red nail polish – a success story

In an effort to start blogging with some degree of regularity, I am using the events of yesterday as a springboard into getting myself writing again.  Because yesterday was a bit of a story.  🙂
After supper last night, Lyd left to go to the bathroom.  About ten minutes later, as I was putting supper dishes away, she came into the kitchen with tears streaming down her face.  She immediately put her arms around me and said, “I’m so sorry, Mom!”  I asked her what had happened, and she managed to choke out to me that she had taken out my red nail polish and somehow it had spilled all over the floor.  She showed me her hands, and they were covered in red nail polish as well.  (It initially looked like blood to me, and for a split second, I was wracking my brain, wondering how her hands could have gotten so bloody.  When she said it was nail polish, I was secretly, momentarily relieved.  Had it been blood, we would have been in Big Trouble.)
What she did was problematic on many levels.  First of all, she didn’t ask permission to use my nail polish.  Secondly, at our house, we make every effort to apply nail polish outside.  Thirdly, she now had red nail polish spilled onto my bathroom rug (an old vintage rug I had from my Grandma), it had soaked through the rug onto the natural stone tile on the bathroom floor, and there was red nail polish on the white bathroom sink.  Ack!  What a mess!
First things first: I tried to clean up the mess.  Lately, I’ve been a bit obsessed with using natural cleaning products, namely baking soda and vinegar.  I had both of those products easily available in my bathroom, so after grabbing a roll of paper towels, I poured some vinegar on the stain.  (JJ had already taken the polish-soaked rug outside.)  The vinegar didn’t do very much, sadly.  I knew that baking soda is mildly abrasive, so I shook some of that onto the stain and scrubbed.  Lo and behold, the stain started to come off!  I was shocked.  I put on some more baking soda and vinegar, let it foam for ten seconds or so, and then scrubbed some more.  Unbelievably, with a bit of elbow grease (but not that much!), ALL OF THE POLISH CAME OFF THE FLOOR.  Wow!  I tried the same baking soda/vinegar combo on the sink, and happily, with a little scrubbing the sink became perfectly clean, too.  I was amazed and very, very relieved!
If we hadn’t been able to get that red nail polish off the floor, JJ and I would have been seriously unhappy.  While we have no immediate plans to sell our house, we do talk about it as a “someday” event.  And having a bathroom floor with a giant bloodstain-looking stain on the floor would not have been helpful for resale value.
Of course, the other problem was that Lyd was ignoring what she had been told.  We’ve had a lot of that from both girls lately.  They hear what we say, but don’t pay attention to it, or else they know what they’re supposed to do, and they choose not to do it anyway.  This has become quite a problem.  So, Lyd’s consequence is no nail polish for a month.  Unfortunately for her, later that evening she was told to help pick up the toys, she ignored the instruction (again!), and she thereby lost another month of nail polish privileges, so now she will be nail polish-free for two months.  I don’t know if that’s a strong enough consequence, but we’ll see.

Unfortunately, the rug is a lost cause.  We tried to scrub it with baking soda and vinegar today, but it did absolutely no good.  I’m not sure what will happen with that.  We’ll probably keep using it anyway, even with the stain on it, because our bathroom is not the company bathroom, and we do need a rug on our floor.  The floor space needing to be covered is a long rectangle, and this oddly shaped rug is just the right size for the space.  But, when the day comes that we move, we’ll probably throw out the rug, because I highly doubt we would get another house that would need a rug of that particular space.

Maybe we’ll just save the rug for Lyd to take to college with her.  Ha ha.  🙂


down to the end

My pregnancy is winding down to its last few weeks, possibly days.  And, I seem to be going out in a blaze of glory, aka. a blaze of heat.  The weather forecast here in Sacramento for today is 104 degrees.  Tomorrow it’s 107, Friday it’s also 107, Saturday it’s 104, and I don’t think it is expected to get down to the 90s until sometime next week.  Oof dah.  It. Is. Hot.  Thank God for air conditioning!

Women who have had multiple pregnancies tend to say that “each pregnancy is different.”  Having now had three full-term pregnancies, I can say that is definitely true.  This last month is going very differerently than my first pregnancy, and it is vastly different than my second pregnancy.  With this point in my pregnancy with Jujubee, I had already had two false starts and was dilated to 4cm.  That is NOT the case this time around.  I’ve had no false starts, and I’m only dilated to about 1cm.  Unsurprisingly, I’ve also not had to deal with almost continuous contractions this time around like I did with Jujubee.  I certainly do get contractions, and physical activity and dehydration definitely make them more pronounced, but they’re not at all like they were the last time around.

My biggest complaint right now (other than being large and hot) is that I have pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel.  I really shouldn’t be typing on a computer at all, but I’m sitting here at day care with only one 5 year old boy to watch, and he’s happily engrossed in playing with trnasformers and dinosaurs and has forgotten that I’m even here, so a gal has to pass the time somehow.  😉  My hands feel tingly much of the time, sort of the feeling you get when your hand wakes up after going to sleep.  Except for me, it’s like my hand never quite wakes up all the way.  Thankfully, this should quickly resolve after the baby is born.

With the baby’s impending arrival becoming ever more … impending, it’s making more of an impression on JJ and me how much our lives are going to change when our little boy arrives.  Since we’ve been down this road before, we know what to expect.  But, having NOT been down that road for almost five years, it’s going to be a bit of a shock to our lifestyles to have a newborn around again.  We’re not worried or anything; it’s just going to be a big change.

But we’re all excited to meet the new baby, especially Lyd and Jujubee.  Those girls are SO excited for their new brother to be born!  Jujubee has despairingly said more than once in the past few days, “WHEN will the baby come out?”  Sometimes I feel the same way, although despite my size and uncomfortableness, I’m kind of hoping the Arrival Date holds off until my morning day care job expires, which happens when the new school year starts; I’d like to milk this day care job for all it’s worth (no pun intended ;)).  But, the baby will come when he’s ready.  JJ is just hoping that the trend continues of our children having birth dates that are also football scores.  LOL.  🙂

We have been unbelievably blessed with people from church handing down bags of boy clothes to us.  I literally have a pile of about ten garbage bags full of clothes in the nursery, ranging in size from newborn to about 3T.  That’s my project for today and tomorrow: separate out these clothes by size, and decide what clothes I’m going to keep.  I began going through one bag that was labeled 0-3 month clothes, and if I kept all of those clothes, I’d literally have enough clothes for triplets.  And that was just one bag!  So, I’m going to “shop” amongst the hand-me-down bags, keep what I like, and pass on the rest of the clothes to people who can use them.

I’m trying to keep busy getting things ready, although, as I mentioned, I can’t do too much because I get pretty tired pretty quickly.  And it’s hot.  And I have a bit of carpal tunnel.  And I have to drink a lot of fluids.  And eat frequently.  And I now get heartburn if I go too long without eating.  Sigh.  But, if I just focus on one thing at a time and work steadily (albeit slowly), I can get a few things done.  All the bills for August are paid.  I’m keeping up with our family’s laundry, even getting it folded and put away.  We have diapers and wipes for the baby.  Food is getting made (most of the time), although last night we decided we should go out for supper.  We tried a new Mexican restaurant for which we had a coupon, and it was FANTASTIC!  It was much better than the major chain Mexican restaurants (which there are plenty of around here).  It was a local non-chain place, and we’ll be going there again.  Anyway, the dishes get done most nights.  The girls’ school supplies are purchased.  I need to get them a few new uniform pieces for school, but most of those clothes they already have.  Some of their last year’s uniforms will still work for a while, as they haven’t quite grown out of them yet.

Best of all, everyone is staying healthy and sleeping well at night.  I even slept well last night, thanks to my chiropractic adjustment yesterday.  For the past few weeks, I’ve been seeing a chiro weekly who specializes in pregnant women.  It’s really helping my sore hips.  I sleep so much better – and my hips hardly hurt at all! – after a chiropractic adjustment!  I’ll keep on going every week until the baby’s born, and will probably continue for a few weeks afterwards to put my body back into shape after the birth.

So, we’re doing pretty well.  There’s a few things yet to finish up, but we’re mostly ready.  Now it’s just a waiting game…

a peek into my day: June 27, 2012

Since I’m experincing writer’s block on my blog these days, I’ll do another one of these:


Outside my window… We’ve been having perfect summer weather, with highs in the mid-80s, clear blue skies, no humidity.  If only it could stay like this all summer!

I am thinking… far too much.  I’m probably over-thinking.  It’s not my best quality.

I am thankful… for this lovely weather, especially at this stage of my pregnancy.  We had some hot days earlier in June, and man, were they HOT!

In the kitchen…  My kitchen is clean!  We’re having company over tonight, but I won’t have to cook too much for it, so hopefully it will stay clean all day.

I am wearing…  my pajamas.  My new pajama shirt is a large Packer t-shirt from KT.  My own t-shirts are now too small, and my husband’s t-shirts are still too big.  So, this shirt works well for bedtime.

I am creating… not much.  Just a new life within me.  😉 I’m trying to create a plan for how to attack this rummage sale that I’d like to have in a week and a half, and I’m not having much luck.  My brain works pretty slowly these days (henceforth the lack of posting on this blog).

I am going…  to take Jujubee to swimming lessons in an hour.  Then I have to go to the grocery store to get a few things for tonight’s supper.

I am wondering… how all the unknowns will resolve in my life (aka. over-thinking).  Sigh.

I am reading…  “The Midwife” by Jennifer Worth.  It’s a memoir of a midwife who worked in the slums of London in the 1950’s.  It’s not so much birth stories as it is stories of people’s lives.  It’s alternately funny and heartwarming and disturbing and heartbreaking and amazing.  Before that I read “Lady’s Hands, Lion’s Heart” by Carol Leonard.  It’s another memoir of a woman who became a midwife in New Hampshire in the 1970’s.  It’s full of birth stories interspersed with how NH became one of the leading states for midwifery standards.  It’s another fascinating and funny and heartwarming and disturbing and heartbreaking book.  I’ve enjoyed both books, even though they’re very different.  Both books are fairly recent publications, so I’m almost certain that both authors are still alive today.

I am hoping…  that my hip feels better today.  I injured it last weekend, but didn’t realize it was injured until Monday.  Yesterday it felt just awful.  I saw my midwife yesterday, and she massaged it a bit, which helped, and I saw my chiropractor yesterday, and he tried to stretch it out a bit although it was too inflamed to be adjusted.  Hopefully the pain will begin to subside today.  I *think* it’s a bit better today, although it’s still stiff and sore.

I am looking forward to…  friends coming over tonight.  Thanks to all the cleaning I did last weekend for the church choir party we hosted last weekend, the house is quite clean!  Time to have company over!  🙂

I am learning…  patience.  Always patience.  And learning not to say everything I think right away.  But I’m also learning that more often than not, I’m not alone in what I think.  But, I can always improve on how I say it.

Around the house…  Lyd is at her art class.  Jujubee is playing with toys on the floor, singing and making up stories.  Pepper the cat is sleeping somewhere after being outside all last night.  JJ is lying in bed, trying to shake the vague feeling of malaise that’s been hounding him the past few days.  I’m on the computer, pondering a shower before I take Jujubee to swimming lessons.

I am pondering…  whether or not I should take a simple job I’ve been offered at school.  Their day care runs all summer long, and they need someone to help out from 7am to 10am every day.  It wouldn’t be a lot of money, but it would essentially be just babysitting.  The biggest problem I see with the job is that I’m not much of a morning person these days, but it would be very easy work, and we could sure use the money.  Hmm.

A favorite quote for today…  “We have juice!  The joy of juice!” said by Jujubee last week at breakfast.  🙂

One of my favorite things…  envelopes in the mail that contain surprise money.  We’ve thankfully had a bunch of those lately.  One was a refund on overpayment on our mortgage escrow, one was a refund on overpayment of property taxes, also connected with our escrow.  One was a random AT&T refund check from over a year ago that they finally sent out.  One was from our medical insurance reimbursing us directly for services rendered for which we’d already paid the provider.  I hope another one surprises us soon.  🙂

A few plans for the rest of the week…  keep trying to get stuff together for the rummage sale.  We have to get rid of some stuff to make room for the new baby.

A peek into my day…  Uh oh.  Plans for the day may have changed.  My husband is showing signs of actually being sick after all…  😦  I hope nobody else gets what he seems to have, especially me!

a snapshot of my life on May 9, 2012


Outside my window… I see my backyard: I see our flowering mulberry tree full of mulberries, blue cloudless skies, lots of greenery in the backyard, some of it wanted, much of it unwanted.  But it’s very lush and green!

I am thinking… practical thoughts on the surface, heavy thoughts deep down.

I am thankful… for sunshine and for air conditioning, for a modern house, for a a love-filled home.

In the kitchen… I’m cooking chicken bones, neck, heart, and liver, as well as celery, onions, garlic, parsley to make stock.

I am wearing… comfortable materinity capri pants in vertical stripes of pink, red, blue, green and orange, and a white shirt with the word “baby” written in rhinestones.  I’m dressed up today!

I am creating… a chart with all the potential options for summer classes for the girls at our local Park & Rec departments, trying to decide what to sign them up for this summer in an effort to get the most bang for our limited buck.

I am going… to teach Jujubee’s music class later this morning.  Very fun.  🙂

I am wondering… if we should buy a small above-ground pool for the summer.  There’s one at Target that I’m considering.  I’m not sure if it would be worth the money and energy, but I’m not sure if we’ll make it through the summer here without a pool!

I am reading… I recently started “The Secret Life of Bees,” but the other night I read through a good chunk of “Anne of Green Gables.”  I hadn’t picked that one up in years.

I am hoping… that situations improve at work for someone I love.

I am looking forward to… school being out for the summer.  The girls and I are ready to be done with the daily school grind!  Only 17 more days!

I am learning …  patience and trust.

Around the house… the bathrooms need to be cleaned, and the kitchen floor could stand to be mopped.

I am pondering… how best to begin the girls’ clothes-sorting project.  I have to pack away the girls’ clothes that are too small and bring out the clothes that will fit Jujubee this summer.  I’ve been procrastinating on it for a long time.

A favorite quote for today… Today is not forever.

One of my favorite things… is listening to Jujubee chatter away to me and/or sing as she plays.

A few plans for the rest of the week: There will be some extra music classes in Jujubee’s class to prepare for our little part in the Spring Musical on Friday night.

A peek into my day… teach Jujubee’s class, bring her home for lunch, go out to the Hallmark store at the mall to buy Mother’s Day cards for my mom and mother-in-law, and mail them off along with the cards/creations that Lyd and Jujubee made.  Perhaps also write a long-overdue letter to a friend.

Post idea taken from:

catching up, again

Seriously?  It’s been over a month since I wrote on this blog?  To those faithful readers who keep waiting for me to say something profound – or to at least say something! – I apologize.  I do mean to write.  I just, well … sigh.

This has been a difficult month in many ways.  My pregnancy is not going as comfortably as my previous two pregnancies have, and I’m having a difficult time with that.  Dear reader, nothing is wrong, there’s nothing for you to worry about; it’s just that being pregnant at 35 is not as easy on my body as it was when I was pregnant at 26 and 30.  I keep waiting for it to get better, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.  Nothing is particularly bad, it’s just not as magical or as much fun to be pregnant this time around as it was my last two times.

Accomplishing tasks now takes more energy than it used to, too.  At the end of the day, I usually only feel up to watching HGTV or an episode of “Friends” on DVD.  I’m not usually up to pouring out my soul on the internet.  Or sometimes JJ and I will start talking.  He’s a busy man, that husband of mine.  He’s just as busy as he was at our former church, if not more busy.  Thankfully, he’s still willing to share events of his day with me, and he doesn’t mind – and even seems to appreciate! – hearing my thoughts on those events.  That’s a blessing.

My girls are doing well.  They are ridiculously excited about the new baby.  It’s really heartwarming to see, and it is by far the best part of this pregnancy experience.  Jujubee in particular is SO excited to become a big sister!  She’s going to be wonderful at it, I can already tell.  Both girls are being so patient with waiting.  They’ve known almost from the start that I was pregnant, and nine months is a REALLY long time in a little kid’s world!  But they’re doing SO well at the waiting.  They’ve both gotten to feel the baby kick over the past week, so that’s been an exciting development for them.

I suppose I’m a little lonely here.  I miss my friends from our former home, and I still feel like the new kid in school as far as our church goes.  I’ve got a few good friends, and I’m thankful for that.  I have good friends who were long-distance at our former home, and they’re still long-distance now, so in that regard, nothing has changed.  But, I do feel like I’m a little more on my own here than I was at our old house.  I liked living on campus; I was always close to whatever action was going on.  Now I live off-campus, and while it has good things about it, it IS a different experience.

In all actuality, I probably need more to do so that I will get more done.  I have difficulty getting done the things I need to get done, so it seems counter-intuitive for me to say that I need more to do.  But I think I am one of those people who get more done when I have more to do.  However, that’s impossible for me right now.  I get tired so easily and need so much rest, plus I’m having a baby in four months, so adding more to my schedule now is highly unwise.  Oh, well.  This stage of life won’t last forever, right?

But I am so incredibly blessed with two wonderful daughters and a very understanding husband.  Over the past months, I’ve begun to appreciate (more than I perhaps have in our entire twelve years of marriage) how JJ’s and my differences actually work to make us a stronger couple.  We are different in so many ways, and there was a time when that was really difficult for me.  But thankfully, I’m now learning to appreciate how that actually works in our favor.  We really are a good team, and I’m happiest when we’re able to do things together and be in sync with each other.  I really do like having him as my husband, and that’s a blessing to be able to say that after being together for twelve years.

Ironically, right now I’m in the midst of a five-day stint as a single mom.  JJ is in Michigan consulting for a School of Worship Enrichment weekend.  Since I handle the vast majority of the day-to-day running of the house, I hardly notice he’s gone in that regard.  But I miss conversing with him, and the girls miss having him around, too.  Still, it’s not a bad change of pace to just be completely on my own.  My anxiety has kicked in a bit, but overall I’m fine and sort of enjoying the time on my own.

I really do mean to write more frequently on this blog, especially to write about the girls.  This blog is, after all, my “baby book” of sorts for my girls.  They are both so charming right now, and I love them more than ever.  I am so grateful to have my girls; they are truly gifts from God.

Speaking of girls, our new baby is going to be … a boy!  Wow.  I’m still getting used to that.  I understand girls, and I adore my girls, and I can’t help but wonder if I will love a boy as much as I love my girls.  I guess we’ll find out.  But, as I always say, God sends the right baby at the right time, so I guess God thinks that this baby is the right baby for us, summer timing and all.  And I’m sure I’ll grow to love this boy baby just as much as I love my girls, even if I can’t quite see now how that will be.  God always sends the right baby at the right time, right?  😉

still adjusting

So much about our new life has been unexpected.  Not necessarily bad, but unexpected.

One unexpected aspect is that I just don’t feel like blogging in the way that I used to.  I’ve been re-evaluating what role I want this blog to play in my life, because it does not mean to me what it once did.  It’s not that my blog means less, it’s just that it’s … different.  I still feel like I’m transitioning in my new life – and on this blog – to what I will eventually be.  And I don’t know what that is yet.

One aspect of life here that I knew would be somewhat different but didn’t realize just how much different is that of our family’s finances.  We have a lot less expendable income here.  We knew our income would go down after we moved, but we didn’t anticipate it being quite like this.  It’s been an attitude adjustment as well as a lifestyle adjustment, and we’re still adjusting.

Recently, I said to my husband that in many ways, our life has gone the opposite of most people our age.  We started out with the big house, and now we’re in the smaller house.  That’s opposite of most people.  We started out with plenty of money, and now we’ve come down.  That’s also opposite of many people.  We’re certainly expanding our family on the slow side, which is also different than most people our age, but that hasn’t been by our choice.  Still, it does make our lives different than many of the people our age that we know.

Another aspect of our new life that I still feel like I’m adjusting to is that of our house.  Downsizing has not been easy for me.  I come from a background of frugal people who saved everything, perhaps saving too much.  I thought we got rid of a lot of stuff when we moved, but it still seems like we have all of this stuff.  I think we DID get rid of a substantial amount of stuff, but now that we live in this smaller space, we notice how it fills the space that we DO have.  There continue to be times when I inwardly grumble at how cramped everything feels.  Our kitchen eating area is small, our bathrooms are small.  I wonder how we’re ever going to babyproof this house once the new little one arrives, and I wonder where we’re going to put all of our baby gear!  There’s no doubt that we will feel the squeeze a bit more in this house than we ever would have in our former house.

But, with the realization of our decreased income, I have come to appreciate more about this house.  For one thing, we got it at a good price, which means our mortgage is manageable.  Also, because the house is literally new inside and out (except for the roof, but it’s not in too bad of shape yet), we have not had any repairs that we’ve needed to do on the house.  Nothing has broken, nothing has caused us problems.  That’s a big blessing, and buying this well-flipped house, small though it is, has given us those extra benefits.

It’s good that I can appreciate this house a little more, because within the last month, I made the sobering realization that we simply can’t afford to move.  I had hoped to live in this house for a year or two, and then find our “real” house.  But, the fact is, we don’t have the money to move again.  There are SO many other expenses that come with moving, and we don’t have the money for it, unless we could make big bucks off of selling our current house, which isn’t likely.  So, for better or for worse, we’re kind of … stuck in this house.  That realization made me sad.  I really wanted a four-bedroom house.  I really wanted bathrooms that I could turn around in.  I wanted dining areas where no one is bumping into a wall or a counter or furniture.  I wanted storage space so that we could fit our one car into our garage rather than using our garage as a storage unit.

But.  (Sigh.)

We’re here, and it IS a good house.  Many families make do with more people in much less space.  And we ARE making do.

I’m thankful for what we have.  I’m still getting used to it, but I do see the blessings, and I am thankful.