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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Girls with their dolls - Take 7

And rounding out the trifecta in Fall traditions, we celebrated being back-to-school at American Girl Restaurant.   I am pretty certain that this is something that has probably started to shift from originally being done for our daughters to now leaning towards more enjoyment for the moms.  We really get a kick out of our tradition and don't see it stopping even when the youngest of the girls heads off to college.  It is such a special thing we do each September.

Sam's very BIG milkshake - cotton candy flavored



The girls decided to see how many things they can balance on their dolls' heads.

Our wonderful group!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

How do you like them apples?

We are knee deep in our activities involving our Fall traditions.  We managed to accomplish 3 (yes, 3!) of them all within the same week.  Right after Flu Shot Extravaganza we followed it with our annual pilgrimage to go apple picking. 

We had such a great experience last year that we returned to Marker-Miller Orchards in Winchester, VA.  While it was unseasonably hot to be apple picking (86 degrees!!), the orchard had tons of apples ready to pick and it was not overly crowded.  We arranged to go with our good friends who we go with each year and have our strategy mapped out perfectly.   Apple picking and then ice cream!  I am realizing that my kids don't lack opportunities for ice cream.  We seem to work it in most everything we do.

Jeff believes that the amount of time spent at our destination should be at least equal to if not longer than the amount of time it takes to get there and back in the car.  Unfortunately Apple Picking in Winchester (a 1 hour, 20 minute drive each way) does not fall into the equation of a worthy outing.  However, the apples are yummy and its a fun thing to do with the family. And did I mention that ice cream is involved?   So without questioning the amount of time sitting in the car, we do this and we enjoy it.

I think we've officially added buying apple cider cinnamon donuts as part of our apple picking outing.  A dozen of these way-too-yummy-to-stop-at-only-eating-one of the donuts found their way into our car as we headed home.  Just 24 hours later and we only have 4 left.  And, no, I can't even eat them.

I've been busy and already made 2 loaves of Apple Cinnamon Bread with the apples we brought back. Yum!   And we've put smiles on our neighbors faces and gave them some apples too.  Apples for everyone!


Quality control - it passed!





3 people stopped Samantha and told her they liked her shirt.  :)






Our apple picking crew

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Flu Shot Extravaganza 2017

Gosh, I love our tradition of how I get the kids (and myself) vaccinated from the flu each year.  Flu Shot Extravaganza has become quite the event.   Each year we meet up with our good friends, get the vaccination, do dinner and then get ice cream.  Can you ask for anything better when having to get a shot? 

Unfortunately the mist is no longer manufactured and therefore, it's the needle or nothing.  This doesn't sit well with Sam and I can never tell if she is going to go thru with getting it done, but somehow the idea of dessert at the end of our evening is enough of a motivation for her.  And we are making progress in Sam's resistance.  Last year I believe it took approx. 40 minutes of trying to get her to stay still before the nurse could stick her.  This year it only took about 10 minutes.  Albeit, it was a loud 10 minutes.  But she did it!

Ian was a rockstar and wasn't even sure the nurse stuck him.  Dinner this year was at Olive Garden and ice cream after was Baskin Robbins.   Flu Shot Extravaganza = best idea ever!



Don't let the smile on Sam's face fool you.  It went quickly downhill from the very next second.

Our very sweet ending!

Friday, September 22, 2017

It's too much.

There is too much going on and I don't feel like I am doing a good job keeping on top of things.  I hate this feeling that I am just treading water, trying hard to keep my head above the surface.

Due to other commitments, Jeff and I weren't able to make it to Ian's back to school night at school.  I am not sure how much we missed, but I do know meeting Ian's teachers would've been really nice.  Also finding out about his classes and what is expected would make me feel more at ease with all this new middle school territory we are in.  Fortunately, Ian has a good head on his shoulders and I'm hoping he can stay on top of it.  (Other than you know, losing all his stuff.  Ha!).

We did make it to Sam's back to school night and I'm frustrated to learn that the teacher didn't know Sam had a 504 plan (504 plans are put in place for those students who need some accommodations in school to help with learning).  So now I'm working on remedying that situation.  Furthermore, her teacher said info would be available on blackboard (school's website) each night and to check it daily to see updates.  Unfortunately Sam's teacher didn't have her site set up yet and now I'm needing to follow-up with her on that.  Seriously??!!

The Crazy Man has got some major crap happening to him and therefore, I am roped into it too trying to help him.  I was really hoping I'd be done working for him by now, but it's the complete opposite.  I can't go into much details, but know that he has been wronged in a big way and we are working to fix that situation.

My eating is sooo out of control.  It's no surprise that I am feeling much stress and of course, delicious food is too easy to come by and make me feel better.  I hate waking up each morning hoping that the clothing I want to wear still fits.  This feeling alone can put me in a depression.  Each day I say I'll get back to being hyper-focused on what I'm eating, but yet another day goes by and I'm disgusted with myself.  :(

Being sick for a full week didn't help and I still feel like I am playing catch-up with everything.  Having my head no longer feel like its in a thick fog is definitely helping me get back on track.

I have to check my calendar constantly to make sure I'm where I'm supposed to be and figure out what activities we have after school.  More than a few times I've thought of letting the kids Uber their way around town.  Ha!  Our activities are going in full force and I am back to spending lots of time in the car.

Oh yeah, I managed to get in a fender bender about 2 weeks ago.  It was with an Amazon delivery van of all things.  And no, he wasn't about to make a delivery at my house. It was very minor and fortunately no one was hurt. It was the other guy's fault, but still this makes it one more thing that needs to be taken care of and fixed.  I

Ian's Bar Mitzvah planning is at the top of my head as something that needs to be addressed.  It's crazy all the details that will need to be taken care of in the coming months.  Currently, Jeff, Ian and I are going around in circles trying to figure out the guest list. We need to get that finalized sooner rather than later so we can send out save the date info.  We've also had about a million different ideas on how we envision our Saturday evening celebration.  It's crazy all the ideas we are coming up with.

I am finding myself constantly stopping what I am in the middle of doing and taking deep breaths.  By the time I crawl in bed at the end of the day, I have very little trouble falling asleep.  As soon as I can shut my brain off, I happily do.  Although, I have this knack to work things out in my sleep and wake-up with a fresh, new perspective that helps.   It's funny, sometimes my to-do list is super long and I'll put it aside and take Lucy for a 4 mile walk.  I've never done that before...not be super-focused in wanting to get the stuff done on my list.  But for some reason getting outside and taking Lucy for a walk seems like the best idea at the time and I just go for it.  And my usual method of crazy multi-tasking is taking a back seat too.  I'm either getting good at being present in the moment or I'm just realizing maybe everything is not as important as I thought it was and it can wait.  Whao!  Who is this new person I've turned into??!?!?

I long for the days of Summer past.  We had a great summer and I miss how I spent my time.  I feel like with school starting one week earlier than normal I was not mentally ready to be back.

I realized about a week or so ago that I had gone almost 3 weeks without seeing any of my friends.  I didn't realize how important it is for me to be around my friends.  I quickly fixed that and scheduled some fun outings (movies, lunch, shopping, etc).  It certainly helps me feel better and lifts my mood.

And of course, no matter how much I feel overwhelmed, I turn on the news and see what the people in Houston are dealing with, or the attack in London, or the island of Barbuda. What about the fact that all of Puerto Rico has no power and most likely won't for the next 4 to 6 months.  Seriously, nothing I've got going on can be as bad as that.  It quickly puts it in perspective and my issues quickly seem very trivial.  I know how fortunate I am, what an amazing family I have, and how loved I am.  And what a great life I have.  I just need to keep reminding myself.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

No more Febreze for you!

Allow me to get gross for a minute or two. 

I just found out that Sam has been using Febreze and lots of it.  All on her own, Samantha has decided that it would be ok to keep wearing the same clothing (in this particular case, black capri leggings) over and over and over again without having them washed if she sprayed it with Febreze first.  WHAT??!!??!

OMG!  I don't even know where to start with this one.  How in the world did she figure this out?   It's not like Jeff, Ian or me wear our clothes multiple times without washing it.   Also, at what point did it occur to her that Fabreeze would make it 'clean' again?  And with a closet full of clothes, why can't she manage to pick something that hasn't been worn earlier that week?

I do all of our wash every Friday.  Every single Friday without fail, all of our clothes we wore that week get cleaned.  Sam knows this.  She will never have to wonder when her favorite items will be washed and ready to wear again.  There is no reason for her take matters in to her own hands and "Fabreeze it clean".    Ugh.

Once I discovered what Sam was up to, I told a few of my friends.  They were surprised by her ingenuity and her solution to wanting to wear the same items again.  I don't find it smart.  I find it gross.  And if this is what she is capable of at 9 years old, what will her teen years be like?

Sam and I had a big talk about this and I left her room with the can of Febreze she had nearby. She no longer will have easy access to it.  I hope she realizes the importance of wearing clean clothes.  I told her that she doesn't want to get the reputation as 'The stinky girl'.  She replied, full of attitude, "That would be MY problem".  I don't see it like that at all.  Her problems are my problems too.  And I am nipping this problem in the bud.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Lost and Found for the win!

Ian is having a tough time acclimating to Middle School.  If you ask him how it's going, he'll reply with "I'm scraping by."   I'd like think he is doing better than just scraping by, but maybe the transition to a much bigger school is more challenging than I thought it would be for him.  He says he is feeling all these symptoms of anxiety - his back starts to hurt, his stomach is all in knots, and he feels like he is going to be sick.  Some days are better than others, and I do hope these ailments start to go away permanently.

He keeps losing all his stuff.  His Robinson ID card, his pencil pouch, his history folder, etc.  He loses stuff he didn't even realize he lost.  Ian goes to the lost and found box daily and comes across all his school supplies.  I am not sure why Ian is having a difficult time holding on to his items, but fortunately the good people of Robinson who keep finding his stuff seemingly everywhere is nice enough to get it to the lost and found box.  

Middle schoolers  are not allowed to use backpacks from when just after they arrive to school to right before they leave for the day.  Their backpacks must remain in their lockers.  This could be a big problem for Ian.   However, since he tells me that he goes to his locker after every single class, I find it hard to believe he must be going back to his locker empty handed most times and not realize it.

The other day Ian went to lost and found with his buddy who was looking for his lunch box (birds of a feather flock together...).  Upon arrival to the lost and found box, Ian sees his math folder. He didn't even realize he was missing it.  Oh my!

I told Ian maybe he should just move his locker to the lost and found box.  He seems to spend more time there than anywhere else.  And it would be a shorter distance for his stuff to find its home.

We are 3 weeks into the school year and it has become a bit of a joke.  Every day I ask Ian what he found in the lost and found box and every day he has a new answer.  So yeah, maybe he is just scraping by.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Heard and Observed #58

The other morning Sam and I were watching The Today Show before school.  The anchors were killing time and doing a fun of exercise of answering what they thought was the more acceptable way to handle a situation -- call or text?

For example....if you need to apologize to someone.....should you call or text?    Break up with someone..... call or text?   RSVP to a party....call or text?   And so on.   Each of the anchors are giving their opinions.

Then we come to this one....Cancel plans with someone?  Call or text?   Before we even hear what Matt, Savannah, Al, Sheinelle, and Harry Connick, Jr (he was a guest that morning) think, Sam speaks up and gives her opinion:

Sam:  Text for sure because you don't want them to hear you lie.  

Ha!  The strange thing about this is, I NEVER cancel on anyone, neither does Jeff.  So I am not sure where she got the idea that you should lie to get out of doing something.  But I do find it very funny.