Friday, January 29, 2010

Major Victory!

I know this does not sound like a big deal...but I was so excited that I squealed like a teenage groupie. SO PROUD!
(Excuse the bad photoshopping, the kid had her school name emblazoned on her twice. Too bad I can't photoshop the "I had a crazy day at school hair" or the "I've lost basically all of my baby teeth already and I'm only in the 1st grade." Adorable nonetheless.)

You may have gathered by now the fact that our Jules has a bit of a super shy/social anxiety type of thing going on that we have been working on for YEARS now. On the kids' birthdays at school the birthday students are on the morning video announcement (like celebrity guests). They give them a birthday button and ask them a question usually. (Don't ask me how this is going to go down with my 1 summer birthday kid...but I'll cross that parenting bridge when I come to it.) Last year in Kindergarten Juli wouldn't even go down to the AV room where they broadcast the announcements from...let alone be featured on them. I had totally forgotten about the whole tradition until I noticed the birthday button she wore home today. I asked in my best faux casual voice if she had been on the announcements this morning (trying not to make a big deal, assuming she had refused as usual). When she said still my heart...I may have freaked out a little. Then when she told me that she had actually formulated an answer to the question they asked her and spoken on camera with a mic and everything...I may have lost my mind and jumped up and down and kissed her on the face, and acted like she had slayed a dragon. She may or may not have laughed at me a little bit. For the record the question was "What are you going to do to celebrate your birthday?" The answer, "I'm going to a hotel with a waterpark inside of it with my family." Priceless.

Naughty Squared

I left Xander and Leia semi-unattended for like 5 minutes after lunch today. By unattended I mean...I was walking around the house doing things and not staring directly at them and doing their bidding. In retaliation they managed to both climb onto the kitchen counter (a chair was out of place due to the bounce house being blown up today). They then dumped out a bag of Doritos and sat together on the counter jamming fistfuls of orange goodness into their mouths. At some point Xander decided to take a moment to unroll an entire roll of paper towels, leaving little orange fingerprints all over them. Yeah. That's how they roll. I didn't take a picture this time. You'll have to use your imagination. Serenity now!

Warning to my mom...pretend you don't notice how messy/dirty my house is tonight when you come for dinner. I'm just surviving the naughty duo this has taken a backseat...sigh.

Et tu Nutty Cone/Drumstick?

Logic has betrayed me. So, I gave up ice cream cold turkey for about 6 weeks and lost 5 pounds (of the 10 total I needed to shave off my waistline). If you know me in real life, you know ice cream is my very dear friend. So, I broke my habit of a nightly bowl of ice cream, and finally got to the point where I could buy multiple containers of ice cream for the kids every week, and not really be pained over it. After my ice cream fast...I decided to start buying myself some individually portioned ice cream treats to keep in the outside freezer (a secret stash). I figured the kids were welcome to load up on scooped ice cream (like I did for 30 years) but I had portion control issues and wanted to go back to enjoying ice cream regularly in a portion controlled way. I've always loved Drumsticks, so I started buying either name brand or generic Drumsticks.

I decided (after indulging in quite a few homemade chocolate chip cookies this week) that I should probably step up on the scale to make sure that I wasn't losing ground in my battle to get back to my fighting weight. Hallelujah...still holding at 110...yay for Pilates. My painfully honest husband says, "The way you're going through the Drumsticks, I'm impressed that you're still holding at 110." I'm pretty sure other men have been killed for lesser weight related comments. But, since I know he could care less how many Drumsticks I eat, or how much I weigh...I decided to let the comment go as what it was...a casual observation.

He insisted that my single serving of Drumsticks probably had a lot more fat and calories in them than my 2+ servings of scooped ice cream had. I huffed and puffed and told him he was crazy. Then I went out to the freezer and checked the "Nutty Cone" box...21 grams of fat and 340 calories...TWENTY-ONE. For comparison the chocolate chip cookie dough Dreyers the kids have been eating all week...4.5 per serving (so 9 considering I usually eat about 2 servings or a little more). In my defense, I checked the Blue Bell and it had 9g per serving. So compared to Blue Bell, I was coming out even. But I'll tell you I'd rather have been eating bowls of ice cream than Nutty Cones for the past 2 weeks. I can't believe that the logic of controlling my portions by buying single serving ice cream treats totally backfired on me like that. Lame.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Men...sigh. Xander does not seem to understand that he is not helping when he dumps out the contents of a partially packed suitcase and climbs inside. He also thought he was helping when he dumped all of the folded piles of clothes on the floor 3 times in 1 hour...3 TIMES. It's like he's trying to kill me. His naughty number was a 9.9 on a scale of 1-10 yesterday. It didn't help that daddy didn't get home until very late last night.

Speaking of daddy...he has a super cheap pair of flip flops that are held together with a metal nut or something right now (he doesn't wear them other than in the yard obviously). So I said, "You need a new pair of flip flops or sandals or something." I believe I specifically said...something decent looking like maybe an inexpensive leather sandal, or just a better looking flip flop. When you have a size 11.5 foot, you have to choose carefully so as not to draw attention to your big white gnarly feet. So he decides that he can handle his own footwear purchase...mistake numero uno. See the photo evidence below. When he was arguing his case, he thought he would put them on his feet to prove that they were "not that bad". Mistake number two...he put them on over his socks, causing me to fall out in hysterical laughter and grab the camera to document this footwear choice.
Stand back ladies...he's mine...all mine. If he keeps this up I'm going to have to buy him some pocket protectors to go with his sock/sandal fashion statement. Oy vey.
Needless to say the lovely Walmart sandals he picked up on the way home are going back to Walmart. I grabbed these flip flops from Target for him today while I was picking up some birthday presents for Jules. There is not a huge selection of flip flops in January...but these will do. Granted his feet still glow in the dark they are so white...but I can't help him with that...unless I hit them with some bronzing lotion while he's sleeping...that would probably be overkill though.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


We met up with some friends on Friday for a little t-ball and a picnic. Leia turned out to have some serious batting skills for a 3 year old girl. Xander just wanted to collect all the balls so that no one could play. I kept having to sneak balls away from him and return them to the game. He was happy fielding balls, just not giving them back. You might say he was herding balls more than fielding them.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Writing Sample

I've been meaning to start putting some of the kids stories up here for a long time. It hasn't happened yet. I found this one while cleaning out Bella's folder tonight. I thought it was as good a time as any to start getting a few of these saved.

This one is of the variety where she was given an opening sentence and had to write from there. I'm typing it as written, including errors. I sense that it would have been a lot longer if there hadn't been a time limit involved.

The Jungle - by Bella

Thomas looked up, and just as the monkey flew from one tree to the next, it threw something down to him. He watched it fall down, down, down, it landed at his feet. It looked like a dagger. The monkey hopped down after it. The monkey drew a line and added a curved like apendege. He walked away a little bit. He saw a tiger and ran back to the strange marking on the ground. He couldn't belive what he saw on top of it.

There right next to mark was a dead mole. Sitting there as if it were only asleep. A syth it be a syth. Thomas jumped. It was a hissing sort of voice. Thomas turned around there it was a lizard, a real lizard was actuly speaking to him. What is a syth he asked? Cautiously the lizard replied, it be a farming tool used to harvest crops. What does it mean? said Thomas. The lizard said death to those who see it.

Thomas ran back through the doors of his closet where he had found the mysterious world. He hoped he would never see that curved like apendege ever again. He hoped that it had been a dream but he knew it was not. He knew too that world wasn't just a jungle. It could be more like a fire world or a ice world or a green earthy world or a watery world or so much more. He knew some day he would have to go back some day but not now. Not yet. Only when he knew he had to.

P.S. I thought little girls were supposed to write about rainbows and princesses. Not my kid, lol. I think she's been reading too much Gregor the Overlander.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Much like our first pair of babies, these two spend a lot of time together. Luckily for Xander, Leia is a tough girl. She plays rough with him, and only gets really upset when he bites her...which is understandable. Biting has been a big issue with both of these guys in their 1 year old phase.
Sometimes though, she pulls some normal little girl behavior like this.Which inevitably leads to copycat behavior. Personally, I think it's an adorable look for him.It's definitely a look.
I know that I've mentioned this love affair before, but it has not waned a bit. He was sitting so still, pressed up next to her, with his hand on her arm for the longest time...until he saw me with the camera of course.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Baby of the family

Xander takes his role as baby of the family very seriously. For example, I've been feeding him all of his semi-liquid items like applesauce and yogurt by hand for his entire life so far. I tried to teach him to use a spoon several time in the past, and he just wasn't having any of it. Recently, I tried to give him this little green starter spoon that I found in the back of the drawer...and a choir of angels sang. As soon as wrapped his little hand around the handle...he was all over it. I was shocked at how well he did with it, considering the flat out failures of the last few attempts. I of course grabbed the camera to document this big kid moment.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Daniel let me know that my blog has become boring lately. Not enough posts according to him. :(

My apologies. It's been busy around here. The kids are off school today, but Daniel has to work. I'm hoping to recruit them to help with some projects for a few hours today. They've done little in the way of anything other than playing all weekend so far. It's time to pay the piper.

J has a birthday coming up soon, and has decided on a weekend at Great Wolf Lodge as her birthday activity/party. It will be our first time there, and she picked out the room type that she wanted (cave theme kids area), and is pretty excited about it. I'm sure we will all enjoy it. She pondered the whole friend party vs family outing vs cash payout birthday decision very carefully this year. Somehow I ended up with the most expensive option. She's worth it. :)

Care to revisit her last two birthday celebrations?
J turns 6,
J turns 5 part 1.
J turns 5 part 2.

In other news...Bella declared "resort" to be her favorite word last night over dinner. She had some great explanation of why too. Xander has decided that since the nursery at church now has male and female teachers (not just female anymore) it is the happening place to be. He runs in there and jumps into his teacher's arms and doesn't look back. Disturbingly, he has absolutely no fear of any men at all. He will go to complete strangers, but not women. L is adjusting to her Sunbeam class. She does a lot of talking about how big she is. She told Daniel that she was going to read him a book last night and did a pretty good job retelling the Very Hungry Caterpillar.

We've got preschool at our house tomorrow, and I've still got some things to prepare. I had better get my butt out of bed and do it. Hope y'all had a good weekend. Thanks for all the feedback on the dress post. I'm still weighing the input. :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Help me dress myself

Backstory: We were supposed to go on a cruise for our honeymoon. 3 days before our wedding, the ship had a kitchen fire, and our cruise was canceled. So, we threw together another plan at the last minute. At the time we didn't care. We were just happy. Three weeks later we got pregnant with Bella, and then spent the next 7 years having babies. Which brings us to now. Our babies are not really babies anymore...not even the little man. He's burning his way toward 2 years old faster than I can wrap my mind around.

Back to the current story: We are going to go on a cruise this spring to celebrate our 10th anniversary. Our cruise will have some "formal" nights, so I need to find something to wear. Because I am cheap, and don't have a lot of use for formal wear, I'd like to find something that is not SO formal that I wouldn't be able to get away with adding it to my normal church wear rotation. From what I've read online, it seems that the definition of formal has come down a bit in recent years, even for cruises. So, I should be able to find something that will work for both purposes.

Here's where you come in. I need help finding something to wear. I've been throwing things that I've come across into the top bar of my browser, and I'm looking for some direction. If you feel so inclined...throw out a comment for your favorite. Or tell me that they are all wrong and suggest an alternative. Here is what is currently residing in my browser bar...

Bear in mind... I need a reasonable neckline and at least a cap sleeve. This seriously limits my options. I know that 3 of the 4 are red. I'm not married to the idea of red, but if it impacts your decision, it is Daniel's favorite color as far as my wardrobe is concerned. Oh, and several of these come in more than 1 color option. Particularly this first one...which I prefer in the darker color red (but I wasn't able to save the image for the darker version, so you'll have to click to the website to see it in the darker red).

(I like the way the above one lays, but I think the neckline is going to be too low.)


So, this is what I've come up with so far. However...I don't like the prices. I'd be happy to find something suitable for a better price...if I had found anything at a better price that I liked which met the criteria. HELP!

Friday, January 8, 2010

You take the good, you take the bad...

Us at the groundbreaking of our new church building (last month)...a mere 2 minutes from our house, instead of the current 30 minutes. The girls were already defrosting in the car by the time this photo was taken. My unfortunate wardrobe choice can be explained by 1. the cold, and 2. the fact that I was the "photographer" and had to run around in the extreme mud the whole time snapping photos. The mud ate one of my shoes it was so bad, sucked it right off my foot. We are SO EXCITED about the new building.
It has been one of those days. You know, those epically bad days where everything goes wrong. The level of bad day that happens maybe...once a year. Yeah...that was my day. The good part of my day, involved my husband's unusual level of sympathy for my plight. He's not usually good with sympathy/empathy (it has to do with his childhood or something, he REALLY is not good at it normally). So, I've got that going for me.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

I lost 5 pounds.

I started back to exercising a few days after Christmas, and have been eating large quantities of raw fruits and vegetables for know...instead of junk food snacks. I lost 5 of my 10 pounds like it was nothing in the first week. It's the last 5 that are more of a pain, but I'll get it done. I've mainly been doing Pilates videos on Netflix (instant watch streaming through the xbox). My stomach feels like someone hit it with a bat. I do need to do something about my lack of cardio though. I don't even break a sweat on the Level 3 it's not cutting it in that department. Here are the 2 that I've primarily been doing so far...

Both are available on Netflix instant watch if you have a Netflix membership. If I only had a treadmill...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Deadly Handsome...Deadly Naughty

This going to do me in. Look at him. Do I really need to elaborate. He's like a raging ball of adorable crazy. They were not joking when they said boys and girls are different. In our family...the girls were MUCH easier to parent, but I understand this is not necessarily typical.

*Son, if you are reading this in 20 years, your sisters were not "better" than you, just easier. You are definitely worth all the effort, especially since you've given me thousands more voluntary hugs and kisses than the rest of your sisters combined. You were such a lover boy.
He has started receiving 1 minute timeouts on the naughty step. There are 3 offenses that I've decided to attach to timeouts so as not to overuse them and ruin their effectiveness. 1. hitting, 2. biting, 3. hysterical screaming tantrums. So far, he hates them...but definitely seems to understand why he is there, and stops the behavior when released from the timeout and reminded of why he was sent there. He looks at me as if I am betraying him every time he has to spend his 1 minute on that step.

Xander: "Et tu mama?"

He rightly thinks that he has me wrapped around his finger and does not appreciate this new development.

Mama: "I'm sorry son. If I don't set boundaries for are going to grow up badly. I promise I'm doing it for your own good. It hurts Mama more than it hurts you."What is worse than Pilates at 3 o'clock in the afternoon? When this guy finds you on the floor and takes it as an invitation to a wrestling match. He does this every single solitary time I try to exercise. If I'm on my back, he jumps on my stomach and starts kissing, then patting, then fake punching me...with wrestling sound effects (is this stuff embedded on the Y chromosome I ask myself?) If I am on my stomach, he jumps on my back then starts slapping my ponytail back and forth while attempting to pin me to the carpet. Thanks son. I will direct your attention to this photo evidence when I am old and fat.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year!

We've been busy. The girls had a much anticipated sleepover at Grammy and Grampy's house on New Year's Eve. The boys and I had an early dinner at Outback, and then stopped by a friend's house for a little celebration. We came home at 9:30pm to put Xander to bed. What can I say? We are party animals! not. It was definitely an improvement from our usual lackluster New Year's Eve's, and we appreciated the invite.

Daniel went back to work today after 2 weeks of being home with us. The girls go back to school tomorrow. We are setting family and personal goals for 2010 and are ready for a great year! Hope y'all had a Happy New Year!