Friday, July 28, 2006

Disaster struck...

well, it struck the Little People village, at any rate. My kids set up an elaborate town, had the characters interact, then had the town get destroyed by a tornado. What? There was recently a twister episode of some kids show or another (they all run together, don't they?), so I'm assuming that's where they got it from. But still, a little weird.

And, um, what else is going on? Um, nothing special. I guess maybe it's getting kind of close to my birthday. Like Sunday. But no big. Right? ... Right? Really, it's not a big deal at all. Seriously. I'm totally okay with turning thirty. I actually feel like it gives me a bit of legitmacy as a wife and mother for some reason. You know, like last year, I felt very young most of the time standing with the other preschool moms, partly due to age and partly just because that's how I am. So this year I'll be 30.

But I do have to confess that there's a pretty big part of me that's disappointed in where I am now. Not that I'd really change anything, because ultimately I'm happy, even if I'm not happy every single minute (who wants that anyhow?). But I thought I'd have a master's degree, have written several novels (I haven't even written several chapters of a novel), be financially in control (turns out I'm still an ostrich about money - I tend to stick my head in the sand when it starts to freak me out. And that ain't good. I'm trying to get it all figured out again). I guess I just see thirty year olds as being much more with it than I am. But that's ever my life. There's always someone who's more together than me. Mainly I'm okay with that. I'm capable of envying them and accepting me for who I am at the same time. But sometimes a major thing comes along and makes me question that easy acceptance I've come to. These things I admire about other people, could I maybe do them too?

A year ago, I set a list of 30 goals. And I have done maybe four of the thirty. I'm disappointed in myself. And yet proud of the stuff I have done in the past year. I've learned so much about photography - still have a ways to go, but this time last year, I just wanted to take cute baby pictures and hearing "f-stop" made my brain shut down. Now I can actually explain what that means to another person. I'm trying again (again!) to teach myself to knit. Three years ago (during Hurricane Isabel), I taught myself to crochet using a website's instructions. Now I'm an old pro. Knitting, I've tried several times with no success whatsoever. Those little sticks make me crazy. So I decided to give it another shot, maybe a different instruction book will explain it in a way that clicks for me. So far, so good. I've cast on 20 stitches. I'm at a roadblock with the next step, but I've never made it this far before.

I haven't lost the weight I wanted to and I like to blame that on my gallbladder issues as much as possible. It's easier than remembering the birthday cake I ate last Tuesday, Friday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Or the other snacks I like. I'm not working out the way I used to. I know I just need to start small again and I'll make it back to what I used to be able to do, but right now that's frustrating.

I tend to place significance on things that aren't and end up disappointed. I did every year on the first day of school. It would be a fresh start. I could remake myself, be a better student, be stylish. Have clean notebooks, at least. I was inevitably disappointed. I'm hoping that I'll outgrow that tendency one of these days. Hasn't happened yet, but one day...

I approach my thirties with hope, the way I like to approach every day. Each day is full of potential, waiting for me to figure out how to use it. Now if I can just get my lazy ass up and enjoy the rest of this one. The second to last day of my twenties.

Two more days. Less than forty-eight hours. Farewell, my twenties.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Suddenly we're playing with our oldest toys? Ugh.

My kids have TONS of toys. I mean, tons. I have a huge family who all like to get them toys for Christmas and birthdays. We just had my youngest's first birthday. More toys. Not that I'm not appreciative, but we have a small house and I'm organizationally challenged anyway.

Yesterday, I had some time to get things organized and I spent most of it in the kids rooms. I was mainly just sorting things back together (separating the Legos from the Lincoln Logs), but I was also getting things ready to put away, now that they're a little older.

So why are my kids playing with the Fisher-Price Little People all of a sudden? I didn't have it in a special spot to catch their attention. I think they read my mind. I was just getting ready to put those away until the baby is a few years older and now I've actually had to get MORE stuff out (you know, the farm, the zoo, the house). And a few days ago, they built an elaborate Thomas the Tank Engine village with all the trains they hadn't played with in months. I'm telling you they're doing it on purpose. Mom wants to put that away? Not yet.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Happy birthday to my amazing husband...

Today Tom is 32. For his birthday celebration, he's taking the kids out for the day so I can clean. Yes, I know I'm not cleaning at the moment, but I'd been at for two straight hours and I needed a glass of water. Maybe a little lunch. I'm planning to bake his favorite cake later and give him the way cool (okay, only cool in Tom's world) birthday gift I got him. Yes, I'm married to a large child. He loves Transformers. And now T loves Transformers. And even Miss G loves Transformers. It's only a matter of time before Baby S does too.

But, despite, I hesitate to call my own husband a dork (actually, that's not true, I do it all the time, but lovingly, you know), but despite its dorkiness, I love that he spends time sharing something he loves with our kids. He really talks to them, not just in parent-child ways, but in a way that respects them as people, as individuals. Honestly, I've learned a lot about communicating with them from Tom. I'm not the best communicator in the world (Tom hasn't even read this, but he's laughing at that understatement, trust me). I hate talking about feelings and crap. I bottle everything up inside until I eventually explode. Tom can articulate his feelings and spell them out even in extreme anger. Me, I get so mad I can't even string four letter words together.

Okay, Mama better get back to the cleaning before the gang comes home and messes it all up again.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Happy Birthday, Baby S...

My littlest baby is one year old today. Actually, in about six hours. This time last year, I was in labor, waiting for a hospital room to open up so they could induce me. Yes, labor started hours before my scheduled induction. Makes me feel like July 21 was really meant to be her birthday, unlike G, who I think would have been born in April if we hadn't induced. And wouldn't that have been a kickass mother's ring? May (emerald), April (diamond), and July (ruby). Yikes. Feel sorry for whoever would have been buying me that. Add a fourth in September and we've the quartet of pricy stones. Of course, G was born in March, so I'm stuck with aquamarine or some such oddball stone.

Isn't it utterly amazing what happens to a baby in one year? One year ago, S was a tiny (okay, huge) bundle that could barely move on her own. Now she's walking, practically talking (weird for me, given that my other two talked after their SECOND birthdays) and you can just see her brain working. She's still the sweetest baby - unless she's mad. Then you just better watch out. It takes a lot for her to get mad, but when she does. Whoa. Mainly, though, she's content to cruise around, check things out, see what she can eat. She likes to cuddle, read stories, rock babies and try to chew the heart off of Care Bears' behinds. She's the beloved baby sister of T and G, who are always trying to comfort her if she's upset (can you say spoiled? LOL).

Happy one year, Baby S.

Friday, July 14, 2006

My recent layouts

Finished yesterday, started a week ago. Not something I normally do (starting and finishing later). I cut the tops off when I took the pictures, but rest assured that the T is complete in the yellow one. ;-) Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The latest stage in my life...

I reached a new milestone Tuesday night. Not a birthday, graduation, or other significant event in my life. No, Tuesday night, I became the Tooth Fairy. My oldest, my sweet boy, lost his first tooth. He's only five! I wasn't really ready for this just yet, but the dentist did warn me in May that he had three loose teeth. I guess it's two now.

The Tooth Fairy left a five dollar bill (my parents were shocked at the inflation that has taken place in the past 24 years, or probably 21 years, since my brother lost his first tooth) and a note, which T is brandishing about and referring to as his receipt. Actually, not a bad idea.

Photo: MamaChris, at age six, on the occasion of the loss of her first tooth. I don't think I was doing the Funky Chicken, but I can't be sure, based on the picture.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Get up and do something!

That's a message to me from me. I love the feeling of accomplishing something, even just something as mundance as loading the dishwasher. But the feeling of creating a scrapbook page that really pleases me is one of the best senses of accomplishment around. I was reading August Creating Keepsakes yesterday and I was, as I always am when it's magazine day, disappointed that I don't scrap more. I marathon scrap once or twice a month - ten pages in one night (from page kits I made earlier, so it's not that impressive). I love when I do complete a page, so why don't I get everything out more often? I think I just answered my own question. It's the get everything out part that drives me crazy. I have the perfect workstation, but, especially right now in the midst of all our home improvement projects, there's not much place for me to work. And I get the most done when Tom's not home, so maybe once school starts again.

I'm working on a slideshow project for Tom's school. It's something I've been thinking about trying out anyway (and I made the cutest practice first birthday DVD for baby S). It's totally fun and a real instant sense of accomplishment, right up my alley. Tom complimented how easily and well I was doing all the work for it. I shrugged it off, the way I do compliments. I just feel like being complimented on using a computer program the way it's supposed to be used is like being complimented on baking a box mix cake well. The directions are on the back. It's pretty hard to screw up.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream

  Tom got me an ice cream maker for our anniversary. Some may argue that's not a sexy gift. I guess technically it's not, but I'm hard to shop for. And I love it. I've used it about half a dozen times. Mint oreo - good. Plain vanilla - good. Fruit punch sherbet - BAD. Thought it would be kid friendly. Ew. They wouldn't even taste it after I gagged trying it. But I pretended to like it so they tried it (they're so gullible, aren't they? Wonder how much longer that will last?). They didn't really like it either.

And the best thing I've made? Frozen margaritas. Slushy, limey goodness. Next on the list is frozen fuzzy navels. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 8, 2006

In a strange place...

I'm so happy with me right now, which, quite frankly, is a little weird for me. I'm really thrilled with the way I'm progressing with photography (and not losing interest, which is more the point with me). I haven't answered any of my major burning questions, but I'm relaxed about that. I'm in that place where it's okay to not know exactly how things are going to turn out five years from now (and just typing that makes me feel silly for worrying about something so far off anyhow. No sense worrying about it - just make good choices today, right?)

We're still working on the fourth child question. I'm taking care of my nephew tonight and well, the fourth kid in the mix kind of works. But then I was out alone with all three kids last night and just the thought of going into Chick-Fil-A (the greatest food on Earth) made me exhausted. We went through the drive-through and ate at Great-Grandmom's. So I still don't know.

We're spending a lot of time right now catching up on the house - finishing all the projects we've started, working on the ones we've planned and actually doing the projects we've bought all the material for but haven't ever gotten around to. I'm staining our unfinished dresser to match our bed. Tom just laid the laminate flooring in our entryway and is now working on the closet organization system he's planned. Next he's going to tackle the sandbox he's promised the kids for three years now. Oh, and we bought a new car. A Buick Rendezvous with third row seat (just in case the fourth child question has a "yes" answer). It's Tom's - so it's blue with a sunroof. Those were pretty much his only criteria.

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Happy 230th, America!

 Me and the good ole U. S. of A. turning a milestone age. In July of 1976, our nation was turning 200 and my mother probably thought she'd be pregnant forever (I was late). Posted by Picasa