Thursday, July 31, 2008

I did it!!

I am very proud of myself. I started knitting a dress for Mackenzie about 6 weeks ago, and I was able to finish it last night! Correction, it is 99% finished, I have to get a button for the back, but besides that it is finished. And the best part is that is actually fits Mackenzie! She is going to wear it to church on Sunday where I am going to tell everyone that I made it myself.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It's a No-Go

Every year at this time (ever since 2002) our family has gone to Louisville, KY to the Hot Rod Nationals. I personally am not a hot rod lover, but my husband works the show with his dad and spend special time together. I enjoy going because we stay at the Hilton (which has the most comfortable beds ever!), we go out to dinner every night, and see friends that we don't usually get to see. This is probably the last year we will be able to go, with my father in law retiring in the near future so we wouldn't get the free hotel room or dinner or gas there.

Yesterday, Mackenzie woke up feeling warm. It was close to a million degrees when she woke up, so I thought she was just hot. Then she was acting crabbier than usual and didn't have much fun at the pool. I knew she just wasn't herself. Sure enough, she has a temperature. She was up in the night with her fever and crabby again this morning, so I had to say goodbye to Bailey and my husband. I let them take the trip without us.

It was a hard choice, especially knowing we probably won't do this again. But I figured I would have more regret if I took her and she was sick the whole time, or even part of the time, than if I stayed home and she was all better tomorrow.

I hope that Bailey has a lot of fun though. This show has always been one of the highlights of his summer. He likes "working" (especially when our friends give him money for his work!) and just being around the whole car scene.

I am hoping that my time at home minus husband and 7 year old will yield some productivity in me. My house needs some cleaning and I have a knitting project that I am ALMOST finished with. I can't wait to share it!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Remember the good ol' days?

When back to school shopping was fun? When it meant getting new fall clothes and a new pair of shoes, a new lunch box because the old one smelled from being closed all summer (and because you left a half eaten salami sandwich in it), and of course, a new Trapper Keeper. The new Trapper Keeper is a must because last year's model was covered with "I Heart Mark" and this school year I am sure to heart at least 3 different boys.

Now that I am grown with a school aged child of my own, back to school shopping is no longer fun. This is mostly because of what I have to buy. I own a house, so I pay taxes that go to fund the schools. So why do I have to buy paper, crayons, markers, colored pencils, 8 glue sticks, scizzors, tissues, and hand sanitizer that will all turn into community property? It just doesn't make sense to me. And I have wondered what would happen if I didn't supply these community supplies. Would they charge me for them? Or not let Bailey color the book he is writing? He wouldn't mind that at all, since he hates to color. He isn't a very artistic child, but not everyone can be.

When we went shopping for supplies in kindergarten and first grade, it wasn't a very fun experience. I somehow picked the same time as a thousand other moms and their 3 kids trying to get 100 different things off their list. Not a fun time. I am not a fan of big crowds. This year had been lots easier. Target at 8 pm on the Saturday before the sales tax holiday is a great time to shop for school supplies. Not a crowd at all!

I am excited. Only two more things on the list: very specific pens (for the teacher I think, and I can't find them) and 1 gallon sized ziploc bags.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Summer Fun

I just love this time of year, can't you tell? Although it is hard to believe that 3 weeks from today Bailey will be back in school. How did the summer go by so fast? Maybe because summer will still be going on for 6 weeks after he is back in school.

I am very excited. Because I think Mackenzie is going to be one of those "swimming kids". You know, the ones who stay in the water all day only coming out to eat. Bailey enjoys the pool in moderation but doesn't like water up his nose. Yesterday Mackenzie was sticking her whole face in the water, eyes and all and she loved it. Maybe she will be a future lifeguard?

Monday, July 21, 2008

An Outdoor Shower

Since it is summer, my favorite time of year, I have been thinking about some of my favorite things in summer. Something I LOVE is to take a shower outside. Now stop your dirty minds. I don't mean like that. At the Jersey shore where I have taken many a summer vacation, most of the houses have outdoor showers so you don't track sand all over the house after the beach. They are usually attached to the house by one wall and look like a shed. They aren't the fanciest of accomodations, but I love them.

There is something about showering after a long day at the beach and feeling the cool breeze as you are getting clean that is so invigorating. I love still being able to smell the salt of the ocean while smelling the sweet smell of shampoo and soap. It is one of those things that all people should have a chance to try out! Showering in my own back yard just wouldn't cut it, besides, I don't have a good spot for a shower, and during the winter it would be a bit underused.

By the way, my favorite movie of all time is Ferris Bueller's Day Off, 2nd place is Sixteen Candles. They just don't make movies like they did in the 80's!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Just Like Her Mom!

Yesterday we went to the free kids' movie that was playing at the movie theater. Bailey was excited to go for weeks, and we were also able to bring his cousin along too.

Luckily I had already seen the movie, because Mackenzie could care less that there was a huge screen playing a show. She was so not interested. She only sat as long as she did because I had a few snacks in my purse for "emergencies". So we spent most of our time in the hallway running around. Fun stuff. I was glad the older two kids enjoyed it.

I am not a movie goer. Or watcher. I don't find watching movies a good way to bond with the people around you. You can watch a movie by yourself or with a group of your closest friends, but really it doesn't matter. Besides possibly discussing the movie afterwards, you hardly even know they are there. What is the fun in that? To pay $10 per person so you can sit in the dark and eat extremely overpriced food that makes you so thirsty you HAVE to buy a $5 soda. After 2 hours, what have you gained? Five pounds? Or maybe more from fluid retention? Rarely the occasion will occur that I will want to see a movie. Guess what usually happens. The critics absolutely hate the movie, which makes me not want to waste my time or money to see it. The last movie I saw besides the free one was Juno, which was worth it. Before that, it had been years, so long that I could not remember what movie I had last seen.

So I think that Mackenzie may have inherited my dislike for the movies. Maybe if the movie was about Yo Gabba Gabba, she would have been captivated.

I am wondering, does anyone know my favorite movie?

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Smell of Summer

One of the things I love about summer are the smells. I love the smell of freshly cut grass, of the outdoors after a rainshower, of grilling on the BBQ, of a chlorinated pool, and of course, the beach. When we drove to the beach last month, I rolled down my window to see when I would get the first whiff of the ocean. Oh, I love it!!

Another smell I love is sunscreen. Coppertone is OK, but not my favorite. I discovered that Hawaiian Tropics makes an actual sunscreen. Usually they just make suntan oil that has a negative SPF. I love the smell of that stuff, and a few years ago I bought the suntan oil just to wear over my regular sunscreen. Imagine my joy when I found Hawaiian Tropics in SPF 55 and it smells just as good as the suntan oil!! I am in heaven! I love applying it to my kids just so I can hug and kiss them more often!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Dear Electric Company

I know you must want to teach me a lesson, either in patience or pioneering, but I am tired of power outages. I understand that I am lucky, that my house isn't under water or wildfires aren't burning down the door, but still.

I like electricity. I like tv and lights and refridgerators. And fans! It is summer you know, and sleep doesn not come easily when it feels like it is 100 degrees inside at 10 pm. It would be one thing if I had a nice big house with large windows, but I only have windows on the northern and southern parts of the house. Hard to get a good breeze going with that. And maybe the night wouldn't have been so bad if I didn't have a little girl who had a fever and kept waking from either the fever or just being hot in general.

So I have a request. Can't you just bury the electric lines like you do in all the ritzy neighborhoods? My in laws live just 3 minutes away and rarely ever lose power for more than a few hours, and they have underground wires. Please?

An on time electric bill payer

PS, and next time, maybe you will want to shut off the neighbor's power across the street. It just isn't nice to look out the window and see they still have power.

Monday, July 7, 2008

I"m a little bit country

But just a little. I grew up on a farm. In New Jersey. Yes, New Jersey. It isn't called the Garden State for nothing. Being back there visiting made me realize my kids are leading a different life than I did. When I was a kid I had acres and acres that I could run around and do pretty much whatever I wanted. In fact, I had a favorite game I liked to play. It involved walking in a corn field, trying to get myself turned around and confused of where I was, then seeing how long it took me to get out of the field and seeing where I ended up. I bet YOU never played that game! Anyway, my kids get to play in their fenced in back yard. We actually have a nice sized back yard, but still, they can't go exploring or wandering all around. A few times at my parent's house I didn't know exactly where Bailey was, but it was OK. He's not the type to go far.

In NJ, I realized that we don't spend as much time outside at home as I thought. Especially in the evening. Every evening in NJ we would go outside and enjoy the fact that it is summer. Here, there are so many darn bugs that it is hard to enjoy the outside. Now wouldn't you think the country would have more bugs than the suburbs? Ah, that wonders of bats! They are a good mosquito repellant!

There just seems to be so much to discover in the country. Like these little guys. Aren't they cute?

Who can resist a baby skunk? If you were wondering, they didn't smell, and they weren't bothered by us nearby.

There is a little part of me that would like to move back. Especially since there is a Wendy's 10 minutes away and no Wendy's here. And a great new custard stand (oh, how I love a twist!). But I think suburban life fits our family better. At least for now!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Sassy 7's

I am long awaiting the day when the kids are "easier". If you have kids, you know what I mean. When they are newborns, you think "when they sleep through the night, it will be easier". Or "when they get rid of this colic they will be easier". Or "when they eat solids it will be easier". That turns into "when they can feed themselves it will be easier", then "when they stop making such a mess they will be easier". In a lot of ways Mackenzie is pretty easy. She is happy most of the time and can follow directions when she wants to. Right now I am thinking with her "when she is potty trained things will be easier" (I was changing 4 poopy diapers a day while on vacation which was getting old. And gross.) She is not very fun to take to stores, so I can't wait until she grows a little more patient with shopping. It should happen any day, because after all, she is a girl.

With Bailey, 7 should be such an easy age. He can do so much for himself and knows right from wrong. Unfortunately, he doesn't want to do much for himself, and tries to have me do everything for him. And his mouth. My goodness. Good thing he doesn't know any curse words or he would probably try to say them. The other day he told us that we suck as parents. Nice. We are trying hard to be patient through this trying time in his development, but it is getting old. I am thinking that boot camp sounds like a great option right now. He might come back actually appreciating us. Maybe.

I am not looking forward to the teenage years.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Back to life

Back to reality. Home from vacation, and at moments, have felt like I needed a vacation from my vacation. Not that I didn't have a good time, but it is hard when you are also playing single parent on vacation. Although my sister and my mom would take the kids and play with them to give me a break, it was still tiring at times. Especially since they enjoyed getting up early the whole vacation. And you all know how I do with waking up early!

One week of my vacation was spent at the beach. Or "the shore" as they call it in New Jersey. I have some of the best memories of being a kid at the shore. It was always a time where our extended family would get together. I have an aunt who lived in Vermont and she would always come down for a few days when we would rent a place at the shore, and it was so special to spend that time with her. In fact, she came down for a few days this time as well, so it made it seem even more like old times. If only Nanny was around, but I am sure she was watching!

We discovered while at the shore that Mackenzie is a beach bunny. She loves it!! Bailey was never too crazy about it. Last year was the first time that he didn't mind staying on the beach for more than an hour. He is a cautious child, so the waves in the ocean would scare him. He hates being dirty or wet, so the beach isn't really a great place for him. But Mackenzie is a totally opposite child. She likes the sand, the ocean, everything! Even the seagulls! It really makes me wish that we lived closer to the beach so we could go more often. The water was freezing the whole time we were there. You know how you get brain freeze when you eat ice cream? That is how it felt to your ankles when you were in the water, it was that cold. Mackenzie could care less. It seemed almost like child abuse to let her get in the water with it so cold, but it can't be abuse if they like it, right?

All said, we had a great time. But I missed my hubby and am glad to be home. My house has never looked and smelled so clean! Makes me want to leave him home more often while I go on vacation.