This Is What I Know About Snow


We're going on Day 4 of this ridiculous Snow Showdown (Storm Cleon??!!?) and, my friends, the weather is most definitely winning.  (WHAT even IS A FREEZING FOG?!?)

It's Sunday night and school is (for sure) cancelled for tomorrow, as it was Friday.

The last time I was not IN my house was Friday morning and that is only because we packed our bags and headed to the in-laws Thursday evening when the forecasts all called for Epic Ice Storm. (Visions of last years horrific week long Christmas present power outages were dancing in our heads; the in-laws have since purchased a generator. Our new neighbors warned us our street is a magnet for power outages and, despite having a wood burning fireplace and a couple of propane heaters, the call of electricity from a generator was too great.)

Per the usual Arkansan approach to snow, everybody did a little bit of panicking (ourselves included - see above). My company coordinates Little Rock's Holiday Parade that was to take place on Saturday; we cancelled it Wednesday. Karl's company work Christmas Party that was to take place on Friday night (complete with an overnight date night compliments of the inlaws!), also cancelled Wednesday.

Thankfully, the ice was not enough to down power lines (at least not in our area), but it was enough to cover the streets.  An inch, maybe? Definitely still grass peeking through in my front yard.  Mostly, all precipitation stopped Friday. And this, my friends, is where the apocalyptic type shutdowns begin, because, regretfully, the only thing Arkansas REALLY has to combat ice and snow is sun and warmth. Neither of which has yet to return.

We headed back home to our house Friday morning and, um, yep STILL HERE.  

Initially we were all YEA SNOW DAY! FUN! We let the kids play, we made hot chocolate, we remained IMMENSELY thankful to have a house (and one with power!) during the frigid temps.

Before she realized I was right about wanting coats and boots.
 We created a parade of snow people.  (See all that grass poking through? THIS shuts us DOWN!)
We hit the streets with the sled. (Because God knows NO cars would attempt to drive this street and definitely no snow plow!)
We let this kid play for hours and hours and hours. Literally hours. He definitely has some Yankee blood - the cold was his friend. NK... not so much. We spent more time getting her dressed than she spent in the snow. (Ice? It really can't be called snow.) Perhaps she will change her mind when she discovers how awesome sledding is.

Then, we got PRODUCTIVE.  I think I ran my dishwasher three times today. I cooked multiple meals. I cleaned out the fridge. I CAN'T EVEN DO A LOAD OF LAUNDRY BECAUSE I DID IT ALL. And put it all away. I almost ironed. (Gasp!)

Then, we gave in and watched like four hours straight of Jake and the Neverland Pirates. Yo ho mateys AWAY.

Then, right before dinner, school was officially cancelled for Monday.

And everyone sighed and dreamed of just last Wednesday, when it was 78 and we were at the park in shorts and t-shirts.

SIGH. MAKE IT COME BACK.  Or at least, you know, deliver our mail and open our schools!

Much love!


The Tears :: They're Made of PAPER. It's PAPER.

I had one elephant and one pirate (dressed in his daddy's pirate costume from loooong ago! He wanted to be a football player for approximately six months prior to Halloween and then, days before, decided pirates were way better - Gigi to the rescue!).

And my own (BRILLIANT) sad fan costume because, let's face it, I would have rather CANCELLED Halloween and watched the Cardinals win a Game 7 World Series on Halloween night instead of walking around with the kiddos, holding strung-together paper tears to my eyes and consuming copious amounts of Sour Patch kids and mulled wine! (Thank you, new neighbor, for the mulled wine. I could maybe get used to life on Waverly Drive if there is always mulled wine involved!) Though, I will admit, the candy and the friends and the wine were an excellent alternative to worshiping at the altar of Cardinals baseball. Fun was had by all.

Bring it on November.


The Bowl Cut :: We Heart It

A photo of his kindergarten photo. GLORIOUS. I think it really accentuates the bowlness of his hair.
After something of a total disaster of a Monday, I am taking a moment to record Nate's 1st Kindergarten Parent Teacher Conference.

It happened this morning and, I will admit it, I was a little nervous. Like not nervous like expecting HORRIFYING reports nervous, but still, just ready to sit down face to face with his teacher and talk. The students receive behavior reports every single day (Can I just say thank you to Nate's teacher for making his class have a nice, easy 1-4 behavior scale and not like the purple stick must stay in the blue square until noon and then it moves to the yellow or the red (STAY AWAY FROM THE RED!) for the afternoon.) And they receive grades every week so, really, we have some semblance of how he is doing already and know that he isn't having any major issues. But still - Kindergarten = little up front interaction with his teacher and SOMEHOW it's already late October, so I sort of feel like he's going to be done with Kindergarten before we even get to know his teacher.

Additionally, school has been a source of nervousness for me for several other reasons.

1. My big kid baby has a mid to late summer birthday (June 26th) so the whole summer birthday/borderline the school cutoff date of Aug 1/he would always be one of the youngest/also he's a boy and apparently boys of summer birthday have a tendency to not be ready more than girls of summer birthdays (maybe the whole sitting still thing?). We definitely thought he was ready for the challenge of school but maybe not socially quite there. (Not the making friends part because our little extrovert is SUPER good at that; just the sitting in class and paying attention and not distracting other children.)

2.  PLUS, we had the whole public school vs private school argument over and over (and over). Karl and I both were privately educated from K-college, so, for a long time, we both sort of assumed we would do the same with our kids. (Additionally, when we bought our first house we had NO foresight to look at school zones. We were zoned for one of the worst rated schools in the city. All our neighbors attempted to send their kids there and moved them to different schools.)

So, send them? Move into a different district? Or send them to private school? I know this is a deeply personal decision for every family and every child and we were very lucky to find a house we could afford in a district that we liked. We had Nate enrolled at our local Catholic school until mid-July, when we moved. (Full discretion: I grew up in the Catholic Church and Karl grew up in church as well - mostly episcopal; we don't have a church right now and don't plan on having one any time in the near future.)

His pre-k teachers assured us he was ready. In the end, we agreed, enrolled him in our neighborhood school and took big deep breathes into brown paper bags and sent him on his way. I'm not going to lie, kindergarten has been a serious adjustment for all parties. (An additional adjustment on top of moving - let's just say JAYSUS MARY AND JOSEPH!!) For the first month of school, he chewed a hole or four into the collar of every. single. shirt he owns. We tried not to comment on it and let the habit pass (all part of the transition) but it was super gross and super expensive. STOP EATING YOUR SHIRTS. (As a former disgusting hair chewer and current nail biter, I have no room to judge! Also, he appears to be finished with the habit these days. Lord only knows what is next.)

Additionally, Little Rock Kindergarteners? They get grades. Like A-B-C grades. They don't get naps. (Not that he would take one but not even a little quiet time??!?!) They have gym and art and music all in different classrooms with different teachers. They have an INTENSE dismissal process of craziness. There are so many things to volunteer for and donate to that I can't keep them straight.  Kindergarten, my friends, is hard core.

But, I have to say, so far,  he is doing great at Jeffers0n Elementary. (Jefferson is Home of the Patriots - can we get a little more red white and blue please!? My blond haired, blue eyed, fair skinned child already loves baseball, country music and the ice cream man more than life itself, so let's go ahead and make him a leeetle more American!)  

This guy = super nice. The Safety Clown = super terrifying.
A little rest after some intense run-ups/hotbox.

Here is the gist of his evaluation - I don't expect you to read the whole thing but basically it says he is awesome and right where he should be. He has made several new friends and our front yard, which is within walking distance of the school (can i please tell you how awesome walking is?), has become the after school "wrestling yard" where he and his friends can blow off a little pent up energy at the end of the day.

So, yea, so far so good!

Sidenote: OH, hi. Hello. Sorry my writing is rusty. Nora Kate turned two. Poor second child. Birthday post forthcoming. I promise we had cake.


The Unfunny Knock Knocking Jokes

I swear I will return to deep and meaningful blogging at some point.  (Maybe.)

Until then, I just wanted to share a phase that Natey has just entered :: The Unfunny Joke Phase.  Pretty sure it happens to all children at some point and, while it's still fresh, it's HIGHLY entertaining.

Here are several of his bedtime classics (No picture, just audio):


Ridiculous, I tell you!

(Also, how long should I expect this to go on?)


The Poltergeist Potty

I am going to preface this post by saying it is NOT (technically) about potty training.

 (Though I will say that NK, at 23 months, is showing some serious interest and I am doing some serious gentle encouraging. Down with diapers!)

(And, also, I realize I post an inordinate amount of posts about bathrooms and I'm semi-sorry.) 


Anyway, this post IS about this ridiculous pink princess potty that I bought for No. I also bought her several seats that fit on a real toilet (which is my preference; I sort of find the little stand alone seats revolting, but, you know, whatever works.) Anyway, this one is super fancy and was the only one available at Target. It is supposed to play celebratory music when you pee in it. It's all dot-dot-dot-DOOO!  YAY!!!

Somewhere along the way our pretty pink potty malfunctioned and now plays that the celebratory music at all hours of the day and night.  Now, the logical thing to do in this situation would be to remove the battery, right? But what, I ask you, is the fun in THAT? 

Brush your teeth? Do-do-dot-DOOO! YAY!!!

Showering? Do-do-dot-DOOO! YAY!!!

Walking down the hall? Do-do-dot-YAY!!!

2 a.m. alarm clock? Do-do-dot-YAY! 

(Ok, that 2 a.m. one isn't quite as funny.)


Survival Mode :: A Post About Socks

You guys.


Here is a list of the things I want to blog about:

  • The New House (and how, one month later, I still can't seem to figure out where anything goes! And I want to PAINT IT ALL even though I said no painting for six months.)
  • Nate's 1st Day of Kindergarten (!!!) 
  • My recent girly trip to Chicagoland 
  • Our 8 year wedding anniversary (WHICH IS TODAY!)
  • Our upcoming trip to San Fran (sans children)
  • Fall Soccer Coaching - it's happening.
HOWEVER, after my one month hiatus THIS is what I am going to blog about instead: 

Why yes, this is a photo of a laundry basket full of socks. It's currently in my living room and it makes me IRRATIONALLY happy. I (apparently) no longer have time to separate socks - just can't be bothered. So I started throwing them all in the same bin and, you guys, I have no idea why but I feel like this saves me HOURS of time. Hours.

And I know the whole thing is ridiculous but I love this GD sock bin and I'm never going back to separating them.  Ever. 

TAKE THAT, laundry gods. 

Survival mode from moving and starting school is still in full effect. Can you tell?  ;)



So Let's Discuss the Things That Fell Apart

You guys.

Our house KNOWS.

I'm just saying that in the week before and after we put it up for sale, a multitude of things went wrong. Some were our fault, some just happened, some I feel like is The Luck of Kat (it's a thing - google it). Karl knows. Whenever he walks into a restaurant alone, there's always a table, never a line and the service is always perfect and timely.  Walk in with me? YOU'RE DOOMED to the longest, wrongly ordered meal ever! I can't help it. I am that person who ALWAYS (without fail) picks the wrong line at the grocery store or the bank - you know the one that looks just like the one next to it but takes FOUR hours longer.


First of all, let's talk doors.

Mine is orange. 

(Side note: My PRECIOUS neighbor, who we purchased our house from eight years ago - they then moved next door, has a husband that is a painter and she wanted us to express to the new owners that "no offense" BUT her husband was available to repaint their front door if they needed it.  Ummmm.... tell me how you REALLY FEEL about my door because I am pretty sure when we bought the house from you the front door was HOLLOW and Nora Kate could have kicked through it and the screen door was installed not only inside out but also upside down so you had to pull up awkwardly on the handle and swing the door a strange direction just to OPEN it.  (Wow, this post is getting super-venty! Sorry! Moving is stressful.) 

Anyway, the first day our realtor came by to put the sign up in our front yard, he was all "I'm going to need your front door key" (logically) and Karl and I looked at each other in blind panic.  Yea.... no idea where that is. We use the carport keys the aforementioned neighbors gave us 8 years ago; half our neighbors have copies. I'm pretty sure the folks that installed the front door when we had it replaced (from aforementioned hollow door) made us a key, but, yea, WHERE IS IT?!? We searched for hours and hours and found approximately (no lie) 30 keys, none of which went to our front door.

Sigh. Call in the locksmith. $50 later, we have front door keys!   

Secondly, like a week after our house went up, we noticed one of our toilets was constantly running and running. Sigh. Call in the plumber. $75 and full-on replacement tank parts and we have SILENCE! (And, yes, maybe I could have tried to fix this myself but, just, no.)  The running water also caused a little issue with our bathtub (gotta love old houses!) that we also fixed.

Also, LIGHT BULBS EVERYWHERE were like, oh, you're moving? Let's burn out.  Two said lightbulbs were "2 year bulbs" which we put in waaaay less than 2 years ago. I think. $A kajilion dollars in light bulbs later, we have LIGHT.

And, finally, literally like at 8pm the night before the inspector was coming to perform the home inspection, our dear, dear Arlo dog snapped a wooden picket from the back gate. He has become quite the escape artist in his old age; we regularly pile things against the (usually broken) fence and Karl had JUST fixed it the weekend before; I thought his head might pop off in rage when we heard that picket crack. I'm pretty sure our home would have passed inspection with the one picket missing but we didn't even want it to be on the list of things to fix. $8.50 at Home Depot at 9 p.m. on a Tuesday night, we have a fixed fence!

It's been a comedy, for sure. I had GRAND ideas of writing the new owners a sweet love note with cookies (or beer?) and glowing descriptions of all the neighbors (even the we'll-paint-your-door ones!). But now, after the haggling - normal negotiations I am sure but in the end we were, um, negotiating over $100. Really? It felt a little ridiculous but I'm sure it could have been worse. And, honestly, now I don't care if it was them or their realtor but all my glowy feelings are now gone, gone, gone and they will get a professionally cleaned and completely empty house. 
All this to say, I'm ready now. 

(Please pray all the windows don't spontaneously shatter.)


One week until close date.


On Moving...So...Yea, About That...

So, right, we sold our house.  


Well, it’s under contract. We won’t go into the details or my ANXIETY LEVEL about things like inspections or appraisals.  Just. Don’t. Ask.

Literally, we put it on the market last Tuesday – it went up at like 12 and that afternoon I got this text:

And, though you can't tell by those three little Y-E-S letters in that little green bubble, I really did burst into tears. SOME PEOPLE might say I have an unhealthy emotional attachment to my house. SOME PEOPLE might be correct. (And SOME PEOPLE can shush their filthy mouths – I love my house!)

The first people to look at it put an offer on it the next day. 

(WHAT THE WHAT RIGHT?!?  Because keeping it clean with two kids and two dogs for two showings was hard enough work so I can NOT express how grateful I am it went quickly.) 

Some of you know that we have been tentatively looking for, oh, like a year.  We want the seemingly impossible to find (and I have been less than easy to convince a move is necessary!) – to move no further outward and stay in the city, to have four bedrooms AND to do little to no renovations.  Oh, and to, you know, not make us house poor! (As I am typing now it does seem like a ridiculously lofty list.) Our Sunday ritual for (seriously) the last year – Karl gets up, reviews listings on Zillow and then we go to several open houses in the afternoon. Friends, I have seen some REALLY bad décor and A WHOLE LOT OF WOOD PANELING.  The kids think looking at houses is a hilarious game and Nate often pretends to show me our own house. (“And this is where your baby can sleep…” while pointing to Nora’s crib.)
Since we’ve been in our current house (HOME!!) 8 years I thought I would share some of the photos our realator’s company took prior to our first showing. (And THEN, after you shed your tears about my house, MAYBE I WILL TELL YOU ABOUT OUR HOPEFULLY-NEW-HOUSE!?)

Things I will miss - my bright orange front door that STILL makes me smile every time I pull up and this big, flat front yard on our quiet little cul de sac. How will the new owners know it is just perfect for many years of redneck, grown up slip and slides (slip and tarps!) that have only shot one or two grown men out into the street.  

How will they know that one time Karl, in a state of, ummmm, non-soberness, one time dropped me in the carport whilst trying to serenade me with some ridiculously horrible country song whilst the rain poured down outside.  

Or that Nate learned to walk by running across this very front yard or the HOURS AND HOURS of time I spent with him and his tricycle doing laps around the circle? 

Or how to cut the yard to Karl's OCD specificness? 

Or that we made a living room that looked like THIS into....

something that suited us a little better like this! Ripping up the carpet was a risk and we knew it but we did it anyway.

And how will they know that this room - oh this freaking room! - had this old school retro floors (see HERE) under carpet that literally made noise when you walked on them b/c the glue holding it down to the subfloor was so old that it was cracking.  CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH.  And it had an old (teeny tiny) pass through from the kitchen to this room that we patched up.  It was Nate's room, it was our office, it was a guest room, it was even OUR room there for a little while (Read: I fought the move with every room configuration possible!). There was originally wood paneling we painted a hideous shade of yellow and then covered up with a texture paint to hide the panel and THEN painted blue AND THEN painted white. (For the record, I'm not happy with the white either and it was next on my list of things to paint if we stayed!!)

How will they know the MANY, MANY configurations of half-office, half-playroom, half actual-bedroom this room housed?

Or the many, many hours spent walking a baby around or dragging a toddler (now man-child) into bed with us.

Or how when we went to paint the closet we found a butt-print on the wall?  OH THE BUTT PRINT!! (That you will notice I had to photograph with a DISPOSABLE camera!)

Or how one time the old ceiling fan (that didn't work) emitted some weird sulfer smelling scent and we moved out of the house for a night in fear it might burn to the ground?  (And, how, eight years later, it's really nice to have a ceiling fan that works in the bedroom!)

And who will tell them that we completely gutted this kitchen when Nate was like a week old? (THANKS FOR COMING EARLY BUDDY! Our first insane lesson in kids disrupting the ease of everything!) The kitchen was supposed to be completely finished before he got here but he made a surprise arrival two weeks early which resulted in his first outing at like three days old to the Home Depot for a sink. Ha! And also in us imposing on our inlaws while learning how to parent and breastfeed and recover from Nate's birth drama all in the same week!  Good times, good times - NOT one of our more thought out plans!

And who will tell them about that one time I got so mad at Karl I threw a spatula as hard as I could at his head and he swatted it down (my anger aim is apparently not the best) and it landed in the appropriate drawer and he was all "DID YOU SEE THAT?" and I was all "THAT'S JUST PERFECT BECAUSE YOU'RE JUST, ahem, PERFECT AT EVERYTHING (add an explative or four in there where you see fit).  (Yea, the people buying our house are newlyweds so they probably don't want to know that!) 

Or how my parents thought I was bananas to move a couch (which quickly became the laundry receptacle as our washer and dryer are right off the kitchen) into the kitchen but helped me anyway.

(Original kitchen photo here - our dogs tore that crappy linoleum to SHIT - no amount of hands and knees scrubbing ever got it clean!)

And here is the kids room which used to be bright green and we one time used as a photo studio for a New Year's Eve party.  (You will note this is back in 2005 and 2006 before photo booth props became COOL.  We're trendy yall.)

I know Karl wants the kids to have their own rooms but I grew up sharing a room and loved it. I will be sad to see them apart.  Nora BEGS to sleep in Nate's bed every night.  

And this is the bathroom where Nate was born. On accident.

And this is the bathroom where Nora Kate was born. On purpose.

Actually, those two photos were strictly for my own trip down memory lane. New owners definitely don't want to hear that, right?  Like, you don't really want to know if someone died in a house you are purchasing so you don't really want to know people were born there either.  IT'S SO WEIRD.  ;)

AND who (who I ask you!?) will tell them to open all the windows and run the attic fan or to go out and talk to Ms. Diane and Ms. Doris when they come strolling down the street?  HOW WILL THEY KNOW WHERE THE MILK IS IN OUR KROGER?  There are things they need to know.

Cue the chorus of LET IT GO that keeps hitting me from every direction! 

And despite this post I am terribly excited to be moving and, honestly, it couldn't have worked out better. I feel like the couple who is buying our house is us 8 years ago and the couple we are buying our new house from is us 8 years from now. META.

I hope you enjoyed this little LONG post down memory lane. I don't know how I have never classified Karl or myself as project people before - we basically renovated the whole dang house. (Green bathroom - you were NEXT on the chopping block.  May your new owners rip you apart and make you pretty!)

Please keep us in your thoughts - if inspections and appraisals and financing for all parties goes well, we will ALL close on July 31st.  Which is in, what? 22 DAYS.  JAYSUS.  Better start packing, eh?


It Has Come to THIS.

Ok you guys.

It is officially June 29th and I still have not stopped using Google Reader to manage and read my blog subscriptions. Every time I open it, it says "This is a reminder that this service will no longer be available as of July 1, 2013" (in two days) and I hit the OK button like I am a lady of leisure with all the time in the world.

I tried Bloglovin and Feedly and the new Digg Reader and some other random RSS services. I hate them all. I had everything organized the way I liked it in Google Reader and it just feels, uhm, different with the other services. Sometimes me and change don't get along! DAMN THE MAN!

ANYWAY, I don't know if you all have switched (I am open to recommendations or tips and tricks) to a different reader but the whole fiasco has prompted me to add a subscription service here on the ole blog.  Since I am only posting 5 or 6 times a month, I thought you all might like it delivered to your inbox when it goes up?

Here's how:

Enter your email here (this form is also on my blog sidebar):

Once you hit subscribe, it will take you to a lovely page that says this:

Then, you go check your email and hit YES...

And then I think it sends you a Thank You! email for subscribing list.

And BAM.

You're done.

I promise never to spam you (no giving away millions from foreign princes - sorry) or give away your email address.

And, also, I promise to provide you with HIGHLY entertaining items like this:

I also am finishing up a stellar post about Nate's birthday and an OH YEA WE SOLD OUR HOUSE IN ONE DAY post. So, you might want to get in on that action. Just sayin'. 

We're going to try this out.  Hope you all want to come along! 

(Oh and if this is all too complicated - just leave me a comment, an email, a text... whatever and I will add you to the list.) 


Life Lately :: Summer Edition

I find myself always a little, um, stretched this time of year. Summertime (since having kids and not working full time) is this weird paradox of fast forward and slow motion.

The Fast Forward: Nate and Nora's school has a summer program - but it comes with shorter hours and it's a shorter session (Read: Summer school opens at 9, I have to be at work at 9.  Read also: Summer school goes through mid-July, leaving me adrift for a month to find fill in sitters and/or beg help from friends and family.) My boss has always been super flexible with my schedule and hours, but these days it seems like perhaps too much work is coming home with me?  Or perhaps more accurate is my inability to actually get any work done at home when both the kids are home (particularly if I don't want my house to constantly look like a war zone). 

The Slow Motion: My days with just me and the kids (phone and laptop locked away!!) feel long and slow. Sometimes Nora and I can spend an entire hour laying on the floor building block towers. There's probably ENTIRELY too much tv watching and not enough outdoor activities but sometimes that's just fine by me. We've been to the pool and to the splash park and Nate had his first outdoor concert experience.  They've also consumed more pop ice than I care to think about.

Here's the down and dirty, honest, real-life skinny on our recent days starting from the smallest to the biggest:


She's just so Nora. She's changed so much in the last two months that I feel like you all don't even know her. You can definitely tell she is rapidly approaching turning two (I KNOW!) as she has her diva moments (she is VERY interested in selecting her own clothing and the whole mini-bow thing is a day-by-day experiment), but, for the most part, she is the happiest little thing. I'm really glad we didn't have her first because I would have been seriously deluded on this whole parenting gig.

She walks through the halls of school dragging her blankie and 'pack pack' behind and yelling "Natey? Where's Natey!?" until we get to his classroom. It's pretty much the most adorable thing ever.

I keep this list of things I want to blog about in a notebook and there is an entire page dedicated to "A Post About Nora" (it has scribbles like 'All White Diet!' and "17 months - pointed out and said snowman in a book - how does she know what a snowman is?!'  and "Weird Belly Button Thing" and "Have crayons? Will color LONG TIME.) but she changes so much by the time I sit down to write, it's hard to know where to start.

She is just happy sitting and playing with toys or several pots and pans or piles of dirt and rocks (Yes.). Maybe I have forgotten some Nateisms of his 20 month stage or maybe we're just WAY more relaxed as parents but I am pretty sure she is, honestly, just more laid back. She lets random little girls drag her around the playground and doesn't mind too much if Nate (who so, so often does) snags her toys.

We constantly say "Is Nora a big girl?" to which she delightedly and emphatically responds 'BABY!' every. single. time. It's awesome. I swear she is truly turning me into the sappiest of saps.  (Do you get sappier with each child? I feel like if I have one more I might become a weeping, must-capture-this-moment-photo-addicted HOT MESS.)


Our (ahem) more challenging first born has been, as always, more challenging (but equally loved, clearly). He's an extrovert through and through so, even on the days I want to stay at home all day long, he wants to go BE WITH HIS PEOPLE.  And if his people aren't around, MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY will do.

 Contrary to this photo, he is still not a huge fan of the water and refuses swim lessons and putting his whole head and/or face beneath the water. However, he does request at trip to the pool everyday (Maybe it's the 25 cent pop ice?). He also is super cautious and wears like 400 flotation devices. I'm trying not to rush it, but water makes me nervous so COME ON SWIM LESSONS!

He's officially enrolled in kindergarten and we seriously can't wait for him to start. There is a "Camp Kindergarten" at his school in July where he will get to meet his teachers and spend some time getting familiar with his school and the kindergarten classrooms. A bunch of his soccer buddies will be in school with him this fall so I'm not terribly concerned about the transition. Also, I am nerdily excited about HOMEWORK! (A statement I am sure to regret at some point in his educational career.)

We took him to his first concert (outdoor, Florida Georgia Line) and he wasn't as thrilled as expected (seriously, he begs to listen to FGL every time we get in the car... his current favorite song is one called 'Party People' and it's totally inappropriate for a four year old). I think the concert was louder and longer than he thought. In his defense, we walked like half a mile, it was semi-raining and it was waaaay past his bedtime.

One day, I had to dress up for work to take a photo holding this lovely silver plate. HA! HA! Yep, this is me.  Dressed up! In jeans and a Target cardigan.


You know, just working on his golf game, WEARING SUNGLASSES WHEN IT'S NOT SUNNY IN MY PICTURES, and being generally awesome. 

There's much more to tell, but it is late and you are bored, so I bid you GOODNIGHT.

Here's one more hilarious photo for you. 

Have a great week!


A Serious Commitment

A few weeks ago, I overheard a mom at the park tell her daughter not to play with the rocks (pea gravel) because they were 'filthy.' She followed it with (sternly), "When we are at the playground we play on the EQUIPMENT!"  To be honest, I tried a little not to laugh. I tried REALLY hard to give her some slack (maybe she had to go somewhere straight from the playground?) but, really? Don't play in the rocks? For sure they aren't exactly a clean option but, it's not like the kids were in their Easter best (and her daughter was well past the age of worrying about eating the rocks) and, in my world, if my kids are happily exploring, well, then, what's a little dirt? Clothes and skin can be washed, right? If your child actually wants to try it out, we should let them, yes?  No? I know a lot of people have higher standards of child cleanliness than me. 

I thought of that mom yesterday (with a little smile; she would have freaked out I think!) when Natey and his friend made a serious commitment to getting dirty in the park. He full on just sat down in the mud and started playing. I tagged it as a #boymom moment, but I sure do hope my little girl might want to try this - or something like this - someday. (Yesterday she just looked at him like 'really?' and continued playing with some Ninja Turtle figures in the grass.)

He spent nearly an hour getting dirty and then I made him strip down to his undies for the ride home. He had a blast in all that mud. It was one of those parenting moments where (for me, for him, because he was so happy) I felt happy and like I wasn't doing it ALL WRONG. 


Some Things You Can't Predict

This Memorial Day we celebrated with some neighbors - standard 'Merica style - barbeque, beer, baby jeggings, YARD GAMES, a few illegal fireworks, you know, the usual.

Nora Kate had a particular affinity for this swing hanging from a tree in the neighbor's backyard. She must have swung on it for upward of thirty minutes, to the delight of everyone as she giggled the whole time she was up there. She only relinquished her position because Nate requested a turn. He took his turn and they both lost interest and continued running and playing whilst the adults sat down to eat.

Not 10 minutes late, one of our neighbors (who is 17) hopped on the swing and the branch holding the swing snapped and came crashing down, landing on no one, which was a small miracle as there was a table full of people and a standing toddler beneath the very same tree. The branch (literally) landed like six inches from Nora Kate. It happened so fast that no one could move and nothing could have been done. She barely noticed the commotion. All was well and everyone breathed a sigh of relief. I'm pretty sure in the aftermath every adult there picked her up or patted her on the head or arm or SOMEHOW, SOMEWAY touched her, just to reassure themselves and her she was unharmed.

To be honest, I don't think the reality of the could-have-been hit me until I woke up in the middle of the night having a mild anxiety attack about the whole thing. I don't often write about these incidents (several trips to the ER with Nate, one worse than the other two and one when Nora Kate was a month old and I couldn't even go.). I just sometimes can't get over the fact that no matter how much you plan, or how laid back or uptight you are, no matter how many books you read or how perfectly you strap in your car seat EVERY. SINGLE. TIME., something, somewhere, somehow can still hurt your precious little babies.

Mostly, I try not to be an anxious mama but. please believe I have rocked that sweet girl to bed every night since. Hope you all had a wonderful (and safe!) holiday weekend.  Back to it, yes?  With less falling trees!


Sometimes It's the Littlest of Things


Like, last week he had to use a fork to open the cabinet doors.

This week, not so much.  Am I only the only one who feels a little pinprick to the heart when realizing silly little things like this? 

Life = WARP SPEED.  


The Beach :: It Was Freezing

Our vacation was fantastic - well, as fantastic as vacation gets with a four year old and a one year old.

It was not quite the days of lounging on the sand slathered in sunscreen, napping and reading...but, at this point, those days feel pretty far in the past, so it's not quite as shocking to us anymore when the chorus of 'When can we go to the pool?' or 'Can I go down the water slide again' or OR the ever present 'SNACK! SNACK!' starts up!

Hellllooo vacation.

It's nice to see you. Nate's first ocean experience was pretty fantastic - much jumping in the surf, running in the sand and general FREAKING OUT. Glorious.

My parents, who came with us and are CLEARLY veterans of this whole take-the-kids-on-vaca thing booked us all a hotel not only with heated pools and a small kitchen but also with (wait for it) an indoor water park - slides, lazy river, more heated pools. It was basically our vacation saving grace as the beach was spent more for walking and observing and the occasional sand castle.

Three story tall water slide? Not a problem for this kid. He will start at 9 a.m. and go until lunch. I think one day he climbed up it a solid 60 times. (Notably, the amount of food he ate on this vacation terrified me for his teenage years.) 

Thankfully, we didn't just do slides (though we met some very nice parents with the same vacation plans as us at the bottom of each slide). 

We will see your waterslides, children, and raise you some putt putt (which some people apparently call mini-golf but, now that I have typed it out and said it in my head putt putt seems like a ridiculous term for grown people to say.  Is there a difference AND WHY DO I CARE?)  

Nora Kate was a fan. And that's saying a lot because, my friends, she was not a fan of much this vacation. I think she might be our homebody baby. In her defense, it was quite cold and windy every time we hit the beach and even the heated pools weren't for the faint of heart so perhaps she's just more of a summertime and sunshine girl like myself? (She LOVES water but she clearly said 'COLD MOMMY! COLD!' every time she saw the ocean.)

We also brought Stachy to the beach - Stachy gets passed around my extended family every year at Christmas ala Flat Stanly style and this year she is staying with my parents.  Stachy has been photographed A LOT of places...now adding South Carolina to the list!

We made a VERY sad attempt at some beach photos - I had some sweet beach outfits for everyone and IT WAS ALL GOING TO BE PERFECT until everyone refused to go except Nora Kate (because she doesn't speak in sentences). I dragged her down to the water anyway.

This is the best shot I got. I think the wind is actually whipping her poor dress off her body. We both lasted about three minutes. FINE. THEY WERE RIGHT. It wasn't worth it. 

We did manage to take a few photos on our beach walk the next day - Karl broke my cardinal rule of family photos - NO SUNGLASSES.  (I ask you DOES IT LOOK SUNNY OUT THERE KARL!? NO!) and I am wearing a skull and crossbones t-shirt made up of small stick figures dying in various ways. We are really classy!

Natey was not a fan of posing and invented his own moves. Nora Kate thought they were pretty rad. Clearly.

That, friends, is us - keeping vacation REAL in 2013.

Let's go baaaaaaack.