Thursday, May 31, 2012

Teacher Tendencies

Love, love, love reading with my babies at night.  Well, the younger two.  Will is usually off on his own reading in  his room, which I also love.  The kid who spends most of his time either playing sports or watching them needs an escape to a faraway place, and isn't that what books do?

Our routine goes like this:  Tate goes to bed first, so we usually (time permitting) snuggle and read two books -- either The Polar Express, his Superhero series, or Alexander books (you know...terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day).  He sits on my lap and wraps my arms around him.  It's just what I need after the end of a long day.  He's still my baby and I usually get a few squeezes and a couple kisses in there.  When he's in bed, it's Little Meems' turn.

Part of her homework each night is to read to us for 20 minutes.  Other than struggling with some of the words and getting distracted by some of the pictures, she's a beautiful reader.  And lately, she's begun to take her reading up a notch.

By reading as though she's a teacher.

Lots of animation, and hand flourishes, and slow head shakes, and licking her finger to turn the page.  And lots and lots of pauses for effect and for the benefit of her "class."

It takes forever to get through a book, but I love it.  I love watching her and remembering how she used to switch back and forth between reality and fantasy so easily when she was little.  She doesn't do that much anymore and I've found myself missing her cute, chubby little toddler days.  And her little girl ways that are becoming more and more rare as she grows up.

She spends a lot of her play time switching between being a mom and being a teacher, and sometimes she's both.  And I know one day, if that's her path, she will be an excellent teacher, and an excellent mother and if she combines the two...

...well, then, watch out world.


Monday, May 28, 2012

Happy Monday

Happy today for our veterans who fight so freely so that we can be just that, free.

Happy today for my baby brother, who is one of these brave soldiers.



Happy he is home for good after three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.  I love you Philip.

Happy Memorial Day!


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Word of Wisdom Wednesday

Just some things I want my children to know...  


...and some things I need to remember myself.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Morning


My husband is out of town, as usual.  Which means mornings are all me.

I set my alarm to wake up early to exercise, but my Little Meems (who slept with me last night) was super snuggly and I decided to enjoy it while it lasted, because it would be short-lived.  It was.  Girlfriend is mean when she decides she doesn’t want to snuggle any more.

My stomach is on fire and the thought of food makes me ill.  Which makes packing lunches and snacks and preparing breakfast all the more delightful.

We were out of Log Cabin syrup, so Mrs. Butterworth substituted.  This did not go over well.  Darn you Kroger for not having the extra large bottle.

The dog attacked Little Meems, which meant a lot of boohooing and moaning and stress over how much pain she was in.  For the record, no skin was broken. 

The dog pulled all the stuffing out of her bed, chewed up some playdough (I have no idea where she got that) and a few napkins, then ate a lightbulb. 

Guess who got to clean all that up?  Darn you, dog.  Why must you make my life so crazy?

Little Meems wanted help deciding what to wear.  Which means this:  I go through her closet suggesting outfits and she poo-poos each one.  She may not know what she wants to wear, but she certainly knows what she doesn’t want to wear.  Which is the story of her life, really.  In frustration, I force her to get herself dressed and make her own decisions.  She does not appreciate this.  At all.  And she lets me know.  Girlfriend is not afraid of a confrontation.  With me, that is.

Still in my bathrobe. 

I let Little Meems skip her stupid (yes, I hate it as much as she does) math homework yesterday so she could play (bad day at school) and now we have to do THAT this morning.  Darn you greater than and less than, why do your signs have to be so confusing? 

The dog is chewing the kitchen table.  And now the ottoman.  I get out the spray bottle, but she thinks it’s a game and gets even more wound up.  Now she is sprinting like a greyhound in a circle all around the downstairs.  I am trying to catch her, as are the boys.  Which leads to a lot of screaming and noise and Little Meems IS TRYING TO CONCENTRATE and I’m still in my bathrobe and I need to get dressed because bus stop is in 10 minutes.

I find the only thing in my closet that doesn’t need to be ironed.  And now this will be my new favorite dress.

All my shoes are neutrals.  Which is great and practical, but boring.  I lament the lack of color and excitement and think about the expensive, gorgeous Shumacher wallpaper I just ordered that will prevent me from getting any.  Tradeoffs, right?

Ponytail days are the best, no?

The dog is so wound up I decide to take her with us to the bus stop.  She proceeds to poop in the middle of the street, which thrills the boys, and I have to get it and hold onto her all while Little Meems freaks out about being late for the bus and now cars are stopping and one of them even honked.  Really?  You wanna’ drive your tire through poop?  Be my guest. 

Jerk.

The kids are on the bus, the dog is in her kennel and I need to leave for work, but wouldn’t it feel nice to crawl back into bed?  Pick up prescriptions, stop at Target to get a notebook and syrup, but leave without the notebook or syrup because I bought a cute dress that I have been wanting instead and it was on sale and I forgot all about the notebook and syrup.  Darn you, lack of focus! 

Guess what we get to do after school today?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Monday

Mother's Day Reflections

Spontaneous love notes.
From my little T-man!


A beautiful day with my kiddos.
Go Hoos!


Baubles.
From Design Darling


Getting to celebrate it with my beautiful mother.
Love you mom!

It's good to be this mom!


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Souvenirs


The boys had a campout this weekend. 

Both of them came home with souvenirs - 2 apiece.    

Guess who gets to monitor their you-know-whats for bullseye rashes?

Which begs the question: 

Is peeing in the woods REALLY worth it?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Gifts for Mother's Day


I have been sending my husband links to things I like on the internet.

He really appreciates me doing this (wink, wink).  It gives him an idea (or a selection of options) and each item is but a click away.

I remember, as a girl, giving my mother things like pillows and dish towels…things my mom NEEDED.  For the HOUSE.  I couldn’t understand why someone would waste a perfectly good gift experience on an antique pillow for a sofa that no one is allowed to sit on.  I mean, really. 

When we bought our first house, I had a fleeting thought of “oh no, am I going to start getting house stuff as gifts?”  I still wasn’t ready to give up a perfectly good gift experience. 

And then it happened. 

We moved into our house in November, and my birthday quickly followed.  A HUGE box, lots of excitement, to find…a black light fixture for the dining room.  That I had apparently picked out. 

Except I hated it.  It was ugly.  I mean, UUUUGGGLY.  My sweet, sweet hubby insisted I had selected it.  In hindsight, chances are we were roaming the aisles of Lowe’s, he pointed to it, I absently nodded yes I like it (because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings -- remember, we were still kinda' newlyweds) and that’s how it got selected.

It. Had. Begun.

Just as I feared.

I burst into tears.  Poor thing, he was so confused and hurt and I didn’t have the words to really explain to him how I felt and the fact that I hated it.  I was truly horrified at my behavior, yet powerless to stop. 

Years later, I regularly ask for…and receive…things like bushes and rugs and bolts of fabric and (gasp) even pillows.  It took the financial responsibility of having a house, and later a family, for me to understand that sometimes the best gifts are the things you might want but won’t necessarily buy yourself.  Because, let’s face it, when you’re raising a family, budget constraints dictate prioritizing and ranking the happiness/necessity/longevity factor of your purchases.  Sometimes you just can’t justify that new outdoor rug when your son needs cleats.  Far too often we moms guilt ourselves into not buying because we feel selfish.  And that money can probably be used for something else.  Do you see what’s happening here? 

This year for Mother’s Day, I originally asked for a new purse, or a necklace…and then I found some curtains for my bedroom that I ordered instead.  I look forward to the smiles and hugs my children bestow on me all day, their artwork and cards, and everyone being on their best “i-love-mommy-so-i-will-be-sweet” behavior.  And maybe a little alone time.  And I can’t WAIT for those curtains!  Because they help make our house feel like home, like someplace special…comfortable and cozy and warm and sparkling.  Just like my house growing up.  A beautiful home where we were surrounded by furnishings lovingly selected by my mother, who asked for pillows and lamps instead of jewelry so that she could share her treasures with her family.  

I want my children to feel the same way.  I’ll settle for a warm, loving, special place to spend our days over that new pink JPK bag or tortoiseshell chain link necklace any day. 

Happy Mother’s Day!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Happy Monday

Happiness is..a solid 2 miles without feeling like I would pass out.
Thanks to my little iPod!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

This Girl


This girl.  
She's everything to me.  
And I'm so excited to get to spend a weekend with her, just the two of us.
Our plans:
Playing restaurant.
A few chores.
Picking out flowers.
Sushi for lunch.
Painting pottery.
Playing with a school friend.
Going out to dinner, followed by snuggling up on the sofa to watch Soul Surfer (again).
Coffee and breakfast in bed while we watch 19 Kids and Counting (her favorite show).

And then the boys return from camping and it's back to reality.

Until then...