Thursday, February 27, 2014

She Knocked My Socks Off!

Just a funny comment before I forget...

As I picked up Grace from school the other day her teacher told me that they had started assessments for parent conferences next month. "She knocked my socks off! She knew all her letter sounds, numbers...."

We got in the car and I said "Miss Grace I am so proud of you! Did you hear what you teacher said?"

"Mommy, I didn't knock her socks off. They stayed on the whole time."

Not much else to report unless you want to hear all about how we came home to a flooded garage a few weeks ago because a pipe burst. Fun times! Shortly after that,  our well pump stopped functioning properly. This is a problem because it randomly shuts off which in turn shuts off our water and eventually our heat pump. No water. No heat. No fun.

It has made for some cold, frustrating mornings. I am officially ready for summer.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Now that the Olympics is Over...Or if you were Over it a Week Ago Like Me...

So you've seen Frozen....because who hasn't?! (If you don't know what I'm referring to when I say Frozen, you officially live under a rock.) It is this generations Little Mermaid. The songs are catchy. We saw the movie before Christmas, bought the soundtrack the next day, and I've the girls have been singing it ever since. In fact, they wanted to see Frozen again this past weekend but told them we should wait to see it with Dad since he hasn't seen it yet!*(You are welcome Court!!)

So if your household - much like my household - has been listening to Frozen on repeat for two months, you'll appreciate Christina Bianco's cover of 'Let It Go!' It is so funny and so good.

In other media news, were you sick of watching the Olympics a week ago like me? The Olympics is amazing for the first week and then I'm like ok, Brian Williams summed everything up that is of any interest in less than five minutes so I totally good to watch my regular show after I put the kids to bed. But alas! TV land is on vacation and just showing crap shows or the Olympics. Most people would opt to read a book in such troubled times. Not me. 

Picking a quality read for the whopping price of $10-$15 a pop is quite difficult. I mean I could just pop over to the NY Times best sellers list and trust that they and their millions of readers can pick something worth my time. But, again, a lot of unnecessary work. Especially, when Netflix times the release of House of Cards at the exact moment the world, the country, I got bored with the Olympics. 

Court and I watched most of Season One. We had a few episodes left to watch before we could feel right about starting Season Two. And watch we did! We even tried watching two episodes - on a 'school night' because the show is that good!

Before Court left on his business trip, I told him that I was going to rage ahead and watch Season Two while he was gone. I know. Totally thoughtful of me, right?

So on my first evening, after the kids had gone to bed, after all the dishes were done, animals were fed, doors were locked, I climbed into bed to watch Season Two, Episode One.

Spoiler Alert. 
It's good in a completely twisted, unbelievable way. Note: If you hate the American government and are already planning your move to Canada, this is probably not the show for you. Then again, maybe it is. Anyway, the unexpected twist in the first episode of the new season, took my breath away. I officially felt horrible for not watching with Court. So Court, I didn't watch any more House of Cards while you were gone. I am saving it all to watch with you. You are welcome!
See? I am thinking of nothing but your happiness while you are away. See the * above!

Instead, I watched VEEP. 
HIGHLY recommend!

Happy viewing!

Piano Recital

The girls are taking piano and we are entering the world of recitals! 
I didn't play piano as a kid so this is all new to me. 
Earlier this month they had a piano recital that featured duets. 
The older kids all played with a partner. The younger kids played with their teacher. 

If you do nothing else today, watch this video of Charlotte.
It's priceless!

Grace had to wait forever for her chance to perform.
Charlotte cried when Grace went up to the piano...she wanted to go up again!

Short and super sweet. 

So, so proud of these girls.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Getting Back on the Horse - The Blogging Horse

I've definitely lost my touch - if I ever had one - on this whole blogging thing. I ALWAYS felt like I had something to write about. My family would even say... while I was snapping a photo or telling a story... that they smelled a blog post coming. They were usually right!

Lately, I can barely remember what I did yesterday, let alone recall something significant worth sharing. I just got to get back on the horse and then the creative juices will start flowing. Right? Regardless, these are my memories, my thoughts. If I don't purge them today, I'll never remember them tomorrow, let alone six years from now. So back on the horse we go!  (You can always follow me on Instagram. Not as much "purge" as a blog post but fun little tidbits nonetheless!)

The big news of this past week? I became an aunt again. Yay! Court's brother's family grew by one on Wednesday. I haven't gotten to meet the newest addition but I hear all are well!

Speaking of babies....babies ARE a conundrum, aren't they? They are so cute and amazing and they bring so much happiness. Every time I see one, it just makes me crazy. Throw in the fact that I'm up to my eyeballs in archiving my photos. I'm currently working on photos from 2009 - Grace's first year. All those firsts! All the cuteness! I'm just in total bombardment of "baby" and I ain't gonna lie, it makes me want another.

At least, it makes me think about wanting another. A lot. God was onto something when he made babies so darn cute. He was also quite genius in sprinkling some kind of magic voodoo powder on a mother's memory so that she'll look right past the haggard, exhausted mother holding a tiny, new baby in the grocery store and at first sight want another....instantly...overwhelmingly. It's crazy. (*Side note: Funny how He didn't feel the need to sprinkle the same magic voodoo powder on men. They can recall all the HARD stuff on contact! They are not as easily bamboozled by cute...cute babies that is! ha!)

So other than 'The Great Baby Debate' going on upstairs, we've been up to the usual. Busy, busy.

The sun has been out so we've been out more too. Bring on summer! It is still amazing to see Grace run post surgery. She just flies! She easily runs a half mile at a dead sprint. 

I took this photo with my iPhone. The sun was in my eyes and I couldn't see the screen so I just blindly snapped away.

When we got home from our walk I looked at it and it really hit home. It captured so much more than I'd realized. Yes, it captured a sunny winter day. The vineyard that surrounds our house. Mt. Adams in the background. 
What caught me most was the distance. How far Grace was down the road. At a dead sprint. Symbolic of her growing and maturing.
Charlotte in hot pursuit. Snipping at her heels.
Also, extremely symbolic.
And me. Left in the dust.
You guessed it. Symbolic.

There are times when I've had it up to my ears and I've secretly counted down the days until Grace will be in kindergarten...ALL DAY! EVERYDAY! After seeing this picture it hit me pretty hard how much I'll miss her. All day. Everyday. 

Switching gears. Dogs! Oh thank god for dogs! The dogs love going on our walks. It helps burn off some energy. Luckily, they entertain themselves for the most part. You never know what they are going to be up to when you look outside. 

Spring is springing and so they are chasing and sometime capturing little critters that are returning to these parts. I am REALLY hoping they channel some of their energy towards snuffing out snakes this summer. Fingers crossed.

Court is out of town for a few days which is hard in all ways OTHER than the cooking department. It's no secret I don't love to cook. The only reason I ever REALLY cook a meal is when Court gets home from work. Even then, it sometimes doesn't happen! So while the cat is away, the mice will eat pancakes for dinner, hit Red Robin and order pizza. woo hoo!!

Other than trying not to cook, we did manage to have a little fun. We saw the Lego movie, and did a few projects. The girls made chalk which they loved!

We also made panda ear headbands. Grace and Charlotte pretty much have refused all hair doodads of any kind. Charlotte will do a pony tail from time to time but Grace absolutely refuses.
Slap some white and black felt on a piece of plastic and they won't take it off.

Go figure.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

January and Then Some

Well, hello there February. Geez, I wasn't prepared for January (as clearly evidenced by my lack of posts) and I am REALLY not ready for February! Alas, here we are. February 5. 

I am disappointed that I haven't gotten more up on the blog. I just can't seem to get in a rhythm. I want to sit down and write, capture the day, the moments…rehash a funny scenario. Recently, I've been uninspired, tired and just plain busy. There just aren't enough hours in the day. Does anyone else feel like that too?!

So I thought I'd give a brief update as to what is going on here - behind the scenes - and try to get some of my blogging mojo back!

Where to begin??…The months between September and December nearly kill me - every year. Yet I love them! I live for them! The changing of the seasons! Back to school and buying school supplies! Birthdays! Holidays! And the big doozy! Christmas! I literally don't sleep for three months. 

Coming off all that holiday frenzy…I am literally exhausted. Throw a vacation in there to Maui, where I was warm, rested, didn't have to cook, do laundry or drive a car for an entire week - getting back into the swing of things - i.e. REALITY! - has been close to impossible.

My plan over Christmas break was to back post on the blog and get caught up. That didn't happen. We got both girls up on skis instead! A wonderful and exciting break through for our future skiing adventures!

But anyone who has skied with kids knows that  at the end of the day all you want is a drink, a hot shower and bed! (Who am I kidding? That is what I want at the end of EVERY day!)

When we got back from skiing, our washer and dryer broke. So you can imagine the amount of laundry that needed to be done when those babies were back up and running.

Once we were finally unpacked and laundered for the first time in 2014, it was time to hit the road again. This time to much needed warmth and sunshine. Maui!

It was a great trip. My only complaint?
Not long enough.

One of these days, I 'll get photos up.

Speaking of photos. That leads me to another time suck. My computer is so slow. No really, like so slow. Take slow and multiply it by 20,000 and it is still slower than that. Even after an extended visit with the computer guy, it's still so mind boggling slow it has severely impacted my photo taking/uploading capabilities. 

Court urged me to rectify this situation (aka he was sick of hearing me complain!) and pointed out that the 30,000 photos on my hard drive *might* be slowing things down.
Ya think?
The computer guy says no but I figure it is about time I properly back up and store my photos. I mean I REALLY don't need a computer crash about now.

So I am uploading all my photos to SmugMug (highly recommend - check it out!) and because of slow internet connection I can only upload photos in small batches of about 30 or so. Let me remind you that I am trying to upload tens of thousands of pictures. It's a time suck.

Once uploaded to SmugMug, I am starting to save all photos to external hard drive. Once that is done, I plan on deleting all photos from my computer. Hopefully, that will aid in the photo uploading department which will in turn get me back in business on le blog!

In other time suck news, I've got an Easter project that I am working on. It's something I've never done before so I have to teach myself each and every step. It's moving along at a pace opposite of speedy.  (surprise, surprise!)

Valentine's Day is around the corner and we are TOTALLY behind in our preparations. I'm no fortune teller but I see some late nights in my future.

On Friday, we head to Seattle to meet with Grace's doctor. It is her 6 month post surgery follow-up appointment.

Hard to believe it has only/already been six months! Hopefully, all goes well! Fingers crossed!

So there you have it! Just a few of the things we've been up to. 

Probably need to sign off but a quick, funny story.

Charlotte has taken to drawing "marks" on her arm. She pronounces it "mak" which makes this story even funnier. The "marks" are usually drawn on her left arm with her right hand and are inspired by the "cutie marks" on the bums of My Little Ponies. 
Yesterday, her "mak" was larger than normal so I told her that her marks can't be that big.
She immediately went to level 10 on the 1-5, 5 being the maddest scale. She stomped her feet and fisted her hands at her side.
"Mom, these are big things. This is how I am."
(Insert several foot pounds on the floor…no idea where she picked up the foot stomping!)
Charlotte, the mark is too big.
"MOM! This is how I am. I am meant to do big things!"

Point. Set. Match.

Until next time…hopefully, that will be before March 1!