Life on hold

We got interesting news on Thursday. Then promptly left for the weekend to try and enjoy some summer time fun with the family on the lake despite the news. Cut and dry — Chris could be laid off and we won't know for a couple of weeks. We try not to talk about it in front of the kids but it seeps into every conversation, the elephant in the room.

I'm still processing the idea that The Birmingham News will only be published three days a week come fall. I think it's stupid. I'm also in denial and angry. Not so much depressed by the idea that Chris might be losing his job. More like waves of panic (Agghhhhhh!!!!!) followed by a detached calm (we'll be fine). Worst roller coaster ride ever. Maybe he won't lose his job. Maybe we'll just be facing a huge pay cut. Both turn our lives upside down.

This is our first time facing layoffs. I know this does not make me unique in today's economy. So many people are in this situation but it's raw for me. It's happening to me and I want to scream. But it's not my first time without money. I've been poor. It's no fun. Counting every penny. Not being able to give your child everything you want to give them. It's no fun at all.

I hate change. Big change especially. Chris leaving the paper would be a big change. My having to go back into the work force would be a big change. Heck, it took me a few years to get used to not having a "real" job. (Not that raising children isn't a real job ... it's a very important job with no vacation, no overtime, no breaks. And certainly the hardest job I will ever have!) So now that I'm this rockin' soccer mom, you mean I might have to switch back?! I'm not opposed to working. We've felt lucky that I have gotten to stay at home with the boys. I throughly expected to go back to work once Joseph started kindergarten. My expectations were to give him the same commitment I gave Will. That's two years of me Joseph wouldn't have.

So these thoughts and many more swirl around my head all day and night. But we can't start doing until we have some facts. Life is on hold ...

then again, there are dishes in the sink and clothes in the dryer. Life does goes on ...

we'll be fine, right?


Fabulous Friday — Book jackpot

My Mother's Day was quite nice. I was woken up quite early by my two lovely boys, one of whom was very excited to share the present he made at school (a beautiful votive decorated with flowers). We took a nice hike a Ruffner Mountain. Joseph immediately fell asleep on the ride home so I suggested a short detour to a couple of thrift stores I had never visited. Chris was ready to go home but, since it was Mother's Day, he pointed the van in the right direction. Good call because I found a lot of great books!

Six Richard Scarry books! We heart Scarry! I'm loving "The Early Bird" from 1968. The early bird gets the worm ... and invites him home for dinner and a sleepover. Very cute!

I pretty much pick up any book published by Parents' Magazine Press. While I wonder if bringing home older nature books might have information that is no longer scientifically valid, these illustrations from the 70s are so worth a little misinformation. "Wonders of Nature," 1974.

Edward Gorey! Score!
(also from Parents' Magazine Press, 1971)

Maurice Sendak! Score!

The drawings are not "busy" but packed with so much detail. The book dates to 1955 but Sendak recolored the illustrations in 1997. I love the dedication in the front ... "for fun." Yes, Sendak certainly gave us all a lot of fun!

What fun treasures have you found lately?


A boy and his pack-pack

This is Joseph. This is his pack-pack.
(Though now he has learned to say backpack. Darn!)

This is all his worldly possessions, as of this moment, captured. 

Joseph is quite the possessive kid. And the moment he set eyes on this backpack, he decided it was his. Never mind the fact I bought it for Will. Luck for Joseph, Will needed a tote bag for kindergarten, not a backpack. Some days, the bag is empty. Some days, it is packed full. Not every day does it go everywhere with us, but only important treasures are inside when it does. 

I get a kick out of this photo from Joseph's birthday party. One of his teachers happened to be at school for a meeting and was able to pop into the gym to say hi. He immediately ran to get his backpack and showed her everything inside, ignoring the rest of the party going on around him. Of course, she oohed and aahed over his treasures. (He probably did this because backpack does not go to school. Nor does Baby Bunny any more. Baby Bunny was getting in too much trouble.)

Maybe this is just one way he takes after his momma. I'm like a boy scout, always prepared. My purse is stocked with sunscreen, at least two Hot Wheels, wipes, bandages and much more. My diaper bag packing skills were awesome. I'm also "a hoopy frood who really knows where his towel is." Don't you?


A picture worth a thousand cliches

There is a mini gladiolus that grows next to the stairs. It was there when we got here. It doesn't seem to have been planted with any plan in mind. It just appears, well away from the flower bed it should have been planted in, and blooms quite nicely year after year ...

Or it would have bloomed quite nicely if someone hadn't stomped it. Completely flattened. I don't know who so I can't lay blame. I was just sad it wasn't going to share its beauty this year. But then, Mother Nature again showed she's not a force to be messed with. Out of the flattened stalks, one stem reached high to bloom. Sure we've all have good days and bad days, but that doesn't mean we can't make do and do our best. Bloom where we're planted. Stop and smell the flowers. Look for the silver lining. Good things come to those who wait ... yada yada yada.

(Insert your own tired cliche here.)


When life hands you crumbs

I had three kids over on a recent Saturday (plus my two makes FIVE!) ranging in age from 8 to 2. As the afternoon turned into evening, I knew I would have to put something on the dinner table that was pleasing to all. Everyone likes pizza! 

I turned to my Pinterest cooking board Dinnertime! and found the recipe for Bubble Up Pizza Bites from the blog, Hey What's for Dinner Mom? 

For the recipe you need dough ... either bought or homemade. Being the overachiever I am, I made the dough using another Hey What's for Dinner Mom? recipe: Best Easy Homemade Bread. It was easy, even with five kids running around. 

The bread recipe made enough dough for the pizza bites and a loaf. Look how pretty the loaf turned out! One of my bucket list goals is to learn how to make bread ... consistently yummy, good-looking bread. The recipe definitely delivered in the looks department. But it didn't taste great — not blaming the recipe, I know it was something I did. 

I didn't want to waste the loaf so I used it to make bread pudding. Some of the best bread pudding I've ever had. People may give Paula Deen a hard time about her love of butter, but I enjoy her recipes. Just writing about that bread pudding makes me want a big slice right now. I'm going to need to come up with an excuse to make some soon. Well, today's Tuesday — that sounds like a good reason!

Any recipes you've tried lately and loved? Please dish!


Hello fellow book lovers

Joseph, fall 2010

A big hello to anyone visiting from Silly Eagle Books. My site is not dedicated to books (I wish I had thought to do that!) but I do write about them rather frequently ...

Some finds from the thrift store

Setting up a library for the boys

Top books of 2011

One huge box of books 

Bunny books

Before you leave, please tell me your or your kids' favorite book. 
Always looking for new titles to read!