Dec 14, 2009

Where did December go?

I never meant for so much time to pass before I updated on all our holiday happenings.  I keep waiting to do it because I want to add pictures and let's be honest....that adds another step to the process.  Since my last post we had our fourth annual gingerbread house (aka graham cracker houses) party on Dec. 4th.  The kids are getting so good at making these houses.  The same group has done it each year and it is amazing to see how intricate they are getting these days.  Tate and Julia took every minute they could and covered every square inch of their houses even creating walkways and bushes. Everyone stayed for pizza afterwards which was a lot of fun too.





Next came Tate's Holiday Caberet on Dec. 5th, which is a recital put on by her dance studio for the American Cancer Society each year.  Tate's ballet class was asked to participate.  They did a beautiful dance as snowflakes. She gets so nervous when she has to leave me and go backstage, but she did great.  She didn't miss a beat.  I could see her searching the audience for us.  She finally found us when they were coming up for their bow and she waved at us like crazy.  Here is a picture of her after the show.




Last Thursday night was O'Holly Night at the elementary school.  It is a crazy but fun night.  All the classrooms are set up with games for the kids.  The media center is filled with theme baskets created by each class.  These are the stars of the night.  The baskets are packed with fun things.  This year some neat baskets were the Gift card basket, Parents night out, Barbie vs. GI Joe, Principal for a Day.  You get the idea.  After getting their face painted, nails done, and playing a few games, I bought the raffle tickets and they girls put tickets in their favorites.  Scott met us there for the drawing at the end of the night after work.  About half way through the calling of winners (there are over 40 baskets), Tate's name was called.  I had put her name on them all.  We were so shocked.  She and I ran up there to get it. It was the Everything Disney basket.  Tate thought they had made a mistake because she did not drop one in that basket.  It was Paige who voted for it.  It was great.  They got three fleece blankets, a movie, three mugs, two games, cards, coloring, and 2 stuffed animals.  Maybe the Brennan luck is changing. I have been lucky in the grocery store lines lately.

Then Friday night Holly, Laura and I took our kids to Disney on Ice.  We surprised them all.  They had no idea where they were going.  I had told my girls that we would be out late with thousands of people.  The plan was all in place, but Paige had a low grade fever Thursday night and friday morning.  I pumped her with Motrin and she rested on the couch all morning.  After lunch, she perked up.  I felt OK taking her...thank goodness.  Once we got in the parking lot, they remembered that they had seen the circus at the RBC center.  I told them this was something different.  Once we got in there, the Disney merchandise gave it away and I got Tate to read the sign.  I wish you could have seen Tate's mouth the entire time.  It was open with awe watching the guys throw these girls and lift them so high.  They loved it.  Paige was a little concerned with the fireworks and fire.  She really thought the ice would melt and everyone would fall in, so I kept reassuring her.  Other than the $12 cotton candy, the night was absolutely perfect.  I loved suprising them.




This weekend was cold and rainy.  I got my wrapping done and Christmas cards finished, so I feel caught up.  We leave Tuesday morning for my parents house.  We'll come back Thursday late to be home Christmas morning. Tomorrow Tate has a Holidays Around the World presentation at school that we get to go see and Friday Paige has a Milk & Cookies party with holiday story being read by parents.  For me it will be a week of cooking and planning for cooking.  Thursday is our street's annual cookie exchange, Friday is a surprise party where I'm bringing wings, and Sunday the Brennans are getting together locally to celebrate Garrett's birthday and Christmas.  I'm making quiche for that.  I love holidays and love that we have had such fun things to do this year without feeling overwhelmed.

Here are three last pictures.  One of Tate putting the topper on the tree and one of the girls sending their santa letters.  Only ten days to go!




Dec 3, 2009

All I Want for Christmas

I brought a quiver to Paige's voice...no tears but a quiver.  I felt like mud.  It was all about her Christmas list.  In the past the girls have put their top three toys on their list for Santa like the three gifts brought to Baby Jesus.  It's a nice number, and we have lots of family so the girls get plenty of other gifts too.  Paige has not been able to limit it to three this year. 

Her list includes:
  1. Fish and all the stuff to go with it.
  2. Dog
  3. American Girl Doll shoe set
  4. DSi
  5. Mario Brothers DSi game like Tate's
  6. Two American Girl Dolls
So I explained that we have a dog and that Santa would be more likely to give a dog or American Girl doll to a little girl that did not have any.  She has two American Girl dolls by the way.  She listens when I say this and seems to get it but the list does not change.  It actually only gets longer as she sees things or as Tate mentions things.  Anyway, I'm not going to stress her out with choosing.  I told her Santa knows what she will enjoy most and she should not worry about it.  Let's just hope Christmas morning is a success and no quivers come on that day.  This weekend we will take our lists to the big Macy's mailbox, so the list making can stop.

Tate is a whole different story.  She doesn't want much of anything.  I think her list so far is inline skates, two DSi games, and Guess Who Extra...nothing close to the hundreds her sister wants me to spend (unknowly of course...they still have no true sense of money).So I am trying to pull more ideas out of Tate.  I always want to make sure they have something fun for that day.

If I sound worried, I'm really not.  I love to shop for them, but I want to make them happy.   

Nov 30, 2009

Thanksgiving! Yum!

We had an awesome Turkey Day!  Emily and Garrett did a great job.  I think the turkey was the best I have ever had...herb butter is the key.  Emily's mom makes great mashed potatoes. Connor was a hoot crawling everywhere.  The kids all ate and played well.  The stuffing was even good if I do so so myself.

Here is connor playing with Tate's hair.


Scott had to work from 11-2 but made it for dinner.  First time in 11 years Old Navy has been open.

Look at those handsome Brennans!

The kids were so good and probably destroyed Emily's playroom.  I never went up there.  Sorry!

We have so much to be thankful for....wonderful family, our health, great friends, and happy children.  I could not ask for a better year.

Nov 24, 2009

Holiday Plans

Two days and Turkey day is here!  Yippee!  I love holiday food.

We are heading to Garrett and Emily's to enjoy a wonderful meal with her family including her mom and brothers.  Stacy and her family will be there too! Five kids and nine adults I think.  I'm making stuffing and pumpkin pie.  Can't wait.  Scott actually has to work from 11-2 that day (first time ever) but we are going to eat around 4 so it should work out perfect.

The next holidayish plans is our 4th annual Gingerbread House making party.  We started this the year we moved to Holly Springs (four years December 1).  I make the houses out of graham crackers and cookie icing and Holly, Laura, and Jo bring lots of candy.  It is always a great time to get rid of the Halloween candy that is hanging around.  Eight kids decorate houses and eat just about as much candy as they stick on the house.

Then on December 11th, Holly, Laura and I are surprising our kids and taking them to Disney on Ice.  I can't wait.  They have no idea.  The hubbies will have a guys night. 

Next, on December 20th we are going to celebrate Christmas and Garrett's birthday at Emily and Garrett's.  This will be the same gang from Thanksgiving.  I'm excited because this year we are having a brunch.  I need to hop on the Christmas shopping to get ready for this but I have most of my ideas ready.

Finally, on the 22nd or 23rd we will head to Elizabeth City to celebrate Christmas Eve with my side of the family.  There is nothing like home.  The girls love my parents house....feeding geese, the gingerbread cookies B always gets them, playing with the toys that are only at B's house.  After Christmas Eve lunch with 6 aunts/uncles, 4 cousins, 4 little ones (mine included), Granddaddy, Mom and Dad, Mom's aunts and uncles and lots of other extended family, we will head home to have Christmas morning in our own house. 

What a month we have ahead of us!

Nov 17, 2009

Paigeisms

Recent things Paige has said that completely crack me up.

Yesterday after she got home from school--
Paige: You know what I learned about today, Mommy?
Me: What Paige?
Paige: The pill grams sailed a flower boat because they wanted to pray and they had to go somewhere else.
Me: The who?
Paige: The pill grams that went to that rock.

Last week we had a lot of hard nights getting Paige to bed at a decent hour.  One particular night I told her she wouldnot grow much taller if she did not get her sleep.  The next morning she came downstairs.
Paige: Mommy, I slept so good my bangs growed.

There are a ton more that I need to write down the minute she says them.  The way she uses ACTUALLY still makes me smile.  "Well, actually mommy" is a phrase she uses everyday.  Cutie patootie!

Nov 16, 2009

Can it almost be Thanksgiving?

I can't believe it is next week.  I absolutely love the Macy's Day parade.  The girls are starting their Christmas lists and I actually bought my first present last week at Emily's Open House.  I actually got another one yesterday, so Mom is done...birthday and Christmas.  I'm on a roll now.  I'm off every Friday, so I hope to use those days to knock my shopping out. 

Tate is a mystery.  She really does not want anything big.  She keeps pointing out random things on TV but they aren't that exciting.  The thing she keeps saying she wants is a Zhu Zhu pet set.  You will not believe that these are very expensive fake hamsters.  I cannot believe what toy manufacturers can market to kids these days.  Paige wants a DS like Tate.  Santa will definitely be getting that so the fighting will stop over Tate's. 

I really get in the spirit on Thanksgiving.  The girls usually write their lists that weekend of the top three things they want, we get the decorations down from the attic and do the outside while Scott is working, buy a tree, and I go shopping after Scott gets home from work on Black Friday.  This year I may do a 8K Turkey Trot Thanksgiving morning to get ready for all the yummy stuff at Emily and Garrett's.

This week is busier than last but not too bad. The girls have their normal dance classes.  I'm making dinner for a friend on the street with a new baby boy.  On Friday, I am super excited because I get to go see New Moon (the latest Twilight movie) with some friends on opening day.  We already have our tickets.  Tate will be at her best friend's birthday party, so Paige and Scott will get to have a date night.  Throw in homeowork, laundry, and life and the week will be a blur I'm sure.

Nov 10, 2009

Back from OBX Half

What a great course, weather, company, result.  I could not have asked for a better race.  I want to bottle it!  Next year it could be windy and bitter cold, but yesterday morning was in the 60s and sunny. Here I am coming in for the finish.  There is nothing like seeing the big blown up finish line with the clocks.  It just makes you run a little faster.  Just looking for that thing got me throught the last two miles.  I looked for after every corner.  I just wanted to have it in my sights but it was tucked away until you got right to the finish in downtown Manteo on the sound.  Scott and the girls were there on the last corner.  It was awesome to see them along the way.  A group of husbands got together and tracked us along the way.  They were at mile 2, mile 4 and then at the finish cheering us on.  It was so nice seeing the girls and all those people supporting us. The whole weekend was perfect.  A group of friends met to eat at Goombay's Friday night.  I had the best crabcake salad.  Saturday we picked up our race numbers, had a great burger at Five Guys and spent a few hours at Jockey's Ridge. It is always too hot in the summer to take the girls, so this was the perfect time.  They are still finding sand in their ears and hair two days later and after a bath.
Now for the race play by play:

Mile 1:  This is always a hard one for me on race days.  I go through the internal struggle of knowing how many miles are ahead of me, not feeling warmed up, and gasping for breath in a momentary panic attack.

Mile 2: Saw the girls and Scott.  Calmed down and realized I was running by Jockey's Ridge which I have seen a million times.  It felt so odd running down Highway 158 where I have spent my childhood.  I will never look at it the same again.

Mile 3-4: Went into a neighborhood and loved all the sleepy eyed people out with their coffee cheering us on.  Holly, Laura, and Mary were right behind me.  I was warmed up but cautious of going too fast too early. Scott and girls were at Mile 4 and then they headed for the finish.

Mile 5-6: Don't remember a thing.  Passed 2:15 pace group who was ahead of schedule.  Tried to keep an eye on my pace but I'm horrible at it.  This was highway running so it was straight with lots of car exhaust.  Yuck! I ate my chomp here, but I swear I don't notice a difference from when I eat stuff or not.

Mile 7-8: Back into a neighborhood.  I liked these parts of the run best.  The curves and houses and tons of people were a great distraction.  There were even jokes and OBX trivia on posters along the way.  I realized here that my friends had fallen back and I was alone.

Mile 9: Back on highway and curving toward the bridge.  The wind picked up here.  I felt good and loved passing people.

Mile 10: THE BRIDGE...if you remember my last half, we had to cross two bridges twice.  They were gradual long killers.  This one was about half a mile up but with the wind in my face it just seemed to feel like I would never get to the top.  My heartrate got into the 170s.  It is usually in the 150s.  The top never felt so good.  I felt great coming down and knowing that part was over.  I could knew how far I had left....lucky part of knowing the OBX so well.

Mile 11: Straight, tired, but strong...watching the watch.  Knew it would be close getting my time.

Mile 12-13.1: These red flags started lining the course.  We started weaving down side streets to the waterfront.  I kept looking for the finish after each turn.  We pass a medical tent with a lady whose foot was gross and a man with his legs above his heart eating some kind of bar.  Scary!  To think you can get that far and be out. Finally saw the finish and Scott and the girls.  Couldn't wait to cross those mats and then bam it's over.  I did it in 2:11:12....I had hoped for 2:10 but I am very happy with the result. It actually hurt to stop and I had to focus because I had pushed it hard the last mile and was woosy and nauseous.  It passed quickly and I gladly got that medal!

I found all the Holly Springs ladies at the finish and then waited for Mom to finish.  She and Debbie walked it in 3:54.  I'm so proud of her for taking on this challenge.  I hope it gets her hooked on exercising.

What did I learn?
*I love to race.  The adrenline is unlike anything else.
*I love to people watch while racing.
*I missed my friends.  It is amazing how lonely running by yourself can be when you have thousands of runners around you.
*I need to trust my training and not wait to long to hit my race pace.  I was so close to my goal of 2:10.  I'll get it next time.
*Destinations runs are the best.  The OBX was beautiful in November and we got to do things we normally don't do.  




Nov 5, 2009

Halloween on Chrismill


Here are the Brennan girls on Halloween.  I had an Evil Princess and Pumpkin Spice to escort around the ghoulish streets of Sunset Ridge.  Tate wanted to be both good and scary hence the crazy face make-up.  I think she actually scared herself a bit because when I asked if she wanted blood coming from her nose too she said "No, I think that is enough." Paige opted not to wear the orange wig so we cut out some of the orange hair and braided it into her pigtails.

Usually Scott takes them around the neighborhood but this year he had to work.  I made a cute sign and asked my neighbor, Jen, to hand out our candy with hers since I knew the first kid on my porch would likely dump the entire bowl in their bag if I left it unattended.

We headed out and Paige was a speedster.  She was two houses ahead almost the entire time which made me nervous when it started getting dark.  They had a great time.  There are two scary houses that all the kids talk about for weeks leading up to Halloween.  Tate was going to try to go in one this year but decided not to at the last minute.  I can see this being a rite of passage for the kids on the street as the years go by.  We made the big loop of Chrismill and Skymont and had enough candy to feed a third world country.  The girls picked out four of their favorites to have that night.  Tate is my chocolate girl and Paige likes the sweet and chewy stuff.

It was a successful night for all, but I did miss having my annual Halloween conversation with Steve, my neighbor across the street.  We enjoy a beer and exchange candy stories, angry/bossy/sleezy trick or treaters, and the assortment for this year.  Next year Scott will definitely get off and I'll be back on the porch with the jack o'lantern.

Oct 30, 2009

Why?

Why run? It was initially a pact among friends.  We decided at dinner one night to run a spring 5K for breast cancer.  I did the couch potato to 5K run/walk program and hated it the whole time.  We ended doing a race in April before the one mentioned above because we were all ready and excited that we have gotten to three miles.  It sucked.  I had to walk because of a cramp.  In case you don't know,  I don't walk.  For some obscene reason I find it as a failure.  I think everyone has a running "thing"--it might be gear, gadgets, training programs---mine is the walking.  I ended up running another 5K alone the next weekend to prove to myself that I could do it.  I have been hooked ever since.

Why race? I think they push me to find out what I am capable of more than training can.  I need those fast people rushing past me to make me ask more of myself.  Also, a good friend gave me a great matra to keep in mind....I race to train.  The training is what gets us in shape.  The race is just the culmination but it does not take away all those miles you log leading up to it.  I am now one week from my second half marathon.  I am scared to death that I am going to catch the flu going around.  After all this hard work, I want to experience the race, but I keep telling myself that I race to train. Now I just need to listen.

Why keep at it? I constantly hear how bad it is for you to run.  My dad tells me he thinks I'm crazy and would only run if someone with a gun was chasing him.  It feels great to love something you hated and envied in others.  I can run.  I'm not fast, but I am getting faster.  It is something I can work at.  I love to be outside and I love to feel active.  I love that people at work ask me each Monday what and where I ran this weekend.  I love reaching a new goal....a better pace, a new race distance, trying triathlons, hoping to do a relay.  I love talking about running with friends and having friends that run too.  I love that I have found something as an adult to keep me fit and make me feel young.

Oct 26, 2009

Ten Things I Love

1. My girls for being so cute I could eat them up even late at night when I am exhausted and they come downstairs to say cute things that make it so I can't be mad at them.

2.  My husband because he's great and right this moment for helping us get through the sticky tag team deal of managing childcare while Tate is tracked out for three weeks.

3.  My mom for training to walk the OBX half marathon even though she dropped a mirror on her foot at work.  Keep up the good work MOM!

4. My grandfather for being an angel and helping me get a road bike to do more triathlons in the spring and not be at the back of the pack.

5. Ice cream and books because I can think of nothing better to do after 8pm than snuggle on the couch with these two things on my lap.

6. My cat KC for bringing adventure back into the house.  Will he topple the plant today or learn how to get onto the one counter he has not discovered?

7. The flowers of fall still around the lake by our house.  Tate is doing an art project and we have found some great fall flowers (probably just beautiful weeds) to photograph.

8. The feeling of doing of a good deed.  A group of my best friends and I hosted a charity Cornhole tournament yesterday and raised over 1200 dollars for the Caring Community Foundation.  The power of regular people is amazing when you band together.

9.  The holidays...they are coming and I'm getting excited.  Thanksgiving with my brother-in-law and family and thinking of things to buy the girls. 

10. Great friends!  A group of friends from my neighborhood ran the American Tobacco Trail 10 miler on Saturday.  It was so much fun to ride over together and share nerves and jitters and then bask in some great results on a hot humid race day!  Can't wait to do it again in two weeks at the OBX half marathon.

Oct 21, 2009

Best Buds


Isn't it awesome to have that best friend that you never tire of?  Tate has found that in Abbie.  They have been in the same class for Kindergarten, 2nd, and now 3rd grade.  Abbie lives only five houses away from us, so it is a great situation.  This year they are also on the same soccer team as you see in the picture from last week's game. 

Last year they used to play at Abbie's all the time.  I felt bad that they never wanted to come to our house.  They would play in Abbie's backyard that backs up to our neighborhood park.  They played fort and made "salads" out of all kinds of things.  Now this year they have migrated down to our house.  Abbie has a baby sister who naps, so I think they can be louder over here.  At our house they are always in the playroom playing with the peekaboo barbies and polly pockets.  They create a world for these dolls with stores and houses made out of the most interesting stuff.  A plastic screw for a baby carrier turns into spinner for one of the dolls.  If they are not doing that they are choreographing dances and plays with all our dress up costumes.  We even tape them so they can play them back.  Luckily they let Paige be a part of most of the dances and plays.

Some would worry that she should have more friends. I am just so happy she has found someone who gets her.  She has lots of friends I think, but she and Abbie have a sweet bond.  They laugh at the same things and have a similar silliness.  We should all be so lucky to find that type of friend.  I am lucky enough to have great friends in my life too.  They are priceless to me.

Abbie is at Disney now for the first week of track out.  Tate asks me daily what she might be doing.  She flew there, so the first day we knew her flight got in and when they had dinner reservations.  Since then Tate thinks I know her every move.  She can't wait to have her come back and hear about all the fun things she did on her trip.  She has already written notes and left flowers on her doorstep. Let's cherish the sweet times.

Oct 19, 2009

Random happenings

The weather is....beautiful.  I wish I could run but Scott has to work tonight.

The girls are...upstairs playing on the computer we just moved to the playroom.  Now all the educational games are loaded and they are actually using them.  Tate keeps telling me, "Daddy says I'm learning and I thought I was just having fun."

The house is...kinda clean.  I need to do the floors again which I hate.

The cat is....snuggly lately.  Scott has worked a lot of nights lately, so he has been my buddy.  He still attacks Paige at least once a day.  He honestly latches on to her leg and bites.  Maybe since she is the smallest and plays with him the most.

The holidays are....coming faster than I expected.  Mom has already gotten the girls their gifts.  I have ideas but have not made any purchases yet.  I am going to ask friends to take the kids to see Disney on Ice in December.  Should be fun.

The running is...going nicely.  I have a 10 miler this Saturday and the OBX half  marathon is in less than three weeks.  I have not shaved off as much time as I hoped, but who knows what race day will bring.  This weekend's race will be a good predictor.

Scott is...at work.  He worked an overnighter last night and is now back in to close the store.  Then tomorrow is inventory.  I know he will be glad when Wednesday is here.

Tate is...tracked out.  We have lots planned.  Track out camp, reading goals, learning multiplication tables, completing the PTA Reflections project, going to a farm for hayrides and a cornmaze, going to the beach for my half, playdate with friends tomorrow, a charity cornhole tournament on Sunday I helped plan, gymnastics day camp....

Paige is...tracked in at school.  She is on the traditional calendar like me.  She loves it and is learning all about fire safety this week.  She told me her homework was to ask me about our family fire plan so we just did a "test" run through touching the handle, putting a blanket at the bottom of the door and knocking on the window.  She is envisioning ladders and firemen catching her as she jumps out of windows. Let's hope that never happens!

Dinner is...undecided.  I've done chili, spagetti and meatballs, a bbq pork roast in the past few days and tonight I think chicken is all I got in me to make. 

On my side table are...the latest Runner's World, the book I'm reading (Piccoult's The Plain Truth) and the new American Girl catalog that Paige has gone through with me.

Now it is....time to take the girls to the library and then some outside time.  Happy Monday!

Oct 14, 2009

I'm in for it with this child!

Paige is obsessed with clothes.  Yesterday she got in the car after school and asked why Daddy had dressed her in hot clothes (outfit #1 long pants and long sleeved shirt).  Holly was watching her for me so I could get a run in rather than wait till 7 when Scott got home, so Paige changed real quick so she could play outside with Georgia (outfit #2 long pants and short sleeved shirt).  When we got home after the run she was OK for a while.  Tate had Abbie over to play and before I knew it she was changed again (outfit #3 long pants and spagetti strap top).  Then when it is jammie time she changes (outfit #4).  The crazy thing is that when Scott went to wake her up this morning we discovered she has changed yet again before falling asleep in outfit #5--a long sleeve shirt and skirt. 

This is actually pretty funny to watch until I go into her room at the end of the day to find the clothes all over the floor.  It is like a dressing room has exploded.  So this girl is going to give me a run for my money on clothes.  She doesn't like adjustable waist stuff because it "feels funny," but the only stuff that fits her tiny waist is adjustable waist stuff.  This morning she tried at least three different outfits on trying to find something comfortable.  I guess I should be thankful she had to wear a uniform to school last year.  Now she is definitely expressing her taste.  Lots of pink, lots of dresses, and elastic waist pants.  I'm going to need to go shopping since Tate's hand me downs don't seem to fit her taste in clothes.  Right now that actually seems like a good idea just to get through the dressing game at home.  She is a mess...and I love it!  Cute as can be and gets away with murder.

Oct 11, 2009

Running for it!

Two cute stories from yesterday....Tate had a soccer game in the morning.  After the game (they won by the way), Tate and I were walking back to the car with her coach nearby.  He was teasing her saying that he would have them running the whole field at practice on Wednesday.  Tate looked back at him and said, "That's not far...my mom just ran 9 miles."  Then she told him that she ran a mile in PE this week and was breathing really hard at the end.  I'm glad she understands what I am doing and sees how the hard work I'm putting in is paying off. 

Then last night at dusk the girls set out to "Boo" two neighbors on our street.  If you don't know what booing is it is when you create a goodie bag of Halloween treats and leave it on a neighbor's doorstep, ring the doorbell and run away.  It was absolutely hilarious to watch the girls from our front porch.  Paige left with the intention of booing her friend Anna Kate but when it came time to do it I think she got nervous so Tate did the drop off part while Paige waited in the bushes.  Tate carefully planned it out.  She put Paige around the corner in the bushes.  Then she creeped around looking all over for anyone who would be watching her.  As she went up the steps she stopped and took off her flip flops for a fast getaway.  Then she put the bag down and peeked in the side window of the door.  Then she hit the button and took off like a light.  I wish you could have seen her fly.  It was like someone was after her.  My Dad always says he would only run if someone was chaing him with a gun.  Tate looked like she was being chased for sure.  Anna Kate and her mom came to the door and found the surprise.  The girls waited extra long to come out so that Anna Kate would not know it was them.  Mission accomplished!

Oct 8, 2009

Paige is Kindergarten Ready

Last friday Paige got her kindgergarten vaccinations. I absolutely positively incredibly hate needles. I am so much better now than I was before getting my college shots. I used to get the sweats, nausea, etc. just thinking about it. So knowing she had three shots to get make me very anxious. She did awesome! My belly was flopping the entire appointment waiting for the dreaded tray to arrive but she just kept looking at books and talking about all kinds of stuff. That morning she asked me how many she would get and where they would be. With those answers in her head, she seemed to be at peace. Me not so much. I picked her up from school and took her to Wal-Mart on the way to pick out a special toy. We had done the same for Tate when she got her shot. Usually we get a frosty at Wendy's after shots, but getting three in one sitting is a much bigger deal to me, so I get them a toy. It is more for me than them I think. Paige picked out a barbie on roller skates that is pulled by a dog. It is pretty cute and something I would have vetoed if she were not getting shots. I have a barbie ban on our house since we have some many. I was so proud of her. She is still bragging to people about her shots. She let the bandaids stay on until they fell off just so she could tell people. Can't believe that means I can now register her for kindergarten in February.

Oct 1, 2009

The infamous remote has resurfaced

This story will show everyone definitely how cheap I am....more than two years ago our downstairs remote vanished. We assumed after many attempts to find it that one of us had thrown it into the recycling with the newspapers that are often on the coffee table. I assumed replacing the remote would be expensive since it operated the tv, satellite, and dvd player so we just used the buttons for over a year. Scott would make cracks on a weekly basis about missing his remote but he nor I made any attempts to order another one from DISH. As a joke for his 40th birthday I ordered the remote and felt ridiculous when it only cost 19.99. It was a big hit!

Well, yesterday I was searching for a box to mail my best friend her birthday present. I keep spare boxes in my closet, so I pulled down an old sneaker shoebox. It felt heavier than normal, so I opened it up lifted out the cardboard shoe insert still there and there that pesky remote was smiling back at me. One of the girls must have put it in there at some point before it made its way into the closet. They are always turning the boxes into home for their dolls or stuffed animals. Who knows! Scott had just left for the airport (he is in Vegas for the rest of the week) so I called his cell (new cell by the way--we have entered the texting world). As soon as I told him that I found something, he immediately knew it was the remote. I guess now we have a spare.

Sep 28, 2009

Inspired by Friends

I know I am not the only one who asks themself sometimes what keeps us going, what makes us want to be a better person, and who do we look to for motivation. Yesterday I was hit in the face with inspiration. My friend and half marathon coach, Dave, competed in a Half Ironman yesterday at Joran Lake for the Duke Liver Center. What that means is he swam 1.2 miles, biked 56 miles, and ran 13.1 miles. Can you even imagine? As I prepare to yet again just run the 13.1 miles, I can not wrap my head around those distances. Isn't the body amazing for being able to handle such activity. But...even more what I felt yesterday was the power of the mind and spirit. My spirit was swept up in Dave's desire to push himself to such a place. He didn't quite meet his goal of doing it under 6 hours. The gravel and grass run aggravated his achilles and ate away from the lead he had made on the other two legs of the race. I was in awe.

I was and am so thankful that he is my friend along with Laura and Holly who were there with me cheering him on. Who can be so fortunate to have good friends and then have those awesome friends inspire us to be better friends, parents, and athletes. I am amazed and find it very surreal that I have found a group of people to connect with on so many different levels. My sister in law is rocking out these amazing times on her runs too. I love having something new in common with her to add to the great things about her I love.

I guess having just had a birthday and not feeling older but noticing that I am getting older as my children grow in front of my eyes, I appreciate being able to push myself physically and attain such goals. I appreciate the inspiration I get from friends, my family, and even strangers. Yesterday, I got all choked up watching a boy run the last 50 yards with his father to cross the finish line. He made a memory with his Dad that was fun for him and huge for his Dad. Just an amazing day...and I got to share it with my girls who cheered for strangers, saw a friend accomplish a huge feat, and saw how important it is to support and be loyal to those most important in our lives!

Sep 21, 2009

Birthday Central

It's my old day...I mean birthday! It started out great last night with a yummy Bonefish dinner with friends. It is so nice to take a few hours to eat versus 20 minutes. Thankfully my birthday ends our streak of birthdays for a little while. We have Emily's and Connor's coming up next. Paige's birthday, last Monday, went great. She loves her bike and rather than going out to the restaurant of her choice, she decided she wanted pancakes with strawberries and syrup on top. I could handle that. On Friday the girls went to a birthday party for the Haskells. Scott got a night out for pizza since we had neither child for three hours. Nothing like a free babysitter for the night. I picked up Tate and Abbie after the party. They were sleeping over at our house and Paige was staying at the party for a sleepover with her best friend Jackie (her first one by the way). At home, Tate and Abbie talked about what they would do and were going to go get jammies on. Abbie ran up and Tate turned to me and like a light switch she was crying, "Mommy, I miss Paige." I was shocked. Almost daily Tate asks me to play with Paige so she and Abbie can be alone. This was her time at home alone and she missed her sister. It was so cute and something I vowed to write down so that in 5 or 10 years when they are fighting for time in the bathroom I can remember that face. I calmed her down and they had a great time until Paige called at 9pm not to talk to me or Scott but to say goodnight to Tate. It was just the cutest thing. I think as parents we don't realize that our kids have these rituals. They are so engrained into our routines that only when they bring them to our attention do we notice them. Every night Paige says goodnight to Tate right before she goes to sleep which is not always right when we put her to bed. Tate got a cracky voice but said goodnight to her. It was so nice to see them and a reflection of their bond. Just what a Mom needs sometimes.

Sep 15, 2009

My baby is five!

It's true. Paige turned five yesterday. Everything went great (except for when the girls cried over an earthworm Paige was trying to turn into a pet and Tate didn't want her to swish it--I swear Tate will end up working for PETA). Saturday was her party at Sonshine gymnastics. They bounced, did the zip line, jumped in the foam pit, and did an obstacle course. We do need to work on the gift deal. She got gifts Friday from her Nana, Saturday at her party and then Sunday from my parents and her aunt and uncle. So yesterday, we finally got to give her our gift--a Barbie bike that has the bike attachment for her barbie. This is what she wanted. She loves it, but did say, "I thought I would get more gifts today since it is my real birthday." Knife in the stomach. I took the time to explain that we must be grateful and helped her remember all the great things she had received over the last few days. She understands but I was surprised to hear her say that.

I just can't believe she is that old. She absolutely loves her new school. Her mannerisms are changing too. I get the head tilts now and hair flips that must come from having an older sister. It is so fun to go into new phases with them, but it is just happening so fast. Hold on!

Sep 8, 2009

Paige's first day of Transitional Kindergarten

Here she is...Miss TK! Paige loved her first day of TK with Ms. Laura at Sunrise United Methodist Church today. Her best friend is in her class, and she tells me she has already made another new friend named Abby. They eat lunch there too and unfortunately Scott forgot to take the candy out of the lunchable meal she took so she "got in trouble" the first day. It is actually my fault because I don't think I told him no candy. She took it great and ate the candy as soon as she got home.


Last night was hilarious. We were filling out a questionnaire the teacher had sent home at open house. It asked about likes, favorite things, dislikes. For likes and favorite things she only wanted to put KC (our now four month old cat) whom she adores. For dislikes, I told her I didn't think she had any. I used her friend Julia as an example because Julia is afraid of balloons, so the teacher would want to know in case a balloon was at school and Julia cried. She thought about it a minute and then said, "I'm afraid of tigers and haunted houses but I guess those won't be there so don't write anything." It was priceless.

Here she is playing with Linkin' Logs before Dad left. She had no problems! Yeah!

Sep 2, 2009

On your mark...get set...go!

That is how I feel our summer has gone...a race...enjoyable race that is. Week three of work and school has finally gotten me into a calmer routine. Since I last posted, Scott and I celebrated our 10th anniversary by going to Tybee Island, GA for a few days. Then the family returned to Kitty Hawk for another week of sun and sand in mid-August before work and school started.

Tate celebrated her 8th birthday on August 7th with a Do-It-Yourself birthday party. It was lots of fun. She made shirts, suncatchers, pizzas and decorate jumbo cupcakes with 7 of her closest friends (and her little sister who ate up all the big girl attention).

Now Paige awaits her birthday in September. We actually bought the plates and napkins yesterday. She'll be having a gymnastics party. I am so excited that I'll only have to make the cake and goodie bags for this one. I think she wants a heart. I always find their cake choices interesting. Tate had a mermaid this year.

So I promise to write more now that our normal routine of school, dance, and soccer has started again. Tate scored the first goal of the season at her first game last Saturday. We have real refs now!

Jul 7, 2009

Tate's first day of Third Grade


Today was the day. Supplies were bought, a new dress was on, and the belly ache began right after the pancake breakfast she requested. We were both upset that she did not feel well. She didn't want to miss the first day but felt like she would throw up. I was imagining the teacher going over all the rules and introductions without her. Thanks goodness by 10:30 she felt up to going. Once at school there were a few tears and shaky legs. It leads me to believe the belly ache was a case of the third grade nerves. New "boy" teacher, out in the bungalows (fancy word for a double wide) instead of in the building, and the loss of some friends created a party in her tummy. Scott and I walked her in and dropped her off at Art class where her classmates were painting a picture as the teacher read a story aloud. I kept my cell phone nearby all day but did not get a call...thank goodness. At the bus stop, I was so happy to see her waving her hands and smiling. Nerves were gone and she was telling me about the new planner she gets to keep her assignments in, the new "older" playground she gets to play on now, and the new table at lunch. Times are changing. She is really seeming older. Her reactions are more emotional and deep it seems. The secretary said it best...different stages for different ages. Today we will start a new chapter. Sniff, sniff!

July 4th

We headed down to Kitty Hawk last Tuesday after Tate finished second grade for a quickie beach vacation before third grade started today! We had a great week, awesome weather, and got to see my parents and grandfather. Here are some highlights:

Scott digs the girls a hole each day for them to use as a pool. On this day, they became Olympians doing the triple jump.


Here is my beach bum glistening in the July heat.

B and Tate playing ladderball...our new beach game for the week that we feel in love with.



The Brennan girls before the fireworks.


Tate venturing out into the water with Dad.

Searching for shells before heading home.

This is my favorite place in the planet to be. We are heading back again for a longer stay when Tate tracks out for her summer break.

Jun 21, 2009

Just cried in front of the girls

I don't cry...hardly ever...especially in front of the girls, but they did talk me into watching Marley & Me. Therefore, now I have cried twice in front of them. A story for Tate to tell. She remembers me crying at the old house. She thinks I was sad to go when really it was because the realtor told me to paint the kitchen and put in a new chandelier.

We rented some movies yesterday, and I had planned to watch it alone last night but I gave in. It was so good. Perfect dog lover movie. Having just lost Scout I waited to watch it and thought I was ready. I guess I would have cried no matter what but watching them say goodbye to Marley made me crumble. Tate crumbled with me just like the oldest child in the movie. I think it was good for us and I don't think I have harmed them for life. It made us remember Scout's toilet drinking, endless eating if the dog food was left open, and inability to drop the tennis ball. It also made me think about Jackson who has racked up hundreds of dollars in vet bills because of a horrible ear infection in the last two weeks. I even have a prescription I need to get to the pharmacy today to hopefully get her well. In the end the movie reminded me that I need to go pick up Scout's ashes so we can take them to the beach with us over the fourth.

The newest member of the family, KC--Krazy Cat, is doing great. He is all energy and we all have the scratches to prove it. The girls have quickly learned to close their doors at night so their feet are not attacked. He is the cutest thing ever. A great addition to our family!

I've been off a week from work and feel busier rather than like I am on vacation...lots of fun stuff! If computer problems stay out of my way and I get an extra hour in the day I'll try to update more. Paige went down the huge slide on her own on Friday for the first time. Tate has a week left of Second Grade and will have Mr. Tricino next year--her first boy teacher. Paige starts camp tomorrow at her new school. It will give her a chance to see the place and get ready for September. Both girls are three weeks into their summer gymnastics session having loads of fun on the bars and balance beam--a nice break from dance.

Jun 8, 2009

Here she is...

Here is our new bundle of energy. For now we are calling her KC (Kitty Cat). Isn't she a cutie!


She joined us on Friday after living for three days in the bushes outside of a Spanish teacher at my school's house. We took her in to surprise the girls and now she has Scott wrapped around her little paw. Let's hope that he is not allergic to her because I know he likes her now.

Here she is playing in a tunnel I got her yesterday...



It is fun! Now we need to introduce her to Jackson. Wish us luck! We'll head to the vet this week to make sure she is a she.

Jun 2, 2009

Tate's Recital


Tate had her dance recital on last Saturday! I was the class mom this year. Yeah me! It actually wasn't too bad except for the girls asking me every second how many songs until their turn. They were after intermission so it was quite a few, but they never gave up asking. Here are some shots of the class hanging out before their number.

Here they are right before going on stage.

They danced to "Carolina on My Mind" by James Taylor. It was beautiful. I am so impressed by her studio. At 14, they take them to dance in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I will live vicariously through her if they are still doing that when she gets that old. How fun!

Here we are having ice cream to celebrate afterwards.


Her recital closes out our activities for this school year. I signed them up for swim lessons and Paige up for gymanstics for the summer. A change of pace for the summer....



May 28, 2009

Thursday and beyond

Yesterday was Tate's dress rehearsal. It is so fun to watch them get excited about a big stage and see the awe in their faces when they watch the big girls dance.

Today I help in Tate's class and clean for my parents arrival tomorrow night. When will Jackson stop shedding so my vacuum with not blow up from use?

Two days until Tate's recital and my first go as a class mom backstage.

Four more days of school for Paige until she is done for the summer.

A week until Tate's Me party at school...sounds fun. Scott is going since I have to work.

Six days before I head to Wilmington for a girls weekend with Courtney.

Six more days of work for me and then I'm unemployed until further notice by the school system.

Five more weeks of 2nd grade for Tate.

Five more weeks until we head to the Outer Banks for July 4th week.

Seven weeks until Scott and I have been married 10 years! We are headed to Tybee Island, GA to celebrate. Just made reservations. Nana and B will babysit.

Two months a a week until Tate is eight! Say it ain't so.

Three months and two weeks until Paige is 5! I know it can't be so!

Three months and three weeks and Carmen will turn.....the computer has stopped working.

And if we really want to think ahead....8 months until we take the girls to Disney again! This time we will do Sea World.

May 21, 2009

Thata a girl!

Why am I so excited that Tate got her first hole in a pair of jeans? Crazy I know, but it is like a right of passage during your childhood. She thought I would be mad, and I just smiled. Poor girl was so confused.

Went almost two months without a microwave, but we have the new one in after calling in Dave and Darren to help us realize we had not taken the bracket off. Duh!

Got a haircut! It is surely a thata girl day!

May 20, 2009

Paige's First Recital

Another first has come...Paige had her first dance recital on Saturday. She danced (yes, in the neon green costume that had no connection to the beautiful song) to "Barbie Bandaids," a sweet sentimental song about your little girl growing up. Can I say tears? Whew! I got her out of school early for dress rehearsal on Friday. She was excited, and I was nervous to see what she would do when the curtain opened. She danced...that is what she did. She was even smiling. Afterward, she told me her teacher promised them a treat if they smiled the whole time. At school, she doesn't really participate when the class sings to the parents, so I wondered how an auditorium of parents would make her feel. She was awesome!

Here she is right before the recital...


On the way there, she asked me if more than Mommies would be there this time. I told her yes...that Moms, Dads, Grannies, and Granddaddies would be there. She didn't say anything more so again I waited with baited breath to see what she would do with the auditorium full. She twirled, pointed, and so graceful! On the way to lunch, she said "Mommy, I didn't even have to take their clothes off." At first I was thinking What? Then I remembered that I had told her if her belly felt a little funny and she was nervous to think of the audience in their underwear and that she would think that was so silly her funny feelings would go away. I loved it! I won't forget that one!



May 13, 2009

Chalk family

The girls are obsessed with drawing pictures on the driveway with chalk right now. They are getting quite good at it. Tate has a house, girl and garden with watering can going right now. Good cheap fun!

Yesterday, Paige wanted to trace us all to have a family in her picture. I humored her and laid down on the cement while she traced me...even each finger. What an eyeopener when I got up. I'm a pretty small person but you should see the hips on the chalk me. Ha! It was hilarious. Now there is a chalk Tate, Paige and Mom greeting our neighbors as they walk by. We are even holding hands. OK, rain come help me out!

Tate tracks back in today....5 more weeks and I'll have a 3rd grader. Can that be right? Paige is done at her school on June 5. We'll have the summer together and she will start at her new school in September for Transitional Kindergarten.

May 11, 2009

Crazy Dog

It has been two weeks since Scout passed away, and Jackson is now full blown spoiled by all of us. She loves the air condition, so we have to fight her to go out. She just wants to relax and shed her winter fur all over the hardwood. When she sees us coming to let her out for the bathroom, she hides under chairs or behind the couch. I guess she is scared the good life will be taken away again just like it was when the kids arrived and she and Scout started staying outside more. The last two nights she has for some reason decided that after it cools off outside she enjoys laying on the patio and does not want to come in for the night when Scott and I are ready for bed. When we call her in, she goes under the porch. We left her out Saturday night, and she did fine. Last night, I gave up and left her out again but at 3:30 in the morning she decided she was ready to come in. A rhythmic bark persisted until I woke up and let her in. That just can't happen. I guess we are going to have to take our spoiled almost 12 year old dog into our fenced in backyard on a leash each night so that she will come in without a scene.

May 9, 2009

Trophies and more trophies

Great news! Tate received two trophies this week. She is creating quite the collection on her dresser. I think she is up to five. On Monday, we had a pizza night with her soccer team. Her coach is amazing. Great guy! He spoke about each of the ten kids as he presented their trophy and what he said really showed that he took the time to get to know them. Tate was his smiler. Nothing gets that girl down. He could always look to her for a strong kick (2 goals this season) and a smile even if the team was down. We are aging up next season so after 3 seasons with many of the same kids she will be on an all girls team in the fall. No more co-ed. I don't know how I feel about that. The boys are fun and they challenge the girls to be more aggressive.

Trophy two came on Thursday night at the PTA meeting. Tate participated in the annual Reflections art contest. This year the theme was WOW! We had just returned from Disney when this project was due so her WOW interpretation was the fireworks at the Magic Kingdom. It turned out great. Instead of drawing it, she cut out different shapes to create the castle, trees, etc. out of construction paper. Here it is...

She got first place for the K-2 age category. We are so proud of her! It was so cute to watch her getting nervous before they called her name to go get her trophy and shake hands with the principal. She was rubbing her hands together and moving her legs. Nerves!

Now my Paigey is a trooper. She watches her sister do this with a smile and clap. She loves it and never complains about not having a trophy of her own yet. Scott and I are the ones that feel bad. Tate has five trophies and has had visits from the tooth fairy six times and Paige takes it in stride. Her day will come and I can't wait. I think I will find a trophy for her for her Pre-K graduation in June.

May 3, 2009

Week in Pictures

This week was great! We deserved it! Monday Tate went to her first day of gymnastics track out camp and loved it. This was the first time she has gone somewhere where she didn't know anyone. She did great. Her last soccer practice rounded out the day. Parents played kids and the kids won.

Tuesday was picture day. Emily and I took the kids to the Rose Garden and had great shots taken. The scenery was great! I almost died when the photographer asked the girls if they had a dog but they both handled it great.

We left the Rose Garden and went to Pullen Park. The girls went on the carousel (sleigh for Paige, horse for Tate) and the train. We had lunch and I even got interviewed by the local news and we were on the 6 o'clock news that night. The girls loved seeing themselves on TV.


















Wednesday Tate was back at gymnastics camp. She had Abbie stay over for a sleepover. They had a blast. This was only her second sleepover at our house. It went so nicely. I ended up bribing Paige with a new Fancy Nancy book to leave them alone for a while. It worked.

Thursday was just as busy. After the girls did some "shows" for me in the morning, we headed to JumpZone for 2 hours where they jumped and jumped and jumped that energy out. In the afternoon we went to Porter's and picked strawberries and had homemade ice cream with friends. Yummy!

Friday Tate went to see a movie with her friend Caitlyn while I worked and Paige was at school. We had dinner with Stacey, Matt, Abbie, and Jamison. We had to get to bed early for Tate's last soccer game.

Saturday morning eating her bagel, Tate lost her sixth tooth. After a mishap with Scott almost rinsing it down the kitchen sink, it made it to her pillow. Tate continued her great day by making her second goal of the season at her last soccer game and the only goal of the game for her team. You gotta love to see a girl fist pump with all the boys watching. Go girl!



This coming week should be less busy but hopefully just as fun! Recitals are coming and Tate will track back in after Mother's Day.

Apr 27, 2009

Monday is here!

We have hit a new week and it is going to awesome! There has to be something said for the power of positive thinking right? Last week was unbelievable. We lost our dog Scout on Thursday night very quickly to what the vet said was an undetected rupture of a mass on her spleen that caused her to bleed internally. We have spent the weekend helping the girls deal with her absence...and ourselves. I miss her. She was our dumb blond always happy to see you girl. The most beautiful and friendliest dog. The only thing that was aggravating about her was her obsession with eating and her urge to drink toilet water. We will miss her always.

The weekend was beautiful. Tate had a soccer game Saturday. Her team made another good effort but came up short. We washed cars and planted up a storm. Sunday Scott took the girls to visit Nana and I stayed behind to stain the back deck floor and stairs. It looks great. Hopefully tonight I will be able to put the furniture back on and enjoy it being complete. The floor was the last think we needed to complete after getting it built last May.

The girls have each planted their gardens. My iris is blooming and the two plants Scout basically ate to the ground over the winter are reemerging. Those will make me think of her often which is a good thing.

Today Tate starts gymnastics track out camp. She has never done anything like this, so I can't wait to hear about it tonight. She sure is growing up. Both of them look taller and older lately. Tomorrow we get pictures taken in the rose garden with Connor. I can't wait. This week will be better! I demand it to be so!

Apr 22, 2009

I want a redo

This week will go down as one of the most tiring I can remember and it is only Wednesday. Last weekend was intense with 7.5 cubic yards of mulch dumped in the driveway. It looks awesome now, but it was a lot of work. For some reason it is like having a baby--you don't remember how exhausting it was since you don't do it that often.

Sunday night Tate got the unfortunate stomach bug--poor thing. She was a trooper. I had just laid my head down on the pillow after a day of mulching when it all started. We were up with her all night--seven hours of fun. I had to work Monday, so after an allnighter I worked a full day. I have not been up for 38+ hours since college and hope to not do that again anytime soon.

I also caught Tate's cold that is kicking my butt. It has gone to my chest. I'm afraid I may have to go see the doc soon. Hope not. Anyway, no one else has gotten sick so hopefully we are in the clear....I'm knocking on wood now.

I got a new coffee carafe. I picked out a new microwave to get this weekend and my Dad gave me the play by play instructions to install it and save some money. The week is looking up! Now if I can just kick this cold and get a good run in.

Apr 17, 2009

Tidbits from our week

Scott went to Chicago but said all he saw was the inside of the hotel conference center. Too bad!

Our coffee pot cracked and microwave shorted out. Is that really fair to happen in the same week?

This week I asked Tate why she was sleeping on top of her made bed. I reminded her that just because her bed was made does not mean that the rest of her room is clean. She smiled and said, "I was hoping the bed would do the rest."

The Easter Bunny got Paige a CD player. Now she is a singing dancing maniac. I love it. She sings so loud you would never know how shy she acts at school.

Paige is growing a lima bean even though she does not like them and actually brought home the seeds from her cucumber at lunch on Wednesday to plant in our garden.

I almost ran over a duck on my way to work today. What was he doing by himself at 6 in the morning?

Paige is pumping on the swing all by herself like a pro now. It sure took a while but she has it.

Tate's appetite is back after a cold this week. Thank goodness.

Tate went to her friend Abbie's house yesterday to play. She came home saying, "Mom, I love my chocolate bunny but Abbie's was all the way up to her knee." We just had a talk about haves and have nots so this was funny watching her want to tell me but treading lightly.

Tonight we have dinner with G, Emily and baby Connor. We can't wait.

Apr 15, 2009

Day as a Single Mom

Wake up at 3am to Scott's alarm that is going off for some reason while he is sleeping peacefully in Chicago. End up taking batteries out of the thing because I can't figure it out.

Wake up at 6, shower, get dressed for work. No jammies in the carpool line today.

Wake up Tate. Tate and I wake up Paige and carry the princess downstairs.

Feed dogs.

Fix them breakfast--poptart and waffle for Paige, bagel and waffle for Tate. As they watch a show, I packed Tate's lunch and got every one's book bag ready to go. I also brewed coffee in my cracked pot because I just had to have a cup.

Got girls dressed and hair done.

Leave home at 7:30 headed to Primrose. Earliest Paige has been dropped off before since Scott usually takes her at 8:30. Drop off Tate in carpool at 8:00.

Arrive at Enloe at 8:50 rather than the 6:20 I normally get there. Odd to walk in the school when the sun is out.

Work, work, work.

Meet Tate at the bus stop. Drop her off at Molly's for a play date.

Stop by Harris Teeter on my way to get Paige for some last minute dinner items.

Return home and when Tate gets back we start on homework while Paige swings. Get salad ready.

Hit the car again at 4:55 to go sign Tate up for dancing next year. We got the 5:00 lottery slot which is a great time but one of the classes she wants is already full. She is going to take ballet and tap and maybe we will get the jazz class she wants and drop the tap.

Return home and throw the chicken on the grill. Pack up BBQ chicken and apple/blue cheese salad for a friend and jump back in the car to deliver.

Return home for the third time today and have dinner. Finish homework and send the girls to the backyard while I sit here and blog.

Now I am off to give them baths and study for the science test Tate has on weather. Oh, and the 15 minutes she needs to read.

Did I say how much I love my husband and can't wait for him to get home. The mulch is coming tomorrow!

Apr 13, 2009

Easter

Easter was great! The girls left a note for the bunny to come to the Boon Docks (yes Tate named my parents' house this after Scott called it such when she was only two) since we went to Elizabeth City to visit my family for the long weekend. On Friday the girls climbed the pasture tree in their yard which was lots of fun since we don't have trees around here to climb. Saturday my mom signed them up for a free lesson on fish at Port Discovery downtown. They got to see the insides of a fish and look at lots of interesting things under microscopes including tadpoles, dragonfly eggs. My girls love this yucky, slimy stuff. My brother came for the day too, so we spent the afternoon hanging out with him and Melissa along with the seven dogs (Jackson, Scout, Ally, Maddy, Riley, Blue, Bridgett, and Sandy) that are there when my entire immediate family is there with their animals in tow. Thank goodness my parents live in the country on a huge lake that all the dogs think is heaven on earth. Sunday was Easter. After the bunny graced the girls with new movies, candy, and a special toy for each of them, we headed to church to hear B sing, visit with friends, and enjoy the service. The girls were adorable. Tate looked very grown up.

Now it is Easter Monday and Tate is home sick with a fever and bad cold. At least it held off for our trip. We had a great time!

Apr 2, 2009

Dancing, Soccer, etc.

There are so many things things I want the girls to try. Right now they dance and Tate also plays soccer. Tate did gymnastics when she was 3 but then started dancing at 4 and dropped the gymnastics because it was too much at the time with Paige in tow and kindergarten ahead. When I was their age I played soccer and danced. There were times when I only did one. It is very interesting seeing it from the other side. Now I remember seeing my mom eating Hardee's in the car as we played soccer. Now I remember her comments about being a taxi. Now I remember her displeasure always having to figure out what we were going to have for dinner. Whew! I love watching them dance and kick the ball around. I truly love to see them be good at something and get praise from someone other than us, but whew, what a job figuring it all out.

Tuesday we got next year's dance schedule. There was an actual lottery to register for the classes because the place is so popular in our area. I now have a time slot to go and try to get the classes they want. Paige will still do ballet/tap, but Tate is old enough now that ballet and tap are separate classes which equals more money and more days at the studio. It will be fun and busy but just figuring out when she gets out of school and when we can take the classes and how that affects my work schedule is a job in and of itself.

The tricky part is wanting them to experience more like playing an instrument but not wanting them to add another day to their activities. I think kids still need to come home, do their homework, and go outside and play. I have to maintain those days too. So for now we will keep on doing what they enjoy and we'll try something new if their interest changes in one of those. Paige is going to try gymnastics this summer while she is on the summer break from dance. Tate will do swim lessons after soccer is over. And me...I will find good books and magazines to read while I watch it all!

Here is Paige's "cute" recital costume and a pic of us decorating Easter eggs.

Mar 26, 2009

From the Mouths of Babes

This morning Scott and I had to go to the lawyer's office and sign all the papers for our refinancing. Paige went with us and played with a few toys they had outside the office. By the end, she was in the office and the lawyer even did the hidden candy trick under Styrofoam cups to entertain her. Anyway, we finished up with our new shiny pens in hand. When we walked out of there, Scott was on cloud nine talking about the money we were saving (over the next 30 years mind you...but I'm excited too). He looked at Paige and said, "Paigey, you can go to college now." She looked at him like he was crazy and said, "I'll just get an American Girl doll." That is what a lot of money means to her. Ha!

Mar 25, 2009

Dance costumes

Tuesdays are dance days at our house. Costumes are in and Paige has a doozey! Close your eyes and imagine this....neon green tutu, black and green checked bodice with flesh color material that ends in a tight collar no four year old wants to wear. Needless to say I am not a fan but it grows on me each time I see it on her because what four year old is not cute in a tutu. Well, yesterday the teacher invited us in to see the dance. I have been watching them practice it for a few weeks but had not heard the music so I was excited to see how it all came together. So I am sitting there and the most adorable song comes on. It is called "Barbie Bandaids." It is the sweetest country song about your daughter growing up. I will be crying buckets at the recital. So now go back to the description I gave before.....how does this sweet song relate to the disco outfit hanging in Paige's closet? Did I mention her teacher is 17? Great girl and perfect with the kids but oh my! That may explain it all.

Mar 23, 2009

Week in Review

Whew! What a week!

Monday and Tuesday were spent finishing up Tate's landforms project. I am truly going to school all over again. She drew, defined, and colored 10 landforms and created a visual that included a clay hill, sandy coast, pipe cleaner windmill on the plains, and a tissue paper mountain. She was a trooper and very proud to brag that she had drawn all her pictures while two people in her class only cut out pictures and glued them down. I did squeeze in 6 miles on Tuesday with Holly.

Wednesday was Scott's 40th birthday. After I got over the shock of thinking someone was attacking me in the dark of the early morning, I couldn't stop laughing at the balloons on our mailbox and streamers that friends had covered Scott's car with. He came home to 40 cards in the mailbox. We took him out to dinner and came home with cake. I'm still trying to get him to buy the 40 inch plasma, but I think he wants a vacation instead.

Thursday and Friday were spent on secret shopping missions for Scott's surprise party. Paige also had her recital pictures on Friday. While I read in Tate's class, Paige got to go down to a neighbor's house with all the other girls in her class and have her hair and make-up done. They all looked absolutely adorable. The green and black costume is slowly growing on me because I just think any tutu is cute.

Saturday Tate had a soccer game and scored her first goal of the season! Go Sounders! Once we got home, we started cleaning up. Scott thought we were cleaning for his mom but he would soon find out that he was cleaning for his very own party. He went to lunch with his brother and only then did I tell the girls what was going on. Paige is not good with secrets. Jim arrived shortly with tables, coolers, and cornhole. The backyard was transformed. The party went great. Nearly 30 of us surprised him (kinda). He recounted the clues for us later. I guess Garrett insisting to go to lunch on Saturday versus Sunday started the suspicion. Then the call I made Emily make because I was nervous he was never going to come home didn't help. The only thing that make him think twice was a last minute idea by a friend who told me to do something normal. I grabbed my next door neighbor and we went and stood in her driveway and pretended to talk like a normal afternoon. After much cornhole, BBQ, and beer the party ended a little after 7.

Sunday was beautiful! We kept the girls outside and cleaned up the yard. Now I look forward to a normal busy week versus the Brennans on fast forward!

Mar 12, 2009

Come on Spring and SPRING!

I love warm weather. I am absolutely not made to withstand the cold. Put me on a desert island any day before making me travel to Alaska. I accomplished something big this year and trained for a half marathon in the cold, even ran 12 miles in the low 30s which is big for me. Couldn't feel my toes until about five miles in.

Needless to say, I can't wait for spring. This week got me excited. My daffodils, tulips, and day lilies are coming up (I am addicted to gardening). I pruned the crepe myrtles and planted a leftover lantana that I did not get into the ground last fall. I was so surprised to see that it was still alive when I went to throw it away. Tate had her first soccer game last Saturday--no need to mention the score. Paige got invited to attend a select dance class this summer--no need to talk about Tate not getting asked. Recital tickets go on sale on Saturday. Scott's 40th birthday is next week. All the signs of spring are here but the weather is getting cooler again. I am going to look at the showers coming in as a positive sign. The grass is sure to get greener and plants bigger. When the rain breaks on Wednesday, I demand spring to show its pretty face.

Mar 9, 2009

Job or no job...that is the question

Yes, I am one of the luckily part-time Wake County employees who is in limbo wondering if they have a job next year. All part-time contracts are terminating, so while my principal wants to keep me there are lots of other factors that will determine if I have a job. I am actually OK with being cut if that is what is meant to be but the uncertainty is killing me.

Luckily Paige is not very happy at her school. She is quiet and doesn't share much with her teachers. This is not the loud, dancing girl I live with. I hate to think that she goes into a shell at school. After two years, I don't think we should be having anymore crying days at drop off and we still do. She asks Scott everyday for me to pick her up early. It breaks our hearts, but when I pick her up she is happy in her silent way...playing on the playground or listening to a story at circle time. Her teachers say she is reserved but happy throughout the day. One conversation especially made me cry. At a conference I asked the teacher about Paige playing with friends, especially Sammy who she talks about a lot at home. The teacher said she does not play with others that often...is very busy but mostly plays independently. I felt like I was kicked in the stomach. I think Paige is an observer. She sees so much and tells us so much but maybe she is not always involved.

Obviously as her mother I feel responsible for making her happy and putting her in places that help her grow. This school is awesome but is not the best place for her. So to make a long story and lots of thinking short...we have made different plans for her next year. She will be going to a local church and taking part in their transitional kindergarten program. The class is very small and one of her best friends will be there with her. I think this will help her feel more comfortable. I sure hope so! The lucky part is that this decision was in the works before the job crisis arose. I would have hated to move her if she was happy. We would have had no choice because we can't really afford her current school without my income. Her new school is less than half what we are currently paying, and she will be going five half days next year. It is all working out as well as can be expected. She is excited and I am excited for her. We will get to spend the summer together and be fancy free! I can't wait. I'll leave the rest to the higher powers and enjoy the now!