Suddenly struck with some deep need for structure and order, I’m rather obsessively writing out my daily and weekly to dos.  Of course I can’t be normal about it.  I’ve only just started writing things down over the past few days (who knows how long this will last) and already I feel a little nutsy when I don’t have my planner within reach.  It’s comforting to have it near, just in case I think of something else I need to write down.  I am having a hard time remembering things these days.  Yesterday for instance, standing in the parking lot at the grocery store, I forgot that I was holding a plastic grocery bag with a dirty diaper in it.  I’m afraid that I may have handed it along with a big wad of plastic bags to the kind grocery store employee who offered to carry my bags to the recycling bin.  I feel awfully terrible about that.  There’s a small chance that I actually threw it away myself on the way into that store, but I have no recollection of doing so.  I can’t seem to account for that diaper.  Of course a checklist wouldn’t have helped me in that situation.  A cup of coffee, maybe.

I wrote a handwritten letter last night, something I rarely do, and it really felt good.  I have bad thumbs and terrible scratchy handwriting these days, but hopefully it’s legible.

Larkspur proudly informed me that she had been working very hard in the laundry room and that she was running some loads.  I had left it a big mess the night before, in the midst of doing the girls’ laundry.  We’re behind on towels too, so you can’t really see the floor in there.  I haven’t yet taught Larkspur how to operate the machines, but she told me that she knows how already.  When I went in to see what she had been up to, I discovered a very tiny load of doll clothes running in the washer.  Everything else was as I left it.  Good thing I hadn’t gotten my hopes up too far.

Silas and I made play dough this week and added sweet orange and clove bud essential oils.  It smells amazing.  You should try it!  I was inspired by an expensive beeswax candle scented with the same in the crunchy (aka natural foods) section at the grocery store.  I’m going to try making my own.

Keats turns eleven today, so I will be busy preparing all his requested meals.  He missed violin last week so today he will have an hour long lesson today as well.  Any other child of mine would complain over a music lesson on his birthday, certainly a lesson twice as long as usual.  But not Keats.  I joked the other day that our solemn faced Job is going to grow up and paint his fingernails black, and my friend Eve chimed in, “And listen to The Cure.”  (For the record, I never painted my fingernails black, but I did listen to The Cure, dyed my hair purple, and wore combat boots as a teen.)  After that conversation, Jonny and I couldn’t stop singing The Cure’s Just Like Heaven. Keats happened to be in the room when we pulled it up on YouTube.  We were sure he would love it.  Nope.  Not impressed.  He much prefers his classical music.

We’ve been getting lots of snow flurries, and some are saying we are in for lots of snow later this week.  The anticipation of a big snow make me feel both excited and nervous.  Yes, I bought extra milk.


  1. I’ve been binge reading all I missed. I love this post. I listened to the cure as well. Oh yes about the boots. Saw tears for fears in concert. And my mother actually sewed me a black trench coat to go with the most incredible outfit a I had. Hugs. I go through major phases of writing things down and keeping a calendar, it wears off within a week or two and feels so much better to get it out of my system. 🙂

  2. So much to relate to here! I was suffering from memory issues after my last pregnancy, I once took a silly test how many children I should have and the answer was something like “maximum for you is three – you couldn’t handle the laundry having more than that” 🙂 (I have three)

    My hair was pink but the boots and the music the same 😉

  3. Oh the nappy story… please don’t feel bad, so many of us can relate ! It is hilarious !
    But it’s all a matter of perspective isn’t it? You feel like posting a note on the recycling container saying “Dear recycling container man/lady, on xx February 2014, I threw my plastic bags in here and have the nasty suspicion that I inadvertendly threw a dirty diaper bag along with them. If you came across it, please don’t send any mean thoughts my way, I did not do it on purpose and I am very distracted these days, what with a new baby and all…” handwritten would be nice, too…

    The mind then boggles : if the container is all being emptied by a big lorry who grabs is with a mechanical thingie and it all goes thrown into a chemical bath that effectively ‘recycles’ the plastic, what bad is a cute little dirty baby’s diaper going to do to the whole batch?

    Right, I think I should stop right there and go back to my daily ‘to-do’ list. I have been doing that to for the past month. There must be something catching here. 😉

  4. When you mentioned that Larkspur had started the laundry I had a flashback to Bobby Brady doing the laundry in a Brady Bunch episode when he used an entire box of detergent in the machine. Glad your adventure was less messy!

  5. Totally understand, but my baby’s 37 and I’ve still got that fog.

  6. I think Job looks so much like you!! Such sweet pictures.

  7. the diaper thing sounds totally like something I would do. our brains are just full of more important worries than where a dirty diaper ends up. I wonder what that smell in my van is 😉
    and oh- the doll laundry- that is so cute!
    oh dear, I just read the comment about the diaper in the car- I was kind of kidding, but now maybe I’d better go check…

  8. Happy Birthday Keats!

  9. What a wonderfull familly! I love your way of life.
    Thank you for the simple newborn hat pattern… I love it.

  10. Larkspur – she really made me laugh out loud. This could have been my own daughter. 🙂

    And the classical music, yes! We love classical and all sorts of folk and other stuff. My two little ones really like anything up-beat and dancy (my youngest daughter is a dancer through and through) – and then sometimes I pull out some good old rock music and everyone complains. *lol*

    My oldest loves her classical stuff. She says there is nothing like Bach to fall asleep to. Oh bless!

  11. Very sweet. I’m a control freak about my planner too. 🙂

  12. Oh, that baby. Oh, that photo with the leaf. Oh…I giggled at the doll clothes in the laundry.
    Very sweet.
    Oh, and I have handwritten to do notes all over the house.
    Happy to visit here.

  13. Ginny,
    Those pictures of Job…. he is getting so big! What a handsome little guy.

    And about having a hard time remembering things… a friend called it “nursing brain” and I knew just what she meant. 🙂


  14. I love hand written letters, but no one seems to do that anymore. I think I love getting mail more than anything though.
    I had to laugh about the doll clothes in the wash. Hilarious. It is a good thing you hadn’t gotten your hopes up!
    I wore my green doc martens the other day and I love the Cure.

  15. Hand-written letters are wonderful to give and receive. We have recently been trying to get back to basics around our home. It involves writing letters, and getting rid of our answering machine.

    Sounds like you have a case of baby-brain… It’ll pass soon!

  16. Oh, Ginny…I have almost too much to comment on here! First off, Job is gorgeous. You have the most attractive bunch of kids. I’m astounded by how photogenic they are.

    I’m so glad to hear about Keat and his violin. I am hoping that I will at some point be able to afford music lessons for a few of my kids who want them, and I always worry that Dominic will be too old to pick up violin (he’s 7 1/2 now). He wants to play bluegrass fiddle. And Adrian wants a drumset. No classical for him!

    I am a good bit older than you, but I had vivid hair, black nail polish and listened to The Cure (and a lot of other punk and New Wave, too). The apex of my teen years? Hangin out with Devo at the Munich Hilton and having Bob Mothersbaugh phone me and ask if I could come with the band to Zurich (my mom said no 🙁 )

    As for the topic of organization: I have been hyper-organized all my life, and now, at 50, everything in me is rebelling against it. My household is chaos. But it’s okay…I’m okay with it. It’s a happy, creative mess…

    Thanks for a great, funny post and lovely photos…

  17. Can I just say that I literally laughed out loud repeatedly at this post? And all while thinking, “thank god it’s not just me!”

  18. I never painted my nails black either…but I dyed my hair every color my mother would allow, and survived the era of the 90s classified as “The Grunge Era.” I didn’t listen to The Cure but that was only due to lack of exposure…

  19. Keats has great taste! Finally a teenager who might not want to paint their nails black. Love the pics.

  20. I once misplaced a baby. I was busy counting heads to make sure I knew where all my kids were and I kept coming up short one. I realized I was missing the baby!! Then I looked at myself and, oh! he was on my hip. 🙂 Just Like Heaven was my all time favorite song for many years. I think I’ll go play it now – thanks!

  21. My 12 year old violinist is much like Keats in that way.
    I also listened to The Cure in high school, had black nail polish and combat boots. My hair was bright red instead of purple, though. 🙂

  22. I heard we are in for more snow, now it’s like “whatever” . I’m ready for it so it can arrive. Happy birthday to your Keats, my daughter liked Duran Duran and my son liked tears for fears (music from my past!!!) neither like talking heads and that will always be my house cleaning music 🙂

  23. Show me how you do that trick. 🙂

  24. Ginny, your diaper story made me laugh really loud. It sounds just like something I am capable of doing. I feel so much better knowing I am not alone with this mom brain fog. 🙂

    Lark is too funny running her dolly clothes through the wash! Oh and my little guy is starting to drool/spit up like crazy – that bandanna is a great idea to get us by until I get some bib’s made.

  25. Oh the brain fog that comes with having a young baby (although I think I’m rapidly running out of that as an excuse 😉 )

    I hope you all enjoyed the birthday celebrations 🙂

  26. Happy Birthday Keats! That Job is a cutie. Can you tell me what book you are using for your playdough?


  27. hang in there… February can be hard! can any of the older kids do laundry? breathe deep… God is with you… will pray for you today esp… sending love to you! (read this recently on schedules and being overwhelmed as a Mom: http://www.conversiondiary.com/2014/02/the-courage-to-rest.html… it blessed me and maybe you also… It will be OK!!!)

  28. Job just looks so snuggly in his striped outfit…it makes me want another, or at least to snuggle with a cuddly baby

  29. Oh goodness, I love lists! I just need a master list to keep track of my lists. I often write things down, and then lose track of the list, or forget to refer back to it! A planner is a great idea. I used one when I was teaching, and haven’t ever really used one while homeschooling. It’s on my to-do list ; )

  30. I have to write things down. I know I should probably train my memory better, but something about putting pen to paper is necessary if I’m ever going to recall the thought or “to do” later. Plus, it’s an excuse to buy pretty notebooks every now and then!

  31. I hand-wrote a letter yesterday myself and I felt terrible about my handwriting. I think I’ve lost the skills. I love that song too and sing it often. 🙂

  32. I totally get the misplaced diaper thing. Once, I wracked my brains trying to figure out how on earth a dirty poop filled diaper just disappeared into thin air until I just gave up. Let me just tell you that every once in awhile we would smell something odd in the car, although we couldn’t figure it out…until we started using the heat…and that’s when I discovered that the diaper had gotten pushed really far under the front seat (where the heaters were for the middle of the van under the front seats) and wow…that’s when that diaper showed up. Yuck and yuck. It was under there forever. Life will get clearer…hang in there mama!


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