Friday, September 27, 2013

Lainey's Closet Cleanout

Lainey's first major act of defiance is refusing to wear anything I like.  So, rather than watch these clothes sit in her closet, I'm cleaning it out.

All prices include shipping.....I've factored that in.

Cash, check or paypal for payment, please.

Email me if you're interested!

Matilda Jane Pants, Size 6 (never worn, no tags), $20 shipped

Matilda Jane Patchwork Floral Pants, Size 6 (worn once?), $20 shipped

Matilda Jane Pants, Size 4, $20 shipped

Pinky Tunic/Halter, Size 5T (worn once), $20 shipped

Berry Basics Dress, Size 4 (worn once), $20 shipped

Berry Basics Halter Dress, Size 4, $20

Matilda Jane Tank, Size 6, $15

Hand-sewn, no brand palazzo pants, Size 2-4, $10

 Matilda Jane Bubble Top, Size 6, $20

Tiny Made Tunic and Pants (2 small stains), Size 4, $20 shipped

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Cutting Corners During the School Week

A few things that work for us:

1.  I wash, fold and hang one load of laundry a day. Colors and whites go in together on cold water.  This saves time, energy and money.

Laundry rarely gets backed up and when it does, I'm reminded how much easier it is to stay on schedule.

2.  I clean my house thoroughly once a week, but tidy every night.  This mean - all toys put up, dishes done, laundry put away, etc.  We live outdoors here as much as we do in, so patios are tidied as well.

3.  I delegate many duties.  Kids take out trash, make beds, straighten rooms, water plants and more.  We all do our part to keep this house running.

4.  I prepare meals ahead of time.  Casseroles, crock pot dinners, and all prep work can be done during the day with kids at school.  Then, they often help me assemble everything before the meal.

For example, last night I made honey shrimp with candied walnuts and fried rice.  Rice and candied walnuts were made during the day.  Saved time and stress later in the evening.

5.  I make lunches and pack snacks as soon as the kids come in from school.  While they take their 30 minute break and enjoy their afternoon snack, I get homework organized and lunches made.  No scrambling in the morning to prepare.

6.  I lay clothes out the night before.  Mornings are stressful enough.  Being prepared helps this family run smoothly.  This doesn't mean Lainey and I won't end up crying over what she'll wear before we leave the house, but I'm trying!

7.  I limit activities.  Our kids play 1-2 sports a year and usually only one.  This allows us to focus on school and also gives us the freedom to enjoy the beach, mountains, Disneyland and zoo. Our family works better when we're not tied to so many commitments.

I see so many families with activities every night of the week and they always seem to be so stressed.

Thoughts?  Suggestions?  Tricks of your own?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

And Then Jack Broke His Arm

I was just thinking to myself that our lives had settled for a the routine of school and sports and fall....and then I got a call at school Thursday.

Jack was at Run Club, fell and broke his fall with his left arm.  Just like a million other falls kids take every day.  His teacher saw it.  We even giggled that she wasn't sure how he didn't see the 24 foot 'balance beam' he tripped over.  

I went to the school immediately to retrieve him.  He wasn't crying, but looked sad and hurt. The nurse examined him and since there was no swelling or immediate bruising, we thought he was fine.  I scooped up our little 2nd grader, took him home and we spent the afternoon quietly resting.  That evening, he was running through the back yard playing hide-n-seek with the neighborhood kids and even tried to ride his scooter.  He wouldn't put any pressure or strain on his left arm, but I still didn't think anything was seriously wrong. 

Sleep was rough that night.  He tossed and turned and woke often.  Friday morning, I could tell something was wrong.  He refused to use that arm entirely, it had swollen and he was very sensitive to touch.  We took the kids to school and drove south to Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego.  Blake stayed back to work from home and be ready to shuffle Lainey and Carter from school to football and normal life in case our stay at Rady's went past 1pm.

Even in the ER and out for 6+ hours, he remained calm.  Such a sweet boy.

We played cars and Jack played Minecraft.  Thank goodness for Ipads and their chargers.

We went twice for xrays.  And, we nearly left after the initial round, but the doctor didn't feel 100% confident about his read, so we waited for radiology.  Thank goodness we did!  

He has a fracture at his elbow and a small one at his wrist.  

Rady's is as fabulous as everyone had said.....fantastic care and built beautifully for kids.

And, while Jack was there suffering through this broken arm, he still thought to ask me to take a picture of this for Carter:

Time for the cast!

The ER does not typically keep colored casts on hand, but they found a blue one just for Jackie.

Our happy kid.  So proud of his strength.  

He fell asleep on the way home.  ER time seems to go on forever.  We were exhausted.  

A quick stop at Sonic for a blue coconut slush and home for a quiet night. 

He woke to everyone wanting to sign his cast.  It's quite a piece of artwork already.  Blake drew an awesome spider web on his elbow.  So cool.

What a roller coaster.  This was a strange day for all of us.  I started that morning, a mess after seeing someone post a picture of a Make-A-Wish celebration at one of the local airports.  A family was preparing for Disney World, taking their child on a dream vacation....likely their last.  That stayed with me throughout the day, as we waited at the hospital.  I thought about other parents there for life-threatening issues, wondering how they were tolerating that hell.  And, I kept thinking of how lucky I was to be dealing with a broken arm.  On our goofy, happy, fantastically healthy 7 year old boy.

We can handle this.

Now we learn a whole new way of bathing, dressing, carrying backpacks, opening doors and more.  We're rookies here in this house.  This is our 4th (Blake says 3rd) ER visit and first broken bone.  Lots to figure out.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 19, 2013


It's been a busy week!

I recently went to Suzie's Farm south of San Diego to scout a location for our annual Halloween charity event.  I love a good pumpkin patch.  

They're setting up for a dinner this weekend and in a few weeks this area will be transformed into Pumpkinpalooza.  Melissa and I will be there to photograph kids in their Halloween gear for donations only.  We give it all to Rady's of San Diego, a local Children's Hospital.  Melissa and I donate our time.  Such a fun event.

We visited the Lego Store in Fashion Valley recently, shopping prior to our Disney trip.  

Legos have come a long way since we were kids.

Lots of pre-Disney, pre-actual birthday celebrating for Lainey.

Attended the ice cream social at school.  Here is Laine with one of her bffs, Lindsey.

Homemade cake.....a recipe that closely mimics Blake's grandmother's.....divine.

Our sweet 6 year old.

Fall is nearly here!

I turned this:

Into this:

No sew or glue.....tied burlap strips on, attached the S and bow, and done!

Mod-podged the first of many pumpkins that will adorn this house over the next few months.  

And, started to add a few pieces here and there.  Blake forbids too much "Halloween" prior to October.

Such a stick in the mud.  I'd start celebrating July 5 if he let me.

Caroline sent Lainey the cutest hot pink patent leather Doc Martens for her birthday, but the leather wouldn't give at all and hurt her feet.  

So, with her blessing, we went to Nordstrom to exchange.

In place, Lainey got these darling Minnetonka fringe boots and also a pair of old school moccasins, too.  I had the white Minnetonkas as a kid.  I adore all their stuff!

And, Lainey couldn't be happier.

Also this week, our last child lost her first tooth.  As with Jack, it had to fall out of her head on its own.  She was eating chicken and rice, looked down and had to decipher what was rice and what was a tooth.

Sweet Lainey.

Carter recently lost his last tooth, so as soon as all of his adult teeth come in, we'll be headed to the orthodontist for braces. 

Finally, Lainey and I received these darling cards from my good friend, Kelly, who has asked me to be her son's Godmother and Lainey has taken the role as Godmother's Assistant.  

Yes, it's a thing.

We can't wait to meet this little boy and will treasure him always!  I'm truly touched she asked me.  I will commit to always share our Catholic faith and love of God with him, Kelly and her family.  As always, I tend to turn most things in life into a circus and this will be no different.  But, I take my role very seriously, too.  And, I already adore this child.  :)

This weekend:

Carter's first flag football game.

LSU vs Auburn.

Pancake breakfast at church.


Monday, September 16, 2013


We're finally there.

Week 4 (?) of school and we're smooth sailing!

Carpools in place, meals planned, volunteer time scheduled, work going and household chores are getting done.   It's no easy job coordinating it all.  But, we all do better with our days laid out nicely.

I've put some firm rules in place that have helped us tremendously:

*No Ipads in the morning until ALL chores are done.

*30 minutes of TV and a snack after school, then homework.  No privileges until everything is complete.

*Allowance and privileges can be taken away for lack of effort in the classroom.

So far, we've been super successful with these rules.  I'm averaging 2-3 hours a night with school work.  Guiding worksheets, checking over work, assisted reading and computer all adds up, but it all counts!

Cheers to great grades and an easy transition into the controversial common core curriculum!

We're all going to learn a lot this year.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Lainey's Disneyland Birthday

It was a magical day!

Laine started with school that morning.....all the kids had early release, thus the mid-week visit.

She sported her new Cinderella gear to school WITH HEALS.

Lots goes into a day at the park.

I pack fun lunches for the trip to Orange County.

Mickey shaped cheese?  Yes, please.

 Budget planned and money ready for the arcade.

Passes, too!

Drove north and parked.  As always, we take a picture of where we are in the garage, or we'll never remember!

Would you look at that?  Empty trams.  Such a pretty site.

She braved the park in heals.  So dedicated.

Almost time!

We had a Bibbidi Bobbidi  Boutique appointment for just after arriving.  Always so fun.


The boys watched in wonder.

Hair, makeup and crown, Mickey barrette, makeup and polish, brush, backpack and sash......still, in my opinion, one of the best values at the park.

And, she loves every minute.  Lainey would live at the spa if we let her.

The big reveal........notice Carter in the back on his phone.  :)

I hadn't planned on pictures in the back of the castle, but Lainey requested it.  Soon she'll be over the princess world, so we obliged.

Checking herself out after the makeover.

One of my favorite pictures from the day:

And, she goes out to show the boys.

On with our day!

Even the usually hideous praying mantis is cute at Disneyland.  She's pink!

Caroline called to hear about the princess makeover.

And, then we were off to ride.  Wait times were almost non-existent.  This is the one of the few uncrowded times for Disneyland.  The summer crowds are gone.....and most people are waiting for Halloween Time at the park, which starts September 13.  So, we enjoyed the short waits and rode a ton!

Cinderella had some trouble with her slippers here and there.

We eventually added socks and finally switched to Toms.  But, it wasn't until she was actually bleeding through her socks.  Lasted until nearly 6pm in heals.

Blake caught a nervous Lainey listening to the band sing her Happy Birthday in the French Market.

We ate Mickey shaped beignets.

Did a bit of shopping.  Jack is in heaven with all things Jack Skellington.

He had the shirt and hat.....added gloves this trip.

And, Lainey 'party crashed' the picture.

We walked RIGHT ON Pirates of the Caribbean.

And, we loved seeing all the orange peaking through, in anticipation for the approaching Halloween season.

Sweet Carter let the littles take one of his Vinylmations to trade in.  He still adores his collection and now Jack & Lainey are showing interest.

We ended the night with a ride on the Tower of Terror at California Adventure.  

 We all had a blast.  

Even Jack, despite his look here:

Time to go......such a fun day.

Kids slept in the car on the way home and woke on time for school.

Happy Disneyland Birthday, Lainey Caroline!