Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tweet! Tweet! June 2010

Here comes #Alex making his way into San Antonio with our first band of storms. via Twitterrific

Last night during a storm, Brooke asked to sleep with Maddie to "protect" her big sister from "the thunders." via UberTwitter

My boss is now on Twitter. I better watch my P's and Q's! (Hi Brook!) Notice he has the same name as my daughter. Must be extra careful! via web

I'm very anxious about Maddie starting kindergarten. #parenting #kinder via web

The heat in Galveston just sucks the life out of you. It's only tolerable with a frosty cold beverage while in the water. #hotintexas via UberTwitter

Zak & Will just killed a rattle snake that was in David & Francie's backyard! It was all rattling and acting tough until it met the shovel. via Twitterrific

I taught my kids to pee in the gulf today. Better than oil, no? #oilspill #parenting via UberTwitter

Galveston! Old memories, and creating new memories with old friends. via UberTwitter

Brooke dressed herself today, and it was so bad I felt the need to tell her teacher that I wasn't to be held responsible. #parenting via UberTwitter

Brooke's first ever swim lesson in a few minutes. Maddie is taking her lesson now, and it SEEMS like her first! via UberTwitter

#parenting RT @Easyparenting "The rules for parents are but three... Love, Limit, and Let them be." - Elaine M. Ward

Brooke is a yogi. She can do downward dog and one leg dog when prompted with great form! #thatsmygirl via UberTwitter

I just sent a jar of @nutella to a customer. I'm crazy! via UberTwitter

Taking private Pilates lessons. #msfancypants via web

Be generous with your veggies! #vegetarian via UberTwitter

Just made up a combo song to the tune of "happy birthday" about father's day. #notreallythatcreative via Twitterrific

Just made some watermelon maragritas from scratch with our lunch! #celebratelife via UberTwitter

Thanks to @SuzeOrmanshow. My will (and other important papers) are done! My hubby and kids will be taken care of. Not easy, but important. via web

What we think about and THANK about is what we bring about, so think positive and thank often. via web

My Baby girl has a black eye! via UberTwitter

Brooke came home with a shiner. She got into a fight with the monkey bars and lost. via UberTwitter

I've not consumed animal flesh in seven days. Thinking I will stick to the #vegetarian lifestyle. Still eating dairy though, baby steps. via Twitterrific

Lake House at sunset with Zak and no kids! via UberTwitter

The #WorldCup buzzing noise has me reaching for the remote. STOP IT! via web

Spend your money (and time) on the things that are important to you and will make you happy. via UberTwitter

Holy HUMID, Texas! via UberTwitter

My kid smells like a wet dog after a day at school. via UberTwitter

Me: Brooke starts ballet classes on Wednesday. Zak: Really? But she's a bull in a china cabinet. via UberTwitter

One of my parenting non negotiables and a life lesson: You must learn to swim. No excuses. Must swim. via UberTwitter
One of my parenting non negotiables and a life lesson: You must learn to swim. No excuses. Must swim. via UberTwitter

Brooke knows how to use my iPad (just like Suri Cruise). Spoiled rich kids! via UberTwitter

Maddie has been begging me to make her this for dessert. She doesn't understand that there's no pie in this b via UberTwitter

These must be the most horrifying pictures of oiled birds ever: #BP #oilspill via TweetDeck Retweeted by you and 100+ others

TWO filling replacements for me today! About to be drilled. via UberTwitter

Made the famous cauliflower recipe from @mandajuice tonight. How long until my tummy forgives me for eating half a head of cauliflower? Yum. via UberTwitter

Massive storm coming through, and power is out! At least we have some wine! via UberTwitter

Maddie lost her 3rd tooth on the way to school. She was eating a granola bar, heard a pop, and saw some blood via UberTwitter

Monday, June 28, 2010

Kindergarten is lurking and looming

I have this fear of Kindergarten. Maddie will start going to REAL school in about 2 months. Not the fake school that I've been talking about for five years. REAL school that I pay for out of my tax dollars, with real teachers who went to college, and real school bullies.

I've been talking about this with every mother, teacher, and any college professor who deals with this age group (thanks to my job) that I can. They all say the same things...."it's gonna be great!" "She'll do fine!" "It's so much fun." "She'll be tired." "You'll be amazed at how much she'll learn." Even when people say all those awesome positive things, I can only just well up with tears.

This feeling reminds me a little bit of what I went through when I was pregnant with Maddie. When I talk to friends who are expecting or considering a new baby, I say the same things. "It's hard. It'll change you forever. You'll be great. Trust your gut. Life will never be the same. Buy some lanolin for your nipples." I say those things with a smile and encouraging nod because I KNOW it's not easy and how much work it is. I also know that it gets easier with time. I also know that no matter what I say, my friends have to make their own choices and their children and experiences will be different from mine. There's nothing anyone can say to prepare another person for pregnancy, childbirth, nursing, parenting, or raising a child.

The funny thing about my fear of kinder is that I'm not really one of "those" mothers, who hover and are all uber sensitive and worried about "my baby" every second of the day. Zak and I believe it is our mission to "launch" her into this world every single day. I really have a conscious thought everyday about pushing her into her own sense of self while reinforcing that we'll always be here to love and support her decisions. I work on being more patient and careful with Maddie because she's a sensitive girl. She cries when Brooke yells at her, and gets sassy when she's feeling sad. But still...kindergarten?

I really trust teachers and respect all the work and effort that goes into each day (or hour if you're a really thoughtful teacher). I know that Maddie will do so well, but still...I cry.

When I try to analyze these feeling (yes, if we've never met in person, I'm Amanda, and analyze everything) I can't seem to put my finger on where my anxiety comes from.

1. It's not Maddie. She's excited and looking forward to going to the "big" school. We've read books about Kinder, visited a classroom, and discussed what it's going to be like. I do my best to only show my casual excitement for her. Too much enthusiasm will make her very suspicious!

2. It may be the fact that we go into the Spanish Dual Language program. So, not only will she start at a new school, with new teachers, new friends, a new schedule, but no one will speak English. How's that for an anxiety provoker?

3. It may be the new change in routine for our family. Now that the girls will have two separate drop off and pick up locations each day, there needs to be a lot more scheduling between Zak and I to make it all work. We don't have any family near us to help or participate, and we wish we did.

4. Maybe I am sad that she's growing up. I want her to grow up. I do, and I look forward to her sharing her life with me. I worry mostly about how damn hard it is to grow up today for kids. GIRLS in particular. I worry about Mean Girls (she may be one!?), boys, social circles, racism in school, athletics,'s just so much pressure for children today. I just want to make sure she can navigate childhood without any emotional scars, and I don't know how to do that. She's got to do it herself.

5. It's because I know that today it's kindergarten and tomorrow I'll be dropping her off at her new dorm room at college. I know how fast time goes by.

I read all the books, blogs, and parenting newsletters about giving children their space to grow, but staying very involved. Keeping kids busy. Loving always. Keeping the door open and the conversation flowing. Keeping it all going. Setting limits. Keep TALKING. Just keep swimming with my legs kicking like crazy under water, but looking peaceful and serene on top.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

No camera, no bloggy

Since my camera decided to kill itself by leaping out of my pocket into the sand on a the beautiful California beach, I've been resorting to my BlackBerry to take pictures. (I think my camera heard that the Gulf of Mexico has been destroyed and wanted to end its life on a clean beach in protest.) Anyway, my BlackBerry doesn't produce very good photos, and these are the five pictures I have taken since I lost my camera.

Exhibit A: A box of Splenda
Maddie insists that I bake her what is IN THIS BOX so she can eat it RIGHT NOW. I try to explain to her that it's just a picture of a pie, and there is not an actual pie inside. No, not even if I mix eggs and water with the powder....pie will not result. Try to explain "fake sugar" to a five year old. Boggles the mind and induces tons of questions (Why would people want to eat fake sugar? How do you make fake sugar? Why does it look like powder? Why does it not taste like sugar? Why can't you bake me a pie? Why did they put a picture of a pie on the box if there isn't a pie inside the box?) She's smart, that one.

Exhibit B: A seashell magnet
Every year that we go on vacation, we buy a magnet to remember our trip. (This is a future blog idea!) This year, we forgot to buy a magnet in San Diego. However, Maddie and her cousins and aunt Pam collected shells when we went to the beach. Maddie had four hundred million of them an insisted I bring them all home. I picked out three shells, and hot glue gunned those puppies together with a magnet on the back, and voila! a magnet memory. I'm crafty.

Exhibit C: A new yogurt place opens in a strip mall near my house

I know, you're so excited about this too! This is no ordinary yogurt shop, but a self serve yogurt shop and put in your own TOPPINGS! As much as you want! REALLY! You'll just have to pay for it by the ounce, sucker. (My solution to this is to pick the lightest topping--like air--because I'm so sneaky like that!). When Zak and I were in California, we discussed these yogurt shops because we'd never seen them before (but they are everywhere in Cali). We had an idea to "invent" this concept and pretend we were the genius' who came up with the idea and then make MILLIONS of yogurty dollars. So, wouldn't ya know it...someone beat us to it. Bummer, but you want to go with me when they open? I'll buy you an ounce.

Exhibit D: Brooke has a shiner

It's never a good thing to pick up your kid from school and discover that your child has a black eye. (Okay, who punched my baby?) The teacher writes me a note that said Brooke fell off the monkey bars, landed on her face, and they tried to call me but the phones were down. Um, the phones were "down" and no one had a cell phone? That may be a problem. So, like black eyes do, it got much worse the second day. She's fine, a little tender, but tells this very elaborate long and funny story about how it happened. (After the story, Maddie huffed, "that story makes no sense whatsoever and I have no idea what you just said...why is your eye purple!? Tell me again, SLOWLY!)

Exhibit E: I'm a vegetarian!

...and these are my AWESOME black bean tacos. Doesn't it make you want to be a vegetarian too? Zak claims I'm not a "real" vegetarian because I've only been on the wagon for eight days. He thinks it's a phase, but is fully supportive of my new dinners. My friend, Michelle, suggests I call my self a Flexitarian because I may just occasionally eat some animal flesh. I love, love, love fish and will have a hard time turning it down...especially if it's fresh. But, now that I really think about it, who wants to eat the animal that swims in BP's oily gulf?

Does anyone want to buy me a new camera so you don't have to continue to be subjected to non-child blogging? I know how some of you don't like it when I don't exclusively blog about the monkeys. I want a fancy SLR camera, but may just need to hold my horses on that one until I can keep my Point and Shoot digital camera safe from sand monsters.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

San Diego 2010

We’re back from our trip to Sunny San Diego. We need a vacation from our vacation!
This was Brooke’s first time on an airplane and she did very well. Thank goodness that I had my iPad ready to go with some Dora’s and other Sprout TV shows. That kept her occupied for at least 2 of the 3 hours.

Maddie was just into the “snacks” and ate enough snacks for 5 other passengers. Arriving on Saturday, we headed to my mom’s house (where we stayed) to unpack, then went right to my Aunt Diane’s house to celebrate her birthday and introduce the Girls to their cousin Julianna and great grandma J.

On Sunday we went to a rodeo. The fact that we went to a rodeo in CALIFORNIA still strikes me as hilarious. Also, we got our first cowboy hats there too! My cousin Jacob, his wife Teresa, and their three kiddos joined us. Before the actual rodeo, they had a “kids rodeo” where they gave away free hats and real ropes, taught the kids how to use those ropes (other than tying each other up), face painting, and horse riding. By the way kids are more scared of little puppy dogs than they are of giant horses.

Other than one major Brooke meltdown, where I literally had to carry her kicking, hitting, dirt throwing, and screaming self out of the rodeo like a sack of potatoes simply to get her to calm down and take a time out...we had fun. Parenting! Good times.

We also drove up to see my cousin Ray, and his wife Heather, and their three kids in Los Angles and made a pit stop at DISNEYLAND! Something about typing DISNEYLAND just deserves all caps in the sheer excitement it contains.

No trip to California is complete without a trip to the beach. My brother, Scott, hosted a day at the beach at Cardiff State Beach and a BBQ afterwards his house. The water was freezing, and Madison didn’t have a problem jumping in and playing in the waves. Brooke stuck to the sand (or should I say that the sand stuck to Brooke). Zak and I also tried Stand Up Paddle Boarding for the first time, and LOVED it. I’m pretty sure Zak’s already been Googling to buy some boards to take them to the lake house.

A stop at the World Famous San Diego Zoo is also a requirement when you’re in southern California. I used to go there all the time when I was a kid, and was shocked (sorta) by how much things have changed. It’s truly an educational type experience. If you’re going there looking for a theme park environment, you’re outta luck. Unfortunately, my kids were at DISNEYLAND! The day before, and were a little underwhelmed by the zoo. When you’re five, and you got off the Matterhorn less than 24 hours before, a real life lion isn’t so much of a thrill.

The last two days of our trip were spent visiting with family, eating and drinking. I put together my first video montage, and have been trying to get it to work for days. Enjoy!