Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Riley and Smokey: An Update

After much barking, whining, yelping, and pouting, I'm happy to report that Riley finally threw in the towel yesterday, and decided to be friends with Smokey.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

5 Years

Today marks five years since I became a stay-at-home mom. It just doesn't seem like it has been that long but I suppose it has, since I stopped working just a few weeks before I had Griffin. I cannot get over how much life has changed between now and then.

I don't have many memories of those early days, probably due to the fact that I had a newborn at home, and I was trying to keep a 3 1/2 year old happy, too. I do remember that in the first few days, I called Steve at work A LOT. He must have thought I was a nut. I remember that it seemed like the days were dragging by so slowly. I literally counted the minutes until he would come home at night. Thankfully, that feeling didn't last awfully long. I also have a distinct memory of being faced with attending some sort of military function that fall, and I actually had a good cry about it. I didn't want to go, because I just knew that someone would ask me what I did (as in, what I did for work). I didn't want to have to say that I stayed at home, because I guess I worried about what people would think of me. Just typing that, I cannot believe how silly that sounds to me now, but at the time, it was really upsetting to me back then. I had worked all of my adult life - - all through high school, through college, and after that. I suppose my identity and probably my self worth were pretty tied up in my job, although in the years immediately before I became a mother, I had a series of jobs that I really didn't like at all.

Since then, my viewpoint has obviously changed a lot. Not without struggle though. Five years later, I cannot imagine the day that I go back to work. I suppose that when both boys are in school, I will search out some sort of part-time job, but I hope that I'll be able to find something that will allow me to be home in the morning, and also in the afternoon when they get home from school.

I have never gotten so much satisfaction out of anything I've ever done, as I do from being home with my boys. I worked full-time until Camden was 3 1/2, with two hours of commute time each day, and I can definitely tell you that being home is far more work! It is a common misconception that stay-at-home moms lay on the sofa, eat candy, and watch t.v. all day...maybe some do, but I can assure you that I'm not one of them! I take a lot of pride in how hard I work every day. From time to time, I do miss the adult interaction, the distraction, and frankly, the freedom that came with working outside the home, but definitely not enough to wish that I was working again. I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to do what I do and I couldn't be happier. Life is good!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

First Day of School, Third Grade Edition

Can't believe my big boy is in the third grade! Here's to a wonderful school year!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A New Family Member

The boys and I were having a back yard camp out a couple of weeks ago, when this young lady waltzed up to us, well after dark. I immediately thought she was too small to be outside, wandering around by herself. Upon closer examination it was clear that she was a stray, which made me pretty sad, but our entire city is riddled with strays, unfortunately (spay and neuter your animals, people!!).

As you can probably guess, once Camden got a load of her it was all over. She was equally infatuated with him. We kept her in the laundry room of our rental for a couple of days until I could get her to the vet and have her checked out. After getting her ears cleaned, some flea repellent, and some antibiotics, she moved in and was dubbed, "Smokey" by Camden and Griffin.

So far, things are going well. Roy pretends like he doesn't like her, but when nobody is looking, he wrestles with her and he can't make me believe for a second that he isn't having fun, having a kitty friend to play with. Riley isn't as impressed, and mostly spends a lot of time barking at her. He doesn't like it when Roy and Smokey wrestle, when the boys play with Smokey, when I play with Smokey...he pretty much just doesn't like her. Camden did catch him giving Smokey a lick on the back of the head yesterday though, so we may be making progress.

Steve has reminded me that I've gone over his preference of a 2-pet household by 3 pets since he's been gone (lets not forget Gary and Junior, the hermit crabs). So for now, we're maxed out in the animal department. I'm pretty happy that Smokey found us ~ she's a nice addition to the family.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Getting Ready for the Third Grade

We have reached that weird part of summer where I am not ready for Camden to be gone all day, every day again, but at the same time, we are all in need of getting back to our school-year routine. So, I guess it really is time for back-to-school. I think we are all ready ~ we will be going to "Meet Your Teacher" night tomorrow at Camden's new school. Camden wanted to make "survival kits" like we did last year, so we tackled that last week. All of the items, including the box, can be found at your local dollar store, and I just made a tag to tie to the top. Camden has two teachers this year (one teaches the a.m. portion, and one in the afternoon) so we just doubled up.

This past Friday, I had a special dinner for the boys to celebrate back to school, which has sort of turned into a tradition around here. I always make a special treat, and really wanted to make some cake pops, but wasn't really looking forward to it. This was due to the fact that I've made cake balls before (same thing, only without the stick) and they were a messy, messy disaster. I guess I just wasn't making them properly, because these cute little apples were easy to make and came out so cute! I followed the instructions found here, and the only thing I did differently was to stick the cake pops in the freezer for about 15 minutes, after I'd attached the sticks and before I'd dipped them in the candy melts. The boys loved them. Warning: using a regular cake mix will produce a TON of these things. Going forward, I think I will use one of the mixes you can find at the dollar store for 12 cupcakes. I now can totally understand why people have blogs dedicated solely to cake pop-making...they are addictive!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Lovely Saturday

We only have four more days until Camden heads back to school, so yesterday we headed to Boise to scratch a couple more items off our 'summer fun' list (more about that, later). Camden loves, LOVES a good museum, and he's been wanting to go to the Idaho Historical Museum for a long time. I'm so glad we did it ~ it was wonderful! The boys had a great time and the weather was great. They have also always wanted to eat at Burger King (not sure how they got that in their heads, but a commercial on t.v., I am sure), so we accomplished that, as well. When we got home, we had a relaxing evening and a little swimming in the pool. Can't believe that by this time next week, we'll be back to the grind of the school year.

My garden is bursting at the seams these past couple of weeks, and this has been my standard dinner. Bright red tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, a drizzle of pesto (made from the basil I grew earlier this summer), and some Udi's gluten-free bread on the side. Yum. I think today I am going to roast some more of the tomatoes and freeze some more pizza sauce.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Summer's Winding Down

Behold, the mammoth pile of school supplies that signals the start of the school year. I have mixed emotions about summer coming to an end. I love, LOVE summer vacation with the boys, and so enjoy having them with me. I can't get over how quickly it sped by. On the other hand, Camden has been mentioning the last couple of weeks how he just can't wait to see his friends, and frankly, the boys are hitting 'summer burnout' ~ they are bickering a little more than usual, it is super-hot out (so lots of time spent inside) ~ I don't like to say it out loud but I'm afraid we are ready to get back to our school-year routine. Most importantly, for the past year I have said over and over, "When school starts, Daddy will be coming home", so the end of summer means End of Deployment to us. I'm hoping that Steve will be back with us by late September, but unfortunately we don't (and won't) know when he is coming, until he is almost here.

Tomorrow, the boys wrap up their second session of swimming lessons for the summer. This year I decided to try private lessons instead of taking them to the city pool like I have in years past. I am so glad I did ~ the instructor was wonderful and the cost was the same as going to the city pool. The big plus was that the lessons were one-on-one, rather than with a big group of kids at the city pool. I seriously have two little swimmers on my hands now and I couldn't be happier!

My garden is coming right along. I just finished making and freezing some pizza sauce, using the over-abundance (2.5 lbs.) of cherry tomatoes I had. I had made a couple of pasta salads with them but didn't want all the rest to go to waste. I just tossed them on a cookie sheet with some garlic, peppers, and a little balsamic vinegar and roasted everything. When they were done, I added some seasoning, then threw it all in the blender. Now it is stored away in the freezer, waiting for pizza night.

I'm trying to get back into the routine of blogging ~ I've struggled for months with that and I think my biggest issue is time. I don't often get a chance to sit and organize my thoughts during the day, but there is a lot I want to get written down so I suppose I will just have to work harder at that. As for now, I need some sleep!

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