Thursday, February 27, 2014

Because you can never have too many pictures!

Being away from my blog for so long, I’ve accumulated a lot of pictures that I don’t want to get lost in the shuffle of life, so I’m going to post them here. So here’s some things that have happened in the last few months.

Bud has been in to muscles and working out and fitness lately. It's extremely funny while also awesome! He started watching You Tube tutorials of different workouts and was asking me questions on different types of workouts. I taught him how to do a plank and he got to the point where he could hold it for 6 minutes! Have you ever tried to hold a plank for 1 minute?? I have NO idea how he made it to 6!!! But, it was hilarious afterwards because his core was so sore! The next day he said he was still sore and he informed me he would NOT be holding it for 6 minutes anymore! I told him I thought that was a good idea!

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Here's him in a montage of You Tube guided awesomeness...
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Note the appearance of the snowman blanket? The wood floor was too hard and my exercise mat was at work so he improvised! He's doing leg lifts. He increased the difficulty by being up on his arms, as described by his You Tube tutorial!

But my most favorite story...and I SO WISH I had a picture of from a few weeks ago when I took the kids to volleyball with me. They were so good playing on the sidelines and just hanging out. We were in between plays and I looked over and Bud was doing push ups on the sidelines. He didn't realize we were all watching him and all of sudden, very nonchalantly, he lifted up his left arm and put it behind his back and started to rep out ONE-ARMED PUSH UPS!!!!!!!!!! WTF????????? It was AMAZING! We were all going nuts watching him but he still didn't know we were paying attention to him. He did about 5 before he went back to two-armed ones. It was insane! The boy's got some talent! 

Speaking of volleyball, a couple of months ago I brought my camera to one of our games and had Boyfriend's nephew take pictures as we played. He captured one of my favorite sequences of me and Boyfriend. You can see I was going for the ball before he called me off...

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Now let's get to a little Babe. Her facial expressions and mannerisms are so expressive and hilarious! Never a dull moment for sure! She wanted me to play school with her but I was cooking dinner. I asked if we could play in the kitchen and she thought that was a great idea as she could take the opportunity to teach me how to cook!
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That last face is my favorite!! "Any questions?"

And finally, like much of the country (except for my friends in the Northwest that NEVER get snow accumulation), we have been dumped on by snow. Most of the snow has also been accompanied by bitter cold temps so we really haven't had much chance to take advantage of the accumulation. But a couple of weekends ago we got a fresh dump and we took advantage of it! We went to the skate park right near our apartment and we had a lot of fun!!

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Love these two!!

I will leave you with my favorite video of Babe EVER! Just an impromptu dance party in Wal-Mart! There is no music playing anywhere...she's just got her own beat going!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

"Vacation" Day 4

I didn't have all three girls today so when I got out of my class I picked up Babe and we went to Bud's school to surprise him and eat lunch with him. It was really fun to sit with him and to see his friends and have them call me Bud's mom the whole time. "Hey Bud's mom, I'm eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!" "Hey Bud's mom, I have the same name as Babe but I'm a boy!" (That last one makes for some very interesting conversations when Bud gets home and talks about that boy but we think he's talking about Babe.) I so rarely have a day off when the kids are in school so it was really great to be able to stop in and surprise him like that. I think it meant as much to him as it did to me! And I know Babe liked it too! 

Bud was excited to show me how things worked in the cafeteria and he strutted around like he owned the place. I don't often get to see him in that capacity and it makes my heart swell. He's still quiet and unassuming, but he's also confident and smart. Since I don't get to see him at school or very much with random kids, I just have to trust that he gets along well and handles things the way he should. And he does. He has a lot of friends and he's nice to everyone. It really makes a mother proud!

And as I sat there and watched Bud interact with his classmates, it really hit me how grown up he is getting. He's also letting his hair grow out and it makes him look much older than when it's shaved. He's 7. When the frick did that happen? I vividly remember second grade so how is it possible that my offspring is now in that grade, when I just finished it not too long ago? It was just the other day, wasn't it?

This was definitely a special day and I'm really glad I had the opportunity to make it happen!


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Things I've learned in the last two days

I am on "vacation" this week so I can babysit my nieces and Babe while their grandparents (their normal babysitters) are on a much needed vacation. Please note the italics and quotes on the word "vacation." I am NOT cut out to be a stay at home mom. It really has gone well these last two days, I really have no complaints...but these last two days have made me realize some very important things:

1) I am supremely grateful that I stopped after two children! 

2) I DO NOT want to have another baby. <-- I fully understand this may change if I end up getting married again, but right now...praise the Lord that I don't have to consider it!

3) I could NEVER be a stay-at-home mom. I think it takes a special kind of person to do it and do it well. I can handle it this week because I know it's not permanent, but I'm a better mom when I'm not home with them all day. I don't think this makes me a bad mom, I just know my limitations.

4) So glad I'm done with diapers!! Yay for fully potty-trained kids!!

5) I'm really grateful for these days I get to spend with my nieces. As they grow, and as time creates distance between me and my ex's family, I'm really glad I get to spend this time with them and appreciate them. I really, really do...even if it involves changing diapers.


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Why hello there!

Oh hello! Fancy meeting you here! No, I didn't die, although it seems my blog might be on the verge of visiting the here-after. I'm mainly posting tonight because I have a paper due on Thursday and major writers block. Lots going on in my head and I can't focus on my paper at all. I figured if I can't be productive there, maybe I can be productive here! I've been having the urge to post something lately so why not now when I'm in the middle of procrastinating! Oh, that reminds me! I couldn't resist this Procrastinate Now sign in the store this weekend. 

Can you see it, just above the mirror?

Fun, right? It's perfect for me! Oh, and don't mind the candy canes in the bowl. Not pictured is my Christmas tree stand in the box over by the couch. Did I mention that I am a master procrastinator? I am!

So, shall we catch up? Thank goodness kids are like weeds and grow even when you aren't looking. Not that I'm not looking. In fact, lately I think my mom-status has grown exponentially. It's amazing what you can do when you are happy! I know this sounds terrible, but last year at this time I was just trying to survive day by day, barely "living" and only just "surviving." It wasn't their fault of course, but they certainly had to deal with it. I know they loved me then, and accepted me for all my faults and lackingness (I enjoy creating new words), but now I can honestly say, without my fingers crossed behind my back, that I'm a GOOD mom! I know most mom's might not understand, and for that you should be very VERY thankful, but I wasn't the mom I should have been. But now I am. Now I can be! 

In case you have forgotten, last year at this time my life was on the cusp of falling off a cliff. And fall off the cliff I did! Thankfully, beyond the rocky bottom was a trampoline and I bounded up past the old cliff and landed on a new cliff that has loftier views and much more fresh air! Oh the fresh air!! I'm down a husband and up a happy life! I don't want to rag on the ex too much though. For as awful as our relationship was, and as awful as this divorce process has been, I have to admit that I couldn't be the person I am today if it weren't for that time in my life. And, most importantly, I have two awesomely beautiful, wonderful, amazing, fantastic kids because of it. So despite all the sadness and stress and anguish and heartbreak, I can't say that I regret it. This whole thing has given me an amazing appreciation for the life I have now. It's not easy, I'm still struggling to make ends meet and balance kids and work and school and my boyfriend life! Oops, did that slip out? Yeah, it's really weird to say that I have a boyfriend. It makes me feel like I'm 16 again. But he definitely has made this whole process much easier! I don't know how I would have survived without him. He's been my escape when I needed it and an ear whenever I needed it (I've needed it a lot!). I don't feel like this is the right platform to go on and on about him, but I'll quickly say that he allows me to be myself, he appreciates who I am and the struggles I'm enduring, and knowing that he supports me and my dreams and endures my craziness rather well, well he's just what I need. I think I'd better stop there, otherwise that part where I said "quickly" will be more like "10 pages later." 

So yeah, I'm happy with things right now. We're in a little apartment right now but I'm signing a lease on a house in a couple of weeks and I think it will be a great move for us. Right now we have two bedrooms for the three of us, no tub, no washer or dryer, we live on the second floor with an elderly couple below us that likes to go to sleep early and complain about the jumping and noise from above. The house will be all ours, no need to worry about the kids jumping around and being KIDS! We'll have a tub and a washer and dryer! We'll have our own washer and dryer! Did I mention we'll have our own washer and dryer?! No more trips to the laundromat! Actually, the laundromat isn't as awful as I expected it to be. I kind of like that I can do all my loads at once and be done with it. What I don't like is shelling out the god-awful amount of quarters each week! Renting the house is more expensive but the money I'll save on the laundromat alone will make it a cheaper option! Crazy! And have you ever tried to give a four year old a shower in a shower stall that is too small for you to lift your arms up to shampoo your hair (this is not an exaggeration)? I'm not a big person, I take up very little room, and yet I cannot wash my hair without hitting my elbows on the walls. So I can't get in the shower with Babe, I have to stand outside of it with the detachable shower head and hose her down like she just got done playing in the pool. Have you ever tried to wash a four year old's hair with one hand while you hold the shower head in the other? I can't let the shower head go because it spins all crazy and will get water everywhere. I also can't give Babe the shower head because SHE spins all crazy and will get water everywhere. Shower-time is a very interesting part of the night! Thankfully Bud is old enough to shower himself so I only have to be there to hand him his washcloth and make sure he doesn't stay in so long that his entire body turns into a prune. I'm really looking forward to a tub! And did I mention that there'll be a washer and dryer in the house? Because there will be and I may be a little excited about it. 

In other good news, I got another promotion a few months ago! That makes two promotions in four months! Yay me! It means a butt-load more responsibility but I say bring it on! I've been in the office for 7 years and I'm so very ready for more responsibility! I got the second promotion at the expense of my very dear friend leaving, and that makes me very sad, but I am happy for the opportunity to keep growing. It fits in well with my determination to grow personally. So adding in "growing professionally" just makes sense! 

Ok, I think this is it for now. I don't want to go overboard on my first post back. (Am I back? I don't know. Please don't hold me to anything.) 

I'll leave you with a few pictures from this weekend. Visiting my parents is always a good time and this weekend was no exception!

A great day for a fire-side tea party!

Mom! Mom! Did you get the fire in the picture?! Make sure you get the fire!

Last time we ate Dinosaur BBQ Bud told me "I'm your little carnivore!" This is an accurate description! He enjoys himself some ribs!!