Tuesday, October 28, 2014

It's a Party!

In our old neighborhood, there was a family across the way from us that had, by far, the best Halloween set-up around, with a bunch of skeletons sitting around a campfire with beers and marshmallows. It was fantastic, and I think Steve was always a little jealous that he hadn't come up with the idea first.

So, when we moved into a new neighborhood? You'd better believe that idea came with us. I went to Costco on opening weekend to load up on skeletons, because these suckers sell out if you're not quick to the pallet. It turns out that six skeletons is the maximum number that can be loaded into a Costco cart, and you'd better have someone coming along with you, because there's not way you're navigating all of that creepiness around the store on your own. You just push that cart and pray to all that nobody accidentally stumbles into your path, because they WILL be run down by six boxes of bones.

The yard turned out amazingly well, though, and all of the neighbors now think Steve is just the MOST creative Halloween decorator there is.

Come on over! You know you've always wanted to go camping with a bunch of creepy people...

Monday, October 27, 2014

Scenes from a birthday party...

I know myself well enough to know that I don't have the emotional fortitude needed to plan an outdoor event. I don't do well with uncertainty, and since weather is nothing BUT uncertainty, I know that I need to plan all of my parties for indoor spaces. I need to have control of every detail or else I will do nothing but fret about what I don't have control over.

I know this about myself. And yet...guess who didn't let this knowledge stop her from planning a fifth birthday party at a farm where the only shelter was a roof large enough to cover six picnic tables in the middle of a field? And guess who did this planning for the middle of October, which can either be 80 degrees and hot or 50 degrees and raining?

Yes, that would be me.

In the two weeks leading up to Brigid's outdoor party, it rained significantly almost every day. I checked the weather EVERY SINGLE DAY in those two weeks, hoping that the day of the party would have a magically dry day, in the midst of our monsoon season. For the last two days, I checked the weather once an hour, hoping for a change.

It, uh, didn't change. We were guaranteed to have rain on the day of the party.

The morning of the party, Steve was relatively convinced that it would stop raining in time for the party in the afternoon, but I couldn't relax enough to think he might be right. So, I spent all morning texting everyone to tell them we might be moving the party to our house. I spent all morning cleaning the house for the potential move. Steve went shopping for party games and face painting supplies since I was convinced I wouldn't have the farm activities I'd planned to have to entertain the kids. We both checked the weather every five minutes. It finally seemed like things were clearing up right around party time, so we made the last minute decision to have the party at the farm.

And then we got to the farm, and it started raining harder. I was...not pleasant to be around at that moment, I'd imagine.

It did finally clear up, and I think that the party was a relative success. There was a petting zoo and a playground, some bouncy houses and a corn crib. Brigid got to run around with her friends, and everyone got cake and a whack at a pinata. And I only took about 6 years off of my life worrying about the rain.

Next year? I'm taking everyone bowling.

(Thanks, as always, to my brother-in-law, Greg, for taking better pictures of the event than I could ever hope to...)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Still Here

Steve asked me the other day if I've given up on this blog, since I haven't been posting nearly as much as I used to, now that I'm staying home with the girls. And while I don't want to let it go entirely, finding time to post anything now that all of my free time involves either the girls or working through the part-time job I still have, it is getting harder and harder to find time to document our daily life. When I was in the office, I could take 20 minutes out of my day while I was eating lunch to post something short and sweet about whatever we'd done that weekend, or something Brigid had said the night before. Now, when I'm eating lunch, I'm usually also emptying the dishwasher or feeding the dogs, or urging Caitlin to eat quicker so we can go pick up her sister from school on time for once.

But, this is exactly what I'd hoped for when I decided to take a step back at work, and I am enjoying (almost*) every minute of it.

So, that's where I am right now. Still here, sort of, and trying to figure out how I can keep up with a space I love, even in the midst of all of this change. In the meantime, maybe I'll just post  nothing but pictures for the next month?

*There's, uh, quite a bit of whining some days that I could do without, but I had that in the office, too, so I'm not complaining all that much.

Friday, October 10, 2014


Brigid turned five this week, and I think someone is playing a cruel trick on me, because there is no way it's been five years since this beautiful little girl was born.

She makes me happier than I ever thought I could be, while simultaneously driving me crazier than I ever thought possible. She is stubborn, she gets ridiculously crabby when she's tired, she overreacts to the slightest thing that might mean she's not getting exactly what she wants. But she is also the greatest big sister there is, helping me with Caitlin's diapers and baths, holding her hand in the car whenever Caitlin starts fussing, and entertaining her in her crib when I can't get to her the minute she wakes up. She loves to cuddle. She is so happy when Steve gets home from work, I can actually see her vibrating with excitement. Her teachers tell me she's one of the sweetest kids in the class.

Apparently, there is a 'clique' of girls in her class that Brigid is a part of, but she manages to 'stay above the drama', so that's nice. I'm a little worried about the fact that there's already drama to be dealt with in pre-k, but at least she's staying out of it so far?

She is funny. She loves to dance. Her newest favorite movie is Isabelle Dances into the Spotlight, and she spends an hour after each viewing, running around the house and imitating the choreography from it. You should see her double pirouettes. She's remarkably proud of them.

Elsa is her favorite princess in the world, and she knows every word to every song on the Frozen soundtrack. She wants to go back to Disney as soon as possible; today, actually, if we can make it happen. She's a picky eater. She adores the ten-year old girls that live next door, following them around for as long as they tolerate her. She want's nothing more than to play with all of her friends in the neighborhood everyday. She still tells me how happy she is that I am home with her every morning, even a few months into it. She fights us on bedtime EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. which is awful. She would eat nothing but sugar if I let her.

She loves Hello Kitty, which I don't understand, but I imagine there's going to be a lot of that happening in the coming years, so I just go with it.

I asked her if she wouldn't mind staying four for another year, instead of turning five, and she told me, "Mommy, I don't think it works that way. But you can PRETEND I'm your baby forever, if you want."

 I think I'll do just that, kid.

I love you more than anything else, and I hope you will always know that, everyday of your life.

Happy birthday, Bug.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014


At some point, every day, I look at Brigid and tell her she needs to stop getting so big, so fast. I tell her she needs to stay little, forever, to make me happy.

Her response?

'I don't think that's going to happen, mommy. I can't control it, you know.'

Whatever, kid. You'll always be my baby to me.

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Teenaged Toddler

I don't know what it is about a pair of toddler jeans, but the minute you put them on your baby, that baby starts looking like a 13-year old.

You know, if your 13-year old still wandered around, chewing on her pacifier, I guess...


When we pick Brigid up from school, Caitlin insists on holding her hand as we walk to the car. And then when I'm getting them buckled into their seats, she fusses at Brigid, until Brigid holds her hand in the car, too. These two, man. I hope they always love and enjoy each other as much as they do right now.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fall is Here! (Sort Of?)

Last weekend, Brigid managed to guilt Steve into taking the whole family apple picking on Sunday by telling him that she was sad he had spent all day Saturday watching football. And that would have been decent manipulation on her part...except for the part where it wasn't true. In fact, we spent a significant chunk of that Saturday all together on a boat, before taking her to lunch at Waffle House, which has somehow become her first choice anytime we ask her where she wants to eat. Then she got to play with her friends in the neighborhood for a short period of time, and only THEN did we make her watch the Notre Dame game for a little bit before she had to go to bed.

All of which to say...her powers of manipulation are formidable, and I am frightened for my future.

Anyway. Apple picking.

The funny thing about apple picking is that even though it's the season for the good apples, the apple farm won't let you pick the good apples yourself, choosing to (I guess?) release their own professional pickers on the good trees, so they can sell them to you for maybe a little bit more money in the apple farm general store. So, while we did the following things on Sunday:

* Bought apple fritters. (I ate almost an entire fritter by myself when we first got there, and when Steve asked for a bite later, I laughed at him. It's like he doesn't even know me after all of this time.) (He had to go buy his own. I do not leave apple fritter behind.)
* Bought cider donuts.
* Bought apple bread. (Which, uh, I also ate by myself. But it was over the course of several days. So...it doesn't count?)
* Bought kettle corn. (There IS still some of that left. I'm not completely out of control.)
* Raced a pig. (We went to watch the pig races, and Brigid was handed a card that marked her as one of the pig race participants. She was assigned Hamgelina Jolie as her racing pig, and there was a gold trophy at stake for the winner. Unfortunately, Hamgelina lost out to Lyndsay Loham, so Brigid had to settle for a ribbon. I told her I liked the ribbon better, and she agreed, but I was lying. I really wanted that pig trophy.) (The other pig race participants were Brad Pig and Britney Spareribs. Har, har har.)
* Went down a big slide. (Just Brigid)
* Jumped on a big trampoline. (Again...Brigid)
* Admired a moonshine still. (This was what Caitlin and I were doing while Brigid was on the trampoline. I wasn't taking any chances with C trying to climb up there with her.)
* MILKED A FREAKING COW! (I am still a little shocked Brigid did this. You could not have paid me to get close to that cow. Also, she said the udder felt like poop. I didn't ask her to elaborate.)

Oh. And...we bought some apples. We wanted the good apples, they brought a freshly picked (I don't know...maybe?) batch in while we were in the general store, so we just decided to take those home with us. We did not pick a single apple on our apple picking trip.

Of course, we then went home and put up some Halloween decorations, because once you start doing fall things, you can't stop doing them, I guess. Even when it's still 88 degrees out and not fall-like, at all.

(Don't judge us. Our next-door neighbors have had ghosts on their front lawn for 2 weeks now, and neighbors across the street from us have a skeleton on their front porch, too. IT'S NOT JUST US.)