Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Up and attem.

This is what I look like right when I wake up. I know, I know, Bryan's a lucky guy. But give me 10 minutes after my coffee cup is empty and I swear things get much better. Color comes into my cheeks and some of the bags under my eyes do actually subside.

Relevance? ...oh yeah. We are on day three of Spring Break madness. This morning we went swimming. As in I took all three kids swimming by myself and no one drowned or was even rescued by the lifeguard. So, moments after I glanced at myself in the mirror of my bedroom and took a super-flattering picture I was stuffing bathing suits and towels into a bag and booking it for the door before our day got off on a tangent.

We were at the pool by 9am and swam for 2 hours. Then I even showered each boy, lotioned them and dressed them in clean clothes. Oh yeah. I even stopped at Starbucks on the way home and got them each a yummy sandwich. I have three wiped out, clean, fed boys on the couch right now... I rock!

I took them all to the movies yesterday, but then our day nosedived after that. I blame the bag of sour patch kids they devoured at 10am. :)

We don't have any big plans for the afternoon... I better figure something out quick!

Monday, March 28, 2011


Saving a couple to maybe use for his maybe Cowboy themed second birthday party. It's not until July, so I've still got plenty of time to decide and to take more pictures :)
It's amazing how the lighting changes when the sun peeks out for a minute.
Yay for a little bit of sunshine on a day that started out snowing!

Our first day of Spring Break is wrapping up and I'd call it a success! We had to spend an hour at Discount Tire this morning getting a nail removed from one of my tires. But we finished up there just in time to head over to open play at gymnastics for over an hour of running wild. Then Subway for lunch and home for the remainder of the day filled with all three boys playing together splendidly. Seriously. It was spooky how well they played today mostly in Warren and Jack's room with the windows open and legos everywhere :)

Tomorrow's plan is to go to the movies... I have to admit that I am looking forward to seeing the second Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie just as much as they are!

Friday, March 25, 2011

On My A Game.

It's like I have The Force or something.

Lately I have been feeling so "with it."
And for all the times I totally do not feel that way, I figure it is worth sharing.

::Warren is doing so well in school, I am so proud::
::So is Jack! Check out this super long fruit loop necklace he made::
::Even my bulbs are blooming that I planted last Fall::
::All my guys have been doing lots of man bonding lately::
::I can see my love of photography wearing off on Warren in particular, check out this picture he took the other day... I love sun flare!::
::We have a house project underway!::

The microwave/hood combo is down! Good riddance!

And the new hood is up. It seriously moves some air and takes odors etc right outside!
We still have to finish some tile work and install the pot filler faucet, then it is all done!

::I'll spare you a picture, but potty training is going really well. We continue to have enough successes that I am staying energized to keep up the very exhausting and tedious tasks associated::

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Toilet Training, Chapter 2

***I will be adding pictures to this post as soon as I have time!**

As soon as the novelty of Chapter 1 starts to wear off (you'll know by the onset of resistance and your child no longer wanting to sit on the toilet for the 4-5 minutes stretches as before, which is actually a good thing!), which is usually around day 4, a trip to the store is in order!

Buy a little potty chair and let your child pick out a package of underwear and get a special kind of treat (for us it is dum-dum suckers) but don't let them see the treat yet.

Head home and set up shop.

Set the potty chair up in the living room and round up a few of your child's favorite stuffed animals or dolls. Get a sippy cup with a little bit of milk in it.

Then model the following: pick up a doll and say "oh are you thirsty? okay here drink some milk!" Give the doll a sip and then say "oh do you need to go pee on the toilet now? okay sit on the toilet!" After a few seconds pick the doll up excitedly and exclaim "Good Job! You went pee! Wow!" etc...

Stand back and watch in amazement as your child then proceeds to potty train all of the rest of the stuffed animals and dolls by himself!

Well, at least the above is what my day looked like today. Nolan's following visit to the toilet after potty training his animals was a complete success! He peed right away and both his Daddy and I were there to congratulate him and Daddy produced the special treat for him.

Nolan then said "bye bye pee pee" and flushed the toilet. He was in a big hurry to get back downstairs to the living room and play "potty training" with his toys.

Just for the record this book is totally getting written as we go, as in I have no idea what Chapter 3 is! :)

Tids and Tads

It all happened so fast... a casual conversation in the breezeway at the school and suddenly I am the Secretary of the PTA. Okay, then! This will be good!

I got my cholesterol (and lots of other things) tested for our new Life Insurance Policy. This is my second time getting it tested and it is still low! Overall is 137 MG/DL, and normal range is 140-200 MG/DL. Nice to know my diet of lots of whole grains a plenty of veggies is doing good to offset all the meat and other things we eat. Cholesterol is something I will be mindful of as I get older with all the heart disease in my family.

I am mailing out Jack's Spring school pictures... and I find it a little ridiculous that they do school pictures in the Fall AND the Spring. Had I known I wouldn't have ordered his Fall one's as they were not great. Live and learn...

I have been up since 2:30 this morning -- don't ask. I had this great productive day planned but now I am just hoping to not die of exhaustion instead. I came down and 5:30 and made bacon and eggs and English muffins, kinda like a big hangover breakfast... but not! Ha!

As much as I've been against them ever since Warren used his to store his matchbox cars in, I think I will get Nolan a little potty chair to keep downstairs. It may be more comfortable for him to try to poop on with his feet able to touch the ground. Nothing like candid potty training talk, right? :)

I am dressed again today!  And the boys rode their bikes to school today for the first time this Spring.  I love seeing them all bundled up with their helmets on riding ahead of me pushing the stroller.  Such a good feeling!

[don't mind my messy room, it is the most neglected room in the house by far]

::I love Juicy Couture from Nordstrom Rack (fun and afordable!) -- this zippy is so comfy and warm and long.  The jeans are Kut from the Cloth, they are okay, nothing special::

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Toilet Training, Chapter 1

We have been at it for a few days, and it is going along just as I recall from the last two times. Bummer, turns out Nolan is not a potty training prodigy and this is sure to be a somewhat rocky road until he is done.

This week is all about increasing his awareness with all things pee and poop.

Why now?

So glad you asked! The weather is warming up; so lots of opportunity to be outside (I'm sure you can guess why that is helpful), and next week is Spring Break so we will be home a lot more without running back and forth to school etc, and because it just feels like the right time to start.

How is it going?

Pretty well, actually! I am even impressed with myself and my patience and persistence. I really do feel like I am a bit of an old pro at this, and that is encouraging!
What are you doing, as in what method of toilet training?

I call it the cold turkey method. As in quitting diapers cold turkey, with the exception of at night for a while. He is in underwear from the time he waked up until he goes to sleep. I take him and set him on the toilet at least once per hour. Now, all clean up activities take place in the bathroom and he is very much aware of his messes in his underwear, since he has to step out of his underwear and we either feel the wet mess or dump the solid mess in the toilet together.

He has pooped in the toilet once so far and peed once only because I poured warm water over him to make him go. So, yeah, not a lot of success yet but he is becoming oh so much more aware of his body and its functions.

When he has peed on the floor he says "pee" and he knows all the other pertinent words too, so we are good there.

I give him a sticker on his hand each time he sits on the toilet. Now to be fair he has been eating them (they are very small) but whatever, I think he gets that it is a reward for sitting on the toilet.

His big brothers are very encouraging telling him he is a big boy wearing underwear and showing him when they use the toilet. So much family fun happening in the bathroom! :)

This is roughly the same age as the other two started and he has to be completely potty trained by his third birthday to start preschool in the Fall of 2012. Seems far away, but really I know it will be here in a flash!

Dressed for the Day #1

Honestly, I don't know what's harder, taking pictures of yourself in a mirror or trying to capture my super light tattoo... oh well, here ya go!

::Front view::
::Back view::
::The shoes::

::The tattoo::

Love this outfit!

I am such a sucker for details... I love the back pocket detailing of these Citizens of Humanity jeans I bought second hand, and I love the color combo of chocolate brown, turquoise (yes I know it looks green in these crappy pictures) and cream, and I love the keyhole cut-out in the back of this shirt, and the fact that the shirt is a little longer than normal, and the brown patent leather peep-toe wedge shoes are one of my favorite pairs that just don't get worn nearly enough.

All told, I feel great to be dressed for the day! It makes me want to eat a healthy lunch and maybe even put on some lip gloss and a pair of earrings. Oooh-lala!

It feels weird to talk so much about myself, so next up -- lots of pics of Nolan outside in his big boy briefs! :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I'm sure you know by now...

...that if I'm absent from here, it means there is something or things unusual going on in my life.

This latest little hiatus is no exception.

I am turning a new leaf!

Cleaning out my closet big time. After three years of staying home, I am finally liquidating a lot of my professional wardrobe. It has freed up so much space for, ya know, the real clothes I wear on a daily basis to actually have a place in my closet and I just feel so much more settled. All of this in effort to actually put more effort into myself each day and the image I am presenting to my kids and those I come in contact with... on the rare occasion I actually leave the house. Ha!

Seriously though, I am just a little sick of wearing grungy sweats and looking dumpy ALL the time. It's bad enough that I drive the sweat pants of the automotive industry right? I should at least step out of the minivan looking surprisingly hip and cute!

I went shopping too! Got some great spring looks... will debut them here maybe if I can get my act together enough to remember to take a quick picture in the morning :)


I am potty training Nolan! He is 20 months and at a very good age for being malleable and compliant. So far so good! This week is all about introduction. He is being introduced to his underwear, sitting on the toilet, feeling wet, and learning to say all the necessary words out loud. He is doing well enough that I actually took him out to dinner at a restaurant wearing his little underwear instead of a diaper. He doesn't want to pee in them and seems to get that they are not going to keep him dry and comfy like a diaper. I would LOVE to have him toilet trained by the end of the Summer -- we'll see.


Working out twice per week at the gym and twice at home. Trying really hard to limit portions and knock out these last few pounds of pregnancy weight. I'm sure I'll get pregnant again right when I accomplish that :) That would be just fine!


Man, two days in Vegas takes a toll! I am STILL recovering from my sunburn, it is now a rashy mess... gotta love how I "tan." I have healing blisters on my feet and it was a slight set back to work off the calories from all that beer and fancy martinis. At least the tattoo is finally healed. Oh yeah, need to post a picture of that too!

Until tomorrow...

Thursday, March 17, 2011


I took Warren out for a little impromptu portrait session this evening.

He did pretty well, and I think I may use the best ones for his 7 year old birthday mailer... so here are some that didn't make the cut:
[it is still crazy to me that I have a child that reads chapter books]
[he has THE most sensitive eyes to sunlight, poor kid can barely keep them open even with overcast, makes it hard to capture his beautiful blues]
[feeling more comfortable in the woods than posing on a chair, oh well...]

I am SO tired, don't know why I'm still awake right now. Oh yes, maybe it has something to do with the laffy taffy I ate after dinner. Mmmm sugar :)

Anyhow, I cannot wait to compile "The Warren Report" this year! There are so many things to record... what a year it has been for him. Can't believe he is turning 7 in just a few months...

Busy in a Good Way

Like counting my blessings in this beautiful life.

And playing "bank" with Warren in his huge fort in the loft.

And happily scheduling a few upcoming portrait sessions and excited to put more effort again into that little endeavor.

And watching as our Summer slowly fills up with trips and plans and projects.

And checking things off my to do list nearly as fast as I can write them down - the Spring weather has energized me and things are getting done!

Planning to take Warren out for his 7 year old portrait session this evening. He won't be 7 until June but he just got a haircut yesterday and I am feeling lucky :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Las Vegas 2011

We've had a lot of good weekend trips over the years.
But this past weekend in Vegas trumps them all in my opinion.
(I'm sure Bryan would agree.)

We jam packed every minute with activity and conversation and lots of kisses, since it came out of one of our many conversations that kissing often goes by the way side in marriage and neither of us like that. Yep, give us each a couple of cocktails and the conversations get super meaningful and deep, ha! :)

We flew out of Denver very (very very) early Friday morning. We were immediately greeted with perfect 70+ degree weather and walked past so many water fountains and falls like these that they almost became commonplace in my peripheral vision.

I had decided a couple days prior to this trip that I was going to finally get a small, tasteful (if there is such a thing) tattoo of something meaningful while in Vegas. It made sense, we got married there - it is where we started this journey, that has now led to three little sons.

We found a really classy joint:

I nearly chickened out a hundred times, but did go through with it and got three little suns on my inner left wrist in white and light yellow ink. It hurt. A lot.

I realize I am leaving this post hanging by not publishing a picture of it just yet, but it is not ready to be photographed yet, I promise once it is all healed I will.

We did a tiny bit of shopping...

[got the most adorably sexy new skirt]
...and then ate lunch at Burger Bar (of course), where I had a delicious Bloody Mary and said "cheers" for the first time of the trip:

...and then ate the most fantastic dinner at "The Range" (I love scallops!) and then went to see "O" to wrap up our first day in Vegas.

It was a long fun day.

Saturday we slept in! All the way til about 8:30 - whoohoo! Then we went down to the cardio room at our hotel and worked out for a bit. We had coffee and then went to the pool for several hours. It was really hot out, much more so than I had anticipated. I am still nursing my sunburn (when will I learn), but the time just rushed by when the "drink guy" kept bringing me Bloody Marys. Time seemed to stand still... and I didn't even have to tip him!

Once we got ourselves pulled together and showered for the day, we walked around and bought the kids some fun souvenirs from the M&M store.

I couldn't resist this photo op:

...before riding the roller coaster at NY, NY with my eyes open for the first time ever on a roller coaster. It was a blast!

I can't leave out how utterly unimpressed Bryan was with the high end shops on the strip. Here he is swigging his beer outside of Luis Vuitton, right after he actually asked where the clearance rack was at Gucci. It was funny.

We wrapped up Saturday with dinner at a restaurant at our hotel (Mandalay Bay) and hanging out at House of Blues, listening to live local bands and drinking some cold beer.

Slept in again and hit the gym again on Sunday.

Then I tried a Bento Box for lunch (was thinking a lot about Japan and the people who's language I studied for 6 years). It was a fun concept!

Then it was time for me to head to the airport and Bryan to head to his conference at another hotel, where he'll be until later this week.

Bryan must have been really having withdrawals from not gambling in Vegas while I was there, because I had barely gotten out of my taxi at the airport when he sent me these two pictures:

I think he is incredibly lucky at these things, but as he'll tell you, you have to actually play to get lucky.

At any rate, I left feeling just as lucky for the intimate, fun weekend with just us.

Dinosaur Dioramas

Dinosaur Club is over. It actually finished last week, but I am behind here.

I am busy assimilating back into reality from an epic weekend in Vegas.
More to come on that!
Anyhow, back to my point; I don't get too much positive feedback in this line of work, staying home with my brood of boys. Sure, they tell me frequently how much they love me and that I'm "the best mom ever" and I sometimes beam with pride at their school work as if it were my very own. And of course Bryan tells me almost daily that I am a great mom, but that's kinda like your mom telling you how pretty you look on the first awkward day of Junior High, right? {wink!}

So I totally soaked up the kids and parents thanking me and praising me for my creativity and energy in doing these after school clubs. I know that when I do something, I do it well. It felt good to have that recognized by others. Sometimes I miss that feeling from working outside the home.

But what felt even better is seeing Warren and Jack's finished dioramas and how proud they are of them. Watching them play with their little dinosaurs, setting up scenes, and carefully closing the lids to carry them home.
[see how proud he looks with his?... that's how I feel too!]
It's all very worth it! And I may just be able to be talked into a Geology Club next year ;)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Chemical Engineer turned Domestic Engineer

I never saw it coming.  Never once had entertained the idea in my childhood or early adulthood that I would not work, not pursue a career, or *gasp* write "housewife" under occupation on a form. 

I usually shake my head and laugh when I explain to people that I spent 6 tortuous years in college earning a bachelors and masters degree in Chemical Engineering. 

Why Engineering? Is your father an Engineer?

I have no Earthly idea, no my father is not an Engineer.  My best answer is that my track coach was also my A.P. Chemistry teacher and he told me Chemical Engineering was the hardest undergraduate degree and that there weren't many women in Engineering. And he even pointed me to an Engineering school in Colorado where I could run Division II track most likely with a scholarship. 

Off I went.

That was 14 years ago. 

I wouldn't change a thing.  I am proud of my degrees and I'm sure that my studies have made me better at working through stress, critical thinking, multitasking, and problem solving - all of which are valuable to my current "job." 

But sometimes, just sometimes, I wish that someone along the way had at least even made the tiniest mention of the possibility of being a Domestic Engineer.  Maybe then it wouldn't have felt like such a colossal leap into crazy-ville like it did 4 years ago. 

Don't get me wrong, it's great this world we live in today where women have every opportunity as men and there is far less sexism and type-casting than there probably ever has been.  But really, it does make it hard for the modern woman/stay-at-home-mom to rectify what she has believed success to be and look like for 27 years, with what she now knows success truly is for her.

(See Disclaimer now at the bottom of this post if your blood pressure just spiked.)

A happy home.
The size of family you want, not what is dictated by the dual income lifestyle.
The satisfaction of making hard sacrifices to make "it" work.
The single income lifestyle isn't all that easy these days.
I get that.
I know I am lucky to even have the chance at all do make this choice.

Success is different for us all.
Staying home all day with three little testosterone factory tyrants isn't for everyone.
But sometimes when I glance over at my diplomas hanging on the wall I mostly feel like what I truly got at that school was an awesome husband and Father to my children.
It is antiquated, I know.
And it's certainly not what I went looking for, but I wouldn't change a thing.
I DO NOT think staying at home is harder, better, produces better kids, etc than any other option.  I worked and my kids went to daycare for 5 years.  I will most likely return to work someday.  I am not preachy, just a momma who is blissfully happy to have these years at home with her kids. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

And now I've seen it all...

{A honey bear purchased two days ago and already halfway gone. Nolan carries it around giving it kisses. Jack takes shots straight out of the bottle. Warren is the most civilized thus far, taking a little homemade corn bread with his honey.}
{Lego and Harry Potter have collided into the most disturbing result, in my humble opinion. It takes a lot to make me gasp at anything caught standing on my counter top and this little creature did the trick!}
{Finally tested negative today. I would have been out of the first trimester by now, and instead I am rejoicing that the pregnancy hormone is now out of my system. I still feel terrible disappointment some days over it, but I am at least happy to be able to say I had a miscarriage, instead of I am having a miscarriage. Time heals all. And so does an upcoming weekend away with just my Man. Can't wait!}

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Spoiled Much?

The good news is... they don't know they are spoiled since they have nothing to compare to right?

Going to our local ice cream parlor is one of our favorite family treats!

We avoid artificial food colors all week in order to afford ourselves something totally, unabashedly, unnaturally, obnoxiously... BLUE! :)
[Could Nolan's eyes and mouth open any wider?]
["'sup, Mom?"]
["just gonna set this bad boy down and take a break for a sec."]
["before changing it up and going for the bottom up approach."]
["it's messier and I get to eat the cone first, perfect!"]

...all in moderation...

Plus, Jack totally went for purple this week anyhow :)


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