Thursday, April 30, 2009


So today is Ashley's final parent-teacher conference as a kindergartner. I am amazed at how much her reading has taken off these past few months, and she just this week finished her rainbow words at school. They were groups of words, given in color order of the rainbow, that she had to learn how to spell. Yes, in kindergarten. The first few sets were pretty easy - she, he, said - they meant to be words that didn't necessarily follow the english language rules, but where sight words.

Then they got harder - where, were, eight, quick, quack. But she did it.

So I am not expecting anything "bad" for her learning. I am sure there will be something said about her behavior as even this week she has been on yellow twice.

And I am still in shock that on July 7th she will be starting 1st grade (year round schools). Complete shock. She keeps telling Ray and I that when she is in 1st grade, she will walk to the bus stop by herself, and Ray and I just give each other that look - you know, the "over my dead body are you walking to the bus stop by yourself" look. And its not that it wouldn't be safe. I fully expect to be walking Ashley to the bus stop when she's in college, you know, just to make sure she makes it to her classes and all.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Great Wolf Lodge

So last Friday, Ashley had her field day at school which I volunteered for. It was fun, but whatever happened to the three-legged race? And the sack races? Just curious.

So right after that was done, we headed home and hit the road for Concord, NC. Ray and I picked up lunch on the way, while Ashley had a bag lunch from school and Audrey had a hot dog from home. We left the house around noon, and we were in Concord, NC around 2:30pm. It was a really easy drive from Raleigh.

I wasn't sure if we were able to check in early, so right next door to the Great Wolf Lodge is Concord Mills, a huge shopping mall with outlets. We all had a bathroom break and a snack, walked around a bit, then headed pretty much across the street to the Lodge. We checked in about 3:30pm.
The lobby was already set up for the Mitchell Musso concert, which I did not get good pictures, but Carmen did! Yes, Carmen was there, but I did not get to meet her. We got all checked in, and of course the kids wanted to go to the water park. What I thought was really cool was the wrist bands we got. Not only did they get us into the water park, they also got us into our room and we could charge things to it at the restaurants and the vending machines. So we basically had to carry nothing to the water park with us since they provided towels.
We stayed at the water park until dinner time. Another plus to the Great Wolf Lodge? Audrey slipped at some point and scrapped her knee. The lifeguards were very attentive and cleaned her up and gave her a band aid.

Dinner was great, we enjoyed a buffet that sampled some of the items from the restaurants at the Lodge. Then it was time for Mitchell Musso - but by this time, it was after 8:00pm, and neither Audrey nor Ashley had slept in the van on the way there. So they were wiped out. We stayed for three songs and told Ashley that's all he was playing (yes, we are going to hell for lying, I realize this) and snuck back to our room.

Everyone crashed, and unfortunately we were woken up at 6:22am by the fire alarm. It ended up being a malfunction, but at that point, we were awake. The water park didn't open until 9:00am, so Ray went and got donuts at the Dunkin Donuts in the lobby. Everyone else had the same idea it seemed, but we lounged in the room and had donuts and got all packed up. On the day you check out of the hotel, you can stay and enjoy the water park (and even still charge to your room) until it closes at 9:00pm. There are showers and a locker room to keep your stuff. We stayed at the water park until 12:30pm and which point the kids were so freaking tired they didn't even object to leaving.

So yes, a great time was had, and we would definitely go back.

Monday, April 27, 2009


When I have more than 10 minutes to sit down and do a "real" post about the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, NC we went to this weekend, I will. I just can't do it justice in the few minutes during lunch I have to blog (I really need to eat my oatmeal...yes, that's all I have for lunch today because I forgot my damn lunch and I refuse to go get fast food because I ate fast food this weekend and would rather save my money for more important things like shoes).

So this weekend was busy as you can only imagine. We stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge Friday night and came home Saturday. After we left the Great Wolf Lodge, we hit the Ikea store which was only a few exits down on I-85. Audrey was so tired, she fell asleep while talking about some toy she wanted. Seriously. I guess the water park wore her out. Of course, I was holding her and had to then maneuver a shopping cart while holding a sleeping three year old, but we survived (Ray was pushing his own cart of furniture for his office). I scored new dishes and new pots and pans for less than $80. Our previous pots and pans? We had since we GOT MARRIED (that's 11 years ago). They were long overdue to be replaced.

So Sunday rolled around and we did the church and grocery shopping thing. And then I had signed up to run the Race of Grace, a 5K race through part of downtown Raleigh. At 4:00pm on a day where the high was 90 degrees. Luckily, my friend went with me and having her running faster and in front of me sort of pushed me to finish. I did end up walking a little bit of it as my head was on fire. As you can tell from pictures of me, I have jet black hair (and yes, that is my natural hair color). My head got really, really hot and I had used the bottle of water my friend bought me within the first mile of the race.

And I didn't even mention the best part. While waiting for the race to start, a bird pooped on my shoulder. I am so not kidding. I have no luck with birds - I have even been pooped on in Disney World.

I am not going to share my time with you because it sucked. I was hoping to do better. I didn't get to the gym at all last week due to my random head cold/coughing thing, so I think that hurt. That and the heat. I am signed up for the Race for the Cure in June, and I had better beat my time on that race.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Pictures - Earth Day (with a few Easter ones thrown in for good measure)

First up, Easter pictures. As most of you know, I like to dress the girls alike because a) I'm crazy and b) I am fostering some sort of inner peace from dressing two girls alike, unlike when my Mother dressed me and my twin BROTHER alike as kids.

Audrey had been begging to wear those shoes for weeks. I finally let her wear them. The dresses are from awesome site with great priced clothing. I always get free shipping and shop the sales.

Actually, Audrey was only happy about the shoes. She wasn't too keen on the dress, although she will only wear dresses these days and it drives me insane. Mostly because I bought her some really cute shorts that she refuses to wear.

So freaking glad I got her hair cut....but really? Does this look like a five year old?

So to celebrate Earth Day last Saturday, we hiked over the the UNC campus, specifically outside of the Morehead Planetarium last Saturday. Not only was there free stuff for the kids to do, but Kickin Grass was playing. They played the girls favorite song, Chugalug (yes, a song about drinking, but it's catchy and fast and it puts the girls in a good mood) and even dedicated the song to us. Which was nice in that now half of Chapel Hill thinks our family is a bunch of drinkers.

Yup, there was face painting with all organic materials. We can never pass on face painting.

The girls got to make some homemade chia pets (I always wanted one!) with recycled pantyhose, coffee grinds, grass seeds.

And this is Bob (a girl) and I forget what Audrey named hers. They are now sprouting grass "hair" on our back deck.

Hey look! Ray actually had the camera! And even took a picture of me. Not sure how that happened....

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Look! Finally! Pictures of Ashely's Haircut! And not even good pictures!

So Ashley's hair. It actually didn't seem all that long, but every night is a battle to comb through it. Lucky for her, she inherited my thick hair, but unlucky for her, when she washes her hair herself in the shower, it becomes one tangled mess. Hence why I suggested a shorter haircut, and she was fine with it. There are a few other little girls in her class with the same exact hair cut.

The before picture - completely out of focus. I am pretty sure Audrey took this picture.

And Audrey definitely took this picture - but look! Cute shoes! (I have passed on my shoe fetish to my children...).
And the haircut. And a cute pose. And Tootles making a cameo appearance. And you can even notice on the wall in the background where Ray did some touch up paint (the shiny parts) - WITH THE PAINT FOR THE EXTERIOR OF THE HOUSE. Yes, more touch up paint is in his future.

With her cute hat she made at school. And I don't care what people say about madras shorts. I think they are adorable on kids.

And all of a sudden, Ashley looks older. Give me a few minutes while I sob into my coffee....

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Isn't it great when little girls all of a sudden hold hands?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Small World

So yes, I am on Facebook as is most of the free world. A girl I went to high school and actually roomed with my freshman year of college found me on Facebook and she actually no longer lives in Virginia either. She moved to the Raleigh area about a year ago. In college, we kind of drifted apart - she was in the marching band at Virginia Tech, and well, I wasn't. I had given up band at that point (that is a post all to itself someday). We conversed a few times on Facebook, but shockingly I don't get on Facebook all that much.

Fast forward to yesterday. One of the reasons we moved down here was because of our best friends Wendy and Matt. Ray and I went to college with Wendy, and she got a job in Raleigh out of college. We would visit them a few times a year, and fell in love with the area. They have a little boy Ashley's age, and a little girl who just turned two.

So we were at the two year old's birthday party when my high school friend walked in! Her daughter is at the same daycare as Wendy and Matt's daughter. Crazy, crazy, CRAZY! So we got to catch up during the whole party (while Ashley and Audrey, who were the oldest kids there, ran rampant, but nicely rampant). We exchanged phone numbers and promised to get together since they are still getting to know the area, and fortunately for us (with Ray being a realtor), we kind of know the area better than most newbies. That, and we have lived here three years next month.

I promise to post pictures of Ashley's new haircut tomorrow, as well as our adventure from Saturday. We have a sort of busy week - it's teacher appreciation week this week (instead of in May) at Audrey's school. Ashley has her field day at school on Friday, and then we get to leave for Concord, NC to spend the night at a Great Wolf Lodge as a "Very Important Family" or VIF. I am so freaking excited about it, I can't even tell you. Not only do we get to stay for free, we are being treated to dinner Friday night and breakfast Saturday morning, AND we get to see Mitchell Musso in concert. The girls are beyond excited. Ray is of course excited about all the free parts.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dance, dance, Dance

There is often dancing going on in my house, and right now the music of choice is the soundtrack to the Hannah Montana movie. This dancing stuff the girls did not get from me.

Dance class for the year is over for us (we only took a mid-season class), but I signed the girls both up for next year. Hopefully they will remember how much fun they had come September...

And yes, at this point she was supposed to be on the floor...

Not sure which she likes better, ballet or tap.

Poor kid, has my Mom's hips...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Really Random Tidbits

Ashley came home from school on Monday with the dreaded words - a girl in her class threw up in the lunch line. Of course I asked her if she was anywhere near that child at any point that morning, and she said no. Keep your fingers crossed.

Audrey has slept in her bed ALL NIGHT LONG for the past two nights. Did I just jinx myself? Probably.

I did level 3 on the 30 Day Shred DVD last night and good GOD was it hard. I mean really hard. I am sort of in shape, I mean I ran OUTSIDE on Sunday and I go to the gym regularly...but this one? Hard. Of course, I hadn't done it in a few weeks, so that was part of it, but still. I am pretty sure I won't be able to walk later today.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Confessions of a Working Mom Part Whatever

Audrey wet the bed in the middle of the night the other night (she has only does this a handful of times, no idea why she does it) and instead of actually finding clean sheets to put on her bed, I let her come to bed with Ray and I.

And speaking of sheets, no one uses a top sheet in our house. Except the guest bed. Top sheets are pretty useless in my opion.

I don't fold the girls pj's or match their socks when I fold their clothes. They get put (okay, thrown) in a drawer and get matched when it is time to wear them. Yes, completely lazy on my part but again, what's the point of folding them when half the time Ashley is looking for a specific pj and will destroy the drawer anyway.

The girls watch tv while eating their breakfast most mornings just so that I can get everything packed up and the dog walked.

Chocolate is a great bargaining tool to get the kids up and moving in the morning.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Cool contest and a 40th Birthday - Lunatic Fringe

My blogging buddy Laura turned 40 - something that should be celebrated! She is having a contest (that ends tomorrow, sorry for the late notice) for a beautiful creation from Star Creations. Have I mentioned how much I love

At the very least, go wish Laura happy birthday, it would be great to get her comments to 40!

At some point, we will have to go through Chocolate Detox

Between Easter egg hunts at church, at our house, and Easter baskets from the Grandparents and us, the girls are definitely on a chocolate and sugar high. This morning, Audrey asked for chocolate for breakfast, and proceeded to melt down when I told her she could not have any. Good fun.

And right now, she is actually at work with me. Her daycare is closed today (teacher workday), so Audrey is with me this morning and in a few minutes we are leaving to spend some time in Target or some other store and wait for Ray to get out of his meetings so he can take Audrey home. She has enjoyed being at my office mainly because she likes to smell my Sharpie marker.

But we had a good three day weekend (really a four day for Audrey). I took the girls to see the new Hannah Montana movie, and now Ashley (okay, really ME) is obsessed with learning the dance steps to Hoedown, Throwdown. We had playdates with friends, spent some time outside, and I even got a run in outside late yesterday afternoon. Which is good since I am running a 5K in two weeks for Race of Grace. I have been having a lot of issues with getting stitches in my sides when I run in the gym, but running yesterday outside even without stretching, I was fine. Go figure.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday Pictures - Warning, there are actually pictures of me and Ray in these, not just the kids

Last weekend, we went to Duke Gardens with our friends who were visiting for the weekend. If any of you live in the Raleigh area, these Gardens are beautiful. Even if you don't like Duke (the hate/love of colleges around here is quite funny, either you love or hate Duke or UNC), it is worth the trip.

Ray and Audrey enjoying the scenery.

Ashley posing, seriously, we are in trouble with this one!

Look! It's a real picture of Ray! And my other favorite thing, Diet Coke!

Me, our dear friend Adrienne, and Ray. Adrienne's oldest daughter took this picture for us.

A very, very rare shot of the four of us.

Ashley and her very best friend from Virginia, Grace.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Checked out

I went to the gym last night, and on my way out (and no, I did not see two women taking a shower together this time), I saw a Dad with his son (or so I assume it was his son) and his son was saying something to him, and the Dad was busy talking to someone else. I wanted to say, hey, listen to your kid, but really? It's none of my business.

Unfortunately, I have done that some lately. Last Saturday night when our friends were in town, we were eating dinner when Audrey was asking me something. I know what was happening, I was thinking WAY ahead of the answer I had to give her and just forgot to answer her. My friend Adrienne spoke up and said, "are you going to answer her?". We laughed about it, but seriously, I need to stop doing that.

I just need to focus, I realize that. But sometimes I get home from work and something needs to be done and stuff needs to be signed and dinners need to be planned and I start tuning stuff out. And unfortunately for Ray, he gets tuned out first. But that's okay, because he can always hit me on the head with a brick and let me know I need to wake up.

I need an evening where there is no pressure of getting ready for work or school. And tonight is it. The girls don't have school tomorrow and I don't have work. I am teaching a class today at work, so maybe that has been what has been bugging me lately. I get worked up about it sometimes. Especially because I know a particularly volatile (and possible multiple personalities, and I am not kidding) person is attending the training class today. I am hoping her "nice" personality shows up today.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Dear God, it was cold yesterday

Thank goodness Ashley's field trip was to a museum, and not to some outdoor location. Although all the parents were worried as we were waiting for the bus to show up (why can't we ride the bus with the kids?) that we would have to eat outside as originally planned. It was about 45 degrees out with a brisk wind. And of course they were going to eat lunch as soon as they got there, AT 10:30AM. Needless to say, I did not eat lunch.

But the field trip was fun, and when I got home from the field trip I had about an hour to kill prior to getting Ashley off the bus. I should have been cleaning, or cooking, or laundry, or all three since I am not normally home during the day and stuff needed to get done.

Instead, I took that hour and read a book. I am almost done reading Firefly Lane, and let me tell you. If you have a daughter, be prepared to be very, very scared of her teenage years if you read this book. That's my warning. I am currently looking for a stop-growing pill on google for Ashley and Audrey. Because I do not want two teenage girls.

Monday, April 06, 2009

I promise to post pictures of our weekend at some point this week...

We got to last night, and Ray and I both collapsed into bed. I was going to go to the gym, but I just couldn't muster up the strength to actually change my clothes and go.

We had friends in town from Virginia whom we love. Their youngest is Ashley's age, and they are "best friends" even though they only see each other about twice a year. Everyone got along really well. We took a trip to the Duke Gardens on Saturday after Ashley and Audrey's last dance class. The Gardens were beautiful and I promise to post some pictures soon.

Our friends actually were supposed to head to Myrtle Beach for Spring Break, but because of a death in the family, they were heading back to Virginia. So Sunday morning we got up and hit the early service at church. Everyone but me (I had to teach Sunday school) went to breakfast and they hit the road.

Then Ray and I split up - he went to Walmart with Ashley for some groceries and mulch; I hit CVS and Harris Teeter for some sale items. Even with a $17 purchase of Tide (that was on sale for $6 off at Harris Teeter), we still only spent $80 on groceries this week. And yes, that include some fresh veggies from Harris Teeter.

Ray spent the afternoon putting mulch down. I spent the afternoon attempting to get Audrey to take a nap (at which I failed) and cleaning the kitchen for the hundredth time this weekend. The pollen is unbelievable right now, and even if we open our windows for a few minutes, the entire kitchen is suddenly covered in a light yellow film. We then headed to a friend's house for dinner and egg coloring. Seriously, the girls colored 24 eggs! I think we done with egg coloring...

Thankfully this week has a lot going on - Ashley has a field trip tomorrow which I am chaperoning, Thursday I am teaching a training class at work, and Friday the girls and I don't have work/school (Ray ALWAYS has work, a downside of being self employed). Bring on the Easter Bunny....

Great Sites

I try to pass along information as I get it and come across it in my daily adventures on the internet. I have two for you today.

1. Jump Start World - Great site for kids. They can create avatars, learn through adventure based activities, and have fun online with a site that does not start with Hannah and end in Montana. We actually used the box set prior to this product becoming browser based, and Ashley enjoyed it.
2. - Send in your Capri Sun pouches and earn cash for a school or charity. Right now, they are paying $.02 per pouch.

Friday, April 03, 2009


So how long would you leave this up?
There are holidays in every month, right?

Thursday, April 02, 2009


I have a problem.
I really, really like them to dress alike.
I am just not sure how much longer I can pull it off. Maybe until they are in their 20s?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I am not cut out for this job

I realize that all of us know being a Mom is hard. I mean really, really hard. And not for those moments when the kids are cranky and not listening, or when the baby won't sleep (but those are hard as well). I mean those really hard days when you have moments like I did yesterday.

Ashley always gets on the bus in the morning and waves to me from the window as the bus drives away. The kindergartners have to sit on the side with the door and in the first few rows, so she is always on the side that I am looking at.

Yesterday morning, I could see her sitting in a seat, but she never looked out the window and waved. I thought to myself that was not like her, but she was probably busy talking to one of her friends.

At dinner last night, she asked me if I knew why she didn't wave. When I said no, she said that she tried to sit with her friend, and her friend told her she couldn't sit with her. She said she was arguing with her friend about it, and then the bus pulled away before she had a chance to wave to me.

So she cried all the way to school because she didn't get to wave goodbye to me.

Knife. Insert into heart.

Now, I don't care that her friend told her she couldn't sit with her. We explained to Ashley that if someone does that, instead of arguing with them, either switch seats or ignore them and sit anyways. It obviously does no good to argue with them.

But it was so hard to hear that she cried on the bus without me or anyone to console her. I was so sad and told her it was okay, and she said she was okay.

But these are the things I dwell on. I realize I can't keep Ashley in a bubble and protect her for her entire life from being hurt. I know she will learn from all her experiences, just like I did.

But damn, if I could keep her in a bubble, I would.