Tags: a good day

June 2011 kids

Halloween {one week later}

So what's new? A little break and now I am back to share our Halloween fun. Please ignore the fact that Halloween was already a week ago. The good news is that I've already taken down our Halloween decorations. I'm not behind with everything, Mom. Did you take down your decorations yet?

What do a ninja, zombie doctor, and a baby bear have in common?
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Absolutely nothing. This year their costumes had zero, zitch, NADA in common with each other. And I was completely okay with that.
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Cora Jane didn't get a say in her costume choice, obviously. She was my Baby Bear. All three of my babies (plus two of my nephews) have worn this costume. This was the first year to add a pink bow. I big puffy heart the costume and her.

Previous Halloween fun: 2011 (Wee baby Cora!), 2010 (no post- sickly pregnant), 2009 (plus a bonus post), and 2008. (Look! It's Baby Bear Bennett!)

June 2011 kids

Who me? Yes, you.

I don't consider myself a professional photographer. Sure, I like to take pictures. In fact, I really enjoy taking pictures of my family and my close friends. But I don't think of myself as a real, genuine "photographer."

One time I saw one of those funny e-card picture thingys that said, "When complimenting a chef, you would never say "Wow! You must have a great stove." (It was way funnier/more sarcastic than that.) Anyways...I think the same thing applies here.

People tell me that all the time, "Wow! You have a great camera!" Yes, true fact, I do have a really nice camera. It is also the cheapest, most basic DSLR on the market. Since you're such a good cook, you clearly must have a great stove.

More importantly? I have a basic understanding of composition, light, and depth of field. I don't claim to be an expert by any means. (Like how to edit and white balance? No clue.) I know just enough to take pictures for the 'ole blog or for the occasional silly stuff. Like, for example, that time I submitted my favorite black and white pictures to our local newspaper, the LJWorld.

Made the newspaper this morning. Obviously it is going to be a good day. #famous #haha

Oh what's that? The picture I submitted of my nephew was used for THE PRINT EDITION of the local newspaper on Sunday? Well, hotdog.

Here is a link to the article: Behind the Lens and here is a link to the photo gallery of images that other area "photographers" submitted: Gallery of Images. (You might recognize another familiar face. I submitted two of my favorite pictures.)

I guess I am a photographer after all.

June 2011 kids

Public service annoucement

You want to know what is NOT awesome? I still don't have a cell phone. Would you like to hear more about my very small but very annoying first world problem? No, you don't? Too bad. It totally sucks to not have a phone. I can't call anybody. I can't text daily with my sisters. I don't even know the weather forecast tomorrow! What if it freezes again? My plants will die.

I might die soon. It's so hard to be me.

Anyways, the phone is supposed to be here this week which means that although today is only Sunday, the week is only going to get better. I'm trying hard to be positive. So let's also remember to treasure our people this week.

Even the rotten ones who throw expensive cell phones in toilets, m'kay?

That is all. Carry on.

Happy Monday, friends. Only five more days until the weekend!

Awesome Print is from Zulily. I'm addicted y'all. Seriously.

June 2011 kids

Annual butterfly report

It's become one of our family traditions to catch and release Monarch butterflies every September. Last year's annual post was one of my favorite posts ever: B-U-T-FULL not to be confused with butt-full. In 2009, we had bad luck (Butterflies, Beautiful) and only one of our butterflies made it. Our first year was 2008, March of the monarchs and it was then that we got the butterfly bug. (Good thing my photography skills have gotten better each year.)

This year we went all out and tried for triplets again.

Great news! We are expecting... triplets!

This year, we got our chrysalis' from Monarch Watch. It was a little disappointing that they were so close to coming out. We missed the beautiful green stage and were practically black by the time we got our hands on them. Still awesome in their own way, however.

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Photographer FAIL for not getting a picture of everyone all together. I had a few of the emerging butterflies on Matt's iPhone which recently ran into some bad luck. When I say, "ran into some bad luck," I really mean "got smashed in the trunk into a million pieces." Don't worry, his phone only cost $200 to replace!

Pocket change, people. (I'm totally kidding.)

We had a baby!

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We sent them off to Mexico that afternoon. Here's hoping they make it there alive (and don't meet any car trunks along the way) which, unfortunately, I can't say the same for Matt's phone.

June 2011 kids

4th of July fun

Maybe because summer is my favorite or maybe because it is soooo close to Simon's birthday but I really like the 4th of July. I love the heat. I love the POP of a firecracker. I love the lemonade (preferably the hard kind.)

Due to the crazy burn bans across the entire Mid-west, we chose not to go to Great Bend. I have lived in the Lawrence/KC area for almost 10 years and this is only the 2nd time we've ever stayed here. (The first time we stayed was due to my pregnancy with Simon.) Great Bend likes to go balls out for the 4th. Typically fireworks of all kinds are allowed all day long. Except this year's crazy drought means that all fireworks were banded this year. SAD FACE.

In my mind, it's just not the 4th of July, unless you light stuff up.

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Since fireworks aren't exactly legal here in Lawrence either, we had no choice but to keep it pretty low-key. Mostly blackcats, smoke bombs, poppers, fountains, sparklers, and a few parachutes. We did a few bigger ones at night but not too many. The best news of all is that none of our neighbors called the police on us.


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Cora Bean was not a fan of the fireworks. She was a sad, sad Panda. At first she did okay but then she became conditioned to the noise. Whenever she heard any LOUD noise, she immediately started crying again and would literally jump into the closest pairs of arms. Unsuprisingly, she spent most of the night in the house.

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It wouldn't be a holiday unless we got in a family shot. Please ignore Cora's sad face. I told you she didn't like the 4th.

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Here's hoping she learns to get it together. The 4th of July is one of our favorite holidays, afterall.

June 2011 kids

Honored privilege

Today was my 2nd interview for the PAT position. It went pretty well again. At the time, I felt that I confidently was able to discuss how I am flexible and can keep boundaries (ha, ha) and be professional. Then I got home and I started second guessing everything I said. The conversation runs through my head on repeat. I should have said this or I should have said that.

I suppose it doesn't matter though. An hour after I returned home, my cell phone rang.

It's time to break out the professional shoes because Mama's got a brand new job.

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I'm not going to lie. I am very anxious for all the changes that are about to take place. I am not at all nervous about the job, however. I think it will be a perfect fit for me. In fact, I am looking forward to the challenge of helping others be better parents. I want to be a better parent. I want to learn. It's exciting to think that I am going to be a resource in our community. I get the privilege of working with new Mamas and their babies. It's an honor really.

It's a big job to raise babies.

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On the flip side, I am greatly nervous about being away from my babies. 30 hours is a lot of hours. The very best part is that my work schedule will be extremely flexible. I can work evenings or even on the weekends or whenever is convenient for me and my families. I get two weeks for Christmas and Spring Break and a "relaxed" summer vacation. I get health care and a steady paycheck (yay!) and retirement and all the other grown-up crap that comes from working outside of the home.

I can do this. My kids are wild and annoying and I yell 24,439 times a day to eat in the kitchen and to stop jumping down the stairs and NO, NO YOU MAY NOT PLAY THE WII. Thank you. Have a nice day.

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Change and transitions are hard on everyone. I don't officially start work until the middle of July, so I fully intend on enjoying this last month of complete freedom. Soon enough school will start for Simon and preschool will begin again for Bennett. We'll hire a college babysitter if need be for Cora Bean. Eventually we'll find a groove and we'll all make it work.

Until then, I'll be at the swimming pool. I'll be the one surrounded by my (sometimes annoying but terribly cute) kids.

June 2011 kids

One is the loneliest number

I survived night number two without Matt's help in picking up Simon from school, entertaining the children, feeding the children supper, cleaning up after the children, bathing the children, reading to the children, and safely tucking the children into their beds.

Two nights alone. Three more nights to go. 

Pray that everyone survives the witching hours and remember to appreciate all the help spouses provide, please? I had to rock Cora Jane to sleep THREE times before I slipped away to the solitude of downstairs. The only sound I hear now is the hum of the baby monitor. I fought the urge to text Matt earlier and yell at him. His job provides for our family.

Two silly boys, one adorable baby girl, a big yellow shedding dog, a beautiful house, and a husband who loves me. I have it all.
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This picture is slightly out of focus but it so accurately depicts my baby- attached and on my hip at all times. I can not walk out of the room without listening to her scream in protest. My Mom likes to point out that this is exactly what I wanted: a child who needs and wants me.

Yes, perhaps. I also want a small moment of peace to poop in privacy.

Life is beautiful. Sometimes, right in the middle of all that is going on, I forget that the end result does not often match the picture we imagined for ourselves. When Bennett is whining about washing his hair and Simon is asking for medicine because he doesn't feel good (again) and Cora is crying because I put her down, I have to pause and take a deep breath. A big, big pause. It doesn't help to yell.

Or text Matt profanity.

Three more nights and he'll be back from Atlanta. It's hard to be without my partner.

June 2011 kids

With enthusiasm

I am here to interrupt my regular scheduling blogging of babies, boobs, and boys to bring you breaking news at PPo5, Inc.. (That's Pool, Party of Five Incorporated for the slower ones in the group.) Remember how my boobs were on the local news a few weeks ago? Right now PPo5, Inc is being featured on the Better Homes and Gardens website for my decorating skills.

BETTER HOMES AND GARDENS. Sweet little, 'ole me with my 300 daily hits.


Here is a screen shot:  

 Here is the live link: PARTY OF FIVE IS FAMOUS.
Call me crazy but is that not excellent?

I mean, seriously.

Months and months ago, I received an email from Better Homes and Gardens asking for my permission to use one of my pictures. I was asked to also enter a short description for them to use. I will note that this was all prior to the name change, which is just a minor detail if you ask me. Naturally, you are going to assume that BGH reads my blog, but please don't. I was only asked because I entered a link-up party at The Nester of my living room.



Honored, I tell you. Regardless of how they found me or why. I am HONORED to be included in their lineup of fall mantels. I also have an INCREDIBLE URGE TO BREAK OUT MY FALL DECORATIONS. AND PIE PLATES. AND FAUX PUMPKINS. AND WEAR SWEATERS. AND DRIVE WITH THE WINDOWS DOWN.

(Wait. I already am doing that. Thanks, mini-van a/c for crapping out on me. Too bad I didn't get paid to share my picture, cause I totally could use some money right now to fix the van.)

Anyways, feel free to go 'like' the page. Or please go like the page. It's your choice, of course.

And that's all I have to say about that currently.  It wasn't much, I know. 

It's just that now I have to go eat some HUMBLE PIE.
June 2011 kids

Meet Tulip

So, Internets, I've got somebody new that I want you to meet. The people here at Party of 5, Inc. were feeling quite lonely without our beloved Noah and decided it was time to do something about it. Many (many!) trips back and forth to the Humane Shelter brought nothing but despair. Noah is gone. He isn't coming back.

And while I don't believe Noah can ever be replaced, I do believe that hearts can heal. So, I am pleased to introduce you to the newest member of the Pool Party.

Miss Tulip
Meet Tulip

Tulip is a four month old, 3 lbs, 2oz, domestic short hair tortoiseshell and she is a doll baby. Due to an excess of cats, the Humane Shelter was literally giving them away. For free! (Well, technically we put some money down guaranteeing that we will spay her. NO BABIES FOR YOU, GIRLFRIEND.) So although we could have gotten a 100% free kitten from the newspaper, we couldn't turn our hearts away from this sweet little caged one. 

Besides, I've never had a tortie before. Did you know that torties are considered good luck in many cultures? Our luck has been pretty good lately. I couldn't imagine life any better than this.

Babies and kittens. How cute.
So far, Tulip is fitting in perfectly in our family. She is using her cat box (and she better!), cuddling in our laps, and purring all the time. She's pretty much BFF with any warm spot. Cora's bum bum, Lizzy's legs. She doesn't care. 
Tulip and Lizzy BFF 
We are keeping her indoors strictly for now. After having Noah for 11 years, I can't bear to lose another cat any time soon. Noah was a wonderful cat. So it goes without saying that Tulip has awfully big shoes paws to fill.

It feels good to know we saved her. But the truth is, she saved us from our broken hearts.

LJ has been a complete a-hole lately. I apologize to those that came to Party of 5 and got a white screen. LJ: get it together. I've got a blog to run.

Related: I still have diapers for sale. Although I spammed my blog out like a whore, only a few have sold. Buy my diapers!

Over and out.

June 2011 kids

Cora Jane's Birth Story

Two weeks and four days later, I am sitting down to type out Cora Jane's birth story. For those that don't care to read the whole story or see any pictures here is your SPOILER ALERT: I got the epidural. I don't regret it. I had ZERO complications. Also, CJ is beautiful.

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And that's the sweet story of how beautiful Miss Cora Jane came into our lives and changed our House of Boys into Pool, Party of Five: