Saturday, October 29, 2011

Family Pictures

The saddest children's book EVER!

Ok, maybe except for that Robert Munsch book - "Love You Forever". Do you want to turn a new mom to mush in 60 seconds or less? Give her that horrible book!! (Ok, so it isn't horrible... plenty of people think it is beautiful...)

I don't often order from the Scholastics Book flyers, but I noted recently that we had very few books about my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. So I decided to stock up on some fall and Thanksgiving books through the monthly book orders at the kids' schools. I suppose this is where the problem started. Because if I had ordered from Amazon I would have read a synopsis of the books before ordering.

But nope. I saw Amelia Bedelia's First Apple Pie and thought in my head... girl theme... apples (my daughter's favorite)... a cute little girl kind of like my own on the cover... and PIE (my families specialty)... no brainer!

But little did I know what awaited me under the cover.


See Amelia Bedelia was spending the day with her grandma and grandpa and she and her grandma set about making an apple pie.

Right there my first thought... My mom was THE pie maker and if you have read my blog in years past, or if you know me, you know the importance of homemade pie in our family. My little girl won't ever get to make pie with her grandma. And teaching the art of making a homemade pie was extremely important to my family.

Of course I could wallow in this and feel sorry for us and let the tears keep rolling as I read it.

And yes, I did let the tears keep rolling as I read the book. But I know my charge. I know that it is *my* duty to teach the art of pie to my daughter (who appears to love to bake as much as her grandma).

My next charge is to get rid of that horrible, awful, sad book!

(Ok, so it really isn't a "horrible" or "awful" book. It is quite charming. But it doesn't belong in my house.)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Conversations with the kids

I love asking my kids scientific questions and seeing how they respond. Here was our conversation from our drive home from the eye doctor this afternoon.

Me: "Leif why does the wind blow?"

Leif: "Oh, I know this one! It's because of the moon."

Me: "Nope, that's the tides."

Leif: "No, it works with wind too, the gravity pulls the wind around."

Me: "Ok... why do the colors of the leaves change?"

Skadi: "Because God makes them do that!"

Me: "Ok, good answer, why is the sky blue?"

Leif: "Because space is blue and the clouds get in the way and make the sky."

Skadi: "I wanted to answer Leif! It's because God made it blue."

Me: "Why are there volcanos."

Skadi: "Because God made volcanos."

Leif: "No Skadi, it's because wherever there is an earthquake a volcano pops up."

(Kind of sounds like a zit...)

Me: "Well I don't know if Skadi is wrong, but that's interesting Leif. Why does it get cold in winter."

Skadi (screaming): "BECAUSE GOD MADE IT!"

Leif: "That's easy, because the seasons change."

Me: "What are mountains made of?"

Leif: "Wood. Hey mom, what makes planets?"

Me: "Something like the big bang."

Leif: "Nope, you are wrong, dirt makes it and someone packs the dirt really hard together and a planet is made."


(Yes, apparently Skadi has embraced Sunday school.)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Flooring selections

This fall we plan to replace our office and dining room crap carpet with hardwood. We went and picked out five options and once home immediately narrowed it down to three.

Going from three to one has proven to be more difficult. We love them all for various reasons. Here is where you come in.

Vote! I am posting the three options below. Please post in my comments picking your favorite selection and stating why.

A few details about our house. It is a very traditional style house. Lots of windows, two stories. We only plan to use this flooring in the two front rooms of the house - the formal dining room and office. There are two - yes two - different types of tile off the formal dining room.

The builders/original owners of this house were spastic with flooring. We have about five different carpets and three different tiles throughout the house. I need some consistency. The office and dining room are separated by a dark clay/terra cotta colored smooth tile. Off the formal dining room on the other side is pale cream rough tile.

We have maple trim.

The first is tiger bamboo. It is a solid hardwood, two toned bamboo. Bamboo is of an advantage because it is also the hardest material out there - and we have dogs.

Close up of the bamboo.

 The second choice is a tobacco teak, handscraped hardwood. It has a rough finish and will successfully hide little dings and dents.

Australian Cypress. The light color matches our trim very well. Disadvantage is that it is light and shiny and will show many different dings and dents.

So... what are your thoughts?

Sunday, October 02, 2011

The New Normal After 1 Month

It has officially been 1 month since I started my new schedule saying I would leave work at 3pm four days a week.

I like it.

I have an ongoing list of things that need to be done. Some are fun, some are chores. But I try to pick one of each most every afternoon.

And then there are the days when I abandon the list all together and do something crazy like tape off the foyer and paint the majority of it.

I like to work.

I completely respect people who choose to stay home with their kids. I don't get the SAHM vs Working Mom debate. We are all different. We have choices in this country. What works for me is not expected to work for others. Freedom to choose. Etc, etc.

I like to work. I am good at what I do. I get a jolt inside from the things I do on a daily basis. I have a whole lot of pride in my work and love my pats on the back. I need that.

But at the same time my kids' childhoods are flying by WAY WAY too fast. I need the time with them. I need them to come home to a mom in the house afterschool.

And I am in a very privileged position because *I* can make that choice. Not a lot of people can.

We are into our groove and I feel a sense of calm that has come over our house.

No more crazy rush to get something, anything on the table for dinner every night.

No more Wednesday night scramble to get the house picked up. Ok, so it is Wednesday afternoon scramble, but that leaves our nights open.

No more immediately ruling out any activity that starts before 6pm.

Less stress.

Even today, Sunday that is, I always do laundry on Sunday. And I stress about getting the laundry folded. I find myself saying in my head that if it doesn't get folded (because I am reading Bon Appetit) that I can always do it tomorrow afternoon. Ok, nevermind, that IS just called procrastination.

I am to the point where I feel like I can start adding to the schedule. That we have a routine, I know what to expect from the kids each afternoon. I am thinking I can start running on the treadmill again during that 30 minutes that I give in and put SpongeBob on. Gymnastics has moved onto the schedule (or at least we are waitlisted for the coveted classes).

Things are good. I am happy. The kids are happy. AB is happy. We are good.

Little Girl Wanderlust

The other day Skadi asked me if we were never going to ever stay in a hotel again now that we have the trailer? She was quite concerned about this. I told her no way, mommy couldn’t live that way. I have to have my hotel room vacation getaways. She was pacified for a few weeks, but the question keeps popping up still, “mommy when are we going to go somewhere and stay in a hotel?”

My little girl loves to travel. AB and I have surmised that Leif will be the engineer living with near his parents all his life, while our little girl is going to be wandering the globe. Of course I also remind myself that my mom always thought my sister would run off from Colorado (and previously Wyoming) as quick as possible never to return. And if we hadn’t left Wyoming I am SURE that would have been true. And maybe she might at some point, but I don’t see her leaving her stomping grounds anytime soon.

I was the one, way back when, that never intended on leaving Colorado or my family. So who knows!

Skadi loves her vacations.

Yesterday she received (finally) a poster that I had been talking about putting together for 10 months. A poster of all her character meetings from DisneyWorld. I figured I needed to get this done before we hit the one year anniversary of the trip. I ended up putting the poster up out of arms reach yesterday after she was lying on it and kissing each princess so that I could try and avoid it being ruined before I can get a poster frame on it. She holds that poster dear.

Of course, the poster arriving prompted a whole other realm of questions, “when can we go stay in a hotel mom?”, “when can we go back to DisneyWorld?”, “well if we aren't going to go to Disneyworld, can we go to Seattle then?”

I am with my girl. I think we need a vacation, a hotel vacation.

I always cringe just a bit when I hear parents talking about looking forward to their kids getting older so that they can do certain activities. I always think that day is going to come too soon. Revel in the here and now while they are little.

But I have to admit that I was wondering how old she needs to be before we start doing mom and daughter power shopping trips in Seattle complete with fancy dinner and hotel room? It was one of my mom’s and my favorite things to do and one of the things I miss most in having lost my mom. I do look forward to these outings with the next generation.

That time of the month... Goals!

I think the last time I talked about monthly goals was the end of July/first part of August. I am trying to remember (while being lazy and not scrolling back too far) what I put? I am pretty sure that it was August to select colors for the dining room/office/foyer and that in September I would paint.

For this being a late summer goal, I didn't do too bad!

We got the colors picked and I have so far, spent two afternoons painting to total one hallway in the foyer and one wall painted and two in the dining room. We need to double check our second accent color against the new taupe color of the dining room, purchase it and then paint.

We decided on a taupe neutral to use throughout the three rooms and I am thrilled with it. The second accent color will be a slate-ish grey.

Today we went and picked out new floors - or at least picked out 6 options which once home were quickly narrowed down to three.

Tiger Bamboo

Tobacco Road Teak

Australian (or was it Austrian?) Cypress

So that is the goal for this and next month - get the new floors decided on and in.

I seem to have a bit more flexibility with time lately and so my goals can be more than "clean out Leif's closet" because in theory WE can do that one day after school.

My stretch goal is that by Thanksgiving, I have a newly painted foyer and new paint and floors in the office and dining room.