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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A {Possible} Rainy Virtual Coffee

Happy Tuesday!

If we were really meeting for coffee today, I'd probably just have water because I had two coffees yesterday and was a maniac from all the caffeine. I know it sounds weird that two coffees would throw me over the edge, but I haven't had much caffeine in the past five years, so there's my excuse.
One of the two coffees I had yesterday. This one was from the Blue Bird Diner in Iowa City. They have GREAT breakfast!
I'd also tell you that I'm craving a rainy day. We haven't had rain in over three weeks. The ground is cracked and hard, and all the grass is brown and getting browner each day. E even said it felt prickly when he walked on it. At least B2 doesn't need to mow anymore.

Plus, I'm just in need of a gloomy day. The kind where you can hang out in PJ's and eat tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. The kind of day where you don't feel guilty because the sun is shining and all you want to do is hide in the basement and watch a "Millionaire Matchmaker" marathon. You know one of those days.

And I know more and more of those days will be here soon enough, but I want one now. Just to break up the monotony.

Ironically, today might be the day I get my wish. And I have to be at work. I did have tomato soup and grilled cheese, so that's good. But...and this is the big's our preschool's family picnic tonight at the park, which has a splash pad. E has been looking forward to it for weeks and now it might be rained out. Ugh...seriously?

If we were really having coffee today I'd tell you that B2 and I had an afternoon movie date yesterday. We went to "Rise of the Planet of the Apes", and it was good. But then again B2 and I are suckers for those types of movies. I've seen only bits and pieces of the original, so I might need to rent it and watch the whole thing. Have you seen the original? Or the new one?

Our weekends won't be for movies for a while, since football season is kicking off this Saturday. I can't wait. Even though the first game is always SUPER hot, and kind of boring. I've already started wearing my black and gold! Are you into college football? or NFL? or none at all?

I'll close our coffee talk with a shout out to my team -


And wish you a GREAT week!

Don't forget to head over to Amy's for more coffee talk.



Monday, August 29, 2011

Week Wrap Up: Photo Dump

Last week in pictures.


1. G watching big brother on the rides at City Park. He sooo wanted to join in the fun.
2. H holding a locust. She actually picked it up and E refused to even look at it.
3. Watching the planes take off during the fly-in at the airport.
4. My black and gold toenails...have to show my Hawkeye spirit.
5. E's collection of acorns.
6. B2 washing dad's truck, and all the while I could feel dad smiling.
7. G loves our kitties unfortunately they don't feel the same we must look from a distance.
8. Taking a spin on the carousel. B2 had G's giraffe in his back pocket and the whole time G kept pointing at it.
9. G checking out the fire truck.
10. My feeble attempt at a self portrait with E. 
11. The White Sox and Buzz Lightyear, E's two favorite things.
12. E cuddled up in his towel after dip in the pool.
13. H helping E ride his bicycle. 
14. Hanging out in the backyard.
15. The porsche B2 dreams about.
16. G's oh face.

So what did you do last week? Or this weekend?


Friday, August 26, 2011

End of Summer: Sound Bytes of the Week

So this is it the last Friday of summer.

I know, I know September is still summer-like, but school has started and Labor Day is a week away. Oh, and pre-game football has started (which to me is the first sign of Fall). There I said it the F-word...actually both F-words.

Well, since this is our last summer hurrah. I will delay the wait no longer and give you the SOUND BYTES OF THE WEEEEEEK!

3. "You've got moves like Jagger."
Some guy totally said this to his girlfriend while she was picking out apples at Fareway. HA! Seriously, I like this song, but it does give me an ear worm once I hear it.

2. "Change doesn't come easily, but any butterfly will tell you -- it's worth it."
WOW! For some reason this totally hit me. Maybe it's because butterflies have a special place in my heart or maybe it's because I see so many people resist change and in turn see them missing out on wonderful things.

1. "So the farmers squeeze the cow's butt and milk comes out into the pail and they pour the milk in the glass and we drink it."
Perhaps E needs to visit a farm so he can tell the difference between a cow's butt and a cow's udder. When we tried to explain what an udder was he thought we said "butter" ... go figure. HA!

So now it's your turn. Don't worry you only need one Sound Byte, only one. I'm sure the munchkins said something funny this week, or maybe the hubby, heck even someone at the grocery store. I'll take ANYTHING. So, link up your blog, make a comment or post something on Facebook.

I'll see you in the Fall, but until then make sure you soak up every last drop of summer.

Have a Fantastic Weekend!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fly Away Home: Big Picture Moment

Last night (a work night and school night) we spent the evening with friends at our local park. Typically, weeknights are full of hurried dinners, baths and cleaning the kitchen.

But last night we flew, and we were happy.

For a split second I imagined myself flying away to places unknown, adventures unseen.

I've always wanted to pick up and fly at moments notice. To someplace where I can earn a stamp in my passport, where I have to speak a foreign language, eat exotic treats, and...

"Mommy. Mommy. MOMMY!"

Suddenly I'm snapped back to reality.

"Look I'm flying," E yells as he soars through the air.

I smile, because I know that no matter where I fly the best adventures happen right here at home.

Which is fine because I don't own a passport anyway.

Welcome to Bigger Picture Blogs.
Every Thursday, we come together to share the harvest of intentional living by capturing a glimpse of the bigger picture through a simple moment. Found yours? Join us!

Simple BPM

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Slow and Easy Virtual Coffee


Good morning afternoon all!

If we were really meeting for coffee, I'd tell you that I missed all of you terribly. Actually, it truly threw me for a loop because I completely thought I had the wrong day or my dementia was kicking in. I had to look at my calendar a couple of times to make sure it was actually Tuesday.

You know us old people and our schedules. Ha!

I don't have much to share. We have been soaking in these last glorious days of summer by doing a little of this




This past weekend was our last lazy weekend before football season. Oh, yeah...don't ya know from Labor day till Black Friday our lives and weekends revolve around HAWKEYE FOOTBALL! While I can't wait for the season to begin, I'll admit that sacrificing EVERY Saturday gets a tad tiring. But I'll rough it with a beer in my hand. What is your fav football team? Or do you just ignore this season altogether?

If we were really having coffee today, and since I have your undivided attention. I'd take the opportunity to ask a couple questions that have been nagging me.

1. What photo editing software do you use to watermark your photos?

2. Have you been to a blog conference? If so which one?

3. How to get traffic to your blog?

The last one is a doozie, as I've been trying to attempt a Friday Sound Bytes link up for the past month and I've gotten only one linky...insert sad face. Not sure if peeps aren't that interested or if I'm going about it the wrong way. Any advice would be great.

Well, that's all from me.

Now I'm headed over to Amy's. Because yes - today is Tuesday, and I'm ready for coffee.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Finding our Inner Picasso


I'm not a crafty sort of mom. I mean I may be sneaky, but not arts and crafty. The kiddos rarely sit down and do "projects". Mostly due to the fact that E can barely sit still long enough to use the potty.

However, I have noticed a budding Picasso in our midst.

It happened quite by accident. E was given the assignment to decorate a fellow classmate's birthday card and when he was done with his one small squiggle the crayons and markers were left, abandoned on the kids table.

Suddenly out of nowhere G hops on the chair and starts coloring, like it was his job.


Since that moment, the crayons have found a new home on the kids table instead of being chucked into the dark recesses of the bookshelf.

Now we create. During breakfast. After school. During dinner. You name it.

Once we mastered the crayon it was time to delve into other mediums.

I remember reading on Keely's blog about sidewalk chalk paint, so I followed the link she shared with me and got to work. We made a Target run to buy the necessary supplies (which if you are a crafty mom, you probably already have them.) Items include: food coloring, corn starch and paint brushes.

And we went to work.

E had more fun mixing colors than actually painting.

G on the other hand couldn't get enough.


We created.

We got dirty.

We recruited the neighbor girls.


WE HAD FUN! And that's what it's all about.

What fun "projects" do you do with you children?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Week Wrap Up Photo Dump

Our week in pictures.


1. Timeout Mommy.
2. Go White Sox.
3. Batman playing at the Batcave.
4. Munchies at the pool.
5. Channeling our inner Picaso.
6. Male bonding at the pool.
7. Chillin' with friends at the pool
8. Walkin' and Sippin'.
9. Exploring the dark alleys of Iowa City.
10. Cruisin' through the park.
11. Hangin' in the fort.
12. Yum. Waffles by daddy.
13. Playing with our pinwheel.
14. Weee. 
15. I'm Batman.
16. No photos please.

So, what did you do last week?

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Retrograde Sound Bytes of the Week


Yee Haw...ok wait that made me sound like a country hick. I don't typically yell that ... like ever. So I must be REALLY happy it's Friday.

I'm not sure about you, but I've been feeling a little "off". A little out-of-sorts, and off my game. My pilates instructor informed me that Mercury is in Retrograde and will be until August 26. So perhaps that explains my issues. That or it's just PMS...who knows.

Anyway, I'm ready for some Sound Bytes of the Week so let's get the party started.

3. "I only have one minute of energy left and I'm going to save it for playtime at school."
Whoa! If a four year old has only one minute of energy left how much does an almost 40 year old have? Answer. NONE!

2. "Cleaning up when you have children is like shoveling snow while it's still snowing."
Nothing is more true. I have literally watched as B2 tries to clean up our living room only to have G follow him and dump every single bin out again. It's futile...


1. "But mom I want to make a racoon hole."
In case you were wondering a racoon hole is another name for a fort. Ever since E saw the pictures of our racoon family invading the dumpster at work, he's been obsessed with them. Can you blame him ... look at that cute face.

Oh, and lest I forget an honorable mention Sound Byte supplied by my mom.

"And the tattoos just complete the package."
We were on Saginaw St. driving the Corvette in the Back to the Bricks cruise. And there perched on the top of a pickup, parked on the side is a gal in a tank top, short shorts, a couple of teeth missing and numerous tats. I about fell out of the car laughing after J said that.

Thanks for sharing mom...Michigan is loaded with some interesting Sound Bytes.

Now it's your turn to share. So link up your blog, comment here or on Facebook. I'd love to hear 'em.


Thanks and enjoy those last few weeks of summer.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Moms Need Timeouts Too: Bigger Picture Moment

If I could change one thing about myself (other than my lack of cleavage) I'd ask for more patience. This past weekend I needed more than ever. Let me lay out the scenario for you...

I'm alone with the boys, and both are clamoring for something to eat. It's already 6 p.m. and I'm trying to fix a damn doorknob, pick up toys and figure out what to have for dinner.

"Mommy what are we having for dinner."

"How about Mac and Cheese?" I ask with trepidation, wondering if today will be the day he actually likes Mac and Cheese.

"Sure, that sounds tasty," he smiles. "But only the kind on the stove." short cut Easy Mac for my connoisseur. Fine, but the baby needs more protein so I decide to make Old School Mac and Cheese (you know with tuna in it). I dish up E's first sans tuna, making sure he has plenty, and get everyone settled down to eat.

In a split second E is finished.

"Can I have more Mac and Cheese?"

"I have some, but it has tuna in it." I say nervously, knowing this will lead to a pouty face.

"I don't like tuna." Enter said pouty face.

"I know. I can make you something else like oatmeal, chicken nuggets, cereal...what do you want?"


"I don't have Mac and Cheese. I have oatmeal, chicken nuggets, cereal. I can make you any of those."

"Just go to the store and get me some MAC AND CHEESE."

"Umm, not happening. I can make you anything else."

"I WANT MAC AND CHEESE." Insert grouchy face and tears.

"I already told you I don't have Mac and Cheese." I say my voice rising. "Why don't you go to your room and settle down. When you can talk normal you can come out."

E stomps out of the room. I take a deep breath and look at G who has a perplexed look on his face, and seems to be saying "WTH, big brother."

In less time that it took to exhale that deep breath E was back.

"Mom, may I please have some Mac and Cheese."

I think at that point my brain separated from my body, and I lost it.


Ugh...was that just me yelling about Mac and Cheese. Shit...


More stomping.

Later while I'm cleaning up the kitchen, G starts fussing a bit (past his bedtime.)

"Just give me a minute G I just need to finish this up."

Then I hear it the words that snapped me out of my stressed, grouchy and frustrated mood.

"It's Ok G, sometimes Mom gets upset. She just needs a timeout."

Ugh...that's right E. Now it's my turn in the timeout chair.


Welcome to Bigger Picture Blogs.
Every Thursday, we come together to share the harvest of intentional living by capturing a glimpse of the bigger picture through a simple moment. Found yours? Join us!

Simple BPM

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

DIY, Drama and Dad

I mentioned in yesterday's post that while B2 was being swarmed by hot girls dressed as comic book heroines, I was busy wrangling two boys and painting our front door. Because I just can't possibly stress myself out anymore...Right?

You may be asking, why on earth didn't you just paint the door while B2 was home? Simple question and as I was fighting an obstinate doorknob I was asking myself the same thing. see I wanted to do this on my own. No help. Like in the BM (Before Marriage) days.

Back then I would tackle fixit projects like a champ. Painting bookcases, hanging shelves, fixing faucets you name it.

I learned from the best ... this guy taught me everything I know.

And back in the days of yore I would call him if I had a pesky doorknob. Actually I would have called him prior to the project to find out what I needed instead of trusting the college kid at Lowe's.

But this time I was on my own...and it was hard. Hard not pick up the phone and call him for advice.

I did it though.

I sanded.


I primed.


I painted.


I touched up.


I installed a new doorknob (it did take two days and some swearing).

But I did it! All by myself.

There was DIY, there was drama, and Dad was there in spirit.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Triple Ugh Virtual Coffee

It's Tuesday. Time for coffee.

I'll take mine black and strong. I need it after the loooooong weekend I had. Seriously, I'm glad to be at work because it's quiet here and no one is yelling "mommy" all the time.

It's weird because certain days when the kids yell "mommy" my heart melts...then other days it makes me want to scream. Hmmmm. There might be a separate blog post percolating there.

Well, if we were meeting for coffee today, I'd show up wearing this T-shirt.

It says "Anything Boys Can Do Girls Can Do Better."
Thank you B2 for buying such a ROCKIN' T at the Chicago Comic Con. One of these days the boys and I will attend this testosterone fest and see what all the fuss is about.

B2 was gone from Thursday through Sunday...the longest time EVER! He was actually supposed to leave Wednesday, but I frantically called him Wednesday night because as soon as E walked in the door from school he threw up. Ugh... Not only that but as I was going to call B2 (to get him to turn around and come home) and get a bucket, G decided to crawl through the disgusting mess. Another Ugh...So I made E sit in an empty tub covered in yuck, while I cleaned G and mopped the floor.

Five minutes after everything was done. B2 came in the front door. Triple Ugh...

I appreciate him giving up his extra day considering the rest of the night was uneventful.

E went to school on Thursday, but they called saying he had an outrageous temp and needed to be picked up. Needless to say, he had to stay home on Friday. (mandatory have sign a paper and everything.). So, I got a "vacation" day on Friday.

We watched movies and spent a lazy day at home, and I was surprised by these


If we were really meeting for coffee today, I'd ask how you like my newly painted front door. Yes, because every mom who is home alone with two kids during a three day weekend needs a DIY project to add more insanity to the mix. (Blog post coming tomorrow on this).

Overall, by Sunday I was wiped (oh and I didn't even mention the macaroni incident...check the blog on Thursday). So, I had every intention of hiring a sitter and spending a nice evening going to dinner and movie with a friend, but B2 suprised me and came back early, so we didn't need to spend money on a sitter and when I got home at 9 p.m. everyone was snug in bed. Ahhhhh...

A big piece of tiramisu makes everything better.

After this weekend I'm not sure I can make it through the week. Hopefully it will be smooth sailing. Although I know I just cursed myself by saying that. Damn.

Have a great week and thanks for coffee.

I think Amy is taking the week off, but stop by her blog and visit anyway. You'll love it.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Weekend Photo Dump

Happy Monday!

I meant to post this on Sunday, but the day evaporated before I could even think of sitting down at the computer.

Our weekend photo dump. What did you do this weekend?


1. E's hand print on his "castle" at Sand in the City.
2. Popcorn and a movie in bed ... Awesome!
3. Saturday morning snuggles.
4. Breakfast at Village Inn.
5. Hangin' on the stairs playing with chalk.
6. Spontaneous kisses.
7. "Men, chocolate and coffee are all better rich." Found in the Village Inn bathroom.
8. Cheers! Dinner and a movie (The Help) with my friend Sierra...ahhhh....
9. E's comics. Richie Rich, my favorite.
10. G reading books.
11. E and Woody waiting for breakfast.
12. Peek-A-Boo through the Batcave.
13. Reading comics in the "fort".
14. Coloring before breakfast.
15. Flowers from B2. Awwww.....
16. Playing in the largest sand pile ever!

*Do you dump? So many of us take photos with our cell phones. DUMP 'EM and SHARE 'EM. I'd love to see what you've been up to.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Another Sicko Sound Bytes of the Week

Whoa. Is it Friday? I don't even know anymore.

Yet again our house has been hit by the plague. Just an FYI, the incubation period for the flu is exactly ten days. At first I thought it was something E ate, but yet again I was wrong and he was sent home yesterday with a fever. Which means he is banned from school until Monday. So today G will be ditched at school while E and I snuggle in bed and watch movies all day.

What a weekend for B2 to be hanging out with Storm Troopers and Wookies. Ugh...Let's just say I'll give him the world's biggest hug on Sunday.

As you all know each Friday I feature the Sound Bytes of the Week and today I'm lucky enough to be featured on Kimberley's blog The Davis Daily Dose. The hottest daily deals, hot blog hops, recipes, you name it it's all there on Kimberley's blog. So, head on over and check her out.

The Davis Daily Dose

Now on to today's Sound Bytes of the Week!

3. "Mom why do police just drive around getting donuts?"
I don't know E, but I really wish the cop I met on Monday would have been at the donut shop instead of pulling me over. wallet is still smarting over that one.

2. "I need to suck up my nuts."
When you suck up nuts it helps to have a crevice tool to make sure you can get in the cracks. I'm just sayin'.

1. "I wish I had super long arms so I could hug you all at the same time."
Oh E, I love you more than anything in this world, and a hug from you is gift from heaven. Hugs to you big guy.

There they are this week's Sound Bytes. Now it's time to link up and share yours. I'd love to hear 'em.

Now I'm off to watch movies with my sick little guy. Hopefully this sickness will be eliminated (permanently) by Saturday. Wish us luck.

Rock it out this weekend.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Waterslide of Life: Bigger Picture Moment

I sit on the precipice, freezing and putting on a brave face. “It will be fun E, you’ll see,” I yell over my shoulder. But inside I’m a bundle of anxiety and fear. Why am I doing this what do I have to prove?

Then suddenly we are off…

Plummeting then quickly climbing, water splashing my face. Then it goes dark as we twist and turn. I hear screaming and I realize it’s me.

The screams are closely followed by laughter. Giddy with adrenaline I giggle as my belly does little summersaults as we zoom over hills.

“This is my life,” I thought as we glided to the finish.

There are moments when I’m worried or scared, and I’m waiting for the bottom to drop out at any minute. But I put on my brave face and forge forward knowing that amid the curves, bumps, and dark tunnels, light will shine and the ride will be exhilarating.

We climb off the waterslide, cold, wet and energized (OK, some of us…E was still a little unsure).

After our ride I soaked up the sun, trying to warm myself in the unusually cool temps for August in Iowa. “Ok Life. Bring it on,” I shout in my head. “I can conquer anything today.”

I may be brave, but this slide is for crazy people.

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Fun in the Sun Virtual Coffee


If we were really meeting for coffee today, I'd tell you to grab your swim suit and sunscreen and join me here.

Ahhhh. Nice right?

Ok. Sorry I'm not really on a beautiful tropical island soaking up rays. Instead I'm here.

Today we made the trek north to Waterloo for our annual trip to the water park. It was a perfect day. Sunny, no humidity...but it was only in the seventies. And while I'm not one to complain (ok who are we kidding) it was FREAKING freezing. By the time we were heading home E's lips were purple. But fun was had by all.

Oh and it was much better than yesterday.

Yep that's a cop car in my mirror.

Well thanks for coffee I'm off to nurse my sunburn and pay my ticket. Have a Great week.

And don't forget to head over to Amy's for more coffee talk.