Friday, April 26, 2019

Currently: Easter Hangover

Current Book

Can't stop, won't stop...with WW2 books!

Current Song

You haven't lived until you've heard Drew and Paige sing this song!
Fight Song by Rachel Platten

Current TV Show

I already know my anxiety is going to be through the roof next week.
I can't believe there are only 4 episodes left EVER of this show. Hold me.

Current Drink

Nothing new here.
Chai, Kombucha, Nespresso, sweet tea...rinse and repeat!
As I work toward my weight goals, less chai and sweet tea ha.

Current Shame-Inducing Pleasure

Y'all, I have 2 words. 
Easter candy.

Current Outfit

Target and Old Navy for the win!

Current Celebrity Crush

How cute is this little prince?!?

Current Mood

Easter was SO FUN, but I am SO TIRED.

Current Anticipation

I just signed Paige up for swim lessons for next month.
Yes, the same swim lessons we did with Trent and Drew.
She is FEARLESS in the water and that gives me SO much anxiety.
So it's time to literally throw her in the pool and teach her to swim.

Current Wishlist

After buying a golf cart, I think we're good for a little while ha!

Current Film

I took the big 2 to see this last weekend, and we all LOVED it!

Current Picture

That's one way to keep your opponent from scoring!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

A Lesson on Problem Solving

Trent still sees a therapist about once a month to help manage his anxiety {but I think he is about to graduate!!}, and his appointment last week was actually a really great one for me. I'm not always in the room the whole session, but I was and wanted to share what we talked about.

We were talking about problem solving because Trent is reacting badly/making poor choices for a situation in class - he is having to do extra work to prepare for the Standardized Math Test he has coming up in a few weeks, and his therapist talked to us about the 4 ways you can solve a problem.

1. Solve the Problem - First up, sometimes there is a simple solution and you can quickly solve the problem. Example - You take the wrong exit off the highway. Trent's answer was 'Take the next exit and circle back around.' PERFECT! 

We discussed the idea of Trent talking to his teacher about proving he is prepared and doesn't need to do the additional work. I mentioned this to Trent's teacher, and he was open to the idea but wants Trent to bring it up to him...and I'm struggling to get Trent to agree to that, ugh. But still nice that we were able to discuss how to apply this technique to Trent's situation.

2. Change Your Attitude - Sometimes you are able to change your attitude in relation to a less-than-ideal situation. Example - Your parents are taking you to Disneyland when you really wanted to go to Legoland. You can focus on that you are getting to miss school, there are still fun rides at Disneyland, you get to do something fun with your family. 

For Trent, we discussed focusing on that he doesn't have to come early or stay late, he gets to miss regular class time, the worksheets are easy, etc.

3. Acceptance - There can be situations that are out of your control to the point where the only thing you can do is accept your situation. The example his therapist gave cracked me up - she knows Trent REALLY well, so this isn't an example you'd use for just anyone, but Trent thought it was hilarious. Example - You have been falsely convicted of murder and are out of appeals and have a life sentence in prison. There's not really a way to solve this problem, it would be really hard to change your attitude and find the bright side of this situation - your best bet is to just say 'This is my lot in life, I need to make the best of it.' Make friends, work in the library, get a degree, create a life for yourself. 

For Trent's situation, this was pretty similar to change your attitude - I have to do the extra work, it's only for a few more weeks, just deal with it.

4. Stay Miserable - And lastly, do nothing and stay miserable. Obviously this is a choice everyone has, but Trent was able to see that this choice doesn't benefit him haha.

I really thought this was a great lesson, and when I talked about it with my sister, she agreed. She taught for 7 years, has been a mom for 10 years {and has been homeschooling her 3 kids for 5 1/2 years}, and she didn't know this and thought it was a great perspective. I'm excited to use this in the future with him - it is nice to be able to go through each option and relate it to the problem. Yes, I realize I'm a giant nerd! {grin}

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Easter Weekend 2019 Rewind

Oh man, I feel like I got hit by a bus! This has been such a busy weekend but oh so fun! I love when we get to spend a lot of time with family, but remind me next year to take the Monday off after Easter, ha. Especially because the big kids had a 4-day weekend and Paige had a 3-day one!

We started off our weekend right, by having our new golf cart delivered! Brent's been wanting a new one for a while with a backseat so the whole family could ride SAFELY together. So he finally made that dream a reality!

The girls picked their spots right away.
And isn't Drew ADORABLE in her ballet outfit.

Saturday morning deep thoughts between Brent and Paige.
While sharing Pringles!

Trent spent Friday night with his friend, Jaxon, 
so Saturday morning was his first chance to ride on the golf cart. 

We spent Saturday at my parents' house with my mom's side of the family. My sister's family was going to spend the night, so Trent and Drew finagled a sleepover for themselves too.

Baby Harper was the star of the show!

Hunting eggs!

Drew picked this outfit out at Target a few weeks back.
She has been SO excited to wear it AND to hunt eggs!

2nd cousins! {The hiders and hunters}

Checking out all her loot - so sweet.

Chalk outlines - this made me laugh - they all look like dead bodies.

Frisbee tossing

Such a comedian and such a cutie!

Forced picture-taking


Babs and Paige

When the chalk gets's bathtime!

The Swope Six...before the littlest had to go home.

Sunday morning we had a great church service - my sister came with her kids, so my mom was very happy! It was a little bit insane with all 6 of the kids, but I loved having everyone together.


We went to Brent's parents' Sunday afternoon and hunted eggs and Nana also got a pinata. Brent's brother and his wife weren't there because one of our nephew's had a golf tournament, so we only had 4 kids. They had a great time being spoiled though!

My mother-in-law got Paige her own watering can because hers are too heavy.
She was so excited to be able to water all the plants!

We stayed up too late, ate too much food, and had too much fun! The weather is turning beautiful, we're really in the sweet spot of the year!! Gets me so excited for the summer fun that is coming!!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

I Wonder Why I'm Tired: A Timeline

Don't ever let someone say being a parent is boring. Just when you think things are settling down, there's always something fun that gets sprung on you. This weekend was one of those times where I just had to laugh at the curveball of parenting.

Friday night:
10:50pm - I go to sleep. I had been reading in bed and couldn't keep my eyes open any longer.
10:54pm - Yes, literally 4 minutes later, Paige starts crying. I go in there and she wants milk, so we nurse for a few minutes and I put her back in bed. [Yes, I'm weaning her. No, I don't know how to stop her bedtime or occasional middle-of-the-night nursing.]
12:15am - Paige wakes up again. I just snuggle her for a minute, don't let her nurse, and put her back in bed.
2:30am - Paige wakes up AGAIN. What is going on? I go in her room AGAIN and don't let her nurse so get out of there in a few minutes. Brent had been at our neighbor's house and came home at some point and is snoring like a freight train on the couch. 
7:00am - Drew comes into our room with a bloody nose, her 4th of the week. It lasts for AN HOUR, so I turn the TV on for her to watch Nick Jr. because I am exhausted.

Saturday night:
Paige has trouble settling down so I have to go in there twice - once within about 30 minutes of putting her down and the second time in the middle of night. I don't understand how she can sleep through the night for weeks on end and then have several bad nights in a row?

Sunday night:
8:00pm - Paige goes to bed and Brent and I start Game of Thrones!!!
8:15pm - The WiFi is spotting and we can't get the show to work. Ugggggh.
8:30pm - We move into the living room to see if that receiver is working better. It is! We start the episode!
8:35pm - PAIGE IS CRYING!!! Are you kidding me?
8:45pm - Thankfully I have her down and she stays down the rest of the night! And we get to watch the whole episode!

Paige is really lucky she didn't mess TOO much with my TV watching. {grin}

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Our Morning Routine

Why yes the school year is almost over! Isn't that the perfect time to talk about our morning routine?

I wake up at 6:30 every morning. I've been trying since January to get up at 6:00...but it isn't happening. Ha! It only takes me about 10 minutes to get ready, unless I have washed my hair, so this is enough time, but I want to get a little bit of work done in the morning, and that's what isn't happening. Brent leaves about 6:30, so sometimes I see him when I get up and sometimes I don't!

I make breakfast for the kids before I get them up. Trent eats a turkey burger every morning and the girls get a squirty fruit, some fruit and usually either a breakfast sausage link or scrambled eggs. Sometimes Drew asks for jelly toast, but I'm not a big fan of giving them carbs or sugar first thing in the morning.

Trent's breakfast...every.single.morning.

I start Trent and Drew's lunches while cooking breakfast - I sometimes make their lunches the day before...but not usually! Their lunches consist of a protein, a fruit, and a vegetable - pretty basic but again I limit their empty calorie carb intake at school.

I wake everyone up between 6:45 - 6:50. I get Paige up first, then we go wake the beast {Trent}, and then we get Drew. I carry both girls into the kitchen.

Rise and shine, girls!!

Trent needs a little more time to get up.

Trent usually comes into the kitchen around 7:00, and I typically only have to go bug him once or twice. {grin} As long as the girls start getting dressed by 7:20, we can still get out the door on time.

Doesn't everyone's morning include indoor naked tricycle time?

The next 15 minutes are a litany of 'Go get your socks on Trent.' and 'Drew, did you brush your hair yet?' and 'Paige, get over here, you can't go to school naked.'


Looking sharp, you two!

My goal is to leave between 7:30-7:35, but it's usually closer to 7:40. As long as we are pulling out by 7:45, the big 2 get to school on time. They have had zero tardies this year so we've nailed it!

Paige has to 'drive' for a few minutes, then climb into the backseat {she calls it 'sliding' because she slides down the center console}, and help put on her seat belt. This takes at least 5 minutes so this is where things can break down really fast, grrrr.

On the way to the bigs' school, we rotate everyone picking songs - this usually keeps the peace, although Paige complains the most about wanting ONLY her songs.

The big 2 get dropped off typically about 7:50, and then I head to Paige's school, which is 15 minutes away. I get her dropped off by about 8:20 and then either head home to work or I head to jazzercise for a 9:00 am class.

We hopefully only have 1 more year of 2 drop-offs - I'm really excited to shave off about 30 minutes of drive/drop-off time! 

Friday, April 12, 2019

Spring Survey

Copying this survey from Emily - I thought this was a perfect way to start off spring. Is it just me or did January feel like it lasted 6 months - it always does, and now I'm in shock it's April??

1. What three colors remind you of spring?

Basically pastels. This also reminds me of Easter. Pastel blue, green, pink, yellow, green...I know that's more than 3 but just the softer version of all colors.

This just screams SPRING to me!!!

2. What is the first thing you add to your spring wardrobe?

This is a hard one to answer since Texas winters can have plenty of days that are warm. I guess I would say the consistent wearing of flip-flops?

3. What is the first wardrobe item you ditch in the springtime?

Sweaters - even in winter I wear a lot of short-sleeved shirts and just add a sweater or hoodie. In the spring, I just wear the short-sleeved shirt without the added layer.

4. Who mows the grass where you live?

A yard service! I have help clean inside, and Brent has help outside! I really love this too because at our old house, Brent would mow typically twice a week, and he is so particular about his lawn, it would be a multi-hour ordeal. So I'm solo-parenting but he's doing manual labor - neither of us enjoyed that!

5. What's spring like where you live?

Cool in the morning and warm to hot in the evening. As I mentioned on Wednesday, Drew is extremely frustrated right now because of the need for leggings or a light hoodie in the morning, but she's hot in the afternoon.

For example, today the low is 49 and the high is 81!

6. What's your favorite thing about spring?

The return of color! We go from a blah, gray landscape - the sky is gray, the grass is dead, there are no flowers to gorgeous yellow sunshine, bright green grass, and flowers exploding everywhere! I drive a lot starting at the side of the road at all the beautiful flowers - almost like when Christmas lights first come on, ha!

Who am I kidding? Bluebonnets are my favorite thing about spring!

7. Are you a spring cleaner?

Nope, I don't do anything special. Most of our true cleaning is done by our cleaning lady, and I just do little things in between her coming - mainly trying to keep the house picked up, vacuuming with my cordless vac every few days, wiping off counters...that kind of stuff. I save the deep cleaning for her.

8. Are you a baseball fan?

Nope. It's funny because Brent's mom is a HUGE baseball fan - she's had season tickets to the Texas Longhorns baseball games for over 20 years, and Brent also loves Texas baseball, but I don't care at all.

9. Tulips or daffodils?

Since I don't know what a daffodil looks like, I guess I have to say tulips. Ha!

10. Favorite outdoor spring activity?

Just the fact that we can play outside without being SO HOT which will happen by mid-May. I love swimming, which I guess we start doing while it's technically spring, but I consider that our main summer activity.

11. Flowers in the ground or pots?

Ground. I have killed every potted plant I've ever owned. EVER. I love when our flowerbeds are full of beautiful flowers! Although we have to be careful what we plant {or really I should say what Brent plants} because we have deer everywhere and they eat most plants. Some day we'll fence in our backyard and do more plants back there.

12. Favorite bird?

Never once thought about this in my life.

13. Car wash or wash vehicle at home?

Car wash - the twice a year I wash my car.

14. When do you pull out your sandals?

I never put them away, it just goes from wearing them periodically to wearing them every day. I have 2 pairs of Old Navy flip-flops {one black, one brown} that I will wear 99% of the next 6 months. They are super cheap and last year I had a silver pair that I wore every day and at the start of this spring the sole separated. So yeah, flip-flops are my favorite.

My black pair! {$8 I might add!} LOVE.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Drew the Diva

Brent and I were having a little laugh the other day about the Drama that is our Drew. I wanted to share some stories to paint a picture of what it's like in our household right now.

Yes, she's dramatic, but isn't she also so darn cute?!?!

We're in the season of cool in the morning and hot in the afternoon. Monday morning she was crying because she wanted to wear leggings in the morning and shorts in the afternoon, so she didn't know what to wear.

She asked me to buy her 'real' shorts instead of all the biker shorts she has. I reminded her that she has had numerous pairs of shorts {all hand-me-downs thankfully} over the last 4+ years that she has refused to wear. But it's MY fault she doesn't have any shorts now. sigh

Brent and I have each had multiple conversations telling her we're never going to know when something is really wrong or she's really hurt because she cries SO much that we tune her out. She's like the Boy Who Cried Wolf, except she's just the Girl Who Cried.

Brent and I had the following text exchange about why our kids cry:
Trent: seriously hurt
Paige: gets hurt or doesn't get her way
Drew: feelings are hurt, maybe a little bit physically hurt, doesn't like her clothes, someone else is loud, she's scared, someone else is in trouble, really hurt, she's sad - all said by me - and Brent responded with 'the wind blows'. Yup.

We were talking about all the clothes Paige has that used to be Drew's but are brand new because 2-year-old Drew refused to wear them. She told me 'If I were 2 now, I'd wear all the clothes you bought me.' I promptly followed that up with asking her why she doesn't wear half the clothes I bought her that are currently hanging up in her closet {that she picked out}. No response from her...

After all this, Brent sent me a video clip of a Jeff Foxworthy show where he talks about being a father to 2 girls, and he said 'I spend half my life trying to figure out what people are crying about.' which Brent felt really summed up his life right now.

All jokes aside, she really is the sweetest girl with the biggest heart...if we could just get ALL the tears to stop! {grin}

Monday, April 8, 2019

Movie Review: The Best of Enemies

Allison and I went to see The Best of Enemies yesterday {and we had a tag-a-long with Susie coming too} - we've been wanting to see this for months, and we are both on the waiting list at our libraries for the book.

Plot: Civil rights activist Ann Atwater faces off against C.P. Ellis, Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan, in 1971 Durham, North Carolina over the issue of school integration.

Review: All 3 of us thought the movie was great! Racism and racial injustice continue to be issues in our country and world, and we need movies like this to continue to help challenge what is happening. I'm sure it was given major Hollywood treatment, but the movie was great regardless of how true it was. I loved Green Book, and it got hammered after the Oscars, but I can't see how anything that shows barriers being broken down and people choosing love over hate can be bad... Once Allison and I read the book we'll be able to see how true the movie was, ha! 

Friday, April 5, 2019

There's No Such Thing As Bad Weather

I mentioned in my book review Monday, that I had a whole lot to say about There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather. It was way too much for a paragraph in a book review, so today you get a whole post about a book. If books aren't your jam, then this isn't the post for you. {grin}

Last year, Emily blogged about this book and said it was life-changing, and I whole-heartedly agree. I've blogged two years in a row about wanting to make a more concerted effort to get the kids outside because I know it's really important, and last year I didn't do such a great job, so I doubled down this year. I knew reading this book would motivate me for this, and it totally did!

As backstory, the author grew up in Sweden but lives in America now raising 2 daughters, so a lot of this book covers differences between American child-rearing and Scandinavian but somewhat just about why nature is so important. The title comes from a Scandinavian saying 'There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.' So basically you can always be outside - just dress appropriately.

I know I can't remember then all, but here are some of the points that really stuck with me:

  • Americans focus too much on getting our kids ready for school and take away play from our kids in preschool and kindergarten. I totally agree with this as I see more and more worksheets and focus on beginning to read earlier and earlier. As I read this chapter, I was thinking about how great being at a Montessori school is for this. There is NOT a focus on reading-readiness and the whole class environment is child-led.
  • Being outside is so important for development and helps kids focus when in the classroom. Again another reason I'm so thankful for a Montessori education for our children. Montessori firmly believes in the importance of nature, and the classes often have lessons outside, have gardens {remember the pictures of our school's ORCHARD}, go on nature walks, etc.
  • It actually helps our immune systems to be outside. Studies have shown that preschool classes who spend a significant amount of time outside {even in winter} have less incidences of illness because they aren't in a confined space to share their germs.
  • Helicopter parenting is hindering our children in numerous way - exploring, learning boundaries, developing certain skills to name a few. I am bad at this but have been trying to do better for a long time. My sister read a book a few years ago about the statistics of kids getting kidnapped, murdered, etc. and statistically speaking it's almost impossible. Yet we won't let our kids play outside by themselves like we did as kids. I know so many people who say 'My parents sent me outside in the morning and told me not to come home until dark.' That doesn't happen nowadays! I'm actively forcing myself out of my comfort zone on this one - Trent has been bike-riding with a neighbor lately by themselves!
I feel like there were a lot more things the author pointed out, but I can't remember all of them - bottom line - there's nothing negative about being outside ha.

So where does that leave me and my goals for the kids?

The kids get about an hour outside every day at school. My goal on school days is to spend another hour outside. The challenge with this is a) doing our chores, b) I still try to work when we get home, c) the kids don't really want to, and d) I need to make dinner at some point. What's happening right now is: chores aren't happening that consistently {but I'm working on the right timing}, and I'm bribing the kids with screen time - we can all go outside and if they play/help with Paige so I can work, they can have screen time when we come inside and I make dinner OR they go outside with Paige and I do some picking up/keep working and they get screen time. I don't like them having screen time every day, but I'm working on establishing being outside as part of the normal, so it's worth it in the meantime...I think.

What do we do outside? 

The swing is a HUGE hit, and I wish we had more yard stuff - playscape, trampoline, something, but Brent has vetoed everything I've looked at, ha. The kids blow bubbles, play with some giant balls we have, play with Play-doh, run in the sprinklers, we take walks...anything I can think of.

I also intend for us to be outside at least 2 hours on weekend days and as the weather warms up, I want us to get outside FIRST THING in the morning to get a jump start on the time AND before it gets so dang hot. The pool will help too because we love to swim in the summers!

Have I bored everyone or do you want to read this book? Ha!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Dell Match Play 2019

For the second year in a row, I got to go to the Dell Match Play! We have had such a fun time going, and I'm so glad Dell signed another contract to keep the tournament in Austin - more years of going in our future!

This was also an exciting weekend because Paige SPENT THE NIGHT AT MY PARENTS'! She is the best baby ever...except when it comes to sleep anywhere but her bed, and the grandparents have been scared to have her stay over. So Brent cashed in his 2019 Christmas present from my parents and asked them to do it. My mom said yesterday she was glad Brent pressed them to do it and get over their fear!

Not a great picture of me but love this view!

Tiger Woods played this year!

Rory McIlroy

And that was the extent of the golf watching that I did, ha. Lots of eating, drinking, and chatting with my girlfriends the rest of the day.

Friends {Both of these ladies are in book club with me}
Jennifer~Susie {also my neighbor}~Me

Everyone we came with

After the tournament, we went to our hotel, got cleaned up and went to dinner. And then half of us walked to a bar nearby and sat at a table next to Tim Riggins...well, technically Taylor Kitsch. If anyone is a fan of Friday Night Lights, you'll know who I'm talking about. I have only seen like 3 episodes - which is funny given then filmed it in Austin and used my high school and hometown as the 'town' and based their uniforms on my HS teams...but I've not finished the show. BUT Susie LOVES the show, so she was freaking out that we sat beside him for hours ha. Never spoke to him or anything but took shady stalker pictures. {grin}

The next morning, Susie needed to work, so we all went to Starbucks to have breakfast. The boys left after awhile to go to a bar - they couldn't hang in Starbucks for too long. I read a book while Susie worked, so it was heavenly ha.

Had to document Brent's first trip inside a Starbucks!

We stayed in Austin most of Friday and then headed to our side of town in the afternoon and ate dinner and watched basketball and then went to another friend/neighbor's house...and things got a little silly.

Taking shots...and not milk shots...but I don't remember what they were.

We stayed up way later than we should have, so sleeping in on Saturday wasn't quite as fabulous as I hoped originally. BUT when we got the kids, we found out Paige had done really great and was so proud of herself for sleeping at Babs and Pops like the big kids do! She didn't fall asleep until after 11:00 and was up at 7:00 but slept through the night once asleep! Yay!

Not enough sleep makes for car sleeping!

And that was our great adventure with this year's Dell Match Play. Can't wait to go again!!