Thursday, December 31, 2009

Sledding Pictures!

As promised, here are some pictures from our sledding adventure Tuesday. We didn't get very many because the supposedly fully charged camera battery was dead, and Dan's Blackberry doesn't zoom enough for action shots, so I mostly had to take stills, and how many pics of my kids posing in snow gear does a person need??

Emily Grace, the little snow princess!
Emily,fun events

Jared, LOVING his warm new down jacket.
Jared,fun events

Connor, complete with blood encrusted lips after managing to bite his lip after a rough landing. Did it slow him down, though? NO!!!
Connor,fun events

Emily not bothering with a sled
Emily,fun events

Connor was extremely independent about the whole process of sledding, and wasn't waiting for anyone to get him situated, or for getting help shoving off; he just totally took care of himself. At one point, while we were helping Em and J, Connor pushed himself and was heading right for a jump at the bottom of the hill (the one place we'd had the kids AVOID). I panicked briefly, watching my child fly down the hill and go airborn, but he landed, came to a stop, and was laughing hysterically begging to do it again. It wasn't a huge jump by any means, but he definately caught a good foot or two high of air, and then landed several feet out. I ran down the hill with Dan's Blackberry to try to get a picture of his additional turns. Here he is, halfway launched off the jump:
Connor,fun events

Dan tried to get a better one and managed to get him airborn (can you see the shadow underneath him?)
Connor,fun events

I know, I know, we're terrible parents for letting him do that over and over again. I'm sure his little spine is jarred out of alignment, but if you'd have heard how hard he was laughing, you'd have let him do it, too! It was sooooo funny!!!

We had a great time, and I can't wait to do it again. I'm hopeful to go back at least one more time this winter. The kids really enjoyed the snow (something we don't get a lot of in our city), and I really enjoyed the time spent together as a family, with nothing else to focus on but each other and having fun. It was great!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Leah who was very faithful at updating her blog daily. Until one day, all three of her children were old enough to be in school on some level or another, and to be in activities of one kind or another, and she found herself lacking as much time. She tried her very best, and managed to at least update Monday through Friday, and the readers were pleased. But then, a funny thing happened. Her husband took two weeks off from work, and he frowned upon any computer usage that took away from potential family time, and poor Leah found herself without any time at all to keep her blog updated. Short of skipping sleep, maybe?

But alas, her husband went out visiting with his brother, the children were asleep, the preschool newsletter was complete (as much as can be done until people bother to turn in their submissions, which were due SEVERAL DAYS AGO) and she found just enough time to do one blog post before heading back to soak in a hot bathtub filled with her new Sensaria bath salts, while reading Eclipse (for the 2nd time). Her muscles are tired and sore after a day of sledding/tubing with her family in the mountains all day.


PS If you're hoping for sledding pics, you'll have to wait! The camera we charged up all night and took with us, somehow still had a dead battery when we arrived at our destination. We used Dan's Blackberry, but they'll be poor quality, and I have to wait for him to have time to email them to me. Just know that we had a GREAT time!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Exciting Night!

If my kids weren't excited enough about SANTA coming to visit us Christmas Eve, Emily added to the excitement by losing a tooth and getting a visit from the Toothfairy on Christmas Eve as well. It was a pretty exciting night, and she enjoyed getting to pose with her stocking AND her tooth pillow on Christmas day!


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What's all that flapping and squawking?

It's ME the last few weeks, running around like a chicken with it's head cut off, preparing for the holidays while fulfilling my regular responsibilities. And from the extra loud flapping and squawking sounds, it appears I'm not alone!

I'm babysitting J's little "girlfriend" today and we plan to see a movie this morning to help break up the day a bit. Should be fun!

Happy holiday crunch time everyone. I've finished shopping and finished wrapping, and just need to work on one last thing for my SIL and I'm DONE. WOO HOO!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

For my niece-to-be

I wanted to give my niece-to-be a Christmas present, even though she's not born yet. I just thought it would be fun. I also wanted it to be something a little bit unique and meaningful. Because I had made a Build-a-Bear bear for all three of my kids as "to-be's", I thought it would be fun to continue the tradition. To make it more personal and meaningful, I knit a hat for the baby, and in the same yarn, knit a sweater for the bear. The sweater is a tad "baggy" in the front because I was doing it without a pattern (first time I've ever done that!), but overall, it came together very nicely. I didn't think to take a picture before gifting it all (we celebrated with my family last Thursday), so you can't see the flower on the hat very well, but you get the main idea. I cropped the pic way down so you could see the bear a bit better (it WAS a pic of Alisa and Ali opening it):

I stuck the hat on the bear's head for gifting purposes, but the hat IS meant for the baby's head. Our celebration got moved up an entire week and messed up my time-frame for completing the knitting, so I did take the bear back in order to knit a flower to attach to the front of the sweater, which will match the flower attached to the little hat. I'm excited to see the baby posing in her little hat next to her new bear friend!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Seconds, anyone?

I made Connor mac n' cheese for lunch last week, and while he was happily munching down his lunch and watching PBS cartoons, I sat down at the computer to pay some bills and do some work on the preschool newsletter I'm in charge of.

Apparently, Connor decided he was ready for seconds, because suddenly I heard him proudly announce, "I can get more all by myself; you don't even have to get up!"

And sure enough, there he was, happily serving himself more mac n' cheese. He did a pretty good job, too! Thankfully, the burner and pot were well cooled off by this point... We've since had a reminder chat about being anywhere near the stove without checking with mommy first! But I have to admit, I was pretty proud of him for taking care of himself that way. And a little sad to see that he's old enough to be doing it. Rather bittersweet!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009


I wanted to get a good picture of the kids last night, so I could FINALLY insert it into the photocard template I'd created, upload it for printing, and get the cards back home/addressed/sent out. I made sure the kids were fed, relaxed, and all that other good stuff needed to ensure better succes, then I grabbed my camera and got to work.

kids 2009

Not too bad, now let's do one and make sure everyone has their eyes open!

kids 2009

Well... I really need to see a REAL smile on everyone, okay? (passed around some tickles, made some funny faces...)

kids 2009

Come on guys, scoot closer and pretend you actually like each other! And don't tip your head up so high, okay?

kids 2009

woah, wait a minute! What's going on here, let's try that again...

kids 2009

Ha ha guys. Do you have it out of your system now? Let's try again.

kids 2009

No bug eyes, please? Just smile nice, don't cross your eyes, don't bug your eyes, don't wiggle your eyebrows (and yes, all this was happening), sit in the spot where I put you (they were like jack-in-boxes!). Can you do that, PLEASE??

kids 2009

HEY! What happened to REAL smiles and open eyes???

kids 2009

I'm over HERE!!!! And I said no bug eyes.

kids 2009

That's right Connor, I SAID SMILE! Good job listening to your mommy!

I debated long and hard between #1 and #6, finally deciding on #1. I'd rather have the squinty-eyed laughing Jared pic over the crazy bug-eyed pic of Emily.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Matching gift bag and card set I did for Emily's tap teacher:

You can't see the glitter glue I used to replicate snow for the trees and deer to be standing on, or the glitter glue snowflakes added on the white background. I think it all came out pretty cute! I need to do another set for Emily's ballet teacher, and one for her elementary school teacher. The boys' classrooms are both doing a group gift, and I'm not in charge of purchasing or wrapping so I'm off the hook!

oh! And you can't smell the peppermint scented Christmas tissue paper I found at Target! It was only 99 cents a pack (unless I read the price tag incorrectly) and you get several scented sheets in each pack. It was an impulse buy, and a fun one!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Snowman Slackers

Last Thursday, Jared came home with a snowman traced onto tag board, and our assignment was to cut it out and then decorate it however we wanted to, to be turned in Monday (today). We had an extremely busy weekend, and finally got to it shortly before bedtime last night. Jared wandered the house with me, picking out what supplies he wanted in order to decorate his snowman, and then we sat down and got to work:
school stuff

He was adament that his snowman have spiky blue hair, and he really wanted the grass and the dragon tattoo (that thing that sort of looks like a flower...). He was going to attempt rock n' roll shoes for his snowman, but we'd already glued the grass on AND it was already past bedtime, so I put my foot down on that one.

Emily had the same teacher two years ago, and we forgot about the assignment until the morning it was due, and I hauled her out of bed earlier than normal so we could finish it!

What do you think, should I just go ahead and do one for Connor now and stash it, so when we forgot to do HIS until the last minute two years from now, we can pull it out and be DONE?? ha ha ha!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Quote of the Week

Connor told my chiropractor about how we'd been putting up decorations around house for Christmas. He was especially excited to talk about the tree (which the kids got to help decorate). My chiropractor asked Connor if we had anything special on the top of our tree (we do, an angel). Connor shrugged and said, "Some girl. She lights up." It was so funny!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I got an order for an all light-blue baby sweater/hat set a few weeks ago. Beyond the light blue request, I was given free reign over the finished product, and this is what I came up with:

It was trickier than I expected, but I really wanted the buttons to line up with the ribs, and there's a whole lot of planning involved (so many rows in between each button-hole, dividing those rows to know where to place the ribs and still keep the sweater the appropriate size, etc), but I am very pleased with how it came out.

The WOW part? I got a $15 tip (which I tried to turn down), so you're looking at a $50 sweater right there, people...

I'm the first to admit you can get a lot of other things for $50, but I was told that my work was really good, and was appreciated, and was worth every cent. How's that for awesome????

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What a day!

A girlfriend graciously volunteered to pick up CJ from preschool yesterday and keep him for the afternoon, so that I could drop him off at school and immediately head out to do some Christmas shopping. Santa is now done with his shopping for gifts and stockings, and I am done shopping for my kids, for my niece, and the baby-to-be (can't resist doing a little shopping for the baby that is finally making me an auntie!! *grin*). Got started on my mom. Have ideas for my dad, and Dan pretty much said he's shopping for himself this year (works for me!). I was stressed BIG TIME about when I would get time to shop without any of my kids, so this worked out beyond perfectly.

The only downside was that the entire outing was marred by the fact that my van's heat hasn't worked in several days (and our high temps for the day have been in the low 30's, so yeah, it's been COOOOOOOOLD driving around in my van!!), so I was FREEZING my buns off driving down the road, and THEN, the van was trying to red-line and over-heat. WHAT?!?!?!?!?!? I filled up the coolant tank and hoped that was the fix, but NOPE. Now I have to take my van in for repairs and they can't get me in sooner than Thursday morning, and have ZERO estimated time-frame for when they'll have it ready for me. I have to coordinate who is going to come pick me (and Connor) up after we drop it off, and exactly WHEN I'm going to squeeze that into our day. ha!

The broken van ruins several plans for the next few days, but hopefully we'll get things worked out. My extremely generous neighbors have granted us permission to use their extra vehicle for the time-being, but I don't want to put a lot of wear and tire and miles on a vehicle that isn't mine, so I will still be limiting my outings to only ones of real necessity. At least I know I have a way to leave the house if I NEED to.

Dan somehow wound up having to pay for one of his employees parking tickets (long story, don't ask, I'm not pleased!)

I got zero cleaning done on the house to prep for J's play-date after school.

However, I am almost done with my Christmas shopping now (YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!) and finally get that weight off my shoulders. Now to fine time to tackle making the 40 greeting cards my neighbor ordered from me (which she will probably get for free as a huge thank you for loaning us her vehicle and saving me having to rent one!!!!!)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Emily's Dance Recital--Part Two

Emily and one of her best friends, Katie, before the recital (they hadn't been given their soldier hats yet)

Emily during the ballet performance

Emily during the tap performance

Emily and her cousin, Ali, after the recital

I hadn't thought about it enough in advance to actually follow through in time for the recital, but I wanted Emily to give both of her dance teachers thank you cards for their work in getting the girls ready for the recital, and choreographing everything, etc, so I spent some time Monday afternoon putting together a thank you card for each teacher. I thought it would be fun to use my new Cricut Cartridge (Everyday Paper Dolls) to try to create a card resembling the dance costumes Emily wore. The lighting in the picture STINKS, but you can get the main idea of the cards. I think they came out pretty well! (if I do say so myself...LOL)
card making

I cut out a yellow football jersey then cut off the big shoulders and fringed it to use for the epaulettes, and cut strips for the shirt. I had to make the hat on my own. I realize now I forgot a little yellow brim, but o'well. I saw Em's ballet teacher receive her card, and she loved that it matched the girls' costumes. I didn't get to see the tap teacher receive her card, but Emily said she liked it.

My little dancing queen is already asking when she can have another dance recital...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Emily's Dance Recital

Emily had her dance recital this past Saturday. It was the "holiday" show, so some shows had Christmas music, and others didn't. All the costumes were sort of put together with stuff we already had, or could get cheaply, but it came together really nicely, I think! Em's first performance was for her ballet 2 class, which was combined with the ballet 1 class. The 2's were soldiers and the 1's were ballerina dolls. VERY cute, but not my favorite, simply because there wasn't a lot of DANCING involved for Emily, and lots of standing around doing soldier poses. However, like I said, it was totally cute. The two other girls I zoom in more closely on are her good friends Katie and "friend" Emily.

I LOVED the tap performance. I didn't get to see much of this one being rehearsed because the class is held in one of the dance rooms you can't see into unless you stand outside in the cold, and I am not that die-hard. I was very pleased with how it all turned out. Emily had a BLAST!!!!!!!

They held the rehearsal and the recital in the same day (I will say I am NOT a fan of this, btw, what a LONG and stressful day for the parents! LOL!!!), and after the rehearsal was over, I was trying to get her back into street clothes so we could go get some food before the recital, and she was wiggling all over with excitement. It was adorable!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Quote of the Week

"When you go into the darkness, then you are in the darkness."

~Connor (age 3!!)

He was so serious when he said it. I've been giggling about it ever since.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Santas

Here are all the Santas that my mother has painted me, every year since I've been married. Aren't they gorgeous? I LOVE THEM!

The one on the far right is the first one I got. The next one in honors our Black Lab, Heidi. The 2nd one from the left is the one I got on our 1st Christmas with Emily. The farthest left... I just love his "baldie head" (as Connor says it!)

The far right Santa's long list is filled with names of my immediate and extended family. The Santa on the far left has "Lambies" in honor of Emily. I was told this years' will have a polar bear for Jared.

I love how unique this one is from the rest:

I am sooooooooooo excited to see this years' Santa!! And I'm interested to see what she finds to represent Connor for a future Santa. I'm assuming devil horns on a Santa wouldn't be entirely appropriate?? ha!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas mishaps so far

1. My Christmas stuff didn't get brought down from the attic until Sunday night (the tail END of a four day weekend, the prime time-frame for doing much decorating)So then it was a MAD scramble Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (between volunteering in kid classrooms, dance twice, gymnastics, more volunteering, field trips, and Girl Scouts) getting the tree set up, covered with lights and ornaments, all the other decorations out, and floors vacuumed in order to be ready to babysit Grace today.

2. Lights all worked when I tested them. Lights had STOPPED working after being strung on the tree. Went to string in a working strand over the top of the not working strand (it was just half the strand and I wasn't messing around with pulling the whole strand off again), and the non-working section started working again.

3. Lights stopped working again. I jiggled the bulbs until I found a sensitive one, then hung Em's Barbie ornament right next to it so I'd remember right where it is in case I need to jiggle it again.

4. Emily took down her ornament in order to more closely examine it. Lights went out again. Had to re-find the sensitive bulb.

5. Set out my gorgeous porcelain Santa collection (my mother has painted me one every year that I've been married) and realized I was missing one. Almost literally tore my house apart trying to find it. Dan found it still up in the attic, thankfully!

6. It's December 3rd and I have had zero time to even THINK about shopping, let alone actually DO any shopping. My next kid-free opportunity is next Tuesday, but it's only for two hours and won't leave time for most of what I need to do.

7. Do I even KNOW what I plan to buy for everyone yet??? (NO!!!!!!) I wonder if it's too late to do my shopping online instead this year?

8. Haven't had Christmas pictures of the kids done yet. No real idea of WHEN that's even going to be able to happen. Gotta throw in a visit with Santa this year, too, at some point. And we'll hope Connor doesn't loudly announce Santa as a fraud like he did a few weeks ago at the mall!

9. My kids have been in a real funk the last few days (very argumentative, sassing, blatant ignoring of my requests, etc) and I swear it's the full we just had moon. But even the threat of "Santa is watching you right now!" made ZERO difference. You know you're in trouble with the Santa threat doesn't do any good!! I was debating finding some jolly sounding man to call my children and play at being Santa and remind them to be good! I'm not ruling it out yet. *grin*

What more can I do but put a smile on my face and enjoy the ride! It wouldn't be the holiday season without chaos and disaster, right? Makes you that much more thankful when it all falls together and you get to spend a fabulous day surrounded by loved ones.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Oldies but goodies

Emily had three "lovies" (two are pictured below) that had to be in bed with her at night when she was little. She would rotate randomly between which one she would snuggle, and which ones would just lay off to the side of the bed. When Jared was about 5 months old, Dan asked Emily (who was 2.5), "What do you want in bed with you tonight?" She reached over and patted Jared on the head and said, "I want this little guy to sleep with me."

Dan tucked Jared into bed with her long enough to give her a thrill, and for me to take a picture!

PS That lamb ("Lambie") still sleeps in bed with her at night. And Jared does not! LOL

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's that time of year again!

Something about the holiday season brings about the baker in me, and I find myself happily baking things I wouldn't normally feel like tackling. Like "PW Rolls" (so dubbed by several of us faithful Pioneer Woman blog readers).

Take a look at the deliciousness:

Your mouth is watering now, right? NO? Well, it should be!! PW Rolls are amazing. And the recipe makes lots. Emily and I ended up with 7 trays of 7 rolls each tray. That's 49 cinnamon rolls people! The benefit? We got to drive around and thrill the heck out of some family and neighbors/friends by surprising them with a tray of cinnamon rolls.

I think we'll make a yearly tradition out of making these. It was a big, all-day job, but it was fun to spend time with my Emily Grace, and it was fun to deliver the delicious goodness to people we love!

For the recipe and pictures, click HERE

Monday, November 30, 2009

Quote of the Week

Dan and Emily had a little date Saturday night. Before coming home, they stopped for some Chinese food. Emily got a fortune cookie with the following fortune inside:

You have an unusual magnetic personality

Emily said, "That's true! That balloon I had earlier kept wanting to stick to my hair!"

Dan said, "That's not really what it means. What it means is that people really like you and want to hang out with you all the time."

Em said, "Then Taylor (one of her best friends) must have a magnetic personality, too, because I ALWAYS want to spend time with her!"

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Several blogging gals I know do a "Thankful Thursday" segment on their blogs, which I have to participate in, but since it's Thanksgiving, it seemed an appropriate day to jump on the band wagon, even if it's only this once...

I am thankful for:

*My three gorgeous, smart, and hilarious children. They may drive me bananas some days, but they are my shining stars and I'm so thankful for them.

*My husband's job. It keeps him away from home an awful lot, especially this past year, but it supports our family of five and allows me to be "at home" with our babies, and very involved in their schools and activities.

*My parents. They've really bailed me out of some tight spots with their babysitting services this year. Not to mention their involvement with my children. Emily loves her "Dancing with the stars" dates with my mom, and the boys love to go play and do puzzles, etc. I wasn't close with my grandparents growing up, and it thrills me to no end that my children have the opportunity to be close with theirs.

*My in-laws. Not only are they willing to babysit the kids, but they happily take our puppy, too! They feed us nearly every Sunday, stay involved with the kids, and go out of their way to make sure we're a close-knit family (planning and paying for vacations, setting up planting parties, tea parties, etc for the kids). TONS of people I know can do nothing but complain about their in-laws. I am very lucky to have great IL's!

*glasses. My sweet Emily Grace's vision took a major downward spiral over the last few months, and while she was insisting her old reading glasses were working just fine, I was seeing a rather drastic decline in her schoolwork, a HUGE blow to her self-confidence, and was witnesses to DAILY tearful tirades as she ranted about how hard school was and how stupid she was. I begged our way into an ASAP vision appt. as a starting point to figuring out what was going on, and low and behold, the kid needed full-time glasses to help correct a "lazy" eye (which wasn't wandering, but was considered lazy because it was so weak, she wasn't actually using it when reading). After a month in her new glasses, she's back to LOVING school, is no longer calling herself names, her schoolwork has improved drastically, and she's ENJOYING her schoolwork again...

*friends. I have two very good friends, who both also happen to live in my neighborhood, and I have been so very thankful for them. They babysit my kids when I need it, they bring us meals if/when we're sick, I can count on them for good advice and support... The added bonus is that my children LOVE being at either house, and it's such a comfort knowing I have good people nearby that I can trust and turn to. Then there's my less local friends, whom I love and trust very much as well. I've never had very many friends at a time, but I appreciate the strong connections with the friends I DO have. Good quality people...

*Dan's Blackberry. Without it, I probably wouldn't have any sort of connection with my husband any longer. He works LONG hours and was impossible to get ahold of (his job entails dealing with over 100 phone calls a day, several hundred emails, job walks, paperwork, etc). Now, if I can't reach him by calling, I can email and/or text and know that whether he's in the office or out in the field, he WILL get my message and be able to get back to me. I'm also thankful that work pays for it, AND that it makes his job much easier throughout the day.

*Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. Honestly, my kids eat that stuff at least once a week, and we always make extras because they love leftovers. And I will admit to a fondness for the stuff as well. It's high on my list of "comfort foods". *grin*

*our health. There's a lot of scary health stuff happening for people all around us, and I am so thankful that my family is overall very healthy.

The list could go on, but I'm sure you'll be thankful to hear that I'll stop rambling and let you get back to celebrating Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope it's a peaceful day and you find yourself surrounded by those you love, enjoying many reasons to be thankful...


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hard Worker!

J-Man asked if I had any jobs for him to do (he's been big into trying to earn money lately). I told him he could go outside and clean up all the brances from the windstorm a few days prior. I told him to leave the big branch for his daddy because it was really heavy, but that he could gather up all the smaller ones and get them onto the burn pile. I peeked out at him a few minutes later and found him working with all his might to drag this branch across the yard. It only moved a few inches a time, but, by golly, he dragged it across the whole yard and got it set up next to the burn pile.

I was impressed at his determination to do the WHOLE job, even though I'd given him the opportunity to leave that huge branch alone, and I was also really proud of him for setting his mind to it and sticking with it and getting it done. He's a hard little worker!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Sugar and Spice?

My sweet little Emily apparently made Connor pinky promise her that he wouldn't go into her room and mess around with her new desk without her permission. And then she told him if he broke his pinky promise, she'd break his pinky finger! WOW! I had a little chat about not making violent threats to her brother, then informed Connor that his pinky was safe (but that he'd still better not get into Em's stuff without permission!).

The next day, Connor broke something (fell down, dropped what he'd been carrying, and it broke. The kid's a walking disaster some days!!), and Dan asked him, "Why are you always breaking things?" Connor replied, "I don't break EVERYTHING! I don't break pinky promises!"

Clearly, it's been weighing on his mind. LOL!!

Monday, November 23, 2009


I hope this comes off as funny reading it, as it was SEEING IT.

Backstory: At gymnastics, there is an upper viewing area where the kids all go to take off their shoes and socks, and the parents get to sit and watch their child during class. When class is ready to start, the coach comes upstairs and tells the kids to come line up.

One day, the coach came up and asked the kids to line up, and Jared looked over at her, grinning, and then quoted Pee Wee Herman (using his best Pee Wee voice), "I'm trying to use the phone!"

A split second later, Connor jumped up on the lowest bleacher seat and started doing the Pee Wee dance! I busted up laughing, joined by several other moms AND the gymnastics coach. Those two boys were a great little comedy act! LOL!!!!

Weeks later, I'm still chuckling over it.

The funnier part is that they have only seen the movie once (that I'm aware of) and it was at least a year ago!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Deedle Deedle Dumpling

When I see Charlie running around with one ear up and one ear down, the nursery rhyme jumps into my head... "one shoe off and one shoe on!" LOL!!

Sorry, not the greatest picture, but he is FAST and not very cooperative (kind of just wants to run at me and lick at the camera when I get down low to snap a pic)

Charlie's right ear just recently started standing all the way up (started on Wednesday), and even then, it's still only about 75% of the time... His brothers' ears have been standing fully up for a couple of months now, and we had decided his just weren't going to at all (they don't always stand up on their own with this breed, and we don't care one way or the other), and then suddenly, up went the right ear. LOL

Truthfully, I kind of hope he keeps the one ear up, one ear down deal. It's pretty cute!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

And the wall won


1: Connor was stacking wood for his daddy over the weekend and scored himself a nice scratch under his chin (I know, you can't see it in this picture, but it's THERE!)

2: Connor was coming down the stairs after gymnastics and mis-stepped the last step, lost his balance, sort of caught himself on the railing, but the momentum of his fall swung his body around and caused him to do battle with the pointed wall edge at the base of the stairs (the wall won).

3: The following morning, Connor was in his room, standing on something he shouldn't have been (which, I might add, had been in the "to be thrown away" pile I'd created Sunday when cleaning the boys' room, and which, I should point out, somehow got taken out again without my knowledge and placed back into the bedroom) and toppled over, smacking the center of his face on the puppet stage.

4: Not pictured here, but later the same day he scored the bruise/lump in the center of his face, he also managed to get a pretty good scratch on his cheek.

Poor baby looks like we beat him!

I took that pic Tuesday morning (I tried to get an updated one yesterday, but he was very uncooperative), so you'll just have to use your imagination on how lovely he looks now... His left eyelid is REALLY black and red, across his whole eyelid, and the center of his face is slightly raised and turning into a darker bruise. The scratches actually look pretty good a few days later, but the bruises have to get uglier before they get better!

I've honestly lost track of how many black eyes Connor has had in his lifetime (all of 3.5 years...), but I think he had 5 just last winter, and it's almost always that left eye!! SHEESH

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


This whole getting up early in the morning to torture myself with exercise had better be worth it. I know, I know, it will be in the long run, but the short term "gain" is that I am even more tired than I was before, PLUS, everything hurts!


**hobbles away to take a shower, and hopes the legs actually cooperate enough to lift up and over the tub edge**

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

So sweet

Connor and I volunteer in J's class for 40 minutes for reading groups, once a week. When my 40 minutes are up in J's class, Connor and I start packing up to leave, while J and his classmates start getting out their morning snacks. This time, my sweet Jare-bear came running over and begged me to let Connor stay for snack time. I reminded Jared that Connor didn't have a snack with him and said that Connor and I should probably just get going. Direct quote from J: "No, No! Mom, I already have a chair for him, and I broke my snack in half so he can have some, too." And sure enough, there was an extra chair pulled up beside Jared's place at the table, and sitting on the table was half of Jared's snack. I will admit to feeling a few "happy tears" (as we call them) welling up in my eyes over his thoughtfulness. And Connor? Threw his arms around his big brother with a very exuberant "THANK YOU JARED!" and happily plopped into the seat and ate his half of a Nutrigrain bar. Connor was pleased as punch to be sitting with the big kids eating a snack, and I was so touched by Jared's actions!

Monday, November 16, 2009

I miss this!

kids 2009

I LOVE being at the ocean. I love the wide open views, the sounds of the waves, the feel of the sand under my feet. I love how calm life feels, the joy on my children's faces as they run and dig and play and splash... I love our family time, uninterrupted by work and chores and appointments.

I LOVE being at the ocean.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sharp Dressed Man

Jared has been BEGGING for months now to have a button-up shirt and a tie set, but I haven't had a chance to head to the mall and buy him one. I finally got a chance on Wednesday, and he was very insistant on wearing it ASAP, so he wore it to school Thursday: (He's totally not excited or anything...)



Thursday, November 12, 2009

Baby gift

Before becoming house-bound, I completed, and gifted, this little sweater/hat set to a gal who is on the preschool board with me, and is due in December with a baby girl. The mom LOVED the little set and said she can't wait to use it for Christmas (despite it being BIG since baby will be BRAND NEW for Christmas) and also for Valentine's Day. She picked it up and admired it several times throughout the baby shower, and laid it across her belly a few times, and made numerous comments about it. It was very fun for me to see her be so clearly excited about the gift, and knowing that it was something I'd created, not just purchased. I loved it!!


I got brave and altered the pattern a bit this time, so that the neck of the sweater doesn't come up so high and won't be as tight-fitting. I was sure to jot down what I'd done in order to be able to do it again with future sweaters. I think it came out perfectly!

I also made this card for her:
card making

**update** I saw the mom at our board meeting tonight and she pulled me aside to tell me that she got online and found a dressy pair of black baby pants and some little red shoes to go with the sweater set, and raved again how much she loved the shade of the red, and the little "pearl" buttons. LOL! I can't WAIT to see pics of the baby all dressed up!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pesky Puppy

I turned my back for a few minutes to tend to sick kids Monday mid-day, took a phone call, sprayed the house down yet again with Lysol, then cruised through to gather up my knitting project to get it safely up and out of the reach of the puppy, only to discover hours later that I hadn't been quick enough, because the punk puppy had still managed to chew a hole in the baby sweater I was knitting, plus gnaw up the end of my bamboo knitting needle.

He's lucky I love him.

I'm house-bound with sick kids and have no clue when I'll be able to get out to replace the needle in order to attempt a repair and to complete the sweater. Such a waste of good knitting time (being house-bound WAS going to be a good excuse to get some extra crafting done).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Swine Flu

Have you missed me?

We've been battling swine flu in our home the last few days, and I have been BUSY nursing two sick kids, and sanitizing like you wouldn't believe in order to keep the remaining three of us healthy. I even had to call my mom and beg a favor in order to get my hands on more Lysol spray. If the sick kids have touched it or breathed near it, I've sprayed it with Lysol.

I'm not a major germ-a-phobe in general, but I have ZERO desire to be nursing sick kiddos while being sick myself. Therefore, I spray. And use hand sanitizer. And wash my hands frequently. And use more hand sanitizer. And spray more Lysol.

Dan took the lid off an empty cup of juice for the kids yesterday evening, then went reaching for the fridge door to get out more juice. In comes ME, shoving a bottle of hand sanitizer at him. DON'T BE TOUCHING THE GERMY CUP AND THEN TOUCHING THE FRIDGE AND THE FOOD/DRINK THE REST OF US WILL BE EATING/DRINKING WITHOUT CLEANING YOUR HANDS FIRST!!! I'm pretty sure he thinks I'm nuts, but I am NOT getting sick, too. *grin*

Due to swine flu, Connor had to miss his activity yesterday, in case he was contagious and coming down with it as well. Emily had to miss dance (and I had to miss parent observation, where twice a year you get to go IN the classroom and see your child in class). Today, Connor has to miss a field trip with his preschool class to a local music store (again, in case he's contagious, and because no siblings are allowed and I'll have his two sick siblings home with us), where he would have gotten the opportunity to test out some different instruments and see instruments being repaired in the shop in the back, etc. Emily has to miss out on a field trip to see a play, which has been hyped up in class for over a month now, and will miss her 2nd dance class (where I, yet again, miss out on parent observation). Jared will miss out on a birthday party Wednesday for an old preschool friend he's been anxious to see again, because even if J is totally better tomorrow and fever/symptom-free for 24 hours, he'll have been too recently exposed to be around the birthday boy, who is one year into a three-year treatment plan for Luekemia.

And here I was worried they'd be sick over Halloween. I'd happily give up Halloween (less candy for me to be tempted to eat!) in order to have all this weeks' activities back. sigh...

Friday, November 6, 2009

Need a laugh??

Jared got off the bus looking something similar to this yesterday (this is a total recreation because my instinct when I first saw him was to untie the shirt ASAP!!)--ignore his "why do I have to stand here and let you take my picture" expression


There are many fashion disasters I've ignored with my children, but I just couldn't really let this one go. I untied the shirt, made him promise to NEVER tie his shirt up like that again, and then turned around and tried my best not to burst into hysterical laughter!!

After we'd been home for about ten minutes, I noticed Em's glasses weren't on her face, which led to her admission that she'd left them at school. We loaded back into the car, headed to school, collected her glasses, said goodbye to her teacher, and started back towards the car. Jared decided he wanted to run downstairs to his own classroom to see if his teacher was still there, in order to say hi/goodbye. As soon as we walked in, she pulled me aside and asked if I'd seen his shirt, and we both giggled. Then I said, "Please tell me that was something he did right at the end of the day."

Nope, it was something he'd done around lunch time. Spent half the day with his shirt tied up like that. I'm sure he gave more than one staff member their laugh for the day!

He's going to hate me for this picture someday...

Thursday, November 5, 2009

*Shakes head*

Connor was playing in the playroom yesterday afternoon, completely absorbed in his pile of trucks (including his added dialogue and sound effects, which was totally ADORABLE!).

Charlie was scratching at the sliding glass door.

I dropped everything and took Charlie out (giving me warnings when it's time to potty/etc is a very NEW thing for Charlie, as in, only three days!).

I was outside for MAX 10 minutes (I'm guessing closer to 5).

Charlie did his business. We came back in.

I found Connor, still in the playroom, except instead of being surrounded by trucks, he's surrounded by empty candy wrappers, in small pieces, holding kid scissors, his cheeks bulging with candy.

I quickly confiscated the scissors, gathered up the candy wrappers, scolded him for taking candy without asking, and for using scissors without my supervision (he'd gotten them out of a cupboard that HAS a child-safety lock, btw). Then I hurried into another room to giggle and marvel over the "genius" of the small child to take that short window of opportunity and use it to his full advantage. I can see his little brain going now...

Mom's outside. There's the candy bowl. I can't open this candy without help. I know where the scissors are. I know how to USE the scissors. mmmmmmmm, candy... Crap, mom caught me; turn on the charm:

"I asked-ed you for a snack, but you didn't hear me cuz you were outside with Chaw-lee so I just got some candy, okay?"

I was, and still am, torn between being totally ticked off that the little sneak got into the candy and helped himself when my back was turned (well, when I was outside...), or really proud of the lengthy thought process and perseverence he managed in a short period of time.

His daddy thought it was PRETTY FUNNY when I called to share the story with him after it happened!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Poor Charlie!

Charlie recently decided that our yard wasn't quite good enough for him any longer, and he started taking off down the back alley to our neighbor's house (home to one of his puppy brothers). We can't have Charlie running off, and it would be hard to put him on our invisible fence (the darn collar would be about as big as he is, and about as expensive, too!), but we had to come up with SOMETHING.

Another neighbor mentioned that she lets her big dog babysit her little dog by leashing them together. Her big dog REFUSES to leave the yard without her, and the little dog isn't strong enough to drag the big dog along. Problem solved. I tried it with Heidi and Charlie, and it was pure genius for about two minutes. They were playing and having a grand time, but quickly figured out they could each bite the leash and play tug-of-war and chew-toy with it, and that leash was going to be TOAST in a matter of minutes. SO, then I went out and bought a chain leash figuring they weren't going to bite through THAT.

A few weeks go by, and I was feeling very pleased and confident about how the whole thing was going. It was time to leave the house, and I opened the sliding glass door to bring Charlie back inside to put him in his crate before we left, but the dogs didn't come right up to the door like they usually do. I called Heidi's name, and she came TEARING around the corner from the side of the house to answer my call. But poor Charlie has tiny legs and can't run as fast, and was getting dragged through the dirt, whipped around the corner of the house, and I swear, caught air for a few seconds before landing in a heap at my feet, dirt/twigs/leaves sticking out of his fur. It was horrifying, but also so entirely unexpected (WHY hadn't I thought of that potential problem???), and hilarious looking, that I will admit to totally cracking up while I was checking Charlie over for injuries.

Little knucklehead was totally fine, and was scratching at the door to get right back outside as soon as I unleashed him and brought him in!!

I'm thinking MAYBE, just maybe, it's NOT such a good idea to let my big dog babysit my little dog afterall...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Oldies but goodies

With Halloween barely over, and the taste of chocolate still fresh on my tongue, I felt it was fitting to share this picture.

Two regrets that year: 1) That I never took the kids to get professional pics taken in these costumes, and 2) that the ONLY decent picture I have of them, is them sitting on that UGLY couch (at my mom's work)

oldies but goodies

Em and J were about as cute as it gets that year...

PS Happy 1/2 birthday to ME!! *grin*

Monday, November 2, 2009

Think he has a sweet tooth?

We went to a good friend's house for Halloween Saturday night. Everyone who went brought a crockpot of chili to share, plus there were salads and cornbread. After we ate, we gathered up 10 kids and a baby and headed out in her neighborhood for some trick-or-treating. When the trick-or-treating was over, 9 kids and a baby got busy playing.

A quick head-count in the playroom a few minutes after arriving back to the house alerted us to a potential problem...

Connor was found at the table, surrounded by his candy haul, stuffing his face, content to ignore every kid and toy in the house.


I'm fairly certain he'd have sat there for the rest of the night if he'd has his way.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Trunk or Treat!

The kids and I attended Connor's preschool event, Trunk or Treat, yesterday afternoon, and we had a great time (as usual!). The rain held off for us, we had LOTS of participants, and we came away with some yummy treats and prizes.

Here are Little Orphan Annie, Knight in "arming sharmor" (as Connor says it), and a SWAT team guy, all lined up in front of our decorated trunk:
kids 2009,fun events

NORMALLY, the kids would have trick-or-treat bags that coordinate with their costumes. I even bought the materials to make the bags. But that tricky little thing called LIFE got in the way, and it was either stay up extremely late and stressing over it, while also trying to tackle more important things, or admit defeat for this year and buy "normal" trick-or-treat bags. I admitted defeat and bought bags. And you know what? The world didn't end! The kids loved their bags, which will hold more candy anyway... Life is NOT all about the coordinated trick-or-treat bags.

I still feel like a bit a failure. LOL

PS Em went to bed with sponge curlers in her hair in order to have a mop of Annie curls on her head for her school Halloween party and parade later today. I'm anxious to see how things look once she's awake and we take them out. Could be interesting!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


When I headed to bed last night, I noticed the boys' bedroom light was on, so poked my head in to check on them (something would have done regardless of the light being on), and found Jared sleeping at the foot of Connor's lower bunk!

I have no idea why he was down there, or why the light was on, but I thought it was pretty funny! I jiggled him awake and helped shove him up the bunk bed ladder into his own bed, while he insisted he'd never gotten out of bed and Connor must have dragged him down. LOL!!

The previous night, one or the other of the boys had gotten up and mistaken their bedroom floor for the toilet and peed on the carpet in their half-asleep state. Hey, better the carpet than the bed!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I'm going to win!

I attended a spa party over the weekend, and when it came time for the door prize, I looked to my mom and said, "I'm going to win!" Then I explained how my friend Carole had once told me that you're supposed to say out loud, "I'm going to win!" to better your chances. She won a door prize about ten seconds after telling me that, so I figured there must be SOMETHING to it. I have since won a door prize at a Stampin' Up card-making party (flower stamp and small ink pad), and I DID win the door prize at the spa party over the weekend (2oz bottle of aromatherapy bath oil). I can't wait to have a chance to take a soak in the tub and test out my new prize!!!! After the weeks I've been having with Connor, I could really use it!

PS You're not allowed to announce out loud, "I'm going to win!" if you and I are in the same drawing. ha! You just have to sit back and let ME win!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My favorite set so far!

I got an order for a sweater/hat set for a baby girl, and was pretty much given free reign as to how I wanted it to look. This is what I came up with, and I have to say, it's my favorite set by far! I have to rush back to JoAnn Fabrics and see about picking up some more of the adorable little bow-shaped buttons. They totally MAKE the sweater!!!!

I was in a hurry to take the picture, so didn't take the time to lay the sweater out very nicely, which is why it looks a little lopsided. I promise, it was done up very nicely!

Here's a better picture of the little hat. I had a leftover button and couldn't resist prettying up the hat a bit!

I also have an order in for a red sweater/hat set, but they don't know boy or girl yet, so I don't know which side of the sweater to put the button-holes (whose brilliant idea was it that boy and girl clothes should button and zip on opposite sides???), so I have to wait a few more weeks before getting started. I'm kind of hoping GIRL because I found pretty pearl-looking buttons that would look so cute with the dark red yarn I found! I also have an order in for an all light blue set, which I will be starting next week!

Yay for projects to keep me busy in the evenings while I'm icing my back before bed!!!

Just a reminder, sweater/hat sets (0-6 month size, but remember, babies tend to outgrow clothes ahead of time, so the sets should really be purchased for a NEW baby to get the most use of them) are $35, and hat and mittie (thumbless mittens) sets are $12. Shipping is extra.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Dan and I attended a Halloween party over the weekend. We had a great time, as usual!

I went as the Toothfairy, using the bridesmaid dress from my brother's wedding this summer (embellished with some iron-on decals, and some hot-glued rhinestones, and some ribbons, and a felt tooth shape). You can't see my "fancy" hair-do in these pics very well. Too bad, I was actually pretty pleased with how it turned out!


Dan was a "happy" man in a toga




I'm already looking forward to next year! *grin*