Monday, August 31, 2009

You're So Vain. . .

You're so vain. . . I bet you think this blog is about you. . .you're so vain! I bet you think this blog is about you, don't you? don't you? (And yes, I know those are not the right words).

On Sunday I dressed Molly up in Emma's Easter dress. She looked all frilly and cute and to complete the effect, I put one of those cutesy headbands on her.

I put it on. She took it off. I put it on. She took it off. Finally I put it on and took her over to the mirror. "Look, Molly," I said, "Look how cute you look with it on!" And wouldn't you know it, she left it on!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fishing With Dad

On Saturday we had to clear out so that people could look at our townhouse, and so we took the girls to Gilbert Park! Macey got her own fishing pole a few weeks ago, and she was so excited to use it. Molly was taking a nap in the van, and I stayed with her while Garry & gals hit the lake! They had worms, fancy lures, a boat, a beautiful day. . .but unfortunately no fish. Well, there was one really big one. . .but it got away.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Wonderful Day!

Yesterday Garry took the oldest girls to Kings Dominion. It was a Friday, and it was supposed to (and did) rain, and so they had the park to themselves.

And Molly and I had the place to ourselves! We cleaned up and then hit the town! We started our afternoon at MiMi's Cafe. I had never been to a sit down restaurant by myself before, except for maybe a business conference many lives ago, but I was willing to give it a try. Am I ready to order? Why yes! Yes, I am! And I was not in and out, oh no! I got an appetizer, an entree, and a dessert. Molly enjoyed the french fries, carrots from my chicken pot pie and the berries from on top of my mousse. She had a great time.

Afterward we went to Target and I found a book that Emma loves called Biscuit. She got it from the library, and she has memorized it, but she was sad that she was going to have to take it back to the library. But I found a cheap, paperback version. Yeah!

Then we went to the mall and I visited my friend who works at a jewelry story. She cleaned my ring for me. How great was that? It's all shiny and pretty!

I also found a bracelet and some yummy lotion and shower gel. Happiness.

Finally, I went to Blockbuster to get a used version of the movie Bolt. Disney has been VERY slow in marking down that movie, and so I just gave up and bought it used. The girls were excited.

It was good to get out! And with just one kid!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Nine Months of Mollyabulous!

Today Molly is nine months old! This month, she has mastered standing up and clapping and can walk, make that run, with her little walker. I think that she has even started to say "Emma" (no, I'm not jealous at all) but it's usually said with so much other gobbly gobbly that I cannot be 100 percent sure.

She loves to play with her sisters, torment them by stealing princesses and Little People, and she loves loves to eat Cheerios off of the floor (so much btter than the ones on her tray.) She hates her carseat and apparently nighttime.

She can crawl so fast and is a ham -- if she is not getting enough attention she stand up in the middle of the floor and clap for herself until we all join in. We love our Molly!

Here are some highlights from the month:

I'm standing! I'm standing! And I'm falling. . .
On the swing on Stake Temple Day

Exhausted from loving Macaroni & Cheese TOO MUCH!

Enjoying a little quesadilla at Taco Bell.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Calling Their Bluff

Before I had children and knew everything there was to know about parenting, I was always frustrated by the parents who would say, "Bobby, if you do that one more time. . ." and of course Bobby does it one more time and little, if anything, happens.

I have been guilty of that a lot lately. I have three kids at home all day. They wear me down, and I have decided to choose my battles carefully.

Today we were set to go play with Eddie at the park. The girls were very excited, but very irritable. Molly has not been sleeping well lately, waking up earlier and earlier (today it was 5:30 am) and though I try to keep her quiet, she always wakes up Emma who wakes up Macey. No one is getting the sleep they need (especially Mama!) and it's a difficult morning.

After breaking out into three large fits, I told Macey that if she cried one more time that morning, there would be no park date with Eddie. She cried, something about too much milk in her Fruit Loops, and so I told her there was no park date.

It's a tough decision to follow through on! I need the time out and the socialization as much as they do some days, and I felt bad indirectly punishing Emma for Macey's actions. But, I am hoping that installing stricter discipline with real consequences will pay off later!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Too Smart

We are in a rut. School has started, the pool is only open a few hours in the evening, and some of Emma's friends have started Kindergarten this year. It's a hard time. Yesterday, to help her have fun I met some good friends at Chuck E. Cheese's and then we went to the mall for lunch and ice cream.

Emma loves Chuck E. Cheese's. We do not go there often, maybe four times a year, and so it is a big deal when we go. She loves everything about it: the lights, the games, the picture making machines, the tickets, the prizes, the horrible food. . . Heaven.

My friend Laura gave us a coupon for 100 tokens for $10. This is a great deal as normally they are $5 for just 20. We came home with a cup full of unused tokens, and Emma started planning her return trip. But how to get her Mom to agree?

I told Emma this morning that she was starting dance lessons in 8 days. Hurrah! She took this information and then decided to use it in her little plot. First, she asked me if we could go back to Chuck E. Cheese's?

Not today, I said.

Maybe in a few days? Like eight? she asked.

Sure, I said.

Then she came up to me about 20 minutes later and said that there was a huge problem. She was going to dance lessons in eight days! That meant that she could not go to Chuck E. Cheese's in eight days. So she informed me that we needed to go sooner. Like maybe tomorrow.

I do not know whether I should be impressed or a little scared.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Look What I Can Do!

Molly, our eight month dynamo, has amazed us again over the last few days with her strength. She really is a small, little petite girl, but so strong and just a ham! If she thinks that she is not getting enough attention, she will stand up in the middle of the room (no need to hold onto furniture for this little dynamo) and clap for herself. It's very cute.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A Few Words About Lowe's

Lately I have had problems at Lowe's.

Day One. Garry had the girls & it was just me and Molly, hanging out at Lowe's. I needed to boost our curb appeal and decided to buy two containers of flowers. To keep the deer away from said flowers, I bought a product called "Deer Off". I will not go into the details of what is in said "Deer Off". Needless to say, it is not good.

The aforementioned, above said Deer Off is qite pricey for what you are buying. Okay, I'll break down and tell you. I think that Deer Off is a urine and other waste -based compound. It's $15.00. Yes, I know, I'm paying $15.00 for something that is truly free. But, bygones. No pun intended.

With the flowers and the aforementioned above said Deer Off, the total of my purchase should have come out to about $25.00. It didn't. It rang up at $40.00. I was already upset over paying way too much for something an unruly toddler could take care of for free, and so I immediately protested to the sales lady, who had spent the entire transaction chatting up a nearby employee.

"I cannot check the price until you finish the transaction," she said. Well, that's kind of what she said. Transaction sounds like one of my words. She probably said something about finishing the sale, etc., etc. Swiping my freaking card, etc., etc.

I finished the sale, etc., etc., and then she looked at the receipt.

"Oh," she said, "I charged you for two Deer Off's."

"I do not have two. I am embarrassed to be paying so much for just one." Okay, I did not say that last part. Just the first.

"I know you don't." she answered.

And this is where I got a little testy. Because clearly she didn't. Because clearly she had charged me for two. And therefore, it must be assumed that she did not in fact know what she just claimed to know.

We went through the process of getting my $15.00 back when the employee she was chatting up told me how lucky I was that she was a manager otherwise the return would have had to be handled in another line.

"But I'm not returning anything," I explain.

"I know you're not." she answered.

And this is where I got a little testy. Because clearly she didn't. Because clearly she just used the word "return" to make it seem like I had bought two items of Deer Off and then reconsidered my stupid purchase of paying $30.00 and brought back the foul item. But I didn't. So there wasn't.

Now, you'd think that I would have learned and not gone back. But, I am a sucker for cheap Mums and good feedback on my curb appeal, so back I went.

Day Two. I was going to be fast. Just in and out with my Mums. But there was a line. Although there were two employees. But apparently just one functioning cash register.

I was holding Molly and two containers of Mums and looked at the non-working employee with a desperate look. Seeing the weight of my purchases and cranky babe in arms, he kindly offered to let me put the items near his cash register until the line had moved and it was my turn.

"Fabulous!" I answered. "And while I am there, with my mums at your cash register, how about if you move behind that cash register? And then maybe punch in your employee code. And then lift your little sensor and scan my Mums. And then I'll give you cash. You may or may not give me change, depending on taxes, and then hand me my receipt and tell me to have a nice day. And then I'll take my Mums to my van and everyone will be happy."

Okay, I didn't say that. But it would have been FABULOUS.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Greased Stalking! Go Greased Stalking!

There are a few things about the play/movie Grease that really bother me.

Stay In Touch! First, let's start with one of the first songs: Summer Nights. In this song Sandy and Danny sing about their summer romance. At one point in the song they talk about how they made a "true love's vow" but then are startled to see each other at the same high school after Sandy moves with her family. Didn't the true love's vow come with phone numbers and addresses? I know that it was before email and facebook, but hey, the phone has been around for quite awhile. Doesn't a true love vow include staying in touch?

Stalker? Isn't Danny a little concerned that Sandy shows up in his high school and his home town? Would it be a stretch to turn this movie into a Lifetime Special on stalking? Maybe have the song "Greased Stalking" be about a get away car that can go so fast Sandy cannot keep up and follow? It's always concerned me that she just shows up. I think it smacks a little of stalking.

Born to Hand Jive: I have nothing funny to say about Born to Hand Jive. It's just a FABULOUS song.

We Go Together: If I ever let my girls watch Grease, I may turn it off right before the end of the year carnival. I do not want my girls to think that they can get a man by putting on a pair of tight leather pants. Though if truth be known, that's how I got Garry. I have the pants in my closet to prove it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Rules?

This morning Emma and Macey were in a loud dispute over a toy. I think that Macey had it first but Emma wanted it. There were some words exchanged. And then some louder words. And finally the situation came to blows.

Macey ran over and cried to me that Emma had hit her.

"Emma," I said, "Please do not hit your sister."
"Oh, okay Mom," she answered.

And I thought to myself, why did she answer as if that was a whole new rule she had never even heard of but was willing to give a try?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Happiness and Tears

Everyday with three girls is full of emotions, and I have a feeling that the emotions are going to get more dramatic over the next several years (poor Garry!). Here's a snippet from yesterday's highs and lows.

They Are Paying Attention! Yesterday the girls were sharing an ice cream sandwich at the table. They were excited because they were sitting in the "big chairs" where Garry and I sit instead of the usual bench. I was in the kitchen doing dishes (of course) when I heard Emma announce: "I'm Miss Tara!" to which Macey responded with "I'm Miss Stephanie!"

Then Miss Tara (Emma) asked Miss Stephanie (Macey): "Did you make these ice cream sandwiches?"

To which Miss Stephanie (Macey) answered: "Yes, I did."

To which Miss Tara (Emma) exclaimed: "They are DELICIOUS!"

I guess that they have been paying attention during all of those Lunch Bunches and Potlucks. Too cute.

What About Me? The girls picked out their outfits yesterday. Macey wanted to wear a sundress and Emma picked out a blue shirt with matching shorts. They both looked nice but while we were at Target a woman stopped to gush over Macey. "Look how cute she is in the dress and those shoes!" Well, she is my Macey, and, of course she is beautiful.

But Emma's feelings got hurt. "Why didn't she say I was beautiful?" she asked. My heart broke. Because Macey has the blond hair, blue eye thing going on, she will always stand out in this world, but I hope that Emma will also realize how beautiful and smart and funny she is!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Jack Diamond Morning Show!

I have listened to the Jack Diamond Morning show basically since I moved here and needed a good, but clean, morning show to listen to on the way into Washington, D.C. Every Friday they have Free For All Friday where they have a studio audience of 10-12 people come in and watch the show, eat yummy food, and perhaps get called up for a game.
This Friday Stephanie, Tara and I went. We met at 4:10 in the morning (argh!) and made the drive into Washington. It was a beautiful drive! We drove past the Jefferson Memorial, Washington Memorial, White House, Cathedral, Embassy Row. . . It reminded me of my commute with my carpool when I lived in Franconia. We used to drive past the Pentagon, past Arlington Cemetary, over the Memorial Bridge, past the Lincoln Memorial, past the Vietnam Wall Memorial, past the White House and the Old Executive Office Building, and I used to think, "Does anyone else in the world have as beautiful of a commute as this?"

Anyway, I digress. The show was great! It was fun to see the people behind the voices. They were all so nice and showed us how things worked, Dominoes catered (anything better than pizza in the morning?) and Stephanie and I played a round of agree or disagree and won tickets to Luray Caverns! What a great morning! I think we only got picked because of our styling shirts. Jack Diamond talks about his Beloved 13 Aribtron listeners all the time, and so we made the shirts to let him know that we were true fans and did not come just for the pizza. At 6:30 a.m.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Stake Temple Day!

Every year our stake has a big push for Stake Temple Day. It is discussed months in advance, and people are asked to make commitments early and often to attend the temple that day. It is a big deal.
The goal is to spend the entire day at the temple, but since we have always had kids while we have been in this stake, Garry and I have not been able to do that. Instead, we have created our own tradition where I will spend the morning in the temple, we meet afterward to have lunch and go to the bookstore and then Garry spends the late afternoon and evening in the temple. It is always a beautiful day!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Swimming Lessons!

Emma has been taking swimming lessons for the last two weeks. It has been the best of times and the worst of times. Day One was very hard as Macey could not understand why she was not taking lessons, too. Everything Emma did Macey would say "I could do that!" and then beg me to go get her swimming suit. But, we got her a Mermaid doll she has wanted for quite awhile and she made friends at the pool, so things are better. This is Day Two. We could not find Emma's goggles, and she was devastated. She thought that she would not be able to see underwater because her eyes were "broken" without them. But, her teacher quickly assured her that her eyes would be fine, and Emma recovered!
This is Day Three. We found the goggles! They go on so tight I always ask her if she can blink. But, I guess that they have to be tight or they just wouldn't work.
Emma has learned how to swim underwater, do big arms, free style kicks, rainbow arms and frog legs (breast stroke). She's had a great time!

Tough Decisions

The last few days I have been thinking about a time when I was going to Los Angeles. It was quite awhile ago, and I called a travel agent (remember those?) and said that I needed help finding a hotel close to Los Angeles but on the beach. The travel agent informed me with great frustration that Los Angeles was not on the beach; I could not have both. (For the record, I just said "close").

In our family lately we have really struggled to move two opposites together. Garry really really likes his job. He likes the growth potential. He likes his job responsibility. He likes the flexibility it offers. He's worked his way up and feels sick over the thought of starting all over again in an organization that does not offer much potential and does not offer the same salary potential.

I really, really want to move. Really. I never intended to live so far from my family. When I moved here in 1998, my sister lived in Silver Spring. I stayed with her until I found a place in Northern Virginia, and I really enjoyed always having a place to go on the weekends for a little family time. But she moved, and I started law school and then got married, and twelve years later, here I am.

We have the opportunity to move, and since I have found out about this opportunity, I have been daydreaming.

In my head I've planned manicure night with my sisters and sister-in-law. In my head I see myself looking at houses, finding one with a playroom (separate from general living space -- heaven!) one with a monstrosity of a swing set and playhouse in the backyard.

I have daydreamed about telling my kids to shut the door as they run outside to play or ride their bikes in our cul-de-sac.

I've daydreamed about going to Arby's with Cindy and Arctic Circle with Rachelle. (I have such a white trash pallet).

I've daydreamed about having huge family parties for birthdays instead of having to stress over who to invite. And I've daydreamed about my kids going to birthdays and baptisms instead of just hearing about them.

I want it so much I would start packing tomorrow if I could.

But, I think it'd be easier to put Los Angeles on the beach.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Macey has a little bit of a stubborn streak. She likes things when she likes them and how she likes them no matter what. Parental requests? Easily ignored. Rules? She can take them or leave them, her choice. Societal norms? It depends on her mood.

For example. . .

Last Tuesday was Neighborhood Night Out. The girls love the moon bounce and the free ice cream. It's a great time for them. And this year the girls were big enough for the games. Emma participated in Musical Chairs and the Hula Hoop competition. She did well and got some fun prizes.

Macey, on the other hand . . .

Miss Stubborn decided that she would try out Musical Chairs. We walked over, picked out a chair, and explained the rules quickly. When the music started, all of the kids got up and started walking, except for Macey. We told Macey to get up and she quickly shouted back "NO!"

Well, that's one way to win.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


A few days ago I just wanted movement on Garry's job situation.

Be careful what you wish for.

On Friday Garry was called and told that they changed their mind and he does have to take the training course at Quantico. It will last for 11 weeks. Starts at the end of September.

The good news is that he should be able to come home for weekends. The bad news is overwhelming. Trying to take care of the girls, alone, while trying to sell (and clean!) the house, alone, and if we do sell having to move our household across country, alone.


Friday, August 7, 2009

I Feel A Tantrum Coming On. . .

I feel a tantrum coming on, and unfortunately it is not looming from my four year old or three year old or even baby. It's me. I'm getting ready to scream, shout, and declare life completely unfair.

Today another townhouse went on the market across the street. Exact same floor plan. Exact same price. But they have the coveted deck. And they have grown-up furniture with grown-up wall coverings. I found myself wanting to just go back to bed this morning, if only I could have found something to do with my little rugrats.

This move has been so difficult because nothing is, well, moving. No movement on the house. No information provided from Garry's employer. Nothing. For months, nothing. It has gotten so bad that Garry and I talked yesterday about whether this is a sign that we are not supposed to move. Could something right be this hard?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Redskins Training Camp

Yesterday I logged onto the Redskins site and found out that Thursday (today) was the last open practice at Training Camp. This Saturday is Fan Appreciation Day, and though I love the Redskins and am indeed a fan, I am not entering that mess. That would be like going to Disneyland in June. Oh, wait. . . So last night I rushed to the store and got Garry & I matching Training Camp 2009 t-shirts and Emma & Macey jerseys. Emma is Cooley. Macey is Portis. Unfortunately we had to hide our matching cuteness under ponchos because of the rain.
Though I was so excited to be at Training Camp, I think that Garry was even MORE excited than I was -- a difficult feat.

Here we are at the field. The rain came in and out and here was a not-so-damp moment.

And sometimes Molly was even allowed out of her stroller. Here's a happy stroller-free moment!
It was heaven. I saw Campbell, Portis, Moss, Cooley, Randel El, Zorn . . . it was great!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

He's Getting Good At This

The other day I had the worst time taking the girls to the pool. It is always hard to get my girls out the door in the first place (see multiple previous blogs) and so when it continues to be hard, well, that's a sign to just turn around and go home!

It all was going well until we reached the parking lot of the pool. Macey Grace (see previous blog for the irony there) fell on the pavement. Hard. Her hands and her knee took the brunt of the fall, and she started CRYING.

Then the pool was closed and so we had to go to the baby pool. Which caused more crying. And Molly was exhausted and could not get comfortable in her hot stroller. Which caused more crying.

At one time I had all three girls crying.

I gave up, told all three girls to get moving (well, Molly had no choice) went back home and picked up the phone to vent my frustration to Garry.

Now, as a general rule men do not know how to respond to said venting. Sometimes they lecture (you should have never tried that during Molly's nap time!). Sometimes they tune out (can we talk about this when I get home?). But G just asked if I needed some time off from the girls when he got home. And I held the phone out, looked at it, and thought, "Wow, he's getting good at this."

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Daydreams. . .

I know that a lot of people daydream about a clean house. To look around the house and know that there is not a dish to be cleaned, a sock to be washed. It's a good dream.

Our house has been on the market since June. It's been stressful as I daily try to maintain a clean house in case someone comes to look at it. In the beginning, I was a little casual about it because we usually had a 1/2 day notice. Anyone can clean a house given six house notice. Those were the good old days.

Now, for some reason, we have been getting zero notice. We've had 8 showings and our notice that someone is coming over has been 17 minutes, 14 minutes, and yesterday was the worst: 8 minutes. So I have been a little more diligent about cleaning the house in case our notice is a matter of minutes because we usually only have time to gather up our kids and get out the door!

So I do not daydream about a clean house anymore. I daydream about a horribly messy house that I can veg out in and it's okay.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Ready. . Set. . .Not Yet!. . Ready. . .Set. . .Not Yet!

Last year Garry applied for a job back west. Over 800 people applied for this job, and of the 800, they interviewed 8. Garry was one of the 8 and though he did not get that job, he was the alternate and went through the process of getting cleared to work: polygraph, background check and all.

At the end of April we found out about a job opening that they wanted Garry to take. And since then we have been in a holding pattern. It's taken months to find out a starting date, a clear starting salary, and information regarding closing costs. MONTHS. I still do not know who is moving our stuff, when they are coming to move our stuff, and will they move our cars?, or de we have to drive there? do they have temporary housing available while we look for something? is it actual housing or do they just provide a housing allowance for a period of time?

Just little stuff like that.

I have tried really hard to not let it effect me too much, but I am a planner, and not being able to plan is a little crippling and I've started to get headaches. So yesterday I decided that maybe I was just being given more time to make a few more dreams come true out here in the Washington, D.C. area. So I am developing a list of things I still want to do while here.

(1) Take my girls to the Senate to meet friends on the Hatch staff.
(2) Take the girls on a monument tour and take pictures so they'll at least have pictures to remember the area by.
(3) Go to a open Redskins training practice!
(4) Go to NYC and take my girls to that huge toy store and get on the Today show.
(5) Take the girls to the Washington, D.C. temple.
(6) Invite friends over for a thigh-slappin' fun game of PIT!

Any other suggestions?

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Having three kids under four is very challenging. I try to take them somewhere everyday, and getting out the door with all three is . . . very challenging. Get dressed, do their hair, brush their teeth, go to the bathroom, grab bottles, do I have diapers? enough wipes? pacifiers? shoes on? please stop crying! Oh, wait, that's me. Making sure that the house is clean in case someone comes to see it while we are gone as I do all of the above is . . . very challenging.

So it is with some relief that during the day I experience heartsurges.

A heartsurge is a moment where I feel such love for my girls I feel ready to burst. And they come at the strangest moments.

Like today. Target. I told the girls that they could pick out a new nail polish color. Emma picked out her favorite color: purple. Macey perused her choices and I heard her say "what color is Momma's? what color?"

Then she picked out bright red -- the color that I am sporting right now.

Heartsurge. I just loved that she wanted her nails to look like mine because I know in a few short years she might not want to do anything like me or with me and will care more about what color her BFF likes at the time. But, for now, for this time, she's mine.