Enjoying the Girls
For those of you who haven't been around me much, I should let you know that I am a task-oriented person. The rest of you already knew that, so we can continue from there. It's hard for me to slow down, put down the palm and just enjoy my kids sometimes, even though I love them deeply.
This weekend, Brett is out of town at The Grove's Men's Retreat, so I'm getting some extra focused time with the girlios. Of course, I always have plenty of time with them, but this weekend is a little different because I'm not hosting anyone, preparing any gourmet meals or going to work. My urgent to-do list is short, and I've decided to enjoy the weekend and worry about the other tasks on Monday. Anyway, I've had some good moments with the kids this weekend. Nothing special, just reading, hanging out with friends (grown ups and kids) and playing games. Maitlyn and I played Memory yesterday, and she actually could contend with me. Wow! Also, I started formal reading instruction with her about 2 weeks ago, and so we sit and work on phonics about 15 minutes a day. It's been great. She is catching on quickly, and she seems to enjoy the focused attention.
Elspeth gets her focused attention in different ways, like when I have to pin her down to brush her teeth. (It's just a stage, I keep telling myself.) Lately, I have been spending some sweet time with her when she wakes up from her nap. I usually get her out of bed and sit with her for 15 to 30 minutes. Unfortunately, her waking usually occurs right when I need to be preparing dinner, but you just have to seize those moments when you can. I know that Elspeth really needs that time with me and if she doesn't get it, the next 1 hour of dinner preparation is going to be miserable anyway.
Also, can I just say that Maitlyn and Elspeth have been playing together so well lately! They are two peas in a pod. After lunch on Thursday, they played with Little People for over an hour without one single conflict! It amazes me how much they really enjoy being together.
All that to say, I'm enjoying my little ones. They are precious, and I'm privileged to be their mom.
The blahs (not to be confused with the blogs)
Ever go through a period where life is just a little gray? The blahs? That's kind of where I am right now. I'm not sure why, but I think I tend to go through this every year around this time. Maybe it's the lack of sunshine or something.
Maybe it's that I haven't breathed any mountain air in too long. I may have to remedy that. Trying to figure out some way to get to the cold white stuff so I can strap a snowboard on my feet.
Parade of Cakes, Bones and Other Familial Happenings
This weekend we went to Edmond for the January Birthday Extravaganza. Elise, her dad and her brother all have birthdays in January, so we get together once each January to eat a nice meal, exchange birthday cards and a few gifts (there are also 3 birthdays in May, so we do it again that month). One of the funniest parts of the experience is what we call "The Parade Of Cakes." Essentially, each birthday boy/birthday girl gets to request their favorite cake and Elise's mom will make it. 3 birthdays, 3 cakes. This year is was Strawberry Cake (homemade icing made with strawberries... yum) for Jim (Elise's dad), Lemon Cream Cheese Cake for Elise and Chocolate Torte for Kane (Elise's brother).
After dinner and putting the kids to bed, I taught Elise, her dad and her youngest brother to play Texas Hold 'Em. Of course I made the assumption that since they had never played then I could play really loose and still win. Overconfidence was my downfall this time as I lost to my wife.
On Saturday, we took the family to the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum Of Natural History in Norman, OK. This museum is a part of OU and displays one of the best dinasour skeleton collections in the nation. The university had millions of artifacts in storage for years because they didn't have a proper museum to display them in. Finally, several years ago when David Boren became the president of OU, he made it a priority to raise the millions of dollars it would cost to open this world-class museum. Now they have room for MOST of their collection. They still have more in storage and several collections that travel, but the collection that was there on Saturday was really cool. We saw about 100 different dinasour skeletons (several of them very large). The kids had a really good time as well.
Sin in a Cup
Starbucks has a new product called Chantico Drinking Chocolate. It's just like melting a chocolate bar and drinking it out of a cup. Absolutely, sinfully delicious. And ONLY 10 Weight Watchers points for a 6 oz serving. (For those of you who are not WW savvy. . .that's about 1/2 of my calories for the day.) Good thing there's Starbucks only in Bentonville. (Did I just say that? What am I thinking?)
The Easy Button
There's a commercial on TV right now for Staples that asks the question "Wouldn't it be nice if there was an easy button for life?" So true, so true...
Do you ever just yearn for life to simplify? It just seems that whenever one part of my life settles down and I feel like it's under control, another one falls apart. And what's up with those people whose lives just seem to be easy? It is an illusion or are they just blessed?
The Princess Party and The Un-Party
Maitlyn turned 4 on Thursday (December 30). We celebrated her birthday on Friday, December 31st by hosting a "Princess Party". Maitlyn invited all of her friends. All of the girls dressed up as princesses and the couple of boys who came were dressed up as princes. Maitlyn has been anticipating her birthday since before Christmas. In fact, at times I thought she was more excited about her birthday than she was Christmas. Maybe that's because her birthday totally revolves around her while Christmas is a shared event.
Anyway, the kids had a great time decorating princess and prince hats, singing fun kid tunes, opening gifts, eating cake and Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets and grabbing candy out of a princess pinata. Maitlyn truly had a terrific time. After the party, Grammy and Podder (her names for Elise's parents) brought their gifts in and we had another round of gift opening. Then they took off right before dinnertime.
Did I mention that this was New Year's Eve? Well, with getting everything together to host Christmas and Maitlyn's Princess Birthday Party, we really didn't make any effort to get a babysitter for our kids on New Year's Eve so we could go out (NYE has to be the most difficult night to get a babysitter). Actually, we were really looking forward to a quiet night at home just chilling out. It's funny, there is always this sense that everyone is doing something fun on New Year's Eve and if you aren't doing something, then you're some kind of a loser. Stuart called me sometime right after Elise's parents left and asked if we had any plans for NYE. He then suggested that he and Shauna could come over and we could watch a movie or play a game or something. I said I would let him know, but thought maybe we should just relax and rest at home alone. Then a few minutes later Scott Cox came by the house to drop off his Mission to Mexico check. He asked if we had any plans and he said he didn't have anything to do either and he was a little bummed. Then right after he left, Andrew called and suggested that he and Virginia could come over and we could play games or something. Again, I said I would let him know. After I hung up, I looked at Elise and said "is God trying to tell us something?" We decided that we would call everyone back and tell them we were going to host the "Un-Party". The idea was to not go to any trouble or plan anything elaborate. We would just pick up from the Birthday Party and everyone could come over and we would play games or watch a movie or something like that.
Around 8:30, I ran over to Wing Stop to grab some hot wings for our dinner. We decided to get some extras to share with everybody. When Stuart and Shauna showed up around 9:00, they brought hot wings from Foghorn's. Then Scott showed up with more wings and fries from Wing Stop! Andrew, Virginia and Jay Snider also came, but thankfully they didn't bring any more wings! We hung out, ate wings and played the 90's version of Trivial Pursuit. Then at midnight, we watched the ball drop and went outside to watch the fireworks from the Fayetteville Square. We finished the Trivial Pursuit game after midnight.
Did I mention that we had a great time? It was really lots of fun. I think none of us had high expectations because none of us had really planned anything. It turned out to be a spectacular evening. I don't think I've laughed that hard in quite some time. It was the most fun I've had on New Year's Eve in a long time (excluding, of course, the NYE that I proposed to Elise).
I really feel blessed to have such great friends and I feel privileged that we got to spend the evening with them.
Well that was pitiful
It has been too long since I have posted. Unfortunately I have to post after a pitiful National Championship game. All of the commentators expected this to be the most exciting National Championship game in recent history. The teams seemed to be very evenly matched.
Unfortunately, OU just stank. After a turnover on a punt, it was like a switch got flipped and we became an awful team. We just didn't look like ourselves. I will always love and support the Sooners (I watched the entire game), but that was one of the worst games they have played in the history of OU football.
By the way, do me a favor. If you love me, you won't rub it in. I know how bad we played. Frankly, it was embarrassing. I know how well USC played. If we had lost a close game, you could rub it in all you want. In this case, losing 55-19 is suffering enough.
Congratulations on a great game USC. Cheer up, OU. You'll get another chance. Hopefully sooner (no pun intended) rather than later.