Thursday, May 31, 2012

Six Wedded Years in the Blink of an Eye

This coming Sunday is our six year wedding anniversary which got me thinking back on our wedding day. We were engaged for only three months before we said “I do.” I didn’t need a long engagement with a big, fancy wedding. After all, I had done that before and never ended up walking down the aisle. So we had a very small wedding with only 35 close family members attending. We rented out the function room of a local restaurant for an afternoon lunch (mainly so that my mother who was not in great health could easily attend). It was a rainy day and the officiant (my good friend from college) was almost two hours late due to a bad accident that had closed down part of the highway. Even with that hiccup, the day was perfect. I can remember other people kind of frantic about the delay while I casually sipped champagne. I looked amazing, I was surrounded by the people I loved the most, and was marrying the man I knew that I was meant to be with. What was there to be stressed about? The ceremony (although late) went off without a hitch and the rain cleared up enough for us to be able to take pictures outside. The day flew by and it was the start of our happily ever after. 

Oh, and I can still remember our vows! "I, Diane take you Tim to be my husband, my partner in life, and my one true love. I will trust you and respect you, laugh with you and cry with you, loving you faithfully through good times and bad. I give you my hand, my heart, and my love, from this day forward for as long as we both shall live." 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A New Visitor In Our Yard

As I’ve talked about before Daniel is obsessed with birds so last month we put up a couple of bird feeders. I had to take one of them down because it was a losing battle with the squirrels but the other one has been a huge success. We get tons of birds that are all different varieties. They are not even scared away when Daniel yells “BIRD! BIRD! BIRD!” at them. They have just become used to the screaming toddler and continue on with their business. So as if the ongoing bird show out the window is not enough excitement for Daniel we know have a new visitor…

A Turkey!

All the kids are pretty excited about our new feathered friend. He’s been strolling the neighborhood alone for the last few days but I can only imagine that one day I’m going to walk out the door to find an angry gang of turkeys blocking my car. Until then at least Tom the Turkey is providing some free entertainment for the kids.

I'm off to get my friends. We'll see ya soon.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A Very Unexpected Find in the Woods

I decided the kids and I should enjoy the beautiful weather today and have a picnic lunch and go for a walk at a local state park. I ended up rushing lunch short because the spiders, inch worms, and bugs were out of control there. I mean I get it, it’s nature and all but can’t they leave just one picnic table alone for me to enjoy?! Anyway, so after potty trip number two we headed off down the trail to explore nature at its finest. The kids loved running in the woods, collecting sticks, throwing rocks, and watching the water. The "highlight" of my day though was finding an elderly man on the ground on one of the paths. At first I thought he was just sitting taking pictures because he had a camera around his neck. Upon further evaluation and seeing his belongings scattered around it was clear that he had fallen and wasn’t able to get up on his own. Lucky for him, I’m an old pro at helping the handicapped get around (shout out to my Mom!) so after a few attempts I was able to help him back up to his feet. I then handed him back his cane, gathered his items, and helped him back to his car (which had handicapped plates). Conveniently, he had parked nearby basically in the middle of the woods on a path where I am 99% sure that you are not allowed to park. I can just see this man’s family telling him to stop taking his elderly, handicapped, cane ridden body out to the middle of the woods to take pictures of birds and him flat out saying no. The thing about old people is that they are stubborn. God love them. But it turns out the real lucky person of the day was not the injured stranger who I helped but it was actually me because when I was helping the man this is what my kids were doing…

It’s a MIRACLE that one of them didn’t end up in the water. Karma at its finest!

Three happy, dry kids!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mommy Bear Media: Family Friendly Movies

We’ve recently started a tradition of Movie Night at our house. We do it up with bean bag seating, popcorn, candy, and all the works. The kids get a big kick out of it and ask constantly when we can have the next movie night. I try to choose a new movie each time that both big kids will like (and won’t put the hubs and I to sleep!). It can sometimes be tricky so I was super excited to learn about Mommy Bear Media. They only offer family friendly movies including some of the best new movies on DVD. I can easily search their site to find movies that are a great fit for us and a great price. I love that I can search by Rating, Top Picks, and even by Age. I also love that Mommy Bear Media is a small, Mom owned business. Us moms need to stick together!
For our most recent movie night, I chose Lilo and Stitch. I ordered the movie on Wednesday and it was waiting in my mailbox on Friday with…wait for it…wait for it…FREE shipping! Doesn’t get much better than that. The kids loved the movie. It was just the right mix of aliens (for the boys) and adorable cuteness (for the girls). We’ll definitely be watching it (over and over) again.

So go check out Mommy Bear Media and order a movie today. Be sure to also check out their Facebook page and tell them Dollops sent you!

*As a Premiere Blogger for Mommy Bear Media, I received a coupon for a free movie. All opinions are my own.*

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Warning to All Visitors to our House

Please ignore the…
Cheerios on the floor,
Crayon on the wall,
Sticky substance under the table,
Dust bunnies who have made our home their home as well,
Fingerprints on the windows,
Endless toys under your feet, and
Dirty dishes in the sink.
Happy, healthy children are hard at work and we are busy making memories. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

Four Year Olds Don’t Lie

Isabelle’s preschool had an adorable Mother’s Day brunch for us yesterday. The kids sang us songs, made and served us lunch, and presented us with presents. It was super cute. Each child also made a placemat for their mom with questions on it that they had answered…


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What I Really Want For Mother’s Day

  1. I would like eight hours of deep, continuous sleep. I want eight hours where I don’t wake up once when a kid coughs or turns over loudly. I want eight hours where no one is up during the night going potty. I want eight hours of silence. I want eight hours where my brain is completely turned off. Sleep – deep, perfect sleep.
  2. I would like a day where I sit alone on the couch all day in my comfy clothes watching endless crappy tv and surfing the internet. There are no children around anywhere and I feel no guilt.
  3. I would like a day where I don’t have to feed the children anything. No constant requests for snacks, no planning what to serve for meals, no arguing about eating healthy foods, no debating over whether they can have dessert or not. Sorry kids, kitchen is closed.
  4. This one might be a bit far-fetched but I would like one of those instant shower and dressing machines like on the Jetsons. Not having to bathe or dress the children – can you imagine? No arguing about who has to take a bath with who, no breaking up fights when one child inevitably dumps water on the other one’s head, no cleaning up gallons of water on the bathroom floor, no shampoo in the eyes, no wrestling squirming toddlers to get in to clothes, no mismatched socks. It.sounds.perfect.
  5. I would like to fast forward the bedtime routine. The kids are great about going to bed but the process of getting them there seems to take forever. Between PJs, potty trips, a diaper change, three sets of teeth needing brushing, finding all favorite stuffed animals, arguing over who Tim and I are going to carry up the stairs and who has to walk, it just seems to draggggggggggggggggg. I want to be able to just hit the fast forward button on this and catch up on the time by pausing it when they are asleep. There is nothing more wonderful than watching a beautiful, sleeping child in their bed (especially when they were a complete monster during the day). 
Daniel and Henry scour the internet to find the perfect present. Little do they know Mommy just wants time away from them!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rules to Follow Before Giving Hand-me-downs

I love hand-me-downs. I will happily accept used clothes, toys, baby gear, and anything else that you want to throw my way. Once I’m done using the items I will then pass them along to the next lucky recipient. When passing on used items there are some general rules that I follow that I would think would be pretty universally known. However, the more hand me down items I receive, the more I realize that people are not aware of the rules so I thought I would share here. Without further ado, I give you the top four rules to follow when giving someone hand-me-downs.

  1. Size Matters – When you tell me you have a bag of 2T boys’ clothes that you are looking to get rid of. Do you know what I expect to be in the bag? 2T boys clothes – BINGO! I don’t expect a random assortment of clothes from newborn to size 4 for both boys and girls. At that point, I am not appreciative of your generosity with sharing your clothes. I’m cursing you for making me waste my time sorting through clothes that I don’t need/want. Have a random bag of clothes that you are looking to dump without sorting? Well then donate the entire bag to a local charity. I guarantee you that they will not be shouting expletives while going through the bag.
  2. Stains, Holes, Rips Need Not Apply - I get it – stains happen. I know. I have three small kids. Although I have no problem seeing stains on other children, I generally try to limit the stains on my own children’s clothes. Holes are sewn and ripped clothes are turned into rags. Now do I think everyone needs to be anal like I am? No. Am I completely offended when you give me a bag of clothes and some clothes have a few stains on them? No. However, it’s the bags that 75%+ of the contents are VERY well worn then I’d just appreciate a heads up. I can then politely decline your clothes and you can pass them along to someone else. 
  3. Your Trash is not my Treasure - Looking to get rid of some toys that your kids have outgrown? Fabulous, I’d love to take them. I’d just appreciate it if you could give me all the pieces to the toys and discard the broken ones. There’s nothing worse than the kids seeing a big box of toys only to discover that half the puzzles are incomplete, toys are broken with jagged pieces of plastic jetting out of them, and the Barbies have no heads. Have a box like this that you’re looking to get rid of? Please present it as, “I have a large box of trash that might contain two or three salvageable toys in it. Would you like to have it?” You can imagine what my answer will be.
  4. A Little Soap Goes a Long Way - Kids are gross and toys get dirty. I know. Hand-me-down toys do not need to be spotless and I’m not expecting you to wash the toys before you give them to me. However, when you are giving me a box of INDOOR toys they should not be covered in grass and leaves. That right there is the dead giveaway that you have given me a box of junk from your garage. Oh, the dead spiders at the bottom of the box also seal the deal.

So all that being said, whose got some hand-me-downs for me?!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Real Shoe-tastrophe

I used to love shoes, but now they are my nemesis. I feel like I spend half my day cleaning up and organizing them. When we walk in our house (through the kitchen), we immediately take our shoes off. This is currently what beside the door looks like:

Even the pretend broom is disgusted by the situation and trying to clean it up

I have no control over them. We have a shoe rack but they never stay in there. Between kids throwing them out when looking for another pair, Daniel playing with them, and the quantity just being ridiculous, I feel like there is no hope. The rule (which is clearly broken) is that each person can have no more than two pairs of shoes downstairs at once. Of course, it always happens that when there are sandals there that we need rain boots or when we have sneakers down, we need dress shoes. Then as I’m trying to run out the door with the kids, I’m back upstairs (with the kids following me) searching in the closest for the right shoes. Then when we get home those shoes never immediately end up back upstairs and shoeapalooza continues. Before we know it the entire kitchen is covered in shoes. It is a losing battle. 

Shoes- That's your home. Are you too good for your home?!

I’m thinking of getting a big basket/bucket/bin that I just throw all the kids’ shoes in. The problem is that I know that is only going to cause me other headaches. Henry will never be able to find a matching pair of shoes. Daniel will empty the basket and sit inside it. Isabelle will complain that her shoes aren’t neat enough or that the boys’ shoes got hers dirty. 

What is a girl to do?? I'm open to suggestions!

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