Sunday, September 25, 2011

2011 Update

Well, here it is a year later and I am still not blogging regularly. Sorry!

Here is what is happening!
Bash started second grade this year and aside from the fact that he can't stop talking to his neighbors (I have no idea where he gets this), he is doing just fine. He turned eight last month and I think he is excited to get baptized. At the very least, he is excited to have a special visit from Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Chris and Aunt Kaitlyn. Joking aside, I think he is prepared as much as he can be. He has taken the discussions from the missionaries and reads his scriptures faithfully. He is a good boy and we are very proud of him.

Parker started kindergarten this year and is thrilled with taking the bus, buying lunch and everything else that goes along with school. He is doing so well and is very well behaved which his father and I are baffled by. He is so sweet half the time and a maniac the other half. Can you say crrrraaaazzzyyy? Right now, he seems most interested in building things and running around naked. Fun kid!

Caroline is in preschool this year and she and I argue constantly about her hair and wardrobe choices. She is quite a bossy little girl but seems to have lots of friends despite this character flaw. She is three going on sixteen and can do everything herself and doesn't need my help for anything and wants to marry her Daddy. (She says we can share.)

Todd still has Verizon fever and there doesn't seem to be a cure, thankfully. I am grateful he enjoys his work (for the most part) and am proud of him. Bash wants to work for Verizon when he grows up as well. I think it's the cash register that attracts him the most.

I am exactly the same but much lighter. Okay, I am not exactly the same! I have lost 84 pounds and I feel fantastic! I have energy to do things I didn't know I could... I am enjoying working out and trying to get my family to follow this new healthier lifestyle. It's slow going. Ahem.... No pics of me yet!
Life is good here in PA and time is flying by. (Probably another year will fly by before I post again!) We love you all and hope to see you soon!

Monday, November 8, 2010

If I'm not B*tching, check my pulse.

I am here. I know, I know, it's been way too long!!

I am having a bad bad bad day. I have PMS so bad I want to pull my hair out. I think I have that PMDD I've seen on TV because I am NUTS! Ate too much Friday and Saturday and a little bit on Sunday. Get with it Amanda! Today I wanted to eat when the stress was overwhelming me but... I took a walk instead. This is very impressive for me. I have only a few more months of making sure I am ready for this life change and it feels like every small decision counts. So I celebrate my victories, no matter how small, and I try to get over my lapses very quickly. We all know how little good it does to worry and regret!

In other news, Saturday was a temple triple day which coincided with my Nanny's birthday. I am so much like her and I wish she was here every day. When I say I am like her it is because we are both bossy but loveable. She had this mug that read, "If I'm not bitching, check my pulse" Me in a nut shell. I miss her so much. I know she would enjoy my kids immensely.

Caroline is officially potty training. She is doing very well. Today is day 5. I am very proud of her. Usually by the time my kids are at this point I have already had another baby or am about to. It will be very weird to have no one in diapers. But nice, very nice.

Todd is applying for a training position again. Prayers please! I would love for him to NOT be in a store next holiday season. Having him home weekends couldn't hurt either!

Freelancing is going well. Slowed down a bit but I am OK with that because life had seemed to speed up!

Miss you all!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Keep on Keepin' on...

DC Temple

So I am just going to keep blogging even though not many of you seem to be commenting. I know you are reading because you tell me, so would it kill you to make a comment now and then?

With that said, I will keep on blogging regardless!
Last week was stupefyingly busy. Through no fault of my own of course.
We took Todd to the airport on Tuesday in DC and then the kids and I went to the temple which is always a good idea. They have a great exhibit at the visitor's center with a tiny replica of Jerusalem and and living room for FHE, etc. My kids love it there. One of the sister missionaries asked the kids if they wanted to hear the words of the Savior. So we sat in front of the Christus and a voice came booming out at us. Parker later asked, "was that just a pretend Jesus voice?" After that we went to Baja Fresh for "Mexican" and a complete stranger came up to me and asked how old my boys are and told me that they are really well behaved. I must have looked at him like he was crazy because he then said, "well, sure they were trying to choke each other but that's what brothers do and at least they aren't getting up and running around..." I suppose I will take that as a compliment to my parenting skills. You can kill each other... just be quiet about it, okay?
One day at home and then back on the road to Palmyra for the Hill Cumorah Pageant. So great! This year I dragged Liz along with me (although I should mention that she is no better at staying awake on a road trip than I am) and she was a big help. We saw the temple, walked in the Sacred Grove (seriously, that "shady woodland" could not have been more welcoming on that HOT day!) and then went to the Pageant. Bash spotted some kids playing Frisbee and I let him go play with them. It should be noted that they were older teenagers and Bash is not quite seven! I think he felt that they were more on his "level" than his little brother and baby sister. Pretty cute. He definitely held his own.

The cast of the Pageant are missionaries for the time they are in the Pageant and so they wander the seats prior to the show. Caroline spotted a man she thought must be Jesus and followed him around, staring and exclaiming, "It's Jesus, Mommy!" She was SO excited. I'm pretty sure it was either Laman or Lemuel, but any guy with a beard and a robe looks like Jesus to a two-year-old, right? ;)

Finally, she got her picture taken with him and the rest of the night she kept asking Liz to show her the picture of Jesus. Gonna have to hang that one in her room.

I'll post pics when I get them from Liz!

We tried to relax the rest of the time Todd was gone. Went to Oppenheimer Park and got drenched. I don't know why I didn't expect it, Parker analyzed the clouds and said, "Mommy, I think it's going to rain." I brushed him off but Parker sort of has a "thing" about the weather. And by "thing" I mean he is scared of storms and winds and is constantly searching the sky for dark clouds. He may be a meteorologist or someone who builds those underground bunkers when he grows up.
Todd came home Tuesday and we picked him up in Baltimore. Long drive, short stay. We considered the aquarium but we were all too tired and for some reason they don't allow strollers in the Aquarium so that would've meant carrying Cali when she got tired (which she inevitably would) plus Todd and just taken the red eye from Sacramento to BWI so we just headed home, where Todd promptly fell asleep anyway.

Published again last Sunday. Photos too which equals extra moolah. Working on something for the magazine currently. Keeping busy!

Palmyra Temple at night. Lovely, isn't it?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Alone Time, Anyone?

I relish my alone time. Is that wrong? I feel like almost every moment of my day is shared with someone else. Not just my time, but my body. When you have kids, it's like your body doesn't belong to you anymore. Beginning with pregnancy, you feel odd kicking and poking and rolling and it's wonderful, but it takes over your body. After they are born you are breast feeding and even if you don't, you are still holding the baby all the time. I used to love to cuddle and I still do but sometimes I just want my body all to myself. Sometimes I just want to take a shower without someone peeking around the corner. I want to go to the bathroom without an audience. I want to sit and read without a child (or two or three) sitting on top of me. I want to have a night's sleep with no one but my husband and I in the bed.

The thing is, when I am alone, I feel like I am missing a limb or something. The fact is you can never go back to who you were before you have kids. When the kids aren't here I don't quite know what to do with myself. When they go to bed, I don't do anything productive, I just sit and enjoy being alone or with Todd. When you are a stay-at-home mom, you sort of define yourself by your kids. You plan your life around them because they are your life. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to work and leave my kids all day. I think if I was doing something I love, it would be easier, but I think my life would be less fulfilling for sure. The truth is I really love my kids and love spending my days with them. Although I never planned to be a stay-at-home mom (I guess now I am technically a "work-at-home mom"), I don't think think I would be truly happy doing anything else.

So I guess what I am saying is I just need some alone time a little more often!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

What have I done?

So I mentioned in an earlier post that I was "scheduling" my summer. I am now having second thoughts about that. This week was exhausting and I don't think the kids are appreciative and I think I may be overdoing it. This week we had swim lessons and guitar lessons on Monday, play date on Tuesday, Swim lessons and my niece Paige was with us all day on Wednesday, swimming lessons and church meeting Thursday Morning followed by an all day play date. Friday we got up early and went to chocolate world, came home and went grocery shopping and fed the elders. I'm tired.

However, I am grateful that I had the chance to spend time with my nieces and wonderful sister in law this week. Did I mention that they are moving here? Yay!!!!! They won't be here permanently until August but I will be spending a week in South Carolina with them before they move here! Yay Again!!!! I am hoping we will be on the beach every day!

This week is another busy one, but at least swim lessons are over for awhile. Guitar, Mom Mom's birthday, the Philly Zoo and dinner with Uncle Ryan on Tuesday, free movie and play date on Wednesday (and I'm hosting a crafting party that night for church). Play date on Thursday... Friday is clear except for feeding the elders. Hopefully, we'll be able to get in sometime with Alexandria and Paige and Kimberly!

Do you really need to know my entire schedule? Probably not, but I though I'd share anyway!

In other news... I haven't been able to get any work done this week. Maybe today. I am working on this story about a Bed and Breakfast that has Bison, texas longhorns, elk and my personal favorite, a scottish highland. I think it's for the money section again.

I am attempting to potty-train Caroline. She is very interested but apparently has no alarm system yet. I can catch her when she is doing number two (she makes certain noises... wink, wink) but number one always seems to be a surprise to her! She is growing so fast. It's time to take away the bo-bo (pacifier) but I just haven't been able to bring myself to do it! When I put her to bed without it she cries so hard that she makes herself sick. Gross. Any tips?

Bash is doing OK with his guitar lessons. He is using my Dad's guitar which is huge and making it difficult for him to reach his fingers around it to hit all the frets. We told him if he keeps it up through the summer and does well he will get a new guitar (a size-appropriate one) in the fall. Actually, a normal size guitar is a good fit for Bash. It's just that my Dad's guitar is a JUMBO! Bash has his own blog so he can comment on grandma's blog. Fun!

Parker is a very good swimmer and enjoys his lessons and any pool time immensely. It's hilarious to watch him swimming around with a huge smile on his face! He's super excited for preschool. He already knows the teacher and the school so I'm hoping we won't have too much adjusting to make. Parker is the kind of person who has a "comfort zone" and he sort of clams up when he gets out of it. We'll see!

Jenny will be home soon (end of July) and we are all excited to see her. We have missed her so much! We have been skyping a lot so the kids definitely don't forget her!

We have had a fun time hanging out at Mom-Mom's house. The kids are getting more and more comfortable and safe around the pool. Hopefully, we can visit with Mom-Mom at least once a week this summer.

I decided on July 1 to start reading the book of Mormon in a month. I got so much out of it last year when I did this. I am actually really excited to get started!

Todd has been working faithfully in the garden and it looks amazing! I am so proud of him. He really has a green thumb. I think he gets this from his parents. They have an amazing garden too! Bash also loves spending time with his daddy in the garden. It shouldn't be too much longer until we actually see the fruits of Todd's labor! Todd is excited about his California trip. He will be able to see all but one of his brothers.

We camped in the backyard as a family this week. Let's just say I wasn't suicidal in the morning but it wasn't the best night's sleep I've ever gotten. Todd sort of roped me into it. ("hey boys, don't you think Mommy should camp out here with us, too?")

We are planning to go to California next year. (I really want to see Casey and Aly's new baby!). And we are hoping Mom and Dad Scott will be visiting us this fall (hint hint)!

Don't forget that next September will be Bash's baptism... start planning now family!

Love you all!

Friday, June 11, 2010

And now I'm getting paid for it!

Something you probably already know about me is that I am writer. I feel like I was born to write. The seven years or so since I started having kids has been a break from writing and I have missed it terribly. Only I didn't know how much I missed it until I started doing it again! I lost confidence in my talent.

A few months ago I decided to give freelancing a try. I was shaky and nervous about it but I updated my resume (read: I have been home for the last six and a half years raising my children and growing my butt) and found some of my old writing samples and, with a prayer I sent it to our local newspaper's features editor. Turns out my ten-year old writing samples from college did not impress so I had to prove myself with an "audition" of sorts.

Ta da!! I guess I've still got it! Yesterday I was brought on board officially as a freelance writer! To quote my editor, "The pay is lousy" but I am now a professional writer! Todd and I talked about it and we both know I'm not doing for the money, but because this has been a life-long dream of mine! The most wonderful part is that I get to stay home with my kids but still feel fulfilled by having a career!

I wanted to share this with you, my friends and family because I know you will be happy for me! Hopefully I'll be able to post a link to my first feature on Sunday, June 20!

Love to you all!

Amanda Grossman-Scott (my freelancing name)

Friday, June 4, 2010

Summer Plans

"That beautiful season the summer!

Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light;

and the landscape

Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood."

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The fireflies are back. We always called them "lightning bugs" when I was a kid. Beautiful. the boys watch them out their windows at night. These are the only bugs I like here in Pennsylvania.

I love the way my kids smell in the summertime. It's a mixture of sunscreen and grass and dirt. But they are happy and free. I am finally starting to relax about letting them get dirty.

Of course I couldn't let the summer begin without making plans to make sure the kids won't be sitting around all summer.

A sample week goes something like this:

Monday: Bash's Summer reading Program at the library, Parker swim lessons, Bash guitar lessons.
Tuesday: Free movie at the theater, Caroline's Summer Library program, Parker swim lessons
Wednesday: Parker's Summer Library Program, Swim Lessons, Bash Art Class
Thursday: Science Program for Bash and Park, Tiny Tots Tumbling for Caroline.
Friday: Slow Day! Just Swim Lessons and probably the sprinkler park.

On top of this bash has Art Camp and Soccer camp for two full weeks!

In other news, Todd is going to California for a week in July where he will attend two Giants games with his family. I am going to miss him so much and am a little jealous that he gets his very own vacation but he totally deserves it!

While he is gone I think the kids and I will go to the Hill Cumorah Pageant in Palmyra. We loved it last year. Also, if we can stand it, I would love to visit Kirtland too.

I would also like to go to the beach and we are trying to plan a camping trip. This summer is getting expensive!

In still other news, I am officially freelance writing for our local paper and local magazine. This is a life-long goal and I hope to keep busy but not too busy, because my full time "gig" is still being a Mom!

Caroline had a wonderful tea party birthday party. And Bash has just finished Kindergarten. Parker got into the preschool we wanted him to (the same school Bash attended), so he is very excited.

Now you are updated!

oxoxo Amanda