Friday, February 28, 2014

February in Instagram

Watching Catherine swim!

Watching Catherine swim!

You're looking at the DIS fantasy football champion. #prouddaddy

You're looking at the DIS fantasy football champion. #prouddaddy

I have has this wheat grinder for a while. I always knew it would come in handy.  Today was the day!!!!  Someone finally borrowed it, used it, made bread, and shared it with me!!!!  So glad I had butter and homemade strawberry jam in the fridge.

I have has this wheat grinder for a while. I always knew it would come in handy. Today was the day!!!! Someone finally borrowed it, used it, made bread, and shared it with me!!!! So glad I had butter and homemade strawberry jam in the fridge.

Owen and the snowy day.

Owen and the snowy day.

A look out the front door. School is letting out early. Kids will be home soon.

A look out the front door. School is letting out early. Kids will be home soon.

Today Catherine did the chalkboard quote. I love it!!!!

Today Catherine did the chalkboard quote. I love it!!

The tonight show - a staple in my life. I remember when Johnny Carson retired.  But I'm so excited for Jimmy Fallon - I don't have to stay up quite so late anymore.

The tonight show - a staple in my life. I remember when Johnny Carson retired. But I'm so excited for Jimmy Fallon - I don't have to stay up quite so late anymore.

And Julianne did the flute contest after getting a shot today. Bad timing!  #ivaccinate

And Julianne did the flute contest after getting a shot today. Bad timing! #ivaccinate

Just a few boys with us to see THE LEGO MOVIE.  So glad for girlfriends willing to come too while our husbands work, travel for work, and go to school.

Just a few boys with us to see THE LEGO MOVIE. So glad for girlfriends willing to come too while our husbands work, travel for work, and go to school.

Another 2 hour school delay tomorrow morning. The only thing that gets me through the bad days are looking forward to the sunny 72 days.

Another 2 hour school delay tomorrow morning. The only thing that gets me through the bad days are looking forward to the sunny 72 days.

Madelyn doesn't feel very well.

Madelyn doesn't feel very well

❤️❤️breakfast today. I only do things like this on 2 hour delay days. Don't get the wrong idea. They are puff pancakes or German pancakes. I was surprised they didn't puff more, but then I set the oven at 350 instead of 450 like you're supposed to. Oops.

❤️❤️breakfast today. I only do things like this on 2 hour delay days. Don't get the wrong idea. They are puff pancakes or German pancakes. I was surprised they didn't puff more, but then I set the oven at 350 instead of 450 like you're supposed to. Oops.

Adam's last ball game of this season. 6 pm on Valentines day. I'm such a lucky woman!!!

Adam's last ball game of this season. 6 pm on Valentines day. I'm such a lucky woman!!

Trent turned 40 today!!!  He celebrated all day long (at work during busy season). Arriving home a little before 10 to open cards and presents.

Trent turned 40 today!!! He celebrated all day long (at work during busy season). Arriving home a little before 10 to open cards and presents.

Catherine and Trent. All the other kids were in bed. Trent in his new @rhoneapparel  (@rhoneapparel was started by some friends of ours in New Canaan). It's my new go to gift for Trent. #everystitchcounts

Catherine and Trent. All the other kids were in bed. Trent in his new @rhoneapparel (@rhoneapparel was started by some friends of ours in New Canaan). It's my new go to gift for Trent. #everystitchcounts

Owen is not a napper. In fact, I can't even remember the last time this happened. Naturally it's nearly 6:00. He will be up til eleven for sure.

Owen is not a napper. In fact, I can't even remember the last time this happened. Naturally it's nearly 6:00. He will be up til eleven for sure.

We all saw little mermaid tonight. It was so good!!



Owen demonstrating "listening ears" in primary. If only they really worked.

Owen demonstrating "listening ears" in primary. If only they really worked.

Owen couldn't be more thrilled with our dog sitting for three days. #overLOVE

Owen couldn't be more thrilled with our dog sitting for three days. #overLOVE

Our dog sitting days are over. Everyone was sad to see Daisy go. Except maybe Trent.

Our dog sitting days are over. Everyone was sad to see Daisy go. Except maybe Trent.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Grandpa and Gia-Gia come to visit

My Dad and Sally drove up on Friday to stay with us for a night.  It was a quick trip.  They headed right back down to Houston Saturday night.  We had a great time seeing them.  We checked out the nature center, walked to the lake, and just enjoyed eachother's company.

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Julianne's champs meet

Julianne has been working so hard at swimming to earn her first B times.  Her practice group just completed a 4 week nutritional challenge (no sugar except for fruit sugars in whole fruits) and she stuck to it the whole month.  She practices 4-5 times a week for 2 hours.

Saturday and Sunday she had her champs meet and she did it.  She earned her first B time in the 50 free.  She was so close to earning a B time in all of her other events.  But it was nice to earn the first one.

Trent went to her meets this weekend and cheered her on, so I don't have any pictures to show for it.  But I am so proud of her hard work.  It is not easy to pick up swimming at 13 years old.  It takes a lot of hard work.  So many of her peers have been swimming for years and so it seems like she might not catch up to them, but she is.  She's determined and hard working and very dedicated.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Catherine's return to soccer

All the kids played soccer in New Canaan.  They really didn't have a choice.  It was $45 per kid to play each season.  In a town where absolutely nothing is affordable, soccer was affordable.

Since moving to Texas the whole wide world of sports is now available to them.  We've done basketball, baseball, softball, swimming, diving, football, and  . . .  now back to soccer.

I looked hard to find a good team for Catherine with just the right fit -- serious but fun, rigorous but not too time demanding, and above all not too far from home.  We found the best team around.  It has been a perfect fit.

She had her first game today, Saturday and she was right back to her awesome moves.  It was like she hadn't taken off a year and a half.


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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Today being a mom feels like conducting a band

Julianne had a band concert today.  All those kids, all those different instruments, and yet as the conductor started the count all the kids' toes started tapping and they sounded great.  As I would watch each of the different musical instruments play and then rest and then play again I could see how this is the perfect analogy for my life right now.  Each individual instrument's part is not overwhelmingly difficult.  They have a few challenging sections, but they also have a lot of resting time.  It's the conductor who doesn't get a break.  He was always directing 4 or more instruments at a time.

That is just exactly how my life is.  Not any one of my kids has so much going on.  They each have a few activities.  They each have a few challenges.  They have time to rest and time to play.

But me???  Not so much.  I schedule out my afternoons like a well written musical score.  From the time the first bus arrives home at 3:10 until the last kid is asleep (usually around 10 p.m.) we are on a finely tuned schedule.  I use my iphone calendar like a metronome-- keeping me in time.

I really do enjoy it though.  The kids are each growing smarter and more talented.  Their skills continue to improve.  It was tough for me to realize that Julianne can swim faster now than I ever could.  Catherine is not too far behind.  I love watching them play and race and swim.

I've had to accept some new roles-- I am no longer an "expert" on anything in my kids eyes.  Everything I say or suggest is treated with deep suspicion.  Julianne asks for Algebra help, tells me how I'm doing it all wrong, and then can't believe that I repeatedly get the correct answer.  But I remember saying the same things to my Dad when we'd do math.  (sorry, dad!)

Adam informed me the other day that he would have to teach me some new basketball games.  I asked what they were and he assured me that I wouldn't know any of them.  I asked again and he finally said, "Well the first one has a couple of names -- it depends how long you want to play -- some people call it HORSE but it could be CAT or PIG"    Seriously????  He thought I wouldn't know THAT game.  I've even tried to play it with him before, but he tells me my games are stupid.  I told him I've probably played THAT game 1000 times and he just rolled his eyes like there goes my silly mom.

I had to show Madelyn a youtube video on how to throw a softball before she was convinced that what I was trying to show her was correct.  Because clearly I DON'T KNOW ANYTHING about softball.

I just got my official license in the mail for USA Swimming.  Do you think that means the girls will trust anything I say about swimming???  No, those 7 years coaching a swim team probably mean nothing.

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And I also keep realizing that I'm not really a mom to any babies anymore.  Owen is 3 1/2.  He talks to me like he's an adult.  At least he still lets me makes me lay by him to go to bed.

And while 3:00 - 10:00 are crazy busy, 8 am - 3:00 pm is not too bad.  I make it to the gym 3-4 times a week.  I cook with my friend on Mondays (all of our meals for the week, plus a treat, and now we've added changing all the sheets in whoever's home we are cooking at that day)  So in a couple of hours every Monday I get all the cooking and the dreaded bed linens all done.

I've started to re-evaluate some fitness goals.  For 12 years I was either pregnant, about to be pregnant, or nursing a baby and while I loved that whole phase it provided plenty of excuses and reasons to just maintain the status quo.  I ran a mile the other day in 7:49.  That's a big improvement for me.

I've been trying to play the piano some more and have even been working on a new classical piece.  And I've been reading Harry Potter in spanish -- SLOWLY.

I've been a terrible blogger.  But I'm often still driving kids around until 9 and then I get to double check Algebra homework.

I read another persons blog lamenting the lack of blogs written by parent's of older kids and I could really relate.  For one, the kids read this blog now.  They want to approve of every picture.  It was funny to post pictures of a cute baby covered in baby food, but my kids would not be happy if I posted pictures of their less than beautiful moments.  It's funny to write about your 2 year olds tantrums.  It is NOT funny to write about your 12 year olds tantrums.

I had a friend with older kids while mine were all babies and she would always listen to me and then say, "Little kids, little problems; Big kids, big problems."  And she's right.  I can't solve their social dilemmas for them.  I certainly can't blog about them.  I can't make someone enjoy math homework.  I can't write about the less than stellar grade because someone insisted on doing things his or her way.   I have so much to say and nowhere public I can or want to say it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm having a great time. We all are.  It's just that things are different.  Here are the girls on a daddy/daughter date with Trent.  I look at these 2 girls all the time (Julianne is taller than me.  Catherine is getting close) and wonder how I ever got such grown up kids????


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And I am re-writing my own musical score.  Tonight after running a throwing skills clinic for Madelyn's team, serving dinner, getting Catherine out the door for mutual, racing to the band concert with Owen in tow, I realized I had a full hour before I HAD to do anything so I wrote in my own rests and went and got a pedicure.  I brought Owen with me because he is an angel and sat in my lap and we sang songs and counted to 20, and played "mindcrap" on my iphone together.  Oh sure it meant Madelyn and Adam got to watch an extra hour of Disney channel drivel but I enjoyed the conductor's break immensely.



Tuesday, February 4, 2014

My facebook lookback video

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I think facebook was so clever creating a custom lookback video creation algorithm that gleans from your posts and photos to tell a quick story of your facebook record.  Here's mine and also I went on and created one from my mother's account.  Here is hers too.

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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Another swim meet

Both Julianne and Catherine swam in a meet this weekend. Julianne had the early morning sessions. I drove her there but wasn't able to stay and see her on Saturday (had to get Adam to basketball and baseball coach look). Then I headed back to take Catherine to the afternoon session. I even remembered my big camera. Both she and Julianne really swam well and are continuing to get faster! Julianne is 4 tenths of a second off her first B times.

Here are some pics of Catherine!!!

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Adam and Owen were good sports about waiting for so long.

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