Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mandatory slow down.

While I don't consider our family to necessarily be super busy people, it feels like we always have something.  Some of those things are necessities (always trying to catch up on laundry, housework, etc. on the weekends) and some are voluntary (kids activities, birthday parties, getting together with friends)  It's a catch 22 for us....we really enjoy doing all of that kind of fun stuff, but sometimes we just look at each other after collapsing on the couch on Sunday and say "where did our weekend go??" when it felt like all we did was run from one thing to the next.

Summer especially tends to feel like this (I'm not sure who invented the phrase "the lazy days of summer"....probably the same person who invented the phrase "sleeps like a baby"...lies all lies)  Summer time is great, but it also brings weddings, showers, parties, vacation, and of course, yard work. Sometimes I feel just about as tired as these two look after a long day at summer camp:


Unfortunately, we've had 2 things happen that have kind of caused a mandatory slow down for all of us.  First, Brian found out he tore his rotator cuff and will be having surgery next month.  It's a total bummer for him, especially since he has a hard time not doing things like obsessively mowing neat lines into our yard with the mower and spreading mulch to perfection.  We quickly realized that we would need to majorly lower our standards this year and do the bare minimum in terms of outside landscaping.

Then a few weeks ago, I found out I had pneumonia and I've basically been trying to get over it ever since.  Getting old is HARD, my friends, this thing has been kicking my butt.  It's been over 3 weeks now and while I had a brief period of feeling better last week and returned to all of my normal activities, I was paying for that choice over the weekend and started to feel bad again.

So because of these things combined, we haven't done a lot of the stuff we normally do in the summer. We haven't gone to "big" pool (as the kids say--aka, the community pool), we haven't gone to the zoo a bunch of times, we haven't done a backyard camp out with the kids as we were hoping to do, our flowers are half dead, our bushes are overgrown, and there are so many handprints all over the glass doors and windows of our house it looks like someone was trying to escape out of the house in a frantic manner.  Let's not even discuss the fact that there is still a fallen tree taking up a whole side of my yard as well.

I had a brief panic attack last week when I realized that our annual luau party is just around the corner, and that the thought of decorating, cleaning and making a ton of stuff was enough to make me want to curl up and take a nap.  So I decided that the party will go on without quite as much effort.  I'm not going to spend hours the day before cleaning (only to have everyone in the house the next day anyway, I'm not actually sure why I ever bothered to clean in previous years!), I'm going to order some of the food, and I'll put up the decorations that are easy to do and require the least amount of tear-down/clean-up effort.

And you know what?  I don't think that anyone really cares about these things at the end of the day.  The kids aren't asking to go to the zoo.  They have mentioned once or twice wanting to go to the big pool, but are also perfectly content with the blow up pool in our backyard.  No one (but me) cares that our flowers are wilted, or that our mulch sat in the driveway for over a month before we finally broke down and paid a neighborhood kid to finish spreading it, since neither one of us were in any shape to be doing so.  No one is going to care that I don't have a thousand luau decorations up or that my house isn't clean for the day of the party.

We haven't committed to a bunch of things, and we are doing the bare minimum around the house....it was kind of a mandatory thing this year, but maybe we're on to something for the future.
Brian and I said going into this new year that we wanted our mantra to be simplify, simplify, simplify.  Maybe this is the universe's way of making sure we do just that.

So how about you?  Do you feel like you get to embrace the lazy days of summer, or are you too busy to do that?  

image courtesy of divaaniblogit.fi

Potty treats and FroYo

I've said it time and time again on this blog, but it's worth stating again: I am not above bribery.  The best kinds of bribes are the ones that benefit me, like the last one I used to motivate Liam to keep up his good work using the potty....a trip to the new frozen yogurt shop by our house!  GG was visiting for the weekend, so she got to enjoy the special treat, too.  

You would have thought it was Christmas for these kids, their eyes were huge and their smiles were even bigger as they took in all of the toppings at the bar.  



Monday, July 21, 2014

Mommy mortification

If you have recently experienced a moment of embarrassment, I'm going to share a story that is going to make you feel a whole lot better about yourself.  Pull up a chair friends, and prepare to share in my recent moment of mortification.

We are in the midst of potty training Liam (that's a whole other post that I'll get to eventually); we started on Saturday, July 12th and went full-force with underwear.  Things went well that day, considering it was the first day.  The next morning, I was taking the kids to church while Brian stayed at home to get some work done around the house.  Normally the kids go to Sunday school while we attend service, but in the summer they don't have Sunday school; they do have a Children's Church during service, but you have to be 4 years old to attend that...so Liam's choices are go to the nursery or come to the service with me.  He has decided that the nursery is for babies and refuses to go.  Fine, no problem, he's usually pretty good during the services and keeps himself occupied with crayons, books, and snacks.

We drop Jake off in his room and head up to the service.  Within minutes of sitting down, Liam had to go potty.  We make a run for it...success, phew.  Sit back down.  This happens 2 other times during the service (if you're keeping count, that's a total of 3 times)  We are nearing the end of the services and we're in line for communion; I am 2 people back from it being my turn when Liam declares for the 4th time (quite loudly over the sound of the music) "MOMMY I NEED TO GO POTTY!!!"   A few chuckles and understanding looks from the other people around us follow.  I bent down and told him that it was almost my turn to get my bread then we would go straight to the potty. 


By now we are up front and it's my turn; the pastor bends down to say hi to Liam, who decided to go into shy mode at that moment.  He was kind of hiding up against my legs....I had on a dress and I was standing with my legs about hip width apart, which was just far enough apart for Liam to wedge his little body in between my legs and come out the other side.....taking my dress up with him.  I can say with about 99% certainly that I flashed the entire congregation while Liam was saying "I need to go potty, do I get bread??"  I quickly moved him out of the way and ran out the side door to the bathroom, bypassing the wine. 

He did his business in the bathroom, and we returned to our seats just as the service is ending.  We filed out and the pastor always greets people outside of the doors; we walked up to him and again, he bent down to Liam (who I was bracing far AWAY from my legs, mind you) but no worries, Liam decided to turn into Mr. Chatterbox now.  (NOW he decides to not be shy, go figure)  Oh no, full on chatterbox mode...

"hi I'm Liam, I'm 3.  My brother is Jake, he's big.  What's your name?  Did you know I'm going potty like a big boy?  I'm wearing underwear, want to see??"

Insert Liam attempting to pull down his shorts here and show the pastor his underwear. 

 I wish I could say I was kidding, but all I could do was yank his pants back up and throw a little "Ok, thanks, have a great day!" over my shoulder as we high-tailed it out of there. 

Don't worry about me, Liam...I'll just be over here, curled up in the fetal position, hiding under a pew until the entire church has emptied out.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Feeling lucky.

Have you had one of those moments in your life where your heart literally stops and you think about all of the things that COULD have happened in that moment but didn't?  Maybe your little one was just about to tumble down a flight of stairs and you caught him just in time?  Or maybe the car in front of you slammed on the brakes, causing you to do the same and you just missed hitting them? 

We had one of these moments last night when this happened:

Yep, that's a tree.  And it's a pretty big one, even though it may not look that way in the picture. It's hard to see because of the glare, but if you look closely in the last picture you can see that it was more than the top half of a tree that just toppled over out of nowhere (it wasn't windy, or storming, or anything last night...in fact, it was a beautiful night!) 

We said someone must have been watching over us....the trunk of the tree landed within just inches of our house.  Within about 2 inches of our air conditioner and is literally next to our gas meter.  The only minor damage we have is a dent in our gutter from a larger branch landing on it.  There was no one out there.

It could have been a whole lot worse.

The roof that it would have landed on was our playroom.  The area just to the side of the tree around the corner is an outside toy box and our sand table.  I shudder to think of what would have happened if the kids had been out there playing and the tree had fallen slightly differently.  Or if the kids had been out there going around the side of the house to head over to play with the neighbor, and the tree had come down.

Again, it could have been a whole lot worse.

So right now, we are dealing with the headache of insurance companies (2 companies in fact, the tree is on our neighbors' property, so that makes it even more complicated) and we are having our annual luau party next weekend and the side of the house is trashed, it took out some of our landscaping, etc....BUT, I am trying to focus on the fact that we are not dealing with the headache of a damaged roof, broken windows, or injured people.

It's one of those moments where, once your heart rate returns to normal, you breathe a huge sigh of relief.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Singin' in the rain

Ok, so there was no singing, it was more like grumbling and whining.  As if dragging myself to my fitness class twice a week isn't already a challenge enough, today it was raining. 


I survived the walk in the rain only to barely survive the class.  A few weeks ago, I discovered that chugging a bunch of water in between sets on a circuit then doing 10 burpees makes me throw up in my mouth (and I don't mean that figuratively, like "oh I hate burpees so much they make me wanna puke in my mouth")...I mean it quite literally.  I discovered today that mountain climbers on a cardio circuit have the same effect.  Gross.  Also, you're welcome for me sharing that tidbit of information with you.

There is one redeeming aspect of hiking up to that class every Tuesday and Thursday, and that's that I get to admire the Cathedral on my way there.  This view never gets old. 

obviously taken on a non-rainy day.  I don't think I threw up on this day either, so there's that.
Hail to Pitt!! 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Hair, There, Everywhere

I'm all over the board when it comes to my hair.  I want to grow it out!  No wait, I like it at my chin!  Maybe shoulder length would be good?  I hate my hair like this!  I love my hair like this!

Is there such thing as hair ADD?  If so, I think I suffer from it.

I haven't had much of a choice when it comes to my hair recently, as I'm trying to grow it out for Brian's sister's wedding in November.  I hate fussing with my hair during big events like that, so I'm on a mission that it will be long enough to pull back and not fall out in pieces all day!

It didn't help though that I chopped it off last November.  Almost to my chin.  oops.  Hair ADD strikes again.

I swore off any major cuts after that, and I've managed to stick to it.  My hair is now in that awful phase where I hate it because it's kind of in between lengths, flips out on the ends, and is just non-cooperative in general.  My hair stylist assured me during my last trim that I will see some relief soon, I'm almost through the worst part of growing it out.  I hope that's true because it's pretty bad.

See?  It just hangs there. Blaaaaaaaah.

All of that being said, I'm hoping to maybe experiment with longer hair if I can make it past this bad stage.  It's been a long time since I've had longer hair, so if I have to grow it out for a few more months anyway, why not keep it that way for awhile?  I recently came across from pictures of DJ Tanner (aka-Candace Cameron Bure) and I LOVED her hair.  Side note-this picture is from Uncle Joey's wedding.  And she's posing with Kimmy Gibbler.  My 10 year old self just wept with joy.

Candace Cameron's hair on the right

I also came across this picture of her that maybe I can achieve before mine gets as long as the one above?

I think I just have another 2 inches or so to go to get this look.

Feel free to leave hair opinions and/or your favorite quotes from Full House in the comments section.

4th of July Weekend

Wow, I'm posting about one weekend before the next one happens....that hasn't happened around here in awhile!!  :) 

It seems like lately the universe has been apologizing profusely for the positively terrible winter it dished out just a few months ago.  The weather has generally been pretty pleasant and last weekend... a HOLIDAY weekend no less, was gorgeous.  Just perfection.  Friday was the actual holiday and we just hung around the house and got a few things done. 

Saturday, we headed down to WashPA to visit my parents and also to attend a wedding for my dear friend, Olivia and her (now) husband, Bob (thanks for babysitting, GG!).  Olivia is one of my oldest friends, and I was so excited to be there to share in her special day!  Her wedding was outside and she really could not have asked for more perfect weather.  Her venue was gorgeous; if you are looking for an outdoor/rustic feel for a wedding, you should definitely check out Shady Elms Farm.  Both the venue and the bride were stunning! 

Sunday we were able to see another friend of mine, Cortney!  Lilianna and Liam picked up right where they left off the last time they saw each other and enjoyed swimming for hours :)

Both of the kids were drained after all of the fun of the weekend.  Liam fell asleep at my mom's house and slept for much longer than we anticipated, we ended up crashing her house for dinner since he didn't wake up until almost 5.  Then Jake looked like this in the backseat at 6:30 within just minutes of leaving:

I hope your weekend was just as fun!!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Baseball Awards Ceremony

I already posted about the very last baseball game of the season, but I just wanted to share the cute pictures of the awards ceremony they had a few weekends ago.  Each player was announced on the field over the loudspeaker as they went to accept their trophy....you know Jake was pumped for that!! 

So our sports season is officially over for the summer....we told him he could pick one thing to do in the fall and it looks like right now he's leaning toward trying out basketball for the first time.  I will not argue with an indoor sports choice for a time that has cooler weather :)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Liam's 1st trip to the dentist

With age 3 comes many responsibilities....preschool, potty training (still working on that), and the obligation to get your pearly whites examined on a regular basis.  Liam went to the dentist for the first time the other day, and it was a successful trip...no crying, no cavities!  As I expected him to do based on his visits to the pediatrician, he climbed right up in the chair, talked to the hygienist about his favorite things (his friends from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, playing outside, and going swimming) then leaned back for the exam.  All was well! 

Say cheese!!!  See ya in 6 months :)

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