Saturday, December 31

magical pizza

jason has been gone most evenings this week, so dinners have mostly been pbj or cheerios. but since that is what hiba and matthias had for lunch and breakfast yesterday, that wasn't going to work. we were having a little bit of a rough afternoon, so dinner needed to be a distraction and something that wouldn't cause a fight. so i thought we'd make pizzas.

i told hiba and she was SO excited. she loves helping me with anything, so when i told her that she would get to make her own, she was pretty thrilled. she asked if they could be magical pizzas. sure, why not? (i'm not sure what made them magical. of course, i'm not sure what made them pizzas either since they were really just slices of bread, cheese, and olives. but hey, whatever works.)

hiba was very careful and concentrated.

you may or may not have noticed that matthias isn't in those pictures. is this because i thought it would be easier to do one at a time? or because i wanted to spend quality time with them separately? 

no, not so much. it's because at this point, he is in his bedroom in time-out, where he has been for the last hour (not even joking) because he didn't want to pick up the books he threw all over the living room. i would put him in time-out, get him up, ask him if he wanted to pick up the books or go back to his bed, he would scream at me or just flat out tell me he didn't want to pick them up, and we'd do it over again. for an hour. 

so many books. i totally understand his opposition. 

the pizzas finally lured him into cleaning up, and i finally gave in and helped him (although i did make him start and do most of the books). so then he got to make his magical pizzas too.

matthias was not so careful about spreading the cheese. he just dumped out the whole bowl.

hiba at a lot of her olives before we actually cooked the pizzas. 
so magical.

Thursday, December 29

maybe we should go to india first

hiba (as we are on our way home from the zoo, in the late afternoon): hey mom, can we go to china today?
me: um, no. i don't think we'll be able to fit that in today.
hiba: why not?
me: well, china is very far away and so it takes a long time to get there.
hiba: but i told marty and yaqin that i would come see them at China with you. so we need to go to china.
me: i hope that someday we can go see marty and yaqin in china with you and matthias, but i just don't think that we'll have time for that today. it takes a very long time to get to china because it is very far away.
hiba: oh. little rock is far from china? *pause* well, what is close?
me: what do you mean? what is close to little rock? or what is close to china?
hiba: what is close to china?
me: um, india is close to china.
hiba: well, maybe we should just go to india first do then we would be close to china. will that work?

Wednesday, December 28

christmas recap

we had  a pretty great christmas.

well, as long as you over-look the fact that matthias was sick, which meant he was sad and pathetic and didn't sleep, which meant i was stressed for him and didn't sleep. it was seriously like having a newborn again. up every few hours at night. for four nights. i don't do well when i am sleep deprived.

but, other than that minor detail, things were great. this is the first year since we've had kids that we could do christmas at our own house. hiba's first christmas was spent in the US while we were here for a visit. we were living at jason's family's house for matthias' first christmas. and last year, we split the time between my family and jason's, so we didn't do anything at our own house. we didn't even have a tree.

so i was pretty excited to do christmas at our house, start our own traditions, etc. and it was fun. it lived up to my (pretty low) expectations and i think the kids really enjoyed it. christmas is so fun with two little kids. they are still at the age where they are grateful for almost anything, so getting all those presents, in hiba's words, was magical. (also, according to hiba dishwashers, making cake, playing matching games, christmas lights, and a whole list of other things are magical. but i still think she loved presents the best.)

yay for decorations!
my parents, rachel, and daniel came down to our house on the 23rd and stayed the night. we had a birthday dinner for rachel on christmas eve eve (also a magical day), and then did christmas on christmas eve. it was fun to host and great to see them all.

birthday girl!
new children from grammy and oscar

opening a present from uncle daniel

gifts from uncle nate and aunt kristin - we missed them!

"ooooo, trains!"

a new "finding" book from nate and kristen. 

hippy grammy and hiba
christmas morning, we had christmas with our little family. the kids got to open their stockings (magical) before breakfast. they were pretty excited about stockings.

then we had breakfast and read the christmas story. in my head, this was going to be a really sweet time, with both the kids listening attentively, while jason and i explained the reason for christmas, the mystery that is Christ's birth, and the depth of God's love for us.

in reality, matthias refused to sit and listen and spent half the story turning our christmas lights on and off, while hiba listened, but interrupted every other sentence to interject comments that may or may not have had anything to do with what i was reading. but hey, that's how our life is, and we got through the story, with matthias even joining us at the end. and really in my head, that is exactly how i thought it would go.

then on to the presents. by this point, the kids had it down pretty well and there was no taking turns. there was lots of hiba and matthias helping me and jason open presents though.

a microphone!

princess stickers!

a new basketball goal - their big present for both of them

hiba got a shopping cart and reusable bags

matthias got a tool bench. now he can hammer to his little heart's content!
our big presents from them came from our church building, because we sold the building and were cleaning it out. some people may call that being cheap. i think of it as being green. i was pretty excited and all three things have been a huge hit the last few days. i was a little hesitant to give matthias that encouraged him to hammer, since he hammers everything with anything, but it's actually worked out well, because now he just hammers on his tool bench. all the time.

after naptime, we headed over to jason's family's house for more presents and dinner. yaqin made chinese food for dinner, which was delicious. i forgot my camera, so no pictures, but we had a great time. the best moment was when matthias opened his present from marty and yaqin - a bag of cheetos! weeks ago, when i asked him what he wanted for christmas, he said "chips". and that was all. so he got chips. presents at the pollack's was right at the worst time of his sickness - fever, runny nose, coughing a ton, watery eyes. he looked terrible. but when he pulled the cheetos out of the gift bag, he eyes got so big and lit up. it was awesome. apparently, he knew exactly what he wanted. 

Friday, December 23

a birthday present for Jesus

i'm going to take a break from writing about potty training. mostly because right now matthias has a pull-up on. and we have no clean towels left.


this morning, i was talking to hiba about christmas. i really want her to know that christmas is about Jesus, not about presents and getting stuff. so i was telling her how it is Jesus' birthday and that is why we get presents for each other. then i asked her what she wanted to get Jesus for his birthday.

she stopped and thought for a minute. i couldn't wait to hear what she said - a new toy, some cookies, a car - really, these were the answers i was expecting.

but instead, she looked at me and said, "sharing. i want to get Jesus sharing for his birthday".

she then talked for about five minutes about how Jesus is happy when we share and how she should share with matthias and all her friends and this is what she wanted to give Jesus for his birthday. she even talked about how we should share with people if they need things and we have a lot.

i don't think i've ever been more happy hearing something come out of her mouth. i know that some of what she said was just repeating what i've said the last few weeks. but she's hearing it. she has such a tender heart, so much love and care for people. it's fun to see this in her at such a young age. hearing her talk about how to love Jesus by loving others is just about the best present she could give me. 

Thursday, December 22

the train has left the station

so on a scale of success to fail, i would put potty training yesterday on the epic fail side. in all fairness to matthias, it was not the best day to start. more about that in a minute. but really, he is ridiculous. so stubborn. so dramatic. SO whiney. and then also so cute. so cooperative. so excited.

the day started out ok. he sat on his little potty while they watched a tv show, with no real results, but hey - points for trying. then he put on his big boy underwear and ran around, playing. then i suggested about a half hour later that he try again - something that i thought was a reasonable request and he had been relativiely excited about moments before. well, this suggestion brought the response of throwing himself on the floor, whining, and absolutly refusing the idea of sitting on the potty.

ok, plan b. i asked him if he wanted to change underwear after he sat on the potty. his response was more fussing, grabbing new underwear and wanting to put it on right then, without trying to go potty. i said no, which resulted in more screaming. literally. screaming.

ok, plan c. i break out the treats. all he has to do is sit on his little potty for two seconds and he can have a treat. that's it. pretty simple, if you ask me. well, apparently that was to much to ask. he just wanted a treat. for being. and for his stellar behavior up to this point. i said no. more screaming.

so that was a great start. i finally just ignored him, he went back to playing and literally less than a minute later, i hear "oopsy, oopsy, oppsy". and he's standing in a puddle.


but i didn't give up. the day did get a little better. no success, but only a few accidents and less fits. at the end of the night when i was changing him into his bedtime diaper, he actually wanted to sit on the potty. so we're trying again today and tomorrow, when we really don't have anywhere to be or things to do, and then we'll reassess the situation. this morning has already been better, so i have hope.

on to a new topic - as i said, yesterday may not have been the best day for the potty train to arrive. and that's because jason, marty, and alan (jason's brother and dad) spent the majority of the day tearing apart our kitchen, installing a garbage disposal and dishwasher, and putting the kitchen back together. so it was a little hectic around here. i obviously didn't have my full attention to devote to matthias and we went out several times to get the kids out of the way.

so now we have a dishwasher. the house didn't have one when we moved in, which wasn't a huge deal to me. i've never had a dishwasher. my parents don't have one, we didn't have one in our first apartment, we didn't have one in palestine, so it didn't really phase me to not have one here. the is a place where there used to be one in our kitchen (and now there's one again!), so we always thought that we would put one in. well, someone gave us one, so the guys decided to install it. and a garbage disposal. it took a little longer than expected, but they got the job done.

i've never really minded doing dishes, but it's not one of my favorite things. and i especially hate waking up to a pile of dishes. on a good day, there are a few dishes from the evening before and a lot of dishes from jason's breakfast in the sink to greet me as a wake up. often there are dishes from dinner the night before piled in the sink, on the stove, on the counter, mocking me viscously as i wake up.

this morning - there was hot coffee in the coffee pot and zero dishes out. and my kids slept till 8. and matthias happily sat on the potty while watching dora. i felt like i was in an alternate universe.

so potty train fail + successful installation of a dishwasher = not such a bad day after all. 

Wednesday, December 21

choo choo!

the potty train is here.

when my sister was little, we were on summer vacation and talked about how when we got back home, she would get potty trained. so she started talking about "the potty train" and how it was coming to our house on july 6. the phrase has sorta stuck.

so the potty train has arrived at our house.

the playroom - all ready to be peed in!

carpets are rolled up, underwear is bought, towels are stocked, i've got a super enthusiastic and encouraging older sister to help out, and we've got minimal plans for the next few weeks.

big boy! 
i'm so glad that one of my jobs as a parent is to take and share photos that will one day embarrass the heck out of my kids. 
so we'll see how it goes. matthias goes between being really enthusiastic and absolutely uninterested - like in two minute time spans - so i'm knocking on wood.

Tuesday, December 20

from our family to yours....

....Merry Christmas!!

if i was on top of it enough to do a christmas card, these would be our pictures. and i would have totally sent you one. but now you get to see our christmas cheer and not hang us up on your refrigerator for the next few months. unless you want to. 

merry christmas, everyone!

Monday, December 19

weekend update

it's finally starting to look like christmas around our house. i hadn't really done much as far as gift shopping, christmas cookies, talking with the kids about christmas, etc. until the teen mops christmas party was over. so this weekend was the start to our short holiday season. it was quite busy, but lots of fun.

friday night we had some friends come over for dinner at the last minute. the kids played great together and watched a movie, while jason, shannon, and i enjoyed dinner and games. we introduced shannon to one of our nerd games - ticket to ride - or as jason calls it, the gateway nerd game. we had fun and i think we may have a new couple recruited for nerdy games. we'll see. we also made chex mix, which is one of my new favorite activities. i made it for our christmas party a few weeks ago, for the teen mops christmas party, for our church christmas party - and there is always some leftover. homemade chex mix = delicious. the highlight of friday night was when the kids cleaned up the toys completely unprompted. we have shannon's kids to thank for that - it's never happened with our kids before.

saturday was busy, busy, busy. jason had to work for a few hours and then wanted to try out a new gym, so hiba, matthias, and i decided to hop on the holly trolley and enjoy the festivities. it was....well, it was a lot better idea in my head than in reality, but it wasn't too bad. we met up with shannon and her kids, and leslie and her family - some other friends from mops. i've ridden the trolley a few times with my kids, but it's usually pretty empty. well, not when it's free and includes coupons to all sorts of fun things downtown. nope, then it is very crowded.

we rode from the little rock side to north little rock and got off to peruse the argenta market and have lunch. there was free hot chocolate, which matthias immediately spilled all over himself. when we got to lunch, i realized that my shirt was soaking wet....from where i was holding matthias. because his pants were soaking wet. and of course, i didn't have any clothes for him. so he changed into hiba's cute little pants. luckily, he is huge so they wear the same size and the jeans i had for her were just a little girly. so lunch finished without any huge problems, but then we missed the trolley by about a minute, so had to wait at the stop for about twenty minutes for the next one to come. we opted to not go get pictures with santa during this time, which meant six kids running around at the bus stop, trying to run into the road, collecting apartment hunting times. finally the trolley came and we were first in line, so we all got seats. and as soon as i sat down, i smelled an awful smell coming from matthias. and of course i didn't have any extra diapers. because why would i? and i wasn't going to change him in the middle of the trolley, so we just suffered for the ride and then leslie came to our rescue when we stopped.

whew. so we went home and took naps.

in the evening, we had a christmas party with our church peeps. i love our church peeps. they are awesome. hiba was a little bit sick (which seems to be a recurring theme when we have fun church functions), so she and jason had to stay home. but they watched christmas movies, ate popcorn and chex mix, and had hot coco. matthias and i went to the party and had a fabulous time. we're in the process of selling our church building and finding a new place to meet, so we did advent and communion at the party. there was also a lively round of christmas songs, which matthias loved. he found some jingle bells and danced his little booty off. and then of course he was loud and disruptive during silent night and our ending prayer, but no one seemed to be upset or judgy (except for me. i was totally judging myself and my lack of parenting skills), which is why i love my church peeps.

sunday was great. jason, my wonderful husband, let me sleep in so i woke up to coffee and breakfast being made. since we had church on saturday night, we got to just take it easy for the morning. jason and i went over our christmas lists and figured out what gifts we needed to get. he took matthias in the morning and went shopping for the girls. before they left, hiba gave two requests - a sword like the one matthias has and a tiger she can sleep with. matthias actually found both of them and is super excited that he got presents for hiba. so far he hasn't told her what they are, but we'll see if that lasts till next sunday. in the afternoon, i braved wal-mart and got grocery shopping and christmas shopping all knocked out. so now presents are wrapped and under the tree, christmas music is playing, cookies are being decorated every day, and we are talking about Jesus' birthday a lot. yay for christmas time!

Saturday, December 17

Jesus, the mechanic

apparently, Jesus likes to fix our car. which is just fine with me. i'm definitely not going to complain about that one.

we recently had to have our headlights fixed. which was kind of necessary, but also kind of expensive. but instead of stressing out, i really did just know that it would be taken care of. the china trip used up a good bit our our savings, but we had enough to pay for the car. and buy food. and buy christmas presents. and give presents away. i think i had a bit more perspective on how much we really have this time around.

so we paid for it, i said a little prayer asking God to not let anything else break in the next few months, and went back to life. simple as that.

and then we got an unexpected gift. that was for just over the amount it took to fix the car. which means we can still pay for the car. and buy food. and buy christmas presents. and give even more presents away.

Friday, December 16

a teen mops christmas

hi there. remember me? i used to write things here - sometimes funny, sometimes about my kids, sometimes thoughts on life? yes, hi.

i'm not really sure what has happened since thanksgiving, but i do know that we've been busy. i'll try to post about anything exciting or interesting that i think of, but really, let's just get this ball rolling again.

so it's christmas time! i love christmas. i love getting presents for poeple. i'm pretty sure my love language is receiving gifts, but not just stuff. real gifts, that mean something and are heartfelt or something that is especially needed. and so i love giving gifts like that too.

one of the thing that my parents were great about is making christmas about giving. especially about giving to people who don't have as much and can't give back to us. we would serve at salvation army christmas meals, get gifts for kids through angel tree, help out families in town that we knew were needy. and i really loved it. my dad especially would get really excited about giving, which was definitely passed on to me. and i hope that i can pass that on to my kids.

and last night was the perfect chance. we had a christmas party for our teen mops meeting, which included loading the moms up with presents for them and their kids, diapers, and food. it was a really fun night and i loved seeing them all get presents. i know that some of them would get stuff anyway and aren't really needy. but i also  know that some of them wouldn't. or at least wouldn't get stuff without stressing out about how they can get presents for their kids and food at the same time.

i took hiba and matthias shopping earlier this week to get gifts for a few of the moms and kids. it was neat to be able to talk about why we were getting things for other people and not for ourselves. we had to stop by chick-fil-a to get something for jason, which was also a perfect opportunity to explain to hiba that we wouldn't get food, but instead we would use that money to buy presents for kids who need them. she was actually more excited about this idea than i thought she would be. it was a little hard for her to walk through wal-mart and see all the toys displayed and only pick things for other people, but she did a great job and i think even got it a little bit - as much as her 3-year-old mind could understand. and she didn't tell any kids last night that we got them presents because their mommy would not be able to, so that's a good thing too.

hiba did a great job too of not being sad when she didn't get any presents to take home with her. i did assure her that she would get presents on christmas, so she was ok with that. matthias was great too. mostly because he didn't know what was going on. which is fine too.

i hope the rest of christmas can stay focused on giving. i've been pretty wrapped up in planning the party, making sure there were gifts for everyone, etc that i haven't really done christmas stuff for us. so i hope that as i shift to getting presents for our kids and jason that i can stay focused on giving meaningful gifts and can keep sharing the idea of giving with hiba and matthias. it's been really fun to see her understand that it's not about her, it's not about getting things, but it's about giving things because of Jesus' birthday, so i hope that trend will continue over the next few weeks. 

Tuesday, November 22

this girl is too much

some day most days, i think i should follow my kids around with a video camera to record everything they say.  they say the funniest things. and they are super cute these days, when they decide not to be holy terrors. these are some things that hiba has said tonight. like since dinner time. seriously, this girl cracks me up.

hiba, after i told her to clean up her toys: no, i don't want to.
me: what did you say to me?
hiba: nothing, i wasn't talking to you. i was talking to myself. never mind.

me, while hiba was playing a memory game on my kindle: you are really good at this! great job!
hiba: yeah, i'm awesome.

hiba, in reference to an angry bird: ha. hiba has a mustache. that one is named hiba. and that one is jason. and that one is j.j.

(i'm not really sure who j.j. is).

hiba, after i gave her a jolly rancher when matthias was in bed: mommy candy is just for big kids. you have to be 3 or 28 or 27. you can't be 2.

hiba, while hearing matthias calling for me when he was in bed: i'm taking care of matthias by ignoring him.

hiba, while watching x factor: this guy is a good singer.
me: yeah, he's not that great.
hiba: yeah, well don't call him an idiot. i know sometimes it is hard for you not to call people idots, but it's not nice.

Friday, November 18

two years

last year, i was pretty much a wreck. i functioned and i like to think that i fooled a lot of people into thinking that i was doing great with this whole life transition thing. but the truth is, i was not. between november 5 and november 17, all of my thoughts were consumed by what we were doing a year ago that day. i would spend hours every day looking at pictures from our time in palestine, facebook stalking our old friends, not talking to people about all this, and just being really sad. looking back at my blog, you can see that i was really obsessed with the whole "moving on" theme from matthias' birthday through the end of the year.

and i think it was good for me. not the whole bottling-it-up-and-not-talking-about-it or facebook-picture-stalking things, but it's good to process, good to mourn, and good to move on. i definitely could have found more healthy ways to mourn, but it was important for me to process everything that had happened a year before.

yesterday was november 17. the day we left palestine. and i didn't even realize that until in the evening when someone asked me how long we had been back in the US. i had quite a full day - we had a big thanksgiving dinner for teen mops, so i was busy decorating, cooking, making sure all the details were taken care of. i had to take matthias to the doctor in the morning to make sure he doesn't have asthma (he doesn't). i spent the evening at teen mops, hanging out with teen moms and my other mentor friends, making sure everyone got enough food and had a great time.

thoughts of sadness, thoughts of missing palestine, thoughts of wishing for our old life - these thoughts didn't consume me. when i realized that it was november 17, i had a twinge of sadness, a moment of thinking back. but that's all it was. thinking back. which i think is appropriate. we've been here two years. and i finally really feel like we are here. or at least i am.

it's taken me a long time to get here. almost two years, in fact. and it feels good. it feels good that i can look back over by past blog posts and not burst into tears, but really be happy remembering our time in palestine. it feels good to have friends that we can have over, have playdates with, have birthday parties with - friends that i actually really like instead of thinking of how i miss our old friend. it feels good to have a church that jason and i are both excited about instead of thinking about how great our "not-church" group was in palestine. it feels good to be involved in groups that we love, both the work and the people involved, instead of thinking of how awesome paidia was.

so all this to say, i still do miss palestine. i will always miss it. i will always be sad that we had to leave in the way we did, that we had to leave our great friends, that we had to leave the place both our kids were born, that we had to leave the work we were doing. but i also am finally able to say that i am here. and i like being here. and thoughts of being there don't ruin my ability to be here. which i think is pretty good for me. 

Thursday, November 17

epic fail

i feel like that describes my week so far. epic fail.

ok, maybe that's a tiny bit dramatic, but really. it seems like lists have not been completed, projects have gone wrong, things have been forgotten, easy fixes turn out to be really complicated. it's one of those weeks that i wish i had a restart button. or staples button.

but i don't, so oh well. i'll just keep laughing when i can and watching mindless t.v. shows when i can't.

i think the following story pretty much sums up how everything has gone this week:

last night, i was putting a rub on a turkey that i'm cooking today for our teen mops thanksgiving dinner. i took the turkey out of the bag, and read the instructions. i easily found the neck and pulled it out. but then it said to remove the giblet bag from the skin by the neck hole. i looked and looked at the neck hole. there was no skin around it, no giblet bag. so i called jason over to see what i was missing. he took one look at the turkey and said, "that's not the neck hole. that's the ass hole. please don't ever take my temperature!".

yep, that sums it up. 

Monday, November 14

we are the champions!

this weekend was the ozark rugby tournament, here in little rock. it was a pretty great weekend. my sister came to visit, which was so fun. it's always good to see her and i love hanging out with her now that we are both "grown-ups". we had several friends come out to watch the games, which always makes it better. jason had a great time, no real injuries, and little rock won the tournament!

all ready to go on saturday! 

ice cream makes watching rugby way better.

ref: "do you know what you did?"
jason: "i punched him, sir."

congratulating jason for scoring!

matthias was out. in the middle of cheering - zero response. 

that's my man!
it was a pretty great way to end the the season. i am definitely looking forward to the break (even if it is only like a month).

the weekend was also great because it was so different from last year. jason and the team always talk about themselves as the "rugby family". because they are like a family. i always talked about them as "my step-family". because a lot of times it felt like that. but over this last year, i have made some great friends with the guys, the wags (wives and girlfriends), the women's team. it was a fun weekend because i felt like our whole family belonged there, not just jason. and having mutual friends is something we've missed for a long time, so it's great to feel that changing.

Thursday, November 10


a lot of people claim that they have the best husband. but, sorry to break it to you all, that is not true. because i do. seriously.

my birthday was last week. i had told jason that i wanted a birthday party, which he said he would throw, but then he didn't. i was a little on the disappointed side, but my birthday was great anyway, so i didn't really dwell on it too much.

fast forward a week. yesterday, jason called in the afternoon and said his mom offered to watch the kids so we could go out for my birthday, since we hadn't had a birthday date. that plan sounded great to me. so i got home from work, jason was making dinner so we could eat (he had told me we'd go out for drinks and desert), the kids could eat, and we could take the kids down to his parent's house. just as we were about to leave, he got a call from work. he told me that something came up and he needed to do a little bit of work from home, planning stuff, for the morning. so, could i just take the kids by myself and then come pick him up? i was a little on the annoyed side, but what could i do?

so i took the kids, dropped them off, called jason to tell him i was on my way home so he could be ready. jason's brother had offered to bring the kids home and said he would bring them around 10, which meant we had a limited time frame. by this time, it was almost 7. well, jason suggested that i go pick up a bottle of wine so we could enjoy it when we got home. at this point i was really annoyed. the wine store is on the way to the restaurant that we were going to, we wouldn't get there till almost 8 at this rate and needed to be home by 10! which, probably would have been plenty of time, but i don't like being rushed. but, again, i said ok.

once i got home, i called him from the car, because i didn't want to get out. he told me he was just getting his shoes on, so i should bring the wine in to chill it. i replied "it's a red", hung up, and came inside, still annoyed by this whole turn of events. and then.....


my wonderful husband had been planning a surprise party for me all along. i took zero pictures, but it was great. it was a wine and cheese party. jason had different little tables set up with different kinds of cheese and crackers and wines that went well with them. it was so much fun and i was quite surprised, seeing as my birthday was a week ago. i asked him why he waited a week, and he pointed out that if he had sent me all around on my birthday, i would have known what was going on. which is true.

so it was a fun night and just proves that my husband is the best ever. fact. 

Saturday, November 5

freaky friday

let me tell you what my plan for yesterday was. i actually got up, out of bed, when the kids got up, even though jason was home. this never happens. even if he's not home, i usually lay in bed till i hear them screaming at each other or lay on the couch while they watch their tv shows. but nope, i got up. and started being productive! i did some dishes, re-arranged the cabinets to fit all my new dishes, double checked my grocery list, got the kids breakfast, didn't waste a lot of time of facebook. i knew i needed to leave the house by 9 a.m., so we could go to target and kroger, get back home, have lunch, i could start dinner, matthias down to nap by noon, watch thursday night's gray's while making dinner/lounging around, wake him up at 2, take them to a friends' house (since my babysitter quit AGAIN), go to work, come home, finish up dinner, go out with friends for my birthday. it was a great plan. and i actually did the work ahead of time (grocery planning, being productive in the morning) to make it possible.

so at 9:03, we left the house. first stop - target. grab some diapers and my birth control. i always love picking it up with my kids, so there is no judgement from the pharmacist. clearly it is a good idea for me to have. well, i just switched insurance plans and apparently my perscription isn't covered. at least not automatically. so now i have to call them and fight with them about it. the pharmacist was super nice and helpful, but it took a good 30 minutes to figure it all out. which meant we were behind schedule.

but, it was ok. because i am awesome at shopping at kroger. so we took a quick stop by the bank and headed on to kroger. as soon as we got out of the car, hiba told me she needed to go potty. ok, great. we'll go as soon as we get in the store. so we rush to the bathroom, she gets into the stall, pulls down her pants....and pees on the floor. super.

she actually handled the situation really well. she was really upset, but calmed down and was helpful in getting it cleaned up. then the best part was i had no extra clothes for her. of course. so, we pull her pants up, walk out to the car as descreately as possible, find a plastic bag in the car for her to sit on, drive home to change clothes.

now we are definitely behind schedule.

plus, one of the draws about shopping at kroger is the sample cookies they get. which i had been bribing them with the entire time at target. hiba did a great job of understanding that we were going back to kroger and she would get a cookie then, but matthias did not so much understand. which meant that he was crying the entire way home and i had to bribe him with halloween candy to get him to settle down. yes, i was that mom.

so we get hiba all cleaned up, eat some candy, pile back in the car and head back to kroger. we head straight to the bakery to get some cookies, but of course they were out. so i bought some for them. and they ended up having two each to get them to be good. i was that mom again.

but at this point i didn't care. it was almost 11:45 before we got home, which meant i wouldn't start dinner on time (i was making spaghetti and meatballs, so it needed to cook for a certain amount of time). it also meant that matthias would not get the nap that he needed, which meant the afternoon and evening would be miserable. luckily, he fell asleep on the way home and transfered into his bed, slept through lunch and didn't wake up till i got him up at 2.

i eventually got everything done, but i had zero rest time, definitely didn't watch gray's, and was frazzled and exhausted when i got to work. and my class was AWFUL. 5 o'clock could not come fast enough. but eventually it did, i got home, my wonderful husband finished up making dinner and fed the kids so i could go out. i did have a great time at dinner and came home to a clean kitchen. so the day definitely ended on a good note.

but the moral of the story is: if you have small kids, don't try to be productive. don't even try. because they will ruin it for you and stress you out and then you'll be stressed and disappointed, instead of just stressed like you would have been if you didn't plan ahead. at least i know for next time. 

Thursday, November 3

happy birthday to me!

i love birthdays. i love anyones birthday, really. i love getting presents and celebrating a person for a whole day. i think mostly i love other birthdays because i love mine so much. and i do love it. i am like a little kid, giddy with excitement, trying to figure out my presents, loving every minute of birthday wishes and "happy birthday" being sung to me.

so yesterday was my birthday. and it was great. the day started with breakfast in bed at about 7:30 - bacon, perfectly fried eggs, toast, coffee, and flowers. matthias didn't even try to steal my bacon. talk about birthday love. plus, jason had already fed the kids breakfast, changed diapers, and held off on watching their tv shows.

after i finished eating, hiba wanted to give me my presents. she was so cute about my presents. they went shopping on sunday night and she did a great job of not telling me what they got me. on the way home, jason kept trying to get her to practice telling me "it's a surprise" if i asked what she got. so when she got home, she kept trying to get me to ask what my present was, which i wouldn't ask her because i didn't want her to tell me. she finally went over to jason and said "mommy isn't saying what her present is so i can't tell her it's a surprise". she was so stressed about it. poor girl. so i asked, she told me it was a surprise and not another word was said till wednesday morning. but by the time wednesday morning came, she was ready to give them to me.

from hiba...

pajama pants and jewelry. she thought of the pajama pants all by herself, because she just got new pjs and thought i would like some too. and she was right! i love warm fuzzy pjs and i'm sure jason will be happy that i have new cute ones as i bundle up and wear them all day during the winter. and she loves to get me jewelry. so fun.

from matthias....

an apron! which is perfect, since i love to cook and have ruined several shirts recently and he loves to eat my cooking. win for everyone! plus it's cute and makes me feel like a real cook when i wear it.

from jason....

a new saute pan! yay for this one!! while living in palestine, i learned to improvise in my cooking, especially when it came to what pots and pans were available. so i have a hard time buying things that i don't really "need" for the kitchen. but, it does make cooking really cool meals a little hard. so this pan is something i've wanted for a long time, but couldn't bring myself to spend money on, and will definitely use.

the rest of the day was fun. i had MOPS in the morning, went to work in the afternoon and then went over to jason's family's house for dinner. his dad cooked a delicious meal - steak kebabs, blackened tilapia, and shrimp pasta. top that off with yummy chocolate cake and mint chocolate chip ice cream and you've got yourself a pretty darn good meal. plus, they got me new plates and bowls, which is also exciting to me. i love hosting people, but again with my minimalist, i-can-sort-of-get-by-without-this attitude, i haven't bought the dishes that i need to really entertain. and now i have them and they all match. so be prepared to dinner parties at my house. :-)

and in a few weeks, i'll also have this:

i put a kindle fire and ipad on my birthday list that i sent to my mom and dad, mostly as wishful thinking. but hey, ask and you shall receive, right? i can't wait for it to come and download the angry birds app. good-bye productivity! i mean, i totally plan on using it to organize my life, read more, have easy access to my calendar, recipies, pictures, etc. not just check facebook and play games.

i'm also looking forward to a shopping spree thanks to gift cards and birthday money from rachel and my grandma. it was definitely a great birthday. i am so thankful for all my friends and family who make it a great day and embrace the wonderfulness of birthdays as much as i do!

Wednesday, November 2

happy halloween!

ok, so i know i'm a few days late on this, but hey, better late than never, right?

we had a fun halloween. i think it lived up to the hype that hiba and matthias had built up in their heads. there is a halloween episode of yo gabba gabba that they have been watching, so they knew all about dressing up and trick-or-treating. they also knew that too much candy makes you sick, which hiba was actually very concerned about. so they very happily eat one or two pieces at a time. see, tv is good for kids.

anyway, we went cheap and easy for the costumes this year. i found a spiderman costume at goodwill for matthias that i thought would be perfect since he climbs on everything. nevermind he has absolutely no clue who spiderman is. hiba was a fairy, which consisted of a hand-me-down dress up dress and wings and wand from savers. she was very excited about her wings and wand and loved being a fairy. of course they would not both look at the camera and smile at the same time, so here are a few shots before we went out trick-or-treating.

 trick-or-treating was fun. i never went as a kid (which i am totally over, by the way....), but we still always dressed up and handed out candy. so i think that i was almost as excited as hiba was about trick-or-treating. we went around our neighborhood with a few of our neighbors. it was really nice and we got to meet some more of our neighbors, something we are terrible at so it was a good excuse to randomly knock on their doors and introduce ourselves.

the dads

matthias, discovering the true meaning of halloween. 

let me tell you who is a hardcore trick-or-treater. matthias. i wish i had gotten a picture that totally captured the look on his face most of the night, but this is close. we went to get our neighbors for our first stop and told hiba and matthias they could eat a piece of candy while we waited for them to get ready. well, once that whole thing clicked in his head, he was ready to go. he was great about holding my hand as we walked and was dragging me. when we would get to a house, he would barrel through anyone in front of us, knock on the door, very seriously say "trick or treat", and wait for the candy. then on to the next house. he loved holding his pumpkin and even when he was clearly tired and exhausted at the end, he did not want help carrying it. "no! my pumpkin! i carry pumpkin!". even when we got home and let them choose a few pieces of candy, he was super serious. i think he had fun with it, but it was hard to tell, since he was a little on the stressed side. all in all, a great year and i can't wait till next year.

he's having fun - i promise!