Monday, June 30

Getting Ready!

We leave for vacation in just 3 short days! I can't believe it's here. I wait all year for this one week of my life. And when it's over, I cry. Every time. When we leave the island and drive off, I cry.

But for now, we're packing. And by "we" I mean I am. I've gathered all our beach equipment; chairs, boogie boards, sand toys, goggles and the rest. I purchased life jackets for both boys today. I have 90% of the food we are asked to bring packed. I have our sheets in the wash and our towels are all together and ready to be boxes.

I haven't started on clothing yet. That's my least favorite part. It's just overwhelming. Swimsuits, shorts, pants, tees, tanks, shoes, sandals. Ugh. I reminded Matt that he needs to have anything he wants to wear for vacation in the laundry by tomorrow morning so that it can all be ready for him to pack tomorrow night. In fact, that would be the only part of this packing process Matt is responsible for. How does that happen?

Ah well. Hopefully everything will go smoothly and we'll be on our way in 72 hours!!!!

Friday, June 27

To the Max

After Payton was born, we were "set" with just one boy. It wasn't until he asked for a baby brother for Christmas when he was three, that we even thought about having another one. All along, I prayed for a child as easy and calm and good natured as Payton was.

I got the opposite. He was appropriately named. MAX. Everything he does, is to the Maximum. Just this morning, as he was throwing cereal on the floor and dumping milk on his head, I swore to him that he would be the death of me.

His mood swings and drama are like that of a 13 year old girl. Two hours later, this is what I captured.

I know God made him so cute and easy to laugh so that I remember that the bad is all worth the good.

Thursday, June 26

Rainbow Surprise

In my last entry, I was complaining about the rain. Well, there was a rainbow at the end of that storm. FORZA!! YEAH!!!!!!!

Because P's game was cancelled, we decided to head to the Y. I didn't even realize it was Thursday at 6:45pm until I dropped the kids off and saw my Forza instructor, Cliff, walking by. He said hello and I quickly processed the situation. I told him that although I wasn't signed up for the class (ie, didn't pay) would it be ok if I stepped in on this one? He said sure! I practically ran down to the locker room, dropped my stuff and ran back to the studio.

I was able to jump right in and I was actually well ahead of this class, so I didn't feel awkward at all. And I couldn't get enough. Sure it hurt and killed me, but dang it was worth it. Cliff's teaching has significantly improved and I can tell that he's more comfortable with it all now. Just three more weeks and I'll be starting again. I've managed to work it into my BUSY summer that I can be there for the next six week session.

Ahhh...I've missed that class. It's like a long lost love.

Rain, Rain, Go AWAY!!!

Ugh. It's pouring. It's bad. It's been really wet the last few weeks and it just doesn't seem to be ending anytime soon.

Payton had a game tonight and it got rained out. I was really hoping he'd get this one in, because we don't have games next week because of the Fourth of July and the following week we're on vacation. So that's two weeks of no tball for us. Bummer.

BUT, the rain really has done great things for our garden. We will need to make our first vegetable harvest before we go on vacation. We have snap peas that are almost ready and I think maybe some green beans as well.

Hope you're all staying dry.

Tuesday, June 24

I see it!! It's THERE!!

As you all know, I've been trying to tone my body and lose some excess weight. I'm down 14 lbs since last year this time. I have about 12 more to be done all together, but I know I'll get there. I'm not going to quit.

Now, I'm sure some of you think the title of this post is referring to the finish line. Seeing as I'm more than 1/2 way to my goal...

BUTT, it's not. No! I was just putting on my 'jamas and look in the mirror standing sideways. GUESS WHAT I SAW?!?!?!?!

The butt line! Ya know, this one:

I haven't seen that in years!! My butt had just melded with my thighs, becoming one unit (gross, I know.) But DANG! I didn't realize how much I'd missed that little crease. I'm so glad it's back.

Monday, June 23


Maxwell loves to do everything that his big brother does. If Payton's eating something, Max wants the same thing. If Payton's playing with something, he wants to play with it too...right next to him. And if Payton's doing something he should be, you can bet Maxwell is doing it too...sometimes better (or worse, depending on how you look at it).

Last week, we were practicing tball in our backyard. Without anyone showing him what to do, Maxwell picked up the whiffle ball and big plastic bat and gave it a go.

Here is the result. Please note the proud puffing of the belly at the end; his signature move.

Sunday, June 22

It's the end of the week as I knew it...

My momma has left. She's been here since summer really started and we've gotten into our routine, so I feel a little lost and like I have to start again tomorrow.

We had a great time of lunches, chats, catching up, hanging out and just generally enjoying each other's company. My mom and I are really great friends and we depend on each other a lot. We don't always see eye-to-eye on relationship or parenting issues, but we never lose respect for each other's opinion.

AND, the best thing of all...we found my mom a new swimming suit!!! She's been wanting one since last year on vacation and she just couldn't find "the one". On a suggestion from my brother, we went to JCPenny and found one! It looks good on her and she's comfy. What more can you ask for in a swimsuit? Now if only I could find one I liked that much! LOL

We went to a graduation party for the boys' former babysitter, Alyssa. I can't believe she's 17 and done with high school. Her family is incredibly close with us and I feel like they're family sometimes. They are the ones who watched Payton when we were at the hospital when Maxwell was born. I'm glad Alyssa has a younger sister. I'll need her to take her sister's job. ;)

We resume our swimming lesson/tball schedule this week, but I'm throwing in another element. I've volunteered myself for Mcrest at our church. I'll be working with homeless people and families that are enrolled in the Mcrest program. They'll be staying at the school our church runs for the week. I'm in charge of laundry each day and I'll also be doing body and bag searches at check in a few nights this week. I also hope to get up there a few times just to see if they need help with anything else.

Well, I hope you all had a great weekend! It was a wet one here, but it seems to be trying to dry out. At least my flowers enjoyed the rain!

Thursday, June 19

8am is just too early

With Payton's swimming lessons, we've got to be out to the house by 8:30am every morning. Day four and it's getting old...and harder. Not to mention that Maxwell, who's been peacefully sleeping through the night for the first time EVER, was up at 1:30am and again at 7:30am. Ugh. I'm so not a morning person.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do when school starts in the fall. Payton has to be AT SCHOOL at 8:00am every day. That means leaving the house by 7:40am. That means we have to be up and moving by 7:10am or so. Are the roads even open that early in the morning? Thankfully there's a coffee shop with a drive through on my way home from the school.

Maybe I'll find a nanny for the 7am-9am shift. LOL

Tuesday, June 17

Pictures for a catch up

I've been slacking, I know. So here are a few to get you through until I get back on track.

Payton, my lil' number 1, on the bench with his team. He's so small. Tee Hee.

My special lil' Maxwell.

At the Toledo Mudhens game on Friday

Weight Loss Bump

Well, it started with a few beers on Friday night at the game and it's all been downhill from there. I'm up 1.5lbs since last week. That sucks. I'm committed to losing weight and I really want to, but it seems that once I've blown it for one day, that's not enough. I blow it good. For a few days in a row. And not being at the Y for a week doesn't help.

Why do I sabotage myself? I know better. I gain weight really easy and, unfortunately, I don't lose it near as easy. It will take me 10 days or more to lose what I gained in 5 days. Ugh.

Support system....where are you?!?!

Monday, June 16

Mom is here!

Sorry if my blog is sparse the next few days. My mom came into town on Saturday and I'm really enjoying our time together. It's not often that we get this devoted time and I'm taking advantage of it! I think she'll leave this weekend or the beginning of next week, but who knows with her.

Payton started swimming lessons today. He's so very proud. I was a bit leery of the class I put him in, but after talking to his instructor, Justin, I think it's a good fit. Justin swears he'll be swimming on his own at the end of the intensive three week class. I hope so! Today, he had to be pulled out from underwater three times. He is convinced he can swim, and he just can't yet. I'm hoping for great things, but I'm not beyond signing him up for the second session of three more weeks if he needs it.

Other than that, more tball this week and just hanging out. This Saturday, we have a VERY busy day that I'm already dreading. Isn't it sad when it's five days away and you're already wishing it was just over. Ugh.

Have a good week...until next time!

Thursday, June 12

End of the school year

Payton's last day of four year old preschool was on Monday, but his class picnic was on Tuesday. I could tell that while he'll miss his friends, he'll only really miss one of his three teachers. Funny who he chooses to make connections with.

His friends, not surprisingly, are mostly girls. In fact, there was only one boy that Payton said he would miss. This is pretty typical of Payton and his friends:

He says that now he's ready for kindergarten. He was hoping it started really soon. He's disappointed that it's still two months away.

Since we made our final decision to send P to Reach Academy, we've been to the building they're renovating for the school almost once a week. There is a trailer set up in the parking lot where the two secretaries and the principal are. Mrs. Dowker, Shelly and Carla already know Payton, know me and even Max. They each have their favorites and it great that we can get to know them so comfortably before school starts. My biggest concern about sending P to kindergarten has been that he'd be with strangers all day. But being able to meet some staff and even his potential teachers already, most of my fears have been relieved.

So on to summer. T-ball, swimming lessons, some painting, lots of gardening, vacation in much to do! I'm almost ready for September. ;)

Tuesday, June 10

Feeling the need to detach

Talking to my friends, I think a lot of us go through this from time to time. I'm not sure what causes it. Maybe insercurity. Maybe a desire for something bigger or better. Maybe it's a dissatisfaction with our lives. Maybe its just mood swings. Who knows?

But what I do know is that this comes and hangs out awhile and then something happens; BAM!! and my life seems back on track again. It's like God smacks me in the face and says "Wake up you moron! Wait until you see what I have in store for you! Just hang on and it will get better." and it always does. That's a funny thing about God, he's always right and knows best.

But until then. I'm sorting it out in my head. My life. Friendships. Relationships. What do I value? Do I value it because it really means something? Or because that's what I've been told to value? What should I really value? Where am I going and when will I get there? And why do I constantly bother trying to figure it out when I know that if I just have faith and trust, God always works it out in the end.

I'm not "down" per say. Just deep thinking I guess.

Anyone else deep thinking this week? Maybe it's a mood...

Sunday, June 8

Army Wives

I have always been drawn to this community of women. I think being born part of a military family, I've been bred and raised to be a military wife.

Like the movie "We were soldiers" with Mel Gibson; I loved the movie, but I was especially drawn to the women, the wives, in the movie. And the TV show, "The Unit", another show that portrays the life of military spouses. Now, season 2 of "Army Wives" on Lifetime has started. I've just been sucked in.

I know it's a movie. And I know it's dramatized, but I feel a connection to them and the emotions.
A friend, Marissa, has always identified with the Amish. She loves to read about them, see the movies and even longs to be one. But she knows she never will be. And self-admittedly, she wouldn't do well Amish. I guess it's not unusual to connect with something you aren't...

I just feel like something is almost missing by not being a military wife. I know Matt's in the reserves, but it's not the same. Maybe that's why I've always pushed him so hard to go active duty.

In time...maybe I will instead.

Saturday, June 7

Another weekend with just one kiddo

This weekend, it's just Maxwell. Payton went to my in laws with Matt late last night and they won't be home until tomorrow evening.

Max and I got out of the house by 8:30am!! Those of you who know me, know that it was a rare event and practically a miracle. We went to the Mt. Clemens Farmers Market where I purchased some herbs for my garden. Then we went over to the grocery store on base. Maxwell usually is not a good shopping buddy, but today he did pretty well.

After a nap at home, we went to Kohl's and the mall. I got some summer clothes for me and the boys, all my Father's Day cards and the graduation cards and gifts we needed for next weekend. That reminds me that I need to finish the Teacher's Gifts yet. Hmm...maybe tomorrow...

We came home and played outside for awhile then Max took another nap. When he woke, we went for a walk up to Kroger and picked up a few things that we couldn't get on base and then went to Bed, Bath & Beyond. Did you know that they're selling beauty supply stuff now? Like lotions, hair products, hair dye and makeup? That was weird to see. I don't think I'd think to buy it there.

Anyway, when we got home, we ate dinner, played outside some more and then it was time for bath. This is where the trouble started. On a typical night, the boys bathe together, then we put them in their pajamas, brush teeth, read a book, say prayers and then its hugs & kisses time and then it's lights out. No issues for the most part and they both go to sleep within a few minutes...typically.

Tonight, Max realized something was missing. I guess I'd kept him busy all day so he didn't notice P wasn't around as much. But come bath, it was hard to distract him. He didn't want into the tub and when I finally got him in, it was hard to keep him there. He was cuddly when he got out and then when it was time for our typical "brother kisses" he wasn't happy. And he let me know it. I tried laying him down and he screamed.

I cuddled him, told him "brother" would be home tomorrow night and then tried to lay him down again...after 10 minutes of screaming I couldn't take it anymore. He was doing that gasping sob thing. He wanted to "go, go, go" and I put him down to see what he wanted. He went to the front door and stood there saying "bra-bra, bra-bra" over and over. So sad. :(

Finally I got him calmed down and to sleep. Thank GOODNESS Payton will be home tomorrow! I'm going to have a beer and watching "Groomer Has It" on Animal Planet...yes, I'm a reality tv junkie.

Friday, June 6

Last night of Forza

Last night was my last night of my much-loved Forza class at my Y. I've really enjoyed the intensity and concentration in this class and I'm sad to see it come to an end for me. The rest of the class will be meeting next week for the last class, but because of Payton's tball schedule, I can't be both places at once and Matt has to work. Tball comes first I guess.

The Y is continuing to offer the class for the summer, for an additional 5 weeks in session I, then 6 more in session II. But with our busy schedule of tball, swimming lessons, safety town and VBSs, I'm not sure I can attend either session.

I guarantee that I will be on the roster for the fall session and I intend to catch up quickly on any new moves that I may miss this summer. I'm going to do some exercises this summer to strengthen my arms and legs with moves like in my Forza class, just so in the fall I can be even better.

I never thought I'd enjoy a cardio/strength class this much. I've always enjoyed yoga classes, but this is definitely not yoga. I'm so happy I found something that pushes me harder than Id push myself and forces me to work for my goal.

Goodbye Forza. I'll miss you, but we'll see each other again.

Wednesday, June 4

Take me out to the ball game...

Payton has started tball. His first year. We've had two practices and one more on Friday night. Then next week, Tuesday, begins the 6 weeks of games twice a week. It should be a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to being a "Proud Parent of a Green Machine"! Payton is proudly wearing the number "1". Mostly because he's the smallest and they made sure he had a jersey that fit him before the rest of the kids.

Payton is the least-abled and smallest kid on the team, but he sure gives it a good effort. It's really growing on him and I can tell he's anxious to please his Coach Autumn. She's a great woman who just adores Payton (and Max). We're also fortunate to have our neighbor's boy on our team. Nico is just a few months older than Payton and they are about on the same level with throwing and catching. They're becoming fast friends.

Here is a video of him tonight at his second practice. The first time he hits, he had to come back because he threw the bat (automatic OUT in tball). Hence his hesitation after his second attempt. Not too shabby for only his fifth or sixth attempt at batting really. Now, we need to work on catching.

Maxwell is also getting into the team spirit. I think I'm going to make him a shirt that says "My Big Brother is a Green Machine!"

Tuesday, June 3

Garden Update!

Well, we're on a roll! We planted early, yes we know, but thus far, we're pretty happy with the results.

Our snap peas and pole garden beans are doing really well. Our tomatoes were all destroyed or didn't take, so we bought new plants last week. Our chili peppers are coming in nicely, along with green onions.

Our herb garden is doing exceptionally well. We have basil, rosemary, lemon thyme, cilantro and parsley. We have more cilantro than we know what to do with. We're trying to figure out what to do with what we cut today.

Also, we have an eggplant, squash and a pumpkin that are doing great. We're going to be planting carrots, cucumbers, zucchini and corn this week too.

It's really starting to look like a real garden! The last "big" thing we want to do is put down some gravel and a fence with a gate to keep the garden area separate from the yard so that boys and toys don't end up back there.

On a side planting note, we pulled out the two ugly bushes in the front of our home. We planted zennia, salvia, gerbera daisies and marigolds. It looks so much better and more well-kept. It's been a lot of work this weekend, but it's been worth it.

Sunday, June 1

As the weekend comes to a close...

I'm wondering if we were thinking clearly when we had a second child. I mean, don't get me wrong, I sparkly LOVE my Maxwell and I won't trade him for anything, but MAN he's the chaos in my life!!!!

As mentioned, this weekend was just me and Matt and Payton. Friday, all day, was just me and P. Man, did we have fun. School, gym, gardening, t-ball, hanging out late and eating popcorn while watching movies. Great times!

Saturday, Matt had to work 11-3, so Payton and I ran to a bike safety expo and got him a new helmet, went to Lakeshore Learning and did the craft of the day, went to the pet store to look at fish and kitties, had lunch at a quaint little deli where we took pictures of ourselves, then went to Lowes to get some gardening supplies. We finished the day doing some letterboxing with Matt and having pizza for dinner and then planting our flowers from Lowes until 10pm. He had a great time and so did I.

This morning, we finished off our planting, went to Wolcott Farm to hid our first letterbox and then came home and hung out and played the Wii for a bit.

Then...chaos returned. Maxwell came home. Seriously it was like a whirlwind entered my home within 30 minutes of him being home. The true chaos hit after dinner. He was getting tired, yeah, but he wanted to play. Then he hit his head on the sidewalk when he wiped out. It was all downhill from there. Bath was chaos. Bedtime was chaos. Finally...he was asleep. The only thing Matt said was, "What happened to our peaceful nights?"

Ah Maxwell, how exciting to have you home. But I'm exhausted already.