July 31, 2009


Mr. Hawthorne took the kids down to his parents' house last weekend to pick blueberries in their backyard. I was left at home to prepare for an open house and a visit from Amy. The overnight by myself was a very odd sensation. I napped, shopped, stayed up late, cleaned and enjoyed the quiet. When the kids and husband returned, I was gifted four bags of the most delicious, organic blueberries. We've been eating them every morning.

Berry Bowl purchased from an adorable Etsy shop: Bridgman Pottery in Memphis Tenn.

amy heller

My dear, sweet friend started a blog recently. It is fabulous....she is fabulous! Check it out. I met Amy in college. I was a brand, spanking new first year with eyes the size of dinner plates because I was so nervous and shy about this new adventure I was embarking. She walked right up to me at orientation, took me by the arm and we were instant friends from that moment on.

July 30, 2009

beatin' the heat

We have been experiencing a major heat wave around this parts. Yesterday afternoon, it was 109 when I loaded up the kids to meet my in-laws for some beach time. We drove to Picnic Point Park and cooled off in the very cold water. Ate some dinner and basically just hung out where the weather wasn't so unbearable. We played until sunset. It made for a great way to finish the day. After getting cleaned up, we laid the kids out on the floor of our AC'd bedroom.
Everyone conked out.

July 29, 2009

3.1 miles

Today I signed up for a 5k at the Foot Zone this come Sunday. About two years ago, I joined the Arthritis Foundation and participated in the 5 for 5 program. Basically, we had to raise at least $500 dollars and walked/ran 5 5ks (one per month) over the span of five months. Each one in a different location. It was a lot of fun hanging with my girlies and enjoying the activities.

I've yet to run a 5k from start to finish, however, so this is a test for me. I talked a friend into running with me. This track is supposed to the be the flattest around and super quick. We will see how it goes. Maybe I'll have some pictures for you.....or maybe not. Either way, wish me luck.

July 24, 2009

my son, part duex

I wrote a little post about El Fuego basically to share that he started a blog all on his very own but I felt it needed a little back story. This led to a bit of negative feedback. Let me explain. I love my son more than I could ever promise in a million years. I celebrate him as often as I can because let's face it, the boy is frickin' brilliant!! He never ceases to amaze me and he makes me laugh all the time. However, to pretend living life with El Fuego, Miss Divine and Petite Artiste (all at the same time) in this 1,680 square foot house 24/7 is a constant walk in the park with birds chirping, children quietly picking posies, and me overseeing my perfect offspring looking ravishing is down right hilarious. And, I've three words for anyone who tries to paint a picture of such....You Be Crazy!

Mr. Hawthorne, my over analyzing husband, thought that writing about seeing a Clinical Psychotherapist wasa bit too private to talk about. And, I totally get where he is coming from, I do. I don't want anyone to think that El Fuego is a terrible kid that I needed to seek professional help to deal with because he's not. Not at all. And, also let me explain that he, himself, did not see the counselor but rather, I did for "parent training". Every child is different in thousands of ways. When you make a baby, it's a total guessing game, a lottery if you will, and you really never know what sort of cocktail you will get at the end. El Fuego happened to come into the world with flaming red hair that literally glowed when he was born. He didn't talk at all until he was three. He is smart as hell. And, as he is approaching the beginning of his 8th year of life, is now just starting to lose his baby teeth.

He's never been a typical kid in many ways however he is very typically male is so many other ways. As a baby, I would attend playgroups with other children his age and I would observe mothers put their children into the crowd of all the other kids with mounds of toys. Watching their children play and fight over super heroes and dolls was normal for them. El Fuego being in the middle of the mix, for me, was not the norm. He would be off reprogramming computers, discovering how to set off the house alarm, setting up TIVO's to record shows, and on occasion calling 911. Now, he never did these things to be malicious but it was very stressful and I would often times leave the playgroups drowning in sweat. Dealing with people who didn't quite understand what it was like to be the parent of El Fuego made for some very uncomfortable situations. Living life with his constant, constant is not always easy.

Although I think El Fuego is pretty darn special, I know I'm probably not alone. There are kids out there just like him with parents who might be reading this shaking their heads in agreement. Seeking a little help for the sake of myself, my son and my family doesn't make me weak or a bad parent. No different than buying a shelf-help book at Barnes and Noble. Raising kids is a tough job!! I just want to be the best at it as I can possibly be.

cool shirts

It's a good day when you walk out to check the mailbox and are surprised by a package. I love getting fun mail. I ordered a couple Albert Einstein shirts for El Fuego's science party from a little Etsy shop called Vortex Trading Company. They are down right awesome!!

July 23, 2009

my son

El Fuego, my son and our first born, is turning eight in two very short weeks.

I am looking forward to what the eighth year of his life presents to us. We've never lived through YEAR 8 before. He has a year of new experiences as an eight year old boy in front of him, as well as new challenges too I'm sure.

El Fuego is a cool kid and extremely precocious. So precocious in fact that many people just don't understand him. They believe him to be a "trouble maker" of sorts and grow impatient with his constant, well, constant. He has a way of forcing people out of their comfort zones and think out of the box when dealing with him. He is NOT a typical boy. He is intense, inquisitive, overly sensitive, moody and gregarious with a wicked sense of humor. This misunderstanding of him others reflect really, really bothers me. It breaks my heart! I know he is special and unique just as much as I understand how exhausting and frustrating his behavior can be. I know because I live with him!!! But, when I see his teachers, other parents and even his peers (and sometimes friends) misunderstanding him, I am saddened. Mad even. Heartsick completely.

I ached for him to fit in and be happy and find joy as every young boy should. I want him to still be himself (all unique and smart as he is) but not be segregated or left out because of those very qualities. A concern every parent longs for I'm sure. My need to help him navigate this portion of his life sent me to seek out a counselor. I contacted a local Clinical Psychotherapist and began a little something she called "Parent Training". It's helped. It's healed. I have a brand new perspective of my son.

However, there are days, like today, when he comes to me and presents me with his new blog that I wonder to myself "why can't he just play with Lego's and train sets!!!!" At first I was slightly upset. I told his dad out of frustration. We had to go in and fix a lot of the personal information and I'm still waiting for an email on a password he has long forgotten for an account he set up to follow other blogs. You see, he set up this blog using a fake email because he works around the system when he is presented with obstacles. Which is El Fuego in a nutshell. He is constantly thinking, doing and working the system. He is creative in not so typical ways. In fact he, at this very moment, is making videos of himself and downloading them onto a spare laptop. He longs for Microsoft Movie Maker!

July 18, 2009

topsy turvy

Does anyone remember the hugely successful invention of the nineties called the Tospy Tail?? A woman named Tomima Edmark created it and marketed it by herself. Then she went on to earn $150 million in revenues. She now has a blog aptly named Tomima's Blog where she helps women close the gap in finding the perfect lingerie. You got to love the internet!!

I had completely forgotten about this phenomenon that I think my mom and I bought off TV or at the "As Seen On TV" sections of JC Penneys. I don't even remember using it all that much. The kids spent the weekend at Camp Grandma last week and Miss Divine came home with little gadget. My recollection was instantly jogged and we have been using it ever since.

I thought it would be fun to take you on a little tutorial of this fascinating exploration of fun little girl hair styles.

I give you The Topsy Tail!

Start with a nicely brushed head of hair

Pull into a loose pony tail

Insert Topsy Tail behind hair band

Pull end of pony tail through the loop of the Topsy Tail

Pull end of Topsy Tail with the end of the pony tail through the separated hair the Topsy Tail creates

Ta-Da! Pull pony tail tight and stand back to admire

Can be done on any age and all kinds of hair

July 7, 2009

mad science

You don't have to be Einstein to figure it out.
Fun is what science is all about!
Did you know I get the most hits (almost daily) on this little blog about a very home-made and super easy Strawberry Shortcake Centerpiece I created for Petite Artiste's third birthday party. Who knew something like that would bring the most traffic to Little Irish.

If you know me at all, you would know I tend to go a little hog-wild over my children's birthday parties. I love everything about them from planning the theme and creating the invites to decorating the house and putting together goody bags. And, every year I only get three chances to create and celebrate. Oh, don't get my wrong, I have a had few duds but I learn from what didn't work and try different ideas. For us, good old fashion backyard parties have always worked the best. Luckily, we have have spring/summer birthdays in these parts so letting kids run around and be outside is perfect. I've tired a few "pre-planned" places (although I've managed to avoid the bouncy house thus far) and they have never turned out that great. We celebrated at the museum one year but it was too far to drive and a little too boring I thought. We had a cooking party one year too but the "teacher" didn't let the kids do anything but watch her so I left very disappointed. Plus, when these places charge by the kid, it can get pretty darn spendy. So our little backyard has turned into the happening party destination for our family.

This year for El Fuego's 8th party, we are becoming mad scientists. We have researched experiments and thought about fun goodies to make. I'm currently trying to talk an old co-worker into dressing up as Albert Einstein and walking the boys through the experiments. Ever since my adorable friend offered to dress perfectly as Alice from Alice in Wonderland for Miss Divine's fifth birthday party, I love bringing "characters" in. It really makes the party I think!!!

Above are the invitations inviting our junior professors to Backyard Laboratories. The invites are simple, cheap and easy. I just printed them using Microsoft Word. However, we rolled them up and put them in test tubes which makes them fun and special. I'm hoping the postage doesn't kill me.

hiking adventure

Last week we hit the trail with friends and explored the outdoors. It was a great hike with a huge payoff at the end. The kids did great!!

Franklin Falls::Denny Creek

summer fun

happy fourth of july

A little late posting but it's only been a couple days since I've had my brand new laptop. Yay me!! I've been playing around with the new gadgets and trying to get myself set up with important things like email and facebook.

Anyway, we had an impromptu and fabulous fourth of July. We woke up not really knowing what we would be doing. We could drive to the city fireworks show (which I wasn't too thrilled about if I'm being honest) or just hang around the house and eat. We ended up at Mr. Hawthorne's sister and brother-in-law's house. Which turned out to be perfect. We enjoyed a little water play with cousins and some little girl we didn't know. But whatever...the more the merrier.

We are not allowed to shoot off fireworks in our city but there was no such law around these parts. El Fuego experienced his first taste of pyro mania and loved every minute of it.

Hope your holiday was just a great!