Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Glad yall enjoyed my little tanning fiasco. On to the scoop.....

Lainey Bug is getting pretty good at board games. And, by getting good, I mean she's a cheater. But, look at that face. Who could be mad?

She's learning to snorkel, too. Jack? "No fank you." He's content playing with his trains on the side of the pool and throwing in people's pool bags. With phones in them. I'm shocked we haven't been kicked out of the pool this year. He goes into some sort of 'roid rage every now and then and starts picking up furniture and throwing stuff in the pool. I don't know about that kid.

One of my favorite parts of summer.......watching our plants thrive.

Jack convinced me to buy him this water/sand toy from the Dollar Spot at Target recently and I'm afraid I'm going to have to fit this bad boy in our luggage somewhere because he's so in love with it. Smart move, Case.

Carter's hair is growing out and he's looking like the shaggy dog I love.

Croquet and bocce ball have become favorites here.

Until Jack picks up the mallet.

Kick ball! Watch out, Laine.

Blake and I have been hanging out sans kids a lot. Having fun. And, look at that tan! He's going to kill me for posting this picture, but I think he looks adorable.

Lainey prefers her $3 Walmart swimsuit over all of the pricey ones I've bought her. Of course! It has a star on it.

Little punks are learning new tricks.

And, Jack won't give up his old man shoes. What 4 year old wants to wear these?!

Our house is quiet tonight because Batman is at the kitty hospital. They're doing some tests to see if he has a UTI. He did not care for the drive there......gobbled like a turkey and cursed me the entire way. Caroline was on the phone with me and laughed and laughed. Ryan, too!

And, speaking of......please say some prayers for Ryan and Caroline's dog, Hope. She has been sick all week and very lethargic. Caroline stayed back in Texas to help take care of her. We're anxiously awaiting her arrival here, but know she's best there until they learn more.

One more thing.......have yall heard of Crazy 8? Holy cuteness. (the website doesn't do it justice) I've seen it come in our store here and there......and thought it must be super pricey. Mini Boden-esque and a lot like Crewcuts.....both favorites of mine. I went to the mall today for the first time in 6 months and saw we had a store. It's fantastic! Owned by Gymboree.......less expensive.......and AWESOME design. Not sweet like Gymboree. It's trendy and hip. I bought a ton for the kids to take to the beach. Precious stuff.

I'm off to read, folks. Half way through Water for Elephants and LOVING it. Anyone read it?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It's Been A While

Today I went to a tanning bed salon (is that what it's called?).

I'm a little out of practice. Blake said I had to or spend the entire Cali vacation 25 feet down the beach from him. With the kids.

Blake, basking in all his unemployment glory, is the spitting image of a Tropicana guy girl right now. He owns it. And, looks lovely.

Me? Not so much. I don't care for the sun. I physically cannot go out during daylight without sunglasses and when I do, I wear sunblock. And, slather the children accordingly. I think long term, peeps. Wrinkles, sun spots, etc. Not interested.

But, I will agree with Blake's plea not only to deter the onlookers from being shocked with my white skin, but also to get a "base" tan to get the party started. I did so pre-Mexico and pre-Hawaii for years. It worked. I didn't burn.

So, I drove to the nearest salon (?). It was a little different from when I went 6 years ago.

To begin with, I'm a little bit older than the clientele. And, they added some neon.

No, wait. To begin with, I wore my Building Better Moms t-shirt. I feel kinda cute in it. Shut up.

When I walked in, I immediately saw an orange figure from behind the counter and thought, "I want to be like her."

Done. Deal sealed.

I inquired into services, contracts, lotions, etc. Told her we were leaving for vacation in a couple of weeks.....I think she spotted my mom-mobile in the parking lot....and gave me a look like, "No, s*&t." We were not off to a good start.

It's all changed. When she told me that I would work my way up to a 15 minute bed, I replied, (in my most southern-hick accent possible) "Well, the last time I tanned, there were 30 minute beds!"


****heads turning****

****more crickets****

She looked at me like, "Ok, dinosaur, follow me."

I did and walked into a spaceship looking like room and proceeded to get the low down of instructions. Even after 2 rounds of it, I failed. Miserably. I don't want to tan my face. EVER. I saw fans in the tanning bed. Music fed in as well. None of this existed when I tanned before. It was all new. And, overwhelming.


So, mid-session, I tried to follow orange-sicle's advice and shut down the machine. Mid-session. I tried again, started it again, and then shut it down. My insecure 35 year old mind is picturing tweeners that look like they could qualify for AARP 12 twenty-somethings at the front desk giggling in delight over my misfortune, so I pushed buttons until it started again and took it like a man. Or, woman. Tanning. Whatever.

Lesson learned? Nothing here.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Question Of The Week

***If you could live in a TV family, which would it be?

Mine? Family Ties. Hands down.

They were real and funny and somewhat odd. I wanted to be Mallory while watching this show growing up. I didn't care that she was an air head. I loved her.

Which family would you join?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Midwest Travel Report: Powell Gardens

A week or so ago, we set out for Kingsville, Missouri. Powell Gardens is a favorite in this area......30 miles east of Kansas City......not a bad drive. Some call it a "road trip for the soul".

915 acres of lush growth and fountains. A barn, silo, farm, vineyard, pear promenade, peach plaza, greenhouse and organic garden make up the venue. Gorgeous.

The biggest draw here is the Butterfly Festival. We intentionally avoided this large event due to the crowds. Went on a slow day and it was lovely.

Arrived just before lunch and ate at the little cafe on site. Then, off to the conservatory.

The Big Bugs were visiting the ongoing exhibit.......which we actually saw at the Denver Arboretum when we lived there!

Lots of hands on learning for the children.

An organic vegetable garden.

From the top of the 45 foot tall silo, you can see for miles.

The Kansas/Missouri native plants quilt garden.

The barn and silo we toured.

On top! I don't care how tall that guard rail is. Makes a mama nervous.

The barn allows tasting from the organic garden. Carter and Lainey dug right in. Jack? "No fank you!"

We took a train trolley through the grounds to cut down on tired little legs.

The kids loved it. And, it's free with admission!

Off to the island gardens.

I want a live wreath like this. Beautiful.

Everything is picture perfect.

A walk in the woods? Don't mind if we do!

The famous Thorncrown Chapel, designed by E. Fay Jones, who studied under Frank Lloyd Wright.

The inspiration for this chapel was Paris's light filled gothic chapel, Sainte Chappelle.

Some details I learned from an architecture-loving friend: In order to preserve Thorncrown’s natural setting, Fay decided that no structural element could be larger than what two men could carry through the woods. The building materials are primarily pressure treated pine 2x4s, 2x6s, and 2x12s. The larger elements of the building such as the trusses were assembled on the floor and raised into place.

The chapel never looks quite the same due to the reflecting light during different parts of the day and further, different seasons of the year. At night, reflections of the crosses in the lights appear to surround the building.

Summed up - it's beautiful.

History lesson over. To change is silly Laine looking like she's strangling Meow Meow. If you're a fan of his (hers?) on Facebook, you've seen this picture before.


Caterpillar crawl.

Too easy.

And, we're done! I'm sure you're shocked Jack didn't want to get his picture taken in the cut outs. And, I bet you can guess what his response was when I asked!

Happy Sunday, peeps! Caroline has postponed her trip until tomorrow. We're anxiously awaiting her arrival!

Friday, June 25, 2010

On My Mind Lately

1. I could never be a Bachelorette. Aside from the fact that I'm married and have 3 children......I couldn't do it. First, I can't go outdoors without sunglasses. Second, I don't use the word "amazing" nearly enough to qualify. Third, if someone showed me a tattoo like Kasey got, I'd die laughing and walk out.

2. Jack is starting to remind us of this guy.

He's such a grump. His standard rebuttal to the simplest of requests is, "No fank you!"

3. I need to write a letter to the DVR geeks. I've been diving in the basement left & right in fear of tornadoes and at all the wrong times. Can't they make the storm notices privy only to current TV?

4. Jack tells me he loves me 30 times a day. "Wuv you, Mom!" If he's out of the room, he'll yell it. Carter does it, too. Lainey? Not so much. If her 2 year old mind could formulate the words, she'd say, "This is pathetic, brudders."

5. Sometimes I feel like all I do in the summer is wash swim suits and slice strawberries.

6. Lainey lives in a princess filled, candy land themed, kitten crawling universe. I still don't know where she came from.

7. 18 days until La Jolla. I cannot wait to see the ocean, visit with our California family and spend some time with Mickey. Best part? Caroline is booked to join us! I'm giddy just thinking about it. A lot has happened since our trip last year. I'm so happy we're all going to be together again.

8. We're flying this year. 5 people, 4 bags to check, 5 carry ons, and one massive double stroller. Still deciding on whether or not to lug on 2 car seats. Has anyone ever been kicked out of an airport based on absurdity alone?

9. Blake and I have been eating high protein, low carb for almost a month. I've lost 5 pounds. We're not cold turkey no carb.......a tortilla here and there....and fruit......but not much. Feels pretty good!

10. The punks have grown a liking to the potty talk. Or, really, just any talk that seems inappropriate or annoying.

Chicken butt
Penis butt (Thanks, Blake, for teaching them the correct term! I was fine with "privacy".)

You name it......they'll say it. Doesn't help having a 9 year old in the house. We cured "shut up" after a year's worth of frustration with hot sauce. Yes, I'm a saucer. Don't judge. We tried everything. If they keep it up, I'm going to be wearing a bottle of Tabasco on a string like a necklace. Presence is everything, you know.

11. Katherine, a friend on Facebook, reminded me that Christmas is 6 months from today. You shopping yet?

Think I'll close on that note. 3 days of work ahead of me and then Sweet Caroline is in town! The kids are about to burst with excitement. Lainey's rehearsing stories to tell her. Carter's planning which Wii games will be played. Jack's working on new and interesting ways to decline invitations. "No fank you" is getting monotonous, even for him. Can't wait to see what the little 4 year old mind conjures up.