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We're an American family living in Australia, where everything seems a little bit turned-upside-down.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

First Day Success!

This day was full of successes!  Just look at those happy kids!  Even Hagen cooperated for a while.  Here are some of the major successes of the day:

  • Everyone woke up on time on their own

  • Hagen slept while I fed the other two breakfast

  • I didn't eat cookies for breakfast! However, I didn't eat breakfast at all :(

  • We walked to and from school (with friends!)

  • The kids looked absolutely adorable (very important to Mom)!

  • They had a great day at school with their teachers and friends!

  • Dinner was planned and served before 5 pm (they were HUNGRY)!
Look at this sweet photo (not posed) of McKinley with one of her BFFs:

That's right, boots are very popular here in Southern California, even in 80 plus degree weather. 

One of the best parts of today was how excited the kids were to see their little brother when they got home.  And likewise!  Check out this picture of the brothers having their "wrestle time":

Now let's rewind to last night's Family Sushi Celebration!  This place in Redondo Beach is the greatest!  The kids were so excited because little boats float around with sushi plates, and  you just grab what you want to eat. 

The kids enjoyed putting one of McKinley's miniature monkeys on a boat for a ride.  The sushi chef had fun with that one.  He took it off for a while and made them sweat, then later replaced it!

Hagen had his fill of tofu.  For all you Mommies with young ones, I highly recommend cubed up tofu.  It is soft, full of protein, and they can feed themselves!  Actually, all my kids love it!

Daddy discovered that chopsticks are an easy way to feed Hagen!

Well there you have it.  A very successful first day of school and first day of starting new habits.  I'd like to give a shout out to one of my "readers" who went and read the book I recommended yesterday.  Hope you like it!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Last Day of Summer Break

Well, here it is, our last day of summer break. Everest has declared that he gets to play "Mario until his heart's content." McKi is thrilled about her orthodontist appointment this morning, her soccer practice this afternoon, and our family going to eat sushi together this evening. Hagen hasn't a clue that his big buddies will not be here to entertain him from 8 am to 4 pm starting tomorrow. For me, school starting means getting out of my P.J.s, making lunches, enforcing homework habits, and driving, driving, driving! But something else is looming over my head. You see, I have vowed that the first day of school will be the day I start taking care of me again in a physical and nutritional sense. What better time to start new habits than at the start of school. Everything else is new... the notebooks, the crayons, the clothes, the backpacks, the teachers, the lunch boxes.

Tomorrow is the day I vow to stop eating cookies for breakfast, I promise to eat more than just gold fish for lunch, and I will try my hardest to think about what's for dinner before 5 o'clock! In addition, I plan to walk my kids to and from school every day on "The Walking School Bus."

The walking school bus is a great thing for many reasons. It is an effort supported by our city to cut down on traffic on our one lane road to and from school. I plan to park 1.3 miles from the school at a "walking school bus station", pack the baby in the stroller, and viola! Instant solution to my need for exercise! Not only that, it is a wonderful way to connect with my older kids as we walk along collecting rocks, examining plants and bugs, and breathing in the fresh air. What more could I ask for?

As far as meal planning, there is a book I love called 8 Minutes in the Morning by Jorge Cruise. It is basically a book designed to get people moving and eating healthy. I follow the eating plan in the back that resembles a weight watchers point system. My whole family will eat the meals which include something from each food group. Surprise, surprise...sugar is a no no except in fruit.

So there you have it! My "Back to School Resolutions." I hope they have inspired you in some way. Here's a second chance at your "New Year's Resolutins" in case you didn't keep them. Now is your last chance, because let's face it, 2011 is just around the corner!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Swallowing Seeds

Yesterday my seven year old, Everest, came to me with a concerned look on his face.  He had just been eating a piece of watermelon for a snack.  "Mom, if someone swallows a watermelon seed, will a watermelon grow inside their tummy?" I knew the question was more than just hypothetical.  I wanted to giggle and make fun, but judging from the look on his face, this was no laughing matter. 

After a sincere hug and some reassurance, Everest was happily on his way again.  But his inquiry had me thinking.  I wish it were that easy.  I wish if you wanted to grow a watermelon inside your tummy, all you had to do was swallow a seed!  I love that kind of childlike faith.  I love the feeling that anything is possible, no matter how absurd it sounds.  When exactly did that kind of  "belief" go away?  For me, I think it happened somewhere between finding out about Santa Claus, and my first broken heart.

Yesterday, my son reminded me that anything is possible.  I have a plaque in my room that became my mantra through a very difficult time in my life, "BELIEVE when it's beyond reason to believe." 

And here are a couple of Bible verses I like to read regarding belief:
Mark 9:23 says, "Everything is possible for him who believes."
Matthew 21:22 says, "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."

My life has come full circle since that difficult time, and I have a great story to tell.  I plan to do that here, but let's see, I have 360 days yet to go, and I must save some for later!

Thank you Everest for swallowing that seed, and for the reminder to BELIEVE!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Day #4

Well, it's after my bedtime and somehow I am just finding a minute to tend to my commitment.  Saturday proved to be a very hard day to find a moment at the computer.  It seems my husband added a whole new element to my plans as usual.  Before next weekend I'll have to set my phone up for mobile blogging.

I have grand ideas about all I want to write, but I'm afraid due to the fact that all three of my kiddos are still up and running around, my thoughts will have to wait until tomorrow.  I guarantee it will be worth the wait after all the interesting things I encountered today!

Until tomorrow then...

Friday, August 27, 2010

Crying It Out

Okay, who could resist this face?  That creamy, soft skin?  Those baby blue-greens?  Not this Mommy!  Following the advice of many friends I decided to give Crying It Out (CIO) a try.  Boy, did I fail miserably!  Needless to say, as soon as I was done snapping this shot, I promptly scooped him up, snuggled him to my breast, and nursed him to his heart's content.... and I savoured every last second. 

That being said, I am not getting proper sleep.  This little piranha is up sometimes 5 times a night to nurse.  I wake up in the morning feeling the same way I did when I was 12 years old and stayed up all night at a friend's slumber party.  I am exhausted!  But I know all too well that this time will pass all too quickly.  I'm going to blink my eyes, and before I know it, Hagen will be giving me a whole new set of reasons to lose sleep. 

How many times have you heard from someone whose kids are raised that they wish they would have cared a little less about some things and a little more about other things?  I think this is exactly what they were talking about.  What will I remember more?  How tired I was, or how it felt to rock my beloved, over tired, little baby boy?

Oops!  I did it again!  While I was writing this post, I rescued my baby from his crib to snuggle and nurse him.  It seems as if that has become a routine for us.  That's just the same as a "schedule" right?   So, thanks for all the encouragement fellow Mommies!  I'll count this as a failure in "CIO" technique, but a major success in the art of "Baby Scheduling"!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Voices In My Head

Yep, that's right, I hear voices in my head.  I'm not sure if we all have them or not, but it's just one of the many reasons I have decided to start blogging. The most profound things come to me throughout the day via  little voices inside my head. It usually happens during a rare quiet moment: when I'm in the shower, rocking Hagen in his nursery, stirring a pot of spaghetti sauce on the stove.  Well, I have decided to share those profound little thoughts with the world.  Mostly because it will give me some sanity, but also because many of my friends and family have encouraged me to write.  I will admit I did just watch "Julie & Julia".  You know, the movie with Meryl Streep as Julia Childs.  It was a huge inspiration to me.  Most people who watch that movie are inspired to cook... not me!  It inspired me to write. 
I know that's more than a little bit corny, but isn't blogging in itself a little bit corny?  I mean, what is it about  other people's lives that intrigue us so much?  Why is being a voyeur on Facebook so much fun?  What is so fascinating about PEOPLE magazine's "Star Tracks?", and don't get me started on our obsession with "reality" television. 

So here it goes, as inspired by "Julie & Julia", I am challenging myself to 365 days of blogging. Yesterday when I went out on a limb and made my blog public, I wasn't sure anyone would read it. Well, a couple people did and it felt great.

At first, I wondered what in the world would I write about?  Then it occurred to me that the blogs I read are interesting to me either because the writer is just like me, experiencing the same things I do, or is the complete opposite of me, and I can have insight into another type of life (much like the PEOPLE magazine obsession).   For me, blogging will be an outlet to express these voices in my head, and maybe in the process connect with others by making them laugh, cry, wonder.

If you would like to support me in my quest, I ask you to "follow" me, "comment", or even pass my blog on to others.  Who knows, I may even be asking YOU to be a guest writer! 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


I have never been one to wish school would start again.  I enjoy hanging out with my kids more than anyone else on this earth.  I choose to be with them.  BUT somehow this week I am feeling a bit excited for school to start.  BUT maybe not...  Who will I recruit for "Baby Duty" so I can use the restroom?  Who will I blame when the chores aren't done?  Who will run the Wii in the background of everything I do so I won't feel so lonely?  Who will I eat lunch with? Who will ask me for a hug just when I need one the most?

I realize that I want the best of both worlds.  I want to be the best Mommy ever, BUT I also want some time to myself.  I'm really not asking much.  Just a couple of hours to clean the house, tackle an ironing pile, scrap a few precious photos, list items on ebay, grocery shop alone, excercise, pray, read, shower, post on a few facebook walls... 

BUT duty calls.  Hagen is learning to walk and he needs me to catch him when he falls.  Everest is inquisitive and needs me to answer all his questions, PRONTO!  McKinley is reading a book a day and needs me to be her sole book club member and sounding board. 

Here are a few more BUTS that come to mind:
  • It is so incredibly hot in my house (no A/C) BUT it's hotter in Afganistan!
  • My kids are always hungry BUT I have food in the fridge to feed them (generally speaking).
  • My baby pretty much rules my life BUT his smile could melt ice.
  • My yard may be small BUT the beach is our frequent playground.
I could find a bazillion reasons to be cranky, BUT I can find even more reasons to embrace my BIG BUTS and maybe, just maybe they will embrace me back!