it really sucks

Wren keeps asking, “is it pretend?!” No, it really sucks. I can’t believe people spend oodles of money on cool-looking pretend vacuums that do absolutely nothing when you can spend $19.99 on something that actually works. Just let your child go to work while you kick back and drink a mimosa, ha! Ahem. While it doesn’t work great on the two (!) small rugs we own, it’s perfect for the wood floors. And perfect for Wren. It’s much more fun to clean when Wren wants to participate. I really don’t like cleaning, but I’m trying to create a different attitude about it (boy, how many times have I said that?) It’s just never-ending… sigh. You know the drill, Mamas. You turn your attention to one area of the house and meanwhile another disaster zone is created. You can’t get to picking it up and directing your child to help because you’re helping another child, or making dinner, or trying to have a conversation with another adult. It just snowballs! And now we’re entering the world of toys with small parts and puzzles with lots of puzzle pieces and it’s gotten to be a bit overwhelming to me. Side note: I DID just take several boxes and bags of stuff to Goodwill because really, how many shape sorters does a family need?!

But did I tell you the fun (and sad) thing about this vacuum? This past fall I was a guest blogger on Moonfrye, Soleil Moonfrye’s blog. You know, Punky Brewster? Well, she sent me a handwritten note and Target gift card, yahoo! So I spent part of the gift card on this vacuum. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t what Punky would’ve spent her money on, but this Mama has to be a bit more practical with her gifted cash. Boo!

Lovelies, have you cultivated a good attitude about cleaning? How do you do it with small children in your midst? It’s one thing to have things picked up, but I just can’t get to the real nitty gritty cleaning… any ideas? Do you involve your toddler in cleaning too? Thoughts?

 

nesting: salsa and pacifiers

I was gifted with a child-free day today and made use of my special (read: don’t know when this will ever happen again!) time on last-minute nesting projects like finally turning all those October tomatoes into roasted tomato salsa and a big batch of roasted tomato soup. Since I was in the mood to boil water, I also sterilized a bunch of pacifiers. Funny juxtaposition, isn’t it? Ah, well, such is life right now.

I can’t really even begin to describe the great sense of relief I have now that I don’t have to stare at all those tomatoes every time I come through the back door. I’m so grateful they didn’t go to waste because I knew I wouldn’t be able to get to them once our babe arrived; I just dreaded the thought of having to see them again as I was walking through the door with a new little birdie. Whew!

Have a great weekend in your nest, lovelies! Here in Traverse City there are a couple really cool things happening that I just had to mention: an indie art fair and the nation’s first XC ski race of the season, for which they are hauling in shaved zamboni snow from the local ice rinks. Something for everyone…

still pregnant

A few people got to wondering if we had welcomed another little birdie into the world because I haven’t posted in a few days. Well, I’m here to tell you that the babe is still tucked safely inside at 38.5 weeks and counting! Feeling (almost) ready for this new adventure, or as ready as I think we can be…

Chris and I finally agreed on boy and girl names, which shall remain a secret for a little while longer. Hey, a girl’s got to have some secrets!

And I finally finished covering the rocking chair cushions that have been waiting for me for months in the basement. They used to be white in Wren’s room and not able to be removed, but they had gotten so stained and yucky after almost 2.5 years of continuous use that I couldn’t take it anymore and tore them off. Now that they’re back on and look great because of some fabric that my friend, Sandy, gifted me, I’m ready to rock away with a new babe in my arms. What do you think?

Oh! I also just realized I must really be craving iron and getting my body ready because yesterday I cooked beef for dinner, which I almost never do (Chris wondered if it was his birthday!), and today I’m making a big batch of molasses cookies, along with a slew of from-the-garden beet & chocolate muffins. IRON!

So there’s a brief update for you, lovelies. Yup, still here. How is your week going? What’s been happening in your nest?

scenes from the nest

How’s your week going, lovelies? It’s been another glorious week in northern Michigan. I realize it seems trite to use the word “glorious,” but it’s true. More blue skies, more sunshine, more gasp-worthy fall color, more 70s, more tomatoes! This might be it for our “Indian Summer,” but it will not be forgotten any time soon. And I’ve got the mosquito bites to prove it – strange in mid-October, no? I’m in the midst of a bunch of nesting projects and thought I would just share a glimpse of some of them with you, along with a few shots from around the nest that we’ve been loving. Enjoy!

1) Wasabi Powder.

We decided to paint our house a light chartreuse-y green that’s called “Wasabi Powder” and we love it. The little birdie calls it yellow, but it’s decidedly not yellow. The pictures also turned out a bit on the mint-y side, but I know you can use your imagination. Ahem. Nothing like a really big project right before the baby is born, right? Ha!

2) Harvest Time.

I was thinking about cleaning out the garden earlier last week when things were wet and chilly, but 70 and sunny arrived–and stayed–bringing with it a slew of ripened tomatoes. I can’t quite believe I’m admitting this, but I’m a bit sick of fresh tomatoes. Salsa, anyone?

3) Bulbs!

Our bulb order finally arrived. I am especially excited about the orange tulips that I plan to plunk in the front. Won’t they look great with the new green if they squirrels don’t get to them first?!

4) Leafy greens.

Remember when the little birdie and I planted some dark, leafy greens? Our kale has arrived so that means that little birdie #2 will arrive shortly too. Wow!

5) Taking time to enjoy the flowers.

We’ve had a crazy morning glory crop this year. In fact, I have to remind myself next year to provide them with some thread/twine so they can more freely climb the fence and not just each other. And the mums have been lovely too. So nice to have such bright spots of color here and there.

What’s been happening in your nest, lovelies? How are you enjoying this beautiful time of year in your neck of the woods? I hope you’ve been having a good week!

Nesting in the nursery: veg out

This weekend I had some toddler-free time to work on little birdie #2’s room. Although we probably won’t move the new babe into its own room until about the time our new orange tulips (!) begin to pop next spring, I’ve been anxious to get a few nesting projects done in there. I’ve moved the rocking chair and changing table in, along with the baby’s clothes and diapers. Just the basics. Knowing that these little things are taken care helps me sleep a little better at night.

I wanted to create a unique, fun space for our new little one, but I also didn’t want to completely reinvent the wheel since we’ll just be reusing most of the things from Wren’s original nest. Had some paint left in the basement and then I was inspired to create a vegetable garden theme in the baby’s room when my Mom decided she wanted to make the baby this a-door-bell wall hanging we spotted over at PurlBee. I can’t wait to see it in person; I know it will be just perfect. Don’t you think?

So to carry out this veggie theme, I wanted to add a couple more details without being too cutesy, too baby, or too gender-specific. So I’ve been painting a fun carrot and beets border! Here are a few little sneak peeks:

I also wanted to create a little memento of this year’s garden, which helped to nourish the new little birdie so I saved some seed packets and framed them all together. I love that they say “packed for 2011.” Nothing fancy, but a nice little, meaningful addition to the new space.

Maybe if I *find* some extra time I will make a carrot pillow, or something fun like that. What do you think, lovelies? Have any other ideas for this space?

yikes

The title of this post might more aptly be called “anxious” or maybe “worried” or during a few choice moments every day, “terrified.” I know people have more than one child every single day and still others have many more than just one child (take, for example, The Mom across the street with 13!) But lately just having ONE (feisty! strong-willed!) child seems like a lot. Today marks the 27th week, which means I’m really getting into the third trimester now. This also means that there are only about three months (plus some pocket change?) left until we welcome another little birdie to our nest. Yikes!

I’m not really worried about taking care of the new baby (although I should probably add that to the worry list, ahem) or even much about labor & delivery. Been there, done that… I’m mostly worried about, well, everything else. How will I have enough love for another child? How will I keep Wren from killing the new baby when she realizes it isn’t going away? How will I find time to continue my work? How will I be able to make healthy meals and keep the house in a *reasonable* state? How will I ever have time for Chris again? How will I go to the grocery store or run an errand with a baby attached to me and a toddler running for the hills?

Again, I know people do it all the time, but I just can’t really picture how it’s all going to look and feel. I guess this is part of the wonder and mystery of life’s unknowns. The unknowns that keep life interesting, worth getting up in the morning for. Good intentions go a long way, right? Say yes, please.

In the meantime, I’m nesting. It helps to devote the worried energy to practical things, no? I decided we just needed to paint the house right now because I couldn’t take the peeling paint anymore. Great timing, ha! Truth be told, I’m just trying out paint colors on the back of the house, but the process has begun. I’ve also been organizing and reorganizing the little birdie’s toys in some new-to-us bins that I found on Craigslist (thank you, stranger!) Already, she’s discovered toys that had been buried at the bottom of the old bins. It was totally worth it. On the cooking front, I made a big pot of split pea soup the other day. You know you have a pregnant brain when it’s 87 and humid and you decide that cooking a big pot of split pea soup sounds like a good idea. Yeah. I also made a huge batch of homemade granola bars in an effort to have healthier, not-from-a-bag snacks on hand. So it feels good to be creating things, cooking healthy meals, focusing on what we have control over now because I know pretty soon it will all be thrown up into the air. And hopefully some of it will be caught.

Have any tips, lovelies? Please and thank you.