Thursday, July 31, 2008

Kudos to Amanda

I'm sure you've noticed that my look (actually, my blog's look) has changed. Someone with more skill and creativity than yours truly is responsible for the new look. Thanks so much, Amanda!!

New Mealtime Strategy

I looked at the clock today and realized it was fast approaching 2:00, and the girls had not yet eaten lunch. I warned them lunch needed to be eaten soon, which was met with an "I'm not hungry" from Shanan. Mind you, this is the girl that can out eat me at dinner if it's something she likes. At 1:55 I announced that it was lunchtime, and my girls dutifully arrived at the table. It was empty, and I was asked what was for lunch. I announced, "Today we're having air for lunch." "No, really, what's for lunch, Mom?" Again, I replied, "Air." Originally, I intended it as a joke, but after I thought about it, I decided to stick to my guns as there's been more grumbling & less gratitude at meals lately. Shanan says, "Okay, I'm done," and gets up from the table. "Nope, you need to sit down & eat air for at least 15 minutes," I say. "Who wants to pray?" Alyssa volunteers. Then I add, "If, at the end of your 15 minutes of air, you decide you'd like some leftovers from lunch yesterday, I'd be happy to warm it up for you." No takers, so far. They sit and pretend to eat, and Alyssa caves first. "Mom, can you warm up some macaroni for me?" Shanan was not far behind. No grumbles, and they both asked for seconds. And, besides warming leftovers in the microwave, no effort on my part. :) Smiles all around.

Funny Girls

I never would have/could have imagined having a houseful of girls. It's fun watching them grow up, and I'm grateful for the things they've taught me about being a girl. You'd think I'd already know, since I am a girl and all, but it seems I missed embracing my girliness. ;) Today, I got asked if they could use some of my undergarments. Hmmm...I consented. And the result, well, if they weren't my own undergarments, well, I'd post pics, but I just can't bring myself to do that. It seems hair scrunchies are the stuffer of choice; they didn't even seem to notice that the end result was a bit lumpy. ;) So today has been spent decked out in a variety of bras, slips, camisoles, hose, and nighties. Of course, they needed painted nails to complete the ensemble.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Done with Summer

For today, I feel the need to say, that I am done with summer. I love the sunshine, really I do. But I'm feeling all done with the Texas summer that I find myself in the midst of. I want to go outside and feel the cool breeze on my face. I want to haul all the children outside and while away the afternoon without sweating buckets. And dare I say will be good to start school again, challenging no doubt, but good for me and for them. So there, it's out...summer is great, and I was looking forward to it, but I'm so pumped for fall!

Birthday Boy

Okay, the post is belated, but I'm happy to say that the celebration was not. :) Saturday marked the 39th anniversary of Steve's birth. I have to say that I'm rather deficient in the area of planning birthday celebrations, or most any kind of celebration, for that matter. There's good reasons for that, but I'll not go into that right now. Father's Day was a non-event in our house due to a brand new baby. I told Steve that a brand-spanking new baby was his Father's Day present, and it was; she arrived 6 days prior, so I was up and about but certainly not party planning yet. However, I didn't think I'd get away with the same reasoning for his birthday. ;) Sooooo...what to do?? The boy is not easy to buy for. If he wants it, believes it's a valid purchase, and there's money for it, he gets it; I rarely am able to buy something for him that he really and truly likes that he wouldn't splurge for himself. Trust me; I've tried and failed. I enlisted the children's help. Alyssa's response: "Hmmm...he really loves computers, but he already has one of those!" No, I did not plant this response; she came up with it on her own.
Time was drawing nigh, and I just didn't know what to do. And then...a brilliant idea came upon me. I would just plan a day together. Steve loves to spend time together as a family, but he prefers to go out & "do" things as opposed to just lazing around together, although the "doing" should involve little to no money for maximum pleasure. ;) And here's the other crazy bit, although he loves to plan vacations, he really isn't into planning family night activities, date nights, or any of those little but equally important times that fit into the category of "quality time" together. With this in mind, the girls and I concocted a plan. We would pack a picnic lunch, get out the door early, and go to Wagon Wheel Park in Coppell for some hot Texas hiking. Although someone had clued me in that there are hiking trails at this park, I could honestly find no info online about this place, other than the address. Nonetheless, we had a plan. And, we remembered that the boy likes ice cream, actually I'm not sure there's a strong enough word to describe how he feels about ice cream. :) So, we did buy something that he doesn't often splurge on but has a great fondness for...Starbucks Java Chip ice cream...his two loves rolled into one - coffee and ice cream!
The day arrived, and the girls were good about not divulging details. They told him he needed to don shorts, t-shirt, and tennis shoes, and off we went. And we did have a great time together. In fact, Alyssa had been counting down for Steve's birthday as if it were her own. She was as excited or even more so about the events for the day. There was much sweat involved, although it was honestly quite pleasant in the shade. We saw a little wildlife - a chameleon that changed color before our eyes. And we just enjoyed each other's company. And I rejoiced in the fact that I could walk and talk without feeling short of breath; I think I was short of breath almost the entire pregnancy with Genna. Seriously, it started shortly after I found out I was pregnant, and it didn't get any better as she consumed more space. Fabulous hiking trip, all in all, ended after Genna pooped, and then pooped again, and I was out of diapers...she's a super-pooper!
We made haste to return home for a good scrub in the tub to lessen the chances of chiggers and poison ivy, followed by afternoon naps, ice cream and an attempt to go Babe's in Roanoke. Too late though...the wait was too long, so off we went to Southlake, ended up at Mi Chula's as Genna had a sudden urge to be DONE with the car, and finally to the summer concert in the town square. It might not have been spectacular, but based on the smile on his face, Steve enjoyed his birthday. :) Happy Birthday, Honey!!! May there be many, many more....

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Challenges & Frustrations

Okay, I feel the need to express that while I'm trying to get this perfect before I share it with others, I just don't think that's gonna happen. :) I'm still working to figure this out, but I think I should just go ahead & share while I work out the kinks. Otherwise, I'll have this nice blog all to myself until at least Christmas, and no one will actually have seen it. ;) Alas, I think I'll have to enlist a little assistance, too, because, as I told Alyssa yesterday, I'm really not as smart as I look! (And yes, it is debatable as to whether I even look smart!) So forgive my imperfections, of which there are many, while I work out things like how to imbed my cool scrapblog page in my blog so that it is the size that I want without distorting the images, and how to upload pics to my postings in the exact place that I want them. Can you tell I'm hoping someone will read my post & offer hints?? :) I'm sure that at least some of my friends are even smarter than they look!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Something to Smile About

This is kind of long, but these are a few things that highlight our week, in no particular order:

  1. Pretend Bandaids -- Sounds strange, huh? I mean, what would you do with paper & tape. Hmmm...let's see, maybe write a note to someone & tape it to the door?? Clearly, I'm not so original in my thinking. My children, on the other hand, can spend hours (and yes, I do mean hours) with paper and tape. Yes, I've often said that we should own stock in 3M. Today, Alyssa, who is going through a phase of high bandaid usage, appeared with numerous bandaids all over her. She announced that she had pretend bandaids, Shanan's idea and design apparently, but from more than a foot away, you wouldn't know they were pretend. They looked real -- a small square of paper secured with a piece of tape, one was complete with "blood" in the center. Voila' -- bandaids galore! Their ingenuity certainly made me smile
  2. Oreos -- I never ate Oreos when I was a kid, I mean never ate them. But somehow, my kids have been exposed to Oreos, and Alyssa, in particular, has extreme fondness for them. Oreos are one of those things that I put into the category of doughnuts, things that you might enjoy, even like a lot, but you should never get used to as a part of your daily diet because there's really no redeeming nutritional value in them. With that said, I will occasionally honor a request for them, such as a couple weeks ago when Alyssa came along with me to the grocery store after Genna was born & was really quite charming. Shortly after aquiring the Oreos, we had a social get-together at our friends, the Hargus' house for the 4th of July. I asked Alyssa if she'd like to bring her Oreos over & share them. She was a bit hesitant, to be honest, but she did agree. I praised her for her willingness to share her prized possession, and off we went with the Oreos. Upon leaving our friends' house, Alyssa sweetly inquired about the Oreos, because they were very near & dear to her. When Leslie broke the news to Alyssa that she thought the Oreos had arrived with another friend (Alyssa's best friend Zaynah), and had therefore sent the remaining Oreos home with them instead, Alyssa was in disbelief. Steve assured her that it would be okay; after all, Zaynah is her best friend, and it's nice to share with friends. And then, Alyssa's face fell, she covered her face with her hands, and sobbed. An award-wining performance for the audience that remained...she was heartbroken. And one week later...Leslie delivered a brand new package of Oreos to our doorstep today. Now that's something for Alyssa to smile about!

  3. Cuddles -- Last night, as my girls were giving me hugs & kisses before bed, Alyssa sweetly requested "cuddle time" with me today. Something so sweet about that, no demands, no yanking on me or incessantly asking for my attention while I'm obviously busy, just a simple request. Of course, her request spurred Shanan to do the same. The sweetness of the request made the honoring of it all the more pleasant!
  4. Friends -- The kind that no matter how much time has passed since you last had a chance to catch up, you just pick up where you left off. Amy, you will be missed, but when I think of you, I have something to smile about, because you are one of those friends! :) Your move is our loss, but there's a whole lot of people waiting in Indiana who'll be so glad we let you and your family go.
  5. Clean houses, or at least a clean upstairs -- I have to brag on my hubby today, because while I have done nothing except make breakfast and take care of Genna, he has decided to tackle the upstairs for the first time since Genna's birth. He may not clean often, but he's thorough when he does get around to it! Goodbye dustbunnies, for the day, at least. ;) Thank you, honey! Now, if we can just manage to mop the downstairs this weekend...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

On Change

Speaking of new beginnings, you can't have a new beginning without change. And I've been examining my own approach to change. In short...I'm resistant to it, even if it's something good, even if it's something I've hoped for, prayed for, strongly desired. And if it's something that I've wanted & pursued, I'm always shocked after the fact when I realize I'm having trouble adjusting to it. Take for example, the latest big change...from a family of four to a family of five, from two kids to three. Okay, I've devoted much mental energy to determining if and when would be the right time since Alyssa was born over five years ago. And now that the time is here, why does it surprise me that the change is difficult??

Well, for starters, I just realized that change is difficult for the simple reason that it requires adjustment. And my job description just changed. I wanted it to change, am happy that it changed, but change is change. My list of responsibilities didn't just get shorter; no, it just got longer. All good, but again, figuring out how to fit all of the old responsibilities in -- mom to Alyssa, mom to Shanan, wife to Steve, friend, sister, daughter, child of God, not to mention teacher, chef, chauffeur, housekeeper, get the idea--while adding mom to Genna, a newborn who is dependent on me for meeting all her needs, well, shouldn't I be forgiving of myself for the adjustment? I wouldn't have it any other way, and in no way am I discontent with where I am, but there are moments where it feels hard. As long as I forgive myself for feeling that sometimes, I can be content in the moment. Those hard times are balanced by moments of complete satisfaction with where I am, what I'm doing, who I'm becoming and who my children are, who they're becoming, and where our family is going. I'm not always sure what the path will look like today, but I know where we're heading.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

New Beginnings

New month, new baby, new blog. I've found myself increasingly intrigued by this concept of blogging. And so, I've decided to take the plunge, and try it out. Somehow, it feels high pressure. I mean, I have to figure out how to do it, and these days, my computer skills aren't exactly at the top of my resume. It requires different skills than cooking, cleaning, feeding, diaper changing, soothing fussy babies, and discipling children. Not only that, but I fight the urge to only do the things that I can be phenomenally good at. (And I was wondering where Shanan got that from??) Will my blog measure up to the others I've seen with cool design & layout, music, current pics, fun stuff, and deep thoughts?? Ahhhh...what difference does it make? This is a great opportunity to chronicle the daily happenings in our household, for us and for those we know & love but don't necessarily get to share daily life with. That's good enough reason to give it a whirl, right?'s to new beginnings!