August 1, 2013

Absentee Mama

Dear Kids,

It's now August, and I have written two ....TWO posts on this blog this year. Holy cow. I would apologize and I think maybe I should.

Or maybe it's time to acknowledge that you guys are no longer babies... and the proverbial baby book has come to a close.

I should probably close this blog, because to blog----one is required to write.  All of your pictures are housed over at SwimBikeMom now anyway.

But I'm not ready.

I want to write about you more often and all the time.  Because you are so funny. And right now, I feel the time slipping through my fingers and the whispers of "Mommy I love you" and the never-ending temper tantrums that still happen are getting farther away.

You are my only babies. I think you will be. I don't want any other babies. It's "James and Stella" and that's all.

You're my world. You're my entire cause of breaking down mentally on rides home from picking you up from school, "Why oh why can't you just be quiet and stop hitting your sister!?!?"

But being a mother has made me a better person.

And I should write about that more often.

I think you are my next book.  I think that's where we are headed. Because I have some tales for you guys. Boy, do I.

April 5, 2013

A Sweet Share

I experienced one of the sweetest brother-sister moments last night. We have been working with the kiddos about earning money and saving their money. James and Stella both got wallets - and James is especially proud of his.

If I had known a wallet would bring so much joy...

Anyway, last night he was showing me all of his money in his wallet.

We were sitting on the floor of the bedroom.. I was folding laundry. He was proud of his wallet.

"Look Mom, I have a dollar."

"Well," I said, "It's half a dollar. Where's the other half?"

"Oh, I gave it to Stella. She didn't have a dollar, so I wanted to share with her."
Almost made me cry.
Until I went to Stella's room, and saw FOUR dollar bills in her room... and the sad one-half dollar James gave her.  I couldn't let him see that.  Poor, sweet little dude got swindled by his little stinker sister con-artist.

Oh but she is too much, and too cute to stay mad at for long.  They both are, really. 

We've been working like crazy people getting adjusted to our new house and world here in Sandy Springs.  The kids are liking their old school, but are really missing our prior babysitter, Ms. J, our old neighbors and their school friends.

But we've got a great gym and pool - just like we did in Lawrenceville--- but better. So I am hoping that makes up for it.

It's tough being in a new place. I don't really feel like Sandy Springs is "new" because I have been working over here and working out at the gym here for years now... so love the area and felt immediately at home.

The kids... I worried about them.. but they have really done well. I am proud of them. They plugged right into their classes and made friends. I think it helps that they have each other, too.

This was a picture of a ROYAL temper tantrum the other night. Wowzers.

And the poor Toy-Story-style baby. There's a reason Pixar created that baby.

And a very hoppy Easter.

Flowers from the tree in our "new house."

The kids were off from school last Friday, so I took the day off from work and we had a great day together ---just me and the kiddos.  We went to the Atlanta Children's Museum, and they had a ball. I was really impressed with the place.  We went right when the doors opened, which was good. I can imagine it gets a little nuts later in the day.

I was a super fan of the paint station, as were the kiddos. I loved how James immediately made a picture... and Stella went directly for something simply beautiful. Tells a ton about their personalities: James and his analytical side; Stella and her quest for the lovely things.

We live near a great playground. The babies used to love the playground by their old school, so I am glad that we are three blocks from one.  I have nicknamed it "Pattycake Playground"--- just because it made the kiddos giggle. Seems that it's kind of stuck. 

The boys love Stella Rae.  Here's yet another one of them following her around. Hopefully it's not (or it is) a preview of things to come...I'm not sure which one I hope. ;)

I am constantly shocked at how easy kids learn to be techy.  Both kids can use the iPhones. And we barely "let" them.  But I wake up often to photo bombs. Usually from Stella:

Stella's a pretty darn good photographer.  See?

Here's the view from near our house. I love seeing the King and Queen building. The kids think that the King and Queen live there. I like to keep it that way.

Stella:   Hey James. You like my Hello Kitty Swim SOUP?

James:  No.

Stella:  Why not? It's BLUE for boys.

James:  Oh, okay.  No.

Stella:  You are a bad brudder.

James:  Oh whatever, Stelllllla.

The Expert is a great daddy.  Always has been.  He'll always jump right in an play. Momma is usually too tired (or too lazy) to get dirty and down on the floor (in this case... I couldn't stand to get BACK in the pool after my long swim :-/ ...hello Ironman....)  ...but that's why I love the dude.

For Easter, the Bunny brought mostly practical things like bath towels, underpants and jammies.  James got an Angry Birds Lego thing, and Stella got a train case of makeup. Lawdy.  Yesterday, Stella was on a stool in the bathroom... while JAMES put makeup on HER.  

He actually did a pretty good job.  Stella says she "can't see to put makeup on her eyes when she closes them," so she needed her "brudder" to do it. 

The princess is in! She's fabulous. I mean... ballet skirt, jacket and glasses on head. Her own creation. I cannot compete. I am going to totally embarrass her by the time she's a teenager. My lack of style now is going to torment her when I am wearing my mom jeans in 10 years.

Just a little preview was yesterday:
Stella: "I don't wanna go eat pizza! My earring fell out and I don't like this world! Momma you are not beautiful-- you are crazy!!!" 

Oh I can't wait for the teenage years. That will be "fun."

I'm proud of the kids. I don't write as much anymore because I am always on the "other" blog... but it doesn't mean that I don't have an iPhone FULL of pictures to share... and drawers of post-its with anecdotes to blog about.... I'm just looking for spare hours.

And right now... if they are awake and I am able, I am with them... not writing about them.

On Wednesday afternoon at 4:25, I was at the park with some frozen yogurt...with my kids. That's what moving to Sandy Springs has done for our family. The Expert takes them to school; I get off work at 4:00, and I pick them up. #blessed.

It's just the four of us, and I really do like the new changes.

February 17, 2013

January, February... Wowzers

January went by like the wind.  I admittedly did not post a single post on this blog. For shame on me. As if I don't get enough stink-eyes on me for all the swimming, biking and running I do... not I'm not even writing about my kids. Oh, gosh. Mother of the year.  Mother. of. the. Year.

First up in January was New Year's.  Duh.  Well, we were all still recovering from the heinous Christmas plague, and I ended up with it part II.  Then Stella again.  Luckily, we were all ready in time for the big birthday bash---for baby girl's 4th birthday at the fantastic birthday venue of Monkey Joe's.

Stella, who refused to sit in the inflatable birthday throne, made out like a bandit with wonderful presents, love and friends to share the day.  And the Hello Kitty cake was a success and tasted great too. Hooray. Although I do think I might be out of the cake business for awhile.  James was a typical brother---totally mad the entire party that it wasn't his party.

Stella is an experiement in fashion.  The girl has impeccable fashion taste. You  might not think so at first glance, but really, she's very Mary Kate Olsen with her stylishly, intentionally mismatched leggings, boots, coats and the like.  The girl likes her shoes, her clothes. She wakes up in the morning, and first thing she does?  She changes clothes.

James, on the other hand, will stay in his jammies all day like a champ. Just like his momma. He's most happiest when they have pajama day at school.

And James is down two teeth!

We recently went and checked out a new school for the kiddos.  We aren't in the best public school district (read: the worst in Gwinnett county), and therefore, we are looking into private school.  And luckily, where we live - private school is very (very) reasonably priced.  The Expert and I visited one a few weeks ago, and it was hauntingly familiar to where I attended school for years. Uniforms, small classes, sweet teachers.  I was having deja vu. The Expert loved it.  I felt a little hestitant---but only for other reasons---that being, education is about to happen.  Yes, they have been in "school," but kindergarten? That's the real stuff. And here comes homework and molding kids into human beings---and to be honest, I got a tad freaked out by the whole thing.

Luckily for James and Stella, they have one parent who doesn't stick his head in the sand.

Last weekend, Stella wasn't feeling great again. We had plans to go down to Savannah --- but I ended up just going down with James.  We had a great time, just the two of us, and I was blown away at how "easy" it was to only "have" one child for the weekend.  Wow.  The noise? Non-existant.  The messes?  Not hardly one. 


Stella really missed her Bubba.  Once they were back in each other's field of terror, the noise started again ("James hit me" and "No I didn't you baby") and the mess.. well, not like my house has ever been clean, but the mess these kids can make----epic.

Still, I find it wonderful that the munchkins have each other. And because they are so close in age, they really are quite close.

My favorite thing is when they get to giggling... one will start, the other will follow, and for ten or fifteen minutes, they will literally be a pile of laughter on the floor of the living room---not knowing who started the laughs... but just knowing something was funny.

Last week, Stella handed me her water bottle and said, "Open!"

I looked at her like she had three heads.

"Open?  What do we say, Stella?"

She looked at me like I was an idiot. 

Then James chimed in.  "Open sesame?"

And that was it.  We were ALL a barrel of laughs at that. 


Life is getting busier and the kids are getting bigger, smarter, sweeter and funnier.  I've known for some time now that they are little "people," but sometimes I forget just how much so.  They are sponges. They repeat everything.

Bouncing off the inside of the car last night as we waited in a parking lot....

"You guys are being freaking crazy."  [Ooops.]

Immediately, James was chanting, "We're freaking craaaaaazy.  We're freaking craaaaaazy."


But those are the things I don't worry about.  Because they are good kids.  They are smart and sweet, and their mother should not say "freaking," but I'm sure mothers say worse - and I won't be the first mom to blame for the kids landing in the princpals' office.

Some mornings or afternoons, I can get one in my "left lap" and the other in my "right lap" and we can just snuggle for an hour.  Those times are fewer and farther between than I would like. 

Sometimes I wonder if I wasn't training for an Ironman, if I would truly spend more time with James and Stella.  But I think whether I train or work or stay-at-home.... that there would always be something in the way of precious QT with the kids.  It's all about doing the best I can with what I have. And right now, I pray that my kids are seeing Mom and Dad who are trying to be the best parents, the best healthy parents that they can be. That they see Mom working hard at work in a full-time job, then working like crazy at a second job, and training for triathlon.

They already love being outside and running and biking. I feel like we can take some credit for that. :)