Today is a big day in Casa de Crazies!  BigBoy is officially 5 AND A HALF.  He's been asking me for months now, when will he "turn" 5 1/2.  BigBoy and Sassy are 2 1/2 years apart, almost exactly.  So one has a birthday and the other turns their "1/2" in the same month.  We've been looking at the calendar, counting down the weeks and days. Today he gets the edge over the mere 5 year olds.  He's 5 and a half.

I'm not sure why this half year became so important.  But now he has kids to compare notes with.  There are kids just turning 5 in his class (our cutoff is Sept. 30) and kids who started at 5 1/2 and even some 6 year olds who started Kinder a little later.  But instead of trying to figure out when he will be 5 1/2 ("I'm almost 5 and a 1/2!!") He can proudly state he IS 5 1/2.  It's a partial birthday celebration, so in my book it means cake! I made a cheapy mix really quick last night and just did one round layer, cut in half and stacked.  Half a cake, of course!  Any time I can throw baked goods into the day I'm a happy girl.  

So what else does one do for their half birthday? I'm not really sure. We've never celebrated one.  We have the half cake for dessert tonight (half birthday does NOT = breakfast cake in bed) and I got him a pack of Pokemon cards- the new obsession with his buddies, though they have no clue how they work. But other than that it's a kiss and a "Halfy Birthday!"  

Anyone else ever celebrate half birthdays or do so for their kiddos?  I did a Google search, because you know, if Google points you in the right direction, it MUST be legit.  Google says so. I saw the 1/2 cake idea. Well duh, even I came up with that. Wikipedia has an entry for Half-Birthday, but you already knew it would.  But one family does a date night with 1/2 bday child which I think is cute-- but I think one-on-one dates are important year round.  In general, I think it's a fun little thing to do, half birthdays are such a milestone for young kids.  

I love coming up with new traditions for our young family. Plus it's pretty funny sing Halfy Birthday to you... We started our day with a round of giggles. And that's always a good thing. I'm on the hunt for more ways to to add fun to our days.  I'd love to hear what other families do.  The comments section isn't scary, I promise. Be brave and leave something... 

*Attention Miss Nikki-- please share, you have so many fun traditions!


my confession.

I have a confession to make. I shouldn't be driving my vehicle of choice. I'm a big fat faker. I shouldn't be allowed to drive around town in my Honda Odyssey since I'm technically not a soccer mom. Last year,I was totally legit. We did a Saturdays only soccer session at the Y and loved it. But this year I'm the un-soccer mom.  It wasn't happening.  I thought about it for about two seconds and realized it just sounded absurd to add it to our Fall mix and I thanked my lucky stars this Saturday that I didn't sign up.  I had a relapse of my can't-get-rid-of-this-stupid-sickness.  And Yeah! I didn't have to schlep my way to soccer for kinders. We stayed in jammies all day and watched movies, played wii and built train cities.

I'm pretty happy letting BigBoy run down the backyard stretch and playing with our neighbors at will instead of structured, organized play.  We are lucky to live in a area where we can do that. We also have a lot of friends with kids the same age and can have last minute play time after school-- since they aren't at soccer or dance either (okay, one is, but it's only one day a week.) By the end of the week we NEED to veg out together on the weekends. Spend family time together. Be totally lazy and not have a jam packed day.  Or go on a day trip. I couldn't even imagine having 1-2 practices during the week (when he doesn't even get home until 3:45) and then games every Saturday. I'm overwhelmed as it is! Let alone lugging Sassy to everything and personally having to BE at all the practices and games since BigDaddy is MIA in the Fall. No thanks. I think I'll pass.

So will this scar him forever? He hasn't asked about it once yet. So I doubt it. Will he be behind developmentally in the sports category? Not likely. He's 5 1/2. He has so much time to figure out what he wants to do. And he's surrounded by coaches and plays in a gym for a good part of his life. When he starts pushing for it, I might cave. But until then I'll be the un-soccer mom in the soccer mom mobile.  Kicken back in my jammies on Saturday morning. Being totally lazy and hanging with my family. You won't rat me out, right?


A better plan.

I admit it. I was all fired up and yet, I haven't done much since my last post.  I got sick.  My body gave up and forced me to slow down. forced me to get some much needed rest. forced me to sit on the couch and play on Facebook.

But this proves to me that I am taking excellent care of the family. I'm the only one sick so that must mean that everyone else is sleeping well because when they get up they get mommy and go right back to sleep, eating well since I did manage to do a meal plan but haven't really eaten much of it because I forget to eat or am sick, and feel totally at ease and comfortable in their work/school place because we all know who is putting out all the "fires" and coordinating all the parental homework.

I was feeling all woe-is-me, but then BigBoy jumped off the school bus and announced that his friend (and our down the street neighbor) had told him to meet outside to play. Okay, now what.  I can't lounge around on the couch.  I can't be all sicky. But I CAN sit on the back porch and just hang out.  So it was decided: our yard, stay out of the messy, germ infested house, and be nice to Sassy. 

It worked!  The kids all, pretty much, got along and were swinging and running around.  And then magic happened. They found the Crown Jewel of all playthings.... a cardboard box.  I love how kids turn a box into a million different things... this box was a cat cage (???), a tunnel, and finally a roller coaster when combined with the slide--and of course with a set of cool space goggles.  How could my pity party go on when I have kids totally excited about a cardboard box, space roller coaster? I mean, really. 

The impromptu play time made a world of difference for all of us.  BigBoy played with his older friend he doesn't get to see during school time (only on the bus), Sassy got some social time in, and Mom ended her pity party and got up off her sick booty.  Since they were outside, I didn't feel so guilty letting the munchkins watch a show while I got dinner going and they both had great appetites for dinner.  The laundry stayed in the pile it was in. The bath toys were still a mess in the tub. Dinner was not started early. Not the game plan, but a better plan.


Kindergarten rocks my world.

Just when I just kinda, sorta felt like I had this whole Happy Homemaker gig down, I got a huge wake up call. again. This time around it was called Kindergarten.

Who would have thought that sending my kid off to school everyday, ALL day, would rock my world in a not-so-great-way.  I mean really. He's gone ALL day. How is my life more challenging? one less kid. LESS = EASIER, right?!? But somehow it's not. I feel more disorganized than ever before. And throw in fundraisers, volunteering, pre-school drop offs and pick ups, and board meetings -- all while being a volleyball widow. It ain't pretty folks.

BigDaddy was gone all morning with a visiting friend on Saturday, so it was just the munchkins and me.  I let them sleep in to whatever time, pick out breakfast, and eat in front of the TV in jammies while I worked on cleaning up. Don't judge, you TV-free friends.  Around 9:30 I was a Domestic Rock Star! I had the kitchen super-cleaned (special projects included), floor mopped, house picked up -- day totally started off well. A HA! This was my pre-K routine. And it worked. But it's not my reality anymore.

Now I have to do the get-ready-for-school-shuffle every morning... wake up, breakfast in the kitchen TYVM, dressed, cleaned up, notes, lunch, hoodie, coffee and wait outside for the bus. Bye BigBoy! Then I exhale and look at Sass and try to get motivated. Most of the time, it doesn't happen in a timely fashion. I can't even tell you what the heck I DO do. I look around and feel overwhelmed. And then I look around some more and get more overwhelmed. Then I call my friend and fellow KinderMom and we talk about how crazy it is that we don't have a grip on our lives with one less child.  Then I eat a snack.

I haven't blogged, haven't done meal plans - so I'm scrambling trying to figure out dinner or running to the store last minute. I haven't even been watching bad daytime TV. Okay, I DID watch some The Doctors show, but that was only once!  And have you seen the medical eye-candy on there...Hubba Hubba. I also was able to clean up the DVR for all the fall premiers. Priorities.

We've been working on the basement for the past week or so, trying to get everything all situated now that we have new gutters, steam cleaned the carpets and got rid of all the furniture that was ruined thanks to the Big Flood in our basement. So we HAVE gotten some bigger projects done. We really don't need our "basement school" set up since the kids are in regular ol' school and preschool. It's now becoming our family/bonus room/workout room thingy.  We set up the wii and Mr. Snarky (aka wii fit) and a DVD player for my workout DVDs.  I'm slowing getting all the toys, books, supplies organized. but I'm doing it. I'm moving forward.

So now what? Time to take control. Time to go into Domestic Rock Star mode full-time, or most of the time anyway.  I'm in the process of figuring out a weekly routine thing, going back to doing meal plans and working out. I'm even doing a budget. I know, right? Of course, I will share with you Loyal 7. It won't be perfect, but I know you guys will understand.


no blog love

Dear Lunzygras:
I'm sorry I've been neglecting you so much lately.  I promise it won't be for much longer.  I've been thinking about you a lot and miss you bunches.  We've been even busier than usual.  Life is kicking my booty and I'm trying to figure out my personal pace once again.  School schedules, meetings, sickness, visitors, MAJOR projects, etc. I've been keeping notes and will tell you aaaall about it soon. pinky swear!


Happy Birthday Sassy!

Tom Petty Cash.  Yep. You heard read me. Tom Petty Cash.  It's one of the strange quirky things that mothers remember about their babies' birth (or a moment on the adoption path.)  We were in the hospital watching Wheel of Fortune in the room.  Now Wheel comes on at 7 p.m. in Indy.  Sassy was born at 7:14 PM (and weighed 8-14 and born on 9/14)  So at some point in those 14 min. of Wheel Watchin' I solved the "before and after" puzzle before anyone else. Tom Petty Cash. And I think at that point I was the only one paying attention to the TV.  I yelled out "TOM PETTY CASH!!" totally pumped that I got it before BigDaddy. maybe because he was focused on our DAUGHTER being born.  At any rate. I beat him to the punch. And delivered a baby at the same time.  Try and top that!
Happy Birthday Sassy Girl!


I miss her.

I'm gutting out cleaning our guest room in preparation for my mother.  She's coming to visit over Sassy's birthday week and the guest room has no room for a guest.  After the basement flooded and we moved Sassy out of her crib to her big girl bed the "guest room/office" become quite the storage room.  Add the seasonal paring down of kids' clothes to the mix, which of course ended up in the guest room, and I have quite a task before me.

I also started a project a few months ago of getting picture frames and photos on the walls and out of boxes.  I love pictures and I want to look AT them not through them. So diving into my said project meant dealing with a LOT of different types of projects.
Sassy went to a friend's house for the morning and I got to deal with the bulk of crapola that was on the floor.  During her nap, I purged a bit and then sat down next to my stack of photo frames and some loose pictures.  Time to switch gears. I was looking at one of my favorite pictures of me and my paternal grandparents. I must have been a little bit older than BigBoy in the photo, maybe 7ish? I'm sitting on my grandma's lap, between both of them, after a family dinner. We were looking at pictures (you could see them on the table) and we are all smiling.  Looking happy.  Happy to have each other.  Happy to be there together. Happy.

And then I started to cry. no sob. I miss them. and really I miss her. I'm sad that she didn't get to be a part of my wedding, and that she never got to meet her great-grandchildren.  And I'm sad I can't call her anymore.  Or ask her about something only she would know the answer to. Or see if she has any more costume jewelry that Sassy could have to play with.  Or find out why she pronounced her name, Eloise, two different ways. (E-loye-s and E-lo-ezz.) Or just to tell her how much I adore her.

As an adult I realize how much she loved being my grandma.  She was fantastic. She doted on me. Adored me. Spoiled me. I ate it up. But above all, she enjoyed me. She lit up when she saw me or got a call from me. I made her day. and I knew it.

As I'm having my cry-fest, Sassy walks in after waking up from her nap and waves to me with a sleepy grin and says "Hi Mama!" Hi Baby. She crawls up on the couch next to me and snuggles in. I look at her cuddling next to me with that sleepy grin and her crazy bed head, I realize I have much of my gramma still with me. She taught me about unconditional love. And how it feels to be so wanted and enjoyed. I need to remember that when I'm tired. and/or overwhelmed. and/or cranky. And when one of the munchkins wants to play trains on the floor. again. I have to remind myself: Am I still lighting up when I see them? Am I paying attention to them? Do they know how much they make my day? Do they realize how much I adore them each and every day?  Thanks Gramma.  Thank you for teaching me how I should be doing this "parenting" thing. Even if I half-ass all the other stuff, it's okay, as long as I get this part right. Now if you will excuse me, I need to jump off the laptop and and hit the floor to be "mama train" and take "baby train" to the zoo.


Getting Real About the High Price of Cheap Food - TIME

I took a day off from lunzygras yesterday (I've been trying to post M-W-F every week.)  My day kicked my booty: two children getting ready for school, me getting ready to look presentable, volunteering at K, picking up Sassy, running to the farm for a few things, trying to clean-up, revamping another blog's page that wasn't showing up in IE right, playdate as soon as BigBoy got off the bus and had a snack, dinner, bath, bed. I was done.  So instead, I'm sharing this wonderful article that I posted on Facebook.  Great read and spells it our eating habits in plain speak, you don't even have to read an entire book now for this info.  I hope you enjoy the read and hope even more that it will make you think about what and how you are eating.

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Life, not cleaning, happens.

I had this magnet forever. I loved it. But the munchkins played with everything on the fridge and now I fear it's in the black hole also known as BEHIND THE FRIDGE.  So when the day comes that we might have to move again, I'll probably find it.  But the magnet always made me smile. It cracked me up. It also kept it real for me.

Yesterday I planned on a "tidy day" to get back up to speed and get the house in a bit better shape. I started the day with great intentions, really I did.  But then I had to call BigBoy's school about switching busses to one that goes right past our house. (Now I get 20 extra minutes in the morning and don't have to show my face in public to anyone except the bus driver! I see sweat pants in my very near future.)  And then I remembered Sassy needed to do her self portrait for pre-school orientation which was THAT NIGHT.  Which then meant we had sequence, buttons and silk rose petals all over the freshly swept and mopped floor.

And then I got motivated again and found a mouse party going on in the kitchen.  So I quickly found myself dealing with three mice without BigDaddy to help-- because of course he had his first match of the season. of course.  I did get some stuff done, mainly the kitchen during random bursts.  And then I checked out flylady again, because I like to torture myself. But come on! Her "Home Blessing" takes an hour and you spend 10 minutes doing each major task. From the website:
The Weekly Home Blessing hour is the time FlyLady spends slipshod cleaning her home. No detailed cleaning required; vacuum the middle of the floors only!
FlyLady sets her timer for 10 minutes to work on each of 7 tasks:
Polish Mirrors and Doors
Purge magazines
Change Sheets
Empty all trash
This takes approximately one hour; some tasks take less than 10 minutes.

Wait, 10 minutes to mop? Seriously? And sorry, but didn't see "sweep" as part of the Blessing and I don't know about you, but I need to sweep my floor before I can mop it. And I need to clean the counter tops before I can sweep the floor... hmmm.
So my Blessing "Hour" actually took me all day. And I only got my kitchen done, because, uh, well, real life stepped in.  I had to find the camera cord for BigDaddy's video camera, and talk to the school about our gutters being fixed, and throw in making breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, snack, snack, snack and then fill out all the forms I forgot I needed done for orientation...  OH, and then after that I went to get Sassy's birth certificate I realized it's gone MIA. Geez, did I even order it in my foggy mama-to-a-newborn-coma?

So you see my Blessing Hour wasn't happening, because all around me, LIFE was happening.  And if it means I needed to stop and play with Sassy and check out her new moves to Dirty Dancing- Havana Nights (flamingo leg kick, twirl) or to glue sequence on her self portrait cut-out ("parkley hair,") then so be it.
Sorry FlyLady, I think I need to break my stalker habit with you.  I'm filing a self imposed restraining order. Until further notice, this FlyBaby is on hiatus.


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