Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wreckless Abandonment

I never thought I'd be one - one of those bloggers who posted and commented pretty regularly, then dwindled down to a couple of posts a month, and then NOTHING.

There were a few blogs that I followed regularly - and would check back periodically hoping for a new post, a quick update, an explanation even as to why their poor blog had been so neglected.


I hoped that everything was okay and maybe life had just gotten too hectic, and something had to give. Still, I couldn't quite understand how you could put so much time into writing and reflecting and posting all those crazy cute pictures and then just stop.

Now I get it.

Life just gets crazy sometimes. And as my kids get older, things are just getting busier, and time is flying faster. It's really freaking me out to tell you the truth.  At least, I've managed to post pictures and snippets on facebook...if only I could bring them all over here. I'd be all caught up! The only reason I am able to write now is because I skipped out on football practice tonight. (Yes, Noah is playing TACKLE football this season. All Daddy's idea, of course. I swear, I need a Xanax prescription to handle this.) Trying to keep up with everything (and everyone!), this summer seems like a blur, and I can't believe that school starts next week...

And this year, I am going back with the kids.

Yep! After an eight year hiatus, I interviewed at the kids' elementary school and was offered a learning support position. Woohoo!!! Thanks in part to the great recommendations their teachers gave me since I volunteered so much last year. I am sure some people thought I already worked there. :)

I have workshops tomorrow and Thursday - and I have no idea what I am going to wear. My semi-professional wardrobe is very much lacking after all these years of being at home. That's actually why I stayed home from football so I could figure that out. (I am procrastinating, can you tell?) I am really excited to be going back though and to be at the same school as my kids is what I've always hoped would work out.

So I can't make any promises, as I am not sure what September will bring, getting into this new routine, plus teaching dance, writing for BKids, and taking the kids to football and gymnastics - but I really do hope to be able to squeeze a little blogging in there somewhere.

Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

As Promised - Before and After...

Let's do this!

Marking the spot!

The anticipation...

The BIG moment!

Didn't shed one.single.tear - even surprised herself!

Cute as cute can be...


When did my baby girl get so grown up?

*Sure do love you, sweet girl...and your rose crystal earrings!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

It Can't Be...

It can't be May. Where in the world did April go? Never has a month gone by so fast. I've thought about posting several times, but then my self-diagnosed ADD kicks in, and I am on to other things. I've also been hesitant to post...afraid of what might come out. Do you ever wish you had a switch to just turn off your thoughts? Over-thinking everything, worrying too much, what if-ing, remembering, wishing things were more like they used to be? Drives me nuts.

It can't be six days until Abby's 8th birthday. Seriously can.not.be.  When did this creep up on me? I was just now making her a pink and purple castle cake for her fourth birthday. And now she is sporting little pink crystal flower earrings that we have to clean twice a day. Yep. She got her ears pierced this past Saturday - an early birthday gift. A perfect way to end a perfectly girly day at "Sweet and Sassy" with her Brownie troop. They got their hair and nails done and had a little runway fashion show. It was too cute - although I could personally never justify spending that much on a birthday party. But their troop sold SO many cookies so this is what they picked as their reward - 2400 boxes, people! Not us - we sold a measly 75 boxes, but I didn't hold my own cookie booth every weekend like some of the other moms did. Wowzers. I will have to post some pics of Abby before and after - she was over the moon excited (after it took her 45 minutes to muster up the courage to do it) and kept thanking me over and over for letting her get her ears pierced. Such a cutie.

It can't be that my brother, sister-in-law, and their three kiddos are now in Texas - a THREE DAY DRIVE away. It hasn't sunk in. Thirteen hours was already far enough to Chicago, but he was presented with an opportunity in TX where he knows a couple of guys - short commute, all moving expenses paid, profit-sharing - so they decided to do it. I wasn't on board with it for purely selfish reasons - it's SO far away. My heart hurts thinking about it. I can't really blame them though. This 45-50 minute commute that Pat has is for the birds. We hardly see him. Brian's commute was over an hour between parking the car and taking the train into the city and then walking to work. Now his commute will be 8 minutes. Still why does TX have to be half way across the country? Plane tickets are so durn expensive. sigh....

It can't be that I have been interrupted six times in the last 15 minutes since sitting down to write this between requests for snacks from the neighbor kid, phone calls, refereeing...It's no wonder I feel like I have ADD. Now off to take Abby's friend home, then Girl Scouts, then the last TPO meeting of the year that class moms supposed to attend ( - hoping the DS will keep Noah occupied for at least part of the meeting).

It can't be that it's almost the END of the school year...

Good gravy.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Morning Was Going So Well...

There I was, admiring my sweet boy (even though he had sneaked into our bed during the wee hours of the night once again)...

He was still asleep and it was almost eight o'clock (- a personal record).

Then he woke up...and remembered.

Remembered that Daddy had left early that morning to go out of town...

Tears ensued.

Crocodile tears.

Then he remembered that yesterday was the last day of spring break and he had to go to school.

More tears and whines and "I don't want to go to school"s and "I want Daddy"s...

Poor kid.

After hugs and reasoning attempts and trying to coax him to get dressed, what started as a peaceful morning resulted in "If you don't stop crying and get ready, you will not be allowed to play Wii for the rest of day...maybe two days!"

He finally dried those tears and got moving. 

Amazing the power that the Wii has over a five-year-old boy.

Even more amazing?

The power that my five-year-old boy has over his mama.

Monday, April 9, 2012

May I Please Have S'more?

A Peeps S'more, that is...

This was actually our second round - they were that good. You can actually see the sugar in the kids' eyes! Has to be my new all-time favorite Easter picture.

And this one is a close runner up -

Of course, I'd snap the pic right as Rocket is licking his chops. I showed it to the kids, and they were cracking up. Crazy dog. 

Take two - 

That's better! (I can't believe he stayed still that long. It's true what they say, labs really start to calm down once they reach around two years old - thank goodness!)

*Hope you all had a hippity-hop-happy Easter!

Friday, April 6, 2012


It's that time of year when I take WAY too many pictures of tulips...

And there are even more where these came from...

I just can't help myself.

Monday, April 2, 2012

If Only Everyday Were Crazy Sock Day...

For this mama who can never seem to find matching socks (and swears the dryer eats them), it would make my life so much easier.

Bring on flip flop and sandal season!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Really...When Did They Get So Big?

I snapped this picture after our impromptu "First Day of Spring" party - almost two weeks ago. Two weeks? It's almost April? Where did March go? I swear, I can't keep up. 

And my kids? When did they get so big? Abby is going to be eight next month. 


I can hardly wrap my head around it. 

My boy will turn six a few weeks later. 


It scares the bejeezus out of me. It's going too fast.

Lately, I have been a sentimental wreck. Not sure what exactly has prompted this, but even as I am typing away on this keyboard, tears are streaming down my cheeks...

(cue kiddo interruptions - composure regained)

Despite Abby's seven--year-old dramatic tendencies and Noah's complete disdain for any and all errands that don't involve getting ice cream, this is a fun age.

Just in the last few minutes, Abby has come in to show me a purse she is making out of construction paper - four different colors. I love her creativity. Her enthusiasm. Her new interest in American Idol that I DVR so we can cuddle up later to watch and fast forward the commercials. Her current obsession with the Diary of the Wimpy Kid series - too funny.

I love that my boy still likes to snuggle his mama and runs up to hug me when I come to help with Kid Writing on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  It's amazing to see how much he has progressed since the beginning of the year. I love that he wrote in his journal yesterday that it was "THE BEST DA EVR!" because his new friend was coming home from school with him.

We've had playdates coming out of our ears...oh, and there is talk of a sleepover. Her first sleepover. Not sure if I am ready for this, but she is over-the-moon excited.

At least, she will be just across the street. I should be able to handle that.

I think.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Signs of Spring and Moment Captured

After riding his bike (with no training wheels!) up and down the bike path a half dozen times, in all his short-sleeve shirt-wearing glory, he dropped his bike in the grass for just a few seconds... 

"This flower is for you, Mama."

Oh, that boy knows how to melt my heart.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Seuss Day Drama

All was well as the kiddos were eating their GREEN eggs and ham for breakfast this morning -

The Cat-in-the-Hat-a-thon was on in the living room so I have this bright idea -

"Hey! Do you guys want to be Thing 1 and Thing 2? I could cut out some paper circles and stick them on your shirt!"



 A few minutes later as Abby is picking up the Thing 1 circle - after all, she is the first born...

"NO! I want to be Thing 1!" Noah insists.

"Noah, but I'm the oldest!"

"You should be Thing 2. You are two years older than me!"

He does make a good argument, but...

"I was born first, Noah. You were born second."

Yep. She has a point.

"But Aaaaabby! You are two years older!"

I can see that there is no changing Noah's mind, and the clock is ticking away.

I look at Abby, "Since he is making a bigger fuss about it, would you just let him be Thing 1?"

Being the sweet big sister that she is (most of the time), she concedes.

 We have seven minutes to get in the car and get to the school before the bell rings when as we are walking out the door, Noah says,

"I don't want to wear it to school."


"Buddy, you just argued that you wanted to be Thing 1. We are running late, dude."

"But not for school. Just for home."


So now Abby wants to be Thing 1. I make the switch and put the Thing 2 circle on Noah's backpack.

"Is that good?"

"Yeah, that's good, Mom."

We get to school with thirty seconds to spare.

Geez louise. Really?

Sometimes I wonder what in the world I am thinking...

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Four Years and Making the Switch

This month marks FOUR YEARS - four years since I started this little ol' blog of mine.

Four years of stories - the good, the bad, and the embarrassing funny.

Four years of sweet moments recorded and priceless photos captured. It boggles my mind to look back and see how much my kiddos have grown and how quickly time passes. (Just writing that, my eyes are all misty - such a sap, I know.)

Four years of the same header and sidebar pictures from that special weekend at Virginia Beach four summers ago - partly because I am too sentimental to change them...and because we haven't been back since. Moving during the summer (TWICE over the past few years) kind of puts a damper on beach vacation plans, but I am hoping that this will be the summer that we finally go back. 

I am grateful for the blog friendships that have developed over the past four years. Your supportive comments and emails and advice...I've learned SO much from so many of you and thank you for letting me have a peek at your everyday lives. It's amazing how you can really get to know people that you've never even met.

Being a part of the Fishful Thinking faculty for two years is a stand-out example of that. As much as I would have liked to, I never had the opportunity to meet the amazing ladies behind the voices on our conference calls, but it was always like chatting with good friends.  I feel like that opportunity really helped me to discover my writing niche. I love writing about family activities that inspire and educate which was the motivation behind starting Teach It Simple. And being that I am in that transition phase right now - both kiddos in school and in the process of getting re-certified so I can start teaching possibly this fall and now writing for B Kids Toys on a regular basis, I feel like it's time to make the switch...

No, not the switch to Wordpress...who wants to learn a whole new program? Not this gal.

The switch to PRIVATE.

Yep, I said it. I've been going back and forth about this for awhile now. But I keep coming back to switching this blog to private and posting more regularly on Teach It Simple and seeing where it leads. I just feel like that's what I need to be focusing on right now - making the most of those everyday moments.

I'm definitely going to keep on "writing the waves" too - so for the handful of you that stop by every once in awhile, I will be sending out blog invites when I make the switch in a couple of days.

Well, enough of my reminiscent rambling - I hope to see you on the other side...

and over at Teach It Simple !

Friday, February 17, 2012

These Shoes Weren't Made For Walkin'

It's been two days since my giant-leap-out-of my-comfort-zone-solo-day-trip to NYC for Toy Fair 2012...

and my feet (and shins and calves) still hurt. That's what you get for stepping out of your tennis shoes and slipping on two inch heels - chunky heels, but heels none the less.

But it was totally worth it and a lot of fun to meet the B Kids team (and hang out with Bebee and friends) LIVE and in person -

I am really excited to be using this early childhood degree, tucked away in my back pocket, to write monthly website articles and post playtime ideas and helpful tips on the B Kids facebook and twitter (@bkidsfun) pages. Fun stuff.

As cool as it was to be at Toy Fair NY, I was so glad to pull in my driveway later that afternoon (after taking a cab, then a train, then finding my car and relying on my GPS to get me home), kick those heels off, and spend the rest of Hearts Day partying with my cute little valentines! Sure do love those kidlets of mine...

*Hoping your Valentine's Day was full of BIG SMILES and little candy hearts...and chocolate - lots of chocolate!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Not Your Ordinary Valentine's Box...

Considering that we waited until the last minute to do Abby's valentine box project, it sure turned out cute! Who knew that a Capri Sun box and a giant purple flower stashed away in my craft stuff could become this?

She was SO excited to take it to school today - even wanted me to drive them so that it wouldn't get messed up on the bus (and you know how much she LOVES riding the bus). 

Speaking of school, I have been there everyday this week except for Monday. The front office lady (I really need to learn her name) probably thinks I have attachment issues (...which I kind of do). But today, I was there to help the class with a service project for a local senior center (- click over to Teach It Simple to see what we were up to)!

Then I went back this afternoon with Noah to be a last minute "Mystery Reader" since no one had signed up. Noah wasn't too crazy about the idea of going back until I asked him if he'd like to "read" The Spooky Old Tree - his Berenstein Bears favorite. He asked to share it with his K class awhile back and was so proud of himself. To my surprise, he agreed to "read" it to Abby's class too. Those kids were SO impressed. They even started chanting, "NO-AH! NO-AH!" It was great.

Next week, I am sure the office lady will be shocked when I don't show up for the Valentine parties. I hate to miss them, but I am actually being really brave and heading to NYC for a Toy Fair media breakfast. I had no idea how huge this event was when I was invited to attend. HUGE! And yes, I am a wee bit intimidated, especially driving into the city. yikes! But I am really excited that my role as the BKids Toys early childhood contributor is finally taking off, and I will get to meet the team in person.

Just have to make sure I am back by that afternoon to spend at least part of Hearts Day with the kiddos...

Yep, I definitely have attachment issues.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Spring Sneak Preview

Cute shadow of my boy swinging - LOVE!

Groundhog's shadow showing itself tomorrow?

Not so much.

If only it would stay sunny and in the upper 50's until spring actually arrives.

*For more shadow fun (in the spirit of Groundhog Day), check out the latest on Teach It Simple!

Monday, January 30, 2012

That First Hollywood Crush...

I couldn't have been more than seven years old when I first laid eyes on Han Solo. I remember watching  The Empire Strikes Back (I think it had been re-released since I was only 4 in 1980) and wishing that I were Princess Leia. Oh, Han Solo - how brave, how funny, how charming...how handsome.
I was devastated when he was frozen in that wall of stone (or whatever it was) at the end of the movie and couldn't wait to see the next one just to make sure he was going to be okay. My little brother and I would play with his Star Wars action figures too, and, of course, I always wanted to reenact the Han and Leia scenes - much to my brother's dismay.

So this morning, as I was brushing Abby's hair, I couldn't help but smile as she was holding Noah's Will Turner LEGO guy and going on and on about Will and Elizabeth Swan. Noah's incessant begging finally wore me down, and I let the kids watch the first Pirates of the Caribbean on Halloween, and my, oh my, she's been smitten ever since. (I mean, really...who can blame her? Justin Bieber's got nothing on this guy.)
She's mentioned a few times that she wants to dress up as Elizabeth Swan next Halloween, but this morning, she confessed (between giggles) that once she saw that Elizabeth was Will's girlfriend - "I totally wanted to be her!"

Being that the kids just watched The Empire Strikes Back with Dad on TV not too long ago, I had to confess my Han Solo crush too - action figure and all. Giggles, smiles, doing hair - it was a major girl talk session, even if it was just for a few minutes. Fun stuff.

Sure love that cute girl of mine.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sunday Morning Sleepyheads

Yep, they climbed into our bed this morning and went back to sleep. Um, make that - Abby climbed in this morning. Noah has been climbing in during the wee hours of the night - way before the sun comes up - for the last two weeks. 

Clearly, we need a bigger bed.

Friday, January 27, 2012

It's Been a Big Week!

Being the line leader, bringing in the special " letter E"snack (E.L Fudge Elf cookies), and then getting to to tell his class all about his "Star of the Week" pictures this morning  -

He was lovin' every minute of it.

So proud of that cute boy of mine. :)

Give me your best shot at Better in BulkPhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WW - First Snowfall Regrets

Our first snowfall of 2012, this past Saturday, and I only managed to snap one picture...with my phone...

My poor fingers were just too darn cold.

Linked up with Wordful Wednesday today at Angie's place!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Mom Bloggers for Social Good

Mom Bloggers for Social Good is a global coalition of mom bloggers who span fifteen countries – United States, Canada, UK, India, Spain, Nigeria, Singapore, Netherlands, Pakistan, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, BulgariaJamaica, and the Philippines  – who care about spreading the good news about the amazing work non-profit organizations and NGOs are doing around the world. When our partners need to reach the masses about new initiatives, advocacy campaigns, or fundraising efforts we will work collectively to spread the word through social media and blogging.

How awesome is this? As soon as I browsed the site, I knew I wanted to join in and help raise awareness. In its second week, there are already more than 500 mom bloggers out there who have signed up to be a part of this worthwhile effort. Very, very cool.

Click here to check out the site and join up!

Every voice can make a difference.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Find of the Day!

No-Sew Fleece Throw KITS on sale until 1/28 at JoAnn's - easy just got easier! 

(Read the latest on Teach It Simple to see why I am so stoked!) 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

WordPress Does Not Like Me

I don't know what I did - or am doing - to offend, but NONE of my comments have been showing up on WordPress blogs for a good long while.

At first, I thought it was a fluke. It would correct itself, but it hasn't.

I visited a couple of WordPress blogs tonight, tried to leave comments, and, once again, was deeply disappointed when my comments did not appear....again. 

I have googled it. I have searched through the HELP forum. I cannot figure out the problem.

So if any of my WordPress bloggy friends happen to see this post, please know that I've been by to visit you, several times, and I have tried to leave some blog love, but, evidently, I have been blacklisted.

If anyone has any insight that could correct the problem or, perhaps, has a connection with a WordPress big wig who could help me out - I would be forever grateful.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Not His Favorite Bedtime Story

In fact, Noah wouldn't even let me read it to him. "I don't want to read it! No, Mom! No!"

When we took it back to the library yesterday, he was very relieved.

Hmmm...I wonder why.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Teach It Simple Tuesday: Fighting Those Winter Blahs...

Is it just me or does January seem like the longest month ever? Here are a few ideas that I just posted over on Teach It Simple (including painting with pudding and creating an indoor obstacle course if you are feeling adventurous) which I am really hoping will help me us get through these stuck-inside-blah-winter days.

I'd love for you to click on over and share what works for your family too. Believe me, I am all ears!

*Did you notice my handy little Teach It Simple blog feed on my sidebar? Check back for the latest simple ideas, or better yet, make me a happy gal and press that FOLLOW button! :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Now That's a Compliment

In the midst of this morning's hustle and bustle to get out the door for school (yep, doctor said I could send Abby back today), Noah was strangling...er...hugging the dog as I was putting lunch boxes in backpacks when he exclaimed -

"Mama! I love you more than video games and I love you more than LEGOs!"

 LEGO store in Chicago - November 2011

Considering that my boy thinks LEGOs are the coolest things ever and could play with them all the live long day (along with video games - if I'd let him)...

this mama is really quite flattered.

Give me your best shot at Better in BulkPhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Holiday Recovery Mode

I got the kids in bed before 9pm on Sunday night. It seemed like a miracle considering bedtime had been almost nonexistent since family started arriving a few days before Christmas. They were staying up until 10 - almost 11 o'clock some nights. Crazy. Bedtime seemed nonexistent for me too. Staying up until the wee hours of the morning - cleaning up, wrapping gifts (while watching Family Man with Nicolas Cage - my own little Cmas tradition), taking care of odds and ends, etc... One night I was up until almost 3am. No kidding...and I honestly don't even remember why. 

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day came and went - filled with baking, cooking, cleaning, dishes, more dishes, more cooking, more cleaning...and lots of laughs, way too many sweets, marathon Lego-building, rainbow Razzles toenail painting, and several rounds of Bananagrams.  My dad and my sister, Mindy, stayed with us until Friday, and Pat's sister and boyfriend arrived on Wednesday afternoon. They actually stayed in a hotel - probably a wise choice on their part. Earlier in the week, Pat and I managed to squeeze in a date night - a very rare event - and saw Mission Impossible 4. Or was it 3? I have no idea. Then Mindy and I went to see New Year's Eve on Tuesday night. Our step-mom gave us some free movie passes so we took advantage of those. I don't think I have ever been to the movies two nights in a row, or even two nights in a month, since my kiddos came along.

We said "good-bye" to the last of our family entourage on Saturday after spending the afternoon at a six story obstacle course complete with foam ball blasters! There was even a kids' countdown at 4pm (featuring bubble wrap fireworks!) which was a first for us. Abby and Noah loved it. Despite the crowd, it was a fun way to spend the last day of the year.  

So now the tree is finally down. Decorations have been put away...except for the blow up Santa and elves that are currently crumpled and lifeless in the front yard...oh, and the lights on the house. (I am leaving that task to Pat.) School started back up this week on Tuesday (not Monday as I first thought and kept complaining about...the kids only got a week for Christmas break for some reason). Noah has only been back two days, and Abby has been at home with me all week. They've both been fighting a cough/cold of sorts, but it's still been nice to have lazy pajama mornings playing Mousetrap and watching Let's Make A Deal - Papa introduced them to the world of game shows (and Man vs.Wild) while he was visiting.

All in all, it really was a great Christmas and New Year's and awesome to be surrounded by family, but, man, I am wiped out. If only moms could hibernate...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Belated Christmas Wish (on New Year's Day)...

Hoping your Christmas was filled with love, laughter...

and sugar cookies with waaay too many sprinkles! 

*I did actually post this message on facebook at 1am on Christmas morning -  after cleaning up all of those sprinkles! :)  I don't think I went to bed before 1 or 2 am that entire week, and we've had a house full of family up until yesterday which was wonderful, but, boy, am I beat! Oh well..at least my New Year's wish is on time - Happy 2012, friends!