon sun hit it in October and November and made the whole back of the house shine gold. And the floors? I always loved them but never valued them as much until we moved into a home with white carpet.

But that was going to be ok, right? We would just rip up the carpet when the Old Haus sold. Well, it hasn’t sold yet–we’re still praying for an offer, for goodness’ sake!–but on Monday this carpet had its last straw broken. We’ve endured the soils and the stains. We covered the hole in the carpet that black labrador puppy chewed out with a rug (mostly. The rug moves with the kids). We grimaced when Sunshine accidentally dumped a tube of black craft paint on the carpet (the kind that washes off skin but not any type of fabric). After all, we had some slick tile picked out, a warm tile that looked like wood and could be shaped in herringbone style. A real Hobbit floor. As soon as the house sold it would be ours. We just had to hold on….. And not look at the carpet.

Until Monday, as I said. I was working with Trooper in his room and when his lesson was done Rascal passed me in the hall. ‘Oh yeah, Mama,” he casually says, “I forgot to tell you that Sunshine just dumped the rest of the milk out in the living room.”

I shrieked. “Not on the floor?!”

“Um, yeah Mama, on the floor,” he replies, as if to suggest where else?

There was at least half a gallon left in that jug.

Out came the mighty Hoover carpet cleaner, a purchase made to tide us over until the Hobbit floor (and to mop up occasional spills in the bedrooms since they are still carpeted). There’s no chance the carpet pad could have survived the deluge. I attacked that floor more than once, but not all great Neptune’s ocean was enough to wash that milk entirely clean. The second night of cleaning Haus Meister and I just looked at each other and knew enough was enough.

Two years of carpet cleaning, incessant spills, dogs, toddlers, holes, paint. ENOUGH.

Hang Bag End flooring. It was time for a frugal hardwood.

So he went to the store, he found the perfect color. And tonight he brings it home!

By Monday I will have peace of mind again, living in a house with the Toddler Mischief Squad and no white carpet in my living room and sewing nook.

As if it’s looked white since 2011 anyway….

Now for the rest of Pretty, happy, funny:

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The resident Princess turned five not too long ago. She was feted with her choice of strawberry pink cupcakes with pink icing and strawberry pink ice cream. Earlier in the week she also picked out some raspberry pink lemonade from the deli. It was the pinkiest pink day in family history, and she was gracious to share her cupcakes with our troop of Trail Life boys who happened to be meeting at our house her birthday evening to work on a project. The lads were not at all adverse to dive into some sugar, no matter how pink.

Happy 5th Birthday, my biggest girl! You’re a treasure.

housekeeping

Reaping the non-harvest

Behold our garden produce from our 2013 plot!

tomatoes

Yep, that’s the lot. Those are supposed to be Roma tomatoes, by the way. They’re the size of cherry tomatoes.  Ah well. Even the seasoned farmers are losing garden ground to the soggy summer we’ve had.

“Just plan to plant for Fall now,” someone advised us.

Whereupon I looked at him blankly and thought to myself…. Dang, at our current rate of success couldn’t we just put something in the ground that will come up in the SPRING?!