Wednesday, November 28, 2012

November 28

Yesterday I was thankful for my parents.  Today I want to appreciate my in-laws.  I've heard generic horror stories.  I have two good friends who have the unfortunate situation of the bad mother-in-law.  One is straight crazy and the other is a manipulative witch.  I admire them quite a bit because that's love.  I don't know if I could live in their situation no matter how much I love T.  Fortunately for me, he has a very loveable family.

My friend Jenn was thankful for hers the other day on facebook and I'd like to steal her words because they are exactly how I feel:
Today I'm thankful to have in-laws that I not only enjoy spending time with, but consider true family. I can go to them with the good, the bad, and the ugly and know they'll help me through with a laugh and some good advice.
They are people that I would actually choose to hang out with even if it weren't mandatory ;).  And they are also wonderful grandparents!  They read and play and spoil with the best of 'em.  Their family situation and jobs make it harder for them to visit, but they do whenever they can.  And also when necessary - remember that appendicitis I mentioned yesterday?  Guess who took over for a week after my mom left -- Mom part 2.

And they love me.  At least they're good at faking it anyway, haha.  Even with less than ideal first impressions.  Seriously, when you're friends with the guy for a year before it turns to dating the first meetings happen when it doesn't matter.  And then he gets to say remember my crazy friend, K?  She's my girlfriend now.  Early impressions include scuzzy stalker, a hot mess & drunk dialing.  Stories can be shared in the future if anyone is interested.

But for now I just want to say I'm pretty lucky.  I got to marry my best friend which is enough for me, but as a bonus I got a kick-ass second set of parents and even siblings!  Plus a whole crew of extended family. All in all, it's not too bad being a Clark.

(at an ND game before they knew they'd be stuck with me for life ;))

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

November 27

I know we passed Thanksgiving, but it's still the month of November and I haven't yet gotten around to being thankful for my parents! They gave me life.  They raised me right (I guess this is debatable, but I like to think so).

They've always been a good and strong example of the kind of couple I want to a part of.  They do a lot together, but they also have their own interests.  They disagree at times, but they always solve the big stuff and get past the small stuff.

They're loving and supportive.  When circumstances found themselves with a chunk of cash I said, "great now you can get a new car, replace the roof on the house" etc. Their response was "no, now you can go to college wherever you want and not worry about scholarships".  Now that I'm a parent, I 100% agree with that decision and would do the same.  But 17 year old me was jaw-droppingly grateful.  So they sent me to Notre Dame which set me on my path.  I have my family.  I found a passion.  I have my year in Chicago working tiny theatre shows and living with McDavey.  I live far away and they have to deal with semi annual visits and facetime, but they never make me feel badly about my choice.

And they're awesome grandparents!  They do their best to stick to my rules, but definitely have a large amount of grandparent spoiling (as is their right, of course).  They come visit us when they can and even when it's hard but necessary - like my appendicitis last month. 

 We had a blast seeing them for the holiday and look forward to seeing them again in a few weeks when we get B baptized.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

The posting has been lacking because of the holiday busyness.  My parents came out to spend Thanksgiving with us so we've been both having family time and utilizing the free babysitters ;). 

Mom & Dad made it out last Wednesday afternoon.  Wednesday and Thursday were spent prepping for and enjoying Thanksgiving celebrations.  In addition to Ming ming & Papa we also had friends of ours over with their son.  There was good food, good booze & games.  Holly & I each drank I think about a gallon of this apple cider sangria we found on pinterest.  It was tasty and had fruit in it, so healthy right?  Totally.  We had turkey, green beans, white potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, rolls, 2 pies & a pumpkin roll.  It was a gloriously large amount of food. 

Hoping everyone else had a fabulous holiday as well!  We love you! xoxox

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


You know the worst thing that you'll ever say or wish on your children is that one day they have kids just like them.  Most of the time, of course, that's a positive statement.  But the only time you really wish it or say it out loud is when they're being awful or doing something you really rather they'd not do.  You raise them and wait and one day get the satisfaction to say "HA! Now you know . . . "

That happened to me.  As a kid, I had a dump truck that I loved.  It was cheap plastic and blue with a white dump bed.  There was a spot of dirt right off the patio in the back yard of our house.  I loved to dig in it, fill my truck and dump it back in the hole.  It was the only spot in the grass that wouldn't grow.  Every spring my dad put down seed and tried to make that patch grassy like the rest of the yard.  He could never figure out why.  Was it the angle of the patio roof?  Did it just not get enough sun & water?

Nope, it's because it was my dumping ground.  I didn't know what grass seed meant.  I didn't know you had to stay off it.  My parents just let me go out in our backyard to play.  And that's where I played.  It wasn't until I was an adult and we were talking about the old house that we even put together what had happened.  It was a pretty funny moment.  And now. . .

My kid is doing the same thing.  She didn't cause the dirt spot - we have Piper to thank for that - but she sure does enjoy playing in it.  At least I know if we're trying to re-grow grass there, I need to watch her ;)

Monday, November 19, 2012

November 19

Today I'm thankful for the word 'yes'.  H has been saying it for a few weeks now.  Although she has trouble starting with y so it sounds more like shhyes.  She's getting better though.  It makes life easier because her vocabulary is very limited.  So at least now I can ask her questions to find out what it is she wants or she's trying to say.  I'd like to say it limits the fit-throwing, but no.  The tantrums are no longer out of frustration that she can't tell me what she wants, however.  They are now because she wants something, I asked her "did you say X?", she says yes, but she still can't have it. 

The flip side of the coin is that it comes with the word 'no'.  Why is it that children like to say no to everything?  Is it because that's what the mischevious little bugs hear all the time?  Is it from some base human instinct to take control and that's the only way they can?  She just seems to get so much joy from it, I often wonder about these things.  We've been trying not to laugh at her, though, as not to encourage it.  But 99% of the time it's not bratty.  She's not pouting or stomping or screaming it.  She just says it very matter-of-factly.  It's very, "I hear you suggesting I should take a nap, but I'd rather not, thanks".  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

November 18

So I know I've been thankful for both kids already.  And my family and my life.  But part of this exercise, I think, is to really appreciate some things you take for granted.  And I feel like as much as I love them, lately I've been dying for and relishing my "me time".  I find myself watching the clock for bed time so I can just watch TV or get online.  Which I definitely know I need and I'm not giving up.

But today at Mass the priest talked about the end of life and/or the world.  He told some interesting stories about people he's known and his experience with hospice.  But then he posed the question "what would you do if you only had 20 minutes left to live?"  Not a day, or a week like often asked.

And I didn't even think about it, I just wanted to play with my kids.  To hug them and kiss them and stare at their beautiful faces.  And probably bawl like a baby the entire time which would be confusing and scary for them but even thinking about it now, not seeing them grow up would be horrible.  Knowing that was my fate would be agony.

Sorry for the downer post, but it's what's on my mind.  Back to poop stories & kids-say-the-darndest moments in the future :).

Saturday, November 17, 2012

November 17

Today I'm thankful for craigslist & pinterest.  I never have luck on craigslist.  I just don't think I have the patience to sift through all the ads.  I get bored or discouraged.  But I had been looking for an old entertainment center to turn into a play kitchen for the kids.  It's a big project and I'm not sure if I can do it, but I really want to try.

My friend is also doing this for her daughter.  She found her cabinet and showed me last night.  So when I got home I got inspired to look - I hadn't searched for one in a few weeks.  And BAM!  I found this unit:


Which is exactly what I'd been looking for.  I wanted it to have space below for storage and an oven, but also a cabinet on the side for a refridgerator.  I'm going to turn it into something like this:

 I'm super excited.  They'll have a cool & unique kitchen. It'll be sturdy and put up with their abuse.  I don't think there's anything wrong with the plastic ones, but they're so expensive and very kid-ish.  This I think will grow with them and not be such a "baby toy" when they're getting into school. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

November 16

Today I'm thankful for a sense of humor.  You have to have one when you have kids.  It's going to get gross and you can freak out about it or just laugh.  And I'm happy that I can just smile and say "yup, this is my life."

B & I are both working on our third outfit of the day.  He spit up all over both of us this morning & all over himself this afternoon.  H asked for more milk, then tripped me before I had the lid tightened on her cup so I got milk all over me & and the kitchen.  Most recently was just now.  B had a massive poopy diaper.  But it was all contained, so I thought "lucky me".  Nope.

First, he pees all over himself and the new diaper.  Then as I'm wiping up there's no warning and he shits INTO my hand while getting his foot in it.  I get that cleaned up and lean over him to get another clean diaper from the bin - pees again all over my stomach and pants.  He spit up on my jeans yesterday.  So 2 of my 3 pair are currently in the washer.  The other is now hanging in the laundry room covered in pee.

T came home at the end of all this.  Wife with no pants. Toddler bribed into being good with iPad.  Baby only in a diaper.  A mound of dirty clothes at the base of the stairs to go up to the laundry.  Welcome home, honey.  This is your life. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

November 14

Today I'm thankful for groupon!  There are so many things that I wouldn't even know about or wouldn't think about doing if they didn't have those daily deals.  Most recently, it led to a girls night out with Natalie.  We went down to the Rio, had drinks and good conversation before and enjoyed a show.

We saw a new parody musical called "Spank!" and it was mocking 50 Shades of Grey.  It had some good moments, and I definitely cracked up a few times.  But overall, I felt it was very overacted.  I'm not sure if it'll make it as the next sensation, but it was entertaining.  I think that if you really enjoyed the books, it might be a little too harsh for your taste.  But if you have a sense of humor about it's origins and just how poorly it was written it was entertaining.  And we looked good

Both of our husbands commented on how we don't put in that much effort for them, haha.  But it was girls night.  We're fancy :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November 13

Today I'm thankful for good genes.  T is a genius.  Literally - he was given I.Q. tests to initially earn his UPT spot & again when they were deciding whether or not he'd be returning to flying status.  He could join MENSA if he wanted to.  Although you'd never know it when talking to him.  That's not meant to be insulting, it's just that often times folks who are that naturally intelligent are incidentally arrogant or not the best in social situations.

The point is, as much as I'd like to think that I'm SuperMom and all of H's smarts come from something I did, the smarter she gets the more I realize my nurture seems to have very little to do with it.  All I try to do now is continue to foster her curiosity and making learning fun by playing games.  But she knows damn near all the alphabet and a few numbers.  Did I mention she's not even 18 months old?  It makes going out interesting because now when she sees a sign with letters she knows she just shouts them out repeatedly until you acknowledge that yes we drove by a Kohl's and she did indeed see a K.  We went to Old Navy yesterday and their address was 1895.  Walking in she points saying "fiiiiiiii", "one" & "niiiinnnn".

Here's a video of us playing a game of what's this.  It wasn't perfect.  T was supposed to be stealthy, but the iPhone makes a ding when you start recording so she got a little camera shy.  At least this time she didn't run over and try to take it though.  Progress.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Nov 12

So I know yesterday was Veteren's day, but since today was the federal observance of it, it feels more like today.  Anyway, I am very thankful for all those who serve & have served in our military.  They've fought hard for the country we have, and continue to do so.

I also want to thank their families.  Parents risk losing children, families husbands/wives & fathers/mothers.  Not to mention the separation and constant moving.  All in support of the men & women who fight every day.  It's you who help comfort them when the job is hard, and remind them of things in this world that are worth fighting for.

I'd post a picture of my husband, but I'm pretty sure all recent ones I have of him in uniform would be an OPSEC violation, haha.  Love you, honey!  :-*

Sunday, November 11, 2012

November 11

I'm thankful that my Grandma and my mom were/are good cooks, and I was able to learn a lot from them.  I'm by no means chef-quality, but I think I fall on the above average side.  And it's all due to Gigi & Lolo. 

I always say that cooking is an art & baking is a science.  While proportion, temperature & times are extremely important for baked goods to turn out edible, savory dishes have more room for play.  To change things around and tailor it to your tastes.  I have a ton of recipes that I follow, but I also love that I can wing it.  When I'm bored with all our usual suspects, or like currently, payday is a few days away and I really don't want to go to the store again before then.  I can pull out meat from the freezer, look at what we have in the cupboard and make something up.  Most of the time, it works out nicely.  Sometimes too well and T will say "OMG you have to make this again".  But it's tough cookies because I don't know what I did & nothing is exactly measured. 

I loved hanging out in the kitchen with my grandma as a kid.  And then with my mom as an adult.  I love that we'll call each other because we've found a recipe that we think we can tweak & we want input from the other.  I hope that I can have that same relationship with H.  And B, for that matter.  There's nothing wrong with a boy who's got skills with food! :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

November 9

I'm thankful that the weather is starting to cool down.  It actually feels like fall in the mornings and evenings even though it still feels like summer by midday.  A couple weeks ago we enjoyed it for a trip to the pumpkin patch!    We went to pick our pumpkins to carve for Halloween.  H's friend, AB & her mommy came with us.

We walked the length of Gilcrease orchard to get to all the pumpkins and let the girls loose.  They were really cute trying to pick up the pumpkins, not expecting them to be so heavy.  We picked out 3 pumpkins - 2 for carving & 1 for decor.  Then we had a snack of their apple cider doughnuts.  If that wasn't yummy enough, they top it with this gooey cinnamon cream cheese icing.  I highly recommend going for them soon; I think they close for the season next weekend.  Here are some pictures from our outing (click to view bigger):

 this picture melts my heart

 trying to pick up a more H-sized pumpkin

 Li'l punkin girls!

 We ran into J & his family - they were very good at sharing the pine cone

They were all so cute together!

More pictures of the trip will come to facebook in a few days. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

November 8

Today, I'm thankful for the mess.  I spend a lot of time groaning about cleaning up, dreading it, or hastily putting things away trying to make it appear like I'm Mrs. Perfect Housewife.  Or at least presentable enough that I'm only minimally embarassed/self-concious about it.  But today, I'm surrounded by it and just taking a moment to embrace it.

The dishes in the sink tell that we don't worry about food on our table.  The toy explosion remind me of the children that have been here delighting in making the mess - squealing, laughing, learning through play.  The laundry back up means we've been busy deepening our family bonds and making & strengthening friendships.

Thanks, house.  For being so wonderfully & comfortably lived in.

Monday, November 5, 2012

November 5

Today is an easy one - I'm thankful for Baby B!  Today marks him being 3 months old.  I won't have as much to say about him as I did H, but he's newer and far less interesting at the moment.  I will have a teaser of the photo shoot we did yesterday, though :).

He's getting more interactive.  He is one smiley little guy.  Way more than H.  Seriously, I was pretty typically new mom neurotic with her and she was always so serious; I wondered how early you could diagnose and deal with autism.  Anyway, he's becoming pretty cool.  He even has started to laugh a bit.  It's just a tiny little chuckle, but it's cute.

It's amazing that even though the kids are only 14 months apart, it's like we have amnesia about the baby phase.  I was worried that the second time around wouldn't be as exciting, but it is.  It's still great when he grabs the rattle & reaches for the toys hanging from his playgym.  He gurgles and coos and "talks" all the time - I think he's already realizing he's going to have to be loud to keep up with his sister :).  

Sunday, November 4, 2012

November 4

Today I'm struggling with how I want to word what I'm thankful for.  Trying to express my feelings is escaping me, which is frustrating, but I'm determined not to give up.

Making friends as an adult is hard.  Hell, doing it in Jr. High when my family moved was no picnic.  College would've been terrifying if Kat hadn't lived in my room (the smallest in the whole dorm) the year before and come to introduce herself.  I still don't know where I got the confidence to introduce myself to Shannon, but I'm glad I did.  

I know it's odd to think of a military spouse being shy and not good at the whole meeting new people thing.  But I'm in this life because it makes my husband happy, and all I can do is try to make the best of it.  The truth of it is, I'm terrified people won't like me/us.

When T commissioned we weren't married.  So his first couple assignments didn't really affect me more than what airport I flew into when I went to visit him.  When we did get married, we were stationed a maximum  of 2.5 hours from most of my family and friends.  I didn't need to put myself out there.

San Antonio was a big change in our life - we were all alone and having a baby.  But thanks to Beth, the commander's wife, and Lisa, another spouse who organized monthly get-togethers, I had an easy way to meet people.  I got to get to know some great families, and a lot of them have made the move to Vegas along side us.  Moving after less than a year was not as scary.  We've only been here a few months and yet I have people to have playdates with.  I have girlfriends to have a night out with.  I have workout buddies whenever I decide to not be a lazy cow :). 

I'm thankful for Beth & Lisa.  I'm thankful that we were selected for this program at the time we were so our paths could cross with all the wonderful people we've met so far, and for the friendships that are forming here. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Day 3

Today, I'm thankful for Manti Te'o & this Notre Dame football season.  Pretty much, we owe our entire life and family to ND.  If they hadn't accepted both of us, we'd never meet and we wouldn't be us.

It's hard to disconnect the overall Notre Dame spirit from football.  It's a major part of the tradition, and it plays a huge part in the campus mood for the fall.  I lived there through great football triumphs and disappointing losses.  There's a different energy and life when the team is doing well.  People come together.  People laugh more.  Weekends are full of more socialization and more smiling faces.  I think that the sense of ease and relaxed atmosphere during a winning season is something those young adults deserve before they have to leave and the real world kicks in.

And as alums, we often lose that sense of comfort and home that campus fills in our hearts after being so far physically removed.  Having all week in anticipation of another game that will be exciting to watch, brings us back to that family.  Gives us a connection from our scattered post-grad lives.

I know it sounds super sappy, and in general I'm not one of those "long for the good ol' days" people.  I very much enjoyed my time there, but was ready to move on.  It's not that I'm stuck in the past, but there is something inexplicable about the love you have for this institution after earning your degree.  And it's something with which many can empathize, but my fellow alums are probably the only people not rolling their eyes at me waxing nostalgic.

However you feel, it gave me life long friends, it lead me to my family and my place in this world.  And great football only makes that better!

Friday, November 2, 2012

30 Days of thankful!

There's a thing going on the internet - it has reached facebook so I'm sure most of you are familiar.  It's an attempt to say each day of this month, one thing you are thankful for.  I want to try to do this for my own personal growth.  But also, it might get me in a habit of actually updating this blog, like I vow to do every time I post.  And fail miserably.  

Since today is Nov 2, it marks H as 17 months old.  So I think it would only be appropriate to use today to be thankful for her.  She is the most wonderful and trying little person in the world.  I love and hate her a million times a day.  Don't judge, she's a toddler.  If you have or have had toddlers and you've never wanted to pull your hair out while thinking I hate this little beast-child, I don't think we should be friends. 

I told this to a friend of mine (who doesn't have kids) a few weeks ago, and it's one of my favorite feelings -- I'm seriously proud of her every day.  Every single day she does something to make me overjoyed to be her mom.  It could be using her spoon and getting just one bite of yogurt actually in her mouth all by herself.  But she did it, and I shower her with "yay"s & claps & hugs & kisses. 

She's crazy smart, and I was pretty sure that she'd outsmart me by 2nd grade.  But as she grows I'm not sure I'll make it through pre-school.  She consistently recognizes 6 letters of the alphabet.  She used the potty yesterday.  I feel like Jodi Foster in "Little Man Tate" (raising a genius son, anyone?). Did I just horribly date myself?  Anyway. . . 

She's fabulous and I love her.  I'm thankful we got knocked up a month earlier than planned.  It made Rae's wedding/bachelorette party significantly less of a crazy vegas shitshow, but if life had gone according to "plan" there would be no Pants.  And that's not a life I want to be a part of.  

Love & Hugs