Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Case of Mistaken Idenity

So yesterday we walked down to the bank. It's a little ways and Sweetie Heart was riding her fancy, schmancy new hand break bike. As we were walking home and up a hill, she rode ahead of us. As she was headed up the hill there was a young man, maybe early 20s, coming down. As he reached Sweet Girl and I he commented in a southern drawl that she was getting away from me. I commented something witty back, we smiled and went our way. I smiled to myself and thought, I may be 33 but I still have it. Not that I had it before.

And again, today. I was mowing the neighbor's lawn for her. The mower ran out of gas so I ran home to get more. After filling up I returned the gas can to our garage and walked back to my neighbors yard. As I was walking back a different, early 20's young man comes walking past. He looked to be in college, but there isn't a college in town so not really what I would have expected to see in town. Anyway, he smiles and says hi. I cast him a demure smile and went back to mowing the lawn thinking, man I really do still have it, two in one week. Wow, I must be hot!

Then I came inside and looked at myself in the mirror. Well. Let me set this up for you. My hair dryer stopped working this morning, just gave up the ghost last night and wouldn't come on. This hairstyle really needs to be blown dry with my barrel brush to look decent. But that wouldn't have mattered anyway because we rode our bikes over to a friends house today, so I had helmet hair. Plus it was hot and I had just mowed our own lawn so I was sweaty and flushed. Maybe I got a little ahead of myself thinking I was all that and a bag of chips. Maybe just the greasy chips. That sure did take the wind out of my sail.

Moral: Don't get a big head until you actually looked at in the mirror first.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Round Two

First, I must say that Webby was a little disappointed that no one commented on his very funny guest post. I think he was checking daily to see who else thought he was as funny as he...I mean I do. And really, he can be very funny when he wants to be.

As I'm sure you have all noticed, I have been absent for over a week. There are a couple of excuses...I mean reasons for that. First off, Sweetie Heart was sick last week. And I'm talking all. week. long. It started with upset belly, progressed to vomiting every 5 to 15 minutes for 6 hours, and ended 6 days later with her feeling preachy keen. In the middle she would sleep, complain her belly hurt, throw up occasionally and play with her cousins. Which leads me to the other reason I was absent. Webby's brother and family were in town from Kentucky for a visit. It was a wonderful, fun filled trip. Unfortunately, Sweetie Heart didn't feel better until the day they left. That was really hard for her, but so it goes. She did come and play during the week for a bit and then wander off to take a nap.

The thing I like best about their vacations here is that we don't do anything special. We're not scheduled up with lots of things to do. We just hang out and the girls play. The girls get along famously, well the non-sisters get along great, the siblings still have their issues but that's nothing new. All on the girls have red hair and, in my opinion, favor their daddies. So they get mistaken as sisters when we are out together. I do have to say L (the one in the blue shirt) resembles her mom sans the curly hair. So here they are: E- 9 1/2, Sweetie Heart- 6, L- 8, & Sweet Girl 2 1/2. Very cute bunch! This is the first year that Sweet Girl was really about to fully participate in the playing. While Sweetie Heart was sleeping she basked in all the attention showered upon her by her older cousins.
Here we all are. It was raining so the back row was getting wet. I must admit I was none too pleased. Oh, and my sister-in-law is short, but not that short. she's stooped down and I'm standing up very straight and the boys are just finding a spot. It was great to have them here. We miss them. On another note about the trip E and Webby's brother were here for a race at Mt Snow. They were at the Norba Mountain Bike Championship....E got second in her age she is the #2, 10 and under girl in the country! She has amazing energy and can keep up with her dad when they ride long distances. The two of them rode to the top on the mountain and still had energy to spare. L also did a race at Mt Snow, but is a dancer and was at a competition before they came for their vacation and . Her group did very well! Great Job Girls!

While they were here my sister-in-law and I escaped to go see The Dark Knight. All I can say is WOW! That is one amazing movie! You really should see it! If you need a reason, I think Heath Ledger's Joker was fanominal! And if you need another reason, really the most important reason, Christian Bale is reason enough. I love me some Christian. I've been in love with him since I was 13, that's 20 years folks! I think he is one of the most underrated actors of my day. One of my most favorite movies he did was Newsies. He sings and dances, I'm a total sucker for that. But me oh my, he is something else. He's in the new Terminator movie. I haven't actually seen any of the Terminator movies, but I might need to suddenly be a fan. My sister-in-law said they were actually pretty good. So with a little Christian it might be worth it. Of course, I'll need to Netflix it, since my local library has mostly old VHS. Of course, I'll need to sign up for Netflix first, and I'll need to find the money to pay for it. So if anyone is trying to think up a birthday present.... Webby just pointed out that the Terminator movies are rated-R and "maximum warfare" movies. Maybe not up my alley, but oh Christian. In my opinion there just wasn't enough of him in Batman.

In other, more important, news. Webby and I celebrated out 9 year anniversary yesterday. It seems hard to believe that we got married 9 years ago. It some ways it seems like just yesterday and in others it seems like we've been together forever. We will be together forever but it's only been 9 years so far. This past years has given us many great things and many hardships. Together we have celebrated and mourned, laughed and cried. We are stronger and closer than ever. Together I know that we can and will make it through anything. We are one in purpose, one in love and even though we don't always agree, we are in this together.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

further shower scrubbing direction

Guest poster boy here, who by and by no longer has the Jebediah of the Wilderness thing going, having been authorized by Sarah to expose the subtlety of her WFMW message...consider the following scene:

So we see, like Sarah said "scrubbing in a circular motion. The scum came right off." And in the end even Johnny recognized "You're all right Larusso!" - after having the scum kicked out of him. My infinitely wise wife again disclosing the deeper meaning to the seemingly menial tasks (and movies) of life.
Well, i am off to Miyagi-do...have fun. -Webby
P.S. i advise against following 'wax on wax off' links in youtube.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

WFMW: Easy Clean Shower

No this is not a product endorsement. I'd need to be getting paid for that, I mean believe in the product to do that. I hate cleaning the shower, that's probably why it doesn't get done very often. By the time I break down and do it there is this terrible soap scum that is almost impossible to get off. It seems like I have to use Soft Scrub with bleach to actually get it clean. I hate using chemicals like that in the bathtub because the kids, you know, bathe in there and I'm not the best rinser. Of course, swimming in a chlorinated pool all day is fine. But I digress.

I've tried Bon Amie, which I like and I think is great, but doesn't work that great on the scum. I've used those flat scrubbing pads with and with out the Bon Amie, but it take a lot of work and tires me out. Like I said I hate cleaning the shower. I need something easy.

Yesterday I was at the store an saw those ball shaped pot scrubbers and I thought what the heck, give it a try. So I bought them and they were terrible, just kidding. I poured some cheap shampoo on the and started scrubbing in a circular motion. The scum came right off. I even scrubbed the shower curtain. It looks almost like new. This definitely Works for Me!

To see what else works for people, visit Rocks in My Dryer. Happy scrubbing!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Keepin' Up

It seems that recently I have read several blog posts about the difficulty of parenthood. Maybe I notice it more because I am struggling too. I'm searching for the answer on how to be a better parent. So I read them and realize that I am not alone in this struggle. That I am one of millions of of you, who care about you children and want to teach them to do what is right, to be kind, to be obedient. And when things don't go the way I think they should I get frustrated, impatient and ,yes, angry. And so I read again and again how others struggle, too. I am not alone, you are with me and most importantly Heavenly Father is with me.

I read this post and it really settled with me. So much so that I told Webby about it. Now if you haven't gone and read it yet, go do it now...I'll wait. Back...okay. If you decided not to read it, yet, it's about expectations. Not just just with our children, but with each other and everyone else. But in this context I'm talking about my children. I really have been trying to look at my relationship with my girls with new eyes. When things start falling apart I need to take a step back and ask myself if I am expecting too much. Honestly, 99% of the time the answer is yes. I expect Sweetie Heart, who is only 6, to understand when I explain something like a 16 year old would and when she doesn't I get frustrated. I expect Sweet Girl to act and understand like a 6 year old or the previously mentioned 16 year old and get frustrated when she doesn't. I spend so much time sending them away to "think about what they did wrong" that I'm not looking at what thy do right. I'm not thinking about how I'm not communicating effectively to them.

Sweetie Heart has this tendency to micromanage Sweet Girl and it drives us crazy. She feels it is necessary to repeat or clarify what we are saying to Sweet Girl. It looks like she is stepping in as a parent and trying to usurp our authority. And sometimes she is. BUT after I read the previously mentioned post I got to thinking. I do that sometimes. Maybe, just maybe, she is trying to clarify things because she doesn't want Sweet Girl to be confused and get in trouble for not understanding. Maybe she's actually being a kind and loving big sister who is watching out for her little sister. And I really do believe that this is the case. Of course, there is still the fighting and yelling, the manipulation and bossiness that goes on. And that just gets under my skin. And so I send them to time out together. And, funny, then seem to get along in there with nothing to do just fine. But when I'm on the edge and just don't know how much more I can take, I take a little advice from a propaganda poster from Britain during WWII.


Those five simple words can make all the difference in the world. And I suppose they did. But the lasting effect in my home is great. I made little ones on my computer, mounted them on red paper and have them hung all over my house. That way no matter where I am, I am reminded what I really need to do. Just Keep Calm, take a deep breathe, and carry on, do not take it personally.

I know that I expect too much. I know that I am very critical of my parenting. I seek guidance from friends, teachers, even family therapist to do my best to figure out how to be a better parent and still I feel at a loss. And over and over the words are echoed in my ear from so many, "You are a great parent!" But I still don't believe them. I expect myself to be better, maybe perfect? I have said to myself about my children, "Lower your expectation," but I don't do that for myself. Yes, I need to continue to strive to be better, but my best is enough. And it's probably better than many who are out there (not you, though.) I am thankful to all of you for your help and support. As we mentor each other be become better, love can flow through us and touch, not just the lives of strangers, the lives of those we love so much.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

WFMW: Freezing Bananas

Just this week I thought of this great idea. Really, I don't know how I do it. Anyway, summer and bananas just don't click. My bananas get too ripe, too fast, like within days of buying them. A few years ago I put them in the fridge. The peels turned brown but the bananas were fine. Well, I don't have the room right now. So I put them on top of the fridge until they start to get ripe and attract fruit flies. Then I have to try to get rid of the fruit flies. I hate it! I've been known to throw whole bananas into the freezer to use later to make banana bread. The other day Sweet Girl took one bite out of her banana and declared herself done. I didn't want to eat it, but I didn't want to waste it either. So I sliced it up, put it in a snack sized ziplock and threw it in the freezer. And this is why I'm amazing, now I can use the banana hassle free. I can put it in smoothies or thaw it for bread. Peeling a frozen banana is not all that fun, but this will work great! I ended up doing this for almost a whole bunch of bananas, but now they are there waiting to be used. My kids might even like them frozen on a hot day. So there you go. Frozen bananas.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Gone Fishing

This past Saturday we hooked up with our friend A and his girlfriend S (who is also our friend) and went fishing. Webby and I do not fish. Not that we can't, we just don't. But the girls have been playing fishing for the better part of a year. Sweetie Heart has been asking if she could go fishing since spring. We told her A and S fish and would probably love to teach her to fish.

It was a beautiful weekend so we planned it. Well, the fish were all on vacation, apparently, you know it was the 4th (we should have known better.) And little girls get board fast when they aren't getting what they expect. I think Sweetie Heart thought it would be easier. Fishing for Sweet Girl in the living room is pretty easy! But we had a great time playing in the water. And true to form, Sweet Girl fell in the water and got soaked. I, of course being a seasoned mother, had brought a change of clothes for both of the girls. But I did forget underpants for Sweetie heart. She had to take hers off before she played in the water. Oops. Then we went back to A's place and had a fun picnic.

Webby had to work at the local restaurant and I was too tired to
cook, so we went up there for dinner. We came home exhausted and fell into bed. This picture isn't from Saturday, but has become a common picture of Sweet Girl at dinner. Summer can be pretty rough on a not quite 3 year old, not to mention a mama. Man, I'm acting like a kid again, staying up too late and getting up at the last possible minute. Well, college kid anyway. I need to get my act together, really! I have kids!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Flash Back

Wow how she has changed! But the smile is the same. She's an amazingly happy child and she tends to get her nose involved in her smiles.

In this picture Sweetie Heart is about the same age that Sweet Girl is now (2.5 years.)
They are two very different girls.

In this picture I am 6 years old. The same age that Sweetie Heart is right now!
I loved that outfit. The vest was reversible. The skirt was two-toned with opposite fabric. I wore it every chance I got. My brother's shirt is something to write home about. This was 1980 folks and it was just beginning. Just wait until I upload some of my middle school pictures. You are in for a treat!