Saturday, May 26, 2012

Minivan Mommy

Well, it's official.
I'm a minivan mommy.
For you anti-minivan people out there....ahem, Lurenda....  I did NOT want to get one either, until we started comparing.  The reason we got a minivan as opposed to an SUV or crossover, is this:  A crossover, even though it has a back seat, is not a "real" back seat.  It doesn't sit up off the floor - it's more of a seat to be used on occasion, rather than every day.  And the reason we decided against an SUV is the gas mileage.  My car got about 24 mpg, and a minivan is comparable.  An SUV gets half that.
We went up to test drive the 2008 Sienna we saw online, and ended up bringing it home!  We were pretty sure this was exactly the type of van we wanted.... It had the optional 8th passenger seat in the middle row, and not a lot of bells and whistles (I didn't want the dvd player, backup camera, etc).  It had a more miles than I would like, but considering I only put 10-12,000 miles per year on my vehicle, it still has a lot of life in it.  It was very well taken-care of, getting all the recommended service right on schedule.
I had wanted to sell my car privately, but they offered within a couple hundred of what I would have gotten - not to mention saving the headache and hassle of doing it (or not being able to do it) ourselves.  They didn't offer to come down much off the listed price.  We probably should have haggled more, but we're still very happy with the deal we got.
We had to take a loan, but got a good rate - better than our local banks could offer.  Our lender "got us" a 2 year/20,000 mile powertrain warranty.... Meaning, they probably required one to give us a loan and added it in our loan.  Not sure how I feel about that....  The warranty makes me feel good, but not the fact we'll be paying on it for the duration of the loan.
As I said previously, the thought of taking a loan for a vehicle stressed me out.  But once I made the decision to trust my husband's leading and judgement, I had absolute peace about it.  Even when signing the papers for the loan, I didn't have any apprehension.  I really feel like this is the vehicle God wanted us to have.
I'm really happy with the whole experience.  I highly recommend Crown Toyota in Lawrence.  Every time we've gone there - whether looking, buying (Paul bought a truck there before we were married), or getting service, we've been very pleased with the experience.  If you check them out, David Wilson was our salesman - he'll give us $100 referral bonus if you buy through him, so make sure you give him our name. :)
Zadie's infant car seat doesn't fit very well behind the front seats - we have to move way forward so her seat is properly positioned.  So we put her in the middle seat and Jacob right next to her.  Nathan wanted to sit in the back seat, so he's learned how to move the middle seat forward and back so he can get back there by himself.  He also has to fasten his own seat belt, which he quickly learned to do.  The boys love the van!  They like the buttons that will automatically open and close the doors, and the BIG windows that roll down in the sliding doors.  They think the back hatch is cool, too, for some reason.  There's also a "bus driver" convex mirror that flips down that they think is great because they can see me (and I can see who's smacking who).
And here's what it looks like sitting in our driveway:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Blast from the Past

I've had this for a month or two now, meaning to post it.... My mom found it in my grandmother's things:

July 1987

This is my mom, holding my baby sister, with my older sister, me, and our younger brother when we visited her in the hospital when Carlsie was born.
The reason I posted it, is because every time I look at it, I do a double-take.  It looks like ME, with a 5-year-old me, and with Jacob.
I know I look like my mom, but I look a LOT like my mom looked like in this photo.  I guess I don't remember my mom with her hair like this, at least not when it hadn't been curled and styled.  It's the hair, which is about how mine looks right now, that makes her look so much like me.
I thought it might amuse you all as well.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Saturday Morning

Occasionally, we have a normal Saturday morning around here.  And by "normal," I mean, the type of Saturdays that most families seem to have.
This morning, we're up, but all still in our pajamas.  The boys are eating dry cereal and drinking smoothies while watching cartoons.  Paul is away doing something manly, but will be home by lunch.
With Paul's every-other-weekend working schedule, this doesn't happen that often.  Even on his Saturdays off, we don't have lazy mornings that often.... Don't know why.
So I'm going to enjoy this morning.  And try to update my blog.
Zadie turned one month old this week!  Seriously?  Where did the time go?  She celebrated.... By waking up, refusing to take naps, and rejecting her pacifier.  (Seriously, those things are a crutch that all to quickly one becomes dependent upon!)
Okay, so she's not totally refusing to nap, at least not to the extent the boys did.  But going from sleeping all the time, to being awake all the time was a change that took some getting used to.  She is happy sitting in her Boppy or bouncy seat and looking around for stretches of time, so that helps that she doesn't have to be in my arms all the time - the boys had to be.
What else about the little miss?  She's starting to smile and coo.  She's very hot blooded.  We've found if she is really fussy, undressing her and letting her lay in just her diaper will settle her down.  She's slept 8 HOURS STRAIGHT the last two nights.  Of course, I don't go to bed when she does, so I have yet to get 8 in a row, but I'm getting about 6, and let me tell you, it's been amazing.
As obvious from my last post, we've had lots of whining lately.  I need to frame Philippians 2:14:  "Do all things without complaining or arguing."  Maybe tattoo it on my kids.  They do argue with me some, but I can win those usually.  But the arguing with each other, about stupid things, drives me crazy.
Jacob:  "There's a goose!"
Nathan:  "That wasn't a goose."
As I stated in an earlier post, we've had to crack down on defiance and back talk.  It's gotten better.  But still, it seems like they're just testing us.  "What are you gonna do about it, Mom?"  And often, as soon as I do do something, that's the end of it.  They just want to see how far they can push.  I wish that testing boundaries wasn't part of childhood....  It would make my job so much easier.
I knew I wasn't shedding baby weight very fast, but I was slightly disheartened when I stepped on the scale at my sister's house and found out I've only lost 15 lbs.  8 of that was a baby.  And that was a month ago.  I've got to get this eating under control, and find some way to get regular exercise with our family's schedule.  We go on walks a lot, but with 3 kids, it's little more than a mosey.  I know that the eating is the main problem, though.
We're still looking at getting a van.  We kind of said June is when we'd seriously look.  We found one that's pretty much exactly what we want at a dealer in Lawrence.  It's a Toyota Sienna, with the optional middle seat in the middle row of seats - so it could seat 8.  (Not that we're planning on having a family of 8, but it will be nice to have room for friends and cousins.)  We're going to have to take out a loan, whether it's this van or another, which stresses me out, but I've decided to trust God and let him lead my husband on this.  I'm such a worry-wart and stress over finances, that if it were up to me, I'd keep saying, "No."  But God has ALWAYS provided what we need when we need it.  I need to get better at trusting.
Well, the boys have been watching TV for an hour and a half.  This show is over, so I think I'm going to shut the TV off and make Nathan do school.  On a Saturday.  Because I'm mean.  (And because I want to finish his preschool before September!)  Really, the main reason is because we've only done school 3 days (maybe?) this week.
So our normal-for-everyone-else Saturday is going to end up being a normal-for-us Saturday.
I love our life.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Whining and Vomit

I hate whining.
I don't know if this qualifies me as a bad mom, but I cannot stand whining.
And there's been a lot of it around here.  It's to the point I would rather clean up vomit than hear whining.
I know that kids whine to try to wear you down, and see if you're going to stick to your guns.  Jacob especially is really trying it out.  "No, Jacob." It's like a switch turns on: "Mwaaaaaahhhhhh!"  And then the blubbery I-can't-understand-a-thing-you're-saying:  "But Daddy nweaah taan soolllll..... Mwaaaaaahhhh!!!"
It would be different if whining ever worked.  But IT DOESN'T.  So why do they keep trying?

And something that ranks right up there with whining, but probably lower than vomit:  Stupid questions.
The boys walk in, look right at me, where I'm nursing Zadie.
"Where's Zadie?"


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Three Weeks: Life Is Back to [the New!] Normal

I have some unexpected free time tonight..... Paul came home from work and decided it was the perfect night for some backyard camping.  So he and the boys are out in the tent, and Miss Zadie actually went down on the first try tonight (just before 10), instead of 11:30 like the past several nights.
So here I am with a quiet house and nothing to do.....  I started a load of laundry, tidied up the kitchen, and took a shower.  I could fold laundry, but I wouldn't want the laundry fairy to having nothing to do.  (Someone needs to tell her that she really needs to get on that pile!)
Zadie is three weeks old today, and I really feel like life is back to normal.  She still doesn't really have a schedule, but I feel like we know each other and the boys know what's going on and what's expected (even though they still like to push it sometimes).  Paul went back to work two weeks ago (when she was a week old), but this last work burst (yesterday and today) really felt like I had a handle on things - rather than just getting by until he got home to help.  (He's gone 14 hours when he works, so it really is a long haul to get through the day.)
We've been calling Zaide "Missy" when we talk to her.....  Paul said he's not sure how he feels about that as a nickname.  I don't think it's going to be one that sticks, because to me, it's like calling the boys "Buddy" - it's just what I call little girls.  I don't really like calling her "Sissy" (no offense to my sister).  I didn't realize how much I called her this until Jacob started greeting her with, "Hi, Missy!  You awake?" every day.
I weeded the 3 rows of peas today, and got my first "Rachel Sunburn" of the year.  It's not very red, just slightly pink (and not nearly as extensive as the picture in the link).  The problem was I couldn't keep my pants up.  I'm too fat for my own jeans still, so I was wearing some hand-me-downs from my mom (that she's too skinny for now - way to go Mom!), and they were slightly too big, so were falling down when I bent over.  Oh well.  Those rows are weeded, and I hope to get the rest of the garden taken care of this week while temps are GORGEOUS in the 70s.
Well, despite my blissful 2-hour nap this afternoon, I feel like I could turn in.  And I know I need to, it's just that I feel like I should also be productive while I have an almost empty house.  Oh well - there's always tomorrow. :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Two Weeks (Already?!)

Well, our precious little girl is already two weeks old.  What are we up to?  Let me tell you:
Zadie is still sleeping a lot.  Yet somehow, I'm not getting enough sleep.  She sleeps a solid 12 hours every night, waking up every four hours or so to eat..... It's just when she decides to begin her night that we're still trying to establish.  3 AM, 12 AM, 10 PM, back to 2 AM, then 11:30 PM....  She's fussy for the last couple hours before she goes down, and will give us several false starts (or false ends?  falls asleep, but only for a few minutes).  My boys were like that, too, but their fussy time was more like 6 to 8 PM.  Not I-feel-like-my-eyeballs-are-oozing-out-of-my-head midnight to 2 AM.
Even though she still seems tiny, she seems so much bigger.  She's stretching out and plumping up nicely - the cheeks are even chubbier, if you can believe it.  Her little thighs are filling out.... Looking more and more like Mommy's.  Her skin is just perfect - I still stroke her cheeks about 3,000 times a day.
We're back to normal with the boys.  Nathan is back to school (which he has actually been since our first day home), but we're only averaging 3 days a week lately.  Basically, if we go somewhere in the morning, we don't do school that day.  And anytime we go somewhere, it's in the morning, because naps are sacred around here. (And I want to make sure the boys get their naps, too. :) )  We'll get finished with his preschool eventually..... About a week before we start his kindergarten, at this rate.
We're trying to crack down on disrespect and back-talking around here.  The boys really only do it to me.  I don't know if they are seeing what it takes to get me to interrupt nursing and come do something about it, or what, but it is driving me crazy.  Paul says we need to instigate a more strict spanking policy until they get it through their heads that this is not acceptable.  I agree, but....  When you almost have the baby asleep, you don't really want to wake her.  But that's part of parenting, I guess.  (Plus, the likelihood she'd actually wake up is pretty slim.  She's used to their noise, and I'm convinced actually sleeps better when there is noise.)
Our garden is up, and looking great.  We planted 3 rows of peas, 4 rows of beans, 8 rows of corn (sharing with Paul's parents), 8 tomato plants, 8 broccoli plants, a row of onions, and two hills each of watermelon, canteloupe, cucumbers, squash, and zucchini.  Only half of the hills came up (so far), and I can't remember exactly what they are..... I know the cukes are up, but not sure on the others.  We've got a volunteer patch of lettuce (and a second one growing out by our woodpile.....figure that one out), and Paul and Jacob planted a small patch of radishes also.

Okay, well, Miss Munchkin is awake again.  I knew her falling asleep at 8 o'clock was too good to be true.