Thursday, January 31, 2019

Fun Evening

I had 2 really fun experiences last night that are worth sharing for a few laughs.

First, I got to spend a fun chunk of the evening picking slime out of Drew's hair. WHEN WILL I LEARN MY LESSON ABOUT SLIME?!?! There is slime stuck in the carpet in not one bedroom, not two bedrooms, but ALL 3 kids' bedrooms. There is a slime stain on the playroom couch. And now I got to pick it out of hair. Needless to say, I threw all the slime away that I could find. My kids love slime, but I'm pretty sure our slime days are OVER.

Second, I got scammed. A woman knocked on our door and [DON'T LAUGH AT MY STUPIDITY] was selling magazine subscriptions. She had a whole story about the company she worked for being for people who needed second chances and she was rebuilding her life etc. etc. I figured going into it there was a good chance this was a scam, but I figured what did it hurt to help her out a little? I even chose magazines to send to a foster home. But then she told me the total for 3 magazine subscriptions...$192. EXCUSE ME WHAT? I wrote the check and immediately started panicking. How was I going to tell Brent what I just did? I googled the company and there were lots of complaints with the Better Business Bureau, so I decided to put a stop payment on the check. But now I just feel so slimy. First off, what if everything she said was true? I feel like a jerk, but that is just too much money. Second, if she/the company are really liars, they're jerks. I also fessed up to Brent, and after 22 years together, I still manage to surprise him with the dumb things I can do. {grin} Upside? I worked on my response for how to say 'no' kindly so next time I can nip it in the bud before it begins!

So how was your Wednesday evening?!?!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Drew's Ice Cream 6th Birthday

Yes, you read that title correctly. My January birthday girl wanted an ice cream party for her birthday. Given we live in Texas, that isn't too far-fetched of a request, so we obliged, and on Saturday, we had an ice cream party! I am kicking myself because I didn't take very many pictures, but I think I still captured her party nicely.

 Balloons and presents! {and golf for the dads}

We went to a birthday party that morning, so it was nice to not have cake.
Lots of ice cream and toppings - Drew's request was crushed m&m's!

Singing to the birthday girl!

It was so fun to watch her open her presents - 
all her girlfriends oohed and aahed.

Nana got her a Fingerling named DREW!!!!!

Very loud little people

Brent said we're never having that many girls in our house again, ha. They were all so sweet and had so much fun, and our girl was very much the bell of the ball. Such a special, simple day for our sweet 6 year old!!

Monday, January 28, 2019

2 Year Comparisons

I mean I know they're mine...but dang I have cute babies! And that picture of Drew is one of my all-time favorites and was so true of her personality at 2 - SASSY, ha.

Weight: 26 pounds, 11 ounces {25-50%}
Height: 34.5 inches {25-50%}

Weight: 22.8 pounds {10%}
Height: 32.5 inches {10%}

Weight: 22.6 pounds {10}
Height: 33.5 inches {25-50%}

Friday, January 25, 2019

Currently: Winter Blues

Current Book 

Current Song

The latest song I downloaded was 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed - 
Paige is obsessed with this song and we sing it and listen to it all day.
Yes, it's just as terrible as it sounds.

In adult music land, Trent loves this Pandora station that plays a lot of 
Imagine Dragons and Fall Out Boy - both bands have a lot of great songs!

Current TV Show

I just started The Good Place - I've heard it's great.
I'm a few episodes in and think it's good, we shall see if I get to 'great'.

I also just watched the Netflix documentary about the Fyre Festival,
and I LOVED it. Fascinating! I want to figure out how to watch the Hulu one too!

Current Drink

I had a homemade Arnold Palmer earlier, yum!

Current Shame-Inducing Pleasure

This isn't a pleasure, just shame-inducing - 
our Christmas tree is still up in our living room.
Brent had surgery in December and couldn't lift anything for awhile.
Then we thought our tree bag was broken, but I think it'll work.
So it's undecorated and never turned on...but yeah...still in the living room!

Current Outfit

An old t-shirt of Brent's and jeans - I'm really look GOOD today.

Current Celebrity Crush

Meh. Nothing is jumping out at me. #lame

Current Mood

Tired AF. We are entering week 4 of a sleep regression with Paige.
I think we're on the home stretch, but it has been brutal in our house!

Current Anticipation

Drew's birthday party is this weekend!

Current Wishlist

I hate winter, so I have a hard time spending money on winter clothes.
But then winter comes, and I never have anything to wear.
So in the 'thick' of winter, I'm always wishing I had more clothes!

Current Film

Took Trent and one of his buddies to see this on Monday - it was cute!

Now that the Oscar nominations are out, Allison and I need to discuss what {if anything} we want to try and see. I've seen 3 of the 8 Best Picture nominees.
So it would be doable to get them in...
but we've been underwhelmed the last couple of we'll see!

Current Picture

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Drew's 6th Year

My middle baby and first daughter is SIX!!!! I have spent a lot of time over the last week or so thinking about the past 6 years and Drew as a baby and Drew as a growing girl, and I'm feeling very nostalgic!

Posing on her 6th birthday!

Height: 42.5" {10%}
Weight: 37.4 pounds {10%}
BMI: 14.6 {31%}
Clothes size: largely 5T, some 4T or 6s
Shoe size: 11

Drew continues to be our sweetest, most tender-hearted child. She amazes me on a regular basis with the kind things she is constantly doing for her siblings, Brent, me, her friends, etc. She is just pure sweetness.

She moved to Goodwater this year from our old Montessori school {where she has been since 14 months} and is doing great. She is a leader in the class, and her teacher comments on how much she can be trusted to do things. She is SO CLOSE to reading. She can sound things out really well and can put most words together but her 'brain starts to hurt' after a few sentences. She has made a few close girlfriends and it's so cute to hear her stories every day. She really loves school.

Drew is a great big sister. She loves to help me with Paige but sometimes mothers her a little too much. They can go from having a great time to Paige losing her mind pretty fast! Drew would play with Trent anytime he'd let her, but typically she annoys him too much. {grin}

She has zero ability to be teased. I am a very sarcastic person who loves to joke around, so I have to be careful with her - I can really easily hurt Drew's feelings.

Drew really loves Lego Friends and Hatchimals right now. She also loves to do anything with arts & crafts and is enjoying all the Play-Doh Paige got for Christmas. She loves to snuggle, be read to, and help me in the kitchen.

She is still largely my girly one and loves to wear dresses with bikers or leggings. She loves sandals but hates for me to fix her hair. She likes it 'flat'. Sometimes I can get a bow in her hair. Super frustrating for me because I would love nothing more to do french braids every day for her!

Drew is still a great eater. She doesn't like tomatoes as much as she used to but will grudgingly eat them. She loves broccoli, cooked carrots, peas & corn, and most fruit. 

By 6, Trent had lost 3 teeth and Drew has lost none and doesn't even have any that are wiggly. So curious when she'll start to lose them! She is growing out her hair - she wants it to look like Rapunzel's.

We just started ballet after stopping gymnastics in November. They kept saying they were going to move her up classes and didn't the whole summer, so frankly I think she got bored. I told her she has to stick with ballet at least through the recital in June since we're locked into the fees for that, ha. Given her size, she'd be a perfect ballerina, so we'll see what happens. She's not competitive at all, and hasn't really enjoyed soccer the 2 times she played, so we'll see if we try again or another sport.

We really lucked out with our #2 - 5 was a great year for her, and I can't wait to see what is in store for her this year!!

Friday, January 18, 2019

How I Read

I ended up not doing many of the Month of Faves prompts in December because honestly the month is just too busy with the holidays and the girls' birthdays. But this topic - How I Read - definitely got me excited!!

I decided to break this down into a few sub-topics:
1) How I get my books 
2) Where and When I read
3) What I read

How I Get My Books

I am mostly an e-reader and I mostly check out my books from 3 different libraries. I remember when the Kindle was first released I was really skeptical about using an e-reader, but it was largely due to having to buy books. I have been a library reader for years and didn't like the thought of having to start buying books even if I liked the idea of an e-reader {I'll explain more in #2 why I love an e-reader}. When I found out you could BORROW e-books, I was super excited to try.

Brent bought me a Kindle for Christmas one year and the process to borrow books used to be really annoying - I had to check out the book on my laptop, download a file, and then plug my Kindle into my laptop to download the file onto the Kindle. It was worth it since the books were FREE, but things have definitely improved vastly since those early days.

Now I have the Kindle app on my phone, which I LOVE, and I would say 95% of the reading I do is on my phone. And guys, I have TERRIBLE vision {like worse than 20/400} and find it easy to read there, so the size doesn't bother me at all.

Here's the deets on how I have 3 library accounts {grin} - 

First, I have a library membership through our local library which gives me access to a shared Central Texas Digital Library. Honestly this digital library is pretty crummy. They don't have as wide a selection as other libraries, and they don't often have many copies of a book which results in long wait times. Trent also really loves listening to audio books and their kid audio book selection is downright abysmal. These books are borrowed through the Overdrive app.

Next, a friend from high school {hi Kathryn!} lives in Louisiana and lets me log into her library account and check out books. Her library uses the Cloud Library app, and I've found the selection is often very different from my CTDL books. Sometimes a book that has a large wait time via my library {Crazy Rich Asians is a good example} is readily available through hers which is awesome. But I also find that sometimes books that seem like a no-brainer to have aren't even in their system.

Third, because I have a valid state of TX drivers license {let's not talk about if I actually know where that DL is...ha}, I can get a library account to the Houston Public Library's e-library. I just found this out last week and IMMEDIATELY got online and created an account. Because the Houston library is so big, I was excited/hopeful for what books I'd have access to and especially the audio book selection for Trent. Trent was actually the first person to download something, and we were right - the audio book selection is great! This is also done through the OverDrive app.

Here's a recent example of a search I did and the results:
The book: The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Central Texas: #47 on 4 copies
Houston: #187 on 3 copies
Cloud Library: Immediately available
So needless to say, it's very nice to have access to multiple libraries, ha.

Every once in a while I will buy a book through Amazon for my Kindle when I really want to read it and can't find it via any library or when I loved it so much that I know I want to own it, Cancel the Wedding.

I read probably 2-3 'real' books/year as well - either when the only way I can find it via a library is our physical library, I get it as a gift, or I buy it at Half-Price Books. Trent LOVES HPB, and I can't go into a bookstore and leave without something!

Where and When I Read

Here's the beauty of an e-reader - I read ANYWHERE. Because I read on my phone, I always have access to my book. I don't have to remember to grab my book to bring with me to a doctor's appointment. Anytime I find myself sitting somewhere with 5 unexpected minutes to kill, you can bet I whip out my phone and open my book.

The place I read the most is in bed at the end of the day. This is probably the biggest reason I don't like 'real' books - I like to get in bed with the lights turned off, my fans going, burrowed down under the covers reading away. I often times end up reading for hours, ha. This is impossible to do with a real book!

What I Read

Anyone who has read my blog can probably answer this, ha. I largely read fiction with it heavily being weighted towards: chick lit, historical fiction, YA, and romance, ha. I dabble in non-fiction. And I think everyone knows I have a soft spot in my heart for the WWI/WWII 'girl on the homefront' stories. {grin}

What about you? Where/what/how do you read?

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Movie Review: Mary Queen of Scots

Allison and I are starting off 2019 strong - we've already seen a movie! After a rough second half to 2018, I don't think we'll see many Oscar contenders this year, but we've decided that isn't necessarily a bad thing since a lot of them time those movies aren't really our style, ha. We kicked off 2018 with Mary Queen of Scots.

Plot: Mary Stuart's attempt to overthrow her cousin Elizabeth I, Queen of England, finds her condemned to years of imprisonment before facing execution.

Review: I remember approximately 0% of this period in history, so I was really invested in this movie. It was really well-made, Allison and I both commented on the make-up {specifically Elizabeth's}, costumes, sets, etc. The plot was so crazy, it's hard to believe that it was largely real - it played out like a soap opera! I felt a little confused at the beginning but quickly got into the story and was on the edge of my seat many times. It's also led into a lot of reading by both Allison and me and some podcast listening to delve into the complicated lives of these cousins - 2 female queens living in a time ruled by men - FASCINATING STUFF. One thing we both found interesting was that Mary had a valid claim to the throne and, to many, one that preceded Elizabeth's. Allison discovered that every King or Queen of England since Elizabeth has actually been a descendant of Mary's and not Elizabeth's. Overall, I'd say we both really enjoyed this movie. If you like history or period pieces or spy and intrigue stories, you'll like this - it's got a little bit of everything!

Monday, January 14, 2019

2019 Goals

Now initially the fact that I only achieved 50% of my goals might sound totally lame, but I'd like to point out I took it way back and also accomplished a 2016 goal this year as well ha!

Here are how my 2018 goals stacked up: 

1. Get Outside - Nope, nowhere near where I hoped to be. And after reading Emily's review of 'There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather' {which I am going to read}, I'm recommitting to this one and already have some ideas of how to accomplish.
2. Finish Trent and Drew's Baby Books - Nope, ha. I got them down and that's as far as it ever got. So staying on the list for 2019.
3. Win the Book Challenge - This one I accomplished! Woot, woot!
4. Photo-a-Day - Check check!

What 2016 goal did I accomplish? WE CREATED A WILL!!!!! So terrible that we've been married 14 years and had 3 kids before we did this, but we finally did it. A large part of my hesitation was the expense - so lame but dang they are expensive - and then Emily pointed out that my company has a legal plan, so I was able to pay a small amount out of each paycheck and get our will done FOR FREE!!!! So we signed those bad boys on Halloween and while I hope we don't need them for decades to come, it is a relief to know our finances and, especially, our children will be well taken care of.

So onto my 2019 goals!!! Of course in addition to this year's family motto...

1. Damnit Already - Lose the Damn Weight - No more excuses. The plan I did this summer was amazing effective - I lost over 10 pounds in 6 weeks, but then [per usual] I fell off and gained most of it back. I lost a few pounds before the holidays knowing I would gain some during the holidays, ha, but here I sit - about 30 pounds heavier than I'd like to be. I quit Orange Theory - it was just too expensive for how often I was going and joined Jazzercise - don't laugh but I love it and it's 5 minutes from my house and a neighbor/bestie goes too, so my plan is Jazzercise and going back to the summer eating plan. Hoping for 5 pounds a month and can be where I want by summer! And am aiming for spring family photos - poor Paige is hardly anywhere in our house, ha.

2. Try New Meals - I'm just SO bored with the meals we eat. Every meal I make someone complains 'This again?' and sometimes that's me in my head! I don't have a set number in mind, I just want to see if I can find some new options to mix in. We have so many picky eaters that's it's hard to find something for everyone, so I'm hoping for ANYTHING here!!!

3. Back On the Picture Uploading - I don't think I've uploaded anything to our Amazon account in over a year, eek. I want to be doing this monthly.

4. Reduce Weekend Screen Time - I think we do really good with screen time during the week for the kiddos - many days they don't get any. But the weekends are another story. Sometimes it feels like all they do on a Saturday and/or Sunday is watch their devices - and this is specifically Trent and Drew, Paige rarely gets any. Largely it's because I'm trying to catch up on stuff or I'm tired. But they are definitely old enough to entertain themselves or play together, and I have to stop using their devices as my own personal crutch. Hopefully this will also help with #5!

5. REPEAT - GET OUTSIDE! - Rededicating myself to being outside much more than we are. I might do an entire post on this topic after I read the book I mentioned above with the ideas I'm brewing in my head and see if any of you have other suggestions. I'm not expecting us to be hiking for hours by next weekend but would love some small changes here and there to make a cumulative impact...

6. REPEAT - Finish Trent and Drew's Baby Books - I mean this is so lame. Just print off some damn pictures and write some words. They're both half done, and I have their every day lives on this blog - this is not hard, I was just lazy. I lost both of their hair from their first haircuts {I didn't even save any from Paige's trim ha} and I think I threw Trent's teeth away - I decided that was just gross - but I can easily print some pics and add some more commentary.

I feel like this is manageable, but I couldn't finish last year's list, so here's hoping I can hit better than 50% this year!!