Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

Hope you all have had a wonderful 2011, filled with love, laughter, friends, and family. Praying 2012 will be an even better year.

If you are sharing a card on your site, feel free to leave a link in the comments below, I'd love to visit!

For more warm holiday fuzzies, visit the Fourth Annual Great Bloggy Holiday Card Exchange

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

vinyl family

You know those decals of stick figure families that adorn so many minivans? I think they're pretty cute. Well, at least I did until I started seeing them everywhere.

They just became too popular for me and lost part of their appeal. I'm fickle that way (this does not apply to the iPad - I don't think that will lose its appeal ever or at least not until something cooler comes out).

Anyway, my fried Bridget is pretty much the most creative person I know. Seriously, check out her blog, she has a ton of awesome ideas on there, as well as some really great writing. She started an etsy shop where she sells really cute car decals. And they're not the standard stick figure kind either.

She sent me one a couple of months ago and it surprised me how much it captured my little family. My husband even asked if it was actually us.

So, quick, go to her  etsy shop and get a decal that represents your family. I know she'd be happy to work with you on something that you will just love. Then, you can say you were one of the first to own one!

The internet has brought me a lot of cool things. I think Bridget is one of the coolest. Thanks Bridget for the decal, but more importantly, for your friendship! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

wordless wednesday: breakfast with santa

Even though we didn't actually eat with Santa, Punkin enjoyed "Breakfast with Santa" at his school last Saturday.

Linked at 5 Minutes for Mom and Two of a Kind.

Monday, December 5, 2011

the best sweet potato casserole ever

Not that I'm bragging or anything.

But seriously, I have never made sweet potato anything before, but when discussions of what food everyone was bringing for Thanksgiving came up, I found myself agreeing to bring sweet potatoes and a dessert (though the dessert is another post).

I turned to pinterest (of course) for recipe inspiration, and pinterest did not disappoint. I went through many, many variations, before I settled on this recipe (pin here). I liked this recipe because it offered a marshmallow topping on half and a nut topping on the other half. I wasn't sure if everyone loved marshmallows as much as me, so I thought this would do the trick. Also, I liked that the nuts were cashews and not pecans, especially since my husband is allergic to pecans (and hello? cashews are delicious!)

The recipe calls for a food mill. I had never heard of a food mill before. Apparently, they come in handy with sweet potatoes because of their stringy nature. I turned to twitter (specifically my friend Katy) to find out what I could do instead. She suggested a food processor or a blender. I hadn't done that before either, but I figured it was worth a shot. (And I found out how easy it would have been to make my own baby food... tons of dollars down the drain there, folks. Seriously, try it!)

Anyway, I'm not a food blogger, so let's get straight to it. I didn't take any pictures during the process, and even forgot a finished product picture, so this half-way through lunch picture will have to do.

You can see which side was favored: marshmallows win!

But honestly, both sides were delicious! I'd definitely make this recipe again!

I wish I still had some leftovers...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

the end

I have completely shocked myself that I have posted something every. single. day. in November. When Shireen suggested I join her, I honestly didn't give it much thought. I just thought, sure, why not? But deep down, I knew I would not follow-through. I knew I would start strong, but would eventually forget or just say screw it and just stop.

But I didn't. Sure, some of my posts are completely throw away posts that I have considered deleting when December rolls around, but I have learned a few things about myself and about this blogging thing. I realize now, I won't be deleting them. For they show that I stuck with it and even when I didn't want to continue, I did. In the past, I would have never considered posting such filler, because what's the point? and no one wants to read that. And that would have made it easier to not post the next day or the next.

I have learned that it's okay to be myself.
To write what I want to write.
To not worry about what other people might think.

I learned that even though I wanted to be organized about this month's posts, and write some things ahead, that is not who I am.
I think I already knew that.

I have learned that very few people comment on blogs these days.
And that it's a lot less fun when there are no comments.

I have also learned how important it is for me to leave comments on other blogs I read.
Even if it's not much more than I really liked this post. Thanks for sharing.

I learned that I just have to sit down and start typing.
And stop worrying.
Or being self-conscious.

I learned that I do enjoy blogging. Though I don't really like rules.

So, I think what all this means is that I will be blogging more than I used to (though that is not difficult).
And I hope that I can find more of my own rhythm.
And reveal more of who I really am.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

just write: first look

I notice it before you do. 

I point you towards the glass door so that you can see it too.

Your eyes grow wider, your lips form a huge smile.

Though I'm not fond of it, seeing your joy in discovering it melts my heart.

You let out a rambunctious cheer, "Woohoo!"

And so it begins. 

The ground is soon covered in a thin layer of white.

You dream about building snowmen and having snowball fights.

I dream about snuggling down with a blanket and cup of coffee.

Winter has arrived.

Linking to Heather of the EO's Just Write.

Monday, November 28, 2011

cyber monday: what a "deal"

It never ceases to amaze me what some people will buy, just because it's on sale. 

Today, as I was checking out the Lightning Deals on Amazon, it became apparent that many, many people were jumping onto Cyber Monday "deals" without a second thought. 

If you're unfamiliar with how these deals work, Amazon will tease you with a picture or description of an item that will soon be on sale. Many times, it lists the current selling price under the description. When the time comes for the deal to start, that price will (usually --see below) be replaced with the retail price, which will then be crossed out and the new sale price will be displayed along with the % savings. Keep in mind, the % savings is based off the retail price, not the price you could have purchased the same item for minutes ago (since many items on Amazon are already on sale every day). Many of these deals will actually be only a few dollars different than Amazon's normal sale price.

My favorite example of this was for a Bucket-O-Balls, which was selling for $19.99 just a few minutes before Noon PST. Once the lightning deal started, the deal price was suddenly $29.99. Only Amazon forgot to update the retail price to the $39.99 price (which you would find if you clicked on the picture). So instead, the % savings was actually a negative 50% off. Yes, it read NEGATIVE.

And people still bought the deal.

I didn't actually click on this item before the lightning deal began, so it's possible that the $19.99 is the actual typo. However, if someone was interested in purchasing this, you would think that the negative savings would make anyone pause and wonder what was going on. You would also think said person would click through to the reviews to determine if this was a product worth $30. According to many reviews, it doesn't appear this product was even worth the $20. And yet, by the time the deal was over, 100% of these products had been claimed.

In a few weeks, when I need a good laugh, I may have to go back and read more reviews after these have been delivered...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

what i've learned from #nablopomo - part 1

I've learned that there is very little chance I will be posting on the weekends in the future.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

cell phone saturday

Punkin enjoying the arrival of Santa & his reindeer & Christmas Tree Lighting at Clay Terrace.
Photos via cell phone

Friday, November 25, 2011


I am thankful for the floors that need vacuumed.
I am thankful for the piles and piles of laundry.

I am thankful for the never-ending questions.
I am thankful for the mid-night wakings.

I am thankful for the toys that need picked up.
I am thankful for the toilets that need scrubbed.

I am thankful for the dishes that need washed.
I am thankful for the beds that need made.

I am so thankful for the house that is our home, the clothes that keep us warm, the everyday things we take for granted.

I am even more thankful for the son who loves to learn and discover, the husband who provides and loves so much, the God who has blessed us so.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

happy thanksgiving

Hope you are surrounded by those you love.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

thanksgiving "feast"

Turkey, mashed potatoes, some gravy, a roll, and pumpkin mousse. Sounds delicious to me. Unfortunately, Punkin did not agree.

I should have taken an "after" picture. Oh wait, just look above, it would be nearly the same. (He did eat about half of the roll and the mousse.)

Here's Punkin before seeing his plate. Before the tears welled up. Before the red, splotchy face.

You would have thought we were asking him to take a big bite of rat poop the way he reacted to trying gravy. (And besides, he had a choice of potatoes without gravy or with gravy. We compromised down to just trying the gravy on its own.) And he still couldn't really bring himself to do it. He finally did lick some off his fork, but it was so traumatic, I don't think he could even register the taste. I wish I knew why he can't process trying new things... or new things that aren't dessert anyway, because he totally tried that pumpkin mousse with no issues whatsoever.

And, of course, I felt frustrated and guilty for making the whole thing unpleasant to begin with. I knew going in that he wouldn't want any of the foods they were having and yet, I couldn't resist trying to get him to at least taste it. My goal next time will be to completely ignore the food altogether and hope we can all have a better time.

You can't really see it in this picture, but each child wrote what they were thankful for. Punkin's mentions he is thankful for his family. I hope he still feels the same way!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

dentist the menace

I went to the dentist today.

I hate going to the dentist.

The smells, the sounds.

The scraping, the polishing, the flossing.

The small talk. How do you have a conversation with someone who constantly has their fingers in your mouth anyway?

The weather is always terrible when I go to the dentist.

The raining. (Or the snowing.) Never the sunshine.

The new toothbrush. The new floss. Those aren't so bad.

The Starbucks giftcard... what's that? "Thank you for being our patient."

Huh, I love going to the dentist.

Monday, November 21, 2011

on high alert

Words you are never quite prepared to hear from your five-year old:

"Mama, do you know what a lock down drill is?"

I had read tweets about schools doing these drills a couple of weeks back, but it never crossed my mind that Punkin would be participating in them at preschool too.

It's a fine line to dance with - wanting your child to be smart and prepared if he ever found himself in a dangerous situation but also wanting to protect his innocence and not live in fear of the what ifs.

I'm glad his school did the drill, and apparently with a certain level of ease rather than alarm, as it was at least three days before Punkin even mentioned it. I'm also glad that when I told him that these drills are so we're prepared "just in case" and not something that we need to worry about every day that it's true and he believed me.

(I really don't want one more excuse for a middle of the night wake-up!)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

repin this

I mentioned pinterest in a previous post. It's quickly become a great resource that I use for organizing recipes, gift ideas, projects I'd like to attempt, and so on and so on... (along with a huge time suck when I don't feel like doing much of anything else).

Some day, I'll write a post with the different things I've attempted and how they turned out.

But for now, I thought I'd share with all of you the pin of mine that others have repinned the most times. I always like to see what other people are repinning and I see this one get repinned so many times, that I thought it might be something you'd like as well.

It's such a simple idea. Maybe that's why people like it so much.

Reindeer Beer / Reindeer Root Beer
photo credit: Life of a Modern Mom
Here's the link to the pin for your repinning pleasure.
And again, another link to Life of a Modern Mom where the pin comes from.

Such a cute idea, don't you think?

Friday, November 18, 2011

five minute friday: grow


When I was a child, I wanted to be a grown up so badly. I remember if we had company over, I always wanted to hang around the grown ups. (Looking back, I'm sure they weren't so thrilled to have a kid hanging around.) But there was something I found so fascinating about those who were older than me. I wanted to know what it was like. I wanted to be "important". To be responsible. And to be in the know. I didn't want to miss a thing. How little I realized what it truly meant to be a grown up. So many burdens to carry. How overbearing those responsibilities I thought would make me important truly are.

And yet, now that I'm a supposed grownup, I still look around and think, "Wait, this is it? Surely I've missed something." Like - when will I be the one cooking the Thanksgiving turkey? Because if it's up to me, that day will be never. I can't imagine having to stick my hand in that bird, remove whatever is in there that needs to be removed, and having to wash it, and then having to cook it to be the most perfect, tender turkey everyone had ever consumed. (Because if I was in charge, it would have to be perfect, of course.)

But yeah, I don't really want that responsibility. I can't picture myself as the one that everyone else looks to to provide the meal for the extended family. Yet I don't give it a second thought that my mom has done it for years. When do you grow up into that? Or maybe some of us don't. Cooking is not my gift after all. Sometimes I think it'd be fun to be more creative in the kitchen, but any time I get into preparing a meal with more than two components, I tend to think, "Why am I doing this? I am not enjoying this at all."

So yeah, perhaps, I'll never be fully grown.

Linking up with the gypsy mama - go there to read more masterpieces written in just five minutes.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

dance, monkey, dance

I'm in a mood.

You could really help me out by leaving your favorite joke or something to make me laugh in the comments.

Don't make me beg.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

exhibit a

I present to you Exhibit A in the case of Getting a New Dishwasher vs. Keeping the Old Dishwasher:

Why, yes, that is a bread bag twisty tie holding it together.

Case closed.

Linking to Wordless Wednesday at 5 minutes for mom and two of a kind.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

what's for dinner?

Punkin has always been a tough case when it comes to eating. I'm sure I screwed something up in the timeline of introducing him to various foods, but he is a very picky eater. He has had an aversion to many textures for as long as I can remember. We never made it to stage 3 baby food, because they were no longer the finely pureed mush of stage 1 and stage 2. Anything with chunks? Forget about it.

Even at age 5, his aversion continues. I know a lot of people would think I'm silly or just plain ridiculous, but I honestly believe he is afraid of many foods/textures. Getting him to try something new is a major feat. I don't think you would believe me unless you saw it for yourself.

Here is a list of foods a "typical kid" loves, but Punkin will not consider eating for even a second. In fact, if they are on his plate, you can see his demeanor change and his body recoil at the sight. 
  • Pizza
  • Hamburger
  • Cheese
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Plain Noodles
  • Mashed Potatoes
  • Deli Meat of any variety
  • Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich
The list used to be much longer, so I can say, thankfully, that he has made some progress.

Some foods that he now does eat that he used to turn down:
  • Fruit of any kind
  • Ketchup
  • Carrots (raw only)
  • Honey
  • Bread (plain) and only if there's nothing else that he likes to eat
I try not to get too worked up about it. I'm hopeful that at some point, he will start to be a little more adventurous and he'll eventually add some more variety to his diet. I figure it's not going to do anyone any good if every meal is a battle. 

So in the meantime, who wants some chicken nuggets and french fries? I know Punkin does!

Monday, November 14, 2011

it's not about the shoes

Why is it that the attitude and behavior of a five-year-old can turn a grown woman into a five-year-old?

"I don't know what shoes to wear!" As if this is life's greatest problem.

"If you don't get a pair of shoes on right now, I will take away all your shoes except one pair and you will not have a choice of what shoes to wear." As if this is the rational way of helping a child learn to make choices in the middle of a meltdown.

Actually, now that I think about it, not knowing what shoes to wear might be Punkin's biggest problem on any given day. And for that, I am grateful.

Sometimes these emotions and meltdowns come out of nowhere. And they take me by complete surprise. And sometimes I handle them poorly. But sometimes I don't. 

I think I may get a tattoo of He's only five! on my right hand so that I can see it often and be reminded that oftentimes my expectations of him are way too high (insert list of many, many other things besides above shoe example). And that he needs grace. I mean, really, who doesn't?

Wouldn't the world be a much nicer place if everyone responded in grace, rather than in impatience and frustration and lack of empathy? Can you even imagine?

And thankfully, tomorrow (or later today, really) will provide another chance to practice giving grace. I may not be able to change the world, but I can start changing myself...

Sunday, November 13, 2011


I found him whom my heart loves.
Song of Solomon 3:4


I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine.
Song of Solomon 6:3

Seven down, a lifetime to go.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

tune in tomorrow...

...for an actual blog post...



Friday, November 11, 2011


long week


hubs traveling


work overload


cleaning house (always and forever)




moms group





last minute blogging

Thursday, November 10, 2011

i made it: pinterest inspired

So, I'm assuming you've all heard of pinterest. (If not, you are missing out. Go, take a look around, and request an invite. You will not be sorry. Or maybe you will... if you don't enjoy sitting down to your computer for "just a minute" and then not looking up from your screen for hours...)

Anyway, I love seeing all the creative things people post, and I re-pin tons of stuff that I'd love to do some day. If you know me at all, you know I have all these grand intentions, but then rarely follow through on anything for longer than twenty-five minutes (like can anyone really believe I'm still blogging ten days into November? Let's get serious - no one, especially not me, thought I'd still be here).

Just a couple of weeks ago, I saw a great idea for thank you card for teachers and put it on my board with the comment that I was going to use it for Punkin's teacher's birthday. But come on, we all know that wasn't going to actually happen!

But then, guess what? It totally did happen!

I can now justify the hours and hours and hours and hours and hours of time I've spent combing the boards with delusions that I will actually accomplish something for myself. (As if it's ever going to happen again! Pshaw.)

I realize the card doesn't actually say Happy Birthday!, but I figured teachers are never thanked enough. Besides, I made sure to write a lovely note on the back of the card, thanking her for being a wonderful teacher and wishing her the happiest of Birthdays. And anyway, she was getting a Starbucks gift card, I'm pretty sure it could have said "Get Well Soon" and she wouldn't have cared.

It's not as cute as the original, as I didn't have the twine and I had to use the outside of the coffee sleeve rather than the ridged side because mine was all messed up on the inside (probably from sitting in the recycling bin for a couple of days before I decided to actually make this card, but that's neither here nor there).

The point is: I actually made it. And didn't just *think* about how cool it would be. You know, like I do with everything else.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

wordless wednesday: school picture

I interrupt all regularly planned blog posts to present to you the cutest school picture in existence.

Kindergarten 2011

Ignore the questionable quality, as I had to take a picture of the picture with my cell phone.

Linking to Wordless Wednesday at 5 minutes for mom and two of a kind.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Driving home from a short time away the thought crosses my mind: "I haven't yelled all day today."

And I sit and marvel at the words. And I sit and am horrified by the words.

How can not yelling for less than twenty-four hours be enough of a milestone to warrant its own thought?

What kind of mother am I where raised voice and frustrated words are more common than patience and grace?

And I realize that I have been living in the hurry-up rather than in the joy.

The faster he goes to bed, the faster I can relax and enjoy the evening. 

Rather than enjoying the moment that I am in.

Rather than treasuring the reading of books and the singing of songs, I hurry through, waiting for my "time off". But the reading of books and the singing of songs is what I longed to do, not so long ago.

When did my ideals change? When did I get off track between what is important and what is immediately satisfying?

So, I stop, and I marinate in how it feels to not yell, to not rush, to not expect so much. And this, THIS is how it's supposed to be.

And that moment carries me through the days and I find myself slowing. And I find myself enjoying. And I find myself treasuring. And it has made all the difference.

Linking up with Heather of the EO's just write.

Monday, November 7, 2011

phineas & ferb live!

We took Punkin to the Phineas and Ferb Live! show on Sunday afternoon. 

We weren't sure what to expect. We had been to The Backyardigands Live show a couple of years ago and were disappointed in the costumes (you could tell the characters were just people as their faces were exposed - where is the magic in that?). I tried to find some reviews of the Phineas & Ferb show, but didn't have much success.

Thankfully, this show did not disappoint. 

Punkin sat in awe for the entire show. It was so cute watching him watch the show.

When this musical number started and the umbrellas started twirling, I overheard Punkin whisper, "Wow!"

I'm pretty sure Punkin thought the entire thing was real. Which was also adorable. When Evil Doctor Doofenshmirtz was onstage with Perry the Platypus and the machine he created to control the audience's mind, Punkin was pretty nervous.

We had to reassure him that Perry would save the day and that he didn't need to be scared of Dr. Doofenshmirtz.

Punkin had a fabulous time and declared it "the best day ever" (it was also one of the songs in the show).

I'll end this post, the same way Buford ended the show, "Smell ya later!".

Sunday, November 6, 2011

sunday reflection

It's been a fabulous weekend. It seems we haven't had such a string of good days in quite some time. I'm still reflecting on what has made the difference. And trying to bottle it up to make sure it continues.

Though I know that is probably impossible.

I've found myself treasuring the moment. Being present. Being intentional. And I have loved every minute of it.

I have often told myself this is how I wanted to be, but I continually found myself falling short. Over and over and...

It seems so easy, but it has been more difficult than I thought it could ever be. Maybe I have finally started to find my footing. Maybe I'm slowly figuring this thing out (as much as is possible anyway). Being less critical. Putting less pressure on myself. On everyone.

Whatever has made the difference, I am basking in it.
And hoping I haven't jinxed it.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

punkin's favorite joke

Why did the pig cross the road?

Because the chicken was on a vacation!

Friday, November 4, 2011


No, I can't say that I do. It's not likely that I do, anyway.

I'm not sure why, but I have very limited memories of my childhood. You know how people sit around and talk about who was in their third grade class or what they used to do with their brothers every afternoon after school? Yeah, I have no idea. (Well, except for one person in my third grade class, and that's only because I had a tiny crush on him at the time...)

But I don't remember playing with my two older brothers. At all. I see pictures of us in the backyard of our childhood home and I can't remember what we did or how much fun we had or how much teasing they doled out. And the home we lived in before that one? I can't remember *anything* about it. One of the few things I remember about playing with my youngest brother is that he claims that I bit his leg one day. And I only probably remember that because he doesn't let me forget it. There might be a small scar present. It's not my fault that his leg flew into my tooth.

But all the things that make up fond memories of childhood of long ago? Gone. And I'm not sure where they went. But I do wish I could get them back. And that's also why I need to do a better job of documenting all of the little things that happen in Punkin's life. I want him to have the memories. And I want them to be fantastic.

Linking up with The Gypsy Mama for Five Minute Fridays.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


sometimes i wonder where the person i thought i'd be when i grew up went
sometimes i marvel at the woman i've become

sometimes i wonder why the world has so much hurt and sadness
sometimes i sit and marvel at the many blessings that surround me

sometimes i feel overwhelmed, out of place, swallowed up
sometimes i feel like i'm on top of the tallest mountain and no one can get me down

sometimes i want to run and hide
sometimes i want to jump right in

sometimes i feel lonely and all alone
sometimes i feel peace and strength

sometimes i recoil at all the evil and darkness in the world
sometimes i am surprised by kindness and generosity

sometimes i am scared and uncertain of my future
but all the time i am loved

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


Have you heard of this little thing called NaBloPoMo? It stands for National Blog Posting Month - it's a challenge for people to write on their blog every day of November. It's also something only crazy people attempt.

You can blame my friend, Shireen, for turning me into a crazy person. She mentioned she was doing it, and I reluctantly wholeheartedly agreed to join her. I assume there will come a day (not too far off) where I will completely forget and will fail spectacularly at this challenge.

I didn't assume that day would come on the second of the month.

It figures that this just happened to be the busiest day of work for me in years. I just finished working and had all of 10 minutes before midnight to get something written. So, this is what you get. But hey, at least, I wasn't a total fail on Day 2.

But seriously, I've never been good at this blogging thing, so I'm taking this challenge to throw stuff out here and see what sticks. I'm sure there will be no cohesiveness through this month, but I hope to figure out a little bit more about what I want this space of mine to be.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

happy halloween

I don't think I would mind too much if I got pulled over by a police officer this cute:

Thankfully, Punkin didn't see me stealing any of his candy. But, unfortunately, the Hubs wasn't so lucky.

Hope you all had a Happy Halloween! I'm off to sneak a few Reese's while the police officer snoozes...

Monday, September 26, 2011


It doesn't seem possible.

I'm not sure how it happened. I only turned my back for a second.

Somehow, you went from this

to this

practically overnight.

You captured my heart from the moment I saw you. And you haven't let go yet.

You make me laugh every day. Just this morning, on our drive to school, I asked you what you thought you might do in this fifth year of life.

You said, "Wipe my own bottom."

After I stopped laughing, I asked if there was anything else. You said, "Help you with the laundry."

You are my pride and joy. You are the sweetest boy with the most tender heart.

I love you more than you will ever know.

Happy Birthday Punkin!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

just keep swimming

Sam has always hated water on his face. When he was a newborn, we accommodated this dislike to his detriment. If I could do it all over again, I'd pour water over his head starting with Day 1 and every day after until he stopped reacting to it. But since we were new parents, and he already cried way too much as it was, we couldn't even conceive of doing anything that would lead to even more wailing. As a result, Sam would freak out anytime a drop of water touched his face. Yes, even one single drop. Bathtime was loads of fun.

After hearing some friends talk about the swim lessons their kids were taking (referred to affectionately as swim lesson "boot camp"), I figured it was worth a shot. My main goal was to get him over the fear of water on his face. My second goal was for him to learn a few things that would save him if he ever fell in a pool. Perhaps backwards, but at that point, I just wanted to be able to wash his hair without a major meltdown.

Last year, we signed him up, and he was very excited to take swim lessons... until he got in the pool. Cue 28 minutes of crying (the lesson was 30 minutes long). The second day, I had to pin him to the floor to get his swim trunks on him. The crying only last about 15 minutes that day. Progress. The third day, I thought my ears deceived me as I heard no wailing at all... No, I couldn't see him... I was sitting in the car... in the driveway... (such are the rules of swimming boot camp when your kid is a crying mess or easily distract-able). I was pretty happy at the end of those first two weeks that I could successfully wash his hair without tears.

This Summer, or more accurately Spring (as Sam's purple lips and shivering limbs would attest on a couple of days), we did another round of lessons. Over the winter, Sam had regressed a bit and started to panic about water on his face again. This time, there were no tears. I sat amazed every day at all he was able to accomplish. Oh, and this time, I sat at the side of the pool... rewards for no crying and being brave.

I still can't believe this is Sam in this video. The kid who would panic and ask for a towel to wipe his face every other minute in the bathtub just two weeks prior. As the instructor says at the end of the video, he's a natural!

If that isn't solid proof of the benefits of private, one-on-one swim lessons, I don't know what is...

Monday, July 11, 2011

happy birthday papou!

If it was your 70th Birthday, wouldn't you want to go duckpin bowling?

I mean, nothing says, "Happy Birthday!" like a couple of pictures from behind, right?

Well, what about ice cream? That's going to make any day brighter! Especially when there's toppings involved!

And grandkids! It can't hurt to throw in some adorable grandkids!

Regardless, we ALL love you very much Papou!

Happy 70th Birthday!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

s'more snow please

Punkin doesn't mind being confined to the house when s'mores are involved!

For more WW fun, go to Two of a Kind, 5 minutes for mom, and To Be Thode

Friday, January 14, 2011

killer expectations

Have you ever convinced yourself you wanted something, simply because you thought for sure you were going to get it?

One Christmas when I was a kid, there was a mysterious package under the tree. It was large and squishy. Not in a box; maybe even in a big, black trash bag, I can't quite remember. I squeezed that bag many times until I was CONVINCED I was getting a sleeping bag for Christmas. I didn't know I wanted a sleeping bag or that I needed one, but by the time Christmas morning rolled around, I could not wait to rip open that package and get my very own sleeping bag.

Only, it wasn't a sleeping bag.

It was a Raggedy Ann doll that a friend of the family had made for me.

And do you know what happened next? I burst into tears and had myself a good sob.

Not because it was a doll (though I wasn't exactly the 'play with dolls' kind of girl). Not even because I really wanted a sleeping bag. But because my expectations and my dreams had been dashed. And on Christmas.

I wish I could say that I learned a good lesson about expectations and that I never set myself up like that again, but I think we all know I'd be lying.

This happens so often in life. And I think it happens to a lot of people.

Motherhood brings its own set of expectations with it.

Expectations that will know what you're doing
...your baby will sleep through the night at a certain point
...your child won't be waking up nightly at almost 3 (thank goodness he is now 4!) will love playing any and every game with your child (Whose idea was Chutes and Ladders anyway?!)

Expectations that will not be *that* parent who yells at your kid.
...your child will not be *that* child who others shake their heads at and think to themselves, "My child would never act like that." will be able to take a nap together and actually get some sleep can arrange the perfect mommy & child night, with the perfect movie and the perfect snacks, and that it will go perfectly

Expectations that will not be so overwhelmed that sometimes you just have to cry it out

(I've had bits and pieces of these expectations in a draft blog post for a long time -- so no need for concern that I just had a huge sob fest from feeling overwhelmed -- though I have certainly had my share of those before and don't doubt that another one could be around any corner. The memory of that non-sleeping bag Christmas came to me this week, while I was setting myself up with another expectation that was snowballing in my mind. The post just came together when I forced myself to write it out, rather than letting it rattle around in my brain.)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

the unknown

This time

Each time before
I've been
too early
too rushed
too anxious
too naive.

This time I wait.

I tell myself
I'm building patience.
I'm growing.
But really,
I'm just

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