Well, well. January shaped up to be a really busy month. I have continued putting the girls to sleep in their room and I love it. Because Rena and Riley have pretty much given up napping, they are usually asleep by 8:00. This, to me, is miraculous. If Rachel doesn't nap, she's asleep then too, but she's much more likely to nap in the afternoons still. That's ok, though. She's getting a little one on one time at night that she had been missing out on with 2 more aggressive sisters. All in all this has made for a much calmer, more relaxed bedtime routine. Once all of the girls are in bed, I've been reading to them. I love this part! I started reading the Tales of Desperaux but it was starting to get a little gory and dark...I'm sure Disney fixed that in their movie. So, I switched over to the Ramona stories by Beverly Cleary. When I was teaching Kindergarten, my assistant and friend Brenda would read these stories at naptime and I fell in love with them. Life is simpler, family is important, kids are safer and the world is an exciting place to be. I'm thrilled to be reading these stories to my girls and I'm really looking forward to all the wonderful stories out there that I can share with them.
We've been getting lots of rain this month too, which is really good. We are still WAY behind on the whole rain thing. The lake is beginning to fill up again. Can I get a big 'YEA!' We've been in a drought the whole time we've lived here...to the point I feel like a criminal if I waste any water. And the poor girls are constantly being told to turn the water off. If it keeps up, hopefully we will be able to water outside again. Our landscaping could certainly use some attention.
One of the bad things about the rain is that there's no where for our dogs to go when it rains. Oh, yes, they have a dog house, but why use that when you can come in sopping wet. Our backyard is divided into the 'kids' yard' and the 'dogs' yard'. We sodded the kids yard awhile back, but we haven't done anything to the dogs' yard. And despite being here for 3 years, there is NO grass growing in the dogs' yard (I'd like to thank the shitty builder and the drought for that.). It's all red clay. And when it rains, it's all red muddy clay. Yuck. Which then gets tracked into the house. Yuck. Which I then have to clean up. Yuck, yuck, yuck. So, I'm actually having a love/hate relationship with the rain right now. We are going to have to find a way to solve this problem, but of course, short of getting rid of the dogs all together (not gonna happen) it's going to cost money.
this is Max and Nixie
How sweet is this picture.
That brings me to another thing that has been keeping me busy this January. At Christmastime, I had a major freak out over money. Seriously stressed. The poor economy has had it's effect on my family too and unfortunately, the last 5 years, I've had my head buried in diapers, wipes and sippy cups. Financial planning really wasn't even on the radar. But then I had my little freak out and put our family on a spending freeze, as my brother calls it. No presents for anyone but the kids, no cards, no cutesy decorations. If we didn't NEED it, we weren't getting it. I just said NO. And I've gotta tell you, it was liberating. All of a sudden, the very grey matter of spending began to divide into black and white. Saving money and/or not spending money became a game. How little could I spend. Where WAS it all going. I was back in control. And it felt good.
I was doing great on my spending freeze. Blair even called me and told me that he was getting an unexpected end of the year bonus and he thought we should replace our washing machine since it was starting to go. I decided that that money should be used elsewhere and the washing machine would have to wait. After all, it still mostly worked. I just had to re-adjust the load twice during every cycle. And that odd noise that it had started to make, well, it wasn't effecting the actual washing. THEN, 3 hours after I started what would be it's last load, I heard an odd, high pitched awful scream of death. I went to investigate and the laundry room was filled with SMOKE! And an awful stench of burning rubber. So, guess where the bonus money ended up going? That's right. A new washer. And since we're at it, a new matching dryer. Because I really have no self control. And the pair was on sale with rebates and all. My rational is that I do ALOT of laundry...and my largest laundry days are still ahead of me. So, I need a workhorse of a washer and dryer. Plus, I got $240.00 of free Tide. Whooo-hooo. It's actually quite startling to realize that I am excited to be getting a new washer and dryer. Not a gold necklace, a diamond ring, a trip to the Bahamas, but a front load, large capacity, quiet running washer and dryer. I'm so old.
So, in the week, yes week, between the death of my old washer and the arrival and installation of my new one, the laundry really piled up.
Add to that the fact that Riley and Rena both threw up in the middle of the night and Max peed on the floor in the girls room during that week, I had some really serious laundry issues. Lucky for me, the new washer and dryer came with a sanitizing cycle. The down side... it takes 2 hours!! BUT the laundry came out clean and springtime fresh! Oh yes it did. And we continue to test the capabilities of the machines in ways only toddlers, puppies and geriatric dogs can do.
Speaking of testing, Riley has really been testing my patience. God love this child, she is one of those kids that is deceptively strong-willed. It's been interesting to watch and I've commented on it before, but she always manages to get her way...but you can't really figure out why. One example is the 'middle' seat in the car. This doesn't actually mean the one in the middle, but the specific car seat that was occupying that space. (I didn't realize that until I moved the 'middle' seat to a diffent spot, but they still fought over the middle seat.) At first, everyone wanted to sit in the middle seat, so, we rotated who got to sit there. But eventually, it was just Riley and the other two stopped fighting her on it. The same thing happens with certain toys. If I buy something for all the girls and Riley decides she wants it, it ends up being just hers. I'm not even sure that Rachel and Rena realize they are giving in to her. Fascinating. Anyway, this child has decided she MUST be pretty. At all times. I'm beginning to think that she really thinks she's a princess. She wears 'the' princess dress all the time. She even sleeps in it. She has started rotating it with a Snow White dress that one of my neighbors made for her. She knows she can't wear it to preschool, but she always wants to be pretty. So, this past Thursday, when it wasn't going to be out of the 30's, I picked out 3, weather appropriate outfits for the twins to choose from. They weren't pretty enough for Riley and the battle began. Well, I'm not a morning person to begin with, so if you plan to argue with me....and win....might I suggest a later time in the day. Rena chose her outfit and so did Rachel. Riley was down to 2 choices. But she wanted to wear this cute little sundress.
Um, no. Now I was officially in a power struggle with my 3 year old. Now I have to say, I'm really good about giving the girls choices. I know it's all about power and personal control. But here's the bottom line: I'm the Mama and you'll do what I say. So after many failed attempts at rationalizing with this child, she displayed flat out defiance. She threw a brand new(spring) outfit on the kitchen floor and when I told her to pick it up, she kicked it. Jeez a lou. What are the teen years going to be like with this one. Well, Mama had to pull the trump card...and a spanking followed by an ultimatum. So this is how Riley went off to school Thursday morning.
The other 2 were uneffected by their outfit choices OR their sisters distress about being dressed like a commoner.