November 30, 2011


The big surprise for Mr. Hawthorne

was his very first parakeet!

Meet the newest addition to our zoo. This little guy has yet to find a name perfect for himself. We've tossed around Packer (as in Green Bay Packers) because of his coloring. And, Larry for Larry Byrd. Funny right. Currently, since I've been at home with him, I call him Chirpie or Birdie because that's just what comes out of my mouth when addressing the fellow.

I found some fun parakeet informational videos on Youtube today. The sounds of other budgies had our guy going crazy. I felt bad for getting him all worked up, but it seemed to snap him out of his funk. He had been a ball of nerves and not eating. But after Youtube, our guy has flown around in his cage, chirped for his video friends and ate. All good signs.

The kids are ga ga for the chirpinator. I'm afraid the lot of them are going to scare the poor bird to death. I can't imagine what three crazy, loud kids and two dogs are doing to this bird's heart.

Wish us luck because we might just need it!

November 29, 2011

happy birthday

Today is Mr. Hawthorne's birthday!

The kids are bursting at the seams to give him his gift. We've been planning this gift for a couple weeks. And, let me tell you, kids keeping secrets, especially secrets they are very excited about, is no easy task. I've done a lot of side stepping and making loud noises when I hear certain topics spill out of little mouths.

Some time in the wee hours of last night, Miss Petite snuck into bed and snuggled next to me. She whispered to me about her thoughts on Mr. Hawthorne's gift. Luckily, he was sleeping and didn't hear.

When they got off the bus this afternoon, all three, in unison, asked about "the gift" and ran to the house to see.

It's all very sweet.

I can't tell you what the gift is just yet because Mr. Hawthorne will read this here blog and the surprise would be ruined. But I can tell you, that we are waiting in anticipation for his arrival home this evening. We have dinner and dessert planned and, of course, the GIFT!!

Happy Birthday to my handy hubby, Mr. Hawthorne!
We love you bunches!

November 28, 2011


After four days off, we were back to the grind today. Humph!

Mr. Hawthorne had the entire week off. It was nice having the handy husband around to paint bedrooms and fix electrical outlets. We now have light in the dining room again and Miss Petite's sleeping space is cotton candy pink!! I organized bedrooms removing trash and clutter. When I get in the groove of purging, I love it but it is tough motivating myself to do the job because in cleaning, I end up creating huge piles elsewhere. I'm happy to announce I managed to remove bags of donations and junk out of all three kid rooms though. The week had been very productive. So having everyone go back to school and work this morning was tough. I really wanted to just roll over pretending we were still on holiday. No such luck. Life has a way of marching on.

Good news though, the Thanksgiving holiday was simple and sweet. We spent it with my parents down on the farm. The turkey meal was delish and the mood was low-key, just the way I like it. Mr. Hawthorne and I debated hitting up some Black Friday sales due to start Thursday evening but then thought better and avoided the chaos all together. Which in the end turned out to be a good call.

By Friday morning, the two day monsoon of torrential rainfall had finally stopped. Out went the boys heading up the job of de-tangling lights and decorating the front yard. Currently, a very large, blow-up Santa stands guard, candy canes light the pathway, and multi colored lights adorn the rooftop. Very festive!

The inside of my house, on the other hand, (quoting my neighbor...Hi Patti) "looks like Santa Claus threw up all over it". The statement itself made me laugh, but the visual is even funnier. Well, if it was to really happen, Santa coming down the chimney and throwing sugar cookies up all over the living room that is, wouldn't be so funny I guess. But, my house currently resembles a ghoulish scene none the less.

With only two days left of November, I found myself at the kids' school doing my monthly job. I'm in charge of updating the large, bulletin board calendar in the school courtyard. Before I headed out to freeze my back-side off painting lines and stapling die-cut numbers, the secretary informed me of my kindergartner's recent actions. I might have mentioned before she has earned her fair share of yellow cards for being a chatty Kathy. Obeying the class rules of order and quiet is not her strong suit but she is getting the hang of it three months in. Her newest act of defiance, however, has been getting off the bus, going to the office and waiting until the bell rings. After which, she fills herself out a tardy slip and heads to her classroom. Three cheers for the responsibility of my five year old. Big thumbs down for her stinkerness!! You see, she should never be late to class because she rides the bus!! And, I'm pretty sure the bus is never late to school. The kindergartners have a special place they line up and they are walked to class by older students every morning. Every Morning! Miss Petite has been skipping this routine completely, making her way to the office to "hang out" and fill out tardy slips. I have no idea why this is so fantastic to her. El Fuego kept me on my toes (and still does) at this age, but this girl is giving me a run for my money.

I wrapped up the rest of the day by defrosting at home, Cyber Monday shopping, wrangling kids into doing their homework and making dinner. The sun's disappearance around 4 pm makes for short days. But, at least I feel less guilt for being in my jammies by 4:25 when it's dark and cold outside.

November 21, 2011

gobble and other ramblings

Hello my fantastic friends!

It is Thanksgiving week around these parts!!

Here are three reasons I'm so happy it's Thanksgiving week.

1. Mr. Hawthorne is on vacation.

2. Painting and projects are being completed here at casa de little irish.

And, 3. I am not cooking a Thanksgiving meal.


Truth be told, I got limited sleep last night and I'm feeling the drain. It's not like anything terrible was happening for the lack of REM hours. I just stayed up too late. And, I wasn't even watching good TV or movies. I was just dinking around. I guess I was just happy Mr. Hawthorne wasn't going to work, that I felt like I could burn the midnight oil. In spite of my good spirits I am feeling pooped and knowing the kidlets will be arriving home soon is exhausting to think about.

However, I did manage to get a huge task completed. I cleaned and organized El Fuego's bedroom. It only took me three days but I finally finished the job. Phew! I tend to go in about once or twice a year to do a MAJOR overhaul on my boy's sleeping space. It never fails to amaze me how gross his bedroom is. Garbage, food wrappers, unidentifiable objects, broken pieces, little doo-dads that don't make sense, outside trash, dusty what-nots....I swear it breeds in the dead of the night and multiplies. Together we filled a huge black garbage bag of junk, and today, I took out another kitchen sized trash bag. I feel great about the decluttering, removing outgrown toys and all the cleanliness organization that is going on in that bedroom as I type. Crossing my fingers it stays that way. Heck, you can cross your fingers too, because I'm pretty sure we'll need it.

The weather isn't helping my energy level. Woke up to a down pour this very gray and dark day. It's currently working its way to complete darkness and it's not even dinner time yet. But, Mr. Hawthorne is painting Miss Petite's bedroom in a bright bumble gum pink much to Miss Petite's delight. I'm hoping it cheers up the environment somewhat.


What are your Thanksgiving dinner plans?

November 19, 2011

movies and more

Alright, I will admit it, I'm a sucker for the Twilight Saga movies. I've read the books, I've been to Forks WA, rode on the Twilight tour and I buy the DVDs (in blue-ray even). And, when a new movie comes out on the big screen, I might, might!, have bought my tickets a month in advance. Maybe! I'm not openly admitting to that one.

Am I a Twihard? Did I pick a team? No, I'm not that crazy. Geez! I do love the hype. I enjoyed the books. And, I could have been standing in line on a Friday morning waiting to get good seats at the movie theater. It's all in good fun though. I swear! Boy, am I ever glad we decided to forgo the crazy midnight showing of the latest installment. We went while all the teenybobbers were in school and it was only the crazy adults who took time off work and SHAMs. Plus, we got discount tickets. Woot!

I happened to be browsing a favorite shopping haunt with all their fun Christmas decorations out, and I stumbled across some super fun peacocks. Miss Divine has decided peacocks to be the theme of her ninth birthday party. (In June....yes, I know.) So I bought this cute table decoration and some adorable, glittery peacock ornaments on the cheap for cute party favors. This same store is also always abundant with Scottie dog treasures, which Miss Petite thinks she wants as the theme of her soiree. I love it when things are easy.

With my rearranged guts, there are some medical precautions I have to take into consideration. Although I'm not a big jewelry wearer, I have been trying my best to wear my newest piece of jewelry every day. I love these medical bracelets because it just looks like you have a pretty bracelet on. And, people don't ask me what is wrong with me because they hardly ever notice the medical ID tag. But, I have peace of mind that if I pass out or get hurt, medical staff would see it. I love lauren's HOPE!

My handy hubby is on vacation this week and he has promised me he would paint at least one bedroom. I'm very excited. The walls in this house probably haven't been painted for a decade. The wear and tear are showing. The smudges are too much. Since moving in three years ago, he has painted a majority of the walls downstairs, but I've been itching to paint the kids' rooms and decorate. I think Miss Petite's room will the first since hers is the easiest to do.

I'm very happy to announce that my washer and dryer are officially back in business. Some might remember they were both in various degrees of breaking down not too long ago. The dryer gave up the ghost completely in the midst of our flu pandemic of 2011 so I was hanging bed linens and various items of clothes about the house to dry. When kids are throwing up, one can easily forget to appreciate their washers and dryers. I, for one, am very thankful I have a set that are in full operating status again.

That pretty much wraps up the news from here. Not all that entertaining I know, but I'm trying to be better at posting regularly again. I'm debating a drastic hair cut and I have a pending eye appointment so stay tuned for all that excitement!! (wink, wink) Until then, hope you are enjoying your weekend!

November 17, 2011

i spy

I have this hidden talent I don't really share with many. It's a little gem I keep to myself mostly. I don't mean to brag, but I can find retail store security officers anytime, anyplace. And, not the uniformed security because that's just too easy my friends. It's the, quote/unquote, undercover security officers I've got an eye for. I've mastered the skill so well that if one should pass by me in aisle per chance, I'm almost always 86.7 percent sure they are on the payroll. No, really. I am that good.

My mad skillz all started way back when I took on a little retail associates job when I was in college. We always had someone in the store, wearing street clothes, bobbing around the floor looking for shoplifters. We would have secret names, like Mrs. Jones, we could call over the P.A. system when we suspected culprits. It would always go a little something like this: "Mrs. Jones, please come to sportswear. Mrs. Jones to sportswear." About two minutes later you would see your undercover agent looming behind a rack of Koret pants and in return, you would pretend to put things away as you told "Mrs. Jones" about the possible thievery. For a 19 year old, I always felt pretty cool about calling the ole Jonester. Oh, and just to keep those hooligans on their toes, sometimes the security office would switch up the code name to things like "Miss Morgan" or "Mrs. Clark". Pure genius I tell you.

To make things even cooler, the store I worked at had an employee program for thieves and no-good-doers. Well, not for the thieves themselves but for the "star" employees that ratted them out when they did something wrong. Wrong meaning stealing or short-changing the store. Now, I don't mean to toot my own horn but I actually took part in that very reward program. Yup, I did.

You see, this is how it went down. I had been working just shy of about a year and I was moved into a new department. In all the shuffling of employees, they had also hired a few newbies. One of which started in in the department I was just assigned to. It was nice having a gal about my age to chat and work with so I was happy for the company. About two or three months into her employment, she started retagging clothes at cheaper prices before she bought them. Paired with her employee discount, she was getting clothes dirt cheap. She might have gotten away with it, but the big dummy told me what she was doing. And, not only did she tell me, but she also showed me her tricks. As she walked me through her new found skill, step by step, I played along and pretended she was the most brilliant person on the planet. We had a little giggle about it and she made me swear I wouldn't tell anybody.

The problem is, what she was doing didn't sit well with me. It gnawed at the pit of my stomach and I felt terrible. Truth is, she probably felt pretty terrible about it too otherwise she wouldn't have had fessed up to me.

What did I do about it? Well, during my next shift, I took one of the store managers aside and told them what she was doing. And, of course, they informed the store security. They put a sting operation into place and only kept me in the loop on a "need to know" basis. I was to keep my cool, not tell her what was up, and encourage her to go on with her plans as usual. And, she did without any encouragement from me I might add. She took her retagged items up to the office one afternoon to purchase them and they got her. I don't know how it all went down for sure, but I do know that was her last day as an employee, she got to ride in the backseat of an actual police car, and I was rewarded a percentage of the recovered money she was stealing plus a reward. I'll be the first to admit, the extra moola in my check that month was neat, but I always felt a little sad about the whole situation. She put me in a tight spot and I hated being the one to call her out.

Long story, short. After four years of working side by side with uncover agents (I like to call them), I have honed my ability and carry it around with me in my back pocket. Which brings me to today while I was shopping in Target.

As I was browsing the men's jeans, I noticed a younger guy out of the corner of my eye examining a plaid shirt a little too close and for a little too long. Not appreciating the price of said jeans, I turned my cart around and moved on to the dvds and books section of the store browsing for my copy of the new Harry Potter movie. Once again, I spied that same plaid shirt examining guy. This time he was pretending to read the back of The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants book and missing that most important shirt he couldn't stop looking at just two minutes before. Instantly, I knew I was under watch and for the life of me I had no idea why. This made my blood start to heat up. What was it about me that looked suspicious? I'm a thirty-something woman doing some Christmas shopping. I wasn't carrying a large backpack or wearing a big baggy jacket or ducking in between racks or shifting my eyes. All classic signs of a shoplifter I might add. No, I was going about my business and only talking to myself minimally when I couldn't remember what I was looking for. Was it that I kept taking my phone out of my pocket to check the time and keep tabs on my Facebook status? "Important things this mother has to keep track of, Mr. Store Security! Important!"

I grabbed Harry and shuffled off to the land of Petshops, Webkinz and Zhu Zhu pets to once again be greeted by my shopping partner without his plaid shirt or his copy of Sisterhood of Traveling Pants. It was too much. Once, twice, I could ignore. But three times?! Now I'm P to the O'd!! This idiot isn't very good at his job if he can't tell I'm just a mom enjoying some free time without children. And, yeah, so what if I talked to myself once or twice. This new found brain space I've recently acquired when I'm not being talked at by the younger set is brand new to me. It doesn't prove I'm crazy or up to no good.

So what I did do to lose this sucker? Well, I sighed a great, big, audible sigh. Threw my head back in disbelief. And, stared the son-of-a-nutcracker down. HARD!

He tried to dodge my line of site and avoided making eye contact once he realized he had been found out. Rookie! I kept staring, shifting my weight from one hip to the other. And, it's very possible I might have eked out a tsk as if I was oh so very ashamed of him.

This game of chicken wasn't one he wanted to take on, so he did a little quick step and high tailed it out of the toy section as fast as his legs would go. Victory was mine.

"This is one mother you don't want to mess with Target security. I've got your number!"

November 15, 2011

sweet spot

Ages ago when I started this little irish blog, I would think about what my next post would be about almost every day. What pictures I would post. What something I would write about. And, how I could make it interesting or funny. I worried about getting my opinions heard without offending others. However, sometimes I was so mad, in the heat of the moment, I did want to offend. Mostly, though, I just wanted to share my pictures and little doo-dads as of late.

Did I succeed? Not really sure. I think the people out there who know me in real life, might have understood my ramblings, forgave my typos and maybe, just maybe, might have chuckled a time or two.

Now that my kids aren't so little anymore, I find myself more busy with other stuff and less occupied about what to write about on this here little blog. Busy with what you might ask. Not really sure to be honest. Life, I guess. As in MY life. It seems like the less time I spend hauling small children around from different schools and activities the more streamlined my existence became.

And, let's be real here, no one is really interested in how I organized a closet or when I got my hair cut or how many times I let the dogs out or what I had for lunch. Besides, that's what facebook is for!! (wink, wink)

When I was knee deep in diapers, tae kwon do, bottles, nap times, preschools, strollers, carpools, dance class, baby food, and playdates....I spent no time really thinking about myself. In fact, I avoided thinking about myself because I didn't like how I felt or looked. So blogging was a creative outlet more or less. It allowed me to step out of my crazed, sleepless world of spit up stains, scraped knees and strained peas. Gave me something to focus on.

Now that I have less of that and more free time, I find myself blogging less and "doing me" more.

All that swirling madness of the last ten years led me to here. This magical place. The mommy sweet spot!

I was just thinking yesterday, if I could freeze time in which my children stayed the ages of 10, 8 and 5, I would. (Although eight year old girls are rough man!) But, no, really I would!! I have this little tickle deep down in my gut that feels like sand dripping through an hourglass and there is nothing I can do to stop it. There is a little something I love about each of the kids' ages right now. If I could soak up all the goodness, squeeze out every last drop of adorableness for the next three to four years I would be happy. It would fill me up and, I would feel better about eking out another year. Letting the kids move onto 11, 9 and 6.

As I was sitting on my youngster's bed this morning, watching her get dressed (without any assistance from me), knowing that my middle child was downstairs getting her breakfast and my oldest was packing up all his needed supplies for his new duties at school, I was reminded, again, what a perfect time of my life I was living. The kids are old enough to be independent but young enough to still be sweet. They are old enough that they all go to the same school but young enough to still be my "little" kids. 11, 9 and 6 just feels too old. Too mature. A loss of innocence perhaps.

And, when we were walking to the bus stop my youngest and oldest took part in an impromptu race while my middle stayed back, walking with me, declaring "big boys and little girls are crazy!", I thought to myself. Will a six year old still wave and smile at me from the bus window with pure excitement and joy? Will a nine year old still want to hold my hand and ask for kisses goodbye? Will an eleven year old still think I know all the answers and want to play boardgames with his mother?

What I miss from ten year old, I get from five year old. What my five year old is too young for, I can share with my eight year old. Etcetera, Etcetera, Etcetera! A perfect recipe for the mommy sweet spot if you ask me.

So what is the point of this post? It sort of started out as an apology for not blogging, but I don't really want to apologize for getting my groove back. Do I? No, not really. It's an explanation I suppose. But it's not like I have "fans" out there waiting, with bated breath, for my next entry either. It's just a post with nothing exciting to report but a check in more or less. If you are still with me at the end of all this rambling, I give you your prize. A great big "thank you!" for hanging in there with me. And I hope you are enjoying some sweet spot of your very own (which sounds sort of dirty, but whatever!!).

November 7, 2011

cause for celebration

Two major things are cause for celebration in my household on this fine day. First, I actually got a shower while everyone was still in the house mind you. And, second, all three kids loaded the bus for the school.

Yes, that's right, the flu came, conquered and went. The house looks like it might have been involved in some sort of war zone with piles of this and that strewn about, as not only did we get hit with a nasty bug causing upset tummies, fevers and throw up....but the washer and dryer decided they had had enough and yelled "strike". However, this I know. The house is disinfected. That I'm sure. Every possible surface was bleached or sprayed with Lysol. I never handed or accepted any object without a paper towel between me and the virus. And, while I haven't gotten sick, my hands are so dry I could probably sand your table for you.

In other exciting news, I will be boarding a plane to Costa Rica after the holidays. I'm very excited to experience the jungle life! I'm hoping to post many pictures and updates so stay tuned.

Until then, I must get on with it. There is talk about rain coming our way so I better go enjoy some dry weather while I can. So I guess, if you are counting, that is actually four things to celebrate....

Hip Hip Hooray!

Hip Hip Hooray!

Hip Hip Hooray!

Hip Hip Hooray!


November 3, 2011

shields up, the flu has invaded

My dryer decided to stop blowing hot air. Again. I discovered this right after I washed a load of dark clothes. Dark clothes including the only two pair of jeans that currently fit and don't make my hiney look flat and saggy. Major bugger. So, for two days I've had my laundry hung over heater vents around the house.

Then last night my youngest threw up in her sleep. As you might imagine, but I won't go into the gory details, it was a right fine mess. What a time for the dryer to give up the ghost huh. The upside about this situation is the bedding hung up around the living room makes for a clean fresh smell that totally beats the smells of sickness.

My weapons of mass destruction on this day include bleach and Lysol. I refuse to get sick yo! My Kung Fu is strong and I've been disinfecting every surface possible. I haven't been out of the house for two days if you don't count that quick trip to the drugstore for children's Tylenol.

Which by the way, did you hear children's chewable Tylenol had a recall? I had no idea. I went looking for chewable and there wasn't any on the shelf. They still have liquid children's acetaminophen available which I purchased. However, when I went looking for information online about the recall, I couldn't find anything current. Just some articles from almost a year ago. Odd.

Before the tragic flu epidemic started to infiltrate my homestead, I started the week off with a trip to the local salon. I've been chatting about getting my hair cut off for a few months now. One down side about losing weight so quickly (and a side effect of surgery) is hair loss. Luckily I had some to spare. But the annoyance of the hair always falling out was really getting on my nerves. I wasn't brave enough to get it all chopped off though. I went as short I was comfortable with (chin length) and I'm pretty happy with it. I needed a hair reset big time. And this new short (thinner) do takes no time to style. Bonus!

Here's what I'm super excited about: daylight savings. An extra hour of sleep is going to do me just fine. Dragging my bones out of bed this last month has been a challenge and a half. Trying to get three sleepy people out their beds hasn't been the most fun either.

Until then, here's hoping you soak up as many sun rays as you can.

And, don't forget to set your clocks back this Sunday!!

Happy Thursday!

November 2, 2011

october mornings

This post has been brought to you from my phone camera.