Thursday, April 28, 2011

Happy Easter

This Easter, we did what we always do. We went to Hot Springs to spend the weekend with my parents, brother and SIL, and my grandparents.
The only thing that was missing was Travis. He had some urgent work come up and wasn't able to come. The girls and I missed him so much. My parents and grandparents missed him, but are very proud of what a hard working husband I have, (I am too!).

So, Friday, the girls and I headed to Hot Springs. About halfway there, Catherine downed a juice box and about 30 seconds later, she threw up all over herself. I am talking EVERY.WHERE! I pulled over, took her clothes off, cleaned her up and we were back on the road in 5 minutes. About 2 minutes after that, she threw up AGAIN! (This always and only happens when its JUST the girls and I.) I wiped her off and told her to go to sleep. Luckily she slept the rest of the way and we got there with no problems.

Saturday, the boys went fishing. All of the girls headed to Little Rock for Disney Princess on Ice. The girls were SO excited and had a blast. (My camera died, so the pics are few and far between from here on out). It was cute and I just LOVE making memories with them.

Saturday night, my grandparents came over for a yummy dinner and egg dying. They have so much fun doing that. (I have to step back and let my over-bearing self relax a little!)

We also have a hidden talent in our family. All of us have the "eye hangover" (deep set eyes) and are able to do this. (see pic below and be jealous...very jealous!)

Sunday, we went to church (and found Easter goodies waiting by the door before we left!). We go to the early service, which is usually easy with Trav is there to help me get the girls ready, but, I struggled this year and only snapped one picture of the girls with Honey's camera before we left.

I LOVE the Easter Service. It is such a good reminder of what God gave for us and what we He has promised us. During church, the girls were so good as usual. But, every time the choir would finish singing, Catherine would yell, "ALL DONE!". The entire congregation was laughing at her each time.

After church, we went to the Country Club for lunch with GrandDa, DaddyBen, Aunt Bev and Uncle Michael. While we were waiting, Daddy Brooks and Jon hid eggs for the girls on the playground, the girls played and even Daddy Brooks got in on the action.

It was such fun Easter and a nice reminder of all that we have been blessed with.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Bane of My Existance

Mom, if you opened this, close it. This is not going to make you happy. Do not read any further in this post.

Growing up, we always had a sparkling clean house and laundry was ALWAYS done. If I wanted to, I could have worn the same clothes every single day. I dropped clothes down the laundry chute and a few hours later my mom was handing my my basket full of the same clothes, clean, folded and hung up.

(Unfortunately, I didn't believe in even wearing clothes twice in a month. My how things have changed!)

When Travis and I first got married, I was a horrible house cleaner and laundry...HA! We would dig through the dirty clothes, pick out what we wanted to wear the next couple of days and wash that. We had more dirty clothes than clean. Obviously, the "cleaning gene" was not passed down. (Perhaps it skips a generation?)

As time has gone on and our family has grown (along with the laundry piles), I have gotten MUCH better. My house is usually much cleaner, although there are ALWAYS toys scattered every where. I actually keep up with laundry. (meaning: I am only a couple of loads behind instead of 12 loads behind.)

I have even started folding/hanging up the clean clothes every night. I used to do it once a week. On Sunday night after the kids were in bed, I would fold between 10 and 12 loads of laundry. It took hours, people...HOURS! (Travis tried to help one was ridiculous and took twice as long.)

There is one thing that I cannot bring my self to do...


I hate socks. I rarely (if ever) wear socks. I never have. I used to practice basketball and cheerleading with no socks on (they were required for games). ( feet stink. I say its a zinc deficiency. It's true. Google it.)

Apparently my hatred for wearing socks has manifested itself into a hatred of folding socks. These are currently in my laundry room:

(Yes, we have a crazy amount of socks...sometimes I just buy new packs rather than fold them. Don't judge!)

TWO...count them...TWO laundry baskets full of socks that need to be folded. (One basket has also caught a few other things...oops!) Last time my parents kept the girls, my mom folded ALL of our socks and put them away.

(She love me...maybe a little less after tackling that chore.)

I just couldn't bring myself to keep it up. So, we are back to two laundry baskets full of unfolded socks. Every morning, Travis has to dig through the basket(s) to find matching socks. (It's a good thing our vows didn't say "in sickness and health...and only if she keeps the socks folded.") The only thing he says about it is "Why don't you just dump these in a garbage sack, buy us all two packs of new socks, and start over."

I have considered it several times. But, I can't do it. That would be lazy (or at least lazier than not folding the socks.)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Weekend Wrap-up & Tax Day

This weekend, Travis went turkey hunting, so it was girls only in our house! Friday night, we went to dinner and watched HOP with the Brown girls, Alyssa and Halle. The movie was very cute and we had fun. Even Catherine and Bree made it through the whole movie with no major meltdowns!

Saturday, the girls were supposed to have soccer games. But, because of the wind and rain, they were cancelled. I was secretly glad. I had to go to Alpena and judge cheerleading tryouts. Between making the girls games and getting to tryouts in time, I was going to be stretched to the limit. While I was gone, Miss Ashley came and kept the girls. They had a great time with her and were so well taken care of! Saturday evening, the girls and I watched a movie and stayed up way too late.

Sunday, we just hung around the house and got ready for the week. Emma and Hannah played outside while Catherine napped. I read. Catherine played with blocks. It was a lazy and good day!

On tax day 2011, I had to share a couple of pictures of one of my adorable tax deductions from this morning. (She might not be smiling so big if she knew about the checks I had to send to Uncle Sam today! YUCK!)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

No use crying over spilled milk (or a broken hushpuppy)

After spending 3/4 of our day Sunday playing outside, we decided to skip cooking dinner and go eat some yummy catfish. It seemed like a great idea. The kids were in a good mood. Despite the fact that we were all filthy and pink from the sun, Travis and I figured "Why not?".

(When I say filthy, I am talking stinky, sweaty kids and a Mommy who didn't wash her hair that morning...Eww!)

We headed to Fayetteville to Catfish Hole. We love that place, but rarely go because it's "all the way in Fayetteville".  Since we decided spur of the moment to jump in the car and go, we didn't have any electronics (read: entertainment for the kids) or Catherine's baby.

It was pretty early for dinner, so I figured we could slip in and slip out unnoticed and SURELY wouldn't see anyone we knew. We were seated and they immediately brought us the "fixins" (hushpuppies and coleslaw). I am not sure if that do that for everyone or if they heard Catherine saying "EAT! EEEEEAAAT!" from the moment we walked in the door. Either way, it was something to hold her over until the fish arrived.

The hushpuppies they brought were hot. So, I reached over to Catherine's plate and broke her's in half to help it cool faster. BIG MISTAKE!

It was at this moment things fell apart. Catherine melted into a limp, SCREAMING noodle. She went bizerk yelling "BOOOKE! IT BOOOOKE! (broke)! I tried giving her another hushpuppy, but she wanted THAT one! She slid down in the booth, onto the floor under the table and pitched the biggest fit I have ever seen. She was a kicking, screaming, snotty mess right under our table.

(so much for getting in and out unnoticed)

For a minute, I thought about ignoring her until she stopped. But, then, people started looking. We were beside a couple with one kid, who was happily sitting in his highchair eating his broken hushpuppies.

(remember how good your first kid was? And, how when you saw a child acting like mine, you would whisper to your husband "Our kids will NEVER do that"? Yeah. Me too. Call me when you have another one or two and let me know how that works out for ya!)

To keep from ruining everyone's dinner, I picked her up and carried her out while she was screaming "NOOOOO!" (If the hostess hadn't seen me walk in with her, she would probably think I was kidnapping her!). Catherine and I went to the car. As I was trying to put her in the car, she went from a limp noodle to a spider monkey. She was literally climbing my face trying to keep from being put in the car. After fighting her for about 3 mintues, I finally got her in and closed the door (both of us in the backseat...I was sitting in Hannah's booster seat, sweating with my hair sticking up everywhere.)

I sat there listening to my child have a melt down until she finally gathered herself. I was trying to figure out what I could take in with me to keep her from going nutso again. (remember: we didn't bring a THING with us in the car). I found a notebook and pen, gave it to Catherine and we headed back inside.

The minute I walked in, I saw some friends of mine (who luckily have three kids and probably understand the insanity that had just occurred). I stopped to talk, but was so mortified and self absorbed, I didn't even use good manners and barely spoke (sorry, Matt and Angela!).

We got back to the table and I ate one piece of fish. After I got that down, I breathed a sigh of relief thinking we were going to make it through dinner. At that exact moment, Catherine spotted the broken hushpuppy and it apparently brought back bad memories. The meltdown started all over again!

I shoved another piece of fish in my face, grabbed her and RAN to the car! We sat out there until Travis and the other girls got done eating. While we were waiting, Catherine was screaming in the car and I was just sitting there tuning her out and listening to the radio.

(Cruel to ignore your child, I know. But, I had to keep my sanity because I was about to lose it!)

Ready for the best part of the story?

We pulled into our garage after the dinner from hell. I went to get Catherine out of her carseat and she pointed at me and said "Mama MEAN!". Then, pointed at herself and said "Niiiice. Goooo gurl. (good girl)". Um...can I get a YEAH RIGHT!?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Weekend Wrap-up

This weekend was such a busy weekend! We had lots to do, but TONS of fun!

Friday night, we went to the Naturals game we the Browns. It was a gorgeous evening/night. Every Friday night, they have a big fireworks show after the game. The kids were SO excited for that part. But, the game went into extra innings and I thought it was NEVER going to end! Finally, we won and the fireworks could start. We all had a great time (even though we didn't get in bed until after midnight).

Saturday was opening day for Spring Soccer. Hannah had a game at 9am and Emma's game was at 12:30. Both girls did great in their games, despite being EXHAUSTED from the night before. When we got home, we all took about a 3 hour nap. After our nap, we grilled out and played outside.

Sunday, it was another beautiful day. About 10am, I sent the girls outside to play and we were all out there most of the day. Afterwards, we went to dinner (a huge mistake that deserves a post of its own!) and got ready for the week ahead.

It was a great weekend full of beautiful weather!

Friday, April 8, 2011


When I go out of town, I know the girls are going to look a little "ratty" in the hair department. (By ratty, I don't mean no bows.)

Not that Travis isn't an amazing Daddy, but he just has a VERY hard time fixing their hair. He usually pulls one side back with a barrett and calls it good. By the end of the day, they have lost their barretts and look like their hair hasn't been brushed in a month.

(One time when Emma was in Pre-K, Travis sent her to school with a hair-tie on her wrist and a brush in hand, so her teacher could fix her hair.)

I was traveling this week for work, so imagine my surprise when I get this picture text from Travis:

Please ignore the fact that Catherine is about to climb out of her crib

Our conversation went like this: (I am using the EXACT spelling punctuation, etc.)
B: Wow! Who fixed their hair?
T: me whoelse?
B: I don't of our neighbors?
T: no they were all too busy

So, I am so proud of Travis. He always takes good care of the girls. But, this rockets him into Super Dad status! (Now...if only I could get him to put a bow on top of those awesome ponytails.)

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Tea Party Birthday

Today, sweet and crazy Hannah turned 4! What better way to celebrate than with a Tea Party!?

Hannah's friends came over and I served them "tea" (pink lemonade), crust less PB&J, chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate covered vanilla wafers. They put on their cute hats, white gloves and boas. They had a ball and it was was cute watching them.

After they finished eating, we sang and let Hannah blow out her candles. Everyone ate cupcakes and we opened presents. Then, they played dress up. It was hilarious watching them get into the costumes.

All and all, it was a great party. Hannah had SO much fun with her friends! She was especially excited that Honey, Uncle Jon and Aunt Nicole drove 3+ hours just to be here on her special day!

After everyone left, the girls crashed hard for a late afternoon nap. I cleaned up from the tea party and got things ready for Hannah's next party.

One of our traditions in our little family of 5 is no matter when you party is, you have a separate party on your actual birthday with dinner of your choice, cake and gifts from us. Sometimes, you get two parties in one day. Other times, it works out that you may have to wait a few days to have your small family party. But, that's how we do it!

Hannah requested tacos and refried beans (her fav) for dinner. So, that's what we had. After dinner, we celebrated her birthday just a little longer with cake and a few presents.

Catherine had a TOTAL melt down when she didn't get to open any presents. I laughed...and took her picture.  (And she STILL didn't get to open Hannah's presents...I'm mean!)

This card from Emma to Hannah made my entire day. Despite all the fighting and bickering (and me saying "Stop it! You two ARE best friends whether you want to be or not!), they love each other (and ARE best friends!).

Wowee! FOUR YEARS OLD! You are turning into such an amazing little girl. Your big smile and contagious laugh are such a blessing to us. You are such a funny girl and LOVE when we all laugh at/with you. I cannot believe how quickly you went from that screaming colicky baby to the laughing happy girl you are. You are so wild and crazy and ALWAYS keep us on our toes. You are amazingly smart, spunky and undeniably beautiful. I am so blessed that God has let me be your Mommy. Your Daddy, sisters and I love you like crazy!