Thursday, July 31, 2008

My Biggest Fan

The other day, Lydia said to me, "Mom, you're a pretty good singer." And even though I know I am far from it (my voice waivers and cracks all over the place as I sing along to the radio and I can't even seem to get the tune right when I rock my babies and sing to them...) Even though I know no one else in the world would ever venture to say such a thing to me, I'm grinning.

And, no. Not because I want to be a good singer.

Because I know someday my little girl will grow up and won't think I'm very cool. Because I know that one day she'll look at me and roll her eyes when I start belting along with the radio in my crazy see-saw voice. But at three years old, in her eyes, she gives me her vote of approval. And that makes my day.

Because right now, in this moment: she things I'm pretty good.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Stacks of Fabric VS Stacks of Laundry

Now, there's a no-brainer. Hit the fabric, of course.

Awww... Now that schools out for a few moments, I'm dreaming of all the projects I could get done. I'm pulling out the stacks of material again. Pouring through the second-hand decorating magazines. (Every summer I stock up on a large pile of decorating magazines at garage sales). Time to start creating. But where do I start? I really want to sew a couple of bags and maybe another baby carrier. And then there's scrapbooking. I'd love to get caught up (or at least put a start on) my kid's albums.

And then. And then, there's my house... It's so in need of a major overhaul- starting with my laundry room that erupted sometime in July and never really quit exploding. Here's a humbling admission: I started packing away "winter clothes" sometime in the spring... And never finished. So those things are kind of floating around my craft room (which happens to be right outside the laundry room) with no real home. Stuff em' in a box in the closet or just stick them back in the drawers? I guess at this point there's really no point in packing those things away, now is there? I have never been known for my efficiency, that's for sure.

But, I'm seriously feeling giddy with energy to get a move on some things around here- even the housework. Gasp! I know I have a limited time before the dreaded schedules start back up so I'm going to make the most of it. With ample time to sit around and read my book and enjoy the sun, too, of course. Haha, I'm a dreamer...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Last night of class for the summer!

Today, shortly after breakfast, I found my daughter consuming a green fun dip. Her lips were green, her tongue was green, and green sugar was spilled on the counter, the table, and the front of her shirt. Always good to get that sugar high in at nine in the morning. Puts a nice twist on the day. As she's quickly munching away she asks me, "Is this healthy for me?" Yah-huh, ya think? After that she wanted "some of those things that I saw way up high on that shelf." Hmmm. However, as my kids were heading to Grandma's for the day, I had to refuse for Grandma's sanity. You see, anything "way up high on that shelf" is generally not low in sugar content. It's the place where I store sprinkles, and chocolate chips and (best of all) my dark chocolate collection. You know, all the good stuff.

Tonight I have two exams... but I couldn't be happier because after the exams- I am done for nearly a month! Done with summer classes, finally. Done with probably the busiest semester I've had or will have. And I heard this week is supposed to be beautiful so I'm prepared to enjoy it to the fullest. AND. dum-dum-dummmm. After tonight I'm officially over halfway done with the LPN program!! Two more semesters to go.

Okay. I must finish studying. Can't get too excited because it's not over yet.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Construction Zone

You know... I really hate to ramble about gas prices so often... Because they are what they are. But I'm kind of annoyed at this one: Our street is being torn up (or the side of the street, I guess) for whatever reason. New something. I'm not really sure. That's beside the point. Yesterday afternoon when I put my baby up for a nap, a dump truck was parked right below her bedroom window. No one was in it, but it was running. Two and a half hours later when she awoke from her nap that very same dump truck was still unoccupied, still running. Um? I'm no rocket scientist but it doesn't take me too long to figure out these are our tax dollars paying for these trucks to run for hours on end. Are they really that hard to turn off?

Not to mention, I'll be glad when they're done. They woke Lydia & I up this morning with their beeping and rumbling at quarter to 7. There isn't coffee strong enough to keep me functioning this morning as I went to sleep well after midnight. Such is life. On the bright side of it all, it did keep Jack occupied for quite awhile yesterday afternoon. He stood in the porch and watched every thing, taking it all in for reinactment in the sandbox. Holes being dug, sand being hauled- it's a little boy's dream. Front row seats at a construction site. My girl, on the other hand, has as about as much interest as me. I'm just hoping I can get out of my driveway this morning.

Okay. Off to pour myself another cup of coffee. I think I really just need a nap.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

And the run is over. Whew.

Well, I'm still standing. Barely. The run went really well today- I felt pretty good the whole way. It wasn't until some time after I had finished, after I was all stretched out, and had sat down for awhile, then tried to stand up again that I felt it. My knee. My ankle. My arches. Ow! The kids thought it rather funny the way I was hobbling around the house, limping down the stairs, making funny faces with each step. I, on the other hand, was not quite as amused. But it's over and done! And I'm glad to say I finished. Only... I didn't get a t-shirt. Yet. Had to order it.

I found myself a little out of my element this morning. The last time I ran a race was in high school. So, needless to say, I was absorbing it all: the "miniature flat screen t.v.s" (as my husband called them) that seemed to be strapped to everyone's arms, the cute-chic running skirts that I can't ever imagine myself wearing, even the water stations threw me for a loop. I can't stand litering. It took some effort for me to just toss my cup on the ground. I knew there were people there to clean them up, but of all things, my thoughts were, "Ohhhh... I feel so bad just throwing this here." Duh.

Overall, it was a lot of fun. Quite the experience... and aches and pains aside... I'm pretty sure I'd do it again.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Here we go...

Ah... The crazy part of the week is over, the chocolate cake is all gone. In my defense, I didn't eat it all myself- although if I hadn't had help, I probably could have. Ooookay. Moving right along, now.

I'm looking forward to the next few days: L & J are going to spend the night at Grandma & Grandpas and Saturday morning Ryan and I are running the canal run. Let me just step back and compliment my husband for a few seconds here. He's never been a runner. He played basketball in high school, but only started running at the begining of April of this year. At the time he began, he was running 60 seconds/walking for 90. Three months later- he's running ten miles- and looking forward to the run Saturday. He lowered his heart rate by 25 beats per minute! So... don't say you can't run because you're "not a runner." I have to say... he surprised me and I'm quite proud of him. And the bonus: he got me back to running. I haven't run since we got married (closing in on 5 years, here).

I used to run cross country in high school, but I thought those days were long gone. Three babies in three years, busy with school, I had my excuses all lined up, ready to fire them out like defense weapons. In my mind I was like, running? You had to get interested in running? Yah, it's good for you, blah, blah, blah. But... Can't we just walk? Whose in a hurry, here? Yet, I knew that if he was running I had to get off the comfy couch and join him- as much as I wanted to sit on said couch and shout as he strolled out the door, "Yeah, you have fun, now. Running. I'm going to just sit here. I'll just be here, sitting when you return." Turns out my excuses were rather lame. Turns out, the more he talked about it the more I was interested. Turns out it's a terrific stress reliever from my prior excuses.

So. Hopefully we make it. And just so you know: We're not speedy. All we're looking for is to finish the run. And get a t-shirt. Hey. I want proof, okay?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Chocolate cake + studying = dangerous combination

  • It's Monday.
  • Again.
  • I'm in over my head.
  • Again.
  • This week is off to a bumpy start... is that a good or a bad sign?
  • Tried to take a little Sunday drive yesterday as we haven't done that since gas prices sky-rocketed
  • And... the van broke down.
  • yay
  • So it's in the shop
  • Both rear brakes are shot
  • We should be getting our stimulus check any day now, so I guess I know how we're going to be stimulating the economy... brakes & diapers & gas... Just in case I wasn't sure how to spend it all, you know. haha
  • I was going to try cutting out sugar today after I heard of Karen's success
  • And... then I baked a chocolate cake this morning.
  • oooohhh... it smells good.
  • My life is full of good intentions.
  • I'm looking forward to Friday
  • That's not good. I hate waiting for Friday when it's only Monday early afternoon.
  • On the bright side... I ran 8 miles this weekend... and felt good too!
  • Hopefully this means I'm all ready for the Canal run on Saturday. yikes.
  • Two tests again this week...
  • But, only two more weeks of class.
  • This week has the serious potential to push me right over the edge
  • Stay tuned for results
  • Okay. Kids are sleeping. House is quiet for the moment. I can't waste anymore time.
  • This mom needs some chocolate cake, some coffee, and some big-time studying.
  • Happy Monday to you

Friday, July 11, 2008


About two weeks ago, I came to the realization that Lydia had not entered the "Why?" stage yet. Hm, I thought, I wonder when that comes around. Literally the next day I told her something and she responded, "But, why?" And it hasn't stopped since.

"You put sugar in those berries?"
"So they'll be sweet."
"For shortcake."
"So... we can eat it."
"Because it's good!"
"But, why?"
"Um...? Because...There's sugar in them?"
"Oh... Why?"

Ahhh... Fun. What I want to know is this: When kids do whole why-thing, is it genuine curiosity or is it more of a game than anything? Hmmm... Feeling a little bored here... Let's go see what mom's up to. Ahh... Slicing berries. Okay, here goes. Let's see how far I can get her to go on the 'why?' game this time before she runs out of answers.

My vote is that it's more of a game than anything.

Have a happy weekend.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Backyard Bouquets

Awww... a beautiful boquet of forget-me-nots from my little girl. She gave these to me a few weeks ago, but as I'm somewhat slow at loading pics onto the computer, I'm only now getting a look at them again. Ever since these flowers, I've received plenty of dandelions, indian paint brushes, and other assorted weeds from around the yard.

The bouquets aren't much. Scragly, wilted, half-opened weeds that prove the lawn really does need a mowing. But in the eyes of little children, they are beautiful, spectacular blooms rushed inside to me with love. "Mom, do you like these?" And... how can I not think are beautiful?

I've always been the sentimental one. All of my dolls had to sleep with me, lest one felt left out. When my dog died, I thought the world might as well end. Most birthday cards, notes, or letters I've ever recieved are tucked away, saved, and I can't bear to throw them away.

So backyard bouquets held out by a grubby little hand? I'm smitten. I wouldn't trade them for a million long stem roses. Because kids are little for such a short time... and I know all too well that this phase passes in a flury of minutes... and so quickly they forget to bring mom dandelions because all too soon they grow up and start to see those golden blooms as pesky weeds that stain fingers and shirts like so many of us adults.

As adults we become desensitized by bills and payments and work and car troubles. We sometimes forget that teddy bears and blankies have feelings because we are too consumed in our grown-up troubles. Childhood is such a precious time. It should be a time of innocence and imagination: free of worry and doubt. And even though as adults we cannot return to those simple states completely, we can look at our children to remind us when to slow down, when to really look and see all of God's beauty around us in the midst of struggles. When to reach out, to laugh, to be goofy, to cry so simply without reservations.

And when to stop and pick dandelion bouquets.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Breaking and Entering

During our stay at the camp, I had to return to town to work in a wedding for a friend I used to work with. Before my story, let me say- it was a beautiful wedding and a perfect day. They looked so happy in love as they began their new life together!

Well, the wedding was at 4:00 and I planned to get to the church by 3:30. I needed to pick up Jill and make a "quick" stop at home to pick up my shoes. I had remembered everything except dress shoes. No big deal, right. Haha. Ha.

Somehow I got ready early and was ready to go by 2:30 or so. And luckily. I decided to go home before I picked up Jill so I could get my shoes and a few other things that we needed out at the camp (newspapers, a kite, etc- you know, real important stuff). So... I pull in the driveway at about 5 to three, saunter up the steps- hair neatly done, dress on- reach out to turn the doorknob, and find out the porch door is locked. And my key for the porch door is inside the house. And the other one is back at the camp on Ryan's key ring. And then I start to panic.

I run to the van, empty the contents of my purse till I locate my cell phone, frantically dial Ryan's number and race around the house to see if by some rare chance the back door was left unlocked. No such luck. When Ryan answers I start yelling like a crazy woman, "The-door-is locked! My shoes are inside and the porch door is locked! I don't have a key for that door. Just the inside door. Did you lock this door?! What should I do??? I have to get my shoes! I can't go to the wedding in running shoes!"

Meanwhile, he's telling me to calm down and try unlocking the basement door with a credit card. Ha. Knowing in my mind how this one is going to go, I pull out an old library card from my wallet, slide it in the door... and promptly cracked it in two. Now I'm really panicking. "That's NOT going to work!" I'm yelling in the phone, "What should I DO? I have to get in there! I don't know who else would have shoes I can wear!! I'm going to break a window!" Poor Ryan's on the other end still telling me to calm down and try the credit card trick again, and to not break a window. But I'm not buying it. Instead I hang up after telling him again I'm going to have to break a window.

So... I run around the house, bound up the porch steps and examine the windows, seriously contemplating which window I should try. The door would be my best bet, I decide, seeing as it's going to get replaced soon anyways. But it's plexiglass. How do I break that? Arrrgh. Or could I climb on up on the back porch and hope the bathroom window isn't locked? Then I notice a screen is left in the window on the front of the porch. So easy. Again, Haha. Ha.

So I race to the backyard, my dress blowing in the wind, and retreive the pool ladder. I grab the ladder and run (as well as one can run) with the ladder back to the front of the house and plop it right in the middle of the shrubs that are growing there. At this point, I figure I should glance around to see if I'm being watched and as it figures, there's a woman walking by trying to not to look, but I can see I'm drawing up suspicions in her mind. And how can't you watch- I mean, here I am in my dress and running shoes clammoring up a shaky ladder.

I push the screen out (it's one of those kind you prop in your window, you know?). Then, I push down the table in front of the window feeling like an intruder. Wobbling at the top of the ladder, I glance back at the woman one more time figuring she's going to get more of a show than she bargained for on this walk. How does one gracefully climb through a window in a knee-length dress? I know I did not master it. My dress was around my waist by the time I finally made it through, I was sweating, and I had a large scratch across my forearm. But I made it in.

I called Ryan back. "Hi, gasp, gasp, I-made-it-in-don't-have-time-to-talk-bye."

All I knew was I was glad I had allowed extra time for that excursion. And I will now carry the key for the porch on my key ring. Oh, and we made it to the wedding on time too. Nothing like a little adventure to spice up the afternoon.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

And a good time was had by all

The vacation had to come to an end at some point and that point was today. We were originally supposed to return home Tuesday, but we woke up to blue skies, sunshine, and warm air that morning and were in no mood to pack and return to town. I made a call to my sister to see what time they would be rolling in (calculating how fast I had to get cleaning the place up) and she convinced us to stay with them. It took a lot of convincing: "Really? Are you sure? Okay! See you this afternoon!"

So... we all crowded in the camp for the rest of the week and had an awesome time. Growing up at the tail end of the family, I'm always amused to hang around with her family because her kids are getting bigger and to me they are sort of like younger brothers and sisters. It gives me the feeling of what it might have been like when my family stayed at the camp 30 years ago before I was ever around. (For those of you who don't know me that well- I'm the baby of my family- seven years behind the next one up, 23 years between my oldest sister & I. I like to give them a tough time...Like I said to my brother the other day, "WHAT? You're turning FORTY next year! HAHAHAHAHAHA! I have years to go before I'm even thirty!"- Truly, though, there have been many times in my life when I've wished the age difference wasn't so great so I could remember things like camping with my brothers and sisters. By the time I remember staying at the camp it was pretty much just me and a friend... Not that being the baby didn't have it's perks- it most certainly did/does, but that's another story for another day.)

On Friday evening, we took a drive up to the Harbor to visit some friends and family who were camping there. We watched the fireworks from a quiet beach- perfect view and not all the riff-raff that you have to deal with right in town. It was a beautiful Independence Day!

So we sauna'd and we swam, we sat in the sun until our cheeks turned red, we drank coffee at 10:00 at night, sat by the bonfire till well after 1 (hey, this is a big ordeal for us), 'invented' a new s'more (new to us): saltines, peanut butter, dark chocolate, and of course a marshmallow- mmmm!, took a couple of walks, ran to the pier at midnight to see a sailboat (it looked a lot bigger than it actually was), and I almost finished an entire book. I had one requirement for yesterday and that was to finish that book because I'm afraid I may never know how it turned out. Welll...I guess that's not entirely true. I will make time to finish it but it will probably take awhile.

And tomorrow is back to daily life. It's good to be home to the conveiences of warm water and showers... But there's just something so comforting about staying out at the lake. No washing clothes or worrying about bills, no schedules, no set plan, just simplicity. Waves on the shore, sand underfoot, sun up above, and family to share it with. It doesn't get any better than that.