Monday, February 17, 2014

Perspective


The kids had a long weekend with no school Friday or Monday, you know because all those snow days didn't give them enough days off. Really?! Anyway we took them to Kalahari for a night, I had to pick them up early on Thursday and they had to miss their Valentines Day parties but it was the only way to make it worth it. Even with the deal rooms were expensive and I wanted to be able to take full advantage of the waterpark. Of course, as it always happens, we were running late and missed a good 3 hours of swim time.
The park was nice, only one area was really warm though. The water near the slides for my 5 year old was really kind of chilly. The hot tubs were nice but the swim up bar was under construction while we were there. The little guy was just done by Friday afternoon and ended up playing his DS rather then even swimming.
The kids really liked the arcade but it was expensive and we spent way more then I would have liked for them to pick out some crappy candy and dollar store toys. Oh and the air hockey table lacked air. wth!?
We only stayed the one night and came home on Friday which also happened to be Valentines Day. We were all tired so no fun themed dinners for us. HH and I don't really celebrate anyway but I couldn't help but be jealous of all the posts on Facebook with steak dinners, flowers and cupcakes. I made a heart themed breakfast on Saturday and gave the boys their little treats I'd picked up for them.


They ended up going to my parents house that night, which wasn't planned, so it made for an impromptu date night. We had gift cards we wanted to use but the only reservation we could get was 9pm, I hate eating late but we took it anyway. Of course it's just my luck that I couldn't find one of our gift cards that I could have sworn was in my car AND when we got to my parents house we got a call from the bank that someone was trying to take hundreds of dollars out of our account. Freaking awesome way to start date night!
We headed out to grab a coffee and walk around the mall, I wanted to find jeans and had no luck. I never have luck, I'm going to wear baggy jeans that don't fit forever.
We got to dinner and it was delicious even if they were out of the dinner HH wanted and the drink I was told I *had* to try. Overall it was a pretty nice night but all things must come to an end. The eldest child has been fighting us every step of the way on finishing a paper that is due tomorrow. It's going to be a long Monday off!

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It's a long weekend for the kids, no school on Friday OR today! Thursday they had their Valentines parties but since we were leaving for Kalahari I gave them the option of staying for the party or leaving early. They eagerly chose to leave early and luckily HH has a pretty flexible schedule and we could do that. Kalahari was great, the kids had an absolute blast and we went with our friends and their kids so everyone, even the adults, had someone to hang out and swim with. Win Win for everyone involved! Ian absolutely loved the big wave pool which worked out b/c it was also the warmest area aside from the hot tubs (omg, hot tubs! I can't wait to go back and take advantage of the swim up bar when they're finished with the expansion!) Aiden had a blast on all of the crazy big slides, especially the "toilet bowl", I barely saw him while inside the park! This was his birthday present and I'd say it went over pretty well :) We checked in around 3 and hit the park until dinner and then headed back down once our friends arrived for another few hours before closing. Friday we were able to stay and swim some more, eat lunch and do the arcade before heading home. Ian was exhausted by that point so it was the perfect amount of time for us.



Friday was Valentines Day but we were SO tired we just hung out and played games, watched tv and were generally lazy. It was kind of fabulous. Saturday morning I did give the boys their little treats and made a themed breakfast.

HH and I don't generally celebrate but we ended up with a sitter at the last minute so we dropped the kids with grandma and grandpa and headed out. I have to admit that after seeing all the facebook posts with fancy dinners and desserts, I was happy to be getting out. Then again, I'm always happy when we get a date night! Being such a busy weekend I wasn't sure we'd be able to get in anywhere but scored a 9pm reservation for a new place we had gift cards for. We wanted to make the most of our evening alone so we grabbed a cup of coffee and walked around the mall. Yes, the mall. It was fun, we laughed at the RIDICULOUS clothes that are trendy right now and the kids walking around (yes, I realize that officially make us old!) and I tried to find a pair of jeans that fit but no dice. One of these days I'll find them. Needing new jeans because I've lost weight is awesome but finding them? That's a whole other ordeal! It was fun just walking around together and talking without little people needing something.
When we got back out to the car we still had time to kill, so what else to do...but make out in the car like teenagers. If you haven't done this with your husband, I highly recommend it. Sometimes it's fun to just pretend like you're young and in love and can't keep your hands off each other ;)
Dinner was ah.ma.zing. So so good, everything we tried. We still have another gift card to use (that they were kind enough to replace since I'm pretty sure I accidentally threw ours away while cleaning out my car. yea. whoops!) so I can't wait to try more of the menu. It was the perfect date night, I think sometimes that unplanned nights are so much better then the ones I try to figure out down to the last detail. We slept in on Sunday, I picked the kids up and then headed out for my first ever Bunco. Fun times my friends, fun times!
We're ending the weekend with homework and chores, time to get back to real life but it sure was nice to put it on hold for the weekend.
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So the above are two recaps of the exact same weekend. Life is all about what you choose to focus on. If you focus on all the things that went wrong, you're going to miss all the things around you that are just right. The second recap is exactly how I see the weekend. I could have easily let all the things that didn't go smoothly ruin my weekend but I chose not to. 

Choose to be happy. Choose to see the good in what is around you, even when things aren't going exactly the way you'd like.




The card from our 11 year old. Yea, awwwww.






Friday, May 31, 2013

A month has gone by

Wow, I'm not sure where the month of May went. I swear it was just here but in a few short hours it'll be June 1st.

School is out and we're home from our mini family vacation to Great Wolf Lodge. I'll be posting a full review with all of my budget tips soon. I want to put all the things I wanted to know on my blog for others to find, Pinterest is great, but even it couldn't answer some of my questions. Shocking, I know.

In other news...well, there's just not much. Maybe that's how I missed the month of May. We were busy going through the motions of day to day life and that's not exactly exciting blog material.

I have a little man that's turning 5 and I have one week to get his birthday party put together. It's going to be crazy and I hope I'll blog about it...but you know, I don't think I've blogged about the Nerf party for the 10 year old that happened in January. Hmmm.

A friend of mine, over at Chatter From a Single Mom, is doing 30 Thing My Kid Should Know About Me. I think it's a pretty cool idea for when I have nothing else to write about and might start it. Maybe. But you know, I'm the master of starting things I don't finish.

Hmmm, this was a terribly boring post but I'm going to publish it anyway so that it can't be added to the list of things I don't finish. :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Be the mom you want to be

There has been a lot of talk lately about how out of control the holidays are "these days" (gah, I feel so old saying that!) While part of me agrees, part of me feels like people claim that they think it's over the top and ridiculous to make themselves feel better for being lazy.

There needs to be a happy medium and I think we've done a pretty decent job with our kids at finding it. I dye food to match the holiday, pink milk for Valentines Day, green eggs for St Patty's day etc. It's fun, the kids get a kick out of it and really? It takes me 30 seconds to do it. It's really not that hard and it's not over the top. We bake cookies at Christmas and I make a big deal out of decorating them, I love Christmas and having tons of gifts under the tree. Do I think I need to have a leprechaun that shows up and hides gold or some weird elf that I need to move every night for a month? Um, no. I will embrace my absentmindness  and tell you that I'd never remember to move that damn elf the way I'm supposed to.

If you're lazy and you don't want to celebrate the little holidays (or even the big ones), or even if you're not lazy but you simply don't care and don't want to do it and it's not your thing...then embrace it. Admit it. Say "you know what, I don't care. My kids aren't going to end up in therapy because I didn't put dye in their milk or because I think they should only have 3 gifts on Christmas" I'm fine with that.

What I'm not fine with is making us that want to do those goofy little things or make a big deal out of the bigs things out to be the bad guys. Don't blame us for the holiday being commercialized to make yourself feel better because you've decided your kids are too old for the Easter bunny and Santa Claus.  If you think your kids are too old, fine, they're your kids...but you know what? My kids will be in college and I'll still be hiding Easter baskets for them and signing gifts from Santa...and I'm okay with that because that's the mom I want to be.

There are some aspects that I get annoyed with along with everyone else. I hate that Christmas shows up before Halloween, it drives me batty when holidays turn in to a game of one upping each other and bratty kids are the worst. Easter is not Christmas and I don't treat it as such. My kids get a reasonable basket with candy and some toys, usually things they're going to need for summer anyway but they love it! I hope I'm the mom that can still do all the fun things I want to do and yet teach my kids to be thankful for what they have, to realize that they have more then some and less then others and to be okay with that.

Just as we're raising kids that we hope we can be proud of, I hope we're also being the parents we (and our kids!) can be proud of. When my boys are off with families of their own I want them to say things like "every year my mom used to make the coolest food on Halloween" or "oh yea, I have the best memories from the birthday parties I had growing up". And it's not just about the holidays/special occasions, it's about making the memories year round. I've been told by friends that it always looks like I'm doing something fun with my kids. Guess what? I'm not. There are plenty of days that we're lazy or that we spend the day doing one boring chore after another...but those other times? The trips to the zoo, the painting, the road trips, the swimming or picnics in the park...those are the things that will stick out when they're grown with their own kids. What do you remember about your childhood? What do you hope your kids will remember? For me, I remember the walks to the park, the walks around the neighborhood ( when your mom doesn't drive you do a lot of walking), the sleepovers with friends, the parties during the summer, family dinners during the holidays and camping! I hope my kids look back and remember having FUN, remember family traditions and smile a little when something like the smell of a campfire triggers a memory.

I'm not the mom everyone wants to be, I'm probably the complete opposite of some but I'm the mom *I* want to be...or at least I'm trying to be.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Stop fighting who you are

In this land of pinterest and facebook I feel like everyone is driven to be "that" mom or wife or daughter. The one that remembers every holiday or special event and has a card ready to go, the one that has adorable little treats all made up for every kid in the class, the one that has a perfectly organized home office, regular office, kitchen and playroom.

I'm so NOT that girl.

I'm the one that didn't even get Christmas cards in the mail this year, still has gifts for friends that aren't.even.wrapped! I have cards that rarely make it in to the mail. My desk has shit all over it, all.the.time. It just does. Papers, pictures, toys, the kids school stuff, coupons. It's all here. It's chaos.

It's MY chaos.

Here's where I stop trying to fight who I am. Stop trying to fit in to some little box that Pinterest and Facebook say I should fit in to. First of all, I'd like to see you try to find a box for my ass, it's not happening. Second and more importantly, why should I beat myself up over the fact that my desk is a mess, my playroom looks *gasp* like it's been played in or that the boys bathroom always *ALWAYS* has toys in the bathtub. Here's the thing about me, I'm very VERY much out of sight, out of mind. If I neatly file a bill away in my "to pay later" file, I don't get it out until it's way past due. (are you shaking your head yes yet? I'll bet you are!) If my kids bring home a paper that needs signed I must sign it right then and there or else I will totally forget. As soon as I clean off my desk and make it all organized and pretty and "presentable" I can't find something I need and I have to dig through all that organized nonsense to find it.
I recently cleaned out my disaster area of a pantry, when we first moved in I had it all organized and everything had a home. It was fabulous. Until it wasn't.
Yikes!
So I emptied it out and started over. I found all kinds of random crap I bought for recipes and then promptly forgot all about. The key? I must be able to see everything, at all times. So while there appears to be a lot of wasted space, it works b/c it's organized AND I can see where everything is. I kind of love it. Probably more then I should.


It's organized chaos which is exactly what I need to function on a day to day basis. Cute little storage boxes and places to hide things away b/c ohmahgawd people might SEE, it doesn't work for me. I will forget what is in those cute little boxes and then really? What's the point.

And for the record, I have nothing against those that are supremely organized and everything has it's place tucked away inside some perfectly matched little storage cube. I'm just not going to fight myself to be that person.