Friday, March 17, 2017

What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger

There is nothing that strikes fear in my heart like a stomach bug.  Nothing.  I begin dreading and warily watching for it in early fall.  I wash my hands constantly.  I preach to the other people in my family about washing their hands, not putting hands in their mouths, and--for goodness sake--not licking things in public places. (I'm looking at you, Harp.)

Unfortunately, though, all of my efforts were in vain and Aniston came down with it late Sunday night.  Sigh.  We cleaned, we washed hands, we sanitized surfaces.  

All to no avail, because by Tuesday afternoon B and I both had it.  

Now, it's a hardship when one parent is sick.  It throws a wrench in the daily dynamics of the family. But both parents?  

Jesus take the wheel.

This virus was no joke.  We've never been that sick before in our lives.  It was horrible.  Out of complete necessity, B called his mom and asked for help.  She graciously agreed to come help with the girls until bedtime, even though I'm sure she didn't want to (because who in their right mind would?!) and knew that she was probably sacrificing herself in the process.  

Right before she arrived, Harper got sick.  Life's like that sometimes, isn't it?  Just when you think things can't possibly get any worse, bam!  You've got an eighteen month old crying and throwing up. 

I spent a good bit of time feeling very, very sorry for myself and our miserable situation.

My mother-in-law was an absolute godsend.  I honestly don't know how we would have made it without her.  There is no way in the world we'll ever be able to thank her enough.  No. way.

My mom, meanwhile, dropped a supply of Coke, Gatorade, and Pedialyte on our front porch and ran. Not that I can blame her, because that's exactly how I would have helped had I been in the situation. (Note to my girls: Call your daddy when something like this happens to you one day.  I'll send Coke and pray for you from afar.)

And B?  He's easily the best husband ever.  He's the one who kept us together, who kept things going, who took care of everything that needed to be taken care of.  Me?  I whined.  A lot.  

Even though it didn't look promising at times, we survived.  Things are back to normal here and I am oh so thankful.  Normal is good, and I hope it stays this way for a long, long time.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

A New Car and a Singing Shrimp

Life is going well lately.  We're just humming along in a steady stream of work, homework, dinner, house stuff, repeat.  It would be boring, but it's busy, plus we have two kids and I spend my day with third graders, so boring is never a word I'm comfortable using describing any part of my life.

The biggest thing that has happened in the past couple of weeks is that we bought a new car.  We were pushed over the edge on a warm Saturday that involved both a stroller and a shopping trip, which included going to Sam's.  We realized that we had to have something bigger, or else we were going to lose our minds in the process of going places as a family.  (First world problems, obviously.)  In the search for a larger car, we just couldn't bring ourselves to buy a minivan.  Call it a refusal to accept our current position in life or whatever, but we just couldn't.  So after some research, we settled on a Honda Pilot. We like Hondas, have had great success with them in the past (B's first Civic had over 200,000 miles on it and would have still be going, I'm sure, had it not been for a deer), and the Pilots no longer look like boxes.  I was not extremely happy to give up my Accord, which I loved, but, alas, responsibility and practicality won and I'm driving the Pilot.  To compromise, we kept my Accord and traded B's car, but it's now his because I have a four minute drive to work and Honda clearly, ah-hem, stretched the truth a bit when they estimated the gas mileage of the Pilot.

Anyway, the new car is nice and has more bells and whistles, so to speak, than I've ever had before. So many, in fact, that the first morning I drove it I was almost late because I couldn't figure out how to work it.  Which is sad.

But after driving it for a week and a half, it doesn't feel quite so big and I'm more comfortable with it. And it has Sirius radio with a Margaritaville station, so there's that.



On a completely random and unrelated note, there's an ad on Hulu lately for MailChimp. It shows a shrimp (MailShrimp) inside a sandwich (which is just a disgusting thought in general) singing.  A singing, nasty shrimp. It may be the grossest thing I've seen in a long time.  I'm not sure why it's so disturbing, but it makes my skin crawl every time I see it.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

A New Mattress and the Spa

We bought a new mattress last weekend.  It was time, since we'd pushed the "new every eight" guideline to the ten year mark.  We were pretty thrilled about it, and felt very grown up.

We're in our thirties and married with two kids, jobs, and a mortgage, and yet it takes things like buying a mattress to make us feel like adults.

Had it not been for us spending Saturday at the spa at Rock Barn with friends, it would have been the highlight of our weekend.  Y'all I have not been that relaxed in years.  Years. It was just the best day.  A day spent in the hot tub and mineral pool, chocolate covered strawberries, the best dinner ever, and adult conversation.  I only had to cut my own steak, I was able to eat my food while it was still warm, there were no diapers to change, or catastrophes to deal with...it was amazing.  Sometimes as parents (mamas especially), we give and give and give. It was nice to have a day away with no responsibilities.

I was so excited to go to sleep that night because I thought it was going to be the best night of sleep ever, but that was so not the case.  I woke up around three because my legs were hurting so badly.  I couldn't figure out why, and I even went as far as to blame the new mattress before I realized that it was because of moving my legs constantly in the pool.  Not really swimming, just treading water or while sitting on the ledge.  

Bless.  

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

I Get It Now

Now that I'm the parent of a school-age child, I'm seeing my teacher-self in a new light.

Admittedly, in my before-children days, I was a bit confused.  I just couldn't understand why people couldn't remember to send specific items to school with their kids.  I didn't understand the strain of simple projects.  I couldn't figure out why kids came back to school with unfinished homework.  (Not that I ever said any of those things aloud.)

I GET IT NOW.

It's teddy bear week in kindergarten, and Aniston just finally took hers today.  It's Wednesday.  And it's a Care Bear. I don't even know if that qualifies as a teddy bear or not (I'm thinking not), but I was so tired of arguing with her about which bear to take to school that I finally said fine and moved on.

Heaven help me.

Today was camo day for our book fair spirit week.  Aniston wore a shirt with pink and white stripes. On the way into school, she asked if that counted as camo.

Sure thing, baby girl.

We do homework every night (it's a non-negotiable), but I would be lying if I said it was peaceful or pleasant.  Before kids, I pictured homework time as a kind of family time. In my mind, our kids would work on homework at the kitchen table while B and I cooked dinner, there would be nice conversation, and everyone would be smiling.

Ha. That's so not the case. Normally there's a lot of bargaining (her), threatening (me), and fussing (both) which all ends up the same way--me telling B he can do homework with her from now on.

Last night we made her Valentine's Day box at the last minute because I realized it was due today.  I wrote her name on the box lid, then went to put Harper to bed, planning to return to the box afterwards.  Aniston came bounding into Harp's room with the lid, announcing that she'd already decorated it herself.  And she had.  With little squiggles and one heart made by a pink Sharpie.  Bless it.  For two seconds, I considered losing my mind.  Then I thought, Really?  It's a Valentine's box. So I didn't bother even trying to fix it, and when she wanted to cover it in random stickers from my classroom before school this morning, I said sure. Why not?  It's a hot mess of a Valentine's box, but I'm sure it will do the job just fine and the world will go on.

I cringe a little when I think that I work with people she comes in contact with on a daily basis.  I just hope they're not judging me too harshly when she shows up with wild hair and a jacked up Valentines box.

Or when she brings a teddy bear three days late.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Not Like the Burritos

We started out our weekend by going on a field trip to the circus with Aniston on Friday morning. It's a little sad to believe this is the last time after so many years of Barnum and Bailey. (I think I feel that way just because it's so sad when something that has gone on for over a hundred years is suddenly no more.  Not because I'm a fan of the circus in general, because I'm not.  I enjoy it for the first thirty minutes or so, then I'm over it.)

After the circus, we signed Aniston out and headed to South Park because when you're that close to The Cheesecake Factory there's just an unwritten rule that you have to go.  We shopped for a bit, and, thanks to a Buy One Get One for $1 sale, Aniston managed to leave the Disney Store with the entire group of Lion Guard stuffed animals.

Because we needed more stuffed animals.  (Eye roll.)

On Saturday night, B played at Mi Pueblito's.  He normally starts at 9:30 there, but they called on Friday night and changed his start time to 8:00.  8:00 is reasonable (9:30 is no longer reasonable because, 1) I'm old, and 2) we have kids) so I decided to take the girls for a late dinner and listen for awhile.  My parents and Eric and Chelsea met me there.  Aside from the fact that taking Harper out to dinner lately is kind of like wrestling a wild animal and we had to clean a whole little cup of salsa off of her shirt, high chair cover, and out of her hair (sigh), we had a great time.

The best thing that happened this weekend just may have been the iced coffee B picked up at Sam's.   When he brought it home, I'll admit that I was skeptical because he's done this before.  He tries something at Sam's, thinks he likes it, and buys the enormous box or bag or whatever, only to never eat it.  We've had organic gummy bears (?), frozen tilapia (gag), and several other things, but none hold a candle to the burritos.  Right after we were married, he tried some sort of chicken burrito, thought they were convenient and great, and bought them.  He brought them home, tried one, and realized he'd made a mistake.  Not wanting to admit said mistake, the burritos stayed in our freezer...and stayed....and stayed.  Friends, when we moved into our new house two years later, we found those burritos still hanging out in the back of our freezer.

The point of that story is to prove that my skepticism was warranted.

I'm happy to report, though, that the coffee was not like the burritos.  It is SO good. Maybe too good, considering we've gone through nearly 96 ounces in two and a half days.  That's a bit embarrassing, and gives some insight into how much we depend of coffee in this house.

It may be a problem.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Five on Friday

1| Y'all, I haven't worked a full week since before Christmas.  First there was the New Years holiday, the next week we had snow, then the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday was last week, and we had a teacher workday this week.  I was a little excited about actually having a full week next week, then realized I'll be off on Friday because I'm going on a field trip to the circus with Aniston.  So, the streak continues.

2| Planning our Disney World trip may be the death of me.  What was going to be a simple trip for a few days has turned into a full week of Disney fun, complete with character dining reservations every night.  While I'm a Type A who needs every. little. thing planned, B is the complete opposite and would like to approach the trip with a "let's just go and have fun" attitude.  Uh, no.  I've got spreadsheets and lists and a schedule....and as I'm typing this, I'm almost a little embarrassed.  (Almost.)  I'm giving him the night we arrive and our first day in the park as free, unplanned days--no reservations, no big plans, no real schedule.  (Well, there's kind of a schedule, but...)

3| In planning this trip, we've realized that people who have minivans may be on to something.  But I'm not really willing to give up my car, and B isn't quite at the point of wanting to be a minivan dad, so strategic packing it is.

4| Have you tried the Walmart grocery pick up?  Let me tell you, it's life changing.  I hate Walmart anyway, so I was super excited when stores that weren't too far away started offering it.  Our local Walmart still doesn't (sadness), but the ones in Denver and Belmont do, and we're in those areas pretty regularly.  In case you're not familiar with the process, here's a quick rundown: 1) You choose your pickup date and time, 2) You order groceries online, 3) You go to the store at the appointed time, park in a designated spot, check in, and they bring your groceries out to your car.  Best. Thing. Ever.  Not only does it save time, it saves money, too, because there isn't an opportunity to pick up a million random things like one tends to do at Walmart or Target.  I'm definitely a fan.

5| It's Friday night, I'm already in my comfy clothes, and my big plan is to catch up on Grey's and Scandal as soon as the girls go to bed.  And I'm perfectly happy and content with that.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Must List

In December, I read an article about making a "must" list.  As in, saying you MUST do something rather than you should do something or would like to do something.  The list was supposed to be made up of things that you felt would make you a better person, as well as things that just make you happy if they're done on a regular basis.  The general idea was that saying you must do something triggers a different response in your brain or something like that, and you're more likely to follow through with whatever you said you MUST do.

Since the new year was just days away at that point, I thought it sounded like a great idea.  Probably because it was a new kind of list and I love a good list.  I also tend to lean toward optimism instead of realism, so there's that, too.

So I sat down with my planner and my pen and made a list of my musts.

I must have quiet time with Jesus every day.
I must follow Weight Watchers faithfully rather than halfway doing it and hoping for divine intervention.
I must exercise at least three times a week.
I must write or blog every day.

Sadly, I must report that adding the word MUST to things I want/need to do didn't really change anything at all,  Surprising, right?

I have tried to do the first thing on my list, and that has worked out pretty well.  I'm reading the One Year Bible along with B, our life group, and our church and I've kept up with it for the most part.  I say "for the most part" because there was a day last week when I had to catch up on several days of reading, but I did it so I'm saying that it counts.  There's lots of accountability involved when you know your husband and life group will, at some point, ask about how the reading is going and so--confession--I'm doing better with daily Bible reading than I ever have before.  Because who wants to admit that it isn't even the end of January and they've already quit?  Not me, so I keep reading because the other option would be to lie, and I'm pretty sure that lying about reading the Bible probably shows that you've missed the whole point.  Accountability, friends.  It works.

Anyway, the rest of the list has been hit and miss, except for the blogging and the exercise, which have just been misses.

Which leads me to time.  Is there ever enough?

I'm thinking there isn't, but I'm also aware that maybe that has to do with some of my priorities being out of line.  As in, by the time the girls are in bed, I'd much rather sit on the couch and watch tv than get on the treadmill and sometimes I can't even put together a coherent sentence much less a blog post.

I should probably find accountability partners for everything on my must list.

Or throw the must list away altogether.

Either one would work,