Domestic Thoughts

September 28, 2007

A very random post that came in the midst of cleaning. I can't help but share this cleaning wonder, club soda. I had read about using it in place of Windex, but hadn't tried it until a few months ago. And it really does work even better than Windex! Adam kept teasing me about it (I couldn't stop singing its praises or using it on everything in sight) until he recently tried it himself. We have now become like that family in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" only using club soda for all ailments in place of Windex. And since this post is related to cleaning. My other favorite new cleaning "tools" are the microfiber automotive rags I have been using like crazy...great for dusting, great substitute for paper towels. A big bundle of them in the automotive section is much cheaper than those fancy, single microfiber cleaning clothes in the cleaning aisle. Just another step in proving that I can be "domestic".

Now if I could just find a solution for my laundry issues. I love doing the laundry. Get strange pleasure from getting rid of stains, love the smell and feel of warm clothes fresh out of the drier, and I even enjoy folding, but I hate putting clothes away. I don't understand it, but that is the truth. So we end up with stacks of laundry all around the house until they either get used up and end up in the dirty clothes pile again or Adam puts them away or the kids use them for jumping and wrestling platforms.


September 27, 2007

My friend, Summer, recently sent this interesting report on gender differences in reading. I wasn't shocked that women read more then men, but shocked to see how much more they read. I can't imagine only reading 4 books a year...I usually read 2-4 books a week and that's not counting kids books. I guess my personal experience with reading is skewed. Growing up I was accustomed to seeing all of the adults around me reading books. At the beach, the tv was placed in the closet and everyone would pile stacks of books on all of the surfaces. Often the big room would be filled with family members quietly reading next to each other with occasional "readings" for all to enjoy thanks to my cousin, Willie. I just assumed that was what others spent their time doing at the beach between body surfing and beach combing. The men in our family read just as much and in some cases more than the women in our family. And now that I have a little family of my own it warms my heart to see Noah and Camille developing a strong love for reading. I really hope that reading will always be a source of comfort, escape, learning, and joy for them.

The NPR report also prompted me to think about my own educational experiences. Going to an all-girls Catholic high school, followed by a small women's college, and finally social work school (also predominantly female students), I didn't have too many opportunities to read or discuss books with male cohorts. I never really gave it much thought until we lived in Okinawa and Adam started asking me about the book group I belonged to (all women). He expressed a desire to do something similar so we started up a couples book group. I loved that book group. Having a mix of men and women gathered once a month to pick apart and savor various books was a new experience for me. I was struck by how refreshing it was to have men in the group. It impacted the types of books we chose and the way we discussed them....more honesty, more debate, and more depth. I think men are just as capable of empathy (look at how many authors are men) as women, but it is interesting to think about and I wonder what future studies will show about those mirror neurons. I really hope that women and men never stop reading and that the novel never dies.

I keep meaning to start a book journal. A place to list books I want to read. A place to write about books I have read and enjoyed. But the reality is I usually write down these lists and thoughts on little scraps of paper that seem to float around the house until they get lost or turned into dryer lint. Then I recently discovered Shelfari. A very cool site where you can keep track of books. Categorize them. Create a reading list. Rate them. Review them. A much better solution than my little scraps of paper. We are continuing to have computer issues but when they get resolved I will try to link my reading "shelf" on the blog. For now here is a peek. You can click on the labels at the bottom of the page to see "categories" for my books...currently three pages of books but I am sure more will be added soon. If you join, let me know so we can swap reading lists!

Recent construction

September 23, 2007

Library with parking garage
Docked steamship with cannon
Built by Noah

My Do It!

Camille is very verbal and independent these days which means she spends a lot of time telling us "my do it". She wants to feed herself, dress herself, buckle herself in the car seat, and many other exciting but messy things like change her own diapers. She is quickly learning the fine art of being a little sister. She is a champion wrestler, master tickler, and destroyer of all block/track/lego creations. And she is also learning the art of defense. Another phrase we hear frequently throughout the day is "back away, Noah!" Sometimes this is a warranted statement. Noah loves to surprise her by popping out of hiding places, he likes to growl like a bear, and he likes to twirl her hair (she doesn't like any of these things). Other times her shouts are preemptive and prompted by a fear that Noah will try to take her food/toy/book away. The funniest thing to me about her increased verbal abilities is the sound of her voice. I wish I could put a snippet of it on here. Her voice is husky and deep. In addition to her assertive statements, Camille has started singing. She loves to sing Raffi's "Baby Beluga" (also one of her favorite books right now). She sings this song in loud,husky, mournful tones as she wanders around the house with a baby in her arms. She's growing up. Growing up so quickly.


September 18, 2007

Wandering the grocery store aisles yesterday, I got suckered. I know it happened for a variety of reasons, but these are the primary ones: shopping without children, shopping without a list, and shopping while hungry....a dangerous combination. While picking out yogurt, I noticed the enticing display of chocolate syrup and was reminded of the boring vanilla ice cream sitting in our freezer. I moved away from the yogurt to examine the chocolate sweetness(if I had my kids with me there is no way this would have happened). And my eye was drawn to a fancy new bottle of Hershey's syrup. Syrup pumped with calcium and extra vitamins. So ofcourse I felt compelled to pick that one over the regular Hershey's. As I put it in my cart, I knew it was foolish yet I heard a little voice saying "well at least there is some nutrional benefit, right?". So tonight I will be eating my bowl of vanilla ice cream with the calcium enriched, vitamin filled Hershey's syrup. What's next? Beef jerkey with extra calcium? Gasoline with essential vitamins in the fumes? Halloween candy with sedatives (hey that might be a good idea!)?

Soccer Shots

September 16, 2007

Our happy soccer boy!

A Sweet New Year

We had a wonderful Rosh Hashana, Jewish New Year last week made even sweeter by a visit from the Hayes family (friends of ours from our time in the Northwest). Apple printing, family services, a birthday party for the world, and lots of apples and honey. Shana Tovah, Happy New Year to all of you!


September 11, 2007

I feel like I have just finished a marathon (or least how I imagine it feels to run a marathon!)..exhuasted and exhilerated (also how I felt after a natural delivery!) The twins have returned home and I am happy to report there were no major disasters (I'll overlook the broken stoller, broken vacuum cleaner, and torn books). Adam is on-call so the kids and I had dinner alone tonight. What a treat to just eat a nice quiet dinner with my two little monkeys.

Sorry, I haven't posted any photos lately. Our computer is having issues. Hopefully I will be able to post pics soon.

Day Four

September 10, 2007

The fourth day of life with multiples (essentially 4 year old triplets) and my admiration for parents of multiples continues to grow! Here are a few things I've learned or experienced:

  • I never expected to hear myself saying: " Remove the rake from your nose"

  • I didn't realize how quickly a pair of scissors can be used to cut all of the fingers off our winter gloves (now I know).

  • Taking a gang of four year olds for a walk in the neighborhood is like herding cats.

  • Trying to use a public restroom with three (active and curious) four year olds and a toddler is nearly impossible.

  • When taking boys to the zoo, be sure they keep all body parts behind the bars. Adam learned this lesson yesterday when he bravely took the boys to the zoo and one of the twins nearly had his hand nibbled off by a hungry giraffe.

  • Identical twins are really identical and hard to pick apart when removing them from the tub. We have had several moments of confusion and Noah still asks them "which one are you?".

  • I have now started having a glass of wine at dinner instead of my usual glass of milk.

Week in Review

September 8, 2007

We have had a busy week and are now in the midst of another weekend of labor. Here are snippets from the week:

The Good
Noah started soccer practice and had his first game. He made a goal for his team and had a blast with his teammates. Adam beamed with pride. I reflected upon my new status a soccer mom. Camille tried desperatedly to get on the field. I'll post pics soon.

I got to spend time with our friends and their newborn son, Julian. There isn't much in this world that can compare to holding a newborn, is there? Such a sweet, little warm bundle of love. Good to see our friends enjoying parenthood.

The Not So Good
We volunteered to take care of four year old twins for the next five days while their father visits their mother (one of Adam's co-workers who is currently deployed). We had never spent any time with the boys before they arrived yesterday but we are learning quickly that twins are a lot of work (I am truly in awe of parents of multiples!). They also arrived with what appears to be a nasty stomach bug. One of the boys has been vomiting all day and his car seat was handed to us full of vomit. Needless to say the day has been spent doing laundry, cleaning up vomit, and trying to reassure them that all will be ok (and also trying to reassure ourselves!)

The Funny
Remember all the cleaning we did last weekend in preparation for the military spouses gathering at our house? Well, the last few hours before the event had me in a real panic as I rushed around trying to salvage the house from my monkeys. In a flash of brilliance (which I soon realized was foolishness), I decided to strip the kids down to diaper/underwear and put them outside with a box of popsicles. They couldn't believe their good fortune and neither could I. I was being very productive until they got to their fourth popsicle and decided they were full and also very messy. Camille started pounding on the glass door (which I had already washed three times that day). In addition to eating popsicles they had somehow rubbed dirt all over themselves which had turned their sticky bodies into a grotesque rainbow of mud and sugar. While Camille banged on the door and tried to get into house (I am sure her goal was to rub her body on the newly cleaned white carpet), Noah decided to take matters into his own hand. He used the hose to spray his sister, himself, and everything else in sight. Luckily, my knight in shining scrubs arrived just in time to give them a bath and prevent me from going totally crazy. I am also happy to report the "coffee" went well and the group is off to a strong start. And also happy to say someone else will be hosting next month!

Labor Day

September 3, 2007

Since we don't have a house cleaning service or a second wife, I have found the next best solution to cleaning our house...having company. We spent the entire labor day weekend laboring hard in the house, garage, and yard. It started with my desire to finally clear out our dining room so I can host the upcoming spouse's club "coffee" at our house. And suddenly turned into organizing the garage, unpacking the last of our boxes (only a year after our move), organizing the kids closets, steamcleaning all of the carpets, painting the fence, putting up our porch swing, hanging artwork and family photos, washing the living room furniture slip covers, tons of weeding, adding fresh mulch to the garden beds, making a huge drop-off at Goodwill, and I still have to get the toliets cleaned. We are exhausted but it feels good to see our efforts paying off in a house that is clean and a little less cluttered. Makes me think we should just plan on having people over at least once a week to ensure some cleaning gets done. Hope you had a Labor Day that was a little more relaxing than ours!

Happy Girl

The Strange Blessing

September 2, 2007

I just finished listening to Rachel Baudier read from her journal for the "This I Believe" series. A moving piece about the "blessings" of Katrina. Listen/read it here. (click on highlighted text for the link).

Latest Instagrams

© Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish. Design by FCD.