Quiet

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Today Scorch did 6 hours of baseball camp and then was supposed to have 2 more hours of baseball practice this evening. Sounded doable in theory…that is, until I picked up Scorch at 4:30 and he lost his ever loving 8 year old mind over something so idiotic that I couldn’t help but notice that perhaps he was a just a wee bit over-tired.

So tonight we put the kabosh on all activities. I put a movie on for the kids, we had breakfast for dinner and they were both in bed, asleep by 8:05.

The poor Hubs had to work wickedly late thanks to some stupid criminal.

All of which means I have the house to myself. So I read a book and watched Teen Wolf (the TV show- don’t judge me). There is no point to this post except to tell you that 1) while this summer rocks, it’s exhausting and I love the rare quiet times and 2) seriously, watch Teen Wolf.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Speak of TV shows, any Outlander fans going to watch the TV show on Starz that starts on the 9th? I’m really, really debating it but I’m so scared that it can’t possibly live up to my expectations that I’ll end up really ticked off.

36!

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A few weeks back, I turned 36. I celebrated in a number of awesome ways but the first (and the most exhilarating) way was jumping 10 feet off a diving board into 61 degree water.

Did I mention it was also beautiful?

Did I mention it was also beautiful?

The water was so cold it knocked the breath right out of you and I literally gasped for air as I made my way back to the ladder.

It was awesome.

Every year I try to come up with some goals around my birthday. Not so much resolutions- but things I want to be mindful of.  My dive off the board inspired me.  36 is the year where I want to do things that scare me. I want to push myself to do things that make me uncomfortable and take me out of my comfort zone. I want to take classes. I want to learn a new skill. I want to try new foods and make new memories. I want to find more diving boards and jump in feet first.

So, here’s to a year of finding new ways to take my breath away.

You know, like posting a picture of yourself in a bathingsuit on the internet for all the world to see.

You know, like posting a picture of yourself in a swimsuit on the internet for all the world to see.

 

6!

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Dear Bean-
How is it that you’re 6 already? 5 still sounds little-ish. But 6? Six is old. You’re old. How is that possible? It’s hard for me to wrap my head around you being older because you’re still pocket size. You weigh 40 lbs soaking wet, so it’s easy to pick you up and fling you around. While you may not always like to do it, you’re still bit-sized enough to cuddle with ease. Here’s hoping you’ll always be.

5 was an astounding year for you. You rocked Kindergarten! You made new friends and you had a blast. I can count on one hand the amount of times you cried at school- usually because you were tired. This is a huge contrast to pre-K when every day was a sobfest at drop off.  You learned how to *read* this year. So now you read anything and everything you can and that’s awesome. You can’t spell for beans, but you come by that naturally so I don’t judge you.

6 months old

6 months old

You have the same best friend from last year, but you two aren’t exclusive any more. It’s fun to see you expand your horizons beyond Scorch and LT (as awesome as she is). You’re still very quiet when you’re not 100% sure of your setting, but you’re getting bolder and more comfortable speaking up and being noticed outside of our family. It makes me laugh when people tell me how quiet you are though because when I think you of, quiet is one of the last words that comes to mind. You don’t talk nearly as much as your brother (who does?!), but when you do speak up you usually have something important (to you) to say. Mind you, that something important could be to tell us how dumb we are, but that’s just you.

To celebrate your birthday we went to get pedicures and out to dinner while Dad and Scorch were at lacrosse. We had so much fun. Until you didn’t get your way, and then you sobbed. But again, that’s just you. You like to be in control and rain down the fires of hell when you’re not. You’ve gotten a ton better about this as you’ve gotten older which is really nice. You need to learn to bend, little girl, just not too much. There is *nothing* wrong with knowing what you want to pursue even if no one else is on board. Right now there are so many times I wish you’d just go with the flow, but I try to remind myself daily that I don’t want to break you of this because it’ll be a huge asset as you grow.

We leave to go camping later this summer and I can’t wait. Which is odd because last year’s camping trip was flat out the worst trip we’ve ever taken as a family. Dad was sick, the weather was horrible and your behavior was off-the-charts bad. But the joy of family is knowing that even when you are a monster, we still love you. We may not like each other all the time, but we always love each other. And, girlfriend, do I ever love you. You are *everything* I dreamed about when I thought about having a daughter. You’re funny and sweet and loving and sassy and strong. You’re learning how to be a magnificent friend and discovering how much fun learning is. You’ve got your own sense of self when it comes to what you like and what you don’t and you make no apologies for it.

Isn't she lovely?

Isn’t she lovely?

Raising a girl in this world scares me silly. There is so much pressure and so many worries. I know a lot of these things apply to boys too, but with girls it just seems magnified. So please, please keep loving who are you. Remember that your father and I aren’t idiots (most of the time). Know that you’re adored no matter what. Keep being kind to others and yourself. Know that your two feet and your amazing brain is all you need to get where you want to go. You are worthy of love and kindness and all the good things the world has to offer- so expect those things. And when you don’t get them, figure out what went wrong and do better next time. You aren’t perfect and there is always so much to learn so don’t hesitate to ask for help. Wash your face, brush your teeth and use your manners in every situation.

And always, always, always know you’re loved.

Happy birthday, baby girl!

Love,
Mom

(Almost) Finished

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The kitchen is now 97% done and you guys- it’s gorgeous.

As a refresher, here is the old kitchen:

OldKitchen

And now here is the new kitchen complete with countertops and back splash…

Completed Kitchen Web

If loving tiled back splash is wrong, I don’t ever want to be right. *swoon*

We still need to do the flooring and some slightly finishing work around the island, but for the most part it’s done and I really couldn’t be happier.

If anyone local needs a contractor recommendation, I have one for you!

 

Here & Now

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There are a lot of things I love about my house (have you met my pantry?), but there are a lot of things I’m not particularly fond of.  Our porch is one of them.

This is after we powerwashed it into submission.

This is after we powerwashed it into submission.

It is the highest traffic area in my house and no matter what solid stain we put on it every year, it looks like that by summer. It’s annoying and time consuming and generally a giant pain in the butt.

When the kids were little, staining this (and the back porch- same issue, only three times as large!) was The Project of the spring as we could only do it when the kids were sleeping because they’d want to help. And anyone with half a brain knows that “help,” “paint,” and “3 year old” don’t belong in the same sentence.

~*~*~*~*~

My kids finished school this week. Scorch ended a wildly successful 2nd grade year. The year wasn’t without growing pains as he’s had to learn to take on more personal responsibilities and make good decisions (the age old quandary of after-school recess vs homework club tripped him up a few times), but really, he rocked it. I couldn’t be more prouder.  And the Bean? She discovered her love of reading and writing this year as she went through Kindergarten.  She came out of her shell, made a ton of new friends and grew so much!

I seriously can’t believe I have 3rd and 1st graders.

~*~*~*~*~

Tonight was the dreaded night to start staining the decks. We’re doing it later in the year then we normally do and it just can’t wait any more. The Hubs had to work late, so I got a jump start on it. I got a pizza and a movie for the kids and figured that would buy me a good 90 minutes of kid-free time to get this going.

Only the kids didn’t want to stay inside- they wanted to be outside with me.  Of course they did.

I told them they couldn’t help because I was doing the railing (a different coloring then the floor) and I couldn’t afford huge messes. Much to my surprise, they took that news just fine and came outside and played. For 2 hours. Peacefully. They played baseball and kickball and then spent 45 minutes trying to capture moths.

Kiddos_JuneNight2014

There are times I miss having a babies and toddlers around so much that I ache. Then there are nights like tonight where I’m too damn busy being thankful for what we have right here to miss anything.

You’re Out

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This year Scorch had to try out for Little League to see what division he’d play in. If he was deemed ready, he’d get pulled up to the Minors division (roughly ages 8 – 10/11); if not, he’d stay at the Rookies (ages 5 – 8). He didn’t much care either way so he went to tryouts, did his best and called it a day.  We found out a few days later that he made it into the Minors so that is how Scorch became the smallest kid on his team.

The day the Hubs, who was one of the coaches, came home with the uniforms I about died. He pulled out Scorch’s youth small jersey and then he pulled out the adult large jersey. I figured it had to be for one of the coaches- but I figured wrong. That was for one of Scorch’s teammates. *gulp*

Scorch wasn’t the best kid on the team by a long shot. He doesn’t have the bigger kid’s strength, speed or game knowledge. But damned if he didn’t try. He worked hard (most of the time) and just enjoyed the hell out of playing ball.  He, and the rest of his teammates, got better and better as the season went on and it was a blast watching them play.

Back when he was 4 and every game ended in a tie.

Back when he was 4 and every game ended in a tie.

~*~*~

Tonight we found ourselves in the run for the Championship game. Playoffs are double elimination and we’d already lost a game. We started out losing badly, but managed to come back so we were down by 2 in our last at bats. Bases were loaded, 2 outs and Scorch was up.

I couldn’t watch- my heart was in my throat.

2 balls and 2 strikes.

And then Scorch strikes out.

Just like that, the season is over.

~*~*~

Scorch came out of the dugout after the game with his head held high. He thanked his coaches for a great season and said goodbye to his teammates. But on the way back to the car, his chin started to quiver and his eyes filled up. I pulled him aside to let the Bean go ahead and we had a long conversation about the season, how well he tried, how much he improved and how it was Ok to be sad that the season was over and it was even fine to be disappointed about how it ended but that it wasn’t Ok to beat himself up. He listened without saying a word and quietly climbed into the car.

~*~*~

This is Scorch’s first experience with real heartbreak and disappointment. I know in my head that all kids go through this and have to deal with losing sooner or later. I also know it’s good for them- it builds character and makes the kids try even harder next time. But it doesn’t mean it’s easy to see. My mama bear instinct is to wrap my baby up in bubblewrap and let him go on thinking he’s the best around because that’s easier. It’s simpler and it’s safer.  He’s 8 for goodness sake- isn’t that just one step removed from an infant?! But I don’t do that because that doesn’t help him in the long run. I hug him, I love him and I tell him how proud I am of him and that I’m here to talk if wants. And then I let him figure out how to sort through this hard knock himself because I know while it may be the first, it’s won’t be the last.

Sometimes growing up is just plain hard.

 

Happy Father’s Day

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Happy Father's Day

This weekend was all about family. My mother-in-law was kind enough to spend the weekend with the kids so the Hubs and I could go to my cousin’s amazing wedding. The wedding was spent with my immediate family, aunts, uncles and cousins. Today my parents came up to Scorch’s baseball game and over for dinner to cap off an amazing Father’s Day.

At the wedding, I danced like a fool (as I always do) with my father, my uncles, the Hubs, my brother-in-law and my cousin’s husbands. All fathers. All amazing men. None of them have cured cancer, invented anything that changed the world or ran for president. But they have changed a million diapers. Rocked babies to sleep. Played catch for hours. Given out countless hugs. Been chauffeurs, therapist and cooks. Made beds and cleaned house. Been a task master and the bad guy. Kissed boo-boos and wiped noses. They have shown up and cheered on their kids at games and recitals and plays. They’ve learned new sports and been the coach. Given piggy-back rides over and over. Been tackled and wrestled with.  Hosted tea parties for dolls and learned to braid hair. They’ve been Dad.

Happy, happy Father’s Day to the amazing men who I’ve known from birth and the amazing man I’m married to. Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone very special to be a Dad. Thanks for being that special!

 

The Drama Queen Strikes Again

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95% of the time, Scorch is a really good natured kid. He operates on a pretty even-keel and it takes a lot to make him upset, but when he’s upset he tends to go full scale Drama Queen.  Case in point, this afternoon.

I didn’t pick the kids up from school until 5ish, which is late for us. We had to stop for gas on the way home, then stop at the Verizon wireless store because the replacement phone they sent me for my broken phone is also broken. I’m prepared with snacks and bribes and ready to conquer my errands.

At the gas station, Scorch starts complaining that he’s thirsty and could we please go inside to get water. I’m mentally debating which would be a bigger PITA- getting the kids in and out of the car to get water or dealing with Scorch’s whining- when I open up the side door of the car and find not one, not two, but three unopened bottles of water. Perfect. Issues solved.

But of course it’s not.

This water was “boiling” hot and he wanted cold water. (Which- he’s a liar. The water was cool- he just wanted to go inside and try to get more snacks/candy/juice out of me). So I called his bluff and our exchange went like this:

Me: Dude- just drink the water. There are starving kids in Africa that would love to have this water. (why yes, I am turning into my mother by pulling out the “starving children” guilt trip on my kids).

Scorch: They have water- they don’t need this water! I want cold water.

Me: What water are you talking about? It’s a desert in places in Africa.

Scorch: Duh- mom, the whole continent is surrounded by water!

Me: Scorch, that’s salt water. You can’t drink that. If you drink it, you’ll die.

Scorch: Well, if they are dead, they won’t be thirsty any more like I am!

And that is why I went into the Verizon Wireless store with mascara smudged on my cheeks from laughing so hard. Scorch didn’t mean to be funny and didn’t mean to make light of starving kids- which made us laugh all the harder when I explained to him how very awful/twisted his comment was.

 

 

My Wickedly Crazy Life

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Oh hi…I have a blog. One that I used to post to regularly, even. Then baseball happened.

Scorch got pulled up a division, so he’s going 3 days a week. Bean is playing t-ball so that’s 2 days a week. Most days we’re rolling home after school at 5 pm, then leaving again at 5:30. Things like homework and dinner have fallen completely to the wayside since we don’t get home until after 8 most days. Thank goodness Scorch gets up early to do his work and that both kids love breakfast and PB&J for dinner.

Don’t get me wrong, we really love baseball. The kids love playing it, the Hubs loves coaching it and I enjoy socializing in the stands. Win/win/win.  But, I’m tired.

Add in a kitchen remodel and well, you get even more craziness.  The upshot is that our kitchen remodel went so very much more smoothly then I had hoped. We bought our kitchen through Lowes and while they were wonderful during the design and buying process, they basically disappeared once the contract was signed. Thankfully our contractor went above and beyond to make this as painless as possible. I can’t say enough good things about the contractor and his crew.

Here was our kitchen before.

OldKitchen

It was small and cramped with next to no storage space. The cabinets were cheaply made and the white laminate was peeling off. The cabinets over the fridge were basically inaccessible because they sat so far back.  What you don’t see in this picture is all the stuff that normally sits on my counters because there is no other space for it. Bread, medicines, fruit and mail cluttered our counter tops because there was literally no space to store it all. I loved it because it was wide open- to the left is our dining room and I’m standing in the thresh hold to our living room. But something had to change.

So, here’s our new kitchen. We’re waiting on the counter tops to be edged, so that isn’t installed yet, nor is the backsplash. The cabinet handles are on order so those will go on soon. And the new flooring? Well- that was the one snafu we hit but that should be in within a month. But the rest of the kitchen, I *love*.  We have storage space for everything! I can see what’s in my cabinets and access it all. I’d marry my pantry if it was legal.  Once the counter tops go on, they’ll hide the outlets on the island so they aren’t as visible.

NewKitchen

It’s so much more functional and well worth the dust and disorganization we lived through last week! I cannot wait to see everything completed.

So, here’s to 2 more weeks of baseball! You know, before lacrosse and 4 different camps start for the kids. At this rate, I’m pretty sure life will slow down when I’m 50.

 

 

 

Restoring Order

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The Hubs was out of town last week for work. It was the first time he’s traveled in a really long time and you know what I discovered? That I turn into a sloth when he’s not around. A slovenly sloth. Dishes? Eh, they’ll wait. Laundry? We have enough clean clothes. Bedtime for me? A mere suggestion. Cooking? Why bother- kids love cereal!

Mind you, the kids and I did just fine. I managed to juggle working, kids, sports, animals and other random events just fine. It was just the other stuff that fell through the cracks.  The worst though was my schedule. I stayed up way too late every night. I watched the Veronica Mars movie (love!), read 3 books (2 out of the 3 were fantastic), watched 7 DVR’d episodes of Bones and basically acted like I didn’t have to get up early the next day. Which I didn’t since I was used to getting up at 4:55 am when the Hubs was home and could sleep into 6:45 with him gone (can’t leave to work out in the morning when I’m flying solo).

Thankfully the Hubs got home in time to restore some order to our lives. Now we’re back to our regularly scheduled activities like cooking, cleaning and going to bed on time….

Until next week when our kitchen remodel (and all the chaos that goes with that) begins. Considering the bathroom remodel almost killed me, this should be fun. Say a prayer for my sanity!