Monday, August 31, 2009

Finally, a positive adoption message

Georgia Public Broadcasting and PBS have a new show coming- Dinosaur Train. It premiers on Labor Day, and I will be sure to have my DVR set to record it.

Not only is it a cute show about both Dinosaurs *and* trains (what little kid wouldn't love that combo?), but it shows a healthy, normal, realistic adoptive family. Okay, maybe "realistic" is a stretch, but it really is awesome. I wrote more about it over at Deep South Moms.

Also, I finally figured out what we are eating the next week or so... I put the list on my food blog.

Friday, August 28, 2009


I volunteered in Jack and Aidan's classroom this week. I spent about two hours with them. We read stories, danced to music, took 18 kids to the bathroom (twice), worked on a project, and had circle time.

Holy cow, can I just say that I am SO grateful to NOT be a preschool teacher?? There was so much going on- twitching and fidgeting, and trying to corral them all! It was insane. Normal, and exactly what I would expect, and their teachers are fabulous, but it was insane.

At least I was able to see that they weren't the worst behaved! That is my fear- that my kid will be the worst in the class! They were much better than the boy who would not keep his shoes on for anything, was constantly rolling around on the floor, grabbing things he shouldn't, and pulling down his pants (underwear up, pants down). He did the same thing last time I was there, so I think it must be a common occurrence!

I got introduced to their friends... they each have a little "girlfriend". Jack and his girlfriend play the princess game where they give each other kisses. Aidan became interested in his girlfriend when she smashed a block into his mouth (accidental, of course), and gave him a fat lip. He has talked about her ever since- I guess that is one way to get someone's attention! He was very excited to introduce me to her and tell me once again how she smashed a block in his mouth.

I didn't get to meet the kid I always hear about who cries every day and throws up a lot. He was out sick.

I did get to meet the new kid. Jack told me all about him: "Mommy, dere a new boy in our class. His name is Hunter. He hunts, I guess". I still laugh about that one!

I want to be involved in their classroom, and I plan to go back frequently, but it will need to be in short doses! Those teachers deserve a raise!!

What are you eating for dinner?

I am in a major food slump. I need to go grocery shopping in the next few days, so I was planning what we should eat... and I am feeling VERY uninspired!

Please tell me- what are you planning to eat for dinner this week? Or what did you eat last week? Or what would you like to eat? I could use some ideas!


Thursday, August 27, 2009

I Said NO!

I just want to buy a $4 shirt. I thought I was getting a good deal, but they will make me pay. Oh boy, will they make me PAY!

No, I do not want to give you my phone number.

No, I do not want to sign up for a credit card.
  • Not even if I can save 30%
  • Not even if you will send me more coupons in the mail
  • Not even if I can immediately pay off my balance
  • Not even if I will get invited to "member's only" shopping days

No, I do not want to donate $1

No, I do not want to be on your mailing list.

No, I do not want to take a survey

  • Not even if I can get entered into a chance to win
  • Not even if I can get a coupon

How about this idea to generate revenue? I will pay an EXTRA 10% if you will just let me make my purchase in PEACE and quit asking me 50 million questions before I can get out the door!

I think next time I will do my shopping online.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What I've been up to

Entering into my third week of kids in school...

I have been so, so busy! I have even been slightly neglecting to blog, because I have just had so many projects that I had saved up and wanted to get done. Quite a few people have been asking me what I've been doing with my time, so I thought I would try to figure it out myself!

First has been CLEANING. As in, clean something and it actually stays clean. As in, I can no longer say "it is too hard when the kids are home, and I can't get things done!" I came up with a system (my mom instilled the value of the chart very early on), and my house is finally looking half way decent. Every day I have a 'daily maintenance'. I do it first thing (after the kids are gone, of course), before I do anything else. I just go through each room and pick up for 5 min. This ends up just being make the beds, put away a few toys, etc. It generally takes me about 30 min. to do the whole house, because there are usually rooms I can skip.

The second step of my system is my weekly cleaning. Right now I am doing it all on one day, and I have weekly jobs (vacuum main floor, mop, bathrooms, sweep front porch), every other week jobs (vacuum upstairs, change the sheets, clean out the car), and monthly jobs (vacuum furniture, vacuum basement, dust, wipe fingerprints). Every week I do all of the weekly stuff, 1/2 of the every other week stuff, and one of the monthly jobs. Then the next week I just rotate. It has been working really well.

I also have been running errands, grocery shopping, post office, that sort of thing. It is nice to not have to drag the kids around, and they like it better as well!

I've also done some volunteering/reading in the kids classrooms. I love going in and seeing what they are doing, what the classroom is like, who their friends are, etc.

And, finally, I have been going crazy on my little projects. The first week, I completely tore through the basement. I organized, I purged, I took big bags of stuff to goodwill, and swept and cleaned the whole thing. I used to just dread going down there- it was so yucky and messy, and I felt anxiety and stress when I was down there. Now I love to just walk around and enjoy the emptiness! It really has made a huge difference!

See the top of that desk? I think the last time it was that clean is when we moved it! And behind it all the organized and purged 3 ring binders... that wasn't easy!
The toy area is under control and looking good...

And there are big spaces of *nothing*. Where before there were great piles of who-knows-what.

I also finished my platter wall in the dining room:

A cheap, easy fix for a big wall that I didn't know what to do with.

Last week I took a bunch of our garden tomatoes- we finally had enough to make some soup, and my mom helped me bottle a huge batch of vegetable soup! This is so nice to have in the winter, or when you need a quick meal.
This week, I am finally getting around to working on what was supposed to be my first back to school project- painting my kitchen. Yes, the one I just painted a few months ago. And if you have visited my house in the past 3 months or so, and saw all the paint samples painted all over the wall, and had endless discussions with me about which color I should choose, and listened to me agonize over each and every one, I will tell you now that I didn't choose any of them.

I left the breakfast nook the same yellow (I did paint over all the rejected swatches), and I painted the kitchen areas the same green that is in the rest of the main floor (Koala Bear, just in case you wanted the name of the shade). I am actually in love with it. It looks SO much better than the yellow. It makes the (sorta ugly) white cabinets look a lot better, and it has a nice, warm feeling to it. Just gotta finish the second coat tomorrow, put it all back together, and it will be finished!
I think next week I might do some sewing.....

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Doughnuts, Dinosaurs, and head injuries

I am enjoying my new found role as a Mommy Blogger. The kind that gets invited to marketing opportunities and gets free stuff for me and my kids. Like the Great Wolf Lodge.

This time we got invited to the preview of PBS's new show, The Dinosaur Train. The event was called "Doughnuts and Dinosaurs", and we had a blast!

There was face/arm painting, doughnuts (of course), juice (a hit with Jack), tons of crafts (Abigail's favorite), a mini train ride (Aidan was in heaven), and a preview of the show. Not to mention the gift bag, that was chock full of nice toys for the kids.

My kids aren't obsessed with Dinosaurs, but they enjoyed the show. It was interesting, and fun, and if your kids are obsessed with dinosaurs, they will overdose on this show. So cute. It has a very interesting (to me) adoption element, which I will discuss in another post.

Apparently we aren't the only ones who love a good balloon sword fight.

Riding the train- look! I was there too!
Abigail posing with her dinosaur craft. Isn't she a cute little kitty?

Jack + Juice = heaven. Jack + 6 juices = nausea on the way home. Luckily it stayed at the 'nausea' point, if you know what I mean!

Abigail chowing on a doughnut. With Krispy Kremes around, you don't need any other food!

Meeting "Buddy" the dinosaur! The kids loved that he was "little"! Aidan was trying to smack him with his balloon sword, that is why he has such a devious smile!
Whenever it showed the train on the show, Aidan was on the edge of his seat.

Getting ready for the preview to start.

Showing off the face paint. She was so proud to have paint "all over" her face! All day long she kept checking to make sure there was still paint all over her face!
Jack got a monster truck, much to our (not) surprise...
Aidan got a train... they are nothing if not predictable!

After we left the fun times, we continued our "day of parties" by dropping Abigail at her cousins party. Then we got ready for a picnic with church friends, and then a pool party. Can we say an overdose of fun?

At the pool party, Abigail decided to be brave and started doing flips off the side into the pool- sort of just a summersault off the edge, landing in the water. She was doing awesome, and was so proud of her new trick. Until, of course, she attempted a back flip, and hit her head on the side on the way down. Whoops. I was sitting right by her, and immediately scooped her up, but within seconds it had a huge goose egg. We did several consultations with Dr. Google, and I was able to perform a through neurological assessment, and we also got a phone check with Grandma. Between the 50 of us, we decided that she was ok. We kept her up for a few hours, then I checked on her every couple of hours through the night, and she is just fine today. But those things are always a little scary. I guess we can't do a whole day of fun without something going wrong!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Preschool Funnies

You can read about Jack's funny story over at Deep South Moms....

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sacked Out

I checked in on the kids before going to bed, and found them like this:
Rolled over, feet off the bed, dead to the world!
And when I checked on the boys, Aidan made me laugh out loud:
Now that is completely tired! He didn't even stir when I put him back on his bed!

Jack was the only halfway normal one- cuddled up with his special blankey. This school schedule is wearing them out!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rained Out

Saturday night we continued our quest for all things fun. We decided to go to the Laser Show at Stone Mountain. As much as we love that place, for some reason we hadn't been to the laser show yet this year.
We started out the day by throwing checking out some really cool rocks. They just can't get enough of the rocks.

We ate a picnic dinner. These kids love cantaloupe. I will cut one up, and between the three of them, they can eat every scrap in one sitting. I have never had a cantaloupe last more than one meal. And I can't stand that particular melon, so they are welcome to it.

After we returned from our hike earlier in the day, we forced them all to take naps, so they were actually in really good moods while we were there. Hot, but happy.

Jack loves sports of any kind. He was awesome with this frisbee- he could throw it straight to the person, no problem. Kydon even had someone stop and ask him how old Jack was, and expressed how impressed he was with how well Jack could throw!

Also, when did he get this big?

There are no pictures of Abigail or I- the boys (and the camera) were playing on the lawn near where the train goes by, and Abigail and I were up at the top doing our best to climb up and over every boulder in the place. We had a great time, but there aren't any pictures!

Just as we were about to settle in and wait for the show to start, it started to sprinkle.

No big deal, we thought. We will just wait it out. We were ducked under a doorway, along with 40 other people, and we decided to take the kids to the car and watch a movie. If it stopped raining, we could get out and watch the show. If it got worse, we could head home.

Kydon took Jack and Abigail and headed to the car. Aidan wanted to come with me to gather the remaining chairs and blankets. Just as we grabbed everything and started walking, the monsoon hit. It was like standing under a bucket! We ducked under a small roof for a minute to catch our breath, and Aidan said "how we gonna get to our car?" I explained that we were just going to have to go through the rain, and he very wisely advised "Well, we better just get started"! I agreed, and we headed out. It was raining so hard I couldn't even keep my eyes open! I kept wiping my face just to be able to see where we were going! But Aidan was a trooper- he walked the whole way and never complained once! Although he did tell me that we should bring our swimming suits next time!

We finally made it back, soaked all through, and headed home. The kids were disappointed that we had to leave, but that is how it goes sometimes!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Once again disproving gender stereotypes

This Saturday we wanted to have a relaxing day for the kids. Have fun, be together, and just do what they wanna do.

It turns out that the funnest thing you can think to do with a five year old and two four year olds is to throw rocks in the water.

We were attempting to walk along the trail, but quickly got sidetracked into an hour or so of throwing rocks into the water.

They were delighted when it splashed enough to sprinkle water on Mommy.
Of the 3, Abigail was by far the dirtiest. She had to find the BIGGEST rocks. And it took her whole body to pick them up and throw them in.

She had a blast!
Jack and Aidan loved it too.

We could have stayed for several more hours, but I am paranoid about shoes. We live in the South, where things just don't. dry. out. And they smell really mildewed after they get wet. And at the moment, they each only have one pair of decent shoes to wear. And the shoes they have are pretty new.
So I did not want them to get their shoes wet. But I knew (from many previous experiences), that the minute I say "take off your shoes", they will hear "jump on in- the water's fine".

So when my wet-shoe-fearing Mama instinct starting exploding in my head, we had to leave.

And kudos to Kydon for getting such awesome pictures!

Friday, August 14, 2009

To distract me from worrying about the kids...

I followed a link off of Cake Wrecks- and found myself at There I Fixed It. And I have been laughing out loud for at least 10 minutes.

They cried today

When I took Jack and Aidan to school, they didn't want me to leave. They clung to me. And gave me multiple hugs and kisses. And begged me to stay just 3 more minutes. And then when I left, they had to be held back. And they were crying.

I guess reality is setting in for them too.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Back to School Reality

The first few days of school being in session, I was pretty happy. I was so ready for a break, and we were all sick of TV, the pool, and no one wanted to go to the zoo anymore. It felt like we had exhausted all of our 'fun', and we were all just bored and ready for the next thing.

I was super productive all of those days- cleaning, cooking, running errands, shopping, reading, etc. But yesterday and today, reality is starting to sink in.

The reality that they will be gone from me 7 or so hours a day. Every day. For the rest of their life!! Abigail came home with a bump over her eye yesterday, and Aidan had a fat lip. I don't even think twice about those things when they happen here, but I was irrationally upset that their teachers had "allowed" them to get hurt!

We have an hour in the morning- when we all jump up, get dressed, shower and bathe, eat breakfast, argue over shoes and hairdo's, and then head out to school and work. When they come home, we have only 1.5 hours to play and relax, then I have to make dinner, clean things up, and get everything set for the evening. After dinner is bath time and bedtime.

I'm starting to really miss my kids!! I even don't mind it when they get up in the night, because at least I get to see them for a few extra minutes!

It makes me want to homeschool.

Not this year of course..... I am still enjoying my hours! But maybe next year. Maybe one at a time. Or maybe not. But a few months ago I wouldn't even have considered it, and now I think about it all the time!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

It's all in what you wear

Abigail's cousin has a birthday coming up. He has been very excited about his party, and has issued an invitation to Abigail. My sister called me today, and told me that there weren't any other girls that would be at the party- that Abigail was more than welcome to come, but she wanted to make sure she knew it would be all boys.

I thought Abigail would be fine, but this afternoon I ran it by her. Her response was very practical.

"Well, I will just wear pants- not a skirt, and I won't wear a nice shirt, just a regular one".

I think she will be just fine!

Another shipment ready to go!

I was trying to get the Summer time project finished before... well, before summer ended. I came close, anyway!

This cute little sailboat will go to Amy and Jen! I actually don't have either of your home addresses, so please send them to and I will get them in the mail!

I also finished the Fall project (and it isn't even winter yet! Go me!):

The leaf and acorn patchwork will go to Lisa, Merilee, Cecilee, and Alisa! I only need Merilee's address for this one! Send it on and I will stick the tiny quilt in the mail!

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Best First Day Ever

It happened today. The much anticipated (by kids and mom alike) first day of school.

I got them to smile by telling them that anyone who didn't smile would have to stay home with me. There was NO WAY they were doing that, so they all cheesed it up!
Abigail was first... her bus came at 7:15.
She was SO excited to ride the bus!
But she did trip a little on that top step!
I don't know if we will have her ride it all the time, but I wanted her to ride the first week when they have extra helpers showing her where to go and what to do. That way, if she ever wants to ride it later on, she will be familiar with the routine.

Then it was Jack and Aidan's turn. They had their backpacks on and were in the car a full 20 minutes before we had to leave.

Here they are outside their school...
And sitting in their chairs. If this was a video, you would be hearing them say "Mommy, we in schoo now- you haf to leabe." No tears of separation for them!
I spent my day cleaning the house, a little bit of shopping, computer time, reading, lots of laundry, and looking for a job. It was a nice chunk of time where I got a lot of things done, had plenty of time to relax, and I was really missing them by 2:30.
When they got home, we sat at the table, eating popsicles and cucumbers, and they told me about their day. For once, Abigail was willing to talk. Jack and Aidan were telling me all about the book "The Kissing Hand", which they read in class. Abigail jumped out of her chair "What?? WE did the Kissing Hand TOO!" We all laughed for several minutes about the coincidence of them all reading and doing art projects about the same book.
Then Abigail relaxed with the TV.

Jack and Aidan chose to cool off in the sprinkler.

Then we made pizza for dinner- one of our all time favorite EASY dinners. Except I had all 3 "helping" me, so it wasn't that easy, then as I was putting it in the oven, I dropped it into the oven, causing major cheese and topping spillage all over the bottom of a 500-degree oven. I scraped up what I could, then made another pizza as quickly as I could (pretty slow, but at least I was stressed out the whole time). While the second pizza was cooking, the toppings from the first caught fire and we had to throw baking soda all over the whole mess.

Hey, just keeping it real!

I guess tomorrow I will be cleaning the oven.

All in all, it was a pretty great day! For them and for me!