I have to admit, I used to look forward to family reunions for the food. Don't get me wrong...the food is still awesome, and I still eat more than I should, but I was soooooooooooo looking forward to coming home so we could get back to our summer menu. Here's today's lunch:
and yes, it was really that good. Yum! Have I mentioned a million times that I love summer and all of the fresh food that comes with it????
James has requested black bean burgers this week...anyone have any tips, or a favorite recipe?
Kayci's birthday was last week, so that means she FINALLY got her Dick & Jane quilt! A new quilt meant new sheets, new curtains, etc...and that has been more of a headache than I ever anticipated. There's the final product...that's sheet set #3 and curtains #2, by the way. The reason I'm posting about this here is that I let Kayci guide the way, and while we did detour into the pink polka dot sheets briefly before we got them home and she realized they didn't match, it worked out that her room is exactly as I'd hoped it would be. Orange is the "pop" color both in his crib bedding and her quilt, and I really wanted orange sheets. The orange curtains were totally a bonus find at Wal-Mart yesterday, and I love, love them against the blue and white! The point is, I could have bought orange stuff and just told her that's that. But she came to that conclusion on her own, and we both win. So, so much more satisfying, doncha think?
...questions they REALLY don't want to know the answers to?
I'm having a bit of a crisis right now because I need to have a really hard conversation with someone, and I hate tohurt anyone's feelings. Sigh. THIS is why I didn't finish my Master's, people...I don't WANT to be an administrator! Of course, I do want to do administrative things and have the perks of being an administrator...so I should just zip it and get on with the getting on and be grateful for the 99.9% of my job that rocks. See, I just needed a little pep talk.
I remember that game from High School parties and even a few ill-advised college gatherings. It used to be pretty fun, but I won't tell you where I ranked. If you're reading this, you probably know, anyway. :) This morning was a little crazy as mornings tend to be right now...Noble poured an ENTIRE box of cheese crackers on the living room floor when I was in the potty for a few minutes. And yup, of course he rolled around in them so there was more cheesy goodness to spread around. Hmm...that was, of course, in addition to his normal morning messes. I did manage to get the 3 of us dressed and out the door on time, but the cheese crackers had to stay, unfortunately. Yes, this is going somewhere...
...I've been working on a baby gift for Noble's cousin, Shannon. This morning while I waited for Kayci to finish swim lessons, round 2, I started on the note to accompany our gift for Baby Avery. As I was writing, I kept thinking of all the things I said I'd never do as a parent, and then when we got home and I was confronted by this enormous mess, I thought of "I never" again...and how it relates to my parenting. Or lack thereof, it feels sometimes. :)
So, in honor of imperfect parents everywhere, here's the game of "I'll Never" I've been playing in my head today...
1. I'll never have kids sleep in my bed. 2. I'll never let my kids out of the highchair to wander around in a restaurant. 3. I'll never let my kids snack before dinner. 4. I'll never let one of my kids hit/bite/scratch/sass me. 5. I'll never leave my kids unattended to make huge messes. 6. I'll never reuse a diaper. 7. I'll never judge other parents. 8. I'll never compare my kids to other kids. 9. I'll never yell at my kids. 10. I'll never spank my kids when I'm angry. 11. I'll never let my kids walk around in a onesie and nothing else. 12. I'll never let my kids out of the house without brushing their teeth. 13. I'll never forget my kids' lunch money. 14. I'll never forget my kids' homework. 15. I'll never call my kid a dork. 16. I'll never force my kids to do anything they don't want to do. 17. I'll never let my kids go to bed late. 18. I'll never let my kids wake up early. 19. I'll never give my kids everything they want. 20. I'll never spoil my kids.
Oh, the list could go on and on. How about I'll never let my kids eat in the living room while watching tv? Well, that one's out as we're lunching on the couch today since the dining room table is full of a baby gift and stuff I haven't yet put away from the weekend.
Looks like I forgot to post this...oops. I'm so tired today!
As part of Aunt Peggy's birthday gift for Kayci, I got to tag along for a spa mani/pedi. And let me tell you, it was spa-fabulous! We realized today that I haven't had a pedicure since right before Noble's baptism--last July. That's so sad on so many levels.
I think sometimes that it must be really, really hard to be married to me and all of my...let's call them quirks. Yesterday was a pretty stressful day, probably more than I was even aware of at the time.
Today I woke up really freaked out because I had the mother of all bad dreams early this morning. After I'd had some coffee and settled down a bit, I told James about my dream and I could see that he was having a hard time keeping a straight face as I told him about facing my biggest fear. Because my biggest fear is zombies. Flesh-eating, brain-guzzling zombies. To the point where I've considered, in our dream house, building a zombie room kind of like a panic room. I know, I know, I heard it. (And no, Keely, you aren't allowed to use that against me.) I understand that it seems comical, but seriously, big big fear. I think it's a good argument for NOT letting your kid watch every zombie movie ever made at an impressionable age.
So there you have it, my biggest fear. What's yours?
it's hard to take a self-portrait...it would be fun to post the pics that didn't make the cut, but i'm not quite THAT confident! i got new glasses today--it's been a long time since mine broke and this is a HUGE thing for me. i'm so happy!!!!
Kayci and I had "the talk" this morning. She said something about a house in town where there are always guys in the front yard, etc. (we pass by it daily, James and I think it's a halfway house). Lately I've been loosening the apron strings a bit, letting Kayci get a bit farther away from me, be a bit more independent, etc. Last week I let Kayci play in the big yard while I was in the little yard, and she looked at me funny when I told her to scream if anyone tried to come into the yard. I realized then that she really had no clue that there were people out there who might not be our "friends." That's totally my fault--we talk to people and meet people wherever we go. The world, to Kayci, must seem like a pretty friendly place. It's been on my mind, and her question this morning opened the door for the talk we've been needing.
So, I put on my big girl panties and did it. I explained to my Bitty that there are people out there--big people and kids, too--who hurt kids and take them from their Mommies and Daddies and yes, even kill them. I asked her if she knew there were people like that and she said, wide-eyed, "noooo." So then we talked through what she should do if someone approached her, tried to touch her, tried to take her. We went through who it's okay to go with, and talked about a few other things, including how it's not okay for anyone (but Mommy and Daddy when we're helping her wash or dress) to touch her body. She got quiet after that one, and told me that one of her friends touched her bottom. Luckily, it was just her bottom and they were playing, it was totally innocent. But it obviously had bothered her and I felt good that she could open up and run that by me. I think I handled it well. I hope and pray I did, to keep that line of communication open in the years to come.
As soon as I dropped her off at VBS, I called Daddyboy and laid it all out for him. It felt good to get it off my chest--it was stressful, but I'm glad it's done. And I pray she never, ever needs to know the stuff I told her today. One of the reasons we live where--and how--we do is so that our kids can stay kids just a little bit longer. Please Lord, let her stay a little girl for a long time. Time's flying by too fast as it is!
I just placed my Target order...I got our basic white dishes, the summer melamine set and a fun serving tray. Shh--I just threw the tray in, James doesn't actually know about that one. Oh, and a pair of sandals for Nobley so I could get free shipping--Kristi logic. But he needed them! So excited to get some boxes in next week...the dishes have been on our list since Thanksgiving, when we had 15 people and only 7 white plates so we had to use Solo plates. Sigh. We resolved that by next Thanksgiving, we'd have enough dishes for 15. So we've made good on that resolution.
Oh! And I also made a big (well, for me!) decision today. We've been talking about having a garage sale for a while, but today James and I talked about it and decided that it's not worth the time and energy...we'll do what we always do and take stuff to the mission. Strangely, this is a huge load off--now I can get rid of the stuff cluttering up our bedroom and once it cools off, we can do some serious "weeding out" in our storage unit. I don't know why, but this has been a big relief. For one, honestly, the earliest we could probably do a garage sale (according to garage sale loving friends) is September...no, that's Labor Day...so October, then. I can't hang onto this crap any longer--it's gotta go! Hmm...wonder if they're taking donations for the MOPS garage sale already?
I'm pretty random tonight, I know. For some reason, I've been having a hard time blogging lately. Well, not for some reason--what's on my mind most of the time is my Dad, and you guys don't want to hear about that 24/7. James keeps reminding me that it's going to take time, lots of time...but it seems like it's getting harder instead of easier. And that's all I'm going to say about that right now.
I'm sitting here in the living room with the laptop while Kayci sleeps and her little friend watches the end of the movie...as soon as Barbie dances off into the sunset, I'm off to bed. I'm too old to stay up as late as I did last night--and we didn't even take a nap today! No wonder I'm tired!
Tomorrow is Kayci's 6th birthday party. I can't believe it! She'll technically be 6 next Thursday, but tomorrow she's having a few friends over for her first "real" slumber party. She's so excited! We've been planning the party for months, and I've really been proud of how we've worked it into the budget as we've gone along. Ahem. Until today--when we got everything out to go into the girls' goody bags, I realized exactly how MUCH stuff we've collected. Oopsie. So their goody bags are pretty awesome--Kayci can't wait to get into hers. And then there are the microphones and guitars they'll get at the party...it's going to be a lot of fun, and Kayci and her friends are going to enjoy all of the STUFF! I can't wait--we'll post pictures and video soon, I hope!
Here are a couple of pictures of the goody bags (drying) and the goody bag stuff waiting to go into the bags, and also a picture of the party girl putting together a centerpiece. Notice the Hannah Montana microphone she's wearing...today at Wal Mart she saw these and decided she wanted them badly enough to spend her own money on them for the party. That's a pretty strong argument right there!
It's day two of "official" summer, and Noble's at daycare for a few hours. Kayci and I went to the grocery store, and when we got home I sat down to write a report and gave her the option of working in her room or finishing her "job" from yesterday (going through cubbies and drawers to rediscover her stuff). She went into her room to make her bed, and I heard her in there singing and thought, hmm, why not? So I reminded her that she can play CDs. A few minutes later I heard, "can I do karaoke?"...sure! So here we are over an hour later, and she's just come up for air (and a granola bar--she's got to learn to eat a better breakfast!). Lunch is in about an hour, then about an hour after that I'll go get Noble and then drop Kayci off at a friend's for a play date so I can head into Houston to work.
Tomorrow is Wednesday, which means swimming lessons and then shots for Noble in the morning. I imagine our afternoon will be fairly quiet, then we have tickets to the "Imagine That" premiere tomorrow night. It's up in the air whether or not Noble and I will go, a lot depends on how he's feeling. Hopefully he'll be tired and SLEEP through the movie...we'll see!
Then it's Thursday, so back to daycare for Noble and hopefully a solid workday for me while Kayci plays here at home. I think if the novelty of being here has worn off by then I'll get out the buckets of soapy water and flyswatters and turn her loose outside. Or maybe some of that new great sidewalk chalk that comes in the cool colors--those would look great on our spa cover, which she uses as a chalkboard sometimes. So many options...
My point is, I guess, that I'm talking this through in my head and realizing that I can DO this. I can be a good mom and have fun with my kids AND get my work done this summer. So the house isn't Kristi-clean...I'll get over it. Heaven knows, everyone else has!
So, we're doing it. We're having a great summer already. Woo Hoo!!!!
This morning Kayci and I went to the store for a few things...but once we got started on the fruits and veggies, before I knew it we had a basket full of fresh food. It was so satisfying to get it all home and put it away! A few months ago I quit using a bowl and started keeping the wire cupcake tower out for our fruits & veggies, and it's cool to see it sitting there, full of healthy stuff. It's amazing how fast we go through the fresh stuff during the summer, but so satisfying to cut out the processed stuff. When I was having trouble with my gall bladder, we cut out processed food almost completely and after my surgery, eating that way, was the healthiest I've been in years. I was also not eating much meat at all, which made a huge difference...I started eating meat again when I found out I was pregnant with Noble, and sometimes I wish I'd just stuck it out and figured out how to have a healthy pregnancy without it. It's been hard to really give up meat since then, even though it makes me feel like crap sometimes. Sigh. It all comes down to controlling what I put in my mouth...and moving more. But that's another day. I sat down around 9:00 to work and have done lots of things but not the report I actually sat down to write. I'm enjoying sitting here, listening to Kayci sing karaoke--what fun!
I haven't quite decided what I'll blog about here this summer...I think I'll focus on the kiddos and what we're doing here at home. So here we go, on the first day of summer...
This weekend we heard some variation of "I'm bored" several times. Those words--or any variation--are guaranteed to send me right over the edge. So last night as Daddyboy and I sat on the deck talking over the weekend and summer plans in general, we talked this over and came to the conclusion that our life this year has been so OFF that Bitty needs to relearn how to play and keep herself entertained here at home. The child has every toy/game/art supply you name it in kid-dom. This morning she got out a stack of Dick and Jane books after breakfast and started reading. I thought, score! After a while, it started...the wandering, with puppy dog eyes and all.
So then I got a great idea: I told her to get a pad of paper and something to write with, and go through every drawer and every cubby in the office and make a list of what she's got. My thought was that she'd get reacquainted and get excited. My evil plan worked immediately...before she even got to the end of the first cubby, she asked if she could play with play-doh when she was done with her "work." I totally kept a straight face when I told her, magnanimously, to go ahead and play with play-doh now, she could work later.
Today's the first day of summer! Well, technically, that was either last week or later this month, depending on how you look at it, but for our intents and purposes...it's today! This weekend we had a great weekend at home, in Brenham, and today we woke up to a day where our most pressing plans are swimming lessons. Woo Hoo! Well, at least Woo.
For this summer to work, I've got to get over my mindset of getting a,b,c,d...and so on done each day. For months I've been working on getting to good enough and staying THERE instead of stressing over having everything just so. I won't say having things perfect, because that's not possible, but just having things done my way. The house I've had to let slide a bit...don't be surprised that there's dust on several surfaces that's at least a couple of weeks old. :) The floors aren't always clean enough to eat off, which is a pity as Noble DOES eat off of them...daily. The laundry has been sitting in baskets instead of going straight into drawers. My work stuff is actually in a pile in front of my work closet, and our room is garage sale central. And yes, all of these things can sometimes drive me nuts. I won't even get started on the work I need to do this week, which is sitting on my chest like a 500 pound weight. I have GOT to get over these things and enjoy just being here, right now, with the kids and having lots of great family time. The work will come, even if I have to start working at night and in the morning (which I've gotten away from and I hate to go back to...).
Right now, Noble's taking a nap and Kayci is sitting at the table making a hippopotamus out of blue play-doh. (The store bought kind, since we're talking good enough.) I have been filling out references and getting the rent ready to mail and thinking about cleaning floors...but then when I noticed Kayci was looking a little bored I stopped and gave her the "assignment" of looking in every drawer and every cubby in the office and making a list of what's inside. My thought was that she'd rediscover some of the things she's lost track of...James and I were sitting on the deck last night, having a beer and enjoying the evening and we talked a bit about how many times we heard some variation of "I'm bored" this weekend, even though we were having tons of fun and were outside all weekend. We agreed that she needs to relearn how to play and keep herself occupied, so I'm hoping that seeing her cool stuff will get her excited again. i think my evil plan might be working--she didn't even get through the first cubby before she said, "Mommy, when I'm done with my work can I play with play doh?" I didn't even crack a smile when I told her she could work later and play with play doh now. :)
We have all summer to look forward to...it's a cool feeling. I have a lot of work stuff to get done, but it'll get done. Today's the FIRST DAY. I need to cut myself some slack so I can enjoy this time with the kiddos. Speaking of, I'd better hop up before Noble wakes up. Hope you're having a great day, wherever you are!!
Being here this week, immersed in my PPCD job, has been both great and not so great. Great because I'm so excited about what's going on in the PPCD world...not so great because I'm tired and I miss my life! :) Today (Thursday, when I started this) I went to an awesome meeting at Region 4 about LRE, and another district that's courted me before offered me some contract work. I don't know yet if I'll do it--or if it's kosher with GP if I do--but it's nice to be wanted, you know? Right now there are actually a few things out there that could turn into great jobs, but I just can't do the full-time thing. I can't! It's kind of hard, because right now is a really exciting time to do what I do and there are some great opportunities out there. When I'm tempted to go back to work (traditionally, outside of the house everyday--let's face it, I pretty well work full-time as it is!), I think about rushing around every morning to get the kids shuffled off somewhere, working all day, then picking the kids up and rushing around in the few hours until bedtime. And then I remember, this is just a season. The kids won't be small much longer--which is another whole issue, they're growing so fast!--and one day I'll open my eyes and wonder where they've gone. When that day comes I'll have all the time in the world to WORK...right now, my work is to do exactly what I'm doing, raising those kiddos and doing what I can to contribute financially. It's a nice bonus that I'm able to do what I love to do...the way I do it...and that's enough.
Funny, but a great support to this: last night I fell asleep typing this post. This week has worn me OUT! Tonight we're going to do something totally silly as a family, like go see "Up!" in 3D. I'm excited to get back home and figure out what our summer is going to be like. I've got a ton of work to do this summer, but it'll get done...more importantly, we've got a birthday party to plan for NEXT FRIDAY and a summer to figure out for the kids. James is working 7-4 this summer which has just been awesome this week--since we've been gone, he's gotten a ton of freelance work done AND he's played golf AND he's gone fishing. :) That's what summer's all about!!!
The kids and I are in Houston this week. Kayci got out of school on Friday, but GP doesn't get out until tomorrow. Since there's so much going on with my GP team, we decided it was best for me to come in for this last 5 days and finish strong. So that's what we're doing.
Working 8-4 (ish...I don't do 8 well) and then being a Mommy for 5 hours has reminded me why James and I have made the choices we've made. Don't get me wrong...it's do-able, just not for me right now with my little kids. The paycheck for this week will be nice, but in the back of my mind, I'm still a bit bummed about missing "Opening Day" at the library at home and a few other things that were going on this week. Silly, I know, but that's our life now. This is, too...but not like this.
I started this post an hour ago when all was quiet...now I've got one washed and dressed and one waiting while I iron. Single parenting is something else that's totally do-able but, God help me I hope, not for me. :)