Christmas Weekend

Christmas Day was fabulous! The boys woke up to this in the living room.

and turned it into this... Pepper's Christmas present was all the wrapping paper.
Here they are in their cute chef sets. Frankie's hat is a little big. I gave the wrong size to Allie, SORRY:) They love them. Ollie went over to my mom's house in his.
Our Christmas was fun and filled with family. Happy New Year everyone!


Sassy red heels

Dear Sassy,

I cannot tell you how many times I have been out looking for the perfect pair of red heels and have come up short. Too strappy, too low, too high, too orangey, too shiny, too pointy etc. I had a vision of what I wanted yet heart broken and frustrated I settled. Oh so many times did I settle. My closet is a pink and red graveyard of second rate heels. But then I found you! Thank you for making me feel like a million bucks. When I slip you on I feel prettier. I praise Steve Madden for creating such a perfect shoe. Red satin heels, not trashy high, with a little peek of toe. What a perfect blend of beauty you are. You make my legs look amazing and spruce up anything I wear you with. Hail to accessories! Bringing life to my simple wardrobe is what you do best. I love it!
Your Faithful Wearer


Tired but not sleepy

Here I sit Sunday night tired from the day but with a buzzing brain. My thoughts are a jumble of bouncy balls pinging about in my head. I have alot going on and I try to supress it so I can enjoy life day to day.

I am a future thinker. I always try to think about my future and plan out what to do and which path to take. I weigh my options. Look at past experiences. Try to make the best choices and eleminate major changes in my life. Slightly nurotic? Yes. Do I recognize this control freak in me as a problem.... yes.
It is crippling to my spiritual connection and eternal perspective. Jesse has been trying to apply for a new fire department and I have been limiting him to San Diego County. If any of you haven't noticed there aren't too many jobs around here. My life is good here. I love my home and being close to my family. I love my jobs and my business is growing. I am finally establishing some connections for my photography. I was so afraid of moving away from family and going through "Colorado" all over again. I got physically sick when Jesse applied out of state and almost got the position. In an attempt to avoid that I put up my front. Jesse was getting really frustrated with me. One night when I was praying and trying to connect I felt this urge to ask Jesse for a priesthood blessing. I could feel the holy ghost trying to communicate to me but it felt like someone talking to me underwater. I didn't know what was being said. All I knew for sure was that the Lord had something to tell me.
After finishing my garbled prayer I asked Jesse for a blessing. When he asked for what all I could say was I felt like I was not getting what the Lord was trying to say to me about something. Real specific right??
As he began his blessing, clarity rippled through my mind. He told me to not be afraid. To trust that the Lord has a plan and home is where your family is. As in my husband and my sons. Jesse told me exactly what was being said "under water." The spirit confirmed what he told me as I cried with relief and cowardice. I should have been stronger, but it is better to acknowledge a fear openly so you can work through it.
So now, here I am. Living day to day and enjoying the here and now. I have finally opened my arms and said "Here Lord. You take it. I'll go where you want me to go." Now if I could just get rid of those bouncy balls.


Rainy day

I know that I have not blogged in FOREVA but I had a good excuse. I'll write about that another time or I may not tell you at all.....anyway.

We have had plenty of rainy days lately and if any of you have kids you know it's hard to keep them inside for too long. One day on the way home from running errands Frank says
"I want to make a boat."
Random. Jesse and I just smiled and nodded.
"Ok, buddy." we said, thinking nothing more of it. When we got into the house Frank said it again... and again. I finally figured out what he was talking about. Last year when it rained our patio flooded. So I pulled out some paper plates, cut sails out of computer paper, made a mast out of a pen and stuck it to the plate with playdoh. We then sailed our ships on the lake of our back patio. Frank remembered that from last year!
Jesse, being the how-to king that he is, got on line and found out how to fold a paper boat. Remember those? We made on for each of the boys. They colored them with crayons and then we went hunting for running water. We walked for a while but finally found a good stretch of gutter. The boats had about 3 good trips in them before they collapsed and turned mushy. So we came back and Jesse made two more fortified with crayon coating and a spray painted bottom for good measure. I don't think those lasted much longer but we had a blast:) Yay rainy days. Thanks for making us get creative.

ps- blogger I hate you for bleaching out my pics. Why are you muting my colors? We are not friends.

Getting ready

first run

Frank was loving this

Ollie needed some help once the boat turned soggy


Round two: Fortified boat
Happy Holidays everyone!


Drive Thrus were made for moms

I don't care what people say about America becoming lazy, fat and complacent. Drive Thrus were created for moms and here is why.

example #1: I have two hungry kids in the car. They are so grumpy they are crying and fighting and I don't have anymore snacks in my bag. All I need is a small snack to get us all home in one piece. I most certainly don't want to haul them inside somewhere to eat and pay out way to much money for food the kids won't eat. Mc Donald's drive thru to the rescue! I order snack parfaits, pay out four bucks and have happy kids. Sweet!
Example #2: I need cash from the bank and all of the parking spots by the walk up ATM's are full. It will take double the time to get the kids out of the car, keep them wrangled in the bank, listen to them ask for a sucker a million times, and deal with a teller who thinks they are so cute they need two. NO, they don't thanks. Bank drive thru to the rescue! I can keep my kids strapped in their seats, push some buttons, get the cash I need AND I don't have to deal with the sucker issue. Thanks Wells Fargo for driving me out of your branch with sugar.
Example #3: I am sick as a dog but the only one who can pick up my medicine. I can now sit in my car so I don't put other people at risk of my cooties and get my meds. Thank you Walgreens and CVS.

I LOVE drive thrus! I think I'll drop off some dry cleaning just so I can drive thru to pick it up. Since America is all about saving time and money I would like to suggest a few more places that could use a drive thru.

Grocery Stores: Since we have express lanes lets take it up a notch! You order 10 items or less, a runner grabs your items (they have impeccable knowledge of the store) bags your items and you drive up to a window to pick up your groceries and pay. Women you can even phone in the order for the men to pick up so he doesn't get it wrong.
Blockbuster: I hate going through your aisles and aisles of movies not finding the one I want. Create a drive thru window. I give you the title and you grab the movie I want. Then I don't have to wait in line surrounded by candy and previously viewed flicks.
I am on a roll and could go all night but I won't. What else should have a drive thru?


Creativity comes in many forms...

Most of us out there love to be creative. I love to sew, take pictures, and scrapbook. I love to play the piano, draw, paint.... ANYTHING. If I can make something out of nothing I feel so accomplished. Some of us are better at it than others. My cousin Allie is quite crafty and has put her skills to work for her. She has set up an Esty shop: Cut.Sew.Repeat. She has an amazing aray of products just in time for the holidays. My personal favorite is the little chef hat and apron set and the double sided super hero cape. Click and enjoy looking at all the cute stuff you want to get for your kids!



Better late than never right? Well this is what we were for Halloween. Monsters! If you can't tell or haven't seen the movie: Dad: Derek (trying to make a Link costume was beyond me.) Mom: Ginormica, I even sprayed my hair white. It didn't work as well as I had hoped. If I use the costume again I'm getting a platinum wig. Frank: BOB, all night he kept saying "BOB Blob, BOB Blob!" Ollie: Dr. Cockaroach (that is how he said it)

Every house we went to Ollie said "Sticker Treat" and then insist on carrying whatever the people gave him. It was really hard for me to convince him to put his candy IN THE BAG and save it for later. Here he is already chowing down. This was after house #2.
I love Frankie's BOB costume! It turned out so awesome. I did it all by imagination. It's all about trying to make the kids happy. If they love their costume they love the night even more. Frank was really into trick or treating this year. Near the end we asked him if he wanted to go to more houses and he said he couldn't because his bag was too heavy. That was our cue. We were done. The next morning the boys asked if they could go trick or treating again that night. Ha! Thank you Frankie for picking our theme this year. I hope next year is just as fun!


Tragic Week....

I know I haven't blogged in a while and that is because I couldn't share much of myself when I was feeling so low. I was sick with the flu and a sinus infection over last weekend and by Monday the 24th of October I was beginning to recover. That is when my tragic week began.
Jesse took Frank to school that morning and then took Ollie and Willis to a local park in Santee. There are alot of trails at the park around a pond and Willis just canNOT resist swimming after ducks. For those of you who don't know Willis is a stellar swimmer even though his body type would not suggest so. Being a corgi mix he has extremely short legs but can swim better than a Labrador retriever.

So, Jesse let him off the leash for a morning dip and chase. He swam out, came in, swam out, came in. The last time he came in Jesse lost sight of him as he came swimming through the reeds. When Willis didn't appear right away Jesse called him. He heard him struggling and went in after him. Willis' stubby legs were getting wound up in the water weeds and the more he struggled the worst it got. He went under and sadly Jesse did not reach him in time. I will not rehash every detail. Even now my heart aches for my poor little dog. He must have been so scared! Long story short, Jesse found his body and we were able to take him home to bury him.
I explained to Ollie that Willis was with Heavenly Father and Jesus now. Being the darling 2 year old he is he said "Heavenly Father and Jesus are so lucky! Mom, Heavenly Father and Jesus make me happy!" Did I mention I could not stop crying?
Frankie took Willis' death much harder. He cried and cried. I told him the same thing I told Ollie but that held little comfort. As I was sitting there holding my son I tried to think of something else to say. This is the first time he has had to deal with death. I reminded him that Papa Frank was in heaven and that he would take care of Willis so he wouldn't be lonely. I told him that we were going to bury Willis' body so that it would be safe. Saying that put his young mind at ease and he actually helped bury Willis. All last week I got questions like
"Why did Willis have to die?"
"Mom, will you cover me with dirt when I die?"
"Did Papa Frank find Willis?"
"When is Willis coming back?"
"Can we get a new black dog?"
The presence of a four legged friend has been constant in our home for so long I missed it right away. I was so lonely when the kids went to bed and Jesse was at work. I told Jesse that we had to find another dog. So we started to look. Do you know how many dogs out there that need a home?? About A MILLION! I got a headache looking at them all!
There were a few that I saw that I liked. We sent out so many emails trying to find one that was still available and not $250+.
Halloween night, Jesse and I dragged ourselves into bed with achy feet. "I found a couple dogs I want to show you." He said. The first one he clicked on was this cute little puppy with spots all over her legs and face.
"I want that dog. I would call her Pepper." I said. So, we sent an email hoping! I got a call Monday morning telling me that she was still available. I was ecstatic! We made the arrangements and got her home. As I sit here writing, little Pepper is lying next to me twitching in doggie dream. She is sweet and rambunctious and very much a puppy. Maybe only three months old. The boys love her to death and are so glad to have a "new black dog.'' Pepper has been a balm of healing for our whole family. We are so grateful we found her.


Got Pictures?

Family Portrait Special

I know Christmas is coming up and that is the traditional time to get family photos done. I am running a special from now through November 30th.
Book a sitting with me and get a CD of your best shots all for $75.00! Contact me soon for an appointment!


Kids say the darndest things...

Some of the gems I have heard from my two little rascals lately...

Ollie: "Do you have a boo boo?"
me: "What?"
Ollie: "Is that a band-aid?" pointing to a panty liner in my hand.
(it kind of looks like one.)

Frank: "Give me the plates of grass."

Frank crying "I want the lifesaver!!!" as his friend Donnie takes away his toy light saber.

Frank: " My bike only has two wheels.." like there is something wrong with it and it needs to be fixed.

Ollie: "Daddy has to go to work honey." I guess he was trying to console me.

Frank and Ollie are two different kinds of funny. Frank pronounces things wrong because he is too busy to pay attention or be bothered with the right way. His way is good enough.
Ollie articulates everything with such perfection it makes almost anything sound cute and funny. If you ever get the chance ask each of my sons the same question. Frankie will give you an elaborate explaination and story. Ollie, on the other hand, will repeat your question back to you because he loves to speak for the sake of the words rolling off of his tounge. Or, he might just say "I don't know."



One phrase: Hand-me-downs.

If any of you have siblings you know what I am talking about. The older sister usually gets all the new stuff and you get to wear it when she has grown out of it and is on to more new things. This was the story of my life as a kid growing up in a family of four sisters... and it still is. I have always been the "plump" or "curvaceous" one in the family. Up until recently I would get stuff from my older sister because she had lost weight. The whole "they are too big for me. Do you want them?" line was so common. When you are poor you take what you can right? Still, it bothered me that even though I was a health instructor I could not look the way I felt. I felt healthy and trim but I didn't look how I felt I should. Fast forward to today after a summer "hanging out with Suzanne Sommers" and twenty pounds lighter. New dilemma: None of my clothes fit! They are all too big. A new wardrobe costs a lot of money. What is a girl to do??
I have two younger sisters. Erin and Heidi. Erin recently increased her bust size so many of her shirts and bras no longer fit. I got to sift through two bags of clothes with labels like Hollister, Juicy, and Victoria Secret. My other sister Heidi is seventeen. That means growing and changing and growing out of things too. I dove into her DI bag before it got carted off and snagged some stuff that I wanted. If I am getting clothes from my little sisters should they be called hand-me-ups? So here I sit, decked out in everyone elses clothes, thinking: "It pays to be the little guy sometimes."

For those of you who want to know: Yes, I am still on the Suzanne Sommers food combinations. Yes, I love it. The great thing is you get to tailor the plan to you. Maybe I'll write about that adventure next time.


Mean Girls

Girls never change. No matter how old you get there will be some girl to make you feel insecure. I am a confident person but sometimes...

Thursday morning I went to Ralphs with Frankie to do some much needed shopping. I was wearing fitted jean shorts that came below the knee, a purple scoop neck top, and a waist-length fitted tan jacket. I had on gold flats and a multi colored scarf with a purple base. I felt I was well put together... for once. I tell you that to tell you this.
I was standing in front of all the cheese when I heard giggling behind me. Out of the corner of my eye I see two girls, mid twenties, walking by. As they walk by I hear," I wouldn't rock those..."
As I turned back to my cart I see both girls look back at me and continue snickering to each other. All of a sudden I feel like I am in a high school hallway. My confidence wavers as I see them continue to walk away. Then I take note of what they are wearing. Messy buns, t-shirts, pajama bottoms, and Ugges. Umm, ladies, frump city belongs to the hours of 11pm to 6am. I didn't judge too harshly because I remember my single days but if you're going to make fun of me you better be sporting something decent. So I silently breathed a curse of de javu on their future. One day, they too will be feeling like they actually have it together and then they will experience what they did to me.
Mean girls: Grow up!


Moderation in all things

We have been commanded to exercise moderation in all things. What we spend, what we let consume our time and what we consume. The last was my problem tonight. Our family went out to a buffet for dinner for FREE.

Hello, who doesn't love free?! We went to the Barona Buffet. Jesse works as a fire fighter on the reservation. Every once in a while he will get a free pass and we'll take the kids out to eat. And, sometimes, when something is free you want to take full advantage of it. I did, to say the least. So much so, that after we were done eating I was in physical pain.
I have only eaten to that point twice in my life. Once when I was 19 at Claim Jumpers with my family and tonight. When I was 19 my stomach hurt, it was hard to walk and my pants almost ripped as I got into the car with my sisters. That led to the worst/best laughing fit of the year that almost made me pee my almost ripped pants. After that night I swore I would never eat like that again. I have been true to my word until tonight. I seriously could NOT breath on the way home. I was having pains in my chest so bad! My body is not use to this kind of abuse and it really took it out on me. So, through my own sad experience, I wish to share some knowledge with you all.
1) Stick to what you know is right! I usually get a helping of salad first. Filling up with the good stuff leaves less room for the "good" stuff.
2) Get water to drink. Refills are ok and water doesn't weigh you down: did I? Milk sounded good so I got a glass, a 20 oz glass.... x2. Milk needs to be processed like food not liquid so bad idea Rach!
3) If you like it going back for more isn't a crime.... unless you go back for more of what you want and then some other stuff too.
4) Dessert: 1 is a good number.
I am not a over indulger. I don't like the way it makes me feel. I really don't know what came over me tonight but what I do know is constant bad decisions lead to weight gain. Weight gain leads to unhappiness. Unhappiness leads to comfort foods. Comfort foods leads to bad decisions.... do you see where I am going with this???
Tomorrow I shall cleanse: Water, exercise, fruit, and veggies. Hopefully all that ruffage will clear out all that grease and junk!


Healthy Sweets

I am all about sweetness. That is my weakness. So I alter what I can to get similar results. I do NOT use artificial sweeteners most on the market have a horrible after taste and are not good for your body. I use natural, unprocessed sweeteners. Agave Nectar is what I use the most.

Now I can eat without the guilt, sugar hang over and general nasty feeling I have after I eat something LOADED. Don't get me wrong, when I go to the Cheesecake Factory I get cheesecake! I am just coming to realize as I get older my body can't handle what it use to. When I was 16 I worked at Cold Stone Creamery. An amazing ice cream shop. I got so creative and made so many wonderful things! I ate that 100% creamy goodness 2-3 times a week without even blinking! Now??? I got the smallest size they had one night and I felt sick half way through. SO, for all of you who can't eat like you are 16 any more here are some sweet treats that might perk up your day.

Warning: if you do NOT like dark chocolate tone down the cocoa to 2/3 cup and vanilla down to 1 tsp. If you like the kind of chocolate that leaves a wonderful bitter bite of cocoa after taste in your mouth after the sweetness is gone this recipe is for you.

Dark Chocolate Ice Cream
(Lactose free, sugar free)
4 3/4 cups Rice Dream or any rice milk
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup agave nectar (look for it at any health food store)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

whisk it all together in a bowl and pour it into an ice cream maker. Make according to directions. The finished product will have the consistency of frozen yogurt so put it in the freezer for a few hours to firm it up.
(My mom also makes a killer fresh peach ice cream that is sugar free. I can't remember that one off the top of my head.)

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies
(reduced fat, sugar, gluten)

1/2 c butter substitute of your choice (make sure you can use it for baking first)
2/3 c brown sugar
1/2 c agave nectar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 2/3 c spelt flour ( reserve 2/3 c) (spelt flour is processed differently and is easier on the stomach to digest. It is a lighter flour and you will need to use more than a normal cookie recipe. You can find it at a health foods store)
1 1/4 tsp of baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 bag chocolate chips
I think the chocolate chips I used were called "The good life" They were gluten free, dairy free, and sugar free. I thought for sure they would taste like bits of wax. Not at all! They are mini chocolate chips too, perfect to dump in banana bread... I digress.

Mix all wet ingredients until creamed. Mixture will be slightly liquidy. Add dry ingredients save the last 2/3 cup of flour till the end. Slowly mix in the last bit of flour until your dough is a solid consistency. NOT gooey. If it is still gooey after the 2/3 c add a little more flour at a time. The 2/3 (or less) should be enough. Drop small spoonful onto the pan and bake @ 375 for 7-10 minutes.

This recipe is still in perfecting stage. If it doesn't come out right (too cakey) don't worry it happened to me too. Whenever you start substituting things you have to adjust others. Any cookies made with agave nectar will tend to be like a very soft cookie, slighty cakey, but still darn delicious. Baking is an art in chemisty and I love chemistry. I am trying this one again next week.

These are a couple to get you started... enjoy!


Sugar, sugar! Or honey, honey?

Isn't that how the song goes? Ok, I know I am up way too late and I really have to pee but I came across a question on a blog that I wished to address.

So, if I refuse to allow my son to eat junk food, but then I have chocolate chip cookies for lunch (Don't worry. I didn't just have cookies. I also had some cookiedough.), does that mean that I'm a hypocrite, or just that I selflessly value the health of my child far more than my own?

Yes and no to your question. Yes, because if it can go in your body it should be ok to go in theirs right? (3 year old logic) and No, you know what your body can handle and know that cookies are "sometimes" foods and let's face it, we all take better care of the kids than we do ourselves.
It also depends on the child and how old they are. My kids cannot handle sugar in large quantities. They have not grown up with immense intakes. Thanks to what I know as a trainer/medical person/avid parenting magazine reader:) I made the decision to keep sugar to a minimum in our home. I did not feed my first child sugar until he was a year old. Note I say I, my mother did her best to give him what she could. His birthday cake was his first real taste of butter cream sugary goodness. The kid didn't even finish his slice. The second one I became a little more laxed and he has more of a sweet tooth BUT I still keep it to a minimum.
This is for my own weak will (as you can read more about here).
Have some limitations on "goodies" but allow your kids to enjoy them. If you are at a party have a piece of cake! Don't give them desserts late at night (for your own sake!) My kids sleep walk and talk at 2 am. The most convenient time of course. If I give them a treat it's in the afternoon so they have plenty of time to burn it off.
I think the one thing you don't want to do is not allow them to have any sugar at all. Because when they do get their hands on some they go crazy for it. Like it is forbidden fruit! Their body can't handle it either and you will get some nasty result for example...
The boys are almost four and two and a half now. One day Frankie really wanted ice cream. It was boiling outside so we decided to let them splurge and have their own DQ cone with sprinkles. As they ate I knew it was a bad idea. I could feel it! What did I get? A sugar high that ended in a crash full of tears and for the next two days diarrhea in the underwear. Yuck! So now I am back to making "healthy cookies" (they are good) and my own ice cream. It's alot of work but it does allow your kid to enjoy the sweet things in life without the nasty side effects. The best part is they like helping and they don't know the difference.
( you would like any recipes let me know.)


Downers! (not the pill kind)

My life has been full of downers this week (as some of you know who follow me on Facebook) and I have decided that I need to look back and find the silver lining. Here we go....

(five minute pause)

Frank learned how to do a cartwheel this week.

I got to work out by myself twice on top of teaching my two classes

Ollie hasn't earned a lasting bruise for over 48 hours (this is huge)

Jesse got OVERTIME!!! Who-hoo!

I went to a networking meeting for women and got about three new leads

I did a confectionary photoshoot and got to take home my "subjects" (all desserts)

Frank vacuumed my living room for fun:)

Jesse gave me a back rub

I got to listen in church today.

That wasn't too hard once I started rolling. If you really want to find what good happened in your week start writing what went wrong and end on what went right about the situation. Then, erase the negative. (Notice my spaces?) You are left with that silver lining you were looking for. I feel lighter and ready for a new week:) Have a happy week everyone!


I need a reality show

I wish I could have had a camera man walking around with me today. There were just so many little moments that were funny and cute.

Frankie is on a dress myself kick right now. Some of his recent outfits have included a pair of fairy wings and tutu, a dinosaur hat that looks like the head of a dinosaur, plaid shorts with a stripped shirt and so on. He has worn the same accessories for the past three days. A too big for him Indiana Jones like hat and too small for him black rain boots. Today we were walking across the parking lot into the gym and as he skipped ahead I loved how darn cute he looked.

We went to The Barbecue Pit for lunch today to drop in on my Uncle Gary and get some amazing bbq. While I was getting something from behind the counter the boys remained at the table. When I came back Frank was engaged in a conversation with a lady passing by.
"What a nice young man you have there. They are both adorable." She said, "He introduced himself to me. It was nice to meet you Frank." I thanked the lady, turned to the boys and Ollie had the lid off of his drink and was wearing it as a hat.
"I talked to her." Frankie said.
"I can see that. How nice of you." I replied as I tried to wipe the lemonade out of Ollie's hair. His hair is white blonde. You can even see grass stains in it.

Movie: boys sat with me and we totally vegged. Both were still almost the entire time.

We were cooped up inside alot today because it was so hot. We went to Grammie's for a quick dip though. When we got there my mom was laying down in her room. I proceeded to sneak in there while the boys were distracted and hid from them. We were just laying there talking when I hear "Mom, where are you?"
"Maybe if we are real quiet he won't find us." My mom whispered.
So we pretended to be sleeping as the door slammed open. I felt his face close to mine.
"Mom, don't go to sleep!" Frankie said as we continue to play opossum. His face got even closer and I heard Ollie padding in behind him. I lost it and began to laugh.
"What are you doing?' he asked.
"I want to be with my mom." I said.

The boys were about ready to get into the pool but they insisted I skim off the bugs first. As I was skimming Frank was dipping a mop into the pool so he could swab the deck. My kids are crazy cleaners. They think a soapy sponge is fun. As he dipped it deeper and deeper he lost his balance and fell in. All I saw as I heard the splash and turned around were his feet disappearing. He popped up and grabbed the wall as I burst out laughing. He was deciding weather or not to cry. He decided against it because I thought it was so funny.

In trying to survive the rest of the afternoon we watched a Thomas movie. As they were watching I laid down on the floor. What a bad idea. The second I was on the floor I had two boys and one dog wrestling with me all at once. It was pretty funny. At one point I had a dog chewing on my hand, a kid across my back and the other almost on top of my head. Where is a camera when you need one.

Ollie's new favorite game: Covering the parts of my face. (when you read these don't say your r's and you will understand how cute it really is.) "I cover your eyes." " I cover your ears." "I cover your nose." I didn't like that one because he stuck a finger up each nostril.

Last but not least. I was coming down the stairs after the boys had their baths and were dressed. Ollie was already down there and had found a box. For those of you who don't know a box is one of the best toys in the world. He proceeded to put the box on his head and walk around the house trying NOT to bump into things and failing miserably. I just stood and watched as he walked down the hall and (bump) the stairs (bump) the wall (bump) the door.....

What a day.


I love my jobs!

I just need a moment to be happy. I love my jobs.... ALL of them.

I love being a mom to two of the cutest little boys who make me laugh all the time. Frank and Ollie are at such a fun age right now. They play together and love to be silly with me. We have some of the best dance parties. We can go to the Zoo or Sea World without hauling the house. Life without diapers is grand!
I love being a water aerobics instructor! I get paid to work out while someone else watches my kids. I don't know of many gigs sweeter than that. I love the water, the way I feel when I am done, and love, love, love the people. They have become an extended part of my family and are supportive of all that I try and do.
I love being a swim teacher! I know my summers get crazy busy but it is SO rewarding to see these kids "get it" . We work so hard and practice over and over and then one day, BOOM, they get it. It's awesome.
I love being a photographer! Creativity is a great outlet for me and beauty is all around. I like working with people and getting them to let loose a little bit and smile. I love getting that perfect shot. The one where you say "that's it!"

I love my jobs... all of them:)


Where does all that money go?

You know how you shave down your expenditures so that you can save some money? Where does all the extra green go?

To something else you now have money for! Jesse and I trimmed down some minor stuff and saved about thirty bucks a month. What happened to that thirty dollars you might ask. It got sucked up into a new phone plan that we had to get when we upgraded our phones.
Thirty bucks, big deal. We can use it because we just saved it right? We never saved it if we just shoved it into something else!
This happens all the time and sometimes on a very large scale. Remember that car that I finally own? The $250 that we were SUPPOSE to be saving is already slipping away. I had to use it on car repairs this month.
I think that I have figured out what I am really doing. I am rearranging my money for other people to have because none of it ever stays with me.
"Money is like water. You can't hold onto it and everybody needs it." Everyone, but me because I am going to sell all of my worldly possessions and buy a farm with animals. Then I'm just going to live off the land, churn my own butter and ride a horse everywhere. Gonna stick it to the MAN! If I don't earn anything you can't take anything. Friends and family plan on contacting me by smoke signals by day and candle light Morris code by night.
Oh Jesse is going to LOVE this.


My children must be allergic to sleep!!

Kids go through phases and I understand that. Some don't sleep that well in general. Put a kid who is going through a phase together with a kid who has never been a great sleeper and you get DISASTER!!!

If we get naps our bedtime is almost nine. I put them to bed at eight and spent the next hour of my night walking up and telling them to get back in bed. Then trotting up and firmly telling them to stop climbing into each others beds and go to sleep. Finally, charging up the stairs breathing death threats before I even open the door. Once the door swings open I see the miscreants scamper towards their pillows and tell them if they get out of bed again they will get a time out. Yes, Ollie has oppted for the timeout before. GRRRRR!
If we don't get naps our bedtime is 7:30. I while away an afternoon of over tired griping, fighting, and crying. I beg the clock to march forward as the seconds trudge by. "Is it 7:30 yet?" I ask to anyone who calls. Why, sweet children. Why do you like to torture your mother so?


Back to School

There is something that I love. Learning. I love being in a classroom and receiving information that makes me go "ohhhh." I like seeing it all click. I enjoy working at something that I have never done and see it acheived. There is something that I hate. Homework. It's hard to find the time and usually it is mundane. It is unfortunate the two have to go together so often. I am learning to love homework though:) Finding the time to go back to school isn't easy. I am taking it extremely slow with one online class for six weeks before I squeeze into a few fast track classes for the fall and winter. Finding time for homework, going to class, travel time, working, taking care of the kids and house and hubby isn't easy but I am loving that my mushy brain is un-mushifying (not a word, I know.)


Future Models?

About 5-6 weeks ago Jesse and I signed the boys up for the American Mall Model Search for fun. They provide people for fashion magazines, TV, movies etc. It was free to sign up so we thought what the heck. I got a call on Monday for them to audition Tuesday night. So we decked the boys out and hussled them over to the mall for their 7:30 audition. There were about 23 people there at that audition of all ages. Frank, Ollie and one other 3 year old were the only really young ones. They each had to interview with the judges first. Frank and Ollie walked right up to the judge, Danielle, and shook her hand. They said hi and told her their names. My boys aren't exactly shy so they did well. They were flirting with twin 16 year olds in line too. These chicks were 5'11 without shoes and beautiful. Not make up pretty either. They had a natural beauty and were unpretentious about it. Anyway, after the interview they had to walk down the a cat walk and do a couple model turns. Granted they are 2 and 3 1/2 so they did not have to do much but say their name into the micriphone and walk.

Ollie said his name and I walked him down and told him to wave. He looked at Danielle and the other judge and smiled. As we were walking back I told Ollie to turn around and blow a kiss to Danielle and he did! Sooooo cute.
Frankie insisted on going up by himself. He went up to the mic and said his name. The MC asked him if he had a girlfriend. "No." he replied cooly.
"Do you want to say something into the mic for us?" Frank nodded. "Ok, lights, camera, action!" qued the MC and flipped the mic to Frank.
"Lights, camera, action!" He repeated. Then he proceeded to walk down the cat walk. I take that back... STOMP down the cat walk. The kid looked like he was stomping for roaches. Silly boy. He got to the end, showed off his muscles, and walked on back. I was pretty sure Ollie was in but was a little worried Frank wouldn't make it because of the stiff body language. Whelp, they both made the cut. Now they are going on to compete in the photo compition and the state final. That will be fun. If something comes of this great, if not, no biggie. I've had so many people tell my how cute they are that I thought I would give them their shot at fame... sort of. Luck to you boys! You have made your mommy proud.


When treats become a trial

We all know what happens when sweets are in the house... they get eaten. Usually by moms who hear their seductive cry when we are looking for something quick. Or to ease the stress of a rough day. Regardless of the reasons, we find ourselves eating more than our fair share and almost anticipating eating the last cookie or brownie so they will no longer be a temptaion.

Then there are other sweets that we don't willingly let into our house. Birthday cake, holiday goodies, gifts of chocolate, pies, ice cream for when you had guests. Evading these things are slightly easier because they take effort: who wants to CUT a slice of cake? SCOOP a bowl of ice cream? Open a box and chose a chocolate? Those thoughts give you time to reflect on your decision of eating the treat. Really, you would have to dirty a plate and fork or a bowl and spoon. Or worse, sift through the chocolates only to get one you don't want. Grrr.
I have some small solutions. Things that have worked for me that I wish to share with the rest of the sweet frienemies out there. Some are conventional truths and common sense while others fill me with rebellious joy.
First conventional: Make sure you are hydrated. Your body may feel a low because of your lack of liquids. That will send a signal to your stomach and you may confuse that with hunger. As we know quick grabs are the easiest and that sugar high does give you a little pick me up.
Make sure you are feeding yourself along with your children. As a mom we usually forget about ourselves until we are starving! Once again, looking for a boost we go for the quick grab. Make sure other options are there. Carrots, sliced cucumbers, cut celery, triscuits, or my favorite dried fruit. You really need sugar? Toss some dried cranberries in you mouth while you make real food.
When you make sweets in your house don't set yourself up to fail. Don't make 3 dozen cookies at once. Bake enough for your family to enjoy at the time. I usually do a dozen. Then take out wax paper. Wrap up and freeze balls of dough (enough for about a dozen) for later use. That way, when you want to make the effort later most of the work is already done:) This works with every dough I have tried. Brownies are tougher. I only make them when I know most of them will be eaten in one night.
Now for the fun!
We all know the scene: leftover cake in the fridge. Covered in plastic. The knife left in the pan for easier access. Less guilt when it's just a tiny sliver, right? We get tired of looking at it but waste not want not right? Throwing away food is abominable. It's just plain wrong. What do you do? I take a fork and spear it right in the middle of what is left over. Scoop out a nice size bite, eat it, and toss the rest. Pie in your fridge? Smash up the crust, stir it around the tin. take a bite and chuck it. No one is going to eat something mutilated but at least you didn't waste it right? You took a bite. Hehehehe. Oh it feels like winning both inner struggles. You didn't eat all that sugar, you did put it to good use, and you didn't waste it. Christmas goodies? Give them a time limit in your home. One week then out they go (with a mutilation send off, of course.) Chocolates are the hardest for me. To take a bite of each may make you sick. Stick with the one week rule or make sure you can be strong. I hope this lightens everyone's day and scales. Moderation is a good thing. Remember that when you take that last bite from right out of the middle and rejoice:)


A good laugh at someone else's expense

There is nothing better than a good laugh. At someone else's expense gives me a fiendish delight. Don't hate! It's all in good fun. We have a pair of elders in our ward right now that make me laugh so hard. Elder Swan is the the straight man and Elder Roberts is the goofy slapshtick one. HILARIOUS! Roberts takes all these videos of doing stupid things like eating the world's hottest chili pepper, waxing his eyebrows, and such. His face and reactions are pricless. Swan is the guy who says something absolutely hilarious with a dead pan face. That makes it even more funny.

Tonight we had the elders over for dinner and after dinner Roberts said he wanted to conquer his fear of snakes and asked to hold ours.
"I just fed him a few days ago so he shouldn't bite." I teased.
We gave him the snake and he did ok. He would hold it but it kind of made him nervous when he couldn't see the snakes head. He wanted him to be more active so I told him to put the snake down on the couch.
"If you want him to explore just sit still. Don't make any sudden moves right in front of his face or he'll get scared and coil back." I warned him.
We all sat down to a game and Elder Swan reached forward (across the snake) to give Elder Roberts something. Kaw, our snake, frighted by the shadow, jerked back towards Roberts. In that same instance Roberts, eyes wide as saucers, jerked back too. He looked ready to jump off the couch and scream like a girl. That was the first time. The second time it happened wasn't much better. As the game progressed I asked Elder Roberts if he would put the snake around his neck.
"I won't do it but I'll let you do it." he said, putting on his brave face. So, Jesse put the snake around his neck. Still as a statue, Roberts began to FREAK OUT.
"Ok, I can't see his head. What's he doing? Is he by my adam's apple? Ok, I'm done you can get him off now." The ranting went on as we laughed and sat.
"Seriously Bro. Wattson! Take him back." Jesse took a picture with Elder Roberts camera and we all just kept talking. Then Jesse decided to get something in the kitchen. Turning like a robot Roberts continued,
"Wattson, seriously, oh snap. Get him off me. AHHhgh. Is he crawling? Wattson?!"
All this time (an eternity for Roberts. In real life it was about 2 minutes.) I was laughing so hard I all most peed my pants. Jesse finally came back. As he took the snake off of him dragged the snake's tail up his neck and gave Roberts the worst case of hibbie jibbies I've ever seen. The sad part is we didn't get a video. Oh well, maybe he'll let us do it again:) What a good laugh.


I own something!

My car! Jesse and I made our last payment on our car this month. Wow! I can't believe we are the official owners of our vehicle. Thank goodness we still fit into it:) Two hundred and fifty nine dollars a month is now... going to another debt. Debt is a scary thing. I am starting to see the light as we slowly crawl our way out of that hole we dug one swipe at a time. As we tighten our belts and put our plastic away I realize how lucky I am. There are those with thousands in school loans. Some have mortgages they can no longer pay. My debts? They are mostly self inflicted wounds from over rationalizations. " I NEED this because..." "This can't wait because..." " I can't save right now because.."

Shut up Rachel. Shut up.
Once I told myself that, it was a little easier to put a rubberband around all those devils and close them into a deep dark place. I have them available if something tragic happens (major mechanic bills etc) but out of sight out of mind really does work. If you don't think you can live without the credit cards think again. You can! Keep a balanced check book, work a budget, and once your money is gone, it's gone. I have to say it's quite liberating! The best part is... I own something!!!!!


Unforgetable lyrics

Lady Gaga has a few hit songs on the radio right now. Frank LOVES to sing along. We were sitting at the table tonight eating dinner when he started singing "poker face". And I quote

"Cutie pie, cutie pie, don't need, let's poke our face." after which he poked his face. Soooo silly.


Funny stuff

I was helping my mom download some pictures from girls camp and came across this one. This is my sister Heidi practicing archery. Yes that is a tutu:) Oh man, this brought back alot of girls camp memories.


FHE is hard to do

FHE, Family Home Evening, is hard to do when you don't have a set schedule. We have tried and failed to do FHE regularly with the whole family. So that means some weeks we have it on Monday and some weeks we have it on Sunday. That never kept up for long. Well, some members of our ward go out to the beach every Monday for FHE during the summer. "What a great way to get into the habit," I thought. We decided to go a couple Mondays ago. It was so much fun and the water was perfect. Though Jesse is gone this week we went again. I love my big ward family. Plenty of eyes to watch the kids and plenty of helping hands. It started my long week off right. The pictures below are courtesy of Stan Coburn. It's nice to be in pictures every once in a while:)

Frank and I jumping the waves
Ollie playing in a hole filled with water
Oh, he's so cute. He would just get tumbled and pop up for more.
Can you see were my work suit ends??? Hello white!
Mr. Sand Man
Some of my babysitters:)
S'more and Wuff em' time
Frank on the left chowin a mallow
Yes, I had some!
It was a really fun night and I hope there are many more left in the summer. This will be a good way to get us on track.



Yes I am. No I'm not. Yes I am... I guess it just depends on the day:)


Creativity is brewing

I like to get creative but I never seem to meet my expectations for the finished product. My goal with my current project is to undermine my perfectionist self and let it be what it will be. Why would I do such a thing??? Because my kids will eventually destroy it.

I am creating a daily routine chart and chore chart for Frank and Ollie. I was feeling extra creative so I decided to go all out. I have been in the "creation" process for about 3 days now... that's good for me and a poster ok. I spent over two hours cutting out pictures of chores and pictures of the boys last night and gluing them in their proper places. Once I have the finished product I will post a picture. I am determined to be done by Saturday. Wish me luck!


My husband almost got me arrested!

There is a group of people in our ward that goes down to the beach every Monday for family home evening. They all pack dinner or come later for dessert. Our family decided to join said people at the sandy shores of La Jolla. It was a beautiful evening, though over cast, and the salty sea was a perfect 75 degrees. While Jesse and the boys were playing I cracked open an IBC root beer. Those are the ones in the fancy bottles that taste fantastic. Jesse bought them as a special treat for us big people. About 10 minutes later a cop rolls up, gets out of his car, and starts walking over to our group on the grass. We had about 25 people by this time. As he was walking I almost knew I was the one that did something wrong. He asked whose bottle it was.

"Mine," I almost shouted. I did not want someone else to pay for my hideous crime.
"That is root beer, right?" He asked smiling.
"Yea, it's IBC." I volunteered as I moved the bottle in my hand towards his face.
"You're not allowed to have glass anywhere on the beach."
"Oh, I thought it was just the sand." How dumb do I sound right now? There are "No alcohol, No glass, No smoking" signs stenciled every 20 feet on the sea wall. How did I miss that???
Thankfully the cop was cool. He told me I could put the root beer in a water bottle or a cup and drink it and stow my contriband in my cooler. Thank you SDPD for cutting a girl some slack.


Stress Factors

Stressed. Like a cold, we all get it from time to time and, just like a virus, it breeds. They are called stress factors. Individually they are harmless but one can breed another. Then they swarm your brain and whamo! Your stressed out!
My summers are always crazy. I teach my own water aerobics classes and sub for people who actually go on vacation. In between aerobics I teach children swim lessons and I am shooting weddings, family portraits etc when the opportunity arises. I just got two calls: one to take on another water aerobics class. Two, a land aerobics class. Admittedly, I am burning the candle at both ends. There has to be somewhere to draw the line. I think I found it! No more commitments for me. Now I just need to hang on for one more month to finish what I started. Inhale..... exhale. Ahhhh.
Let us reflect for a moment on our lives. Pin point things that are taking their toll on your brain and well being. Now eliminate one or more. Don't you feel better?


My day

I woke up.

I ran a mile and a half, maybe walk some too.
I cleaned the tub, sink, counters, and mirrors.
I forgot the toilet.... shoot!
I'll do it tomorrow.

My sons played with trains.
My swim lessons rocked.
My student Ruthie swam without me for the first time.
My mom and sister laughed with me, or at me.
My toes are cold.

I got to hang out with Ollie solo.
I watched him swim/drown (he needs to learn fear).
I cleaned up the trains, planes, and automobiles.
I put Ollie to bed .
I finally turned off the air conditioner.


The pulse of the home

The true pulse of home is mom. Mom's attitude and well being determines the atmosphere of the household. She is the one who gets things done. She is the one that makes sure every one's lives stay on track. Moms, especially stay at home moms, are essential to the attitude of the home. If mom is happy, you feel it. If mom is angry, you feel it. If mom is sad, you feel it. With that being said I want to give a little encouragement to those who need it most.... moms.

Yes, there is alot on your plate. You cook, clean, chauffeur, bandage, help, and comfort everyone within your sphere. Who does that for you? Make sure to take some time out ladies. By yourself, with your friends, or with your husband.

By yourself timeouts should happen everyday! At least a one to five minutes breather where you enjoy a piece of chocolate. Maybe a cool glass of water sitting in a lawn chair would do it. Just enjoy something for you once a day. My personal favorite is exercising while my kids are with Dad or in daycare.

Friend timeouts should be more frequent than they are. We, as mothers, sacrifice our friendships. We sacrifice alot! Try to get together with girlfriends. Maybe hang out with your mom or sisters. Some of my greatest times I have with my sisters is when I just happen to be going somewhere and they can come along. It makes shopping so much more fun:)

Hubby time outs are a must. Sometimes the two of you need to remember why you married each other. All relationship take effort ladies. That doesn't mean you HAVE to plan out a date every week. Sitters are expensive. Put the kids down and make a late dinner together. Curl up with popcorn and a movie. Don't forget to turn off the lights. Take 5 minutes and pull him into the bathroom (one of the few doors that has a lock in my house) and make out just to remind him how awesome you are.

Take a time out girl. It will all be there when you get back.


When Mom is away, boys will play...

Here is what happens when I go to teach a water aerobics class.

The boys (all of them) get bored and start to do crazy things:) They all played outside after dinner. Running, crawling, and jumping around. They got nice and sweaty before bed. Jesse then decided to give the kids a little dessert. A slice of cake with a smudge of jam and whipped cream. The kids were stoked! Once he got it ready he figured he'd each give them a shot of the whipped cream. They liked it so much he did it again and got it on camera so I could see it! Ha, ha! So funny:)



Sleep is so precious and illusive. It is always hovering above me. Flitting around like graceful butterflies waiting to be captured. I wish I had a proper net. Once the kids are in bed it feels like there are a million things to do. I do those and by the time I am done and unwinding it's about 11 pm. Why...sniff...why can't I get done earlier??? So here is my attitude tonight. It will all be there in the morning! Time to ice my aching back, vegetate, and go to bed!


Water and Land Animals

Water and land are two different worlds. Gravity pulls us down and water pushes against us in all directions. Some of us naturally take to land or water better. I am part fish myself. I have been teaching water aerobics for about six years. I find it challenging and an excellent workout. It may not look like much from above the water but if you get in and start working with us you come to find it's not so easy. Water aerobics is great for injured athletes, people with joint problems, back pain, sciatic nerve issues, obesity, etc. Looking for a great way to firm up post pardom? Head to the water.

I was getting ready to teach today when an aerobics instructor I knew came on deck. I have taken his cardio salsa class and the man can DANCE! He runs circles around me on the aerobic floor. John told me he was getting certified for water and let me know he would be taking my classes. I cautioned him that water aerobics feels VERY different (mister impecable rythm) and told him that it might take him a few classes to catch on to the movements and timing. He said he was game.
"Sweet, jump in and let's get started." I chirped, secretly laughing my evil laugh (muaaah. Muaahaha, muhahahahah! It's payback time. MUAAHHAHAHA!)
My workout was well rounded with a good variety. All my students liked it. I kept peeking over at John, who was totally out of his element, hoping that he was doing things right. Why is it that when we don't know what we are doing we go to the BACK of the class??? Hello, you should be at the front. This is most important when you are in a water aerobics class. It is necessary to be close to the instructor to see what she/he is doing and so we can correct you if necessary to prevent injury. I could tell he was struggling but he stuck it out. By the end of class he seemed to understand the element H2O a little better. We work with the water. We use the resistance and enjoy the challenge. Welcome to my world, it's going to be a wavy ride:)



That is what is happening everyday. Day in and day out we put something off thinking we "have time." NO, you don't. Stop waiting! Don't put it off. If you want it, go for it. Yes, you are worth it.


Dirt, dust and grime.

My calling at church involves planning activities for the Elders quorum. The first one that I planned was the Summer kick off camp out. It was to be held out at the mud caves. We planned for the last weekend in June, and it happened to be the start of all the hot days this summer. The camp out was for the elders and their sons if they had any. What a perfect opportunity to get Frank to the great outdoors. He has been to little places for camping before but never like this. I didn't bother to bring a tent. We slept in the back of my truck instead. Frank was so excited. He couldn't wait to get to the caves.
We have hit some bumps in the past with the truck, but have never been off-roading. The road to the caves was dirt and rutted. I think Frank is hooked. He loved every second of it. He got to stay up late, and finally asked to go to bed at 10:15. It was so hot that he slept in his underwear. Bight and early the next morning my mountain man was up and begging to see the caves. After breakfast, we all headed up. I started with an easy hike to see how he would do. Curiousity took control and fueled his body for the whole day. We had to bring in our own light so Frank and I strapped on head lamps and headed for the good ones. You would think the boy grew up in the caves the way he would just run around. I couldn't keep up with him. The narrow spots didn't slow him down one bit. It didn't hurt the they were above his head and he never really came close to a narrow spot. Dad, on the other hand, was squeezing though and trailing far behind. Frank even wanted to scale the rope at the end of the cave.
"let's do another cave!" he exclaimed.
Our camp out ended after one more cave and lunch. The road back was clear, and our speed was a little faster leaving than coming in. That didn't stop us from doing a couple of doughnuts in the dirt (see the video). After we were all funned out, we headed home. To my surprise Frank was passed out while driving down the dirt road.
The kicker was when he woke up about 30 min later and said
"Dad what is this? It's gross."
I said "Where did you get it from?"
Frank replied, with a dead pan face, "my nose."
"Oh" I replied "its a camp booger"
"Okay." he said.
It was a great trip for this father and son, and I look forward to many more like it.
The little prince in his royal bed.

Ready for the caves

Made it to the top all by himself, and had a cool light to boot.

A free lesson in gravity. This was the easy way down the little hill, and more fun. It got him so much more dirty this way.

The last cave, lunch cave. This is a happy boy, dirty, tired, but happy


I like to ride my bicycle

Jesse and I love to have family days when he is home. We got the opportunity to buy a kid bike that attaches to mine. We got a chair for Ollie and with that bike for Frank... instant family day. Grammie and Heidi joined us for a round about Santee lakes.
Frank showing off his "new bike" to Grammie
Ollie and Frankie ready to rock!
Taking the trail
Ice Cream Break
Did you know that ducks like Cheezits?


If you chance to meet a frown....

My children have a new game: Lets see how many of mom's buttons we can push before 9 am!

I'm not a huge fan of this game but they seem to enjoy it and love to tag team too. It's kind of like good cop, bad cop. One is fine and sweet while the other is weepy and/or grumpy. (Breathe, two... three... four...)
This morning we start off WRONG! It is a rule in our house to get dressed and then you can have breakfast. I do this because I hate having to haul the kids back up stairs after breakfast to get ready for the day. I tell Frankie to get dressed and get his shoes on as I get Ollie in his clothes for the day.
"Ok," he says... and starts to play.
"Frank, get dressed. Your clothes are right there."
"No, I don't want to." he retorts and runs to the bathroom.
?.... What? What happened in that thirty second time span? I decide to let it go. He knows he won't eat unless he is dressed so I figure when he's hungry enough he will comply. So, Ollie and I go down stairs to eat.
While I am downstairs I hear him go to his room to dress and two minutes later I hear crying, weeping, lamenting, and a bunch of blubbering I can't understand coming from the boys room.
"Just relax..." I remind myself "don't feed into it."
Once he finally calms down I find out he was crying because he needed help with his sock.
SERIOUSLY??? That much energy over a sock??
We finally settle down to eat, after the boys fight over whose turn it is to say the prayer, when Ollie starts.
"Ollie, stop rubbing your spoon in your hair. Your spoon is for eating your yogurt." I say, my voice starting to find it's edge.
"Grrrr.... you know what???" He growls at me giving me his heaviest eyebrows.
Frankie begins singing,"If you chance to meet a frown, do not let it stay..." I guess the food turned him into good cop.
"Stop it! I grumpy!" Ollie yells. I chastize him for yelling and it just gets better.
Frankie would rather run around the house instead of brush his teeth and cries when I tell him I need to help him.
Ollie insists on filling his OWN water bottle and spills some on the floor.
Frankie tells me as we are going out the door that he has some poop in his underwear.
Ollie is hitting Willis.
The rest of the water from the water bottle spills on the floor as we are stepping over the threshhold.... AHHHHGGH!
(this is where mommy looses it and both of my boys become perfectly compliant angels which almost erks me more at this point!)
All before 9 am.................


Through the eyes of a child

Everyone has had it happen to them. You download your pictures and 75% of them are pictures you don't remember taking! Frank was notorious for this so we decided to get him is own camera for his birthday (thank you family). I guess my camera is still more fun to play with. Here are some of his "captures" out of the 20,30,40 shots he took.

We were at a Veteran's Museum: huge tank! Frankie could squeeze in between the wheels of the tracks.

Very old canon

Down the loading end... I think

Us trying to get him to eat instead of take pictures

Who doesn't take a picture of their toes???

I hope you enjoyed the little bit of craziness.


Aspiring musicians

Frank and Ollie love using my piano.  They use it more than I do!  Every time I sit down to play they always ask to play too.  Sometimes it's easier to keep my talent dormant than to compete with up and comers!


Weird Allergies

I have always been allergic to weird things... avocados, carrots, cantaloupe, kiwis.  After having two children I see my condition worsening.  My melon allergy got worse and I had to be careful about other things I ate.  I was in Costco with my mom one day and we picked up a sample of yogurt.  As we were eating it I began to feel my throat closing making it harder to swallow and breath.  I stop eating the yogurt and we went back to find out what was in it.  Flax seed powder!  It just so happened that I was now extremely allergic to flax seed and any other seed oil on some degree.  I thought that was a new level of weird until Wednesday.
I peeled and sliced a mango for breakfast in the morning and while I was cutting the fruit I cut off some of the seeds spiny outside.  As I ingested that little part of the seed husk I had a massive allergic reaction.  I stumbled out of the kitchen, feeling knives in my throat, as I rummaged for some Benadryl in our medicines container.  No pills... AAGH! (like I could swallow them anyway).  Then I spotted the children's Benadryl!  Three teaspoons ought to do it!  I gagged down the horrifically sweetened medicine thinking "How do my kids stand this stuff?"  Praying that the direct contact would ease my suffering.  Reeling, I held onto the counter waiting for relief and tried to calmly answer my children's "are you ok mommy." mantra.  I swear a child will ask the exact same question a million times until they are answered.  Yes I am still alive to tell the story but who knows what my body will react to next:)  


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