Today, I was working at the table, paying bills, Grayson came to me with a Thomas the Train book he wanted me to read. I told him that I would as soon as I was done with my "work", and the next thing I know, Jayce and he were reading it together on the couch. I took a break from my bills to catch a few photographs.
I even took a video of the event. Jayce "read" each page, word for word. I think the volume is pretty low, so crank up your speakers before pushing play!
Or a practice run. We've had unseasonably warm weather here this week, so even though it was a tad rainy, we ventured out to the Gardens with Grandma and some friends today. Just to take advantage of the weather. It did drizzle a little bit, but the umbrella really came out to play. The kids enjoyed splashing around in the puddles. I'm thankful for (mostly) waterproof winter boots! Jayce was trying to get the horse to step on him. Grayson saying, "Hi!" to a friend. This is why you wear snow pants when it's still so cold and wet out: these girls got to play in the mud/water. Then they were willing to pose for a picture! Jayce wanted to pose with Fred and Lena Meijer before we left. Too cute. A fun day outside (finally!) and a good practice run for spring. I can't wait!!
Yes, it's crude. I know. Be warned about the content of this post.
However, we have some really exciting news!! Grayson has started "potty-training". Well, not technically. I'm not sure I actually want to undertake that quite yet, but tonight Jeremy noticed that he was starting to put a number 2 in his diaper, so he asked if Grayson wanted to go in the potty instead. Grayson asked to take his diaper off. Then he pooped. In the toilet. Sort of. He at least "finished" what he was working on, while sitting on the toilet. I'll count it because it was the very first time he had put anything in the toilet.
He was pretty proud of himself, especially after Jeremy and I made such a big deal out of him going. He even got a fantastic "prize" for going.
We even got out the little Elmo potty, to see if that would be more comfortable for him.
Holy Cr@p. I have a potty-training two-year-old and I'm having a baby in 12+ weeks. Wish me luck!
Because today was Valentine's Day, I made the kids a special lunch. Yes, lunch. I decided to forgo the usual request portion of our day for breakfast because we were trying to get out to the door to the library (coincidentally, we did not make it there). So, when lunch rolled around, Grayson requested pancakes, just like he does nearly every day. I decided that since Valentine's Day only comes once a year, I'd oblige him and make pancakes. Pink pancakes. Heart-shaped, with sprinkles. It was a big hit with the kids. Especially since it was served with blueberries, which I've finally convinced myself that it's alright to spend $1.50 on a pint when snow is on the ground. I got very much used to paying a much lower price when we went blueberry picking this summer. When I pointed the camera at Grayson, this was his version of a smile. The one where I told him to show me his teeth was much worse. The kids made these cute heart projects that I got from church a couple of weeks ago. Grandma also came over and helped the kids make these "talking valentines". I walked in the door after running to the store for a few things, and I was greeted by two sweet faces, framed in hearts, that said, "Happy Valentine's Day! I love you!" Getting the kids to sit together on the couch to take a picture? Well, that part was difficult. This one was a tad blurry... Obviously, one can see what's wrong with this photo. After those two, Jayce was off and running again, and Grayson had turned his valentine into a "talking hand valentine". At least he smiled with his teeth this time.
I guess since I'm not posting all that much, I may just throw up an all inclusive update on our lives every week. So, here is goes:
My venture into becoming a proper housewife/mother is going well, I suppose. I put up some pretty lofty goals last week about de-cluttering... that didn't happen. However, I did keep everything clean. We kept up with the toys and dishes everyday. I managed to get all my laundry done and put away on Monday, so I actually skipped it for the rest of the week. Of course, that means today there is a huge amount ready to go, but I'm ok with that. The best part about this whole adventure into keeping my house regularly clean is that I have no qualms about inviting people over at a moments notice. My greatest fear used to be that my mother-in-law, who is next to a perfect housekeeper, would stop by sometime when dishes were spilling out of the sink onto the counter next to it, my stove top would be covered in food and crumbs, and the house was filthy. Now, that's not a possibility now. Another great advantage to working so hard toward keeping things here under control is that I've got regular help from the men who also live here. There's been more than one occasion that Jeremy will pop into the kitchen and do the dishes so I don't have to, and the kids have become pros about cleaning up their toys every night. They've also come to realize there are consequences to not cleaning up after themselves: the loss of toys. I love that the whole family has gotten involved in our cleaning adventure. Now, I've just got to get to that de-cluttering that I really want done. I think that Valentine's Day is the perfect starting point for that, right?
I've started the search for the perfect school for Jayce this fall. I hate this. I can't figure out who I want to hand my child over to for his education. Part of me (a big part) wants to just keep him home and try it myself. Except that Jayce regularly talks about going to school. I think he's excited about the option of actually going to a school building and meeting new friends and learning. So, I'm searching. There are a few local options that would be alright with me. Our local elementary school has a Pre-Kindergarten program (because Jayce will be five in late November, which is in time for the cut off, I want him to start with a Young 5's or Pre-Kindergarten program, although I know that he's smart enough to be able to handle Kindergarten, just too young), and better than that: they have one of the two Montessori programs in our district. I think that Jayce would love a Montessori program and that he would do so well in that kind of environment. I'm also checking into a few of the local charter schools that have a Pro-Kindergarten program. Jeremy and I also want to check into some of the local Christian schools and see how expensive they will be. I would love to send my children to a Christian school (I went to a Christian school K-12, along with college), but the expense of it is what really scares me. We live on such a tight budget as it is. Then again, if it's God's will, I know we could come up with the funds. I think that I just want my baby to stay to little for school. Unfortunately, that's not exactly happening...
I have to admit, this week has been a huge fail for me in regard to my daily Bible reading. I'm very behind, and I've had a hard time motivating myself to do my reading during the daytime when I have energy to get through some of the tough parts (Currently, I'm stuck in the end of Exodus, when God is giving Moses the rules of living and the measurements/plans for the temple - it's tough to feel motivated for all that detail.), and I'm usually really tired by the time I get into bed, so I've been falling asleep while reading, or just not reading at all. I certainly need some motivation and some prayer from my fellow believers to get myself back on track. I know that I'm going to finish out this resolution, I just need a little something to push me through this tough patch I'm going through.
Lastly, Happy Valentine's Day! Tonight, Karen (AKA Grandma, Mom and mother-in-law) is coming over to hang out with us. Which reminds me: Jeremy had an interesting night at work. He was working a radio and got a call from an officer who was involved in a developing pursuit. The officer had started following a suspicious car, and the driver pulled into a driveway and ditched the car, letting it run through some one's garage door. As Jeremy was getting the information from the officer who was chasing the suspect, he realized that the lucky garage door belongs to his mom. Yes, some crazy (or high or drunk or both) guy allowed his (or whomever's car it was) vehicle to run into Karen's garage door. At 1am in the morning. Thankfully, the people Jeremy work with are awesome, and they got everything worked out, even allowing him to go check on her and make sure everything was ok - except that Karen really needs her garage door fixed. I know that's making for a very interesting Valentine's Day this year. At least we can (hopefully) be a distraction for her tonight. So, Happy Valentine's Day! What are your plans for tonight?
Ok, one week down on my new resolution. I'd like to think it was a success. My house was cleaned everyday, and we even had company over and there was no last minute cleaning that needed to be done, except running the vacuum through the living room. I'm pretty happy with how things went. Especially when I take into consideration that I was sick for a couple of days, and my wonderful husband (and mom!) stepped in to make sure dishes were done before bedtime, toys were picked up, etc.
Of course, I certainly have room for improvement this second week of our new, cleaner lifestyle. I only cleaned things this week - there was no actual "decluttering" (Is this actually a word?) done. I didn't do laundry the first couple of days that it was "assigned" to me. I also ignored my bedroom because it has piles and piles of laundry that needs to be put away and we had family over for the weekend.... Lots of excuses, but truthfully, I would prefer to call it room for improvement. Because that's exactly what I plan to do: improve!
This week, my goal is to clean out some of the clutter. I know it's not going to happen all in one week, but I figure that if I start now, by the end of February, we'll have a cleaner, more clutter-free house to live in. And a great start to a new habit.
Standing in the middle of the street, talking with my neighbor. I looked over and noticed some of the 2 foot plus deep tire marks in the middle of the road. Some of the drifts next to our van. Our neighbor's pool. During the summer, I can stand next to it and rest my arms comfortably at shoulder level. That's another 2-3 foot on top. Our neighbor's swing set. I think the snow will inhibit the swinging today. Compare the pile to the back of our SUV. Yeah. My front yard. At first glance, you might think, "So what?" until you realize that it's level with our 2.5-3 foot tall porch. Yes, we did dig out a path for the mailman. I tried to get even with our 3 foot tall fence in the back yard when I took this picture. Notice how the snow behind it is actually taller? That's a lot of snow. Our back yard. There are actually some toy tub sitting next to the shed one cannot see anymore. Also, I don't think that sliding would be fun - only going down 1 or 2 feet instead of 4. It's official. I stand corrected. We got the storm. My apologies to the weathermen (and women) that I doubted.
As it turns out, our local meteorologists were excited about something: we certainly got our blizzard last night. Here's a few pictures to give you an idea of what we're dealing with this morning:
This is the snow, drifted up to our front porch. Our front porch is 3 feet tall. Our covered front porch also needed to be shoveled this morning. That never happens. My 6' 2" husband standing in our front yard. The snow was up over his knees. Walking through tire tracks in the road in front of our house. Otherwise the snow would have been up and over his boots. Jeremy had the privilege of working overtime last night because of the storm. He was sent home this morning and had no problems navigating the roads until he got to our road. As he came down the hill near our house, he "gunned" it to make it all the way to our driveway and drove through a hiding snowdrift that was at least 3 feet deep. He told me at least 6 inches of snow covered his entire car, and that he couldn't stop. Thankfully he made it home safely. This is a 2-3 foot drift in our back yard. I don't think we are going to be going out to play. The edge of our driveway. Thankfully our wonderful neighbor came over to help Jeremy with the driveway after he got home from work. Again, that's between 2 and 3 foot deep. This is the product of shoveling in your work clothes. Stay tuned: this storm still isn't over yet. It snowed about an inch while Jeremy was outside working on clearing out the driveway. I love living in West Michigan.