Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday Pictures - Red, White and Blue

First off, look at this totally cool gift I got in the mail from it. She emailed me and asked me if I wanted the Disney pin, and then she also sent the photo holder...absolutely beautiful. Another Blogger who totally rocks...

The pin and photo holder...
A closer look at the day I will post a picture of all my Disney pins being the geek I am.
I am home today (schoolwork and more schoolwork to do, this Master's degree thing is freaking hard...). Anyways, the girls have a parade this afternoon at school and are all dressed in their red, white and blue. This is Ray and Ashley...
Audrey ready to go...
Ashley dressed herself this morning (I know, she should be doing that all the time...).
Still ready to go...

Me and the, I have not showered in this picture. And yes, Audrey and I are pale compared to Ashley.

Tomorrow my twin brother comes with his girlfriend who everyone else in the family has met besides Ray and I. And my Dad and Stepmom are coming too. I have a band concert on Sunday evening (with a solo!!), so they are coming to see me in all my band geekiness. I promise to post pictures.

Have a great weekend...

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Birthday Party Post

Yes, Ashley's birthday is a little less than a month away, I realize that. I tend to obsess about certain things, and the girls' birthday parties are one of them. Maybe, just maybe it's because I don't remember having birthday parties as a kid. (Please, parents, don't take offense, I am a well functioning adult without those parties as a kid). I don't remember one birthday cake, let alone any special presents I received. I do remember this one time going out to dinner at Chi-Chi's and them singing "Happy Birthday" over my fried ice cream, but that is the extent of my memory.

I want the girls to remember all their birthdays. I want birthdays to be a big deal, a day they look forward to for weeks. And I don't necessarily mean they have to get a ton of gifts and such, I just want to make the day as special as possible.

So Ashley's birthday is July 21st. I really wanted to do it at one of those inflatable jumping places like Pump It Up, but the closest one isn't really that close to our house. I thought about the cool parties I have been to here in North Carolina, like our neighbor's daughter's at the NC Museum of Science. But then we just did that in January, and to be fair to Ashley and her best friend, they have been there, done that.

I did go to a really cool princess party back in December, but it was held in my friend's house, and I just don't have that much room in my house, even for 10 girls to come in.

So I went on Craigs List about two months ago and found this place. How cool is this?? Princess stuff, a tea party, crafts and karaoke??!! Can I have my next birthday party there?? And why didn't I think of this idea first??

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

We are in BIG trouble...

All the baby books and advice you read on the internet tell you to talk to your baby, even just narrating what you are doing. When Ashley was a baby, I had a hard time with this. I just felt like I was talking to myself and at anytime some person from the local mental hospital was going to show up and take me away. I tended to only do it when I consciously thought about it, which I am not sure thinking back how much that was.

Ashley did not put a full sentence together beyond a couple of words until she was two. She also didn't say Mama until about 18 months (although she was great at Dada). I honestly didn't worry too much because once she started talking, she didn't freaking stop. The kid talks NONSTOP. I think sometimes she talks just to hear herself. Sometimes she says, "I have to tell you something" which of course I respond to and then she has to sit there and think of something to tell me.

Audrey? Well, this is where we are in BIG trouble. She talks ALOT and she's not even 18 months old yet. She cocks her head and just rattles of a string of incomprehensible words. She can also say a ton of actual words - daddy, mommy, dog, more, cat, no, bye, down, up...and my favorite is when she attempts to say Ashley.

Anyone got an extra set of earplugs to send my way?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Can you guess what's missing?

A side mirror? You are correct! Sorry, no great prizes today.

So Friday night we go to the pool. On the way home, I stop off at Sonic to get Ashley and I some ice cream (Ray had already taken Audrey home at this point). I pull into the bay where you order (and for those of you not familiar with Sonic, it's one of those places where they bring food to your car, sometimes on roller skates, most of the time not). I notice that it's a little tight on the one side, but in my excitement over a yummy sundae, I forget this as I start to pull away. And I completely take off my side mirror. Okay, well not completely, as it still had some cord attached that Ray wrestled with on Saturday to take off.

Not a good way to start a weekend...

Monday, June 25, 2007

Fun Monday

Swampwitch at Anecdotes, Antidotes, & Anodes is hosting this week...her challenge is to post pictures of bookshelves and where we store ya go....

My side of the bed...

Ray's side...

That is really all the books we have, we tend to not keep stuff. I read books and then pass them along to friends and family...

Since we do not have a basement and we like to keep cars in our garage, our storage is all in the attic...

It's mostly kids' stuff that we are keeping for some unknown reason. Plus, we had a basement in our house in Virginia, and most of what was in the basement there is now in our attic.

Enjoy!! Go visit Swampy (and tell her Happy Belated Birthday) for more participants...

Friday, June 22, 2007

Friday Pictures - Beach Style

From last weekend at Myrtle Beach...

Concentrating on something...

Thank God I am FINALLY happy at the beach!
My personal pool...
"Mommy, can I live here?"
Just don't drink it...

Thursday, June 21, 2007


I always pick up Audrey first when I go to get the girls. I walk into her room yesterday and see the dreaded note I have seen a few times attached to her clipboard. I think, "damn, she bit another kid, oohh, or maybe she got bit...". I know, I really shouldn't hope for my child being bit, but which is worse?? So yes, she bit another child and now we have to have a meeting with Director of the school to come up with a "plan".

I just wanted to cry. I am stressed and worried. I just want to sit in there all day and hug her when she feels like she needs to bite someone. Her teacher says she never does it unprovoked, meaning she doesn't just walk up to a kid and bite them. There is always a reason, mostly someone grabs something out of her hands. And she gets pissed.

I don't know what the solution is. She isn't doing it at home. We have stopped playing pretend biting her toes games and such. We read her books about no biting. We give her lots of love and attention. And we know she gets lots of love and attention from her teachers at school.

And I am sorry to those parents whose kids she has bitten. I don't know what to say. And the teachers tell me they are working on those kids who grab stuff out of her hand. But who is the issue? The kid who grabs or the kid who bits or both?

The meeting is planned for next week. I don't want them to tell me this has to be fixed now or she's out. I just don't know what I would do.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Nine Years....and Counting

Nine years ago, Ray and I were married in front of 150 in a Baptist church in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Honestly, I don't remember much of the ceremony. I do remember being surrounded by friends and family and the reception being the best it could be. We danced and sang and danced and laughed.

And then I fell asleep in the limo ride to the hotel.

I know, pathetic wife I am.

No gifts of pottery or leather are being given today. Ray did get a new laptop which takes care of any gifts we were going to get each other. Instead, most likely this will be like any other day, work, home with the kids for dinner, getting ready for the next day.

Except today I am reminded that I married my best friend, who has also turned out to be the best father any one could wish for...

Happy Anniversary, Sweetheart...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Crazy Roommates

A few people have asked about my poor cat I had in college and her visit to the freezer in the townhouse I was living in.

It was my junior year of college, and I lived with three other girls in a townhouse. For those of you who know Virginia Tech, it was the Pheasant Run townhouses. Anyways, my roommates:

1. Lisa - nymphomaniac, striped for money at frat parties, was extremely smart, last I heard she was still waiting tables at Tech.

2. Amy B. - the bisexual one. Nuff said.

3. Amy C. - Little Amy, from a really small town in New Jersey, prior to living with us had never kissed a boy, had a job, driven a car, or boiled water.

Needless to say, it was interesting beyond the fact that there were three Amy's living under one roof. As I said, it was my junior year in college and the hardest year in the accounting program. I was studying a ton and working part time and breaking up with my long time boyfriend from high school. A lot was going on with me. They were all in their senior year and goofy off and having fun. Nothing wrong with that except their version of having fun was a little different than mine.

Exhibit A: My poor cat Cannoli was stuck in the freezer by Amy B. to see what it would do. Apparently, she liked to hurt animals. And I will tell you, it will meowed it's little head off. The following weekend, Cannoli went to live with my Mom.

Exhibit B: Little Amy was in the half bathroom and Lisa and Amy B. duct-taped the door shut except for the bottom and used a hair dryer to blow baby powder into the bathroom. I still to this day have no idea why.

Exhibit C: I like my stuff. I used to be really possessive about my stuff (had issues my freshman year with my roommate wearing all my clothes, that's a whole other story...). I have gotten better. Anyways, routinely they would do things to stuff in my room like hang clothes from the ceiling and mess with my alphabetized CD collection (don't make

Exhibit D: On more than one occasion, I would come home to some boy crashed out in MY BED.

Exhibit E: Dumbasses Lisa and Amy B. thought they would teach Amy C. to drive a car at night to pick them up from a frat party. Needless to say, she wrecked Amy B.'s car.

That's all I remember for now. I am sure there is more, I just may have blocked it all out.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Fun Monday

Return of the White Robin hosts this weeks Fun Monday. Go see her for a list of participants...

Her challenge was to show everyone something that hangs on your wall. Well, nothing too exciting hangs on our walls besides pictures of our kids and our college diplomas. I did find these two things which are my absolute favorite. And anyone who knows me well knows that I love Disney...

A gift from our friends Wendy and Matt...

From Ashley's first trip to Disney in 2004.

Have fun looking at everyone else's walls!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Meme Saturday...

Okay, I won't do a meme every Saturday, but I am this Saturday.

Julie tagged everyone who wanted to join in on this meme...

It’s super simple: go to Wikipedia and input your birthday (just month and date). Then write down 3 events, 2 births and 1 holiday that you share your birthday with.
Here are mine for October 19:


1987 - Black Monday, stock market falls 22%
2001 - SIEV-X, an Indonesian fishing boat en-route to Christmas Island, carrying over 400 asylum seekers, sank in international waters with the loss of 353 people.
2005 - Hurrican Wilma becomes the most intense Atlantic hurricane on record with a minimum pressure of 882 mb

Really bad things happen on my birthday obviously....


1965 - Ty Pennington WOHOO!!
1962 - Evander Holyfield


Tomato Day per the French Republican calendar

I tag you and you...being you're related and all...

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday Pictures - Bluegrass Style

As I have mentioned before, Ray works on a real estate team called the Dawson Team. Jamie Dawson, the head, sings in a bluegrass band with his wife called Kickin Grass. So last Saturday, they did a concert at a local park. And we had to go. You wanna know why? Ashley is probably one of their biggest fans. And actually we are pretty entertained by them as well. Especially since Ashley makes us listen to them in the car all the time.

It was about 90 degress (or more) outside. I was attempting to keep Audrey cool. And out of the sun.
Our friends Wendy and Matt and their son Ethan came as well (and their almost two month old daughter Emmy came too, although she hid in the woods where it was nice and cool).
The band, that's Jamie to the left of Linda and obviously that's Linda, his wife. Sorry, I don't know the other guys' names. Bad Amy.
Did I mention it was hot?
The kids were dancing, or jumping, a new form of dancing.

One of Ashley's favorite songs started, so she had to sit and watch.

This was waiting for the car to get cool....

We are off to Myrtle Beach for the weekend. I hope everyone has a great weekend, see you on the flip side...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

What Happened?

I need, seriously I do.

And we have run out of coffee at home. Neither Ray nor I thought to stop by the store to get any last night.

And then we had TWO kids who refused to go to bed last night.

Audrey, who normally is a read two books and put her in her crib, decided she would fight us tooth and nail last night. Finally, after almost two hours of trying to get her to calm down and go to bed and Ray and I taking turns working our magic, she went to sleep.

Ashley had a few crying fits in between there as well. Until she finally crashed. Not until after I went in her room at some point and she told me:

"Mommy, I don't like being by myself."

I don't either Ashley, I really don't.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Payback's a Bitch

Not sure how well you can see in this picture, but Audrey was bitten at school last Friday. Am I pissed? Well, honestly no. Why? Monday - she bit TWO kids, Tuesday - just one. Her teachers and I are trying to thwart the biting by attaching a teething ring to her shirt with a pacifier holder. When they see her start to bite, they will offer her that and hopefully someday soon she will do it on her own. I have ordered some books on Amazon to donate to her class in hopes they will help as well. I think what may be causing the extra biting this week (yes, we do feed our children) is that her favorite teacher whom she calls "Nana" is out this week. So maybe she's just extra pissed...

I know I have promised a contest this week, and hopefully tomorrow I can do it. I need to scan a photo in for it, and the scanner only works with Ray's laptop which is now in computer heaven. It completely died on Tuesday leaving Ray searching all over the greater Raleigh area for a replacement laptop. Happy Father's Day, Happy Anniversary, Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas....hopefully he can get his new laptop loaded with the correct software and I can download away...until then, look at the cool gift I received in the mail last Friday....
On the envelope it said congrats on passing the Praxis!!
The magnet is hanging up at work...hehehe....
My scrapbooking room smells lovely. Thanks so much Julie!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I hope you are sitting down for this...

I have a few memories of going to church when I was young. I still have the Bible the Baptist church gave me when I was five. I remember my Grandmother doing the craft part of vacation bible school. As we got older, my Dad would take my brother and I to church. At that time we attended a non-denominational church. My parents were divorced soon after, and I never went to church with my family again.

In high school, I started dating a guy whose family were devout Catholics. They attended St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in Lake Ridge, Virginia. In 1992, the priest there attracted national media attention with a stigmata on his wrist and statues of the Virgin Mary that weeped. On many occasions, I attended mass with him and his family. It was very different from the churches I had grown up in.

Fast forward a bit. Ray and I were married in a Baptist church. Once in a while, we would attend a service at a Methodist church close to home and one that friends went to. We swore when we moved to North Carolina we would find a church to call home and attend.

At the girls' school, they pray before they eat. Not a bow your head kind of praying, but they sing a song where they thank God for their food. If not for us, we wanted to attend church so that Ashley and Audrey would understand and be able to make choices on their own about church and God and religion in general.

So Sunday was it. One of the saxophone players in the band with me is a Pastor at a local Baptist church. He has asked me a few times to come to his church to check it out. So we did. It was nice, a small church with an older population. Billy, the Pastor, has told me they are trying to bring in younger families. Everyone was sweet and friendly and Ashley really liked it. Audrey, not so much. The service we attended was at 11:00am, and she normally goes down for a nap around noon, so by the time we picked her up from the nursery, she was upset and tired and cranky.

We are planning on trying out a Methodist church in the area with neighbors as well. We are happy we finally got off our butts and tried the church, and I am glad that Ashley enjoyed the experience.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Fun Monday

This week's Fun Monday is brought to us by Joy at A Spot of T. Her challenge? Show everyone your kitchen, where most people spend a lot of time eating, cooking, or just hanging out. Our kitchen overlooks the family room, and we tend to always be doing dishes. And I did not clean my kitchen prior to the picture taking, so have fun making fun of my dirty kitchen...

The island that collects stuff when we are not looking (and that is NOT MY PREPARATION H on the counter)...

This oven is really, really cool...see that drawer at the bottom? It is actually another oven, not just a warming drawer....

Go Hokies!

The sink where the sippy cups mulitply...

A stash to keep Audrey occupied so I can cook dinner...

A different view...

Really long counter that I have no clue what to do with sometimes...

More Go Hokies!

Go visit Joy for more participants...and make sure you check back later this week for a contest...

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Two Things Meme

I got this from CPA Mom, and I am cheating, I am filling this out on Friday, but I post it on Saturday...

Two Names You Go By:
Um, yea you

Two Things You are Wearing Right Now:

Two Things You Would Want (or Have) in a Relationship:
Love and Trust, which I have both.

Two of Your Favorite Things to do:
Play music

Two Things You Want Very Badly At The Moment:
McDonald's Cheeseburger and a Large REGULAR coke which I haven't had in about a year...

Two pets you have/had:
Spice, my cat I had to get rid of when we realized Ashley was allergic
Cannoli, my cat in college my roommate stuck in the freezer

Two People Who will Fill This out (please?):
I tag you and you.

Two Things You Did Last Night:
Had dinner with the family and then went to band practice

Two Things You ate today:
A piece of bread with peanut butter on it and a cup of coffee

Two People You Last Talked To:
Ray (who is pissed because I told Ashley we would take her to the pool tonight) and my boss.

Two Things You’re Doing Tomorrow:
Race for the Cure and a Bluegrass concert

Two Longest Car Rides:
I drove to the Sugar Bowl in college to see Virginia Tech play Texas (and beat them) and then Ray and I drove to Miami after our college graduation for a vacation.

Two Favorite Holidays:
My kids birthdays

Two favorite beverages:

Friday, June 08, 2007

Friday Pictures - Family Style

These are a few pictures I finally downloaded from Memorial Day weekend....

For anyone that knows Ray, he LOVES ice cream. Especially Carl's Ice Cream, a special ice cream place that has been open since the dawn of time in Fredericksburg, Virginia...
Ashley's first trip to the beloved ice cream place. On a normal summer evening, the line will snake around the building...
And this, my friends, is four generations of my Dad holding Audrey, me, my Grandmother (Audrey's middle name is Rose named after this Grandmother), and my Stepmom Diane holding Ashley.
Every once in a while, I attempt to make Ray take a picture of me with the kids...this is the result...
And this is Ray's Mom with all of her Grandchildren. Ashley and Audrey are in the matching outfits, that's Faith in the bathing suit and the baby is Aiden, the newest was fun watching Ray's Mom juggle all the grandkids...

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Stop and Smell the Roses

One of my favorite bloggers left a comment on my "Busy" post that kind of hit my like a ton of bricks. She said I needed to stop and smell the roses. It made me stop and reevaluate my life. Am I really going through life all that quickly? Am I not noticing what’s really beautiful around me? Am I going to regret the choices I have made?

And then we had one of those wonderful Friday nights, were we take the kids to the pool and play and play and eat pizza and play and laugh and splash and giggle until the kids are so exhausted and cold their lips are blue and their teeth are chattering. It’s those evenings that I sit back and say this is what it’s like to smell the roses, this is what life is all about.

Yes, we lead crazy lives. Work, school, kids’ activities, friends, family - all that stuff rolls up into one pretty crazy and hectic life. But I truly feel I am making the most of it. I know what it takes to make my kids smile. I know Audrey loves raspberries on her belly. I know Ashley is really a sucker for ice cream. I know that the dishes can wait, the bills will get paid just as soon as the kids fall asleep. I may not smell the roses every minute of every day, but there are times in my day, everyday that I look at my family and smile. And it’s those times I smell the roses.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Bite Me

Monday afternoon I go into Audrey's room at school to pick her up, and there is an incident report attached to her clipboard. Yup, she totally bit another kid. I have a biter. Which we knew she did because she tries to bite us and Ashley at home.

So what do we do now? I know the facts. This is completely normal at her age. In fact, when I was standing there talking to her teacher about it, another biting incident occured, and it did not involve Audrey. There are ten kids in her class, and her teacher said that 9 of them bite. Not a good percentage.

I know she does it out of frustration. At home, we will see Ashley snatch something out of Audrey's hands or try to mess with her and Audrey will reach over and try to bite. Part of me wants to let her do it to teach Ashley a lesson, but I know that a lose-lose situation all the way around.

We are going to stop all the pretending nibbling on toes games (even though her toes are very cute and she loves sticking her feet in my face). We are going to try to avert her desire to bite when we see it coming. Other than that, I have no idea what else to do. Ashley never bit anyone. This is new territory for me. Any and all advice is welcome...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Guess What?

Hey, guess what?

I passed my teaching exam, the Praxis.

I know, I was shocked as well. But happy, and elated, and excited!

Next step? Apply for my provisional license and then I can start applying for jobs.


Monday, June 04, 2007

Fun Monday - My crafty side...

Karmyn has picked a topic that I love - crafts. I did say I love them, not that I was any good at them. I wish I could post pictures of the curtains I am making, but I was delayed some in the process due to a crappy sewing machine (new one has been purchased and it is going a lot smoother now...). My super crafty neighbor has been my mentor in this process and without her, I am not sure what they would look like...

Anyways, instead I will give you one of my favorite scrapbook pages. I 100% love to scrapbook. I love to create something with pictures that is cool looking and appealing. My only problem? I am really, really not creative and spend most of my time lifting ideas off of other people, websites and books. So, if you have any good ideas, bring it. I love to copy.

Not the world's greatest pictures, but you get the idea.

Go visit Karmyn for more participants....