Oh, Hey There

I’ve written this post in my head several times. And the list about where I’ve been and what we’ve been doing keeps getting longer and longer and longer. It’s been a whole new level of nutty around here – but as usual, it’s a good nutty!

More to come on all of the below, but in case it takes me another month to get back to blog, he’s a taste of what we’ve been up to…

First – we moved. No really. I can hardly believe it myself. I was convinced that when we started our remodel, we were going to be able to live in the house – or at least do it in phases. Then reality hit and it became clear that we had to move everything out of the house. Like everything. I think I was still telling myself that it wasn’t REALLY everything as I was moving each room. Thankfully it all got done and we are now settled in to the parent’s house while they are away for the summer. And fingers crossed we’ll be move in ready by the time they are ready to head South or things are going to get a liiiitttle squishy around here….don’t worry Noni, Baylor said she’ll share a bed with you.

The remodel is in full swing with sledgehammers flying. Even though it’s the beginning and there’s more undone than done, I can see it. I can see what it will look like, and it’s going to be awesome. And because “we” (oh yeah, I put quotes there, PW) are project managing it, it’s been busy with decisions, scheduling and lots of running around to find what we want and at the best prices. It’s nutty. But it will be worth it. If we don’t go broke in the process. Any time we get an unexpected expense (which we knew were coming!), I read the kids an extra book because they’re going to need college scholarships. Kidding. Kind of.

Let’s see…what else? Oh! Baylor graduated kindergarten! As I watched her walk across the stage and get her diploma, I was filled with gratitude. We are so lucky that we listened to our collective guts and that there was a space available for her at this school. It’s such an amazing community of funny,  kind, fun loving people. From the staff, to the teachers to the parents. What an amazing year it’s been!

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And that same little face turned SEVEN yesterday. Seven! Where do the years go? Although I have to say, I think this was my favorite birthday so far. She was incredibly spoiled by all her family members – including new golf clubs. And my sweet pokie little puppy’s speed aligns perfectly with the speed of golf. Look out, Annika Sorenstam.

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Auggie boy wrapped up his time at his preschool and is off to school with Baylor next year! He’s super pumped about a uniform – no seriously. He “performed” in the gymnastics show and got his coveted blue ribbon. He’s actually pretty good – I think he’s got a few more years working on his cartwheel ahead of him.

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Peter and his Teal Tornados finished another great season. It was amazing to see how the team had improved from last year to this year. Next year he will have Baylor AND Auggie’s teams to coach – and Baylor’s team will be doing player pitch. I think he’s secretly really excited for the challenge.

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Oh! And Disneyland! Because things were nutty enough, we decided to take the kids to Disney over spring break. Which I foolishly thought since our spring break was so late, that it would be quiet. It was not. But it was Auggie’s first trip and it was very fun. I think we tried to pack too much into two days, but at least we’ll know for next time.

I swear he was having a good time despite what his face looks like….

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And last but not least, I’ve started to make good on my New Year’s resolution. It’s amazing what putting something out in the world will do! Not long after my post went up, a friend reached out about some content writing work. Then another. Then I finally started that freelance writing class I had put off for a year and it turned out to be a bust. But it enlightened me to realize that I really do like doing content writing. It seems that work keeps finding me, and when it does, I am always silently amazed and awed. It’s been hard, and yet really fulfilling which means it’s meant to be. I’ve got my website up – it’s rough so don’t get too critical. It’s a work in progress that I can keep my publications listed and hopefully keep it growing. Let me know what you think: www.bethwand.com. No really, let me know what you think (just don’t be mean!).

More to come – I miss this place!

 

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Kiddo Know it Alls

This is the conversation Auggie and I had walking into the bathroom at the doctor’s office today:

AW: waving his hand in front of the light sensor: “IIIIII. AAAAMMMM. A genius! See? I made the yight (light) turn on. I knew you had to wave your hand in front of it. Genius.”

Me: “You know your shorts are on backwards, right?”

AW: “Uuuuuhhh…yeah. I did know dat.  I like dem dat way. Genius!”

Me: palm to forehead

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Spring Has Sprung

Ever since we moved last summer, I’ve been dying to have a garden again. Our lettuce table didn’t make the move (I’m still not sure why. And I’m still waiting on my replacement…ahem, PETER) so I have been without home grown veggies for too many months.

Now, finally after many weeks of building, stucco, planning, redoing, planting and fertilizing – the garden is growing! And it looks amazing. Every time I catch a glimpse of this space, it makes me so happy.

While this is not the true true before, it’s enough of a before for this post. Imagine no stucco and very 1970’s ugly brown cement block…

My helper was not excited for the camera. He was ready to work. And by work, I mean move dirt from one side to the other.

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Aaaaannnddd the after!!

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There are four new roses – three gifts from my mom – she hand picked not only the color but the scent. I’m so excited for the blooms. One is a Pope John Paul II white rose and the one at the nursery was amazing.

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See that little pod under the bloom? It’s a Praying Mantis pod. I’m hoping they hatch and keep the aphids away…we’ll see if it works.

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I’m a little obsessed with the obelisk. If you need one, I got these at A Rustic Garden. Good prices and fast shipping. They are making a happy home for two kinds of grape tomatoes including Sweet 100’s – my favorites. There’s also Swiss Chard and mixed greens lettuce coming up. IMG_9207

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I honestly forget how much I love Orange Blossoms. Every year, the first sniff of their scent reminds me – and it’s the most welcome memory. We will have Arizona Sweet and Valencia oranges this Thanksgiving. There’s also a small Meyer Lemon in the raised beds that will provide some shade in the summer.

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One of the lone survivors of our backyard re-landscaping was this Pomegranate tree. It was a bit neglected, but after a good trim and lots of fertilizer, it’s full of blooms. And hopefully lots of fruit too.

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How to Leave for School in 5 Easy Steps

We all know what a hassle it can be to get out the door in the morning. Just moving people can be tough, let alone remembering all the stuff – lunches, backpacks, water bottles – I’m ready for a cocktail just writing about it! So here are some easy steps to getting out the door in the morning:

Step 1: Wake Up Children

If your house is anything like my house, then your kids sleep like angels until 7am on weekdays and are up at 5:45am on weekends. So how do you get those little sweeties up and at ’em? I like to think of it like waking a hibernating bear. Approach with caution. Open the door a crack. Open the door some more. Gently sweep hair off of faces and whisper “good morning”. Quietly open blinds. Stomp out of the room. Turn on light. Warn in a not-so-quiet tone that we’re going to be late. Commence physically removing rag doll children from beds. Threaten them with naps if they don’t get up right freaking now. Put palm to forehead when they ask why you yell so much. Inform children that they haven’t even seen your best yelling yet.

Step 2: Breakfast

You know what I love? Those amazing Pinterest posts about creative, delicious and nutritious breakfasts for kids. So step 2 is a snap; go to Pinterest, the grocery store and then wake up extra early to create said Pinterest breakfast and then spend 20 minutes force feeding it to your kids.

Step 3: Get Dressed

I have found that giving your kids a sweet printable checklist  or adorably decorated magnets with pictures of the activities they need to complete is an excellent way to throw your money down the toilet AND it gives you another thing to scream about. Now not only can we repeatedly ask if they have their socks and shoes, but we can incorporate the checklist too! “Did you check item #3 off??” “I think there’s still a magnet on the ‘to do’ side of the board!!”. It’s an awesome way of adding a layer of difficulty to the morning.

Step 4: Gather All the Shit

Backpack – check. Lunch – check. Water bottle -check. Different water bottle – check. Uniform sweatshirt – check. Non uniform sweatshirt so we can fight about it – check. Teacher appreciation gift; roses in a vase that are sure to spill all over the front seat and my lap – check. Yet another fundraiser check – check. And after remembering all of this, you know who the freaking hero is?? Daddy. Because he forgot to take out of the car remembered the cheap, plastic bracelet for said fundraiser on the booster seat. Advantage; Daddy.

Well played, sir. Well played.

Step 5: Transport

After all of the stuff is loaded, begin the process of strapping children into the car. Do the willing ones first, that way when they change their minds and decided that they too need to find and obscure toy that might possibly be under the seat in front of their sibling, it’s too late because they’re already hog tied.

Once everyone is secure, put on what you want to listen to. They will fight about what is on the radio – even if it’s the Frozen soundtrack – anyway so might as well have a few minutes of peace.

After the extraction from the car is complete and your little angels are safely in the hands of their unsuspecting teachers, high tail it out of there. I prefer to do an arabesque on my way out the school gate. I find that it gives other parents hope that the misery that is School Morning is close to being over.

Good luck, kitties. It’s a jungle out there. Or rather in here. It’s a jungle in here.

 

Organized Living: Catch It All

Any time I flip through a magazine or catalog, I always sigh when I see neatly organized “catch all” or mud rooms. I love the idea of having a place to house all the stuff needed for activities, school and life.

This is our finished catch all and I love it. It makes clean up easy (ok, slightly easier) because everyone can put their bags, gear and or reminders in one space. Plus there’s not back packs and soccer balls every where. Or at least in theory.

This bench is an antique that has been in our house since I was little. It sort of floats around rooms, but it always works. The mirrors and the baskets are Target. And the shelf is courtesy of Peter and his amazing carpentry skills.

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I love the baskets. They make storage so pretty. And yes, having a crap basket is totally necessary.

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One organized living solution that keeps my sanity is to have a bag for each activity. Swim, dance, soccer, softball – all of them get a bag. Then at the end of each game or practice, all the crap goes back into the bag. That way there’s at least a fighting chance of finding soccer balls and TWO shin guards.

And that orange bag? Is a life saver! It has pockets surrounding the inside and the wide opening means everything is easily accessable. It’s called The Game Day Tote from Simply Steph’s Monograms on Etsy. Tell her I sent you when you order yours.

Need ideas for your mud room? Head on over to Pinterest and get ready to lose a few hours. All you need is a little space and some imagination – now get organized!