Saturday, October 31, 2009

I'm at (In)Courage Today!!

....You might assume I had started the semi-annual task of updating my children’s closets, but I’m a professional procrastinator, and big projects are my specialty.

You know the drill for the switch: hours of dragging dusty boxes down from the attic, hashing though worn clothes and sorting the current closet contents to weed out what’s needed for the cold winter ahead. I feel a little like George Washington planning and protecting his troops at Valley Forge- except without the white powdered wig and starvation and such. ...

Head on over to (In)Courage for the whole story!

And if you are here from (In)Courage, hey there! Welcome! Have a click around.
Here are some recent posts that might entertain you:
On Motherhood
On Facebook
On Vacation
On my Husband and my love of Harry Connick, Jr.

Or just click around any old way you'd like.
Thanks for coming by!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Giving up on a Perfect Halloween


My aspirations are not too terribly high. I would only like to be finished baking, packaging and curling ribbon by tomorrow morning. Just in time for the pre-school jam-your-face-full-of sugar sessions.

I don't know why, but Halloween has escalated in the holiday category to somwhere in between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Maybe that's reaching a little, but it has made a large jump above St. Patrick's Day, so there are pre-school parties to be had and little gift bags to be packaged. There are also party sign up sheets with positions to be jockeyed for.

In Ollie's class I won a pizza! YES! Swing by the pizza place and have glorious delivery goodness for $5. In Henry's class, I missed the boat and am baking cupcakes. That's okay, though because it gave me the opportunity to buy orange icing. I don't believe I've ever suffered through decorated with it before!

So far, I've done the cupcakes {ran out of vegetable oil and found out you can sub apple sauce!! Wonderful and fluffy cakes- love that tip!} - notice I got rid of the rest of those darn sugar pumpkin things that keep making their way into my mouth-Oct 09.5 006
and the baggies, but still need to work on the teacher cookies
Oct 09.5 007
and the ribbon curling on the kiddos' baggies. {bags shown below are lovingly placed on top of a MOUND of 3 loads of laundry needed to be folded}.
Oct 09.5 001
I know I need to give up on perfect, like my friend Mary encourages, but this is actually the stuff I love about being a mom more than the macaroni stuck to my jeans.

Did you know that my family owns a florist? My aunt and uncle run it and we always grew up working there in the summers and over Christmas break during college. So, curling ribbon is in my blood. And I love a good teacher gift! Something about the smell of sucking up gift giving in the morning gets me out of bed.

Halloween has come a long way from the years where we roamed the streets barely breathing through our masks and asking complete strangers for candy. To think- there wasn't even a trunk in sight!

But I'm happy for a fun excuse to have a party.
And we won't even have to have slobber on the inside of our plastic Smurf masks!
We've come a long way, baby.

I'm off to finish the fun stuff, but here are a few updates:
: : : : : : : : :

#1- This post is linked to my good friend Mary's Giving Up on a Perfect Halloween at Giving Up On Perfect. Go over there and tell her "hey" {scrounge up a Southern accent if you don't have one} and see all the other wonderful Halloween stories there. She is having AMAZING giveaways, so go comment, link your stories and participate.

I am super, duper excited that I will have a post published at (in)courage tomorrow {Saturday}!! WOW! So thrilled and thankful. (In)courage is the website and blog for Hallmark's Christian division- Dayspring. I would love for you to check it out! EEEK!

#3- Our fun 80s Halloween party we were planning for earlier has been postponed for now. One of the hosts has the swine flu {the dad of the family! Oh no!}, so they figured they would keep that to themselves.
Thank you.

#4- You can still enter the Create a Caption giveaway to win a $25 Chili's gift certificate! You can do it!! If anything, go read the other comments. Y'all are hysterical!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

On Any Given Day

On any given day
We stir early to get a thought in edgewise before “Mommy” is being chanted.
We gaze in the mirror to wonder if we will ever get back to the pre-baby body- or just the “Hey Baby” body would be fine.

On any given day
We separate arguments over toys and apples into lunch boxes.
We are late to pre-school because of lost shoes and lost minds.
We try our best to make mistakes “teachable” moments, but they turn into “yell-able” moments.
We forget a library book and our deodorant.

On any given day
We lose track of time talking with girlfriends and mentally re-prioritize that errand list once more before the school pick up time.
We try to fit in one last stop and promise ourselves that we’ll eat wonderful, healthy food during nap time.
{We eat corn dogs and Halloween candy because we’re famished and it kinda covers some food groups.}
We wash laundry, dishes and hopefully hair.
We kiss boo-boos, cheeks and our to-do list goodbye.
We wipe hineys, noses and crayon off cabinets.

On any given day
We pray for children around the world and the corner.
We squeeze our little ones a little tighter when we can because we know they won’t always let us.
We praise God for the amazing opportunity to impact the life of another so profoundly that they could possibly need therapy for this.

On any given day

We hope that chicken nuggets and French fries aren’t shown to be linked to some sort of cancer.
We wrap up the evening with a bath and wish we were in it.
Picnik collage
Ollie facial expressions 2
We tuck in and sneak out and breathe a sigh that we made it one more day.

On any given day
We encourage, support, uplift and love each other.
Because that’s what this sorority that has lasted through the generations is all about.
Just hanging out
We are all just surviving in the ‘hood- The Motherhood.

: : : : : : : : :

* This post is linked to Things I Love Thursday at The Diaper Diaries.

* Don't forget to Create a Caption for This Picture to have a chance for a fun prize!

*And, stay tuned for a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT ON FRIDAY! {Big is relative, you know- not my relatives, of course. You know what I mean. I am excited about this announcement. Let's just say that.}

Create a Caption- GIVEAWAY Style

Let's do a fun little Halloween giveaway, okay?
Here's a way to Back. Away. From. The. Candy. Dish!

Just name or caption this photo:

Oct 09.3 090

As a hint: this is our neice, M, playing with Uncle Jason's childhood toys at his parents' house.
That's all I'm giving you.

The winner with the most creative and funny caption for this picture will receive one $25 gift card to Chili's/ Macaroni Grill/ On the Border/ Maggiano's. {Apparently they are all owned by Oprah, Papa John or one of those rich people, so they will take your money any where.} Just leave a comment with your charming caption and the winner will be announced on Friday night. You can do it! I know you can!

One comment per person, pretty please.

Have fun!
P.S. Can't believe I forgot this- be sure to include your e-mail address in your comment if it's not already connected to your blogger account. Here is a quick tutorial on how to do that!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween Costume Ideas

We have an adult party to attend this year and- true to form- I am waiting until the WEEK OF Halloween to get my act together.

Does anyone else torture themselves like this?

The party we're attending is the same one as last year, but this year there is a theme. And you know I love a theme!

It's a totally awesome and rad 80s theme!

So, I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out what in the world to be. We officially haven't come up with our final answer(, Regis), but here is a Top Ten list of costumes Jason and I are considering for Halloween:

1. Mr. and Mrs. Pacman
Seems easy enough, but I don't think we'd be able to sit all night with yellow sandwich board- type costumes. Any other ideas for that?

2. Smurfette and Papa Smurf
This was really ahead in the running until I saw some people online and there is really not a good way to look cool/ comfortable in blue face paint.

3. Breakfast Club Cast
I really would love to finally live out my dreams and be Molly Ringwold, but I think we need 3-4 other people to help us with this one and might not be able to round up other procrastinators at the last minute.

4. Bob Ross and the Happy Tree
Well, we've done that one. But it was so much fun!

5. California Raisins
I was a raisin several times as a child with purple balloons and a black garbage bag. This is fine if you don't want to travel anywhere via seat belt and you don't plan on sitting down all night.
And it makes me want the Hardee's equivalent of a Happy Meal all night.

6. He- Man and She-Ra
I couldn't talk Jason into the fur loin cloth for the evening.

7. Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker
This one might still be in the running if I could stand wearing running mascara all night.

8. Mork and Mindy
Still working on this as another possibility. If only I could find a good poet shirt like the ones I had in 7th grade... And what in the world is on Mork's hands?

9. Angela and Tony from Who's the Boss
Where are my mom's twist-a-beads when I need them? Those were awesome.

10. Tom Selleck and a generic 80s girl in love with Tom Selleck
Tom Selleck
Because weren't we all? Jason still has his beard right now and I'd love the opportunity to get him to shave and go for a mustache. That would be smooth and rad. Oh yes it would.

Are you going to a dress up party?
Any ideas?

What would your pick be?
And what should I add to this list of contenders?

Thanks to my friend Oh Amanda for letting me play along with her Top Ten Tuesdays. Check out the other Top Tens today- or, better yet- make one for yourself and link to her site!

Bring on those costume ideas, please.
I've tapped all my potential and I'm on my way to buy hairspray and shop at the Goodwill for ANY of these.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Never. Nada. Not ME!

You know those weekends where you crash land into Sunday night and wonder what happened to the rest of your "down time"? Yep. As much family fun as we had this weekend, it was that kind for me.

And if you happened to have a fall carnival/ trunk or treat/ some other euphamism-without-using-the-word-Halloween get together, then you might have felt the same way, too.

Here are some things that did NOT happen this weekend:

* Getting ready in a hurry on Saturday, I would NEVER wear my 4 year old son’s black dress socks because I couldn’t find any of my own. And I surely did NOT look like I had on black ankle dress socks all day. Not me.

* We took Christmas card pictures and there is no telling what I did NOT bribe/ plead/ beg my children to get the perfect picture. Or one single solitary picture that would work for a card.

* I NEVER would have put poor Henry in the same Halloween costume this year as I did last year just because it still fit. Of course not.
Fall carnival 08 Henry- Tiger 09

* Mr. Incredible broke his elastic band on his mask. And I would never stick double sided tape on his face to complete the costume. Not ME!
2 Mr. Incredibles
* Some mothers might let their little tigers pick up ladybugs girls with a sucker covered in grass. I would NEVER do such a thing. The nerve. Henry putting on the moves

* And there is NO way I ate the vast majority of my kids’ candy from the Fall Carnival this afternoon. Nope.

I'm sure you've heard of Not Me Monday at MckMama's site. I'm excited to participate today and you should jump on over there to see some other things that have NOT been going on this weekend.

What about you? Anything you did NOT do this weekend?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Becoming a Soccer Mom in 8 Easy Steps {Part 2}

Welcome back to my soccer mom tutorial. If you haven't read Part 1, hop on down there now and get up to speed.
I'd hate to leave you behind in the minivan dust.

8 Easy Steps to Becoming a Soccer Mom
Part 2 of 2

5. Have kids create team name and cheer
Our kids came up with the name "The Rockets". {I'm sure our loud child did not encourage that name since he lives with a bunch of former rocket geeks. Of course not.*ahem* } Before and after each game they all threw their hands in the middle and said, "Gooooooo ROCKETS!"
If there had been no snack, this would clearly be the highlight of the game.
Goooo Rockets

6. Take it to the next level
My friend Brenda {who found the Auburn snuggie- she's the one on the right down there} and her team came up with the tunnel of fame. After the mandatory hand slap and "Gooh Game, Gooh Game, Gooh Game",
The hand slap
They get together and have the players {from both teams!} walk through the tunnel to the cheers, hoops and hollers of the parents. Isn't that cool? They're like little rock stars or newlyweds or something.
Tunnel of Fame
These moms definitely deserve a new magnet of the back of their van with this creation. I'm totally stealing it next season!

7. Have a Team Party
We had our team party at the Chic-fil-A and a wonderful mom {NOT me} bought cute soccer cupcakes for dessert. Coach Jason {aka "Coach Daddy"} recognized each player and gave them a trophy- cleary the reason they played the whole season.
party time!
And the chocolate milk didn't hurt anything either.
The good stuff
The trophies are like action figures in our home and I found Ollie acting out a drama a few days ago with several of them. They are really fiesty when they want to be.

8. Shoot Them
You will have to take a thousand pictures to get one from soccer season that is frame worthy. My friend Candace is the soccer photographer for the league and she always does an amazing job, but I took hundreds and just came out with a few goodies.
I'm kinda fond of this one, even with a tongue out {he could possibly even be hissing at me; who knows?}:

That's it, moms! Anything else I've missed? Please fill me in on your soccer mom tips so we can all have our cleats in a row. I'd hate to be late, at the wrong field, or worse- show up without snacks!! We can do it.
Goooooooo Moms!

Answers to FAQ from first post:
* Ollie just finished his 3rd season of soccer. We have 2 seasons a year, so he played in Fall '08, Spring '08 and now Fall '09.

* Henry really did run onto other soccer fields that were having other soccer games at the time. Thankfully we know a lot of other soccer parents who grabbed him and saved him from the possible threat of trampling and the definite promise of mom-barrassment.
* No, I don't actually have a minivan. I have sworn them off, which means I will most likely get one very soon. Suggestions?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Becoming a Soccer Mom in 8 Easy Steps

Hold on to your minivans, my peeps! We are going to explore the wild and wooly world of kids’ soccer. After 3 seasons of soccer with Ollie, this was the first season that I had my chance as team mom.

How did that happen, you ask?

We forgot to register and when I went down to beg to be on a team, the director told me the only way we could be on a team was if my husband or I coached.
I said, “Sure thing. That’s spelled J-A-S-O-N D-U…”

So, my sweet hubs kindly obliged, but that kinda forced me into being the team mom. And I learned a lot, so it's only fitting to share my vast knowledge with you.

8 Easy Steps to Becoming a Soccer Mom
{No Minivan Required}
Part 1 of 2

1. Snacks = SoccerAs the team mom, my main job was to coordinate people via e-mail and phones if a game was cancelled and organize team snacks. I had a sign up list at our first practice and each family was responsible for snacks for one game.
Team Towel
These children cannot be expected to play for 30 straight minutes without nourishment. Our team took a break at "halftime". There must be a juice box {or 12} within a 30 yard radius of the field at all times.

2. Team TowelThe bleachers around our field are filled with parents so I decided to start taking a huge towel for the kids who weren’t playing to sit on.

It also doubles as a time out towel if a certain player knocks down his brother for no good reason.
Time out towel

3. Pawn off younger siblings if, at all possible
I spent a good majority of my time chasing Henry off the field. He wants to play on the team so badly he can taste it. We either traipsed back and forth to the playground and traded duties with Aunt Carrie or I was glued to him and had a view something like this.
Cling on
He is not trying to hold on to me; he is trying to get me to let go of him.
There are things to tear up and he can’t be burdened by the likes of me.
{Watch was a gift from Other Mama still available from Brighton. Hips are from lack of exercise and years of sneaking chocolate covered cherries.}

4. Try to avoid fields near air patternI realize this is not possible in all situations- say, like ours- but it really does add some length to your game. With our 3 and 4 year olds, the game comes to a complete halt, and they all look like Tattoo in Fantasy Island yelling, “The Plane! The Plane!”
Look! Da Plane! Da Plane!

OK! Half time! Go get your Rice Krispy Treat and juice box and meet me back here tomorrow for the second half of 8 Easy Steps to Becoming a Soccer Mom!
I promise I will not make you get a bowl haircut or a magnet with your child's name on the back of your van to participate. But that would be some extreme dedication and worthy of supreme soccer mom-hood.
I'm not there, yet.

taste of the control

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Artistic Interpretation: Inside the Mind of a Criminal

Time stamp: Monday afternoon

Circumstances: Mommy left kitchen and went upstairs for one BRIEF second to tend to Ollie. Henry was left downstairs with a red crayon and specific instructions to continue coloring only on the coloring book in front of him.

Crime Scene Evidence:
Crime scene 1

Crime Scene 2

Interview with the accused:
{Let me apologize up front for the Blair Witch Project-type shakiness of this video. I was trying to pin down my suspect.}

Interview with the Accused from The Other Mama on Vimeo.

And the jury says?
Or too cute to be guilty?

You decide.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

For the love of Pumpkins

There is no reason at all we should have been at the Pumpkin Patch on Saturday.

It was 39 degrees {Farenheit, my friends}, windy and drizzling. And I didn't even have my snuggie. It was about as much fun as someone poking you on Facebook, but we managed to make a good time of it.

The kids rode trikes, drove PRE-tend* tractors, swung on horse tire swings, got lost in the hay maze and played in the corn crib.
{*said like Jethro since we were on the farm}
Ollie held a bunny rabbit {no fur or feet were lost in the making of this picture}.
Bunny love
Then we went on a hay ride to pick our pumpkins.
Our rule is you have to be able to carry the pumpkin you pick.
And this one wasn't making the cut:
This one, please
But Henry found this little guy and was happy.
A little pumpkin for a little punkin
And there was some serious discussion going on here, apparently about whether or not this one had the qualifications to make it home with us.
The boys
Have I mentioned my sweet hubs is scruffy again? He goes through this bearded phase about once a year.
No worries. He hasn't robbed anyone... yet.

Family shot on the hayride back to the car.
I think Henry's eyes and lips were frozen. And Ollie was wearing my female scarf/ glove accessories; together- we matched. None of these things really matter when it's that cold, people. {Yes, it's true. We only know one pose.}
hayride family pic
While checking out, we saw these beauties.
Big Punkins
I have no idea how much they cost. But I imagine the new owner could have possibly bought a new pair of jeans that would have been a tad warmer for the price of 2 enormous pumpkins.
But that's neither here or there because the gigantic pumpkin cool factor is too much for common sense. Everyone was drawn to them.
I will take 2 to go, please
Too bad Henry couldn't pick it up or else we would have been driving tours at the pumpkin patch to pay for it!
And the neighborhood kids would have flocked to our house to see The Great Pumpkin. Wouldn't that thing be a booger to carve? I bet the Auburn School of Architecture would have a field day with this one!

Have you been to your local pumpkin patch this fall? What's your favorite part of the trip?

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