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Monday, May 31, 2010


without people like this...

this wouldn't be possible...

We're living in the land of the free because it is the home of the brave...

I am thankful for the sacrifices of all who have given their lives for our freedom. 

Happy Memorial Day!

Saturday, May 29, 2010


remember when i told you life is full of moments, none of which you should take for granted?

i had one of those yesterday.

it all happened after a day on the river.  canoeing with my work friends always lifts my spirits.  they are awesome people. 

afterwards we always go for a beer.  heavenly, i tell you!

after beer i usually head home, only this time, i went grocery shopping.  ALONE!  i was so excited.  if you can remember my last experience, then you know how much i needed to go shopping withOUT my kids.

so i did it.

i was able to back-track a million times as usual without tripping over little feet.  i was able to shop without having to yell at three kids the entire time.  i was able to shop without having to constantly remove items from my basket that mysteriously ended up there.

i thought it was great.

until i realized...


i don't even know.  i'm not even going to try to rationalize how i felt.  it was beyond weird.  

but this i know...

the next time i'm in the store pulling my hair out i'm going to remember this moment and how i have two options:

1)  i can remember how lonely it is without them and be grateful for my blessings.


2)  i can remember how lonely it is without them and be grateful i'm willing to admit when i'm wrong, because a little loneliness also equates to way less craziness.  and way less trips to the bathroom.

 (although, i have to admit, it was the first thing i did when i walked into that joint.  but don't tell my kids.)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

happy pappy.

one of the things i love most about blogging is finding great blogs to follow.
you're much more apt to do that once you start a blog.

howaboutorange is one of those blogs.

ever want to print out some recipes?
like...... not just nicely typed but nicely formatted too?

check this out....

me so happy.

my bubs.

my bubs are pretty awesome.

i was kinda snappy this week.
and not good snappy.
crappy snappy.

my bubs understand.

i love my bubs.

Monday, May 24, 2010


every moment has it's purpose in life.  

as difficult as it is to have a parent diagnosed with cancer, it's more difficult to realize how it could be worse.

every moment has it's purpose in life.

my father in law has this roommate named Bill.  Bill is 55 yrs old.  Bill has a loving wife and mother.  Bill has cancer.

one of the worst parts of waiting for my FIL's surgery to be over was wondering if it really was going to begin.  they told us that if we got a phone call before the 2 hour point of the surgery that it was a bad sign.

Bill's family got that call.

we were there when Bill awoke from surgery, only to see the time on the wall and the certain implication of his quick awakening.  to say it was heartbreaking doesn't even begin to describe the situation.

Bill has stage 4 cancer.

the news we all received last thursday was devastating to our family.  by saturday, we were singing another tune.  it was as it if was a gift at this point.  to realize how things could have been... well... it makes us all a bit emotional, and extremely thankful.

life is made up of moments.  some are memories.  some are lessons.  all are important.

this is one that won't be taken for granted.

Saturday, May 22, 2010


another weekend with my in-laws.  i seriously love these people.  number one, they love me for me.  number two, they always have great snacks.  number three.... i jest, i jest.  i mean, having great snacks doesn't hurt, but it certainly isn't the second most important reason why i love them.  {at least, that what i'm telling you}

busy weekend, which seems to be our norm.  and maybe it's less busy than it is laundry-disabling.  that's ok because i get great snacks in return.  and my kids play hard.  lots of oxygen to their brains isn't a bad thing.


my father-in-law should be released monday.  life may slow down a tad at that point, not that it has to.  having him home after the surgery that he underwent will be a milestone, and one of the first steps we need to get through in order to continue the long road that lies ahead.

it was a little easier to cheer him on when he was so glad just to be able to hold my hand.  now that he's feeling more like himself, he has no problem letting me know i need to stop rubbing his feet.  the sheer fact that he can say, mid-conversation, "ok, well, thanks for coming, we'll see you later..." makes me realize how much he must love me.   and i love that old geezer, too.  

can't wait for monday.   should i go ahead and pre-pick my bottle of red out?  can't wait to celebrate.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

sweet MOTHER of....

day three.

bus duty.  totally frantic on my way over because coming home and throwing 4 little kids in a car that don't want to be thrown in a car isn't my idea if fun.  but you know what's even less fun?

having your car refuse to start after all the kids get off the bus.

that is totally less fun and totally defines the made-up word "crapified." 
and what's less fun than that?  

jumping your car, only, you really just jumped the friggin FUSE BOX.

EEK!  I have no power windows, no AC, no radio, no DVD, no rear wiper.... but eventually that car started.  Hubby is at the store with the neighbor now to try to fix my mess.  The neighbor is going to gently break the news to my hubby that the problem was related to my "not connected enough" explanation i told him earlier.... because it wasn't even connected to the battery... but now the new problems that could possibly amount to a lot of money realllllllllllllly could have been avoided had chevy not drawn a picture of a battery on the fuse box.  

so i feel stupid, but chevy should really feel stupid for drawing a battery with a lightning bolt onto the cover of the fuse box.  because, should the fuses have a picture of FUSES on their casing?  or just the freaking word "FUSES"?  

i'm a woman, and i know how to change the oil in cars.  but i felt really tricked this afternoon and now i look like a pathetic woman.  sweet mother of.....

only me.  never chris.  just my luck.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

hear me vent.

day two.

i miss my man.  long night tonight -- off to the hospital after class.  i'll get to kiss him bye in the morning and then high-five him again during bus-stop-kid-swap.  but you know... at least i get to see him.  could be worse.

tonight i took the kids out to dinner on my own.  my determination to not cook out-won my determination to not go crazy tonight.  foolish determination.  

i guess dinner was ok.  i definitely don't feel myself, but it wasn't as bad as it gets.  so i figured, "what the hell?" let's go brave a full-run to the grocery store.

i should have turned around before even going in.  my four year old was screaming bloody murder in the parking lot because she wanted to bring all 97 pieces of junk with her from the car.  {don't ever doubt motherly instincts.}

wails of being too cold or too hot or bored or tired of walking grated on my nerves like lemon juice to an open wound.  but i kept going.  tried to keep cool.  

and then they all started yelling that they had to poop.  POOP.  my seven year old BLARING this in the store... so we took our cart full of meats back to the front of the store so everyone could utilize that awesome "family restroom" up there.  {sweet jeebus it is an awesome bathroom}

low and behold, emma has stepped in bright blue nasty gum.  GUM.  {who still spits gum on the floor these days?  WHO I ASK?  because it is totally not PC, nor is it green.  so why do people still do it?  jerks. }  anyone who knows me knows i hate gum.  i hate it in your mouth, i hate it on your finger, i hate it.  it literally makes me want to vomit.  and while i know i am a drama queen, i seriously could vomit just thinking about it again.  i was over-the-top angry at this point and just wanted to get the hell out of dodge.  low and behold i somehow forgot milk and my frozen berries -- the entire reason i felt the need to do the shopping this very night.

'round the store we went one more time.  i have the hardest time finding things in this particular store.  however there are more perks than i can count when shopping here, so the fact that i have a hard time finding things kind of doesn't matter.  until sophie yells that she has to POOP again.

sweet baby jebus someone please swap me places.

so we head back to the family restroom and she finishes her business to the tune of constant scolding from her mother about just getting it all out the first time.  

i immediately headed to the check-out.  for heaven's sake, if i forgot something, i'd take vacation time off from work tomorrow to go get it -- i wasn't interested in facing additional time up in that joint.  yes, i said joint.  because at this point, it felt like my living hell.  

{i'm dramatic, remember?}

on the way home they got an earful.  i felt the need to remind them that i work all day.  i deal with problems and problem people all day.  i come home to high-five their father in the driveway as he peels his wheels to school and i peel mine to the bus-stop.  then i get everyone home and hear nothing but constant whining about how they can't even watch t.v. in the living room b/c the remote is gone and "how fair is that for me to torture them like this?" -- keep in mind that one of these three mangy rats lost the remote while dad and i were at the hospital last week.  no pity please.

but i digress...

i begged them to understand how much their father and i are juggling right now.  that i go to work early and dad goes to school late all so we can have a better life.  and to get better jobs.  i don't know what i expected, but...

emma swears chris just wants to babysit kids for a living and ethan interjects with "he just wants hard abs."

good lord.

Monday, May 17, 2010


having wonderful in-laws is something you can't take for granted.  
i am lucky.  really.

to have the same wonderful support in my in-law family as i do in my own-blood family is truly something i can't imagine not having.  i wish everyone were so lucky.

having been through strenuous times like this in my own-blood family, i know the importance of a strong familial support system... to be able to say i have that on both sides simply amazes me.  


i'm working early hours over the next four weeks to accommodate my hubby's school schedule.
it's nice to be at work so early...
it's nice to come from work so early...
but i'm sleepy.

so very, very sleepy.  

i shouldn't complain, though.  my father-in-law is reaaaaaaaallllllly sleepy.
they don't let you get much sleep in the hospital.
and neither do his hiccups.

it's a nice call back to reality... you know...

when you sit and think about all of the little things that you'd like in life, just remember... you could be laid up in the hospital with staples across your abdomen and a case of hiccups that last for hours.  my life could totally be worse.


a total positive to our wacky weekend schedule has been seeing these awesome little faces all the time:

her cheekies are to die for.
they are as good as they look.

Friday, May 14, 2010


i admit... it's great knowing you're out there.
because some days i wonder if i should keep writing.
then i remember... {and don't take this personally}...

it's not for you, per se.
{though it still lends to my guilt when i have a lapse in blogging, i assure you}

baby books, shot.
scrapbooks, shot.
written journals, shot.

my poor, sweet, unknowing babes.


we've had a stressful week around here.  my father-in-law had his major surgery -- which means mom and dad haven't really been around much.  and even if we have been around, mentally.... we're just not there.
i came home from work today with something i've wanted for YEARS.
my co-worker was going on a trip and offered to let me borrow his for the duration of his trip.
{color me freaking giddy.}

you heard that right sister.

not just any blender.

the ONLY blender.

smoothie time.
frozen fruit.
little bit of ice.
little bit of splenda.
off the hizzle.

in 45 seconds we had pure bliss.
it only took half that time to get my first frozen headache.
but totally worth it.

i even jazzed them up with little umbrellas.
just for fun.

i love these babes o' mine.
can't wait to get our 'mix on tomorrow.

only, mine will certainly include...
a bit o' rum.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Thanks, Ms. Stone.

my boos.
what a hoot.
new camera.
family togetherness.
happy babies.
a perfect mother's day.

mothers are wonderful.
being a mother is amazing.

"Making a decision to have a child - it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." 

~~~Elizabeth Stone

Saturday, May 8, 2010

bite me.

it's the night before mother's day... half my clan is gone.  chris at poker night and ethan at a sleep over.  i'm not saying it's not nice to be just-us-girls, but they are way more work than you can imagine.  the problem tonight was that i pulled out the size 4 girl clothes for sophie.  so essentially tonight... she got a new wardrobe. 

for any of you that actually know my daughter, she is a bit of a girly girl.  clothes, shoes, make-up, purses.  they are the source of her happiness in life.  {i come in at a close 5th.}

pulling out these clothes took me back to all of my memories of emma at that age.  it started out as such a nice thing to talk about... until i continually got rudely interrupted a bajillion times by sophilicious asking if she could try this outfit on, or that outfit on.  or telling me i wasn't moving fast enough.

i have to include this important detail... 

they share a room.  a pretty small room.  between the tub of 4T clothes and the tub of 3T clothes, two beds, 3 human beings, a couple dressers, a tv, and our dog, it was a wee bit cramped in there.  when i get a wee bit cramped and the feeling that i'm being rushed, well.... i turn into someone else.  

and what sucked even more than acknowledging to myself that i just ruined our girls' night?  the fact that our windows were wiiiiiiiiiiide open.  you just never know who hears you... *COUGH COUGH*, vent.

i'm not saying i was cussing like a sailor, or throwing things around, but it wasn't all roses, let me tell you.  and to top it all off?  seriously, it keeps topping itself off, i know.  i'm ridiculous like that.  but to seriously top it all off?  we were in there with a mosquito... or 6.  after an hour in that room we suffered 6 bites between the 3 of us.  i never even saw them in there.  i hate those things worse than i hate my neighbor's dog that attacked my kids at christmas.  that is seriously a lot.


tomorrow is mother's day...


i've got to go rub 6 mosquito bites with alcohol pads.  i just hope that sophie doesn't decide to scratch them mid-way through the application this time.



farmer's market + perfect weather = relaxation.  

but if you change the formula to: 

farmer's market + perfect weather + 2 small girls...

you don't get relaxation.  not really even a little bit of it.

farmer's market + perfect weather + 2 small girls = frustration.

5 steps into the market and this is what i hear...

emma: "I'm so thirrrrrrrrrrrrsty"
emma: "I'm so hoooooooooot"
emma: "This is borrrrrrrrrring"
emma: "I have to peeeeeeeeeee"

damnit jim, this is exactly when i didn't want to take kids.  their faces are just too cute when they are begging me to go.  and not only that, they LIE to me.  THEY LIE TO ME... "we won't complain, i PROMISE!"

why do i believe them? 

am i just a sucker for cute faces?

and then it always comes down to bribery...

me: "see those cookies? if you make it through the whole market without complaining ONE MORE TIME i'll buy you each a bag to take home."

pavlov's dog?
who, me?

...annnnnnnd wake up.

it's saturday.

my day to sleep in.

i woke up early to a boy asking where his PSP was, a girl who was ecstatic she was no longer sick, and a girl with a temper tantrum.  lord will me strength not to run away today.

if i had my druthers, i'd still be asleep.

since i didn't have my druthers...

i have decided that i am running off to the farmer's market.  {minus every human reason i'm awake.}

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


i found this floor today at Modwalls.  i {heart} it. 

and then i found this tile...
me encanta!!

i love me some color.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

birthday: part 2

I had it all planned out and was surprisingly not stressed about this party. I only host this many people three times a year. Kid 1’s birthday. Kid 2’s birthday. Kid 3’s birthday. Usually I’m over-the-top stressed about things.

{And this time, I wasn’t. It felt…………….. odd. Good-odd.}

Sophie was so excited. She woke up on Sunday and immediately wanted to put on her party dress. I worked all morning until noon putting food together and packing the car. The decorations were all sent over the week before. The big kids and I were going to head to my mom’s to set-up shop for a 3pm party. The only thing that kept Sophie together was knowing she was going to have a big surprise when she got there with Daddy later that afternoon. Otherwise, she was attached to my ankle completely freaking out about her vast array of uncles that were going to be there. For some reason she gets very nervous around them.

The moon bounce was rocking. I got a fantastic deal from Kim at The Playroom and what was even BETTER was the fact that they wanted to deliver it a full day early. I was totally ok with that. Less stress the day prior to the party? I’LL TAKE IT.

Let me throw in here that I had to make sure this party could entertain children from 1 year old to 14 years old. That is quite a lot of pressure when figuring out activities, let me just tell you.

Baby pool
Water table
Chinese food

When Sophie got to the house I was inside putting the final touches on her birthday cake. I missed seeing her perfectly round little face get her first glimpse of the huge blow-up castle sitting in the front yard with two blow up dragons in the same vicinity. But I was very happy to hear she was already bouncing her face off in the castle. Maybe this isn’t going to be so bad, I thought. 

Within 30 minutes the kids were into the water balloons. My three had their auntie load them in their swimsuits. It took .5 seconds for 11 kids to go through 150 balloons. No sweat. I’ll make more. I sat in the hot, bug infested driveway with the kids filling water balloons for another hour. Anyone 4 and under had the right to take water balloons at their will. The big kids were restricted since they wanted to host an all out war. How can I host a war if I can’t can’t meet this crazy demand while 11 kids are swiping balloons? RESTRICTED. Eventually, it helped us meet our goal. My nephew and I hid the balloons while he and I were the last to strap on our birthday feedbacks. 

I was able to convince Sophie to join us for some food.

And that was about it…

After she ate in the safety of the dining room with me on one side and her grandma on the other, she refused to go back outside. In fact, she only wanted to hide up in my bedroom. My mom sat with her for a little bit while the rest of us watched the water balloon war. I then tried to convince her to join us for the silly string fiesta. That didn’t work.

oh, poor mia.  this is what brotherly love looks like.

Then the piñata….

In fact… it was worse than nothing. Not only didn’t she want to step outside for it, she wanted it to be held upstairs in my old bedroom with just the kids and no adults. Damnnnnnnn, this was getting worse.

I knew it was her birthday, but something inside of me told me I could not get in the trap of letting her control things like that. Was I selfish? Inconsiderate? I’m not sure, because I definitely felt crappy as a mother, but damnit, I had 11 kids outside ready to bust through that piñata (even though it was a pull-string one… they didn’t know it just then). So, we had a Sophie-less piñata extraction.

What was I going to do about her cake? She didn’t want any men around. She didn’t want anyone to sing to her. And now, NOW, she was in the office refusing to leave.

Wiggity wiggity WHAT?!

I couldn’t stand it. I could not stand the thought of NOT singing “Happy Birthday” to my baby. And selfish or not, I took that cake with it’s amazing sparkler candle into that office with 20 people behind me clapping their hands and singing that song. And while I know she could have broken down into tears at any moment, she didn’t. She held it together – and while everyone ate their cake, she happily bounced with some cousins in the moon bounce.

 this is sophie's very nervous smile.
i saw it all day that day.

Although she refused to open gifts in front of everyone, she happily bid farewell to each guest through the safety of the moon bounce net.

After all but 8 of us remained, that little bugger opened every single gift and ate a cupcake. Thrilled beyond belief that she received so many amazing gifts, all she is going to remember of that day is the ending. She thought it was the best party ever and only had one request for next year…

Girls Only.

Monday, May 3, 2010

birthday: part1.

I can’t even begin to describe what it feels like to have your baby turn four. If I start to describe it, I turn weepy. Weepiness is frowned upon by my coworkers. They are, for the most part, stinky boys.

I read tons of blogs, one of which belongs to my photog of choice, Blue Lily. Their baby also turned four recently and Tyler blogged about it HERE. I laughed so hard that I decided to give his methodology a whirl. It sounded fun and… interesting (minus the “killing” part).

Me: “Sophie, tonight we will say goodbye to 3-year old Sophie because tomorrow is your birthday – we will say hello to 4-year old Sophie tomorrow morning.”

Sophie: “Ok.”

Me: “We will never EVER see 3-year old Sophie again. This is the last time EVER.”

Sophie: “Ok.”

Me: “Don’t be upset because 4-year old Sophie is going to be wonderful – she is such a big helper and she is very kind to others. Four-year old Sophie will also go to pre-school.  She is such an awesome being.”

Sophie: “Ok.”

Me: “Ok, so say goodbye everyone --- we will never see 3-year old Soso again. Don’t be sad, though.”

Everyone: “Goodbye 3-year old Sophie – we will miss your face!!!”

Sophie: *SOBS*

Me: *worst mother ever*

I felt I needed a reaction. I am selfish like that. I needed the recognition from her that she knew what a big deal this was in my soul. Because, you know, this wasn’t just the day she was born, it was the day I went and birthed her. That’s a big effing deal in my soul, in case you were wondering.

I tried so hard to win back her smile. It was tough, but through her sobs I was able to make out that she wanted doughnuts for breakfast, and specifically, a nice, fat, chocolate doughnut (that’s my girl!)…

0630 the next morning, I was out the door. Five minutes later I was at Krispy Kreme ordering that chocolate doughnut. 0645 I was back home brewing coffee anxiously awaiting my newly 4-year old’s groggy face and morning breath. Wouldn't you know this to be the day my now 4-year old chose to sleep in.  0835, Chris goes into that little bugger’s room and has to wake her up.  0836, my 4-year old was stuffing her face with doughnuts.

(Cue redemption!)

After the doughnuts the day was spent running errands and preparing for So's big party the next day.

And what a whirlwind that turned out to be...

Saturday, May 1, 2010


i love when things are free.

happiness can be free.  but sometimes it can also come with a price.  {such a contradiction so early on a saturday morning.  i do apologize.}

but when material things in life are free, i just about pee my pants.

check out How About Orange for a link to some amazing DIY invitations.

{note: the above example is straight from the invitation website - not my creation but absolutely awesome}

i did it myself and was successful.  waahoooooo!  Princess Kaia is going to be amaaaaaaazed at what her auntie is capable of.  one day.

how unselfish for someone to design a website of such ease of mind AND wallet!  i'm all about that.  their generosity is unmatched. thank you, Download & Print!