Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cinderella & Belle


Meet Cinderella and Belle. They are the newest members of the Alexander family. Yes...they are birds, I know this. And who would have thought that these cute little birds are so damn messy. I mean it! They are messier than the girls on their worst day. So I have made Delaney the new dust buster girl. She is in charge of dust bustering under their cage like a million times a day. Because they are messy! We went into Petsmart for fish and came out with two parakeets instead. The only word that is springing to mind right now is....S-U-C-K-E-R. That would be me, momma bear. I feel so badly about how things ended with little Joey that I let Delaney talk me into birds knowing damn well that I am NOT a bird person nor is Doug. Honestly, I think these poor birds wish sometimes that I'd open their cage and so they could fly far far away from our little two year old terror who likes to try to pet them all the while rattling their cage and shaking the life out of them. Any time Hadley comes near the cage, the birds politely shuffle to the other side hoping that she'll not notice them. It's really just a matter of time before I find one or both of them flitting around the kitchen. Mark my words....

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Gingerbread Sweatshop






























As you can see, KC and I decided to open up our own cookie shop. We've decided the kiddos can be put to work with all their energy & obvious creativity. KC was so hard on Jasper he couldn't even wear his shirt! Yep.....we run a tight ship around this place! Let us know if you have any available kiddos that need to be put to work over the holidays. Openings are slim as we only have a few spots left to fill.






Tuesday, December 22, 2009

This hectic season that I love so

"Are you ready for Christmas?" This is the question we ask anyone & everyone at this time of year. You don't even have to know the person you are asking said question to because it's definitely universal. For the most part I can always answer yes. I am one of those people that start Christmas shopping in October. I put up our Christmas tree after Thanksgiving and have even done so a day or two before Thanksgiving. I mail out Christmas cards by the second week in December. I start baking cookies the first weekend in December. I light candles scented as cinnamon or fake Christmas tree scent (the latter one is especially nice considering we have a fake tree). I drive the girls around for weeks throughout the month to see all the Christmas lights. Yes...I LOVE Christmas. But the last few days always serve to make me a feel a little unprepared.

How is your day going? Here's a peek at what it's been like here today:

1. Hadley who has had a cold that has lasted f-o-r-e-v-e-r, woke herself up in a coughing fit at 6:30 this morning and was unable to go back to sleep. I tried desperately to hold out until 7 to get her out of bed but by 6:53 she was ALL DONE DAMMIT. Went in to get her up completely annoyed by her ranting to be rewarded with the sweetest little look of bed-head I've ever seen. So now I'm smiling at her because she seems to have this effect on me.

2. At 7:45 a.m., my girlfriend, Shona, calls to tell me that Henry is coming down with something. We reschedule our play date and I mentally review all the last minute things I need to do. I decide that we will grocery shop for Christmas today because according to the weatherman, we are getting 3 inches or more of rain ALL day long on Christmas Eve so I will have no patience to try and drag two kids & myself out into the pouring rain.

3. I break up a huge fight over a Dumbo coloring picture. Delaney is shrieking that it is her picture not Hadley's (even though it is uncolored at this point). I find the Dumbo picture from last night that Hadley scribbled on for two seconds and give it to her so she can finish. I scold Delaney for crying & whining about a coloring picture. "We can print a million more if you want. There's no need to scream at your sister." She is still insisting that it was her picture. Whatever.

4. Doug calls to tell me that he finished up our Christmas list. He is truly a last minute shopper and I gave him 2-3 items that I needed him to pick up as a way of helping out. I have about 3-4 more presents stashed away that I need to wrap and get under the tree but I decide to wait until he brings me home the rest of our list so I can wrap at once. Tick tock tick tock.

5. Get girls dressed and buckled into the car. It is time to go grocery shop so I make sure I have my bribery candy necklaces so I can accomplish said task in somewhat peace. Hadley is demanding a snack (goldfish) so I'm fumbling around for a bowl. Give her the goldfish while Miley Cyrus is blaring in the car. About a minute later I hear, "Here Mom!" I reach my hand back and she hands me her bowl still slap full of goldfish. "Juice!" I hand her her cup. Twenty seconds later, "Here Mom!" I reach back for her cup. Ten seconds later, "Fish back please!" I hand her back the bowl. Two minutes later, "Here Mom!" I reach back and again she hands me her bowl. "Juice!" Oh my GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!

6. I pull into the driveway from grocery shopping and I notice both girls have stripped off their socks and shoes. I ask Delaney to pick up both before getting out of the car. She breaks down crying because she's sooo hungry and doesn't feel good and has to carry her horses which means she can't carry both. Really? I wonder what she would do if I starting crying and acting like a lunatic over something so trivial. Actually, I may try it. Lord knows that I should have enough experience with all the temper tantrums that go on around here.

Fa-la-la-la-la....la-la-la-la!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Heartbroken

Something is wrong. In my heart I'm hoping it's a cold, just your average cold that every human being on the planet gets several times a year. But as Doug looks at me and says, "Some thing's just not right with Joey," I know what he means. All day yesterday our new sweet Joey has been laying around the house seeming very lethargic, not playing or doing much. Just sleeping a lot. It doesn't diminish his sweetness. He still looks for a warm lap to snuggle up on. He still cries if Hadley holds him too tight. He still allows Delaney to hold him and play with him during her quiet time. Once I look at his food dish and realize that he has ate nothing all day long, I know something bad is about to unfold.

So this morning after I drop off the girls at preschool, I take Joey to his first check-up since adopting him on Friday night. He lays in my lap sleeping soundly while we wait for the doctor to come examine him. I rub his fur and he snuggles closer. Oh I just love kittens. I love how small they are. I love how they can fit in the palm of your hand. I love their little meows. I love when you walk into a room they come flying in behind you at 60 miles per hour.

The doctor comes back into the room after we have agreed to run the kitten parvo test "just to be safe." The look on her face tells me what I need to know. Joey has feline panleukopenia virus which is a severe intestinal tract disease that destroys the lining in the GI tract allowing bacteria to infect the bloodstream. It is extremely fatal in kittens because of their underdeveloped immune systems. I know I will have to give the doctor the okay to put sweet Joey to sleep. Can I do this? I call Doug at work because I need him to tell me what to do. In my mind I know the answer but I still need Doug to give me the go ahead. After I hang up, I can't help it any longer. The dam of tears that has been threatening to spill over bursts forth and I am full fledged sobbing. Our vet tells me it will be okay. She will stay with Joey so he won't be alone. She tells me to get my girls another kitten. She tells me it's just bad luck this time. What if it happens again I think? I have to tell Delaney still. What will this do to her? She loves Joey so much, even if it has only been 5 days. He is her baby. She wanted this kitten so badly. She even picked him out herself. Oh shit, why did this have to happen to us?

I leave with my empty cat carrier. I go out the side door that I'm sure was designed especially for situations like this. I go home and put away Joey's things. I throw out the cat box & try to disinfect so we can kill the virus that's now living inside our home. I throw toys away because that's what I'm supposed to do.

I have not even pulled out of the school parking lot when Delaney asks, "Can we go get Joey from the doctor's now?" So I try my best to keep it together and tell her the truth. I tell her that Joey was really sick and had to go to heaven. I tell her that I'm sorry she lost her sweet Joey. I hate that I'm having to tell her this from the front seat while driving. It makes the whole thing feel impersonal. She accepts my answers and seems to be okay. We make it home for about maybe 10 minutes when things start to come apart. Delaney wants to know where Joey's things are. After explaining why we have to throw out some things and just wash others, she melts down. She had the same kind of moment I had back at the vet's office. She is openly sobbing. She goes on to tell me how much she loved Joey and how she wants another kitten EXACTLY like him. After about 20 minutes she stops. I'm holding her and rubbing her back. I smooth her hair away from her face and tell her that it's okay to miss Joey. I promise her that when the time is right we will get another kitten. We will try again. Even when it's hard and hurts, you have to try again I tell her. She looks at me with tears all over her face and floors me with what she says next. "I hope that the other kittens who were with Joey don't die too." It's like she knew that this was bigger than just Joey. But I don't have the heart to explain to her that they will probably die too. I just hope for the best. I just know that we will do this again.

RIP Joey....we will miss you so!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Joey























Allow me to introduce the newest member of the Alexander clan, Joey aka Joe (Doug calls him Joe, no one else does). Actually, thanks to a recent show of The Closer, Doug really wanted to name him Joel, but after much protesting from a certain family member (Nana), the girls and I agreed that Joey is awfully cute for a kitten. So, meet Joey.


The cutest little kitten ever. Really. EVER. He's so sweet and cuddly. I bought the girls this kitten, besides the fact that I am a total sucker, but mainly because I wanted them to have an animal that's all "their" own. We have our sweet dog, Buddy, but Buddy is really my dog as we adopted him when he was a baby 12 years ago. I didn't think it entirely fair to make the girls await his demise one day to get a new pet. I also didn't want them wishing the poor dog dead just to get a new pet. So...I caved and let them pick out a kitten from a huge litter of baby gray kittens at the shelter. In this house we are big believers in getting animals from shelters.


Joey is turning out to be an adorable and exciting addition to our crazy house. Delaney, of course, has become his mother hen and carries him around like her little baby. This in turn makes him follow her around ALL the time when she's not carrying him, crying on her heels to be acknowledged. He even follows her into the bathroom and cries while she takes a shower. He LOVES her. Hadley, also, very much loves the "kitty." Perhaps a little too much. What is it about two year olds that they instinctively pick up any animal by it's neck? Geez! So we have a Hadley watch where she's not allowed to be alone with Joey for fear that she could accidentally end his very short life. That said, it doesn't lessen the fact that this girl also really REALLY loves this baby kitten. And for some really strange reason, even though she affectionately gives him the neck hold, Joey also adores Hadley too.






Friday, December 11, 2009

It's the most wonderful time of the year....












We are walking through our neighborhood one chilly evening so the girls can admire all of the Christmas lights. This is so very exciting for them. Christmas time is here again and there are so many things we love to do as family that it's hard to know where to begin. For us, the Christmas season will officially be kicked off with a stroll through the neighborhood to oooooh and aaaaaawe over all the decor and lights. Some people like to use lights (us) and there are others like to use inflatables. I personally am NOT into the inflatables at all but I realize that kids love them so as we are admiring all that's up I act like I too am very excited to see the 15 snowman that is waving to us as we stroll past. It's not that I don't think the inflatables are cute it's just that I grew up seeing Christmas lights. "The more the merrier." I held out hope every year that this would be the year that my parents would make a replica of Clark Griswold's house from Christmas Vacation. 25,000 lights. In my mind, that darn house was beautiful! Really. So as we're strolling through the neighborhood looking at all the decor, my kids are getting thrills from the inflatables, and I am thrilled to see the lights. As we pass one of my neighbors, who yes does have the giant snowman I was referring to, they also happen to have a nativity scene in front. Delaney lights up like a tree herself and says, "Look Mom, it's God!"



Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Shana Abe


Okay, for those of you that know me well, you know how much I LOVE to read.  Seriously, I read whenever I get a spare moment.  I read if the girls are playing nicely together and don't require my attention.  I read while waiting on dinner to cook.  I read while the girls are at preschool.  I read at night when the girls are sleeping so peacefully.  I read in the morning sometimes before the pitter patter of little feet greet me.  Okay, okay...you get it!  I LOVE to read.  So anyway, a few months back my good friend, Shona, received a book from her husband, Jon, and she called me up squealing into the phone that I just HAD to read this book.  

Just to back up for a moment and give you a small history between Katie and Shona, we both LOVE to read.  Shona is like my soul mate when it comes to reading.  It's seriously like we were separated at birth.  She also reads whenever time permits and we are constantly on the phone dishing about whatever book we happen to be reading at the moment.  We do daily chats about the characters in our books and how we feel about them.  We read almost the exact same books.  If I get a new book and fall in love with it, chances are that Shona will also feel the same way.  

Anyway, so Shona calls me panting into the phone that I HAVE to read this book she got.  Jon travels quite frequently and sometimes he snags her a little gift from the airport because he's thoughtful like that.  He happened to grab the book "The Last Mermaid" by Shana Abe.  I've never heard of her (not that that would be unusual) and up until this moment, I had never read anything she'd written.  Knowing Shona though, I tell her I will read it as soon as she passes it my way.  So we meet for dinner one night and we swap books.  I take home her book and completely forget about it because the latest installment of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon has come out and NOTHING is going to keep me from devouring every single page of it.  Even Shona's latest addiction.  

Three weeks later I pick up Shona's book.  Holy shit!  Shona rules!  Shana Abe rules!  Jon rules for buying the damn thing!  This book was awesome!  LOVE it!  Oh my God how I love it!  And typical that I am, I go online and look up a few of Shana Abe's other books just to see what's out there.  I order a couple because I'm curious to see if they're all as awesome as this one was.  So then yesterday I get "The Dream Thief" in the mail and sit down last night to read it.  It's not a long read; 335 pages total I think.   I seriously finished it less than 24 hours later.  It was so flipping good!  I mean really good!  So now, I am on a quest to get all of her books so I devour them one by one.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thanksgiving Preschool Program

Here are a few video clips of the 4 year classes at Delaney's school performing their Thanksgiving program. It was soo cute! I loved that you have the booger pickers, zombie look-a-likes, the kid not paying any attention, the kid singing off key, the kid singing the wrong verse, your kid that avoids mostly looking at the camera knowing darn well she sees you but is acting completely oblivious! Enjoy....

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Fit for a princess

The birthday Princess


Delaney getting her hair done (and not even YELLING!)



Delaney, MacKenzie & Lizzie (her best peeps)


If you look closely...you can see her make-up!!!



Princess MacKenzie




Princess Hadley getting her hair done (and secretly loving it!)



How sweet is this? You can see their cute feet!



Hadley sampling the lipstick



Hadley getting her nails painted (in the lightest shade they had!!)



Delaney strutting on the red carpet




Princess Charli on the red carpet




Hadley giving her Miss America wave to all!




All the pretty princesses!!!





Hadley painting her princess wand




MacKenzie & Delaney working on their wands





FINALLY! I know I've been slack with not posting anything lately but it's not for lack of trying. Don't you just hate it when you've worked hard on a post only to lose it in cyber-world? Well...that's exactly what happened a few nights ago when I tried to post Delaney's party pictures. Really found myself pissed off because I had worked on said post for a good 25 minutes. Doug was pissed because he was "patiently" awaiting my presence downstairs so we could watch our favorite Monday night shows. Only to have me stomping down the stairs, swearing loudly about something that may have been partly my fault. I hit a wrong button which caused my post to disappear. So really it MY fault not the computer's.


Anyway, Delaney's Princess Party RULED! The pictures can explain it all. It was my favorite party we've ever done and I can't wait until Hadley is a bit older and can have one herself. It was all about dressing up, make-up, nail polish & hair! The girls were so cute I couldn't stop smiling at them! And there in the midst of 8 little girls was my dear husband. I have to give him props because he was definitely out of his element but ever SO helpful. I guess when you live with 3 women and you're the only guy, you tend to get used to this sorta thing.









Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I miss my sick days...

5 years. That's how long I've been at my current position. SAHM (Stay-at-home mom). Don't get me wrong, most days I LOVE being home with my girls. I love that they get to have a morning routine that doesn't require me to herd them around the house screaming that they'd better hurry up and eat their Captain Crunch or they'll starve at school. Oh wait...that is our routine. Regardless of the crazy factor here in this house, I LOVE being home with my girls. I love that they love me being home with them.

The one thing though that I miss time and again are my sick days. I miss the fact that pre-kids, when I woke up puking or with a migraine that I knew would send me praying to the porcelain Gods at some point in the day, I could pick up the phone, call my boss and spend the whole damn day laying around puking. In. Peace. And. Quiet. Q-U-I-E-T.

Fast forward to my life today. I woke today feeling extremely tired. Hadley has been fighting off a virus that has caused her to run a fever of about 102 for the last 24 hours. Translation: I was up several times last night administering Motrin or Tylenol (depending on whose turn it was) and sponging a cold rag across my poor baby's little forehead because she felt like a small oven. So again, this is why I'm tired. As a SAHM, this is nothing really new. So I go on about our day. Take Delaney to school. Come home with Hadley to hang out since I don't want her going anywhere. I want her to recoup so to speak. About lunch time I start feeling a headache coming on. I don't think much of it. An hour later it's really starting to make it's presence known. I pop an Excedrin praying it goes away. Two hours later I'm lying on the couch wishing today was NOT the day Hadley decided to not nap. I'm in full blown migraine mode where every whine from one of the girls is about to set me over the edge. I know it's not their fault. I know they're not being bad on purpose to ruin my life because my head is about to explode. But it's just that my head felt like it was going to explode. And that is why I MISS MY SICK DAYS!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Delaney! The BIG 5....














Dear Delaney,


I cannot believe that today, you are 5 years old. It doesn't seem possible really. Sometimes I look at you and I still see that little baby girl I brought home from the hospital. I see you wrapped up burrito-style in your little blanket sleeping soundly. I would sneak into your room to watch you sleep with your little mouth hanging open and arms thrown up over your head. Sometimes you would kick one of your feet free from your blanket and your little foot would hang out. You didn't seem to mind at all. I even photographed this because I always wanted to remember it. I'm afraid that becoming a mother has caused me to lose many brain cells which has induced memory loss. Of all people it's truly amazing that I am succumbing to memory loss but believe me my sweet daughter, it happens to us ALL.


This morning you came down the stairs and were so excited to see all the decorations that daddy and I hung up for you last night. Of all the things I love about you, I really love the fact that you are so appreciative. You threw your little arms around me and thanked me profusely for "all my birthday things." I love making you happy. I never knew just how happy it would make me seeing you bubble up like that. I love how happy you were with the birthday cake that I TRIED so hard to make for you. And while it's no work of art, it's really not that bad if I do say so myself. Quite delicious in fact.


The one thing I know will not last forever that I cherish every single day, is how you look at me and tell me, "You're my best friend mommy." That makes me want to cry. I want to freeze these moments so they'll never go away. I want to hold your little hand in mine and tell you that we'll always be best friends. No matter what. Becoming your mommy has been one of the single best things I've ever done in my whole life. I love you more than you'll ever know. In my heart, no matter what ever happens between us, you'll always be my best first borne girl.


I love you baby. I hope you have the best 5th birthday ever.


All my love,


Mommy

Thursday, October 29, 2009

It's no castle























In this house, some of us take pumpkin carving very seriously. When I say some of us...I mean Doug. The girls and I picked out a Princess Carving Kit with castles, side princess profiles, glass slippers, etc. in it. Instead of all that, we got a bat. Delaney seemed annoyed at first until I explained to her that we didn't buy a tall enough pumpkin to fit said castle on the front of it. It was a replica of Cinderella's castle. I was very interested to see if the "pumpkin master" could do it. It was pretty elaborate. He got bailed out though on account that I did not purchase the correct pumpkin. In all honesty though, our bat pumpkin looks pretty freaking good if I do say so myself.





Tuesday, October 27, 2009

In my skin

The door bell rings.

It's Monday afternoon and I open the door to see our friendly UPS carrier holding my Zappos.com box. I am elated! I literally just placed my order on Saturday night and it's Monday freaking afternoon and I'm already holding my new things. I didn't even have to pay for overnight shipping or anything. FREE shipping. Sweet.

I should back up a minute. So the other day I get a phone call from my friend, and the girls' pediatrician, Dr. Long aka Mark. Even though we've been friends for 8 years I still feel like I should address him as Dr. Long. I used to work for Dr. Long before having the girls. I also worked from home for him briefly while Delaney was 2 and Hadley was a peanut in my womb. So anyway, Dr. Long calls me and wants me to do some work from home again for him. Now that the girls are older and Hadley naps when she feels it appropriate, I really have no down time during the day to even consider working from home. I can just picture myself taking calls transferred from his office all the while the girls are duking it out in the background over a book or toy or scrap of candy they found lying under the bed. Or even breathing the same air for that matter. So I try to explain that no this won't work. I hate telling Dr. Long no because he's the one boss/friend that ALWAYS thinks of me and I don't want to keep telling him no every time he calls me with an opportunity for fear that one day he'll stop asking altogether. And then....this is the moment where I change my world over for a while. "Are you still thinking of opening the office on Sundays?" A few months ago he had informed me that in addition to keeping the office open on Saturdays for half a day, he had also decided to keep the office open for a half a day on Sundays as well. He had essentially planted a seed in my brain. So I tell him that if he's interested, I would like to work for him on weekends ONLY. Of course he swoops in and takes me up on my offer. Probably afraid if he doesn't I'll change my mind before the conversation is even over and talk myself out of it. So it's decided that I'll come train for a few hours while the girls are in preschool and then in 3 short weeks, I'll make my debut back into the working world where I will receive (gasp, pause) a paycheck. Hallelujah! I'm literally so excited. I mean, who's excited to go to work? Me...that's right!

So, Saturday night I'm sitting at the computer. I've made the decision to buy a "few" things for myself in celebration of my new job and the fact that I need to spruce up the wardrobe a bit. I'm so tired of shopping only for the girls. I mean, I LOVE shopping but it would be nice if I occasionally bought something for myself. I'm sick of looking into my closet and seeing a whole lot of nothing to wear but the same old crap. OVER it. So I purchased not one but TWO whole pairs of shoes, 5 shirts and a pair of sunglasses. Hell yes.

I'm holding my sweet Zappos box at this point and take it upstairs where I secretly stash it inside my scrap booking room. Later on when the girls go to bed I can privately try everything on without Delaney giving me her commentary on my body parts.

It's now Tuesday morning and I've just returned home from dropping both girls off at preschool. God bless these 4 hours because they are truly wonderful. It's so stinking quiet I can hear our dog scratching at his non-existent fleas. So I return to the scrap booking room and take Zappos out to open.

I try on the first shirt. Very cute top. White with multi-colored embroidery around the neckline and sleeves. Fits good. Looks nice. Everything seems to be looking up. Got a job. Got cute embroidery top. Awesome.

Take out the next top. It's one of these tops that looks like the bottom half has been dyed a darker version of the top half. Very cute. I try it on. The sleeves are so flipping tight I swear my circulation feels as if it's being cut off. The rest looks good but I can't get past the sleeves. Send back.

The next top is cute. Turquoise blue with yellowish stripes. V-neck with buttons. I put it on and it fits better but again with the sleeves. They are by no means cutting off circulation but seem a bit tighter than I would like. I'm starting to feel a bit paranoid. Am I gaining weight?

The next top is a cute spandexy workout top. I put it on and no shit, it feels as though it is pushing all the air out of my lungs. It is so damn tight it's making me look like I have huge boobs. Which I don't. Not even close. It's so tight I fear that I'll rip it just to get the damn thing off my body. Now I'm sure I need to lose a few pounds.

Try on another shirt. Very cute and low and behold, it fits and is NOT even a little bit tight. Thank God because I was really about to lose it there.

I try on the last thing which is a pair of athletic shoes. And I'll be damned if the shoes aren't too narrow. Really? So now I have fat feet too? This is ridiculous! I slam the shoes back into the box and curse myself mentally for the fact that my arms and feet are getting fatter. Ugh! Oh well...I still got a job. And to be honest, it still feels like a good day! So I'm going back to work in fatter shoes and with fatter sleeves on my shirts. And there is still MUCH to be thankful for.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Or as we like to call it, body art...








Yes...I KNOW what this looks like! A mother that should have been paying a bit more attention to what her two year old was actually doing with her markers. Well, it sure wasn't coloring in her coloring books! And all this came of literally taking my eyes off of her for like 2 minutes. I shudder to think what might have happened had I been caught up in making dinner. What's really sad is that I was probably about 15 feet away all the while she was "ta-ooing" herself as she calls it. So before I could lecture her or attempt to lecture her about the correct usage of markers, I whipped out the camera. God...I do love this adorable girl. But to make your father happy, PLEASE don't get any tattoos when you're older...or bring home a guy covered in them. You know how well that will go over.