Monday, December 31, 2012

New Years Eve

I was talking to my sister tonight, and she said something to the effect that I was good at thinking of fun things to do on special occasions. I laughed and said, "Usually I'm a day late and a dollar short!" I always have the best ideas for a celebration the day after it happens. Well, not today!

I recently found out that in Downtown Disney they have an ice skating rink. Guess what we did for New Years Eve? Glenn wasn't as thrilled as Genny was. We left earlier than we could have, but my toes were cramping and Glenn was pitching a fit and out of his skates by then anyway.

We stuck around Downtown Disney to check out the lego store and the build a bear workshop. We fit in some ice cream somewhere in there and rode the bus back to the parking area which was a treat in itself for the kids who (I'm pretty sure) have never ridden a bus before.

On our way home I realized that we would be getting back to town just in time to watch the sun set from the pier. I amped Genny up for it by talking about how cool it was that we were going to be the last ones to say goodbye to the sun in the country. We got there and ran, racing and laughing towards the pier, and even though it was cold, it was fun to wave goodbye to the sun and say, "See you next year, sun!!"

The only thing that could have made this New Years Eve better would (of course) be if Thomas had been here. This has been a tough deployment and I feel like I miss him more than I have before.

Even though I miss Thomas, I'm so glad and feel so blessed that I can stay home with my kids and watch them grow and change every day. I wish I could have a video log of all these days and special moments that fly out of my head because there are so many. I wish I could keep these memories for a rainy day when both kids are away at college and I'm missing them. Pictures will have to do, and I'll remember enough to keep me happy.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

SAHM Preschool: Living and Non-Living

I'm not a teacher. In fact, when I first started out on this preschool journey I was trying to make a then three year old Genny write letters. Then I started talking to other moms and found out that Genny needed to learn to draw lines and circles before she started writing letters. So even though I'm posting about the homeschool preschool I do with my four and a half year old daughter, it may not be up to a certified preschool teachers standards. With that being said, let's take a peek at what Genny worked on today.

Thanks to Pinterest, I have lots of ideas and tools for Genny's preschool. Today she learned about living and non-living. Before I started the project, we talked about what is be living and what is not living. I asked her to name something living. She couldn't, so I helped her by asking if she thought that she was living. Then we named lots of things that we saw, and she started getting the idea of what was living and what was not living.

I had cut out a bunch of pictures from catalogs and magazines of living and non-living things. I went through each one with her, asking her whether it was living or non-living. She did pretty well, and we placed each one on the correct side. After we had gone through them all, she got to glue them down.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Dear Husband

I miss you. I try not to, and I pretend that it's not as bad as it is, but I do. I miss you like someone underwater misses breathing. That's me, underwater, looking at the surface where your face is waiting for me. Holding my breath and feeling the ache in my lungs for that cold air I will breathe when you are home.

It doesn't make sense. Logically I should be fine, there are many more worse off than me. Single mothers who never have someone to wait for. Women who sit by starving, just to give their child something to eat. I am more fortunate than they are.

Yet still I miss you.

I tell people that not much has changed since you left, my days are the same, and if I change enough details in my memory, nothing has changed. I just have to hold on to those few nights when you weren't home for dinner or bedtime. I just have to pretend that this is the norm. But I know it's not. I know that while you're gone I'm missing out on all the little things you bring to our family. I'm missing out on you playing with the kids so I can clean up dinner. We are missing out on so much.

I tell others I'm fine.

I tell them that I don't worry about you and that we have so much to do that the days fly by. But in the back of my head there is a box waiting to be checked. Like when a loved one leaves on a plane and you wait for them to text you when they arrive. Once they do you can check off that box.

Last time I cried a lot. I cried at night over silly things, things that had only to do with the fact that you were there and I'm here. I'm sure you're safe this time just like last time. It doesn't make sense that you wouldn't be. But that box is still waiting to be checked. Until it is, I will be here, holding my breath, looking at your image rippled by the water keeping us apart.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pinterest Diaries: Sugar Body Scrub

Ah Pinterest. You've done it again. You've provided a fantastic craft for me to do and I'm very excited to give it away!

This sugar scrub is a pretty easy thing to make. It's 2 parts sugar to 1 part oil and a few drops of essential oil to make it smell yummy. We painted the lids of some jars and layered brown and white sugar then added the oil at the end. It ended up taking longer than I had imagined it would take, but that's what you get when you wait for oil to absorb into sugar. In the end I'm very happy and I'm sure Genny's ballet teacher will be happy to get her gift at Christmas time too!

The yellow-tinted ones are the ones that we used olive oil. The ones that are in the middle we used veg oil.

I used a winter-themed stamp with a coordinating punch for the tag.

I used stamps from the same set for the lid.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Around The House

Today was Genny's ballet day. We usually have an errand to run after ballet, and last week we even went to Disney right after for the day. Today I decided I needed a day home to pick up, clean up, and actually cook dinner.

I think we need days where we stay home all day. It allows us to do things we've been putting off (ahem, folding laundry) and it always gives me the motivation I need to check off the mental list of things I need to do that I somehow don't get done. Today I just did things as I saw them or they came to me. I'm sure tomorrow I'll think to myself, darn! I should have done___ but as it stands right now, I'm pretty happy with my accomplishments today.

And now a few pictures for my hubby.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The Peculiar Ponderings of Hippy Kari

Why do we rub soap on our bodies, but not on our faces? I rubbed my night-time-face-soap on my face tonight when I was washing my face getting ready for bed. It was different but not at all unpleasant.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Summer Sausage and Sharp Cheddar Cheese Spread for Dinner

My husband would be proud -ne- jealous. My mother would say, "Hey wait a minute..." as she found the file in her over-packed brain of her go-to meal during the fall when I was growing up. (she does have an energetic five year old that she's raising, you know) Yes, when our thirteen year old neighbor TJ came over about a month ago with a catalog of random over-priced items for a fund raiser he was doing, I took in a deep breath and tried to find something that I could live with buying. Then I saw it. Cheddar cheese spread and smoked summer sausage. And my mouth started watering. I mean, make sure your lips are sealed shut cause you're going to drool all over your shirt watering. I couldn't write down the numbers fast enough, as if my expedited ordering would make it come faster. I casually asked TJ when he thought the order might come in. "October, I think." and my mind played a little fantasy of cookies, bread or something baking in the oven while my cowl sweater wearing kids played Candyland quietly in the living room. Me, in dark lipstick and a maroon sweater (neither of which I actually own, nor do my kids own cowl neck sweaters) cutting up the sausage and getting a spreader for the cheese. Making lemon aid and calling to the kids that dinner was ready. There may have even been a fire place in this fantasy, something that my house does not have...

That fantasy almost happened. I was wearing coral lipstick (day three people, and I'm loving it!), a dark green shirt, and the kids were watching a program in the living room (quietly).

Genny didn't like the cheese but loved the suasage. I know, you probably had to read that sentence over again because if you know me or my family at all then you know that Genny will eat cheese every minute of every day if she can. But the added horse radish in this cheese apparently didn't please her pallet. She did take joy in playing with the string on the outside of the sausage, just like I remember my brother and I doing when we were younger. Ah, memories.

Glenn loved the 'sandwiches' I made with ritz crackers and gobbled them up.

It was a good meal. (sorry to my brother and sister who are vegetarian and vegan!)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Family is not biological

Family is not only blood relatives. It's the people we choose to be around us for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, till death (or a military move) do us part. And if we happen to come back together through another military move, then we pick up where we left off.

Barb is a great friend. She's one of the people who knows me better than I know myself, and I love her and have missed her in our time apart. I love her kids like they are my niece and nephew, and am so happy that Barb's ex is allowing me to take them for the weekend.

We in the military community make insta-families. We find ourselves in a new place, and if we happen to know someone already, we think of them as family, someone we can count on, because we know that we can count on them. When Thomas and I first moved to San Diego, we knew Kris and Joe. We counted on them to show us around, and they catered to our need for family. As we expanded our circle of friends, we keep them in the loop because they are family to us, and we to them.

When Barb moved to Oceanside and didn't know many people, we opened our arms and our house to her and her kids until she found her footing, and still stayed available for her as family. We all need family when we are away from our blood relatives. When we need a night out, or when a holiday comes up. Barb is my family and she will stay my family forever.

We miss you Barb, but you're kids know that we are here for them if they need us. <3

Christmas is Not in December...

My favorite thing in the whole wide world (aside from getting snuggles from my kids) is to surprise someone with something wonderful. Something that makes their eyes light up and a smile instantly appear on their face. Something that may even make them cry tears of joy. When I give gifts, this is my goal. To get it just right and give the person something that is just perfect. This doesn't work out as often as I'd like, but when it does, it's worth any effort that I made towards the gift.

My mom, my sister and I are three best friends. We talk all the time and can't wait to hear what's going on in the other person's life. So when I have a surprise for one of them, I can't hold it in long. Two years ago when I spent Christmas with my sister she opened her gifts knowing full well what each of them was, because I was living with her so couldn't keep the secret. I think I made it three weeks into my pregnancies before calling my mom and sister to tell them the news even though I had planned on telling them in person when I visited. I've even told my husband, "Don't tell me anything confidential while you're in Afghanistan, because I can't keep a secret." Which is why I'm sitting here writing this blog not quite sure what it is he's doing over there.

I digress.

When I read that one of my two favorite bloggers, Kelle Hampton was coming to San Diego and was even having a book signing, I couldn't believe my luck. I started planning how exactly I was going to get there and get books signed for my mom and sister. As luck would have it, my wonderful respit nurse Gemma was able to come and put the kids to bed so I could go and experience standing next to greatness. Because, if you've read Kelle's blog or her book, you know that she was put on this earth for us. God placed her here to talk to us and tell us her story, to teach us that we are all human and we all have ups and downs, but everything is OK if we love and accept our roles in life. Her role is to be a mom to a daughter with Down Syndrome.

My sister turned me on to Kelle's blog when I was staying with her two years ago, and I've followed it since. I love her posts and pictures and feel like she's a friend, something that I'm sure most of her followers feel. My mom, sister and I even refer to her casually, like, "Hey did you see Kelle's post about ...?" or "Haha, Kelle had a great picture on Instagram today, did you see it?"

In my excitement to see Kelle and get three autographs out of her I started scheming to surprise my mom and sister with the autographs. I decided to flat out admit I knew Kelle was here, but that I couldn't go to see her. But the real question was, could I hold up the secret until Christmas? Nope. Not even close. The day after I saw Kelle (a mere 14 hours after I met her) I handed over the padded envelopes to the postmaster and smiled. Now I just had to avoid my mom and sister until they got the packages...

When I met Kelle I was all thumbs and blubbering. I know I said to her, "We just love you. We just love you guys!" and I told her that my sister went out to see if she could catch Kelle when she was visiting Traverse City (bad idea Kari, you don't tell someone that someone you know was stalking them!). And I don't remember much else of the conversation because all I kept thinking was I'm standing next to a Goddess! I'm standing next to Kelle Hampton!!!! And after I got my books signed I resigned myself to avoid stalking her while she was in San Diego because I didn't want a restraining order put out on me. I mean, for all she knows I'm crazy, right??

If by chance some day Kelle reads this blog post, I just want to say that you were every bit as classy as I imagined you would be, and I hope you enjoyed this city as much as I do every day.

The sun was going down as I was driving to San Diego. It was beautiful.

This was the woman I stood in line with. We because instant friends and I will forever remember our great conversation as we waited to meet Kelle.

This post was sitting waiting to be posted until my mom and sister got their packages. It was awesome to hear how much they appreciated the books, I even got to skype with my sister and watch her open the book. I told her that I got something on the book, and had her look at it. It was the inscription!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Glenn's Big Boy Room

I painted Glenn's old room two years ago around this same time. Thomas had left for Afghanistan, and I wanted to do something productive. Then we moved Glenn into his new room. It was still painted the light tan that the whole house had been painted prior to us moving in. A nice color, yes, but I wanted it to be a boy room.

Thomas recently left for Afghanistan, so of course, I wanted to paint Glenn's room. I wanted the room textured and painted by a professional to avoid my mistakes and get it done quickly. So Mario The Handyman came and finished the room in two days. I just LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I love the color, the texture, and even though Mario covered the holes that needed to be there for the curtain rod (completely my fault since all I said to him was, "Could you, with the?" pointing at the curtain rod) I'm very happy with it overall. Plus I got to move in the dresser I bought off craigslist (wow was it bigger than I thought!) which holds all of Glenn's clothes and more.

There are still some tweaks I need to do to the room, like add a shelf above the dresser, add some good baskets on his shelf in his closet, and add a bean bag for him to sit and read in his reading nook. These will come over the next several months, it took me about a year to get Genny's room to the way it is now, and I'm so happy I took my time with it, adding special touches as I found them. I'm not very decorative-inclined, so anything I do that looks good I marvel at.

What decorating have you done that you're proud of?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Genny's Baby Clothes Quilt

All of those clothes. Those tiny adorable clothes that your child fits in for such a short period of time. Those clothes that you need to take pictures of, like, "Oh! I haven't taken a picture of him in this outfit yet!" Those clothes were the inspiration behind making Genny a quilt. I took all of those baby clothes (premie to twelve months) and cut them into 5"X5" squares. Then I sewed them in strips, and added fabric around them until I had a quilt.

I had picked the fabric out when my favorite fabric store Masonnette decided to stop selling fabric and start selling fabulous kids clothes. They had a wonderful sale so I bought three yards of three different fabrics, thinking that it would be perfect for Genny's quilt. And it was. But as stated in a recent post, I am a procrastinator. It runs in my blood. So it's taken me a year to finish the quilt.

But here it is! My husband is probably impressed that I'm getting as much done as I am in just the two weeks he's been gone (what with all the procrastinating I usually do) but this is something I've been craving to get done for months now. I'm so excited to see it on her bed every day now, and just hope that she doesn't start picking at the buttons and such on it. We'll see...

What project have you done or are procrastinating doing? We all have something to check off on our to-do list, whether it's get the dog groomed or finish a quilt for our child. Here's hoping that you find some motivation in the coming weeks to check something off that's been on your list for a while now.

Happy Sunday everyone.

This yellow dress below was the first thing I bought after I found out she was a girl

This one below was a three outfit set that our good friends Kris and Joe gave us.

Here is the back, just strips of fabric

I 'hand tied' it instead of quilting it. I used embroidery thread in pink.