Friday, September 28, 2012


It is fall sports time, as you know. This is the first time we have two kids in sports at the same time. It is craaaaazy! Last week, Big Tall Hubby had to go to a school event on Saturday morning and so I was a single mom for the day. I swear, if I could have split myself in two I would have, no matter how painful and bloody it would have been. I was running (dragging the other kids with me) between two fields (soccer and lacrosse) trying to make sure everyone was where they were supposed to be. It took me several days to catch up mentally, physically and emotionally. I was so focused on making sure we were at the right places on time, I didn't get to take pictures of Parker playing lacrosse.  :( It is going to be a wild fall for sure.                                   
 This was taken right before Tanner decided he wasn't going to play anymore. He threw himself on the ground and cried (loud enough for you to hear, no matter what state you reside in) for about the last 15 minutes of gametime. Eye yi yi! Poor guy, all that shuffling from one thing to the next probably did him in. 
I am blaming my insane kids' schedules on my lack of time to post lately. I swear, I don't have one minute to do anything "fun" on the computer. Ugh. I'm hoping to get caught up on some biggish projects this weekend so I'll have time to post and read everyone else's blogs. I certainly miss it. It got rather chilly here this last week so I had to immediately get out long pants for my two little ones. Which translates to dig through tubs in the basement to find the pants (in the correct size) which then forced me to just get out all the next sized clothes they need and put away the old ones, hence their closets, dressers and room are completely destroyed! I've been doing a lot of laundry this week. 
Ugh, again.

Things I am doing this week:

  • getting out next sized clothes for Tanner and Asher
  • putting away too small (and out of season) clothes for Tanner and Asher
  • downloading songs for Zoe's dance competitions (see, nothing fun for me!)
  • planning Parker's birthday party
  • getting a book bound for Parker (keepsake-will share later)
  • locating a high school picture for Big Tall Hubby (they need it for school, see, nothing fun for ME!)
  • cleaning out mysterious globs from my fridge drawers and door shelves, last minute project just kind of started itself
  • switch purses because juice and fish crackers have spilled in my current one, probably after the frantic sports weekend
  • order and pick up some photo prints (sale at Walgreens!)

Things I want to do but probably can't because there are little boy clothes on every flat surface in my house:

  • continue and finish two mini scrapbook albums I have been working on
  • cleaning up and deleting my email files
  • write some long overdue thank you notes (I'd better do these soon or the guilt will kill me)
  • finish organizing my basement pantry
  • take a load to Goodwill
  • clean and reorganize my spice cabinet (Asher does this for me daily, maybe I should cross this one off?)
  • get out fall decor
Have a great weekend everyone. I'll be folding and hanging clothes, lots of clothes.  

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

September means back to school

I can't believe I forgot to post the kids' first day of school pictures. Yikes. My brain is on slow-mo lately.  Anyway, they DID start school and all is well. 

We are getting to the point that I am jealous of my daughter's clothes and shoes... I want these shoes so bad. Fourth graders should not have cooler shoes than their moms.

 Look at the cutest first graders you've ever seen. (He already has a girlfriend. No kidding. He's a stud I tell ya.)
 I don't know why I started taking pictures of their shoes. I just think new shoes on the first day is a must and they are always so proud of them too. 
 This is the only year (until high school) that they'll be in the same school (unless we sell our house and move). Crazy. They both have good teachers and are making new friends left and right.
 And did I mention, they BOTH are student council representatives for their classrooms? We are thrilled. Zoe has been trying since first grade and she is super pumped up, she wants to lobby to get the playground equipment painted and maybe get a water fountain installed outside. Parker's teacher picked him and he can't wait to go to meetings and sell pencils at lunch.  My little activists, I love it.
 This guy wears his "pack pack" to the bus every day. Even though he is not in school. He will not be left behind. He is proud to pack it every morning with whatever trinket he finds laying around. He is in swim lessons, soccer, and a pre-preschool ABC class so he is busy too. Putting on this back pack everyday cracks me up.
We made chalk drawings to celebrate. I should probably make one to congratulate our newest student council members, if the rain holds out I will. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday check in

Yesterday my family went on a riverboat ride in Cincinnati to celebrate a special birthday for my mom. She will be embarrassed if I tell you how old she is but it was a special one. I loved the boat ride. We went about 10 years ago and it was just as good now as it was then.
I love love love Cincinnati. As much as I hate Ohio (the winter, and lack of outdoor activities that do not involve consuming beer, how we are always referred to as "Battleground State!"), I do love Cincy. 

Perfect weather. I've run across this bridge a few times for races. You never realize that bridges have inclines, until you are running on them!
The Bengals were playing. Whodey! Whoop! I want to go to a game now. 

My cutie. The rest of my clan was running around the boat like maniacs. I was sitting. For two hours. I never do that! It was bliss.
Stuff I am doing this week:
You'll see some repeats from last week, I guess I thought I'd have more time than I really did.

  • finishing a mini album for Asher
  • beginning/continuing our vacation scrapbook
  • ordering some holiday gifts (aren't you proud of me? I'm trying to be on the ball!)
  • mailing a gift to my cutie nephew for his birthday
  • reorganizing my downstairs pantry and basket storage
  • cleaning up some old emails (why do I save them? they just make me feel icky)

my menus for this week:
boring, because after the crazy busy weekend I had, I ran to the store and grabbed what I could in the least amount of time

  • baked chicken/tofu and salads
  • sausages/veggie sausages and saurkraut and potatoes, corn on the cobb
  • spaghetti and salad and homemade bread
  • veggie soup and sandwiches on breadmaker rolls
  • sweet and sour chicken/tofu stir fry
  • vegan pumpkin muffins
Have a great week. If you are ever in Cincinnati, take a ride on the riverboats. If nothing else to just sit down for a few hours. It is pure heaven.

Friday, September 14, 2012


When we first moved into this house, we hadn't sold our hold house and so we had two mortgages, no grass (because we couldn't afford to buy seed and water!), and I think we lived on Kraft macaroni and cheese for about a year. Sometime during those first few months, a photographer called and offered to come to our house and take pictures of Zoe (who was probably 18 months old) and I would get a free 8x10 picture. Whoo-ee! I was all about free pictures of my baby. So they came and took a gillion pictures of my beautiful daughter. They then came back with the photos and I bought at least a million of the gillion (Big Tall Hubby was not pleased!) because they really captured her spirit at the time. The best shot of all was one of her looking out the window at our yard of mud, rocks, and dirt. The sun hit her perfectly, highlighting her round cheeks and fuzzy head. Since then I have taken pictures of the kids by these windows and they always turn out lovely. 


 Even if the picture is a little blurry or off-centered (or showing massive bug bites!), I still love it. These are Asher. 
 Just to prove I am not exaggerating, here is Tanner, about 13 months old too. 
The ones I have of Zoe and Parker are film pictures, trust me, they are precious too. Some traditions you just have to maintain.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Just what makes a prize "grand" anyway?

Big Tall Hubby went on a golf outing this summer and when he returned he was beaming from ear to ear. "I won tons of prizes at the raffle, even the GRAND PRIZE!" His exact words. I'm thinking, "yes, dinner gift cards! Macy's gift cards! Container Store gift cards!" OK, so maybe the Container Store is a stretch for a golf outing grand prize, but I mean, that would be grand for me! 

Instead he comes in the house with all kinds of stuff. Like this big Corona bucket. Hmm. It looked like he might have just swiped it off the picnic table, it even had some crumbs in it. He was excited because it had new golf balls and a restaurant gift card in it. OK, that's kind of a good one I guess. The restaurant is by his work and so I said, "you might as well keep it at work, you might need it for a working lunch someday." Bummer, nothing for me, I mean shouldn't I get something too? I was home with the kids in the heat while he was being all manly golfing! Big Tall Hubby said, "aren't you excited about this bucket? You're always buying these at Ace Hardware." True, but the stamped Corona isn't really my style. So it went in the basement until I could figure out what to do with it/ignore it until I could put it in a Goodwill box secretly someday.
Then Parker got to go to Louisville, Kentucky (Go Big Blue- it will be basketball season before you know it!) to see the Louisville Slugger Bat factory and a minor league baseball game. He loved it. He was in heaven. If you live close enough, take your boys (and girls) it is so awesome!
He got a monogrammed bat and a holder, darn I forgot to take a picture of that. And he got another miniature bat to add to his growing collection. This boy is going to be the star of "Hoarders" or "American Pickers" someday, he loves to collect things. Anyway, he loves these mini bats and he plays with them all the time. I am always tripping over them and spinning my feet like Fred Flintstone when I am walking in his room. I have been trying to find a cool way to display them so that he can still get them down to use. 

Nothing inspiring on the web so I grabbed the Corona bucket prize and got to work. I found our old can of chalkboard paint and sprayed over the logo (that's why you see blue painter's tape in the first picture) and that was it. Who doesn't love chalkboard paint? We put the bucket up on his dresser when he isn't using it so no little guys can get their hands on the weapons of mass destruction and it seems to be working out great.
 Best part, when he gets tired of the bat collection or he goes to college and I finally get the craft room of my dreams, I can re-purpose the bucket. 

 My favorite picture of his Louisville outing, he is waiting for a player to sign his ball. Isn't he so cute?
 So here is the GRAND PRIZE from the golf outing. The umbrella, not the kid. I'm not joking. You should have seen Big Tall Hubby pull this thing out of the giant box. It was like the dad in A Christmas Story and the leg lamp. I am not exaggerating.  He was so proud. I was so mortified. I put that thing back in the box and promptly put it next to the Corona  bucket in the basement, hoping I'd never have to see it again.
Then some crazy wind/tornado storm blew though our town and our nice, tan and black, perfectly matching our patio furniture umbrella flew off our table and into the neighbor's yard, barely missing our windows. It was insane. It had about 37 holes in it by the time we got it back home. I priced out new umbrellas to match the old one and I decided that the GRAND PRIZE Labatt's Blue beer umbrella (probably swiped off the patio of the golf outing place) was good enough. I still cringe when we put it up.  We look like a mexican restaurant from the road. Tacos for sale! I am hoping the sun fades it really fast but probably my luck, this thing will last forever. GRAND indeed.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Watchin' my Weight Wednesday- bet you thought I forgot these!

I have been trying to drink more water for a while now. I drink a ton (I drink about three glasses before I even eat breakfast!) but everything I read, health related, says to drink as     much water as you can take.                                            
I'm super good at drinking tea and Diet Dr. Pepper. (I had given up my beloved DDP for about two years and then sleep deprivation set in and I needed caffeine. boo :(  I hope to wean myself off again. I hate the thought of drinking it, I know it has to be so bad for me but honestly sometimes you are just trying to survive!) I gave up milk, well cow's milk anyway, now I drink soy, almond, hemp, coconut, etc, and I rarely drink juice (I do add some cranberry juice to my water from time to time just to be crazy!) so you'd think adding water would be easy.

I keep hearing how you should put citrus slices in your water to make it more palatable. I normally go for ice only but I'll try something in the name of good health.

So I got out my pretty pitcher, the one I use for parties, and filled it with water from our fridge filter, sliced some limes and tossed in some ice. I thought if it was sitting on my counter looking all pretty and spa-like, I'd be like, "of course I'll have a glass!" The first day, I drank two pitchers full!  Whee! Or should I say, "wee wee"? I peed about every hour. No kidding.  The next day, I drank one and a half pitchers, I was gone most of that day. I was wee weeing in some grody bathrooms, let me tell you.  The third day, I kept fishing flies out of the top so I decided to forgo the pitcher on the counter and keep my lime slices in the fridge and just add them to my glass as I fill it up. I cut at least six slices so I have one for that "6-8" glasses you are supposed to drink each day, aren't I clever.

Right now, I do not find myself hankering that citrus water over a DDP or some hot tea, I was hoping to trick myself. But I think I'm smarter than that.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

belated birthday sharing

Alright, I know his birthday was a few weeks ago but I have to share his pics.  I mean, who doesn't love those cute 1st birthday pictures?
 His own personal cake, I made a big Pooh one for everyone to share. I was worried he'd eat the whole thing so I made him his own. He was a little leery at first. 
 OK, I get it. This is YUMMY!


 He was my first face smasher! Whee!

Here is the one I made for the rest of us. I love Pooh and I figured this might be my last chance to use this mold. I think the rest of the cakes I make will be boy-centered: Transformers, Superheros, Graveyards (remember Parker's last birthday?), all that boy stuff.

This was by far the fastest year of my life. Even though there was an extra day (Feb. 29) it still flew. I still can't believe my baby is 1! And almost walking 100%, yikes!

Monday, September 10, 2012

time flies

Yep, time flies when you're having fun and when you're running around like a banshee trying to keep your house clean and make sure everyone is fed, clothed, bathed and where they need to be at the right time. Whew. My last post was about two weeks ago and I was so ready to begin regular blogging but then I got sick and well, you know moms don't get sick days so I've been in recovery mode. That's code for: I was sick and nothing got done and the house was trashed and we had no food to eat and we were all wearing wool socks because all our clothes were dirty. So any-who.

Remember these pics? This is Tanner when he was about 13-14 months old.
 You can't baby proof this thing, I've tried. Like, had to call a furniture/cabinet repairman to fix a hole from a baby lock I drilled in it once. $100 fix. I also just stack everything he dumped on the counter, makes it easier to clean the shelves at least.
 Pure stinker.
 Laughing and taunting me. Punk.
 Trashing my spice/baking cabinet is a right of passage. I swear, I probably have pictures of Zoe and Parker doing the exact same thing but I'd have to learn how to get film pictures on the computer and that's above my tech skills so I can't share those.
" Hmm, should I go for the sugar or the vanilla extract?"  You know that is what he is thinking...
 How about seasoning salt instead?
 Flash forward to now, here is Asher doing THE EXACT SAME THING!!!!! The only difference is my new countertops and I try giving him a basket of measuring cups to play with instead and nope. He's got sesame oil in this one. That makes a better "thud" sound when you bang it on the new dishwasher*. Boy, do they look alike or what?
 "Heh heh, I am so awesome. I can clear this thing out in two minutes flat!" You know he is thinking that.
 By the look on his face, I am guessing he is trying some spice, tarragon perhaps?
So, in between throwing everything back in this cabinet so I can cook and do dishes and the other 5 billion things I do every day, I'm feeling a little frazzled. Ey yi yi, it is getting better. Asher is mobile, very mobile, and fast so he is entertaining himself a lot but causing a lot of trouble in the process.

*yes, we had to get a new dishwasher. The old one only worked if I stood there and pushed on it really hard (or leaned my big fat Greek butt against it while I read a magazine). Yeah, that wasn't working out for me. I'd stop pushing/leaning and go get Asher from the dog bowls or get Tanner some juice or fix the computer for the older kids and then I'd have to assume my push/lean position until the dishwasher finished.  At least my butt was warm. A late night trip to the store and "help" from all of us and Big Tall Hubby installed me a new one. He must have been worried about me, standing still in one spot for so long, I never do that.

my things to do this week: 

  • clean spice/baking cabinet, ha ha, or just keep throwing everything back in there and slamming it shut
  • finish a mini scrapbook album I am doing for Asher
  • schedule pictures for little boys
  • straighten up my basement organizing materials- the kids had fun/tore it up over the summer
  • take a load to consignment
  • begin digital vacation scrapbook
  • pick up Zoe's last pair of really expensive, had to order because they didn't have her size and now I have to drag everyone to the shop again because they have the worst hours ever dance shoes

my menus for this week:
easy, fast, kid friendly this week because I have two parent meetings, an orthodontist appointment, and dance practice in the evenings this week

  • pizzas and salad
  • brown rice with peas and cilantro, kids: nuggets, Big Tall Hubby: oven fish, me: broiled tofu
  • jambalaya and french bread
  • pasta fagioli soup and more french bread (hey, we like our homemade bread at my house!)
  • thai cashew pineapple stir fry
  • grilled cheeseburgers and oven fries
Have a super awesome week!