Thursday, January 29, 2009

God Made Dirt...

When my children were newborns, we were so careful with EVERYTHING that came into contact with them. I know that most parents probably react the same way...boiling bottles, washing pacifiers every time they fell on the ground, getting a clean burp rag if the one you were using touched the floor in any's a completely natural reaction for first-time parents. After a while, we learned that the world wouldn't stop turning if the binky got dropped. The 10-second rule got implemented after the first couple of months. I'm very glad we got over the OCD attitude early, because as the kids grew and gained the lovely gift of curiousity, it seemed like EVERYTHING went into their mouths. Toys, check. Shoes, check. Feet, check. And not always their feet, either. :)

My mom still freaks out a little if Megan or Jeremy drops Cheerios or something else snack-y on the floor and picks them up to eat them. I don't want them doing that while we're out and about (i.e. public restrooms, etc.), but I don't worry anymore if it happens in our own home. We vacuum regularly, and if I scrambled to pick up every last Cheerio I'd never get anything else done (there's a nice collection trapped in the couch cushions I'll get around to cleaning up when the twins are in college). I've always heard that famous phrase, "God made dirt, and dirt won't hurt." What a relief to get validation on that quote from this article: click here

Silly that I get this excited about an online news article, but it just gives me one more confirmation that I'm not totally messing my kids up!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Life is a Circus

I do some freelance graphic design work for a web site based in Jacksonville, and from time to time they pass along some free tickets to various events. Since it's a kids' activity web site, that means all of the events are kid-friendly...always a good thing as far as we're concerned! The most recent "donation" to the Lay family was a four-pack of tickets to the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus, which was in Jacksonville for a four-day visit. We went on Friday for the 10:30 show and didn't even tell the kids we were going until we were getting dressed and ready that morning.

There is a pre-show before the circus and you are allowed down on the arena floor. Megan and Jeremy walked with us from place to place, visiting with clowns, watching an elephant "paint," being amused by the acrobats and just being in awe. Information overload is pretty funny, especially when you can just see all the questions on their faces but they can't keep up with what they are seeing!

The show started, and we purchased a giant popcorn box from a vendor. Megan ate about 3/4 of it by herself...she was pretty greedy, but that's ok because Jeremy wasn't as excited about the popcorn. :) The show ran pretty long, but the kids didn't get antsy even once. I have to say that the circus people really know how to keep the audience involved and interested, because for these two kids to sit in their own seats for just about the entire performance was very impressive to me.

The best part now is the fact that they are still talking about it. Ask either one what they saw at the circus and you'll get a list, and those cute little voices are too irresistable. "Doggies!" and "Elephants!" and "The funny, silly clowns!" and "TIGERS!" I think they really had a great time, and I'll post a pic or two once they are uploaded from my camera.

Thanks, Alison & Cindy for making this trip possible...we had a day we won't soon forget!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Not a creature was stirring...

Steve has gone to bed since he has to be up at 4 a.m. for work at 5. The kids are asleep. The cats are in the bedroom with Steve, most likely sleeping. The dog is curled up on the couch with me...sleeping. These are just the most peaceful times for me...I love to spend time with my family, but I really think it's just a natural thing for people to need alone time, too, even just a small amount. It gives you the chance to think, to plan, to dream a little bit. To just relax because YOU are the only one who needs to be taken care of at that moment in time. Then of course your mind takes off and starts racing through all the lists of things to get done, but for a small window of time you get some peace and quiet...not something that's easy to come by with two three-year-olds running wild through the house!

Tonight we went to dinner to celebrate my dad's birthday, which was this past Wednesday. We had dinner at O'Charley's, which is great because kids eat free there (and I'm all about saving money!). Mom ordered a German chocolate birthday cake from the local grocer, and it was so good. I am not even a big fan of that kind of cake, but I enjoyed my little piece. :)

On another note, it's going to be in the freezing category tonight! I think there's something terribly wrong with me as a Floridian...I love the cold weather. I don't know if I'd want to live somewhere that has four months of solid freezing weather, but I really do like it so much better than the hot Florida seasons we get. I love my warm winter coat, and it's in GREAT condition after four years because I only get to wear it for about two weeks each year it seems like. I love wearing layers and snuggling with the kids under a blanket because it's a bit chilly. I don't love the heating bill, but I do love having the heat on in the house because it's so nice and cozy. See? I'm weird. And as much as I'd love to see snow here, I'm thinking it's not the greatest idea...some of the people in the small town where I live freak out driving in the rain, so I can't imagine what they'd do if it snowed...there would certainly be gridlock!

OK, enough rambling for tonight. I hope everyone's having a fantastic 2009 so far...God bless you and those you love!!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

National Champs!

The Gators beat the Sooners 24-12 last night, as anyone with a television, newspaper or generally attentive mind has already learned. We had a small crowd here in our home, and since the majority were Steve's relatives (Sooner fans), the Gator fans were largely outnumbered. I'd like to thank my friend Alyssa for joining me dressed in orange and blue, my daughter Megan for wearing the Gator t-shirt she didn't have a choice about, and my next-door neighbor Mary for not cheering for the Sooners (even though her sons did). :)

We had lots of food (ate lots of food, too, and still had leftovers!), and it was a fun evening. Of course, I think I had more fun sitting calmly and watching the Gators take the lead. I am very proud of myself though, because I did not gloat over the win. Actually, since I was the only Gator still left in the room at the game's end (neighbors went home at halftime because the kids had school today, and Alyssa went home because she had gotten up so early for work that morning), I didn't boast or brag very much at all. I patiently waited until after my in-laws had left to drive back to Jacksonville before I got even the slightest bit giddy. Of course, writing a blog about how AWESOME the win was doesn't constitute boasting or bragging.
Say it loud, say it's GREAT to be a Florida Gator!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year, New Resolutions to Keep (or at least try not to break)

HAPPY NEW YEAR and welcome to 2009!

So the tradition is to make resolutions when the New Year rolls around. I have almost always failed at keeping any resolutions I make, because (well, let's face it) we really should be promising to make changes to our lives for the better every single day. Meagan wrote on her blog that each day is an opportunity for a clean slate, and I couldn't agree more. :)

This year, however, I am going to try and do a few things different. I won't beat myself up if/when I don't succeed 100% on any of these things:

I want to try and lose some weight.

I want to get into a better habit for our weekly grocery shopping, including using coupons and getting my meal planning done at least a week in advance.

I want to be more positive.

I want to blog more (because even if only a few people are reading, at least it gives me an outlet!).

I want to find a way to help support us better financially, so that the majority of the burden isn't always resting on Steve's capable shoulders.

I want to appreciate my husband more, because even though I value him I may not always tell him that often enough.