Saturday, September 29, 2012

Popcorn and a Movie Friday

This has been a looong week for me. I've spent every moment of my days TRYING to find some time for work. My to-do list kept growing longer and longer and instead of accomplishing anything, all my time ended up going to toddler-wrangling as Henry seemed to know just the right times to test my nerves and patience. See this week's previous post, Little F---er, if you'd like a detailed understanding of just how on edge I became with my work/life balance this week.

Oddly, a lot of my stress this week had to do with photography-related things I have yet to finish -- but my favorite way to relieve stress is to take photos. I don't claim to be the kind of person who makes sense so, on Friday, to calm myself down from all the climbing expeditions Henry has taken this week, I decided to photograph the day! Funnily enough, we ended up with a movie-and-popcorn-themed Friday! Yay for cohesive story-telling! :)

First things first - I love to photograph Charlie's classroom. I started doing this last year as a way to make a special photo book as the teacher's end of year gift. It became my favorite pet project - popping into the classroom randomly to photograph the children during lessons. This year, Charlie has a wonderful teacher who has agreed to let me in the classroom to do this project again. Today, the children had their first popcorn party for good behavior. They earn a piece of "popcorn" for the chalkboard bowl every time a student is respectful or responsible and also for overall class behavior. Once their popcorn bowl is full - they get a party on Friday with a movie! So cute, right?
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Henry loves going to his brother's classroom! He gets lots of attention from the big kids and can usually find plenty of things to entertain himself!
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After a viewing of Magic Schoolbus, the kids got to play a math game using a deck of cards to help learn how to say numbers that have a millions place (have I mentioned how amazing Charlie's teacher is??).
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Afterschool, I treated the boys to a movie as Charlie's reward for getting stars on his "no talking" chart everyday this week at school. This was Henry's FIRST movie theater experience. Knowing Henry, it could really only go one of two ways -- he'd either love it or hate it so much that the screaming would force us to leave. I planned as best I could to make sure he'd love it. Junk food usually wins Henry over so we went to the grocery store to pick out candy and popped lots of popcorn to sneak into the theater. (I have no issue buying their wardrobe from MiniBoden and Crewcuts but I just cannot bring myself to spend $4 on a box of candy... I realize I am a walking oxymoron, stressing heavily on the "moron" part).

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We saw Hotel Transylvania which was a really cute movie and held Henry's attention for almost the whole flick. It was less funny than I was hoping but more sentimental and sweet than I expected, too. Andy Samburg's voice got on my nerves and Adam Sandler's Dracula accent didn't hold in all parts -- but I have a feeling kids are not very critical about these sorts of things. Steve Buscemi's werewolf and Kevin James' Frankenstein more than made up for whoever cast David Spade. How does that guy keep getting hired? Anyway, there were a few parts that I thought might be too scary for Henry but he didn't seem to mind them at all. He liked how the seats in the theater went up and down so he spent a lot of time climbing in and out of his seat when he got a bit bored with the movie. He also really liked switching out his popcorn for m&m's and then back to popcorn again.

Overall, Charlie loved the movie - totally age appropriate for him - and Henry seemed to get along alright which means we will finally get to all go see movies together.
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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Little F***er

I know there are a lot of moms out there who are better than me. They probably are patient, selfless and don't even mind that they are on their third day without a shower. They probably don't yell. They probably don't miss shaved legs, make up, high heels and pretty clothes. They probably put on a hat and go to the grocery store anyway with greasy hair because family dinner is an important part of childhood development. They probably actually like the grocery store. They probably actually cook. They probably have no string of complaints for their husbands the second they walk in from work because they can remind themselves how absolutely wonderful parenting is. They probably remember what cherished blessings children are as they scrub the barf/pee/crayon/ice cream/milk/juice off the $800 Pottery Barn rug that they bought back when they couldn't even afford it that now has a constant stench of sour milk, has been pooped on more than once and has frayed edges. They probably don't have to talk themselves out of having a glass of wine at 3:30pm. They probably don't title blogs about their children as f***ers on the world wide web...

They probably don't even write blogs because their time is so filled actually doing all those crafts on Pinterest with their kids that I only repinned because I want people to think I'm well rounded and interested in more things than pictures of Adam Levine and how to wear mint skinny jeans...

Don't get me wrong here. My kids are amazing. They are funny and adorable and I cherish everything they do and say. I mean, I have a whole blog dedicated to documenting them so that they can have it forever and ever to know how much I have loved raising them. I do not want to be sitting at a desk at some CPA job {shudder} instead of this. I do not want to be 95 years old and regret having missed all those hilarious moments as they grew into their personalities. I do choose to do this. And I am extremely lucky to be able to afford the choice.

But for God's sake, choosing to become a stay at home mom -- it is a sacrifice. Staying at home is HARD. You are literally giving up all that education, all that money, all that you've built, all that is YOU -- for them. And, yes, they're worth it. They are.

But I one-hundred percent retain the right to point out how hard I am working at this job. Don't career-minded individuals have to fill out performance reviews?? Don't they have to list all of their accomplishments every year or so??

Well, here's my list of accomplishments from today:

Today I vacuumed. Clean house = Accomplishment.

While vacuuming, I noticed my toddler had put himself in a somewhat dangerous position of climbing onto the counters. Child-safety awareness = Accomplishment.
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While keeping the vacuum running so as to not alert the toddler of my awareness of his activities, I grabbed my camera for the purpose of documentation. Sneakiness for the sake of memorializing a moment = Accomplishment.
Living almost two years with horrible orange-ish yellow oak cabinets without pitching a humongous fit that new ones be installed = Accomplishment.
Finally realizing that the stool that was meant to be used for washing hands in the kitchen sink is better off spending a few months in the garage until the potty-reward m&m's are gone = Accomplishment.
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Taking all your frustration out on your blog so you can be a better mother to your children tomorrow = Accomplishment.

Monday, September 24, 2012

An Apple a Day

My hubby and Charlie had tickets to the Nationals game. My best friend's husband was out of town leaving her to need something to do to entertain her kiddos. And my cousin had a morning horse riding lesson at a barn close to my home and wanted to hang out afterwards.

All of these things came together for a really amazing day at Stribling Orchard in Markum, Virginia with my best friend, her kiddos, my cousin and my little squeeze, Henry.

I had never been apple picking before! It seemed like the most wonderful thing to do on a late and perfect September Sunday.

I wish I could shut up about how much I love Virginia -- but I just don't think I can. Driving just 30 miles west to reach the orchard was as beautiful a drive as it could be with mountains reaching up into the brilliant blue sky. The leaves are still very green but you can see some color trying to find its way onto the leaves.
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