Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I Surrender!

This week has conquered me! I'm holding up the white flag. Right now my house looks like a children's costume store and a chocolate factory exploded! Yet I sit here and blog. I'm exhausted and one step away from bed...this just makes me feel like I'm being a little productive while ignoring the mess around me. Halloween at this age is so tiring since it really requires parents to do so much in order to get the kids ready and make it fun for them. It'll be nice when they are more independent. Of course, that will also be when they don't want me to go trick or treating with them or attend the events at their school.

We began our morning with a Halloween parade at my gym. I had completely intended on skipping this but yesterday the girls heard about it and begged to go. That's what I get for going to the gym! I squeezed in a quick workout, watched the parade, and then ran home to get ready for the rest of our day.

Quick shower and lunch and put Baileigh on the bus and then off to Mckenna's school for her parade. The weather was absolutely gorgeous here today with temperatures in the upper 60's and not a cloud in the sky! Mckenna somehow managed to lead her class in their parade with one of her favorite teachers. She was all smiles!

Mckenna's Pre-Kindergarten class

Brad met me at school to watch the parade and take Brooke home so I could head to Baileigh's school and help in her classroom with her school parade and party. Did we have Halloween parades as kids? I don't remember any.

Brooke decided she was finally willing to put on her fairy costume...and suddenly Pooh was not an option for her!

Baileigh's teacher selected her to lead their class since she was a band leader...the one and only in the entire school from what I saw!
Of course she was delighted with her role and marched around the building as proud as could be that her cool costume had won her this coveted position of honor!
Leading her class.
After Baileigh's parade the class went inside for a party. I helped out for a few minutes and then had to leave to return to Mckenna's school to pick her up. We all took a little break in the late afternoon and had a quick dinner and set out to trick or treat. Can we be done yet? That was my thinking!

My sweet leader, Snow White, and my little fairy (formerly Pooh).
"Trick or Treat!"

Enjoying all her hard work!
I'm glad that is it's time to change gears and plan a birthday party!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I've Been Tagged

I was tagged by my college friend, Amy, to participate in this post where you list or describe seven random or weird things about yourself.

Hmmm... what to admit or deny.

1. I spent the first 18 years of my life in Michigan. In the past 15 years I have lived in 8 states while making 10 looks like this...Indiana, Colorado, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Washington, New Jersey. So when someone says "Where are you from?" I'm not sure how to answer anymore.

2. I find gum chewing annoying. This is Oprah's pet peeve, too...not that I see eye to eye with her on everything, but I've got to say amen on this one. Just watch someone chew gum sometime. It looks like a cow chewing their cud...or someone struggling with a tough piece of steak...FOREVER. Mints vs. gum...suck on a mint, one will even know!

3. At Starbucks I almost always order a tall, nonfat, sugar-free Carmel latte with no whip...decaf if it's after 9:00, I guess I'm getting old.

4. My husband told me while we were dating that he had a premonition that if we got married we were going to have 4 daughters. This isn't an announcement...just something to consider.

5. I have a huge respect for stand up comics. I think it has to be so much harder then it looks...and secretly it's something I've always wanted to try.

6. I would still love to play basketball...but there aren't a lot of other 33 year old stay at home moms out there hanging around the gym waiting for a pick up game. I'm still actually very good, if I may say so myself, and can sink a 3 pointer with my eyes shut.

7. While I love fall...I hate the return of socks! My kids wear them once and then one sock disappears. I must have 30 random socks in their drawers.

So there are 7 things...don't you feel like you know me better now?

I'm supposed to tag 7 people now...I know these gals are all crazy busy, but I think they will be good sports, but it may take awhile...

Royal Cuties
Mom to Jacob and Allison
Mix'd Equally
Triple Trouble
Ready to be Entertained

Monday, October 29, 2007


My counter says 10,999...are you 11,000? Let me know!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

A Full Day

Today. Was. Busy!

Up and out the door for church. Exhausting in and of itself since it requires me waking up all 3 of my late sleepers which doubles the length of the time it takes to get them ready.

After church Baileigh had choir practice for 30 minutes. That's 30 minutes of me entertaining the other 2 girls who just want to go see Baileigh in choir practice and sing, too.

Home for a quick change of clothes and snack and then off to Indian Acres Tree Farm for a birthday party. Hay ride. Pumpkin patch. Bouncy Thing. Hot Dogs. Hot Pretzels. Dancing. Cupcakes. Melt Down (Brooke, then mommy).

Brooke was asleep before we left the parking lot since the party was already an hour into her nap time and she woke up earlier then normal for church. Change of clothes, brief rest, then off to church for Trunk or Treat. Our small groups (mini-churches) are each represented with 4 or 5 cars...the groups tailgate and decorate and then kids go from car to car to "trunk or treat." It was a lot of fun and the kids got way too much candy. But I'm exhausted.

I would be fine with skipping Halloween all together now. Baileigh asked to be a "band leader?" What? That was my response. I have no idea where she got the idea...but I managed to find a costume and she was thrilled. I saw about 300 kids in costumes tonight and she was the one and only "band leader!" Mckenna wanted to be Snow White which was easy since she got the costume from Nana for her birthday and Mckenna opted for Pooh over a fairy...she never let me put the fairy outfit on her but she was okay with Pooh! The first few times someone said "Pooh" to her she would touch her bottom since that is what she associates the word "Pooh" with! Unfortunately she stopped that after awhile...I can only imagine what her little mind was thinking as everyone would smile at her and say something about "Pooh".
Brooke was sitting in her chair, eating some candy...and suddenly saw this gorilla standing beside her. She FREAKED out. It would have been funny if she wasn't my baby.
Today would have been twice as much fun if Brad had been home. Unfortunately he gets home tonight. He had an exhausting day of sleeping in, working out, eating a late brunch, flying, rough day! In reality I know that he would have loved to be back in town and be able to spend the day with doesn't help me resent him any less though.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Rainy Day Fun

Friday, October 26, 2007

Girls Night Out

Tonight was girls night out...with my daughters.

In reality, we needed to go to Costco and Target (NOT a cheap night) but I decided if we called it a girls night out I might get more enthusiasm about running errands.

Brad has been out of town for the week and returns on Sunday. It's amazing how much more energy and patience I have when I know it's a 7 day trip and not a month, or 120 days. I skipped the hot dogs at Costco as dinner and we went all out and stopped at Panera Bread. That was actually more for me since soup and salad sounded good on a rainy night...the girls probably would have preferred Costco hot dogs. I ordered a cookie, which is not the norm, and the girls were angels during dinner in anticipation of their dessert. It's amazing how easy they are to manipulate at this age! Add a bag of popcorn while shopping at Target and they acted like it was Christmas!

I bought some new pj's in the course of our evening and decided to let them wear them home and watch a movie in the car. This was a little more for my enjoyment then theirs since I knew it would cut out about 15 minutes of bedtime ritual so I wouldn't miss any of Friday Night Lights. I got big hugs good-night and lots of thank-yous from the girls.

So despite the fact that I had a terrible head ache and I spent so much money I felt sick...I had a great time. We sang in the rain, danced in the isle, and tried to make as many strangers as we saw at the store smile. The best thing was that I not only enjoyed my night, I enjoyed my girls.

Seasons Change

Typing that title for my blog made me laugh and remember the 1980's girl band Expose. I couldn't remember off hand who sang the song...but sad to admit I can remember a lot of the lyrics. I learned more about them then I ever wanted to know from Wilkipedia. And I learned that they are actually back together again and touring! There is a little trivia to tuck away that I'm sure will come in handy some day!

This all has nothing to do with my post, but I can't resist a good 80's music flashback.

It's a grey and rainy day. I feel like I'm back in Washington. We've had this weather since Wednesday. Although it gets annoying trying to drag the 3 girls in and out of the car at a store...I really am enjoying this weather. I love to hear the rain on our skylight (another thing that makes me think of WA since we had 4 skylights in our house) and listen to it drip from the gutters clogged with leaves.

Considering it's almost November I suppose it is time for fall weather. We were wearing capri's and flip flops earlier this week. In fact, I was just folding laundry from the week and it contains everything from shorts and t-shirts to jeans and sweatshirts. I think it's finally safe to retire the sandals for the season.

To celebrate the occasion (fall, that is) I pulled out of the cupboard my special Chai Tea Latte. I recommend not trying it unless you want a new addiction! This tea is extra special because it's a gift given to me to commemorate my monthly play dates with some great TU girlfriends in WA. We would meet at least once a month, with our 3 kids each, to catch up and usually shared a hot cup of Chai Tea while the 9 kids under the age of 6 (5 boys, 4 girls) ran around the house making too much noise and enjoying every minute of it. We did too, and our warm mugs and adult conversation were a nice momentary escape from the insanity that fills the rest of our days.

At our last get together before we moved this past spring we signed Chai Tea boxes and agreed to save the box for fall and to think of each other when it was finally time for our treat. I went to the cupboard to find the perfect mug for this special occasion and pulled out my new souvenir mug from my recent weekend with my childhood friends from Michigan. We each bought the same mug at the Starbucks across the street from our hotel where we consumed more then our share of caffeine in 48 hours.

As I sit and sip my special tea and look at my new mug I can't help but feel overwhelmed by the blessing of my friends. Whether these girls are 2 miles from my house or over 2,000 I am so thankful that God has blessed me by putting so many amazing women in my life! I always wanted a sister and I know giving 3 girls to such a tom-boy is God's sense of humor for that desire! But when I think about it...I have sisters everywhere.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

My Hero!

The shower in our master bath has been disguisting. Not for lack of cleaning, though. I have tried every product I could find that said it was specifically designed to combat mold. Gross, I know! I was beyond frustration at the fact that I would scrub the shower endlessley and yet that black menice remained.

The other day I took a shower with my contacts on (usually I'm fairly blind in the shower in the morning) and I almost passed out in sheer repulsion.

I set out that afternoon in search of a cure.

Finally, I found it.

I don't know what Tilex Mold and Mildew contains that other cleaners haven't...but I sprayed my disguisting shower, left for 5 minutes, and returned to find it white! Well, almost more round of spray and without any scrubbing...white! It felt like I was on an informercial! Amazing! I must have looked at my shower a dozen times that afternoon in utter disbelief at the transformation.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Taylor University

I am a proud alumni of Taylor University in Indiana.

This past weekend was homecoming. I've never had the privilege of attending a college homecoming, but my friend Kathy got to go and just reading her post about her weekend brought back so many memories!

My time at Taylor is so much a part of my life and who I am today. Not in the wearing a college sweatshirt sort of way, but in the soul changing life altering type of way. There are so many things about it that you could really only understand if you shared the experience. I think I'm a decent writer, but regardless I don't think I could really communicate to you what it's can't understand the fun we had in a corn field in Upland unless you lived it. I'm so thankful I lived it!

Trial Run

I'm debating between two costumes for Brooke this Halloween. This Pooh costume is what Baileigh wore when she was 12 months old. Brooke initially reacted well to the costume, then she freaked out. I didn't get pictures of her melt down...I wanted to get her out of the costume asap in case I try to convince her again to wear it to trick or treat.

The other costume is a pink fairy outfit that a friend loaned us. We'll see which one wins out.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Last night Brad's class had an adult Halloween costume party.

The pictures say enough.

Another couple had the same costume. This led to a myriad of jokes that I can't repeat.

The entire motely crew.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

In The Dog House

I got home today to discover our remaining pumpkins in the yard, partially consumed. Ranger was back to his old self last night...but tomorrow morning when he acts like he is dying I'll save my tears for the future.
It isn't until you start writing about a naughty dog that you realize how many phrases are influenced by canines..."In the Dog House," "Sick as a Dog," "Puppy Love" (not applicable but you get it). Why?

Friday, October 19, 2007


Ranger isn't himself today. I'm hoping his stomach is upset from all the pumpkins he has been stealing and eating. That is what I'm hoping.

He is 9 years old this month. He also has a lot of tumors. A few years ago a vet told us this was fairly common in older large breed dogs, but they have multiplied and without a biopsy we don't really know if they are still the common benign tumors or something else. Despite his aging, Ranger continues to act like a big puppy and is usually energetic and happy. He has become more of a barker in his later life, not a new habit we enjoy, but overall he is a happy dog that seems to love being a part of our family.

I got a little emotional about him this morning and that led to the girls crying as well. Baileigh suggested we take pictures of him (hmm...wonder where she gets that from?!) and then said she wants to get a new photo album and fill it with pictures of Ranger so she'll have it in the future when he dies. She even said it like that..."in the future". Who knows, I could be blogging about his pumpkin eating antics next October from Europe, or DC, or Africa (do they have pumpkins there?), or Colorado...that is a variable that is as known as Ranger's number of days.

Like I said, I think he has pumpkin tummy...but his lethargic demeanor, heavy breathing and lack of interest in treats has me concerned. We spent some time giving him some love medicine this morning.

If a dog can be loved to death then I'll understand.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Crazy Hair Day

The other night at AWANA it was crazy hair night. That was the extent of the information we were given, so I decided it meant to do whatever.

This is what we came up with...we really just threw in anything that would stay in her hair!

The work was worth something...she won!

Baileigh is going to be a flower girl in the spring in my sister-in-law's wedding. I think that I just found her hairstyle!

Pumpkin Carving

Brad is going to be out of town for the next week so we decided to carve our pumpkins a little early.

The "crazy hair" pumpkin as Mckenna named him...was born out of necessity because we realized that Ranger ran off with the pumpkin lid and was finishing eating it on the far side of the yard.

The one on the left is supposed to be a bat, I think...but I don't really see it.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Welcome Aboard...Finally!

I've been pressuring my friend, Jaylynn (or Jenifer) to start a blog. She is/was my triathlon motivation. After much convincing she finally joined the world of blogging yesterday.

For all those TU girls that read, please stop in and visit her blog and say hello and encourage her to keep it up!

Planes, Trains, Automobiles...and Boats!

I've been fortunate to spend some time in NYC in the past...but after the past 36 hours I feel like I truly know the city! Admittedly that doesn't mean I occasionally loose my sense of which way is north and still need to review my subway map to make sure I get on the right line, but I am comfortable and confident negotiating the Big Apple.

We got off the train in Penn Station around 3:30 and headed to our hotel in Time Square. We spent the remainder of the evening shopping and eating!
We took a cab about 10 blocks downtown to a small restaurant called Punch that had been recommended to us by some friends. It was upscale without being pretentious and the food was good but not too expensive.

After dinner we returned to Time Square. Our hotel was next door to Madame Tussauds Wax museum. Admission was 50% off for the remainder of the evening so we decided why not. The manikins are truly almost feels awkward to get right up in their face and examine them because you feel like you are standing in someones personal space.

Saturday morning we had some breakfast and Dean and Deluca's in Rockefeller Center, just outside the NBC studios.
We stopped in the Experience NBC store and I was so tempted to buy some goodies from The Office...who could resist the Dwight Schrute bobble head doll!
We headed off to Central Park via a walk along 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue for some window shopping. When we learned that the fall tea wasn't on this garden patio but was upstairs in a small room that seemed like something a great grandma decorated, we decided to pass and enjoy the beautiful afternoon and enjoy a carriage ride through Central Park.

This is the patio at Tavern on the Green where they had tea this summer, but it moves inside for the fall season. It's beautifully landscaped with shrubs trimmed in the shape of animals and hanging paper lanterns from the trees.

Since we skipped the tea we decided to enjoy they beautiful weather by taking a carriage ride through Central Park.
We grabbed a quick bite of authentic NYC pizza...not tea at the Tavern, but it was about $30 dollars cheaper and better!

After pizza we hopped on the subway and went downtown to the financial district to get on the ferry to Staten Island. The ferry is free and similar to the expensive narrated harbor cruises.
Right behind the two glass buildings on the left that are the same height with the green dome roofs is where the twin towers once stood.
This is construction at ground zero. There is a viewing area and a tribute area with a temporary wall of names of those killed on 9/11 and artist renderings of what the memorial will look like and the 7 new buildings being built.
We took the subway through the financial district and I was amazed that some routes are still not open around ground zero and a few stops look just like they did in terms of damage and destruction five years ago!

We headed back uptown via a stop at Canal street which is famous for it's knock off handbags and's a crazy scene there...I think I was so distracted that I never even thought to take a picture.

We stopped by our hotel for a quick break. After changing we were off again to see Mary Poppins on Broadway. The show was's amazing how technology has enhanced what they can do on stage.

We didn't allow ourselves enough time before the show for a nice dinner, so afterwards, despite being tired, we forced ourselves to go out one more time since it was our last night out on the town! Pathetic, I know...but don't forget we started exploring the city at 8:30 am and had probably walked at least 6 or 7 miles throughout the day. We. Were. Tired!

We had some appetizers and cheesecake at Juniors on 45th! Great place that I highly recommend!

When I got out of bed on Sunday morning I told Trish and Shelly that I felt more sore and stiff after our full day then I have after some of my triathlons! We hung out at a Starbucks for a little while and then took a cab down to Penn Station for our return train ride home. We met Brad and the girls for lunch on our drive back to the airport. The girls were just as excited to see Aunt Tricia and Aunt Shelly as they were mommy!
We had an amazing weekend! This was the first time in 10 years that we had done something like this and we all agreed that we needed to try to do it again in the next five years! These girls have been in my life for 30 years and we literally grew up together. I'm so thankful that I have sisters in these two friends! Can't wait for our next girl's weekend!