Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Some Day

When you are older, I'll tell you about this time. When you had just turned five.

You are a tall and lanky young lady. Full of energy and emotion. Sometimes you quiver, you feel things so acutely. Your sad eyes can well up with tears, then glimmer a smile all in a minute.

Your favorite show of the summer has been Lazytown. It's such a silly show, but at least encouraged a new interest in carrot eating, so it's not all bad. The funny part is how you've decided you want to be just like Stephanie, the main character. She's a tidy little thing, so you've become obsessive about your bedroom looking just like hers. Of course, her rubbery little animated bedroom is awfully clutter-free, but you are not to be convinced that it's not real.
As you approach kindergarten, you are excited and nervous. You talk a lot about the what ifs and go on and on about hypothetical situations and how we will figure them out. What if the girls aren't nice? What if I miss my ride? Where will I eat my lunch? We worked through every question, the great part being that you remember and repeat each answer we've already figured out, just to make sure I haven't forgotten.
You actually used a double negative correctly at the grocery store. "No mom, I wasn't saying that blueberries are not healthy. I'm saying they are not, not healthy." You continue to tell me everything you know, and it's a lot.

Oh honey, your mom and dad loved you so much. Just like we do now. You are our girl.

My heart.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

At the Movies

Currently blasting on the player on my computer is Abba Gold. The song is S.O.S. I have loved Abba just since Sunday. Yes, just Sunday. And I am in love.

Momma Mia is a rocking movie and I must thank my own mama for going with me to see it. Somehow seeing a mother/daughter flick (yes, there's some romance too....) was that much sweeter seeing it with my own mum.

If you have time, go see it! It is the most fun.

Monday, July 28, 2008

I don't have a plan for the whole week yet, but am planning a complete meal for tonight. It's a big step, I've been out of the cooking mood and relying way too much on carry out! Tonight I'm planning to go to the gym and then to a book study at my church. We are reading"Greater Health God's Way" by Stormie Omartian. Having such a busy night planned means getting dinner together early and eating at 5. By planning ahead, we won't rush out for pizza before I run out the door. A little bit of time put into getting a game plan, and I'm going to be all over it tonight!

Tonight we'll have boneless hot wings (I'll be making some without the hot sauce and crazy spices for the kids), fresh corn salad (a big hit from last summer), and Yummy Peaches. Simple, fresh, and delicious. Not to mention healthy!

I'm back to "trying" on the healthy diet/exercise habits. The goal being that it be a total lifestyle change and not a diet. This summer has been a junk food bonanza, a popsicle haze, and it's time to detox!

Sunday, July 27, 2008


This day begins our last official week of summer break. I have opposite emotions arguing in my body at this very moment.

I am excited for the possibilities that a new school year holds. I am happy that we have had an excellent summer break. I'm grateful that I have a career that allows an annual hiatus.

That's the one hand.

On the other?

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


We are getting new windows tomorrow. Six new windows. Pretty exciting stuff round these parts. Especially since Hubs sprung for labor too, meaning paying some nice, young men to come do it in a day. Wa hoo! (Thanks Hubs, love ya so.) The timing is slightly off, since we're hosting 20-some people the next day for our annual family BBQ. Ah well, if there's a mess or dust or whatever, I'll blame it on the window guys!

Every time I think I'm not spending any more money that I don't have, we find something pressing to spend money on. Like garage door springs (did you know there are huge, expensive springs up there?), or dog surgeries, or pediatrician bills. I shouldn't complain, being lucky enough to have a roof, food, and so on. Still, sometimes it's troubling. Sigh.

I think ahead to days when we won't have our debts to worry about. Then what will it be? Oh yes, car insurance for teenagers! And upcoming college bills that are neither mine nor Hubs', but our offsprings'. Seriously though, I would love a week, maybe a month, a few (many) years down the row when our only debt is a home mortgage. That would be a delight.

Yesterday I came upstairs to see what our Little Man was up to, since I knew he was taking the cusions off the couches again. I found him with a red sharpie (gasp!), but was pleased to find only scribbles on a few pieces of paper (including a print out of a Catherine Newman recipe I'm planning to try, I can still read it thankfully) and a red mark on his cheek. I asked him to kindly hand over the weapon and thanked him for writing on paper only. He actually said "you're welcome". Later, Hubs called me to the dining room, to the window, where I saw this and laughed myself to tears...

I don't even have to clean up after my little man for once, that window is out of here tomorrow! He's a lucky little man, this time!

No more sharpies, mister!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Kid-Tough Camera Edition

Our B's birthday this year has much hoopla, although not totally unlike other years. Every year has included a family BBQ with Hubs' family and mine, a once a year gathering of sorts. With a pinata. We also have always done something especially fun on the actual birthday.

This year we added in a friend birthday while taking out none of the other fun. So it's three celebrations for five years of life. It's a birthday extravaganza!

We got her a kid-friendly digital camera for her birthday, which was just what she wanted and pleased her very much. It's fun for her because she can look at the pictures she's taken. The main bummer being that photos taken are poor quality and almost always blurry.

Here's a birthday memoir from the eyes of a five-year old.

It was fun, to see what she had gone around to snap photos of. Very random, very fun.

Here's a few shots from our trip to the indoor water park. I took them, so they are a slight less blurry.

Monday, July 21, 2008

A Fifteen Year Wrap Up

I am very grateful to Alpha Dogma for tagging me for this flashback meme. I've been stuck on what to write for a few days - but oh! It's my B's 5th birthday, I should be waxing poetic about all things B. That will come later, for right now I am too busy listening to the little man and B arguing over her new birthday gifts. He gave her a Fur Real Pet, which he apparently thought was for him when choosing said gift. Not even the bribe of birthday doughnuts is calming down the situation.

And now, back to the meme:

Think back on the last 15 years of your life. What would you tell someone that you hadn’t seen or talked to for 15 years? How would you sum up your life? You get 10 bullet points. A list of 10 things to summarize about you. At the end of your list, tag 5 more people and send on the love…

In 1993, I was in the second half of 10th grade. Not seeing someone since then, they would probably not recognize me. You could say a person changes a bit from age 16 to 30. (See the picture? I heart big bangs.) I've got the mom hair now and weigh 60 more lbs. I'm not longer a four sport athlete or a chatty teenage girl. What would I say to someone I haven't seen since then? In ten bullet points?

  1. I graduated salutatorian from high school and gave a speech at commencement.
  2. I went to college at UNK and graduated in 2000 with a bachelor's degree in social work and a minor in criminal justice. I was living in Lincoln and took a job for the state.
  3. I got married! To a guy I met in Kearney, at a bar. Yes, in a bar. We just celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary.
  4. I have two kids, ages 2 and 5. A boy and a girl.
  5. I moved to Omaha with the family to teach high school special education.
  6. I changed careers to teach high school education.
  7. I earned master's degree in 2003. To teach high school special education.
  8. I spend summers making breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for aforementioned kids. I do some other stuff, but the feeding portion of our day sure takes a lot of time and energy.
  9. I like to scrapbook and blog. I spend a lot of time making memories for the kids, so I can think of other things we did together besides eating breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
  10. I'm going to an indoor water park today! And staying at the adjacent hotel. And celebrating my B's 5th birthday! It's a big deal, cuz I said so.

Tagging 5 others - okey dokey.

Have fun!

Friday, July 18, 2008

To Be Done

I made a to do list for today (which I am presently avoiding). Tomorrow we'll host a half dozen soon-to-be kindergarteners for a fifth birthday party. On my list, I should have just put "clean whole house" and "do everything to prepare for party". Instead, I compartmentalized it and am now mourning the busy day ahead.

I am not a very good housekeeper. I keep things sanitary at best. The toys, run away laundry, and popsicle wrappers are what bury me. I declutter several times a year, donate clothes and toys almost monthly, try not to buy excess stuff, etc. I follow the rules in that way. Yet, I'm still constantly chasing my tail. Or toddlers, if you will.

The frustration for me is in the mundane. If I tidy a room, and it's undtidy 6 hrs later. I must do it again? Really?! I enjoy tasks that are not quickly undone. I do not enjoy the repetition of picking up toys, doing the dishes, mopping the floor. I don't know why I detest it so, but I do!

That, and here I sit, loving on my cup of coffee. I've cleaned a bathroom this morning, two to go. I need to switch out laundry, do the dishes (from last night, flylady would be ashamed), tidy bedrooms, mop tile, vacuum carpet, spot clean hall carpet, and so on. We've also got to squeeze in errands today.

What is a girl to do? When she's got such a lengthy list and no oomph?
Back to the coffee, I say. A few more sips and I'm off.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Almost Five

It's as if she's suddenly an actress, practicing for the role of a sulking child. She stomps around, shouting her disgust at the world's injustices. She hasn't got the right clothes to wear. Her brother ruins everything. She has nothing fun to do. She needs that toy, you know the one, she lost it last year. Life is no fair.

She delights in playing with the tone of her whining. She amps it up if no one is listening. She plays it down if she's afraid her father might be in earshot.

Her temper is quick, so is the forgiveness.

She is suddenly pre-pre-teen, at the ripe old age of four.

On Monday, she will be five. There were be fanfare and praise on that day. Today, just an homage to our new little drama queen. Practicing the power of her words and actions.

Our little B. Becoming her own person.
Please let us help you along the way.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Summertime Antipasto for Kids

We've enjoyed being able to eat right outside during the day this summer. I fill a tray with various things my kids will like and bring it out for them to eat with their hands. It works well since it's fast and convenient. I can run inside and have it together in five minutes or less. They drink water with it, happily thirsty from their active play. We usually finish it off with a popsicle. Since they're outside, there's no mess. No fuss.

It's a great way to do summer lunch!

Spoon? What Spoon?!

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Pillow Talk

So I was trying to be lazy and not get photos of said pillows, but feel now that I must provide proof. These pillows, while being quite lovely, do not work. The existing pillows have a bold plaid that does not work with the more formal stripe. Because of the lighting, you really can't see the green stripe, it runs in the row of narrower ones. It's a perfect color, but the pattern and texture doesn't mesh. Shucks.

I will find something, but it's got to be something a little softer, maybe just a cream color? Hmmm...

Hey - thanks for all of the advice anyways! It's a great thought to make some pillows, but it would be #800 on the ol' to do list. I'm convinced I'll find something. Some day.


I bought some pillows that I thought would be perfect with the green couches. Striped pillows of deep red, darker green, gold. Got them home and nope. They don't work. In my head, they still work. I want to go get them out of the van and try them again because they really should work. But they really don't.

This week is all of the sudden crazy. I'm trying a water aerobics class at the Y tonight that I signed up for. We're taking the kids to a local pool on Wednesday to meet some friends. We made those plans three weeks ago when July 16th seemed so far off. Hubs is playing in a three-day golf tournament that will eat up the end of the week for him (and leave me flying solo a bit). Then this weekend is B's first friend party for her 5th b-day which is a week from today.

So all in all, I need to be on my A game. And I am so NOT on my A game. I just want to sit down, watch reruns, and eat popsicles. Where in the heck am I supposed to squeeze that into this week?!!?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Searching for Pillows

You've seen the color of my couches.
What is a good accent color for sage green? The couches came with floral accent pillows, but my dog loved them for some reason and chewed off the corners. I've been looking for replacements for two years and can never settle on anything as good as the first ones.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The 4th

We spent the 3rd of July lighting a few "kid friendly" [ha, still involving sparks and fire, so not really] fireworks on the street in front of our house. We let each kid attempt a smoke bomb, and then lit the rest while they watched. It was a fun 10 minutes. They liked the snaps that you throw on the ground to hear pop. They liked the orange popsicles even better.

[Hubs was hovering behind, grabbing the punk as soon as she finished. Success! A five second smoke show and no burns. Hooray!]

Then on the 4th, we went to my folks' house, a two hour drive away, in a rural area of central Nebraska. The kids love being there, where there is a huge sandbox, outdoor play kitchen, kiddie pool, and numerous gardens to explore. The men shoot of a big fireworks show after dark, which our little man slept through. My B sat happily in her grandfather's lap, chatting through the entire show. She thought the whole day was fantastic. Cousins and plenty of time to play, what could be better?

[There's nothing like a little freedom in the country. Not to mention, living in a country that's free.]

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Under the catergory of: HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I TOLD YOU???

The living room is not a playground!!!

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The Village

Last week I was going to "unplug".
So no t.v. for the kids, no blogging for me.
Here's how it actually went:

I decided (quickly! the very first morning!) that mornings were exempt from this practice, because I really need that first hour to charge the batteries, if you know what I mean. It takes about a cup and a half of coffee for me to get going. So Playhouse Disney and/or PBS Kids were permitted between the hours of 7-9. During that time, I check my email, have a cup of coffee, and read a little news (and sneak on to Google Reader!). I cheated. I totally lurked.

Addiction, hobby, habit, whatever it is...I cannot stop checking in on what people are writing. I read 20 or so blogs regularly, some write daily, most just a few times a week. It is part of my daily habit that I just can't seem to avoid. I don't want to. So I spent the week being a lurker, not commenting, not writing my own posts.

So time spent on internet was indeed limited, it has been any way this summer. But not eliminated. I guess that's the way it goes. I'm hooked.

There are a handful of people that I enjoy checking in with each week. To some (in real life), it is odd. For me, it has been natural. There is a certain isolation for me, in motherhood. Going out is hard. Seeing friends is hard. Friends that I meet for kids' play dates don't actually get to chat. We chase the kids and keep them safe, entertained, fed, watered. It has been difficult to get past the small talk phase with people.

It may only be in print, online, but we're way past small talk, which I enjoy.
So there you have it. Another realization for me that blogging is, to me, more than just a hobby.

Here are the happy folks that I like to look in on, read about, learn from:
4 Reluctant Entertainers
Alpha Dogma
Big Blueberry Eyes
Bub & Pie
Busy Kids
Frog And Toad Are Still Friends
Her Bad Mother
I'm An Organizing Junkie
Midwest Beach Girl
Midwest Twin Girl
Mimi On The Breach
Nebraska Belle
Oh, The Joys
One Plus Two
Random Things
Suburban Turmoil
Sweet / Salty
Under The Mad Hat
World of One Thousand Different Things

There is community there. I can see that now.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Mixed Bag

It has been a strange summer. The weather has been extreme at times, and then just rainy at others. Kiddie pool time has been limited. We've only been to the zoo once! We haven't used our Children's Museum membership, yet we've stayed what I consider to be busy. Doing what, I can't really say. Right now, it's our typical morning. Playhouse Disney for them, some computer time and a cup of coffee for me.

My poor Hubs is back at it with grad school, trying to get that Dr. put in front of his name. It's treacherous, the working/schooling/husband/father thing, and I really feel for him. I remember the stress and tears and self-loathing that was grad school. There's never enough of you to go around. What makes it great is the end-point. When you make it out the other side alive and you've got some letters behind your name. I'm so proud of him for doing it. I'm not sure I would have it in me at this point.

Today I realize we're at the halfway mark for the break. July is it. I go back on August 7th, officially, though will work for several extra days before the big day.

I was reading through my journal last night. The days of my B's birth and infancy. How enamored I was (am) with her. How magical becoming a mother was for me. Then I read this:

My baby is one month old. I have a daughter and she is already
growing and changing so much! It's all going so fast and I try to take it
all in and savor every minute. My leave from work is 1/2 over and it's hard
not to dwell on that. I really think I would stay home if I could, but we
just can't swing it financially. So I'm going back to work in a month and
I'm starting school in January to become a special ed. teacher. I just
hope that Brenna will always know how much I love her and understand
that I'm doing this for her, so that I can be with her more in the future. I
just really want to be a good mommy - I guess I never knew how important
that would be to me. I love this little girl more than I thought
possible and can't wait to spend the rest of my life knowing her.

That girl will be five in a few weeks.
I'm spending my second summer off with her and our Little Man. Wow.

Things have worked out particularly well, overall.
Now it's time to get dressed. We are off to swim lessons.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Independence Day

We were at my parents' yesterday, for an Independence Day celebration in the country (pictures later). We returned home just this afternoon, with our little man sporting a mystery fever. Hopefully it's just a random virus, but it's got us keeping a close eye any way.

I had a wonderful moment of peace driving back home this afternoon. Since I moved to the eastern end of our state, eight years ago, I have always felt this sense of coming home as we approach the area that I grew up. An exhaling of sorts, where I felt like I was returning to where I belong. The land stretches out flatter, as the trees grow further apart and the spaces are filled with more crops than buildings.

Today, I felt the opposite. As we approached the hillier end of the state, I was excited. Feeling the anticipation of returning home. Suddenly, I was all grown up. I was returning home, instead of driving away from it, going just where I wanted to be. Where I knew I should be.

It's great to visit family, it's wonderful to celebrate a national holiday together, to go back to my hometown. Yet it was a significant milestone for me. This moment of peace, as we approached Omaha.

I am home.