Sunday, October 28, 2012

What doesn't kill you makes... Wait WHAT!? A 5K?!

I love my daughter. I REALLY do. I must. She asked to run a 5K and in an effort to inspire her I agreed! I must have had guilt PMS or something. Because well... I. Don't. Run. Ever. No joke. But beginning about 9 days ago I started intervals on the elliptical. And I did intervals w the kids once outside. Tonight I got even more serious. I mapped it and ran it alone.
My vision of "cool" has changed over the years. Today as my feet hit the pavement mid workout I threw a little air guitar. That's right!!! Only the air guitar was to Johnny Cash and "mid" was .89 miles and my side was killing me from something other than laughing for the 1st time in 15 years. 16 year old me would absolutely come here and smack me in the head for lack of awesomeness. ;-). I'm pretty excited though that's the 1st time in my entire life I have power walked/ jogged/ intervals WHATEVER for 2 whole miles. Just one point one more to go. So back to my statement: What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. However if this kills me... Please, someone, at least roll me across the finish line.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Fall is here

I woke up this morning and stepped outside with the dogs and fell in love.  It was COOL out.  58 degrees to be exact.  I dreamed that it would stay that temp all day long.  Alas it is now 84 degrees at nearly 2:00 but I enjoyed it while it lasted.  That's fall in sunny Florida for you.  The New Englander in me misses the crisp bite of the cold air and running in under your blankets with a cup of hot chocolate to cool off.  For effect here we kick the a/c down and proceed in the same manner.  I love fall.  I love the colors, the smells, I love turkey and the cold air.   I would like to live in perpetual Autumn.  
To celebrate the season (such that it is in FL) we had a formal fall dinner party and I did a complete autumn table setting.   Complete with place cards. 

See those pretty centerpieces?  I made them with supplies from Joann's I decided it would be safer to use an LED candle on the inside instead of an actual candle so I didn't burn the house down, or so the 2 year old doesn't get a hold of it.   What I failed to notice however is that the LED candles didn't have a timer, just an on off button and it is on.  the.  bottom.  If I take the candle out all those little acorns and pinecones all fall in.  FAIL.  I have since purchased timer ones which is much smarter ;) .

Here's a closer look

I actually switched the beans out for brown craft moss from Michaels in the end and I like that a bit better. 
Today I made a Fall sensory bin for the little monkey.  He especially likes picking up one leaf and dropping it so it floats down.  He's been doing that for almost 10 minutes (which in his little world is half an eternity).  Here's a pic.  
Happy Fall Y'all! 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Walker Family is Expanding

Clearly I am too bored with life and doing 1.5 million little things from sun up to sun down is not enough anymore because I decided that what I would like for my birthday is a puppy!  A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to be exact.  I miss my Abby terribly and because she died so suddenly I had sworn off getting another but I just can't stick to that.  It's not like I could go steal back Barkley who is growing up with the Mowen boys and is as happy as a clam (are clam's really happy?), just because we have room & time now to not make him stay on a leash.  I'm hoping once this new little girl gets bigger Molly will also enjoy having a pup around to play with.  Molly is approximately 7 so this should wear her out fast...  Although I am pretty sure worn out and Australian Shepherd do not ever go together in the same sentence.  The kids are excited of course.  But they quickly forget what it is like to have a mini ankle biter running around pooping on your floor.  And I will be cursing the mornings when I am outside with a puppy at 6:30 am but so goes life right?  Puppy Love.
Here she is.  "Piper" comes home in a week :0)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Baby Genius Goes to Preschool

Oh my gosh how did this happen?  How is it even remotely possible that the baby, that I swear I just gave birth to like a week ago, was the same kid I dropped off at mother's morning out preschool today?  Where in the H-E double hockey sticks is the pause button for growing up?  Waaahhhh.
It was bad enough sending my oldest "baby" to middle school this year and now the little baby has a backpack.  To quote the Ninny "What the fudgesicles?"  He looked adorable though, and he was so excited to go this morning.  I dropped him off quickly (like ripping off a band-aid!), and then peeked around the corner.   He was headed for the door after me (but not crying).  The teacher (Ms. Molly) quickly redirected him back to the table of playdoh.  He looked nervous, but I knew (hoped and prayed) he would be ok, so I left.  I returned early to get that little stinker because I missed him like crazy (maybe not the playing with the light switches, slamming doors, and climbing on tables and counters so much, but the hugs and giggles for sure).   I wait and wait and then Ms. Molly his new teacher brings him out and he is all smiles.  So happy to see me right?  Wrong!  He was happy to see the new room because they exited through the nursery which he had not seen yet.   He took one look at the doll house, sat on the floor and said "Stay?"  Yeah thanks buddy I'm glad to see you too.  ;0)   In all honesty though, I couldn't be happier that he enjoyed it so much because that's why he's there.  Not to learn letters and numbers, there is plenty of time for that (plus he knows them all anyhow).  He needs the socialization and patience that comes from time in a nurturing group environment.   Seems like just last year I was dropping off Maddie at her 2 year old class, and now she's a 6th grader.  Stop time Stop!

Monday, August 27, 2012

The glamourous life I lead

        This morning I wake up to the storm that wasn't.  Tropical storm/ Hurricane Isaac threatened  squalls of wind and rain and flooding.  Luckily that was not the case.  He decided to take a left hand turn and bother the poor people of New Orleans (as if they haven't had enough hurricane in their lives).  Nonetheless schools went ahead and cancelled for today well before we knew what the true impact would be.  So, after 2 kids were home last Thursday with a stomach virus, and one still home on Friday, we then got an extra day off today.  WAHOOOO (groan) As happy as I was to NOT wake up at 6:30 am, I'm pretty over the whole single mom held up in the house due to illness or weather routine.  Yes I am married but my traveling husband is in India, he's been there for almost a week now. 
      After coming in from standing out in the rain trying to convince my dog to please for the love of everything holy go to the bathroom, I realize I have a text.  There's a picture of my husband's smiling face showing me the reflection of the Taj Mahal in his sunglasses.   All carefree and full of worldly fun.  Something is not right here.  Last night I did laundry, cleaned the Hamster cage, fought the masses at the grocery store to stock up on food, and doled out cough medicine to the toddler who is hacking up a lung.  He on the other hand enjoyed some new cuisines and traveled the world (with a little work in between of course!).   So goes the life of a stay at home mom.  Most days I wouldn't trade it for anything.  But somedays... I wish I was doing ANYTHING even remotely close to glamorous LOL.  I would love to go on, but I just saw a small frog hop across the floor.  Hmmm better catch that and return it to the "storm."

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Orthodontics Update

It's only fair that I give an update about the expander we have been dealing with for my son.   After that last post where I was ready to find a way to slowly kill myself with the RPE key the ever patient orthodontist assistant at the office met me on her day off when the office was CLOSED to help me fix the incomplete turn.  She recommended we give my son (and mostly me) a break while we went on vacation.  We let him adjust to the expander for two weeks before beginning to turn.  This was a great idea.  Over those two weeks we forgot he had it he was doing so well.  This became a problem when I gave him a stick of gum and he got it all entangled in his expander and gagged himself until he threw up.  Woo Hoo mom of the year again!!!!    After we removed all the gum and worked on keeping it clean we both did much better.   I did go and get a head lamp which made things much better.  The fabulous Dr Seymour walked me through the turning again giving me even more tips and confidence on turning it.  We got in a routine and got it going.  Before I knew it, it had been 25 days and we were done turning! Woo Hoo.   I'm sure the people at Wesley Chapel Orthodontics are glad I'm done harassing them now :0)   AJ has a nice break for a few months while his mouth adjusts and then it's braces time!!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Just Pin it

      Pinterest strikes again.  It's like a library of things I want to do.  I pin and I pin.  I have pinned so many organizing and cleaning ideas and solutions that my house should be pristine.  But I think I fall a little short on the execution most of the time.  So it isn't pristine.  It isn't even remotely organized.   Luckily I pinned a nice sign idea that says "Please excuse the mess the children are busy making memories."  Pretty sure that guilt sign will stop anyone from saying anything about the utter chaos I live in. 
       Recently I pinned an "easy sewing tutorial."   I thought... ok see, everyone is saying how easy it was to make this diaper stacker.  Surely I could do this!  And then I could add grey and yellow into the room more (because I have been trying to get his room re do done since like May).  This will be great.  I went to Joann's and I bought all the stuff I needed (spent way more than I would have on BUYING a diaper stacker though...) and came home and went to work.
      It started out easy enough.  I used my new cutter (the silhouette cameo which I adore) and cut some space themed shapes.  Went off without a hitch!   Then I took out the scissors and the directions and this is where the trouble started.  The 1st problem is that I cannot cut a straight line.  Like not even remotely.  The 2nd problem is I cannot think inside out and upside down like you need to when you sew.  This "easy" tutorial might as well have been written half in Chinese for the amount of understanding I was lacking at the different parts.  Thread was ripped, fingers were poked, colorful words were uttered and I nearly threw in the towel 3 different times.  I was ready to be D-O-N-E with the stupid sewing ideas on pinterest.   Realizing not only would I never quilt like my mom but my husband would still be farming out to get his button replaced on his shirt.  Eventually I muddled through thinking just finish the &*%!@$( thing!!   Who cares if it's wrong at this point.  And then it was done.
     And you know what??  A seamstress would absolutely notice that my corners were more like curves and my pleats were uneven and that everything doesn't line up perfectly.  And the OCD part of me wants to remove the applique rocket and Saturn and stars and change them so they are dead center.  But without inspection it looks like it could have been STORE BOUGHT!   Holy crap I did it.  AND the diapers actually fit in there.  And the hanger did too.  WOOT WOOT.  Touche Pinterest. 
  I might actually use this for a few months as the little one doesn't appear to have any looming interest in potty training, despite the many Pinterest boards dedicated to the subject.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Playing With The Sun

         Why does it seem like the summer is a mix of weeks flying by and days juts dragging on and on.   We have tried doing a couple of small trips this summer but without summer camp some of the home days seem to have 36 hours full of needy squabbling kids.  So I have tried to come up with a few new cool ideas to keep things fresh and new.  I should be working with them on multiplication or something but that takes way more dedication than I have.  I hear the whining in my head before I even suggest it and I run for the hills!!!   So instead on this day we made some fun with the sun.  We made Sun Prints. Since Steve Spangler has done it then it totally qualifies as educational right!?
        The Sun Print paper comes in a black bag with a thick piece of plexi glass.  You take out the paper you want (inside not out in the sun).  You choose some fun objects of any kind to lay on top of the paper and cover with the plexiglass.  Then you go outside and lay it in the sun until the paper turns a very pale blue.  In the FL sun that takes only 40 seconds.  (A lesson in sun screen anyone?)  You then bring it inside and "fix" (remember when we had to DEVELOP film?) it with water and a couple drops of lemon juice.  The lemon juice just makes the blue darker but it is not a requirement.  Then you lay it flat to dry.  Pretty neat stuff!
The purple is the folder we used underneath

laying out in the sun under the plexiglass

just after rinsing


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Key West Survival

We have returned from Key West.  It's easy to forget just how long of a state Florida is.  While the drive was relatively easy, and the kids were rock stars as far as patience goes, it still took 7.5 - 8 hours to get from Tampa to Key West.  And in case you didn't know it's flipping HOT in Florida in July.  The humidity in Key West is worse than here so it was sort of like vacationing in a hot steaming bowl of soup.  With great views of course.  The boys (well not the littlest boy) went fishing and brought us back some delicious looking mahi that I will cook tonight.  We went on a glass bottom boat ride that I nearly tossed my cookies on and regretted every second of.  I couldn't even LOOK out the glass bottom without turning green.  Remind me not to do that again... We window shopped up and down Duval & Front streets and Mallory Square.  We paid a bit too much money to see Hemingway's house and some cats, and we ate more desserts than we should have had all month.  You know, a typical successful family vacation.  Nicholas loved looking for roosters and chickens (which roam all over the place in K.W.).  AJ most enjoyed the fishing trip and eating mussels twice.  Maddie was mostly a fan of the pool and the sun deck views on the roof of the hotel.  My favorite thing was just seeing something new.  What I like about summer is the ability to whisk off somewhere for 3 - 4 days without worry about missing school or school work.  Enjoy the tourist pictures below. 

Maddie always watching out for Nick

morning view off the hotel dock

morning at the hotel

looking for crabs

lizard eating a crab!

coolest toy store ever

magician in the toy store

random rooster

waiting to feed the tarpon and shark

mama chicken and her babies in a parking lot

beef carpacchio

strolling down Duval street

Nick is ready to go

reading in the back seat

hard at work

historic Key West

fishing for Mahi

morning at the hotel

Key Lime Muffin

silly boys in Key Largo

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Road Trip!

Help... tomorrow I will be trapped in the car with all 3 kids for approximately 8 hours.  Have I mentioned that I like road trips for about 3.5 hours and then I look for the eject button?  Yeah...  Too bad for me as we live in FL so I really need to suck it up so we can drive to Key West.  Thank God my husband does all the driving on these trips.  Packed up some new Blue's Clue's episodes for the little one.  Thank God because I cannot listen to Mr Salt & Mrs Pepper having a baby AGAIN... For the older two I made the coolest travel binders though.  Thank you Pinterest for some printables and some ideas.  The rest I made with photo shop.  Hopefully this buys us some "Are we there yet?" free hours.
Each kid gets:
 a binder with a clip and paper

time "tickets" tear one up every 30 min
 Those cool colored pencils that have a bunch of colors mixed up in them and dry erase markers with erasers to play the games below (all laminated).
Each kid has a different bingo card

Write On Wipe Off Battleship

How many state's plates can you find

And a road map so they can track the progress

little one gets a mini box of goodies

Friday, June 29, 2012

Our Parents Had it Easy

That's right I said our parents had it E-A-S-Y!!!!  At least as far as stalking us was concerned.  When we were aged 12-14 and they wanted to know what we were doing they could look for our diaries... dig through school bags for notes, or maybe even pick up another phone in the house and listen to our calls.  Remember when your phone lived on a table and not in your pocket?  They could keep us off the phone just by using it themselves.  Meanwhile here I am keeping tabs on the almost 12 year old in this house that I knew was up to more than she was allowed.  What does this involve?  Lots of investigations through emails/ Internet History/ Texts/ cell Phones etc.  Too many texts that say "message me on my iPod" or "Email Me" hinted that I was missing something.  The cell phone she has is through a kid safe company.  Time restrictions, number restrictions, ability to block photo messages etc.  But no one can keep up with the App developers!!  They just keep on developing.  Hell half of them are probably under 15 years old.  So there's an app to text, an app to fake text, and an app to change the icons of your apps that do those things I just mentioned.  These kids find ways around everything anyways.  "Mom Can I make an account on Quizlalaland?  You know it's run by that popular kid's TV network and you can make quizzes and people can answer."  "Sure you can honey, sounds fun!"   "Oh wait... There are messaging capabilities, social networking and photo sharing on this too?"  Yeah there is.  Of course there is.  Guess what?  That is everywhere.  How in the heck do we teach kids who are curious and intelligent to hold back?  Stay young.  You don't need to tell that super cute boy (he must be cute, his name is HotBoy1998) that you are tall and skinny and in the 9th grade.  You are ELEVEN... Go play jump rope or color a picture of a Unicorn.  It must be tempting to be someone you aren't when it seems like there is a whole entire world of teenagers that you just cannot wait to be a part of.  But it's really no rush.  You will blink your eyes daughter and suddenly YOU will be an adult with far too many responsibilities.   Someone please tell me how to get my kid into a bubble and away from all things techy...Except of course when we need technology which is about 80 % of the hours in the day it seems.  In fact I am glad I found "What happens when you put dry ice in the microwave?" in her internet search history and not in an aftermath in my kitchen...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

World's Smallest Two Wheelers AKA Balance Bikes

      It's a sad fact that my 9 year old cannot ride a two-wheeler.  He would rather walk or ride a scooter than even try.  This go round, with the little one, we bought something called a balance bike.  It doesn't have training wheels.  The premise is that they can just walk while sitting on the bike and eventually they will run and lift up their feet.  I am pretty sure that is a stretch of what will actually happen but the bike is adorable just the same.  We actually got it about 6 months ago but he was too small for it.  Now we have reached the point that he can get on and off he just cannot pick it up from laying down.  He walks about 10 steps and then stages an accident.  Really?  Yes... There is no shortage of theatrics in this house I tell ya!  It takes him longer to stage the fall than it did to get to the scene of the crime.  It cracks me up every time.  If I don't respond he does it again. In the same spot.  Only louder this time.