Monday, February 11, 2013

Life is an Adventure

Insomnia. It sucks on so many levels, which is why I am here writing tonight.

I'd actually forgotten about this blog until recently. In fact, I was going to delete it all together because I hadn't posted something in a year or longer. Then I read the last couple posts and decided perhaps the world needed a little more Tasha. Or maybe I'm just looking for a little therapy.

So what has happened in the past year?

Right around January we found out we were going to be adding another little critter to our crazy brood. I discovered something very quickly. Pregnancy during the summer in Arizona sucks. Literally. As my friend Ali would say "It sucks pond water." I don't think I've ever been so hot in my life. The kids got a little spoiled. We may or may not have lived in the swimming pool from June almost till D-Day and meal time was more like "If you can reach it, it's yours." But, we managed to survive.

We delivered a healthy (and hefty) baby in September and our home is a little more complete. The kids have welcomed baby Dallin into our home with open arms (much to my surprise) and things are...well, let's just say I don't have much down time these days.

In the meantime the boys have taken up Tae Kwon Do where it has become painfully apparent that they get their grace and coordination from their mother. The boys have a form all their own  in regards to the usual exercises; jumping jacks are more on the crazy side of "wacky jacks," sit ups consist of flailing ankles or arms in the air, and don't even get me started on push ups.

One thing that has become apparent is Landon's vanity, which is funny albeit a little embarrassing. See, while all the other kids are standing in line patiently waiting to kick or hit some object or padded person, my child is often found in the mirror examining himself in his karate get up. He may or may not smile at himself too.

Kaden, on the other hand, is more stubborn. Some days he's willing to go along with the suggested exercises, but there are others where he stands in the middle of the dojo with a scowl on his face and his arms crossed. It's about then that I realize I forgot to make sure he got something to eat beforehand.

Myla has turned into a little flirt. During these 45-minute classes, my little girl can usually be found walking around, hamming it up to just about everyone on the sidelines. This usually results in shared toys, treats or even siblings. Like her brother, Myla is very charismatic and I can't help but wonder if I have a couple of con artists on my hands.

In the meantime, there I sit on the sidelines with a 20-pound 4-month-old in my arms, watching as one son is staring in the mirror, the other one is giving staring at me with a look that could melt metal, and my daughter is roaming around trying to charm the treats out of anyone who will give her the time of day. What can I say? Life is an adventure.

Monday, February 6, 2012

If All Else Fails, Ditch Your Shoes

Tasha Logic.

You'll get used to it.

I believe it is my quirky logic that makes me so darn lovable, but I'll let you decide.

Being a stay at home mom, there are times, no matter the size of the house, where it feels like the walls are closing in on me. I didn't discover this phobia about myself until I became a mommy. So, in an effort to battle against claustrophobia and (ahem) the bulge, I decided today Kaden, Myla, and I would WALK 1.5 miles to pick up Landon from school. At the time it didn't sound too far, and I'd done it on my bike at least 8.5 times. In theory it was a great idea.  

However, in my haste to collect the kids and deposit them semi-properly in our double stroller, I forgot I didn't put on socks before I put on my shoes. I was about to the half way point of our journey when both of my pinky toes started to feel sore. There wasn't enough time to go back and get the car at this point as I was already running late. So, on I went. The further I got, the more hobble my gait acquired. I am sure our arrival scene was probably something straight out of a parenting comedy. 

I collected Landon, placed him haphazardly on the stroller handle bars and together we began our journey back home. I walked as far as I could, (which wasn't far at all) before I took off my shoes. I was the proud owner of two new blisters, one for each foot.

I took a look at the sidewalk ahead of me. Luckily, Maricopa keeps their sidewalks fairly maintained and clean, and I couldn't see so much as a rock in our path. At this point two little Tasha's appeared, one on each shoulder. Their conversation went something like this:

Left Shoulder: "Look, the path is clear almost as far as you can see, why not just leave your shoes off?"

Right Shoulder: "But that's gross."

Left Shoulder: "Nuh-uh! How is that gross?"

Right Shoulder: "You don't just walk bare foot in public! What would people think?! Besides, you don't know what is on the side walk You could step in microscopic dog poop!"

Left Shoulder: "But it would hurt so much less to ditch these shoes! And besides, it'll give drivers by something they haven't seen before, a mother walking her kids barefoot. I can always wash my feet."

Right Shoulder: "No contest."

Left Shoulder: "I thought so."

And so, my left side won, and I'm glad it did. Walking barefoot was somehow freeing, reminiscent of being a kid again. The kids thought it was hilarious, especially when we had to sprint across the streets, and I got more than one weird look from passerby's, but I didn't care because I was no longer in pain.

It got me thinking. How many times do we feel obligated to do things a certain way, just because it is mainstream, only it makes us miserable? It's true there are certain things that are inevitable in life, i.e.; jobs, bills, school, dentists, but  how much pain do we put in our own way?

I encourage you to take off your shoes, let yourself go, and forget about mainstream. In the end, who's going to remember that you played by all the rules anyway? That's my part of my nugget of wisdom for the day...the other part is, "Don't Walk Around the Duck Pond Barefoot with Your Head in the Clouds." ...another lesson I learned today, though I will save that story for another time.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Let's Play Catch Up

Hey All!

I know it has been about a bagillion eons since the last time I put a post on here, and I hope you guys will forgive me. In one fell swoop several months ago I found myself being swept away with the current of life with no life preserver and unfortunately my blog had to take a back seat to other, more pressing matters.

Now a days life is starting to balance itself back out...for the time being anyway. One thing I have learned is that the last thing you should ever count on is normalcy, because just when you get comfortable, that's the precise moment when your life will go up in a violent upheaval.

Anyway, I thought today's post could be just a year-end catch up:

And MY how things have changed!

Landon is doing very well in school, so far he has perfect report cards! He is learning to read by Spalding phonograms with which he is also learning to spell, and now he is starting to discover the freedom of being able to read words on a page! He is learning addition and subtraction in math and is doing surprisingly well. The kid never ceases to amaze me. He has charmed all of the recess aids in his school and has a crush on the teacher across the hall, "Ms. Taylor." He's had a few little girlfriends, though he has been holding hands with this current one for probably the longest...I even caught him carrying her backpack.

Kaden and I have really had a chance to bond over the last few months. He's really come out of his shell (though in the company of strangers he goes right back in it). He looks up to his brother, adores his dad, and has developed a stronger protectiveness over his little sister. He's a very tender-spirited little boy, the kind who tears up while watching certain parts of  "Despicable Me." Our favorite thing to do every morning is climb in bed after Landon goes to school and watch cartoons.

I've decided that toddlers are funny and peculiar creatures, and Myla is definitely no exception to that theory. She's the sweetest little girl who knows how to feel out a situation and lay on just the right amount of charm to get attention. She's also the kind of girl who will headbutt you square in the forehead if you're not watching. She has an even bigger knack for mischief, i.e., showcasing her artistry on our freshly painted walls, and just days before that she performed a little trick in which she earned the title, "Super Pooper Scooper."

As you can see, with these three, life is never boring.

Lastly, we bought a house!

...which is what has taken up most of the time the last few months. Who knew that buying a house getting it ready and moving would take so much energy!

I know. Everyone but me. That's just my talent in life: Grossly underestimating everything.

That's it for tonight! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


Friday, September 9, 2011

Shower Buddy

Due to a family emergency, we needed to take an immediate trip out to Upper Black Eddy, Pennsylvania. Yes, you read that right, Upper Black Eddy--I know, I would not have thought to put those words together either. We'll just call it what the locals do: UBE

Anyhoo, UBE is conveniently located a cool 3000 miles away from our little town of Maricopa, and with the cost of airfare, we decided to take the more economical and scenic route. Mistake #1. We also decided to bring along our camping gear and camp on our way out there. Mistake #2.

The first day we left the house at 3:00 a.m. and drove for a good 16 hours (including potty breaks and meals) and finally stopped for the night at a KOA in Oklahoma City, OK. I don't know what was up with the weather that night, but it was one very, very hot and humid night. Hmph. See, hot, humid, and Tasha go about as well together as pickles, cheese, and chocolate. UGH!

As we laid there on our air mattress (yes, I am a princess...I will not sleep on the hard floor if I don't have to) I could feel myself adhering to my bedding in a weird mixture of humidity and sweat. Even after an exhausting day, there was no way I could sleep comfortably, so I decided to take a shower in log-cabin-type structure at the entrance to the park.

Just taking the journey to the showers was an adventure, as it was pitch-black and I don't know who I scared more as I all but ran headlong into a tent nestled in the dark shadows underneath a canopy of trees--the massive dog inside the tent as well as her owner, or myself.

As I opened the door to the cabin, the still, eerie feeling of being completely alone yet not feeling completely alone raised my paranoia as well as the hairs on the back of my neck. To top things off, spooky-scary movie music sang in the back of my head as I checked all the rooms to make sure I was indeed alone.

All seemed well at first...but I couldn't shake the feeling that the cabin was completely empty, so I scurried into a shower stall, feeling safe after I locked the door behind me.

I should not have.

I went through the routine of starting the water and completely undressing as I waited for the shower to warm up. Mistake #3. Just as I opened the shower curtain to step inside I noticed a movement in the corner of the shower that would have scared the pants right off of me...if I would have had any on.

As I was standing there, in nothing but my nuthin's, this little guy stared back at me:

Fortunately I am not afraid of frogs, all the same, I didn't like the idea of the little guy landing on me without my permission. I told him if he would just stay where he was, I would only be a minute, then he could have the stall to himself again.

He didn't listen.

As I showered, I kept one eye on him the entire time. Of course, he started walking across the wall, and the closer he got to me, the more I got out of the shower...until I found myself standing in the little room infront of the shower next to the locked door.

It wasn't until he decided to come into the room that I was in that I gently told him "No." and pushed him back in the stall. One record-setting rinse off later, and he was back in his corner and I was dressed and putting as much distance between myself and my shower buddy as possible.

Still Kickin'

Hey there toys and squirels! (I totally stole that from my sister in law! She's the best!) I'm back from a chaotic month and a half and proud to say that we are still kickin'...though probably not as high as we "used t'could"...(admit it, you find my western twang least entertaining? No? Just lie and say yes.)

Anyhoo...recap on the last 30 days:

Landon started school August 8th. He attends Legacy Traditional Charter School and survives all day kindergarten. This school is a-w-e-s-o-m-e! They are so good with Landon. He has two teachers and two aids that look out for him and he has a great relationship with all of them. He is making great progress. He is able to recite the entire Pledge of Allegiance (video soon to come), count to 100, write his name (you can even tell what it says!), and yell "Mom! It's hot!" when I throw him in the shower without paying attention to the water temperature. These things may seem small, but for little Landon, they're huge.

Kaden had a REALLY hard time with Landon going to school at first; I honestly wasn't sure how I would make it through that first week. Leaving my "Little Man" (who still lives up to that name, especially compared to the 8th graders who go to that school) behind was hard enough, then to be pushing a stroller and dragging a 3-year-old little boy screaming for his nearly ripped me apart. I recall several times where I had Jim on the phone and I was just sobbing. BUT we got through it (thank heavens!) and Kaden is digging his Momma & Kaden time.

Myla is embracing her "terrible two's" with avengeance. She has this habit of getting into trouble (today it was a blue marker) and then, just as you are about to show any remote sign of frustration, she tilts her head back, smiles, and wraps her little arms around your legs. It's impossible to resist. Apparently the charm starts young.

We just got back from a fifteen-day excursion back east to Pennsylvania...I trip I will dive into more detail later this week, but I'll give you a peek: Three days driving, three kids, and almost 3000 miles. It certainly wasn't boring!

Hope this post meets you in good spirits...or at least a good survival story to tell! And don't forget, if all else fails, keep on dancin'!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Watch Me.

This movie is just over a minute long. Imagine watching this for 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening. In complete darkness. Think your brain would get rewired too? You bet it would!

This is a sample of the treatment Landon has been doing for the last 3+ weeks. In the clinic the poor kid had to lay on a moving table while watching just this flashing light and listen to music that hit various frequencies.

Anyway, we've been doing this treatment at home for 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes at night for almost two weeks. I will tell you now, it takes A LOT of self disipline. Landon is making progress though. Slowly but surely.

Anyway, sorry for the lack of posts lately, with this treatment, buying a house, and getting Landon going in school, things have been a little hectic around the Nielsen Casa. But stay tuned! We may have some exciting news soon!

***Don't even let it cross your mind. The exciting news WILL NOT be a new baby anytime in the near future!***

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Insults of Weight Loss

Obsession with weight loss. Everyone has it. Heck, I have it too. I won't lie, there are times when I wish that I could return to the days when Jim and I started dating and I was a blissful 120 pounds. Haha...sadly, those days are LONG gone, and I don't EVER expect to return to the glory days of my early 20's.

Recently, however, I have been able to drop a good 15 pounds thank you to better eating and...well who am I kidding, I don't exercise, it's really just better eating and the new discovery of water in the Arizona heat. But now that I have lost some weight, I am starting to feel better. I can't help but feel like maybe, just maybe, if I loose a little more weight I might stand a chance of being one step of my children's determination to cause mischief. Maybe. So, now I'm pumped to loose more weight, and doing so comes with A LOT of nutritional research.

There are a thousand-point-five diets out there, and twice as many exercise DVD programs, gym membership offers, magic diet pills, drops and injections to help you on your quest for healthy living. Along with this helpful (and sometimes completely unbelievable)bundle of information are generally images like this:

While this picture is one of the more tame that I have come across, it is nonetheless an insult and a reminder of the things that I will probably never be able to do. I'm not being pessimistic on this one, just realistic. Let's face it, there are certain things you cannot recover from. I call mine thing 1, thing 2, and thing 3. I know several women who have had children and can perform something like this, I just happen to know that I cannot. Even if I was able to pull off a position like this, I'm utterly afraid I would look disproportionate in one way or another...probably several ways at once, starting at the head.

It just so happens that the author of one of the blogs that I follow regularly feels the same way. So, he decided to make a spoof on these companies. Check out his video! It's hilarious!

This is Dan Pearce on "Single Dad Laughing."To check out his blog, Click Here. He's a pretty funny guy who has a whole new take on life.

As for me, I'm going to continue the healthy eating thing with the occasional warm chocolate chip/toffee cookie. Hey, if I can't keep up with my things, I might as well bribe them to come to me.