Thursday, July 31, 2008

Yesterday as the girls and I were around the table having lunch, Addie pointed out an old Good Housekeeping picture I have framed in the corner of the dining room. "Mommy, I think I know why you have that picture over there.......cuz we're really messy and you want people to think we're really clean."


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance

Photos that refused to be uploaded with previous post

Numbered and ready to race

Giddy with Pride

Grandma Great was there to witness the fun!

Desserts not posted due to the dangerous combination of excessive drooling and a computer mouse. There was also a whole separate table for extra fixings and fruit. YUM!

Fun with cousins.

What a tease!

One of THE cutest babies nephew Luke.

My "moldy, warped, piece of junk they should have paid someone to haul away."

My treasure after a few pieces of sandpaper and an hour's worth of labor.
And I even had 6 glass knobs left over to spice up a different dresser!

Joolee is........

Joolee is......
  1. stealing this third person status update idea from facebook and thinking it will make for an easy catch-up post. She LOVES writing in the 3rd person:)
  2. disappointed that she stayed up late writing her post for the Get Real challenge only to have Steve deem it not publishable. 
  3. excited about all the clutter cutting and major furniture rearranging she got done yesterday. Crib for sale!
  4. pulling her hair out over Ella's continued nighttime incontinence. And thinking she might break down for the 18th time and buy another pack of pull-ups.
  5. thrilled with the results of the shabby antique dresser with glass/crystal knobs she bought for $25 last weekend. And even more thrilled that Steve admitted he was wrong to freak out about a "moldy, warped piece of junk they should have paid someone to haul away."
  6. feeling like a failure as a decorator and hostess after spending an absolutely fabulous weekend at her bro and sis-in-law's magazine worthy home. She relaxed in the pool and gorged herself on a mouth-watering smorgasbord of delectable goodies including homemade ice cream and Jason's freshly flipped in the air omelette.
  7. so proud of Josie for competing in her first triathlon, the day after learning to ride her bike without training wheels.
  8. disappointed that Addie absolutely freaked out about being in a pool with water up to her chin.
  9. going to check into swimming lessons again.
  10. not regretting her Barbie Princess and the Pauper garage sale purchase. Her girls keep listening to the songs and she is convinced that they are learning to harmonize in thirds.
  11. wondering if she really wants to give up one of the few weekends left of summer to have her own garage sale.
  12. hoping tonight's softball game doesn't leave her limping around like an elderly woman after a two week break from throwing and running.
  13. trying to create something for dinner that doesn't include meat. Or fruit. Or bread.
  14. deciding that it's time to go shopping.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sister Squabbles

  • Mommy, she put her sandwich on my eye!
  • Mommy, she grunted at me!
  • Mommy, she smiled at me!
  • Mommy, I wanted the red cup!
  • Mommy. I wanted the pink fork!
  • Mommy, I had the flower pillow!
  • Mommy, she looked at my butt!
  • Mommy, she's stealing all my covers!
  • Mommy, she's looking at my book!
  • Mommy, she won't let me be a puppy!
  • Mommy, she's taking up the whole bathtub!
  • Mommy, she wrecked my fort!
  • Mommy, she took my blanky!
  • Mommy, she won't let me ride my bike!
  • Mommy, I had that swing first!
  • Mommy, I had that backpack first!
  • Mommy, I had that flashlight first!
  • Mommy, I was sitting there first!
  • Mommy, she won't give me any privacy!
  • Mommy, every time I tell them to do something, they don't do it!
  • Mommy, every time I tell them NOT to do something, they do it!
  • Mommy, they're messing up all my stuff!
  • Mommy, she's looking at me!
  • Mommy, she won't answer me!
  • Mommy, she spilled my cereal!

  • Mommy, can we have a baby brother?
Just wanted to post something quick and easy before I finish packing for a week in the middle of nowhere.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The epitome of elusive: the perfect holiday photo

Julie's Criteria for THE Perfect Holiday Photo

  • Photo must include all offspring and disclude random unsupervised child.
  • Offspring must be looking in general direction of the camera.
  • Offspring must look happy, amused, even pensive. Tongues, tears, and vomit are strictly prohibited. (Vomit can be interpreted literally or metaphorically)
  • Offspring must be wearing Gap dresses in complimenting and timeless color schemes.
  • Offspring's hair should be freshly washed, combed and styled in a manner that in no way reflects typical everyday chaos.
  • Offspring's teeth should be thoroughly polished, (preferably by a professional) leaving no indication of skipped brushings or the consumption of Apple Jacks.
  • Background of photograph should be absolutely picturesque...... unlittered countryside or a pristine shabby chic blanket are acceptable backdrops. The bra-laced rocking chair, poker chip covered floor, and "textured" booger wall, however, should not be even remotely visible.
  • In addition to offspring angelically gazing in the direction of the photographer, a certain amount of sibling affection should be captured in the photo by means of arm or hand placement. Headlocks and booty smacks do not convey the desired camaraderie. 
OK, so perhaps my standards are too high. But with the exception of one or two years, countless December hours spent on "photo shoots" have eventually produced that one photo. That ever so elusive Christmas card worthy photo. 

Ella, doing her best to look pensive at one month old.

I'm sure no one even noticed Addie's toothpaste streaked sleeve.

Gwen looks more constipated than pensive, but the adorable "hands on cheeks" pose demonstrated by her sisters overruled her "poopy face."

Last year unfortunately was a photoless year, and though I probably could have used this.... failed to meet the criteria of my final Christmas card rule. The one that says the perfect picture must be captured between the dates of November 15th and January 2nd so as to provide accurate and up-to-date growth and haircut information. I know, I know, you don't have to tell me....I already know!

So last week I decided to play Fun Mommy, and neglecting all the bills to be paid and wet towels about to go moldy, I packed up the girls and a "half picnic" (you know....the kind you pack when you are out of bread....the fruit, drinks, carrot sticks....everything but the $.99 Wendy's chicken nuggets so conveniently located along your route) and headed to our favorite rock beach. Little did I know, I was about to break not one, but four self-imposed rules, and still come away with an unexpectedly priceless Christmas-card worthy photo.

I won't tell you that it was about 20 degrees cooler by the lake, which forced us to dig around the floor of our crusty mini-van, finding dirty towels and jackets to keep from freezing.
I won't tell you that we left the house so spontaneously that I'm quite sure only one child actually brushed her teeth.

I'm sure you won't notice, what with the wind practically knocking them over, that not one head of hair was styled, much less combed.

I'm  sure you won't notice that Josie is wrapped in a towel from the 80s and that Addie spilled honey mustard sauce all over her Walmart dress.

I'm sure you wouldn't suspect that I resorted to bribery, telling the girls if they smiled nicely and let me take just 4 pictures I would give them a cookie.

I absolutely LOVE this picture, captured in a mere minute, painless and unplanned, a reminder of a cold and windy 47 minutes spent at the beach with Fun Mommy. 

Friday, July 11, 2008

Fun Daddy = Crippled Mommy

I was out replenishing our supplies and doing some much needed shopping last night while Steve stayed home with the girls. He is a forgiving, patient, affectionate man, but the adjective I have a hard time coping with is FUN. He is a FUN dad. Fun is a good thing, I DO realize, but I sometimes resent the fact that he is all fun and games while I am the one left being all non-fun, chores, safety first, and (uuuugh!) clean-up. And "YES! You DO have to wear a floatation device in the pool because you're barely two and the water is up to your chest and you act like you're seven, running around and splashing, not realizing that every 4 seconds when I drag you up out of the water I am SAVING YOUR LIFE!!!" Oooooh, was that a tangent? It's just that I've spent the last 3 afternoons trying to "desensitize" Gwen to her life jacket while she has 45 minute temper tantrums that end with the neighbors coming out to see what I'm doing to torture her her. 5:00.......enter Steve, (stage driveway) "Hey Gwen, let's go floatation devices necessary, cuz I am FUN DADDY and I don't have to do laundry or make lunch, or prepare dinner, or weed the garden. I will stay by your side, saving you from certain death every 3.5 seconds!"

Wow, it's amazing how writing just makes all these things spew out of cathartic to put it into words. But anyway, back to the reason I started this post. Between what little bit of information I got out of Steve late last night and all the excited simultaneous recaps of the evening the girls gave me this morning, this much I can tell you......

Lemony fresh Pledge + hardwood floors = very slippery surface

Fireplace Hearth + child laying flat on back on pillow pushing away from hearth = FUN ride across the entire length of the living room floor

Fun Daddy's antics last night = Crippled Mommy this morning + 3 rather severe Gwen wipe-outs + the addition of "mop floor" to To-Do list before company arrives this evening + 4 "We have the best daddy EVER!"s

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The beginning of a short story

Once upon a time in a land where the dirty laundry grew ever so lushly and abundantly, lived a 30-something woman who was just realizing the importance of wrinkle cream. The woman loved her life in her small cottage at the top of a hill. Her humble haven was filled with things that made her most happy.... her 4 darling daughters, her forgiving husband, her king sized bed and body pillow, recorded episodes of her favorite dance show, jars of peanut butter, more books than she could count, and orange scented candles. Pink zinnias from her garden found happy homes in vintage blue mason jars, stealing the show from the scratched dining room table they sat upon. Cherry tomatoes finished the last leg of their journey toward ripeness in a bowl perched on her kitchen windowsill. Photos and love notes from her darlings overlapped all but a small corner of her icebox. Swimsuits hung jauntily over every doorknob, evidence that the time for book learning had given way to the carefree days of frog catching and afternoons spent in the cool pool. The high pitched yet somehow pleasant sounds of made-up princess songs flowed effortlessly from her darlings' lips, filtering thru the home's many windows onto the sidewalk below. On weekends after the sun had set, the sounds escaping the home became more boisterous, as the woman loved to throw parties involving poker and various competitive board games. Life was good and the woman knew she had much to be thankful for.

But there were days, days when her darling daughters found it impossible to get along. They would fight about forks and magic wands, who got to sit nearest the youngest darling at that scratched table, who got to swing on the spinniest swing, who got to measure the flour for the homemade cookies, who got to use the powder room first. There were days when the woman was pulled in so many different directions at once she felt as if her sanity would be severed beyond repair. There were days when the woman's cupboards were bare, yet she couldn't manage to get herself and her children showered and ready for market before the youngest darling needed to be settled in for a nap. Those days the woman relied on peanut butter and jelly spread over buns verging on moldy. There were many days when huge puddles were found escaping into the hallway in front of the bathroom from the darling's bath time antics, days when entire gallons of milk were dropped above the obstacle course of shoes at the back door, days when no matter how hard the woman worked, her beloved home spiraled downward into a vortex of chaos and whining. 

It was on those days that the wrinkled woman felt an overwhelming desire to escape. Her king sized bed and body pillow beckoned her from the crunchy cereal covered floor when the dustpan was nowhere to be found. The quiet guest cottage (camper) in her private backyard seemed to constantly whisper, "Peace. Peace. My peace I offer you. Peace with Cottage Living magazines, a gentle breeze, and peanut butter eaten in secrecy." The woman, for the most part, was able to resist these temptations, for she knew that her forgiving husband would soon return from a long day of bread-winning and rescue her from the unending barrage of questions and demands, giving her a chance to breath. Although more difficult, the woman tried to remember to count her blessings on even these most stressful of days.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

To Do

I'm feeling like it's a To-Do List writing kind of night. And I haven't blogged in a few days. And I feel like adding fuel to the fire of those who insist on warming themselves by the flames of their blogger judgement. So if any of you are out there closet reading my blog and looking for more ways to poke fun of my majestic blogging Dorkiness, sit back on that wobbly lawn chair of yours as I gently (so as not to agitate sparks in the direction of your precious Tommy gear) throw another log on your fire. You've got it. I'm going to blog my to-do list. And let myself believe that you care. 

To Do
  • Laundry. Laundry. And more laundry. Today I hit a new low as I sent Addie to her homeschool girl's club. With a bikini! In my defense, we left her favorite suit at a friend's house last week. And every other clean one piece she owns sags off her booty in an embarrassingly revealing manner. I'm sure I only bought a 2-piece because it was $1.97 at Old Navy. But I'm sure of all the places NOT to send your daughter in a 2 piece, a girl's homeschool club would be at the top of the list.
  • Grocery shopping. The novelty of peanut butter and jelly on a hot dog bun has worn off. 
  • Scrub the bathtub. Even under the shampoo bottles. You heard it! UNDER the shampoo bottles!
  • Collect more pond scum for our tadpole habitat. Or find some way to combine this with previous bathtub task.
  • Continue cutting the clutter for future garage sale.
  • Finish reading Redeeming Love.....the single most commonly listed favorite book on blogspot and facebook among females.
  • Find favorite softball shirt....the only one long enough to conceal my less than hip hop abs during a leaping catch with maximum arm extension. You just never know.
  • Blog about the following topics
  1. "I want to stab you, you're so gorgeous." -Mia Michaels
  2. Oh girdle, how I love hate you!
  3. Green Underwear
  4. "Be naked!"
  5. A place for almost everything and almost everything in its place
  6. Sister Squabbles
  7. The Epitome of Elusive

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Fun with run-ons

It's too hot and the sun may have fried more than my skin on this lazy day spent in our OOL. Notice there is no P in our pool;) *giggle giggle snort* 
Isn't there a law much like Murphy's that goes something like.....
"The day you totally and semi-intentionally fry your skin in a vain attempt (dramatic pause as my double entendre impresses you beyond words) to achieve a surprisingly slimming tan is the day that all 4 of your darling angels want to "cuddle" with you on couch, elbowing your scalded bosom and scratching your radiantly red knees with their princess wands."  ??????

I totally get that that was a run-on sentence and hate using two of the same words like "that that" and fear I may be losing what few readers I have and even though I blog for purely personal reasons including but not limited to documenting the moments that make up my life because I have such a HORRIBLE memory and also sorting thru my random thoughts to try to make sense of who I am and what I think and what I'm trying to accomplish here on Earth.....

Uuugh!! I think tonight calls for some in laying like vegetables in front of the tele.

Addie and friend in their "tree fort."

Who gave Gwen gum!!???

Note to self: Cupcake cones are incredibly top heavy and though they may look picture perfect displayed on your dining room table, they will be reduced to a jumbled mess on your pristine white skirt chosen especially for its timeless and patriotic qualities and complimenting your navy shirt and red toes the second your husband backs down the driveway.

Three legged races and all!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

First kisses can be awkward.


Another day of frog catching

Princess Ella

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Summertime addendum

I forgot to include this pic of my first fruit bouquet.