Thursday, May 31, 2012

Taking It Back

Before the Dudes arrived I had a living room with a recliner, love seat and couch. I also had a coffee table and two end tables. With lamps. Then the Dudes arrived and my little living room became a little crowded with all their baby paraphernalia so the coffee table was removed to the attic. We trucked along and then the Dudes got mobile. They started crawling and pulling lamps off tables. Grrr....After a million tumbles the lamps left the living room. I was convinced that there would be a broken light bulb in the near future. Then the Dudes started climbing. So the end tables left the living room. All that was left was a couch, love seat and recliner. I had the living area and kitchen gated off so that the Dudes could not go into the rest of the house. It was just easier that way. Toys took over the living room and my house started resembling a daycare. I hated it. Then in March-ish sometime we took the gates down. We let the Dudes venture upstairs. This was successful. The toys moved upstairs minus a small basket that I keep downstairs. An end table reappeared. The Dudes use(d) it for a jumping board onto the couch half the time. I'm making slow headway with that. I have dared to put coasters on the end table. And they have stayed there. Mr. Mayer and I have to get back in the habit of using a coaster. I think we've forgotten what they were! Over the past few weeks I have even dared to leave a few bedroom doors open! I know! It's getting crazy around here. The Dudes have done fairly well with these new things. Today I brought end table #2 out of hiding. I put it back in it's old spot. Now, I'm sitting here thinking "Man, it looks a little weird over there. I'm not sure I like it." I guess I have become so accustom to the daycare look that I have forgotten what my furniture looks like.
Looks a little foreign to me
I am going to have to get used to having a living room with stuff in it other than toys. I may even go all out and put a lamp on it. Maybe. I'm not sure I'm that brave yet. Baby steps. Are we the only ones that cleared out furniture and what nots when babies started taking over?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Newspaper

Growing up my Dad (Mr. A to the world when I was growing up) used to tell me all the time that newspaper was excellent at cleaning windows. When I learned how to drive he would let me use his old Dodge truck under the condition I cleaned it. Widows included. He would always say that if I wanted it to be streak free I should use newspaper. Being the teenager I was I thought Dad was crazy. Newspaper. I don't think so. I'm sure it would leave black smudges on everything. I have carried on the past 15+ years with that same attitude. Newspaper. That's the craziest thing I have ever heard. Though Dad still maintains it works. Fast forward to 2012. I have two glass doors (3 if you count my storm door in front). I also have two 1 1/2 year olds and a 5 year old AND two dogs. My doors take a beating. They always look terrible. I used to have a housekeeper who I loved. She kept my doors (and everything else) looking fantastic. Then I let said housekeeper go and took on the task myself. My doors look pitiful. My whole house looks pitiful. I have tried to clean my doors. I have used a variety of glass cleaners and cloths. Paper towels. Microfiber. Cotton. You get the point. My doors were always streaked. Then this morning on a whim I decided that I would try Dad's technique. I went to my recycling bin and grabbed some newspaper and then the glass cleaner from the utility room. I started with the front door. Hmmmm.....newspaper did not fall apart. No black smudges on everything. In fact a clean streakless door was the outcome. Maybe a fluke? I go to the back door. Same results. Wow!! I am thoroughly impressed. I guess Dad did know what he was talking about. Is this something that has been known by the rest of the world and I am just now figuring it out?
This morning's arsenal

Friday, May 18, 2012

Cancer Sucks

I'm sure saying "Cancer Sucks" doesn't really surprise anyone. Everyone can agree on that. I think most people have been affected by cancer in some way either directly or indirectly. I was around 9-ish the first time I heard the word cancer. A woman who I had grown up with was diagnosed with breast cancer. I remember watching her struggle and fight. I remember her losing her hair. But, most of all I remember her spirit. She stayed so positive through the whole experience. Even today she is one of the most positive people I know. Three months after Mr. Mayer and I got married Walt was diagnosed. The next 8 months were some of the toughest of my life. To this day it has had a profound impact on my life as well as Mr. Mayer's. You don't get over something like that.  My heart breaks every time I hear about someone being diagnosed. My heart aches for them, for their families, then I feel a little relief that it's not me. Then I feel guilty for that relief. But, if I'm being honest, I think that's how most people feel. A little bit of relief.
Why am I rambling so? I think I've said it before, but I'll say it again. I use blogging as a stress relief. It usually helps me to process things that are going on in my life. Yesterday a friend was diagnosed with breast cancer. We just met this year. Our daughter's are in Pre-K together. She is one of the most amazing people I know. She has a kind and loving spirit. When we met I instantly liked her and knew we would be friends. She is a mother of 4 great kids and has a husband who adores her. The day she found a lump is a day I know she won't forget, but I don't think I will ever forget it either. All I can say is SELF EXAMS PEOPLE. SELF EXAMS. They save lives.
I have no doubt in my mind that she will over come this. I am heartbroken because I don't want her to have to go through this fight. I don't want her family to have to go through this fight. But, I know that she will do it with humor and grace. She has an overwhelming support system to walk through the journey with her. Most of all she had a positive attitude. I don't think she has any doubt she will overcome this. It's just a bump in the road. A crappy bump, but a bump nonetheless.
So, now that I have been Debbie Downer I have one more thing to say~
Go Team Shannon!!

A Vegas Surprise

I am a terrible liar. And I'm even worse at doing surprises. So, when Betsy and I decided to surprise her sister Jackie I was ner-vous! "Aunt Jackie" as she is called around our house was graduating from UNLV. A very big deal in my book. I think any graduation is a big deal. You work hard to get there. Aunt Jackie and Olivia are very close. Betsy and her parents (Nana Karen and Papa Brad) were flying out for graduation. We had talked about going. I wasn't sure since Olivia was still in school. It happened that graduation fell on one of our very few free weekends. Mr. Mayer thought that I should go. It would be fun to get away for a while. So....it was decided. Olivia and I would go to Vegas. The surprise part came in a round about way. I didn't want to tell Olivia about the trip MAINLY because I didn't want the million and one questions that come with it AND because every day until we left I would hear "Is today the day we go see Jackie?"She would drive me bananas. We had never planned to tell Aunt Jackie. We thought it would be a really great surprise to see Olivia. Aunt Jackie new I was coming. I avoided talking to her or saying anything about the trip to anyone really for nearly a month because I was afraid I would spill the beans to the wrong person. Mr. Mayer booked us a room at the Bellagio. The day of the trip came. I sent Olivia to school for a whopping hour and a half!! I went and checked her out early and told her we were going to go do something fun. She was very perplexed. Then Nana Karen, Papa Brad and Aunt Betsy showed up to pick us up. I told her they were going to do something fun with us. Very. Confused. I waited until we were parking at the airport before I told her where we were going. She was super excited. Jackie still didn't have a clue.

We arrive in Vegas and get our rental car. Jackie wants us to come to her house. She still doesn't have a clue that Olivia made the trip with us. We pull into the driveway and Jackie opens her front door. She doesn't see Olivia right away. Then after about a minute she sees Olivia in the car. I wish I had gotten a picture of Jackie's face. It was priceless. The next day was graduation. It was exciting to see.

That afternoon we did a little shopping, a little resting and that night we watched the water show at the Bellagio. Olivia was in awe of everything. She really liked seeing the "Ladies" with the "feathers" on the strip. She got to take her picture with them Saturday night. She was in heaven. She also decided she wanted to be a "Lady" when she grew up. Mr. Mayer was thrilled with that news.
Sunday morning (Mother's Day) was a sleeping in lazy kind of day. We all slept in. Even Olivia! I guess keeping her up half the night worked. After breakfast we hit the pool.
After about an hour of chillaxin' we went back to the room to change. We had big plans to meet up with Nana Karen and Papa Brad and go to the outlet malls. While we were changing room service knocked on the door and delivered this~
Awwww.....the card said Happy Mother's Day from Olivia, Owen and Carter. Such thoughtful kids :) Olivia told me it was all her idea. She was super excited that room service brought it since she had been begging to have room service in the "fancy hotel" since we checked in. She had been disappointed that I wouldn't let her order any. We hit up the outlet mall that afternoon and Olivia talked me into getting her some red glittery cowboy boots from the Disney store.
She wore those boots like she was working a catwalk. Talk about sass. And, of course, red glittery boots go with everything. That evening since it was our last evening we took Olivia down to Freemont Street to see the light show. She didn't like the light show. She thought it was too loud. Of course, by the time the show came on she was so tired she was reaching the hysterical point. She didn't like the "characters" out on the street either. There was one particular "Devil" in a red thong that Olivia couldn't quiet figure out. She kept staring and told me later she thought that girl forgot to put on all of her panties. Yup, that's exactly what happened!
The next day it was time to leave. We went by Aunt Jackie's work (3 Square Food Bank). She gave us a tour and we said our goodbyes. Olivia was exhausted. I was to. And, I was anxious to get home and see all my boys. While Olivia and I were living it up in Vegas Mr. Mayer was home with the Dudes holding the fort down. He rocked it.

As you can see this is how Olivia spent most of the trip home. Except on the airplane. She talked nonstop then. And had to go potty 3 times. Airplane potty's are terrible places to hang out. We were very happy to get home. It has taken me a few days to find my equilibrium again. The very next day after getting home I had to be in court for work so that really threw me off. I'm still trying to get back into the groove of things.  School gets out next week so we will all be finding a new "normal" again anyway.

Monday, May 7, 2012

They May Not Live

My flowers that is. Well. My children too, but mainly my flowers. I have shared (here) with you all before about my love of a pretty yard and how I wish I had such a yard. Reality being that I kill everything and can't even grow weeds. I'm hoping this year is the year it will happen. Papa Brad helped me kick start my flower beds this year. He got everything in good shape, planted some new shrubs and cleaned up the front. All I had to do was pick out some colorful flowers and plant in the flower beds and fill my pots up. I can handle that. Sunday Mr. Mayer and I went and loaded up on flowers and a few items for my little vegetable garden in the back. I spent the majority of the day planting my new treasures and marveling at how pretty everything looked. *Sigh* The Dudes were fascinated in what I was doing. I would plant a flower and Owen would pull it up. All. Day. Long. I mean really. If these flowers survive my kids it's going to be a miracle. Then they have to live through me which is nearly impossible. I killed mint last year. Who can kill mint?! So, my flowers are beautiful and everything looks so pretty~today. I didn't want to let the Dudes outside to play this afternoon because I knew what would happen to my flowers. But, I let them out anyway. Then Owen went up to his favorite pot and proceeded to pull up the flowers before I could run over to him. Grrr.....I scolded him and replanted it. He didn't mess with it the rest of the day. Maybe. Just maybe there might be a glimmer of hope. I don't want to get ahead of myself though.