Did You

Autumn

Learn anything today at preschool, Jovie?

Jovie: Nope!

Did you go anywhere with your teacher? (Emma said she saw the kids leave the premise)

Jovie: Nope! I didn’t go anywhere.

Did you do anything today then?

Jovie: Nope!

(pause and pondering)

Jovie: But I did play lots today!!

Ahhhh!!!

I Did It!

Proud

I stayed up after the kids went to bed and scrapbooked!

I know, it doesn’t sound like a big deal but lately I’ve been so tired at night and all I want to do is either go straight to bed or just read/browse the WWW on the iPad in bed after the girls go to bed.

I’ve been wanting to scrapbook, create more cards, and do some “work” but they’ve all been pushed aside.

I am also pleased with the fact that I can still create a layout. I thought maybe I lost it since it’s been months {::SMILES}.

I had a great time creating this page. It was really relaxing and while putting everything together, my mommy self was beaming with pride. SOOOO proud of Emma and all her accomplishments. I’ve never seen her work so hard for anything before and it truly is a wonderful feeling as a mother to be able to provide her with support (and the chauffeuring). It really doesn’t matter how far she goes with this sport or what rank she gets at each competition, it’s the discipline, dedication, and time management I think that will benefit her throughout her life. She has became more confident since she started gymnastics and she’s also learning that it takes a lot of practice (which includes falling down and being brave enough to get up and finish) to be able to do something really well.

Anyhow, need to get ready to take Miss M to gymnastics. Have a great weekend, everybody!!

Upcycling Cloth Diaper

Scarlet Lime March Kit 2012

Maybe in 20 years Emma will stumble upon this post (granted I have no idea how blogs would be preserved in 20 years) and she’ll have a giggle. But, if she stumbles upon this sometimes this week, this momma will be in big trouble {::SMILES}.

A few days ago, at swimming, M kept looking at me and each time she’d mutter something. It took a few tries but I finally understood what she said. At first I was going to do something sensible but between the rain and wanting to teach my child a little lesson I decided on something else — and this was after consulting with my handy dandy grocery bag hand bag (forget Coach, Dooney, Fendi, Fossil, etc, this, my friends, is my daily hand bag).

After swimming and showering, the girls and I went in to a changing room and there I presented M with her towel. She was appalled. She was embarrassed. But she was also cold and wet. In the changing room I dried my oldest with a cloth diaper, a Grovia soaker to be exact.

Even though Jovie’s pee trained, she’s not poo train. She’s still terrified of the potty when it comes to #2 and she prefers to do it on a diaper/trainer. I always know when she needs to do #2 and so until she says she needs to poo, Jovie wears big girl underpants. This is why I always carry a cloth diaper or disposable trainer, in case of #2.

Now, I don’t know about your 8-yrs-old but mine gets embarrassed easily. Even though she’ll ask for hugs, kisses and cuddles at home, in public, there’s no such thing. Since my goal was to teach her a lesson, and it was really funny watching her pout, I then said, “I cannot wait to tell your daddy and post this on Facebook!!” Call me mean but when I saw her face and her reaction I immediately busted out laughing. I couldn’t stop giggling until I got home (and somebody couldn’t stop being upset all the way home) and when we got to the drive way, I was laughing so hard tears were rolling down my face. At this point I was mostly laughing at M’s attitude. She was begging me and bargaining with me to not tell anybody, even her daddy.

We never made a deal. We got interrupted. And so here I am sharing and wondering when, or if ever, M will find out.

It really isn’t a big deal. M’s reaction is really what’s more entertaining than the whole diaper thing. I thought my idea was quite clever really {::SMILES}.

Kids! They drive you nuts one minute and the next, they make you laugh so hard that all the exhausting part of parenting gets washed away.

I also have a little scrapbook page to share. I used Scarlet Lime’s Frugal Fab kit, the March kit, to create the page. I LOVE the color scheme. It’s mellow and fun at the same time.

Travel Time

123

I love, and I mean LOVE, living in England. But, like anywhere else, there are a few things that I wish could be better. One in particular is driving time.

For the last few months we’ve been thinking about moving. I look regularly online, get email updates and have looked at a couple in person but so far: Nothing. Don’t think that housing is hard to find or that I am uber picky (well, kind of) but I want to move into an oooooold house with a garage, at least three double rooms (some houses here are advertised as five bedrooms but only two are decent sizes and the three are only for a single bed and a dresser), a lovely garden, super clean + updated toilets, gas stove, a good location (school, gymnastics and markets) and within 30 minutes of hubby’s work.

Right now we’re about 20 minutes, 12 miles, from his work and 50 minutes, 38 miles, from M’s gymnastics club. Even though it’s ok now, if Emma keeps loving gymnastics and continues to do well she’s going to one day go more often.

With all that put into consideration, I’ve been looking further north for a new place to rent. Hubby’s work is actually in the middle of our house and gymnastics right now and so a northern move would be an advantage to him in terms of mileage.

Here’s the funny part. No matter where I look, our drive will more less be 20-30 minutes for hubby and 40-50 minutes for the gym even though mileage wise they are significantly less. Unlike the US, there are not as many interstates and highways here in the UK. While US highways have a lower speed limit and have different booby traps to somewhat slow you down, they are a lot quicker than UK ones because there are no roundabouts every 2-5 miles for example. The other main reason why it would take us as long to get to work or gym is because the villages that I’ve been looking at, the ones we want to live in, are not near a highway exit. Actually, there is probably no decent villages that is right off the interstate. And most people will agree that driving through villages can take a lot longer than going via the interstate.

Here’s an example: Last weekend the hubby and I went on a date. We ate at this lovely restaurant 6.5 miles away from our home. It took us 18 minutes to get there. It wasn’t because there was city traffic, or any traffic, but because we had to go through different villages, roundabouts, and small two lane roads (even though the out of village speed limit is 60 miles/hr).

I’ve seen many cute cute cute places 15-20 miles away from hubby’s work but even though it’s 15 miles away, it can take 45 minutes to get to his work just because there’s no direct route and half of the drive would be through different villages.

Village driving is wonderful. I LOVE doing this. But when you’re in a hurry or just trying to get to and from work, you just want to hurry it up and get there.

I hope you like the page I have here today. I used the Scarlet Lime February Frugal Fab kit for this and really like how fun it turned out. Jovie loved it too. She absolutely loved the sea horse, which I knew she would {::SMILES}. Take care and until next time!!

Time and Value

2yrs 8mo

I am a maximizer. Even if I have found the right camera for my needs I would continue to look and research to make sure I have examined every possible option before I make my final decision. And even after the purchase I would still wonder whether I made the right decision or not and keep researching.

Have you read The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz? It’s quite good and it talks alot about maximizers and satisficers. Satisficers are the opposite of maximizers. Satisficer would have a list of wants and needs and if something fits their wants and needs, that something would be chosen. Satisficers would then enjoy this chosen something and not think about the many other similar somethings that are out there.

It’s exhausting being a maximizer. While for many things I can be a satisficer, like choosing a food item at a new restaurant, most others I have to maximize.

I maximize with the girls quite a bit. For M’s gymnastics I researched all the possible clubs within an hour’s drive from us. I even researched other clubs that we could never go to unless we could teleport. For piano I read all the possible methods that a teacher can use to teach children how to play the piano and after contacting about 10, we tried six of them out. For Jovie’s pre-school, I read all of the preschool’s info, Googled for reviews, and plan on visiting a handful of them. The funny thing is, there’s a pretty good one behind M’s school but, I still want to look.

I have learned to be a satisficer for a lot of things, e.g. places to eat (although planned ones I like to read the reviews first), clothes, non-life altering decisions, my scrapbook pages. In the past, it would probably take two days to make the above page where now it took me under an hour. I have decided to take it easy with my crafty work. To not really think too hard and just enjoy the process. The result: More productive craft time!

I have this goal to not think so much about things. To still do some intelligent research but not dig so deep into it unless it’s very important, e.g. health related. Maximizing often times cut my sleep time short because instead of going to bed at 11 p.m. at the latest, I’d still be up at 2 a.m. trying to see if coat A for M at Joules is better quality and price compared to coat B at Boden.

You might be wondering how happy I am with the decisions/choices that I’ve made based on days, weeks, months and even years of research. Even though the process has always been time consuming, I have been quite happy with the most of the outcomes. I am quite pleased with M’s gymnastics. She’s improving and learning so much in just a month and Emma herself is happy with the quality of her new coaches. The piano teacher is magnificent. We both love her and every week M is loving piano more and more. Now I don’t even have to tell her to practice. M would get up 30 minutes early every morning, go back to the piano throughout the day – even on weekends, and practice. Also, I haven’t been to any bad restaurant of choice because of Google, Qype, Tripadvisor, Michelin, etc’s reviews. Yes, I go through all the review websites when looking for a good restaurant. Same with B&Bs, haven’t stayed at a bad one yet…