Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

double digits

 We have been parents for a decade now. 

 I can still remember the cautious way Tim drove home from the hospital that crisp Thanksgiving Day 10 years ago...careful to ensure our fragile new package arrived home safely.

Our lives had changed in an instant.
 A joyful and natural new purpose in life,  thanksgiving came easy.

I cherish the memories from those early days. 
Our sweet little family of 3, trying to figure it all out.

10 years later, we are still trying to figure it all out :)

And while I won't get all sappy Nat on you, my heart is struggling with the combination of my firstborn achieving double digits, and my now 2 year old baby, who is willingly walking on her own 2 feet... away from me, to keep up with the big kids.
Some birthday pics....

birthday spankings, naturally.

We had a good old fashioned birthday party/sleepover with 4 of his friends.

15 rounds of bingo and Halloween candy prizes was a success!

long time pals :)

 musical cushions is always a good time.

birthday buddies.

Some stats @ 10:
*Still loves legos, and will have a kit completed in about an hour.
*Still loves SuperMario Bros
*Math remains his favorite subject
*Enjoys reading, and is currently working his way through 39 Clues
Enjoys sports- soccer and football are his favorites
*Loves a good game of Risk or Monopoly, as long as he doesn't lose.
*Still loves organizing, trading and playing with his Pokemon cards
*Has a very active imagination
*At 10, he still doesn't like to play on his own. Good thing he has so many siblings :)

Happy Birthday Austin.  We love you!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

Project "get it done"

I keep a pretty exhaustive "to do" list.

Last spring, it felt like we were running everywhere. Soccer practice, homework, field trips, church activies, crying felt like I was always 1 step forward, 2 steps behind.

I can remember saying over and over soon as summer is here I'll start getting stuff done, and get on top of my game.  I figured we'd be home a lot more, and I could stay up into the wee hours of the morning getting things done, since I wouldn't have to be up early to get the kids on the bus.


By the first of July, I changed my tune.  Keeping a loose schedule, in order to enjoy all that summer had to offer left very little time alone....or energy for that matter. The little girls were notoriously awake... often just after I crawled into bed most nights, and my montra soon became "I will get this stuff done as soon as the big kids go back to school"

Ha to me again.

Now that crazy busy fall is wrapping itself up, I'm starting to get on top of things around here. I still can't manage to get the hot lunch order form right, but I am gaining control nonetheless. I always forget how crazy this time of year is. Like a flip of a switch you go from long lazy summer days, to trying to figure out when dinner will fit in.

Anyhow, one thing on my project list was to paint our bedroom furniture a nice blue color, and hang some wall stickers that have been collecting dust since my birthday last spring.

And aside from sewing up a few new pillows, I think I can succesfully check" bedroom" off my list. I'm pretty happy with the way it came together.

And that's all fine and dandy, but guess what??

While cleaning out my nightstand drawer, I stumbled upon this little piece of paper all folded up in the corner.

Our baby names list from 2001. 

Such a treasure to find  :)

Happy Friday all~

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Swallowing my pride

Remember that Seinfeld episode....the one where Jerry gets a letter from the libary saying he checked out the  "Tropic of Cancer" in 1971, and the book is now 20 years overdue with astronomical fines?

My life is turning into a Seinfeld episode.

And it's been a while since I told you a little story, so it's high time I'd say.  Soccer practice and sucks all the creativity out of me I tell you!

Okay, I suppose it all began tail end of summer vacation.

I was trying to keep the kids happy, so we headed to the local library.  We checked out more books than this mom could keep track of, and went on our merry way.  I checked a few for myself as in particular from one of my favorite inspirational fiction authors, that I surprisingly had yet to read.

We brought our new books home, and I spouted the "These books need to stay in the living room so we don't lose them!"  rules for good measure as I always do.

And I eagerly set out to read my new book.

As summer reading goes.... I would crawl into bed around midnight, grab my book and start reading.  I'd get a few pages under my belt...only to wake up an hour later, see the book had dropped to the floor, roll over to turn off the lamp, and continue sleeping.

I need a mindless, easy to pick back up where I left off again kind of read these days. 

And I had a real hard time getting into this particular book.  I've heard it's good, so I'm pretty sure it'sjust me and this season of life.

Anyhow, on with the story...

I finally gave up trying to read it, and on the way to soccer practice one evening earlier this fall,I grabbed that book, tossed it down the library drive-thu chute, and went on my way.

A few weeks later I recieved notice in the mail that the book was overdue. 

And like any good citizen does when they have too many other things to deal with, I ignored that little pink notice. Added to my pile of papers that annoy me, I wished it would just magically disappear.
Phone and cable problems, figuring out if we are getting hosed on medical bills....they suck all the Pollyanna out of my day.

Well, several weeks back, Stella was begging me to take her to the library.  She's a pretty persistant/insistant little gal, so I finally obliged.

When she was finally fulfilled with her library time, we gathered up the array of  pink princess and Dora books that she wanted, grabbed Ellery off the computer table, and I willed myself over to the check out counter... knowing full well I would have to face my annoyance.

Naturally, there was a hold on my account.  I explained to the librarian that I did indeed return the book in question. I know I dropped it down the chute, I told her over and over again.  Since I'm a familiar face at this small town library, she told me that she would still let me check books out, and she'd call the branch I returned it to... to see if it was misplaced.  I left the library certain my book would turn up, and the problem would go away.

Two days later, she called me at home to tell me that she had called around the other branches, and the book was still missing.  And the replacement cost for the book was $25.00.

Which is just crap I tell you.
The book can be purchased brand new on Amazon for $10.51, or used starting @ $.01. It's true, I checked.  And most certainly a library book would fall in the used category, right? Even brand new, it's a stretch. Ridiculous.

Anyhow, that's not the part that bothered me.  I was so stubbornly sure I returned that book, that I suggested that perhaps the library made a mistake. They're as human as I am, after all.  And why should I pay for a book that I was certain I returned? I sounded like my 3 year old, telling her how unfair it all was. The unjustice spewed out of me as I told her I wasn't paying for it.  It was a matter of principle, after all.

She then proceeded to tell me about the claims policy the library offers for these types of situations..

As it turns out, the library will issue a cardholder a once in a lifetime exemption on a library book. Library grace, if you will. You just file a claim, and wa-lah! It goes away.  I assesed this new info, did the math, and decided at the age of 35, it seemed like a safe option, right? Halfway to 70, I've made it 35 years without problems, surely I can make another 35 without snag, right?

She told me if the book turned up, I could still return it. But I assured her it wouldn't.

And I thought my libary troubles ended that day when I hung up the telephone.

A few weeks later, as I was doing a thorough living room cleanse, or rather, a frantic company is coming over type of cleaning, I found myself staring face to face with my library book.

I quickly dropped the defiled book down on the coffee table, like it was contaminated . A whole range of emotions rolling through me. I was so certain I was right, the book made me instantly angry.  I also wondered what book of mine I returned to the library.

And like any good self respecting mom of 5,  I decided then and there that there was no way I was going to admit to the library that I had found the book. I was so insistent the library lost it,  I would rather eat my once in a lifetime claim than swallow my pride and admit that I was wrong.

Well, the following afternoon I got another phone call from the library.  This time telling me I had accidentally returned Sydney's school library book to them...and I could come to the front desk and pick it up.

And I debated taking my new found scandalous book with me, to help clear my conscience... since it's clear I am already branded the library fool.

Back when I was pregnant with Austin, I noticed on my chart at the dr. an A+ written boldly in red pen on the front. "Wow!" I thought, secretly pleased with myself.  I knew I was a pretty decent patient, but really, how many patients earn an A+ status I thought.  Naturally I bragged to Tim about my good grade. It wasn't until I was pregnant with Sydney, when I noticed I once again earned an  A+,  that I also learned it was my blood type.  I was dashed, to say the least.

I envision a big set of question marks and frowny faces all over my virtual library account.

Well, I made my way to the library to pick up Sydney's book.  And I left the book of shame at home.  I couldn't do it. I couldn't admitt my failings.  With the 2 little girls in tow, we made our way to the counter to retrieve Sydney's book.  The librarian asked for my library card...not sure why she needed it, but I handed it over, begrudgingly.  And while the librarian was looking up my account, I handed Ellery a dum dum sucker from the huge jar sitting on the edge of the counter beckoning to her, because she was being kind of fussy.

Now is it just me, or when there is a large unmarked jar of dum dum suckers sitting on the edge of a counter for all the world to see, in a place where kids are's safe to assume they're for taking?  The, grocery store, the bank....dum dum suckers were created to keep kids happy while their parents take care of all things they'd rather not be doing.  That is the purpose of dum dum suckers.  It's there mission in keep kids and moms happy.

Well, the librarian peered at me over her computer, and told me I couldn't have a sucker, unless I filled out a questionaire.

And I was in no mood to fill out a questionaire.

So, I gave her my best "Are you for real, lady?" look, and promptly snatched the sucker back out of Ellery's hand and put it back in the jar.

And if you know my Elle, she didn't take too kindly to this. She lives for candy, and her screams could most likely be heard clear across the parking lot.  Unconsolable, I finally had to put her on the ground to roll around for a bit and kick, while she screamed and let her boogers and drool sink into the carpet. 

All eyes from every crevice of the libary were on me, I could feel it. But I didn't care.  The librarian finally retrieved my account and told me there was a problem.  Ha,  I smirked. Apparantly the claim had  yet to go through, my fine now doubled.

As I stood at the counter, crabby, picking up my eldest daughter's mis-returned book,  my 2 year old screaming on the floor, my dishevelled 3 year old with ketchup stains on her shirt dinking with the check out computer, discussing my fine, I thought  here's your chance to make it right.  Tell her you found the book.  After all, they already think you're a misfit.  What's there to lose?

But I couldn't dot it. The librarian told me she'd continue to look into my problem, gave me the book I came for, and we were on our way.

Long story short.  The claim finally went through, and the $$$'s disappeared from my account.  And I officially own my once in a lifetime claim. I've got 5 kids to carry me through my library book reading years if I get revoked, right? :) And the book in question has been sitting on my coffee table since the day I found it.  Staring at me.

It's pages now tainted,  there's a slim chance I will ever attempt to try to read it again. But never say never, right?  I've considered all my options... donating it to a local secondhand shop, keeping it on my bookshelf as a reminder of my delinquency, throwing it in the trash, giving it to a friend, burning it.....

In the end, I finally had the courage and calm yesterday, to do the right thing.
And I dropped that book back down the familiar chute.
I know I am now rightfully it's owner, but sending it back was my way of finally owning up to my faults.  And it felt good. 

And I think we will be going to a different library branch for awhile.

happy thursday all~

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

a motley crew

happy tuesday all~