Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Gratefully resentful

I am grateful every day that I get to stay home with my kids.  It's not for everyone and I totally get why.  I had a career prior to this life I'm living and I miss it but it wasn't meant to be.  My job is to be home and despite my gripey blogs about how all the kids do is fight and blah, blah, blah, I really do love it.   I have to say, though, that some days when Chris gets up and gets dressed I resent him for having a place to go.  Besides school, Target, and Costco, I mean.  He gets to do work that involves reading and delegating and conversing (with adults).  I miss getting up, getting myself put together and looking nice, and walking out the door with my coffee in hand knowing there is something out there waiting for me.  It's strange because I wouldn't trade the life I'm living now for anything but it doesn't change the fact that I sort of long for that other life, too.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Birthday tradition

I know Chris doesn't read my blog so I'm safe in posting this.  Every year since Drew was born 5 years ago I've dressed her in a Happy Birthday, Daddy t-shirt, taken her picture, and then framed it.  It's been Chris's main gift every year.  In 2006 I added William to the mix and Drew wore the Happy Birthday shirt and William wore the Daddy shirt.  Then last year I added Lauren to the mix and now William wears the Happy shirt, Drew wears the Birthday shirt, and Lauren wears the Daddy shirt.  And this is one of the many reasons why I will not have another child.  #4 would have to wear just a shirt with a period on it or something and that would just be wrong.

Chris's birthday is on Easter this year so the Easter Bunny will leave his annual framed picture in his basket.

Rather than add all the pictures from previous years I figured these two would suffice to give you an idea of what I'm talking about. 



Do you have any birthday traditions?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Say No to the Entourage

Random thought I figured I'd blog about before I go to bed tonight:

Drew and I were watching Say Yes to the Dress and over and over and over again these brides walk in with their entourage.  The mom, the aunt, the sister, the soon-to-be mother-in-law, the grandma, the bridesmaids.  Am I the only one who thinks this is ridiculous?  Then the bride goes into the dressing room with the consultant and whines about this and that and is bummed because someone gave an opinion contrary to how she is feeling about the dress.  GAH!  Leave your family at home!  Or at least shut up about it when they open their mouths and tell you how they feel about a dress.  I brought one of my bridesmaids with me when I went shopping.  If my mom had been closer I would have brought her, too, but that's because I know she'd have kept her mouth shut.  But to bring everyone?  Especially when everyone is so opinionated?  That's crazy.  I'm unsure why this stirred me up so much.  I think because the underlying issue is that people ask for opinions and then get angry and disregard them when given.  I hate that.

My dress was the 3rd one I tried on, happened to be on sale, and I didn't need anyone to tell me it was the one.  I cried when I looked in the mirror and I was done looking.  Sisters!  Stand up for yourselves and do what YOU want.  Oh, those wishy-washy brides just bug me.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring Break... How do I love thee?

Ummm, not all that much.  As a teacher I LIVED for it.  As a parent it means they are home.  Everyday.  And although I'm kind of seeing that my blog has become nothing but a rant about my kids, I really do love them with all of my being.  And if they didn't argue and fight non-stop I'd want to be with them 24/7.  But they do argue and fight non-stop so the three hours a day they are either gone or at least apart from each other, it's like a little battery recharge for everyone.  Vacation means there is no recharge.  It's not like we just sit at home and stare at each other, though.  Regardless of the time of year, my mood, whether Chris is home - whatever - we're ALWAYS out and about and doing things.  Now that the weather is nice and they can play outside we're home more often but we still go on at least one outing a day.  It's just better for all of us if we're out, busy, and in public where they have to behave and I can't yell.

I think the only person who benefits from them arguing all the time is you.  'Cause if they didn't argue, I'd be so crazy in love with them that you'd despise reading my sappy, syrupy sweet blog.  Because really.  Look at them.  They are so freakin' cute.  That's because pictures are silent.   

Friday, March 26, 2010

Out of our rut...

I've been pretty grumpy the last week or so.  Actually bitchy would be a more accurate word.  Whatever.  It's rubbed off on the kids and that's no good.  To switch it up a bit I did 4 things that worked wonders the last two days.  We were in a bitchy grumpy rut and it's one of my privileges responsibilities as mommy to get us out of it.

First, I changed the furniture around in Drew's room while she was at school.  She came home and it was like freakin' Christmas.  She loved it.

I bought this ChexMix stuff called Muddy Buddies and I renamed it Polar Bear poop.  It's the best snack ever and they think the name is hilarious.  William even had to call daddy at work to tell him he was eating poop for snack. 

Drew got a haircut.  She needed some grooming.  Her bangs are going to be the death of me.  She is cursed with my heavy thick hair and she's just not ready to grow her bangs out.  She won't keep them pinned back and I refuse to have them hang in her face.  This is a nice, fresh spring cut. 

Once or twice a week I put the kids in the afterschool program so they can stay and eat lunch with their friends and do some additional activites.  I bought some fun napkins for their lunches as surprises. William's are dump trucks and Drew's are princesses.  'Cause as you know, when you're 3 and 5, it's just the little things that can make a difference.

I can't predict when I'll get bitchy again but hopefully before it happens I'll come up with a few more ideas.  In the meantime, it's nice to have a joyful mommy house again!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Deep breath...

OMG.  Why didn't someone tell me that having two children back-to-back might kill me?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Allowing life to get in the way

My motivation to stick to the gym comes and goes.  It goes more than it comes, honestly.  Damn life just gets in the way.  By the time I can get there it's 8pm and really?  I'd rather be fat and unhealthy than expend any more energy at that hour.  I need to change that.  My day is no more busy or crazy than most others but I don't do busy or crazy well and that is now my daily life.  I think I walk with such confidence because not only did I birth these children from my body but I keep up with them.  And I don't just mean physically.  Emotionally I haven't snapped yet.  When on the 3rd staight hour of, "Stop copying me, Dreeeeeew!"  and "He took it and I was just going to play with it again!" I don't f'ing snap and snatch someone bald and toss their ass out on the porch, I am super proud of myself.  So after 13 straight hours of this, I am proud at the end of every single day that we are all intact, fed, bathed, and in a warm bed.  To then get myself to the gym seems an impossible feat at that point.  I need to change my all-or-nothing mentality, however, and get myself to do what works on that particular day.  UGH.  Orrrrr, I could just replace my ever accurate digital scale with this:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Our new friend

We have a new friend.  He's been with us for a little over a week and spends much of his morning at our house.  We enjoy saying good morning to him and goodbye as we drive away for school.  Here he is:

Can you see him?  Here's a closer look:

Drew asked if he could be our pet.  I said sure but that he then needs a name.  William suggested Parrot, which I think is a fabulous name for a crow

Monday, March 22, 2010

I totally rock

When I was 8 I fell and broke my collar bone while rollerskating in the next door neighbor's driveway.  Mom didn't believe me that it really hurt so I think it was a little surprising to everyone but me when a full week later I finally was taken to the Dr. and it was discovered that it was broken.  I wore a lovely backbrace contraption thing under my clothes for a while and it was healed.  The memory of it, however, notsomuch.  I get it now, though.  When my kids say something hurts I console and cuddle, give ice and Motrin, and then wait it out.  I take the whole don't-mention-it-and-they'll-forget-about-it approach.  I think I know where I learned this now. 

Last Monday, ONE WEEK AGO, Drew fell while zipping around on her scooter in the backyard.  I actually saw it happen and new instantly it was a good fall.  She grabbed her ankle and I thought, "Oh, crap.  Here we go."  I picked her up while she was howling and put her in a chair while I did my mom examination.  "Does this hurt?  Does this hurt?"  The whole thing hurt and she just continued to cry.  Now I must say here that Drew is my tough girl.  She doesn't complain or whine about things physically bothering her.  You've been with me on the whole frenulectomy and ear tube surgery experiences and I think you've already gotten a sense of her tough-guy approach to things.  The downside to this is that I can't trust her.  She'll say something is ok or is feeling better when it may seem that way to her but it's just not so.  Anyway, we put her ankle up and she had ice on it for a while but then within the hour was up playing again.  I was relieved to see her playing and for some reason trusted that she was ok. That night she complained in the bath that it was hurting so I gave her some Motrin and off to bed she went.  Well, she limped everyday last week.  I kept looking at her ankle but I never saw any sign of real swelling and there was no bruising.  It didn't occur to me that there may be an internal fracture of some sort.  

Here we are a week later and after a night at my mom's with mom witnessing her limping and favoring her other foot, as well as a discussion of what mom though I should do (duh), I decided it would be a good idea to make an appointment to have it looked at.  After dropping William off at school today, all the girls went to the Dr.  He pointed out some obvious swelling and said it is most definitely sprained.  Drew was sent for an x-ray to make sure there are no fractures of any kind.  Where she points that it hurts the most is right on her growth plate so it's a good idea that I finally pulled my head out of my ass and took her in.  We expect to get the results from the radiologist by later this afternoon, tomorrow morning at the latest.  In the meantime she gets to wear this snazzy ankle brace which she actually doesn't mind at all.  We're to do Motrin every 6 hours for 5 days to get the swelling down, as well as ice every night.  NO park, trampoline, scooter, or bike for 10 days.  That's a long time.  What will we do?!  We'll figure it out.  I'm just hoping there is no fracture because fracture means cast which means... well, I don't know.  Not much fun for a while I guess.  

Oh, and at the end of the doctor explaining to Drew what she has to do to take care of it and what she can't play on for 10 days, he said, "Drew? Were you wearing shoes while you were riding your scooter?"  She said, "No."  He said, "Were you wearing a helmet?"  She said, "No."  He looked at me.  I fumbled and bumbled and said, "But she was just riding in the backyard.  Whenever we ride out front we do those things."  He said, "Riding a scooter is riding a scooter."  

No shoes, no helmet, waited a week.  I totally rock.

Awesome ankle brace

Sunday, March 21, 2010

What Spring looks like in our house

Things growing in cups on the windowsill next to drying watercolor paint brushes can mean only one thing:  Spring has sprung. 


...and this is why I had three children.  I'm totally going to make them do this someday.  

courtesy of the bean and the bear

Friday, March 19, 2010

Daniel Tosh

I'm taking my first baby away with me for the night to visit Nana and go to a fundraiser at her school.  I won't blog again until next week.  I thought on this Friday it'd be nice to leave you with a funny.  I love him.  Have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Are you a list maker?  I am, big time.  I make lists not only for the grocery store, Costco, and Target but also for pros and cons when making decisions, ideas of presents to buy for upcoming events, birthday cards to send this month, topics I want to google, etc. 

Today while William, Lauren and I were peacefully cruising through Costco (with my list in hand, of course), I heard my name shouted from the book section.  It was this:

This is so perfect!  I've been thinking that although I have this blog and baby books which I half-ass fill in, I don't have anything for my kids to read someday to know who I am.  ME.  Their mom.  ASHLEY.  I'm waaaayyy more than just the hands that make meals and fold clothes (although somedays I don't feel like).  I want them to know that I got a sub one day to go see Metallica in concert.  That I love Godsmack and Kid Rock.  That I've been to 5 Harry Connick, Jr. concerts and would leave their daddy for him in an instant if he asked.  Wait, I may leave that part out.  I want them to know that I loved school and reading and writing but hated and struggled in math.  You know what I mean?  I want them to know that the decision to stay home and be a mom was the easiest and hardest decision I've ever made.  I want them to know that growing up with an older brother sucked sometimes and was so awesome at others but that I love him now almost more than anyone.  Ok, you get what I'm saying.  This books is fantastic because although I like to write, this is just a book where things can be listed.  You can add to it quickly and jot things down as they come to you. 

It says, "List bad things you did as a kid"

 I look forward to keeping this on my night stand and just filling things in at night before I go to bed.  Some pages aren't appropriate for my children to read someday and I'll leave those blank.  But for the most part, I think it's a treasure I'll be providing for them. 

If you're interested in looking at this book further or reading reviews, click here.  Or, you can check out your local Costco.  It's was cheaper at Costco than on Amazon. 

Happy listing!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Magic on Concrete

When I was in third grade, we went to school to find leprechaun feet painted on the walls of the little hallway by the bathroooms.  I was stunned, kind of freaked out, and amazed that a leprechaun has been there.  I'll never forget that.  Any other Lemoore Elementary peeps remember that??  I always knew, I think from that moment on, that I'd recreate that somehow.  St. Patrick's Day has really never been anything more for me than art projects as a kid, directing art projects as a teacher, and making sure my kids wear green.  Oh, and those magical leprechaun feet.  Welp, this year is finally the year when both my kids get it.  They have learned about the day at preschool (through art, of course) and William asked today on the way to school if a leprechaun would ever come to our house.  Drew replied with, "No, they are like Santa and God.  We'll never see them at our house.  Only grown ups see them."  I told her that I've never seen one but one has visited me before.  They wanted to know more.  I told them that the leprechaun who came to visit me when I was a little girl just might want to come visit them, too.  They were very excited.  I dropped them off at school, came home and put Lauren down for a nap, and went outside to paint the feet of our little friend.  Right inside the door I'll put a little sachet of pennies for each child.  If you've read my blog before, you know the importance of pennies.  I'll wear my actress hat and play along that he must have visited while I was picking the up from school.  I'm excited and hope they feel just a fraction of the magic I felt waaaaay back when. 

I call this piece, Magic on Concrete

Monday, March 15, 2010

Lost generation


Monday morning dreaming

I want to be here with Chris.  Harry Connick, Jr. will be playing (live) in the background.  Kids are at home, asleep and waiting for us.  My house is clean.  It's late summer and I will be looking forward to fall approaching in the coming weeks ahead.  The following day would be filled with a walk to the park with the kids on their bikes.  But most importantly, I just want to be here with Chris.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

He doesn't get it

Chris and I are more different than we are alike.  We have lots in common and when it comes to the big things (life goals, parenting, discipline) we're completely on the same page.  But we're different in quite a few ways, too  He stresses about stuff, I don't.  He has everything completely organized, I don't.  He thinks being five minutes late to a function is ok, I don't.  Oh, this is fun.  I could go on and on.  The most important thing is that we work really well together in all the ways that matter.  We're an awesome team.  BUT... he doesn't understand some really important things about me.  Even after 15 years.  Like it completely baffles him that I have 4 bureau drawers full of sweaters.  He thinks I need one, maybe two.  He doesn't understand the bookcase full of books that I've already read.  Who buys books, reads them, then rids themselves of them right away?  What if you want to reread it?  Or reference it?  Or loan it to someone someday?  

I did some spring cleaning today and in addition to all three kids' closets, I went through my own.  I also chose some books to donate to the library.  I could only part with a handful.  I told him emotionally I just wasn't prepared to part with more.  He just blinked at me.  Then I tried to explain that earlier in the day I got rid of 3 sweaters I hadn't worn in a few years as well as all my favorite clothes of William's that just don't fit him anymore.  I swear it was like I'd started speaking a different language at that point.  Becoming emotionally attached to material items is not something he understands and I would say it's one of my biggest faults.  Then to evoke some sympathy I said, "I even had to pack up the outfit William wore on his first day of preschool because it doesn't fit anymore!"  and he looked at me like this: 

It was clear the conversation was over.  He doesn't get it.  I'll just feel sorry for him for it 'cause loving sweaters and books and first-day-of-school-outfits just makes you feel good.  Don't you think? 

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Shameless plug, but it's my blog so I'm allowed

You know how some people go on and on about how wonderful their children are? Or their husband? Why is this so annoying? Is it because we immediately know they are not completely being honest or because we just hope they aren't? I don't want to be that person who oozes and gushes about their spouse like he's perfect and blah, blah, blah because I know that no one wants to hear that. BUT, I feel the need (and the right - it is my blog, correct?) to say just a little. And give a little shameless plug.

Chris works 2 full time jobs AND is the most hands-on dad I know. He is the cook, the bath-giver, the one who jumps on the trampoline in the cold, the one who takes them all a few times a week so I can have some alone time. And not only is he a Lt. in the fire department but he also owns and runs a successful business. He started his business 8 years ago as a way to stay busy on his off days. It has since become a big part of our life, a big part of Chris. "Is daddy at fire or CPR?" is a common question around here. He's a wonderful teacher and has taught thousands of people some very basic life-saving skills. I think in addition to his main profession, this is also something to be very proud of. He teaches groups rather than individuals but he works hard to accommodate everyone's needs. If you're in need of a CPR class or if your company or business is in need (and you live in northern California, central California, or the bay area), give him a call.

As with being a husband, a daddy, and a firefighter, he's a dedicated teacher and gives 100%. And as our license plate says: GOT CPR??

Friday, March 12, 2010


Thanks to Melissa  for sending this to me a few weeks ago. This Beautiful Blogger Award is going around and is to be passed on from blogger to blogger.  I love that Melissa thought me to be Beautiful Blogger Award-worthy!

The Rules:
1. Thank the person who nominated me for this award.
2. Copy the award & place it on my blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated me for this award.
4. Share 7 interesting things about myself.
5. Nominate 5-7 bloggers.

Seven Interesting Fact About ME:

1. I've never had my ears pierced and never will.

2. I was born during Game 2 of  the 1975 World Series (Red Sox vs. Reds) and attended Game 3 of the 2007 World Series (Red Sox vs. Rockies).

3. I haven't eaten red meat or pork since 1989.

4. I love to sleep almost as much as I love my children.

5. I love to study and learn but don't take the time for it right now with three little ones.

6. I dream about owls and relish a lot.  We don't live where we see owls ever and I don't eat relish in or on anything.  It's as odd to me as it sounds to you.  And I have no idea what it means.

7. I don't think I'll ever feel that three children is enough but nature has decided we're finished.

My five nominated bloggers:

1. Melissa - funny, caring, terrific mommy, great sounding board.  She sure loves her family.  Just another reason my husband has come in handy in my life - I met Melissa!  She's my go-to for lots of things.

2. Amanda - full of great advice.  With two older ones than mine, she's been there/done that when it comes to parenting.  We're soul sisters in so many ways it's scary.  Thank goodness our husbands were childhood best friends! 

3. Kelly - the sister of an old childhood friend.  New to the blogging world, terrific writer, wife, mother, teacher.  And she's got one of the cutest boys you'll ever see. 

4. Nic - she checks in with me off and on I think so I hope she'll see this.  Her blog is informative and funny and she touches on some more serious of topics sometimes.  Her husband is a navy pilot, a world in which I grew up.  She's my tattoo supporter!

5. Hillary and Michelle - they also check in now and then so I hope they see this!  I am a new reader of their blog and I check in daily.  Love their perspective and their attitudes.  All mommies can relate to their writing.

I read lots of other blogs and am always thrilled when I hear from one of them (Hi, Carolyn...Online and Swistle!) 

Blogging is such a world of its own and although I've been blogging since October I am still a novice for sure.  Just glad to have an outlet, a diary (of sorts) for my family, and some friends who stop by to check in on us!

Flashback Friday

This was taken one year ago today.  Seems like just yesterday while at the same time it seems like a lifetime ago.

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Oh, and that woman behind the camera with all the patience?  I have no idea where she has gone.  She doesn't live here anymore, that's for sure.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Drew is kind of like Arizona

Apparently Daylight Saving Time is considered a holiday since there are actual cards celebrating the day.  Since this is the case I can say with confidence that this is my least favorite holiday ever.  I understand the purpose of it.  During WWI it was instituted to help save energy and make better use of the daylight.  During WWII it was brought back for the same reason.  It didn't become standardized in the US until 1966, except for Arizona, who is the Drew of the US - doesn't feel the need to do what others are doing or follow along.  We apparently let Arizona keep their clocks from falling backwards or springing forward.  Lucky. 

What this all really means to any person who has a child under the age of 6 is that schedules get screwed up.  And if you're like me (and I'm getting the vibe that not many are) and are a schedule Nazi, this is horrid.  The clock runs our house.  It doesn't matter if Nana or Grandma and Grandpa are here, it doesn't matter if the child is exhibiting signs of being tired, if the clocks says so, it's time for bed.  This works for me and more importantly, for the kids.  And to top it off, I get all confused by the time change every single time.  I have to actually say out loud, "Ok, so the clock says 7:00pm but to their bodies it's really only 6:00pm.  Right?"  Anyway, this weekend begins the two or three day transition and I hate it.  With three kids under the age of 5, I work harder at maintaining our schedule than I do at most other things and this holiday just shows up and throws it all to the birds.

Can't wait to see what the kids say when at 7:30pm on Sunday night and I declare it bedtime while it looks like mid-afternoon outside.   It'll be a hoot.


And yes, we've tried to transition them 10 minutes earlier everynight in the week leading up to it.  Honestly, it's too much work. 

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I suck at it.  I was kind of tired of the black layout of the blog although I like the way it made all the text and pictures really stand out.  How do we feel about this new layout?

Update:  It's only been a few hours and I don't even read my own blog but I just had to change it back.  Couldn't do it.


Ok.  Two tragic things happened in a period of twelve hours.  You may say normal, I say tragic.  Chris will say dramatic, I will stick with tragic.

Scene 1:  Last night while William was in the shower, Drew was standing on the counter playing with her hair in the mirror while I sat on the floor.  It was family bonding time of sorts.  Drew says, "William, you know that white sweater with the brown stripe you have?  My boyfriend, Luke, has the same sweater."  I stopped blinking and stopped breathing.  William, the supportive brother, spoke for all of mankind when he quipped, "You don't have a boyfriend!"  She said, "Oh, yes I do!"  I swallowed and said, "What does that mean... boyfriend?"  She said, "It's when it's a boy, and he's your friend, and you loooooove him."  Ugh.  If she'd been 16 I would have asked who his parents are, does he smoke, does he play sports, what classes does he take, does he drive.  Instead I wanted to know if he was kind on the playground to other kids, does he wear a jacket when it's cold, does he spit.  Then I realized I was being as ridiculous as Drew.  I kind of dropped it and will let William take care of it.  But boyfriend?  Where did that come from?

Scene 2:  This morning while getting dressed Drew declared that she hated the pants I had put out for her.  These would be the same pants she's worn all winter.  They are khaki and match every single thing she owns.  Today she hates them.  I fought her on it (1/2 bad mood, 1/2 not wanting to go get something else) until she was crying and I was telling her she was going to go to school in her underpants.  I finally realized this is not worth the fight (and if you know me, you know I don't give up) so I said, "Fine, go get something else and get yourself dressed.  I don't care what you put on."  Soooo, she came down in a pink shirt with flowers, a brown/green/orange skirt, tights that have a huge whole on the side of the knee, and a hot pink jacket.  I said, "Are you happy with that?"  She said, "Yep."  (And for the record, I am all for mismatched funky.  This is not that.  This is mismatched independence.)  End of story.  Now the planning ahead, checking for approval, promising to not-do-this-crap in the morning starts.  Ugh.  'Cause I don't have other shit going on between 8am and 9am every day of the week. 

As I have mentioned many times before, I am sad my children are growing up.  Mainly because I love babies.  I love sweet little people who love me and let me snuggle them.  I love meeting their needs.  I don't want them to grow out of that.  Now I mourn for a whole new reason.  I am not ready for boyfriend talk and fighting over clothes.  I mean, really?  Already?  Crap. 

Drew, 1 - Mommy, 0

Monday, March 8, 2010

Costco system

When this episode of Tom and Jerry is over, we're headed to Costco.  Have I mentioned before that my kids love Tom and Jerry?  Most were made in the 50's and they are so NOT politically correct, it's so comical.  The only one I kind of had issue with was when Jerry (the mouse) broke into the liquor cabinet and then exited with swirly eyes and bumbled around the floor until he passed out.  When was that EVER appropriate for cartoon-age watchin' kids?  Crazy.  Anyway, while they watch their inappropriate cartoon of mice getting drunk while cats whack the shit out of them, I am finishing compiling my Costco list. 

Have you ever gone shopping at Costco with a 1 year old, a 3 year old, and a 5 year old by yourself?  If not, I highly recommend it.  For us it's almost a weekly outing.  Here's how I make it manageable and dare I say... fun!  Lauren always sits in the little part of the carriage.  She gets to look at my lovely face while she kicks me from underneath the whole trip.  My solution for keeping Drew and William from ruining the trip is this: depending on the date (Drew has all even days and William has all odd days) that person gets to choose whether they walk and help me or sit in the big part of the carriage and listen to my Ipod.  Today is the 8th, an even day.  Drew has chosen - and has made it known to all - that she'd like to walk and help.  That means William will sit and listen to my Ipod the whole time.  When we get to the check-out, whomever is sitting in the big part finally gets to get out and help load the carriage.  It's a good system that works well.  As with most other parenting things, I don't make exceptions so they know this is how it goes.  When Lauren is too big to sit in the little part and kick me from underneath, well, I don't know what we'll do then.  I'll come up with something else.  And I can tell you, as annoying as it is, I will miss little feet kicking my belly from underneath a carriage.  That is for sure.


Sunday, March 7, 2010

The last 1st

This blog is not only a place where I can write down the ho-hums of my life for friends and family who live far away, it's also somewhat of a family diary for me.  I will have it printed into a book so that someday my kids can read it and then I fully anticipate them saying, "Oh!  So that's what you were always doing on the computer when we were desperately trying to get your attention."  And I'll say, "Yep."

That's the preface to this last (I swear) birthday post.  Drew turned 5 a month ago and I posted a few times about that and then Lauren turned one last week and I posted about that.  ENOUGH ALREADY, I know.  This is the last one, for sure.  Promise.  But this one is necessary.

Sooo, my baby turned one.  She's walking, she imitating, she's sleeping 13 hours straight at night, and she's a bowl full of cherries.  Her first birthday party was lovely and although we missed a few very important family and friends, we had many special guests and our house and backyard was filled with love on that special day.  I won't bore anyone with a thousand pictures (although Misty sure captured some great moments) but I will share these below.  It was a really great day.  Thanks to all who came, who traveled, who called.  We're so lucky to have so many people in our lives who love our kids the way you all do. 

Drew's 1st birthday - 2006

William's 1st birthday - 2007

Lauren's 1st birthday - 2010

Our baby girl
photo by Misty Selak

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Black Thursday

Not only am I the daughter of a teacher, but I AM a teacher.  More importantly, I am now the mother of a school aged child.  In the next 5 years I will have three children in our public school system.  This freaks me out a little bit.  I have always believed in public schools.  I'd still like to but it's hard to trust that children today are receiving the best education when the teachers and schools are so limited due to budget cuts.  My first experience with this as a parent was just recently when it was time to enroll Drew in kindergarten.  We pass our home school on our weekly walks and for Drew's entire little life I've said, "This is your school when it's time for you to go to kindergarten!"  Then it was time to actually enroll her and I discovered that our school district has gotten rid of class-size reduction.  That means that in the primary classrooms (K-3) there are 32 students vs. the 20 students with class-size reduction.  The thought of Drew going into a kindergarten class with 31 other little 5 years olds and only one teacher FREAKED. ME. OUT.  Thankfully we had the opportunity to keep her at her private preschool she attends for her kindergarten year in their K class but I am so upset that she won't be attending her home school.  I want to support our home school.  I know I need to do what's best for her, however.  The following year she will be attending our home school and she will be in a 1st grade class with 31 other 6 year olds.  This makes me very nervous.  It may get to the point where we do research private schools that may afford our kids the chance to have much smaller class sizes.  This is just one of the areas that have been affected by the reduction in school funding.  There are many, many more - most of which affect the teachers and the students adversely.  

March 4, 2010 is a day which has been designated a day to stand up for schools.  Many people in education may be wearing black to show their solidarity and support of some kind of swift change.  

Pay attention to what's going on.  And for God's sake, thank your child's teacher.  With the exception of seeing your child everday, their job sucks.

Find more videos like this on Stand Up For Schools

The day has come

Lauren was born one year ago today.  Her birth was the fastest of the three (8 hours), and even though I felt like I was the first woman on the planet to have a natural birth, I was proud at the end to have done it that way.  I strained a vocal chord during her birth and spent the next 6 weeks sounding like Tone Loc.  It was awesome. 

We didn't know if this gigantic baby in my belly was going to be Lauren or Beckett so not only were we surprised that I didn't have to have a c-section (previously scheduled for my safety), but I could have her how I wanted AND without drugs, and it was a girl!  Before you think I'm all that for having this 9 pound baby naturally, let me briefly explain.  I knew this was to be our last baby so I did want to labor as long as I could without any help.  By the time I said ,"F THIS" and requested the drugs, the only anesthesiologist on duty had been called into an emergency c-section.  The nurse came back to inform me I was going to have to have this baby on my own.   I've never cried during labor.  But I cried.  And hooted. And hollered.  And cussed at the nurse for the ridiculous policy of having "ONLY ONE F'ING ANESTHESIOLOGIST ON DUTY".  I told Chris I couldn't do it.  I told hm I wasn't capable.  He kind of laughed.  And I hated him.  He said, "Well, honey, you don't really have a choice."  Those were the most insensitive words I've ever heard and I still haven't really forgiven him for it.  Anyway, long story short, I labored, I cussed, I busted a vocal chord, and she was born.  Lauren Walker Peters.  9 pounds, 21 inches.  Beautiful.

    Just minutes after she was born.  Love his smile.

         More exhausted than ever in my life.  And oh, so happy.

                  Drew's first time meeting her sister.

William's first time meeting Lauren.  The first of a thousand kisses.

 First day with her at the hosptial.  Everyone is getting to know her.

             The first ever picture of the Peters Party of 5

                                         Daddy time

48 hours after her birth.  'Cause that's how I roll.  Don't ever underestimate what a woman can do.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

March 2, 2009

I woke up on this day having a doctor's appointment in the afternoon.  By the time I got there I had already rehearsed my pathetic plea for an induction.  I was miserable and ready and only 2 days from my due date.  My OB worked her magic w/o drugs and within minutes contractions began.  I headed home from my appt., called Tracy to come stay with the kids, and we were off to the hospital, all within an hour and a half.  I would relive all that in an instant if given the chance.  What a very exciting time that was.

Minutes before Chris and I left for the hospital, in the early stages of labor

Just before I had to put my lovely hospital gown on
That's a 9lb. baby in there!

Waiting for the anesthesiologist to give me my epidural, this was in between contractions

I was just told I was going to have to have this baby naturally and this was just minutes before my complete, horrible, ugly-cry breakdown. 


Lauren, our third and last child, a girl!, was born just after midnight on March 3

To be continuted tomorrow, the little girl's first birthday.

Monday, March 1, 2010

She's 5 now, is that too young to do her own laundry?

Now that Drew is 5, she is going to be more responsible for things.  Her things.  She's a great helper at home and loves to dust, put clothes in the dryer from the washing machine and things like that.  We've always had the kids put their own toys away, etc. but I'm thinking now it's time to step it up.  She can put her clothes away that belong in her bureau.  The laundry fairy will deliver them in a nice, neat folded pile on her bed but she will have to put her underpants and pajamas away.  She needs to bring her dinner plate to the kitchen from the table after dinner.  And I think having her make her bed every morning is a good one, too.  I don't want to overload her but we're definitely going to add some responsibilites to her tiny little plate.

We haven't even discussed an allowance.  She doesn't know what that is yet so we may ride the free horse as long as we can.  Until she goes to kindergarten next year and at lunch one of her little girlfriends says something like, "You do all that shit for free?  Girlfriend, your parents are ripping you off."  I can just see it.  Well, I don't think a little kindergartener at the Christian kindergarten is going to say 'shit' but you get what I'm saying.  Until we're ratted out, she'll do it because she's a big girl and she's capable.  And because it's important.

What are your feelings on chores for kids? How old and what kinds of things?

Chores?  Bring it.

Where did January and February go?? Oh, well.

Happy March, happy Spring.



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