Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Ten Tuesday thoughts...or updates...or snarky snippits...or just whatever.

1.  It is almost August.  I feel like summer just started, and in less than a month it will be over.  I'm feeling jipped.  So instead of lamenting that I only have a few short weeks before we enter the cog of another school year...I'm going to make each moment count.  The calendar is FULL...but there is LOTS of fun to be had.  We have a summer bucket list with MANY things just waiting to be crossed off.  It's my mission to do as much of it as humanly (and financially) possible.  :)

2.  There is a large festival happening in my home town this week.  It's weird to go back as a tourist.  But then...I head somewhere and get stuck behind someone who has NO idea where they're going...and then decides it's ok to stop cold in the middle of a street...and not move for over 2 minutes...then...well, I realize that I'm not THAT much of a tourist.

3.  My friend, Michelle, makes KILLER pickles.  MMMMMMmmmmm. 

4.  I have quite a few recipes (gf!!!) to share with you.  It will just take some patience to get them posted.  Super good.

5.  Ally, the crazy my-fur-would-look-good-as-a-rug dog, is really attention seeking.  I think I need to invest in a shock collar.  With a remote control.  The other day, she was MAD at me...and decided to let me know by peeing.  In my bed.  Comforter, blanket, sheets, and mattress pad all SOAKED.  I didn't realize it until I went to get into bed...and felt cold wetness.  I was so angry.  ANGRY! 

6.  I have a hair appointment on Thursday afternoon.  I can't decide if I'm up for a big change or just a spruce up.  Ideas?

7.  Baby L. is already 9 months old.  C. turns 6 in a few weeks.  I am ready to cry.

8.  I had a quality mullet sighting last night.  I hadn't seen a great one in over a year.  The only thing missing was the camero.  No joke.

9.  I wonder if anyone can learn how to have good character.  Will they always be inappropriate?  Can a really old dog learn new tricks?

10.  We paid our quarterly taxes the other day.  I seriously think the country would be a TOTALLY different place if everyone had to fork over that much money out of their bank account every quarter.  It really makes you think...

Friday, July 26, 2013


Hello friends.

Again, we make it to another Friday.

This week FLEW by. 

I just returned from picking A. up from a week at camp.  We had such high hopes for him to have a terrific time, but it turned out that was not the case.

I sent him with 5 self-addressed stamped envelopes.  When I didn't receive anything from him, I assumed he was having a great time.  Not the case.  Turns out his counselor didn't/wouldn't give him a writing utinsil.

Apparently, he was homesick the entire week.  And to top it off, some of his bunkmates were really mean to him.  Seriously...I need to resist the urge to go kick a kid's arse.  #mamabear #somepeopleskids #meanpeoplesuck

On Sunday when we dropped him off, his counselor told us to pick him up before 1:15.  He said "closing chapel starts at 11:30, so anytime between 11:30 and 1:15."

He called me from another parent's cell phone at 12 noon.  We were literally 1/2 mile away from camp. 

What his counselor failed to tell me is that we were supposed to be there for brunch at 10:30 am, and in attendance for the closing chapel.

Poor homesick A. sat there for 2 hours watching nervously for us to arrive.  Tears upon arrival.  :(

I looked around for his counselor- and saw him across the camp.  Completely unaware that I had picked him up.  What?  Did he just write him off?  Seriously???

He's tired, stinky, and covered in bug bites.  When I say covered, I mean COVERED.  Ugh....


Anyway...cheering up with some questions:

1. What is your best secret cleaning tip?

I have a calendar where I plan our our meals a month in advance.  It keeps me on budget and takes the guess work out of cooking. 

Last month, I started putting a particular room, laundry, ironing or Ally under the assigned meal.  It simply means that I need to pay attention (of some sort...any sort) to that room or thing.  Sometimes I go all-out and clean the room from top to bottom.  Othertimes, I just change sheets and clean up the floor.  Either way, I'm doing a little *something* every day to make our home cleaner and neater.  It works for me.

2. What is your favorite food to snack on during movie night?

I'm going to be boring here and say popcorn.  Yep...totally unoriginal...but man, soooo good!
3. If it was up to you, what would you have named the royal baby?

What?  Someone had a royal baby?
4. If you could be any Disney character who would you choose?

Hmmmm, I have to admit I'm not really up to snuff on my Disney characters. 

We're not what you call a "Disney-family," and sometimes their political bully-isms as a corporation really make us look elsewhere for entertainment. 

So...I'm not really sure????
5. What's the most important part of a healthy relationship?

Love and Respect.  woven together with all eyes on God.

If you have that, nothing else matters.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Because random is what I do best

Today is Wednesday.

A. is away at camp this week.  This is the longest he's ever been away from me.  I'm sad and happy at the same time. I sent 5 addressed (3 to home and 2 to grandparents), stamped envelopes with him.  I have yet to hear anything from him.  Seriously, kid?  22.5 hours of labor is all I'm sayin'.  No...I'll say one more thing...you had a 14 inch head, and you can't even send your mama a note???  Seriously.

C's birthday is coming up.  He's super excited.  I took him through Toys R Us the other day to show me things that interested him.  Few things to note:  The boy has expensive taste, the boy has interesting taste, the boy can listen when he wants to.

You know those measurement strips that some businesses have on their door jambs to show the height of prospective theft suspects???  Well, last Friday, the Little Caesar's door jamb showed that A. grew 3 inches in 4 months.  He is now OVER 5 feet tall.  Astounding.

I could really use a nap.

I'm really kinda over Facebook, the duck face selfies, the iodicy, the vague updates (soliciting the "what's going on" comment), and the drama.  Grow a pair and grow up, people.  Facebook can have a good place, but I believe it's just a tad bit abused.

I also am showing my father's genes here.  I see when people complain about things and I love to exploit their annoyances.  A well placed hashtag makes me giggle.  #hileah   :)

I think I'll always have a special place in my heart for the old guy who sits out front and yells at kids who walk on his lawn.  Grumpy old people warm my heart.  There is something wrong with me.

I seriously hate cats.  Yep...I'm going to use the word "hate" here.  I have absolutely no use for them in my life.  I really wish they didn't exist.  If you're a cat person for the sake of taking care of mice, I'd strongly advise you to get a hawk.  Makes much more sense to me.

There's a festival happening in my home town starting this weekend and going into next weekend.  I used to really dispise the temporary boom in population only because the tourists muddied up the waters and made me late for work.  Now that I am a tourist, I love that week and all it brings (including a visit from my best friend).  I can't wait!

Baby L. is growing more and more everyday.  She has more hair - albiet still translucent, so you can't tell.  She has her 8th tooth...which makes her daddy very happy because now her mouth is symmetrical.  She says "hi" to everything followed by a toothy smile and a crinkled nose.  It is just soooo cute.

We're over half way through summer, and that makes me want to weep.  I now see the benefits of home schooling...but it still doesn't make me want to pitch a tent in that camp....but I can see benefits.

Change.  Change is scary.  Change is necessary.  Change is good, and sometimes bad. 

But God is still God.  And God is still good.

Friday, July 19, 2013


I've just realized that I haven't posted anything in a week.

Summer is just too much fun!

And also, I can't believe it's Friday!

I have approximately 19 minutes and 30 seconds (approximately....) to finish this blog post, fold laundry and put it away.  I'm a mom on a mission to clean up my fun-filled-hit-by-the-week house.  My basement (where I fold said laundry) is starting to look like a clothing-filled version of Hoarders.


1. What is one thing you have too many of in your house?

Too MANY of???



How about this....overflowing garbage cans. 

Which just reminded me to add it to my list of things to do in the next...

18 minutes and 14 seconds...

2. Did anything go not quite as planned on your wedding day?

Hmmmm... How about our two horribly drunken groomsmen.  They were also supposed to be our ushers...but were too busy drinking it up and smoking outside to do it.  And when they actually did it, they REAKED of smoke and Jack Daniels.  It was horrible.  So, my sister-in-law jumped to the rescue, and I didn't even know about it until later that evening.  (Thanks, Kris!)  I did, however, know that they were DRUNK.  Dave yelled at them, and Kris' mom actually gave them a smack upside the head.  Literally.  :)
3. What is your favorite summer smoothie recipe?

Right now, I enjoy a Raspberry cheesecake smoothie.  Greek yogurt (or vanilla protein shake mix...I prefer Herbalife vanilla PDM), a TBSP of cheesecake jello pudding mix, fresh (or frozen, but they're in season right now, so get 'em while the gettin' is good.) raspberries, ice, almond milk. 

Mmmmmmmm.  Oh, so good.

4. What is the weather like where you are?

HAWT!  Oppressively hot.  It started at 81 today.  We've been in the mid 90's all week with heat indexes over 100.  This afternoon a cold front is supposed to blow through....thank goodness!

It's been too hot to send the boys outside for more than 30 minutes here and there...the bickering is starting to drive me insane.  OUTSIDE!!!

5. What is your favorite book to read to your kids?

Hmmmm, that's a good one!  I have many favorite books that I read to the boys- it usually depends on my mood.  When the words have a great rythm, I really enjoy it.    One of our favorites is Dear Polar Bear.  It's a Scholastic Book.  The bears write letters to each other from all over the world trying to solve Polar Bear's problems.  They LOVE looking at maps to see where the bears are and they LOVE reading the "mail" in the book.  We've had that book for 5 years now, and it still gets read at least once a week.  I'd say it's a keeper.  :)

WHEW!  Made it with 10 minutes to go!  Laundry calls!

Friday, July 12, 2013

5QF - fast summer edition

Happy Friday, friends!

Whew, this week FLEW by.

How can we make summer slow down a bit?!?!?

I have all these fun plans to do with the boys, and hardly any of them have happened yet. I should make a summer bucket list.


That is what I'll do this weekend. Summer bucket list.

See? Sometimes I can be the fun mom. :)

1. Would you rather pay for house cleaner or spa day?

Hmmmmm, I feel like I'm finally starting to get the hang of this house cleaning thingy...(more on that later), so I'd go with a spa.

Besides, even if I came home to a messy house- I wouldn't care. Because I'd still be basking in my spa- bliss. Ahhhhh, just thinking about it makes me feel relaxed. I can smell the Aveda now....

2. Who plans what gifts you get for holidays, you or your spouse?

Gift-giving is all me. All me. Even gifts for myself...all me.

Before you get all *huffy about it, I must say that I'm totally ok with that. Gift-giving is NOT a language Dave speaks naturally. When he does try, he does “ok” but not spectacular....he just doesn't think that way. Instead of getting all snotty about it, I accept that, and still go out and get what I really want.

I'm happy, he's happy....nuthin' wrong with that. :)

3. How many hours of sleep do you get? Do you need more?

I usually sleep from 11 until 7(ish). Most times, Baby L. has me up in the 2's, and my bladder has me up in the 3's. Last night, I blissfully slept through it all. Amazing.

I will say this, though...I'm doing a detox program, and this morning, I was bright eyed and bushy tailed right away at 6am. After getting to bed around midnight. Wide awake, refreshed, and ready to go. Amazing.

4. Do you like your hair long or short?

Medium. How's that for a politician's answer?!?! Ha!

Actually, I do believe that I'm due for a cut. And possibly a new style? Not sure.

Perhaps I'm just bored of my current style and just in need of a healthy trim. Any ideas out there, blogosphere????

5. When was the last time you were pulled over and what was it for?

Speeding, speeding and more speeding. I do have a lead foot. I'm not proud of it, but it is just physically incapable of driving slow. Seriously... The last time (about 5 months ago) I got pulled over, I was on the way home from my parent's house. All three kids were sleeping, so I switched the radio station and one of my favorite songs was on. I turned it up and shouted along. I wasn't paying attention and got hit with the radar. I was surprised when she pulled me over because I was in the middle of a group of cars, and a few of them were passing me...but whatevs. I told her the truth (got lost in the music and didn't pay attention). Then she saw my driver's license and it turns out that she grew up less than ½ a mile from my current house.

So, I got a warning. Whew...dodged that bullet. :)

Happy Weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A full TEN on Tuesday...Folks, I'm coming out of the baby stupor!!!

1. The boys are at day camp this week. They love it. It's Star Wars week. I drop them off at the bus stop at 7:40 and pick them up at 5:20. Then dinner and bed. Lather, rinse, repeat. Today was an awesome send off. And by awesome, I mean they were all dressed and fed. Me? Pajamas, bare feet, pony tail, morning breath, empty tummy and sunglasses. Why sunglasses? It was the only redeeming thing in an otherwise totally tragic situation. And to top it all off, this was the year they decide to instate the “the parent must sign them IN every morning” rule. Oh joy. So what happened? A. brought the sign in book to me. I was that parent that refused to get out of the car.

2. My new sunglasses from last year finally busted. They weren't that quality of a product, but I did really like them. (With the exception of the nose guards...which always got caught in my hair). I finally purchased a new pair- thanks to a nice sale at Kohls. And now I have Kohl's cash to spend the next time I go. And in yesterday's mail (after I returned from Kohl's)? A $10 gift card from Kohls. But of course. Hey fish, see that hook?!?!?!?

3. I purchased a Groupon to get Baby L's pictures taken. She's 8 months old, and I haven't yet done her 6 month pictures. Hello, 3rd child. (side note: I always told myself I'd NEVER be that mom that forgets her kids milestones....ha! Motherhood has humbled me). In my defense, I've tried calling this business 4 times over the past 2 weeks. I always get their answering machine. I always leave a message. They never call back. This is frustrating at best.

4. I have a ton of blog posts to fill you in on. Perhaps a photo dump is in order?

5. That Johnny-Jump-up is all fun and games. Until someone rams her head into the door frame.

6. Yesterday I learned the difference between “bare” and “bear” (I thought bare had more uses, but it certainly does not). And the proper spelling of the word “wonky.”

7. I have 29 bug bites from the ankle down. Not that I'm counting. (note: I totally counted). They didn't bother me until Baby L. woke me at 3am. After handling her needs, I laid back down and promptly felt FIRE coming from my feet. The need to itch was more than I could bear. (word used correctly). (Unpaid) product endorsement: Gold Bond anti-itch is a good thing.

8. I'm trying out a new cleansing program. And there's caffeine in it. I haven't had caffeine in 6 years. So, any is more than I'm used to...but this has quite a bit. Yesterday was my first day. Picture me running in place at the ironing board. Yes....it was a sight. BUT I did get a lot of things done! Apparently, the key to productivity is caffeine.

9. I think that before ANYONE signs on to Facebook, they must take a Facebook ettiquette course. It's really ridiculous. For instance, if you're posting pictures of some one else's kid...TAG THE PARENT! You're putting their child's face on the Internet for the whole world to see. The least you could do is let them know you're doing it. Also...don't share someone else's news before they have. This INCLUDES births, engagements, and deaths. Nothing is worse than finding out my friend's grandfather died through someone else. Really?!?! And also....duck face. No. Never. Nope. Don't go there. Ever. Got it????

10. Baby L. has 5 words: dada (her first....sigh), mama, uh oh, hi, and Ada for her big brother. On the 4th of July, she said her first sentence, “Hi Ada” (She said it to her brother when he walked up to her after being out of sight for an hour or so). Dave heard it too, so I know I wasn't hearing things...otherwise I would have totally disregarded it as a figment of my imagination. She said it to me the next day as I went in her room to pick her up from a nap. “Hi mama” She says “hi” in a sing-songy voice....it's too cute. Except she now calls me BY NAME at 3am. It's harder to ignore “mama! Mama!” Before I would tell myself she was dreaming and nod back to sleep. Now I know she needs me. Sigh.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Parental desperation: the get along box

We're about a month into summer vacation.

One thing I was ill-prepared for in this parenting journey was fighting.

Oh goodness, the fighting.


About 2 weeks ago, I was ready to pull my hair out.

Find a full time job, pack them off to day care.

Let someone else deal with it.

Then, I realized I had an amazing opportunity to shephard their hearts.

To show them how to overcome obstacles.

Even if that obstacle shows up as a sibling.

I'm frustrated with negative reinforcement, so I went for the positive route.

Enter: the get along surprise box.

This is something I've wanted to get for the boys for a few years now, and I think they're both ready for it.


I since it's a larg(er) purchase, I wanted them to earn it.

And earn it, they shall.

We're about ten days in so far....

When I first brought it out, I posted it on facebook in an effort to solicit support.

I was amazed that other moms out there are as frustrated as I am.

(Once again, the perils of facebook....comparing your behind-the-scenes to everyone else's highlight reel)

Here's what I learned in the past ten days:

1.  It's helpful to have some parameters for this box before you set it out.
2.  Let your husband know what they are so he doesn't take the box away for something that would have been allowed by you.
3.  Make it ONLY about getting along with each other.  If you want to deal with something else (like not listening to mom or dad), create a new box.  One thing at a time.
4.  Create an atmosphere for success, but simple guide lines.  Here's ours:

  • You get ONE warning.  ONE.  Anymore that that, the box doesn't get checked for the day.
  • Remind them that the slate is washed clean every morning, and they have a new opportunity for success the next day.
  • Decide a which level you want to interfere.  I usually let them go for a few minutes to see if they'll work it out my themselves.  After all, that's the whole point of this exercise, right???
  • The one thing that received NO warning is hitting.  (or kicking, or pushing....).  Physical force while angry is NOT allowed.  This will automatically result in loosing the box for the day (in addition to a time out and loss of screens for the day).
  • The days to NOT have to be 5 consecutive days.  I want them to succeed BEFORE they move out of my house.  :)
  • Celebrate the success of a box marked off.  Ask them what they did to make sure the box got marked.  Success breeds success.

We have one day left. 

One day.

Here's hoping a week at camp will help that along!

I can't WAIT to show y'all what's in the box!!!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wordy Wednesday....wait...it IS Wednesday, right?!?!? Oh, and some pictures too.

I promise...soon I will get to post more often.

More on that later.

I broke my pinky toe on Sunday.

The boys didn't put the wii fit board away.

After I asked them to do it three times.

Three strikes, you're out, right???

Well...at least it bought them three hours of hard labor in the yard.

I think my broken pinky toe is worth my not having to dig out that side yard.  :)

Well, maybe.

It's three days post break and still doesn't bend.

Pinky toes are useless anyway, right?

I once saw a PBS documentary on it.

Apparently, they are not used in balance and are considered the "worthless" toe.

For worthless, it sure does cause a lot of pain.

But enough about my toe.

We are having a lot of fun this summer.

And planning on having a LOT more!

I'm working on correcting some behaviors I'm not liking.

These are some strong willed children I have here.

I have NO IDEA where they get that from.  :)

We are switching up our 4th of July plans this year.

Dave's family typically doesn't deviate from their regularly scheduled programming.

I think he's twitching.

But we'll have a LOT of fun!

My parents are here today to watch the kiddos while I work.

I'm super grateful for them.

Speaking of kiddos:

This sweetie is now EIGHT months old!

This cutie pie is just about a month away from turning SIX!

And this thinker is now officially nine and a HALF
Apparently the half is very important.