Sunday, April 17, 2011

Project 365- Day 106

It was gorgeous today!
The kids went out to play and I joined them for a bit.
I was only outside for a few minutes when I heard a meow.
The dog started freaking out and it was then that I realized the cat was on the roof again.
Our cat, whose name happens to be Cat, is brilliant.
He used to be an inside/outside cat but one day he just sort of decided to stay outside.
He became semi-feral.
Not really feral as much as mildly wild, no longer fully domestic.
He hunts every moving thing, scales tall trees like nothing I have ever seen, but then comes up to you meowing and purring.
He lets you pet him but then will playfully nip at your hand like he is unsure whether to trust you or not.
It is the strangest thing to see him so friendly with us and then so instinctual, almost primal when he is hopping from the rooftop to a tree and then back onto the ground to run.
I think Cat especially loves to go on the roof because he can taunt the dog who otherwise torments him when he is trying to pay us a visit.
He is the best cat we have ever had the pleasure of semi-owning.
I wish he would come and stay inside with us but he seems to be happiest out in nature.

Project 365- Day 105

I realize everyone must be sick of hearing about my husband.
If you are then go ahead and stop reading here because you won't like what you are about to read.
And I feel like I need to give credit to him for being the incredible person he is.
I surely don't deserve it.
Here is how Saturday went.
He got called into forced overtime for the night.
And it was for graveyard shift, his least favorite for many reasons.
Instead of getting a full day of sleep, he took the big kid to his t-ball game and brought along his trouble making cheerful daughter to watch her brother even though he knew that she would be hitting him, running off, and basically not listening the entire time.
Just look at her in this picture.
She looks like trouble, doesn't she?
After the game, he drove farther into town to get some coupon deals that I had to get by the end of the day.
Then he dropped by his sister's house to see if she needed help moving and to give me a longer break.
Once he came home with the kids several hours later, instead of hitting the sack for a few extra hours of sleep, he washed the dishes.
And there were a lot!
He finally went to bed knowing he would only be getting about 3 hours of sleep.
Not enough time for his body to adjust to being up all night.
He amazes me.
Of course not to be topped I am also giving him a break by taking the kids to visit my family for six days this week.
Six days.
Two four plus hour car rides with the little angels.
That right there is gift enough.
But then he also gets his three days off to enjoy visiting his family and friends.
I think I do deserve him!

Project 365- Day 104

It was bound to happen sooner or later.
I went a whole day without taking a single picture.
I know.
It's odd.
But it happened.
Therefore I have no photo for day 104.
I was just going to skip the day but I decided, in honor of my "time passes quickly" theme, I could post a photo from exactly one year ago today.
Who is this little peanut, just learning how to swing at 21 months of age?
It seems like so long ago.
"I never think of the future - it comes soon enough."
~Albert Einstein

Project 365- Day 103

My favorite thing about the weather getting warmer, besides hearing a thousand chirping crickets serenade us, is that the tree frogs come out to play!
If you know me you know I adore the little hoppy things, and tree frogs abound here in the foothills.
It seems this year we are seeing a lot more, maybe because our creek still has a lot of water in it.
Or maybe it is the cooler temps so late in the year.
Whatever the reason, I love it!
This guy looks big but that's just because I zoomed in on him.
He was actually only about one and a half inches long.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Project 365- Day 102

Tuesday was one of those days. The kind you want to forget. The little girl was so cranky from this cold that does not want to leave her alone and she cried any time I put her down. Somehow, I still managed to get some cooking and cleaning done in my house but the day was filled with tantrums, from her and me.
I hoped it would get better once we picked up the big kid. But of course as I was saying hello to him his teacher flagged me down, yet again, to let me know that he was talking throughout class and that he was distracting other kids. I have heard this so much I almost think they need to set up one of those programmed computer calls that they send out when the schedule changes or there is an important date to inform parents about.
I think it would save us both some time.
I nodded since I have lost count how many times he has been in trouble for talking and said I would speak to him about it. What else can I do? The boy cannot be quiet. Ever.
What I wanted to say was you should thank your lucky stars that he only talks a few times per class. At home he is never quiet. Not even for one moment. From the time he wakes up until the time he goes to bed he talks, nonstop. And if he is playing and not talking to me then he is acting out Lego battles, out loud. He has such an endless amount of energy he can't even sit still to read. He has a book he has to read every night for homework and he literally reads it while walking in circles around the coffee table. It is exhausting just to watch him.
The kids began fighting in the car on the way home and continued until it was time for bed. I took this picture because it was the only time they were sitting and getting along.
It lasted for a whole seven minutes before the little one was grabbing the book away from the bigger one.
By eight o'clock, I was so happy they were asleep because I was completely drained, emotionally and physically.
Then I had the whole night to myself.
So I baked.
Until one am.
Anyone else have life long insomnia?
I remember being seven or eight and struggling to sleep, it has been with me that long.
I believe it will end up shortening my life by five years or so.
I used to worry about it but I figure if I make it to 80, that's basically another 40 years for me.
That's a lot.
I made chocolate chip cookies, Italian herb bread, homemade cheez its and wheat thins.
If you had told me ten years ago that to relax I would be baking I would have laughed in your face.
Back then the only way I knew how to de-stress was with a couple of drinks and a smoke or two, or five.
Funny how things change.
I am not sure if baking all hours of the night is much better than the drinking and smoking but at least we had yummy treats the next day!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Project 365- Day 101

I can't believe I have made it to 101 days without forgetting to post a day. Yay me!
Today was colder but sunny so after dropping off the big kid at school (he misses all the fun) we loaded up my sister in law and three of her little devils angels, and we headed to the zoo.
I love going to the zoo on the weekdays. During the winter there are maybe a handful of people there so the kids can run free, and during the warmer months it is still pretty empty but they add in animal shows and live animal interactions as well.
Today we went to check out the bird show. I was expecting it to be an animal teaching show and while we did learn facts about the birds it was more than that. They do not clip wings on their birds and the birds flew over the audience at various times, sometimes flying a couple of feet above your head. It was really cool. I loved seeing the owl, one of my favorite animals, and I thought it would be fun to get a picture of the little girl with him.
I can't tell if she is scared, annoyed, bored, or just tired here.
But the bird is spectacular!

Project 365- Day 100

Sunday was a gorgeous day! The sun was shining and it was not too chilly outside. The big kid had his cousin over for a visit and I was supposed to be baking all day. But it was too nice outside so the little girl and I ran around in the tall grass, visited with the bunnies, played on the swings, helped the big guy dig up some dirt for planting, and played with the dogs.
There is this little hill behind our house. Basically, it is a mound of dirt with a tree in the middle. It seems to be where the larger hill behind us originally began before they cut back into it to build a pad for the house. I guess they figured it was easier to leave the tree then to just uproot the whole thing.
The little girl climbed this little hill over and over again. I think she was prepping herself to climb the bigger hills behind our house with the big kid, something he loves to do.
She is growing so fast and I love that while she is sitting with her dog, and is covered in dirt, she is wearing a Disney princess sweatshirt and princess snow boots.
The best of both worlds!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Project 365- Day 99

After having taken a couple of weeks off from couponing, I went to CVS yesterday. Thanks to my husband I got to go alone and spend the quiet time, just me and my coupon binder, in search of great deals.
I had a $5 off of $40 purchase coupon, $10 in extra care bucks, $6 in quarterly rewards, and a $10 gift card I had previously purchased for $2, thanks to one of those daily deal websites.
Here is what I came home with:
All together I bought an 8 pack roll of Bounty paper towels, a 12 roll pack of Charmin, 6 bottles of Herbal Essence shampoo and conditioner, 2 Herbal Essence hairsprays, 2 Crest mouthwashes, 4 bottles of Wisk laundry detergent, 2 Oral B toothbrushes, a pack of hair elastics, Cover Girl pressed powder, Cover Girl lip gloss, 3 Dawn dish washing detergents, and 14 Snickers Easter eggs (of which I have already eaten 3!).
My grand total after sales prices but before coupons and rewards was $87.60.
I paid $18.40 out of pocket and I received $18 in ECBs for my next shopping trip! Yay!
I love saving my family money and because of our new shopping habits we have already saved $630 this year alone. This is just my total for CVS, which is where I do most of my household needs shopping. I am guessing it is more like $1000 if you add in savings from the 2 grocery stores I shop at, Walgreens, and Rite Aid.
Not bad at all.

Project 365- Day 98

Friday, on our way home from a trip into town, we saw this little dog, smack dab in the middle of the road, right before we turned onto our dirt road.
She looked scraggly and scared. My husband didn't want anything to do with the little pup but I was worried she would get hit by a car so we brought her home. We gave her a bath and even though she really needs a haircut she looks so much better.
We asked a couple of neighbors and they had never seen her before.
She is really sweet, so patient with our toddler and has yet to bark since she has been here.
She has taken a liking to me and oddly, she looks a lot like my first dog, Muffin, who passed away years ago. The only difference is my dog was about 10 pounds heavier and a little taller. She was also white with a patch of black around one eye and she would nip at you if she didn't know you.
Seeing this little girl makes me miss my first doggie baby.
I hope we are able to find the owners.
I have checked Craigslist and looked around for lost dog signs but I fear she might have been dumped here.
She would not be the first dog to be dumped near our house since we are far out in the country and people seem to think it is better to dump their unwanted dogs out here.
If we don't find her owners we might just adopt her ourselves. She seems to fit with our family and she gets along with our insecure little jack russell/chihuahua mix pretty nicely.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Project 365- Day 97

We got our caterpillars in the mail today!
Now we watch them eat and wait.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Project 365- Day 96

I knew I would find another use for all those dollar store clothespins someday!
The little girl loves painting but she only devotes about 18.7 seconds to each one before wanting a fresh sheet of paper and more paint.
I quickly ran out of room on the coffee table to lay them out to dry.
Then I remembered my clothespins.
I found some rope, also a dollar store purchase, and made an impromptu art display.
Now if I could just find a good use for all those wooden craft sticks!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Project 365- Day 95

I think this is mess number seven of the day.
It's my fault that she trashes my house.
I am a behaviorist after all.
But instead of making her go and pick up each mess, hand over hand if need be, I clean it up myself.
It seems so much easier at the time and ironically, I used to advise parents to not fall into that trap.
It might seem like more work in the beginning but in the long run they will stop destroying your home when they know they will be the ones having to clean it up.
I just have to quit being so lazy about making her listen.
If only she didn't scare me!

Project 365- Day 94

I know, I know, more goat photos.
But doesn't it look like they are smiling?
So happy to be resting atop the chicken coop.
Looks like we will need to relocate that!
This is my goat and the big kid's goat, Pony and Donkey.
Yes, we did have another goat named Donkey.
She was Donkey because she was HUGE!
This boy is Donkey because of his ears, according to the big kid.
He also named Pony.
Your guess is as good as mine there.

Project 365- Day 93

The little girl and her girl.
They are best friends already.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Project 365- Day 92

Yesterday was the perfect spring day. The sun was shining, the temperature high was 74 degrees, and it was the opening day of baseball for the Sierra Youth League.
I love watching my son play, mostly because it reminds me of how little he really is. But it also reminds me of how much life he has ahead of him.
Sometimes he hits the ball and sometimes he misses. But he keeps on trying and eventually he will learn. Maybe he will be the greatest baseball player ever, or maybe he won't, but either way he loves baseball and for right now, he has the potential to do anything with his life.
I love the promise his future holds.
There are no limits.
No one telling him he can't do this or that.
And even if they did, I doubt he would believe them.
Because we tell him all the time that the only thing that can hold him back in life, is himself.
I think as adults we forget that.
We live through successes but also disappointments and somewhere along the way we stop trusting in our abilities and begin to believe the voices in our head that say, no you can't.
Perhaps one of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves is to continue reaching toward our dreams in spite of all our doubt.
Reflecting on all of this makes me think of this song. They played it last year at the opening of the t-ball all stars game. Another mom and I almost lost it seeing our little guys out there on the field.

Project 365- Day 91

The little girl loves wearing dresses as much as she loves playing in the mud.
Sometimes she wears dresses and plays in mud but that's a whole other story.
She now knows how to climb up into her closet on a stool to get her clothes down so she can dress herself and on this day she chose a dress I bought for her last summer.
She wore it only once then since it is a 3T and it went down almost to her ankles.
Eight months later it fits nicely.
And it is the perfect dress for twirling.