Sunday, July 7, 2013


A few days ago I mentioned that our blueberries are struggling a bit. They've had plenty of fruit on them, but none that survived the birds long enough to make it to our bellies.

So over the long weekend we decided to go pick some blueberries instead. The Vollmer Farm was not too far out of our way to the Mudcats game (another fave of our kids!) so it was perfect. 

It was a weekday evening close to closing time, so it wasn't too busy. We headed straight out to the field and started filling our buckets with berries. 

Big Girl was super excited to pick berries, and to show us where she had gone on a field trip, but she got super distracted by bugs (i.e. almost immobilized by focusing on swatting them - girly girl!). Little Man, who hadn't been as excited to pick berries loved it.

The blueberry bushes were low enough he could reach them. He loved finding the "bu" ones and running to put them in a bucket. 

He also loved picking the raspberries. Totally ironic since he doesn't like anything that pokes him and he won't eat either of them!

While he was picking berries, she took the camera. So, no pics of her on this adventure.

After a quick visit to the pirate ship and airplane on the playground we headed off to the baseball game. 

Another picture courtesy of my girl! 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

'Lil Summer Craft

When I look for a craft there are a few criteria that I pretty much stick to. 
  • Easy. Enough to involve one or both kids. Somehow. 
  • Inexpensive. $5 - $10 or less if possible. 
  • Supplies on hand. The last thing I want is to have to go search out some super unique little thing or another. Especially if that thing comes in a package of 500 and I need 2. Ugh. Stinkin' googly eyes.
  • Give it away. We love to craft and do artsy things. If we kept everything we made, my house would be more cluttered than it is. If we can have the fun of making something and not have to dust it - awesome!
From time to time I'll take on a project that doesn't meet these criteria, but not often. 

Earlier this summer (I know I'm totally behind in posting this!) we made a cute wind chime for Grandad for his birthday. It met all of the criteria, so we were excited to get started.

I started by looking through the pantry for cans that would nest one inside the other. Then I figured out what meals to make to use up the food in the cans within a few day. 

True story.

After about four days we had five cans. 

I double checked that they fit one inside the other and laid out newspaper for Big Girl to prime them while I made dinner. She was in the office and I was 10 feet away in the kitchen. 

As I was cooking I started to notice some fumes. So, I opened a window and turned on a fan. If you decide to prime, you may want to do so outside. Don't know why I didn't think of this before she started. May have been related to the fussing toddler, timer and ringing phone. Don't know. Just sayin.'

After the cans dried she picked out acrylic paints and choose two cans that she would allow her brother to paint. He was super excited running around with a brush saying screaming that he was "pinking." 

Cue I can't paint without pants on meltdown. 

Crazy mom that I am, I thought that the best way for a two-year-old to use acrylic paint would be in a diaper, but I was wrong. So, I tried an old shirt. Of mine. Better, but he still HAD to have pants. pants. So I put his shorts back on under the dress of a shirt he was wearing and the painting got underway.

He sat in my lap and it went well.

The next evening after everything dried hubby helped up poke holes in the bottom of each can and big girl and I strung them together. We thought about using twine, but decided on a thin nylon rope, hoping it will last longer. 

I was at a total loss of what to put at the end of the wind chime. 

We had a pile of old hot wheels in the garage. I dug through and found a tractor. Perfect for a garden wind chime and easy to tie to the rope.

The cans nested pretty snuggly, so it didn't make much noise. Fine with us, but it you'd like a noisier version, you may want to try fewer cans with more of a difference in sizes. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Garden Garden

Its hard to believe how fast the summer is flying past. Every week I have good intentions of updating y'all on the garden, but it just hasn't happened. 

Here are a few pictures.

As you can see, lots of green. Lots of cucumbers. Not so many tomatoes. Not so many (ripe) blueberries. 

Such disappointment. Especially for hubby who's been slaving away out there.

I really think its the weather. We've been getting rain almost every day for weeks, and some of the plants are just not doing super with it. (Hard to believe I'm wishing for less rain, but I guess so.)

If you have any tips to get more tomatoes out of these guys, send 'em on over!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Friendly Competition

Swimming is a big sport in Raleigh. Our neighborhood swim team has 20 girls in the 7 and 8 age group. Many of them swim year-round like Big Girl, and because she is 7, many of them are older than her. 

So, it came as no surprise that she wasn't in the fastest heat for any of her races at the first meet of the season a few nights ago. 

What did come as a surprise was how competitive she was. 

All winter she has shied away from competition. Her coach had to twist her arm a bit to get her to go to just one meet. 

But that wasn't the kid that came to the meet on Tuesday night. The kid at that meet was upset when she didn't win. She asked what she did wrong, and what she could do better. She responded to my momma coaching, "your dive was a little on the belly flop side, remember how your coach taught you to go far out?" and "you were winning until you stopped and looked around."

After several second places in heats 2 and 3, she was in heat 4 for the last event - butterfly. One of the slower heats, and she was pumped up to try and win. The only little problem was that she was in a lane next to her buddy Johanna.

As the girls waited behind the blocks they gave each other a little hug, and I thought to myself, "Here we go, Big Girl is not going to win."

So I stood to the side and cheered. She quickly passed her friend and only one girl a few lanes down was close to her. She had perfect strokes, and perfect breathing, and about two-thirds of the way down the pool passed the other girl.

All I could think was, "don't stop and look, you will get beat!" And by some miracle, she didn't look. And she won the heat. 

As she climbed out of the pool, I congratulated her. She was glowing with pride. As she was handed a heat winner ribbon - a prize well won - her friend started to get out of the pool.

Anyone who has spent much time around 7 and 8 year-old girls knows they can be a bit snippy. So, I held my breath. Not sure what would come out of wither of their mouths next. 

But there were no words. Instead there was a hug. 

Big Girl reached out and hugged her friend. "You did really well," she said.

"But you won," said her friend.

"Well you got second and you were really close to me," Big Girl told her friend who I was almost certain came in 6th out of 6 swimmers. "And it was fun to race at the same time."

"Yeah," said her friend. 

"You will win one next time," said Big Girl as they walked back to their towels.

There is a lot going on in out lives these days. Between school, work, church and trips to the library and grocery store, sometimes I'm not sure if the lessons I am trying to teach are sinking in. But it seemed like - at least on this day - she understood the importance of sportsmanship. 

There are five more meets ahead of us this season. So; cross your fingers, say a little prayer, knock on wood; whatever you do to help things go your way - send some wishes to us - that the rest of the season goes as well as the beginning. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Smells Good!

Last week - I think it was Tuesday - I dropped a bottle of perfume. (It broke.) Today's I'm smelling my perfume again. Unfortunately, its in the laundry.

Let me back up for a moment and tell you this story from the beginning.

It was a busy morning. Getting ready for work in a hurry after staying up past midnight to prepare for meetings at the office. After a quick shower, I pulled on dress pants and a blazer. One of the go to outfits in my closet, clean and ready to go. I put on the jewelry, makeup and shoes that went with it somewhat blindly, wishing I could curl back up in the bed.

In my hustle to get ready so hubby could walk out the door on time, after I stayed in bed 10 minutes late, I still had lotion on my hands when i reached for the perfume. I didn't grip it tightly, and it slid to the floor. Breaking less than an inch from my foot instantly creating a cloud of Dolce and Gabbana that drifted throughout the house.

Down the hall to Big Girls' bathroom where she was getting ready, to the kitchen where hubby was packing lunches. It was/is the nice quality perfume that you really just need one spray to get through the day. However on this day, the house had taken a dosing worth a year or more.

So, I mopped most of it up with a washcloth. The bath mat was also soaked, but I decided to leave it. "Couldn't be too bad to leave a little fresh scent in the house," I thought to myself.

It was too much. By Saturday I was embarrassed and I think hubby was a little annoyed that the smell was lingering. So, I decided to wash the rug. I threw it in with the kids bathroom rugs. Double rinsed just in case and threw them in the dryer and went in to cook dinner.

About 20 minutes later, I walked through the house and caught a little whiff. Rose the One, making its way in from the laundry room, through the garage and playroom and into the dinning area.

Not the worst. Especially since hubby had been working in the yard all day. A little pleasant scent may be just what we need.

The load of laundry was finished and as I switched the next load to the dryer the scent got stronger, so I re-rinsed them. After the second rinse I went ahead and put them in the dryer. Three load later, there is still a faint scent on the clothes.

I thought about re-washing everything again, but decided it wasn't worth it. The clothes are clean. Washing them again would be a lot of work, and I've got a game of High-Ho-Cherry-O waiting on me.

P.S. The day of the spill I rinsed my feet off in the tub before going to work. The girl in the cube next to me said it was bearable.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Shiny and Clean!

I'm a sucker for a quick fix. Craft. Dinner. DIY. If its the latest quick solution, I'll try it. I'll also try the latest products at the grocery store and Target. The demo ladies know me. Seriously. They do.

So, needless to say when Pintest entered my life - whenever that was - I started trying all kinds of things.

- T-Shirt Rugs
- Birthday Sign
- Holiday Crafts
- Killing Weeds with Dawn solution - worked!
- Baking Soda to clean the shower - also worked
- Rubbing Alcohol to put a compact back together - didn't work

My latest attempt? A quick fix to clean silver.

It was truly nasty, so I started by lining the kitchen sink with aluminum foil, added 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1/4 cup of salt. Then started boiling water on the stove. Took a picture while I was waiting for the water. 

When the water was roaring I poured it into the sink. 

Within a few minutes a minor miracle (or basic science something that my dad could explain) occurred. 

Little Man woke up from his nap, so I flipped the silver over and let it sit longer than the recommended 30 minutes, but when I returned it was lookin' nice and shiny.

I quickly drained the sink and set the silver aside.

Later after the kids were in bed I rinsed it off and dried it with a towel to remove water spots. 

Fanciness. I'm ready for some kinda party. Who wants to come over and drink wine eat ice cream have veggies and dip. Hey. Veggies go with this tray. I'll still have wine for you.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

No Longer a Hater

If you have been following along - for more than a few days - you know that I dislike (ahem) really dislike laundry.  

You've seen me post photos of hating on laundry.

And entire blog posts about it. Like here earlier this week. And here awhile back. 

Maybe it was the magic of Mother's Day, or the magic of possible scrutiny by all y'all Raised in Raleigh followers. BUT. I had all kinds of laundry help the other day. And I am here to tell you it was FANTASTIC. 

Yes. Me. Sarah. Landry. Fantastic. 

Hubby and I folding. Kids helping fold (or unfold in the case of little man who wanted to "me do it!") and put things on hangers. Then all three of them running around the house putting things away. 

Here is your basket. Your basket. Your basket. The kids helped hubby. He helped them. I kept folding. They would bring me more hangers. 

Many hands make light work. This was a true example. We had the weekly laundry pile knocked out in less than an hour. Seriously. Five, maybe six loads in an hour. Amazingness.

I loved it. They all seemed to enjoy working together. 

PS - I would show you a picture of my couch and coffee table without laundry, but I'm going to bed early!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Its one of those things that keeps coming up. Over and over again. Every day there are more dirty clothes. The piles in the bathrooms just grow and grown. Every weekend, or every few days, I carry them downstairs, sort them into piles and start the washing process.




Bright colors.

Oxy. Water. Soap.

Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. On an average week, repeat 8 to 10 times.

The piles of clothes grown in the bathroom. The piles grow in the laundry room. Then the piles grow in next to the couch. In front of the TV.

Then they start to gather dust. Figuratively, but some times literally too. It can easily be two or three or eight days before they get folded.

Its not that laundry takes an extreme amount of energy, its the process.

There are so many parts, and you have to keep each portion going to make the world go round. It should be a well oiled machine.

It should be wear, sort, wash, fold, put away.

But its not. Its over stuffed closet, big pile, not sorted, wrinkled piles, gather up the hangers, distribute. Its a struggle.

Its should not be a struggle. But it is. Ugh.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Keeping Score

I've heard of sports leagues for kids where they don't keep score. Big Girl's basketball league didn't. I understand how they can be good for kids. Everyone gets a chance to play. Everyone has a feeling of accomplishment at the end of the game. Great. 

But we aren't those people. At our house we keep score. We try hard. And. We have winners and losers. 

This weekend we did a score tally on the school work from last week. The week had started off rough, but I knew there were more good points than bad ones. So, we tallied up the comments from the teacher on the weeks' work.

:) = 6
:( = 1

Pretty good score. Certainly enough to earn some dessert! :)

Friday, April 19, 2013


I think every mom remembers the first word their child says. Its a precious moment. As a working mother I prayed I would be there to hear the first little words from those sweet lips. 

Big Girl was on the young side when she said her first word. 

It was Halloween morning. After she was born in the summer. She was in her car seat on the way to a party. She was in the back jabbering and giggling. I pulled up to a red light and stopped the car. When the car stopped she stopped talking. After a moment I checked the mirror and looked at her.

As I looked in the mirror she said, "go." I swear. Clear as day. Go.

I was pretty much astonished. Figured there was no way that my little baby actually said, "go" in a meaningful way. I figured it was just ironic. Humorous. But ironic. 

When we got to the party, I was getting her out of the car and told her that we were a little late, that her friends were already having fun. (As if she understood what that meant.) After I set up the stroller and snapped her car seat in she looked at me again. I checked the break on the stroller. Check. Dug through the diaper bag to make sure I had everything. Then I heard it again. "Go."

I remember it like it was yesterday. 

She was a tiny little thing that kept saying go. 

As I pushed the stroller into the party she said it two or three more times. When I walked faster she smiled and giggled. 

I tested her. When I stopped she said it again. 

Clear as freakin' day. 

No one believed me. So the next day she did it again for my dad. 

And. She hasn't stopped talking since. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Words to Live By

You know how every once in a while you run across something you haven't seen or read in a while and you go, "Oh man. I gotta remember that." For me its usually a recipe or a craft that I really wanted to do, but somehow never found time for. Other times its a quote. 

In honor of our upcoming weekend at Windy Gap, here are six of my favorite Bible verses... okay, they aren't all Bible verses, but most of them are. 

Thinking back on each of these, I can't help but think of the impact they've had on my life. 

1. "As for me and my house, We shall serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15

This is one of my absolute favorites right now. It speaks to the family and remembering our priorities. I made a print of this verse for our sitter before she moved. I thought it was perfect for a housewarming. 

2. "Before I formed you in your mother's womb I chose you. Before you were born I set you apart." Jeremiah 1:5

When I found out I was pregnant with Big Girl I was scared. This verse was constantly in my mind during my pregnancy. Before I even knew if Big Girl was going to be a girl or I guy I loved her. I wanted to do everything I could do help her have a good life.

3. Enjoy the little things in life, for someday you will realize they were the big things.

I've been trying to live with this mindset for the last few months, and over the weekend saw this cute display at Windy Gap and had to get it. I'm loving looking at it on my dresser each morning.

4. "Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever." Daniel 12:3

Love. Love. Love it. Think about this at work and in my business life, but also when parenting my kids. Truly a phrase to live by.

5. Play Like A Girl. Beat the Boys.

Big Girl has a t-shirt that says this. She has been wearing it to play tennis. I love that this is both cute and empowering to girls. 

6. This one isn't a verse, but its a song. Step by Step by Rich Mullins.

"Oh God, You are my God And I will ever praise You Oh God, You are my God, And I will ever praise You. I will seek You in the morning, And I will learn to walk in Your ways, And step by step You'll lead me. And I will follow You all of my days ."

I remember this one from all the youth group adventures with my church friends growing up. We went to the beach for a retreat every summer, and one year we went to a national youth gathering in New Orleans (pre-Katrina). 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Darndest Thing

I grew up with the Cosby show. After it went off the air there were the re-runs. Then. Finally in the 90's Bill Cosby came back to TV with Kids Say the Darndest Things. 

The clips are all over YouTube. Hil-freakin-larious.

My kid could be on there. I know. Every mom says it. But mine. He would be a star.

Any time he doesn't know what to say he sings Hot Potato.

He is forever talking about his utensils. Recently he started singing about them. Sometimes to the tune of Wheels on the Bus. All fine and good.

Except he says fork, the "o" comes out with more of an "uh." And the "r" isn't said at all. So, the annunciation ends up rhyming with duck. Only with an F. (If you missed it, the full make you pee your pants funny post about forks is here.)

And he is singing about the fork and the crock pot. Crockpot that comes out as a combination of two words. Crock without the "r" and pot which comes out potty. 

Read it again. 

Fork the crockpot. 

And me and hubby. We have mastered the faces that Bill Cosby has at the beginning of his segments with the little kids. Straight face. Don't make eye contact. If you make eye contact, you'll pick up on their joy. Then you will smile. Then, because what he says is really funny, you will laugh. Then he will say it again. Again will be in public. In public you will get funny looks. If you get funny looks he will say it louder. When he says it louder, he will get even more attention. Then, instead of being funny, you will be embarrassed. You will turn red in the face. Big Girl will ask why you are all red. You won't have a good explanation. So she will ask someone else what was so funny and in doing so will repeat the phrase. When she repeats the phrase she won't be seen as cute. She will ask what it means. I don't want her to understand what it means. 

Be like Bill Cosby. Keep a straight face. Won't be embarrassed. Won't have to explain "fork the crockpot."

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Fruit Edition

I can't help it. I have to say something about this one. Hubby taught him two phrases to say while doing this banana trick. Any guesses? If someone gets them right, I will find a prize.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Wikipedia says, "Shorts are a bifurcated garment worn by both men and women over their pelvic area, circling the waist, and covering the upper part of the legs, sometimes extending down to or even below the knee, but not covering the entire length of the leg. They are called "shorts" because they are a shortened version of trousers, which cover the entire leg. Shorts are typically worn in warm weather or in an environment where comfort and airflow are more important than the protection of the legs."

Funny Wikipedia picture of David and Julie Eisenhower wearing in 1971.


Worn in warm weather. Check.
Shortened version of trousers. 

Just as I thought. 

"Trousers are an item of clothing worn from the waist to the ankles, covering both legs separately (rather than with cloth stretching across both as in skirts and dresses). The word trousers is used in the UK and Ireland, but some other English-speaking countries such as Canada, South Africa, and the United States often refer to such items of clothing as pants, a shortening of the historic term pantaloons." Thanks Wikipedia. 

In an area where comfort and airflow are more important than the protection of the legs. I.e. Raleigh in April. Check.

Toddler with a short memory. Check. 

Explaining this to a two year-old. No check.

He doesn't remember last summer. 

"Broken mommy. Pants broken." 

Broken? Um. Not exactly my son. 

"Fix it peas." 

"Um. They are fine. Your legs are supposed to be naked."

"No Momma. Pants broken."

"Sweetie. Your pants are fine. Do you want some breakfast?"

Sippy cup of milk. Totally tricked him with food. Easy way to out smart a two year-old. 

Kid in shorts. Check. Wait. He's wearing a soccer shirt. Score.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Quick Craft

Y'all know I like monograms. If you missed my previous monogram post, hop over here and check it out. 

This weekend I rounded up some art supplies. Some from the pile of stuff from my Mom's attic clean out, some from other left overs from the reworking of our master bedroom. (If you want to see this project, scroll through the Raised in Raleigh Instagram feed from November.)

Excuse this picture being sideways. Y'all know I'm Photoshop challenged.
For the project, I took an old wooden frame, removed the national honor society certificate and the glass. Then I got my spray paint out. 

High gloss white for the old frame, yellow (leftover from our bedroom lamps) and silver for the letter B. The B was left from a prior project that I gave up on because it was too tough. 

When the paint dried, I staple gunned the B to the cardboard, then lined everything up in the frame and stapled the cardboard to the frame. Once it was all in place, I trimmed the extra cardboard with a knife. 

Once I have a few more pieces together for the master bedroom it will be perfect on our wall. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Little Man loves his Eggos. Every day he is all about Eggos. "Eggos peas." "Mommy Eggos."

Sometimes its one of those unending phrases. "Eggos." "Eggos."

If you haven't heard these conversations, you would probably think we are talking about the frozen breakfast food, Eggo waffles. If you have heard these conversations in person, you know that he is actually talking about Legos. More accurately, Duplos. 

He's also been on a dog kick, so he, hubby and I all made dogs out of Duplos.

 Can you guess who made which one?

Monday, April 1, 2013


Every kid loves candy. Chocolate. Cookies. Ice cream. Okay, my son doesn't eat ice cream. But, you name it, if its sweet, most kids like it. 

That is why bribery works. Kids want treats, and they try hard to please adults to get them. 

But I'm the kind of mom that doesn't want to be giving out cookies and candy every day. 

I know other families do it differently, but... Yeah. I also try to get fruit and veggies in each kid each day. But that, unlike getting candy in them, can be a real struggle. Especially with Mr. No Ice Cream. 

So, I've become a fan of any sneaky method out there to get veggies in my kids. 

For a while now I've seen these cookies on the shelf at the grocery store, WhoNu?  

Finally, about two weeks ago, I made a unrushed, kid free trip to the grocery store. (An extremely rare experience in my world.) I found myself taking the time to read labels and pay more attention to prices than a normal day. 

So after reading the box, these chocolate chip cookies jumped into my cart. Things just have a way of doing that to me

I was totally skeptical. But, I'm totally, the call when I don't like a product and get my money back mom, so I thought I would a chance on them. 

After dinner I handed them out (minus the healthness info on the box, since Big Girl can read.) And they were a hit. I was honestly a little surprised  I thought they may go over okay with the kids. I didn't think that I would like them. And for sure didn't expect my hubby to indulge in veggie packed cookies. But, when I tried them myself they were good. Better than expected. Would be fantastic after a few seconds in the microwave and a big glass of milk. 


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dinner Time

“Fork you Mommy.” “Fork you sister.” “Fork you Daddy.”

Sounds like any kid anywhere in America anywhere in the world helping set the table for dinner.

Only thing. With this kid, the “o” comes out with more of a “uh.” And well. The “r” isn’t said at all. So, the annunciation ends up rhyming with duck. Only starting with an F.


If he is sitting with a plate food of food and he doesn’t have a fork, he just yells for one. Over and over again. “Fork. Fork. Fork.”

Big Girl has no idea what the word that he is saying means anything other than fork. It’s not a word that we use.

When it started we were constantly trying not to laugh. That was a few weeks ago.

It had almost slipped my mind. When he would talk about his cutlery I would just hear fork. In my head it was just fork.

Then, we were with some extended family, and he asked for a, “fork please?” And the flood gates opened. Opened. For the rest of the meal people couldn’t stop asking about the tool he was using to stab his food.

Over the next few days it continued. My quick witted brother-in-law tried to teach him the phrase. “Give a Fork.”

He didn’t latch on to it. He wouldn’t even repeat it once. Even though it would have been funny, I was pretty happy he didn’t repeat it. That happiness was shattered Saturday morning. Out of nowhere. At church. As he was eating pretzels before the Easter egg hunt, it came back.

“Give a FORK!”

In the middle of the room. Middle school volunteers helping with the Easter Egg hunt were all over the place. He needed a fork to eat pretzles.

I wanted the little space between the linoleum tiles to open and swallow me up.

Thanks Uncle Ben. Seriously. Fork you. Thanks. 

Monday, March 25, 2013

Half Written Posts

Writing can be really tough for some people. For me, admittedly, it usually comes pretty easy. However, every once in a while I get stuck.

I usually save the post. In case I get inspired later. I recently spent some time cleaning out my draft file (okay, looking for something cool to finish because I was lacking inspiration), and found some fun half written posts.

At Home (drafted 3/22/12)
When I'm at work I want to be at home. There. I said it. Does it make me a bad employee? A good mom? An exceptional wife? Probably yes to all three.

When I am at home I'm playing with the kids, cooking dinner, kissing boo boo's, being crafty and generally loving life. If something makes you happy, then its where you should be.


Well, maybe that is the dream version of the reality.

It probably more like playing with the kids, cleaning, holding a baby, filling a sippy cup with milk every few hours and

Teething Toddler (drafted 7/9/12)
A teething toddler is different than a teething baby. Those dang incisors or whatever they are called are b*#@&$. For Real.

The Best Thing About Vacation (drafted 7/3/12)
Every vacation has its ups and downs. Moments that you adore and those that you wish didn't happen. Roll them all together and its truly about the memories.

Mommy Problems (drafted 9/26/12)

Mommies have different problems than any other group out there.

It starts even before your first child enters the world with the pregnancy balance and hormones. Once your child arrives its leaking boobs and more hormones.

As they get older the problems don't go away. Very few people look at Daddies and say, "Can you bake brownies for the teacher luncheon tomorrow?" the same day that they have a big deadline at the office - or - when a toddler is sick. If they did most Dad's would say something like, "I'll check with my wife," or "Does Whole Foods count as home made?," or "The baby is sick sorry."

But Moms don't say those things. At least not in my world. Instead, they say, "Is one pan enough?" or "I may have to drop them off early so I can take care of something at work."

Pushing Buttons (drafted 10/10/11)
Everyone has things that set them off. For some its a tone of voice or bad habit in others. For some people its a certain person or even a way of doing things.

For Big Girl its talking to her in a "little kid" voice. For husband, well, I'm not going to go there. For me, its a combination of a tone of voice, bossiness and a lack of sentiment for other's feelings.

This Place Smells (drafted 2/23/13)
You know the funk that all thrift stores share? A combination of moth balls, old lady and mildew?

Don't lie you do.

Maybe you only go in them to make donations, maybe they are your everyday shopping stop. Maybe you're like me and go through phases of being in them all the time looking for just the right something  then don't step through the double doors of barginess again for months.

At any rate, you know the smell.

My sister and I used to call it the smell of affordablee. Like Targee for Target.

Big girl now knows the smell too... She identified it for herself as we went around town looking for a new desk for the office.

Friday, March 22, 2013

I'm "That" Mom

I feel so bad, but I know we are doing the right thing.


Let me back up.

You know on The Middle when Frankie and Mike threaten take Brick's books away? Wait. That may be every episode. But even the threat makes him completely dev-as-ta-ted. Devastated.

Right up there with when he couldn't get new books at the library.

That is what it was like at our house.

Not really. I'm being dramatic.

But, we really did take the books away. For three days.

I know. Kids need books. The need to read for fun. For most kids its a challenge. They have a ton of things going on and never get around to reading. Big Girl has activities. We've been trying out different sports. But, she hasn't really found one that is "it."

But, what she has found is books. She can read a 150 page book at a third or fourth or something grade level in a day. The books that some of the kids in her class are reading can be finished in an hour or two.

We love that she loves to read. But, its time to read a little less. So, we are taking the books away for a few days.

...You can read for school, but no more Baby Sitter's Club, no more Geranamo Stiltson, no more Flower Fairies... It may be a long three days. But here is the thing. She will finally do other things. Spend time outside, practice tennis or basketball, use some of the million art supplies, use the Easy Bake Oven. Plus there are the toys in her room.

Its tough to figure out a balance. Even tougher to help your kids get a balance. But, maybe. Just maybe. This will help broaden the horizons.

It is going to be quite the experiment. Wish us luck.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mo Deer

Its apparently deer season. I don't know about hunters, or anything, but in our neighborhood, its deer season. We've been feeding them off and on most of the winter.

As it would turn out, the North Raleigh variety didn't care for the fancy salt lick that was recommended by hunters on I thought deer were deer. If deer in Kansas like a salt lick, I thought it was totally feasible that deer in North Carolina would like it too.

Is it possible that city deer and country deer don't have the same tastes?... Kind of like the Country mouse and city mouse from the Mother Goose book. (If you missed this treasured childhood story, Wikipedia can fill you in here.) I don't know. If you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them.

Anyway, back to the actual deer. They stop by at least once on most days. We've gone from usually having 3 or 4 to an average of 6 or 7.

We aren't feeding them as often, but they still stop by. Its warming up the last week or so, so I'm wondering if they're out because there is tasty spring vegetation, or because they know there is corn under the swing on our swing set. 

No matter the reason, I'm glad they are here, because they provide quite the entertainment and counting lessons.

But. I am puzzled. What should we feed them. Is there some shrubbery that they would like? Should we stick to corn? Plus why are they out right now? Help a girl out.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

What happened to Wordless Wednesday? For a while there every blog I read was putting up pictures at least once a month for Wordless Wednesday.

This week I have one. Its fantastic.

No Mom. I wasn't using my phone while driving. Traffic was terrible. I put the car in park.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Coordination and Sports

I'm a klutz. There is no way around it. I lack coordination. I've been known to walk into walls and fall over my own feet. In middle school I broke my ankle on a pencil. A pencil. I was doing a cartwheel, and random pencil on the basketball court landed me in the emergency room and earned me an air cast that put a quick end to my cheer leading career. Seriously. A pencil.

From the beginning of each of my pregnancies I prayed that my children would not inherit my coordination.

Problem is, I think my daughter may have.

Fortunately she's more outgoing than I was, so she is better at trying new things than I was. But personality doesn't make an athlete.

So far we've tried soccer, ballet, swimming, basketball.

Last week she started tennis. She asked about gymnastics, but I was worried she may seriously hurt herself - plus its the wrong time of year - so we are going with tennis.

Tennis. A sport that requires you to pay attention to a ball. To put your bond in line with said ball, and hit it with a (relatively small racquet).

I know. Its just tennis. But if it was me out there, I'd probably come home with another broken ankle.

Cross your fingers. Cross your heart. Say a prayer. Knock on wood.

Whatever it is that you do when you need things to go your way, send a little of it our way, that BG's coordination will be better than mine and she will survive tennis.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Flashback Friday

Its Friday!!! And here in Raleigh it has been thinking about spring. Thinking about spring makes me think about summer. Thinking about summer makes me think about vacation. 'Da Beach. Flip-flops.

I wanna go now. I know my kids Big Girl want to go too. Her brother does not like the sand.

If I close my eyes and daydream just a bit my desk chair feels a bit like the sand and those horrible florescent office lights are warm and if I just kick off my shoes and stretch out my legs.... for sure someone will come in.

For sure y'all.

.... Yawn....

Makes me think about before Little Man was born. We could all go out on the beach at once back then. It would be nice. Simple. I could just sit there. Or lay there. Big Girl would be doing her independent thing in the sand or edge of the water.

One kids days were simpler days.

I love a good from the back picture.
Flash back.

Flash forward. The weekend is gonna be cray cray. Gotta stop and take it in. Or moments like these will be gone.

10 Things: Girly Edition

The other day I wrote about 10 random things that Little Man knows how to do or is fascinated by right now. I actually started writing the below post about Big Girl first, but decided to publish it second... I think you'll see why.

So, without further ado, here are 10 Things about Big Girl - in no particular order.

1. Reader. She is such the reader these days. She's gone through about 40 chapter books in the last month. More than one day. Since she was little, she's always enjoyed books. A few months back she got glasses and things have taken off. We have to take books away from her so she will go to bed some nights.

2. Serious Swimmer. I've written about her swimming adventures before, but let me tell you again. She is awesome in the pool. She's practicing three times a week lately putting in about a mile a practice. Seriously. How many kids her age can do that? I couldn't swim a mile if I had to.

3. Southern. We're in Raleigh. (Some people say that isn't in the south. They say you need to be in South Carolina, not North Carolina to be southern. I beg to differ.) She says Ma'am and Y'all and all sort of other southern things. If you missed this post from about a year ago, she also spells southern. She wore pearl earrings for a long time, saying they go with everything (without any input from me). She's said she wants another pair.

4. Baker. Now that she is seven, she can read a recipe and operate the Kitchenaid mixer. She can usually follow a recipe too. She's helped make every one of her birthday cakes, and loves doing it.

5. Awesome Sister. She loves helping her brother. Teaching him things. Putting his shoes on the wrong feet for him. Reading to him. Helping motivate him (a.k.a. shoving him into the bathroom to go pee when he hasn't gone in two hours so she can get Menchie's). Fantastic.

6. Speaks Spanish. Better than me. Better than most people I know. I take that back. Better than anyone I know that from anywhere other than her school. Its amazing. She's going to have such a leg up on life. I with I could speak Spanish like her. To top it off, her teachers say she has a beautiful accent. Almost native. Thanks teachers from Colombia and everywhere else in South America.

7. Loves to try new things. Poor kid got her athletic abilities from me. But, she has a great attitude and will try just about any activity. There have actually been a few we steered her clear of because we weren't sure they would work out. So far she's taken on soccer (for about two years), swimming, basketball and this week we are starting tennis.

8. Thinks that every shade of the same color go together. Super cute, but not the most flattering thing on this list. However, its one that makes me chuckle out loud just thinking of it. Just before Christmas she came downstairs one morning with an aqua twirly summer skirt, a pair of navy leggings for school, a light blue t-shirt and an aqua hoody. She's been known to snuggle up and watch What Not to Wear with me and is working on developing her own style. She's got a little further to go.

9. Loves Church. It makes me so happy to say this. She is a normal kid, and every once in a while will say she wants to stay in bed longer, or snuggle in on the couch on a Sunday morning. But most weekends she is excited to go  to church. Begs to go to Sunday school.