Thursday, October 25, 2012

Convince Them with Kindness

The mess.  The mess.  The ever lovin' mess.  It's endless, and that's as it should be to a certain extent.  Today's project was to tidy up the basement family room, but Connell's agenda included "Hanging onto Momma for all it's worth".  Kinda made it tricky to clean anything with a 2 month old in my arms.  I did what I could (including a half dozen games of Wii Bowling because he likes to be in the sling while I bounce him and play).  As I nursed him, I perused Pinterest and came across an idea that inspired my newest wall art.  (And by "art" I really mean "Stuff I made on my lap top and printed out and framed because that's really as artistic as I am.")

In other news, I'm on my way to the bus stop because a 6 year old is harassing my 13 and 15 year old daughters on the school bus.  How silly is that?  Only the kid is obnoxious and has serious problems and the girls won't lay a hand on him, even when he smacks, punches, and pulls up their skirts.  SO this will be fun.

Ah, turns out the monster has been removed from the bus completely and I don't have to worry about it.  Phew.  Conflict and confrontation are NOT my strong suits.  It's kind of a sad state of affairs when the kids I took out of public school because of bullying are being bullied by a kid less than half their ages!  

Monday, October 22, 2012

Crafty Tree Art

After my last post, I got my act together and actually followed through!  I took a very cranky baby to Michael's and picked up four different colors of non-toxic ink.  I would have preferred yellow over brown, but even in the more expensive inks I couldn't find yellow.  When I got home, I printed the tree print from One Fab Day on card stock.  I set the printer to a higher quality than usual and it came out quite nicely.

I started with the baby's finger.  It worked well while he was napping and the ink cleaned up nicely with a baby wipe.

Then we added Graham's fingerprint.  He was in a bit of a rush to get out the door to play with "the guys", so I didn't get quite as many orange leaves and I would have liked... but I decided it was more important to let him actually go play in the leaves than keep him inside making fake ones.

The girls finished things up with some brown and green leaves.  I popped it in the frame and it's ready to join the ghost footprint in David's office!

Office Art

A few weeks ago, I felt a little crafty.  So I made this:

There are a zillion ways I could have been craftier with it.  I should have matted it differently and printed the message directly onto the card stock, at the very least.  But hey, I had a seven week old and I was pleased to have finished it at all.  I sent it to work with David to decorate his desk and after Halloween is over, I'll put it in Connell's baby memory box.

I started to look around for something that could involve all four kids and not take up too much space on David's desk.  I'm planning to combine this idea from Chronicle of an Infant Bibliophile:

with this idea from One Fab Day:

The plan is to print the tree and have each child choose a fall colored ink to then decorate the tree.  I'll be sure to have them include some on the "ground" for a truly autumn look.  Then I'll actually mat the project and frame it in a frame I already have.  So now I'm off to pick out some ink pads and then hope for some cooperative children this afternoon.  I'll post the results during tomorrow's ten minutes of writing.

In other news (and because I still have 3 minutes left), my Girl Scout troop is working on the Media Journey.  I'm not a huge fan of the Journey program, but I determined to get them through them so they can move on to their Silver Award in the spring.  I've re-written the program a bit by combining a great resource I found here:

with the leaders guide purchased through the Council store.  Hopefully in the coming months, I will write up the details of everything we did, including field trips, and share them here.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ten Minutes a Day

Recently I read that to become a better writer, a person should write for ten minutes a day, every day.  Even if there's nothing to say, ten minutes a day.  In theory, that's great. Ten minutes doesn't seem like much, right?  But as I sit here sit here, watching the clock, I think ten minutes feels like an eternity.  Do you know what I can get done in ten minutes?  I can switch laundry, clear the kitchen counters, get the front hall tidied, and sweep the kitchen floor.  Or I clean off the bathroom counter, put away all the clean towels, and strip two beds.  Or I could clean out the fridge and take out the trash.

Then I start to wonder if that's all my life is right now.  Kids and cleaning.  Kids, chaos, and cleaning.  And then I wonder if that's so bad. It used to drive me nuts when the teens were little.  I felt so unfulfilled, so incomplete.  But this time around, I've dealt with a job and a family and lemme tell ya - it's not al it's cracked up to be.  A double income is nice, but the emotional strain on our family wasn't worth it.  Of course, now we're dealing with financial strain, but we're finding ways to cope.  So maybe my life is only kids and cleaning right now... and in this particular moment, I'm okay with that.  No, I'm better than okay; I'm grateful.

Ten minutes still seems like a pretty long time to do something as selfish as write about my life, though. I'm not supposed to care about my audience (which is fine because I don't have an audience... ) nor am I supposed to make corrections to content in that time.  I'm just supposed to concentrate on getting words on the screen.  Let's see how many days each week I can manage that.

Still, though... ten minutes.   As I type this, I am also staring out the window at the tips of tiny shoes, waiting to see them start to kick.  Connell is zonked out in the van and it's a beautiful day, so I let him stay there.

You know, when I think about 10 minutes of sleep... it doesn't seem like nearly enough time.  So maybe it's all a matter of context.