Sunday, January 29, 2012

Summing Up January

It seems as if I am not able to get on here as much as I'd like. The year is now 1/12 of the way over and it seems like I am so overwhelmed already.

January has been pretty tumultuous.

The whole car ordeal swallowed up the first week of the month. But at least I am finally allowing myself to love my new car. I do smile as I walk out to it each day, as conceited as it is.

January has been interesting at work as well. I am very frustrated at the moment. February will mark one year since I was hired and I have to remember that even when I am frustrated, it is a good place for me to be and I need to accept whatever challenge is handed to me and keep doing my best. At least my window painting for this month turned out cute. I do like trying to develop my lack of artistic ability on the front window of Gymboree.

Noah is having a good month. Basketball has taken over our lives a little. He has a practice every Wednesday night and games every Saturday. Upward Basketball just may be the BEST sports program out there for kids. While learning the basics of the game, they are also being taught spirituality along the way. Each game begins with a prayer and each half time is spent doing a devotional on the court. It is just such a cool program. Noah is learning, paying attention, staying active, and ENJOYING IT. No, he is not a good player, but the cool thing is that it doesn't bother him, nor does he get treated unkindly by the other kids because of his lack of skill. They get stars at the end of each game to sew on their shirt sleeve to encourage...the color depending on each child's strength that game. It is an amazing program and the best extracurricular in which we have participated in thus far.

Oh, and he also brought home another report card filled with straight A's...yay!

Aaron is having a great month too. He has been meeting with the speech pathologist twice a week and loves her and I am already seeing a huge difference in his speech. His handwriting is getting better by the week and his math has improved so much that I actually don't even have to check his homework at night other than making sure it is done. I can't believe that he has succeeded so well in second grade.

This month was also the boys' first attempt at snowboarding. While they are still working at it, they are having fun and I find that they are going so fast down those hills that I can't even get a great picture :)

Steve and I are working through some things together between us but it will continue to grow. I am a hormonal mess that I hope will get taken care of soon and Steve is struggling with some demons of his own that need to be battled. But we'll make it through...we always do.

So that's January. On to February and its new challenges to overcome...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Happy New Year 2012!!!!

The new year is in full gear with almost a month behind us. And what a month it has been. Lots of firsts for us and a bit of a whirlwind. So I figure that before I start posting pictures from 2012, I should probably post about our little "celebration" to ring it in.

We decided that it was finally the year to let the boys try to stay up until midnight on new Year's Eve. I wondered if they would make it and I know Hubby was not thrilled with the idea (because of the aftermath the next day).

The afternoon of New Year's Eve we got together to roller skate with a friend from Noah's class and her mom and sister. Noah and this particular friend "claimed" each other in Kindergarten and despite typical playground stuff, have remained close for the last five years. (His favorite part about his birthday last year was that she came to fireworks with him.)

I loved that he put his arm on her shoulder...cracked us up :)

I really enjoy taking the boys skating. It is a simple activity that keeps us active and is very reasonably priced. For the first time ever, Aaron worked his way off the wall and managed to get himself around the rink without holding on to the wall (or me) quite a few times, and he was SO proud. He is even asking to have his birthday next year at the skating rink. We'll see about that.

When we got home, we decided to go easy for dinner and order pizza since I had bought plenty of snacks for later in the evening as well. Then we settled in for a movie marathon. And MARATHON it was. I actually couldn't even tell you all of the movies we watched, but it seemed like a million while we were trying to wait out midnight. The kids were too tired to play games so we brought our futon mattress up from the basement and the boys settled in on the floor.

Around 9 or so, I brought out what I THOUGHT were fireworks. After doing all the little poppers, we headed outside for Steve to light the other fireworks. What we didn't know (yes, we are THAT clueless) was that they were all various kind of poppers. As soon as we realized that, the kids had a BLAST popping them outside and making a big mess of streamers and smoke :)

Coming back in, it was time for snacks and a toast. I had forgotten to get sparkling juice so we settled on sprite in champagne glasses. Noah was overwhelmed in joy just because I had bought dip to have with chips an Aaron chowed on the cheese I had cut up for crackers. It was a fun little nighttime picnic.

The last three hours definitely seemed to drag on forever. More movies and FINALLY the countdown on TV. By the time it was midnight, Aaron was awake with his eyes but not in spirit and actually got mad at us when we shouted "Happy New Year". I think we were all in bed by 12:05 and asleep by 12:06, but at least we made it :)

New Year's Day brought the first significant snow for the year. It didn't come early enough for us to head out sledding, but I made good on a promise I had made to Noah before his tonsil surgery two weeks week before. He had wanted IHOP pancakes as soon as his throat was healed so that is how we celebrated the new year...with chocolate chip smile pancakes from IHOP.

And 2012 was oficially welcomed in!

Monday, January 9, 2012

We Took A Road Trip

Title isn't too newsworthy, huh?

What about if I add in our own car?

Still no big deal?

Then I have to add first time in over two years in our own car.

Okay, maybe now it's a little bit interesting. At least it is to us.

I am still waiting for the other shoe to drop.

After five years of driving a vehicle that we bought under duress that was a lemon from the day we drive it off the lot, we finally got rid of it.

It took a lot to get to this point and so many stories in my mind that I want to remember. This experience this time was such a different one from our last car purchasing experience.

And I am truly grateful to the people who helped me get my act together last week, put my ducks in a row, and I am thankful that I had done research ahead of time so that I could be informed of what I was doing. Without those people, this experience may have been just as awful as the previous one.
And now we have a car. Actually, it was the one I wanted all along and had been talking about for six months now. We toyed with another van but with so much driving I do I couldn't find one with low enough mileage to suit our needs. And honestly, I was ready to scale down. We couldn't scale down TOO much mind you. I have a six foot four inch hubby and two boys who seem to be quickly shooting up as well. And I drive car pool and needed three little bodies to fit comfortably in the back seat.

New pretty gold next to yucky old blue

I can't believe just how stressed I had become every time I got into the old van. It broke down numerous times on the way home from car pool this fall so it wasn't even reliable for that. I missed a half dozen days of work due to its failures and this past Christmas break was spent with only our backup truck as the van kept going back in for repairs every other day that were never the root of the problem, using up all of our expendable money for the break.

The final straw came last Tuesday when I went out to head to work and the back up truck wouldn't start either. And that day was the we spent searching for the new Wheelz Family Vehicle.

But I find myself not believing it. I am afraid to allow myself to be happy. Every little smell, bump, or noise I hear in the car is making me panic. I am having a very hard time letting go and believing that we did the right thing. I'm just so afraid of being stuck again. I am afraid to be relieved or to put my guard down. It is pathetic that a vehicle can cause this much anxiety. Maybe after a little while and the nightmare of the old van has passed for awhile I will let myself relax.

But I do smile each time I head to the driveway to go somewhere. I really like the car, even though it has no bells or whistles that I used to have. I love coming out of a store and reminding myself that the pretty gold car is mine. I loved taking an overnight to my brother's house this weekend in our own car. And Steve had a great time calculating the gas mileage on the trip, which is almost double the old van.

And the boys were hilarious. In the last two years, every time we did manage to get to my brother's for a visit, it was for a day only and we borrowed my mom's van. So when we told the boys we were going this weekend to sleep over, they were incredulous. Neither of them actually believed me. Aaron must have asked at least twenty times, "Are we really doing a sleepover?". When I was packing he kept asking me why, still not believing it was happening. And my SIL said that he even mentioned something to her about the amazement of sleeping over:)

We had a fun weekend. The boys got to watch the original Star Wars for the first time and we played lots of fun games. But the best was just having some time away to relax with family. I imagine more trips will be in the works in the near future.


Because we FINALLY can!