Thursday, April 30, 2009

Small Successes

Celebrating the little things that add up.
1. After nearly two and a half weeks of trying to decide what I should plant in my retainer wall garden, I stumbled upon the strawberry plant clearance rack at my local Lowes.  What strawberry lover can resist .30 strawberry plants that have flowers and in some cases strawberries already growing on them?  I planted 18 lovely looking strawberry plants in the retainer wall two days ago.  I also picked up some blueberry bushes and rosemary plants for the garden, but they still have to be planted.  There's nothing like having plants that produce yummy food!

2. I made two home cooked meals for my family this week....and they're still alive!  Best of all, Ellie actually agreed to eat her vegetables both nights and she even ate baked potato. Success! The second night she went so far as to request the baked potato!  That's pretty huge since she has refused to eat potatoes (unless they're in french fry form) since she was a baby.

3. Today, I remembered to dress Ellie for Topsy Turvy day at school.  Given my frequent Mommy Brain moments as of late, I'm pretty pleased with myself for remembering this.  I am happy to say that I sent my child to school with two hair styles and hair clips, two different shoes and socks, inside out and backwards pants and jacket, and a backwards shirt.  If this were a normal day I'd start twitching at the thought of letting her leave the house like this.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Bryan's car went in for repairs on Monday night.  Apparently, the car has a laundry list of repairs that need to be done.  We were expecting the car to be finished yesterday, but we got a call late in the day and were told it wouldn't be ready until Thursday.  Bryan could have worked from home today and tomorrow, but that would force him to go into the office on Friday.  So I decided to sacrifice having my minivan for the day so Bryan could get to the office today.  Fortunately for me, we have really nice neighbors who don't mind taking Madeline to school (their son is in the same grade at the same school, so they were going that way).  I don't have any errands to run today, but I hate not having the ability to pick up and go. 
I wish that it wasn't raining today.  I could really take advantage of being stuck at home a little better if it was sunny out.  I have hedges that need to be trimmed and 6 blueberry bushes that need to be planted in the almost finished retainer wall.  
Some good came out of my being stranded.  I managed to get my small mountain of laundry washed and put away.  I also got the house straightened up.  And, best of all, I got to have a rather leisurely morning.  In fact, Ellie is still running around in her pjs.  If I had my car, I would have had her washed and dressed before 8:30am.  
Tomorrow will be a busy day for me.  I get to play the part of the family taxi driver.  Ellie has school and Madeline has her final CCD class for the school year.  I can't believe she only has one more class and a rehearsal before her First Communion, but I digress.  After her CCD class, I have to run Madeline over to the optical store where we get her glasses.  They ordered frames for her and I have to bring her over there to see if they fit her face well.  The optician felt that the frames she tried on this past weekend were on the verge of being too small for her.  Four years ago I had the hardest time finding frames for her that weren't too big for her face.  It's hard to believe that she's outgrown two (almost three) sizes of frames in that span of time.  I'm hopeful that the new frames will fit her well.  I'd like her to have new glasses before her first communion since the current frames are a little beat up after 18 months of daily wear.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Glad we got the kind that won't decay!

Honestly!  Do they really need to put labels on gravel that say it "Will Not Decay"?  Never even crossed my mind that gravel would decay.  It's labels like this that make me wonder if there are many people out there who worry about whether or not their decorative stones are going to rot or decay.  I noticed this label on Sunday when Bryan and I were spreading stones in the retainer wall.  So when we went back to Lowes yesterday I checked out the other bags of decorative stones.  Every single one of them had the "Will Not Decay" claim on the bag.  Amazing.

Monday, April 27, 2009

She's a scary one....

Ellie may look sweet, but she's got a scary side to her.  Is it not incredibly disturbing that a three year old likes to make nooses (not real nooses, but close enough to look like one) on her Barbie dolls?  
I'm not a fan of Barbie, and I wasn't nice to her as a child.  I used to make her drive off cliffs (the couch) in her convertible when I was a kid.  But, I was older than Ellie when I was doing this, and I was pretending she was in a soap opera. 
Ellie is so proud of herself when she hangs or ties up her Barbie dolls.  Guess this is a perfect example of nurture vs. nature.
Note to self: NEVER teach Ellie how to make a proper noose!

Clearly, I'm a glutton for punishment

I wound up the color of a tomato yesterday.  I tried to avoid the sun, but it simply wasn't possible. First, there was Madeline's soccer game where we had to be there at noon.  I try not to keep company  with the sun at noon when it's hot out.  I get burned every time (pun intended).  Then, I tried to hide in the house once we got home and it was evident that I was a tad on the red side.  That didn't last very long.  Bryan wanted my input on some landscaping stuff and the next thing I knew I was sort of trapped outside.  After giving Bryan my approval the landscaping, I got sucked into helping him with the weed block.  Next thing I know, I'm now helping with putting the safety fence up around the pool and other random things.  I wanted so desperately to run inside and hide from the sun, but Bryan needed my help so I stayed out there and baked.
I decided today that I was going to stay inside not matter what, but I'm crazy and decided to go pull weeds.  I was smart enough to run inside when I realized that once again the sun was beating down on me.  I'm sure I only added to my sunburn. And, I'm willing to bet that I'll be back outside again later today once Madeline gets home from school.  There's no way my girls are going to be content staying inside on a day like this.
 I'm happy that Ellie is smart enough to play in the shade.  I used sunscreen on her yesterday and the poor girl got burnt at the soccer game.  So I'm suffering from Mommy Guilt again.  If I didn't go to Madeline's soccer game I'd feel bad because Madeline would be upset, and because I went to the game I feel bad because poor Ellie is now red.  I just can't win sometimes.  Ellie, unlike me, has a pretty good understanding that going out in the sun just isn't good for her and she tries to avoid it anytime she has a sunburn.
I think I may be more compliant with staying indoors if I wasn't so worried about making sure the front yard looks good for Madeline's First Communion.  I'd like to be able to take pictures of her on the lawn before we head to the church.  My neighbors spent all day yesterday working on their yard getting it ready for their son's First Communion (same Mass as Madeline's).  Maybe I should just walk Madeline over to their lawn.
I'm going to be totally exhausted by the time Madeline's First Communion rolls around.  I have 12 more days left to obsess about getting the house ready, making sure I have everything I need for the party and of course, making sure I have Madeline looking picture perfect for her big day.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Seat theft at Mass and sunburn at soccer

Today is shaping up to be a long day and it's not even 2pm yet.  We have a few hours of yard work ahead of us and we still have to go out for lunch.

I knew when we were taking Ellie into the school for CCD that I was in for one of my rare form days.  As we were walking into the building I crossed paths with a man who had the hairiest ear lobes I've ever seen.  I have a bit of a hair plucking fascination that Bryan is usually the victim of, so I notice things like rogue ear hairs on men.  Fortunately, this man wasn't sitting near me at Mass or else I would have been distracted. Bryan likes to point out things at Mass that he knows will make me laugh and he would have had a field day with the hairy ears.  

I wound up having a different distraction at Mass.  After Madeline went downstairs for the children's liturgy, the usher crammed three larger adults into our pew.  I made sure I let the woman next to me know that my daughter was sitting where she currently was and that she'd be back.  I guess she thought I was talking about my imaginary child, because in the middle of the homily she waved her teenaged son who smelled like marijuana and kept texting people during Mass into Madeline's seat.  I can't tell you how incredibly annoyed I was.  Once all the kids came back after the homily, I think the seat stealer's mother felt guilty.  Bryan had to drop back a pew and sit with one of the dads from Madeline's soccer team and CCD class. 

The other thing that can set me off at church, besides mutant ear hairs, on a day when I'm in rare form is the folk song group at church.  For a while there we thought this was the church choir, but I discovered at the Good Friday service and the Easter Vigil Mass, that the church actually does have a decent choir.  The Folk Song group is "special" so they're not part of the choir.  This group apparently exists to wage a ruthless assault on the ears of the parish.  Since we go to Mass at 9:15 every Sunday while Ellie is in CCD we, sadly, never get to hear the good choir.  Today was particularly bad to the point that I almost burst out laughing while in line for communion.  The Folk Song group comes up with some of the worst songs ever created, and then they butcher them unmercifully. I'm pretty sure even God couldn't like these songs, especially when they're sung totally off key. I'm not sure why no one has stopped this group yet. Once CCD is done for the Summer I think we'll be going to Mass at a different time.  My ears need a rest and I think I'd like to hear the real choir instead.

Madeline's soccer game went pretty well today.  She played for almost the entire game and she played a good game.  It was 95 degrees out while she was playing, so by the time the 4th quarter was nearly over she was totally wiped out.  Madeline played goalie for a quarter and she only got scored on once, which is great since the other team was really good. 

We all came home from the game with sunburn. Ellie and I got the brunt of it since we have very fair skin.  I sprayed Ellie with sunscreen before we left for the game, but it didn't help.  I'll probably be lobster red by the end of today.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Sometimes birthday parties can be fun.

I'm the kind of person who generally dreads going to birthday parties for my kids' friends. There's always the loud volume level and the painful small talk with the parents who, in most cases, you don't know.  I actually try to find excuses not go take my kids to these parties, but sometimes, you just can't get out of going.  Today we had to go to a party for Madeline's friend Mary.  We know Mary and her family since they live around the corner from us.  Her mom and I are good friends and since we really like them, I didn't try to make up an excuse not to go to the party.  This party was at a toy store called Learning Express, so I was skeptical that this would actually be a fun party. I figured that I'd wind up with two kids begging me to buy more toys that we simply don't need and we'd be going home with crying children.  Turns out that neither one of them asked for a single thing and they both left the store smiling. I found a toy that I wanted, but Bryan wouldn't buy it for me.

I wound up having a lot of fun.  The toy store had this neat glider thing  (this is the toy that Bryan wouldn't buy me) that you sit in and when you move your feet back and forth you propel yourself forward.  I was scooting all over the store in it.  My neighbors all found my antics rather amusing. The toy is a great work out for your legs.

The only part of the party that wasn't to my liking was the craft part.  When I read craft on a party invite I imagine something that isn't going to create a permanent mess, but often that's not the reality.  This party had a tie-dye craft. Both of my girls have this wipe my hands on my shirt reflex that drives me crazy.  On an ordinary day I'd just deal with it, but when fabric dye is involved I can't help but go into frantic Karen mode.  Madeline was wearing a cute new outfit today that had a white shirt and there she is dripping dye dangerously close to her shirt.  She wound up with two tiny purple stains on her shirt.  I'm hopeful that I'll be able to get it out with some bleach.  Ellie was ready to go in for the kill of one of my favorite shirts on her as soon as she came in contact with the dye.  She was desperate to wipe her dye colored plastic gloves on her shirt.  I was going into a small meltdown as Bryan stood by taking pictures.  As I'm freaking out on the inside I realize that I'm coming close to having a Kate Gosselin moment.  So I wound up doing Ellie's tie dye shirt for her and told Madeline to put the dye down and step away so I wouldn't cause a scene.  I honestly don't know how I missed the part where Kelly, Mary's mom, told me about the tie dying.  She's knows that I'm a maniac when it comes to keeping the girls clothes nice so when she warned me this Wednesday I guess that was my cue to dress them in play clothes. Obviously, the paint fumes from earlier this week killed enough of my brain cells to make me have yet another Mommy Brain moment, because I didn't make a mental note about the tie dying.

The cupcakes at the party were another highlight for me.  Kelly made puppy cupcakes and her girls decided to decorate the cake box before the party.  When they moved the box it rocked the puppy cupcakes' world.  As a result the expressions on the cupcakes were priceless.  If they had been done by a professional baker I feel confident that they would have made it on to the Cake Wrecks blog.  Cake Wrecks confirms all the fears I've had about cakes for my kids' parties going wrong.  Bryan always tells me that I worry over nothing, but that blog confirms that sometimes cakes just don't go as planned. 

Poor Cupcakes....they look so concerned.

Friday, April 24, 2009


They're done!

I just finished painting all the doors on the main level. Inside I'm really happy that I'm done, but my body isn't feeling as enthusiastic about this job being completed.  My back, neck, arms and hands hurt.  I guess I pushed myself a little too far this week.  And since I spent too many hours breathing in paint fumes I now have a massive headache, but it's only on the right side.  
I need a Margherita pizza from Rustico.  They make my version of pizza heaven.  The pizza may not make my headache go away but it will make me feel better.  Pizza and candy are my ultimate comfort foods.  I have to wait another 40 minutes before I can order my delightful pizza since I want Madeline's slice of run of the mill pepperoni pizza to still be hot when she gets home from school. Her school has had half days most of this week and they don't let the poor kids have lunch at school on half days.  She's been coming home famished the past 3 days.
I think Ellie is happy that I'm done with the painting.  She did a little dance where she was shaking her tush when I told her I was done.  It's nice to see that someone is happy to see that I'm done running myself into the ground for a little bit.  She wanted to pose in front of the door when I was taking a picture of my work.  See how the door and woodwork match?  I'm very happy that I will be looking at a  nicely painted doorway when I'm eating from now on.  I love how Ellie just had to put her hands on the freshly painted door.  I give it less than a week before it is covered in dirty fingerprints.

I have a mountain of laundry that I need to tackle sometime today.  Bryan hasn't had any clean jeans for a few days now.  He thinks its my evil plot to make him wear khakis.  If I recall correctly, he didn't have any jeans for Mass on Sunday, so he had to dress nicely (poor guy). And yesterday I noticed he wore nice pants to work.  I asked him if he was dressing nicely for me, but apparently he was dressed in khakis because his lazy wife who's been playing with paint and pulling weeds never got around to washing his clothes.  Now I know what I have to do to get him to dress nicer (insert maniacal laughter here).

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Just because she's cute...

Attack of the Mommy Brain!

Before I had kids, I had an amazing memory.  Tell me something once and I'd never forget it.  After I had Madeline the memory was still pretty good, but I'd have Mommy moments here and there.  No big deal.  Now I'm lucky most days if I can remember my name let alone my kids'.  Ask poor Ellie.  That child gets called "Madel-Oh that's not your name!-the other kid" all the time.  Such a sad state my poor memory is in these days.
I realized around midnight last night that I was supposed to bring in a 22 or 23 ounce bag of marshmallow's for Ellie's class, but couldn't remember when I needed them.  Then I sat there in my paint fume induced confused state, no doubt, and thought it was odd that the ounce of the marshmallow bag was specified on the sign up sheet.  That's when it occurred to me that I must have had another Mommy Brain moment (Mommy Guilt, that was your entrance cue).  Yeah, so I take a look at the calendar and realize that the MWF class needed the marshmallows for the 22nd and Ellie's class needed them for the 23rd. The only marshmallow items in the house are peeps and there was simply no way I could get the marshmallows before school since I have to drop Madeline off first.  This isn't the first Mommy Brain moment of the week.  I also forgot to remind Madeline to take her library books to school on Monday, so I'm expecting another late notice from the school any day now.  And as I type this, I realize that I never emailed Madeline's teacher to let her know that Madeline needs to leave her glasses at her desk for P.E. today.  I told Madeline to tell her teacher to check her email in an hour because I wanted to explain the situation.  School gets out in 50 minutes so emailing the teacher now would just be pointless.  
I even left the dog out this morning when I took the kids to school!  Mr. Furkins always gets locked in his crate when we go out.  Today, in my rush to get the kids to school on time, I forgot about the dog. Oscar clearly thought it was odd and he put himself in the crate.  He was sitting there looking all confused when I came into the house with the groceries.  Any other day, and I would have been home 5-20 minutes after leaving, but not today.  I went grocery shopping and was gone for more than an hour.  I'm very proud of Oscar for behaving himself. 
I'm losing my mind and I don't like it.  I hope I don't forget to pick Madeline up from CCD tonight since someone else is taking her there.

Small Successes

1. I'm in frantic "have to get the house ready before Madeline's First Communion" mode.  I've spent the past several days doing one of my least favorite things with regards to painting--that is painstakingly painting the woodwork.  Initially I wanted to paint all the trim on the main level, but I realize now that wanting to do that is nothing short of insane.  I've settled for painting all the kitchen and entry way trim and the doors.  Most of the doors are new as of last summer and have been in need of paint for close to a year now.  As of this morning all the new doors for the main level are officially done.  I have two steel doors to paint tomorrow.  
2. After 21 1/2 months I finally decided that I should also touch up all the areas that I missed in my haste when I painted the kitchen walls.  This morning I felt incredibly satisfied when I looked around the kitchen and didn't see the ugly "supposed to be lavender" color that the previous owner had painted the kitchen anymore.  It actually looks like I'm done painting the kitchen and I don't think it took me more than 30 minutes to do all the touch-ups.  Now why didn't I do this a long time ago?  This weekend I'm going to touch up the family room so there are no dirty little secrets behind the curtains anymore.
3. The gardens in the front yard are all officially weeded.  I still need to trim my hedges, but that's on my list for this weekend.  My bonus for weeding the garden is I now have some color on my face and arms.  Hooray for weeded gardens and not being pasty white all over!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I'm not sure what happened to the last two days.  It's all a blur of painting, pulling weeds, sweeping up dirt and handing my girls snacks and juice.

I've spent most of the past two days either on my knees or hunched over.  My back, knees and hands are really sore, and I'm sunburned. The good news is I have a lot to show for it.  I have three garden areas that are weed free.  I even went so far as to prune back a lot of the plants that we getting out of control.  Almost all of the trim in my kitchen and entryway is freshly painted.  I have a 6 foot section of woodwork that is blocked by the fridge that still needs painting.  I have one side of a door left to paint and then just the back of my front door and kitchen door will need to be painted.  The front and kitchen doors are my Friday project.  I need the locks off of those doors and I need to be able to have those doors left unlocked for at least 4 hours so the paint can dry.  Since Bryan works from home on Friday it's the perfect day for me to tackle the doors.

I'm beginning to suffer from Mommy guilt since I've been spending more time on my projects than I have with my kids.  Madeline is always busy playing with kids in our neighborhood so she's not bothered by my preoccupation.  Poor Ellie on the other hand spent most of today wandering aimlessly.  I took breaks to spend some time with her while Madeline was at school but I still feel like I neglected her.  I know she wanted to play Candyland with me earlier in the day but when I finished with the trim she moved on to wanting a snack and the game never got played.  Madeline played it with her when she got home from school but the game ended with Ellie screaming and crying.  I always make sure Ellie wins at least one round before we put the game away.  Madeline isn't always willing to throw the game for her little sister. Today she wasn't willing to lose.  

Ellie's day wasn't all bad.  She did manage to score a lolipop at the parish office today.  I had to get the rosary I brought for Madeline for her First Communion to get it Blessed.  If I didn't I'd be dealing with Dad induced guilt in about 2 1/2 weeks.  

My dad was pretty concerned a few weeks ago because the rosary beads I had Madeline's First Communion pictures taken with weren't Blessed.  I think it's kind of funny that my dad made such a big deal over this.  I could see if I had been raised Catholic and should have known better but, that's not the case.  

My dad is Catholic and my mother was raised Episcopalian.  My mom wasn't willing to allow her kids to be raised Catholic.  To hear my dad tell the story it all boils down to her not wanting her parents to disapprove.  So in some sort of compromise, my parents selected Lutheran  as the religion for my brothers and me.  Makes sense, right?  After I hit third grade I managed to convince my mother not to make me go to the awful Sunday School at the Lutheran church anymore (a new pastor who wasn't well liked helped the situation).  Prior to that I was pretty skilled at hanging out in the stairwell and hardly ever making it to my Sunday School class.  I knew in my gut from a very early age that the Lutheran church wasn't the place for me. On the occasions when my brothers would catch me dodging class and bring me to where I was supposed to be the teachers would make this big deal about the new kid in the class. Pretty funny when you think about how they didn't know they were missing a kid.  That would never fly in the RE program at our church.  

Once Bryan and I got engaged I knew that I had my golden moment to convert to Catholicism. My mom wasn't happy about it and I'm pretty sure to this day she still isn't.  She tells me frequently that Madeline would make a great Protestant.  No thanks, Mom.  Essentially my  parents think that I only converted so we could get married in the Catholic church.  I'm not sure how they forgot me asking them to let me go to CCD when I was a kid for several years (Imagine that, while many of my friends were wishing they didn't have to go to CCD, I was wishing I could go.).  I essentially used my engagement as a catalyst to convert so I wouldn't have to be hassled by my mother.  So nine years ago today I was confirmed at the Easter Vigil.  No one in my family was there, but Bryan and my best friend (my sponsor) were.  

Monday, April 20, 2009

Forcing myself out of procrastination

We moved into our current home almost two years ago.  The first two weeks we were in this house I was like a machine working night and day making this house ours.  The previous owners left a layer of filth that penetrated much of the house to a degree that was simply unreal.  During those legendary first two weeks in this house I scrubbed the house from top to bottom, painted 4 rooms and unpacked all of our stuff.  I'm still not sure what Bryan did while I was doing all of this.  He did unload the PODS and our storage unit, and I recall him watching the girls when I was painting. I was focused on getting our house ready for Elisabeth's second birthday party.  We spent close to a hundred days waiting to get into this house and I was determined to make sure it looked the way I wanted it to when friends and family came to the party.  The amount of work I put into this house in just the first week alone was unreal.  By the time Ellie's party rolled around I was burnt out.  I managed to force myself to finish our new fireplace mantle in mid-August (a month after Ellie's party) but after that I couldn't bring myself to finish the huge task of transforming this house.
Last Summer, I decided that helping Bryan replace our deck, which had been the food of choice for a ravenous group of carpenter ants, would be more entertaining than say touching up the paint in the rooms I painted the year before.  So to this day, I still have some areas in my family room and kitchen that need to be painted.  I didn't have small enough brushes to get into the tiny spots when I originally painted the rooms so I left them undone.  I find every diversion under the sun to avoid having to finish the job.  
I added to my list of things to procrastinate on last Summer.  After the deck was replaced (still not stained since the pool construction got in the way) I had Bryan start on replacing the ugly doors that were in this house.  I now have 5 closets that still have need or replacement doors.  I have no doubt that they would have been replaced by now if Bryan didn't have a mishap with a chisel last August.  In a food deprived state (I had dinner waiting for him) Bryan, determined to finish the final regular door, gouged his finger with the chisel instead of using it on the door.  He's not exactly motivated to pick up a chisel these days and I can't say that I blame him.
My current list of things that need to be completed around the house is growing.  I am beginning to hit that frantic work mode as Madeline's First Communion rapidly approaches.  We're having a brunch back at the house after Mass and I want the main level of the house and the front yard to look nice.  I would love for our deck to be stained, too, but I'm sure that's not going to happen before May 9th.
Today I took the first step towards completing my long to do list.  I painted the baseboards in my entryway.  Now that I've done that, I have no choice but to paint the trim around the doors and the new doors that were installed last summer. If all goes according to my plan, I will have my kitchen baseboards painted tomorrow while Ellie is in school. I may attempt to paint around some of the doorways, too, if the mood strikes me.


Apparently, today is a tooth day.  This morning I had to trek down to my dentist's office in Stone Harbor for the second Monday in a row.  Last week it was for Madeline and I to get our teeth cleaned and today was filling day for me.  I had a 4 year cavity-free streak.  I'm hoping to go at least another 4 years before the next one hits.  I'm running out of cavity free teeth at this point, but it's probably all due to my candy addiction.  I can't get enough of candy.
Madeline lost another tooth today.  That brings her lost tooth count up to five.  This child is not going to have any teeth in her mouth by the time her First Holy Communion rolls around in less than three weeks.  She lost her two front teeth within the past 6 weeks and now she's missing another bottom tooth.  She's all smiles today since she's been anticipating the imminent loss of this tooth for about two weeks.  Looks like the tooth fairy will be visiting our house tonight.  I hope she doesn't forget like the time before the last tooth.  Madeline was devastated but Bryan managed to convince her that she didn't look hard enough in her tooth box for the money.  I think the tooth fairy, realizing that she forgot to claim a tooth when she woke to the sound of a disappointed seven year old, waited for her to go downstairs to watch TV on Saturday morning and then sneaked into her room and traded money for tiny tooth and went back to bed.  

Friday, April 17, 2009

I either don't exist or I've abandoned my family.

That's what one might think if they go through my vast collection of pictures.  Sure, I show up in the odd picture here and there with the family, but pictures of me alone are almost non-existent.   It looks like I abandoned Bryan and the girls right around the time that Ellie learned how to walk.  I must have become unnecessary around that time.
 The pictures of me that do exist are usually pretty awful.  Bryan has a knack for taking the absolute most unflattering pictures of me and he thinks it's pretty funny.  He captures expressions that I wish I didn't know were possible.  I've never met anyone in my life who could capture such awful images of me.  I wonder sometimes if those photos show me the way he sees me.  If that's the case there's only one word that will suffice. Scary.  
The best pictures that get taken of me are those done by my girls.  Madeline loves to take pictures and she's responsible for my current profile picture.  Ellie has taken a few decent pictures of me as well, but they're all from weird angles because she's short.  
Perhaps someday in the future a good picture of me alone will be taken. But, I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for that to happen.
I spent a good portion of today getting all of my photos to successfully transfer into my new laptop.  I'm happy to say that I now have all of my pictures at my fingertips once again.  Of course, because I spent so much time with the pictures, I've become acutely aware of my absence in the family photo album.  I guess that's the pitfall of being the family photographer.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Hooray for following directions!

Since Bryan is a computer programmer I've pretty much relied on him to take care of anything that even hints at being in his area of expertise when I come across it.  Sure, I've figured out how to upload pics to message boards and Facebook and I've done a few things with Html things here and there but on the whole I'm pretty awful at figuring that stuff out.  Tonight I decided that I was going to figure out how to get a cool background for my blog (all part of my plot to make sure I don't abandon my blog by next week).  Amazingly, I figured it out!  Thanks to Simply Chic Blog Backgrounds for not only a snazzy new background that suits me but also for the easy instructions for how to get the background to show up.  Yay me!  And just now I even figured out how to do the hyper link thing, too!  Bryan would be so proud of me.

Small Successes

  1.  I cleaned my kitchen counter tops and every window that had puppy or small people prints on it.
  2. I ironed the dresses the girls and I wore for Easter.
  3. I imported and organized over 5,000 photos into my iPhoto.  Only 24,000 to go. Ugh!

Why is learning to stand back so difficult?

I'm slowly coming to terms with the reality that I can't be a control freak in areas that don't technically involve me.  Madeline is a very smart girl but sometimes it seems that she has difficulty putting her thoughts on paper when doing homework.  I've had many moments over the past two school years where I've just wanted to bang my head on the wall because she knew the answer if she were to say it out loud, but she simply couldn't just get to the point when writing it out. It's the type of thing where I usually swoop in and paraphrase the answer for her a few different ways until she start picking up on what I'm saying and writes it down.  Today as we're nearing the 4th marking period of 2nd grade I've decided that I can't always be her safety net making sure that her answers are text book perfect.  I've tried to take this approach in the past but I get overtaken with control freak mommy impulses that force me to make sure she sends perfect homework into school the next day.  Today I let her answer the question her way.  I think it's possible this kid could have a political career ahead of her.  While she answered the question on her math homework in a way that I supposed could be construed as correct, she also sort of avoided the short and sweet answer that would have been dead on.  It was a question about the calendar year and two 7 year old girls and when their birthdays were.  The question wanted to know who was older and why.  The short and sweet answer is X is older because her birthday comes before Y's birthday.  Instead we get X turns 8 three months before Y's birthday.  I sat there reading her answer and got that feeling I get when I hear a politician dodge a question he doesn't really want to answer.  Maybe I'm reading too much into her method of answering questions.  Poor kid has a mom who's just too picky...but I'm trying my best to let her start doing this on her own.  Bryan reminds me all the time that it's her work and her grade, but I have to admit those As she brings home make me feel pretty good.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The inhabitants of Mommyland

Before I'm able to come up with an excuse to abandon this blog I figure I'll introduce the people or creatures (in Oscar's case) that I'll be blogging about.  Perhaps if I put pictures of my kids, husband and Furkin up here I'll be less inclined to misplace this blog like I have its predecessors.
Madeline is my older daughter. She is 7 1/2 years old.  She is in the second grade and she plays soccer.

Ellie is my younger daughter.  She'll be 4 in July.  Her world currently consists of going to preschool two days a week, going to CCD on Sunday and hanging out around the house and creating chaos with her partner in crime, Oscar.
Oscar is our dog.  He's a Pug and Jack Russell Terrier mix that is called a Jug.   He has many roles in our family. For Bryan and the kids he's a companion, playmate and pet.  Oscar is my scapegoat.  When things go wrong, Mr. Furkins is to blame.  There's a reason I call him Furkins, he has furry skin.  Bryan is convinced that I love the dog, but I'm not about to admit anything as crazy as that.  I do think that Mr. Furkins is attached to me, but I think it's because I drop food and occasionally pocket lint on the floor. As you can see in the picture below, Oscar has a penchant for laying around and making himself look absurd.  Really, who lays around like that?

Bryan is my husband.  Without him I wouldn't have two small kids and a dog to torment me. He married me in spite of the fact that I can't cook and have no desire to prepare food most days. You would think after 8 years of marriage that he'd be emaciated from the lack of home cooked dinners, but somehow he's managed to fend for himself.  I'm fortunate to have someone who likes to eat out (and not be subjected to my cooking) as much as I do.  

Another attempt?

Over the past three years I've attempted to do the blog thing at least three times and each time some adventure or another in my little world I like to call Mommyland has caused my foray into the blogosphere to fizzle out after one or two posts.  Somewhere lost in the internet are blog posts about my two little girls that I cannot remember where I put them.  Each time I've created my little blog I've had aspirations of sharing it with friends and family.  Each time I've failed miserably.  Here's hoping that my 4th or 5th attempt is the one that sticks.
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