Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Growing, Growing, Growing

Every kid grows. Its part of being a kid. And so, buying new clothes and shoes is part of being a mom.

Let me pause for just a moment on shoes, because we are really going through some shoes at our house.

In December, Big Girl and I went shoe shopping. She got three pairs of shoes at one store and two pairs at another store in one day. Brown riding style boots, running/basketball shoes, black patent leather flats, silver flats, and something else I can't remember at the moment. Maybe rain boots? It was no small investment. Particularly now that she has moved into the women's department.

Friends with small feet take note - there is a list of adults she knows waiting patiently chomping at the bit for her feet to grow because I buy her cute, nice shoes. She has now passed two of them and while their feet are stylin', I'm not smilin.'

After the super fun mother-daughter bonding of shoe shopping in December, I was pretty surprised to look over this weekend and see her toes stretching the fabric out past the end of the shoe of her sneakers.

I checked Instagram (because I posted a picture of her smiling face at the shoe store during our prior adventure) - almost exactly four months. And we are headed back.

Now that she is a size 7.5 womens. (If you have anything cute and age appropriate we're glad for a very short term loan), I decided to try sneaker shopping online.

The last pair were so cute, and fit great, so I began the search. In 10 minutes we had found the style online and picked a color. She made it easy, going with the exact same color as before. The next question is dress shoes. Her least favorite - probably because its so tough to find something appropriate for an 8 year old in a 7.5 womens.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, July 7, 2013


A few days ago I mentioned that our blueberries are struggling a bit. They've had plenty of fruit on them, but none that survived the birds long enough to make it to our bellies.

So over the long weekend we decided to go pick some blueberries instead. The Vollmer Farm was not too far out of our way to the Mudcats game (another fave of our kids!) so it was perfect. 

It was a weekday evening close to closing time, so it wasn't too busy. We headed straight out to the field and started filling our buckets with berries. 

Big Girl was super excited to pick berries, and to show us where she had gone on a field trip, but she got super distracted by bugs (i.e. almost immobilized by focusing on swatting them - girly girl!). Little Man, who hadn't been as excited to pick berries loved it.

The blueberry bushes were low enough he could reach them. He loved finding the "bu" ones and running to put them in a bucket. 

He also loved picking the raspberries. Totally ironic since he doesn't like anything that pokes him and he won't eat either of them!

While he was picking berries, she took the camera. So, no pics of her on this adventure.

After a quick visit to the pirate ship and airplane on the playground we headed off to the baseball game. 

Another picture courtesy of my girl! 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

'Lil Summer Craft

When I look for a craft there are a few criteria that I pretty much stick to. 
  • Easy. Enough to involve one or both kids. Somehow. 
  • Inexpensive. $5 - $10 or less if possible. 
  • Supplies on hand. The last thing I want is to have to go search out some super unique little thing or another. Especially if that thing comes in a package of 500 and I need 2. Ugh. Stinkin' googly eyes.
  • Give it away. We love to craft and do artsy things. If we kept everything we made, my house would be more cluttered than it is. If we can have the fun of making something and not have to dust it - awesome!
From time to time I'll take on a project that doesn't meet these criteria, but not often. 

Earlier this summer (I know I'm totally behind in posting this!) we made a cute wind chime for Grandad for his birthday. It met all of the criteria, so we were excited to get started.

I started by looking through the pantry for cans that would nest one inside the other. Then I figured out what meals to make to use up the food in the cans within a few day. 

True story.

After about four days we had five cans. 

I double checked that they fit one inside the other and laid out newspaper for Big Girl to prime them while I made dinner. She was in the office and I was 10 feet away in the kitchen. 

As I was cooking I started to notice some fumes. So, I opened a window and turned on a fan. If you decide to prime, you may want to do so outside. Don't know why I didn't think of this before she started. May have been related to the fussing toddler, timer and ringing phone. Don't know. Just sayin.'

After the cans dried she picked out acrylic paints and choose two cans that she would allow her brother to paint. He was super excited running around with a brush saying screaming that he was "pinking." 

Cue I can't paint without pants on meltdown. 

Crazy mom that I am, I thought that the best way for a two-year-old to use acrylic paint would be in a diaper, but I was wrong. So, I tried an old shirt. Of mine. Better, but he still HAD to have pants. pants. So I put his shorts back on under the dress of a shirt he was wearing and the painting got underway.

He sat in my lap and it went well.

The next evening after everything dried hubby helped up poke holes in the bottom of each can and big girl and I strung them together. We thought about using twine, but decided on a thin nylon rope, hoping it will last longer. 

I was at a total loss of what to put at the end of the wind chime. 

We had a pile of old hot wheels in the garage. I dug through and found a tractor. Perfect for a garden wind chime and easy to tie to the rope.

The cans nested pretty snuggly, so it didn't make much noise. Fine with us, but it you'd like a noisier version, you may want to try fewer cans with more of a difference in sizes. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Garden Garden

Its hard to believe how fast the summer is flying past. Every week I have good intentions of updating y'all on the garden, but it just hasn't happened. 

Here are a few pictures.

As you can see, lots of green. Lots of cucumbers. Not so many tomatoes. Not so many (ripe) blueberries. 

Such disappointment. Especially for hubby who's been slaving away out there.

I really think its the weather. We've been getting rain almost every day for weeks, and some of the plants are just not doing super with it. (Hard to believe I'm wishing for less rain, but I guess so.)

If you have any tips to get more tomatoes out of these guys, send 'em on over!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Friendly Competition

Swimming is a big sport in Raleigh. Our neighborhood swim team has 20 girls in the 7 and 8 age group. Many of them swim year-round like Big Girl, and because she is 7, many of them are older than her. 

So, it came as no surprise that she wasn't in the fastest heat for any of her races at the first meet of the season a few nights ago. 

What did come as a surprise was how competitive she was. 

All winter she has shied away from competition. Her coach had to twist her arm a bit to get her to go to just one meet. 

But that wasn't the kid that came to the meet on Tuesday night. The kid at that meet was upset when she didn't win. She asked what she did wrong, and what she could do better. She responded to my momma coaching, "your dive was a little on the belly flop side, remember how your coach taught you to go far out?" and "you were winning until you stopped and looked around."

After several second places in heats 2 and 3, she was in heat 4 for the last event - butterfly. One of the slower heats, and she was pumped up to try and win. The only little problem was that she was in a lane next to her buddy Johanna.

As the girls waited behind the blocks they gave each other a little hug, and I thought to myself, "Here we go, Big Girl is not going to win."

So I stood to the side and cheered. She quickly passed her friend and only one girl a few lanes down was close to her. She had perfect strokes, and perfect breathing, and about two-thirds of the way down the pool passed the other girl.

All I could think was, "don't stop and look, you will get beat!" And by some miracle, she didn't look. And she won the heat. 

As she climbed out of the pool, I congratulated her. She was glowing with pride. As she was handed a heat winner ribbon - a prize well won - her friend started to get out of the pool.

Anyone who has spent much time around 7 and 8 year-old girls knows they can be a bit snippy. So, I held my breath. Not sure what would come out of wither of their mouths next. 

But there were no words. Instead there was a hug. 

Big Girl reached out and hugged her friend. "You did really well," she said.

"But you won," said her friend.

"Well you got second and you were really close to me," Big Girl told her friend who I was almost certain came in 6th out of 6 swimmers. "And it was fun to race at the same time."

"Yeah," said her friend. 

"You will win one next time," said Big Girl as they walked back to their towels.

There is a lot going on in out lives these days. Between school, work, church and trips to the library and grocery store, sometimes I'm not sure if the lessons I am trying to teach are sinking in. But it seemed like - at least on this day - she understood the importance of sportsmanship. 

There are five more meets ahead of us this season. So; cross your fingers, say a little prayer, knock on wood; whatever you do to help things go your way - send some wishes to us - that the rest of the season goes as well as the beginning.