Saturday, June 22, 2013

It's Good To Try New Things

Feeling the wind slip through my fingers, I let myself relax and enjoy driving out to The Mill. I used to love that place when I was younger. I have so many great memories of that place.

Pulling into the gravel parking lot, taking in the old red barn and the farmhouse, I realize I have really missed this place. It’s like a good friend or my favorite grey sweatshirt. After parking the car, I grab my backpack and hop out.

I think I will sit on one of the picnic tables to read. No wait! Maybe down by the creek. I did bring a blanket after all.

Rounding the corner of the barn, I head towards the back and run into Jake. Well, this is interesting…

“Jake, what are you doing here?” I ask.

Grinning at me, he answers, “Hello to you too, Maddie.” There it is. That lopsided grin with that dimple. What is a girl to do when the boy smiles at you like that?

“Hello Jake.” I say. Okay, now I’m grinning like an idiot. “Are you painting?”

Bending down and grabbing his roller, he says, “Yep, painting the old barn.”

Glancing at all of his painting equipment, I state, “Wouldn’t a sprayer be easier?”

After rolling the roller in paint, he winks at me and says, “What? And miss all the fun?”

“Yeah, that looks like tons of fun, Jake”, I quip.

“Want to help?” he asks.

Without giving my new must-read novel a second thought, I say, “Sure. Why not?! Where should I start?”

Pointing to a lower section in the back of the barn, he says, “You start here and I finish over here.” His section is a little above me and to the left.

Jake shows me how to dip the roller in the paint with just the right amount, and then we get to work. We paint in amicable silence for a while, enjoying each other’s company as well as the warm weather.

After around 20 minutes, I can feel him staring at me. Glancing up, I meet his eyes. He smirks at me and my heart flutters. Geez! I am such a girl.

Wondering what’s so amusing, I say, “What?!”

Shaking his head, Jake says, “I never thought I would be here with you painting. I didn’t know it was your ‘thing’.”

Shrugging, I reply, “It’s not really but I thought I would try something new. It looked like fun.”

Turning his head to look at me, he says, “It’s good to try new things, Maddie. You might find that you really like it. Maybe even love it.”

Suddenly, I know he is not talking about painting anymore. I feel this is going into territory I am not ready to visit. He is looking at me like he wants me to take the bait.

Clearing my throat, I say, “Do you like painting? Or fixing things?” Filling my roller with more paint, I get back to work.

Jake says, “Yeah, I enjoy working with my hands. Growing up, my brother and I used to help Dad around the house with stuff.”

I say, “With just my mom and me, we always called my uncle to come and fix things. He was always happy to help. But he did show me a few things.”

Stopping mid-stride, he stares at me, mouth agape. He recovers quickly and questions, “Really? Like what?”

The look on his face was priceless. I can’t help but chuckle. 

I reply, “Hmm, let’s see. He taught me how to change the oil in my car, install a new dishwasher and shoot a bow and arrow.”

I can by the look on his face that I surprised him with my response. This makes me smile even more. Can you BE more of a dork, Maddie?!

“Wow. I’m impressed,” he says.

Placing my hand on my hip, I say, “Not quite the damsel in distress you thought. Am I?”

He stands up to his full height, places his roller on the paint can and walks over to stand directly in front of me.

“Maddie,” he says. “There is nothing helpless about you. It’s one of the things I love about you.”

Swallowing nervously, I try to laugh it off. “Yes, I have many wonderful qualities.”

Reaching up, he puts his hand under my chin and says, “Yes, Maddie. You do. You are intelligent, loyal, witty and beautiful.”

Beautiful. Did he just say beautiful? Now, I am the one staring at him, mouth agape. Way to keep it extra cool, Maddie.

Jake whispers, “Maddie?”

“Yes, Jake,” I manage to say.

Taking his thumb, he rubs a small circle on my cheek. He says, “I’m going to kiss you now.”

Squee! It's more good stuff with Maddie and Jake. It's the in-between stuff. Which let's face it?! Is the great stuff. Just ask an Oreo.

New to Jake and Maddie! Start with "I Choose You".

More on the way....

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Suck It, Pinterest

Today is Father's Day! 

Let me first say 'Happy Father's Day to my Hubby'. Thanks for being there. For being there for midnight bottles, dirty diapers, making pancakes, hugs for skinned knees, playing superhero, building the super ramp, and cheering at the soccer games.

Funnest. Dad. Ever. 

Also 'Happy Father's Day' to my dad, my step-dad and my dad-in-law. Love your guts!

Speaking of Father's Day, I thought this year I would do something really special for Hubby. I got the idea from Pinterest. (Guys, ask your lady to explain to you Pinterest.) The pin showed one frame with three pictures. Each picture, the kids hold out one letter that ends up spelling DAD. Cute, right?!

Now, there may be avid Pinterest lovers out there and that's okay. I salute you.

However, I am not a huge fan of Pinterest. I log on there every once and a while to look for yummy dessert recipes and yummy pictures of Chris Hemsworth. Did you guys see him in Thor? Or how about Snow White and The Huntsman? Have you seen the man's biceps? Or those dreamy blue eyes...

Sorry, I got off track there! Where was I?


Pinterest is not my favorite site as it reminds me how far my reality is from domestic perfection. I mean, Martha Stewart, I am not.

But, heck! Martha Stewart couldn't even do all of the stuff on there. She has people to help her. And I bet her people have people. And those people probably have people.

I tried to do this project last year with the boys but it did not work. Because Baby L was one and a half.

Yet, on this particular Father's Day, I felt emboldened! I felt inspired! I felt downright giddy with excitement. I thought, You can do this!!!
On Wednesday, I got the kids situated, sitting down inside the house, in front of a blank wall. After giving them the first letter, D, I proceeded to get them to smile for pictures. Moving quickly, I swapped letters, giving them the A.

It's go time! Smile kids!!

I tried everything! I was dancing around, making crazy faces, insane sounds and even promised candy and cookies! 

This worked for a total of about 10 minutes.

Frustrated, I gave up taking pictures and thought I could find at least 3 good pictures of the boys with all the photos I took.

I would be wrong.

Apparently yielding only 100 pictures is not enough to get three good ones. Sure, I had ones where one child had the best picture ever taken while the other one was crying or punching their brother. But not THREE good ones of both kids.

Dually noted.

I was undeterred! I was invigorated!

On Friday, I started again. I dressed them in the same shirt and we went outside, letters in tow. This time, instead of taking 100 pictures, I would take 700. This way I would FOR SURE have three good pictures.

Again, I tried getting them to smile by asking them to say 'monkey', promising chocolate and basicly acting a fool just to get them to smile.


So after scrolling through all of the pictures, I did find three very cute ones.

Turned out awesome, didn't it?!

Suck it, Pinterest.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Letting Go Of Perfection

I am a perfectionist.

It's true.

I love when things are nice and neat in their place.

I love to take time on my appearance to make sure I look nice.

I love when my house is spotless.

I have to have an even number of ice cubes in my drink.

I can only eat M&M's by the handfuls in even numbers.

(Okay, well, actually, I'm more OCD. Or some might say anal retentive. Or a little cray cray. Let's not split hairs, people!!)

It's difficult to do these things when you are married and work full-time.

But, I did it.

Now that I have kids, well, it's gets a bit more challenging to do.

I mean I could have a spotless house, look immaculate and continue to obsess over the amount of ice in my glass. But then I'd have kids who are ignored and I'd be a narcoleptic because I never got any sleep.

Wait a minute! Did someone say narcozzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Sorry! I dozed off.


However, it does bring up a serious question. What are we willing to sacrifice in the pursuit of perfection? What are we willing to move to the bottom of the list so we can move our idea of what needs to be perfect to the top? What is perfection really?

Yesterday, the boys and I hung out and did nothing in particular. We had breakfast with my mom, then we ran a couple of errands. While we were out, the boys got this cute Melissa & Doug ice cream play set. They loved it! We played ice cream shop all day long.

Their little faces smiling as they served me ice cream and as we pretended to eat the ice cream. Our smiles soon turned into laughter as I couldn't help but pretend to nibble on their bellies for something sweeter. In turn, the boys wanted to pretend to eat my belly too.

Laying on your back looking at your after baby belly is not your most flattering look. Trust me.

But, you know what. That's okay.

My sweet boys don't care if I have a flabby belly. They also don't care if my hair looks amazing or if these jeans make my butt look good. They also don't mind one bit if the house is a wreck.

What do they do care about is that someone will play with them. That someone will listen to them when they have something to say. That someone will be there to give them a hug when they have skinned their knee. That someone can reassure them that the first day of school will be great. That someone can help them make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch when they are hungry. That someone can read them 'Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site' before tucking them in at night.

These are the things that are important to my children.

And in looking at back at yesterday, when we were playing ice cream shop, smiling and laughing rolling around on the floor, THAT was perfection.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Team Mossey

When I say 'yellow', I mean 'YELLOW'.

In an effort to prepare for a might-be future move, Hubby has started painting the inside of the house. All of our walls are yellow (which I love) but I realize it is not a neutral color. (I get that not a lot of people would like it.)

I love my house. I love the layout. I love the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. I love my big kitchen. I love my great room and our hard wood floors. I love the location of our house. We are close to tons of conveniences.

I am a certified 'Burb Lover'.

What I don't love is our school district. J has one more year of preschool, then he is off to kindergarten. (Woo, boy! I promised myself I wouldn't do this! I'm feeling verklempt. Give me a minute. Talk amongst yourselves...)

Even though we are a stone's throw from a really good elementary school, we are not districted to go there. They have us driving several miles away to take J to kindergarten. Because, sure that makes since. Here is a really awesome school next door, but let's drive across town to take you to another school.

I think our public school officials went drinking one night and after being decidedly three-sheets to the wind, they thought it was a good idea to map out the school districts. Insanity.

The thought of moving makes me break out into a cold sweat and increases my blood pressure to stroke level. I mean we had a bunch of stuff before kids, but now. Cheese and biscuits! The amounts of stuff borders on ridiculous. (Hoarders? Hoarders anyone?)

However, I want my kid to be in a good school and since we are able to move into a better school district, I know it needs to be done. I want to give them every opportunity to succeed academically.

So, Hubby works to paint the inside of the house and I work on keeping the kids entertained so they won't mess up said paint. Team Mossey!

Luckily, it's been really warm lately so I can take the kids outside and keep them busy while Hubby paints.

Now, at first glance, this may seem like a piece of cake. And for the first hour or so, it is. (Remember, they have tiny attention spans.)

First 30 minutes. Sandbox, Swings, Slide, Play fort, Soccer, Baseball, Basketball, Tag, Hide-and-Seek, Climb trees, Little kids pool! (Yes, this all takes place in only 30 minutes.)

For the next 30 minutes, you have to bring out the big guns. Spider-man sprinkler, Automatic bubble maker, Popsicles, Motorized Jeep! (Yes, these things are amazing, but they too can only hold their attention span for so long...)

As we approach the end of the first hour, the next 30 minutes require some serious creativity! Brave knights (kids) in the castle (fort) fighting the dragon (mama), Hungry giant (mama) goes looking for hiding kids, Superheros (all of us) vs. Bad guys!

We are closing in on an hour and a half. I'm too hot and tired to think of anything else, but I dig down deep and come up with some. Count the blades of grass, Pick up all the leaves, Throw rocks at the trees, Count the cars that drive by, Dump sand in the kids pool!

By this time, not only are the kids exhausted but I am too. 

Using my super powers, I manage to get the kids inside and upstairs without touching any of the wet paint or painting tools. I wash their hands, strip them down to their skivvies, give them a snack and plop them down to watch a half hour of Winnie the Pooh. Then I fall into a lifeless heap onto the bed so I can rest for a few minutes.


You are exhausted just thinking about it, aren't you?

But, it is summertime so we can find lots of stuff to do. 

Plus, we only have a two-story home with four bedrooms so it won't take long at all to paint. 

Right? RIGHT?!?!