Monday, May 30, 2011

Have A Memorial Day

Happy Memorial Day.
Have some cake and celebrate.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Home Alone

The adults were away last night and the children were left at home. When we returned, we discovered this:The maze extends to other rooms and up the stairs. I had no idea we even owned this much string. Apparently they had races to see who could maneuver through it the fastest.

I turned off the lights and went to bed with the string still in place. At one point during the night I said a silent prayer that we wouldn't have a fire and need to exit the house quickly.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Time To Remember

There is so much that I forget to do. She is the last one. The final child. The others are older and I find myself doing all the 'older' things with her tagging along. I forget to remember. To do all those things I did with the others when they were this age.

Most of the time, she is the one who prompts me. "Will you draw chalk with me outside?" I stare at her and realize that this was a normal activity with the other two. It was just something we always did, no prompting needed. But now I need reminding to sit down on the ground and draw with chalk.

We trace her body with pink. She laughs and talks incessantly while we draw and color. Time slows when I do 8 year old things with her. Simple joy surrounds the edges of it. And in that time, I'm grateful to remember. To sit and look and listen and draw.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Is there anyone else who is sick, and I mean SICK, of making school lunches?

How about this...
Is there anyone else who is sick of asking their kids 403 times to get up, and you started yelling at #254? Oh, and then the offspring gives you a disgusted look and says, "Why are you always yelling at me!?"

Any other mother out there who is so sick of it you could nibble a hole in your arm?


I must be a loser.
Oh, wait, I know I am because one of my kids told me so last week.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Her View

I wish I could see Life the way she does. She has the ability to find joy in the very ordinary. Here she sits at the ENT. Within moments she discovered that this chair moves up and down and that little light attachment makes a magnificent squeak when you shake it.

I thought about asking her to: (1) sit like a girl, (2) act her age and (3) try to pretend you're normal. But, why? Instead, I just let her be herself. The girl who laid on the doctors roller chair and bolted around like Superman. The one who giggled when the doctor looked up her nose. That's the real her.

The other day she asked if she could pick me up. When I told her "no", she did it anyway. She was giddy with delight. And just this morning, apple juice appeared in the fridge. She thought it was manna from heaven. Oh, to find life so entertaining.

Today, I give us all permission to just be ourselves. No rational thinking is allowed. No consideration of what is 'appropriate' is needed. Just Be. Don't look around to see who may be watching. Be. Your. True. Self.

And while you're at it, find a chair to spin around on.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

There Is No End To My Genius

If you take a pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe and simply drop the dough into muffin wrappers, do you know what you get? A healthy breakfast food. It's not proper to eat cookies for breakfast (whatever), but muffins are definitely acceptable.

Maybe tomorrow I'll try oatmeal chocolate chip muffins. Oh, I feel a trend coming. Snickerdoodle muffins? Brownie muffins? Seriously, I'm so smart, it's scary.

In case you want to add some extra juice to your genius, visit this site here and remember a few words. A writer friend of mine showed me this site. He's already beyond genius. I'll bet he already knew you could turn cookies into breakfast muffins.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Recital

Recitals are interesting. At least for me, they are. I spend a majority of my time praying that my kids won't do anything embarrassing. This go round, Child #1 dared Child #2 to burp the introduction to her song. You would think that I was shocked by that, but alas, I was not. Again, recitals are interesting.

As I watched each of my girls stand and play, I couldn't help but reflect on all it takes to get a child to the point of performance. We parents chauffeur to lessons, we endure the constant battle to practice and we never tire of hearing, "I hate the violin, why didn't you let me take piano!" It's never ending.

But then, they stand and play. And in that moment, all the tiresome battles drift away. Pride and love and gratitude take its place. This is why recitals are interesting. They remind us of why we do what we do. They offer us a glimpse into who our children are becoming and more importantly, they allow each child to stand as an individual and shine.

Maybe we could try to see each day as more of a recital than a rehearsal. There is great value in focusing on the end result instead of emphasizing the battles and the whining. Recitals turn the ordinary into extraordinary. I have to think that it should always be that way.

All too often we need to be reminded why we do what we do. Some days we need it more than others. But if we could somehow lock our eyes onto that final performance, maybe it would help us to remember all on our own. It just might make it easier to endure the day-to-day ordinary battles. Life offers the extraordinary. We just have to have the courage to stand up and take it.

Make each day your recital. And along the way, take the chance to shine.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Bitter Truth

This morning, child #1 told me that there are only 14 more school days left until summer vacation. I almost threw up on her right there in the kitchen. But instead, I told her that if she repeated those words to me ever, ever again, I'd throw her cell phone into a wood chipper. Silence.

14 more days people.

Panic starts now.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Turning 40- Day 6

Home again.
Need a vacation from our vacation.

40 has officially settled in.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Turning 40- Day 5

The Lion King.
Worth every dollar we spent to get in.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Turning 40- Day 4

FUN can be so exhausting.

Other lessons learned today:

1. Swimsuit cover ups are not a substitute for actual clothing.

2. No matter your shape or size, no one, and I mean no one, should ever wear a tube top.

3. Leggings can not be worn as pants. Ever, ever, ever.

Disney World is just full of surprises.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Turning 40- Day 3

Life in 4D.
It looks so much better this way.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Turning 40- Day 2

There is no better vacation, than a Disney one.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Turning 40- Day 1

8 months ago, I had the crazy idea that we should all go to Disney World to celebrate my arrival into a mature age.

Now, today, on Mother's Day, I'm flying on a plane (which I avoid at all cost), in a confined space with my kids and the twins.

I've already taken a Valium.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Teacher Gifts

Teacher Appreciation Week ends today. I always send a gift. I must. If you're a teacher that has daily interaction with one of my kids, no gift will ever be big enough.

Start with cheap, on clearance frames from Walmart.
Prime and paint.

For the subway art printable, click here. Simply download it to your computer and then send it off to the local Walgreens to be printed just like a photo.

For these smaller frames, I took the quote from an idea I saw (click) here.
I printed the quote on vellum and cut out the hearts from a book page.

Thank your teachers today. They deserve more than we can ever give.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Life Beyond The Notes

I walked past her music stand and noticed what it held. Violin sheet music. At least, I thought it was. She had marked and highlighted every part of it. I had to draw my eye closer just to see the notes.

She told me that she understood each of those highlights. She knew their purpose and they all served as reminders of past corrections. "And anyway Mom, it looks like a work of art."

I've looked at that sheet music day after day. After every lesson, more appear. The details get fined-tuned, her notes more precise. And as she plays, I seem to wonder if Life isn't just like her sheet music. The notes are all there, we just have to learn to play them according to the plan.

Most of the time, all I can see are the highlights and corrections. They seem never ending and they tend to stand out more. I forget that there are notes buried under it all. And because of that, I can't even hear the music they play.

But Life is also a work of art. Our very own. Mine doesn't look like yours and my notes play a different melody as well. Maybe we need to stop focusing on the things we are doing wrong, those highlighted details. And instead focus our eyes on finding the steady rhythm our notes offer. Hear them and soak them into our soul. I have a feeling that our music will never be sweeter.

Find your notes today and sing them true.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Wordy Flowers

The other day, I got a spontaneous idea to try and make huge flowers out of book pages. They turned out better than I imagined. I made 3 in about an hour with supplies on hand. Fast and free. The best kind of decorating.

This tutorial is lengthy, but the pictures should be self explanatory:

Sit on your family room carpet. Plug in your glue gun and start pulling pages out of an old book.

I free-hand cut each large petal. I wanted them to all have a different shape. But, you could make a template to trace and cut.

Fold the bottom of the petal in half and secure with a drop of hot glue.

Flip open half and secure that with hot glue as well.

This step is a little tricky. You want to gently open up the petal. Hold on to the bottom portion and adjust it. Because you have secured the bottom portion, the petal should fold out in a three dimensional way.

Secure the petal with hot glue onto a section of felt.


Make a 2nd layer of petals that are smaller than the first.

All the petals in place. Glue down any annoying edges.

For the center portion of the flower, I free-hand cut this clover-like petal shape:

Scrunch (that's a technical term) it around the eraser end of a pencil.

Glue into the center of the flower and lightly fan it open.

Cut a small circle.

Scrunch tightly over the pencil.

Secure in the very center with hot glue.

I glued my flower into the center of a large wooden frame (where the picture would normally go).
And no, you can't have this amazing frame. It was made for me by someone who exercises too much and drinks Koolaid for breakfast.

Hang and enjoy!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Facts From A Teenager

Teenagers offer a new view of life. They seem to delight in the strangest things. The weirder, the better. The following are random facts my particular teenager has relayed over the last few weeks. I hope you enjoy them as much as we have:
  • A Quarter has 119 grooves on its edge, a Dime has one 118.
  • Every time you lick a stamp, you're consuming 1/10th of a calorie.
  • Ants stretch when they wake up in the morning.
  • During your lifetime, you'll eat about 60,000 pds. of food. That's the weight of about 6 elephants.
  • Dolphins sleep with one eye open.
  • The African Cicada Fly spends 17 years sleeping, then wakes up for 2 weeks, mates and then dies.
  • Americans eat about 18 acres of pizza a day.
  • Horses can't vomit and pigs can't look up in the sky.
Do you feel as smart as a teenager now?

Not even close.