Tuesday, February 25, 2014

You Find Out Who Your Friends Are


Chuck will know what I'm talking about. The rest of you can enjoy the show and know that you all are not who I'm talking about.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Somehow he dominates the picture.

This may be the best picture of George I've seen this year (and his cousin Amber is cute wearing his baseball helmet, too!).  He is so full of personality, it's ridiculous.

In other news, I love Luke and Evie to bits and pieces, but they don't let me take cute pictures anymore.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Giddyup! 2014

A few weeks ago we went to the rodeo.  It's smaller here in Fort Worth than in Texas, and there is no celebrity musical entertainment.  So, it's straight up cowboys.  It's more authentic, if you will.  I can't explain the way Fort Worth gathers around this event.  Not everyone goes to it, but most everyone goes.  It's amazing!  Even the opera people and the scientists, and the artists, and the bankers, and the businessmen.  All of them. They all go.  And the most amusing part is that they all "cowboy up".  Even, my husband.  He wears wranglers and a cowboy hat approximately one to two times a year.  But it's fun.  No doubt.  This year we introduced Amber to real cowboys.

And the kids watched the show without wiggling in their seats.  They loved it too!

And when we walked the grounds where the animals were kept, they wanted to pet the horses.

And the food is one of their favorite parts.  Cotton candy, snow cones, popcorn, corn dogs!

But the most surprising thing was when all three of my children stopped in their tracks while we were walking through the area with vendors and stared in fascination at the automatic sewing machine.  I had to drag them away.  Weird kids.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Ideal

Nobody's life is ideal.

Sometimes I forget that.  Especially when I see a beautiful mom with her perfect children getting into her spotless BMW so she can have a healthy dinner with her successful husband.  Do you know these people too?  Do you wonder how they get it all together?  I do.  For about thirty seconds.  And then I realize that they don't have it all together.  Nobody does.  Because nobody's life is ideal.

As much as I post on this blog and on facebook about my gorgeous children, my husband, my career, my family, and my life in general, it should be noted that not a single person in the entire world has an ideal life, including, and especially, me.

Sometimes I get comments from people who say they aspire to be like me, to live the life I live, to have a career and a family in the same way I do, or just ask in awe, "How do you do it all?"  I can't help but look at them like they are crazy and snort through my nose with disbelief.  The fact is that I don't do it all.  I don't have a perfect life.  My career isn't perfect.  And, of course, everyone knows my kids are far from perfect!  All you have to do is look at Evie's hair, or George's underwear, or Luke's school binder, to see that we are flawed.  We are journeying through this life just like everyone else.  There are struggles and trials and joys and successes, and sometimes more of one than the other.  And through it all, I try - note: I said "try" - to wear a smile everyday even when things aren't all roses and rainbows.  I won't deny that my life certainly has some wonderful aspects, but it's not perfect and it never will be.  Nobody's will be.  Despite that, I'm thrilled to be living this life (thorns and all), and I'm so glad you are a part of it!

Friday, February 14, 2014

"a force to be reckoned with, a soul on fire..."

I saw this article being passed around Facebook and I finally read it. 

"Words From a Father to His Daughter (From the Makeup Aisle) by Kelly M. Flanagan

I'm so glad I did.  It brought tears to my eyes.  Even though it's a letter from a father to his daughter, I recommend that every woman of every age read it.  It's spot on.

Most particularly, this line caught my attention, because it describes my sweet Evie better than I ever could:
When you have a daughter, you start to realize she's just as strong as everyone else in the house -- a force to be reckoned with, a soul on fire with the same life and gifts and passions as any man.
Truly, Evie is the fiercest person in our home.  I hope she stays that way.  We adore her!

Shakespeare got it right...

And when I wasn't looking, she took no less than 25 pictures of herself on my phone and a couple of videos too.  Here are some of the many faces of Evie.  (I predict that one day she will regret having taken these pictures!)

Love is in the air!


I threw in the "Saint" so I could say I'm being religious today.  Go me!

My day started out beautifully.  I was squeezed between big Chuck and little Chuck (aka George - because he had a bad dream) when the alarm went off, but the alarm was the playing of the song Return to Me by Dean Martin.  What a sweet start to my day.  And then big Chuck disappeared to get ready for the day (or so I thought) and left me to snuggle with George, until, to my surprise, he showed up with breakfast in bed!  Seriously?!  This guy is too much!  How did I score such an amazing man?  All I can say is that I'm so incredibly blessed.

Today, the kids are celebrating this sweet holiday with parties in each class at the end of the day.  I'm the homeroom mom for Luke's class, but will have to miss part of the party so I can pick up Georgie Porgie, since his class is dismissed at 2:50 and the other kids get out at 3:00. 

George is having an extra special day today.  All through the year, his class has been studying a letter each week, starting with A of course.  This week was the letter Q.  And to help the kids understand the sound that a Q makes ("kw"), they are doing something I've never ever seen before.  They are having a wedding today!  I think it is even being held in the church sanctuary.  The wedding is between Miss Q and Mr. U.  They originally asked George to be Mr. U, but he was opposed to the idea of marriage (I hope that doesn't last - although as a good Catholic mom, I suggested that he consider the priesthood - I consider my duty complete) so they graciously choose someone else.  Instead he will be one of the guests: a quarterback.  He is dressed in his Aggie jersey today.  According to George, some of the other guests include two queens and a "shusher" who says "shhh" all through the ceremony.  I think the shusher is actually a "quieter" or something to do with being quiet.  Do you see the trend?  I'd love to know all the other "guests."  In fact, I really wish I could be there to see it!  It sounds absolutely adorable!

Here is the invitation to the wedding that arrived yesterday. 

If you can't read it clearly, the cutest parts include a request that "gifts be in the form of Show-and-Tell objects that begin with the combination 'qu'" and that after the ceremony they "will be served wedding cake (in the form of Little Debbie's) and then ...wish the happy couple many blessings by blowing bubbles outside."  It is just too much!  I love it!

May you all have a very happy Valentine's Day too! 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Champagne Thursday or Throwback Thursday or both?

I'm feeling a bit like this right now.

I'll get over it.  After all, it's Champagne Thursday!
Plus, this is a great Throwback Thursday post, because that little boy is now this little boy:


Monday, February 10, 2014

Invention Convention is not for me.

I never regretted having multiple children until they started going to school and I started having to "help" them with their ridiculous school projects.  I have to say that I am particularly offended by first-grade projects that must be completed each six weeks and involve some sort of written and oral presentation with props.  Thank the Lord, I only have to do that one more year when George rolls into first grade.  Second grade has been my favorite year so far, and it may have to do with the amazing teacher Luke and Evie both have had.  She's been a blessing in our lives.  I swear.  Although, it certainly isn't without projects.

To be fair, fourth grade hasn't been that bad, and probably would have been much easier if I had a child like Evie going through it right now.  Truthfully, if Luke would just sit down and do the work, it wouldn't be the massive headache that it is.  I'm talking about things like the Accelerated Reader Program and the crazy vocabulary/spelling packages called Wordly Wise (not Worldly Wise - which is what I thought it was).  It's SAT prep.  Not kidding.  SAT prep...in 4th grade. 

Am I bitching about the fantastic education my children are receiving?  Uh...yes, I think I am.  Don't think I'm not grateful.  I am.  I just hate that I'm having to do the projects with them because the projects are so far above the kids' ability to do it all on their own.  Trust me, I've seen other kids' presentations - the ones where the kid was left to his/her own devices to complete it on their own.  It's not a good thing.  Not at all.  Kids really do need some direction and a guiding hand.  But that's all I think there should be.  Because I've also seen the projects that were completed 100% by the parent.  I've seen kids read type-written reports in teh 1st grade with words and phrases that could only have been put together by a parent.  I don't think the parents should be the ones coming up with the ideas, making them happen, and pushing them across the finish line. There.  I've said it.  Now let me tell you about this ridiculous thing called Invention Convention.

Invention Convention is a fabulous idea for overachieving kids, much like UIL, student council, and mathletes.  And for third-graders at my kids' school it is optional.  But for fourth-graders, it is required.  But, let me tell you what it is before I get too ahead of myself in this bitch fest.  Kids are required to participate in the school Invention Convention competition - and each student will get a ribbon for his/her invention.  It also counts as a science grade.  So, here's the deal: the "kids" have to invent something or innovate something.  (Sadly, I only really discerned the difference between these two terms after Luke reminded me - although, I did know what they meant, I just had never thought about it).  Unfortunately, the term "kids" more accurately includes the kids' parents. 

They came home with a 14-page packet containing a letter to the parents with attached instructions, rules, and forms.  I had to return a signed statement acknowledging my receipt of the information and the due date.  Um...yeah...pretty sure that means it is my project, not my son's.  Not to mention, there are typos in the packet concerning deadlines and dates (apparently left over from last year), so I give the science teachers a B- on this packet I'm required to abide by.  I digress.  Here are the requirements:
  • Students must come up with an invention or innovation;
  • Students must research the item to determine if there is anything out there like it, how it will work, how it will be built and marketed, etc.
  • Students must build a model of the item, not to exceed the dimentions of 3'x3'
  • Students must prepare a triptych (I never knew that's what a trifold Science Fair board was called until now.  I always called it a trifold presentation thingy.)
  • The triptich must include: a drawing of the product, a description of the product, an inventor's log detailing the process of the project, and "Something Else I Want You to Know About My Invention"
  • Cost cannot exceed $20, and must be documented in the log.
But, let me tell you that, as a lawyer, my absolute favorite part of this 14-page packet, is the hold harmless clause.  I am not kidding.  Check it out:  "It is clearly and fully understood that the student and his/her parent(s) or legal guardian(s) will hold harmless the Fort Worth Independent School District and its designees for any property loss or injury generated by or resulting from the entry."  Seriously?  What the hell happened in the past that caused the school to include an effing hold harmless clause?!  I'm totally going to find out how this originated, because I've never ever seen an elementarly school project assignment that included a hold harmless clause!

Moving on...

So, I put Chuck in charge of this project, since I had to work on Evie's second grade Heritage Project in which we also put together a triptych, researched our Polish heritage, gathered our family recipes, burned a CD of polka music to share with the class, and cooked Perogies to share with the class.  My second grade project earned Evie and A last week.  I'm so proud!  But, back to Chuck.  Clearly he was the obvious choice to be in charge of something that has to be built.  I mean, let's face it, I'm not mechanically, spacially, or mathmatically inclined.  This would have disaster written all over it if I had been in charge of such a thing.

So, here's Luke's invention (which has to be turned in annonymously for judging purposes, so let's hope the judges aren't reading my blog - yeah, right): The Room Pulley.

It's a pulley/rope system that helps kids make their beds especially for the top bunk of a bunk bed.  You know how hard it is to make the bed on the top bunk?  Yeah, so this is supposed to help you pull up the blankets without having to climb up on the top bunk and pull and stretch.  Chuck helped Luke make the model of a bed - even though I was all excited to borrow this pink and purple American Girl bed so that we could just attach the pulley and move on with our lives sans circular saw, sanding, and nailing. Bleh.

Instead, Chuck and Luke made this:

The "bed" with the blankets unmade.

The "bed" with me pulling the rope so that the blankets are "made".
So, whatever.  It's all done.  I glued the last piece of paper onto the triptych last night while nursing a glass of wine.  We dragged it across the finish line.  I'm so over Invention Convention.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Oh What A Beautiful Morning!

I had no idea it was supposed to snow today, so I was absolutely giddy when I noticed the flakes falling fast and furious outside during our morning get-to-school-as-fast-as-we-can-so-we-aren't-late-again ritual.

Of course, the kids were thrilled and ended up letting the dog out of the house - he ran wild in the snow and I can't send enough thanks heavenward for the fact that he came back to me without too much chasing around in the snow.

And on top of that we had to get Evie's Heritage project out the door.  Luckily she took the triptic to school yesterday, so all she had to bring today was a CD with polka music on it (we are soooo Polish!), a Christmas ornament made in Poland, and a hot dish filled with Perogies that Chucky Love baked up this morning (what a darling!) in addition to plates and forks.  Needless to say, it wasn't exactly the most efficient morning, but damn was it fun! 

I had a great time walking in the gorgeous snow!  It was perfectly beautiful and there wasn't any ice (other than the ice created when our sprinkler system ran as ususal this morning)!  It's snowing again as I type this, sprinkling the trees and street with a beautiful clean layer of snow.  We are hoping that there will be enough snow on the ground after school so that Evie can build a snowman.  (She's the only one intersted in playing in it at this point).  It's so lovely, that I actually considered taking the dogs for a walk this morning after I dropped off the kids. 

Instead, I just made the kids walk a block to school (since I had to park and get out to carry the perogies into Evie's classroom).  Evie was thrilled!  Luke was not.  In fact, he was rather pissed off that I made him walk to school ... in the snow...uphill...both ways.  Too bad I didn't make him do it barefoot! 

Sadly (although still amusing), he fell down when he tripped on the top step leading to his school's front doors. He coated his right side (especially his jeans) in snow which melted into cold water as soon as he entered the building. I swear I did not laugh...much. I did feel sorry for him (enough not to take a picture of his misfortune - and don't think I'm not cruel enough to do it), and I even took time to dust off as much of the snow as I could before he went to his classroom. Poor boy.

So, I really wish I could somehow capture the flurries that are falling outside, but my sad, ancient iPhone 4 just isn't up to the task. Still, here are some pretty white pictures.

And lucky for us, we still have our Christmas tree in the back yard, so we can experience it all over again 43 days after Christmas!  Chuck's procrastination pays off!

Happy snow day to all! Stay warm! Stay happy!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Ache

Oh, Sweet Jesus, I definitely have "The Ache".

Do you?

The Ache - by Sarah Bessey

Monday, February 3, 2014


I've been on a bender the last week, eating crappy food and drinking wine.  I feel terrible.  Yuck. 

At least the bender only lasted a week.  I can get back on that wagon and start feeling better soon.  Already worked out today.

So, things aren't terribly exciting around here, as you may have gathered from my lack of posting.  Truly, we are just riding out this winter and trying to get adjusted to all our numerous activities ranging from basketball, soccer, speech therapy, piano lessons, girl scouts, boy scouts, and the unbelievable amount of homework the kids have for school.  This last week we were assigned two major projects.  Second grade is working on presentations regarding their heritage - Evie chose Poland.  Fourth grade is working on the Invention Convention.  My little fourth grader has to invent or innovate something.  Let me tell you how thrilled I am about this project.  It is wearing my ass out.  And to top it off I've been handling some litigation contract work so last week, I basically billed like a full-time attorney and still had to manage all the stay at home mom duties.  Thank heaven my mom was here to help me in a pinch.

Hope the rest of you are enjoying your days and weeks.  Maybe I'll rouse myself this week and get back to my good ol' self.