Thursday, June 12, 2014

Busted at bedtime

Chip had to travel one day last week, and when this happens, I usually do our evenings backwards. Chip usually does the baths, so I get the kids' baths out of the way right away, and then do dinner and a movie so we can chill out and ease into bedtime. The kids have frozen pizza, and I have wine. It is lazy parenting, and I love it.

After bath time, I sent the kiddos into the family room to play while I made dinner. As I gathered the necessary gear for eating in front of the TV (towels, napkins, bibs, hoses, etc.), I spied them having the most animated exchange with their toys. It was ridiculously cute. So cute that I had to have a picture. And that is when Charlie busted me. I held my breath, expecting him to squawk at me and demand dinner, but the pleasant play continued, thankfully, and the rest of our evening went just as well.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Early morning antics

This morning I had the pleasure of attending a pirate tea party picnic. At 6:45 a.m. I was required to don a child's belt around my head and sip imaginary tea from the bottom portion of a nesting doll. It was delightful. Simply delightful.

Okay, it was totally not what I wanted to be doing before I showered, much less put in my contacts. But Mary Clare had been planning this pirate tea party picnic  for days, and trust me when I saw that it was supposed to be a much grander affair complete with music, real tea and real chili. Yes, chili. Suffice it to say there was a lot of managing expectations on my part.

But the kids had a ball doing "cheers!" with their nesting dolls and making sure all of the toys had their fair share of tea. And for a five-minute tea party, it was just perfect.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


A few weeks ago, we were at my cousin's graduation party. Between my aunt, her sisters and all of my cousins, Charlie got more than his fair share of attention. The fawning! Seriously. And he ate it up. The asked him to sing for him. They fed him cake. They fetched him water. They laughed when he kept stealing cookies. They cheered when he climbed on the lawnmower. It was completely ridiculous, and he loved it.

On the ride home that evening, I popped in a movie for the kids. Mary Clare fell asleep about halfway in, and the movie was over by the time we neared our exit. Charlie asked for another movie, but I told him he would just have to tough it out. He harrumphed, of course, but a short while later I heard him talking quietly to himself.

"I cute," he said. He paused and then said, "I cute. I cute."

While I knew I would regret further feeding his ego, I just had to engage him.

"Charlie, what are you saying?" I asked.

"I'm saying that I cute," he responded.

"Who told you that?"

"The ladies. The ladies at the party," he said. "They told me that."

He was quiet again for awhile, and then just before we made our last turn, I heard a very soft, "I a scootie."

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

She's on fire

Mary Clare was very Mary Clare today.

It started, as most home days do, with her at the desk creating some masterpiece. After drawing a monkey, she came in with the above photo and said, "Mom and dad, look at this."

We quickly deciphered that it said, "I love my family." She had done it all on her own, and told us that she just sounded it out and wrote down the letters. I think at the end she was just adding some letters for flair, but nevertheless, I was very impressed.

And then she told us, "And those lines behind the heart are from when Connor shoots it at you!"

Come again? Connor?

Luckily, I am fluent in toddler and five-year-old, and I realized she was talking about Cupid. "I forget his name sometimes," she said.

It got funnier as the day progressed.

At lunch time, she looked at me and said, "Are we taking naps today?" When I answered in the affirmative, she let out a heavy sigh and said, "Good, because I am so exhausting."

Sister, you don't know the half of it. 

And then, just a few minutes ago, she hit me with another one that made me decide I had to jot this all down before I forgot. The kids asked to play on the third floor, so I went up with them to turn on the lights and make sure the iron was off from last week. (Kidding, Chip!) I had barely made it up the stairs when Mary Clare said, "Mom! Sometime you really need to vacuum this rug up here. I mean, look at this mess. Just look at it! All these little things on it! It's very messy."

This was of course accompanied by hands on hips and a lot of wild gestures. All on her part, I swear.Luckily Charlie saved her me by grabbing the toy vacuum and proclaiming that he would take care of it.

That girl. She is something alright.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

May favorites

I just did this, didn't I? May was big for us. Mary Clare wrapped up Pre-Kindergarten, we (and my parents) worked like crazy people in the yard, we hit a few graduation parties, we took the train to Kansas City. Nothing but fun for these kids.

[we landscaped]

[we were "highly illegal" at the park]

[Mary Clare created pirate couture during naptime]

[we landscaped the kids' house]

[we went to a church picnic and managed to come home without a fish]

 [Mary Clare nailed it]

[Charlie's teachers nailed it with this photo]

[Charlie nailed me with a potty training fail during Mother's Day mass]

[last day of school]

[all business at our celebratory lunch]

[one and done on their first fishing adventure of the season]

[I took the kids in for a makeover]

[admiring the peonies that the previous owners planted]
 [celebrating Annie's birthday and the start of summer with unlimited snow cones]

[we kicked off clothing optional lunches]

[adult pub crawl fun]

[water wars with dad]

[cava sangria with the canine]

[all aboard for Kansas City]

 [a three cousin salute, with one objector]

[she will haunt your dreams]

Judging by the multitude of photos on my phone and a decided uptick in cocktail shots, I think it's safe to say that summer is here!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Please forgive me, you tough mudder

A few weeks ago, my brother-in-law Brian participated in the Tough Mudder competition with his brother Chris. It is exactly what you think it is. A really tough run and obstacle course with mud. Basically, nothing I would ever want to do. Even the website scares me. Nevertheless, I can appreciate the skill and strength that went into preparing for and participating in such a thing. Mostly because it is so beyond anything I could do.

Unfortunately, I did not publicly appreciate this feat in a timely manner. 

And then I had the audacity to acknowledge my parents' anniversary rather than a recap of Brian's race. Basically, I am the worst sister-in-law ever, and I have some serious work to do if I hope to have a place for my children and I to lay our heads next weekend while we are in Kansas City.

Without further ado, I present to you the rest of the photos and the official stats: 10.9 miles and 26 obstacles in two hours and 43 minutes. Again, completely amazing. 

So here's to Brian (and his brother), two tough mudders, who also have to be some of the funniest mudders I know. Love you both, and congrats again! 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Forty-two years

Happy 42nd anniversary to my amazing parents, who just so happen to be equally amazing—if not amazing-er—grandparents. And they've been married for 42 years. Forty-two years! And they are still smiling!

We are so very lucky to have you as free help for all of our projects and babysitting needs role models.

No, really, we love you. Tons. And oodles upon oodles. And we would even if you didn't always jump in to save the day.