Thursday, August 30, 2012

It's the small things

Have I mentioned how much I'm enjoying the nearly potty trained child? Well if I haven't mentioned it for a week, here it is. IT'S AWESOME! As part of my routine while grocery shopping I veer over to the baby isle and grab a bag of Pull-Ups and a package of baby wipes. I did it last week and then realized, after I got home, that I still had the unopened package of each from the week before. Yea!! It really is the small things in life.

Sitting on the throne with reading material....yep she's ours.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The New Normal

I thought there would be an adjustment period having one less kid around the house every day. But there has really been none. Greta and I have settled into a nice routine after big brother goes to school in the mornings. She likes to come out and help me feed all the animals, her favorite being the Minions. She's very good at getting the dry cat food out and filling each dish without spilling. As a reward she gets to take a ride on the gate (am I the only one that thinks that sounds incredibly redneck?!). The horse pen gate swings back and forth and she climbs up and I swing it while she giggles and screams. It's the simple things in life that make me smile.

While we were out feeding this past weekend I noticed the Morning Glory bush had a new bloom that I'd never seen before. I planted two different varieties on the trellis but all I've seen this season is the small purple variety blooming. So when I saw blue I had to go investigate. Looks like the other variety finally got a bloom out. It's a really large blue flower. It was so beautiful I had to take a picture. The poor trellis and bird feeder are now completely covered to the point it looks a bit more alien like than plant like. 

See? Sure is an invasive (yet beautiful) vine.

What it looked like at the beginning of the season.

These beauties have been blooming all season.

New giant blue variety. So pretty!

The chickens have been lacking in their laying duties for several months now. I have to give them a little slack since this has been one of the hottest summers in a decade or more. But now that the weather has started to change and we are getting some cool weather I think the "laydies" should get back to work. To help jump start their internal clocks we got the light in their coop back on the timer. It is set to come on early in the morning and go off after it gets dark outside. I hadn't checked the nesting boxes in about a month since they simply stopped laying so I thought I'd sneak a peek today and this is what I find. Guess they are back to laying! Yea! Store eggs are just not the same.

Coop light, worth it's weight in egg production. 
Guess I kind of veered off course, back to our day. Greta and I usually jump in the car a couple times a week and run errands. Today it was the feed store and grocery store. I have to travel a bit farther to get my feed these days. The Purina dealer near us went out of business so we had to switch the animals to non Purina feed since the next one is about an hour away. The animals don't seem to care one way or the other so it's a win win. By the time I pull into the driveway Greta is usually asleep so I park in the shade and let her sleep in the car. Apparently nap time is back on!

The girl is so much happier with a nap in her which makes ol' mom a much happier person. All in all our new days are fun and productive.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

It's been one week

I'm overly excited to tell everyone I know that my youngest child seems to be potty trained. Something "clicked" a week ago and she has been hitting that potty regularly throughout the day. Do you know why I'm so excited? Because I haven't changed a diaper full of poop in seven days. You're sitting there going "what's the big deal?" The big deal is that I've been changing diapers full of crap since July of 2007. 2007! Do you realize how long that is? That's five years, one month and ten days. Holy crap that's a long time. Sean's been wondering why I've been in such a good mood lately. This might explain it.

When Greta and I were at the mall last week we went by one of the bulk candy stores and let her pick out a small bag full of all her favorite candy. She picked pink M&M's, Mike and Ike, Reeces Pieces and candy corn. By golly that seemed to be all it took to motivate her into becoming a full time big potty pro. Of course she figured out that she got a piece of candy each time she urinated regardless of how much urine was in the potty. So she was running to the bathroom three times and hour. But I don't care if she does that as long as she's learning. The down side to having candy in the house is that I eat it. Well let me clarify, I eat some of it. Turns out I can have M&M's and Mike and Ike in the house without eating it, but candy corn and Reeces Pieces were gone that night. Have you ever taken candy corn and mixed it with peanuts? So yum. Darn delicious confections.
So anyways, just had to share my super exciting news.

Monday, August 20, 2012

It runs, it drives and it's fun!

Sean rolled the tractor out of the garage this weekend for its maiden voyage. He took it into the horse pen and tried the blade out. It works great! I hopped on and gave it a whirl too. It's a very fun to drive although it took me awhile to figure out how to work the throttle while moving the blade up and down while steering. Actually I never figured it out but I will. Believe me, I'll have that thing figured out soon and then I'll be out there often scraping the horse manure out. It's going to be the cleanest horse pen known to man. I'm sure lucky to have such a handy husband (and father-in-law) that could take those pile of parts and make them into a working tractor.  It's not finished quite yet. I'd like to make it a bit more purdy (as in more green than rust colored). But that can be achieved with several cans on John Deere green spray paint and a long weekend. We'll get the "after" picture after it's been painted. In the mean time it's going to earn it's keep mucking out the horse pen and spreading gravel on the driveway. Here is Sean taking it out for its maiden voyage.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

It's a good day

It's a lovely day outside. My memories of past Augusts have been a far cry from this one we are in. The weather has cooled down, there is a Fall feel in the air. The cracks are slowly closing in the yard and new growth is showing. I'm sitting here typing this while the aroma of dinner fills the house (beef tips...yum!) and a loaf of bread is baking in the bread machine. The kids are running around screaming outside and the boys (Hubby and Father-in-law) are out putting the finishing touches on the tractor. Actually they are fitting the blade on the front of it and then all that will be left is to show me how to run it. I'm looking forward to that!

Being a mom to a new kindergartener has been exciting. I have all this new found time on my hands and I've had fun finding ways to spend it. Greta and I had a girls day out on Thursday which consisted of going to the mall and wandering about looking at clothes. I promised her some time in the play zone (a big play area in the middle of the mall) and she had a blast making a new friend and playing. I discovered American Eagle has all their jeans on sale and picked up a really cute pair that looks great with my new pair of boots. I'm embracing fall even though it has yet to arrive. :) I then treated her to a lunch at McDonalds and an ice cream cone. I think she's enjoying this Mommy time as much as I am.

Wesley is doing great with the transition into kindergarten. He seems to be excited about his day when he gets home. He's not a very talkative little guy so we have to really pry to get details of his day out of him. I'm just happy he's learning new things and being social. They have a colored star system to let the parents know how their child is behaving during school. The best is purple then blue, green, yellow and red. You don't want to see your kid come home with a red star. Wesley got all blues and we are hoping that is a continuing theme. He's a good kid I'm not worried about his behavior. All in all we are adjusting to this big change well. 

I've started running more with the change in the weather. I almost forgot how much more enjoyable it is to run when it's cool! I have a race coming up the middle of October just to keep me motivated even though it's just a little 5K. They have a half and a full marathon with this race but I just can't wrap my head around another half marathon right now. I'm thinking one of those a year is enough. Rich brings up his bike with him when he visits and I borrowed it the past two weekends just to change up the workouts which has been nice. That prompted me to dig my bike out of the shop, get new tubes for it and ask Sean very nicely to put them on. So now I get to go riding on the weekends. I forgot how much I like bike riding (it's literally been 10 years since I rode a bike).
It was an all around good day, I hope you all had a nice one as well.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Off to School

Hard to believe that my oldest started Kindergarten today.  I'm sitting in a quiet house with Greta playing in her room by herself. It's kinda nice.  I'm not going to lie, I didn't cry when I dropped him off this morning. I gave him a hug and sent him on his way. He's excited to start school and I'm excited that he's going to be learning. My father asked me if I thought he was ready for all day kindergarten and I told him "Yes, he needs to be in a structured learning environment instead of pushing baby dolls around in his sisters baby carriage all day." This is going to be so good for him.

We went to the schools open house last night to meet his teacher and have a look around. It's a nice small school and his teacher is super nice. There are 16 kids in his classroom and only 48 kids in the whole grade. I'm happy with our decision with this school and sending him this year instead of red shirting him until next Fall.

Now the question is what to do with Greta? For now she's playing by herself quite nicely but I'm going to have to come up with some fun activities to keep us both occupied. She's never really had old Mom to herself. I figure Wesley had me to himself for the first 2 years of his life and now it's Greta's turn for a little one-on-one time with Mom. I do think more projects will get accomplished with just one kid around during the day. I think the first project will be to toss her car seat in the truck and go get trim and stain to finish out the carpet project. But, the first thing I'm going to do to celebrate the first day of kindergarten is to go take a nap.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Weekly Winners

The company picnic was held at the zoo this year. They opened it up after hours and had it open just for the people that Sean works with. I never knew the zoo could be so enjoyable! It was cool out with a nice breeze and it was empty. Most of the exhibits were completely deserted. Also the animals were more active in the evening (notice the bat picture all my years going there I've never seen the bats feeding at the dish of blood). It was great, the kids had fun and we were able to enjoy it with Papa Rich there too. 

I thought this picture of Sean and Rich was cute. They were putting those blocks back in the box so meticulously.....only to have the kids pour it all out the next morning.

Kindergarten preparations. Wesley got to eat his lunch out of his lunch box today to make sure he was able to open everything (like put the straw in his juice box and open his treat). He's super excited!

 We were all sitting around playing play doh and I was singing "New York, New York" by Sinatra and the kids had no idea what I was singing. So over to YouTube we went and they got their first taste of Sinatra. Then I got to hear that music video over and over and over....they loved it!

The tree dweller. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

It's Alive!

Yes, the men have been working on the tractor every weekend for the past few months and it's officially alive! Sean bought an untested transmission off of eBay and it turns out it works great. They think it will be finished this weekend. I have to note that Sean has been working overtime on getting this tractor done and out of the shop so that he has a nice place to put the corvette to work on it. Hey, whatever it takes! I'm so excited to start using the tractor to clean out the corral. Thanks boys!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Wednesday Write-Up

-My little boy is officially enrolled in Kindergarten. *sob* This is going to be a rocky time for my emotions, I know it. He's been here with me for five years and I just can't imagine him away at school. He just doesn't seem like he's old enough, even though he is. What I'm really worried about? Keeping Greta entertained for the 7 hours he's at school. They play all day together and she is going to be so bored without him. There are upsides though. I can start doing my grocery shopping during the week again! No more wasting a weekend morning pushing a cart around. With just Greta in tow I can grocery shop while he's in school. That will be nice. So in exactly a week I'll have a kid in school. Yikes!

-I finally took myself out to see Magic Mike. I couldn't find a single person to go see it with me....I suppose that should have been a sign. It was bad. Very bad. People were walking out of the theater. There was no story line. But there were some very good looking men dancing around in hardly any clothing so it kind of evened out. I just couldn't get past how old Matthew McConaughey looked. He was like this overly tanned, wrinkled, glitter covered, mostly naked dancing man. Scary stuff. Overall, not a bad evening out by myself.

-Took the kids to their annual physical exam yesterday. Turns out I have one kid that's a beef cake and the other that is underweight. Miss Greta is sitting in the 90% for height and weight and Wesley is in the 50% for weight. His growth curve has leveled off and he's been sitting at 42 pounds for the past year. He keeps growing taller but not heavier. So the doc told me to start feeding him more and to try and get more calorie dense foods in him. Easy for her to say! That boy has absolutely no appetite ever. Getting him to eat any meal is a chore, so trying to get him to eat more is going to be near impossible. But I'm going to try! Even if it means getting Ensure and sneaking it into him whenever I can.  Project: "Fatten That Boy Up" is in full swing.

-Lastly I will share what happens when I don't watch Greta for 6 minutes. Whenever she's hiding behind the drapes doing's never good. At least it's just a green marker instead of the diaper cream like last time.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

About time

Obsessions. Sean and I are both very obsessive people. We tend to get an idea in our head and think and dwell on it for months or even years. My main obsession is animals (obviously). My husbands main obsession is cars. He loves cars. Fast cars, old cars, fast old cars....pretty much anything to do with automobiles. But there is one type of car that has held his interest for years and years. In fact since he was a boy he's been drooling over these particular cars. Corvettes. I will find him sitting at the computer, at least once a day, cruising Craigslist looking for Corvettes. It's such a normal daily routine that it doesn't even phase me anymore.

That is until Wednesday when he gets home from work to inform me that he found one heck of a deal on a Corvette. It's 2.5 hours away so we take off Thursday afternoon to go check out this car. He fell in love with it and we drove it home. Actually he drove it home while I drove my car with the kids trying to keep up with him. So we are now the proud new owners of a 1991 Corvette. He plans to drive it to work whenever the weather permits (which is whenever there isn't snow or ice on the road). I've never seen Sean so excited, he's been walking around with a silly grin on his face for the past several days. It's nice to see him so happy.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

It's so hot.....

.....that I can place my entire hand inside the cracks in our yard. I kid you not. It's so hot that the two desert tortoises must be kept inside to keep them from overheating. Desert tortoises. It's so hot that the Minions are panting. I've never seen cats pant before, have you? This is the poor cats first summer and I doubt they are enjoying it much. I know I'm hoping and praying this drought breaks soon as is every animal on this property.