Monday, February 20, 2012

My Birthday

My birthday fell on Valentine's Day this year, as it has for every one I can remember. I was feeling really sad the two days before my birthday, so I wasn't really excited about it. But, thanks to my friend Marinda, I ended up having a fabulous day. Her birthday was a month before mine and she had her husband take off work so she could do fun things that she never ordinarily gets to do--without kids. Now, I love my kids, quite a bit actually. But just being able to do something other than change diapers or clean up messes or break up fights or fix another snack/meal was heavenly.

Jared took the day off, so... I woke up to breakfast in bed: cheesy eggs, turkey bacon, toast and a lot of orange juice. Jared got everyone ready, packed Erin's lunch and took her to school. He did everything that day actually: went grocery shopping, made dinner, baked and decorated my cake, took the kids to swimming lessons and pampered me to no end. He is a good man. It was delightful and definitely a new birthday tradition, at least until the kids are grown up a little more I would say.

I didn't really have anything planned out until that morning, but it filled up rather nicely. I started out going to the temple because I needed a pick-me-up and a way to recharge my soul. It worked. I decided to just to initiatories to save time, but it turned out to be way more busy than I imagined due to the Draper temple closing. I waited for over an hour and 15 minutes just to get in, but it was the best time I've had in a long to time to think and ponder in relative peace (I mean, there were still old ladies blabbing about stuff). I read the entire address of King Benjamin and had forgotten how much good stuff there is in it. I felt so good afterward. Don't worry, I didn't spend the whole day in a skirt. As my luck usually has it, a car pulled up right next to me while I was half dressed in my car. Good times at the temple.

I made it just in time for my next outing: a makeover. You never really know how one of those is going to turn out, but this one was perfect. I needed new make-up anyway, so it was a good way to get a professional's perspective on what I should get. I definitely spent my (self-inflicted) yearly allotted make-up allowance. And I got a free gift because it was my birthday. I told them it was my birthday at the next store but it didn't go over quite as well (that is unless I wanted to apply for a credit card--then they'd give me 25% off). I bought a shirt and a sweater and then met Jared and the kids for lunch.

We ended up going to a Tuscan restaurant which was pretty good. It may have even been a little romantic, being Valentine's Day and all, had we not had three wiggly kids with us. The kids ordered one $4.50 kids' meal pizza to share, which turned out to be giant, and then got their own piece of pizza dough to mash and watch get made into another little personal pizza. That was money well spent, and quite a bit of pizza! Our waiter was really slow, and Jared had to go pick up Erin, but we didn't even have the check yet and I wanted my free dessert. So Jared took off and left me to sit in a restaurant--on Valentine's Day--to eat my dessert all alone like a loser. It was the one day I got a free dessert and I wasn't going to miss it! I thought it was amusing anyway.

Next up was a little vintage store I've been dying to go to and another store that I thought would be cooler but wasn't. I had at least two more stops on my list, but I got a call from one of my best friends and I always prefer talking to shopping. It was getting to be dinner time so I drove home to find a display of cards, flowers, cake, chocolates and my birthday present on the table.

Somehow Jared got the impression that I was 36 (which is a little offensive), but I played along anyway due to the numbered candles. Reminds me of the time I made a cake for Hermana Sigampa on my mission with a big 86 on it... and come to find out she was only 85! How embarrassing, although, in my defense, I understood very little Spanish at that point in the country. Can you tell I got a makeover? Not shown in this picture are the presents I got on Sunday from my family: earrings, nail polish and a set of glasses. Every time my mom has come to my house for the past 9 years she has asked if we have any glasses and the answer is always the same, "Yep, we have two, and one is chipped" (and the other was usually dirty). We must have gotten one set of four for our wedding and only one is still in its original state. Maybe it goes back to my long standing preference for mugs, because it's the perfect amount of liquid, don't you think? I guess we just kept using plastic cups too because of kids and just never thought to get any glass ones. Now we have 13, and a chipped one.

Oh, and after dinner I got to take my first annual birthday bath, also inspired by Marinda. It was so relaxing!

Here is the Special plate that we only use for the birthday person. When Jared and I first got married we went to a place that let you paint your own pottery/cups/plates/etc. I remember it being really pricey because it was on Las Olas Blvd. (ritzy) but it was so fun. I made the special plate and Jared made a mug that we still have. It makes me smile to see them because it reminds me of the time in Florida when we were newlyweds. Awww.Anyway, I am so excited for my new, slightly expensive, totally not necessary toy--my Silhouette Cameo. I've wanted one of these for so long, but was waiting for them to come out with a version that worked with a Mac and was also weighing the price vs. how much I wanted it. I finally told Jared he could do his racquetball tournament if I could have one of these for my birthday. For anyone that doesn't know what this machine is, it is an awesome cutting machine that allows you to design or download things on your computer and then sends them to be cut out on the machine. There are so many possibilities! I originally wanted it for lettering, like to make signs like "Laundry, Loads of Fun" and "No husband was ever murdered by his wife while he was doing the dishes" but now I realize there is a whole world possibilities with stencils, fabric, paper and even jewels (which I'll be honest, I don't see me delving into). My first project is a menu board, or the filing cabinet. Now the only problem is that I have way too many ideas for the amount of energy I currently have. My house looks way better in my head than it probably does in real life. Anyway, here's to some exciting projects to come!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Ordinary

I didn't write about last week, which is a shame, because this week I am feeling completely drained both physically and mentally. Maybe it's the five vials of blood they took from me at the doctor today. Maybe it's the two hour daily swimming lesson ordeal that is taking place every day right now. But anyway, I started noticing that I haven't been taking pictures of the kids much lately. Granted, two of them hate pictures right now, which doesn't send me the most encouraging vibe. But I decided I should do better to document the regular things they do around here. Like making a fort with the living room pillows and every last shoe from the mud room. It's nice to see things like this when you first walk in the door, I always say. I let them keep it there for about three days and let them sleep in it once.This picture also showcases the fact that I did indeed hang some pictures in the house. And it also illustrates the fact that my kids don't always hide from the camera.

And then there's this one...The moment I got the camera out Alex and Marissa hid their faces. Luckily we will always know what their arms looked like at this age. Another reason for this picture is because of the can of pears. My kids have been on a pear kick for a while. They beg for pears at most meals and snack times. Erin eats them every day in her lunch. Sometimes they try to get me to give them their own can each, which is, in my opinion, excessive. Like 3 1/2 full pears worth. Maybe we'll have to plant a pear tree (and then harvest them in 20 years or so). In the background of this shot is the newly sewn curtains which I am loving. Now I want to paint that wall so that they don't blend in with the cream color. Still going back and forth about the color though--oh, and the no energy this week. Might be a while for that wall.

One of my children that still allows photographs made a poster of 100 beads for the 100th day of school. I thought it was pretty creative, and a good way to use up all those extra beads from two Christmases ago.This was also one of the days Jared was gone to his racquetball tournament, therefore dinner was served on the counter and most likely consisted of equal amounts of tortillas, cheese and ketchup. Speaking of Jared's tournament, he won first place in his doubles division! The kids immediately wanted to know if he got any money for winning, which he didn't. He did get a medal though.

Erin also worked hard one day to finish her robot (note: that is made of garbage) that she started at the last house and insisted that I pack and move to this house. You can also see that Connor got a hold of some of my eye liner and drew on his forehead. I think this was day two of it being on there. That stuff wouldn't come off with just soap and water. And, no surprise, he is holding a ball. Connor was also busy putting on hats last week.

Like this one (yes, that is a booger coming out of his nose if you look closely)...
...and this one (messy face)......and this one (he's going to hate me for ever posting this, but he insisted that I put this outfit on him).Then there was this one. We went to a train show on Saturday where we saw tons of old, nerdy men searching for the right piece for their train set. We did see some really amazing model trains too. It almost makes me want to get a set someday. They all got hats actually.I believe the words that go with this next picture are, "Mommy, I hate pictures! They're too boring!"The kids also got to ride on Thomas the Train, which made the whole trip worth it. Why is it that every time we see a train they tell me they have never gotten to ride on one? They have ridden on all sorts of trains (like at the airport--which doesn't count for some reason). I let them ride on it to prove that their dreams of riding a train actually did come to pass. See, here's the proof (although I'm sure they will come up with some reason why this one won't count either--like the fact that it only went around one time or that it wasn't a real train).
And, these weren't from last week, but it did actually snow here, at some point in January. I think maybe twice since we moved in. We've had such a mild winter, which is simply fantastic. Blame me when we have a drought this summer if you want, but I for one am enjoying it. The kids liked their one snow day of the year.You can see how little snow there actually is and how much mud is underneath. I much preferred the snow day to the mud day they had yesterday. They literally made balls of mud and did who knows what with them. We had the cousins over too so there were multiple pairs of muddy shoes and hands. It was everywhere. Grass will be nice, indeed.

And I almost forgot, last week they were especially helpful (unlike a certain other night that ended with me shutting them in their rooms at night crying. I'm not proud of it, but maybe next time they will do their jobs). Anyway, back to when things were running amazingly well. I asked them to clean the bathrooms and they excitedly got right on it.Evidently, you have to wear your swimsuit and goggles when you clean the toilet. You never know what could potentially get wet. Did Alex really have to wear his swim shirt? I bought it so he wouldn't get sunburned and now he insists that it's part of the outfit. Anyway, do you see how blue that toilet is? The whole house smelled of bathroom cleaning products. This is how cleaning my shower ended up. I'm sure Marissa was a lot of help, but I wouldn't actually know, seeing as it was all unsupervised. And last, but not least, my kids picked up a recipe at story time last week which the lady always calls their "homework" (note to reader about what a good mom I am for taking my kids to story time at the library). I think they really thought they had to make the recipe. They kept begging me to make it and I kept putting them off because #1, I was reading a book and #2, I hate cooking (this pretty much cancels the good mom part). The poor kids took matters into their own hands and made the cookies all by themselves. I wasn't even in the room with them. They mashed bananas, measured oatmeal and splattered at least four times as much cinnamon as it called for all over the place, but they did it on their own. A 7, 5 and 3 year old. The only thing I did was work the oven. Too bad they didn't like them that much. I thought they were delish! I just might have a good thing going after all.