February 27, 2011

Clean up?

I changed Spunky's wardrobe over! And then did some "editing" of Sparky's.

Spunky was outgrowing everything in the old size, so I packed it all away and unpacked the next size up. It was a bit crazy to unpack the things that Sparky as wearing when Spunky was born. A bit eerie I guess too. I'm well aware of exactly how long it's been and don't feel like time has been flying, but it's weird to thing that when Sparky was Spunky's current age, Spunky was on the way. Just... a little weird.

I knew that I'd be changing the closet soon so instead of putting things away like we normally would, we've been folding it out of the dryer and then putting it "in" the canvas bins in the closet. The closet was a huge mess which, admittedly, was part of why I decided to change the closet this weekend. Now, it's beautiful. Everything is folded and stacked neatly. The items that are hung up are hung by season since it's the same stuff that will be worn at least part of the summer. It's just a nice and peaceful sight to see.

When Sparky woke up this morning, the first thing I said was "you've grown!" as though there was room for that. I ended up pulling out some of the clothes that I expected to last at least into spring. Nope, away they went today. I just don't feel like it's right to make my kids wear high water pants when it's snowing. Call me crazy. No, don't. It's not very nice. It does make me glad that I have a tendancy to buy clothes a least a size up. More than once in the past 6 months it's paid off that I do that!

There's something about changing over the closet that just resonates with me. Yes, everything gets orderly and tidy again. Yes, it's fun to see what I forgot I bought. Yes, it's mildly exciting to just have different clothes for the kidlets. Most of all, it's heartwarming to remember things that Sparky did while wearing particular outfits and look ahead to what Spunky will be doing wearing them. I also make sure that Spunky has some things in each size that Sparky never wore. The possibilities are endless.

And I mean my kids, not their clothes. The possibilities are endless.

February 26, 2011

Cut the crap?

I walked away from something I've been invested in for over three years.

I've been an organizer of a moms group since autumn of 2007. I decided about a year ago that I was done letting some of the other organizers walk all over me. So when one particular person kept trying to push me around, I respectfully but firmly pushed back. That's been happening for about a year.

Today, I got sick of the insults, disrespect, name calling and general BS (or baloney sandwich according to Sparky) that I've been dealing with. I took the creative stuff I did for the group and walked away. Probably pissed some people off in the process too. Not a whole lot I can do about that now.

Hopefully the friends I've made through that group will remain friends. If this is what ends it, then um.... yeah, not friends in the first place.

I'm not ashamed, embarrassed or any of that about how things have gone. I'm very comfortable with how it's all gone. I've been respectful (until today when I pointed out that a grown woman was being a bully and I was agreed with by one of her "friends") and maintained my integrity. I don't have any real reason to tell Sparky or Spunky about any of this, but I'm comfortable with what I've done and could tell them.

I'm proud of the example I've set for them. Stand up to bullies, be respectful, maintain your integrity. Hold your head up high and don't let others knock you down. Rise above the crap. Or, better yet, cut the crap to start with.

February 24, 2011

Have mediocre lunch?

I had some coupons for $1 off a  Morningstar Farms entree.

Lunch has been a challenge lately so I decided to use my coupons and give them a try. I generally like Morningstar Farm products and was optimistic about their entrees.


Maybe I shouldn't have been so optimistic. They're convenient for sure, but they're not amazingly awesome.

I have sweet and sour sauce in the fridge that would have been better with one of their chick'n patties and then some leftover veggies from the day prior. That would have been better than their frozen entree and not any more difficult I don't think. Maybe an extra 2 minutes.

Today was sesame chick'n. It did the job of being lunch, but wasn't amazing either. Just okay.

I should be clear that I know better than to expect amazing from a frozen meal. But with that in mind, these entrees are really mediocre. I got three when I got them and probably won't get them again. Just my take on it.

February 23, 2011

Musical chairs?

Spunky decided that a "big chair" was needed at the dining table younger than expected. Okay kid, no problem. Now that it's there, the trick is staying in 1 chair for the entire meal.

Spunky doesn't eat much solid food. Some, but not much. She has much more of a tendency to have a couple bites, wander, sit in a different chair or on me, a couple bites, wander, repeat, repeat, repeat. Really she just doesn't eat much, but she seems to enjoy the experience of being at the table.

She ended up sitting at the table for our tea party today and seemed more resigned to using one same seat, but that might have been because there were bums on every other chair. It was pretty cute and a lot of fun.

Then came dinner. Spunky used every possible chair at the table and two different laps over the course of the meal. And might have eaten .25 cup of food. It's just her style and we go with it for now.

As annoying as it can be that we play musical chairs at every meal, it's also kinda cute.

February 22, 2011

Have an awesome day?

I spent it doing fun things with fun people!

For Christmas, I'd given my mom tickets to the local children's theater. Today, we got to enjoy an awesome show! Sparky, Spunky, Grandma, me and 4 of our friends went together and had a great time. After the super fun show, we then went and had lunch together and I had a chance to just hang out with a couple friends outside of any formal get together. Fun time with fun people.

Then, lo an behold, on the way home..... SNOW!!!! I love snow and was super excited!! Yippee!! Then home for naps and me watching more snow while snuggling with a sleeping cuddly little one. Hubs made an awesome dinner of eggplant Parmesan for us and noodles with sauce for the girls before Sparky and I got a little time together. We so rarely have time just the two of us and with Spunky being sick lately, it seemed like Sparky wanted some time with just me.

We went to Trader Joe's for some simple groceries, nothing more exciting than that. We're having a tea party, so we spent a fair bit of our time there picking out just the right flowers to put on our table. Sparky really wanted the alstromeria with tea roses and regular roses. The one she really wanted looked pretty old and grungy so I had to do a bit of digging to find the same kind, but fresh. When I did, she lit up and was so happy. It was just a nice moment. She loves to buy flowers for our house and asked me on the way there if daddy was going to clean the kitchen counter of so we could get flowers. Um.... yeah kid, one of us will clean the kitchen when you ask like that! So sweet and thoughtful!

As I was trying to find the right bouquet, an employee came over and offered a balloon which she polite declined. He was stunned and asked me if she had really said no to a balloon. He said he's never had a kid say no before. He went over and got a basket of candy and offered that to her. I politely told him no and Sparky didn't even bat an eye about it.

As we were checking out, the employee came back and told another co-worker that she'd struck out twice with Sparky. Then he offered her a sticker and he smiled just as big as she did. She was really pleased to spend the time one on one with me and pick out just the things we wanted and then stickers to boot!

The trip to TJ's might have been the best part of this tea party for Sparky. She'll like the tea party I think, but she just really enjoyed the trip to the store too. Yeah, my little kid is awesome.

February 16, 2011

Feel lighter?

Hubs lost his grandpa today. We knew it would probably happen this week, but still. He was able to see Grandpa yesterday and spend some time with him and have closure.

The kidlets and I most recently saw Grandpa at a Superbowl party and got to see him light up in seeing the kids and hear him extol their beauty. Yeah, they're beautiful kids, but seeing him light up is the real joy. It's something that people have mentioned to us repeatedly over the past year.

Grandpa had an accident about a year ago that changed him forever and he moved in with my in-laws. Grandma did too. It was a rough transition for the in-laws and the grandparents. Wonderful people who had just gotten settled into their adult life with adult kids were suddenly in the position of being full time caregivers again. They readily did it, but it was still not what they had planned for themselves.

Over the past year, we've watched my in-laws trying to juggle everything and frankly them doing a pretty kick-ass job of it. They are very giving, caring and loving people for sure. Hubs comes from good stock. :)

Grandma passed away last summer. Hubs had a chance for closure with her as well which he definitely appreciates. Since then, Grandpa has had his moments of being pure joy and also his moments of pure work. We've watched the toll it's taken on the in-laws and the weight of taking care that they've carried.

When we saw them tonight, they looked younger than they've looked in the past year and both stood a little taller. This post isn't about me being lighter. It's about the ease that my in-laws experienced today. They love Grandpa and will miss him. They also have the peace of knowing that he's no longer in pain or uncomfortable and that he's with Grandma again.

I really am lucky to have married into such a wonderful family. I've got great examples.

February 13, 2011

Go back and forth?

It's an ongoing thing.

This whole "facebook" phenomenon. I don't have an account right now. I don't know if I want to either. Hubs has one, tells me status updates about mutual friends some of the time. Other friends tell me how they've stayed in touch with friends from many years ago. So, it's tempting.

Then there's the other side of it. The vortex of time and energy that's spent reading mindless stuff and playing silly games that don't matter. The privacy loopholes. The pure nonsense that could turn a friend into someone I don't want to be around. Yeah, that's not so tempting.

So, I keep going back and forth trying to decide what's really the best choice. I don't think I'm above being on facebook. I just know that it's probably a bit of a commitment and I just don't know if it's one I want to make. Being more connected to friends would be fantastic, but spending hours online doing nothing is not fantastic.

Then there's just the outright privacy factor. Most anything I have to say can be read by most anyone interested in reading it. But every so often I have something I want to send out into the world and not have people know that I wrote it or I only want to say it to people who don't know me. I don't want the judgement or association with other things to bite me in the butt.

Not that I have horrible things to say about or to people or anything like that. But, sometimes it'd be nice to vent knowing without a shadow of a doubt that it won't get back to the object of my vent. And really, there's maybe 1 or 2 people that I have horrible things to say about. Don't we all? Don't we?

February 9, 2011

Get my heart broken?

Grab a tissue, or a box.

I like to read and tend to do it a lot. When I took the kidlets to story time a little while back, I grabbed a book for myself too. It's Day After Night by Anita Diamante. She's the author of The Red Tent and I get sucked in within about 2 sentances.

The book is based on the true story of a small group of women at the Atlit internment camp in Palestine in 1945. I am well aware that it is a work of fiction, but it's still based on real girls. Girls that endured unimaginable.

There's a part of the book where one of the girls is reflecting on her survivor guilt and all who died during the Holocaust. From Wikipedia: from the Greek ὁλόκαυστος holókaustos: hólos, "whole" and kaustós, "burnt". How's that for a descriptor? My stomach dropped when I read it. The things people do to each other is insane.

The girl, in her teens or so, is reflecting and thinking about the different ways that people hid or otherwise attempted to survive. She called out the baby that was suffocated so as to not give away a family's hiding space. I had never considered that possibility. My heart broken knowing that even though this was a work of fiction, that was almost certainly a reality.

Chosing between your new child that you grew to love before they were born and the family that supported you while the child grew. Oh God. Quite literally. Oh God.

February 3, 2011

Make parenting wine?

Okay, maybe I didn't make wine. I've made whine for sure, but it's not common and readily adjusted so it's not bad.

I've been hearing lots of wonderful parents saying how they're struggling lately. I won't pretend to have it all sorted out myself, but I can honestly say that our struggles are few and related to a brief issue. Not to say life is perfect, but it's pretty awesome. :)

Okay, back to the wine. I've been looking at the whole picture that I can see and one thing I see in common for these wonderful moms is imbalance. So, it trying to find a way to say it, I did some searching. First, I checked wikipedia. I liked that description (follow the link to check it out yourself, I'm not copy pasting the whole thing), but since it's not cited, I wanted to keep looking. It does all sound very familiar from my philosophy classes in college (one of my majors for those who didn't know) but I wanted cited materials at this point. I don't want to offend anyone but when I'm asked to help, I want to in a constructive way.

So, next is dictionary.com. There we go! Bingo! That's what I was looking for!

"3. mental steadiness or emotional stability; habit of calm behavior, judgment, etc."
"8.(in winemaking) the degree to which all the attributes of a wine are in harmony, with none either too prominent or deficient."

There's the wine.

All attributes in harmony with none either too prominent or deficient. Yes, that's the definition I was looking for. Having the emotional stability and habit of calm judgement goes a long way in getting all the attributes in harmony.

Parenting wine is maturing in my house.

Our baseline is that we have a good balance of meeting everyone's needs and some of each person's wants. Hubs and I each have adult communities that we're connected to and that feed our needs for not completely relinquishing our pre-parent selves. We also have communities with kids that feed our needs to connect to other parents so we're not feeling isolated in our parenting. Sparky and Spunky have friends that they see regularly and who's company they seem to enjoy. 

We all have activities that we enjoy and get to be a part of. As a family and as individuals we have activities for each of us and things to keep us occupied, but we also have plenty of time to spend together doing things as a family. Even just the simple playing around the house things. Sparky and Spunky get time with their parents as they want it for the most part (occasionally they have to wait a few minutes) but they also get time to play independently as they please.

2007 and 2009 vintages from our cellars will be absolutely wonderful, I'm sure of it.

February 2, 2011


I got Hubs!

Spunky has a double ear infection and has been "on the dark side" for the past couple days. Yesterday morning we see the pediatrician and get her on the road to mending. We wanted to pick up some ibuprophen to have on hand in case her fever returned. Instead of me schlepping everyone to Target for meds, Hubs stayed home with Spunky while Sparky and I made the run and had a few minutes of time together. Yeah Hubs!

While we were gone (and taking our liberties with how long we were gone), Hubs made awesome dinner!! Double Yeah Hubs!! He made black bean soup and cornbread from scratch. Yum, yum, yum!!

Here's our soup recipe and if I had the original source for it, I'd share, but I don't know where it's originally from.

Low Toot Black Bean Soup
2 cans drained and rinsed black beans
1 teaspoon cumin
1 cup salsa (whatever your heat preference)
1 cup broth

Blend in blender or food processor. Heat to desired temp. Top with cheese or sour cream. Serve with tortilla chips or bread.

The cornbread recipe was from "Dad's Own Cookbook" which is a pretty awesome cookbook if I do say so.
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