Tuesday, July 31, 2012


seriously. i know i say it every year.

but seriously.


i took my oldest baby on a special trip for her birthday this year. we went to boston. we had a blast cruising around the cape, whale watching, seeing the historical spots and eating eating eating.

before we left we had a little family party to celebrate S's life.

that's getting to be a lot of candles!!!

we woke up the morning of her actual birthday in boston, massachusetts. we walked down to a local donut shop and she ordered the birthday special.

a donut the size of her head!
 we drove to salem and a town called essex where we went to the first fried clam joint in MA. we also had lobster rolls and clam chowda'. it was DELICIOUS!

we went to the best ice cream place ever... giffords.

she got some birthday ice cream and a bobble head lobster.

she was pretty pumped about that.

we ended the night in the north end eating delicious italian food. and the waiter even made a special trip to the store across the street to get her some chocolate milk.

i love the young lady you are becoming my SR. i love your confidence, your creativity, your silliness, your humor, your wicked baking skills, your fashion sense.... you are still rocking those crazy outfits.

heck, i even love your "cosmetic" glasses you insist on wearing.

i love everything about you.

you are beautiful inside and out.

happy 12th birthday baby girl!

Friday, July 27, 2012

d & s room remodel

we decided to do a little room switch-a-roo this summer.
 we found this inspiration board on pinterest and loved it. the girls loved the colors and we thought we would use matryoshkas instead of horses as the theme.

they had this awesome dollhouse bed. but the problem was that it was huge and took up a lot of space in the room and also provided a lot of storage/hoarding opportunities.

we decided to list it on craigslist and remodel the room with the proceeds.

 the room needed a new coat of paint. the shutters, doors and floor boards were yellowed, the ceiling needed paint and the little darlings had added several locations of uninvited wall art over the years.

 in case you can't make it out..

"emily is tall and nice. she is my best friend at school."

 i'm not sure about these two....

sharpie drawings on the door. precious.

little s was really excited about writing her cousins name.

 we had decided to replace the floorboards altogether and were tossing around the idea of replacing the carpet as well... but decided against it.

so we ripped out the floorboards, had the room painted & we painted the dressers and beds ourselves.

we were beginning to make progress, when we accidentally left the hose on overnight in the flower bed that is in front of their window. the room was flooded and the carpet and pad were ruined.

so new carpet was installed after all. luckily we have a good carpet guy and were able to pick from remnant pieces.

 here is the new carpet, floorboards and paint... silver mist.

 putting the room back together.......

 now we have almost everything done. we just need to find some cute curtains, a rug & figure out something for the lampshade and we will call it good.

we reused a lot of things that were already in the room and updated them with a new coat of paint. i was excited to use these vintage pillowcases that my aunt gave to me. i found the white coverlets and shams at tj maxx. the bunk beds were from s & l's room. i had bought those many years ago. they were originally red, but i painted them black. we repainted them aqua. man is that a big job... but i still find myself doing it quite often. we have been working on our matryoshka collection... finding them here and there. the gold one in the middle was my grandma's & i always loved it. so she gave it to us :) love her. we found the artwork on etsy.

now we need to get to the big girls room & finish it up before school starts. they are still sleeping on the couches because we haven't found rails for their beds. i really wish i knew how to weld.

pscrubs and i were counting up how many times we have remodeled the kids' rooms since the time we put up the very first crib when child #1 was still cooking...

just the kids' rooms...

15 times.

does that sound excessive?

summer lovin'

well it's happened...

it took a little longer this summer...

but we finally hit it...

our summer low.

the kids are officially crazy.

mommy is officially crazy.

it really wasn't too bad this summer. we have actually been doing very well. with a perfect combination of activity and lazy time.

but nonetheless, we still needed a swift change of direction.

so i banned all screens and sweets. tv, movies, ipod, ipad, computers.... everything.

and i even decided that room temperature water and gruel would be the only food served.

but i wasn't sure how to actually make gruel... so i didn't stick to that one.

but i did think it was a good idea.

but i have to say, after we banned screens it took about 2 days to sink in, but after that, the complaining became less and less.

they found things to keep themselves busy.

and they were happy.

here are some of the things they did all on their own... just to name a few...

they made homemade diapers for baby R.

they made salt water crystals.

they made bird feeders.

they took turns being a celebrity for a day. a few of them would dress up with feather boas and sunglasses and the others would follow them around with clipboards, writing down everything they did or said. their favorite part was saying "please, no more autographs."

they made a rubber glove population with homes made of shoeboxes.

the got out the glue gun and glued rocks together.

they went on walks collecting said rocks and painted them outside.

they made icy smoothies without a blender... in plastic bags.

they played ALOT of piano.

they learned how to find their blind spots.

they made a homemade spa including massages.

they gave each other pedicures, glitter & glow in the dark.

they learned how to make homemade lemonade.

how to sleep pretty (not sure what was involved in that one) but they called it natural beauty.

they wanted to make homemade lip gloss but are waiting on avocados.

how to put together the best dance tunes.

how to sing a duet in a concert.

anyway, they were cracking us up with their ideas and determination.

banning screens turned out to be the best thing ever.

here are a few things that we have been up to in the mean time....

 here is a gno where my dear sister friends and i were trying to figure out cool apps to keep ourselves entertained. it makes me laugh.

 little miss willa was baptized and had a lovely nautical themed party at noni's.

paully joined a soccer team and is enjoying it immensely. he looks pretty cute in his soccer gear too.

but mr. R is thinking that it is the best thing ever. as soon as he saw the soccer fields, he had a big grin on his face. i think he even had his little baby chest all puffed out, nodding at all the passing soccer players. he was in heaven.

we had a visit from our dear friend beth. she is little S's godmother. we LOVE spending time with her!!

 we had some fun with sparklers.

we took upside down self portraits.

i got 2 new coffee mugs. i get really excited about these things. they are actually white, but look blue in this pic.

this is a little clip of d being a dance instructor to s & a.

all in all it's been a wonderful summer and i think i will really miss the noise and chaos when these little cherubs go back to school.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

family vacay 2012

 this year we decided on park city, utah for our family vacation.

which also meant....

road trip!!!!

 when we got to our cute little historic mining house... it was perfect in a grey gardens type of way.

it was actually very nice on the inside, but on the outside... it looked like it may have been part of the town ghost tour.

once we got squared away with the rental company and they cleaned the dead bugs and dropped off some fans...

we were happy.

it was very close to main street, so it had a perfect location. it also had a great kitchen so we were able to make most of the meals at home.

our first adventure was a trip to the olympic park.

it was awesome!

we were able to see some of the athletes training. they did their ski tricks and then landed in a huge pool, snow gear and all. it was very exciting to watch.

we found a groupon and were able to each pick 2 adventures in which to participate.

we all chose the adventure rope course so we headed there first.

they put us thru a little training and emphasized that this was not a beginner course. we scoffed a little... they must not know the adventuresome welters.

we got all geared, helmeted, roped up and headed over.

Paul and S went first.
 they were amazing. so brave and never wavered with each new segment. i was so impressed with their bravery... so much  that i realized i really did NOT want to do it.

i sucked it up and started with L. as i completed the first segment, 35 feet in the air, and approached the second segment... a 20 foot log.... 

that's it. just a log....

 a sweat broke out and panic rushed over my body... i heard myself say the dreaded words.. 
i want to quit.

as much as i wanted to complete the course.. i just couldn't. L was eager to quit with me.
i felt disappointed in myself but was ok with the decision. i know i could have done it if my life were on the line. but it wasn't and there was no way i was walking across that log.

again, so proud of S for never even thinking of giving up! love that girl and her determination!!
 we then went over to the zip lines and alpine slide. i was really nervous about doing the zip line the first time, but there was no way i was going to chicken out on that too. so we marched right up, entrusted our lives to the people strapping us in, and....


it was really fun and felt like we were flying.
we loved the alpine slide too.

i'm anxious to test my bravery the next time we come across an adventure rope course... just maybe an official beginner course :)

here are some random shots from around the cute town....

the girls loved this fence made out of skis.
i loved the bright colors of the houses.... 


i really loved lounging around in the mornings, drinking coffee in bed, reading... finishing up the hunger games series.

our second big adventure was to the canyons resort. it was raining that day, so we made a stop at the outlet stores and scored big at the colombia store sale. paul and the girls all have really nice rain jackets now, to the tune of $9 each. unfortunately they did not have a great deal on little boy jackets, so we just rolled up the sleeves of an old one that the girls had.... unfortunately again, we realized it was actually a windbreaker and not a rain jacket.... he was soaked all the way thru :(

we took the big gondola ride up the rainy, foggy mountain. it was kinda pricey, but it included the ziplines for ages 10 and above. plus it was a covered gondola... so we decided it was a go since there wasn't much else to do with 5 kids in the rain.
it turned out to be a great decision. we each got to do the zip line 2x. we were pretty much the only ones up there at that point, so we got lots of attention, including an extra push on the back when i voiced a little concern about zip lining in the rain.
we spent some time in the lodge, eating lunch, hanging out... waiting for the rain to clear up. we decided to head back down the mountain, but as we got back to the bottom the kids wanted to ride up again. so up we went.  when we got back to the top, the rain had actually cleared and we went on a beautiful hike. baby R was having a great time exploring the trails, it was good for him to stretch his little legs too.

 when we finally arrived at the bottom, we were happy to find out that the kids could enjoy a game of goofy golf for free while we enjoyed a nice cold beverage.
we got a kick out of the way the goofy golf games went down....
big S was the first to return her club to the table. she laughed and quickly ran thru each hole, knocked her ball in the pond a few times... she somehow got some other kids to retrieve the ball from the water for her, dropped off the club to us and changed her focus to rolling down the hill.

L was right behind her. she played awhile with baby R, putted a few rounds and then was allured to rolling down the hill with her sister.

little S walked around, gave it a try a few times, but eventually was found rhythmically hitting her club against the wall in the same spot for a few minutes and then joined the girls for a little spin fest.

baby R was very excited by this new sport at first. he was eager to try putting the ball into the holes... but he instinctively could not pass up the temptation of turning the heavy metal club into a "hi-ya" stick and it was quickly confiscated.

 D was very concerned about following the rules. she wanted to know how exactly the game was to be played. she chose one hole, a very difficult one, and stayed there, focused, until she had mastered the technique. she practiced her swing exactly how paul instructed her, hitting the ball thru a small hole in a rock and then it continued thru the path to fall directly in the hole. she finally retreated after making several hole-in-ones... about 20 minutes after the other kids had gone.

eventually, i even gave in to the alluring huge hill. L and i had a running race, flying down the mountain. we were all pretty dizzy by the time we left.

on the 4th of july, we walked down to main street and enjoyed the small town parade. it was kinda hot and crowded so we snuck out a little early. we went over to the park city resort and got lunch and snow cones.

 on the last day, we got in a little over our heads and rented bikes. the uphill challenges got to be too much for the 3 kids that were actually pedaling their own bikes. it was a breeze going downhill and the paths were beautiful, but again, maybe not for beginners. paul ended up blancing D's bike on top of the bike trailer and D rode home inside the trailer with R.

at least paul and i got killer work outs... and S and L did have to finish, they made it thru and it really was a challenge for them... but they did it!

we had our last dinner at pizza and noodle.. it was pretty good. we got ice cream, hiked around the town a little more and then went home and packed our bags. we loaded everything in the car the night before.

we got up early, found a great bagel place and hit the road. we took a more scenic route home and really enjoyed it. we stopped in moab for lunch. there were several cute restaurants, stores and ice cream places :) oh and beautiful rock formations too :)

we made it home just in time for nattie's bday party that night.

driving back into the heat was not quite the welcome i wanted tho...

trying to figure out how i can escape this heat a little longer......