Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Excuse-to-Dress-Up Day!

I don't do Halloween.  Neither my husband nor I grew up celebrating Halloween, so it's just not a big deal to us.  Honestly, not much really appeals to me about the witchy festivities, and I really dislike all the ghoulish decorations.  I'm not being a hater here; if you love Halloween and want to throw your energy into making it a big day, go for it. It is just not for me.


Who doesn't love candy?  I mean, besides dentists and my Sammy?


Pumpkins are so cheerful (and, uncarved, they make great decorations right up till Thanksgiving).


I love love love playing dress up.  Yep, I'm a grown-up mom lady person and I still play dress up.  Only my kids don't know it yet.  They must think everyone dons a polka-dot dress and vibrant red lipstick to perform domestic chores.

I happen to have a lot of candy and pumpkins around, but one can never have too many dress-up clothes.  The happy, cute, creative costumes and the chance to show off my happy, cute, creative children are the only reasons that make me wish we did Halloween. Especially when I see something like this lovely little concoction from one of my favorite blogging crafters.  What kind of dress-up loving mama would I be to deny my lovely little girls something like that?

When I saw The Cottage Home's duds, I started thinking through my stash of fabric, creating a similar ensemble in my mind... Let's see, I have shiny red satin, sheer sparkly organza, happy striped and dotted ribbon, and absolutely zero extra time.  Bummer.  Because my girls need some new dress-up stuff.  Really.  What they have only fills a small laundry basket and it is all Disney Princess garb (which I hate and they love.)

The next day a friend and I hit Old Navy for a massive sale they were having (a situation that deserves an entire post of it's own: 2 mommas + 2 nursing infants + 2 two-year-olds = absolutely hysterical chaos!) and I saw a rack of costumes marked down to $5.00.  Plus, I had a "40% OFF" coupon.  So, instead of the original price of $29.94 I paid a whopping $3.00 for each outfit!  That's less than a happy meal, folks - and guaranteed to last a lot longer! 

 Is the construction of the garments solid? No, I've had to repair the queen bee dress twice already.  Does anyone care? No!  It was $3.00 people!

We are very happy on this last day of October, (despite the rush-to-school yelling) and we hope you all are too.

Boys dress up too! My sons had outfits (homemade, so take that!) for the school costume parade on Friday. Weston was a Christmas clown (say what?) and Sammy was a laptop computer (because his dad thought it would be cool).  But OF COURSE, I did not get any pictures snapped. Maybe I'll make encourage them to become their clowny computery selves again today.  We could hit up Great Grandma's house during the town's trick-or-treat hours.  She always has lots of candy around. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mornings at Home

It is a beautiful morning. I would try to take a picture, but my photography skills are not worthy.  And I don't want to change out of my pajamas one moment too soon.

The fields and yard are frosted, the barns and trees silhouetted against the slowly waking sky.  A thin band of pink rims the eastern horizon, a thin fog gentles the dark blue above.

I do not know what the rest of the day will look like.  At this point, un-forecasted as I am, it is a guess either way.  Maybe it is the suspense of early morning that appeals so much to me. I fluctuate somewhere between opti- and pessi-misms and would like to think this will be a beautiful day, but I know that it is late October and chances of rain abound.
Regardless, I have my love, my babies, projects and chores, and the confidence of God's love.  It will be a lovely day, no matter the color of the sky.  

And now... for some coffee!

**I should note that Sunday mornings are typically the least beautiful around here. But a sick-yesterday-I-feel-fine-now child keeps me home today, and it is far more relaxed and restful.

**I must note that I just overheard one son tell the other that we are staying home from church "because you were sick yesterday and the Bible tells us, if one of you is sick he should stay home." I think I need to do a better job with those Bible lessons.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Too Young

I was going to write about the lovely colors around me this season, about the contrast of freshly-painted barn against the blue sky, the muted colors of a rainy fall day, the shiny hard orange of so many pumpkins...

But just as I started typing a distraught three year old flung herself upon my lap.  "The boys say I'm too young to do it!"  The new box of Legos (an 8 year old's favorite birthday present) has just been opened.  She is too young for it.  I gently try to explain, while at the same time loving that she fits so perfectly between the keyboard and me.

Will picking out a picture for mommy's post mollify her?  It is hard to be too young  for stuff, I know.  I think I'm too young for this mothering gig, but...

Here's the picture she chose:

Cute little cousin friends. It's nice to be around someone who doesn't think you're too little to play.

What do you know? She chose a picture that showcases the beautiful fall weather we enjoyed for so much of October.  Looking at this picture makes this rainy day a little better for several reasons:
1. I am not watching anyone play soccer right now, but sitting in my big, dry house smelling the homemade beef & vegetable stew simmering on the stove.
2. Remember? We have had a nice fall.
3. I love my nephews (and nieces!).

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bedtime Cometh

I sent thee to bed; why dost thine screams echo down the hallways?
Thou hast been given the water, blessed with prayers, covered with the blankie of thine chief affections.


Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Little Pumpkin Love

Little things make me happy.  Like the mini pumpkins we have in over abundance around here.
 This little pumpkin, however, did not have any friends. He was very lonely.

 Sometimes when we're lonely, we just have to look around.  There's probably another pumpkin out there who also needs a friend.


No wait a minute.
This is not that kind of blog.
Please. Get a mini-pumpkin room.

I'm sorry, folks. I had no idea pumpkins thought these kinds of thoughts.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Or Maybe

There is something about a vacuum sweeper sitting with its unwound cord spiraling around itself that looks so unkempt. Or maybe it is just the un-showered and pajama-clad momma that projects feelings of unkemptness onto her surroundings.

* * *

If you give all your children names that start with the same letter it sure makes passing on monogrammed garments easier. Or maybe that negates the purpose of personalized stuff.

* * *

If you pretend that you're a Scottish housekeeper giving a video demonstration of how to do laundry it makes the daily task a lot more fun. Or maybe it just shows that you have soom oonderlying ishues ya need ta werk oot.

* * *

The Scottish housekeeper observed that it would be much better for the environment if all of mankind adopted a nudist lifestyle.  Or maybe that would make phsychiatrists wealthy.

* * *

The spell check on this thing is broken.  Or maybe I'm just a fantrastic speller today.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Puttin' On The Feedbag

Hungry complaints.
"I don't like sitting here, all I do is watch you guys eat and I don't get anything but these crummy little puffs."

What is this new thing?

By tradition: Daddy feeds Baby her first cereal.


But she's liking the spoon!

An overly-helpful audience.

A (rather hungry) audience member. How does that hair taste?

And so it begins. We are no longer solely dependant upon Mama. Just one little step in a lifetime of moving away from me.

I think I'll go cry into some fudge.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I am letting go of my temper a bit while making tacos, nursing an inattentive (but hungry) infant, correcting children, trying to ignore the building noise and hyperactivity... the dinner hour at our house seems far from peaceful.
"Lord... You're going to have to make me more patient!" My prayer hisses out through clenched teeth.
This is supposed to make me more patient.
I will probably face more trying circumstances than these.
If the supper rush around our home makes me lose control how can I expect to handle real difficulty?

I'm practicing patience.
Practice makes perfect, it doesn't mean that it already is perfect.

When I'm perfect at patience, I won't have to practice it... I'll just be patient.
And probably dead.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I need to change the layout of this blog! Help, anyone?

Glittery Wings in the Warm Air

Typically, I'm one to want weather to follow the proper order.
Winter = Cold.
Spring = Balmy (and yes, rainy).
Summer = Hot.
Autumn = Crisp.
But this string of extra-warm October days have been lovely. The mornings are just a teeny bit sharp, a thin fog hanging over the drying corn. The mild chill gives way to afternoons comfortable for flip flops and t-shirts. Laundry on the line and paint on the porch both dry quickly. There may be an over abundance of those smelly orange ladybug-look-alikes, but even those catch the afternoon light on their wings and redeem themselves with glittery spectacle.

I've enjoyed these last two weeks.
Rumor is that real October arrives tomorrow.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Not a Real Blog Mommy

I feel as though each time I actually do click "PUBLISH POST" I must re-introduce myself since such great amounts of time lapse between entries. [Hi, My name is Honour, I have a lot of kids in a big house. My kids say funny things and entertain us endlessly. My house is old and a constant source of work.]

What keeps me from writing? There is no shortage of inspiration around here. There's this cute little Lover of Standing...

Can you see the delight on her face? Doesn't it make you want to go find an ottoman and hold on to it? I had no idea furniture-assisted standing was such a wonderful thing. Imagine what she'll think when she can be up without help! And how about that helpful boy in the background? I have no idea what I would do without him around. He makes me smile.

We've also had a slew of Birthdayness going on lately.

Someone is always celebrating around here. More cupcakes coming later this month.

We also have been watching a LOT of this:

I'm sure that my esteemed readers (thanks, Mom & Dad) will recognize this activity. All three of my oldest children have chosen to play parks & rec sports this season. So four afternoons out of the week find us watching soccer, soccer and flag football. I'm ready for it to end. Very ready.

So I'm not lacking inspiration, just time. What is it that takes up most of my time?

Sometimes Irritating.
Always with lots of Laundry.

Let's walk through this picture, the one that "Real Blog Mommys" never show.

Upper left hand corner: a Fall Dress I made for G.Baby. I am so proud of this dress, since I got all creative-and-adaptive with it, only loosely following a pattern and adding touches of my own. Full of vanity, I love every compliment that she receives while wearing it. If I were a Real Blog Mommy, I would have already posted a charmingly upbeat tutorial with lovely pictures of each vintage button (really vintage - rescued from the trash!) and a link to my etsy shop where you can purchase one for your own darling infant!
Is anyone picking up on my little burst of jealousy here?
Moving on.

Middle background, behind Baby's head: a Stack of games for the "Family Game Night" we never had. [Sorry kids.] A Real Blog Mommy would have not only held "Family Game Night," she would have coordinated clever snacks and had a meaningful lesson to go with each game. And invited the neighbors.
And taken great pictures.
And posted about it the next day.
Let's keep going.
Center of picture: Four baskets of laundry, in various stages of folding. Real Blog Mommys do not mention laundry. Their children are clothed at all times in adorable, hand-crafted togs that never become soiled.

Foreground: Playdough. Not homemade (as a Real Blog Mommy would have) but a true obsession of the green-dressed beauty. We take playdough to soccer games. To the grocery store (it stays inside the diaper bag there). To Grammy's house. She loves playdough. I hate it; it is messy and the colors are always mixing themselves up.

Foreground: The Boxcar Children. One of my favorite bits of children's literature. A Real Blog Mommy reads to her children nightly. I am just thrilled that my children are independant readers so they can fulfill their reading requirements for school with minimal involvement on my part. I just approve their books, initial their charts and smile... And then scramble at the end of each month because I remember that my kindergarten student isn't actually reading yet (although she interprets the pictures wonderfully and provides much more interesting dialogue than the authors provide) and we have to read 30 books before bedtime so that she can get her reward from her teacher tomorrow.

Center: Much-cuddled (if diaper-neglected just the teeniest bit) Baby. Caring for my children and trying to make our home a clean, loving environment for growing those children up takes up the majority of my time. I do not have a "real" job and I have absolutely no idea how "working mothers" actually hold their lives together. I seem to struggle just to find my way out of a grungy t-shirt. Our home is constantly messy and always enduring one improvement or another. We know from pictures that Real Blog Mommys have lovely homes, white teeth, well-behaved children and sew, cook, homeschool, publish books, run an etsy business, volunteer, and photograph their every perfect moment.

I suspect that they also have maids and nannys hidden outside the edges of each photograph. This suspicion maintains my feeble grasp on sanity. That and the fact that I absolutely love my life, messy, silly, sometime irritating and full of laundry.

PS -- for those of you that are worried, G.Baby spends almost no time on top of the dining room table. She is the only part of this picture that was posed. W.Beans and the various props happened to be there already and I just plopped the baby in there and snapped a few pictures. I promise.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Have the Shirt

I was such an awesome mom this morning that I wore the shirt to prove it. It's a long-sleeved tee that I bought in the boys' department of Old Navy for $2 and it says "Awesome!" across the front.
That was this morning, when I was on top of the world. Or at least on top of my little world. At the very last minute before the school kids left I remembered the dress-like-a-pioneer-and-take-your-lunch-in-a-tin-pail field trip. I didn't even sweat. Kid was re-dressed and packed in amazingly record time.
Then the battery was dead in the Daddy car (usual ride to school). No biggie: I whipped up the toddler and baby, loaded all five offspring in the car and dropped them off before the tardy bell even thought about ringing. On the return home, I listened to NPR's partial listing of Nobel prize winners. I felt like I could fit right in.
I played with the least'uns, tidied the house, even organized my fabric piles a bit. OK, I just mostly moved the fabric piles around, but I did put some pieces aside for a project I have in the works. By the time the Big Ones got off the bus, I had a snack ready, stuff packed and hurried us off to the soccer-meets-football-meets-piano lessons that is our Monday afternoon.
But now.
Now I've finally put five exhausted children to bed (late), at least one sleeping in her clothes and another crying for reasons unknown.
I am not awesome anymore.
That's what happens when you change your shirt, I guess.