Friday, October 31, 2008

So, what are you?

After trick-or-treating with the kids tonight, I looked at my kids and realized just how different they all are. Such unique individuals, yet all so perfect in my eyes. So, that leads to a question... are you a Jack?
A Will?
An Elisa?
Or a Bella?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Halloween Party 2008

Every year I throw the kids a little Halloween Party at our house. It's not a huge deal, they each invite 2 or 3 friends, and it's only for a few hours. I love planning it and decorating for it, and the kids get SOOO excited for it too. I never let anyone see the decorations or anything else until after school when the party starts, so they are always suprised!! Last year, we lived in a small house, and looking back now, I'm not really sure how I did it. But this year was different and so much better. The kids had a great time and this year I remembered to take pictures as well (I usually forget..)

So, the kids came in and saw the Halloween house all blown up, the "Caution- Enter if you Dare" tape, and "Halloween Party in Progress" sign. Fred had also taped over the house number, so all it said was '13'

You can't really see much of it, but you get the idea! The next thing they saw when they came in was the spider web that had their goody bags attached- they needed to follow the string to their bag. Normally I'd wait until the end of a party to give out goody bags, but it was very annoying with kids running through the living room with a spider web everywhere!!! So, we did that first..

Can you see Bella with some sort of yellow stick in her hand? Her feet are a blur because she was in full-on frenzy mode trying to figure out how to get through the safety gate and ruin the spider's web- which she eventually did. This was after she had repeatedly emptied ALL of the goody bags I had just filled!

Next was the best part.. we dyed the pool red to look like blood. At first I was nervous because I was afraid it would stain the pool red forever- but after a day it was clear again, and no harm was done- it was so worth it!

Of course all of the kids wanted to go swimming, but I said no only because I was so afraid I would be sending them home from the party with a completely different skin tone than they had when they arrived.

Next they did the standard 'Donut on a String' eating contest... which is always entertaining to watch. Will won but we're pretty sure he cheated.
Please click on this picture just so you can see Will's face... this is what I live with every day. It's like living with a caffeine-crazed monkey.

Then came my FAVORITE part.. having the kids put their hands into buckets of gross things. They all get really freaked out about it, but since this was the 4th year of me doing this, I think they were pretty sure they could guess what the gross things really were. I had Trolls Eyes (frozen cranberries), Werewolf Vomit (chocolate pudding with peas in it), Worms and Maggots (chicken noodle soup with dry rice in it), Bat's Wings (warm leaves of Romaine lettuce), Mummified Toes (peanuts in shells), and Witches Fingernails (dry crunched up pasta). I took them by 2's into The Autopsy Room that was only lit up with a black light and 2 blinking skeletons, and closed the door behind them. What they didn't know was that Fred was hiding in the closet, and when I said "Mummified Toes!" he jumped out and scared the crap out of them. Even my own kids had no idea Fred was home- we told them he was in Tampa. So, when I took Will and his friend into the room, Fred jumped out, scared them, and went back in the closet.. I said " Hey, Will- didn't Dad suprise you? You didn't even know he was home!!" And he looked at me dead serious and said "That was Dad?" As if it would be perfectly acceptable to have a complete stranger jump out of a laundry room closet. Oh, Will...

Anyways, the kids loved that part and it went very well. No one could guess what everything was.. Phew! Next we did the pinata, and then the kids played, ate pizza, and went home!

I was ready to die of exhaustion by the time everyone left, but when my awesome friend Tracy came to pick up her daughter, she offered to watch the kids so Fred and I could go out to dinner. She has no idea of how much I appreciated (and needed) a nice relaxing dinner and a few glasses of wine!! Thanks again sooo much Tracy!!
I hope that they kids had a great time and I can't wait to do it again next year!!!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My very own Bitty Baby

I finally got Bella to sleep tonight- and I was just staring at her. She is still so tiny at 16 months, and people still ask me if she's about a year old.. it drives me nuts since I have been explaining (with no real reason to give at all..) that she was very small when she was born.. she was 4 pounds and 14 ounces and she was only 3 weeks early. I am so sick of telling this tale, it's unbelievable. The questions and looks I have gotten since her birth have driven me close to the point of insanity. I have NO FREAKING IDEA why she was so small. But, she was, and I am so glad I was able to capture her smallness on film, since now I can't even comprehend her true 'tininess' (Is that even a word? If not, it should be...)
She is lying next to a Bitty Baby in this picture ( and she is SO P-O'ed to be doing so..) and anyone who has a Bitty Baby knows just how small they are. I also have a picture of her next to a carton of eggs and a banana.. she is just so unbelievably small. But now I look at my baby Bella eating a banana the size of her head and dragging around the same Bitty Baby, and I see how big she is getting. It just kills me.
Why do they have to get big so fast? I look at my kids right now, and I want to freeze them and keep them at these ages forever. I really have the best of all worlds. I have the big kid, Jack- so responsible, caring and kind- showing us a glimpse of the great person he's going to be someday. I have funny, mischievous Will, who keeps us on our toes, but laughing all the time. Elisa who is so smart and funny and beautiful..perfect qualities for a girl.. And baby Bella- cracking us up when she tries to sing along with Barney, and killing us with her cuteness. I wake up with these four great people and I feel like I've won the lottery..........

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

He Pulled the Wool Over my Eyes... AGAIN!

I am talking about my 9 year old boy- Will. He is a riot, very funny, very smart, and very cute. However, Will is a smart ass. If you look up 'smart ass' in the dictionary, there is Will, smiling away. But the problem is, he isn't a smart ass in a fresh, mean-boy way. He's just funny, and wise and very quick with a come-back. I love that quality in a kid. I am not saying he gets away with misbehavior- he doesn't- but we may cut him some slack at times because the way he goes about his misbehavior is clever. He cracks me up.


So, Will and Elisa attend the same elementary school. I was walking each of them into school every day, and after 2 months it got to be too much. See, I'm lazy- I don't like to have to get all gussied up in the morning like most of the other moms here on the ranch. Plus, I walk with Tracy most mornings, so what's the point? I guess I just decided that I could trust Will to make sure that Elisa got to her wing of the school, which is on the opposite side of the building as Will's classroom.

Turns out I was wrong.

If it were Jack, not only would he make sure Elisa got to her classroom, but he'd tidy up the entire room, organize it, and then read the entire Dr. Seuss library to the Kindergarteners. That is just how Jack rolls. I didn't expect Will to put himself out that much, but I did expect him to walk her to her class LIKE HE TOLD ME HE WAS DOING EVERY DAY.

Will is a very social kid- he likes to hang out with his friends before school in the reading room. When I thought he was walking Elisa to class, he was actually making a break for the reading room and leaving my 5 year old baby girl in the dust. I had no idea until this morning..

Will woke up with a really bad, excruciating pain in what I call his "full-o-crap", and like a fool, I bought in to his dramatics and let him stay home. I had to take Elisa to school, so I showered, cancelled my walk with Tracy, and drove her. I wanted to make sure that someone was there to walk her into her classroom just like every day, right? Apparently not. When we got into the school, Elisa looked at me and said " You can leave me right here where Will leaves me..." and I said " What?! We're in the lobby! He leaves you here?"

I had images of Will walking his little sister to her Kindergarten classroom, maybe with his arm around her shoulder, and a " Have a great day, Elisa!" as he delivered her safely to her teacher. Well, I was so wrong. He's abandoning her in the lobby and high-tailing it to the reading room... Tyler awaits...

Needless to say, I had words with Will and he said that he "watches her walk down the hall until she gets to her room". Yeah, sure. Then he promised me he'd never leave her in the lobby again.. I guess we'll have to see!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

People Say The Darndest Things....

I was just reading my friend Jen's blog "True Confessions of a Scrapbooker" and she mentioned that a cashier made a comment that was unnecessary and inappropriate. Why are people so stupid and ignorant sometimes??

Her experience brought me back many years to a time (in the 80's mind you) when I had a cute, short haircut. The 'cute' part may be up for debate, but I liked it at the time. My sister Lisa at "" was with me at a store, where we were waiting to use an ATM that happened to be under repair. (Lisa, who is reading this, is now laughing at this point because she remembers this incident, and enjoys revelling in my pain...) Well, the repair-man looked up to see that there was a line forming behind my sister and me to use the ATM, and so he stood up, looked at us all, pointed towards ME, and said, " You may all line up behind this young man here.." I wanted to die. My sister almost did die in laughter...

Why do people say the stupidest things sometimes???

Monday, October 6, 2008


I was at Walmart (again!) today and bought the cutest pumpkin decorating kit I have ever seen! It's like a Mr. Potato Head for pumpkins, and the kids had so much fun decorating them. It's way easier than carving pumpkins, although we've already done that this year- and I'm sure we'll do it again- but this was a quick, easy and fun thing for them to do. And it was only $3.50 for each kit. Such a bargain!

Sunday, October 5, 2008


I said he'd be creative and I was right. We are confident that there will be no other "evil-gorilla-boy-holding-a-giant-blow-up-hammer" at the R. Dan Nolan Middle School. Phew.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Halloween Preview

Jack has not yet decided what to be for Halloween, and when I took this picture, he wasn't home from school, but I will post a picture of him when he decides. He's very creative, so I have no doubt it will be entertaining to see! Elisa has finally decided to be Belle, and she's very excited! We'll do her hair and make-up so she'll look very fancy, and Will, well apparently by the picture he is going as a skeleton with some kind of genetic deformity. It's a Walmart special- a black hooded sweatshirt with a skeleton printed on it. When the hood is zipped up over his face, there are holes he can see and breathe through. I tried to talk him out of this costume, but his mind was set. Oh well, he loves it.

I finished Bella's costume, and she tried it out today. She looks great. We'll be on our way up to Disney's Not-So-Spooky Halloween Party on Friday. We are all very excited! In Florida, we never have to worry about having to wear a coat over your costume. I dreaded having to do that as a kid. Here, we need to worry about overheating in a costume. I am hoping that it cools off a bit so we don't have a freak out... as depicted here....

That would be bad. And it would go against our family rule: There is NO crying at Disney World.