Friday, August 31, 2007

Job Opening

We had to let our tooth fairy go. We are currently looking for a replacement. She seemed like a promising candidate, but just did not perform up to par.

She did a wonderful job with tooth #1. She delivered the appropriate monetary compensation for the missing tooth with efficiency and ease.

When tooth #2 went missing, she failed to show up for her duties.

What is this world coming to?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

WON'T YOU PLEASE, PLEASE HELP ME


HELP!

HELP! I NEED SOMEBODY,
HELP! NOT JUST ANYBODY,
HELP! YOU KNOW I NEED SOMEONE, HELP.


I'm drowning in the sea of papers sent home by the school. I can't seem to organize them. I'm too paralyzed with fear to throw anything away. I can barely see my counter top. I think I've been blinded by all the fluorescent colors. And my fingertips are bloody from the paper cuts.

There's the artwork, letters from the teacher, reminders, letters from the library, info about the bus (Richie doesn't even ride the bus), scholastic book orders, nametags, lunch menus...the list goes on.

Strangely
, though, there is no letter with a magical formula for maneuvering "The Loop" (now that would be a good use of tree pulp). And yes, there is a story behind that last little comment, but it will have to be for another day. The wound is still too fresh. I did try to share my "loop" story with Rich (try being the operative word), but he was too busy watching Star Wars over my shoulder. Atleast he didn't burst into song this time.

Whew! I feel a little better, but I still have the pesky paperwork problem. Do any of you veteran Moms have a good system for all of this? Please share before...

I

LOSE

MY

MIND!


Save the trees!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Tide is Changing

Feel free to say it. I know you want to. Don't hold back. I know what you are thinking.

"I told you so!"

Today was a good day. There was absolutely no weeping or gnashing of teeth because my oldest child was at school and not with me. That is not to say that I didn't miss him or that I wasn't eager to pick him after school and hear about his day, but I enjoyed the day with William and Richie really seems to be coming into his own with enjoying school. Thank the Lord!

Today when Rich dropped him off at school, he said he walked into the school with a spring in his step. If you know Richie, you know that is the norm. He doesn't really walk, he skips. He's a joyful child, full of energy and life. He really threw me for a loop that first day when he came home without that spring. That is so out of character for him. I see now that he was overwhelmed and tired. I should have expected as much and given him license for that, but instead I chose to sound the alarm of my heart (BEEEEEEP!!! WARNING...WARNING...something is wrong...prepare for worst case scenario). Because I'm a Mom and I worry and Satan tells LIES!

Thankfully, I have peace in my heart. Has someone been praying this for me? Probably so, thank you! I'm not sure I've had the presence of mind to pray it for myself.

Will and I had a lovely day. We played at the park, took a trip to Target, and ate lunch together at a little table for two. Can I just tell you how much I loved eating lunch alone with that little guy? It was PRECIOUS. He was so stinking cute with his face covered in pizza sauce and ranch dressing, I could have eaten him up!

After we picked Richie up from school and took a short trip to the grocery store to obtain some essential items for dinner tonight. Yes, you read that right. I'm cooking dinner! And for the second night in a row!! That is a record for me these days. I finally got my stuff together and prepared a meal plan for the week. No more standing at the refrigerator wondering what's for dinner. Atleast not this week...

One last thing. Is it possible that Richie has matured in the four short days he has attended Kindergarten? He seems and acts older. Strange, but nice.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Aaack!

Wow, I feel like I'm behind on a few blogging things, so I'm going to play catch-up with this post.

1) Kindergarten Update

We made it through the first two days...only about 150 to go (actually I don't know how many, I'm just guessing!). I definitely had a harder time this week than Richie did. I have to say the emotional difficulty of sending my little boy off to school for the first time REALLY took me by surprise. I never pictured myself having a hard time "cutting the apron strings" so to speak, but I was wrong!

When he got in the car after his first day, he didn't seem himself. I think he was just tired and overwhelmed, but I took that as my cue to WORRY and FRET about his emotional well-being. I spent the whole second day in the "depths of despair" as Anne Shirley would say. Actually, that is a little overdramatic, but Anne was over-dramatic when she said that so it kind of fits. By the way, if you do not know who Anne Shirley is (I'm hyperventilating at the thought) that must be remedied immediately!

It turns out that I worried for nothing, because when I picked him up on the second day he seemed much more like himself and I instantly felt better. If you haven't figured it out yet, I am a worrier. In fact, my list of worries concerning this are so irrational, I would be embarrassed to name them. When will I learn to give them up to God?

2) I'm glad you liked my signature...



If you would like to create your own signature, Debra tells you "how to" over at and by faith...the blog.

3) Poll Results

My latest hard-hitting poll question was..."What do you call a carbonated beverage?"

6 (50%) of you say "Soda"
2 (16%) of you say "Pop"
3 (25%) of you say "Coke"
0 (0%) of you say "Soft Drink"
and
1 (8%) of you say other (as in you call a carbonated beverage something other than soda, pop, coke, or soft drink...not that you call the beverage "other". That would just be weird!)

As usual, I would love to know how you voted...especially if you are the one lone "other". I'm racking my brain to come up with "other" options. And "Pepsi" is NOT an option; so don't even go there!

4) Nice Twice!

I don't know what to say to Melissa and Suzi for giving me this sweet blogging award!



I guess "thank you" would be good for starters! Both of you have been a blessing to me and I can certainly see why this award was given to each of you.

I feel a little cheeky posting it on my blog, actually, but honored that you would think of me!

I'm also supposed to pass the award on to some other blogging friends! I hope my "real life" friends who also blog will forgive me for not passing this award on to you. It's not because you are not nice...obviously, I wouldn't be friends with you if you weren't nice ;-) I just don't think I can choose only a few from that group. So, I'm going to pass it on to some new "nice" friends I've met solely through blogging!

Rochelle at Dream Bigger

Kittyhox at Kittyhox

Janet at Life with the Wisners

You have all been encouraging, inspiring, humorous, sweet, and nice (of course). I enjoy reading each of your blogs and seeing life through your eyes.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Trying Something New...

When I saw Teri's beautiful signature over at Facedown, I had to have one of my own. You know how I love a little blog bling! And it looks like she got the idea from Debra! Thanks Guys!



What do you think? It makes me happy!

Now, if only I can remember to use it!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Struggling to Find the Words...

I'm still processing yesterday and today (day 2) for that matter. I can't seem to formulate the events of yesterday into a post. I have so many thoughts and emotions.

So, for now...

First Day in Pictures

Ready to Go!



I'll miss you buddy.



Hand in Hand with Mom



Does that door look BIG to you?



Greeted with LOVE by Mrs. R


One last squeeze from Mom

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Full Circle

Remember this, Mom?



My Mom gave me this book before I started Kindergarten 27 years ago. I still have it. I found this picture of it on the internet. Mine looks very similar, but with a few more rips and scratches. I remember sleeping with it and asking to have it read to me OVER and OVER and OVER. It brought me comfort.

Tonight, life came full circle when I read it to my own son the night before his first day of Kindergarten.

The pile of tissues continues to grow...

A Little Confusion

Richie has not started school yet. He starts on Thursday morning. I guess my Mommy breakdown was a little premature. Or maybe I was just warming up?

But seriously, I want to thank you all for your sweet comments, encouragement, and prayers concerning this new chapter in our lives. I will let you know how things go on Thursday!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

For Future Reference

I have this "friend" whose child put gum in his hair.

I'm SURE that none of your children would ever do anything like this.

BUT, just in case they do...here is a handy dandy link for you to reference.

My "friend" says the oil method works QUITE well!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

It's the End of the World as We Know It...

You should see the pile of tissues on the couch.

I know it is not the end of the world that my little boy is going to kindergarten. But it kinda feels like it. Let's just say I've been a tad bit emotional about it the last few days. The other day I was driving the boys to play at Open Gym and I looked up at the rear view mirror. Richie looked up at the same time, caught my eye and gave me one of his goofy (I love you, Mom) grins.



Bullet to the heart.

All I could think about was the fact that next week when I'm driving in the car on Friday at 10am, that little grin won't be there.

Oh yeah, I'm sobbing now.

And then today, I was walking by his room and he was playing with super heroes on his bed. I love that sight. And...well you can imagine where my mind went with that. Logically, I know he'll still play with super heroes after school and on weekends, but it just won't be the same. My heart is aching a bit.

I didn't anticipate this feeling, really. I mean I knew it was going to be a change, an adjustment. I knew that dropping him off that first day would be hard. But I didn't anticipate these little montages playing in my head about the last time for this and the last time for that. The realization that our "all day" time together is up.

Did I put down the laundry enough and listen to his stories? Did I forget about the dirty dishes enough to answer his questions? Did I give him enough hugs and kisses? Did I put my own desires aside enough to play Star Wars or super heroes, or Candy Land? These are the questions I'm pondering. The thoughts I'm reflecting upon.

People keep asking if I'm ready. "Are you ready for summer to be over?", "Are you ready for school to start?", "Are you ready for Richie to go to kindergarten?"

Is a Mommy ever ready for that?

Is that possible?

Friday, August 17, 2007

BYOL

Bring your own lunch.



Richie will be doing this next week when he starts kindergarten. I need some brown bag ideas, my friends.

But here's the catch, he is the WORLD'S PICKIEST EATER! I challenge anyone who thinks their kid might be pickier. We can duke it out in the comments section. Seriously, he doesn't like PIZZA, he won't eat the ENDS of the hot dog, he takes the "crust" off of his turkey slices, and tonight he didn't want to eat a quesadilla because it had WHITE cheese instead of ORANGE cheese. The list goes on and on. I guess you could say he is a little OCD with his food. I just don't know where he gets it. I mean ice rinsing is normal and all, but refusing to eat the ends of your hot dog?

The good news is, most of the things Richie does like are pretty healthy, just not too varied. So...I need your help! Please post a comment with your kid lunch ideas. They don't all have to be catered to my picky eater because I know there are other Moms who might glean from this discussion as well.

Bon App├ętit!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

You're All a Bunch of Slackers!

I'm kidding!! I just thought that would be a funny title for the results of my "How often do you excercise?" poll.

Here are the stats...

6 (54%) of you NEVER excercise
1 (9%) of you excercises 1-2 times a week
2 (18%) of you excercise 3-5 times a week
2 (18%) of you excercise EVERY DAY

None of you selected other, which would probably be the category I would fall under. When I'm on with excercising (which is NOT often) I do it 3-5 times a week. That usually lasts for about a month or two until I lose motivation and spend a few months doing it NEVER. It's a vicious cycle. It's the perfectionist in me...all or nothin' baby! I'm like that with a lot of things. It's a problem really.

ANYWAY, if you'd like to comment on your vote, please feel free to do so. I'm always curious to know.

Also, stay tuned for a new poll coming soon to a blog near you!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My Odds are 1 in 2145

I finally got around to entering this contest. It's worth a shot!

5 Minutes for Mom is giving away one of these courtesy of Best Buy.

If I win, Rich will be receiving his most extravagant birthday present ever on Monday!

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Me of Little Faith

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me! Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"
Matthew 14:30-32 (NIV)

My good friend Sunnie has a new blog. Besides being a wonderful friend, Sunnie is also the children's minister at our church. She does an amazing job. When I read her last blog entry, it got me thinking about faith in general and MY faith in particular. I thought I would share with you a little of what came to mind.

Hopefully, I won't shock any of you with this revelation, but I have never been great at blind faith. There are times when I have questions, times when I have doubts, and times when I wonder if what I believe is all just a figment of my imagination. There have been entire seasons of my life when I have felt distant from God and have found myself just "going through the motions" in regard to my faith.

The time I struggled the most was while we were living in England. I had just spent a really difficult year in the ministry (just out of college) and was incredibly disillusioned with the church and with Christians in general. I was doubting myself, my abilities, my purpose in life, and I guess I was doubting God as well. I don't know if I realized it at the time, but I started falling into a depression during that year of ministry and spiraled further down the following year while living in England. If ever I had a crisis of faith, it was then. Rich was at school working on his Masters Degree. I was alone A LOT. I went from working 60+ hours in ministry each week to not working at all in a foreign country where I knew no one and where no one knew me. Most days, it was just God and I. I had successfully run away from the difficult situation, but I really couldn't run away from Him. We had some talks, He and I. Mostly one-sided ones where I was crying out to Him. And He listened. He showed me some things in the beauty of the countryside, in the lofty cathedrals, in the liturgy of the church, and in the silence of my loneliness. He taught me that I had been putting my faith in people (Christians) and not in Him. He taught me that my worth was not found in other people's opinions of me...or even my own, but in His and His ALONE. It was a healing time for me, a learning time for me, a growing up time for me, and a faith restoring time for me.

I wish I could say that was my last "crisis" of faith, and that since then I've been a pillar of faithfulness. Not so. Yet still, my God is infinitely patient with me in the process. And when I start to have doubts, he lovingly throws me a lifeline, a little something to keep me afloat. Maybe in the form of a thirst quenching worship service, a relevant scripture, the testimony of a stranger, an answered prayer, a glimpse of his amazing creation, even a MIRACLE or two, until once again my sickly faith has been renewed.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Six Year Old Theology

"You know, Mom…sometimes I dream that God has buttons that he pushes when he wants meteors to fall. Or when he wants it to rain. Or when he wants the earth to spin so we can have day or night."

-Richie

What is six?

The number of times a TOY spider can scare an arachnophobic mommy in one evening.

Just by lying on the kitchen floor.

Every time I walk past it.

You'd think I would remember it was there.

Or that I would just pick it up.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Home Alone

No, I'm not talking about the movie, but there is a cute post from my friend Jen in reference to this movie here.

I am literally HOME ALONE! Imagine me saying that with a squeal of delight! Giddy is the only word that properly describes how I am feeling about this fact. I know not all of you will understand this, but this happens to me so rarely it deserves being documented on this blog. I can usually get out of the house for some alone time, but not having any family close, I don't really have the opportunity to be alone IN my house.

I had lunch with my good friend Sparky (Happy Birthday, Jenn!) to celebrate her birthday and when I arrived home and opened the garage door, I saw a glorious sight. An empty garage! My husband's car was gone and after using deductive reasoning I concluded that he would have the children with him and that my house, too, was empty...quiet...calm...aaahhhh!

I felt like a little girl in a candy store. What would be the best way to use this time?

1) Take a nap? Distinct possibility.

2) Eat things that I can't normally eat during the day because I don't want my children to have them? Kinda full from lunch.

3) Blog? Because I'm such a good Mom, that I never find time for THAT when the children are home.

4) Watch TV? Not in the mood for sorting through the 30 episodes of Oprah that are on my DVR and have not been watched yet.

5) Read a book? I do have a new book called Shopping for Time: How to Do It All and NOT be Overwhelmed. But it has a chapter called the 5am club, and that is one club I have NO DESIRE to be a part of!

6) Lounge? Definitely...whatever I do it must be done while lounging.

7) Clean? See #6.

8) Bake? Just kidding!

9) Laundry? COULD be done while lounging, but not very effectively.

10) Organize the 4201 digital photos on my computer? A little overwhelming.

11) Pay Bills? That would require having money.

12) Sit and stare? An underrated past time.

13) Spend time with God? I do that at church on Sundays. I'm kidding! That should have been #1, huh?

Obviously, I chose number 3 to do first, but I think that I will put the computer away now and try something else on the list before any more time has eluded me! But before I do, I'm curious, if you had 1+ hours alone in your home, how would you spend it?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Someday Your Prince Will Come

I have to admit that when I saw this post by Michelle at Two Kids and A Blog. I had to mourn the loss of all things tea party.

This narrative was going through my head...

"I have two boys, we play soccer and tball, we make mud pies, we throw things...all kinds of things, we growl, we run, we wrestle, we groan. Having tea parties is not really an option for me."

Or so I thought.

Yesterday my three year old had the honor of being Prince Charming at a princess themed tea party for his friend A. He was the only boy, although I don't think he noticed. He had a grand old time eating dainty foods and drinking tea with the ladies. At one point I saw him playing on the floor and noticed that a tiny slipper was lying right in front of him. I never did see who left it there, so I guess we'll be sending the Grand Duke out to search the kingdom high and low for Prince William's true love.

If the shoe fits, ladies...one day your prince will come. And he's a handsome one at that!

At the end of the party, Jen was passing out the party favors and William opened his bag and found a dainty little tea set. Or a manly espresso set, depending on how you look at it. I wasn't sure what he would think of it, but today he found it again and asked me to open it. I was secretly happy to do so. A tea set in my house! I can put it with my secret bow collection. Oh, did I just say that? If any of my friends are missing any cute girly bows...I don't know anything about that.

Ahem.

And so, of their own accord (really) my boys commenced to have a little tea party. They are SO going to hate me for this one day, but I couldn't resist taking a picture. This being their first tea party, they were being very manlike and having their tea on the couch! Knowing that would never do for a proper tea party picture, I rearranged it on the coffee table a little more appropriately for a photo session. There were no frills like purses, jewelry, or doilies because I thought that might be going a little overboard.



Aren't they cute? Maybe if they ever do have a baby sister they will be secure enough in their masculinity to join her for a tea party now and then.

Just for the record, the tea party only lasted about two minutes and directly after I took the picture Richie started begging to watch Star Wars while William slammed the tea set together and broke the saucer.

Boys will be boys.

And honestly? That's a good thing.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

And the Night Owls Have It!

The question of the week was...

Morning person or night owl?

And the results are in!

(drum roll, please)

The majority of you are night owls. 16 (65%) of you like to stay up to all hours instead of getting up early in the am. If you've been reading this blog for long you know that I unashamedly belong to this group. I firmly believe that you should not rise before the sun does...it is unnatural!

A few of you are morning people. 6 (26%) participants said that they function best in the morning. I cannot wrap my brain around this, but I applaud you!

And lastly, 2 (9%) voted other. I didn't know there was such a thing as an afternoon person, but apparently there are a couple of you out there!

Feel free to comment about how and why you answered the poll...especially you "others". I'm curious to know!

And stay tuned to the left sidebar for a NEW "Question of the Week"...coming soon!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Update

I updated this post with some pictures. Scroll down to the blue writing and you can see the additions. Thanks, Rochelle!

About this rumor...

...that I may be addicted to blogging. It seems I can no longer deny I have a problem!

68%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

New York Singles from Mingle2



Just for the record, I have not been visiting any singles websites, I got this link from a new blogging acquaintance! Thanks, Suzi!

Try it for yourself...it is A LOT of fun! But don't forget to post or comment on how addicted to blogging you are! Check out some of their other quizzes as well. Janelle, you might find this one interesting!

Over and out!

Friday, August 3, 2007

"I'm Listening..."

Today we had the whole family in the car, the boys were strapped in (so they couldn't move...which, let's just face it is sometimes a VERY GOOD thing) and the DVD player was entertaining the children with some good, moral, albeit not entirely accurate Bible stories known as Veggie Tales.

So, I thought I would take the opportunity to have a conversation with my hubby. Unlike Dawn's last attempt at this, my children were actually quiet and engrossed in the video so they weren't interrupting ;-)

I've shared before on this blog that I often have trouble saying "no". I've been trying to work on this lately and have had some success. Unfortunately, even when I do say no, I end up spending so much time and energy feeling guilty and questioning myself that I could have just done the thing instead. I know. I have a problem. I also have a problem with blog addiction and keeping up with my children's baby albums, but you guys already know that!

ANYWAY, I thought I would share with you a little of our conversation (sorry, I seem to be all about dialogue right now)

Alana: I just wish I could say "no" without feeling guilty.

Rich: (singing loudly) "Veggie Taaales, Veggie Taales..."

Alana: "I don't know why I have such an issue with pleasing people."

Rich: (singing loudly...with feeling) "Broccoli, celery, gotta be...VEGGIE TALES!"

Alana: "It's just that sometimes I'm not sure if the guilt is because God is convicting me or if it is Satan is trying to make me doubt the right decision."

Rich: (singing loudly with a dramatic finish) "It's time for Veggie Taa-a-aa-a-aa-a-aa-a-ales!"

At this point, I realize that he has been singing the Veggie Tales theme song the whole time and has not heard a word I've been saying.

Thanks, Rich. I'm glad we had that talk.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged

Tonight Richie pulled out his baby album and was looking through the pictures.

This is the dialogue that ensued...

Richie: That’s Mommy, she looked younger then.

Will: Where’s me? Where’s Me? Where’s me? Is that Me?

Richie: That’s Daddy, he was a nurse for a while. (referring to the scrubs)

Will: Where’s me? Where’s Me? Where’s me? Is that Me?

Richie: I was naked the whole time I was in the hospital.

Will: Where’s my picture? Is that me?

Richie: (in an agitated tone) NO, THAT'S ME! OKAY? THEY'RE ALL PICTURES OF ME! YOU WEREN'T BORN YET!

Will: (in a dejected tone) Where’s MY book?

At this point, my stomach is in knots because I know that there is no album for William.

(collective gasp of horror from all you scrap booking types)

I haven't put one together yet. I seriously considered pulling an all-nighter to remedy the situation. Words cannot express the Mommy guilt I was feeling. I think I need a permanent hand shaped like an L attached to my forehead. LOSER!

Grasping at straws, I pulled out his baby book because I have actually kept up with that quite well.

YEEAAHH...It didn't quite cut it.

And then "wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles", I remembered it! Most of the pictures of William were taken on a digital camera and shortly after he was born Rich made a DVD slide show of the pictures.

HALLELUJAH!

THANK YOU, JESUS!

WE'VE BEEN REDEEMED!

You can imagine the excitement of my three year old as he gleefully viewed his very own Baby DVD!

I was really hoping to share the DVD with you on this little blog o mine, but it appears my technological savvy with videos and blogging only goes so far. So, you'll just have to trust me when I say there would ne'er be a dry eye in the house!

I won't leave you totally hanging, though. Here are a few of my favorite pics from Will's "baby DVD"
















Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Grape Lover's Beware

"If you eat too many grapes, you'll turn purple."

Richie