How in the world does Radio Shack survive?
My husband just returned from buying 25 feet of cable. The price difference between Radio Shack and the orange store (our 3-year-old's name for Home Depot) was $9. I wouldn't exactly call that competitive pricing.
I wanted to know if anyone else was in the store. Any time I've been by one or for whatever reason inside of a Radio Shack, I've pretty much been the only customer. Surprisingly, my husband said there were a couple of other people in the store. However, I'll bet they didn't buy anything.
So, what am I missing? Why are these stores still around? Is it exceptional customer service? Do they have products that others don't carry? Seriously, tell me the answer or I'm going to keep losing sleep!
Oh, I'm kidding, the only thing that keeps me up these days is less than two feet and always willing to snuggle. But, I do wonder about Radio Shack when my thoughts aren't otherwise occupied with dishes and diapers. Aren't my thoughts fascinating?
Stay tuned for my thoughts on generic verses name brands. It should be riveting!
I reached a Mommy Milestone this week.
My husband had to be out of town for business which means I've had all three kiddos by myself for the last couple of nights. Normally, this would be no big deal, but this is the first time I've had three by myself. And since the oldest isn't yet 3 1/2, I consider this to be a milestone. In fact, I just might have to put it in the scrapbook.
What, you may ask, does this have to do with frump fighting? Well, it's simple. Times like these call for a review of the basics, such as, well, showering. It is pretty tough to fight any type of frump if you have greasy hair and smell like a milk factory from nursing the baby.
So, I take a shower at night. I know that I'm going to be woken up at least twice in the eight hours that I attempt to be in the vicinity of my bed. That makes it highly unlikely that I'll leave my bed to shower before the first munchkin clamors for breakfast or the potty or whatever.
Of course, if you miss the shower once or twice because you collapse in utter exhaustion once the baby finally goes to sleep, no worries. The more frazzled and frumpy you look when Hubby returns, the more likely it is you'll be allowed to go out by yourself on Saturday morning. (That is absolutely not a hint for my husband. Not at all, promise.)
So hit the shower and fight the frump. For more tips, visit Fussy!
So, the question he seems to be asking is, "Will Mommy again say no when I open these doors? Or, does no only apply to the first 27 times I opened them today?"
It seemed that everywhere we turned there was something else being advertised as something we desperately needed for our baby. Not only that, but then there were checklists of what to pack in diaper bags. It kind of seemed like the old saying, that we needed everything but the kitchen sink. Except, the kitchen sink is kind of handy. It washes baby quite well, but I digress.
Newborns are so tiny. So, how come they come with so much stuff?
Well, because people make money off of us parents thinking they need it all.
Fortunately for my family's finances, I found the book Baby Bargains. It offers practical advice on what you do and don't need for baby. It even recommends certain items and says why they are good for the money. I didn't follow it religiously, but it did help me say no to things that we never ended up needing.
If you aren't interested in needing a new house to hold baby's stuff, and you are pretty sure you'd max out credit cards trying to acquire all the recommended items, then this book is worth checking out. It worked for us.
Check back next week when I'll share my must-have baby items. The list isn't that long. Amazingly, my babies have done just fine without all the latest and greatest baby items.
Please be sure to check out Rocks in My Dryer for more tips and ideas.
So, I sat in the DMV, bored. Bored! I had Baby Girl with me, but she was snoozing. So, I rummaged through the diaper bag to find some entertainment and lo and behold I discovered that I don't usually carry a magazine or book for mama. I wasn't quite desperate enough to play with the mini Elmo sticker books I found, so I just sat.
However, it wasn't long before I began thinking of the story I would have to tell if Big Sister and Little Man had been with me. Think about it. I was in the DMV at nap time. There were people everywhere--civilized people. It was relatively quiet, except for the calling of numbers for which I could discern no certain pattern.
I, as an adult, take in the setting and take the cue to sit quietly and wait for my number. My children would have surveyed the same scene and found it the perfect place to test mama's parenting skills.
Thanks to a dear friend, I didn't have the older children with me. Therefore it only got as exciting as hearing the two teenage boys beside me debate which was better--McDonald's or Wendy's.
Oh, and I did hear the one boy say "I love you," multiple times into his cell phone.
After hanging up, he said "I've never heard I love you so many times in my life!"
His friend asked, "Who was it?"
"My mom," he replied.
Well, it made me smile to hear that, because you and I both know that he secretly loves that his mom does that. Of course, I get that he had to play it cool for his friend. I mean that friend knows important stuff, like why Wendy's is better than McDonald's.
And that is what I learned at the DMV.
Oh, and that if you are pressed for time, you can arrange an appointment. You simply pay an additional $9.50 to pay more money at a specific time to get a new license plate. I guarantee a mom who had all her children in tow requested they start scheduling appointments. I know I'd pay to avoid waiting with my children. Heck, those people waiting would probably pay for me if they knew what my children were capable of given the wide open possibilities of a waiting room.
Oh, I kid, because really my kids are pretty good. But, we all have our moments and, well, most of my children's moments happen in public. Because, you know, it's fun to see mama get all flustered and try to chase them with a baby in her arms or while pushing a stroller.
Okay, I'm off to put some mama reading material in the diaper bag. That way, in about 18 years, when I find myself bored again, I'll have some reading material. Except by then, I won't be carrying a diaper bag. I hope.
Here are my two favorite pictures from the weekend.
This is before they ingested massive amounts of candy. Scary, I mean cute, huh?
I have no doubt this will be a favorite of mine for years to come. I pray my girls will look back and see that they were friends from the time they met.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. We are so blessed. It humbles me.
Still, the best part of the weekend is that Big Sister is starting to understand the story of Easter more and more. I believe it can't completely be understood by the human mind, but I pray that she and her siblings will one day accept it by faith.
Happy Belated Easter! (It is something we should celebrate daily anyways.)
- It seems to be bloggy tradition to write 100 things about yourself for your 100th post. Well, this is my 100th post and these are my hundred things. I've never in my life written so many sentences that begin with "I." I've also never felt quite so egocentric.
- I think 100 seems like a really large number right now.
- I was born in Ohio.
- I moved to Colorado when I was 15.
- I drove with my mom from Ohio to Colorado.
- We drove across Kansas.
- I promised I'd never live in Kansas.
- I moved to Kansas when I got married.
- I swore I'd never live in the South.
- Three years later, I moved to Arkansas.
- I swore I'd never live in Hawaii.
- Three years later, we moved back to Kansas.
- I'm married to my college sweetheart.
- Our relationship began at Disneyland.
- He maneuvered his way in line to ride the Indiana Jones ride with me.
- The rest is history.
- We have 3 children.
- We had them all within 3 years and 3 months.
- We're not crazy, just a bit busy.
- All of my children have family names.
- I have a twin sister.
- I have two younger brothers.
- Both of my "little" brothers are nearly a foot taller than me.
- I used to be a seventh and eighth grade teacher.
- I hope to never teach those grades again.
- I truly admire middle school teachers.
- I still don't want to be one.
- I quit teaching to stay home with my first child.
- I don't regret that decision one bit.
- That doesn't mean I don't occasionally have days when I wish I had a job outside my home.
- But those days are pretty few and far between.
- They usually happen when one of my children is in a "stage."
- I'm very grateful that my husband works so hard.
- I tend to be a bit of an overachiever.
- This is both a strength and a weakness.
- I need to learn to let some things go.
- I used to always be caught up on the laundry.
- I no longer am caught up on the laundry. (See #17.)
- This is one of those things that I've had to learn to let go.
- I always want the house to look just so and that is another thing I've got to let go.
- I like to cook.
- But not so much every night.
- I think baking cookie dough ruins perfectly good dough.
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips are my favorite candy.
- I could eat chips and salsa everyday.
- But I don't.
- I'm a bit of a health nut.
- But this is in theory only.
- It isn't terribly unusual for me to drink a chemical-laden soda with my all-organic salad.
- I'm attempting to switch all of our household products to more natural ones that are better for us and the environment.
- I think this is easier said than done.
- I'm teaching myself to crochet.
- I'd rather learn to knit.
- Knitting intimidates me.
- I think it must be the two needles, rather than one hook, that scare me a bit.
- I'm not very crafty.
- But, I like to scrapbook.
- I also like to do crafts with my children.
- But, I don't like to clean them up.
- I love to read.
- I usually have 3 or 4 books going at the same time.
- I rarely leave the library with less than 4 or 5 books.
- This doesn't include the books I check out for my children.
- I like to exercise.
- This doesn't mean I do it often.
- I'm good at starting projects.
- I'm not so good at finishing the very last details.
- I think almost any house decor can be made better by painting it black.
- I have a yellow lab.
- I gave him a lot more attention before I had children.
- I moved five times in my first six years of marriage.
- I think moving is a fun adventure.
- However, I hope I don't have to move again anytime soon.
- I like to write thank-you notes.
- Fall is my favorite season.
- Spring is my next favorite season.
- Right now, I'm trying to start sentences with something other than "I."
- I could do without the months of August and February.
- I don't watch much television.
- However, I love LOST.
- I'm not much of a reality TV fan.
- I do realize this apparently makes me quite different from the rest of American television viewers.
- I'm a bit of a hypochondriac.
- This drives my husband crazy.
- I'm constantly reorganizing things in my house.
- This also drives my husband crazy.
- I'm glad my husband is a patient man.
- I like to read fashion magazines.
- However, I rarely wear anything but jeans and a top.
- I first tried coffee in college.
- I was hooked.
- Ironically, I mostly drink decaf with lots of flavored creamer.
- I wear glasses.
- I'd love to wear contacts, but ever since I was pregnant with my son, I can't.
- He is worth it.
- Still, if I ever win the lottery, I'm fixing my eyes and my teeth.
- I'll also donate to some worthy causes.
- I don't buy lottery tickets.
- I don't usually buy name brands.
- I'm loyal to Dawn dish soap and that is about it.
- The most important thing about me is that I'm a believer in Jesus, the rest is just the details.
I remember things like sitting in a shoe store holding a little toy while my sister tried on shoes. I must have been no older than four or five.
I also remember jumping on my bed in yellow pajamas while my sister and I sang “tractor, tractor.”
Don't ask, because I have no idea.
I remember the seventh grade spelling bee. Fun times.
Of course, I also remember the monumental things in my life, but it is always humorous to me to realize those other, everyday moments I remember.
In fact, I remember that exactly eleven years ago, I was fretting about what to wear. You see, I was getting ready for my first date with a guy I'd gotten to know over spring break.
It was my freshman year of college and this was going to be my first real date since starting college.
We went to dinner at a local Italian restaurant. Afterwards, we went to see a play. Dinner was good, but the play was awful.
We ended the night by going for a walk.
Eleven years, five moves, and three children later, we still go for walks.
I suppose it isn't funny that I remember that day eleven years ago. Rather, it would be sad if I forgot.
Right after having a baby, it can be a tad, make that quite challenging to fight the frump. This is especially so if you nurse your baby. So many clothing options don't make for convenient or discreet nursing. That's why I'm loving my new nursing tanks.
Seriously, what could be better than being able to keep the old belly covered while nursing? Well, except for miraculously having your belly return to its previous shape or better all within 24 hours.
In case you've not seen a nursing tank, let me explain. It is simply a tank that functions like a bra. There is a little plastic clip or snap located on each strap. It is easy to release this and feed the baby. Simply wear the tank under a shirt and all you need to do is lift your top layer and feed the baby. The tank keeps your belly covered.
I bought mine at Target--where else? The store near me carries black, gray, and white tanks. They retail for about 17 dollars. However, if you're willing to spend a bit more, I know there are some great web sites out there that sell some really cute nursing tanks. I'll warn you that the straps on the ones from Target are a tad frumpy. However, they look pretty darn cute compared to my postpartum belly and that is all I'll say about that!
One word of caution--it might, hypothetically speaking, be easy to forget to pull the top layer back down over the tank. This could happen if you were easily distracted with other children while trying to leave the house. You might want to always double check that the top shirt is pulled down, or you could look a bit silly when you arrive at your destination.
A friend's sister-in-law might look at your belly strangely. You might start to think, "Yes, my belly is still a bit pudgy. Cut me some slack. My baby is only six weeks old." You then might ask her if something is wrong, to which she'll ask if your shirt is supposed to be like that. You just might look down and notice that you've forgotten to pull your shirt all the way back over your nursing tank. Oops. Not that I would know about this or anything. I mean how frumpy would that be? Seriously, sheesh!
For more tips on Fighting the Frump, visit Fussy!
One might especially think this would be the case if your 3 year old woke up at her usual time, rather than sleep in.
In fact, one might think the 3 year old would sleep away most the day if, on that same morning that she didn't sleep in, you took her to a long play date.
Well, one could think that all she wants, but she would be very wrong.
And in other news, one might find that her kitchen should be shut down by the health department based upon what she found while cleaning under her toddler's booster seat.
Anyone know how to get the health department to visit your house? I'm thinking one might be able to find lots of things to do if she couldn't be otherwise occupied in the kitchen.
This time I thought I'd share my favorite bib. It's from Wally World and retails for around four dollars.
I couldn't find a link to it. Fortunately, I did find a willing, if a bit grumpy, little model.
Hopefully this picture is good enough for you to find one for yourself. That is, if you're in the market for a new bib. And, if you find yourself frequently cleaning the floor near where your toddler eats, you should be in the market for one.
These bibs are extremely convenient. I just spray mine off at the sink between meals. Then, every so often, or you know, when I notice a stench coming from the bib, I toss it in the washing machine with some bleach.
The best part of the bib is the little pocket at the bottom. It does a great job of catching the majority of the meal. The rest goes in his mouth. It will even hold a cup of milk if your toddler gets tired of dunking graham crackers and decides to dump the rest in his bib. Not that I would know about this of course.
Find out what works for others by visiting Rocks in My Dryer.
Little Man is determined to do things that just might get him a trip to the ER. He apparently seized the opportunity when my back was turned, snapping Big Sister's picture, to try and find some trouble. No worries, I told him to stop--right after I snapped his picture that is.
Finally, we have the one who didn't get the same memo as Big Sister and Little Man. Rather than try to derail mama's plans at every opportunity, she just patiently waited in her car seat. Once it became apparent that her mama was not capable of getting everyone ready quickly, she decided to take a nap.
No wonder I'm always ready for a nap once I climb into my car seat.
So, you're probably thinking the last thing I'm qualified to tell you about is a hand lotion. However, since no one is checking my credentials, you're at my mercy.
Oh, I'm kidding, not about the state of my hands, but about not being able to share a good tip with you.
Here it is. Try using Burt's Bees Almond Milk Beeswax Hand Cream. After one application, your hands will feel more like fine grain sandpaper. The second application should make them pretty close to normal. Use regularly and you're good to shake hands, slap high five, give a massage, whatever.
Just please don't do what I do and let the product go untouched sitting by your kitchen sink. Sure, the glass jar looks pretty cute, but you have to actually open it to make it work and keep your hands from being suitable for sanding that cute piece of furniture sitting in your garage that you've been meaning to paint for years, uh, I mean months.
One last thing I should share is about the product's smell. It is a bit different. I like it, but then again, I have granola girl tendencies.
Be sure to visit Fussy for more tips on Fighting the Frump.
So, as I studied the wallpaper, I envisioned what could be. I thought of the fabulous red shade I'd paint the walls to complement the wood cabinets. Then, my mind drifted to the black and white plates I'd hang on the wall. I even pulled them out of the cabinet to show my friend so that she could ooh and ahh with me. She probably wasn't as impressed as she acted, but I was too busy dreaming of my future kitchen to notice.
We continued by talking of window treatments and wall decor.
Finally, I decided I'd start taking down the wallpaper tomorrow during nap time. At that point, something silver caught my eye. It was my travel coffee mug sitting on the table. It was then I realized that the coffee had taken over my brain.
What in the world was I thinking of tackling a redecorating project when I'm struggling just to keep up with the laundry and the food? Oh, and three small children. I'm sure there are mamas out there who can do those things. The coffee companies should be thankful for them.
As for me, it's back to the decaf and fancy creamers. I shudder to think what projects I might start tackling if I drink the real stuff--probably something like mopping, or worse, dusting. No wonder they call caffeine a drug.
Anyways, Big Sister joined me on the floor and took off her socks. Did she want lotion? No, she did not. She simply wanted to search for toe jam and pick it out. Fortunately, there was none to be found. Just wait until sandal weather sweetie.
Truly, this job of mine grows more glamorous by the day.
Next up, simultaneous nose and toe picking. It's kind of like patting your head and rubbing your belly, but better, and you know, more glamorous.
"Big hug!" said Little Man as he tightly wrapped his little arms around me.
It was the first time he both clearly asked for and initiated a hug. It was not the first time he ate something inedible--not by a long shot, but that is another story.
Not a bad way to end a weekend huh?
"Hurry up buddy."
"Mommy will be there in just a minute baby."
"Okay sweetie, I'll be there as soon as finish this."
These are all things I say many, many times each and every day.
That is why it hit home when I read A Woman After God's Own Heart by Elizabeth George. One of the latter chapters addresses how a woman who follows the Lord should order her priorities. They are listed as follows.
- Your husband
- Your children
- Your home
- Your spirtual growth
- You ministries
- Other activities
I wholeheartedly agree with this list. But, I have to ask myself, if this is the case, why do I frequently leave my Bible unopened while I reach for the phone to call a friend? Also, why do I give my children a quick kiss as I rush to do the laundry or wash the dishes? And, why do I not stop what I'm doing to greet my husband when he arrives home after a long day at work? I do believe my list is all too often upside down.
Lord, please help me to always have my priorities in the proper order.
Oh, and I should note that the title of this post came from my husband. As he noticed what I was writing, he asked if I was blogging again about what is really important. I sheepishly said I was, because honestly, I'm much better about writing about what is important than acting on what is important. I'm grateful for a God who doesn't give up on me and a husband who is incredibly patient.
Here's to a week where I put first things first!
Me: (While changing an incredibly stinky diaper) Where should you go poo-poo?
Little Man: (Said with great conviction) 'Da bath!
Me: Well, yes you tend to do that, but we go poo-poo in the potty.
Little Man: (Looks at me like I'm crazy and says nothing)
Perhaps he will get a little more "press time" after all.
Really, Little Man does many things that would make for a good story. Unfortunately, they might also make me look like I fail to appropriately supervise my child. So, I rarely share these in the written form. I'm sure anyone with a little boy understands. The trouble he can get into is truly amazing. It is even entertaining, except when it's not.
The other reason I'm pretty sure I don't share as many stories about Little Man is that he isn't as verbal. Big Sister says something hilarious nearly everyday if not every hour. Of course, most of the time she doesn't mean to be funny, but three-year-old logic is by definition hilarious. Take for example the following quote.
"This shirt is almost too big for me, but that's okay because when you turn the page you get to the monster at the end of the book."
Uh, huh. See. It's funny. It's funny because it makes no sense, but I have no choice other than to agree with her. I don't want to hurt her feelings and I have no idea what she is talking about so really, how could I correct her?
Of course, then there are the serious questions she asks while we talk about important things.
Me: Who made you? (I'm looking for her to say God. She has said it numerous times. She knows the answer.)
Big Sister: (Shrugs to show me she isn't in the mood for answering easy questions.)
Me: God, right?
Big Sister: Did he make my boogers too?
Me: Yeah, I guess so.
Again, this is funny.
So, you see how a post that I mean to dedicate to my one and only son can easily turn into Big Sister stealing the show. At least he got the title.
I love you big guy! Please be careful! Mommy can only handle so many close calls. Oh, and no more playing in the flour in the pantry. Mommy doesn't like that so much.
At least tonight's incident didn't start a minor fire.
From now on, I boil water in the microwave.
I'd really like someone to tell me how to get my four-week-old- nursing baby to sleep ten hours at a stretch. But, alas, I know that is a tall order, so I'll settle for you helping me keep my car clean. Oh, who am I kidding, it isn't a car, it's a minivan.
So let me have it. Anything you do to keep your car organized, smelling good, looking good, whatever, please just share your tip. Otherwise, my van is going to be permanently smelling like a diaper pail with the faint scent of curdled-sippy-cup milk lingering in the air. It will also continue to resemble the bottom of my coat closet--not good.
Thanks in advance for your wonderful tips. Please be sure to visit Rocks in My Dryer to share and get more lovely ideas.
Maybe I could get this to work to my advantage. Tonight, I'll try saying, "Don't eat that broccoli. You might get hurt."
Big Sister and Little Man love you too. They try to play with you and you don't mind. Both of them like to hold toy phones to your ears and tell you to say hello. Little Man is always asking to give you a kiss. He kisses the top of your head and is so proud of himself when he does so. You're one lucky girl to have such a good big sister and brother. We're looking forward to seeing the three of you become lifelong friends.
But, don't grow too quickly. Your little body is perfect for holding and we're trying to savor every moment. Though, Daddy and I wouldn't mind if you'd start sleeping through the night.