Find Good In Every Day

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

It’s Amazing What a Little “Green” Can Do July 26, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 8:37 pm

Jeremy and I are not patient people when it comes to getting house things done.  We want it done fast and well.  Unfortunately to get that combination, it is usually not cheap.  To satisfy our need for instant gratification (the fast part) in the backyard, we decided to lay sod.  To keep some money in our pockets (the cheap part), we decided to lay it ourselves.  With the help of Nana, Papa, and Meema, I think we even got it done well!  We just might have achieved the trifecta!  (Only thanks to all the amazing help!  We couldn’t have done it without Nana, Papa, and Meema!)

Let me first remind you of where we started just over two months ago.



More during... Our hard work begins.

More than halfway there! (Note: It was easily over 100 degrees that day, so you can only imagine the sweat we all produced that day!)

We even had our own cheering squad! Or were they quality control?

Ok, are you ready for the final pictures?  Are you sick of all the dirt yet?  So were we, which is why we needed this sod!

Ta Da!

Instant play area! (If only it weren't for this pesky heat!)

We even got plants for all around the patio. It made such a difference.

We are so excited to have this done.  After living in our house for over 6 years, we have rarely used our backyard.  Now and especially once it cools down, we will use it almost every day!  It’s an entirely new living space for us.  It’s safer for the kids, it’s shady and cool, it’s comfortable, and it’s beautiful.

There is still more work to be done in the far back of our yard (it is a lot bigger than you think!)  But that will come in time.  Now, it is completely usable, and that’s what we needed.  It really is amazing what a little “green” can do.

We’ll just have to watch out for heavy storms and falling branches…

This branch fell just 3 hours after the above photos were taken. Luckily Jeremy was able to clean it up enough to save the sod!


What Should We Do? July 20, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 10:17 am

The kids are out of daycare and summer camp this week.  Since Cooper’s daycare closes for a week every summer, we decided to keep Mason out of summer camp at the same time since we would have already been figuring out an alternative situation for watching Cooper during the day.

Luckily Jeremy and I were able to split the week (with the help of Nana too).  So Jeremy has the kids Monday and Wednesday, and I have them Thursday and Friday.  As we approached the week, I started trying to think of fun but free activities to do with the kids.  The whole point of keeping Mason out of camp was to save some money, but I realized that we could be spending plenty just to keep them entertained for a week, hence my search for free fun!

So many people say there are plenty of free activities in the DC area.  Yes, we have the entire Smithsonian at our fingertips, and yes, that is a big help!  But even a museum can have hidden costs.  Jeremy decided to take the kids downtown for the day.  We found out there was a Lego Architecture exhibit at the National Building Museum.  Big score!  The kids love that place, and it’s an easy metro ride down there.  But when looking into it, we found out it would cost $5 a person.  Already stuck on the idea, Jeremy went ahead and did it.  Metro fare and $10 later, the kids came back happy, sweaty, and tired.  I guess the overall cost wasn’t too bad, but just one day in, and we’re already struggling.

Of the potential ideas I have had, only a few are actually free.

1.  County owned pool (Kids are $4.00, Adults are $6.00 = $14)

2.  County splash park ($4.50 per person = $13.50)

3.  Playground tour of the area (Free except for gas costs and, oh yeah!, it’s super hot outside!)

4.  Maryland Zoo (Technically free admission for us with our FONZ membership and a coupon from a traveling zoo show at Cooper’s school.  Still gas costs, though.)

5.  Great Kids Village ($10 per child = $20)

6.  National Zoo (Free!  Thanks to our FONZ membership, parking is free.)

7.  Rocknoceros concert at Dulles Town Center (Free except for the train ride and carousel ride the kids will most likely want when they see them at the mall.  Estimated $7)

8.  Farmers Markets (I always have to buy flowers at a farmer’s market, so the cost will most likely be around $15 for a bunch of flowers. I’d put that as a grocery cost in our budget, though, so free entertainment cost.  That is, if the kids actually find that entertaining…  My guess is no.)

9.  Library (Free!)

10.  Playdates (Playdates at a friend’s house or our house are definitely free and definitely fun!)

Basically the most fun activities cost  SOME money.  I really don’t understand how stay-at-home moms do it.  I am desperate to get out of the house and experience things with the kids, but I certainly couldn’t spend so much money each and every week.  I’m having trouble just with the one week we are trying to fill.

The question still remains – What should we do?  Any other suggestions out there?  Nonetheless, I’m so looking forward to having two days off to spend with Mason and Cooper with no need to be checking my blackberry or laptop every 10 minutes.  What a treat that will be!


Motherhood Is Hard! July 15, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 9:00 am

For those parents out there, do you remember those first few weeks of parenthood?  Maybe like me, you don’t.  You’ve blocked it out of your mind and rightly so!  It is hard!  But we must block it out in order to have any hope as a parent.  To even consider having other children, you have to forget the pains of pregnancy, labor, giving birth, and then the subsequent learning curve as you figure out what to do to keep your baby happy and yourself sane.

The hardest part about being a mom is not the day you come home from the hospital and are forced to parent without the help of nurses and doctors and the nursery where the baby can go away for a bit while you sleep.  No, the hardest part is the second or third day after the dad goes back to work.  The first week when (hopefully) mom and dad are both at home with the baby is blissful.  You just ignore the time and relish in that sweet little baby that is all yours.  The sleep deprivation hasn’t set in yet even though you are definitely tired.  You try to have no expectations except to keep the baby thriving and learning the ins and outs of parenting.  Then when dad must go back to work, you try to have low expectations for that first day.  You sit and stare at the baby, thinking how lucky you are and how you’re going to have a great time together over your maternity leave.

But by the second or third day, you realize how lonely it is and how much you crave interaction with others because the baby just doesn’t cut it in the conversation or even recognition department.  The sleep deprivation has set in, and you think you’re going crazy or that you’re doing everything wrong.  (Most likely you’re not, by the way!)  And sadly no one really talks about this time.  Every mom is either at the point where she’s forgotten all about the hard times, or she feels the need to show herself as a happy mom who is just thankful to have this baby.   (Of course, we’re all thankful!)

Like I said, motherhood is hard!   I’m saying that from my experience and from what I’ve seen of other moms.   But also, like I also said, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

It might be this…

My nephew sure is cute!

It could be a smile, a hint of recognition, a giggle.  It could be as simple as a small victory like a bath or a walk.

He loved the bath!

For me, the pain of those first few months of motherhood disappear more with every kiss, every “I love you, Mommy.”  Every time Mason or Cooper run into my arms after a long day, I have no memory of anything but the good times!  And thank goodness for that!

For all new moms out there (my sister included), hang in there!  While there might be a new challenge every day, it does get easier.  You do gain more confidence in your mothering abilities every day.  And the first time that sweet little baby looks into your eyes and smiles, I hope all the pain of  the first few weeks melts away because motherhood is truly the best gift in the world!



Filed under: Uncategorized — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 8:51 am

I accidentally published a post as I was writing it rather than just saving the draft.  I apologize for the unfinished version.  I will complete it soon and put it back up on the site!


Boingo July 6, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 3:37 pm

Boingo on your head.  Boingo house.  Boingo booty.  Boingo at the playground…  You name it…  Boingo!  Are you curious what it means?  Just ask Cooper. 

This is Cooper’s favorite word right now.  Everything is Boingo.  No clue what it means, but it just encapsulates who Cooper is these days. 

As I’ve mentioned before, Cooper is a sports guy.  Any sport with a ball is good with him.  Our sports equipment now includes lacrosse sticks, a golf club, tennis rackets, baseball bat, baseball mitt, hockey sticks, a basketball, a volleyball, soccer balls, and footballs.  (Oh, and yes – a boingo ball!)  It is his life.  We did a sports class this past spring and had a great time learning all different kinds of sports.  Cooper loved getting to play, and we loved watching him burn off energy.  You can’t keep your eyes off of him – not only because he is so stinkin’ cute, but also because you just never know what he will do next.

He has already been dubbed the “class clown” by his teacher.  I can definitely tell he loves being the center of attention.   And boy can this kid talk!  He will talk your ear off – just commenting on everything around him, telling stories (“Pretend, Mommy!”), and asking questions.  This is one of Cooper’s stories, “One day, a little boy played hockey.  He went home.  He got boingo on his head.” 

Cooper will try anything.  He doesn’t mind getting dirty or getting a little bump.  I think he spends more time on the ground than he does on his feet.  He will eat anything Jeremy has on his plate, which is just one of the reasons he is just like his Daddy – or at least wants to be just like him.  I can already tell how much he idolizes his daddy and sweetly loves me, his mommy.  With the love he gives and the laughter he creates, it is almost impossible to say no to him.

But just like any two-year-old, Cooper has his moments.  He gets in his moods.  He can be daring and bold one minute and scared and clingy the next.  He can be giggling and showing off one minute and tantrums the next.  It’s the life of a two-year-old!  We’ve definitely been more lenient with Cooper than we were with Mason.  I admit it.  It’s a hard balance with him.  We have Mason as the example, so we expect so much of him, yet we know he’s not old enough to meet our expectations, so we’re easy on him.  I hope we are, at the very least, teaching him the core values such as being kind, sharing, and cleaning up after yourself.  (Core values for a 2-year-old, that is!)

The hardest thing about Cooper is that he is my baby.  He will always be my baby.  So when I see him grow up right in front of me, I have a hard time letting go.  With an older daughter, I feel I am encouraging her to grow up quickly.  But with a younger son, I feel I am doing what I can to keep him my little baby.  But he is ready to go, and I have to let him.  I have to encourage him to keep learning, keep trying, and keep laughing.  Straight out of Cooper’s mouth, “I no baby, Mommy!  I big boy.  I Cooper.”  Yes, buddy.  You are.  You are Boingo Cooper!


Catching Up

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 3:05 pm

So much has been happening lately, and I feel the need to share some pictures of great friends, great family, and great fun!

Andy came to town in mid-June. We were all excited to see him again after a year!

Andy brought Cory with him, and we were excited to be a "foursome" out on the town.

The kids LOVED Cory (J and I did too)... Mason even gave her a silly band. Whoa - it's getting serious!

We celebrated Father's Day at a Bowie Baysox game. It was insanely hot!

Megan and I took the kids to Dutch Wonderland and had a Dutch Wonderful day!

Cooper even rode a pony (named Daisy) for the first time.

And Mason got wet... very, very wet.

We saw Toy Story 3 on July 4th and hung with Kristin, Nana and Papa.

Lots of fun was had with the glow sticks a friendly family shared with us at the Rockville fireworks show.

And even more fun was had eating this cake. Not my best presentation, but fun to try!

  All in all, it has been a great start to the summer.  Despite the insane heat wave we’re having, we have been doing a lot of cool stuff.  There is even more fun ahead, so stay tuned for more Lake family adventures!


Just In Time July 5, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 7:50 am

The one week I am thankful for no rain…  the week of gorgeous 80 degree weather…  the week before July 4th…  the week they got our patio done!!!

The "grand" staircase to backyard wonder

The finished patio - pre-furniture and grass.

The back wall and steps

There is obviously still a lot to do.  Grass, plantings, wood chips, mulch, purple basement door, etc.  We are by no means close to having our big party.  But hopefully by the fall, we’ll be able to celebrate with greenery!  In the meantime, we had instant gratification on the patio with some donated furniture (Thanks, Big Lakes!).

Fun times ahead.

Our "outdoor" living room.

Cheers to a job well done "just in time."


Finding Friendships July 1, 2010

Filed under: Daily Blog — Robin @ findgoodineveryday @ 10:26 am

Finding new friends in your 30’s is not easy.  Finding new friends as parents is not easy.  Finding new friends outside of college is not easy.  Basically, finding new friends when you’re not thrust into similar experiences, daily interactions and forced communication is not easy.

My sister would say that I’m not lacking in the friend department.  Unfortunately, all of my friends are either too busy with work and their own families or live, at the very least, 25 minutes away.  I have old friends I’ve known since the 4th grade that I still get to hang out with.  I have a friend from my move out to Oregon with whom I still email weekly.  I have friends from college that I either get to see quarterly or communicate via email.  I have friends that once lived close by but have since moved on to bigger houses in nearby towns.  But none of my friends live close enough to call for a quick dinner date or neighborhood walk or to just pop over to have a glass of wine or a beer.  That’s where I’m lacking.

I’ve made the efforts too.  Between new daycare parents and new neighbors, I’ve reached out only to have nothing reciprocated.  It makes me wonder where I’m going wrong when attempting to make new friends.

Of course I understand that we all have busy lives.  Once you have kids, if you’re not living in a neighborhood where everyone else has kids the same age, it becomes very difficult to socialize.  You are relegated to seeing other adults at playdates where you have quick sentence conversations that never get any deeper than “How’s work going?” or “Is she sleeping ok?”  And most often answers to these questions are a quick “Fine” or “Mostly” before you or the other adult is chasing down a child for one thing or another.  It is not the environment for building lasting and deep friendships.  And scheduling midweek dinners or movie dates is based on both husbands being able to watch the kids the same night while the wives go out.  This is a scheduling feat in itself, so obviously these sort of events are few and far between so that when you do get together the conversation becomes a “catch-up” conversation.

Don’t get me wrong!  I still love getting together with the friends I do have.  Even if it is just for a quick catch-up before a movie starts or a short conversation about our kids over dinner at our favorite restaurant, I cherish these moments.  I just wish I had the time I had in college to cultivate a friendship to the point where I could just pop over to their dorm room (or house) unannounced and sit on their bed (or kitchen table) and chat about boyfriends (or husbands), homework (or kids), extracurriculars (or kids)…

I don’t really have a solution for this post.  It’s an ongoing struggle.  Since starting this post weeks ago, Jeremy and I have decided that rather than attempting to make new friends, we are going to focus on the ones we do have and thoroughly enjoy our time with them.  And when we can’t see the friends we want to see or don’t have plans with our local family, we will just focus on our family of four.  Jeremy is my best friend above all else, and my kids provide plenty of entertainment, so not a bad deal in the end.  I know I’ll continue to find friendships along the way – probably in unexpected ways – but for now I want to focus on finding time for the friends I do have, including my BFF, Jeremy!