Baby You Can Drive My Car…Maybe

 

As we get closer and closer to Beezus getting her driver’s license, I am pretty jazzed to attend the upcoming Drive it Home Show, presented by the National Safety Council and Allstate Foundation, Thursday, April 4. If you have tween, teen, or are concerned about teen driving safety, it will be an informative (and entertaining!) event. Please feel free to share this post with anyone who might like to attend. Details are as follows:

What: Drive it Home Show, presented by the National Safety Council and Allstate Foundation

When: Thursday, April 4 from 7pm – 8:15pm

Where: Jean Runyon Little Theater (1400 J St, Sacramento, CA 95814)

Price: FREE! (no tickets required)

Parking: Parking for the Sacramento Convention Center Complex is available at the city-run Memorial Garage at 14th and H Streets and privately owned lots within walking distance of the facilities. Parking rates vary by location and event. On-Street parking meters are also available and surround the Convention Center. Parking for visitors with disabilities can be found in the parking lots and at meters.

BONUS: You can enter in the sweepstakes at the event for a chance to win gas cards and a brand new car!

 If you’d like to attend, click here to register and let them know that Clever Girls Collective sent you. Hope to see you there!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

wonderful

 

easter

I’d be lying if I said that I feel completely relaxed after this Easter weekend. In fact, I think I am more tired than when I started it.

But there was so much goodness and awesome, I’m actually having a hard time writing it all down.

Family
So much time spent with family. I enjoyed every second of it. Saturday afternoon BBQ to welcome visiting family. Easter brunches that last all day. It was pretty fantastic to spend so much time with everyone. And it was good to see the kids having such a great time!

Friends
One of the best things about living next door to one of your best friends is being invited to their epic Easter egg hunt Sunday morning. Even the adults get to participate! We weren’t able to stay very long, but we had a blast with all of some of our favorite people!

Coolest Easter Weather Ever
Thunder…lightening…giant rain drops…sunshine and warmth? This weekend’s weather had it all. It’s been a long time since I enjoyed weather so much. (What a nerd.)

Lazy Saturday Morning
It’s not very often that we have the luxury of taking our time on Saturday mornings. So of course that means bacon and pancakes. And the most delicious berry and lemon topping, if I do say so myself. We took turns playing tic-tac-toe as we ate and just enjoyed the laziness for a bit.

Easter Basket Stuffs
A little before Christmas we became a household where everyone now knows that Santa, Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny are all part of the mom and dad gig. I felt a tiny bit sad over it during Christmas, but we were all so excited about the puppy. However, as The Dude and I shopped for Easter, I missed buying stuff for the littles. It was a bit weird, really, when you realize you’ve passed that part of parenting. Filling Easter baskets will still fun. Just…different.

I have a lot coming up this week, and starting it off so tired is probably super ridiculous. But you know what? How can you regret so much awesome all crammed  into one weekend? You really, really can’t. I loved every second…and I hope you all had a wonderful weekend as well!

Weekend Update: Bullet Point Edition. (Because connecting sentences and paragraphs are hard.)

  • I am ridiculously tired and I have no good reason for such exhaustion. I blame the hormones. Which, now that I think about it, is a pretty damn good reason to be so tired. Well, it’s a reason anyway.
  • I spent a million hours folding laundry this weekend. A million hours is an estimate. As luck would have it, when a softball game and practice get cancelled, you do laundry. Lots of it. Because you actually have time to do it. You also watch a million hours of Oprah-related television. If you know me at all, you know this is strange, unusual and HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE. I’ve never been the biggest Oprah fan (ever) but when I wanted to watch more Brene Brown? Well, that means you put up with Oprah. And then that means that you keep watching Oprah because she was interviewing the Wayans family. And LL Cool J. And Dave Letterman. And Jenifer Hudson. I think that’s it. Please note that I did NOT watch entire episodes of these interviews. I did, however, watch ALL of last week’s Once Upon a Time. (There was a lot of laundry.)
  • Paisley had her first trip to a dog-park this weekend. It was also the first time that she got to meet her doodlest friend ever! It’s crazy how alike they look! (Allie is the very reason that we have a Paisley. And I’m so, so glad that we do.) We had a blast hanging out with Allie’s family. We just adore you guys.

    pups
    Paisley & Allie. So cute!
  • I’m really grateful for my mom. I’m grateful she called me right after she got home from her trip to Utah to see when she needed to watch my kids. I’m so, so, so lucky that she’s my mom. (THANK YOU, MOM!)
  • I’m still thinking about the amazing dinner I ate last night. Wonderful and lovely company, of course. But I’d like another expensive steak dinner, if you please. Y*U*M. The only downside of things was that my dear husband took ill and stayed home. I actually think he had some sort of migraine. (Which he’s never, ever had before.) I really like hanging out with that guy, though…and I really missed him at dinner. But I’m pretty grateful that I could still have a great time with some of my favorite people and I never felt likea third (or seventh) wheel.
  • Poopy mornings happen every once in a while. And I think poopy mornings have to happen to remember what good mornings feel like…and also to practice ridiculous amounts of patience. I had about five minutes of completely losing it with my children, but then I pulled myself together and told them to go sit in the car and wait for me. (I wasn’t even dressed at that point, but I just figured that if they continued fighting, I wouldn’t be able to hear it if they were out in the car.) Hooray DAY1 of spring break! I’m hoping for less fighting, more listening tomorrow morning. FINGERS. CROSSED.
  • Remember how I told you about saving my sister’s life when we were little? Well, after she read my post she wondered which time I was referring to. Apparently, I saved her life on the regular when we were kids. Okay, there was ONE other time. (That I didn’t remember. Of course.) But I figure that twice in our childhood counts as “on the regular.” Also, hard candy is dangerous. In my sister’s words:

“As soon as I read the first line, I thought, ‘which time?’ You were also there when I choked on a piece of candy. You pounded on my back and Pop! Candy flew out of my mouth.”

What I’m trying to tell you is that I’m handy to have around when you are swimming or eating hard candy. Of course, I may only be helpful if you are my little sister. I’m just not sure.

I’ll keep you posted.

Green Weekend

Nothing says spring like the opening day of softball for Little League. Ramona’s first game of the season was a huge success! I was so stinkin proud of that kid.

photo
Playing third base LIKE A BOSS
photo 3
SWING!

It’s hard to believe that this (almost) 11yo kid in these softball pictures, is the same kid who once wore her daddy’s Guinnes hat to cheese it up for the camera. I stumbled across this picture last week, and it became my St. Paddy’s Day inspiration.

photo 1
Happy Saint Paddy’s Day, indeed!!!

We didn’t do much in the way of celebrating the luck of the Irish, but I did paint my nails a lovely odd shade of green. I wasn’t sure that I had much green in my closet, so why the hell not?

photo 4
Please ignore the messy cuticles

But as it turns out, we were able to celebrate like the Irish of yore with cupcakes from our favorite spot. Tradition might be recorded differently in your books.

photo 5
yummy, yummy luck

This weekend was surprisingly low-key. Well, I mean low-key for us. There was plenty of things and events going on. But it was nice to not be double or triple booked for once!

We have a lot going on this week (nothing new) and I feel completely unprepared for it. (Could someone PLEASE take care of my grocery shopping?) But you know what? We’ll take on this week just like we do every week: flying by the seat of our freaking pants.

Have a great week, everyone!

 

Life Isn’t Fair…Never Has Been

Do you ever worry about being fair to your children? Not in the “life isn’t fair don’t complain” kind of way. It’s more of the “am I giving myself equally to each of my children?” kind of fair. Is it ridiculous to believe that you will be? Is it fair to yourself to be so worried about it?

Whether or not I’m being fair to myself, I’m been thinking a lot about how I work for and treat both of my daughters.

My oldest is a ridiculously busy child. Water Polo, soccer, softball…a very demanding school and homework schedule. We are constantly driving her from one place to the next. She needs to pick up this supply for a project that is due. She needs a book for English. There’s a fundraising even for her travel softball team. Oh, and can we take her to school early tomorrow? She’s making cupcakes for her softball coach and she needs to drop them off early.

She’s good at pretty much everything she touches. But holy crap, that child is busy. Busy Beezus. And so are her parents. We do our best to keep up.

But is her first-born status, and therefore the first to achieve many of these activities, fair to her younger sister?

Ramona isn’t quite so driven. But there are times that I worry that it is because Beezus did everything first. Why bother if someone has already perfected it? I might be reading more in to it than I should, but I can’t help it. I worry that Ramona feels like she gets the short end of the stick. She doesn’t need to be running from one thing to the next, so we don’t? But have we given her enough chances to try?

I’m trying to remind myself that Beezus wasn’t this busy when she was 10. She really wasn’t. But even with their age gap (almost five years) I worry that Ramona will be so sick of living in her sister’s shadow, she won’t even want to try.

(And now I want to go back and see how many times I used the word worry in the post. It’s a ridiculous number of times, I know it. I just can’t seem to help myself. I’m a really good worrier.)

The reason why I write any of this out at all is to help myself process the worry. And come up with a solution and a plan of action. Of course I should be worried about my children, but I shouldn’t let it overshadow the awesome individuals that they are.

And I think that right there is the answer.

We have a job as parents to care and nurture these beings we were blessed with. Their personalities are so unique, they deserve equally unique life experiences.

I need to stop trying to make it fair and focus so much more energy on making it unique. Yes…uniqueness. That’s quite a focus.

And, for heaven sakes, I need to stop with all the worry. That’s just no help at all.

Beezus Goes to College

Over the weekend, we met with a friend of ours that is our own personal “expert” on all things college admissions and recruiting. (I used quotations on expert only because if he ever read that, he’d probably be embarrassed or roll his eyes. But to be sure, we consider him to be our expert.) I had to miss parts of the meeting as I chauffeured Ramona back and forth to softball practice, but my mind was blown at how much I didn’t know. 

Sending your kid to college is complicated.

Remember when you went to kindergarten? You went to your neighborhood school. You dealt with the teacher you were given. Did Open Enrollment exist? I mean, I know there were private schools (I didn’t know anyone that went to a private school) but I don’t remember there being many choices about where to send your kid to school. But then I became a parent. There was a lot of hang-wringing. This school has higher test scores. But this school is well-rounded, diverse and still has art, science, etc.

And this is all just kindergarten and elementary school.

It doesn’t get any easier, though. Or maybe it does and I just worry about everything. I mean, we stressed for a YEAR about where to send Beezus to high school.  

This kid, though…she’s worked too hard. Straight A’s and pretty damn awesome athlete? Beezus has earned an awesome college choice. The Dude and I feel that we owe her our hard work in making sure she has as many options as possible.

We’ll do the same for both girls. Because college is so important. It just is.

I’m so grateful that we have such a wonderful and caring friend that is helping us through this process. Even if he doesn’t have all the answer (but he has most of them) he points us in the right direction. PSAT, SAT…ACT. I’ve never known so much about strategy and when and how to take these tests. And if our kids play any sports in college? We learned the pros and cons of Division 1 schools vs Division 2 schools…and Division 3 schools are a pretty damn good option. (If that’s what they want to do, obviously.) SO. MUCH. TO. LEARN. And I’m so glad for the help. I only hope that someday we can pay it forward to another family. Okay, I hope that someday The Dude can pay it forward to another family.

Just kidding. I’ll help too. You know I’m going to need a 17 new hobbies once my kids go off to college.

It’s the only thing that will save me from becoming a crazy cat-lady.

The Dude

bdayflan

March 5th is a pretty popular birthday. Especially in my family. My dad, my husband and my late grandmother were all born on this day.

But today? Today was all about The Dude. I just love the hell out of that guy and I’m pretty proud that he’s mine.

Birthday flan for everyone.