December 31, 2008

a new year

Hello, hello!!! I hope your holiday was filled with much love and happiness. Ours was very relaxed and mellow. Mother nature dumped mounds of snow upon us and although it was delightful to have a white Christmas, it forced our little world to slow way down. It also slowed Fed-Ex down big time and we were without our matching Christmas jammies and two very important Santa gifts. It's been very frustrating to see Fed-Ex trucks drive through our cal-de-sac and not stop at our house. They are supremely disorganized!

We've also been buried in garbage and recycling. Because of the snow and the holidays always landing on our pick up days, we have been without service for a month. The city put one single dumpster on the main road and some dumped their months worth of trash which promptly over-filled the dumpster and it all spilled out onto the side. It is a disgusting eye-sore.

But enough complaining...

Any plans for the New Year? Any resolutions? My long time college pal and I decided to start a blog where we support each other getting healthy for the year 2009. She lives in Connecticut and I, here so we've titled our new blog 2896 because of the 2,896 miles that divide us. It's getting started so bare with us through the kinks.

We decided not to try and keep the kids up until midnight and ring in the new year (which, to be honest, we've never done). Instead we are going to get up tomorrow morning and use the J-man's new waffle maker and celebrate 2009 with a fun filled and delish breakfast. Hopefully, I get some pictures posted.

Besides the absolute "getting healthy" goal, I resolve this year to teach my children the value of volunteering. I want them to understand it's not always about the getting. And getting the perfect color, size, cost of something. But how to enjoy giving as well and making others feel good. This is a goal I think I can keep and my hope is it will make us closer as family that truly appreciate each other.

Until then, Happy New Year!!

December 24, 2008

merry christmas

Hope your holiday is better than this!
Merry Christmas!

December 18, 2008

December 17, 2008

12 days

The 12 days of Christmas? Nope. 12 days of no blogging activity from Little Irish. Zip. Zero. Many apologies to my five loyal readers. What I have been doing these last 12 days? I have no idea! The usual, boring, crazy, mom-frenzied kid shuffling, house cleaning, grocery buying and holiday preparing. Plus, I must admit...I have been completely addicted to Facebook lately. And I find loading pictures there is way easier then loading only as many as five at time here on blogger and then having to edit the order in HTML and labeling them and then trying to add in text, etc, etc, etc. It's all about the pictures right!! Plus chatting and catching up with dear friends from high school in real time via instant messaging has been extremely entertaining. In fact, I had a little conversation with my pal from Australia just the other day and it was fabulously fun.

All the kids' schools and activities were canceled today because of a pending snow storm (more on that later). I keep looking over my shoulder for Ashton Kutcher because I'm feeling ultimately punk'd right now. The roads are dry and clear at the moment. There has been no snow falling. And the sun is shining. Today is an early release day too...so the kids could have gone to school and been back before Mother Nature dump a single drop of snow on us. I hear things are bad down south and it's coming here but I can't help but wonder if our superintendents and school officials, who called no school today, feel like gigantic dope heads for this little faux pas.

I had Miss O's five year old portrait framed and it's sitting at Aaron Brother's waiting for me today. Along with my Christmas cards at Costco. However, taking three kids on errand running is grounds for committing oneself to the mental institution. So they continue to sit and wait for me. Sigh. I skipped sending cards out for the holidays last year because too much was going on. I vowed I would do it this year no matter what. Right now, I'm hoping to get them to you before the new year. Cross your fingers.

I went to my six week hysterectomy appointment with the doctor that will forever go down in my history book as a God. She is wonderful and although having to drive 70 miles to see her is a bit of a pain, it is well worth the trip. She sincerely laughs at my jokes, puts me at ease and knows her stuff inside and out. (pun intended). I feel much better and have been given the green light to go back to my life 100%, only better. I am relieved.

We went tree hunting and brought home a small but beautiful tree. We decided to put it downstairs this year. We have gone very low key in decorating and didn't pull everything out of the Christmas boxes. I must say this year's festive montage, if you will, to the holiday is feeling very warm and magical to me. I love it. Not to mention being able to close the gate leading downstairs comes in very handy when trying to keep small children and little dogs away from the creations.

For now, I must go soak up some of this sunshine during our "snow storm" before it goes away. Much love to my peeps...you know who you are. xoxo

merry christmas dance

video

December 5, 2008

the good doctor says

Don't cry because it's over.
Smile because it happened.
-Dr. Seuss

December 3, 2008

2008::a year in a review

video

My editing skills still need work but for now, enjoy our 2008 in pictures.

40th recap










We had a great time in Disneyland. If you've never been as adults (without kids) I highly recommend it. It's a blast!! Roaming around the park avoiding the wrangling of small children and pushing strollers makes everything easy and twice the fun. We went on many rides, several times. Saw most of the shows. Ate lots of good food including the best sourdough chowder bowl evah! Sat, soaked up the sun and people watched. Enjoyed parades and fireworks. Teared up during falling snow with magical music and lights. Screamed and thought we would die on more then one ride occasion. Got soaked on Pirates of the Caribbean, but not on Splash Mountain (stayed dry as a bone - weird!). Missed the kids terribly. Saw the Twilight movie. Shopped. Closed the park down at midnight every night we were there. And, walked too many miles.
After we got up at 2am for our flight home, same day, later that afternoon, J-man then took off to an AC/DC concert relivin' it big time! I think it's safe to say he had a pretty great 40th birthday. And he has six years to plan my 40th that is equally enjoyable. Wink, wink!

some days

I feel very fortunate to have found a little niche with a group of people that I love dearly near and far. People who remind me of their sweetness often. What I would do without the little notes, texts, hellos, pictures, cards and emails I simply do not know. They hold me up. They make me smile. They make me laugh. However, there are some days where my faith in humanity is tested. My patience and tolerance for rude and mean behavior goes missing. It always feels like the holiday season brings out the worst in people and is when our tolerance and patience is most tested. The time of year when we are to be appreciating what we have and making magical memories with our loved ones, is the time of year we are faced with fighting hoards of people acting like jerks.

A friend recently posted a wonderful challenge called 29 Gifts on her blog. In which for 29 days you focus on giving one gift each day...whether it be a few dollars to charity, or holding a door open for a woman with a stroller, or dropping off coffee to a teacher, or an acknowledging smile to a mother with a screaming toddler, or, or, or. The possibilities are endless. I was instantly inspired and have been somewhat, secretly, participating. but for the month of December I committed myself to concentrating on giving at least one gift per day. The thought process is in the act of giving, you will open yourself up to receiving. In focusing on making another's day a little more happy, I hope to gain more tolerance and patience for those forgetting what the holidays are truly about myself. Let's see if it works. Seasons Greetings to you and yours!!

December 1, 2008

November 20, 2008

momversation

Have you seen this?? Awesome-ness!! How can I get a paying gig like this???

November 19, 2008

it's that time of year again

The Divine Miss O and her dance class did their dress rehearsal for their winter production of the Nutcracker this afternoon. The girls were all giddy to be dressed alike in their blue and aqua costumes. This class dances the part of the "jesters." It's pretty darn cute!!







November 18, 2008

today

Today, I got a flu shot.
Today, I went to the craft store.
Today, I looked at my phone and saw the time was an hour later then I thought and panicked.
Today, I had a mini-heart attack.
Today, I called my hubby and he told me the real time and I was ok again.
Today, I got a Starbucks coffee and my favorite baguette.
Today, I got addicted to Facebook and Etsy...again.
Today, I exchanged emails with an old friend.
Today, I sang the Strawberry Shortcake song with certain toddler about a million times.
Today, I decided what 3rd birthday party theme we would celebrate certain toddler with.
Today, the principal called me from Wonder Boy's school.
Today, I almost pooped my pants when I realized who was calling me.
Today, I breathed a sigh of relief when I learned it wasn't bad news.
Today, I got jiggy with it and danced with The Divine Miss O in the living room.
Today, I realized we don't have curtians on the living room window and all could see me getting jiggy with it.
Today, I didn't care.
Today, I thought about people who've made me feel bad.
Today, I decided said people aren't worth thinking about.
Today, I downloaded fun new songs onto my zune.
Today, I sang at the top of lungs to an old Kenny Loggins tune with Wonder Boy.
Today, I went to Weight Watchers and saw I had gained three pounds since surgery.
Today, I told myself three pounds in three weeks is not that bad.
Today was a good day.

November 15, 2008

ya only turn 40 once

J turns 40 two days after Thanksgiving this year. We had talked about throwing a party or hitching a plane to Vegas for the weekend. We played around with both ideas. I thought trying to have a party so soon after a holiday wouldn't go over so well and so many friends are out of town during the four day weekend so we ditched that idea. We played around with the Vegas idea quite a bit, but you just can't hop a super cheap flight to Vegas anymore. It's down right spendy.


We joked about going to Disneyland, alone, without the kids.


We couldn't do that.


But could we???


Hmmmm......

Last night we searched the internet and found that it was about the same price to go to California and spend three days in Disneyland as it would be to fly down and spend two days in Vegas. After clearing the childcare situation with my gracious parents, we booked it. GULP!! Neither of us went as kids so we are super excited to run around and do all the older rides and activities. We took the kids two years ago (our very first trip) and had planned on going again when Baby Love was three. Can you tell we are trying to squash the guilty feelings? We will probably do Christmas shopping as well...bonus and more squashing of guilt feelings. The kids love Camp Grandmaw and I have a feeling mom will enjoy spending Thanksgiving with the kids this year.


Right???


::Squash, squash::

November 14, 2008

happy friday

Hello, hello!!

I haven't been blogging much lately although I want to, I just don't feel like I have anything interesting to say or fun photos to post. In fact, I haven't taken a picture in weeks. ::sigh::

J went back to work this week, so I've been managing this circus solo while still healing and fighting a cold. I'm slowly regaining control of my body and my house. I need to holler a great big THANK YOU to Erin, Julie, Gayle, Wendy, Lynn, and Amanda for all the yummy meals, care packages and thoughtful gifts. As always your generosity and kindness is much appreciated.

Lately I have been dreaming of a house with a bedroom for each child and an awesome attic converted into a secret playroom for imaginations to run wild. Coupled with a craft room for space for a sewing machine and scrapbook creations. Plus an office for J to work from home so he doesn't have to be away from us. A big back yard for the doggies to play. Add a little piece of property with a small barn for a couple of my mom's horses to live with us or maybe a pony. That's not too much to ask right?

November 11, 2008

oh yes we did

POW! This picture of our president-elect is all kinds of awesome!! I love it!! And I love that so many Americans stood up and got their voice heard. I love that changes are headed this country's way while keeping women's rights in tack. I love the cool, intelligence that is Michelle Obama. And I love that their family is young. I love how down to earth Jill Biden is as well. I am proud and hopeful and excited. In those three little words, first made famous by Bob the Builder, "Yes We Can!" and we did. Well done!

two weeks

Yesterday, I was officially two weeks out from surgery. All in all, I'm feeling good. I'm able to move around, sleep comfortably and drive a car again. I'm still a little slow moving and swollen; and I feel super stiff at the end of the day but I can't complain. Because I don't have an incision to heal from, recovery has been quicker and easier. I relate the whole experience to feeling like I had a baby without the sore boobs and crying infant.

In other news: A yucky cough and cold has been passed around the house and finally landed in my nose and throat. J went back to work this week. And, my house is a huge mess. My mailbox has been inundated with catalogs galore gearing up for the Christmas season. I want to buy everything and wished I had a house with a cool basement or attic to convert in an awesome playroom for kids' imaginations to go wild. The Divine Miss O has spent the last two days in a red dance recital costume and pink leg warmers. A rain and wind storm is due to hit us this afternoon. Wonder Boy has been practicing his Rock Band coordination skills while playing the guitar and singing at the same time. Baby Love is becoming quite the petite artiste and no wall, furniture or body part is safe from her talents. And I'm dreaming of a nice, long, cozy nap.

Recent pet peeve: Phony people! Cut the crap already...we can all see what you're playing at and nobody is buying it.

November 4, 2008

Harry Potter, Olivia the pig and a pouty pumpkin...


lil cubbie


Wonder Boy started cub scouts this year and so far he and J-man have really enjoyed the activities. This last weekend they went to Snoqualmie Falls and had a great time!
I secretly love the orange color is in their uniforms....WB looks so cute in orange.

October 31, 2008

happy halloween

On this all hallows' eve I will not be trick or treating with the kids or passing out candy to the neighborhood goblins and ghouls. I'm still taking it easy and resting at my parents' house after having a hysterectomy. The surgery went well and after a week of rockin' the percocet and colace, watching mass amounts of talk shows and uncontrollably napping I'm feeling pretty good today. Dr. D said she found endometriosis on the outside of my uterus which most likely explains the dysmenorrhea. Aside for the cyst on one of my ovaries, everything else looked good. I am relieved and very much looking forward to getting back on my feet. I plan on going 'home' tomorrow. I am eager to hug the kids and sleep in my own bed. Mr. J-man has been a saint taking care of everything at home and I love him very much!

October 26, 2008

this time tomorrow

I met with my ob/gyn doctor down in Olympia on Friday. We reviewed my ultrasound and talked about my upcoming hysterectomy surgery for the treatment of dysmenorrhea and menorrhagia. Which is a fancy way of saying I've suffered from extremely painful, heavy periods since puberty. My doctor also told me they discovered a cyst on one of my ovaries (which I'm keeping so I don't have to take hormones) but it wasn't anything to worry about at this time. I was a little surprised but she didn't seem concerned so I didn't give it much thought.

Tonight, I leave the kids and J-man at home. I will be staying with my mom and she is taking me to the hospital tomorrow morning at 5:30am. Ouch!! At least I won't have to think about not eating that early in the morning. I'm a little nervous and anxious as the hours tick by today. I can't say that I'm excited about it all but I'm very relieved to finally have a long lasting solution that won't affect my quality of life. The result is what I'm excited about.

i know you ...


... I walked with you once upon a dream.




October 23, 2008

boo-tee-ful

I found the directions to these cute little treat boxes on Skip to my Lou. I just happened to have a crimper for ages and never really known what to do with it, so I found myself inspired when I spied the festive favors. Miss O and I tried it out this afternoon. It was very simple and they turned out great. She is super excited to pass them out to her classmates.




all ya need is love

Lately my kids love sandwiches because we've discovered these fun crust-less sandwich cutters. The girls request "heart" sandwiches daily while Wonder Boy likes the "four quarters".

These have been so great especially for Baby Love who desires nothing to eat besides 'pips' (chips), 'wollypops' (lollipops), 'canny corn' (candy corn), 'coocoo cuffs' (cocoa puffs) and 'milk' (milk) so having a fun shaped sandwich is totally stellar.
I've been finding theses fab cutters in groceries stores but you can go to the Mom Inventors website to pick up a four pack on the Good Bites decrusters. The dinosaur cutter is not one of the Good Bites brand. There is no name or logo printed on it and I've long since thrown away the packaging, but I've seen them at Safeways and QFCs and even Walmart (gasp!!). You can find them at HearthSong (a favorite kid catalog of mine) as well.

fun with the camera


I'm trying to talk J-man into a getting a fancier digital camera, something dumby proof but fun and takes great pictures like the Nikon D60 or the Cannon Rebel. I have a great little Cannon point and click digital camera that I carry around in my purse. I love that it is portable and I can whip it out spontaneously. But I seem to always have this need to be creative in some way and since I can't draw, play an instrument or posses some really awesome talent, I thought photography would be a good outlet for me.

gratitude offerings

to sweet friends who I can sit in my pjs on my living floor with.
to etsy.com goodness.
to hard working hubby.
to gorgeous fall weather.
to Starbucks pesto turkey baguettes.
to funny redheads.
to beautiful five year olds.
to dancing, lollipop lovin' toddlers.
to Halloween costumes that turn out fabulous.
to bearded puppies and gentle old timers.
to people who compliment my new haircut even though I hate it.
to mom.
to understanding teachers.
to fresh sheets.
to warm apple cider and pumpkin patches.
to the noggin channel.

October 22, 2008

one of my beautiful babies

The Divine Miss O had her 5 year old photo session this afternoon. The weather was gorgeous and I was so relieved. I avoided car washes and stepping on spiders just to make sure I didn't jinx myself and cause it to rain. Miss O was quite the little model and she had lots of fun soaking up all the attention.

For a sneak peek, go to Images by Kathryn.

October 21, 2008

olivia

I've finished piecing together the Divine Miss O's Halloween costume. She loves, loves the Olivia books (Olivia and Fancy Nancy are her favorites) and I realized I had some striped tights (purchased out a clearance bin for 99 cents two years ago) and a red dress in her closet. My generous friend, EE, gave me a sailor dance costume her mother had made. So I took the flap and clipped it to a black bandanna. The final pi├Ęce de r├ęsistance are the felt ears I hot glued onto a headband. I just happened to have some actual "Olivia" material in my desk which I used for the inside of the ears just for fun. Viola! Miss O is thrilled!!

October 17, 2008

can't decide

The Divine Miss O is having her five year old portrait taken at the park next week. I found myself with a little extra time on Tuesday, so I stopped by the town center for a little looksie in my favorite kids clothing store. I found these two adorable jackets. I love them both!! But I can't decide which one to have her photo taken in. What do you think???

I'm in love with the green jacket but I love the plaid too.

Wonder Boy had his five year portrait taken in a Navy blue linen suit. So I if want to hang the pictures together and have them sort of match, then I think I should go with the dark plaid. But the green is so friggin' adorable. I need help!!!!

October 16, 2008

sisters

Some days being a stay-at-home-mom can be very lonely. Sure, I am crazy, busy dropping this one off school, picking this one up from dance, taming this one's tantrum, getting this one to the doctor, helping this one get dressed, rushing this one there, cleaning up this one's mess, running this one to therapy, changing this one's diaper, trying to potty train the one with the diaper, waiting, shuffling, cursing, hugging, laughing, crying, playing, rocking, running, and never getting enough sleeping....

There have been times I've sometimes wondered how I manage to quietly, stumble through my days without ever really talking to another adult in person. And, if I just disappeared, would anyone notice? My impact on this world is so itty, bitty, tiny that if I were to just up and vanish one day it wouldn't make a huge difference. Nobody would care right?!?! I was there one minute, gone the next. Heck, nobody ever really knows where I am throughout the day anyway. My kids might wonder why they didn't get lunch or how come nobody told them to close the refrigerator door or flush the toilet for the millionth time however.

But then I'm reminded that I have really terrific, fabulous friends. Sweet women that give from their hearts and never expect anything in return. Friends that share midnight texts, drop off ice cream, shoes and house flyers; friends who go to the movies with me, exchange comments on facebook, call for coffee dates. Friends that are tipsy dancers, Karaoke singers, soft shoulders, wine poorers, laugh inducers, walking partners, understanding ears, inspiring warriors, fabulous mothers, trusting and kind-hearted people. Friends who have perfect timing when I'm blue and make me smile. Friends from the past, friends with shared histories and little inside jokes; friends who know my secrets. Friends who know what makes me laugh and cry and hurt and angry. My friends, my sisters, I thank you! Thank you for knowing my strengths and my weaknesses and loving me anyway. For the feeling is quite mutual!!

if we were related...

Last week, like every week, I dropped Miss O off for with her speech therapist for an hour. I usually spend the hour running to Target for diapers which translates to spending fifty bucks on crap. This time around, I didn't need diapers and I wasn't feeling the Target love affair I usually do. Baby Love and I took a walk instead. We landed around the corner from speech in a cute antique store. It's a huge warehouse type room with lots of little booths that individual sellers can display their goods. I overheard the owner and an older female employee exchanging mixed words (some not very nice) as they argued over moving some of the furniture. The cashier mentioned to me from the corner of her mouth, "they go at it like this all the time" as she rolled her eyes. Without the ability to censor myself, I asked if they were related to which the owner replied, "If we were related, there would have been a death!" I laughed. Out loud. Couldn't stop myself. And I didn't try.

Two days later, I received a card in the mail from my Maid of Honor and dear friend. Her note made me smile with just one word. I reflected on the mini conversation in the antique store and I thought to myself, this is what family is: Inside jokes. Shared tears. Trust. Laughter. Acceptance. Memories.

So Kelly! Thank You! You are family to me and I raise my "f@#!ing caaaazzmo" in your honor.

October 12, 2008

October 11, 2008