Archive for the ‘Jen’ Tag

We are family – January 2014 – bedtime reading

Friday, January 31st, 2014 by Jen

Just in under the wire, right before bed. Guess they found the story intense. It was “Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 3”.

Ewan, Jen, Celia, Jordi, Josie

Earlier before I got the camera set up, George was also on the scene, and Ezzy is just out of sight off camera left.

What’s new Jen?

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012 by Jen

Since Josie was born I’ve often had trouble answering the above question. My kids are largely my passion, I love to read about the child development and activities to do with them, but this fall I’ve been working on getting in some ‘me’ activities and hobbies. It’s not always easy to squeeze in some of that time, especially for the months of November and December, but I find even just a few minutes of reading a book that’s interesting to me can help get me out of the stress of the day and maybe get a laugh. So I’ve been…

  • Reading. I like a wide variety from trashy romance novels to non-fiction make your life better type books. To start with the trashy, I’ve continued to enjoy the Stephanie Plum stories from Janet Evanovich, most recently number 18, and another one of hers from the library. I tend to switch between the funny and the serious. To get a good laugh, I also read Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling. Tina was pretty funny all throughout, Mindy started off hillarious and kinda petered out by the end of the book. Like everyone else on the planet, I read The Help this summer and couldn’t put it down. Over the holidays I also enjoyed devouring The State Of Wonder. In the areas of self-improvement non-fiction I read The Life You Can Save, which is a bit of a tough read that takes some time to digest, especially as I was doing holiday shopping. Also a key influence on my holiday was Simplify. I’ve been reading his blog and it was nice to see the whole story together. For the kids, I’ve been reading goodies like You Are Your Child’s First Teacher and Creative Play For You And Your Toddler. Yes I’m an awesome mom who likes to read books to figure out how to play with my kids. To put those last two interests together I also read Simplicity Parenting and found myself nodding along. On my bookshelf right now to read is Organized Simplicity, A Million Miles In A Thousand Years, The Rhythm of Family and The Digital Photography Book. Lots of reading, easiest thing for me to manage to do a little bit of each day, in addition to the 10+ books I read to Josie and Celia too.
  • Minimizing. In short, trying to get rid of stuff that isn’t bringing our family joy and happiness right now. You can see some of the reading above how I’ve been interested and I also read a bunch of blogs on the subject. Some people are crazy minimalists, like only owning 100 possessions total, including the table, silverware and their toothbrush. That is never going to be us. But in a 950 sq foot home, we’re short on space, big on noise and active moving things. We don’t have space in our living areas for things that we aren’t using, things that I don’t want to clean, and our basement is FULL. Kids obviously bring a whole lot of stuff and have a certain level of need for toys and I’m not about to toss out the clothes Josie has outgrown with Celia getting bigger by the minute. But we have pared down our wine and other drink glass collection considering we hardly ever drink anymore. We’ve thinned out our daily water glasses and mugs so that they all fit on the shelf, keeping the ones that are more memorable, useful and fun. Clothes that neither Josie nor Celia wore are passed along to other people who can use them. I love that I can now empty the dishwasher and the cabinets actually close without me having to arrange things just so. I’ve been going through the drawers throwing out or donating things we just don’t use, like about 20 assorted highlighters collected over the years, now the property of Christina’s 4th grade class in Belmont. It’s wonderfully freeing to remove things that are saved ‘just in case’ so that I can now easily find the things I use regularly. It also has made me more mindful of our spending and trying to buy things that are better quality, longer lasting, and truly necessary rather then something I’ll rarely use and clutters up the space I just worked so hard to empty. It’s also making me use and enjoy some of the nicer things we got for our wedding, like dishes and candles, rather than saving them for ‘some day’. As for all that reading I’ve listed above? The books are almost all either on my ipod with the kindle app, or from the library. Cleaning out is an ever on-going project.
  • Photography. Well if you haven’t noticed this one then you certainly haven’t been looking too closely. I’ve been learning how to control my camera and get some cooperation from my kids (got any cool animal noises anyone?). I enjoyed having 4 people’s Christmas cards featuring pictures I took on them this year, maybe next year I can do some more! I’m considering getting yet another new lens this year, learning lots on the clickin moms website, and trying to figure out how to take decent pictures without much natural light with my current set up. Anyone want to lend me a monitor calibration tool 🙂

So I guess that’s about it mostly in addition to my normal schedule of feeding, cleaning, dressing and cuddling my family. Filling my head, emptying my house, and documenting my life.