Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wear your rubberbands.......

or else!!!

Just a little orthodontic humor for ya.

I'm trying to think of a way to incorporate this into the office somehow......

I took some photos for the Mesa Easter Pageant program, and had a little fun with the soldier costume afterwards.  That sword is legit!  Brian just couldn't help himself.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

hoping and waiting.....

This is my best friend's little sister.
She & her husband are hoping to adopt a baby.  They are absolutely adorable.
If I were a baby, I would want these guys as my mom & dad.  Who wouldn't?

I told them they could have one of mine.  Like the thirteen-year-old.  But they wouldn't go for it.

But seriously, they're the cutest, most loving couple I've ever seen, and they're desperate to be a mom and dad.  These pictures are for their adoption portfolio. If anyone out there knows of a baby in need of some loving parents, please e-mail me at

Friday, March 25, 2011

Max turns 11!

It was an off year for birthday parties for Max, but that doesn't mean we didn't celebrate!
I pulled him out of school for lunch at Panda Express, his favorite, then let him stay home the rest of the day to build his new Lego sets.

He didn't have to do any jobs & could play his Nintendo DS all he wanted.  Then we went on a little shopping trip to Toys'R'Us.
Then he ate as much vanilla Texas sheetcake as he possibly could.

It was a pretty darn good day for an 11-year-old kid.  Who needs a party?


Wednesday, March 23, 2011


First of all, I loved reading every single comment from some super-awesome blogfriends.  I don't know if I could have made it through this latest mothering meltdown without you.  I feel supported and validated and am now the proud owner of a Leapfrog Letter Factory DVD.  Thanks guys!

And then, about my strike.....

I wasn't kidding.  I truly went on strike, refusing to pick up, put away, or clean up anything!  It was freeing. It was empowering. And it was a mess. 
Brian couldn't handle it. (anal-retentive)   He'd call the house before he was coming home & get Max or Jake to clean it up for $5.  I did manage to get some things done that I wouldn't have otherwise.  Like getting my garden going.  I would focus on what I wanted to accomplish & then not let myself get sidetracked by dirty countertops & Oreos all over the floor.  Notice how I'm writing this in past tense.  Yeah, it couldn't last forever.  But we did make some changes.  A new-and-improved job chart for the kids, lowering Brian's expectations, me learning to overlook some messiness in order to focus on more important things......

And this leads me to my favorite new quote:

"An immaculate house is the sign of
    a wasted life."


So basketball ended, and now we're into baseball.  Max got on a great little Minors team, and Brian is coaching Zane's coach-pitch team.

We're spending alot of Saturdays at volleyball tournaments.

Gus & his besties were found the other day skinny-dipping in a front-yard fountain down the street.  Three of them.  Buck naked.  And I don't have a picture of it!  Dang it!!!

Max advanced from Cub to Boy Scouts at our Luau-themed Blue & Gold Banquet.

The entertainment was.........entertaining.
The boys performed the 'haka'.

We were so happy to have the elementary school carnival overwith.  Brian was in charge of the silent auction again this year.  It's a ton of work & we're always relieved when it's over!  It went really well, though.  And no one came home with any live animals, so that's always nice.  Speaking of animals, would anyone out there want a charming, handicapped cat who likes to poop all over patios?.........Anyone?............

This crappy picture is the only one I got at the Carnival.

In my quest to keep my thighs from rubbing together, I've taken up running.
I've lost some of my baby weight, but I still have a ways to go.  I'm just not at my Ideal Lovemaking Weight yet, and running is the best way for me to get there, since I'm not about to stop eating sugar & white flour, or something crazy like that.  Consistency is my problem.  I'm good at making excuses.  It's either too hot or too cold, too early or too late, too tired, too headache-y, too menstrual, too many kids at home to leave unattended, you name it.  So my new motto is,  "No More Excuses".  I was doing pretty good until Spring Break.
Time to get back out there.

My baby girl is crawling all over the place now. 

 And opening cupboards and drawers.  And then eventually bonking her head or face on the cupboard or drawer.  Which is so sad.  And just the other day, she pulled herself up to standing!  I'm so not ready to have her walking & doing other grown-up baby things like that yet.  She'll be one in two months and it's freaking me out!

She's such a messy eater!


And we just got back from spending Spring Break skiing in Utah.

Now I need a real vacation.  Family ski trips are not exactly relaxing.  More like exhausting.  But it was fun.  I picked up a super-nasty cold along the way, though, and am still trying to get over it.

Much more on this trip later!

Friday, March 11, 2011

I wish I were an octopus.

Or better yet, cloned! 

I'm feeling stressed and sorry for myself today.

Yesterday I was a little early dropping Gus off at Preschool.  I sat down on a bench while Gus played on the little playground, waiting til he could go inside.
Gus's teacher came out and sat down next to me.  We exchanged a little small-talk, then she got to the point.  "So, how is Gus doing with practicing his letters & reading books at home?"  I pause, thinking of how very little of that I've done with him.  And she says, very nicely, very gently,   "Is he kind of falling through the cracks a little bit?  I know you're really busy...."   Guilt.  Shame.  The sting of impending tears in the back of my eyes.   "He's just really behind in his letter sounds."

Now, I know it's just preschool, but this is the ivy-league preschool we're talking about.  I really think they're expecting them to be reading Harry Potter by the end of the year.  But still!

I'm stretched too thin and I don't like it.  But I don't know what I can cut out and keep my sanity.

I see it like this:

You have the Good Young-Child Moms and the Good Teenager Moms.

The Good Young-Child Moms will actually sit down at home with their child and practice letter sounds, they do play-dates at the park, take their kids to the zoo on a random Tuesday, play Candyland & Chutes and Ladders (instead of paying an older sibling to do it), volunteer for every Kindergarten fieldtrip, make home-made playdough, sign up for Mom & Me swim classes, spend hours making a Star Student poster, and maybe even coordinate matching Easter Sunday outfits.

I don't do any of these things.  I used to.  But not any more.  Because I'm either over it, like Tee-ball, or I just don't have the time anymore.   Because I'm busy trying to be a Good Teenager Mom too.
I'm trying to play in both courts at the same time & feel like I'm losing bad!  Fifty percent at both ends.

So then you have to sit by the Good Teenager Moms at your junior highschooler's basketball games.

Good Teenager Moms don't have any little ones at home any more, so they can devote all their time & energy to their teens.  They do things like make it to every game/recital/tournament/concert their child is in.  They'll even have their hair & makeup done and be there on time.
Good Teenager Moms will do things like bring their Jr. High student lunch from Sonic so they don't have to eat the cafeteria food, and take their 14-year old & a car-load of their friends to a movie on a Friday night.  They stay up late to chat with their teenagers who are most talkative late at night.  They're always available to take them to the mall, and know all the ins & outs of the high school graduation requirements.  They're on top of the whole Scouting thing, put team parties & banquets together, and always have their cell phones on them so they can text their teens back & forth.

I'm not doing well in this category either.

I'm trying to keep in mind one of my favorite quotes:

"You don't have to do everything there is to do,
in order to become who you are meant to become."

Comforting........except when you have a child  "falling through the cracks".

So maybe I'm being a little dramatic, a little hard on myself.  But this mothering of a wide agespan is harder than I thought it would be.  There are so many positives, but so hard to do it well.

I'm feeling much better now.

I think I'll pull out the Candyland.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Look who's decided to take up the binkie.


Look who just passed her driver's license exam yesterday!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


It's been interesting watching Zane go from Halo-obsessed couch potato to hoopster madman these past couple of months.  Now that video games are gone, he's had to channel that energy & obsessive behavior elsewhere.  Luckily to basketball. 
A bunch of his buddies had a team put together & he was able to join it.  He had never played before. Had never had any interest in it. Would only go to Suns games with his Dad for the pop & icecream.  But when I told him he was going to join a team, he was very concerned that he needed to be good at it before the practices started. I told him not to worry, that the practices are for learning how to play & then improving.  But he was determined to get this basketball thing down.  He started shooting out in our driveway as soon as he'd get home from school.  For hours.  Every day.  And he morphed from awkward to awesome right before our eyes.

It was such a great little team.

Now he begs to go to Suns games, and he's totally into it the whole time.
And when he was out shooting in the driveway the other day, he goes to make a shot and says,  "I was born to play basketball."

I'm so relieved.

I've been afraid he was born to play Halo.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Who knew?

Mars the sprinting star.

We're cracking up that Marlee decides to do track this year, after a mediocre season last year in junior high running the 800, and this time gets put in as a sprinter, running the 100 meter dash & the 200, and is doing awesome!

After the first meet, she did so well that they moved her up to Varsity, and was able to compete in an Invitational last Friday for the best runners of eight high schools in the valley.  And she did awesome in that!  Second in her heat.  Not bad for a little sophomore.

She always was a fast little sucker.

So these days, she has track after school til about 5:30 every day, unless there's a meet, which can go until 8 or 9.  And then she has volleyball from 6:30 til 9 two days a week & tournaments on Saturdays. Young Womens on Wed. nights.  And then trying to fit in studying for all of her AP classes around all of that! 
Busy times!  I like it.  No time for boys.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

When thigh rolls are cute.....

This is actually her new swimsuit.  I couldn't resist.

I love having a baby girl.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Going postal

This has been coming for a looooong time.
And it happened on Monday.  Because Monday is a special day.  It's the day we recover from Sunday.  At least around here it is.  Everything is at its' most disorganized & messy from a whirlwind weekend of activities, then everyone hanging out at home on Sunday. So Monday is usually a mess.
And last Monday was no different.  In between feeding & diapering & changing & holding Caroline and catering to Gus's every need, I was picking up, vacuuming, switching laundry loads, wiping countertops, doing dishes, cleaning the highchair, folding clothes, and putting away countless displaced items.  By the time the other kids started coming home from school, things were looking pretty good.
I still hadn't showered. Still in my exercise clothes & had never made it out for a run. I hadn't even checked my e-mail yet. I hadn't done one thing but clean up & take care of my little ones. Now, this is nothing unusual.  This is how most of my days go.  Some days I can see the beauty in it.  Some days I can't.  Last Monday was the latter.
I ran to the grocery store, then decided to go outside & do a little weeding before I start dinner & oversee homework.  And while I was out there, I was bemoaning the fact that I probably won't have time to get my vegetable garden going before it gets too hot. 
I come back inside about the same time Brian gets home from work.  He walks in & looks around & says something like, "Man, it's a mess in here."  I look around the room that was in perfect order a couple of hours ago that now looks like a tornado went through it.  My entire day's work.  For what?  For nothing!  You know what it is?  It's soul-crushing.  That's what it is.
Then my entire family witnessed Mom's nervous breakdown right there in the kitchen.  Crying and yelling.  Yelling while crying.  It was bad.  But man, I've never seen those kids clean up a room faster!
I'm just so sick of 99% of my time being used up by tasks that are undone within hours, or even minutes, of my doing them!  It's pointless!  It's insane!
So I'm done.  On strike.  We'll see how long it lasts.
I love order.  And I love cleanliness.  But right now I have to choose my sanity.

And because I can't do a post without a picture....
I sent the boys out to pick some oranges.  I come out to find this.  Not seen, is Zane eating Doritos in the treehouse.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

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