Sunday, November 25, 2012




I really love Thanksgiving.  And while I am convinced I cannot host it until I can send Duncan to the store, meaning 9 more years, I love the holiday.  Having little ones brings its own joys like little Indian/Native American head bands and handprint turkeys.  But it is also pretty exhausting.  Not as exhausting as two 2 year olds, though, so I’m grateful it was two 4 year olds and a 7 year old this year.  My contribution to the meal was a pumpkin pound cake that I found on Pinterest.  Loved the cake but did NOT like the glaze….too gummy and flavorless.  Just a straight-forward powdered sugar/water glaze would be fine.  See my cake below.


Oh yes, that big chunk taken out?  Well, I am sure that needs to explanation to any of my regular readers…all three of you.  I tried to gussy it up a bit with some fall sprinkles that I had.  It was delish (minus the glaze that everyone picked off.) 

We went to my sister’s and mom’s for the day, along with various aunts, uncles, cousins and such.  We ate, watched football and talked.  Not any more or any less great than any other year, really. 

Until that night when Finn started yacking…then it kind of went downhill.  We were supposed to have other family over on Friday for dinner, but that changed…I said no kids and it turned into lunch with grown ups instead.  Kids got to see Grandpa who now lives in Michigan, and the weather was great.


Saturday is a bit of a blur…I’m having a hard time thinking about what we did as I sit here.  Oh yes, Duncan had a birthday party so that was a nice way to break up the day.  Again…perfect weather.  About 70 degrees and sunny.  I must admit, I am grateful to live in Dallas when we have these days that the kids can so easily be outside.  We took them to the playground across the street before dinner, did baths, fed them, and put everyone to bed.  Then I went to bed because I felt like I’d been hit by a truck.

Today I have mostly felt like I’ve been hit by a less huge truck, and we’ve gotten the tree up and lights on the outside.  I have a lot to do but I love looking at the tree at night.  It just makes me happy.  Everyone goes back to school tomorrow and that is a very good thing!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Weekend Recap



We had a really great weekend.  While Friday night is a blur, on Saturday we had the twins much belated birthday party.  Since Claire was in the hospital the week of the original party, we had it this weekend.  Had family and friends, good food, home made birthday cake, a big bounce house and perfect weather.  By the end of the day everyone, mostly me, was completely exhausted.  But it was totally worth it.  I love celebrating birthdays and I love feeding people. 

So, as you can imagine Sunday morning brought some grumpies.


But, we are serious in our commitment to get them to church on Sundays so off we went.  Claire was happy to wear Finn’s super hero cape (a HOMEMADE cape!  Gift from wonderful crafty friend!) and Finn was thrilled to carry his new Bible.  Duncan, well…he’s 7. 

After church was a lot of football.  On TV and in the front yard.


And of course, playing with new toys.  Finn + Legos = match made in Heaven. 


Realized quite late last night that Finn and Claire were supposed to bring a vegetable (I am not a fan of the word “veggie”…not sure why.) to school this morning.  Ended in late night Sprouts run.  Got a squash and a potato.


So again, by last night I was exhausted!  This morning’s coffee could not come fast enough.


Then I had to check out the Energy/Stress reduction formula on the vitamins at Sprouts.  They are pricey but might be worth it.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

To bicycle or not to bicycle



I was in Costco today with Claire and Finn and of course, we could not avoid the toy aisle.  How can you really avoid anything in Costco, other than say, the box springs or the cat food?  Anyway, there it was.  A Cinderella bike.  And who was most drawn to it?  Me.  I think mostly because it was BLUE and not some garish pinked up thing.  I loved that it was blue.  And the streamers don’t hurt.  And the little basket on the handle bars where you can put your “babies” but Claire would just cram all of her hard, plastic horses.  Oh, I love this bike. 

We’ve talked about bikes lately.  Duncan’s bike was his birthday present when he turned 6.  It’s a cheapie bike…I think I paid about fifty bucks for it.  But he has loved this bike.  With it’s broken-in-half pedals, old stickers, last year’s Fourth of July Parade’s decorations still in the spokes.  He loves it.  It buys him his freedom.  No bike was ever more loved.  But, it’s a real crapper and I think he would love a new one.  I think.  Maybe not.

Then there’s Finn.  He rides Duncan’s old tricycle.  Talk about a beater.  It’s worse than Duncan’s current bike! And you know what?  I think Finn loves that crappy old trike more than Duncan loves his bike.  Mostly because it’s his and it makes him more like Duncan.  He got a little excited when he saw the Cars2 bike at Costco, but not as much as I thought.  He told me he wants a Nerf gun bike. ???  He also wants a Nerf fun birthday cake. 

So, we are in the midst of examining our bike needs.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Old Fashioned Groupon Family Fun



I may, at times, buy Groupons and such in fits and spurts.  I rarely let them expire before we use them, and am pretty careful in my selection.  So, when I saw the really good one for this place I bought it without checking out any reviews.  We packed up the kids and went on what turned out to be the last relatively warm day and headed out.  In short, it was fun…the kids had a great time.  But I think once is enough!  For Yesterland Farm! 



For me, the pig races were the highlight.  Our pig, Josh Hamilton, was the winner in the end and everyone loves a winner.  And a pig named Josh Hamilton. 

But, it was a day spent together, with the kids, and that

was worth it.  IMG_5645

I think this is my favorite shot of the day.  I love how Finn has his hands on his knees.  Deep in thought.  Probably about how he might score some candy somehow.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Tis of Thee



For the past week, Duncan has walked around singing My Country Tis of Thee – is that the proper title?  This morning at school, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders sang in the front yard of the school, in honor of Veterans’ Day.  All local vets were invited to attend.  They had flags planted in the ground, that the kids had purchased in honor or memory of someone they knew who was  a vet.


It was really sweet, and I think he actually understands what he is doing.  But he still is 7 and gets a little goofy when surrounded by his friends.  However, I was proud of him that when the big flag was being raised, he stood and saluted the entire time. And that he knew the words to the songs.  Just wish I’d gotten the memo about sending him in his Cub Scout shirt.  Next year, I promise.


Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween Part 1



I figured I would start this today, with the preliminary Halloween pics, and post again tomorrow with all the wild, costume-y, too much candy induced crazy pics tomorrow.  Iain is on his way to San Antonio so this year I’m flying solo.  Trying to keep it as low key as possible.

We carved our pumpkin last night, and when I say “we” I mean “I” because the group cohesiveness I was counting on dissipated after about twelve seconds.  See that pic?  That’s all I got.  After the initial “let’s carve!” they started running around, tearing the head off my decorative scarecrow and playing baseball with no bats, gloves or a ball.  We’ll call it phantom baseball!  Because it’s Halloween!  But, I got that sucker carved and did a fine job if I do say so.


This morning, Cinderella soon morphed into a Longhorn cheerleader and our mighty morphin power rangers eschewed all costumes in favor of a Halloween tee shirt, with the sleeves cut off because he wont wear long sleeves (in addition to Halloween costumes, apparently.)  I got them to preschool and watched their music performance and parade and it was really super cute.


I am hoping and praying for a quick and successful trick or treat, baths and bed tonight.  Part 2 will tell the real story.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Today I am…



  • Stealing blog post ideas from this gal because I think she is really awesome and her blog inspires me more than any other. 
  • Getting stuff done.  Throwing out so much that we just don’t need and with each bag, I feel a little lighter, a little less stressed and a little more in control.  Also donating…not just cluttering the landfills.
  • Determined to get all the laundry put away.
  • Taking Claire for her follow up appointment after her hospitalization last week.
  • Planning on carving pumpkins with all three kids.
  • Panicking about Halloween costumes. 
  • Planning on a decent dinner.
  • Grateful that Iain is coming home, even if it’s just for about 12 hours before he leaves again.
  • Praying for Duncan at school because he is a great kid and I love him and school can be hard sometimes.
  • Drinking too much coffee.

What are you doing?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

It all started out so well



Last Saturday, Iain had taken the boys on the cub scout camping trip and Claire was at my mom’s and sister’s.  I had the whole house to myself for 24 hours plus.  Saturday was so wonderful.  I watched PBS cooking shows, took a three hour nap, then went to dinner with a great friend.   During dinner, my sister called to tell me Claire was coughing.  We discussed it, I told her to give her more Benadryl and see how it went.  A few hours later I got another call that she was still coughing…we discussed me going out there but hoped she would finally fall asleep.  I went to bed, and wondered.  The next morning I found out the night did not go so well but we still thought it was just a terrible allergic reaction.  I ended up going to get her around noon, and by the time we got back the boys and Iain were home too.  We went to Duncan’s baseball game and she seemed better…rolled around in the grass, ran around.  Came home and put her to bed and things kind of went downhill from there.  It was a really bad night so the next day I took her to the pulmonologist.


We did four breathing treatments and in the end were sent to the ER.  Her saturation would not come up.  Did a strep test.  Positive.  Oh, and I had the boys with me. Wheee!

At the ER, they put her on a constant breathing treatment.  As in never-ending.  Of Albuterol.  Oh my sweet Jesus.


ER doc decided to admit her pretty quickly.  Got her IV in without much trauma (see last hospital visit post…egad).  Iain finally took the boys home, my niece and her husband brought me something to eat and we got in a room by about 9:30.  At this point, I hoped we would go home the next day.  In the end, we were in the hospital five days.  Status asthmaticus, pneumonia and strep throat.  So much medication I can’t keep track.  Sleeping on the Bed of Pain.  My hips will never be the same.


We are going to have to manage her very carefully at this point and I think an allergist is our next stop.  Seems keeping the allergies in check might keep the asthma in check.


It wasn’t all bad spending so much time with her but it would have been more fun doing it at Disney Land.


Thanks to wonderful friends and family, every once in a while I got a break and left to grab a bite to eat or to see the boys.  We missed Claire and Finn’s 4th birthday, and that made me super sad. 


But in the end we got to take our girl home.  Which is more than a lot of those families can say.


And she got to paint, and got stuffed animals from nurses, and kind of had the run of the place once she was off the constant breathing treatment stuff and her IV came out…about Wednesday night.


And gratefully, Friday afternoon, around 3:00…we got to go home.  Thanks be to God…and the doctors and nurses. 


And everyone is happy about that!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I Should Have Taken a Before Picture



Because this is the after.  And I think it looks pretty great.  But the before was bad.  I tried to cut it myself and gave him possibly the worst haircut ever.  And I’ve done some real botch jobs on our kids’ hair.  He has SO much hair…like duck feathers.  It gets really thick and so if it’s cut kind of blunt well…it’s just bad.  It was almost the dreaded chili bowl.  So, I whisked him to Great Clips after school and we got it remedied.  Got Claire’s trimmed too.  We are still growing out the rather large patch that she chopped off with the clippers a few months ago.  And I keep trimming her bangs because I just don’t have it in me to grow them out.   How boring is this?  Dang.  I’m boring myself to death.

Iain is in Pittsburg.  Realized last night it’s the last week of the State Fair and we haven’t gone yet, which means I am taking them tomorrow after school.  Tonight is the baseball practice/church hybrid. Always a juggle when Iain is traveling but we get it done.  Man, this is still boring.

I should probably quit while I’m ahead.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pintimidated Project–Oatmeal Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was in a real baking mood yesterday and realized I had all the ingredients (well, almost…see below) to make these cookies that I saw on Pinterest.   I will say that the dough is really, really good.  Not that I eat cookie dough.

The cookies, albeit without the white chocolate chips because I had none, are good but not great.  My biggest issue with them is that they are a cakey cookie. I am not a fan of the cakey cookie.   I like a crisp cookie.  But, the pumpkin flavor is really good.  I might even see how I could up that next time.  The oatmeal is good…the chocolate is good.  I might try it with raisins instead of chocolate chips next time.  I’m also going to try baking them directly on the baking sheet, instead of parchment paper, because I’m not sure what purpose the parchment serves.  They have plenty of butter in them and should not stick.

The Pintimidator gives this 6 out of 10 stars.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

things that make me nuts

i am sitting at the twins gymnastics class, at the local rec center. this is our fourth or fifth week. i do not exaggerate when i tell you that 1) the only topic the women here seem to be capable if duscussing is childbirth and 2) they do it every week. also, the phrase "all natural" in regards to a drug free birth sends me reeling. isnt all child birth natural? is there artificial childbirth? do we have to compete with who was the most brave? who showed the most valor? ugh. #rantover

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

You never know

Our mom is in the hospital, which is sobering mostly because she is 86. She is quite healthy and active, so even though you kind of know it can happen it is unnerving when it does. Heart rate too high, blood pressure too low. Updates to follow.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Things I Am Loving



A few weeks ago I was buying a tutu for Claire, and was asked if I was buying it for my granddaughter.  I immediately drove to CVS and bought three anti-aging products.  This was one of them and I love it.  Keep it in my purse all the time.  I have a fantasy that it works, and sometimes that is all you need.


This book (series) has given me more reading pleasure than any other series ever…perhaps even any book.  This is book 5 and possibly the heftiest of the series so far.  I drag it around with me everywhere I go and get a little street cred from the cool peeps at Starbucks who see me, your average mom/housewife, reading it.  Got a thumbs up from the barista today.  Yeah. 


Fall.  Technically it’s here so I broke out the fall/halloween tub of stuff and put a few things out.  While I am not crazy about this light fixture, it is easy to hang some swag and say that I’ve decorated! 


The must have candle for me every October.  I usually burn through about two or three of them.  #addict

What are you loving this week?


Monday, October 01, 2012




There is a lot I like about this picture.  I like that all my kids are in it, I like that I am looking right at Finn, I like that you can see right into my kitchen and out the kitchen window (which is open!  because the weather is gorgeous!), I like the splash of turquoise that is my Kitchen Aid, and that you can see we drank some wine with lunch.  I’m not too crazy about my neck. 

Had most of our family here yesterday for lunch and birthday cake.  It is such a joy to me to have them in our home, and just spend the day eating, drinking, and enjoying each other.  It gets a little crowded around the table but I embrace that too.  We just cram in and enjoy the good food, which was really good yesterday because my mom made it all. 

The kids would rather have everyone here that go out to eat or do just about anything really.  Duncan has always loved his tribe and feels safest and happiest when we are all here…all generations.  If he had his way, my mom and sister, Iain’s sister and her husband and all the critters would all live with us under one roof.  I suspect the little ones will be the same.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pinterest Cookie Pan Cleaner Thing



Not everything is as it seems.  I tried the rather highly pinned baking soda/hydrogen peroxide trick to clean your cookie sheets and make them like new thingie and you can see my results above.  I should have taken a picture of my before, but did not. 

Source: via D on Pinterest" target=_blank>So, not everything is as it seems.  It was really hard scrubbing, and I left it for more than the two hours suggested.  It does look better, though! 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Yeah, well…

I suppose blogging would be easier and smoother if I just did it every day.  Maybe someday I will get to that point.


Second grade started four weeks ago, which kind of wigs me out.  Four weeks?  Really? So far so okay.  I think he was anxious for a while because things seemed to be moving a bit faster than they did in 1st grade but so far his grades seem fine.  I think he is more relaxed since he is not the new kid this year, and a bit more confident in his friendships.  It is a small school, and there are only about 47 first graders so there is not a lot of room to hide if you are shy or feel isolated.  My prayer for him is that he is a good friend to all, and learns how to successfully navigate his relationships. 


Claire and Finn have started their new preschool and seem to love it.  Claire had one little nervous bump but she is SO very much like Duncan in other ways I suppose I could have anticipated it.  Otherwise, they both seem thrilled to go each day and are happy and chatty each time I pick them up, telling me wonderful stories about what they have done.


They are really growing up before our eyes.  Finn will occasionally drop the H bomb and say, “what the Hell is that?” and I shudder, then laugh silently.  Claire wants to be right by my side all day.  She especially loves to do anything with huge mess potential like cooking, or getting all up in my make up.  This morning I almost had to Google “getting nail polish out of eyes” but my panic was premature and it was only on her eyelids.  Found this pic from a year ago.


Hard to balance being so happy and relieved that they are growing and changing and being sad and bereft that they are growing and changing.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Dog Days



Mid-August in Texas is pretty brutal.  There isn’t much motivation to be outside, and the kids are pretty restless.  It’s a bad combination.  So, we try to find things to do indoors as well as resign to the concept of more TV wont kill them.  Swimming is still an option but even that is kind of a beating unless it’s very early or very late in the day. 

So, today I took all three of them to the Sealife Aquarium in Grapevine.  Not cheap, but perhaps worth it.  It’s very kid friendly, if not kid-focused, and you can go through as many times as you like.  We spent about two hours there before Finn was ready to go.  I’m so grateful that they are old enough that I don’t have to mess with a stroller (BEATING) and that I can, for the most part, trust them not to run away from me and jump in some huge tank of expensive fish.  Thank you God.

Later today we will go visit friends.  Tomorrow is still a vast unknown but our very kind and generous neighbors have offered us use of their pool while they are out of town.   It is also 75 cent movie day.  I don’t even really care too much what is showing, as long as it’s not PG13. 

Wednesday, however, is still a big question mark.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Road Trip 2012, Part I



We left Dallas on Monday, July 16th.  Our first pit stop was in Oklahoma City.  We stumbled upon their downtown botanical gardens, with a water fountain for the kids to splash in.   Free parking.  Free admission.  Are you listening, Dallas?  Found a shady table and chairs, had lunch and let the kids splash around.


Got back on the road and soon afterwards heard a strange sound.  Something under the front bumper was making noise so we just hacked it off with some manicure scissors and were back on our way.


Spent our first night in Wichita, KS in a Spring Hill Suites (Marriot.)   Best set up of all hotels we stayed in.  Had a small desk which partitioned the beds from a sitting area, so at least felt like we weren’t all in the same room.  Also had nifty reading lights on the headboard so I could read easily.  Score!



The best coffee of our entire trip was in Wichita.  Actually, was the best coffee I’ve had possibly ever.  Found this place on Yelp and were over the top pleased with it. 


Kansas is not very exciting.


But sometimes you make new friends at gas stations.


And Mommy gets to read a bit.


And when you finally get to Denver, you just go to sleep!


On Wednesday, we took the day off from driving and just went sight seeing around the Denver area.  First stop, Hammonds Candies.  Free tour, free candy!  Tons of fun.  From there, we went to an old mine.


Tried to strike it rich, but I’m afraid only left with enough gold for maybe a Sonic Happy Hour drink.


Thursday morning we left Denver, armed with new movies like The Wizard of Oz and Hello Kitty, and headed for Salt Lake City.  Very long day.


Had to institute the “side of the road timeout” rule.


But finally made it to the really lovely little town of Ogden, UT.  Stayed a nice full-fledged Marriot so had the Executive/Concierge Level privileges but no reading lamps on the headboard!

Part 2 Coming Soon.