Thursday, May 27, 2010

Last Saturday we had some dear friends over for dinner. As tends to be the case, the girls ended up around the table chatting away, tending to babies, eating dessert. The men-folk headed to the living room so that our friend Joe could re-string Jeff's guitar for him.

After putting on the new strings, Joe started playing and filling our house with the sounds of his quite awesome guitar skills.

As I got up to fetch something I glanced into the other room and saw this:

See the little dreamy smile Jeff is wearing? It seemed that Joe was serenading Jeff, and Jeff couldn't have been happier. It was a perfect example of man love if I've ever seen one.

And of course, I have thoroughly enjoyed making fun of them for it, too.

Because I simply cannot compete with mad guitar skills.

I just can't.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I am fascinated by genetics. By the way traits are passed on throughout generations.

I study my children and try to see who's eyes and lips and mouth they have. But I also search out where they get their stubborness, or sense of humour or propensity for throwing fits.

For instance, if you can ignore Nora's crusty nose and the fact that I am showing you her teeth like she is a show dog, you will see that she has pointy vampire canines. Just like her mamma

Nora and I have been blessed with 4 sharp, pointy teeth like that. No one else in the family has them. I want to file mine down, but Jeff likes the fact that they make me look like a vampire. I don't even want to go into why that is. Anyway.........

So my children all have these fantastic dimples like their father, and at least one child has my crazy vampire teeth. That seems easy to explain in terms of DNA and inherited traits.

But what if I told you that I have a child that seems to have inherited my DNA for getting himself into very nearly the exact same trouble I got into as a child?

I'm talking about Henry. Sweet, adorable, round, chubby faced Henry.

You know about his escape from Target. But did you know that when I was even younger then Henry, I walked right out my front door in Roslyn, Wa with key in hand, and I headed down the hill toward the post office. My parents frantically searched for me and were reunited with me because some nice old man found me and headed back with me in the direction I came from. Did I mention I was 15 months old?

Then there was the time when I was about 3 or 4, and I decided to pour an entire bottle of Mrs. Butterworths all over my sister's head.


Lets just say that the bottle was full until Henry got a hold of it. And as much as I would like to show you the picture of Nora with syrup running down her head, I can't. Because there isn't one. instead of taking her picture with syrup in her eyes and down her jammies, I whipped her upstairs fast as lightening so that I could get her syrup soaked little body into the tub. And then I put Henry in his room for a major time out with the tingling of a swat on his bottom.

Then after cleaning Nora up, I spent the next half an hour cleaning the rest of the contents of that bottle of syrup off my kitchen floor.

Now, if he is really intent on repeating my own behaviors as a young child, then I should prepare myself for him to write all over himself and his sister with my lipstick, and for him to try and shave with his daddy's razor. Or to sneak in the crawl space under the house to play, or to cover himself in dirt so that it looks like he was weeding the garden when in fact he was playing all day.

And yes, I really did all those things. Plus more, but I think I was too young to remember all of it, and my mom has her-memories-of-her-children-as-perfect-itis.

So if you need any advice on how to handle your own bundle of trouble, I can't help you. It seems in our family, it's genetic.

Monday, May 24, 2010

A good cause

What would cause someone to take something as lovely as this head of hair.......

let our neighbor/friend/hairdresser cut it all off............

and put it in ponytails ready to ship?

Kate cut her hair so that she can donate it. In her words "If I lost all my hair, I would want a wig that looked like my own red hair." And the result?
Beautiful, and way too grown up if you ask me.

(I absolutely love our neighbor/friend/hairdresser's little girl in the background with her Ariel wig on. Hilarious)
I am so proud of you Kate. And you look amazing.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Princess and her chocolate dip

Once upon a time, on the way home from our Financial Freedom class, Jeff and I decided to surprise the kids with Dilly Bars from the local DQ.

Pretty nice of us, huh? Well, this particular evening, I decided I wanted a Blizzard, a Blizzard that I would have to eat before we got home so that the kids wouldn't know I got a Blizzard when they just got Dilly Bars.

Well, selfishness aside, on this splendidly rainy evening, I could not decide what kind of Blizzard I wanted.

They have like a million flavors, you know.

I was feeling like something fruity/chocolatey, but had not tried the Chocolate Covered strawberry before and I wanted to know what was in it.

So dearest Jeff asked the guy at the drive thru what was in it, and I sat there wishing "please let it have chocoate dip, please let it have chocolate dip".(chocolate dip is what they dip their chocolate dip cones in. If you put it in a blizzard it gets cold and breaks apart, kind of like magic shell. Yummy.)

It didn't have it.

So then I wanted Jeff to ask what was in the Chocolate Covered Cherrie Blizzard. "please let it have chocolate dip, please let it have chocolate dip".

It didn't have it either.

By this time, there is a line forming behind us and I am still staring at the menu. I wanted the Chocolate Covered strawberry, but only if it had chocolate dip in it. So I was stumped.

Jeff is starting to get embarassed by me and all my questions and time taking. So he told me to hurry up and decide.

Well, secretly, I wanted to ask them to put chocolate dip in my Blizzard, but I was afraid to ask Jeff to ask them. So I just ordered the Chocolate Covered Strawberry Blizzard.

As we sat waiting in the huge line, I said to him "I really want them to put chocolate dip in it, but I didn't want you to be annoyed at me for asking you to ask them. "

So ensued a conversation about how Jeff should treat me like a Princess, and if the Princess wants chocolate dip in her Blizzard, then the kindly husband should willingly, eagerly try and meet her request and not make her feel silly for wanting it.

Is that so much to ask?

Jeff looked at me for about half a second and burst out laughing. I think simply because I referred to myself as a Princess and the words "her majesty" might have escaped my lips.

However, he was convinced, and when we got to the window he asked them if they could add chocolate dip to my Blizzard.

And you know what? My wish was granted. And it was the best Blizzard I have ever had.

Every girl needs a Knight in Shining Armour to battle for her chocolate dip.

But more importantly, you have to let the Knight know what you want, otherwise you're just a sad, disappointed Princess with a regular 'ol Blizzard and no chocolate dip.

The End.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

When it rains it.......

Pours? Some days.

This is how my day started yesterday. Not just weather-wise but events as well.

On the way to work Jeff's front left tire fell off. Luckily he had noticed something was weird and he had stopped and discovered the loose tire. Without the proper tools he tried to drive home slowly, but as he pulled onto Highway 169 his tire fell off and promptly rolled into oncoming traffic.

He was able to put the spare on and make it home. But in his own words "he needed to come home and mope for a little while."

Then yesterday afternoon, as I sat waiting to pick Julia up from an afterschool activity, smoke started billowing out from under the hood of my minivan.

I just started laughing. Really? Both in the same day? Jeff was in Bellevue, so my brother came and helped me. It ends up a hose sprung a leak and was spraying coolant all over. So he filled it up with water and sent me on my way. Oh, after he jump started my car since I forgot to turn off my lights as I sat there and waited.

But, in case you think this is just a whine fest on my part, it's really not.

I realized, with clarity, that yesterday was not a bad day. It was an amazing day. It was the most fantastic day ever.

Because Jeff's tire fell off when he was only going 5 miles an hour. And not later when he would have been going 65 on the freeway. I don't even want to think about that.

And the hose in my van sprung a leak while I was parked, only 3 miles from my brother's house instead of while I was out grocery shopping, or on the freeway somewhere. And I have an awesome brother and nephew who were there in 5 minutes.

So usually when it rains it pours. But not yesterday. Yesterday, when it rained it shined.

And I am so grateful.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Sunday Afternoon

We have 1 o'clock church, so we don't get home until around 4:30. Which basically means Nora doesn't go down for her nap at the regular time.

Yesterday I thought that I would just have her skip the nap and go to bed early.

Well as I was making dinner, I looked over at the table and saw that she had crawled up onto a chair with her blankie and her fingers in her mouth. She could barely keep her eyes open, and she looked sort of dazed and definitely in need of her mamma.

So I left the mixer going, whipping up the potatoes,and went and scooped her up into my arms. It took her exactly 30 seconds to fall asleep.

As I sat there, smelling her head and kissing her chubby cheeks, I had time to really listen to my house. To hear the sounds and feel the atmosphere of our home.

I could hear Kate playing the piano (she graciously took a moment to take this picture for me).

I could hear Anne Marie and Henry giggling upstairs. Which they did all day without fighting.

From where I sat I could be audience to Julia in
the living room, practicing her clarinet.

And out the window of the family room I could both see and hear Jeff and Charlie kicking the soccer ball around.

At this moment, I really felt how blessed I am.

I took a deep, satisfying breath and I could feel my heart swell in my chest. I hugged Nora tighter and decided I couldn't care less that the potatoes were being whipped to a very weird creamy texture.

All that mattered was this moment of bliss that I was being given. All that mattered was my little family, happily living life in our home.

And that's what matters, is recognizing these moments when they are given to us, and being grateful for them.

And in case you're wondering, the potatoes were fine. Weird, but fine.
And the trade off was totally worth it.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Yesterday was spent in a whirlwind of sorts.

Baths were taken, haircuts given, the art of makeup observed, planning, cleaning and a certain level of anxiety experienced.

All in preparation for tomorrow.

Yes, tomorrow May 15th I will have a camera crew at my house.

Our family has applied for a home reality-type show. Nothing trashy or stupid.

Just TLC and some good organization help from the good folks at Home Made Simple. If we're chosen that is.

So tomorrow will be the on camera interview. The-are-you-good-enough-and-interesting enough-to-be-on tv-interview.

I'm a tad nervous. Not about being on camera. That actually does not bother me at all.

But all the prep is killing me.

Making sure the bathrooms are clean in case someone needs to use one. Making sure the house is not super tidy but not cluttered in a Hoarders way either.

Picking out outfits for all 8 of us (I'm supposed to dress like I'm going to a nice lunch), learning how to put on enough makeup so that it will actually show up on camera since my make up usually consists of just mascara and red lipstick.

All these things have me feeling crazy. And of course I want them to choose us. But I won't be devastated if they don't. I'll just be devastated if someone picks their nose on camera or my hair looks stupid.

So yeah, I won't be sleeping much tonight. Which may be good, cuz then I'll look like the scatter brained mother of six I really am. And they'll KNOW that I need their help. Which I do. Of course.

Wish us luck!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

If I just had as much talent as this kid has in his little finger

Ok. So I sat and watched this video 3 or 4 times. With my mouth hanging open the whole time.

This kid is seriously unbelievable and he is only 12. So if you haven't seen the video, follow the link and watch. You honestly won't believe it. If you have youtube blocked in your house, unblock it for this. Seriously. Amazing talent.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Yesterday morning, I had to quickly say goodbye to a friend I was talking on the phone to.

Why? Because I heard water running. Which is never good.

When I rounded the corner, this is what I found.

Most of the kitchen floor, the island and the counters around the sink were covered in about half an inch of water.

It was not awesome.

So who could have done such a thing?

Was it...

Or could it have been.....

It was neither of these. Although I think Thing One and Thing Two may be related to the culprits.

Any guesses?

If you guessed Henry and Nora, you would be right.
You obviously know them well by now.

You'd think I would know them well enough by now to realize they should never be left alone. Or be allowed to eat after midnight.

Wait, now I'm getting them confused with Gremlins. Which, I guess is understandable.

But definitely, they should not be left alone. Or be given sharp things or things with ink in them, or things connected to water.

Boy, do I know how to suck the joy out of childhood or what?

It's a gift.

Monday, May 10, 2010

What I gave myself

As I sat thinking about the upcoming Mother's Day weekend (my brother in law, Scott was curious as to when Mother's Day became a whole weekend), I realized what I really wanted. Aside from the awesome day I was going to spend with my sister, I really wanted to be outside, to feel my blood pumping and my body working to accomplish something.

So I emailed everyone who was local and that was going to be around to see if anyone wanted to join me on my first annual Mother's Day hike.

I ended up with 3 takers, and at 5:30 in the morning (yeah, I'm hardcore. ok, not really, it just worked out better with everything going on that day) on Saturday we drove to the base of Little Si in North Bend Wa. It is a 5 mile round trip hike, pretty steady incline, but nothing too difficult or treacherous.

picture from (my camera weighs like a hundred pounds, so it didn't make it on the hike .)

It was pretty exciting to be on the trail that early. We saw only a couple of people and it was so quiet and peaceful and the day was perfect.

We worked our way up and reached the summit, which is only about 1200 feet, and sat on the rock overlooking the valley and ate our breakfast.

We sat in the cool of the early morning, the sky blue and clear, as we chatted and reveled in our accomplishment.

As we headed back down, I felt elated in a way I haven't felt for a while. I did something for myself that cost no money, that got me away from being inside all day, from the computer, from the hustle and bustle of my life, and I got to chat with dear friends.

It was a fantastic gift to myself, well that and the Thai food I gorged myself on with my sister later in the day.

But hey, I did go on a hike, I had to use those calories somewhere, you know?

Oh, and there might have been a yummy cupcake or two from Hello Cupcake as well.

Don't you burn like a million calories when you hike? Yeah, that's what I thought.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Reflecting on Mother's Day

12 years ago I experienced my first Mother's Day as a mom myself.

Strangely enough, I don't remember specifics about it. I just remember feeling like I had arrived. That I had somehow earned, through the process of carrying a baby and giving birth, a day of recognition, a day of breakfast in bed and a lovely homemade card.

And I was right.

If you've been pregnant you know already that there is nothing simple about the whole process. The morning sickness, weird food cravings and aversions as well as the random bawling your eyes out throw you for a loop.

Your body feels like it belongs to someone else. And really, it does.

You have completely given it over to the child you are growing. They take most everything from you during that 9 months and amazingly, you gratefully give it to them.

Then, just when you think you've sacrificed everything humanly possible for this little person, they are born, and then you know, you've never, ever, given anyone what you are giving this child.

Sleep deprivation, sore-ness from nursing, ache from pushing that child out. Your body has continued to be the main source of nutrition, warmth and nurturing for this baby. And while you fall asleep at 9 o'clock on the couch from exhaustion, and while you wear your maternity clothes for another 6 weeks as your stomach begins to resemble something human again, you realize, that you would do it all over again.

And some, continue to do it over and over and over and over and over and over again. (Is that six overs?)

Are we crazy? Are we missing some key element of our brains that houses self preservation and selfishness? No.

We are mothers. And we continue to give everything we have inside of us to our children on a daily basis. Not just as toddlers, not just when it's their physical needs that are the most demanding, but as their emotional and social needs develop.

One day they come home and they have a crush on someone and they want to tell you about it. Or someone was mean to them for the first time and you are the only one capable of soothing their hurt feelings. Or they have a difficult teacher at school and you have to guide them through dealing with all sorts of different personalities in the world.

It's more than just changing diapers and bandaging scraped knees. It is an all consuming, almost crazy love for your offspring that would truly cause you to jump in front of a train if it meant it would save them. It's going without new clothes or your hair done or vacations or nice cars because your child wants to play an instrument or play little league.

It's occasionally forgetting what your own bed feels like with just you and your husband in it.
It's finding your lipstick smeared all over the wall next to a stick drawing in permanent marker.

But it is also hearing them say mommy for the first time, or their first "I wub you" or the way they will smack daddy in the face because they just want their mommy.

It is all of these things, and it is the most worthwhile, important work you will ever do in your lifetime. Nothing else compares. And nothing else is as important. Nothing.

So yes, we deserve this one day a year to put our feet up, to be pampered and loved, to sleep in and have breakfast in bed. And I for one am going to enjoy it. Cuz the day after? It's back to work, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Reviews needed. Please help!!

Ok, so with a bum ankle, my running career is put on hold. But I still need to exercise and my ankle has improved enough to where I think I may be able to start power walking.

But I have a question about a product available for walkers.

Have you seen those funky shoes with the crazy curved soles?

MBT, Skechers and some others make them. They're supposed to be the end all be all in walking apparel and they claim to tone your hind end, thighs and calves faster than wearing regular ol' walking shoes.

So I want to know if it's true. Do they really do what they claim to do? Have you noticed faster weight loss or toning up as opposed to walking without them?

If they really work, then I wouldn't balk at spending the 100 + bucks for them. But if they're just a trend with no real science behind them, well then I can spend my money more wisely for sure.

So if you own them, or know of anyone who does, will you leave a comment and tell me what you/they think?

This is for posterity so please, try to be completely honest. (Any Princess Bride fans out there? )
*!Virtual high five !*

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

It's started all over

I thought we were passed this~

What are you supposed to do when you are surrounded by sisters, I ask you? Well, if you're Henry, if you can't beat em, join em.

Jeff thinks he's just missing a ribbon stick.

I agree, maybe we have a men's Olympic Gymnastic's champion on our hands.

Or a cross-dresser. I'm not sure which.

Monday, May 3, 2010

I don't hate you, I just wish bad things for you

Dear Stupid Head who crawled through our kitchen window Friday night and stole $240 from my purse-

I am mad at you. You made my life much more difficult than it had to be.

You are a punk. And not in the endearing fun way that my children are.

You are a poopy-eyeball juice-throw up head and I hope somebody's dog chews your leg off at the next house you break into.

I should probably pray for you that you change your ways, that your life improves so that you don't need to steal from others.

But I probably won't, cuz I'm afraid that I might end up praying that a brick falls on your head, or your fingers become paralyzed from all that thievery. Or that everyone you love forgets your birthday or that the brakes go out in your car and you crash into a big pile of manure.

And seriously, I don't want to say a prayer like that.

So I'll just pray that you get caught so that no other family has to feel violated or have their grocery money taken.

And while I'm at it I will say a prayer of thanks that you didn't come up the stairs. Thanks that you just took my cash while we all slept in our beds instead of taking or hurting anything that is priceless to us.

And I will pray that we will never forget to lock our downstairs windows again. Oh, and that you trip and knock your two front teeth out so that when I see you I will know it's you by your lisp, you butthead.


The woman who will kick your hiney if you ever show your dummy face around here again.
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