Because Reasons and Faces

Jane went to bed late tonight. In fact I still hear her rustling as I type this.

There were reasons of course. Ivy and I were too noisy. I didn’t tuck her in fast enough. She needed another book. She was starving…

There are always reasons.

And because I’m tired and she’s the baby and I did a completely crap job of making dinner so she probably is hungry because personally I’m starving, I let her stay up.

Also. She makes these faces…

Jane is going to bed way to late tonight. I’m not proud but these things happen because… reasons… and faces.

I Don’t Believe in Fiction

“Mom, I just, I just don’t believe in fiction.”

That’s a Jane quote that when placed in context with the picture above invokes all the cliche wonderfulness of a child’s imagination.

In reality that’s a Jane quote delivered at bed time. As I’m sure you are aware bedtime is an excellent time to practice fictionalizing your monsters.

Context and timing. I swear the ups and downs of parenting all boil down to context and timing.


My Bedtime Is Perfect Thank You Very Much

This evening while talking with  Ivy, who is 11 going on 16, the subject of bedtimes came up. Specifically, my bedtime.

I go to bed at midnight. This seems slightly early for my night owl standards but fairly manageable considering I have to get the girls to school in the morning. Ivy, however, was appalled.

I was informed under no uncertain terms that she goes to bed at NINE o’clock and that is PLENTY late.

I, always arguing for my night owl ways, pointed out that there are many things, many things that I do after she goes to bed. I work out, I blog, I read books, I write books (shameless plug), I even, occasionally, clean the kitchen (really, super-duper occasionally).

Ivy, while eating the dinner I made her, then demanded to know what I do all day if I do all that after she goes to bed.

I responded with what I fear were wild, crazy, mom eyes and arm gesticulations around the house.  “Everything else!”

“Well,” said Ivy in a voice dripping with the confidence of the young, “you should just try and get more done during the day.”

And then I looked at my beast of a to-do list and died a little bit inside.

Of course I didn’t let her know that, I just told her to hurry up and finish her dinner so she had time to play before it was her bedtime.



Storm – The Amazingly Dense Dog!

Storm isn’t really a snuggley sort of dog, so much as a the-bed-is-comfortable-and-I-want-some sort of dog.

Many nights, while I am reading in bed, she crawls up and falls asleep near my feet. Which is fine – until I’m ready to go to sleep. I put down the book, turn out the light, curl onto my side and pull the blankets up over my shoulder- and the blankets don’t pull. They are stuck under fifty pound sleeping dog, fortunately I’m an in-shape sort of lady – I’ve got muscles.  So, I shove my feet under her hoping to either annoy her off the bed (that works for Trip) or shove her over the edge.

But Storm doesn’t so much as budge.
DSCN8221-(2sm)I was puzzled for a long time how a medium sized dog could grow to mastiff sized proportions in her sleep making it near impossible to push her off the bed. Now, after many nights of study, I’ve got it figured out.

As soon as she gets the slightest hint from me that I’d like her off the bed Storm continues to “sleep” while pushing her head down into the bed as hard as she can and noodle-izing the rest of her body. That way if I stick my feet under her belly or shove at her middle, she is still firmly attached to the bed at both ends. This density-increasing technique of her’s seems to effectively double her body weight – at least.

I always win the who gets the bed war, (you can see she’s on the couch in the photo) but I’m hoping she never teaches the kids her density-increasing technique in retaliation for getting kicked off every night. It’s tricky enough getting those girls out of bed in the middle of the night, if they turned into NFL players in their sleep we’d be doomed!

It took me all week to stay up late enough to get a picture but this is what goes on at our house around one am. I am again linking up with Northwest Frame of Mind  and her 1 Day 1 World project. Click over to see who else was up in the one o’clock hour.

Note: For those of you who are sticklers for accuracy (Hi Honey!) Yes, I am aware that the dog isn’t actually increasing her density and NFL players weigh much more than twice what our kids do.


My Time

Ten o’clock has always been my time.

It’s the time of day I get a second, (or 45th) wind.

The time of day I’m awake, happy and with John on second shift and the kids in bed, blissfully alone.

It’s the time I bake cakes, decorate cookies, read book, write blogs, edit pictures, and often workout.

Yes, it’s a bit crazy to start a workout at ten pm. But there is nothing better than punching your cares away at the end of a tough day.

It's ridiculously difficult and silly to attempt to take a picture of yourself doing a Les Mills Combat workout. And just the sort of thing I like to do around ten o'clock!

It’s ridiculously difficult (my form here is terrible!) and silly to attempt to take a picture of yourself doing a Les Mills Body Combat workout… And just the sort of thing I like to do around ten o’clock!

For certain it’s insane to start to decorate a cake at ten. But it’s a much easier process without my band of helpers.

I do sometimes jot down ideas for a blog post during the day. But it’s not until I’m alone in the evening that I have the time and space to sit down at the computer and really write.

Ten o’clock is my time.

Which is why, on the nights that that youngest girl of mine shows her night owl tendencies, I get a touch irritable… perhaps a smidgen cranky.

I could pretend it’s because I know that if her sisters wake her up early she’ll be tired and difficult next morning. But if I’m being honest, I must admit I turn into a surly, jealous monster because that little girl is usurping my time.

Mama’s need their time.

And ten o’clock has always been my time.

I’m again linking up with Northwest Frame of Mind  and her 1 Day 1 World project. Click over to see what else was happening around the world in the ten o’clock hour



It Was Time For The Roosters To Go

Recently I posted about having too many roosters. Today I wanted to elaborate a bit on that part between having too many roosters and new package’s in the freezer.

Bare with me it won’t be as bad as it sounds.

Roosty with hens

…it was time for all the roosters to go.

And so, in an activity not usually reserved for Easter weekend, John and I butchered the extra roosters while the girls watched. The kids said goodbye to the pretty ones and pointed out the mean one that should go first. They drifted in and out, asked questions, refused my offer to share in the plucking and before it was all cleaned up they even learned a bit about hearts and intestines, lungs and gizzards.

We have been butchering our own chickens (and deer and an occasional turkey, duck or lamb) ourselves for their entire lives and so I didn’t have any concerns with the older girls, they’d been through this all before. But this was Jane’s first chicken butchering experience that she was old enough to really take in so I kept a bit of a closer watch on her. Perched on a stool through much of the process she gave a few birds one last pet before I handed them off to John and his axe. She asked a few questions, played with a few feathers and eventually left to play with Ivy who had declared the whole process, “Boring.” Perhaps it was because she was introduced to the scene at the tender age of two or perhaps it was because the rest of the family was unfazed but Jane seemed to take it all in stride.

A few nights later Jane was having a bit of trouble settling down to sleep. And by that I mean she was popping out of bed like a Jack-in-the-box every 45 seconds with a new ridiculous request. Having exhausted my entire line up of lets-go-to-sleep-now tricks I tried to give her a little pep talk about everyone who was sleeping.Your sisters are sleeping, the dogs are sleeping, the cats are sleeping…

Me: “…The chickens are sleeping, they are good chickens. I said “night ladies” and closed the door and they aren’t going to get up they are just going to sleep in their coop all night.” (Yes, I know, look who’s being ridiculous now. It was ridiculous sounding and ridiculous to think it would work – which it didn’t. Clearly I was desperate!)

Jane: “Then why Dad knock them?” (I’m sure you can see where this is going but it took me a bit.)
Me: “Knock them?”
Jane: “Yeah, why Dad knock them?”
Me: “What do you mean?” (A long day, it had been a very long day.)
Jane: “On the table with a knife.”
Me: “Ooooohhhhh! When Dad killed the roosters?”(Now that I’ve finally caught on I’ve immediately started to worry that perhaps she was not as okay with the process as I thought.)

Jane: “Yeah.”
Me: “They were naughty roosters.”(I’m still grasping at straws as well as panicking thinking that not only have I traumatized her with chicken butchering  but now she’s never going to go to sleep! What have I done?!?)
Jane: “Cause they were peckin’ me?”
Me: “Yup.”
Jane: “Those naughty roosters soup?”
Me: “You got it!”
Jane: “Okay.” (Phew!)
Jane happy with her answer curled up under her blankets and stayed there for three minutes before she came downstairs with a new problem.Jane with a question
I’m starting to despair that my two year old will ever learn to stay in her bed and go to sleep but I’m proud to say she knows just where her soup comes from.

The Queen

She’s two, that littlest girl of mine.Jane by pond

Two, an age with a name all it’s own, and it’s not a good one.

It should have been no surprise to me.

It should have been no surprise when as I was tucking each girl in last night, giving and receiving hugs and kisses, that when it was her turn she held out her hand.

She held out her hand at arms length, palm down, fingers aimed toward the floor.

She held out her hand to be kissed as though she were the tyrant queen of the household.

Two, an age where you can be the tyrant queen and your subjects still will adoringly kiss your hand before bed.Jane "Onward!"

Yes, she’s two, that littlest girl of mine.

Empty Threats

After threatening to stay up all night if one of her sisters couldn’t sleep with her in her room, Ivy then told me that I had to let her get up and color or she wouldn’t be able to stay up all night.Ivy rope swing

Nice try girl.

Nice try.

In other news: Jane told me she couldn’t go to sleep because the trees were cold.

Then Jane told me she desperately needed yet another sip of water for her parched throat that was possibly, but not likely, dry from the enormous amount of talking and yelling she had been doing or there would be no way she could ever fall asleep. Or at least I’m sure that’s what, when translated out of two year old speak, she was attempting to convey.

I said, “No.”

I said, “You’ve already had enough water.”

I said, “You have to go to sleep now!”

Then she whined and complained and got out of bed and caused general havoc while making noises at decibels that were without a doubt contributing to the aforementioned parched throat as well as threatening to wake her siblings.

I said, “OK! FINE! I’m getting the water.”


Nice try Mom.

Nice try.


Perfection Pending


One More Thing

At bed time there is always one more thing.

Clara: “Mom I have one more really good thing to tell you. … You know what shouldn’t be in here? Saws.”

Me: “Saws? Do you have a saw in here?!”

Clara: “No.”

Me: “Well, that’s good, we don’t need to worry about it tonight then – goodnight!”

Clara: “But, if there was a saw and it was under the bed…”

Me: “Goodnight!”Clara and Cassey

There is always one more thing at bed time.