Question 1: What are you watching these days?
Several months ago with sequestration looming we discontinued our satellite service so have been limited to what's available on Amazon Prime (John still qualified for student membership at half cost). I found the first few seasons of classic Hawaii-Five-O but those ran out a week ago and have been rewatching Covert Affairs. John & I (re)watch old seasons of Doctor Who, anxiously awaiting the anniversary special & new season :-D
Question 2: What is your guilty pleasure these days?
Hmm...I used to use Dillon's nap/ Erin's quiet time as cleaning time but lately I've taken to watching an episode or two of Covert Affairs instead. I'm such a Type A, neurotic, hyper individual that it's very hard to sit down & relax so I end up self-combusting at some point & it takes at least a week to get back to "normal". One day I had finally
locked the kids up gotten them to their quiet time & collapsed on the couch unable to even think clearly, I can't stand quiet so I turned CA on for noise...and slowly I started to unwind & relax. Once the kids got up I was refreshed & ready to be "muma" again. So it's 'guilty' because my house has been a lot less clean of late but oh well, there will be a time for clean houses later in life ;-)
The guilty pleasure started innocently enough...I had done 2 gift scrapbook albums & about half the Disney 2012 album (almost all Flower & Garden pages) and was really low on paper. So at John's insistence I went to my favorite site (Scrapbook Steals) and order some that I needed. Which is all well & good...even better with spousal approval...but it's morphed into the 'guilty' category because I don't really need more now but I still want. Fall is my favorite season and the fall lines are so gorgeous that I just can't help getting a 'few' more ;-)
Question 3: What are you proud of?
I am ridiculously proud of my little girl & how she relates to other people. Other adults in her life adore her because she is sweet, intelligent, respectful & polite which I love but even better is how she treats her peers. I was afraid that she was too social & too friendly, not really grasping the whole friends, acquaintances, unfavorable individuals, strangers concept so I sat down to have a long talk with her. What came out of it both surprised & humbled me...and yes made me very proud....she explained that she knew there are different "categories" of people but if you're not friendly or don't treat everyone nicely then you would never know if they could be a good friend or not. Furthermore even "bad" kids or kids who act inappropriately deserve to be played with & treated nicely. This is out of a FIVE year old! Proud doesn't even begin to cover it! I certainly hope she always maintains & continues to develop this attitude!
Question 4: What are you unhappy with?
*sigh* Congress...Healthcare...ability to visit my grandma...ability to give my brother what he needs & deserves...budget: I coupon. scrimp/ save, plan everything down to a cent and still something else comes up...my confidence/ self-esteem....& of course the FL climate
Question 5: If you could take a trip alone anywhere, all expenses paid where would you go?
Alone?...hmm...I haven't gone anywhere alone in almost 7 years! But I think I would go somewhere in the Rockies, or maybe up in the Pacific Northwest, somewhere to hike and climb and bike without having to worry about little ones keeping up or carrying on an adult conversation. To be sure I love John & my kids but for me nature - true nature - is a private, soul refreshing thing. Nothing better then not having to go anywhere but to just follow your own compass - no one to consult - no compromises to be made - no worry of plans being changed. I spent a good part of my university & upperclassman high school days wandering, exploring & thinking/ philosophizing in north & eastern AL. I long for those days of aimless wanderings & the smell of mountain air again...ok so AL has hills rather then mountains but that's why I would go out west to the real mountains :-P
Question 6: If you could take a trip with John anywhere, all expenses paid where would you go?
Ireland no doubt, the only part of Western Europe I haven't seen (or any part of British Isles) and my ancestral home. Our wedding was Celtic 'themed' and we always talk about going there for a milestone anniversary but who knows if we can ever afford it at this rate. I have this fantasy about renting a couple of horses somewhere & riding about the quaint villages I see in books, horseback riding or hiking allows for a much richer visceral experience then touring by car. After awhile in the villages, we'd hit up the big cities on the way back to the airport to tour the architecture, shops & of course pubs!
Question 7: If you could take a trip with family anywhere, all expenses paid where would you go?
We go to Disney every year -one of the few advantages of FL! - so if all expenses were paid I'd take them far away from the Gulf Coast, rich in history with new experiences & food to discover...maybe somewhere in Europe or I've heard that non-touristy parts of New Zealand & Austrailia are great for kids.
Question 8: What are your current projects?
Oh what don't I have going on? Let's see I finished Disney 2012, I finally ordered prints from my sister-in-law's wedding cruise in 2008 & have the paper/ embellishments/ adhesive for that album,...I still have Erin's 3rd, 4th & 5th years to scrap...poor Dillon doesn't have a single page to his name (excepting Disney ones)... I have 2 - no 3 books in progress...haven't edited any pictures this year...entryway/ hallway/ kids' bathroom still needs painted, shutters need repainted (I HATE "country" green especially against red brick!)...art for our master is far from finished...joined our school's PET (like a PTO) so now I'm helping with all their projects to worry about & fit into my schedule...oh & then there's that whole GRE/ graduate school/ professional development/ what the heck am I going to do once Dillon's in school thing that I have no clue what to do about.
Question 9: What grosses you out?
Dillon isn't night-time trained yet so he still wears a diaper to bed, 5 out of 7 mornings he has his 'morning constitutional' before he's truly awake & unable to get the bathroom...ugh...yeah toddler leavings are far different then infant!
Old sippy cups, in our hot & humid climate it doesn't take much to curdle milk or even juice quickly even in an insulated cup!
Wet paper...just blech!
Question 10: What do you want to change?
Besides the obvious geographical & work location? I wish I could be less neurotic, sure in a way it 'defines' me & I would be a different person otherwise but seems like that would be better then the status quo. I wish I could work out my extended family's issues, i.e. they have the problems not I have a problem with them. And I want to be able to run & swim like I could before kids, these stiff & swollen joints is for the birds. (<--- that's the correct phrase right?)
Question 11: How's the new house working?
Well we've been in our "new" house for 2 years now :-P. It's certainly nicer then where we were living when Erin was little, the kids have plenty of space to play while still allowing John & I space for our study. We have a HUGE yard - well at least by our area's standards, my Midwestern relatives laugh at it. I'd still like our kitchen to be bigger & nicer but to change it is so expensive that it's a looong way off.
Also I find it hilarious that we bought our house for the zoned elementary school & then ended up enrolling at an out-of-zone school (on waiver)!
Question 12: What's new with your work?
Well considering I'm a domestic engineer ( ;-) ) I'd say it has it's good days & bad days lol. My "real" work then I left after Erin no longer exists, at least not in our area - although my understanding is it's pretty well universal. So I have nothing to go back to which relates to my graduate school problem but I believe my cousin & dear John (haha) when they say it'll all work out eventually.
Question 13: What's the hardest part of having
three two kids?
Definitely trying to make sure that they have as equal as possible experiences. My brother & I (5.5. yrs apart) are close and love each other but it's like we were raised in separate households/ generations. I don't want that for my kids but of course some differences can't be helped. Erin spent most of her first 4 years between here & Dayton area OH - she got a lot of aunt/ uncle/ grandparent time, spent a lot of time in discovery museums/ gardens/ zoos etc. But Dillon pretty much doesn't know anything but our little microcosm of the Emerald Coast & it's hard to find things for him to do here but I try.
Question 14: What is the best part of having
three two kids?
Watching them interact with each other and seeing how they're so similar but totally different. With one kid I almost felt like I was "posing" or faking through this motherhood thing but two feels so much better, a fuller & richer experience. I feel much more confident in my mothering choices & decisions now.
Question 15: What are five things you want?
1. Security - in our paycheck, in John's position, in our country's economic & defense future
2. Tranquility - to try and slow down & appreciate the minutiae of daily of life that I miss flying by at warp speed, I know one day I will miss it & hate myself for letting it slip away.
3. A Chipotle burrito & a Penn Station cookie, neither of which are available within hundreds of miles.
4. DOCTOR WHO!!!! Seriously I can't wait any longer, once Numb3rs went off the air (*sob*) it has been one of few sources of geeky tv. Once I get that then I want Sherlock (not Elementary) to come back :-D
5. My future self - or one of my kid's future selves - to comeback in time & reassure me I'm making the right choices concerning their educations.
Question 16: What is one of your recent "pure happy" moments?
Driving up to Auburn/ Atlanta 2 weeks ago, I was so at peace and everytime I looked in my rear view & see those two faces I couldn't help but grin. Part it was the excitement of going "home", I've lived in a lot of places & I have spent several years in one stretch at different locations but none of them ever felt like my beloved Auburn. From my first week of university - although not the first day - I felt comfortable, accepted & free. I choose to be there, the military didn't send me, it was the only place affordable, I didn't rely on anyone else to tell me where to go. And choosing to go back years after I graduated brought back that same exhilarated feeling. Also it was "pure happy" because I was alone with the kids, I never tried a road trip longer then an hour one-way without John before. But here I was confident, independent & in charge which felt amazing. And lastly because the kids were so excited to go, Dillon thanked me for buckling him in & giving him the leapster, Erin wanted to know everything we were going to & then she thanked me.
Question 17: What are five blessings in your life?
1. Home - a house to call our own, not where we geographically want to be but it's ours & permanent it's not transitional & nor reliant on anyone's else good grace (well ok except the bank :-P)
2. John - 7 years ago when I met a geeky USAF lieutenant, I never could've guessed where we'd be today. He's my partner - my equal & never lets me forget it. When we first started dating I thought he was wonderful for accepting my baby pup despite not being a "dog person" but he's an even more wonderful father, cheerleader, caretaker & breadwinner. I was never one of those girls who dreamed of a husband but I can't imagine life without him now.
3. My kids, even on their worst days they are my world & have taught me more then I can ever teach them. I try to make the conscious effort to appreciate them, tell & show them how important they are.
4. Small luxuries, despite one federal income & a tight budget we're still able to do a lot. I can get new paper here & there, buy the kids books, provide fresh (mostly) organic food & take an annual trip to Disney - which for a 99% of the world is a HUGE luxury but again gotta love resident & military rates ;-)
5. Erin's teachers - may seem a bit odd but I do feel extraordinarily lucky & blessed to them in our lives. I love how she graduated PreK but hasn't left the radar of her PreK teachers, they see her everyday & talk to her. When I expressed concerns about the non-challenging work they took it upon themselves to speak to her K teacher & shared their experiences [with Erin] and examples of her "PreK" work that was actually from the 1st grade curriculum. Even better her K teacher listened to them & then came to me asking what else she could do to make school an engaging not boring experience. And of course like any good employees they take their cues from there 'boss', our principal who is also wonderful. I truly feel like they are my partners in this journey, willing to support me just as much as her.
Question 18: What are five of your favorite things?
1. Echo Park paper...seriously it's like crack at the moment!
2. My 'baby' pup, Duncan, who this year will be a canine senior citizen of 8!
3. My new jacket, it was expensive (by my standards) & still be another couple months down here before I can wear it but I love it. It's a small luxury in tight times plus it looks great & feels even better!
4.Dillon's "pick one!" game...so not really a "thing" but I love it. he's so adorable & grins like a leprechaun when you play along. I seriously need to snap some pictures & scrap it before he outgrows it.
5. Cards/ pictures/ stories from Erin, I'm soaking in all this time that I'm the center of her thoughts because I know it will end all to soon. Even when she gives me 3 in a row that say that same thing, I still can't help but smile :-)
Question 19: Five favorite songs right now
1. Barefoot Blue Jean Night - Jake Owen
2. Bruises - Train
3. Friday Night - Eric Paslay
4. Cruise - Florida Georgia Line
5. Beat of the Music - Brett Elderidge
Question 20: What is next?
Well since I got involved in this & John gave up on me (to make dinner), I'll be responsible for cleaning up the kids after dinner & putting them to bed. Then it'll be workout time, followed by shower & hopefully some scrapping ...but may just watch more Who ;-)