Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A ramble

Let's ramble!  

this kid up there turned 10.  
Yeah, double digits.  Can't say more at the moment.  But he is growing up.  More soon!

This little bug is my partner in crime during the hours of 9 and 4.  She treks through Target, the library, and Costco likes she owns them.  She plays dollhouse ALL. DAY. LONG.  Or drives the matchbox cars on the car rug that we lug up from the basement.  

She still drinks her smoothie drinks and I know that we should put an end to them.  But she is tiny and she is drinking the milk.  When we stopped them with Henry he stopped drinking milk.  Which we are trying to get in him now by buying chocolate milk.  Hurts this mama's heart but he looks so skinny.  I am sure there are other things we could do for the calcium and things.  but for now this is what we are trying.  

This kid is growing up too.  Kids at school see him and see Charley in him.  he is growing taller and taller and I see Henry's old clothes on other little guys and get this sick feeling in my tummy.  I just don't know where the time has gone.  Henry has come a long way and is a different kid these days.  He is still all about Charley, but he is learning that helping with his nephew's birthday party was a LOT of fun instead of following his big brother who curled up with his book during all the birthday busy.  He is the most excited about the holidays and decorating.  He remembers where things go with decorating and wants to do everything just like the year before.  If you need help with decorating, this is the kid who will show up with joy in his heart, a smile on his face, and a skip in his step!  

There are many struggles we have in this house.  We want our kids to help out without nagging.  We want homework done before screen and play.  We want them to eat the dinner I cook and not have to make something else so they eat something.  We want bedtime to be a cozy peaceful time but also a timely and not drawn out game of kids vs. parents.  

It is SO SO hard to be the main parent towing the line.  I am struggling to stay firm.  But those after school hours and morning hours when everyone wants to do what they want and not what needs to be done first, is hard.  If I don't get a plan for dinner before they come home, then I am asking Ed to bring something home, which then I call and say never mind and whip something up.  But things could have been that much calmer if I had just prioritized my day a little differently.  Homework is peaceful if I have a snack there and I actually sit down at the table.  I am starting to have a cup of tea or coffee at this time so that I sit and Syd everyone works on something.  Even Syd.  

The last couple months we have had "chore" notebooks.  Really they aren't chores.  They are just the everyday expectations listed in a way that they can check them off.  Things like make your bed (I make mine now too).  Brush teeth.  Clear breakfast dishes.  Pack backpack.  Etc.  All things they should be doing.  And if they can conquer the daily tasks each day all week then they earn a little allowance.  Drives me nuts that we took three weeks off and they didn't care.  We are back at it.  It is a simple enough system that worked for too many weeks in a row.  Just need to keep persevering.  

So basically, around here...the homework and their notebook expectations have to be done before they can watch or play anything on a screen.  

Syd is playing "Go fish" these days.  She is obsessed with the movie Tangled.  And she watches that Cinderella trailer with eyes of wonder.  

I use less creamer in my coffee.  

I rarely have a cocktail anymore in the evening.  Makes me too tired too early.  

I am hooked on the Hallmark channel.  All the dumb cheesy holiday flicks suck me in.  Ed just rolls his eyes.  It is my escape.  

The Elf on the sHelf guy is supposed to return this weekend.  But, now they have stupid commercials showing the Elf having a pet reindeer.  So now my kids are wondering if our Elf will show up with a reindeer.  WHY!?  WHY do they have to do this to us.  I am going to have to say that I am allergic to reindeer or our reindeer is too old and only the young elves get reindeer.  I have no idea.  A friend's child asked her if she was Santa...she responded, "No, are you?"  Cracks me up.  I am waiting for this question and am dreading the end of the magic.  

Our Thankgiving plans have changed a bit.  But I am still bringing a Pumpkin pie that Ed gets from work each year (Costco) and other store bought items.  I know everyone else is putting their hearts into homemade recipes.  I just don't have one for this holiday that is a tradition.  It is the tradition that we bring rolls on Ed's side of the family and the bloody mary bar on my side.  I am going to stop feeling guilty that I am no whipping up some fancy dish and instead I am going to rock the ease of the store bought goodness and the fact that I will be a tad less crabby at my family because I am not racing to get something made.

I have a high school friend that sent me a mixed CD the other day.  She did it one other time a while back.  It was for workout music.  We exchanged one time and now she continues to surprise me every once in a while.  It is such a fun mix of highs school era music and fun current favorites.  This is one of them on there that just makes me happy.  And it makes me forget about all the hard for just a few minutes and clap.  Seriously.  give it a listen and try and not to bop.  Kim, I want to go dancing soon - WITH YOU!

I am crabby a lot.  A LOT.  And Ed sees it and tries to tell me to simmer.  My sister notices it from a distance and tries to motivate me to make the right choices.  I don't know why everything triggers such a snappy response lately.  But I told the kids when I picked them up today we would have a perfect weekend. HAHA!  How's that for setting the expectations too high.  Anyways, my point here today... my sister and I were talking about how blogging was a journal for me and a way to set goals and then I felt accountable for following through or at least seeing that it wasn't something that worked for us.  SO, I am going to ramble more often, because I don't keep baby books and they will read this someday, even if some think they won't, and it will be our story.  So there ya go! 

Cheers to a perfect weekend or let's be real...Cheers to embracing the good, the peaceful, the challenging and hard, and the moments we don't cherish (the whining, tired, up too late, up too early, time in the car, belly's too full, missing those that aren't able to gather moments).  Find the beauty in whatever your perfect is this weekend!  Happy Thanksgiving....although, I hope to jot a note here tomorrow!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Halloween 2014

Halloween 2014.   The costumes....

Syd wanted to be me all season...so as you can see she looks just like me! haha.  Just kidding.  Her amazing Grandma Charlie was making an Olaf and Elsa costume for her cousins so Grandma offered to make Syd one too.  It was beautiful and hangs on her wall now as decoration!  

Charley was Harry Potter last year and everyone loved it.  He didn't want to be it again even though I pointed out that he was still Harry Potter obsessed (books, movies, and video games).  His grandma had spent time making the realistic cloak that was perfect for the cold weather.  At dinner 2 nights before Halloween I mentally thought, maybe if I offer to pay him he would just be content.  The kid likes to shop and get new things.  So I thought, he or I would probably spend $20 at least at Target.  But I am not offering that.  Maybe $5.  But took a chance and said, "$2 if you are happy being Potter again."  He agreed.  And I don't think I ever paid him.  Woot! for betting low and winning!  And adorable he was! 

Henry was a teenage mutant turtle again.  And he seems to always be the same thing two years in a row.  But he is always so happy with what he is.  I had planned on working on something new for him this year but he didn't really have any strong desires.  I had lunch one day with him and the other boys in his class.  I asked them what they were being for Halloween and at least 5 of them said they were being Turtles!  And the decision was made...even though the costume was a tad small :)  


The ultimate was that while up north visiting Ed jokingly asked his mom to make him an Olaf costume when he saw what she was making our little nephew.  He came home telling me he did that but did not expect it to be taken seriously.  haha.   A week or so before Halloween I got a text from his mom with a picture of the costume.  It came in the mail with Syd's dress and I had them open it together.  HUGE smile on Ed's face.  Grandma said that Ed never asks for anything so she had to do this.  It made my Halloween and I don't know if Syd realized how incredible this Halloween was with her dad being Olaf...but, someday she will look back and she will get it.  

Also fun this year was the fun of having Uncle Greg and Aunt Liz and Fox here.  They came trick or treating with us.  Uncle Greg got cold the fastest. haha.  Syd led the pack for the first half and everyone decided it was time to head home without a whine.  The temps were such.  

It was a pretty great Halloween. 
The next day the kids filled their envelopes for the countdown to Thanksgiving.  Well basically it just keeps the candy stored in a way that I can't steal any. haha.  

Friday, November 21, 2014

things that made my heart happy this week.


And This.

and this.

What was your this moment this week?

Friday, October 3, 2014

pic of our girl today

It's Friday.  And we had a busy morning of our favorite class together.  Then home for lunch.  We tossed around the idea of running a few errands.  But, instead have been home puttering, painting, cleaning out the pantry, and just enjoying a cold dreary fall day.  

I have felt more on top of things this week.  But do you ever have moments of shear panic.  Like you just feel like you are failing at EVERYTHING.  That you have messed up priorities.  And instead of cleaning out the pantry you should have done something else.  Everything is just fine.  But I still feel this panic going into the weekend.  I want to do it all.  

So, instead of putting away a load of laundry Syd and I are going to take to the kitchen and make some apple crisp to go with the dinner that isn't planned.  Maybe that is the thing we should get going instead of apple crisp.  

Thursday, October 2, 2014

three things.

Everyday when the boys jump out of the car at school drop off I shout some random little things to them.  To Henry I say "Eat your lunch."  But mostly, I always say:

"Hey boys!  Be kind.  Work hard.  Say thank you."

Today I made it to the gym.  I did it right after I dropped Syd off at preschool.  I didn't stop at home first.  I knew if I did I wouldn't get there.  It is pouring rain.  HARD.  But I still went.  Even though a quiet house and an afternoon cup of coffee sounded amazing.  But, I did it.  I just walked 2 miles on a treadmill.  But I got there.  And it is a start.  One of the things that motivated me was my friend gave me a link to something she heard at her church last weekend.  So I listened while I walked.  It was about parenting.  

It talked about the end game.  And having a plan and parenting with a purpose.  It asked us to think about what we want for the end game.  And I immediately thought of those three things I say to my kids as they pop out of the car.  

There are so many adjectives I want to instill in my children.  But consistently, these are the three that I say when they leave me to go play somewhere, participate in an activity, or head off to school. 

I want them to be kind.
I want them to work hard. 
I want them to have grace.  

What are three things that are important to you when it comes to looking to the future and what you instill in your children?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

5 o'clock here

This is not the attitude or mood in our house right now.  
Wine and piano music and a few lamps is going to HELP me feel more patient.  We are going on an hour of battling to get homework started, accomplished, or checked.  
I have some massive attitudes and I am trying VERY hard to remember they are tired.  Homework is often boring and repetitive.  BUT, seriously, what could take 10 minutes is taking an hour to just get accomplished.  

All is actually quiet at the moment.  Cheers.  Counting on momentum to get these tired boys through the next hour and a half, because bedtime is coming fast for the oldest who couldn't sleep at 4:45 and has been up since.  And the first grader is still cashed out after a full day of school.  

Three things I am grateful for:

1.  Time today to move a few things around in the house to give things a fresh little feel.
2.  Rainy day at home with some banana bread making with my girl and two boys who were excited to have some for snack.
3.  Soccer was cancelled so we can actually all sit down for dinner and we can have a very normal night (which actually is sadly not the normal anymore).


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