Curly Crafty Mom: July 2012

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

July Wrap Up Post

In July:

1. In July I ran 52.12 miles. My year-to-date mileage is at 335.53 miles.

2. I read two books this month: Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse, #10) and a self help book, Joint Custody with a Jerk: Raising a Child with an Uncooperative Ex: A Hands-On, Practical Guide to Communicating with a Difficult Ex-Spouse. (I know, I know, the title is subjective, but I have already started to use this book when communicating with J and it has REALLY helped. It goes over identifying who has the problem (you, ex, child) and then how to resolve it from there (using I statements, taking time before quickly responding back, etc.). What I also loved about this book is that it really goes to the heart of the matter, how to improve the communication so that the child (or children) are not involved or in the middle. It tells you when you need to just listen to your child, when you need to help the child work out the problem they have with your ex (this helps build self confidence and enables them to work out their own problems with Dad/Mom and yet they won't be afraid to use you as a sounding board again). It really covers A LOT, and it was so helpful that it was really hard for me to put it down. In fact, 15% into the book I had a fight with my ex, and I used that fight as an example of what NOT to do for the rest of the book. It really has helped and put everything into perspective for me. I hope this book does as much for you as it has for me.

3. Kids enjoyed their first LIVE fireworks display and LOVED. We still have a bag of home fireworks that we haven't touch yet due to everything being so dry and crispy here.

4. Autumn's first ER visit. And, first hospital stay. 2 nights. One more word. Asthma.

5. Did a couple of fun activities with Brian, we went to Montelle Winery for their sunset dinner (plan to go back in the Fall!), we did a paddle boat ride/picnic dinner (with wine!) in the Grand Basin at the Boathouse and dinner at the Muny before seeing Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. OH, and Brian got to meet my friends from high school, Becky and Terri.

6. Finishing some items off our summer bucket list: rollerskating, Tower Grover Park Market and Wade Pool/Fountains, Whistle Stop Icecream shop

7. Nathan finished T-Ball (his second year)!

8. Teacher Conferences and preparing for school to start in TWO weeks. Nathan is going to have a lot of homework this year, so I am trying to brace for that.

9. I signed Autumn up at a dance school and she will start in September. I called about 4 different schools, and Denoyer Dance won. Its 2 miles from home and they have a class that will work in will with our schedule. Nathan will be playing soccer and will be in Cubscouts this Fall/year.

- -

And, how I am doing on my resolutions...

(1) Grow in my faith - Still reading my Once a Day Bible... sort of looking forward to the start of the New Testament. Can't believe I have kept this goal this year!

(2) Friendships - I went to dinner and a movie with a couple of friends, but nothing else to report. I am SORTA thinking about having a revolving get together at my house, either involving movies or books... wine and apps. We'll see if I can get it together. I wanted to send it to a mixture of my friends, too, so not everyone knows each other.

(3) Risks - Trying to stand up for myself is a biggie, and stand firm on my beliefs.

(4) Quality time with my kids - July has been a quality month when it comes to time with my kids. The later bed times have helped, but I am afraid once school starts again, it'll be back to the earlier bed time. I have been trying to do some of the summer bucket list items with them, and even some things that they have brought up that aren't on the list. (Nathan wants to go paddle boating for instance.)

(5) Time to myself each week that isn't BUSY time. Recharge time. This has been fairly easy to do this summer, since I have the kids every other week. But, it will become more of a challenge once the Fall schedule starts and I have them pretty much all week. This is another reason why I need to get them back on an earlier bed time before school starts.  But, I am trying to not be so rigid on what I just can't get done, I only have so many hours in a day. The maids continue to be lifesavers, I am so thankful for them. I have found that my workouts take a lot of my free time, runs and I have added a couple of upper body workouts so I am trying to figure out the best times to workout. One thing I do want to try to do soon is have a day to myself, a relaxing day!

(6) Pursuing my interests: Going to Paris (finally!) in 3 days, Warrior Dash, Ziplining, etc., etc. I actually just updated my Mondo Beyondo list to help me determine what I need to focus on (it was almost 2 years old).

(7) Meals - I need to work on this soon, with the kids home more and I want to try to figure out a way to simplify Mr. Picky's (Nathan) lunches.

(8) Mornings. I hate mornings. Try to be better about getting up on time. - Ugh. Not a good month. Should I give up?

(9) Finish my accumulating to-do list (its another blog!). - My 100 to do list is down to 27 ITEMS! Ok, ok, so  its been over a year in progress... I am making PROGRESS! AND, this is with me adding stuff to it as needed! Yippers!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Tower Grove Park Wade Pool and Fountains

Nathan_really-good-playground-pic
After enjoying the market at Tower Grove this last Saturday, I let the kids enjoy the wade pool and fountains. I got some really sweet photos of my favorite boy.


Autumn-awe-pool-pic
And girl.


Me-and-kids-at-pool
It was a lot of fun, and the water was bath tub warm... it was really relaxing to watch the kids play while enjoying the warm water on my legs and footsies! Ahh! Plus, the weather was in the 90's (not 100+) so it actually felt cooler! Isn't that weird? Here I am with the kids, we are ready to jump in! Not that there is much water to jump into... but, it was all in fun for them.


Jumping-in-together
The kids jumping in...


Nathan-floating-in-water
Fish Nathan


Aut-in-mid-air
I love this candid shot of Autumn jumping in, with her little tutu flying up in the air.


Autumn-on-swing
Autumn loves the swing... she had me push her on it for over an hour. At least I got a one armed workout.


Tree-struck-by-lightning
You might remember from last year, when we went to this park, right after we shopped the market, a storm rolled in... we were sitting in the car waiting for it to stop so the kids could enjoy the wade pool... and, lightning came down into the playground and struck a tree! Nathan still has a big piece of bark in his room that was stripped of the tree from the lightning bolt. It was crazy! Here is the tree.


Auttie-looking-at-tree
Autumn looking up at the tree that was struck by lightning. Love her concerned face.


icecream-truck
While the kids were playing on the playground, it was announced that the ice cream truck that had just pulled up was giving away free icecream... it was the owner's birthday, and her husband and kids had planned it. It was SUCH a nice token from strangers! They even gave the adults ice cream!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Whistle Stop

Some of you may be wondering where I have been... well, last week I went to PARIS! And, some of you may be wondering when I am going to start blogging about my Paris trip. Well, I have a couple of blog posts to get out of the way before I start on my Paris posts (which, there will be a lot, hope that is ok!)... I am just a little behind... and, trying to get over being jet-lagged AND school starts on Wednesday for both kids, so its just been overall BUSY here.

Whistle-Stop
Before Paris,  I took the kids to The Whistle Stop. It was actually one of items on our summer bucket list. Its in North County, and I never even knew it existed until I was searching on Google for kids and train places. Its an old train station that is now an ice cream shop near train tracks that are still in use!


trains-at-top
The inside is really neat, there are little trains on top of the original ticket stand.


Boarding-Pass
We even got a boarding pass number for when our ice cream would be ready.


Autumns-cone
The ice cream was really good... Autumn got a cone, Nathan got a hot fudge sundae... I forget what Brian got, but I got ice cream on top of a hot chocolate cake slice, and the cake under the ice cream was amazingly fresh! YUM!


Kids-both-looking-out
Here the kids are looking out the back window at the train tracks... unfortunately, a train never came by. We asked and they said one comes by every hour and a half, and there is always one that comes at 3pm and 8pm. We got there at 3:30pm and never saw one and we were there over an hour! Oh well! It was still fun!


Auttie-getting-on-train
Next to the store there some cabooses the kids can climb on and it provides some fun photo opps!


Nathan-on-train
Nathan


Auttie-on-top-of-train
Autumn


Photos3

Photos2

Photos1
Photos I took while playing around with my camera

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Tower Grove Park's Saturday Morning Farmers Market

Amish-people
Last Summer, I took the kids to Tower Grove park for the first time to play in their wade pool and fountains, but a storm popped up. We didn't even get to enjoy the Farmer's Market entirely, because they packed up as quick as the storm clouds rolled in. So, this year... I wanted a repeat, darnit! And, with the temps being in the 108's, the 90's felt pretty cool today! Seriously, it was like we were having a cool wave.


Nathan-with-tomatoes
Whenever I go to the market, I want me some ripe and juicy TOMATOES! And, I found some HUGE beafsteak tomatoes, yellow maters, cherries... oh, I was a happy girl. I won't tell you how much I spent on tomatoes alone. Its a little... uh. Well, a girl has to have what makes her happy. Actually, the prices weren't really too bad for the quality and size!


Aut-and-Brian-tomatoes
This little girl loves tomatoes too. The baby ones, as she calls them.


Holy-Crepe
They even had crepes! I didn't have one, though...


Kids-on-couch-with-market-stuff
After we got home, I wanted to take a picture of some of our stash. Notice the cherry tomatoes are almost gone, that was our second crate. Yum!


Autumns-head-on-melon
Tired girl resting her head on the melon.


I took so many pictures! Stay tuned for wade/fountain pictures soon. :)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Back to School Buys

All-the-clothes
My friend Janna from Colorado gave me a $75 and a $125 Gymbuck to use during their sale a couple of weeks ago. I needed uniform school clothes for Nathan, some jeans/khakis, and a couple of nicer outfits because for Autumn's first day of school and for both kids photo days (since they always come up so quick, in September!). Here is my haul, I did really good! (Nathan's sheets aren't on his bed because they are in the wash, so sorry its a little messy.)


Lotsa-polos
I got Nathan some short sleeved polos in different solid colors (they can't have any logos on them) and one long sleeved polo. Gymboree has great polos, they are long and nice and thick. Also have the little notch on the sides if you wear it untucked.


Pants-and-jeans
Gymboree had a buy 1 get 1 50% off on jeans, so I got both kids a new pair of jeans. Nathan goes through pants SO fast because he gets holes in the knees. I also got Autumn a jean skirt, and both kids a pair of Khaki pants (got these at Old Navy).


Star-Wars-lego
I also got Nathan this cool Star Wars lego shirt while I was at Old Navy.


sunflower-dress
For Auttie's first day of school I got her this ADORABLE brown and yellow sunflower dress. I love it! Look at the tights, there is even a big sunflower on the bum! Hee!


Brown-boots
I also got her these brown boots to go with the dress (may be too warm now, but will be perfect later in the fall). She has some black boots but these brown ones with go with a lot of her other outfits. They're so cute!!


Brown-Jacket
I always like to have a hoodie jacket for the kids, and Autumn is SOOOOO messy, that this brown one will be perfect for my messy girl.


Dog-outfit
Nathan's photo day outfit... Love the dog on the polo. Unfortunately, he won't be able to wear this polo to school on regular days. It goes really well with the yellow in Autumn's sunflower dress. Not that I match my kids that often, but it'll make for cute pictures.


Nathan-plaid-short-outfit
Another outfit for Nathan, the polo he can wear to church, and the outfit on the weekend. I can't get enough of these plaid shorts! This outfit was super clearanced.


Summer-outfits
A couple of summer outfits for Autumn for next year. Super clearanced. Wow, I love my English. Hope plaid is still popular next summer!


Bratchey
Bratchey even says the clothes are super comfortable to lay on. Since the kids are at J's this week, she gets to have some upstairs time! (Remember, she has to stay downstairs now due to the kids being allergic to her.)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Nathan's Last T-Ball Game and Trophy Award Ceremony

Boys-Smiling-in-Line
Tonight was the first time Nathan had a NIGHT game... all of his games have been on Saturday mornings or afternoons. But, it was a special game because it was his last game of the season and he got his trophy! They gave out the trophy's at the beginning of the game, and look at how EAGER these boys are to snatch theirs very own trophy up!


Nathan-getting-trophy
Finally... after almost all of the other boys names were called, we heard the coach call Nathan's name. Up he went.



Nat-looking-at-trophy
I love Nathan's face in this picture... it says... "OH, WOW!"




Nathan-holding-up-trophy
And... that is when Mommy started taking all of the trophy photos. Trophy Photo 1.


Nathan-close-with-trophy2
Trophy Photo 2... hey, gotta have a close up! 




Nathan-close-with-trophy
Finally, Trophy Photo 3. Such a proud boy.

Here are some photos... the last ones for this t-ball season. I must say, I am a little sad it went by so fast... but, soccer will be starting before we know it. But, this was truly the year that Nathan fell in love with baseball.
Batting


running-first

Autumn-helmet

Shake-Hands

The Muny and Maxi Dress!

Brian-and-me-at-Muny
Last night Brian and I went to the Muny to see Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It was 106 degrees according to Brian's phone when we got there, but it was one of the best nights I have ever had at The Muny. Here we are at The Culver Pavilion, an open air restaurant that has a few dining times before the show. We decided to eat at 7pm, and then we would have plenty of time to get seated before the musical started at 8:15pm. Also, in this photo you'll see my Maxi dress that I found at the White House Black Market, I plan to wear it again in Paris. I also got a really cute white jacket to go with it so that I can wear it to work (we must have sleeves at work). That store is amazingballs, they made me try on about 6 different Maxi dresses and I had to model them in front of the design consultant and mirrors, and she helped me make the final decision. I felt like a rockstar... but, really I'm not. Ha. I also found a nice black dress at Express, you'll have to wait till photos from my trip to see that one!


Buffet-plate
Here is a photo of my second plate... There was a huge selection... they had 3 different salads, fruit, rolls, cheese plate and all kinds of different crackers, then au gratin potatoes, pasta primavera, delicious fried shrimp, and carved roast. etc, etc. We had a lemon cheesecake for dessert.


Melted-Butter
It was SO hot outside, that we actually saw our cold butter melt right before our very eyes. It was a little funny (or maybe we were just giddy from the heat), so of course I had to share a picture of it.


Stage
This is how close the stage was to us! We sat in the box section, it was a lot of fun because some of the dancers came off the stage at the end and were right next to us! Usually I sit in the nose bleed section, where you cannot even see their facial expressions, BUT Brian says if we are going to go see a show, we need to SEE the show... so, I enjoyed these seats tremendously!

The show was REALLY good... Joseph's story from the Bible is one of my favorites, so of course I wasn't sure what to expect as I had never seen this musical before. But, the cast was AMAZING, and we even spotted Elvis. I really think this was one of the best performances I have seen at The Muny, and I have been going for years.
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