Friday, February 22, 2013

sundays "off"

I had a great girl's date with one of my best friends a few weeks ago.
Among many other things, we talked about going "unplugged."
And how our internet-attached world is making it harder to attach to our kids and our husbands and our real lives.

She said she's started doing Sundays unplugged.   No internet, no phone (she leaves the phone on, though, in case someone needs to contact her...Sundays often mean Church business calls)

And I knew right away that was something my family needed to do also.  Sundays are supposed to be a day of rest, but with two little children and a three-hour block of Church to attend, they often feel like the hardest day of the week for us.  Much of that feeling, though, was because we were distracted, and I knew it.  Facebook, blog reader, pinterest, google+, random news reading, mindless surfing, games on the phones, disney movies for the kids...
we thought we were resting,
but really we were just distracting.

Last week we started our very first "Sunday off."  And it was everything I hoped it would be.  We took turns going to Church because we kept our recovering-but-still-sick kids home.  When I got home from my half of the meetings, I walked in to find a giant blanket fort and Kent on the floor playing cars with Nicholas.  A beautiful mess.

We made blueberry muffins.  We pretended we were at Disneyland and ran around the house because we were on the Dumbo ride.  
We played with "Spot" the dog (aka Nicholas). 
We made Valentines to send to people. We did concede at one point and let Ellie watch Baby Einstein because we were trying to make dinner and she was still sick-whiney and we needed to set her down for a minute.

The best part, though?  
Our Sunday off gave me strength to set aside the computer for the rest of the week. (I don't have a smartphone so the computer is my internet vice.)  I felt like I didn't really even want to check Facebook or pinterest. When I have down time, I've been reading (hooray!! time to read!) instead of mindlessly-but-well-meaningly checking the internet.

Having Sunday "off" gave me power to focus on what really matters most.
Now,  I'm working day by day to put down the "connected" world and connect to my real world.

My next steps?  I want to establish a phone "nest" where we place our devices when we're at home. Not in our pockets, not accesible at any moment, not in front of our faces when we should be having family time.
I want to stay off our phones when we are in the car; save that time for talking to each other.
I want to have our devices charge in a room other than where we sleep.
I want to save my phone-talking time for times when my children are asleep or otherwise occupied.

To put it simply, I want to live with purpose and connect with what matters most. Little by little. Who's with me?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

he sings while he mops

Nicholas is a singer.
We didn't realize it until recently,
because for the past year he's been more of what we call "Angry Nicholas" than "Happy Nicholas."
But slowly, oh-so-slowly, he came out of that terrible-awful-almost-unbearable-twos/threes. It was a long year.

And gosh my kid is cute!

He wakes up singing and dancing.  He makes up little songs.  He sings "One two three four five once I caught a fish alive..." and "jingle bells" and "here we go gathering nuts in May" and "head shoulders knees and toes"

He pretends.  All day long. Today he pretended that our toy telephone--the pull string retro phone, like the one on Toy Story 3--he pretended that the telephone was a purple kitten named "Jokestackser." He pulled the "kitten" around for hours, making dinner for him, asking me to play fetch with him and pet him.

We are constantly pretending. He can take anything and if it isn't exactly the way he wants it, he easily shrugs and says "I'll just pretend."  Whew. What a difference from his behavior from the past year! He is agreeable, helpful, sweet, polite, and cheerful. He gives me love spontaneously-hugs, kisses, "you're cute Mommy!" and lots of snuggles.  His eyes are light and bright and happy.  I'm reminded over and over how much I love being his mom.

I have to admit that over the past year I've had more than a few moments where although I loved my son without question, I might have been questioning how much I liked him sometimes.  It was rough.

But now?
He sings while he mops the entire kitchen.  

Thursday, February 14, 2013

happy valentine's

love notes on the bathroom mirror (and a heart made out of cotton swabs on the floor...use what you've got, right?)

heart made out of strawberries and marshmallows for breakfast (which caused a bit of a 3-year-old meltdown...the strawberries and marshmallows were touching!  I should have known better...)

hourly love note texts to my Valentine

pink heart pancakes for lunch

Disney music station on Pandora

heart-shaped mini pizzas for dinner

then meeting Daddy after work and some new friends tonight to get ice cream

Happy Valentine's Day all!

Friday, February 8, 2013

five in one

Borrowing this idea from the lovely Shannon.
One picture, five stories.

1. That eyebrow.  Oh this kid's eyebrows.  He's always had them.  (And after a brief but very miserable bout of pneumonia, I'm just glad to see those happy eyes again. He was one sick and sad boy this week.)

2. My old Little People pool set.  I clocked hours upon hours playing with this as a kid.  A toy you can actually put water in? Best toy ever.

3. He's wearing his pajama shirt. I took this picture at noon.  We've been teaching him how to dress himself. You can see it's going well.

4. Ellie is carrying something very large. Something she apparently found in the bathroom. She has some serious muscle hidden beneath those chubs.  Just the other day, actually, she managed to lift a basket that Nicholas (claimed he) couldn't pick up.  And last night she carried a diaper box--still completely full of diapers.  

5. Will the painter ever call me back?  I'm beginning to wonder.... And I'm so tired of my paint swatches on the walls that I'm tempted to just do it myself, but then I remember my two kiddos and why we wanted to pay someone else to paint in the first place. It would take me  Maybe it's time to find a new painter.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

oh hi carrots

image from: Wikipedia
I despise suddenly really like carrots.
I've never liked them. 
And I've tried.
They look so fun to eat--crunchy and orange and easy to hold.  
I tried year after year to like carrots.  Tasting them every so often.
No, I did not like them.  I just couldn't bring myself to like them.  The taste made my throat feel funny. I usually had to spit them out.  Couldn't even swallow them.

But then, New Year's Day, at lunch, I found myself piling carrots on my plate.  I couldn't even explain why.  They just looked delicious.
And they were.

And here I am, a month later,
a full-blown carrot-eater.  

The weirdest part?  I was relating this to my parents last weekend and my dad revealed that he too had despised carrots until he was 25 years old and then he suddenly started liking them.

Moral of the story? 
If my children won't eat carrots, I'll just tell them to wait until they are 25.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

time to make a list

Sunday night. 
Kids in bed (who are sick again. boo.)
Apple nachos--apple slices with marshmallows, chocolate chips, oreo crumbles, and peanut butter, caramel, and chocolate syrup-broiled for a few minutes to brown the marshmallows (yum!).  
Google hangout with the Foulks.  (wishing we could share our apple nachos with them.)

Several clicks later, and we'd purchased plane tickets!  To Texas! (on our way to Mexico!)

I get a little happy wiggle inside every time I think about going back to Texas. I pulled up our neighborhood on google maps last night and almost got teary-eyed just thinking about being back there.  It could be said that I'm a sentimental girl. 

It's going to be a super short trip there,
so it's time to make a list.
What will we do with thirty-six hours in Texas?  Kent's already stated that he needs to go to HEB to get his favorite chocolate-infused only-suitable-for-dessert breakfast cereal.  
Me? I've got people to visit! And more people to visit! New houses to see!  And the Guenther House. And Bluebell ice cream.  And Cosi. And La Madeline. And Garden Ridge. And Fralos. And the Temple. And Rudys.  And oh wouldn't I love to go Toobing on the Comal?  

This list is going to need some serious scaling down.

Monday, February 4, 2013

to my child(ren)

"You are the trips I cannot take;
You are the pearls I cannot buy;
You are my blue Italian lake;
You are my piece of foreign sky.

You are my Honolulu moon;
you are the book I did not write;
you are my heart's unuttered tune;
you are a candle in my night."
-Anne Campbell 

I read this poem a few months ago.
It stuck in my heart.  

When it's mid-afternoon
and we're all three crowded in the corner of the couch
and the sun pours through the windows
I look at these two,
and I am whole.

Friday, February 1, 2013

we moved here on purpose, really

 Snow piles as tall as the cars.  And check out that one across the street in front of the house--it is actually taller than the man who lives there, so probably almost seven feet!

I shoveled the driveway yesterday. Three times.
But it's the only way to exercise in the winter so actually I don't really mind.

The other day, though, we got nine inches.  I measured.  And nine inches on a surprisingly wide driveway...and with a three-year-old "helping" with his own was going to take me forever.
Until a friendly neighbor stopped by.

Yeah, I love my neighborhood.  And I love seasons.

That doesn't mean that I don't sometimes wish I was at the park in January in Texas with my friends....
But you can't build snowmen in Texas.