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Yard work

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  • Josh wrote some sweet posts over on his blog about me and the kids.
  • A friend posted a link to this blog post, and I found it so wise and encouraging for our season of life.

Today was yard-mowing day. Happily it wasn’t too hot! But I’m always thankful for our large backyard–until I have to mow it, that is. I remember very distinctly a conversation I had with Josh before we bought this house.

“Josh, how will you have time to do house repairs and yard work when you’re so busy with school and work?”

“Oh, don’t worry, Sweetie, because I love doing yard work and fixing things! I enjoy them so much, they’re like hobbies to me, and I can’t wait to have a house of my own to work on!”

(Conversation exaggerated slightly but not much.)

Obviously, those were famous last words.

I can’t help Josh with house repairs–I’m a bit of a disaster when it comes to anything involving tools or a paint brush. But mowing eventually becamemy jurisdiction. It was an unspoken agreement. One day I was tired of the grass being so long, and I knew Josh wouldn’t have a chance to mow it, so I did it myself. Ever since then it’s unofficially been my job. I don’t mind–much–because the sunshine and the exercise are good sources of vitamin D and endorphins, so once I get inside and get a shower, put a skirt on (so I can feel feminine again instead of gross and sweaty), I’m usually in a fairly good mood for the rest of the afternoon. And it’s a way that I can do Josh good, and he’s always so thankful he doesn’t have to do it all himself. It’s so exhausting though when you’re in the middle of mowing (especially if, like me, you have to wait until naptime, which is the hottest part of the day) that my attitude is generally far from gracious until I’m actually through.

And I actually only mowed half of the backyard today because the mower shut off and I don’t know if it’s out of gas or something got caught or what, but it was lunchtime and I decided it wasn’t too much to ask Josh to finish up the easy half of the yard.

Oh, and my favorite accessory for mowing the lawn? My Crocs rain boots. They are completely indestructible and a force of nature in their own right, so I don’t have to worry about thorns, pine cones, or whatever little creatures might be lurking in our (probably ridiculously long) grass.

Speaking of little creatures, I found several spiders and spider webs today while mowing and I did. not. freak. out. Thanks in part to my impenetrablerain boots. I think some of them were probably poisonous, bloodthirsty spiders who could have VICIOUSLY ATTACKED AND KILLED ME, but I calmly sprayed them with my hose/kicked them with my boot and went about my business.

This involves so much personal growth…you just have no idea. But Josh does. And he’s glad that when I see (probably poisonous and bloodthirsty) spiders that I no longer call him screaming something along the lines of, “Josh! You are trying to murder me by moving me to this horrible house in this horrible city full of spiders and mice, and if you don’t kill them all TONIGHT then I’m going to sleep at a hotel until I can feel safe again in my own home! There are horrible creatures living in our walls, and they’re going to kill me, and I AM GOING TO DIE!”

(Again, conversation slightly exaggerated but not much.)

See what I mean? Personal growth. Also, Josh is a saint for loving me. I guess the least I can do is mow the yard for him every other week. And I know you’re supposed to mow more than once every two weeks. Give me a break, people. I have two small children, and I’m using a push mower, forgoodness’ sake. (I don’t hate the push mower. It’s helped me get really toned upper arms.) Also, he still hasn’t bought me a weed eater, although it’s not for lack of nagging on my part. And if you had told me 7 years ago that I would be asking someone to buy me a weed eater, I would have told you to get your head examined. Marriage changes you, people.



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We have a mouse. Not the cuddly friendly Cinderella type mouse. The type that lives in a cabinet and is currently opening up a motel with a couple of bold roaches. We have a wonderful exterminator who has already taken care of it, and Josh isn’t afraid of mice, so you can guess who won’t be allowed to leave for work in the morning without checking the traps. Owning a home has taught me a lot of patience when it comes to unwelcome guests of the four-to-eight legged variety. It may not seem like much, but the fact that I didn’t call the exterminator last week when I saw a dead spider is huge personal growth for me. Yes, I can now accept the fact that dead bugs means the extermination is working, and it’s not a corpse left there to scare me by a spider army who will come attack me in my sleep one night. That fear might be a tad far-fetched. Also, I didn’t even threaten to move to a hotel when I found out about the mouse this afternoon. More spiritual growth. But I will probably burn everything that touched any of those cabinets. I’m thinking about hiding Josh’s car keys so he can’t leave for work without checking the mouse traps and sterilizing everything within a 10 foot radius of the offending cabinet. Hey–I’ve come a long way in a year. Don’t expect too much to soon. It’s a mouse after all. The exterminator reassured me that our house is one of the mildest he’s seen. I thought, “How can people live with more than one roach at a time?! You’ve seen them crawling on the ceiling?!” I immediately envisioned some type of weird roach hoarding situation. Anyway, I will understand if you’re all so repulsed by the mouse and roach trespassing in my cabinet that you never want to set foot in our house again. Really, if I didn’t live here I might feel the same way. Which reminds me of something I overheard Emmeline praying outside last night:

“Dear God, help me be brave and brave in the dark and remember it’s not scary; it’s just bugs.” I’ve tried not to pass my paranoia onto her, but it’s so all-encompassing that some of it was bound to stick. I may have to steal that prayer from her. “It’s not scary; it’s just bugs.” Scratch that–it’s terrifying.


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It’s turning into bug week here on Life with Mommy. Today I’m thankful for Terminix. And I’m thankful that my bug phobia was finally good for something. If I hadn’t whined to Josh (not that I condone whining, but we all have our faults) about wanting the exterminator to come, who knows how long the nasty varmints would have gone unnoticed. And when we moved into our house four months ago it was termite free. The little varmints work fast. All that to say, our day turned out to be a little more exciting than I’d planned. And I’ve now seen termites in action–on our back steps. They’re also in the garage, so Josh’s man cave has some unwanted guests. The termites haven’t been around too long yet, so we don’t have to do any repairs, which is VERY good.

Meanwhile I feel like a Looney Tunes character with dollar signs for eyes and a big “Ka-Ching!” speech bubble floating over my head.  Everybody say it with me now: “Yay for home warranties and payment plans!”

Mama Bugga Bugga from "Dora the Explorer." This little creature is the reason why Emmeline thinks all bugs are the bee's knees.

Chunky Monkey and Why I’m Scared to Clean My House

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G-Man went in for his 2 month checkup today. At 24.5 inches long, and 12 lbs 9 oz, he’s in the 95th percentile for his height and 90th percentile for his weight. To put it in layman’s terms, he’s a CHUNK. He’s currently sleeping off his vaccines in the Ergo (I just got it yesterday, and I love, love, love it), but I expect in a few hours he’ll wake up and be mad at the world.

The Chunky Monkey hams it up for the camera:


In other news, I went to get a pair of clean underwear out of the laundry basket this morning and saw a giant spider sitting on top of my panties. Thankfully, Josh woke up sick this morning and was planning on leaving later for work, so he was still at home to kill the offending creature. However, as it’s getting colder and wetter outside, and the bugs are discovering that it’s warm and cozy inside our house, this spider was just one member of a huge bug army that I’m convinced is out to get me. I’ve seen crickets in the basement, silverfish behind the microwave, and ants in the sunroom. GROSS. I’ve decided it’s dangerous to dig too deep  into our house’s crooks and crevices, so I’m tabling all chores until the exterminator gets here tomorrow. But it’s a catch-22 since a messy house makes the bug problem worse. I think I may just sit on the couch and whimper.

Emmeline loves bugs. She thinks they’re all her friends. Here she is looking for “Bugga-Buggas” out in the yard. Sometimes I wonder if she’s really my child.

9/16 Exploring