Wednesday, March 21, 2012

WW- Older And Taller

This morning as I still wore sleep all over my face you came and snuggled up next to me on the couch, barely able to stay still enough not to spill my coffee.  Your excitement was palpable. 

"Happy Birthday big boy!"  I said to you as I kissed the top of your head.

"Thanks!"  you replied smiling proudly up at me. 

"So, do you feel any older?"  I joked with you.

"Yeah, I do.  And I feel taller too!"  you said seriously.

Ahh, the magic of birthdays when you are seven. 

Happy birthday my dearest Tommy!  I hope all your wishes come true!  I love you!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Picture Perfect

The weather around these parts has been picture perfect lately and this weekend was no exception.

It was so gorgeous outside this week that I decided to set up my patio furniture.  I realize it isn't even spring yet, and that it is always possible for us to get snow even into April, but I just couldn't help myself.  It just felt right. 

We also took Molly into the groomer's and got her massive, shaggy hair trimmed.  We weren't expecting to have as much taken off as she did but some of the hair was matted (I guess I wasn't combing her well enough) and she got a very short haircut.  Molly loved her new haircut and could finally sleep comfortably at night without having to get up 50 times to move to a cooler spot in our bedroom.  Not only that, but on Saturday I decided to take Molly on my run with me again and she did beautifully!  She was a perfect little running buddy.  I think it was much easier for her without all that hair heating her up. 

On Saturday the boys had their boy scout car races.  This year the dads were able to build their own car and compete too so Todd made his with Ben and that way all three of our boys got a car.  They were thrilled! Their cars all did well, but much more importantly than that is how sweet the boys were both when the won and when they lost.  Made me so proud of them.  Good boys.

After boy scouts we all went to mass and then took the kiddos over to grandma and grandpa's house so that Todd and I could have a date.  It was nice and relaxing.  I ate too much and got a stomach ache, but the Badgers and Marquette both won their games to go on to the Sweet 16 so all was good on St. Patrick's Day.

Sunday rolled around and because we had already gone to mass the night before it was a nice leisurely morning.  Todd went to go and look at a motorcycle he has been eyeing for the past, oh I don't know, ten years, and the kids and I went to the grocery store.  They were so well behaved.  I even got compliments on them, which always makes a mama feel good. 

By the time we got home the temperature was hovering close to 70.  The kids went to change into shorts as I put the groceries away and arranged the gorgeous daffodils in the center of our kitchen.   From that point on the rest of the day was spent outside.  To say that Grace was thrilled that I let her play outside in her new skirt would be an understatement.  She was in heaven.

Signs of spring were all around us.  The grass was getting green.  I filled up our bird feeders and changed the water in the bird bath too.  I even saw my flowers and plants poking through my gardens.  Such a thrill!

It is an amazing thing after 9 years of constant eagle eyeing children, and "helping" them play, to be able to sit back and read a book on my patio while my kids play without me.   They are all growing up so fast.  Of course I did have to keep somewhat of an eye on them (especially Grace) but I was able to paint my toenails and read half of my book.  Pretty awesome.

Then Todd arrived home with his dream bike.  The bike he has wanted for ages but never wanted to spend the money on.  He finally found one on Craigslist so cheap that he would have been foolish not to get it.  If he wanted to (which he doesn't) he could turn around and sell the bike today for a big profit.  However, this is the perfect bike.  The color, make, model, style, accessories, he has always wanted.  This is a bike he will have until he dies, he said.  And I was thrilled for him.

I was so excited for him that I hopped right on (sans shoes and helmet- oops) and went for a short ride while grandma stayed with the kids.  It felt so good to be on the back of a bike with Todd again.  We hadn't done that since we first started dating 13 years ago. 
After the excitement died down the boys jumped on their bikes and rode to the end of our street, set up camp in the woods, and remained there for the rest of the day.  While Todd stayed in the garage staring at his bike Grace and I went back onto the patio.  She looked at a Target magazine while I read my book.  Good times.

Finally it was time to gather the troops.  Todd marched down and found the boys in the woods and called them home.  They came inside, sat patiently for their haircuts, took a shower, and were famished when all was said and done.

We rounded out a perfect day with a delicious cook out of hamburgers and venison hot dogs, onion rings, and veggies. 

It was a fabulous and lucky weekend. 


Monday, March 12, 2012

A Sleepy Monday

Blasted daylight savings time. 

It is just one measly little hour and yet it seems to have this drastic affect on everyone in my family.  Who knew I would miss one extra hour of sleep?  Who knew going to bed a little earlier would be no help at all?  Who knew I would be this tired?  I think I'm crankier than the kids are, and they are pretty cranky.

I suppose I can't place all of the blame on springing ahead one hour.  The weather hasn't been much of a help.

Don't get me wrong, the weather yesterday was near perfection.  It was 65 degrees and sunny.  It was so beautiful that I decided to take my first outdoor run in about 5 months.  Not only that but I took Molly along with me to see how she would do as a running partner.  After the first few blocks I was ready to turn around and return Molly to the house.  She was so confused as to why I was running.  She didn't understand how to follow me around turns.  She wanted to chase every bird and squirrel she saw.  And every car we passed freaked her out (which is weird considering she has a strange urge to chase cars down our street every once in a while).  But, after the first mile she was finally getting the hang of it.

Then we hit mile two and three and the silly dog was pooped.  This, the same dog that chases our snowmobile across the whole lake up north five times without stopping.  Every ten seconds I had to tug the leash and encourage her to keep up.  It was exhausting.  My nice stress-relieving run turned into a freaking struggle.  I hate it when that happens. 

Anyway, we made it back.  And after that it was play time.  The kids were outside from a little before 11 in the morning until after 6 at night.  They only came in to go to the bathroom.  Their neighborhood friends came over and it was party time in our backyard. 

They were all having so much fun that I didn't even want to call them in for lunch.  Instead I just waited until they told me they were hungry (about 4 in the afternoon when their friends decided to go back home).  Then they came in for some quick bananas, granola bars, yogurts, and milk. After that they went right back outside. 
Grace went on her swing for the first time in half a year.  I forgot that it had been so long and that perhaps I should start out slowly.  Instead, I wound up and swung her high up in the air.  Her entire body locked up as her stomach dropped into her feet and she screamed, "Mama!!! Noooooo!!!!  Oh wait...  Hahahahaha!  I like it!" 
It was a wonderful, long, warm day playing in the sun.  We had missed our neighbors and our playset and our backyard.  It was so good to see them all again. 
It was a very successful day all around.

But, by the end of the day after dinner was eaten the kids were so tired that they could barely make it up the stairs to bed.  This morning it was a bear getting them out of bed.  Even Tommy, who loathes sleep, wanted a little more time to sleep. 

The weather today makes the exhaustion even worse as it is dark and rainy.  The perfect kind of day for cuddling up with a big, thick blanket and going to sleep.  But, there is no rest for the weary.  Errands were run, groceries were bought and put away, lunches were made, sheets were changed, closets were cleaned of too small clothes to donate, homework was done, a bath is being run for a little girl with a cold, and dinner is being made.  Then when all the dinner dishes are cleaned and put away off I go to chorus rehearsal for three hours.  I think I may need to make myself some more coffee.

How are you handling the loss of an hour?  Did you get any outdoorsy fun this weekend?  Are you suffering from this dratted daylight savings time, or am I the only wimp?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Signs Of Life

Give me your best shot at Better in BulkPhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

Normally by this time in March I am so depressed from a long, cold, snowy winter that I am overdosing on my vitamin D supplements and booking appointments at tanning salons for a little extra light.  Not so this year.  This winter has been the mildest winter ever.  The temperatures hung around the 40's and 50's and there was no snow to speak of.   This winter we rode bikes instead of building snow forts. 

All the dreadful things about a long winter vanished.  I only had to bundle all four kids up in snowpants, boots, mittens, gloves, and hats a few times instead of every time we went outside.  I didn't have to go through the disgusting act of watching melting snow expose dozens of old, nasty dog poop piles.  I didn't have to shovel or break out the snow blower (because we bought a new one this year).  In short, we've been spoiled.  I loved it. 

Then came March.  A few days into March the temperatures dipped.  Last week we got our first real snowfall of the season with about six inches of packy snow dumped on us.  The kids were thrilled.  Me, not so much.  But, I couldn't complain because it was still a pretty perfect winter and spring was almost here. 

The last few days the temperatures have been up again and yesterday was a balmy 62 degrees.  The last of the snow melted and we were well on our way to an early spring.   When I was at the grocery store this week I just couldn't pass up a pretty bunch of tulips.   Nothing says spring like tulips.

Then, this morning I woke up to snow on the grass.  It immediately made me grumpy.  Silly to be grumpy since it was just a dusting and will probably melt today anyway.  Plus, starting tomorrow the temperatures climb back up and all next week we are supposed to be close to 60 again. 

To top it all off I saw a robin today.  A very lucky sign.  Forget the snow, my mood was recovered.  I spent the rest of my morning in front of my bird feeders watching sparrows, mourning doves, cardinals and finches in their winter colors, and chickadees vie for food.
 It was a good morning.  And a good winter.

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson