Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Elie's new bike

It seems like the first "big kid" bike should be a big deal. We considered getting her one for her Birthday, but that would be November. Who wants a bike in the middle of winter?! We decided to just get the bike and go for it, even though there is no special occasions. Elie loves it. She rode it to the park right after this video was shot and around the lake the next day. I am glad to say she has improved since this was recorded.

Which brings us to a dilemma that Matt and I have been discussing. What if your child really sucks at something, do you encourage them to try and to get better or steer them in a different direction? Elie has some areas that she excels in and, well, athletics doesn't really appear to be one of them. Yes, she is only 4 and she may grow up to be an amazing soccer player yet, but I wouldn't bet the big money on it.

As a parent, how do you encourage your children by acknowledging strengths yet not pigeon-holing them? I want to encourage her to excel in the areas that God has gifted her and also let her know that it is ok to enjoy something she may never be good at. It is ok to not always be number one. How do I teach my child that sometimes we work really hard and we still fail? I want her to have confidence based in reality.

I guess it comes down to this; Elie has a new bike. She loves her bike. She feels big and is enjoying the challenge. If we can ever get her to stop starring at her feet as she peddles and teach her how to break, she may be the next Lance Armstrong. For today, the princess bike will be fine.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

This weeks menu

Friday is supposed to be the day I do all my shopping...and I mean ALL, but this week Matt was gone until mid-day Saturday. I do not take all 3 children into the store, I would rather go hungry. We make do without until I can go by myself because I can either stay on budget or shop with children. I usually make at least 5 stops, sometimes more, and can finish in about 3 hours. Since I don't make the money in this family, I do my best to spend it wisely by shopping sales and using coupons. This week at King Soopers (Kroger) I did very well. I saved 48% and almost $100. Doing this also allows me to buy extras for the food pantry at our church. I also plan the weeks menu according to what is on sale, here are the highlights of this week:

Coconut Shrimp, Sweet potato fries, salad
Pasta with scallops and Bacon, french bread and salad
Bean and sausage soup with corn bread
Baked eggs, asparagus, bread
BBQ Chicken on the grill, potatoes, steamed broccoli

Breakfast and lunches will look a lot like what we usually have. I think I will make up a batch of banana muffins for snacks and might serve toast with cream cheese for breakfast. I am in need of inspiration for creative breakfasts and lunches, what do your kids love?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Photos







My dad turned his garage into a photo studio. He bought a soft box. He has a nice camera. He will soon be "livin' the dream" traveling and taking photos. He needed someone to practice on so of course I volunteered 3 of his 9 grand kids, maybe the cutest 3. These are my pictures, his are way better, but I thought I would give you a peek.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Productivity


Some days I define myself and what I do by what I achieve. I know this isn't right, a person has value long before they are capable of "achieving" anything, and yet I get sucked into this mind trap often. Being so defined is disheatening because how do you measure when you have done enough to be worthy?


Baby is sick today. Actually, she has been sick for the last few days, not sleeping well at night and earning the nic-name "Baby Snort". Nothing warenting a trip to the doctors, only a cold, complete with boogery nose and wattery eyes. She is miserable, wanting only to nurse to sooth her sore throat and snuggle with her mama.


I have a to-do list as long as my arm, which really isn't anything new. With a newly fallen foot of snow, I envisioned a productively home bound day. It just isn't in the cards. Instead, after putting the big girls down for a nap, I wraped the baby in a warm blanket and cuddled with her in our bed. She sighed, pleased to be the center of my universe if only for an hour, and fell asleep.


Today, I will not calculate my self worth by items checked off my to-do list or the state of my living room. Today, I will know I made the right choice to put people above things, to spend time investing in a life instead of caring for stuff. Today, I will define my self by what I do for others, not what I get done. Today, I am The Mommy, when only The Mommy will do, who wipes runny noses, kisses chapped cheeks and snuggles sad babies. For tomorrow, I make no promises.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Friends

Friends are funny things (not funny "haha" ,although some are) When your young you swear "friends forever" but as maturity and real life take effect, you come to see that is not always the case. Very few people are in your life "forever". Some are friends for a season, others are acquaintances, some a buddies for certain actives, the majority come in and out like a wave, leaving a small imprint on your life like a wave in the sand.

Some people are not waves that come and go, but deep pools that settle in for the long run. They become a permanent fixture on the landscape of your life, memories are built around them, they refresh your spirit, they know your heart. A true friend is rare and I am blessed to have a treasured few such people in my life.

Jenny and I knew each other when we were both young and cool, married without kids, traveling the world, developing careers. We had our first babies within weeks of each other, hers a boy mine a girl. We would spend day after day together, sharing life and all the trials of parenthood. Our second babies were born within weeks of each other too. I tried to talk her into joining me for #3, but she just wouldn't do it.

Jenny has since moved away, I may never forgive her husband for changing jobs. A couple of times a year I get the pleasure of her company for a few days. It reminds me that true friends pick up exactly where they leave off, this might be because of our every-couple-days phone conversation. I love getting to know her children, our long conversations and the reminder that I am blessed to have a household of girls.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Counter


Matt meets a lot of interesting people in his line of work. Most recently he spent some time in LA with Andy Lichit, producer of "Water World" and "Cable Guy". Apparently, Andy is not only into movies, but food too. He has a restaurant in Park Meadows area called "The Counter". He called the manager here and told him that Matt and I would be coming in and to comp our dinner. So we called our favorite baby sitter (Thanks FAITH!) and went for a great meal sans kiddo's. The Counter is an up-scale design your own burger joint. We ate some fabulous burgers and enjoyed some grown up conversation. Not a bad way to end a weekend.

Friday, March 19, 2010

This weeks menu

Friday is shopping day/menu planning day. I did great at King Soopers, saving over 52% ($60-ish) and that included stuff for the food pantry at church. I spent about $30-ish at Sunflower market, but that includes 2 big bags of Kettle Chips that I really didn't need but were on sale. Those things are evil and like crack for both Matt and I. Target kills me every time, I spent over $40 there but that included 2 baby shower gifts and an adorable pair of shoes I have had my eye on that finally went on clearance. I also picked up stuff for the girls Easter baskets. Not too bad, we try to keep it at about $120 a week and I only went a bit over. What are you eating this week?

Breakfasts:
Baked Oatmeal, peaches, yogurt
Omelets with cheese, strawberries
Blueberry Coffee Cake, boiled eggs
Yogurt with Granola and berries
Pancakes, bananas
Cereal, blueberries
French toast, oranges

Lunches:
Roll-ups (flat bread, meat, cheese, veggies) bananas
Qusadillas, carrot sticks,
Hot dogs. cucumbers, apples
Cottage Cheese, peaches, broccoli
Crackers and Peanut butter, frozen peas, pears
Meat and cheese, oranges, jicama
Yogurt and Granola, berries, carrots

Dinners:
Lentil soup with ham, corn bread and salad
Steak, twice baked potatoes, steamed broccoli
Tamales, beans and rice
Chicken and rice, asparagus
Bean and sausage soup, french bread, salad
Dinner out with Matt x2

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

I am not sure if it is my love of short people or how much I enjoy corned beef and cabbage, but St. Pats day always makes me happy. While my youngest is still too small to complain about goofy hats, she will be the mascot. Sorry for the blogging absence, I have been in Little Rock with one of my favorite short people of all (HI JENNY!) and without my laptop. Stay tuned for pictures.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Vent

Some days I feel like my children sneak a peak at my to-do list and make their best effort to thwart every attempt at productivity. Can you tell that today was one of those days? I try not to be a whiner, but today I can't help it.

Life keeps getting in the way of everything I need to get done. Between Grandpa John passing and a quick trip to California followed by this coming long weekend in Little Rock, my to-do list is becoming a "never will get done" list. The 5 minute increments of time are not enough to do things like fold 4 loads of laundry and clean the kitchen and mop the very nasty floor.

Annabelle decided she needed mommy today. She was happy to sleep, as long as I didn't put her down and wanted to eat just about every hour. Addilyn wet the bed at nap time, which she has never done before. Otis peed on the floor and I might just kill him. Eliana complained about every piece of food I served her and the night ended for Addilyn when I refused to give her another cookie. She melted down and I put her to bed screaming. I hate when evenings end that way.

Thanks for listening to me ramble on. I know I am blessed to have my girls, my home and my biggest problem be my lack of ability to accomplish anything. I am now self medicating with wine and an embarrassingly large amount of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I'm baaack!

No, my dear blog friends, I did not fall of the face of the earth. I just arrived home today from California and Grandpa John's funeral. I decided not to take my computer with me, as the thought of trying to get three children four and under PLUS my laptop through airport security was enough to make even someone as cool headed as me feel a touch warm. I am sure I wouldn't make it through with everything and I am really starting to like my kids and they would be expensive to replace. Speaking of warm, Elie is running a temp of 102. Addilyn had a fever off and on all weekend too, because the only thing more fun than traveling with 3 small children is traveling with two out of three sick. Oh yeah, and Matt didn't fly home with me, he is still in CA for business. Know what I am doing right now? Drinking a very large glass of wine, I earned it. Always one to be gathering knowledge, I thought I might bless your day with what I learned on this trip:

-Open caskets are a terrible idea. I would much rather be remembered full of life instead of as a nicely painted shell. Really, when I die, cremate me and throw a party with all my favorite foods and some yummy drinks. Share pictures and talk about the good times, don't gawk at my dead carcass.

-Whom ever invented those stupid automatic flushing toilets should be shot or at least stuck with the bill for the therapy my children will require after visiting the airport bathrooms. Addilyn never did "preform" for one of those, the poor baby held it for hours instead. Really, how hard is it to push down the little leaver? Does the automatic really save that much time?

-Children should come with muzzles. Eliana announced while waiting in line to board the plane that mommy has big, hairy buns. Fabulous. She was standing right behind me at the time and she is butt height, but really that is no excuse. And, for the record, while my buns may be big, they are hairless.

-When possible, always leave squirrel two year olds at home. This one requires no explanation and if I really had to state it, you haven't spent nearly enough time with small children.

Our time in CA was nice. It was great to see family again, even if the occasion was sad. Grandpa's funeral was nice and the military honors were touching. I am still glad to be home, if for no other reason than to have my laptop back.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

In Memory


Grandpa John (Matt's) passed away this morning. He was dearly loved and will be missed by his 2 daughters, 7 grandchildren and 7 great granddaughters. We will be flying out to CA on Friday for his Saturday memoral. Pray for peace for the family and a safe travels for all.

Monday, March 1, 2010

March

We all know that March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, but did you know that March is adopt a rescued Guinea pig month? And because there history is different than ours, it is deaf history month too. It is also caffeine awareness month and cheer leading safety month, which I am pretty sure are related. Nothing is worse than a dangerous caffeinated cheerleader. Aren't you glad God gave you two eyes? This is eye donation month too, so celebrate by giving one of them to someone in need! It is also play the recorder month and sing with you child month, so bust out one of your favorite tunes in celebration of Irish-American history month. While your waiting on hold celebrating on-hold month, go ahead and google colorectal cancer in celebration of awareness this month, just make sure to do it optimistically because it is optimism month. Celebrate mirth with the world because the next 30 days are international mirth celebration days, just don't forget your kidneys or umbrella because we are celebrating those too. Gosh, my to-do list just got a lot longer!

By the by, I didn't make any of those up. You can check out http://www.brownielocks.com/march.html for the whole list.