Thursday, July 30, 2009

Living in the Aftermath

OK. Last night's sleepover?

It was fun.

It was also exhausting. They didn't stop until after 11:30 and were up again at around 6:15ish.

Now we are paying the price.


We've had lots of tears, lots of tantrums, and a few squabbles.

It's not just the kids either. I feel like I could use a long nap. Thankfully, I haven't even gotten out of my jammies today.

Considering the high is only expected to be 68 degrees, I find my current outfit perfect.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The First of Many

The Girl is, as I type this, being initiated into a whole new world. A world of little sleep, junk food, nail polish, girl talk, and chick flicks. It's the world of sleepovers.

She's slept over at both of her grandma's houses before, and once she slept over at her cousin's house, but never has she hosted someone at her house before. I will say, I am a bit hesitant about the whole sleep over thing, both sleeping over, and having other children sleep over. So tonight, we started slow, and had her cousin over. I know, even as I typed that out, it sounded lame, but to the The Girl, it's the whole world. She has counted down the days for a week leading up to tonight. All day we talked about what the sleep over would be like, and how much fun she was going to have.

She has talked about what they will talk about and what they will do. They might watch movies, they may just sit around and talk (her mother's daughter for sure), they might to an art project, they might play games. It's hard to tell all that is possible when your cousin comes to spend the night.

So far they have:

1. Closed the doors behind them to every room they have gone into.
2. Ate chocolate chip cookies.
3. Watched Camp Rock (which I would probably not recommend).
4. Squealed and giggled at the part in the movie where it looked like the boy and girl characters were falling for each other.
5. Not stopped whispering (even though there is no one else to hear them).
6. Chatted about jewelry.
7. Painted toe nails and finger nails.

It should be fun to see how "late" they stay up tonight and listen to more giggles and whispers. Tomorrow, it'll be a french toast breakfast and maybe some more whispering and giggling, another movie, and maybe some talk about clothing.

Right now, they are looking at their elementary school year book.

I didn't even know they had such a thing.

And there's more giggling.

And tons of whispering.

Because no one else is in the room.

Some things just don't have to be taught. Sleepover behaviors are innate for little girls.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I Must Make it Look Too Easy

After a wonderful Anniversary Weekend (NINE YEARS! I can hardly believe it myself!), it was time to get back to reality on this Monday. And can I just add, it is the last day for the next FIVE days that we will be in the 80's.

Seriously, people.

It is the last week of July, and we will be in the low 70's all week.

I can barely even type that without feeling by blood boil.

Which is probably what I will need in order to stay warm.

In July.

They (our trusty local meteorologists) have officially declared this an El Nino year. Basically stating, that our winter will be dreadful as well.


Nothing like coming off of a cool, wet summer to then go into a cold, wet winter.

Moving on.

Monday's have kind of unofficially turned into "Stay at home and clean up from the weekend" days. Since our weekends are so busy and tend to get away from us, our home takes a beating. Mondays have been great days to pick up, reorganize, and relax (if you can call cleaning relaxing). We had some fun today too. I hooked up a sprinkler for a short time, and the kids played and giggled for about 20 minutes. That's how long it took for them to realize that the water that comes out of the hose, is no where near the same temperature of water that they are used to playing in at our neighborhood's heated pool. Once the chill set in, (remember it isn't warm here) they were ready to be done and come inside.

Later, this evening, it was time to clean up the day's mess. Since we were at home for the majority of the day, there was a larger than normal mess in the toy room. The kids thought I was HORRIBLE for making them clean up their own toys and their own mess. Of course, there is always dessert waiting for them when they are done. I guess, I should say, when I decide they are done because really, if it was up to them? They would just shift things around on the floor and call it good. So, as I was checking out their handy work in the toy room and surrounding areas, I had this conversation with The Girl:

me: Are you ready for me to check the toy room?
kids: Yes.
me: Well, before I even get to the toy room, I can see that there are still some toys out here in the hallway.
d: Uggg. This is seriously the worst day of my entire life.
me: The worst day? Really.
d: Yes, this is the absolute most horriblest day ever.
me: Well, I guess it could be worse, you could lose dessert for not finishing your chores.
d: I can hardly wait until I am a grown up.
me: Really? Why's that?
d: That means no more cleaning. Ever. Never. I won't ever clean again when I am a grown up. Grown ups never have to clean up.

I must have missed that memo.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I'm Taking My Gig to the Food Network

Ice cream is an essential part of summer. I try not to go too hog wild, but we do go through phases where we have a bowl about every night. Sometimes, I buy flavors that I know no one else will really care for, like Green Tea by Haggan Daz. This way, I get to eat it straight from the carton. It just tastes better that way.

Last night, I realized that we didn't have much ice cream left. Also, it was plain vanilla. Boring. It was remnant ice cream from Root Beer floats the week before. Yes, we have chocolate sauce, and yes we also had caramel sauce, but it just wasn't enough. I wanted something different. Also, we needed to share the love with everyone. Remembering the Oreos, I thought Oreo shakes were in order.

Keep in mind, these Oreo shakes are totally nothing to be impressed about. They are ice cream, milk, chocolate sauce, and Oreos. Totally standard. The Girl however, has never had a concoction like this come from our kitchen though.

She was getting more and more excited as they were getting closer and closer to being done. Finally, they were ready, and she quickly hurried to her chair at the table so she could be served up the finest Oreo shake this kitchen has to offer.

I have to admit, I was expecting compliments.

I was.

I could tell by the level of excitement before hand, that it could've been horrible, and I would have still heard how it was the greatest thing she has ever had. Plus, it was ice cream and chocolate. Hello? You can't not like it. There's no messing that up.

The compliment I heard was a bit weird though.

"Oh momma! These are so good! I LOVE IT! "

Silence as she eats more.

"You know what we should do? We should make up a huge batch of these, and then we could take them to Costco and give out free samples to everyone. You know like how they always give out free samples of all their yummiest food? Ya, and then people would love them so much that they would want to buy some."

So at least the shakes were as good as the free samples of food at Costco.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Filling Some Big Shoes

Happiness can be cheap sometimes. What I mean is, it's the little things in life. Today there was happiness all around our home.

The Little Man was in desperate need of shoes. I have come to love Crocs for The Little Man right now. My feelings about these shoes as a whole is a totally different story, but for right now? They are pretty darn perfect for The Little Man. His current pair started sporting a hole in the bottoms last week. Also, I am pretty sure that they were a size and half too small.

Hey, no judgment! The kid happens to be growing like a weed right now.

Anywho, I told him it was time to get some new shoes. I didn't suggest that we were going to get new Crocs, but just that he needed new shoes. He piped in excitedly right away that he could hardly wait to get a new pair of Crocs, and that he wanted them to be black just like Daddy's.

With that kind of excitement, I had to get the black Crocs. Do you all know how difficult it is to get a knock-off brand of Crocs, that are black, at the end of July? It's hard. Apparently, many people are gearing up for school to start so all summer type apparel is out and all fall apparel is in. That means boy's sandals aren't really being carried currently because they are summer clothing. If I wanted to buy boy's sandals, I needed to shop for those in March. You know, when it was SO sandal season.

I'm on a tangent.

So, after five stores (FIVE, F-I-V-E, cinco), I decided we were going straight to the Croc kiosk in the mall. Even if it meant paying a premium for not getting the knock-offs.

Trust me, it hurt.



You should have seen the look on my boy's face, and the swell in his chest, when he walked in the door after getting his new shoes. His Daddy was waiting right there at the door and said to him, "WHOA Buddy! Look at those new Crocs! They look just like mine! They're black and everything!"

Oh, the pure happiness.

It wasn't even containable.

Which is just what I needed to see.

It was worth every penny.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hello There


Deep breaths.

I made it through last week.

Now, smooth sailing is ahead.


Fun stuff happening around here:

1. A totally clear calendar this week! Whoohoo! Now, let's just hope I don't fall into the temptation to fill it because it's blank.

2. Working on organizing a baby shower. This little one will be here before we know it! I just hope he hangs in there for his momma's photo session in two weeks! I think we are totally pushing pun intended!

3. The Little Man's newly redone furniture is almost all re-done! Hubs started the last piece tonight! I should have that room complete by next week. Then it's onto The Girl's room. Did I mention yet that I thought it would be fun to redecorate the kids' rooms this summer?

Because I wasn't busy enough.

4. We finally made it to the zoo this week! We hadn't been since last year. I've kind of missed it. The kids REALLY missed it. They had so much fun with their cousins and all the animals. It kind of made me miss our season passes.

Kind of.

The drive there reminded me that once a year is probably enough.

5. The Little Man got hits both times he was up to bat this weekend at baseball. It was coach pitch for 5 balls and then T-ball after that. Last time they tried this, The Little Man used the "T". This time he had hits both times he was up at bat! He was so happy and proud.

6. We had family pictures done with The Hubs' side of the family. Can't wait to share those.


We'll see how the hair looks first.

It's called priorities, people.

7. Picked our first round of green beans from the garden this morning. It was a good size group. Probably enough for two dinners. I can't wait to munch them. We also got one jalapeno and a handful of snow peas. The cucumbers (who were totally destroyed by hail earlier this year) are finally flowering. I have to say, I am not expecting much from our garden this year. Something about the lack of, oh what, SUNSHINE that is making it pretty darn impossible to grow anything. Add to that, hail storm after hail storm, and you get a pretty weak garden.

Also, I need to figure out what in the world I am doing wrong with my cilantro. After snipping it (to eat), it is growing back with just flowers? I guess I could Google "harvesting cilantro" and figure it out, but if you know what's up with that, let me know. Thanks.

It just goes to show, at some point, you actually have to know what you are doing in order to garden successfully. All these years of just throwing seeds into the dirt and actually harvesting food have jaded me.

8. We are getting closer to having work done on our house. Paint, roof, and a shed are in order. We thought we would get started on it next month, but seeing as how there was yet another devastating hail storm along with tornadoes last night AFTER TEN PM, I think we may hold off until September. Surely we should have a small window between hail and tornadoes and record breaking blizzards.


Hopefully, with the wide open calendar this week, I may get to blog more than just lists.

Novel, I know.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

To Do

Still to come this week:
1. Haircuts for the kids
2. Haircut and color for me
3. Dinner with my side of the family from out of town
4. Baby shower
5. Two photo shoots
6. Hosting Bible Study at my house
7. Baseball practice/game for The Little Man
8. Hubs' family coming into town
9. Family portraits for The Hubs' side of the family (including us).
10. Nail appointment for The Girl with her cousins.

Already checked off for the week:
1. Pool twice
2. Thorough cleaning of house
3. Host dinner for my side of family in town
4. Coordinators meeting for church
5. Chiropractor's appointment

Things to do but I don't have time to put them on a list:
1. Working out
2. Bible Study
3. Reading a book that I have to return by today from the library with NO extensions allowed
4. Proofing client albums
5. Spending time with a very close friend who is in town due to the death of her father who was also very special to me.
6. Daily life (IE breakfast, lunch, dinner, lost sippy cups, help in the bathroom, grocery stores, breaking up wrestling matches, dishes, personal hygiene (I could so totally skip a shower here and there if we didn't have all these places to be), the children's hygiene (I do skip their showers here and there), library runs).

What's not on any of these lists:
1. Sleep
2. Sanity

Monday, July 13, 2009

Coming Up For Air

I'm busy.


But I already knew that. Right?


The good news is, despite the craziness, I can report that the pool has been fabulous.

As long as you get there before 1:00 pm. .

After that, it's up in the air as far as the weather is concerned. We are still battling severe weather pretty much every afternoon. I have come to realize how spoiled I am living here. We just don't see this kind of weather very often. However, at this point, both of my kids can spot when a thunderstorm is approaching and if it looks like it will have hail in it. They even debate with one another.

D: Looks like we're going to get a storm today.
P: Oh no, not hail again (as he looks out the window and to the West).
D: No, I don't think it will hail today. It isn't dark enough.
P: Yes, I think it will. Look at those clouds there (pointing to some ominous clouds). They are dark.
D: Maybe we will. I guess we'll have to wait and see.

This is normal lunchtime conversation around here.

Maybe sometime this week, I will get up some baseball photos.

I just hope it will be of The Little Man playing baseball and not baseball size hail.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Hoop Dreams

A new character trait has recently emerged from The Little Man. I am happy to say it is a pleasant one. We have really started seeing it just this summer with all the activities that we are able to do outside. Things like bike riding, baseball, Frisbee, basketball, swimming, etc, etc, so on and so forth. The Little Man is quite the encourager.

He has a keen sense of knowing when someone needs just that little boost of an encouraging word to try harder. If they just so happened to surprise even themselves, he's quick to let them know what an awesome job they did and give them a high five.

He doesn't just encourage others, he also is good at encouraging himself. He's quick to yell out a "Yea, baby!" when he sinks a basket or throws a Frisbee straight. Playing with him is just down-right enjoyable.

Today, when he asked if I wanted to shoot some hoop, I couldn't pass it up. He was very excited to practice up on his skills. Right away he started in, "Nice dribbling, Momma!" Next he wanted to see who could be the first one to shoot 20 hoops. He sunk one first.

(Hey, I never claimed to be any sort of baller. I guess that's another reason why I like playing with him.)

After a few more shots, I made it in the hoop. "Yea, Mom! Way to go!" was all he said. I sunk a few more before he made another basket. Each time I got a big dose of encouragement. I could tell that he was a little upset that he was behind, so I went ahead and let him have a few turns in a row. As he sunk his next shot, out came a "Yea, Baby! Way to get it goin' ".

There was something so cute about the tough guy expressions he had, as he would line up to take a granny shot. The two contrasted each other so much, I couldn't help but notice.

I sure hope this is just the beginning of what's to come with him. I know that I enjoy playing games and trying new things out with him. Even in our 30's we still need someone to tell us "You're doing so awesome Mom!"

I don't care if it is a kiddie basketball hoop.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Letting My Hair Down

So after I got a little unglued about the weather for the Fourth, things have changed. This week we have been to the pool twice, and have enjoyed some very warm days.

I am happy once again.

Another thing that has made me happy is that the pool water is extremely nice. I'm not a human thermometer, but I would put the temp at about 87 degrees. Give or take. Whatever it is, I am just going to call it splendid.

It is so splendid, in fact, that I have been in the water frolicking around with the kids. And, here's a bonus, (that my hair dresser would not approve of, sorry!) I have been getting the hair wet and swimming laps. I know. My kids can barely recognize me. And it's not because my roots are grown out approximately four inches with a smattering of grey, or because my mascara is streaked down my face.

No, it's because I need very warm weather and very warm water in order to get into a pool. You usually don't get both of those together. There was a lady who entered the pool today, looked at me, and said, "Wow, it's like bath water in here. That's not too refreshing, now is it?"

I hardly had a response.

I smiled sweetly to her and said, "I don't know, it feels like heaven to me." And it was.

I was considering not getting my hair colored for the rest of the summer just so I feel like I am allowed to swim around and not worry about ruining the color with the chlorine. Unfortunately, upcoming family pictures will be stopping that. Somehow, even though my kids could careless, I have a feeling I would regret having a family portrait taken with the newest additions to the family: My roots and greys. So alas, I will have to get in all the swimming and frolicking I can this next week or so.

Then I might be investing in one of those rubber caps.

I'm sure the kids can hardly wait to hang around with that!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Gone Part Deux

OK, yesterday was ugly. I am over it.

For now.

In fact, we did get to see fireworks last night, even though we were bundled up under blankets. At least the rain had stopped. Now onto Part Deux of the Family Vacay '09.

After a quick stop home, we headed back out to the hills again. This time we stayed with my Brother-in-Law and Sister-in-Law in their cabin. This was the part of the vacay that I really started to feel rested. We played games, ate yummy food, had a camp fire for s'mores, four-wheeled, ran, hiked, zip lined, and tried to fish. After writing all that stuff down, and realizing that we did, in fact, do much more, it's hard to understand why I would have felt so much more rested, but I just did. It was just a really great time.

On one of the days we were there, we tried to go fishing and have a picnic. It lasted all of ten minutes. No joke. After just a minute or two after getting there and setting up food, we realized that there were quite a bit of mosquitoes. We had seen and been bitten quite a bit up to this point, so we weren't detoured (see previous post about all the rain we've been having as an answer to why we were so buggy). However, after another minute or two we realized that the problem was getting bigger and might be more than we could handle. After receiving a few bites despite the thick layer of bug spray, and THROUGH OUR CLOTHING, we realized we must get out of there. By the time we wrangled up everyone, and got stuff packed away, we were completely swarmed by more mosquitoes than I have ever seen in my life.

Some were the size of small birds.

OK, that was a bit dramatic, but they were large, and did I mention, they were biting us THROUGH OUR CLOTHING!

Thankfully, we hadn't unpacked our picnic too much, so it was very easy to serve everything back up again once we reached the safety of the cabin. The Little Man had so many bites on his legs that they were actually starting to look deformed.

That doesn't include the bites on his forehead that caused him to look like he was growing a horn.

By the end of the trip, The Girl and her cousin had decided that they had found a secret recipe for keeping mosquitoes at bay. It included almost an entire bottle of bug spray mixed with a nice layer of sand. They insisted that it worked.

By far one of my most favorite parts of this trip, besides watching the kids thoroughly enjoy themselves with their cousins and all things outdoors, was a run that I did with my Sister-in-Law.

She told me that there was this loop in the forest that she loves to run. It sounded fun and beautiful. Also, the term "loop" sounded kind of small and do-able. I imagined some sort of nice flat trail that looped around an open field/meadow type place.

Um. Not so much.

Don't get me wrong, like I said, this was my favorite part of the trip, but it was the hardest run I have ever been on. I realize that this isn't saying much, but I am just sayin'. First off, that "little" loop ended up being about five-ish miles. I do run further than that at home, but home isn't a little over 10,000 feet above sea level. Also, "the loop" is very hilly (Imagine that? Hilly in the mountains? Who would've thought?). Lastly, I am pretty sure the run was up-hill both ways. I made it, though. It was difficult, but totally worth it. I loved the scenery, the quietness, the solitude, and the challenge. I loved that when I was done, I felt like I gave all that I had. I can hardly wait to do it again.

Here are some pictures of this trip:

The kids favorite thing to do: The zip-line:

Watching Cars:

Enjoying some tire swing action:

Hunting for pine cones:

Geared up for four-wheeling:

Yummy S'mores:

Cousins are fun:

Part Deux was a great time.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Patriotic Irritation

I know that I am supposed to be blogging about Part Deux of the family vacay today, but I am posting this instead. Generally speaking, I try not to get irritated on this blog. I try really hard to see the bright side of things or take a trying situation and laugh at it. Sometimes, I will share how I am working through a difficult situation or trial, but I do try really hard to not be grouchy or irritated on this blog. It's not what this blog is about.


I can't take it anymore.

The weather this summer is on my last nerve.

Maybe because today was a holiday, it helped me to put where we are as far as a day on the calendar more clearly. We are HALF WAY done with summer. To help you understand where my irritation lies more clearly, we have just left a Fourth of July picnic due to an unrelenting rain and a such significant temperature drop that it allowed for us to SEE OUR BREATH, I am now at home in FLEECE pajamas and footies, and am drinking HOT tea to stay warm.

On the Fourth of July.


There will be no fireworks this year, no cute tank tops, flip flops, watermelon seed spitting contests, Popsicles, or fun that takes us into a warm summer night. Instead, I am drinking tea, watching a movie, and trying to stay warm.

It just seems so wrong, doesn't it?


Part Deux will come tomorrow.

Along with a happier attitude.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Gone Part 1

I am back.

We were on vacation.

A much needed vacation.

It had two parts.

Here's part 1:

For Part 1 of our family vacay '09, we headed to the hills for some R&R with my side of the family. I guess you could call it a family reunion of sorts. Not all of my side attended, but the bulk of them were there.

We had a great time, and I was relaxing and enjoying the down time so much so, I didn't even photograph the first 2 days! I know. I am kind of kicking myself now. But whatcha gonna do? However, the last day, I TOTALLY made up for it.

On the last day of Part 1, as we headed back into town, we stopped at a Family Fun center. I think this was THE best part of the entire trip. We had a ton of fun there, and the kids never stopped smiling the whole time. We rode slides, drove bumper cars, and raced in go carts.

Fun, fun, and more fun.

I took some pictures, but I handed my camera off to others for the bulk of the pictures because, well, I didn't want to miss out.

Here we are

I have to say, these slides are tall. I really am surprised that The Little Man rode this all by himself.

Off they go:

If you could really blow this up, you would see the terror on the faces of my children:

Now that it's over, happiness and glee:

And they rode it again so they could say they did it with their mother too:

The bumper cars were a BLAST! There was this saying on the back wall that said, "We sell happiness". I wanted so badly to get a picture of the four of us underneath all cheery in our bumper cars, but we were too busy crushing one another that it never happened. Oh well, here's some happiness without the sign:

Next up, racing go carts.

It was so fun we did them twice.

Two times the fun!

At the end, we all got to do the slides again, together as a group because of some sort of ticket miscalculation that benefited us all (except for one preggo sister who took the pics. Thanks!):

And we're off!

I have to admit, it wasn't all fun and games. On our final run of the slide, I had an unfortunate incident occur. Take a look:

Do you see it?

Here. Here is a closer look:

FYI: When you ride a plastic/fiberglass type slide, really fast, on a warmer sunny day, that slide? It's HOT. And the speed? Well, it creates friction, my friends. The size of the burn marks on my hand tell it all. I don't know what degree burn it was, so I'll just say it was a HOLYCOWIJUSTBURNEDTHELIVINGDAYLIGHTSOUTOFMYHAND degree burn, and call it. I thought about photographing them, but it would just ruin everything. All the fun, the smiles, and laughter would be ruined I tell you, just rurnt . So just try not to think about it, and most importantly no matter how fast you are going, and how much you are tipping over never, ever, reach out with your hand to correct yourself.

Just don't.

Part Deux tomorrow.