Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thankful by the week- 4

21-The bus. I'm thankful every single morning as that big yellow bus drives away carrying my talkative vibrant 5 year old away for the next 8 hours. Sure, I miss him but that only lasts until I see the tail lights of the bus disappear over the hill. Then I'm off to enjoy my cup of coffee in the quiet. Or at least the slightly less questioning buzz of 2 year old talk. I didn't think I'd be able to put a 5 year old on the bus. I'd hardly ever been away from him in his 5 year lifespan. I was used to being the first to hear all about his day. But now the bus is his absolute favorite part of the day and some days...it's mine too.

22-The YMCA. When we first moved here, Jason went to visit the YMCA. He took one look at the place and said we couldn't afford it on grad school salary. The place was so nice it had 100 treadmills and a indoor pool. The list of classes they offered was so long that it needed 2 pages AND drum roll...they had childcare! Yeah, we couldn't afford that. P90x for me! Then all my friends were going to the Y. I wanted to go to the Y. I went in one day just to see how out of my price range it was going to be and I was shocked to find out that ANYONE can afford the Y. That's what they are all about. It very well may be the best monthly payment I make. And I use it. Oh, do I use it. That 2 hours of childcare is my substitute preschool for Lincoln and I get my fitness on while he plays with others nicely (or not!). We go swimming when it threatens to snow outside in a pool that rivals a small scale great wolf lodge. I meet my running partner on rainy days or when it's 22 in the mornings and we just cant' stomach an outside run. I still plan to go one day and just sit in the hot tub, alone, while my kids enjoy childcare. Just 2 hours to myself. But I haven't done it yet. Yes, I get my money's worth out of the Y.

23-My smart phone. What did I do without this thing? How did we ever communicate without smart phones text messaging and instant pics? Sure, I might get a lot more done but I wouldn't be nearly as close as I am with many of the people I talk to regularly on text or computer. I keep my calendar, my watch, my alarm on my phone. I keep my grocery list, my blog diary, and a rolling conversation with my sister and mom going on my phone. I can get anywhere using it, I can look up anything in a google second on it. I got this particular phone last year for Christmas and it may be one of the most useful Christmas presents ever. Jason got it for me begrudgingly. He may have known what device he was getting himself into. He was right! And I still love it.

24- Amazon.com Do you remember when they only sold books and other media? It's hard to believe now that you can purchase anything under the sun from them now. And I mean ANYTHING! And who doesn't love their one "click to ship" method. One can go a little crazy with that click to ship button. How weird is it that they never forget what you look at and if you don't purchase it, you'll get an email later saying "Jamie, we've found what you were looking for!" Are they marketing geniuses or what?

25-I could be thankful for just coffee. And I am. But no coffee would be the same without it's creamer. I like most coffee creamer. I should clarify, I like most liquid coffee creamer. I'm not too picky. In fact, at any given moment I probably have at least 4 or 5 different flavors of coffee creamer in my fridge. My personal favorites are chocolate raspberry and peppermint mocha but Jason prefers Caramel Macchiato and Almond Joy. I sometimes wish I was a "take my coffee black" kinda girl but that just doesn't seem to be. This is a harsh statement but I think I'd rather not drink it. I like my khaki coffee. Sweet, creamy, calorie laden, irresistible 3 cups of coffee a day!

26-I might have mentioned that I like sparkle. I like all kinds of sparkly things, that is why I'm so loving my new job as a stylist with Stella & Dot. I love getting to wear all the fantastic jewelry and getting to put together new looks for people is a dream to me! It's been fun to help people get Christmas presents that I know they will LOVE! and I can't wait to wear all of my new pieces at this years holiday parties! I'm thankful for the opportunity to do something else (beside motherhood!) that I absolutely love!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Alien Slim= $1 Belly Laughs= Priceless

I had to run some errands on Tuesday. It was raining. Both boys would be accompanying me. Moms of 2 (or more!) know what a grave task it can be to take both kids anywhere. Especially in the rain, during the "witching hours." But alas, it had to be done and I couldn't leave them alone, though it did cross my mind.
We had to do several errands requiring us to get in and out of the car several times. I made the usually threats and promises in exchange for stellar behavior. Well, as usual, I had to remind them that their behavior was less than stellar. I would border on whether or not it was even deserving of the promised reward but at the end of the night. Regardless, we finished our errands at the dollar store. One dollar store didn't have the one thing we were looking for (and you thought they had everything, didn't you?). So I drove to the other nearby dollar store and we finally found what we'd been looking for all night. Alien Slime. Oh, and Lincoln a plastic 'rafe (Giraffe).
Jackson had promised to ONLY play with this goo on the hard floor in the kitchen. Wouldn't you know Jason got interested in this gooey slimey substance. That took it to a whole new level of fun. They pretended it was snot, then throw up, then they put it on their belly and then on their face. Jackson tried to talk with it on his face and it made really great funny noises. Then they offered Lincoln to touch the slime but he wasn't so sure. But he did offer his giraffe up as a slime sacrifice which proved for even more laughs. I guess a good night of belly laughs is just what we all needed after a harried rainy afternoon of running errands. I'm telling you it just might have been the best $1 I spent ALL week.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thankful by the week- 3

I thought this was posted earlier in the week. I was wrong!

14-I am thankful for the newest and latest fashion trends. Glitter and Sequins. Yes, for adults. I was browsing department and trend setting stores recently and every where I looked there was Sparkle! This makes me one very happy girl. It' is unnatural how much I really love all things glittery and sparkly. And Bonus, I don't look like a 1980's superstar when I wear it. At least that's not what the fashion mags are saying! You can expect to see me with a little extra bling this holiday season. Afterall, it's IN style!

15-Birthday week! I'm thankful it's my birthday week. Not necessarily the fact of getting older but the feeling of being special that one day. Also the guilt free eat whatever you want, it's yo birthday is kinda nice. So far, it's been Jason's deli and Chick-fil-a but I intend on a full on sushi dinner in a few days, oh and some cream cheese cupcakes, with a little Sparkle on top! Now that's my kinda birthday cake!

16-I'm thankful for baby wipes. I buy them in bulk. Then, I buy some more! I use them for everything, not just baby butts. Sure they are great for that (unfortunately) but they are also great for little hands, messy tables, dusting, cleaning countertops, stain removal, computer cleaning, and getting the sticky off almost anything. I could find infinite uses for them and I intend to keep them around long after we're done with baby butts. My brand is Huggies in case you were wondering.

17-Today I am thankful for the ability to run 5 miles before the sun comes up. On my 32nd birthday, I got up before the sun and met my running partner Stephanie for a great 5 mile run. It was cold, which made me thankful for cold weather running gear. It was a great rolling trail and only one of the few we run on a regular basis, which made me thankful to live in a green city with plenty of space. I am thankful for my health at 32 to not only run 5 miles but to do it faster than I could have at age 22. Lastly, I'm thankful for daylight savings time. I usually hate it but lately we were finishing our runs and it was still dark outside. It makes it super hard to get out of bed and run in the dark so when I wake and the sun is shinning, I know it's time to run!

18-I am ever so thankful for my hair stylist Kim. I have been seeing her for several years now and her services are needed more and more each time I visit. Turning 32 certainly has it's grey down sides. Even in NC, I'd plan trips home in order to see Kim. I always joked about being her longest distance client. Now, it's easier to plan a trip from Nashville but I still make a point to see her every several months. I'm always happy to see her. My "sparkle" just wouldn't be the same without her!

19- As me and the kids sit around my parents raging fireplace, I'm thankful for REAL fireplaces. The kind that crackles and you can actually roast marshmallows on in the middle of the living room floor. Crispy brown marshmallows that are fully intended to land on a graham cracker with a square of Hershey chocolate waiting to be melted into a gooey sticky mess.The kind that lulls you to sleep in the dark with it's amber light. The kind my daddy chopped wood and built himself just because we were there so we could all hang out in the living room together. I wonder when we build a house with a real fireplace if Daddy will come and build us a fire in that house too?

20-Last year for Christmas, Jason got me a Tassimo coffee maker. I love it! I don't use it for morning coffee because it's a one cup maker and I'm more of a 3 cup girl in the mornings but it is priceless when it's a cold afternoon and you need a great cuppa joe! I can use it to make coffee, latte's and cappuccinos along with hot chocolate and tea. Now if I can just find the perfect timing balance for that afternoon cup and my sleep balance. It's a great pick me up but sometimes it doesn't let me down until far after mid-night and that can cause a severe coffee cycle come morning!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A day in the life of a Domestic Goddess

Every now and then, I like to write about my day to day life. I want to remember what it was like when the boys were small. And sometimes, I just need to write it down to help me remember at the end of the day what seems like it was an eternity ago was just this morning. Today was an average, ordinary day. We began the day with me waking to get Jackson up for school. I went to his room and he wasn't there. WAIT? WHAT? Ok, so he must have gotten up for breakfast, and I go downstairs to find my coffee beckoning me but no Jackson. As I began to sleepily freak out a little, I called him up the stairs and no reply. Not messing around at this point, I demand that Jason call him which usually gets a response and it did. From UNDER our bed. Weird kid. He'd crawled under there without so much as a sound. I drug him out and insisted he dress quickly. If not quickly, he could drag this out for hours, possibly days. He argued about making his bed because it was "tooooo harrrrrd!" He enjoyed a high quality breakfast of string cheese and juice box. Please note this was NOT for the lack of nutritious choices or my willingness to provide them.
After that sweet yellow school bus drove away with my 5 year old safely aboard, I went home to get started on his little counterpart. Lincoln gets up saying "I kick bed, mommy". And the ball of energy is off! Lincoln is content for a total of 8 minutes with his "milks" and "muthins". I moved on to play-doh play complete with plastic scissors. It's the only time I hear "mama, I cut!" that I don't cringe and squeal. I spend a significant amount of time trying to keep the 2 colors I allowed from mixing together. I walk away for mere seconds when he announces his completion of shoving BOTH colors into the same cup in an attempt to clean up. So much for orange play-doh. Brown again. Great.
We then get out of the highchair just in time to perform our daily rendition of the "ha ha dance" or Hot dog dance better known to preschool parents everywhere. While on the home front, we are participating in the naked potty training method. For the most part, as long as there are no barriers, there are also no accidents. No pants, all potty. I have yet to test that method outside the home. You are welcome to give it a try if you dare. I spend a portion of my morning putting together train tracks and pretending to drive tractors (that's sexy, right?) I had gathered and started 2 loads of laundry in my trusty front loaders and made soup for my lunch.
I had also had the pleasure of chatting with 2 friends from our time in NC. It had been a long time and it was great, until it was interrupted by a naked boy strutting around in cowboy boots in the back yard...in the rain! I corralled him and induced him into a sweet napping coma so I could pick up those tractors for the 7th time today.

While he slept, I prepared him a pb&j for his lunch. (It should be noted that pb&j is NOT an eat in the car seat while running errands kind of food. No mom would ever think that is a good idea. Especially not me.) I also started working on some jell-o jigglers for an after school snack. Then I tied a pink ribbon in my hair and sat down to listen to FM radio. No, wait back up. We are NOT living in the 50's. I did however make the jell-0. And to top it off, I made them in communion type shot glasses. AND it was 2 colors. Talent. It takes talent to master multi colored jell-o shooters. Self control is what it takes to resist putting vodka in them and throwing a before kids college party. Luckily, I had self control today. At least in regards to the jell-o shooters.
Lincoln woke up early from the nap which led to us having the perfect amount of time to run a few errands. We dropped off the recycling. You're welcome mother earth. We made a charity drop at church and returned our library books and movies. We had just enough time to do my CVS bargain shopping and stop by Michaels crafts before heading to the bus stop. Smooth transactions and clearance glow sticks made for a successful trip. At Michaels, Lincoln was threatened and rewarded with the viewing of the Christmas village. It doesn't take much to entertain little guys and I have a soft spot for Christmas villages myself so I didn't mind at all.
At home, Lincoln and I walked to the bus stop a little early and were rewarded with pure entertainment. They are finishing construction on a house behind us and the dumpster was being removed today. I'd never seen a dumpster loaded onto the flat truck before but it was an interesting sight and Lincoln was captivated. I told you he is fascinated by the strangest things. We walked home from the bus stop and commenced eating jell-o. The neighbor girls were here for the afternoon and I think I won worlds coolest mom in their eyes with the multi colored gelatin cups. Apparently they were SO cool and SO good. We met some friends in the park across the street. I must take a moment to talk about the convenience of the park being located across the street. This is PRIME preschool real estate people! I brought bubbles and little cups of baking soda to the park to secure my "world's coolest mom" status. What could be cooler than explosive science experiments to a bunch of elementary schoolers (mostly boys). I let each kid squeeze the vinegar into the cups and they all squealed as they ran over with fun explosive foam. It was over quickly and probably gone just as suddenly was my "cool" status but you can't tell me that!
After the average, dinner and bath time (complete with clearance glowsticks in the bathtub), we took a moment to spend time as a family before bed. Our quality time for the evening was spent watching THIS. Don't hesitate. You NEED to see this. You could add it to the end of your nothing but glorious day as a domestic goddess, or just a regular day as a stay at home mom. I prefer the former.

Thankful by the week- 2

Moving into week 2, being thankful for the little things doesn't seem harder but sometimes I do find it more shallow.
I don't like to be shallow.
But alas, I've been called worse.
I think.

8-I'm thankful for Pioneer Woman. I'm so glad we've become friends since her blog turned book and she became a network TV star. We had so much fun at the girls cookout show she did for Food Network. Except I wasn't there. I was sitting in my rocker with 30lbs of sleeping baby drooling on me. Ok, so we're not really friends but we're facebook friends and that counts, right? I"m thankful because she has redefined my way of cooking, for the tastier not the healthier. She's made many of my dinner guests Oooo and ahhhh over meals she's helped prepare and she also made for some very happy friends and neighbors that were the proud recipients of her cinnamon rolls at the holidays. My friends and fat cells thank her, my jeans and gym commitment do not.

9-I'm thankful for the dollar store communion cups. Yes, the Dollar Tree sells little clear plastic communion cups. Hey, the church has gotta catch a bargain where ever they can! I thought they looked fun. I'm a sucker for little things. It might have been the best $1 spent in that store to date. The first day I brought them home, Lincoln spread them all over the kitchen and crushed a few and I collected them and threw those away. A few days later, the boys had a makeshift picnic in the kitchen using those cups, a towel and a pitcher of water. Yesterday, I bought baking soda and filled the cups halfway and added food coloring. With a recycled agave nectar bottle, I added vinegar and let jackson squirt away while colorful foam exploded into the flat pan. It was a beautiful rainbow and the little cups were perfect. After the few that were left were washed, I made multi colored jell-o shooters for the kids afterschool snacks. Don't get any big ideas, they were alcohol free! I saved the good stuff for later ;) After dinner tonight, the remaining cups were used to cut playdoh into cookies and banana shapes. I'm telling you, all that fun for $1. You know you want some!

10-I'm thankful for the playground that lies right across the street from us. I would have paid a higher rent just to be here. It is SO nice to be able to say, go play at the park and not have to drive there or even turn dinner off to go. It's also great to not have to feel guilty for not having a swing set in the back yard for the kids. Jackson is old enough to go alone and being that we also live on a cul-de-sac makes the traffic a non-issue as well. I always remember the day I found this house on Craigslist. We were still living in NC and I was becoming frustrated in my housing vs school search. We had met Mari and her girls at the park, the one we had to drive to, for the afternoon and I showed her the ad on Craigslist. It was perfect AND in our price range and school district. We both wondered, what's the catch? I actually sat on it several days before I even called. It was still a month out from being vacant. It was one of few houses we looked at in Nashville. It was the last one. We had found our "home" for the next two years.

11-I am so grateful for the Auto button on the coffee maker. What genius thought of that little gem? I mean, sure Folgers coined the best part of wakin' up but seriously, nobody wants to get up and perform the arduous task of making the coffee in the morning while kids are yelling for their milks and bars. Or even better when I walk in from my early morning runs to a carafe of hot coffee when I know I should be drinking water. It makes me feel naughty and who wouldn't want to feel naughty at 6:30 am! To me, the best part of waking up is hearing that triple beep meaning my coffee is waiting on me.

12-I'm thankful for our membership at the YMCA. I knew I wanted to join a gym when we moved here. I lost my 2 best running partners and the little gym at the Military housing area that I'd claimed as my own since they built it. One look at the YMCA and all it's great amenities and I just knew it would be out of our budget but surprisingly it's not. Actually, without Lincoln in any type of preschool this year, we can't afford not to. My Y friends and I all jokingly say that it's worth the money for the childcare alone. They will watch Lincoln for 2 hours a day so I look at it as his form of preschool. He gets to play with other kids and I get to WORK-IT! Not to mention, it's a great place to run with their 50 treadmills, particularly when it's raining in the mornings and they have a killer indoor pool that I look forward to utilizing more and more this winter. Besides, all my mommy friends go so after we get our sweat on, we get to stand around and chat. Totally worth it!

13-I'm thankful for the Nashville Public Library system. I love the public library. I can thank my mother for that. Our library here in Bellevue has A LOT to be desired though. It's small and out dated but I learned early on that you can request ANY media in the system and they will deliver it to your branch and you can pick it up there. New release movies, tons of books on Playaway (mp3 type device) and even new books before they are released. Sure, there are always holds on the good ones but if you just wait, your turn will come. Yesterday, I spent an hour reserving books and movies for me and the kids and they will all come here to me. They also email you when they come in and send you an email reminder when they are due. No more book or DVD fines for us! So, I guess I'll forgive the Bellevue Library for its mediocrity because the online system ROCKS!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thankful by the week- 1

We all no I'm no everyday blogger.

Sometimes, I'm more of a once a month blogger. Or at least I stay about a month behind on blogs I write in my head and rarely every compose on the computer. I only wish you could read the great post I publish in my own little mind. They are fantastic. That's what the voices tell me anyway.

So, while I want to participate in this thankfulness that's going around on blogger and facebook, I can't commit to actually writing it down once a day. Sure, I can think it in my little head but it's kinda hard for you to see it there. I'm committing to once a week. I think I can handle that.

I'm going to go ahead and preface by saying I am eternally grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and his unconditional love and forgiveness. Lord knows, I need it. I am also thankful for my children and my husband and all the things they add to my life. I'm also thankful for my family because, well, they rock! But I'm going to be focusing on the little things. The things I may take for granted other weeks of the year. The things I don't say I'm thankful for in my nightly prayers, although maybe I should.

1-I'm thankful it's November! It's kind of a big deal. It's FALL. It's cooler! It's my birthday(I'll be 29! cheers!) And of course, it's Thanksgiving. Most importantly to me it's the begining of 55 days straight of CHRISTMAS MUSIC! No one can give me grief for "already" listening to Christmas music because, Nov. 1st is officially the season! Christmas music is sung by almost every artist across the music charts. So you have all your favorite pop and country artists singing songs celebrating Jesus' birth. Hello, Mariah Carey and Justin Bieber! One word: WINNING!

2-I'm thankful to be living in Nashville. I love it here. I might have mentioned that before. I'm minutes from EVERYTHING.( Trader Joe's, Target Nordstroms, you get the point!) What's not to love. The weather is fantastic. The traffic is manageable and it's VERY clean overall. I love the pop country scene, the cute Franklin area, the hangout's in the Gulch and 12th Ave. S. It is still the deep south and I feel like I fit in PERFECTLY! (subliminal message to husband: PLEASE find a job here after MBA school!)

3-I'm thankful for views like THIS when I finish a 4 mile run in the mornings.

4-I'm thankful for the Edwin McKay used bookstore here in Nashville. It facilitated expanded options regarding my listening pleasure at a fraction of the cost I was prepared to pay! See day 1.

5-I'm thankful for the Bellevue MOMS club. It has given me friendships here that will last a lifetime. It immersed me into life and FUN when we moved here and it's always great to know there is someone else going through the same daily trials as you are.

6-I'm thankful for my church here in Nashville. It's helped us get involved. It's built lasting relationships and given me a desire to serve God like never before. Jason has always talked about missions and felt a pull to get more involved and after moving here, I finally got it. I feel it. Everyday, I feel it. I wish I could be doing more. I feel like it will never be enough. I have to remind myself daily that with God, it is always ENOUGH.

7-I'm thankful for my mom's wicked photography skills. She makes all my family portraits and ensures I have fantastic Christmas cards to send out. Not only does she tame wild cats my kids and husband and bribe them into posing for photographs but she also has my cards printed BEFORE THANKSGIVING and that makes this ultra planner girl very happy!

Now to start addressing those cards. Be on the lookout, they mail out Dec. 1st!