Wednesday, August 31, 2011

little updates on life

Wow- Everyone seems to have kids that are heading off to kindergarten this year. Lacey wants to go SO BAD, especially because "Maya is 5 and she get's to go to school." (Yep, Maya is her best daycare friend).

At this point we've decided not to put Lacey in any sort of preschool. Being an October baby she's missed the cutoff for next year as well, so why do 2 years of preschool? Plus, I am not so sure preschool is going to teach her much she isn't already learning. She's a smart one! I think one of the most important aspects of school is the social part. When I stayed home, I felt like my kids were pretty good socially. A little slow to warm up-- but once they were comfortable no issues. However, going to daycare, being surrounded by bigger, older, louder, kids really threw them off for a while! Here they were having to become friends with an entire new group of people! During circle time at daycare they talk a lot about bullying, because as you can guess the kids can be bullies some days! What I love most is that Joyce sits everyone down, talks about what happened, talks about how that makes people feel, and talks about what you should do if that happens to you in the future. I love that last part. She told me once that she really hopes that when her kids leave and go to school, and someone says "Hey, I don't like your shirt!" That her kids can think back to Joyce's house and what they learned there and remember the best way to respond.

In other news, Miles is a dream child lately, which mostly means that the tide is about to turn, but so far I am ABSOLUTELY loving the less drama that a boy brings. Not to say that Miles doesn't have his moments, he certainly does, but Lacey's "moments" seem to last a lifetime sometimes! I am always forgetting Miles is just 2.5. I wish I could just brag on him for a minute, the kid is a freaking genius (but I'll spare you). The things he tells me and the paragraphs he speaks are freaking hilarious! I love that kid so much, plus he is such a mama's boy, so when I see him after work he just goes CRAZY talking, talking, talking to me. His current favorite thing is SPIDERMAN. He runs around the house 'getting the bad guys'

Lacey is the opposite of a dream child lately. Fighting everything. Getting dressed, brushing hair, going to the bathroom, going to bed, eating, getting in the car. Anytime we are trying to be serious, she starts going crazy and laughing and giggling nonstop. Drives me slightly nuts. I suppose it's part of her exerting her independence, but sometimes it just grates at me. I am finding that with her I really have to "engage" her in things. Like tonight, for example, I had her help me pack the linen closet. Put her in charge of a few small tasks, and she was a dream. I think I need to transition thinking of her as "little" she is certainly getting bigger and wiser and wants more responsibility and more direction. Something for me to remember and us to work on!

Finally, we got the house, inspection was clean! We move in a couple of weeks. Buying a house costs a lot of money. The End.

Friday, August 26, 2011

House...sneak peak

It took 5 very L-O-N-G months but we finally got approval on this sucker today...Hooray!

(sorry, this is the MLS picture from MARCH when we put the offer in...)

OMG---3 car garage---!!!!!-----ATTACHED-----no hiking through the snow to start my brushing snow or scraping carrying the kids in the dark and cold to the car....LOVE.

Anyway, we are very happy. On the agenda for next week is:
1) Inspection
2) Lock-in Financing (interest rates are so LOW right now)!
3) I have month-end close = 10-12 hour work days for Monday-Wednesday. (boo)!

Geez. We will be busy!!

The house needs PAINT. Desperately. We have decided to try to paint the entire house, including enameling the trim work before moving it. It's certainly the best time to do it. We already have a renter for this place lined up, so the timing might be tricky. Paint it is our goal.

Maybe a few other minor fixes and repairs. Can't wait to show more pics!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

sometimes I get distracted from studying and I dream of owning this...

Toyota Highlander Hybrid

I want one so bad, but since I have no interest in a car payment, I'll keep dreaming.
For a good, long, while.

Okay, back to studying (ugh).

Saturday, August 13, 2011

up for this?

Today is the day I challenge anyone who wants kids, but doesn't yet have them, to come over and watch mine. Don't be surprised if they change your mind!

A typical day starts out really well, gradually leads to more whining and bickering as lunch and naptime comes closer, then it peaks again after naps. All is well until closer to bedtime when things start falling apart again. It's a pretty typical cycle.

You just know it's going to be a rough day when it fall apart 15 minutes after waking up. It takes all my gumption to be "up for it."

I did all I could to keep them happy. Both were short on sleep, so I wasn't completely surprised. I let them play in the bath as long as they wanted, pick out their own clothes, keeping my mouth shut regardless. I let them drag out every pillow and blanket from their beds and jump on it in the living room. Today I even rearranged the furniture in their bedrooms, since it helped keep their little minds occupied.

And now, I will relish (study) in the sweet moment that is naptime.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Well-Being snapshot

Going to try to give more complete answers, as opposed to one word phrases.

If I could say one thing to myself 10 years ago: Ten years ago i was graduating from High School. I would definitely tell myself that the best is yet to come. You will face challenges, but you’ll get over them, you will get married and have kids, but don’t try to rush that or focus on when that will happen, and you need to enjoy your time now because life won’t always be so flexible and fun!

My favorite place in the world: Any place when I am looking over a lake, sipping coffee, and eating breakfast on a comfortable summer morning. Doesn’t that sound absolutely divine?!

The lesson I keep learning over and over: We are not in control, God is. When life seems a bit bleak, He is just working out His plan. My job is to trust and be patient, which is SO hard sometimes! However, I do hope that trust and a positive outlook is something I can pass to my kids, and I suppose it will be hard to pass that a long if I never experience it huh?

The movie I watch when I want to laugh: Oh man, I have no idea? Maybe something like How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, or Wedding Crashers. I am a fan of Kate Hudson.

The most scared I've ever been: Probably when we were in Washington. Mike came home from work and showed me a letter that said “Due to the recent economy, our company is reorganizing, and your position will no longer be needed….” I was 31 weeks pregnant with Miles at the time. They offered to have Mike to stay on as a “shift manager” but we were taking at least a $1000 pay cut per month. I don’t even know if we could afford rent. So now, refer back to the lesson I keep learning over and over again (above).

No one knows I: Can’t settle down, ever. (okay, my husband knows this and it drives him crazy). I am like a machine, I just don't stop...go, go, go...stay on schedule, no time for that, let's go! I push and push and push, until I get sick (literally), I just always want to have everything figured out right this minute, which most of the time is impossible. I am learning to settle for ‘mostly figured out.’ That’s the best I can do. (kids have helped me settle down a lot).

Unhealthiest thing I've ever passed off as dinner: Oh, good grief. If my husband isn’t home, I eat horrendously. Probably a few marshmallows and some coffee (don’t worry, I feed the kids a meal, why I don’t eat their meal is beyond me).

Personal philosophy: Always be creating goals, and then find a way to make them a reality--No matter what, don't settle, no regrets, don't be lazy. You will get there.

Book that changed my life: This is a terrible answer, but my Intermediate Accounting I textbook. It was when I discovered that Accounting is 1) HARD 2) Confusing and 3) not about math, it's about rules. Changed everything I thought I knew about accounting, so essentially it changed my life I guess.

I unwind by: Browsing the internet, wasting time looking at facebook, pinterest, apartment therapy, blog reading, online shopping etc. Mike has no idea how I can “waste” so much time online!

Proudest moment in my career: landing a busy season internship, and successfully completing it. Mike just told me the other day he has no idea how I did it working that much.

What keeps me up at night; Caffeine. (serious, I’ve made coffee at 5;00 pm against my better judgement). Also movie watching, and browsing the internet. I should probably add “trying to figure life out” I don’t sleep that well, I can’t really shut down easily. Lacey takes after me in this way, she calls me into her room over and over again, to ask a random question or shoot the breeze with me. Mike and Miles on the other hand shut off immediately. In fact once I turn off Miles’ light, I usually lay down in his bed with him. He says “mommy, leave.” To which I reply “not until I get a kiss” So he gives me a kiss and then asks for a hug as well

I define "downtime" as: Downtime is mostly when I am doing absolutely nothing, and there is nothing I should be doing. This happens, never, because you know, I can always study!

Coffee or tea? Coffee. Definitely. Lots and lots of coffee.

Guiltiest pleasure: I would have to say doing/buying something for myself. Kids are expensive, and they are the ones who grow out of everything in their closet every season, so often, they get the new stuff, and I keep the same stuff year after year. Some of my guiltiest pleasures are shopping for ME; finding new, comfortable, work shoes, getting stuff on major sale, a fresh haircut/color, and a venti soy no water chai…If I can go shopping, grab a chai, and then sit down for a cut/color, I would be in heaven. A girl can dream right?

My mom was right about: letting your kids grow up is the hardest part about being a parent. I remember seeing books with titles like “Give Them Wings” when I was in high school. But my parents had it spot on. They are so good about letting Mike and I vent about our problems, but have never offered unsolicited advice. In fact, there have been times I have wished she would just tell me what to do, but she doesn’t. Which turns out for the best, because only we know what is right for us, and only we can navigate and figure it out. Now that I am a parent, seeing them become older and more independent is definitely a hard process, but it’s also rewarding.

My mom was wrong about: not much...

The last time I lost my temper was: Last week at Mall of America. I am not going to lie, having a 2.5 and a 3.5 year old is, as Mike puts it, wicked. It was a rainy morning and we decided to take the kids to annoying MOA to go on a couple of rides. The mall had just opened so we thought it would less busy. We were dead wrong. It was total chaos. Initially the kids were fine, but once we got out of the stroller to go on a ride, getting back in was not an option for them. Screams. Then Lacey pinched her finger in the stroller. More screams. We left with 2 screaming kids, through the parking ramps, where some lady had the audacity to ask us if she could have our parking spot. For realz? Do two harried parents, with 2 screaming toddlers really look like we are in the mood. We had both kind of lost it.

My favorite moment of the day: I love waking up on a semi-chilly morning, after getting enough sleep and everyone else is still sleeping, and drinking those first few sips of coffee.

I wish I had more time for: DIY projects. So many ideas, so little time. oh, and I wish I had time to run.

I'm currently reading: Wiley CPA Exam review: Business Environment and Concepts. It sucks and is dreadfully boring in case you were wondering. I am currently studying derivatives and hedging. Good times.

Home means: It definitely means where I can be myself and just relax!

Friday, August 5, 2011

to Catch Happiness

**I wrote this post a couple of days ago at my lunch break. Though I'd better get it posted!


For some reason I have this quote written down in the front cover of my CPA book, it’s by Benjamin Franklin it says “The Constitution only gives people the right to happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”

Hmmm. I must have written it down because it resonates with me, so here I am at my lunch hour thinking about it (basically because the thought of studying right now makes me want to scream). Mike and I are on the cusp of buying our first house. I finally (finally!) have a good job. Mike just started a new job, more in tune with his passions, and the kids are happy at daycare. At the moment life appears stable. It probably looks pretty darn good actualy, rest assured we still have anxiety builders!

Something I am learning is that perfect stability is constantly eluding us. At the moment, the big things are in order, but the little things are constantly surrounding. The fact that I never have a list of go-to sitters (and I could really use one everyday this weekend), which leaves Mike and I juggling our schedules constantly. The fact that our shocks need to be replaced on our car, because I went over a pothole last week. Our daycare is closed for a week in August and guess who has no vacation to take off, so we are juggling what to do with our kids. If we actually end up buying this house and move we need to find a new daycare, that's major stress. Our to-do list, is far longer than our we-did list. It can really go on. Trust me, we do love our life, but some days its hard finding happiness in the day to day things. The broken cars, the messy house, the endless laundry, the grocery shopping...

The biggest and best example I can think of is when we moved to Seattle. We moved there for no good reason, except that we were so over Minneapolis and we wanted a change. That in and of itself is fine. But looking back, we thought that getting out of MN, getting out of the snow and the cold, the in-laws I don’t mesh with, the mundane day to day life would make us happier. In hindsight I see that Mike and I were coming off of getting married, starting back at school, getting pregnant, having a baby, we were just bored. Oh the lessons we learn!

Seattle did not make us happy. It didn’t make us unhappy either. But Seattle was no different than Minneapolis (except more expensive). We still went to work every day, still had complaints about the weather or the traffic or the fact that there weren’t any Super Targets (ha-ha…seriously though, Seattle- what is up with that?). I was still overwhelmed with a baby and being pregnant, we never had a day off without Lacey (my first time away from her was when I was in the hospital having Miles). It was the same. It was good, but it was hard. Let's face it, sometimes life is hard, and un-exciting.

We are approaching our 5 year anniversary in a couple of weeks. The time has really flown, but we have been juggling and figuring out from day one. That’s life. That is how we have adjusted to life. I am starting to learn that there will always be juggling. There will always be to-do lists, and chores, and day-to-day. There will be mountains. However I have learned one thing. Houses, Jobs, cities, conveniences, and things do not make a person happy. We are so often looking to "the next big thing" The house we want to buy, the new car, the new computer, the new furniture, fridge, etc. etc. etc. that we forget to just stop. breath. enjoy. To “catch” happiness, it’s very possible that we need to look at our mundane, day to day lives, and appreciate the exact moment we are in.

Like for example this morning in the car on the way to daycare Lacey was singing “Christmas time is hear, Christmastime is here” to the tune of Deck the Halls. That was pure happiness.