Find Good In Every Day

One mom's attempt at finding good in every day of this chaotic world.

Picking My Battles June 26, 2009

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 12:21 pm

I’ve always appreciated a made bed.  It’s just natural for me to make my bed every morning.  I don’t know when it started, but I can’t remember a time in my life where I have left my bed unmade.  I shudder to think of it.  I don’t understand how anyone can get into bed at night with the sheets all wrinkled from being messed up all day.  There is just something fresh and pure about pulling back the sheets at night.  Call me crazy.

Needless to say, I’m trying to pass this onto Mason.  She does well making her bed when I help her.  We pull the sheet up together, tuck it into the sides of her bed and then pull the comforter up.  Pretty easy system when we work together.  But, like any almost 4-year-old, she is wanting to do more and more by herself.  Just last night, Jeremy let her put the toothpaste on her toothbrush by herself and brush with no help.  (We can’t guarantee she is brushing as effectively as when we help, but it’s a start.)

So this morning I asked her to go make her bed by herself.  She was in her room for less than a minute when she came out and said, “Mommy, I just put the cover over the pillow today.”  Not words a mother with bed making tendencies wants to hear.  I peaked in her room, and sure enough, she had barely touched the bed.  It looked like this:

At least she tried.

At least she tried.

Please also note that pajamas on the floor.  I had asked her 3 times to put those in the hamper.  What was I to do?  Over the next 30 seconds, as I thought about my response, I thought about all the arguments she and I have over little things like throwing dirty tissues away or picking up game pieces…  Is any of it worth it?   I do want to teach her good values and manners, but at what cost?  And at what age?  She is only 3 and a half!  I have to pick my battles these days.  So I decided to not bug her more about it this time.  There is plenty of time to learn to do it by herself.  In reality, I like making her bed with her.  By helping her, I’m still teaching her the good values and manners.

And on the days we just don’t have time to make her bed together, I can always come home at lunch and do it so she still gets that “fresh” feeling when she climbs into bed later that night.

Aahhh....  Much better.

Aahhh.... Much better.

 

Happy Father’s Day/Weekend June 21, 2009

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 7:29 pm

Honestly, it’s been a crazy weekend.  Because of previous plans, we had planned for Saturday to be our “Father’s Day.”  But it ended up being a weekend full of Father’s Day fun.  When we woke up Saturday, Jeremy opened cards and presents, and then we headed to Woodside for pancakes.  No special day is complete without them!  We then got to meet up with some friends who were in town from Denver.  It was so great to catch up with them and meet their new daughter.  (Sadly, I forgot my camera!)

After a “fatherly” lunch of hamburgers and fries, we went for a drive on back roads through the country from Frederick to Columbia.  We were hoping the kids would sleep, but when do they ever do what we want them to do?  Some time at Columbia Mall followed by dinner at home and yard work after the kids went to bed finished out our first day of the Father’s Day weekend.

Today we drove down to Charlottesville to spend time with Jen, Scott, and Meema.  Such fun!  Mason and Cooper had a great time at the Splash Park, and Jeremy even gave one up for the team and got wet with them.   Talk about a great dad!

Hoping to find one of these closer to home!

Hoping to find one of these closer to home!

Jen and Scott grilled up some delicious pizza, and then we got to enjoy the true gift of the weekend!

Through my favorite baking blog, Bakerella, I got the idea to make hamburgers and french fries from cupcakes, brownies, and cookies.  Yum!  The inspiration can be found here.  And here is what I ended up with…

Daddy's Day Happy Meal

Daddy's Day Happy Meal

Sugar!!!  It was quite the overload.

Sugar!!! It was quite the overload.

I think they turned out pretty well.  Jeremy mentioned how this is where crafting and baking meet.  I have to agree.  I never found my niche in crafting, but with Bakerella’s blog for inspiration, I just might be able to bring the crafting into my baking.  This was definitely fun, and I was so excited to do it for Father’s Day.  My man deserves special treats like this since he is the best dad and husband I know (I’m a bit biased, though!)

 

Yes, He Really Did It June 19, 2009

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 12:36 pm

I’m in shock.  Happy, laughing shock.  I just got back from taking Mason and Cooper to school after a fun morning with Meema.  Being a hot day, I had Mason’s window down all the way.  She asked me to put Cooper’s window down all the way too, but I said no because he would throw his ball out the window if I did.  A little further down the road, I saw a shadow cross my rearview mirror.  I asked Mason what it was.  “Cooper’s ball.  It went outside.”  I just started laughing and asking if she was kidding with me.  She laughed saying, “No. I’m not kidding you.”  We went back and forth on this, and despite her incessant assurances to me that he had, indeed, thrown his ball out the window, I still couldn’t believe it.  Cooper was whining a bit, and Mason told him, “All gone, Cooper.”  I still expected to see the ball when I pulled them out of the car.  I was just laughing out loud wondering if he really could have thrown the ball across the car and through Mason’s open window.  Really, what are the odds?

On my way back from school, a bright pink object caught my eye on the other side of the road.  Cooper’s ball.  Yes, he really did it.

 

Smiling June 18, 2009

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 2:18 pm

I have found myself smiling a lot today.  I’ve been questioned, “Why are you so happy today?”  I have been singing and dancing along to my iPod even while at work.  Hmm….  Honestly, I’m not really sure why.  Nothing extraordinarily good has happened. But then again, nothing bad has either.

It could be the fact that it is Thursday, which means tomorrow is Friday, which  means the weekend is almost here.

It could be that I’m excited about my Father’s Day plans for Jeremy.

It could be that I get to see all of my mom’s side of the family together on Sunday.

It could be that I got up to work out this morning despite being in such a deep sleep that I didn’t even hear my alarm.  (Jeremy had to nudge me to turn it off.)

It could be that my mom is coming to spend the night tonight.  (Jeremy is heading to New Haven yet again, and I know that is not the reason I’m happy!)

It could be a combination of all of the above.  All I know is that I’m in a good mood, and I think that’s pretty darn cool.

 

Surviving Camping With 2 Young Kids

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 11:33 am

After a weekend of camping at Cunningham Falls State Park, I thought I would share the wisdom we learned from our first family camping trip.

1. Don’t freak out when you see a snake on the path to the bathroom.  It may, in turn, freak out the kids.

2.  Know the lyrics of fun camp songs to entertain the kids while cooking dinner by campfire.  An oldie, but goodie might be:

Have you ever gone fishing on a bright and sunny day,

With all the little fishys swimming up and down the bay,

With their hands in their pockets,

And their pockets in their pants,

All the little fishys do the hoochy-cuchy dance.

The "waiting for s'mores" train

The "waiting for s'mores" train

3.  Bring rain gear.  It’s Murphy’s Law that if you have the rain gear, it will not rain; if you don’t, it will definitely rain!

4.  S’mores are delicious on homemade chocolate cookies.

Why didn't I think of that?

Why didn't I think of that?

5.  Bring a broom AND a dustpan.  Helpful when cleaning out the tent before packing it up.  This is a lesson my mom told me when we were already camping.  Wish I had known sooner.

6.  Two yoga mats do not equal a sleeping pad.

7.  “When the sun wakes up” is early!  (Mason has been taught to not come to our room until the sun wakes up.  This plan backfires when sleeping outside.)

8. 18-month-old boys like to throw rocks and sticks.  Rocks and sticks are aplenty when camping.  Henceforth, 18-month-old boys like camping.  (Ok, we don’t know for sure if Cooper liked it since he can’t talk in full sentences yet, but he definitely enjoyed throwing rocks and sticks.)

Getting dirty.

Getting dirty.

9.  Frozen  Eggo waffles cook up nicely on a campfire.

And finally…

10.  “Boom Boom Pow” easily gets stuck in your head for a long time!  (And kids pick up on the lyrics quickly!)

Despite and because of the lessons that we learned, we had a great time camping.  In fact, we can’t wait to do it again.  Whether it is backyard camping or more adventurous camping, it just might become a Lake tradition.

Our "home" away from home.

Our "home" away from home.

 

No! Not The Curls! June 15, 2009

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 11:57 am

My boy has become a man.  Ok, ok, not really a “man” per se, but he’s growing up.  Yesterday he went in for his first official haircut.  Daddy cut his hair around Christmas of last year, but he barely had any hair then.

The cheap version.

The cheap version.

It was finally time.  The hair in the back was starting to look mullet-like, and it was covering his ears more than it should.  The sad part is that we knew it would be the end of his curls for now.  Those curls!  Not quite as defined as Mason’s yet, but they were on their way.  If we truly let it go, he could have had some great curls!  But it was time.  He needed to experience his very first haircut.

Off to Cartoon Cuts we went.  Jeremy took Mason to the toy store while Cooper and I waited our turn.  (Another 2nd Child Syndrome effect – it’s not a huge family affair for the first haircut.)  Cooper sat quietly in my lap the whole time.  He did not get upset while she sprayed down his hair.  He did not turn his head much.  It definitely helped that there was a makeover party full of pre-teen girls right next to us that kept his attention.  Since Jeremy wasn’t there to take a picture of the event, I asked the stylist to take a picture of Cooper and I.  She told me to just put him in the chair by himself so I could take the picture.  Well, that’s when the tears came.  So sadly you can’t see the brave boy he was the entire time.  You just get the tears.  But you can see what a handsome little boy he is with his pristine haircut.  I think I’ll need to start dressing him in J.Crew to match his haircut!

Before - With Curls

Before - With Curls

After - No Curls, Just Tears

After - No Curls, Just Tears

 

Millerwaukee June 10, 2009

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 9:22 pm

I have not spent much time in the Midwest except for the first 9 years of my life in Denver.  To me, the Midwest has always included any state from Ohio to Colorado, but the difference between all of these states is becoming more apparent to me as I visit some of them.  I feel odd now lumping them all into the “Midwest” because they each have their own distinct personality.  Nonetheless, I had never been to Wisconsin.  It seemed like some far off world to me.  And the Great Lakes?  Even more of a mystery.

As Jeremy and I flew into Milwaukee on Friday, I was astonished at the “greatness” of Lake Michigan.  The teenage boy behind us was wondering if we were over an ocean (geography class, hello?).  It honestly did feel like the vastness of an ocean, so I’ll give the kid a break and just silently encourage his parents to buy him a globe.  Since landing in Wisconsin last week though, I have learned that Lake Michigan is only the third largest of the Great Lakes.  (You mean there are 2 bigger?)  I also learned that the lake is slightly larger than the country of Croatia and has a surface area of 22,400 square miles!  Ok, enough history.  Let’s just say, I was intrigued by this lake.

A view of the lake from the Art Museum

A view of the lake from the Art Museum

Luckily Friday was a beautiful day.  We enjoyed the sunshine knowing that the rest of the weekend would be cold and rainy.  Andy took us downtown to the 3rd Ward for lunch on the river.  Windy, but delicious.  It was just the beginning of a food and beer filled weekend.  I even broke down and told Jeremy we could eat whatever we wanted all weekend with no guilt (as long as we promised to start the “diet” upon our return!)

Pure Bliss

Pure Bliss

After lunch, we headed out to Cedarburg, which is by far the most idyllic town I have ever been to (besides Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls, but I’ve only been there thanks to the magic of TV.)  No history lesson on Cedarburg.  It’s more of an experience, I think, but pictures will have to suffice for now.  It seemed like the perfect place to raise a family (don’t worry, we’re not moving…..  yet….)  We got that sense as we encountered several groups of children roaming the streets with no parents, riding their bikes to the candy store to get ice cream, hanging out at the pizza place…  Honestly, the place seemed like it was run by kids.  There were barely any adults to be found!  And if a town can support 3 separate local candy/chocolatier shops, than that is a town for me!  Another small little store also caught Andy’s eye, so we had to get a picture…

Aahh...  A paperie - it was meant to be.

Aahh... A paperie - it was meant to be.

Even though our drive to Cedarburg was at the spur of the moment, I kind of think Andy had it planned all along as part of his ploy to get us to move there.  It was the perfect day, the perfect town, and then lo and behold, we walked by a gorgeously designed architecture firm!  It was fate!

Jeremy and Andy - Architects

Jeremy and Andy - Architects

Ok, enough of that.  On to the grocery store, then back to Wind Lake to enjoy some beer and brats.  (Hey, it’s Wisconsin for crying out loud!)

Saturday was indeed rainy and cold.  Luckily we could warm up at the Miller Brewing Company Tour.  Ah, the smell of barley and  hops.  Not only was the tour free, but we also got to taste 3 fairly large glasses of some of Miller’s finest at the Miller Inn.

It's all about the high life

It's all about the high life

After lunch we attempted another brewery tour at local Lakefront Brewery.  Unfortunately, this is one of the most popular brewery tours, even among the locals, so all the tours were sold out by the time we got there.  It was still necessary to have some more beer, though, since we were already there.

After our afternoon movie and the picking up of more beer for later, we decided to make the trek into Illinois for traditional Chicago pizza.

Ok, ok, I got the thin crust.  But doesn't this look good?

Ok, ok, I got the thin crust. But doesn't this look good?

We had eaten this pizza on our trip to Chicago last year, per Andy’s suggestion.  And when you’re drinking beer, nothing often sounds better than pizza.  So we had to have it.  It was a bit of a drive, but definitely worth it!

Back in Wind Lake that night, Jeremy and Andy taught me how to play a certain drinking game involving cards (you know the one), and I think I finished 3 whole beers in one sitting.  That’s quite a feat for me, the lightweight.

Surprised they could jump this high after all the beer they drank!

Surprised they could jump this high after all the beer they drank!

Sleep finally took over, though.  The next morning, while I let the guys sleep, I headed out to the lake to ponder life (and blogging) and to read my latest in chick lit.  Before heading to the airport, we visited the Milwaukee Art Museum just to see the impressive architecture and the bird-like wings spread into the sky.  I got another glimpse of Lake Michigan and felt very small in this world.

Designed by Calatrava

Designed by Santiago Calatrava

Sadly, we had to end our adventure in Milwaukee that day with me flying home to the kids (Sorry, did I not mention that we missed them dearly?), and Jeremy flying out to Tacoma, WA for work.  It had been a fun weekend.  Not necessarily a weekend for catching up on sleep, but I think I’ve heard you can never catch up on sleep, so oh well.  Wisconsin impressed me, much more than I expected.  Driving through fields of sod farms with bright red barns lining the horizon…  It was pure.  It was not the Blue Ridge Mountains.  It was not the Rockies.  It was not the beaches of the NW.  But it was Wisconsin – Milwaukee at that – a gem of it’s own.

"My Boys" for the weekend.

"My Boys" for the weekend.