Friday, June 27, 2008

This is my life...

Funny? You are laughing? Well, what you don't know is my youngest babe is an avid swimming baseball player...he was in the middle of eating his protein-packed lunch when he got a call from his coach...yeah, this is my life!

Something else that is a big part of my life - and I shudder to think HOW big it is - is dropping the weight I have packed on since the baby was placed with us. What is funny is, I joked with my friends that this was the BEST way to have a baby - no fat belly, no post-preg weight to lose! Well, isn't that a crock?! Apparently a crock of cheese, chocolate, ice cream and french fries. And a 20th Class Reunion to boot! CRAP! September 19th is my reunion and I refuse to be the "awww, she used to be so cute. Wasn't she a cheerleader? Guess motherhood got to her!" alumni! I wanna be my high school weight! LOL! That's just a SNOT LOAD of weight to loose in 3 months! Oh well, there's something to be said about lifting the bar.

Yesterday I joined the YMCA! I have walked/ran 8 miles since signing my name on the dotted line and watched what I have been eating. Did you know Rice Krispie Treats are only 90 calories? GENIOUS!

I have done this weight loss thing since I was 12. I have been Bulemic. I have been skinny. During my 2nd pregnancy, my waist measured a WHOPPING 50"!! I have done Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, South Beach, Atkins as well as the eat-everything-you-want-to-and-pretend-you-are-skinny diet.

I am convince having kids makes you fat. Not the pregnancy and birthing part, even thought that's a big culprit, but the "We can't waste this - I will just gobble down 42 cold chicken nuggets while loading the dishwasher."

Let's face it, as mom's we eat STRANGE things! Things we would never order in a restaurant!

I've done this rant here!

PB&J crusts

Back-washed Hi-C

Cold tomato soup

Soggy grilled cheese

Gold-fish crackers from the back-back seat of your van

So......anyone wanna join me on a quest to be ONE HOT MAMA?! There is power in numbers my friends! How much weight do you think we could lose together? Hundreds?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Parlez vous Francais?

Alright, today my big kids decide - how I am not sure - that they want to become bilingual. They want to speak French. This is actually quite funny considering I took 4 years of French in high school and a year in college. My high school/college boyfriend (hi, Greg Cooper!) had a niece and nephew who were military kids and were fluent in both French and English. I though this was fabulous and always swore I would raise my children to be bilingual.
But I dropped the ball. The closest we have come to bilingual is the typical toddler-speak babbling. I have pulled a few words from the Brownlow Toddler-to-English Dictionary:
callapidder - caterpillar
grasscopter - grasshopper
lightlinbug - lightening bug
keee yiiii - outside
hnake - (snake) worm
lellow lamborgeebee - yellow Lamborghini
shi fug - sit frog (there was an innocent consonant after the "i" and a not-so-friendly k-sound in place of the "g" - I nearly had heart failure the first time she taught obedience to a large wooden (strange wedding present) frog sculpture in the other room!)
So, I suppose, technically they have always been bilingual although I have not always been able to translate.
Today, after our "PLEASE CAN WE LEARN FRENCH?" hour, I found some great websites and printed out some flashcards and study guides that were at their level - very beginner.
So, a couple posts ago I was talking about how easy it is to make a day/week/month/season fun by finding something the kids in your house are interested in and capitalizing on it. They will not be bored and you will get your own to-do list completed b/c they will be occupied with something that interests them - not just busy work.
We will spend the week practicing our FRENCH...
Having 5 years of conversational French under my belt, I remember a significant amount of vocabulary - my vernacular may be off but I could get the idea across.
I have been asked to use French vocabulary throughout the day as much as I can:
Je t'aime - I love you.
Merci - Thank you.
S'il vous plais - Please.
Je mange vert poulet - I eat green chicken.
Stupide toilette - Stupid toilet. (this is, of course, their favorite!)
We will throw in two art projects.
When you think French artist - who do you think of?
Pablo Picasso! Yes. Picasso was BORN in Spain but is considered one of the most influencial FRENCH ARTISTS in history. An easy project is just a geometric color design like this:

A large square of cardboard - preferably the pressed board instead of corrugated and some acrylic paint and VOILA - Picasso-esque artwork for the walls without having to go to Sotheby's. And how cool to decorate your walls with your kids work - no frames required!

Another amazing artist and one of my favorite is Georges Seurat...LOOK!

The project for this is super fun for any age! Choose a light-colored shirt (one that has a stain is perfect for your bank account) Mask off a rectangle on the front with masking tape and while looking at a landscape photo or torn image from a magazine to paint your scene. Put another piece of cardboard inside shirt to protect from juicy paints. Using acrylic paints and Q-tips will give you the dotted style of the Impressionist Movement. Kids love this and will wear their shirts proudly. Choose a photo from a vacation or favorite place to make their artwork personal.

Although cooking is not my thing - well, it kind of is just because I have 4 people who would starve if I didn't but I am not very creative with meals. Desserts - oh I can hold my own with creative desserts. Therefore, we may be focusing on desserts for our FRENCH WEEK!

Croissants, crepes, french fries ( I know, not a dessert and I don't think it is authentic french cuisine, either...)

Please leave your comments for other FRENCH THEMATIC ideas and give me some ideas of easy, everyday vocabulary!

Monday, June 23, 2008

WHEW...DONE...take a peek!

The following NAMESAKES were completed over the last two month when I opened my ORDER PAD for a 24 hour time frame. As always, 50% of proceeds of all artwork sold on this blog goes to it's 4 the kids, a blog of artists that raise money for the human side of pediatric cancer! Scroll through the NAMESAKES (9 x 12" and priced at $40 each) to find order information because the ORDER PAD IS OPEN FOR 48 HOURS! (Orders taken until 2am (EST) Thursday June 26th) Here's the TWIST - just like me to shake it up a bit - The person with the most referrals gets a FREE NAMESAKE!! So, write a quick blurb about the NAMESAKES (or send an email to friends). Tell them that 50% of their money will go to a specific family who, in addition to having a child suffering from cancer, is dealing with some uncomfortable financial situations! Link to me and have your readers include you as the referring party in their order email.
Email your child's name and desired theme, hobbies and/or colors, referring friend/blogger's name and your mailing address to . Paypal me or send a check for $40 for each NAMESAKE. Shipping is FREE.
Disclaimer: It took roughly 2 months to complete 20 NAMESAKES. Please understand the volume of orders this post may cause and please be patient in your wait for your artwork. I will let you know of your # in line when your payment is received.


And this is why I don't clean...

So, those of you who have been reading me for a while know that every time I try to get a handle on the chaos that abound as dust bunnies the size of German Shepherds, something happens! Just take this story, for example. Still makes me shudder. So, today I took the big kids to camp at 9, ran to the store and home and then back out to camp as parents and younger siblings were invited to come see JUNGLE JOHN. We watched some snakes and turtles, alligators and frogs and then my little guy got bored. Luckily, the playground that borders camp was having maintenance done on it so it was an easy struggle into the car. I was worried about interrupting "John" as my toddler let out squeals that only a howler monkey mom could love as I wrestled him into his carseat (only after playing the "you can't catch me" game around the inside of my minivan). I walked into the house and was startled as a gentle breeze sent the dog hair across the kitchen floor like a "flock of bunnies." I got the baby set up to play and brought out the big guns, the vacuum and the electric scrubber mop. It was time to get the remnants of each meal of the last week off the floor. With each jaunt to her bowl, the dog was packing her black hair down into the sticky juice drips and gummy drool across my kitchen floor! Gross. It was time to clean. I vacuumed and scrubbed and withstood the pleading to "look" and "go outside" and I had time to spare before heading back to grab the kids from camp at 1. I looked around at my floor that could now pass the industrial food packaging sterilization test. I glanced up at the clock. Barring some major malfunction, I have plenty of time give the mudroom the same treatment. The dog's crate and her bowls are in the mudroom so it's where she runs, gulps down quarts of water and then drools small rivers to the next place she plans to wreak havoc. This floor was in even worse shape but given the baby's crazy rants and begging to go outside that I was trying to ignore contentment I decided I could whip this floor clean before having to go get the kids. In order to wash the floor completely, I need to take the baby gate down which usually can cause an aneurysm because my little one can reach and turn all the door knobs in the house. I pointed out how cool his cars and trucks were so I could get started, glanced back at the clock and even though it would be cutting it close, I was determined to get this floor clean! I threw rugs out into the driveway, galumphed large stacks of bedding waiting to be washed up onto the dryer, picked up the mat under the dogs bowl with tongs and threw it and her bowls out into the side yard. Of course, I gagged a little as all these things had been covering up the true putrid nature of my mudroom floor. I vacuumed. A little better. But it would shine once I could get up the kibble drool and mud and grass stains off the white tile. I started scrubbing and WOW, that floor really is white! I am imagining the clock, knowing I have about 5 minutes TOPS before I need to head to get the kids. With that thought, I yank the crate that could hold a small cow across the floor to get the drool-matted hair from underneath and that's when it happened... that major malfunction I was referring to a few minutes earlier. The gallon jug of Pine-Sol that had been teetering on the edge of the dog crate came crashing down, hit the floor and exploded into tiny shards of shatter-proof plastic and tidal waves of lemony yellow cleaner.

I literally looked down at my feet as a large wave lapped up over them and hit the bottom of my capris. The tsunami was headed right toward the floor I had just finished and the baby sitting on the floor whining about going outside. I literally stopped for a second to think where I put the camera so I could tell this story and have footage to back it up so people wouldn't think I was exaggerating! It was in the car. Not headed out there now. Thank the Lord, I had just folded the beach towels and put them on the washer so they would be a quick grab on our way out the door to the pool. Of course, I had to get there from where I was standing. I am assuming none of you ever have waded through Pine-Sol on a linoleum floor but it is similar to lubing your feet with Olive Oil and walking down an incline of Windexed mirrors. As I skated, and somewhat moonwalked, to the washer there was a giggle. The Pine-Sol storm had lapped underneath the babygate and onto the feet of my almost 3-year old. Of course, he was giggling at both ME trying to walk across the floor and HIM mimicking me like the little 3rd Stooge. It took 5 beach towels to get the mess cleaned up to the point that I could leave the house. But not before he found a pack of wipes and squeezed the bejeebies out of them leaving another sticky trail across the floor that was clean AND dry. As I grabbed him and thought, "Oh well, wipe juice will dry." I caught a whiff. I was down to 35 seconds before needing to leave for camp and HE WAS POOPY! How do you poop in that chaos?

I certainly can't - refer to this story for proof of that! We skated to the stairs, changed a diaper and ran to the car. As I drove, a funny feeling in my feet became apparent. I tend to have a bit of an anxiety issue so my mind raced, hadn't I just read somewhere about Pine-Sol poisoning? How long would it take for fatal amounts of the yellow slime to reach my blood stream? I got to camp, alive, peeled my STICKY hands from the steering wheel and gathered up the babes! Got home, finished mopping the mess and rallied up some chicken nuggets and salad for lunch. THIS IS WHY CLEANING IS BAD FOR YOU! I AM SOOOOOOO OVER THIS!


My three favorite walkers!
What an AMAZING experience! If you have experience RELAY, you know exactly what I mean. If you haven't, make it a point to join in the HOOPLAH! It's one of those surreal experiences that you truly can't explain.
There were friends walking hand-in-hand.
There were kids racing on the track.
There were survivors hugging their families.
There were lots of tears.
There were commemorative T-shirts with faces of cancer.
There was laughter.
There was food.
There was fundraising.
There was HOPE.
This mom was sobbing through her words about her favorite survivor...her daughter!

4/5 of my family.

A bagpipe played AMAZING GRACE as we sat in silence for the Luminaria Ceremony.

My luminarias...I would have liked to have honored every child that inspires me but I could have easily gone broke doing so... just know that they were honored in my heart as I walked the luminaria lap!


My good friend, Becky read an amazing tribute to her friend, Meredith who passed away in April. Read Meredith's story here you will be inspired!

I don't know if all RELAYS do this but at ours you could buy necklaces and you got a bead upon completion of each lap. You get a different colored bead on the 5th lap as that was your mile are my little walkers showing off their beads!

Here is my friend's son, who walked his little legs off...this little 6-year old has TWO necklaces to hold his 13 miles...THIRTEEN MILES...worth of beads! He walked those miles in CROCS...quite the ad for CROCS, don't ya think?

All in all, it was a fantastic experience! I was sad when the organizers started taking tents down and loading vehicles...I DON'T WANNA BE DONE! I WANNA KEEP WALING! I WANT TO WALK TILL THERE IS A CURE!

Thank you to those of you who donated to my walk. I raised $420.00 and only four donations were people I actually knew! That's AWESOME!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

It's 5 o'clock somewhere...

At 5 o'clock (EST) I will be heading ... 3 kids in tow ... to the TWIN VALLEY RELAY FOR LIFE!
Wearing my Julian's World and Team Larson bracelets and my 4 the kids shirt!!!
Not sure yet if I am spending the night or coming home at 2am when I finish my portion of the walk.
If you would like to donate, please go to MY RELAY PAGE.
If you would like to see how else you can help, go to it's 4 the kids and check out our artists and our precious Cancer Kids!
Want the media to see the need for funding, visit the CANCER PETITION!
Light a candle for King Julian here!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

RELAY FOR LIFE for me...

My new favorite shirt! Tomorrow I walk for these guys! Bailey, AJ Mikayla, Haley, Julian, Kennedy, Coleman, John Eric and so many, many more that have blessed my life with strength that abounds! They have stolen my heart! They are precious. No one deserves the HELL these babies are going through... If you can...please follow THIS LINK to my RELAY site and donate a little bit. Maybe you could give up your lattes for a week, maybe no drive-thru for a couple days so you have the extra money to share with the kids who will have poison pumped into their veins tonight. Thanks for blessing them with your prayers! PLEASE link this on you site! Our Relay is Noon June 20 - Noon June 21st: 7pm is our Survivor Lap (I am taking the kids for this...I want them to be moved so they never forget and they are always PROactive!) 10pm is the Luminaria Ceremony and I walk from 12am - 2am Will blog later about some fun stuff coming to MY SEMBLANCE!!!!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

RELAY FOR LIFE...(bumped)

Follow THIS LINK to my RELAY site. I WALK THIS WEEKEND FOR THE KIDS! IF EVERYONE WHO READS THIS COULD GIVE JUST A LITTLE... LOTS OF LITTLES MAKE A BIG! LOTS OF BIGS MAY JUST BRING A CURE! Please help me save some lives! Coleman explains “It’s hard to be hooked up to a pole all day when it’s a sun-shiny day, ann be in your hos-pita woom all day when yoa don’t wanna be there ann wish ya tould be outside in-said, but NO, ya tan’t. I wish that no more tids would det tancer, tuz it's tewwible to haffa do all-a the suff what ya dotta do. If no more tids dot it, then we tould all yust be no-mal wif no more pokes." Coleman’s twin Caden chimed in and gave his two cents, “cancer is the worse day of my wife (life) because you don’t getta pway wif your brudder when ya weally want to. Sometimes the hospital is fun …if ya aren’t froe-in up wike Coleman does sometimes. I wish that no tids ever det tancer, so they tan haff fun all-a their days until they be daddies." Cancer kills. Cancer is a demon that the body just can’t expel. Cancer makes me cry. If we all let it hit deep enough to cry, we will be moved to make a difference.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

What comes after 37?

18? 21?
I, Wednesday, June 11th at 11:35 pm I turned 38!
I have never been one of those people that is overly concerned with age. Age has always been a reminder of how much living there is to do. New adventures. New experiences.
Like when I was turning 16 and could then legally drive my BA-yoo-TEE-ful RANGOON RED '65 MUSTANG! (Thanks, Dad!) Oh, the stories I could tell about that car and the shenanigans that went on in there with my wicked-silly girlfriends!
And when I was 18 and graduating High School. I actually graduated the day before my 18th birthday so it was a BIG weekend for me! A summer of trips to the beach in my 'Stang and packing for college. Ahhh the adventures that would unfurl.
Of course, then there was 21, when I ... could legally drink accompany my friends into the depths of their heathen ways and be the responsible sober one at fraternity parties *wink, wink* (see Mom...I was a good girl!)
Ages 27 and 28 brought babies (and a new body I was not used to looking at), many sleepless nights and more love than I ever thought possible.
I could have cared less when I turned 30, unlike some friends of mine who would rather have had their eyelids tattooed than utter those numbers in reference to their age.
But, this week I turned 38...not so sure how I feel about that. Obviously it is the closest I have ever been to 40 and where I had no problem with 30 - I am thinking I may have a problem with 40. Not sure why. I still feel young...I have a toddler for goodness sake...I HAVE to stay young!
I am not feeling like getting all heavy and philosophical about age...
So, wanna see what I got??
my daughter made me a NAMESAKE...the first one I have ever received...
from an art therapy stand-point, the fact that there are no screaming faces, angry lettering or LOTS of red in this image, she apparently thinks I am doing just fine as her mom. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ my oldest son made me a card and picked me a pretty flower...

I enjoyed the trendy hair, statuesque posture complete with perky "parts." I loved his humor on the inside...but doesn't the word "beloved" make me sound OLD?!


my youngest son gave me lots and lots of kisses and fell asleep on my lap at the pool (and if you know this little guy - he is never still enough to cuddle so that was a gift in itself!)...

Gasp! That face! This child has more energy than that darned pink, drum-toting rabbit and gets himself into more trouble than Dennis the Menace but man-oh-man does he make me melt with that face! Every day I am so thankful for the gift of adoption! ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ my hubby got me the CHAMILIA bracelet I have been wanting and a Claddagh charm and two "Xs & Os" charms for either side.

You counted more than 3 charms, didn't you? Well, of course, Giggy, Goose and Bob were in cahoots with my hubby and they each got me a charm as well. So, I have LOVE, FRIEND and KIDS charms as well! Bob's husband wanted to take me for my first tattoo for my birthday but my hubby still isn't sold on that idea..

So, all-in-all, my first 3 days of 38 have not been so bad. Unless of course you throw in a baby with a fever, one bout of hand-foot-mouth disease and a minor trauma at a swim party. But, hey, who's counting? I stopped at 30!

Friday, June 13, 2008

SubWIfe and Lisa (Amelia's Mom!)...

I need your addresses puh-lease! :) SubWife - I have to send you the cards you won.... Lisa - Amelia's NAMESAKE is just sitting here staring at me and I never asked you for your mailing address! Email me at Thanks!!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

School's out...are they bored, yet?

Alright, so I have this reputation with my friends and it makes me laugh! "If you ask Michelle to watch your kids, they will come home with some kind of art project or stories of their nature hike! It's disgusting!"
My entire life as a mom (please don't take this as bragging - because I am giggling outloud as I type this!) other moms say, "You make me look bad" or "Just stop being so crafty" or "You did WHAT? with your kids today?"
Now, I find this funny because some moms spend their days cleaning and organizing and/or working outside the home. To those moms I say, "You make me look bad!" AND "Just stop being so productive!" AND "You got WHAT? accomplished today?!"
You see, I am not a naturally organized person. I hate to clean (although I CRAVE a clean house!) and I would rather play and paint than do anything else in the world. This personality trait which I blame on being an artist DRIVES MY POOR HUSBAND BONKERS!
My husband is the epitome of organized. If I didn't think he would feel violated, I would post a picture of his side of our walk-in looks like a department store! My girlfriends sometimes (just to get his goat) will sneak up there and stick a plaid shirt in with the solids or transplant a white pinpoint in between his dress pants. Makes him crazy!
Our children, much to his shagrin, take after me. They hoard everything that ever meant anything to them. "I can't give that away, Daddy. The lady I met when Nana and I went shopping that day Pappy had to go to the doctors gave me that stuffed animal!" They are not very organized. "Mooooooom, can you grab my purple sock while you are upstairs? It is behind my nightstand, next to the plate from my snack, under my 2nd grade year book (she's going into 4th grade!)."
We (hubby and I) have agreed that at 9 & 10, our older kids are plenty capable of becoming more disciplined and having desired behaviors accomplished without having to ask. He sat us them down the other night after dinner and he talked about discipline and what that means. SOMETHING COMING SO NATURALLY THAT YOU DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT DOING IT - IT JUST GETS DONE.
So, he told them they each needed to pick 3 things that they could take responsibility for each and every day. These are not equivalent to chores, these are just common courtesy things that you don't get allowance wiping/rinsing out their bathroom sink every day, keeping their shoes in the mudroom closet, etc. He also told them that it takes 21 days to form a habit and when 30 were up and those disciplines were completed each and every day, he would have a pretty hefty surprise for them. Although it would be the first priviledge taken away when those disciplines fall to the wayside!
All the books you read tell you that kids love boundaries and expectations. I have read it, I know it! But this week, I HAVE SEEN IT! They are feeling so good about themselves because they are being PRODUCTIVE! They are not bored!
Quite honestly, they are motivating me to be more productive, too. Tuesday we lost power from a horrible storm and we were without it for over 18 hours so needless to say, I have some fridge-dumping to do.
So, I figured, while I was emptying the fridge, what better time to rinse out all the drawers, take out shelves and gag at the dog hair stuck to spilled syrup wipe them clean and scoop out all the scattered ice cubes under the freezer drawer.
Even my little man got inside involved!
So, when I was done and the kids had leisurely started their day....(this is where those of you who get mad at me for stepping "outside the box" can click to another site)...
we had a delightful picnic outside...
(btw - this was sooo simple. 2 boxes of crackers, tub of cream cheese, pistachios, canned pineapple, raisins, organic bunny grahams, lemonade, 4 cups, forks and a knife for the cream cheese on a tray. Less prep time than even a grilled cheese! No plates to wash and no mess made!)
their "project o'the day" was to eliminate books that they have grown out of, didn't like or had finished and weren't planning to read again so we can donate them to the local library...
and now we are getting ready to start a naptime craft activity... MY FAVORITE THINGS! We have done this one before and they love it! Here's a look at my last attempt -
they want to out-do their last attempts so they didn't want me to post their "old ones." However I am sure I will have beautiful ones to post later!
So, in my next book I will be giving 365 things to do to make your kids happy, productive and crafty! LOL! Just kidding!
I will be back later to tell you all about my birthday!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Perfect Morning...

So, I am making LOTS of headway on my NAMESAKES ...for those of you new to my blog - just scroll down and you can see more of my latest designs... and I am feeling quite productive! That's always a good feeling! So, next time I open my order pad (it's kind of like a pop-quiz - so you have to check back often or you will miss it!) I will know to tell people that depending on their place in line, it may take up to 2 months to complete the orders. Not bad when you consider they are all hand-done. So, yesterday I had my doctor's appt - yes, he is sticking to the CAFFEINE-FREE advice although he said I could sneak in a cuppa Joe here and there and my heart shouldn't object too much...I went straight from there to, you guessed it... STARBUCKS! And....I chickened out - I got a decaf! Now, that I have to add the word decaf to my order, I actually giggle when I string together the words of my favorite concoction... a venti, non-fat, iced, decaf carmel macchiato! I swear, I am not a "Harry Met Sally" kind of customer, I usually just pick something off the menu and unless it has olives, anchovies or spit in it, I am good. But my coffee I am particular about! And don't slip in any of that sugar-free syrup on me - BLECH! So, I take my cup of Heaven across the parking lot to The Children's Place! My favorite place to shop for the kids and luckily, all three of them can still fit in the clothes from there. The prices in this place are amazing! If you don't have one near you - check them out online - $5 shipping - ALWAYS! Anyway, I picked up a couple things for each of the three kids...two big kid tanks, a girly tank and short ensemble and a pair of itty bitty flip-flops and wee-wittle sunglasses all for $30. Those were not sale prices, that's just their everyday deals! THEN....the lady at the register tells me that tomorrow is their MONSTER SALE so to be sure to come back. I mention it to my not-a-fan-of-giving-me-the-OK-to-shop husband and tell him that I never did the summer clothes shopping for the kids. Pennsylvania skipped Spring so until we hit 90 degrees, I was behind on the summer-thinking! He had recently gotten our VISA bill and somehow we overpaid the last time so he said if I could keep it at that dollar amount, we had the go-ahead. No problem! Today I tool my three cool kids shopping. The older two (9 & 10) are excellent in math so I gave them a target $ amount and shopping bag and set them free (it's a very small store so I could see or hear them no matter where I was in the store). I took the baby in the stroller and we filled his bag... more sunglasses, jammies, shorts, tanks, tees, etc. I met the other two at the register with filled bags and asked how well they think they added? I am proud to say that we came in UNDER Daddy's request by $6! WE ROCK! The best part? Since they picked out their own things, they LOVE EVERYTHING! My oldest actually asked to change into a pair of new shorts before we even left the store. My daughter changed into a new outfit in the car before I was even out of the parking lot! We headed across to the mall to get them some "CHUCKS" - they have been wanting these for ages! I am too cheap to spend the $40 on real CHUCKS so we headed to PAYLESS! They each fell in love with a pair and the baby....well, he is a shoe monger from way back...he fell in love with a ...umm...less than attractive shoe/sock ensemble...but it was such a good day and he was so in love with them, I said OK. We got some soft pretzels and drinks and headed to the car! We drove home, the little guy started his nap before we got home, I slipped him into his bed and fed the big guys lunch and came to check in with all of you... Check out the shoes - this is REAL TIME... LOL!
The whole day was so perfect and so fun that the fact that I unexpectedly got my period and (three kids in tow) could not find a bathroom with "sanitary items" available did not even phase me! Hey, at least I got it, right?...not pregnant, right?...that's always a good thing!

See. Perfection. Sheer Perfection.