Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Past

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care...
and now there are toys scattered everywhere!

Now that all of the festivities are over, we are all coming down from the pre-Christmas high. My to do lists are much shorter and we're just hanging out playing with all of our "loot" (as I keep referring to Santa's gifts).

The boys got way more than enough stuff. JB's encore (birthday) will bring even more stuff. We're running out of storage!

I got the espresso maker that I was hoping for and I'm just trying not to die from a latte overdose. All in all I must say that everything went off without a hitch. My meal was less than stellar, but that happens sometimes!

With one more week of vacation, I'd like to get a lot of scrapbooking done, organize closets and cabinets, and REST. We'll see.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Natives are Restless

Despite being on a cocktail of drugs for congestion and bronchitis, my boys are bouncing off the walls! I guess a lot of this comes along with the whole Christmas excitement, but gheesh!
Round one of the grocery shopping is done and boy did I score. I bought a $100 leg of lamb for $15.00! Now if I can just find a recipe for it...
I only have a few last minute errands. Hopefully this two week break won't fly by. I could really use the R&R!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

How Pretty

I'm loving the new look. I finally found a site with pretty designs to help me get a quick and easy facelift. I think it took me longer to pick out a background than actually changing things around. I'll try not to change things up too often.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

In the Home Stretch



It's hard to believe that Christmas is only a week away. I have one more gift to buy and a few menus to plan. Other than that we're done. We need to make Santa's cookies and our holiday candy as well. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully I can sit and enjoy some of it. As usual, I'm making plans to be more organized next year! Ha!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Countdown to Christmas

 

Well, we've been very busy getting ready for Christmas. It seems like every year we add a few new traditions to the list. And just when I begin to stress out, I think of all the wonderful memories that we're creating and we pull through.

 
Thanksgiving night, I usually start decorating the house. It's a mighty task, but well worth it in the end. I love the Christmas colors and lights. I'm usually burning a holiday candle (when the fireplace isn't lit) and we make lots of hot chocolate.
This year I've decorated a few more little nooks and crannies. I want to get organized enough to do even more. We'll see.



This year's advent was similar to the Disney countdown calendar. I found these to be much easier to track and take turns marking. I'm relieved about not having to find a daily treat to fill an advent pocket/box.

With about a week left, there are still a few more preparations to make, but I know the boys are enjoying every moment of the festivities!
 

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

More Whine Please...

I'm officially suffering from exhaustion! I had to ask myself whether or not I wanted to take a Benadryl (which I need desperately) or have wine (which I want desperately).
I have so many things swirling in my head, I can't think straight...too many things to list on a to do list. I'm almost done with my Christmas shopping. But I still have cards to address, menus to plan and gifts to wrap in addition to the school calendar, sports schedule, birthday parties...yikes!
My children are becoming increasingly needy, which makes me
1notsohappymommy. I don't know if that's a fair assessment or I'm just too busy to be attentive. Either way, it's very frustrating!
Well at least tomorrow is Thursday and my hubby will be home. We're planning to take pictures with Santa on Friday. And on Saturday, we have two birthday parties and a game.
There really is no rest for the weary! I always say jokingly, "I'll rest when I get to heaven!" It's morbid, but true.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Tis' the Season






My husband finally cleared all of the boogers off the computer, so hopefully I won't have those issues again for a while!!!

Thanksgiving is over and the details are fuzzy. We had a nice visit with relatives and a decent dinner. I was less than impressed, but everyone said they enjoyed it all. I think I'm just too exhausted to get excited. I love hosting and enjoy all of the frills and details...I just don't do a good job of pacing myself. Before it's all said and done, I'm exhausted and moody. When I read other blogs and hear/see cute ideas and crafts in magazines, I just can't imagine having one more ounce of energy to get it done.

I have tried to pace myself for Christmas. We'll see how well I do. We're planning to have a brunch on Christmas eve. I've already ordered my Christmas cards (I have to re-order them) so, I need to get my mailing list together. I'll decorate before Monday and start planning the menu, teacher gifts and finalize gift buying. Within a week, I'll also need to schedule JB's birthday party.

Here we go with the lists again!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Tech Wars

If I had a gun...I would shoot the computer right now. I've (like a lot of other people) grown accustomed to having things at my fingertips and done "speedy quick". When technology fails, I find myself getting spastic.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

OMG: Part 2

I am exhausted! Today started off downhill and I just can't seem to get with it!!!
MC had an 8 am soccer game, which he refused to play in. When we get home, everyone is ticked. Then I take a look at the mounds crap that I have to deal with by Monday when the housekeepers come and what little umph I have disappears.
I spent several hours uploading pictures to an online photo shop because I've go to get christmas cards ordered ASAP. All the while, the boys were fighting and wrestling. Things have cooled down for a moment, but I'm not getting too excited because I'll soon have to start planning dinner and finishing my various lists and time lines. Yuck!!
I love the holidays, but I hate the work!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pull my Finger!

This list sums up little boys and their philosophy on life!!

Farts are fun.
Words naming body parts are hilarious: butt, armpits, crotch... to name a few.
"Find something to do" really means 'wrestle'.
"Find something to do" could also mean 'play football'.
It's more fun to play in the tub than bathe.
The more bumps, scrapes and bruises, the better.
If it's not dead...I'll kill it for you.
If it's not broken...I'll break it for you.
Walking is overrated. Running is much better.
When in doubt, smash it or throw it.
God gave us hands as built in napkins (or kleenex).


Life is too fun to take everything so seriously.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Joy of Boys

I'm learning to be conscious of my gratefulness. I'm trying to live in the moment and enjoy the experience. Of course, I'm not always successful! However, this morning while I was doing the mundane task of ironing JB's jeans for school, I thought of a few things that I love about having boys. Here's a quick list and...yes, I'll share it with the boys.

1. Blue jeans...they're classic
2. Their zest for life. They find humor and excitement in everything!
3. The puppy dog smell that they have after playing outside. I like the fresh smell of a bath better, but the puppy dog smell is definitely unique!
4. They don't need accessories.
5. Their adventurous imaginations.

Of course I would love to have a daughter. That whole experience has to be amazing. But, I'm grateful for my boys. I know that I'm the first woman to hold their hearts. Hopefully, I won't screw it all up for their future wives !!

My prayer is that I give them what they need and prepare them meet and love the woman that God made just for them. Knowing that my job is done, I want to release them in such a way that I can step aside and watch them become a husband and father. With all selfish motivation/intentions aside, I plan to have a healthy adult relationship with my sons and their families.

Monday, November 10, 2008

N-O-VEM-B-E-R

Every year I anticipate the first bite of smoked turkey and cornbread dressing. I look forward to all of the winter vegetables, extra slices of cheesecake and other sweet treats. And every year, approximately two weeks before Thanksgiving, I make turkey wings and at least one "Thaksgiving" side dish.

I don't know whether it's the cold weather that puts me in the mood, or just anxious taste buds. With two weeks to go, our house already smells like Thanksgiving and boy, am I excited!

This will be the first break since school started and I'm eager to relax with my family. That reminds me I have a lot of lists to write so that I can actually relax when the time comes. Timelines are especially important this time of year!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Taming the Sista Within

The year I went to middle school, we got a new principal. The retiring principal was a family friend, a nice even tempered man...a pastor. The incoming principal was a rookie that wanted to be the next Joe Clark (not that our school really needed Joe). When I met him, I was devastated. I knew that my jr. high years would be disastrous. I was convinced he lived and breathed for new ways of making us miserable with his ridiculous rules and procedures.

This year feels like junior high all over again. When my son got his class assignment, I knew that we would be in for a fight! His teacher is well qualified, but has a lot to be desired in ALL other areas! I swear, every day, I'm met with an issue. She's consistently inconsistent. And the most annoying quality is her knack for answering questions like a politician. Fortunately for everyone involved, she seems to have a nice rapport with the children. I'm beginning to recognize how well she manipulates them and works the system. She's experienced enough to know how to say things without saying them. When it gets home and comes back to her she greets it with a smile and coy look that says "I don't know what you're talking about".

All of this has reminded me that the "sista girl" is still hidden within and I'm constantly trying to keep her calm and quiet!

I know that, just like in middle school, everything will be fine. I just get tired of everything being an issue/struggle! My God, is anything easy???

Fall Surprises

The boys have come down from their sugar high and the excitement of Halloween. Instead of trick-or-treating, we invited a couple of friends over for movies, pizza and games. They haven't seen these friends in a while, so they were plesantly surprised! Later that night, my sisters came into town (also a surprise), to go to MC's soccer game. He proudly scored a goal, just for them!

We'll just try to coast on until Thanksgiving. I have a lot to do (as usual), but I'm hopeful--today!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

OMG

Am I going or coming? That is the question!!
This has been a super crazy week and it's only Wednesday.
It's getting more and more difficult to keep up with all of my responsibilities: laundry, grocery shopping, nail clipping, hair washing...you name it it's just a lot!

In addition to that, the holidays are fast approaching and I have no idea what we're getting the boys for Christmas. For the first time ever, I think we'll just go to Toys R Us and buy it all at once. Maybe we'll make it date...how sad! Usually by now, I'm done with my shopping for them and finishing up shopping for everyone else. What happened this year??

We're hosting both dinners so, that means decorating, menu planning and shopping. It's usaually fun when the time finally comes, but the preparation and aftermath...not so fun! I've written the Thanksgiving menu and will tweek some things before writing a shopping list and pulling coupons. That always helps.

We've also decided to host brunch on Christmas eve. Until last year, this was an annual tradition. We'll try again this year. Oh, wait...I've also got to take the boys' Christmas picture and order cards by Friday to get a major discount! What's today, Wednesday? Sigh.

"I need you to wipe my boom-boom!" comes blaring from the restroom...hold that thought!

Oops, I'm roasting a chicken. I think it's done. Hold on another minute!

Okay, see what I mean by crazy!

The boys are so excited about Halloween. We're supposed to have movie night and they will wear their coveted football uniforms and helmets. I bought lots of candy to pass out and we're planning to order pizza. As a surprise, I invited over a couple of friends. JB and MC will be delirious with excitement. That type of excitement is always either preceded by or followed with a good spanking. Let's see if we beat the odds this time!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Good Morning!

I proudly report that we had a "yell-free" morning! This is certainly someting to be thankful for! The boys got up when their alarm clock went off and took care of their own morning rituals. MC complained about his clothes, of course, but when I didn't respond he just got dressed. Note: I've tried this before and it NEVER works!
Let's just hope that the rest of the day is as happy!

My Strength Comes From the Lord

Five years ago today, I woke up to life without my mother. The words transformation and evolution don't even begin to describe the process. Among the many lessons that I've learned, the most important of all: I am strong! God has placed in me incomprehensible strength! Even when I don't feel it physically and emotionally, with his help, it's there...it shines through!
Sometimes, it's hard to tell which direction I'm going. I often get frustrated, angry, exhausted...the list goes on. But one thing I know for sure-I've seen rougher days AND I survived them. Down the road, when I look back, some of these obstacles will be mere bumps in the road. These "bumps" are stragetically placed to shape me into the person I have yet to become.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Iron Sharpening Iron

This week I have experienced two wonderful opportunities to be on both the giving and receiving end of ministry. On Thursday, I had a wonderful afternoon at the park visiting with a mother that I had never met. We talked about the joys and challenges of mothering boys. She shared her experience as a homeschooling mom. I gained valuable insight into that world and reassurance that I am making the best choice for me/us.
Today we attended a new member's class at our church. We spent hours learning a lot about the church and getting to know other members. I really connected to one mother in our group. We encouraged each other and I think we really have the potential to be good friends.
If this sounds weird coming from me...it is! I've said time and time again-I'm not a people person. My inner circle is very small. I'm starting to acknowledge the fact that my friendship issues result from a deeper issue with trust. I am vowing to make a personal effort to stop trusting people and trust God. If I really trust that God will lead me into healthy relationships and out of unhealthy ones, I believe I'll see a difference in my social interactions.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tired Anyone?

How do you know you're exhausted??
* While cleansing your face, you apply nail polish remover instead of toner.
* You Febreze your child's jacket on the way out the door, because it smells like dirt and you've been to busy/tired to actually wash it.
* Your kids ask if they can eat their pizza (for dinner) in the car and you agree.
* You buy plants at the plant store and they die before you get them planted.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Shoes, Glorious Shoes!

 
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Today I hit the mother lode! Four pair of shoes for less than $200!! It's been so long since I've bought something cute for myself. Once upon a time, this was normal! That seems like ages ago! Next step...find cute clothes to wear with my cute shoes!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Finally!

 
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JB (and I) have worked so hard this six weeks to adjust to a new grade, new teacher and a new set of expectations. He's very bright, but is used to a lot of one on one instruction. I've been working even harder with him at home by giving him more opportunities to do homework independently. I've also been very critical of his work, because he really has a "stickler" this year! I think the phrases I've used most are: "Check your work" and "Name on your paper"!
Believe it or not, we even had to perfect cutting and gluing after a few assignments were nitpicked about that! Well regardless, we hauled butt and he earned all A's. Little, old-fashioned me expected that the first six weeks without much bloodshed. Now I know better. We're fastening our seat belts for this ride!
He's enjoying it all so I guess that's what really matters most!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

And Then There Was One



When we bought our house, the backyard was covered with trees. It looked like the previous owners went to the local Home Depot and picked out one of everything!
As first time homeowners, we specifically requested to see homes with "mature trees"...I guess it sounded good. We immediately took out a whole row of evergreens along the back fence. After several years of raking mounds of leaves every fall and pruning, we were happy to cut down another one. Along came a storm and that took out another, leaving only the stump. So now we're down to one. Today we had a tree service remove the stump and thin out the remaining tree. It looks great and we didn't have to work up a sweat! Our backyard still isn't the oasis that we're dreaming of, but it's not a jungle either!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My Roller Coaster Day

Today was like a roller coaster ride. I started off with Bible Yoga, which was perfect until one of the members shared her personal story about recently losing her mother. When she started up, tears started flowing. Something came over me and I couldn't stop. I excused myself, but when I came back the tears did too.
I missed a bit of the discussion and probably had everyone wondering what my problem was, but sometimes it's just like that.
For the rest of the afternoon it was touch and go. Every memory, hurt and feeling of loss came flooding back. Today's outburst was pretty typical this time of year. For the past four years, that's been consistent. I pledged to make this one different and today I was unsuccessful. I will try again tomorrow.
I decided to forgo the painful homework session this afternoon for an evening at a local pumpkin patch. The boys had a blast playing with a few friends that we met there.
We came home, showered, ate dinner, watched a few of their favorite t.v. shows and read...all by 8pm.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Whew!

This week has been the toughest we've had in a while. It's always hard to get back into the swing of things. I am physically and mentally exhausted. I don't think I've yelled this much in months!
Not to mention the mammoth homework sessions that I have to plan and do with JB every night. I'm having some major issues with school this year. Having been on the other side of the whiteboard once, I know that navigating the parent/teacher relationship can be very tricky.
I'm just exhausted! My to do list is so long, it seems like I'm only putting a dent in it!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Memories

As a child, I spent lots of time with my paternal grandmother. I spent endless hours playing in her yard. It truly was a fantasy land!
One of my favorite things about her yard was the abundance of plants and flowers.
She was a gardener who grew all types of food including peaches, which she used to make a killer peach cobbler. In fall her beds were full of mums. In spring, there were beautiful roses and tiger lilies.
Both the front and back yards were towered by pecan trees. In their midst was the most gorgeous magnolia tree ever. The branches billowed to give an 8' (or so) clearance. When the magnolias bloomed, it was absolutely breathtaking!
My mother once took clippings from the tree to decorate a wedding. Magnolias and candles...how elegant!
I've always wanted a magnolia tree of my own. And this summer I finally got one! It is a dwarf variety that will only grow about 15-20 feet, but I know it will bring such joy and fond remembrance every time I look out of my window.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lately I've had to ask myself, Do I really trust God? I mean I say that I do, but do I really trust Him in every aspect of my life. Naturally I turn to Him for help/guidance with big things. However, it's the day to day...mundane stuff that usually gets under my skin and festers. If I really trusted Him, wouldn't I just pray and relinquish these burdens? The answer is yes!
I struggle so hard with control. I know that I'm ultimately not in control of anything, but there's a delicate balance between being responsible and micro-managing. For me, micro-managing feeds my controlling nature.
In my quiet time, I must resolve this issue because if left to the flesh...we're going to have serious problems!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Who's the Student?

 
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School is well underway and here's a shot of my new sidekick (blue). Last year (green), I found that the most valuable tool to navigate the sea of paperwork, handouts and assignments, was a three ring binder. Not just any binder, but a clearly divided binder with a vinyl, hole punched portfolio for keeping report card copies and a spiral tablet for documentation.
Every afternoon, I hole punch all documents and file them in my binder. I even include lunch menus. Although it seems very anal retentive, it keeps everything at my fingertips. If only I could organize the other areas of my life this well!

Look, Mom!

 
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This weekend JB came running in the house screaming, "Mommy, Mommy, come and see this!"I scramble out in my pajamas with my camera, because his excitement suggests that this will be a camera worthy event.
My big boy was riding his bike without training wheels. His dad followed closely behind, but he was doing it! We tried at the end of the summer, but he wasn't quite ready. A few days ago, my hubby took the wheels off again and they practiced a bit in the backyard. He was still a bit shaky, but eager to learn.
Today he rode in the street and even made a few turns. Of course, he fell off a few times ( I pretended not to see), but he just hopped up and got back on. He's still learning to use the brakes. I am so proud! What a milestone...a real rite of passage!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Keep it Simple, Stupid!

 





Yesterday after school, JB and I sat down to do our daily homework. We did a phonics lesson and reviewed math skills that they've been working on in class. For the math review, we used the button box to combine several skills: sorting & classifying, ordering numbers, comparing groups...
All of a sudden MC began gradually taking off with buttons from the button box. I heard him mumble something about his plan, but I was more focused on finishing the lesson. Later that night, my hubby and I were having a long philosophical conversation when, out of the corner of my eye, I caught something strange on the window sill. Our house seems to be the hot spot for critters of all kind, so I was curious to know what in the world could be growing, crawling or otherwise stuck under the window. Finally I got up to check it out. Lo and behold, I discovered what MC had been doing earlier.
Apparently he was much more interested in lining up the buttons than doing more sophisticated math. How appropriate for a four year old!
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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What a Day!

Today was a day unlike any other! I'm not quite sure what to make of it. I started the day at a Bible Yoga class with a friend. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the instructor incorporated scripture with the yoga poses and meditation. I was also pleasantly surprised that I didn't look like a beached whale striking some of the aforementioned poses.

We picked JB up early from school because we had an appointment with the ENT specialist to check MC's hearing. After failing two previous hearing exams, we wanted to rule out hearing loss. (Especially since he's been playing drums since he was two years old!) After an hour long consultation and being sequestered in a sound proof booth, we were given the all clear. MC is suffering from allergies. We're to continue the pediatrician's course of treatment. Whew! Our resident musician will have two fully functioning ears to use for his future compositions!

We got home in time for the boys to have some outdoor time, homework, bathe, eat dinner and get dressed for Wednesday night church service. Anyone who knows me knows that we start getting ready for bed at 6pm. Lights are out at 8! Today I decided to go with the flow. Yes, things were hairy. Very hairy! But, we survived.

In my quiet time, God spoke. What if, I stop trying to keep everything together and just let him do that. Perhaps everything will run more smoothly. Since my boys came out of the womb, I've been adamant about having structure and routine. I wanted them to always know what to expect. As they've gotten older, I've discovered that this makes them (and everyone) more crazy when plans change. I'm also questioning whether or not this is practical in the long run. I have criticized and even condemned others for driving through fast food chains to get dinner on the way to another commitment. So, being so loosey goosey gives me the heebie jeebies. (Forgive the gibberish, I'm delirious!) I really do need to re-evaluate things, but I will definitely be taking baby steps.

Bottom line, I don't think that God will punish me or allow undue stress in my life because we took the boys out after bedtime to attend church. As the pastor said during benediction tonight, I hope he will bless us for our commitment of time.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Disappointments

Life is full of disappointments! The sooner we all come to that realization, the better off we will all be. Whether it's a friend or loved one's shortcomings or just circumstancial...we're certain to have plenty of them.

I gave this very speech to JB a few weeks ago when he was let down several times over the couse of the day. It doesn't take much for a six-yr-old's world to be turned upside-down. Nevertheless, I assured him that we all experience plenty of disappointments. Then I proceeded to name a few of mine :)!

Oh, well enough rambling, just had to unload.

P.S. I've been talking politics so much lately, I think everyone in my inner circle (all 3 of them) is totally fed up! I'm considering starting a blog just to rant about that! Geesh!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Life's Many Phases

It's been a while since my last post. We've been busy as usual. With endless projects at home, readjusting to the "school schedule"...being a grown up never gets boring!
I'm desperately in need of some "mommy motivation"! I'm even re-reading some of my parenting books. The boys are moving into a very sweet stage. They're becoming more independent (which is great!) The tough part is increasing my patience and tolerance so that I can re-direct and guide them through making decisions. They're able to communicate much better, but at times they'd much rather whine and cry. This definitely requires more patience on my part!! I've got to find that balance between guiding with tolerance and ruling with the iron fist. I know what I need to do and the result that I'm striving for....I just need the strength!
Life really gets interesting when the kids are talking and out of diapers!

Personally, I'm getting used to socializing with the school crowd again. It's both sad and funny to witness the moms reliving high school days with their cliques. I can tell that most of the busy bodies WERE NOT the cool girls in high school. I guess they're fulfilling their dreams of being cool. Funny! I didn't really care much about being a part of all that in high school or college so, I guess nothing has changed!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Welcome Fall




Fall is here! I love the colors of autumn. For the first time in a while, I plan to focus on what I have and not what's missing. This won't be easy, but necessary! I've started decorating and just love my mantle!
We also welcomed football season with Texas Longhorn cookies. The boys had a great time helping bake them.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tired to the 10th Degree

I have discovered a new realm of exhaustion! We've been in the back to school routine only a few days, but the early mornings, late nights and energy required to closely follow our school routine are all wearing me out! I am fighting like h-e-double hockey sticks to keep my eyelids open right now. If I doze, I'll miss picking up JB.
MC is constantly asking, "When is he coming home? Is it time to pick him up?" In terms of logistics, it's good that they don't start school at the same time, but it is hard for him to get used to spending the day without his bestfriend.
With September a couple of days away, I've weeded out the flower bed for fall. It desperately needs updating. I've started decorating for fall inside. Maybe, I'll finish this weekend. Next on the to do list...write the Thanksgiving & Christmas menus, Christmas list, brainstorm Jan. birthday ideas and work on a "honey do" list for holiday break.
Whew...I get tired just thinking about it!

Monday, August 25, 2008

What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

There was a very odd movie in the early '90's (maybe) with Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio called, "What's eating at Gilbert Grape". I guess it was a coming of age movie so to speak about a kid struggling to gain his independence amidst supporting a very wacky family. All the while, he was basically responsible for mothering his morbidly obese mother. He carried the weight of his family on his shoulders.

This movie came to mind this morning after a few minor "unfortuante events". At 32, I'm facing the fact that the world doesn't really care about my grievances. They are what they are. More importantly, they are what I make of them. Some things, no matter how unpleasant, just aren't worth the energy fretting about because no one cares!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Saying Goodbye

"It's so hard to say goodbye
to what we had.
The good times that mad us laugh,
outweigh the bad.
And I'll take with me the memories
to be my sunshine
after the rain.
It's so hard to say goodbye to yesterday."

Boyz II Men

I know I have dated myself quoting a Boys II Men song, but it sums up my feelings as the summer break comes to an end. I am so NOT ready to start this next round of school! I knew it was coming and I shudder at the thought of getting back in the routine. Because we're coming off the Disney high, we haven't really had a long time to practice the BTS routine. I figure if I have breakfast/lunch planned for the week and set the alarm (and actually get up on time) we'll be okay. The first few days/weeks, I'm going to be up helping JB get ready. After that, I'll need him to do it solo.

Today I gave up my Saturday ritual of watching Food Network. JB and I spent some quality time together running errands followed by lunch at the restaurant of his choice. Afterwards we met up with MC and Dad to splash in the water fountains. It was so neat to be able to share that individual time with him. We had fun being silly and reconnecting in a way that we haven't done in a long time. Spending that alone time with him reminded me that he's still that little baby boy with no eyebrows that we brought home from the hospital 6 years ago. I'll have to cling on to that when he's trying my patience!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Summer Vacation 2008



We're back from our week long Walt Disney World Marathon. The boys had a blast and I'm exhausted! We saw just about everything there was to see. We missed The Incredibles, Lightning McQueen and some parts of Epcot (after Magic Kingdom, the kids are pretty finished!) I don't know if the boys even realized what they missed because they saw so much! So many shows, parades, character greetings...





I'm proud of how well they did getting up close to all of the characters. They loved the rides, especially Toy Story Mania! We ate lots of junk food and spent lots of time off of our schedule...just letting it all hang out (or trying to). One night we even stayed at Magic Kingdom until 1 am!!

We returned last night, just before Hurricane Fay hit. Talk about impeccable timing!!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Selective Hearing

My children have started the annoying habit of ignoring what I say. If I'm three rooms away and whisper "We might go to the park and have cupcakes", they harass me about it for hours. If I'm in the same room with them and tell them to pick up a toy, stop running, etc. they don't hear it/respond until I've said it nicely five times and then shout. I don't know if this is a kid thing, a male thing, or if I'm just uber(made up word) irritated in these last few days before vacation.

Every time we embark on a holiday, birthday celebration, or vacation, the stress of all of it gets me all wound up. What little patience I have on a daily basis is gone! In these times, I completely understand why, as children, we always got a spanking just before a major "fun" event.

Funny for the day:
The boys were playing earlier and I overheard MC say "that's my hapuchino non fat", as he pretended to sip from a tower of Legos. Just the thought of hearing him try to pronounce those words totally cracks me up! At least he'll know what to order for me at Starbucks!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Bedtime Blues

No matter how hard I try to psyche myself up for it...I hate bed/bath time! It's usually accompanied with a ton of unnessecary questions and attempts to stall the inevitable. The boys think of a million things that I "promised" them we would do and want me to pay up. After a long day of running errands and trying to muster up a little energy to deposit into the reserves for this weeklong trip to Disney World, not to mention an hour long baseball practice tonight, I am wiped out!

I've almost packed everything. I need to finish and make sure all of the particulars are in order: necessities in carry on, liquids in quart container, all other checked liquids in gallon container to prevent spills, backpacks for each with entertainment, movies, camera, travel documents, blah, blah, blah...
I've also bought all school supplies except 3 items and they're packed into JB's backpack. I started to set aside the first week's outfits as well. I don't want to have to do anything extra when we come home!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Carpet Lines Never Looked So Sweet!

 


Normally I would call someone who carefully vacuums and leaves perfect carpet lines--obsessive compulsive. However, when someone else does it for you, it's perfectly acceptable!

This morning the housekeepers came to clean my home. I finally bit the bullet and just called someone. Two ladies came and cleaned their butts off for FOUR hours! We tried to stay our of their way, but every now and then I just walked around (in awe) to check it out. It nearly brought me to tears! The bunnies outside have nothing on the bunnies that were camping out in here!

They scrubbed everything. One of them even came back as they were leaving because she forgot to "scrub the soap dish". Are you kidding me? Scrubbing all of the soap scum out of the shower definitely counted in my book! They dusted baseboards, ceiling fans, changed bed linens....I'm getting misty eyed just thinking about it!

Wow, who needs friends when you've got housekeepers!!!
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Friday, August 1, 2008

Blah!

Well, I guess it's time for my annual visit to my primary care physician. Every year I notice a new list of complaints and ailments. I follow through with an annual physical and blood work up to dispel my self diagnosed conditions, and am given a clean bill of health (Praise God). I'm beginning to wonder if it's psychological.

Fall is a beautiful season, but it's the beginning of a long season of very difficult dates and events. I usually start planning the holidays in Sept./Oct. and have my shopping done well before Thanksgiving. That's literally right around the corner. Having a child in school just speeds it all up! Before I know it I'll be planning another birthday party. I usually have it all planned and reserved before Christmas as well.

Funny for the day: I took the boys bowling this morning. I guess I was on a lucky streak because I'm not usually a good bowler. Today, I made several strikes and picked up spares most of the other times. I have to use a lg. ball (12 lbs), because, I have long fingers and big knuckles-they get stuck in the holes of the smaller balls. Anyway, as we were checking out, a very sweet, older grandma type approached me and invited me to join her bowling league that meets during the school year. Childcare isn't available, so I won't be able to participate, Darn! I'm still trying to figure out whether that was a compliment or not. It was funny, nevertheless.

*A lot of bloggers have a weekly themed entry. I'm not that organized or dedicated, so I'll try to post a "Funny for the day" at the end of each entry. I usually have several of those!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

MIC-KEY M-O-U-S-E!

 
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The official countdown has begun! I decided to go with a much simpler calendar this time. The calendar that we usually do becomes a pain when we forget to mark off the days before bedtime. I've also done an advent calendar for Christmas. I had the hardest time keeping something in the pockets and hated to send them to bed with edible treats.
Each morning the boys take turns ripping off a sheet. I think the whole ripping action appeals to boys! So far so good--they are so excited!

Calm after the Storm


These were the beautiful images that we saw after a brief storm in our area last night. The heavens were a beautiful golden color. The boys were confused-they thought it was morning.


In these moments before starting our nightly routine, I had a "God" moment. I experienced the unsettling storm and then saw the beauty that followed. Without that storm the glow would not have been as magnificent.



The sunset was beautiful! There was no trace of the storm.
Hopefully, when (it's inevitible) the next storm of life passes through, I can remember this visual. Just knowing what the beauty of the "other side" looks like, should be encouraging.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Forgive Me, Mother, I Have Sinned!

Let me preface this entry with, I am so proud of JB's maturity and kind spirit. He's becoming quite a little gentleman. Lately, he's been bitten by the honesty bug and compulsion to confess.
After several 20-30 minute confessionals each day, I know I couldn't be a priest. Those private moments would bore my ADD brain to death!
On the other hand, these intimate moments are exactly what he needs to see that I'm not the bad guy and provide me with an opportunity to get to know him better. We've had some very neat bonding experiences.
So, as I bite my tongue to avoid laughing at the earnest pleas for forgiveness for: saying, "duh", kicking the wall, climbing the wall, jumping on the bed, and doing other gross boy things that I won't dare share...I will relish every moment of his desire to share himself with me! I've also reminded him that he can always share these things with God, since His forgiveness is all that really matters.

On another note, the housekeepers are coming and I'm not ready! I vowed to organize, but my efforts have gone in vain. We're getting ready for vacation and the school year. Those major events combined with daily living make it kind of difficult! I'm going to keep working at it. Worst case scenario, I can do like everyone else and shove it in the garage for the day! I checked a friend's blog today and she's been on a roll with her organizing...maybe I should see how much she'd charge to come over and do mine for me!

Well that's enough for now. I've got to get busy. One of my other goals was to read a book a week. I don't know where I think I'm going to get all this time from, but hey...it sure sounds good when I'm planning it all out.

Uh, oh. Another confession..."I accidentally put this toy in my mouth and I shouldn't have!" I just want to see how long this lasts...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

There's a First Time for Everything!

Earlier this week, the boys and I visited a local cowboy museum. The kids enjoyed visiting the old town candy store, where they reached in huge whiskey barrels full of sweet treats. Talk about a kid in a candy store!

I was delighted to find the most adorable mini cookie cutters. So, for the first time since...ever, I'm excited about football season this fall. I'm going to kick off the Texas Longhorn season with burnt orange and white longhorns and Texas shaped sugar cookies. As I've stated multiple times, I don't get into sports. Food, well that's a different story.

My husband, a UT grad, was even impressed.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tomorrow

Tomorrow I will:
laugh more
shout less
smile
think positively
enjoy just being in the moment!

Watching my boys have so much fun laughing and enjoying the little things, reminds me how light hearted childhood really was. So, despite "grown-up" responisiblities and all of the irritations that come along with them, I will try even harder to recapture some of that childhood spirit.

Life is really too short to stress about every detail.

Quotes to Live By

My mother had many sayings and quotes posted throughout our house and her classroom. My two personal favorites were:
Diplomacy-The ability to tell a person to go to Hell in such a way they look forward to the trip
and...
Avenge Yourself. Live long enough to be a problem to your children.

As a teenager, I got the humor behind each quote. As an adult they're that much funnier!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Reflections

The best thing about journaling or blogging, aside from clearing your head, is to reflect on previous posts. Some of my old posts are so ridiculous, I can't believe I even wrote them! I think it's neat to see the full spectrum of thoughts and emotions that I'm going through at various times. It shows resiliency that I didn't know I had!
I've journaled since I was a teenager. My personal journal is rated "R", of course, but when I die, it's free for the reading. I think my kids will value the journals that I keep for them and will learn a lot from mine. What better way to really get to know a person's innermost thoughts??

Yeah for Margaritas!!!

My husband makes the best margaritas. And I've discovered that after a couple of good margaritas, everything is quite all right.

Our camp has been pretty relaxed around here this week. I finished staining the boys' bathroom cabinets. It's funny how a weekend project can turn into a month-long project. Nevertheless, it's done. Now we'll just have to plan to have the floors and walls redone. I'm always in the mood for a good upgrade.

We've also decided to dig up the grass that we finally got growing in our backyard to make way for a gigantic flower bed. I think it will look really nice, but it will definitely be a ton of work. I would love to have a pool, but at this point, we're trying to differentiate between needs/wants/smart investments for return in value. We know that we'll be selling our home in a few years so, we don't want to put money in places where we won't see the return. Some people want pools, some don't. Our yard is large enough to list that as a selling point. With all that said, flower bed it is.

Also looming over my head is the mega Disney World trip! I've got to get my stratgey down for packing, grocery delivery...the logistics. ARGH! I've also got to list the back to school items that we'll need, since that's right around the corner as well. So much to do, so little time!

And if that isn't enough, my hubby's birthday is coming up and my sister's is three days after that. I've already bought one of his gifts and will wait a few days to buy hers. I know what I'm getting. I love being prepared. It's such a good feeling. (Buying a bottle of mustard for 10 cents, on sale with a coupon, is also a good feeling)

Next week-not so relaxed. We start swimming lessons again and my hubby is back on the road. May the force be with us!


I am: thrifty, creative, thoughtful, sarcastic, honest, genuine, organized, disorganized, straightforward, quiet, observant, critical, opinionated, reserved, insightful.

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Negotiator

I think it was Sam Jackson, that starred in the movie The Negotiator. Well, today it's me! Every single word from my mouth results in a negotiation. I think it's driving me bananas!
Finish eating.
How many? Can I just take 2 bites.
No, 4.
Three?

Go to your room for rest time.
When can we come out?
When I call.
How much minutes?

Put on your shoes, we have to run errands.
Where are we going?
The bank, post office, and library.
Can we eat out?
No.
Can we get Sonic drinks?

OMG! I'm still getting back in the swing of things here at home. Doing laundry, cleaning, and catching up on chores are all full time jobs. I'm also getting ready for our vacation in a couple of weeks. When we come home, we'll only have a week and then school starts. So, I really need to be ready for the beginning of the school year before we leave. That means, ordering a backpack, taking inventory and school shopping (for clothes and supplies). I'm sure I make it sound like a huge production...and it is, but I have to have my ducks lined up or I really will go bananas.

On a funnier note, as we were leaving the city last week, JB noticed someone "having a picnic under the street". Although we knew the man wasn't having a picnic, we didn't bother to correct him. You have to love the childhood innocence.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Ruching, a girl's best friend!

I bought a new swimsuit today. After trying on four suits, I determined that it wasn't the suits that I didn't like...it was my body. I honestly think this is the only time of year that I regret having that extra slice of cheesecake or cookie!

I finally chose a black one piece with lots and lots of ruching, which is great for camouflaging flab. I'll also need a cover-up. I figure by the time I cover all of my "trouble spots", I'll be fully dressed.

Rolls definitely taste better than they look (on the body, that is)!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Time to Simplify!

This week we're on a mini-vacation. Being in the hotel always reminds me that we have way too much stuff. How can we all fit in a one bedroom suite? The boys have more than enough activities and toys. We have plenty of clothes and toiletries. I've even been cooking dinner. The room is equipped with a stove, fridge, dishwasher and even dishes.

For the past two nights I've cooked complete meals using a couple of utensils and a few plates. At home; however, every meal results in a kitchen full of dirty dishes! The boys change clothes at least twice a day and they can't seem to share/find the perfect toy to play with.

I always leave with the plan to downsize when we get back home. Of course, it doesn't work! I guess it sounds good in theory. One day I'll get it together. For now, I'll just enjoy our mini-vacation.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Oh Crap!

JB loves playing checkers and has some pretty good strategies for winning. I decided to teach him how to play dominoes in hopes that he could practice critical thinking, planning and basic math skills. I was explaining all of the rules and introducing how points were counted and recorded when he informed me of a similar game that he learned how to play at school.

JB: "This is like the game where you roll the dice and take score. You just put a mark for your points and sometimes you can get skipped."

Me:"Who showed you how to play that game? Did you play it during choice centers?

JB: "R showed me. We played it on toy day when you could bring your favorite toy."

What the...?? Sounds like shooting craps to me! I couldn't decide whether to be ticked off or tickled. I guess I should be glad they weren't waging bets. Oh, wait...I forgot to ask that very important question!

P.S. I thought about this after posting and remembered that Bunko is the new version of Craps. It sounds better, but isn't that big of a difference.

Let's Make Every Day the Fourth!

 
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Yesterday was by far the laziest day that I've had in a long time! Correction: I did many things, but with my hubby here we could easily tag team kid watching. We started the day with red white and blue parfaits, I went grocery shopping, did lots of laundry and started on the sides for our bbq. It was nice to do things at my own pace without rushing and juggling all of the balls alone. For the next 18 days, we'll have lots of family time. I relish these times, but it's a pretty big adjustment!

We ended the day at a local fireworks show. I guess I'm about as patriotic as the average person, but with a friend's husband serving his third tour in Iraq...I AM proud to be an American. World reports remind me daily that despite the weakening dollar and high gas prices, we still have it pretty good here!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Still Learning

God reveals so much to us (parents) through our children. So often I find myself saying something to my boys only to realize that God is saying the same thing to me! The sad reality is, I'm still learning some of the lessons that I'm trying to teach them...of course, on an adult level. I'd be willing to bet I'm not the only one! My next hurdle is modeling God's grace while correcting, redirecting and teaching the same lessons over and over and over...
I'm definitely a work in progress!

The other revelation that I had today will lead me to Webster or better yet, a thesaurus. I often refer to my boys' mischievous acts as disobedience. Today it occurred to me that dogs obey. Do I want the boys to obey?? There must be a better word. A word that allows for a little wiggle room. We all know how much young boys wiggle, right??

On a lighter note, we're finishing up our first session of swimming classes this week. JB has been very reluctant to "let go" despite this being his fourth consecutive summer of lessons. MC is nervous, but eager to participate and happy to celebrate any victory. Before class yesterday, I was giving JB a mini pep talk.

Me: JB, when you get in the water you're going to have to let go of the coach. You won't learn to swim hugging the coach. Just relax and let the water hold you up.

JB: OK, but how can the water hold me up?

Me: If you just relax, your body will float. Then you can use your strong muscles to move you through the water. You have to remember to control your muscles and not flop around. That just gets you anxious.

JB: But the water can't hold me up, I weigh like 63 pounds!

OMG! First of all, he doesn't weigh 63 pounds! Secondly, I can't believe he was analyzing how heavy he is in relation to the water. It makes perfect sense. I just wouldn't expect a 6 year old to be thinking about that.
On Thursday, I'm getting my hair cut. Maybe then I can just bite the bullet and get in the water with them regularly. At this point I'm beginning to think that lessons are a waste of money. If I go with them regularly in the summer, they'll learn to swim! AARGH! Should I add this to my many hats?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

It's Summertime

Today I was reminded of what summertime is all about. I have vivid memories of childhood summers spent playing outside (not by choice), swimming, snowcones, days at the beach, road trips and sleepovers. My mom was always sure to have plenty of activities planned to keep us busy. Although, she was far more outgoing and social than I will ever be, I find myself filling our days with the same types of activities. Partly to keep the boys busy, but also to help create memories for them. It is so wonderful to be on a relaxed schedule!
Today we started with swimming lessons, followed by a couple of hours of jumping in bounce houses at a nearby inflatable center. We stopped for a quick lunch and came home to rest for a bit before heading to the movies. Sadly, I went to sleep in the theater. This is a recurring problem for me. Dark, cold theater=Nap time!
When we got home we washed the car.
I guess my one regret is that we can't do more of this during the school year. This way we definitely have something to look forward to! Summer...ahhh!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Survival of the Fittest (and more)

I survived last night's baseball practice...barely. Today was the last day of VBS. The kids had a blast learning all of the new songs and meeting new friends. When I picked them up we headed to a local theater for a quick picnic lunch and puppet show. Though it was late starting, the boys enjoyed it. I would have done much better if they hadn't dimmed the lights!

This evening we'll do some of the yard work that I've been putting off all week. I went to Home Depot and stocked up on enough supplies for 3-4 overdue projects. Now all I need is the energy to do them.

I found this tag on another blog that I stalk and thought it was interesting.

3 things I'm digging today:
*My hubby coming home
*Payday
*Comfort Food (Chicken Spaghetti & Hawaiian Rolls)


3 things I'm not digging today:
*Allergies
*Yard work
*Repeating myself

Cars that I've owned:
*Neon
*Explorer
*Tahoe

On my to do list:
*Clean house
*Clean car
*Weed flowerbeds

3 Books I love:
*The Bluest Eye
*Mom...and loving it
*In an Instant

3 Memorable Moments:
*Wedding Day
*JB's birthday
*MC's birthday

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Batter Up!

Today is the day that I've been dreading! It's the first week of baseball season and we have practice tonight. I have thoroughly enjoyed the (mini) break from sports since the end of the Spring soccer season.

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm NOT a sports fan! In fact, I'm the exact opposite. I love girly things, always have...always will. Seriously, training for the 3Day was the first time sweating didn't totally gross me out! So naturally, God's way of exposing me to the grunge factor was to bless me with 2 little boys. I love them dearly, but I'm still getting used to it all.

So this evening, I'll be sweating it out at the practice field pitching to JB and helping him catch fly away balls. Wish me luck!

Monday, June 16, 2008

What a Whirlwind!!

Back home after a week long hiatus, of sorts. We spent last week visiting several family members. Two kids, eight days, 4 homes, multiple outings, flat tire...way too much activity for me! I'm glad to be home!

Here's a list of things you learn when traveling with kids:
1. There are a billion new ways to ask "Are we there yet?"
2. A four year old really has no understanding of state lines, no matter how you explain it. Trust me, I even tried a pizza analogy: crust:state as topping:city. No luck!
3. You don't get much rest when you wake up every 15 minutes to check the bed for pee spots.
4. Happy Feet is not a good travel video!
5. If it's not securely mounted or bolted down, it can be broken!
5a. If it's broken you must fix or replace it.
6. 8:00 bedtimes are a good thing! Especially after several nights of 11:00 bedtimes!
7. The carseat is a potty magnet. No matter how many times you take a potty break, precisely 20 minutes into the seat/trip, someone has to go again!

I have several more, but it seems they're all pee related!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Hidden Treasure

This afternoon I went to the travel agency to make a payment. My hubby originally found the agent/agency and made the arrangements. Most of the correspondence has been between him and the agent. When I told him that I was going to stop by, he gave me directions. He reminded me that the agency was fairly small and told me there are a few knick knacks for sale in the office.

Well, much to my surprise...the place is an "Antique Mecca"! They have beautiful vintage pieces. I was pleasantly surprised! The agent laughed when I told her his description of the place. And now I understand why he has done all of the footwork!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

How Did I Let Myself Go??

Only a few more days left before school dismisses for summer break. I'm faced with the harsh reality that I'll have to make myself presentable more often. During the year, I'm mostly shuttling kids and running errands. During the summer, we'll be going on outings, traveling and visiting family. First on the calendar...High School graduation.

Well, today I took a break in my packing to get up to speed in the personal grooming department. There was a time when I got regular manicures and didn't leave the house without makeup. This was all B.C.---before children.

These days, when it comes to personal grooming, I stick to the basics... showering, shaving, brushing teeth and hair. Anything more is for church and special occasions. Frankly, when I do have extra time, the last thing I want to do is sit in a beauty/nail salon for the entire day! Anyway, I got all stocked up with supplies for relaxing the hair on top of my head and removing the hair on top of my lip (which is a natural phenomenon that gets worse each year). Four hours later, I'm exhausted!!

I'm sure that looking better will make me feel better, but I wonder...how did I ever keep up with all of this!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Going Nowhere Fast

This morning was filled with activity. I was so productive, it was unbelievable. I amazed myself. I returned library books (on time), registered the boys for swimming, bought summer clothes and Father's Day gifts, and made it home in time for lunch.

Fast forward a few hours. It was time to pick up JB and I discovered that a few of the gifts were the wrong size AND I registered JB for the wrong swimming class. With gas now a whopping $4/gallon, I had to drive back across town to exchange gifts. Luckily I was able to make the class changes on the phone. I'll be sure to pick up a printed receipt for confirmation tomorrow.

I have a few more errands to run tomorrow, so hopefully I'll be more productive and efficient! I guess that's another sign of aging!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Cry Me a River

Tears in the morning, tears in the evening, tears at night! We're very emotional this week. In fact, emotions were running so high last night MC gagged and puked all over his comforter, which I just washed on Monday.

Fast forward to this morning, more tears. This time the clothes that I picked out were all wrong. JB joined the chorus to complain about his lunch...pbj sandwich, chips, banana, juice. In my mind, if he's trashing his lunch most days anyway, it really doesn't matter what I pack, right!? Bad Mommy! I'm secretly hoping that he actually likes the sandwich and doesn't have his usual puke fest at the mention of peanut butter.

If I can make it this week without crying we're doing good. I decided to go to the spa on Friday, so I think I'll be okay. When they get just a bit older, I will be able to ask them if they'd like cheese with their "whine".

Monday, May 26, 2008

It's a Jungle Out There

This morning my hubby comes in to inform me that he found a snake hanging out in the middle of our backyard. After I get all of the pertinent details of the size, color and personal preferences of this intruder, I decide that we don't really live in the suburbs. Apparently, we live in the wilderness.

For the past few years our neighborhood has gradually been taken over by rabbits. I'll have to say, at first it was kinda cute. It was actually around Easter and I told JB that we had our own Easter Bunny. Well, years and many bunnies later, it's not cute. Easter is not a year long holiday! At times we have 3 or 4 helping themselves to the all day buffet aka: my backyard. When we called Animal Control, their solution was to set up a trap. Ever tried to catch a rabbit?? I felt like Elmer Fudd. Needless to say, the rabbits didn't want to eat the veggies in our trap when they could have the whole yard.

If that's not bad enough, one afternoon a couple of weeks ago, we saw a bat circling our yard.

All of these critters are really creeping me out. I don't know if I'll ever go out there again. Well, that may be a bit extreme...but certainly not before we put out snake bait!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Mom Guilt

When you become a mom, apparently you get bridled with a ton of guilt. Do I work? Do I stay home? Do I breastfeed? Do I spank? The list goes on and on...
I'm a pretty self-confident person. In general, I don't pay that much attention to what other people are doing (I'd imagine sometimes this comes across as self-absorbed), but really I'm all about everyone minding their own business. That's another story.

Before kids I don't really remember feeling guilty about things. Of course, I've done and said things that I regret. I just don't remember guilt. I would usually blow it off, apologize or whatever and move on.

Along came the kids and that changed drastically. The idea that I'm responsible for shaping the lives of two human beings is monumental. I do the best I can, with God's guidance. But, I'm always thinking 'How is this going to affect them down the road?'

Yesterday, MC finished preschool. They were having Splash Day and I was just too thrilled to have my last "free" day. When he heard that we would all be going to JB's Field Day, he was disappointed that no one was coming to his day. He all but begged me to come and visit. Did I want to? NO! But, I didn't want him to feel like leftover lasagna...so I went. I only dropped in for a few minutes, but he was delighted.

Today was JB's Field Day. Not only did I label and transport water bottles for the class. We spent the afternoon in the sweltering heat watching the fun and games. Did I want to? NO! But he had such fun with us all being there.

I just don't want to give my kids any reasons to sit on the shrink's couch. At the same time, I know I've got to get over this a bit or else they're going to play some serious mind games with me as they get older! Why is it that some people don't have this guilt? They just truck right along and seem unaffected?

**By no means am I suggesting that I always get it right...hence the guilt!

I Don't Want To...

Unfortunately, I fell off the fitness wagon after the Breast Cancer 3Day last fall. While training I walked many miles a week in addition to yoga and aerobics a few days a week. I made a good effort to eat healthy, nutrient dense foods and drink lots of water. I'll have to be honest. I was afraid of the possibility of dying or needing hospitalization after walking 60 miles. I was scared straight. I was happy to lose weight, but happier about how good I felt.

After several months of eating okay and exercising much less, I feel like the Tinman in the Wizard of Oz. My joints are so stiff they sound like Rice Krispies popping when I walk up/down stairs and do just simple things. Not to mention my stinky attitude.

Last week I started aerobics again, but was afraid to jump right back into yoga. Today I took the plunge. After twisting and bending myself into a pretzel, I really do feel better. My joints are all lubricated and feeling pretty good!

So, here's the question: Why is it that I can know exactly what to do and not do it??

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

From Good to Boring

Today has been the most boring day of my life! Not bad...just boring! Honestly, I'm facing the sad truth that I'm boring! Spontaneity takes energy that I just don't have. I have done everything to stay awake today except tape my eyelids open. We will all have early bedtimes tonight.

For the first weekend in a few, we won't have a game or guests to entertain. Whew! Sounds like Saturday will be Pajama Day! I can't wait. I want the boys to help plan and prepare our Memorial Day menu. Of course, we'll probably do a craft or two. Most importantly we'll all just rest. I promise!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


What constitutes a good day? Well, for starters, waking up! Then, in no particular order: fresh air, obedient children, a few moments to unwind, reading a good book, learning something new, good food (lots of good food), a few good laughs, and checking things off the "to do list".

I guess, by my own standards, I had a pretty good day!

Thursdays are the new Friday

In an previous post, I dubbed Friday my favorite day of the week. Since my hubby resumed his travel schedule, I stand corrected. Thursdays are the new Friday. Boy, how I love Thursday!

I made muffins last night so, breakfast was easy. Both boys are away at school and I'm taking a moment to breathe before doing some cleaning. Unfortunately, the clothes won't grow legs and walk to the closet.

I'm finishing up my summer schedule and hopefully we won't have too many more changes. I stocked up on craft supplies this morning. Ready or not, here it comes. The countdown to Summer has begun.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

PMS...Please Make it Stop!!

Wake up (late), have boys dress themselves, pack lunches, cook breakfast: kolaches, eggs & fruit, drive to school, come home, shower, dress, drive to preschool, change in plans, unsolicited advice (top of list of personal pet peeves!), it's rainy and humid.

MUST GET COFFEE!

Today is definitely one of those days! I didn't even feel like shopping! This afternoon, I think I'll surprise the boys with mid-week movie night. We can just sit and be!

Please Make it Stop!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Crikey!

 

I never thought I'd live to say I actually bought
a pair of these
"Craps", not to mention two!
Usually in the summer, I always just bought cheap flip flops. The boys had such trouble with keeping them on their feet while playing. I hate for them to play in their leather sandals (in the event I want them to wear them to church) and tennis shoes and socks get so hot and sweaty. I thought...well, let's give them a chance and see how they work.

So far, they're loving it. MC says they're so soft! JB wasn't so sure at first, but eventually came around.
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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Boys must be God's way of showing us that he has a sense of humor! My body and soul are physically drained!!! My boys are demanding every ounce of energy that I can muster from sunrise to sunset!
JB is testing the limits in every sense of the word and it has taken everything in me from going crazy bananas!
MC is as outspoken as ever. Despite having turned 4, he's increasingly dependent on me to help him. I call it lazy.
Nevertheless, I just had to spank booty. After a few glasses of red wine, everything will be alright!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

There's no I in Team

Today had a very hectic start! MC had a birthday party at 10am and JB had a soccer game at noon. Normally this wouldn't have been a problem. However, my husband called me on his way out the door to tell me that I had his car keys. After a mad dash over to the game, we settled into our chairs on the sideline just in time to jump into the first quarter. (I hate being late!)

It was during the first quarter that my blood began to boil. (I'm sure the 4 cups of coffee didn't help) One of our opponents was aggressively pushing. My son is the fastest on our team and usually scores all of our goals. While my husband calls out all of his advanced moves, I just agree and cheer (I'm illerate when it comes to sports). Back to the point...not only was this kid pushing, but no one was addressing it.

In addition, after 6 games, my son's teammates still don't know which way to kick the ball, how to pass and quite honestly, most of them aren't "in the game". I can understand that the kids are there to have fun, blah, blah, blah. But, they should be learning a little bit about the game. We can run around and have fun in the backyard for free on our own schedule! Needless to say, I was also a bit annoyed with the coach and other teammates.


When my son accidentally scored for the other team while trying to steal the ball, one of the opponent's parents flipped off, "Well, I guess he's scoring on both goals." I about lost it! I responded with, "That's okay...good job! You gave them that one, now come down here and get us another one!" (And he did!) Yes... I know it was rude, but you know...a mom can only take so much!

I later apologized to my son for my bad sideline attitude (we both need work in this area). I understand that this will only get worse as he gets older and I'm normally a lot more composed. I just can't stand inconsistencies and feeling like my time is being wasted. We try really hard to help him understand that he's a part of the team, but that's hard when he passes the ball to a teammate that's not there or worse, one who's picking the fuzz off his socks! Seriously...one of his teammates spent a good deal of the game tangled up in the goal!

We don't pressure him to win, we just want him to do his best. But, when the coach is coaching him to "fall back" for teammates who don't have a clue or opponents get too aggressive, he needs to know how to step up to the plate and meet the challenge head on. Since he's a natural athlete, this is something he needs to know early on. I've heard someone say, "if they can get in your head, they can get in your game." Because he is competitive (he keeps score-we don't) and this is what he loves, he needs to think like an athlete.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

So Much to Do. So Little Time.

I feel like Rocky getting psyched up for a fight. Tomorrow is the day of cake. I have to make and decorate a half sheet cake and Lightning McQueen. I'll be entering "The Zone" pretty soon. It's so rewarding after it's all done. The kids are glad to get their wish fulfilled. So, I guess I'm up for it. Ready or not!

Yesterday I did a major purge of my home. Relatives will be in town for the party this weekend and we needed to do some serious clutter control! I've bagged at least 4 bags of old toys and trashed another 3 bags of broken toys and junk! The sad part is the house is still cluttered (better, but still cluttered). How can you possibly have 7 bags of "extra" crap in your home???
I'm planning to do another round this afternoon and then get busy cleaning.

My boys have been at each other's throats all week. I can honestly say that I'm ready for bedtime tonight. Theirs that is. We'll pick up their dad, have dinner, bathe and it's lights out. Gray's Anatomy comes on tonight and I plan to watch every second.

*Here's the finished product:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Family Traditions

Today I went shopping for MC's birthday present and party supplies. I bought about half of it earlier and took full advantage of time alone to get the rest.
Early on I decided that I would make the boys' birthday cakes. Of course when I made this decision, I only had one child. And yes, it's a great accomplishment and the boys love it (seeing me, once again, meet their special requests). I must admit, I have begun to secretly dread thinking about making the cakes. It's not hard just very time consuming. Each year they request a different character. I think this adds to the challenge.
For JB's past birthday I decided to order a cake and was very disappointed! That just confirmed that I should suck it up and carry on my tradition. MC has requested a Lightning McQueen cake. I'm just praying that it won't take as long as the Spiderman cake I did 2 years ago. Decorating alone took 4 hours!

My name is *** and I'm a Webaholic

I am addicted to the internet. I never thought I would be, but I spend entirely too much time "googling" (is that a word?), blogging, e-mailing, etc. I haven't always been this way. I remember just e-mailing and using word processing applications. Then I graduated to searcing for information. When I discovered just how much information you can find, I was hooked.
I progressed on to online banking and creating a list of favorite websites. Then came online shopping, photo editing & developing and now blogging. I'm not crazy about online shopping, but I have gone as far as researching and locating all of my Christmas gifts before going out to shop. If I go early enough, I can finish in a fraction of the time!
I've tried and will try again, to set a computer time for myself. Maybe I can get down to 3 hours a day. I guess a good goal would be 1 hour a day...gheesh, I don't know!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What are these?

How do you explain to a six year old the purpose and function of testicles? Very carefully!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Relatively Normal

We have been in a whirlwind! With tons of work around the house, both inside and out, as well as the regular schedule, I think we're finally getting back to normal. Whatever that means. My husband has resumed his regular work commute and I'm back in full force. It was nice to have a break (and I use break loosely), but I think I'm ready to carry the torch.

The boys are bickering a lot more these days, which lets me know they're right where they're supposed to be. They love each other dearly, but that sibling rivalry is inevitibale.

Yesterday my son's kindergarten class went on a field trip. Of course, I tagged along and we had a blast! I was reminded, once again, how fortunate I am to stay at home with my boys. I think I tend to take that for granted sometimes, but it is really a blessing!

Oh well, time to start my morning. Tuesday's are my busiest day! Yippee!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

What's in the "crackpot" today?? Pork roast. It's been slow cooking all day and I'll top it off with BBQ sauce. We're having pulled pork sandwiches with homemade potato crisps (chips)...yum, yum! As mentioned in an earlier post, I love the "crackpot"! I think I'll reinstate crockpot/casserole day once a week. It really works well on long days or practice days.

For the past week we've been working (correction: my hubby's been working) on the flowerbeds. They look nice and colorful. Because it's so time consuming and such hard work, we'll probably eventually want a landscaper. Neither of us have green thumbs so, we end up planting, trashing and re-planting. During the winter, the beds go completely unattended. Though this is hardly a priority and not something we're very good at, it looks nice when updated.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Fabulous Fridays

The only day I love more than Saturday, is Friday. Friday is filled with anticipation of the weekend and Saturday is...well, actually the weekend. Last Saturday we had a double dose of activities with a birthday at 10am and a soccer game at 2pm. It left me wondering, "What happened to the weekend??" In the future, we will have to limit our outings.

I'm planning to have some MUCH NEEDED ME TIME! I have no idea what I'll be doing but I'll be doing it with myself. Ahhh, how refreshing! I love being a mommy and wife, but everyone needs a little me time every now and then!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

FYI

Quinoa has a lot of fiber!!! Trust me! I know!

Friday, March 28, 2008

AARGH!

What a crazy morning!
Quick breakfast
Forgotten homework
Car alarm won't go off
Slow moving kids
Hurry, hurry! Rush, rush!
Sometimes, I feel like I'm herding cattle!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

For Now...

The sun is shining and everyone is happy! What better time to write. I'm getting the creative itch. Of course I'm behind on my scrapbooks, but I want to build a kitchen island. Sound like a major challenge??! I actually want to convert a piece of furniture. I began the search this week and feel that finding a suitable piece may be the hardest part. The base piece of furniture has to be sturdy enough to hold a granite top and have enough drawers/shelves to be functional. I'm excited about the challenge and know I'll be happy with the end result.

This week started off super busy and is winding down nicely. Today I did some birthday shopping and cleaned a wee bit. I also managed to squeeze in a 1 1/2 mile walk with my hubby. Whoa! My father in-law may be coming to town to celebrate his birthday so, that means I'll need to make a cake. We have a few other engagements, but I will definitely need to rest up for next week. We have a long time before summer break!

For now we're having a great day. I'm going to try to just enjoy this moment!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tightly Wound

Spring Break is almost over and I'm left wondering, 'Where did the week go?' We took a mini-road trip over the weekend. The boys had a blast playing with cousins, hunting for eggs, flying kites...

Since we've been back I've spent most of my time catching up on all of the housework and cleaning that I had gotten so far behind on! I've heard so many people talking about their "big time" Spring Break trips/plans and I just wonder how are they taking care of business. My sister is convinced they're not! Either way, if I leave and go to the Bermuda Triangle (and manage to return) the dishes, laundry, dusting, etc. would be waiting for me!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!


My sister treated me to a 1 hour massage at a local spa. I've been to various spas and received a variety of services, but I must say this one rocks! I think everyone should go at least 3 times a year (definitely more often if your wallet can handle it). It's sad to have to pay for tranquility! But, hey...a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

So, here's a special shout out to my sister for starting off my birthday weekend right! I know she's not reading this, but what the heck! Thanks!

My family also gave me the handbag that I so desperately needed! I guess the only thing left to do on my big day is sit on my big bum! As my sister and I frequently joke...'on Le beaux chic'!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Yuck and Double Yuck

When I think of how "un-Christ"like I am, I get very discouraged. My fuse is very short and I would just rather not be around people...most of the time. I just cannot understand how God loves us all in spite of ourselves. I can only hope and pray for just a little bit of that grace and kindness.

Next weekend is my birthday and (as always) I'm very excited! I have no idea what I want to do to celebrate. Considering the fact we rarely spend time away from the kids, it will probably be a family celebration. Of course that's okay, but it would be nice to have some grown-up time. With the boys getting older, I'm wanting more frequent breaks. We're beyond the "baby" stage so, I think that's reasonable. Anyway...maybe in the near future we can start looking for a baby sitter and a housekeeper (if I can get over my fear of cross contamination).

Okay, enough rambling. My gang is leaving and I need to recharge my battery. I've got to go grocery shopping (yuck) and get ready for the week (double yuck).

Friday, February 29, 2008

Update



Here are the pictures that I took for the kitchen. I must say that I surprised myself. And to think, I was going to pay for these!


We're heading into March and I'm not doing very well with my 2008 resolution of being a good steward. I'm aware of my financial responsibilities and sensitive to using money wisely. It's the other areas of life that stump me. I just know when I get a plan for organizing my time and environment I can be more efficient. I just don't want to be wasteful!

On another note, I did get to cast my vote in the primary election. I'm so tired of hearing about it every day! I'm just ready for a new administration, new faces...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Just Another Week

With another week under my belt, I'm feeling a little more optimistic about things. Winter is almost over and I'm enjoying the sunshine. The school year is almost over and I'm anxiously anticipating a break. Though I'm looking forward to dropping this mundane schedule, I've got to seriously plan our weeks so the boys don't kill each other. Every day feels, looks and sounds more like the WWF Smackdown! I'll do a "dry run" the week of Spring Break.


In addition to my regular tasks I've started several new projects. I'm at peace when I'm creating things. I just made curtains for the dining room.
I'm no seamstress, but this was a pretty simple project. I saw this idea and finally found the perfect fabric.

I've also done some scrapbooking and spent last weekend patching the boys' play jeans. If that's not enough, I'm choosing artwork for the kitchen to complete our mini-renovation. I've been looking for wine label prints. I found photo prints on the web and decided to take my own pictures and have them printed on canvas. Any excuse to buy a few good bottles of wine. Of course, the "good wine" has the prettier labels! By the time I edit the pictures with lighting effects, etc. it won't look like I made it.

Monday, February 4, 2008

My mind is all over the place today. I'm blogging in a series of lists, just because.

I Hate:
1. Crocs
2. Unsolicited Advice
3. Being Hassled & Ripped off
4. Chores
5. Money woes
6. Long appointments
7. Jealousy & Score Keeping
8. Mondays
9. Ignorance
10. Germs and smelly things



I Love:
1. Dessert-Ice Cream, Cake
2. Watching a good movie
3. God
4. Croissants
ok...I'm hungry!
5. Talking with my sisters
6. Family time(especially with hubby and boys)
7. Spa Days
8. Shopping
9. Reading a good book
10. Sleeping late


What I Want To Do before I Die:
1. Visit Italy & Hawaii
2. Live debt-free for a decade
3. Enjoy my grand-children
4. Plant a garden
5. Go to culinary school
6. Own a business
7. Clean my house (magazine cover clean)
8. Write a book
9. Renew my wedding vows
10. See my children live successful, productive lives

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Random Thoughts

This morning, my mind is all over the place. I think I'll start the day by unloading here...

Children
They're wearing me out! Where do they get their endless amounts of energy. I can't imagine what life would be like if I let them eat crap and drink sodas like a lot of other kids. They wake up ready to go...again! I just need a time out. Hopefully I can survive a few more weeks until my birthday. I'm planning a spa day. In our house we go "all out" for birthdays and mine will be no exception. I'm getting my wish list ready.

Public School
As a former teacher, I have some degree of sympathy for the plight of the overworked, underpaid educators. I'm just getting very annoyed with my experience this year. I'm tired of being asked to bring/donate something for the class on a weekly basis. I'm tired of the poor written communication because, it means I have to make verbal contact when I go to the school or write a note. I know that the teacher doesn't have time to talk to me after school and written notes are often unanswered. Most importantly, I'm tired of feeling like my child is getting a review of the skills that I'm teaching him at home. I work with him daily throughout the week, either reviewing skills or working on new ones. I see very little work of substance from the classroom. It's a lot of the same. By this point of the year, I should see more difficult work.
Overall, public school is not bad. I just want more. If I were more sociable and patient, I would probably rather home school. The downfall with that is eventually the children have to be integrated into the masses. Because I'm so over-protective, the longer they are under my wings the harder it will be to let them go. I guess for now, I should just keep doing what I'm doing at home.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Misunderstandings!

I must admit, I'm paranoid. I concoct all types of "logical" reasons and theories about why people do the things they do. Well, for the past week, I've been totally annoyed that I felt like an acquaintance was avoiding me. Normally, I wouldn't care. However, we have a project coming up soon that requires collaboration. With the deadline fast approaching I finally called her only to find out that she and her kids have been sick for a week. I guess I believe her. Anyhoo... we were able to get a lot of our work done. Initially, I thought she was irritated that I took the lead (secretly I still do), but it looks like it was a huge misunderstanding!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Why do I continue to deal with people that drive me crazy?!? No, I'm not talking about family. That's largely out of my control. I'm talking about people in the general population. Why do I interact with them? I must secretly enjoy the madness and hour long "critique fests" that always follow these encounters. Nevertheless, it's very troubling. That said, I have a friend that expressed the same irritation with some of her blogger friends. She stalks certain blogs despite being totally annoyed after reading the posts. Maybe we should see therapists to get to the bottom of this strange and annoying compulsion.

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