Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I Let My Kids Dress Themselves

I can only blame my mom.  She had 6 kids and she let us all dress ourselves.  And we grew up in the 90's.  We're talking "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" meets hand-me-down home-schoolers.  My mom was a very practical mother: she spoke to us with grown up words so we would expand our vocabulary, didn't baby us when we got injured, let us dress ourselves so we could be self-expressive and independent.  I've tried to branch out, but I just can't get very far away from the model she left for me.  I thought, "I'll just make sure there is nothing in my kids drawers that I don't like."  But... that was just unrealistic.  Besides, you can make some pretty horrendous combinations with even the most professionally stocked closets.

I know you'll likely tell me how cute she looks (I agree), but really, how many of you would honestly commit the sin of omission by letting this little goon out of the house in some of these outfits???  (Honestly, my husband wouldn't!)

But... this all makes for good blogging and a mighty interesting life!  I love it!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Making Stuff

It feels really good to get things done, doesn't it?  Do you know that feeling where you see a need and you think, "I could totally do that.  It would be simple and easy to take care of that."? And then you write it down, or put it on a list, or archive it somewhere in the back of your mind...  But then, if you actually bite the bullet and take a few minutes when you have some down time, when you would really rather do nothing at all, and you actually accomplish those tasks...  Don't you just feel triumphant???  I do!

Recently, Caiden pulled the arm off of her sunglasses that she had found a renewed interest in.  She had been wearing them everywhere and trying them on in all sorts of different ways.  But one evening, at a party, she was fiddling around with them and ripped one of the arms right off.  She was so sad, so I told her not to worry, we could get her a new pair.  So we did... She found some hot pink sunglasses and I thought: "I should make a little sunglasses case for her, so they don't get scratched or broken while she totes them around..."  I put in on my list.  Today, I made one!

Additionally, I have always been an understocked mother.  My friends always used to remember to bring cool toddler snacks, sippy cups, and hand sanitizer with them when our kids were young.  They were like professional mothers.  I was like the hand-me-down-clothes-kid of mothers.  Always forgetting snacks, or extra clothes, I never had any hand sanitizer with me.  I certainly never had the cool snacks.  And this legacy has followed me ever since!  As much as I take my kids with me on grown up meet ups and coffee shop dates, I always arrive thinking, "Darn! I don't have any paper! The kids are going to be so bored and want to color, and I have nothing!"  And lately, my severe lack of foresight has been magnified by the fact that a good friend of mine keeps having to rip lovely, interesting pages out of her cool journal for my kids to doodle on.  So, I finally bought some little notebooks to keep in my purse for just such occasions, but guess what?  I left them on my kitchen table, so we had to raid the beautiful journal yet again!!!  I also happen to love organizing, containers, and kits, even though I'm not very organized, have very little containers, and very sorry looking kits.  But I try.  Anyway, I thought, "Along with the sunglasses case, I should also make a little crayon pouch that I can carry in my purse for emergencies.  And it will be cool and it will be like a little kit.  They don't have any cool things like that at Target..."  So I put it on my list, too.  And today, I made one!!!!

All of this to say: although, I'm not super proud of the handiwork part (I always cut a lot of corners), I am so elated to have taken care of some of the things on my list!  I love that feeling!!!

What's on your list???

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Work it!

My family has been having great fun making fun of me lately, because on Wednesday I jumped back on to the "working out train" and barely made it through level 1 of my usual circuit.  My husband was especially bad with his taunts and then this morning as I mentally prepared my children that I was going to do my work out (because they seem like they always need a verbal run through of events), Elliott asked if he could join me and do the whole thing.  He started telling me about how HE would not have any problems and he started demonstrating some of the moves that I had failed in yesterday and telling me how it easy it was for him.

"Yah, well we'll see how easy it is for you after you've been jumping around for 20 minutes before you get to that and see how easy it is for you then!"

So we did the work out together except for Elliott didn't use weights, and although he complained a little here and there and got a little frustrated when he wasn't sure how to execute something right, he made it all the way through and we were both hurting for the rest of the day!

That picture above is our proud moment when we conquered...  And I have no idea how to flex my bicep, but we both made a show of it, so there you go!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Red Tutu and the Garden

I'm not sure there is anything better than seeing a gardening ballerina in a red tutu.  We had a 3 o'clock date this afternoon to meet our neighbor, Misha, in the traffic circle and do some clean up and gardening.   We found a lot of interesting things in there including roly-polies, beetles, centipedes, a snail, and some random car parts.

One of the first things I noticed about out neighborhood when we first moved in was how dumpy and overgrown everything was.  There was trash in the traffic circle (or roundabout), weeds growing along our fence, and general neglect everywhere.  It really was kind of a bummer.  Surprisingly, there are a lot of people in our neighborhood that actually do care about beautifying the area.  I  know this because almost every single person who walked, biked, or drove by stopped to profusely thank us or talk to us about what we were doing.  As it turns out, a little weeding can go a long way in building community with the people who live around you.  It really seemed to encourage a lot of people, which was a fun bonus to learning about plants from my neighbor, checking out cool bugs with the kids, working on my tan for summer, and getting a free workout...

Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday is the New Saturday

A lot of people dread Monday, but I'm a recent convert to Monday love!  You see, we recently started a church in Berkeley which means that my husband prepares all day Saturday and then Sunday is busy with setting up and tearing down for the church service.  So... Monday is the new Saturday!  Does that make sense???

On Monday, I forget about the laundry and other useless responsibilities and just worry about spending time with my love... and my little loves, too.  We go on adventures, explore, and sometimes just relax... as a family.  Its soooo nice: its so nice, after having six busy days in a row, to have a little down time with no pressing deadlines--even if its on a Monday and not a Saturday.

Usually, Elliott can't join us until after school, but this week is Spring vacation!  So exciting! No getting up early, no leaving Elliott at school.  Its an all family Saturday Monday!