Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Yet Another Sick Day

Greetings from the Land of Lysol. The stomach bug hit our house on Sunday, when I was out of town. I thought that, being away, I had dodged a huge bullet. Ava texted me that morning to say that Davis was throwing up. There was a teeny bit of guilt on my part because my day involved a massage at the Grandover Resort spa, but the guilt quickly faded. Really quickly. I needed the massage.

By the time I got home Sunday night,  Davis was pretty much fine, and had been vomit-free for about 7 hours. He was fine through the night and went to school yesterday. Oh - but it rained, so our school were on a 3 hour delay. That meant preschool started at 10, and Ava could't even be dropped off until 11:45. Crazy. All because there was a 30% chance that the rain would be freezing rain.

Once we had made it past the 24-hour mark of Davis being sick, I thought we were home free. Then, around 11pm last night, I heard Ava starting up. And it was at that point that I learned the disadvantage of a bunk bed. Let's just say I'll be calling a carpet cleaner very soon. And my whole house smells like Lysol and Resolve.

The worst part of the stomach bug, at least to me, is the anxiety that comes with wondering who's next. The kids get through this stuff fast, but it's always worse for adults. Plus, Ava is a high-drama sick person. For instance, she has been sick for all of 11 hours and is convinced she will never feel good again.

Anyway, I am terrified I'll get this stuff. Terrified. I would rather have the aches/cough/fever flu than anything intestinal. Every time Ava got sick last night, I started feeling clammy and lightheaded. My hands are practically cracked from all the washing they got throughout the night.

So, today will involve a Good Luck Charlie marathon for Ava, while trying to keep energetic Davis entertained. And laundry. Lots and lots of laundry.

Tomorrow, when I'm more in the mood to talk about food, I'm going to share a yummy soup recipe with you, courtesy of my fave, Ina Garten.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Naps and Night Owls


It's 3:29pm, and Davis just fell asleep watching tv. I think I did too good a job of wearing him out today. He played at my friend's house this morning while I had his preschool conference and then did math group at Ava's school. Then I took him to Playnation (bouncy castles, slides, and playsets) for about 2.5 hours. He went hard the whole time. I guess I should let him sleep, but you know I gotta cut that off at like, 20 minutes. No way am I dealing with a late night tonight!

Speaking of late nights, I have a daughter who, like her father, is a complete night owl. That wouldn't be so much of a problem if it wasn't wreaking havoc on our mornings. I've been having to wake her up at 8:00. EIGHT O'CLOCK. That is absurd. At that point, I've usually been up for 2.5 hours and gotten an hour long workout in. My sympathy for those who are not morning people is quite low. Just ask my husband.

This morning was more of a doozy than usual. After the weekend, plus MLK day and a teacher workday, Ava did not want to get up for school. She also wasn't appreciative of Davis and I singing songs to her to try to wake her. Just some sweet serenading - what's not to love there?

She rolled out of bed once, only to close her blinds and get right back under the covers. Finally, thirty minutes after I first starting trying to get her up, she was at the breakfast table, grumpy as could be.

She was fully awake  by the time I dropped her off at school, and she was fine when I was there at 9:30 for her math group. But the I looked in the backseat of my car at 2:30 today and spied her lunchbox. Oh well. Thank goodness for the cafeteria food, disgusting as it may be.

Clearly, we are going to have to do something about our mornings. The fact that she often does not fall asleep until 9:30 or 10 does not help. It's not that she's out of bed - she's all tucked in and reading. And reading and reading and reading. I've always felt like I didn't want to tell her she couldn't read anymore, but now it's a problem, and I think I'm going to have to implement a 'lights out at 8:45' policy. I can't wait to see how well that goes over.

Stay tuned, friends. Stay tuned.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Design Failure

Here's a little confession: I have tons of home design magazines, read tons of design blogs, and pin my little home decor heart out. But the truth I have come face to face with is that home decorating is just not my thing. Believe me - I LOVE a good, well-decorated space. Love. And I know what I like - traditional with a touch of modern. But actually "doing" a room is hard for me. I can't commit. I don't want to spend the money. I can't decide on things.

What I clearly need is an unlimited budget and an interior designer. Why is that too much to ask?

All this has come to light because I have spent approximately 6,725 hours looking at paint colors for Ava's bedroom. Pink or gray? Or cream? Or pink? Or gray? Should I go with pink? Is this too pink? Is gray too cold?

Houzz.com has become my BFF of late, and you probably know what a huge time suck that can be. One thing leads to another, and 3 hours later, you emerge from your laptop in a design haze. Much like Pinterest.

I'm really hoping to get the room painted this weekend, and I'm leaning heavily toward pink. Light, light, light pink. Did I mention it will be light? The space doesn't get a ton of sunlight during the day, and as much as I love the idea of pink, gray, and white, I just think it's going to have a really cold vibe.

Here are my pink inspirations. Now if I can just choose an actual color.

Traditional Bathroom design by Boston Architect

(Yes, I know that's a bathroom, but I like the color. And really, it's about the size of Ava's bedroom.)

You know the problem with painting, though? I don't really want to stop with Ava's room. I think my den needs paint. And new upholstery on a couple of chairs. And some new pillows. 

See? This is exactly why I can't do home design. It's too much of a slippery slope. And my undiagnosed ADD kicks in and I just can't focus on what really needs to be done. 

And that is precisely why my house looks nothing like I want it to.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Neverending Week

Y'all, I can't lie. It's been a long week. Rain, rain, rain. And rain with a 3 1/2 year old? Well, that's just no good. It leads to too much time cooped up inside.

Also, Davis tried to hole punch my lululemon pants today. While I was wearing them. Not okay, Davis. Not okay.

Oh, and to top it all off? There is SNOW in the forecast. I know, I know. Kids love snow. But I don't think this is a good snow. More of a wintry mix, resulting in slushy roads that will undoubtedly delay or cancel school tomorrow. Not that I don't adore time with my darling children. It's just that they're already out of school half of next week, and I just have some things to get done around here.

Let's see. I kept Davis home on Monday, since we both were a little sick. Yesterday he went back, and as soon as we got to his classroom, his poor little finger got pinched in the Dutch doors of his classroom. Davis is not much of a crier when he gets hurt, so when he was bawling, I knew he was in pain. I managed to get him dropped off, then saw the aftermath at pickup.

Huge blood blister. Yuck. BUT - by the end of the day, it had miraculously returned to mostly normal. Thank God, because I was terrified that thing would burst. Ewww.

Earlier this week, Davis asked if he could have some candy. (For the record, we still have some Halloween candy). I said yes, and before I knew it, this had happened. He is on the counter, in case you can't tell. And yes, my cabinets are that messy.

Lest you think I don't ever photograph my daughter, here she is, all ready for dance. I will always love a black leotard with pink tights. If you ever need to feel like you're in an episode of Toddlers and Tiaras, come on over to Ava's dance studio where you can prepare to be shocked at the tackiness of the dance world. Lots and lots of animal print and neon. Lots. And where animal print is absent, it's only due to a general lack of clothing. Seriously. I am clearly not a dance mom.

Since the weather is terrible, I'm taking Davis out to lunch and then we're heading to the gym so
Mommy can get a little yoga in. And a little childcare. It's all good. Davis gets to play and I get to pretend I'm zen. And practice touching my toes, since I can't actually do that.

Let's be honest: it's really just an excuse not to get dressed in real clothes today.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tuesday Randoms

Just a few random things for today.

1) Davis and I both have colds. Mine is worse (duh). I kept him home from school yesterday and I'm quite certain he watched no less than 3 hours of TV. Mostly, this:

He's obsessed. And I actually remember some of the episodes. Especially the one where the gang goes on a ski vacation and the resort owners talk like they're from Transylvania.

Ava likes it, too, and it seems to be on in my car all the time. We may need to take a break because yesterday Ava said, "I was saying 'like' a lot at school today because I was thinking of Shaggy on Scooby Doo."

2) I have been staying home during the school hours in an effort to save money. As a result, I have cleaned out Ava's dresser, am starting on Davis' today, and have caught up on all laundry. Also, I have not bought any non-necessities in over 2 weeks. That may not seem like a big deal, but trust me, it is. The hubs can vouch for me on that.

3) The Bachelor is as great and terrible as ever this season. I assume Tierra (what kind of name is that?) will stick around since she seems to be the drama queen of the season. I don't know whether I found her more annoying last night, or the model that was so excited about the Harlequin novel photo shoot. She's a MODEL! This is her THING! Yay modeling!

Here's a shot from the photo shoot. I would feel so awkward, which is why I could never go on this show. That and the fact that I am married.

The top moment of last night's show, however, may have when Catherine claimed, "I'm a vegan, but I love the beef." And, of course, she was wearing a very small leopard-print dress at the time. Of course. Sean apparently thought it was hilarious, or at least intriguing, because she got a rose. Early gossip says Catherine gets the proposal. Interesting.

I don't know yet who I like. Maybe Lesley - the DC girl. She's a little goofy, but she seems like someone I would actually be friends with, unlike most of the other girls on the show. Also, I am jealous of her mid-section. (See above photo).

4) I'm trying to cook more again, but find myself pressed for time at the end of the day (due to late-day activities for Ava that get us back home at 6ish). So - what are your favorite go-to easy meals? Crock pot ideas are welcome - I've got chicken cooking in there right now for tacos tonight. I just need ideas. Apparently, the 50 cookbooks I have just aren't enough for me. 

Off to gymnastics now. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

Last night when Ava was saying her prayers, she got really silly and started thanking God for things that normally wouldn't be mentioned in prayers. She was trying to be funny, and giggling at herself all the while. I was not really amused, but just smiled through it all and waited for her to be finished, trying to think of the kindest way to suggest that her prayers be a little more serious.

Here's the thing about Ava: she is very much a creature of habit. For at least 3 years, she has said the exact same prayer, night after night:

"Dear God, thank you for this nice day. Thank you for Mommy and Daddy and Ava and Davis. Amen."

This from a child who can write very creative stories, but who does not like to deviate from her normal routine.

I have suggested many times that maybe she could think of something else to add. Something that happened in her day that she really liked. Or, something she would like to ask for God's help with. Those suggestions are always greeted with the same "hmph" - the sound Ava typically makes when one even slightly criticizes her. (She's a born diva).

So, last night, I decided it was time to put it all out there. After the silly prayer, I said, "You know, honey, God gave you a great sense of humor, and I'm sure He loves to see you being silly. But when we pray, that's a time to have a conversation with God, and I think it would be nice to take it a little more seriously." And then I reiterated what I have said before about being thankful or asking for help, or praying for a friend or someone else in need.

Well, that went over like a lead balloon. She immediately covered herself with her blanket and refused to talk any more about it. She's starting a drama class today, and I told her, "Your class isn't until tomorrow, so you might want to save the drama for that."

Her response?

"It's not THAT kind of drama class!"

I decided it was too late to argue about it and just let it go. Then I turned to Google, and found an article on The Huffington Post that really resonated with me. In it, the writer, Joyce Meyer states:

"As a mother and grandmother, I think kids just need to understand the simplicity of prayer. It's asking God for what we need and believing He will do the best thing for us. It's talking to Him about people we care about, asking Him to help them. Prayer is asking God how to handle a problem we have and doing what He puts in our heart to do. They need to know they can tell God anything at all because He loves them no matter what. They need to realize they can talk to God like they would talk to their very best friend."

That pretty much sums up my thoughts exactly.

I was also thinking I'd like to start reading from a family or child's devotional. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd welcome them in the comments. I'm just fairly picky about the type of Christian instruction my kids get - no fire and brimstone business, please.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Updating the Princess' Sleeping Quarters

As I mentioned last week, we're kind of in need of a new house. We need more space. But we also have this insanely low interest rate on our current home, and a monthly payment that's really comfortable. I get really nervous when I think about taking on a bigger payment, or even becoming house poor, and then not being able to indulge my inner shopping goddess. 

So, until we can really decide what we want, I'm trying to make some improvements to what we've got.

Ava's room is the first to be tackled. She had a full-size bed in there, as well as a dresser, nightstand, and a fairly large IKEA Expedit bookcase. Then she got that huge dollhouse for Christmas. To say that real estate was at a premium in her room would be a huge understatement, Plus, she's a hoarder collector, which only makes things worse. 

Right before Chritmas, when Pottery Barn had a big bedroom furniture sale, we ordered the Catalina Bunk Bed for her:

It was delivered yesterday and I could not be happier with it. It fits perfectly in her room, giving her probably three times as much space as she had with the larger bed. And what kid wouldn't want a bunk bed? 

Of course, this has led to a complete overhaul of her room. I had to get all new bedding, since I had no twin bedding at all. Finding something sweet but not babyish is kind of hard. Seven is a funny age. I stuck with PB Kids and ordered the Harper quilts and shams, which should arrive later this week:

For now, I'll just be using white sheets because I scored a major deal at The Company Store outlet on Saturday (as in, 2 sheet sets for $35, one of which is 500 thread count. Holla!). The shams will have an 'A' on them, of course.

Then there's paint. Her room is currently green. BRIGHT green. It was moderately cute when she was three, but now it's just too bright. I want to soften it up a lot. If I had my druthers, I would probably paint the room a very light gray. I love the idea of pink. gray, and white. Very soft, soothing, etc. But Ava really wants a pink room. Luckily, she wants light pink. I was totally opposed to pink until I saw this:
This room was done by Phoebe Howard, and the color on the walls is White Dogwood by Sherwin Williams. It's soft, ethereal, and not bubblegummy at all. I think it's a pink I could live with. 

For the final touches, I'd love to throw in a couple more pieces from PB Kids. They make it so easy to just do the whole room, don't they? 

I'm thinking this chandelier:

Or, perhaps go more modern with this pendant from Land of Nod?

And this rug:

Hopefully we can get the painting done this weekend. Then it's on to closet organization!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Well hello there, New Year.

Happy 2013, everyone. It's always nice to have a fresh start. Our Christmas was good, and mostly relaxing. We had very minimal travel - only a day trip here and there. Ava has already gone back to school (shortest break EVER), and Davis goes tomorrow.

Here was Davis, at 5:57pm on Christmas night. He asked to go to bed.

The kids were excited to see their uncles from NYC, who we don't see nearly enough. I'm thinking a New York 8th birthday might be in store for Ava. Davis loves his new bike that they gave him.

We got an awesome Breville countertop oven from my parents. I love it, and have already used it countless times. Now I think my sister, parents and I all have the same one. Perhaps Breville needs to make us VIPs.

Davis and Ava both love Davis' new Gator. Davis is a much better driver than Ava, though. In fact, talking her through a 20-point-turn in it the other day gave me mucho anxiety about teaching her to drive a car. Along the same lines, Davis' confidence makes me fear for the rest of you on the road in about 13 years.

My sister and her hubby gave Davis a tent that both kids are enjoying. I know Morgan can't wait to camp out in the backyard this spring! (Note sarcasm).

And, due to the fact that our tree was in danger of producing an in-home forest fire, it was tossed to the curb on Dec. 27. Good riddance. The photo below represents only about a third of the actual needles that were on the floor. That thing had not soaked up any water since the day we got it. So much for the $27 Costco tree.

So, no real resolutions for me. What's to improve?


But really, I'm going for little changes, not big resolutions. For instance, use my juicer. It sits. And sits. So my grocery list for today contains probably $100 in fruits and veggies.  Which is probably why I haven't used the damn thing more.

What else? Um - kind of embarrassing, but be nicer to my kids. I mean, I'm nice, but they know when they're on my nerves. That's not really what I want them to remember from their childhoods. And lately, I'm more than a little burned out, so we've had some moments. Especially when certain 3 1/2 year olds can't seem to stay in their beds. Or certain 7 year olds get a bit sassy. Or, as my parents would have said, get a little too big for their britches.

Oh, and I could probably be a little nicer to Morgan, too. I guess overall, I just need to be more aware of my words and actions, particularly with those that live in my house.

Lastly, I think I resolve to move into a bigger house. That might help with the above. Well, not the juicing, but the family stuff. Then again, I've said we need to move for the last 5 years, so who knows if we'll go through with it.

What about you guys? Any changes in store for 2013?