grayson_feature

What if someone calls me a nerd?

I had secretly hoped that when I had children they would not need glasses. Not that glasses aren’t cool, but I just didn’t want the extra hassle. I’m lazy.

My hopes were dashed late 2013 when we found out that both Irelyn and Chloe needed glasses. So my hope changed… maybe the boys won’t need glasses. Well, we’re 0 for 3 with the kids who’ve been to an optometrist. Grayson ended up with glasses. However, this kid’s face was made for glasses. The girls look super cute, but Grayson… I just love him in his specs.

I mean look at him. LOOK.

20150317_GraysonSpecs

The girls didn’t have any qualms about wearing their glasses when the time came. Grayson had concerns though. “What if someone is mean?” he asked. “What if someone calls me a nerd?” I told him that nerds are freakin’ awesome, so if someone says he is a nerd he is to tell him or her, “Heck, yeah, I’m a nerd! Nerds are cool!” I also told him that his Daddy and I are a big old nerds, so he knows nerds really are awesome. There have been no issues so far at school. The only hiccup we’re experiencing is Grayson likes to take off the glasses and leave them random places. I almost stepped on them the other night. They were blending in with the Legos scattered across his bedroom floor.

David think he looks like a little Morrissey now. Which isn’t too far-fetched as David was a Morrissey look alike when he was younger and Grayson is the spitting image of his father.

20150317_GraysonSpecs_02

2015_feature

Visioning Me

Have you ever chosen a word that will be your focus for the year? I did once. For 2013 my word was PATIENCE. I didn’t do well with it. I lacked patience with the kids, with finding a house within our budget, with the eventual construction of our new home, with finishing school, and with saving money.

I didn’t choose a word for 2014.

And I’m not exactly choosing a word for 2015, but if I did, it would be ME. That’s right, I’m selfish. I want to focus on me.

Vision Boards |Freckle Face Lace

For 2015 I made a vision board and I will have it printed and hung up where I can see it regularly. I’m also keeping a vision journal where I can keep track of my goals month by month, and create smaller goals to reach the big ones. I’ll work on that at the end of each month. In there I can keep the more personal goals that I don’t want to put on display for everyone to see.

What are your goals for 2015?

IMG_2793

Golden Mooncakes

“Who will place the golden mooncakes on the dining table?”

After being gone for about four months, these are the type of questions that are asked of you by your adoring spam commenters. They truly adore me. I had over 1500 spam comments to delete. Only the golden mooncakes caught my eye. All the rest went straight to the trash. Lesson? Make sure your spam filter is on. Always.

What’s been going on? I’ve missed y’all. I should mention in the last four months I’ve slowly integrated y’all into my vocabulary. I’m not sure I like it. “You guys” is more my style. You can take the girl out of California, but you can’t take the California out of the girl. I miss Disneyland. I do not, however, miss the crowd of Southern California. Just in case you were wondering. I also miss silence, but I won’t be getting that back until all my kids are moved out of the house. I’d like them to go to college far enough away where they have to move out, but close enough so they can come home easily on weekends or holidays. If my calculations are correct, Flynn will graduate high school in 2030. Good lord, that’s a long wait.

Now that I’ve rambled a bit, here is what we’ve been up to:

GoldenMooncakes_01

SEPTEMBER
Also known as the “birthday month” in my family. Three of my siblings and I have birthdays in September. We all aged another year. I turned 34. Do I look 34? Depends on how stressed out I am. So lately, a lot of yes. Yes, I look 34. To celebrate, David and I attended a Rangers game. They won. Which was a rare feat last season. It’s okay, we still love them (and the Dodgers!).

// I'm 34! Flynn's cute!

// I’m 34! Flynn’s cute!

I got to experience the thrill that is co-leading a Girl Scout troop meeting as I volunteered to be co-leader for Irelyn and Chloe’s troop this year. Trying to get 15 girls in 1st through 4th grades to listen at once can be taxing. It’s been interesting.

Grayson started t-ball. He’s so cute out there, but he really isn’t all that into the sport. He just likes to be a part of it all.

GoldenMooncakes_03

OCTOBER
There was a Girl Scout camping trip with the girls. Rain (read: downpour) was in the forecast and this stressed out some of the moms. So we ended up driving 20 minutes to a church one of them worked out and slept in its gym. I never want to sleep on a gym floor again. Hah, who am I kidding? I didn’t sleep at all. We returned to the camp to find the tent and camper dry.

// Chloe in the gym

// Chloe in the gym

Irelyn turned eight! We celebrated with a Doctor Who sleepover. She had five friends over, so including Chloe and Irelyn we had seven girls eight and under in the house. It was a long night. I couldn’t get them to shut down and sleep. They were still up at 2:30 AM, which is when I turned off all the lights everywhere so they would be too scared to leave the room. Not really, but kind of. I was done with giggling girls at that point. It went well, and all the girls had fun. Only one missed her parents and needed to go home. First sleepover hosted by our family can be marked a success.

FullSizeRender(1)

We attempted to start attending church regularly. This also ties in with Irelyn. She has been asking about religion and we explained what we could to her, which led to talk of baptism, and to get baptized one should attend church regularly. So we went back. In our church, the children are baptized when they are eight or older. Irelyn has chosen to be baptized and that will take place in January.

IMG_1486

Parent/teacher conferences. All the kids are doing GREAT. Irelyn is super well-behaved and a straight A student (second grade is the first year with letter grades in these parts). Chloe, once again, will be in the talent pool, which is a precursor to the gifted program and is a social butterfly. Grayson is the one I worried the most about. He showed no interest in writing, drawing, or learning how to hold a pencil correctly. He hadn’t even picked a hand to write with (if you looked up ambidextrous in the dictionary, you’d find his picture). We’d seen the work coming home and his amazing progress, but at the conference we were further amazed. His journals were filled with art and actual stories. His teacher suggested we have him tested for the gifted program because, as she described it, he is a “little sponge” and picks up everything quickly and REMEMBERS it.

GoldenMooncakes_01

Character day at school. The students were encouraged to dress as their favorite book characters. We have Pippi Longstockings, Eloise, and Bilbo Baggins.

IMG_1664

Halloween! Irelyn was a zombie Amy Pond, Chloe a Vampire from Venice, Grayson was Darth Vader, and Flynn was supposed to be Yoda but was not keen on wearing his costume.

IMG_1682

NOVEMBER

IMG_2793

David and I are both PTA members again this year. It’s been weird this year. Not enough people who know what they are doing, and not enough parents willing to help. So you have maybe ten parents doing all the work. It sucks.

Flynn got a big boy bed! He’s still in our room for now, but will get moved into Grayson’s room soon.

IMG_2037

Grayson attended his first hockey game. My sister’s boyfriend took him out to see the Dallas Stars play. He loved it (and all the food). Maybe he’d rather play hockey instead of baseball?

IMG_2395

We had a lice epidemic. Chloe came to me the day before Thanksgiving with an itchy head, there were bugs. It was not fun. I’ve never dealt with lice before. I treated both girls and Grayson. Only Irelyn and Chloe showed signs of infestation, but Grayson was a precautionary measure. I didn’t do as well as I thought I did. More on that later…

Thanksgiving! My favorite. I think it’s my favorite because it’s one of the few holidays that is about getting together as a family and giving nothing but your time (and maybe a few tasty dishes). Ours went well. There was a bit of a turkey mishap, but it all worked out. Half my family is vegan anyhow.


DECEMBER

IMG_2824

It took me a while to get into the Christmas spirit. Decorations went up late, and as usual, came down a couple days after Christmas. I hung some gold tinsel garland in the entryway in an attempt to copy the Ponds’ house in one of the Doctor Who Christmas Specials. It was simple, but I got the most comments on it. So it was a win in my book.

There was another Girls Scout sleepover, not of the camping variety, but of a Christmas variety. They watched Polar Express in 3D, drank hot chocolate, decorated cookies, and made a mess. My girls had fun and I guess I did too. Kids are funny. I nicknamed one of the girls “Gumball” because she kept eating a bunch of gumballs, I received a lot of hugs, and lots of drawings. I guess it’s the kind of stuff I’ll remember fondly when I’m 85 and sitting on the porch in a rocking chair, sipping some lemonade.

// Chloe and the other Daisies

// Chloe and the other Daisies

Irelyn’s grade had a holiday program. The cute second graders sang us Christmas songs and some played instruments. Irelyn was one of them. I liked watching her concentrate everything on playing correctly. Her jaw set, her mind focused and she did EXCELLENT.

// Not from holiday program, hah

// Not from holiday program, hah

I, much to my shy, introverted personality’s dismay, led the cookie training for the parents of our girl scout troop. I think I was awkward and all over the place with the information, but it got done. This was done while the girls in the troop made and served dinner to the parents. They were pretty cute in their homemade chef hats. We had burritos, and that was entirely because of Irelyn. It was good.

Flynn turned TWO! Poor kid didn’t get much of a celebration because I was sick. He still isn’t talking all that much, but he loved the cake and the gifts he received. I’ve never seen a toddler blow out their candles with as much efficiency as he did. One try. No spit. Excellent. He’s so cute.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Christmas! My dad surprised us all on the 23rd by coming out from California. My kids were ecstatic. It was fun to have him here, he has never been to a holiday a hosted. The kids woke up at 6:00 AM Christmas Day, which is what they do every day. We dumped out stockings, then ate homemade cinnamon rolls, and waited for everyone to come over before we dug into the gifts. We opened most of them then took another break to shower and get dressed. We make that task LAST, bro. One nice thing about being three states away from your family and hosting your own holidays is you don’t have to participate in forty Christmases. I see people doing this all over social media and I do not envy them. I like being able to not be stressed out about having a million places to go.

IMG_3198

Lice epidemic number two! Yay. A few days ago I found lice in Chloe and Irelyn’s hair. And Grayson. And Flynn. Everyone received an initial treatment. The boys’ received buzz cuts (Flynn looks so OLD now) and will have a visual inspection everyday until it’s time for retreatment. Girls receive a “wet combing” every day. Stuffed animals bagged for two weeks. Bedding washed the first day and run through the dryer on the hottest temp setting for 20 minutes every day until we are nit free. Everything sterilized. House vacuumed. I did all this without the daily tasks last time, and they came back. I don’t want them around again. It is a pain in the neck with four kids. Pain in the NECK!

IMG_3221

IMG_3238

And that’s where we stand. Waiting to ring in the New Year. It’ll be very quiet as we do not have cable and I’m pretty sure the kids will fall asleep before midnight. We’ll see. I’ll update y’all. One of my goals for 2015 is to write more… in whatever form: blog, book, journal, grocery lists. 😉

Long post. It’s because I love you.

SchoolDays_feature

School Days

Today was the first day of school for the big kids. The last time I only had one kid home with me was when my oldest was 17 months old. So the last six years I’ve always had at least two kids with me. It’s been loud.

SchoolDays

Today, it was just this guy. He watched movies and ignored me when I tried to take pictures with him.
School Days | Freckle Face Lace

The big kids did really well. No tears from my new kindergartner. It’s hard to believe I’ve had a kid starting kindergarten every year for the last couple years. It’ll be four years before we have that experience again.

How-To Play Role Playing Games with Young Kids | Freckle Face Lace

How-To Play Role Playing Games with Young Kids

I’ll admit it here: I didn’t let my inner geek out until I started dating my husband. I have always been one to prefer the company of a book to that of a group of people and creating my own worlds out of nothing but words, but there were things I had yet to discover. I’d never seen Star Wars, it’d been ages since I opened a comic book, and I had never played a role playing game (RPG). My husband opened me up to a whole world of things that could easily allow me to fulfill my dream of NEVER leaving the house.

Fast forward almost fourteen years later. We got hitched and we made some babies. Quite a few of them too. While we do have to leave the house more often than I’d like (I mean, nothing really beats the sound of a body of water undulating in the background as you read or write), we are still able to find time for our… geeky hobbies.

Recently we’ve decided to introduce our kids to the world of RPG. My husband is really excited to put my BFA in Creative Writing to use in the worlds of Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder. We were thinking we’d introduce the kids to D&D initially, but after a bit of research, decided on Pathfinder for our first adventure as a family.

We play on a weekly basis, and if you’re a geek parent looking to introduce your littles to dragon slaying adventures that boost the imagination, here are some tips we’ve picked up along the way. These games are usually intended for kids 12 & older, but we’ve started ours younger, they are seven, six, five and nineteen months old. We keep the story kid friendly.

How-To Play Role Playing Games with Young Kids | Freckle Face Lace

How-To RPG with Kids

  • If they’re old enough (five or older is probably best), let them create their own character. They’ll love deciding the race, rolling the die, and naming them. When it’s all done, let them draw a picture of what their character looks like.
  • Create characters for the younger kids, but have the Dungeon/Game Master play them. Our nineteen month old is pretty good at rolling the 120d, but he does try to eat it sometimes. Watch them!
  • Have an adult create a character that they won’t mind losing. Don’t play the game with your Level 17, Halfling Rogue. Just don’t.
  • Don’t be strict with your gameplay. This is about spending time together as a family and creating strong imaginations. There have been many writers inspired by their time playing RPGs. Let their imaginations soar!
  • Have the Dungeon/Game Master guide the kids. Sometimes they just don’t know what to do, and sometimes they spend a lot of time wondering if the goblins are just tricking them.
  • HAVE PATIENCE. This is the most important. You won’t get very far in your adventure if you’re reprimanding the kids and telling them they’re doing something wrong. These games are for FUN, they’re not real life.

Now go grab your bag of dice, the kids, and your partner. It’s time to delve into a world of magic, heroism, and imagination. Excelsior!