Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Hello There...

It's been quite some time since I have sat down and updated my little corner of the internet.  Lots of reasons-having to change my blog's name really bugged me for the longest time, Just Eat Dallas has blown up and takes most of my headspace I devote to social media but more and more lately I have been craving getting back into the swing of things for personal blogging.

So here goes.  Except I don't know where to start.  So I suppose we will start with "Hello there."

Life is good.  Like ridiculously, unbelievably good.  Everything is so smooth and happy in the back of my head (and heart) I fear something is lurking around the corner that will bring me down a few notches.  Until then, I'm embracing this season of life and enjoying every single moment I can.

Both girls are in really good places.  After a rough start, Evelyn has embraced school and is doing remarkably well.  We really struggled with our choice on what type of schooling would be best for her but so far, this program has exceeded our expectations. 

Penny's personality has come out full force and 18 months she is a complete ball of energy, sweetness and attitude all mixed into one running around our home, melting our hearts.  One of my favorite things to do is watch her and her sister playing together, they are truly best friends (for right now). 


"We need to talk about your birthday party, Mommy isn't sure if you will have a big one or do something small with a friend to celebrate," I told Evelyn last week.  The idea of throwing a big birthday party with all of her new school friends (which means hosting a bunch of parents I don't know and makes this introvert extremely anxious) is something I just am not sure I'm up for-unless she really wants it.  Evelyn responded:

"Hmm...well I think I would like to take one friend with me to the trampoline park.  It will have to be my very favorite friend!" After inquiring who that may be she told me, "My sister!!" as if I was the dumbest mom in the planet.  Well ok then.

Another relationship that is going extremely well is my marriage. This coming June will be our 9th wedding anniversary, 13 years together overall.  I'm not sure what magic potion has come together to make our relationship so successful-maybe we have finally matured, maybe me finally getting some sleep, or just a combination of everything, but I find myself giddy in love with him some days.  Of course there are the days when I want to throw an orange at his head because he can be just so darn passive aggressive but I've figured out how to ignore it (for the most part) and move on quickly. 


I'm hoping now that I have finally broken the no blogging streak I'll feel more comfortable, more at home, and will visit this space more often going forth.  I have so many stories to tell, so many memories I need written down (because I have noticed with age my memory is definitely getting worse) and hope that I will have this special spot to capture those special moments in time.

Until next time, goodbye friends.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Phantastic Life

My five year blogiversary is coming up next month.  I vividly remember creating my blog out of annoyance because Boyfriend wasn't blogging enough for my liking on his blog.  My posting frequency has varied all over the years but I have always had an appreciation for a place I could come to and let my fingers do the talking.

Recently I became aware that I let my domain expire for Teh Wifey.  Maybe I should have been a bit more disappointed but honestly, I took this opportunity to embrace a name change.  I want to give my little corner of the internet new life and just like a company that wants to freshen up their branding-I'm switching things up.  

Of course anyone who has a blog really struggles with picking a name unless they just use their name itself, which I tried-already taken.  While I loved Teh Wifey because Wifey genuinely is my nickname from Boyfriend, my inner feminist hated that I was letting a title, given to me by another, identify me.  That is partially the reason why I have welcomed the circumstances for a fresh start.

My last name gave me obvious opportunities for play on it.  I was originally going to go with the Phantastic Four but there were a few things that just didn't feel right-with the biggest one being that we are not a family of four, but a family of five when you include (our very important to us) dog.  I just felt SO guilty leaving him out.  Beyond that, someone mentioned that adding a number is very final and hard to change-while she may have been joking that we might decide to add another kid to the mix, I suddenly became concerned I was tempting fate by declaring a final number.  What can I say-I'm pretty superstitious.

Over the last few days, I've been reading my previous posts and reflecting on what I write about.  I've discussed everything from miscarriage to birth, our travels, the good and difficult in raising children. Falling in love, hardships in long term relationships-I try to include a little bit of everything.  Even if I don't feel it when I'm experiencing it-I realized that when I am writing I always tend to look back with a filter of understanding, with a perspective that I really do have a great life.  Some may even say a fantastic life.

So here is to new starts...here is to The Phantastic Life.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

It All Started With a Makeout Mix

Even before our first date, Boyfriend gave me a mix CD titled "Makeout Mix, Volume 1."  I remember thinking that 1)That is very presumptuous to assume we would be making out at some point and 2)He anticipated we would be together long enough to have more than one volume of mixes.

We were just babes when we fell in love.
While we haven't quite gotten to volumes that Now That's What I Call Music has (currently at 55 and counting) we have had quite a few volumes between the two of us.  We even created a special one for our wedding favors, which sadly never got passed out so we had 200 homemade CDs in our garage until their recent demise on the last clean out.

During one of our moves, I had lost the original Makeout Mix and have been trying to recreate it over the last year or so.  It was so frustrating, I listened to that CD literally hundreds, if not thousands of time, but I was having the hardest time remembering all 13 tracks.

Just recently, I remembered the very last track that had been missing and am happy to share with you the Makeout Mix that started it all.


As I listen to each one of these songs, memories come crashing over me-driving around in my Ford Escort blasting Dashboard's Hands Down or listening to Question by Old 97's and wondering if he would use that song for our future proposal (he did).  Each one of these songs are so intrinsically intertwined with the foundation of our relationship, I can't help but feel a bit more love towards Boyfriend when I listen to them.

As much as I love Spotify and all of our electronic options for music, I am so glad that I grew up in the age where the art of wooing a girl could start out with a mixed CD.



Friday, August 21, 2015

First Day of School: Tears, Blood and Teachers Calling Home

So based off my title, it may sound like Evelyn's first day of school was traumatic.  The title may be the slightest bit dramatic, but it definitely wasn't the first day I had hoped for her-that is for sure.

We woke up extra early to make sure Evelyn had enough time to wake up and desire breakfast.  On any weekend day, my kids typically don't want food until at least 10 am so I was worried she wouldn't be interested.  I should have known that just telling her she needed energy for school would get her going right away.

After a pancake breakfast (shared with sister) we got her dressed in her uniform.  She is just so stinking cute! The night before Boyfriend and I discussed where we would take her first day of school pictures, I wanted to do it in the same spot every year.  Originally I didn't want to do the fireplace because I'm praying we don't have that ugly thing for the next 12 years but it was dark outside so its the only spot in the house that seemed to be the right spot. Also, total Pinterest fail on the chalkboard sign, next year will be better!



After we dropped off Penny at daycare, we headed to her school.  Evelyn was bouncing around in her car seat with excitement as my throat was tight and my eyes were stinging with tears.  Evelyn asked me not to cry at school so I wouldn't embarrass her.  Not even officially in school and she was already worried I would embarrass her!

Once we arrived at the building, we had Evelyn walk us to her classroom-surprisingly she remembered exactly where to go (as I totally didn't).  Spoiler alert-this is an important fact later on in the story. We were only the second family to arrive and her sweet homeroom teacher, Mrs. A greeted us enthusiastically and this is where Evelyn deflated like a balloon, shrinking in both personality and size.


We walked her to her desk and she sat, refusing to take pictures with us.  I could tell she was totally overwhelmed, especially as the third student came in and didn't stop talking for one second.  Boyfriend and I stood around somewhat awkwardly, we had only been there for two minutes but both of the other kids parents were gone so we weren't sure if we should leave yet (at this point it was probably still 30 minutes until official school start time) or stick around.  I had no desire to extend an already difficult goodbye, but I also could tell that Mrs. A was preoccupied with attending to other things so I didn't want to leave Evelyn totally alone, unaware of what to do next.

Luckily Mrs. A took charge and advised us we were going to move the girls over to Mrs. T's (her co-teacher) room because she was going to step out and help with directing parents to their classroom.  We walked Evelyn one classroom over and the girls all sat down on a rug, which Evelyn was excited because it was "cute as a button" (the very loose theme I had desired for Penny's birthday).  



Once in the room, they started coloring so I took this as my time to say goodbye.  As I was hugging her sweet body I started to tear up but upheld her request to not cry.  The tears finally broke free as soon as we left the classroom, I could just tell how nervous and shy she was feeling-it broke my heart she was feeling scared.  

Once I got to work, I was feeling better because it would be only a short while before we could pick her up, they are offering early release for Kinder kids this week and all of next week so they get an opportunity to adjust.  Around 11:00 I started to worry about her again, and then my phone started ringing around 11:30, so I suppose it was mom's intuition something was up.  I missed the first and second calls (from different numbers) because I was on a call at work but moments after the second call I had a voicemail, 

"Hi, this is the nurse at Evelyn's school.  She is JUST FINE but I do want to let you know she is experiencing a pretty severe nose bleed and we are working to control it.  Please give me a call as soon as you get this message."

I immediately called back and spoke with the nurse (who was SO nice) and she explained that Evelyn's nose bleed was pretty bad though they finally did get it under control, but all of her clothes, shoes included, were covered in blood so she needed a change of clothing.  I guess it isn't kosher to hang out in blood soaked clothes in school. Boyfriend and I had carpooled in order to do drop off/pick up but my mom was in for the rescue and was able to bring her a change of clothes.

The nurse and I talked for a bit, I explained to her that Evelyn gets nose bleeds, and often.  I apologized for not notifying them earlier but I didn't see a spot where I could fill out generic "need to know" information.  I promised to continue to send her with a change of clothes each day just in case this happens again in the future (which it will, she gets between 3-7 a week).

My mom called after she left, she said Evelyn seemed ok but was pretty sad when she realized that my mom wasn't taking her home.  Evelyn told my mom she was having fun and my mom said that she got her to laugh once (which when she is really shut down, is impossible to do) so I felt much better after speaking with my mom.

Once we pulled up to school, Mrs. A caught us and seemed really scared to talk to us.  I know nosebleeds can seem pretty scary (especially with Evelyn) but I soon realized that she wasn't telling us just about the nosebleed, she was explaining to us what caused the nosebleed to occur.  

I had assumed it was due to playing but apparently during their bathroom break, Evelyn was the last to use the restroom and was left behind by herself so she walked back to her classroom but the entire class was actually down the hall.  She explained to us the circumstances that had allowed this to occur and what is going to be done to make sure it won't happen again but she said that due to this, Evelyn became quite emotional (crying hard) because she thought she was lost and alone and her nose started to bleed.  Mrs. A was obviously devastated and you could tell she felt terrible.

While Boyfriend was a bit upset over Evelyn getting left behind, I wasn't honestly.  First off, it will teach Evelyn to hurry up and stick to her business in the bathroom but second of all-I get things happen.  After talking with Mrs. A I could just feel how poorly she felt and I know it won't happen again.  

Evelyn finally made it to our car and when she saw me she started running and jumped in my arms.  I buckled her in her car seat and before I could even buckle up myself, she was talking about what a fun day she had and she can't wait for her second day of school!  I tried to talk to her about the getting left behind/nosebleed incident and she got a little upset and wouldn't talk about it so I tried to focus on the good stuff, like her learning some new Spanish words and what she saw the other kids eating for lunch.

I'm glad to have the first day over with.  I am excited to see what we have to work hard at and what areas she shines in.  She already decided which girl is going to be her BFF and that she has to have a certain type of chips in her lunch because the other kids were eating them.  Tonight we have our first Spirit Night at Chuck E Cheese, I can't believe we are officially in the world of school!





Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Twas the Night Before Kindergarten

My baby starts school tomorrow.  I have equally dreaded and looked forward to this and now that we are here I don't know how to feel.

I know the size of your kid doesn't necessarily indicate if they are prepared for something but looking at my teeny, only surpassing the 30 pound mark after a big meal girl just doesn't look like she is ready to start school. 


Despite my hesitations, she is embracing this change with an open heart and mind.  Tuesday night was Meet the Teacher night and as we were walking through the seemingly endless hallways, navigating ourselves from classroom to classrom, it hit me what was about to happen.  Evelyn held my hand tightly and I could tell she was nervous but she was being so brave.

As I predicted, Evelyn struggled with meeting her teachers even though she was so excited to meet them.  She shut down a bit (ok, a lot) and refused to talk or even look their way but of course after we had left she told everyone how nice they were and how much she liked them.  I just hope her teachers (Mrs. A and Mrs. T) recognize what a sensitive soul she is and takes care of her heart.  I know that is a very typical mom thing to say, "My daughter is a special snowflake!!" but she is my precious snowflake and I want only the best for her, as any mom would.

I'm having to put a lot of trust into these two women I know nothing about, and it is hard.  Kindergarten is a formative experience and if she walks away this year with distrust and pain, it will take a lot of work to get her to where we are tonight, on the last eve of her naivety, completely and utterly thrilled to be going to school.

Boyfriend and I both took today off to spend her last day as a non-student (EVER!) together.  We had a wonderful day with a new back to school haircut, lunch at her favorite restaurant (Gloria's), Build a Bear and of course, ending the day at her favorite place-Target.

Throughout the day we would be talking and she would just interrupt our conversation with a, "I'm just SO excited!"  We talked about how to make friends and what types of rules she can expect.  We discussed what she wanted to bring for lunch.  She requested turkey, carrots, celery and strawberries-Michelle Obama would be so proud. 

I mentioned in my Dallas Moms Blog post that one of the things that makes me so nervous is that I am losing what little control I had over her environment.  She is going to be introduced to so many wonderful things, but with that comes the things I don't want her to see or experience.  I know I can't shelter her forever, nor do I want to, but five still feels so young to me.

Before getting her to bed tonight, she had to sign a student commitment form for her school.  We read over each bullet point, and it was an opportunity to discuss how to be a good student and person.  She is inspired and as I type this yelling to me that she is just too excited to sleep.


I don't think either of us will get much sleep tonight, to be honest.  Tomorrow morning, I am going to take a lesson from my strong girl and put on a brave face.  Hopefully I won't cry too much but I did purchase a brand new waterproof mascara, just in case.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Not a Secret Anymore...

About six months ago, I discovered Boyfriend had been keeping a secret from me.  He had been taking pictures of our life together, without me being aware, and had been posting them for all the world to feast their eyes upon.

Luckily it was just food photos and I was happy to jump on the Just Eat Dallas bandwagon.


I may have reinforced a wife stereotype, because as soon as Boyfriend told me what he was up to I took over because he wasn't doing it the way I would.  To be fair though, he welcomed my partnership and it has been really fun collaborating on something other than our children.

I recently went to a happy hour with other Dallas Foodies and I was asked what our goal was for the account.  Honestly, we have no aspirations for financial gains (but if you want to give us free food, holla at JustEatDallas@gmail.com), we just love talking about the food we eat.

Just Eat Dallas has also gotten us to be more active in our city which is an added bonus.  Instead of going to the same reliably tasty spots, we are hitting up different and new places.  Variety is the spice of life, right?

While we aren't a major Dallas Foodie Instagram account, we have built new relationships with other food lovers in the area and it has been really, really fun.  I'm definitely enjoying our new creative venture and can't wait to see what new food adventures await us.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Daycare Nana

A little over three and a half years ago, our live in nanny abandoned us (she got married and decided she would rather live with her husband than us, rude!) so we had to find another solution for childcare.  At the time, Boyfriend and I were not working traditional schedules and knew we would need to find an individual vs a center with strict hours.  Little did I know contacting a home daycare I saw on Craigslist would be one of the best decisions I ever made.

I was hesitant at first, finding someone off Craigslist because of all the horror stories.  I consider myself a good judge of character and we had just been successful with our live in nanny (found on care.com) that I figured it wouldn't hurt to go at least meet her.  Her driving attraction was location, less than two miles from our home but the moment we met her, I knew she was "the one."

At our first meeting, the grandmotherly (but not old) woman explained to me that the kids she takes care of are her family and everyone calls her, "Nana."  Boyfriend and I laughed, knowing this would make my mom, another Nana, jealous.  Over time, Evelyn started differentiating my mother as "Regular Nana" and the other Nana as "Daycare Nana."  Instead of using her first name, we too have started calling her as Daycare Nana because she is truly the additional grandmother in our lives.

As a former nanny, I really do get how much your charges mean to you.  You love them and adore them and miss them.  Daycare Nana goes a step above the norm and pretty much lives her life around her kids.  She spoils them rotten-she has Santa personally come to her home each December, she bakes each one of them THE.BEST.CAKE.EVER. for their birthdays, she cooks them meals every day based on their preferences.  She is just the best.

One thing all of the parents of the other kids and I agree on is that Daycare Nana doesn't mess around with attitude or misbehavior and I am so appreciative of it.  Sometimes when things are really rough at home, instead of saying, "I'm going to call your father!!" I just have to say, "I'm going to call Daycare Nana" and Evelyn will straighten up real quick.  I wish I had the level of respect and boundaries Daycare Nana has, but I also know that kids will push their mother in that oh so special way.

Daycare Nana is about to have a turn over of several kids, they all start Kindergarten this year.  To celebrate she took them all out to lunch at Gloria's, for popsicles at Steel City and then to Barnes & Noble for each kid to pick out a book.  Evelyn is going to miss seeing her every day so, so much but luckily Penny will still be going to Daycare Nana's so there will still be the occasional visits.

I don't know what Evelyn is going to do without seeing the woman who loves her as much as her blood family does.  She is going to miss her doing her hair, her yummy lunches, and hugs when she isn't feeling well or sad.  The only thing Evelyn is sad about when it comes to school is not going to her house every day.



We love you Daycare Nana!
 
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