Sunday, June 30, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 236

Today I am grateful for the man who drove by me in a white convertible while I was walking into Meijer this morning.  We had run out of milk, a necessity for making pancakes, and I was there to pick some up as quickly as possible.  I'll admit, I was in a pretty terrible mood as I pulled into the parking spot; I hadn't gotten enough sleep and I wasn't thrilled about being out and about so early in the morning.  Begrudgingly, I got out of the car and started to make the long walk to the door when this man in a white convertible, with the top down, drove past me with his music blaring.  I fully expected to hear some rap or rock assaulting my ears, but I didn't.  Instead, I was treated to the melodious, oddly deep voice of Rick Astley singing, "Never Gonna Give You Up".  I love that song, unusual as it seems sometimes, but it made me smile to hear such an unexpected song in that situation.

And for that unexpected smile, at a moment in which I most needed it, I am very grateful.

Have a wonderful night!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 235

Today I am grateful that I got to watch my kiddos, particularly Baylor, dance their hearts out.  Bryson got a new speaker system today and wanted to try it out, so we had a little dance party in the living room.  Baylor woke up before Mollie and had Bryson and I as his exclusive audience.  And boy, did he dance!  He was so happy, as was Mollie after she finally woke up and was ready to join him.  I love seeing them so happy.

Have a wonderful night!

Friday, June 28, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 234

Today I am grateful that I didn't have a worse injury from spilling boiling water down my leg.  I was pouring the pot of tortellini into the strainer in the sink like I usually do, but the water moved funny and hit my arm a little which then caused me to jerk away and pour the water down my leg instead.  Once the initial shock wore off, I went upstairs and ran cold water over it for a minute or two.  You can't even see where it was which is great, but it does still hurt a bit.  But I'm incredibly lucky it wasn't worse.

I am also grateful I didn't let loose a torrent of swear words when this all went down.  (You know how kids are about repeating things, and both kids were right there for the whole show.)  Instead, I let loose a real good, right from the gut scream, which yes, scared the dickens out of Baylor, but it's much better than dropping the f-bomb with the kids in earshot.

Have a wonderful night!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 233

Today I am grateful that I was able to get Baylor calmed down after a major meltdown just before dinner.  We had just finished seeing Monsters University with Mollie, my mom, and my sister, and we were headed over to Rockford to have some pizza at Marinades then walk around and possibly go to Rocky's.  Typically this is the type of evening Baylor lives for, but upon hearing of our plans he burst into angry tears and demanded that we turn the car around and go home.  He didn't want anyone to talk to him, and he tried his best to figure out a way to just get home.  I knew he was likely just tired and hungry, and after we arrived in Rockford and Mom, Christine, and Mollie left the car to order the pizza, I stayed back with Baylor and just talked.  He wanted to explore the front seat area of my mom's car, and I let him after some gentle persuading.  I still couldn't get him out of the car, though.

Then, I thought of something; Baylor loves to be of help to other people (although not when it comes to picking up his own toys ... grrr).  I told him that I had to go to the bathroom and asked him to join me.  And he did.  Completely willingly, I might add.  After that, and a good helping of pizza and a squeezie applesauce, he was his old self again.

Being able to get him calmed down felt good.  It made me feel like I was doing something right, which is a rarity in this job; clear examples like this are so few and far between.  And I'm grateful I got this one to help keep me going and remind me of what kind of mom I want to be.

Have a wonderful night!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 232

Today I am grateful that our country, courtesy of the Supreme Court, made huge strides toward equality with the judgement that the Defense of Marriage Act, which would have put a ban on same-sex marriages, is unconstitutional.  I am so happy for those it affects directly, and I feel better knowing this is the kind of world my children will be raised in.

Have a wonderful night!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 231

Today I am grateful that I made it through the day.  I was bone-crushingly tired for the bulk of it, and I'm just happy I got the things done that needed to get done and managed not to fall asleep for any of it.

And now I'm grateful that I'm going to bed.

Have a wonderful night!

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 230

Today I am grateful for my husband, Bryson.  Happy 32nd birthday, honey!  I look forward to spending many more to come with you.  

Have a wonderful night!

Pie courtesy of Lori Maxey.

A Year of Gratitude: Day 229 (one day late)

Today I am grateful that yesterday's trip to Comerica Park for the kids' first Tigers game went so well. 

Yes, it was hot.  Really, really hot ... and really, really sunny.  So much so, in fact, that the kids instantly began sweating when we reached our seats.

No, Baylor does not have a horrible facial sunburn.  He just gets beet red and sweats like nobody's business when he gets hot.

Also, certain parts of the game were a bit loud for the little man.  

But, at nine rows up from the field, our seats were fantastic.

And we were able to get out of the sun for a while to cool down and enjoy some ice cream.  (In Tiger helmet bowls, of course.)

And I even went on the merry-go-round with Mollie and managed not to get even remotely nauseous.  (The Bonine probably helped, as did the intense "spotting" I was attempting a'la ballet class.)

We, of course, kept the kids well-hydrated.

And Mollie picked up on the cues of when to cheer and did so with great enthusiasm.

Bryson taught Baylor how to keep score, and had he not been so flingin' flangin' hot I think he would have really gotten into it.

In the end, the heat wore the kids out and we left the game a bit early, but we had a lot of fun.  I think the kids really enjoyed their first Tiger baseball experience, and we so appreciate my parents including us on this fun excursion!  Thanks for everything, Mom and Dad!

Have a wonderful night!

A Year of Gratitude: Day 228 (two days late)

Today I am grateful that Bryson was riding with me and the kids on our after-dinner trip to my parents' house.  After we arrived and enjoyed a little pie, I was rubbing my eye when I felt my contact fold over.  Frustrated, as it had been bothering me all day long, I took it out only to find a chunk of it had torn off but was still attached, dangling by the smallest of pieces.  I had to throw my contact away and was left to "pirate patch" it the rest of the evening with one hand over my eye to reduce the strain.  Needless to say, driving home would have been dangerous at best, so I'm glad Bryson was there to take over.

And I'm glad that this happened in the first place because now I have the push I need to keep a spare set of glasses in the car in case of emergencies such as this.

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, June 21, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 227

Today I am grateful for my little fashion critics.  I have been ordering and trying on a lot of clothes lately, and when I've asked them they've always given me their honest and interested opinions.  Usually they are hypercritical of what I have on, sometimes unreasonably so, but their hilarious little precocious answers give me a chuckle and remind me not to take things so seriously sometimes.  Even when Mollie, when evaluating a pair of jeans I have on, walks around them then promptly informs me they are too wide (meaning I am too wide, as they are basically skin-tight) I can't help but laugh.  Their little scrunched up, disapproving noses might precede voices of dissent, but they care and are giving me their time and honest opinions and for that I am so grateful.

Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 226

Today I am grateful for all the hugs and kisses the kids gave me throughout the day.  I was having a bit of a rough day and needed a little extra love from the little ones.  Plus, and I don't know how this happened, they seemed to throw fewer fits today and be less obstinate.  Thanks for the break, kiddos!  I sure appreciated it.

Have a wonderful day!

A Year of Gratitude: Day 225 (a day late)

Today I am grateful that my children seem to have developed a true love for books and reading.  Our library books were due tomorrow, so we made our way to the library and checked another twenty out.  Yes, twenty.  Then we got home and they did what they do every time we get new library books; they sit on the couch and proceed to devour them in perfect silence.  It's amazing. 

Baylor chose mostly superhero and Star Wars books, but I snagged a science book for him about weather; he loves reading for information and I think he would have gotten more books like that had he not headed for the chapter book area first.  During the silence after we return from the library, I'm pretty sure he skim reads all the books he's gotten because he always comes away with a bunch of pertinent questions.

Mollie tends to grab a variety of books, from Wonder Woman to fairies to Arthur this time, and though she can't actually read yet she loves to look through them and make stories up about all the pictures she sees.

For example, after nap time Baylor really wanted to play Star Wars with Mollie.  She wasn't really into it, but she was so hoping I'd read her the fairy book she checked out.  Sadly I was making dinner and couldn't, but I suggested she ask Baylor to read to her.  He's never done that and typically refuses to.  This time, though, I told her to sweeten the pot by telling him she'd play Star Wars with him if he read her the book.  After skimming through it, he declared that he would not read any "girl books".  They bantered about a bit, and finally he agreed to read a book to her after she "read" one to him.  So she did.

And, as I guessed would happen, he reneged on his agreement and wouldn't read to her.  *sigh*  But they had fun anyway and ended up playing Star Wars for a bit before dinner.

I digress.

I love reading and spent many hours of my youth engrossed in books, and I'm thrilled that my kiddos seem to have an affinity for it as well.

Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 224 (who knows?)

I think I may have messed up on the numbering of how many days late I was/am.  This post was meant for today, so here it is.

Today I am grateful to get caught up on these gratitude posts.  They are meant to be an enriching experience not a chore, and when I fall behind they end up feeling more like the latter than they should.  Hopefully I'll do a better job of keeping up with these and taking careful note of all the good things in my life, for there are so many of them.

Have a wonderful night.

A Year of Gratitude: Day 223 (two days late)

Today I am grateful for the cheerful melon colored shirt I wore today.  It is extremely comfortable and made me feel a little more confident than usual, for whatever reason.  And hey, couldn't we all use a little more confidence every now and then?

Have a wonderful day!

A Year of Gratitude: Day 222 (three days late)

Today I am grateful that I was able to pull together a reasonably healthy dinner together in a short amount of time.  After our friends stopped by, I had very little time to make something and it was nice to know I had a batch of low-sodium taco meat ready in the freezer.  Yay for thinking ahead!  I don't do it often, but it sure is nice when I do.

Have a wonderful night!

A Year of Gratitude: Day 221 (back to four days late)

Yikes.  Four days late.  Not good, Nicole, not good.

I digress.

Today I am grateful for a surprise visit from some of our closest friends.  They were on this side of town for a doctor's visit, and they had time to stop by and play/visit for a while.  The kids got to run around with the girls, and my friend and I got to visit and make funny faces at her baby boy.  Motherhood can be a bit isolating at times, and it was nice to see them even for just a short time.

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 220 (three days late)

Today I am grateful that our new dishwasher was finally installed on Wednesday.  It is a modern luxury without which I will apparently fall apart.  The house became a mess of epic proportions in its absence, and I'm only now just coming to terms with it.  Apparently doing dishes can take up all the available time I have if I have to do all the dishes, so getting a mechanical helper for this issue is just fantastic.  (This is not to say, however, that the house looks immaculate when we have a working dishwasher around here.  I am not, I repeat NOT, a champion house keeper and have been embarrassed by my own shortcomings on many occasion.  It's just that what I do manage to do seems to fall apart without the dishwasher.)  Here's hoping I can get it together and get the house back in shape this coming week ... it's starting to feel a little "hoarders" in here.

Have a wonderful day!

A Year of Gratitude: Day 219 (four days late ... *sigh*)

I'm not quite sure how I got so far behind, but clearly it happened.  The days were going by really slowly, as it often happens when you don't have a regular thing to get the kids going for (like school).  And then we got something more regular: we are ramping Baylor up for all-day, every day kindergarten by doing double the amount of playgroups with his specialist this summer.  And, genius that I am, I said it was okay if we started the groups as early as 8:30 a.m.  I didn't exactly realize they'd be held so far away from our house (they used to be 5 minutes away max, and now they're 20 to 25 minutes away), but I do like getting up and not wasting a minute of the day and I guess it's good practice for the fall when school will start at a crisp 8:15 a.m., so ... can you tell I'm trying hard to make the best of it?  The kids are not exactly morning people, and the fact that the friggin' sun doesn't actually set until well after "bedtime" makes getting them to bed at an appropriate time really difficult.  Yeah, it's been rough, and we've only been at it for one week.  I'm hoping it'll get easier from here.

With all that said, today I am grateful that we have enough money to do this for Baylor in the first place.  He needs help with his social skills, and I'm glad we're able to provide him the help he needs to improve on these skills and hopefully make school a more positive - and less stressful - experience.  I was never a huge fan of school, and I don't want either of my kids to feel that way; we spend so many of our younger years in school that it seems like a waste to spend all of that time just absolutely hating it.  So, if I can do something about it now, I want to make school something my kiddos can look forward to.  Baylor loves the learning part already and enjoys people his own age ... he just doesn't really get how to be around them and play with them yet.  Hopefully after this summer he'll have a better idea.

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 218

Today I am grateful that Baylor made it through the night dry.  The other night we ran out of overnight diapers for him, so I decided that that was that; no more wearing overnight diapers for the little man.  We now wake him up and take him to the bathroom twice during the night: once whenever we go to bed, and then again at 2:00 a.m.  The previous two nights he had accidents, though only at one waking, but last night he was dry for both wakings and then again in the morning.  I am so proud of him!  (And so thrilled I didn't have to wash his blanky again today!)

Here's hoping for more dry nights!

Have a wonderful night!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 217

Today I am grateful that a couple of, for lack of a better term, chew toys arrived in the mail for Baylor.  He has a bit of an oral fixation, putting toys, his fingers, anything in his mouth when he's lost in thought.  I found some great options on a website recommended to me by the mom of Baylor's playgroup friend.  And, as a bonus, it has a lot of other great tools I might just have to get to help Baylor in some of his weaker areas (e.g., his social skills).

Anyhow, I'm grateful there are resources out there for kids like Baylor who need safe relief from their issues.

Have a wonderful night!

And really, is a wonderful resource for teachers, specialists, and parents alike who need special resources for special children.

A Year of Gratitude: Day 216 (a day late)

Today I am grateful for the first swim of the summer in my parents' pool.  Even though it was pretty cold, both the air and the water, and the sun had disappeared momentarily, we had a lot of fun and the kids enjoyed showing off their new swimming skills.  We're so looking forward to more swims this summer (hopefully warmer ones).

Have a wonderful night!

That's What They Said: Blaspheming with Baylor

This one can stand on its own for its pure awesomeness.

(While sitting at the counter doing Legos ...)
Baylor:  Christ!
Me:  Baylor, don't say that.
Baylor:  What?
Me:  (calmly) What did you just say?
Baylor:  Christ.
Me:  Yes, I know.  Please don't say that.
Baylor:  Why?
Me:  (not really wanting to get into it)  Because we just don't.
Baylor:  But I was talking to Jesus on the phone.  That's what I call him.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 215

Today I am grateful for the delicious dinner and dessert my family made for us tonight.  Homemade barbecue pulled pork on homemade French bread, grilled asparagus, carrots, pineapple, and rhubarb pie.  Delicious!

Thank you so much for the meal and the company, Mom, Dad, and Christine!

Have a wonderful night!

A Year of Gratitude: Day 214 (a day late)

Today I am grateful for so many things ... our home, our family, our friends, our health, our happiness, and our general well-being.  I'm grateful for the fact that most of my problems, if not all, are those of the "first world" variety; those problems like having too much stuff and not getting my new dishwasher installed when it arrived like it was supposed to be.  I feel weird writing about these things because they seem so mundane, so everyday, but I know I'm lucky and it's important to be reminded of it.

And really, truly, I am grateful for all that I have.  All the love.  All the laughter.

Have a wonderful night!

Friday, June 7, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 213

Today I am grateful for Festival of the Arts!  This is my favorite event of the summer in Grand Rapids, and this year my little lovies seemed just as geeked as I was about the experience.  It probably helped that one of Baylor's favorite bands, the Billies, was playing the first day, but I'll take it.  We spent way longer there than we probably should have, but we had so much fun (and my dad even joined in!) and we're looking forward to going back tomorrow!

Have a wonderful night!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 212

Today I am grateful that the oven roasted red-skinned potatoes I made for dinner came out well.  Cooking potatoes makes me nervous; I'm usually either under or over cooking them.  So to have them turn out well is a real treat for me.

Have a wonderful night!

A Year of Gratitude: Day 211 (a day late)

Today I am grateful for closet elevators, impromptu dentist appointments (and subsequent "cavity fillings"), and taking x-rays in the foyer.  The kids played together really well today while I made dinner, something that takes way longer than it should for a million reasons, and I was so grateful not to have to pry apart Legos or fetch markers on high shelves.  They only came in a couple times as dentist and patient to tell me how the appointment went, and I only had to issue one time out when Mollie "slapped" her brother (her words ... *sigh*).

I'm so glad they're becoming such good friends.

Have a wonderful night!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 210

Today I am grateful that I will be able to go to bed early.  I was exhausted today, so exhausted, in fact, that I dropped an entire jar of salsa on the floor, shattering the glass all over the kitchen.  Not a good moment.

So here's to sleep!  Good night and sweet dreams!

Have a wonderful day!

A Year of Gratitude: Day 209 (a day late)

Today I am grateful for the server we had at Vitale's of Ada last night.  She was not only attentive and quick, but she also took the time to have a little conversation with Baylor about the elevators he's been on recently. She knew a lot about the J.W. Marriott downtown and seemed just as excited about it as he was.  It's not every day that we encounter someone so willing to chat with Baylor about his interests.

(In addition, it seems to have fueled Baylor's ongoing infatuation with waitresses that started all the way back when he was nine months old.  I have no doubt that he'll someday come to me and say, "Mom, I met the woman of my dreams!  She's the one I'm going to marry."  Then I'll ask her where he met her and he'll reply, "She was the waitress at the restaurant I went to last night.  It was love at first sight!"  And it's not that there is anything wrong with that, it's just funny that he already has a "type", at least in terms of profession.)

Have a wonderful day!

A Year of Gratitude: Day 208 (two days late)

Today I am grateful that my parents and sister made it home safely from their trip to France.  They seemed to have had a great time, but it's good to have them back in the States.

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, June 3, 2013

That's What They Said: Reasoning

Amalia: (handing me her bowl of applesauce) Help me eat this, please.
Me:  (handing it back to her)  No, you can do this, Mollie.
Bryson:  Mollie, you know how to eat applesauce.  And, you know, the best part about applesauce is that, since you eat it with a spoon, as soon as you dip it in it basically scoops up a bite for you.  Try it!
Amalia:  (puts her spoon into the applesauce and automatically gets a bite)  Yay!
Bryson:  See!
Amalia:  (does it again)  Thank you, spoon!

(After dinner last night ...)
Baylor:  Daddy, can you find a ball for me?
Bryson:  Baylor, where are you going to throw it?
Baylor:  I need to score in my goal behind the futon.
Bryson:  Baylor, what is the futon near?
Baylor:  The window.
Bryson:  That's right.  And are we supposed to throw balls at the windows?
Baylor:  No.  (pauses)  So can you get me a ball?

(While listening to the Barenaked Ladies' "If I Had a $1,000,000" at breakfast ...)
Baylor:  This makes me think of the Death Star.
Me:  (smiling and completely off-guard)  Yeah?  Why is that?
Baylor:  Because that is how much money I would need to buy the Death Star.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

A Year of Gratitude: Day 207 (a day late)

Today I am grateful that my parents put me in charge of taking care of their pool while they were away.  At first I was a little bit dubious about accepting the responsibility, particularly after what happened last time.  But as the days have gone on and the pool has stayed crystal clear and in good working order, I have felt more and more proud about being able to do this for people who give so much to us.  Plus, it feels good to have people trust you with something so important and to be able to follow through on your responsibilities.

So thank you, Mom and Dad, for trusting me enough to take care of your pool.  It means a lot to me.

Have a wonderful night!