Tuesday, July 16, 2013

So She Turned 3...

...which is weird, of course, since I was just pregnant with her five minutes ago. And somehow I blinked, then suddenly she was a bubbly, beautiful toddler with a headful of curls that just won't quit and a voice that could talk me into a pony. 
We call her "Little Thing".  And she, in turn, calls us "Yiddo Feen".
And she wanted a princess party.  But then she wanted ponies.  And because it hurt my brain to try to mesh a princess-pony party together, I convinced her to stick with a Pony Party this year.  She invited 3 little friends to celebrate with us.

All the kids got hats and bandanas.  I envisioned them all donning their party threadz all cutely, and playing and riding ponies.  We'll just say that's how it went down. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

Pin the Tail on the Horse. 
Artwork by Girlie, washable paint on posterboard. 

She is the most darling, sweet, FUN, delightful girl.  I am truly convinced that God sent her to me for sunshine in grey Seattle.  There IS sunshine in her soul, and she shines it on everyone around her.  She loves animals, princesses, ponies, dolls, playing with her siblings, riding bikes, swinging, splashing.  She loves to make messes, and can do wonders with nail polish and a sharpie.
Her laugh is infectious, and she can worm her way into your heart, your arms, your bed, and the gum in your purse before you even know it.  I have enjoyed every minute of her life.
I am a blessed mama.
Happy birthday, baby girl!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I Miss(ed) Bread

I met her at Menchies to break up.  I'm sorry... it's not you, it's me, I told my BFF (Best Food Friend), Melissa.  I had tried to break up earlier that year but it didn't stick.  Melissa and I like to eat.  Not like "let's split a salad", but "Hey, are you done with your seconds?  Let's head back."  It's a joy to have a friend who you love to eat with. But it was time for a break. 

You know those "I'm going to lose __ pounds" new year's resolutions that everybody makes?  Well, I don't.  Why?  It's a guaranteed failure.  I'd rather feel too heavy than too-heavy-and-a-failure.  BUT, at the dawn of this new year, J and I challenged each other to a six-month Biggest Loser competition.  We've actually had only one weigh-in, since we're so busy, but I did win that one.  We're taking into account pounds, inches, percentages (and I've added 'effort' to the categories, which should ensure some sort of prize for me).  As incentive, we each got to pick our prize. Prize for the finance guy? My massage gift card that I haven't used since he gave it to me as a mid-pregnancy gift (that baby turns 3 next month), and 5 ten-minute massages from me whenever he wants. Prize for the designer with a possible shopping 'problem'? The Pottery Barn photographer's tripod floor lamp that I have been lusting over for several years. (I actually told him that I was going to buy the lamp regardless of who wins because I have worked so hard).

We're down to about a month until the final numbers are tallied.  The scale hadn't really the right direction at least.  I was working out regularly, but I had pumped it up to "I-have-to-be-sore-from-the-workout-at-least-once-a-week."  Friggin' NOTHING.

So I came up with a secret plan to win.  It had come to something drastic.  Something I've not really attempted since high school, when I thought I was fat but actually was skinny.  I had to alter what I was eating. If you know me at all, you know I love bread.  I mean, a deep and abiding love for bread.  Love. Bread. And all baked goodness, really.  But I know a few people recently who lost massive amounts of weight due in large part to cutting out carbs (say it like it's a bad word).  My brother-in-law lost 25 lbs in 2 weeks (I'm sure half of that was because he is a guy and can lose weight just by thinking about it).  I figured that should secure 1st place. I took the plunge and dropped carbs and sugar from my diet.  It was a week of Greek yogurt, nuts, fruit and veggies, chicken, lettuce wraps, cottage cheese with fruit, fruit leather. I felt like Emily Blunt on 'The Devil Wears Prada' who says "I'm on a new diet, where I don't eat anything at all and right before I feel like I'm going to faint, I eat a cube of cheese."  J is in 'busy season' at work and is rarely home for dinner, so he had no idea what I was or was not eating. 

Bingo, right?  Except not

Friday rolled around, and a few weeks of single momming it, capped by a Friday of crazy offspring ruining my dresser with nail polish and pouring out bottles of essential oils left me weak. Weak.  So when I heard "Hey, I'm heading home--I'll be there for dinner, want me to pick up pizzas on the way home?" I said yes, yes, a thousand times yes.  So weak. And, oh, it was heaven!  Cheap pizzas never tasted so good!  For the first time in a week I wasn't hungry!!!  I truly think there is something literal in "comfort foods".

Saturday: Girlie's birthday.  I am not about to skimp on treats when we're celebrating a birthday.

Sunday:  Invited to a friend's for dinner and J is right there, so I can't explain why I'm not eating the amazing layered Jello and whipped cream dessert.  It would ruin the 'secret' part of my diet.  So I had to eat it.

Monday:  Memorial Day.  A good day for eating carbs.  Plus J was home.  See how I'm winning?  By eating carbs and not telling him my secret diet, then he doesn't know, and so I will win!!  Catching my twisted mind game, yes? Evil laugh.

Tuesday:  No school again.  So, really like another vacation day.  (I also don't have to go to the gym on vacation days).

Wednesday: Pasta night at Recipe Swap.  That's right, pasta.  Why don't we just call it "Get Melynie Fatter" Night.                                                                                                              

You see where this is heading. By now I had altered my diet to "Don't Eat So Many Carbs."  Then came "Only a Little Bit of Sugar."  "Carbs and Sugar only on the Weekends" and finally "Back to My Regular Healthy Eating, With Exceptions Made for Stressful Days, Birthdays, Weekends and Special Occasions."

I know what you're thinking...where is she going to put that lamp??  Right?;)

I ran into one of my newly-skinny friends and mentioned how great she looked to J that weekend.

He suggested that maybe we should try a carb-free diet.

I snickered.

UPDATE: This post was written a month ago.  The 'diet' came crashing down and died a sad, slow death when my friend Vanessa had a birthday and some of us celebrated with avocado egg rolls, chicken madeira, and coconut-chocolate cheesecake.  I am now days away from the final weigh in. Last night we made homemade ice cream for family night.  That was right after the apricot almond and fresh strawberry pies that we made this weekend. I think you get the idea.  Ah, well.  I am licking my lips very happily. ;)  And this, friends, is why I don't diet.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Tough Guys

You know when sometimes you just need a man around the house?  Well, lucky for me, I've got these two fellas to keep me company.  And they're tough.  Not only can they survive leaps from the bunk bed and can tear around the neighborhood in bare feet, they also are masters of intimidation.
I went to tuck them into bed and Buddy said to me "Mommy,  I don't have to be worried when I go to school.  Sammy said that if someone is mean to me, I just have to go get him."
Sammy chimed in, "Yeah, if someone is picks on Buddy, I'm going to go up to them and say [intimidating voice] 'Hey, that's my BROTHER you're being mean to.  And if you don't STOP, then I'm going to go tell the recess teacher.  And YOU might have to SIT ON THE WALL!!"
The wall. Very worrisome indeed.
His fearsome threats are not limited to playground bullies, either.  As I was backing out today, I was muttering about the across-the-street neighbors who keep parking directly across from my driveway and make it very difficult to pull out.  Sammy assured me, "I want to go talk to them and say [intimidating voice] Listen, you are lucky my mom is a good driver, but next time, you might want to think about parking somewhere else."
I. love. that. kid.
My little Buddy uses his 'tough voice' for everything.  One of my favorite church hymns is "There is Sunshine in My Soul" and we sing it every morning on the way to school. It gets stuck in our heads, and that little 4 year old can be heard all day ferociously growling out "blessed SUN-shine, blessed SUN-shine."
It makes me smile every time.
So, if you've got a "problem" you need "help" with, I know a guy.  Or two.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Keepin' It Real

A hilarious e-card on Facebook read "I live in a madhouse ruled by a tiny army that I created."  Truer words were never spoken, friends.  Don't smile like it's not true, you know it is!

I find myself going through my day, mentally jotting down a million things that I must remember to record because they were so hilarious or darling.  My days are like wild rollercoasters, that I am clinging to with the last bits of my unmanicured nails.

I love the questions I'm asked like "Can I be a ninja when I grow up?" (yes, as long as you're a good ninja) or "Are clouds living creatures?" (no, but if they were we could get one for a pet).  Those are questions from this kid:
Wear a bucket on your head.  Whatever.

Buddy brought this home from preschool and explained the life cycle of a butterfly.  "First, the butterfly is a marshmallow.  Then it turns into a gummy worm.  Then it forms a tootsie roll around itself, and then it turns into a cracker!!"  See, now what was all this chrysalis talk when I was growing up?

Right before Easter, I made my kiddos dress up like Christmas because I never got a picture of it.  That RS gig has me hopping.

Speaking of Easter, we had the most beautiful naturally colored eggs you've ever laid your eyes on.

And I made some super easy Easter egg placemats.  I'll post a tutorial on them next year.  Which is super fast, considering that I started this project when Girlie was 2.  Not kidding.

And someday, probably this summer, I will get around to dressing my kids up in their Easter clothes and taking pictures.  Look for it.

I asked Sweetie if she had drawn on her legs.  She said no.  Buddy suggested that it was just hair.  That's some wowza hair.  I'm actually glad that a disproportionate amount of this post is focused on Buddy.  We just read "The Birth Order Book" for book club and I'm afraid that I'm ruining him in classic 'middle child' kind of way.
Here's an awkward selfie. 
In an effort to 'take a picture every day this year', March 10th's picture was of me.  In front of the court house.  Having just paid $200 for going what I thought was 6 miles over the speed limit.
There have been better days.
Not much better than days like this.  As we got out of the car at the YMCA, Buddy smiled up at the world and said, "Well, it's a beautiful sunny day today!"  He was being totally serious, my poor Seattle baby.
There was a spot of hope today.  I was washing dishes when I happened upon a spot of blue sky-it's right behind the trees.  You may have to click on the photo to see it.  But it's there.  Speaking of things that are there, are we loving my tiny chandelier?  It's a Christmas ornament that was love at first sight at the Bellevue Botanical Gardens.  I hung it up to make doing the dishes feel a little fancier.
I opened up a cupboard to find this.  This is just one of many 'surprises' that greet me every. time. I. turn. around.
Chaos.  Chaos is a monster that I battle daily.  Most of the time I lose, I'll be honest.  And don't get me started on laundry.  I do a dozen loads a week.  If I even hesitate in the conquest for victory over The Laundry, all the clothes decide to get dirty at the same time, take on a life force of its own and devour me.  And my bedroom floor.  As pictured below.
That's something that you won't see on Pinterest.


In other news, here's my spring mantel.  Let me know if you have questions.

I got irritated at my garden last year for its lack of vegetables.  So I showed it who's boss by planting a bunch of flowers in it.

Sweetie likes to 'mommy' us by bringing blankets and pillows and tucking us in.  It's heaven.  Especially the part where she come to cuddle us.

We spent a good 1,700 hours shelling peanuts so we could make our own peanut butter.  Totally fun activity.  The kids loved it.  I hoped that it would give them appreciation for what I do three times a day, given their loose interpretation of "finish all your food".  We'll see.

Finally, I found this.  And liked it enough to share it.
Much love, Melynie