Thursday, August 29, 2013

Oh, you guys...

I'm struggling. Really, truly, having a hard time with my baby going to kindergarten.

I knew it was coming soon, I knew it was going to be difficult, but tonight, when I walked in the door from work and saw her Kindergarten stuff from Open House?

Well, the tears started. And the tightness in my heart is breaking me. At this moment, I'm sort of wishing I was one of those moms that looks forward to school starting. One that gets excited about kids going off to school and eager for changes like this.

But I'm not.

And I'm struggling.

You'll probably hear a lot from me over the next couple of weeks about this subject...cuz I'm just not ready. 

I just can't believe that my Baby Girl is starting school.

That my nest in one step closer to being empty. That my first baby is a senior and I'm taking his senior pictures tomorrow.

Where is the time going??????

Ugh. Please pass the tissues.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

We Broke...

It's official. I finally broke. After my hot, sweaty, sleepless night Sunday night, I threw in the proverbial white towel.

I couldn't take it anymore. Called up my mama and declared..."I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!!! WE'RE SLEEPING THERE TONIGHT!"

And she was all, "Yes. Of course. Calm down."

And I was all, "Can't...hear...you...dying. Of heat stroke." *croak*

Thankfully I lived. And so, after going dress shopping with my bestie and her wedding crew (eeeeeek!!!) (she said "Yes!!" To the dress!!!!) (eeeeeeek!!!!! again!) I joined up with my children and slept in the cool comfort of my parent's basement.

Sorta brought the whole "grown up and living in your parent's basement" thing to life. Gah. Thankful I can go back to my sweltering house today and that this basement living thing was just temporary.

In other weather related news, it turns out Georgia stole our weather. So, if you see Georgia, please tell them Minnesota wants their weather back. These endless 90 degree days are for the birds.

One week from today my kiddos start school. 

Excuse me while I go cry...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Real Time...

Been awhile since I've done a "real time" post, so here goes!

Currently, laying beside me is a soon to be Kindergartner (sob, cry, wail) telling me she loves me "in the whole wide world" and singing to herself...trying to stay awake, I presume.

I, am laying here, ice pack beneath my bum shoulder, lamenting the end of summer. The end of 8:30 pm suppers and 10:30 pm bedtimes. Also of note, I am not one of those moms who tries to get my kids to bed early in anticipation if the new school routine. No way, nuh uh.

The school year takes my kids away from me enough the way it is, they aren't gonna get my last of summer, too!! I look at the first week of school as our transition time.

My kids' teachers probably hate me. 

My skin is wet. Like, clammy...the AIR is clammy, for that matter! So hot and humid here, even the rainforests are laughing at us and it doesn't look like its gonna get any better anytime soon.

Which makes me somewhat grateful for this aching shoulder and a good excuse to hog the ice pack to cool me off. 

Two days ago I started "Operation Minimize Mama" in an attempt to shape up for my bestie's wedding!! Today I came in under my calorie goal and My Fitness Pal scolded me saying I was going to go into starvation mode. I figure my deficit today made up for last night's excess.

Alright...time for this girl to hit the hay. Hubby just came to bed and blessed baby girl and I. Love that man...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Feeling Cheated...

It's always this time of year that makes me realize how stinking fast our kids grow up. One day you're changing diapers and wiping boogers and the next you're sending them off to Kindergarten...(or paying for college application fees...gah.).

You all know how I feel about about sending my kids to school and that I'd jump all over a half-day/part-time option...but something else has been nagging at me.


I feel like I'm being cheated out of 6 months with my baby girl. The three middles have birthdays that allowed me to send them to school closer to (or just over, in Hambone's case, what with his August birthday) 6 years old. With Pal, I didn't yet have the experience I do now to realize the luxury of keeping a kiddo home until they're almost 6...the three middles gave me the opportunity to experience that extra time.


And I'm not going to get that with my baby. It kind of breaks my heart a little...knowing that, when I send her out the door that September morning, she's one step closer to life on her own. I know I could still opt to keep her home (heck, I could keep them all home and jump feet first into homeschooling...which, with a "near miss" school shooting just behind us, kinda sounds like a good option) but then she'd end up being "that kid" who's a year and a half older than some of her classmates...and I don't want to set her up for any sort of opportunity for ostracism. Kids have it tough enough the way it is. 


(Which reminds me of a conversation I overheard at summer activities...a mom was telling someone how her son, who had just turned five, was "so excited" about learning that she "couldn't" keep him home from school and she knows he's young but if he has to repeat Kindergarten "oh well". Sure, well-educated mom, in your adult life repeating K seems like no big deal, but guess what? Kids are mean. They pick up on that stuff...even I still remember the kids that had to repeat a grade level. And...AND, dear sweet "he's just so excited" mother??? What about the other kids in that class? Those who are emotionally, behaviorally, AND academically ready for K? Now your child who is being sent to K solely based on the fact that he is "excited" is likely taking time away from the others. Food for thought. I digress...)

I guess I just wish she had a fall or summer birthday. A "good" excuse for me to keep her a little closer for another year. 


Our time with our kids is so limited. I cherish and appreciate and covet that time and its hurting my heart to be "cheated" out of 6 months with my baby.

Excuse me now, while I go grab some tissues...(don't EVEN get me started about Pal and college applications...)

Monday, August 19, 2013

Gah.

I believe that I am one of those women that will never, ever (ever, ever, never) get rid of baby fever.

Did I mention ever?

I absolutely love babies. They way they smell (ahem...that is, the way they smell with a FRESH diaper on), the way they sound, the way they feel, the way they look...ugh. It kills me. Which is why, my job is perfect...I get to snuggle babies fresh out of the chute! Well, not "snuggle", really, but hold.


And secretly, in my heart, I snuggle them. I'm pretty sure my patients would think I'm wackadoo crazy if I snuggled their baby and boldly sniffed their little heads, so I'm always all ninja about it..."Oh, you need my help with breastfeeding? Yes, let me take the baby while you get positioned..." and then I hold that baby close and get a tiny little baby fix.

Shhhhh...don't tell my secret. ;)

Lately, there are newborns EVERYWHERE...which really shouldn't be surprising since approximately 4 weeks ago there were pregnant mamas EVERYWHERE...but it still catches me a little off guard. Like when I see a mama in church, motion to her husband and suddenly, there is a newborn baby exchange between them and that wrinkly forehead is peering out from her mama's shoulder. Or, the daddy carrying a car seat into the grocery store and I quickly glance and there, snug as a bug, is a sleeping newborn.

Gracious. It takes all I have to not rush up to those parents and ask, "Can I please just sniff her head?".

I miss being pregnant. I miss nursing. I even miss the opportunity to go through labor and delivery.

Yes, I am certifiably crazy. I can't help it. 

Do you think there is some sort of 12 step program for my affliction?




Sunday, August 18, 2013

He is 8.

Edited to add: I thought this post had published last night...clearly, I was wrong. (Sheesh, that NEVER happens...you know, ME being WRONG.) ;) So, without further ado, last night's post:

8 years ago, at approximately this very minute, I was pelting my sound asleep and snoring husband with anything I could reach from my hospital bed.

The baby boy I had given birth to not quite 24 hours ago, super speedy like, in the middle of the night, was finally asleep...but the radiator in my room was clinging and clanging and hissing and sputtering and I JUST COULDN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE.


So, I chucked a bottle of lotion at him and pleaded with him to please wake up and fetch the nurse cuz MAMA WAS GONNA LOSE IT. And soon.

I was exhausted. Elated, overjoyed, madly in love with the tiny bundle in my arms, but exhausted. I pulled the "difficult patient" card and we scored a great new room.

That baby...that sweet, tiny, wise old soul of a newborn, was my Hambone. He came rip roaring into the world on a super rainy night, bolting into our lives and our hearts.


This boy of mine is incredible. Goofy. Quirky. Unique. Handsome. And all together pretty dang amazing. He plays the little brother part very well and can quickly switch roles and just as easily put on his big brother cap for his baby sister. She adores him, by the way.


We are blessed. Hambone is perfection all wrapped up in a wiry little 8 year old body. He's never met a kid who didn't love him...or an adult who didn't immediately take a liking to him.

Happy birthday, sweet boy...you are our love and our light and our joy!! We love you!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Back To School! Then...and Now!


Raise your hand if you remember floppy disks. *raises hand*

And, now, I'm talking the REAL floppy disks...the thin, black, floppy, papery square things that we used to use in computers before the smaller, black, sturdy square things that were the predecessor to the itty bitty SD cards we have now.


How about that green turtle that served as the cursor arrow on those archaic old computers? Remember those?

Or, or...OR!! How about when the school...the WHOLE DANG SCHOOL owned like 5 computers. TOTAL.

Remember that?

Our current household now houses more computers than the first computer lab I ever sat in.



How old am I!?!

Sheesh...here's another little tidbit that'll date me. Once upon a time, I believe somewhere in the Kriss Kross "Jump Jump" era, jean bib overalls were HOT. The bigger and baggier the better, and when you wore one of your straps off your shoulder? Well HOT DAMN! You were something else.

So, someone I know *ahem* had a $100 school clothes budget and I, I mean SHE, just HAD TO HAVE a pair of Guess Jeans biboveralls.

Goodbye budget, HELLO HOT BIBS!

Good gracious. What was I thinking.

Anyway, times change. Lead changes to graphite. Wood pencils to mechanical. Notebooks start coming in multi-subject bundles. Textbooks are downloaded onto tablets. School registration day now involves not only dropping off your school supplies, but also picking up your own personal, school loaned tablet.



Gone are the floppy disks of old...hello technology!!! And I've gotta say, I welcome it with open arms! Anything that can make my job as a mom easier and lighten the load (literally AND figuratively) for my kids?

Bring it.

Microsoft Office 365 Home Premium is one of those tools that helps with streamlining academics for your kiddo. Do you want to know something? I have no idea how to make a PowerPoint presentation. In this day and age, and I don't have a ding dang clue! I'm old enough that PowerPoint wasn't incorporated into my college learning experience.

Old as dirt.

According to a recent Microsoft survey, today’s students (70%) rely on computer software like Microsoft PowerPoint to lead presentations, while 85% of parents used posters and poster board.

I've long maintained that technology isn't going anywhere...it's only going to become more prevalent and necessary as our kids age, so we've gotta embrace it! Take this research point: "Almost all parents and teens agree that software and online tools are critical for success in school (87% and 93% respectively) and beyond (91% and 94%)." See? I'm spot on...we've gotta see eye to eye with our kids and their reliance on technology as a tool for success.

The great thing about Office 365 Home Premium is that is accessible from anywhere through the cloud on SkyDrive. Forgot your "floppy disk" at home? Have no fear...your essay is in the cloud, just grab it from one of your laptop or even your phone and voila! No late assignment.

With to-do checklists, color coded calendars, and thousands of free templates for projects on Office.com, the features of Office 365 Home Premium are mind blowing!

Honestly and truly, I am excited about trying this product. 

How about a chance to win one year free subscription to Office 365 Home Premium? Details here: Back to School Throwback Sweepstakes:
The sweepstakes launches on August 15th (on Throwback Thursday!) and closes on September 27th. To enter, all you have to do is submit a “throwback” picture of yourself from back in the day.  Submit your picture here on the Office Facebook page and share it on Facebook or Twitter with your friends!. (#tbt + #officebts). Contestants are entered for a chance to win either a one-year subscription of Office 365 Home Premium (to be given away every weekday) or a Surface Pro (to be given away every Thursday).




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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Recently...

Seems like my photography goes in spurts. I'll do a bunch, then none for awhile...currently, I'm on the "doing a bunch" swing, and having fun!

A few little peeks for your Wednesday morning enjoyment...








Tuesday, August 13, 2013

It Has Begun...

Or, is it began?

Anyway...school shopping...'tis upon us. Completed 2 of 5 "Kid and Mom Day" outings so far. Baby Girl yesterday, Hambone today and wowza. That is exhausting. Mostly because: "No, you don't need another skull and crossbone shirt. Oh, LOOK! A button up! Oh, no button ups? Just one. Oh, you don't like that one?" *facepalm*

Hambone had long ago decided he wanted to eat at Ciatti's. For those of you unfamiliar with Ciatti's, it is a fabulous Italian restaurant. Soooooo yummy. Needless to say, I was quite pleased with his choice and was looking forward to it. As we were driving there this evening, he suddenly says, "I don't wanna go to Ciatti's. I want to go to Noodles and Co. NO!! PANDA EXPRESS."

SERIOUSLY?!?!?!?!? Chinese fast food instead of yummy Italian sit-down in a nice atmosphere food?

Panda Express it was.

Also of note: I need to start eating salads instead of big, heavy, fat and calorie laden meals 'cuz I HAVE A BRIDESMAID DRESS TO FIT INTO IN 6 MONTHS!

Yup...and...AND?????

I get to be a co-maid-of-honor (yeah, yeah, yeah...I know that technically I'm a "matron-of-honor" but that sounds so old lady librarian and besides, I prefer to refer to it as a "co-MOH")!!!! Already planning my speech...something like this, I think:


Whaddya think?

:)


Monday, August 12, 2013

What a Weekend!

You know that when you haven't logged onto your computer in 5 days that life's been busy. Whoa nelly, it's been busy...but fun!!

After working Wednesday and Thursday, I rushed home, finished packing up for our family reunion weekend, and rushed right back out the door...for 4 days of fun with family! Crazy thing is about my family, is that I actually enjoy spending time with them. They're funny and goofy and everyone gets along so well...it's a weekend we look forward to all year!

This year was even more special...we celebrated the marriage of one one of my cousins AND the upcoming marriage of another cousin! 



We ate, we laughed, we fished and swam and played "Around the World Badminton" (did y'all know that it was "badminton" and not "badmitton", I did not know this, and now I feel silly) and cutthroat croquet games and some participated in the annual "Them vs. Us" softball game. And we ate. A LOT.



And some of us, ahem *notmentioningnames*, may have gotten slightly buzzed after a "Girls Only" trip into town for a bloody Mary. Or two. And then some of us, ahem, may have had their own personal dance party to "Blurred Lines" whilst playing badminton. Man, I can really dance. I mean, wait. What? Me? No. Quick, look over there! A meteor!



Then...the last night we were there, I received a voicemail from my bestie that said, "DUPA! I've got news! Call me!". I called her back quickly and she shouted "I'M ENGAGED!!!!!" and I squeeeee'd a SQUEE so loud it may have been the "Squee Heard 'Round the World". Guys, this girl is amazing and her fiance is such a great guy and she has an amazing story about what God has done/is doing in her life...it's just wonderful.

EEEEEEEK!!! Still so excited.

Anyway, best news ever topped off a wonderful weekend...and now, the "Kid and Mom Day" school shopping commences. Baby Girl goes first this afternoon. (How is my baby going to school already?!)


Friday, August 9, 2013

R.I.P. Five Question Friday.

Once upon a time, a few (several? a bunch? Less than a handful, more than a couple, that's all I know) years ago, I started this fun little blog party that we know as "Five Question Friday", affectionately known as #5QF.


Soon, it grew before my very own eyes into a popular weekly link up, at one point, garnering *almost* 200 linker uppers! (I almost crapped my pants.) I like to think people came to read my witty, nonsensical answers, when really they probably just needed something to blog about that day and happened upon my little corner of the blogosphere.

Over the last several weeks, Five Question Friday has been dying a slow death..."question suggestions" coming in painstakingly slow (and after much begging and groveling on my part), participation dwindling, and my attitude toward 5QF turning from excitement to tolerance to "do I have to?".

Through the years I've had some regulars, some "one timers" and some now and then participants, and I've been grateful for each and everyone of you...but I think it's time we lay 5QF to rest.

I'm open to a resurrection at a later date, but for now, 5QF needs a good, long nap...kinda like me, only I don't want to be laid to rest, I just *really* want a good long nap.

So, with that, let us all bid Five Question Friday "Adiós!", its been real, it's been fun...it's even been "real fun"!

Adiós (for now) 5QF!!!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Valleyfair '13!


Yesterday was our annual trip to Valleyfair...Minnesota's version of an amusement park!

My kids look forward to this day ALL. YEAR. LONG. Seriously. The day after our Valleyfair trip, at least one of the kids will pipe up with, "Mom, when do we get to go to Valleyfair next?"


As time has evolved, I came to realize just HOW MUCH my husband loathes rides, and I stopped hounding him to go on the giant roller coasters...it might've been the year he was adamantly refusing to go (because he didn't want to be "forced" on any rides) that made me realize NOT everyone enjoys rides, even after they "try it just once and see!!".

He does not share my love for big roller coasters. Or free fall drops. Or extreme swings. BUT ours is the perfect match because he DOES enjoy the "spinny" rides that my brain (and stomach) can't handle! (Tilt-a-Whirl, Scrambler, Octopus type rides...you know, the ones that spin you so much your eyeballs can't keep up? Ugh.)


Needless to say, it was another successful trip! We came home with exhausted, sticky kids with sun kissed cheeks and awoke to rush out the door for swimming lessons.

I daresay this has been the busiest summer on file, yet.

Now, to get ready for our family reunion weekend this weekend! I will need approximately 87 days of straight sleep to catch up, after this week!



Friday, August 2, 2013

Five Question Friday! 8/2/13

So, forget last night's "how is it Thursday already" remark...HOW IS IT AUGUST?!?!?!? Holy man. I'm not ready.



I still have a lot of summer that I want to experience! Rivers to jump in! Bon fires to sit around! Mosquitos to swat! I'm not ready for cool nights and jeans and sweatshirts and (ugh) SCHOOL SHOPPING.

Boo.

Sooooooo not ready.

In any event, guess I better enjoy what's left of summer!

Welcome to Five Question Friday!! You've come to the right place if you discovered your muses are all caught up with time moving too quickly. 

Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky post to appear Friday morning and LINK UP! 


Oh, and remember (pay close attention...this is the important one)...HAVE FUN!


Questions for Friday, August 2nd: (Special thanks to Harmony Song (@harmonysong) fromHarmony Song, Pam (@trooppetrie) from Troop Petrie (for two!), Cate (@RndmCrftyGAGrl) from Random Crafty Georgia Girl, and MrsESchmitz (@emschmitz) from They Call Me Mama for these 5QF question suggestions! I would love to link you in a future 5QF, so follow me on Twitter (@5crookedhalos) and/or like my Facebook page and watch for my Thursday shout out plea for questions! Remember to @5crookedhalos me and use hashtag #5QF if you go the Twitter route!)


1. What is on your Summer 2013 bucket list?

2. What is the most useless item on your child's back to school list?

3. What is the one reality TV show that makes no sense to you?

4. What is one movie you can watch over and over again? Why?

5. What's your favorite back to school tradition?


----------------------------------------------


1. What is on your Summer 2013 bucket list?
A family vacation...and it ain't gonna happen, folks. We've now entered "family tradition" season and the time is spoken for from here to eternity.


Mr. and the little boys just got back from a week in the Boundary Waters on a "boys only" trip with the Mr.'s brothers and nephews and that week ate up any chance of a family vacation. I'd maybe be bitter if they hadn't had so much dang fun up there. :)


Next year, though? Game on. It is family vacation time! What do we do? Go back to the Black Hills? Take our own family vacation to the Boundary Waters (I've never been)? Experience the Grand Canyon (my dream)? Visit Sandy in Michigan?


The possibilities are endless!


Better start planning...


2. What is the most useless item on your child's back to school list?


You mean, other than the vat of "white glue" that makes an appearance every year and the children come home with 3/4 of a vat of white glue at the end of the school year?


Headphones. A couple of years ago, headphones showed up on the school list and have made the trip to and from and to and from school and have yet to be taken out of their ziplock (head lice phobia here) baggie...EVER.


Yup, 'tis true. The kids tell me they haven't used those headphones once. Not even one measly little time.


Good thing I bought the cheap ones.


3. What is the one reality TV show that makes no sense to you?


Well, really, most reality shows don't make much sense to me...and yet I still find myself sucked in whenever I'm around them!


The latest one I watched? "Get Out Alive" with that Bear dude. I mean, really...and the people on it were the most unlikely people you'd ever see that I asked, "how does this work? When you decide to want to go on a reality show...how does it work? Do you just put your name in and there's some sort of reality show lottery and they draw a name and are all, 'You get to be on 'Big Brother' and you over there? 'NAKED AND AFRAID'!!"


Yeesh. Not my thing.


Now, if there were a "Get Out Alive" in a mall setting with a fabulous food court to frequent?


I'd consider that.


4. What is one movie you can watch over and over again? Why?


Um...pretty sure you all know the answer to that. So, instead, I'll leave you with the theme song from the sequel!



Oh, yes...as if you thought I'd say anything else?! The one liners in these movies are the best...still quote these movies daily!!


5. What's your favorite back to school tradition?


Without any doubt, it's the "Kid and Mom" days that I do. Each school aged kiddo gets their own day with me to shop for clothes and choose the destination for supper and pick out a movie to watch!

Bonus for me: (Other than one-on-one kid time) I get 5 meals out and I get to watch 5 movies...I'm shooting for a quintuple viewing of Despicable Me 2 this year! ;)

Seriously though, love that time with my kids...it's a tradition my mom did with my siblings and me and I absolutely love it!

----------------------------------------------------

Have a fantabulous weekend!



Thursday, August 1, 2013

Thursday Night 5QF Sneak Peek!

Well, look at that! Here it is, not even bedtime yet, and I'm getting the sneak peek done! That's gotta be a new record, or something!


In other news, how on earth is it Thursday already?! I mean, I get the whole "the sun rises and sets" thing, but GAH. Time moves too quickly.

Anyway, let's not chit chat all this extra time away! Straight to the questions!

Welcome to Five Question Friday!! You've come to the right place if you discovered your muses are all caught up with time moving too quickly. 

Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky post to appear Friday morning and LINK UP! 


Oh, and remember (pay close attention...this is the important one)...HAVE FUN!


Questions for Friday, August 2nd: (Special thanks to 
Harmony Song (@harmonysong) fromHarmony Song, Pam (@trooppetrie) from Troop Petrie (for two!), Cate (@RndmCrftyGAGrl) from Random Crafty Georgia Girl, and MrsESchmitz (@emschmitz) from They Call Me Mama for these 5QF question suggestions! I would love to link you in a future 5QF, so follow me on Twitter (@5crookedhalos) and/or like my Facebook page and watch for my Thursday shout out plea for questions! Remember to @5crookedhalos me and use hashtag #5QF if you go the Twitter route!)

1. What is on your Summer 2013 bucket list?

2. What is the most useless item on your child's back to school list?

3. What is the one reality TV show that makes no sense to you?

4. What is one movie you can watch over and over again? Why?

5. What's your favorite back to school tradition?

-------------------------------------

See you bright and early in the am!



I Love My Gram.

If you hadn't noticed, Gram and I have taken a few weeks off from cooking. Gram's feeling a little punk lately, and summer got BIZ-ZAY, and so we decided that rather than stress over getting our cooking in (and, subsequently, turning what was intended to be a good bonding time into a stressful "just get it done" time), that we'd just let life simmer down before diving back in.

I do want to share this with you, though. Gram is always so flattered by what I write of her, so she wanted to "repay" the kind words to me. What follows is a little letter. From the mouth of Gram. :)

(I love this lady.)


My Muffy- (a childhood nickname)        
Cooking with you every Monday is truly a joy for me. You don't know how much you mean to me! 
Taking the better part of one day a week out of your busy schedule, to spend with your Gram is a gift to me that is priceless.        
Our conversations, whether light and funny or deep and serious, or just goofing off are so uplifting for me.        
Thank you, honey, for the understanding, support, love and laughter. I LOVE YOU!                                                      
                                                -Gram-                                          
I'm not sure if I've ever gotten across just how much my Grandma means to me. I treasure our relationship and the bond we share and I am so grateful that, through this blog, we discovered a way to spend some quality time together!

Thank you, friends, for being a part of this. In the Kitchen with Gram will be back up and running in just a couple of weeks!

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