May 1, 2013
Food: color noodles
Book: Goddess Girls
Restaurant: Flamingo Palace
Cereal: fruit loops
TV Shows: Arthur
Movie: The Lorax
Candy: cookies and cream chocolate bar
Subject: social studies
Thing to do: play in my room alone
Place have been: Arizona, California, Washington
Place to be: home
Place want to go: Greece
Time of Day: when school starts
Song: The Sounds of Music soundtrack
Treat: ice cream
Vacation: Seal Beach
April 28, 2013
I am 20 days into the long term sub experience and it is going very well.
No, things aren’t as smooth as they were before but I am so much happier.
I am genuinely exhausted at night. I no longer search for things to do to preoccupy my mind during the day. If this experiment were in a vacuum, without regard for the others involved, it would be a slam dunk in favor of me working full time.
The kids are handling it very well. They love coming into the classroom in the morning. They love having me in the building so they can snag a lunchtime hug.
I have been very careful to not allow the extra work I have to do interfere too much with their schedule. I try to leave reasonably close to the end of the school day and I try not to drag them in too early.
Only 19 more days to go. These will be the most hectic too since the Variety Show is upon us and that is something I always did before. Working an extra two and a half hours a week doesn’t seem like much but when you add that into all that we already do it is busy.
April 20, 2013
Madeline really wanted to have a sleepover birthday party but I wasn’t up for it but I told her she could have a night owl party that started at 6 and ended at 9. She thought that would be fun too.
This year she wanted to have her birthday party on her real birthday. Such a fun change for her especially since next year her birthday will be on Easter Sunday!
The Girls came over in their pajamas and they played Just Dance.
Headbands and Sorry
Watched a movie outside on a blow up air matress.
Ate owl cupcakes.
Wore owl sleeping masks that Grammy and Mommy made.
And ran around playing into the night.
She had such a good time. She loved the different stations and how relaxed and quiet it was. Enjoying the time with her friends and family celebrating her.
April 14, 2013
Not sure what to do with the blog.
I rarely have time to update it anymore.
Life is BUSY! With four kids we are always doing things. I take most pictures with my cell phone because I forget to bring my real camera along.
I am conflicted because I really enjoy looking back on what has been written. The raw emotion of the moment—there is nothing like it. Hmmm . . .
On March 20th Paul reluctantly took the training wheels off his bike and gave riding a two wheeler a try. He was so afraid but I knew he was long since ready. He was a complete natural and was riding on his own after two pushes!
All four kids can ride a bike on their own and I felt a sense of pride in teaching them all how to do this. When Paul was riding off I thought of how scared each one was and how they met the adversity with a smile on their face. I am not sure how I will feel when the last one learns to drive a car but I am sure it will be a similar sense of accomplishment. My kids are growing up and I like it.
April 11, 2013
As I have mentioned before I am a season ticket holder at Gammage. When I go once a month the Girls are always so excited/jealous. They ask for details of the show and dream about going. This season Beauty and the Beast was coming and they were wishing and hoping they could go. Kimberly even looked up the tickets online and wished she could save $80 for the tickets.
We were able to take the Girls to the show and surprise them. They were elated. They got all dressed up and we headed off to the show.
The show was amazing! My Girls got a taste for live theater and they loved it.
I was so happy to be able to share that experience with them. From the stunned faces and screams when we revealed the surprise, to their faces as they saw the show it was a wonderful evening. They are already planning their next show. They want to see either the Wizard of Oz or Lion King.
April 1, 2013
As of today I am the long term sub for a second grade classroom at my kids school. The current teacher had some health issues and needed to take leave. I will be subbing for 39 school days. I think this will be a good trial for our family.
I know it will be a huge adjustment but we need to see if this is something we can do. As you know I have struggled with staying home, especially now that everyone is off at school. I suspect I will love the work but I am not sure how it will impact the kids.
This year for April fools I was subbing so I was not able to spend a lot of time creating something fabulous for April Fools day. I had to resort to some easier things that were just as much fun.
I switched the sugar bowl with salt and offered the kids hot tea with dinner. Kimberly is super picky and could tell something was going on just by looking at the salt. Aside from the fact that it was April Fools and they are keen to the idea that I will try to trick them.
I made mashed potato and froze it to look like ice cream. I dished it up for the kids and added their favorite topping. Let’s just say it was hilarious.
Since the dinner tricks weren’t going off as smoothly as I had hoped I put corn syrup on the toilet seat. It was so funny to watch Kimberly get off the toilet and realize that her legs and buns had corn syrup all over them! I was dying laughing.
When Paul went to the bathroom in the other bathroom he had a conniption fit when he found it on the other toilet. Needless to say, Paul is NOT a fan of April Fools Day. By the end of the night he was in tears and just wanted the day to be over.
Bill tried to trick the kids by putting saran wrap over their drawers when they went to pick out their pajamas. The majority of the kids thought it was funny, but Paul didn’t.
The kids really wanted to get me back so they asked Bill for help. He gave them the idea to put something in my Diet Coke. They put soy sauce in it. Let me say that it was DISGUSTING!!!! I came down from tucking them in and took a huge swig. I was so proud of them though. My little babies are learning so much and I thought they made the best decision to use soy sauce in the Diet Coke.
March 31, 2013
Our kids are getting so big but they still enjoy a simple egg hunt or two.
The kids looked adorable as always.
We had a nice day at home. Grammy, Jake, Joey and Wyatt came over for dinner. Annie folded the napkins into bunny faces while the other girls made place cards for the table.
March 30, 2013
The kids always love going to the GoDaddy family picnic and this year was no different. Because it was on the day before Easter they did an Easter egg hunt. The kids had fun searching for the eggs.
They each were able to pick a snack.
Daddy got to hold all their treasures while they played games and rode on rides.
Kimberly beat all the other kids at the picnic in the hula hoop contest. She was the big winner!
Mom got in on the fun racing the Girls on the huge trikes.
The kids had fun climbing the rock wall.
And racing in the huge hamster wheels.
All in all it was a fun family event. Kids had such fun!
Sometimes the kids have a very nostalgic moment where they look fondly on something from their childhood. Because we were having some of the neighbors over for a picnic after the neighborhood Easter hunt we took out the baby swing. (There are a lot of babies on our block.)
Annie was the first one to jump in and ask to be pushed.
She wasn’t the only one to hop in, each child did in turn. Look how happy she is to see me document this moment.
March 29, 2013
On Good Friday we dyed our Easter Eggs. The kids had fun creating different deigns on their eggs.
March 28, 2013
Recently a girlfriend of mine asked me if I would like to go along with her on a trip to Chicago. It was over the kids spring break but Bill was able to take the time off and insisted that I take a break. It didn’t take much convincing to make me go.
We left super early to make the most of our three day trip. (It was actually longer for her since she had to stay two additional days for work.) We were both pretty nervous because the temperatures predicted that week were far below what we were used to. I borrowed a warm coat from a friend and packed a nice warm scarf.
In this post you are going to think that all we did was eat, it wasn’t, but it was a huge part of what we like to do. We walk and we eat, we see interesting things along the way and love to experience amazing food.
Our first night there we had drinks and shared appetizers on the 95th floor of the Hancock Building. We had the Chicago beef and the spinach and artichoke dip. Both were amazing but not as amazing as the view.
The next morning we went out looking for a breakfast place and found the
The Original Pancake House which serves the Dutch baby. Oh sweet deliciousness this was wonderful. Neither of us had ever had anything like this.
I have several adoptive friends who live in Chicago area and was pleased as punch when one said they would be able to meet up on day for lunch. Meg is just as I imagined, so sweet and lovely. A pleasure to spend an hour with. We spoke and talked like old friends. She was amazing. Thank you again Meg for coming to meet up with me.
Since it was so chilly outside we looked around for things to do indoors. The Art Institute of Chicago caught our eye. We weren’t sure how far it was on foot and we knew we were going to walk around it so we opted for a cab ride up. It was amazing. We saw so many beautiful pieces of art. Some were just as I imagined and others like El Greco’s Assumption of the virgin were very different. I have no idea how he painted it, it is immense. Floor to ceiling immense. You have to step back from it to actually see the picture. For some reason I thought this was a normal size painting.
Others like Van Gogh’s self portrait was far smaller than I imagined it.
One painting that I didn’t get a picture of but loved was The Captive Slave by John Phillip Simpson. It moved me in ways nothing else did.
When we left the Art Institute we walked over to the bean. Hey, we were tourists after all. It was curious and interesting.
Because of Facebook I saw a friend of mine check into a hotel not far from my hotel in Chicago. She was on a family vacation for spring break. It was amazing to meet up with her and catch up. I hadn’t seen her since she moved from Arizona years ago.
Jamie and I started back to our hotel. We loved the bustle of the street and ended up walking all the way back to our hotel and then onto Lou Malnati’s for deep dish pizza. We relaxed in the overstuffed chairs at our table, ordered a couple of beers, a salad and a pizza. The pizza was good but the salad was AMAZING.
The next day we set out to have a Chicago dog. Everyone said that it was a local favorite so we had to have one. On our way we stopped into an amazing Bavarian Bakery for breakfast.
The pastries were AMAZING! Jamie had a croissant with chocolate and cherry filling and I had a turnover with apple filling. They were both wonderful. While we were there eating Jamie had to take a work call and I wandered over to the kitchen and watched them make the croissant dough. The Master baker invited me in and talked to me about the 18 hour process of the croissant making. So many amazing and wonderful things. The bakery was easily the best place we smelled on our vacation.
We finally found our Chicago dog around lunchtime and while it was very interesting, I mean what is in that relish that makes it neon green, but it was easily my least favorite meal no the trip. Definitely not something I would seek out again.
Jamie and I love the theater and so when we found out we were one street over from a playhouse that was performing I Love Lucy that night we had to get tickets. It was a hilarious show.
Before the show we went out for Italian food. Jamie and I are the perfect match for a half roasted chicken, she likes white meat and I like dark. (Bill is also a perfect match for me with the half chicken.) We decide on the garlic half chicken and the lobster ravioli. Both were amazing!
So many wonderful memories from the trip. Lots of fun. It was a wonderful break and I am thankful to Bill for encouraging me to go on the trip. I am truly blessed in friendship and marriage.
When the Girls were little they made some sugar eggs with Grammy and Papa. They treasure those eggs and we set them out each Easter. Paul asked Grammy if she would help him make one. She said she would and let the Girls make a new one too.
They came out beautifully and will be treasures we will enjoy for many years to come.
March 24, 2013
At Christmastime we make so many varieties of cookies that often the sugar cookies, which the kids refer to as “Santa Cookies” don’t get the attention they deserve. In fact I tend to make a half batch so that I don’t waste too many.
When Easter rolls around we LOVE to make our sugar cookies. They are the only cookie we make for Easter and they are well loved and all are eaten.
The Girls are old enough now and they completely make their cookies on their own. They roll it, cut it and are excellent decorators.
I used my favorite cookie recipe from my cooking blog.
They were delicious and the kids had a great time making them.
March 9, 2013
The Girl Scouts have a 5K run called the Thin Mint Sprint. We are not normally a running kind of family but the kids really are athletic and it sounded like a fun event with our troops. They also have a 1 mile Samoa Stroll that I took part in.
Unfortunately it was unseasonably cold that morning and slightly rainy. Thankfully we were able to get done before it really started raining.
Kimberly, Annie and Mimi ran with my co-leader and had a blast.
Annie crossing the finish line.
Kimberly passing the finish line.
Madeline running it in.
The Girls had such a fun time and want to train more for the event next year so that they have a chance at winning.
In my book they are already winners. 9 and 7 year olds who run a 5K are always winners.
Annie and Kimberly’s troop
March 8, 2013
May 31, 2000 the very first episode of Survivor aired. I was hooked. I loved the show. I have not missed an episode since.
I have always dreamed of being on the show but as you may or may not know my journey through infertility started in 2001. There were other dreams I wanted to pursue more.
I have pondered applying for a year or so now and finally bit the bullet. Bill was my biggest proponent reminding me that they could cancel the show at any time and I was on the threshold of becoming the old lady on the show. (45-50 year olds rarely last long on Survivor.)
I decided to apply and am elated that I finally did it. I can’t imagine them picking me but I am excited at the thought that they might. As I told them, I may not be strong or athletic but I am tenacious and have a fighting spirit. I never give up — just take one look at how I built my family and you know that when I put my mind to something I don’t let anything stop me.
March 2, 2013
Paul isn’t a very artsy boy and he rarely slows down enough with pencil or crayon in hand to make a drawing so this piece of art is a real treasure.
It is a picture of Mommy and Paul. I am the one on the left in the pink shirt and he is the boy next to me. There is a blue bird in the sky overhead and we are surrounded by hearts. The purple line in between Paul and I is our house and the brown thing beside him is a tree.
Such a sweet drawing from my busy boy.
Kimberly’s art was featured once again in the District Art Festival. She worked hard on her pointillism piece by her upper arm. She didn’t win an extra award at the show but she was proud she was selected to be in the show.
February 28, 2013
Paul lost his first tooth. It was a tricky one to loose because it was his tooth that was fused together so one side was free about a week before the other side.
He finally let Mommy pull it and was surprised that it barely hurt when I pulled it out.