Tuesday Truth

Tuesday Truth #2

tuesday truth

Today’s Tuesday Truth is:  Summer is Hard.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I love, love, love me some summer time.  But, there are multiple reasons why summer is hard for me at this point in my life.  I’ll share a few to see if there is anyone out there that can relate to my situation.

First off, summer brings with it all these pressures to do things you otherwise don’t have time to do.  Vacations, days at the pool, getting all those little (or big) house projects done, catching up on all the TV you didn’t watch during the school year, reading books, and relaxing (how are you supposed to relax while doing all these other things?).  And, for me, as I see the weeks quickly slipping away with no book completed, no vacation taken, only a few hours at the pool and mostly for swimming lessons, no house projects completed, and the same old TV shows on my list of things to watch, I just can’t relax.  So, here it is, one month into summer break and I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything.  And I have a feeling that much of that will remain the same another month from now, as I’m staring down the barrel of a another school year.  Sigh…

Second, summer is hot.  I spent the last few days at my mom’s house, where it is significantly cooler, but she doesn’t have AC so the house still gets hot.  Here at home, it floats between 90 and 100 on most days.  We have AC, and I’m not afraid to use it, so our house always stays cool, but going outside and loading and unloading a five year old into a hot car is not at all pleasing. I often avoid going places just because I can’t face up to that part of the trip.  And those days at the pool mentioned above aren’t possible on most days because it is too hot to go for much beyond an hour or so.  It isn’t even nice to lay out or sit and read by the pool because it is so miserably hot.  I could definitely do without the heat.

Third, summer is two months of single-momming it for me.  My husband works at camps for seven weeks during the summer.  So, we have about one week to do a family vacation, right before school starts.  I have a five year old, all to myself, for most of the summer.  It was definitely worse in previous summers when she was sick or recovering from surgery and couldn’t do a lot of fun things, but it is still hard.  I get tired of being her sole source of entertainment (thankfully she has things like VBX and summer camps at her preschool to keep her busy for a few weeks of the summer).  As she gets more independent, I am sure I will look back longingly to these times, but in the midst of them, they are hard.

Finally, I think summer has a higher level of expectation of fun.  Everyday is supposed to have something “fun” included in it.  I will say I think we do pretty good at this, even if the fun is just going to Barnes and Noble for some train play and looking around at toys and books, but it is a lot of pressure.  Sometimes I just want to spend a day in bed.  But, that doesn’t seem acceptable to my five year old.  The summer colds we’ve had for the last week or so have not helped things at all.  I’m hoping we are on the tail end of those and can get back to feeling 100%.  I also feel like I have a lot of pressure to spend time at my mom’s house during the summer, which is difficult with trying to schedule swim lessons and camps and such.  But, it is true that I have the summer off from work and I will regret NOT taking that time to spend with my mom when I had the chance.  So, I was just there for five days and we’ll be home for five days and then back there for five more days.  And we will probably go and visit for at least a few more days here and there during the next six weeks or so.

So, there it is – my Tuesday Truth…that summer is hard.

But, in the end, I love summer.  I love being a teacher and having the time off from teaching (not work, because I still prep during the summer quite a bit).  I love being able to do fun things with my daughter during this age when she actually wants to do fun things with me.  And I love my AC in my house during the hottest days!

What about you?  What’s your view on summer?

Thursday Thumbs Up

Thumbs Up Thursday #19 – Food, not foodie, Edition

Today’s Thursdays Thumbs Up will be focused on food items.  Note, these are NOT foodie items, but quick, easy and delicious foods that keep me sane.  I am not a cook, but I like to put together tasty things at home.  I just want them put together in short order.  Fast food without the trip to the fast food place.  So, here are some of my recent faves that fall into this category:

1.  Bake in Tray Foster Farms Seasoned Chicken Breasts.

bake in tray chicken

I will admit that at one point in the process, I was really frustrated with these.  But, in hindsight, I think the problem was probably my oven and not the chicken.  The box said they should take 30 minutes to bake, but they ended up taking close to an hour and I was already hungry when I started, so that frustrated me.  And, I was so paranoid by the lack of cooking that was taking place in the first 30 minutes that I ended up slicing the breasts up and throwing them in a frying pan to make sure they were completely done.  In the end, they tasted great and from all the other reviews online, this was my problem and not something with the product.

Since I had to throw them into a pan anyways, I ended up making a little bit of a burrito bowl with the chicken, item number two below for rice and some cheese melted on top.  So, so good.  Next time, I would toss in some black beans and corn as well, but it was good with just the three items.  The chicken is juicy, the sauce was tasty and not to spicy so my 5 yo ate it without complaint and the combo of the chicken, rice and cheese were perfect flavor-wise.  So, I will definitely be getting these again.  If I was making this for a large group, I would just make my own with a Max Pac of chicken and some verde salsa in the slow cooker, but for just two of us, this was perfect.  There were two well-sized breasts and plenty of sauce for the two of us.

2.  “>Uncle Ben’s Spanish Style Ready Rice.

My daughter loves this rice and you can’t beat the ease with which you can make it – pop it in the microwave for 90 seconds after venting and serve.  It has great flavor, it is not to “wet” (my husband hates “wet” rice, so its perfect for us) and the 5 yo eats it.  So, its perfect.  When mixed in with the chicken in the frying pan and then sprinkled with Mexican shredded cheese, it was extremely tasty!  I can’t recommend it enough.

3. “>Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood’s Clean Up Time.

This is a late addition.  My daughter just finished spending 30-40 minutes cleaning up the living room of her myriad of toys and art supplies and shoes and clothing and everything else from the last couple of days.  All inspired by this episode of Daniel Tiger.  She did it without being asked.  She recycled what should be recycled.  She threw away what should be thrown away.  It. was. awesome.  So, thanks Daniel Tiger!

4.  Swim lessons.

Bean passed her Level 1 swim lessons today.  We’re taking the next two weeks off because we will be traveling a lot in the next couple of weeks.  Then, I’ll get her in Level 2 and hopefully she will be water safe by the end of the summer.


5.  Last, but not least, I want to give a thumbs up to Bay Area weather.

I am spending the holiday weekend at my mom’s place (her first fourth of July without my dad being alive).  I am happy to be able to be there with her, but as an extra added benefit I am happy to be spending the weekend in temps that will be approximately 30-40 degrees cooler (yes, that zero does belong there) than here at my house.  So, big thumbs up for that!

What about you?  What are your thumbs up for this week?

Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday – Sick Edition


Summer colds are decidedly NOT cool.

Feeling miserable.  As is my DD.  We both have runny noses, coughs and heads full of snot.  Ugh.  And today I have a hand-off meeting for my mother’s club Steering Committee (I get to hand off the website responsibilities to someone else…thankfully) and then I have to head into work for an EOP mentoring session for three and a half hours.  I woke up at 5:45 a.m. because I couldn’t breathe through my nose, so I’m going to be going on reduced sleep too.  Sigh…

I am hoping we both can kick the colds this weekend, but I’m not holding out a lot of hope.  I know the cough has been hanging around for quite a long time for others.  So, I’m expecting it to continue into next week.  Sigh…

Thursday Thumbs Up

Thumbs Up Thursday #18


This week’s Thumbs Up Thursday goes out at the end of a busy, busy week for me and my daughter.  I feel like enough has happened this week to fill the whole summer!  But, we have a lot of summer left and we plan to use it well.  But, before I run out of time and energy, let’s jump right in to this week’s Thumbs Ups:

1.  Vacation Bible eXperience at our church.  

I really can’t say enough good things about the church we attend.  I like so much about it.  But, they do VBS like no other.  Their youth program was actually one of the things that really attracted me to the church in the first place.  I want my DD to have a good church experience.  I was lucky enough to grow up in a church with a strong youth program and it really brought me a lot when I was growing up.  When I felt out of touch with my classmates or changed schools or just didn’t “fit in” anywhere, I always was made to feel like I fit in at my church.  We had a fantastic youth leader who was so good at making us feel valued and loved.  And that is what I get from our church here.  The focus at VBX Jr (for the 5 and under set) was God Made Me, God Loves Me and Jesus will always be my friend.  And the days were so positive, for both my daughter and I.  I volunteered on the craft team and met some incredibly nice women, got invited to the Women Experiencing the Bible group and another small group, went to lunch with one of my daughter’s preschool friends and her Grandmother who was also volunteering at VBX and was able to witness Bean experiencing the love and joy of the program.  It was AWEsome.  I’m sad that it is over.

2.  Swim lessons.

I taught swim lessons from the time I was 16 until I was about 24 or 25.  I could easily teach my DD to swim.  But, you know what?   I love having her take swim lessons.  First, she listens to them much better than she listens to me.  Second, I get 30 minutes of time to read each evening while she is in the pool.  I’m already a 1/3 of a way through Gone Girl and I hope to finish it next week.  I could obviously find some time to read while at home probably, but this time is built in time that I have committed to reading and I love it.  In addition, she gets to play fun games with other kids in the pool.  That is difficult to provide when she is an only child and we go to the pool.  I can’t have her do swim lessons the next couple of weeks because we will have to go to my mom’s in the Bay Area for a chunk of days both weeks.  But, I’m hoping to get her in one or two more sessions before the summer is over.  The hope is that she will be a swimmer by the end of the summer (safe in the water swimmer, not competitive swimmer).

3.  Pine Sol.

I know…this one is weird.  But, I have just started using Pine Sol to deep clean my kitchen today.  I ran out of my other cleaner and I had some Pine Sol that I’ve had sitting around for a while and I decided to bust it out.  Pine Sol always seemed like my mom’s cleaner, if you know what I mean.  I need new stuff.  Better stuff.  But, then I started using it and the smell reminds me of my childhood home.  My mom used to use it to mop the floors and clean the sinks.  I love that it kills 99.9% of germs.  And, in our house, something that works on hard water is key.  And, when I went over to their website to check out some info on the cleaner, I was happy to see their support of empowering women.

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday – Busy Week Edition

Attempt at a selfie pre-movie in the park.  I was happy with this totally thrifted outfit (well, the scarf was bought at the Farmer's Market and the shoes were bought new).
Attempt at a selfie pre-movie in the park. I was happy with this totally thrifted outfit (well, the scarf was bought at the Farmer’s Market and the shoes were bought new).

Singing Let It Go pre-movie.
Singing Let It Go pre-movie. Frozen in the park!

Bring it, swim lessons!
Bring it, swim lessons!

Loving being back in the water!
Loving being back in the water!

A quiet after-dinner evening with a friend.
A quiet after-dinner evening with a friend.

Vacation Bible eXperience - Olaf gets to experience summer!
Vacation Bible eXperience – Olaf gets to experience summer!

Summer 2014 Library Reading Log first entries.
Summer 2014 Library Reading Log first entries.

Summer is hard when you do what I do!
Summer is hard when you do what I do!

Six Word Saturday

Six Word Saturday

Seven weeks of single parenthood starts today!

In recognition of the difficulty of single parents everywhere, I do realize that my husband traveling for work is NOT the same as being a full-time single parent.  I also realize that you all do God’s work in the life of your children, being their everything all the time.

But, today begins my annual foray into temporary single parenthood.  My husband works camps during the summer and is gone for seven weeks usually.  This year, he will spend the first three relatively nearby (three hours) and then the next four half way across the country (Michigan).  We are considering going out for a visit while he is in Michigan, but that hasn’t been finalized yet.  This has been our “normal” since before Bean was born.  The year she had her transplant, he had to fly back from Michigan for the actual transplant (we were expecting a much longer wait for a heart and we knew we would need the income), so it is nothing new to us, but it still hits me hard every year.

So, it will be me who will have to entertain her endlessly (it seems), clean up after her (endlessly for sure), transport her to the activities we have planned (swim lessons, camps, etc. – if not for these, the first duty would drive me insane), sleep with her, eat with her, give her meds twice a day, etc.  At first, it doesn’t seem all that bad.  She is only one child after all.  Many people have two or three or four or five.  We don’t do too many activities, so my transporting is relatively limited.  But, sometimes, her energy drives me to the brink of exhaustion.  Her constant questioning and challenges drive me to the brink of of insanity.  Her ability to make messes in a split second and NOT clean them up drives to the brink of anger.  And her typical five year old lack of focus is a real challenge.  But, we’ll get through.  I will do my best to not feel bad if she complains of being “bored” every once in a while.  I have a schedule that will allow us to do some fun stuff, some educational stuff and some relaxing stuff each day.  I will do my best to stick to that schedule despite my tendency to let it go to the wayside too often.

So, here’s to summer.  I am happy about the no work, but also not looking forward to the temporary single parenthood status.

Wordless Wednesday

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

Drab is an understatement – waiting room at my mom’s CT scan.

A fun day to follow the CT scan – Discovery Kingdom with friends from preschool. Bean and her BFF!

Then a trip to my in-laws to visit them and Bean’s favorite cousin!

Visiting with Gigi and Papa and cousin is a tiring ordeal. She said she had a case of the “sleep eye” when she woke up.

Gigi reads the new Rio 2 book she got for Bean while Bean snuggles with Blue.

Today, I accessorized with Cat and Bean scarf. 🙂 Sorry about the glare, the blinds were open behind me.