Tuesday, May 29, 2012

More

The warm weather soothes my soul, yet I yearn for a cool breeze to rush through my hair.

That's how it always is with me, the push and the pull, the happy and the sad. I always want just a little more, or just a little different. Always content, yet unsettled. It's a ridiculous combination that makes no sense.

I want more than anything to be "that" mom. The one with the perfect house, who gets on the floor with the kids, who never yells, who coaches every team and who's kids are involved in x or y or z. Kids coming over to our house to play. Happiness, and laughter, and fun.

I want that so badly. I'm not there. I don't know that I ever will be. I realize it's not achievable, really. It's a fantasy. Nobody is perfect. But perfection haunts me. It's that whole wanting and being more thing.

But my kids think I'm perfect. They think I'm Super Mom. Even though I seem to always be a step behind the dishes or the laundry, even though I've been too busy nursing to play superheros, even though I lost my temper, even though they aren't signed up for any kind of activity this summer because the van is broke and the baby needs to eat and do you realize how expensive some of this stuff is?

I just want so much more, to do so much more, to be so much more. And it's right there, I'm just a step away from it. It's closing the gap, being mindful of my steps, thinking more than doing that always gets in my way.

I guess the trick is not to try. It's to just do my best, do what I can, in that moment, and embrace whatever happens. They love me anyway. They think I'm great anyway. And that means something. It truly does.

I'm the best mom they've ever had, and I'll sure as heck take that accolade any day of the week.

And I'll try and do a little more tomorrow.

 Linking up with Just Write

Friday, May 25, 2012

Family Fun - Cooking dinner!

I'm excited about today!

One of the things that I've been trying to work on is really playing and interacting with my kids. I know that sounds a little silly considering I'm their mom and shouldn't I be doing that already? Yes, yes, I do. But I'm not perfect. There are certainly days where I bribe them into playing with each other so I can get dinner finished, nurse the baby, or just breathe for a minute or two.

A few years a go, the hubs and I had crazy work schedules, but somehow we both had Sundays off, so we made a point of doing something as a family EVERY Sunday. And we did and it was great!

Then we moved, got new jobs, schedules changed, things happened, and we drifted away from that.

I've been trying to refocus our family and get us to spend some quality time together. All five of us would be ideal, but it is true that my hubs is a hard-working man and isn't home much during the week. Sometimes our weekends consist of visiting family and birthdays and graduations and housework we put off for far too long. We can't always get out and DO. So sometimes, after a long week, it's just me and the kiddos, and why can't we have some fun just the four of us?

So I've decided to start a little meme type deal. Each week, I want to come up with one activity we do as a family. Maybe just the four of us, maybe all five of us. Probably not the baby, she's not that handy with scissors and glue just yet.

I will write about what activity we did that week or plan to do that weekend. I will then have a link below so others can write about their activities as a family and link up. I think sharing ideas is going to really encourage myself, and others, to get out (or stay in!) and have some fun with their kids!

So last week I decided that we needed to do something about the way these kids are eating, or how they are NOT eating. For whatever reason, the older two have become a bit picky. We eat together at the table most nights for dinner. I haven't quite mastered the art of nursing the baby anywhere in my house besides the couch and my bed, so if she's fussy, it is sometimes the kids at the table and me with the baby on the couch. No ideal, but I'm still learning.

ANYWAY, mama needed to get creative! So I remember reading about how some kids really eat better when they are involved in the kitchen. I figured why not? I tend to be the mom who yells at them for getting in my way or making messes in the kitchen, which has nothing really to do with them and is just all about me and my issues. I figured if I let them help once a week, pick the menu, make dinner (with my guidance of course), and we did it on Friday nights when there was really no rush to get to bed at a specific time since there's no school the next day...maybe if I could let go of the control a little, we'd be able to have some fun and get the kids to eat.

A few years a go, somebody bought me Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals for Kids. I had always kind of brushed that book off because she made foods we just didn't eat normally, and there was always an ingredient or two I wasn't sure of. I finally pulled it out and let the kids look through it.

                                          Cooking Rocks! Rachael Ray 30-Minute Meals for Kids

They came up Fruit Benedict's and Egg Scrambles. Easy enough...english muffin with peanut butter topped with pineapple and banana, and essentially scrambled eggs and ham. We can do that!

I wish I would have taken pictures. Mental note for next time!

Also? It took us WAYYYY longer than 30 minutes!

The kids had a BLAST! We learned that they do NOT like Fruit Benedict's...they would rather just eat the pineapples and bananas on their own. But they did try it! And that doesn't happen often with the four year old!

They had so much fun spreading the peanut butter, cracking the eggs, mixing. It was seriously a good time, and well worth the mess I cleaned up after. They actually cleaned up most of it on their own, so I had nothing to worry about!

I think we've decided that every Friday will be their night to get in the kitchen. The nice part of that is they don't bother me too much on the other nights to be able to help. And because I now see how helpful they really can be, I'm not so quick to say no when they do ask. Win, win, I think.

So what are you doing with your kids this weekend? Family outings? Craft time? Memorial Day weekend for us means we will probably head up north to hubby's sister's house!

(I also realize that it may take some time for anybody to link up with this, but I will post it every week until it happens! Don't be shy, join in and share!)

Please link to your entry, and not just your blog!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Just Write - I'm a Rambler

I had a list of things I wanted to write about this week.

I just can't.

It's hot and I get cranky when it gets hot.

It's only mid-80s, so I'm not feeling positive that I'll be a happy camper all summer long.

I almost kind of wore a dress this week, for the first time since my wedding.

Part of that is because I don't like how I look in dresses. The other part is that I'm just not that girly.

I'm currently wearing a tank top and softball shorts.

I am still in high school, apparently.

But I wore that dress. I did put leggings on underneath. I just had a baby, for crying out loud.

And I wore a sweater over it.

So I guess it was more like just wearing a big shirt?

Either way, I felt good. I'll take it.

The baby is amazing, since we're on the subject. She's 10 weeks old. Would rather sit up than lay down. Babbles away all day long. I'm so, so in love with her!

She also takes naps and sleeps pretty well at night. Not all the way through the night or anything, but nice stretches, and she goes right back to sleep within just a few minutes of nursing.

She's wonderful.

I have a brief moment of time right now to do whatever I want. I should do dishes or laundry or sneak in a shower or nap, but I'm so content on just sitting still and breathing.

It feels so good.

My motivation to get things done is slowly slinking back in.

Maybe tomorrow will be the day.

Linking up with Just Write

Monday, May 21, 2012

You Capture - Life

This week the "You Capture" theme was life.

I now cannot stop singing Our Lady Peace's song. Oh life is waiting for you....

This first picture of life is from this pretty bush outside our back door. When we first moved in, it really looked like a big pile of junk. I was so pleasantly surprised this spring when flowers started blooming. This color is gorgeous! Shows me not to judge a book by its cover. 


And here is a picture of life as a four year old sees it...



Linking up with You Capture

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Ramblings

Hello, summer, is that you??

It sure feels like it. Turned the air conditioning on in the house today!

I'm done with school.

Just a few more weeks and Tee is done with school.

Summer is truly around the corner!

We spent some time outside today getting the yard put together. Hubs moved and edged, and then put together the kids' jungle gym. It's beat up now, and probably won't survive another move, but oh how they love it!

Even baby Gray came outside with us to enjoy the sunshine. She sat in her bouncer in the shade taking it all in.

I'm just imagining late summer nights out in the yard, playing and laughing together.

Yeah, summer, I'm ready for you.

(Stay tuned: beginning this week there will be some new exciting stuff on the blog! A little project I've been working on that I'm excited to put out there!)

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Spotlight...Baby Gray!

Back again! We've been so busy with our new little one, who is now two months old! Can it possibly have already been two months now? It's so hard to believe!

I've got some new ideas for the blog. We'll see how it goes. The best laid plans, of course!

I've decided on Saturdays (or, perhaps, more often, or less!) I'm going to "spotlight" a person or item or place that I find intriguing. Today's spotlight...my new baby! :)

She is such a joy. It's been interesting to do this newborn thing again. It's been four years since Bam was born, which didn't seem like that long a go, but gosh, I really had forgotten how hard it can be! The first two weeks were hell. Pure hell. I'm breastfeeding for the first time and I was not ready to be the only person waking up with her to feed her in the middle of the night and the only person at home all day with Bam and the only person putting Bam and Tee to bed at night while trying to nurse a baby...

Yeah, it wasn't pretty.

But, as it always goes, we got through it! Day 3 was honestly my breaking point, but the hubby stepped up and helped me through it. He was awesome. I called him, sobbing, begging him to stop and bring home formula because I was done. Yes, I was that desperate. Instead, he came home with a breast pump and cooling gel pads (or, as I call them, heaven!). He told me he believed in me and that I could do it, and I am so grateful for that. It's really what I needed to get over the edge. (And seriously, those pads? Freaking AMAZING. Best thing ever invented!)

(Also...haven't really used that pump yet! Tried it once, and both of us laughed hysterically like we were children...it was hilarious to watch the milk coming out! Need some amusement? Rent a breast pump!)

I was exhausted for about the first two weeks, and then we finally fell into sync. I'm still tired now, no she does not sleep through the night, but it's just more manageable. In fact, I already miss her very cute little brand new baby things! This is why us crazy mamas have more than one baby...we forget about the pain and exhaustion pretty darn quickly!

Plus, they are so stinkin' cute! She really is adorable. At 8 weeks old, she is smiling back at us now, and it melts my heart. Bam and Tee adore her. Tee probably the most. She has such great plans for them as sisters. Matching outfits, bunk beds, best friends for life! Bam likes to hold her sometimes, thinks she's really cute, but he's got other things to do. He'll pay attention when she starts getting into his things!

She's got her daddy wrapped around her little finger already. He takes her from me as soon as he walks in from work at night. She'll lay in his lap and stare at him and smile.

And me? I'm in love. Her smell is intoxicating. Her smile is delicious.  I just can't get enough of her! We're pretty much joined at the hip because of this whole nursing thing, but I wouldn't have it any other way. There's plenty of time for us to be apart as she gets older. For now, I'm soaking in every second of baby-ness that I can get.

So that's our little Gray! The newest addition to our family. I already can't imagine our lives without her!