Saturday, December 22, 2012

Life Lately

Ahh, where to begin?

Why doesn't anyone tell you that once you have more than one child that you'll never have free time again?

Ok, that's not fair. Since we've had two children we've moved twice, one of those times to another country. We've traveled internationally regularly. I've been studying some language or another the entire year. I just keep praying that the pattern of this last year is not the pattern of our lives in general, or I'm going to burn out by the time I'm 40.

Where was I going with all that? Oh, yes, free time. Just so you know, I have virtually none of it. The little bit that I do have is spent writing emails (does that count as "free" time?), watching one or two episodes of 24 with Shannon each week, and...that's about it. I do pop into Facebook every day, but I've managed to do ok with only checking it when the girls are asleep and I'm not doing homework.

So, a bit of life lately:

1) Home: You all know we moved. Our apartment is gradually getting set up. Just last weekend I finally got to a market and got someone to fix a set of black-out curtains for the girls' room. It cost me $6. It just takes so much time to do things here, especially if I don't want to have to haul two kiddos around with me, then I have to wait on a time when Shannon can watch them... Anyways, we're getting set up. We borrowed a drill and got pictures on the wall, hooks hung, etc. We have an IKEA list that we're going to go have ordered hopefully this weekend, and maybe we'll actually have the stuff by the end of January and have it all put together/hung up on the walls (a shelf and mirror) by mid-February...

    Brown curtains behind the pretty ones. Only took me almost two months to get them fixed!

2) Language: Blah. Will I ever not have to study another language? I go to a private lesson for six hours a week, have someone come to my house for conversation practice for eight hours a week, and then I do homework and try to study for another six or so hours a week. That, my friends, is where all my free time has gone.

3) Snow! And cold!: Oh my goodness we get a real winter here! It's -8 Celsius right now (about 17 Fahrenheit) and we have snow. I love it. Lane loves it, too. And, Shannon let me buy a new winter coat before we left Istanbul, so I'm all toasty warm in my mid-thigh-length, down coat. And I bought new winter gloves at the aforementioned market, and they actually have fur on the inside and are long enough for my crazy-long fingers. So much warmer than the cloth gloves I had. Win.

    View from the girls' window.

    Lane's favorite thing to do in the snow? Eat it.

4) Girls: Ahh, yes, the girls. I've already mentioned how Lane broke her collarbone and then had an ear infection. Well, now Noel is in the process of dropping her morning nap and is cutting two molars, and I think an eye tooth as well. She's a crab. Ibuprofen three times a day, an average of 4-5 nasty diapers a day (we've switched to 'sposies for the time being...with no diaper sprayer, nasty poops are hard to clean off of the cloth ones!), and just a general crankiness is making her...challenging to deal with. It's hard to be frustrated with a baby/toddler whom you know just doesn't feel good, but still...I'm ready for my happy baby to return.

    Taking a snooze in our room. Totally zonked.

And, yesterday we put the girls in the same room for the first time since August (I tried it for a week while Shannon was gone and it was a major fail). It went alright...better than in August, but we still didn't get a good night's sleep. Here's hoping it just continues to go better and better and that by the New Year (at the latest!) they're completely used to each other. Our apartment had some remodeling done on it before we moved in, and one of the things they did was extend the rooms into the space that used to be balconies. They installed closets, cabinets, and so on, but they didn't insulate them all very well, so Shannon's office (where Noel was sleeping) is by far the coldest room in the house, and now that it's gotten cold, well, we just couldn't leave her in there!

5) Menu-planning, shopping-list planning, cleaning-planning: Otherwise known as, organize-my-life. Sunday night I spent about two hours chopping veggies for the week, cooking chicken and beans and rice, and just prepping meals for the week. It's been fabulous. I think I've saved time in washing dishes, too, as I'm not having to wash the same knife and cutting board (and my poor, dry hands) over and over and over again. I've been trying lots of new crock-pot recipes (here's a new favorite!) and am hoping to have a solid month's worth of dinner menus (with accompanying grocery lists) planned by a month from now. After five weeks of planning and trying new recipes, I think I have two weeks' worth of good recipes. It's discouraging to think of all the time I've put into planning our meals, just to have half my recipes turn into duds. But I'm pressing on, hoping that it pays off and that next winter I have some great recipes and grocery lists already compiled.

So, there you go. Life is busy. But good. I'm excited for next week, for Christmas. No classes. Shannon won't be working as much. Maybe Noel's molars will be through by then. And we'll hopefully just get to spend lots of time together and do some fun things while we remember our Savior's birth.


  1. Phew, reading about your life makes me tired! (Not that mine is much better, but at least shopping is easy.) Your girls are beautiful, and you do such a good job. I can't believe how they're growing up. Hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

  2. I just want to give you a big hug after reading that. Praying that God will you strength! (Oh, and that recipe that you linked to does look yummy.)

  3. Hey long lost friend! :) Thinking about you all this Christmas...And after reading this post I just wanted to encourage you that all those mundane, messy mommy moments that keep you from "free time" are indeed the good work perfectly planned for you! Every thing you say 'yes' to, you also say 'no' to some other good option out there (like blogging - ha!) but don't ever feel bloggers guilt over that :) I think often about the Savior washing feet and just how loud that simple act speaks to us women. It reminds me my serving work is a good one! There's no better thing out there I am missing out on as I try to do all those tasks to care well for my family. Proud of you for pressing to do those things while all that other craziness continues on (like language and moves and errands). Merry Christmas to your sweet family of four from us Martins!


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