Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Scizzor Time

"I don't need a haircut", he claimed.

I had to show him that indeed it was time but I didn't expect him to like this style so much. And for a side note, you should have seen the wince his dad made upon seeing this new hairdo. If only the camera was nearby...

Keep It Going

Because there are truly twelve days of Christmas, I am not too late in wishing a Merry Christmas to blog readers. Our day was crazy and fun. It all comes and goes too fast, though. So much prep and excitement and there is always a sentimental sad person at the end of Christmas day (sometimes even me). This year it was both my big kids, wishing it would never end.

And even though my husband and I made the "no gift" pack, he still surprised me with the best gift yet.

Me: "It's a...bar mop towel...am I getting a new bar??"
Him: "Well honey, you see, when you sit this close to Bono, he does get pretty sweaty."

Scream. Scream. Another scream and a big hug. Tucked inside were awesome seats to the sold out concert. I LOVE the "no gift" pack!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Sitting around the table tonight and trying to ignore a small boy humming Star Wars incessantly, I asked what the kids wanted to be when they grew up. My middle man said, "Mom, I already said on the microphone at graduation". To clarify I needed to confirm that he was indeed talking about preschool graduation three years ago. And he was. He said then he wanted to be a doctor and that is still what he wants to be. Or work with Bill at Microsoft if the med school stuff doesn't pan out.

Not surprisingly my big fish said a marine biologist. And just like her brother, she had a fall back...a bird breeder. Tweet.

So last I came to the hummer. And good thing I was sitting when he said he wanted to be a spider. At least we'll save some college tuition, right?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Annual Date With My Clara

My growing way too fast girl and I had our annual Nutcracker date this weekend. We couldn't remember if this is four years or five. Regardless, lunch was special, the ballet was wonderful (except for the lady who narrated the ENTIRE show to her toddlers behind us- thanks lady!) and putzing around after the show was fun, too.

I wonder how many more years I can pull this off?

Time to Breathe

It's been a busy few weeks here in our town, how about you? We have had band concerts, Christmas pageants, doctor visits, last minute projects, endless errands, too many house showings (grrr), colds, parties (not complaining there) and daily life on top of it.

Now that the kids are out of school and most of the gifts are procured, wrapped and shipped...I am ready to breathe. It's so good to be in jammies late and not rushing around. Bring on that long awaited baking!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Check Out Green Snail

A very nice woman sent me an email last month wanting to spread the word that she has opened up an online children's consignment shop. In the spirit of going more green with Christmas gift giving, you too should check it out.

Christmas Rush

Here we are amidst the daily grind adding just a few too many things to do...I say every year that I won't go there. I won't get in over my head so that I forget the focus, but it's happened again. I have always been busy but when you forget to give your kids lunch for school...that's pushing it. Perhaps blogging only twice a month reflects the loss of control at the home front as well.

So as I count down the days until we can all be together with nowhere to go (and wishing for that "you have no choice but to stay put" snowstorm... here's a shot of my new little chef who begs me every single day to let him get busy in the kitchen.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving Thoughts

We headed up to see our good college friends on Whidbey for thankful day. We were thankful for so much (everyone kept adding to the list throughout the day). Here my little guy isn't so sure about something...I haven't a clue because he seemed content to wait out the ferry ride helping mama crochet a hat AND he got to relieve himself in a Starbuck's cup. I mean you have to feel better after that.

And this I love- the view of the water from the kitchen.

A right arm perhaps to wake up to that view every day. Wait, nevermind, not an arm- I'm thankful for my arms. How about a car? I'd give a car to wash dishes to that. And I swear my kid isn't drinking an ale! A six pack of root beer made a very happy crew.

So while I was so thankful for a delish dinner, good friends, too much wine and the fact that Josh and I whooped the adult Trivial Persuit players...the next morning sent agony. First I thought it was the wine. Then the stomach flu. Now we think it was a gallbladder attack. Throwing up in the car for three hours ain't my cup of thankful tea. And to be weak and in pain for the remainder of the weekend downright stunk.

But today...I am good, I still have a gallbladder, and for that I am thankful.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Holy moly, it's been a long time since I've been here. So much has been happening over here and now it's the first day of Advent already! I went underground to get things done with a visit from my mom. I've been fighting sickness again and again. I've been working on keeping everyone in check and being where they're supposed to be. So, it sounds like just about every one of my friends with busy lives.

I'm so very happy to say that my husband is now officially a certified EMT- after three months of no husband on Tuesdays or Saturdays I am so happy to have him back. It is so very hard to stay on track and organized and regenerated while sailing the ship on your own. Single moms- you're darn tough.

And on a completely different note, Old Navy has a fun Rock Band set up to entertain your children (when they can get the drum sticks away from mommy) while you shop. Here's a photo of one singer, two drummer and some seriously bad music.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Up and At 'Em

The alarm went off this morning at 4:50 am. Ouch.
39 degrees, wearing bike shorts and a super cold car. Double ouch.

But here's the good news. I LOVED teaching a spinning class early and getting a killer workout in at the crack of dawn. What a way to begin the day- dripping sweat and done by 6:30.

Wednesday might be my new favorite day. You have a good one, too.

PS Many blessings and thanks to all the vets out there. Thank you!

Sunday, November 8, 2009


I went to dinner the other night to celebrate a running friend's birthday at a vegan restaurant in Seattle. I won't drop the overused "amazing" although that would fit perfectly. This intimate, cozy and unique restaurant was such a treat. You have to check out the menu, whether you're a veg or not- it's the bomb.

It's Good to Go Out

Even if you don't win the golden ticket or get to bid on the trip to Hawaii that you want. It's good to put on a dress and drink champagne even if you have laryngitis and feel like a recycle bin. It's good to escape the daily chaos for a few hours with your honey even if the Sea Bass makes you run to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Yes, I really did have fun.

Date Day

I love outings with a singleton. My son and I took advantage of a beautiful day together and went to a fancy lunch and headed into the city. I was going to surprise him with renting a kayak and heading out on the lake. But my poor planning backfired on me- they don't rent out boats from November to January. Dang it.

So instead we walked hand in hand by the water, climbed some walls and headed to the nearby mall to window shop and get a melt in your mouth cookie.

Wanna know how well this date went? I got about three hundred and sixty two "THANK YOU's" on our way home. Now on to the next kid.

Friday, October 30, 2009


What could be a bigger bummer than laying on the couch the day before Halloween feeling as if you're gonna blow any second?? "We're" home sick today. I know "we're" sick because there are totally fun festivities at school today that "we" just can't get to. I've never had a sick child for Halloween- what, oh what, will we do if we miss it?

And by the way, James and Giant Peach is a really freaky movie.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bootcamp, Sleep Style

I would so much prefer teaching a good solid boot camp workout instead of what we're enduring over here. My child turned four last week. Four is so far away from the usual sort of boot camp that we're doing. Typically bleary-eyed moms and dads do this with babies and here we are years later...

Last night was our second night of hour after hour reassuring a small person with outrageous fears that all is well and that he needs to stay in his bed. I took night one, last night was daddy's turn. Daddy reported that he and the worry wort were awake from one am to four am. Ouch.

So you can imagine the amount of whining and frustration both the little one and mommy will have today. It's going to get better. It's going to get better. It's going to get better.

Launching rockets off the stairs in jammies. I think we'll skip swim lessons this morning and stay low- in jammies all morning long.

*Update: Night number three has been the worst so far. I may crash and burn big time today.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gearing Up

A major rager fifth grade party last Saturday got us trying out the costume. And she said her boots looked like garbage bags....come on.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I Heart Fall

I get seriously bummed at the end of summer. It must be our location and the fear of dark, gray days. And then I remember just how perfect the fall is- short and sweet.

Last weekend a very smart family from school found a nearby pumpkin patch to host a carving party. From trick or treats in the hay loft of the barn to the jumpy jumps to the candle lit garden (doesn't it just look like the Secret Garden??), we enjoyed our afternoon immensely.

Fall, I love ya!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Human Calculator

Have you heard of this guy, Scott Flansburg? He's noted as the Human Calculator for a reason. The math maniac can tell you what day it was on any given date in history. He can quickly tabulate any problem you give him. He is serious about teaching math and even more serious that math can be easy for everyone. When I'm done with this book...I'll be able to help my fifth grader with homework! ;)

Rainy Days

This is what it looks like on a rainy afternoon at our house.

A soon to be four year old insisting he can read chapter books. (Because Hank is really funny).

You don't actually need rain to find this girl curled on the couch reading but those Legos in the background will tell you that there have been hours of building while stuck inside.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Force Will Definitely Be With Us

I have to admit, my children are junkies. It started over the summer and it hasn't died down one bit. All three of them are obsessed. In fact there will be a Leia, Luke and Darth out and about in full costume this Halloween. We will be celebrating our little guy's birthday tomorrow -can you even imagine their excitement when we go see this one night event? (You must click on the link and watch this clip!)

Friday, October 9, 2009

So Long

Do you know how long I've waited for this sticker? Almost four years ago we gave in to better judgement and bought a treadmill. Why? Because I was having a baby and I didn't want to look like it. So as soon as little bear made his way to our house, I plugged in the machine and started to go. Not long after, I excitedly ran into the kitchen to announce to the chef that I had just ran (more like slowly jogged) five whole miles. "Great job" said the handsome cook. "I know" I added, "and someday...I'm gonna train for a marathon!"

Well, training came and went. Injuries have come and gone and came again. But I did it. Cross that one right off the list because I DID IT. But you know what? I want to do it again. And again. And all these people in my life think I'm ignorant and nuts to keep injuring myself but the truth is- I love to run. I love to race. It's an awesome, awesome feeling. And hopefully one I won't have to wait months to feel again.

I have admitted already that I shouldn't have tried to run injured. It was stupid, it caused a lot more damage. But think about how many souls over those 26.2 miles I offered up that suffering for. So while I recover from a mysterious pelvic pain, I am going to try to focus on the good (really hard for my type). I'm going to remember I'm blessed to be able to do this. To reflect on how much I adored Portland. To know that I accomplished something big (why oh why can't that be enough?) and to of course realize that I am capable of so much more than I ever knew.

Friday, October 2, 2009

In A Crowd

Last week was our big kids first CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) cross country meet. They did their runner-wanna-be mommy proud. (I'm a wanna-be until I complete my first full marathon- it's self-inflicted this title, don't ask). So, clueless as I am, I was informed that Bill Gates was walking around this meet with his son. No helicopters, no security, no fanfare- just a dad cheering on his kid.

Wow, I thought, that's pretty cool but then again I wouldn't know Bill Gates in a crowd, let a lineup. So with people like me around I guess his cover is pretty safe.

Mine is on the right- just like her mom, she doesn't want anyone stealing her thunder in the end.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pears, Huh?

I've been trying to figure out what kind of weird apple tree is on our new property...It finally came to me at the fruit stand up the street yesterday- those aren't apples. I sure have a lot to learn- like now what to do with the bags and bags full of these things.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Brotherly Breakfast

Sissy was gone all weekend camping and so these two bonded. Sometimes a change in family dynamic brings out the best. Or maybe it's just the big finger.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fall Fog

Fall brings such gorgeous color in this part of the world and also many foggy mornings. The way the trees can barely be seen for the first few hours of the morning is one of my favorite things.

"I'm NOT Joining Band"

And then the trumpet came home. I'm not sure what changed her very firm opinion about learning an instrument but when asked, "Why trumpet?" her answer...
"Mom, my favorite book".

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Le renard et l'enfant

What a pleasant surprise in our red Netflix envelope...The Fox and Child was by far one of the most beautiful films I've seen. The scenery, the story (or lack of- it's more of a documentary film) and one of the cutest little girls ever. Go get it.

Sloughy Morning

It was simply too beautiful to go home this morning after the school drop so my little cranky companion and I grabbed coffee shop gear and headed to the Mercer Slough. I thought some nature would help lift his funk.

Although we didn't get far on our trail, we did breathe deeply, stop to look at many wonders and pretend some silly stuff. Less grumpy? Yep. And not only did we accomplish lifting spirits (nature/exercise will always do that) but I found some plans for my dream home. All of the buildings in the education center are sustainable and green and beautifully designed. Now I just need to find a piece of land, teach one bazillion cycling classes and buy some land so that I, too, can grow plants on my roof!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

One Week Down

Back to school has been busy. Real busy. And for the most part, it's been great. There is one particular second grader who just didn't "feel" like going this morning and one fifth grader who does not care for homework but I think they will get get with the program soon. I remember as a teacher that it takes a good few weeks to feel like it all flows right. Plus these little people are tired. Totally normal.

And so the question of the day is...why is my house not clean and why are there still mountains of laundry? I thought kids in school meant mom could be wonder woman?? Enough clicking here- today the house will be clean!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Scholarly Gifts

A very wise lady taught me this summer how to make spritzers using essential oils. I am in love! A lovely little gift to someone else or even to yourself can be put together inexpensively and quickly.

I'm so very excited that the big kids are going back to school for the first time in two years TOMORROW! It's not that I'm excited they're leaving. I am thrilled that they are going into such a great environment. So the teacher in me got busy putting together a little sumpin for a first day gift.

Pep Talk Spritzers- when you need a little pick me up.
*Essential oils
*Witch Hazel
*Filtered Water
*Small bottles- I used 4ozs

I bought this Pep Talk blend premade at the health food store, but you could make your own using peppermint and orange essential oils. In a 4oz bottle found at many craft or health food stores for about $2.50, mix 2 tbsp. witch hazel with 10 tbsp. filtered water. Add 5-6 drops of oil. And here's where you can get crafty- make it with lavender and chamomile for bedtime. Combine rosewood, nutmeg, lavender, and sweet orange to relieve tension. Stop a headache with basil exotic, clary sage, lavender extra, and peppermint. You could make a bunch of spritzers for a healthy way to freshen the house, the car and you!

The boxes were from Michael's and were two for a dollar. We also forced ourselves into the chocolate shop for some treats to add- certainly not for us! ;)

Many, Many Thanks

Lourdes and Lisa knew I was having a very rough August. Of course they knew that, I called them crying my eyes out. And what did they do? What any great friend does, they sent me a classic St. Rita- my "go to" saint. Saint of the impossible. Thank you, ladies, I sure do love you!

Playdates Skype-Style

Technology at it's finest. A playdate yesterday afternoon with some Las Vegas friends- can you even imagine what their children will be doing?

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Our college friends paid us a quick visit this weekend (sans Jill who got to go play in Chicago) so we took an impromptu hike at Cougar Mountain (yes, there are cougar and bear and who knows what else). Six little ones trailblazing is an awesome site. That is until you get about two miles in- downhill, and realize that you need to go back out-uphill. And can you even believe that after all that they were still running wild through the house?

Setting out- I love that two year olds hike with accessories.

Josh and Rob. I told Rob to leave that shirt at my house...I can't find it.

Dang that this picture is blurry. The two littlest ones went on a shirtless strike. There were some tired papas.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Last Week Fun

I've been sitting in such disorganization it's killing me. Boxes still all over. Piles and piles accumulating. Moving really takes a toll on a person who requires a sense of flow and a place for everything. Especially renting a house on the market, but that's a whole other story.

So with less than a week to go before school starts, I decided to look away from the mess and take the kids on an outing. We hit the Seattle Science Center to watch the Under the Sea in 3D but minutes after grabbing our glasses, seats and popcorn- the movie broke. Bummer. Instead we ran around the museum and since the rainy morning turned into a beautiful afternoon- we played outside at the fountain. I'm glad we hit the road because there were lots of smiles and laughing, maybe even some learning (but don't tell them that).

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Can't Like It

For years we grown ups in my family have quoted my niece in saying, "I can't like it" whenever the mood of discord strikes. I am on on day ten (that's more than a week, people) of no dishwasher. This thingymabobby broke and the part was ordered but hasn't arrived yet.

To my husband, this is no biggie. He never had one growing up. But to me- washing up after all the continuous mess...I for sure can't like it.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Summer Faves

Besides all the berries, summer veggies rock in my world, too. One of my all time favorite messy summer treats are veggie chips. Our previous landlord loaded us up with zucchini and beets so a little slicing some olive oil and sea salt and we're good to go. (How I would have loved to throw some jicama in...)

In our new house, we have a garbage bin for food waste like the contents of my blue bowl. Anyone know where I can get a little counter top storage bin for food so I'm not constantly trekking the bowl outside??

Jetty Jaunt

We got invited to spend our day with friends yesterday on Jetty Island, about forty minutes north from us. Although we have had sunshiney warm weather all week, yesterday was not an island day. But we made the best of it and enjoyed the sucking of the earth as as we walked out far on the low tide as well as playing in the sand and building a wood home. The man made island has absolutely nothing on it, even the bathroom is a floating thingy near the dock (not even running water!)