Monday, March 31, 2014

The Temperature Of A House ~ How to get Out of that Mood

Please ignore the fact that I wrote this post out in February and just today gathered the photos for it.  I'd better get it in today since tomorrow is April!  

I read somewhere or heard somewhere or I guess just know deep deep down somewhere that the mother determines the temperature of the house.  And of course I'm not talking about the actual number of degrees but the warmth, the tone, the moods.

Sometimes when I reflect on that I think, why?  Why me?  Why does all of that come down to little old me?  It's too much.

Some days when I'm in a funk and I just can't seem to get out of my own way or pick up my own spirits I have to have a few rules or concrete things to look back over.  Most of the time it's like a checklist in my head but recently with so many snow days and so much sickness going through my house and on top of it a whole week off in February.  Do you know what it's like in Connecticut in February.  Without gobs of money to get us all on an airplane and fly to a place that would get me out of my funk I have to choose to change just a few things and then magically (well it's not exactly magic)  things change.

So I remind myself every so often ~

1.  You love winter.  Snow is pretty and the bottom of my girls feet are clean.  It's cozy and warm.  Everyone is together in this one little house and that feels good.  Soak it in.  Enjoy it.


2.  Cook a yummy dinner every day.  Plan ahead, even if it's just the day ahead what you'll feed your family.  And eat together as a family every. single. night.  Buy a new cookbook if you have to or scan some old ones to get yourself motivated.


3.  Take out the pretty dishes.  Look around.  Clean out the cabinets.  Pull out pretty place mats that you've been "saving" and use them.  Use China if you have to... but make dinner pretty. (Even if it's just homemade pizza.)  My grandmothers strawberry china, the napkin rings my aunt bought me when I was on a trip with her, little dainty punch glasses from my other grandmother. 



4.  Keep the house clean.  Put things away.  Make it a priority.  A clean house makes everything better.

Okay, so I thought about going around and taking photos of my house all clean but then I realized that would take too much work so I thought I'd show you one little clean corner.  Ha!  It's next to my side of the bed and it's 'just so'.  It might be the only 'just so' part of the house on some days but oh man do I ever enjoy it after a long day.  It's always ready and waiting for me.   My little piece of heaven.  Pick yourself a corner that will always be clean.  It makes all the difference in the world.  

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5.  Paint your nails.  Pick out a pretty shade of pink and sit in the bathroom and paint them. You always, always feel better with pretty nails.


6.  After the dinner dishes and baths are done, turn off the 'big' lights in the house and just have little lamps (and twinkle lights) on.  Put on 'loungewear'.  (not jammies, not the clothes of the day, not the non-yoga yoga pants for cleaning but pretty, comfy loungwear)  And the rules for loungewear are that you are DONE for the day.  No more counters can be wiped down, no more little piles can be put away.


7  Clean out your bra and underware drawer.  Toss all of the 'tired' items and treat yourself to a pretty new bra and matching underware set.


8.  Mix up the schedule if you've been sticking to it and need a huge break from a strict schedule or get back on a rigid schedule if you've been feeling wishy washy with your days.

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9.  Use pretty paper for lists and clear out a drawer so that you have the pencils just the way you like them and just where you like them.



10.  Turn on some praise music.  Nothing like Twila Paris wafting through the house.
Fill my heart; fill this house; fill this day, O Lord.  I am weak; and I need your strength.  


Sometimes it's just the simple things to feel so good.  That pull me out of a mood.  Anything that can help me helps all of them. I know this list isn't super inspirational or faith filled.  It's just the little things that can turn up the temperature of the house.  And of course I don't recommend that you do all of them  One or two will be all you need.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Finding Treasures in the Library

music... I used to play this album in my first grade classroom years ago.  

On one of our Saturday morning trips to the library she found this and has been loving it.  The complete collection of Winnie the Pooh.


And if I place her right in front of this window just so, wait for that dreamy look on her face and the sparkle in her eyes she's just eight again.  Except that she's closer to eleven than eight. 

Oh keepin em little

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Simple Things

Sometimes I pick up my camera a lot.  Sometimes I forget that I have one in the house for days on end.  Sometimes I capture things that I think only I would be interested in years from now.  But I put them here so that I'll have a record of them.  They are the simple things.  And they are...

Bedtime routines. I tell Scott that one day we will miss this. He's not so sure but I know I will.



And bedtime flashcards. I love the way she really shouts out the answers. I guess shouting them give a greater chance they'll be right. (daddy does the math in the house... I'd rather cuddle and read to them)


Her thinking face.


Afternoon sun and I've got to share this book with you another time.


Short legs that don't touch the ground.


Cardinal out my kitchen window (sorry Billie Jo... I know birds creep you out)


Practicing in the morning. But I really took this one because I love this sweater. Anna wore it too.




Okay, so this ones just for me so I can remember the whale pants.


Hours later after dinner... discipline. Not sure what daddy was talking to her about but I do remember I missed the puppy dog "i'm sorry" eyes she had.


Cuddling.  Anna has from the beginning had such trouble falling asleep. It's agonizing for her. She won't go to a sleepover because being in another house just seems to make it worse. So after she's tucked in and has tried for a good long time she comes in to snuggle with us. It usually does the trick. And we do this little kids bible study together. A blessing in disguise... she needs that little bit of one on one time.  This song I 've been thinking about a lot lately.  There are so many things I'd change if I could go back with our Anna.  Things from when she was a baby.  Mostly just a confidence and more of a standing firm to what we were doing as different as it was from the "normal" toddlers I was surrounded with in my life back then.  I knew waaay back then that our toddler shouldn't be where the other toddlers were.  That boding with her and her bonding with just us was the most important thing in the world.   I lost a friend waaaay back when Anna was a baby because I wouldn't leave Anna and during play dates I "sat on the floor and wouldn't stop touching her" I'm actually so grateful that old friend told me that because it felt like God was whispering to me, "see, you did do so many things right with Anna."  I cuddled, I played, I touched, I bonded.  I was her one and only.  attachment, attachment, attachment... So almost ten years later I don't care what others think.  I know and am confident that Anna still needs to be raised in a different way than others her age.  And I'm oh so happy to do that.


This weekend we are looking forward to Abigail's Irish Step Recital, teaching church school to my little first graders, mass, and goodness that might be just it.  Let's pretend that I already looked at the calendar and didn't see anything else.  Happy weekend friends...

"For it is the sweet, simple things of life which are the real ones after all..." Laura Ingalls Wilder.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Art Beat Art Show

So it was on a rainy, very cold day.  The schedule was packed to the max.  (not my favorite type of day).  I got a call from the school nurse that Abigail had a red throat and wasn't feeling well.

I made the pediatrician appointment for later that evening and we went anyway (in the cold rain... did I mention that already).  And so if these pictures look like I should drop my tarabakerphotography website you know why.  I was frazzled, worried about her being sick (and yes we found out she had strep that night)


But Abigail was selected for Art Beat our town-wide art show. And we were proud of her and loved her self portrait.


You know what I love about six year old self portraits? She made herself just the way she thinks of herself.  Check out that hair!!!

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She brought flowers to her art teacher at the opening night. I love appreciating teachers and going the extra mile for them and Abigail got this sweet thank you note in the mail a few days later.


Another happy memory.

Kye's First Birthday

I was so blessed to take these first bite of cake pictures for my nephew.  Here are a few of my favorites.
















And here is a link to my website to see the video set to music (which is way more fun!)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

First Day of Spring

We practiced all morning, "happy first day of spring Mrs. Scelia"  but she kept saying "happy first day of summer."  Music 


She wore her daffodil pants to mark the occasion and I'm baking a pink and yellow spring cake for dessert tonight.

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And she's looking so big to me my six and three quarters girls.  Happy spring everyone!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Saint Patrick's Day Parade

Sometimes you just capture that smile and think, "I got it!"  


Music (not the parade we were in of course)

When you hear the bagpipes you get the chills.  Really.


It's so cool to be in this parade for Abigail.  And I get to walk right alone with her!


She's a fun little girl who likes me in her sight but is social too.



It was windy and bit chilly.

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But she had so much fun.

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Oh man that smile... it's worth every time I drove her to Irish Dance on cold winter days.

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Most of the crowd consists of families until you take the corner to the Irish Pub when the crowd changes a a bit.  :)  But oh can they cheer for these little girls.


For my little Irish Stepper it's all about taking it in.  Each little part.  Oh how she loves the music.  And the fun day.