Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Picture day.

Yesterday day was picture day at school. 

I curled Sarah's hair and put a ton of hairspray on it.   I hope some of the curls managed to hang on until after the picture was snapped. 

Peter called out from the bathroom, "Moooooommmmmmm! Come here!"  I went into the bathroom where he was brushing his teeth and he said, "Look at my teeth.  I'm not getting my picture made. You can forget it."

He forced an angry smile and pointed at the large hole on the left side of his bottom row of teeth.  The previous week he lost two teeth that were positioned side by side and it left a gaping hole.

"Aw, honey!  That doesn't look bad.  Moms love to see pictures of their kids with missing teeth."

"Are these pictures for the year book?"

He shrugged when I told him they were and said, 'Well, I'm not going to smile."

I explained that I would rather see a big holey smile than lips clenched together.  He shrugged again.

When both kids came home from school, I noticed that they each had a pimple on their nose.  And now I'm regretting not paying extra for the airbrushing.

Do you think after they airbrush out some zits, they could airbrush in a smile and lots of teeth?
I guess even Photoshop has it's limits. 

Luckily the school has already scheduled retake day!

Friday, September 19, 2014

7QT: It's starting to smell like teen spirit around here

7 Quick Takes about puberty because even though my kids are only 10 and 11, things are starting to, um, change around here!

1.  Arm Pit Hair - Both of my kids have arm pit hair!  I was shocked when I discovered this.  Doesn't 10 and 11 seem young to you for this?  Is it all the hormone, chemicals, preservatives in the food?  Or was I this young as well and have just blocked it all out?

2.  Shaving - And speaking of hair...Sarah came home from school one day last week and told me that some of her friends told her she needed to shave her legs.  She does have hair on her legs but it's very light in color and it really isn't too noticeable.  I told her that once you start shaving there's no turning back and if she really, really, really wanted to then I would let her.  She said she didn't want to but her friends told her she needed to.  So then we had the whole conversation about doing what is right for you and not what your friends think is right.

And good for her!  She decided not to shave her legs.  She's got a lifetime of shaving ahead.  No need to start yet.  Although I imagine this summer will be a different story.  

Peter has no facial hair yet and none even on the horizon as far as I can tell which is a good thing because he's not ready for a razor!

3.  Pimples - Peter had his very first pimple a couple of weeks ago.  I noticed this little red bump on his nose and exclaimed, "You've got a pimple!"  He was adamant that it wasn't a pimple, just "a spot".  Sarah confided in me that she had seen it and didn't want to pick on him about it because of Karma.  I told her it was nice that she didn't say anything to him but Karma or not she was going to get pimples too.

In fact, I have seen several very tiny, tiny little red bumps on her chin. She says they are allergy bumps from playing with the cat but I know better.  I've got plenty of Proactive on hand for any and all pimple emergencies because even at the lovely age of 45, I still get my fair share of them.  One of life's little cruelties - pimples and crow's feet at the same time.  I guess it's God's way of keeping us humble?!

4. Deodorant - The kids have been "wearing" it for a year now because y'all  - they stink!  And I've got "wearing" it in quotes because they only wear it if I remind them and I only remember to remind them on gym day.  We definitely need to get better about wearing the deodorant because I don't want my kids to be the stinky ones!

5.  Attitude - While Sarah's general attitude is still friendly and sweet, Peter has turned into a  beast, and a very unpredictable beast at that.  He doesn't want me to tell him what to do.  He gets mad at me if I remind him about something he has to do.  He doesn't want any help with anything ever.  But, if I don't tell him something and he forgets or if I try to help him with something he's struggling with then gets mad at me.  Eggshells, y'all!  That's what I'm walking on around here.

And each day is different.  I never know what I'm going to get.  Is my sweet little boy going to crawl out of bed or am I going to be face to face with my preteen monster?   It's always a crap shoot but more often than not, these days I get the monster.

6.  Affection - Last Friday after Mass, one of Peter's friends got out of line to give his mom a hug.  In fact, he gave her two hugs!  Peter got out of line and came up to me to tell me something but gave me a semi hug.  That's when he puts one of his shoulders towards me and allows me to put one arm around him.  After he told me what he needed to tell me, he got back in line.  It wasn't a full on hug, but I'll take what I can get.

Imagine my surprise when several hours later, I picked him up from school and tried to touch his shoulder as we were walking into the yogurt shop.  I was met with a violent body shake as he tried to distance his shoulder from my hand and a very loud, "Will you please just stop touching me!!!  You are always touching me!!!!!!"  Ahhhh...there's my preteen monster!

But this morning as he was leaving for school, he would not stop hugging me and telling me he's going to miss me and how much he loves me.  (He's got a sleepover after school and I won't see him until tomorrow.)  And just like that - I've got my sweet little boy back.

7.  Pretend you don't know me. - Peter is very excited about this sleepover he's having tonight with a couple of friends from school.  They are going to the high school football game and he is so excited that he gets to walk around with his friends at the game without any parents following them around.  (Because if I was there, I would totally want to follow them around and make sure they stayed out of trouble. Although I wouldn't do that but I would want to!)

When some of these same boys slept over here at the end of summer and we took them to dinner, Peter insisted that the boys sit at one table and Dan and I sit another. 

I thought about warning his friend's parents but then realized that they have an older daughter.  I'm sure she's already given them "the pretend you don't know me" treatment.

Parenting is never easy no matter what age or stage.  As soon as you think you've got it down - here comes something new!

Head on over to Jen's for more 7QT where there's no talk of body odor and pimples!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Nature in action!

About a month ago I found this beauty in my tomatoes:

Please note - I did not scream, but I did jump back a bit in fear.  After I got over my initial shock of literally coming face to face with this spider, I took a moment to admire it's beauty and to snap a few shots.

A couple of weeks later, my mom was in the garden picking tomatoes when I heard of frantic knock at the back door and my mom screaming, "Help me!  Help me!  A giant spider fell on my arm and now it's in my tomato bucket!  Get it out! Get it out!"

Dan and I immediately went to her rescue, but I will admit that we were laughing.  Not at her, mind you, but with her.

Well, technically, I guess we were laughing at her because she was very grim faced.  Not a smile to be seen anywhere from that spider-hating lady!

Dan put the spider back into the garden and I was a little saddened that I wouldn't be able to see it on it's web any longer.  But about a week later, we found that she had relocated to the peppers.  On Saturday, Dan called for me and and Peter to come out and watch the spider.

She was in process of repairing her web.  We watched, fascinated, as she  began to spin a new web.

After a bit, they went in but I called for Sarah and she and I continued watching.  We stood mesmerized as we watched the spider open and close it's spinneret and pull and guide the silk with it's legs and quickly place it where she wanted it to to be.  She complete the web in about 15 minutes and we watched the entire time "oooohing and aaaahing".

We laughed at one point when two giant blobs of white came out of another hole and ended up on the ground.  Spider poop?  Excess webbing goop?  We'll never know but we were sufficiently grossed out.

The best part came when she started to build the stabilimentum (don't be impressed, I had to Google it) which is the darker white streak in the center of her web. I guessed that it was to support her while she sat in the center of the web but apparently scientists think it may also be to attract prey to the otherwise invisible web.

Anyway, prior to her starting the stabilimentum, we were trying to figure out how she would do it.  We assumed she would go over it a couple of times.  But no!  We were very excited to see the spinneret open and start shooting out about 15 strings of silk instead of the one or two she had been shooting out previously.  It was like she had a spray nozzle and turned it wide open.

It. Was. Fascinating. 

I took quite a few pictures and it wasn't until after she was done that Sarah said, "Did you get video?"

Um.  No.  That would have been a brilliant idea.  But alas, you will have to look at these pictures instead.

Can you see the tiny thread coming from the spinneret?

Now it's more of a spray coming from the spinneret as she's building the stabilimentum.

Resting peacefully after making her repairs.

Look how much she has expanded in the last month.  Not sure whether it's all the silk she's making or whether she's about to lay eggs or whether she's just growing. 

If you ever happen upon a spider making it's web, I highly recommend checking it out!

Monday, September 15, 2014

WIWS: The let them eat cake edition!

It may be Monday but let's do a little What I Wore Sunday.

Shirt: Kohl's
Pants: Target
Shoes: Kohl's
Necklace and Earrings: Kohl's

 He loves to get into my WIWS photos. 

 Me and my old man! 

 Cute little earrings I got on the cheap at Kohl's.

I love this necklace and think I can get a lot of use out of it this fall.  I was excited to see that it went perfectly with this old shirt from Kohl's!

We both celebrated our birthdays this weekend so when I call Dan "my old man" I mean it!  And this cakes tastes as awesome as it looks!  (And no, before you even ask, I did not make it.  Allison from Candy Lane Cakes is the talented baker.)

Head over to Fine Linen and Purple to see what everyone else wore!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Know when to fold 'em....

3 years ago Peter started taking guitar lessons and Sarah started taking piano lessons.

They begged me for these lessons before I relented and said they could start.  Begged.  Peter even bought his first guitar with his own money.

And the lessons progressed nicely.  They were 7 and 8 at the time so of course I had to remind them to practice and they did with minimal complaining.  But now, three years later, we are at a cross roads.

The kids rarely practice unless I remind them and even then it is a struggle.  And because they aren't practicing enough, they aren't progressing. 

And these lessons aren't cheap. 

For the last year I've been struggling with letting them quit.  Or letting them take a break.  Or just pushing through.  I chose the path of least resistance and we've just been pushing through.

Meanwhile, for the last couple of years the kids have played basketball with the local Upward organization.  Upward is a learning league with Christian values.  There is  prayer before each game, the parents are strongly encouraged not to be rude to the players and refs, and the rules were relaxed a bit so that everyone got a fair chance at scoring. 

It was a great experience for the kids but after several seasons, they both decided they were ready for something more.  They want to play for their school this year. 

I was checking out the school calendar and realized something was going to have to give.  The practice schedule and game schedule were overwhelming to me.  Twice as many practices and games per week as they were used to.  And they practice at school which is 20 minutes from our house verses the Upward location which was 6 minutes.  And half the games are away...which means more driving, more time spent away from other activities.

I was looking at the basketball schedule trying to figure out how we were going to get all those practices and games in with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and with homework and with piano and guitar.

I was feeling great stress about it until I decided that something needs to go.  And that something is music lessons.

Even if I could get everyone where they needed to be (which I'm sure I could if I called in the Grandma and Grandpa cavalry) there would be zero time to practice.  I am 100% certain that their currrent minimal practice time would turn into no practicing at all.

And did I mention that music lessons are expensive?  I can't rationalize spending the money if they aren't going to practice at all. 

And the timing seems to be about right.  Peter's new guitar teacher is leaving after this month and basketball starts in October.  Sarah has been asking to take a break from piano for several months now. 

My main issue revolves around the fact that I feel like I've wasted all the money I've spent over the last three years and don't have a lot to show for it.  And this was my main hesitation with letting them even start in the first place.

I've told them that I am going to let them take a break from music during basketball and we will reevaluate after that.

Sarah was excited with the break but Peter was bummed out.  I have a feeling after basketball season Peter will want to start lessons again and Sarah won't.

I'm still struggling with the fact that I've already spent so much money on these lessons and stopping them seems like such a waste of the money I've already spent, but I've decided to take Kenny Roger's advice...

You've got to know when to fold 'em, know when to hold 'em.

So, for now, fold 'em it is!  

Back when practicing was fun and something that was done often...

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

When God Made You...

Happy 14th Anniversary to the man that God made just for me.

Oh I wonder what God was thinking when he created you,
I wonder if He knew everything I would need,
Because He made all my dreams come true.
When God made you He must've been thinking about me. (lyrics from When God Made You by Newsong)

I love this picture of us.  Do you see how our hands are clenched tightly?  Do you see how Dan is a little in front of me?  He's leading me. I'm following. But we are together.  That's exactly how a marriage has to be. And that's exactly how we've made it through this last year and all the years before it.

 Saying our vows at St. Patrick's Cathedral in Charlotte, NC.

And a gratuitous picture of me because - look at that waist! Oh, how I miss it.  Maybe one day we will be reunited again.

And for other anniversary posts:

13th Anniversary
12th Anniversary - This one is all about our sagging skin.
11th Anniversary -
10th Anniversary- This one is all abut the cake.
9th Anniversary
7th Anniversary - This one tells how we met. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Just another evening around the house...

image source
 Sarah got a make-up kit for her birthday.  It's a big pink Caboodle (remember those? I used to have one that I stored my make up in back in the day.) and it's full of make-up and brushes and powder and eye shadow and blush and bronzer from 5 Below.  (I hope everyone has a 5 Below near them.  It's the perfect dollar store for people with kids.)

I've mentioned before how Sarah loves to watch tutorials on YouTube.  Any kind of tutorial will do - hair, fashion, crafts, make-up.  You name it - she'll watch it.

She asked last night if she could give me a makeover because she's been watching a lot of makeup tutes.  It was the end of the day, I was about to take my make up off anyway so I figured, what the heck.

I sat down on the toilet and she whipped out the Caboodle and began the make over.

She has a brush for every type of make up - blush brush, foundation brush, eye shadow brush, powder brush.  The girl's got brushes, y'all and she knows how to use them.

She was almost finished with the eye shadow (and all the while telling me not to look), when Peter came barging in waving a folder.

He had written TOP SECRET on the folder and began telling us that he has a secret and we are not to look into this folder under any circumstance. He is excitedly saying this with a mischievous twinkle in his eye.

He stops mid folder wave, his eyes widen, and he begins to laugh hysterically.

"You look ridiculous!!" 

I had not yet seen myself but I figured he was probably correct because Sarah had already applied no less than 4 different shades of eye shadow and typically I use only two - and one of those is a nude base. 

He stopped laughing long enough to tell me that I needed to "help him procure a tome on the topic."

A tome on the topic?  Tome, tome... I know this word, I kept thinking to myself while Sarah was adding even more eye shadow.  Finally I had to say, "What's a tome?"  I hate it when my kids know more than me. (Or at least can remember more than me.)

He looked down, shook his head and said, "A book!  A tome is a book. I need a book about my top secret topic."

Oh, yeah.  That's right.  I knew that.  Tome.

He walked away shaking his head and Sarah continued with her make over.  She then started applying bronzer (with her bronzer brush, no less) and Peter popped back into the room waving the folder telling me that he might tell me and only me about the TOP SECRET project he's working on.

I could tell he was really excited to tell me about his project even though he was threatening us if we dared to even peak into the folder.

Sarah continued on with my eyeliner and asked if I wanted it "regular or in a wing".  Um, regular please.  I don't need any extra eye liner on the side of my face.

She kept telling me it wasn't her best work but she seemed to be enjoying herself anyway.

She finally allowed me to look in the mirror and I did the best I could to hold in a chuckle.  The eye shadow was, how shall I put this, overpowering.  And it was all kinds of blue and gray. 

But the rest of the makeover was pretty good.  The foundation looked nice - perhaps I need to invest in a foundation brush instead of just using my fingers.  And the bronzer looked pretty good too.  She used it to "create cheek bones" and it actually worked.  Perhaps there's bronzer in my future as well?

Dan walked in the room and Sarah told him not to look because she "didn't want to hear what he had to say".  He took one look at my face, raised his eyebrows and said, "Yeah, you don't want to hear what I have to say."

Just another evening around the house.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Weekend Update: The good, the bad, and the sweaty.

The kids were begging us to "do something or let's go somewhere" this weekend.  We had zero plans and that was killing them.  They had friends going to the beach, friends going to Virginia, friends going to the Bahamas  and we, well, we were going no where.

Not wanting to just sit around on Saturday and listen to the incessant whining about how we don't ever do anything fun,  we decided to get into the car and headed to the mountains. 

We ended up in Blowing Rock, which is a quaint little mountain town, but I do believe everyone within a 100 mile radius was packed tightly into the boutiques and antique stores and the ice cream shops.  The kids hope of ice cream where dashed when they saw the line was literally hanging out the door.  It didn't matter anyway because there wasn't a parking spot in sight and Dan kept saying, "I wish I had driven through downtown.  I wish I had driven through downtown."

Instead, we spent some time at The Blowing Rock.  Here's the legend for anyone interested.  And just in case you are curious, we did not toss anyone over to see if they came blowing back.  Although Peter spent a lot of time begging to spit over the rails or toss a tiny pebble over.  And just in case you are curious, we did not let him do either.

Here are a couple of pictures of us:

Sunday was Mass, lunch at my parent's house, and relaxing.  No pictures other than, What I Wore.

The kids were begging us to "do something or go somewhere" on Monday as well.  They really wanted to go to the lake (a lake, any lake) to fish or tube.  And they keep complaining that "mommy made daddy sell his boat".  And while that's true, Dan sold his boat because I did not want a boat and tiny babies.  And we eventually moved from the lake and it all made sense at the time, but right now, I really wish we had a boat! 

Anyway, we decided to drive to the Uwharrie National Forest and hike around there.  Unfortunately, we didn't realize it, but the trail we chose to hike on, was a trail used for ATVs.  The whole hike, all 2.8 miles of it, was spent moving over while four wheelers and jeeps came zooming past us leaving us literally in a cloud of red dust.

This trail was steep and rocky and we were all miserable.  And it was hot yesterday.  Very hot.  It was a hard hike but we made it and we all kept our complaining to a minimum except for Sarah.  She was not at all pleased with the heat or the terrain. 

I have no pictures from the Uwharrie because no one really wanted to stand in the woods covered in red dust smiling for a picture.  And honestly, I didn't feel like stopping to take one either. 

And just like that, it's Tuesday morning (although it feels like Monday) and the kids are back at school, Dan is back at work, and I am about to pay bills and fold laundry.  Time for the labor to begin!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

WIWS: Not the yellow wedges because they looked questionable.

It's Sunday and I know you guys are really wanting to know what I wore to Mass today.

Shirt: Kohl's
Pants: Kohl's
Sandals: Kohl's
Earrings: Kohl's
Necklace:  Do I really need to type it again?
I feel like I must take a minute to discuss my sandals.  These are not the sandals I wanted to wear with this outfit. I order a very cheap pair of yellow wedges online that I thought would look great with this outfit.  However, upon receiving them, they are super high and the pants don't work with them.  I think a tighter, longer pair of pants with a bit of flare at the ankle would work better than loose fitting shorter pants.

Sarah is very upset with me for not wearing them because according to her  the yellow shoes would be "perfect" with this outfit.  But take my word for it, with these pants, I would have just looked like an old lady in baggy pants with slutty yellow wedges walking down to receive communion.  Not exactly the look I was going for.  Thus, I stuck with the nude sandals.

With a different pair of pants and perhaps on date night (and not at Mass) , the yellow wedges will be perfect.

Head on over to Fine Linen and Purple to see what everyone else wore to Mass today!