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

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Chinese Food and the Devil from the DMV

It's Friday and I don't feel like cooking and Sebastian is sick and wants his favorite food, Chinese take out. And since everyone knows there are zero calories on Fridays, of course I oblige.

I called our order in ahead of time and it seems like no matter what I order the lady always says "ok, ten minute" so I always give it 20 "minute" instead.

I arrive just in time. The Chinese lady is gathering my order on the counter just as I walk in. To my left is a lady waiting for her order. She obviously either did not call ahead or believed the Chinese lady with her erroneous "ok, 10 minute" promise. I realize that I know her from somewhere, but where? Ours is a small town and I know she has been on the other side of the counter from me somewhere... let me think, she is always a little bit too pompass and acts like my time is of no consequence... oh of course! She works at the DMV! (Dept of Motor Vehicles) How can I describe the general attitude of the average DMV employee? I guess they act like any other government worker; bored, irritated with others' ignorance of government procedures, slow to act, they answer "No" with no further explanation... the list goes on. For instance there is a disfigured gentleman who also works there who always acts like all of his customers are total morons. I can't help but think that people work there so that they can make others feel as bad as they have always felt about themselves. If you've ever been there you know there is an indescribable quality in these people that just says "you're an idiot and I am miserable because of it".

Last year when Jenny was our Nanny, she needed to get a license if she was to be of any use to me so we spent many hours at the DMV. Applying for a license, filling out endless paper work, practicing for the driving portion of the test. This lady standing next to me was always there to make us feel completely unimportant and ignored.

Is it wrong that I am getting a secret thrill from watching HER stand in line for once?! I ask the chinese lady "is this my order?" The DMV lady cuts me off, "no, I've been waiting for 15 minutes so I'm sure it's mine" The chinese lady asks me "what your phone number?" I tell her and she says "Oh this your order, I get one more thing for you" and she disappears into the back. I smile smugly at the DMV lady and say, "It's quicker if you call ahead". I am secretly gleeful.

I am momentarily distracted by Bash and the fish tank. When I look back there is a small brown bag on the counter next to my order. "is this mine? I ask. The DMV lady says, "no" and after a moment meekly says, "I think it's mine..." That's right I said "meekly". I am enjoying this ever so much!

The bag is hers. I pay for mine and as I am heading out the door, I say, "I know where I recognize you from... the BP gas station, right?" She stares at me incredulously, "Uh, no," she quickly corrects me, "I work at the DMV".

Yeah, I knew that.

This message has been brought to you by:

"The DMV. We'll employ anyone with a pulse."

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Wednesdays with Mom Mom

She creeps in the front door... many times I am back in bed after getting Bash off to school. I hear the front door creak open and a voice say, "Hello!" Then the pitter patter of two pairs of feet running to greet our visitor, "Mom Mom!!" Parker and Caroline shout.

We have been so lucky to have Mom Mom visit us many a Wednesday. She is not your typical grandma. Or maybe she is. She spoils them rotten and can't seem to say "No". But she also plays Wii with them even if they always beat her badly.

She plays train conductor and super heroes, tea party and monsters, dress up and hide and seek. In short, she'll do anything they ask her to.

She always brings a salad to share for lunch and knows not to share her brown soda!

She'll watch "The Bee Movie" over and over and over again without (much) complaint. Then there's almost always a special trip to Target and a small gift for each child, and of course, a slushy. If I let her, she'll spend all her hard earned cash on my already spoiled children!

Later, she'll watch Bash play soccer and cheer him loudly. The kids are always sad to see her go but not too sad. They know we'll always see her next Wednesday!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Thoughts for the day... On appropriate footwear.

Picked up Sebastian from school. He's wearing the outfit I put out for him (t shirt and shorts- it 80 degrees) except... he's wearing boots. Obviously, it was Todd's day to get him out the door. Did he not look at Bash's feet? Lol. I'd hate to see what he'd be wearing if I left that part up to Todd!

Just now Parker wanted to go outside to play soccer with Bash. I told him to take off his flip flops and get his tennis shoes on. I went to check on him five minutes later and not only is he not wearing tennis shoes but he has taken off his pants. How is this logical to this child? Sigh. Although, those of you who know Parker are aware of his fondness for going commando or just wearing underwear or being bottom-less altogether.

I am going to try to post at least once a week. It may not be super exciting but I'm hoping it will keep everyone updated better!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Well... What are ya gonna do?

Yes it is May 1st and I have not blogged since December. Yes I am a horrible Mother. Sigh. Well, what are ya gonna do, ya know? I'll fill you in...

When we last saw the Scott Family they were happily living out their days in rural Pennsylvania, making frequent trips to what I like to refer to as "civilization" (you know... Starbucks, Costco, Bloomingdale's and maybe an actual mall?)...

At any rate, we catch up with the PA Scotts finishing up Bash's Kindergarten year, on the verge of beginning Parker's first year of Pre-school, and happily entering the terrible two's with the girl who will hereafter be referred to as "La Diva"! If you know Caroline, you will know this title suits her perfectly.

While we have many plans to keep from being couch potatoes this summer, I will first describe our winter/spring months.
At the end of December we lost our beloved Nanny, Jenny. (Below, on the left.) Relax, she's not dead. She just went off to school at BYU Idaho to obtain her MRS degree (wink, wink). We miss her terribly, especially me because I had to start (gasp!) taking care of my own offspring. :)

In January we were pelted with snow storms which is (of course) my fault for being from Pennsylvania and moving my California boy husband out here in the first place. But, heroically, Todd endured yet another east coast winter. Luckily, Sebastian has learned to enjoy shoveling (and over-salting) the walk way and driveway.

Parker (aka "bad a** stunt man") thought our bookshelves looked like a fun climbing apparatus and got himself a nasty scar on his cheek as he fell down and smashed his face on the corner of the TV table. (As you will see in pictures.) This was very traumatic for all involved (me!).
Parker does not like to be cold and takes his comforter with him everywhere... The kitchen, his sister's room, the living room, the bathroom, the basement playroom. He often carries with him a portable heater. I was forced to buy small portable heaters when my husband attacked our poor Heating/AC Unit in February. (That's gonna need to be fixed soon. I can go without heat but do not ask me to live without AC!!) Parker is also very interested in taking pictures and steals my camera pretty often. Here is some of his work. The first one is my favorite because you can see Park's toes! So cute!

Caroline "La Diva" insisted (to my delight) on wearing tutus all winter long. This forced me to get creative with leggings and tights. That girl has a fashion sense all her own! I guess I should just be glad Parker isn't living in his Spider man costume anymore... those were rough times!

Sebastian became an avid reader as soon as he learned to sound out words. He is such a fast learner and we are so proud of him! Straight A's every report card so far!!
Todd started school again in February after the busy Christmas season. I am so proud of him for continuing his education. I am secretly hoping this will be his last Christmas in a store and that the next year or two will bring an opportunity for him to pursue a position in a different part of the company. It would really be nice if he weren't so grinchy at Christmastime!
February and the beginning of March were spent mostly trying to stay warm. Tiffany and Eli and Caleb were our frequent companions as were Nora and Kalei and Owen and Khloe. Mom Mom visited frequently and of course, Liz!
I was called as first counselor in Relief Society and am VERY grateful for the switch (not that I don't LOVE primary...). I am so grateful to have more time on Sundays and during the week with the women at church (and less time with the kids!) and so happy for the opportunity to teach and study and prepare lessons.

Mid-March brought on a wonderful bout with Pneumonia. FUN! Seriously, it was horrible and I thought I was going to die. My temp was 103 degrees at one point and I just wanted to crawl out of my body. Yuck. Luckily, I survived. I recovered just in time to have my tonsils removed on March 31st. Double FUN! Thank goodness I had been on death's doorstep with the Pneumonia so I knew I could survive having my tonsils removed. Those of you who know me may also be acquainted with my tonsils, "lefty and righty". They have been my torturers and enemies these many long years and I was SO glad to be rid of them. However, I may have begged to have them back at times when the meds were wearing off. Ouch. It still hurts to yawn and sneeze.
Side note: Apparently, anesthesia makes me grouchy with a tendency to yell at random strangers and my husband.
While I was recovering from my tonsillectomy, Bash decided it would be a good time to get strep throat and miss school for 3 days. Luckily, Todd was off work to take care of me and he took on a second patient in stride. (He may be a better Mother than I am, but he does not keep a very neat house!) Parker and Caroline were sick together just as Bash and I were feeling better. Triple FUN! Thank goodness Liz was here to snuggle with me and watch Pride and Predjudice and help Todd take care of the kids. Someone had to yell for me as I had no voice!

Seriously, though, a HUGE THANK YOU to my great group of wonderful girl friends who made meals and cleaned and took care of me and my family while we were incapacitated. And of course, my Mom who took care of the kids and all of us! I am so blessed!
As of late, I am working out again (after a month of being too sick to move!), Bash has started spring soccer (he wanted to play T-ball but decided to wait until next year so he wouldn't have to play on Sundays, our "family day"), Parker is stoked for Pre-school and Caroline is getting ready for the big two year-old tea party birthday!

We are planning to be in Hilton Head for Memorial Day and are super excited to meet up with all the Grossmans who can make it.
So now you are up to speed. Hope your spring has been much more dull than ours! (Or at least healthier!)