Sunday, May 20, 2012

Scary, and I mean SCARY

Last night I was out late because of big sales at the bookstore. I got home about 10:30 PM. We went to bed as usual and had a peaceful night.

This morning  I headed downstairs to take a shower and noticed a puddle by the door. I thought that was odd. I got the mop to clean it up and noticed some shoes in the middle of the floor.  .

Then I glanced at the outside door bolt and wondered if it was locked. I checked, and it wasn't. In fact it as I turned the bolt I realized my keys were in the lock- on the OUTSIDE. Yikes! I got them out and locked the door.

Then I started looking better at the shoes in the middle of the floor. They were not our shoes and there was a wallet on the table. Hmm. . . strange.

Then things started getting really fishy and scary in my mind and I decided to take a peek in our guest room just off the kitchen to make sure no one was there. And, AND, A-N-D- there was a STRANGER sleeping in one of our guest beds. He sort of glanced at me and I RAN upstairs and told my husband, "Go downstairs NOW. There is a strange man sleeping in one of our beds." (Sounds a bit like Goldilocks, doesn't it?)

He jumped in his pants faster than I have ever seen before and headed downstairs. By this time the man was up and wondering where on earth he was! He realized that was his wallet on the table because it had a picture of his son in it. He kept  wondering why he was here and thought he must have been out drinking with my husband (my husband doesn't drink).

In the end my husband took his name and numbers so that if anything turned up missing he could get a hold of him through the police.

Talk about scary and creep me out situation! Yikes.

You can be sure I will make sure I don't leave my keys on the outside anymore. I know we have left our door open other times. But why our house? Did he go around trying all the doors?

I am just soooooooooooo thankful we are all ok and nothing was stolen!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Too much to do, Too little time aka A Day in My Life

As Moms I would say we are always feeling there is a shortage of time. Whether you have 3 kids 4 and under like me or more of them, or even just one child- TIME is just never enough!

I find myself whirling through my days trying to get as much done as possible.

Today I got up, got the kids dressed, ate breakfast and got into cleaning mode. My parents are coming next week. We get to see them once a year, living on the other side of the globe away. So this is a BIG event for us. I moved beds, swept, carried toys to a new location - so that the guest room (which when we have no guests is a play room) would be tidy, cleaned the kitchen, washed the cabinets, washed the dishes, swept the entry way and organized the shoes there. All in 2 hours! I am not usually in a cleaning mood and do not do deep cleaning often- I don't have time.

I was so happy my D-boy caught the spirit and got right in there helping me and wanting more cleaning jobs. Cute! Even my two  year old A-girlie was helping!

By this time the baby sitter had arrived and I got my newborn ready and headed to town. My older kids went out to enjoy the day with the sitter and K-boy and I headed out to run errands. We bought a gift and headed to the post office. Post offices are used for all kinds of OTHER reasons (like paying bills, receiving pensions, sending money orders, etc) in Latvia, which makes lines there sometimes hideously long and SLOW! Fortunately today was not too bad and we got in and out in about 15 minutes.

Then I ran a few other errands and called my honey man and asked him where he was and if he wanted to get lunch out rather than at home. We have not had a date in a while and he was all for it. We met and ate out. Nice.

Then I went home and had my quiet time while the sitter finished putting the kids down for their nap. Then since I am also my sitter's mentor we met and chatted, read, and prayed. Then my baby sitter went home.

K-boy woke up and I nursed him while checking my etsy, and e-mails. My toddlers were awake- but I had them stay in their room and look at books so I could "rest." Then I chatted with my Mama via Skype.

By this time honey daddy was home and the kids wanted to watch a cartoon. I let them watch two short Thomas episodes while changing baby. Then we decided we all needed to go outside and enjoy the nice day. Then we had to think about supper. . .

YIKES! Since baby was born I am out of whack with meal planning and only start fixing supper when my husband GETS home rather than the former having it ready and eating when he gets home.

We pulled out some leftovers and had a light supper and then all headed outside again.

I picked some rhubarb, which is just now coming on. I decided I should whip up a pie. So while my husband did yard work I literally whipped up two pies. I think that was the fastest I have ever made pies. BUT I really wanted to get out in the yard and do some garden work.

By this time my K-boy was wanting to eat again- so I nursed him, burped him and put him back in his buggy to sleep. Just as I began to weed in the green house he started crying. So back to baby again, and this went on all evening. He finally fell into a deep sleep and we got the greenhouse weeded. FINALLY!

Our older kids played in the yard. Their new thing is to gather moss and put it in water with some dirt and make "oil". Funny, but cute.  I remember making these concoctions too as a kid- but we called it soup. And when we had the year of the locusts we made locust soup- ha ha.

When we came in we had some warm pie- yum! My husband went off to men's Bible study. I put the kids to bed and "chilled" at the computer- catching up on convos and what not.

Yet despite this full day I feel like I didn't get enough done. The house isn't clean enough, the garden is still weedy. The floors need scrubbing and so on and so forth.

My husband has the capability of doing one thing and doing it well and thoroughly and until it is finished. I on the other hand swirl through life thinking about EVERYTHING and doing them all - but  not so well. Which is better? Doing all and not so well, or doing one thing and doing it well? Or does it not really matter?

Ok. . . who cares. . . Good night! 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

New Items

In between the nursing, diapers, laundry, cooking, napping, gardening and life of a Mom of three little ones ages almost 4, 2 and one month I have even managed to squeeze in a little me time. Better known as painting time. 

I NEED this me time, it keeps me- ME and helps me keep my sanity. 

I LOVE having a newborn, but I am exhausted. But I must admit painting sometimes calls louder than naps. 

Here are a few items I have finished in the last month. 

One Month

K B just turned one month. This month he has learned about nursing and is great at that. He has gained one kilogram. He has started keeping his eyes open more and turning towards lights. He likes sleeping in his buggy and sleeps well on long walks. 

Here he is pictured in his bouncy chair which was given to us by our church family. Thank you! 

He is very much looking forward to meeting grandma and grandpa next week!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Like Mama

It is strange how the unspoken feelings of our mothers sink so deeply into us. Things she saw as beautiful, special, and wonderful become so to us. Without her having to press it upon us or teach us, we follow her example. 

My Mama always loved lemon verbena and lavender, she was always trying to grow them in between our many moves. She was always loving them. I remember she had lemon verbena body powder when I was a child and it was cherished and so delighted in. Lately I have found myself longing for something so elegant as lemon verbena or lavender body powder. Perhaps to others these wouldn't be anything special- but to me they are ever so dear. 

I had been wanting to find a lemon verbena plant to add to my herb collection/ garden. I have been enjoying my lavender the last few years and it has really taken off. But I have not been able to find lemon verbena anywhere.Needless to say I was utterly delighted when at the plant market the other day I found my beloved lemon verbena. It was truly just as refreshing I had remembered and I am so blissfully happy about this. 

Oh dear Mama- how special the aromas of lemon verbena and lavender are to me, and how they remind of you. 

I love you. 

Happy Mother's Day

What reminds you of you Mama? Which things she considers special were quietly passed on to you? I would love to hear your stories.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Skinny Scarves

I have been discovering a trend for skinny scarves out there. And am wondering what is a skinny scarf to YOU?

  • How long and wide do you like it to be? 
  • What is your preferred material, silk chiffon, silk satin, cotton, etc? 
  • How do you like to tie your scarves?
Spring and summer are perfect for wearing scarves in a ton of fun ways. I have some great links here for those of you who love wearing scarves.

How to Tie a Skinny Scarf

 25 Ways to Tie a Scarf

Too Many Ideas

I'm  a Mom of three little ones.
I am a wife.
I am a teacher. 

I am a daughter and a sister.
I am a daughter of the King.
And I am a dreamer.

I find myself too often caught up in a flurry of dream and schemes and business ideas.

Usually my business ideas have to do with teaching English- which is in good demand here- or having a bakery/coffee-tea house. Actually, my business ideas are so many that I thought I would write out a few and see what you all think :)

English Lessons: My newest and latest idea was a dandy (or so I thought as I contemplated it- let's get some feedback here !) Since during the summer kids are way too free and parents don't know what to do about them and worry about them and them getting into trouble. . . I could offer a summer English Intensive program. It would look something like this:
  • 3-5 days a week
  • 3 hours a day- 10-13. 
  • Book time
  • Cooking Lesson and Lunch
  • Game/Active Speaking Time
  • Ages 10-12, 13-16
  • Groups no larger than 10 kids. 
Each activity would be done exclusively in English, and would be a fun and learning experience.
The length of the course would be 2 months. 
After the first week (or maybe month) kids would be "expelled" for one day for the use of Latvian or Russian in class. English only- so as to attain the best results.

Tea/Coffee  House: This is ever a dream of mine partially in part to the huge amount of compliments and fans I have for my baking. I would love to have a cute, quaint, vintage style decorated little shoppe where I would have delicious coffee and drinks, lots of yummy teas, cute tea pots, and tea cups. It must have an upstairs, with a spiral staircase (like one shoppe I loved- OK maybe not, but it would be darling). And of course there would be my cakes, cookies, candy and sweet morsels to tantalize the senses.

So there are two of my way too many business ideas. What do you think- you who know me best?

I must admit my greatest fear has to do with the paperwork and red tape of the business world - especially in a foreign country. YIKES!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Three Weeks-Something Different

This was a pregnancy I wanted to be different.
I prepared more emotionally than with any other pregnancy.
I did pregnancy art in a variety of ways.
I explored my past stories and envisioned something different this time- something easier, something less painful.

Looking back to our birth 3 weeks ago my emotions are positive, my recollections pleasant. No, it was not easy. BUT it was easier than any other birth I have had so far. No, it was not painless. BUT the most painful part of pushing which with my first two kids was 1 1/2 hours was only 3-5 minutes this time. So I am grateful, happy, pleased and no longer so afraid of birth.

I went away from my second birth thinking c-sections were far more understandable to me and maybe I would want one too.Why suffer? Why go through such incredible pain? Why, why, why?!

So if God sees fit to bless us with another child somewhere done the road in life- I no longer will live in fear of birth. I know things can be different, because they have been so for me.

Biggest Differences this birth:
  • Was not at home this time. 
  • I labored alone until I was 7-8 cm. dilated (when we arrived at the birthing center)
  • Gave birth in water. 
  • Pushing was 3-5 minutes, rather than an hour or more. 
  • Never experienced the "urge" to push or the bearing down that comes when the baby is ready to be pushed out. Perhaps this was eased by being in the water. 

Our little man is an excellent eater and takes  nice long naps several times a day. He eats 2-3 times a night. Wakes up early with the hiccups and other gruntings. He is starting to have his eyes open more.

There is nothing quite so precious and dear as the feel of a baby's downy head. 
Nothing like the feeling of holding a tiny person in your arms and having him cling to your finger. Nothing so special as gazing in awe at the perfection of a tiny human created within ones being. Nothing so dear as the comfort a child finds with its mother.
In his cocoon with his "umbilical cord" hat

Friday, May 4, 2012

Thoughts on Homeschool

As my son nears his fourth birthday I find myself thinking more and more about education, and homeschool.

I was homeschooled for my entire school career- and then I attended college and got a B.A. with flying colors. To me homeschool is natural, normal and just the best way of doing it. I can see I learned good study skills and therefore did well in college.

But being homeschooled makes a person different. I have always been different, have always felt like I didn't quite fit in and though at times that may have made me feel awkward- now I am ok with that. Being different makes a person special and unique. But being different isn't easy- especially growing up.

Being homeschooled was not the only thing that made us different. We were pastor's kids-living in the "fish-bowl'' as some say. My Mom wanted me to wear skirts growing up- I didn't mind. My husband tells me now that there are so few girls who wear skirts that when one does she stands out as feminine and attractive. (Smile).  But it did make me different. There were other things- but who really cares now. . .

Anyhow, back to homeschool. Homeschooling here is NOT normal. Usually only sick children are kept home. It is however, becoming more popular and even could be said to be a growing fad. But it is still widely frowned upon. I remember the expression of horror, disbelief and wonder when one of my colleagues/teachers at my language school (where I taught English) found out I had been entirely homeschooled. She was LITERALLY speechless. As if my parents were complete genius or utterly stupid.

I feel confused as to the education of my son. I know that for the preschool years I can teach him at home and no one will think too much of it. However, he also needs to learn the alphabet in Latvian and how to read. These are things I cannot teach him because I want him to learn them without flaw or accent. I don't know if he should learn both alphabets at the same time or first English, then Latvian. I don't know if two languages at once will confuse him and make learning to read too hard. I feel confused.

I also don't know if we should homeschool him during his school years- my husband is against this I think. I personally feel he ought be homschooled through the early years so as to get back-bone and learn how to stand his ground in his character and beliefs. He is like a sponge now, soaking up everything- good and bad. But people think he would have a hard time adjusting- would he? I just don't know.

In my deepest heart I believe in homeschool and that a child learns best with their parents who know them and their learning styles best. I know homeschool isn't for everyone. But I doubt my ability to and mostly I doubt the skepticism I will encounter. If I had a teacher's degree it would be different- I wish I had majored in something more practical in college. I could go back to school now and get a teacher's degree- but that would be hard with my little ones. I hear so many criticisms of the school system here and I really DON'T want to send my children there. What can be done about? Start my own Christian school? Homeschool? Private school? So many questions. . .

For this fall our materials are ordered and I will begin teaching D his letters and numbers in a more serious manner. I have chosen "Heart of Dakota" after much consideration and the recommendations of my friend Jessica. I am going to use the "Little Hands to Heaven" this fall.  I look forward to seeing this material first hand and trying it out with D. I hope our first year of homeschool goes well and pray that God gives us wisdom to sort through all these questions for the years to come.

The End of Cloud Nine

Since the birth of our little one nearly 3 weeks ago I have been really very happy. Sure I have had "moments" and been frustrated and so on. But I have been living in the bliss of a wonderful birth experience and been just plain happy.

BUT lately the sleepless nights are catching up with me and I am starting to get cranky, irritable and frustrated. It is hard when you want to sleep in the mornings for a bit longer and the baby starts making all sorts of noises- hiccups, gruntings, etc. I wish he would just eat and let me sleep. . . oh well.

I realized today that I MUST take a nap. I haven't been napping much because I have wanted to paint and do other things. And besides on cloud nine one has so much blissful energy.

So if you wonder where I have disappeared to I may be napping and trying to stay afloat in my new role as a mom of 3 little ones.

The house is a mess and never quite clean- but there is always just one more diaper to change and mouth to feed and so I am learning to juggle these things. . .

Real life has set in and cloud nine may be past- but I am still so incredibly blessed.