Thursday, June 28, 2012

I'm Not Above Bribery


That's right. I'm sure I'm not the only parent who feels that way. I'll use bribery. I'm not scared. For example~ Mr. Mayer and I are water people. I have been swimming for as long as I can remember. I remember being around 3 and living in Texas and my Mom put me in swim lessons. I thought it was so fun to swim to the bottom of the pool and pick up rings. I want my kids to be comfortable in the water. We have a boat. We go to the lake a lot. They need to be able to swim. 
By the time Diva was 6 months old she was in her first swim class. She loved water. All things about water. The following 2 summers were the same. She was in swim lessons as soon as there was an opening. Again. Loved the water. She did great. Then twins happened. I feel that Diva has gotten the short end of the stick. I did not have the energy for swim lessons. We did not go to the lake much. We were not water people that summer. I had the best laid plans to get her back in swim lessons the following summer. That was before I knew what twins entailed. I was in no shape mentally to do anything last summer. Mr. Mayer and I were just trying to survive. This summer I was determined. I was determined that Diva would stop being put on the back burner because I was overwhelmed. I was determined that we would start doing some fun things. I would stop making excuses and start living life. I enrolled her in swim lessons. The first lessons she has had in 2 years. Yikes! I was confident she would rock it. BAHAHAHAHA!!!! I'm an idiot.
Not only did she not rock. She cried the first 3 days. Then the owner had to get on the diving board and push her in the water. Oh-em-gee....this is not happening. I did not understand what was going on with her. She has always loved the water. Why in the world was she acting like she would melt? Sheesh. I talked to her instructor (who was insanely awesome). She assured me it was normal behavior and that "we" would work through it. Ugh. I hope. I know that she can be a little stubborn and dramatic. I know. I know. Shocking. It's true. So. I used bribery. She desperately wanted the new Justin "Veiver" CD because he's so "good." Um. Yeah, whatever. I had ammo. I told Diva that if she could pull her shit, er, um, stuff together and stop crying and acting like a baby that I would buy her the CD and she wouldn't even have to use her allowance (that's a WHOLE other blog post). We had a deal. She was super stoked about that prospect. The next day she was her normal super confident self. She was jumping in the deep end. Going off the diving board and putting her head under the water. Whuck?! Where did this come from. Just yesterday she was a hysterical mess. After class I was complimenting her and telling her how awesome she was. Her teacher looked at me and said "She really wants that CD." Diva had told her about our deal. Hmmmm....please don't think I'm a bad Mom. That same day Aunt Betsy sent me a text with a picture of an OSU t-shirt and asked if Diva would wear that. I asked Diva who gave an emphatic yes. I told Aunt Betsy. Aunt Betsy made a deal with Diva. If she would get it together and do great in her swim class she would give her that shirt. Diva was so excited. I'm glad someone can buy her clothes because she hates anything I buy her. Clothing her has been difficult. Oh, sorry. Getting off track.
So....no crying at swim lessons and jumping in the water will get her a new CD AND a "Go Pokes" t-shirt. That kid was a rock star. She started doing big jumps and swimming under water. I'm fairly convinced she was acting those first few days. Today was her last lesson. They give out little completion cards. It would either say "Completed" or "Participated." Me being the awesome Mom that I am was fully prepared for a "Participated." I had already enrolled Diva in the another 2 week swim class in a few weeks. I was fully prepared for her to have to repeat her current level. So, you can imagine my surprise when she was given this card after class....
Yup, that's right. She advances to the next level. One proud Mama over here! Whew! Guess what we stopped and bought after swim lessons today?

Lesson learned from this experience? Bribery works. Every time. I'm not ashamed. I'll do it again.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Canning

Canning...the word sounds a little old fashioned to me. I think I have always associated canning and preserving with my "Maw Maw." I remember she had a cellar with shelves and shelves of colorful jars of things she had canned and preserved for a later use. It is definitely something I never imagined myself doing or having an interest in. We moved into our current house 4 years ago. I started a little garden that summer. I quickly became overwhelmed with the amount the little garden produced. I have repeated history every year since then however. Year after year I find myself at a loss as to what to do with all my produce. My Aunt Kathy has a garden as well. It's not a little garden. It's like a multi acre garden. She always has an abundance of things. They only planted 60 tomato plants this year. They scaled back from their normal 70....Whuck?! Aunt Kathy is always more than willing to share her bounty. I went home for a family reunion this past weekend. I came home with an abundance of tomatoes, squash, cucumbers and okra. There is no way we can even pretend to eat all this before it spoils. I have been dabbling the past few years in different areas. I have made a few jellies. I have started freezing more things. I'm making more of my own foods and relying less on pre-made/processed things. All this has led me to a desire to try canning some of my own stuff. I'll admit. It's an overwhelming thought. But, here I am. With a million tomatoes that are on a short time line. What to do? Mr. Mayer was very eager to give caning a try. I read about it. Aunt Kathy texted me directions. It sounded way to easy. What have I been missing out on? Tonight Mr. Mayer and I tackled our project. Tomatoes were peeled. Chopped. Stuffed in jars. And are currently taking a luxurious bath. Over all the process was ridiculously easy. So much so I have a small fear that I really screwed something up somewhere. Yikes! I hope not. I'm very anxious to try my hand at something else.
In addition to my adventures in canning today I tried something else....I found this recipe for tomatoes in my Gwyneth Paltrow cookbook (My Father's Daughter). I had gobs of cherry tomatoes that needed to have something done with them as well. I was curious about this recipe so I tried it. All I have to say is OMG! I had to put them away~quickly~because I was going to eat all of them. The Dudes really loved them as well. I will definitely be doing that again.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Splash Pad

There is an awesome splash pad not far from here that I had been hearing about. Everyone I knew that went to it raved about it and said how much fun they had there with their kids. The kids L-O-V-E water. We do a sprinkler in the backyard on a regular basis. I was itching to get them to the splash pad. I had planned to meet a friend and her kids on Friday there, but the weather had other plans. I ended up taking my 3 to the mall to play in their play area for a while. Sunday the sun was shining and it was a great day. Diva had been asking to go to the splash pad so we loaded up and headed that way. The place was fantastic. I was impressed. Diva ran around in the water for a little bit and then her and a girl she met there went and played on the play set adjacent to the splash pad the rest of the time. Carter took immediately to the water. He was one very happy little boy. He ran around full speed the entire time. It took Owen a little bit to warm up to the idea. The first 30-45 minutes he was having nothing to do with the water. He wanted to go slide. He eventually warmed up and had the time of his life playing in the water. The best part about the splash pad? Nap time was AWESOME Sunday afternoon.


Monday, June 18, 2012

Hi

Hello everyone!! Have you missed me? I've been taking a little breather....remember how I said earlier that I wanted to enjoy my time a little more and wanted to slow down? Well, I've been trying. What have I been up to? Playing, doing a few things that I enjoy, drinking wine, sitting on my patio. So far this summer we have celebrated Memorial Day at the lake. That was fun as always. The kids had the time of their life. The following week I had our annual Cinco De Mayer party. I use Mr. Mayer's birthday as an excuse. It started 9 years ago on his actual birthday (May 5th). Since then it has been moved to the first Saturday of June and really it's just a big ol' party. It is always fun. I "try" to keep our guest list to around 75. I have been known to go over that number :/ Anyway, I'm rambling. We partied. It was fantastic as always. We have been going to the zoo with friends, story time at the library, splash pad at a local park and playing in the backyard. I got Diva her very first library card. The kid is 5. I had never taken the time to take her to the library. Mom of the year over here! She was so proud of that card she showed it to everyone that she saw for a week. Last week I went away for the weekend with 5 of my best girlfriends. We went to Kansas City. We had a hot date with Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw and their Brother's of the Sun concert. AH-MAZ-ING is all I have to say about that. It was really fantastic to get away with some girlfriends and not do a thing except lay by the pool.
We had a fantastic time. I think it should become a regular occurrence. Mr. Mayer stayed home with the brood~and had a good time himself. I think his Facebook status was "I'm pretty sure this whole staying home with the kids thing wouldn't be that bad if it weren't for the 5 year old asker of a million questions." It's true. So very true. I didn't know a person could ask so many questions. Sometimes I pretend I don't hear her. 

This week Diva is doing swim lessons in addition to her weekly gymnastics. I have a family reunion next weekend. Kill me now on that front. There are things in life I would prefer to avoid. Family reunions are one of those things. I mean. Really? Families still do this? Oh well. I guess I have to take the good with the bad. I asked Mr. Mayer if he could have another appendix out so that we didn't have to go. So far he's not cooperating.
So. Yeah. That's what's been up. You? Anything fun this summer?