Friday, August 30, 2013

Nailed it.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon learning how to do a sock bun. Have you heard of these? Basically you cut the toe off a sock, roll the sock up like donut and then do this tricky wrapping maneuver on your hair and wrap it around the sock until it is a fabulous bun. It looks super easy on YouTube. Pinterest makes it look like a stunning feat of magic that would wow your friends and dazzle strangers. Yeah, it's not easy and my sock bun didn't dazzle and amaze anyone, including me.  

Then Pinterest assured me that if I slept in my sock bun I would wake up in the morning, take out the bun, shake out my lusterous curls and have beautiful princesss hair in 30 seconds or less. 

I couldn't wait to wake up this morning and be fabulous. After all, if Pinterest says so, it must be true right?!

Totally nailed it.

PINTEREST, YOU BIG FAT LIAR!! Looks like I'm going back to forcing my hair into submission with a flat iron.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Josh first day of school!

Josh is officially an 8th grader! He had a great day today, I think this is going to be a good year for him! Now if he'd just stop growing up so darn fast!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Crown me

I went to the dentist today to get the permanent crowns on the two teeth that have been causing me so many problems all year. It took me nine appointments over five or six months to completely finish the work. I originally went in for one crown and a filling and ended up with gum surgery and two crowns.

But today the whole ordeal is over and the dentist even sprung for some fancy schmancy crown material that is apparently indestructible because even he doesn't want to revisit this whole mess. I've got two bionic teeth back there now, lol.

So, good. Done. I can stop stressing out about it. Onward and upward.

Next on the agenda is getting Josh back to school tomorrow. We've been school shopping, we got him registered, gave him a teenage makeover, and he's ready to start 8th grade. He seems excited to go back this year but a little nervous because he has a ton on his plate this year. Between yearbook, film club, honor society and two honors classes, plus working on getting his Eagle scout, he's going to be really busy. He can handle it though. He's always been a goal oriented kid. He likes lists and schedules and he likes being busy. I think he'll do great.

I'm looking forward to getting back on a school schedule. Things run a bit more orderly during the school year and we all do better on a schedule. Clarissa is looking forward to going back to preschool in September and I'm looking forward to gaining a bit of free time again.

It has got me thinking about what I want to do next year when she starts Kindergarten and I'm home alone during the day. I know myself and I need to find something to keep myself busy. There was a year before Clarissa came home that I was home alone all day when the boys were both in school. But back then I was super busy with adoption stuff. Remember that? I was blogging back then. Remember all those months I waited for the phone to ring and drove you all crazy with the whining? Lol

Anyway, in another year I'm going to be back to being alone during the day and I'm already planning what I'm going to do. First of all, I want to learn a new hobby. Sometime in this next year I think I'm going to buy a piano and start taking piano lessons when Clarissa starts Kindergarten. I actually played the piano as a kid. My mom made me take lessons for years and I hated it and she always told me that some day I would regret it if I gave up. That day is here, and my mother was right, I do regret it. Now I really wish I could play the piano. So I'm going to buy a piano and relearn to play. At one point I could play the piano, but it's been so long that I'm not sure how much I'm going to have to start from scratch. I'm up for it. Playing the piano sounds like fun to me now. I might sign Clarissa up for lessons too.

I'm also kicking around taking some college classes. That is something I've wanted to do forever but I still can't quite decide what I want to be when I grow up, so so far I haven't pursued it too much.

But I still have another year to figure all that out. This year I'm just going to enjoy having Clarissa home for this last year. I still can't believe she's almost in elementary school! Didn't we just bring her home yesterday?! She's doing awesome these days, by the way. She still obsessed with cooking. Her favorite thing in the world is watching cooking shows and she knows all the terminology. When I'm making something and I get out butter she'll say "are you using one stick of butter?" And when I go to measure something she'll say "are you measuring out one cup of liquid?". It cracks me up every time. She loves to stand on a chair and watch me make dinner and I let her help me measure and pour. She's a good little helper in the kitchen. I think Santa is going to need to bring her her own special apron and an Easy Bake Oven for Christmas. :)

 But for now I'm off to find something to eat with my new bionic teeth and get Josh's backpack ready for tomorrow. Stay turned for first day of school photos!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Badge of courage

This morning Josh was on the treadmill and tripped and scraped up his knee. Our treadmill has one of those keys to make it work that hooks one end onto the treadmill and the other end on the waistband of your pants, that way if you fall the key will come out and stop the treadmill. I've always been insistent that everyone who uses the treadmill needs to be properly hooked up to the key for safety reasons. In all the time we've used our treadmill, no one has ever fallen, but the key is a nice safety measure anyway.

Well two days ago the key broke. The part that clips to your pants broke, so the part that goes into the treadmill to make it start still works but you can't hook it to yourself to stop the treadmill if you fall. I was planning to figure out where to buy a new key this weekend and told Josh to be extra careful in the meantime.

And then, of course, today was the one day that he tripped. He dropped his iPod and tried to catch it and he fell and the treadmill didn't stop and scraped up his knee pretty bad.

So he came upstairs to show me and it didn't look very pretty. But because he was on that awesome runners high you get when you finish running, he was mostly just excited to tell me that he finished week four of couch to 5k.

This is the kid who originally gave up on the first day of week two. He was convinced that he was never going to be able to do it and he quit, and then eventually decided to unquit and try again. And not only did he make it through the first day of week two the second time, he now has just finished week four, which means he's halfway done with the program. He loves it. He almost never takes a day off from running, he's down there every morning.

Before he started running I was starting to see some teenage attitude problems coming from my normally very sweet child. Running has totally changed his attitude. He's happy and motivated and energetic and not at all the mopey teenager I was afraid we were starting to see.

So to get to the point, this morning he came upstairs and showed me that his knee was all scraped up. It looks like road rash, and I'm sure it hurts. But because all this running has made him positive and happy, he said that his scraped up knee was just a reminder of how great he's doing. He got hurt while he was down there kicking butt on the treadmill. You can't get hurt moping around on the couch feeling sorry for yourself! :)

So we celebrated his scraped up knee. I told him to go bandage it up. He came back with this:

He rocks. :) 

Monday, August 19, 2013


I ran today. Most days it makes me feel energized. I was kind of going through the motions. I did it even though I didn't really want to though, so I'm still proud of that! Some days I love it and other days I'm totally over it. I guess that's normal. Josh, on the other hand, is burning through couch to 5K like a champ. I'm really proud at how well he's doing. He loves it. I'm going to see if I can find a 5k for him to run in the fall.

This is his last week before school starts. The summer went by extremely quickly, like it always does! It's been extremely hot and smokey here again this summer. I'm kind of starting to hate Boise summers. It's 100 degrees every day and August is so smokey from all the forest fires that they tell everyone with asthma to stay in the house. So between it being so hot that I can't stand to be out there and so smokey that I can't breathe, I end up spending a lot of time in the house and that gets old. I feel bad for Clarissa because she hasn't been to the park or anything lately. We just can't be out very long.

So basically, I'm really looking forward to fall. Every year at about this time I start to get really antsy for fall! I look forward to being able to to outside again without the heat and the smoke. I love it when it starts to get chilly again. I love the leaves and the crisp air and the sweaters and the pumpkin patches. Someone gave me a cinnamon pumpkin candle recently and it smells like fall. I just keep sniffing it, wishing we could fast forward a month or so and get past the smoke and the heat and into fall. I'm ready for it.

I think that's why I've been feeling kind of bored and antsy lately. I'm busy getting the kids back to school so I've had a lot to do, I've just been feeling restless. I need...something. I'm not sure what. A new hobby? A new haircut? A new book to read? Something. I just feel like I need something different and new to get excited about but I can't quite put my finger on what. I get this way sometimes. Usually it's at the end of a long winter and I guess this year it's because we're at the end of a too hot and smokey summer. I'm ready to move on to something else. I think I'm ready to get back into the school her routine. Maybe once Josh is back in school and Clarissa starts preschool and I'm back in my normal routine I'll feel a little more settled again.

So basically this blog post is weird and whiny and all over the place, lol. Are you still reading or did everyone quit two paragraphs ago? I don't blame you if you did. :)

So today I'll find something to do. Maybe I'll pull out my craft box and make some new hair clips for Clarissa. Maybe I'll browse Amazon and find an amazing new book to get lost in. Maybe I'll spend some time on Pinterest and find something new and amazing to make for dinner tonight. It's time to discover something new. I'd better get to work.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A whole new Josh!

This summer Josh has been working on a transformation. He's 13 and we all remember what it was like to be 13. You're not really a kid anymore, but still kind of figuring out how to be a teenager. I've seen an amazing change in him this summer as he has made the change from kid to teenager.

Earlier this summer he was feeling kind of down and we talked about it and that's part of where the idea for running came from. Running did great things for me last year when I was struggling and I knew it could do great things for him too. He was feeling really stressed out about everything he has on his plate this year and I knew that running would help clear his head.

After the first false start when he quit because of his asthma, he gave it another try and he has totally taken off with it. He's up every morning on the treadmill or the elliptical and then some mornings he goes out and takes a bike ride afterwards. It has really helped his stress and his mood. I can tell a huge difference in him since he started exercising daily.

The next thing he decided to tackle was contacts. He's had glasses since he was about 8. He hasn't ever really minded them but he has noticed that recently a few of his friends have started wearing contacts and he decided to give it a try.

He got them last week and he's still learning how to get them in. It's hard at first and they're still driving him a little crazy. He's getting it though and likes not having to wear glasses anymore. By the time school starts I think he'll have it down.

Then we went clothes shopping. That kid is growing like a weed lately! Every time I turn around he has grown out of his clothes again. He recently started wearing men's sizes and it was kind of an adventure for both of us to figure out what size he is in men's clothes and start shopping in grown up stores instead of kid stores. This growing up stuff is complicated , lol.

The final piece of his transformation was his hair. The other day we looked at hairstyles on the internet and found one that totally works for his hair. The poor kid inherited my extremely thick hair and it's tricky to deal with. I have a stylist I've been going to for 12 years and several years ago I started sending Shawn and the boys there too. She's practically family at this point! So last night I texted her the pictures Josh and I had been looking at and she agreed that there was one that would totally work on him and today she cut his hair and showed him how to style it.

And then he came home and he officially looks like a whole different person! I can't believe how much he has changed this summer!! I took one look at him with his new hair today and grabbed my camera. I needed to document this change!

Here he is at the beginning of the summer:

And here he is now! :)

I think he's ready to head into 8th grade as a happy, confident teenager! I love that kid! :)

Happy Birthday Matthew!!

My sweet middle child turned 10 today! Ten years ago at this very moment I was laying in a hospital bed being induced. Then things got a little crazy and Matthew and I had a bit of a wild ride but he got here safely and he has been a ray of sunshine in our family every since.

Matthew is in 5th grade this year. He loves video games, he loves to read and he's the happiest, most easy going child you will ever meet. He inherited Shawn's laid back, easy going nature and that's my favorite thing about both of them. Matthew rarely gets upset, he's quick to apologize if he does something wrong and he's always excited for whatever adventure comes our way.

Matthew is always fun to be around and he makes a new friend everywhere we go. There have been many times that we've been at the park or swimming or at some other sort of kid friendly hang out and I will look over, and there is Matthew chatting it up with a new friend. I always think it must be someone he knows from school but usually nope, just some random kid who is his new best friend for the day, lol. I admire that quality in him. I never worry about him having friends in his class at the beginning of the school year because I know no matter who he is assigned with he's bound to have a new crop of friends in no time.

For his birthday this year he got two new Wii games that he wanted and he got books, which he always wants! He reminds me of myself as a kid in that way. When in doubt, buy me a book. That's what I wanted for every holiday when I was his age.  I love that we share that.

For our kids birthdays I always make sure that we do some sort of activity that they love. I asked Matthew what he wanted to do this year and he couldn't really come up with anything. The difficult thing about having such a laid back child (and I also run into this problem with a very laid back husband) is that he's happy with anything and rarely makes specific requests, which makes it hard to pin down the perfect activity.

So Shawn and I came up with something that is totally Matthew. We're going to have hot dogs for dinner (I know, I know, but Matthew loves them) and then have a family Wii tournament. Matthew is not the kind of kid that cares that much about elaborate activities and when I try to plan them for him I start to realize that I'm doing it more for me than for him. Matthew is a kid of simple pleasures. He's thrilled when he can talk us all into a Wii tournament (it will be an especially big deal because it's on a school night since we have a strict no video games on school nights rule that I only bend for special occasions such as this one) and for some reason hot dogs for dinner is like winning the lottery as far as he's concerned, lol. So hot dogs and Wii it is. He's going to be thrilled.

So happy birthday to my sweet boy. I love that kid so much. I love to watch him grow and learn and I'm grateful for his sweet spirit and eternal optimism. He's an amazing kid and I'm glad that he's ours! :)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Growing up

I took Josh to register for 8th grade today. EIGHTH GRADE! This is his last year of middle school, which means next year I'll have a high schooler and that pretty much makes me want to go out and buy bifocals and a walker and take up knitting and reading large print books.

Two years ago at this time I registered him for 6th grade at that school. It was the first time he ever used a locker, so we spent forever practicing opening and closing it. We walked around and looked for all his classrooms because I was so worried that he wouldn't know where to go. He seemed so little back then compared to the big scary 8th graders!

I took him in this morning to register him for 8th grade and all the teachers know him and welcomed him back, he got a much coveted top locker in a perfect spot, he gets to be a TA this year for his filmmaking teacher, he's in two honors classes, on the yearbook staff and in the National Junior Honor Society and he walks around that school like he owns the place.

But I had a moment when we were there and I looked at him, so grown up, and it freaked me out a bit! The kid is getting a mustache, by the way. He's going to have to shave it before school starts.

Where in the world did my baby go?! All three of my babies are growing up! Next year Josh starts high school, Matthew starts middle school and Clarissa starts Kindergarten!

So I'm feeling a little old and a little sad today about my kids growing up so fast. But also proud to have such great kids who have accomplished so much and continue to amaze me every day. They're pretty awesome.

I love the elliptical!!!

I just got off the elliptical. I freakin' love that thing. You can always tell when I'm blogging immediately after exercising because I still have those happy endorphins flowing through me and for a few minutes I'm convinced that I love heavy exercise, lol. If I blogged immediately before I got on the elliptical I would tell you how much I hate it and would rather gnaw off my right arm with my teeth than get all sweaty on gym equipment.

But I just got off and for now, I love it. I find it actually a bit easier than the treadmill because the momentum of the pedals kind of keeps you moving. It's harder to slow down. I'm finding that I can maintain a higher MPH speed on the elliptical than the treadmill, so I think I'm working harder.

If you want the truth, my workouts still really don't consist of much more than a vigorous power walk, it's not like I'm competing in Ironman over here, but for me it's great. My asthma isn't bothering me nearly as much and my endurance is getting better. It might not be ironman, but when I get off that machine and I'm all sweaty and breathing hard and I have all those happy endorphins pumping through my body, it feels like a big victory to me! :)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Conversation with Josh

Still breathing

I did the elliptical today. I thought I might die. I didn't die. Onward and upward. 

Also, my cousin e-mailed me this morning and told me that she is doing a group buy for tickets to see the Broadway touring cast of Wicked next April. We have to buy the tickets now to get the price and the seats. You have no idea how much I want to go to that. So much that I can hardly stand the idea of waiting until April. I have the urge to make one of those gigantic paper chains that kids make to countdown Christmas and gleefully tear one off every morning. That's how much I want to see Wicked.  
So we're buying three tickets so we can take Josh. 

I'm not actually making a paper chain by the way. Probably not. :) 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Guess what I bought today?!

An elliptical machine! I've been interested in them for a while but decent ones are expensive and I didn't want to spend the money on something I wasn't sure I was going to love. But then I today I ran across someone selling one online for ridiculously cheap and it's a NICE one! They could have sold it for a lot more than they were asking, but I wasn't about to argue. I even talked them into delivering to my house for a small extra fee. Even with the delivery fee it was the cheapest I was ever going to find for a decent machine. I'm on a bargain high.

So it got here, and it's gigantic. I had already looked up the specs online so I knew how big it was, but I still imagined it smaller. It's not small, it's kind of huge. I originally thought we could put it in our bedroom but I think it's going to have to go in the den. Unfortunately it won't fit through the den door, so at the moment it's sitting half in the entryway and half in the living room until Shawn gets home. He's going to have to take it apart to move it.

But once we get it moved I think is going to be great! I'm really excited to try it. I'm still doing the treadmill but it will be nice to alternate them so I don't get bored. Shawn, Josh and I are all working out now so between the three of us we'll definitely get some use out if it.

This week has been so crazy busy that I haven't had the chance to really update all that is going on. My Russian nail polish arrived and I'm ridiculously in love with it. It will get it's own post when I have some time to take pictures. My friend called it nail polish for geeks. I was almost offended until I realized that she was absolutely correct. I'm waving my geek flag high. :) It's the nerdiest nail polish ever and I'm completely fascinated by it.

Josh just spent the past three days at yearbook camp. He had a great time but between a week of scout camp and three days of yearbook camp, he's pretty camped out. He's looking forward to relaxing for the rest of the week before we start his back to school shopping and registration next week.

Matthew has loved his first few days of school so far. He loves school, so that doesn't surprise me. He's my go with the flow kid. He turns 10 next week, so I'm working on getting ready for his birthday! I can't believe he's going to be 10!

Tomorrow morning I have my big dentist appointment to FINALLY finish the two crowns that have been causing problems basically since March. Normally I hate dental work, but honestly, at this point I just want to get this over with. I'm tired of dealing with it. I just hope that he can do the work without any more problems.

So there is the update from our house. We're crazy busy this month, but life is good!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

First Day of School!

Today is Matthew's first day of 5th grade. It is so hard for me to believe that this is his last year of elementary school!!

He was really excited this morning. He loves school. He was really looking forward to getting back there and seeing his friends and getting started on another year.

If you've been around my blog for a while, you know we have a yearly tradition of taking a first day of school photo on the front step. Here is the latest photo!

Friday, August 2, 2013