Monday, May 31, 2010

Much Fun Was Had...

We had lots of visitors this weekend and had lots of fun in my cousin's pool.  Everyone had a blast and ate lotso good food.  We played thirty games of pool volleyball, threw the kids in the air, floated, and relaxed.  What could be better than that?


Friday, May 28, 2010

Cutting to the Chase...

My kids have figured out that all the fairytale creatures that visit in the night are all darling me.  They still like to go through the motions and don't typically talk about it on easter or christmas or whatever but at other times of the year, they've asked questions and I've answered them truthfully.

So Wednesday Skyler spent the better part of her instructional school day getting a loose tooth out.  She showed it to me when she got home with lots of relief that that little pain in her mouth was gone.  As we were getting ready for bed, she thought about putting her tooth in her little tooth pillow, looked at me, said "Mom, you're the tooth fairy right?".  I said "Yes" with a small hesitation.  She handed me her tooth and said "here's my tooth, give me a dollar".  I had to crack up.  She was all business like.  Let's not go through the whole pillow/middle-of-the-night rigmarole, let's just work out this transaction right here.  I took her tooth.  She took her dollar.  I didn't have to stumble around the land mined filled trash pit she calls a bedroom searching for a tooth smaller than a tic tac.  Sometimes I like this growing up stuff!  Sometimes.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Stay Away From the Ice Cream...

I was reading this blog, which is HIGH-lar-i-ous by the by, where she says "only old people and sex offenders drive ice cream trucks".  OMG people.  I HATE when an ice cream truck drives down our street and I never let the kids near it.  Matt thinks I'm a complete lunatic because I say that only sex offenders drive ice cream trucks.  Well, Matt thinks I'm a complete lunatic for a lot of reasons but this one is on the list.  I get this eerie sex offender/pied piper feeling when I hear the music announcing the truck of doom driving our way.

Am I right or am I crazy?  Ice cream trucks are creepy no? The only thing worse is if it were being driven by a clown.

Sometimes Finding the Joy is a Struggle...

It was a little harder to find the Joy yesterday. I was hurting by the end of the day. Matt goes directly to school on Wednesdays. The kids were good but Skyler hasn't been sleeping well so she's cranky and her brother doesn't give her a single inch in that area.

The only joy I could really appreciate by evening's end was watching the season finale of Chuck with the kids while we colored*. We all love the Chuck series and had saved the two hour finale for a night when we had the time to watch the whole thing. Zack and I have fun predicting what's going to happen. Skyler half pays attention. We also colored in a Tinkerbell coloring book. Coloring relaxes me and we have the Crayola Twistables which are quite lovely if you're looking for a good crayon. The last five minutes of Chuck were the best because Zack and I couldn't figure out how Chuck was going to continue being a spy next season but there's a whole new story pending.

* Does it ruin the game to mention that my joy was sucked right out with all the arguing of who got to sit where and who got to color what and who got to operate the remote?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tuesday's Joy...

It wasn't hard to find the joy yesterday.  Admittedly I had myself worked up into a nice snit brought on by a crappy mood by the end of the day.  But then I got to cleaning this putting that away and the kids were actually helping and that helped.  Then Matt came home and immediately started on yard work and that cheered me up.  Joy came later.

Joy#1 - Mike and Amy and Nate came for dinner.  We hadn't had the family together for dinner in a long time.  Someone is always traveling or working or sick or blah blah blah.  PLUS - Mike brought and cooked dinner.  It was delightful.

Joy#2 - I finished a puzzle that's been sitting on my kitchen table taunting me for weeks.  The best part is that Amy helped me while Skyler and Nate did their best to get in the way.  Zack even walked by every so often and within seconds placed a  piece here or there.  It was joyful to finish that damn thing.  Oh and lest you think my kitchen table has been out of commission for weeks, it's huge.  I had to finish the puzzle to seat two families though.

Joy#3 - Zack continues to be helpful and agreeable.  I'm not sure if he hit his head or is delirious or what but I hope this new attitude sticks around for awhile.  I'm loving it.

Joy#4 - Zack hasn't had homework in two weeks.  OH the joy I find in that.  He had SOLs instead and actually enjoyed them.  Maybe the lack of homework is the reason for the new attitude, must investigate. 

Joy#5 - Watching Ms. THANG do the dishes in a ridiculous outfit that includes my black patent leather pumps.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Finding the Joy...

I have enough reasons to be down lately.  I am usually perfectly content to wallow in it but my bloggy friend Whimsy asked us (her minions) to find the joy in our day and to blog about it.  I read this request on Monday morning, not exactly my favorite day of the week.  I usually start Mondays by counting down how many minutes until Thursday afternoon.  But then I decided to just be open minded.  If I felt joy, I would recognize it and wallow in THAT instead of my usual negative outlook on how I'm feeling.

Nothing joyful actually popped to mind until this morning when I was reading Amy's blog about Nate and his two-ish-ness.  I started to chuckle remembering the age of two as almost unbearable.  Then I started to think about my kids and where they are now and started to reflect on how happy and agreeable and easy going Zack has been this week.  The more I thought about it the more I smiled and realized that I was feeling JOY.  Apparently, when you're out of practice, you have to go looking for it.

One particular moment of awesomeness was last night at bedtime.  Skyler was having a whiny night and was begging for her thousandth hug as a way to put off going to sleep.  Zack could sense that I had had it with her and so the next time she called out for another hug Zack yelled from his room "I'll give you a hug".  OMG my heart almost melted into a puddle of mush.  This child usually can't stand his sister and would rather touch worms than show her any affection.  She declined, but it was the same to me as if they were offering each other grand shows of affection every night.   It brought me JOY.

Thanks Whimsy.  I'll continue your project this week, it looks like I"m already learning something.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

If You Find Me Wondering the Streets Direct Me Home...

Today I am convinced that I am quantifiably dumber than I was yesterday.  I  provide you with the two following pieces of evidence.
  1. I am wearing two different color shoes.  One is black and the other is red. I didn't notice until about 10:30am.  I know this has been done by others many times before but I'm fairly certain that their error was of the black/brown/navy variety.  How do you get red wrong?
  2. I was looking at a selection of salt & pepper shakers for purchase and wondered to myself why so many of them were colored black and white even though they were of different brand and style.
Watch out world.  I'm just as likely to hurt someone else as I am to hurt myself.  Stay out of my way today.

Bloggers Without Makeup...

Bloggers Without Makeup is a meme from the other side of that great big ocean the Atlantic. My bloggy friend, Kelly from Heathen Family Revival found it via some of her bloggy buddies and I felt compelled to play along.  

The idea is to demonstrate to our kids that we are all beautiful the way we are, in natural form.  I admit that I usually wear makeup but I'm not obsessive about it.  I always wear it to work but it's a 50/50 shot whether I bother on the weekends.   I might wear it to a soccer game or I might not.  I would never check my face to go to the grocery store.  Skyler LOVES my makeup and is desperate to wear some.  I think she sees it as another form of art expression though.  She thinks it's fun and pretty and loves the colors.  SHE wants to wear it, she doesn't give a damn whether I do or not.  Zack prefers me without makeup.  Matt says I'm beautiful no matter what.  Isn't my family cool?

Here's me without makeup.  I am deficient in the ability to take self-portraits so this is what you get!

Skyler sees a camera and she has to put her face in front of it.

Who else would like to play along?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Soccer Tourny...

This past weekend was the annual soccer tournament.  I'm not sure who had more fun, the kids or the parents.  Zack's team, The Thundercats, played in four games.  They won three and took second place in the tournament.  All of the other teams were one age group ahead of them.  The parents had a blast on the sidelines and were ridiculously proud of the Thundercats.   Here are a few pics of Zack.  He loves playing goalie and striker.  He's got a big foot which is good for both positions.  We're already looking forward to next season.  *puts soccer Mom cape away*

Thursday, May 13, 2010

So True...

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.
~ Henry Brooks Adams

I found this lovely quote while searching for teacher gifts. If you think of how many minds a typical teacher influences your mind just blows. If each child passes on a tidbit of knowledge from class to one other person and that person passes it along...

What Was I Going to Say...

Are you ever driving along and just the right combination of blog-post words pop into your head and you chuckle to yourself thinking what an awesome post this is going to be and then you get to soccer practice and make small talk and then go get pizza where you listen to your kids argue about who gets to sit where and then you go home and do that whole bedtime torture-the-parent routine and then it's the next morning and you don't have the slightest clue what your awesome blog post was going to be about? Yeah so there's that. Assume it was awesome and that you were highly entertained okay?

The rest of what's in my mind is blah blah stuff. Like I heard from my insurance company and they're going to pay for my very expensive infusions. Thank you very much insurance company I'm so glad to have your okay to not be a cripple for the rest of my life.   (Have I ever mentioned that orange text equals sarcasm?  Well it does and now that blogger lets me change my text color without getting all html-y I can accurately portray sarcasm in my posts).  And I spilled maple syrup the other day and that shit has a way of multiplying and taking over the kitchen.  I keep finding sticky spots in places that just seem impossible or places that I hands-and-knees scrubbed.  I think maple syrup is the glue that holds the world together.  There's no getting rid of it.

I'm looking for teacher's gifts.  Any ideas?  They cannot feature an apple ;-)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

April Reading Review...

Let's have a book update for the month of April. I've mostly been stuck in the 1800's-ish.

I finished Caught by Harlan Coban. I really enjoy his books. They're action/adventure type mystery books with a lot of humor thrown in in the form of sarcasm which is always delightful. If you haven't read any of his books yet, start with the Myron series.

I reread The Scarlet Letter. It's interesting to revisit different cultures in history. The Puritans were an unhappy superstitious lot. Nothing enjoyable here, just interesting. I think everyone read this in high school. Did you?

I finished Dearest Cousin Jane. This one was a story with the family members of Jane Austen as characters. There are tons of books written about Jane Austen it's nice to weave a book about her in with a book written by her. Somehow I got through high school and college without ever reading a Jane Austen novel. I think Sense & Sensibility is next somewhere down the line.

Then Remarkable Creatures popped up on my library hold list. Even after reading half of the book I can't figure out why I reserved it. It's dull. I think I'm going to kick it to the curb unfinished. I just have no desire to read another page. I don't care what happens to the characters. A big MEH to this one.

I did a pretty good skim job of 13 going on 18. I fear I've already lost Skyler to the tween years so I'm starting my own personal torture with self-help books geared towards getting you through the teen years. Maybe I should just start a therapy fund for the two of us?

That's it for physical books. I've got Little Women and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo ready on Kindle and a whole bunch of  hopefuls lined up on my library hold list.  Hopefully May is a better reading month than April.

I'm always looking for suggestions for something good. Leave me a comment.

Just A Reminder...

Just reminding you what they look like ;-)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Little One Makes us Proud...

Saturday was one of those days where you have activities and appointments lined up every two hours and there's no time anywhere to stop and think, you just go flying from one to the next.  Towards the end of the day, around 6:30pm, we were racing by our house to drop off the kids and change and go out for drinks with friends and as I got out of the car I checked the mail.  I didn't have time to check the mail and really what could be in there that mattered on a Saturday evening? 

So I flip through the few pieces and see that one is addressed to Mr. and Mrs. Molnar and is from the school system.  These are usually very very good or very very bad, you know?

I sort of had an idea what it was about.  Skyler has been in the process, as every first grader in our state does, of going through gifted testing.  I know I've spoken of this before as Zack is currently in the gifted cluster at their school and we are just enamored with his gifted resources specialist and all of the really neat projects she comes up with.   Skyler gets excellent grades and is a leader in her class but in all honesty I didn't really think she was going to test gifted.  She and her brother do not think anything alike.  In fact, they are nothing alike.  I was prepared to request that she at least be in the classroom that the gifted cluster will be in next year so that she would benefit from that additional instruction.

So when I opened that particular piece of mail, I was expecting there to be a bit of disappointment on my part (Skyler would know nothing of what we speak).  It took me three readings of the letter, in the middle of the driveway, in 100 degree heat, and Matt coming out to find me, for me to realize that Skyler had been accepted to the gifted and talented SCHOOL in our city.  I was completely and totally shocked and my heart blew up with pride.  Matt and I stared at each other with confused looks upon our faces and blinked.  Skyler?

The school accepts one hundred second-graders throughout the city each year.  There are fifty-seven elementary schools here.  The letter mentioned a school tour and parent meeting and we immediately decided not to tell Sky until we were able to do those things.  She will not initially be excited about changing schools, but this is an opportunity not to be missed.

I feel like my baby just got accepted to college.  I've been staring at her for days with a goofy grin on my face.  I wish she knew how proud I was.   Hopefully someday she'll understand!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Backseat Driving...

I happened to look in the backseat of my car the other day and *shudder*. They've got more crap back there than I care to clean out. I'm not even sure where their feet go. I'm fairly sure that Skyler is mostly at fault as she's always bringing some cherished item into the car with her but rarely leaves with it. There's a pile-up.

Back in the fall, when we bought this car, I made it clear that they each have their side, they have to keep their side clean. We have a trash basket in the car. They are to use it and to remove whatever they brought into the car out with them. Hmph. Well that was SO not what was going on.

I looked back there last week and was disgusted. I yelled at the both of them that they had to clean out their side of the car that weekend. Fine. They agreed. When I checked a couple of days later what do you think I found?

Zack had moved everything from his side of the backseat to her side of the backseat. Skyler had completely ignored everything I said so she didn't even notice that her crap doubled. I'm not sure I want to fill her in. Had she listened to me she would have caught on to him.

Skyler will be cleaning the back of my car this weekend. I'd like to think that Zack would feel some guilt and join in, but he won't. He has absolutely no empathy for his sister. None.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

My Collection...

 09/06/2012 - I've updated this post to change some pictures and to add some new parts of my collection.

This post took me a long time to organize. It's for my friend Carrie who always asks where I got my necklaces and who always gets a vague "I'll send you the link" from me.

I have a collection of jewelry that has my kids' names on it. It started out with a piece or two and then I just couldn't stop. I adore them all and have trouble deciding each day which one to wear.

(pictures are from the artist's websites, they are not my actual necklaces)

It started with this necklace from Lisa Leonard Designs.  Lisa used to write a fun little blog that I followed and she'd sometimes sell her gorgeous ideas on there.  Now she's selling in boutiques and celebrities are wearing her pieces.

 My version of this necklace has two tags one with each of the kids' names on it.

I also have her Family Tree necklace with all four of our names on it.  I get tons of compliments on this one.

Then I found Kimbra Studios.  I ordered this necklace with a picture of the four of us walking along a beach.  It's beautiful.

My friend Mindi gave me this little lovely from Michelle Baratta.  I have Matt's picture in there.

Next I bought this one for myself.  It is from designsbycathy on Etsy.  It says "A mother is she who can take the place of all others...but whose place no one else can take." and has a the kids' names on each heart.

Next I bought a matching set.  I got a coin for Matt that says "I love you to the moon and back" on one side and "Amanda" on the other and a necklace for myself that has the matching phrase on one side and "Matthew" on the back.  I got these at BirthDesigns from Etsy.  I will admit this is one of my least favorites.  The star jingles too much and the necklace is a bit short for my taste.  It's still beautiful though.

Next was a bar necklace from LillyEllen.  It has all four of our names on it and a blue bead.

Two Christmases ago, my MIL Lu gave me a ring from Nelle and Lizzy.  Mine has Zack and Skyler on it.

Last Christmas, I sent myself a bracelet.  It's one of my favorite favorites.  It has all four of our names on it.
It's from bddesigns on Etsy.

The next addition to my collection will be this bracelet from Nelle and Lizzy.  Matt and the kids ordered it for Mother's Day.  I can't wait to get it!!!  It's got "Zack & Sky" stamped on it.  LOVE.

And it continues...

I had coveted FOREVER the fingerprint necklaces that you see.  I managed to win a blog contest that gave me a $100 gc to Tina Steinberg Designs which still had me squeemish as I'd need ANOTHER $100 to get a two fingerprint necklace.  So as I hemmed and hawed Tina ran a BOGO sale.  SCORE!  So I ordered the kit and now have a necklace with each of the kids' fingerprints on it.  They look like this:

Then I got onto a bracelet bandwagon and went back to Lisa Leonard but this particular adventure did not go as well as in the past.  I really really wanted this bracelet but her silver prices had tripled since I started ordering from her.  Because of this Lisa started offering similar designs in pewter.  The difference was $90 so I bit on the pewter.  According to the description, pewter looked basically the same and wore the same as well..

Well.  It does not.  This is my single most disappointing piece of jewelry in that I don't even wear it.  It's got a blackened worn look, the personalization rubbed off.  It looks really really shabby and I treat it no different than any of my other jewelry.  I contacted LLD and they offered to touch it up.  I sent it to them, postage paid, and they cleaned it and spruced it up a bit but meh... within a week it looked just as crappy.  I appreciated their effort and they did send me a lovely pair of earrings as a nice gesture but...not going to order pewter ever again.

THEN, as my most recent purchase, I ordered...
from SoulPeaces on Etsy.  It has four little lotus flowers with our initals on it.  Love love love.  It's darling and dainty and beautiful.

That's my current collection.  I love it with all my heart.  I have no new pieces in mind.  The last few were purchased prior to Mother's Day and nothing new has tugged at my heart strings since.

Got any suggestions?

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