Around Here

Around Here – Early Summer 2016

Happy Summer Solstice, and happy Summer time! The weather has been amazing here this week, highs in the 70s (F), and cool breezes, sunny skies… SO very pretty!

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Outside my window… A breeze is blowing, and birds are chirping! It’s very soothing!

In my head… Honestly? I’m half laughing at myself, and half feeling like a very boring creature of habit, because when I decided I should do this kind of “currently” / “around here” type entry, I searched my previous posts for the last time I did one. Turns out, it was pretty much exactly the same time of year, and I said many of the exact same things I was thinking of saying today!! Oh, man. My habits are deeply ingrained, apparently. June hits, and suddenly, my writing ramps up, and I have a strong urge to clean, organize and plant stuff. That’s not all bad. But I’m bummed I haven’t made more progress on most of my goals from last year. Just goes to show I should do these posts more often, to keep myself on track better!

Also, as a general update from last year, I only stuck with that psychiatrist I mentioned for about 2 months. Her scheduling policy stressed me out so much, it was just dumb. I finally told her I can’t see her if appointments with her were causing more stress than they were helping! I haven’t seen a different therapist since her, and not sure if I will again soon or not. For now, I’m just leaving things as they are.

On the kid front… Homer is amazing. He wants to play with his friends a lot, and he is gaining more life skills, like getting the water pitcher out and pouring himself a glass when he’s thirsty, and pumping himself on the swings. He still asks me to push him on the swings and get him water, though, and he still wants to snuggle a lot (yay!). He is not sleeping in his own bed all the time, but he falls asleep there, and he has actually just recently started to stay there longer again. Sleep is an ongoing issue for us to figure out, but we are working on it. And the more sleep he gets, the better a mood he’s in, which is surprising to no one! Right now, he falls asleep around 11pm and sleeps until 9 or 9:30am. Which works pretty well for all of us night owls at the moment, but will need to work on shifting earlier and earlier if we’re going to have reasonable sleep hours for the school year.

His anxious/angry outbursts have become fewer, and less intense when they do occur. Thankfully! I think getting better sleep and eating well seems to help a lot.

Overall, Homer is just such a cool and sweet guy, always genuinely complimenting others, trying to connect with everyone he comes across, shouting, “HI!! HIIII!!!!” to strangers across parking lots, chatting up a storm with cashiers at stores. He’s so outgoing and chatty, and it amazes me how he can seem so grown and so little all at once (I’ll probably say that about him forever!).

He has delved into experimenting with using profanity, which I try to discourage! And he is so good at so many video games, and board games that he genuinely beats me a lot. I couldn’t believe it when he recently beat me at checkers!!

He is scared of the dark still, but more open to suggestions for overcoming it, instead of just panicking like he used to. His problem solving skills overall are becoming really impressive. As is his vocabulary! He cracked me up when he told Joe recently, “You always overestimate how much space I need!” I don’t even know exactly what they were talking about, something with Minecraft, I think. But holy cow, how cool is that?? “Overestimate.” He just amazes me!

The Menagerie… Ashton chews tons of stuff, wags his whole body whenever I come home, and is the best snuggle-dog ever. An all around goofy dog, who I’m so grateful is mine. His potty training is EXCELLENT compared to this time last year. We haven’t even bothered with the crate in about a year. It was helpful to have for a long time, but there’s just not really a need anymore.

He still barks at people, and sounds at the door, but stops a little more quickly now. He no longer barks at dogs who bark outside or dogs who bark on tv. Yay for progress! He knows sit, down, wait, spin, sit up, and roll over. He’s a good guy. Things I want to work on with him: not so much barking, not grabbing every thing that falls on the floor (be it food or Homer’s toys or whatever), not chewing everything he finds (i.e., Homer’s toys), learning how to “back off” as in, not licking our faces when we don’t want him to! He’s really doing awesome, and I love him like craziness!

As for Tails, he is still a goofy, playful guy. He plops himself down in the middle of board games. He sits high on my chest and licks my nose when I watch tv. He runs around the house like a madman in the middle of the night. Sweet, silly Tails! He’s doing great, I’m happy to say.

In the creative corner… I have finished a first draft of my first novel! A pretty big milestone, yet at the same time, the work ahead is daunting as hell. I keep trying to sit down and edit, and haven’t done much of any of that. I really need to block out some time to concentrate on it, or it’ll take me another four years just to edit it!

I also have a lot of ideas for paintings and crafts, so I hopefully will have a lot of creations by the end of summer! I’m hoping to rope Homer into some creative time, too. It’s so important to use our hands and senses and experience textures and colors, etc. I’ve got lots of ideas I think he’ll like. We’ll see how it goes!

In the garden…My fairy garden from last year is super dead, but I’ve been all excited to make a new one, a little succulent garden or something. I don’t know, I feel a little discouraged, because I don’t know where I could put it that Tails won’t eat at it, though I suppose the balcony could be an ok choice.

In the kitchen… Nothing new. Still not eating the best. Lots of processed junk. I’m looking forward to improving that, and using the idea of fun blog posts as a method to motivate myself to improve on this (like making food and/or fitness related blog posts). Also, I’m just using my health in general as inspiration, because I’ve been feeling pretty blah, and am ready to change some stuff up.

On the fitness/health track… Same as above. Lots of improvement needed. The good news is that I have a Fitbit now, and it does help get me motivated. It’s fun being close to 10,000 steps and then knowing you just need to push a little harder to get there, and then feeling the buzzing alarm on my wrist as the Fitbit cheers “10,000!” So cool.

I’m going to try to implement a really regular walking routine. I hate feeling like I’ve been SO off track for so long. It really gets me down sometimes. But I know I have the power to change that, so I just need to find some ways to do it! My first plan is getting up a little earlier and just taking Ashton for a 30 minute walk each morning. He and I could both use it and it’d be a great start to the day. And I have to take him out anyway, so why not, right? Just gotta start and stick to it. Easier said than done, evidently, given that I’ve been telling myself this for a few years now. But maybe the 115th time I say it will be the time it sticks. Who knows!

I am reading… the 5th book in the Harry Dresden series by Jim Butcher, Death Masks. So good! I’ve missed these books, as I took a long break from the series, and it’s cool to get back to it.

As for reading to Homer, we’re reading a mix of books, like Dr. Seuss and a few early reader type books. I also just finished reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to him, and we’ve just started on James and the Giant Peach.

I am watching… a LOT of Game of Thrones. Joe and I have been marathon-ing it over the past few weeks and we’re almost caught up!

I am playing… some cool games with Homer lately, like Minecraft Battle Mode on Xbox, Mario and Sonic at the Rio Olypmic Games, and a cool phone app game called Brain It On! So fun!

I am thinking… way too much lately! So I’ve been trying to calm my mind a bit more, meditate, relax and slow down so I can enjoy summer to the fullest!

I am thankful… for quite a lot. I’m thankful the weather is turning sunnier and a little warmer (I like the cool, low 60s temps we’ve been having a while, but the low 70s temps are just downright gorgeous!), I’m thankful for knowing how to handle anxiety when it gets into hyperdrive mode, I’m thankful for friends who are just awesome people to connect with, for writing, reading, and story telling, and most of all for my lovely family, and fantastic friends, both near and far.

I am going… to sleep more, walk more, and eat better. With those as my main goals, I am excited to see what fitness goals I accomplish by the end of summer. I’d like to work up to it being really easy to walk 4 miles at a time, for that to just feel like a normal outing. And I’d like to be able to do 5 pushups in a row (up from my current zero!), and to be eating healthy foods on a daily basis. I’m also going to figure out a schedule for writing and editing, and get a jump on finishing the first draft of another novel in the works, and start editing the first one. I’d love to have a completed second draft by end of August. Wish me luck!!

What are you up to? Do you have any summer goals? Feel free to let me know in the comments section below!

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Writing

Liebster Award

Oh my goodness!! I got nominated for a Liebster Award by the lovely Addison Greene! I humbly accept! How cool is that?! Thank you so much, Addison!! Everyone go visit her! I think her blog entry called A Road Trip Through Childhood was the first entry of hers I read, and I knew I’d be going back for more. She has an enjoyable blog where she writes about travel, which is a compelling subject for me, since I seem to regularly have this sense of wanderlust.

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To learn more about the award, I went ahead and googled the official rules which are summarized as follows:
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CatchtheMoment

Catch the Moment – Week 24

162 | June 10, Fri – This was taken at the End of Year Preschool Picnic! I managed to snap this shot amidst the chaos, and then there was so much going on with food and raffles and the whole deal of actually having to supervise my child, that I didn’t snap any others. Sometimes it’s nice to just live in the moment, but occasionally I kick myself for not taking more photos!! Anyway, this one is really cute, of Homer and one of his best buddies, C.
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Continue reading “Catch the Moment – Week 24”