Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A trip to the zoo

On Saturday, we planned to go to the zoo with my sister and her kids. But one of them came down with pneumonia, so it was just the five of us.  We usually never go with just us, it's always my sister, or Keith's sister - sometimes the grandparents come too.

It was a really slow day there, no crowds.  We hit up the Children's Zoo, which thankfully had a cow, since all Colin wanted to see was a cow.  Connor wanted to see the dolphins and the penguins, and Keira was content with most things.

Colin was still sick (turns out he has bronchitis), so we didn't stay for more than a couple of hours.  We stopped for ice cream before hitting up the merry-go-round. 

It was the perfect day.

Monday, August 29, 2011

It's the time...

...of the season....

Ok, now I will have that Zombies' song in my head the rest of the day.

It's still August, but with Connor in kindergarten,
 the twins in 3 days of preschool at our daycare center,
and students back on the college campus where I work,
it feels like fall to me. 
(The chilly temps in the morning don't help.)

It's all I can do not to stop at Starbucks and ask for a pumpkin latte....

We haven't even had our Labor Day picnic yet,
and I'm dreaming about jeans and my sweater boots.
The 90 degree temperature scheduled for Thursday and Friday
will squash those dreams as I complain about how hot I am though.

But I'm ready.
I've got my magazines and pinterest,
and my head is swimming with
decoration ideas for the house and yard. 

*Photos from Midwest Living magazine.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Five Question Friday

So my friend Tima tried this today, and now I am going to copy her. ;)

1. Did you make any fun purchases this week?

Not yet! But tomorrow I am hitting up Carters to buy jeans for Keira, and Halloween pajamas! (Remember we are Halloween people.)

2. If you could go to any musical concert, what would it be?

Pearl Jam's 20th Anniversary concert with the Strokes, Queens of the Stone Age, and Mudhoney.  Two days of Pearl Jam at Alpine Valley - yes please! Plus it would be awesome because that is where I first saw them live.  However, lack of funds and no babysitters mean no concert in real life.

3. What is your least fav/ most fav house chore?

Least fave would be dishes, so Keith does them. Most favorite chore would be dusting/vacuuming/reorganizing.

4. Would you prefer new appliances or clothes?

I'd have to go with clothes.

5. Miracle Whip or Mayo?

I love Miracle Whip, but the hubby doesn't. Since he does the grocery shopping, it's all mayo at our house.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Just Me

The last challenge.
A picture of me.
I hate pictures of me.
There are certain things about me that
I don't like and wish were different.
When I look in the mirror,
sometimes I think I look pretty,
but every picture of myself
makes me feel unpretty. 
But I have to finish the challenge.
So here it is:
(and of course, being a cell phone pic, it's grainy)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Standing at the bedroom doorway (which is blocked by a gate because they are supposed to be in bed): Mommy! Colin is being so naughty! He won't stay in his bed even though it's bedtime!

Mommy, you have a ring on.
Yes, it's my wedding ring. Daddy gave it to me when we got married.
I love it. I want a wedding ring. When I a big girl.
I get to wear red heels and a shiny bracelet.
(We went to a wedding a couple weeks ago and she loved seeing me dressed up.  Apparently she thinks it was my wedding.)

Seeing my red heels: I love these! Thank you for getting them for me!

Mommy, when you at home, I don't wear your sandals. But when you are not here, I wear them ok? Even though you tell me not too.

While helping my mom do the dishes (my mom said it was like she was talking to them):
Nana does the dishes.
Daddy does the dishes.
Mommy just doesn't know how to do dishes.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Happiness is a happy kindergartener

I feel kind of old saying I'm a mom to a kindergartener. But I am. And I didn't cry last week on day one.

Although I teared up a bit as I walked out of the gym and back to my car, all the while picturing my baby five year old, sitting on the carpet in his new classroom.

He comes home everyday and is happy. He wants to go back the next day.  He decides what he wants for lunch - and he actually eats it! (Although I wish he'd eat more than french toast and plain pasta, but I'm not complaining.) 

He got his first homework last night.  It's due Thurday, so we will work on it tonight.

He is wearing a belt for the first time, so we are practicing buckling it. And tucking in our shirt.  He likes to play on the playground, is learning some songs, and sits with boys and girls.

He is my little baby all grown-up.  And I couldn't be happier.  (But I still find myself tearing up a bit.)

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Age of Innocence

It didn't hit me until I was in the car, alone. The kids were with their grandmas or at kindergarten.  I looked up at the sky, and noticed for the first time how the cerulean blue was dotted with balls of fluffy white clouds.  I was struck by the beauty and wonder of it.

The same beauty and wonder that Connor had noticed about 30 minutes before when I was trying to hurry them along, filled with frustration and anxiety over being late.  It is the first day of school where I work. If you aren't early, you are stuck in the traffic of 100 students who are late for their first day of class, trying to find a parking spot. You have to park far away from your building. It is Connor's third day of kindergarten, and the bell rings at 7:50 for the kids to line up and head to their classrooms.  His lunch was not made (had to warm the pasta this morning), my salad dressing was not ready, my hair was not done, and my pajama shirt was still on.  Mommy this, and Mommy that was all I heard.

Despite two other adults being present for most of the morning, the children have an aversion to someone other than their mommy doing things for them. I had to iron a shirt (I dyed my hair instead of folding laundry last night), make Connor his oatmeal, take Keira potty, find Colin's bear, pack a backpack, get Connor dressed, fix Keira's skirt, place Colin's lovey directly on his pillow in his OCD way, find my heels which Keira was walking around wearing, and try to make it out the door by 7:05. Which, by the way, did not happen. 

All the while this was going on, Connor was talking about how he saw Pluto in the clouds.

As I took Colin to the car, the other two (and Grammy) followed us to look at the clouds.

Lots and lots of fluffy whiteness speckled the sky is shapes and figures to be imagined.

Yet I didn't see a damn one.

A mommy fail.

Too busy wrapped in my head to notice what was really going on around me. I feel almost ashamed to post this because I am a disappointment.  Why wasn't I holding their hands and pointing out what I saw to them? Why wasn't I laughing with them when Keira said she saw Minnie, and Connor saw Pluto and Mickey? Why wasn't I holding Colin up, explaining to him what was going on? Why am I always so hard on myself to be the perfect mom who never runs late and meal plans and has a perfectly organized home with no toys out of place?

I wish I had a great answer to sum up this post. But I'm tapped out.

I'll just wait for tomorrow morning, admist the chaos and clouds, and despite whatever is going on, stop and look up at the sky with my children.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Two songs
Harder than it seems

My tastes range from Neil Young, Creedence Clearwater Revivial, Jefferson Airplane, most bands that played Woodstock, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Marilyn Manson, Pantera, Slipknot, Pearl Jam, Jeff Buckley, Garbage, Poe, Everlast, Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer, Counting Crows, Phish, Rusted Root, Portishead, Sarah McLachlan, Eminem, Breaking Benjamin, Rise Against, Disturbed, Bush, Dave Navarro, Five Finger Death Punch, and currently, as I hang my head in shame, Pitbull and Katy Perry. (The ending of Chicago's best alternative rock station has left a hole on my radio that is now filled with a station that plays, gulp, pop music.)

Practically impossible to pick what song I wanted by Pearl Jam
but I went with Rearviewmirror

Somewhere over the Rainbow
by Israel Kamakawiwo Ole'
because to me,
it's the most beautiful song I've ever heard

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

Favorite Friday

I thought I'd try something a little different with my blog - Favorite Friday!

The rules are simple - it's something I like, something that I recommend,
and something that can be helpful for a busy mom.

Today it's my Clinique lip gloss/lipstick set.  (Sorry for the blurry picture.)

The lip gloss is Air Kiss.   The lipstick is Think Bronze.

The combo is amazing!

It came as a freebie when I bought my Almost Powder Makeup awhile back.

The colors really seem to complement my skin tone, and they can be worn alone or together.

I'm not a big fan of lip gloss because it usually leaves my lips sticky, but Clinique's version is very light, not sticky, and long-lasting!  It stays on through coffee, lunch, and even numerous kisses to my kids!

What's one of your favorite things from this week?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

4 books I'll love forever...

When I was in grade school, I read all of the Nancy Drew books.
Original ones, not the newer ones.

Of course, Wrath has to be on my list.

One of my all-time favorite mysteries

It cemented my love for New Orleans

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Six Places to See


Greece seems very pretty

Because my family left me behind when they went.
During a blizzard back in the midwest.

Because if I am going run a marathon,
I want to go big.
South Africa.
(And then Tima can visit from Zambia.)

I have always wanted to see the countryside of Dracula.
Yeah, I'm weird like that.

I cannot wait to take the kids here.
Especially Connor, who just loves Mickey!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Wiggly Birthday Party

Connor and Keira like the Wiggles.  Colin LOVES them.  I was able to track down bedding and wall decor for his room, as well as a sleeping bag (thank you twins' club resale). But his favorite thing is to watch them on tv and dance to them.  Well that was his favorite thing until he saw them live on Saturday.

When the music first started, it scared Keira. She kept asking my mom to take her back to the car.

He was in awe and so happy the entire time.  He didn't want to leave when it was over.

He loved dancing in the aisles!

She did warm up, once she realized that her brothers and cousin were dancing up front.
It gives me such great joy to see them so happy.

And it makes the little things, like Colin peeing all over me, worth it.

Well, almost worth it. ;)

Monday, August 1, 2011

How to explain taxidermy to your kids

On Saturday, the family went to Cracker Barrel after we saw the Wiggles in Chicago.  After we were seated, the kids started asking about the "reindeer" on the wall. 

Comments like this came to mind:

  • Kids, that's just a floating head....
  • Well, first you shoot the deer.....
  • Damn it.
We settled on this: the front of the deer is in here.  The back of the deer is in the kitchen.

It worked great until Keira wanted to go to the kitchen to see the back of the deer.

Damn it.