Friday, May 31, 2013

5 on Friday: Giving Back and Hands Free Mama

It's a lot easier to have a prompt for writing! Here are my five things:

Giving Back: One of my goals for the summer is to consistently model giving back to others and provide authentic opportunities for Evie and Henry to help others in our community. Earlier this week, Evie helped me make "Blessing Bags" for the homeless. Nashville allows the homeless to sell a newspaper on street corners and the vendors wear identification - the newspaper is a dollar so I enclosed one in the bag. Evie always has a HUGE interest in these people and asks us lots of questions about why they are outside all the time. I decided Blessing Bags would be a great way to start giving back since Evie is interested in helping these people. We filled the bags with toiletries, snacks, pens and note paper, a dollar bill and a short note reminding them that they are a Child of God and that we are thinking of them. Evie and I were so excited to take the bags to the homeless from the safety of our car. I am all about helping others but our safety is important too. We drove to all the hot spots for homeless in our area and could not find a single homeless person. It was a bit frustrating! We will try again soon and perhaps it would work better to go in the afternoon. Plan B was to make brownies for the retread workers in Carl's shop. They have a hot, dirty job and love to a sweet treat. Evie and I made the brownies and I was chatting with her about the importance of being kind and that these workers had been doing such a good job and how these brownies would make their day. Evie seemed to be taking all of this in so well and then she asked me if we could make some brownies for Daddy since he is doing a good job too. We will keep working on giving back to our community!

Pool Play Dates: I took the kids to the pool twice this week by myself to meet friends. It's practically an Olympic event to cover every square inch of their body with sunscreen and then lug them and all of their stuff to the pool. Not to mention keeping them both alive at the pool. Evie does really well. Henry thinks he can swim and attempted to jump off the diving board until his mean old mom grabbed him by his floatation device. I'm telling you one mom per kid might be the best strategy for the pool.

Summer Parenting:  Henry has cried almost every minute of the day since Tuesday. One of my friends commented that perhaps it was his 2 year molars coming in. Poor Henry is such a second child. No wonder, he has been so cranky! A little Advil and he is doing much better. I have decided that full-time Motherhood is not for me. We all do better with some spaces in our togetherness. It's been a wild two weeks without any alone time for Mama. I met some friends out for dinner tonight and had so much fun. We were like giggling sorority girls all over again with a game of Never I have Ever. I learned so much about my fellow moms. Never Have I Ever changed a flat tire was my choice and was surprised to see that most of us have not ever changed a tire. I am so thankful for all my Mama friends and cannot imagine parenting without them.

Shrimp and Grits: I LOVE dressing my kids like little kids but it can be expensive. Shrimp and Grits is my favorite kids line. I adore it all and have been patiently waiting for their summer sale. Wednesday, was the big day and I was online at 11 EST along with every smock-loving, ruffle wearing, seersucker Mama in the South.  May 29 has been on my calendar for weeks with the words SALE to remind me of the big day. The site crashed and moms were commenting left and right about how irritated they were about this. I'll admit to feelings of disappointment for not securing all of those precious outfits at deeply discounted prices but it was not the end of the world. It was shocking to see the extreme frustration that moms were feeling over a slow website. I had to scoot off to a play date so I had to wait until nap time to purchase my items. There are way bigger problems than crashing websites for children's clothing which leads me to my next item of business.

Hands Free Mama: Have you read this blog? I highly recommend it and this is part of the reason why I am writing two blog posts at 11:00 at night while my children are sleeping. Computers (especially my iPhone) have become too big of a part of my life. Everywhere, that I go from weight room at the Y to the lifeguards at the pool - people are glued to their phones. I am glued to my phone! It's absolutely not necessary for me to check my email at stoplights - I am a SAHM not a physician on call. My Facebook status is not as important as the status of my laundry room or the status of my children's heart. Blog reading is fun for me but it is not nearly as much fun as living life with people that are in my town. Anyway, I have been convicted about my computer use and have vowed to cut down tremendously to enjoy life with my kids. They do not need me every minute of the day just like I do not need them every minute but they need a mom that is focused and fun not glued to the iPhone. These days are long  (some days feel longer than others) but the years are short. I still love Social Media of every type and still check it way more than necessary but it's my personal goal for my myself and family to decrease my dependence on that little gadget. My kids are just way more important! Check out Rachel - you might learn something new! I have already learned that it is incredibly freeing not to carry that darn phone everywhere I go. Instead of being In Case of Emergency - it has become an extension of me. Join me if you'd like, use your phone but enjoy your life! Watch your kids play at the park, feel the wind in your hair and engage in conversation with the person next to you. I promise that you will not regret it!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Memorial Day

Just a tad late on this post . . . we traveled to South Carolina to visit Carl's parents. I left the card for my camera at home and did not realize it until we had reached our destination. Tony and Sheila live pretty far out from the grocery stores so I had to make-do with my camera phone.

It took us forever to get there this time. Carl's parents had a lovely dinner waiting for us and we picked up some boiled peanuts too. Evie has to have her "oiled peanuts." After dinner, we enjoyed a sunset cruise and Henry became infatuated with boats. Carl might finally get a boat now that Henry has such an interest in boating. Kidding!

All of us went to the park for some playtime Saturday morning. Kurt and Lollie arrived around lunch on Saturday. Evie went down the slip and slide with her cousins on the big hill. Most of the kids were way bigger than Evie but that did not stop her for a minute. Carl stayed back while Henry napped. Evie spent 5 hours at the pool. Henry joined us later that afternoon. Evie learned more swimming with Mary and Lucy in one weekend than in 6 months of lessons. Peer pressure can be a good thing! We had dinner at the pool - yummy barbecue, salad, ice cream etc. Delicious! Evie and Henry were ready for bed and passed right out.

We headed to church on Sunday. Poppy and She She have a worship service in their community and we joined them. Henry lasted about 1 minute before he had to leave. I took Henry out and tried to keep him busy for an hour. We played on the playground, looked at the lake, played in the fountain and joined the girls in Sunday school. I was relieved when church was over so that I had some extra help with Henry. Carl's parents treated us to a delicious brunch. Everything was outstanding. All the kids sat at the kids table and did really well. Mary and Lucy are so good to my kids. Sweet and thoughtful and really help keep them in line.  We went back to the pool and then out for another boat ride. It was fun to take a picnic dinner out on the lake. 

We left early on Monday for our 7 hour journey back! Thank goodness our kids are such good travelers. We had so much fun spending Memorial Day with She She and Poppy.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Cheekwood: Bruce Munro Light Exhibit

Carl and I attended opening night of the Bruce Munro exhibit at Cheekwood. AMAZING! We were highly impressed with the scale of the exhibit and the beauty. It is amazing to think of the work that went into a project of this magnitude. There were 19,822 pounds of lights shipped from England inside two 40ft. shipping containers. Now, that is a lot of lights! Can't wait to go back with Evie and Henry. Exhibit is at Cheekwood through November.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Summer Lovin' Had me a Blast

It was our first day of summer just the three of us. Nana left yesterday so I was on my own. By 9, I was checking the time but we ended up having a great summer day. Two picnics, lots of outside time, a trip to Trader Joe's and ice cream for dessert. Then swimming on the blue duvet cover complete with a cannon ball off the diving board made for a busy fun-filled summer day.

I was upstairs meeting with the insurance adjuster - more on that later. We came downstairs to this!

They decided to add some more cushions to their pile and promised to clean up the mess. Of course, they did not clean up the mess!

Cuddles on the couch with Sweet Henry. He seems captivated by Evie's choice of Tangled. Just part of being a little brother.

Picnic Dinner. Our lunch picnic was cut short by a summer thunderstorm.

Chocolate ice-cream - good to the last drop.

Campaigning for more dessert! It's hard to say no to that sweet face but we still did. Carl took him up for a quick shower.

Our bathing beauty with her float AKA the tube that holds one of Carl's Lowcountry maps.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Weekend Rewind: Date Night, Shopping and Dance Recital

We had a super-busy weekend and I really need a weekend from our weekend.

Friday: Courtney and the boys brought Evie balloons and flowers for her recital. Evie was thrilled and felt so special. Evie had her dance recital rehearsal and we made it by the skin of our teeth. Crazy traffic and rain made our trip into the city a bit slower than anticipated. Evie was mortified when her bun fell out during rehearsal. Mama learned some new tips after that happened. Evie said that she was upset because she "did not look beautiful like the other girls." Oh dear, this is already beginning. I reminded her that the bun or the outfit is not what makes her pretty. My mom took over kid duty while Carl and I went on a date. THANK YOU MOM! Carl and I love going out and it's even better with free babysitting. We decided to try Tin Angel in West End and it was scrumptious. I had a burger and fries that was way better than some of my other favorite burgers in town. Carl had a steak and enjoyed that too. Butterscotch creme brulee rounded off our meal. 

Saturday: Carl took both kids to a birthday party at Chuckie E Cheese while my mom and I went out for a bit. We went to a children's sale at Little Cottage and stocked up on some summer sale items. I love dressing our children like children but it sure can get expensive. Sales make it much easier to keep them dressed in smocked clothing. Before, I am ready they will be dressing in ragged jeans and screen-printed t-shirts.  Pedicures were our next stop. It was so nice to spend time with my mom without the kiddos. Carl grilled ribs for dinner that were amazing. We spent most of the afternoon outside enjoying the gorgeous day. 

Sunday: Early church and then back home to prepare for the recital. Doughnuts in the backyard and then bun time. I wet, gelled, sprayed and pinned that bun to keep it from falling. It looked amazing and so did Evie. Our little ballerina was excited to dance her heart out in the recital. She did such a fantastic job and we are so proud of our Evie. It was short recital. Evie loved hanging out backstage with all of her little friends. She was sad to learn that these girls will not be in her class next year. Evie was in the older class and all of her friends will go to kindergarten. Henry had fun with Karen and was covered in tractor grease. He was not happy at all when we left but he sure was glad when we returned home. Evie requested chips and cheese so we headed out for an early dinner at Local Taco. We all love that place and it was my moms first time eating there. Restaurants are still touch and go - kids were fine but were all over me in the restaurant. It will be so nice to sit in a restaurant one day without my person used as a jungle gym. It was such a nice night so we spent some time outside before early bedtimes for us all. I was exhausted after our busy day and was conked out by 9:15.

That sums up our weekend. Hope you had a great weekend too.