Mar 27, 2013

Good-bye Twenty, May You Stop Mocking Me

This week is Spring Break for our preschooler. It's a little anticlimactic, I think, when school is not an every day/full day type of thing, but it still means that we're all home together every minute of the days this week, which I think is sometimes hardest on me. I mean, I love having them home, and the thought of sending Hope off to school next year (even if it is only half-day Kindergarten) makes me a little teary, but sometimes I am just not a very good keep-the-kids-entertained-while-at-home kind of mom. Thus, making some days long.

So, in a burst of inspiration today I decided that after a quick jaunt to Target we'd go out for lunch. But not the typical Jimmy Johns/Noodles/Potbelly (read: kid friendly and quick) place we'd usually head to, I wanted to go somewhere a little different. Still child friendly, of course, but my mind fluttered around the idea of walking the streets of Manhattan and coming across a little cozy cafe to leisurely take in a light lunch.

Of course, we're far from Manhattan and any cafe is a quick drive away, but still we went somewhere less typical of our family to indulge in my fantasy of a Spring Break 'special lunch' with the girls.

The lunch, let me just cut to the chase, was pretty much a bust.

The light part of the lunch was no problem considering the girls were crunching away on Goldfish we picked up at Target. So, thinking I was being all smart I ordered only one macaroni and cheese for the girls to share. And nobody touched it. Not one bite from either of them. Yes, they were hopped up on Goldfish, but to be fair, it really didn't look that appetizing even to me.

The side of french fries went a little farther, but even with the full doggy bag I don't regret those simply because they came as a french fry cornet and I pretended to be French while I nibbled and dipped between the ketchup and mayo.

I left our lunch annoyed, mostly with myself for spending twenty-dollars on a lunch that nobody really seemed to enjoy. Pretty much all my fault. Even I made a poor choice with my tomato soup what with tomatoes and I not always agreeing with each other ever since my pregnancy with Paige. Of course, today was one of the times that ingesting tomatoes isn't making my stomach too happy.

On the plus side, girls were fairly well behaved. There was an episode of both kids under the table which was where I felt my irritation start to prickle, but luckily it did not explode as it usually does, mostly because I got us out of the restaurant before all patience disappeared; but overall the singing and crumbs on the floor and staring at the table next to us didn't ruin the lunch.

To be honest, mostly the lunch felt like a bust because I spent twenty-dollars (TWENTY-DOLLARS!) on food that no one really ate. Twenty-dollars may not sound like a lot to some, but to me it's a precious amount. We could've gotten by just fine with our five dollar french fries. But no, even thinking I was ordering light I wasted twenty-dollars. That's five coffees I could've enjoyed myself. Or five pints of Ben & Jerry's. Or a movie and popcorn. All of which seem like a better option than this lunch was.

Hindsight is twenty-twenty and all that. ::grumble, grumble, grumble::

(Ha! And I just realized, 'hindsight twenty-twenty, I spent 'twenty' dollars. Oh, the irony. Is that even irony? I never was good with that. I need a quick English lesson... But I digress.)

I should know by now, that mostly my expectations of things, especially when those expectations take on an air of lightness and the hazy glow of a movie scene, that I'm pretty much destined for failure. I had this romanticized idea in my head of a mom and her daughters nibbling on salad and bread through the window of a quaint cafe. (Which should've been my first red-flag as neither of my girls would go within ten feet of anything green and crunchy.)

I'm trying not to dwell on the negative (I could've fooled you, right?), but it's hard with a pile of mediocre mac and cheese and a heap of leftover french fries staring me in the face. They taunt me with their, Twenty-dollars. TWENTY-DOLLARS. TWENTY-DOLLARS! I'll get over it eventually, I hope. Maybe after a few weeks when I've recovered financially.

And next time I have a vision of cafe eating? We're going for dessert. (I'm not giving up completely, people. A girl's gotta have some dreams.)



Mar 26, 2013

Random Ramblings

My husband informed me tonight that I need to update my blog. And since I always do exactly as he says, here I am. (And for those of you who don't realize, yes, I am kidding.) But, lest I lose any of my five whole readers, I suppose I might not want to go so long between posts. (Please still love me...)


Even though winter is officially over and Spring is here (uh, sort of), the winter doldrums have not quite passed us by. I think it's the snow. It's everywhere. And a constant reminder of how Springy it is not here. Luckily, the massive ice chunks in our driveway are slowly disappearing as they melt in the sun, which at least gives me hope that the end of this dreadful winter is in sight.

The girls seem to be squirrely and I fluctuate between wanting to get out of the house and wanting to stay in my pajamas (and even in bed) all day long, or even all the rest of the months until the snow and cold are gone. It's hard to know which will win each day.


My sister and her husband are flying into town later this week for a big family Easter Extravaganza. Well, it might not be an 'extravaganza' per say, but when you get the entire family together in one place, for one holiday, it's a pretty darn big and special deal, so by golly I'm calling it our Easter Extravaganza. Plus it's alliteration and you can never go wrong with alliteration. (By the way, don't you just love 'by golly'? I think I need to start using that more.)

I think I'm getting spoiled with how frequently I've gotten to see her this year, which is wonderful and also makes me want to go out and visit her again this summer. I was pricing out tickets this week and decided I'd better get extra hugs while she's hear and be better about Skyping, because (by golly) tickets are, ouch, not in our price range at the moment.


My challenge for you? Find an opportunity to use 'by golly' tomorrow. I dare you. :p

My challenge for myself? Write a more interesting post before this week comes to an end. Sheesh. You'd think I could do better than bemoaning the weather, AGAIN.

And since this was not the most exciting of posts, I'll leave you with a photo as a consolation.

We dress for Spring even when it's 20 degrees outside.

Sleep Tight.


Mar 19, 2013

California Girls

It was only the second time the girls were on an airplane, but they acted liked old pros with their seat-belts and bubble gum and switching around to sit with their cousins. They brushed my worry aside with their ability to handle a flight almost twice a long as their first.

San Diego welcomed us with its warm sun, and even though it wasn't the seventies and eighties we were hoping for, the sixties and partly sunny was a delight compared to the alternative of eleven inches of snow and twenty degree temperatures back home. Before we even arrived, I fully expected to fall in love with San Diego, and it didn't so much as steal my heart as I happily and quite willingly gave it away.

The trip was as close to perfect as any vacation can come. While seeing a live dolphin and baby panda were the favorites of my girls, this mama was overjoyed when we finally made it to the beach. I was exploding excitement (something I do not regularly do), and squealed at the endless sand, rolling waves, and blue blue blue of the water merging into sky and going on forever.

I'm pretty sure we squeezed in way to much for our two young girls (evident by the fact that Paige slept through dinner the first four nights), but the thrill of being with the cousins! and whales! and koalas! and cheetahs! and sand! and sun! and what's next!? kept them going on fumes right up till we got home.

My mood was more than sour when we left, and I even might've glared at a few of the people checking into the hotel the day we checked out. Coming home to the cold and snow of Minnesota felt like a slap in the face, even though I knew exactly what I was coming home to. And now we just try to get back into our old routine. (And I spend endless amounts of time trying to plan our next warm-weather destination vacation.)


Mar 16, 2013

We're Not Moving

I'm having a hard time. There's a lot going on in this jumbled mind of mine, mostly about moving (and not moving) and what that means about us and what kind of people we are.

As I've mentioned before, I always thought that I was adventerous person. Even now I have a hard time reconciling who I wish I was with who I probably really am. (See that? I can't even say 'who I am', I have to add the 'probably' in there.)

You see, I always wanted to be someone spontaneous, a world traveler. A make-a-quick-decision-and-hop-on-a-plan and free-spririted hippy and go-with-the-flow and all of the above and everything. But that's really not who I am. The farthest I moved was five hours away when I went away to college. When my husband and I got married we talked about living "somewhere else" (another state) for a period of time and then I got pregnant and we decided it would be too hard and too complicated.

And that's just it. I wonder if we ever would have really moved away, because we both seem to be comfortable homebodies. As much as we like the IDEA of moving or being somewhere else, we don't seem to be willing to try the reality of it all.

I love my life. I love that I have my two sweet girls, and our cozy home. I love that we are close to family and our girls are growing up knowing their cousins and grandparents. But sometimes I am still sad. I am sad that Adam and I are not different people. And I know that's a horrible thing to admit to, and it's something I desperately need to work on. But it's how I feel. And it depresses me sometimes, that we're not those go-with-the-flow and move-where-the-wind-takes-us type people.

It's asking a lot of my husband for me to want him, the major bread winner, the person who would most be affected career wise, to look for another job in another location, especially when he's perfectly happy where he is right now. Yet I can't help wishing. Wishing that we were both brave enough to take a leap. Both of us want to TRY something enough to give it trial run.

(Except I'm not really that brave. Maybe part of the reason I can feel so strongly about it is because I know he won't ever call me on it.)

But, along with us not being "trial run" kind of people (he's the type of person to want to commit to something and not go into it with a potential "temporary basis" frame of mind), we also aren't a move anywhere (but perhaps another house in the Twin Cities) type of people. Especially now that we have kids, we are even less flexible and less inclined to try something new because it would mean uprooting the kids (and then potentially uprooting them again if it didn't work out.)

And that's the other thing. How can I ask my husband to take a job somewhere else, something he might even be too keen on doing when nothing is certain? What if he isn't happy? What if the job fell through or something happened or it meant his career not turning out as well as it could if we stayed here?

And don't get me started on where is it best to raise kids. (Because Minnesota has apparently gotten on all these "best" lists from different magazines when it comes to kids and families and places to live.)

And all of this hemming and hawing is pretty much worthless because we just aren't going to move. We're just not those people. And that's maybe why I've been having such a hard time with it all? Because I know that we aren't those people but I want us to be? I want it to at least be a real possibility. I'm not sure why it feels so important to me, especially now. Has the Minnesota winter really gotten to me that horribly? Was San Diego really that wonderful?

I'm afraid to even utter the words, but maybe a warm weather vacation during a Minnesota winter is a bad idea, at least for me. I hope that when spring eventually arrives my negative attitude will melt with the snow. But whether it's about moving or not, reconciling who I thought I was (or who I wanted to be) can be tough with who I actually am. Somehow I've got to learn to embrace it all and be content with today.

(And I promise I'll try to lift this funk long enough for a post with photos from vacation.)


Mar 12, 2013

It's Playing My Song

I have the post-vacation blues, big time. And I am bumming, HARD.

After a week in Sunny San Diego (even if the temperatures were mostly in the sixties instead of the seventies) it feels pretty depressing coming home to the gray and cold and snow of Minnesota. I left my heart in San Diego.

I know, I know. Not too long ago I rambled on about wanting to move to New York. Well, people, a girl's got the right to change her tune. And I am la-la-laing from the sophisticated aria of New York to the beachy rock of San Diego.

(Sorry, Sister, there's something about the sun's siren song thats pulling me to an opposite coast.)

My husband, although also suffering from some post-vacation fog, loves to talk about where we were and what we were doing at this time last week. And I love to remember vacation, but it isn't bringing me the same satisfaction it seems to be bringing him. My heart just sinks at the thought Shamu splashes, local burger dives, and lazy nights around the fire. Because that is no longer my life.

Oh, I could go on and on I'm sure, but I'll try to refrain. As my mother pointed out, at least I was in San Diego. On another day I will delightfully relive my vacation and try to feel the warmth of the sun through my words...

On the other hand, I could just keep trying to convince my husband that we should move to Southern California. Or at the very least plan another warm weather vacation. Soon.