Wednesday, April 30, 2008

On Pins And Needles

Oh my gosh I am SOOOO excited for this weekend! The kids have a BIG event at their school where the grandparents and parents get to spend some time in their classroom with them and spend recess with them individually, and go to lunch with them. That evening they have a school wide play where Justinbustin has a line. Most of the kids have one line as there are about 250 kids with lines that evening. His is the shortest of his class, but oh well, he has a handmade costume that the lady who made it for him gave to us for free. Shawners has an angel costume and his entire kindergarten class and the two other k classes will all be dressed up as angels singing This Little Light of Mine with flashlights to shine for their lights. So freakin' adorable. Both my parents and Brando's  Mom should be here as long as everything goes well. They're supposed to be flying in Thursday night. I'm nervous because they both get in in the evening and I still have to make sure the kids get to bed at a decent time for their big day the next day. Still, the cup and a half of coffee I had this morning versus my normal cup, and the excitement of it all has the muscles in my body racing!!
*written yesterday but not posted until today, May 1st, for some reason*

Sunday, April 27, 2008

So I've been a little absent lately

I swear I'm just busy! This week we had Brando's Dad and wife here for Brando's 27th birthday on Tuesday. We went to dinner at our favorite place, NXNW, then swam in the indoor pool and hot tub at the Renaissance where they stayed.

Wednesday we went on the Austin Duck Adventures, which was TOTALLY dorky and an absolute blast. The "amphibian" car that goes on land and in the water is 20 feet tall. Until you hit the water where you're only two feet above the water and feel like you're sinking. Especially when the driver tells a story about a ski boat going over the dam when they had water out. Justinbustin got to drive the boat all the way to the dam! Wednesday evening we filled our tummies to the brim with Cheesecake Factory and then swam some more before we said our good-byes as they took off the next morning.

Friday evening we took it easy for Justinbustin's flag football game the next day, Saturday, against the other undefeated team in the league. They lost, but only because the other team had HUGE kids!! He and his team definitely did their best!

We'd packed for camping the night before his game so afterwards we immediately took off for camping and went out to Enchanted Rock with Justinbustin's cub scout pack. We hiked to the top of the mountain and then spent the night through two lightning and rain storms. Apparently Justinbustin is old enough to not come crawling into Mommy and Daddy's sleeping bag any more or even call out for us. He just wrapped himself up like a caterpillar in a cocoon in his sleeping bag and kept sleeping. Shawners, on the other hand, alternated between Mom's and Dad's sleeping bags while Mommy pep talked herself into realizing when the storm is at it's worst is when it is almost past. Usually the two loudest claps of thunder are shortly after it's gone by. When they happened I told myself I was expecting that and kept praying. The only time I really freaked out was when the wind started blowing our tent, and then I started fervently praying that my theory that tornadoes don't happen too often in the hill country was actually true.

This morning another cub scout camper knocked on our tent and told us they checked the radar and more rain was coming. So we packed up and got out of there.

We got home in time for a quick rinse and change of clothes and then headed to church, for an awesome session of Panic Free Parenting. Brando is attending the Mentoring Men session they have going on right now, but I'm all about the panic free.

We stopped by my new favorite Sunday afternoon lunch spot, Potbellys, for live music with GREAT songs (Breakfast at Tiffany's, Old Time Rock N Roll, Free Falling, I know those aren't really the names but it's how I remember the songs). All is quiet now, until tomorrow when it starts all over.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Why is it they are SO different?

Friday was the day I broke down because my son's room was a disaster, and the day I received acupuncture for the first time. Coincidence? Not.

My oldest son, the sweetest, most generous, thoughtful, kind child in the world (along with his brother) has a slight organization problem. Maybe it's not an organization problem, because he can be damn well organized when he wants to be, maybe it's a how-to-keep-the-clutter-from-building-up-and-taking-over problem. See, I have the same problem. A little fairy called Flylady has taken me babysteps to being able to make "our house beautiful" in the words of Shawners in forty-five minutes, fifteen minutes in each main room and that includes vacuuming and dusting. That's been seven years in coming. Justinbustin, on the other hand, has had to deal with a Mommy during those seven years who doesn't quite know how to teach him what she's only recently learned herself. When I ask him to take care of it he melts down. I melt down.

Fortunately, my ever wonderful sister came to the rescue. Not only did she calm me down and make me go relax, she cleaned off Justinbustin's desk (yes, people, this was his DESK - imagine a very cluttered floor of a child's room. Now pile it all on one desk. That was it) with him and Shawners. She talked to them about how different her three boys are. She told them how one of them did not know how to keep his belongings upkept and his brother, who it came naturally to to be organized and uncluttered, helped teach  him how. So she asked my little Shawners if he could help teach Justinbustin what comes naturally to Shawners. My mind was blown at her perspective on the matter.

Afterwards, my sister mentioned when we get stressed our creative juices stop flowing and offered to send me to acupuncture to help me relax. With all the events I have going on lately of all three of our parents coming to visit, still having to stay on top of the kids home school, a play the kids have coming up, sports, cub scouts, my school, social time, not to mention ME, I'm just a tad stressed. Last year, her mother-in-law asked my sister to "let her go"  before they discovered acupuncture to help her arthritis pain. This year Brando's been using acupuncture for allergies and his allergies are like night and day from before. So I figured why not? I'm deathly afraid of needles, but I've been told the needles are thinnner than a hair and are actually blunt. They technically push the skin aside, versus the ones with the sharper point that tear the skin.

When I went in the lady seemed very professional and concerned. She asked me a MILLION questions, which in itself was relaxing. She showed me how they put the needle in thru a tube and tap it in only about a quarter of an inch at first. I thought I could handle that with a few breathing exercises. She ended up putting seven in me. The last one she put in my chest. I'm not sure if the crying that resulted for ten minutes was from the fact that I had SEVEN needles in me or if it really was an emotional release. Usually when I cry I save it all up and I bawl. This was like a Hollywood cry with cute sniffles and tears flowing down my cheeks. My body also shook for twenty minutes, pretty sure nerves covered that one. Afterwards I was MUCH more relaxed. I wasn't sure if it was from the acupuncture or the fact that I'd had an hour and a half alone time with someone to talk to. I'm sure it was both but the acupuncture probably helped the feeling last a little longer and took the edge off my nerves even for today. I'd definitely do it again!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fave Meals I've Made Lately

The last three Mondays I've spent with my girls Li and Mar making dinner and watching The Hills. We've made a date every Monday for dinner and the show until the season ends. One of the best parts is we always have a yummy drink. At first it was Paradise Iced Tea, now we've moved on to Tazo blends, and who knows what we'll try next. I'm having so much fun making dinner (the starred ones) with them that it's inspired me elsewhere in the kitchen!

*Rigatoni with mozzarella, spaghetti sauce, and ground beef, with baby greens, cucumber, and croutons

Seared New York Strip steaks drizzled in olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper, skillet asparagus also drizzled with olive oil and salt and peppered, rustic Italian french bread dipped in olive oil, balsamic vinegar and garlic

*Strawberry, sliced almonds, and spinach topped with chicken and balsamic viniagarette

Seared New York Strip steaks same as above (can you tell I learned how to make steaks on something other than the grill recently?), steamed California artichokes with mayo

Spaghetti and meatballs with a few meatballs topped with ketchup to turn them into meatloaf for the boys, spinach with croutons, red onion, and balsamic viniagarette

All beef hot dogs with dijon mustard, bbq chips, and jalapeno poppers. Simple and grilled by the pool.

*Seared New York Strip steaks with lightly steamed then chilled green beans, fresh cut tomatoes, and skillet zucchini, sliced tomatoes, and garlic cooked in olive oil, salt and peppered

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Places we go

So last night I celebrated Genie's burfday with her!! Whoohoo!! We had dinner at Chuy's and had fun taking raunchy pictures. Then went to a place where they display the finer parts of women.

*Pin drop.*

Yeah, that. Apparently she enjoys that scene. At least the display of it. So I went and wasn't entirely too grossed out. It helped it was supposedly the classiest joint in town. Mostly I was thinking about all these girls and the emotionless looks on their faces as they went around offering company, and wondered how and why they do it. It struck me how friendly they are. They are selling themselves, but it was more than that. They had a friendly confidence that drew in both men and women. I forget sometimes how much guys crave the easy and fun conversation of a friendly face. Especially ours! Somehow the long line at the bathroom resulted in me using the dressing room bathroom. In the bright fluorescent lighting next to the huge mirror with chairs pushed up to it, they looked no different than you or me. Only with heavy makeup that didn't look so great under harsh lighting, and most of it was sweating off. Their outfits looked worn a million times. They were discussing what I'm pretty sure was illegal acts but what do I know. The dancing surprised me. Most didn't move to the beat even as they attempted to do so. The few that did were far and few between. The plan was to be there for only an hour, but we ended up staying the whole night before we moved on to another bar without the displays. There I realized a nice bonus about the first place was no guys tried to hit on us! I was able to sit back and have a beer or a drink without some guy in my face asking where I work or trying to tell me how to play Lucky Strike bowl (okay, I really needed that advice). Will I go again? Probably not, unless I have a reason to. In the meantime it was nice to realize it's not such a scary and out of reach place for us "normal women". They're all normal women. Only in a different situation.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Build the Field, They Will Come

There hasn't been any building of fields but apparently they're coming. They meaning the grandparents who haven't visited in two or three years. Yesterday Brando's Dad called to say they were visiting for Brando's birthday at the end of the month. Could they come a few weekends later? we ask. No, next month is too busy. So I tell Brando take what you can get. Today Brando's Mom calls to say "Surprise!" she's coming May 1st-6th for Grandparent's Day at the kids school and she already bought her tickets. Except that's when I asked my parents to come out, who I knew would be willing if they could, and they were. Brando's Mom, I shot her an email about the whole thing, and expected to hear no more about it except she can't come for one reason or another as she's done for the last two years. So much for expecting. Sigh. Fortunately my parents are totally flexible and hadn't bought their tickets yet, so they'll come a few weekends later. Or the weekend of. The more the merrier!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Cute All Over

I had several conversations with Shawners today that made me want to just eat him. The first one was regarding a stuffed snake he bought yesterday at his kindergarten field trip at Crowe's Nest Farm. On the way home from school he tells me the name of his snake is, "Snakey Shawners (our last name)". Then he says, "You know why? Because he is in our family." He proceeds to tell me all of his animals are named "Animal Name"y Shawners (our last name) because they are "all in our family".

Later he asks me, "What is your middle name?" I explained that I use my middle name for my first name, then told him my full name - first, middle, and last. He corrects me by saying, "Really, it's Mommy (middle name) (last name)."

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Enjoying Life

The boys have started sports this season for their first time EVER. Justinbustin did have a brief stint with soccer but it didn't involve a team. Today was their first games EVER!! It was their team's second, but their first as they had to miss last week for the Pinewood Derby. Justinbustin does flag football and Shawners plays soccer. They were so cute and did so fabulous! Justinbustin's team scored 19 points and Shawner's scored 3. It doesn't get much cuter than six little 6 year olds running around on a field trying desperately to listen to their coach who's shouting coaching instructions at them when they get the ball and when they're playing defense. Shawners even kicked a goal in!! Justinbustin got to be linebacker and running back in his plays today, and he was in there a LOT. He only stayed out two or three of the plays out of fifteen or so. It was good for him to get used to it because it's a little distracting playing with so many people around and this was his first time to experience it! Brando took lots and lots of pictures, but since I don't seem to be up on posting pictures I won't promise them. We had an amazing day, and I realized even though it was crazy busy between Brando working this morning and evening and making it to the games and lunch in between, it was exactly what I've been wanting to do on Saturdays with the boys and Brando - get out and enjoy the sunshine while he's home!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Pinewood Derby

On Saturday Justinbustin had his first ever cub scouts Pinewood Derby where the boys carve cars out of blocks of wood, attach wheels, and race them down a hill on a track. He took first place in Bears (his cub scout division), and first place over all the cub scouts in the pack!! Go Justinbustin!! I was so proud of him and so happy for him!! Pictures to come...

Resolution Update

S, I'm totally following on your heels here. Maybe next year a resolution would be to "remember on my own to update".

On keeping up the girl time I started last year. Well, I've had a few girls nights, but no girls' trips planned. I've been 'talking' about a few, but I keep waiting for someone to say "Yes! Let's do it!!" and no one has. I've never really planned anything like this before, so I'm not sure if it's the money issue, timing issue, or both, but I'm going to try a different tactic and plan something for next year so it's quite a ways in advance. Suggestions from experienced girl trip takers (road trips or otherwise) are welcome! 

On taking care of my body and leaving my face alone. I don't even want to talk about it. I feel like my complexion has gotten WORSE since I started the whole skin care regime, but really I think it's because I've been treating it worse because I feel like the skin care routine will 'fix' it. I need to do both at the same time!

On my thought life and being easier on myself. Sigh. See previous post. I have developed more of a backbone with Brando and the kids - not letting myself feel bad for saying NO or having an opinion that differs from theirs. On the other hand I've really been down on myself for my space in life when I really need to be okay with where I'm at for my sake. On that note, thank you all for your wonderful, sweet and almost posts(!) on Keeping up with the Joneses. I totally wasn't expecting that and every single one warmed me to the heart to know I'm not alone, but that I also have no reason to be thinking that much like I'm trying to convince myself : ) .

On my aspirations of continuing my goal of finishing school by finishing another three semesters of classesI'm doing well with a 105 average on my class so that's something to be said! Need to set an appointment to see a counselor for next year. So far I'm going for broke with these math classes.

On getting my house back to where I need it to be. Well it's being maintained. I've gotten a few projects done. Today I moved some of the stuff from the garage to storage. I unpacked the ungodly corner of my room that developed when we got back from Cali. I've been keeping decent food in the kitchen, at least snack wise, not so much on meal wise. I need to keep hacking away at it baby step by baby step.

On enjoying life In the moment in my family life. This one I've been doing great on. Less pictures to show for it, but I really am enjoying life in the moment. The boys (all 3) and I went to an open house at Lifetime Fitness and Brando and I watched the boys swim for three hours. Saturday Justinbustin had his Pinewood Derby and took first place OVERALL!! Later that day he had a three hour birthday party at the Lifetime Fitness that we went to on Sunday. Shawners and I came home and made cookies while he played away.

To wrap it up S style. I still need to work on 1, 2, 3, and 5, and keep up 4 and 6. While this was a little disappointing to write down how much I still need to work on it is also a good kick in the butt to keep myself going on these things.


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