Saturday, December 31, 2016

My New Project

I mentioned a few posts ago that I have decided to try and journal every single day in 2017.  Even if it's just a sentence or tow, or even just a word or phrase, but I'm going to try and write something every single day.  The main reason is just because I thought it would be fun to go back and reread at the end of the year (I'm weird that way), and also I am hoping that it might keep me motivated with things like weight loss and time management.

I was hoping to find a journal that wasn't just a bunch of blank pages but maybe had some sayings/quotes or questions to think about, etc.  I also kind of wanted to go back to a paper planner and thought what I really wanted was a combination planner/journal.  I probably could find something like that online or even in a store if I looked hard enough, but I was at Michaels and found something close enough on sale so I went with it.

First, a simple journal, with cheesy quotes:  Sorry some of these pics are sideways.



Then, an 8-week nutrition/fitness journal




Finally, a binder to put them in, with room to add additional items (budget, travel, etc).  I didn't get any type of paper planner, but I really don't need one.  I just think they're fun, but I'm fine using my phone to track appointments and what-not.



I can't wait to get started and see how this goes.

2016 in Review

I was re-reading last year's Year in Review post and I mentioned how most years I think about penning a Christmas letter but never do, and that I didn't even get around to sending cards last year.  It was funny because I once again almost wrote a Christmas letter this year but didn't, and again did not even send cards.  But I didn't realize this was two years in a row without sending cards.  Oops.  I thought I had managed to get some photo cards made at the last minute last year but apparently not. 

So again, here is my would-have-been Christmas letter in blog and photo form.

The girls turned 8 in February and in lieu of a party decided they wanted to go to Great Wolf Lodge with just one friend.  Another friend was already going to be there because they always go during the mid-winter break which is right around the same time, so it made for a nice little mini-party.



Paul and I celebrated 10 years of marriage in May with a get-a-way to Victoria, B.C.




In July, we took our annual family vacation to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico!  The in-laws came too, and we all stayed in a penthouse at their timeshare.  We swam with dolphins and went on a dinner cruise and spent lots of time just hanging by the pool.  It was a blast.





The girls started 3rd grade at the brand new school just down the road from our house.  They played soccer until mid-November, Kayley started piano and Olivia continued with violin and gymnastics.

Kayley had a bike accident in August that knocked out a permanent tooth.  Since then, we have had umpteen appointments with her regular dentist, an endodontist and an orthodontist.  She currently has an expander and will eventually have a lower tooth transplanted into the space vacated by the knocked out tooth (that tooth was put back in and doing ok for now but it won't last).  It is going to be a years long process.

That was our year in a nutshell.  I'm ready to start 2017 and excited about our upcoming cruise and some fun projects I have planned.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Resolution Review

Let's review the resolutions I made at the beginning of the year and see how I did, shall we?
  •  Lose 20 pounds.  I want and need to lose more but a goal of 20 for the year is good.  I'm sure I lost more than 20 if you add up all the 3 and 4 pound losses, but my net loss for the year is right around 1, give or take. 
  • Read 16 books.  I'm just not one of those people who can read 4 or 5 or 20 books in a month, and lately I hardly read at all so I'm just hoping to get back into reading somewhat regularly.  I read 16 1/2, plus a couple of kid books!  At one point I thought I would get to at least 18 but then I just got really busy and didn't read much for a few months.
  • Train for another 5K.  I really want to get back into running but now that I'm working full-time and evenings are filled with kid stuff and next-day prep, it's SO hard to find time but I really hope to figure out how to squeeze it in.  I just need to commit to going right after work twice a week, even though that means I won't get home until 7 or so, and then once on the weekend.  Yeah, I didn't do this.  It's on my list again for 2017.
  • Drastically reduce my sugar intake.  I eat fairly healthy for most meals but I just eat way too much chocolate and candy.  And I want to start making my own salad dressing, spaghetti sauce, etc. (with what time I have NO idea...) because all the store-bought stuff has tons of added sugar.  I didn't do this either.  I mean, I had periods of very healthy eating with less sugar, but no where near what I was hoping for.  And I sure never made any homemade spaghetti sauce.
  • Improve home organization.  I created this little command center but that's about it.

  • Have more date nights.  Now that I'm working full-time and we can afford to a) go out and b) get a babysitter.  We maybe had a few more, not nearly enough, though.
  • Go to more movies.  Nope.
  • Get more massages.  Again, now that I can afford it.  I did this!  I think I got 3!
  • Take more pictures.  I swear I take less and less every year.
  • Blog more.  I maybe managed this.  I know I was going like gangbusters at the beginning of the year but dropped off, especially in the fall when school started.
All in all, a pretty poor performance.

Other things I wanted to do this year:
  • Go to one of those painting places.  I think that would be a really fun girls' night.  I went for a work function, but still want to go for either a girl's or date night.
  • Move the girls into separate bedrooms.  Kayley always stays up way later than Olivia reading or just not able to sleep so I think it would be good to separate them.  As of today they want separate rooms anyway but every time I ask I get a different answer.  If they do end up staying in the same room we are going to get bunk beds.  The only reason we don't have them already is because we got their current beds for free from a friend of Paul's parents.  We did this!
  • Paint the living and dining rooms.  Not yet.  And now because of all the money we're spending on Kayley's teeth, it will be awhile.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Eve Eve

So much for blogging every day, or even almost every day, for the rest of December.  Actually, I have blogged most days I just haven't finished any of my posts!

Anyway, Paul has been off this whole week doing all kinds of fun things with the girls.  His sister is in town from Colorado (staying at their parents'place) so they went down there on Tuesday and stayed the night.  I was so excited to have the house to myself for a night so I could hopefully work on one of my projects that I never have time for, but I ended up spending the whole evening wrapping gifts and doing other pre-Christmas stuff.  Sigh.  Today they went skiing so I once again had some alone time this evening but I had to make a dessert and stuffing for Sunday, wrap a few more gifts, iron napkins and placemats, and work on getting the house in order.  I can't do any of it tomorrow because we will be gone all day.  It is our year to spend Christmas with my side, and they do Christmas Eve every other year on the years we are there so we will be heading up to MV for the day.  The festivities don't start until 5:00 but the Seahawks play at 1:25 so we want to get up there early enough to catch that and we have to squeeze in a visit with my mom while we're up there.
On Christmas Day Paul's parents and sister will come to our house, thus the need to make stuffing and a dessert ahead tonight as that is the only chance I will have.  They still come to our place on the years that are technically my side because of course they want to see the girls on Christmas, which is fine.  But I'm thinking that next time I'm not making a whole big meal, we can just have apps and dessert and maybe leftovers from the night before.

So it's been busy and I'm kind of ready for it to be over, but I'm very excited to use our new dining table!





Monday, December 19, 2016

Christmas Concerts

On Saturday our church had a free concert featuring former season 11 American Idol contestants Jessica Sanchez and Jeremy Rosado.  Since Paul and I were fans of the show and remembered Jessica (didn't remember Jeremy at first but did later) we thought it would be a fun family outing so we went.  They both were awesome and did a beautiful duet at the end.




On Sunday, Paul's mom's singing group had a performance and the girls got to be in it.  They wore pajamas and pretended to be listening their grandma reading T'was the Night Before Christmas.  They had a real dog on stage, too, which the girls LOVED!


 

  


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Every Day for the Rest of December

I've been horrible about blogging lately.  Ever since school started.  But I've decided just for fun to try and blog every day for the rest of December.  I got the idea on the 2nd, started a post but didn't finish it, then a day or two later I had a vague memory of doing something similar last year so I checked and sure enough, I did.  Or rather, I meant to but didn't really keep up with it.  So anyway, I'm going to try again this year.  It could be anything.  A "normal" post or just something small and random.

So here is my randomness for today to get caught up:

I am probably about 80% done with my Christmas shopping which is an absolute miracle.  And, I even have a few things wrapped!  This sounded so much better a week ago, though, when it was only the 2nd/3rd.  I haven't made any progress since then.  I hope to wrap it up this weekend but probably won't happen.

We had our first snowfall last Sunday and Monday and again yesterday.  We decided last night would be the perfect night to do our annual drive around the neighborhood to look at Christmas lights since it's extra pretty with snow on the ground (I feel bad for people who live in places like Florida or Arizona that never (or very rarely) get snow.  I just can't image 80 degrees at Christmastime).  The girls put their pajamas on (well, Kayley mostly just sleeps in T-shirts and leggings anymore--don't ask me why--so she wore that), gathered some stuffed animals and blankets and off we went.



A few months ago Olivia decided she wanted a new bed after all, so we got this cool loft bed.



Then, we finally got desks for both girls.  Now we just need some finishing touches like curtains, shelves and wall art and their rooms will finally be done.






Wednesday, November 23, 2016

My Day Off

The girls have had early dismissal all week and last Friday for parent-teacher conferences.  So Friday we had our regular babysitter and I left work a little early for our appointments starting at 3:45, then Monday we had a brand new babysitter and then yesterday they went home with a friend.  Today I took the day off and was really looking forward to a few hours alone to do whatever (all the stuff that I'm always whining about never having time to do).

So after I dropped the girls off at school I started doing things around the house and realized I better hurry and find our Elf on the Shelf so he can make his traditional day-after-Thanksgiving appearance.  So I spent the first half of my alone time looking for him, to no avail.  Then I got a phone call from school; the girls have lice.  I wasn't surprised, because a friend texted last night that her daughter had it but I looked the girls over and didn't see anything, but I didn't look that hard because I got sidetracked with other things.


So, I had to go pick them up and then I called the lice specialist and got an appointment for Saturday.  Meanwhile, we are going to Paul's parents for Thanksgiving tomorrow and we were going to spend the night but now I'm not sure if we should.

So much for my day off.  I had a feeling it would get ruined, but I thought it would be that the girls would catch my cold.  At least I got a pie and a side dish made for tomorrow and got some other things done.

As for the Elf on the Shelf, a friend is letting me borrow hers in case we don't find ours in time.  Whew!


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Lately

So I haven't blogged in about 2 months, I think.  I keep starting posts but just never get around to finishing them.  Our schedule has been crazy lately.  Soccer just ended, so it has calmed down a bit, but here's what a typical week looked like after school:

Monday - homework, early dinner, then soccer practice.  Finish homework if not already done, read, baths, etc.

Tuesday - homework, dinner, then Paul drops Olivia at gymnastics and gets back just in time for Kayley's piano lesson (her teacher comes to our house.  How cool is that??!).  Meanwhile, I get home, eat, and then pick Olivia up.  Read and bedtime.

Wednesday - homework, then violin for Olivia.  Kayley goes along and just plays on the iPad or whatever.  Paul takes them to Subway or somewhere for dinner.  Meanwhile, I get home and eat my own dinner.  Then the normal homework/read/baths whatever while I clean up, make lunches, fold laundry, etc. (that part is every night, or course, not just Wednesday!).  Oh, and once a month on Wednesdays they also have Girl Scouts.

Thursday - usually nothing, but for a few weeks there Kayley had a dentist appointment every Thursday and once on a Friday, due to a bike accident she had back in August (can't remember if I ever blogged about that).

Friday - nothing other than the occasional event at school or whatever.

And then we've had soccer games every Saturday morning for the last 8 or 10 weeks, mostly at 9:00 AM and a few were 45 minutes away which meant we had to leave at 8:00, because they had to be there at 8:45.  They had their last game last Saturday, so I will be glad to have my Saturday mornings back!


Coach Matt and the Fireballs.  Olivia middle row, far right and Kayley bottom row, far right



For Halloween Kayley was Darth Vader and Olivia was a Zombie Cheerleader.



Kayley wouldn't let me get a picture but her friend's mom got one of the whole group so I stole it from her Facebook page.

Kayley as DV, 2nd from left and Olivia in the middle


We did our usual thing where Paul takes them around our loop while I stay home and hand out candy, then we leave the bowl of candy on the porch and trick-or-treat our way down to our friends' house and have a little party.  It was a little less of one this year since it was a Monday, but still fun.

And now it's almost Thanksgiving!








Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Seaside

Awhile back we had some timeshare points we were going to lose, so Paul went ahead and booked a little getaway to Seaside, OR, for mid-September, even though it meant pulling the girls out of school for 2 days.  We left Saturday the 10th after their soccer game and came home Tuesday the 13th.  It was really fun and we totally lucked out with awesome weather!

We spent Sunday just playing on the beach and browsing the shops, and watching the Seahawks season opener.

Cool sand castle some talented guy made

Carousel


View of our hotel from the beach


On Monday we drove down to Cannon Beach.  We walked along the beach to the famous Haystack rock, but it was a bit cool and windy that day and Olivia and I had forgotten our jackets so we decided to leave and go back to Seaside.  But first we able to browse a few shops on the way back to the car and decided to have lunch there before heading back.

Haystack Rock


Tuesday morning we had one last hurrah on the beach before checking out and heading home.




It was nice to have a fun little getaway at the tail end of summer but it really made the rest of the week pretty rough.  I feel like I still haven't quite got caught up on household stuff.  Then again, I never really am but that's another post.




Monday, August 29, 2016

Proposed School Day Schedule

School starts on Wednesday and I've been thinking about what our daily routine is going to look like.  Of course, what's in my head and what it actually ends up being are most likely going to be vastly different.  But hopefully writing it out will help me stay on track (because that's worked so well for me in other areas of my life, i.e. weight loss).

The new school will start a half hour earlier than the previous one, at 8:35.  We will have the choice of riding the bus, walking or me dropping them off on my way to work.  The school is just under a mile away but they are still providing bus service to certain neighborhoods because of having to cross a super busy 4-lane with a median road.  And the only reason I would let them walk (without me) is because there will be roughly 23 other kids all walking with them, most likely with a grown-up or two or eight in the mix.  Either way, we will all leave the house around 8:15.  So here is the schedule I'm hoping to adopt:

6:15 or 6:30, depending on whether I'm going to shower (sometimes I shower at night (and sometimes I skip a day {gasp})  - I get up and get ready for work.

7:30 - wake the girls if they aren't already up.  Supervise dressing, hair brushing and bed making, because if I don't they will go straight for the TV or computer or iPad, which they've gotten away with so much in the past because I'm BUSY getting ready for WORK and don't have time to stop every 2 minutes and make sure they're not doing any of that.  Or refereeing fights over bathroom use or whatever.  God, I love school mornings.



7:45 - breakfast, then brush teeth, then get shoes on and gather backpacks, lunches, coats, etc.

8:15 - leave

3:15ish - girls home.  Alone, for 20ish minutes.

3:35 - Paul gets home and administers snack, if not already self-administered, then supervises homework time.  This is the stuff that I HATE not being home for.  And the taking to activities. :(  At least I get to do pick-up sometimes.  Anyway, sometimes they will probably play with friends for a bit right after school and do their homework after dinner.

5:30 or 6:00 - dinner for Paul and the girls

6:15-6:30 - I get home and have dinner.  There are rare occasions that they either eat later or I get home earlier and we can all eat together (another thing I HATE, not eating together as a family, but I go in to work pretty late so I can be there in the mornings, and they eat lunch pretty early so they get pretty hungry and can't wait until 6:30 to eat).

6:30 - 7:30 - I finish eating, clean up and make lunches while they finish homework if not done already.

7:30 - 8:30 - violin practice (Olivia) and family time.  Usually they just play and I'm busy folding laundry or getting things ready for the next day, but I hope to start using this time to spend together, playing games, reading together or even just chatting or watching YouTube videos together.

8:30 - pajamas, brush teeth and read

9:00 - bed time.

So that's my plan.  I also want to start having a weekly Family Game Night and Family Movie Night (we have those now but not regularly).  Also, the girls have soccer every Monday and Wednesday until mid-October, so that's usually from 6-7:30.  Typically they eat dinner around 5 and then go to soccer and I will meet them there after work.  Lastly, Olivia did have violin on Wednesday afternoons but she's off until after Labor Day and then it's going to change to Saturdays.  And she may start gymnastics again which will probably be on Tuesdays, and we're going to try and get Kayley in something, maybe Karate, maybe just jump rope club at school.







Friday, August 26, 2016

School Supplies

I used to LOVE shopping for school supplies when I was a kid.  And even more than that, I loved setting them all out when we got home and getting them all organized.  Back in the days of the Trapper Keeper with multiple pockets for different subjects and what not.



And of course, we all always had several of these:



And we didn't have to get Kleenex, hand sanitizer, anti-bacterial wipes, or dry erase markers like now days.  We have all that on our list and also post-it notes and 4 x 6 index cards.  Index cards?  What the heck are they doing with those?  Recipe exchange?

Anyway, the last two years I took the girls school supply shopping and they like it ok but they don't love it as much as I did and they always insist on getting the fancier more expensive versions of everything, like spiral notebooks with a cute animal design instead of the plain $0.49 (or maybe $0.59) ones.  I think one store had these on sale for $0.19, even.



So this year I went by myself.  They were a little disappointed but they got over it pretty quickly. And tonight when I got home from work Olivia was going through everything and putting things in her pencil box and backpack. I joined right in and helped her and then Kayley got in on the action. For the first time ever they were kind of getting into it.




Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Summer Break, Weeks 9 and 10

This is the last full week of summer vacation!  I can't believe it.

Paul had last week off so after soccer practice on Monday he and the girls took off for Crescent Bar, leaving me with the place and time to myself for the last several evenings to do whatever.  Unfortunately I didn't make as much progress on neglected projects as I would have liked, but it was still nice to have the (clean) house to myself.

They rented jet skis one day and went to a water slide park one day.  They always get to do all this fun stuff while I'm stuck working (sigh).  I'm really hoping to have some PTO saved up so I can take a few days off next summer in addition to just our annual trip.

They came home Friday and then we all went to the Mariner's game (see previous post).



Saturday started off good.  We slept in, then I took then in for their back to school haircuts.  Just a trim, nothing drastic, but Olivia asked for her hair to be curled.



We came home and had lunch and then they were riding their bikes to a friend's house and somehow Kayley fell and knocked out a (permanent) tooth.  We went to urgent care, but she needed dental work (obviously) and they couldn't get a hold of our regular dentist, being Saturday and all so they sent us to Seattle Children's.  There they were able to put the tooth back in the socket (actually they did that at the first place but it wasn't quite in all the way) and put a splint on.  If done soon enough there's a good chance the tooth will reattach but in our case it probably won't and she'll end up with an implant eventually.  She also got a few stitches in her lip.  It was quite a day.  It happened around 2:30 and after going to urgent care and then Children's, then out to dinner while we waited for her prescriptions, then back to pick up the prescriptions, we finally got home at like 10:40 or something.

So on to this week, Week 10, our final full week.  Our regular babysitter is out of town so her brother is watching them.  Kayley has had to forgo soccer, and we have to give her 2 different antibiotics, one which can't be taken 2 hours either side of diary consumption, which has been interesting because a) they are in capsule form which she can't swallow and the pharmacy didn't have the liquid form so we have to open the capsule and spend the powder on apple sauce or put it in juice and I'd like to put it in yogurt or pudding but she can't have dairy with it, and b) there are few things she can eat right now and most of them are dairy products (yogurt, ice cream, pudding, etc.).  But we've just been giving it in apple juice or sauce so it's working out.

Last night they had a sleepover with one of their newer friends.  I made popcorn but poor Kayley had to have ice cream instead.



Nothing else is going on this week.  Just a normal work week with a babysitter.  On one hand I'm really looking forward to school starting but on the other hand I'm dreading the crazy, chaotic mornings.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Mariner's Game

I've been wanting to take the girls to a Mariner's game for years now.  I thought it would be a fun sunny summer Saturday activity.  I figured we could get the cheap bleacher seats in the outfield and it would be a fun summer outing that wasn't too expensive and the seats wouldn't matter because the girls would get bored and want to walk around anyway.  But we never got around to it and then this year I was able to get free tickets through work!  And bonus, it happened to be during their Star Wars themed weekend and on fireworks night.  They do fireworks after a handful of Friday night games throughout the season but last night it was set to Star Wars music, with a few movie scenes on the big screen with Mariner's game highlights (all-time, not just from last night's game) mixed it.  It was really cool!


The Mariner Moose (and btw, Kayley does have shorts on :) )


a "24" in center field in honor of Ken Griffey, Jr.