I have never worn fake nails. Unless you count the ones Monica and I made in elementary school with glue we left to dry on our rulers over night and then cut into fingernail shapes (pretty resourceful, huh?)......I never have. Not really my kind of thing.
I have never changed my hair color. I envy those who will take chances and do drastic things to their hair. I've never had the courage!
***What have you never done? (that most/many people would consider fairly normal)
Oh, and for every comment on this blog post, I'll donate $5 to The Scleroderma Foundation so needing to visit relatives who are suffering with it will hopefully not be necessary someday.
Typical day in our family goes something like this.
MorningWake up at 6 10 a.m., get kids fed some breakfast and hang out to watch some Dora Top 20 VH1 videos and Wonder Pets Talk Soup.
Get everybody dressed Everybody dresses themselves and out the door to go on a hike mom and dad go on a run to enjoy the great weather we've been having lately.
AfternoonAfter lunch, it's nap time for the little ones parents while the parents kids enjoy some TV time. Afternoon plans will include avoiding manis/pedis biweekly manis/pedis with the teen and going to the movies alone as a family. Spend time with our outgoing nerd kid playing some sports at the park Farmville and taking our oldest to soccer practice a job fair.
Out to run some errands and we are sure to remember Meow Meow and Lamby the teen's Blackberry on the way out to prevent another toddler teen meltdown like this one from last week.
A bit of shopping at a children's boutique Nordstrom and pick some shoes up for our daughter. Slight heel but hopefully not Suri Cruise slutty?
EveningDrive the toddlers teen to a friend's boyfriend's for a play real date. Hope they don't catch a cold from sharing germs.
Later, we'll have dinner and put the kids in the bath tell the kids to take showers and settle in to read some bedtime books watch SNL before getting them to bed by 7:30 midnight. Then mommy and daddy will drink a bottle of wine go out on a date while watching a rented movie including seeing a late movie. Parents in bed by midnight 3 a.m.
Maybe our lives aren't so similar after all because I was a hussy who had a child very young and I lean a little more geeky techie while Casey leans a little more sorority popular girl. Despite obvious differences, I couldn't adore her anymore than I do despite the drunk emails.
Let's all keep Casey and Caroline in our thoughts and pray for a speedy recovery.
As mentioned in a previous post, we went to Disney on Ice at the Kansas City Sprint Center over Spring break.
It was a challenging, but fun time.
Saw Jillian (bless her soul) there with her 3 daughters. Precious.
Lainey helped Meow Meow watch the show.
Jack escaped a minimal amount of times and I only lost him once. Of course, I was on the phone with Jillian at the time of losing him, so if you add that to my daughter telling her to "Shut up!", I'm positive I can count on her vote for Mother of the Year.
Lots of fairies and flowers. We saw Cars and The Lion King and Little Mermaid, too.
Carter did his best to act enthusiastic. Don't you worry about him. He slept over at a friend's house, saw The Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie the first day it was out, saw another one with Dad and spent the night at The Great Wolf Lodge. Spring Break was good to Carter.
Here we are after the show......we made it through! Yes, I'm wearing a princess crown.
Saw Daddy's fancy office downtown. (not Chef Burger)
And, Lainey was wiped out upon returning home. Being a princess is hard work.
I bribed the kids with ice cream yesterday if they agreed to behave during school while I attend my bible study class. They did. Next week, I'm raising the bar with gourmet cupcakes at a cute little shop in town. Obviously, I'm not above a good bribe for compliance.
I bought a "baby station" for Lainey recently. Bath tub, sink, a bed, high chair, monitor, food, lotions and baby supplies galore.
Her brother likes it as much as her, despite its obvious lack of trains!
They are potty training Meow Meow.
I've been thinking of creating a fan page for Meow Meow on Facebook. He's quite popular and could make a real impact on the internet. And, I'm not talking about one of those, "I bet this maggoty dead skunk on the side of the road can get more fans than George Bush" types of fan clubs. I'm talking about the real deal. Stay tuned.
Blake and Carter have made their pics for March Madness. (Is that how you say it? My only knowledge of this event coincides with some pretty fun fraternity parties in college.)
KU losing was a downer......and a big hit to lots of brackets.......but it looks like Carter is still leading the way. Between this and the bowl games, Blake is in hog heaven with his sports-loving son.
Little hand prints on the window make me happy. I'll be even happier when our trees fill in and cover the balcony again!
Alright. Brace yourselves for this one.
I recently found this cool bubble project on How Does She...? Super cute blog.....check it out.
Abbreviate directions: Cut the bottom off of an empty water bottle. Attach a small piece of fabric to the end with a rubber band. Dip the fabric end of the bottle in a soapy solution and then blow on the other end. A bubble snake will emerge.
(Or, bubble train if your name is Jack).
Carter was successful.
Jack was initially. Seconds later, he threw the bottle across the drive way and proceeded to choke and cough for 5 minutes. Mistake: He breathed in the bubbles. Why didn't it occur to me he might do this?! He's 3!
Meow Meow watched with exaggerated anticipation. It was quite a scene.
Lainey tried next and although I stressed the importance of how to use it, she also breathed them in and coughed up bubbles for not 5 minutes, but 10. (Lainey Land is full of extremes).
So, in summary, I give the Starnes kids (and more precisely their mother) an epic FAIL for the bubble project.
I cut bangs recently. And, I'm ready to cut the rest of it off, too. Let's see if Caroline can talk me out of the Mom Cut this weekend.
My latest obsession: Shopping for shoes for Lainey.
My new favorites....
And, they have an itty bitty heal. While I usually think this is a trampy look for a 2 year old, I was smitten with the bows and polka dots. So, I'm not channeling Suri Cruise with this look. Let's get that straight right now, people.
OK, was that enough? I'm bringing my laptop to Dallas, so I might check in from time to time.
Thanks for the great response to my request for help with meals for Caroline and Ryan. Between the blog, Facebook and emails, they will receive lots of help. I'll be in touch next week to set up dates and provide more specifics. Until then, let me know if you still want to help if you haven't contacted me already.
While she and Ryan have a house cleaner, prepared meals would make their lives easier. So, if you are interested in providing a meal or two......let me know.
If you would rather not cook or live out of the Dallas/Fort Worth area, let me know. You could always buy a small gift card and send it their way.
With Caroline recovering and Ryan working full time, any sort of contribution would be a blessing. Many of you already bought t-shirts.....and I'm grateful.....so please don't feel as though you have to give again.
Thought I'd include a picture of my sweet sister with the middle punk. Love this one.
And, Ryan......with Caroline......at Lainey's baptism. They are the greatest couple.
Leave me a comment or send me an email @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'll be in touch shortly!
In addition to bringing these guys (plus a baby doll) with us wherever we go, feeding them on outings, allowing them to sit in the stroller......we're now tucking them in at night.
It's a total beating. Yet, another step to our bedtime routine, which has already been compromised with daylight savings.
Look how happy she is.
Which means I'd sing to all her babies, 20 times over, if I get to see this sweet smile each night before going to bed. Before saying my own prayers and thanking God humbly and immensely for blessing our lives with sweet Lainey Caroline. She's worth every exhausting effort.
I stumbled upon this precious snack on Kelle's blog.
I don't know her.
I wish I did.
She has impeccable taste. And, not just because she named her first child, Lainey. Do check out her blog.....admire her photography, drool over her doting husband, and notice the way she dresses her girls. Perfection, in my opinion.
Here is the simple recipe for these little nests......she mentions how she made them......but if you're like me, you need it spelled out in detail.
We made them on Sunday and it almost seemed like spring.....despite the 12 inches of snow on the ground!
I braved Disney on Ice this morning with the kids. Next time, I'll bring reinforcements.
Here is Lainey post-show in her princess dress, throwing a mega tantrum because I wouldn't allow her on the ice to skate with the fairies after pleading, "My turn!" in her sing-songy voice all through the show.
Just before she hit the floor, my friend Jillian suggested we ice skate another day......Lainey promptly told her to "Shut up."
Seriously, Jillian call me. I know you want to get together again!
Melanie at The Timmons Times:
Lainey: And they wonder why I've got Third Child Syndrome! They don't even take the time to take my clothes off for baths :)
She has a photography blog, too. Check it out here.
****As for how Lainey ended up soaked in the tub..... The kids' bath in our Colorado house was upstairs adjacent to their bedrooms. My routine was always to throw both kids in.....put away laundry or such since their doors were steps away......I could return to watch them while I worked. Then, I would get Lainey out first.....dried off, sweet and clean. Back to get Jack. I remember grabbing his pjs out of his room, hearing a thud & and splash and returning to find that Lainey dove into the tub, pjs and all. Stinker.
And, this week's:
Jack and Lainey, circa 2008. Brighton, Colorado
Caption it, please!
In 2009, I wrote about Colorado. You can check out that post here. I compared our lives there to the South. The Midwest has a lot of similarities......and some differences, too.
The leaves have to be the greatest change. I have never seen such a beautiful Fall.
And, once most of the leaves have fallen, clean up crews take care of the mess. Our association dues include 2 sweeps of the neighborhood....November and then December...huge trucks come out to remove the leaves from the ground and people are hired to clear the roofs and gutters.
It's all very exciting to a 3 year old.
Snow falls......seems like nearly as much in Colorado this year......and toys sometimes get covered. Jack found this tractor a couple of months after playing with it. It had been buried in the snow.
Geese usually signify a change in season.......coming or going.......and they're everywhere.
They're at the zoo, in the neighborhood, in parks, and cruising through parking lots.
And, we're not supposed to feed them.
We wear lots of boots. And, when we come in, the snow melts in these rubber mats to save our wood floors.
This part of the house looks like a mess half the year. Boots, scarves, coats, sweaters, vests, hats.....we're constantly layering and preparing for life outdoors.
One of our smartest purchases ever......Weather Tech mats. They're custom fitted to my car so that the carpet is protected from winter effects. 3 kids in slushy boots will stain your carpets in no time. I actually recommend these for any part of the country. Love them.
We learned (the hard way) this year to let the snow thaw before removing Christmas decorations. Never happened in Colorado......but lots of our lights and lawn pieces broke due to the cords freezing and breaking upon removal.
But, don't worry. Tacky plastic Santa is safe. I know you were wondering.
We cover sidewalks with sand or ice-melt to prevent slips and falls. Luckily, our neighborhood plows the driveways and streets......so our little stretch of sidewalk is all we have to maintain.
The snow comes and goes and we keep moving. Stepping in the snow seems like the most fun.
We ski here......yep, not just in the mountains.......there are resorts throughout The Midwest to feed our cravings. It's entirely more laid back and perfect for kids to learn. So happy to have the option here.
Lots more rentals here than in other areas......because people ski here less. Grateful we bought our gear while we lived in Colorado. To outfit all 3 kids for one day of skiing is over $100. And, that doesn't include lift tickets!
I know I've left out plenty.......one thing that is common in Colorado, too......is that many houses don't have fences for their back yards. Coco didn't understand this as we drove through suburban KC. Our patio is fenced in, but not the yard. Some don't even fence their patio. Add that to the wood construction of houses, people staring at our massive jogging strollers......and Coco's pretty little head was spinning. I think the slow style of the South suits her better.
So, that's The Midwest. We're loving it. And, wondering where we're off to next. Time will tell!