Monday, November 15, 2010


Well, I've made the jump to Word Press. I'm still trying to figure it all out and get things up and running, so please bear with me. You can find me here:
Please change your readers to reflect the new blog address and come visit.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Stream of Consciousness

Two of my four kids do not eat cereal with milk. It boggles the mind, as Doug and I both grew up eating cereal with milk. Granted, we didn't grow up eating the SAME kinds of cereal. I ate Cheerios, Rice Krispies, Raisin Bran~you know, the "good for you" cereals, while Doug ate things like Froot Loops, Sugar Smacks, etc. Annie and Izzie love their bowls of Cheerios or Kix with milk. The other two, well they're content to eat dry cereal. Weird.


My kids call me Moomie (or Moomers). I really have no idea why, but it's stuck. Izzie is currently standing next to me singing "Moomie" to the tune of "Twinkle Twinkle". Kids. They're strange.


Did you know that Thanksgiving is two weeks from today? My kids have no school for the entire Thanksgiving week. I'm pretty sure that someone's head will roll for that scheduling plan. I keep saying that I'm going to start writing down my Thanksgiving meal plan so I can start purchasing what I need, but as of today that hasn't happened. I'm not even sure how many people are coming to my house Thanksgiving Day for dinner.  I do know that I may be trying The Pioneer Woman's Green Bean Casserole though because that is MY favorite dish and her modern version looks delish. Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving dish?

I tend to pick an author and read every single thing that he or she has written. Case in point-Kathy Reichs. She created Temperance Brennan, which the tv series Bones is based upon. I purchased the first 10 books and plowed through them in record time (obsess much?) before I reigned in my spending and got the other books via inter-library loan. The latest book is waiting for me to pick up tomorrow and I'm
ridiculously excited. Sometimes I pick an author to read and then get stuck with my choices. Take Isabel Allende for instance. I found her in college by shelving one of her books while I was working at the library, checked it out and fell in love. But then a couple of her books were really slow moving and I lost interest. Those books sit on my bookshelf, taunting me because they were the books I just couldn't finish.

Current debate in our house~what to get the kids for Christmas when they already have so much stuff that they don't appreciate/play with/take care of. Of course since all four of them have birthdays in the 30 or so days following Christmas (yes, I know, I didn't plan that well AT ALL) we need to consider that when we purchase Christmas gifts. We are leaning toward giving a "family gift" plus their stockings and calling it good. They have grandparents and aunts/uncles who give them awesome gifts too so maybe the less-is-more approach is the way to do it. We've always gone a bit overboard I think with our gift giving for the kids, so taming it will be a) good and b) difficult. How do you handle things in your house? Do you give lots of gifts, or a big gift and some smaller items?

I spent the day a couple of Saturdays ago with two really great friends, laughing, eating, scrapbooking. The day flew by, as good days always do. I realized when I headed home that night that I need more days like that~more days with friends who make me laugh, more days to just sit and be ME, more days to relax and have fun instead of running here and there. We realized that it had been almost a year since the three of us sat down together and vowed that we wouldn't let it go that long again. That's a vow I intend to keep.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Where the heck did October go? It's November 5th already! Yikes. I thought I'd just do some photos of what we've been up to in the last few weeks.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Busy is as busy does

Life here has been busy. I remember rejoicing at all the free time I'd gain when the girls started preschool, but that hasn't materialized much. I've been so swamped that I'm taking next week off from school volunteering, appointments and such and taking 6 much needed hours to myself to regroup.

Drew started soccer for the first time through our district's recreation department. He LOVES it. Turns out he's a bit of a natural at it. Natural like scoring 7 goals in his game Saturday while neither Doug nor I were there to see it! Yikes. He has boundless energy so soccer is a good fit because quite frankly, the boy can't sit still and running around for an hour somewhere other than inside my house is good for him.  He is really enjoying kindergarten. His class if full of little blond boys with crew cuts like his and it's pretty funny to look at. I'm anxious to hear what his teacher says at his conference next week. I've volunteered in his class twice and chaperoned the field trip to make fairy houses and to me, he's taken to school quite well.

Doug and I are sharing director duties for our hockey organization.  We're in charge of over 100 kids and their placement in the program. We're also in charge of the coaches and their certifications. The last couple of weeks have been non-stop hockey preparation. There are currently 7 boxes of hockey jerseys courtesy of Tim Horton's in my living room. Our season opened this past weekend and while it was an enormous amount of work we were both pleased with how well it all went off. Meg helped out on the ice for Drew's hockey session and she surprised us with how well she was skating. I'm looking forward to seeing her on the ice with her team Friday night at her first practice of the season.

Speaking of Meg, she is loving 4th grade so far. We have her school conference today and I'm anxious to hear what her teacher has to say. She is in a reading class separate from her regular class with kids at her own reading level and she's enjoying that. She is taking keyboard lessons again and despite not much playing over the summer has really improved. I look at her and am amazed at how grown up she is getting. Literally and figuratively. She's almost 5 feet tall! She wears my sneakers! What's next, my clothes?

Annie and Izzie are loving preschool. They have a couple of friends that they spend lots of time with and love doing their art projects. We knew they'd love it there after spending 3 years shuttling Drew there. There have been no tears at drop off and while they have a great time they're quite excited to see me when I return to pick them up. We're taking a field trip to the farm across the street from Meg's school tomorrow and that is always fun. 

I've been spending more time in my car than I can remember since we moved here. My dad fell and broke his arm (which if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you are already aware) and despite surgery to put an 8 inch plate and screws in his arm is doing quite well. He started physical therapy last week and is improving daily. I'm frustrated that I can't help my parents out more even though I only live 20 minutes away. I can't imagine how my brother feels as he lives in Massachusetts. My in-laws are angels and are taking my dad to and from his appointments this week so that my mom can work.

So that's where I've been. What about you?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The One Where I Got a Brazilian

(Get yer dirty minds out of the gutter. Like I would EVER tell ANYONE if I got a Brazilian)

This past weekend was Doug's 18th anniversary of his 21st birthday (i.e. he's older than me!) AND our 12th wedding anniversary, so we decided, being such romantics at heart, to combine the events and go out to dinner. I had to find us a babysitter since all three of ours had the nerve to go to college, but we found an old babysitter of ours (love Facebook) and she came to watch the kids so we could go out.

We pretty much stick to what we know and go to the same places for our anniversary~our favorite pizza place, our favorite fancy restaurant~so this year we looked for something different. A colleague of Doug's mentioned that he went to this new steakhouse on the waterfront in Portland. He said it was a fixed price dinner, all you can eat, and that he loved it. So, we decided to try it out.

Gauchos is a Brazilian steakhouse and holy cow (no pun intended) did it live up to the ravings. You get to place a card on your table with either the green side up (meaning "please keep bringing me food until I absolutely burst") or the red side (meaning "oh my god so much food in mah belly I may die"). We got offered steak, pork, turkey, chicken, more steak (oh my the steak was yummy), sausage. The salad bar was enormous but I only ate a little because I'd heard about all the delicious meats we were going to be eating and I needed room. We even saved room for dessert and Starbucks coffee. It was a really great dinner, despite the absolutely obnoxious man at the table next to us who was louder ALL BY HISSELF than the 2 large groups in the tables behind him. We happen to have a knack for being seated near really obnoxious people no matter where we go. It's a gift I tell you.

So while I'll never tell you if I got a Brazilian, I will definitely tell you that my Brazilian dinner was fab. Here's to another 12 years Doug!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Like Swirling Bubbles

Earlier today I was outside with Annie and Izzie, standing on our front lawn and blowing bubbles. The girls love to watch me try to blow really big bubbles and then chase them and catch them with their hands, face, even tongues. It's windy out though, so most of the bubbles whipped around the girls and then swirled upwards toward the sky.  While I stood there watching the bubbles swirl around and around, I realized that lately, my days feel all swirly and crazy, just like the frenzied bubbles.

We're not into any sort of routine here yet. While Drew and Meg are on their third week of school (albeit only their first FULL week), Annie and Izzie have only been to school for two mornings. Some days all the kids are up before I am (and I get up at 6:15ish). Some days it's 7am and I'm getting Meg up so that we can make the 8:10 bus at the end of our driveway. Some days Doug is home long enough in the morning to help get breakfast for 4 on the table and he puts together lunches for Meg and Drew while I lay out clothes so that kids remember to put on fresh undies and don't try to put on socks that are too small or wear pants that are high-waters. Some days he's out the door just as I come downstairs and then it's an hour  or so of kids demanding every last bit of attention I can muster without coffee in my system.

Then there's a sort-of reprieve during the day. Meg and Drew get on the bus (or I deliver them to a school to catch a bus-Meg-and head into school-Drew) and then I either take Annie and Izzie to school or we just come back to the house for more coffee and snacks/play/tv/fighting/play/fighting/lunch/fighting. You get the drift.

Then 3:45 rolls around and the bus drops off Meg and Drew and the frenzied bubble action starts all over again. The kids fight for attention to tell me about their day, Drew has a meltdown because he can't go to a friend's house/have friends come over/smack his sisters. You get the drift. It's exhausting. I want so much to give them all undivided attention but I am one person and they are too many and it's just not possible. I've tried giving them each time to tell me about their days but they interrupt each other and there's just the general chaos that goes along with parenting four kids. Not to mention needing to make dinner or dealing with laundry or checking homework or all that other crap that you have to contend with as an adult.

I don't like the swirly, frenzied feeling. I much prefer being the bubble that floats along evenly in the sky. I prefer calm. I prefer quiet. Of course then I went and birthed four kids and that kind of all went out the window. By the end of the day I am so beat that doing anything other than putting on jammies and sitting my butt on my couch is seriously out of the question. It's not what I want. It's not how I want to feel. I want to enjoy the frenzy, at least some of the time. I want to be able to remember these days in a good light, not in the "ohgoodlordwillthiseverendandwhycan'ttheyjustbequietforfivewholeminutes" way that I'm feeling now.

But today I guess I'll watch the girls play outside in the dirt and get the big kids off the bus and try to breathe in and out when the bubbles go swirling through my house and make a good dinner and try to remember that I have it very, very good.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Finding Time

I had not-quite three hours to myself yesterday while Annie and Izzie were at preschool. It was the first time since Drew was born 5 1/2 years ago that I didn't have a child in my house during the school day (not counting days when Doug is home and takes them out with him; you know what I mean). Because it was my first "free" day I didn't schedule a dentist appointment or run any errands other than the post office. I didn't arrange coffee with a couple of the other preschool moms I've known for a few years; I just wanted to be in my house and see how it felt to be taking back a little of my life.

Don't get me wrong. I love my kids. I would do anything for them. But as my daily existence is so completely intertwined with what THEY eat and THEY watch and THEY read and THEY do that I have gotten pushed to the side. My blogging time, for example, is so limited because a)it requires some brain power, b)I am constantly interrupted when I try to write or think and c)did I mention needing brain power? I can't tune out the kids when they are here so more often than not, I don't blog. Twitter on the other hand, is easier for me to manage while constantly being interrupted.

Doug called me while I was sipping coffee and asked me what I was going to do while the girls were in school. I told him "nothing". I had emptied the trash and uploaded some photos that I took of the girls yesterday, but other than that, I hung out at my computer. It was nice to actually READ a blog post instead of  getting halfway through it and needing to feed a child/wipe a bottom/break up a fight. I wasn't lonely and I wasn't sad. I was just me and it felt so good.

Once we get into the routine of the girls going to school twice a week, then I'll do more things. I'll be volunteering in Drew's class on one of those days every other week. I can go to the dentist without taking the kids with me. I can clean if I want or edit photos or scrapbook. I can read a book. I can do those things that I never find the time for while the kids are racing around the house at warp speed (like right now). I'm looking forward to a better balance of me and Mama. I think I've earned it.