Wednesday, June 16, 2010

More great summer events!!!

I LOVE SUMMER! I love having fun stuff to do all the time. I love playing softball… watching softball… farmers markets… Breakfast on the farm…community picnics… parks… sanctuaries… festivals… etc…

Last weekend, we started off the morning by taking our annual walk to the end of the block to cheer on all the runners doing the Bellin run. This year, we didn’t stay long. It was day four or five of rain, and both Maisie and Aristana weren’t too cooperative. I still got to see a few people we knew.

After a nap, the two girls and I met up with Mike, Grandma and Grandpa Hinz at the Bellevue
Community/Firemen’s picnic at Josten Park. Thankfully, the weather held out, and it was nice and warm for a good part of the day. We ate some burgers, watched some waterfights, played some kids’ games, visited with friends, and took some pictures. My good looking firefighter was assigned to work the bouncy house. Still great with the kids. Gotta love him!

Sunday proved to be another beautiful day! We went to Breakfast on the Farm in Newton (Manitowoc County) Grandma and Grandpa met up with us again there too.  I have such fantastic in-laws! There are no problems in the world that cannot be solved with a hearty breakfast, a morning bowl of ice cream, an unending supply of chocolate milk, and some polka music

Bath time for both girls and an early bedtime prepared us for Aristana’s first day of Vacation Bible School at Faith Lutheran in Allouez. This is where she’ll be attending preschool in the fall. I was worried how it would go, since she is usually adamant that Mom or Dad stay with her wherever she goes. God gave us a great morning, and a cooperative Aristana (a true miracle). She got ready, ate breakfast and was an angel. We went a little early so she could adapt before I bailed on her. She walked into her room, and my little girl transformed into a big girl. She was so excited to be there. We found out too, that her cousin Paloma, and friends Lexi and Kinsey were also in her class. I’m loving this! 

That’s it for now. Tomorrow we have VBS again, and Mike’s softball game. Thursday though, we’ll be having nine kids over for lunch and some playtime after VBS… pictures to follow...

Friday, June 11, 2010


This past winter, Aristana wrote a letter to Thomas the Tank, asking him if he would come visit Green Bay, because we had a lot of train tracks for him to use. We addressed it to Thomas, at the Island of Sodor, put a “stamp” on it, and took it to the post office at Festival Foods. After the lady stamped “air mail” all over it, she put it in the box to go out in that day’s mail.

Three days later, a letter arrived in our mailbox, for Miss Aristana, from the Island of Sodor. Thomas thanked her for her letter, and said she seemed like a very nice girl. He would indeed come visit. However, since he hates his snowplow (mom did her research – okay, after seeing 684 Thomas videos over and over again, some things stick with you), he wanted to wait until summer. Well, as Aristana puts it, yesterday was “Thomas June.” We had a really nice time. Unfortunately, we didn’t do our timing well, and didn’t end up having enough time to do everything we wanted to… we learned.

Aristana, the ever timid three year old was quite nervous most of the time, and so we didn’t end up with any pictures of Sir Topham Hat. She was also not willing to get a tattoo, but volunteered me to. She picked out a James tattoo for me, and I took an extra one for her. It turns out she didn’t want someone else to put it on her. So after a quick trip to the bathroom, we had Mom and Daughter matching James tattoos. Add that to the list of questionable things I’ve been strongly encouraging her to do lately (also included, playing in the rain, jumping in puddles, running up a slide, using a knife to make her own sandwich…geesh)
After lots of staring at and playing with train tracks and engines, we boarded the train, and Thomas took us for a ride! This was exciting for her… The first train ride we took (on Memorial Day, same train, without Thomas) began with screaming and tears. We were glad she was much more willing this time around.
Ironically, the thing that may have won the award for “The Most Exciting Part of the Day Out With Thomas,” was the fact that she got to take a ride on a big yellow school bus, to get back to our car. Go figure…

Thanks to God for hanging on to the rain until we were done. Thanks to Mike for working hard to afford us $45 worth of some fun and a free bus ride

Thursday, June 10, 2010

It’s three and a half hours since my last post, and I’m laughing at how the situation changes from peace to war. I have spent the last five minutes ignoring my three year old and trying not to laugh, as her frustration with me quickly builds. She’s still very dependent on my help for things ( I think it’s actually a control issue ~ who will win this battle – type thing). She wants pants on. She knows how to put them on correctly. She just doesn’t want to today. She wants Mom to do it. As I type, she’s walking around with one pant leg on, upside down, obviously to try to teach me a lesson, as she fake cries loudly, “I can’t do it! I can’t do it!” The more upset she gets, the funnier she gets, and the harder I have to work to keep a straight face. So, I’m typing… Currently, there are seven pairs of pants and capris on the floor, since it is apparently to difficult to get any of them on. She decided on her favorite pair of shorts. Unfortunately, they are in the freshly washed load of laundry that has not made it to the dryer yet. More drama… Fun is over, time to end this situation.

Update: She ended up yelling and trying to hit me. Both she, and her pants ended up in bed for a time out. I checked on her 30 seconds later, through a crack in her door, and there she was just hanging out in bed – pants on. Wow… I know you all think she gets her stubbornness from me, but it’s just that you can SEE that I’m stubborn. Mike is just as bad… I’m starting to think she’s not as much like me as I thought… I’m seeing a lot of her daddy coming out in her now. Hmmm… we’ll have to keep an eye on that one.

No Time Like the Present

I haven’t blogged in so long, because I guess I felt that I need to have the full story, in order… Obviously, since I was still prego last time I wrote, a ton has happened since then. I have a beautiful almost-five-month-old daughter, and no blogging since before her birth.

I have resigned myself to the fact that I will not be able to tell the daily, weekly, or even monthly stories that would comprise my desired blog. So today, I start from where I am. Sometimes I’ll refer back, sometimes I’ll talk about things that may not matter to others. I need to do this though, for me. Writing my feelings helps me reiterate my blessings, frustrations, joy, and reality. I have nothing to hide, so I’ll just be writing freely.

A few weeks back, I realized that I was never satisfied with my personal feeling of accomplishment on a daily basis, when I’d finally lie down to sleep. I felt that I worked all day, and nothing seemed done. I am mildly OCD when it comes to order and control. I am also unable to function normally without medication to keep my thoughts in order. I hadn’t taken those meds since I became pregnant, and no longer having pregnancy to blame for my scatter brain, I realized I needed to regain control of some things. I made an appointment with my psychiatrist to get back on my meds. I made a ton of todo lists, arranged into daily, weekly, monthly, and misc categories. If I’m not on the meds, I can’t remember what needs to be done, or I can’t seem to multi-task or finish a job I started. When I’m on the meds, my brain is running so efficiently, that I can’t keep up with all of the things it is remembering to do. My lists, although long, specific, and scary looking to the naked eye, have kept me in line, helping me to do a much better job keeping up the household and remembering to even shower.

I also wanted to regain control of my relationship with my family. I was so frustrated that the kitchen was a mess, or that the laundry wasn’t folded, that I failed to realize that we forgot Maisie’s “tummy time” and Aristana was still begging me to play with her, well into the evening. Mike got home from work, to a wife that was frazzled, and kids that wanted so much more attention than I gave them that day.

The meds definitely helped. The lists definitely helped. Things were looking up, but something was still so obviously missing. Ironically, I needed to ADD something to my schedule, in order to make it simpler. I decided that instead of getting up with the first sign of one of the girls waking, hoping for every last drop of sleep I could squeeze out, I would set my alarm for 5am, and spend time with God. Thankfully, I have a coffee pot with a timer. It seems that the smell of the freshly brewed welcome-to-the-morning drink did a much better job waking me than my alarm. I don’t think I actually heard the alarm for the first week or so. I grabbed my favorite cheesy, 1980’s Mickey Mouse mug, and with a hot cup of morning ammo in hand, I’d sit on the couch, sun streaming in on my shoulders, and pick up a book of reflections I received from my mom on Mother’s Day. I’d read a chapter, in the quiet, by myself, and reflect on the attached bible passage. Every day, the story would reflect to a tee, something that I was going through at that time. The Lord knows how to speak to us! The first day, after putting down the book, I started to pray, which quickly turned into a conversation, followed by tears of joy for the many, many, many, many blessings in my life. With a heart FULL of peace and thanks, I said “Amen,” and opened my eyes to see the trees blowing in the breeze, the sun bright, the white fluffy clouds dotting the sky, someone walking down the sidewalk, cars entering the parking lot of the business across the street. I could hear birds, dogs, cars driving down the street, the fan in our living room, the breeze as it flowed through the leaves on the trees. I smelled the grass, the scent of the candle on our mantle, the lingering smell of the toaster from Mike’s breakfast. EVERYTHING BECAME CLEAR! I am surrounded by the gifts of God. He has given all of these things to me! By adding another very important and wonderful “chore” to my ever growing list, everything that was once taken for granted, became some of the most important things in my day. Gratitude and peace had replaced my worry and disappointment. As I wiped away the residual tears, I heard Maisie’s faint cooing over the baby monitor. For the first time in weeks, I was so excited to know my day was starting… noted by the most wonderful sound in the world. My precious little spit-up, gas ball princess.
Thank you God! Thank you for EVERYTHING!

I want to add a fantastic entry I just read from “Chicken Soup for the Mother-of-Preschoolers Soul.”

Time Well Spent

Are you a mother? Do you ever wonder
if you accomplish much each day?
When you see the floor that didn’t get mopped
Or the laundry still not put away?
If you sometimes feel discouraged,
I’ve a few questions to ask of you.
Perhaps it’s time to take a look at all the things you do.

Did you fold a paper airplane?
Did you wash a sticky face?
Did you help your child pick up toys and put them in their place?
Did you pull a wagon, push a swing
Or build a blanket tent?
If so, let me tell you that your day was quite well spent.

Did you turn the TV off and send the children out to play?
And then watch them from the window as you prayed about their day?
When they tracked mud on your kitchen floor,
Did you try hard not to scold?
Did you snuggle close as prayers were said
And bedtime stories told?

Did you wipe away a tear? Did you pat a little head?
Did you kiss a tender cheek
As you tucked your child in bed?
Did you thank God for your blessings,
For your children heaven-sent?
Then rest assured, dear mother,
Your time was quite well spent.

Did you make sure they brushed their teeth today?
Did you comb tangles from her hair?
Did you tell them they should do what’s right,
Though life’s not always fair?
Did you quiz her on her spelling words,
As you tried hard not to yawn?
Did you marvel at how tall he is
And wonder where his childhood’s gone?

Did you buy another gallon of milk?
Was that broccoli you cooked?
Did you straighten your son’s tie and say
How handsome he looked?
Did you hold your tearful daughter
when her teenage heart was broken?
Did you help her find some peace of mind,
Although few words were spoken?

Did you help him choose a college and get the applications sent?
Did you feel a little wistful
At how quickly the years went?
Did you help her pack a suitcase
And try hard not to cry?
Did you bravely smile and smooth her hair
As you hugged her good-bye?

Do you hold them in your prayers
although your arms must let them go?
Do you tell them that you love them,
So they will always know?
To make a home where love abides
Is a great accomplishment
And to serve God as a mother is
To live a life well spent

~Cheryl Kirking