Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Confession Number 23: She Was Too Cute!

I had mixed feelings in my stomach last Saturday as we drove to Tulsa.  We were on a "Kennedy Day".  We have these from time to time where everything, or at least most, of what we do is something especially for the rugrat.  This last Kennedy Day we were off to Sesame Street Live and I was excited and dreading it all at the same time.  Would our seats be good enough for her to see?  Would she be excited to see her friends in real life, or scared to death because Big Bird was 10 ft. tall?  Would she throw a fit wanting everything Elmo and Abby related they were selling?  Would her lack of a nap equal a meltdown of cosmic proportion?  Would I rather poke my eyes out with a hot needle than have to sit in a convention center with 500 other toddlers and Sesame Street songs for an hour and a half? 

We started talking about it a week or so before....

Me:  You want to watch Elmo and Abby?
Kennedy:  No.  Dora.
Me:  How about Elmo and Abby?  We are going to go see them in a few days.  They are going to sing and dance for you. 
Kennedy:  I want Dora!  I want Mickey Mouse!  (Pretty much anything but Elmo and Abby)
Me:  Well, tough cookies kiddo, we are watching Elmo.

Okay, so I didn't say it like that, but we had this arguement a time or two in the days leading up to the show.  I wanted her to get excited about them again, and it worked.  Here she is, all ready for the big day...

It was a long day.  We ran to a couple of places in Tulsa.  We looked for her some new spring shoes.  When we asked her what she wanted to eat her reply was "steak" of her all time favs.  We took the liberty of deciding what kind of steak and settled on Pei Wei steak.  Well, okay, Mongolian Beef, but she thought it was yummy.  Then, finally we headed to the BOKCenter with our own Elmo and Abby in tow.  She thought it was great because we let her snack on some Dots before the show...
And she got to spend some quality time with Mom....

 and Dad....

But when the show started, I knew I had made the right decision.  She watched....

and she watched....

and she danced....

and she watched some more....
She loved seeing Elmo and Abby and all of her other friends...

And she didn't even ASK for a $10 Elmo balloon...

Yep.  I'm not joking.  $10 a pop.  Count with me...10, 20, 30, 40, don't even want to know how much money we saw float to the top of the BOKCenter.  Absolutely crazy!  Kennedy had a complete blast and so did Dustin and I.  It was fun, but we had a very tired girl on our hands when it was all over...

PS:  Yes, I know those big blue bows on her head are totally out of control.  Have you ever had a bow/ribbon fight with a 2 and a half year old "princess"?  Okay, then. 

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I'm Getting Excited, Part 3

So, the house is moving VERY quickly right now.  I know it is going to slow down again, but I'm loving every minute of this pace.  This week we have picked out wall texture, pantry and garage interior doors, granite countertops, carpet, hard wood, tile and finalized cabinetry.  Whew!  What started out as a relaxed week on Sunday turned into craziness by the end of the week.  As for actual progress on the house, the whole house was dry walled and taped and bedded this week.  We may get texture on the walls as early as today, but no later than Monday.  The chimney and dormers were also completed.  Oh!  And brick was ordered.  I'm getting all pumped up just talking about it!

It is amazing the transformation from a bunch of sticks to a real house with dry wall.  You can actually see rooms and I can visualize our life inside.  Here are a few highlights from this week's progress....
Looking into the kitchen from the living room.  That wooden structure will be a huge island and that wall will have my nice, pretty six burner gas cooktop and be full of cabinets. 

Kennedy is showing off "KJ's new room".  The lighting wasn't working with me here.  The door on the left goes into a Jack and Jill bath.

Dining room and back patio door.

Upstairs family room.  Dustin has grand plans for that back wall and media.  We'll see. 

Another one of Dustin's favorite spots.  This is the fireplace in the living room.  It mirrors the wall in the above shot of the kitchen.  What?  Oh.  Yes, there is a big hole there.  That is for Dustin's flat screen TV.  I get 6 burners of gas madness and he gets a flat screen above the fireplace.  I think we are equally excited.  There will be built in cabinets on both sides and the fireplace is going to be stacked stone.  Don't worry.  There is a mantel with ample room so my Christmas stocking holders don't block the TV.  Yes.  I'm Clark Griswald.  We made lots of decisions based on my Christmas decorations.  I even have outlets in the soffets of the roof so I don't have to run extension cords.  Thanks to my builder's son, I even have them in each dormer so those can be lit, too.  Jay The Builder, Jared, his son, and Dustin made that decision all by themselves.  Aren't I working with a good bunch of boys?

So, there she is.  Dustin just said my "confession" was turning into an "obsession".  He's way too proud of himself for that one.  Next decisions involve plumbing and lighting fixtures and paint colors.  That last one has me a little bumfuzzled.  Advice anyone??

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Confession Number 22: It's Not Easy Being Green

I've written about going green before. No new news on this front, except that I've been feeling a little helpless and underwhelmed in the area lately. We are still doing the normal things that are easy for our family. I still by organic when I can find it and it won't cost me my right arm. We still drive our may run away speeding down the highway with no way to stop it except for slamming into a barrier in a big fiery ball hybrid Prius. I still use my reusable bags at Wal-Mart. However, we are facing a few challenges, too.

Our town lost it's recycling services when the company decided they weren't making enough money to drive an hour once a week to empty our bins. It almost breaks my heart every time I have to throw a milk jug or a cardboard box into the dumpster. It almost makes me want to turn to hoarding all of my recyclables until our city leaders can figure out a new plan. Almost. Okay, not really, but you understand my point. I'm getting discouraged in all of this doing good for the environment business. I'm just about to throw the towel into the dumpster with all of my trash.

Then, a few days ago, my friend Megan, over at SortaCrunchy wrote about her goals for Project Spring Green. Maybe because Megan is one of those people that could say, "Charla jump off this bridge head first" and I would say, "sure thing". Maybe it is because deep down inside I'm still a college freshmen scared to death of my sorority alum dorm director. Maybe it is because it is spring and things are blooming and there are little baby chicks at the farm store and I feel like life has new purpose, but Megan's post inspired me. She challenged all of her readers to set one green goal for spring. Just one. It could be as little as vowing to not use paper plates or it could be as bold as declaring your family toilet paper free. (Yes, there are really people out there who do this, it is called "family cloth" and if you dare to learn more about it, my dear Megan explains it here.  Warning:  It terrified me.  You may have nightmares.) After reading Megan's post, and the comments that followed, I thought, "I can do this. Okay, I can't do family cloth, but I can do something." So, I set two goals for myself:

1- Not accepting any plastic shopping bags anywhere. I'm really good at taking my reusable bags to Wal-Mart, and even Braum's, but to the mall? Never. Not once.

2- Try to buy locally grown produce. Megan's challenge is to carry out your goal through the month of April, thinking by that time the goal will be a habit. I'm not sure I'll be able to do this in April because I'm not sure when our local farmer's market will be up and running, but this is my goal for the summer. I may have to cheat here and there, but the majority of produce should NOT come from Wal-Mart.

So, Kennedy wants to know, what is your Project Spring Green goal?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Confession Number 21: It's an OSU Day

I want to apologize to all of my Sooner family and friends out there for this post.  I have officially been diagnosed with Bedlam Bipolar Disorder.  That being said, in our house, today is an OSU day.  Dustin would probably argue to say that we never have an OU day in our house, but it is just because he decides not to celebrate them.  Kennedy and I have plenty. 

We are smack dab in the middle of, argueably, the best two days in sports for the year, and yesterday was upset mania.  Let's just say, I've already lost an Elite Eight team.  Thanks for nuttin' Georgetown Hoyas.  Well, today the Cowboys make their March Madness debut.  Don't let us down Cowboys!  You are our only hope on the men's side!!  Both OSU and OU women play this weekend, so I'll be busy switching my shirts back and forth.  Don't worry, I have all my crimson and orange clean. 

In celebration of it being an OSU day, Kennedy and I decided it might be fun to be a Cowgirl Princess for the day.  She was so cute we headed outside for a photo shoot.  Here is how it turned out....

Mom, does this tutu make my bootie look big? 

Ahhhh!  The sun!

Ooops.  It is a little windy!

Oh no!  Mommy, What about our Sooners??

It's okay, we can wear our crimson when they play on Sunday. 
At least part of the day.  The Cowboys should play that day, too. 
Oh, the stresses of growing up in a Bedlam house. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Confession Number 20: I Let Her Pick

My mom raised three girls to be strong, independent women.  As much as it may grate on our husband's nerves, at times, the three of us have our opinions, aren't afraid to voice them and to face just about any challenge thrown our way.  I love this about myself, and I love my mom for giving me this gift.  I have been thinking a lot lately about how to raise Kennedy to stand up for and do things herself.  Of course, the lesson of independence comes with raising a two-year old.  "No Mommy, I do it ALL BY MYSELF" has become one of Kennedy's favorite sentences.  I love it and it breaks my heart, all at the same time. One thing I have started doing in order to give her a bit more independence is to let her choose.  Pink outfit or the other pink outfit?  Strawberries or a banana?  Ponytail or piggy tails?  "I pick.....I pick......I pick.......".  She may change her mind, and that is okay.  Or sometimes it is not and you learn to live with your decision.  This is where this story begins.....

So, here we are, a happy little family out for a day in the "big city".  Our bellies are full with yummy Chinese food and we are ready to get our shop on.  We run into Target to pick up a few things...shower gel, an Easter basket, a shirt for Kennedy's Easter outfit. 

Then, it happened.  The Target Spell took over.  You know, the Spell that makes you throw random things into your cart?  That dang Spell caused a nuclear meltdown.  We passed an endcap of beach towels.  I've been on the lookout for good deals on beach towels pretty much since it turned cold.  We now live next to one of the most beautiful lakes in Oklahoma AND we have a swimming pool at our disposal.  I am SOOO excited!  They were $5, so I grab one to check out the feel and decide that they are worthy of soaking up the water on my tanned, perfectly toned body.  Sorry, I confused this story with a dream.  I'm back on track now.  So, I pick out a pink and orange polka dot towel and give KJ the choice between pink and orange stripes or blue and green polka dots.  Then she sees it.  Dang marketers.  The next aisle over had character towels.  Daddy said she could get one of those (READ:  more expensive) towels, so I gave her the choice....

KJ:  Dora, Dora, there's Dora and Boots! (reaching out to grab the Dora towel)
Me:  Yes.  Or you could have this Cinderella Princess towel. (Pulling out the Cinderella towel for her to see)
D:  Don't let her see that one!  Just put the Dora towel in the cart.
Me:  I let her pick.  It's one of the lessons of growing up.  Kennedy, do you want Dora or Cinderella?
KJ:  I pick, I pick, I pick (looking back and forth) Princess!
Me:  Okay, good choice (I'm all about reinforcement).  We will put the Dora towel back.
KJ:  Noooo!!!!!  I want Dora
Me:  Kennedy, you got to pick and you picked the Cinderella towel.  You can only get one.
D:  I told you so.
Me:  (Cutting my eyes at him) Zip it. 
D:  This is going to end up a blog post.
Me:  (Giving him a "look")  I. said. zip. it. 
KJ:  I want Dora.  I want Dora!  I want DOOOORRRRRAAAA!

~Okay, I'm going to pause here and say that Dustin and I can't STAND Dora.  She's annoying.  Her voice is like fingernails running down a chalkboard.  Yes.  I admit it.  I'm biased toward anything princess. ~

Me:  Okay, okay, quit screaming.  (Seeing Dustin start to get uncomfortable that she isn't being perfect in the store)  You get one towel, not two.  Would you like Dora or Cinderella? 
Me:  Okay, here is Dora.  Let's go.  (Obviously disapointed at her choice, but glad to let her have it)
D:  Told ya that would be a disaster.  (Sly smile on his face)
Me:  I like to let her choose.  It teaches her a lesson.  YOU are the one who told her she could have the more expensive towel.
D:  YOU are the one who said she could get something when we came in the store.  Yep.  I can just see it on your blog right now.

Dang men.  Here is Kennedy.  With her Dora towel.

Monday, March 15, 2010

I'm Getting Excited, Part 2

Excited isn't even the word for my emotions about our new house.  It seems like things have really started happening very quickly.  This is where I left you last time....

Since then SOOOO much has happened.  Let's see, the garage was poured, all of the framing was finished, the roof was done, we added another room upstairs and eletrical, plumbing and the heating and air was started.  Whew!  Here is where we are now....

This picture was actually taken a couple of weeks ago, but not much has changed outside.  The night this picture was taken Dustin and I walked around amazed.  Look, we have a front door....

And electrical outlets....

Who knew I'd ever be so excited about electrical boxes???  I need help.  Serious help.  You see, I was downright giddy over a chimney we didn't know we were getting....

And I almost peed my pants when I saw our pocket door frames....

I know.  I get excited easily.  I can't help it!  Being cooped up in this apartment all winter has gotten to my brain.  There is a lot done that I don't have pictures of, but you don't need a picture to show you wiring and plumbing and duct work.  You probably aren't jumping up and down about it like I am.  The stress of things started hitting us over the weekend.  Dustin was working on a plan for the wiring, I was faced with the challenge of trying to get all of the lighting we need, while staying within our allowance.  We went searching for brick....again.  Dustin had another meeting with Jay the Builder today. 

Whew!  It is all coming at us very quickly, but it is just what we need.  We should have insulation by the end of the week and dry wall on the 23rd.  I just can't wait.  Seeing new progress everyday sure has done miraculous things for my mood.  Of course, the warm(er) weather doesn't hurt, either.  Stay tuned.....I'll try not to keep you waiting so long before the next update. 

Monday, March 8, 2010

Confession Number 19: I Couldn't Decide

So Kennedy went to her first Mother's Day Out today.  This is something I've been wanting since we moved to Grove, but nothing was available until recently.  I knew for sure that she was going on Saturday afternoon, and spent the next day and a half thinking of what I was going to do while she was gone.  Here are the thoughts that ran through my head....

Yea!  She gets to go on Monday!
What am I going to do?
I really don't have that much I need to do.
Maybe she shouldn't go since I don't have anything to do.
No, she's going.
But, what to do.
Hmmm, maybe I could run the vaccum.
That would require picking up the house.
Maybe I should take a walk.
That would require energy.
Maybe I should go get a pedi.  Sandal season is almost here. 
Maybe I could go to Wal-Mart.
But, Kennedy likes to go to Wal-Mart
Maybe I should get the blog caught up.
Kennedy hates when I'm on the computer.
Wow!  There is so much to do!  How am I going to get it all done in just three and a half hours?

My list got so long, I couldn't decide what to do.  How was I going to spend my KJ free time.  I was torn between doing housekeeping stuff and doing something just for myself.  I ended up doing a whirlwind cleaning job on the apartment, spent about 30 minutes goofing off on the computer, then running a few errands around town.  I was so busy I almost forgot to take a shower!  I love Mom's Day Out!  I even made it a little early to pick up Kennedy .  She was having so much fun she complained when we left.  I think both of us can hardly wait until the next one. 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Confession Number 18: I Ate My Words for Lunch

As you may have read here, we recently spent the weekend with Dustin's folks (AKA Mimi and Papa Jerry) in Hot Springs, Arkansas.  I had been to Hot Springs one other time, about five years ago.  We went for a short weekend trip with some friends.  We all enjoyed the spa (even the boys) and the horse races.  I remember from that trip, seeing all the little kids at the horse races and thinking to myself (okay, I might have said it outloud to Brandi, but she understood), "Wow.  Bringing your kid to the race track.  That's a great family day.  Can't put your gambling on hold for just one day, huh?"  Well, this is one of many times in my two and a half years as a mother that I have eaten my words. 

Kennedy spent part of both days we were in Hot Springs at the horse racing track.  Not because I couldn't put my gambling on hold for a day, I didn't even place a bet, but because we thought she would like it.  She loves seeing the horses on her Weezie and Papa Lynn's farm, so we thought she might enjoy a day watching the ponies run.  She loved it!  And I actually didn't feel guilty about it one bit.  We took her down to see them up close, which she loved.

She even liked watching all the people.  She was so good.  I think as long as she was getting the attention of her Mimi and Papa Jerry, she was happy!

She's been attached to Dustin's side ever since she and I got back from the farm a couple of weeks ago.  Yep, she's a daddy's girl.  I wouldn't want it any other way, though.  There is something about seeing the man you love with his little girl.  It just makes your heart go pitter pat. 

Of course, she got a little sleepy....

So I had to take her to the car, where we then found a mall.  She sleeps well in her stroller at the mall.  Dang it.  I hate it when that Motherly Duty kicks in, don't you?