Monthly Archives: February 2014

Let’s get this show on the road…


We’re a week away from Lent, folks! It’s actually a skosh late this year as compared to last year, so it shouldn’t spring up on anyone. It never “springs up” on us, to be honest: I attend a Traditional Latin Mass chapel, and there are three Sundays before Ash Wednesday that illustrate and discuss Lent. My brother-in-law called it “pre-gaming Lent,” which is just silly enough to be memorable but not offensive. 

As a kid, it was all about giving something up: bubble gum, candy. My parents never kept much of either around anyway, so it wasn’t a big deal. In college I learned about other options: adding prayer, doing community service. My mind was blown at the idea of giving up something that wasn’t food, let alone this other stuff (I gave up cursing– I had acquired quite the potty mouth! Not a good move for a prospective teacher). 

Now that I’m a grown-up (and no, I didn’t type that with a straight face), I not only have to worry about my own Lenten discipline, but that of my children– kids who I think should have a better sense of what Lent means than I did at their age. The Hubs and I discussed how religious complacency has settled in: Mass, Sunday School for Toughie, who will be receiving First Communion in May… but that’s about it. 

I don’t do New Year’s Resolutions only in January: I do them in August, in preparation for the new school year (I started as a teacher, but I find it’s important to do them as a parent of school-age children); I do them in November, when Advent begins a new liturgical year; and I do them before Lent begins. I have done the 40 bags in 40 days Challenge, and while it’s been fun and effective, I’ve been fluttering with FlyLady since the New Year to the point where it’s not much of a sacrifice for me to ditch clutter. In fact, most of my vices–cursing included– are not so integrated into my life that giving them up is much of a sacrifice… the downside of not having an addictive personality, if ever there was one.And I am not interested in the Lenten crafty item– I have enough artwork from the kids as it is! 

What I do plan to emphasize this year is the balance of fasting and feasting. So we’ll have a Mardi Gras “party” next Tuesday. We’ll be ok with the “Sunday Rule” (honestly– something I had never heard of as a kid!), We’ll probably get together for St. Patrick’s Day. Then the days of limited TV or no dessert don’t seem like punishment but the trade-off they are meant to be. 

For more info, and maybe some suggestions, check out my fave homeschooling mama

Here’s to raising children in the traditions we hold dear, rather than dragging them through rules and regulations kicking and screaming.


There’s not just ‘clean’ and ‘dirty.’ There are many subtle levels…

(Man, I’ve gotta learn how to make .gif files! I wanted that line as said by Bill Murray in “Ghostbusters 2” to post here. Couldn’t even find a YouTube video of that scene.)

I’m not a fan of washing clothes after wearing them once. 

Don’t get me wrong…. underwear and socks, obvi. But most clothes are not dirty or smelly at the end of the day. You can wear them a total of twice before they go in the hamper. Pants maybe get spared once or twice more. Jeans manufacturers recommend you wash their product as seldom as possible, even going so far as to suggest that you stick ’em in the freezer if they do get smelly. I’m not going that far. I don’t want icy pants.

I guess what bugs me is that, since I live in an apartment complex, I do not have in-home access to laundry facilities. There’s a laundry room on the other side of the complex, and since the Polar Express ahem, Vortex showed up, as well as the ALL THE SNOW, I am quite reluctant to leave the warmth and traction of my home for the snow and ice outside. But children were concerned, and they complain so seldom that I had to heed the call. (We doled out new chores at the beginning of the year; Pint Size Genius took responsibility for watching the hampers to make sure none of them got too full.)

So I made sure I sorted out what I had to wash– which is easy, since I have the boys sort their own clothes with a 3-section hamper– and bagged it up to take down to the laundry room. There aren’t a whole lot of options once I’m there: hot, cold, warm; normal, permanent press, delicate. I do appreciate that they switched to a swipe-card system so that I don’t have to go to the laundromat for quarters just to leave and wash clothes elsewhere. All the wash cycles are about a half-hour, the dryer always a full hour. That means it takes about 2 hours to do wash, including the time it takes to walk or drive back and forth from the apartment to the laundry room. 

Three loads I washed and dried. I dragged them all back to my place. I folded shirts and paired up socks. (Aside: is it a ‘mom thing’ to know what clothes go together? The Hubs insists that he cannot remember for the life of him what goes with what.) I stacked the clean clothes, sorted by kid, onto Pint Size Genius’ bed. And then I thought to myself, “Self– I’d better check out a drawer or two to make sure there aren’t dirty clothes in there.” So I went into a dresser (I’ll protect the identity of the kid whose dresser I opened). The T-shirt drawer was full of balled-up shirts (well… I guess that’s one way to indicate which shirts you wore, kid…). 

But when I picked up a shirt to re-fold it, I found stains on it. Why did you think it was clean enough to put back in the drawer, kid???? So I looked through all the shirts. Only three needed to go in the hamper. That wasn’t so bad. Then I found the underwear on the floor. The kids were most vocally complaining about a short supply of underwear. How am I going to keep you in underwear if you don’t put them in the right place to be collected and washed?!?! 

*le sigh* Where did I go wrong?

It’s an uphill climb, really. It took a long time to get them putting any clothes in the hamper. I felt like I won the lottery when they started putting dark clothes with dark and light clothes with light in their own sections of the hamper. So I guess it’s really not that bad.

The kids have been home quite a bit since Winter took a huge dump–of snow– in our area. The Regulator informed me that they would all stay in their pajamas to save me a little laundry. Kinda sweet, right?



Hey, there’s a thought….

Here’s to keeping it clean, folks.

Mission: Incidental

I was never one for schedules when it came to my babies. Older kids, sure: makes sense when they are actually cognizant of the fact that time moves forward and things need doing. I didn’t do the “sleep schedule” thing when my kids were little because I just felt it was asking for trouble. My kids slept through the night within a few months, and that was the only schedule I worried about. Sleeping was never a big deal to me with my boys, either: that was the day care’s problem. 

Now that I’m home with Buttercup, it’s a whole other story. For someone who doesn’t have to “perform for an audience” anymore, it drives me up the wall when I can’t get the usual amount of sleep (but I’m up with her if she gets up, because the Hubs does have to face a not-so-adoring public most of the time– if he happens to have the next day off, he’ll take over for me). And it doesn’t phase me much, usually: she would take a 5-hour nap smack dab in the middle of the day, and I would be free to get a bunch of stuff done (you know, like check Facebook and watch talk shows). 

Recently, she’s been waking up after only two hours. Not cool. Even less cool is how cranky she gets at the end of the day. The other day she conked out at 6pm after hours of crankiness. Subsequently she woke at about 1am– fun. (HINT:

So today I’m trying Operation: Double Down. 

7:30 wake up
10:00 Nap #1
12:30 Wake up for lunch
2:00 Nap #2

So far, so good. I don’t think she’s into the second nap bit, but I’m sure she’ll come around.


(Because clearly, she needs more rest if she thinks this is how to use a chair…)

Here’s to social experiments that can be conducted on children!


IN UNRELATED NEWS: This winter has been crazy! If you don’t believe me, check this out. It looks like another big storm is headed our way. I’m actually off to find my cinnamon roll recipe for my bread machine. 


Zero to Hero, Day 29: It’s time to get regular

(Oh, my…. aw, who am I kidding! I totally intended it to come across that way!)

Today’s assignment: Think through your idea editorial calendar. Bonus: develop a regular feature for your blog

I do expect to blog daily (…she says after being away from the blog for a solid week…), and this challenge was supposed to help me post on a more consistent basis. But the challenge can’t do that for me– if it could, I wouldn’t be binge-posting. 

I would like there to be a regular posting feature on the blog. Maybe my own edition of “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” of which there is constant supply in my house. I tried to do this before on my old blog: I called it “The Best Thing I’ve Heard All Day.” But I found myself scrambling to post one every day, and eventually I just gave up. Perhaps a weekly round-up would make for something more substantial. 

Here’s to giving things a spin.

Zero to Hero, Day 27: Incident revisited

Today’s assignment: Pick your favorite of all the tasks we’ve done so far, and revisit it. How can you continue to grow? (Bonus: revisit a post that’s been on your mind, and make the edits you’ve been thinking about.)

Okie-dokie… how’s about this one?

Today’s Assignment: publish a post that includes a new-to-you element.

Photo? Done.

.gif? Done.

Tweet? hmmmm…..

(Of course, when I tried to do this, Twitter froze up on me…. whatever happened to the fail whale?) So, anyway…here:


I really like this guy– I don’t usually read my husband’s Discover magazine, but I read his “Impatient Futurist” article a while back (which I don’t think he does anymore). I followed him on Twitter, which gives me a chance to read more of his stuff. And what’s really cool is that when I find occasion to comment on his articles, he sometimes responds.

He talks a lot about the obesity problem in America. Especially how it affects children. Although I don’t happen to have obese children, I find the issue important. So I like seeing that someone is talking about it and supplementing his statements with scientific study. (Accidental alliteration aside…)

Here’s to learning something new every day.