Tuesday, May 31, 2011

13 weeks of happiness: busy holiday weekend

It has been a rushed past few days.  Starting with last Wednesday when we prepared for strong storms and even saw a stormchaser vehicle in town ahead of the storms, not that i had any idea what it was when I saw it.  It took someone else posting a picture on facebook to clue me in.  But we lucked out and we didn't get any storms nearly as severe as they had predicted.  Then Thursday was tee-ball.  Friday morning I took Gwendolyn to the surgery center to have warts removed from under both of her big toenails.  *gag*  They put her under general anesthesia and it took no time.  I expected her to need quite a bit of recovery time since they worked on both of her feet, but she was up and running by the afternoon.  I, on the other hand, required some recovery time in the form of an almost 3 hour nap.  

Our weekend was no less busy.  Gwendolyn occasionally complained of sore toes, but for the most part just wanted to go and do.  Good thing too, since we cooked out at home Saturday afternoon, then went to my brother's for a cookout that evening.  Sunday we went to a cookout at my cousin's house.  

In the 30ish years they have had that house, the pool has only been ready for swimming a handful of times on Memorial Day.  Normally Memorial day weekend is the weekend everyone works on getting it ready.  But it was ready and had pretty blue water this year.  And it was cold!  We didn't even take our suits.  we put our feet in a couple times, and in Maggie's case, she hung over the edge and splashed her hands around.  We think, weather permitting, the pool will be ready to swim by the weekend.

Even without getting to swim, we still had a good time at the cookout.  Lot of family, lots of food, homemade ice cream!, and a nice breeze.  My cousins brought my Grandy out for a little while and she enjoyed herself and I think I even got a couple decent pictures.    

Monday we went to another cookout at a friend's house and did some housework.  And today I guess we are trying to get back into the swing of regular days.  It is taking us a bit.  Maggie is clingy and wanting to be held, and I would much rather hold her than go to the grocery store like I need to.  I guess we can slowly get into the week since we don't have anything going on until this weekend's tee-ball tournament and another birthday party for Gwendolyn to attend. Even with a low start though, we need to get to the grocery store today or first thing tomorrow.  

How do you get back into the swing of things after a long busy weekend?

Monday, May 30, 2011

I Heart Faces: People's Choice

This week's photo challenge at I Heart Faces is People's Choice, favorite of May.  My favorite picture I took in May is one of my Grandy I have already shared.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Who's Clues? Blue's Clues

1.)  Maggie and Gwendolyn have found a new love of Blue's Clues thanks to Netflix.  They have watched a ridiculous amount of it over the past two weeks.  Maggie was playing with her cars and trucks the other day and got so excited and came to me holding her truck and screaming "Lou's Lues!! Lou's Lues!!" 
Yep, she found a clue!  I'm seriously considering hiding blue paw prints all over the house for her to find because she was so excited over the paw print she found.  I'm just trying to come up with what the clues might be cluing her into, but she is not quite 2 so she might not care to have the clues lead her to anything.

2.) I am also trying to come up with fun things to do this summer.  Gwendolyn got used to a more structured day when she was at school and I am afraid if I don't have ideas for us ready, she (we) will wind up watching way too much television.  We will, of course, be going to the library for story time and the summer reading program.  And we will be going to the pool as often as we can.  I'm thinking we will have special picnics, bubbles, run through the sprinklers, make snowcones days.  I have several lists saved to my Pinterest and will hopefully make my list for the refrigerator next week.

2b.) Does anyone need/ want a Pinterest invite?  Drop me your email if you'd like one and I'll get you one.

3.)  I have a tiny tomato growing in my garden!!  I am terribly excited, but now I am looking at any birds or squirrels in the backyard as potential enemies who want to eat my harvest.  
3b.)  I'm starting to wonder if I need tomato cages.  I don't really know what they are or why you use them, but I saw them at Home Depot.
3c.)  I also have a mystery plant growing in one of my squares.  I'm not sure how it got there either since it is a raised bed that I put new soil in.  It looks a little like my squash plants I have growing, but not exactly.  I'm trying to decide whether to pluck it out so it doesn't steal nutrients from plants I know I want to survive  or just let it grow and see what comes of it.  I should add that last spring/ summer my husband and I carefully transplanted a tree from our back yard to the front yard, only to find out at the end of summer we were caring for a weed.

4.)  I'm not entirely sure why I thought I needed to add that, but it seemed tangentially related to how I garden/ grow my plants.  

5.)  I almost went all "Office Space" on my computer this week while I was trying to install actions into my photoshop elements.  I got so frustrated I was tearing up, and finally handed over my computer to my husband and saw that it was actually a more involved process and not like anything I have had to do before so I didn't feel as bad.  It actually took my husband three times before we figured out exactly how to do it. I think it was a combination of I don't know how to use pse, never installed an action, am using a new, more touchy laptop.  But it is mostly done now so I can work learning how to use it.  You know, in my spare time.  ;) 

linking up to Company girl coffee and saturday confessions

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Young Friends

Maggie sometimes finds going to ball games a huge bummer because Keary and I won't let her run wild, onto the field, and steal balls.  Luckily sometimes there are other kids Maggie's age that she can play with and I imagine them commiserating with each other, comparing their buzz-killing parents.  That satisfies her for a few minutes until the kids join forces.  Hopefully she will want to be on the field this much in a few years when she is old enough to play.

Monday, May 23, 2011

12/ 52 weeks of happiness: Pump it Up

Just a couple pictures from the birthday party Gwendolyn went to Friday night.  Oh she had so much fun!  It was held at one of those places with the big inflatable jump houses and slides.  There were at least 20 kids at the party, and they all ran non-stop for the entire hour and a half play time they had while parents stood around and made small talk.

Even though there were so many kids there, all hooting and hollering, I constantly knew where Gwendolyn was by her joyful, laughing shrieks.  

Look at this kid and how happy she looks.  Any awkwardness I felt making all that small talk was all erased seeing how much fun she was having.

And icing on the cake: the next morning we got another birthday party invitation to a party at the same Pump It Up in a couple weeks for another friend.

Linking up with Sweet Shot Tuesday52 weeks of happiness, Tuesdays around the world

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I Heart faces: Yellow

Whoa it was a busy weekend!  It started out with heavy rain and running through ankle deep water to get Gwendolyn to a birthday party Friday night.  Oh, she had so much fun!  It was held at a place with those big air castles and slides to jump on, meaning she and her friends ran and played for nearly 2 hours straight.  The downside was that Maggie was too little to play so she and Keary had to go find something else to do for a little while.  The upside was that Gwendolyn slept until nearly ten the next morning- pretty much unheard of in this house these days!

Saturday Gwendolyn had her last soccer game of the season and we were supposed to get trophies and pictures, but the coach didn't get stuff together in time. Gwendolyn was a little upset about that, but I told her she would get that trophy even if I had to go to the coach's house and take it.  That made her feel better.  That afternoon we did yardwork and I checked on my garden.   As you can see, my marigolds are blooming well.  Everything else I still have my fingers crossed hoping it will be fruitful.

I spent a big hunk of my day sitting with Grandy at the hospital today.  Mom texted me around 6 in the morning saying she was being admitted for fever and bronchitis.  Knowing that Mom is ten hours away at the beach and that my Auntie had sat up there most of the night, I figured I'd relieve someone and see how she was doing.  She did okay while I was there, but will probably stay a couple nights to run some antibiotics and see that she is recuperating.

The theme this week at I Heart Faces' photo challenge is yellow.  I originally thought i could get a picture of Gwendolyn and her team in their yellow soccer jerseys, but this was the one week all spring season they wore their blue jerseys.  Of course.  So I got a picture of Gwendolyn looking longingly at the marigolds.  They are yellow, so I think this picture counts.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Random Ramblings

I've been racking my brain trying to come up with something to say.  There is a lot on my mind, but not necessarily much for me to say.  Does that ever happen to you?  I figure I'll start talking/ typing and let;s just see where this goes.

I won a photography challenge this week from McDougall Photography.  It is a first for me and was for the picture I got of my Grandy on Mother's Day so it means a lot to me.  I have been working hard on figuring out how to use my camera, finding the light, and taking good pictures so it is nice for someone other than my family to say I am doing good and give some validation.  I'm proud anyway.

And speaking of my Grandy, her husband surprised me and brought her by the house to see the girls the other day while she was out.  I understand that she misses them and talks about them, but I given the state that she is in now: rarely knows anything that is going on around her, can't recognize even family (though I think she can feel us and recognizes the love we have, or that is just what I tell myself), incredibly frail and just a shell; I worry about how that may be how my girls, or probably just Gwendolyn, will remember her.  I don't know, and maybe I am being selfish with that even being a concern, but I'd rather them have happy memories of the strong lady she was.  The lady who loved them so fiercely and painted their nails and colored and took them shopping and to the country club to show them off to her buddies.  The visit went okay.  They didn't stay long, and they got to see each other and give hugs so it is possible I am just too sensitive in this situation and overthinking it.  I would have just liked to have better prepared Gwendolyn.

Let's see what else.  The weather has been beautiful all week so we have been outside and playing ball.  Gwendolyn had two games again this week.  I'm not sure she likes playing tee-ball so much as she likes the social aspect.  That is okay though, I'm just glad she is being social.

She also gets to go to a birthday party tonight and see her friends from school that she has been missing so much.  Hopefully, I will remember to get their phone numbers/ addresses so we can invite them to her birthday next month.

That is about it.  We have had a busy week, but not much has happened.

If you could, pray for my cousin this week as he starts chemotherapy.  He is my age and has two kids about the same age as my girls and found out he has an aggressive form of lymphoma, so his therapies will be aggressive as well.  Thank you.

Linking up with company girl coffee.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wordy Wednesday: tee-ball and kindergarten

We have been playing a lot of tee-ball, both on the field and in the backyard.  Gwendolyn is making friends with girls she will go to school with in the fall.

That is Gwendolyn batting, she is number 2.  She is playing, and particularly enjoying having an audience cheer her on three times a week.

And in addition to tee-ball this week, Gwendolyn also was registered for kindergarten.  Kindergarten! Time is flying.

(No seriously, she is only almost 5 years old, not almost 16 like her attitude suggests.)

Linked up to Live and Love OutloudProject Alicia, and The Long Road to China

Monday, May 16, 2011

11/ 52 weeks of happiness: Dad and his grandkids

My girls think my dad hung the moon, and he thinks just as highly, if not more so, of them.  Seriously they all just beam when they are around each other, and anybody who knows Dad says that the girls have brightened his days.

Dad comes to all of Gwendolyn's ball games and it thrills Maggie to no end because that means she gets Dad all to herself for 30 minutes or so while Gwendolyn is on the field.  Looking at this picture, I don't think Dad minds too much either.

Happy Birthday to my Dad!  I'm fairly certain that he doesn't read here (mostly because I have never volunteered to any family other that my husband that I have a blog), but should he be reading, happy happy birthday!

Linked with Sweet Shot Tuesday52 weeks of happiness, Perceptive Perspectives, Fabulous Friday, and Communal Global

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Saturday Confessions and Flowers

1.) I have a recurring nightmare that I will wake up with a tattoo on my face.  I don't remember exactly how long the dream has been going on, maybe once every couple weeks for a couple years, but it is enough to make me feel panicky when I wake up.
1b.) The Hangover 2 commercial that keeps coming on is not helping that nightmare situation.

2.) We are working toward potty-training Maggie, who will be 2 in August.  Gwendolyn was potty-trained by her second birthday so, in theory, in it time to get Maggie out of diapers.  The training all goes fine at home, but it is the going out in public that is messing us up.  She wants to try out every bathroom in the Northeast Arkansas area, including all the gross bathrooms at the ballparks.  I don't even like to go into those and generally just won't so I really don't want my toddler who wants to touch everything going in there.  But I want her to get out of diapers.... I need to pick my battles.

3.) I have all my garden planted: 2 tomato plants, 2 strawberry plants, 2 squash plants, 1 blueberry bush, and multiple flowers.  I'm very afraid that my plants won't yield anything .  I guess we'll see.

4.) I just sat through and watched Scott Pilgrim vs The World mainly because Netflix sent us the dvd over a week ago and it was going to be watched before it was sent back.  It was not really my cup of tea, but, like I said, we kept is so long I felt obliged to watch it.  Have you watched anything decent lately that you would recommend?

5.) These flowers have nothing to do with the list.  I wanted to link up with both A Familiar Path's Saturday Confessions and I Heart Faces' Photo Challenge: Flowers, and would just rather do one post.  The pictures are ones I have taken over the past couple months, with the one at top being the one I took most recently.  I'd like to think that they at least illustrate that I am getting better at taking pictures and using my camera.  I'd like to think lots of things though that may or may not be accurate.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Last Day of Pre-K

I posted yesterday about it being Gwendolyn's last day of pre-K, and then Blogger went down, and now that post is missing.  So I will just repeat myself and apologize to anyone who might have read it the first go round.  Honestly though, I don't remember what all I said, so maybe this time will be more poignant or clever.  It is possible, it could happen.

Gwendolyn's last day of pre-K was Thursday.  The school year flew by and I can't believe it is over.  (And I can't believe that she will be starting kindergarten in three months.  What happened to my baby!)  Although we had not intended on sending her to preschool, it worked out and benefited all of us:  Allowing us to get used to school routines and new social interactions.  We really lucked out and had fantastic teachers and a school that allowed her to grow and blossom this year.

When I picked her up from school yesterday, her teacher put her in the car and buckled her in then whispered in her ear.  I heard Gwendolyn whisper, "I love you too" back.  Then as we were pulling out of the parking lot, she took a deep breath and her little voice was shaking and her lower lip was quivering and she said "I just hope Miss Rhonda and Miss Nancy and all my friends will remember me."

Just about broke my heart.

Gwendolyn's first day of school, September 2010

Linking up to Company Girl Coffee and Photostory Friday

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thankful Thursday: Last day of pre-k

Today is Gwendolyn's last day of preschool.  It is so hard to believe that she is old enough to be done with preschool and to be getting ready for kindergarten.  And we are working on planning her 5th birthday party... a big girl party with her friends from school, soccer, and tee-ball and not just family.  Time flies I'm telling you.

Today I am thankful for Gwendolyn having completed preschool rather than her first school experience being in kindergarten.  Though we had not planned on sending her to preschool, I think it was a good learning experience for all of us: new social experiences, new routines, being away from each other.  I'm also thankful for her teachers who made the process easier, safe, and fun.  Gwendolyn has truly blossomed this year and I attribute a great deal of that to her being in school.
Gwendolyn's first day of school, September 2010

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Fan

Maggie is quite the tee-ball fan and cheerleader for Gwendolyn's team.  Well a fan that tries to run out on the field and steal the ball constantly.

Linked to Project AliciaAngry Julie Monday and Live and Love Outloud

Monday, May 9, 2011

10/ 52 weeks of happiness

We had a really good, semi-productive weekend.  The productive part doesn't happen all too often around here, so when we do make progress on things, it makes it all the better.

We woke up to unexpected thundershowers Saturday morning, and Gwendolyn's soccer game was cancelled. We went to breakfast, then came home and relaxed until later in the afternoon.  We worked a little on the garden and played ball in the backyard.  

Sunday I slept until almost 9 or so and Keary and the girls brought home breakfast.  We finished up the planting the garden and putting brick and rocks down along the sidewalk.  Hopefully the bricks will cut down on the amount of mud Waylon, Gwendolyn and Maggie get into. 

Gwendolyn was very excited to give me the cards she made and gift she picked out.  She made me three or four Mother's Day cards, all brightly colored and pictures of the family she had drawn.  And she picked me out some gardening gloves and bag with tools in it.  Keary said she had really wanted to get me a bike but he told her I needed to be there to help pick something like that out, so she chose gardening supplies.  I was very  impressed she managed to not tell me what she got me.  For three days I heard, "Momma, I have a surprise for you.  It is your Mudder's Days gift."

Keary also completely surprised me with a new laptop with photoshop and everything on it.  I thought it would be at least another year before I got a new computer.  He said he decided I had been actively working on improving my picture taking skills that he wanted to make sure I had all the tools to use.  Like I said, I was completely surprised and that never happens.

I also spent some time with my Grandy Sunday.  I sat with her while she talked and I tried to reassure her that everything was going to be okay.  It is hard to say if it helped, but she did calm down eventually and even was able to introduce me to some of the staff as her granddaughter.  She still always seems to be able to recognize me but sometimes says I am her daughter and other times knows I am her granddaughter.  She recognizes me though so I'll take what I can get.  

I also snapped a few pictures of her while I was there and she was calm.  She bruised one side of her face earlier in the week, so I chose to do more of a profile picture. 
 I even managed to get the picture loaded and edited and to my mom for part of her Mother's Day gift by the end of the day. I know that she appreciated it.  

Sunday, May 8, 2011


Motherhood.  Whether she birthed the child or he or she was born in her heart, motherhood changes a person.  It a lifelong bond not just between the mother and child but also mothers everywhere.

It is the sleepless nights sitting up with the baby with colic or sick child, it is the endless worrying and concern, scraped knees and broken hearts, reliving events from your own childhood through fresh eyes and new wonder and excitement. It is the baby's breath and toddler kisses, outstretched arms and full body hugs using every ounce of strength and first time he or she tell you "I love you". It is endless amounts of laundry, occasional feelings of being a short order cook, wearing butt grooves in the rocking chair, lack of privacy and never getting to go to the bathroom by yourself. It is magical kisses that can make everything better and truly loving the macaroni necklace your 4 year old gives you.  It is this and so much more.

I was super tired when I took this.  Sometimes you can't help but get tired when you are rocking and your toddler is all snuggled up next to you.

I heart faces: Motherhood
You Capture: Motherhood

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Understanding the concepts

Tee-ball didn't really get off on the right foot with us.  First we practiced with the wrong team. Then we only got one practice in with the team Gwendolyn was actually assigned to before it decided to rain and pour for a week solid, soaking the field so much that even when it stopped raining, we had to wait another couple days for the field to dry.  But we finally had practice again Thursday.

There are 14 or 15 four and five year old girls on the team, and only a couple of them understand how to field the ball.  My child is not one of them.  She can throw and sometimes catch the ball but doesn't really know or care what to do when the ball is hit in her general direction.    Gwendolyn watched the ball roll by a couple times and then just stared at her coaches and me while we yelled and pointed to get the ball and throw it to first... second... third... then home.  Understanding the concepts will come in time.

Oh, but she loves to bat.  They practice hitting the ball a coach pitches to them first then hit it off the tee and run.  Hopefully the concept of running the bases and actually touching all the bases and not just running around  all the girls on the field will come in time.

Linked up with Fabulous Friday Challenge and Photostory Friday

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers.

Mother's Day 2010:  Grandy, me, Cousin A, Gwendolyn, Maggie, Auntie, sister L, Mom

This isn't the picture I wanted to share this week for Embrace the Camera.  I had my hopes up that I could get another generations picture this week when we checked Grandy out of the hospital for the afternoon.  My aunt, cousin and Grandy all planned to get their hair done, and I thought Mom, the girls and I could go along and maybe grab some dinner and I could take some pictures.

Things didn't work out to do that though.  So here is a picture from last year's Mothers Day.  A picture of four generations of women in my family.  A picture and women for which I am thankful for.

I don't care how poor a man is; if he has family, he's rich.  ~Dan Wilcox and Thad Mumford, M*A*S*H, "Identity Crisis,"

Also linking up to Thankful Thursday and Sunday Citar.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Wordlessish Wednesday: iphone pictures

If the shoes fits, wear it.

It is a little hard to see what Maggie is doing in this picture.  She thinks Waylon is so cool, he ought to wear shades.

It rained so much this past week, but the girls still wanted to go outside.  So whenever there was a break in the rain, we put on our rainboots and went outside.  Lately I'm trying to keep in mind that without rain, there wouldn't be rainbows.

Linked to Black and White WednesdayLive and Love Outloud, Angry Julie Monday and Project Alicia

Monday, May 2, 2011

9/ 52 weeks of happiness: plant a garden

We finally went and got plants for my raised vegetable garden bed on Saturday.  We weren't sure where to go buy plants because I haven't had much luck growing anything in past years.  By chance we went to Lowe's, and they were having their 50% off all living things sale. YAY!  

I got two strawberry plants, two tomato plants, a blueberry bush, some marigolds, and let the girls each pick out a flowering plant.  I was actually proud of the amount of restraint I showed, I wanted one of everything but decided to start small(ish).  I still want to get a zucchini plant or maybe a bell pepper plant.  

I got all my plants planted Saturday, even though I had to plant in the rain.  It has been raining since Saturday and rained for multiple days last week too.  It is supposed to stop raining sometime Tuesday afternoon and then stay dry the rest of the week.  I'm hoping to finish up planting then.  

Fruitcake Reads: Heaven is for Real

There tends to be very little rhyme or reason to the books I pick up to read.  I like Young Adult, Children's, Adult, fiction, non-fiction.  I like to read and chances are, if a book is recommended to me, I will eventually read it.  A month or so ago, I saw/ heard no less than five people recommend Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo in one week.  I immediately put it on reserve at the library and waited.

Basic premise of the book is that Burpo's son had a near-death experience when he was three or four years old and slowly reveals details to his parents about who and what he saw in heaven.  Hey, you know what?  I like reading about near-death experiences, I like reading things kids say, I'm curious about heaven.  All that should make for a definite "I recommend this book.  Run, buy, and read this! I'm buying 20 copies and giving it as a gift to everyone I know."  But it didn't.

The meat of the story had a lot of potential, but I felt like I was listening to the longest sermon/ homily in the world.  Burpo is a preacher though and not an author, so I understand why it sounded like that.  I just think having someone else help them tell their story and make it more of a story, with details and feeling, would have made for a better book.  The book got 4.5 stars on Amazon right now though so I may be the only one thinking that.  

The breakdown, I wouldn't not recommend Heaven is for Real, but I won't be purchasing my own copy.  I think I had just set too high of expectations for it.