Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Being the best is difficult...emotionally

I am in no way writing this post to brag about Jackson's athletic ability, but the honest truth is that he has an incredible athletic gift from God.  I am amazed at how quickly he picks up sports and other physical skills.  Jesse and I were both pretty good athletes back in the day (Jesse still more so being that I've had lulls in my physical activity with three pregnancies to slow me down), but Jackson blows us both out of the water. 

I am so proud of him.  He was amazing at soccer this year and we just started basketball this month.  He is pretty stinkin good at basketball too.  He wants to do baseball this year, but neither Jesse nor I are excited about sitting outside in the Texas summer watching 5 year olds "play" baseball, so I told him he has to be 7 before he can play.  Anyway, the point of this post is not to brag, but to just share how surprised I am with my feelings in regards to his "gift".  Everyone knows/empathizes with kids who aren't so great athletically, but are out there trying.  I get it.  I feel for those kids and cheer them on when they do great: score a goal/basket.  But in my experiences so far with Jackson, I find myself feeling a mixture of emotions.  I am proud for him, but I worry that other parents are going to be like "oh great, Jackson's on our team...that means less scoring/playing for my kid, etc."  I wasn't prepared for feeling bad when people stop cheering for him after the third goal/basket during a game. 

It's hard because he's only five.  He needs encouragement just like the other kids.  So far, though, he hasn't really realized or doesn't care that the crowd stops cheering for his baskets/ goals.  So far, it's been enough that Jesse and I cheer and clap for him after each goal/basket.  We decided that we will not hold him back or "bridle" him in these situations.  We are, however, working on passing and team work that will make him a better player anyway as he progresses into more competitive sports down the line and make his teammates feel good too.    Plus, we know that there will be times when he is not the most dominant player on his team and he will have to learn what that's like.  I just never thought that having a child excel so much at something could be emotionally hard.  It's complicated, but I hope we can encourage him and foster his ability in the way God intended.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Spit or Swallow

First off:  those of you with dirty minds can go elsewhere.  This post is actually about chewing gum.

The other day at my doctor's appointment, I had to take the glucose test, which means I had to drink that orange stuff.  I had gum in my mouth and the nurse said "don't forget about your gum", so I swallowed it.  I told her so.  She looked at me like I was insane.  She said, "WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT??".  Like I just drank bleach or something.  For reals.  For a second, I thought she was going to yell at me and say that I ruined my glucose test and had to come back another day to take it.  But no, apparently she just thought it was wrong and gross and felt the need to make me feel like I was in big time trouble- like I was about to get my folder signed and go sit in time out.

Now for the record, I don't always swallow my gum.  Sometimes I spit it out, but there's not always a trashcan or suitable bush/outdoor area for me to spit my gum out.  Or certain social circumstances dictate that it would be wrong to spit out my gum at that particular time--like when I was a practicing attorney and showed up in court with gum in my mouth.  It's not like I could saunter on over to the judge's bench and say, "excuse me, your honor, petooey..."  Sooooooo...in those instances I swallow my gum.  I have swallowed gum since I can remember.  I am still alive and unharmed.  I'm no medical professional, but I'm pretty sure I don't have 31 years of gum stuck in my stomach.

Now, if you ask my husband, he would agree with the Gum Nazi Nurse.  He thinks it is wrong and you will die, get sick, or not be able to use the bathroom anymore (okay, so he doesn't think those things, but you would think that maybe he does with the reaction he gives...).  He's a spitter.  He can't understand why I would swallow gum.  Our differences usually complement eachother in our marriage, but here, it's caused a bit of a problem (teeny tiny) when our boys chew gum.  If we are in the car and they don't want it anymore, I tell them to swallow it.  If my husband is around, he says "NO! Don't swallow it!  Spit it out the window!".  I hope this confusion put on them is not going to permanently hurt them...like swallowing gum could...

So, do you spit or swallow?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Accessories for accessories

I have been accumulating clothing and hair accessories and shoes, etc. for Abby Claire's arrival, which is just under 3 months away!!  It is SO SO SO SO much fun shopping for girl clothes!  She's not even here yet and I might need an intervention...

I've got a little collection of hair accessories started already.  It is so different from boys: with boys, they don't have but a couple of hats, if that, so there's no worry about where to put their accessories.  Boys don't come with extra accessories.  Girls, apparently do.  So, with the hair accessories stacking up already, I have been looking for a way to organize hair bands and clips in a cute way.  I googled some ideas and came up with my own design, which is a combination of ideas I saw online.  What did we do before we had the internet???  Anyway, I would love your opinion:

I bought an empty frame at Hobby Lobby, spray painted it bubble gum pink.  Then, I drilled holes along the bottom for cup hooks.  Next, I found pink and black grosgrain ribbon and staple gunned the ribbon in rows along the back.  THe frame was the most expensive part.  You could save even more $$ by salvaging a frame you already have or finding one at Goodwill, etc.

The ribbon holds hairclips and the cuphooks are perfect for hairbands (and maybe eventually necklaces??)

On a side note, Sloan still insists on sleeping in the "baby room".  Too bad he's too young to care that it's becoming more pink by the day, or else that would probably be incentive enough for him to move out.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Simple but complicated

I've decided that I am going to make homemade bread.  So, I've tried.  So far, homemade bread 2 points, me 1/2 point.  I only give myself a half point because the last batch I made my husband declared them "not bad".  Which, is an improvement from the loaves of cement I baked the first time around.  I'm on recipe number three, which I got on Allrecipes.com.  As I type, the dough is rising, so I'll have to give you the results next post.  I never would have though bread would be one of the more difficult things to bake.  I consider myself a good baker, but man! bread is kicking my buns (pun intended).  I am finding out that it is more of an artform than just straight following the recipe.   Bread: simple, yet complicated.

Something else that is not really simple yet complicated, but rather more bittersweet: Jackson (5) and his relationship with his daddy.  Sweet because it seems that this is the year that daddy has become his hero- the man who can do anything, is bigger than anyone, and knows all about everything interesting.  Just a tiny bit bitter because before now, I've been the superstar around here in his eyes.  Mommy is the most important person around for those first few years (and thankfully, I have one more and one on the way who still think that).  The sweet definitely outweighs the bitter (the bitter is really only miniscule).  I am so thankful that I have a husband who is a wonderful daddy, man of God who leads my family and is the best.possible. role model for my children.  Afterall, I do believe God intended for fathers to larger-than-life in their childen's eyes. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bathroom redo

Since we are about to welcome a baby girl into our family, I figured that the bathroom she would share with her older brothers should be gender neutral instead of truck/transportation themed.  Not that she would care until later in life, but I'll admit that I watned to refresh their bathroom anyway.  Plus, it's also the bathroom our guests use, so I made it a little more age-neutral too.

Basically, I just bought a new shower curtain, hung a new picture and removed the towel bar (which, I don't know why I had one put in in the first place) and replaced it with a coat rack.  Reality decorating tip:  while towel bars are nice, I have come to find out through practical application that towel bars are NOT our everyday friends, therefore, it's something I don't need in my life.  What I'm saying is that when you have towels on the towel bar, they look nice when folded up perfectly and no one uses them.  The problem is when they are used, they are wet and get hung back up on the bar and are (1) not folded nicely and (2) can't be folded nicely because they need to dry.  So, my solution in all our bathrooms has been to use robe/coat hooks.

Shower curtain: Potterybarn. Shelves: Land of Nod

Frame: Potterybarn Kids clearance. Picture: vintage postcard from Chicago's world fair depicting the world's first ferris wheel (a special place for us), coat rack: Ikea

Frames: Ikea-they hold pics of my boys' names written in the sand on the beach of Lake Michigan and I have a spare one for Abby Claire. Towel: Potterybarn

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Forging ahead

I have decided I cannot wait any longer to start on Abby Clair's nursery.  Sloan is just going to have to live with a little pink until he gets evicted.  I'm sure he won't care.

 I am starting to decorate with things that he cannot reach to destroy, starting with a little ceiling decoration.  I made poms out of tissue paper, which were SO easy. I used the Martha Stewart tutorial.  It was clear and to the point. 
I used light pink tissue paper to make the poms and found some dark pink paper lanterns to go with them.
Below, you can see the bumper to the bedding that will be used once Sloan is evicted.  Until then, it will stay safely in the plastic bag to protect it from the big brothers.  I like it because it has greens, yellows, oranges, blues and pinks altogether.  Lots and lots of color to spread around!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Nursery chair

After going back and forth trying to convince myself (for months) that I needed the nursery glider from Pottery Barn Kids (PBK), I cheaped out.  I bought the $200 JennyLund Ektorp chair from Ikea.  In the end, I couldn't justify spending $1,000 on a chair for a nursery.  Especially on my third kid, who will probably not even get nursed in the nursery glider half the time.  Not with two older brothers roaming the house freely, and not if I can't get Sloan to move out of the nursery until summer time- a good two months after the girl will be born. 

So, Abigail Claire, we will enjoy $800 in our pockets and sitting in a $200 chair.  Your daddy is very happy that I cheaped out too...but I didn't tell him how much the PBK one was until after I decided to buy the Ikea one. 

this boy loves football

Football is coming in close to defeating basketball as our favorite sport around here.... stay tuned...

also, this is a test to see if I am allowed to still upload photos or have to pay before I can...