Run Lola Run

It’s important to me that my kids play a team sport. I think it teaches them a lot of good things. And hopefully they don’t wind up afraid or embarrassed to ever try anything athletic, like their mother is. Tee ball practice started this week. Lets just say it was …entertaining!

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Now, I’m trying pretty hard to let the VERY PINK PINKNESS of all of this go. But I do have to say, when I found out it’s not coed (really? Four year olds playing tee ball and already we have to other-ize the girls?) and their jerseys are pink and their team is Stars, I was a touch …peeved. But of course, I’m a whackadoo, so you’ve got to keep that in mind.

And Lola’s only bummed that she’s not wearing purple, lol. In fact, Brian took her to pick out her mitt, and she picked the pink one (as did 99% of the others, natch.) He was tempted to suggest a less cliched look, but she definitely has her own strong opinions on matters such as these. And, well, okay I admit it! I liked it better when she was like a doll for whom I got to make all styling choices! Darn personal autonomy! (She also picked a pink hat, by the way.)

By the end of the first practice, she was finally starting to learn not to run with her arms straight down at her sides, so that’s good. 🙂 (Really, picture it, it’s funny!) And she is in HEAVEN with all those other little girls to talk to!

Corbin, on the other hand, took the entire hour as an opportunity to scream and cry. Awesome. Here are the two seconds where he wasn’t completely unbearable:
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We have another practice tonight. Do you think if I just bring, like, a whole gallon tub of ice cream, it will last him at least most of the hour?

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Watering the Weeds

Well, my desire to be a gardener did not just instantly improve my very poor gardening skills. I guess that’s not surprising.

The best part so far, in fact, has been Lola being so cute about the whole thing. On Sunday, I finally got my beans in (and am likely to have to replant them, because apparently that one inch depth thing was not just a meaningless suggestion), and then Lola ran around in her overalls with her elephant watering can, watering the weeds, the trees, her swing set, and one small part of the middle of the lawn.

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Please ignore the fact that Corbin started pooping in the tub (I swear I tried to think of a euphemism to make that less off-putting) right as I was in the middle of trimming Lola’s bangs. And I may have gotten a teensy bit distracted and sort of did a bad job.

Mini Vacation

So last week we took a little mini family trip. Last Christmas, my sister was lovely enough to give our family a gift card to an indoor waterpark hotel instead of toys we don’t need. So awesome. The weather report was not good, and I was kind of crabby, and I wasn’t sure how all this would go.

And then it was all perfect. 🙂

When we got there, Lola was pretty eager to go swimming. If you can’t tell:
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The waterpark was just perfect for our family. The little kid area was easily accessible, super warm, and fun and safe for Corbin while still being pretty fun for Lola. The lazy river was plenty long. And the big tube slide was a ton of fun! Lola and I couldn’t get enough of it. Corbin got bold enough that he was enjoying the little kid slide section almost independently; he cried at me every time I tried to hold his hand. I was too worried about my camera to bring it, but I wish I could have.

We considered making dinner in our room because it had a full kitchen, and I was worried the attached restaurant was full of overpriced, mediocre food. But it was getting late and the kids were exhausted, and we took our chances with the restaurant. And it was great! Very good food, the best cornbread we’d ever had, and the kids even behaved pretty well!
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There was also a cute little arcade. Where Corbin’s favorite game was running up the stairs and down the ramp and up the ramp and down the stairs. I barely got a chance to even play a little skeeball!
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So Corbin and I bailed because it was getting late. Which was fine with him, because running down the long hallway was the next best thing, I guess. Although, we apparently didn’t tire him out enough to prevent him from waking up at FOUR A.M.!
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Everyone there was so very friendly, and it was just wonderful. Lola hit the waterpark again in the morning while Corbin napped. And then, when we were ready to go walk around Main Street, the weather decided to cooperate! We couldn’t have asked for a better day. We did a little shopping. Which mostly involved us quickly going through stores and noting all the cute stuff we’d love to come back and look at someday WITHOUT small children in tow. We had a fantastic lunch at a restaurant I love!
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And then went for dessert. Three words: Salted. Caramel. Icecream!
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Then it was really time to head home. Corbin needed a nap. And I decided to take Lola to a movie. Do you think she had a good time?
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Yesterday

Lola,
Yesterday you were so quintessentially you. I keep thinking of the little details and getting such a flood of, “Yay! I get to be your mom!”

You were having a naughty morning. You don’t like to listen! And I obviously don’t know the best way to help you out with that. But we’re both doing our best, right?

You found a Strawberry Shortcake doll in the basement of an antique shop. The older Strawberry Shortcake, the one you’re more familiar with. And when you asked the man at the counter how much, he said you could have it! What a great find. You need another plush toy like you need a hole in the head, but you love her.

You bought a hotdog slicer. You had your own money in your Dalmatian purse, and you wanted to buy a hot dog slicer. And then proudly told everyone who would listen about it.

You dripped Blue Moon ice cream on your white shirt. And didn’t notice or care.

When we found a grassy area to let Corbin run around, you immediately zoned in on a baby hanging out in her carseat. You have yet to grasp the concept of strangers. Or of respecting others’ personal space. You had no idea that a strange child in a dirty shirt reaching out to tickle the baby’s chin might be less than desirable to that mommy. The baby smiled at you.

You and I went to see a movie together. I was excited to take you, and you were excited to go. I let you get popcorn and a soda. You’re still too little to be comfortable in those fold up seats. So you watched most of the movie on my lap. You brought Strawberry too, and tried to cover the scary parts with your Strawberry. You talked just a little too loud.

You are such a special girl.

Zoku Opening Day

It’s popsicle season, folks!
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Well okay, it’s real hit or miss still on the weather, but there are some popsicle days. I kicked it off this year with chocolate and peanut butter stripe pops. I actually followed a Zoku endorsed recipe, even. Which was considerably more complicated and putzy than my usual “purée fruit and add some liquid” approach. But they were outstanding!

Except, moms of girls, see the problem with our Popsicle time last night? I forgot to tie her hair back. I’m so sick of her hair being completely stuck together all the time!

Also, our property has a new inhabitant.
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A very cute and tiny inhabitant. We have a bunny hole right by the house, but I’ve only seen one little guy. I don’t know if there are more in there or not. But I’m pretty stoked anyway.

Here, also, is a picture of Lola that I meant to post a while ago. I got home, and she looked like this:
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And when I told her I wanted to grab my camera, she ran and got hers too and insisted we take turns taking pictures of each other. It was cute. Look how grown up that kid is! I can’t take it! I miss THIS little girl so much:
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Happy Weekend, everyone. 🙂

Simple, Frugal, Pretty

It started with an itch. I was kicking budgeting ass, and then I got this itch to buy new home decor type stuff. Which led to me trying to keep my house cleaner, to prove to myself that it would be worth bothering with prettier home stuff. Which led to me trying to start a decluttering phase (which is slow going), in order to make the cleaner house thing a little easier. Which led to me briefly wishing we were Amish, until I remembered that I like variety. And the Internet.

And there was more. Basically, I have an urge to focus on making things in my life prettier, while also simpler, and keeping frugal. I don’t think all these things are all going to be achieved at the same time every time. But because they all came into my consciousness at the same time, they feel related. So lets see if I can keep this feeling going.

My list of little things I want for my home keeps growing. While my anxiousness about the difficulty of sticking to our super tight budget also keeps growing. So…that’s not fun. I’ve got to REALLY prioritize and probably won’t get to most of this. But my first priority?
Throw pillows!!
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Our throw pillows are HORRIBLE. They are seriously effin ugly. And now somewhat stained. And one is ripped. But I don’t really have the money for new pillows right now. Boo. And then I looked at just throw pillow covers, on etsy. Yeah, not really cheaper. So I think I’m going to have to find some time for some sewing (blech) or some money for TJ Maxx.

I am also sooooooooooooo (get the picture) sick of my limited wall decor in my living/dining area. Mainly, a painting that Brian bought for me many moons ago, by Michael Parkes whom I LOVE. But I’m just ready for something fresh. Plus, I’m definitely not feeling all the crosses anymore. Who am I, Ozzy? But again, don’t have any money for replacements right now. So, what I DID was…
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I hung up this shadow box next to the painting. I wasn’t sure if it looks a little tacky. It is something my mom made in high school that was hanging in the main hallway at my grandparents house for decades, certainly my whole life. It’s my grandparents wedding photo, and each little box has some photos and little bits of ephemera representing my mom, her parents, and her brother. I love that a PBR label made it in. Hipsters got nothin on Clarence Tobalsky from Wausau. 🙂

It was just sitting in my closet since my grandpa passed, so it was quick and free to hang there, and it just feels good to me to look at it again. I’m on a mission now to try to incorporate some more touches from my grandma and grandpa’s house (AKA the best part of my childhood.) Corelle in Spring Blossom Green comes to mind.

Also, beautifully, it was warm enough for sundresses the last couple days! Can’t wait for more of that.
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Summer Manifesto?

I was poking around on the Internet, and stumbled on this blog post by Ali Edwards about a Summer manifesto. Which was then made into an awesome and creative book. That is way beyond my talent level. But inspiring nonetheless. (I secretly want to try art journaling but am too embarrassed.)

So for starters, I had to look up the word manifesto in the dictionary. It’s one of those words that I know a vague meaning of based on context. But, specifically speaking, I don’t know what the hell a manifesto actually is. “Public declaration of intent.” Okay.

Now then, what would make my Summer Manifesto?

1. Zoku! (I’m really excited to do some more of this.)

2. Take maximum advantage of the Harbor Market. (The harbor market is like an upscale, yuppie version of a farmers market down by the lake. It can get a little expensive, so I need to make sure I’m carving room in my grocery budget in order to be able to enjoy the local delights. I want to find the things there that are REALLY worth my money. And stop buying the steak tacos and 5 dollar juices, etc.)

3. Do some gardening. (I have whatever the opposite of a green thumb is. I SUCK. I have absolutely no natural aptitude, and usually even less time to bother. But I really want to have a handful of nice looking flowers and some veggies. That I don’t just let die because I’m so incompetent and uninterested.)

4. Try canning. (The only thing I’ve ever made is strawberry freezer jam like my grandma’s. It was really nice and I want to try some more canning. I am actively insisting to myself that I keep it simple and not try to get carried away so that it ends up becoming stressful. Just a few small batches for this year.)

5. Look nice sometimes. (I’m trying to practice body acceptance. And so rather than not ever buy any clothes because I’m too …whatever, I’m going to make an effort, SOME of the time at least, to really feel like I look nice. Buy some nice things for myself. Preferably at the thrift store for less than ten dollars!)

6. Make family outings happen! (We have such wonky schedules, that it can be really easy to let time slip away and never do anything special together as a whole family. So I have to prioritize and plan it. And make it happen now and then.)

7. Entertain friends and family at our home. (I don’t do this a lot. I get a little anxious about having huge groups over. And when I think about a smaller gathering, I worry that I’m boring and people don’t really want to hang out with me. But I really want to make it a priority to have various couples over for dinner and whatnot here and there.)

8. Show my parents how much I appreciate them. (I don’t really think they know. Expressing feelings is something that is difficult within my family dynamic. And I really worry sometimes that they don’t realize how much I appreciate them and all the little things they do for me and what they mean to my family. I want to try to find ways that I can show them how much I appreciate them. But I’m not sure what yet because I have no time and money. And I have that aforementioned weird complex where I don’t think anyone wants to spend time with me and I worry that I’m just bugging them. But I’m going to come up with some stuff here!)

Does eight seem like a good number? I like this list. I don’t know where the TIME is going to come from. But it’s good to have goals.

Maybe you want to make your own summer manifesto. It’s a good way to focus on the things you really want to spend your precious resources on.