Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Closet that Could

I have the tiniest cloests.  Period.  We have lived in our home for five years, and I have spent a great deal of that time trying to figure out how to make them work hard for us.  I feel like I am the master of tiny closet design at this point!  Today, I worked on the closet in our boys' room.  Our little guys are sharing a room, and sharing this TINY or should I say tiny closet.  I have had different organizer thingys and doo dads of all sorts, but I have found that the best use of space in this old house is plain ole ingenuity. 

I will take you on a tour of this tiny closet....if you promise to overlook the need for the thing to be painted.  I will paint it, eventually.  Right now, I just had to get the newest addition's belongings put away!

As you can see from the picture, this is a tiny space.  The deminsions are as follows:

The door is only 23 inches wide.
The closet is only 17 inches deep.
It has a width of 56 inches with a height of almost 6 feet. 

Now...take these deminisions and make 3 closests the same, and you get the entire closet space in our WHOLE house!  One each for our 3 bedrooms.  --Told you we had THE smallests closets around!


I have had hanging rods put all directions in this space, but I have found that doing 4 short ones gets me the most usuable space along with the ability to actually step in the closet and see what I am looking for.
Today, I added a small plate rack shelf that came with the original bathroom or something...It is just the right depth for kid shoes.  I am proud to say that one of the skills that I have aquired over the years is the mastery of the Dewalt.  I think I might love this drill...it works hard for me!

I also added some hooks that I took out of the ceiling in our laundry room to hang backpacks and hats on.  I have room to add more hooks or another shelf should the need arise. We even have room for a couple of favorite toys in the bottom. 

Now...what to do when the boys grow.....

~B Charmer

Friday, May 27, 2011

Her Name was Evelyn...

Can I share some memories with you?  I think I will start with these...
    The story of my grandmother is the kind of story that asks you to grab a cup of coffee and a cozy seat to enjoy.  It is a story of childhood and family.  It is full of things like butterscotch pie, homemade noodles, and a beehive hairdo.  Let me introduce you to Evelyn.
     She was lovely in her simple way.  I never- ever saw her in anything but a dress and most usually hose as well.  She always carried a seasonally appropriate purse full of things like peppermints.  She had her scheduled hair appointments to keep her up do looking just right.  For most of my life it was truly a beehive ..then it was adjusted a bit --still keeping with the style.  My dad always said I had her coarse, thick, wiry hair.  I am not sure because I never saw it down, but I take it as truth.  I have been told she could roll her hair on her fingers quite fast and pin it up. 
     When I entered the scene, she was a regular at her local beauty salon. I got to go with her a couple of times.  Truthfully, all I remember was lots of teasing and hairspray...oh and the hairnet for sleeping.  I was always amazed the she could have her hair done once and it would last all week. It seemed miraculous to me.  I was sure there was magic in those hairnets, or she didn't move an inch in her sleep!
    With all the attention to the details of her hair and dresses, I never saw her wear things like makeup or nail polish.  She was simple in those regards.  She never painted my nails or gave me lip gloss for Christmas.  She just wasn't about those things and it was just fine. Some might think it plain, but as a child I never noticed that or thought of her as plain. 
     I shared her with lots of people.  She had seven children, and including me she had fourteen grandchildren.  For many years, my brother and I were the only grandchildren that lived out of state.  Trips to Ohio were usually special occasions and there were family members everywhere.  The living room of her house was quite large.  It was a necessity with all of us there.  Many, many times we were all there together.  Before the weddings of the grandchildren and the births of the great-grandchildren, just our "immediate" family would fill the house with a nice number of 27!  My grandmother was definitely in her element when the house was full.  She loved having us there.  Every side table was ready with jars of Chex Mix and candies.  The dessert table always had something on it, and rarely was there not Iced Tea waiting in the fridge.  It was noisy and busting at the seams, but nobody seemed to mind...especially her.
     I felt lucky to get to sleep at her house...until the wee hours of the morning when I would be awakened by her in the kitchen.  I spent lots of nights on the couch and would often wake to what seemed like a million pots and pans falling from Mt. McKinley.  She must have always needed the one in the very back of the cabinet. I wanted to ask her many times if I could have that one pan ready for her each morning...but I never did.
     After the clanging pots, I usually drifted back to sleep and would wake again to her sitting in her chair doing the daily crossword puzzle.  The minute she saw my eyes open, she was ready to feed me breakfast.  Breakfast was special because she always bought the mini packs of varied cereal.  We all loved having our own little box of cereal to eat.  There was always oats and toast, juice and coffee, and lots of little cereal boxes.  That is how I remember her breakfast table. 

    ~It has been a long time since I ate oats and toast at her table.  But, I can close my eyes and be transported there like it was happening all over.  I can hear those clanging pots and see her hand washing the dishes.  I can so clearly hear the shuffle of her feet in her house slippers making endless rounds in the kitchen.  I can still see that perfect Bee Hive hairdo working the crossword puzzle...Oats and toast and newspapers will always have her imprint on them...always.

So much more to share...
~B Charmer

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Excuse Me, Could I Borrow Your Sanity?

Oh my, what a whirlwind of events have taken place since Super Man left for T Ball 2 weeks ago.  Could somebody please tell him to come back? I could use some super powers.

It all began to unwind when we got a call that my grandmother had a stroke and was not expected to live.  It was a shock to our system, to say the least.  She was one of those ladies that you just think will go on forever.  We hurriedly packed the car and kiddos and took off to Ohio.  The boys did great in the car.  By the time we made it, she had gone on to meet her Savior.  It was so bittersweet.  I will have to share some thoughts on her soon.... 

While we were there, Lincoln began to have a meltdown of sorts.  He was just not himself at all.  I thought it was the traveling and all the family and friends we were around.  There were lots of changes to his environment and schedule. It became the goal of all around to help me get him calm.  I have a wonderful, large family.  We all passed him around and tried our baby secrets on him...none of which seemed to be working.  Then..the diaper explosion began.  He was filling up car seats, strollers...ruining outfits (both his and those fortunate enough to be holding him).  The sounds coming from this tiny baby were unbelievable.  My husband had to return to work and left me with the boys in OH.  Oh, how I missed him!  My family was wonderful to help...but nobody can replace your husband.

When we returned home it got progressively worse.  Several thought it was colic...it was a mess.  Then, he began struggling just to nurse.  SCREAMING and CRYING most all the time.  I think I was in survival mode just trying to cope.  Finally, my mother pointed out to me that something was wrong.  She asked me if I realized how MUCH screaming and crying was going on.  I looked like I had been to battle and back, and Jackson was going nuts. 

We tried everything.  I talked to Lactation consultants, nurses, friends...and went to the doctor. I was aware of dairy issues with nursing babies and tried eliminating dairy...no luck.  Finally, out of desperation, I opened a can of formula and he took it like a pro....and slept for 8 hours straight.  We have been to the doctor again, and it seems as if there is some sort of intolerance going on with him and my milk.  It is not dairy because he is taking the milk-based formula well.  I have been pumping and storing and the doctor said to try the milk again after several formula feeds  to see how he did....well, I did and it was a return to nightmare land.  

I am coming to grips with letting go of nursing.  It is funny because in the beginning I wasn't even sure I wanted to try it again.  I nursed Jack for a year...and just had my radar up about the whole thing second time around.  However, Lincoln nursed really well-- after the first couple of weeks.  It was becoming a pleasurable experience.  I finally started to see why some people really enjoy it. 

He seems to love the bottle.  He has had no issues switching over.  I am the one with the issues.  Trying to get over the engorgement and all the discomfort is a bit difficult.  Feeling that fullness and knowing how easy it was to nurse him pulls on my emotions a bit too.  Last night was hard.  I just wanted to hold him, nurse him, and see him soothed.  I got brave and tried my milk one more time....BIG mistake.  It is definitely my milk.  I know we could work really hard on elimination dieting and probably get to the bottom of this, but I don't want him to be in that much discomfort while we are finding what works--if we even can.  It is crazy to put him and me through that. 

So, we are trying to find our new normal.  It has been a bit crazy.  I am thankful for friends and their soothing words and advice.  I am thankful for a great family.  I am thankful for formula...

....and I miss my Mamaw...a lot.

~ B Charmer

PS any words of wisdom on drying up the milk?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Every mama has her moments.  This momma certainly does.  Occasionally, I need to call on Superman to help me out.  He was kind enough to drop in just before his first ever T ball practice.
He is wonderful at getting things straight...pointing me in the right direction. Superman is sure to get it all under control. 

He sure is a super.

Watch out ladies!  Right now, this super-slugger-super-man is all mine!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

This Isn't a Dream, Toto!

We are a bit happy here today.

We got some great news.

Really, it is nothing short of answered prayer.

It is a prayer that has been coming full-circle for three years.

Sometime, I will tell you the whole story.  It is really beautiful.

Today, I will tell you that God has provided in a very big way.

Next year, I will be seeing these faces much more!

I am still teaching music.

I am only teaching 2 days a week!

What a blessing!

All of my worries, just melted away in one phone call.

God is good.

The B Charmer has been charmed.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May 4, 2011 A Letter To Baby

Look Who's Growing!

Dear Baby,
     These days are passing so swiftly.  You are already growing so very fast.  Your tiny little body is filling more and more of my arms everyday. I look at you in amazement because you are this perfect, little being that I get to watch grow and learn everyday.  You have brought such joy to our family. I hope that as you grow, you will always know how much you are loved. 
     You have the bluest, deepest eyes.  When you peer into my face, I feel as though you are absorbing every word that I say.  You barely blink or breathe when you are looking so intently.  I imagine that you will be a deep thinking little fella. 
     Of course, I have hopes and dreams for your future, but these first days of your life are priceless and I wish I could slow them a bit.  I hope to always remember the feel of your sweet life in my arms.  I look at your brother, and I am reminded how quickly you will leave my arms for playgrounds, worms, and toy cars.  I will watch with amazement as you discover all that this life has to offer. 
     There are no words to describe the love and happiness that you and your big brother bring to our life.  I thank God everyday for the gift of you both to your father and I.  We feel blessed and challenged to teach you both in the ways you should go.  We will make mistakes, but our love will always be there. 

We love you baby.

~ Mama B Charmer

Monday, May 2, 2011

I Spy No More

Do you wear your spy glasses like I do
Always looking for the better..the new
Do they ever seem to get in your way
And cause you to stumble throughout the day

Do you find it hard to put them away
Do they stay on your eyes both night and day
Do you sometime wish to leave them behind
Only to find them back on your eyes

Do you seem to feel like they're skewing your view
Taking your time and joy right from you
For all you can see is the better- the new
But never the way to make it come true

Are your lenses cracked and collecting dust
Are the hinges showing signs of rust
Do you feel like they are on you to stay
A permanent fixture that won't go away

The better- the new gets old to wish for
The glasses are heavy, I want them no more
I am trying to pry them off of my eyes
And see clearly again the truth in my life

I shouldn't have bought these glasses you see
I am pretty sure the salesman was lying to me
When he put these lenses over my eyes
I bought into the beauty of all of his lies

He promised me that if I wore them each day
Beautiful things would soon come my way
He said the glasses would help me to see
All of the "things" missing from me

But all I can see with these glasses of mine
is wanting and wishing and wasted time
I look so empty and boring to me
through the lenses of these glasses belonging to me

So I've made up my mind you see
I'm returning these glasses that just aren't for me
I am tired of wanting and wishing for naught
I am ready to focus on the things that I've got

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