how we finally got her to sleep

just a cozy post-errand nap in the recliner
just a cozy post-errand nap in the recliner

When we left off last week, I had a year-old baby who woke up regularly at night and would only nap in my arms.  We were both exhausted and unhappy.  Now, I have a toddler (going on 4) and a 14-month-old, and we all sleep beautifully.  I’d like to tell you how we got here. Continue reading


I am Afraid of Sitting Down

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Exhausted Woman with Lots of Work – Stands

Don’t get me wrong, I easily sit down, take a load off, and get lost in Pinterest. But I am afraid of this. I just realized this fear when, arms full of clean laundry, I remembered that I needed to do one more thing in the laundry room. I hesitated in indescision way too long. If I put the cloths down in our basement family room where our cozy-est chair resides , I worried, I would sit down to fold them after my laundry room errand, and never get up again. If I didn’t put them down and get my hands free to check stains in some other laundry, I would “never get anything done”. That “getting stuff done” mindset is a whole other topic. For now, I simply want to report that this fear of sitting down has been discovered!

And I figured out the source. There’s this scene in Zola’s L’Assommoir (1877) where the main character, a successful, hard working woman who owns a laundry facility, sits down at work. The novel centers around this event as the sole cause of a slow, painful, really tragic decline of the entire family. Something about how, that first time she takes a load off, she allows herself to progressively get more lazy and disinterested, if I remember correctly. Somehow, I project this story on myself and feel that if I sit even once when I should be doing something else, I will disintegrate into a pudgy couch potato while my family rots around me.

Full disclosure, I am sitting as I write this to you. I plan in standing up in a minute, but I am not confident in my ability to do so. If I am still here tomorrow, send help!


Worry Wart

Will the Laundry Ever Be Done? Thoughts about the Repetitious Tasks of Motherhood and the Grace to Do Them


Our family recently went camping with a group of friends and their children. We spent two nights- both of them rainy- in a campground and enjoyed the company of our friends. We slept a little, ate well, and came home with bug bites and muddy feet. Nevertheless, it was worth it. Our two-year old son loves the outdoors, and this camping thing is starting to grow on me.

After coming home we began the unloading, unpacking, and sorting of the dirty clothes/bedding into piles. I had to wash sheets, towels, toddler clothes, and our clothes. Even though their were only three of us camping, I couldn’t believe how much laundry we had. It took me at least 3 days to get it all done. Once it was folded, it took another several days just to get in back into drawers and closets. This laundry marathon inspired me to blog about laundry. Continue reading

a little background: the story of my first

“She doesn’t really nap, unless I’m holding her,” I told my old coworker when I brought the baby in for a visit.  “Some days she doesn’t really nap at all.  She dozes while she nurses, but that’s it.”  I don’t remember his response, but I do remember the look of shock and pity on his face.  Looking back, I wish he had told me, that’s not normal.  You should get some help for that. Continue reading

More Creative Outlets for Moms with an Artist’s Sole

Mary posted her fabulous toy creations here. She asked us to share what things we do to add life and creativity to the home and to play time. So, Mary, this one’s for you!


Picked up this beautiful old mirror from the side of the road. Put it in the porch for cleaning and restoration during naptime (that’s a joke! I didn’t catch it at the time, but I bet you did! I’m still learning that my plans are not The God of Naptimes’ plans.) Continue reading

Toys for my Tots: Fulfilling a Creative Itch

Whoa Nellie! It has been weeks since I have written. You see, we have been in the process of moving half way across the country. Every step of the way we have been very well cared for and blessed beyond measure. Even still, moving (as I am sure most everyone knows) is a chaotic adventure. I would liken moments of it to “walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.” (Lemony Snicket, Horseradish)
We only brought with us what we absolutely needed, and are living in a lovely temporary situation with our friends who are transforming their home into an urban homestead. There are (crazy) chickens and rabbits that will be birthing on Friday while the kids and I are the only ones home! I have studied to be a Doula in the past, though, so surely I can assist a birthing rabbit…right? Right? (Gulp!). Say a prayer, will ya? Continue reading

the beauty and power of “oh well”

By Steamykitchen ( [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons in case anyone wonders what scrapple is … it’s heaven on a plate

I walked into a dear friend’s house and immediately noticed how she’d rearranged her living room to create a whole new space.  This friend of mine has a beautiful home and is always making it more beautiful & more functional.  How does she do it?  She has just as many kids as I do and she works part-time too.  How does she have the time to paint furniture, rearrange rooms, hang art … I haven’t ever painted a thing in my house, we hardly have any art hanging up … I stopped myself.  My friend is just different from me.  Oh well. Continue reading

On Fears. Here Are Some More

Actually this already happened to me, so it's not a fear. The Great Crash of 2009.
Actually this already happened to me, so it’s not a fear. The Great Crash of 2009.

I figured out the fantastical fear that’s behind my aversion to the baby screaming: explosion of the head. (You will find it here, in my first post about bringing big fears into the light, and how they flee when I do this.) When Joshy screams (and this boy is skilled at it!), I worry, subconsciously of course, that my head will actually explode. Hence, the immediate panic reaction to make it stop. Because my brains are in bad shape. We know this from the outside (I could write several posts about Mom Brain), so I’d hate to subject anyone to the horror of what this looks like when the insides burst forth. No one wants to see that. 🙂 Continue reading

Awesome Granola Bars

By en:user:Hankwang (from en:wiki) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
won’t have a photo of the actual Awesome Granola Bars until later this week when I bake them for the bazillionth time
Oats, wheat germ, flax seed, and a little sweet stuff … these granola bars are possibly the most popular thing I’ve ever baked.  They are the perfect thing to bring on a camping trip, to make for your friend who just had a baby, to bring to the neighbors who just moved in, or to bake for yourself to go with your morning coffee or afternoon tea.  Since almost everyone who’s ever tasted them has asked me for the recipe, I thought I would post it here for everyone to enjoy! Continue reading