Friday, May 31, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 206

Today I am grateful for a couple little packages that arrived this afternoon.  Going into this summer I found myself unhappy and underwhelmed by my summer wardrobe, only having seven or so t-shirts to wear, and only some of those really looking good on me.  My body has changed a lot in the last few years between two pregnancies, during each of which I gained a lot of weight, nursing two kids, and then losing a bunch of weight after going on a low-sodium diet.  Somewhere along the way I lost a sense of what really looks good on me, what really makes me feel like a put-together adult.  So I ordered a bunch of clothes to try, things with bright colors and no horizontal stripes; the latter of which always make me look like I have a linebacker's shoulders.

So far, not much of what I have ordered has fit or looked great on me, but it's nice to feel like I'm moving toward something that could be called "my style".  And no, this isn't some higher calling, some lofty goal to be met.  But there is something to be said for how you present yourself, and clothes are often used to tell other people who we are and what we're about.

I guess I'm just looking forward, hoping that soon I'll look more like ... me.

Have a wonderful night!

A Year of Gratitude: Day 204 (a day late)

Today I am grateful that my mother-in-law took the kids for the evening so Bryson and I could have a little date.  We hadn't been on an actual date, where we do something fun and not just run errands, in a while and it was nice to get out and just have an adult conversation.  After a nice dinner, we came home and started watching The Avengers; there wasn't anything we were really wanting to see in the theatre and I had heard it was a good movie, so we decided to try it.  (Plus, Baylor brought home a Marvel superhero book from the library a few weeks ago and has been wanting to play Avengers, so I thought it might be nice to figure out what it's all about.)

Dinner was good, the movie was great, and it was a nice relaxing evening.  And, to top it all off, the kiddos had a great time with Grandma.  Can't ask for much more than that.

Have a wonderful night!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 203

Today I am grateful that it looks like I might get to do my favorite Pilates video in the morning, as I'll likely get to bed at a reasonable time tonight.  It's a Gaiam DVD called Cardio Pilates with Ana Caban.  (Though I don't actually do the cardio portion of it as that means I'd have to warm up my foot and put on my tennis shoes and that adds a lot more time to my morning routine than you'd think.)  At first Ana kind of drove me nuts, but I ended up really liking her slower style and the Pilates sequence she demonstrates on this DVD.

(I know I wrote about this other Pilates DVD here, but that one moved through the exercises too quickly and left me feeling more rushed than centered and stretched out, which is part of what I like about Pilates.)

Anyhow, I'm grateful for the opportunity to exercise and for my favorite Pilates DVD.  It's nice to have an exercise routine that I actually enjoy doing.

Have a wonderful night!

A Year of Gratitude: Day 202 (a day late)

Today I am grateful for having gotten the stove top cleaned this afternoon right before I made dinner.  (I am also grateful that none of the chili we were having for dinner spilled on my newly-cleaned stove top.)

There's just something about having a clean cooking space that makes you feel like you might be getting your life together.

Have a wonderful night!

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Zoo and a Day of Firsts

I'm not sure if it was overly wise of us to attempt to go to the zoo on Memorial Day, but we braved the crowds anyway and visited the zoo in hopes of seeing the otters and the new bear exhibit.  Of course, no trip to the zoo would be complete without first riding the funicular, and since Bryson hadn't ridden it yet we were happy to oblige.  Once at the top, though, Bryson pulled an audible and took us down a different path than we usually take.  We walked near the waterfal, so close that Baylor had to plug his ears at the sound of it.



We wandered around a bit and finally made our way over to see the otter exhibit.  They have a new otter in addition to their old one, and seeing the two of them together was really fun.  At first they were just grooming each other up on the rocks, but they soon went for a swim, delighting the kids to no end.


For whatever reason, I love the exhibit with some of the weirder animals in it.  The capybara wasn't there today, but the tapir and the horned screamer were there just chilling and watching the crowds walk by.  One guy whistled at the bird and got it to scream a little, which was pretty awesome.


Mollie was hoping the flamingos would be there, and sure enough she got her wish.  They were, however, unbelievably stinky today, and we didn't end up staying long.


Besides, the kids were hungry and needed to stop for a raisin break.  I thought for sure I was dressing them too warmly, but as it turns out the weather forecast was really off for today and it ended up being about ten to twenty degrees colder than they had originally predicted.  Yikes!


After the raisin break, we checked out the baboons and some funny-looking birds when one of us asked, "Does anyone want to ride a camel today?" not at all expecting an affirmative answer.  Needless to say, we were all shocked when Mollie said cheerfully, "I do!"

So we did.




Mollie and I each had our first camel ride today, and I have to say, her seat was much more comfortable.  FYI, the hump of a camel is not as soft or forgiving as one might think.




She did amazingly well, even when a guy started to walk us around instead of the girl she was expecting.  I was so thrilled she enjoyed it and was totally riding a high of seeing my daughter, typically timid around animals, be so brave when she pulled out another surprise ...

She wanted to pet the pygmy goats!  Whaaaaaaat?!


And she did!  She pet two goats, one of which had some pretty decent horns.  She was actually enjoying it all until she saw one of the goats start to chew on a dad's shorts, then she high-tailed it out of there; one thing Mollie is not down with is animals messing up clothing.  (She once said she really wanted a dog and when I told her that a dog might slobber on her dress, she immediately retracted her request.  The girl is serious about her clothes.)  But she enjoyed it all the same, and it made me so proud of her to see her so brave.

Baylor was anxious for both our close-up animal encounters, particularly the camel ride, but he didn't freak out about it and was just glad to have us back safe and sound.

We finished out our time at the zoo, making sure to visit the tropical house, Baylor's favorite exhibit.  The ride home was good, but sadly we'd been at the zoo past our usual lunch time and the kids were beyond hungry and got pretty upset as a result.

Regardless, it was a pretty amazing time full of unexpected firsts and lots of exploration.  Can't ask for much more than that!

A Year of Gratitude: Day 201

Today, this Memorial Day, I am grateful for all the soldiers, past, present, and future, who work hard to keep our country safe.  Your sacrifices, be it time with your family, injuries to your body, or loss of your life, are deeply felt by the citizens of the country you have sworn to protect.  Thank you for all that you do and all that you are.

Have a wonderful day.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 200!

Two hundred days!  Can you believe it?!  I have to say, I'm a little proud of myself for sticking with it for so long.  I feel like it has helped me gain perspective on things, so it's been easier than I thought to keep up with these posts.

Today, on the two hundredth day, I am grateful - as always - for my two little lovies.  I love that they are becoming such good friends and seem to love each other dearly.  That's not to say that they don't have their rough days and their squabbles, but they get along so well for so much of the time. 



I hope they stay best friends forever.

Have a wonderful night!

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 199

Today I am grateful for technology.  This will shock some people; as my husband so aptly put it the other day, I am a bit of a "technophobe".  (Seriously, though, have you seen the commercials for TVs you can control with the wave of your hand?  Too much.  It's just too much.  It all makes me feel like we're headed for After Earth or Wall-E.)  But today technology let me see and talk to my parents and sister who are currently away.  It let my kiddos see their Oma and Grandpa E and Aunt Christine from so far away.

So today I say, "Thank you, technology.  You're okay in my book."

"Just don't get too ahead of yourself."


Have a wonderful night!

Friday, May 24, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 198

Today I am grateful for the fact that my dad loves to drink milk.  At the dinner table tonight, Mollie was itching to get down and refused to drink her milk as a result.  I told her she couldn't get down until she drank all her milk, and still she sat there.  Finally, I told her that she would never grow up to be tall like Grandpa E (a dream of hers) if she didn't drink her milk; I told her that he loves milk and drinks a lot of it every day (which is true).  After gathering up another dish, I turned around and her milk was gone!

Just like that.

Hey, you know milk ... it does a body good.

Have a wonderful night!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Things We Need to Work on This Summer

Only two weeks into our summer vacation and I've come to realize there are a few things we need to work on this summer.  For starters ...

video

Not calling "Mommy!  Mommy!  Mommy!  Mommy!  Mommy!  MOMMY!" to alert me to the fact that you'd like to get up.  (Mollie, I'm looking at you on this one.)  I get it, you're up.  Calling like this too early in the morning will get you a cranky mommy, particularly when you emphasize the "MOMMY!" part every five or six mommys.  (Yes, typically when I actually get into her room and see her little face smiling at me I forget the rage I was in just seconds before, but it really gets my heart rate up and starts the day off on a shaky foot.  Having said that, I realize how lucky I am to have two amazing kids who want to see me so badly.  I really shouldn't complain ...)


Not wiping our hands on whatever surface/article of clothing is available.  You can reach the tissues, you can reach the sink and have access to the soap (for better or worse), heck, you can even ask for my help if you're stumped.  But please, for the love of my sanity, don't wipe your hands covered with who-knows-what on your clothes, the couch, the table, your sibling, ... okay?


You have three responsibilities at our house: putting away you shoes and coats after having been outside, picking up and taking care of your toys, and setting the dinner table.  None of these things take much time and all of them are within reason for us to ask of you.  Want me to list out my responsibilities again?!  Or, better yet, want me to stop doing some of my responsibilities?  None of these things warrant flopping on the ground and screaming at the top of your lungs; you guys are smart and know that won't get you anywhere; it just ends up taking up more time and letting us do fewer fun things.  (And it pushes Mommy ever-so-close to losing it on a daily basis.)  Please help things be more peaceful in our house and just participate with a smile.  (Yes, I know they are 3 and 4 and this might be too much to ask of them, but I still want to work on it.)


Please understand that Mommy is a human being and does not always want to sing along to every last word of every last Beatles' song on their number ones CD.  Sometimes my throat hurts, sometimes I've been talking and really just want to give it a rest, and on rare occasions when there is another adult in the car I'd really like to talk to that person.  John, Paul, George, and Ringo would probably be appalled at my singing anyhow; wouldn't you rather just hear their fantastic, professional voices?  And, at the very least, if I'm going to be singing could you sing along, too?  I know you know the words.  It'd make it that much more fun if we were singing together.


Baylor, this one's for you.  You need to stop reading over my shoulder.  Yes, I know you can read and love to do it (and I'm very proud and amazed at how great you are at reading already), but it's not really polite and quite frankly you're too young to be reading anyhow.  There are far too many things in this world that are NOT appropriate for you to be reading at the ripe old age of four, and sometimes those things pop up on Mommy's computer whether she knows it or not.  (Thank you, Facebook.)


As the summer moves on, I'm sure we'll add more things to this list.  *sigh*  Hopefully by fall we'll have made at least a little progress on each of these items, though some I have more hope for than others.  We'll see!

A Year of Gratitude: Day 197

Today I am grateful that I finally figured out what to do with extra chicken broth.  (Amazing what thrills us as we get older ...)  Instead of letting half a carton of low sodium chicken broth sit in the fridge until it has ultimately expired, I read that you could pour it into ice cube trays and freeze it for future use.  Awesome!  So I gave it a try, and now I have a gallon-sized baggie full of what appear to be urine ice cubes in the freezer.  They smell terrible (I don't know about you, but chicken broth is not an appealing smell to me) and they look awful, but now I can feel good that I didn't waste a bunch of perfectly good chicken broth and that I will have some ready to go for later!

Win-win!

Have a wonderful night!

That's What They Said: Misunderstanding and an Advanced Vocabulary

Me:  Mollie, can you go remind your brother to put on his socks and his shirt.
Mollie:  (walks into the living room)  Baylor, your sock is on your shirt!


Bryson:  You guys, we need to pick up.
Me:  Yup, it's time to pick up.
Kids:  NOOOOOOOO!
Me:  You guys, we do this every night.  We have to pick up.  If you don't, we'll have to take away any toys that are left out.
(Kids proceeded to goof off and not pick up toys.  As we started gathering things up and taking them downstairs ...)
Baylor:  NO!  STOP!  This is nonsense!



Me: Baylor, you need to put on your clothes before we can play (Cars Monopoly).
Baylor:  NOOOOOOOO!  I WON'T DO IIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTT!  AHHHHHHHHH!  (ear piercing)
Me:  (yelling)  Baylor!  STOP!  (calming a bit)  I'm sorry I yelled, but we talked about this last night ... you need to stop screaming so we can understand you.
Baylor:  (angrily)  Mommy, you yelled and you teached me that yelling was okay when you did that.
Me:  (in my head)  F*#%!  (rests head on hands and internally laments having a smart child)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 196

Today I am grateful for a surprise package we received on our doorstep.  My dear college friend Katie sent us Amalia's cross-stitched birth announcement!  Yes, Mollie is three years-old, but Katie had good reason for the delay: she had twins, a boy and a girl!

The announcement is beautiful, just like my Mollie, with two happy frogs beneath her name and birth info.  I can't wait to hang it in her room!



Katie, thank you again and again for the beautiful birth announcements you've made for the kids!  I know how much time and effort it takes you to make them, and I wanted you to know how truly grateful we are to have them.  Thank you so much, dear friend!

Have a wonderful night!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 195

Today I am grateful for how this morning started.  I woke up exhausted and had a tough time getting through my shower with any sort of speed, but when I got downstairs something magical happened: I actually got stuff done.  I put away a bunch of the kids' toys in effort to curb the crazy messes they've been making lately, I cleaned off most of the island, I got rid of toys that needed to be gotten rid of (Wendy's kid's meal toys, anyone?).

And not only was it wonderful because I was being productive, but because I had been productive (and had still managed to check my e-mail and scan facebook for any earth-shattering updates) I was able to feel ready and glad to see Mollie when she woke up.  (Baylor, too, but he woke up after her, and that second wake-up is typically less jarring for me.)

Here's hoping I can hold onto that feeling and start to make my mornings better!

Have a wonderful night!

A Year of Gratitude: Day 194 (a day late)

Today I am grateful that Baylor was a no-cavity kid at his dentist appointment.  The hygienist and dentist both said his teeth and gums look fantastic, and he did an amazing job sitting still and doing what the hygienist asked of him.  All that was great for me to hear, very reassuring.

In addition to all that, though, the hygienist explained to Baylor what nearly all of the tools were and let him try a few of them out, pulled up my messed up x-rays so I could show them to Baylor, and answered just about every question he had.  Then he got to pick a prize out for being a good boy and they gave him a bottle of water for the ride home.  And for all that, I thank my lucky stars for the wonderful dentist office we go to; not only do they care for my kiddo, but they make his experience an incredibly positive one.

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 193

As we were getting ready to leave for an evening out at the lake, I pointed to a bracelet Mollie had on her wrist and commented on how nice it looked.  She said, "Am I a mommy?"  I smiled in response, knowing she wondered that because I often have a hair tie about the same width around my wrist, always at the ready in case I need to toss my hair away from my face, and she likely thought that was a symbol of 'mommy'.  I said, "Well, if you want to be a mommy you need to have a baby.  Do you want to go grab one?"  And at that she took off, galloping through the kitchen to retrieve one of her baby dolls from the living room.

Today I'm grateful that my daughter, my beautiful girl, sees value in being a mommy.  Whether she grows up to be one or not, she sees value in what I do, value in being there for someone else, and value in caring for one's family.  In a job without real pay, without progress reports or performance reviews, it felt good to have a little validation.

Have a wonderful night!

A Year of Gratitude: Day 192 (a day late)

Well, our dishwasher finally died.  After about twenty years of diligent service, our Maytag conked out and refused to release any of the detergent we put in there.  And while I'm not at all thrilled it broke or that I'll be doing dishes by hand for the next few weeks (apparently our dishwasher opening is smaller than standard so we had to special order one), I will say this ...

I am so grateful that that's all it did.  I'm grateful that it didn't flood the kitchen as its last hurrah, as so many dishwashers do.

I'm also grateful that we have the means to get a new dishwasher.  Yes, I realize I am absolutely spoiled that we have a dishwasher, and I am grateful that we are able to have such a lovely, useful machine.  It makes my life a little easier, a fact I am realizing more and more as the days without one go on.

Have a wonderful night!

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 191

Today I am grateful that Baylor told me, several times in fact, before he went to bed that he loves me.  It's not every night that this happens; quite often I will say "Sweet dreams!" and "I love you, love you, love you!" as I'm leaving his room and he won't/doesn't respond.  I know he loves me, and I'm sure part of it is that he's really tired, so I tend to just let it go.  But it is awesome to hear him say it and respond like he is supposed to.

Gotta love the small victories!

Have a wonderful night!

A Year of Gratitude: Day 190 (a day late)

I know this might sound strange, but today I'm grateful that our dishwasher finally broke.  The racks have been rusting away, the utensil basket is broken and occasionally the forks and knives would poke through the bottom and make it difficult to pull out the bottom rack, and so on and so forth.  So when the detergent somehow didn't get used and all the dishes from the last two loads came out just as dirty as when they went in, that was it.  The very last straw.

Yes, it sucks that I had to wash two dishwashers full of dirty dishes all over again and that we are currently out of a dishwasher, but this means we get to start looking for a new one!

*sigh*

It's amazing what we get excited about as we start to get older.

Have a wonderful night!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Coordinating Outfits!

As the mom of a boy and a girl, this so rarely happens, but the kiddos are wearing coordinating outfits today and I just had to share!



It's not an exact match, of course, but they look so cute!


(Mollie is only wearing one pink sock because she got a scrape on the bottom of her foot yesterday, and I'm trying to deter her from taking the bandaid off.)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 189

Today I'm grateful for, well ...



Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 188

Today I am grateful for the little moment I had with Baylor after dinner, while Mollie was still trying to finish eating.  He wanted to show me the eleven planets (I know ... I didn't know about this either) and tell me all about them.  I felt awake and alert, something I've been struggling with a lot lately, and I got to snuggle a little with my wonderful son.  It was really nice.

I feel like I have to start soaking in all these moments and snuggles and smiles because in the fall he'll be going to school for all-day kindergarten, and I don't even know how that's going to work.  I will miss him so much, as will Mollie.  I know we'll find our new normal, but the thought boggles my mind right now.

So, I'm letting it go for now.  Letting it go and just enjoying our time together as much as I can.  That's all we can ever do, right?

Have a wonderful night!

A Year of Gratitude: Day 187 (a day late)

Today I am grateful for the weather finally warming up.  My winter wardrobe was getting a bit tired, and I was really tired of being cold all the time.

So, yay for warm weather!

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 186

Today, on this Mother's Day, I am grateful for my one-and-only mother.  I am grateful for all the love she's showered me and the rest of our family with over all these years.  




Thanks for everything, Mom!  I love you!

Have a wonderful night!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 185

Today I am grateful I got a chance to run again this morning.  It had been a while since I last ran; I had a cold for about a week or so and didn't feel up to it.  So it was really good to get back on the treadmill again today and get moving.

Speaking of which, I should get to bed so I can get up and do it again tomorrow.

Have a wonderful night!

A Year of Gratitude: Day 184 (a day late)

Today I am grateful to have gotten a ton of laundry done.  And not just done in the washer and dryer, but the kids' clothes have been put away, mine are folded (or hanging dry), the napkins and towels are all tucked into their respective drawers ... it's a refreshing feeling.  That amazing feeling of not having something so small hanging over your head.  All day I walk around this house with visual reminders of all the things I haven't "gotten to yet", sitting around here hanging over my head.  And to get so much done today felt awesome.

Have a wonderful night!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

That's What They Said: Oh, Miss Mollie and the Protein-Averse

Mollie:  (after sneezing heartily three times) *clicks tongue a few times*  Good stuff!


(After Baylor took something Mollie wanted and noticed she was scowling at him ...)
Baylor:  Are you going to hit me?
Mollie:  No.
Baylor:  Okay.
Mollie:  But I am very disappointed on you.


(Mollie went over to the coat closet, opened the basket with their hats and mittens in it, and ...)
Me:  Mollie, what are you doing?
Mollie:  I'm putting on gloves.  I'm going to play baseball.
Me:  (smiling)  Oh, okay.
Mollie:  I'm going to play baseball.  For the Tigers.  You know.



(Mollie singing and pretending to read a poem at the beginning of Baylor's latest High Five Magazine)
Butterfly, butterfly, butterfly!
Butterfly, butterfly, butterfly!
You can't chase squirrels yeeeeeeeetttt
Because you don't have any feeeeeeeeeeeet!
You can't drive yeeeeeeeeeeetttt
Because you have wings instead of ...
Aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrmmmmsss!
You can't drive a car or a train or a spaceship yeeeeeeeettttt
Because you don't have aaaaaaaaarrrrrrrmmmms!



Me: (after Baylor has declared he doesn't like pb&j sandwiches anymore) So you're telling me you don't like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches anymore?!
Baylor:  No!  I don't.  They have too much protein.
Me:  (stifling a laugh) Too much protein?  Do you not like protein?
Baylor:  No!  I don't!  I only like fiber and carbon-hydrates.
(He then went on to eat string cheese like it was going out of style.)


A Year of Gratitude: Day 183

Today I am grateful that I found some pictures I hadn't seen in a while (and some of them maybe never) while trying to upload yesterday's video to our computer.  The pictures were taken on our video camera and were of the few days leading up to, the day of, and the few days after Baylor's birth.  It's amazing how big he's gotten and how far we've come since then.  Take a look!

I don't remember Jeannine and Allan, Baylor's great-grandma and great-grandpa, coming to the hospital, but if they were there on his actual birthday it was because I was terribly drugged up.  If they came in one of the days following, it was likely because I was completely overwhelmed and/or starting to develop post-partum depression.  




The next ones are from right before we left the hospital.  I forgot how many freckles I had that summer; must have been from all that time I spent swimming in the pool trying to get a little exercise in with my enormous belly.



He was just so perfect and precious ... and huge!



And at this moment I was thinking, "Holy crap!  They're gonna let us take him home?!  How do they know we're ready?  Are we ready?!  Ahhhh!" and "This really isn't comfortable, holding a car seat on your lap.  Can't I just hold him and put him in it when we get to the car?" and "This is the last of the 'pampering' here at the hospital.  My last little comfortable ride.  Oh boy ..."


But we got home and got through some of the rough first few days.  And though they were rough, they were still great.  I mean, come on, just look at that face!


So very glad I found these (and more)!

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 182

Today I am grateful for this ...



Yup, that's right.  Baylor "graduated" from preschool.  (He's the last one who walked in and the one all the way to the left as they've lined up.)  This is a big deal for him, for the progress he's made since that first time we tried taking him into a classroom and he broke down in tears.  No, he didn't come down the aisle alone or sing along or do the motions to the silly song, but he showed up, he smiled some of the time, and he walked over and got his "diploma" himself (in the cutest way possible, by the way).

I'm proud of him for the progress he's made and for the amazing kiddo he is.

Happy preschool graduation, Baylor!  Here's to many more happy school years ahead!

Love you, love you, love you!

And to the rest of you, have a wonderful night!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 181

Today I am grateful for so many little things ...

... for hearing Mollie sing along to more Beatles' songs.

... for Baylor being silly right off the bat this morning and trying to surprise me.

... for the little bit of time the kids and I had outside today reading all the Miss Dig flags.

... for finally getting the last three months' receipts cleaned up.  *sheesh*

... for being able to pull a healthy meal together at the last minute after having thought the whole afternoon that we might be going out to eat.

... for all that and more, each breath, each hug, each little thing accomplished.

Have a wonderful night!

A Year of Gratitude: Day 180 (a day late)

Today I am grateful that the pizza crust I struggled with making yesterday evening ended up working out.  It's a low sodium recipe I've made once or twice before, but for some reason the water-to-flour ratio was off and it took me quite a few additions of water (and then flour) to correct it.  The dough ball finally came together and rolled around the bread machine like it should, and the pizza ended up being delicious.

Nothing like a little culinary payoff at the end of the day.

Have a wonderful night!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 179 (Happy birthday, Mom!)

Today I am grateful for my mom, Lori.  Yesterday we celebrated her birthday (which was actually today), and the kids got a lot of Oma loving in.  



That's the thing with my mom; with her it's all about the love.

I wouldn't be who I am today if it wasn't for her.  I got lucky the day I got her as my mom.

So happy birthday, Mom!  I hope you had a wonderful, relaxing day.  You certainly deserve it.

Love you!

And have a wonderful night!


Saturday, May 4, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 178

Today I am grateful that I got to hear Mollie singing "Love Me Do" in the backseat of the car on the way home from Oma's house tonight.  At first I didn't hear her, then all of a sudden I realized she was singing along, hitting each word just after Lennon and McCartney.  It was absolutely adorable, and so very sweet.

I can't wait to hear her again!

Have a wonderful night!

Friday, May 3, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 177

Today I am grateful that a new restaurant outing with the kiddos went well.  I feel like it's really important that these first new experiences go well because then down the line I can refer back to them, and show the kids that trying new things and having new experiences is a good thing.

Ironically enough, I was probably even more opposed to going to the restaurant than the kids were.  I've driven by it a thousand times, never once feeling remotely compelled to go in and give it a try.  It might be the name ... Fat Boy's.  



Once we got inside, though, I was pleasantly surprised.  It was remarkably clean, as far as greasy spoons go, and it was nice and quiet.  We placed our order then found a seat at a booth near the bar.

An even bigger treat for the kids was likely getting shakes to have with lunch.  I will admit, I am a bit of a stickler about healthy foods (as much as I can be when we go out anyway), so this was a big deal for them.  It probably helped that Grandpa E came along.



Baylor enjoyed his shake thoroughly and drank every last drop.  He even sported a little pink mustache!


Grandpa E got Baylor to try a French fry dipped in strawberry shake, but Baylor's only response was a dubious, "Weird."  He tried it again, but after that I have a feeling he just thought that was a waste of a shake. The dude loves desserts.


Mollie gave Fat Boy's a mediocre review, likely because she thought everything in the women's bathroom was broken and she chose some rather boring chicken tenders.  Baylor gave it an enthusiastic thumbs up, due in no small part to the shake.

As for me ...

I hate to say it but the food was awesome.  That burger was greasy, but not so much that it destroyed the bun, and flavorful and tender without being the slightest bit pink in the middle.  So yeah, it was horribly unhealthy but very delicious, as most horribly unhealthy things are.  I'm sure we'll be back, but I'm going to fight to make it a rare occasion.  We'll see how I do.

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 176

Today I am grateful for the very brief feeling I had today like I was doing something right.  It happened when Baylor's PLAY therapist was here; I mentioned a way I had helped Baylor calm down and she looked at me with approving eyes.  It was an awesome feeling.  There isn't a manual for this job, no rule book, no check list to work through on the way to an end goal.  Parenthood is an endless job, and so often I feel like I'm flying blind, not knowing which way is up or what road is best.

So to feel like I had done something right ... it felt so very good.

Have a wonderful night!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Happy Anniversary, Grandma and Grandpa!

I know it's late, but I wanted to wish my grandparents a very happy 64th anniversary!  They've been with me my whole life ...

watching my family grow ...




... and then indulging that family in a little rocket ride into outer space.



You guys are amazing!  I am so lucky to have you as my grandparents!  Here's to many more years of happiness for you both!

I love you!  Hope your day was wonderful!

A Year of Gratitude: Day 175

Today I am grateful that our major tree removal project went so well.  I was a bit worried when I saw them hauling the tree OVER the house with a giant crane, but nothing damaged the house and the trees are down. Woo hoo!



I mean, seriously, look how huge one of the trees was!


Have a wonderful night!