Thursday, March 29, 2012

Kindergarten Drama

I'm not ready for this. Really. I'm not. Where was this in the parenting book? I think I missed it. Drama. The 5-year-old type. And yes, I know, it is all just beginning. But I'm still not ready.

This week we have had some kindergarten drama in our house. Times 2.

Drama with girls-I was prepared for this and knew it would happen sooner or later. But I was prepared for later. It's the whole, "She called me this. I tried to do this but she wouldn't listen to me. But I didn't try to do that-it just happened!" Drama.

Drama with boys...a bit different. This drama is about doing what is cool or what your friends are telling you to do. "Say this word. Do this with your finger. I order you do try this." Drama, boy-style.

I know some of this comes with being a kid. I get it. Your kids get exposed to new things they never see or hear at home. I'm not going to shelter them from EVERYTHING...but I'll try! No, but really, it's kind of a reality check to hear A & C say the things they learn or see at school. Some kids have different boundaries at home than we do. I expect that.

As a parents our only hope is that we have given them the tools to use in order to make good decisions when they are away from us. Right now they are being tested. What do they give in to? What do they say to stand up for themselves? Who can they trust? All really difficult questions to answer when you're by yourself as a 5 year old.

And this is just the beginning. Lord, please give me the strength to get through these next few 13 I don't know how many years. Amen!

Tooth Number 7!

She lost her 7th tooth yesterday at school! Story goes that she was playing with it at recess and bent it back-that's all it took! Out it came and she got a little treasure box to go with it! The Tooth Fairy hooked her up with a one dollar bill-tied in a pink and white polka-dot bow. Now C has 5 more to go in order to catch up with A. Let's wiggle those teeth!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Tasting

Have you ever been to a tasting or eaten from a tasting menu? Nope. Me either. Until this winter. See, I we have this these fabulous friends who do adventurous things when it comes to dining out. They're the ones that sign up to go to various festivals and drink tastings. They decided to open this world to us, and we're so glad they did.
The deal was this: the servers wouldn't tell us what they were serving to us so as to not scare me off. If you know me, you know I'm not so adventurous when it comes to food. I'm what you call a "basic eater." However my palate is widening. As evidence by this menu we ate. First, flatbread with squash, bacon and chicken; chili pepper straws on top. Yum! Below you'll see a cold plate with anchovies (yes, I ate one!), shrimp, smoked pork and yummy cheese. Sauces made the taste even that much better!
Of course there was wine to be had. Loved that.
"What is THAT?" you ask? I wondered the same thing. Before the server could even say a word, I asked her not to, letting her know I probably wouldn't eat it otherwise. If you can tell, it is a calamari over risotto. I was told by Mike, "It's just black risotto." Good thing that's what he said, otherwise I wouldn't have touched it! After I was almost done, he spills it, telling me it is black because of the squid ink. What?! Not what I thought I would have eaten that night. But I did. Again, good thing they didn't tell me what it REALLY was.
The next course was a seared tuna. I'm not much for cooked tuna any kind of tuna other than the kind I make sandwiches with. This, again, was new territory for me. And, delicious to boot! You can see I ate some of it before I took a picture-I almost forgot!
Next was something I was more familiar with: a grilled fillet. Delicious. On top of pureed cauliflower. Not what I was prepared for, but delicious with everything on the plate. Nothing but yummy goodness for this section of the menu!
Upon entering the evening, Lisa asked if there was anything I didn't like; anything completely off the menu for me. That was a tough one, since there are so many things I haven't had. But there was one thing I knew I really didn't want: mushrooms. Not a fan. The slimy texture of this is what gets me. Maybe I'll come around sometime. I've got time...but the chef (executive chef/owner/friend of Lisa and Mike's) knew this. See what he did with my mushrooms:
Finally, dessert. Interesting when it was set in front of me. Not what I've ever ordered for dessert. I'm a chocolate girl through and through. But I broadened my palate and tried something new: panna cotta. It had pomegranate seeds in the citrus-flavored sauce. Interesting. I think I ate about half of it and liked it ok, but I still like chocolate best. 
I absolutely loved this night. We couldn't have asked for better friends to do this with. Friends like Lisa and Mike are great to have because they are adventurous. They like new things. They try new things. And they like to bring people like us along to try them too. Thanks, friends! We loved every minute of our night together and can't wait to do it again soon!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Beauty Shop

Isn't it lovely?
Aren't I lovely?
We had a little fun doing Mommy's hair last summer. C was trying his best to get a "pony" in my hair but it didn't quite work as he planned. A figured she would stick to the barrettes. Truthfully, I don't really care what happens because I love it when the kids play with my hair. Doesn't it feel so good?! Yes. The answer is yes! I think I see some hair stylists in our future!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Waiting for the ice

 It was just another day at the beautiful lake frozen lake.
A perfect 80 degree day to sit by the lake and listen to the waves lap up on the shore ice cracking, trying to melt and make way for a place to fish and swim.
A perfect day to enjoy a juice box by the shore and watch the ducks swim around eagles fly around and land on the ice.
A perfect day to walk along the shore in-between the blooming flowers winter ridden remains of plants.
A perfect day to throw rocks in the water and watch the huge splash on the ice and try to break it apart.
A perfect day to be a sweet five year old; balancing, smiling, watching, throwing...waiting for the ice to melt. 

**The ice went off the lake the very next day!**

Friday, March 23, 2012

Field Trip Day...through their eyes

Where is she? Where is she? I know she's coming. Just just got me on the bus this morning. I know she's coming along on the field trip. But I don't see her. I'll check the hallway one more time. Nope. Still not here. Again...nope. Where is she? Mommy! You're finally here! I was so worried you weren't coming. I mean I knew you were coming, but I didn't see you and I was worried. I know I'm supposed to be all boy and not worry about things like that, but I do. I'm the worrier of the two of us...A doesn't worry quite as much.
Mommy! Will you sit by me on the bus?! I hope you do. Hold my hand. Ok, shut the door. We don't want anyone in our classroom while we're gone. Did you see the birds right up there? They're making a nest right outside this door. Watch out for them. Maybe there will be babies soon. 
Hi Mommy! I was wondering where you and A were. I saved us a spot, right here on the bus. I love riding the bus with you. I'm going to rest my head on your shoulder the whole way there. Did you see my friend sitting right in front of us? And that's another one of my friends. Remember? And behind us are more of my friends. I'm glad you get to meet them.
Mommy, are you going to be in our group when we get to the Nature Center? I hope so. I think Lydia is in our group too. Here mom is right up there. Did you see her? We're here! We're finally here! That was the longest bus ride ever (5 minutes). 
Good thing we wore our rain boots today, Mommy. It's pretty muddy. Do you see that goose over there? That's a living thing. But this dock we're on, it's non-living. And the metal wire right here? That was never living. Ooo! I see a dead fish! Mom! Ashton and I see a dead fish in the water. Do you see it? It was once living, but isn't anymore. So now it's non-living. 
Look! I found a snail shell! It's non-living. But was the snail inside of it living? I found it right here. I almost dropped it in the water, but I didn't. Can I bring it home? Why? But I really want to. Pu-leeez? Why? Oh, alright. I found it right here on the post. No! You can't bring it home. Because my mom said you have to leave it here.
No, I don't remember being here with you, Mommy. When did we come? Do we have pictures of us being here? I'll have to look at them. I'm going to hold your hand again. Because I love you. So much.
Wait! Wait for me! I'm trying to catch up. Look at this stick! I want to hold the worm. Who has the worm? I want to hold it!'s slimy. And wiggly. Here, Lydia. You hold it. This tree is decomposing. It's pretty big! It's raining. I'm hungry. Do you have any food? When is lunch? Where are we eating lunch?
Did you see the little baby turtle, Mommy? It was just this big. Like a quarter. It was only 2 days old! Did you know the 5 year old turtle was the same age as me? Did you know it was a girl turtle because it had a smooth tummy?
Mommy, are you staying for lunch? Oh. I know, but I thought you were staying. That's ok though. I'll sit with my friends. Thank you, Mommy, for coming on the field trip with us. I loved having you with us. I wish you could spend the whole day with us at school. See you when we get home!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Amazing Race

I'm still up. Surprised? Me either. Because I was catching up on TV on our DVR. Love my DVR, but that's not what this is about. This post is about The Amazing Race. I LOVE THAT SHOW! Whenever J and I watch it together I always tell him I'm going to figure out a way to get us on. I can't imagine anyone else I'd rather "run the race" with than him. His reaction...usually laughter. :)

The thing I'd love most about the race is traveling to all of the different places in the world. Perhaps we'd only make it to the first stop, but that would be ok too. I think it would be just amazing to be in places I wouldn't have otherwise traveled to (most likely). The episode I just watched tonight had the castle that inspired the Sleeping Beauty castle as one of their clue places. How cool is that?!

I also love watching the people in the country they're visiting. I watch them in the background or as they're trying to teach the contestants to do something. They always seem so happy and curious as to what the Amazing Race people are doing. I know I wouldn't have much time to connect with those people, but just to see them and be a part of their culture would be an experience in itself.

I'm not sure that we'll ever get on the race. Probably not. I'm sure there are thousands of other people thinking the same thing; that they would want to run the race too. But a girl can dream, right? Right.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Another first

Just when you think you've had all of the "firsts" a kid could have, another one comes along. This time it was a first with a friend.

In our neighborhood there aren't many kids are lots of kids, just not on our block. When you're five, the block is about the only place you can go. Living where we live (square city blocks), it's a bit daunting to send your 5 year olds down the street to the next block. I'm not ready for that yet (will I ever be?). So really, there are no kids on our block that go to school with our kids. But, on the ally we share with the next block over, there is one kid who has been playing with our kids since they were 2 or 3. His name is Timothy. I always thought it was a bit odd that a kid 5 years older than ours would want to play with A & C. I get it now. He doesn't have anyone else to play with either! Because of the nice weather, our kids have been out and he comes around to see what they're up to. Play time ensues and I couldn't be happier. Like yesterday.

We got home from church and the kids went outside immediately. Why wouldn't you on an 80 degree day?! (The average here is 40 for this time of year...CRAZY!) Hooting and hollering with each other, riding their bikes up and down the ally, drawing pictures on the driveway...and here comes Timothy.

"Hi, Timothy! Want to ride bikes?"

That "sure" turned into 5 hours of non-stop playing between A, C & Timothy. Love it! They rode bikes, hitched up the wagon to Timothy's bike, played catch in the backyard, played on the swing set, rode bikes some more, played soccer, had a popsicle, rode bikes around the block (are you sensing a theme here?), changed into tank tops, played with balls while on the swing set, played with Moon Sand and rode bikes some more. Whew! Are you tired? Because I am. Kids have more energy...and I only wish I had half as much as they did!

We took a little field trip to Dairy Queen in-between all of the playing...
I'm so thankful our kids had this kind of a day. That's what being a kid is all about-disappearing outside to play with friends. C got into the car this morning and said, "Mommy? Yesterday was the best day in my whole life! You know why? Because we got to play with a neighbor for the entire day! The whole day! It was like he was a part of our family. Wasn't it fun, A?" And that, my friends, is "from the mouths of babes." I hope you have the best day ever sometime soon when you get to play with a friend for the entire day!

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Sleeping is a great thing. I love sleeping. I used to be a morning person before I had kids. Now I'm a night person, so I thoroughly enjoy sleeping in on weekend mornings. Sleeping is also something I love watching my kids do.

My kids have always been great sleepers. You know the type-babies that take 2 great naps plus sleep 12 hours a night. Then move into one great nap (2-3 hours) in the toddler stage, still sleeping through the night. And now, sleeping for 10-12 hours a night (depending on when we get to bed). The thing is, A will still take a nap when given the chance, which happens only on the weekends. These are few and far between-probably once a month for her-definitely needed when it happens!

A few weeks back a rarity happened: BOTH kids took a nap on a Saturday afternoon! Crazy! C has not taken a nap in a long while. I mean a long, long while. He was the kid that stopped napping consistently at age 2. It was spotty at best. In the last few years I bet I can count, on one hand, the number of times he has napped. But it happened. And I couldn't resist taking a picture of each of them. You never know how many more of those there will be.

But then, I went back to pictures I had taken of them sleeping when they were little and still cannot believe just how much is the same about them when they sleep now-at age 5-and then-at age 1 day. Really neat to look back as a parent and be able to see the similarities. Especially with A.
A at hours old 2006
A at 5 1/2 years old
C at hours old in 2006
C at 5 1/2 years old

I don't think that will ever go away-loving to watch your kids sleep. As Todd Parr says in The Daddy Book, "All daddies love to watch you sleep." And The Mommy Book, "All mommies love to watch you sleep." It's true!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

6 word stories

I am inspired by my husband and his 6 word stories he posted yesterday. It's late and seems like a good place to start. Hopefully it'll give you a little insight to my day today. Enjoy!

New technology all morning is overwhelming.
Sunshine makes me smile after school.
Bike riding down ally all afternoon.
Eating malts before dinner; nothing better.
Basketball players try hard to win.

What is your 6 word story for today?

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


...Funny what you find "in the archives" when you go back to look at posts you started on but never finished. Has that ever happened to you? It just did for me and I found 17 unfinished posts! It goes back to me wanting my writing to be perfect with all of the right pictures to tell the story. I hope you enjoy this post, started last June, of my son and his t-ball experience!
Batting helmet on? Bat in hand? Standing by the "T?" Eye on the ball? (Standing a bit to close to the t, but that's ok...just looking for coaches help.) Ready? Swing! Run, C, run! Ok, he made it. Next batter. The ball is hit. C runs still stands on the base looking at who-knows-what. Kid steps on the base with him. Run, C, run! He made it to second. Same routine for getting to third and finally to home. But, if you're the last batter that inning, where every single person on the team bats, you get to run a home run! C got to do that this week and he knew just what to do!

It's been a lot of fun watching C play t-ball this year. By chance he had two of his friends from school on his team, too! One of his very good friends at that! He's learned how to throw the ball, run the bases, play different positions-his favorites being pitcher and first base because he got to throw the ball a lot and catcher, too, because of the equipment he got to wear. We hope you enjoy this look at C during his first year in t-ball.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Breakfast for Dinner

"What's for dinner?" Ugh.
"Yeah, Mommy! What's for dinner?" Ugh.
The dreaded question. My go-to? Breakfast. Everyone loves breakfast!
Fast. Easy. Delicious.

Breakfast for dinner happens about once a week at our house. We all love breakfast for dinner. Sometimes it consists of cereal. Sometimes it is pancakes. Sometimes French toast. Eggies are also a staple in our house as are with toast, bagels and English muffins. Breakfast is for everyone!
Tonight, chocolate chip pancakes. My favorite! Shh...don't tell anyone. I would choose chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast every day if I could. My kids would too. Making something like this is the best because it keeps everyone happy; puts a smile on our faces (not J's, but 3 of 4 isn't bad).

As we're finishing up with dinner, I'm cleaning up the kitchen and I feel little arms come and wrap around my leg (LOVE THAT!). It's C..."Thanks so much, Mommy, for making dinner. I love you!" It's the best ending to a day that any mom could ever ask for.

Monday, March 12, 2012


Embarking on a writing challenge like this one during the month of March is just that: a challenge. I like a challenge. Especially one that benefits me in the long run. Not really visibly on the outside to anyone else, but internally it benefits me. Why? Because I get to reflect. On big things. On little things. On life. On my kids. On my husband. On anything.

My favorite to reflect on? The little things. Why? Because we NEVER get to take the time to do that. Ever. Think about it! When was the last time you thought about what went into sidewalk art? What you had for breakfast? Being sick? Right. Not very often.

I'm not saying that I really want to write about the everyday things every day. Don't get me wrong. I love writing about the big things. I love writing about the exciting things. I love writing about the really good things in life. But here's the problem: with me, that kind of writing has to be "perfect."

That's the challenge for me. To not make all of my writing "perfect." I know there are many people who blog the day before or days before or maybe even work on a post weeks ahead of time, but I'm not that kind of writer. I never really have been. So for me, it is hard to get something written when I know it might not carry the voice or message that I want it to. That's why sometimes (not this month) I end up not writing a post for a week or more.

The biggest downside to this for me is that when there is a big thing that has happened in life like Christmas, a big family trip, or a wedding, I don't always write like I hope to. For example, I've written about our trip to Disney World but I haven't written about the entire trip-only days 1, 2 and the beginning of day 3. This is one of those times where I tried to remember EVERYTHING we did and things people said during the trip. But guess what. That didn't work because I still sit here, and still haven't written about the rest of the trip. Ugh!

As I continue through the rest of this month and the challenge of writing every day, here are some goals I have for myself: finish writing about Disney (yes!), write about the everyday things, keep a list of what I want to write about (that's another problem-being overwhelmed with all of the ideas) , and to NOT WORRY about my writing being perfect. That's it-only 4 goals-all attainable. I know they are. So I will keep writing and writing and writing!

And thanks again, Stacey, for bringing this up as a topic of writing. It is oh-so-good to reflect!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A garden in our driveway

"Oh Mommy, will you come outside with me to do chalk?"
"Sure! What would you like to draw?"
"Ummm...a garden! I want to turn the whole driveway into a garden."
"The whole thing?"
"Yup. The whole thing."
"Well, we can try."

--trots outside--

"See. We can make this the sky (draws the sky at one end of the driveway). And then the garden can be down here (goes to the other end of the driveway)."
"Can I draw birds and butterflies too?"
"Oh sure. Good idea, Mommy. What color is the bird going to be?"
"Well, how about blue?"
"Ok, but it'll have a purple head. Is that ok?"
"Of course."

There is now a garden growing on the driveway.
And birds and butterflies flying together through the sky.
And our family portrait is just outside our door. In the perfect of places.
Thank goodness spring is starting to show its face around here!