Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

and that's the news from Casa Kaufman

It's been an especially chaotic past two weeks at Casa Kaufman:
  • Joe left for Africa for his safari. I got a 2 line email from his personal hunter's Blackberry last Friday that said he'd arrived and was having fun. Oh, and that Phil was fine, too. Since then, radio silence...
  • I know I've been slacking off on the blogging, but read on and I know you'll forgive me.
  • I've been a single parent (with the help of my mom and Mom Kaufman), which I'd hoped meant a life of sitting back and eating bon bons whilst the children play quietly among themselves. Unfortuantely, this vision has not occurred.
  • After a significant number of sleepless nights, I realized ND had yet ANOTHER ear infection. Three days into a course of Omnicef, she is a happier camper and I'm starting to catch up on some rest.
  • During one of these sleepless nights, I started to feel overwhelmed about the thought of moving into our new house when Joe gets back. I'm tired. He's going to be tired. Then, I have to go to Idaho Falls for a meeting as soon as he gets back. So, I decided to bite the bullet and hire some movers. Joe is going to kiss my feet when he realizes he doesn't have to move my piano yet AGAIN.
  • Since then, I've been packing like crazy...while Sam and ND keep UN-packing the stuff in boxes. "Look, Mom! Here's that random car I haven't played with or cared about in 18 months, but now I'm going to throw a tantrum if you pack it away in that box that I won't be able to open for 3 days!". I know. Sometimes, I can have ridiculous expectations.
  • And, my running buddies and I are running a 10 K trail run on Sunday. Mom K watched Sam and ND so I could run 10K last Saturday and, well, I haven't really run at all since then.
  • To top it all off, we have a significant change in our current childcare situation and I've been trying to figure out what the best plan for our kiddos is. So, until then, Amy and the girls are going to stay with us in our new big house for the month of May...since she's on maternity leave and basically just eats bon bons all day anyway.
  • And, did I mention: Joe's on safari!
The end of these crazy two weeks is almost in sight. It's not been TOO bad. We've only eaten at McDonald's one time and we haven't run out of clean underwear yet (although most of it, as of 9:58pm today, is in boxes). Keep us in your prayers; we need all the help we can get.

And that's the news from Casa Kaufman where the dad is on safari, the mom is on a mission, and the kiddos are above average.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

off in Lala-land

Mom kindly finagled me a membership to her company gym, which has been a godsend, since I work across the street. A few times a week, I sneak in a 30 minute run on the treadmill or elliptical. Sometimes, Mom is able to join me.
I was running the other day when Mom texted me. When she found out I was at the gym, she texted me that she would stop by after she grabbed some lunch.

Somewhere in the next 5 minutes, she changed her mind and decided to come straight to the gym, sneaking up behind me while I was running and popping out of nowhere.

Lala: Hi Juni! Oh, did I scare you?
Me: (panting). Yeah. (panting). A little.
Lala: Well, I thought I'd stop by and see...(she stops and stares at me).
Me: What?
Lala: Wow. You're really sweating.
Me: Yeah?
Lala: Wow. You're really breathing hard.
Me: Yeah. I've been running, Mom.
Lala: Wow. You're REALLY sweating. Eew.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

weekly wisdom: jazzing up yogurt

Adding food coloring to plain vanilla yogurt makes it much more appealing.
Each kid picked their own color.
Kate and Glory both asked for seconds. (ND and Sam also asked for seconds, but they typically are good eaters...they are Kaufmans, after all).
 Sprinkles help, too.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

little pigs

Kate and Glory came to visit for a few days after Ellie was born. We had a fabulous time: we built forts, we sang songs, we played at the farm.

And then, we read the "Three Little Pigs" for the very first time.
We read it at the breakfast table.
We read it on the couch.
We read it in the blanket fort.

Sam recited the Big Bad Wolf's line: "I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house in!"
The three girls said the three little pigs' line "Not by the hair on our chinny-chin-chins!"

Then we switched roles.

Eventually, this mama was ready for a new activity.

So, we played with play-doh (lovingly made by Aunt Teenie for ND's Christmas present--that girl is so creative!)...

...and made little pigs.

And then Sam stuck play-doh up his nose...

....because no play-doh experience is complete without a little play-doh up the nose.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Partying it up...pajama style

Sam and ND had been particularly well behaved and helpful at home recently and we thought a pajama party/movie night would be an awesome way to celebrate. So, after talking about it all week, I took Sam to pick out a special movie (KungFu Panda 2, which turned out to be too scary. Luckily, Lion King had arrived via Netflix that afternoon as well). We  picked out a special dessert (strawberry shortcake) and headed home to wake up ND from her nap with an early dinner.

Then we hopped into our pajamas, brought our blankies and pillows, and turned on the movie. It was a huge hit! Sam's been requesting movie nights EVERY night since then.
My favorite parts:
  • Snuggling with two happy kids and two happy Brittanies. Oh, and a handsome husband.
  • We had sandwiches for dinner, so no dishes or clean up. Just guilt-free laziness in front of the TV. I didn't fold laundry or pay bills even...just snuggled lazily with the fam.
  • The kids stayed up they slept in the next morning until SEVEN THIRTY A.M.!!! (For all you non-parents out there, your definition of sleeping in dramatically changes once you get a baby or two.)
We're thinking about having a monthly movie night/pajama party at our house from now on.

Friday, April 06, 2012

and that's the news from Casa Kaufman

It's been a chaotic month here at Casa Kaufman.
  • I had Lasik done a month ago by the wonderful people at Pacific Cataract and Laser. The process was easy and painfree, although the actual procedure was the most intense 5 minutes of my entire life. Fortunately, I had a very nice nurse take care of me. :) I am now a pro at putting in eye drops and have 20/15 vision in my right eye, with 20/20 vision in both eyes. It is amazing! I can drive, chase children, surf the internet, and run without glasses. Amazing!
  • Sam is turning into a fun little preschooler. He has been learning riddles and knock-knock jokes with his Grandma Dori and delights in telling them to everyone he sees. He is ever-more a little engineer and can spend a good hour or more building with legos and blocks, honing his design over and over again to make it "more stable".
  • ND continues to be Miss Independence. A couple of Saturdays ago, I was out for a run and Joe was playing with Sam when he heard ND hollering for help in the bathroom. She'd taken herself to the bathroom, undressed, pooped and needed help reaching the toliet paper. I was pretty sure this represented a huge potty-training mile didn't. Her favorite activities these days are rolling out and cutting play-doh (with a plastic knife) and "coloring", which means scribbling with a pen on anything that doesn't move.
  • We closed on our new house and partly moved in this past weekend. Thank you to our hard-working moving crew, whom we have asked to move us so many times over our married life and they never, ever say no: Phil, Jeff, Brandon, and Idaho's most promising rookie Senator. You guys are so good to us.
  • As of this morning, I am a single parent. Joe and Phil left for their African safari and will be back in the States in a little over two weeks. I'm already counting the days. Sam can now identify a variety of south African plains game with confidence. For weeks, Joe's hardly been able to sleep at night, he's so excited about his trip. Of course, it helps that ND wakes him up regularly, which gives him plenty of opportunity to think about it. :) Keep our little family in your prayers until Joe gets back; I think we'll all miss him a lot.
  • Happy Easter to all of you!
And that's the news from Casa Kaufman, where the man is in Africa, the mom is in Idaho, and the kids are above average.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

weekly wisdom

I had the brilliant idea of having ND scoop dried peas into muffin tins so I could have some time to make dinner.
 She loved it.
 But it was a HUGE mess.
 (Joe was less happy because he was the one who got stuck sweeping the floor).
Next time, I'll give her some Play-doh.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012


Life with three dogs is full of educational experiences for young children.
I was making dinner one night while Sam watched a movie. ND, on the other hand, remained frozen by the back sliding glass door, yelling, "Bunny! Mama! Bunny! Mama! Bunny!"
She had witnessed her first R.I.P...Rabbit In Pieces...courtesy of Moka.
Moka's rodent-killing abilities have long been known to our family, but she is getting older and slower, barely able to hustle up the stairs to bite Schatzki, let alone catch a rabbit.

Guess I was wrong.
Rest in peace, R.I.P.

Monday, April 02, 2012