Monday, December 29, 2008

Ice Skating

I mopped the floors to celebrate our puppy finding a new home. Layla discovered that she could glide around in her socks after I did that. This spring I'm enrolling her into dance classes because she cannot keep her feet still. We watched the new Muppet Christmas special this year and every time they broke into song, Layla broke into dance. This is her favorite activity recently, singing and dancing in a circle:

video

P.S. Layla got her own digital camera as a bday present so look for blog posts by Layla coming soon!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas!!

Where does the time go? Lordy, I don't' know how my mom survived with a job, three toddlers and two teenagers back in the day. It's two days before Christmas and we have yet to wrap a single present OR even get our tree up!! It's so so sad. Between hospital visits, birthday parties, Christmas parties, and plays I've done very little to prepare for this wonderful holiday and it saddens me. I mean, I've only watched A Christmas Story once and haven't even touched It's a Wonderful Life! It's a crime!!

Here's what we have been doing lately:
Visiting Santa Claus!
Chuck did a painting for his dad for Christmas. It came out beautifully! Of course I forgot to take a photo of the finished product but here's the work in progress:
We celebrated Christmas a bit early with Chuck's dad since they are in Puerto Vallarta this week (lucky dogs!) Layla was actually happy that she got this Disney Princess Calendar but not that I wanted to take a picture of it.
Mia's class had a small holiday party at school. They sang Raffi's "Must Be Santa" which was awesome since when my siblings were much younger, we hear that song ad nauseum. I actually started singing along by reflex until Chuck elbowed me in the ribs. So I let the kids have the glory.

video

I love the snapping.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!!

I need a nap.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Hooked on Phonics worked for me!

Mia is really getting into reading and writing. It's amazing to watch your children develop, just one of many things that makes parenting worth all the trials. Watching her sound out difficult words and putting them together to read sentences, read books. It's awesome.
The girls received some early Christmas presents from her great grandparents on Chuck's side. They were in town for Thanksgiving and wanted to see them opened. One was a little Disney Princess (of course) diary. Side note - I promise to try really hard to NOT be one of those parents that reads their kids diaries but I think at age 5 it's not yet considered an invasion of privacy.

She has as of yet just written one page and then gave up because she was tired of trying to figure out how to spell things. She created a title page for her new diary and her title is this:

Printsess Slepnge Byoode
(translation: Princess Sleeping Beauty)
10 points for creativity! The kid's got the greatest imagination.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Words that should be 4 letters

Tumor is just about the scariest thing a doctor can say. It is second only to Cancer. I am lucky to have a "benign" tumor. Although the definition of benign is "of a gentle disposition". I have to disagree with that and find a new adjective for the angiomyolypoma that has made a home in my kidney. Little 3 cm masses that rupture, bleed, and make you want to die from the pain are anything but gentle.
Today I feel ok. Ok is only due to a nice orange bottle full of percosets.

But there is a silver lining to the dark cloud. While I am incapacitated, my husband has been amazing. He even pushed me around the supermarket in a wheelchair while we waited on my prescription to be ready. He's done laundry, read to the girls, put them to bed, and has just about waited on me hand and foot. I have wonderful friends and family that have been so supportive. I am truly blessed. So I just wanted to say thanks to everyone in my life. I love you all!

Friday, December 5, 2008

It's Christmas Ryan!

It's that time of year. The Christmas season is my favorite! I adore Christmas music and driving through neighborhoods looking at the lights and decorations people put up. Until recently, my favorite Christmas CD was Muppet Christmas with John Denver. It's nostalgic and wonderful. I used to put it in my walkman and fall asleep to it when I was a kid as I cuddled up to my stuffed Santa (which I still have and put out every year!) Now, my favorite, my mom's favorite, my sister Erin's favorite and my brother Ryan's least favorite in the whole world is the five CD set by Sufjan Stevens. Ryan might have liked it at first but since it has become the staple of mom's Christmas listening, he has been overwhelmed by the soothing sounds and they have become nails on a chalkboard to the poor boy. Me, I have it on repeat on my office computer and I never tire of it. How can you not love this?


Merry Christmas to all my friends, family, and internet readers!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Houston, we are go for poop

One of the most daunting tasks of parenting is potty training. It is frustrating and messy. I made the decision to stop fooling around with the pull ups already and get down to business on the long holiday weekend. Why didn't I try this sooner?! Layla took to it almost immediately. Seriously, one day of accidents (thank you GOD the one at my in-law's was outside!) and she was all into being a big girl! She argues about wearing a pull up to bed but I draw the line on washing sheets more than 3 times in a week! Not to get all graphic but going number 2 is a bit difficult for the little ones. Layla seemed to wait until she got her nap diaper to go. My dear, loving husband found this out the hard way. We had just sat down to dinner and she said she had to go. I, luckily, was trapped in bench seating and he was at the head seat so he got up to help her. He took her to the bathroom, yanked her diaper down and *plop*, a nice present landed in his hand! For all the mothers out there you know what a moment this is! This is retribution for all the stinky diapers and throw up and runny noses we have ever had to clean up. I could barely choke out a "sorry honey" as the tears rolled down my face.
She has since mastered that aspect and though she still has an accident here and there, they are getting fewer and farther between and I am proud to say that I bought my last package of diapers!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Hi, remember me?

I'm the girl with the blog. I've been busy/lazy and not updating for - jeebus - one month! Sorry to my loyal 3 readers. Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I missed my VA family as I nommed on dry turkey and strange yellow gravy. It tasted right but looked off. However, yellow gravy does not top the myserious green potatoes of '89. I can eat yellow gravy, I could not find it within myself to sample Nana's potatoes.

In the time between now and my last blog. We've been busy! The girls enjoyed trick-or-treating very much!

We went to a neighborhood that goes all out for the holiday and though many houses scared the crap out of poor Layla, many were like this Hollywood home - very cool! There was a Wizard of Oz house that was handing out full tins of hot chocolate mix. It was a lot of fun. Although Layla still complains about the monsters to this day.

In other news, they are preparing for Santa's arrival by studying toy catalogues and asking for different things everyday. Chuck prepared by cashing in extra leave hours and buying a huge a$$ TV! I have to admit, it is an awesome television and we have enjoyed it immensly. Especially when LOTR came on this weekend and Aragon was in 42" of high def!

So, we are all still alive and well. I will leave you with a Mia-ism. Last night we were driving home from my father-in-law's and Mia asked, "Mommy & Daddy, can you get me & Layla some stock bonds?"

Friday, October 31, 2008

Anything Can Happen on Halloween!

Before Hogwarts, there was Miss Cackle's. Before Malfoy, there was Ethel. Before Snape there was Miss Hardbroom and before Harry Potter, there was Mildred Hubble - The Worst Witch. This was an HBO made for TV movie starring Fairuza Balk, Tim Curry, and the lady from Facts of Life who plays both the head mistress and her evil twin with a southern accent. See an 11 minute recap of the movie here (Megan, you must watch it!) My family watched this so many times when I was a kid and I had forgotten all about it until stumbling across a clip yesterday. It is that clip which I will post here for your viewing please and can be described only as Harry Potter on PCP.


HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Blisters don't require Chemo

I've thought long and hard about what to say in this post. Everytime I've tried to describe this past weekend, I cry. My family and I walked 39 miles in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Charlotte, NC. It was the hardest thing I've ever done both physically and emotionally. So instead of recounting the 2 days, I'm going to write to you about how to best support the walkers in your area.

  • Check the Avon Walk site for dates and locations. There may be a walk in your area; 2009 dates are already announced!
  • While honking at the walkers shows great support, please be sure to do it early on day 1. If it is late afternoon, those walkers are too tired to wave back at you and too tired to care that you're honking.
  • The Avon site will list the different cheer stations along the walkers' route. The absolute best thing you can do is go to one of those stations and cheer those walkers on! Many people had candy (the chocolates were life savers!) and signs and water.
  • If you've sponsored a specific person, get the name of their team and make posters for them. The regular fans were good but the family & friends who had Team T-Mar signs just made our day!
  • Please don't tell us we're almost there until we're actually almost there. There are mile markers, we know where we are and mile 5 isn't anywhere close to "almost there".
  • Now, I am not one to condone rule breaking BUT if a friend or family member were to sneak an alcoholic beverage or two into the camp site for a walker, I would venture to guess that it would be the best beer that walker had in a long time!

To Tricia!

To support the Avon Foundation and get something in return, please visit Reebok and Avon to purchase Pink items benefitting this great cause!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Why I should have been a high school education major

My friend Emily is a college English professor. One of her grad students is currently doing her student teaching and assigns the kids to use their vocabulary words in sentences. Then she shares the sentences with her college class and Emily consequently shares them with us. And I think our friend Angel put it best "I love this so much I could hug it."

If I'm in church and I'm feelin the lord I tenacious someone's hand.
Communism permeated in China a long time ago.
Billy Bob feed his chickens with notoriety.
Everyone has to get a tantamount of food.
My girl has a special place that she go hackneyed.
I couldn't tell that one my aunt was pregnant because she's socorpulent as it is.
My mum and I are completely incompatible, we're like day & night at the same place & time.
The cold permeates through my jacket like a hot knife through butter.
Incompatibility is impossible on eHarmony.com.
I'm in the retard class, and we only know the rudimentary skills ofgrammar.
Before the man was hung, he was thinking on how tenacious the ropeholding him was.
Just by looking at it, you could tell the greased up pig was very elusive.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Justice

When I was 5 or 6 years old my mother made us memorize If I Had A Hammer by Peter, Paul, and Mary. No, this was not as punishment. It was to be sung by us as we marched in the annual 4th of July Parade in my Grandma's neighborhood. We had sandwich board signs with lines of the chorus written on them. To this day I can sing the whole thing and I am not proud of that but it always brings me joy as the nostalgia comes rushing in.

Today Mia asked me what "justice" means. So I explained it and she was like, "how do you use it in a sentence because we sang a song about it today?" I asked what song and could she sing it and she said, "I don't remember but it's about a hammer. I hammer justice." And OH. MY. GOD. My daughter knows If I Had A Hammer.

We proceeded to belt that MFer out and as I just mentioned. I still know all of it. It was a moment very few can appreciate (hello Megan & Steve) but is the stuff of parental legend! As my cousin Shane would say, that is some justice!

P.S. I am developing quite the lyrical crush on her music teacher. She has come home singing Yellow Submarine and the theme to Happy Days. When I was a kid, I learned Hot Cross Buns on the recorder.

Psychic Daughter: Part 3

Mia keeps displaying her amazing talents of clairvoyance. Please enjoy this conversation after a recent jewelry class she is taking at school:

Mia: I don't know why the teacher didn't get mad that I didn't do a pattern
Me: Well, you don't have to do a pattern, it's ok to do whatever you want; it's your necklace.
Mia:But she said to do the beads in a pattern but when she looked at mine, she didn't say anything.
Me:How about next week you make a pattern?
Mia: No, Layla doesn't like patterns
Me: How do you know that?
Mia: I can read her mind.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Foto Friday

A couple of weeks ago, my sister was in town. She's started a tradition of taking a photo of herself w/ my girls on each visit. They LOVE it!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

More love for fall

Another thing to add to my list of fall loves - the sunsets. During Mia's soccer practices, Layla and I take walks around the soccer field. Last night I had to take her picture while the sun was setting. The lighting was just too perfect to resist!

The overalls she is wearing were a battle. They're pants. Layla didn't want to wear pants, she wanted to be a princess. So when the snaps came undone and I tried to fix them, she started yelling "No, don't fix them - I'm a princess!" Even at bedtime, I undid all the crotch snaps to change her diaper (come ON potty training!) and she insisted that not only do I leave them undone to give the illusion of them being a dress and thereby being worthy of a princess but that she wear the outfit to bed so she could sleep as a princess. I felt mildly justified this morning to see that she had shed them at some point during the night. Rogue snaps aren't so comfortable for princesses.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Real Housewives

So something made me turn the channel to watch The Real Housewives of Atlanta. My only defense is that I live in Atlanta (well, just north of) and I love seeing places I know well on TV. This was a bad idea but now I've become the victim of the insipid "plot" and ensuing drama. This show bugging the every living crap out of me and I can't stop watching. This is what happens when my husband works late. This is what he is driving me to do! The shame!

A few notes, if you will indulge me:

Mrs. Snow - yes, I pay so little attention I have no idea what your first name is. Also, you and your NBA star hubby have the most annoying habit of calling each other Mr. & Mrs. Snow. GAG
First, she claims to have worked personally with a designer (all the way from California - oooh). Cue instant classic sound bite from designer "She worked with me for about 3 hours so they really don't know what they're about to enter". That sounds a bit ominous, doesn't it? Mrs. Snow's first task - hiring help. I knew it would be bad when the tour included the subtitle "Chef's Kitchen". Her list of staff included Governess and Nanny. AND. Nanny. Seriously. I understand your husband travels a lot and you are mostly a single parent. I sympathize. You do not need two staff members dedicated to taking care of your three kids when you already have a personal chef and maids among other redundant employees. Later in the show they show her interviewing a personal something who is making arrangements for her family to visit. She says her duties include welcoming the guests and offering to unpack for them. For the homeowner's own family! I think I threw up a bit in my mouth at that point. God Bless Mr. Snow for rolling his eyes at the extent this woman was going to to be "accomodating" to houseguests and if looks could kill, she would have shot him down in a nanosecond.

NeNe - "she's real fun" I'm sorry, I can't say much about her because her cleavage is way too distracting to pay attention to anything she does. But I can say this - a nine year old should NOT. Shoul NOT be given $1,000 to "invest" for his birthday. He should not even know the meaning of the word. He's obviously already a brat considering how he berated his mom for not lookin at him. NeNe is the drama, that much is clear.

Kim - "a black girl trapped in a white girl's body". Kim begins the show by writing a check for a $68,000 Escalade. This is courtesy of her sugar daddy boyfriend "Big Papa" who is too famous to be mentioned or seen apparently. Kim had to have a dress altered on the day of a huge party and so met her designer at a Shell station to pick it up. Because she did not want any gas station bathroom germs, she changed right there in the parking lot as NeNe and said designer shielded her with a garment bag and coat. Class-y!

Lisa - Half black, half Chinese, married to a Falcon's player. They have a state of the art home gym and a bowling alley in their basement so I got nothin' but love for them. Carry on. She and her hubby are pretty much adorable and so far (SO FAR) she does not annoy me. She picked her outfit out of her closet rather than hiring a personal designer to style her look for the big party. I like Lisa.

Shereé - Snob and a half. Drama may follow NeNe but it is initiated by Shereé. She has a Creative Director on her staff. Directing the creatity of her life perhaps? He needs to work harder. When told when NeNe was not on her guest list she waxes shocked for about 10 seconds before turning to a woman next to her and exclaiming "Oh, your lashes look good!" Then she sent her PR girl to apologize for her. Double Gag! And let me not forget to mentino her obvious name dropping when she points out that her personal assistant is Evander Hollyfield's daughter. Triple Gag.

Episode 2 is starting right now, I'm not sure I have the stomach for it. Stay tuned to see how I faired.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Mia: Mommy you know the book about the boy and the sheep with the wolf?
Me: Yes
Mia: He said there was a wolf and they didn't believe him but there was a wolf!
Me: They didn't believe him because he kept lying right?
Mia: Right.
Me: So you see how when you tell me everyday that you're sick but not really sick I don't want to believe you when you are really really sick?
Mia: Yes.
Me: So you're not going to tell me if you're sick anymore unless you really are very sick, right?
Mia: Right. Mommy?
Me: Yes?
Mia: My tummy hurts.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Wackadoo Wednesday - getting you over the hump


My favorite time wasters: (in no particular order)

1. Pogo - solitaire on steroids
2. Dooce
3. Cake Wrecks
4. Facebook
5. Jennifer Eolin's Project Runway Blogs - you'll never watch the show the same way again!
6. Go Fug Yourself
7. Abdpbt
8. Smitten Kitchen - the best food porn you can get for free
9. LOL Cats - I admit it, I love them, they're adorable and make me laugh
10. Frezned - Adorable and funny and a cute accent

Happy time wasting!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fall!


This is my favorite season. The weather is cool, the trees are gorgeous, and the holidays start creeping up on you. It's the perfect time of year. This weekend we're going apple picking. It's becoming a tradition for us. This will be the third time for me & Mia and second for Chuck & Layla. We drive up towards the GA mountains to get to the orchards so the scenery is perfection.
What I also love about this season is that every afternoon when I step outside my office to go home, I can hear the high school marching band practicing. Then I crunch all the acorns that fell around my car while at work. I actually get disappointed if I don't step on a least one intact acorn. The sound and feel of it crushing under my foot is exhilarating.
And then there's the baking. I've already made some amazing apple cinnamon cupcakes and I can't wait to start baking with pumpkin. Cinnamon & nutmeg smells - bring on the cozy!
What's your favorite part of fall?

Monday, October 6, 2008

I Wii, You Wii, We Wii!

We had my family over for dinner last night since my sister was in town from VA. I decided to introduce her to Rock Band and Mia insisted that she teach her auntie how to hula hoop on the Fit. We haven't played with the Fit in over a month with the girls and I had forgotten how addicting it is. At 7am this morning they were both begging to hula hoop and yoga. Mia loves the yoga and I can't figure out why since I can barely tolerate yoga and only do it because I know it's good for me and I need to improve my posture and muscle tone.

So this morning we Wii'd until it was time for school. Layla is not heavy enough to hula hoop; it doesn't read her movements. So she just mimics on the side.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Hello Everybody!

This is a clip from Mia's first concert. She was so excited about it and I was thrilled that Chuck, who perpetually works late, was able to come see it too. Especially since when she spotted me in the sea of parents, she mouthed "Daddy?" I can't tell you the relief I had in being able to point at the spot next to me where he sat holding Layla up to see (we were in the last row, I love my camera's zoom) And since I haven't posted anything in over a week, it's more than appropriate to play for you the song entitled "Hello Everybody" Enjoy and have a great weekend!

video

Friday, September 26, 2008

The things we do for the one we love

My husband is one of the pickiest people I have ever known. It's not just about food, it's everything, what he watches, activities he does, trips he takes. It has gotten to the point that if I suggest something and he agrees with it, I have to stop a moment and check if I'm awake. Lately I've been badgering him about lotion. I have lots of lotions and he complains about the smell of them. All of them, except my mango scented one. So I've given him a mission of finding something he enjoys the scent of so I can buy some and wear it so as not to offend his sensitive nose. He once got so upset at the movies he wouldn't let me share his popcorn anymore because my arm had to go near him which meant he had to smell me. The horror! I solved that by snatching the popcorn and making him reach for it.
Anywho. The other day he called me from the office to say that he found a lotion he liked the smell of. It was someone's birthday and she had gotten some Pink lotion by Victoria Secret and he actually liked it. I got so excited. Tomorrow we have a date night, so I got inspired and went to Vicky's on my lunch break to buy some of this fabulous lotion.
Right now I have a headache and feel a bit nauseous. The smell is awful. I just put a little bit on. A tiny dollop. It smells like someone has drowned me in perfume. And I've washed my hands. Twice. It's awful. I'm praying he really does like this stuff so it is worth it. But I kind of hope I bought the wrong stuff. How could he like this smell? But if it's wrong, I just threw away $20. For lotion!
When I was in college the years were divided; odd graduating years were Red Devils, even years, Pink Panthers. As a member of the Class of '99, I celebrated Red. And as we chanted this to the rival classes, I never realized that one day I would take it so literally but Pink Stinks!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Mentalist

In the car yesterday Mia was making a very strange face. Like she was concentrating very hard on smelling something awful. Then she explained her face and I think she may be a genius in the making:

Mia: When I make this face I am reading people's minds.
Me: Can you read my mind?
Mia: I'm doing it now.
Me: Ok, what am I thinking??
Mia makes crazy face and stares at my head
Me: Do you know?
Mia: Yes, I'm reading your mind in my mind.
Me: Can you read it out loud?
Mia: No, I can't tell you.
Me: Why not?
Mia: Because you already know what it is.

Look out David Blaine.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wackadoo Wednesday - the mother of all Wackadoos

A few weeks ago my husband and I came across an estate sale. Isn't it everyone's dream to find some amazing thing at a sale like this? You know the legends of people finding Rembrandt's and buying them for $1 and then selling them at an auction for millions. It's like a treasure hunt. At this particular estate sale, there was a whole shelf of old books, mostly cookbooks and craft books. On that shelf I found a treasure. This treasure is "Decorating Cakes for Children's Parties" by Polly Pinder. It has a copyright date of 1984. When I picked it up my husband asked "that's for your mom right?" since she does all the cakes for our kids' birthdays. I was like, sure, yeah, for mom. Then I opened it. Readers, I can not let this book go. It is too awesome in it's ridiculousness and I love it. Please note the title again before I reveal what was behind the old, tattered cover. Pay special attention to "for Children's Parties." These cakes are intended to be enjoyed by people under the age of 12. Which is why I was quite baffled to see this:

That's a soap dish. Soap. Really? That's the best you can come up with for a kid. What kid in the world would request a cake in the shape of a soap dish? Did they really like bathing that much? Polly's description of this cake says "[this] can be given to the young person who is constantly being told by members of the family not to spend all her/his life in the bathroom". Because that's what kids want on their special day - to be nagged some more by their parents.

But maybe your child is a sports buff. Your son requests a football cake and you go all out to create the coolest, most awesome football cake your son has ever seen!

OH NO! Johnny's been killed. Both teams are baffled. The cheerleaders are devastated. I think some people in the stands are crying. Was there no other pattern of players to put on this cake? Like a touchdown being scored or some other positive aspect of the game.

This book was created in England, so of course, there are children there who would request a cake with a Cricket scene. This child doesn't really like Cricket, just the idea of Cricket. He wanted a cake but not with people playing. He wanted people angry. Angry that they couldn't play because their game had been rained out. Again. I mean, what doesn't say "Happy Birthday" like a bunch of cranky Brits? And I really don't want to know how she got the liquid metallic puddles on the field. I hope she's not feeding her children mercury.

Some kids are more into literature than sports. So for them we have some classic Nursery Rhyme cakes. Remember the old lady who lived in a shoe? Well one day she finally figured out what to do - she went on a rampage and killed all her children!Well, maybe it's just a really stinky shoe. At any rate, we can definitely deduce that she cannot afford to clothe them. Poor stinky, naked children.

This cake is just, well, it's, um, I really have no words for it other than EW.

That's a very frighteningly realistic steak you got there. Is it just me or would biting into that thing feel like a psychological experiment, like that trick where you put an apple under someone's nose and then make them bite an onion and ask them what it tastes like.

At this point, I'm really beginning to worry about Ms. Polly Pinder. Her description on the book jacket says that she is a graphic artist and has designed bed linen and wallpaper. Why is this lady designing cakes for kids? She seems more interested in mind torture on their special day. Along with the dreaded soap cake above, she appears to enjoy mocking them. This final example of her work she describes as follows:
"This is specifically for the child who constantly frowns at the request to polish his shoes. A very young child might not understand (or might even be a little hurt) by the cake, but an older child of 12 or 13 with a sense of humor, will appreciate the message."
They're going to need a sense of humor and the thick skin of a rhino to be able to appreciate this monstrosity:

Shine your shoes you little brat! Happy Friggin' Birthday.

For more cake disasters, check out one of my favorite blogs Cake Wrecks.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Doggy Do's and Doggy Don'ts


On Saturday we watched the UGA Bulldogs triumph over the Arizona State somethings. I don't pay that much attention really. But I put on a good front, wear my 'G' hat and deck the girls out in cute Dawg paraphernalia. On the way to the restaurant to watch the game, Mia & I tried to teach Layla the cheer for when the Dawgs kick off (or is it when they are receiving? I really should pay more attention.....) The cheer is "GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DAWGS! SICK 'EM! WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF WOOF!" It's pretty awesome coming from a toddler. Layla wasn't getting it, she kept skipping the "sick 'em" part and going straight for the barking and who can blame her really? It is the most fun part when you think about it. When all of a sudden her eyes lit up and I thought, "she's got it!" She looked at me and started singing "Who let the dogs out? Woof, woof woof woofwoof!" Oh. Crap. How does she even know that song?! So that got Mia singing it and I was stuck with the world's worst ear worm! Until Chuck got to the car and gave me this:

Friday, September 19, 2008

Foto Friday

OMG the weather has been unbelievably gorgeous this week! We went out and bought some sidewalk chalk to celebrate and Mia created her own version of hopscotch - this one goes to 12, that's even better than 11.

Layla spent her evening blowing dandelions.

Monday, September 15, 2008

'Tis the Season

In our family, the season is SOCCER! I, for one, am taking the season off and enjoying it immensely. I never knew how enjoyable sitting back and watching could be. I even read an entire chapter of a real book during Mia's practice last week. A. Whole. Chapter. But I'm just about the only one relaxing.

Sean is playing for Oglethorpe University (Go Stormy Petrels!) He made 1st team and in doing so, is given the privilege to travel with the team and that includes a game in Colorado! We're so proud of you Seany!

Mia is playing for a fantastic coach and so far, her team is undefeated. That looks bad when I am the league coordinator but since our first two seasons were disastrous, I'll take the wins when we can get them.

Yes, that is her own player on her tail. They haven't quite mastered the idea of teammates yet.

Ryan is a referee this season and while that thought quite honestly scared the crap out of me in the beginning, he is doing a pretty good job. For a noob.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Foto Friday

The coolest, most beautiful cloud I have ever seen:


Thursday, September 4, 2008

In Your Face!

Things to do with your face:

Face Your Manga - I have no idea what that means but it's cute nonetheless

Vintage Yearbook - Be one of those people you always made fun of

Hairstyles - Before you spend money on a haircut that looked much better on Jennifer Anniston in 1994

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Weekend Highlights

Saturday:
Dragon Con Parade kicked total ass! People dressed up all over, amazing groups marching. The GI Joes must not get much love because I actually heard someone say "there's someone who knows" after I screamed out "GO JOE!" Some woman was dressed up as Alice in Wonderland. My brother informs me that this is because of a recent video games where good characters go evil. We made the wrong choice by pointing her out to Mia who would not stop badgering us about when she would see the rest of the Disney Princesses. Where was Ariel? Where was Cinderella? Thank GAWD there was a "Young Adult Literature" group with several princesses including GISELLE!!! Who my girls yelled and yelled at until she came over and gave them candy. It made up for the scary as crap people from Netherworld, a local haunted house. Here's a little slide show of the parade. The pics aren't fantastic since I was trying to get as many people as possible and some were really booking it. But you get the idea just the same. It was pretty awesome.



We went home for a couple hours to recoup from the parade and then went out to sit in 90 degree heat to watch my brother play soccer for Olgethorpe University. The game was close so he did not get any playing time but he's just a Freshman so he has plenty of time to play in the future. I did get this little gem of a quote from my brother Ryan, "If they want us to pronounce Petrol correctly they need to add an 'e' or an 'a' or something more grammerical. Grammerical. Or however they say it!" I love you Ry-Man!

Then my daughter went psychic. We were on our way to Five Guys for some dinner and she proclaimed that she was going to pick our number that they will call out to tell us when our food is ready and we were going to be #1. I explained to her that they give us a number, we can't pick. As God is my witness, we were order #1 and I stared at the cashier dumbfounded and told him the story. He gave Mia some high fives and totally made her day. Five Guys dude, you rock!

And that's just Saturday. No one can say we took it easy this weekend. How did ya'll spend the holiday weekend?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Family that blogs together

Not to offend anyone out there in the internet world but my family is the coolest. They're funny, talented and not a bad looking one among the group. My husband makes fun of me sometimes and how adamant I am about how much the Campbell Clan rocks but he doesn't get it. We're just bad ass, it can't be helped. So here are some examples and after reading these, you will probably never return to this lowly blog as they are far superior in wit and eloquence:

My sister Erin
My Cousins:
Shane
Frankie
Kellie

If there are any other Campbell members out there with blogs, I am sorry I have left you off this list.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Foto Friday

Pink water lily in the koi pond at Mia's school.



Husbands are crazy

They try so hard sometimes but they just don't get it. We've all had those moments, they offer to get the kids ready and mismatch the clothes. They offer to feed them and just go get McDonald's (ok, so I've done that too.) This is the funniest example of a dad's good idea that I have ever heard! Thank you Kim for sharing it with me and subsequently, the rest of the internet.
From an e-mail I received this morning:

"shannon's so crazy. he's trying so hard to be helpful, over there slaving away at dinner and then he's got to put gas in my car because the smell is just too much for me. he's reasoned out a way we can feed twins and still sleep. Are you ready for this? I just need to go ahead and start pumping now and we can freeze it and have "like a year of that shit by the time they get here" so he can feed one out of a bottle. He's so serious I hated to tell him what a retard he was."

Wow. I wasn't aware you could start squirreling breast milk away before your children were even born. Poor man, his heart is in the right place but his mind isn't. We still love him though, as all us wives do when our husbands go retarded.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wackadoo Wednesday!

It's been rainy and dreary over most of the country this week. So take a moment to enjoy $240 worth of comedy! This one's for you Megs!!



If you are one of those people out there who did not enjoy The State in it's prime during the mid 90's, please do yourself a favor and spend some time perusing YouTube for their greatest hits. You will thank me.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Yes, we're still alive

Wow, it's been a whole week since I've posted. Bad blogger, bad. It's just been crazy busy. To sum up last week here are the highlights:

My friend Kim FINALLY got pregnant thanks to some fantastic advances in medicine. She is now carrying TWO healthy little fetuses. Or is it feti? At any rate, I'm just as excited for her as I was for my own pregnancies. YAY KIM!

Mia and I had our first mother/daughter salon day. She thought it was the greatest thing ever to be able to pick out her own nail color and have someone paint her nails for her. She was not so sure about Mommy getting her eyebrows waxed but got through it with sparkly glitter nails.

I went through three days of CPR/AED, First Aid training to be a trainer classes at the Red Cross. So now not only can I save your life, I can teach anyone how to do it. That's almost worth coming in on Saturday (my 3rd working Saturday in a row), I'm still debating that.

I am not mentally able to play 2K8 MLB on the Wii. My brain does not work that fast and it only pisses me off. So much so that I ended up throwing the remote across the room and storming upstairs not unlike a Mia tantrum. So I'm sticking to Rock Band and Wii Fit from now on.

So there's our week in a nutshell. Chuck and Layla were boring I guess so they don't get noted in this post. I should ask them to step it up this week to get some press.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Pay no attention, it is just another day!

My mother hates birthdays. Not everyone's, just her own. When I was little, her sisters planned a surprise party for her. To get her to the secret location, they called and asked her to come pick up my cousin b/c they needed a baby-sitter right away. We had just sat down to eat and mom was a bit stressed about that. I tried to convince her that Megan & I needed to go with her but no - we are eating dinner! Then she cursed a bit and stressed out and went over there to get my cousin. Megan and I sat, awaiting the storm that would come home when she realized she had to come back, get us, and then go all the way back to her sister's house (like a 2 mile drive btw) and "enjoy" a party in her honor. I mean can you imagine - her family wanted to interupt her day to throw her a party. The nerve! I remember her telling us to set an extra place for my cousin before she left and Megan and I debated, do we set it out? He's not actually coming over. Yeah, but she's really mad so we should at least follow directions. But he's not really coming over. I don't know!!! Last year I was thrown a surprise party by my husband and I think she may have suffered some post-traumatic stress because of it.


So for the love of God, if you see my mother today, don't wish her a Happy Birthday. Pretend I never said anything. It'll just be our little secret.

And for the record. She's 29.
I love you Mom!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Foto Friday

My new office buddy. I must compliment our flower company next time they come because I walk out every afternoon to a flurry of wings. It's an excellent way to end the day.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Why we should all start swimming

File under So Not Fair

Phelps' 12,000 Calorie Diet

What he eats in a day could feed my entire family of four for 2 days! Actually, I just read it again, it would feed my family for a good three days. Easy. And I'd probably have leftovers for lunch on day 4.

Meanwhile at the Hall of Justice......

I've finally started regularly posting on my baking blog A Lovely Baker. Today I have my all time favorite cupcakes posted and have joined the Blog Roll of Tuesdays With Dorie so will be posting at least every Tuesday with new concoctions of all shapes and sizes! Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wackadoo Wednesday

It's the middle of the week, you're trying to convince yourself that it's almost the weekend. So here's a little binger, to brighten up your day. ($1 to who can name that quote)

As I spend most of the Olympics using my fantabulous DVR to get around commercials, I've missed many a new NBC season promo. But I caught this one the other day and it reminded me how much The Office seriously rocks and how far away September 25 seems.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Almost Famous

http://www.ajc.com/metro/content/metro/gwinnett/stories/2008/08/11/firstday_0812.html

This is the article featuring our journey to Mia's first day of Kindergarten. They followed her for hours and all we get is a photo giving me about 10 chins. Thanks guys. It's a great article and really highlights her personality, which was on level 11 yesterday morning.

UPDATE: Upon further investigation, I found a gallery of photos from our morning. Please ignore me and focus on the adorable girls.
http://projects.ajc.com/gallery/view/metro/schools/gwinnett-back-school/

When I picked her up yesterday I told her she could go wherever she wanted and do whatever she wanted - get ice cream, go shopping. Anything. Her choice? Grandma's house so she could share her day with her friends from her old school. We stopped at Dunkin Donuts on the way for a celebratory chocolate milk and donut with sprinkles. So the first day of Kindergarten in a new school? Success!

Monday, August 11, 2008

1st Day of School!

Mia went to Kindergarten today! And to document this occasion we had a professional photographer in our home, snapping pictures the whole way. No, I'm not that crazy. We were followed by the photog and reporter for an article in the AJC. As I walk up the stairs with the reporter I tell her that normally I have to drag Mia out of bed but seeing as she is super excited for school, she'll probably jump right up. I opened her door and she was already climbing down her bunk bed ladder! Bright-eyed & bushy tailed as my dad used to say. No whining as I fixed her hair, minimal fighting with Layla. She was on her best behavior for our guests. They stayed in the classroom after I dropped her off to document the ABC's & 123's of the day. I can't wait to see the article tomorrow.

I can say this, thanks to the AJC, my house has never been so clean!

So my baby is growing up. I got her off without any tears for either of us although there were extra good-byes at the classroom. I know she'll be great! I mean, look at her, the excitement of school has turned her into a cheerleader!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Olympic dreams and random thoughts as I watch the Opening Ceremonies

I just sat down to watch the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics. The opening credits made me teary. What is it about these games that tugs on my heart strings so? Is it what was repeated 100 times "Not the triumph but the struggle"? Is it the enormity of the events themselves? Is it that I'm a completely hormonal woman who got teary as her daughter took her very first shower this evening? Or all of the above? Regardless, I will be silently weeping through a majority of these games. I put myself in the shoes of the athletes as I always have my whole life. What does standing on that platform feel like? I am in awe of thier ability to hold it together with dignity and grace as their National Athem plays and millions are crying for them. And I put myself in the shoes of the proud parents watching as their child is crowned best in the world. The whole world! If that were my child, I wouldn't have a coherent thought. Chuck would have to just sit there, holding a wreck of a sobbing woman, looking at the camera inevitably pointed as us and just shrug and pretend he didn't know me.

And then there's Bob Costas. Although he so far appears to be behaving, I will never forget his horrible joke from the '96 Olympics. During the Parade of Nations, he spoke of the rule passed to the Canadian athletes - no sex during the games. He then remarked that there would be no "O Canada"'s being heard from outside their bedroom windows. *groan*

U.S. uniforms - driving caps. Awesome. Really, they are but it's a look that sends memories of my late Grandpa Campbell into my head. More emotions flooding in. It's going to be a roller coaster of a month.

Despite the tears and insanity in my head what I keep thinking is this:

How F**king cool are these Opening Ceremonies? Damn China, you put on a good show!

Foto Friday

Lights in the sky

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Who's bad?

This is Layla's "I'm being bad now mommy" face.

She tries really hard to be a cranky 2-year-old but it just makes her more adorable, I think. I may have mentioned it before but it's seriously like someone just informed her of the phrase "Terrible Two's" and so she feels she must play the part. She's starting to throw some temper tantrums but mostly she just scowls and says "I'm bad." But I know the truth.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Morons of the week

It's time again for the stupid Chamblee crimal report! This one has a lot of stupid victims. Here are my favorites:

It's always nice to share - Police found a man bleeding from the face and nose and called paramedics to help him. The 40 year old victim told police that he had two beers and went to hide in the bushes to drink them. Two men saw him and asked him to share. He said no and they beat him up.

DUH - A man reported that he left his 2000 white GMC van running while he went into Lowes. When he came back, it was gone. He said that he left it running because it had a bad starter.

This is actually a smart victim. When in doubt, start yelling - A 38 year old man reported that he and his wife were standing behind their apartment building when three masked men jumped out of a vehicle and robbed them. One of the men had a pistol and another demanded the man’s wallet. The man told them that he had no wallet and began screaming “ROBBERY”. The robbers returned to their car and fled.

You can't count on your friends - Officer W. found a man urinating in public and arrested him. After being booked into the city jail, the man’s friend came to bail him out. The friend asked for the man but called him by a different name that the offender had told the officer. The friend, realizing his mistake, then asked for the man by the name given to the officer. Officer W., suspecting that the offender had lied about his real name, went into the jail and called the man by the other name. The offender quickly replied “YES, THAT’S ME.” Needless to say, the offender was also charged with giving a false name to a police officer.

Cheetahlicious? Really?

Last night we turned on the TV to relax before bed time. It was already on the Disney Channel since the girls had been watching Jo Jo's Circus or something that morning. The Cheetah Girls 2 was on. Gag gag gag. Much to my horror, Mia jumped up and said "Cheetah Girls?! Jennifer & I used to sing all their songs at school!" Wha wha what?! NO! We're too young for this debauchery. I timidly asked her, "So you want to watch this movie?" "YES!" and then she proceeded to dance around the room. Layla looked at me and said, "I want Elmo." Me too Layla. Me too.
Yesterday my friend Katie sent her daugther off to Kindergarten and cried her eyes out. I was about to do the same. My baby is growing up and God help me that seems to involve mind numbing, bad acting, cheap looking teen comedies. After about 5 minutes of the movie when I was trying to decide if I wanted to cry or vomit, Mia asked to watch "The Goodnight Show" which is a toddler focused program. And the heavens opened up, a light shown down on us, and life was normal again. I know it's just a stay of execution but I'll take it. I need all the time I can get.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I do it for Love

A couple weeks ago we enrolled Mia in tennis camp. She insisted she did not need tennis camp because she already knew how to play tennis. During each session of camp she whined to the coach that she didn't know how to do anything. Until he tried to show her how and then she boldly told him she already knew that already! The poor poor man. I actually heard him exclaim "I don't need this aggravation!" Luckily at that point he was talking to the mother of two boys who were throwing tennis balls at each other so my little ball of crazy was safe for the moment.
Yesterday I heard her teaching Layla, "you can't swing because then the ball will go too far. You have to punch. Punch."

There were only five kids in the group but that still leaves time to wait for the other kids to take their turns. Want to know what bored kids do with tennis rackets?
video
Yep, they rub them on their butts while they dance. This was the most tame of their racket antics. It's all innocent to the kids but I'm looking on in shock and awe. Please stop sitting on your racket like that. It really looks bad.

Monday, August 4, 2008

RAIN!

On Saturday we were supposed to hold our big comeback for the Movie in the Park. We were showing Goonies - that awesome classic from my generation's childhood! Then this happened.
We won't go into how long it took me to get this shot but it's just a sample of the completely crazy storm we had. The screen tech was all, "this will blow over in 10 minutes." Sure it will, but how many people are still going to come? An hour and a half later when it was still shooting bolts all around us, he finally packed up his stuff and went home so I could do the same.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Foto Friday

I have a dream that one day I will not have to change a diaper. As Layla fell asleep clutching her new Little Mermaid panties, I can only hope she had the same dream.

And on that fateful day when she gets it I will shout, free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty I am free at last!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Morons of the week

Each week our friendly Officer Bill sends out an e-mail to Chamblee citizens about the recent crimes in the area so they know what to look out for. He highlights the dumbest criminals they have had the pleasure of having encounters with. I have decided to share my favorites with my few select readers in the hopes that it brightens your day as it does mine. Relish in being in the deeper end of the gene pool people. These are 100% true stories.

*Police responded to a roommate fight between two 26 year old women in a local apartment complex. One roommate left the scene before the police arrived. The remaining roommate reported that they had an argument that quickly turned into a fight. After exchanging words, she told her roommate to pack up and leave. The roommate obviously didn't like that and hit her in the head with a frying pan. Before leaving the apartment, the roommate also broke her new cellular phone into two pieces. Just prior to leaving, the roommate told her "I'm crazy &%#$@, I'm from New Jersey!"

*A 29 year old woman reported that some man keeps calling her leaving romantic and poetic messages on her voicemail. This man must have an angry wife as the victim is also receiving abusive voicemails from an unknown female caller.

*A 44 year old woman was arrested for prostitution after being dumb enough to offer her services to a man in a new Ford Crown Victoria 4 door. Everyone should know that most of these cars belong to the police. This car happened to belong to Detective Captain Dave Perkins who was conducting an investigation in the area. The Detective politely declined her offer and arrested her.

*Officers received a 911 call from a car load of people who wanted to report that they were being followed. They said that they were in a parking lot on Buford Highway and the car following them was there also. Officers quickly responded and detained the occupants of both cars. It turned out to be true that the second car was following the first car. The occupants of the second car said that they followed the car because it was their neighbor's car that was recently stolen. Officers checked the first car's numbers and confirmed that it was indeed a stolen car. The driver of the first car was arrested. Lesson to be learned: If you are driving a stolen car, do not encourage your passengers to call 911 for any reason. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that the driver tried to use a false name with the police but forgot and signed his real name on his jail paperwork.

Filter: Not just for your cigarettes

Conversation at the gas station:

Random woman (with her son so I assume she's a fellow mother): Oh, look at her, she's so short. *points to Layla*

Me: Yeah, she's a tiny little thing.

Woman: Oh no, she's not tiny. She's just short. She's got big bones.

Me: Uh. Ok.

Thank you lady for saying I have a short "big boned" (code for fat to most people) daughter. Who does that?!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Fore!

As if Rock Band were not enough to keep the boys entertained, Chuck had to show off his new golf clubs. Sean, who does not play golf, claimed he could drive farther than Chuck. Using the Happy Gilmore syle. Uh huh. It hit our neighbor's fence. Sean said, "No no no, it hit a fence much farther away it just sounded close." Uh huh.

video

Love you Seany!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Your growns up, your growns up and your growns up!

My little girl went to Kindergarten Camp today. It's a week of half days in Kindergarten to get the kids used to the layout of the building and how to behave in school. Like that's possible for a 5 year old. Mia woke up this morning saying she was scared and nervous and scared. We walked in and she is a rock star since her Pappa B is a teacher there. Everyone knows her already and is SO EXCITED TO SEE HER! I was immediately forgotten for crayons and blocks, all thoughts of nervousness gone in an instant. Mia is in her element - learning and playing. When I picked her up she was building a castle. This is when I decided she had been taken over by aliens - without me or the teacher saying a word, she put all those blocks away! My daughter. Cleaned up her own mess. If that carries back to home and she starts cleaning her room, Mrs. Sosa is getting one hell of a teacher's gift! On the way home Mia said "You're a grown up and I'm still a kid." I said, "Yes, and that's just the way I like it."Tonight she has her first session of tennis camp. She better sleep through tonight or I want my money back.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Foto Friday

I miss these little monkeys




Thursday, July 24, 2008

Fun finds

If you have not logged on to see the great finds at Etsy, do it today! Everything is handmade and most of it is super cute and/or super trendy! Here's a few of my favorite things I've seen so far:








Letters I bought one for every member of my family and am hanging them in my hallway dispersed among all the photos I have there already.








Monkey Hat This reminds me so much of the Mickey Mouse costume I wore when I was 2 and my cousin Steve & I dressed alike for Halloween. I'm just hoping one of my friends gets pregnant soon so I have an excuse to buy this adorable head piece!


Apron Maybe it's because of all the baking I've been doing lately but I just love the idea of a full apron. If I had one, I might not have scalded my stomach with boiling caramel last night. Oh yeah, Dad called me "Grace" as a child for a reason.


Explore Etsy for yourself and see what amazing items there are! I swear I could almost furnish my entire home with the cool stuff listed! If only I had the money......

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

To get you through Hump Day

Because I have no kiddos to blog about this week, I'm finding other ways to amuse myself. Our dog, Bella is getting lots of extra attention and consequently not defecating on any of our floors. Hooray! She has, however, tried to eat a couple pit bulls, a mutt, and a cute little shitzu that lives down the street. Someone told me boxers were smart. I'm beginning to have my doubts.

Anyway, during the summer reruns, I've been on Hulu and buying TV shows on DVD left and right. If you are a person who has not seen Arrested Development, It's Always Sunny in Philidelphia, or Flight of the Conchords, start now! You do not know what you're missing.
This clip is not actually from the Flight of the Conchords show but it is my favorite song of theirs. Enjoy:

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sean Penn was the original surfer dude

Everytime we watched Fast Times at Ridgemont High, my mother would give us this lecture on how Spicoli was the original "surfer dude" character. All other stoner surfers were based soley on him and his vast expertise in slacking. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would not exist if it were not for Sean Penn.

That is what I thought of as I watched this video.

video

After getting thrashed so thoroughly, Mia would come running up to me and say things like, "I hate waves. I wish waves didn't even exist!" and then immediately turn around and run back into the ocean.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Foto Friday


This is one of my best friends, Beth, finishing up a photo session she did with us a couple weeks back. They all came out so beautifully but will not be revealed until next month - sorry. This is just sneak peek.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Make a Wish


We introduced Layla to the wonders of making a wish on dandelion fuzz. She didn't quite get the hang of blowing but had fun with them anyway. The girl loves to pick flowers. I never have to pull weeds because she does it for me.