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.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Potty Training Guilt

I'm the queen of guilt. I'm not sure if it was born in me or taught to me, but I feel guilty about so many things. Things that I probably shouldn't feel guilty about; seeing the homeless woman who walks in the mornings when I'm driving and feeling like I should be doing something for her because I have so much and she has so little is just one example of my daily fight with guilt. Sometimes I even go out of my way to help someone or something because I know that if I don't, I'll worry about it for months and even think back on it years later wondering why I didn't help more. A perfect example would be this past Monday, when I started out on my jog with my kids in the jogging stroller and found two dogs stuck together. I couldn't walk away, so I stayed for over a half hour, talking to police dispatch (apparently that's who they transfer you to when it's an after-hours animal emergency). One of the dog owners came out eventually, and that seemed to be the motivation for the dogs to get unstuck, but it was very troubling for me to leave the other dog even though I've seen him in the neighborhood before and had tried to rescue him. But he's been on the streets too long, and is too weary of humans to be rescued. *sigh* Poor puppy.

Now that you know the extent of my guilty feelings, it should come as no surprise to you that I feel guilty that Glenn, my two year old boy is almost completely potty trained and my four year old girl isn't. For those of you who don't know, Genny, my daughter has Spina Bifida. You can learn about Genny's form of Spina Bifida here. Because of her SB she has bladder and bowl function issues, which means that she doesn't potty train like a normal kid. She should be learning how to cath herself over the next year or so, but her bladder squeezes randomly, so I've been waiting for a referral to be approved for her to see OT to learn about how to control her bladder, if that's even possible for her. And I'm working on the bowl issue with a cone enema, something that isn't typically used for people unless they have a stoma, but has been found with SB kids to work well. (for SB parents, I used this youtube video which helped a lot in understanding how it works)

How many parents have children who are a little different and they feel guilty about something they can't control? How many parents worry about their child being teased in school and go to great measures to keep that from happening? Is it better to let our kids toughen up at school and in social situations to make sure they learn young how to deal with people who make them feel bad about themselves? As a parent I try to toe the line of a good parent who disciplins well yet loves more. I want my kids to be kind and caring to others, but not get walked all over. I want them to be able to take care of themselves yet know that I will move Heaven and Earth for them. I think we are all doing our best to raise the best adults we can, but boy is is hard trying to figure out what best is.

Here's hoping you know more than I do and raise your child to be the best adult he/she can be. Happy Saturday everyone.

Here are a few pics for my hubby. We miss you babe. <3

Monday, October 8, 2012

Tire Pressure

I went for a run this morning. Before I left I filled up the tires in the stroller (they were getting pretty low). When I started running I could feel how much easier it was to push the stroller. I no longer felt like the out of shape girl that I did in this post. I was able to run without having to stop every quarter of a mile to walk. And it dawned on me that I didn't realize that anything was wrong with the stroller when I was running these past two time with the kids and low tire pressure, I assumed it was me and my strength and endurance. This made me think of other things in life that we accept without question, letting things be harder than they need to be.

I'm notorious for letting a pile of papers sit in one spot for months, collecting dust until one day I see them and think, "Well, how long have those been there??" This goes with other things in my life too. So while I was running, I started thinking of other things in life that I'm allowing to be harder than they should be. Do you have something in your life that is harder than it should be?

Procrastination is another word for life's tire pressure. How long do I hold onto a box that needs to be sent to my hometown? How many days do I put off cleaning the bathroom until I can't put it off anymore? On the other hand, how much do I love walking into a clean room? How good does it feel to know that you went six days between cleaning bathrooms instead of eight? How nice is it to walk into the kitchen in the morning and make that morning pot of coffee without having to wash dishes first?

This year has been about letting go for me. There have been several small occurrences in my life this year that has made me want to clean house, get everything out that I don't need so I can have more space, less clutter and a happier me. It's working. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I'm dropping things off to Good Will at least once a month, making sure to get things out of my house and out of my life that I don't want to have to keep moving, re-organize, or see in a pile next to the wall three months after I made it.

What do you have in your life that you can let go of? Are you ready to make a change for the good?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Baby Shower and The Rest of Our Saturday

Our Saturday began with pancakes and ended with a video of Thomas reading books. We were able to dawdle in the morning, because the baby shower didn't start until noon, but I had offered to bring a side dish, so we went to Sprouts to get veggies and fruit to bring. Sprouts always offers up fun for the kids- they love to run around the spacious store and they exclaim every time they see a new food, "CUCUMBERS!! MOMMY THEY HAVE CUCUMBERS!!" Don't you just love the excitement of kids?

Genny and Glenn had a blast at the baby shower, they bypassed the food (even though we got there at twelve thirty) and played with the toys.

Megan was glowing, and Josh kept looking at her like she was a queen. But that's how they are: they are more in love today than the day they married. It makes you smile when you see them together, a couple that's going to make it in this divorce-riddled world.

After the baby shower we came home and after a bit of outside play, we started making the t-shirts I bought us for Halloween. We painted an orange pumpkin on them and now I just need to figure out what else to do to it... Maybe some google eyes and a sequin smile? We shall see...

After a dinner of PB&J (Genny's choice) the kids got a looooong bath. The day was completed with daddy reading stories via our movies on the computer, and then I watched a scary movie and ate a big bowl of ice cream before going to bed (which means I set myself up for nightmares).

Glenn and Genny eating PB&J

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thursday Playgroup

~~Today we had our Thursday playgroup. Sometimes it's just a few of us, but today we had seven moms and their littles at my house. It was wonderfully busy and Genny loved playing with two of her little girlfriends. Our craft was the ghost footprint place mats that we made a few days ago, and my kids decided that they weren't satisfied with the ones they had made, they needed to make another one, cause, well, everyone else was making one. So I let them make another one, one that may end up in a box to a relative sometime soon...

I have had a wonderful out poor of support for me since Thomas has deployed. Everyone from friends that I see twice a year, to my friends from my mom's group. I've received e-mails and fb messages asking if I need anything and it has been so reassuring to read and hear these offers of help. I'm very blessed to have a good support system, better than even the last time Thomas deployed when Glenn was four months old. Thank you to all of you, I will call on you if I need you. :)

Which is why I wanted to write today about this great group of ladies that I see weekly. The funny thing is that we don't get together outside of the group, with out our kids, but that's what makes us the friends that we are: our kids and wrangling them while trying to hold a conversation. Sharing stories about other kids who have Spina Bifida and are doing well in mainstream school (thanks Lynn), or asking questions about mom-stuff like, "How do I get my kid to stop hitting your kid every time he comes over?" (sorry Lynn...)

This group of ladies is awesome, and I'm so happy to have them in my life while Thomas is deployed.~~

These are the ghost footprint place mats that we made the other day. I laminated them with clear contact paper so the kids can use them and spill on them for the season. I'm planning on making place mats for Christmas too!

Today Glenn and I made a 'rock train'. It's pretty much just a line of rocks, but Glenn loves doing this, so it's what we did.

The puppies kept walking over the 'rock train' that Glenn and I were building, knocking them out of line. Glenn got so mad and yelled, "NO GUS!"

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Pinterest Diaries

I wrote in an earlier post that I wanted to craft more with my kids while my husband is gone. Yesterday we painted their feet and stamped them on black construction paper for a ghost picture.

Today we made another pin, mason jar tea light candle holders.

This was an easy craft because I had bought paint for my mom's group to make fall hand print trees, so I used the yellow and orange from that. We stopped by Michaels while we were out today and I bought black Halloween stickers. The kids loved painting the jars (it was soooo kid-friendly because all they had to do was paint the inside) I checked their jars before we finished and made sure all the clear spots were painted. Then we didn't even have to wait for them to dry, we just put the stickers right on the outside. I'm very happy with this craft, and I'm happy to add to my Halloween decorations at such a low cost.