Monday, September 29, 2008

My Favorite Things: Quick Shine for Wood Floors

I've decided to try to post weekly one of my favorite things. I love hearing about the little things that make life easier or are just good finds. So, I will flatter myself into thinking that those who read this blog may enjoy mine. My plan is to have this blog up each Wednesday.

I love wood floors. I don't love having wood floors with kids though. The upkeep on wood floors (to keep them actually looking nice and feeling clean) is much more than just vacuuming and spot cleaning carpet. 2 of the 4 homes we've lived in since having children had wood floors, including our current one.

But, there is a product--when I have time to use it, that makes my life easier.


First is the Quick Shine Floor Cleaner. All you need is a sponge mop and a semi particle free floor (ie swept or recently vacuumed). You start with the sponge mop rinsed with water. Spray the cleaner on the floor and spread it evenly with the mop. It cleans the floor as you spread it. No need to rinse or re-sponge with water.

The Quick Shine Floor Finish is the BEST product. Again--you just start with a rinsed sponge mop, spray on the ground and spread with the mop. It gives the floor a beautiful shine!! You do have to let it dry (so doing it at naptime is a must) but it dries relatively quickly. You can do multiple coats for an even glossier finish.

The process still takes time...and often I only get through one step. But it does make cleaning my floors easier.

I buy the products at Target or Wal-Mart. You can click on the picture above to take you to the website for more info on their products.



Halfway There!

Amazingly, I've already reached the halfway point in my pregnancy. It sure has gone fast! I guess it helps that I didn't even know I was pregnant until about 9 weeks in. I highly recommend that course of action.

Actually, if you go by when I will deliver, I'm more than halfway through. I had a doctor appointment today and found out that as long as my pregnancy progresses normally--which it should--I will have my c-section around February 7 or 8, at 38.5 weeks. It's kind of scary and kind of exciting to have a general idea.

While I would MUCH prefer a natural delivery, since it's no longer an option for me, I look on the bright side and enjoy that I'll get to plan everything around when this baby will come---the time that Bean takes off work, my last day of work, who will help with the kids...and the list goes on.

The baby has started to move a bit more. At least once a day I feel the little "pokes" of his/her feet from the inside. I can't wait until it's strong enough to feel the kicks on the outside of my belly. I have my level two ultrasound on Wednesday and it will be fun to see the baby's development since the last ultrasound, about 6 weeks ago.

I do hope the time will continue to fly by!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Already??

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I got to the end of my pregnancy and thought I was so lucky to have no stretch marks. My belly was huge--but no marks or even linea negra. Unfortunately it didn't last. I got home from the hospital and my belly was slack and not so big--and what do you know, stretch marks all along the bottom! I think my skin had been so stretched (8lb + baby) they weren't visible and they also were probably on the underside of my huge belly.

I pretty much knew they'd come back with Gracie. They faded by the time Miss Rose was 18 months old or so and were barely visible. Of course they did return. But this summer they were pretty faded already.

Now I am 19 weeks pregnant, and those nasty things have made an early appearance. Probably due to the fact that it's #3 and there was only 13 months between delivery and this baby's conception. Oh well. I do know they will fade again (they better) and in the meantime, perhaps I'll avoid the mirror!

I will tell you that going to Sea World is good for the frumpy-feeling pregnant lady. There are women in all stages of pregnancy and post-partum. I was comforted to see some ladies who were probably at similar stages of pregnacy with the belly just popping out, but not looking so firm and round yet. I'm not the only one!

This was a very full week again, and I'm very glad to be at the end of it! I've had a nice day with the girls so far, doing some housework and then going to Sea World for a few hours. I love my Fridays at home! Tomorrow will be nice because Bean will be with us all day and we don't have much going on.

I can't wait for next weekend because I'm going to our Women's Retreat and also doing some Fall shopping for the girls and maternity shopping for me. Now if only Fall would come to Southern California so we can use our Fall clothes.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Weekend upate

Since it seems more difficult for me to blog during the week, I thought I'd try to get one more in before the craziness ensues. My thoughts are kind of random...but here ya go!

1. It's amazing what you can accomplish when you plan. This weekend I had family coming to stay, Bean was working overtime both Saturday and Sunday, Miss Rose had soccer AND I was the snack mom. The last thing I wanted to mess up with something with Miss Rose's soccer--and my sister's tease me for a messy house sometimes, so I wanted to try to have it somewhat in order. I planned and organized and managed to succeed in all of it. I needed to leave at 10:30am for soccer, and when I turned the car on, that's exactly the time it was! GLORY!

And when did soccer snack become such a production? For the first game last week, the snack mom brought fruit kabobs--which she had put together herself-- and small bottles of cold water (with sports balls on them of course) for half-time and Capri-Sun and cupcakes for after the game. What happened to orange slices?? Being our first season, I had no idea if she went a bit overboard or if that was standard. I tried to be a bit more practical with orange slices, frozen grapes and the cheaper small bottles of water and rice krispy treats (not homemade though) and Capri-Sun for after. And since we are at the beginning of the alphabet...we get to do it one more time at the end of the season!!

2. Family is good :) Both my sisters were in town this weekend and it was good to catch up and see them in person although we usually email and text a lot. Plus my parents were in town watching my nephew for the weekend. There were A LOT of people at the soccer game cheering for Miss Rose and her cousin.

3. How do I stop my child from speaking disrespectfully? Some of the things Miss Rose says, and how she says them sound like a teenager. It's ridiculous. She has a definite attitude. She gets talked to, disciplined--but whatever I'm doing isn't working. Perhaps I'm lacking in consistency. All I know is that if I talked to my parents like that, I would have had the tar spanked out of me. Miss Rose has this sensitive streak though, that doesn't always make spanking the best discipline for her. Why can't they come with a manual?

4. Gracie is a maniac. This kid gets these bursts of energy that are incredible. She literally runs from room to room in the house and back again. She loves running full speed towards the couch and burrowing her face in the cushion. She also has this new stance--I call it the football player pose. She kind of crouches down and then basically runs in place before she takes off. Tonight as I was trying to brush her teeth she kept messing around with this maniacal little laugh. Oh Lord, what am I in for?

5. How long until I see a movie in a theatre again? There have been several movies I've wanted to see in the theatre over the last year or two. I don't know that we've gone to any. Currently on the list is "The Dark Night" but I'm not holding my breathe.

6. We're adding a third kid to this mess?? Help me Jesus!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

This job really should pay more

I actually had a good night's sleep last night. I was asleep by 10:30, didn't even get up to pee and woke around 7am on my own. Yes, it's been a long week as every week is these days--but it was Friday!! My day home with my kids.

It's the end of the day and I can't believe how exhausted I am. I mean, I guess I can--but it just doesn't feel like I should be. It was a rather routine day. Went for a run this morning, came home, did some cleaning and kid entertaining. Went to the grocery store. Baby took a nap, big sister watched a show and played some computer games while I relaxed a bit. I decided not to nap in hopes of sleeping well again tonight. Routine evening...play, dinner, dishes, play, nighttime stuff.

I think every CELL in my body is tired and every BONE in me aches. Granted I'm pregnant...and it was a long week...but come on now. Can you tell I don't have a lot of patience with myself? I've been plagued by another headache all day, which zaps my energy too--but I have to keep on keeping on.

What it boils down to is, being a mom is a tiring job. After the week of work, the girls are usually clamoring for my attention all day on Fridays. Miss Rose just wants to be near me, chatting, touching me. Gracie is often the same. I love my kids--but they have this amazing knack for sucking the life out of me. I mean that in the most loving, motherly way of course.

It is a good tired. I'd rather be tired from a day with my kids than from a day doing anything else. And I'm even a little more tired thinking about doing all this again tomorrow...including a soccer game, being the snack mom and a hubby who has to work all day.

Although this job definately should pay more, I would give anything to do it all day, everyday. Maybe someday.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

18 weeks on the 18th

I thought it was kind of random that I'm 18 weeks pregnant today and it's the 18th of the month. For the most part I'm feeling well. The sickness is gone, which is a huge blessing. I'm more tired than I'd like to be, given that I'm supposed to have the 2nd trimester energy. Maybe it's related to having two children already. I am napping more than I thought I would be at this point. Oh well! I'm really struggling with daily headaches. Headaches have been a part of my life for oh, 31 years! Usually I can medicate my way through them, but not while pregnant. Tylenol just doesn't do much. I visited a chiropractor for the first time ever yesterday and am hoping after a few visits to feel some progress.

I am just a few weeks away from being in full-time maternity clothes. I could be now...but they still look a little funny on me. I had to go out on my lunch yesterday and buy some maternity pants though, because I was dying in my unbuttoned, but still too-tight pants at work. I got some good deals on the clearance rack at Target--3 shirts, 1 pair of capri's and two non-maternity but stretchy waist skirts for $65. At least once a day I look down and my first thought is, "why do I have a gut? Oh yeah, I'm pregnant!"

These next few months are going to fly by and there just isn't a lot of blogging time. But, I am going to try to keep up as best I can. I am taking two classes this semester and spend all of Tuesday and Thursday evenings in class. It's worth it...but it's hard work balancing it all.

Miss Rose started soccer and had her first game last week. It was so much fun. She's on the same team as her cousin and the majority of both family members were there to cheer them on. Miss Rose scored 2 goals and her cousin scored 1. We were very proud. Bean was thrilled. I think he heard him make some remark about "the next Pele." Silly man. Even though we don't (and may not) have boys, I'm glad he can get excited about his daughters playing sports.

Hopefully I'll get the time to share some soccer pictures with you this weekend.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Lost Keys

I committed the ultimate parent no-no this weekend. I let my children play with a set of keys. Not just any set of keys, but Bean's keys. Gracie loves keys lately and was pointing to our key rack saying "keys, keys" so I grabbed a set, handed them to her and she toddled off to the front door to try and get a key in the lock.



That was the last I thought of it. We were in the middle of getting ready to go out for dinner so that soon took precedence. Until this morning...when I got the dreaded text from Bean (who texts as rarely as he can, so I knew it was a big deal) that said "do you know where my work keys are."



Oops. Gracie often plays with our keys for a bit, but she either gives them back when she's done or we find them by the door. Not this time I guess. I began to panic a bit inside. Bean, um, doesn't handle these little hiccups of life so well. He likes things ordered and predictable. He is the more responsible parent who would never let his child play with keys, while I am more free-flowing--let kids be kids, if something is lost, it will be found.



I ran home and did a quick search when I could get away from church for a moment (we live in a house next to church property); Bean had taken Miss Rose for her soccer pictures. No keys.



When we got home from church I could tell things weren't good. I'm sure Bean had spent at least 30min searching for his keys--missing part of his precious "Opening Day" football.



Thank God for Miss Rose's great memory. I asked her about the keys and she said "yes, I put them in the white box I always play with. I was the bad guy stealing things." (yes, my 4yr old is obsessed with bad guys) We couldn't figure out what box she was talking about and looked all over again to no avail.



I had to leave again to head to an after-church lunch meeting. I was wracking my brain trying to think of where a 4yr old bad guy would stash her booty. On my way out the door, I opened our armoire on impulse. Voila! The white box (a storage container), with toys and keys inside. Praise be to Jesus!!!



I've learned my lesson. Bean wanted to lecture me, but I knew. A mistake I won't make again. Common sense says I shouldn't have done it in the firsts place, but I'm the free-flowing one when it comes to stuff like that. Next time I'll have to hand over MY keys!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Why do we need $$$$?

I suppose that every culture has some form of currency--be it animals, goods, food, paper, gold/silver etc. But it really is a pain. I'd like to go back to the garden of Eden days when no currency was needed. All the food you needed grew from the ground and you didn't have to buy clothes.

Can you tell I'm a bit stressed about money right now? Really there is nothing new, but every once in a while the expense of life can be overwhelming. Especially when you add in a new baby coming. We have a lot that we will need, but the carseat expense is such a killer. With fall coming, Miss Rose needs a new wardrobe--and although she has friends older than her--she's bigger than them, so no hand-me-downs. Gracie won't need much, but a bit to add to what I have. And then there's my ever-expanding body, which in about a month or so will require all maternity--and I have, um 3 pieces of maternity-wear currently.

I have no idea what to do about carseats fitting in our current vehicle. Because I'm a big carseat fanatic, I want my kids as safe as possible. I really want Miss Rose to be in a harness until she's 6--and our current seat would accomodate that. However, she has one of the larger seats available (due to her amazonian size). Our infant seat is also the largest, as most children can rear-face in it until age 2.

So adding another seat to our one available bench (I drive a Honda CRV) is quite a challenge. There are a variety of options...but I have no idea what three seats will even fit, and many of the options require the purchase of two more seats--since the current ones may not work with a third. A minivan will definately be in our future, but maybe not the near one.

I know it will all work out, but sometimes my brain works overtime. I want to figure it out NOW, but there isn't really the time or money at this moment. God always provides, but I really it would be more convient to strap my kids into a box on the back of a wagon. You may think I'm kidding--but some days the Amish life really calls to me.

We have been blessed that our income has increased some over the almost 7 years of our marriage--but as life would have it, so have the expenses! I wonder, will there ever be a point that the expenses level out and the income goes up a bit giving more of a cushion, allowing us to save for larger expenses? Hopefully...but it seems SO far away.

As I go to bed tonight, I'm going to dream of growing all my own vegetables, making all my own baked goods and driving a wagon. Part of me would welcome the hard work of farm life! I do know that grass is not always greener on the other side. I am happy with the life God has given us and we have never truly been in want and as we remain faithful to Him, I trust that we won't be.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Nakie Part II

So Bean tells me that last night Gracie was in the bath, but suddenly stood up and signed "all done." He confirmed with her, but she definately wanted out. She LOVES the bath and would stay in cold water for an hour! After she was dried off, she went over to the toilet and fussed at it. It didn't mean much to Bean until she pooped 5 minutes after he had put her diaper on.

She's pooped in the bathtub a few times before...so we can't help but wonder if she was actually aware of her need to poop this time. Bean was pretty convinced she was trying to tell him she had to poop.

Interesting... I may pull out the potty chair this weekend just for introduction's safe. Maybe I'll be one of those lucky moms who's child is potty trained by the time they are two. Can't hurt to take baby steps towards it!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Nakie Baby

So I have a nudist in the making, which isn't suprising if you knew her father. Bean is very comfortable in his own skin...and very uncomfortable at night now that he has to sleep in shorts! In fact, it's something he's passed on to both of his daughters. During these hot summer days Miss Rose usually runs around the house in her underwear only. She'd be mortified if she knew I was publicizing that. She's gotten really sensitive to me telling stories about her.

This morning I went in to get Gracie around 7:15. Usually I get her at 7am and she's standing up and has been awake for a bit. Since I hadn't heard her yet, I hopped in the shower first. I peeked into her room and saw she was still laying down. I was surprised, since she's usually awake. Upon a closer look I thought to myself "that's a lot of skin." As I approached the bed, I saw Gracie was laying down on her tummy (although awake) and totally naked! She'd figured out how to take her diaper off. No peed bed and a full diaper so I'm sure it hadn't been off long.

My babysitter called me later this morning and said she was naked after her morning nap (I hadn't told her about the other episode). So my baby likes being naked and knows how to take her diaper off. I guess she'll be going to be in shorts only. It's just too hot these days for her to sleep in clothes.

I know that part of this has to do with a recent fascination with "pee" and "potty." Like most mom's I quit closing the bathroom door ages ago and she always follows me in. I'll tell her "mama has to go potty." She's learned both those words and uses them sometimes when I'm changing her diaper. Bean and I both have observed her pulling at her diaper recently saying "pee" or "potty."

Now if I were a first-time over enthusiastic mom (no offense if you are one!) I'd think my child was ready for potty-training and I'd be pulling out the potty chair. But, she's not even 18 months old yet and so I realize that's a very slim possibility.

But I do take it as a good sign that she's pretty aware of what's going on and maybe there is an ever so slight chance she'll be potty trained before the baby arrives. Most likely not. I may give it a shot though towards the end of the year and see what happens.

In the meantime, bring on the duct tape. I'm afraid of the time she'll take her diaper off and it will be full of, you know what!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Miss Gracie Girl

It's so interesting to watch the personality develop of a toddler. I feel like I am more in tune with Gracie's developing personality than I was with Miss Rose's. Probably becuase I find myself comparing the two of them.

My Gracie Girl will turn 17 months in a few days. Almost one-and-a-half years old. The time goes so quickly, yet I feel like I remember so much. These last few months she has changed so much, from a baby into a toddler. She is communicating more, especially her likes and dislikes. Even some of her interests are starting to become apparent.

My girls sometimes seem like night and day in so many ways. Not only their skin color either! Although I still am astonished that I have such a dark child and such a light child. Genes are a crazy thing! While Miss Rose thrives on constant interaction and entertainment, Gracie will wander through the house for hours, quite content with whatever she finds, with the occasional drop-by to where mama is.

Gracie loves playing with baby dolls. She holds them to her shoulder and "shushes" them, pushes them in the doll stroller. Today I pulled out my old doll cradle and she was in heaven putting her baby "night night." She also loves purses. Uusally mine! She'll put them over her shoulder and wave and say "bye bye."

In fact, the kid loves putting on pretty much anything. I cannot count the times she has found underwear (both clean and dirty--yikes) and put them on her head. Even before she was 1, she'd spend 30minutes trying to put a piece of clothing over her head. She was so proud when she accomplished the task.

Sometimes this becomes a problem. Gracie now seems to understand that pants and shorts go on the legs. So she'll sit on the ground trying to get shorts (usually her sister's or mine) on and gets very frusterated when it doesn't work. Most of the time, even if I help her--they fall right off anyways, which makes her more angry.

Gracie loves ice cold water and milk. She usually drinks 2-3 sippies of just water each day. And the girl gets MAD when she's thirsty and her drink isn't coming fast enough. Miss Rose was never a huge fan of milk, so I can't believe how much Gracie consumes. She's finally starting to eat a bit more fruit--up until recently she'd only eat bananas and raisins. Feeding herself has become a huge deal too.

Oh and the girl can nod her head like you wouldn't believe! If she doesn't want something she's being offered, she will shake her head "no" quite vehemently over and over until you get the picture. But, she will also nod her head in the affirmative to answer a question.

I just can't believe, a little more than 5 months and we'll be doing this all over again! It will be fun to watch Gracie with the new baby, especially with her love for her baby dolls. I know my girls will be great big sisters.