Monday, May 7, 2012

laundry duty

I am addicted to period set novels, movies and t.v. shows.  Netflix has been feeding this addiction for me every nap time while I do laundry, mop floors, write blog posts and prepare meals. I'm not sure what it is that draws me to these drama filled silly movies. The drama? The romance? The fancy clothes? The sub plots of the underclass fighting against social norms to gain ground and equality? Or maybe the fact is.. I love these stories because they play on a fantasy of being a fine lady living in a house with a name and a full staff waiting on my every need. Who among us hasn't dreamed of having their own Anna from Downton Abby or Kate from The Grand?  I'm not saying this is a holy fantasy nor one I should dwell on. Which I don't. I joyfully accept that I am both lady and servant of my household. Though I can not claim to serve with a joyful heart all the time the chores of day to day life are usually balanced by the blessings of a happy home. There do come times though when it gets hard and overwhelming. Three little boys make lots of messes, and having been babysitting extra little boys only adds to that mess.
 Laundry is by far my most time consuming, labor intensive job. It also is the work that is most likely to turn me into crazy psycho screaming mommy. We bought our laundry set shortly after we made our first big career move. We bought the cheapest set available at best buy. It has served us well, but lately has been acting suspicious. The tub gets off balance often in the washer and although the dryer works- I have been having to run loads two or three times sometimes to get them completely dry. The laundry piles up and takes forever to get finished. the loads are small so I tend to let them pile up waiting on the next one instead of getting them put away.. which ends up leaving me with socks all over the house and re-dirtied clothes.  So last week when the washer died, as in DEAD and I found out it would cost nearly as much to repair it as to replace it with the same model. It was time... time to hire some help.  

Meet the new girls. Bessie, and Bertha.

Bessie uses less water per load than our previous help. She has multiple talents such as the ability to balance herself and sanitize laundry that needs a little more clean than others. Bertha can steam my husbands work shirts wrinkle free and get my towels finished in the time it takes me to feed the boys lunch and put them down for nap. Apparently their union forbids them from going over and above their duties though. They simply refuse to actually fold the laundry they have cleaned. I forgive them that minor weakness though because they kindly sing me a song to let me know their work is finished. No loud baby waking buzzers around here. And although their salary was a bit of a sacrifice, word is they came from a situation that allowed me to hire them at half price. They even have their own management team that will come once a year to make sure they are providing satisfactory work. The girls take up less space, and do more work per load in less time. Bertha is so sweet. She literally lights up inside when I open her up. She is so helpful in the early mornings when I need to find that specific shirt but want to keep the lights off so the babies stay asleep. They even multitask, entertaining the babies while I prepare lunch and they gently swish away the muddied outfits that came in with my children from the backyard.  Ahh. ::Sigh of contentment::  This my friends, is the good life. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

When grief is prepared for

Five years ago I was pregnant with my middle child. This sweet son was handed down a simple gund brand lovie blanket. Shaped kind of like a miniature bear rug, the soft blanket has the head of a lion and four soft corners shaped like paws. Balin took to it from a very early age and lion has been an essential part of our family since. Every vacation, journey, activity, trip... Every move, late night, birthday. Lion has witnessed every celebration, every nightmare. Every sickness. It was one of these last illnesses when we realized that lion was probably the cause of many of these infections. As often as I steal him away to get washed I know he carries around more germs than I can get rid of. That coupled with the fact that holding lion equals thumb sucking is even more reason to send lion to... Where? How does a mother who loves her son break his heart? How do I look in his big brown eyes and take away his best friend? After the most recent conversation with Balin about why it was time to let lion go and what options we had ( shelf, send him somewhere, box, ziplock bag) he was so sad. It will be such a loss. But since this conversation occurred while he was still sick we told Balin we would wait until he got well to send lion on his journey. Yesterday afternoon his fever had been gone all day. He came into the room after his nap with lion fully dressed in his own clothes and a backpack full of books, toys and blankets. He had prepared his friend. He was preparing himself. Now if only someone could prepare me for the loss of innocence. My sweet baby boy turns five this summer and starts kindergarten in the fall. He "graduates" preschool in two weeks. I'm not ready. I'm not ready to let go of his babyhood, and yet it is inevitable. God has big plans for this child, and as much as I want to protect him and keep him close { lion in hand, thumb in mouth} his time is coming. And like his beloved lion the best I can do is prepare him, and myself, for the long journey ahead. Balin does so with a joyful heart. I pray I will be found as faithful.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Simply:: {Pinterripped}

For the past nine months or so I've been playing with a little website you have probably NEVER heard of. Right. NOT. Pinterest has taken over my blogging time just like most of you. While part of me is concerned that Pinterest is turning blog land into a world of people who just flip the pages and look at the pictures instead of reading the articles... ahem... I find great value in the way pinterest has allowed me to organize my inspirations. I have found some etiquette to be necessary though. 1. Avoid the porn. It pops up more and more often these days, but I find sticking to following real friends or trusted bloggers helps keep the mostly naked people off your page. 2. Don't look at Pinterest with your kids around for the before said reason. 3. Delete previous titles or comments on pictures you repin. It gets confusing when you tell me that tutu looked great on your great niece Doris and you are still in high school.  4. Try to repin things you have actually clicked through to the source on. Nothing is more frustrating than finding a great pin and it leads to nowhere... or somewhere you did not want to end up! and 5. Always, always, always, always, always, always, always (get the point?) TRY your darndest to repin the original pin and give credit to the original artist or blog it came from if you share it on your blog or facebook! People with real creative ideas should get the credit.. not someone who happened to pin it first or steal it for their own blog first. That being said the saying is "imitation is the highest form of flattery." I'll be sharing some of my favorite pinterripped ideas and tricks. I'll do my best to give you the original pin, but please forgive me if I make a mistake! I am setting up a Meme Simply pinterest page just for you! I'll let you know when its all ready! For now here are a couple links to real life blogs that I've found through Pinterest and am over the moon excited about.

Sand Buster: Use baby powder to get sand off of skin at the beach park or by the backdoor. Works flawlessly. Jamielyn over at i {heart} nap time posted this and It is brilliant! We now keep a baby powder container in the same place we keep bug spray and sunblock . Thank you Jamielyn!! Be careful searching for this on Pinterest and try to post from her blog.This is a super popular pin and lots of them click through to sales sites and adware sites. This link goes straight to the blog :-).

Simply's Easter ham, 2010
Pineapple Flowers: the blog this comes from is not even English speaking, but a lot of her tutorials are all in photo.. which I speak well. These pretty little details would make an upside down cake, Hawaiian buffet or Easter Ham all lovely. I think my pretty little Easter Ham turned out great! As I grow older I am learning that the little details, even the really simple and easy ones can turn an event from so so to really special. It usually takes very little, a tablecloth here, or flowers from the yard there, to help your home feel more inviting. These Pineapple flowers were super simple to make. Her picture tutorial is enough, but my version would say to trim the spines off your pineapple. Use a melon baller to scoop out random divits in the flesh of the pineapple so the edges are uneven like petals. The slice the pineapple all the way through very thinly. Dry the slices as best you can and then bake at a low temp. As the slices get dryer they will get crisper. While still pliable, move them to either the backside of a muffin tin, or the inside. (Spray really well wih pam!) hey will turn a bit darker around the edges and look so lovely with cupcakes, a ham, around vegetables or whatever your pinapple loving self desires!