December 31, 2009

little irish: 2009 review in posts


A toddler greeting 2009. I can't believe she was that little just one year ago.

We became a family with spectacled children with two out of three requiring glasses.

Our home of seven years went on the market for sale as we had outgrown it.


Shared my not-so-loving love affair with ladybugs.


And struggled.

Headed to Strawberry land and continues to get the most hits on this very post than anything else.

Wrapped the month up with a pinewood derby champ.


Petite Artiste turns three and visits the dentist the first time.

Sold the house.

Lost our beloved Angus with a heavy heart.


Found house number one.


House sale #1 falls through...back to square one.

Miss Divine gets hits by a baseball.

Bestie flies from Michigan to visit.

Our long time family pet, Frieda, teaches us lessons in love and heartbreak.


Miss Divine turns six in true fancy style and then graduates from pre-k.

Cooked up some cute honeybuns.

And, earned a yellow belt in tae kwon do.


Mr. Hawthorne ran a half marathon.

Celebrated the fourth of july with family.

Did some hiking.

Made lemonade and beat the heat wave.


Miss Divine enjoyed horse camp.

I run a 5k.

Our beautiful boy turned eight with a science party.

Mr. Hawthorne and I celebrate 11 years.

Rounding summer up with bowling, the beach and a dog show.


We successfully deliver one kindergartner and one second grader to the local elementary school.

I quietly turn 35. Shhhh, I still don't think people know. (wink, wink)

Our house was so nice, we sold it twice.

A week of firsts for our last.

Healed a big hole in our hearts with Franklin and Mavis. Yes, you are allowed to call us crazy.

And, we wait to exhale.


Took a trip the farm.

10 months later, we finally move.

Carved pumpkins and went trick or treating.


El Fuego tested out his acting chops.

The girls dance in the Nutcracker.

Played a game of pinball.

Thanksgiving and Christmas tree hunting was had.

Learned Mr. Hawthorne was a closet ice skater.


I took a trip to Michigan.

Celebrated Christmas to round out the year.

Wishing you a brave new year filled with fabulous, happy memories.

December 26, 2009

Christmas Eve

Hope your holiday was magical and exciting and perfectly lovely!

December 16, 2009

I have a friend and she lives in Roseville Michigan. Last weekend I flew out to see her. She took me to Greenfield Village and Canterbury Village which I loved. But mostly I just loved being with her and laughing about silly things and drinking Tim Horton's coffee.

November 30, 2009

ice capades

We took the kids ice skating yesterday for Mr. Hawthorne's birthday. This is something I've always wanted to do as long I could remember. It was a lot of fun. The big kids and Mr. Hawthorne picked it up pretty fast. Petite Artiste took a tumble mid way through and then decided she wanted to be carried. It could have been her boots were too small. Because we bought a punch card and have one more trip left, I think I'll get her a bigger size and see if that helps. All in all, it was much fun and great way to wrap up a super Thanksgiving weekend.

November 29, 2009

dear mr. hawthorne

I have a husband and he's pretty great. I call him Mr. Hawthorne because we once did one of those silly quizzes where you figure out your stripper name using the first street you lived on and the name of your first pet. Sam Hawthorne was just too funny not to dub my it stuck. Today is his birthday and he is 41. I hope it is super! We don't have much planned so it seems a little boring compared to his last birthday when he turned 40. When we dropped the kids off at my parents and hopped a plane to Disneyland spending Thanksgiving (and his birthday) with Mickey and Minnie. The afternoon we got back home, he hit the road to see AC/DC. So you see, this year doesn't seem as exciting. But, I hope he knows we love him and we wish him a very, very happy birthday!!

November 28, 2009

Today we decided to get our Christmas tree. We are super early this year (for us). Yesterday lights went up on the house, today we got the tree. It's a record for us. My trip out to the Midwest mid month is a major factor for getting motivated, but we are taking this lovely four day weekend to get a jump start on the season.

We had a great time. We love to visit a tree farm up Cougar Mountain. We go every year. We like to pick our tree, visit the log cabin gift shop, climb on the vintage firetruck, sit by the bonfire and this year we even sat on Santa's lap.

November 25, 2009

silver lining::before and after

Soon after moving into our new house, we discovered a new toilet was desperately needed for the downstairs hall bathroom. We call it the "fancy" bathroom because of it's fabulous gold fixtures. (Just kidding...the gold fixtures are pretty ugly but we call it fancy just the same.) Anyway, Mr. Hawthorne didn't want to put in a new toilet before painting the walls. So a color was chosen and it is aptly named "silver lining".


A phenomenon I don't have a great love affair with is playdates. When El Fuego was a baby, I enjoyed getting together with new moms like myself to chat, have coffee, and enjoyed getting away from daily grind of infant care. As my chubby baby that rolled around on the floor and drooled grew into a wild toddler that ran around people's houses reconfiguring their computers and house alarms, I started to decline the invitations of play. Not that I didn't enjoy meeting up with other moms and their children, it just wasn't worth the work I had to put into the event. The other parents were all calm and oodling over kid cuteness while I was running after a determined redhead and working up a sweat. It wasn't enjoyable.

As we added to our small family unit, our kids had ready made playmates at their disposal, so the need for getting together with other families for the sole purpose of play wasn't at the top of my priority list.

Now that the "big" kids are older and in kindergarten and second grade, they are making friends and asking for playdates. This is a huge obstacle for me. I don't want to deprive my children of playtime and great memories, it's just that I know very little about the friends' families and lifestyles. This fact makes me nervous. When the kids are away from me, they are away from my protective bubble. I think I am very good at looking relaxed and easy going, while all my feelers are at full attention and constantly monitoring my environment. I have a knack for observing situations and people without them knowing.

This past weekend, a friend of El Fuego's called to ask for a playdate that afternoon. Thinking on my feet, I asked if the friend could come to our house after school instead. The mom agreed and the boys were excited. All went well. I chatted with El Fuego's teacher about the arranging appointments for our children to play. She agreed with me that the world today is a scary place and parents have to be extra careful. And, how play time for kids is different from generations past.

Little by little, I meet parents and things click and my feelers relax. El Fuego's friend's visit yesterday was a good experience for all of us.

November 22, 2009


My very first job as a school staff member was at a private Catholic school I had done my student teaching at. In between student teaching and getting hired on, I was a full time substitute. I had a couple long-term sub positions, worked pretty regularly for a teacher that had lupus and I filled the rest of my days with other jobs in many different grades. I had my sites focused on fifth grade. I thought I would really enjoy the age of the kids and the curriculum, but the younger I got with subbing, the more I enjoyed the little kids. When the principal from the school I student taught at called me about an interesting position, I was eager to jump in.

I would be working in the classroom of a long time kindergarten teacher who was diagnosed with cancer. My student teaching was in fourth grade, so I had little interaction with her but I knew who she was. The dynamics between us were interesting. She intimidated me slightly but I was looking forward to stepping into a world that I could gain more experience but not fly completely solo. Her personality was strong and I was treated like her personal assistant for the first few weeks. I didn't mind following her lead but, it was very well known that I was "the support staff" and NOT the main teacher. This annoyed me.

Shortly after the year began, she became very ill. She had surgery and treatments that left her too sick to work. The shift between our two roles had occurred. I was stepping into the teacher role and she was just not there. I was the person in class every day. The parents trusted me as their child's teacher. We had moved past the lesson plans she left for us, and I was told by the principal to move forward with the curriculum. This annoyed her.

Towards the end of the year, she made several attempts to step back into her role as teacher which proved to be futile. She spent most of her time in the bathroom being sick. The most she could muster up was correcting papers while I shuffled the kids here and there.

My main concern, always, was to create the most normal and less stressed environment for the class. I was their teacher, but not really, while their "real" teacher was never around proved to be a little confusing.....for all of us. The outcome of the situation was left vague. I expressed my concerns, to the principal, of the class and my role in the midst of it. She wasn't getting better and I was left to balance it all.

Behind the scenes and without my knowledge, the board and the principal had decided to fire her at the end of that year if she didn't step down on her own. It seemed to be obvious to everyone but her that she was too sick to teach. I was asked to stay on as kindergarten teacher. Her pride was wounded and she left bitter. I became hated. I had unintentionally stepped on her toes.

Months later, she passed away. The school staff and past students and families were invited to attend the funeral. I wavered about going. I didn't want to but felt I needed to step up, suck it up and show my respect. In the receiving line I met with her daughter and her husband, both old school mates of mine. Her daughter introduced me as the "person who took her mom's job". Just like that. I was stunned. She needed someone to be mad at and I fit the bill. I think in the moment she wanted to be as hurtful as the situation would allow her to be. I won't deny, however, she left me angry. Under the circumstances I continued to smile and said I was sorry; and I was. I was very sorry her mother died. I left soon after.

Life went on, and I had long since forgotten about my working self.

And then, Facebook was introduced to me.....

I have much love for Facebook. Finding people I have lost touch with is a blast. Keeping in touch with friends is even more fun, especially the long distant ones. I feel more connected to the people I hold dear than ever before. However, with every addition of a new face logging on, I face old memories which sometimes leaves me sort of feeling like I don't know how to feel. It's odd.

Growing up is a long, hard, fabulous journey. We bounce off each other like the game pinball. Knocking around, trying to find the right hole to fall into. Sometimes we are instantly put off, cracking against each other head on. Sometimes we rack up points going back to that one spot that feels just right and almost too easy. Along the way mistakes are made, stupid things are said and actions you wish could be taken back are made.

I keep telling myself the past is the past. Everyday is a new day. If people from my past are harboring grudges, well then there is nothing I can do to change their minds. I, myself, have been letting go of my own grudges. Softening my heart. I won't lie though. I'm a fierce protector of my heart. Once you've poked a hole, I don't forget and I keep my distance from you forever more. But in the end, who really cares. Life goes on full speed ahead. What really matters most are the people who matter most.....all the other people are just pinballs.

dedicated to the ones I know and love

I originally came across the greatness of Pomplamoose from Secret Agent Josephine. I formed an instant crush. Their covers are brilliant! La Vie en rose is to die for. Major swoon!! I especially liked their version of Michael Jackson's Beat It. I have personally dedicated it to the ones I know and love that have or are in the midst of fighting cancer this very moment.

November 20, 2009

a stirring mouse

Miss Divine and Petite Artiste will be "starring" in the winter production of the Nutcracker next month along with their dance classes. Petite Artiste will be a china tea doll however because she woke up with a high fever the morning of picture day, she missed her dress rehearsal. (picture to come soon) Miss Divine's class was adorable as little mice. It's a cute little number and she is very excited about it.

November 17, 2009


We interrupt this regular scheduled blog post with a brief act of doggie cuteness. And, by brief, I mean this was very, very short lived. The pups weren't having any of this "put stuff on my head while I stand still and stare at a dog treat so you can take a picture and laugh at me" opportunity. They weren't having it at all!

In other news...I bought a round trip airline ticket for one to visit my dearest friend in Michigan. I'm excited to see my peeps and enjoy some of the holiday festivities in the Midwest. I leave in just over three weeks. It's my goal to get everything in tip top shape and order before I fly off. We've made some major head way on unpacking the house and getting organized. However I still feel like we have a long way to go.

November 13, 2009


today, i think i'll buy a shelf

Happy Friday the 13th to you!! Weird. I was in an antique shop yesterday wondering if I could spy a well made (on the cheap side) shelf, when an older lady pointed out today's date to me. Funny, it hadn't even crossed my mind. I wonder if people still believe bad luck will happen to them on this day of supposed bad luck??

Anyway, I'm on the hunt for a shelf or two (if they are cheap aka: Target). We have loads of children's books. I love picture books and great stories for my kids and I currently have four boxes sitting on the top of the stairs waiting to be shelved. So that is my mission today. Along with folding the umpteenth piles of clothing. I do not like that chore one bit. One bit I tell you. If I could have a folding fairy and a unloading the dishwasher fairy come to my house every morning...I would be one happy person. Well, happy if the sleep fairy would come every night and ensure I would feel well rested all day long. can dream!

The house is slowly getting unpacked. It takes so much time and energy. Between the kids and the dogs and my duties as "mom" I feel like I only get these tiny bursts of time to actually do anything house related. And when I do get those bits of moments, I'm just too friggin' tired to do anything. Hence, the lack of updated blog posts here. Sorry about that friends!!

November 6, 2009

drama 101

El Fuego took a little acting class last month. The kids and their teacher put together The Wizard of Oz. The kids were adorable. The show made all the grandparents and parents giggle. The teacher is pretty amazing for whipping this up in a month. The group only came together four times...once a week. I was impressed. El Fuego was not his usual outgoing self...he said he was a little nervous. He liked it enough to sing up for the next session when the kids will act out the Lion King. I'm eager to see it.

November 4, 2009

hello november

It is amazingly crazy how fast the month of October flew by. If you asked me what I did last month (or yesterday for that matter) I honestly couldn't tell you. I'm living in auto-pilot mode. You know in the movies, when they have the main character is standing still in real-time drinking their coffee, checking their watch, scratching their heads while all the crazy things are happening around them in fast-forward. Kids playing (or fighting) around their feet, days passing from light to dark, spouses talking in their ears, dogs pooping in the corner. That's what I've felt like. Exactly. When my head hits the pillow at night, I always think why the heck I didn't get there sooner because it feels so good.

In other words, I can not believe it is November already. This month is full of days off from school, teacher conferences and Thanksgiving. As I've mentioned before, it is my goal to have majority of the house unpacked by the holiday. However, at this very moment, it seems like that goal is a stretch.

October 31, 2009


Fearsome Threesome!
aka Fancy Nancy, ghost and a secret agent
double o eight (tee hee)
Fancy Nancy being scared by the little ghost.

Fancy Nancy

And a wee ghost.

October 28, 2009

it's pumpkin time

feeling like home

I woke up this morning with the our new home semi-organized and I felt like we were home. Oh sure, there are things we need to work the kinks out of but I'm happy we took on this stressful journey and made the transition.

October 23, 2009

we did it...

Well folks! We finally made it to the new house. It's been quite a journey. We are still trying to get settled into our new digs. We've been swimming in a sea of boxes and dealing with a leaky shower and a temperamental furnace. I'm trying to get my wits about me while I set up shop and get organized. I will get back to posting pictures and blabbering on very soon.

October 12, 2009

preschool pumpkin patch

Petite Artiste and I joined her preschool class this morning for a field trip to the pumpkin patch. It was so extremely cold. I happened to have a hat and a pair of gloves in the car. I wore the gloves and Petite Artiste wore the hat. We picked grapes off the vine, scouted out a fabulous pumpkin, toured the farm, examined vegetables, got lost in the hay maze, checked out the turkey and pigs and had lunch too. Then we ran for the car and cranked up the heat to defrost.