Monday, May 30, 2011

On the road again...

*singing* I'm in heaven....

Run!

Walking to the old Oyster Bed beach


Choosing the perfect shell


Martin and his Mom


Other than one carsick kid christening the van with her um...breakfast... we had a nice (but too quick) road trip weekend. I always need one more day though- no matter how long the vacation.




Friday, May 27, 2011

Road Trip

Our first road trip with the van starts tomorrow- wish us luck and hope the weather holds out. I'm thinking with the DVD player my Dad gave us we should have a smooth and quiet ride- as long as I remember to pack the headphones...for the girls that is.

What are you up to this lovely 3 day weekend?? I know I have been looking forward to it since my last 3 day weekend in February!

Talk to you soon. I'm sure I'll have all kinds of rants and raves when we get back : )

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The task ahead

I asked Lily to carry the gallon jug of water to the car. I knew it wouldn't be easy- especially going down the stairs- but at the time my hands were full and I simply needed her help. She grumped and groaned the whole way. By the time she caught up with me at the car I could tell she was steaming mad.

"I'm not strong enough, Mommy!" She demanded loudly as she set the jug down in front of me.

I looked at her and said, "Lily you ARE strong enough. You made it all the way here with no help!"

My answer could not dissuade her frustration and she grumped and cried most of the way to school- obviously scarred for life by a mother who asks too much.

This is the eternal struggle- how much can I ask of her? How much can I expect? How much of a push toward independence is too much? I didn't mind the grumping- I mostly expected it. But what I did mind? She had convinced herself that she wasn't strong enough. That she couldn't do it- and still believed it even after she completed the task successfully!

What inside her is saying that she isn't strong or good or anything "enough"? Why did she focus solely on the fact that the task was tough instead of being proud of herself that she did it?

How can I be a better mom and make sure the seeds of self-confidence and pride grow rather than wither?

How can I let her know that the world is hers for the taking- but she just may have to put in some hard labor along the way- and that is just fine. None of it was made to be easy.

I guess I could take some of that advice for myself.


Monday, May 23, 2011

No more excuses. Ever.

You are not going to believe this!

Basically this weekend our bedroom was transformed and I am pleased to announce that I finally finally have a desk where I can do my crafting!!! What?!?! Pictures soon (I'm not quite done with the organizing part).

I love pretty much anything that can be described as "paper craft". When Lily and I lived in the one bedroom- there was literally not an extra inch of space for me to claim as solely my own. No seriously. My crafts were in a closet mostly on a high shelf. I couldn't craft at night because Lily was sleeping in that room. During the day, well lets just say a small child, a cat and having to craft on the kitchen table almost never worked out.

Fast forward to the last year in our new apartment- and I still no crafting space. This has literally taken me to the brink of sanity. Sometimes I've just wanted to yell out, "Give me some freaking space!!!!" All I wanted was my own little corner that I didn't have to worry about getting all put away before the next family meal. And finally last Friday I made an executive decision and just went out and bought the table/desk-hoping to be able to come up with the space once I got it home.

So, with Martin's help rearranging, I now have nearly one entire wall in the bedroom I can call my own. I have my table, cabinet and filing drawer and believe it or not it actually makes the room look a little bigger I think- though our bed is a little more squished.

Ok. So I made this diagram in Paint because it is easier to see. But not exactly exactly to scale. Maybe I'll do that later. Hah. But, anyway, I am really excited and now I really have no more excuses, right? Right??


Bedroom Before


Bedroom After


Friday, May 20, 2011

No whining allowed.

Last night Lily threw a fit before going to bed and slammed her bedroom door (twice!). I told her she was about to lose her door but then I realized that she hates having her door closed anyway so it really wasn't much of an incentive. Instead she had to go straight to bed without snuggles and stories. I felt bad but knew I had to get through to her that her behavior was unacceptable. I'm not sure if I did. This morning she was pretty much all smiles and seemed to have forgotten about it- and I kind of wish she hadn't.

The thing is, all I asked her to do was to go play a little before it was time to get ready for bed. She had been sitting on the couch with me finishing a movie. Such a simple request. Go play! Not a punishment but somehow that is how she interpreted it. I am not sure why. I don't understand that part of her that needs to be defiant just for the sake of being defiant. She doesn't want to do something simple or quick just because I asked her and ends up dragging it out forever or being punished for her bad attitude. Why does she put up such a fight when all I've asked is for her to pick up her shoes or put her coat in her room? Or to go play? What kid doesn't want to go play?

We've been through the discussion before about helping and being part of a family where we all help each other. . I know there are strategies to make cleaning fun etc but when I get attitude from the get go- even when we make it a game- I get so frustrated. And then last night when it wasn't even a chore I asked of her, she still got upset.

Anyone have any ideas? Right now I am so done with the bad attitude. I am about to put up a no whining sign and just point to it whenever I hear the high pitched whine start to wind up. Enough already. Hmph.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Belief

Check out this post from Single Dad Laughing. It really made me think but I need some more time before posting about it. Enjoy the read- it is a great blog overall : )


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Starting Over

Dear Lily,
     
     My darling girl, how precious you are to me! This morning you said you wanted to start over and I asked you what you meant. You said that you wanted to start as a baby and do it all again. You wanted to be my baby again. Your words touched me because sometimes I want to start over again too- from the very beginning and do it all again and not change a thing. Your words stunned me and tore at my heart because you are aware now that you aren't my tiny baby any more. You know we can't just flip the hour glass over and go back.

      And I told you today that I don't want to start over because I love who you are and who you are becoming. I told you I love being so privileged to have held your hand all this time until little by little I have to let go.


Monday, May 16, 2011

Here's why there is no doubt Lily is my daughter: On the way to take Kendra home yesterday evening Lily was absolutely indignant at Kendra's insistence on pronouncing the word "apartment" incorrectly. Here's why Kendra no doubt belongs to Martin: I am 100% positive she was mispronouncing it just because she knew it would get under Lily's skin.

**************
We had lots of fun Saturday when we went to the Seattle Maritime Festival. We decided to take the bus since we thought traffic and parking would be awful. It was Lily's first "city bus" ride so of course I had to take pictures : )

I was so happy that the weather held out for us- it was actually very shortly after we got home that is started to rain, but the rest of the day was sunny, beautiful and warm. Martin and I even got a little *gasp* sunburned. What??? Luckily the girls fared better and only got a tiny bit of pink on their cheeks.


We participated in the Chowder Cook-Off and sampled clam chowder at seven? places up and down the waterfront piers. At the end we voted for our favorites. It was fun trying them all and for only $5 each for Martin and I, it was actually a pretty cheap lunch. I voted for Steamers because it was creamy and also had a hint of bacon flavor (how can you go wrong with bacon?) Martin voted for Anthony's. Yummy all around!We watched the Tugboat races for a little while but the girls got bored pretty quickly. For some reason they preferred the 4 different Pirates of the Caribbean bouncy houses. Who knows why....





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This is how we spent much of Sunday afternoon:




















Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Earning my reputation

Mommy: These van doors are a little tougher, huh?
Lily: Yeah, I could open and close the doors on the white car. But not on the van.
Mommy: That's ok. I can help for now.
Lily: Until you crash this car?

Um, yeah, not exactly what I meant.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

My Mommy Minivan

 Here you go! My new van:


I think driving this thing will take some getting used to since I've never had such a big vehicle before! I know it is going to be so much better for all of us to do the playing we want to do this summer though. I can't wait to take it on our first trip and enjoy the space!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Losing the TP Battle

Both of our girls have been potty trained for several years now- probably more like half of their short lives. Most of the time I just don't even think about them going to the bathroom and trust them to do what they need to do when they need to do it.

Unfortunately this trust (read: lack of adult supervision) has resulted in an epic battle of wills in our household. My will that is.

I am not particularly picky about the type of toilet paper I buy but others, who shall remain nameless, tend more toward the "cushy" side. This particular quirk I gave into. It was a battle I didn't feel, at the time, worth fighting. So I bought the expensive stuff (on sale of course, I'm not that crazy!). However, the issue now lies in the sheer volume of toilet paper the girls have been going through.

              An entire roll in less than three days?? Even I don't pee that much.

              Dang it, that fancy toilet paper worth it's weight in gold- you're wasting it!

              Three squares is more than enough.

              How many squares do you think you need? Your butt is tiny!

              Please, for the love, stop clogging the toilet using half a roll of toilet paper!


This particular rant has been uttered by me several times in pure frustration and in a slightly definitely less than nice tone of voice. But why? Why is this battle the one I have chosen to fight? Why do I let them pretty much wear whatever, be creative, get dirty but have a serious meltdown when I see they are out of toilet paper again?????

Because above all I hate wasting. Money, time, whatever it may be. I know it is a losing battle for now but maybe one day the connection will sink in.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I've got vans on the brain too.

I finally got the call yesterday as to how much I am getting for my *totalled* Nissan Sentra- so now it is time to start car shopping!!!!

I wasn't sure if we were going to go ahead and try to get a van like we've been wanting ( I was planning on waiting until Fall) or if we were going to find an "in between" one. But- I did the numbers and can afford a little more car than  I thought so I'm looking for a van.

Anyone have any thoughts/experience they'd like to share. I've been looking at Honda Odyssey, Toyota Sienna (though a bit out of my price range), and Kia Sedona. They all seem to have both good and bad reviews...seems like the transmissions are trouble in Honda and Kia.... anyone have any other ideas?

I can't believe I am going to be driving a van even though space wise I think it is the best choice especially since we want to camp a lot this summer!

Thanks for the input : )


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

What makes a garden?

I made this collage Saturday with my Girls Group:
I know it is hard to see but the idea was to collage my "perfect life." You can tell for some reason I have gardens and flowers on the brain. : )

Then I came home to this:

My very own porch garden complete with Astroturf. Yes I said Astroturf. Martin laid the Astroturf, potted all kinds of new and beautiful plants and designed the shelves to lift them into the light- all while I was gone for the afternoon. He even commissioned the girls to help a bit. Now I get to look at all of these wonderful plants when I am home. It may not be exactly what I had imagined in my "perfect life" but I'm still incredibly thankful for everything I've got.