Friday, December 31, 2010

2011 Resolutions

Stumped.  This is how I'm beginning my new year.  Normally I have in mind several things I want to do or change about the coming year.  Some years I've challenged myself to run half marathons.  Some years I have vowed to travel more.  Some years I've planned to be more spontaneous.  My husband says I'm the most planned spontaneous person he's ever met.  Meaning that I want to be spontaneous, but I have to plan on when I'm going to be spontaneous.  Which means I'm just not.

This past year is the first year I didn't set goals.  Meant too and even set time aside, but then we had our second child and life became busy.  But this year I really want to set some priorities straight and see what can be accomplished.  So here are the ten I've decided to go for:

1 -  Pray more.  Not just small prayers or nightly prayers with Jeremy or the girls or at mealtimes.  But more alone time with God just seeking His will for my life and thanking Him for who He is and all He has and will do.

2 - Take at least one vacation.  This one is cheating a little as I already know we'll go somewhere as we have two free plane tickets, BUT it means actually using them. 

3 - Be more wise with what we have.  Use our money more wisely.  Use my time more efficiently.  Use my recreation time as recreation - not extra work time.

4 -  Try one new recipe a month.

5 -  Dive in.  (something I desire to do - unable to be shared at the moment)

6 - Build back up to running 3 miles.  I sooo very much miss running as it used to be something I loved to do in my spare time.  Gave me more energy and I just felt good.  Ran great after having Riley, but have not yet found time with two kids to squeeze it all in.  Hoping to do it by the end of next year as I'll have to start at ground zero (ugh!!). 

7 -  Choose at least one day a week to not check Facebook.  This is totally ridiculous to put on here, but needs to be done. 

8 - Go on a date night with Jeremy once a month.  Again - with two kids, we hardly went out and spent time together.  Definitely a priority that needs to be made. 

9 -  Develop WeeCrochet even more.  WeeCrochet is a business that my sis-in-law, mother-in-law and I do.  We make custom items such as cowls, hats, baby sets, dishcloths, etc...  great way for us to hang out together and fun to do too!!

10 - Learn a new skill.  Not sure what that will be yet.  Last year it was crocheting.  In previous years, it was learning guitar.  Always fun to see what new skill will be added.  Maybe speaking in Italian for our trip to Italy - right, Jeremy?  I hear Italy calling our name.... 

How a three year old shops

I consider myself a great shopper.  After all, I love to shop.  I love to buy.  And I especially love sales.  I'm trying my best to instill in Riley (and Julia) how to be a smart and savvy shopper.  And how not to purchase everything you see even if it may be appealing.

First we made our way to The Gap for their big sale.  Riley was pushing her baby in her stroller while I pushed Julia in mine.  Somehow every time I turned around to look at something, Riley was hanging something that she liked on my stroller.  So I found a skirt, sweater, cardigan, another skirt, and another shirt hanging as we went through her section of the store.  I put them back as we went along and explained that we weren't going to buy everything we see.  I told her we were looking for a good sale on something that she needed, something that she had outgrown and needed to be replaced or something that would work for Jules.  Her reaction was "But Mom - they all have tags on them!!"  She thought that a tag meant it was a good sale.  So I explained that just because it has a tag doesn't mean it's a good deal.  And we found three shirts on sale for $4 each and went on our way.

Then we went to the shoe store downstairs.  Here are things I observed today as we went shoe shopping at Clark's that she must be picking up so far:

Rule #1.  Be friendly to the retail workers.

Retail Worker:  Hello!  Welcome to Clark's.

Riley (entering store): Hi.  My name is Riley.  I am three and a half years old.  Do you like my stroller?  And my doll?  And this is my sister Jules.....

Retail Worker:  Why, yes I do.  (turns to me)  We have half off almost every childs' shoe and an extra 25% off the second pair.  And since you have the coupon, you will get an extra 20% off the first pair.  (turns to Riley)  What colors do you like?

Riley:  Pink and blue.

And off the retail worker goes to get a few boxes of shoes.  Or so I thought.  So I'm glad to see that she's picked up the friendly part.  And I'm very excited about the price of their shoes as I absolutely love them anyway.

Rule #2.  Don't purchase anything unless you absolutely love it.

Riley:  Do I get to try on the shoes?  I love shoes!  I love shoes!  I love shoes!  Ooooh - these are sooo cute!  And these are sooo cute!

Retail worker (returning with over 10 boxes of shoes):  These are the shoes we have in stock in her size.

Riley:  Can I try them on?

Retail worker:  Sure!  I'll just set these out so you can see them.

Riley looks at them for a minute.

Riley:  (points to a pair)  Not those.  (points to another pair)  Nope.  (another pair)  No.  (points to yet another pair)  YES!  I LOVE those!  Can I try those on?

Yes, she's very opinionated.  And has already come to figure out what she likes and doesn't like.  And I've learned that if she says she won't wear them, she won't wear them. 

Rule #3:  Try it on before buying.

Riley put the pair on and then put her hands at her sides with her fingers pointing out.  Then moved her shoulders side to side as she walked in the shoes one step at a time.  They were definitely a winner.

Rule #4: Say thank you to the retail worker.

Riley:  Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank you!  This is the best day ever.  I love the shoe store!  I love it.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thankful

A little under the weather today.  Stomach bug.  Not fun.  Riley told me she wishes that I could eat a cracker and then play with her as Seraphina (the cat) and be a cat that is not sick.  Instead we watched a movie and have been having a very calm day.

Me:  Thanks for being so sweet and understanding today, Riley.

Riley:  You're welcome, Mom.

Me:  Are you having a fun day?

Riley:  Yes, because you are home with me.

So thankful for a sweet little girl who recognizes the special times we get together even if it involves being under the weather.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Manarch Butterfly

You're probably thinking I didn't spell Monarch correctly in the title.  Or maybe you didn't even notice.  I actually did it on purpose as it is now a new word in our house.  For today I learned from Riley that there is a such thing as a Manarch butterfly.  We read the book "The Butterfly's Treasure" and talked about the Monarch butterfly that appeared throughout the book.  On the last page is a picture of the author.  The conversation went like this:

Riley:  What is that?

Me:  He is the author who wrote the story.

Riley:  Yeah, he is a man.

Me:  Right.

Riley:  Yes - a "man"-arch butterfly.   Wow cool.  First the man was a butterfly in the story and now he's a man butterfly.  Great story.  I loved that one.

And off she went to cut with her new scissors.  Guess I'll explain the difference to her later.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Meow, Meow

So I have spent the last hour talking to a cat.  We don't own a cat and nor will we ever own a cat.  Being allergic to them, I have no interest and thankfully my husband has no interest in them either.  This cat happens to love warm milk cooked on a plastic stove.  Insists on me blowing on it to cool it off even though there is really none inside of the dish.  The only means of communication is through pantomime and various meows.  And the cat never breaks character for a second.  The cat is able to keep this up for an hour and the only way that I can stop talking to the cat is when Julia (our nine month old) needs to have a bottle.

The cat is my daughter Riley who loves to act.  She loves to dress up and perform hour long - or longer - performances as a variety of things.  Some days it is being a unicorn and the only word I hear for hours on end is "Neigh."  But not just any neighs!  Some go up in pitch and some are held longer than others.  Many are accompanied by head movements.  She must be referred to as "Riley Cat" or "Unicorn Girl" or whatever the character is for that time.  Other days she is Princess Annaliese and I am Erika and we sing our duet from the Barbie movie "The Princess and the Pauper."  Only we must have capes (we use hooded towels) and we must be dressed up in princess outfits and we must perform entire scenes.  It's definitely been great for her vocabulary!

Today just happened to be a cat day.  So up to the playroom we went and I was the mean soldier who trapped the cat inside of a cave (this cave is very dark and happens to be the area underneath her slide).  I trap her with a strong boulder (parents' round tube that Julia then climbs on top of) and declare that she will never escape.  Soon enough she escapes - or Julia pulls the boulder out - and I chase the cat around the room.  Then the cat goes back in and all of a sudden, I am the hero rescuing her from the mean soldier and feeding her warm milk in her cave.  Riley loves the chance to "meow" for a long time.  I love the chance to get a little creative and do my best not to get totally annoyed from the amount of "meows" I'm hearing as there's noone else in the house who communicates with words when Riley is a cat.  Unless you count Julia's sounds of "mamamma or bababababa."  I feel like an interpreter.  "Meow???  Meow meow" means "Are you there?  I need help."  And "mamamam  baba" means "Mama - I need my bottle now."  Somedays I long for real conversation.  But most days I'm satisfied to feed my cat and my little baby.  And I'm sure they're satisfied with that too.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Better Late Than Never

So I've finally given in to the blogging world.  Always wanted to start one, but not sure I had much more to tell than the next person.  Especially on the internet.  Trust me - I have plenty to say.  And I have my share of opinions and am rarely short of knowing exactly what I'm meaning to say even if it doesn't turn out the way I meant it. 

I have a wonderful husband who is very practical and knows more about technology than anyone I've ever met, a three and a half year old daughter who truly believes she is a princess and dresses up every chance she gets and a nine month old baby that melts your heart just by looking at her large blue eyes. 

As for me, I am also very practical, organized, and resourceful.  I choose to be these things because I am extremely Type A in all matters (except my care of cd cases - had to pick one thing to let go and seems this is it).  I teach music full-time as an elementary music teacher at a local school district in Texas.  I see about 160 students every day and love what I do.  Though I resent being told how "fun" my job must be.  Yes, it is fun.  But sometimes, it's stressful, tiring, exhausting, and just simply not what you might think.  But I love it.  And it gives me many stories to tell.

So here I am.  And here we go...