Thursday, July 29, 2010


Yesterday, at the pool, Zack started swimming. This was the first year he could "touch" in the shallow end (barely) and he's been content to splash around there, or swim around in a life jacket thus far this summer. Yesterday, though... he told me he was going to swim under water to me. And much to my surprise, he did. It wasn't pretty, and I'm not confident that he's a "swimmer" yet by any stretch, but the funniest thing was when he said "Mommy, I can swim now because I'm five." As if that extra day made all the difference. Apparently, it did.

This is my non staged messy house, by the way. Normally I pick up a little more or at least make sure the angle of the photo misses the mess. This is the reality. Messed up cake, disorganized house, dead flowers on the bar and all.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Birthday Cake Fail

The problem with having taken the Wilton Cake Decorating class is that now I have enough knowledge to do a few things. Actually, I really felt like I had some success at making pretty cakes and didn't think it would be any big deal to whip up some dinosaur decorations for Zack's cake. I had it all planned out. It was going to be perfect. And it might have been if I'd started it on Sunday instead of Monday, and left enough time for the dinosaur piece to dry and be hard before I tried to move. Or if my other icing hadn't been the consistency of pudding and might possibly have held it's shape. So, therein lies the problem, overconfidence = total failure.
Before a messed up cake would have been no big deal... a drop in the bucket. Heck, before I'd have gotten a cake from Publix and been just fine with that. But now, oh now, I'm supposed to create a masterpiece for each and every birthday.

Alas, Kevin came home and saved the day. Drawing a rough figure of a dinosaur with a tube of gel icing I had in my cake decorating kit. The cake was lopsided, an odd shade of green, and had a very questionable looking dino on it. But it tasted great, and it had five candles on it, which pretty much made it the best cake ever in Zachary's mind.

How did he get to be so big anyway?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Random Stuff I Post on Facebook

I have to confess, I took awhile to really "get" facebook. I had my group of online friends, my blog, absolutely NO interest in MySpace, so I just wasn't sure. Plus, when I finally signed up, and tried to get into it I still didn't understand the hoopla. But, awhile later I tried again and it was magic! I think it probably coincided with several of my other friends getting into the mix and made it so much fun. So, these days while I barely have a second to breathe, much less blog I do often find myself posting silly, pointless stuff on Facebook.

So, here I will share with you my random stuff I post on facebook 10 most recent posts... Because I am avoiding chores, mostly. Starting with the most recent...

1. Making Kale Chips-- wondering if my kids will actually eat them. :) 18 minutes ago

(The verdict -- they all declared them yummy, but too spicy and ate exactly one. MY verdict. Delicious! And super easy/healthy. Yay)

2.You know you have kids when you find quarters in the refrigerator... 14 hours ago

3. I've had a hard time getting back to running after vacation. Yes, it's been three weeks since we've been back. I WILL run tomorrow. Ask me!! Tuesday at 10:08 PM

(I did! Only 2 miles but I did go)

4. Watching WipeOut with the family. It's kind of scary how much my kids love this show. Tuesday at 8:56 PM

(Although based on comments they aren't the only ones.)

5. Mmmm Guacamole salad! Awesome summer dinner. (Monday at 6:44 pm)

(This is the sort of post that I almost delete because clearly NO ONE cares about my guac & lettuce consumption... and then I get comments... because my friends love guac as much as I do.)

6. Off to the pool. Messy house will wait a few more hours I suppose. Monday at 2:34 pm

(It did... plus some :))

7. Overheard: Mark to Zack: Do you think I went to school for all these years for NOTHING. Hehe. Monday at 1:35 pm

(My cousin commented and asked if I had a notebook to record all of these funny things in. I don't... but I do have... this blog. Realizing that comment was probably the spark for this blog post.)

8. I really dislike asking for favors. July 18 at 1:43 pm.

(I really really do. But I did it and it was fine. My friends don't mind watching my kids but I sure don't like asking them to.)

9. I guess no beach today since one of my buddies has a fever. July 16 at 7:12 am

(and then another brother got it, then another. Ben escaped. Luckily it was a 24 hour type of virus. We still need to get to the beach!)

10. Calgon!!!! July 15 at 7:59 pm

(You know, I feel this way quite often at 7:59 pm... )

So, there you have it. My apologies if you are my friend on facebook and this is all repetive. Since it's absolutely riveting and all.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Summer Blogging

It seems every time I make a plan it gets derailed. I planned to keep us so busy this week that the time would fly, and boys would sleep great and Kevin would be back before I knew it. The first few days were right on track. Sunday we went on a long hike. Longer than intended actually, due to me forgetting that when boys say "noooo we aren't tired, let's keep going!" it could still be a matter of mere minutes before they are tiiiiiired, and need to be back right noooooow. They all survived though and they were calm in the evening and slept... okay. I ended up with two of them in my bed but that's not all that abnormal when Kevin is out of town. The next day I had a doctor appointment and in the afternoon we went to the pool. Some friends were with us and we had pizza delivered to the pool. It was lovely. Then I took a rest day. Because we all needed it after two very active days. On Wednesday, Zack was under the weather, so we cancelled our plans and stayed home again. Then yesterday it rained. We were all set to escape the house today & go to the beach, but today Mark has a fever. So we are home again and I'm stir crazy. I'm not good at actually staying home. Generally speaking, I need to be out of the house for at least a few hours on any given day. It doesn't have to be anything exciting, but the park, or the pool, or Target. I just need to get out. Kevin gets back this evening and I am so excited to see him!

Much like life derails my plans, my best attempts at blogging keep getting thwarted. When I heard the Silicon Valley Moms Blogs were to be no more, taking out the extra little nudge I had to write something read-worthy (at least I what I hoped to be!) every few weeks, I decided to work a little harder on this blog. I lasted about a week, posting more regularly and then I disappeared again. Granted, it's summer, my husband has been out of town since Sunday and my brain is kind of shot. Summer blogging is hard, because I try to keep the kids busy and while ideally I'd blog in great detail (with pictures) about all the fun stuff we're doing, the reality is by the time we get done with all that I am spent. Also, the chaos, while mostly fun, leaves me unable to think in complete sentences, much less compose a coherent post. That's a tall order on a good day. So instead, I'll take what I can get, quit making grand plans, and blog when I get around to it. Readability optional. When school starts I'll be a little more ambitious.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Free Slurpees at 7-11

Today is the birthday of 7-11 (huh, so that's why the name. I never knew.)

Anyway, I didn't know that until just now, nor did I know until just now that to celebrate they are giving away free 11 ounce birthday slushees. I know the boys and I will be making a stop there later in the day. Hopefully they will have some left.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Things That Happen On Vacation

There are a few things that happen every time I take a vacation that should be noted.

1. One or more (or all) of my kids get a wierd itchy rash. Okay, Ben almost always has a few itchy spot, but yes, his exzema did have a flare over the vaca. But, from the first time we traveled back to OK even way back when we lived in GA someone has gotten a rash. It's not as bad as those first few years. I don't know what causes it. Some say grass (but, we play outside and roll in the grass here too, and they don't do that), obviously they are allergic to something there. Which makes sense since I am allergic to Oklahoma as well.

2. At some point in the week or however long we are gone, I will hit the moment where I look longingly at every horizantal surface desperately wanting to just lay down and rest, but feeling totally guilty to go take a nap because I really want to visit with everyone. Sadly, even sitting down did not alway keep me up and I dozed off more times than I'd like to admit during the day.

3. Some child of mine will experience a moderate to severe regression in potty training. This year its Ben. We've gone from mostly accident free days to three or more peed pants a day. Enough to make me craaaaazy (er).

But, vacations are necessary and awesomely fun, so it's kind of worth all these things. As long as #3 resolves soon that is.

A Few Confessions

1. I still have not run since I've been home from vacation. I want to. I set the alarm, and when it goes off I just.can't.get.up. I am blaming this on being stuck on Central Time. I was sleeping til 7 central, and now getting up at 7 Eastern is HARD. To run I have to get up and out the door by 6 (ish) and it's just not happening. Next week Kevin will be far far away on business and no running will be happening then. I plan to get one good jog in this weekend, and fill in with the exercise bike next week, then back to running regularly. I did have a thought this morning that might help that was planted by the Beck Diet Solution. I reminded myself that every time I didn't get up that it would be easier to sleep in the next time. The author, Judith Beck, explains how every time you give in (either to food, or to not exercising) you are strengthening your "giving in muscle." Each time you resist that temptation you are strenghtening your "resistance muscle." Unfortunately, today I thought of it too late and couldn't go run and get home in time for Kevin to go to work. But, when he's back in town I hope this strategy will get me back on track regardless of what time zone my body thinks it's in. (PS if you feel like you need a little boost in your quest for healthy living/weight loss I completely recommend this book. I plan to reread parts of it for a refresher very soon. I bought it on Amazon and recommend it because it has really changed the way I think about food.)

2. I had my first mommy meltdown of the summer. It was ridiculous, actually, because I'm really enjoying having all the kids back home, and having things almost back to normal (almost because I'm never totally sure what normal is.) Yet, despite my resolve to be patient and not let certain children behaviors get to me, I completely got mad over something little. You see, Mark has this quality in which he's never quite satisfied. Never quite has enough. Always thinking of what's next, and maybe a little bit wants to run the whole show. I do my efforts to keep him content, but I also have 5 other family members to consider, as well as time and budget constraints. The story goes, all day long he was complaining. Complained when I wouldn't let him play Wii because it was school work time. Complained when he couldn't play Wii because it was chore time. In fact, every time I made any request of him it was met with grumbling. I let it go, because he did it, and this is the new, patient, me.

So, since our morning stuff was done I decided we'd do a picnic at the park. To be even extra nice we got our food from McDonalds and arrived at the playground. Of course, no one could agree where to go so I took a vote. 3 to 1... guess who the descenting opinion was. Guess who deemed the winning playground to be BORING and a BABY playground. I ignored the complaints as I knew once we got there things would be fine. I would not be defeated by his negativity. Mark has another habit of annoying his brothers and doing little ornery things like throw the shoes they are trying to put on their feet into the back of the van. This little act, as I was getting their food gathered and out of the car made me a little berserk and I started kind of tossing the chocolate milk containers back into the van so I could go get the tossed shoes, and when I got to the last one I realized too late that it was in fact my diet coke, which the lid popped off of and emptied into my seat. Sigh. I guess I didn't yell at them, and I wasn't throwing anything hard, just more of a bouncing stuff into the seat to make a point. HOWEVER, it was immature and silly and I apologized to my kids for throwing a little bit of a tantrum. The rest of the day went on and we had fun, so I guess no one was traumatized.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


In my efforts to get my kids to stop asking if they can play Wii, or computer games, or watch TV 87,000 times a day I'm trying to keep them busy. I mentioned that I made a somewhat loose schedule to keep us on track. So far (for 2 days haha!) so good. Sure, outwardly they scoff when I make them work on writing for half an hour (the horror!) but inwardly I know they adore it (if only.) Plus, once we get down with those have tos we have a big wide afternoon full of opportunities for fun.

Tuesday we had to go to the library. I love the library! The kids can play, get stuff to bring home and all for free! Except of course, when I forget to take the books back before leaving on a 12 day vacation and come home to a 15 dollar fine. Twelve books times 5 days late times .25 a pop. Ouch.

Later that day we went to the pool and stayed for all of 30 minutes when one of our Florida rain storms popped up and we ran away from the lightning.

Yesterday I braved a Moms Club Activity with all four kids. Going out with them all is much easier this year than last. Especially when it's something completely aimed at entertaining them. Wiregrass Wednesdays was on the agenda and while I was slightly concerned it would be "Booooo-wing" for my big kids, it was all very wonderful. There was live music (even though some of it was "baby songs" according to Mark) to entertain them as we stood in line for a long time to get a balloon sculpture thing. Two swords, a dinosaur and a giant hat later (pictures to come if I can get them off of my phone) everyone was happy as clams and even happier when I let them go on the train ride.

Last night we made homemade peanut butter (to eat on homemade bread) and everyone went to bed on time for the first time since school got out.

Keeping busy is great, but I'm finding it extra difficult to get anything done. I have yet to master getting the kids in on the jobs. I'm definitely getting closer though. Yesterday, Ben was napping and I wrote down four jobs for them to do while I dug all the crap out of the van from the drive home and it actually got down.

For today, I have not much planned. Currently we are running behind on our schedule for writing/reading time so I'm off to get going on that.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Running in OK

Oh summer vacation is such a whirlwind of fun and exhaustion. Capped off by an insanely long drive that is enough to make us question our sanity (and resolve to never again do it in one stretch. We have committed to always stop at a hotel. Remind me that next year.)

While trying to think of how to capture the essense of our trip to visit family in one blog post, I realized that it is impossible. So I will tell you a story that I find both hilarious and falls into the it can only happen to me category.

I went to Oklahoma with a strong desire to keep up my running routine (I only partially did, but I ran twice while I was there.) When my brother wanted to run with me one morning I was excited to go. Unfortunately he had to go around 5 AM because he was getting his wisdom teeth out later that day. So at 5:15 we hit the trail at Mitch Park in Edmond, OK. It all started out rather nicely. I forgot my Ipod which was fine, as I had my little brother to talk to, but I wanted it to measure distance (have I mentioned my awesome pedometer that plugs into my Ipod? It's a must have if you are a runner. I love it!) but it wasn't that big of a deal. I had a few obstacles to overcome as I had been up at my parents house until almost one, my allergies went bonkers pretty much the minute I crossed the OK state line, and then the biggest obstacle of all... hills. Florida is flat, at least the part I live and run in so hills were something I was definitely not accustomed to. Once I got past the huffing puffing part, partly due to allergies and partly due to hills, but mostly due to the fact that I always start out my run and take a few minutes to get my breathing under control, things went nicely.

Then we hit THE hill. It was a killer for this flat surface running girl, and I hate to admit it but I failed. I ended up walking most of that hill. Because it was a monster.

The hills weren't the real notable part of this early morning run though. I'm not sure how we did it. It could be because we were talking,it could be from lack of sleep, but somehow we lost the trail. At some point the trail kind of went into a neighborhood, and in theory it picked back up in the neighborhood shortly after. Unfortunately, we never found the point at which it went back into the park. (I'm speaking entirely theoretically here, as I am not familiar with the trail at all, seeing as how I no longer live in the state of Oklahoma.) So we trudged through the neighborhood and found a way out of it, and if you are familiar with the area found ourselves at Coffee Creek smack between Kelly and Santa Fe. If you aren't familiar with the area, we were about a mile and a half away from the park.

All told, we estimate we ran about 3 miles, then walked that mile and a half back to the car. I only wish I had my pedometer so I could know for sure. It was an adventure and as I told my brother when he apologized for the fifth time about getting us lost, it makes for a good story to tell.

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