29 September 2010

Isn't it ironic?

After all that...Kayci managed to pick up lice somewhere in the past 7-10 days.

Gotta laugh...as I wash/spray everything in sight. Could have been so much worse!!

27 September 2010

Me and a Gun

(a glue gun, crazy.  Anyone else a Tori Amos fan?)

This is what Mom & I did tonight.  I'm pretty pleased!

26 September 2010

Screen Time

(doesn't that make you think of Avatar?  It's supposed to show the sun damage on my face, but I don't think it worked exactly right.  I hope not, anyway!!!)

Confession time:  I haven't had a skin cancer screening in 10+ years.  Coincidentally, not since right before I had a pre-cancerous freckle cut out of my face.  It was a little sobering to realize how long it's been, especially since I'm such a freak about sunscreen and the sun in general.  

It's not a big deal, but at BTHO Melanoma today I had a free skin cancer screening.  Good thing--turns out, it's time to revisit the spot on my face.  The good news is, in the past few years they've made some strides and now they can use a cream to remove the damaged cells rather than scraping/cutting.  The great news is, it's better to find out when it's just a little damaged spot than to let it go another 10 years...and it is a great reminder that it's something we should all stay on top of.  All the time, not just when something's getting a little funky.  :)   

So go get screened, friends.  At the very least, have your hubby or significant other check your moles, freckles, etc...you know the drill!

(Before you blow this off, go here and read about Julie--she's Sherri's sister and she did everything right when it came to the sun, too.  It was very sobering to see her three kids at BTHO Melanoma today and remember that Julie was the reason we were there, because she could not be.)  

24 September 2010


...Remind me of this with every decision.
Generations will reap what I sow.
I can pass on a curse or a blessing
to those I will never know...
--Sara Groves, "Generations"

This song has been stuck in my head since Bible study yesterday, and this picture came to mind.  Parenting, a lot of it, is us doing what our parents did.  Some of it is us doing what we wish our parents had done.  Some of it is intuitive, and some of it soooooooooo goes against our grain.  When I look at myself, I see my Mom...when I look at her, I see my Grandma...and while they both are/were amazing women, there are some traits I/we have that I definitely don't want to pass on to Kayci.  I won't say it's a daily struggle, because unfortunately, a lot of times when I'm "in the moment" I'm not thinking about the seeds that I'm sowing...I'm just thinking, "I can't believe she did that!"  Then when I step back and have a moment of reflection, like, say, Bible study, I think..."holy crap, I'm screwing it all up!"  I want to be a better Mom than I am right now...there are lots of things I need to work on.  One of those things IS a daily struggle, and that's putting aside what I think I "need" to do and doing what my kids are doing.  I'm getting better at that, but it is a lot more difficult than it sounds.  I envy those of you whose default is on the dirty floor playing (no, seriously--I'm not making fun!) and not caring about the last time you swept or what's for dinner or if the laundry is all done.  

Today is one of those days when I have to get some stuff done (have to...my car is full to the brim of MOPS garage sale stuff.  Thanks, Mom--they're going to be so happy!) and then I have to take Noble into Houston and work for a while.  But my goal is to make sure this morning is calm and we have a little fun while we're getting ready for our day...Kristi, Jr. (that'd be my Kayci) lost a folder yesterday and is terrified she'll have a U on her report card now.  I'm torn between walking her in this morning so she'll be calm until she finds said folder, or letting her do it on her own.  I don't want to be "that Mom,"  but then again, I hate to think of her day starting off on a sour note.  Sigh...I guess if it was easy it wouldn't be worth all of this, right?  

My prayer is that the things I do MATTER in a lasting way.  Let my kids remember me doing things with them, not sweeping the floor (I'm getting better at letting that go, Dad!) and being too busy to listen to or be with them.  And give me a little grace, too, that they don't remember all of the times I raise my voice or forget to show them grace...and let those times be the exception, not the rule.  

PS--It was like taking a walk through time when I searched for that picture this morning.  This was taken when Kayci was 6 weeks old.  As soon as she was old enough to travel, we took her to Kansas to meet Grandma Weseloh, who she's named after.  By that point, Grandma was in and out of lucidity (is that the right way to say that?)  The last day wasn't a great day.  When we left, she wasn't aware at all, so I didn't feel like I'd really gotten to say goodbye to her.  I forgot something in her room, and I ran back in at the last minute to get it.  It was just the two of us, and she looked up and talked to ME.  She knew who I was, she knew that I'd brought Kayci--that I was finally a Mommy!--and that we were leaving.  She told me to raise Kayci to follow the right path, among other things.  It was a conversation I'll never forget, and it turned out to be the last conversation I ever had with her.  Two weeks later, she was gone.  What a blessing that weekend was to me, to have pictures of Kayci with Grandma and to see Grandma smiling down at her (honestly, in some of these Grandma's not aware that it's Kayci Clara she's holding--she's just loving a baby in her lap again!).  So these pictures made me smile.  I try not to think of all the things Grandma's missed over the past 7 years, because I have to hope she knows exactly how amazing her namesake has turned out to be.  

PPS--Today is show and tell.  Kayci is wearing a tutu (!) and will be so cute...while she talks to her class about her show and tell item, a half dollar.  She researched it and everything.  I tried to tell her the other kids will be bringing their favorite stuffed animals or things like that, but she is set on the half dollar.  (?) Love that kid!

23 September 2010


This morning as we were all rushing around to get dressed and get out the door in time for a bakery breakfast, I literally stopped for a minute when I realized that I haven't cleaned my bathroom mirror in (gasp!)  a whole week.  Seriously, it's a week today--I wrote those notes to my Boy and the knuckleheads before I left for work at 5 last Friday morning.  There are also notes on the door-mirror.  After I realized this, I told James, "It's been a week--I've gotta clean this mirror today!"  (Never mind the toilet, bathtub and floor that need cleaning...I don't know if anyone but me notices those.  So read on...)  On my mental to-do list, I wrote and highlighted "CLEAN BATHROOM TODAY."  

Off we went, for a fun breakfast and a slightly late arrival to 2nd grade.  Noble and I left Krause and came back home for a bit more rushing around, then a quick trip to recycling and an aborted trip to the CPA (I found about $500 in receipts yesterday...yikes!  Thinking that could make a difference!) before Bible Study.  All the while, I'm thinking about what I HAVE to get done today.  

And then in Bible Study, the discussion turned to control issues.  (Now, YOU say Control freak WHO?)  I know our home is a control issue for me, and just when I think I'm doing better and not being so OCD, someone pops a mirror up in front of my face, and there it is.  Today, it's literally a mirror...I don't HAVE to clean that mirror today.  And I haven't, and I probably won't before I go to bed.  But I did enjoy my time with Noble today, including a nice quick nap with him (ha ha!) and I'm looking forward to a fun afternoon with both kids.  (Kayci saw a fun candy corn wreath in Martha Stewart Living, so we're going to give it a shot today.  Noble's got one to play with, too!)  My work--that I get paid for--got done today.  Bible Study got done today.  Crafts with my kids will get done today.  Dinner with the family and some cuddle time with my Boy will get done today.  That mirror and the rest of the bathroom?  Well, they'll have to wait a few days...I've got work and family commitments for the next 4 or 5 days.  And that's okay with me.  

This morning, my perception of that mirror:  failure on my part.  This afternoon, the reality is somewhere in between--it's not a failure, but it's not to be overlooked forever, either.  It'll keep.  

20 September 2010

Post Script on the Rides

Why didn't we buy our kids fair armbands, you ask? It's not just that we'd spent a million dollars on tickets and food and didn't want to pay up...it's because of THIS EXPERIENCE. (Click it and read the post from 9/09.)

Knock, knock...

Who's there?
Control freak. Now YOU say, "control freak, who?"

That one may be funnier in person. But it keeps running through my head today. :)

It's Monday...after a long weekend spent moving Mom into her new townhome/apartment. I'm happy to say we all worked together very well and all that's left are tiny details. As Noble says, teeeeeeeeeeeeeeamwork!

Speaking of Noble, two things come to mind: 1) I FINALLY GOT PAID!!! So that means we headed to the Apple store this weekend, naturally. 2) As we left the AT&T store this morning with a newly activated iphone4, Noble looked up at me and said, "We go Carbucks now, wight?" Who can argue with that logic? Starbucks was right there, Noble wanted a snack...and he was incredibly patient (for the most part, ahem) while we waited for freakin' ever in AT&T for someone to not just walk past us...but help us. I finally stopped one of the, I kid you not, 7 people on the floor and asked, "should we come back later?" She looked shocked, and said, "why?" I said, "because we're all just WAITING and WAITING." So then I got served, as I was the next in line. Sigh. Customer service, people. But I'm back to a phone with a front camera and a flash, so all's right with my world.

You know you have to be careful what you say around kids, right? Well, point proven. I visited Kayci's class this morning to help them put together scarecrows (sidebar: I take NO credit for any of this year's scarecrow, and while it's now how I would do it, I am happy that another mother took it on and is doing it. Mostly happy. The control freak in me is, well, freaking.). But I digress. I looked at Kayci's journal entry this morning, and I had to laugh out loud. The Washington County fair just ended this weekend, so the journal starter was "I rode the rides..." My smarta** wrote, "I rode the rides at the Downtown Aquarium. At the fair, I only rode some stinking weird boats for Noble." Too true, but come on... Admit it, you giggled a bit, too.

I wish I had a picture to break up the monotony of this post, but alas, I got nothin'. Sorry. Will work on that!

Happy Monday--yep, Bren, it's been a bit Manic around here, too. In part because Kayci didn't think to tell me until bedtime last night (when we got home) that I was going to school today to help. Oh, and by the way, I needed to take 20 scarecrows with me. Alrighty. :) So we worked on those together last night, and I just readjusted my schedule today. With just a little sighing involved--I really, really wanted to stay in PJs longer today. Oh, well.

As soon as Noble wakes up, we're back off to Krause to help the afternoon class wrap up. After that, who knows? Well, I know some of what will/needs to happen tonight, but there are lots of blanks that will be interesting to fill in. Like, _____ is for dinner.

16 September 2010

Every day is an adventure...

...and my tour guide has been amazing this week. We've seen a remarkable difference since we started following a less-screentime-intensive routine and I have done the same, staying away from the laptop, my phone, etc. during the day when we're together. :)

13 September 2010

Blog? What Blog?

I tend to write blog posts in my head as I go about my daily business. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately for you), I rarely have/take time to sit down and pound them out. I'd like to get back to blogging daily...if for no other reason than keeping the cobwebs blown out. That, and a lot tends to happen around here. :) My list of things I want to do is about as long as the "have to do" list every day, and that one tends to win out. I did want to share one thing, though, to keep myself honest. A little backstory, first...

We're entering the 4th week of school. The first week and a half or so, I thought I was kind of killing time until Noble started daycare a couple of weeks...but that's not going to happen. Seriously, there's a reason people stand in line overnight for this place--there's just. no. room. So, once I found that out, I was relieved (not ready for him to be in daycare again!) but sad, too, because HE is ready for more socialization, etc. That's been weighing on me, trying to find a balance for him that will work.

The first 10 or so days of school went by in a blur...and then one day I was like, OMG, what am I doing? Why don't I have some sort of schedule during the day with him? So I started taking stock of how our days were going, where our days were going. It wasn't pretty--I just wasn't spending time WITH Noble as much as just time in the same place as Noble. And he was getting very whiny and just...eww.

Here's where I want to keep myself honest: on Thursday, I started a new Bible study. While I was sitting there we were asked which part of our parenting we wanted to work on. My list was too long to go into...I need a lot of work!...but the thing that came to mind first was "routine." After going through my/our days, I'd realized that what we were doing wasn't what we NEEDED to be doing, and we'd gotten into some straight-up habits (like, no bedtime story--what was up with us?? and my personal nemesis, eating in front of the TV...which is another whole story...). I woke up Friday morning and resolved to change. The first change, which I thought I'd pretty well mastered, was to leave the laptop on my desk while Noble's awake. Turns out, when I got busy with back-to-school stuff, I'd started bringing the laptop out into the living room/dining room and I'd grab a few minutes while he...you got it!...watched TV. So turns out, I had the TV on too much. Sigh. Parenting is NOT for the weak at heart...this stuff is HARD. I almost missed the boat on Friday--I pulled out the laptop "just for a second" once I got Noble interested in some play-dough. And you know what? As soon as it came out, he got very whiny and wanted "baby-juice", which is Noblese for cuddle/nap. (See this blog post about the baby...woo hoo!) That was the wake up call that I needed, so I put the laptop away and let Ms. Kristi out to play. You know what I didn't realize until that point? Noble is 2 1/2 (as of last Wednesday!). He's almost as old as the kids I love to write curriculum for, and mentally, quite a bit older than some. My point is--he is ready for the next step...my baby is now a young preschooler. Sigh.

So, Friday we took a big step. And at the end of the day, we were both pretty darn satisified. :)

This week, my goal is to keep working toward finding the balance between my work and the work I need to do with Noble. Wish me luck! :)

06 September 2010

I'm baaaaack...with 8 Questions

School started...can you tell? I can tell, since I'm still trying to develop a routine and cross all of the MUST-do's off my to-do list...no easy feat this year for some reason. And I've had a lot on my mind on top of that, so it's been a weird week or so. OH, and when we got home last Monday, no internet...James took care of it but it took a couple of days to get the new modem, etc. so we were offline (other than phones) until Sunday morning. It was a mixed blessing. :)

So I'm back, and I have resolved to get to blogging again...if for no other reason than to clear my head!

Last night I saw that Heather tagged me on her blog (thanks, H!) so I'll play along. I'm going to answer Heather's 8 Questions, but then I'm going to change it up a bit. Instead of tagging 8 other bloggy friends, I'm going to tag 8 of y'all who read my blog on Facebook! So here are my 8 answers to Heather's questions, then keep reading for MY 8 questions...

1. How much time do you spend on your blog or viewing other blogs daily? Not as much as I'd like...blogging is the first thing to fall off of my to-do list when I'm busy. So maybe 10-15 minutes...maybe. That includes FB, sadly. :(
2. What would is your dream job? Published writer! (Like, not published like now...published like, it's got my name on it and hopefully James' pictures in it!)
3. What is your hobby? Blogging...but you see how that's going!
4. What is one bad habit you have? ugh, not controlling what I EAT!
5. What is one thing on your bucket list? tough one! I'd like to go to Ireland and Scotland one day, I think.
6. Do you prefer the lake or the ocean? Lake, a deck, and probably a cold beer!
7. What TV show are you embarrassed to admit you watch? I listen to Real Housewives (any Real Housewives...sad) while I work online.
8. Do you have a phobia? If so, what? Not really. I do have a crippling fear of zombies, if that counts.

Okay, I did it...your turn! These 8 questions are for: Lynn, Mandy, LaDawn, Kellie (I still think of you as Hendricks!), Kim Bartholomew, Denise, Shea, and Bren-duh!

1. You have 30 minutes to yourself. What do you do?
2. What is your favorite book right now? (Or author!)
3. If you could vacation anywhere in Texas on someone else's dime, where would you go?
4. Do you collect anything? If yes, what?
5. You open up your birthday card, and there's a gift card inside (Score!). Where do you hope it's from? (Horrible grammar...you get the idea!)
6. What is a household chore you really, really don't like to do?
7. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
8. What is your favorite thing about your significant other?

Can't wait to see what you girls say!!!!