Monday, April 30, 2012

Time Is On My Side

I'm in a hurry to get things done
Oh I rush and rush until life's no fun
All I really gotta do is live and die
But I'm in a hurry and don't know why

Can't be late, I leave in plenty of time
Shakin hands with the clock
I can't stop
I'm on a roll and I'm ready to rock

This has been my theme song...forever.

I have a checklist in my head that must be completed and it needs to be done now.

But why?

The subject of time has been on my mind constantly this week.

At first it was regret, time wasted on a year of Kindergarten that has to be re-done.  Time that I lost sending him to school everyday when he could have been home with me.  On Thursday, I was ready to pull him out of school for the year and say f**k it.  But there are only 20 days of actual school left and we have fun things coming up. Like Field Day....I'm the coordinator.

On Saturday night, I was deep in thought and writing in Alex's journal.  I was trying to explain our choice in a way that he'd understand when he reads it someday; when he's an adult.  I wanted him to know how much we wanted the best for him.

And then it hit me like a ton of bricks!

By having him go to Kindergarten again, I'm giving all of us the gift of time.

Another year to learn and grow. 
Another year with him at my table, on my couch....under my roof. 
Another year to be a family before he heads off into the world and starts his own life.  
Another year to be WITH him.

I was so worried about what he'd be missing out on....that I forgot about everything we'd be gaining.

A year.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


It always good to hear that your son is sweet, kind and cooperative.  That he is excited to learn and is never a problem.

It's even better to hear that since February, he's made so much improvement in many areas of his school work and that he passed his comprehension test with flying colors.


He is still struggling so much with basic phonics and he may have a learning disability.  It's still too early to diagnose that....but the other things, need much more work.

We went over all of the test scores for an hour yesterday.  Yes, he's made improvement!  He's working so hard and he loves school and his friends.

We decided that he could really benefit from a do over.  A mulligan!

It's been a tough year....for all of us.  This is not how I wanted our first year of school to go....fights with other parents that didn't support the teacher and a teacher that became ill which resulted in a revolving door of substitutes. actually taking it so well.  I was really worried about it because he has worked very hard because he wanted to go to first grade with his classmates.  Here is how the conversation went....we were driving to Home Depot.

Keith: (paraphrasing) You worked really hard and you did great but there are still some things you need more work on so we're going to put you in a full day Kindergarten class called K-1.  

Alex: Look!  A Motel 6!

Keith: Okay then.

I'm the one that fled the school crying and lost it in my car.

After explaining to Alex that he and Mallory would be in the same grade and graduate at the same time, that they could enter the science fair together as a team and that for his hard work we're buying him a bike......

He's was totally fine with it and can't wait to go to K-1 next year!


Thank you for your support this school year.  I've vented many times and you always know the right things to say!  I love my internet friends!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Cheer Up

I needed this today.

 We meet with the school in a couple hours to see if Alex gets to go to 1st grade.


LEGO Harry Potter Party

Happy Tuesday! It's that time of the week to chat up Impulsive and Shawn. You can tell them ANYTHING...there are no rules.

How would you like to pictures from my son's LEGO Harry Potter Birthday Party!  You would?  Great!

Let's start with.....The Invite.

Our original theme was going to be LEGO.  Then when I was taking pictures for the invitation, Alex brought me some LEGO people to be in the picture.  And a theme was born!

I have to tell cake designer, Gemma from Bella Stella Bakery was very excited about our theme and I think she did a fantastic job!

There is a Ron on the cake also but he didn't make it into the picture.  Alex wanted chocolate cake and chocolate frosting and it was delicious!  

I purchased the goodie totes at Target in January!  I was so excited to find them and figure out what to fill them with.  We went with pencils, balls, playdoh, bubbles, a chocolate frog and a candy bar with a cool wrapper from here.

The kids had a blast building LEGOS together and there was a bit of naughtiness going one because Alex had just asked a beautiful blonde to be his girlfriend the day before and then he kissed her best friend at the party.

Mallory has a HUGE crush on the boy in the tie-dyed shirt and my sister Bobbi was her wing man.  You have not lived until you are the wing man for a 5 year old.

The party was a huge success!  But it wasn't without it's mishaps.....mostly from me.

Things Not To Do at Your Child's Birthday Party

  • Allow random children from your apartment complex to crash the party.
  • Drink too much wine and allow the guests to take home all of your children's LEGOS.
  • Drink too much wine and present your son's discarded underwear to the guests...ala Sixteen Candles.
  • Try to get your guests to pay you a dollar to see the underwear....after you already showed it to them.

Monday, April 23, 2012

How To Win The Science Fair

Five weeks ago, there was a school assembly about The Science Fair. My son came home so excited and pumped up that in a moment of duress, iKeith we agreed that he could enter.

I found out later that he just really wanted a T-shirt.  That would have been nice to know $75 ago.....

While on vacation, we discovered that he had a high interest in meteor craters which was convenient because we were visiting the Meteor Crater Museum on our trip.  We learned so much there and purchased some items for his display.

Somehow.....I was in charge of the display board, I was told it was because I am the creative one.  I read the rules 15 times because I didn't want to screw this up and it said that Kindergarteners can have lots of help from their parents.  They can purchase stuff, help them research stuff, purchase stuff, drive them around, buy them ice cream and print out their information on the computer.

What they don't tell you is that IF YOU WANT TO WIN, your child has to hand write everything.  Even if it takes them 5 weeks and their hand falls off.

My husband would also like you to know that my odd sense of humor could have been an issue.  But in my defense.....he agreed to the title and dismissed my other one which was....

Don't Be A Hater.....Come See My Crater!

Alex worked very hard on his project.  He built a meteor launcher out of legos and launched two size balls into flour to demonstrate his finding that larger meteors create larger craters.  

His project was the most played with and interactive project of the 13 Kindergarten Projects.  He also received handwritten feedback from two judges where most kids only had one.

And....the Principal's husband came to school on Friday to meet Alex and have him show off his project.  He only came to see Alex. 

We were flying high!  Our board was the prettiest (because I made it) and it was the tallest....because SIZE MATTERS.  Duh.  Alex was nervous all afternoon.  We kept him busy with his Grandpa and Aunt Bobbi who were  visiting.  

Did I mention it was also his 6th Birthday and Keith and I had volunteered in his classroom all morning?  

It was a very good day!

That evening.......was the open house and award ceremony.  I think these pictures of Mallory explain our emotions perfectly.

He didn't win.  

We are so proud of him and he can't wait to enter again next year.

He wants to build a volcano. 

Lord help me!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Door Decoration

It's Tuesday!  I'm listening to my My Sharona and biting my lower lip.  It's also time for me to chat with Impulsive and Shawn for Talk To Us Tuesday.  I will be hugging these ladies necks in.....16 Days!

Yesterday, I showed you my gifts for the staff at my son's school.  They were a HUGE hit!  I'm such a sap that I almost started crying when my little boy was giving his gift to his Principal.  We are so blessed to have a fantastic, tender hearted Mom leading our school.  She makes the kids feel like a million dollars! 

As we were walking to his teachers' classrooms I did start to cry.  His Kindergarten teacher is a young woman and she's been out for a month on medical leave.  This was supposed to be her first day back and I was anxious to see her. 

Erick loves her and has missed her terribly. 

She wasn't there.  Instead, a young man that looked like he was about to head into the lions den.  I supposed the prospect of teaching twenty 5 and 6 year olds will do that to you.

This stopped my tears immediately, but they would return later when I found out that our teacher is not coming back this year and won't be teaching Mallory next year. 

So, I was equally bummed to realize that she wouldn't see what my friends and I had done to her door.

I need to take a minute to tell you about these ladies.  I had hoped that I'd make some Mommy friends this year, in fact, I'd prayed that I would.

God just loves to answer my prayers because these gals right here are the best!  They are crafty and overachieving just like me and I think in a few years we'll be running that school. 

This is what we came up with for the door.

What do you think?

Monday, April 16, 2012

Teacher Appreciation Gift

School.....has been a constant source of frustration for me.

They are forever springing things on me or the information I have about something is wrong and I have to scramble to correct it.

Thursday, a note came home in my child's folder that informed me that this week would be Staff Appreciation Week.  I immediately panicked because according to my COZI calendar, Teacher Appreciation Week isn't until May.

I called the school office to ask about it and they informed me that it is that week everywhere but HERE.  She also made a snide remark that MY PTA changed it.

Oh....I see.

I texted all of my mommy/blogger friends and asked them what I was supposed to do.  The overall answer was teachers love gift cards and that was great because I already had an idea to give them gift cards to my new favorite Gelato place that just opened.

I asked them for ideas for neat packaging and Becca suggested getting cups from the Gelato place!


The next text that came through my phone was from Vivienne and she said I needed to decorate the teachers door.

I quickly emailed my best Kinder Mom's to see who was up for a little door decorating party and soon....a plan was born.  But you don't get to see that until tomorrow because we are hanging it in an hour.

Today I present to you......

Drum Roll Please.

These beauties are going to both of Alex's teachers, The Principal and the school secretaries!

What do you do for your teachers and school staff?


I almost started crying when Alex was giving his Principal her gift.  She is such a sweet lady!  Unfortunately....his main teacher wasn't at school today.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Canyon is Grand

Linking up with Becca at R We There Yet Mom? for Friday Daydreamin'.

One of the highlights of our trip was seeing The Grand Canyon.

Keith and I had never been there before so it was a first for our entire family!

I was surprised to learn that you have to drive through a national forest to get there.  A two lane highway....through the mountains and your ears will pop.  Bring gum.

There was snow!

We arrived in Tusayan around lunch time and we were super hungry!  The kids saw a sign for pizza and we thought that sounded great! We Cook Pizza and Pasta is a great little spot to stop before you hit the park and they have a salad bar and booze too.

Keith and I were excited to try beer from The Grand Canyon Brewing Company.  They're based out of Williams Arizona and we liked both the Amber Ale and Pilsner very much.

The Canyon is spectacular! 

 There is lots of walking to do so don't be a dork and wear your wedges.  

Bring some water bottles so that you can fill them with the best tasting water you've ever had.  They have a pretty neat book store but the visitor center seems to be under construction.

Further into the park is a store and a restaurant or two.

I'd love to stay in the park sometime or take a train ride there!

Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Bravo Farms and Cheese Factory

My in laws live in a tiny town near Fresno.  We left LA and google maps told us the most direct way was to take why 99 just outside of Bakersfield.  It ran slower than the interstate but it's really a pretty drive because are in farm country!

We started seeing signs for Bravo Farms a couple miles out and it implored us to stop.  But we were in a hurry to see the grandparents so we decided we'd try to come back another day for lunch.

SO glad that we did!

From the outside, Bravo Farms just looks like a small restaurant in an old building.  You will be shocked when you step inside because you will be transported back in time!  This place has four wings that form a square with a big courtyard in the middle.   The courtyard is so freaking cool that you won't believe your eyes.

It has a multi-story treehouse.

There are antiques everywhere!

And chickens, a turkey and billy goats.

It also has a back porch with more antiques.

The kids loved this old milk truck!

One wing contains the restaurant and an ice cream shop.  We ate lunch on the front patio not realizing there were a bunch of picnic tables in the courtyard.  At this point....we had not yet found the courtyard!

The nachos were great!  And the salsa they bring to the table is spicy and fresh.

Another wing showcases the cheese that Bravo Farms makes.  I love cheese and this was some of the best I've ever had.  I selected the Cabernet Cheddar, Dutch-Style Gouda and White Cheese Curds.  Some of these cheeses can be ordered online.  For more about what we ate on our trip....visit The Rookie Foodie.

This little store also had chocolate, nuts, jam and other specialty food.  And it serves as a gift shop with toys, knick knacks, books and housewares.

Such a hidden gem and a definite highlight of our trip!

Bravo Farms
36005 Hwy 99
Traver, CA 93673

The Shoppe and Cafe  7am-7pm daily
Cheese Factory  8am-5pm Mon-Fri

Linking up with Becca at R We There Yet Mom?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Travel Lap Trays

Remember the lap trays I made for Mallory's birthday party?

We took them on our trip and they worked out great!  The kids built LEGOS, watched the iPads and colored pictures.  And when they were tired....we laid a pillow on top and they leaned forward to sleep (thanks for the tip Vivienne).

I loaded the big slot with a zip lock of LEGOS, the smaller one with snacks and a zip lock of crayons in the cup holder.  Putting the snacks in the slot each day allowed them to choose what they wanted instead of asking me for something.   They loved the applesauce in a pouch and the fruit ropes!

These lap trays are on sale at Michael's this week for $5!


Tomorrow I'm going to link up with Becca at R We There Yet Mom? to tell you about a cool place we went near Fresno California.

It made me want to move to the country and raise chickens!

Sarah Kate?  What kind of chicken is this?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


Congratulations EMMYMOM!  You have won the copy of Bloom!

Young and Relentless

I've been a reader of Kelle Hampton's blog for a long time. Enjoying The Small Things inspired me in all areas of my life.  She made me want to be a better mom and wife and to plan amazing birthday parties!

Our April 2012 book selection is Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected--A Memoir by Kelle Hampton.

From Amazon....

 Love me. Love me. I'm not what you expected, but oh, please love me. That was the most defining moment of my life.

That was the beginning of my story.

 From the outside looking in, Kelle Hampton had the perfect life: a beautiful two-year-old daughter, a loving husband, a thriving photography career, and great friends. When she learned she was pregnant with her second child, she and her husband, Brett, were ecstatic. Her pregnancy went smoothly and the ultrasounds showed a beautiful, healthy, high-kicking baby girl.

 But when her new daughter was placed in her arms in the delivery room, Kelle knew instantly that something was wrong. Nella looked different than her two-year-old sister, Lainey, had at birth. As she watched friends and family celebrate with champagne toasts and endless photographs, a terrified Kelle was certain that Nella had Down syndrome—a fear her pediatrician soon confirmed. Yet gradually Kelle's fear and pain were vanquished by joy, as she embraced the realization that she had been chosen to experience an extraordinary and special gift.

 With lyrical prose and gorgeous full-color photography, Bloom takes readers on a wondrous journey through Nella's first year of life—a gripping, hilarious, and intensely poignant trip of transformation in which a mother learns that perfection comes in all different shapes. It is a story about embracing life and really living it, of being fearless and accepting difference, of going beyond constricting definitions of beauty, and of the awesome power of perspective. As Kelle writes, "There is us. Our Family. We will embrace this beauty and make something of it. We will hold our precious gift and know that we are lucky."

 I'll be giving away ONE copy of Bloom to a lucky reader. Leave me a comment saying you WANT the book and I'll draw from the names at 10pm Friday night. Good Luck!

Join our Facebook Group and discuss the book with us!

The One About The Tigers

It's it's time to air my dirty laundry. I don't know what it is about Impulsive Addict and Seriously Shawn...but they make me what to tell secrets. I hope they don't ask me to play Truth or Dare when I share a house with them next month. ONE MONTH PEOPLE!

 So...on my fabulous vacation, after visiting a bunch of cool places (that I'll tell you about later) we spent a few days with my in laws in a tiny little town in the middle of fruit country. As far as the eye can see....fruit trees. The little town DOES have a Starbucks and a Jack in the Box so it's not a total loss.

 My brother in law that you don't hear much about, lives with my in laws. He graciously gave us his room and stayed in a crappy little hotel a few miles away.  This was a great plan because my father in law started handing me a glass of wine at 2 o'clock in the afternoon each day.

On our last night, I was sitting in bed reading Fifty Shades of Grey (!) when I looked up at the curio cabinet and thought I was hallucinating.   I saw this.

Siegfried and Roy. 

Suddenly all of the white tiger figurines made sense!   And yes....that is a feather boa in front of the picture.

And yes.  He's gay.

GOSH!  I almost forgot to mention.....The Book Club is back tomorrow with our next book announcement.  I'll be giving away ONE copy so make sure to come back tomorrow because I close the entries on Friday Night.

Monday, April 2, 2012


I'm back!

Oh my gosh we had a great trip!  It feels like a dream....

I want to thank those of you that left me comments on the posts I threw up on my blog last week.  I didn't have a lot of time to respond or to visit blogs so I appreciate that you came by to share my excitement and irritation (damn bunny).

I'll be putting all of your names in a hat and sending one of you a Thank You Gift!


We had many firsts on this trip!

The first time that all four of us went to The Grand Canyon!

The first time my kids saw the ocean and played in the sand!

The first time I met Vivienne from The V Spot!  (I'll be sharing a house with her next month)

The kids first time at Disney Land.  And my second trip....I was last there 29 years ago with my family.

The kids first time on a roller coaster!

Keith's first bowl of Pho! 

 It was a trip I will never forget.....