gratutious snow photos from down south

Destructive yet pretty:

Attempt #1:

One of our favorite neighbors,  Mr. Joe and Ms. Doris, provider of MANY vanilla wafers (for NK) and many bank suckers and candy (for Nate), had their grandson in town from Mexico.  He had never seen snow.  It was awesome.   There was a not-intense snowball fight which, despite his 17 year old cool, I believe, he enjoyed immensely.  I forced him to take this photo so I could print it for his grandparents (I know, such A MOM move).   BUT COME ON:

She can't help The Cute:
 Snowman #2.  Much better.

Late night snot removal (steam shower) resulted in my eldest falling asleep on, uh, clearly NOT MY CHEST (or even really in my arms) because HE TAKES UP MY WHOLE BODY.  That foot down there on the right?  His.  How is it almost the same size as mine?!

My mind has already forgotten that I didn't feel 100% at this time.  SNNNNOOOOOW!! 


you guys. seriously. christmas was horrible.

Officially...Worst. Christmas. Ever.

Not in like the grand scheme of life but in the grand scheme of Christmases I have experienced in my 30 plus years of Chritmases, this one... JAYSUS. 

Mostly, I slept through the 48 hours that made us Christmas Eve and Christmas day, shivering crazily beneath piles of various blankets until it was time for my next dose of medicine to make me sweat it all out, gulp down some purple Gatorade and start the process all over again.  (Mostly hovering in the 100-1 range but topping the charts at 102 sometime in the wee hours of Christmas morning - who even gets a fever that high as an adult?  Maybe people do?)

I really thought Christmas and I had a truce going on in 2012.  I was a good little holiday girl - sent out the cards on time, had a lovely little cookie (&wine) party, made the neighbors little gifts, PUT UP A TREE.  (And, to be clear, enjoyed it all.)  I EVEN thought for a minute I might be swayed to be on Team Christmas as an adult after all...until THESE SHENANIGANS.   

Look, I'm not trying to BE DRAMATIC (clearly I am; no one has ever been sick before) but I think I was awake (like out of bed) three times Christmas Eve and day.

I attempted church Christmas Eve. (Fail; was back in bed within the hour.)  I also attempted to watch Nate (and Nora of course) open Santa gifts Christmas morning.  I am not going to lie to you here (sorry kids!) - I don't really remember this.  I know Karl dressed me in heavy blankets and planted me on the couch and that Nate was really, really excited but that's all I got.  (In case you were curious,  he received an Aaron Rodgers Packers jersey.)  My last words croaked as Karl hustled the kids out the door at 8 a.m. Christmas morning to go to his moms.  "Take some pictures."  Here's what I got.

(Right.  You are seeing NO pictures there.)

His dad came over later.  I slept.  Here are the pictures from that:

(Right.  Same same.  Nate got a scooter! I think.) 

Around 5 p.m.  Snow and sleet and ice are all happening, mostly with the ice.  Please remember this is technically a Southern blog and the South = unequipped to handle significant ice or snowfall (fact).  Our power went out we all panicked (read: I roused myself to put on pajama pants and tennis shoes and a snow hat!) and headed over to Karl's mom's house for lights! food! warmth! more christmas! (or, more sleep if you were in my situation).    One hour later her power went out.  Our neighbor texted - our street/house had been restored.  (He also unplugged our failed Christmas crockpot dinner and fed our dogs - thank you neighbors!)  Unfortunately, K's mom lives down some pretty steep roads and it was solidly sleeting/icing (apparently you could hear the trees snapping all night long - I slept through all that nonsense) so Karl decided it would be safer to stay.

We did not realize we would not be able to get out.   We had no milk and one diaper (PREPARED!) and they received an estimated power restoration time frame of 7 to 10 days.  

Day after XMAS:

I'm alive.  These tree branches, not so much:

Street to the left  (Apparently there was a firetruck trapped sideways somewhere behind these trees): 

Street to the right:

While he may NOT remember to take any photos of YOUR BABIES AT CHRISTMAS, Karl is kind of stellar in a crisis situation (deliver your babies unassisted, get you home safely in a blizzard - BACK OFF in the case of the zombie apocalypse please and thank you.)  

He hoofed it up this hill alone and found a random stranger (now friend?) to drive him to our house (they also dropped several other new friends off at various places).  He got our truck, parked it at the top of the neighborhood and we all hoofed it out in our pajamas.  (Ok FINE I was the only one in pajamas; Karl was in appropriate snow pants and boots.)   First trip - me and the kids; second trip - inlaws and their dog, sister-in-law and her 7 year old. 

We all squeezed in to our teensy, cozy house, ate a meal and crashed - well, Nate and I crashed down the street at our neighbors house.  (Due to the number of people to beds ratio in the house.)   Today,  we got sister-in-law's car out and the inlaws scored a hotel room for a few nights, so it's just us snuggled up warm and feeling thankful to be with power. 

And, honestly, even though it kind of sucked (Let's face it - sleeping through Christmas when your kids enjoy it most?  That kind of blows.) - in retrospect, I can't complain.  My fever is gone, everyone is safe and my kids are warm.   There are still 1,000s of people without power in Central AR (with crews working day and night to restore since Christmas day) so, if you are in AR and know someone who is cold, invite them over or bring them some warm food.  (If you are cold and reading this, this is your invite: COME OVER.)

Oh, and don't worry, I DID leave my sick bed long enough to iphoto shoot the children in the snow.  Images to follow... it's not every day we get snow MUCH LESS A WHOLE FOOT OF IT!   Nora's first snow!  Snow people all around!

That turned out much more lovey dovey than I intended.  Guess there is still some Nyquil pumping through this blood after all! ;)


the evil cheerio :: he'll get ya

The Car, Land of Lost Cheerios.  (And various other snack foods used as bribery to GET IN THE CAR.)

The Characters: 
Nate, enormous bowl of (dry) Cheerios in lap, chowing down.
Nora Kate, whining steadily, holding out her hand for him to drop Cheerios in one by one.

Me: (dryly, every 5 seconds) "Nate, give your sister a Cheerio.  Nate, seriously, just give her ONE (damn) Cheerio.  Nate, come on, share.  NATE."  

Nate (who hasn't said a word through the pleading): "Mommy, that Cheerio said 'NO!' but I said yes.   (Solemnly hands over the O.)

"It was a talking Cheerio." (Well.  Clearly.)

This one apparently talks out his eye. 


other reasons not to move

My sweet neighbor, Amy, sent me no less than 10 videos of herself singing Christmas carols (the same carols that she and her friend Bonnie intend to perform for us this weekend - no surprise performances for me!).  She followed those up with audio files of the first three chapters of the current book I am making her read.

This can ONLY be rivaled by the time she texted me this: 

Seriously, if you don't have a hilarious pre-teen girl in your life to iMessage with, you need one.   I highly recommend. 




Here are some, uh, things.

I got all my Christmas cards in the mail.  Today.  Last year, I was spazzing out because Shutterfly sent (and I ordered) so late.  This year, I ordered early but lost motivation half way through addressing and stamping.  Now done.  On to, uh, shopping?  (I adore Christmas cards - maybe more than Christmas?  But you all know this.)  

I love my job; it's overwhelming at the moment.  My kids get out of school next Wednesday for the duration (until after the New Year) and I have no idea how I'm going to get the work done in the office hours I'm scheduled. 

We looked (and put an offer on) a house this weekend.  It had a unicorn sun catcher (You know you made one of these in the early 90s.  Don't lie.) in the upstairs window which I took as A SIGN we were destined to get it.  UNICORNS!!  Alas, it was only on the market 6 hours and someone wanted it waaay worse than we did.  (Offer price PLUS PLUS!) Mostly, we were/are glad (two PINK PINK tiled bathrooms y'all) but the location was seriously amazing.  We put the offer straight cash (and by that I mean no contingency offer b/c obviously our house is not on the market), not straight cash like we could pay for the whole house cash) so, again, probably for the best.  
    Major selling point.
To make myself feel better, I painted some furniture yellow and boxed up a bunch of stuff in our house.  (Possibly in preparation for us to sell it?  We are unsure.  But decluttering is always good, right?) 

Unwaxed and in a weird light; I'll photograph once it hits the living room.

I also consumed several burgers with APPROPRIATE amounts of cheese.  IN THE NAME OF FAILED REAL ESTATE. 

And spent some time with my 15 month old.  HOW?!?

We have no Elf on a Shelf to share (sorry I'm on Team Don't Get It when it comes to the Elf -  why does it make mischief to help your kids behave?  I know people swear by it.).  We do have a (mostly decorated) tree up and we will be staying home for the holidays (after the 10 hour post-Thanksgiving drive that should have been less than 6 we are wary.)

I'm waiting to get HIT WITH HOLIDAY SPIRIT. 



we've moved on


Nate has moved on from his video game obsession to something new: FOOTBALL.

Exhibit A:
Karl:  Nate, what is 7 + 3.
Nate (blank stare): _______
Karl: Nate, how many points do you have if you score a touchdown and a field goal?
Nate (proudly): TEN!!

Exhibit B:
Karl and Nate playing in the yard.  Karl is playing quarterback and Nate is rushing toward him.

Nate: I'm going to sack you.
Karl (throws the ball forward and away).

He's four.  

Exhibit C: 
The obsessive score-checking every morning via the ESPN app on one of our phones.  (Example of breakfast table conversation: 'MOMMY, did you know the Packers beat the Vikings yesterday?')

You guys.  Seriously.  He, like, understands how it works.  He knows half the NFL quarterbacks and recognizes all the logos.  When we play in the yard, he wants to do it by the rules...first down, second down, extra points, punts.  It's out of control.  Out. of. Control.  Karl and I don't even like football that much.  I've watched more NFL games in the last month than possibly my whole life.    Guess it's time to start setting up a family fantasy league? 

Favorite teams: the Packers, the Broncos and the Bucaneers
Teams he roots against: The Whirlin (also know as New Orleans) Saints and the Detroit Lions


No one?

No thoughts on Epic Vom 2012?


We can all go back to pretending these two perfect creatures don't secrete one OUNCE of bodily fluid of any kind.  Or whine.  EVER.  

Headless parenting- where it's at.

Images by Cara Beth Buie.  (http://www.carabethstudio.com/)


a friday of epic VOM

Look, I realize I talk about throw up on this blog way too much.  I threw up often during my pregnancy with Nora Kate and was very vocal about it on the blog.  (I had METHODS.) 

Last Friday, I was in the car, cruising down the interstate with Lisa Loeb (what? it was on the radio!) blaring, signing along loudly (and POORLY) with my friend Elizabeth. 

This Friday, in the car, cruising down the highway, hear the UNMISTAKABLE sound of VOMIT coming from the backseat. 

(What a difference a week makes.)   

Somehow, in 4.5 years of parenting there is ONE PLACE that has remained vomit-less.  My car.  And Karl's as well.  I don't know HOW.   But it's true. 

Friday, the world decided to remedy that.  Not once, my friends, but TWO TIMES.  Once from the babe, once from the big kid. We must DO IT RIGHT in the Hills family. 

The AM occurrence, Victim 1: Nora Kate 
As is par for the course, Nora Kate threw up like a champ and was all smiles mere minutes later.   She never had another symptom and seemed to be just fine all weekend long. 

The PM occurrence:  Victim 2: Nate 
Nate, on the other hand, FREAKING OUT.  He was literally trying to use his hand to shove the vomit back in his mouth like that would stop it (If you are wondering, yes, that DID make it way worse from a velocity and overall coverage standpoint.)  It was HORRIFYING.  I made him take all his clothes off and ride home in his underwear.  (His vomit in response to a medication he was taking for a respiratory infection; he was non-vom sick the remainder of the weekend.) 

What?  Your Friday night doesn't include trying to get clean car seat covers back on?   Those things are tricky. 

And THAT, my friends, is me, keeping it real. 


Dallas. It's in Texas.

My friend Kristen moved to Dallas this past summer.  She and her husband bought their first house and she got her first nursing job in Plano (She went back to nursing school).  I miss her desperately.

This is her:

Wine tasting at World Market.  Want. A. World. Market.
This past weekend the stars aligned and NOT ONLY was I available but ALL THESE PRETTY LADIES were able to get together and head to Texas: 
Sadly, this was our one group photo.  Not the greatest.
 We greeted our two Texan friends with these There's No Place Like Home AR t-shirts.  

 Melissa greeted us with these (super classy) girls weekend koozies:

Like a good girl, I packed these guys:

We found the most ridiculous things to do:
So many confusing things were happening on this boat.

Who cares as long as it says TEXAS!!

On Saturday, we hit up good old IKEA where I pretended to perform an episode of IKEA Heights (Seriously hilarious - shot entirely in the Burbank California Ikea Store without the store knowing.  I don't know why things like this make me so happy.)  

One night out on the town was enough for us so we spent Saturday evening cuddled up in pj pants and sweatshirts on Kristen's back porch playing cards, screaming obscenities at each other and drinking beer.  My abs = sore from laughing.  

Also (and I realize this will be funny to none of you) I made an EPIC come back in our Phase 10 game.  (I was melodramatically throwing cards and threatening to forfeit towards the beginning of the game when the other girls were slaughtering me.)

Here is my totally sober victory picture:

There was SO MUCH yelling. 
It was a nice break from the norm and Karl took on the kiddos for the whole weekend solo (seriously no small feat). 

We made it home early on Sunday and I settled in to an evening of dishes and laundry.   Oddly, they felt like welcome chores after a weekend away.  Returning to norm.   


all eyez on me

On Thursday, a day I don’t normally work, I gave a presentation to some of our IMPORTANT clients.  (Capslock for them – that’s how special they are.)   The presentation was web-related so I wasn’t nervous about it until they dimmed all the lights in the conference room and BAM! – spotlight on my face.   It took me a second to squint out at everyone and begin.  I knew it was going well when my co-worker Meredith texted me “This rocks” mid-presentation.  (And, yes, I saw it.  This mama always has her phone during work hours.  JUST IN CASE.)  

Further, work is going great. I feel like I could be there full time plus and still have work to do at home.   When I’m there, I think “I could totally do that – work full time, have both the kids in school.”  Then I leave at 2:30 and have long, lovely park afternoons with the kids and think “NEVER.  I’m NEVER WORKING AGAIN!”  Aaaand repeat.  Three days a week.   Plus some hours outside of that – increasingly more lately; we are ramping up to our busy time of year. 

And, realistically, this presentation was outside of “normal” work hours for me so I had to find NK a sitter for Thursday in order to give this presentation.    That's not always going to work.  My boss covered the sitter fee (I know; I do realize how lucky I am) for this event but that is not always the case.  I have to say NO often (which is not in my nature when it comes to office life).   Still, I hold strong to my I’M ONLY PART TIME position and pray I’m giving enough attention all around. 


beer festival. cornbread festival. MOVE TO AR :: we have festivals!

This weekend was semi-calm in the storm of what's to come from now until the New Year.   I've been a bit shy about putting stuff out in the world lately.  Insecurity?  Exhaustion?  I think when I started blogging way back in the day, a lot of it was about just our daily life and routines (what we did that weekend, what we ate, taking all those drugs back in '05) and I think I lost a little of that in this weird MUST. WRITE. IMPRESSIVE. BLOG. POSTS. frenzy.  So, I'm trying to get back to my roots, drop the hesitation and just type some nitty gritty boring details (in a hopefully entertaining way). Click away if you must. 

Theme of this weekend:  Festivals! 

Karl went to a Craft Beer Festival (in Argenta Arts Distrtict) on Friday night with some friends.  As expected, he did not take any photos nor did he actually taste any of the beer. He DRANK the beer but proclaimed he could taste nothing b/c of his allergies/sinus drainage. (Someday in the future I will tell you ALL about how I don't believe in allergies.)  He DID, however, come home (mostly) sober and before 11.  Score.

What did I do?  I stayed home and met the kids ENDLESS requests for food and beverage.

Resting up for a pretzel stick from the floor:  

A little booty shaking at the dinner table.  Seriously, I promise to stop blogging about Nate's  bum-shaking.  He would be embarrassed if he knew I told y'all about it.  (Seriously though when do you have to ask your kids permission to blog about them?  Or do you take it all down when they start reading and caring?  I'm SO CONFUSED ABOUT THIS.) 

Saturday started off bright and early with OUR FINAL SOCCER GAME of the season.   Insert mixed emotions here.  Coaching was seriously fun.  I EVEN think I might do it again.  All my players and parents = fantastic.  Most of the teams we played = fantastic.  I have ZERO frame of reference but I just want it to keep being fun.... so maybe I'll coach until then? Or until Nate loses interest in soccer?

My favorite part of the season (other than OBLITERATING every single team we played?  Oh.  Wait.  Fun!  Fun!  Dammit.  Well, winning is fun, right?) was that Nate consistently called me "Coach Kat" on the field.  (As in "Coach Kat, can I go in and play?  Coach Kat, is it my turn to kick the ball?")  

After the game (and naps for everyone but Nate), we headed to the Arkansas Cornbread Festival.

We let Nate mainline a little snocone sugar:

And bounce house with his classmate Olive:
Thankfully, it was a gorgeous day and there was beer.  Since mostly we, uh, didn't see any cornbread.  Just the bounce house area.   (SUPER nice bounce houses at the Cornbread Festival. HA.  Much better than the ones at the Cheese Dip Festival from last weekend.) 

Sunday, Nora Kate learned how to use the snack trap thingey - THANK GOD. SHE DOESN"T HAVE TO EAT PRETZELS OFF THE FLOOR ANYMORE.  I'm sure several of you were concerned.  She barely eats food at all (though definitely a big fan of Saturday morning biscuits and gravy) so anything we can get her to try - any method - I am all for it. 

Additionally, we had the added bonus of "celebrating" Day Lights Savings (also known as THE LONGEST DAY EVER) time so my Sunday went something like this:

5:30 a.m.  Nate: Can we get up now?  When can we get up?  I think it's time to get up Mommy.
6:00 a.m. Nora: I think I'll join this party.  (She speaks in complete sentences now that's she's 1.)
8:45 a.m. Nora: WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.  (Nap time.  AT NINE AM.  She's on the 1 post-lunch nap schedule so this is NOT best case scenario for the rest of the day.)
10:00 a.m. Nahcos for, uh, lunch?!  WHAT? We were hungry.

And then the day went on and on and on until a gloriously early bedtime (Karl included)!

I finally finished up Nora Kate's thank you notes from her birthday and made a list to start soccer thank you notes!  (Constantly writing thank you notes - you should too. Snail mail rules.)  

 And now?  Well, now I'm just lounging on the couch with my lap top blogging with you people.   GLORIOUS WEEKEND.  Off to close the tippy tappy machine and read a book with pages until i pass out.

Have a great week! 


international super spy

Most have guessed mad scientist or even crazy waiter (who dresses as waitstaff?!) BUT YOU ARE ALL WRONG.  

Clearly, THIS KID is an International Super Spy (who wouldn't let me make him a name tag).  The INSPIRATION for this getup came from a super-obscure episode of The Backyardigans. 

For those of you who don't know (how could you NOT?!), Pablo (who is a bright blue penguin) plays a Bond-esque character (AGENT SECRET!) with a boss named T who must keep three coffee-like containers (of chocolate milk) away from The (evil) Lady in Pink.  There's a lot of singing and dancing and general spy-like merriment. 

Obviously, he likes his apple juice boxes shaken.  He also has a hot dog that turns into a  phone, a cherry sno cone hologram machine and a car that turns into a boat (I was unable to procure any of these additional props this year.)

You guys.  He's wanted to be Agent Secret for MONTHS.  And he didn't change his mind ONE TIME leading up to Halloween.  (Trust me, Karl and I half-heartedly tried as we were unsure of where to procure a bright blue penguin dressed as an international super spy costume.)  Also, when I showed him his beanie, he asked if it really cut glass (like in the show).  I MEAN REALLY.   How could you not smile at this getup!?  

I hope all his future costume requests are this entertaining. 

duck it all

The littlest one this Halloween:

She wasn't a fan of the hood (read: she screamed bloody murder), which allowed me to snap this gem of a Halloween classic.  Can you say FRIDGE MAGNET?!  

 She didn't completely hate it.  (No, but really, mostly she did.) 

Halloween gets a little crazy around these parts - trunk or treats, parties, costumes to school.  Mostly, I'm down with costumes and candy (candy rationing arguments being my least favorite part of the holiday though, at this age, thankfully, they don't notice if they have a few pieces of candy and I throw the rest away.) 




I NEVER used to be a sit on the couch and eat ice cream person (Honestly, ice cream tends to get all freezer burned in our house.) BUT as I sit here typing this, I am polishing off a pint of Ben and Jerry's Peanut Butter Cup.  I blame my sister who purchased it last week while she was in town (and so nicely took two bites and left it in my freezer).  I also blame it on the Cardinals who are FORCING ME TO STRESS EAT.

Since October continues careening along it's crazy path I present:


(Words soon?)

The aforementioned ice cream (This was actually from a few nights ago - I KNOW.)
Another birthday party with Aunt Jenny holding the ice cream with candle (Hmmm... I am sensing an ice cream theme throughout this post.  I SWEAR I am not knocked up.)   

I know it's SHOCKING that Nate is obsessed with baseball lately (we've been watching a lot) but I find it HIGHLY amusing.  Yesterday, we were playing baseball in the front yard and, after scoring multiple runs, he pretended to pop some champagne and spray me with it.  Ahhhh the life of a 4 year old Cardinals fan! 

Ms. Priss:
My sister leaves and the insane baseball texts resume:

I probably should be watching the Presidential debate instead of blogging about baseball and ice cream, huh?