Thursday, May 31, 2012

Chugging along

              Summer Vacation: Day 7

Day 7 of summer vacation was one of those days where stuff just had to get done. Laundry, dishes, dusting, putting things away, etc. Luckily, there is one thing that always keeps my daughter entertained-- her cars.  As you can tell from the picture a few of them are pretty beaten up but that is because they were my husband' least 25 years old or slightly more.  The race car in the picture, however,  our daughter just got at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway a couple of weeks ago when we went with my husband's company and watched practices. She has at least 50 and tends to line them up on our desk.

Summer Vacation: Day 8

On Day 8 we spent more time outside watering our flowers, pulling weeds, and sweeping the annoying mulch off our porch. I have a theory that our neighbors cats get into our mulch. I believe they also dig little holes in the mulch for their own personal toilet. Yes, I hate cats but that is beside the point. It wouldn't be ok with me even if dogs were doing it. Cats are just too sneaky for me.
Our daughter tended to her flowers as well. Several weeks ago she planted sunflowers and marigolds and has felt so grown up taking care of them herself.  She also helped me cut some of my gerber daisies to bring in the house.

Summer Vacation: Day 9

My daughter cannot get enough of the outdoors in warm weather.  We keep ourselves busy with soccer, baseball, bubbles, sandbox, bikes, frisbee, sidewalk chalk etc.  On Day 9 we went and got a badminton set.  It's rough..but she tries very hard to hit it on her own. Sometimes it ends in fits of rage with her sitting on the ground refusing to move but eventually she gets up and tries again.  Just another adventure to keep us busy this summer.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Summertime: Off to a great start

Summer Vacation: Day 2 

Our first day of summer vacation is best left alone. My husband and I were both sick from a stomach bug and I'll spare you the details.  Day two was much better. My daughter and I made this "frozen chocolate peanut dessert" for a dinner I had planned for my mom's arrival into town and my in-laws coming over.  

Frozen Chocolate Peanut Dessert
Freeze a large bowl and a 13X9 pan for about 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine 30 coarsely chopped oreos and 1/4 cup butter and set aside. 
Place ice cream in the chilled bowl; slightly soften ice cream by using wooden spoon to press against sides of bowl.  Spoon ice cream into chilled pan and press into even layer.  Sprinkle the cookie/butter mixture onto the ice cream.  Top with 1 cup salted peanuts.  
Put 1 12 oz. jar of fudge ice cream topping into a ziploc bag.  Cut a corner of the bag  and drizzle over the layers in the pan. Cover and freeze for at least 4 hours. Let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before serving. You can top with cherries or sliced bananas. Makes 15 servings. 

We loved this recipe and it tastes similar to either a peanut buster parfait from the Dairy Queen or an ice cream cake. 

Summer Vacation: Days 4, 5, 6

 My husband and I got to go on a mini-vacation alone for our 10th anniversary.  With a trip to Las Vegas scrapped (darn black out dates for frequent flyer miles) we decided to go a short distance from home to Brown County, Indiana. A beautiful area with a state park, a historic town with shops (Nashville,IN), walking/biking trails, a campground and trails exclusive to horses and their owners, and much more. 
 Wonderful Brown County State Park, Indiana

The Story Inn- Story, IN
Historic little town that is basically owned by one person. Other little houses/cottages surrounding the inn and restaurant are also for rent nightly.  We didn't stay here but will remember it for a future mini-vacation. 

On our last morning at the state park, my husband and I took our last hike. This loop was 1.5 miles through the woods around Ogle Lake within Brown County State Park. Very beautiful-especially in the morning. We were at the park for 2 days and hiked about 7-8 miles. Wish it could have been more but the 90 degree weather didn't help.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

It's officially summer in this house it is. The first day of summer vacation. Not at all how I expected it to go. We were going to attempt to start our 'summer 'o fun' but we're off to a rocky start. Instead of going to the Children's Museum today my husband and I spent the day in agony-sick with a stomach bug. Our daughter, god love her, attempted to help us get better.  Kids can surprise you when it comes down to it- she also kept herself entertained most of the day. I fully intend to do most of the things on our summer list but that will have to wait a few days.  I will also attempt to post a picture on here of everyday of summer vacation. I tend to start things and then forget about them but I will try my hardest at keeping up with the pictures.  In between our summer 'o fun activities I will be working on my resume. I am still tearing my hair out on a resume approach for a mom who has been out of the workforce for almost 6 years. I think "2006-present: Stay at home mom--yes, that is a job." How about that?

And so....summer begins with a bang! Just hope it is not a sign of the upcoming months.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Something to call my own: Summer vacation scares me

Something to call my own: Summer vacation scares me: It's hard to believe this school year has passed by so quickly. I'm a little more than freaked out that our daughter only has one week left ...

Summer vacation scares me

It's hard to believe this school year has passed by so quickly. I'm a little more than freaked out that our daughter only has one week left of preschool. I admit I'll shed a few tears on that first day of Kindergarten come August.  For now, however, I have to tackle summer vacation.  Although preschool is only three days a week for three hours in the morning, it still provided a little bit of a schedule (and some quiet mommy time).  We live in a small town with not a whole lot of options for activities, we are saving every penny for our next house (whenever we manage to sell this one), and we don't live near my family which would provide a lot of fun. Being a stay at home mom can sometimes make you feel like a caged animal and when the school schedule is also no longer there it just makes summer vacation scary as hell. So, last night I started preparing a list of summer vacation activities. Maybe other parents or babysitters out there can benefit from my list as well (although some are personalized):
  • Create a nature journal and go on nature scavenger hunts
  • Spend time at the library/ sign up for the reading program at the library. Our library also has shows for the kids.
  • Create characters out of rocks-paint them, glue together, add googly eyes, etc.
  • Create blender drinks (just leave the alcohol out of the kids drink)
  • Paint canvas type sneakers
  • Make lollipop cupcakes, shark/beach cupcakes, etc.
  • Design T-shirts with paint/puffy paint
  • Make ice pops
  • Free movie Wednesdays! They have that here in our town although last year I think we only made it through one movie- maybe she'll do better this year.
  • Water balloon fights
  • Go fishing. We got our daughter a fishing pole last year and she loves fishing now.
  • Go to the lakehouse.  We enjoy spending time at my parent's lakehouse in north central Indiana-fishing, boating, feeding ducks, campfire with s'mores. 
  • Make your own glow in the dark slime. Google it.
  • Picnics at the park
  • Make homemade pizza
  • Walk the trails around town and at nearby state parks
  • Day at the Indianapolis or Cincinnati zoo/ local zoo for other people
  • Day at the children's museum in Cincinnati or Indianapolis
  • Make cool creations out of cardboard
  • Create streets with chalk on the driveway and make stop signs or stop lights
  • Play board games outside
  • Have kids wash their own riding toys
  • Have kids make their own scrapbooks
  • Make ice cream sundae's 
  • Go to our town's pool--yeah, I put this one last. Not a thrill for me since I'd rather have my finger nails removed with pliers rather than get into a bathing suit for this whole small town to see. Yikes!
I know I will add to this list over the next week.  If I don't have activities in mind we'll both go crazy over the summer.  Thank goodness a week of visiting grandma and grandpa is in the mix with a day trip to Chicago while we are up there. That always gets high marks---a ride on the train into Chicago!
May we all survive summer and come out with little to no meltdowns and only have good times.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Photo that makes me smile

This photo always makes me smile. There are those moments when we can actually step away from our lives and go to my parent's lake house and enjoy some family time.  Last year I took this picture of my husband and our daughter and thought it was perfect. Usually my mom is able to come to the lake house the same time as us and we really get to enjoy our mini-vacations.  Our thrill last time was when my mom caught a turtle instead of a fish and our daughter thought that was the coolest thing ever.  We set out on the boat in the late afternoons to watch the sunsets.  The best time to be there is the the 4th of July when we can sit on the deck of the house and watch the fireworks over the lake. We don't get there as much as we would like but still- those moments when nothing else matters but family is priceless and we look forward to it a few times a year.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Not just a mom

I did something I haven't done in years yesterday---looked at job postings. It is more than a little weird to be looking after being at home for 5 1/2 years. Some days I feel that being a stay at home mom is all I know. Not true but it feels that way.  At this point I am actually jealous of my husband that he gets to go to work five days a week. He tells me about going to lunch with co-workers in downtown Indy, an upcoming 'day at the track' for the Indy 500, projects he is proud of, stories about what goes on at work. Yes, that makes me jealous. As I have said before- I love my daughter more than anything in the world and have cherished every day I have spent at home with her, but the time has come to have 'my time'. I miss deadlines, adult conversation, lunch with co-workers, having a set schedule, making money, etc. 

It's not all roses and I know that. Some days you just want to throw the alarm clock against the wall, you may have a boss that is a complete ass on a power trip (I've had plenty of those) and you feel you miss out on more of your kids lives. In the great debate of stay at home moms versus working moms--I don't believe there is a right answer. Every parent is different and all kids are different. I know I have the most important job in the world by being a stay at home mom and call me what you will, but not bringing home a paycheck really bums me out.

I am truly excited for this next chapter in life. Believe it or not I think it is great for my daughter as well. The other day she told me that when she grows up she wants to be a mommy. I told her that was great and I asked her what else she wanted to be when she grew up. She explained that she just wanted to be mommy because that's all I am.  I carefully explained to her that she could be a mommy AND have a career/job. She seemed a little confused by this because all she sees me as is a mommy and nothing else.  We actually got into a conversation about how mommy went to college, got a degree and had a job before she was born.  I also explained to her what else I "do" in terms of my career and hobbies and that I plan to go back to them someday when I don't have to be home all day. I was pleasantly surprised when she then asked me if someday soon we could go see daddy's college and mommy's college. So, in going back to work I really feel I can set a great example for my daughter because I want her to grow up to be independent and able to take care of herself. I also want her to know she can have an identity other than just 'mommy' in the future.

This new journey is not just a reawakening for me but a realization for my daughter as well.