I will never catch up...

Nothing like the power of positive thinking, right???
I haven't blogged for three weeks.
I'm still in the process of switching the girls' sizes and seasons of clothing (the bins have been out for a couple of weeks!).
I made what seemed like a very reasonable to-do list this morning, and only made it through two-thirds of the jobs.
I hung a load of clothes on the line on this warm and sunny afternoon, only for it to start raining just when the laundry was almost dry.
Speaking of laundry, Mr. B seems to wear clothes faster than I can keep them ironed for him.
Our "vegetable garden" is not sporting any vegetable plants as of yet.
No, I will never catch up! But I'm okay with that...I'll just keep plugging along, loving on my babies that are not going to be babies forever!
In fact, Audrey turned 9 months old on Sunday! She amazes us daily at what a good baby she really is: she eats well (rice, oatmeal, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, green beans, peas, pears, bananas, applesauce, and just recently: Cheerios!), sleeps well (somewhere between 10 and 12 hours each night, with two good naps during the day), and is generally happy all the time. She doesn't crawl yet, but she gets around, primarily by rolling and "scootching."
Miss Eloise is a character. Perhaps you remember Joanie? She's still around. We buckle her into the van, help her out of the van, hold her hand in parking lots...she's a wonderful comrade (and cohort in crime) for Eloise. Last week our newly-three-and-a-half-year-old surprised us by climbing up on Evie's tricycle (a feat in and of itself for the little peanut), s-t-r-e-t-c-h-ing to reach the pedals, and proceeding to pedal the trike around the block by means of a cute little hip-shifting maneuver she somehow managed.
Evie seems to become more precocious by the minute. I've noticed her saying, "I have no clue," about different things. I've been trying to figure out where she got that, but I have no clue I'm not really sure...Anyway, the other day she and Eloise had been swimming in the neighbor's pool, and when we got home, they both went upstairs to change out of their wet swimsuits. Evie came into my bedroom and announced, "I know this is not appropriate, but I'm going to wear it for now because we're not really going anywhere." I quickly spun around to see what "inappropriate" clothing item(s) she had found (you know, in the bins of clothes that were still lying around, waiting for me to finish loading and unloading???). The inappropriate outfit: a skirted leotard, tucked into her silky pajama pants, and a velour hoodie (because sometimes you're chilly after swimming, even when it's 85 degrees outside!).
Eloise took off her swimsuit, put on her Elmo panties, discovered Evie was wearing the only clean skirted leotard and she really, really wanted to wear a leotard, too. What's a girl to do? Why, put the wet swimsuit back on, over the Elmo panties, of course. Oh, and add a nice warm cardigan, just in case the wet swimsuit makes you cold.
This is the pose she struck when I asked her to put her hands on her hips (so I could be sure to see the Elmo underpants). I guess we need to work on body part identification...
And yes, those are some of the infamous clothes bins in each of those pictures. And other stuff all over the place. I will never catch up, remember? And it's okay, remember???
Excuse This House
Some houses try to hide the fact
That children shelter there;
Ours boasts of it quite openly,
The signs are everywhere.
For smears are on the windows,
Little smudges on the doors;
I should apologize, I guess
For toys strewn on the floor.
But I sat down with the children
And we played and laughed and read,
And if the doorbell doesn't shine,
Their eyes will shine instead.
For when I have to choose between
The one job or the other,
Though I need to cook and clean,
First I'll be a


a dandelion for Tucker

On the way out the door to dance class this morning, Evie picked a dandelion for her teacher. Obviously, Scott's Lawn Service is having a hard time keeping up with the power of all these spring rains, because we still seem to have an abundance of dandelions and other weeds despite the costly lawn treatments. Eloise decided to follow suit and picked a dandelion herself. Now, Evie's dance class is a built in play-date for Eloise each week: another girl in the class has twin sisters right around Eloise's age, and they have fun playing together while the big sisters dance. As Eloise held her freshly-plucked weed flower, she told me it was for "Abby-and-Anna, no Anna-and-Abby, no..." Clearly, there was a problem. Two friends, and one flower. The obvious solution? No, not pick another dandelion to even things out. Nope. Suddenly, the dandelion was for Tucker, the three-year-old brother of another dance student. As we drove to class, I silently hoped Eloise would just give the flower to Miss Heather (or, Miss FEATHER, as Eloise says) along with Evie. Or--better yet--that she would forget the already-wilting thing in the van. But, of course, she proudly presented it to Tucker as soon as we arrived. I admit, I was a little bit embarrassed, especially when all the other moms were giggling. But when I looked at Eloise, and the sweetness and purity of her kind gesture, my embarrassment faded and was replaced, instead, with gratitude. I was so thankful she had taken off those RED SNOWMAN tights she'd had on earlier...they really clashed with that purple jumper!


mom jobs

Lately--like, for the past three years or so--we've been working with Evie to help her stop BOSSING her little sister all day long. The poor girl must come by it very naturally, as the firstborn of two firstborns (although I admit that I haven't spent a great deal of time studying up on the whole "birth order" thing, despite having heard Kevin Leman as the keynote speaker at the conference I attended last month...if you haven't heard or read Dr. Leman, he's full of wit and wisdom!). Anyway, I'm sure that one day Evie will grow up to be a wonderful leader and use her assertive qualities for the Kingdom in some mighty way, but as a five-year-old, sometimes she seems somewhat out of control! "Eloise, I don't ever want to see you do that again!" "Look at me, Eloise! Look at me! Do it this way! Eloise, look at me!" "Now you are going to play with this, and I am going to play with that, and I am the Mom, and you are the kid, but you're not a baby, but you're not a very big kid..." Yikes. A couple of mornings ago, it started up at the breakfast table. Evie moved a little toy out of Eloise's reach and said she could have it back when she was done eating. Of course, Eloise should not have had the toy at the table, but I was right there; she didn't need her "second mother" enforcing the rules. So, I told Evie that, since she wanted to do my job of taking care of Eloise, that she would do my jobs (with me) all day long. No playing. Just "mom jobs." All day. She did her regular chores, and then she spent the rest of the day helping me with mine. We cleaned up after her sisters, did laundry, made lunch, swept floors. While Eloise and Audrey napped in the afternoon, Evie helped me weed one of the gardens along our driveway. (Of course, she spent a lot of that time picking worms out of the soil and keeping them in piles on the rocks.) About five minutes into the job, Evie declared that she was so tired that she might need to go in for a nap, too, but I insisted that we needed to get the area weeded. "The whole thing???" she asked, desperately. I gently explained that "mom jobs" take a long time, sometimes, and you can't just stop doing them when you're tired. I am not sure how effectively this little exercise in discipline worked, but I do know Evie fell asleep the instant her head hit the pillow that night (a feeling I know all too well!).