Thursday, September 27

the apple restaurant

do you ever have plan that you know will either be really great or a horrible disaster? well, i had one of those today.

there is a mexican restaurant right down the road from our house. we go there all the time. next to the restaurant, there is another little deli - apple spice junction, better known at our house as "the apple restaurant". one day, several months ago, i suggested that we go there for dinner. well, turns out, it is only open monday - friday for lunches. so, no big deal, we ate mexican instead.

fast forward to the last few weeks. hiba has taken a big interest in the apple restaurant. and she asks when we can go there almost every time we pass it, which happens to be every morning and afternoon, to and from work. but the problem is that both jason and i work full time, so going somewhere that is open only for lunch on weekdays is a little tricky. we explained this to hiba, and her solution was that next labor day we can eat there. labor day is a holiday, and a weekday, and she does not have school on labor day, so we can go there. we explained that it is probably closed on labor day, so she suggested halloween. we explained that halloween is not a school holiday, just a fun holiday. so she gave up, but still talked about it a lot.

fast forward to today. hiba had a therapy appointment at the dennis center at 1. which meant that she and i could have a lunch date - at the apple restaurant! i told her on tuesday and she was SUPER excited. she told me that she would tell her teachers that they did not need to give her lunch on thursday because she was going to lunch at the apple restaurant with me. and she told them. every five minutes for the next two days.

and then i realized that this might not be a great idea. because apple slice junction is a deli. hiba doesn't like sandwhiches. unless it's pbj, which i was pretty sure was not on their menu. mostly on their menu is things like chicken salad, potato soup, and other "weird" food (according to hiba). awesome. so the thing that she is super excited about is going to be awful to her. it will not meet any of her expectations, it will not have anything she is interested in eating, and it will not be the way it is supposed to me. she will not like anything on the menu and have a huge meltdown and i will drag her out kicking and screaming.

and then i realized that they have cookies. and as long as i'm ok with it, she will gladly eat cookies for lunch. and they probably have cheese sandwiches, which she will probably eat. and as long as i decide to be chill, it will be great.

so this afternoon, i checked her out of school (after her lunchtime at school, which i did warn her about, but still stressed her out since she TOLD them she was eating lunch with me, but they gave her lunch anyway....), and we headed off to the apple restaurant. they had a kids meal that came with a sandwich, chips, a drink, and a cookie. she said she would try the cheese sandwich. but she just wanted water and no potato chips (which was fine with me since it meant a free drink and extra bag of chips for me). we got to sit at this little bar-type table, with high chairs, which she loved. she tried the cheese and didn't like it, but ate the bread and the cookie. which is a great lunch.

and she LOVED it. she told me a million times how excited she was that she got to try the apple restaurant. how it was so fun just hiba and mommy. how she was a big girl sitting in the big chair. it was great.

and i totally knew it was going to be a great idea all along.

Monday, September 17

birthday weekend!

this weekend was all about matthias. we had a great time celebrating him and his big three years.

birthday pictures!!
on saturday, hiba, matthias, lizzie, and i drove to clarksville to meet up with my parents for a birthday party. clarksville is pretty much halfway between siloam and little rock, so it's a great meeting point for me and my parents.

we started out at the clarksville bowling alley. for anyone who has every been to or driven through clarksville, the bowling alley is pretty much everything you might imagine it to be (or not to be...). but, matthias had fun and loved that it was all about his birthday party.

matthias and grammy cheering on the bowlers
hiba and oscar
watching the slowest bowl in the history of ever
yay! we knocked some down!!
but, disappointed we didn't get it in the gutter....
matthias didn't really get the point. oh well. he had fun.
after a riveting bowling game, we headed over to sparda park since the rain was holding off for some cupcakes and presents. there was the added bonus of the pirate ship park, which was a hit once matthias was fully assured that he would in fact get cupcakes even if he did play on the playground first.

pirate playground!
birthday cupcakes!
makin' a wish!
birthday boy!
cupcake face!
hiba's "cupcake face".
not sure where she came up with that.

hiba riding while matthias was picking
out a present with oscar
jason had a rugby game on saturday, so sunday birthday day number two. it started with breakfast at ihop.

matthias enjoying scarfing down his create-a-face
followed by church, a long nap, and then a great visit with some wonderful friends who were in town for the day to pack up their house as have moved to texas. the perea kids were some of hiba's best friends, so it was a super special treat to be able to see them again.

the perea, spenst, and pollack kids pushing the truck to texas
next up - what birthday celebration is not complete without a visit to senior tequilias!
and finally, back home for more cupcakes and presents with gramma, daddy, mommy, and hiba.

puzzle from hiba
angry birds shirt from grandma!
angry bird!
superhero mask and cape from daddy!

captain underwear!
i absolutely love that matthias loved his birthday, even without my obsessive prodding. happy birtthday, buddy boy!

Saturday, September 15


thing 2 is 3 today! it's hard to think back to his birth day and know that was only three years ago. it seems like forever that i went from this

to this. 

and over three short years, he has gone from this

to this.

happy birthday, matthias! you have brought so many smiles and so much laughter into our lives. i can't imagine our family without you and am so happy that i get to be your mommy! you are awesome. i love you!


Friday, September 14


being hiba's mom is exhausting.

i mean, i'm sure that being anyone's mom is exhausting. being matthias' mom is exhausting. but with hiba, it is extra exhausting.

one of the reasons is because of all the rules. she has rules for everything. every. little. thing. and it is really hard to follow them (not that i always do, but i try when i can) and it's exhausting to hear about them. i'm sure it's just as crazy for her, having all these rules in her head all the time. but, i think she likes it too - it gives structure to the chaos.

for example, she can't put her pink sparkly shoes on, because they have shoelaces, and whoever puts on shoes has to buckle or tie them and she can't tie them, so she can't put them on.

or, whoever raises their hand first can drive to church. and if you do not raise your hand, you do not drive.

when you play with the dollhouse, rose goes in her bedroom and boys cannot be in her bedroom because that is what it says and you cannot change it.

the bath calendar on the fridge tells you when to take a bath. if you want to take a bath a different day, you have to put it on the bath calendar.

if your peaches are touching your mashed potatoes, you cannot eat them because it is yucky and different food cannot touch each other.

when someone goes to bed, you have to let them be in bed and covered before you turn the light of. if you turn the light of too soon, they can't see their covers and then they will never be covered.

if you play hide and seek, the person seeking can't start counting until the person hiding is already hid. otherwise they won't have enough time to hide.

if she gets dressed by herself, when she comes out of her room, i have to close my eyes and then when she makes a "click" sound with her tongue, i can open them, but then i have to cover my eyes until she say "surprise!". and if i skip a step, we start over. 

and it goes on and on and on and on. there are rules about clothes, rules about food, rules about talking, rules about playing, rules about sleeping, rules about baths, rules about....well, you get the point. sometimes it's cute, sometimes it's funny, and sometimes it's just exhausting. controlling the chaos of the world is a tough thing to have to do. sometimes i can see the anxiety in her face, having to follow all the rules and having to communicate all rules to others. and other times, she loves it and i can see that the rules calm her.

Wednesday, September 12


funny the difference a day makes...

*a two hour nap, thanks to some personal time from work.

*a cooperative little boy getting ready for bed, even if it was only because he is obsessed with playing games on my phone.

*a dance party with hiba including "i got a feeling", "God made me", and "dog days are over".

*a super wonderful little girl who loves to follow the rules, simply because they are rules.

*beautiful weather that means i can turn the ac off for a big part of the day.

*a sudden burst of energy that resulted in a clean(ish) house and five baskets of laundry folded.

*ice cream in the freezer to bribe reward matthias for putting his laundry away.

*full TEFRA funding approval for hiba, taking a huge weight off my shoulders.

*a cheap nice bottle of wine to share with my awesome husband at the end of long day. 

Tuesday, September 11


disappointments today - some bigger, some small, so trivial. and they will all pass, they will all be ok. but they are still disappointing. 

*watching the u.s. open and realizing i will probably never be the best in the world at anything.

*having a conversation with hiba and realizing her symptoms of autism will probably be around for the rest of her life. 

*watching matthias throw a tantrum, and another, and another, and another and realizing this phase of life may last longer than i was hoping.

*snapping at matthias after his billionth fit for the evening and realizing that i don't give him nearly enough patience as i should.

*watching the master chef finale and realizing that i don't have the time or energy to dream big, and realizing i don't know when i will.

*reading a friend's blog and realizing she got to go walk the streets of bethlehem again before i could.

*hearing about jason's doctors appointments and realizing we may be spending money on wrist surgery instead of trips i want to take.

Tuesday, September 4

labor day weekend highlights

we had a really great labor day weekend. jason was off on monday, which gave us an actual weekend together as a family.

saturday included a swim at the pool with this goofy boy:

sunday was full of bbqs - first with our church:

matthias and his burger - that's after eating a hotdog and chips

baggo tournament! not to brag, but gibann and i were totally the winners

although, matthias was pretty awesome too.

hiba explaining something super important to mark

throwing rocks in the stream
 and then sunday night with the neighbors.

hiba's newest funny face.

enjoying the swing

matthias loving on baby ruby
monday was spent doing yard work, napping, and one last swim at the pool. jason went with us to the pool and had hiba swimming all around within a few minutes. since he taught her to swim at the lake last month, she has not swam with me at all. i guess he just has the magic touch. it was a great end to the summer - now if only the weather would realize that fall is supposed to be here!