Last night about 9:30 we got our first thunderstorm of the season. The entire month of June brings evening thunderstorms. My husband and I joke about the fact that these storms almost always skirt us. We are convinced there is something going on somewherearound that breaks up the storm or send it north. It is probably the mountains we live near. The storms seem to hit the mountain range and head just north of us. Whatever it is, we get far less storms than my parents who live just miles from the edge of the mountain. But, last night we got a storm. I love night time storms. I have been talking to Indy lately about these thunderstorms and how peaceful I think they are. There is something about sounds produced in nature that is very calming, even if they are loud. So, I laid in bed, watching National Treasure thinking about how much I love storms. After about 20 minutes, I realized that my kids don't like storms. Monkey woke up and came to my room. She didn't seem scared however, when I walked her back to her room I realized that if I were her, lying in her bed able to see the flashes of lightning like her I would have been too. Then about 30 minuted after that Mutt woke up crying. Poor kid's door was closed and he had no idea what was going on. Both children went right back to sleep after I tucked them in. If there is a storm after I fall asleep, I usually wake up and lay there listening to it. It is so calming for me! I just love it!
This weekend we are having a yard sale in our neighborhood. In our area each neighborhood has a yard sale at a specific time and tons of people come filing through the communities trying to pick up fabulous finds for a little as possible. A few years ago, when my oldest was big enough to handle money, I set up a small bake sale. Last year was pretty pathetic. The kids ran around the front lawn while I tried to manage the stuff we were selling and the bake sale too! Of course I gave my kids the profits of my fruitful labor even though I was the one who made the baked goods and sold the food. This year I allowed each child to decide what they wanted to bake and told them that we were doing our bake sale a little differently. I decided that we have been blessed with so much and even though it isn't always easy to make ends meet, we have what we need. However, not everyone is as fortunate as we are. The kids were all for it as long as they got to keep half the proceeds. I thought this was acceptable. So there it was all set. But what charity should we support. I figured I would just send everything to St. Jude, my favorite charity. But, then my sister found a program through Glad called Cookies for Kid's Cancer. I had read about something similar and possibly even this program in a magazine earlier this spring but could not remember what it was or where I had read it. But, I figure this sounds good. I mentioned it to other ladies int he neighborhood and they are planning on doing the same thing. Kid's cancer is near and dear to my heart. A great friend of mine has a son who is Indy's age who was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 21 months. He is a bright, beautiful child and Indy's first best friend. While the boys no longer play together and go to different schools, I remain close with his mother. She is one of my favorite people. While she doesn't know it, I admire her! This summer her family will host a college student who will play baseball for a local independent team this summer because her son's favorite thing on the planet is baseball. This child has endured two tumor resections, shunt placement, gamma knife radiation and global radiation to fight his cancer. However, he is one of the lucky ones with pediatric cancer. He is 9 years old and aside from a few side effects from treatment and the tumors he is your average kid. He goes every 6 months for an MRI. This week happens to be his 6 month visit. He will have an MRI of the entire central nervous system this time. My family prays everyday for this boy, for seven years we have prayed and God has answered our prayers. If you search the blogosphere you will find thousands of people praying for various children who fight every day for their lives. No one should have to do this, especially a child. So this weekend we will team up with Glad and host a bake sale. And just maybe we will make a little money and help kid's with cancer!
Just found this great linky party on Trendy Treehouse. See my sidebar for the link! This picture was taken during our first big snow of the season in Decemeber 2009. We had just come from sledding and headed further up into the civil war battlefield to take some pics of the kids on a stone bridge. Here is a view from the stone bridge sans kids!
I need to start this post by thanking my sister and her husband for watching my kids this weekend so my husband and I could enjoy a night out! We went to a concert and it was absolutely amazing! It was his 40th birthday gift! We don't usually get each other gifts, but this was his favorite country star so we splurged. Lots of friends from our community were there and we drove up to the pavilion with some friends from Mutt's soccer team! We had a blast, drank a few too many beers, danced a little and had an all around good time! The concert was amazing! Our seats were great. Our friends however had VIP box seats and they snuck us in about 1/2 way through as they were the only people in their box! My husband and I danced and sang the night away! It was so nice to be there and have no worries. It was like old times. I used to be really fun! I have always been type A! It shined through while at the concert. We had Etickets which I printed on our ink jet printer. Of course it was raining so I covered them in a plastic sleeve. It was a brilliant idea. They stayed dry the whole night and the "gatekeeper" thought it was funny every time I walked my drunk butt to the bathroom and returned with the tickets! I admitted I was type A. Other than that, I was fun and had a blast! My husband and I got to reconnect. We have a good relationship, except when my anxiety takes over and I freak out over something. But, this definitely gave us even more to hold onto! My husband even said our friends probably think we were crazy. We get out for a night without the kids and totally let loose. I think it is great! It just shows we still know how to have a good time!
Many of you who following my blog know that I have been going through a variety of, well let's call them mid-life re-evaluations. My latest has to do with the rate of speed at which I live my life. If I have one free minute during the day I have to fill it with something productive. This is certainly not because I have this desire, but because I have over committed myself. Let's look back at this week for example. Wednesday I had a meeting at the end of my work day. It was at a local cafe. The meeting was to begin at 3:00 p.m. I arrived at 2:50. I try to live by the rule of arriving 15 minutes early to anything scheduled. I find it really rude to be late. To me arriving on time is late! While I waited for everyone to arrive, I wrote a letter to my daughter's class for an end of year teacher gift. While at the park yesterday, I went through a stack of papers from my car, all the while chatting with a friend about the end of the school year n our child's classroom. This morning, while cooking omelets, I blew dry my hair, wrote this blog post, and wiped down both picnic tables on the deck. My husband says have ADD, but seriously this is how i live my life. To some extent all moms live this way. However, I think my multi-tasking is excessive and needs to stop. The things I bring to work are a good indicator. I have piles of work papers, PTO binders and papers, magazines, and the inserts from the Sunday paper. My goal for this week is to multi-task less and enjoy life more. To stop and smell the roses, because they don't bloom forever!
Only 25 more days of work! But, who's counting? I have had quite the struggle today. I stood in one of my work locations and realized finally for the first time, although I knew it was there, that I am doing a job I hate. I know, wow! How the heck does anyone do this? I don't know. Maybe it is why I am tired, anxious, stressed, and not truly happy just about everyday of my life. A friend told me this morning that she was not a jealous person as we discussed Desperate Housewife style all the ladies int he neighborhood that had received convertibles and the like as gifts from their husband for anniversaries or birthdays. Both her family and mine live pay check to pay check, only she gets to stay home and her house is amazing. I have thought long and hard about this today. It is so un-Godly of me to be jealous of others. How or Why am I not happy with what I have a safe, secure home, an amazing husband and beautiful healthy family and truly what we need to live comfortably? How unfair of me to say that I want what others have when I have so much. But, there are things in my life like my job and my daycare situation that make it almost impossible to go through a week without feeling this way. Without avoiding those Facebook comments from friends who ask other friends to do lunch and get a pedicure. A pedicure, I have not had one in 8 years! But, I do have what ultimately matters most is an amazing family. Focus on that, focus on that. Maybe this all stems from being indulged as a child. I got my nails done weekly throughout high school. All my friends including myself had relatively new cars. I wore designer clothes. Now I don't live that lifestyle. If my husband is out during diner time, I can not order out like my mom did. I just need to suck it up and live the life I have. In the end. I don't want any regrets. So, why do I stay in this job? It affords me the flexibility to drop by the kids school or go on a field trip. Tomorrow, I get to eat a picnic lunch with Mutt at his end of year picnic. I couldn't do that if I didn't stick with this job. But, sometimes it is all a little tough to take! I just have to remind myself summer is coming!
I have always firmly believed that at least one parent should stay at home. Each school year I try to justify my working outside the home being saying that with my mother watching my kids and my not working a full schedule that we have the best of both worlds. We can provide what our kids need both financially and emotionally. However, I know this isn't really true! The following reasons are just of few of why I firmly believe that at least one parent should stay at home.
1. Because my kids never get a decent hot breakfast when I have an early meeting.
2. Indy's ringworm has spread and I noticed at 7:30 p.m. It has probably spread because I keep forgetting to ask my mother to apply the medicine in the morning. I have had 3 early meetings since the ringworm diagnosis.
3. Sometimes my mother dresses my youngest in PJs because she thinks it is clothes.
4. Sometimes my mother changes my youngest out of clean clothes and into something else because she thought he was wearing PJs.
5. I almost always feel like my kids do not get my undivided attention.
6. I know that I could offer them so many opportunities that would enrich their lives if I were home with them.
7. I know that my kids would eat more healthfully if I were the one feeding them during the day.
8. Having two parents at home during the summer does not out weigh having one home all year long.
9. I would never have to worry if my kids really got on the bus in the morning.
10. My preschooler would go everyday because he doesn't like to go unless I drive him!
There are a ton more and way more compelling reasons. Those are the ones I can come up with tonight, while feeling really inadequate!
Today's shout out goes to my hubby! Good luck, you are going to kick butt in your half marathon this weekend! Wish I could be there to see you finish. But, I will be far behind you! I am proud of you for doing this!
Today starts our summer (and even into fall) tradition or fruit picking! I am so excited! There is nothing like fruit right from the plant! There is also nothing like watching your kids devour the fruit as you pick it. Makes for great pics too! Of course, I have put aside my concerns about pesticide. We don't have an organic farm close enough for a quick fruit picking trip. It would have to be an all day outing to pick organic fruit. But, the orchard where we have picked apples for years has started to grow berries. We had started picking peaches a few years ago and last season they expanded to berries! It is so great because that is my absolute favorite summer activity with the kids, aside from the beach a 5 hour drive from here! So today we will make family a priority throw all rules and routines out the window, jump in the car a head to our favorite orchard for some strawberry fun! Now, all I have to do is find some recipes for strawberries, if I can get my hands on any before the kids consume them!
I have recently changed my style a but. Not my hair style. Although, I have not had a hair cut in six months so it really has no style. I have changed to a certain degree the style of my dress. I have for at least a couple of years loved Apt. 9 and Daisy Fuentes from Kohls. I really can't afford anything more. It is classy, casual, you can wear it out for date night or just loungin' with the kids. Oh and love Kohl's because things are always on sale! But, lately I have been working hard at losing weight. I have lost five pounds. It doesn't seem like a lot, but when you have just 20 to lose five is like an impossibility. So, when I realized it, I was thrilled. It spiraled into my wanting to work out more and to wear more fitted clothing. My husband is pleased to say the least and I get lots of compliments about the "boob" shirts as he calls them. I have discovered TJMaxx. I have never really been a fan before, but my weekly trips to see what is new and catch that designer is a thrill. Yesterday I snagged some Juicy! My mom has helped my clothing switch with some Victoria's Secret Pink and my hubby has helped keep the fire burning on wanting to workout by purchasing some duds from Athleta, my absolute favorite for Mother's day. I can't be a poseur (Runner's World states the spelling as such, who knew?). My next endeavour is to get a road bike. I want to start some serious riding. My OS who will do my knee surgery in just two months doesn't think it is in my best interest to run. I just went to him for another sprained thumb. Go me! But, I do believe after our chat that he understands why I am continuing to run and not heed his advice. It is like I told him yesterday. If someone told my husband, who has a shoulder injury to stop golfing I don't think he would. (My surgeon golfs so I thought this might hit home.) I also mentioned that when I came in December I never expected him to tell me to stop running forever. So, he didn't seem too upset with me. Just told me to be careful and not to fall while water skiing because I could re injure my thumb. Seriously, water skiing. Two weeks and we shall see! So, let's see what things I acquire next month. My shopping is over for this month. I have bought way too much between Indy's Gymboree tanks and shorts for $7.99 and his Abercrombie tees for $12 to round out his wardrobe. I figure with prices like those why not wear the stuff. Target is just as expensive for big boys sizes and truthfully pairing a $5 pair of C9 shorts, looks a lot better with an Abercrombie shirt that an over sized tee on top!
This past weekend I began my commitment to feeding my family as much organic food as possible. I have done this before. I am pretty good about it most of the time. My biggest problem with it is the cost. It costs a lot to eat organically. For example, the cheapest organic apples at our local grocer were $1.19 per apple this weekend. However, according to an article I read in Runner's World this month; people who eat organic food reduce their pesticide intake by as much as 90%. This is according to a study from the University of Washington. Pesticide just can't be healthy to put in you body. Since I have had kids, we have drank organic milk. It usually costs my $15 to provide this for my family. I am not even sure what it would cost me for conventional milk. There have been many debates about the link between milk and early onset puberty. However, it does not appear that there have been any conclusions. However, in this regard I will error on the side of caution. In my kids backpack this morning you will find an organic milk box that they will bring to the cafeteria because our school system will not offer organic milk because there is not enough demand for it and no shelf stable option (except for Costco's brand and Horizon and possible others that I don't know about, there vendor just doesn't offer one). Feeding our kids healthy is nothing new for moms. We all aspire to do a better job. Kids don't eat healthy by nature. If others are eating junk food, who wouldn't follow suit? I just feel like there is a direct link between eating healthy and exercising regularly and the severity and duration or illness. It is expense, as I said earlier to eat organically. I spent a lot of money this weekend. Why do I do it? Because you never know. What do the pesticide and growth hormones do? Why does it seem like more people have cancer than a decade ago? What are kids maturing faster? Why does it seem like my kids get sick more than I did as a child? I feel like it can only help and I am determined to give me kids the best start I can at having a healthy life. So bring on the organic lollipops! The kids love them. They come in funky flavors made with vegetables. Bring on the organic bunnies instead of Goldfish! At least my kids will know which snacks are theirs. So what is your take on organics?
Today's shout out goes out to all the moms out there! But, especially the moms in my life. My mom sacrifices so much to watch my kids while I work. She is selfless! I don't tell her enough because the eternal pessimist in me sees and focuses on all the negative, but I am really thankful for all she has done. She has enabled me to have my youngest! How can I not be thankful! And my mother in law, what can I say. She is an inspiration. She is always so relaxed and level headed. She is loving caring and loves us all unconditionally. She is generous. We have travelled so much recently, all because of her generosity! Wow! My moms are great!
Because ESPN has been calling himself "me" for the past 6 months, I thought it was appropriate to give him a shout out. He finally learned to say his name 3 nights ago. As my husband says Mother's Day will be his coming out party when he tells everyone in the family his name for the first time. It is so cute too because the other kids gets so excited when he says it and praise him up and down. He sheepishly smiles. It melts my heart!
All week I have been trying to post, but it has been crazy busy at home, at work, and pretty much everywhere else. I was reading a friend's Facebook status and she was saying she only had one day this week to relax. She was asking another friend to go out for lunch and a pedicure. I thought to myself, hmm...I haven't had a pedicure in 8 years. I am lucky if I get a haircut every 6 months! Which I am coming up on right now and my haircut girl is about to have a baby! Gotta get in there. Even when I am off for the summer, we are so busy with activities that I don't have time to relax. And, if I have time to relax I should be organizing my disaster of a house. So, no relaxation time. I guess I am envious. Not a good trait! I love my life and be thankful for what I have.
Indy is giving me a run for my money. It has been happening for a long time. He has been sassy, rude, disrespectful, unmotivated, pretty much just a real stinker! I can't figure out what to do with him. And when I am already at my wits end with him, I find out that he has been buying double lunches at school. I realize this because I got an email that his lunch account was low and that should not be because it wasn't too long ago that I sent in a check. So I look at his meal history (love www.lunchmoney.com)! That stinker has bought double lunches 4 out of the last 5 days. When he gets home from school I look in his backpack and find a new copy of the second 39 Clues book. I have not given him any money for the book fair and question him as to where he got this book. He tells me his friend gave him $20. I am so angry, my head is about to explode. So today, he will march his butt into the book fair and try to return this book by explaining that he borrowed money from a friend and he will then give his friend's money back. Luckily, I am friend's with the mom so I can easily check up on the transaction! What were you thinking, Indy?
I can't really think anymore. I have a cold and it is obviously affecting my brain. I am so overwhelmed again with work and home. Thankfully, my husband is finished teaching Math Power Hour this afternoon and I will have him home most days at the usual time, which is good because, I feel like I am on the edge of losing control again and I just got it back! Sounds like life to me!
Today's shout out goes to my beautiful kids! Rock the I Did It Run tomorrow, guys! I am proud of you for running it! A second shout out goes out to the ladies from our school who have worked so hard to pull off the fun fair for our kids! You rock, ladies!