Sunday, April 17, 2011

sam & i discuss manners

sam is, overall, a very mannerly little baby.  at seven weeks, he has never yet been guilty of leaving the toilet seat up, using inappropriate language, or chewing with his mouth open.

this morning, however, we had to have a little discussion about some of the finer points of ettiquette.

while he is clearly attuned to our cultural bent toward multitasking, he hasn't yet learned when it is acceptable and when it is not.  i told him this morning that while his attempt at doing two things at once was admirable, most people agree that a pooping breakfast is taking things a little too far.

again, he shows a remarkable understanding of responsibility - he was trying to clean up after himself today.  and while i applaud his efforts, i think he should wait until he has better hand-eye coordination.  Emily Post would advise that it is not perhaps the best form to clean up one's vomit with one's face. 

as for belching in public, i think we'll tackle that one another day.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

packing & moving part 2

more thoughts from a veteran mover ...

day 4: stuff in your closets and cupboards (not counting linens, dishes, clothes or cleaning supplies - we'll get to those later). this one seems daunting because you actually have to make some decisions about whether the things in the closet are worth the hassle of moving.  the last time we moved, we needed to be ruthless since we were downsizing so much.  so instead of asking myself "will i use this?" i asked myself "am i able to get along without this?"  and if the answer was yes (and it usually was) i put it in the donation bag.
tip: pack all your winter things in a few boxes (including boots if you can!) and label them really big.  then you can leave them boxed in your new place til next winter and you won't be tripping over them all summer.
again, just a few simple steps:
1) decide if you can get along without it and sort it accordingly.
2) clean the shelves/racks as soon as they are empty, and keep the packed/labeled boxes there until moving day.

day 5: drawers.  again, not clothing or silverware.  drawers in your bedside table, junk drawers, coffee-table drawers, drawers in the bathroom ... it's weird how many places have drawers. pull the drawer as far out as you can, and repeat what you did yesterday with the closets.  can i get along without this?  if you can, save yourself the pain of moving it!  donate it or throw it out.  old game pieces and half-burned candles are not worth the hassle of keeping!
1) keep a supply of baggies on hand for keeping small things together (ie: batteries + their charger, an opened package of safety pins, whatever).
2) keep a running list on the side of your boxes what things are in them.  since drawers usually have small things, you'll probably fit a lot of things in one box - it's nice to know exactly what's in the box so you don't have to rummage through a zillion things when you're hunting down just 1 thing.

day 6: non-essential dishes.  fancy ones, big ones (what are the odds you're going to feel up to cooking a huge casserole during Moving Week?), and excess ones.  pack 'em early & get them out of the way.  again, label boxes clearly because these are breakable, and they can be the quickest things to unpack since it's pretty much a no-brainer as to where they belong.
1) wrap breakable dishes in towels, facecloths, cloth placemats, etc.
2) use sturdy boxes or tubs; dishes are heavy.

so there you have the next few days of my moving tips :) 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

packing & moving

 my mom and dad are moving, and i am sooo wishing i could be there to help!  patrick & i have moved seven (7!!!) times in the 5 years since we've been married, so we've become pretty comfortable with the whole packing & moving thing.

it's 6am, and i can't sleep.  sam slept for 6 hours straight tonight, and since my body isn't used to falling asleep when i'm not bone-weary, here i am, wide awake.   i've been lying awake in bed for the past hour, imagining what i would do if i was at home.

i'd go over & help my mom & dad pack up.  i know how overwhelmingly huge the job seems - and it's always easier when you have a plan.

with two weeks remaining, we could kill this move in a few hours (or less) every day.

this is what we'd do first:
day 1: pack up all the books.  and don't forget books in the kitchen, bathroom, coffee table ... hunt down every book you can find.  then - pack 'em.  i've always had 2 rules when it comes to packing books:
1) don't open them, even just to flip through for a minute (distracting & time consuming!  prowl through your books once you're settled in your new place).
2) keep the boxes light enough to carry.
and that's it!  that's all we'd do on day 1 - and it's amazing how quickly empty bookshelves appear once you start packing.

the next thing:
day 2: pack up all the wall art & knick-knacks (i really don't know how to spell that) & framed photos around the house. and don't forget the knick-knacks in the kitchen.  again, 2 simple steps:
1) dust 'em before you pack (don't get fancy with sprays & special cloths, just featherdust).
2) for big/breakable things like picture frames, wrap them in towels or linens & tape, then pop them in a clear garbage bag so everyone who is helping you move can see that they're breakable.
day 2 is always a quick day.  (hurray!)

followed by:
day 3: photos & papers.  this always seemed the most awful step ... first off, they're so distracting - you need to read the papers and look at all the pictures ... no!  don't go down that road!
1) sort papers into really broad categories.  for me, i like to sort them by year.  that way, if i'm looking for a paper, i only have to go through 1 bundle because i usually know what year it's from.
2) pop photos into a keepsake box.  once you move, you can sort them if you like, organize them into albums, or frame them ... but for now, just stick them all into a special photo box & feel good about it.  (don't forget the photos on your fridge!)

okay, i think i'm starting to get sleepy again.  days 4-6 will come later.  

mom, i so wish i could be there to help you like you always help me.  i love you so much.  xoxox.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

to do list

not a dreamy, hopey, someday list ... a really practical gotta-get-done-today list.
i'm SO BAD at getting things done unless i have a list to tick off.

this is my tonight list.  i'll check 'em off as i get them done, and we'll see if they all get checked off tonight!!

  • change our bed.   (this has been put on hold ... back-up sheets also needed washing.  new item below:)
  • laundry
  • clean the bathroom.
  • vacuum.
  • sweep 
  • make a smoothie (yum, this one was my favorite)
  • address thank you cards (which are FINALLY all written!  sam has a huge collection of generous friends!)
  • and maybe ... maybe ... make a grocery list.

update: 2 down, 5 and a half to go :)

update #2: so 4 out of 8 isn't bad.  i got derailed by a hungry baby and some unexpected company.  tomorrow is another day, and i will tackle the rest :).


    yesterday i had a howly day.  i cried to the Lord for help, for comfort, for guidance.

    and He said ... rejoice always.

    so i sat down with my journal and started making a list of things i'm grateful for.  two pages later, i realized that He has blessed me abundantly, and i can rejoice today, even though everything on my howl-list is still there.

    a few of the things i'm grateful for ...

    1) God's word and His voice - how assuring to hear Him speak.
    2) patrick and his midnight sam-wrangling.
    3) sam, our miracle-baby.
    4) a peaceful country to live in.
    5) food.
    6) fresh water.
    7) springtime. (i saw pussywillows on friday!)
    8) parents who pray for us.
    9) friends who love us.
    10) naps.  *happy sigh*

    i know i've made lists like this before, and they probably have the same things on them ... but i keep needing reminders to count my blessings.  sorry for the repeat :)

    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    a remnant weak & small

    isaiah 10.  God compares the mighty & proud people to a huge forest, which He will cut down.  and instead He will honour those who have trusted in Him, not in themselves.  those who have been humbled, who are not mighty and not strong.

    did i ever need to read this today.

    in the middle of the night, i found myself getting a drink from the fridge ... with my toes.  i was feeding a freaking-out little sam, and had the driest mouth, and needed a drink.  my hands were busy so it had to be my feet.  it made me realize how unimportant i have become in my own life (which is, i know, a good thing - but no easier to swallow for all that).

    then, this morning, i was feeding sam again and suddenly was covered in poop.  i thought i had it all cleaned up, but when i sat down for my morning coffee, what did i find?  poop in my hair.

    my hair.  ToeDrinks and PoopyHair.   this is my new standard of living.

    so it was overwhelmingly comforting to read that God has chosen to place His Name among the humble.  those who are weak and small and smell like poop.  He does not honour the mighty, but chooses the weak things of this world to show His glory.
    i am not a mighty cedar.  i am a weak branch, struggling daily to abide in Him.  i don't look good, feel good, or smell good.  there is no glory in me.

    yet He has chosen me (ToeDrinks, PoopyHair) to bear His Name.  He has set His love upon me, bears me upon His shoulders.  He numbers me among His people.  because His mercy is great and His love is deep.