Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Art of Sorting Laundry

Did you know that there is an art to sorting laundry. My fellow women scoff at this, I am sure, but laundry tends to be myself expression. I have come to realize that you can not just throw piles: darks, brights, and whites. My life has become far more elaborate, and I can't not do it.

I  now have jeans, whites (washed warm), brights, whites, and yellows (washed cold), blacks, blues, and grays (washed cold), and reds, browns, and dark yellows (washed cold).

My piles and piles of laundry washed every day. Sorted and put away, almost every day. Mountains of laundry baskets and hills of socks. This is my art. Amid all the monotony and the repetition and the messes, this is where I express myself.

I never thought I would be reduced to this. I imagined being the perfect wife and house keeper and mother, with plenty of time for writing, reading, painting, sewing, and scrap booking. Let me tell you how in shape and trim I imagined I would be. The body sacrificing is the other side of the coin. I have aged more than my counterparts. My body has been stretched out. It's been trampled down. The life has nearly been sucked out of it. All of this has been for those beings I call my children.

I am not going to lie. My day to day life is pretty boring, a little lazy, and incredibly frustrating. This is not what I signed up for. So this is what I am left with: the anti-climatic and definably mundane life of a stay at home mother, who doesn't have her ducks in a row but rather a circus in tow. How is it I am so thankful for this and even think that others should join me in this pursuit?

I'm stopping right there. I didn't sign up for this, but this is better than I'd hope it would be. To be honest the frustration is somewhat fulfilling? I'm still trying to understand the life lives I am building. I am somewhat haphazardly, very carefully building, supporting, and encouraging persons. These people, are growing persons who are constantly absorbing information, and I am the manager of this incredible enterprise. My body has nurtured a number of children, growing and cradling complexities that science has yet to define! Outside of the womb I am guiding and shepherding children, teaching them how to read, and how to use the potty instead of peeing right where they stand.

So When I die these children make me immortal on this earth. That's not why I had them, but it is the plain and simple truth. They will go out into the world and change it. Each life matters and their lives have already changed the course of human history. How many people have been affected by my children in some way? It's the butterfly effect. They have changed me. They have humbled me. They have taught me that I am not the center of the world.

What's crazy is the more kids I have, the more love I give! The more love is exchanged! The more abundant is my life. I have so much more than I had 12 years ago. It is so strange to think of myself without my six crazy loud incorrigible hooligans.

It seems as though my husband an I are always brought to the brink. We come to a point we think, we can't give any more. There is nothing left. Then another life appears inside our own and then we find so much extra. The extra seems to come from nothing as if it comes just  to nurture the new life.

This is motherhood. This adventure, which will never be regretted and which will live on to the end of the world and beyond.

Monday, February 27, 2017

You know your behind on Laundry

I have been behind with the laundry since Christmas. I have finally learned something. Laundry is bigger than me. It is tougher than me. It is stronger than me. But it's still my job to fight against it.

I now have 6 kids ages 11-1. If my kids wash their own laundry this is what will happen: they will spill the detergent all over my basement. They will hang on the detergent dispenser and break it off the washing machine. They will close the door with laundry sticking out. Something bad will happen that will cost me hundreds of dollars. They will not be doing their own in the near future.

The laundry at the Bliss Farm has different stages. The laundry shoot stage. The dirty sorted stage. The clean and wet stage. The clean and dry stage. The waiting to be sorted stage. And finally the waiting to be put away stage. Anytime I catch up on one of these stages I am already light ages behind on the rest. 

I was so proud of myself for sorting and putting away four baskets of laundry in one night. Then I gathered the clothes off the floor of the bathroom after all the baths and showers where complete. I tossed the laundry down the shoot and, plop! Those clothes were practically in arms reach. The laundry was so backed up, it went up the laundry shoot. Laundry backed up two floors. Have you ever had two floors worth of laundry?

Then I went to the basement. There was a load sitting in the washer, waiting to be dried from the morning before, when I thought I was going to get ahead on all this laundry business. A clean load in the dryer wrinkling and a clean load in a basket in front of the drier. What? this is too much? Oh there is more.

This morning, I notice I only have partially filled baskets upstairs waiting to be folded and put away. I get down to my basement. There are two full hampers unsorted, sorted dirty jeans, darks, darks, brights and whites. Honestly this makes me feel like I've got this. The dirty stuff isn't climbing up the laundry shoot. Then I see it. Oh yes. Four baskets of clean laundry sitting in baskets waiting for me to bring them up stairs.

There is something to be said for knowing when your beat. Do you realize there are people out there that get paid for this? I do it, not for money but because I love my kids and my husband. That's it. Seems like a lousy ending, but I can't think of any other way to end this.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

How to Not Freak Out When Eating with Your Kids

How not to freak our when eating with your kids:
Do not insist your children eat their vegetables.
Encourage them to eat them. Say, "My child, I love you. Eating vegetables is so good for you. Please, eat your salad, because I want you to grow big and strong and healthy." They will respond by smiling and saying, "I love you, Mama! I know you want me to be healthy, and I want to be healthy too. I will eat my salad."

Never flat out say, "Finish your salad, then you make have more chicken," because saying this causes confrontation. If you choose confrontation, your child will respond like this, "No," or he might say, "OK," and then get chicken despite your confrontational order. You will not have peace. And you will most likely loose your cool. 

If you make the mistake of saying, "Eat your salad." Keep calm! You can fix this. After your child responds, regardless of his answer, say what you should have said initially. Reminding your child of your love and desire for their well being, will encourage positive thoughts, and he will know he has the choice of eating vegetables or not, thus empowering him to make the best choice for him.

Let us play through the worst case scenario. You said, "Eat your salad." He said, "No." You remind him of love and he still does not eat salad, which is highly unlikely, because children are rational beings who can recognize what is best for them, then you have a choice. You can either further insist he eats his salad, which will lead to frustration, or you could punish your sweet, angel innocent as a bunny, or you could let it go.

If you choose the first two choices you will most likely freak out eventually, or feel terrible, and that means you are a sucky mom. But if you choose to let it go, feel empowered. You just allowed your child to make his own choice, and you can always encourage him to eat vegetables at the next meal. Just follow these guide lines. Because life is to short to insist your children do things they do not want to do.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Easter (extended version)

Hello all Easter week is coming to an end and I think I wantto sharesomeof the quirks and adevtures of the past week starting from Holy Thursday.
Last week Thursday, as we do every year we hax a stare meal. I was particularly excited this year because I am beginning Abby's prep for firsst communion. I was explaning to her that weare recreating the feast Jesus had before he died. When he gave us his body to eat, in the form of bread and wine. Hopefully she is beginning to grasp the concept. But mostly I want my kids to associate specific rituals with specific days so that can begin to recognize the importance of these days and why we do the things we do.

Good Friday a great tradition of buying feasting food. We travel to Gene's suasage shop. Affectionately referred to as the cow store, because of the Giant cow on sign. My mom buys smoked sausage, fresh sausage, kabanosy, horseradish with beets, polish rye bread, morski cheese and muenster cheese, sauerkraut salad, beet salad, cross bread, butter lambs, sugar lambs and beer. Every year on this fasting day for 29 years I have gone here. I brought John with. As we drove to the city and back home again I reminded John of footsteps of Christ. Now He's standing before Pilate. Now He's being scourged now at 12 o'clock He's being nailed to the cross. It's 3 o'clock Christ has died.

I woke in the stillness of Holy Saturday. I gathered my troop of children. We ventured over to the church with easter baskets full of feasting food to be blessed. After the blessing we traveled home. As I began preparing my contribution to the feast, a cheese pascha, I realized I had no almonds. I got the troop back into the car and we were off to the store. Finally completing Holy Saturday with egg dying, I fell into bed awaitng the sun.

Easter greeted us with a shining sun and gorgeous weather. We found our easter baskets, attended a beautiful mass, and head over the feast. We drank champagne, ate sausage and babka and cheese pascha.Christ is risen! I have been drinking coffee with whipped cream in it every day because, He is risen! I have only a little pascha left and hardly any candy. Easter week might soon be over but at least easter season lasts for forty days.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Finally Term! Hello 37 weeks!

Now I am beginning to wrap up my birth and labor prep. I am finding out that for the first time I am not ready at 37 weeks. I have the truly important stuff done. My birth box is complete. When I have the baby I have all the things I need for a good, safe birth. I know lists are boring but if you are curious what is in my birth list this is what I have prepared.

  • Yellow fold with born at home birth certificates for foot prints
  • ink pad
  • Emergncy phone numbers
  • birth pool
  • pool thermoniter
  • hose
  • faucet adapter for hose
  • 6 towels for drying mother getting in and out of tub
  • 6 towles for baby
  • 6 washcloths (cold compresss and misc)
  • 2 plastic drop cloths for under the pool and to cover it
  • thick drop cloth to use as a liner for pool
  • unbreakable bowl
  • olive oil
  • witch hazel
  • cord band
  • diapers
  • blanket
  • Button front shirt for skin to skin bonding
  • motrine
  • 2 peri bottles (one for upstairs, one for down)
  • Bulb Syringe (for aspiration if necessary)
  • Plastic backed sheet to cover couch with for after delivery
  • camera
  • 2 lg garbage bags
  • 2 tall size garbage
  • post op sponges
  • chucks pads
  • depends 
  • ice packs
  • electrolyte drink, coconut water
  • oj
  • eggs
  • food and coffee for birth attendants
  • ginger brew
  • peppermint EO for Nausea
  • Clary sage EO for pain management
  • golden seal for cord care
  • magnesium oil for after pains
  • peroxide (for clean up)
  • Neroli EO for anxiety
  • paper towels
  • small comb (acupressure pain management)
  • after birth soaks: Tub tea, Epsom salt, Lavender and Jasmine EO
Also we turned up the water heater temp. And I am going to need to ask someone to pick up food for us for after. Also champagne.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Happy birthday Katii!

My sister Katii passed away last year battling lymphoma. I just want to reflect a
Iittle on her today. I started this on her birthday January 23, but I finished today.

I asked her help with making lunch on her birthday. I believe she inspired me.  I believe in the communion of saints, and that Katii and I can talk and help each other even though we are separated by earthly death. The meal was a success.

Katii was a fantastic cook, she was a model mother, and had an eye for beauty. I wanted to be like her when I was little, and when I grew up, I wanted her good habits and skills. I think about her frequently. Often memories of ways she helped me. She was a big sister, a model big sister. She took care of me when I was a baby and has helped me all the way even into adulthood.

I always felt special sharing my birth month with her. She was the oldest girl and I the youngest. Our birthdays were in January. I got to share it with her. This was just one of the many things I felt I had in common with Katii. I thought we were so alike. We had the same long golden hair (hers was longer), the same teeth, the same height, same love of shoes (she probably loved them more). I just always, even when I was very young, thought of myself as a little Katii. When I was little, In my mind, my three sisters paired off, Tessa and Lena, Katii and me.

I really miss her. I feel like I missed so many opportunities to be with her and learn from her. I don't even have a recent picture of us. The only one I found was from my wedding, nine years ago.

Happy Birthday, Katii! Pray for me! Pray that by God's grace one day we will be happy together again.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

25 weeks

Wow. 25 weeks already. I am way behind. I have all sorts of things I want to make for my baby and things I want finished, but nothing seems to be making any progress but the size of my belly and the growth of this little one.

Honestly today I felt very good because I actually emptied my sink for the first time in three days. My sink is clean and empty. My floor is vacuumed. My kids are in bed. And finally we pretty much finished school for the day. My kindergartener quit after phonics and I couldn't get her attention again. This is my life right now.

I can't get anything done, my food budget needs work, I hate my meal plan for the week, and I am totally overwhelmed with planning the financials of this birth. Normally I would just try very hard to say, God will provide. Only this time, I have to actually do something. I can't just sit back and wait for a miracle. Normally I have no choice but to just do nothing but pray and allow God to work. But this time I have to make a decision, and God help me make the right one.

I have never been extremely prudent. Prudence is virtue of making good decisions. I always think I am being prudent until I make the decision then I'm sure I made the wrong one. And this time I was so confident that I made the most prudent decision.

Now I need to figure out to go forward and be able to pay for this baby. And this is more complicated than having the money. There are a number of moving parts here. I need to trust God, but I'm having more trouble trusting myself. Most days, with all this chaos that surrounds me, I just want to cry. And cry. And cry. Problem is that won't even make me feel better. It won't get the dishes done, the lunch made, school completed, or the laundry washed and folded. Nope. It will just waste my time, and I do that well enough with out adding an emotional break down to the mix.

Forgive me for this particular emotional break down. It's like I've waited all day for it. As soon as this particular problem is fixed, hopefully we will only have smooth sailing ahead.