Monday, September 21, 2015

Back to School Means Back to Blogging

Weeelllll helloo there! (said in Mrs. Doubtfire's most excited voice! (RIP Robin Williams).

It goes without saying that this space has been dead as a door nail for the past year and half or so. With Grace starting kindergarten last year I really wanted to soak up my time with her and Charlotte. It was time well spent and I don't regret it for a second. I DO wish I'd been able to write down a snippet here or there - just for my memory's sake - I seriously can't remember a thing unless I write it down, but alas, I didn't. I only have the 10,000 photos locked away in my phone to trigger my memories which will have to suffice.

Now that Grace is in first grade (um, how did that happen?) and Charlotte is in pre-kinder (which is crazy because I feel like she is ready ready for college but for the fact she can't read) I have a couple of hours to myself. So I am hoping that I can manage a blog post here and there!

It's kind of a crazy schedule this year. Even though I have some time sans children it really isn't conducive to getting a lot done. (Although it is slowly preparing me for how quiet the house will be once they are both gone all day - audio books are filling the void very nicely!)

Grace gets to school at 8. Then, Charlotte and I have about three hours to "kill" until she has to eat lunch and get to school. After dropping Charlotte off around noon, I have about two hours (M, T TH & F) until I have to pick her up. Then the MADNESS begins!

Charlotte gets out at 2:45 - Grace at 2:50. Their schools are a 10 minute drive apart. Luckily, the teachers at Charlotte's school are awesome and knowing my predicament have being letting Charlotte out a few minutes early - which won't always be the case - but it sure helps! Once I have both kids safely buckled in their car seats, it is go time! Piano, soccer, tennis...I am quickly learning that every hour without kids during the day multiplies into about four hours of mayhem post-pickup. So for all you mothers (and fathers) out there thinking life will "change" once the kids are in school full time...I hate to burst your bubble...but life just gets crazier. Crazier meaning busier. Crazier sounds bad. Shall we say fuller?

All the activities take a lot of work and time but are worth it. To see your child score their very first soccer goal or for that matter not score any goals but are happy nonetheless just to be outside running around with new friends is priceless. It is life changing - for you AND your child. These seemingly small moments - each that have taken countless hours of practice and driving, behind the scenes snack and dinner prepping and sitting in the hot/cold/wind - they add up. They add up to a rich life - one that money can't buy, one that is funded only by love. These are busy years but ones I know I will miss all too soon.

We kicked off the school year with our annual back to school breakfast! We were anticipating a strike but luckily a timely agreement was reached. 

Aside from donuts, the girls each receive a few little treats...

The little journal is super fun! We do it before bed time each night as part of the bedtime routine. I think it will be fun to look back at how their opinions change and how their handwriting/vocabulary changes. Plus it works as a great transition to story time which is just one step closer to bedtime! 
The other book is substitute for a scrapbook. I wish, wish, wish I could pull together an awesome scrapbook filled with photos and tidbits but I can't. I save all the good stuff. School pictures, ticket stubs to plays, award piles up! I wanted a spot where I could put all the good stuff - not just for this year but in the years to come. The School Years Record Book allows me to easily keep track of all the "good stuff" my kids bring home!

Grace was so excited for school to start. She marked off each day on her calendar and had a difficult time falling asleep for weeks before the first day. 

They were even treated to a trip to the nail salon!

Finally, the big day was upon us!

Obligatory first day photos...outfit, backpack and the MUST HAVE lunch box!

Charlotte started two weeks after Grace but was just as ready!

I love how the backpacks are bigger than the kid at this age! 

Charlotte is all about accessories. This outfit was chosen JUST so she could wear her doggy necklace from Grandma on the first day!

We forgot to hold up of "first day" sign at home. Luckily, the preschool had us covered! Charlotte was a bit under the weather the first few days of school so her smiles were a bit -shall we say - forced!?

Here she is - today - in the dress I made her for back to school! 

She has only four more days left as a four year old. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Busy Fingers

We had a nice, quiet, relaxing weekend at home. Everyone slept in. Except me. 

While everyone else slept, I woke up with a cup of coffee, my audible book (I've been reading up a storm since I've started listening to books instead of reading them) and some sewing. I am knee-deep in Christmas sewing…in March!! I think I am finally starting early enough!! hahah. Except…Easter is quickly approaching and the Easter Bunny and I have yet to establish a plan. 

Moment after I took the picture above - feeling all smug that I have kids that now sleep in and I can actually enjoy a Saturday morning - Grace woke up. *sigh* It was nice while it lasted!

"The purple unicorn queen has arisen! Behold!" 

We did some Kiwi Crate projects - these were a big hit! Believe it or not, they turned basketball into an art project and it has been a total WINNER! (Side note: St. Patrick's Day is next week and yes I do decorate - just a smidge for good luck!)

The assist goes to the window sill!

We recently added a typing program to our computer so the girls could learn to type. I figure it is a lot like playing the piano and if nothing else it helps them with their letters and spelling. Grace is hooked!

Charlotte is determined not to be left behind.

After a leisurely morning, the girls and I got dolled up to go out to lunch with their Dad. Both Grace and Charlotte picked out their own outfits AND got their first makeup lesson. So girly. So fun. They loved it! Needless to say, we were a bit late for lunch!! 

And with that, we set our clocks an hour ahead and obligingly sprang into spring!! Hope you had a great weekend and have adjusted to the time change! We are still working on it.

**Just so you know, if there are ever elections for queen, you should vote for me because my platform would involve making three day weekends standard and getting rid of this "pain is the arse" clock changing ritual!**

Monday, March 2, 2015

Sick of Being Sick!

We headed to Seattle this past weekend to visit with some friends and catch up with some family! I hadn't seen my sister since her engagement so it was nice to see her - and her ring! - in person! We even treated ourselves to an evening out with friends and no kids! Thank you Molly and Kevin for letting us sneak away for a bit!

We headed out Friday after school. Grace was finally feeling better. She missed two and half days of school earlier in the week because of persistent cough that was just nasty. It made for a pretty sleepless week for all of us. Grace dressed herself to celebrate being healthy!

Normally, the sun does not appear in the Seattle skies until after Fourth of July! But this winter has been nuts, so the sun was shining the entire weekend! It was amazing! 

It was nice to get outside - the beach no less - and have everyone healthy!

At least for five minutes.

Charlotte fell asleep five minutes into breakfast - foregoing blueberries (her fav!) and pancakes. 
Choosing sleep over food? I should have known we were riding a sinking ship.

Saturday she was pretty lethargic and Sunday she slept through lunch and most of the car ride home. She was awake just long enough to take a few selfies on my phone!

At home, we checked her temperature and it was elevated. The fact that she chose sleeping over eating was proof alone that she was sick. But the cough, watery eyes and shivers soon followed! And you don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that if a kid sleeps all day, nighttime is going to be challenging. 

So needless to say, we are kicking off another week no sleep, a lot of coffee and a sickie in the house home from school. Typically, the girls have piano on Mondays but we haven't been in over a month and a half because they've either been battling a cold or pink eye. I'm serious! For such a mild winter in these parts, we've certainly entertained every "bug"imaginable. 

Bring on spring and healthy children. 

Sleep wouldn't hurt either. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Weekends are No Time for Being Sick

I am trying to get my blogging mojo back. Once upon a time, I had so much to say, so many thoughts - I couldn't blog fast enough. Then, I learned to sew. Things haven't been the same since. When you only have so much "free" time, how do you choose between your favorite pastimes? Not to mention wanting to do things like watch a movie, read a book or {gasp} take a nap. I always have a list twenty miles long of things I want to do or make. That being said, mopping the floors or cleaning the oven never makes the list. Funny how that works, huh?

Court is away for a few days so at least the "heat is off"- literally - on the oven and burners. hehe Dinner was what everyone was craving right at that very moment. All three of us wanted something different so three dinners I did make. Funny how none of us ever crave lean protein or leafy greens, huh? Anyone else have this problem? 

We spent the day in the car traveling to Seattle for my nephew's first birthday party. We were lucky enough to give Court's grandmother a ride to the shindig. It was fun hearing her stories from "yesterday". Made the drive fly by!

I didn't get too many pictures of the birthday boy. He slept through most of the party and had lots of photos taken by the rest of the family. I didn't have the heart to shove my camera in his face even more. My girls had so much fun playing with their cousins but I could see Grace starting to wilt like a flower. She just seemed tired and touchy and teary over the littlest things. 

Both girls slept for the majority of the ride home (while I enjoyed listening to Gone Girl - I am so hooked!) so I figured they'd get home - refreshed and feeling better! I was wrong.

An hour after getting home we were fed and bed bound. Lights out at 7 pm. For all of us. 
Sleep is the best medicine, no?

She woke up still cranky. Eyes watery. Cough thick and raspy. 
So we pulled out the big guns.
Tylenol and movies in bed. 

Bedtime came early again tonight…at Grace's request. She wanted to go to bed. 
When a kid is begging for bedtime at 6 pm, you know they are sick!
Let's hope tomorrow is a new - healthy - day!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Where Has All the Blogging Gone…Long Time Passing...

Six months and some change since the last post…and every second FLEW by! A sure sign that I am definitely getting older. *sigh* Better than the alternative, I guess.

Clearly, I can't sum up the past HALF year in a single post, but I'll just try to set the stage of where we are…at the moment.

As of today - Grace has lost two teeth, can read, snap her fingers and endlessly asks for definitions while we watch the news. "What does catastrophic mean?" I can actually see her brain "sponging" up knowledge. Kindergarten brings lots of milestones…including late night trips to the doctor for pink eye meds so as to miss as little school as possible because "I'll miss my friends soooo much Mom!"

Bedtime takes twice as long these days. Grace reads one and then I read one but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Soon it will be her under the covers with a flashlight reading well after "lights out!"

Charlotte is our energizer bunny comic relief! She is so darn funny but HATES when people laugh at her…even if they are laughing at her joke. It's complicated. SHE'S complicated…in the best sense of the word. She is as sensitive as she is tough, as strong as she is delicate.  Irony at it's best, no? She LOVES to help but doesn't WANT any help…catch my drift?

Her night gown is on backwards but my God those glasses make her look so sensible. 

We are officially recovering from Valentine's Day. I love Valentine's Day…with kids. It is so innocent and red and pink. And Valentine's Day happens at a time of the year when I actually have time and energy to "do all the things"!

Both girls had a party in their classroom where they were exchanging Valentine's with their friends. I let them each pick out their Valentine's… 
Grace chose owls and Charlotte chose ladybugs. 

A card just didn't seem like enough! So she and I made ladybug sugar cookies to accompany her valentines! And to wear to her a party? I found some ladybug fabric and made a skirt and found the cutest pattern for a ladybug purse!

I didn't get a pic of Grace's actual Valentine but we made pink owl cookies for the girls and blue owl cookies for the boys! She also got an owl skirt and her little owl purse is seriously the cutest pattern. (I found the patterns on Etsy.) 

The night before Charlotte's preschool party I realized I didn't have anything Valentine-y to wear so I glued a bunch of black "jewels" to a sweatshirt in the shape of a heart. Voila!

Probably the most exciting thing to happen in 2015?!?!

My sister is engaged!
We are so, so happy…can you tell?!
So much fun stuff to do and plan! I've already got the important things underway - 
the bachelorette parties!
You read that correctly!!
P-A-R-T-I-E-S…with an "s"!

Finally, good news/bad news?
This is what the weather has been like...

I don't even feel right posting this picture when the entire east coast is soooo over winter.

It was in the 60s today. Broke a record which is great for moms who want to get outside with their kids but horrible for those of us dependent on snow in the winter for water in the summer. 

Hopefully, I'll be be back before six months passes. If not, catch me on Instagram. It's like miniblogging and takes sooo much less time. You can see my Instragram feed on my blog in the sidebar or you can follow along in the app. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

100 Sleeps til Christmas!

Anyone else freaking out?!

I just realized that there are only 100 sleeps until Christmas. So much to do, so little time! I have no idea how it "sneaks" up on me every year. Somehow in those 100 sleeps, I have to plan and host two birthday parties, decorate for Halloween (because we all know I love me some Halloween!), undecorated for Halloween, host or travel for Thanksgiving, bake cookies, send out Christmas cards, decorate for Christmas, shop, wrap, mail, soccer games, piano recitals, tennis lessons, conferences…. plus all the stuff I am forgetting….PLUS all the other stuff I do on a daily basis that seems to suck the life out of my body each and every day. Seriously, there isn't enough time!

Saying goodbye to a normal sleep pattern until December 26. Bring on the "magic!"

Monday, September 15, 2014

We Made It…Kind of

Well, we survived the first full week of school! 

Charlotte had her first day of preschool and boy was she excited!

The only way I could get a picture showing her excitement was having them jump in place! Two seconds after this picture, I found a HUGE black widow spider about 12 inches away from me on the side of the house! Needless to say, it is no longer a threat and after a quick call to the "spider guy" to kill anything within a 10 mile radius with eight legs, I was told that this late summer/early fall season has been the WORST on record for black widow spiders. Schools, especially, have been spraying like crazy to keep them at bay. So word to the wise, be on the lookout! 

I don't know about you but I thought the back-to-school backpack selection this year was the pits. Anything that was cute and reasonably priced, sold out in July! Both girls starting new schools REQUIRES new back packs in my book and the ones I wanted were on back order until November. Who wants a new backpack in November?!?!? (I am talking to you Pottery Barn Kids! Shame, shame, shame on you!!) Eventually, I found one for Grace but no luck for Charlotte. So instead, I made her this one! It is a bit too small but she LOVES it and it will get her through until PBK hops to it and sends me the replacement. 

 Charlotte practically ran into the classroom. I had to call her back to give me a hug good bye! I swear I could drop her off two blocks away and she wouldn't think twice!

With both girls in school, I hit the gym for my favorite spinning class! 

The week also included piano lessons. The girls took the month of August off so it was the first lesson in a while. Charlotte moved up to the next level in gymnastics and I chopped all my hair off! No photos but me likey. It's been a while since my hairs has been this length and it is much more manageable. When I picked Grace up at school that afternoon, she was the last to be released. The teacher walked over to me and told me that Grace didn't recognize me and kept telling the teacher that she thought it was me, but that I must've gotten a hair cut. Grace, Charlotte and I now look like the bobbsey twins so that's "cool".  The week also included Grace's first soccer game and my first time coaching a soccer game. Other than one of the kids stepping in dog poop five seconds before game time, it went pretty well. Phew! 

In other news, Grace discovered her first loose tooth! 
(Bottom right!)

Can't believe she is about to lose her first tooth. I can remember her getting her first tooth like it was yesterday!

Needless to say, by Friday, I was pooped! 
The changing seasons always gets me and I spent the weekend sick as a dog. I managed one outing for a birthday party. Grace's friend at school has a younger sister Charlotte's age so they were both invited and both excited. 

It was a pop star party and the girls rocked it!
Unfortunately, the party "rocked" me.

Starting out the week a wee bit on the tired, want-to-crawl-back-under-the-covers-and-sleep-for-a year- side, but instead I decided to blog.

You are welcome sports fans!