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!