From 6 to 13 in a matter of weeks

How does this happen? How does my 6 yr old suddenly turn 13?

Right now she's stomping around upstairs (quite impressive stomping if I do say so...) because I won't let her fingerpaint right now. I told her she & Natalie can watch a movie while I get some work done, but they have to agree on which one. I've heard her saying things like:
"If you don't watch this one, I'll never watch a movie with you again!"
"I'm not watching any of your movies!"

She's always been a negotiator. But lately some of the negotiating has taken on a sort of hostile tone. I'm hoping it's just time for school to start.

I mean, wherever has she learned this drama? {said while whistling and looking around to avoid eye contact} Certainly not from ME.

Our other favorite phrase this week is "NO FAIR." Ella got a new backpack, NO FAIR. Natalie got a stuffed green lizard, NO FAIR. I want to fingerpaint, NO FAIR. Natalie got to play computer, NO FAIR. Ella got to play computer, NO FAIR. Ella got to print two things, NO FAIR.

And now I've heard another of my favorites, "I'm gonna tell!!!" Followed by a scream, and some tears.

Natalie: "You don't like me!"
Ella: "Yes I do! I like you!"
Natalie: "You're tricking!"

I'm just going to mentally go back to lunch, when Ella wanted to sit by Natalie because, "Next week I'll miss her when I'm having lunch at school."


Have I mentioned I love fall?

I just looked at the 10 day forecast, and was shocked to see that it looked like fall. And then I noticed it's August 27. So a 10 day forecast could very reasonably look like fall right about now.

I have said before how much I like fall. This year is particularly fall-ish for me. I've always felt like fall is more of a new beginning than New Year's, what with all the new school supplies and such. And now that we've moved to an entirely new place, I feel like we're just settled in enough now to start with the new here.

The girls start school next Tuesday, and I think we're all going to enjoy being on some sort of schedule again. The girls seem to have had entirely too much togetherness this summer. Which usually ends in Natalie trying to tell Ella something, Ella doesn't listen, Natalie screams at the top of her lungs and Ella walks away. It's fun times.

The onset of fall makes me want to eat better. Drink more water. Read more. Exercise. Burn candles. Bake with pumpkin (which my sister can attest I am well-stocked to do). Dye my hair. Cook in the crock pot.

Not necessarily in that order.


Back to School Shopping, Take 2

In light of all the school pictures today, we had another round of shopping yesterday afternoon. Good times.

Ella is a challenge to dress. I think I've been through this with you. Hard to find clothes that fit her. Harder to find dress shoes that fit her. I just wanted some little ballet flats. Her heel slips out of every stinking pair. So we were searching for the elusive fitting shoes.

Natalie is a challenge to dress. I've been through this as well. There is no point in choosing something without her because she will find a reason not to like it. A strange reason. The Mini-Fashionista was only made happy by Gap. She found a shirt she liked, but she didn't like the matching skirt. It's too short (well, it was - c'mon Gap). She doesn't like capris across the board apparently. She wanted shorts. The shorts were too short. She finally found a pair of denim bermuda shorts that she liked because they had a scarf belt.

At one point - I kid you not - we were in a shoe store and they both spotted a pair of shoes. The conversation went as follows:

Natalie: "Are those Rhinos?"
Ella: "Yeah! Cool!"
Natalie: "Cool!"
Ella: "They'll make us jump higher and run faster!"

Seriously. My children are marketing sponges. Thanks again, iCarly and Nickelodeon.


Back to School Shopping, Take 1

Last week we turned in the girls' school papers to get set for school this year. Got Ella's information packet last Friday, and HEY! She's got registration & pictures this Tuesday! (So does Natalie, apparently, which I just found out 2 minutes ago).

So yesterday afternoon I took Ella out in search of the elusive School Picture Outfit. The SPO, if you will. We went to Old Navy first. I picked out a few things, and then we headed off to the dressing room. Because Ella is crazy skinny. And I can't get clothes that fit her. And the adjustable waist is no longer her friend, because the buttons apparently bother her. Good stuff.

So we get into the dressing room for her first time. Ok, try this on. "Did you lock the door?" Yes. "Ummm...I'm not comfortable with this. What if someone comes in?" No one is coming in. "Could I change in the bathroom?" No. So she finally gave in, but I had to hold the next clothes ready to drop on her head the moment she got her other clothes off. Little Miss Modest.

Meanwhile, she fell in love with this puffy vest. "Can I get it? Can I get it please? I really want it!" Where will you wear it? "School. Stores. {shrugs} Everywhere." Alrighty then. Looks like Ella's going to be rockin' the puffy vest this fall. I couldn't help it. She's never shown much interest in clothes or accessories. I did manage to talk her out of wearing it home, since it was 85 degrees out.

Off to look for shoes. None of which fit her feet. NONE. Nada. I tried at least 4 stores. Not happening. She was so excited when she saw all the racks. "Do they have Skechers?" I'm sorry, what? My 6 yr old knows shoe brands? Imagine her sheer joy when we went to Kohls, and not only did they have Skechers, they had these! "MOM. These are SO COOL." And * gasp * ! They had these. I had a 6 yr old drooling over shoes.

But you know what? I don't really have time to blog right now. Because I just found out that Natalie ALSO has school pictures TOMORROW. And oh my sweet goodness we are unprepared. I need to rally the troops.


It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life...

And I'm feeling...good.

Oh bloggy peeps, I'm feeling so much better. This spring our small group watched a DVD series by Chip Ingram called "God as He Longs for You to See Him." I'm sure the book is just as good. In one of the sections he talks about God's wisdom. How we don't understand things God may do because we can't possibly know everything God knows. That He knows not only everything that is, but every single thing that COULD be. He quotes one of his seminary professors who said, “Students, the wisdom of God tells us that God will bring about the best possible results, by the best possible means, for the most possible people, for the longest possible time.” (read his blog on it here if you're feeling the need)

And I'll tell you what. When we saw that part, I tucked that away. I knew I was going to be needing it. A lot. I didn't know why, but I knew I'd need it. Since then I've pulled it out here & there. Yesterday it took me a while to find it. But I did.

There could be a million reasons why it was best for our house not to sell right now. Maybe their offer was going to be too far below our asking price anyway. Maybe they were going to end up having trouble with financing. Maybe the closing would have been a bear. Maybe we would have then ended up buying the wrong house for us. Who knows. But I believe God is good. And I trust His wisdom.

I'm going to be honest here. It's been easy for me to say that God has a plan for all of this. But I've been clinging to some fear (an increasing amount of fear) about what we may need to go through to get there. I want everything tied up quickly & neatly with a pretty bow. I don't want to go through any garbage on the way. I don't want to pay rent & mortgage for a year. But I'm going to remember that IF we do -- IF that is something that we need to go through, there is a very good reason. One that we couldn't ever put together, because we don't know all the possibilities.

So today is a new day. And I'm just going to think about today. And attempting school supply shopping with the million other Wisconsinites that will doubtlessly be out today. And figuring out what Ticonderoga pencils are. I think that's enough. Don't you?


Today was suckish.

About a week ago the girls and I were in the car and Natalie announced her hat was "suckish." I'm sorry, what? Investigation led to the discovery that it's something said on iCarly. A lot. And although the girls will not be allowed to say it, I'm feeling it right now. How's that for a double standard?

Because I'm the mom, that's why!

This morning I mentioned to the girls that we should be praying for a friend of ours because she seems to be having a baby today. Natalie says, "I want to know how babies get out of mommies' tummies." Of course you do. Cue dreaded discussion.

Then we got word from the realtor. Couple, who has looked at our house FOUR TIMES does not want to put in an offer. Ouch. I really, really meant not to get my hopes up. But I think I still did.

Meanwhile, Ella & Natalie have started playing some kind of game where Ella hides 3 pens, and then she says "go" and they race to find them. And she wins. BECAUSE SHE HID THEM. So Natalie starts crying. And I say, "Give them to your sister, it is her turn to hide them." And Ella starts to take off. And I say, "GIVE THEM TO YOUR SISTER NOW." And she's running down the stairs, so I grab her hand quickly and she's wrestling away from me and oh my goodness how has this happened??? So we're on the stairs. I finally have to let go of her and pray she doesn't fall down the stairs. She doesn't. I'm floored. Ella is not one for blatant defiance of that magnitude. She usually feels the responsibility of a firstborn. NOT TODAY. So I send her to her room & then I follow for a stern talking to. During which she starts to smile/laugh.

Remember a few posts ago? When I was all, "Oh the girls are so great and we're bonding and isn't it all sunshine & roses?" HA.

So basically, today has been suckish. But it is miracle treat day at Dairy Queen, and since it's for the kids & all I plan to participate. Only I think I'll have a medium instead of a small.

But God is good and God is wise, and at some point I will look back and say, "thank goodness it happened that way." Because that's the way it always is.


Play-Doh, you have done me wrong.

I remember playing with Play-Doh when I was little. I had a few cans. I tried to mold something. I wasn't very good at it. I didn't have the fun factory or anything. No barber shops. No restaurant sets. I didn't want the colors to mix. But I loved it.

So when I had kids I thought of all the fun we'd have with Play-Doh. We'd have the fun factory, yes we would. They would sit quietly for hours and play elaborate Play-Doh schemes. We'd play all the time.

* ahem *

I hate Play-Doh. The girls have the fun factory. They have Dora adventure sets. They have a craft kit. But never fail -- NEVER FAIL -- every single time we take out the Play-Doh, instead of molding it into something or using the numerous accessories, they just pull it apart into tiny bits. Tiny, tiny bits. Which end up all over the floor. And all over the table. They make lines of tiny bits. And hills of tiny bits. And families of tiny bits. And it takes forever to clean it all up in a manner in which it will not be spread tiny bit by tiny bit all over the floor in the house.

They've been asking for Play-Doh again. So I pulled it out today. "If you play Play-Doh, will you tear it into tiny bits?" No, Mommy! "Will you play with it without making tiny pieces?" Yes, Mommy! And the sun sparkled off of their halos.

Ha. HA!!

I went downstairs to call our clinic for Natalie's immunization records for school. Went back up stairs. Anyone wanna guess? Bueller?

Yeah. Good call. Tiny bits of Play-Doh. All over the floor. The counter. Do you know how fast Play-Doh dries out when you make tiny bits all the time? Pretty fast, FYI. I just spent a half hour reconstituting Play-Doh. Play-Doh which is all a strange shade of green/blue.

Play-Doh? The dream of you, and the reality of you are vastly different things.


Waiting for the phone to ring

Our house hasn't been on the market for very long in the scheme of things, but we're still ready for it to be sold. I mean, it's fun paying a mortgage and rent plus some double utilities and all, but it'd still be nice to be done with that part.

After 8 or so showings, we've got a couple with some interest. Tonight they had their third showing, and our house is apparently in their top 3. So I'm trying not to get my hopes up since we've still got a good shot at nothing. But it would be really, REALLY fun to have the phone ring with an offer. Or, maybe they just left a check on the counter tonight.

In other news, I have decided to eat my way through the cheese case at the grocery store. Trying all the Wisconsin cheeses I can. You know, except for things like pepperjack. And you can bet that if our house sells, I'll be eating that cheese with a nice glass of something bubbly.