Thursday, May 15, 2014


Happy 5th birthday to my big-hearted, larger-than-life Calvin. Love you always, my sweet Bub.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Curiouser and curiouser.

I think the most curious aspect of Audra's Curious George birthday party is why I failed to get any pictures after weeks worth of preparation.

No big deal, though. One of the things I've been trying to do this year is let the little stuff go.


You're welcome for that. And this.

Anyway, as you well know, I love planning parties for my kids. And friends. And anyone else who will let me. If event planning didn't require evenings and weekends, I'd be all over that job. But I am a detail-oriented control freak, and while that often results in nice-looking parties, it also results in anxiety and crazy making (for me and those who love me and especially those who live with me).

So. Even though I love it, it sometimes stresses me out. And that's stupid because birthdays are fun and parties are fun and no one cares about the exact angle of the drink bucket except me and I am honestly a bit of a whackadoodle. So I'm pushing myself to stop and walk away if party planning moves from love to stress.

I would say I did a pretty good job of that at this party. Almost everyone showed up before I was ready for them, which was no big deal. They wanted to help and I let them. In fact, the party started without me even realizing it, which is ultimately why I didn't get any pictures. It was just easy and fun and exactly what a kids birthday celebration should be.

I mean, I would have LIKED some pictures of everything looking perfect. But I guess if I had to choose I would rather just enjoy myself and my family and my friends and the ice cream sundae bar.

Because that happened, and it was glorious.

Unlike Audra's reaction to her party and everyone in attendance. Although her lack of reaction is sort of glorious in its own special way. 

It was fun. It was cute. Everyone crammed merrily into my tiny house and I got next to no pictures and my eye only twitched anxiously for a few seconds over the crooked drink bucket.

I'm breezy like that.

But I did try to recreate just a bit the next day. A tiny bit. I mean, it would be a real shame if Audra didn't have pictures of her second birthday party! Nevermind the fact that she isn't in any of them.

Curious George Birthday Party

Curious George Birthday Party Centerpiece

Homemade Curious George tablecloth

Curious George Birthday Party Ice Cream Sundae Cups

Popcorn boxes at Curious George Birthday Party

Curious George Party Garland

Curious George Birthday Party Coloring Book Favors

*Calvin's birthday is in two weeks. Guess what kind of party he's having?

Monday, March 10, 2014

February, we hardly knew ya.

Last post: January 29
Today's date: March 10

DARN YOU, TIME. Where are you going?

Obviously not to this blog. My poor little blog, lost in no-man's land. I keep debating whether or not to give it up. I love writing about life and motherhood, I love having a record of my children's lives. I hate feeling like it's just another to-do on my list. But it is. There's just not enough time for things like writing when you're raising littles and require 10 hours of sleep to function normally.

Also, when you spend your days writing for work, it's kinda hard to muster up any enthusiasm for writing for fun — especially after completing the two-hour dinner/bath/bed marathon, which leaves me about as tired as an actual marathon would.

Scratch that. An actual marathon would probably leave me dead.

The upside to my long bouts of blog silence is that I have lots to post when I return. Like how we took the kids sledding for the first time and their excitement made me so happy that my heart about burst. Thankfully, it didn't. But I did manage to injure my neck doing a snow angel. Don't ask. 

I also discovered Aldi and will never, ever go back to doing all my shopping at Super Target. I was hesitant to give it a try because I suspected it would feel a lot like shopping for groceries at the dollar store, but I was shocked by both the quality and the prices. And their organic products are the same price or cheaper than their non-organic counterparts at other stores. I'm their newest biggest fan. Go. Bring your own shopping bags and a quarter. And don't be alarmed if someone comes up to you on your way out and asks if they can have your quarter or your cart. The nice man I thought was robbing me was simply asking to swap his two dimes and a nickel for my quarter.

In February, I got to spend four glorious days with my besties. It was one of the most hilarious and fun times we've had together in recent memory (think forgotten keys and a lame attempt to dig out an entire lake cottage under four feet of snow with two babies in the car and one misshapen shovel). Oh, how I love and miss them. 

Calvin got three fish, and then tragically lost one of them a week later. Rest in peace, Nate (the fish)*. We've since added two new finned friends to the tank — Big Guy and Sharkie — who, as far as I know, are not members of the fish mob.

*An important designation in our house. Nate (the dad) is alive and well. 

We spent one of our (many) snowed-in weekends attempting to potty train Audra. Potty train = obsessively ask her if she needs to pee while she runs around the house naked. It went better than expected, but then she peed in four pairs of pants at school on the following Monday. They require everyone to wear pants and have other children to watch, so I can see where the success rate may have been slightly lower in that situation. We'll try again in a few months.

We laughed our heads off throughout The Lego Movie (we being me and Nate and all the other parents in the theater). Our kids enjoyed it, but they didn't always get it...I think Cal was just shy of really understanding some of it. Audra doesn't care what's on as long as there's popcorn.

Other miscellaneous items of note that future Abby may care to recall:

Cal and I are reading Little House on the Prairie together right now. I'd forgotten some things about these books. The racism, for example.

Audra keeps getting all bent out of shape and shrieking "Mattie scooped me!" every time the dog walks by. Scooped = licked and it's is my favorite thing ever. She is a sassypants.

We registered Calvin for kindergarten this week. He is so excited. We also signed him up for the summer program at the Y and two weeks of day camp. He's beyond ready for a change, so he'll be leaving his daycare/preschool at the beginning of June. I'm excited and sad and a little bewildered. Five years, gone. But what fun to have a big kid. And also: PTA! The pinnacle of motherhood for weirdos like me who love a good committee meeting. 

Okay. That covers February. And now that we're well into March, I'll try to get my act together.

You've heard that one before.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

December baby.

Audra turned two on the 27th, while we were in Illinois for Christmas with my parents. We had a sweet, simple day of celebrating our big girl: a trip to see Frozen, games, cupcakes, and presents.

Nana let her lick the frosting.

Happy girl.

Hours of entertainment.

Birthday lovin' from Nana and G-Pop.

Her trademark nervous eye rub.

Dad did the honors.

Time for a checkup. Good thing we know all these nurses.

Dr. Audra taking care of her baby.

Shots for dad.

Rocking Tiny Baby.

I'm thankful every day for the little brown-eyed love who made our family whole. What an incredible blessing it has been to watch her grow these last two years...the fastest, sweetest years of my life.

Happy birthday, Peanut Butter.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Holly and jolly and whatnot.

January 20th. Here I am, eeking in all these Christmas pictures just under a month late. Considering our life lately, I'm gonna go ahead and call that a success.

Donut the elf returned on December 1. He brought these slightly dazed children some breakfast. And a warning.

We baked cookies. And exchanged them. And then threw a bunch out, which is what I do every year.

Got a tree, and decorated/acted silly in front of it.

Got this incredible gift in the mail from a sweet friend who is far too crafty for my taste but whom I adore anyway.

 Someone met Santa for the first time (whoops) and loved him.  

That same someone adorned the teacher gifts with what I have to assume are holiday dinos and made his mama laugh.

The kids had their Christmas pageant and the whole pregnant star thing came full circle as I stood on the same stage in the same costume with my baby girl in my arms instead of my belly.

Took the kids to see Llama Llama Holiday Drama, their first live theater experience.

Got dolled up for Christmas Eve services.

(And my baby girl aged two years in one picture. Waaah.)

We also took some sweet pics in the extremely flattering church atrium lighting.

Santa came. 

And not just for the kiddos. 

All was calm, all was bright. At least as far as I remember. It was a month ago, after all. 

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