Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My big boy is 6!

Sometime during this past year, I stopped thinking of Ian as my baby.  He has become my little buddy and I feel he is incredibly wise beyond his years.  Due to 1/2 day kindergarten, Ian and I had the good fortune to spend lots and lots of time together this past year. He made me laugh and be in awe of things he said, more than a few times a day with his quick wit and wisdom.  I absolutely love the little person he has become and it's easy for me to say this, Ian is one of my most favorite people to be around.

Time and time again, I get so many compliments from other parents on how polite and well-spoken Ian is.  He is incredibly articulate, demonstrates manners and is an all-around joy.  He does a great job of sharing, taking turns and wants everything to be as fair as possible.  I wouldn't be surprised if Ian ran for political office one day.  With his friendly demeanor, charming personality and ability to talk to any one, he may already be in training.

This is the year that Ian discovered Star Wars.  He literally eats, sleep, breathes it 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  He has watched all the movies, tv shows, videos and read the many, many books about it countless times and still comes back for more.  He thinks through each character, every plot scene and relationship and asks Jeff endless questions each day.   I think one would use the word "obsessed" to describe Ian and his Star Wars infatuation.   All he needs to hear is that another child likes Star Wars too and Ian will have no problem talking to him/her for hours.  He'll find out if they've seen the movies, played the Wii game, or watch the tv show.  Any affirmative answer and Ian is well on his way to striking up a lively conversation.

Ian's energy level has not gone down at all over the past year and he still hops, runs, and now does cartwheels all day long.  He plays hard and sleeps hard.  It is surprising to me how amazing of a sleeper Ian is.  He makes sure he gets his 11 hours (sometimes more) each night and nothing (I mean nothing!) can wake him up before his time.  Sam could be screaming at the top of her lungs just outside his door and Ian doesn't even flinch.

We decided to start giving Ian an allowance this year.  It is just $1.00 a week, but we want him to learn the value of what money can buy, the importance of saving and to teach some responsibility.  When we told Ian about his allowance (to be paid on Sundays), his response was, "Great, and if you forget to give it to me one week, than you need to give me double."  Wow, we came to Ian offering this allowance and he turned it around on us and told us his terms.  What a great business mind!  And you know what?  More times than not, we are giving paying him $2.00 on a Monday because we forgot.

Ian loves school and made friends very easily this year.  He has his list of favorites and the girls are getting ranked higher and higher as he gets to know them.  I love it when I go to pick him up at the end of the school day and he tells me all about the kids.   Reading is slowly coming along.  It is definitely not his speciality and something that we have to work very hard on to master.  Math is still Ian's strong suit and amazes me how fast he picks up new concepts like multiplication and division.

Ian's enthusiasm for sports still far outweighs natural talent.  He loves to play any kind of game and has plans to play NFL football after college.  This past year Ian mastered riding his bike without training wheels and has progressed to being a swimmer (no arm floaties), with putting his head underwater and holding his breath.

Ian has more patience than I do when it comes to Sam.  He looks out for his little sister and does what he can to help minimize the temper tantrums she throws.  You can tell how much he loves her and really enjoys being around her.

To my funny, smart, kind, adorable, energetic, considerate, Star Wars-obsessed big boy, I hope you have the happiest birthday ever.  I had no idea what my life was missing until you showed me on May 31, 2005.  I love that I am your mom and am so proud of all you do and who you are.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Birthday Party Extravaganza!

Most people think I am crazy, but personally, I think I am a genius.  Allow me to explain.  My kids birthdays are one week apart in the month of May.  Sam was born on the 23rd and Ian was born on the 31st.  My idea has been to take the weekend in between their birthdays (usually this occurs on the holiday weekend - Memorial day) and knock out each of their parties.  Now hear comes the icing on the cake making this idea go from smart to brilliant - let's do them both on the SAME day, back to back.  I did this last year and decided to go for it again yesterday.

It works great for the grandparents and relatives who come from longer distances, and it is perfect for my mom who will fly in for the kids' parties.  Plus, you are already in party mode, so just keep the momentum going a few hours longer.  It's a 2 for 1 deal.  Now, I know the logical thing would be to combine the parties and make it one big birthday combo celebration, but with Ian being a boy who is 3 years older, he will want a different party than Sam, who is a girl.


Z Pizza for Ian's 6th birthday (Boys only!).  We had to limit this party to 15 kids, so we made the decision to go with a boys-only guest list.  This is the coolest party idea (thanks to Jen. W for letting me know about it).  They give the kids a tour of the kitchen, show them how they make pizza dough and pizza.  Then the kids get to each make their own pizza complete with whatever toppings they'd like.  At the end of the party they get a certificate naming them a junior pizza maker and it includes a coupon for 2 free slices and a drink to come back.  What a great idea!  The only thing I would've done differently is make the party 30 minutes less.  2 hours was a tad too long; 1.5 hours would have been perfect.  Although there was this kid that took forever to eat his pizza and needed the allotted time.  This was our first official "you can drop off your kid and come back later if you want" kind of party.  Pretty cool!

Ian designed this cake.  Darth Vadar fighting Luke.
Luke loses his hand.  The hand is sitting on top of the cake.
Gruesome, isn't it?  Kelly did a fantastic job
bringing Ian's vision to life.

Ian and his friends making their pizzas


Hidden Pond Nature Center for Sam's 3rd birthday.  This party is designed for everyone to attend (parents, siblings, etc).  We had Ian's 3rd birthday party here and I really like this place.  It's a good-size room and can accommodate everyone, with a little room to run around.  Plus, on a nice day, the kids can go outside and walk around the pond.  The staff gathers the reptiles (snakes, turtles, etc) and does a little presentation to the kids, giving them a chance to pet them. 

One big problem with this party yesterday -- there was no power to the building.  Which also meant no AC.  Oh my!  But did this stop the party from happening?  Nooooooooooooo!  We partied on!

Sam is all about princesses, wands and castles.
Could this be any more girly or perfect for our
little princess?  Again, Kelly came up with
the most awesome cake. 

Sam sporting the decorate-your-own-tiara
on her head.  How cute is she?!?!
 So there you have it.  Yesterday was pretty crazy, but mission accomplished and we are done for another year.  Woo-hoo!!  Many hugs and kisses to the families who had overlap and attended both parties with one kid at Ian's and then came with the whole family to Sam's.    And much thanks to Kelly for creating the kids' birthday cakes that suited them to a "T".

Friday, May 27, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: Milestone alert - 1st Haircut

I waited as long as I could.  We were one day shy of making it a whole 3 years.  But Sam not letting us brush or comb her hair was a big problem.  A rats nest was brewing in the back of her head and I feared birds were going to start calling it home.   Also, it appeared dreadlocks were well on their way to forming.

Jeff asked me yet again last Sunday morning if I had plans to get it cut anytime soon and I finally caved and said, yes, let's do it today.  I told Jeff I wanted as much help as possible and would require his assistance.  We weren't sure how Sam would react and knowing her, anything was possible.  She saw Ian get his haircut many, many times over the years, but her actually being in the chair was a different story.

We were prepared for the worst and other than Sam refusing to wear the cape, it went much better than expected.  I didn't realize I was holding my breath through the whole haircut until it was over and we were able to leave.  I guess I kept expecting Sam to have "had enough" and not care if the hairdresser was able to finish.  But fortunately Sam kept it together and let the whole experience happen without major interference.


Big-time unruly mess going on back here.

Wow, look how long it is!!


What a good girl. 


Here's the side
Here's the back

Here's the front
I am loving her haircut.  The style is easy to take care of, and the potential rats nest that can start brewing again has much less territory to take over.  This is a good thing.  A very good thing.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Ian has had his own queue on Netflix for close to 2 years now.  Over the past 6 months, it has basically morphed into a continual loop of the Star Wars movies.  Once one movie gets sent back, the next one arrives and so forth and so forth.  Ian, being obsessed with Star Wars, never gets tired of seeing the same 6 movies over and over again.

I decided enough was enough and planned to introduce Ian to something new and different.  Heather had mentioned to me how her girls liked watching the movie, "E.T."   I remember how much I liked seeing it when I was little. This would be the perfect film to wedge in between "A New Hope" and "Return of the Jedi".  I told Ian it was coming and he was less than thrilled that I was now making choices for him and taking control of his Netflix queue.  I quickly added that the movie is about an alien trying to get back home.  Oh, and I also fibbed a little and said it had a really cool battle scene in it.  It was enough to get his interest peaked and be very excited when it arrived in the mail last Wednesday.  We decided we'd watch the movie together after dinner. 

The movie started and Ian was really into it.  Once E.T. started using some of his powers and made the flowers grow, Ian loudly proclaimed, "E.T. HAS THE FORCE!!!  HE IS A JEDI!!!!".  

Oh my!  You can take Star Wars away from the boy, but you can't take the boy away from Star Wars.  Once Ian started to relate to E.T. as a Jedi, he no longer cared that there wasn't really a battle scene in the movie. I asked Ian when it was over if he liked it, he said, "Yes!  Let's send it back tomorrow."   I then asked him if I could recommend other movies for him to watch that I think he'd like just as much.  His answer was, "No." 

I give up.  May the force be with me.  :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Our little princess is 3!

There are days when Samantha believes she is a real princess.  She won't leave the house without her dress-up heels on her feet and a tiara firmly planted in her head.  While the wand makes the outfit complete, she will sometimes forget it and at one point completely misplaced it without driving us insane looking for it.  From time to time, she'll say, "Can't find my wand.  Must look for it."  And before you know it, she has moved on to focus on something else.

Samantha will spend countless hours spinning about and practicing her dance and princess moves.  She absolutely loves the Barbie movies (12 Dancing Princesses and the Diamond Castle).  During this past year alone, she must've watched them at a minimum of 200 times each.

Sam likes to know everything that is going on, how it will come to be and what will happen next.  She is constantly asking "Where are we going?"  Or "What are we going to do today?"   One day Sam was on the computer in the dining room and Jeff left the kitchen to go downstairs.  Not more than a minute later, Jeff walked back in the kitchen to get something.  Sam said, "You're back?"  It was really funny and you got the sense that Jeff needed to check in with Sam on his plan to return to the kitchen.

She will add helpful details along the way and contribute to the conversation that makes me forget she was only 2.  When driving to the grocery store, she'll tell me her list of things she needs us to get more of.  Apple Jacks, juice, yogurt, Cheez-its, apples are always at the top.  When walking up and down the aisles of Wegmans, she'll point to the specific item on the shelf.  Usually she is right with amazing accuracy.  It's a testament to her paying attention and really knowing what we use.

Sam has a huge heart and really loves her friends and family very deeply.  She looks out for us and it is incredibly sweet how hard she works to take care of us. Whether it's making sure our shirt is tucked in, kissing our boo-boos or asking if want a bite of something she is eating, she is going to be a great mom one day (hopefully no time soon!).  She has this amazing, caring nature about her.

Sam does not lack self-esteem and will frequently look in the mirror and comment how pretty she is.  She gets these ideas in her head (like only wearing pajamas all day long) and nothing can come close to talking her out of it.  She is head-strong, super feisty and quick to tell you the way it will be.  We've learned quickly that you need to pick your battles.

She loves to tease and torture her brother, Ian.  If Sam knows there is something he wants or is eating, Sam will do everything in her power to get his attention  She doesn't care that he is 3 years older.  While Sam does a good job of messing with Ian, she also loves him to the point my heart will melt watching them.  Sam will cuddle up to him, sit in his lap, give him frequent hugs and lots of kisses all the time.  She will play light sabers with Ian and contently watch his Star Wars shows because that is what he wants to do.

There were several times (more like months!) this past year that I didn't think either Sam or I would survive her being 2.  It was painful and extremely difficult sometimes being around her.  I do believe that most of the trouble stemmed from some major sleep issues and the fact that she is beyond brilliant.  Sam is going to be a force to be reckon with as she gets older.  Plain and simple, she gets "it".  I can't explain it more than that.  There are people who are clueless and you wonder how they've gotten as far in life as they have, and then there are people who know which end is up.  Sam is without a doubt, the latter.  She is going to do something spectacular with her life when she is allowed to be in full control and can make her own plans.

To my fabulously charming, beautiful, quick-to-laugh, spirited, spunky princess, I wish you the best birthday ever and hope this coming year is filled with love, laughter & happiness, not to mention temper tantrum and scream-free.  You've brought so much joy to my world and I love you more than you'll ever know. On May 23, 2008, I became complete and my life has been one heckuva of ride ever since.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

THE Plan

I've got lots and lots of plans in training plan on running the marathon, my plan on what the kids will do to keep busy and entertained the majority of the summer, and my plan on how I will celebrate my 40th birthday (Vegas, baby!).  But, the plan I am most anticipating and has me counting down is THE Plan that has my mom and stepfather coming to take my kids back to Florida for a nice, fun trip.

In just 36 days, Mom-mom and Pop-pop Jim will be driving with Ian and Sam from my house (No.Va.) to their house (Orlando).  I know, I know...crazy, right?  Especially given that my mom has HEARD Sam at her worst probably 4 mornings out of 7 for the past several months. And, not to mention that my mom has SEEN Sam at her worst when she was up here for last visit in February.  And, she still wants to take her for an extended amount of time.  That's why I call her SUPER Mom-Mom!

The break is so incredibly needed.  I love my little girl to pieces, but each day I think about how I am not going to survive and then I remember, yeah, I can make it another "X" days until my mom comes to collect the kids.  I know Sam will be in good hands.  And hopefully my mom will have an amazing effect on Sam and turn her around a bit.  I can dream, right?

I would love for things to go so smoothly that my mom wants to do this each and every summer.  How nice it would be to know that my job description is now coming with vacation time.  Again, I can dream, right?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Heard and Observed XXIV

I picked Ian up from school.  Today was a "long" day -- all of 3 hours, 20 minutes.  Ian was in preschool last year longer than he is this year being in kindergarten.

Ian:  Being in school is really taking up too much of my day.  I can't wait to get this off my plate.


It's time for Sam's bath and Jeff is filling up the tub.  Sam is pulling every stalling tactic she can think of to delay getting in. 

Sam:  Wait, wait, I need to calm down. 

Then she proceeds to make herself upset, so that yes, she can calm down.


Ian and I are driving in the car one morning and he hears on the radio some commercial about painting.

Ian:  Free paint samples? Really?  I'd love that!

Me:  What would you do with paint?

Ian:  I'd make my room into a Star Wars theme.

Me:   Really?  I love how your room is painted now.

Ian:  Mom, Planes, Trains and Cars is soooo 2 years ago.


At Ian's soccer game on Saturday:  Every time the other team scored a goal against them, Ian went up to the child who got the goal and said with arm stretched out, "The Force is not with you."  And then he continued playing the game.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I heart technology

My love of all things gadgets that require a plug for charging or to turn on is pretty well known.  I had the opportunity to buy a new alarm clock a few days ago.  Who knew that alarm clocks could improve way beyond the basic concept of sounding an alarm when it is time to wake-up?  To my surprise it has!

My alarm clock was 21 years old.  I can remember buying it from Bed, Bath and Beyond during the summer before leaving for college.  It wasn't the most expensive one on the market, but it wasn't the cheapest either.  It did what it needed to do and served me well for over 2 decades.  But once it stops waking you up when you need it to, then its time to get a new one.  Until I realized it wasn't serving its main purpose anymore, I had no complaints and wasn't in the market to get a new one.  Really, who walks around saying they need to get the latest and greatest in alarm clocks?

Check out the size of the screen -- woo-hoo!!
It's weird the pleasure shopping for a new alarm clock brought me.  There were so many options!  I knew it wasn't necessary to get anything costly, but I did want something a little more sophisticated, especially if this next alarm clock lasts another 21 years.

Behold some of the new features invented since the last time I bought one of these.  My new alarm clock is equipped with "Grad-U-Wake".  Sounds cool, doesn't it?  It means that it will increase the volume of the alarm gradually to its maximum in about 30 to 45 seconds.  Wow?  Who knew I'd want to be gently woken up from my deep sleep?

And, get this -- I also have a "nap" function.  If I so desire to take a nap in the middle of the day, I can easily set it anywhere between 10 minutes to 2 hours.  How nice! 

Plus, this alarm clock comes equipped with two separate alarms that can be set 4 different ways, alarm or radio station.  And, I have an aux. plug to connect my iPod too.  Very cool.

And of course, there is a "SmartSnooze" feature that allows me keep snoozing over and over again for up to 30 minutes.

All this for $21.99.  I am most pleased with my purchase and happy to see that alarm clocks have come far in the past 21 years.  Now I just need to be able to sleep without my 2 year old alarm clock across the hall beating my brand new alarm clock at its own game.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

"Sorry" is just not in her vocabulary

Watch out Lindsay Lohan, there is a new mean girl in town.  My first "bad" report from Sam's preschool teacher happened last week.

As reported to me:  Sam accidentally hit this little girl Sophie. Miss V. asked Sam to say she was sorry.  Sam refused and ran under one of the tables to hide.  After she got done screaming for me and then moved on to scream for Ian, Miss V. took Sam outside the classroom to talk to her.  She explained that the right thing to do would be to say, "I'm sorry" to Sophie.  Sam, again, refused.

At the end of the preschool day, during Circle Time, Miss V. tried to hit home the idea again of saying "sorry" when you do something you shouldn't.  She went around to each child and said, "What do you say?"  Each child said, "Sorry."  It was Sam's turn to answer.  Sam said nothing.  Lovely.

Not to make light of this situation, but I wonder when the sequel for Mean Girls will be filming?  I've got my own version, right here in Burke, VA that would be perfect for a staring role.

Friday, May 13, 2011

A cool and crazy tip

I hate, hate, hate mosquitoes.  Apparently they love me though, as I get bitten each and every summer just thinking about going outside.  Mosquitoes sense I am approaching, call all their friends and the next thing you know, I am their feast for the day.  And I don't get tiny, little bites;  Noooooooooooooooooo, I get huge welts that itch like the dickens.

But no more!  This summer I am going to take action and wear my special mosquito repellent shield.  You too can join me in this crusade to just say no to mosquito bites.  I'll let you in on my little secret.  It's Bounce Dryer Sheets.  Yes! You read right.  Just wear one Bounce Dryer Sheet somewhere on you and it will be like putting up a invisible wall around you, protecting you.  Creating your own bubble of protection.  And the dryer sheet doesn't even have to be visible.  You can even just stuff it in your bra, or underwear, or waistband of your shorts.  Really.  It will still work.  The only rule is, it has be the brand Bounce. 

I'd like to give a big shout-out to my friend, Carol for this tip.  Since I've met her, she has been telling me about this and I always keep forgetting to do it.  This is the year, I will be carrying Bounce with me at all times and show those mosquitoes a thing or two.  I wonder if the mosquitoes realize the diet they are about to go on.  :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Sitting this dance class out

So I learned a very important lesson on Monday afternoon:  Be careful what you threaten with. What you think may be the magical statement to correct obnoxious behavior, could come back and bite you in the butt big-time! 

Sam woke up ready for her day at 4:00am on Monday morning.  Oh. My. Gawd.  Somebody shoot me now, please.  Hadn't we worked through our sleep issues and turned the corner back to getting a full night of sleep?  I guess not. 

Anyway, by 5:00pm, when it was time for Ian's soccer practice, Sam was in rare form as you can imagine.  It doesn't take a genius to know that a toddler up since 4:00am and a mommy not thinking clearly doesn't add up to a whole lot of good.  I brought a blanket, new Hello Kitty coloring book, and the big plastic bin of crayons to the field where Ian practices soccer.  It was a gorgeous afternoon and I was hoping that the hour would smoothly move along to 6:00pm without too much turmoil.  At one point, Sam was quietly laying on the blanket and coloring nicely in her book.  Then she decided to turn the entire container of crayons (think roughly 200 or so) over and dump them on the blanket.  So far, this is ok, as the crayons will be easy to pick up in big handfuls and easily put back in the container.  It's when Sam started throwing each crayon individually as far as she could throw it in the grassy (tall blades of grass at that) field, that the real trouble started.  She threw these crayons with gusto and they flew in every direction possible and gained quite a bit of distance from where we were sitting.   Soooo not fun.  Not fun at all.

Here's me trying to be the "I'm-not-going-to-put-up-with-this-behavior" Mommy and tell Sam that she needs to pick up the crayons now.  She refuses.  I tell her I am not going to pick them up and they will stay here in this field forever.  Let me remind you, there are like 200 crayons all over the place!  We go back and forth like this for a few minutes and then I pull out the big guns -- "Not only are you not going to get these crayons back, but you aren't going to dance class tomorrow either."   I so can't believe I went there.  What in the world was I thinking?!?!?! 

I know how much Sam LOVES her dance class.  Each morning she asks if she is having dance class that day and she runs through all the various ballet related items she'll need to wear (ballet shoes, tights, leotard, skirt).  I really thought that by saying she wouldn't be going to dance class until the crayons were picked up was going to do the trick.  Unfortunately it did not.  And now, I need to live with the consequences too.  I can't go back on my word, as Sam will know she has won and never take anything I say serious again.  The thing is, I enjoy her being in this dance class as much as she enjoys being in it.  But I need to stand my ground and hold true to my word.  I could kick myself for having these words come out of my mouth.

Once Stefanie and I realized that Sam was not going to pick up the crayons, Stefanie quickly offered to pick them up and get them back in the container.  It wasn't right to leave them littered all over the field.  Especially when they go to mow the lawn next.  On the sly, I helped her gather them (without Sam noticing) and give the container to Stefanie to take back home.   As we were walking back to the car, I reiterated that she no longer has her crayons and will also not being going to dance class the next day.  Sam stopped walking, hung her head down low and decided she would begin pouting big-time.  She didn't walk one step further, sat on the sidewalk and kept her head down the whole time.  Once she realized I was still walking to the car, she'd run up, get in front of us, then sit back down on the sidewalk and continue pouting.  This went on about 3 more times until the car was finally reached.  What a drama queen!

The whole ride home, Sam cried for her crayons and for going to dance class.  I can't believe I went there and have learned my lesson not to go there again.  Next time I need to pick something that doesn't hurt me as much when I open my big mouth.

It's just so funny how we can go from an amazing experience of getting our nails done, to the extreme opposite behavior the next day when she is being defiant.  I know this is because of lack of sleep.  I am so ready for her to turn into the typical teenager who doesn't want to get out of bed.  I am sure I will find something to complain about then, but it won't be for lack of sleeping.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Let a new tradition begin NOW!

Traditions in our house:  We do pizza every Sunday night (unless the kids had it earlier in the day for lunch at a birthday party), go out for ice cream after dinner the first day back to school each year, the birthday person gets to pick the restaurant we eat at on the day you are born, and now, we officially have a new tradition started.....mother/daughter pedicures on Mother's day. 

Sam picking out the colors she wanted.

Since the day I found out Sam was going to be a girl, I have been waiting so patiently to take her for a pedicure.  I dreamed of us sitting in side-by-side chairs getting our toes done. To my delight, Sam is a girly-girl and has been enjoying me painting her toe nails for several months now.  But I kept thinking I'd have to wait until Sam was 5 years old for her to appreciate the real deal experience. 

On Sunday morning, after I got to sleep in (till 8:00am!!!  Thanks to Jeff for making this possible), Sam asked me to paint her toe nails. Since I was planning to go get a pedicure after brunch, I decided now was the time to take Sam with me. I couldn't wait any longer.  If all goes well, we will make this a Mother's day tradition and go each year together for mother/daughter pedicures.

It was every thing I hoped for and more.  Sam loved every minute of it and basked in the pampering.  At first the nail salon people wanted her to sit in my lap when they painted her toes, but I requested she get her own chair, filled with water in the tub and all.  She sat there and proclaimed, "I'm a big girl!".  Everyone in the salon ate her up and kept commenting how cute Sam was and what a good girl she was sitting there. Two women wanted to know exactly how old Sam was because they each had toddlers at home and was counting down until they can do the same.

On the drive over, Sam informed me what colors she was going to get on her toes, orange and black.  Oh my!  Fortunately when the moment of truth came, Sam picked out purple and pink and wanted every other toe one color and every other toe, the other color.

The nail lady was able to do the whole nine yards on Sam's feet -- trim the nails, push back the cuticles, buff, lotion, and paint.  Sam watched very closely and let the lady know when she missed a spot and to make sure she did the other foot too. 

Look at me, I'm a big girl!

Watching very closely to make sure no toes get missed.

When Sam's feet were done, she looked at the lady and said, "finger nails now, please" and held out her hands.  How can you turn down that request?

Sitting very patiently waiting for everything to dry.

The whole experience was too cute and brought tears to my eyes as I sat there living the dream I've had so vividly now for the past 3 years.  Although, in my vision, I have us going out to lunch and shopping after the pedicures.  We will have to build up to that.  :)

When the woman who runs the shop commented on how much Sam was enjoying the pedicure, she looked at me and said, "You're in trouble!".   Oh yeah, and I couldn't be happier about being in this kind of trouble.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Weight Watchers - Month 5 (It's just not pretty)

I had a tough decision to make this week.  I had purposely missed the last 3 weeks of weigh-ins because I wasn't going to like seeing the number on their scale written in my little WW book.  Each Thursday, I told myself I would take a one week pass and then get back on the ball for the following week. And no matter what, I would go back one week later and own up to it.   After yet another week passed (and another, and another), I realized that I was now paying Weight Watchers their monthly fee and not even having them tell me officially how bad it was.  I couldn't keep going on like this anymore and made the unthinkable decision to cancel my subscription.

I've come to the realization that my mood for how happy or down I will be each day is being dictated by the number that flashes on the scale.  I have a love-hate relationship with myself and more times than not this past month, I've been seriously depressed by the numbers I am seeing.  I guess I just don't want it bad enough.  I seem to be sabotaging all my good efforts and the phenomenal amount (not to mention the intensity) of the exercise I am doing. 

Strangely enough, all within 48 hours, I had 4 people from very different parts of my life (a childhood friend, a preschool mom, one of the girls, and a relative) all comment on how I don't eat enough protein and need to cut back on the amount of carbs I pack in on any given day.  I guess I don't need to be hit over the head with a brick to know they are right and I do a very poor job of making sure I get enough protein in my diet.

No amount of tracking or counting calories is going to make the least bit of difference if I am not getting the right combination of food in.

So there you have it.  I am not sure where I will go from here.  I know, I know, the logical thing would be to consult with a nutritionist.  But I can't face failing another attempt at trying to get to a healthy weight.  This is always going to be a life long struggle and I am so discouraged right now. 

Here is my sweet ending to this downer of a blog entry -- this past Thursday morning as we were walking to the car, Ian asked if we are going to Weight Watchers.  I said, "No Ian, we are not.  I've given up and need to get my head on straight about this whole thing."   Ian replied with, "Well, you look thin to me."   Aw, of course, I had to give him the biggest hug ever.  Not because he said the most perfect thing he could have at that moment, but because I needed to feel better and his hug was the medicine right then.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Who's On First?

Ian and Sam have developed their own version of being Abbott and Costello.  I can't help but giggle as I hear the following one day while driving in the car.

Ian (all upset about not being able to do something or other; honestly, who can even keep track any more?!?!):  It's not fair!

Now, you have to understand that Ian is saying this with a big huff and a puff, getting out his frustration on whatever he is upset about.

Sam:  It's not fair to you, it's not fair to MEEEEEEEE!!!

If you could only hear Sam's comback reply with the most perfect inflection in her voice, that "dude, you've got to be kidding me about it not being fair to YOU.  Really, it's not fair ME.

Ian:  No, its not fair to ME!

Sam:  No, its not fair to ME either!!

Ian:  It's fair to YOU, it's not fair to ME!

Sam:  It's not fair to YOU, it's not fair to MEEEEE!!

This goes back and forth for a good 5 minutes.  Each time Sam says its not fair to her, Ian gets all the more frustrated and upset that he isn't being taken seriously.  It's pretty funny, especially given the fact that Sam has no clue at all what Ian is even talking about.

And before you know it, no one in the car has any idea what is not fair.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A morning to remember

There are few events that occur within our lifetime that you will always remember exactly where you were when it happens.  The Challenger exploding, the Twin Towers being struck by terrorists and the horror of 9/11 are a few that stand out for me.  Also on that list is when Princess Diana married Prince Charles.  Even though the date was July 29, 1981, I can remember with vivid clarity everything about the event and where I was.  My sister Lori and I used to spend a couple of weeks each summer with my grandparents and it was during one of these visits that the wedding took place.  My sister and I watched on my grandmother's tv in her bedroom.  I think we were glued for a few hours at least. 

On Friday, I had a lovely morning hanging out, comfy in my bed with my sweet Samantha, watching Kate marry Will.  It is wild for me to think that 30 years later I am watching with my child, Diana's child get married.  I am pretty certain that Sam will not remember anything about this morning with the wedding taking place, but it meant something to me.  Seeing Kate become a princess is a very special thing and of course, something that all girls dream of.   And, as we all know, I love love.

Fortunately this one morning, Sam getting up early was perfect as I completely embraced her being awake and cuddling with her in bed while watching the wedding festivities.  Sam loved getting to see a real Prince, Princess, and Queen in action.  To my delight, her attention span lasted more than 1 hour before requesting her usual tv show watching ritual of seeing Barney first thing in the morning. 

Sam's comments while watching the wedding with me was priceless.   Sam saw the Bishop standing in his spot, higher up than the rest of the participants and asked how he will get down from there.  She took a good look at Kate and asked, "Where's her wand?"  Then looked at the queen and asked, "Where's her crown?" 
When Sam saw the close-up shots of the boys in the choir, she commented, "That's a whole bunch of boys."

So years from now (many, many, many years from now Jeff), when we are planning our own little princess' wedding, I am going to recall our morning of watching Kate marry Will and tell Sam about the time she saw her first royal wedding.  Ok, I need to stop writing this, because I am tearing up thinking about Sam getting married.  Oh my, what a mess I am going to be when it actually happens.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

It's sort of a surprise.

I found out quickly when dating Jeff that if he ever was planning a surprise or had bought me any kind of present, he couldn't keep it a secret longer the amount of time it takes him to drive home and see me. 

Like father, like son.  Ian is showing more and more signs of being exactly like Jeff.  The other day I picked him up from school and this is the conversation that followed. 

Me:  Ian, how was school today?

Ian:  It was good.  When you go into my back pack, don't unroll the blue paper.  That is your Mother's day present.

Me:  Ah, Ian.  That is so sweet.  How about you go in your back pack, retrieve it and put it away until May 8th, when Mother's day is?

Ian:  Yes!  That's a good idea.  But I am going to give it to you on May 1st.  I want you to have an early Mother's day present.

Me:  Ok, Ian it's up to you, but it would be nice if you waited until Mother's day.

Ian:  Actually I am going to give it to you tomorrow.

Me:  Really, Ian?  You don't want to wait?

Ian:  Here it is. 

Mind you, we live less than 2 minutes from the school and before we even hit our driveway, the entire blue roll of paper was unfurled and the painting was out in all its glory.

Ian had made in art class a picture of his hands holding flowers.  It was the sweetest thing I've ever seen.  The fingers were complete with finger nails and knuckle lines.  The flowers were in blue and purple colors with green stems.  There was a sun and some sky.  I was so proud of him.  Ian said he did his best, but a lot of the kids were able to put petals on the flowers.  He said he ran out of time.  I love it just the way it was.  I told him so.  I said, "Ian, it is perfect exactly the way it is because you made it out of love."  He replied, "Well, I made it out of paint."

Ian wanted to know if I was going to hang it on the wall in the kitchen with some of his other artwork.  I had an even better idea on what to do with it.  This piece was special and deserved special treatment.  I purchased a frame and hung it in my bedroom. 

At the end of the day it doesn't matter he couldn't wait until Mother's day to give me this.  I've gotten lots of experience of having the surprise happen way before its time.  It is enough of a surprise when I open it up and see what it is.