Monday, June 30, 2014

Currently . . . (Vol. 4)

Linking up with A Mama Collective and Cassie for "Currently."

Thinking about: Small talk. I am in a small talk season of life. I am not good at it. I am good at long, deep conversations. I am good at listening. I am good at joking with people who get my dry, sarcastic sense of humor. I am not good at idle chit chat as I encounter new people, feel out the water for new friends, and engage the mom pushing the swing next to me. Small talk is hard for me. Yet, on occasion, I'm able to get outside of myself and do it (maybe even do it well). I'm pondering what differences there are those times when conversation is easy and when it is hard. It might to a long way to helping me meet people and make some positive connections along the way.
Reading: Summerland by Elin Hilderbrand. So two years ago? Oh well. I think the bigger news is that I actually checked out a grown-up book from the library and am actually reading a book. I've just done so little reading in the last few months, but there is something magical about frothy beach reads in the summer. My favorite thing about summer growing up was going to the library and checking out a stack of fun, easy reads that I tore through all summer long.

Listening to: music on hold. Always joyful. A friend once worked for a telecom company, and taught me the correct term for it is, in fact, "music on hold" or "MOH," and that companies actually select what they use for MOH. I wouldn't be surprised if there were studies done showing what sorts of music are least aggravating for customers, how often there should be a "thanks for holding" and that sort of thing.
Watching: The light dance through the leaves and the wind blow the grass out our bay window that looks into the front yard. There is something beautiful and magical outside the window today. Maybe it's just the overwhelming feeling of hope that bubbles and brims over today. Maybe it's the humidity hanging thick in the air. Maybe it's the weather changing before my eyes. Maybe it's all in my mind, but it's enchanting. Together with the elevator music soundtrack, my mind keeps wondering.

That window right there -- paint preview free of charge.

Thankful for: July. July brings lots of good things in our family. Independence Day. Our anniversary. Clare's birthday. Most importantly, this year at least, is that July 1 is the "Medical New Year." Starting tomorrow, Charles will officially be a medical intern. I feel like the last many weeks have been one long transition, one change after another. And they have been good, beautiful changes, but they have been changes all the same. Tomorrow, Charles will walk out the door and he will go to work (real work, not school that's work that we call work but is really school -- did you follow?). As far as I know, things will have a chance to settle into the daily rhythm of everyday life. No changes for awhile. Thankful for the beauty of the mundane.


post signature

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Answer Me This, Vol. 7

Sunday Funday with Kendra!

1. How often do you take public transportation? At home? Never. I've never lived in a place that is public transportation-y. Phoenix? No. Wichita? Definitely no. But when I'm traveling, I love it. I love navigating the system, experiencing the nitty gritty (often very gritty) of life in that place. Plus, it encourages me to walk walk walk and really see a place. My favorite tourist activity is just walking. And while we're on the subject, the best walk of all is from the Eiffel Tower to Notre Dame along the Seine in Paris. You can include the Champs Elysees at the beginning if you must. :)

2. How many cousins do you have? I have 3 first cousins. Each of my parents had one sister. My dad's sister never married or had kids. My mom's sister has 3 kids. She married an only child, so my 3 cousins have 2 first cousins. Plus, none of us is the same age. As a result, we're, in many ways, more like siblings than cousins. We're up to 12 kids between us, so our kids have decidedly more "cousins." And this conversation officially makes me sad, because we now live so far away from them. :-(

3. Have you ever fired a gun? Not unless a water gun counts. And I've only ever used the most basic of those.

4. Do you ride roller coasters?
Yes, but it's been awhile. I've always particularly loved rickety old wooden coasters. Admittedly, I haven't ridden one of those since before I had kids. Pregnancy and baby-toting have a way of messing with the ol' back that might not leave it as amenable to wooden coasters as my teenage self would like to remember.

5. What's your favorite flower? That's like picking a favorite child. I love most flowers. I have a soft spot for bulbs, but I also love lilies. And I adore roses (but not red ones, necessarily), but they just wilt so quickly. I could go on and on, really.

Wedding flowers. Loved them. Still do.

6. Are you allergic to anything? The better question is probably what am I not allergic to. I am most definitely very, very allergic to eggs. I've never experienced anaphylaxis, but there is some indication from asthmatic symptoms at times that it is possible. My allergist in high school refused to give me a flu shot because of it, so that is enough for me to skip the flu shot every year. I also skin-tested positive for like 50 of 80 items on my most recent scratch test (about 5 years ago now) for environmental allergens. I refuse to do skin testing for food allergies because of the very high rate of false positives, but probably have some sensitivities that don't affect my life too much. I have super sensitive skin. I am careful with products (choosing fragrance free when I can, for example) and am very, very diligent with my antihistamines, which do a good job of helping keep the worst at bay. I have (well-controlled, thankfully) asthma, shockingly enough. I also use a nasal spray (helps with my lifetime of postnasal drip) and maintenance inhaler (for the asthma). Ha! I'm sure you're sorry you asked.

Happy Sunday!

post signature

Friday, June 27, 2014

7 Quick Takes, Vol. 69

Boo to another week without much happening on ye ol' blog. But . . . I do have a couple of drafts that I'm still tweaking. Plus, things seem to be settling into a more normal rhythm around here, so that's good for the blog as well. :) Linking up with Jen for my Friday update of a post. :)

1.Charles has had another week of orientation. I am pretty sure he's sick-to-death of orientation. So much sitting and listening. Next week is finally his first week of residency rotations. He's ready and us at home, we're as ready as we'll ever be. I know it won't be all fun and games, but we might as well get on with it. :)

2. One annoying things that has hampered my blogging the last couple of weeks (besides, you know, moving) has been the ridiculously poor quality of our internet connection. Our frustration was mounting badly then on Monday, after we got everything up and running again (see #3, below), we couldn't get the TV or the internet going. So, after two calls, plenty of time on hold, lots of resets, and an over-the-phone diagnosis, a tech came out to see what was wrong. And, lo, the tech who did our initial installation did really shoddy work. Tech #2 fixed all of the poor work and BAM! services up and running again!

3. We've started tackling Operation Freshen up the House by tackling the project that is the living room. We scraped the ceiling of it's popcorn glory on Sunday. (And by "we" I mean Charles, while I chased the kiddos.) Monday we started painting and replaced some light fixtures. We didn't finish (this weekend, hopefully-maybe!), so you'll have to wait for before and after glory, but we feel good to be really making this house feel like home.

A before preview

4. Added to the to-do list: buy brown sugar. I was all set yesterday afternoon to make my inaugural batch of chocolate chip cookies in the new house when . . . I realized I haven't bought brown sugar yet. I had the stuff to pull together some peanut butter cookies, but I had wanted chocolate chip. Talk about First World Problems.

5. Diva Clare decided to wear sunglasses to breakfast the other day. No, I don't have my hands full. Not at all.

Filter via Instagram

6. Speaking of my little diva darling, I took her to story time at the library on Tuesday. There was a misunderstanding on my part about where it would be (because it wasn't in the children's section where I expected it), and Clare refused to go. She just wanted to sit at a table and read books instead.  Then she wanted to read all the book in the grown up section when I went to find something for myself, and gave me a chance to practice alphabetizing. Goofy little bookworm.

7. I'm going to try really, really hard not to talk about the weather every.single.week, but ohmygosh, a little weather talk is inevitable. But I'm still charmed by actual weather changes, and enjoyed a cool, rainy day yesterday.

This is how rain makes me feel.

Have a lovely weekend!

post signature

Saturday, June 21, 2014

7 Quick Takes, Vol. 68

Finally Friday (errrr...Saturday) -- linking up with Kathryn of Team Whitaker, who's filling in for Jen during her vacation.

1. I'm finally feeling reoriented to time and place after a crazy-cakes last week. There was an overall (un)pleasant 16 hour drive with two kids in a mini-van, the unusual experience of arriving at/moving into a house I had only seen via FaceTime, and the always very (un)pleasant task of unpacking all those boxes we spent so many hours packing. Big thank you to my dad and Rhonda for their help driving us out here!

Wichita or Bust -- from somewhere in NM

2. The key to feeling settled in a house: the kitchen is totally unpacked and put together. It doesn't matter that there is still no art on the walls or that the crib is still in pieces in the nursery. I can made dinner and do dishes and put things away. I feel complete.

Now to decide what color to paint that wall.

3. We're able to still have the crib disassembled, because Clare has moved to a twin. We'd been building up for weeks the fact that, when we went to Wichita, she's get to sleep in a "bi' burl bed." So far, she's doing really well. It probably helps that her room is still mostly empty and she hasn't figured out that she can get out of the bed if she really wants to, thanks to the bed rail.

Bed unmade -- bedding in progress

4. In spite of the fact that I am 99.9% sure that this Arizona girl is going to die of humidity, we're loving being here so far. We love that there are trees and that we have a yard for the kids to run around. The previous owners of our house left swings on the trees, so Clare has been begging to "swinging" about 1 million times per day. We can walk to two different parks (provided, in the summer, that we go in the mornings). I'm trying really hard to get us out of the house and get involved, so we have that going for us, too. Since that isn't easy for me, it is definitely worth noting.

Trying the big girl swing

5. One thing that is helping me get into a groove is that Charles started residency orientation this week. I miss him when he's gone, especially on late days (and am especially especially dreading the long hours of residency), but it does let us get into more of a rhythm. So far, so good, I guess. I mean, orientation is orientation, so . . . yeah.

6. One thing hindering me from getting into a groove: daylight saving time. I know Arizona is an anomaly, but why, oh why, do people think the sun staying up until 9 at night is a good idea?!? Why?!?!? We're not in Alaska or Scandinavia. Just.not.right.

7. We have a full weekend of residency orientation social activities ahead of us. And I should probably suck it up and unpack some of those boxes in the basement. :-P

And maybe lawn mowing . . .

Have a lovely weekend!

post signature

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Peter -- 2 months

Peter's 2 month birthday was celebrated in the middle of packing and moving and graduation festivities, so I didn't have a chance to write up his 2 month update!

We took him to his doctor's appointment before we left, and he's continuing right along his tall and thin (but not too skinny) curve. He's wearing 0-3 month clothes, but some of his sleepers are starting to get too short.

He's still a rock star nurser (as witnessed by his growth curve!), and a pretty good sleeper. He will sleep really well a few nights in a row and then regress.

He's starting to enjoy his baths more -- being in the water, he is clam and happy. Getting out of the water and being cold is another story!

He's been a little bit fussier this month, and has also started spitting up more. I still can't say that he spits up as much as Clare, but she was quite the Spit Up Princess.

He is all smiles and giggles and coos, which makes everything worth it! He's got a couple of little dimples and a twinkle in his eye. I have a feeling he's going to be quite the heartbreaker!

I managed to get some pictures on the 7th, but the camp chair is not nearly as condusive to baby pictures as the glider. C'est la vie (and memories!).

post signature

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Answer Me This, Vol. 6

We've still got more than a little unpacking to do, but the main floor is pretty much liveable. Today is Charles' first day of residency orientation. Both kids are napping (mom win!), so I'm easing back into blogging with  a late contribution to Kendra's link-up.

1. What's something you intended to do today, but didn't? Get up early. Since the unpacking finally feels under control, and since Charles was getting up to get out the door, I had every intention of getting up with him (read: while he's in the shower), and before the kiddos woke up. I've said it before, and I'll say it again (and again and again), but I'm better in every way when I get up before the kids and have a cup of coffee and some me time (and maybe even a shower!) before I start the feed-clean-entertain-repeat cycle. The kiddos, though, decided to wake up more than usual last night, so, despite getting to bed at a reasonable time, I had a hard time dragging my bottom out of bed until Charles was leaving. Boo! Hopefully tomorrow!

2. What's your favorite grilling recipe? Cheeseburgers? Charles does our grilling. I do make a mean chicken marinade -- my favorite is combining honey, lime, cooking oil, thyme, salt and pepper. No real recipe. I eyeball it. But it tastes mighty yummy! But, really, can anyone resist a good, homemade burger? I think not.


3. What movie did you see most recently? We're not big movie watchers. We watched a lot of cartoons (The Lorax, Turtle Tales (awful, but Clare thought the turtles were cute), Pixar stuff) when Clare was in the hospital and recovering, but that's about it. We watch a lot of documentaries on Netflix. We also watch a lot of terrible reality TV, lest you think we're overly highbrow or something.

4. Would you say your tendency is to over or under react to medical situations? Probably more under-react than over. Mostly, though, I just follow my husband's lead. If he's worried, I know I should be, too. If he thinks things are ok, I figure they must be.

5. Do you squeeze the toothpaste tube or roll it? Squeeze, then occasionally push it all up to the top. I don't really get the rolling thing. It looks good in theory, but I can't exactly wrap my mind around it.

6. What are you doing for Father's Day? It was a pretty low-key celebration. We stayed up late working on unpacking on Saturday, and ended up going to a late-morning Mass Sunday. Then we took a nice drive to check out the area around us. Charles went to the gym during naps, while I worked on the kitchen. We gave cards to Daddy and called our own fathers. And my sister because it was her birthday (she was born on Father's Day, so it's always extra-special when Father's Day falls on her birthday). I made a nicer dinner. We finished putting the kitchen together and pretty much fell into bed afterwards.

post signature

Monday, June 9, 2014

Saying Good-bye

Tomorrow, when we pull out, we'll be saying good-bye to this chapter, to Phoenix, to family and friends.

I'll also be saying a bittersweet farewell  to a house I've called home for seven years.

It's where my sister and I were roommates, became best friends, and grew up.

We both worked our first real jobs while living here. We both met our husbands while living here.

My husband picked me up for our first date at this front door. He proposed to me in the living room. We made it our first home as man and wife.

We welcomed our firstborn home to this house on a dark, stormy night in July. I teared up showing her around. 

We welcomed our first son to this house, busting at the seams, knowing it would only be his home for a short while. It was a sunny afternoon in April, and I scurried to make sandwiches before he woke up.

I've lived a lot of life and made a lot of memories here. It has been home, and it will always have a place in my heart.

{This didn't publish when it was supposed to, so if you're just finding this, blame the technology!} 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

7 Quick Takes, Vol. 67

Using 7QT for a Saturday photo dump/catch-up. Jen has more.

The last couple of weeks have been crazy, insane busy.


1. We packed up (most of) our stuff, and sent it off to Wichita via portable storage container.

Almost empty shelf. Who said packing was fun?
2. Charles' brother, Zak, came to help us with the move.

Clare helped too.

3. She has also been helping us clean before we leave Tuesday morning.

Cleaning the wall (with a paint sponge)

4. Yesterday, we drove to this little event.

Joe Cool.

5. And someone graduated!!!!

Can I get a woo hoo?!?

6. I am so, so proud of all that he has accomplished. I mean, it's a big freaking deal, and he did it.

And so happy, too.

7. This is my favorite shot of all the shots:

That's Dr. Daddy, young lady!

Have a lovely (rest of the) weekend! We've got some celebrating (and packing) to do.

post signature

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Right Now

My house looks something like this:

But worse, because this was a week ago.

My hopes for knocking out a post or two during the boxing phase of moving have proven to be a bit too sky-high. Apparently, taking care of two kids, providing nourishment in some form for a family on a multiple-times-daily basis, getting interrupted sleep thanks to your newborn, and boxing up your whole life is exhausting.

Who knew?!?

Hopefully, I'll be back properly after our stuff leaves via pod on Thursday. If not, well, I'll be back soon(ish)!

See ya on the flip side.

post signature