Sunday, August 17, 2014

Two Weeks to a Top 10

So you know what I figured out last week?  When I go back to work all day and the girls are at daycare, the number of things that happen that are worthy of a blog post decrease SUPER fast.  And for those of you who say "You're just not looking hard enough" or "I bet things are more blog-worthy than you think."  Really, I can only post about playing outside, dinner, and silly messes the girls make so many times...

Hey!  Guess what three things the top 10 includes this week.  Yup.  Playing outside. Dinner. Silly messes.  :)

10.  Baby Preston - Baby Preston is officially not a "baby" anymore.  Born 9 weeks early, on August 11, my little nephew has just thrived ever since.  He is TALL and has the best little face. Ohhh, those eyes.  My brother, Joe and his wife, Stacy along with big brother, Bryson had a very nice party for baby Preston.  Cake. Ice Cream. Giraffes.  It doesn't get much better than that.  Whether you are turning 1 or 101!
Jackie right there, making sure he figured out how to eat that cake!
9.  Setting the Table - Jackie has taken to helping with a few jobs around the house.  I am pretty easy going in most areas of my life, and I definitely became more relaxed with any OCD tendencies I thought I might have at one time. Basically if someone will do something for me, whether it is folding laundry, vacuuming the floor, unloading the dishes out of the dishwasher, or setting the table, I am not going to complain about the way it was done and I'm not going to go and fix it behind them.  However, Jackie has now decided to set the table for MANY more people than we have in the house and at random times during the day.  Here are a couple of her latest table decor.  Maybe I should pin them on Pinterest :)
I went to put Katerina to bed and came out to, what Jackie described as "A lot of bowls. Jackie did that. For animals."

The result of overhearing me ask Ethan if we wanted water or beer with dinner.  She didn't give him an option :)

I think she just grabs a handful and puts it on the table because it is easier than taking one over at a time :)
8.  Speaking of Messes - For the life of me I CANNOT seem to figure out this "clean as you cook" thing so you don't have this huge mess after dinner.  I hear other moms talk about how they basically have the kitchen cleaned up before they sit down to dinner.  H-O-W!?!?!  This weekend I tried everything I thought to keep it cleaned.  I had the kitchen cleaned before I started, began one thing in the crock pot HOURS before dinner time and slowly made one thing at a time before we sat down for dinner at 5:45.  I did dishes during and after EACH dish was complete.  And I still ended up with this.  I don't get it.
Seriously, how did this happen???

Oh well, at least I have this to keep me company while I clean :)
7.  School's Back - I mentioned above that I went back to work full time again.  I am a teacher, and summers are golden.  I refuse (while my kids are little) to spend much time at the school during the summer time.  This is OUR time, and I have to have that separation from work and family.  However, in order to feel prepared and ready for my students to walk in the door on the first day of school, I HAVE to do something outside of the two work-days we get scheduled into our calendar.  My solution the last few years has been to return the girls to daycare a week early and just start my school year a few days before everyone else.  It is a life saver!  I had my room ready to go before the official "first day back for teachers" and then could spend my work days on curriculum.  Here are a few shots of my first week and the first day of school!
All clean and ready to go!

First day selfie with the sister.  She is literally right next door.  Pretty flowers sent to us from our mama!

First day with my Advisory.  Super excited for an awesome year!

6.  Daddy and His Girls - When Katerina was first born, Jackie did great with the new baby.  She didn't seem to mind that she wasn't getting enough attention.  Or so we thought.  It wasn't until she thought DADDY was spending too much time with Katerina that she creatively started to figure out how to get what she wanted.  If Ethan was holding Kat, Jackie would look up at him and smile and say "Kit Kat wants mama."  Which meant.  PICK ME UP DADDY.  She is and has always been a Daddy's Girl.  After that little maneuver Jackie has decided that Katerina may get to spend some time in daddy's arms, but it won't be alone.  "Jackie want daddy and his girls" has become a frequent phrase spoken by our 2 year old.  I have to admit, it is pretty cute.  And gives my hands a chance to work on cleaning up the kitchen from dinner. :)

5.  Popcorn Outside - We had some pretty spectacular whether around here this last week, and we took full advantage of it.  Even enjoying our bedtime snack outside.  I think this was the highlight of Jackie's week.  She could eat popcorn and not have to worry about staying on the blanket. 

4.  Miracle Treat Day - We are Dairy Queen fans.  We grab that red spoon and give in to our sweet tooth more than any other ice cream place.  We always make sure to try and hit DQ on Miracle Treat Day, where 1 dollar is donated for every Blizzard purchased.  Why not enjoy creamy soft serve mixed with cookie dough or Reece's for a good cause.  The girls loved being part of this tradition :)
I could barely give her a bite and attempt to get one of my own before she was screaming for more!

I think the girls got more ice cream than we did!
3.  New Park - While we were back in my hometown for Baby Preston's birthday party we made a stop by one of the parks in town.  Jackie was super excited to see a "New Park" and play on all the different toys.

2.  Happy Plate - I had never heard the term "Happy Plate" until I married into the Weber's.  I now hear it at least three times a day.  A happy plate is when you clean you plate completely.  Luckily, I was able to capture just how proud Jackie gets when she can say "Jackie got a Happy Plate!"  Plus, she knows that she only gets a treat if she has a happy plate!  That alone has helped her finish carrots, broccoli, and green beans.

1.  Jack Attack - For at least the last 6 months, Jackie has been referring to herself in the third person.  Jackie does this, Jackie wants that.  It has now evolved.  Thanks to the cute little nickname she received at daycare and a summer of mommy calling her by said nick name, she now refers to herself as Jack Attack.  The Karate chop arm actions that accompany it are totally her own.  I'm definitely foreseeing a rocking awesome Halloween costume out of this fun little phase :)

Sunday, August 3, 2014

This Week's Top 10 particular order.  That takes extra time and organization to prioritize what happened this week, and quite frankly I'm about ready to finish a mystery novel I've been reading so I need to get this done :)

10.  Tomatoes - If there is one thing I love about summer...HA, that's funny.  There are about 15,000 things I love about summer.... But the food is one of them.  I crave a home grown tomato like a pregnant woman craves, well, anything. (I'm NOT pregnant, just an example!)  My brother, Joe and his wife planted a great little garden this year and they had an abundance of tomatoes.  He was kind enough to share the wealth.  Which I promptly ate right up.  First thing on the menu?  BLT.  Classic.  Awesome.  Soooo good.

9. Katerina's Car - If Katerina had a "to-do" list.  Each and every day at the top of that list would be.  Chase after Jackie.  But since Kat can't walk yet, she has to resort to either being "walked" by holding our fingers or playing in her car.  Her car is one of those little walker toys I bought when we realized that she wanted to follow us everywhere but couldn't.  I have a serious love/HATE relationship with this little toy.  I love the amount of time she spends in it and that is keeps her somewhat happy...until she gets stuck in a doorway that's not big enough.  But I HATE how bad it hurts.  That thing is the devil for your feet.  Even Jackie knows when we put her sister in the car that it kills your feet when she bumps in to you.  Jackie makes a bee-line for the couch or the Tupperware cabinet or anywhere else that is out of reach.  I either put on my tennis shoes or Ethan's slider shoes.

8. Nine Months - Yay!  Our little Kit Kat turned 9 months old this weekend.  Hard to believe we are on the countdown to ONE :)

7.  Dolly gets a bath - Jackie loves her little dolly that Papa gave her.  Dolly goes everywhere with Jackie.  I could watch her "play mommy" to that little thing all day.  I was finally able to sneak dolly away for a bath.  Washing the doll in the machine was out, so hand wash it was.  Thankfully it was going to be a hot day and I found a fast way to get the baby dry before nap time came around and Jackie had a meltdown because she couldn't have her doll.  Of course...Ethan did say it looked creepy.  Whatever works...right?  :)

6. Ladybug - Apparently any brown, black, or red spot is now a ladybug.  Tonight while eating her ice cream, Jackie delightfully announced that there was a ladybug in her ice cream, and then ate it.  Turns out, it was a chocolate chip.  She proudly showed me another one she found.  Amazing how many "ladybugs" are in chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.  :)  I don't know whether to be happy that she is no longer afraid of ladybugs or concerned that she would eat them so easily...

5. Finding a balance - One of the biggest challenges (OK...probably THE biggest) for me to solve in my mommy role has been trying to find that balance of keeping the house and spending time with the little ones.  I have really struggled with this.  Clean up after dinner or go outside and play with the girls on the swing.  Sweep up the floor or build a castle out of blocks.  I know.  I know.  I know.  I have heard the "They're only young once" and "spend time with them while you can" and "the mess will still be there, someday they won't" speeches a hundred times.  I say them to myself every time I load a dish into the dishwasher.  But here's the thing.  The mess is still there.  And I still have to clean it up.  So if I don't do some picking up and cleaning throughout the day, then I'm left with this HUGE MESS at the end of the day...which 9 times out of 10 I will leave until the morning because I am so tired and don't want to clean the house up at 8:00 at night.  I don't know if anyone ever figures out that balance, and I'm NOT wishing time will move any faster, but I do look forward to the day when I can have Jackie help load the dishwasher and Kat sweep up from under the table without it just making a bigger mess. 

4. Baby Joseph - Jackie has a few obsessions at the moment.  One of the cutest is her love for baby Joseph.  Joseph is a three month old little cousin (2nd cousin if you want to get technical).  To Jackie, he may as well be a living, breathing doll.  Joseph has an older sister, Elizabeth who is just a few months younger than Jackie.  When we get together with them, I wait for Jackie and Lizzie to go off and play together.  Nope. Jackie is totally taken by Joseph.  We saw them again Saturday for a wedding, in which Jackie went all around the reception looking for Joseph. She was so excited when she finally found him and even got to hold him.  Thanks Cyndi for being a great sport!

I don't think baby Joseph was as happy to see Jackie. :)
3.  New kicks - Jackie had to get some new shoes.  Call me cheap or tight or whatever (you are right) but I will not spend more money on my two-year-old's shoes than I will my own.  So.  We are hitting up any clearance sales we can to find shoes that will work.  Thanks Academy Sports for our 5.99 deal. 

2.  Daily Routine - I finally feel like we have figured out a fun daily routine that works for all of us.  Wake up, eat breakfast, go for a walk, clean up from breakfast, go to the park, lunch, play a little, NAP, play some more, fix dinner, DADDY'S HOME, eat dinner, bath, books, and bed.  This was our last week with that summer routine so here are some final shots at the park :)

1.  Miss Rose - Tomorrow morning we will be getting back into the swing of our school time schedule.  Girls will be heading to daycare.  Jackie has been saying "Miss Rose. Next week. Addie and Ella.  Willy too.  Mariah too." all week long.  I think she is excited to see all her friends again, but I'm not so sure she is ready to share with them.  She has definitely been more protective of her toys now that Katerina is mobile.  Speaking of Katerina.  She left at the end of May not quite sitting up and now she's sitting, crawling, and getting in to everything she can.  We are so lucky to have such a wonderful place for the girls to go while we are both at work.  I know, even if there are tears at drop off tomorrow, that they love being there and love Miss Rose!