Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Too... much... trick or treating....

Good night.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween Party

After church today we changed into our costumes and headed up to Caite and Patrick's for a party.

(This picture is for Grandma T.) 
Doesn't Lila make the cutest Minnie Mouse?

 Caite had a bunch of fun party games including Halloween bingo, glow in the dark ring toss, Halloween themed charades, and my personal favorite, wrapping your partner in toilet paper to make them a mummy.

Brian always seems to end up wearing the girls' headbands. 
But he actually put on a costume for the party. Can you tell what he is?

He's a jogger. 

Come on, that's just funny.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Costume Parade

Yesterday Lila and I went to school to watch Evie in the costume parade and the kindergarten program.

I might be slightly biased, but I think she was one of the prettiest princess there. 

After the program they had a little party where they played games, made a craft, and had a snack.

Lila was happy to share part of her sister's snack.

Evie thought it was pretty neat to have her little sister get to see where she goes to school.

I was happy that Evie made through the whole parade and program with no tears and only a single yawn. It's night and day from last year.

Friday, October 28, 2011

I really hate painting...

But I did it.

Color is on the wall for the girl's room.
(As if you couldn't guess.)

Now that it's done I am very happy with how it looks and can't wait to finish putting it all together.

I do a meticulous job when I paint.

Mostly because I know if I screw something up I will not go back and fix it later, so I'd better get it right the first time or I'll be living with the mistake for a long time. I'm serious, almost five years later I wake up every morning looking at a green thumb print on my ceiling where someone touched it while we were painting our room before we moved in. It bugs me to no end, but not enough to repaint the ceiling...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Running around in circles...

Dropped off kids to school.
Back home for a quick shower.
Dropped Lila off to play at my cousin's.
It was my turn for the dentist, no cavities for me! YAY!
Returned library books.
Picked up Lila and admired Em's newly orange ceiling, I love it! So happy!
Picked up Evie from school.
Ran home and picked up a few things, including a box of books to donate and my sister.
Quick bite for lunch.
JoAnn's, DI, All-a-dollar, and Michael's looking for costume accessories and party supplies.
Donated the box of books.
Walmart where I finally found the elusive pair of plain white gloves I needed to finish Lila's costume.
Picked Jake up after school.
Came home to discover I'd left the front door not only unlocked, but wide open for 4 1/2 hours while I was out running errands.
Felt both incredibly stupid and incredibly grateful for living in a nice safe neighborhood.
Finished the last few repairs and touches for the costumes, and gathered everything up for tomorrow's craziness with two kids in two different schools with two different Halloween celebrations.
Brian got home and I left for Knit Night.
Knit for 2 1/2 hours, came close but didn't finish my project.
Came home to a clean kitchen, but one kid still trying to finish a big book report project and two girls beyond tired who needed baths.
Bathed the girls.
Put Evie's hair up in curlers.
Helped Jake finish book report.
Remembered that I forgot to return the redbox movie for the 2nd day in a row.
Posted on the blog.
That's what I've done today.
I'm tired.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Silly girl...

We have been struggling lately to get Lila to fall asleep in her own bed. She fights going to bed (or even just going to sleep) with every fiber of her being. But especially with the imminent move to a downstairs bedroom we are working hard at getting her to go to bed and stay there. 

Last night was pretty typical. I tucked her in, a few minutes later she wandered out to "tell us something", so I put her back in bed. A few minutes later I hear a noise and see her peeking around the corner of the hall, I send her back to bed. That happens 27 a few more times over the next half hour. Brian and I started a movie. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a blanket waving in the air. Lila was spreading out a blanket and was ready to play with her doll in the hallway. I spoke quite sharply to her and she gathered up her toys and cried her way back into the bed. That was the last we heard from her, so I assumed that she had finally fallen asleep.

And she had...

Just not in her bed.

Little stinker. 
She is too clever for her own good. She figured out that if I couldn't see her or hear her then I wouldn't chase her out of the hall and back into her own bed. I was seriously tempted to let her sleep there all night. But Brian couldn't maneuver around her to get into the bedroom, and it just seemed a little too mean to make him sleep on the couch because Lila had crashed in the hallway.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


 I know for a fact that we have over 100 stuffed animals in this house. Everything from teddy bears and bunnies to monkeys and giraffes. But lately Lila just wants to snuggle with her piece of cloud.
 (A little bit of fiberfill that she picked up from the floor of the sewing room.)

I also know that it is usual for kids to pretend to be cats or dogs,

 I just wish Lila didn't have to drape herself across the top of the couch to watch her cartoons in the mornings...

Monday, October 24, 2011

Why I love my sister...

1. She's awesome.

2. I never have to explain my jokes to her.

3. She doesn't judge me when I cry during Dancing With The Stars, she just passes me the tissues.

4. She looks up to me. (Literally. Maybe a 1/4" but still up...)

5. Did I mention she's awesome.

6. She's a great aunt and my kids love her.

7. No one can make me laugh harder, or laughs harder with me.

8. As much as we have in common, we are equally different. It keeps our relationship interesting.

9. She is super smart and has a wickedly acerbic wit.

10. She posts updates on her blog when I bug her relentlessly.

p.s. She is pretty much all-around awesome.

(Don't worry Caite, I don't want anything. I just couldn't think of anything else to post about tonight...)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Famous last words...

"I am not sleepy!"

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Full, fun, fall days...

Today we crammed a whole bunch of fall fun into our day.

We went to the Pumpkin Patch.

We admired the great big pumpkins...

but picked some of a more manageable size to bring home.

Later on we went to the Spooktacular Halloween carnival at the Rec Center to watch our friend Libby in her first dance recital.

This is my new favorite picture of Brian.
It perfectly captures his personality as the scrooge of Halloween.

There were lots of fun activities, like the giant bouncy slide,

canoe rides in the spooky swamp,

and fun games. 
Jake's favorite was the gladiator bounce arena. 

After all the carnival fun we went out for some Chinese food, and I had to get a picture of my ninja enjoying his dinner.

We always have so much fun when we get to hang out with Dinee and Tay and their girls.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Date Night

Jake and Evie headed out this afternoon to spend the night with Caite and Patrick. So for most of today it's been just me and Lila hanging out. As you can probably imagine she was a little sad that she got left behind this afternoon, but she's quickly learned the positives to having Mommy and Daddy's undivided attention.

One great perk was getting to tag along on our date night. We went to dinner at Iggy's. Not the best meal I've ever had and easily one of the most apathetic waiters. We had to ask for every little thing and half the time he didn't bring it or even remember that we'd asked for it.

But you couldn't ask for better company!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fall Break

The kids have today and tomorrow off of school for fall break. I celebrated by staying in my pajamas all day and not driving anywhere. It's been a while since I didn't have to do the whole "Mom's Taxi" thing, and I really enjoyed my day off. I spent the day mostly resting on the sofa, drinking lots of fluids and knitting. (The knitting part lets me feel like I've been productive in spite of all the resting...) I think it's paid off. I feel much better tonight than I did 24 hours ago, and while my voice is still a little gravelly it's lost that "2 pack a day smoker" quality.  My kids helped out by being pretty well behaved for the most part, so I only had to yell at them a little bit. It's hard to yell when you don't have a voice, and I think lately they've been acting out just to hear me yell in my funny sick voice. Also Jake made me breakfast in bed this morning, which I though was so sweet of him. Unfortunately my throat hurt so bad I could only drink the water he brought me. But the kids ate it for me, so it was still a plus because I got to sleep in a bit longer instead of getting up to make breakfast. It's nice to be the one getting taken care of for a change, even just a little bit.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tooth troubles...

Poor Jacob. Today has not been his favorite. He had to go to the dentist for multiple reasons. He had a permanent molar coming in half way on top of a baby molar and it had killed half the root of the baby tooth. Because of that it had pushed the baby tooth into the tooth next to it (also a baby molar) and had caused a cavity. Both of the baby molars aren't due to fall out for another two years. So the dentist's decision was to fill the cavity, pull out the tooth with the half dead root, and put in a spacer to keep the permanent molar from migrating any more forward in his mouth. Oh yeah, and let's throw in a frenectomy while we're in there. (Removing a piece of muscle that is connected from the lip to the gums and can cause a space between teeth.)

Up to now Jake has had only cleanings at the dentist, except for last year when we were surprised with an unplanned extraction. To say he was nervous about the whole process would be an understatement. For the past week he's been asking me questions about drills, laughing gas, and retainers. I haven't been able to answer all his questions but I kept reassuring him that I would be with him the whole time and would hold his hand as much as he wanted.

I picked him up from school and he was noticeably quiet as he climbed in. In fact the only thing he said was, "Does the drill hurt?"  After we dropped the girls off to play with Libby and Addie, I caught a glimpse of his tense, worried face in the rear view mirror. "Got butterflies in your stomach?" I asked him. "More like a hyperactive tap dancing frog," was his response.

So when they offered laughing gas at the dentist's we quickly agreed that anything that would help him be calmer was a good idea.  He insisted throughout the whole procedure that the laughing gas didn't affect him at all, and when he drifted off to sleep a couple of times he was really awake and just pretending to sleep. All I know is that he was incredibly mellow through out the appointment, which is a far cry from having to be held down by both me and the dental technician like the last time he had to get a shot. 

An hour later we walked out with one tooth in a treasure box, one tooth with a filling, one frenectomy, and one child insisting that laughing gas has absolutely no effect on him whatsoever. I will admit, he didn't laugh.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A 2nd language?

Caite came down and spent the afternoon with me today. When we went to pick up Jake after school he was pleasantly surprised to see her in the car. My kids are always happy to get to spend time with Aunt Caite. Today he was particularly happy to see her because Caite speaks French quite well and he had a question for her.

"Hey Aunt Caite? I'm going to say, 'I enter the classroom' in French and will you tell me if I am pronunciating it correctly?"

I'm thinking we need to spend a little more time on English before he works on mastering that pesky French pronunciating...

Monday, October 17, 2011

Highs and Lows

Today has been a day of contrasts.

I got up early to workout but my workout buddy was up late with her kids and couldn't make it. I didn't go to the gym, but I did the workout at home in my basement and included some extra reps of hefting laundry baskets up and down the stairs. I felt good about that.

I ended up remembering just in the nick of time that Evie had to take a piece of fabric to school for an art project. I almost made us late digging through the piles in the kitchen and living room for the note so I knew exactly what she needed. On the plus side there is never a shortage of white cotton fabric in this house, so no need to run to the store.

The high point of the day was when Brian's contractor friend showed up to take some measurements and with the wonderful news that he's almost lined up everything we need to get the ramp built. I was so excited and amazed yet again by so many people going out of their way to help my family.

I tried to nap this afternoon because I am still fighting this stupid head cold, plus I got up early this morning. But it was the kind of nap that is more of a doze punctuated by my girls come to tattle on each other every ten to fifteen minutes.

The low point of the day was when Evie came up to inform me that Lila colored on the new sofa downstairs. There are just no words. We both cried...

To top it all off, Evie is going through a phase where she must. make. noise. constantly. It's driving me slowly insane. She whistles, she hums, she claps, she snaps, and she never stops! I've probably been even more hypersensitive to it while also dealing with a sinus headache this evening, but seriously. Any tips on how to curb the excess noises? I can't take it any more.

Jake has been a sweetheart today though. I picked him up after school and he said, "How are you feeling, Mom? Because you sound... not well."  Sometimes it just helps that someone notices.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My new Sunday favorites...

1. My crock-pot

I am relearning to love this useful kitchen tool, especially when our church isn't out until four and I am a Sunbeam teacher. After 3 hours of wrangling small children (mine and other people's) the last thing I want to do is come home and cook for an hour. I love walking in the door to the aroma of dinner being ready!

Today I experimented a bit and came up with something I'm calling "Shepherd's Upside-down Pie" 
It's always nice when an experiment turns out well instead of going horribly awry... like the great "Pink Soup Fiasco of '94"

2. Crock-pot liners

If you haven't tried these you really should. A bag that goes into the crock-pot first and makes clean up a snap! I especially appreciated it today as dinner was just slightly burned around the edges. But instead of having to soak and scrub the burnt crust off all I had to do was let it cool down, pull out the liner and throw it in the trash, and wipe the crock-pot out with a dish cloth. So very awesome.

3. Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Chips

I made some cookies tonight with the above mentioned product.
Um. Yum.

4. Laundrypalooza!

Hanging out with my sweetheart, watching tv, folding clothes together. 
It's a date night necessitated by a lack of clean underwear... how romantic.


So. I completely spaced posting tonight (technically, last night). We took the kids to a movie at the new theater that just opened in Centerville, then splurge on Happy Meals so we could sneak in some grocery shopping. We got home a little after 10. I put away the fridge/freezer items. Then cuddled up with Lila on my bed and read while she fell asleep. And I read, and read, and read some more. And then I finished my book and came out to see how Brian's favorite driver was faring in the night race (Yes, I am married to a NASCAR fan, and no, I don't want to talk about it. Although my unintentionally gained knowledge of stock car racing has come in handy during a game or two of Trivial Pursuit...) I sat down to check my email and looked at the clock and gasped in horror! 12:30! AM! Yikes. How could I forget something that has been part of my daily routine for 289 days? It kind of boggles the mind. Brian laughed at my distress and said, "Yeah, your poor Aunt Donna is laying in bed thinking, '...whiskey tango?'"  It's crazy I tell you, and more than a little scary. I just hope that it is a minor aberration and not the start of my senility...

What I was going to post about was the movie we went and saw. A Dolphin Tale. It was excellent. Jake and Evie were both very into the story and Lila was very well behaved until we ran out of popcorn. (Pretty standard for her.) Me, I enjoyed it and I cried. Especially during the closing credits where it showed video clips of Winter (the dolphin) meeting people with disabilities, that hit a little close to home I think. Brian and I were both a little choked up as we left the theater and tried to talk about which parts of the movie were our favorites. For me it was a line said by the prosthetic doctor, "Just because you're hurt don't mean you're broken."  I found it inspiring to watch as Winter and other people in the movie didn't give up when they were hurt, they just learned a new way of being in the world. That's how I feel about Brian and his attitude about his disability, even when I'm feeling frazzled and overwhelmed with all the new challenges, he just slowly and steadily works on learning his new way of being. He doesn't complain, he doesn't fret, he focuses on the positives of our situation and works on finding solutions. He helps keep me grounded. He makes me proud to be his wife.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Tonight as we were heading home from the store Jake piped up from the back seat and said, "Tomorrow morning we should find something we can do together as a family."  "We should, huh?" I replied, "Like what exactly?" "Oh, like we could all go for a walk together... or something," Jake said. I said, "How about cleaning the house? That's something we can all do together." There was a long pause and then Jake said in a skeptical tone, "Well, it's not ideal... but it's something to think about." 

So I guess he'll let me know in the morning, after he thinks about it. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A little nothing of a post...

Today I did nothing.

So I literally have nothing to post about.

The end.

p.s. I am still sick and cranky, which may or may not have contributed to the tone of this post.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My father is a genius!

A week or so ago I asked my dad to help me out with getting a piece of wood cut to the right size to cover the hideous indoor rock planter that lurks in my basement and only proves my theories about interior design in the 60's. (I firmly believe that they put LSD in the water along with the fluoride before they knew about it's harmful side effects. I just don't see any other way to explain how society embraced shag carpeting, harvest gold and avocado green appliances and hideous indoor planters where there are NO windows?! But I digress...)

In my dream world where I could have what ever I want as soon as I wanted it, the planter would be gone and that wall would be floor to ceiling shelving/entertainment center. Since this isn't my dream world I decided to settle for having a plank of wood to cover the stupid thing so my children stop trying to use it as a giant garbage can/hidey hole. I thought that would be a huge improvement over the leftover kitchen cupboard doors I've been using like big puzzle pieces for the past four years.

My dad surprised me this morning by dropping off these two shelving units from IKEA. Put together they are the perfect size to cover the hole in the top of the planter and now I have more storage options! Another bonus is that by raising the television I will be able to see it from my sewing cubical while I work. I am loving my new and improved TV area!

After he put the shelves together and hefted the TV up there for me, we turned our attention to assembling the new couch. Also from IKEA. (I love that store.)


Those clever Swedes and their ingenious storage solutions. 
(I have threatened my children with extreme and dire consequences if I find one toy, one piece of clothing, or any siblings inside of the couch.)

And it pulls out to accommodate an occasional visitor or two. 
My cousin Tiffany has already graciously volunteered to test the "comfy-ness" quotient... 

I spent several minutes just staring at my new couch and shelves and loving how clean and organized it all is.

Mostly because the rest of the downstairs still looks like this.
(My sewing cubical)

Some days I feel like all I do is move the mess from one room to another downstairs. 
But slowly and surely, bit by bit we are coming along.
 Thanks to IKEA and my dad...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I hab a code in my node...

Which means that I am not the happiest mom in the world today. Sinus headache + lack of sleep = grouchy mommy. And all I wanted to do today was stay curled up in my sweatpants and watch movies and knit. But I couldn't because moms don't get sick days. I had two kids that had to get to the dentist and to school and get picked up afterwards. I have an almost three year old who's convinced that the world should revolve around her, no matter how poorly I am feeling. I have a sister who is genetically predetermined to lock herself out of things, so I drove to Ogden to give her her husband's house key. (Seriously Caitlin, if you want to hang out with me you can just ask me to visit... you don't have to keep locking yourself out of stuff.) I did the dishes. I made waffles for dinner. I snuggled Lila on the couch until we were both almost asleep, but then she rolled off my lap and face planted it on the carpet. So I put the kids to bed early and that's where I'm heading in the not too distant future, hopefully doped up on something to relieve the congestion and let me sleep for longer than a half an hour at a time. Stupid cold.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A little bit every day...

Today Pa Dave stopped by after work and helped us put together Jacob's new armoire.
Since we are moving the girls downstairs we needed some more closet space.

Jake and I are both super thrilled by how organized and clean his room is now. 
He decided he wanted to sleep in his own room because it is "awesome"!
He asked if we could get the girls room done tonight too so they could all sleep downstairs.
I told him that we'd get the girls moved down soon, but not tonight.
He thought about that for a moment and then said, "Well, I'll still trying sleeping down here by myself. It will probably be good character building for me..."

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pot roast on Sunday

I got out of bed this morning because I was dreaming about oversleeping. In my dream I woke up at noon and so the laundry in the dryer (which was all of the clean underwear and Jake's church shirt) didn't get restarted which meant that we were late to church, and I was late getting the roast on to cook so we couldn't eat until 9:00 pm. I shot out of bed and across the room to the alarm clock. It was 9:30... am. Oh. Whew.

So the laundry got dry, the roast got started and we went to church in plenty of time. I was exhausted from my burst of anxiety dream fulled adrenaline, but we were on time. Although Jake, who's job it is every week to pack up the church bag, forgot diapers and wipes (again) so he and Brian had to run back home for them. But I was on time.

I was reflecting as I stood washing up the dishes after dinner, that making a pot roast still makes me feel like I am a little girl playing house. It's the strangest thing. I am a 32 year old mother of three. I have been married for 10 years, lived in 5 homes and have had 2 mortgages. I am right in the thick of my adulthood, but cooking pot roast still feels a little surreal. Pot roast for Sunday dinner is what my mother made when I was growing up, or what my mother in law makes. I could probably count on both hands the number of pot roasts I've made since we've been married. (I might have to use one foot, but only just.)

It's just funny to have something like cooking a meal make me think, "Oh man, I am so grown-up!"

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Tunnel vision...

A lot happened today that I could write about.

We got some more of the furniture we need to finish the basement for the kids so that we can make the upstairs easier to navigate for Brian's wheelchair.

Brian and the girls got haircuts.

Lila got bangs.

We made the 27th and final decision about Evie's Halloween costume.

Lila has broken out in hives again.

Brian and I had a great date night.

But all I can think about is the gigantic spider I just killed in the basement!

It was the fourth one of the night and the whole process involved a whole lot of screaming and squealing and jumping around in circles and talking sternly to the spider.

And that was just me trying to work up the courage to cross the room to see if I could reach where it was hanging out above my sewing machine.

This is probably the worst part of Brian's disability, I have to kill my own spiders now. :(

I ended up having to go get my little stair vacuum and suck the sucker up.

Then what?

I put the whole thing out on the front porch.

I'll deal with it tomorrow.

I figure if someone steals the vacuum they deserve the huge spider that comes with it...

I just hate spiders so much.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Girl's Day


Today we headed out to Gardner Village for lunch and (mostly window) shopping with Emilie and Karaia.

We loved looking at all the witch displays.

Some of them are very funny...

It was fun to hang out with our girls, and they were really very well behaved. Especially when you consider that we made them hang around in the quilting store for over an hour while we looked at fabrics...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A few of my favorite things...

Cool, crisp weather.

Warm woolen mittens, or socks, sweaters, hats, yarn, roving... pretty much anything woolen.

I love fall and winter.

It's good knitting weather.

It's good curling up by the fire with a book weather.

It's also good snuggling weather, and snuggling is a big thing in our house.

(As long as it doesn't involve a Snuggie... just don't even get me started on the Snuggie.)

I just cleaned out and organized my yarn stash, so I have plenty to knit.

I just went to the library, so I have plenty to read.

I have three cuddly kids who love to be snuggled and plenty of assorted blankets, quilts and afghans to snuggle them in.

Bring on the fall... I am so ready!

*edited to appease Brian who complained that he was conspicuously absent from the above post.

 I also snuggle with my husband.

So there is that to look forward to as well.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Puppy Love

I know a lot of my neighbors have been wondering if we got a dog. 
We did not.

Caite and Patrick got a dog, Brandi, who now visits us on a fairly regular basis with Caite.
I like it.
 The kids get to have a taste of having a pet without any of the inconvenience of owning an animal. 
(I'm still holding strong on my position of everyone in the house being able to take care of all their own bathroom needs before we even consider getting a pet... I figure that's going to buy me at least another two years.)

Plus watching Lila interact with Brandi is hilarious. She is constantly trying to call the dog and get her to obey, and since she can't whistle yet we hear a whole lot of, "Brandi! Ooo-wooo!" (The Ooo-Woo is how Lila whistles.) Lila loves it when Caite lets her walk Brandi. Although you can probably tell from the above picture it is usually a toss up as to who is "walking" who...

I had to share a close up of the outfit Lila put together today. Yes that would be her church slip on over some leggings, a sweater, her cowboy boots and a hat. This was her third outfit of the day, by 11 am. She had on a different dress, but decided it wasn't twirly enough to suit her mood. She would have been happy to just put on her slip, but mean mom insisted on layers because of the change in the weather. It was just a happy outfit though. I noticed on the way home several people smiled as they drove past and caught sight of Lila racing after the puppy with her twirly skirts flying in the breeze.

It was quite a long walk. Once we got home Evie and Lila went into their room to take off their jackets and shoes. They flopped on the floor and Evie said, "Whew, I am exhausperated!" And Lila agreed, "Yeah... exhaustipated!"