Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Black Hole

Recently, a dear friend posted about the Black Hole, more commonly known as Target. This seems to be a black hole because while well-intentioned, we just can't seem to escape without buying things we don't need and spending more than we intended to. Here are my thoughts on the Black Hole:

I used to be sucked in. Every time I was shopping in the vicinity of Target, I had to stop in and just see what they had. Sure, I probably had a few things on my list - toothpaste, Ziplocs, soap, but I always seemed to veer from my list and end up with great things at great prices, but not things I needed or money I needed to spend. I started thinking about it recently and realized that my personal issue with Target is that I see it as a special treat to go there. For some reason, when I am there, I grab things as if it might be the last time I can go to Target. I must claim this item!! I also must give some credit to the atmospheric effect. I am not sure why, but when I walk into Target, I feel like I am home. I know the exact layout of the store, I am relaxed, happy and excited to shop.

I know this may be shocking to hear from a Shopaholic, but lately, I have been somewhat surprised at my spending there. Where once, $80 was my consistent spending there, a few months ago, it was only $40, then $30, then $15 and the last time, only $7!! Each time, I have exclaimed to the cashier, I don't think I've ever spent this little in Target!!! Now, I don't know how it is possible to continue this trend without sticking to the dollar spot. I still love Target dearly, but I'm hoping I can enjoy and still be able to send my children to college.

Mommy Love

Yesterday was a perfect holiday. P and I got to sleep until 7:45 (late at our house). I went for a long run and decided to do the stairs over at the high school. Came back and got some much needed house cleaning done while the boys played outside and helped P with yard work. Then we went to a cookout and had the best barbeque and fun time with good friends.

Mommy Love is what I call it when I need some love from my boys. As in I need my mommy love. That is C and R's cue to give me some hugs and kisses. C always obliges and initiates sometimes, but R is starting to enter an affectionate stage. He'll be playing or eating lunch and all of a sudden he will shout BIG HUG! or BIG KISS! This is his demand for some love and I am always happy to give him some.

Yesterday, C was needing some Mommy Love. It was so sweet. I got back from my workout and he was upset because he needed to see me. (This is pretty unusual for him. Usually when I take him anywhere, I am lucky to get a wave goodbye - then I have to steal a kiss!) I had to run to the store for a few items in the afternoon and C ran out of the house needing a hug before I left.

I know there might be a time in my future (hopefully a long time off) when he will come home from school, throw his backpack down and head to his room without saying much to me. Maybe if I bank all this Mommy Love now, it will carry me through those days. Although, I am not above standing outside his door and waiting for him to come out and give me a little Mommy Love.

To paraphrase an article written by Maura Sheehy entitled Beyond the Baby Years, I have a desire to hang on to this magical moment when my children are little and I am blessed with excess. Unlike in any other stage of my life, I am doubly aware of its occurrence and its passing. I wish I could be like Zen and let the days stream through my fingers like sand as I rejoice in each grain of a moment. But I musn't try to stop it. I know that if I don't allow this time to pass, I'll miss all the riches yet to come.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Friday 5 - part two

Since I posted a Friday 5 last week, I feel obligated to continue. Here are 5 random thoughts of today:

  1. If you have homemade Reese's peanut butter bars in the refrigerator and seal them up and put them in the very back, behind many large items, including the milk and juice, you will still know they are there all day.
  2. Chalkboard paint is not as easy to apply as the 3-step directions on the can.
  3. Chalkboard paint is almost impossible to get off your hands.
  4. Just because your three year old says things like wunnerwear (underwear) and ows (ouch), does not mean he is not biggeh (bigger).
  5. The last day of school does not automatically generate a feeling of excitement and utter glee. In moms, it can mean a tearful goodbye to the preschool attended by your precious child (5 1/2 years old today!!). Even though you find it sentimental and must pull out your camera for yet another picture of your child in front of the building, your child will quickly run to the car, only having interest in going to Lenny's for lunch.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Tick

Warning to Alana - this post might send you over the edge. Read at your own risk.

Two days ago, I read an email from a lady at church who usually sends out prayer requests. This email was about tick removal. It said that the best way to remove a tick is to take a cotton ball, cover it with liquid soap, place on the tick and the tick will just come right out. Hmmn. I stored that in my brain as information that might become useful at some point.

Little did I realize I would need such helpful information the very next morning! I noticed that I had a tick on my hip. I showed P, who verified that it was in fact a tick and I told him about my great new removal plan. Guess what? My tick must have been ahead of the game and prepared for the old cotton ball and liquid soap trick. He did not budge after three attempts. P advised me using his method and I ended up killing the tick with its head inside my body. We removed the tick and P assured me that I would not get Lyme Disease.

Later that day, I received another email from the same lady who retracted her email after receiving new data. Apparently, if you use the cotton ball/soap method, the tick will vomit inside your body and that is what is dangerous. Great. Now I get to worry about tick vomit in my hip. Add it to the list...

Smashed to Bits

Okay. While I am sitting at my desk at the computer, in my bedroom, which is located right next to a row of three windows, the neighbor boy is practicing baseball. He has a pitching machine and is practicing his batting. About every three minutes, I hear a boom and notice that the ball has hit the bricks on our house, just below the windows. Why is he hitting the baseball toward our house? Why has he hit our house 5 times and not changed position? How long will it be before my window is smashed to bits and I am pelted with shards of glass?

P just came in and I informed him of the situation. Here was his response: Is he a good hitter?

Pre-K Party

Today was C's preschool class end of the year party. He is now officially done with Pre-K and ready for kindergarten in the fall. The party was so much fun! His teacher arranged (with P) to have the party at the university baseball field. They got a tour of the field, press box, dugouts and clubhouse. Then, they got to play and run all over the field, play catch, and Mrs. R had some games for them. Since the class is comprised of 11 boys and 3 girls, you can imagine what a hit this was. Then, we headed over to the student center and had pizza. C is exhausted after all that fun, so bedtime is coming early tonight.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The car

Today I was driving in the car with the boys strapped in the back. All of a sudden, we hear something hit the car (sounds like a small, metal object to me). We all ask what was that? I tell the boys that I have no idea what that was, hopefully our tire will not roll off, and when we finish our errand and come back, we can look in the road and see if we see anything suspicious.

We come back and see nothing in the road.

R: Mommy, I think it was a cheetah that hit us.
Mom: Hmmn. Could have been a cheetah.
C: No. Cheetahs live all the way in Africa. It was a dog. Dogs rule this place.

If P comes home and finds a ding on the car and asks what happened, I will tell him I'm not sure, but it was probably either a cheetah or a dog. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Jumpy Jump

This is the last week C will be in preschool. Today, I took R to the local gymnastic center for JumpTime. They had a ton of inflatables for the children. R and his buddies had a blast! It was over two hours of climbing, sliding, and jumping. I don't think the smile ever left any of the children's faces (except of course when they landed on each other, or jumped onto someone else). I was thinking today that R is now close to the age that C was when we moved here. I thought C was so big then - ready for him to embark on his big preschool adventure. Now I don't know how it went by so fast. I have tried to download some precious pictures of R going down the inflatable slide, but we cannot get high speed internet here (I know, welcome to 1992) and it is just not working out for me. I may try from P's office later in the week.

Funny thing that happened at Jumpy Jump to mommy. While R and his friend, Maria, were on the trampoline, Maria's mom and I wondered if we could do a seat drop. It was a challenge. She did one, so of course I had to give it a try. I did it, but I felt like every vertebrae in my low back got stuck in a vise. Then, we all had to see if we could do cartwheels. The lucky thing is that no one but our own little group was there. If the coach had seen us, she might have asked us to please, stop. The gym does not have insurance coverage for mothers trying to regain their youthful flexibility (I will tell you with pride, however, that my cartwheel right and left, were flawless).

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I'm Thankful

Today I'm thankful. For my two precious boys who have a love of learning. I'm thankful that they love to learn and sing songs, love hearing stories, love to apply the stories that they've heard. All of this is even more special when they are talking about and singing about their Lord.

We have been blessed to find a great church family. The children's ministry is fabulous. My boys love going to church and come home telling me what they've learned, excitedly. Tonight, on the way home from a friend's house, R said he wanted to hear music. I turned on the radio, searching for the Maroon 5 song I can't get out of my head. But, R said I want Here Comes Jesus Walking on the Wa-tuh. He and C sang along with all of the songs. I love that they love to sing about Jesus. It warmed my heart. I know that next year C will enter the new world of school. Kindergarten. He will be around children whose parents and families may not have similar values. He will hear things not appropriate for a 5 year old and see things he shouldn't. But, I just think if I pray continually for him, his teacher and his schoolmates, and fill him up as much as I can with the good stuff, he will be ok.
I may not be ok on that first day of school, but I think he will do great.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

The Sale of All Sales

Ok. Lots of curiosity about the PB Outlet. Let me go into detail - probably should because it may be considered a defining moment in my shopping life. The Outlet is in Memphis. I just recently found out about it. I've been twice before and found a few good deals - cute towels for the boys, a bulletin board, etc. But this week was unlike any other. Let me take a few deep breaths and begin...

We walk in, trying not to be too excited. We didn't really want to get our hopes up in case it was a flop (although Heather did take out the back seats in her minivan just in case we found stuff, so she was obviously more hopeful than I let myself be). We decided to pace ourselves and start to the right and work our way around. Definately need a strategy. We noticed that rugs were 30% off and gave them a glance, but honestly, 30% off $699 is not the kind of bargain we were there for. So, we continue toward furniture. The blue bookshelf I had discovered a few weeks ago was there (found at a great price, but could not fit it in my vehicle with two carseats in there. Tried to consider all my options, but short of making the boys sit in my lap on the way home, I couldn't come up with a realistic solution. I had to part ways with the blue bookshelf so perfect for R's room). Well, as I said, I found MY bookshelf and grabbed the tag off immediately so no one else could even consider it. It was originally $299 at the outlet. I got it for $20. I repeat, $20. If you enjoy shopping and bargains even a tiny bit, you are starting to feel my excitement. Hold on to your shopping bag - it gets better.

We move over to the clearance area. I had seen this area before and it consisted of odds and ends and basically things that did not make sense - a shower rod without an end, miscellaeous drawers without a dresser, etc. Well, we go over and look at the items on the table with a slight disinterest and then start looking through this massive box. We decided to develop a system and took everything out to see it all. I was originally attracted to the box by an Easter basket liner with C's name embroidered on it. It was 97 cents. So, I was pulled in. We took things out, discussed them and came up with our stash. Good, but nothing huge. We maintainted our control. Until we saw it. About 3 feet away from us the whole time. The sign. The sign that will forever change my definition of a good sale. It read


Heather and I looked at each other with disbelief and started through the box all over. All control was lost. At one point, I think Heather may have fallen in. We dove deep. We would do anything to get our bargains. If there were others wanting to look in the box, they would have to wait. Truth be told, I'm not sure others noticed the sign at first either, so we pretty much had the area to ourselves to work. The sign changed everything. Suddenly things that were $30 were now only $9! I cannot tell you all the deals I got, but to give you an idea, I got a roman shade for C's room for $3, tab top panel curtains for R's room for $6, red and blue buckets with handles for $1.50 each, Easter baskets for 90 cents, a lampshade for $3, a duvet cover for $9, etc, etc. When we went to check out, after 3 additional trips to make sure there wasn't anything else we could use, Katie, the check out lady LOVED us. She would just take $10 off the price before the 70% without us even knowing she was doing it!! We had huge carts full of stuff. After that, we totally could have gone home happy. So, the rest of the fun trip was all bonus.

Ahh. A Shopaholic's dream sale. Thank you, PB Outlet, thank you, Katie, thank you, Heather.
Thanks to whoever made the executive decision to get rid of all the clearance and mark it 70% off. There is nothing better (well, maybe 90%, but I've got no complaints).

Friday, May 18, 2007

Friday 5

Yes, I know. It's been a week since I last posted. I know I should have posted all through the week, but whenever I found time to connect, I found myself enjoying other blog entries and then had no time to write my own. So, today I am determined to post. I missed the Thursday 13, so here is my Friday 5:

Highlights of the week
  1. Mother's Day. Seeing the look of pride on my boys' faces as they handed me cards and gifts. Their little faces were certainly gift enough.
  2. Beautiful weather. (I am a sunshine snob. Even when we are in the midst of draught conditions and the lawns are brown and everyone is praying for rain, if the sun is out, I'm a happy girl - the only one sighing with disappointment when the rain comes. May be living in the wrong state).
  3. Two-day girls' trip to Memphis. Doubled-over in laughter, maintaining a train of thought, bargain hunting, chick-flick, lots of ice cream.
  4. 70% off lowest marked price at Pottery Barn Outlet. Seriously may be the single best shopping experience of my life. Diving into the huge box and finding the best deals ever. May be on a shopping high from this for a long time (we can hope).
  5. Lots of hugs and kisses from C and R upon my return. Hearing R say I missed you, Mommy!! and Dove Dou, Too.

Friday, May 11, 2007

What I'm Loving Right Now

Alana posted a list of what gives her "Happy Feet". Here is a list of what I love:

  • sunny days
  • date night
  • watching my boys play and laugh together
  • a one-hour (or longer) massage
  • plain M&Ms
  • the ocean
  • my boys in their jammies after bath
  • watching my boys with their grandparents
  • travel
  • sushi
  • all of my boys (especially P) in baseball caps
  • a morning run
  • time spent with my brother and sister
  • chick flicks
  • a surprise full tank of gas
  • a French pedicure
  • the smell of fresh-cut grass in the summer
  • being with friends
  • Cold Stone creamery
  • my MP3
  • playdates that last all day
  • Pop Goes My Heart video from Music and Lyrics
  • sharing a secret with my 5 year- old
  • When my 3 year- old pulls me back at bedtime for another kiss good night

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Good days

P and I went on a date last night. I can't even begin to explain how wonderful it was. We have needed a date night for so long, but with P's busy season, it hasn't even been a possibility since the end of January. (Although I think we did sneak off for dinner together around Valentine's Day - a quick dinner and then back to work for P). We secured our sitter, who my children totally adore, I love and of course, she is graduating on Saturday. Hate to lose Miss Jessica! Anyway, we went to the steak place for dinner because some friends had gotten us a gift card. We had yummy steaks (a once-a-year dining experience for me, who usually avoids red meat) and relaxed and caught up with each other. It was so nice to connect! The server brings us our check and we place our gift card and our credit card (to cover the $4 we went over) in the case. She comes back shortly and explains that there was a problem wtih the computer - they can see that our gift card has $30 on it, but it is not running through, so she just wanted to check and make sure it was ok to charge the whole amount on our credit card. Ummn, no. Not ok I say with a smile. The gift card is the reason we chose to eat here tonight. Ok. She heads off to try to figure it out and lo and behold, she gets it to work. So, our dining experience was good, the company was the best and our children were asleep when we got home (although R had winter jammies on - a trend he tried to continue tonight. Apparently, Miss Jessica is a little more lenient than Mommy when it comes to wearing flannel when it is 90 degrees outside).

I had a great day with my boys today. Then, this afternoon, I get a phone call from my friend, Heather, who wants to stop by with something. She brought a plate of goodies, some monogrammed napkins and a really sweet note. Totally brightened my day and made me thankful for friends. She is an answer to prayer. It just reminds me that when I feel led to do something nice for someone, I should make sure I do it. Sometimes I get so caught up in the big TO-Do list that my good intentions fall by the wayside. Heather is so my shopaholic buddy. :)

Oh yeah. More good stuff. Just found out that our town is getting a Belk department store, McAlister's Deli and Starbuck's. This might just put us on the map. Now if only we could get a Target, but I'm sure that's a post to come.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Fever Pitch

Last night was my 5-year old, C's first T-ball game. I LOVE T-ball (I know every mommy says this - but they are so adorable in their white baseball pants, hat and cleats).

Last night, C's game was scheduled for 6:30. I taught aerobics at 5:15 and drove over to meet P and the boys at the field. Let me tell you, the baseball complex has the right moniker. It is COMPLEX!! I had been to practice at their designated field, but I walked around and saw every other field before finally seeing a gaggle of little boys in green shirts. Ahh, the Gators. Upon arriving, I realized that I left the camera in the laundry room (put down in haste when the door bell rang) and the camcorder charging in the kitchen. Not mommy of the year at this point. P so kindly pointed out that no one will ever know from the footage or photos if it is the first game or the 10th, so I will try to get the next game memorialized.

C played so well! I was a little worried because when we practice, he prefers to be pitched to rather than hitting off a tee. He did fantastic. He played first base and got after the ball every time and threw it to second base. We were so proud. Even his preschool teacher came to watch. R, at 3 years old, is dying to play. He knows most of the university baseball players and will play around the yard - I'm number14-the catcher, now I'm number 3...and names him! The boys love baseball, which is a good thing in our house.

With two games scheduled each week, I am going to bank a lot of hours in the laundry room. Who picked white pants for a team of 5 year olds? C is in slide mode. He LOVES to slide - everywhere. At home, when it is time for lunch, he slides to the table. When I call him to pick up toys, he runs up and slides to me. Sliding has become a regular form of transportation. Of course, he slid about 6 times during the game, so we are going to put our Oxiclean to the test!!

Go Green Gators!!

Monday, May 7, 2007

It's Pilates, Jerry.

I taught my Pilates class tonight. I LOVE teaching fitness classes. The women who take my classees are wonderful and I can't think of a better paying job than working out. That being said, sometimes I just hope they keep me on! Do you know that feeling when you think of something hilarious, but it is totally inappropriate to laugh, which makes it incredibly hard not to totally bust out? Well, tonight I was thinking how funny it is that whatever I tell my class to do, they do it. I say move into the plank position and they all do it, no questions asked (ok, at times there have been a few groans). I started realizing that I could say anything and they would do it! If I said get up off your mats and do jumping jacks around the room they might shrug their shoulders and think the instructor has gone totally off her mind, but they would probably do it. This struck me as so funny. My class is so trusting of me! So, I smiled and one of my students saw me smile and smiled back. This did it for me. I had to laugh. I couldn't explain it to my class, but I was struggling desperately to maintain control. Deep breaths. Inhale, exhale.

I teach at least half of the class facing the class. This means that I have to think of what I am doing and then invert it for the class. So, I think lift your left leg, but I must say lift your right leg. It is like I am constantly translating my class into Latin. Well, I am trying so hard to get the correct side that in almost every class, I have said the wrong body part. By a long shot. I don't realize it for a few seconds, and then I have to laugh, but I am way off. For example, instead of saying shoulder, I have said elbow. I said ankles instead of wrists. Minor errors. Good thing my class is filled with good-humored, easy-going women who must just ignore what I say and just follow what I'm doing. Trusting girls. I will lead them to 6-pack abs and a core of steel!

I have to say, one of the big perks is wearing the headset.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Where do they shop?

Ok. Do you ever see those girls who always seem to surprise you with a super cute outfit when they've been living in sweat pants everytime you've seen them all week? How do they do that? They seem so effortless with their style - like they are fine with the sweat pant style (no judgments are being passed). So you just kind of categorize them in your head as Sweat Pant Girl. Then, you go to Book Club, or church and wow - they have the cutest outfit on. Not one you have spotted at the Gap, Target, Dillards, or TJ Maxx. So you ask where they found such a great find. They nonchalently say Old Navy every time! Let me tell you - I have been to Old Navy a lot and I like their clothes, but these outfits are never there! What Old Navy are they shopping at? And why don't they want to talk about shopping and clothes? Why are they hiding their shopping secrets? I admire the effortless style they have like I just threw this old thing on, but I have to say it is driving me nuts.

I am going to Old Navy this week.

What have I gotten myself into?

I can't believe I am doing this. Starting a blog. I have no idea what this entails - just threw myself in head first. I have to say that I have been influenced. Alana and Janelle just started blogs and although my first reaction was where would I find the time for that?, I have to say that I was intrigued. Plus, I trust these friends, so I hold them entirely responsible for any dishes that get ignored, laundry that goes unfolded, must-haves on sale that go unpurchased, etc. Hopefully this will be a fun way to keep family and friends involved in our family's happenings.