Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What's the skinny?

I have only one thought for today. And that thought is, what happened to my waist? It's gone and I really do miss it. It was so cute and little and indented.

I looked for it at the bottom of a big bowl of chocolate chip cookie dough but I couldn't find it. Then I looked in a big pan of chocolatey brownies for it but no dice. I fear it may be hiding in a salad or, worse yet, a bowl of raw vegetables.

There is also this little voice in my head that keeps telling me I have to do some time traveling and go all the way back to 2005 before I became pregnant with baby number one to find it. And that's a lot of work. I'm not sure I'm cut out for it anymore.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Be still my heart

He says he wants to marry her.

He says she is the girl he likes the best in all the world.

I know he can't marry her but still I think that is the sweetest thing. And although we're not encouraging the whole marriage thing, we are encouraging the whole best friend thing. I hope it sticks.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Odds and ends

1.) We have the birthday situation under control. I booked a party at the YMCA for just $20 more than the groupon for Emler. The kids will get to swim in an indoor pool for an hour and then play games/eat cake in a different room for an hour. And the best part is they won't be at our house!

2.) The mighty Panthers had their last soccer game of the season today. I'd like to say that they went out with a bang and that this was Jake's best game yet. However, only one child on the Panthers team really came to play soccer today. The other six children came to wander around aimlessly, pick grass, shoot invisible webs out of their invisible spiderman hands, fall down or cry. Or a combination of any of the above. I wish I could say that Jake was the one kid who came to play but alas, he was of the six. They all got a medal at the end of the game and Jake can't wait to play again next season.

3.) Little girl has been cracking me up lately. Whenever we talk about food she looks at me and says "mama! it might be ta-sty!"

4.) I'm obsessing over a pair of Tom's shoes. I only recently discovered Tom's because I live under a rock but they are so cute! We normally don't spend much on shoes. Who am I kidding? We normally don't buy shoes period. But, I think I'm gonna have to buy me a pair for Christmas. Plus, I guess they donate a pair of shoes to the underprivelaged with every pair you buy. That sounds nice.

5.) Have I told you that some lucky people just got back from the last ever Rick Springfield and friends cruise? Have I told you how bummed I am that I never got to go on one? Hopefully, one day when we have an extra $2000 lying around Rick will reinstigate the cruise and Amy and I can go. Of course, by the time that happens he will probably be in his 70's. I hope he's still jammin' then.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sit down, this may take awhile...

Back in the summer, I bought a Groupon for a swimming party at a heated indoor pool for $99. The company is called Emler and they have two branches in Austin. We actually went to a party for one of our neighbors children there a few weeks before I saw the Groupon. It was a fun party and I thought it would be cool to do the same thing for Jake's 5th birthday this year. At $99 the Groupon was also a steal.

On Tuesday I got out my trusty Groupon and called Emler to book the party. Some sweet teenage girl answered the phone and told me that all of the Groupon parties had been booked for the year but they could certainly fit me in next summer. I was all "well, that doesn't really work for me because my child's birthday is in the actual winter month of December." And she was all "oh." And I was all "can I talk to a manager?" And she was all "okay."

So next up was the customer relations manager. Now, she was very nice and professional and I could tell she was OVER this Groupon business. It seems Groupon had sold all of these coupons with the wrong expiration date on them. Emler had agreed to book parties until Nov. 30th but Groupon put the expiration date as Dec. 17th on the coupon. Which is why I bought the thing. Because Jake's birthday is Dec. 14th. And, also it was a steal.

So, I told her that I understand that mistakes happen but that I still needed to book my child's birthday party so what was she going to do about it? She informed me that I could either have his party the weekend of Thanksgiving or I could have his party during the summer months. Because every five year old wants to wait half a year to celebrate his birthday. It makes the day that much more special when you have to wait an eternity to party. I mean six months in five year old time is like 7 years. So, I told her that wasn't going to work and who has birthday parties the weekend of Thanksgiving? For one thing, we'll be out of town that weekend and even if we weren't chances are all of the guests would be. It would just be me, Mike, Jake and Emma Mae bobbing around in the pool like little corks in a big ocean. Oh, and she also told me I could pay an extra $250 and have his party on Dec. 10th just like I wanted. Now, it's clear to me that the reason I bought the $99 Groupon is because there is no way in the world we would spend $350 on a birthday party. Unless it was to get Rick Springfield to play at my party.

She told me she realized that this whole thing was very disappointing but she really couldn't do anything else. Now. I'm thinking she didn't have any children of her own. Because disappointing is a mild word when you have to tell your child that his cool indoor swimming pool birthday party in the middle of winter isn't going to happen. Needless to say, I haven't told him yet. I'm hoping he takes it much better than I am.

Anyway, I spent the next ten minutes on the phone with the people at Groupon who told me that just ten minutes ago they had worked all of this out with Emler and he was going to call them to straighten everything out. Either he would call me back with a refund or they would call me back to book my party. No one ever called me back.

The next day I called back to Emler and asked for their corporate office phone number. Again, sweet little teenager on the phone without a clue what I meant. Finally, she found a number for the site director of their property. I called her and left a detailed message and asked her to call me back. She didn't.

This morning I called Groupon and demanded my refund. They obliged. Not two hours later the site director called me and left a message saying that although the mistake was not Emler's fault they would be happy to book my party on Dec. 11th from 6pm to 8pm. Seriously? Not an ideal time for a party but I was going to take it. However, when I called Groupon back to see if I could reverse the refund they said no. Ugh. What's a mama got to do around here??

So, basically my idea for a hassle free, super cool, memorable party for the Jakester is not happening. I'm trying to decide if I want to scrap the idea of a party all together or have our same old try to squeeze people into our house while I try to decorate an awesome cake and clean the house and not stress out at all party. What to do?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Are you there God? It's me Little Mama.

Emma Mae had a full on temper tantrum that lasted about 20 minutes today when I put her down for her nap. She didn't want to take her nap and she didn't care when I told her she would feel better after a rest. She begged me to lay in bed with her, but when I did she lay there sniffling and crying and telling me to let her out of her room. So I told her that if she didn't stop whining I was going to leave the room. That elicited a ten minute monologue of all of the reasons why she couldn't stop whining and crying. Sheesh.

Through all of that I started thinking how parenting these children was surely a much smaller scale of God trying to parent all of us. I wonder how many times He has thought "Wow. What is she whining about now? And why can't she stop? She prayed for me to give her these children for ten years and now that she has them she continues to complain."

I began to think that all my children want from me is me. They want my time. This morning Jake wanted me to be Darth Vader to his Luke Sky Walker. He was so happy for that fifteen minute block of my undivided attention where we fought to the death and saw how good wins over evil. Every single time. However, to get those fifteen minutes he had to wait for me to check my e-mail, clean up the breakfast dishes and put on a load of laundry.

I feel like that's how I treat God most of the time too. And all He really wants is me. My time. Shouldn't I feel honored that He would want to know me at all? Should He really have to wait for me to not be busy?

So, I started thinking about how a phone call from God to me would go. It would probably start with God wanting to know how I was doing and me asking Him to hold on a minute while I clean up the dog vomit, fold some clothes and try to get the kids to sleep because goodness knows I can't talk on the phone when the kids are awake! And then when I finally got a chance to talk to God I would probably start off asking Him to do all sorts of things for me like give us more money, give me more patience with the kids, give me more friends, heal everyone I know who is sick and make my daughter eat vegetables.

Wow. Sounds kind of like my children talking to me everyday! They come at me from the minute they wake up until the minute they go to bed wanting something from me or needing me to do something for them. It's exhausting.

It's a good thing that God is too big for exhaustion because waiting for us to fit Him into our lives and then whining and complaining the whole time about our lives would probably be more than He could take. He should just tune us out.

Last night after I got Emma Mae out of the bathtub she asked me to sit with her on the couch and watch Scooby Doo. Now, I've seen Scooby Doo more times than I care to admit and I could die happy without watching anymore. But my little girl wanted to spend time cuddled up with me on the couch so this time I obliged. I put aside the laundry and the dishes and I sat with her on the couch. And instead of watching Scooby she looked at me and put her little hands on the side of my face and said "Mommy, I love you sooo much! You're the most pretty, funny, silly girl I know and you are my favorite girl in the whole world!" Melted my heart. Because for the first time that day instead of wanting or needing or taking from me she praised me. She loved me. She told me the things that she likes about me.

Isn't that what God really wants from us? A time in the day when we stop complaining, stop asking and just honor Him for who He is and for what He has done? So at the end of my imaginary phone call with God I hope I would tell Him good job on creating the world! That opposable thumb thing is awesome! I hope I would thank Him for making the oceans with all of its wonders. I hope I would tell Him that He is the most awesome, grace giving, merciful being in the universe and that I love Him above all else.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Show me your pumpkin recipes

I love fall! It has finally cooled down to where we only have highs in the upper seventies or low eighties. Today, we actually had to wear jackets to Jake's soccer game. My parents drove a whole lot of hours to come down and watch my nephew Tom play football last night and then they drove more hours to get to Jake's game this morning. Then they turned around and drove a whole lot of hours to get back to Amarillo so dad could teach his Sunday School class tomorrow. They are super sweet. Or super crazy. Or maybe both.

The mighty Panthers fought bravely today but were pounced upon by the more focused Tigers. It's okay because I seriously doubt a single Panther realized they actually lost the game. My dad got a great picture of Jake at the end of the fourth quarter (before the game was over mind you) where he is alone in the middle of the field with both hands raised majestically over his head. I wish I could tell you he was praising the Lord but he was actually shooting Spider man webs at some unseen foe in the sky. While his team was playing the actual soccer game behind him.

Anyhoo, this fall weather has led me to do some serious baking. Oh, who are we kidding? Any slight dip in barometric pressure can lead me to bake. I actually don't need an excuse to seriously bake. As evidenced by my expanding waistline. But I do love the smell of baking pumpkin in the fall. Here are a few of the things in our kitchen lately.

These are my favorite pumpkin muffins. They have cream cheese in them and they are delightful.

These are my favorite pumpkin brownies. They have a layer of pumpkin in between two layers of chocolate. Phenomenal.

These are some pumpkin bars with cream cheese icing I made yesterday. They actually taste more like cake than a bar. And they are not my favorite but they are still quite good. I'll call them moist and pumpkiny-spicy. Autumnal even.

What about you? Show me (or just tell me) your favorite pumpkin recipe.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Halloween 2012

I'm finally getting a chance to blog about Halloween! My friend Eva and her hubby brought their three cute girls over to go trick or treating with us this year. They have recently moved back to central Texas and live out in "the country" with no neighbors so I thought they might like to go around our neighborhood with us.

Some of our neighbors get SO into Halloween. It's really fun. A couple of the houses had a whole spread out in their driveways including snow cone machines, popcorn machines, cookies and games. It felt like being at a carnival!

This year I let the kids decide what they wanted to dress up as for Halloween. Jake picked Spiderman (of course!) and Emma Mae picked Tinker Bell which is good because she already had a Tink costume in her closet so we didn't have to go shopping.

They had so much fun. I have to say it was a much quieter Halloween trick or treating with three well behaved girls as opposed to running around with Jake and Friend Aiden! as in years past.

Although we did run into Friend Aiden! about an hour into the festivities. He was also dressed as Spider Man. They are like two peas in a pod. The boys were joyful to see each other and spent the next thirty minutes hounding people for candy. Then the weirdest thing happened. Both of our kids decided they had enough candy and they wanted to go home. Really?! I don't think I ever voluntarily stopped trick or treating. Amazing.