Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Sorry for such a long absence, but I just haven't felt too inspired to write. And while I'm not sure it's incredibly exciting, I thought I'd share a few conversations with my oldest child.

Anna: Can I go outside to play?
Me: Do you have any homework?
Anna: No
Me: Why don't you pull out your agenda so I can see what you've been up to at school.
Anna: Oh, yeah, I do have a test tomorrow.
Me: Shouldn't you study for it? You said you didn't have homework.
Anna: I don't have homework.
Me: What do you call studying for a test?
Anna: A choice.

As for the next story, I'll provide a little background info and then sum it up. There are several members on the paternal side of my family who have this somewhat ridiculous work ethic that sometimes makes it very difficult for us to say no to certain responsibilities. Some of us even volunteer for certain jobs because we're afraid that they may not get done if we don't do something.

This explanation leads to me to the following story. Recently Anna shared with me that she was tired of taking her class' lunch cart, because as a result of taking on this task, she was the last one to eat and then didn't have much time to eat her lunch. She said that no one had the job of taking the cart to the cafeteria so she kept doing it. The purpose of the lunch cart is to give students who bring their lunch a place to leave their lunch boxes on the way to recess. I thought of a simple solution -- don't take the cart on a day when she doesn't bring her lunch. However, she wouldn't agree to this because then no one would take the cart and people might lose their lunch boxes. She has been cursed with my family's over-active sense of responsibility. However, I do have hope for her because she has already taken the important step of telling her teacher she did not want to do it anymore, and the teacher agreed to find someone else to be responsible for the cart.

I'm sure there will be many more interesting conversations with my daughter. She has already begun questioning me about certain coming-of-age issues, and so far I've survived. We'll see how the year progresses.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Oh, my! It has been a very long time since I've written anything. The past month has been a whirlwind. School starting, D's new job(s) starting and our annual Labor Day reunion with my college roommate.

I wish I could write something witty or share some entertaining story; however, I'm drawing a blank. I've got some free time tomorrow night, so I'll try to get creative.

For now, I'll leave you with a few back to school shots...

Sunday, July 19, 2009

We are so lucky to live in a great neighborhood. It's a place where kids are usually playing outside at any given time of the day. My kids are running back and forth between our house and neighbors' houses. We easily have three parks to choose from and the kids can ride bikes and scooters throughout the neighborhood. I know we often take all this for granted, but all I have to do is cross over to a nearby neighborhood where I know the area is not as kid-friendly.

I think my comfort level within my neighborhood can be attributed to the fact that I actually know my neighbors. We visit often, and our kids who range in ages all hang out together. The adults are able to share happy or sad news with each other, and we also look out for each other. Most importantly, my immediate neighbors are just as willing to participate in our annual block party, which consists of water balloons, food, drinks, small fireworks and more water balloons.

I'm very glad our children will have some wonderful memories of their neighborhood friends.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Somehow I have become the social media "expert" in my office. However, with a staff of six and so many projects that it's difficult to keep up with various trends -- marketing, design, etc. -- it doesn't take much to be an expert. In a larger office, particularly in the private sector, I would just be a worker bee trying to keep up with new technology.

As it is, I have read several articles online and even attended a conference focusing on social media. Remember this story where I unintentionally disregarded the keynote speaker?

This was an unfortunate experience especially since he was very interesting, entertaining and knowledgeable. Tomorrow Penny and I will have another chance to listen to Peter Shankman when we attend a workshop in Tulsa. Since money is tight, especially at a nonprofit, I don't have too many professional development opportunities. So I'm glad the powers that be at OkieSMart are bringing Shankman to Oklahoma.

Hopefully, we will manage to forget what idiots we were in Frisco and learn some very helpful information. Because for the first time in quite a while, I'm excited about learning new things in the field of PR/marketing.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Life has been a little rough lately, so I'll take this moment to focus on the lighter things.

We took the kids swimming yesterday, after Jeremy and D returned from boy scout day camp. It worked out perfectly because we got there 45 minutes before the pool closed which was just long enough for the parent who was entertaining Spencer and we got in free.

Back to Spencer, I could not take my eyes off him for a second at the pool because he would jump in regardless of who may be able to catch him or he would take off for the diving board. So I got a lot of repetitive exercise lifting him out of the pool, moving back (back, mommy, back) and pull him above the surface after he jumped. After we watched Anna dive off the side in the deeper water, he decided he could do that too. So he started falling into the pool headfirst. Eventually, he figured out that a proper dive requires placing the hands above your head. Olympics -- Michael Phelps or Greg Louganis -- here comes Spencer!

This boy knows no fear -- except the terror he feels when he sees a certain neighbor's runaway dog. Between him and his partner in crime, there will be two mothers who will not be breathing easy for awhile -- even though we appear calm while Thing One and Thing Two find new hiding places or make up new games that require playing around the storm drain.
Photo credit goes to Thing One's mom.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

It has been interesting around our home the last few weeks. While I could be bitter, I'm actually enjoying having a husband who is available to help with the kids and the end of year activities all day, every day. Yes, I could be concerned about the lack of a full-time income, but I know it will all work out.

As for showing grace and forgiveness to the individual who has made this togetherness possible, I doubt that's going to happen any time soon. I have reached the point where I'm dying to run into him or his wife at the store and kill them with kindness.

That update was for you, Amber. I'd tell more, but that post would be WAY too long, and I'd hate for it to come back to bit us.

Anyway, on to family updates. Jeremy has finally become a real boy -- no he wasn't a puppet -- but he now has the appetite of a growing boy. While this is exciting for the parents of perpetually petite kids, the timing could've been better since I'm shopping very carefully with limited funds. Every night he wants to eat something before bed because he's still hungry. I'm going to have to work on this since I know it's not a good idea to eat and then sleep -- even though I do it all the time.

Anna is about to become a fifth grader. It's hard to believe. I'm so proud because she is one of the top readers in her class so she got special privileges during the reading carnival. We are currently reading To Kill A Mockingbird together, which REALLY makes me proud. I didn't read it until I was a freshman in high school. I can't wait to watch the movie with her once we finish the book.

Jack is Jack. He's excited about finishing pre-K, but he seems to be under the impression that he gets to skip kindergarten and go straight to first grade. He's smart, but I don't think he's ready for that. He still says "guess what? I love you." So he's not getting too big for that.

Spencer's lates method of trying to wrap me around his finger is to hug my neck and say, "I miss you!" This was pretty cute when I had just returned from somewhere -- whether I'd been gone 30 minutes or the whole day. Now, he's using it to his advantage, particulary when he's supposed to be in bed. Sorry, son, but using that line 30 seconds after I've sent you to your room is not going to earn you any points.

That's a quick summary of the state of our household. We'll see if I survive the last few days of school followed by a week of VBS...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The next 20 years are going to be very long with several heart-stopping moments -- all because of a toddler named Spencer. We know he is capable of extracting himself from certain situations, rooms or even houses. However, I've been a little lax in believing that as long as I throw the deadbolt, he's safe and I can take a breather.

Wrong! A locked door? He laughs at a locked door -- and the adult who actually thought that would keep him from his goal.

Within an hour, he escaped from my neighbor's house where he was supposed to be playing in the backyard. This neighbor knows my son well, so she locked the storm door on her front door. What was she thinking? Once Spencer realized that one method of escape was blocked, he simply opened the garage door -- a door most toddlers would have trouble with -- and headed home ACROSS the street!

But I don't blame her because I can't even keep the kids contained. After his father and Jeremy left for Cub Scouts, Spencer was inconsolable because he wanted to go. Then life got even worse because I wouldn't let him have a popsicle until he ate dinner. I was determined to keep him locked in the house until he had eaten, so I quickly locked the deadbolts on both the garage and front doors. After successfully blocking his potential exits, I went to the bedroom to pick up a phone.

As I walked back to the front of the house, I thought I heard a door. When I entered the living room, the only child missing was Spencer -- and the back door was open! I ran out the garage just as he rounded the corner to the front yard. At least he hadn't entered the street yet...

Now you can understand while it's going to be difficult over the next few years. I may have to get my hair colored every other month to hide all the gray hairs he will cause.