love. this. boy

07.28.2001~ yours forever
Ten years strong.

I think about a cold Thursday night, at a dingy bar called Dantes, a heart broken girl saw a boy and had the guts to talk to him! How could she know she was about to have her first conversation with the man who would someday be her best friend and husband and the father to her children? She just knew she had to try again because she was certain there was someone in the world she could love and who would love her back! He proved her right!
(Plus, she needed a cigarette and was too cheap to buy a pack of her own.)


Camp Mommy: Outbound

I am taking this show on the road. The little boys and I are heading north to Canada on Sunday. The Gulf Islands to be exact.  Gorgeous, right?   I will be unplugged, literally, for a week.  What was once a planned family vacation, is now Camp Mommy: Outbound.

Although I am always with my kids-all day, every day...there is something about taking them out of the house that poses a great challenge.  They are totally crazy, hardly listen, and consistently "off road".  What do I mean by off road?  If there is a nicely, paved path....my kids are not on it.  Not usually a HUGE problem unless there is a very large body of water nearby.  Hmmm.  Nonetheless, the three of us are off for a grand adventure.

Notice I do not call it a vacation.  If you are traveling with your kids it can be a called a trip, but never, never a vacation.  You most certainly understand this if you are a mother.  Family trips simply move your job to new, and unfamiliar, location.  (I guess you could call it a business trip. )  I would never trade the great places we have traveled with our boys, but I always feel like a need a "vacation" once I have returned home from our vacation.  I am almost certain you have felt this way too.

I will catch up with all of you in a week!


mommy shortcut #11

I call them shortcuts, others may view it as sheer laziness. (Why must we judge?)

Not often anymore, but occasionally, one of my children will wet the bed.  The scene usually plays out with a quick change of pj's and the rest of the night between mom and dad.  Most of the time, I remember (and have time) to strip the bunk bed in question and change the sheets.  However, there are other times that I remember I needed to do this extra chore just as my kids are crawling into bed.

Mommy shortcut #11:  The sleeping bag.
Sheets need changing, but you don't have the time or energy?  Simply pull up all sheets including quilt or comforter.  Place a sleeping bag on top.  (If you have to-sell them on a camping theme and tell a campfire story or something, but my kids are always jazzed about the sleeping bag.  It's a win-win.)  You have just bought yourself an extra night.


takes a lickin'.......

My oldest received this Timex watch for his birthday last month.  He was so darn excited and doesn't EVER want to take it off.  He sleeps with it on his wrist and is always requesting to be the family time keeper.  Upon receiving the gift, he also was "gifted" with the responsibility lecture we have all received. (I, shamefully, will add- the one I promised not to give because no one is listening anyway.)
Take care of this watch.  Don't lose it. Blah, blah.....blah, blah.

He had it exactly one week before it was lost.  Here is the kicker......I lost it!  Before jumping into the pool for swim lessons, I had him take it off.   I slipped it into the outside pocket of my purse.  Where that damn thing ran off to-your guess is as good as mine! It must have fallen out.  We didn't realize it was missing until bed time.  Fantastic timing! (Form a mental picture of that scene in your mind.)

Trying to turn my total flub into yet another teachable moment, I made the little one trek all over the beach club looking for that watch the next day.  Every lost and found, the lifeguard office, the locker room.  Nada.  I gave up hope and ordered another one on amazon.  Lucky for me it was only 13 bucks.

I later found out that Timex has a replacement policy for kids watches.  Lose it within 1 year of purchase and get a replacement for $10.  Isn't that big of them?  Pretty certain someone in our family will have to replace the timepiece again by next June.  Let's just hope it isn't me!


chasing pavments

There is nothing quite like running.  Cheap, effective, and always available to you wherever you are.  Got shoes?  You can run.  So when I found Podrunner for my iPod, I was elated. 

What is it?  They are a series of running music mixes based on beats per minute (bpm).  You can equate a beat with every foot strike.  The faster the bpm, the faster your running pace.  Every single one is different. I like them because they set my pace and keep me focused.  I always run solo, so this is a huge help to get in a great workout on my own.  Even better......they are free.  Yes, you heard me.  They are in iTunes as podcasts (FREE!) and there is also an app for the iPhone (FREE!)

If you are training for a long road run or marathon, you might also want to check out Podrunnner: Intervals.  Don't know anyone who likes intervals, but they are a necessary evil if you are trying to build speed and endurance.  (One of the reasons I hung up my racing flats and settled into long, easy runs!)
So, lace em' up, hit the pavement and groove with this great running partner.  Or call me up.  I would love to go for a run.


the Natives are active!

Man, I am diggin' on these new kicks!  Hard to miss in bright red, the littlest feet in our family are sporting some Native (Jefferson) sneaks.  Fashion meets function-in a cross between Chuck Taylor's and Crocs.  Perfect for little ones in the summer because they are water proof, shock absorbant, anti-microbial, and odor resistant.  And if you live in the NW where many are known to rock socks with sandals, your kids don't look like fashion victims when they insist on wearing pirate socks!

We played hard this weekend and these little shoes kept up.  Big brother chose black and they are equally as cool. 

The Miller shoe is perfect for little girls or the smallest of tot boys.  Check out the three kids styles on the Native shoe website.


ready, set....shop!

This morning, in less than 1 hour, the doors will open and the rush begins.  The literal rush of women lined up at the doors, but also the rush that is only known to those who experience the first moments of the "The Sale".  I have very dear friends that have a spoken game plan.  First shoes, then bras, active, and so on and so forth.  This is based on knowledge of what sells first, how long the wait will be, and what is on the top of the list.  Shoes are always a go to. We all love them and for some reason can always use one more pair (or two!). 

I have been going to the sale since I was a kid.  I have many stories centering around this epic event, but the one I most fondly remember is the first time I took Aaron (my sweet husband). We were in Spokane and somehow I convinced him he wanted to come with me.  (It is way too fun to go alone.)  A local radio station was serving coffee and pastries outside the doors before they opened.  This should have been his first clue that this wasn't an ordinary department store sale.  To make a long story short...he was a great sport and stuck with me for hours (Please note, this was before we were married......)  At one point he looked at me and said, "This is amazing. I have never seen this many women happy all at the same time."  I think that pretty much sums it up.

The sale has morphed into something much different.  I won't be there today, with my best girls, at opening.  I have already done my shopping at Early Access.  Really love the few things that I got, but certainly do miss the rush.  

Shop well girls.  Let me know what you grab!


a free choice item.

It doesn't happen often, but when it does....you better believe I am going to celebrate it!  I am talking about a brilliant move in mothering.

Grocery shopping is my least favorite chore (besides toilets!).  I am at the store a minimum of 3 times a week, but that is only if I am prepared.  I have finicky eaters and I have a gluten-free husband.  We can't eat on the run easily, so that means I have to go to the local grocer more than I would like.  In the summer, more often than not,  I have to take both of my monkeys.

It usually goes something like this: "Mom, can we get cinnamon rolls?"  "No."  "Mom, can we get Gatorade?"  "No."  "Mom, can we get ice cream?"  "NO."  "Mom, can we get Swedish Fish?"  "NOOOOO!" 

However, the last time we all went to the store my boys each had a list.  On it were 3 items that we needed and a free choice item.  I told them they were in charge of finding the items on their lists and then the could choose ONE item of their choosing.  Our trip went something like this:  "Mom, can we get cinnamon rolls?"  "Do you want that to be your free choice item?"  "Ummmm, no thanks."  I knew I was on to something by the 3rd time they asked for something and my answer could always be the same. "Would you like that to be your free choice item?"   I was calm, there were no fits (unbelievably!), and everyone got what they needed.

Please note, this is not a usual occurrence for our family....so it is something to write home about.  This is not a spur of the moment activity, so it will take some planning.  But in my opinion, well worth it!


a new habit

While chatting with a friend the other day, she spoke of the greatest thing I had heard of in a long time.  Her knowledge has become a new obsession.  MYHABIT

As described on their website:
MYHABIT is a private fashion sale site offering up to 60% off hand-picked selections from designer and boutique brands. Most of our events start daily at 9 AM PT/ 12 PM ET and last 72 hours. Most of our events start daily at 9 AM PT/ 12 PM ET and last 72 hours.

These are a few of the "events" that are going on right now:
Elizabeth and James
Corso Como Shoes
Alpha Industries (kids' wear)
Some of the items are as low as $10, but sell out quickly.  But with free shipping and free returns, you can buy without worry.  If it doesn't work or you don't like it....back it goes.  I haven't bought anything yet, but I love how it is a mix of names I have heard and others that are new to me!  


nude, suntan, pearl-no thanks

The fresh faced, totally charismatic Duchess of Cambridge, is a huge, HUGE fan of old school hosiery.  She has been photographed wearing stockings at almost every public engagement. They were on full display on her recent trip to North America.   I have read that it is royal protocol-that along with closed toe shoes.  However, I have also read that it is totally her choice and that the many young European women LOVE them. 

Pantyhose?  Really?  I know everything 80's is hot, so hot......but this-I just can't wrap my head around it!  The last time I can actually remember wearing a pair of these torture devices was at my wedding-10 years ago.  (Now that I think of it- I have not a clue why!)  Never, and I repeat NEVER, have I worn a pair of pantyhose without the crotch hovering around my knees in no time flat.  I am a midget, so there has never been a pair that actually fit me correctly.  And then there is the whole business of picking the right color.  If you are going for skin tone, that is nearly impossible.  It never looks the same once you put them on and if you try to slide it on your forearm to test the color -you are guaranteed to snag it!  They cost a fortune and always, ALWAYS run.  (Pink nail polish, anyone?)

Snags, runs, and low riding crotches.  Who needs it?  Please tell me I am not the only one who (passionately) feels that this piece of the 1980's needs to stay there!


to short lengths and back again

Evan Rachel Wood.  Rhianna. Emma Watson. Ginnifer Goodwin.  Halle Berry.  All with very different ethnic backgrounds, skin tones, hair color, and bone structure.  But all smokin' hot with short hair! I am envious of how their great cuts can look classy, punk, or demure- with the help from "just the right" product. In the midst of growing my hair longer, I often daydream of chopping it all off.  And then I remember.......
Yes, that is me-circa 1992.  Without telling anyone or thinking about it for more than 3 minutes, I cut off all of my hair!  Hair that grown to the middle of my back.  I went, spur of the moment, and transformed myself with this pixie cut.  What was I thinking?  Little did I know, short hair is not easier. (Don't let anyone tell you differently!)  It always has to be styled or you look like a boy.  No pony tails, no fun up-dos.  And don't even get me started on the process of growing this decision out!  Excruciating.  I will not be posting any pictures from that time period.  It goes without saying, I will never, EVER go short again.

Although, those girls do look great........


deux lux

Deux Lux.  I doubly adore my Deux Lux handbag because my husband gave it to me, unexpectedly, for Christmas 2008.  If you lived in the greater Puget Sound area, you know that husbands who put off shopping until the bitter end, did not fare well.  We were all snowed in and everything was literally shut down.  Lucky for me the local boutique, What to Wear, was open and more than willing to help him out!  I totally dig the off-beat pairing of black satin and black leather.  If you see me out and about, you will see me toting it!

Check out these lovely ladies!  New from Deux Lux..... and so darn unforgettable.

Twiggie Wristlet
Fashion and Function. That is a hot bag!

Ipanema Large Duffle (also comes in medium or small!)
A "mom" only get-away bag.  (Don't think my boys would ask to borrow this one.)

I had a really hard time deciding on which color I liked best for the duffle.  Visit the Deux Lux website and let me know which one is your favorite.

(P.S.  I hope you know I don't buy all of what I post on my blog.  I just dream.  Maybe one of you will indulge...)


good bye, my cup of joe

Sadly, I am giving up caffeine. With that, my beloved cup of morning coffee goes with it!  If you are one who looks forward to your first cup of the day, you will understand my trepidation.

I dread the first week's excruciating headache (yes, I have done this before).  It is never quite the same when you meet someone for coffee and sip on an herbal tea.  But mostly, I will truly miss my mug of sanity to sip on as my crazy family comes to life in the morning.  Some days it is my life line as the bustle- preparing breakfast, packing lunches, clearing dishes, signing homework journals, finding glasses and readying two non-compliant boys for the day ahead -hits me like a Peterbilt!  How will I ever do it?

The positive effects better drastically outweigh the significant downside.  All this hype about cutting out caffeine.....better pan out!  Do you know what I am talking about?


first reactions

What is your first reaction to the title of this book?  Without worry of being judged, I literally laughed out loud.  I am sure you can guess that controversy is brewing over this satirical good night story for parents-obviously not intended to be read to children.   

 Who has not thought this exact sentiment in her head while trying to get very young children to bed?  I vividly remember trying to follow some damn method- which name now escapes me- to cure my oldest of his affinity of getting out of his toddler bed....repeatedly.  Simply pick him up, put him back in the bed, and close the door.  No talking, no reasoning, just quiet and simple.  Simple my ass!  Toddlers smell fatigue and will persevere without fail.  We counted 76 "get-ups" in one evening.  The kid was tireless.  One of us would inevitably end up laying on the floor beside the bed and more often than not fall asleep before said child.  Thankfully, he grew out of it and we did survive.

That is why this book title is so stinking funny! We are all just trying to make it to bedtime.  If you can't laugh...parenthood may kill you off!  So I say, kuddos to you-Adam Mansbach.  Thank you for writing a book that every modern day parent can enjoy with a glass of wine after the kids are f*^#ing asleep!

Buy the book at amazon.com OR
download a free audio copy recorded by Samuel L. Jackson at audible.com
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