Family Circus

No one can drive us crazy unless we give them the keys. - Doug Horton


Wisdom from a Dad

Do you always want to be right or do you want to be happy ?

- Dr. Phil McGraw


Look what I can doo-doo!

Actually, Princess and Stinker should have spoken in stereo, because they both had excrement issues at the same time. Stinker, still in diapers *sigh*, now infamous for her fecal fingerpainting, gave us a scare again yesterday. She had her hands under the table, then produced a handful of poop that ruined our appetites. As I began cleaning up the baby, Princess passed me on the way to the bathroom. When I finished up with the pooptastrophe , I used HAZMAT tongs to carry the diaper out to the trash can next to the garage.
As I walked through the front door, Princess greeted me with a grim face. You know. The 'I did something stupid and I know that I'm gonna get in big trouble, but I don't want anyone else to suffer for my inappropriate behavior' kind of face. My seven year old sheepishly told me that she had used too much toilet paper, and now her toilet wouldn't flush. I brushed past her to inspect the damage: HOLYCOW! Sitting atop a pile of wet toilet tissue was a huge turd! One I thought would make Princess say, "Ya'll come look at this before I flush it!" I called in the resident expert on plumbing, and after seeing what I saw, DH asked me to go get the plunger. I'm thinking: Good Luck. More than 1 and 1/2 hours later, DH was flecked with sewage, he hauled out the drain snake and promised that the next 'tool' he'd use would be a Bazooka. DH actually pulled out a 4 oz plastic disposable cup that the girls use to rinse their mouths after brushing their teeth. Grrrr.
So I bleached the entire bathroom, floor to ceiling, cabinets, shelves, fixtures, mirror, toothbrushes, and tub toys at 11PM last night. I have a toilet that flushes like a champ with deep, steel-gray scratches in the white porcelain bowl that we bought two years ago. DH and I agreed that our next toilet will require a much larger exit for anything flushed. *SIGH*

Oh yeah. I case you missed our Christmas Episodes (yes, we had several), go check it out!


The 20/5 Meme

Go to your 20th post (count from the top or the bottom of your list, I don't care), find the fifth line in the post, and the statement is supposed to be a reflection of your life. I followed the instructions exactly (counting from my first post back in August), and found the words quite fitting for my perspective on my life. The post was about Date Night, and the line was as follows: The comedian Bob Smiley ( father of three boys), made us alternately laugh, cry, clap and cheer tonight- about things that happen to all parents.

I love laughing along with parents at the fantastic stories surrounding their lives in caring for their children. If you're reading this post, consider yourself tagged.


I had no Thursday Thirteen prepared for today, and I decided to share a message that DH's Mom sent to me recently. Every woman that I've come into contact with is beautiful, so what better way to tag all of them? I blogged it! Thank you, Mom.

It's BEAUTIFUL WOMEN MONTH. TAG... YOU'RE IT! Did you know that it's Beautiful Women Month? Well, it is and that means you!!! I'm supposed to send this to FIVE BEAUTIFUL WOMEN (or more) and you are one of them!!! Below is a wonderful poem Audrey Hepburn wrote when asked to share her "beauty tips." It was read at her funeral years later.

1. For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
2. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
3. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
4. For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day.
5. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.

If you share this with other women, something good will happen . . . you will boost another woman's self esteem, and she will know that you care about her. Have a good day!


Here's How Our Christmas Went:

I cannot refer to my mother, my step-mother, and my mother-in-law as numbers 1, 2 & 3, because they each hold place in my heart beyond any ranking. I do refer to all three as "Mom' in everyday life, but for this post, I'll refer to them by the titles given them by my daughters. On the eve of Christmas Eve (aka Friday, December 23) we had Christmas with 'Granny' and 'Papa Tury'. We opened presents after dinner and dessert, in spite of much wailing and gnashing of teeth. First, my five year old opened a lovely wrap sweater, and said in quite a matter-of-fact tone, "I don't like it." Next gift was a March of the Penguins DVD. It was as if Sweet Pea had been retro-fitted with a jet-propulsion system in her fanny. She rocketed out of the chair she was in, and began shouting "MARCHOFTHEPENGUINS! WOW! THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU! HOW DID YOU KNOW I'VE ALWAYS WANTED THIS?" DH said to Granny, "See? It's all about averages." Hahaha!

The next night, Christmas Eve, we spent with DH's parents, 'Grandma' and 'Grandpa'. One of the gifts that Princess unwrapped was a toy electric guitar. Good thing it was the final gift, because Halie was so enthralled with her new musical instrument that she lost track of every other person and present. For an hour, Princess retreated upstairs to 'play' her new guitar while the rest of us watched Polar Express downstairs. Next thing I knew, Princess was giving a free concert in the front yard at Grandma and Grandpa's house. While several cars/vans rolled slowly down the street, admiring the houses decorated in twinkling lights, my oldest daughter shouted at them: "COME SEE THE ROCK SHOW!" I'm still not sure if the drivers stopped to admire the oversized snow globe in the front yard, or to pay homage to my seven year old daughter's efforts to produce a tune from a plastic pretend guitar. God bless them, every one.
We got home just about the girls' bedtime, and they were adamant about setting out snacks for Santa and Rudolph. We had cookies (thanks Grandma) and milk, but I had to search for a carrot. Luckily, I found a carrot in the back of our produce drawer, and set it beside Santa's goodies on the hearth. We did a quick splash and dash bathtime, painted on the PJs and tossed our daughters into bed. I have a routine that my Sweet Pea loves: I cover her and tuck her into her comforter, rolling her like a mummy. But my five year old looked like she was already asleep on Christmas Eve when I went to complete the routine like usual. I whispered, "Are you asleep?" and she replied in the same way, "No, but I want to fall asleep so Santa will come sooner." I went in to kiss Princess goodnight, and she pointed to a piece of paper on a shelf in her room. "It's a letter to Santa," she said, "asking him to give you another chance to believe, so you can get gifts again." Say it with me, please: Awww!

So, DH and I were up until midnight wrapping gifts. Why didn't we do it earlier? Have you heard my motto? 'Never put off until tomorrow what you can put off until the day after tomorrow.' We were just headed to bed when we realized that we still needed to eat the snacks for our daughters' benefit. DH played Santa and grabbed the cookies, while I carried on tradition playing Rudolph, and took a big bite of the carrot. At that moment, I realized 1)I had neglected to wash the carrot, and 2)the carrot tasted much worse than if I had just skipped washing it. As I dashed toward the kitchen trash, I turned the carrot over in my hand, revealing two large rotten spots I had not seen earlier. I spewed the rotten carrot chunks into the trash can while DH got me a glass of water to rinse out my mouth. Whew! I added a note to the girls from Santa about Rudolph being too full from all the snacks along the way to Texas on Christmas Eve. The next morning, my girls loved the special message from Santa!

Christmas Day began early with Sweet Pea climbing into our bed at 6AM, along with Princess about 7AM. They were cuddly and quiet, until Stinker began chirping down the hall. About 7:15, we all rolled out of bed and headed to the living room. It took about five minutes for the girls to open all of their gifts, then Princess turned to me and said what has become a tradition, a"This is the best Christmas ever! "

At lunch time, we headed over to Papa and Rainie's for the final stop on the Christmas roller coaster of gift-giving. After Sweet Pea's reaction to the gorgeous sweater from her Granny, I wanted to head off her rotten attitude at the pass. I asked her to practice what she would say when she opened clothing gifts at my parent's house: "Thank You!" or "Merry Christmas!"
Princess was thrilled with every package she opened. Sweet Pea? Not so much. When Rainie, who played Santa handing out gifts, gave Sweet Pea a large box, my five year old frowned. "This had better not be clothes again." I took this as an opportunity to remind her what she needed to say, just like we rehearsed earlier in the day. In her grumpiest, muffled voice, Sweet Pea said, "thankyoumerrychristmas". DH told everybody, "Just wait. When she's looking for something to wear later this week, Sweet Pea will be asking for one of her new outfits!"
I hate to admit that I went through the same ungrateful brat stage at about the same age as Sweet Pea. I don't remember it well, but I have parents who do, I'm certain.

Ain't Nothin Like Family

Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.
-Jane Howard


Nicknames Etc.

I've decided to use my daughters nicknames in this blog. It's what I call them everyday. Unless they are in trouble. Then, they hear "FIRSTNAMEMIDDLENAMELASTNAME, GET YOUR BUTT OVER HERE RIGHT NOW!" So, from this point on the seven year old will be referred to as Princess, the five year old as Sweet Pea, and the two year old as Stinker.

You may now return to your regularly scheduled blog surfing. Thank you.


If I had a nickel...

If I had a nickel for every time over the holiday weekend that someone in my family shouted, "Blog THAT!" , I'd have walked away from Christmas with cash in a six-figure sum. I'll be back with pictures in just a couple of days. Kids are all at home - jealousy and bitterness over gifts another child received and they did not is running rampant today. I'll have to drag out my wooden stool and leather whip to try to tame them. Or maybe I'll use the black and white striped shirt and steel whistle to attempt to assert my power once again. My daughters are definitely crashing after the Christmas 'high' that came as result of having four consecutive Christmas celebrations. My poor babies.


Mary Kiss Moose!




Mary Kiss Moose! For those of you that cannot work mathematic word problems, Merry Christmas.


Mommy Bloggers Q&A

I had to post my weekly Thursday Thirteen, and I wanted to let you know that from Thursday through Sunday, you can catch my twisted humor here. If you'd like to respond to the questions yourself, just leave your answers in the comments.

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about Erin

1. When invited to a pool party, I decline.
2. I say, "I'm sorry, but my bathing suit has a hole in the knee.
3. I won't even try on bathing suits until post-recovery from plastic surgery.
4. I recently switched from coffee to tea.
5. I miss the rush of caffeine. I don't miss the migraines.
6. I started Atkins (again) three weeks ago and I've lost 13 pounds!
7. I've gone on and off Atkins for about four years.
8. I'm still down more than 50 pounds.
9. I don't like exercise, but I'm okay with controlling my calories.
10. I shop religiously at Walmart.
11. I cannot go a full week without buying groceries.
12. I'm lucky if I can stretch it to three days between visits.
13. I have not had great experiences with the Photo Studio.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
(leave your link in comments, I'll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Mom Wisdom

There is always room for improvement. It's the biggest room in the house.


My New Sign

In my dream last night, I created a ornately decorated sign to hang in my kitchen that read:

You have two choices for dinner.
1. Take it
2. Leave it.

I'm getting fed up with listening to my daughters try to 'negotiate' their meals.


Double Entendre

You've got to check this out! Liz is a mom and writer who has inspires me. Her stories of life experiences couldn't be more hilarious if she was making them up! Let her know that I sent you, please. Have a good laugh!

The Star of The Show

Last night was DH's company Christmas party. It was SUNDAY, I know. Carmax is open until 9PM everyday except for Sundays. Thus, a party @ 7:30PM on Sunday. This was touted as a kid-friendly celebration, and since DH is in senior management, he was able to find out the specifics and report his findings to me. I knew ahead of time that there would be a large bounce house and karaoke, along with other fun fairway-type games to play. My oldest daughter, Halie believes that she was sent by God to sing to the world (maybe mom and dad are a little too encouraging with our praise). So while Catie and Rosie were buzzing the whole day about the 'jumpee house', Halie was practicing all of her favorite Christmas tunes to be ready for Karaoke Sunday evening. Clearly, the success of the party hinged on the amount of fun my daughters had. Grandpa (who is also a treasured Carmax employee) and Grandma (Catie's beloved teacher) rode with us to the Christmas Party, and brought their digital camera. I thanked them in advance, before any pictures were taken last night. Little did I know that Grandpa would capture the Star of the Show on film. These pictures are courtesy of Grandpa. Thanks again, Grandpa.

Halie saw the microphone, headed straight for it, and held onto it for most of the evening. My seven year old first helped call out ticket numbers for various door prizes. Each time she pulled a ticket and looked at the number, she looked at DH and said (into the mic), "Aww. This one's not yours, Dad."
When all the prizes were handed out, many folks headed home. Not Halie! She was not leaving until she performed Jingle Bells. She waited for the grown-ups to finish with the announcements, but not patiently, if you'll notice the picture. In spite of our all-day rehearsals, she managed to repeat the chorus over and over and over and over... Halie would have kept on singing the same words until dawn if we let her. Her sweet rendition of Jingle Bells elicited a combination of laughter and applause, mixed with relief that the Karaoke machine was actually being used. There was a prize reserved for the 'winner' of the Karaoke Contest, and seeing how Halie was the only contestant, she won a DVD player. So, my daughters all went home tired, happy, and considered the party a success.

Mom Wisdom

When you examine your marriage, don't use a microscope. Use a telescope, and look through the wrong end.



I might have been born in Chicago, Illinois, but I have grown up in Texas. We moved here when I was just shy of my fifth birthday. I loved the way these strangers spoke. I quickly adopted the southern twang, saying 'I'm fixin' to' and 'Ya'll' regularly. Then I heard a new word: Bigotry. I thought bigotry referred to the gigantic oak down the street that we attached our tire swing to. When a new African-American boy was added to my primarily Caucasian Kindergarten class, I told my mother about it. She asked me to describe his appearance, and my response was, "He's beautiful!" I am instilling in my own children the same nature of loving and caring of human beings, not based on the color of skin.

I say all of this to tell you about snack time today. I keep a large bag of small, rainbow- colored marshmallows in the pantry, and often serve them for dessert after the girls have finished a meal. Today, I gave Catie a generous portion of the marshmallows when she was finished with her lunch. I sat with all of the girls while Halie and Rosie continued to eat sandwiches, and Catie made a dent in her dessert. A few minutes later, Catie handed her marshmallows to Halie, saying that her sister could finish them for dessert. I looked in the bowl and saw only the green ones. I know. I hear you. But I get my illustrations from everyday life. This is a great example. Our society is much like that bowl of marshmallows. The entire bowl appeals to you, but you pick out the ones you like and leave the rest for someone else. What's wrong with the green ones? They are just as sweet and mushy as the other marshmallows. We are all creations of God. Appreciate every culture.


Again, the DRIVERS in Texas!

I owe credit to my younger sister, Kelly, for this one. Before she even tested to earn her Driver's License, she wrote a ditty to be sung to the tune of 'This Land Was Made for You and Me':

This lane is my lane
That lane is your lane
Stay out of my lane
Go get your own lane
If you don't get off
I'll blow your head off
This lane was made for only me.

Now, to find a horn that will acutally play the tune...


Mom Wisdom

Middle age is when you have two choices and you choose the one that gets you home earlier.


Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about Erin
1. I thought I wanted all boys.
2. I cannot imagine my life without my daughters!
3. Actually, I could, but I choose not to.
4. I shaved my head at 21, just so I could say that I've done it.
5. I do not shave my legs in winter.
6. Even if I had lots of money, I wouldn't buy my girls everything they want.
7. I'll never tell my daughters that we cannot afford something they need.
8. I want to help them grow up to be women who are successful.
9. I just figured out what I want to be when I grow up.
10. I don't intend to die in Texas.
11. I resent it that my DH rides a motorcycle - without a helmet.
12. I secretly wish I worked outside the home, so we could afford a maid.
13. I've been with my DH since I was 19 years old. He was 18.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
Sugar Mommy ( Buffi )
Organized Chaos (Plumkrazee)
(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Tuesday Photo Op

* This post is long and filled with my frustration with motherhood. Thank you for letting me vent. If you decide to skip this one, I'll still respect you. - Editor*

The girls received Christmas jumpers from my step-mom over the weekend, and I thought they'd be perfect to have portraits made in. My daughter know that until we are dressing for the portrait sitting, the dresses are off limits. Also over the weekend, I convinced DH to have Catie's hair cut to attempt to repair the damage done at the Backyard Barber Shop. So, all my girls are looking good (read: none of them has obvious bruises/gashes/road rash or looks like they lost a fight with a weed whacker), and they've got pristine new dresses to wear. I figured I'd better get them to WalMart and have quick, cheap photos done so I could have them before Christmas. Oh well. That's what I get for counting my 'chickens' before they 'hatch'.
I scheduled my girls for 4:30PM today. That gave me enough time to get Halie home from school, get all the girls fed and watered, then dressed and preened before we left for WalMart.
They were all excited to play Beauty Shop at my vanity, complete with curling irons and sparkly Kabuki makeup brushes. The anticipation continued to build as they put on their holiday-colored jumpers, opaque tights, and jewelry. On the drive to WalMart (5 minute drive @ 4PM) we sang Christmas carols and talked of the real story of Jesus crucifixion. Yes, my daughters brought up that particular topic. BTW, we're not a family that sticks to 'light' topics.
So we get to WalMart, and head to the portrait studio. We're greeted by a young woman who tells me that she is our photographer (surprise there, since she was the only person present), adding that she was 'good and fast'. I thought to myself: You haven't met my kids, but we'll see.

We headed back to the actual 'studio', consisting of a pile of beer cases with a fake-fur blanket draped over it. Okay. It. wasn't. that .bad. It was a real platform to position my daughters on, but it was quite tiny to squeeze three wiggly, hyper children on. Halie has been a ham from the moment she began the transition from fish to human, seven years ago. No problem there. That's where the enjoyable part of the story ends. Catie, who feigns intolerance for the photograph-taking process, refused to smile. When she did smile, she ducked her head behind Rosie. Then there was Rosie, who refused to sit still, look at the camera, OR remove her beloved fingers from her mouth. Texas laws require that I sit to the side of my children, just out of the frame, so Rosie kept leaping off the platform and into my arms. Grrrrr!

I put both my hands in my hair ( I. resisted. the. urge. to. pull. it. out, thank you) and said aloud, "These are my own children, and they are frustrating me beyond reason. I cannot imagine what you are feeling right now." She did not respond, so I asked her to reschedule for another day. An HOUR with nothing to show for it! We left WalMart, and Catie's right foot was conveniently 'injured', so she was the straggler in the parking lot. We loaded into the SUV, and I spoke through my clenched teeth, "Not one word until we are home. I will tell your father the kind of experience we just had here." Absolute silence on the drive home, which at 5PM was a 10 minute drive.

I pulled into the garage, as DH was coming out the door to tell me that I had left my purse at the studio. RAWR! So, he took the girls, and I drove back to Wally World, which at 5:15PM, is a 20 minute drive. The photographer had turned my purse in at the Customer Service desk, so I asked there. Two young men stopped thier conversation long enough to tell me that they would ask in the 'official office', where they count the money. This meant 'we'll yell through the open slot in the wall', which they did. Then, the guys resumed their conversation about my 'giant tah-tahs', about six feet away, just loud enough for me to hear and be quite uncomfortable. I was kicking myself for leaving my jacket in the car and regretting not having plastic surgery sooner, while also wishing that men had to wear their testicles on the front of their body to be judged by strangers. It took me a long time to get my purse, and ended with me having to sign away parental rights to my kids, but I left with it, 10 minutes later.
I walked in at 6PM to find three starving kids, and three sets of Christmas dresses, tights and shoes in piles in the floor throughout our house. I thought my head would explode. Nah, just another huge mess I'd have to clean up. Not worth it.
Needless to say, we won't have Christmas portraits of the girls this year. Enough said.


Diva for a Day

Taking a cue from Tee, I'm taking one day to be a DIVA. DH is off today, so when he gets home from the dentist and the numbness wears off, I'll gently explain the whole idea to him, not wait for a response, grab my keys and make a mad dash for the back door. Okay, okay. I won't do that exactly. I'll just have him watch Catie and Rosie while I run to the store. Alone. I'll even wait until Rosie is down for her nap at noon. Not very diva-ish, I know, but I'll take what I can get.


My turn now?

Buffi tagged me. So, here it is:

Five Random Things About Me
  1. I don't like my feet. I don't mind having them touched, like for a pedicure. I avoid touching them myself. The only reason I'm able paint my toenails is because the polish has a brush to reach my toes, so I have no need to touch them.
  2. I'm a magician. Occasionally, I make my daughters' most annoying toys vanish.
  3. I've worn the same makeup, the same way for years ( Bare Escentuals). It takes me 15 minutes to make my face look completely 'natural'.
  4. I love to play Texas Hold 'Em. I'm good at it, too.
  5. I don't make my bed unless I've just changed the sheets or we're having company.

I am refusing to 'tag' anyone else, since every person who has a blog that I read has already been tagged. *HMMPH*


Not many people think of Bunnies at Christmas

Here's a short clip that made me slip out of my chair I was laughing so hard. It's The Christmas Story, in 30 seconds, told by bunnies, of course.


Snow Day Aftermath

We let the girls stay up until 10PM on Wednesday, knowing that public school would be closed the next day. Rosie woke us up at 7AM on Thursday morning. Hmmm. So, we put them to bed at the normal time Thursday night, knowing the school would be open for classes Friday. Yet, Friday morning, they did not wake up until after 8AM. That would be great, but I had forgotten to set my alarm clock. School started at 8AM! Apparently, I need to give them alarm clocks for Christmas, and teach them how to set them. With teeth chattering over the breakfast I slaved over that morning(microwave Pillsbury pancakes), Catie complained about the cold weather. I explained that one day we might move to a city that has more cold weather than hot weather. Catie frowned, then let me explain the advantages to living in cooler climates. I pointed out that there are no bugs in some cold places. Catie, who despises bugs asked, "No ants? Or mosquitoes?" Then said, "WOW! No yucky pests?" I nodded my head in response. Catie continued, "No big sisters?!" Not knowing how to respond, I shrugged my shoulders.


Snow Day

Yesterday was a snow day for us in the DFW area. We had 1/2 inch of sleet, which in Texas, constitutes 'snow'. My girls were stir crazy inside the house, so I sent them outside. Catie decided to display the talent she learned from Jim Carrey. Enough said.
BTW, it's nineteen degrees this morning. I LOVE IT!


Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about Erin :

1. Kids are out of school today.
2. In Texas, it only takes sleet to close for a 'snow day'.
3. Knowing this, I let them stay up until 10PM.
4. They still woke me up at 7AM.
5. Actually, Rosie's popsicle toes did the job.
6. It's 9:32AM, and DH is still asleep.
7. I love cold weather!
8. I can always add another layer.
9. When it's hot, I can only remove so many.
10. I don't have money for fines associated with public nudity.
11. I have not showered yet.
12. I'm still wearing my semi-permanent makeup from yesterday.
13. Lasts for 8 hours? Pssh!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1.Sugar Mommy - Buffi
2. Ivory Frog
3. Adventures in Parenting

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Further detail

Our first Christmas as a married couple was after three years of dating. We had spent previous holidays with our respective families, but had no decoration of our own. Well, almost no decorations. I had a small santa wearing only a stocking hat and boxers, I cannot remember why. Both in college and supporting ourselves, we were 'rolling pennies for gas' broke at the time, so we pretty much had to decorate with what we owned. DH had two tiny, comic-book-character vinyl stockings that came with suction cups to hang from glass. He had 'won' them from a crane machine earlier in the season. They looked so sad dangling from our stereo cabinet, Felix the Cat on one, and The Tick on the other. So, I went to Hobby Lobby (like a cheap Michael's in W. Texas) and bought our first snowman. The snowman was about $5, more than I had planned to spend. Made of canvas and felt, he holds a raffia broom, wears a stocking cap and has a weighted, flat base. Each year, he's the first to come out of the box and the first one placed on display. He began our snowman collection all those years ago. He now stands to the far left on our mantle.


Happy Birthday Halie!!

Hippo Birdie Two Ewes!

Halie is seven years old today. While watching a movie last night, DH turned to me and said, "Seven years ago, you were in the hospital now." I thought: WHOA! How quickly my daughter has gone from a tiny preemie to a gorgeous girl. I just blinked. It's been a blessing to be here for it all. Her first steps, first words, first food, first fit, first day of school, first haircut at our Backyard Barber Shop. *sigh* Not all fun, but all worth it!

More Details

The handmade snowmen are just that. Made by my own hands a few years ago. What's cool is that you can make them, too! They are constructed entirely of felt, stuffed with cotton balls, and decorated with paintmarkers. I used No Sew permanent fabric glue, and the small piece of navy cord on the back is attached with hot glue. As I said before, I was interested in creating ornaments that would not break. Kid-friendly. When we're not worried about a toddler undressing the tree, we put up our gorgeous artificial tree, and I hang these all over it.
I also have garland that I created about the same time, and I'll share a photo later on.


What Christmas looks like:

What it looks like: at least for this year. With Rosie being at the age of thinking, 'what's within my reach is mine and what's out of my reach should be' , we will NOT be putting up our tree this year. I did use some of my toddler-safe, homemade tree ornaments to decorate the swag of greenery that adorns our mantle. The stockings were chosen by each individual family member, with the exception of Rosie, whose 'Baby's First' angel stocking is three years old. Halie picked the 'Jesse', pleather stocking, and Catie chose the fleece 'Snowman' one. DH's has chubby, flying reindeer, and mine far to the right (I'm always right!) is black velvet with intricate detailing along the cuff. I'll show more details as the week goes on. Thank you for missing me. *sniff* I missed you, too!

Taking a Break

I have a routine that includes blogging each day, and as of now, I'm taking a break. I have no Christmas decorations up at this point *GASP*, but DH has retrieved them from the attic and put the storage tubs in my path to the laundry room. If I wish to keep up with the laundry, I must empty those tubs.



Sweetest Day

DH heard smooching sounds in the dark as he walked into his office to gather his things for work at o-dark-hundred. Then he heard Halie's small voice, still drowsy with sleep say, "Hugs and kisses, Daddy." His burly bear-sized heart melted. He knelt close Halie and said, "I promise to kiss you before I go. Momma's got breakfast waiting for me right now." When DH came into the kitchen to eat and told me what had transpired moments earlier, his voice was very soft, and it was evident just how deeply he was affected. I'm so glad we have three Daddy's Girls!


I've Been Assaulted

After church today, on the drive home, the girls were 'starving' and my stomach was growling as well. I stopped at Wendy's to pick up lunch for us, plus the two men working on our house. The girls and I sat down and enjoyed lunch in relative silence while DH and his father continued their project on the outside of our house. As I was finishing a bite of food, preparing to commend my daughters for being so polite at the table, Catie tested my 'don't chew with your mouth open' rule. She very politely picked up two salt packages that came with her fries, holding one in each palm, then lightly tossed each packet at me and Halie, sitting on opposite sides of her at the table. When the packets bounced off and landed on the floor, Catie cleverly said, "You've been AS-SALT-ED!" Then Halie blurted out, "BLOG THAT!" I had to place a hand over my mouth to keep the salad from spraying my daughters! So I blogged it.


I'm turning into my parents!

I heard myself say something recently that sounded just like my mother circa 1985. It freaked me out, and DH spent the better part of an hour reassuring me that I am NOT my mother. The Mom that I now consider my friend is not the Mom that I remember from childhood. One of the advantages to aging: mellowing. My mother and father have mellowed in the years between full-time parenthood and grandparenthood. Having three daughters of my own, with the oldest two having personalities comparable to me and my younger sister, I have a virtual window into my mother's daily life. My own mother should have owned a referee's jersey and a whistle. I often wish I owned those, too. I have immense respect for my parents and the job that they did with what they knew at the time. My family motto is represented by one of my favorite Mary Engelbreit prints.

What do you say that makes you sound just like your own parents? Did you make yourself a promise like, 'I will never do that to my children!', only to find yourself doing that very thing with your own kids? Just curious to know if every other parent deals with the same issues...I know you do!

I recently asked my DH, "Is it wrong that I'm looking so forward to grandkids while my own children are still living at home?" DH replied, "I don't think so, but ask other moms about it."


Toes Go In First

That's what I have to say to myself each time I put on my shoes. I'm kidding. I was thinking of a title for today's post, and thought of T.G.I.F. I decided that I am tired of hearing that, since Friday leads to a weekend, but it's just more of the same for me: feigning laughter at my preschooler's lame jokes, or marveling at yet another Crayola landscape designed by our household Georges Seurat. That said, why not give Fridays a NEW saying? Leave your ideas in Comments, following the T.G.I.F. pattern, and I'll post tomorrow!


All that hard work...

Halie and Catie clean up their respective rooms each evening, as part of our 'bedtime routine'. Catie and Rosie share a room, and a large toy box. Rosie at 2 years old, has just begun to understand the concept of putting her toys in the toy box. I know that she is still trying to bend her mind around the idea of actually placing her toys in a storage unit when she knows that she'll play with them again in the future. Maybe not today, but tomorrow for sure. Tonight, after Catie worked hard to put away all the toys in her room (read: complained, whined, gave me every reason that she needed to be elsewhere), I happened to catch Rosie in the act of dismantling Catie's

carefully constructed pyramid of stuffed animals atop the overflowing toy box. I simply stepped into the next room to retrieve my camera, and when I aimed, this is what I saw:

Catie, initially, was trying very hard to be angry with her baby sister. Then, the sea of estrogen that is barely contained by our house erupted - in raging laughter. Not only did I not ask Catie to pick the toys up again, I left the glacier of stuffed animals for tomorrow night's 'bedtime routine'. Then, I'll ask Catie to clean it up, of course. When she begins to complain, pointing out that her sister made the mess, I'll be sure to point out how many messes she creates and expects Mommy to clean them up.

Ahhh. The joys of motherhood.

I need advice!

I am still searching for a good FREE stats counter for my blog. One that shows referral links, exit links, keyword searches, etc. If you could let me know, I thank you in advance!

Thursday Thirteen

Thirteen Things about Erin You Might Not Know :

1. My favorite color is PINK.

2. My closet is color-sorted, in rainbow order.

3. I own a shirt in almost every color.

4. Jeans hang on the left, shirts on the right.

5. In case you're new, I wear shirts and jeans every day.

6. When we brought our first baby home, someone else did the laundry once.

7. I later refolded every item correctly. I'm so over that obsession!

8. The rest of my house is not so neat.

9. I tell friends, "If you want to stop by to see me, stop by anytime. If you want to see the house, make an appointment."

10. My oldest daughter takes her style cues from me.

11. Therefore, Halie lives in jeans.

12. I have taken all three girls to the park every day this week.

13. I had hoped to wear them out, but only succeed in wearing myself out.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
(leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Erin: 31, Emcee. Witty redhead, handy with a whip.

DH: 30, Strong Man. Comedian, defender of virtue.

Halie: 7, Chimpanzee. Pulls teeth, loves bananas.

Catie: 5, Leaping Lemur. Gentle and cuddly, loves grapes.

Rosie: 2, Cappuccin. Flings poo, loves carrots.

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