Posts Tagged ‘Family’

My 9-year-old Dressed Me For a Week

 

 

It’s been months since my writing voice has been heard.  My writing inspiration fell right out the window (as well as my clean house) when I went back to work full time in October. But, inspiration or not, Little Miss dressing me for a week must happen EVERY YEAR and I must write about it.

Now Little Miss turned 9 in February and has talked about dressing me on and off since then but wouldn’t commit. I was willing to wear whatever she came up with whenever the time may be. I don’t get judged at work as my clientele is a room of 5-year-olds who, by the way,  thought the vintage 1989 poufy sleeve magenta extravaganza I wore on 80’s day made me look like a princess. So the months passed and she’d mention “the week” and I’d say OK but it wouldn’t happen. Until it did. Here we go.

Sunday

sunday cropped

Sunday #1

Sunday can be a 2 outfit day as we often go to church. This Sunday started out with a burgundy animal print dress topped with a cropped white sweater. Accessories included white dangly stone earrings (my hair is tucked behind my ears so you can see them), a sterling heart necklace and grey platform sandals. I was not dressed with my watch but asked if I could wear it as I kept looking at my empty wrist for the time. I taught the littles in Sunday school this morning and the dress was casual enough that I could get on the floor to sing songs and read books if I tucked my legs to the side.

Sunday 2

After church I changed into my casual outfit of a white tank covered with a pink and red tunic-y top. On the bottom I’m wearing capri denim and my feet are in Little Miss’ favorite pair of shiney silver flats with patent leather toes. I’ll be hanging around the house this afternoon and meeting friends for a casual dinner.

Both outfits were fine, and while the shoe choices are not quite to my liking, I can deal.

Monday

 Monday 1 Little Miss is on a swim team so there is no sleeping in for her this July. We have to be at the pool by 7:30 am. Some of this is my fault. As part of the swim team, parents need to volunteer so many hours at the pool. As a girl with a retailing and marketing degree (pre-teaching) I earn my hours by running the snack shack in the mornings during practice. This is the outfit that I wore to the pool. So far pink is the color of the week. I’m in a pink t-shirt that has flowers on the bottom, paired with black cargo capris and white sandals with orange and turquoise stones. I have small circle medallion earrings and am holding my brown shoulder bag as that’s the purse Little Miss picked out.Monday shoes

 This is the shirt she picked out for me to change into after working in the snack shack. I had a little mishap with chocolate syrup. I was seen in this outfit at a pizza place Little Miss and I went to for lunch and at the grocery store.

I’m going to call this pink Monday as both tops were in that family.

Tuesday

Tuesday 1Monday shoes (2)Tuesday 2Little Miss picked out my outfit for today on Monday evening. She layed the outfit down on the floor like a Flat Stanley and put many combination of shoes next to it until she got just the right ones. She then went through my earrings holding each pair up to the outfit assessing whether the pair was appropriate or not. It was very meticulous.

To the pool this morning (without a snack shack shift) I wore a knee length black flowy skirt paired with a pinkish t-shirt covered in seqins. I glittered and glided onto the pool deck. The shoes were pink flats with a snake toe accent and my earrings were large silver hoops. I wore a necklace of a small silver circle that “matched” the hoops. I felt overly glamerous next to all the other parents in shorts and t-shirts.

In the afternoon we had a sudden change in plans (as is no plans to actually having plans) to meet up with some friends to hike at a local park. Little Miss deemed the sequened concoction too fancy for a little hike so I got to change into a purple t-shirt  and some khaki shorts. She had me wear my “very bright” sneakers to give me some added color.

 

 

Wednesday

Wedwed2On Tuesday evening Little Miss picked out my outfit. It may look familiar – she also picked it out for me to wear when she was six. After picking it out she had a big discussion with Buddy about how my entire outfit was only black and silver. Buddy  asked lots of questions about exactly which parts were black (dress, leggings and shoes) and which were silver (earrings, bracelet and necklace) and Little Miss explained the entire thing to him. Little Miss picked out a pair of kitten heel black shoes. I normally don’t wear heels just for errands and stuff but it looked fine.

Little Miss has been my photographer this week. For Wednesday’s photo shoot she wanted me to stand in front of the window. I think it’s hard to see my outfit but she liked how the light shone behind me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday

ThursOur day consisted of our morning at the pool for swim practice followed by a trip into Washington, DC to visit the National Building Museum. The kids LOVE riding the metro so that’s how we made our way into the city. Our ride took us right past where My Man works so we hopped off the train,  met him for lunch, and hopped back on to head to the museum. Usually when I’m meeting my man for lunch I like to dress nice. Everyone around is in suits and their working clothes. I like to blend. But, Little Miss was looking out for my comfort.

LM – Mom, we’ll be doing a lot of walking today so you are going to wear your grey sneakers.

Me – OK

LM – And you need to be comfortable.

Me – OK

So comfortable I was. Today marks the beginning of the 3 day denim capri run. Today’s denim is a pair of cargo capris. This was paired with a purple t-shirt with birds on it. On my feet are my trusty grey Converse sneakers.

And, I’m very glad I was comfortable. The reason we were headed to the National Building Museum was for a temporary exhibit called The Big Maze. This life size maze will be at the museum until September 1, 2014. It was very fun to navigate –  we ran around like to get back in line to go through the maze just like we were running to ride a big roller coaster at an amusement park again and again. We ended up going through 8 times! I had never been to this museum before. If you like architecture, the museum itself is gorgeous. There is also an exhibit on natural disasters and how architects are designing buildings to withstand earthquakes and high winds. If you are in DC, the museum is worth a visit.

 

 

Friday

FridayOn Friday we had a lazy summer day. Little Miss dressed me in a blue and white striped top, denim capris with a big cuff, and black flats. I wore this outfit to swim practice and back home again. Sometime in the afternoon we headed to the pool to swim and lounge around in the sun. I didn’t ask Little Miss to pick me out a bathing suit for our trip to the pool. It’s not that I didn’t think she’d pick out a cute one… and for a 40-something year old woman I’m pretty OK with my body in a bathing suit… I just don’t know if I can handle putting a picture of myself in a bathing suit on the internet! Maybe next year…

LM – Mom, lift your foot up I can’t see your shoes.

Me – This feels weird. Does it look weird?

LM – A little, but not bad. It looks like you’re walking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday

IMG_1679This morning I had yoga. Little Miss said I could pick out my own outfit. When I got home I mowed the lawn, weeded the garden and washed the dog. Again, Little Miss had no interest in dressing me for those activities. But, for date night, she dressed me. My Man and I are lucky enough to have some good friends nearby who trade baby sitting with us. We get to actually watch their baby (and get our fill of sweet baby times) and they get to see what it’s like hanging out with a couple of big kids.

Our date night was pretty casual. My Man and I were headed to dinner (Okras– Cajun food in Manassas, VA. You can sit outside to eat),  a trip to Lowes (seriously – shopping without kids is a gift), and ending with a trip to an ice cream shop (Peterson’s Ice Cream Depot in Clifton, VA – seriously delicious). For our date Little Miss had me wear a white top covered in tiny black polka dots, dark denim capris, white dangly earrings and black flats. It was a well chosen outfit for our evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today is Sunday. The week is over and it actually felt a little weird to pick out my own outfit.

What I learned:

  • Little Miss is a careful planner. She’d think about my accessories and clothes combinations very deliberately.

    Little Miss - wet from the pool.

    Little Miss – wet from the pool.

  • Little Miss likes the colors pink and purple.
  • Little Miss likes to dress me in denim capris (and I own many variations)
  • Little Miss likes the familiar. Most of the clothes I wore this week I’ve owned and worn for years.

As always I enjoyed spending time doing an activity with my girl. I trust her style and her taste and I’m looking forward to doing this again next year… if she wants to.

 

 

 

 

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Who do they Favor?

My children spend a lot of time with me. When they were babies and toddlers, as a stay-at-home mom, this was to be expected. But when my children reached school age I began to have a lot more time for myself. While school break in the summer is wonderful… no schedules, warm days, swimming, biking, grilling… my kids and I have reached the point where we may need a little break from each other. Day camp is next week and I think it may make us all a little kinder to one another.

I don’t know if any of you (and when I say you I mean full-time parenting as your only job people) experience this phenomenon, but sometimes My Man is invisible to my children. Now My Man is a super dad. When he’s home from work he’s involved with any kid related thing. Yet, Little Miss and Buddy could be standing right next to him in the kitchen and still shout to me in a far off place of the house to see if they can have a drink. My Munchkins will even ask, while standing next to their dad, questions like, “Mom, why do you think Daddy likes pickles so much?” and expect me to know the answer when they could just go to the source.

This past weekend we went to the mall (or as I like to say: the maul) for Buddy to spend some of his birthday loot at the Lego store. We did our shopping and needless-to-say were starving for an Auntie Anne’s pretzel after all that Lego looking.

We waited in a line, got two pretzels to share 4 ways, and a large lemonade with 4 straws.  Nearby was a stage that wasn’t in use and there The Familywere many mall patrons sitting on it. We joined them and began to scarf on our pretzel feast.

As I’m people watching and enjoying my snack I say, “I wonder what was on this stage?” and Little Miss, without missing a beat, says, “Feet.” Totally cracked me up and was even more funny because it is just the kind of joke My Man would say. I look over to Buddy to see if he heard how funny his sister was and he didn’t . This stage was near a big glass elevator and Buddy was intently studying the mechanics that made the elevator move up and down. Have I ever mentioned that My Man is an engineer?

At that point I realized that I was sitting between My Man’s children. His daughter was cracking silly jokes and his son was trying to figure out some mechanical gizmo. The only thing that made Little Miss and Buddy my children was the fact that they were enjoying the pretzel and lemonade so enormously.  Really though, these little kids that live with us are not his or mine but their own little people and I love that they are a mixed up mash of My Man and I.

 

 

Kid Quotes and The Chore Hour

My family is awesome. This was the first weekend where chores were part of the agenda. Sure we’d clean up stuff here and there on other weekends – but this weekend we had “The Chore Hour.” The kitchen timer was set for one hour. For 60 minutes the four of us were to be as busy as bees getting as many chores done as we could.

The rules were simple:

1. If you saw something that needed cleaning, picked up, or organized, do it.

2. If you don’t see anything then pull a chore from the chore bag.  

In the hour that we were all working this is what got done: dishwasher loaded and running, a sink full of dishes washed, kitchen counters wiped off, table wiped off, front porch and sidewalk swept, back patio swept, all scuff marks Magic Erased off of walls, baseboards in living room and dining room dusted, load of laundry folded and put away, 3 toilets cleaned, 3 bathroom sinks cleaned,  and 3 bathroom mirrors cleaned. And really – it wasn’t even all 4 of us. My man was out on a run when we started so he didn’t even participate. All those chores got done by myself and the two munchkins (who are just 6 and 7). Little Miss did pitch a bit of a fit when Buddy got to Magic Erase the walls – I guess that is a “fun” chore. All was better when I suggested to her that she could clean the toilets. She was seriously excited to do this!  I happened to walk past the bathroom as she’s wiping away and she exclaims, “I LOVE CLEANING TOILETS!”  We did another 30 minutes on Sunday just for fun and got even more stuff done! I just hope we keep it up.

Now time for some fun kid quotes.

I was bending down in front of Buddy tying his shoes. He was swooshing my hair all around and I say, “are you making me look like a pretty mom?” and he answers, “you look like a mom that doesn’t own a comb.” So much for my beach hair look.

I was lucky enough to sub in a kindergarten classroom last week. Pre-kids, when I was a full-time 8th grade science teacher, never in a million years would I have thought being with kindergarteners would be OK. I guess after living with a couple of them I understand five much better. I laughed all day. They just say awesome stuff. Here’s my favorite quote of the day. We were in the computer lab and the kids were doing a program where they had to create the letters of the alphabet. Some kids were zipping along and others were struggling a bit. I said to a few kids who were moving through without much problems, “you guys are really on a roll.” A few minutes later I over hear a little girl say to the boy next to her as she was working, “I’m doing a roll!” I smile just thinking about the cuteness.

I think my family did a roll this weekend and while nothing will get done next weekend (it’s camping season for us!) at least for now I have 3 clean toilets.

Fake Twins

A week ago Little Miss and Buddy came out of their rooms after getting dressed and ran to me. Look at us… we’re twins! And indeed – they were dressed with similar green shirts and camouflage bottoms. I am not the kind of mom that likes a matchy family – in fact I’ve been known to change (or My Man has) if we’re wearing shirts that are similar colors, but my kids are not of my thinking. They often match each other or Little Miss will organize her outfit to match mine. It’s just one more way that lets me know that THEY are in control of themselves and I have no say in so many things.

Little Miss and Buddy are very close. That closeness can be in months (there is 17 months to the day between them – they were both born on the 23rd of their month) as well as in relationship. Sure they fight like all siblings, but most of the time they genuinely like each other and play, play, play. I’m so thankful for that. As a family that moves every few years they are going to need that consistency of a built-in best friend – that someone they can count on to have their back when they enter a new situation with excitement and fear. I love to see how tight they are and I hope it lasts a lifetime.

So, when my two kiddos come out of their rooms dressed as twins and say “take a picture of us mom,” and then proceed to get very excited about the idea of dressing like twins for a week my heart sings a little. “Mom, you can write a blog about it,” they say. I get into it and I take their photo in the pose they concoct of them holding hands and standing “straight like soldiers” because they are wearing camouflage and I get excited about all the possibilities that this week can give me for my virtual story telling.

 This photo was taken on a Sunday – and by Monday morning the idea to continue was already “BORING”. I was kind of bummed when they decided to not continue their twin quest – but I got a cute photo and an idea handed to me to write about so it all ends up good in the end.

Making My Kids Laugh

Sometimes I forget that my kids are still little. I made it through the sleepless baby years, the selfish toddler years, the wacky pre-school years and now have two children who I see as so big – that is until  a 10-year-old stands next to them and then I realize that 5 and 7 don’t fall into big kid territory yet. I do remember that they’re just little kids when I do some of the things that  make them laugh. I don’t know about all you other parents, grandparents, caretakers, and teachers out there – but to me if I can get a giggle from one of my two I can’t help but feel a surge of joy. Here are some of the things I do that always cause a laugh.

1. The Cracked Butt.

If either child falls on their butt (and there will be crying, I do not have tough kids, I have melodramatic big tears I’ve never been so hurt in my life kids) I take a quick peek down the back of their pants and I say this, “Oh my gosh, this is worse than I thought, you cracked your butt! There’s a big crack in it!” I’m sure I’ve said this at least 100 times in the last 7 years and it never fails to make all of us giggle to no end.

2. Where Is My Child?

In the mornings when I wake my kids up they are usually snuggled up under their covers. And after my good morning song they often snuggle down deeper and pull the blankets over their heads.  Once this is accomplished, I can no longer find them. Where is Buddy? Where did Little Miss go? And there are giggles and wiggles under the covers. Two days ago Buddy pulled one on me. I woke him up and then went to Little Miss’ room to wake her up. When I got back to his room there was a lump under the covers. ” Where’s Buddy?”  I asked in a sing-song voice, “Where did he go?” And then I went to tickle the lump and it was a PILLOW! Seriously, where did Buddy go? And then I heard laughter, under his bed, and he came out saying, “I got you mom!”

3. Mixed Up Mom

Little Miss needed My Man or I to sing her Twinkle Twinkle Little Star almost every night for most of her life. She doesn’t request a song before bed very often now, but when she does I can always make her laugh by mixing up the words. Baa Baa Yellow Sheep… “No!” she shouts, “It’s not yellow sheep” and she grins and laughs. And I clear my throat and try again. Baa Baa Black Sheep (she nods in a way that says, “you got it mom”) Have You Any Drool? And the fits of laughter continue.

4. Pants Too High

This isn’t something that I do to them, but they do to me and I laugh every time. They do it on purpose to get me  to giggle. It’s especially great with PJ’s because of the stretchy elastic waist. They pull their pants up practically to their armpits and it just cracks me up! I know it’s a silly thing – and really their pants are pretty much right where I wore mine naturally when I was a kid in the 80’s – but it just looks so silly and they look so pleased with themselves for making me laugh that it’s always a fun time.

I know eye rolls and total parent embarrassment are a short journey down our road together, but I try not to think about that. I just try to think about new ways to make my kiddos laugh.

Friends We Are A Making

The Virginia welcome sign at the Virginia welc...

Image via Wikipedia

As a moving girl I don’t freak about a lack of a social life too soon after a move. From my experience I know it takes 6 months to a year until I start to feel like part of the community…. and by that I mean I have a hand full of friends I can call for whatever reason. In this particular move I was pretty lucky. My Man travels with a crowd that also travels and there just happened to be 3 families living in the area that we were pretty tight with in past places. It’s a bonus to have friends set pre-move! There were also at least half a dozen families who moved from our previous location to here at the exact same time… so I kind of already have a hand full of friends I can call for whatever… but I don’t like to depend on that. Those are my friends who will be moving on, just like me, at some point. I’ve found that the best friends I’ve made in any of the towns I’ve lived in are those that are not movers.

I was warned that people in Virginia are not friendly. I know friendly (I lived in Oklahoma – seriously the most friendly place I’ve ever been) and I have to say that those who warned me were dead wrong. I’ve gotten nothing but love from my new neighborhood. Not only have the neighbors introduced themselves, but as I began my daily trek of walking my kiddos to school, moms all over the neighborhood introduced themselves to me (Hey, I didn’t see you walking last year, are you new? What’s your name? How old are your kids? Who are their teachers? What are their names?) and they remembered my name. I felt welcomed.

We were lucky enough to move into a house that has a built-in 5-year-old boy right next door. Instant friend for Buddy! Little Miss kept asking where are the girls? About a month after moving here (in the heart of summer vacation) Little Miss told me a wish. The house across the street from us is empty. The word on the cul-de-sac  is that the man who lived there passed away and his children are working on fixing it up so they can rent it out. Little Miss was staring out the front window and she said, “wouldn’t it be great if a family moved into that house, and they had a little girl who was just my age? And wouldn’t it be even cooler if her name was Little Miss just like mine?” I agreed about the coolness of her wish and told her not to worry, that when school started she’d make tons of friends.

I’m thinking Little Miss has some powerful wish action going on! Little Miss has a sweet, old-fashioned name. It is not common and usually the only people you meet with her name are old, very old. On the day we visited her classroom for the first time her teacher told us that there was another little girl in the class with the very same name! Needless to say that was AMAZING information and since then those two Little Misses have become good friends (seriously – walking out of school holding hands kind of friends).

We’re half-way to the six month mark and already I feel like I’ve gotten my feet wet on the way to building some friendships. I’m curious to see what our life will be like at the one-year-mark.

Drama x2

My children have two personas. There is the polite, well-behaved, aren’t I cute? show they put on when they are out and about. And, I’d say 90% of the time I get that show as well.

Then there is the home show. The show that is saved especially for me and My Man to deal with. Buddy has a helpless streak. A, “my leg hurts and I can only crawl at a snail’s pace to my sneakers to put them on before we head out.” Buddy is also good at “I’m hysterical about something or other and the only thing that will make it better is a hug from mom”. Seriously, he is then  INSTA-FINE.

Little Miss has her own streak of drama. While Buddy’s drama tends to lean more towards the helpless side (whiney I can’t do anything and must have help from Mom and Dad to even stand up!) Little Miss’s is loud and obnoxious with wailing, tears, a screech thrown in for good measure (although the screeches have subsided after she learned that after each one her beloved Blankie would be placed in time out for 24 hours), and general hissy fits about something or other.

We joined a pool in our new neighborhood. And pool joining in Northern Virginia is bucks. So, I’m making sure that we hit that pool every chance we can get to get our money’s worth. In my mind, pool = fun. The other day we were getting ready to go swim. I sent the kids to their rooms to get their suits on. Me, suited up. Buddy, suited up. Little Miss, pitching a good ole fashioned fit about her bathing suits not feeling good. She has a number to choose from and each one was too big, or too small, or just not right. There were wails, and tears, and flailing of arms and maybe even a foot stomp or two (she is going to be so good at the “you just don’t understand” flip outs she’ll have in her teen years) While she was pitching away I turned to Buddy and said, “I guess we won’t be going to the pool until your sister calms down. You know her…” And he answered, “yeah, hers a freak out mess”. His pro-noun usage may be a bit off but he nailed it with his description.

Even if Little Miss is a “freak out mess” and Buddy is a puddle of helplessness on the floor I love these two little munchkins so much it makes me a little teary eyed and heart achy. I’ll take my 10% of mess for getting to share in their little lives 100%.