“I’m willing to tell ya, I’m wanting to tell ya, I’m waiting to tell ya.”



I’m Ana. This is Restrained Chaos, a chronicle of my life as I mother, wife (is that a word?), homeschool, craft, cook and bake. I have a wonderful husband (Handsome), an adorable & very independent daughter (Laura), and a Wild Thing of a son (Max).

Since I have a perfect horror of introductions (they always make me feel so presumptuous), I thought I’d introduce my family through a day in our life.
What you can hear at our house today:

You know, there’s nothing like the sounds of home. A Handsome husband conducts a business call with a potential client, my 5 year old daughter singing Christmas carols in the background. The only one not making some sort of noise is the almost-2-year-old. This is because his mouth is stuffed with banana bread (This happens whenever there is homemade bread). We’re not a perfect family, but we try to make it through each day without killing each other. Mostly successfully. Today is one of the good days. No one has had much of an urge to kill anyone yet and we’ve had smiles and giggles.

Later in the day our sounds are different. Handsome has gone to school. We’ve had a good lunch and everyone is busy digesting. Max makes little peeps as he’s supposed to be napping, while Laura & I work on her schoolwork. Silly fingers dance and sing as they count to 100, and we crunch on apples from the math lesson. For History, I tell a long, extended story about Egypt, its gods, Jacob, Joseph & the Exodus. Man, she asks a lot of questions.

A little before dinnertime, little ‘ow’s can be heard when the little boy discovers that getting dried poop cleaned off while standing up may not have been such a good idea, after all. Duplo pings together as the girl builds a city for his cars, and I start typing on my laptop. A Brigham Young University-Idaho Devotional plays on my desktop. It’s an excellent one: Spiritual Food Storage. There is a little fussing between the kids, but not as much as you’d expect from the witching hour. Maybe it’s the calm before the storm. Teddy talks to me about his day, being sick and, his friend Satsuke (Laura voicing him).

We briefly turn on the news for more information about the Haitian earthquake. Both children quiet down and I expect more questions from Laura as she stares at the pictures with great, big saucer-eyes. I don’t shield her from what happened. But I do urge her to say a prayer for the Haitians and to feel better. Max throws a car at me.  It is confiscated, with the usual wails ensuing. When I go in the kitchen I turn on the old standby: Food Network. It’s one of the few channels I can trust my children to while I’m out of the room.

Making dinner is easy: the microwave beeps insistently that it is quite finished reheating the pizza. I took the easy way out since Handsome has work until midnight. But I’m making zucchini & onion stir-fry opening some canned peaches to make myself feel better about it. You won’t hear the ting-ting of plates because I opted for paper plates. I have to do a lot of dishes after they go to bed. There are so many that I just don’t feel like adding more to the pile.  Laura luxuriates in her tootsie pop that she got instead of peaches.  So much for healthy.

The house is finally (mostly) quiet.  My plan to do the dishes was postponed due to a “party”.  The kids decide to yell and bounce around their room, finding any and all stray toys.  I had to pull Max out and hold him on my lap until his sister fell asleep.  Laura whines and yells because she thinks her brother’s gotten a treat.  Yells of triumph were heard when I put him back in.  You just can’t win.

My plan now is to watch a show on my laptop while I  do the dishes. The sound will be turned up high because I’m a loud and noisy dish-washer.  Handsome will be home in a while and, for a while, we’ll fill the kitchen with voices again. Until then, I’ll finish my dishes and maybe sew up some broken pajamas. I’ll also enjoy the quiet. Tomorrow will be here sooner than I would wish.


Thanks for listening to our household today and, please, take a minute to pray for Haiti and its people.

I know, I said I was going to talk about a book.  But I felt silly without some kind of introduction.  I’ll write about it tomorrow. Really.

But I’ll give you the title:  The Gentle Art of Domesticity.


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