Saturday, May 31, 2008

Cooking with my kids

Hmmmmm.....this is not yet fun for me!! HA!!! I really try and I really do want to enjoy it some day. Everone talks about doing it and it's great and everything is a mess and the cookies are flat and burned and not perfect...but boy was it fun. Yea...that's not me yet.

I try every few months to let my kids help me bake...and today was that day. It'd be interesting to have a blood pressure monitor on me. There is flour and oats and raisins all over the floor and counter. The girls tried to stir and I tried not to grimmace and yell. Suprisingly today I didn't have to rewash their hands a million times because of nose picking or finger sucking or other "things". Only once did someone fall off the stool and land on my foot. And my yelling was really supressed because I was REALLY trying. So all in all...we've had worse.

I am a neat and tidy cook. I like to clean as I go. I like that I can just about be cleaned up when I'm done....I can't do that with kids and for whatever reason it still stresses me out. But I'm working on it because I want to genuinely enjoy it with my kids. Someday. Someday.

right?

OK - they are off jumping on beds, the last batch is in the oven....I can clean in peace...if I hurry.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Are they twins?

So - I get this question all the time. A part of me thinks....it's obvious...but on the other hand they dress differently and Cam's a bit taller, and sometimes Cam doesn't wear her glasses...so I always smile and answer "They are! :O)" Then proceed with the rest of the comments and questions.

However, today I realized what people do once I answer their first question..."Are they twins?" Once I affirm their obvious suspision, I realized that they all pretty much do the same thing...they get this silly "Ah...I thought so" grin on their face. Or if they are with someone else, I've usually overheard the debate in the background (are they or aren't they) because they say it loud enough that I hear, but not directly at me. Make sense? So again, once I affirm their suspision, the one who was "right" nudges or the other or leans over to their friend like I can't hear and says, "See, I thought so."...with the same "I thought so" grin.

It's quite commical. Like it's an accomplishment...or like it was a mystery they figured out. I feel they are expecting a prize for guessing it right or something. Maybe I should hand out candy for guessing it right!!

Then sometimes they ask the question and are surprised by my answer. Then I hear things like, "Well, I guess they DO look alike." Or they debate me "Well, one is taller"..."They don't dress the same"...like they expect me to go..."Oh, that's right, they are not twins"

....No candy for you!!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day

I am saddened that this holiday has become a 3-day weekend. I know a lot of people remember those who died and fought for our country...but for whatever reason, this year the emphasis doesn't seem to be on that.

This year, the emphasis seems to be on the gas prices and how far you will drive for your weekend vacation. This year the emphasis seems to be on the food prices and what you'll sacrifice at your BBQ. This year the emphasis is not on those still fighting and those who have died and those who fought years ago.

I'm trying really hard not to get caught in "this years emphasis"...although it's easy. Today we will be making popsicle stick flags and sending them to our family who have fought and who are fighting to say thank you.

My kids may not understand it all yet, but I want to start now. I know that today, Reese (my brother-in-law who is in special ops and who is somewhere over there) is not wondering how much gas is or what they will eat for their BBQ today. They are wondering if another team-member will be killed or if another injury will happen, or if they will succeed in their mission.

Thank you to my friends and loved-ones who are fighting and who have fought to keep us free.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Tornadoes

Can I say that yesterday is the first day that I thought, "Wow, I am really glad I don't live in Johnstown right now."

Watching those images from here was scary enough. I had a friend who called me saying it hit Windsor and I might want to call my good friend who lives in Windsor. I did and she was without power, but other than that they were fine. They were on the west side, so the twister missed them.

I have a friend who lives in Gilcrest that I called (only 15 minutes from my old house if you go east). She said she was in the car talking with her husband on the phone. He was at home and was talking about the heavy hail. She said that he then started yelling at her to get home NOW. Luckily she was right there. She said they watched the monster tornado pass by as it was only 1/2 mile from her house. She said the house on the other side of the highway from them got hit. (As I was talking to her on the phone, she was pulling up to the hospital..she'd driven herself because she had appendicitis!) It also touched down only a mile from the girls' old school.

A part of me is sick because I wish I could go help out the communities who got hit but I can't. The other part of me...the bigger chicken part of me...is grateful we weren't there. Knowing myself, I would have been massively freaked out.

We've had our fair share of warnings here already (I didn't know I was moving to a tornado area). Everytime we are in a warning, I wander around the house picking up and putting things away...creating one more barrier something might have to go through before it flies across the room. It always makes me feel like I'm doing something and helps calm the nerves a bit.

I'm the first to admit that I'm a bit of a chicken. I like a good rain/thunderstorm...but only if that's all it is. Once the "T" word start my heart starts racing. Even in the really nasty thunderstorms sometimes. I remember being terrified as a kid. I handle my emotions better now...but they still freak me out!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Swimming with 3!!

I did it!!! I have only one time taken all three kids to the pool by myself with a friend and after that experience (finding Amber floating in the deep end...behind a rock where not even the lifeguards could see her...thank goodness for the arm floaties!!) I swore I wouldn't do it again for a LONG time. And I haven't.

But, we went with Eric on Saturday and met a family that moved here less than 2 weeks ago from Maryland. They have an almost 3 year old and a 16 month old. We chatted and I gave her my number. Well she called yesterday and asked if we'd like to meet them at the pool that afternoon. (this was on a voicemail) Here's what went through my head before I called her back:

"3 KIDS??? IN THE POOL? BY MYSELF? No way. I don't want to do it. But I do need to meet new people and she's someone I could be friends with. The kids would love it.3 KIDS??? IN THE POOL??? BY MYSELF?? Well..maybe"

They don't allow inflatable things in this pool, ie: arm floaties, so we had bought them all life vests the other day before going. This ended up to be fabulous. We talked about the rules before getting out of the car. And they actually listened. Still not a great place for a get-to-know-you play date, so I think I'm going to invite them over to the house tomorrow where they can just play.

Guess what...now I can do 3 kids...in the pool...by myself.
(to an extent!)

His first crush...

This is just a random conversation that I want to remember and laugh about every time I read it.

Yesterday we went to the Y so I could work out. Somewhere between me picking him up and getting to the car...I don't remember the exact location....he looked at me with a twinkle in his eye and said, with a smile in his voice,

Tyler: "Mom! Guess what I did today?!"
Me: "What?!" (said with equal enthusiasm...and thinking this was going to be about a ball or balloon or coloring page or something..."
Tyler: "I talked to a girl!"(said with aw and amazement)
(pause for a moment of out loud laughing)
Me: "You did?!" (trying to be serious and stop laughing)
Tyler: "Yea. She is Edie." (as best as I could understand him)
Me: "Is she a big girl or a little girl?" (teacher or toddler)
Tyler: "She's a big girl."

Great! He's going for the older women already!! This was just the funniest, yet sweetest conversation with him. I'll ask who this Edie person is and get her side of the story because it's just too cute.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Today's Choices

Today I chose to wake up early and have a cup of coffee with my husband before he left for work.
Today I chose to let my kids watch Oliver and Company 4 times.
Today I chose to do laundry and not have to re-wash a load because I forgot it.
Today I chose to also fold and put away the clothes!!
Today I chose to buy "National Treasure II" because it was only $16 at Target!!!
Today I chose to only eat 6 of the mini cupcakes I bought for the kids instead of the whole box.
Today I chose to start a list of pro and cons for Amber's potential school.
Today I chose to not finish my dinner because it was the first time I didn't want to eat something I cooked since it was so bad! (way over-cooked salmon!! gross.)
Today I chose to have handfulls of cantelop instead of chocolate whenever I was tempted. (for the most part)
Today I chose to put my son to bed early and without letting him finish his dinner and without dessert, because he was being a pain in the butt at dinner.
Today I chose a bowl of fresh, locally picked strawberries with whip cream and mini chocolate chips instead of the orange creamsicle in the freezer.
Today I chose to be more dedicated to praying for my husband because it's the one thing I can do for him.
Today I realized....I still don't like severe thunderstorms when tornadoes are involved!!

It was a good day.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sunday babble

We tried a new church today. It would be easy for me to sit here and mock what I experienced but instead, I choose to just say, it's not the church for us. So we'll keep looking.

Afterwards, we went to a restaurant...and here is a sampling of what lunch sounded like:

"Mom, look at my coloring." "Mom, look at MY coloring" "Mom, can you pick up my color?" "Mom, she took my yellow color!" "Look, there's a hot air balloon on my table!" "Where? I want a hot air balloon on my table" "Mom, why don't I have a hot air balloon?" "I want a hotdog". (they don't serve hotdogs here) "Yes they do, I want a hot dog". "Mom, my tummy hurts, I have to go stinky". (Thank you Eric for taking him) "Where did dad go?" "I have to go potty" (you can wait 'til we're done) "Mom, what's that man doing?" "Mom, is this my lemonaide?" "Mom, I don't like the brown french fries" "Mom, my paper is wet!" "Mom, this is too hot"

This went on ALL through lunch...and beyond...after lunch, on the way home...this is what it sounded like in the car:

"Mom, I dropped my horse" "mom, she bonked me!" "mom, can you get my bag?" "Mom, why are we going this way?" "Mom, why are we going this way?" "Is home this way?" "I don't want to look at houses." "mom, I want to go to the pool." "Mom, are you mad?"

I was so very mentally exhausted by 1pm. And this was only a taste of the non-stop questions and comments today....it just never ended. I actually sat on the couch and watched baseball while Eric cleaned the kitchen...usually I can't just sit there while he does that, but yesterday I did.

BUT!!!....Saturday....I did get to do my big grocery shopping all by myself!!!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Workout Cafe...coming soon!

A lot of the gals I know are working out in some fashion or another. Weight Watchers, Y, do-it-yourself stuff, eating stuff...etc. Soon, I will be starting a sub-blog called "Workout Cafe". I will allow everyone to know the login-password so that you can either create your own post, or just comment along on others'.

I feel we need a place to connect on this issue. To know we are not alone and to know there will be others out there to support us, laugh with us, encourage us and to understand when we just need to vent and whine.

If you are all for this, let me know!! My personal email address is stacy_grogg@yahoo.com...email if you are interested, or you can just post a comment...I just know there are some of you who read but don't post, so this is another option.

I will open this by word-of-mouth. I'll try to have this up sometime this week!!

stretching my comfort zone

So - most of you who know me would be like, "Whatever Stacy!" if I told you I am painfully shy when it comes to meeting people. I have had good friends tell me they thought I was a stuck up snob when they first met me because I was quiet, I didn't make eye contact and I just don't reach out if I'm not in a familiar setting.

So - moving across country and not knowing anyone...has caused me to become a shy recluse. As far as I'm concerned...people should just "KNOW" that I'm the new girl on the block and that I need friends and I need people to reach out to me...not vice-versa! hello!!! But, over the last couple of weeks, that has all come to the surface and I have finally decided to face that glitch in my way of thinking and face my social challenge head-on!! YEA!!! (barf..throw up).

Yesterday I did good! I was at the Y...which I have been faithfully been visiting for the last month and a half. But never once have I asked anyone their name or introduced myself. So I made a point yesterday of asking those who I run into on a regular basis their names. Like 2 of the gals at the daycare place who watch my kids. I apologized for not doing that sooner and just explained that I'm just bad at doing that. Then, in the class the I took, I graciously handed out mats to those behind me and also helped put them away for those behind me when we were done. In doing so, one lady was picking up her kids at the same time as me and said, "Oh, you were just in that class, right? Did you like it? Is it always that hard?..." etc ...and we had a brief, friendly chat.

HA!! No one spit on my face or laughed at me or rolled their eyes. I know this may all sound funny, but these are the things that go through my head!! How will I ever know who God is bringing into my life if I'm not willing to do my part?

Sunday we are visiting a church that is just down the street, so maybe I'll see people I recognize from the Y. (maybe!?) My goal is that if I do see someone...I introduce myself. Granted I normally see people sweaty and no make up and in workout clothes, and Sunday they'll all be pretty and intimidating. I guess I better look better than them...that will help! :O)

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Great project!

This morning Eric tells me to come outside, but leave the dogs inside. Great...a snake or something! (That's what I was thinking). But it was a baby bird. It had feathers and looked healthy but was still the size of an egg. He appeared to have fallen out of a tree. Now, we have a lot of trees with no visible nests so it wasn't like I could just put him back up.
Learning from a friend's recent "fallen bird" experience, I had Eric get a bowl and a tea-towel and I picked up the bird and put him in the "nest" and put it up on our play-house (which is funny because we call the play house the "Bird House").
I thought it'd be a great project for the kids to make a better make shift nest and hang it in a tree. So when they woke up...that's what we did!!

Then they filled it with leaves:
Then we went to get the bird and put it in the new nest to hang on the tree....
And the bird was gone!! Silly bird flew away.
So much for a great rescue project!! The disappearing bird did not go over well...no matter how exciting I tried to make it...."Yea!!! The bird flew away." "Yea...the momma found the baby bird and took it back to it's nest" "Yea!! The baby bird is ok!"
Not so much. 3 kids. "But I wanted to keep it." "But I want to see the bird" "But I wanted to hold it".
Oh well...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Breakthrough!!

I had an awesome workout today. I busted my butt on this eliptical stair thingy and burned over 500 calories...OK...so it was 501, but first time to hit the 500 mark!! Plus I had butt sweat!! Gross? yes, I know, but exciting!! My shirt around my stomach was wet, as was my butt!! I never sweat to make things wet...just never have, but Woohoo!!

Then I went and did a full body workout, making myself increase weight on the exercises I was still being woosie on. It was great!

Then I went and stepped on the scale...big mistake if you just drank almost 64 oz of water without peeing and are still wearing your shoes. I'll do it naked before working out next time! :O)

But...it still rocked and I'm so proud of it today!!

Where's the chocoalte?! :O)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Lazy @$$ day

So i didn't do much today. I stayed in my pajamas until almost 4pm. That means no bra or underwear. My hair was dirty and kind of slicked back and tucked behind my ears. I had just had a "picking" feast on my face because it's breaking out...and I was outside helping my child who fell or something...and my friendly neighbor peeked her head over the fence to chat...which is a frequent occurance, and I really like her...but since I'd just picked my face....well...you know....it wasn't pretty. I tried to subtly rub it out and she pretended not to notice. I'm actually laughing out loud about it right now because it's so 15 years old!!!

I attempted to do a Sudoku (sp?) puzzle all day...a black belt level. I'm still working on it and determined to figure it out.

Where were my kids you might ask? Whining. Crying. Fighting. Stealing each others toys. Tyler was peeing in his pants...i think I changed his clothes 4 times today. Maybe this is why I was trying to escape into Sudoku land.

Finally around 3:30 I realized that my kids were probably that way because i was "my" way. So we all got dressed, made Tyler pee 2 times before leaving...and we went to the Y. They could run around and not wonder what I was doing...and I could run on the treadmill and feel like I'd accomplished something.

Oh wait...my face is burning...I forgot to take off my zit mask...and Tyler is yelling...

K - I'm back. HAHAHA...again, I laugh out loud. I wondered why my face was feeling flushed.

So that was my day. I have now showered and want to go have a beer and some dark chocolate and work on my Sudoku puzzle.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

This is an odd day for me. Maybe because it's always been about MY mom, but the last few years it's been about me. But it's still weird. If nothing really special happened for me, I'd be ok.

But I want to acknowledge all the amazing moms in my life, right now, that are supportive inspirations in this journey....My mom, Kelly L., Jessica F., Tori E., Michelle G., Jessica W., Holly P., Amy S. Just to name the ones I communicate with regularly.

You are all special to me...With each of you I share special aspect of motherhoood. Anywhere from disabilities to heartaches to just mom stuff. I am thankful that I know each of you. To me, this is what Mother's Day is...to know that I'm not alone in this journey/adventure. I know that God has given me an amazing support group to call on. He has equipped me with all of you. He is enough, but you make it overflow!

At the same time I remember the moms who aren't here anymore. My grandmothers and Eric's mom. I always wonder what really goes through his mind on these holidays when he doesn't have a mom to call. It makes me grateful that I do. I think of my friend who is no longer a mom to an earthly child, whose son died 2 years ago at the age of 16, only to ascend to heaven to not only meet his heavenly Father, but also his earthly father who passed away when he was only an infant. As much joy happens in celebration of moms, my heart goes out to those who struggle on this day for many reasons.

Squeeze your kids a lot today, your mom a lot today if that's a possibility, and a fellow mom. Consider this a blog-hug from me. SQQUUUEEEZE!

I love you all.
from this mom

Saturday, May 10, 2008

better?

I don't want my previous post to be an indication of Eric. He is wonderful and if you know him...you know that. He's great and this isn't normal.

But he did walk in from a long day with flowers in hand...not for Mother's Day. His first words were, "I have flowers for you. I love you. I am sorry. I screwed up big time, I am really sorry and I love you."

He has never bought me "I'm sorry" flowers before. Never needed to. He was as sorry as I'd ever seen him.

Am I better now? A little bit. I'm still working on letting go of my grudge.

I do love my husband. He's amazing.

gggrrrrr

I'm trying really hard to be better than I'm doing. We have friends coming over tomorrow to visit. My house is a wreck. Eric has a softball tournament today....which I originally told him I would rather him not play in since we had company coming. But then, being the loving and supportive wife I try to be, I found myself saying, "Sure" because I didn't want be a non-supportive or needy wife.

Well....it is almost 6 pm and he is still there...I say still...because he thought his team would loose twice immediately and then be done. That way he could help me out. So...also being the loving wife...he wanted the kids to come watch a game...so I took them. Then he calls after his 3rd game...which they won...and said he blew out his hamstring...which isn't a first, but it's very debilitating. But he needs to stay and be a team player....that's what he told me.

I choose to not vent the real thoughts going through my head right now because I am REALLY trying to not bad mouth....but I am pissed right now. Is that wrong? I'm really frustrated and angry...just to be honest.

But I'm trying to be forgiving and understanding and not hold a grudge. I still want to be that loving supportive wife....but it's really good he's not home right now!!! UGH!

Oh...and I had to spend 45 minutes tearing apart, cleaning and repairing my vacuum that decided to have an attack. I rock....it is working...and I did tear it apart, fix it and put it together. That's something, right?

Frustration cleaning is the best.

*(#&$*(#$&)*@(*#&)%(*&#@^%!%^#* ERRRRGGGGG!!!

horses horses horses horses

The last 2 1/2 weeks my mom has been around. Most of the time she spent with Lisa, helping with projects at her house. But last week the kids and I went at picked her up. But it wasn't about going to see Mimi (kids' name for my mom)...it was about riding horses. Thank goodness Lisa has horses!


here, the girls are helping put the saddle on.



Then Tyler decided it was more fun to swing on the stirrups.

Let's go ride!

Lisa and Stacy taking turns leading.

Could life be better?!And yes...he was picking flowers, but at least he was picking them for me!! :O)

Monday, May 5, 2008

allergies

OK - I love the weather here...and I have really put on the restraint not to post pictures of us eating outside for dinner more than we eat inside or that I go out on my deck most mornings to drink my coffee and listen to the birds...I swear I'll be the bird lady in Mary Poppins...but today......

...ALLERGIES.....and they suck!!!


Achhooooo!!! itch itch itch....Acchhhooooo!!!

milestones

I'm always amazed at how fast things change. For 4 1/2 years I have been giving baths. I put them all in the tub (and thanks to my new big tub, this is much easier) and let them play. I miss my hand-held showerhead, but cups will do...and just dipping the head to the hair line too. It's a method, it's a practice, it's a structured event...then they can play.

But a few days ago something changed. The girls decided to wash themselves. BRILLIANT!!! AHA!!! And they do a pretty good job. But how nice to finally sit back and just relax a bit. It literally just happened one day. No prompting or teaching or encouaging....it just happened.

As exciting as it is, it was a bit weird. What other things will "just happen"? They are growing up so fast and so confident. Like last night, I asked Amber to pick up the dozens of colored pencils that were laying all over the floor. Usually this is an event that is a struggle the entire time. But last night she said, "OK mom". And in less than five minutes it was done!! Not one reminder was needed. Not one time did I raise my voice. Not one time did she stop until it was done!! **sigh** So nice!!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Squirrel Poop

Too funny. You know that poop is a lifestyle here...especially with Amber. But yesterday it was Tyler. In the middle of dinner he informed me by yelling that he'd done peepee & staaaanky. So I walked in to assist and he said, "I did 2 little ones" and I said, "I see that" and he said, "One looks like a little squirrel." I laughed out loud because yes, in fact one looked like the tail of a squirrel.

So - not 10 minutes later...5 minutes at the most...Camryn yells the same phrase. SO, again, I went to assist and I said, "Wow, you did a big stinky" and she said...with a little grin in her voice, "Yes, but they don't look like squirrels!"

I got a pretty good laugh!!

Friday, May 2, 2008

Dull-drum day

I miss having my friends. I need someone to have coffee with. I need someone to get out of the house with. I need someone to have a glass of wine with over dinner. I miss my mom's group and the community I had there. I miss knowing people.

I miss my friends.