Monday, January 30, 2012

A Full Weekend

This weekend Mimi and I travelled down to Houston for a visit to see the Hale family.  It was Courtney's 30th birthday party and we were long overdue for a visit!

Since State Farm STILL hasn't given us the check (of a mystery amount) for our totalled Subaru, I drove the Jeep Liberty and felt like I was riding in style! haha. It's so funny how "nice" things feel when you're used to old crappy stuff.  My husband stayed home sick and slept the entire weekend.

Friday Courtney and I dropped off her car at this magical detail shop where I would most definitely take my car for a spruce up if I had a nice one!  We finagled 3 Britax car seats (safely installed) into the Jeep Liberty and we spent the day at the mall with the kids while her car was getting the royal treatment.  I had so much fun shopping with her.  I managed to buy things that I didn't need, like a headband, scarf, and shirt.  I ate gummy bears and a cookie filled with icing, which sent me into sugar overload not having had flour or processed sugars in a month!

Saturday we played and hung out getting ready for Court's big black/white/pink party.  I took the girls to their neighborhood parks, yes they have two! lol and the weather was amazing! Here's some photos of the girls playing together.

Little Grayson has grown into quite the little boy.  He has the most adorable little giggles and laughs, unlike any baby I've met.  He's a little roly poly escape artist, but I managed to snap a few photos of him while his Momma was getting ready for her party.

I don't want to post photos of Courtney's gorgeous party because I think it's for her to share, which i'm sure she will tell you all about it, but I'll give you a sneak peek of the kids having fun......

After the party, Mimi got pretty sick and thought It would be a good idea to throw up all over me at 4am.  Courtney's husband handled it like a champ and got us some new sheets and helped me get things all cleaned up.  The two of them amaze me.  Even after being up at 4am, they still manage to be smiley and happy in the morning WITHOUT COFFEE! Are they aliens maybe?  Or I'm just an addict.

As always, they were amazing hosts and we had a great weekend.

I came home to a messy house courtesy of my sick husband.  Awesome.  I spent the night cleaning the house, doing laundry and drinking lemon honey tea because I was pretty sick too.  Say a prayer that family manges to get better this week!  I'm also kind of hoping State Farm calls us so we know what the heck we're going to do with our car situation.  It still feels so up in the air.

I also wanted to share with you all that my brother and his spouse Ashley are pregnant again!  If you recall, they were due to have a baby last September, but sadly the baby was born at 22 weeks and passed away.  They just shared the news Thursday, they are having a baby girl, little Rowen, due July 1!  Mimi won't be Grandma's only little princess anymore!  If you pray, please say a prayer for them that this baby arrives safe and healthy!  I'd really appreciate your thoughts and prayers for them.  The last loss was really hard on them.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Worth the wait

This morning my friend Charla called me and reminded me it was the last day of the Architects of Air luminarium sculpture at the Long Center here in Austin.  A few people had been telling me about it and how fun it would be for Mimi.  I said what the heck, and agreed to meet Charla at her house at noon because she lives in walking distance.

Mimi and I made it to library story hour, made a quick trip through the Starbucks drive through for caffeine for Momma and juice and banana bread for Mimi and headed to South Austin.  We got to the Long center at 12:30 and they had froze sales of the tickets until 2pm to make sure they could get everyone in who had paid for tickets. So we waited until 2pm and they only sold 50 more tickets at 2pm and we were in that lucky 50.  We then got in another 1 hour line for the actual luminarium.  Luckily it was a gorgeous Austin day and Mimi just played and ran around until we got to the front of the line.

Let me tell you, this exhibit was well worth the almost 3 hours of waiting in lines. It cost me $8 and Mimi was free.  Luckily Charla had the mind to bring a real camera.  I got some IPhone footage to share, but she got some cool photos of it.  It was this giant inflatable structure lit up inside by naturally by sunlight through artistic slits and shapes.  Very cool.  They only let a few in at a time so it wasn't overcrowded inside at all.  Mimi was in heaven and ran around the place full of imagination, curiosity, and her general exuberance .

After we saw the exhibit, we let Mimi play around on the lawn and hills at the Long center with some new found friends.  Needless to say, she was passed out in the car all the way home and was successfully transfereed to her bed where she's still fast asleep.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

No more mamma llama car drama

I'm convinced I'm not meant to lead a stress free life.   God is probably sending me all this tests to test and teach me to deal with my stress and anxiety (as it is an issue for me).  If you follow my on youtube and watch my videos, or you're my friend in real life and heard me complain to you already, we found out yesterday that our Subaru was totalled.

In 2008 we were in a pretty bad car accident in it (you can see the back side of it and read about it here).  It took 6 long months of going back and forth with this bodyshop in Gainesville before we got it back fixed.  Over the last 3 years, the repairs they shop made have come apart, or other random things have gone wrong, like the back wiper for instance.  Having only a few car payments left, and knowing those repairs were supposedly "Guaranteed for life" we contacted State Farm Insurance, the insurance company of the at fault vehicle.  State Farm gladly (and quickly) set us up at an amazing collision shop here in Austin where they met with my husband, the owner, and the inspector one afternoon last week. Finally, the shop and inspector agreed with us without any fight at all that the repairs were done poorly. They put my husband in a rental and told us the car would be fixed properly in a few weeks at no cost to us.  We were elated.  With only 1 payment left on it, its low mileage, and the fact that my husband took amazing care of it, we were about to own it free and clear and have no more payments.  This freed us up financially to consider buying a nicer used car to replace my mazda, which is a '99 and becoming too small for our (hopefully soon) growing family.

Tuesday morning the inspector from State Farm called me to say that not only were they totaling the vehicle, but the repairs were done so poorly that we are very lucky to not have gotten in another accident in that car. The repairs were done so wrong (and cheaply) that the car was unsafe for us to drive.  Cue me, in shock and surprise and angry. Angry that we only had one payment, angry that I had been driving around my child and family in that car for 3 years.

Now here we are having to face the financial decision of what to do to replace this car, which brings me to the point of this post--I know took long enough right?

My husband and I were talking about what the easy choice and the right choice would be and what our needs were.  We know we need two cars, after sharing a car for the last 3 months we're pretty sure that's now for us.  We know we hate having to deal with expensive car maintenance, but we also hated having a huge car payment each month.  We know we need a bigger car with our family expectations and how we use our car.  We know acculating debt is not a direction we want to head in.

I admitted to my husband how it would be really nice to go buy a new family car and let me drive the nice car.  There are obvious reasons for this, newer cars are more reliable and safer, I do more driving then he does.  I have more passengers and cargo often than he does on his 10 minute commute to work.  But there are selfish reasons too.  Out of all of my peers, I by far have the cheapest crappiest car.  I know that this is so petty to even think of, but sometimes it does bother me.  Having a crappy car among the fleet of SUVs your friends have is like being the fat person. You pick on yourself first so others can't pick on you about being fat.  I make jokes about my car before anyone else can.  Even though I feel like a conceited (and ugly inside) person for admitting this, I want a nicer car.  I want to feel equal to my peers.

Now that I can admit I have those feelings, I can see how ridiculous it sounds.   A car is a car.  It gets you to point A to point B safely and comfortably.  Just by owning a car  (and yes I own mine), you are way ahead of most of the world's population period.   How shallow am I acting?  I should feel blessed for what I have, and stop putting artificial value on material possessions.  Does my friends judging my car really change the person I am? Does it change how good of a mother I am? Nope.

I'm reading this book right now that's really helping me face my "demons," by demons I mean this "keeping up with the Jones" feeling.  The need for excess.  It's called 7: An experimental mutiny against excess.  You can find it on amazon here .  It's a quick read, and I'm really enjoying it.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


These last two weeks have really been a struggle.  For some reason, two weeks ago, Mimi, my darling 2 1/2 year old decided she won't nap anymore.  Why is this a struggle?  I never realized how draining it is to be a SAHM.  Even though I'm not challenging my mind as much as my old job would have, I'm much more physically and emotional exhausted.

Our day begins at 7am, my husband's alarm goes off, which wakes up the dog who starts to whimper at our bedroom door insisting on peeing, which in turn wakes up Mimi who runs in our room and pummels us and instantly starts demanding things like grape juice and dora.  I roll out of bed, put on my glasses and begrudgingly start my day.

I take the dog out and feed him. I make coffee for my husband, listen to him scream "Where is my _______ and my _____" from the bedroom closet.  Right now we're sharing a car so I usually drive him to work in my pajamas because i'm lazy, and too busy taking care of everyone in the morning to get myself dressed.

When I get home I get Mimi fed and ready for the day and usually put a show on for her while I clean the kitchen/empty the dishwasher, pack our snacks, drink more coffee, etc.  We're out the door by 9:30, whether it's dance, or a meetup, or the library, park, you get the picture.

I let my little curly haired girl play her heart out until 12:30 usually before I pack us up and we head back to home base.  I feed her lunch, empty our bags of things, let the dog out again.

Now this is where I gear up for my new challenge.  Getting Mimi to sleep.

Now, reading this and imagining the stress in my face and my despair over my child not napping, you may be saying to yourself "She's probably just not tired, my kid stopped taking a nap at that age blah...blah..blah.."   I wish I had photographic evidence to show you that she almost falls asleep eating lunch most days, she IS tired.

I take her to the potty, get her in comfy clothes, nothing too restrictive, and we lay in her bed together and read 1 or 2 books.  I tell her she needs to rest so we can play more later.  Sometimes I bribe her with an afternoon playdate or trip to the park to entice her to sleep.  I leave the room and 2 hours later she's still wide awake talking to herself and pretending her pillow is a horse.  The other day she had emptied out her entire dresser.  Yesterday she stripped naked and pulled off all of her bedding and I found her on her floor playing with princess shoes, naked, on a pile of her bedding.

Instead of getting mad or frustrated at her, I've been trying new tactics.  A friend suggested I lay with her.  In the history of Mimi's life, I've never napped with her, except when she was newborn and I fell asleep nursing her in bed once or twice.  It has just never worked for us.  So the only thing I could think of was taking her for a long drive or a long walk.  I think driving your kids around with the pure intention to get them to sleep is a waste of gas personally, so yesterday I took a 4 mile walk with her and she was passed out the entire time. Today I stopped myself from getting mad and took her for a walk bundled up in the cold.  She fell asleep and I turned back home to try to transfer her to her bed.  I stared at her asleep in the stroller and thought, If I move her and she wakes up I'm going to punch myself, but if she sleeps all bundled up in the stroller parked in her room she'll get overheated and wake up anyway.  So I oh-so-carefully transferred her successfully.  There was my baby sleeping soundly, after 2 hours of craftyness and BANG BANG BANG wouldnt' you know it the friggin' repair men knocked on my door to change the batteries in my fire alarms!  Cue my dark barking, and Mimi waking right up again.

When they left and Mimi was awake I sat on the floor and cried for a minute. Out of sheer exhaustion and frustration.  Do you ever have those moments where you just break down and cry?  Does my child not napping really warrant actual tears from me? Today it did.

I've decided that I"ll try to put her down for naps at 2/2:30, if she's not asleep by 3 I"m putting her in the stroller and jogging or walking for an hour. Atleast then she might sleep and I'll get my exercise.  Now I just need to figure out when I'm going to find time to write my dissertation.....

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Mommy and Mimi OOTD

Remember one of my resolutions was to *try* to dress a little more put together looking? Here's my first attempt. Mimi wanted to showcase her outfit as well.  Now you'll have to forgive the slightly crumpled look to us, we've been out all morning and are just settling in back home for the afternoon. We may look slightly tired and windblown! Next time I'll do this type of "photo-shoot" before we leave in the morning! lol

On Momma:
Cardigan:  JCrew
Under Cami: Gap
Jumper: Target
Belt: Forever 21
Tights: Forever 21
Shoes: Target
Scarf: Some shop in China town in SanFrancisco

On Mimi:
Cardigan: Target
Leggings: Target
White Undershit: Target
Socks: Babygap
Shoes: Striderite
Attitude: All hers

Hope you enjoyed! Let me know if you want to see more of these.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Random Sunday

Today was amazingly uneventful.  I actually kind of like uneventful weekend days.  My weeks with Mimi are so hectic sometimes that when the weekends come we just chill and relax as a family.

Friday night we had some friends over after dinner to make smores and it was seriously a dorky fun time.  I did not mange to take photos because I was chasing around toddlers with hot marshmallows on sharp sticks. Wow that statement made me sound so uber responsible.  The kids actually did really well with the whole fire, hot marshmallow, sharp stick thing.  I was impressed.  They enjoyed eating the components of the smores more than the actual ones though.  My preggo friend and I ate our share so that was fine.   Wow  your idea of a fun Friday night changes when you have kids.....

Saturday we ran errands and shopped and let Mimi eat icecream for dinner.  It was one of those days where we just didn't care if she ate icecream for dinner.  Enough said.

Today my husband and I tagged teamed morning Mimi duty because we both stayed up until 2:30 am.  I got to sleep until 9:30, then I got up and my husband went back to bed until 11:30, kind of funny really.  Mimi and I kept busy with making valentines and creating playdoh messes.  I love having a toddler to make crafts with.  I picture many afternoons crafting together in our future.  I actually saw this little girl in JoAnn's yesterday at one of the sewing machines sewing away on some cute little project, I think she was maybe 10 and I had this daydream of Mimi sewing things and asking me to teach her and how proud she'll be of her creations.    Here are a few of her Valentines creations.  I know it's still January, but we suck the life out of holidays around here.....

Later on in the day we managed to get groceries and have lunch and now i'm the only one not napping.  Mimi, my husband and even the dog are snoring away on this chilly rainy Sunday afternoon.  I'm going to crank up the coffee machine and do some work today.

I had to share some of these shots of Mimi lounging with my IPhone.  Can you believe 2 year olds can just use these like it's nothing? I know 50 year olds that can't figure out how to use devices like this, but Mimi knows how to unlock it, what aps she likes, how to play games, how to talk to people (and make random calls lol).  It's crazy.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

It seems funny...

This is how I found my daughter almost 2 hours after I put her down for her nap.

It seems funny right?  Unsuspecting mom thinks daughter is asleep and randomly peeks in to check on her in what she thinks is the middle of naptime and finds this.  Two year-old has stripped naked and destroyed bed linens and is talking to herself.

UGH.  I was just messaging Meg and telling her Mimi's quiet time is 2-5 pm, and sometime it takes her an hour to go to sleep, and I have to check on her because she gets into mischief in that open twin bed.

I know that there is this age (that I dread) where children no longer need an afternoon nap if they get adequate rest at night.  Two and half years old is not that age, sorry not for my child.

You know how I know she needs an afternoon nap?  If for some reason we miss our afternoon nap, if I take her anywhere in the car or stroller she'll crash in 5 minutes.  If you can fall asleep that quickly, sorry you're not getting enough rest.   Also if she misses her afternoon nap, by 7pm she's a messy puddle of tears over which fork we give her with dinner. It's obvious to us she's tired beyond belief.

So no, I'm not accepting that my daily break her naptime age has passed.  My oh-so-intelligent husband remarked that maybe I"m not giving her enough outdoor playtime or time for physical exertion in the morning hours to "wear her out" so to speak.  Really?  You mean riding the train, walking 10 minutes to the museum, running around like a lunatic at the Children't museum with her friends for 2 hours, followed by snacks and more walking and another train ride isn't enough to tire her out!? I mean I"m tired just writing it!  Or how about the days she spends 3 hours at the park in the morning running, digging and climbing and STILL sometimes does not nap?  Is this child sneaking coffee when I'm not looking?

Now do you see my I had to convince my husband how flippin' crazy he was to think I could actually get dissertation work done at naptime?

So now it's 4:17pm, I read her stories in bed ata 1:30 and finally left her room around 2pm.  This momma is tired of fighting to get naptime.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Kick off the New Year with Dear Abby

I remember reading Dear Abby in the newspaper at my Grandma's house when I was a young girl.  My grandparents sat at their breakfast table every morning in their swivel bar chairs and had their coffee and breakfast whole reading the local paper.

Today, after finally finding a Sunday paper from yesterday after the Austin Statesmen failed AGAIN at my prepaid Sunday only paper delivery, I sat down to read it after I put Mimi down for her afternoon nap.  The Dear Abby column caught my eye.  It was Dear Abby's list of New Year's Resolutions.  There were 6 in total, each one warrants its own day of being thought about, but I'll share two I really liked.

I will improve my mind.  I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration.  I will not be a mental loafer.  

This is actually the reason I subscribed to the paper.  Reading the paper forces me to read about politics, economics, world news, and even local events, things I'm usually blissfully unaware of in my SAHM playground hopping world.

This one is so what I need....

I will make a conscious effort to be agreeable.  I will be kind and courteous to those who cross my path, and I"ll not speak ill of others.  I will improve my appearance, speak softly, and not interrupt when someone else is talking.

I sometimes catch myself getting wrapped up in the gossip and cattiness of the SAHM world, we can't help it really, I think it's all the estrogen and innate jealousy of each other.  I want to recognize when I'm getting pulled into the negatively and promptly retreat back to Switzerland and be nice and agreeable to everyone.

I also think I could improve my appearance.  Not in a vain way, but take pride in myself and represent myself and my family in a more put-together less SAHM looking manner.  Today I even blow-dried my hair even though we didn't go anywhere special.  You know what? It felt good.

Interrupting people is a trait I battle.  I know I do, I hear myself doing it!  My husband constantly corrects me because he knows I'm working on this problem too.  I will continue to tackle this fault in 2012!  My grammar and spelling could use a little improvement as well......sadly.

Anyway, kind of a lame post, just wanted to share!

Oh and the other reason I buy the Sunday paper.....