Saturday, March 31, 2012

Scheming about laundry.

I'm always thinking of ways to make life around our cottage a little more efficient.  Presently I have my eye on laundry.  Laundry is something that always has to be done.  It's a huge part of life as a mom.  And where are our laundry machines? In the basement.  That means hauling all our clothes downstairs to wash/dry them, and hauling them back up when it's done. Not efficient.  Many nights after the kids have been tucked in I think I'd love to do a quick load of laundry, but the thought of putting on shoes and going down into the depths below the cottage is just too much, and so the laundry piles up.  And when it's out of sight, it's out of mind.  But that doesn't mean I can ignore the laundry forever. So I've been really scheming about what to do about this.  I was thinking, why not bring the washer and dryer upstairs?  But then the problem is, where do we put it? The kitchen would be the best choice, but there's just no space.  Our bedroom is out for lack of space (our bed pretty much takes up the entire room), the baby room is reserved for future snoozers (hopefully for a Gianna sleepover soon!), so that leaves the living room.  How would our double-decker washer-dryer look in the corner of our living room?  Hmmm.... I guess my answer is, I really don't care. It would be lovely to be able to do laundry in the living room.  And I'm a gal who loves the hum of household appliances. I sometimes wait until nighttime to run the dishwasher so I can sit and read and hear it swishing away in the background.  I would welcome the sounds of laundry upstairs.  I figure we could put some tiles underneath it, vent it to the outside, hook up the electricity & plumbing, and we'd be in business. I started broaching the subject with Christopher this weekend and I offered (I think in his mind I threatened) to call a plumber and an electrician, but he said he could probably do it himself.   I hope he means he could probably do it himself relatively soon, because when I get a house idea, I'm a dog with a bone.  What do you think of my idea?  Mom, I know you hate it. How about everyone else?  Thoughts?

Friday, March 30, 2012

Things you can eat.

We have a ton of wild leaks growing in our yard this year!!!! 

And this is all that remains of tonight's dinner.  We had chicken cilantro quesidilla pie, white rice, and a big fresh pineapple. It was super juicy and yummy.

{this moment}

I remembered!

A sweet moment from our crazy week!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Lazy Saturday

We did some of those things we've been meaning to do today, like work on the out-of-commission bathroom in the basement room and reinforce the bookcase in the living room.  Here's all the books waiting to be put back when the wood glue is dried.

Pretty lights cheer up the gloomy day...

Chris and the kids ran to Home Depot.  I listened to my favorite audio book while folding laundry : 1950's Hollywood noir.  I can listen to this every three months. To DIE for...

Planning on finishing 1Q84 tonight to round out a very nice Saturday.

A quick report...

I saw The Hunger Games tonight with Meg, we both read the book, and I thought it was GREAT. And I didn't even care for the book.  But the movie looked good and I'm a huge sucker for future dystopia.  It was SO good.  Now I'm going to have to read the second book even though the first book fell short for me.  I wonder how many movies are better than their books?  This one, by a lot.  Thanks for a really fun night Meg!!!! 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hi Russians!

Hello fellow bloggers, I was wondering if you've ever checked out the "stats" of your blog? It's so cool because you can click on "audience" and see who is checking out your stuff.  I seem to be quite popular in Russia :)  I get mad hits from Russia!  SO in honor of my Russian peakers, here's a pic...

What's this little dude's name, anyway?  All I know is that he's a really popular Russian cartoon character. He's so cute! 

STUFF, part II

Okay, today I really went to town with the de-stuffing.  I'm starting at the top of my house and going down.  The top is Max and Mimi's rooms (then down to the living room/kitch/our bedroom/baby room floor, and then to the 1/2 finished basement).  My rule is once it comes down a floor, it doesn't come back up.  So by the time stuff gets to the basement, it's either find a spot or it's out to the curb or donations.  While I was cleaning the top layer I came up with two laundry baskets packed full of kids clothes that don't fit or won't fit next year.  I got another laundry basket full of clothes and blankets to wash, and a garbage bag full of junk and old stuff that's just getting tossed.  It was a big project, but I'm happy to report that their rooms look great and Max was so excited when he came home from school to his super clean and organized room :) . There's nothing under either bed (I hate stuff under the bed, even storage.  I like to look under the bed and just see a clean floor to the other side!) and the closets are nice and neat.  The kids really love having their rooms so nice and organized.  They like it way more than having junk and stuff cluttering up their rooms.  My son has a touch of the hoarding bug, so left to himself he would keep every piece of anything he ever had.  So I have to make the decisions for him at this point. I've done it before, and let me tell you, he NEVER notices.  This is because Maxwell really likes SPACE, and Maxwell doesn't play with toys.  People buy him toys, and he never plays with them.  He looks at them once.  When Max plays, he makes up games with Mimi like family or pet shop or he likes to be outside.  If it's just him, he draws or paints or writes or reads, or he'll want Chris or me to play a board game or cards with him.  He's never been into cars or anything like that.  We have a whole laundry basket full of unopened toys from Christmas in the basement that he has never opened, and truthfully I'm hoping he never will, because we don't have the room to bring them up.  Max does love his stuffed animals though, and he likes to have them set up on his bed or on his chair.  Mimi is a horse of a different color.  She loves toys, especially dolls, and she really plays with them a lot.  She loves to create a world for her dolls, and she gets really creative with it and she can go all day (I was exactly the same way as a kid. I could totally get lost in my doll world. It was the BEST).  But even she has her quirks.  She has lots of dolls of different sizes, but if they don't fit in the dollhouse, they get substantially less use in Mimi's world. And ponies and things like that get no play what-so-ever. The dollhouse is the heart of Mimi's play.  She makes up game after game with the dollhouse as the center.  When we play together she calls it a "dolls' party" and I think we've had a dolls' party every day since she's turned three or so :)  With this in mind, there's really no need to clutter their small rooms up with the things they never use.  I bagged up a big bunch of toys at the beginning of the week: stuff that's been kicking around for the longest time but never gets any action.  Well, the bags have been in the basement for the whole week and no one has mentioned a thing.  I'm going to give it three weeks, and if no one says, hey, where's my whatever junky thing, then I'll move on to the next step.  So far, so good with my STUFF spring cleaning mission!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Happy Birthday, Mary!!!!

And in your honor I watched The Big Bang Theory tonight which you are always talking about and cracking up over, and YES it was very funny and Sheldon is the funniest one! :)

Best cookbook ever!

i got this amazing cookbook at the library. My librarian friend (and partner in crime) put it aside for me after she was done hoarding it for months. Every time I came in she would show it to me and the different recipes she was obsessed with that particular day and I'd say, "are you done yet???" and she would say,  "NO! But I'm not going to let anyone else have it, it's ours!!!"  HAHAHAHA!!!!  Well, let me tell you, she hasn't steered me wrong yet with books!  This one is fabulous!!!  I would LOOOVVVVE this cookbook for my very own.  There are just too many great recipes to write out by hand or photocopy, like I usually do with cookbooks. Every once in a while there's a cookbook that just has way more hits than misses (Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson is another of this ilk...) and this is one of those!  It's on my wish list xoxoxox.

Judy came over in the middle of my cookbook photo shoot with LOTS of Target clothes for Mimi!  Max too :) And a box 'o Diet Pepsi :)

Monday, March 19, 2012


I'm a less-is-more gal through and through.  So why then is my house always piling up with junk and STUFF????  There are so many toys- junky and not so junky, papers from every thing on earth, odds and ends and what-nots. Yes, our house is small, but not so small that we shouldn't all be able to be comfortable with our stuff.  I grew up in those gotta-have-it 80's, a definite more-is-more time, and my Gram is a depression babe who I've heard the old "use it up, wear it out, make it due" slogan from countless times.  I have generous relatives who give the kids lots and lots and lots of stuff for every birthday, holiday, playday, whatever day.  But still, shouldn't I be able to keep things to a minimum and have my house (read my life) organized????  What is stopping me from having "5 lbs of stuff in a 5 lb house", as one book I read put it?  I feel like I'm always a bit over my house-pound capacity.  We're always at about 6 or 7 pounds and trying to make it work.  How can I get to that point of 5 lbs in the 5 lb house and maintain that balance???  I'm not one who is afraid of letting go of stuff.  I let it go all the time!  So why the pile-up?  Why the constant battle of STUFF????  This is on my mind today as I look around my little house: What more of this stuff should GO???  And how can I keep any more from coming in? Is that even possible? Any suggestions?  This is something I'll be tackling this week and reporting on throughout the week, and hopefully by Friday I'll be on my way to 5 lbs or maybe even less (wouldn't that be nice?) of house stuff.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Leprechaun on the loose!

One or all of the teachers at Mimi's nursery school must be Irish, because they have been making such a huge deal about St. Patrick's Day this week.  All week long it's been green clothes, green food, and Irish music.  And they have been making little leprechaun traps and setting them up all over the room. WELL, today when Mimi got to school the room was a wreck!  A leprechaun had tipped over the chairs and the tables and wrote on them with green paint!  It said, "You missed me!"  and there were green footprints going up and down the stairs!  This is serious.  Mimi said that there was even green peeps in all the potties.  Let me tell you, those teachers go ALL OUT.  Mimi was so excited when I picked her up and couldn't stop talking about the fun day she had searching for the leprechauns at school. She told me that she's pretty sure he was hiding in the block center because she heard a little laugh :)  When Max got home she told him all about it too :)

Now the kids are playing upstairs with Gianna, who is sleeping over :) 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cultural Extravaganza!

Tonight was action packed.  We went to First Grade Game Night at CAS and made an educational board game.  We also got to choose two free books, and they were really good ones!  Then we scooted over the the high school for Cultural Heritage Night.  I'm not trying to brag, but the best display of the night was POLAND!!!!  Then into the auditorium for a healthy dose of culture. 

 This is the high school jazz band performing "Vehicle", first recorded by the Ides of March. Let me tell you, they really did their thing. Mama may have to pick up an Ides of March album.  That song was great.

 High School chorus singing Danny Boy.  Good job, kids.

 A Scottish Poem.

 Dancer from Laos.  Mimi was really into this one.  I ran into her and her mom in the bathroom. Her mom was beside herself with pride.  It was so cute. 

We also saw some fine Tae Kwon Do presentations complete with board-breaking (Maxwell's favorite). We left during the piano and flute number because...

THIS is what was starting to happen:

This family will sacrifice sleep for culture!

There he goes...

I've been letting Welly ride his bike up and down the street by himself.  He just got home from school and he's off!

And back he comes...

Also, I stumbled onto a very interesting file called "Pa's cell phone" and look what I found!!!!  Look at all this monkey business that takes place when Mommy's not around!

Do you see the long power cords in the background of the ramen pictures???  That's from when we had the long power outage at Halloween and all we could eat was ramen for a week.  The pans are Pa's attempt at Panuche a few months ago.  I'm not really sure about the rest! 
p.s. is anyone ever going to comment on my blog??? I feel like no one loves me  :(