Saturday, July 19, 2014

Confessional Friday: A Day in the Life

{Last week's Confessional Friday was all about day-to-day life.  I wrote this post last week, but never got around to posting before the link-up closed.  So, I'm posting it this week!} 

I've never done a "day in the life" post before.  Looking back, I kind of wish I would have done a couple of posts like this every year so I could remember what things were like at different times, especially life with Aniston at different ages.  But I guess there's no time like the present to get started with that, so today's the day! 

Friday, July 11

7:30 am--B leaves for work.  Loudly.  Love the guy to pieces, but he can't be quiet in the mornings to save his life. 

8:00 am--Aniston is up, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.  This girl goes from sound asleep to wide open in about half a second. I try to buy more time by having her crawl in bed with me, but it doesn't work.  After watching less than half an episode of Daniel Tiger, she's up again and looking for her "super pups".  (If you haven't been reading lately, Aniston is a huge fan of the Buddies movies and likes to pretend that she and the schnauzers are super heroes.  Bless those dogs.)

8:20 am--The super pups have been located, and there's a wild game of tag going on in my house. 

8:30 am--Breakfast. Aniston eats yogurt (she calls it "o-gurt") and fruit.  I have a Quest bar.  I'm not a big fan of breakfast foods, and this is an easy and quick way to get a jump on protein for the day.  It's also a "cleaner" type of protein bar.  I love the cookies and cream.  The cookie dough and apple pie kinds are good, too.

9:00 am--I get ready while Aniston watches Super Buddies.  She's distracted by the movie, so the real-life super pups sneak away and try to hide.  They're not very good at hiding.  She finds them quickly and forces them to play dress up with baby doll toboggans and Tinkerbell wings.  I'm sure they're wondering when summer break will be over.

10:00 am--Aniston and I head out to run errands.  We drop by the surgeon's office to pay what is (hopefully) the last bill from my gallbladder surgery, then go to the bank to make a deposit into Aniston's savings account.  The teller doesn't offer her a sucker, and she is beyond disappointed.  (Things like that can shatter a three-year-old's day, you know.)  After the bank, we go to Walmart where we spend $76 on random things.  (Am I the only one who walks out of Walmart every time thinking, What in the world did I buy?!)

1:00 pm--Lunch with Nana, Papa, and Uncle Eric.  We order pizza and Aniston eats a lot. 

2:30 pm--Back home for rest time.  (Aniston is fighting naps with a vengeance right now.)  While she rests, I do a couple of loads of laundry and straighten the house. 

4:00 pm--We have "school time" and practice naming shapes and drawing lines.  We work on the letter 'A'.  I nearly lose my mind and wonder if she'll ever write her name.

4:30 pm--Brooke calls and we make impromptu dinner plans.

6:00 pm--Dinner with Brooke, Reid, Kennedy, and Avery at a local barbecue place.  Yum!

7:45 pm--Home to change clothes quickly, then back out for a run with Brooke

8:00 pm--Last night, we ran at the park and there were bugs everywhere.  We were constantly swatting, we couldn't open our mouths, and they were all over us.  Gross.  Not wanting a repeat, we go to the track at the school instead.  No bugs!  We walk a lap/run a lap for an hour and burn some of those calories from dinner.  Brooke pushes me (which I need because I tend to be a quitter.  ha!), and at one point we run half a mile without stopping.  I'm not a runner, but I'm trying, so this was a big deal.  I leave the track feeling pretty proud of myself. While I'm out, B puts Aniston to bed.

9:15--After I shower, B and I watch a couple of episodes of Mad Men on Netflix.  B always, always, always falls asleep when we watch tv, so after about 20 minutes I'm watching by myself.  One of the characters has gained a lot of weight.  I wonder if she really gained that much for the part, or if it's just one of those fat suit things.  Turns out, I'm not the only one who spent wasted time thinking about it because as soon as I type "did Betty" in Google, the first search suggestion it gives is "did Betty really gain weight".  (Answer: fat suit) 

11:30--I wake B up and we head to bed. 

And that was my Friday.  Riveting, right? ;)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

I Just Needed You

Before Aniston was born, I was going to be the perfect parent.  I watched (and, admittedly, sometimes judged) parents all the time--in the grocery store, at the beach, in restaurants, wherever.  As we were going through fertility  treatments, I was especially harsh in my appraisal of parenting skills, and often had thoughts that started with, "If we have a baby, I'll never..."

Fast forward three years, and I'm dealing with a stubborn, headstrong three-year-old.  I've had to go back on those "I'll never..." statements so many times I've lost count.  There are days when Aniston and I struggle with each other from the minute we get up until the minute we go to bed.  It's often a battle of wills between the two of us, and most definitely a power struggle.  Sometimes I lay awake at night and wonder if I did the right thing, chose the right battles, gave the right answers.

There are days when I wonder if I'm doing this right at all.  Am I a good parent?  When she's grown and has a child of her own, will she look back and think I was a good parent?

Today was one of those days.  It was her second day of swim lessons, and it didn't go well.  She wouldn't even put her feet in the water (even though she loves the water and swims often), or let her instructor touch her.  She screamed and cried for me.  I was frustrated, and, truthfully, so very embarrassed.  All of the other kids in her group were doing so well, and there was mine, pitching a huge fit.  I tried to talk her into going in, her instructors tried, I took her out to calm down and then went back in...all to no avail.  Finally, after I realized she just wasn't going to stop, we left early.  My patience was gone.  I talked to her on the way to the car, as I buckled her in, and as we started home about the way she behaved.  Even though I knew I should let it go, I couldn't.

And then, she spoke up in a small voice from the backseat, "But, Mommy, I just needed you."

I just needed you.  And, just like that, my perspective changed a bit.  She's three....only three.  She has trouble separating from me in new environments and situations, and that's normal (believe me, I read article after article after we got home to make sure).

I just needed you.  She needed reassurance, familiarity, love.  Yes, she has to learn to do things on her own, but in that moment she needed me...because I'm her mommy.  Her rock.  Her safe place.  When things are uncertain, new or scary, she looks to me for help.  And would I want it to be any other way?

Being a mommy to this little girl is the biggest blessing I've ever received--I've said that time and time again.  What an amazing, yet scary, thought to know that I'm responsible for helping her to become the person she's meant to be.  She's looking to me to be her constant, to help her grow and gain independence and confidence, and to provide just the right amount of support until she's willing and ready to fly on her own.

I just needed you. 

And I'll always be there for you, sweet girl.  Always.

I'm linking up with Jessica and Alisha today.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Catching Up: July 4th, Our Weekend, and Such

You know, when I envisioned how I was going to spend my summer, I pictured lots of time spent blogging, reading, and doing whatever I pleased.  Somehow, as these visions of long, lazy days danced through my head, I apparently forgot that I have a three year old who has her own agenda and summer plans.  Ha!

Instead of my plans, we've been working on hers--lots of playing, painting, coloring, going outside, and pretending that we (along with the schnauzers) are "super hewoes".  (Side note: At some point, I'm sure I'm going to panic about her "r" sound, but it's just so stinkin' cute right now.  I love it.)

I'm just now sitting down to write about our weekend, and it's Wednesday already.  I'm okay with that, though, because there's lots of living being done around here and, after all, that's the most important thing.

So, let's catch up, shall we?

On Friday, Aniston and I made yummy desserts for our July 4th celebration with friends.  We made a fruit pizza (my favorite dessert ever) and tried to make star sugar cookies.  I say tried because the cookies looked more like blobs than stars.  I'm not sure where we went wrong.  We had lots of fun making them (because any time you give a kid sprinkles, it's a good time, right?), so all was not lost.

We went to Brooke and Reid's for a cookout and fireworks.  We had a great time!  Aniston always loves playing with Kennedy.  We hadn't set off fireworks of our own in years, so that was fun.  I'm pretty sure the guys were more excited about the fireworks than the little girls.  At one point Kennedy yelled, "I am not impressed!"  Ha!

I should also mention that thirteen years ago on July 4, B and I went on our first date.  How in the world has it been thirteen years?!

Aniston was absolutely exhausted, and slept until after 9 on Saturday morning.  Yay!  :)  My mother-in-law's birthday was Friday, so we spent most of the day on Saturday with B's family to celebrate.  We spent the day swimming and then had dinner together.  I don't have a single picture, but it was a fun time!  Aniston and Colton were so cute playing together--I love that they're so close in age.

After church on Sunday, we had lunch at Bojangles' (Aniston's choice), and then did a little grocery shopping.  That night, we had my family over for barbecue and cornhole.

It was a fabulous holiday weekend filled with lots of fun and delicious food!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A Bird and a Fern

Every summer, I buy ferns for our front porch.   To me, it's just one of those things that says summer.  It's one of my favorite things to do, and I just can't imagine not hanging them every year. 

Unfortunately, the birds can't imagine life without ferns either.

 A few days after the ferns were hung, I noticed there were more birds than usual hanging out around the front of the house.  No doubt, they were checking out the new additions and making plans to move in.

This happens every. single. year.  The birds ruin one side of each fern causing them to be lopsided (not to mention mismatched and ugly) and make it incredibly difficult to water because no one wants to drown baby birds.  (Even if their mamas have ruined my ferns and are covering my banister in bird poo.)

Determined not to have nests in the ferns this year, I turned to Pinterest.  Pinterest led me to believe that if I put plastic Easter eggs in them, a bird would think someone was already living there.

Happily, I dug out a few leftover Easter eggs, stuck them in the ferns, and marveled at my brilliance and the benefits of modern technology.  I was sure it was going to work.

The next day, I came home to find this.

The bird had kicked my egg out of the fern.

I was shocked.  The plan had not worked.  The bird had made a stand.

Now she thinks she owns the place, and likes to swoop and squawk every time I step onto the porch.

Every day, I water the ferns, then march back into the house fuming about the monster of a bird who scares the living daylights out of me daily on my own porchMy porch!  I'm not sure what I'm going to do, exactly, but it's going to be something. 

All of this makes me think about my papaw, and the year he declared war on the squirrels because they kept digging holes in his yard to bury nuts.  I remember all of us laughing and talking about how crazy he was with all the little tricks and traps he used to lure the squirrels back into the woods and away from his precious grass. 

Obviously, I get it now.  A person can only be pushed so far.

(I also think craziness might be hereditary.)