FUNDRAISER- Let’s dissect what this really means.
FUN- No, not at all.
FUND- The school would like you to take a second on your house to pay for all the fundraisers they have.
RAISE- My blood pressure.
ER- The noise I keep making with each new FUNDRAISER they send the kids home with.
On Tuesday the school sent Hailey home with an Entertainment Gold C Book Fundraiser with instruction to only sell to family and friends. She says, “Mom, they are only $25.00 and they have lots of coupons for you so we can go do stuff.” I peruse the book to see if I can and would make my $25.00 bucks back and decide that this seems like a good way to support the school and agree to buy one. She calls up Grammy and suckers her into one too. I felt good that we were helping the school and not ripping people off.
Then on Wednesday they send her home with the Butter Braid Bread Fundraiser only it’s a knock off and she says, “Mom these are great! No need to thaw, rise, and bake, just heat and eat! I really want the chocolate one! Can we get it?” I have bought these from other kids doing blasted fundraisers and they are quite good, so I am tempted to fork over the $13 to get my paws on another one but then remember I have already signed up for the Gold C Book. Decisions, decisions…
On Thursday she comes home with the Kids First Fundraiser. Really???? Hailey whips out the prize poster and eagerly informs me this year she wants to sell 22 items so she can be entered in the drawing to ride in the limo for lunch and she proceeds to show me all the “great stuff you can buy.” Now I am just plain fuming. First, I could buy her a way better toy for a fraction of the cost of all the junk they give away for selling outrageous amounts of stuff. Who wants a bike lock for selling 7 items?Secondly, when did I sign up to have the school start teaching my daughter how to be a used car sales man? Thirdly, enough with the fundraisers! Now I just don’t want to do any of them on principle.
Then my head almost exploded and spun around when Hailey glanced down at her shirt and noticed the CiCi's Pizza sticker on her shirt. She coyly asks, "What are we having for dinner tonight?" I take the bait and tell her. She smiles all big and cute and says, "I have a great idea! Why don't you take the night off from cooking and let's go to CiCi's for dinner? Fifteen percent of what we goes to the school!"
As I stammer and say “err” and sometimes “grrrrrr”, I read over the school newsletter to find the Rock Fair and the School Carnival still to come in September. Yes, the Rock Fair is where they have your child go shopping one day and find all the rocks they want to buy and then you send them to school the next day with the right amount of cash to buy rocks! Just where I want Max’s hard earned dollar to go, buying a pile of rocks! Let’s not forget the school carnival with overpriced food and lame games that the kids want to play over and over and over. I can't wait! This year I am going to buy the five dollar ticket to throw a pie at the principle.
Don't get me wrong, I am all for helping out the school but this is over the top. Really people, can’t you space out your money sucking campaigns a little more. Don’t they know we just spent a fortune on registering them, buying all their school supplies, and clothing them for the winter? I might be more inclined to buy if they spread them out a little bit. I bet magazines and wrapping paper are up next for October.
Well, now that I have told you how much I love fundraising, want to buy something? ☺
Last week Max's sister, Anna, came to visit. We enjoyed her company so much we are trying to get her to move here! It was great to see her and the girls adore her. They got to put "real" make-up on (I have a thing of play make up for them and tell them they can't use mommy's but Anna put her nice make-up on them), have multiple tea parties including trying out English Breakfast tea, a slumber party at the hotel, a trip to the Denver Museum, and lots of hugs and love compliments of Aunt Anna.
Beauty Queens with real make-up. :)Hank and Anna
Hailey and Anna
Kaitlin and Anna
Karlie and Anna
On Friday Max and Hailey played hooky so we could go to the museum. Such a bad mom letting her ditch the first week of school but it seemed cruel and unusual punishment to send her while we all went out for a fun day. Her school is very academic driven and the teacher made her skip recess and game time to work on the work she missed. YIKES. Hailey said it was still worth it to spend the day at the museum. On this trip we visited the animal dioramas, the mummies, the discovery zone, and the space station. Anna bought Karlie some bug candy that has edible bugs in it. Karlie was happy to eat the amber around the bugs and I heard her trying to convince Kaitlin to eat them by saying, "they have protein in them and will make you big and strong. Don't you want to eat them honey?" If that is not a big sister manipulation I don't know what is. Kaitlin didn't fall for it.
Thanks to Anna Karlie now asks every morning if she can have breakfast tea. LOL. This girl is growing up too fast.
We even learned about the different types of poop on the prairie.
The grizzly bear had the cutest face.
Kaitlin trying to be a bear.
So happy to have daddy on the trip!
Thank you for coming to visit us and we hope it won't be long before you are here to stay!
Recently our friends introduced us to Robert's American Gourmet Pirate's Booty. This stuff is really tasty and not terrible for you. It is an all-natural snack with a small amount of saturated fat. It has the same texture as cheese puffs but it doesn't turn your fingers bright orange and it is healthier. Anyway, we have become big fans, or booty heads, and the kids are always asking for Pirate's Booty. Kaitlin says, "booty, booty" and today it apparently dawned on Karlie for the first time that booty was in the title. We were eating lunch and she gets this wild look in her eyes and a devilish grin grows as she asks, "Mom can I have some more Pirate's Booty, you know like booty?" and she starts shaking her rump. I tried really hard to explain the definition of booty without laughing mine own off. Gotta love kids!
In case you just have to try some Booty, Costco sells it.
Today was Karlie's first day of preschool. She will go on Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays from 8-12. She was so excited this morning she could hardly contain herself. She kept asking if it was time to go yet. When we were walking to the school I put my hand our to hold hers and she told me she didn't need to hold my hand. Ok, I will just go pick up the pieces of my heart in the parking lot. When did she grow up so fast? I thought I had until close to middle school before it was uncool to be seen with your mom. Sheesh!
She did get a little nervous once we got into the classroom and started playing with her skirt but her best friend showed up and she was ready to go. I had to ask for a hug and a kiss goodbye. Karlie is one social butterfly who is ready to fly. Luckily Kaitlin and Hank served as a distraction so I didn't have time to get caught up in the moment and really embarrass her with my tears.
She had a great day at school and on the way home she told me all about circle time, story time, doing puzzles, writing her name in her journal, snack time, recess, and best of all they get to go to the library on Wednesday! She said she can't wait to go back tomorrow and I told her she doesn't go back until Wednesday and she replied, "I don't know about that, Mom." One day at school and the kid already thinks she knows more than me! :)
How has 1/3 of a year already gone by since Hank was born? He is such a love. He had is 4 month check up yesterday and is thriving. He weighs 14 pounds and 8 oz! Our pediatrician was thrilled that he had gone from the 10th percentile for height and weight at 2 months to the 50th percentile for both now. Hank's heart murmur that he has had since birth also resolved. He can bare weight on his legs and stay steady standing for a few minutes. He is purposely putting his hand to his mouth and trying to grab his teether. He can roll over from his front to his back and loves to talk to his sisters. Hank is a very happy baby, especially if he is being held by mommy. I could gush on and on about him. He really is the apple of my eye (well, one of them).Bath time is one of his favorite things to do.
He has two little dimples that make my heart melt every time he smiles.
His other favorite thing to do is eat. Notice the rubber band wrists and cellulite thighs? Live it up kid because it is only cute once in your life! :)
Today is a day that I look forward to after a great (sometimes long) summer of enjoying (trying to entertain 4 different age groups) Hailey being home (bored), but it is always a little sad sending her off. This year we are no longer suppose to walk her down to her classroom. She is growing up so fast and is such a sweet little girl. Before I know it her horse craze will be replaced by boys.Hailey wanted this skirt only for the apple key chain.
Aunt Anna is visiting us and she wrapped up a special little treat for her to find in her lunch today.
I made a Barbie bride cake for my sister's bachelorette party this weekend. Her colors are brown and ivory. The bottom of the cake was chocolate with chocolate icing and the top was vanilla with vanilla icing. This was such a fun cake to make! I couldn't have done it without Max.
I baked a 10 inch round for the bottom and frosted and it and then covered it in fondant. The dress was cooked in a large batter bowl (Pampered Chef) and then I used the remaining batter to cook a dozen cupcakes. To get the waist small enough I put one of the cupcakes on the top upside down. I then iced the dress and moved it on top of the brown covered bottom cake.
Getting the dress smooth was pretty tricky but Max was able to help me get it just right. We then covered the seam in the back with the train of flowers.
My sister has a tattoo of the Chinese symbol for family on her upper back, so Max added that too.
Kerrie was very pleased with her cake and didn't want to cut into her. It tasted so moist. Something about the way the cake cooked in the batter bowl made the cake really dense and moist. It was really fun getting to play Barbie while designing a cake. I can see the girls will be getting princess cakes at their future birthdays.
I was looking back at my week and wondering what I had accomplished. As a stay at home mom there are no raises, no promotions or completed projects. If your lucky, your husband will notice the house is picked up when he gets home or if the floor is vacuumed. But no one is there to evaluate or see the little day to day things. Your accomplishments take years; say 18, to come to fruition. So the day in and day out can start to feel mundane. I thought I would do a Thursday 13 about motherhood moments.
This is Katie reporting live from the trenches of motherhood on the good, the bad, and the ugly. Warning- some of this is graphic in nature and not suitable for all readers.
1. Tea Parties. We have escalated to full blown tea parties with my fine china and my grandmother’s gorgeous teapot. The girls get dressed up in their finest princess costumes and apply loads of purple eye shadow and hot pink lipstick. They are not fans of herbal teas but like the way they smell. It’s more about using our manners and putting in sugar cubes than tasting the tea. Oh the fun conversations we have. We were actually in the middle of this tea party when we got Max’s letter that he passed boards!
2. Dress-up. I have life size Barbies. I get to do their hair, dress them in cute little outfits, and sometimes put play make-up and nail polish on. This is definitely one of the best parts of having little girls.
3. Cinderella. I love this game! Karlie came up with this one and how I wish she would play it every day. I am the evil step-mother (what would Freud say about that one?) and she is Cinderella. I have to tell her chores to do, but I have to say it in a mean voice. She loves it when I “make” her scrub the floor and fold the laundry. I would be so happy if she wanted to play Cinderella every day. Too bad she has only wanted to play it twice all summer.
4. Being a kid again. Coloring, board games, war, bubbles, candy, painting, water games, and cartoons.
5. Field trips to the zoo, butterfly museum, museum of nature and science, indoor swim parks, and pools. I knew I had lost all sanity when I agreed to take all four of them to a water park with a girlfriend and her two kids when 3 of them can’t swim.
6. Snuggles. I get more love on a daily basis than many people do in a lifetime. Someone always wants a hug, to be held, or to snuggle. Warm fuzzies all around.
7. Play dates. I have a love hate relationship with play dates. It is great when they get to go and play at a friend’s house, ah but then you have to reciprocate. It is one thing when you have two kids and another comes over. It is a bit much when I end up with 6 kids at once. I am glad school is starting.
8. Back to school shopping. I can see by the time these 3 girls are teenagers my August budget for back to school shopping will rival my December budget for Christmas. On-line shopping has been a godsend this year.
9. Poop. What can I say, there is a lot of it in my job. I think I might invite that guy that goes to the world’s dirtiest jobs over for a try at my house. Hank initiated me into something that had never happened in all my thousands of diaper changes. This little guy has quite the internal combustion system. I was in the middle of changing him and had is legs pushed up so that his bum was primed in the cannon position positioned right at my face. Karlie came in and asked me a question so I turned my face toward her. Well at that moment Hank decided to let loose. He did it with such force that poop sprayed on my face all over my cheek. I was in complete shock. My kid had just pooped on my FACE! Oh sure laugh at all the phrases. (Insert the grown up term for poop.) Poop head, poop face, poopy day, oh poop! You get the idea. How do you de-poop yourself at that point? YUCK.
So along with that there are Kaitlin diapers. And anyone who has had a toddler potty training knows that is a dirty job. 1. Toddler poop is far more disgusting than baby poop. 2. Potty training toddlers forget often at first. I now just throw away the underwear.
Finally my third bum to wipe is Karlie’s. Preschoolers learning to wipe are almost as bad. It gets on the toilet, on their hands, and they still don’t manage to properly take care of business. So that leaves mom with wiping duty. Without fail Karlie yells, “mom come wipe me” right in the middle of dinner. Appetizing let me tell you.
10. Terrible Twos. I don’t think it needs much explanation. Tantrums. Time-outs. Scratching. Time-outs. Hitting. Time-outs. Saying No. Time-outs. Demanding to do everything even when you are late. Mommy time-out.
11. No nap Karlie. Naptime is a sacred time for most moms. It is the one part of the day where you get a few moments to yourself. Heck you might even get to go to the bathroom alone or blog or just enjoy the quiet. No more. Karlie no longer takes naps. I try to get her to rest for an hour each day but she usually comes out for water or a question or a book or this or that. Good-bye alone time.
12. Meltdowns. This week I had the ultimate meltdown moment. We had just got home from running some errands and the big girls had a slumber party at friend’s house the night before so they were tired and whinny all morning. After lunch I told everyone they were going to lie down for a rest. On cue Hank started screaming, then Kaitlin thought she was going to sleep in my bed with Hailey and she began to meltdown when I told her no. Two kids screaming, two to go. Then Hailey realized she left her special yellow blanket at her friend’s house and she started crying. Three kids crying. Then Karlie realized she left her special Ellie at the friend’s house too so she started bawling. Four kids screaming. Yes! Good times.
13. Shopping with four kids. I get a lot of interesting looks when at the store with all the kids. Recently I felt like that Walmart mom you have all seen. Hank was screaming at the top of his lungs, Kaitlin was screaming “out, out” (she wanted out of the stroller), Karlie was running circles around us and Hailey was asking me for every thing at eye level. These days test my patience. Do I abandon the almost full cart and retreat home or do I charge ahead? These are the not so glamorous moments of mommyhood.
Sorry Snork. Sorry Grama Helen. Sorry to the other 3 people who read my blog, but I just don't have time to post. Something is sucking the life out of me-literally (this boy nurses nonstop). Something has become spoiled rotten. Something wants to be held ALL the time. Something is so cute and sweet I just can't help myself. Something is getting heavy. Something is taking up all my time with tickles and gaga and goo-goos. Something is depositing little bits of love into the heart bank for when he is a teenager and he will be withdrawing heavily. Something is undeniably cute!
I didn't think I would have to worry about the girls getting into cat fights until closer to their teen years. I think each child humbles me further and further. Up until this point I haven't had a kid that hits or bites and I thought it was because of effective parenting. :)
Well, little Miss sweet Kaitlin has a dark side. She is a scratcher and she always goes for the face. I think I need the Super Nanny. I have tried everything: time-outs, a swat on the hand, yelling, taking her toys away, talking to her, showing her she makes Karlie bleed, and still she scratches. Poor Karlie looks like she has been in a all out brawl. Karlie can be antagonizing, but she has never hit back or retaliated. What to do? Any advice is appreciated.
Grama Helen sent Hailey some Hannah Montana stuff for her birthday, including a pen that sings little clips of her songs. Well, that initiated Karlie into a groupie. She instantly became a fan and wanted to see who sang the song. They have never seen the show, so we got on You Tube and she watched with delight as Hannah Montana sang Who Said. This led to me eventually getting the CD for them. Hailey is mildly interested but Karlie is all out fanatic. Every Hannah Montana item she sees, she thinks she has to have it. She has yet to watch the show but begs me to blair the CD in the car. I can see just how much trouble I am going to be in when she is a teen! So here she is doing her best Hannah Montana performance on the "stage" in our living room. There is only one word that comes to mind... TROUBLE :)
Over the weekend we went on a camp out. Our good friends came over so the kids could camp together. I am not up for tent camping just yet, so we pitched our tents in the back and attempted to have a authentic camp out. We roasted marshmallows for S'mores and Cathy taught us about a new campfire treat. You take crescent roll dough and roast it over the fire until cooked and golden brown, then rub it in butter and then turn it in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. These beat S'mores hands down any day! The kids were so hyped -up (can't imagine why?) they didn't fall asleep until 10 pm.
They read stories by flashlight, giggled and talked.
We cooked all the meals outside, but this was a rather deluxe set-up and the best "camp food" I have ever had. Max and his kitchen a la outdoor where he made fried eggs and maple sausage. Cathy had made some monkey bread so we were eating like kings!
We even got a wild life encounter on our camp out! Apparently the neighborhood feral cats could smell the feast. Two young kittens scaled the fence to see what was cooking. After being rather skittish and scared at first, they eventually gave into their tummies and made friends with the kids. The kids fed them sausage, water, milk, and showered them with love. We ended up calling the animal control to pick up the skinny kittens. Hopefully they have found a good home.
It started as a little boy's dream. He wanted to be a doctor when he grew up. That dream stayed with him through elementary, secondary, junior and high school. There were the college prep courses to take, there were the SATs, and there were the applications to all the colleges to try and have the best shot at getting in medical school. Once in college there were tests, and tests and more test. Test that tested his commitment. Test that tested his desire. Test that tested his intelligence. There was the MCAT. There was the MCAT again after being denied into medical school. There was the year of working as a Certified Nursing Assistant at a nursing home to prove how badly he wanted to help people. There were the acceptance letters, which meant four more years of total dedication. There were even more test and very long nights of studying. There were applications for residency. Where would we end up, what would our future hold? Would he match? There were always hurdles ahead. One more test, one more application, waiting for one more letter to tell us if we were one step closer to the dream. Thirteen years in all.
We just cleared the last hurdle. In June Max completed his residency program and sat for the national board exam in his specialty. Today he got the last letter in the long, arduous path to becoming a doctor. Today he is a board certified physician. Today we arrived and parked in the dream.