Real life

Thursday, April 17, 2014

This is real life, folks. Messy floors, overstuffed pantries, laundry all over the laundry room floor, snacks on the hardwood floor, babies with dirty bibs... This girl loves to be in the pantry, tearing the place apart, sometimes while grinding her snacks into the floor. She's exploring every nook of the house now, and nothing is off-limits. And she doesn't just play quietly when she gets there, she takes everything off the shelves, out of the container, rips things apart and destroys them. A room comes apart just like that when she's in it, so some days I just don't bother to pick up. So full of life, that one!

Some other things that have been happening over here lately:

I've been helping Ben and Mila with big school projects lately and spending time with Olivia before school, letting her practice reading and working on spelling words with the blending sounds they've been studying in school. I want to make sure she ends her kindergarten year strong. She's already such a good reader!

Our vacuum broke the other day, so we borrowed my in-laws' vacuum to use this week. One more thing on my to-do list.

I started running this month and I'm kind of obsessed with it. It's amazing that I can do it again after my arthritis diagnosis, and that's only because I'm on a mostly plant-based diet and eating as little meat as possible (I found that when I eat meat, my joints will always hurt the next day). I'm using the RunKeeper app to track my runs, and I'm loving it. I'm hoping to sign up for a 5K soon, and then do a 10K and see how my joints respond. I just wish I had a running partner...

I haven't made macarons in years but have been wanting to play around with different flavors and fillings for too long now, and yesterday I finally got a chance to try. I bought this macaron baking sheet to make them perfect, aaaaand...I failed miserably. They ran into each other while baking, were super flat, and stuck to the pan. Now I really need to figure out what I'm doing wrong. I have it in my head that I need to master macarons, and so I need to! :)

I haven't been very good about sticking to our budget and I've been horrible at saving money. My good start has turned into a bad situation quick. I need to double up my energy and focus on getting some money put away, especially since this laptop of mine is super slow and it feels like it's on it's last leg. That's one reason blogging has been overwhelming me lately. I would love to upgrade to an Apple this time, but that means I need to start saving for one asap.

Naomi understands so many things I say to her. It's amazing that she's 10 months and already responding to directions. She knows when I say "babuh" in Ukrainian, which means she's about to hurt herself. She stops doing whatever she's doing when I say it. She also knows owie, "idi syuda" (come here), "nimozhna" (you can't have that), "day tsyom" (give me a kiss), bye (she waves when we say it), and when we say "na," which means "here you go," she turns around to see what we're giving her. She knows "na hamu" means she's getting something to eat. I can basically say anything to her and know that she understands me.

I have periods where I don't care much about music and only listen to the radio, and other times where I want to listen to good music all the time. Right now is one of those times. I recently bought this CD and am waiting for the release of this one, and this one is in my Amazon cart.

The house has been taking shape the last couple months as I clean and dust and organize. I swear it never ends, and I feel like that's all I talk about--what I'm cleaning and what I just organized--but it really is a full-time job keeping this house in order. I feel like I've made progress recently, and the office, laundry room, linen closets, our walk-in closet, and some kitchen drawers have all gotten purged recently. This makes me excited, because it means I have more time now to work on projects that I've been neglecting for too long, like printing pictures and mending some clothes. I'm hoping to keep the clutter to a minimum from now on, and live with as little things in our life as possible.

I miss my husband these days. I feel like it's me and the kids in this house, and he's off somewhere doing his own thing, and it makes me sad. It's his busy season right now, so I'm hoping once June comes around we'll be seeing a lot more of him.


Eight months of blessings

Easter is this weekend, and in typical fashion here in our household, it will be a busy one! We have a tradition of dinner and an egg hunt at my parents' house on Saturday, and then celebrating with Bogdan's family on Sunday. I'm in charge of the egg hunt at my mom's, and of course I haven't bought the candy yet, so there's that. I need to think of what dishes I want to prepare to bring to both houses, and I am still working on the kids' Easter outfits. I just ordered shoes for Naomi that I'm hoping will come on Saturday. If not, she will just have to wear her too-big moccs because frankly, I'm really tired of seeing dark brown ones every day. She has two pairs of shoes, a dressy shoe and a casual moccasin, so she definitely needs some more selection, if only for my eyes. :) The one thing I have done (I think) is their Easter baskets. They are super simple, with a chocolate bunny in each and a small selection of candy. Again, I ordered a couple things off Amazon the other day, but I don't know if they'll get here in time. I decided not to do an egg hunt at home this year since we're doing one at the grandparents' now, so I'm hoping the kids aren't too disappointed. I just think it will be too much candy and it's really hard to squeeze it in a full weekend anyway--it usually ends up rushed or an afterthought. Ben has a soccer game on Saturday, there's a speaker I really want to hear in town that night, a bridal shower I'm going to tomorrow night, and church tonight. Hopefully we can squeeze everything in without too much falling through the cracks. 

Amongst all the chaos, I hope I keep my cool and keep my eyes focused on why we have Easter in the first place. I loved teaching my Sunday School class the Easter lesson on Sunday, and every time I teach, it reminds me of all the truths the Bible has for us. I love that I am able to also teach myself just by opening the Bible up, doing some research, and putting a lesson together. The word of God is powerful, and even though I may not even be looking for anything for myself at the moment, it still reaches my heart and speaks to me. I am so thankful that Jesus was able to overcome sin and gain salvation for us all. It really is pretty amazing to think about what he went through, and how he was forsaken even by God at one point on the cross when he yelled, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" He had to do it alone, and he persevered, even though he was bound by the limitations of his earthly body.

On a completely unrelated note, here are some shots of Naomi at 8 1/2 months. I don't remember the details of that time now, but these pictures remind me of how she was then--pulling up on everything, so curious, and always on the go. We love her so!

February: phone edition

These are bits and pieces of our February, which I am posting very, very late. Looking back on the month, we were still inside a lot, we still had snow, I saw friends for lunch, including a friend I hadn't seen in a long time, my sister Julia was in town, I even made bows for Naomi's hair, and we went skiing a couple times before the snow got really bad, which was the highlight of the month for me. To clarify, I went snowboarding, not skiing, but we took Ben up his first time and he was amazing! I was nervous for him because he is pretty accident-prone, and I didn't want any broken bones or head injuries. Well, he was so much better than I thought he would be, so it turns out I had nothing to worry about. We had to tell him to slow down a lot, but he was totally able to go on all the lifts and ski down with us on the regular slopes after beginning on the bunny hill. Looks like next year we may have to get season passes and get some good skiing in since Naomi won't be completely reliant on me anymore. February was definitely better than January, but now that we're more than halfway through April, I'm just really excited about May! I feel like the first months of the year build on each other, and things improve with every month until it's green outside again and the sun is shining. I'm definitely not a big fan of January and February in general, but I think this year I made the most of it, so I'm thankful for that.


Thoughts on blogging

It's been two months since my last post..and frankly, I hoped this wouldn't happen again. I've taken breaks from blogging like this in the past, but I told myself I'd be consistent with posting things on time going forward. Obviously I've failed miserably again. I get really busy and overwhelmed with things in my life, and blogging is usually the first thing to go as I try to restore balance to my life once again. I just can't find my groove on here, or even with pulling the camera out to snap pictures of whatever we're doing.

It hasn't turned out how I imagined, and I've definitely contemplated just quitting before, because 1) it's really, REALLY time-consuming and 2) I want to focus on being with the kids while they're little and not wanting to take time away from that. I'm one of those people that likes to bite off more than they can chew, so sometimes it feels like the right thing to do is to scale back and give up blogging if I want to be realistic about it. But then the flip side is I love the memories I get to preserve on here, and I've dreamed of my own little blog for so long and I know it's a dream that isn't ready to die yet. I don't get a lot of comments on my posts (though I do know from Blogger statistics that people are reading), and I would have loved more interaction and more of a community on this blog. I know my popping in here and there hasn't exactly contributed to making that happen, so I understand some of the cause for that, but I wish people would stop trying to be so anonymous online. It's interesting that of all the people I know, I'm sure at least some of them have read my blog, yet not once has anyone mentioned reading it to me. Okay, maybe like once. It's as if it doesn't exist. And I find it interesting that some of my closest friends don't read my blog, because I think I would read my friends' blogs if they wrote one. Even my husband doesn't read it! So I guess I feel a lot of times that it's pointless anyway, so why spend the time. I've thought about making a book out of these posts for the kids to have as a kind of journal, but who knows if that will ever happen anyway..I don't know.

There are all these marks against it, but I don't think I'm ready to call it quits either. I think I just need to manage my time even better than I am and try my best to be productive and balanced in every area of my life so I will have energy left over at the end of the day for this blog. And consistency is something to work on as well, because I like to give it my all for a bit and then not be able to maintain it long-term. I've gained so much wisdom and so many tips and pointers from reading blogs over the years, and I've been able to relate and feel a sense of comradery with other bloggers, so I definitely see the value in it. Parenting can be so isolating sometimes, and just seeing someone else struggling with the things you struggle with can be really uplifting. I love being a part of that. Just bear with me as I come up for air every once in a while. :)

So I finish these thoughts with some pictures of a day we spent up in the mountains of McCall during the annual winter carnival back in the beginning of February. These were taken right before I stopped blogging.

On our way up the mountain. 

Frozen Payette Lake. 

When in town, we have to eat at My Father's House--they serve some of the best burgers and shakes I've had.

This is the only picture I got of Naomi all day. She napped while we were sledding, then while walking around town to look at ice sculptures, the last thing I wanted to do while pushing the stroller through slush and snow was taking my camera out and taking the baby out of the stroller. She basically sat bundled up in her stroller the whole time.