Outside my window... I am loving the fall weather! I'm sure we aren't done with summer heat spells yet, but this glimpse of fall has been fabulous.
I am thinking... that I don't like it when I have two Simple Woman's Daybook posts in a row. It tells me I'm not blogging enough.
I am thankful... for good public schools. I don't have the money for private or the patience for homeschool!
From the kitchen... who knows. That's up to J.C. I'm having chicken fingers at the ball park tonight.
I am creating... not much. I have a long list of things that need to be created, but I'm not actively working on any of them.
I amgoing... to enjoy the cool weather at the ball park tonight. Hopefully I can watch a few minutes of the game while I eat my dinner.
I am reading... nothing. I just finished Delicious!: A Novel by Ruth Reichl. It was a wonderful, charming, "delicious" book - a great first novel by Reichl.
I am hoping... that cutting out caffeine will help with my restless leg syndrome. If it doesn't, I will have endured caffeine-withdrawl headaches for nothing!
I am hearing... the washing machine washing uniforms - mine for working at the ball park, Addie's for TKD, and Nina's for volleyball.
Around the house... Elise's room is crazy-clean. I'm not sure what got into her, but I like it.
One of my favorite things... fall. I don't like that fall is the intro to winter, but I do love fall itself.
A few plans for the rest of the week... taekwondo, swim lessons, volleyball practice, dentist and orthodontist appointments, and book club for me.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing... this is Elise receiving her Phi Sigma Pi shirt at the jump rope end of year party this weekend. This was a big deal for her, and you can see the smile on her face. To earn the T-shirt, a jumper has to jump the following in competition: 5.0 in freestyle (phi), 250 in one minute speed (sigma), and 125 in one minute power (pi). The numbers may not mean anything to you, and that's OK. It just means Elise worked really hard for this and will wear that t-shirt proudly.
This weekend marked my first time as a mother having to deal with one of the big serious teen issues. I'm going to be intentionally vague, but it was one of those issues that Dateline warns you to watch for in your teens and that gets featured in movies on Lifetime. It hit me like a Mac truck. I don't even have a child who officially has "teen" in her age yet. How is it that we are dealing with "teen" issues?Fortunately, thankfully, my child was only peripherally involved and not engaging in anything risky, but it still hit way too close to home. I spent my weekend having tear filled conversations with other parents I barely know or don't know at all. I googled things I'd rather not google, and I hugged my kid and told her I was proud of her. I ended the weekend completely drained, spent, and feeling a bit shellshocked. Sadly though, I think I need to face the facts that problems that used to be associated with 15-17 year olds are now working their way down to 10-12 year olds. Also, I am realizing that the teen issues from my generation are magnified and intensified with kids' access to the Internet and social media, and new issues are out there that didn't even exist when I was a teen. Figuring out how to parent through all this is a test... a really awful, scary, high pressure test. I think I passed this weekend, but I'm dreading the next one to come our way. "Bigger kids, bigger problems"... ain't that the truth?
Outside my window... the humidity lately makes me feel like I'm living in a rain forest.
I am thinking... about Nina. She came home from school early today feeling rotten. She is supposed to have her first volleyball practice tonight, but I guess she will miss it.
I am thankful... that Addie got through her croup episode this weekend without a trip to the hospital. We took her to urgent care Saturday afternoon for a jolt of steroids, and that seemed to do the trick. How did I get stuck with such croupy kids? Most children outgrow croup by age 3, but Addie is still getting it at 6. Most of my friends remember the 1-2 times they have experienced croup with their kids while I need at least two hands to count how many times I've taken a kid to the ER with croup. I can't think of anyone else I know whose child has actually had a multi-day hospital stay for croup either. Not sure how we got so "lucky".
From the kitchen... caesar salad and make-your-own pizza.
I am creating... not much.
I amgoing... to pick up groceries this afternoon. I love online grocery ordering!
I am reading... Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. My mom has tried to convince me to read this book for years, but I truly had no interest in reading a book about the circus. I finally caved though this week when I ran out of books and saw this loaner from my mom on the bookshelf. I have to admit, I'm really loving it. I guess I should have trusted her recommendation from the start! I also finished When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman. That was a sweet, charming book. The writing was a little disjointed at times, but overall, I liked it a lot.
I am hoping... that Addison passed her yellow belt test in taekwondo. She had belt testing on Saturday morning, but we don't find out the results until Wednesday. She has worked really hard for it, and it would be a big blow to her motivation and pride if she didn't pass.
I am hearing... quiet. Hopefully Nina is getting some rest.
Around the house... germs, apparently.
One of my favorite things... the new outlet J.C. installed in our kitchen. Instead of two slots for electric plugs, it has one slot for an electric plug and two USB ports. Genius! Also, it is black. (See my new kitchen post).
A few plans for the rest of the week... taekwondo award ceremony, swim lessons, volleyball practice, jump rope team try-outs, jump rope performance.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing... poor little nervous girl before testing, getting a pep talk from dad.
Addison was nervous about this afternoon because Nina was going to go home on the bus, and she was going to get picked up in carpool to go to taekwondo. She likes the security of having her sister around when things are different (she usually rides the bus). I'm guessing this didn't help her anxiety level...
1. J.C. and I had a conversation tonight about how much pizza to order while both of us were online simultaneously placing orders without realizing the other one was also ordering. How does that happen? How did each of us think we were in charge of the pizza and not figure that out over the course of the conversation? He was on a computer. I was on the iPhone app, and we placed our similar but not quite identical orders at the exact same time. The Domino's folks had to be wondering what the heck we were doing. The delivery guy showed up with both orders, and that's when we realized what we had done. I suppose this was better than both of us thinking the other was ordering and no pizza ever arriving; however, we now have enough pizza to feed the whole neighborhood all weekend. Come on over!
2. J.C. has introduced the girls to The Greatest American Hero. Thank you, Netflix! Our children now have a new found appreciation for 70's TV. Believe it or not, I'm walking on air. I never thought I could feel so free eee eee. Flying away on a wing and a prayer. Who could it be? Believe it or not it's just me.
As kitchens go, ours wasn't bad. The cabinets are good quality, it has hardwood floors, and the laminate countertops had a little wooden edge around them to give them a little style over your standard builder-issue laminate. The colors might not have been my first choice, but it was all relatively attractive for a kitchen where you didn't choose anything yourself. That said, after living here more than 10 years, we were ready for a change. I always pictured our kitchen with black granite counters, so that was the main goal.
Unfortunately, J.C. and I don't have a decision making gene between us, and so "The Great Granite Decision of 2014" began. We looked at this one,
and this one,
and this one,
and this one, and more, and more, and then more.
Sometimes the kids went with us,...
sometimes we took measurements, and...
sometimes there were chickens.
After months of spending an unhealthy number of hours touring every granite distributor in the area (with numerous visits to each one), we were pretty sure we would never redo the kitchen and just continue looking at granite for the rest of our lives. (Just a side note... we're currently at that stage with our bathroom reno.)
Finally though, we came to the conclusion that there was never going to be a "perfect granite", and we simply had to choose one.
We selected cosmos black with a leathered finish. (Bonus points if you can spot the chicken in this photo.)
We had the granite installed back in February, and finally chose a tile backsplash about a month ago. We are nothing if not painfully slow with decisions. It is now done though, so here are a few before and afters.
Close-up of the tile and counter before...
The first thing I notice in these pictures is that the white outlet covers need to go. We'll now spend the next eight months choosing what color faceplates to buy.
And the sink before...
and after. I have to say the new black sink is probably my favorite part of the kitchen. It is a Swan granite composite sink, and I adore it. Is it OK to adore a sink? Maybe I shouldn't have admitted that.
Area by the fridge before...
and after (probably should have cleared the fridge for the after shots. We have kids though. Is it possible to have clean refrigerator doors with kids?).
And one more before...
and after. Anyway, it is finally done, and we're happy (with the exception of those darn white plate covers that I hadn't even noticed until I looked at these pictures). It isn't a huge overhaul, but it is new, fresh, bold, and more us. (And I really love the cool black sink.)
Outside my window... July is here for sure. It has been HOT lately.
I am thinking... about Addie's upcoming belt testing for Taekwondo. I'm not sure I understand how it all works. This is a new world for me. I'm used to being a veteran jump rope parent, not a newbie Taekwondo parent.
I am thankful... for all the great experiences my girls get through Girl Scouts.
From the kitchen... grilled salmon, cauliflower, salad, and rolls.
I am creating... not much right now.
I amgoing... to go to book club this week. We are discussing the young adult book Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. I think most people in book club liked it more than I did. As a side note, who names their kid Rainbow?
I am reading... nothing right now. I finished Diary of a Mad Bride by Laura Wolf this afternoon. It was not one of the better wedding chick lit books I've ever read. I wouldn't recommend it. I also finished The Chocolate Lovers' Club by Carole Matthews this week. It was decent.
I am hoping... that we select a contractor soon for our master bathroom updates. Right now, we have to use the girls' bathroom shower because our shower leaks into the kitchen below. Five people taking turns with one shower is getting old fast.
I am hearing... some TV show J.C. is watching with lots of cursing.
Around the house... hopefully we'll have cleaner floors soon with the new vacuum cleaner I bought today.
One of my favorite things... our Friday night pizza at the pool tradition.
A few plans for the rest of the week... taekwondo, swim lessons, jump rope, book club, and a pretty open weekend with no plans which is nice.