Monday, April 30, 2012

I've moved!

I changed up the blog this weekend!  New look, new name, new address.  I hope you'll pop over and if you follow me you'll add the new address!

*There may be a little something for you...  ;)  Happy Monday!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I'm horrified and saddened

I typically avoid political and religious posts. Tonight, however, I can't. Have you heard about the Catholic school teacher fired because she was seeking fertility treatments? The school's priest made some ugly and hurtful statements. He called her a "grave, immoral sinner", and said that fertility treatments are:
You can check out the article here if you'd like.

I realize that the Catholic religion is against using alternate methods to get pregnant but it seems so very archaic to me. This isn't the only issue I've had either.  The other main one is sexuality.  I can't go to one of the church's in our area after learning that they won't let gay/lesbian students attend confirmation classes. To listen to a 16 year old girl have to tell me why she's not welcome there... how can I go and pretend that I'm ok with that?

There is part of me that longs to go back to church and be part of that community. I'd like for my girls to be part of it but each time I'm ready to go back something like this happens and I get so angry and frustrated that I can't bring myself to go when I so vehemently disagree with so much.  The sad part is that I know so many of the people who attend do NOT feel this way.

I just won't believe that what He cares about is how we expand our families or who we choose to build or families with.

Ok, I'm hopping down from my soapbox.  Wow, two venting posts in a week...  NO MORE for a while!


*Ok, I DID preview this and I have NO IDEA what's going on with the type!  I know other people are hating the blogger update, maybe it has something to do with that...???

We had 2 AMAZING days of weather last weekend.  Saturday we got and planted veggies in our garden.  Jim made it bigger this year and I can't wait to enjoy our crops all summer.  It's also getting more and more fun to have Stella help.  She loves it and I love that we're giving her something that hopefully she'll continue with her own family some day.

Sunday we took the girls to the spring fair.  It was the perfect day for it.  In hindsight, it may not have been the best idea though.  Lula bug hadn't been feeling very well all week and by that afternoon they both had fevers.  Our great day ended with a trip to urgent care.  (Lucy had been batting at her ears for several days so we wanted to be sure she didn't have an ear infection.)

I spent Monday home with the girls.  I've never used this many days of sick leave over the course of 3 years!

I must say though that being home with them and having had three suck beautiful days has turned my thoughts to summer vacation.  It's a bit premature, but I did a little countdown...

Get-ups (the only one that REALLY matters):  37

Lunches to take: 33

Non-jeans days:  19  :)

Mondays:  7

I'm so ready!  Are you a crazy countdown person like me?  I know I'm not the only one out there!  If you're in another district, when is your last day?

Saturday morning started with smoothies for breakfast.  Stella will never eat, but she's always quite happy to drink her calories.

Stella had a blast helping me plant all of our veggies in the garden.  When Lucy woke up from her nap I made her a little water tub to play in.  It will be SO much nicer to spend time outside when she's a full-time walker.
We had a lot of fun at the fair even though the big slide (Stella's favorite) was closed.  She got to go on the kid's big slide all by herself!  She went on the ferriswheel with Jim.  I was dying to know how she was doing when they got stuck at the top.  Turns out she did better than her Daddy.  :)  Lu just loves being outside so I knew she'd do well.  We were there past naptime though so eventually she got moved from her stroller to her Ergo where she got to snuggle mama and take a little bit of a snooze.

Stella got to play a fishing game and won a little yellow pup.  Eventually, she decided she wanted to use one of her rides to win a matching dog for Lucy.  BEST. BIG. SISTER. EVER!!!!!!!!!  They seriously make me cry!

 As you can see, things went downhill quickly that very afternoon...

 Luckily, it seems everybody is on the mend now!

Friday, April 20, 2012


I'm sure you can tell by yesterday's post that I was in a FOUL mood!  When I got to Sheri's to pick the girls up Lucy was asleep.  She woke up a bit later and she was mad too.  She's usually so happy when she wakes up, but if she gets woken up before she's ready that's a different story.  I'd planned to take the girls to Joann's to look for fabric for a couple of chairs I'm redoing but didn't want to risk her screaming the entire time.

I decided we'd just go home, but I didn't want just another after school afternoon and Jim wasn't going to be home until late.  I asked Stella how she'd feel about a girls movie night and an easy dinner.  She said, "like a movie before dinner?"  She was pretty excited and starting talking really fast planning out the rest of our day.  

First: go upstairs and put on our pajamas
Second: turn on a movie
Third: have cereal on TV trays (she thinks eating on TV trays is a pretty cool deal)

 Lula Bug isn't old enough for movies so I wasn't sure how our plan was going to go.  Turns out she was completely happy with some girl time on the couch.  She happily ate her Cheerios and then got a little crazy on the couch.  She was bouncing from one end to the other, snuggling (my personal favorite):

 Dancing and clapping:
 Standing and climbing on the arms of the couch(follow shortly by almost falling off - averted by a nice save by Mama):
 After 45 minutes or an hour we were all feeling better and managed a bit of play time.  At 6 it was time for Lucy's bottle and then one of my favorite things, prayers with everybody touching everybody.
 After Lucy was in bed Stella and I had our snuggle and cocoa time.  I'm not quite sure how our routine is going to work when the girls have to go to bed at the same time.  It's so perfect right now that Stella gets her Mama snuggle time by herself.  I guess we'll find a new normal.
 We read a library book.  Hailstones and Halibut Bones that Kelle had recommended it but I'm not a big poetry kind of girl so I thought we'd check it out first.  I actually really liked it
Not long after being home all was forgotten and I was completely relaxed which isn't exactly typical for that time of day.  The 4-5 hour tends to be one of the roughest at our house.  We're trying to get home, get everyone settled, get dinner made/eaten, etc and all any of us really want/need is some quiet time spent with each other.  If only we could eat cereal for dinner every night!  There'd also be a lot less dishes to do after they go to bed... BONUS!

Thursday, April 19, 2012


First I want to make it clear that Jim and I have made the CHOICE for me to be a working mama.  He has a good job and I know we could make it work for me to stay home if that's what I really wanted.  A lot of times I feel like moms who stay home judge working moms and act like we don't love our kids as much if we "let someone else raise them."  They also say that being a stay-at-home mom is the toughest job ever.  To that I call BULL.  I've done both.  Working while raising my girls is a MUCH TOUGHER gig.  I still have to get all of the things done at home on my time home.  (Sorry - that was a total tangent and not where I intended this to go.)

Most of the time I'm happy with the decision we've made and there are a number of factors that have gone into this decision.  Some of the main reasons include: obviously pay/benefits/retirement, I LOVE the district I'm in.  If I were to take a couple of years off who knows where I might end up teaching, if I'd like it at all, how long the commute would be, etc.  My happiness in my job is what allows me to be ok with it and I don't want to risk that.  I have the BEST job for a mom.  There are 180 days of school plus 2 extras for teachers (this doesn't include our personal days and sick days) so I'm basically a 1/2 time working mom. I'm off by 3:00 every single day - only 3 nights a year, no weekends, no holidays.  I think being a working mom makes for a great role model and I think that working in a school is an absolute bonus.

If there is ONE thing that gives me peace about working though it's the woman who watches my girls.  I never wanted to leave them at a "day-care".  They spend their days in a HOME with a MOM.  (I may add, we've had 2 of her 4 kids in class and they're fantastic.  That's how we ended up finding her.)  For the "let someone else raise them" comments... SERIOUSLY?!?!?  We are so very BLESSED to have someone else help mold our girls.  They've become part of our family, she's someone I go to for advice/input.  She LOVES my girls and they love her.  Even during the summer I take them to her house once a week just because they miss her so much.  (In fact, after Lucy had missed a week when she was sick, the first day I came to pick her up after she got to go back she started crying when she saw me and clung to Sheri).  We are so lucky to have such and awesome village to help our girls grow into the people they'll one day become.  Plus, I've seen plenty of kids who spend their days with just their moms who are STRANGE!

All of that said, there are days when I just don't want to be here.  Today is one of them.  I just want to be home playing with them, doing laundry, and making "real" and organic meals.  Our meals and house/laundry definitely take the brunt of the neglect from me working.  They get put off until last because I'm not willing to give up my time with them when I'm home.

Ok, this is the second post I've written this week and wasn't going to post.  I didn't think there was a point in posting and thought it sounded a bit...  angry?  I'm not, really.  Then I went to a staff meeting.  Our principal said one of the teachers who had a baby last spring, "isn't coming back next year because being a mommy is just too important to her."  My face FLAMED, I turned to the teacher sitting next to me (also a mom) and said, "apparently, if you work, being a mom ISN'T important to you."

Ok, so, I really didn't intend for this to be an angry/venting post.  Just to cheer things back up, I'll throw in some of the pictures we had taken for Lu's 1st birthday!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Carnival Birthday!

I'd say that Lu's 1st birthday was a success!  I cannot tell you how much easier it is to plan a birthday party when it's not 4 days after Christmas.  Stella and I spent a good two weeks getting the decorations ready - it was so nice to be able to do it at such a leisurely pace (and there may or may not still be a few things up).

On the day of Lucy's birthday we had a couple of practice runs at the whole "stuff your face with cake" thing. We went out for donuts for breakfast.  I'm not really much of a donut kind of girl, but for some reason people have been posting pictures of coffee and donuts a lot lately and I'd been wanting it!  Not the best thing for two little growing bodies, but it was a special birthday treat.  I think you can see that Lula Bug was a huge fan!

I wasn't going to make 2 cakes in 4 days, and quite frankly we usually end up throwing cakes away at our house.  Still, Stella and I felt like we needed SOMETHING for her big day.  We ended up going to the store and getting 4 cupcakes.  She did great with both of her smash cake trial-runs.  (remember that for later)

I can't begin to tell you how much help Stella was getting ready for the party.  I kept saying, "remember how we used to ask someone to keep her so we could get ready?"  No more!  Here she proudly sits in front of the fireplace decorated with a carnival banner and daffodils in vases wrapped in tickets.  I got Lucy a dress from Etsy and wanted to get Stella a matching one.  She did a great job on them.

 Stella and I made her a birthday hat headband which she was not willing to wear for long.
On the other fireplace mantel we made a banner of monthly pictures.  We just put them on fun patterned paper and then labeled the months.  It was so fun to be able to look at it and see the changes.  I'm not sure how long we'll leave it up.

For the dining room we used red and white striped fabric to make "curtains" like the big tent would have and then I hung a mirror with an "L" in the middle.  
On the table we had the cakes, carnival colored cupcake wrappers filled with peanuts, animal crackers, cracker jacks, and the vases were filled with gumballs.  We also filled a punch bowl with strawberry lemonade and put circus stickers on glass pop bottles (I guess I didn't get a close up of them - they were cute.)  The buffet held an apothecary jar filled with huge jawbreakers, a gumball machine, bags of popcorn, cotton candy, and more vases filled with gumballs and rainbow swirl lollipops which you can KIND of see in the back.
 I didn't go crazy decorating the cake, but I love the Happy Birthday bunting!
 Her smash cake had the "Lucy" bunting and her candle.
 This was the favor table.  It was Stella's to decorate and she was so proud.  You can kind of see the tickets she hung.  She draped em and taped em.
 Stella and her cousin with wax lips.
 When it was finally time for the smash cake bruiser got shy!
All of that practice so she could really go at it and she decided to be lady-like.  No amount of coaxing from us could get her to dive in. Believe me, we tried!
This was as crazy as she got.  So far she's like me, not a huge fan of the cake, but bring on the ice cream!
It was a great day spent celebrating our girl with our family.  I look forward to so many more birthdays with this sweet person and to someday looking back at these pictures and remembering "when".

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Memory Makers

Though I'm by no means a young mom, most of the time I still feel much younger than my 36 years.  I can't be the only one who still sometimes feels like they're playing house and has to remind themselves that they really ARE the adult with a mortgage and a family to take care of am I?

While prepping for Easter Saturday night it felt strange to be the one getting ready for a holiday.  That's something my parents should be doing.  Then it hit me that it's MY turn.  I am the one staying up late to stuff stockings, I am the one drawing bunny prints on the driveway before I hear tiny footsteps upstairs, I am the one hiding/scheming/planning.

Though it still feels a bit strange, I love the role.  I don't think a holiday has passed in the 4 years, 3 months, and 15 days I've been a mama that Jim hasn't said to me "you love this don't you?"    I love every bit of it.  I love trying to think of things that will bring smiles to their faces.  I crave things that will become traditions for our family.  I'm always "stealing" things from others and tweaking them to fit us.  Taking things from his family, my family, stranger's families and putting them together in a way that it's comfortable.  I hope that years from now my own girls will look back on them and that they'll help make up the identity of their childhoods.

I'm constantly trying to do things that my girls will remember and talk about when they're older.    Last summer I became slightly obsessed with finding a picnic quilt.  I NEEDED to find a quilt that we would have family picnics on for years to come and the girls would fight over someday and think of all of the fun we had on it.  I NEEDED to make two advent calendars because they'll use them for the next 20 years and heaven forbid there isn't one for each of them to have.

A former student of mine posted a link to this article yesterday.  As much as I'm enjoying all of these responsibilities I admit that there are times I don't feel like it's enough.  I don't make enough home cooked meals, I don't sew enough, my house isn't clean enough.  The article got me choked up and I know that it will be something I read many more times when I'm feeling inadequate.

I'm learning to let go a bit though and Easter turned out perfectly.  There was "enough" without making me feel overwhelmed.  We spent Saturday at Jim's moms and then on Sunday we had our own little Easter with baskets and eggs and then went to my Dad's for one final hoorah.  Lucy is still too young to get into it and her lack of walking made it tough.  She was perfectly content with an egg or two to throw though.  We definitely lucked out with a beautiful PNW weekend!

This is SO my girl!  The kids were going crazy trying to see what was going on out back and where the guys were hiding the eggs while she patiently waited.  When she gets excited she gets so quiet and reserved just soaking everything up!

 Finally getting her eggs.
 The bunny left tracks at our house!
 Stella helped Lu open her basket and showed her what the bunny brought.
 As she was getting the eggs out of the garden she realized her footware choice may not have been the best.

 Yeah, this was our attempt at a family pic!  :)

 Aw, this picture.  I just LOVE the joy on her face in this picture!  I'm sure I'll edit/crop it!

The past few months I've realized that somehow, without me even realizing it. my role has changed.  I'm the child, but I'm also the mama.  Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my mama role that I forget I can just let go and relish being a daughter.  Not long ago, Kelle wrote about being in the "middle".  I'd never thought of it in that way, but when I look back on my life I have a feeling that this will be one of my favorite periods.  Safely snuggled between my kids and my own mom.  After all, isn't the middle ALWAYS the warmest and coziest spot?

Do you have any traditions you love and want to share?  Happy weekend!