Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I think this guy's cheeks are chapped because I kiss them all the time. I am keeping his little baldy head covered because I fret over him being cold all the time, plus these little baby hats are so darn cute.What are you thankful for? I keep asking my kids that. I keep reading what everyone is blogging about and Facebooking about and today I am very thankful. I am amazed at what some people put out there to be thankful for... beer (saw this one on FB), really!? It seems like everyone is just cruising right past Thanksgiving (using it as an excuse to overindulge) to get right down to shopping and spending money like maniacs. It just makes me sad.

I am thankful, truly, for the obvious: my husband, my kids, my home, food, shelter, a steady income, ability to pay our bills, my extended family, appropriate clothes... really. All those things, I am thankful for today and everyday. I promise, I am not just saying that. I watch the news everyday and get so sad for people all over the world who have it so much worse than I could ever imagine. I don't really feel all that thankful for "stuff", other than necessities, I can live without the newest I-phone or game system.

Today I am most thankful for health. I beat myself up everyday after stepping on the scale and not seeing the pounds just fly off. But I am healthy. Not sick, not ailing, not frail. So for that I am thankful.

I am thankful for my kids' health. They are all growing so well and I can give myself a break for letting them have ice cream and cookies, they are healthy and for that I am glad.

I am thankful for my husband's health as well. This morning he woke up with a weird numbness in his face. He was unable to smile, whistle, and food tasted "weird" so I immediately panicked. I was thinking the worst (don't we always!?), a stroke! I was thinking, oh my gosh, what are we going to do? How can I make him better? What am I going to tell the kids? Why us? Is he going to be ok?

I got through the morning the best I could taking the boys to gymnastics, getting Zoe on the bus, buying a birthday gift for my neighbor, all that everyday stuff. I made him go to the doctor because I just couldn't stop worrying. Why do our hubbys resist going to the doctor? It turns out he has Bell's Palsy. A weird, random, usually temporary paralysis of the face. I had heard of it before but never thought much of it. Obviously, we were thrilled it wasn't more serious but nonetheless we want him well. He was prescribed some medicine and I am doing lots of Internet research hoping to learn all I can. So today, I am thankful for health. All the other "stuff" just doesn't seem very important right now.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.

I am also thankful for all those Blog Mommies I chat with, you are some wonderful wonderful ladies.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Hello, I love you

This little buddy is a total chatter bug. Holy moly. He talks to me all the time. Yes, he does! Don't question me! Yes, it is like this, "ahh, argh, ahhhhhargh, goo, gah." But I know what it means. It means, "hello, I love you mommy." He says it every time he sees me, or this mobile hanging on his bouncy seat or the old ladies at the grocery store or the dog. He's a lovable guy I tell ya.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

love notes

I love this note Parker left for Zoe when she was away at Girl Scout camp a couple weeks ago. I helped him spell everything but he did the writing himself (including the question mark, he thought it was an exclamation mark, but I didn't have the heart to correct him). I don't really have a reason to share this, just wanted to. It is a good reminder to me that my kids do love each other. They have been quarreling a lot lately, being cooped up from rain perhaps? I myself, am feeling rather grumpy for lots of reasons. I wish someone would make me one of these cute notes, it just might make my day.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Diapers are my life

I've been changing diapers for 8 3/4 years, straight, no breaks. I often have two kids in two different sizes. That is fun. Something about changing itty bitty baby poops makes changing the preschooler/toddler poops very repulsive. Asher just moved up to size 3 diapers and why does that make me sad? They seem huge on him, swallowing up his little booty.

The other day Big Tall Hubby changed Tanner's diaper (usually size 5- that kid will be wearing size 10 if they exist, he has NO interest in the potty!) and I was so glad because it was a stinky one. The next time I changed him, I noticed he was busting out of the diaper, oops, BTH had put the size 3 on him. "It seemed to fit" he told me. We chuckled, because what else can you do?
Here is Asher on our downstairs changing table. It's our dryer. I have never had a "real" changing table. I use the dryer downstairs (cabinet above make for handy diaper storage) and I use a dresser upstairs. I look at the changing tables in Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware lovingly with their adorable pictures and artwork hanging above them. They are so darn precious. I never saw the need to get one though, I guess I always felt like they were a temporary piece of furniture and not very practical. I mean, if I am going to spend hundreds of dollars on a piece of furniture, I want it to last a good long time! Who knew, I'd be kind of needing one for 8 3/4 years, probably more like 12 years when all of these kids are potty trained! Yep, diapers are my life.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mondays are coming fast and furious here lately

As much as we try to be healthy here, we love a good "o" food: Cheerios, Doritos, Oreos, but most of all we love "Free-toes"....
Get it? Free toes! Ha, I am cracking myself up. This baby is a serious Houdini. I swear he is always missing a sock, how the heck do they fall off all the time!? And this morning, he had completely gotten his legs wiggled free from his sleeper and it was unsnapped almost the whole way. What the heck? He was screaming his little head off and I could see his cubby legs kicking like Billy Blanks, I had to laugh and then wonder how in the heck he does it. Better be keeping my eye on this guy when he gets mobile.

My things to do this week:
  • seriously tackle the mess of papers and photos on my desk, lots to do there
  • switch Zoe's closet from warm to cool clothes, I am dreading this, her closet/room is a nightmare, what the heck will it look like when she is a teenager?!
  • begin prep work for painting Tanner and Asher's room, Tanner is getting his big boy bed and we are getting an additional dresser for their room next week so I have some major work to do in there, I am hoping to be all prepped by Friday night so Big Tall Hubby can help me paint after kids go to sleep (Tanner will probably bunk with Parker that night) and I'll have the rest of the weekend to put everything back
I have a ton to do this week, jeez. I am totally feeling the holiday pressure and I know there are some things that must be done ASAP!

my menus for this week:
  • white bean and sausage stew with biscuits
  • fish sandwiches and oven fries
  • chicken parmesan, roasted broccoli, garlic bread
  • black bean enchiladas (regular tacos for the kids)
  • portabella and goat cheese sandwiches with pesto, orzo and pea soup with proscuitto (grilled cheese and tomato soup for kids, NO way would they eat the other stuff- PUNKS!)
  • blackened fish (chicken tenders) and parmesan new potato bites
Have a great week everyone!

Friday, November 11, 2011

OK, I get it Lord, I get it

Future merchandiser of toys...
hard at work
happy with the results, I think
hmm, now where is my el-fant ("elephant")
I swear God was talking to me loud and clear today. I mean, hit me over the head with his message if you get my drift. Parker had a friend over to play this morning. Last week, Parker went to this buddy's house and I think everything was ok. The other little guy's mom said they played together fine.

Five minutes into the playdate here, the little guy sweetly asked if he could play on our computer or Wii to show me how he gets to different levels. I said, "oh, Parker wants to show you all his cool toys." Off they went. Five minutes later, he asked again. I pulled out another diversion technique, snacks! They ran off again. Five minutes later, he asked me if I knew how to spell "PBS kids" so he could play games on my computer. I sent them outside, it was 34 degrees. This went on for the entire two hours he was here. I don't think he was not having fun, I just think he wanted to play something electronic.

Such a sweet boy, but he probably will never want to come here again. It just made me realize that he must play a lot of games, and I am not talking about UNO or Cootie. I was so sad, I felt bad that he was probably bored and I was sad for Parker too. He so wanted to play with a boy his age. He will probably tell his mom that he never wants to hangout at Parker's house again.

We have had similar issues when Zoe's friends come over. They just want to sit and talk or watch tv. What happened to Barbies, doll babies, Polly Pockets, crafts? I thought it was just her weird friends but apparently not. (Yes, I have told Zoe her friends are "weird." I know that is terrible but I think I have to be honest and tell her that they are weird for NOT wanting to play with all the cool dolls and things she has.

Am I the only old fuddy duddy around anymore?

My kids play. A lot. Toys. Outside. Ride bikes, scooters, skateboards. Sandbox. Dig in the dirt. Jump off the retaining wall and scare me to death. Basketball, jumprope, baseball, rollerskate. Nature walk. Run races around the outside of our house. Collect acorns and pinecones. They play in the house too. Every toy imaginable, thanks to our very generous families and my thriftiness. They make crafts, color, glue, play with playdoh, markers, paints, glitter (!), beads, every craft kit I can find at Michaels and Hobby Lobby.

I complain a lot about things not getting picked up or put away. I swear (under my breath) when I step on a Lego. I have cried honestly, tears, when I saw the basement after a rainy day of play. (I'm pretty sure I have posted a pic or two here!) But today I saw the light, I need to be thankful, oh so thankful that my kids play and play hard.

I can't imagine video games on all day long. I like relative quiet. (As quiet as four kids and a snorting pug and talking parrot can be!) The beeping of a Wii or computer would drive me batty. I don't let the kids watch much tv either. I guess that's why my house looks like this, a lot.
So dear Lord, I hear you. Loud and clear. I will not complain about my kids' toys being all over the place. I won't say, "I cannot walk in here!" when they dump out every organizing bin of toys in the middle of the floor. I will not groan when they ask me if I can "please make some homemade glitter playdoh" again. I will smile when they ask to go outside and play in the puddles. I will encourage their creativity and ingenuity when they go get all the boxes out of the recycling bin to make some houses for their Zhu Zhu pets and Fur Real animals. I will continue to get them real, actual toys for as long as I can (American Girl dolls and Legos RULE!) and I will not feel the pressure to buy video games and electronics as gifts. Thanks Lord for the gentle reminder. I needed it.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

fall transitions

Yikes, this fall is doing a number on me, fo' sho'! I totally know how a hamster feels right about now... always running but not getting anywhere! I swear I just cannot "catch up" on my chores and duties.

I really feel like I need a week vacation. Here is my ideal vacation right now: a week in my home, alone (well, the baby can stay!) to clean, reorganize, prioritize, purge, bake, take stock, just basically piddle around. (My mom always says that, "piddle around." I'm not sure what the exact definition is but I take it to mean, all that stuff I like to do but no one else would notice or care about.) I think I would be totally rejuvenated after a week of taking care of the house. Then I would want to hit the beach for a real vacation!

So since it is now Wednesday and I usually post my things to do on Monday, I'll just call it "things I am working on" this week.

things I am working on:
  • getting out the next biggest size clothes for Tanner and Asher
  • switching the kids' closets from warm clothes to cold clothes
  • washing bed linens and getting out winter blankets, etc.
  • taking stock of mittens, gloves, scarves, etc. What do I need to get?
  • if time, purging from Zoe's closet, it is a jungle in there I tell ya! Scary.
my menus:
um, really, not sure, kind of using some from last week, finding stuff in the freezer to use, flying by the seat of my pants, not a good scenario, but it is going to have to work this week
  • I am for sure making my kale and gnocci recipe (kids will probably have spaghetti because they will not be liking this one), my kale is about to be icky so I am motivated to use it now
  • Tacos (request)
  • salmon and chicken tenders with sweet potato casserole
  • chili and sub sandwiches

Not everything is all hectic, crazy, helter skelter... see
Oh how I love those cheeks. MMMMMMMwack! (Big kiss to him)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Another one of my brilliant ideas

Did you watch "Facts of Life" when you were growing up? I loved that show. I was quoting Blair in my title, remember how she used to say that? Anyway, someday maybe I'll post about my love of 80's television. It was great wasn't it?

Any-who, two days in a row! Two tips! Holy cow, I must be on a roll or something.

Ice cream is my go-to before bed snack. I can always get the kids to stop jumping on the couch long enough to have a little ice cream before they get in the tub and get ready for bed. I don't feel too terrible having it often because I don't let them eat junk food very often and they eat healthy meals most of the time. Besides, ice cream=milk=calcium, right?!

Cones make ice cream way better don't they?

So here is my genius way of getting them ready for all the kids at once...

Just kidding!

Really, I was pretty proud of myself for thinking of this one. I mean, it's tough scooping the ice cream out and then putting it in a tiny cone. And this way, no one gets their cone "first." I put the glasses out at the same time and then they scarf them down like savages. The glasses are nice if the kids want to put the cones down for a second, you know in case they want to go jump on the couch one last time before I drag their sticky little bodies upstairs for bath time.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

blog girls make you feel good

So after my loooooong and rambling post yesterday, I was thrilled to actually receive a couple comments, don't you just love it when someone comments? I mean, someone took time out of their busy life to say/type a message to you, well me, I mean. Anyway. I just love it. Makes me feel all happy and loved and special all at the same time. It doesn't take much these days. LOL!

Anyway, sleep deprivation is making me ramble again, jeez!

I was so excited to hear that I might have actually inspired a couple people to dress up for trick or treat next year! HOOT HOOT! Yay! Let's do it for the kids gals! I promise they will love it. Isn't that why we all blog about our lives? To hopefully reach someone on some level? It just made my day to get those comments. Thanks girls.

I don't call myself the "organized mommy" for nothin'. I haven't shared a tip in while. Maybe because I am seriously sleep deprived. I am a blubbering idiot most days wandering around my house wondering where to start but I did do this a couple weeks ago...
I got new stair baskets (that's what I have called them from the beginning.) Yes, I know they are buckets, but I still call them that. I can't find a picture of the old ones. They were from the dollar store. Way cute, but flimsy as heck. And I couldn't find a fourth one that matched, that was bugging anal-retentive-me, of course.

I got these at Ace Hardware, they are in the painting aisle, about $4 each. I do so love Ace by the way. It is small enough you can run in, ours has a post office that gives lollipops (score for Tanner!), and the people are so super helpful! :) It is the helpful hardware place I guess!

I like it that the buckets are cute, first of all. (I actually have a bucket fetish I think, I have tons of them and I always buy them when Target has them in the dollar aisle. Shh, don't tell anyone!) And I like that they have a handle, easier for little ones to carry upstairs when I announce it "is time to empty your stair baskets!" Or in other words, get your little booties upstairs and stay in your rooms, your bugging the be-geezies out of me! And I like that they are metal (steel?) so they are studier than the fabric cube thing-ies I had from the dollar store.

I put the random things/junk that I find all over the downstairs. Mostly Gogos, hair rubber bands, tiny legos, random pacis, all that fun stuff that the kids would be mad at me for throwing away which is what I really want to do with it all. That is my method of keeping the clutter at somewhat bay.


And lastly, are you watching Revenge? I am sadly addicted. I think it is the only non-reality show I like. It's on tonight in case you are interested. I love the main girl (can't remember her name) she was on Brothers and Sisters and I only watched Revenge because I recognized her. Big Tall Hubby and I love how diabolical she is. Go Emily!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Nov. 1st, trick or treat recap

I love these seasonal potato heads, I wish I could find more of them on sale (the way I got this one), they just crack me up.
No offense Halloween, but I am glad you are over. I am exhausted! Good grief, you are a lot of work.

Some of my Halloween musings...

1. Trick or treat should not be on a Monday night and have school the next day! We're the grownups here people, let's make this thing work to our advantage!

2. Every house should give some kind of treat, bah humbug to you that hide in your house with the lights off. If I have to traipse all my kids in the freezing cold, can't you at least give them a nickel or a piece of Bubblicious? (except those who refrain for religious reasons of course)

3. Everyone should have to construct their own costume. Not necessarily sew like Martha but make it out of stuff from Goodwill or what you have at home. I hate that we have to spend $30 at least for a costume that our kids will wear for two hours. Then the stinkin' thing gets a big rip in it 30 minutes into trick or treat.

4. Parents should dress up with their kids, even if it is a little hat, some face paint, or character tshirt, it is a great bonding experience and your kids will remember it forever. (They'll remember that their parents liked to have fun and weren't sticks in the mud!)

5. People should trick or treat in their own neighborhood. Geez Louise, we had about a gazillion drop offs (you know the vans pull up and about 10 giant kids in hoodies get out, kind of scary and crazy looking) and then we had others just following us up and down the street. It was creepy to have a van following us all night. I guess people think that because we have a nice house on a golf course that we will have "better" candy. I think if we all stick to our streets then think of the sense of community and bonding we would all experience. We leave our treats on the porch because we pack up all of the kids in strollers or wagons. This is one of the nights we actually see a lot of our neighbors. I adore watching my kids clamor around to each house, I wouldn't miss it for anything. I love seeing all the kids and families out and about for a change. We always say we are the only family on the block who plays outside. Our bucket is always empty when we got home but that is ok, someone enjoyed those treats.

6. No one should comment on a parent's costume, ever. (see #4) We do it to have fun with our kids, it isn't a competition people! (Yes, some awful rude people, who were following us in their van, made fun of my costume and yes, it hurt my feelings. No, I didn't scream, "go back to your street ya jerks!" But I wanted to.)

7. Papa Johns should deliver late night pizzas for free to parents who are exhausted and finally got their kids to sleep. We deserve it Papa! I ate so much chocolate, Weight Watchers would be ashamed of me.

8. In order to get to eat all that candy, kids should have to clean up the entire house after trick or treating. Mine is absolutely trashed. No kidding. It's scary-ier than Freddy Kruger.

9. I think bloody and gory costumes should be for adults only. And I think they should only wear them to an adult only party, because no matter how cool the kids think they are in the daylight, at night they are really scary.

10. Every house should have a jack o'lantern on it, with a candle/light. Come on people, let's have some good old fashioned family fun here!
Yes, I dress up my dog. He has worn this tshirt and collar for a couple years. He is getting old and grumpy and doesn't like to wear costumes as much. I have an Elvis one but I didn't have the energy to fight him. (in keeping with my recent Elvis-love theme.) I also drag him trick or treating with us, he doesn't like it. He'd rather just walk, not too keen on the stopping and going, but again, I don't care, he's going and he's liking it gosh darn it.
Asher= My punkin' (technically a jack o'lantern, but who's keeping track?), by the way, this was Zoe's costume. **sniff**
Parker= werewolf. I didn't really like this, I don't like creepy but he loves it. He told me he was Jacob from Twilight, I think he thought I'd like it better. I am not officially "Team Jacob" but I will be for my buddy. ;)
Tanner=gorilla. I sent Big Tall Hubby and the boys to get the boys' costumes. Big mistake. He came home with the werewolf and the creepiest skull mask for Tanner you ever saw. Tanner looked so gross. I hated it. I didn't complain out loud because I sent him after all, I couldn't complain, he was trying to save me a trip to the Halloween store (pure torture!). Tanner wore it around the house but when he saw it lying around he wouldn't even touch it. I think since he couldn't see himself he was ok at first. So he said he wanted to be a monkey. This is an oldie but goodie that I drug out of the closet. Tanner was thrilled and warm. The skeleton mask is hidden in the basement.
Big Tall Hubby was a "dude." The mohawk gave him a few more inches height when it was standing up straight. Like he needs it.
Zoe was an 80's valley girl. Funny, I was an 80's valley girl in third grade also. Jeez, I am getting old. (I am having camera issues, sorry it is blurry.)
I was "Super Mom". I had a spatula and broom on my tool belt. A pack of band aids on one arm and tissues on the other. I wish I have lost more weight, this would have been a much cuter costume in tights and a fitted shirt and big heeled boots. But even super moms wear yoga pants and fleece! I was going to be a cat again this year but I had a flash to make this one night when I was up feeding Asher. I borrowed Parker's free cape from the Reds game, and BTH's belt and obviously I had all the other accessories. Mask was found in the basement dress up clothes.
Again, sorry for blurry pictures. Scrapbook paper and stickers are so handy!
A family that is sure to scare the neighborhood.
Are you cracking up at Parker's "webs" on the left bush? See those blobs? He wanted them so bad, he spread out cotton balls and then begged us to go to get him some "real" spiderwebs at the store. Another errand/outing for Big Tall Hubby and boys.

He didn't ride in the stroller much. I carried him most of the night. Told ya I'm SUPER MOM!
Inspecting their bounty. (Is anyone else over these yellow pictures!? I keep telling Big Tall Hubby that fluorescent light bulbs make the worst lighting for pictures, he doesn't believe me!!!)
Not crying, eating a caramel candy. Hee hee!

So there you have it. Halloween 2011 is a wrap for us.