Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Rockin' the 'Hawks

The last week of school in the Casa de Stie signals more than just the beginning of summer. It has come to mark what I have finally accepted as an inevitable tradition, four years running now.

It began three years ago as a test of my marital patience, which you can read about here. This severe trial of my patience was revisited for the next two years, which you can see evidence of here and here, if you're so inclined.

This year, I took matters into my own hands (after listening to the begging, pleading, and sheer desperation from the boys, of course) and took them in for the deed myself.

And without further ado, I bring you this year's Mohawks:


We are pleased, but slightly shocked, that McKay decided to participate this year, potential middle school harassment notwithstanding. Every year, he's talked a tough game, but has always chickened out in the barber's chair at the first sound of the clippers roaring to life.

This year, he ponied up and just went for it. I think the Hawk goes nicely with his broken finger - makes him look like he maybe did get into a fight or suffer a wicked skateboard injury (instead of the unsightly fall during P.E. that really caused it.)


Chase, as ever, makes the Mohawk seem natural and right at home on his head. His hair was shorter this year due to the flaky chick at Super Cuts who was unable to follow the simplest of directions -- which just means we can't spike it up quite as high.

[He kind of reminds me of Puck from Glee. Which I secretly think is pretty cool.]

So here's to keeping traditions, the start of summer, and sun, glorious, sun.

Ahh, summer. Nice to see you, old girl. You've been sorely missed.

Monday, May 24, 2010

And the mystery location is...

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Naples, Florida, baby.

And it's been heaven in spite of the following:

--1 trip to the ER for an ear infection.
--1 frantic call to a physician back home and a begging for antibiotics.
--1 case of heat stroke tended to by the fine EMTs of the Ritz Carlton.
--5 sunburns in spite of 50 spf.
--Countless dollars of the Husband's money spent.

I am heartbroken to leave tomorrow.

(P.S. Jen guessed correctly first! Shoot me an email with your address and a little surprise is headed your way!)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

One more reason to keep the Husband

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

Dear internet,

Wish you were here.



P.S. If you can correctly guess where "here" is, you will win a prize. Happy speculating!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

And now, deep thoughts...

Some random thoughts before I dash off to take the middle child to the orthodontist (exciting life that I lead, yes):

Right now, I am head-over-heels in love with Glee. Musical numbers, tap dancing, fabulous singing guest stars, and the hilariously two-faced Sue Sylvester. I am smitten and cannot wait to hop on the treadmill every Wednesday morning for my weekly dose. If I could marry the show and have singing, dancing Glee babies - I would. Oh yes. I love it that much.

My friend Jackie and I used to talk about the music we liked to work out to. I told her then, and it still rings true today, that if you judged my iPod playlists, you would think I was a 50-year-old gay man. All the musicals, Streisand, and Barry Manilow you can cram in there, baby.


Also, remember a while back when I was looking for my motivation? Well, I found her. She snuck up on me and yelled SURPRISE!! really loud in the dressing room at the mall this morning while I was [ack!] trying on swimsuits. Though I am happy she is back, I do wish she'd come sooner. You know, seeing as how summer starts in like two weeks and these thighs are most certainly not fit to be seen by the general public.

Mucho apologies to the people who live in my town and will be witness to this parade of cellulite soon.

Also, anyone have acrylic nails? I have them and had two break halfway down the nail bed in the last week. My regular girl was out of town, and I do not think her replacement was up to the job.

There is nothing more tortuous than the pain of having to get that fixed. First they have to take off the old nail. You know, the one that's super-glued to your real nail, which broke in half, tearing the flesh underneath with it? I'm telling you - I would give away all our state secrets if tortured this way in less than a minute. I'd rat on every single one of you before they even finished with the first nail.

Hurts worse than childbirth. I'm not kidding.

Lastly, I am in desperate need of something good to read. I finished "The Help" a month ago, and I can't find anything comparable. I loved that book. Please leave me a comment and tell me what fabulous things you all are reading. I need a page turner that makes me happy.

There. That is all.

[I know. Sorry. I'll try to do better next time.]

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Indeed, the sun came out tomorrow

Can anyone tell me what that bright, round, yellow thing in the sky is?


We have not seen the sun around here for a few weeks, and today when it shone through my window and blinded my eyes warmed my face, I hardly recognized it.

But it does make me oh, so happy to see it. Here's hoping it sticks around more than two minutes. I am in desperate need of whatever vitamin it gives off. For some strange reason, that vitamin isn't found in cookies or diet coke, which is where I've been looking for it.

Anyhoo, we had a fabulous weekend with an old friend who came to town. [Of course, we had a mini-session, which you can sneak a peek at here.]

We've known this cute girl since she was 12 - and she's now a nearly-graduated trauma nurse. We snatched her right up back then and she became our regular babysitter. Sam was my lifeline to the outside world when I spent my days changing diapers, watching Barney, and counting the minutes until bedtime. She sat for us before there was even a Hannah pinking up our lives, and was there to witness McKay and Chase in all their toddler running/screaming/jumping/squealing glory.

Bottom line is: She knew us back THEN and still likes us.

Which is really saying something.

It was a treat to have her here, and my kids were not the same this morning when they woke up without Sam to jump on or cuddle with.

What say you, Sam? Finish up that degree and come be our live-in babysitter.

We'll take you any time, kid.

Friday, May 14, 2010

One for the sibs

One added bonus at the baptism this past weekend was the presence of both sets of parents (and one lovely cousin who braved a solo road trip with four kids to be here). We felt showered by lovely rose petals from our family tree.

Using Mother's Day as the ruse, I begged the parents and in-laws to sit for a mini photo session - and true to their good natures - they humored me and obliged.

I thought they were all so cute and it warmed my heart to see familiar faces through my lens for a change.

I share these here so that siblings near and far can sneak a peek and share in the fun, too.

The in-laws:




And the parents:




Thursday, May 13, 2010

The baptism


This past weekend, my baby girl was baptized.

My heart was so full. In the only quiet moment of the day, as I was helping her get dressed, I paused for a minute. I held my Hannah and told her how proud I was of her, and how much I truly loved her. She didn't fidget, play with my earrings, or roll her eyes - as she is sometimes fond of doing. She looked me square in the eye, and I felt our souls connect. She threw her arms around my neck, and pulled back with tiny tears on her cheeks, matching my own.

"I love you, too, Mama," she whispered.

It was a moment I will never forget.



This is truly the joy and rejoicing in posterity.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

She has the crazy eyes

Remember the picture I posted last week of the Husband and I?


Yes, that one. The one in which you were all so complimentary and I had a day or two where I walked around the world with my head a little higher thinking, "Yeah. I'm hot."

Remember that?

Well, careful examination of that photo has reaffirmed what I secretly suspected years ago.

That I have the Runaway Bride Eyes.

Remember her? The crazy chick who ran away from home, then came back days later claiming she had been raped and kidnapped? Only we found afterward that she made it all up to avoid having to get married?

Well, say hello to the RB and her blond twin, Stie:


I know, right?

I offer you further proof of my crazy eyes in a photo taken at the Hershey factory in Pennsylvania (Note: I do not normally wear paper hats as my staple fashion accessory):


And more proof here:


What disturbs me most is that I remember the pictures being posted of her and everyone in the media commenting about how you could just tell "by the look in her eyes" that she was crazy and unstable.

I ask you, dear friends, what does that say about me?

Never mind. Don't answer that.

P.S. Have you seen all the exciting sessions happening here?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

These I love


I love it when they sometimes crawl into bed with me first thing in the morning, the smell of sleep still in their hair. They curl their warm, lazy bodies next to mine and together we talk and dream of what the day will hold.

I love it when they turn up the music loud and entice me away from the computer or the dishes to dance and sing with them at the top of my lungs. More often than not, it is music from my era, and part of my soul rejoices in knowing I have brainwashed them into loving the 80s.

I love it when they give me hugs. For no reason at all.

I love it when they surround me for a family movie night. Feet and legs tangled beneath blankets, we watch and laugh together. Popcorn or cookies are shared. It's times like this that I can even pretend I don't mind the crumbs.

I love it when I see that their pants are too short or notice wrists and forearms sticking awkwardly out of shirt sleeves because that means they have grown. And it makes me so happy when they do what they're supposed to.

I love it when they dance and laugh in the rain because daddy said yes after I said no.

I love it when they look me in the eye and ask my opinion on something because they think I'm an expert. Even when it's math that totally goes over my head.

I love it that they love me.

I love them with every particle of my being.

And every night when my head hits the pillow, I thank God for trusting me with these three perfect souls.

Happy mother's day, indeed.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Master of Making me Laugh

A few days ago, McKay decided to decorate an old shirt with a description he thought fit himself perfectly.


I think he summed it up quite nicely, don't you?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A good man


I married a good man.

A man who takes the trash out without being told. A man who plays games with our kids and sometimes lets them win. A man who can't wait to get home at the end of the day, just so he can be with us.

A man who builds me up when I am doubting myself. (which, let's be honest here, is a lot)

A man who laughs at my "chair closet" when I get lazy and don't want to hang things up. (And also a man who doesn't take that time to remind me how often I nag him about hanging his own things up.)

[Note to self: No more nagging about the clothes]

A man who loves freckles and dimpled thighs. (or at least pretends to anyway)

A practical man who approaches life with logic and intelligence.

A man who sees me at the end of my rope, and always ties a big knot for me to hold onto.

Yes, I married a good man.

And today I thought I should tell him that.

Monday, May 3, 2010

How to tempt the universe: Step-by-step instructions

Step one: Read this blog post and immediately pop over to Amazon to order this book. Wait a week for your book to arrive and find you have no time to actually sit down and read it.

Step two: Make the time to read it about a week or so later, and begin eagerly one evening before bed. Find yourself laughing, crying, and repeatedly waking the Husband up to read him passages from the book.

Step three: Pause, look around at your life and think these famous last words, "Man, I am so blessed. I have it so good." Put the book on your nightstand with a smile and fall blissfully asleep.

Step four: LITERALLY EIGHT MINUTES LATER, be awoken by the blood-chilling sound dreaded by mothers everywhere: Your girl child puking and coughing all over her bed.

Step five: Jump out of bed, and help her get into the tub. Throw sheets and blankets into the washing machine, and begin the laboriously painful process of scrubbing the carpet.

Step six: Hear commotion coming from the bathroom, and go in to find that your oldest boy child has stumbled into the bathroom and - ONE FOOT FROM THE TOILET, MIND YOU - stood there and puked all over the bathroom floor, whilst his sister sits shrieking in the bathtub.

Step seven: Take three seconds and try to keep your head intact on your shoulders. Curse silently under your breath. Fume madly. Step into action. Remove girl child from tub, insert oldest boy child. Create makeshift bed for girl child out of blankets on the floor. Continue scrubbing carpet, break your fingernail so far down that it bleeds, and consider updating your resume to read, "Can simultaneously remove puke and blood from carpeting." Decide you really don't want that job and mentally crumble up your resume and throw it in the trash.

Step eight: Get oldest boy settled in bed with strict admonition to MAKE IT TO THE TOILET NEXT TIME. Return to finish cleaning puke off every surface in the bathroom.

Step nine: Two hours later, crawl exhausted back into bed. Have the Husband roll over in a fake-sleepy voice and say, "Hey, what's going on?" Consider choking the Husband. Decide against it as you'd probably have to clean the toilets in jail, too. Roll over and attempt to fall asleep.

Step ten: Curse the universe. Vow to never tempt that cruel, cruel mistress again.

Any questions?