I remember stringing cranberries and marshmallows for our Christmas tree growing up, and thinking it was SO fun. (I also remember we tried stringing popcorn one year and it was just ridiculously frustrating. Cranberries and marshmallows don’t break into a million pieces when you put a needle through them.) Anyway, this was one tradition I knew I wanted to continue with my kids. Two years ago I decided at least Kalena and Will were old enough to try it. (Have I written about this? Possibly I have. Too lazy to check.) They thought it was fun for about 3 minutes and then left me alone to finish a garland that would be long enough for our tree. Which was fine, except that then I forgot to actually put it ON the tree. (Garland doesn’t go on after the ornaments. That’s the rules.) But I didn’t want it to go to waste, so I hung it on our banister! And Lydia proceeded to eat it every chance she got.
I was undeterred though, and last year I bought the stuff to string cranberries and marshmallows again. The kids had much more stamina last year, and we ended up with a nice garland. Except I inadvertently ruined this project before it even started. For reasons unknown, when I bought the cranberries and brought them home, I put them in the freezer. (Seriously. No idea what I was doing.) So we were stringing FROZEN cranberries, which was fine-ish, but as they thawed they just leaked red juice EVERYWHERE. Fortunately, we realized this before we put it on the tree. But last year’s garland ended up decorating only the inside of the trash can.
Now APPARENTLY I am a glutton for punishment because I bough the stuff to do it again this year! (Turns out I still think it’s fun.) I also bought myself this ornament, for all the happy garland-making memories I have.
Anyway, wish me luck with this year!
I set a reading goal this year of 100 books. I KNEW that was ambitious, but I wanted to push myself to read more. I am certainly *capable* of reading 100 books in a year. I have the time, if I choose to use it that way.
It’s not happening. My goodreads says I’m at 50 books, and I counted up the books I haven’t entered there yet (8) for a total of 58 books so far this year. I’m in the middle of a couple more that will most definitely be finished before the end of the year, but 42 more? Haaaa. Not so much. And 58 isn’t bad! That is many more books than I read last year! I was going somewhere with this, but now I can’t remember the point I was trying to make. Pretty sure I didn’t come here just to write about my reading failures.
Anyway. Now I’m considering next year’s reading goal. I need to find a goal somewhere between “I could read this many in a month if I tried hard” and “technically possible but highly unlikely”
Due to…a bunch of crap really, I ended up sharing a full size bed with Daniel last night. You would be amazed how someone so small can take up SO MUCH BED. I tried to move him! Repeatedly! But no. Anyway, that was not super restful, and then he woke up at 5 and started pawing at my face saying, “Mama! Hi mama!” Which is adorable but you know. 5 AM. He’s a handful, that kid.
He’s also a handful at church which is how he ended up sitting in my lap instead of with his class. Good thing we had crayons!
I joined a felt ornament swap again this year, set on making some adorable Grinch face ornaments I saw on Pinterest.
Side note, I think the Grinch is a little misunderstood. He just wants a quiet Christmas morning!
I feel ya buddy.
Anyway, I made the ornaments and missed the mailing deadline (Thursday) and went to mail them today, but HEY! It’s Veterns Day! So the post office is closed. I’ll mail them Monday (SORRY JANET!)
But the point is, they turned out pretty cute, right?
A while back we switched up the kids rooms so that Daniel & Lydia are sharing a room. Now, Daniel goes to bed at 6 and Lydia does not, and this worked out REALLY WELL for about 3 days. We could take Lydia in, tell her she had to be quiet because Daniel was sleeping, and she would! But seriously, only like 3 days. Then she started crying when we put her down. Crying loud enough to wake Daniel, who would then growl at her, causing her to cry more. SUPER FUN CYCLE. This led to us going to get her when she started crying. Of course, that’s what she WANTED, so it was a pretty terrible solution. So in order to not reward the tantrums, we started getting DANIEL out when Lydia started crying. Then she could just cry and not bother him. However, Lydia just gets more and more worked up when she cries, so that was also pretty disasterous.
ANYWAY. After many miserable nights of just letting her stay up until all hours, we came up with a new plan. First, shorted naps. We tried no naps, but then she’s a meltdown-mess by about 4 pm. Second, we bumped her bedtime back by like an hour and a half. Third, instead of trying to get her down quietly in a room where Daniel is asleep, now we move Daniel down to the guest bed in the playroom when it’s time for Lydia to go to bed. And then there’s lots of singing, and laying with her, and trying to leave by telling her I’ll be right back, and buying her one of those music-playing light-up stuffed animals. And sometimes it’s STILL a disaster, but at least not every day. Sad how low the bar is set anymore.
Today I was letting her skip nap since last night was a mess, but clearly that backfired.
Accidental 4 pm nap is never good.
I thought I’d be done blogging about sleep issues by the time my youngest child was 3 1/2, but NOPE. Here I am. It’s Lydia, of course, as she remains our worst sleeper. It’s getting better! Ish. But it’s still a struggle many, many nights. Tonight, for example.
And every night now basically involves a game of musical beds, but it is LATE and I am tired, so I’ll tell you about that later.
So, one of my very good friends is a para in Daniel’s classroom and y’all. It’s the best. Not only does she take adorable pictures of him working at school and text them to me, I get to hear all the GOOD stories.
Like the time he took his PE icon off his schedule, walked over to the door, waved and said bye to the classroom, and then took off down the hall. (Going to PE. Obviously. He loves PE.)
I also got to hear about the new para who, upon seeing Daniel shove most of a nutrigrain bar in his mouth and make a giant mess of the rest, said, “Well maybe his mom should teach him how to take one bite at a time.” You guys. I could not stop laughing. The idea that A) it’s that easy and B) WE’D NEVER TRIED TO TEACH HIM is just so ludicrous I’m not even offended. (He has never worked with developmentally delayed kids, nor does he have kids of his own. My friend was quick to tell him to NEVER EVER make a comment like that again EVER, but we laughed about it together. A lot.)
Anyway. It’s fantastic. And look how cute he is!
This afternoon I went out to run a couple quick errands. I had 2 stops, and I figured I’d be home within an hour. Instead, I ended up taking a little detour. To the DMV. Where I spent an hour and a half and $400 renewing the tags for our Civic, because they were expired. It wasn’t an errand I’d planned on doing, because I hadn’t realized they were expired. Not until I GOT PULLED OVER BECAUSE MY TAGS WERE EXPIRED. (First time in my life I’ve ever been pulled over, by the way. Would have been happy to never hit that milestone.)
Not a super great day, is what I’m saying.
We didn’t do a ton of Halloween stuff this year (there are about a million Halloween events we COULD go to) but stuff was extra fun because Lydia actually understood what was going on for the first time. Daniel loves candy, of course, but with full day kindergarten and no naps he is EXHAUSTED by the end of the day, so bedtime is 6 pm. He is OUT by about 3 minutes after that. Do you know when Halloween stuff happens? After 6. So the only thing he did was class parties at school. However, he was adorable as a minion for that.
Too adorable to stand still for pictures, obviously.
Anyway, he’s the only one that goes to bed that early, so the other kids DID do the Halloween things. Brian took them to our church trunk-or-treat, which is where Lydia first discovered the magic of the words “trick-or-treat” and came home THRILLED to show me all her “canny.” She loved it so much, in fact, that she braved neighborhood trick-or-treating with Kalena and Will (and Brian. I was home again with sleeping Daniel) even though it was 28 degrees! Carried her own candy and everything. And OF COURSE all the kids were adorable in their costumes. But pretty soon I’m going to have to throw the rest of the candy away so I QUIT EATING IT ALREADY.