Weekend notes — baby, books, jeans, Crockpotting, worship and more

Sweet siblings

Sweet siblings

  • Fiala turned four months old yesterday.  Time flies.  She is the sweetest child imaginable.  Some may remember that, while pregnant, I prayed for her character and personality, that she would be amiable, and she is.  Anyone who holds her is just flooded with peace.  She’s cuddly and precious, and I just couldn’t order up a more… satisfying baby.  Hope that doesn’t sound weird.  All of my children are profoundly valuable to me, and each baby I have, I think I enjoy more than the last, as I relax into the familiarity of raising a wee one.  But, I am absolutely loving being the mother of Miss Fiala Gabrielle.  … Last week, she discovered her hands.  Usually, she’s had her last meal around 8:00 and is in bed when everyone else is, but a couple of days ago, I gave her a rare late-night feeding.  She finished, and I was about to put her back in bed, when, as I leaned over her, she reached up and rested her tiny, chubby hand on my cheek, gripping me with her huge, round, still-blue eyes.  I was immobilized.  No way I was going to get up and plunk her back into her cradle.  🙂  We stayed on the couch, just loving on each other, for a good 30 minutes… precious one-on-one time.
  • I was so proud of myself to get four errands done in 2 hours on Saturday.  Maybe this doesn’t mean much to anyone else, but it was monumental to me.  We live 20 minutes from anyplace, so that made it an even greater achievement.  I got a pair of jeans from Old Navy, picked up two books from Borders, got about 15 household items from Target, and filled up my gas tank.  Woo hoo!  All of this was, of course, done unaccompanied.  If I’d had all five kids with me, the time involved would have doubled, at least.  Plus, I’ve discovered that I just can’t try on clothes with all the kids; we all lose patience with the process and with each other long before shopping is done.
  • Speaking of jeans, I got a pair on clearance, and paid $19.45, with tax, for them.  I was happy.  However, since we had only $20-and-change left in the budget for the month for clothes, I had to completely ignore everything else on the clearance racks.  I think I’ll fill out the online survey which will net me a 10% off code, then go back in March and see if I can’t fill out the kids’ wardrobes on the mega-cheap.  At a glance, I was able to see that there are LOTS of clothes for $1.97, $2.97…  Cool.
  • I started the book — finally — that my friend Kathy chose for our next book club meeting.  Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin.  I had heard a bit about the book, previous to reading it, but didn’t know much about it.  Now that I’m reading it, I find myself thinking, “What if I had forever missed out on this story??”  It’s that good.  So far, anyways, 87 pages into it.  Is there a word for that?  That feeling of regret one feels for your hypothetical self, if you hadn’t experienced what you are now enjoying.  Hm.  Anyone?
  • In our efforts to save money, we have dramatically cut down on the number of times we eat out.  We used to go to a restaurant after church on Sunday, oh, three times a month.  We decided to cut that down to twice per month, but have actually been able to drop our patronage of Ajo Al’s to one time per month or so.  It really is a stretch for me — energy- and time-wise — to both prepare a meal and get myself and five kids ready to get to church by 8:15 or 9:00 (depending on my responsibilities for that morning).  But, with the help my new 5.5 quart Crockpot, I’ve been able to.  What I have been doing is preparing everything on Saturday night, putting the crockery in the fridge, then just plopping it in the cooker on Sunday before we leave.  Yesterday was a red pasta sauce with meat… semi-homemade, with Ragù, canned diced tomato, LOTS of slivered shallots, fennel and mixed Italian herbs.  Plus ground beef.  All I had to do when I got home was boil up some Chinese rice “stick” noodles, the gluten-free version of vermicelli.  The only bummer about not eating out, is that we order enough to have both lunch, and leftovers for dinner every Sunday.  So, every Sunday we eat out, that takes care of two meals.  Somehow, eating leftovers of the same day’s homemade lunch doesn’t seem quite as appealing to anyone, myself included.
  • Lincoln Log chaos in the family room

    Lincoln Log chaos in the family room

    The boys have been playing Lincoln Logs nearly non-stop since yesterday afternoon.  We had some already that see near-daily use.  But, a good homeschooling friend of ours gave us some of a wealth of Lincoln Logs given to her by a neighbor.  What she gave to us nearly tripled our supply.  Thanks, Allison!

  • Church starts at 10:00 with worship.  These days, that typically lasts 45 minutes.  The days on which I lead worship in SuperChurch (our kids aged 6-12), we start worship at 11:00.  So, those Sundays are chock-full of worship, which is often JUST what I need.  I so love to worship.  I spent the second half of yesterday’s “big church” worship on my knees, not even singing, most of it in tears.  What I really wanted to do was lay prostrate, which is semi-regular worship behavior in our church… but I struggled with feeling like I would be a mini-spectacle, there with my big rear end for everyone to see… which is bunk because most people wouldn’t even be able to see me.  I just should have done it.  God still met with me in worship, though.  And, then I went over to lead 90 kids with streaking makeup, blazing red eyes, and a drippy nose from my tears.  Lately, we’ve been doing all upbeat worship in SuperChurch, so it was like a … sacrifice of praise, purposefully praising God for His goodness and power, even though I still felt like melting.
  • My hubby and I had a near-date night on Friday, only our second since Fiala was born (!).  Ideally, date nights are just him ‘n’ me, staring into each other’s eyes.  This one, though, we had Fiala with us, and shared our evening with about 40 other people, all celebrating our friend Lockley’s 40th birthday.  We went to an Italian restaurant.  Usually, Italian restaurants are the bane of celiacs (Lockley has celiac disease, too!), but this one, I discovered, will substitute spaghetti squash for regular noodles, making nearly every pasta dish gluten-free!!  It makes for an expensive plate of almost-all veggies, but it was still very tasty!  I had their Rustic Roma sauce with smoked mozzarella and hot Italian sausage.  Yum!  Part of the reason we’ve had such infrequent date nights is the lingering thought that we don’t have enough money for one.  Costs add up quickly when babysitting is $10-12/hr.  But, we put the expense into the budget, and already had the money set aside.  Yay, budget!
  • Other than a few lingering coughs and an overabundance of mucous, we’re all recovered from the bout of RSV that made everything grind to a near-halt for nearly three weeks.  Bless God!!  We did decide to put Wesley on Singulair for the rest of the cold months, meaning that by April or so, we’ll take him off, since he has virtually no symptoms in the summer.  It’s not a steroid, and it has no build-up effect.  It works by inhibiting leukotrienes, which contribute to the cascading inflammation effect that leads to an asthma attack.  I’m ALWAYS hesitant to stick medicine in my own and my kids’ bodies, but I must say that Singulair has been very effective.  This past week, the only day that he’s had asthma symptoms was yesterday;  I realized that I had forgotten to give him the medicine in the morning.
  • Plus, our weekend held the big boys’ scrimmage baseball game, and I did housework… never enough housework, of course.  I still have four or five loads of laundry to do.  I usually do 3-4 loads during the week, but I like to get ALL of the laundry down to ZERO on Saturday, which is usually an additional 8-10 loads.  Too much laundry compared with the number of hours in the day…
  • Busy, but happy weekend.  I’m glad that it’s over, though.  Mondays are relatively slow — back to the normalcy of homeschooling, and my parents coming over for dinner.  My mom is cooking tonight!  She’s bringing split pea soup with ham and salad, and I’m making gluten-free cornbread to go with it.  Yum!

About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on February 23, 2009, in Allergies, Babies, Books I'm Reading, Budget, Celiac Disease, Clothes, Cooking/Baking/Food/Recipes, Family, Homeschooling, Housework, Medical Stuff, Motherhood, The Dear Hubby, The Kids, Vineyard Phoenix, Worship. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. How do you get such beautiful pictures?

    • Tina, thank you! I set my digital camera for the highest resolution it’ll go on (4 megapixels, in my case). Then, I regularly zoom and crop. Also, I like the light when no flash is used… makes for better shadows and a softer overall feel. I’m not really knowledgeable photographer, but those are two things I’ve learned. 🙂

  2. Can you find someone else with multiple children who would swap baby-sitting with you a few times a month. This way both couples can have more date nights? We do that with several other families. We just have the understanding that you’ll watch mine and I won’t pay you. And I’ll watch yours when you need it and you don’t have to pay me! We big families have to stick together! 🙂

  3. I feel the same way about my daughter. Even when she is teething, she is such a sweet, gentle, happy baby. I am so in love with her and so grateful to be her mom. She brings me such joy and peace.

  4. The picture is adorable, her eyes are beautiful!!! Don’t ya love it when they make those discoveries?? 🙂

  5. “Is there a word for that? That feeling of regret one feels for your hypothetical self, if you hadn’t experienced what you are now enjoying.”

    Hmm… I don’t know of one. I don’t know if I’ve had that feeling either.

    I did, however, discover yesterday that I have buyers remorse even for things I don’t purchase. [smile]


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