Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Missing Out

This weekend is the 11th Annual Beach to Beacon race and the first year we have missed it since I met Doug in 2001. And the first one he has missed period.

Doug's entire immediate family, 90% of his extended family are all converging in Maine for the race and the annual Lobster Fest at the house.

This year, because of new jobs, daycare closings, extra vacations planned, we are not there. We are very sad. Seriously sad. We are setting up some times to do a video conference with everyone but it isn't the same.

We will not do this again next year, next year we will figure out how to be there!

We miss you and we will be there in 2 weeks!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I am curious... do you have a favorite candy or magazine or author or skin care line or application that reminds you of childhood, helps in day to day life, let's you escape, organizes you?

What is it?

Hubby picked up some Fun Dips last weekend and I was reminded of going to the pool as a kid and spending my quarter at the snack bar on Fun Dips or my nickle on Fireballs! But I always had to put my fireball in water until most of the red was gone.

Also, I love Everyday Food, Oprah, Baltimore, and Maryland Life magazines - oh and Parenting.

I will randomly pick 3 responses and send some Old Bay packets if you comment with your thoughts!

I emailed Amy, Jef, and Carrissa to send Old Bay! Sorry it took so long!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dream Bed

I found this while looking for bunk beds yesterday, and while my girls would sleep on the floor with a pink blanket I so would LOVE for them to have this in their room.

Wouldn't you want this bed if you were a little girl??? It has a twin on top (look through the window) and the full on the bottom - but I THINK I could put our current toddler bed in that space until we needed a bigger one!

But it is only a dream...

Friday, July 25, 2008


Today I am taking Aubrey to a play date at the new pre-school she will start in Mid-August. I am nervous/excited/scared and a little sad. She will meet the teacher and the kids and we will play for an hour or so and then head back to Ms. LA's.

What if she loves it?

What if she hates it?

What if she is the problem child?

What if I haven't given her the tools to do well in a class room setting?

What if...

How did she get so big?

How did we get to preparing for kindergargen?

How did time fly by without a warning?

How do I let her go?


**Update: Aubrey was fine. She was great. She had fun, she was polite and she told the teachers her full name, age and birthdate - I didn't even know she knew her birthdate. They played outside and about 7 kids were asking to play with her and she got a bit overwhelmed but she dealt with it and had a blast.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


A couple of weeks ago, we picked some ripe raspberries from the bushes lining our driveway, we grabbed some tomatoes from our garden and some rosemary from our garden. These fresh ingredients made me very excited to cook and so I made....

Rosemary potatoes

And putting that together reminded me of these Crispy Green Beans I made last month, which were to DIE for!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Da Balloons

We hit Party City on Saturday with my mom. We needed birthday party supplies for Molly's 2nd birthday - I don't consider this a break in the 40 day plan as it is for a 2 year old's birthday party - well actually supplies for 2 parties. One at home and one in Maine.

While we were there, my mother saw a clearance rack for mylar balloons. The rest is history... BIG history.

Yes, these balloons could be in a Thanksgiving Parade.
And are bigger than Molly!

Are You My Mother?

This morning I helped get the kids up and dressed and instead of leaving the house with them I lallygagged a little. I cleaned up, I blogged, I did my hair a little fancier than usual, I had a cup of coffee, I read the news...

And as I drove to work, on the road that I live on, I was talking to my husband and saw a cow. In the road. I hung up with hubby, stopped the car, put it in park and got out to take a picture of the cow... in the road.
Exhibit 1: I have stepped out of the car and here is the Cow.
Exhibit 2: The cow has begun running towards me, and I start running but still try to get a picture. (So I don't know if this is an exhibit of the cow so much as my stupidity)
Exhibit 3: Safely in my car the cow in the mirror, very close.
Exhibit 4: The cow is now chasing my car as if it is his Mother.
I need to note here that Cows are much faster than you could ever anticipate. Very fast.

Toy Clean Up

Friday night I decided to take control of the house. From the clothes, the toys, the chaos. I started with the girls clothes. I tossed every piece of clothing in their rooms into the middle of their floors and did a major weeding. It felt good. And now there are only clothes for the season, that they can wear to school, available for choosing. That created 3 big bags for good will, plus bins for the new baby niece and fall bins for both girls.

Saturday we were gone all day having fun. Sunday morning we continued the clean house routine. Doug called me "a machine". We tossed every single toy, in the entire house in the middle of the office - toys from the basement, attic, rooms, etc.
This is where we started. Each girl started their own pile of things they needed to keep. And everything else got in a box - Goodwill, Trash, Sell/Give.

We are almost done here. I was shocked that I was able to every piece of every toy back together in it's original state. Puzzle pieces, Blue's Clues, Farms, Dora stuff, etc. It felt good.
And our stuff "organized". It is all sitting in the dining room now. We are trying to figure out what to do with the "good" stuff - yard sale or just give it away or what. Some of it we will keep and rotate.

And there only the toys that are in this room are out. And the girls are actually playing more with their toys because they know where everything is and maybe are not as overwhelmed with how much there was!

I think this came from us doing the 40 day challenge and realizing we don't need 1/4 of what we have!

Ahhhhh.... which lasted until Tuesday and now the house has toys all over it again. But as soon as I hit post, I will straighten up because I know where everything goes :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

What Molly Taught Me

She showed me that I can't be perfect, but doing my best is everything my girls need.

She taught me that accepting help is OK and doing it gracefully is a skill I took too long to learn.
Molly has shown me that every battle can not be won and that sometimes crying is the only thing you can do. But holding her through that is enough.

She has proven that what worked before will never be enough because of her determination and drive; I will sometimes need to go back to the drawing board.

She showed me that even if I do everything the same, she is different and in every difference is beauty, determination, and a chance for me to learn and grow and exand my heard.
She is my daughter. She is my heart. She is a little sister trying so hard to keep up that she forgets to enjoy who she is.
And while sometimes we forget to enjoy who she is, she never fails to surprise and entertain us! Like this morning at the breakfast table, "I funny".
I love you Molly.

Proof I am a Bitch

Aubrey: "Mommy memember when Maxie was in your tummy and I wasn't a little girl yet?"

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Girls and Clothes

OK, Moms, I have a question.

My daughters like to pick out their own clothes in the morning. They have VERY strong opinions on this subject. Seriously, strong opinions. So strong that on most mornings I no longer bother to fight about it and my girls go to school with diagonal striped skirts with shirts with stars in a completely different color pallet.

I don't have the energy to deal with the clothing issue now that BOTH girls are fighting me on this.

So... do I fight this, do I put my foot down or do I let them control this piece of their lives?

They feel pretty and isn't that more important than my perception of what is appropriate or am I feeding into a cycle that will continue to let them choose battles with me... and win?

There isn't a lot we give into in terms of behavior and politeness, my kids are very polite. They are respectful, they are loving and fun.

So thoughts??

Oh, also, Molly doesn't let us brush her hair, any thoughts on that?

Day 10 Update

We are at Day 10 of the Challenge. I have exercised 4 out of the last 10 days, but was sick so that hurt that area.

I have started throwing out catalogs as they come in instead of looking at them. I received the Book I wanted from Ali, and sent her one in return. We are thinking about using the old futon in the basement for the big bed in Aubrey's room instead of buying something new. We have also started finding other ways to re-use things in the house. It is pretty cool.

Some friends and I with our oldest kids all the same age are going to send postcards to the kids from the kids as a geography type lesson and as an exciting I got something in the mail with my name in it treat. I was going to buy some postcards - but instead have done some research and will use a photo I took in Maine a few years ago to print out and mail! I am looking for a good photo of Baltimore and have none, so I will work on that :) But still excited that I had to stop and think about making something using things in the house vs just running out and buying stuff.

Stopping and thinking is the best part of this challenge!

PLUS, my sister is having a little girl in November so I will get a TON of clothes and blankets and coats and pink stuff out of my house very soon!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Animal Encounters

Saturday we hit the zoo in the morning! I thought it opened at 9am so we got there at 9am. It opened at 10.

Here are some pictures while we played and waited patiently.

Adorable, right?
Needs cropping, but this is a keeper!
My life!

Then we got to feed the giraffes.

Seriously, we fed the giraffes, it was super cool. Got right up close, the tongue comes out, grabs the "browse" and the girls were not scared/anxious at all! It was cool.

Then we pet the goats.

Some things to note, we were at the Zoo from 9am - Noon. We did not bring a stroller. We were the only idiots at the zoo that day that didn't have a stroller. This resulted in a 4.5 hour nap from Molly... so who's the idiot? Well... still us.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Men At Work

Men At Work signs in Atlanta are being replaced with Workers Ahead good idea or bad idea?

I think for only 1000 bucks, why wouldn't they make this change and why is this news?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

10 Year Reunion

I got a letter in the mail this week inviting me to my 10 year College Reunion. I also got a phone call from a good friend talking about how blogging is not the only way to keep up with each other and how have we gone so long in seeing each other.

So... I totally think that her and her and I should go to the "reunion", sans husbands and children, stay in OC or Rehobeth, and NOT go to any of the events but instead shop and relax.

Don't you agree?
Progress Report:
My laptop bag BROKE as I was walking to the car last night after work. I need a new one... but due to this ridiculously hard challenge I dug up my old, ugly, REI backpack and am using that. I say BLAH to you.

Also? I am going to Melting Pot tonight and could totally leave now and shop at the Mall but I can't shop. Why is it so hard to stop doing something when you "challenge" yourself but it is equally hard when you try to START doing something... ie start excercising, stop shopping. Both hard.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Morning Wake Up Call

Aubrey came in this morning and climbed on top of me for a full body hug. I asked her if I was a bed or a pillow and she said, "NO, you are a loving".


Then she said, "What happened to your face? It has yucky polk a dots".
Daddy said, "Aubrey, those are freckles".


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

See the Beauty Within

This child is beautiful, inside and out.
She is polite, caring, outgoing, silly, and fun.
She is smart, strong, and brave.
She is my first born.
She is a good sister.
She is a light in our lives we couldn't live without.

Challenge Rules/Clarification

OK, here are MY rules.

1) Eating out is not part of this, but I am going to refrain from Starbucks
2) Gas is not part of this
3) Normal scheduled monthly payments, not part of this (like Netflix, subscribtions, etc)
4) Services (like haircuts) are not part of this
5) Clothes/Shoes/Kitchen gadgets/electronics/toys/books/off the rack magazines ARE part of this

Make your own rules :) Since a couple people are going to join me, I will add the list of participants here.

  1. Jen
  2. Anne
  3. Erin
  4. Virginia

My status: I really want the new Nora Roberts Book 2 of the 7 Trilogy. I read the first one over vacation (borrowed from my dad). This means I either have to 1) get a library card and go to the library OR 2) get my dad to buy it and steal it from him :)

I did hit the gym yesterday morning and this morning so I am feeling pretty good!

Monday, July 7, 2008

40 Day Challenge

Doug and I have agreed to take on a challenge. Over the next 40 days, we will not buy anything except for groceries. This includes our joint and personal "allowance" accounts.

This will be quite the challenge for us! We are consumers/spenders/gadget freaks. But I think we can do it. I just have to throw away all the coupons I get in the mail and ignore the SALE signs, the review sites I read, etc.

On top of that no spending challenge, I am challenging myself to excercise at least 20 days for 30 minutes or more in those 40 days.

So we shall see how that goes, I will keep you posted.

Just a note, I am totally behind on email, blogs, etc. Hoping to catch up with everyone soon!

And a question for moms... What type of hair ties or barrettes do you find work best in your children's hair? We have run out of small rubber bands and need something that we know will work! I count this as a grocery item BTW!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Potty Update

When we arrived at the beach on Saturday, I brought out the little potty, Molly sat down, and opened 2 presents, pretty princess panties and stickers. She was also offerred an M&M for being a big girl and sitting on the potty.

She did great. But I didn't do great. Being at the beach, having 2 girls running around needing attention, I really was not consistent with her and I didn't get her sitting as I should have. So the first 2 days she peed and pooped in the potty, between rounds of NOT doing those things in the potty. BUT Arley wanted in on the action and he ended the week potty trained! To the point that when naked he would walk over and pee and poo in the potty with no help!

On Wednesday I gave up - because of me more than because of Molly. I put her in diapers - except for at the beach. She was free-styling it all week in her bathing suit.

When we got home from the beach she said, "I have poopy I potty". So I put her on the potty. She looked like she was trying to do something... and then her sister walked in and she said "All done". We walked to the stairs, I hung up a coat whereby Molly squated down and pooped at my feet. And Max ran by and tried to eat it and Molly stepped in it and I yelled out "Welcome Home Craigs" and Doug and I laughed ourselves silly.

So... Arley is potty trained - he turned 2 in May. Molly is not... but I was confident enough that she wouldn't poop in her bathing suit in the pool that when we went today she free-styled there and was fine.

Good things about this trip: 1) Molly doesn't poop 5 times a day anymore, she does it twice and 2) When I have the energy and can maybe get Aubrey out of the house for 2 days I am pretty sure we can be potty trained and out of diapers and 3) We are out of swimmie daipers and Molly can swim in the big pool.

Oh, and this morning Molly told me she needed the big girl potty, we sat and sat and again I know she could have done something but her sister came in to use the sink and she wanted to go run after her and play with water...

Consistency, rewards, consistency, and encouragement - those are the tools of the trade! I think my sister and her husband were quite surprised that Arley did so well.... even at the beach!

Catching Up

We got home yesterday from a great vacation at Bethany Beach. Laundry is done, groceries purchased, even fit in a dinner with the girls Aunt Debi and Uncle Roy and Sarah and Royal.

We took 700 pictures. I promise not to post them all but here are a few I love.
Any one know any talent agents? This girl wants to be a model, just ask her ;) Baby crack rocks!
FisherWOMEN and Daddy
Arley and Molly were very cute together... if cute includes pushing, shoving, grabbing... but they had their moments and we miss Arley this morning!!