Friday, May 30, 2008


Tonight is Movie Theater night at Pinetree. I'm in charge of the games and prizes (why did we think it was a great idea to create a giant, blow-out end-of-the-year event out of this?!). In about 20 minutes I have to go start cooking the hot dogs for who-knows-how-many people. I'm also planning the team parties for the kids' baseball teams (with coach gifts, etc.)... And I'm working on the teacher gift for Neil's preschool. I have to plan the end-of-the-year stuff for Jack's class too and collect for a teacher's gift.

In an attempt to ignore the fact that I'm doing too much right now, I'm blogging about it. It's not really relieving the stress. I need to lay down.

Thursday, May 29, 2008


We also made time to put down the FLOR carpet tiles we bought ages ago at Target. They were on a clearance shelf -- Yahoo! And they really are as easy to put together as the catalog says. The rug looks great and it doesn't slide around. My only complaint with FLOR is that it's not very plush. This line of tiles is very, very low pile and will make a nice rug in the living room, but I wouldn't mind something softer for the family room. 

The house still has a "just moved in" feel because a lot of stuff is still in the garage. I'm enjoying the space. So are the kids. Jack asked if we had to put the furniture back... An empty gym would be his ideal home!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Dining room cubbies

In my (vain) attempt to discourage toys downstairs, I emptied the kids cubbies in the family room. We were storing a lot of toys in there that my kids didn't use. Visiting children thought they were very useful to spread across the entryway but our kids didn't touch them. We were also storing a crap-load of paper, useless paper from school, church, scouts, random notes from people we don't know any more. It was time for this stuff to go (recycled, of course).

The sideboard in the dining room was getting a little rickety so we tried the cubbies in there. I was little worried that it would be too big of a unit in there. But I like it. We have wine, glasses, cookbooks and a pretty piece or two on there. I think we are still maintaining a moderny kind of feel -- that's the goal any way. Modern, lightened up a bit and family friendly.

I filled three empty vases with these green decorator items. I like it, but Dean doesn't like it because, frankly, they are fuzzy green balls. It upsets his interior metrosexual decorator.

Aunt Betty's fish makes an appearance on top too.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Jack be nimble, Jack be quick

Jack blew out candle sticks! It was Jack's birthday weekend. We played baseball for hours on Saturday and saw cheetahs run on Sunday. Life is good.

Dear Jack,

You are amazing. I tell you that as often as I can, but I'm not sure you always believe me. You can be serious, shy and a worrier. Sometimes you only see those things. But I want you to always see how smart you are, how kind you are and how much fun you are.

I love to watch you play sports. You love a game, any game. You forget about other things and concentrate on the game. It's amazing to watch you move. You make catches and hit balls or pucks or whatever the game requires with such talent and ability. I can't even fathom these talents, but they come naturally to you. You take it for granted that your body will do all these things with ease. 

I love the quiet smile you get when you make an out that not everyone would make or you hit the ball and it hits the fence (a little higher and it's a home run buddy!). You cheer to yourself, sometimes a little fist pump. All are well-deserved. You should be proud of your skills. I am proud of you. And though I try to take credit for buying you that bat that clearly has made you a great hitter... I know that your talents are yours because YOU work hard and YOU figure out how to do these things.

Watching you pitch in baseball makes me realize how grown up you are getting. You are 9-years-old! I thought kids were still babies at this age. That was before I had kids and found out how truly awe-inspiring they are, how fast they grow and how much they think.

You stand on that pitcher's mound with grace and poise. You are in control. I watch you pitch, striking out batters and controlling the game. You throw a bad pitch or walk a batter and I see you pull yourself together and strike out the next batter. I see a man in the making.

You have long blonde hair right now. I can't believe you keep letting it grow, but you like it. I like it too. I'm glad you are your own person and make this decision on your own. I know you get teased for being a "hippie," but you take it well and continue with what you want. It's a good attribute to know what you want and not to be swayed by others.

Your little brother wants nothing more than to be just like you. It drives you nuts sometimes. But I see you teaching him how to bat, how to play video games. Neil believes he is the "luckiest" to have you as a big brother.

At the Wild Animal Park yesterday, I was watching you standing next to your Dad. You were both standing in the same pose, and then you both hitched up your jeans at the same time. It made me laugh a little. You have a great Dad, and I hope you grow up just like him. You have many of his traits and I am pretty sure you would rather spend time with your Dad than with anyone else in the world. I know he wouldn't want to be anywhere else but with you and Neil.

I have learned a great deal from you my son -- and not just about sports and cheetahs. Thank you.

Lots of love,

Thursday, May 22, 2008

On a (blog) roll

How many blogs are too many? I joined Live Journal to visit and keep up to date with my friend Nancy (Hi Nancy. I'm talking about you). Nancy has her Live Journal blog, fan fiction blogs, scrapbooking design blogs, personal blogs, Facebook pages, karate blogs, cat blogs (OK. I made up the cat blog. But she might. She's smart enough to keep that kind of thing from me.)

I have to admit. I'm toying with the idea of a photo blog. And wouldn't an anonymous blog be better so I can tell the really, really good stories that everyone has but you can't tell because the relative involved reads this or the person at school might see this? (Makes you want to call me and get the scoop, doesn't it?)

Of course, blogging is more work than it looks, and I need some quality time in front of the TV looking for blog ideas. Eating popsicles and doing research.

My husband might wonder why I don't get a job...

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Design without a dime

We spent our money on the wood floors and the tile for the kitchen and bathroom. Now what do we do? We painted. The moulding is up and we are trying to redecorate our "new" space without spending any more money -- mostly because we don't have any more. It's nice to be "green" and reuse and recycle when the money is gone. It still counts, right?

The sideboard in the dining room is falling apart-- moving it just made it worse. Dean keeps saying "I can fix it." But by the fourth or fifth "I can fix it," can it be done?

The goal is to free up some space in our house so we are eliminating the kids' cubbies in the family room (there was a surprising amount of mom and dad crap on the kids' cubbies)... so I'm thinking about moving it into the dining room for storage instead of the sideboard. 

The dining room is remarkably empty right now. We even took the leaves out of the table (turns out we don't need to always have a table that seats 10). It's a nice, just-the-four-of-us kind of table now. Of course, I have to figure out what to do with the leaves (no more storage under the couch on the wood floors) and the extra chairs.

And where do we store all the stuff from the sideboard?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Neil would like you to see him with Shiloh, who probably can't breathe in this photo, but is still alive...

Cute boy #2

You have to see Jack too! That hair could use a scrunchie!

Cute boys

Neil has a very unusual sense of style. He's very specific about what he wants to wear and when. So with some trepidation, I went through a box of Jack's outgrown clothes figuring I could get at least one or two pieces that Neil would wear and the rest would move on. But I forgot about the "I want to be like my big brother in EVERY WAY" phase that Neil is going through. And Jack totally came through when he said, "I saved these for you." It felt like an act of God.

Neil has inherited a new wardrobe and he couldn't be prouder! This is him dressed up for church. Mom saved lots of money because she bought Jack WAY more clothes than Neil. Jack had 8 pairs of size 6 shorts in great condition. He was a veritable clothes horse. 

I feel a little sneaky because I didn't explain to Neil that some of these clothes look brand new because I couldn't get Jack to wear them. That will be our secret.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dog days

Puppies are so cute! Cody has discovered a fly, and he's jumping around the house trying to catch it. 

It wasn't so cute when the fly landed on top of the TV.

Writing on the wall

It's not really writing, but there are marks on the freshly painted living room wall. I'm guessing it's from the dogs running by and brushing against the wall. How washable is this no-VOC paint I made Dean use? More importantly, how much trouble am I going to be in when we can't wash it?!

We haven't even been using the room! What's going to happen when we actually are in there on a regular basis?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sports TV

I love this story. I sob when I watch it. Why can't Jack stumble across this on ESPN instead of Michael Vick or Roger Clemens' latest? NOOOOO. I had to explain what marijuana was during a March Madness game that included Notre Dame when ESPN was showing the collegiate comeback of an athlete with a criminal record.

Shedding season

The thing about wood floors is that it shows the dogs' shedding so much more than carpet.

Friday, May 09, 2008


I'm tucking the kids into bed last night when Jack asks for some glue or tape. Glue or tape? No. It's bedtime. What is he talking about?

"I need some tape," he begs.
"My hair keeps falling in my eyes. I want to tape it back so I can sleep."

How about a haircut?

Blub, blub, blub

My ears still feel as if they are under water. I can hear, but not quite. There are a lot of mumblers in the world. The fun of torturing the kids and making them speak up has worn off. Now what's a sick girl to do? I just keep plugging away on the antibiotics, eating yogurt and hoping for the best.

I consider it a bad mom day when I have to argue with my 5-year-old on the way home from preschool that he may NOT take apart my mother's day gift that he assembled at school. No he may NOT give part of  it to Jack and part of it to Daddy. No he may NOT do whatever he wants with it. Yes mommy is FRUSTRATED. I'm unsure of the etiquette lines. There's a blur there of the mommy who should teach him correct behavior and the mommy who should not have to defend her own lame preschool gift.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


I still can't hear very well. The boys are getting annoyed  because they actually have to speak up if they want something. No mumbling. At first I felt bad for them, but now I'm kind of enjoying it. I may milk this for awhile. "Sorry. Mom can't hear you." 

It's Momma's turn to zone you out!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


I don't know if I had a sinus infection or a cold. My sinuses were VERY swollen in the beginning and Monday night it felt like my ears were filling with liquid. I could barely hear Tuesday morning. 

When your doctor says "Whoa! Haven't seen on like that in awhile," it's not a good sign. Giant ear infection in one ear and the other ear was working its way to a good one too.

I feel for the little ones who get ear infections regularly. My ear didn't hurt until she poked it with her examining thing. That hurt!

Amoxacillon for mom! I expected the pink stuff that the kids get. But mom is a grownup and gets pills. Yahoo!

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Girls love baubles

I used the word bauble for my friend Ikko who had never heard of the word and is now enjoying it! Ikko embraces the bauble. She's a bedazzler and might even bring me over to the dark side of adding rhinestones to personal items. Obviously, if you are reading this and you know me well, you should send help!

This bauble is the kind you can afford! They are made of acrylic (silver and gold too) which makes them affordable. And they are part of an art series commenting on modern day material needs. It's like being part of a movement. I can't decide between the smoke, pink or orange ones. But they fit the definition of bauble and are pretty inexpensive for a piece of art to wear on your finger.