Friday, March 26, 2010

Bring On the Weekend!

It's 5:50AM and I've been up for an hour already. The house is still quiet except for the occasional meow from a cat who is pissed that it is raining because she really wants to go outside for a few minutes. (Yes, they are indoor cats but they have backyard privileges. They never leave the yard.) Even the dogs ate their breakfast and then went back to bed.

It's going to be a wild weekend - I really should have gotten more sleep but alas, sleep is elusive for me most days.

Today I pack stuff for the kids and me because we are going to Seattle tomorrow morning. It's the cousin birthday party weekend (three of the four have birthdays in February, March and April so we get together in March and celebrate all three. The fourth has a summer birthday so we celebrate his then.). This time around, the three of us are going to stay at my sister's house (usually we stay at my brother's house 40 minutes north of my sisters) and the cousins will have a big sleep over party (Good luck with that, Lannon!) and while they are having their fun I will drive back to Tacoma and meet Catrina at the Tacoma Dome for the Reba McEntire/ George Strait concert. I am sooooooo excited about it!! It's been years and years and years since I've been to a concert and to be able to share the experience with Catrina? Well know I'm in heaven!! :)

Sunday is the kids party and family time (and I am really looking forward to that, too. I haven't seen my brother and sister since December) and then the kids and I head home Monday morning.

I told you it was going to be much fun and travel packed into 72 hours. The kids are beside themselves as they anticipate their sleepover with their cousins. Kaylen is a little nervous but even she is looking forward to it. It should be a really great weekend. :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Soccer Practice

Catrina coaches soccer for both her kids teams and last night was Colton's practice so the kids and I went over to a local park to meet up with them. Kelton and Kaylen have never played soccer (well - except in the backyard) so they were excited to see what it was all about and to play on the playground at the park.

Kaylen wanted to cheer the team on so she decked out in her cheerleader dress (a hand-me-down from her cousin) and found a set of pom poms. Crazy little girl - but she was happy so what the heck.

Kelton, Kaylen and Caitlyn played on the play equipment for a while and then we all wandered down the field to watch and then ended back up on the playground. They had a really good time and tired themselves out.....always a good thing.

I watched Kaylen kicking a ball and I have to say, she gets the whole "little kicks" thing to retain control of the ball. I was impressed - I think she would do well in soccer but her hearts desire is to be a cheerleader. How is it I ended up with such a girly girl? :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

We Have Visitors

We have visitors! Kaylen and I picked Caitlyn and Colton up after school yesterday and today and brought them here to play for the afternoon. It's actually been quite fun and I have to say, Kaylen is loving having playmates. Sure - they have their moments but overall, they are really good together.

Here are a few pictures of the fun that is being had:

And this is the girls in the car today waiting to pick up Colton. They were sharing the ear buds from Kaylen's MP3 player. So cute!

I have a feeling Kaylen is going to miss her playmates tomorrow.

***DISCLAIMER: The clothes that Caitlyn and Colton are wearing are not their own. They are "outfits" (and I use that term loosely) that I pulled together from bins of clothes that would sort of fit them. I didn't realize it would be nice enough to go outside yesterday so all they had were their school clothes and our yard is still fairly muddy so.....I did the best I could. :) Poor Colton was swimming in the jeans and I had to use a (too big) belt to try to cinch them around him. And Caitlyn? Well she found a shirt she liked and then a skort that she liked and well.....they aren't exactly a set. Hee hee. Sorry Catrina. :) Today their mom sent outside play clothes. :)

The Weekend Report

Yep. I'm still here. Sorry for the lag time between postings but you know....I have a life and all. :) And speaking of having a life, my weekend was great! I love my kids but I sure love my kid-free time, too. On Friday, Catrina and I went to the local theater and caught a showing of "The Blind Side" which was really, really good. If you haven't yet seen it, do. It's that good.

Saturday we ran all over running errands; she had birthday shopping to do for Caitlyn and I had Easter basket shopping to do for Kelton and Kaylen. Then we played cards with friends and after that was done, we headed back to do some projects at Catrina's house. One was installing a shower caddy thing and in all my genius thinking, I suggested the floor to ceiling pole kind which went fine and dandy......until we tried to install it. Ooooops! Add spackle to the shopping list, please. I'm sure that hole in the ceiling will be easy to fix. :)

So....back to the store the shower pole thing went and we picked out a different shower caddy. Of course that one doesn't exactly work either but it should after we went back to the store (again!) to get a hook-y thing to hang it on. *sigh* Have you ever noticed that an easy sounding project is anything but sometimes? :)

Though by needing to return things we did encounter a few *very* funny things that are still keeping the laughter flowing. One was a guy wearing a shirt that said "Because Jail Sucks" and then the name and number of a bail bondsman. SERIOUSLY? How does one get a shirt like that? "Hey dude - thanks for not jumping bail. Here's a free shirt!" Hahahahahahaha!

Another thing was when I went to the bathroom (TMI...sorry) I saw a pregnancy test box on the floor and I couldn't help but think "Wow. What a great place to find out if you are pregnant. I can just see *that* in the baby book. "I found out I was pregnant with you in the Wal-Mart bathroom!" Really, people? You couldn't have waiting until you were at home? :)

And finally was a Home Depot radio add that seriously had us laughing so hard our sides hurt and tears were rolling down my face. I'm telling you - sometimes the Universe just wants you to laugh! :)

We went out later that night and met some of Catrina's friends at a nearby bar. The bar? was interesting but it was a fun night anyway. I got to play darts which I haven't done in more than 15 years and I'm just going to say....I WON! :) It was a good time, that's for sure.

Sunday we didn't get out and about until almost noon so we rushed around a bit getting a couple errands run and wrapping presents for Caitlyn's 6th birthday party. Then we drove in a huge downpour to get Caitlyn and Colton from their dad's house and back home to get ready for the birthday party. Then it was off to Chuck E. Cheese to celebrate. Being there brought rushes of missing my two munchkins but I knew they were having a really good weekend with Dakota. (I'm sure she will post all about their OMSI day and the rest of their weekend.)

After the party we went back to the house and the kids and I played with the new birthday gifts while Catrina put the new bike together. After that, we all went for a bike ride/walk to try out the new bike. It was a hit! :)

Before we knew it, the day was over and so was the weekend. I could not believe how fast it flew. When I arrived home early, early, early Monday morning the house was still quiet so I made coffee and took care of the dogs. Before long Kelton was up and we spent about an hour catching up on all the fun they had had while I was away.

It sounds like we all had a really great weekend!

Friday, March 19, 2010


A little taste of spring......

Brought to you by my little ray of sunshine!


It's Friday. And to add to the greatness of that - it's another beautiful morning in the Northwest. It's cold as all get out right now (it was 27 a bit ago) but it should be in the mid 60's by afternoon. Perfect!

Something tells me a bike ride/walk will be in the afternoon plans for a certain small girl. :) Personally, I would love to go out and find some new jeans but we all know how that will turn out - in a whole lot of frustration. Who knew it would get this complicated to find a pair of jeans that look decent on me? I guess that's what happens when you start caring how you look in things. :)

I have a few things to do around here today too - the regular ol' straightening up (which I swear is never ending!), laundry (again...never ending), wiping the kids bathroom counter and faucets because no matter how many times I show them how not to get toothpaste everywhere, it always ends up all over the place. *sigh*

I did everything else yesterday though so I think I'm still good to go.

Oh - Kelton brought home his report card yesterday. I'm so proud of him - he really works hard to keep his grades up. The only things that aren't above grade level are his penmanship and spelling and PE. PE I couldn't possible care less about as long as he is at least doing his best (and this boy is NOT athletically inclined) and his spelling issues stem greatly from his speech issues. His penmanship? Well - we're hard at work on that one already. So all in all - no surprises and an overall excellent report. Yay him!

Have a good Friday, everyone!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

More Kaylen Art

This is just a small sampling of what the hallway looks like right now. There are 4 people, two dogs and three cat drawings covering the entire distance. My girl is nothing if not creative these days. :) I wish I could get a really good photo of the whole thing but it's just too small of an area to encompass that much wall space. :)

Spring is Coming!

It's a beautiful day - the sun is shining, birds are chirping, dogs are barking...oh wait. That doesn't really add anything to the beautiful day but that's my life just the same. :) Kaylen and I have gone around the neighborhood on a bike ride/walk which is something we do almost every non-rainy day. We've even played in the backyard (well...more her than me. I sat in the sunshine and soaked up the rays). I even was energized enough that after I finished job searching and normal chores and errands than I did the weekly house cleaning.

There is something about a nice day to really lifts my spirit. Spring is definitely in the air. It's days like this that move things like grocery shopping lists, seo software, lack of jobs and various other stresses out of my mind and instead allows me to think of the beach, the smell of sunscreen, reading a good book while sitting on the patio and listening to the kids happily play in the yard.

It's days like this that give me hope. Give me sunny days over rainy ones any time!

Kaylen's Note for Me

Kaylen wanted to make sure that I did not forget my promise of taking her to the Dollar Tree so yesterday she spent time creating a visual reminder for me and taped it the mirror in the kitchen. Check it out:

This is the overall picture. To the left is a car. The black things between the car and the yellow is Kaylen and me walking. The yellow is the store (with doors and the stuffed bunny she wants sticking out of it). The blue, white and yellow is the sun, clouds and sky and, of course, a tree.

The smudges on the mirror aren't usually there but she had to steady herself somehow since she was standing on the counter. :)

It's a little easier to see in the photos below:

Silly girl of mine. :)

Lelli Kelly

Kaylen has discovered something she is IN LOVE with...she has seen them on TV and oh my gosh...if she could swoon, she would.

She calls me in every time it comes on to show me "the world's most beautiful shoes". I looked them up. $70! $70 for a pair of shoes that they will either outgrow or ruin quickly. SERIOUSLY?!!? Who thought $70 for a pair of children's shoes makes sense?

$30? I might have found a way to justify. Maybe. $20? Probably. But $70? That's just crazy.

I told her there was no way. So she thought for a few minutes and said "You know, I have a birthday party in Seattle coming up. Maybe you should tell Uncle James or Aunt Lannon. Maybe *they* love me enough."

Oh my gosh. She is going to be something else in a couple years.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Notes From Kaylen

Yesterday I wanted to leave a couple notes for Dakota. One was to remind her it was bath night and the other was to ask her to fill the dog food containers. Kaylen decided that *she* wanted to write the notes. She did a fantastic job!

She even drew pictures just to be sure Dakota understood what she was saying. :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Prayers for Addie

For those of you who have read my blog for a while, you know I have a blogging buddy, Elise, who has a 4 year old daughter with cystic fibrosis. I hate that the term "four year old daughter" and "cystic fibrosis" are in the same sentence It's not right. Beautiful Addie has gone through so much in her short 4 years and Thursday she will face yet another hurdle; she is having a G-tube placed for supplemental feedings because her little tiny body cannot seem to gain weight.

You can read all about Addie, also known as Froggy, through Elise's blog.

Elise holds a special place in my heart. Over the years I have known her I have watched her ups and downs. I've cried at some of her postings and rejoiced at others. We have emailed back and forth. And even with all she goes through each and every day she has still found the time and energy to picked me up on the floor more than once and encouraged me to keep going when I didn't think I could take a single step more. It's strange, this blogging world. It brings people together in many different and amazing ways.

Thursday is a big, big day for Elise and Addie. It's a day I know Elise is not looking forward to but has come to terms with knowing it is a necessary step to help Addie stay strong and fight the good fight because we all want what is best for little Addie. We all want her to live a long and healthy life.

So please, as you go about your life tomorrow, and for the next few days, please send good thoughts, positive energy and all the prayers you can to Addie and Elise. The first few days are supposed to be fairly rough and they could use all the positive energy we can send.


To Sleep or Not To Sleep

It's no secret that I don't sleep well. It's also no secret that when I am stressed I sleep even worse. Lately, I haven't been logging that many hours of sleep but still enough that I have no need to reach for the little blue sleeping pills that I was taking back in December. I consider that a good thing.

You never really understand how important sleep is until you don't get enough, do you? All of you who have gone through the infant stage can relate. :)

The only positive thing I can say about not being able to sleep for long stretches is that it gives me plenty of time for thinking. :)

What? Am I 13 Again?

I went to bed last night without a single zit but when I woke this morning? Oh my! I felt like I was 13 again. How did that happen so quickly? Yes - I am under a good amount of stress. Yes, I'm PMSing (TMI - sorry). But really? Really?!?!

Personally I think it's unfair that once you are over ....say ....18 years old that you have to deal with adult acne in any form. It's just mean. Ugh.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Intersting Test

Ok - this is freaky. A friend had this posted on her blog a while ago so I took the quick test and wow. It nailed me. Frighteningly so. Just the same, I'll share the results. :) Then you take it and see what you think.

Your result for The Quick & Painless ENNEAGRAM Test ...

6 - the Questioner
Thanks for taking the test !

you chose CY - your Enneagram type is SIX (aka "The Loyalist").

"I am affectionate and skeptical"

Questioners are responsible, trustworthy, and value loyalty to family, friends, groups, and causes. Their personalities range broadly from reserved and timid to outspoken and confrontative.

How to Get Along with Me

• Be direct and clear.

• Listen to me carefully.

• Don't judge me for my anxiety.

• Work things through with me.

• Reassure me that everything is OK between us.

• Laugh and make jokes with me.

• Gently push me toward new experiences.

• Try not to overreact to my overreacting.

What I Like About Being a SIX

• being committed and faithful to family and friends

• being responsible and hardworking

• being compassionate toward others

• having intellect and wit

• being a nonconformist

• confronting danger bravely

• being direct and assertive

What's Hard About Being a SIX

• the constant push and pull involved in trying to make up my mind

• procrastinating because of fear of failure; having little confidence in myself

• fearing being abandoned or taken advantage of

• exhausting myself by worrying and scanning for danger

• wishing I had a rule book at work so I could do everything right

• being too critical of myself when I haven't lived up to my expectations

SIXes as Children Often

• are friendly, likable, and dependable, and/or sarcastic, bossy, and stubborn

• are anxious and hypervigilant; anticipate danger

• form a team of "us against them" with a best friend or parent

• look to groups or authorities to protect them and/or question authority and rebel

• are neglected or abused, come from unpredictable or alcoholic families, and/or take on the fearfulness of an overly anxious parent

SIXes as Parents

• are often loving, nurturing, and have a strong sense of duty

• are sometimes reluctant to give their children independence

• worry more than most that their children will get hurt

• sometimes have trouble saying no and setting boundaries

Nothing Much

Is it really only 12:44? How can that be? I've been up for hours now and I have accomplished a great deal. Applied for several jobs, took care of house stuff, went on a neighborhood bike ride/walk with Kaylen. Heck, I even watched The View and talked with my brother. Now I have songs playing in the background as I write. But what do I have to write about? Tons. But what will I write about? Nothing much.

I don't feel like letting my thoughts out for public consumption and yet I feel like I should write *something*.

Spring is coming. Quickly. I am torn by the changing season; normally I would be eagerly anticipating it but this year? This year the weeks ticking by make me nervous. I need a job. Soon. I get that there are people who have been out of work for a really long time and I get that I've "only" been looking for a couple months but it's crazy making. I get that for every one job there are hundreds of applications and yet - I want *someone* to think I am worth taking a risk on. Someone. Somewhere.

I'm dedicated. I have a level of commitment that is strong and sure. I'm worth the risk. I really am.

I have to believe that everything will work out. It just has to.

It. Just. Has. To.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Piles of Stuff Everywhere

I was straightening up my dresser a couple weeks ago because the mountain of papers on it threaten to topple all over the place. I had a stack that included things like the kids baby books (sadly not that well written in) and various keepsakes that I've put between the books covers. I even had my hospital birth notebook given to me when I was pregnant with Kaylen. It was a hodgepodge of birth announcements, swimming certificates, drawings, awards, etc.

I had no idea what to do with all of it so I found a container, placed everything inside and shoved it under my dresser. Hardly all that productive but at least I don't have to stare at it every single day. And I can pretend that my dresser is neat and tidy. :)

Random Ramblings

The kids are eagerly counting down the days until it to time to travel to Seattle to have their joint birthday party with their cousin. Kaylen is soooo ready that every day she asks if it is time to pack their bags. Both kids have custom tote bags with their names embroidered on them and they love to pack their clothes in them for trips. I have to admit, they are pretty cool. Kaylen's, of course, is pink and purple and Kelton's is two shades of blue. Perfect for their personalities and likes.

It's not time to pack yet - which I am grateful for because I have yet to get their cousin her birthday gift (Rachel - that's a big ol' hint. I'm still waiting for you to answer my email.). Kaylen has decided on a princess theme for her 1/3rd of a cake and Kelton is still undecided. He goes back and forth between Pokemon (again) and Bakugan. I vote Pokemon since I already have cake decorations that. :) Still a lot of do in the next two weeks.

I mentioned to Dakota that she and Kelton needed to start planning his party for her side of the family. It will be interesting to see what he decides on for the theme for that one. At least I don't have the stress of that one to deal with. :)

Hard to believe Kelton is going to be 8 years old.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Blogging on Location

I am blogging today from Cafe Sip-n-Play. I'm online, drinking coffee and eating a blueberry muffin while Kaylen (who has already made short work of her chocolate chip cookie and chocolate milk) plays with a bunch of kids. It's way busier here than I've seen it at this hour. Though admittedly, it's been a while since I've been here and I'm sure most stay at home parents are suffering cabin fever from the constant rain lately. So I guess I shouldn't really be all that surprised. Lots of dads and kids though the dads clearly don't know each other. I thought, at first, that they were part of a dads club or something but nope. Unless this is the way stay at home dads relate to each other. :) (Just kidding, people. Just kidding.)

Let's see...what else can I entertain you with? Not's Friday which is awesome! It's my kid-free weekend which is even more awesome. I get to spend it with Catrina which is the most awesome-est of all. (yeah yeah ...I just made that word up. Deal with it.) I am really looking forward to the weekend. Lots of down time with movies, popcorn and ice cream. I'm sure there will be other things we will do during the time but that is my primary focus. :) Just hanging out and being together.

What else? What else? I guess I don't have all the much to share. Life is moving right along - a few bumps in the road when it comes to other people in our lives but all in all...things are moving along at a good pace.

The kids are good. I came home last night and found a typed note/poem/writing from Kelton who was clearly upset last night. He let loose and let his frustration out. Apparently he and Dakota had a bumpy patch last night so he took his frustration to the keyboard and got it out.

I talked with him about it this morning and he said he was really angry at her when he started it but then he felt better when he was done. He even added to it and then took it to school to share with his teacher. He admitted that he was probably too hard on her. :) I can see where his children of divorce group at school is paying off.

Dakota, for her part, took it in stride. It would have really hurt my feelings but she rolled with it and just let him get it out. Good for them for working through it so well.

Ok - that's about all I have. For now. I reserve the right to comeback and ramble all I want, whenever I want. :)

Adios for now!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My Favorite Coffee Cup

Because every day, all day, I am reminded I am loved by someone incredible.

Lights in My Rearview Mirror

Well. It was bound to happen. I was pulled over this morning for driving 65 in a 55. I knew the second I passed the police car that they would be coming after me....and that she did. For those of you who know me, you won't be surprised to hear me say, for me, life is not just about the journey. It's mostly about the destination. :) I am known to drive 5-10 miles over the limit routinely.

It's been more than 20 years since I have been pulled over and I have to say, it's nerve racking. More so, I think, when you have a child in the car with you.

I was in the left hand lane so I pulled over on the left shoulder (which she pointed out was wrong. I should have moved to the right. Who knew?). As I sat there with my window down, the officer approached; hand on her gun. *gulp* Yeah yeah - I know it's protocol and all but still. Scary!

She greeted me and said "I clocked you at 65."
To which I responded "You did?" (I thought I was going 62 or 63).
"Yes. And this is a 55 stretch."
"It IS? I hardly ever travel this road and I honestly thought it was 60."
"No, it's 55. You hardly travel this road? Are you a homebody?"
"Kind of. I'm a stay at home mom."

That moved us into her saying that she would love to be a stay at home mom and how lucky my kids are to have me at home. How'd she would much rather be home with them than pulling me over. (I silently was wishing she had been home, too.)

She asked for my license and registration, which I handed over. She asked if it was my correct address and then asked if I knew I should have pulled over to the right. I said I wasn't aware of that and muttered "I haven't been pulled over before." (which is true in the fact that I was pulled over in California but not here and it has been more than 20 years. I was in my early 20's, single and carefree. A completely different person than I am now.) She said "You haven't? I'm surprised since you were driving 65." I said "I really didn't know it was 55 here. And then I pointed to my mapquest directions and said "I don't even know this area."

She handed me back my things and said "Slow down, ok?" and then proceeded to tell me how best to reach my destination.

No written warning.
No ticket.

Thank God.

I do wonder why that small stretch of road is 55 when everywhere else on it and on every other highway and freeway here it is 60 but it is what it is. I won't make that mistake again. I hope.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Girl and Her Cat

There are just no words to say how much this woman means to me. And the cat is sweet, too. :)

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Princess Kaylen and Bird Watching

She is such a little diva. :) This is a dress she got for her birthday (which I finally got around to exchanging for the right size today) and then she decked herself out. Love the poses! :)

Last night the kids decided they wanted to go bird watching in the yard. They found binoculars and then they build this special area to keep them hidden from the birds. Kaylen said "It's so we will be inconspicuous."

Yeah - I about hit the floor, too. Where does she get these words and how on earth does she know the proper usage? Amazing.

Fancy Girl

Yes, that would be nails painted in all different colors. She is crazy, this girl of mine. :)

Book Fair Wrap Up

So it's done. Another book fair has come and gone and I have to say, considering the economic times and the fact that we have 40 less students this year than last, I think we did an amazing job.

We ended up raising over $4000 to buy books for the school - which is huge! All in all, we were only $204.00 under last years total sales and while I was a bit bummed at first, I'm proud of what we did accomplish.

I realized though that we, as a PTO really need to get some more cash boxes to have on hand....or maybe a mmf drawer. With our family event Thursday night we needed additional cash boxes for the pizza sales. We made do, of course, but it might be nice to invest in at least one more.

I did all the financial paperwork yesterday and sent everything back to Scholastic. I even booked for next year's fair. I have to admit though, it was a relief to put everything back in the file and store it away for another year.

Yay us. We did it!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

First Park Day of the Year

This afternoon Catrina and I met and walked over to a nearby school to let the kids play on the playground (between the two of us, we have 4 kids who are very close in age: Kelton; who is almost 8, Caitlyn; who is almost 6, Kaylen: who is 5 and Colton: who is 4.5). We figured it was a great way for the kids to spend some time together (though they all have known each other for a while now). I really wanted to get a photo of all 4 together but wow - they sure don't stand still very long. I do have some photos (though admittedly not good ones) though. Maybe next time I will set up a shot to get all four at the same time.

As the rain started to fall, we headed back to Catrina's house and the kids played together for about an hour. I had a good time listening to all of them while Catrina and I hung out and watched part of last weeks "Amazing Race".

It was really nice to all spend time together and I look forward to more.


Catrina and Colton

Kelton being goofy.

This is a terrible picture of me but I like it of Catrina. :)

Caitlyn and Kelton

Catrina (love, love, love this picture!)

Colton on the monkey bars


Catrina and Colton having fun.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

The Good Stuff

I have been keeping secrets from all of you. Well - maybe not all of you because several of you have figured it out based on the songs I have been posting and things on Facebook but still....

And others of you think you know something you do not know which is my fault. I kept quiet and let false information get out there. Let's just say you don't know what you think you know.

I am in love with someone amazing. Her name is Catrina and she is so many kinds of wonderful.

All I am really going to tell you right now is I am happy. Very happy. Happier than I've been in a long, long time. Happy enough that I am loading up my MP3 players with happy love songs and blasting it loudly as I go about the business of life.

This is the good stuff of life. Loving. Being loved. It's all so, so good.

It's strange how life can change in the beat of a heart. Things you never, ever thought would happen, do. I would have told you (and probably did) that you were insane if you had told me back in November (or this past summer) that I would be where I am today. I never expected it. Never. But, without fail, the rain stops and the sun comes out.

The good stuff of life indeed.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

What I've Been Doing So Far This Week

Book Fair.

We've already surpassed last years sales totals for the first three days and this year we had a half day today (last year we didn't have any half days). Wow. Go us!