Monday, November 15, 2010

A Day in my Life

I mentioned to David the other day that I was in the market for some new brown boots. While he was perusing the ads from Sunday's paper, he ran across some for $20 at K-Mart. Nothing but the best for his gal. So he passed along this information to me.

Tonight after he got home from work he casually asked, "So, did you go check out those boots at K-Mart today?".

Innocent question. I don't fault him for that. But my defensive side did rear its' ugly head for a minute there. As I thought to myself, "What exactly does he think I do all day when I'm not at work?". I certainly didn't have time for a leisurely stroll through the boot aisle at K-Mart.

How exactly did I spend my day today?

Up at 6:40am, showered, got the kids up, fed, showered, ready for school.

Dropped off the girls.

Swung back home, made Tate's lunch, packed his bag, and dropped him at preschool.

Ran to Wal-Mart, bought a pack of gum, then barely made it to my eye doctor appt by 9:20am. (Needed the gum because I am always self conscious of my breath when the eye doctor is 2 centimeters from my face).

Rushed home from my appt and cleaned like a madwoman for the next hour. Ran up to the school to pick up Druebie and made it there about 3 minutes before her class was dismissed.

Came home, ate lunch, did a load of dishes, helped Drue with her homework while I folded clothes. Unclogged a bathroom sink, scrubbed all the toilets. Made my grocery list for supper and dashed off to Wal-Mart with Drue in tow. Got all the items on my list and made it to Tate's school to pick him up about 4 minutes ahead of time.

Came home and started boiling chicken and squash. Put together 2 casseroles for supper. A friend of mine called to say they had a sewer leak in their basement and asked if I could please pick up her daughter from school when I grabbed Reese. Folded more laundry. Headed up to Reese's school about 10 minutes early so Drue & Tate could play on the playground for a bit. Stayed about 20 minutes after school let out so the kids could keep playing.

Dropped off Reese's friend, came home, helped Reese with her Sparks verses she's trying to memorize for next Sunday. Popped casseroles in the oven, made blueberry muffins, folded and put away the rest of the laundry. Checked Reese's math homework.

Served dinner, cleaned up dishes after dinner. Sat on the couch to listen to Drue read her new library book. Googled a cute snack idea for Native American Day at Tate's preschool. Made another grocery list. Ran to the store to grab all the necessary items to make cupcake tepees in a sugar cone.

Returned home and made the tepee treats. An hour and a half later I finished treats and cleaned up the kitchen.

Sat down to do this blog post.


And that's how I spent my day "off".

I'm not looking for praise or "Wow! You're a supermom!" type statements. It was just a normal day spent doing normal mom things. But I do kind of find my head spinning when I finally plop down on the couch at the end of a day like this.

I love these 3 little people I get to take care of and the 1 big* person I have as my life partner (he hates when I call him that) to travel through this crazy, but fulfilling life with.

I guess my boots will just have to wait.

*The term big here simply refers to height (6ft) and not weight. Just wanted to clarify.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Disney Recap

Whew! I am finally sitting down to write about our much anticipated trip to Disney World! It always seems to take me forever to recap our trips because I want to be sure and capture every little detail. Which seems like an insurmountable task. So I'll just stick with the highlights.

First, came that fact that the kids were FLYING for the first time! (Well, technically this was Reese's 3rd time. The first 2 times she was a toddler and flew to Alabama and Chicago. Drue and Tate also flew in utero, but I don't think we'll get that technical).

No doubt about it, everything is more exciting when you're experiencing it with children. Flying is always kind of exciting to me though. But it was 1000 times more so seeing it through their eyes. We even let them order diet cokes when the flight attendant came by to take their drink orders. That, in and of itself, made them squeal with joy. They each had their own little pack of gum to help with their ears during take offs and landings. The girls started frantically chewing their gum right as we started to pull away from the airport. They kept talking as though they were riding in a spacecraft, instead of an airplane. Reese said, "My favorite part is blasting off". And when we finally landed back in KC she said, "We're back on Earth!".

Our phrase of the week became, "But we're at Disney World...!". For instance, the first day we went to Magic Kingdom and the kids kept asking when we could go back to the hotel to swim in the pool. Really?! (Part of that stemmed from the fact that David told them we could go swimming the first night we got there, but by the time we got shuttled and checked into the hotel, it was almost midnight! So I think they all just kind of fixated on that.) Drue was upset on Friday that she wasn't at school because that's the day they get to pick out a 25 cent trinket from the treasure box. I explained to her (A) she didn't have school that day because of conferences and (B) WE'RE AT DISNEY WORLD for crying out loud!

While there were quite a lot of people at the parks while we were there, the lines weren't long at all. We waited just a few minutes each time. With the exception of 2 rides: Soarin' at Epcot, and Toy Story at Hollywood Studios. Those were long lines. But we had heard that we couldn't miss them. Tate freaked out if he heard the word "ride" so while we banned the girls from even saying it. We didn't take him on anything we felt would have been to scary for him. But he freaked out when a bar went down over his lap or he had to be belted in. While we were in line ready to board our flight home he asked in trepidation, "Will it go upside down?".

The kids really were excited about everything! Even the little things. They couldn't wait to see what kind of animal our housekeeper would form our towels into each day. One of Tate's favorite parts of the whole trip was getting to walk through the turnstyles at the park entrances. And his all time favorite ride of the whole week? The "people mover" in Magic Kingdom! A little car that goes over an elevated track that lets you see all the different rides available in Tomorrow Land. Or Future Land...something to that effect.

It almost felt as though we'd actually traveled abroad. Most of the people around us were from England. It was their midterm break. 2 weeks. And half the country headed to Disney World. I loved hearing them talk. Whenever David hears an accent, though, he starts talking in that accent. Which thoroughly embarrassed me. I kept saying, "Shhhh! They're going to think you're making fun of them!". Everything does sound more proper when said in an English accent. A mom and her two small kids sat behind us on a ferry boat ride to Downtown Disney. Her children were getting a tad bit restless and rowdy. She simply said, "Steady" (remember to say that with an accent) and it sounded so refined. Much better than when I hiss "Settle down or I'm going to flick you".

The girls and I got asked numerous times if they were twins. Drue is catching up to Reese in height. Add in the fact that I dressed them in coordinating outfits, did their hair the same, and they both sported their "It's my birthday" buttons, yeah, I guess I can see why people would ask that.

Drue is a roller coaster riding fiend. The girl has no fear. Reese liked them too, but Space Mountain did her in. So Drue quickly volunteered to ride again so I could go. I made David and the girls try all the roller coasters first, before me. Our favorite one was Everest Expedition in Animal Kingdom. The girls kept whispering as we were walking up to it. So I knew something fishy was going on. At one point the ride stops and it looks like the track is broken. Then it surprisingly whips you backward at full speed into a dark cave! They were both giggling as the ride came to a stop and said, "Daddy told us not to tell you it did that!".

Did I mention we made it to all four parks during our 3 days there? I could have spent a little more time at Animal Kingdom and Epcot and a little less time at Hollywood Studios.

Great trip. Great memories. Great time all around.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween...Hollaway Style

And Drue's latest "Cheetah Phase" continues. She started out wanting to be a police girl with straight hair. Although I preferred her pick something a little more cutesy girly, I held my tongue. A few days before Halloween when we went to get her costume, she changed her mind. And her cheetah dreams were realized. The shirt and pants are actually a real outfit from Kohl's . A tagless outfit, thankfully.
I'm not sure what inspired Reese's pick this year. From the time we first began talking about costumes, she wanted to be a ballerina. A black and white ballerina. Apparently my kids are rather specific and detail oriented. Nevermind that she's about as graceful as a bull in a china cabinet. (She is our child who literally can fall down while she's standing still). She made a beautiful ballerina. On a sidenote she loves buns now. Yes, the hairstyle. She asks for one almost everyday. Probably just to get out having to have curls, no doubt.
Ah....Tater. When I pulled the box of Fall decorations out he and his dinosaur costume from last year were reunited. And that's what he decided to be...again. Reese said, "Wow Tate! Way to save Mom some money!".
My little crew. I kept reminding them nicely that I had to take some pictures of them before they could start trick or treating. So they were eager to pose and smile pretty for the camera, so things would go faster for everybody.
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Saturday, October 23, 2010


Blog about our trip: In Progress
In the meantime, enjoy these moments by double clicking on the picture to see the whole album.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Hayride Party

The girls' hayride birthday party was a success. We combined their party this year and had a hayride at Heritage Park one evening. (Which I highly recommend to anyone with a Fall birthday. Just schedule it through Johnson County Park & Rec. I honestly think I had as much fun as the girls.)
The weather was perfect. Only one friend for each of the girls couldn't make it. Everything ran smoothly. We had enough food. No one fell off the wagon. (These were all worries that I had.) The only less than ideal situation was when we were unloading all the decorations and supplies from the van and David opened the trunk, accidentally releasing all the helium filled balloons into the blue sky above.

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Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Pumpkin Patch Look Back


What can I say? I am addicted to COMPARISON PICTURES!

This is Tate on the preschool pumpkin patch field trip in 2007-2009-2010. He went along on Reese's trip and Drue's trip, and this year...finally...his very own trip.

It is cute to see how shy he is when his sisters aren't around. He didn't want to run up with his friends. He wanted to stick right by my side and hold my hand most of the time.

Which, of course, was fine with me.
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

6 Years Old!


Druebie May is 6!

And I'm really not trying to steal her birthday thunder by posting a picture of myself on her special day. I just thought it was neat to put these side by side for comparison sake.

These pictures make me think "cuteness". They may very well make her think "uh oh".

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Say What?

Tomorrow is Drue's birthday!

Her SIXTH birthday!

But tomorrow is going to be a craaaaazzzzy day with work, soccer practice, etc. so we decided (with her permission of course) to take her out for her birthday dinner tonight.

We were all trying to put ideas in her head about where to go, but she stood her ground and chose Chuck-E-Cheese.

As we were getting ready to go I started thinking back to all the birthdays and special occasions we've spent there.

I turned to Reese & said, "Awwwwww....Reesie....Daddy & I took you to Chuck-E-Cheese for your very first birthday."

She smiled, "Really?".

"Yep. I remember it like it was yesterday. They gave you a little crown and everything."

I continued on with a cute picture of little Reesie in my head. I even remember what she was wearing that night.

"You were only 1...and you were so you're almost 8...." and I trailed off thinking about how fast the years have gone.

Apparently I should have finished my thought out loud because she thought I was heading in another direction and said, "...and now I'm not cute?!".

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Coolest. Outing. Ever.




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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Animal Diets

Tate is quite intrigued about what different animals eat.

Cows, horses, fish, wasps, bees, giraffes...he asks me all the time what they all eat.

As we were heading home from preschool the other day Tate said, "Mommy, do pandas eat baboons?".

"What?! No. They don't."

"What eats baboons?".

"I don't know..." I stammered not wanting to put a mental picture of a carnivorous lion ripping apart a baby baboon into my sweet little boy's head. "Nothing. Nothing eats baboons. They're cute little monkeys."

"Oh," Tate said, mildly confused.

He looked back down at his National Geographic Kids Magazine and said, "But this panda is eating a baboon."

I was getting ready to call David to ask what in the world he was thinking when he got the kids a subscription to that magazine when Tate continued, "It's a green leafy thing...".

I put the phone down very relieved and set him straight, "Sweetie, that's called bamboo!"

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Question

I have mentally prepared myself for dozens of questions my children will most likely ask me one day.

Tonight as I was putting the girls to bed Reese said, "Mom, Kylie said that there were 2 bad guys who flew their planes into a building and like 1,000 people died."

I was trying to piece together what TV show or movie she was talking about when she went on to say, "And she said it really real life."

Ahhhh. September 11th.

I said, "Yes it did really happen. It was a terrible day. I remember it well."

Of course she wanted me to tell her what I remembered. So I told her how I was headed to work and heard on the radio about a plane flying into a big building. And when I got to work, the 2nd plane had flown into the building. I went on to tell her there were more than 2 bad guys and more than 2 planes and unfortunately a lot more than 1,000 people who died.

"Why did they fly the planes into the buildings? Didn't the bad people know that they would die?".

"Yes, they knew they were going to die. But their leaders had them believe that was an honorable and good thing to do."

Her white little eyebrows were drawn up in a furrow by this time as she tried to sort everything out. "But that doesn't make any sense. That they knew they were going to die? And did it anyway? I don't understand...", she said shaking her head.

We talked about it for a few more minutes. Even though it was a tragic event, I didn't want to end our discussion on a bad note. So I talked to her a little bit about the heroes of the day. Firemen, policemen, servicemen, those who took down the plane in Pennsylvania.

After we were finished I could tell she was still trying to process it all, "Wow. I just wanted to ask you to see if it really happened."

"Sadly, it did," I explained.

Then she looked up at me and said, "Why haven't you ever told me about it before?".

I said, "Well, it happened before you were born. But I will always remember it. I don't really have a reason for not telling you about it I guess."

In my mind, I knew there was more to that question. Because I want to protect you from all the bad things of this world, shield your kind heart, and savor your innocence.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

And He's Off....

My little buddy heading to Pre K. He took it all in stride. Posed for Mommy's numerous pictures.
The van was too quiet after I dropped him off. The house was too quiet. The rooms I cleaned stayed clean for a good part of the morning and afternoon.
My walk up to Drue's school to pick her up was peaceful. No stopping every few feet to pick a dandelion or inspect a bug crawling across the sidewalk. No one to push in the swing on the playground while waiting for the Kindergartners to file out.
One simple question from another mom/friend when she noticed the absence of my little guy, "Missing someone?".

Yes. Very much.

And the tears began to fall.

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Thursday, September 02, 2010

Different Strokes

It is ironic to me that Drue is the child who resembles me the most outwardly, but is more like David in personality. And the opposite holds true for Reese. Looks like David, acts like me. Tate is a mixture all around.

I'm a saver. A sentimental item saver. Birthday cards, movie ticket stubs, sweet little notes scribbled on scraps of paper.

I knew from the time Reese started preschool, however, that I wasn't going to be able to save everything made by little hands that was brought home from school. Without renting a storage unit, anyway. I do save some select items. Probably far too many select items.

I was becoming quite proud of myself for being able to part with certain creations/papers Reese brought home from preschool, Kindergarten, 1st grade, etc. It gets easier. Starting in Kindergarten, a lot of what is brought home is examples of their daily writing work.

Then 1st grade hit. Six & seven year olds are apparently fascinated with construction paper. And when Reese and her little friends were finished with their work or had indoor recess, they were allowed to let their creativity flow. Reese's take home folder was beginning to come home filled with the finished products of these creative times. And she didn't just bring home her artwork. She and her friends would make things as gifts for each other.

She brought home huge construction paper kites, paper hearts, paper computers, paper jewelry. Scraps of torn paper with a message scribbled in marker, "You r mi best frend" etc.

Any tiny little scraps of construction paper would get thrown out by me. Later that evening, I would find Reese frantically searching her backpack for the "earrings" that Sally made her out of paper. Oops.

Most of the time I went through her folder while she was otherwise occupied and disposed of any non-essential paper items. She did discover some in the trash, however, one day. She pulled each piece out one by one and was sure they had made their way in there by accident. She was shocked to find out otherwise.

After that, I had to secretly throw stuff away, and make sure no piece of it was peeking out for her little eye to spy.

Towards the middle of the year last year, she finally consented (although a bit grudgingly) that we indeed couldn't keep every piece of paper she brought home. We compromised a bit and she would pick out just a few special ones to stow away in her room. She learned to go through her folder with me. And she would make sure I knew which items were to be kept for sure.

This year we began the process with Drue's Kindergarten papers. She is very excited to show them to me when she gets home and read to me her little paper booklets they put together each day. The other day she went on and on about a coyote puppet she made in Spanish class out of a paper bag. It was a brown paper lunch sack with the face of a coyote glued to it that she had colored.

He hung around on the dining room table for a few days. Then he ventured into the kitchen and sat on the counter for a few more days. Finally, I worked up the nerve to break the news to sweet Druebie that we wouldn't be able to keep all her papers she brought home from school.

I held him for her to see as she came through the kitchen. "Drue," I started sweetly. "We're not going to be able to keep this forever."

She looked at him. Then looked at me. And said, "Ok."

"That means I'm going to have to throw him away soon," I continued.


This was going much easier than I'd anticipated.

"Like right now, probably," I explained.

She just looked up at me.

"You might want to look away," I said dramatically as I headed to the trash can.

"Why?," she asked confused. "Here, I'll throw him away. I didn't really like him that much anyway."

And she flung him up into the trash without even taking a second glance.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

You've Come a Long Way, Druebie

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What a difference a year makes! From tiny preschooler to hip hoppin' Kindergartner. Last year Drue's wardrobe consisted mainly of patterned leggings and cotton shirts to match. This year she steered me clear of Carter's and decided she was ready for j-e-a-n-s!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Kansas in Bloom




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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Dear Drue,

What a big day for you! I worried about a few things related to this day. The first thing I worried about was your outfit. I know, I know, that sounds superficial but it goes a bit deeper than that. You'd look cute just wearing a paper bag. I was worried because as I scrolled through the last 3 years of Reese's first day of school pictures, she was wearing a cute plaid skirt with matching top. I didn't find one that I liked for you. And I felt like maybe I hadn't tried hard enough or spent as much time preparing for you as I had for Reese.

The second worry I had was about crying. I wasn't worried that I would cry when I dropped you off. I was worried that I wouldn't. And that would somehow mean your going off to school didn't affect me the same way it had when Reese started school. In a few weeks I'll drop Tate off at his first day of preschool. And I already know I will be teary for that. I've always had one more child at home to care for after dropping you or Reese off. Walking out of his school without a little hand to hold will be difficult for me.
But today, I dressed you up for school, walked you to your class, got teary eyed but never cried, and felt strangely fine with that. And here's why: You are a unique individual. Your path in life isn't going to be the exact same as Reese's. You don't have to do everything the exact way Reese does. And I probably won't respond to you in every way the exact way I do for Reese. Would you have looked just as cute in a plaid skirt your first day? Yes. But that's not you. Not your style. I can't even picture you in anything plaid now that I think of it. We are understanding more and more your own sensitivities to clothes and situations. A cute collared, button up shirt, would have felt kooky on you and been uncomfortable. The shirt you wore had no tag in the back to rub your neck the wrong way. Plus, you picked it out yourself during our back to school shopping trip.
We love the special person God has made you to be.

You are not as emotional or sentimental as me...or as Reese. I think that's why I identify with her so well and can easily understand her feelings. And was part of the reason it was so upsetting for me to drop her off at Kindergarten. Because I knew exactly how she felt, and how sensitive she was. I knew that, like me, she wouldn't speak up for herself if she was wronged or short changed in any way. And I was sad that I wasn't going to be there to stand up for her if needed.
You, on the other hand, already have a little bit tougher skin. And you will speak up in a minute if something doesn't go the way you think it should, or if you feel you've been cheated in some way. You are very matter-of-fact, by the book, not as swayed by your emotions. And I love that about you. It's an admirable trait. I used to think you were shy, but I think you're just contemplative and observant. You came home today knowing almost all the names of the kids in your class already. And you will walk up to any kid your age or Reese's age and start playing with them.

Reese is starting to be a little self conscious and concerned with what other people will think of her(again, like me). But you already have a confidence that surpasses mine by far. I don't see you doing something just because "everybody else was doing it".

Yes, these first 6 years have gone by in a flash. I am already so proud of you and can't wait to see what this year has in store for you.

Welcome to Kindergarten Druebie!

Love, Mommy
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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My Little Blond Guy

If this picture doesn't make you laugh, or at least crack a smile, then you have problems...BIG problems.
I was trying to get a shot of his blond locks from the Summer Sun.
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2nd Grade
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