What do parenting and Stockholm Syndrome have in common? Skip on over to North Phoenix Moms Blog and find out!
What do parenting and Stockholm Syndrome have in common? Skip on over to North Phoenix Moms Blog and find out!
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
What does your Perfect Ten kind of day look like? Check out my post over at North Phoenix Moms Blog and find out about mine…
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.
Aaaaannnddd the after!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I love the baskets. They make storage so pretty. And yes, having a crap basket is totally necessary.
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!
I had a business meeting yesterday morning that did not go as well as I had hoped. I don’t often write about the water company that we own and operate – it’s not really my happy place. But I realized last night as I was trying to laugh off a bad day with Peter, I’ve been managing this company for 6 year. Whoa. It hadn’t really dawn on me that it had been that long. And while Peter was was making my laugh by comparing the time to a prison sentence, I realized that it might be time to
embrace accept it. To stop calling it “the stupid water company” as I usually refer to it. To give it the attention it demands. To recognize that I spend a lot of time running a business and that while I may not love it, I’ve gotten pretty good at it. I’ve learned a lot and together with my mom, we’ve turned a regulated business from solidly in the red to being in the black. It’s time to acknowledge our work and start to find the bright spot in the business.
As I dropped the kiddos off at their schools yesterday, Baylor knew something was up because I was wearing heels. When I told her that I had an important meeting, she responded with “I’ll say a prayer for you today”. The second word out of her mouth when I picked her up was “how was your meeting??”. When I told her that it wasn’t great, she told me that not only had she said a prayer for me, she asked her whole class to pray too and then the other class during religion to do the same.
I realized that no matter how unsatisfied I am with this business, there aren’t many things as amazing as being able to send our kiddo to a fantastic school and to have 35 six year olds saying prayers for you. And if I had to choose between an always amazing business or a six year old with a heart of gold, I’ll take that little lady every time.
Life is good.
When you live near the Rock and Roll Marathon route, you can either try to get around the marathon, run it, or find away to enjoy it! We chose the last option and joined our friends, the B Family, for their annual water station. They are literally on the route so they are blocked in – which is a great excuse to hand out water and turn it into a party.
We rode our bikes over to their house and realized that this was a well oiled machine. Tables with cups and a system for filling and then refilling the water jugs was in place. Not to mention a great spread of breakfast and bloody marys for the volunteers. It wasn’t long until the first few runners came by, then the big waves came. It was so neat seeing the various kinds of runners – everyone was working hard. The sweetest thing was that so many runners not only slowed down, but some stopped to take the water from the kids and thank them for being there to cheer and hydrate. It was so cute to see the excitement on the kids faces.
Cutest helpers ever
Someone has to drink the champs and bloodies
Towards the end, the kids handed out little candies too. It was a very sought after position
Congratulations to everyone that ran! And thank you to all the runners who took time to say thank you, you made a lot of little kids very happy!
When we were first married, we had the skinniest, fake Christmas tree. It was this sad little thing, but it was in the budget. I added big strands of garland to it to beef it up and disguise the fact that we didn’t have many ornaments.
See what I mean? (And yes, that is snow outside! Kind of miss that. For like a second.)
Every year since, I have bought an ornament with the year on it and popped our Christmas card picture into it. It’s so fun decorating the tree and pulling out those sweet memories. The little faces, furry faces and younger faces – all of them holding a little story of what life was like when they were created.
I’ve got the process down to a science now – as soon as I upload our Christmas card picture, I have one printed on ShutterFly in wallet size. Then I order the yearly ornament from Pottery Barn. I love the simplicity of the frame and how they are just a little different each year.
I think the part I love the most is when Auggie walks around the tree and exclaims “There’s me! There’s you, Baylor! There’s all of us!!”. It’s perfect.
And now that we have legit school pictures, I think we might need to start a new tradition with those…
So the Christmas tree this year is a bit better than that first tree…we had a very Griswold moment picking it out, getting it home and then getting it to stay upright. I still have sap on my hands.
The one that started it all
And finally the newest addition
One of the benefits of having an office big enough to share is that Peter works from home so much more. It’s been so nice to cut the commute time and have him be able to be able to pop out for lunch and then back into the office.
But there is a downside…we have totally opposite working styles. I like order. He likes chaos. I do not eat at my desk. He has full blown meals (I’m cringing while I type…). I like my papers stacked up neatly and I have a system of where each project goes. He has the paperwork tornado approach. What’s worse is that his craziness spills (sometimes literally) onto my stuff. Which if someone touching my stuff wasn’t enough, food stains aren’t really my gig.
So for months I have been trying to find a new desk configuration that would work for both of us. Something where we could each have our space and storage and have a cohesive look to the office. That in itself is a challenge. Finding something that meets that criteria AND that we both agree on was damn near impossible.
Every few days I would find myself digging around online looking for ideas. We couldn’t agree on anything. Finally one day I sent off an email with links to a few things I found that I liked (or could tolerate if he liked) and we got a hit. A great, rustic industrial desk from Target. The price wasn’t too bad to buy two of them – plus there was an online sale. Sold!
I love the illusion that there’s just one desk.
We were also able to reuse my current desk’s sides and reconfigure them into a console table. It made for a cheap solution to my need for drawers. I like storage and organization, but it all has to be out of sight. I am very visual so whatever I am working on, or need to work on, goes on the desk. But if too much is out, the clutter makes me itchy. It’s a delicate balance.
Now I have to get some clever storage bins for the shelves. I need something that looks nice but also is functional that can hold file folders…plus some cute desktop accessories…I see a trip to The Container Store in my future.
Mac approves too.