Monday, December 15, 2008

New Generation

Wow--I just realized that I'm getting old. Getting ready to run to school and I've got on some saggy sweatpants-I just looked down and realized I've got my high-tops on and they're showing. Here's the major "old lady" factor:

Teenager: High-tops = footwear
Me: High-tops = granny panties

Yes, I'm wearing my grannies today--go ahead and make fun of me now but someday I'm going to take full advantage the moment you bend over to tie your kid's coat and I'll be snapping your thong!

Elmo's Father makes his big Debut...

Singing the POTTY SONG!! Sesame Street has taken out relationship to a whole new level with this video... and I'm not sure I'm ready to take that step. (Christine will know what I'm talking about if I said, "That's right--I want to borrow your lawn mower!! Ladies and Gentlemen--I want to borrow this man's lawn mower!!!") Anyhow, yeah, whole new level of intimacy has been achieved with the SS crew.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My honey


I was looking for an attachment in my Gmail a little bit ago and found this picture of my middle daughter that was taken... gosh--almost 2 years ago! Which would put her just over 3 years old. She's my little cutie!

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Little One

Boy is she ever a handful!! Today she was as spunky as could be at the laundrymat... but really, what is there to do in a place full of old people and appliances?
This week she's dubbed my ipod hers: it is now the "mePod". Unless of course she's wanting me to turn on a Sesame Street podcast for her to watch, then she waves it at me and says, "MommyPod? Elmo? MommyPod?" Uhhh... cute!
She's been working on her letters ever since her older sister brought home nightly flashcards for homework and now she can regularly identify W, O and X. A few more, like T, S and B are sketchy and the rest are all learned fresh each day. But we're having fun with her--that's the most important part!
More later, but for now I have laundry to put away.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I think this means I'm in trouble:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Do you feel lucky?

If so, you may want to head over to Stitches and Roses and try to snag this cute little number!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Setting Things to Order... or not?

Tomorrow afternoon we leave for our mini-vacation. Traveling to the in-laws, visiting dear friends and then back home. We'll be gone just long enough that we'll need to recuperate when we get back to our snug little nook of the world. I'm looking forward to it, but for some reason I just can't seem to get the house in order for us to leave. I feel like I'm walking around in circles, accomplishing nothing. I've still got laundry to put away, I've got to pack, do all the menial tasks like cleaning the toilets, mopping the floors, etc., and I don't know why but for the past few days--as much as I try--I just can't bring myself to make the beds! I know, making the beds, right? I kinda throw the corners of the covers at the four corners of the bed and call it good. I feel like I'm walking around my home LOST.
I will be taking the kids to a sitter for a couple of hours this afternoon though, and I hope to get much accomplished. Maybe I'll even have time to get this weekend's laundry over to the laundrymat tonight so I can get it done before we leave. Then again, maybe not.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A HUGE Leap!

Yesterday morning I made a decision, largely born out of sheer frustration, that was reckless and irresponsible. It was something that I had been meaning to do but I certainly went about doing it in the WRONG way. And I don't regret it.

I cut my hair. Myself. No big deal right? Seriously though, I bushwhacked 18" off of my ponytail. I had just reached my frustration threshold so I put my hair in a ponytail and snipped off the bottom... it's crooked and needs some tweaking but I can't tell you how much easier my life was this morning. My hair is still long--now it's to my waist--but I feel like I can enjoy my hair now, rather than loathing the time I have to spend brushing out the tangles.

Here's to my sanity--cheers!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Thrifty Fifty!


Yay! I made it onto Team Lorie for the holiday team challenge over on YouCanMakeThis! I'm very excited and already have lots of ideas but I do need to edit myself and my blog posting as some of the people I'll be crafting for may be following along on my blog.

I'll soon post again about my participation in the challenge but right now, the clean laundry awaits my folding fingers!

Cheers!!

P.S. This week I'm thankful for my warm home, the sound of laughter filling my kitchen as the children do their homework while eating pomegranate seeds and homemade marshmallows, lavender scented bedsheets and "puppy kisses" from my very cute Little One!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The holidays are upon us!

I have officially gone into panic mode. This weekend our middle daughter had her birthday party and the presents had to come home. Wow--that kid brought home quite a haul for such a small party! Trying to make room for her loot lead me to start chucking old toys while she was at school yesterday. Which led me to think of the upcoming holidays. There's no way on earth these kids are going to be able to stuff all the stuff they get this year into their room in it's current configuration. So I decided to clean out the place and re-arrange.
When I first got serious about weeding through their belongings I was rewarded with a potato. Yes, a potato. I'd found a red potato that had long been forgotten and had started to sprout in the bottom of their toybox. Undeterred, I pressed onward. And emerged somewhat victorious: I got rid of a garbage bag full of random junk: old, used up notebooks, art "projects", broken toys, etc. I was also able to fill a garbage bag with old toys to be donated to a local charity AND a modest sized bag of clothing that they no longer need. Today is PART 2 of cleaning out their room.

I'm motivated by the sheer terror of the idea that the holidays are really only a week away for us. We leave to see my in-laws next week and we'll be "doing Christmas" with them on Black Friday. Good thing we got a van this fall, last year we weren't able to fit all of the presents in the car on the way home. My BIL brought most of the kids bounty back to our place on his way back up into VT.

Now we have school parties, little craft-a-longs and various activities that will be sure to send the kids home with goodie bags filled with *treasures*. Treasures that you have to wait for the kids to fall asleep before you can chuck them safely. By safely, I mean you either have to hie your tail on out to the garbage can in the dead cold of a winter night so the kids don't find it in the trash bin in the morning or you have to take my clever approach and cover their belongings with the baby's diapers--who really wants to see what's under that, right?

I've got a couple of venues available to me in the next few weeks to help pimp out my wares and maybe earn a little extra holiday cash (always welcome this time of year) AND I've got to get on board and start thinking about my folks. The each celebrate a birthday in December. My brother approached me two days ago and asked if I wanted to chip in to get my dad a TV for his December 2nd birthday. Sure, I'd LOVE to kick in for a new TV--I'm just not sure that I can! Ahhh, well, we'll just have to see what is in the cards I guess. :)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tra-la-la-la!

I finally added a music player to my blog! The first song on there used to turn me into puddles. Now I'm still a bit wistful when I hear it but every time I listen, it tugs at my heart and reminds me of how faithful our God truly is! So I hope you get a chance to listen to a few songs... and maybe even catch my boogie-jam!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Giving Thanks


I am grateful to our nation’s military service members, both active duty and veterans, for their dedication, courage, accomplishments and sacrifices to protect our everyday freedoms. Today, take a moment to salute our nation’s military service members for their service to our country and give them the honor and support they deserve.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The task at hand

My husband and I have been talking for quite some time about how we desperately need to get some family portraits taken. We've honestly only taken ONE family portrait since we've had the children and it was when DD1 was 4 1/2, DD2 was 3 and I was, ahem, icky preggo. Meaning not quite huge but big enough that I needed maternity clothes but not big enough to fill them so I just looked awkward. And we got the photos taken at Walmart. And I got us all dressed in the Wally bathroom after I bought all of our clothes at Walmart. And I did our hair there. And I looked like an Amish freak. It was just HORRIBLE. There's no way to describe how much I loathed the pictures. SO it was with a small amount of relief that I would later discover that when we brought the pictures home DH unwittingly spilled coffee on the packet of photos and I came to find them all stuck together and not really salvageable save a few shots of just the girls. And to date we've never taken "real" photos of the baby. Who is now NINETEEN months old!

So last night DH called me and said that a friend had rented a studio this weekend and we had an 11 o'clock appointment to get our family photos taken. The price was unknown but he knew we were getting our pictures taken and that was good enough for both of us. So now I'm hoping to make matching outfits for the kids. And I'm wondering if I should take any cute props -- maybe whip up some fabric balls for the Little One. Or tutus and fairy wings/wands for the older two. Books (since DD1 is quite the avid reader now and is diligently working on reading bedtime stories to the younger two these days), or boas or wardrobe changes. I guess I'll just have to make a call and see what our session includes.

Until then I'm hoping I can get some good zit-be-gone or something. And maybe I can do something new with my hair. Maybe I can click my heels three times while murmuring "There's nothing like pretty, nothing like pretty, nothing like pretty..." and a miracle will take place and I'll be transformed into a photogenic fairytale by then. I guess we'll see... :)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Random Ramblings

*Today I am thankful that I was able to sneak a nice nap with Little One tucked snugly in my arms. A nice cuddle was had by all.

*DD2 has come up with new lyrics to a song that we sing at church that include the line "Jesus crackered the grave". The original: Jesus conquered the grave.

*I have determined that I am unreasonable sensitive during the time immediately preceding my shedding and have resolved to be more reasonable during that time frame in the future.

*I am really looking forward to spending time with the in-laws in just a few weeks. We always have a great time and this year we're going to see our friends from VA again as we'll all be rallying around DH's parents' place. What fun! I just have to remember to take my allergy medicine along. And bring additional tranquilizers in the form of childrens' dimetap for their skittish dog. Their skittish, epileptic dog.

*I was able to pick up a few things for the girls' Christmas presents this week and that makes me feel like I've got a small lead on the holidays. And that feels good.

*I have lots of crafty ideas running through my head that I'd really like to get done this week which means I'll likely be motivated to do the laundry early tomorrow to get it out of the way. ::crossed fingers::

*I lost a few more pounds recently which brings me within the 5 pound PM/PHSW (pre-marriage/post high school weight).

*DH brought up the idea of renewing our vows next year for our tenth anniversary. I thought that was very sweet, and very unlike him. While DH can be very sentimental, he's not typically very thoughtful in this area--kudos to him for being a forward thinker this year!

*Been listening to a lot of Brian Doerksen lately and while SOME of his lyrics can lean towards being cheesy, a good portion of his songs are very stirring and I love the laid back, easy feel to them. The atmosphere of worship isn't contrived which brings a deep down peaceful feeling that makes my heart feel full.

*Little One has started giving what she terms "Puppy Kisses" which involved her licking your cheek with her soft little tongue and then smiling. Lots of great big smiles. It's cute and while I do get covered in drool, it warms me down the the core.

*I love my family. I love being a mom. There are ups and downs, but the pros far outweigh the cons and I know that I have been blessed beyond measure. And there is more to come. For me, that is all I need.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hunting

This morning we told our daughters that Barack Obama had won the election and that he will be the new president in January. DD#1 was visibly upset. She's been watching the news with us occasionally and asking LOTS of questions. For such a tiny little citizen, she's been very concerned with our economy. The first words out of her mouth when she woke up to the news of Obama winning the election last night were, "But.... but... is he going to make us kill deer?" Apparently she doesn't have very much faith in his economic policies and still has visions of the recession and bread lines she has heard rumored on TV. Bill's never been a hunter but she must think Barack will **force** him to start hunting to provide for his family as an alternative to standing in the bread lines.

What an avid imagination our little girl has, but I must concede: I do hope we don't plummet into the recession and end up lacking the most basic necessities. Our consolation to her this morning was that we can pray and God will provide every need that she could ever have. Today she bravely went off to school, trusting in God. For that, I am thankful.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

She's Back!!

The "Louisianna Caller" has returned!! I'm beginning to think that this is more than a coincidence although she insists she can't see the buttons and thinks the eight is a zero. This woman has called at least half a dozen times in the last two weeks. Half of those times have been after 11 o'clock at night. I did a reverse look-up on her phone number and am seriously considering sending her one of these:

Friday, October 24, 2008

Like the Willows

I've been feeling kind of weepy the past day or two. Why? My only explanation has to be hormones. I'm not normally an overly emotional person. Let me redeem myself before I go too far: I have one SUPER good friend that I get emotional around when we visit but that's just because I'm always overwhelmed by her greatness. She is a beautiful woman with a beautiful family. I feel very blessed to know them, let alone to call her and her husband our good friends. So when we do visit them maybe 2 or 3 times each year I do find myself getting sappy when we're together. Usually it's when she and I are walking through the grocery store or something equally ridiculous and I realize how fortunate I am to have a wonderful friend who is perfectly content just doing normal "mom" stuff together. Yeah, she's great. I love her!

Anyhow, for the most part I really don't allow myself to get emotionally overwhelmed very often. But over the course of the past two days I've found myself actually starting to tear up a couple of times. I don't like it. I'm kind of calloused and have developed a laissez faire attitude about people and things around me so I was surprised to suddenly just get sad over seemingly nothing. Go figure.

I must be getting ready to shed.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Do You Hear What I Hear?

Last night DH and I were snuggled up to each other to watch a great couples flick: The Incredible Hulk. For some reason I get suckered into staying up and watching all sorts of random testosterone breeding cinematics lately. I had a feeling that the movie was going to be man candy when he said to me, "This one's going to be a bass rumbler." Anytime that a man starts to talk about subwoofers and bass speakers before the movie/song/video game starts you can take the hint that it's going to be a man fest scenario before long. You might as well dig out chips and salsa for him and grab yourself a book or go take a bubble bath.
I didn't avail myself to any of the usual options last night. DH didn't have any man friends to pal around with so I got to revel in all that was incredible about The Hulk. Yeah, the night before he put on Iron Man (I just typed Iran Man and that was funny) my hubbie said that I was "going to really enjoy this movie--it's got some sappy stuff in it". One of said "sappy" scenes involved the Iron Man pounding a bunch of bad guys and then taking their lead bad dude and dropping him off in front of a bunch of vandalized villagers and declaring in a uber gravelly voice, "He's all yours" before he took to the skies again. I was moved to tears. Almost.

So around 11:30 as the Hulk and the really bad guy are tearing it up all over NYC, the phone rings. Normally I'm not the type to jump at the phone but it was late. I jumped. I mean, we're not talking, "it's dark out and bad things happen at night", we're talking "it's so late that somebody must be in the hospital" kind of late. I kind of froze in my tracks and pushed DH off the sofa to go answer the phone. After stumbling around in the dark for a few moments he found the phone and pressed the *talk* button but said nothing. After listening for a few moments the other party hung up and DH followed suit. Why I asked why he didn't say anything he replied, "I didn't know who it was." A few moments later they called back and he sent the call to voicemail.

Now maybe I should have prefaced this with a little tidbit: The same "Louisianna Caller" that is showing up on my caller ID last night at 11:30 also showed up on my caller ID at 1:30 in the morning on Monday. I was itching to get to the bottom of the situation. After we finished the last few minutes of our movie I was referencing our mystery call when DH suddenly gets frisky and dares me to call our mystery caller from LA.

So I did. Turns out it was a little old lady who was fumbling around in the dark for her phone and trying to call her mother in California. Say what?!? Weird. She apologizes a few times and then tops my evening off with a "Blessings on ya!" before we disconnected. That was a new one for me. I have to admit though, I'm a little tempted to use the "blessings on ya" line the next time I'm on the phone with a friend. Just for fits and giggles.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Suggestions?

So my 4 year old (almost 5 year old really) has all but stopped drinking milk as of late. Always lovers of milk, my girls have gulped through gallons every week for years and recently my #2 child is scorning milk. She drinks her carton of milk at school during lunch but that's pretty much the cutoff. So... any suggestions from you veteran moms out there? She says she loves strawberry milk but Nesquik isn't doing it for her anymore. Chocolate and vanilla flavoring syrups/powders aren't slipping by her either.

::help::

Neat Ideas

Fall is really here and I'm loving all the reds and golds this year. I've been trying my best to embrace all of the hues of the season and I've branched out from the chocolate and cranberry mold that I enjoyed last year and am crooning over this very natural arrangement I saw today:

I just stumbled across a new blog earlier this afternoon centered on some fabulous deco ideas that feature some great ideas to create splendid things for less....

My blogroll isn't behaving right now but I thought I'd post a linky so you all can check out Eddie Ross. Some really good ideas there. :) Especially this whimsical eye pleasing ric rac pumpkin arrangement!

Dear Diary

Today is one of those days where I could just sleep the afternoon away. Cool, drizzly and quiet. I am fighting to stay motivated to get anything done: sort the laundry, work on sewing projects, wash this morning's dishes, etc. It doesn't help that I snuggled up on the sofa with Little One and a heating pad earlier. She's been alternating between wild and goofy and trying to get me to give chase to sweet and snuggly.
Right now Little One is sleeping and I'm trying to stay awake. I think I'll go start on dinner--cooking always perks me up. And it's nice to smell dinner hours before it is ready because it piques even the kids' interest. Ahh... here's to hoping I can stay motivated long enough to still be awake in 45 minutes when I have to leave and pick up the children from school!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Win This Quilt!


Elizabeth Cranmer over at Pigtails and Snails is giving away this FANTASTIC quilt on her blog... but you have to enter by tonight to win! Please, please hurry scurry on over there and post because you wouldn't want to miss out on a chance to have this lovely quilt in your hot little hands. A lot of love went into this gem; it's a Lizzy Anne original--her own pattern and it could be yours!

I can't say it enough, YOU WANT THIS QUILT! Now go!!

Total TMI

I was talking to a Mommy Friend of mine the other day and I ended up taking the conversation to the "you don't want to know this, and I know that you don't want to know this, but I'm going to go there and nothing you can say or do will be able to stop me from going there" stage. You see, I have a tendency to voice some of the most inappropriate things known to the female kingdom. Becoming a mommy has made the color of poo a socially acceptable topic of conversation. Afterbirth, stitches down there, kids putting fingers in yucky places and then inhaling deeply just to check out the new aromas... yeah, I talk about it all. Yesterday I caught my 18 month old dropping ice cubes on the floor at a local diner and trying to lick them up, I'm sure that'll come up in conversation soon, along with all of the other weird and, sometimes gross, stuff she does.

Which brings me to one of my more recent things that I derive pleasure/amusement from. I initially tried saying that it's so funny to watch the kids when this particular thing happens, but I know it's more because I know that (TMI here, you'll understand later on) I have the very same experience! It's like, did you ever see your kid pick their nose and tell them that it's gross and then later on you're driving your car or sitting on the can picking away yourself? Exactly.

So without further ado: Little One is doing great with the idea of the potty and I think she's more ready to toilet train than either of us REALLY wants her to be. Lately she's telling me she's poopie right before, during and after the blessed happening actually takes place. Speaking of, she's doing it right now in the living room. Grunt, watery eyes, holding her breath while pushing, yeah. (Taught her to say "turd" last week, absolutely hysterical!) Problem is, she just doesn't want to go #2 on the toilet. I've heard the pediatrician say that children sometimes view their poo as a piece of them and they have a hard time disposing of it in the toilet, which kind of makes sense. I mean, if you've ever toilet trained your child and had to stay with them and watch them take care of their business, you'll know how much it takes out of a wee one, litterally, when they go. The focus, strained facial expressions, pursed lips, glassy eyes, furrowed brows... and then, just as the object of their labors passes, they get The Chill. Yes, that little, unexpected shiver as the load evacuates the hatch. I mean, 4-6 ounces of 98.6 degree matter just left their body. It's like pressing the reset button on the furnace--shutting everything down, cleaning the old coal embers and ashes out, sweeping things down and then starting all over on a new batch of fuel.

So now every time that I shiver, even when my downstairs neighbors have their heat cranked and my apartment is holding at an even 82 degrees (yes, for real), I can't help but think of my kids' watery eyes or their furrowed brows and smile. After all, they take after their mother.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Long weekends

In our home, long weekends give reckless abandon to the usual bedtimes slated for our children. They stay up late, we hope they sleep in but they never do, we count our blessings when they pass out for a nice long nap when we get in the car to go "out". It's a cycle that repeats and we have grown rather accustomed to it.

Thursday last week started a FOUR day weekend for us and we decided to treat the kids to a pizza and movie night to get the festivities off with a big bang! By the end of our movie the two little ones were ready for bed but our oldest was begging to stay up with us to watch a show... or two. She had her pillow and blanket out on the sofa and was ready to camp the night away in the living room and well, we let her! After watching The Office with us her mind wandered into the realm of peaceful oblivion and we went to bed ourselves. Upon waking the next morning she took advantage of the fact that her other sisters were still sleeping and sidled up to me... "Mom, it felt really good when you let me stay up late and watch a show with you..." wink, smile, batting of the eyes... "It kind of made me feel like a grownup!" At this point I was tickled and just kind of going along with her: "Oh yes, it was so fun! Wow--a grown up, huh? Pretty special...!"

Then she tells me, "You know, when I get older I'm going to have lots of kids too! And you know what else? If they don't have school the next day I'm going to MAKE them stay up and watch TV with me; then we'll ALLLLL feel like grownups!"

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hmmm...

Lots of flannel scraps laying around here and not much to do with them (1/2 yard to full yard sized cuts). Bought the flannel intending to make burpies and maybe a few rag quilts but now I'm wondering if anyone else has any suggestions for them? I know there are lots of talented women out there, anyone care to share your ideas?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Drumroll please...

Without further ado...
The winner of our grand prize is...
# 5--Ang said "OOOH OOOH OHHHH PICK ME PICK ME!!!!" She also happens to be a big advocate of the team cleaning approach, enlisting family members to clean is always a plus!

Special thanks to random.org for the random integer generator used to select our winner! And stay tuned for some exciting news in the next few days or so!

Love you all!!
Heather

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Drool-Worthy Burgers

I just snatched up some smoked paprika recently after reading a blog post from a random foodie online. She made it sound like this wonder ingredient and I just lapped it right up. And, by golly, she may be right--it's fantastic! I'm not really a major burger lover but I've made burgers TWICE in the last week and both times both DH and I couldn't stay away from seconds. And after the kiddos went to bed we made a kitchen run for thirds! In fact, I just ate some leftovers from last night and I'm trying hard to keep from going back for ANOTHER hamburger!
Anyhow, I adapted the recipe from a Gordon Ramsay hamburger recipe and I have to admit that I'm really happy with the results. I regret that I didn't take pictures of the process but I'll share with you how I achieved such yummy results without grilling although I'm sure that grilling these would just put them over the top!

Ingredients:
1.5 lbs lean ground beef (preferable 90% lean or better)
1 egg
1 Tbsp minced Garlic
A good hearty dose of fresh cracked black pepper
1-2 tsp. kosher salt
1.5 - 2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 Tbsp. Worchestershire sauce (or "wooster sauce" as my Grammie would say)

I just mixed all the ingredients until it looked like the paprika and garlic were evenly incorporated (a wire potato masher works great--mental note to self: go buy a new one of those things!!) and then I made them into decent sized patties making sure to pat out the sides quite a bit so there were no cracks. The meat mixture was pretty wet at this point and initially I was worried that they'd fall apart once I started to cook them but it wasn't an issue. I put them on a plate and popped 'em in the fridge for at least half of an hour to help ensure the blending of the flavors and that they'd stay in one piece till they were cooked. I cooked these over medium heat in a large saute pan and they were ready after about 12 minutes and are some of the juiciest, most tender burgers I've ever had.

I know Gordon Ramsay might consider it a sacriledge, but if you get a chance, top these bad boys with some of Kraft's new Tangy Tomato Bacon dressing--very tasty. And if you've got some thick-cut peppered bacon, she's welcome to join the party in your mouth too. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Trying to solicit help!

Well, I am going to (rather ashamedly) admit that I am a Messie at heart. I was once reformed but I've had a major relapse and was well on my way to being admitted to a rehab program but I have *barely* escaped by the skin of my teeth and I am asking for your help.

Please post a comment suggesting one of your favorite cleaning and or organizing tips and you can win a prize! I'll be trying to put all of your suggestions into good use for the next month or so and will report back on my status then but for now you have a chance to win your choice of prizes:
1-For those of you who are avid crafters out there, a grab bag of some random goodness from my stash: maybe some fabrics, scrapbooking "schtuff", patterns, buttons, ribbons... who knows what I might find on my quest to conquer clutter!?!
2-A handcrafted item made by yours truly. This would be an absolute surprise to whomever receives it but I promise to take your personal likes and dislikes into consideration!
3-A $10 gift card to your choice: Starbucks, Walmart or Target!

As you can see, lots of choices for your prize--but I have LOTS of clutter to conquer! With 3 little girls, a craft-a-holic Mommy (who CANNOT resist a sale at A.C. Moore) and a Music Geek/Computer Guru Hubby in the house, you can imagine all of the stuff that we have accumulated! So send me some useful de-cluttering and house cleaning tips for a shot to win!

Just post your entry here and let me know which prize you'd like best... I'll be drawing a random winner on October 1st!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wow!

Holy Moly! It's been so long... Sorry.

School has started and we're off on the quite the adventure with TWO in class now! #1 loves school and every day is exciting for her. #2... not so much. She's learning to enjoy class but she still comes home so tired every afternoon. Ahh, and Little One. She spends a portion of every afternoon looking at the girls' pictures and wandering around the apartment calling for them. She misses her older sisters but she's certainly enjoying some alone time with Mom.

And me. I've just been schlepping around. I tell myself that I'm using my computer and my sewing as incentive to get my stuff done around the house. You know, the cleaning, sorting through old kids clothes, filing, re-organizing the cupboards and the pantry, etc. I tell myself each day, "If you get X done, you can go blog" or "If you finish up with Y you can sew something". So of course you know what's getting done: No blogging, No sewing, and No housework. Actually, the stuff around the house is all started and several projects are in varying stages... I just haven't FINISHED anything. I actually started on my bathroom but still haven't completed it entirely; I've gone to the length of taking down my fabric shower curtain and getting rid of the towels that matched it and all, but we're not done in there--I still have to do the wall decor and get a new shower curtain. And a new liner. And a new rug or something.

Anyhow, I just wanted to post and let you all know that I'm still here, just not always blogging. I guess I'm off to go start a project that I won't get finished today. Maybe I'll tackle my closet. :)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Coming soon!

I know I've been absent for over two weeks now and not blogging is weighing heavily on my mind. Never fear though, I'll be back soon! Today I hustled two of my little ones off to school and after I get caught up on some housework and special projects this week I hope to be back and blogging before you know it!

Friday, August 15, 2008

FYI

If you're new to my blog or haven't stopped over in a little while I'd like to point out two ways you can score some loot:
1. Paricipate in an online scavenger hunt to win a $50 gift certificate to the movie theater of your choice. Find the details here!
2. Don't forget to comment on my Finding Stephanie blog tour post to get your name entered to win a free copy of the book by Susan May Warren.
3. Sign up to join the Pay It Forward swap right here on my blog; you'll get something homemade, give something and get to feel really good about it too!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lunch

I just finished up a nice lunch: Smoked turkey on whole grain oat nut flatbread with braised cherries. Fresh peaches with vanilla and brown sugar. The kids ate frozen blueberries that we picked a while back over in Greenwich and barely touched their chicken sandwiches. Little One pieced on every ones leftovers.

Seriously, I need to post something more interesting on here every once in a while. :)

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Book Review: Finding Stefanie


Finding Stephanie by Susan May Warren is touring the blog-o-sphere this week! I have thoroughly enjoyed this book--despite the distractions of my 3 little ones and life in general I just *could.not* put this novel down! There is a splendid mix of intrigue, romance, faith and inspiration set in a modern atmosphere. Susan has a fantastic way of weaving just the right amount of imagery into her tale to guide your imagination in bringing the characters to life. I think that just about any gal looking for a pleasant diversion can really get into this book. While Finding Stephanie is the third book in a series you don't really need to have read the other two books--they're all free standing and you can pick up any one and feel as though you haven't missed a beat.

Stay tuned for two exciting contests at the end of my post for a chance to win a prize!

When she put her dreams on hold to help run the family ranch, she never imagined they would slip out of sight. Luckily for Stefanie, those dreams are about to come knocking at her door.

Lincoln Cash has gained fame and fortune on the big screen, but a crippling secret leaves him one last chance to make his mark on the movie industry. With dreams of hosting a new film festival, Lincoln intends to remodel a sprawling ranch in eastern Montana to make it the new Hollywood hot spot.

Unfortunately, a house fire threatens his plans. So does opposition from his new neighbor Stefanie Noble, who's not thrilled about his Tinseltown changes. What Lincoln and Stefanie don't know is that the fire won't be the last disaster to threaten Lincoln or his future. Someone is out for revenge... but who? And who is the real target?

Read an excerpt here.

About Susan: Susan May Warren is the award-winning author of seventeen novels and novellas with Tyndale, Steeple Hill and Barbour Publishing. (She's also a fabulous teacher and fun person--we met in Dallas last year.) Her first book, Happily Ever After won the American Fiction Christian Writers Book of the Year in 2003, and was a 2003 Christy Award finalist. In Sheep’s Clothing, a thriller set in Russia , was a 2006 Christy Award finalist and won the 2006 Inspirational Reader’s Choice award. A former missionary to Russia , Susan May Warren now writes Suspense/Romance and Chick Lit full time from her home in northern Minnesota.

Grab your magnifying glass and join Susan on a Fact-o-Find!

Answer these questions about (some of) the bloggers on the tour and be entered to win a $50 gift certificate to the movie theater of your choice (you know, so you can see some of Cash's great movies *G*)! Email Amy your answers (amy@susanmaywarren.com)

Ready, get set, giddy-up!

1. Which blogger is adopting a girl from China ?

2. This word 'featherbunkle' is found on which blog?

3. Which blogger is supporting the 'Pickens Plan'?

4. Which blog is "The Cutest Blog on the Block"?

5. Which blogger is a S@HM and also a wife, daughter, sister, friend, nursery director, and woman that is just trying to keep it all together?

6. Which blogger is taking the Southern Reading Challenge?

7. Which blog asks 'How may we serve you'?

8. Which blogger refers to her son as 'super good big guy'?

9. Which blogger is a self-proclaimed 'Starbucks Addict'?

10. Which blogger is a big Trekkie?

See blog tour schedule here.


Post a comment on my blog here and be entered to win a free copy of Finding Stefanie! For those of you not fortunate to win, you can pick up your own copy online. :) Good luck, I'll be picking a winner for the book on August 18th!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Is it REALLY Thursday already?

I don't know where this week has gone but I feel that a large portion of it was spent in the car. Monday night was a mini-marathon in the car. Tuesday was a car tri-athlon, balancing packing the van with stuff from storage and still trying to cram in the kids in their carseats. Yesterday was just hardcore! I only had 1 kid with me so I really STUFFED the van when I passed the storage unit on my way to the hospital to visit my dad. I got home so late though that I didn't get to unpack the van. The trunk is full. The back seat is full. The little aisle is packed. The seat next to the baby was stuffed. And the front seat was reserved for purchases that I had to make at Wal-STAR-mart--it got filled! :)
Now I'm wondering if I should go get ONE MORE ROUND of stuff from storage tomorrow (DH might kill me) or if I should set up my sale for the Friday early-birds. I don't know... I'm mostly selling kids stuff so I don't want the kids to watch their stuff leave and try to drag it back in the house. I might just wait for DH to entertain them on Saturday. :)
I'm off to sort and price... gotta see if the neighbors would mind if I set up in the driveway this weekend.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What a day.

This morning started out rough; I couldn't find my glasses. After crawling on my hands and knees in the LR (I thought they might have fallen off the table next to the sofa) I put the troops to the task. Eventually (a few hours after I woke up) I found them. In the toy box. Of course.
Then it was off to Mom's and the ol' storage unit. Once at storage I discovered the key to the new lock wasn't working. And the office was closed. No problem, I just applied a little elbow grease, strained a muscle in my weak forearm and popped the sucker open. I felt like a She-Rah when I picked up a dresser all by my lonesome and plopped that bad boy into the trunk of the van. Solid oak that little bad boy was. 4 drawer with a changing table on top... but I licked the sucker.
Then off to the store. #2 had to go #2 so we stopped at the grocery store. When we got inside I realized I left my money envelope from the bank in the car so we ran back out to get it, then made a mad dash for the toilets. OUT OF ORDER. You've got to be kidding me! I got the kids out to the van (brimming with stuff from storage to put in the weekend's yard sale, hardly any room for the kids to get to their seats), buckled the critters in and took off for the next closest public restroom. Traffic was a nightmare and it took my 3 minutes to pull out onto the road... poor #2's eyes were starting to float! As soon as we got to the next store down the road we hopped out, ran to the doors, ran back to the car to get my purse, ran into the store, all the way to the BACK, into the toilets and #1 tried to budge in front of #2. I stopped her in her tracks, pants around her ankles and plopped #2 up onto the seat. We all did the rounds and I realized I'd left that dratted money envelope on the front seat of the car with my cell phone! We didn't even wash our hands, rather we RINSED them and raced back to the car.
Phew! The money was still there. OK, we headed back into the store for a few things and 45 minutes later were cashing out. Yes, forty five minutes! The amount of time I spend in stores chasing my kids and turning around to make sure they're still traveling with the herd makes me sick--like ball of dread in your stomach, feel like you're going to wretch kind of sick. After I rounded up the troops, put all of my stuff in the car, buckled the kids and returned my shopping cart to the store I realized that my keys were missing. After I'd dumped the contents of my surprisingly full purse onto the seat of the car I took note that my keys were, in fact, still missing. I just got the car yesterday. The keys are already missing. NICE.
We paraded back into the store, filled with incompetent staff who were very frustrated that I interrupted them to inquire if anyone had found my keys. Peeved that I'd asked, one woman rolled her strung out eyes at me and shook her stringy mop of hair, "Enh. Ugh." She kept squeaking out these whiny little sounds that made me think of how my daughter reacts when I tell her that her shoes are on the wrong feet. Apparently this lady didn't know that whiny noises are one of my biggest pet peeves. "Listen, they would have turned my keys in to you in the past half hour, you've got nothing?" She shrugged her shoulders, "Uh, I don't think so...? Nobody brought anything to me..."
My patience worn, I set off on foot, toddler on hip with two shopping-weary sets of sandals dragging behind me. After an hour of combing the store, the parking lot and the car I eventually found the keys in a bag of Gerber diced strawberries and bananas tucked in the back pocket of the diaper bag. That's after I checked the garbage bags. Afer I followed the trail of little bits and pieces of paper, gum wrappers and hairbands that Little One had littered about the store while pawing through my purse. Yeah, it was about 20 minutes after I realized that I was physically shaking with frustration, and angry at myself for not putting the keys in my pocket.
I got home at 7:30 and still had to cook dinner for my kids who should be in bed no later than 8. Bedtime stories done, I settled in on the sofa to unwind a little and do nothing for a few minutes. And the phone rang. Mom was choking back tears. Dad was in the hospital. Nausea, abdominal cramping, vomiting and chest pains after a simple outpatient procedure this morning.
Here I sit, typing, unable to sleep and I am sooo tired. It's hot. I probably stink. Just the sound of the air conditioner is enough to stress me out though. I feel as though every nerve in my body is standing on edge. My mind is cloudy but the stresses of the day have taken their toll on me. Just knowing that I have laundry to do, dinner dishes that I haven't washed and a worried mom, sitting at my dad's bedside fearing the worst has me taxed. I had a long day. Tomorrow promises to be long. The hour long drive to my folks' place strains my feeble brain when I don't have someone to talk to. I think too much and it drains me. I think about how great-grandma is in town and somebody needs to entertain her and my baby brother if Dad's still in the hospital. I think about how somebody needs to take Mom some real food. Somebody needs to distract her. I think about Dad, hoping and praying that he's okay. I think about my kids and how I'm going to take care of them and take care of everyone else and take care of my house all at the same time. And I think about how sometimes I just feel so inadequate as a mom, a wife, a daughter, a woman. And then I tell myself, "It's just because you're tired. Get some sleep and get your mind back on track. Tomorrow is another day to try and be a She-Rah."

New Lingo

So my middle daughter (4.5 yo) was being conversational the other evening and chatting it up with a woman and got a little caught up in what she was saying. It seems to me that she combined the words often and frequently when she very casually said, "My daddy oftenly goes to church on Sunday nights!" It was pretty cute....
My baby started singing this week. She only knows a small handful of words, one of them being the name of her very favorite cartoon character, Dora. Now she will randomly start belting out her little ditty, "d-d-d-d-d-d-d-Dora, d-d-d-d-d-d-Dora!" I seriously have to try and catch some video of it--we're talking CUTE!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Am I a sellout?

So I saw this video posted over at Sandi's blog, who in turn saw it at Becca's but I just had to share it with a few of my favorite people so I hope you find it entertaining -- I know that I did. :)

Randomness

-Two things I've been craving lately: Dairy Queen and Outback Steakhouse. Must. Go. Soon!
-Hailey poopied in the potty yesterday but I think we're going to hang up the training pants soon because she seems to be losing some interest and at 15 months old, I'm not going to push her.
-DH's birthday is in 4 days. #1 wants to get him a flashlight. #1 also says that #2 wants to get him fingernail polish, this has yet to be confirmed by a still sleeping #2 but I'll find out if there's any truth to the matter.
-DH lost his wallet 2 weeks ago and it's killing me not being able to find it. Mostly because it has his fishing license in it and the girls ask everyday when Daddy is going to take them on their maiden fishing voyage
-Getting nostalgic and missing my friends in NJ lately.
-Want a nespresso coffee machine. Badly.
-Seriously delinquent on about 5 craft and sewing projects lately
-Wondering if I should bang out a stock of goodies and sign up for a craft fair this fall to get some extra Christmas Cash.
-REALLY have to go potty but am too tired to get up off my derriere right now and go do it.
-Feeling guilty for not visiting my grandmas lately.
-Looking forward to the start of this school year.
-Nervous about #2 and the start of Kindergarten.
-Still surprisingly fresh, this new deodorant is a keeper.
-Man! Gotto GO... badly. This can't wait. Must go tend to some paperwork in the reading room.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Because I missed them on Leno...

I get to babysit for Sparkleworks (the little boy I mentioned earlier this week--the nickname comes gratis from his older sister who's got a thing for My Little Pony) again this morning but I thought I'd share a quick video I found. I happen to REALLY like Third Day and somehow I missed that they were going to be on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno last night. One of my friends posted on Twitter how he'd just played back their performance from last night and I was aghast that I'd missed such a monumental performance! ;) Anyhow, it got me to looking at their Habitat for Humanity tour which led to me looking at the coloring book pages for kids (the possibilities for these pages are really endless--I may find myself in an obssessive fan/crafter's paradise sooner that later) and ultimately I ended up with this cute video here. It brought memories flooding back of simpler times when I used to play with* (*translate: watch) my brother and his Legos. Ahh... the good ol' days. We never did anything like this though, I can assure you. Anyhow, enjoy.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Social Obligations

Friends have invited us to their campsite for dinner this evening. I don't particularly *want* to go but I know that my anti-social streak has been trying to make a bold resurgence and "color me bad". (Gosh, what a cheesy play on words--only thing worse is that I'm leaving it there and not deleting it!) Hubby is a social creature and the kids can stand the excitement, I mean, it is summer after all! So I'm dutifully making my dessert and packing up a camping bag to take with us on our trip to their little slice of the ol' Adirondack pie.
The kids have VBS tomorrow and I anticipate we'll be home late this evening so I'm going to try the old nap trick. Even if they won't sleep, I know they're good for some quiet time if I dole out blankets, pillows and a hearty helping of Noggin. :)
This morning I wasn't terribly productive so I have some catching up to do if we're going to go out to play this evening. Nothing new, same old laundry folding, dish washing, toy pick upping as usual. And I have a sewing project that I have GOT to finish. I'm actually remiss for not having it done already. If it's not done in the next 48 hours there will be penance to pay for it. Something along the lines of kneeling on raw rice sounds like it would be fitting. Or maybe putting crackers in my bed.

Monday, July 28, 2008

VBS

This morning signaled the start of Vacation Bible School... as horrible as it sounds, it's kind of nice to have the older two out this morning. I feel like I'm getting a little taste of what the Fall will be like. I feel like I can be so much more productive with just the little one at home. This morning I actually have two, I'm watching a little boy while his mom teaches my kids at VBS and I still feel... is liberated too strong of a word to use here?

Whatever the case may be, I enjoy my children and wouldn't give them up for anything in the world--but this peace and quiet thing is pretty nice too. :)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

She did WHAT?!

Hailey peed in the toilet today. Twice. Once yesterday and twice today. Honestly, I just think we're getting lucky when she says potty and rips off her diaper, prompting me to run to the toilet--stumbling over blocks, bathroom scales, anything that's in the way between me and the porcelain receptacle that I now find myself kneeling in front of while excitedly making "psssss, wssssss" noises. And as an FYI, I don't think the noises help but it gives me something to keep busy. We're not in there long, only a minute or two, but maybe she's getting the picture? I'm not expecting anything long term (seeing that she's only 15 months old) but if she's ready, who am I to keep her from the big girl panties that she loves to wear? On top of her diaper.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

While I'm at it


I thought I'd share a photo with you of the little sundress I made a while ago for the "great with child" music teacher. She was expecting in July so I made this pretty small so she could get some use this summer. She loved it! And hopefully she can use the matching burpie for a while longer than the dress. :) I finished up just as I was running out the door to pick up #1 from school, hence the photo was taken in the front seat of the car!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

New project!

My sister had a birthday last week... I always have a difficult time shopping for the people in my family; I always feel that whatever I buy isn't going to measure up to what the rest of the family buys for gifts. I don't know if it's that I'm too cheap or too poor or what! My brother is married and my sister is in a committed relationship but neither one has children so they've got dual income households while I'm in a single income household with THREE little ones. Even so, I don't know how it works out that they give gifts that are sooo much nicer than what I pick up... it's not that they value anyone more that I do, it just... I don't know.
So for the past few years I have been focusing on trying to give gifts that are meaningful and, for the most part, made by hand. Teachers gifts, baby shower gifts, birthdays, Christmas... I don't give all handmade items but I try to put a lot of thought into what I'm giving to any gift recipient and if I can make something that I think they will enjoy, I'm all for it. Truth be told, I probably don't save any money by making things (I probably actually overspend in some cases) but I put a lot of heart into it!
So without further ado, I bring you a few snapshots of my sister's gift. First I painted a canvas a glossy cherry red. Next, I took a photo of my sister and her boyfriend from a big family vacations to the Outer Banks and turned it into a stencil which I placed kinda offset onto the canvas and painted then in black. Next a little bit of red paint went on top just for a little accent and then a super shiny glossy finish went on. It wasn't terribly difficult, just time consuming. Do it again? In a heartbeat!
I apologize for the photo quality, my camera was having a hard time focusing on the glossy finish-it was so sunny out and the reflection was blinding from *almost* any angle... :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Old Red Barn Co.

Goodness gracious, head on over to the Old Red Barn Co. right away!! Dana over there is having a giveaway for one of the most fantastic quilts you've ever seen--hurry now and see if you can't get entered; this is one prize you don't want to miss out on! And if it's not your cuppa tea then hurry and enter and if you win, I'll gladly take the little lovely off of your hands. :)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Waste not, want not

Or in my case, dare to waste not, come up with nothing! I have nothing to show lately--I've just been to concerned with cutting into some fabric and not LOVING what I've made that I haven't made anything! Well, that and Little One has been attached to me and just doesn't want me do anything without her. :)

Over the holiday I picked up some really cute fabric over at IKEA and I'm really excited to make something with it. On our way back into town I picked up some lime green linen to make some ruffled pants to put under my IKEA dresses. I hope to have something to show you this week.

Ahh well, it is late and I must be off to bed... just trying to make it for woot's BOC and then I'm going to hit the hay!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Hot day

Oh boy--we had a fabulous trip and I really must share a few details. All I can say is: Nespresso! Seriously, I don't think I could have asked for a better weekend. Family and friends, kids playing in the waterslide... good conversation and a few late nights... These are the things that make you smile when you're drifting off to sleep.
We're home and I haven't turned on the AC today since I've been meaning to head out to the store all morning. It's now 88 degrees in the house and we're getting out. I'll post something interesting soon, I promise!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Wagons ho!


Doing a little packing today for an outing... Patriotic weekend with dear friends, who could ask for more? Now while there are typically fireworks when we all get together, this time they'll be in the air--how spectacular! Cross your fingers, hopefully we have no more stray dog/jumping cop excitement this time!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Rummaging

I was rummaging through some photos on the computer and found some of the kids from field day at #1's school... time goes by so quickly!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Flashbacks...

This afternoon I'm not feeling terribly well. In fact, I'm feeling quite terrible! I woke up this morning looking somewhat like a cyborg or something-the left side of my face was swollen so badly that my eye was just a slit and when I smiled it was rather scary looking: one side turned up, the other turned down! So off to Dr. I went to be prescribed an antibiotic to treat a "rather acute sinus infection."
Fast forward to now: I'm feeling a little bit duh-headed and just can't seem to snap out of it so I keep laying on the sofa and sort of dozing off. I woke up to hear Little One was on the middle of the kitchen table sitting naked on top of a massive pile of cheesies. She had just thrown a glass plate off of the table and it was smashed into many little bits. So I cleaned it up and while picking up the mess I had to retrieve a new roll of paper towels from the pantry to get the job done. You see, for some reason I thought that wet paper towels would catch the tiniest little particles of glass that I was sure were lurking under the table. Wet paper towels pick up everything, right?
So now I decided to sit with Little One on the sofa and snuggle for a minute which translated to me falling asleep and her pooping her pants. And nobody could find the wipes. Diaper bag is in the car, hubbie is out. Still, I can manage, #1 fetches the paper towels. Mess somewhat taken care of, I decide (oh so NOT cleverly) to give her bottom a rinse in the bathroom sink. The sink where my older two have spat large quantities of Sponge Bob toothpaste this afternoon upon discovery that I had purchased a travel size tube for a little trip we're going on this weekend. Little One's backside now has blue and white streaks but at least she smells like bubblegum--that's better than what she smelled like 5 minutes ago!
All diapered up, sink scrubbed down, backside nice and clean and now things are looking relatively normal. I decide to check my email. I must seriously be in a fog and not hearing anything because I turn around LITERALLY 2 minutes later and that brand new roll of paper towels is now spread from the living room to the kitchen and back into the bathroom and now an empty cardboard tube is lying on the floor behind the sofa. As I was cleaning up this mess it made me think of a recent post by Bridget, a lovely gal who is deliciously pregnant. I have to confess, I do love preggo belly. I am an intensely private person and I think I've only touched someone else's baby belly once in my life but something about the pregnant silhouette just makes me mushy. I really enjoy watching the journey that women go on as that little baby develops right inside mama's warm bun oven! It's so exciting and while I've taken the journey 3 times myself I still feel my skin come alive when I'm near pregnant women--it's like electricity in the air, all that vitality and newness of life and knowing that they're nourishing a precious little gift inside them. OK, enough!
So as I was cleaning, I thought of a recent post by Bridget and had a vivid flashback to spring last year that I thought I'd share with you. Honestly I hadn't really shared it before because my landlady sometimes reads my blog and I didn't want her to be terrified when she read it but she's a pretty cool lady and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she understands. After all, she's got two little ones of her own that keep her pretty busy!
Let's see, Little One was about 10 or 12 days old and hubby had decided to go to Albany for the evening, leaving me home for roughly 7 hours with the 3 little mohicans. Well, I popped in a brand new movie to watch with the little angels and I actually cried (it was a cheesy Barbie movie too, you know it had to be the hormones) watching it. All was well and good until I fell asleep with the baby in my arms on the sofa. I don't know how long I was out of it but it couldn't have been more than half of an hour. I woke up to the terrifying sound of running water and a little kid slipping and falling on her bum in the kitchen. Rather than bolt upright and race to the scene of the crime, I tried to gently ease the baby onto the sofa and then race to investigate. I cannot tell you what the two monkeys had been doing, but I can describe to you what I found and what I surmise they had done.
From my refrigerator to the other end of my kitchen there was a vast sea of chocolate and strawberry syrup. And a puddle of water. And a brand new, off white, organic cotton bath towel that was no longer brand new or off white which now was swirled into a puddle of syrup on the floor. There were footprints that led to the bathroom where the sink was left running and chocolate fingerprints lined the wash basin. There were two sticky, drippy cups out and about--one on the bathroom counter, one rolling across the kitchen floor. And two naked children... wet, sticky, slimy, pink and brown naked children.
Dazed, I grabbed some cruddy beach towels and threw them down on the floor to start mopping up the mess. The naked children were placed in the shower along with my once off white, recently new organic cotton towel. I sprang into action, cleaning, scrubbing, sopping, lecturing, etc.
Here is how I envision this scene going down: One child says to another child, "Hey, want some chocolate milk?" To which child # 2 replies, "No, I'd prefer a tall glass of strawberry milk, I do find it rather refreshing." Two little monkeys then scurried off to the refrigerator, grabbed the syrup and popped the little squirt tops open with their teeth. Upon tasting the sweet syrup straight, they decide to leave the milk alone and it's bottoms up with the Nesquik. Hmmm, this stuff makes quite a mess on clothing, maybe it'd be better if we got naked to drink it, that way Mom won't observe any evidence on our clothes and our little indulgence will go undetected. They strip. Somewhere in the action, a drop of syrup hits the floor. Ooh, now that was fun. Now I can see them having squirting wars with the bottles of syrup as those were also brand new.... I'd be pretty willing to bet money that you could squirt the strawberry syrup a good 4 or 5 feet, easy. After the joy of the squirt-a-thon as worn off the see that they've created quite a mess. Hmmm.... Let's go get a towel to clean this up... enter BRAND NEW towel. The towel just isn't cutting the mess so they decide that water will wash it all away and nobody will ever know the difference. Hence the bucket brigade of topless sippy cups that was used to pour water over the whole sloppy mess. At this juncture the floor became slippery instead of just sticky, causing a toddler-esque bum to fly up into the air and cause a loud thud when gravity pulled that bum back down to the ground. Enter disoriented Mom.
Yeah, that was a fun night. If anyone thinks you can mop up that sticky mess off the floor, think again. You have to get down on your hands and knees and scrub every square inch of that linoleum. On the bright side of things, I felt perfectly fine the next day when I picked up a piece of grilled cheese sandwich off of the floor and confidently reintroduced it to my kid's palate. It may have hit the floor but that sucker was CLEAN!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Thanks, Angela!

I absolutely love this video from Music and Lyrics.... I was telling my mom about it this evening and then when I saw Angela's thoughtful comments I knew I had to post this here. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Lyrics gone wonky


So I was singing Funkytown earlier just because I like how my older two sing "Funkay Toooooooooooooooooooown!" and I caught the oldest one going off singing something completely random, or so I thought. She was groovin' away, "Wockleberry, wockleberry, wockleberry woah-oooh-woah-oh!!" Apparently "wockleberry" and "talk about it" sound startlingly similar in the ears of a 6 year old.

I wonder what a wockleberry looks like...

Fishing for tips

So I'm having company over today and I need to clean up around the house. I just have absolutely zero drive to get it done! You know, the dusting, washing/putting away the dishes (I swear, my dishes would spend an entire life cycle in the drainboard if my husband didn't care), picking up random toys, scrubbing the toilet... my house isn't filthy by any means, but there are toys out and general clutter abides here.

So my question is this: where do you get the motivation to straighten up on days like this? Have you got any little cleaning tips that you could share with me? Today I've got a bad case of Listless Mom Syndrome. I think it stems from the small nap that I took when I put Little One down for her sleepie deepies this afternoon; I got just enough rest to realize that I need some rest.

On a side note, Little One fell asleep getting kisses earlier, it was rather cute. She had started to wake up from her nap and I went in and snuggled with her and started giving her little "nibble kisses" as we call them. Her hands, elbows, cheeks, belly, knees and toes... you get this picture. It must be a mom thing. Anyhow, after I kissed her toes I looked up and she'd fallen asleep again with an angelic look on her face. Wouldn't that be a lovely way to drift of into dream land every evening? Little kissy nibbles from someone who loves you and makes you feel safe? If there's one thing I'm making sure of, my little girls know that they're loved!

So... what makes you want to get right in and bleach your toilet bowl?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Would a Rose by any other name really be a Rose?

My Kindergartner tells me that her music teacher will be having a baby this July. "Her name is Rose and she's going to be a cute baby!" This was fabulous information for me as I've been trying to come up with some good end of the year gifts for the teachers. Ultimately, we made a dress and matching burpie and picked up a cute little "my first year" photo frame for the teacher (picture of dress to follow--we were on a tight schedule and I nabbed a solitary photo of dress and burpie on the front seat of my car).
I still haven't finished up a gift for my daughter's primary teacher. I'm:
1. An indecisive person
2. Admittedly frugal
3. Always waiting till the last possible moment to get things done
My major challenges here though are that I absolutely love this teacher so nothing seems like it truly expresses how much I have valued the time she has devoted to my daughter this year. I have never gotten the impression that this teacher was just "getting the job done". On the contrary, she has personally vested herself in the success of each and every student in her class. I can only hope that next year, when I have two in school, their teachers will be as attentive. That said, I really want to do something that tells this teacher how special she really is. By tomorrow morning. I've been looking for a good gift idea for about a month, nothing strikes my fancy. Now that we're down to the wire I'm going to have to do some purpose driven shopping this afternoon!
::fingers crossed::

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I find this hard to believe...

I took a test this morning that I saw on a random blog.... I just don't know if I can believe the results!

83

As a 1930s wife, I am
Very Superior

Take the test!



Take the test and comment back how you rate, I'd be interested to see what kind of results others come up with!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Fun Friday afternoon

Yesterday I took all of the girls up to a small, local amusement park called Magic Forest with #1's kindergarten class. It was great fun--the weather was perfect, the whole park is shaded so we stayed cool and the park is still closed to the public so while there were several school groups there, we had no wait time to get on the rides and the crowd was so friendly. We stayed to close up the park after the school groups all left and it was cute to see my girls and a friend's kids run from ride to ride and basically just hop on each one at will. There were maybe a dozen kids in the park for the last half hour and they had a blast!
After we left the park we hit the Carter's outlet store where they had some great sales ($1.99 bins, INSANE $5 racks and oodles of stuff for 70% off) but not much in the line of sizes for my kiddos. I grabbed a few things and headed off to pick up a few groceries and print off some of those fairy pics of Little One at the ol' Kodak Kiosk. I picked up a new pattern so be on the lookout for some new kiddie clothes in the next week or two...
I was sure that when we got home the kids would be exhausted but would you know that those little stinkers were up till 9?! The baby, of course, was sleeping by 6 and only woke up intermittently to eat a quick snippet, get a diaper change and pass out again. But then she woke up at 6 this morning and there was no keeping her down, she was ready for the day. So I pulled out my Sunday School materials and started studying again... I haven't taught in... well... forever. Tomorrow's the big day, say a little prayer for me!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Bacon with no calories, no fat?


I stumbled across this fascinating product today while online and thought it would be perfect for Fathers' Day. I guess Bill's getting a card with a picture of BaconSalt and the promise that it's on its way. :) Anybody ever tried this stuff?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Thursday Night

What's a girl to do when all have gone to sleep and she's got a case of the crafties? Make a cute little tutu dress for her baby of course! And what's a girl to do on a HOT and humid Saturday morning while hubby is taking a shower? Take pictures of that baby in the tutu dress!! Hope you enjoy as much as I enjoyed following her around the yard. :)



Thursday, June 5, 2008

I've been so neglectful of my poor blog

I know it's no excuse, but I really have been busy this week! Between school and pediatrician appointments, having company over, end of the year field trips and little sewing projects life is bursting at the seams over here!
Right now I'm working on a SUPER CUTE dress with matching ruffled pantaloons, an apron for my apron swap (nothing like last minute, right?) and a mei tai for a dear friend. She chose the cutest paisley fabric and I'm really hoping to be able and snap a photo of her little cutie to share with you.
Oh, I have so many ideas and things flying around in my head that I want to try--it's almost overwhelming! Well, until next time... and hopefully I get some pictures around to share! Big field trip tomorrow, I'm pulling for no rain. :)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Gosh!

I walked in on the kids while they were playing with blocks today. They were building homes and shops in a little village created for their ponies and dolls. It was a marvelous "project" that they were working on. I stumbled in on their conversation just in time to hear the Littlest Pet Shop Pony a.k.a "The Shopkeeper" trying to woo Barbie into a purchase, "You're going to love this one! It's Versace!!!"
I almost snorted H2O out of my nose! I don't really own anything designer, I don't watch anything where I think they would have heard of any designers but apparently it's a great tag line to cinch up a sale. Hey, if I was Barbie, I'd be LOVING Versace. :)

I've GOT to get outside!

Oh, so little Sugar Plum Girl woke up in just a diaper but was in a great mood so I popped her in the mei tai and snapped a couple photos in the bathroom mirror--please excuse the Aztec themed shower curtain (not my style but I still haven't really found my style in bathroom decor yet--it's a journey to get away from the land of hand-me-downs aka my home) and the grainy photos but here we are! I'll try to see if I can get some nice, outdoors action shots! Oh, and as a PS, I know that the one shot is really off center, but I didn't mind because you're getting a preview of a dried floral-esque arrangement I made for a whopping $8! I got this fabulous vase on sale and went from there... I'll probably show you more of that when I find a good place in my apartment for the poor fella to live.

Until then, HAPPY FRIDAY!

Dottie or Flossie?

Ok, so I've been on a kick naming things in my kitchen lately... and now my new apron needs a name. I've been considering Dottie, but do you think that's too generic? I mean, with the polka dots and all? I kind of wanted an old fashioned name, maybe something from the 30's to 50's time frame. I'm stuck. What's your input? Oh, and by the way, forgive the less than stellar photos but isn't this apron from Jen absolutely DARLING? I love, love, love it!! I forgot to take a photo of the detailing on the pocket so when Little One is done spunking I'll try and snap another photo. Hopefully I can get a picture of the Mei Tai too--hubby didn't get home till after 9 last night and baby carrier photos with no baby are hard (Little One was snug as a bug in a rug, off in dreamy land). Stay tuned...

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Note to Self:

Yesterday I finished up the Mei Tai early enough that I was able to wear it on my way to pick up #1 from school... on my way out the door I discovered a package in the mail that came from Jen in Michigan--it was a fantastic apron from the swap I'm in! I was thrilled!

So the Mei Tai was MUCH more comfy than the other baby carriers I've ever used and Hailey seemed to enjoy it. I'm making a note to myself to try and snap some photos today, of the baby carrier and the apron, to share with you all... stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Courtesy a la Christine

A very good friend of mine shared with me her love of fresh cilantro 3 or 4 years years ago. She told me how she loved the extra flavor it added to salad and went on for a few minutes as she picked leaves off of the stems of a fresh bunch of cilantro. She griped about the exhorbitant cost of the herb in our small, out-of-the-way town, reminisced about working at Taco Bell in her youth and then we went on to talk about husbands, children and well,you know... life.
That conversation, years ago, spurned me to make some homemade salsa for a picnic yesterday. I was at the market and saw some ridiculously overpriced cilantro (you see, I live in another small town now while she has moved on to bigger and better cities) next to some very reasonably priced tomatoes and VOILA! The idea was born.
Hubbie loved the salsa. I got a few recipe requests. No pictures... I left my camera in the car and was kicking myself for not taking pictures at the picnic. Well, I'll share my recipe with you at least. It was a spur of the moment, throw it together kind of thing but I'm sure that you can play with the measurements and make it work for you.
Keep in mind, I made this for a potluck, so the recipe yielded quite a bit--probably 8 cups or so.

Ingredients:
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 small onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
3 cups frozen corn, cooked
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
5 tomatoes, diced
2 small jalepenos, seeded and finely diced
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

I mixed the garlic, cilantro, salt, cumin and pepper well then added in everything else and chilled for a couple hours to let the flavors blend. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

WIP

I started on a Scandinavian style Mei Tai carrier Friday evening but Little One decided to wake up every half hour until about 4 in the morning so I abandoned the project and pulled her into bed with me. Desperate times = Desperate measures.
It's pretty fun and I've got some mods in mind. I'll post a link to the fabulous tute when I finish and snap a couple photos for ya'll. :)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Where does the time go?





Look at my little girls... growing up!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Holla!!

Hey all! I am gearing up for the long weekend with the kiddos... I know that we have some random plans here and there, the culmination of which will be a picnic on Monday at a local park. Anyone else have any plans that they'd like to share?
I've honestly been looking to start some family traditions for some of the less celebrated holidays--do you have any ideas or things that your family does to celebrate any of the upcoming "summer" holidays that you care to let me (few but) faithful readers in on?
And what about those of you in the Capital Region that stop on by every now and again? Anything happening locally that you want to clue me in on? Parades? Anybody know of any fireworks or festivities that the kids would enjoy?? Come on now, DISH!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Better Late than Never

Yesterday was so cold, today I was itching for something warm and summery so I thought I'd share with you the dishes that DH and the little ones picked out for me on Mothers' Day. I've been meaning to show them to you anyhow so this was a good motivator for me to snap a couple shots of them. :) I absolutely love the splash of color that they add to the kitchen. I cleared off my bakers rack to use for storing them when they're not in use because it just didn't seem right to hide them behind a cupboard door!


I'm still pining for my KA but I'm so stingy that I'm waiting to get a great deal... good things come to those who wait, right?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Fabulous New Find


I just saw that Coldstone started serving up some Lo-Cal smoothies this week--they're big on flavor, but starting at 160 calories they're not big on your waistline! You can get their NRGize smoothie and add in an energy, anti-stress, protein or antioxidant supplement to give yourself a little boost... I dunno, the Berry Lemony smoothie is calling my name... but every last one of them sounds good to me!
Check out your local Coldstone and pick up a smoothie--in honor of me! ;)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Diligence

I am trying to be diligent now that I've shared my wight loss success with you. You see, after I posted that up here, I went to a banquet where I was encouraged to gorge myself with all sorts of tasty foods. And cake. The next morning I took the kids to a fundraiser where I was encouraged to buy at the bake sale, have a hot dog and enjoy a free ice cream cone... I declined on the ice cream. I then went to a great birthday party where I was greeted with barbecued pork and more FANTASTIC food! Including the cake with light and fluffy whipped frosting. After THAT party I had to go to my SIL's greaduation party. More grilled food. More baked beans. More cake. And to top it all off, I got home and now I'm starving!! I had a small bowl of rice chex and a tall glass of water. I'm waiting for the water to kick in.
Today I learned a great lesson in self control: I lack it. I did indeed hold myself back, but not as much as I would have liked to. Well, there's always tomorrow. I have a rigorous power-walk scheduled... ;)

Friday, May 16, 2008

2 in 1 day!


I know, 2 posts in one day but I forgot some happy news for me. For the first time in more than 7 years, I'm under 130!! It's been 3 days now so I'm finally making it official!! Never fear-oh, come winter time I'll be packin' it back on. :)

Get my hustle on

Today I have to hustle bustle... many things to do this afternoon before I take my two older girls to a mother/daughter banquet this evening. Took #1 to school this morning, dropped off a few things at a friend's house and went on a scavenger hunt looking for some rocks to use as props for a skit I'm in this evening.
#2 is watching a cartoon, Little One is nursing and I'm gearing up for a run to the store. I've got to get a few items for the skit I'm in tonight (wish me luck), grab a few ingredients for a pot of bacon corn chowder that I'm slated to make for this evening's potluck, pick up a couple gifts for various parties we're attending this weekend and, if time allows, peruse some fabrics for an apron swap I'm in on. After that, we'll head home, throw a load of wash in at the laundromat, make a science project, whip up a batch of white chocolate macadamia nut cookies that I've been craving and then pick Micaela up from school. Next we'll pick up the washing, run home and let the kids play in the yard (hopefully it's not raining yet) while I check on the seedling they've started for their little container garden--we started beans, peas, radishes (radishes because they're great for instant gratification: you can harvest them in just 3 weeks) and some flowers for, you guessed it, #2!!
Now we've got the chowder to make, need to get everybody bathed and fresh, hopefully I can get us all in matching clothing but I wouldn't count on it--I just haven't the drive to get that stuff done lately. Desire, yes... drive, no. Finally, ooh and coo with the baby while I pack her bag because she's going SOLO to the babysitter for the first time ever. So I'll run her to the sitter's, run to this banquet, feed the kids, smile and chortle a few times while letting my soup get cold but making sure my girls "eat up". Put on a skit, watch my girls sing a heart-warming "I love my mom" song, see if I can sneak out early to get Little One from the sitters, then run home and get everyone pajammied and off to sleepy land. I'm sure I'll be sleeping loooong before DH gets back from movie nite with the guyz!