Thanksday #56

This week has been very experimental. I’m testing out my new work schedule that Greg helped me develop, so as to keep our household running smoothly (which really means, keep Mama from jumping off the nearby mountain).

And it’s been wonderful…things have really worked well. But it hasn’t been a true week…because Jaana didn’t have dance or tennis this week. Which gave us more free time to play. Which means that next week, when we’re back to life (back to ree-al-a-teeee), things might look a little different. But I have to say, so far it’s worked well. Greg can be a lifesaver, he really can.

Jaana and I had a lovely 30 hours in The Big City last weekend, as we went down to celebrate her cousin’s 10th birthday. She was the only 8 year-old there, and I tell you what…all she did was giggle the. whole. time. All those other 10 year-old girls absolutely cracked her up, and I heard her do nothing but laugh hysterically at their conversation, antics and shenanigans.

I got a little sad at the party…because in just two years, Jaana is going to seem as grown up as her cousin. And that doesn’t seem as far away as it used to. There’s a lot of growing up girls do between 8 and 10.

And I’m not sure I’m ready for all that yet.

Which is why I appreciated my new schedule all the more this week. It helped me to really carpe each moment and be fully present during my free time with the kids. We laughed. We played. I left my phone in the car at the playground. I even made a non-taco, non-pasta meal for the family.

It’s as if someone invaded my body.

Which would explain the extra pounds I saw on the scale.

But enough about me. Here’s what I’m thankful for this week:

1. Three Hours. I love that it only takes us three hours to get to The Big City, so we can make it for cousin’s birthday parties even for just one night.

2. Potty Humor. So this didn’t happen this week. But I forgot about it until the other day when I laughed out loud all by myself when I remembered it.

After dinner one night, we were all driving back from dinner – Greg, Me, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Jaana and our niece. Our niece was talking about the stars and constellations and was wondering what planet a particularly bright star was.

And then she asked, “Daddy, what planet do you think that is?”

And Greg said, “If it was Uranus, you’d know.”

And then Greg and his brother fell into a fit of hysterics, and Greg got his weeping-woman sounding laugh.

Listen, ladies — you can take the boy off the potty, but can’t take the potty humor out of the man.

And that’s the honest truth.

3. My New Schedule. By working the plan, I was able to fully engage, stress-free with the kids. To really be present when I was with them…not worrying about emails or projects since my time for that is specifically carved out. I left my phone in the car when I took them to the playground — two days in a row. I even got to watch a show or two I had recorded, and did it guilt free. (Except for the guilt that comes with watching junky TV.) (Okay, so I didn’t really feel all that guilty.) (Don’t judge me.)

I struggled a little bit later in the week with “hopping on the computer” to just “do one or two things really quickly”…and thus my stress levels crept back up.

But you can’t build Rome in a day, people.

4. Lollipops. And the way Paxton stares all googly-eyed at them as if he’s in loooooove when he sees one.

5. Time with My Girl. After just 30 minutes in the car with Jaana on the way to The Big City, she said, “Mommy, listen! It’s so PEACEFUL with just us!” She loved having just Mommy-Daugther time in the car. So much so, that when I asked her what her favorite part of the weekend was, she said “I had two favorite parts. One was the whole party and sleeping over. The other is it just being you and me on the road trip.”

Ahhhh…music to a Mommy’s ears. And thank you God for the verbalization of how important it is to carve out special time for just her.

6. Speaking of Mother-Daugther Time. If you haven’t heard about Secret Keeper Girls, and you have a daughter between the ages of 8 and 12, you need to get up on it. Secret Keeper Girls is a book that helps moms teach their girls about beauty, modesty, and keeping your beauty a secret until you’re married. There are Eight Great Dates outlined for moms to do with their girls — to teach them about their value as a girl, how much God treasures them, how to dress modestly, and more. Some of it is too advanced for the age Jaana’s at now so I’ll save it for another year or so. But I’m very excited to start this with her and have this special time together…and to lay the foundation before she’s influenced by society or peers, and help her understand what makes her beautiful.

7. Being a Boy. I took Paxton and Luke to the meadow this week, and Paxton’s favorite thing to do was pick up sticks and throw them in the water. He did it for over 30 minutes. Find a stick, throw it in. Find a stick, throw it in. “Mommy, let’s get more sticks!” “Good job, Mommy!” It was awesome.

8. Well Visits. For a year now, I’ve only had to take the kids to the doctor for their annual check ups. I’m so grateful for healthy kids.

9. Odd Vernacular. For no reason whatsoever, I’ve started saying “That’s not cool” all ghetto-like in response to sarcastic remarks to Greg. Which amuses him immensely. Then with another friend, I was using “mad” as an adjective – as in “mad discounts” or “mad skillz.” I’m not sure why I’m channeling my inner Fly Girl, but it’s fun.

10. Geeky Fun. The worst apps I could have possibly downloaded onto my phone are the “Pimp My Screen” and other wallpaper apps. Not because of the awful app names, but because it’s frightening how much time I can waste reviewing various wallpapers, downloading them, and trying them out on my phone. But I finally found a wallpaper I’m really happy with (for this week) and it goes well with my phone case. It makes me so happy.

I never said I wasn’t superficial.

Your turn! Tell me what you’re thankful for and share the love. Leave a comment below or link up with Candra. It’ll reduce your self-imposed stress and help you have some mad fun in life. Thas’ coo’.