Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Because I'm happy!

Oh my goodness!  Have you ever looked up and realized you are perfectly happy?  And then promptly freaked out because something is surely about to go horribly wrong????  Yes, I guess I am a pessimist, but right now I am ridiculously happy!

The kids are in school and doing well.  Luke and George love soccer.  Evie has joined choir and loves it.  She has a best friend here named Kelsey.  Luke and George have friends too.  Evie has straight As.  Luke has As and Bs.  I have no idea what G's grades are yet.

The house is beautiful.  The weather is currently beautiful.  Everyone is healthy and happy.  I just can't stand how wonderful it is.  And now we have this new sweet puppy added to our family.  I am beyond happy.  He's my birthday present and he's all mine.  So far, we think we've decided on the name Francis (aka Frank).  He's a chiweenie and he's approximately 10 weeks old.  He's ridiculously cute, which is a good thing since he's still having accidents in the house.

The pets are starting to get used to him, but the rest of them are all old or cranky so there's a lot of hissing and growling when the puppy gets too rambunctious!


As for me, I'm in love!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Double Digits!

And time continues to fly by.  My sweet little baby girl turned 10 two days ago.  How is that even possible????  Craziness.  She's grown up so much and she is so funny and smart.  I can't stand how awesome she is.  She didn't have a party because, well, it's hard to do that when all of her close friends are in Fort Worth and not here in our new surroundings.  Lucky for her, we overcompensated. We surprised her on Sunday after church with a special present - a new American Girl doll named Maryellen and a matching dress.  After that, we took her (and the boys) to the American Girl store and bistro.  She loved it! And she loved the food (which is maybe more surprising!)

The boys, however, were less than thrilled.  George was especially put out, but warmed up after awhile.

The next day we had dinner after soccer practice at the local hibachi place and then we came home to open more presents!  Yes, we spoiled her pink!






Thursday, September 10, 2015

What's that smell?

It's the strangest sensation to walk my children to school and be taken back in time to the days when I was going to school here.  I feel like I've been transported in time like one of those movies - Peggy Sue Got Married or whatever other movie does that sort of thing.  The smell of the cut grass carried through the humid air and baking under the hot sun is the most peculiar yet distinct scent and it takes me back to days on the practice fields behind my school where I practiced drill team routines for hours, getting ready for the Friday night game.


I'll admit that high school isn't something I talk about a lot.  I mean, the people who talk about high school are promptly met with a badly sung rendition of "Glory Days" in most cases.  But, I'm not talking about high school, but more the undeniable scent of my hometown.  It's amazing.  I don't think I even knew it had a scent until I came back and smelled it.  Of course, I could do without the tinge of cow manure, but I guess it wouldn't be the same without it. And the farms are close. In fact, this is a picture of a "farm" just outside our neighborhood.


There's a Friday night football game this week at the high school Luke is going to attend, and I'm tempted to go and unleash a flood of memories.  What do you think? Should I do it?

I'll tell you that it will never be the same.  That old saying, "You can never go home" is absolutely correct.  Often times I look around this place and feel like I've been transported through time just like Back to the Future: Part II.  It's really weird.  I really am in 2015 and returning to my hometown in the future.  I'll say it again: It's really weird.  Luckily, my hometown isn't quite the mess that Hill Valley is in the movie, but there are new stores built up all over, and old, foundational stores and restaurants that are shut down.  I can't describe the sensation.

Just to add some color to this post, here we are walking home from school!



Saturday, September 5, 2015

Oh the joys of parenthood! And I'm serious this time.

There are some moments of parenthood that you simply cannot possibly recreate and when they happen you will never ever forget them.  One such event happened this week and it was an absolutely precious doozy!

I had sent the kids up to bed and then Luke showed up downstairs.  I put on my mean-mom-face and asked, "What are you doing?"

He responded, "Uh, I was going to bed, but Evie is upstairs crying."

Of course, I asked why and he told me what had happened. Although I was skeptical, I went on up just to see for myself, and this is what I saw...


If you're a girl, I promise this has happened to you at some point in your life.  And if not, then please don't mention it and so the rest of all of us mortals won't feel bad about our inadequacies.  This definitely happened to me, but (embarrassingly) it happened after I was married but before I had kids.  I'm ashamed to admit that I was probably 20 years old when I tangled my hair up in a brush.  I've officially dubbed this incident the "Comb Catastrophe."  Pure awesomeness!

I convinced her (while I suppressed my laughter) that we should take a picture so that she could laugh about it afterward.  I'm not sure how I got her to agree to this through the tears and embarrassment, but she did, so I took that awesome picture.  Definitely winning Mother of the Year for this one! And then I spent the next ten minutes gently unwinding and untangling her hair from a pink comb.  I asked her why she had felt the need to comb her hair in bed when she was supposed to be sleeping.  Of course, she gave me a completely reasonable answer (one that I would have probably given when I was a kid) by just shrugging her shoulders and saying, "Because I wanted to."  She was patient and sweet.  And I was finally able to get her to stop crying when I explained that she should have come to me as soon as it got tangled so I could help her.  After all, this is my job as her mother.  I mean, really!  This is the shit I actually pictured myself doing when I thought about becoming a parent.  I'll admit there was a lot of stuff I would have never expected, but this was actually on my list for taking care of a little girl!  I also used this as a bigger teachable moment.  The point is that she has to be able to come to me with all of her problems even when they are embarrassing or when she thinks she's going to get in trouble.  I really emphasized this to her, jumping all the way into the future for examples such as when she wrecks the car, or she gets in trouble at school.  It was one of those parenting moments that felt like an after school special or a Punky Brewster episode.  It was awesome. And eventually, I freed all the hair from the comb and she looked like this.


And after some gentle brushing, all evidence of the Comb Catastrophe had disappeared.


She is awesome!  She has allowed me to fulfill one of my expectations of motherhood.  What a blessing she is.  Now let's hope she calls me when she gets arrested!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Impressed

Tonight when I was tucking in my little angels/devils, the kids asked me to sing.  To be honest, I'm not a great singer, but I'm okay.  Chuck likes to make fun of my key changes, but whatever.  I can hold my own at church anyway. So I decided to tackle Somewhere Over the Rainbow with my mediocre voice and vocal range. Yeah, I'm awesome.

Anyway, this is totally not the point of this story so I'll get on with it. George wanted a different song (no surprise there).  I asked him what he wanted to hear and Evie had come into the room to listen too.  He said they heard a new song in music today.  He sang me a song about seesaws yesterday, so I was interested to hear today's song.  He mentioned a song called Sing, Sing, Sing and Evie got all excited because apparently she had heard it to.

She started to explain, "Mom!  It's called Sing, Sing, Sing and it's on YouTube."

George interrupted to say, "it's by Louis Prima."  Needless to say, my head whipped around to face him with shock in my eyes.

I asked incredulously, "You know who sings the song?!"

Evie piped in again, "He doesn't sing it; it's all instrumentals."  My head whipped back to her as my mind processed the fact that she had just used the word "instrumentals".  I mean, seriously, I'm really impressed.  Can't wait to meet this music teacher!

The kids suggested that I Google "Sing, Sing, Sing by Louis Prima" so that I could hear the song.  Of course, it was the second thing I did after they went to bed (first on the list was filling my empty wine glass).

So, here's what I found about Sing, Sing, Sing by Louis Prima!



Awake with Chickens

So, tonight is our first night in our new home.

It's weird.

Like, super duper weird.

G fell asleep first.

After warm milk, Evie fell asleep next.

Luke needed some lavender oil in addition to the warm milk, but it still took awhile for him to fall asleep.

I'm awake.  Dammit.

The pets are also awake.  Dammit.

And Chuck?  Yeah . . . definitely asleep.

The days are filled with unpacking boxes -- lots and lots of boxes.  At the end of each day my feet are killing me!  And I ordered some new tennis shoes last week, but I accidentally had them delivered to my old address.  Oops.  I guess I'll figure that out later today when the rest of the world is awake.

Until then, here's a pic of me at our new house.



And here is a picture of Luke at a new restaurant we discovered last weekend called Seasons Harvest Cafe.  It is literally out in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by cow pastures.  The family that runs it is totally granola, but I loved the food!  It was a bit weird when the chicken was wandering around our tables on the patio, and even weirder when the rooster chased down Luke and weirder still when I found George playing in the composite heap . . . seriously.  Still, I'd love to go back soon!  And I really love the genuine smile on Luke's face in this picture!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Dear Friend...

Remember my pen-pal in Alaska named Maxine?  Well, here's my letter to her (and to you!).

September 1, 2015

Dear Maxine,

Here I am writing this long-overdue letter to you from my mother’s home in Spring, Texas.  It may come as a surprise to you (mostly because I’m only just now telling you or because, like me, you never imagined that this could happen), but Chuck and I have relocated along with our three kids to Spring, Texas.  Did you gasp?  I did. Several times, in fact.  Isn’t it bizarre?  I have to admit that never in all my years of marriage did I ever foresee that we would live in Spring.  Of course, God has his own way of surprising us at every turn, so I don’t know why I’m continually taken aback by the twists and turns in life.

Of course, I guess you’re probably wondering what led us here.  Frankly, so am I, but when I think about it and tell people it all sounds quite reasonable and normal.  Nonetheless, it feels anything but normal in my shoes these days.  The process all began very late in the school year—maybe April or May.  Chuck was receiving calls from multiple headhunters and the opportunities just seemed to be falling in his lap.  It’s no secret that the last couple of years have been a bit rough and led to some drastic changes in our life plans and career plans.  Still, we were okay just chugging along in our Fort Worth home of over 10 years, but one opportunity was just too good to pass up.  So we took it!  Well, Chuck took it anyway. 

He was offered a position with a large bank to be in charge of something to do with all of their auto finance across the country (forgive me for my lack of specificity, but I still have no idea what he does on a day-to-day basis…it’s seriously above my head).  The catch was that bank's United States headquarters are located in Houston, Texas.  Specifically, near the Galleria if you know where that is.  Honestly, I’ve only been there a handful of times in my life and would have to get directions just to go have lunch with my husband!  Anyway, the bottom line is that he loves his new job.  It’s a huge culture change and very different from working in subprime auto finance as he had been for the last 15 years (although it can’t be too different since it’s obviously still auto finance overall).  Nonetheless, he’s embraced it and is quite complimentary of all his co-workers, which I think is lovely.  We are all very excited for him!

On the other hand, we all gave up quite a bit after 17 years of making Fort Worth our home.  I basically left all the social circles I had enjoyed over the years, including my friends from college, law school, the legal community, junior woman’s club, various charities, my book club, and all the kids’ schools.  In fact, some of our closest friends threw us the most amazing going-away party!  It was like saying goodbye to our family.

Moving wasn’t actually a difficult decision to make.  It was logical.  Chuck was offered a better job in a city where we would be closer to family and better able to provide for our family.  We would actually be selfish parents if we had turned down this amazing opportunity.  Lucky for us, things seemed to fall into place as soon as we made the decision.  Our house sold before it was really even on the market.  We found a house in Spring that fits our family perfectly and is in the right school district and is super close to my mother—the person our children adore and will feel most comfortable with.  And even though we aren’t quite in our house yet and school has started, my mother has generously invited us—all of us—into her home indefinitely. And just to be clear, “all of us” includes, my two dogs, two cats, two hermit crabs, one fish, three kids, one husband, and loads of suitcases and boxes that didn’t quite make it on the moving truck.  She’s a saint.  Period. Lucky for us, we move into our house today! 

At this point, we are still just waiting on our things to arrive and for some final finishing touches to be put on the house, but we are planning to sleep there tonight.  It really is quite beautiful.  I never imagined I would live in this neighborhood when I was growing up, so it’s kind of like achieving a childhood dream to live there.  Of course, I no longer look at everything with the eyes of an awed child anymore, so it’s different than I thought it would be in almost every way.  For example, when I was younger I never noticed how meticulous the landscaping was in this neighborhood.  As an adult, I’ve caught myself thinking, “How will I ever keep my yard looking as nice as all the neighbors??  How much does a landscaper cost?  How long will it take to mow this large yard with our tiny push-mower?”  I know it’s weird, but those are my thoughts.  So adult, right?  When did that happen?!

With all that said, we are loving the idea of having a “new” house.  The constant repairs and creaks in the 1942 Fort Worth house were no longer as quaint as I had perceived them to be ten years ago.  I’m ready for something that’s a little “newer” (as in built in 1993).  The windows in this house weren’t installed during World War II, and I’m very grateful for the advances in insulation, and an A/C system that wasn’t inefficiently retrofit into my house.  Plus, the kids each get their own room with a spare room available for guests.  We have a pool and a spa, a huge kitchen, and a three-car garage.  Huh.  I just realized how suburban I sound!  But, in all honesty, that’s what we have become—suburban. 

For years we rejected the Fort Worth suburbs, not because there is anything wrong with them, but rather because we loved being in the middle of everything—the zoo across the street, amazing museums and restaurants just minutes away, a well-established and award-winning elementary school in a tree-lined neighborhood, a hop skip and a jump from downtown, the art district, and the historic stockyards.  How could I possibly give all of that up? Not to mention all of our friends?

Sigh.

It was hard, and yet so easy at the same time.  It was the right decision for Chuck and our family, but we all miss it so much already.  We moved down here almost three weeks ago after we closed on our Fort Worth house.  We finally closed on our house in Spring last Monday—the same day the kids started school.  We are hoping to get settled this week.  The kids are ready for that, and so am I.  I’m hoping that once we are surrounded with our own junk, we will start to feel more at home and less like homeless vagabonds. 

I love that Chuck has so easily found a place at his new job, but the rest of us have to work a little harder to start a new life down here.  The kids all started at new schools—Luke in 6th and in middle school (gasp!), Evie and George in 4th and 1st respectively and attending a new elementary school just down the street from our new house.  We actually walk there!  They have already made friends, which is wonderful.  They are so resilient!

Now that we are here, I’m surrounded by all of my siblings.  (yes, they all live in some area in Houston, too)!  All five of them—Cathy, Joan, Mike, Mary, and Tom (and their respective spouses and children).  Oddly, I’ve seen or talked to all of them in the last few weeks.  It’s definitely a record since we aren’t in the midst of a major holiday.  At least there are positives to this move!

So, the real question is why haven’t I told you until now?

Well, I really don’t know.  Maybe I didn’t want it to be real. Maybe I thought it wouldn’t actually work out.  Maybe I’ve just been too busy to breathe.  Or maybe it’s a combination of all three and everything else in life that keeps us all busy running hither and thither.  But now you know.  Now it is real.  I live in Spring, Texas.  Again.  And in my sentimental moments I realize that I have returned home – where I grew up with my family, where I went to school, where my oldest friends live, where I lost my dad and healed my heart, where I planned my wedding to the love of my life, and funny enough, where I met you!  How could this be anything other than wonderful?!

All of that aside, I’m smart enough to recognize that my location in this state, this country, this planet, doesn’t mean anything in the grand scheme of my life.  The most important things and what defines my “home” are my husband and children—my family.  And how blessed am I to have them under the same roof with me—healthy and safe and loved?!

So, there it is.  That’s my crazy news, without all the crazy details of the move as it unfolded over the summer.  I probably should have recorded all the insanity that goes hand in hand with relocating a family of five, but between the whirlwind of activity and exhaustion, there was no way to accomplish such a feat. 

On the bright side, maybe I’ll remember to pick up a pen more often and send a letter.  And if I’m super lucky, maybe I’ll also remember to stamp the envelope and put it in the mail (truly the most difficult part for me – I can’t tell you how many letters I’ve written and never sent!).

In the mean time, I hope you are well and enjoyed the warmth of the summer! You are in my thoughts often and I’d love to hear how you are!

Much love always, 


Theresa

Friday, April 24, 2015

Wizard of Oz Trial

I know, I know, I know.  I can hear Emily's voice in my ear about how I haven't blogged.  I know. I know.

Anyway, there's a lot to share, but I'm super excited about one thing right now.


I was asked to coach a team of 5th grade lawyers for the elementary school's Wizard of Oz trial.  I'm beyond excited!!!!  The gist is that they have a trial where Dorothy is accused of killing the Wicked Witch.  I can't wait!!!

Here's a link to the article the local paper wrote about last year's trial at our school.

http://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/education/article3858794.html

The Wicked Witch was one of my friend's daughters.  Adorable!!!!

Sadly, Luke just wants to be a juror, but I get to work with some of his more motivated classmates.  So ridiculously excited!!!!

Oops!  Just realized I better read the book quick!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

George's First Tooth Goes to the Tooth Fairy!

George lost his first tooth yesterday!  I picked him up at the end of the day and when he opened his m mouth I could see the thing practically laying flat against his gums.  I'm not a big fan of teeth, but this one had to come out before he swallowed it!  So, he handed me the tissue that was in his hand and I reached in and popped it out with barely any effort at all.  He didn't even feel it come out because it was soooo loose!


He is officially grown up!


We were on the front steps of the school when I pulled it out so I insisted that we go into the nurse's office and get one of those little plastic treasure boxes to carry it home.  I'm certain we would have lost it otherwise.

When we got home, the first thing he did was put it in his Tooth Fairy pillow that he got for Christmas (I'm patting myself on the back for the perfect timing!).  For all the new moms out there, I highly recommend picking up one of these pillows.  The Tooth Fairy does not want to have to be digging in the dark under a huge pillow, lots of blankets, and a sleeping child to retrieve the tooth and place the cash.



When I went to bed, the kids were still awake, so obviously the Tooth Fairy hadn't arrived but when Chuck got home they were finally asleep.  He went to check on the Tooth Fairy pillow and low and behold, he found this note right under the pillow.




Here is what it says, just in case you can't read it.

To: Toothfairy
Could you please leave something for Evie and Luke, Too.
Please! 
from: Luke, Evie, and George 
This is the only thing to write on.
 
Can you believe the audacity of this kid, whose name is Evie?!  I mean, now, not only is the Tooth Fairy on the hook for paying for George's tooth, but she/he/whatever is also being asked to leave money for the toothless kid's siblings?  Uh, hell to the no.  And I know it was Evie because it is obviously her handwriting.  Yes, the Gold Digger.  What worries me most is that if she is willing to ask the mythical Tooth Fairy for money, is she also asking her friends' parents for money?  Heaven help me.  I certainly hope not!

Anyway, this brings up the question of money.  This was quite a discussion yesterday (before the Tooth Fairy received the greedy, money-grubbing note): What is the going rate that the Tooth Fairy is paying for teeth?  Have you heard how much kids are getting for these things?  It's ridiculous!  Some kids were saying that they got $20 and one kid got $100.  Are you kidding me?!  I think I got a quarter or two - maybe a dollar if I was lucky.  But one hundred effing dollars is outrageous!  I did a little research so we'd know what to expect George to have in his pillow when he woke up and most websites had a consensus of $5 as the average rate.  Here's a link to one that was posted on February 28th, which apparently is Tooth Fairy Day?  Did you know they have Tooth Fairy Day?  Yeah, me either.  http://www.kiplinger.com/article/spending/T065-C002-S003-how-much-money-should-the-tooth-fairy-give.html

Needless to say, the siblings didn't receive anything other than the response note shown below which reads, "Dear Luke, Evie, and George: I'm sorry, but I only bring money for baby teeth.  Love, Tooth Fairy"


So even though Luke and Evie don't get to double dip on the Tooth Fairy money, George pulled out a win with $3.00.  He was thrilled this morning!  And that's all that matters in this story!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

V-day 2015 (a little late!)

I don't think I posted my Valentine's Day pictures this year, because they suck.  No worries, I'm still willing to share my bad pictures with you!  Here are my three crazies.  I was pleased that they embraced red clothing at the very least.  But I guess kids will do anything if they thing it pays out in candy.


I know.  The picture is terrible with the lighting and all that, but I'm pretty sure you all know I'm rubbish at photography by now.


Here is my favorite part!!! Eeeek!  I can't get over how much these kids make me laugh without even trying!  Precious Luke had to decorate a shoe box for his Valentine's Day exchange.  Reminder: he's in 5th grade.  I asked him if he had finished it and he grunted, "Uh huh."  I low this is not enough to trust, so I asked him to show it to me.  He brought it over to the couch where I was lounging with a glass of wine and held it up in front of my face with a sigh of tween angsty annoyance . . .

. . . and then I spit out my wine and choked on my spit as I laughed out loud with no shame or ability to hid my amused reaction, because just take a look at this.


Can you read it?!  If you can't let me tell you what words my innocently sweet boy wrote on the top of his box.  "Free hugs" in a box on the top right corner.  In the bottom middle, there is an arrow pointing to the hole saying, "Valentine's Here." And then the coup de gras, another arrow pointing at the hole stating, "Lovers Only".  Oh, dear heavenly Lord, I just about died laughing.  And then I felt only a smidgen of guilt when he started to get embarrassed because Chuck had glanced over and was also cringing and laughing.  Poor kid.  Chuck made me apologize later and explain why I was laughing.  I really don't think he cared as much about me laughing at it as he was pissed when I told him he had to do it again without the words, "Lovers Only."

But honestly, even if his wording had been okay, I have to tell you that he just took a crumpled shoebox, cut a hole in the top and jotted these three things on the top.  What you can't see is that the shoebox isn't even covered in anything.  It's just an orange shoebox (I know it looks red, but it's not) with Nike logos and words on the side, including the red, reduced-price sticker, and description of the tennis shoes.

Okay, enough about that.  I just had to tell you how awesome it was when I saw it!


Snow Day 3

Let me just begin by saying that I'm soooo far behind with everything!  Heavens to Betsy!

Still, we had such a fun time enjoying the real snow last week.  It made for a ridiculous amount of chaos for the entire area, not just my household.  What a mess!  Just look at this traffic report from the middle of the day when everyone hit the roads in a panic and slid EVERYWHERE!



With that said, once we got home and settled, the kids had some fun in the snow and even enjoyed making snow angels!


Our friends Stephanie and Mike (also George's kinder teacher) even came and picked up all three kids and took them to a nearby hill to slide like crazy!  They had a blast and came back cold and worn out.  Love!

video

Even though I'm still trying to catch up after the snow, and we have more snow in our immediate forecast, I'm super thrilled that I got to spend this time with the kids.



My favorite thing that has come out of it is Evie's talent and desire to build and tend an amazing fire.  Love that girl.  She stokes the fire when needed, and adds a log at a time very carefully (with our supervision, of course, but she doesn't have to be told when the fire needs some tending).  Amazing girl!  Unfortunately, we've gone through an entire cord of wood this winter so we are going to have to get just a few more logs to get us through the bitter cold over the next two days.  I'll have to document her talent!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Birthday Song vs. Conception Song (yes, you read that right!)

Y'all, I am dying!!!!  It's been snowing all week.  Seriously, it snowed this morning and it's supposed to snow again tomorrow!  Anyway, because of that I turned on the TV to check the weather this morning when I got done dropping the kids at school.  I rarely turn on the TV during the day.  I'm usually too busy to mess with that stuff, but with all the crazy weather, everyone's schedule is jacked. Anyway, I ended up with Kelly & Michael (whatever that show is) in the background. They started talking about a website that will tell you the song that was the number one song the day you were born and the number one song when you were conceived.  I actually missed the beginning of the conversation, but it was pretty funny, so I used my handy-dandy DVR to rewind it and find out the website.  It's called Playback.fm.

Of course the website was completely jammed with traffic, but later I came back to my computer and it was up and running so I put in my birthday to great disappointment: Star Wars Theme Song/Cantina Song.  Ugh! Here's the link so you can hear it: http://youtu.be/WFcmuhTTqoY.  And it says my parents got romantic to a golden 70s song: You Don't Have to be a Star: http://youtu.be/-nb9jJg_wIU.

Then I checked out Chuck's song, because why not, right?  His was sad: Seasons in the Sun.  Remember that song?  If not, here you go.  I cringed when I heard it, but I also listened to the whole song whereas I turned my songs off immediately.  http://youtu.be/-tPcc1ftj8E.  And his parents got busy to My Love by Paul McCartney: http://youtu.be/vx5QxoWCG-I. Pretty sure I've never heard this song before.

Then I checked out Evie and I burst out laughing when her birthday song came up.  I'm not going to ruin the surprise, you'll just have to click HERE to find out how awesomely perfect this song is for her!!!  Y'all I'm just cracking up about this!!!!  I also think her "conception" song is funny too: Drop It Like Its Hot: http://youtu.be/GtUVQei3nX4.

As for Luke, he's cracking me up too!  His song is Yeah! by Usher.  I am loving this!!!  http://youtu.be/GsG1nHu1wxI.  And his "conception" song is Crazy In Love by Beyonce.  http://youtu.be/ViwtNLUqkMY.

George's birthday song is Single Ladies by Beyonce: http://youtu.be/4m1EFMoRFvY.  Not exactly the best song for my little Ginger, but maybe he will need to hear it as an adult when he fails to "put a ring on it".  And his "conception" song is Low by Flo Rida: http://youtu.be/ZLwvc5Qywzk.  What can I say? We like to get low. Suga' got low low low low low!

I hope y'all have as much fun with this as I did!


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Snow Days Part II

The boys are back at school and it has made all the difference!  Of course, my sick little Evie is still here.  She's coughing some and that really makes her throat hurt, but otherwise, she's as spunky as ever.  Excited to get her back to school tomorrow!  She's such a trooper.  Here she is right after receiving the doctor's diagnosis of strep throat and commentary of "Wow! That must really, really hurt!"  When the doctor says it must hurt, then it must hurt!



So glad she is on the mend!  I love this picture of her with her cat.  It's how we usually see her in the evening.  Love this girl!



In the mean time, I discovered that George took over 100 pictures of himself, his hands, the dogs, the floor, and whatever else on my phone.  Here is a small sample.




And then he insisted on posing for a few more.





And check this out, he's just about ready to lose his first tooth!  I felt it last night and it is super wiggly!  He's so excited to be grown up!

This morning it snowed, and it's all almost melted already, but with a 10:00 delayed start to school, the kids got to leisurely watch the snow come down and then have waffles and bacon for breakfast.  (No idea why I didn't cook anything yesterday, but this morning I was feeling very domestic!)



You might be wondering where Luke is.  Well, he's in bed or in front of the computer most of the time.  I'm so glad he's back at school.  He's super sweet, but has no motivation to do anything at all!  Even the novelty of snow wasn't worth getting out of bed for him.

As for me, I mentioned how thrilled I am that the kids are back in school.  Chuck has been out of town for 48 hours, so I was in need of adult conversation even though my sweet niece Amber is here to break up the monotony of the kids' bickering.  As for work, it's been rather slow this month.  I need to start back with my advertising so that I can find more people to help!  

And sadly, these are the only snow pictures I took.  Luckily I'll have another chance since there is snow in the forecast for the next two days!




Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Snow Days 2015

Let me go ahead and explain to you that after four days of no school (2 from the weekend and 2 during the week), I am ready to lock my children out of the house.  I mean it.  Unfortunately, Luke has a sinus infection (likely from allergies), Evie has strep throat, and George is just too annoying and will start crying immediately if I even mention the prospect.

To top it off, the house is a wreck, and I've watched more kids movies than I can possibly list off for you.  Currently I'm watching a Disney original movie called "Bad Hair Day."  yes, that's the title, and yes, that is a movie and not a TV show.  It is really not good.  Not good.

Help me!!!

I'm trapped and looking at another day of snow!!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Lenten Choices

So it is Ash Wednesday, and being a Catholic (not particularly devout), I plan to do something extra or give something up.  I've done several things over the years, and have gotten more serious about my commitments over the years.  Sometimes I fail, sometimes I do great.

Last year I gave up meat.  It was HARD!  Like, really, really haaaarrrrdddd!  But, I did it with only two or three flubs.  Up to that time, I had only ever given up meat on Fridays (and Ash Wednesday) during Lent, and that was hard enough to remember.  Oddly, I think giving up meat completely during Lent was much easier to remember because it was a daily commitment, but it made me think about what I was doing and why I was making the sacrifice much more during that time.  Three times a day, to be exact.  The first time I flubbed last year was when we were out at an event and they were offering free pizza.  I gladly helped myself to a piece, ate it contentedly and didn't even realize I had messed up until later that evening when I was deciding on dinner.  Still, I would say that my sacrifice was much more impactful on my life and made a big difference.

A couple years before that, I decided to give up mainstream music a few years in a row and only listen to Christian music. This was also pretty darn difficult because (1) I don't particularly care for most Christian music; and (2) I used to listen to music all day long when I worked at my desk at the old law firm.  Of course, I discovered a lot of new music and even decided that I liked some of it.  To this day, I keep one of my presets in my car on a Christian radio station and Luke even asks to listen to it sometimes.  I consider that a pretty good thing. (And I should give credit to my sister Cathy, because she did this when I was a teenager and I remember scoffing in disgust).

When I was in high school one year, my mom and I (we lived alone at this point) said the rosary every night together.  It was memorable because, well, I remember it.  But I didn't do it by choice so it wasn't as impactful as the two choices I mentioned above.

So, this year I've been trying to decide what to do again.  I really, really enjoyed the meaningfulness of giving up meat last year.  And I've been toying with the idea of doing it again this year, but I have soooooo many darn events that I'm going to that it seams like I'd be a drag and maybe even insulting if I showed up and didn't eat what was served.  For example, we are having book club at my house this week and my friend is catering it - actually, now that I think about it, it will be Friday anyway so I can't eat the meat anyway.  Moving on, we are signed up for a wine dinner this weekend and two of the courses have meat.  I don't want to waste the food. (Lame excuse?)  But the most concerning one is actually during Spring Break.  We have been invited to spend Spring Break at a beach house with my brother and sister-in-law (yes, they are awesome!), and the menu consists of meat for every meal. Of course, this is exactly what I would have planned if I had made the menu during the year, so I'm not complaining at all.  But, if I give up meat, what do I say to them during that week when they are hosting me and my sweet family?  Chuck pointed out that the entire purpose is to make sacrifices like these even when it isn't easy to do so.

I've considered giving up wine, but ugh... I've done that three times in my life for my children, and I'm not particularly interested in subjecting anyone to the crankiness that would ensue from such a sacrifice.  Coffee?  Not a chance; let's get real.  Sweets?  I don't eat enough to make it a real sacrifice.  Carbs? Not if I want to continue exercising.  Restaurants?  Actually this would be good, but is it actually feasible with our lifestyle? Probably not. My mom suggested pizza, but I realized this is probably going to be a staple for my family on Fridays when we can't eat meat and my kids don't eat fish.  Of course, macaroni and cheese is always an option.  My sweet sister-in-law and her whole family gave up fried foods last year.  That would be a great idea, but it turns out I don't even realized when I'm eating fried foods.  Did you know that donuts are fried?  Am I an idiot?  A lot of people give up Facebook, but that's actually a very important part of my legal business, so that's a no-go.  What else?

So, after all that searching, I still think the "no meat" thing is an option, but I've been trying to come up with things that are more like taking on something new - like the Christian music thing.  So here are some of my ideas.

  1. 40 miles in 40 days.  This would be good because I really do hate running and I try to put it off all the time.  If I committed to this, it would mean that I would have to run even when it wasn't convenient.  And perhaps I could use that time (which is only 15 minutes max for a mile run) to pray instead of listening to blaring music. 
  2. 40 Bags in 40 Days.  This is actually a "thing".  One of my FB friends (shout out to Angela here!) posted this and it sounds awesome, but it also sounds way, way, way too time consuming.  It would be great to declutter like this - and I'm the first to admit that we need to declutter - but yikes.  That's a lot to add to an already crazy schedule.
  3. Pray the Rosary Every Day.  Harkening back to my teenage years, obviously.  But maybe it would mean more now that I'm an adult and making the choice on my own?  Time consuming? Not too bad.
  4. The Little Black Book.  I've been doing this for several years, ever since our church started providing it each Lent.  I LOVE it.  I highly encourage anyone interested to order one of these. It's a little book that guides you through 6 minutes of prayer a day.  That's it.  Only 6 minutes.  I can and will do that.  This is already on my list.  My black book is in hand. But it just isn't quite enough for me, so I need something more.
  5. The Reverse Lent Challenge. This one came across on FB this morning and I'm in love with it! Seriously, it's great.  You buy 40 notecards and 40 stamps and send 40 handwritten notes during the season to just about anyone with an encouraging message inside.  I think this would be a fabulous choice, and I'm almost fully committed except for one thing.  I'm terrible at getting things in the mail.  This is not a joke.  I have a pen pal (I've written about her before HERE), but she usually receives her Christmas present in July because I'm so bad about getting things in the mail.  Of course, maybe this would be a great time to remedy that ailment.
So, what do y'all think?  I have to start today.

And for a little happy viewing pleasure - Check out this story about a man who is 109 years old and makes sweaters for penguins. That stuff is seriously cute!








Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tweening

Came across this article about Tween boys and thought I'd give it a read. It's pretty good, but I don't think it will solve all my issues with Luke. At least it's a start!

Five Things Tween Boys Want From Their Moms:

Monday, February 9, 2015

What a weekend!

Seriously, we are exhausted after a long weekend like this!

We started out with Thursday night hibachi in Dallas (we're talking an hour and 15 minute drive one way) to celebrate Evie's best friend's birthday.  We had soooo much fun!  But the kids were exhausted by the time we got home (even though Evie spent the night with her sweet friend)!



The next day, the kids didn't have school, so I dragged them around with me for various client matters.  They are still amazed that people pay me to talk on the phone.  Blown away.  Of course, if I showed them my student loans, maybe they'd be less impressed.

I actually had to go by a funeral home and cemetery to pick up a refund check for one of my elderly clients.  The boys were fascinated.  They even asked to drive around the cemetery to look at the graves.  Interesting kids I'm raising.

Then I grabbed Luke's best friend Gabe and we spent the rest of the day just hanging out.  I have to admit that I was thrilled when we scheduled a last minute dinner with George's Kindergarten teacher and her hubby.  We enjoyed wine, company, and dinner out, while my ridiculously generous niece (Amber) stayed home with FIVE kids.  Luckily they are all old enough to really take care of themselves these days.  I love it!

The next morning we started bright and early at the Fort Worth Stock Show Syndicate breakfast and stock sale.  This is where they sell all the livestock that competed at the show.  The Grand Champion steer went for $240K.  Yes, that's amazing!  And it all goes to scholarships.  Craziness!  We met up with our friends Donna and Mike and spent the morning drinking Mimosas, Bloody Marys, and beer.



It's always fun, but I was glad we kept it under control because I had to run in a hundred different directions when we left at 11:15.  I grabbed Gabe and took him home.  Then I took Evie to Lira's actual birthday party at a skating rink and took the boys with me to run errands.

That afternoon, Luke started to feel bad - sore throat and fever, but you know I didn't let that get in the way of our plans!  We had to go to a masquerade party that night and one of George's friends was coming over for a playdate (while his parents had an actual date).  Chuck and I had a great time at this JWC event.  We both had to have masks, but we couldn't find anything at Party City that looked right on Chuck until I suggested a Batman mask.  I freaking love it, but of course, I can't find a picture.  Instead, here's a picture of me with most of the ladies on my Executive Committee.  I love these girls and was sad that two of them weren't able to be there!



I'm sure I lost the picture of me and Chuck because we got a call from Amber that night that Luke was throwing up.  High fever.  We rushed home, but he was already asleep by the time we got there.  Poor Amber had a shitty night.  I owe her big!  The next day, we skipped church and I took Luke to the doctor where he confirmed that the poor guy has strep throat.  Look how sad he was.  He napped all day and fell asleep with the light on while the other kids were taking baths last night.  I've never seen him sleep like this.  It really hit him hard!



I went to the store to get his prescriptions and do the grocery shopping, but after I loaded all the groceries (including popsicles for the sickie) in the back of my car, I closed the door and belatedly realized that I had left my keys in the trunk.  Let me tell you that I was having a shitty day myself.  Thank goodness AAA came to the rescue about 30 minutes later, and the popsicles were salvageable when I got home.  Still, the rest of the day, I spent on the couch doing laundry and nursing my poor little guy.  I was done going out.


Today I'm home with my kid except when I have to go up to the school to deliver cookies for the Kindergarten 100th Day of School celebration.  Here's George in his shirt - it has 100 Legos.  (Oh yeah, I did that yesterday too).



So really, it was quite a weekend!






Friday, February 6, 2015

Tween Hormone Attack

The tween hormones at my house are annoying and sometimes infuriating.  I don't understand this very strange phenomenon, but for about a year, the signs of angsty frustration have been slowly emerging through sighs and rolled eyes.  I can't stand it.  And the worst part is that I can't get him to stop being so full of it.  I've tried yelling, guilting, ignoring, punishing, etc.  Nothing works.  He just sighs louder, shrugs his shoulders deeper, mopes longer, and hangs his head lower with an irritated frown on his face.  You might ask, what I am doing that causes such a pronounced reaction? Well, just about anything that isn't related to Mine Craft or getting his way.  In fact, here are a list of things that have led to a foot-stomping episode of angst:

  • Asking him to brush his teeth
  • Asking him to fill my wine glass (okay, sure, I can see how this might be annoying, but I make him dinner and breakfast every darn day!)
  • Telling him to practice piano
  • Asking him if he has homework
  • Asking him to do his homework
  • Telling him to bathe (especially if he has bathed earlier in the week - God forbid!)
  • Telling him to change his clothes
This is just to name a few, and even after I tell him to do something, it doesn't mean he actually does it.  For example, I found this on the bathroom floor after I forced him to shower.  

Red plaid, blue plaid, gray Hanes.

Look closely.  You should be able to clearly see three pairs of underwear layered neatly over probably a three-day period, thus proving that he didn't shower for at least three days and he failed to change his underwear each morning for at least three days.  WTF?  

So, yesterday, he was pouting after I told him he had to practice piano this week.  He's been slacking for a while and actually announced he is ready to quit.  Chuck won't allow it.  I'm sick of dealing with it and sweet-talking, coercing, and bribing him to practice.  So, instead of arguing, I ignored him and forced him to go to Charming Charlie's with me and then to a little boutique store close by.  The misery on his face actually made me giddy.  I'm pretty sure this is wrong somehow, but I can't seem to muster any remorse.  Instead, I'm still chuckling over his pain.  If you think I'm a bad person, go ahead and keep those thoughts to yourself.  I'm going to relish this for a while - and especially every time he starts in with his hormonal attitudes.


So, today, I'm feeling lucky and blessed to have one little person in my life who still likes to snuggle and who has not been taken captive by raging hormones.  I'm soaking up every minute!