Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Other Side Of 40

I've been 40 for 84 days. Yes, I counted. The way I see it, 84 days is long enough to settle in and get comfortable with 40. I've had time to live with it and try it out. And guess what? I don't like it.

40 has not been good to me. Which is strange, because you know how I thrive on even numbers. But still, I've come to the conclusion that I don't like this side of 40. The worst part? I feel it. I feel old. OK, old-ER. My skin now sags in weird places, my teeth are falling apart and I'm pretty sure I make weird groaning noises when I stand up from the couch. Oh, and I sigh. A lot.

I remember my parents at 40. Clearly. And I can't seem to balance that memory with where I am now. It just doesn't register. I expected 40 to slide on by, much like any other year. But, it hasn't, and it aggravates me.

I have found one nice thing about my new age-- I don't care. About a lot of stuff. I've come to a point where energy is a limited resource, so I spend it wisely. A majority of the things I used to worry about, simply don't matter any more. It's rather liberating not to care what others think or have to say. I have no idea why it took me this long to realize it.

I've noticed that noise bothers me. Specifically the noise of my kids talking all at once in a confined space, like the family room. This could be a result of endless summer days together, or it could be my age. I haven't decided yet.

What I have decided is this: 40 is NOT the new 30. 40 is 40. The end. No turning back. From here on out, I'm wondering if things just continue on a downward slope, or if there's some way to coast for a while.

Maybe the older you get, the more your body gives way but your mind gives up trying to please everyone and you actually start enjoying life. In a weird way, that sounds rather nice. This side of 40 may not be so bad after all. I'll let you know....after the kids go back to school.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Full Of It

It's been one of those weeks. Full tilt crazy. My sanity has felt like syrup ready to pour out, over the edge. A drip has fallen loose every time my kids open their mouths. I think I have little of it left now.

Twin #2 had surgery this week (ear tubes, adenoids out, scar tissue around vocal cords removed). Thus, I adopted Twin #1. It takes a lot of energy to let her do whatever she wants and then do the opposite for my own kids. It wore me down. I had to start telling her 'No' and it caused me physical pain to do so. I think I probably need a refresher course on parenting. I'm sure the first topic covered will be, "Thou shalt not treat your nieces better than your own offspring."

Just in case you have more energy today than I do, try making sidewalk chalk:

You can find the directions on the Family Fun website. Take careful note that you can't put any of the solution down your sink. It will harden in the pipes. Kinda like my brain today.

My goal is to sit in a quiet, secluded place today. We all know that's never gonna happen, but it's nice to think about. Right?

Monday, July 25, 2011

What We Do For Fun

I seriously need to consider giving these kids vitamins. Can you coat those in whip cream?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Are We Not All Pioneers?

It's Pioneer Day. Not here, in Texas, exactly. It's more of a Utah celebration. One I grew up with. It's the day the pioneers arrived in the valley to lay down and settle in. I'm sure Texas had it's own pioneers, although I have no idea when they arrived on the scene. But if you think about it, I'm sure they too pulled up their wagons and surveyed a land yet to be touched and grounded.

When I think about pioneers, I'm left with thoughts about hard work and determination mixed with a lot of trial and error. I come from pioneer stock. It's in my blood. Somewhere. The traces must be faint, because there's no way I would survive the dusty trial. No way. It would be like a Girl's Camp that lasts forever. My mind can't even go there.

But I do consider myself a survivor. The curves and bends in my path haven't been easy or chosen, but I've traveled through them nonetheless. And isn't that what the pioneers did? They pushed through, the best they knew how, and they came out on the other side different people than when they began. In that slant of light and when you look at it from that angle, we are all pioneers.

There have been times in my life when the road has felt too rugged and long. Don't you feel the same? There have been times where I knew that the handcart I pulled was just too heavy. And there are many more times where I've felt like the Willie Martin Company who started off on their trail too late, only to fight an uphill battle.

No matter the trial or the test, we are all just pushing through. The best we know how. And I have to believe that on the other side, I'll be grateful for the person I've become. And I'll look out over my valley and with relief exclaim, "This is the place."

Saturday, July 23, 2011


The most unusual thing happened tonight. My kids were nice to each other. Without being forced, bribed or threatened. For a short blip in time, they were simply...nice. Todd and I stared at them without speaking. We were that stunned. I took a picture just so I could prove that this event actually took place:

Within a 20 minute period, they spoke nicely, behaved in public and shared their prize tickets. Let me say that slowly, just for emphasis-- they  s h a r e d.....I am still freaking out about it. I was so happy, I found myself being nice to them. I don't think I rolled my eyes the rest of the night. I know, so weird.

Speaking of happy:

How thrilled was Todd to be sitting on the kiddie roller coaster while I held up the line so I could take a picture? I call this his 'Way Super Happy Face'. Good times all around.

Hope your evening was as happy as ours :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

More From The List

Items now checked off the Summer List:

Snowcones. The most delicious way to cool down in Texas. I don't even dare add up all the money spent on these ice beauties.

Glass Magnets. Scrapbook paper, glass stones and a serious amount of Modge Podge. Every time anyone bumps or even breaths wrong on the fridge, they instantly fall to the floor. Time well spent.

Roller Skating. After spending a large amount of money to get people in the rink and skates on their feet, they spent the entire time in the gift shop. Kellie spent half her money on items that were rejected from the Dollar Store. Good times.

Complete a 1,000 piece puzzle. Enough said.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Can You Call CPS On An Aunt?

My sister just let my almost-15 yr. old drive her car.

Let me say that again.

My sister just let my STILL 14 YR. OLD drive. her. car!

Yes, yes she did.

Sam gunned it up the driveway while my sister calmly said, "Brakes. You should use the brakes."

My sister's justification for letting Sam drive? "Um. She's almost 15?"

Isn't it blazingly apparent that I come from a family of intelligent, deep thinkers?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Exhausted Thoughts

I just realized that it's Saturday. I had forgotten what day of the week we were on. The last couple of days have felt non-stop. I thought summer was supposed to be filled with long, lazy, carefree days. I think I missed the meeting where that was discussed.


Todd has been out of town. (Sidenote: is that why these last few days have been packed full of crazy?) He has eaten his way through all the restaurants that I have craved for 4 years. And he has visited people I love. It all makes my heart hurt to think about.


Summer has officially kicked my butt. I have reached my peak level of sanity. Every sibling war or "That's not fair"/ "I'm bored" declaration makes my insides scrunch up tight. I'm on the verge of endless scratching at my skin and high pitched screaming. The verge, people. I'm serious.


I discovered a coupon for $10 free on a purchase at Kohls. Its been sitting in my wallet for weeks. I found it today. It expires tonight. Free money. And guess what? I was too tired to go and spend it. That's just sad.


An unnamed child spilled ice cream in my car. Thus, I had to pull out the mats and clean them. I had 74 things to do last night, but instead I sat outside in the humid heat and scrubbed ice cream off the van mats. I left them out overnight. Today they remain soaked through and now they smell like mildew. Can I throw them away? Do you really need mats?


Child #2 lost her LAST tooth. I want to grab her and hold her tight so that she won't grow up too fast. It all speeds by too quickly.


Enjoy your weekend. Um, what's left of it. I'm hoping to find somewhere quiet to sit. I hold out little hope for that happening. I hope you have better luck.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Summer Wreath?

I decided to make a paper wreath. I had an altered version in my head based off of something I'd seen in blogland. I used a wreath form and scrapbook paper I had on hand. It took much longer than anticipated and I burned off the tips of my fingers, but at least it's finished.

I can't decide if it looks like a fun, summer wreath or a scrapbook store that got food poisoning and vomited in a circle. Maybe I'll let you decide:

I started by cutting an endless amount of scalloped circles using my (I mean, my sister's) Cricut. I varied the sizes. I used scrapbook paper as well as book pages.

I also added a ruffled edge on the back with felt. I simply cut the felt into strips and scrunched/hot glued as I went.

Layer, layer and layer your circles. I folded them into a cone shape and bent the end as I hot glued it on. This part takes for-ev-ah! I did little bits over a couple of days.

To fill in any extra space, I cut out stacks of felt circles. I used the bottom of a tomato paste can as a guide. I wanted them to be small enough not to cover up the paper.

I placed the eraser end of a pencil in the center of the felt circle and scrunched (a technical term) the felt around it. I placed hot glue on the end and then used the pencil to guide it into the nooks and crannies of the wreath. It helps to fluff out the wreath and cover any blank spots.

Once it's finished, you can sit back and ice your finger tips while you wonder if you spend way too much time on craft projects.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

I'm Sure It's My Own Fault

I've somehow convinced myself that the older they get, the easier art projects will be. Apparently I need to readjust my thinking.

As I was quickly trying to clean up the paint (before it dried!), the child who spilled it said to me, "Hey Mom, I can see your underwear."

So awesome.

Monday, July 11, 2011

3 More Summers

I drop her off in the early morning hours. Just as the sun is rising. I watch her join the group of high school kids who have gathered to run. They hit the trails early to try and stifle the heat. They run through miles of dirt and bushes. I can't fathom why anyone would do such a thing.

This morning, there was a low fog on the ground. She jumped out of the car and appeared to walk into a blurry mist. So I watched. Just for a moment. And I realized, that she has only three more summers here. Only three more summer vacations that I can keep her as mine alone. Graduation will follow, and then I'll have to set her free.

Three is such a small number. It doesn't feel like enough. I want to gather up bushels of time and hold it tight. Is that possible? Is there a way to slow it all down and let the milestones sink deeper into my skin? I know the answer, I just wish there was a way to alter it a bit.

When you are living with toddlers underfoot, life feels like a slow crawl that will never, ever end. But then, before you have time to notice, there are teenagers. And life feels like it's dripping through your fingers no matter the force you use to keep them shut.

So, she runs and runs and runs. And I stay. I watch and I wait for her. I believe that it shall always remain that way. She circles and lives life, while I am the centering constant that pushes her to learn to fly.

I think I'm going to try and run along beside her.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Weekend Fun

For those of you who have watched Toddlers and Tiaras (if you haven't, you should), this is for you. Seriously funny. Enjoy your weekend with a good laugh:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Summer List #17: Rainbow Pudding Pops. Mix 2 boxes of Instant Vanilla Pudding. Divide into bowls and add food coloring. Layer and add popsicle stick. Freeze.

My kids found this beyond thrilling. Using food coloring tends to get exciting. Either that, or I underestimate their love of frozen treats.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Lot Of Works, But Not Much Fire

Now that it's the 5th, I can ask about your 4th. Did you barbeque? Light a few sparklers? Yell at your kids to back away from the lighter? All good signs of a great holiday.

No fireworks here. Zip. Not one crackle. When you live in a place that has the same temperature as your oven on broil, everyone gets a little touchy when it hasn't rained in weeks. Around here it's hot, dry and hot again. Thus, the sparklers were banned.

So, we cut out the 'fire' and just lingered over the 'works'. Went to a movie, ate good food with good friends. Serious work. And the best part of the day? We went to bed at 10:00 pm. We didn't have to sit outside and get infested with bugs while watching all the dads light up the street. Instead, the streets were silent and we watched TV in the air conditioned house. Ah, silent night. The perfect kind of holiday.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Stellar Parenting Moments For The Week

Do you ever look back on the previous week and realize that you might need one or two parenting classes? Somehow this seems to happen to me every week. Normally, I blame the children. Tonight, I'm simply owning the fact that I just might be less than a stellar parent. Way less.

Here are the highlights for the week (the ones I haven't yet erased from my memory). I should find some shame in my behavior. But, I just don't. That's the first sign that I might be slightly crazy.

I told Child #2 to "Shut up".

I tell my kids not to say those words, but I couldn't keep them from slipping through my mouth. She just wouldn't stop talking. And it was at the tail end of a loooonnnnng day. I asked her to stop. Several times. She ignored me.

So, I looked straight into her eyes and told her to "Shut. Up". I even said it slowly and with emphasis. After she got over her shock, she told me I hurt her feelings. My response? "Good. Maybe you will stop talking for longer now."


I told Child #1 I would "Chop off her head".

She was begging for food not 5 minutes within me cleaning up the kitchen. During summer days, all I do is make and clean up food for the people who live here. So, this particular night, I told her "No". She picked up the intensity of her whining. I simply stared at her and said, "How about I chop off your head and feed you that?"

Her response: "Duh mom. Then I wouldn't be able to eat it."


In the midst of a heated battle with Child #3, she told me that "I didn't care about or love anyone in our family." I told her she was right. Just to fuel her anger.


No less than 2 hours ago, I had to tell the 12 year old that she couldn't stand on top of the car any more. She was disgusted with me.


Child #2 has "accidentally" started calling my sister, 'Mom'.
Yup. That's awesome.

I hope you had a stellar week, I know I did.