Wednesday, August 23, 2017

When you only have 5 minutes... share a picture from the Grand Canyon.

We visited the Grand Canyon during our drive from Texas to California. Chet had visited growing up, but I had never been. It's monsoon season in that part of the country -- news to me -- so it was raining when we first arrived. It stopped about halfway through our visit (we only stayed about an hour and a half), and the view cleared considerably.

Perhaps the kids would have been more impressed if it hadn't been raining, but likely not. They were about as impressed with the Grand Canyon as they were the solar eclipse this week -- if asked, "Isn't it amazing?!" They would answer "Yes." Soon followed by, "Can I have a snack?"

Thursday, August 17, 2017

A Bedtime Snack

We usually eat dinner at 5:30 p.m. Sometimes as early as 5 p.m., a lot of times 6 p.m., but almost never as late as 6:30 p.m.

If we eat on the early side, or if certain small people in the house weren't a fan of what was served for dinner, the kids are usually hungry at bedtime. So they can have a banana, an applesauce pouch, or sometimes a Nutragrain bar (if I'm feeling generous) before going to sleep.

Last night Chet was in a hurry to put the kids to bed, because he was headed to the Navy Exchange (before it closed at 9 p.m.) to buy a charcoal grill that we had a coupon for.

***Side note: We left our gas grill in Austin because it was in pretty bad shape, and when Chet shared that he wanted a charcoal grill this time, I balked. Because in my head I'm ready and willing to  finally learn how to turn on a gas grill and subsequently use it, but in the real world that's probably not going to happen. I'll never learn how to cook on a difficult-to-use charcoal grill. But, as they say, never say never...***

Anyway, we put the kids (minus Ruthie) to bed a few minutes early, and Ford is at the age where he thinks it's okay to get out of bed several times for random reasons. Chet had already left, and Ruthie and I were in the kitchen, when Ford started "visiting" us. I can't remember why he got out of bed the first couple of times, but the third time he said, "I forgot to eat a banana." So he and Ruthie shared a banana (Ruthie prefers to hold her own bananas, but doesn't mind if her sisters or brother feed her one...she HATES when Chet or I try to feed her a banana).

Apparently Ruthie was extremely thankful for part of her brother's banana, because she tried to kiss Ford on the lips. But he wrenched his head away and said, "Ew! She has a dirty mouth!" But he said it with a fond smile on his face, so I'm certain he loves her despite her "dirty mouth."

Hopefully the kids eat plenty of dinner tonight, because I'm afraid the bananas are currently too green to eat.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Barstool Wars

Our new house has a bar in the kitchen that separates (connects?) the kitchen from the dining room. We had one like it in our Mayport, FL base house, and I really liked it. But now I LOVE it, because during the day (breakfast, lunch, snacks) the kids can sit at the bar and I can just throw food at them from the kitchen rather than bringing it over to the dining table and serving them like English royalty.

Here's a picture of the bar (while standing in the dining area) on the day the movers unloaded everything:

Here are the adorable barstools I bought from Wayfair on sale AND with a coupon:
I showed them to kids online before buying them, and everyone decided Sydney would have blue (her favorite color), Lorelei green, Ford red (because he likes Marshall from Paw Patrol), and Ruthie yellow (in about two years). 

But then...over the summer the kids started watching a show called PJ Masks, and since Ford insisted on identifying with Catboy (yes, Catboy) from the show, he no longer wanted the red stool, he wanted the BLUE stool. Because Catboy is blue and Owlette (the girl character on the show) is red, so obviously it was impossible for him to sit on a girly red stool. I can't believe I just explained all that, because it's just plain ridiculous.

We tried to come up with a fair system for Sydney and Ford to take turns using the blue stool, but I spent way too much time enforcing that system, and the blue stool became a stumbling block for my first and third child. So we waved bye-bye to the adorable primary-colored stools and welcomed white stools (only 3, because Ruthie may never use one while we live here):
Ruthie doesn't usually dine in her highchair in the midst of the barstools, but this day she did. And I wanted to capture the post-lunch mess all over the floor. I'm always on my hands and knees picking up the food that can't be picked up with a dust buster. Tell me I'm not alone.

In addition to arguing over the barstools, they also started (continued?) arguing over plate and bowl types/colors. I was on a rampage by this point, so this is what the kids use now:
It's this set from Target, plus I bought four more of the (smaller) salad plates, because that's what they use the most. 

You might be thinking, "Just teach your kids not to argue!" I mostly agree. My older girls especially know better (it doesn't mean they always comply, but they know). But the barstools were causing huge issues, and it really drove the point home when I got rid of them and replaced them with boring (to my kids) white. The plates just happened to follow on the heels of the barstools, plus I've been looking for an excuse to get rid of all of our mismatched plastic plates for years. (The tupperware is drives Chet and me crazy! What is the solution?!)

One last tidbit about the house. This is a picture of our living room in Austin:
See that blueish table? Chet built it when we were living in Alexandria, I had him spray paint it the blueish color in Austin, and as of yesterday it looks like this:
It's hard to see in the picture, but the legs are this shiny copper color. The top is covered with this marble contact paper. Isn't Chet the best? He can't wait to carry out the plans I have for our bedroom furniture...

Thursday, August 10, 2017

*tap, tap* "Is thing thing on?"

I was trying to remember when I last posted, and was sure it was some time in late June. Since the actual date was Memorial Day, that misremembered late-June blog post must be one of the many that only exist in my head.

Here's the problem with life: you can always make an excuse for not doing what you feel led to do. Most of us have hundreds of legitimate excuses. Here are some of mine: Sydney, Lorelei, Ford, Ruthie, the laundry they create, the dishes they dirty, the books they need read to them, the books I  need read to me (well, sort of -- I read my own books, but it takes time and brainpower to do that). Those are just a few of my own excuses. And can I also just say that it takes A LOT of time time to prepare, serve, and clean up after children who eat 3+ meals a day? Sigh.

Anyway, the time is now to do what I feel led to do. If I wasn't supposed to write anything on this blog, doing so wouldn't even occur to me. But it does. (And obviously my writing is rusty, so bear with me as these muscles wake back up.)

By the way, we have completed our move to central California. We left Didi's house in Texas mid-July and arrived at our new home a week later. I might post some pictures if I can get over the fear of plugging my phone into my computer (why does technology have to be so obscure?!).

It's hot here, just like everywhere in August. We've been surviving inside, and Sydney has taken up putting future outfits together for herself:

Hang on, she says they're Halloween costumes. I should offer her services to Pottery Barn Kids.

Happy Thursday, y'all!