Monday, August 31, 2009

Summer Time

Summer is coming to a close and Dee has tagged me ...

  • Favorite Summer Cocktail: Ice Cold beer - Corona Light with a lime
  • Favorite Summer Movie: This is hard ... I can't remember what I have seen on Netflix ...
  • Favorite Summer Song: Anything by Buffet and/or Kenny Chesney
  • Favorite Summer Time Outfit: Sundresses - though I don't own many; flip flops!
  • Favorite Summer Reading: Coastal Living and Southern Living - wishing I owned a beach house! I have read several books this summer but none of them were fabulous - good but not fabulous.
  • Favorite Summer Moment: Our trip to Florida - playing at the beach with the girls and Mr. ESPN

Honestly I am kind of glad summer is coming to a close - even though it will still be hot here in the desert for another 2 months ... plus it means Mr. ESPN and my anniversary is coming up - the big 11 year mark!

Now I have to tag some people ....

Cousin J - I know you were tagged by Dee too but I haven't seen a response yet!



The Future Mrs. Kingston

Milestone Weekend

So we hit another milestone this weekend with Chatty Cathy ... she lost her first tooth. I was totally surprised when she showed me Friday afternoon that her tooth was very loose - only hanging on in the front. Being the sweet momma that I am, I told her we needed to pull it out. Mr. ESPN googled it and the information he found said let it come out naturally. Whatever - we always pulled them out when we were kids! I even told Chatty Cathy she would be wise to lose the tooth that night as the Tooth Fairy gets paid on Fridays and would have more cash that night than say a Monday night. She then got pretty interested and asked if the Tooth Fairy was going to bring her $100! I sadly had to inform her it is a recession and budgets have been cut, even for the Tooth Fairy. So yes I pulled her tooth out and she screamed a bit but then was fine ... just another example of why my kids will need therapy someday! She was pretty excited about the $5 she received from the Tooth Fairy. Mr. ESPN and I weren't sure what the going rate was but thought for a first tooth that was a decent amount.

Saturday Chatty and I got our hair cut and Bia got a little trim ... church on Sunday and some swimming. When we were getting ready to go swimming I looked for my new (not cheap) bathing suit I got earlier this summer and couldn't find it. I looked and looked and looked and even accused Mr. ESPN of putting it away in the wrong place (he does a lot of the laundry and my stuff oftentimes turns up missing) . Needless to say I finally found it along with one of Bia's swimsuits, one of Chatty's swimsuits, Chatty's green goggles and a book of Bia's .... all in the front pocket of one of our suitcases from our trip to FL - lovely! Yes I did apologize to Mr. ESPN!

First picture after the milestone event

Ready for Church

Such a sweet picture of Bia
New haircut and new smile!

The girls love to jump in the pool from the high edge over the water feature (it wasn't turned on - sort of like a waterfall). Trying to catch them mid-jump is difficult

GG has be reunited with her green goggles - no worries we have several other pairs she has been using while these were misplaced by Mom!

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Problem With Being too Organized

In an effort to clean up my "family blog", I managed to delete all of my old posts! I went to look at it today and noticed there was only one entry prior to the one I entered today and couldn't figure it out. So I looked and looked and looked and then I thought and thought and thought and it came to me. Last weekend I was cleaning up the "drafts" I had written and deleting them if they had already been published, well apparently I deleted them in the "all posts published" screen versus the "draft" screen. I went on blogger help to try and recover them. I followed the suggestions they gave but it still didn't work. That will teach me to clean up stuff! I do have a love hate relationship with "delete". It has gotten me into trouble many times (yes I am a purger by nature, I get it from my mom)! I thought I would at least repost some of the pictures I had on the older posts, but when I went to get them (mind you I am at work and not at my home computer where all my photos are saved) from costco (since I upload all photos there to print) and their website is down. Oh well ... we'll just pretend it is the beginning of that blog. I don't know if most of family reading it would understand the old ones were missing had I not posted about it!

Have a good weekend ... it's going to be a hot one here - 109 today - thanks goodness Mr. ESPN got the pool fixed because that's where we will be most of the weekend ... all three brown eyed girls are scheduled for haircuts tomorrow afternoon so that should be interesting. If everyone behaves we are going to stop at our favorite pizza joint - Oreganos - for an early dinner on the way home!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Early Ballots Are In ....

And the conservative right (i.e. the new behavior chart) are trailing significantly behind the liberal left (wayward children) according to the early exit polls! I came home with a renewed sense of determination and sat down with the girls to discuss the new behavior chart. Chatty Cathy even gave her input as to what things needed to be included (I thought this would encourage her to work towards these things if she got to help with the rules and rewards). As a family we came up with Dinner Time, Bath Time, Bed Time, Clean Up Toys, Hitting/Pushing/Biting for both girls and then for Chatty only we added Talking Back to Mom and Dad and Getting Ready for School (for a possible 7 total stars per day). Chatty's goal is 25 stars to earn either her toys back, her nighttime lovies or the computer/VSmile. Once she earns all her stuff back then we will discuss different rewards. At this rate she would need to be good for 3 1/2 to 4 days. In Pre-K they needed 5 stickers (5 days) so we thought this was a good amount. What do you think?

Anyway back to today's results .. Bia 2 stars and Chatty 1 star. Dinner time - each girl earned a star, Chatty ate her dinner and Bia ate a couple bites of chicken (she gummed it for 20 minutes or so but did finally swallow it) and then ate some of her "preferred" foods. Next opportunity to earn a star, bath time. We sent the girls back to brush their teeth and Chatty proceeded to smear approximately 1/2 of the tube of toothpaste on her face (blue Dora toothpaste) and not brush her teeth. When Mr. ESPN sent her in to show me she laughed and thought it was funny - me not so much! Needless to say she didn't earn her star for bath time and then when she fussed and moaned about going to bed she lost any chance at earning the one for bed time. That's when I decided I needed a glass of wine. I opened a bottle and took a sip and I think it is bad or maybe it is me, I don't know ... maybe I will just have a beer instead!

Parenting Advice

Thanks to all my mom (and non-mom) blogger friends who commented either on the post or e-mailed me about it. I really appreciate it. This is my plan:
  • Behavioral Issues - mostly revolve around Chatty, although Bia has her fair share of tantrums too. Bought a new behavior chart (we used one last year with limited success). I plan to put more specific items on the list this time (i.e. showing respect to others, not hitting/pushing others (namely sister), not talking back to Mom/Dad, eating dinner). Last time it was an all or nothing thing. I think by doing specific items we can what things she achieved and which ones she didn't. She will get a star magnet for each thing she achieves during the day. I am going to do this for both girls but may have to tailor the items to each girl. I will post it in a prominent place in the house so we can all see it (I am thinking on the pantry door). Once she receives a pre-determined number of stars, they will receive a reward.
  • Eating Issues - I have done the tailor made meals to each kid and spouse and that is hard. I really try to make an effort to cook something everyone likes. Part of my reason for no custom orders is because if I do it for Bia then I have to for Chatty. I think we will continue to reinforce the rule that she try 1 to 2 bites in order to get dessert or other things she desires (since dessert doesn't top her list these days). I am hoping the star on the chart for "Eating Dinner" will be a big motivator for her as she loves to copy her big sister.

So we will see how this goes and what Mr. ESPN says. I think he is open to anything at this point.

Is it bad that when I ran to Target to get the behavior chart I purposely walked across the entire store to buy a (big) bag of Skittles, opened them in the car and have eaten a ton of them (and now have a sugar headache)?

Background Check and Fingerprints

That's what I did last night. Sounds intriguing huh? Well not really, it just goes to show you how crazy society is today. I volunteered to co-teach Chatty's Sunday school class this year. In order to teach you have to meet certain requirements included but not limited to fingerprints and background questionnaire. I didn't realize all of the information I had to provide. Then we had a discussion about how we can't be alone with a single child, there needs to at least be two, etc. because of liability issues. It wasn't that way when we were kids ... scary huh? As a parent I am so happy that our church is so proactive when it comes to the child's safety. Some of the personal information included on the questionnaire were how long I have been a member (I couldn't remember and put 13 or 14 years - Mr. ESPN informed me when I got home it was actually 12) and a statement of faith. I am a very wordy person but was having a hard time with this. Not that I have a hard time believing it, I do, but actually putting it into practice everyday is difficult for me. I am hoping by teaching Sunday school it will help me become a better Christian and an example to my children and in turn a better parent.

OK ladies - I need some parenting help ....
Parenting Question 101 :What do you do when you have a. taken all of the toys out of your child's room, b. grounded them from all movies, games and said toys, c. taken away all blankies and lovies to sleep with and they still continue to misbehave, act disrespectful, rude and even laugh when they do something wrong? Note - I have tried spanking, timeouts, etc. Nothing seems to work.

Parenting Questions 102: Is it wrong to take away the one thing your child loves (i.e. blankies and lovies) if she refuses to eat even one bite of meat or vegetables? Just one bite, not an entire serving? Yes I know about sneaking stuff into foods, but I want to teach her to at least try one bite, that she can't live on hot dogs, bologna and ham as her meet source in life.

Edit from last post - Wedding is January 2, 2010; no we did not coordinate tops with A, it just happened that they all wore pink that day!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Weekend Fun

Chasing two kids around a bridal store was not very fun but we did have fun visiting with my friend A, her sister, mom and later her fiancee L at lunch. I was just going to take Chatty inside the store and leave Bia with Mr. ESPN, but of course Bia wanted to come too! So the three of us ventured in and they proceeded to play and eat snacks and not listen to anything I asked them to do. But then again what else is new - right? Mr. EPSN ran some errands and then picked us up and we all went to lunch.

A Bride and her Flower girl! Aren't the bags super cute? Chatty asked if she could carry it down the aisle at the wedding. I had to explain to her that she will be carrying flowers, hence the title "Flower Girl".

The happy couple and my girls. Needless to say my girls love anyone and everyone who shows them attention. It took Bia a little while to warm up but once she did you couldn't get her away from them. A&L are so sweet and so good with kids. Chatty Cathy wanted to go back to Tampa in L's suitcase. I was so ready to send her - we have been having a lot of behavioral issues with Miss Sassypants! UGH!

Chatty tried on her dress Sunday night to show Nana and Poppa. I bought the dress a little big because Chatty has been growing like a weed and our personal seamstress (aka Grandma) is coming for a visit at Thanksgiving so she can alter it then. Plus the next size down was much shorter on her (she's a little tall like her mom). We all liked the longer length. A wants to add some blue ribbon around the waistline to match the flowers and then I will make a bow to match too. Chatty's hair was a little random in this pic ... no worries she will be properly done up for the big day!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Real Photographer

So any of you who know my Aunt E, know she's the real photographer in the family. I copied the following pics from her Facebook album. Granted she has a very nice camera but she also has much better skills at capturing a moment ... see below

One of the reasons why I love my hometown
(this was taken from our balcony)

A worn out Bia

I think her summer nickname should be GG (Goggle Girl) - she insists on wearing them every time she swims and never takes them completely off until we go inside ...

Some serious concentration by GG (Goggle Girl)

This one cracks me up - she was chasing the birds - crazy kid!

GG loves the beach!

Do you all know the movie Rocky and how he runs up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art? To be honest I have never seen the movie but since Mr. ESPN is from the Philly area, he has taken me to those steps. Anyway - this shot of him reminds me of Rocky when he gets to the top of the steps and pumps his fists in the air - guess you can't take Philly out of the boy!

This is my favorite shot Aunt E took - they were having so much
fun together that afternoon, he is a great dad (an husband too)!
Hope you have a great weekend - I am going to try and take something to get rid of the pain in my booty, quads and hamstrings. My bright idea of doing squats and lunges on Wednesday and then running 6 miles on Thursday is not looking so hot right now. I feel like a little old lady who has fallen and can't get up!


I was catching up on blog reading and realized I haven't updated since Monday ... I guess it is because there really isn't too much to update, no new pictures since the first day of school and I just don't have anything witty to say! Do any of you plan out what you blog about prior to typing it - I mean like when you are driving in the car, at the gym, in the shower? A lot of times I do in an effort to try to come up with something interesting to blog. Usually when I am running on the treadmill at the gym I try to think of stuff. Tuesday I forgot my IPOD and was so annoyed (it is so hard for me to run without music to sidetrack me) that I couldn't concentrate on trying to think of something good to write, but as I was finishing up my run it came to me:

Ta-ta support and how annoying it is to see women who don't have any, especially at the gym! Don't they know that is why sports bras were invented? And also, if it doesn't support you anymore, newsflash - time to get a new one! Mine are not that big and it hurts me to run without a good sports bra, so how in the world can they let theirs jiggle and not writhe in pain? Yes I know, we live in a world of plastic and some don't move, but unfortunately for me most of the unsupported ones do move! The same holds true if you are not at the gym. Invest in a good bra that supports what you got - it will make you look slimmer and taller (I got that from What Not to Wear's Clinton and Stacey). If I wanted to look at jiggly ta-tas I would jump up and down in front of the mirror naked (hope you weren't eating while reading this)!

Back to a more PG related blog post, we are meeting my friend A on Saturday to look at flower girl dresses for Chatty Cathy, will try and post some pictures this weekend or early next week. School is going great - Chatty Cathy loves it and also loves doing before and after school at Boys and Girls Club.

Monday, August 17, 2009

K is for Kindergarten

A is for Art class
B is for Books
C is for Core Curriculum our school uses
D is for Dr. Bales our principal
E is for Energetic as in Chatty's teacher
F is for Full Day Kindergarten
G is for Games with an educational focus
H is for Homework, for the parents that is (forms, etc.)
I is for I will do my best every day (Miss Johnson's motto)
J is for Jumping Jacks in PE class
K is for Kindergarten
L is for Listening ears
M is for Miss Johnson our fabulous teacher
N is for No more naps in Kindergarten
O is for Organization, this teacher gets an A+ in my book!
P is for Pictures, lots of them taken today
Q is for Quiet, hard to come by with 25 Kindergartners
T is for Teachers, what a difficult job! We admire them immensely
U is for Upload in the wrong order - my pictures below
V is for Volunteers in the classroom (I am looking forward to this experience)
W is for Wildfire our school!
X is for eXpectations, do what is eXpected and do it the best you can (another Miss Johnson motto)
Y is for Yellow skirt Chatty Cathy picked out to wear her first day
Z is for Zoo field trip later this year
(Note-I copied a couple of these off of the ABC's of Kindergarten Miss Johnson sent home today)
Family Photo at school
A refreshment after recess

Waiting in line for the bell to ring

Standing in her classroom

Chatty Cathy & Mommy

Chatty Cathy & Daddy
Our Big Kindergartner!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Final Blogging at the Beach Post

OK - one last post of vacation pictures. I told myself I had to get this done today because tomorrow is the first day of Kindergarten and that will entail another post and pictures. We are all looking forward to the first day! Hope you all had a good weekend!

Bia playing in the sand

Chatty goofing around at the beach

Bia snuggling with Mam-ma

The girls, me and my Dad

The girls and me, ready for the beach

Chatty getting some love from Moose

Cousin J and Chatty enjoying Popsicles

The little girls enjoying their treats - Cousin A and Bia

A story from Granny before we left for the airport

Blogging at the Beach Continued ...

We had a great time in Florida. The girls were so sad when we left, especially when they had to say goodbye to their cousins J & A. They had such a great time playing with them. Below are some of our favorite things about going back to FL! Note - we were staying on New Smyrna Beach, just south of Daytona, I highly recommend it!
  • Family (of course the girls said cousins J& A but we loved seeing everyone)
  • The beach - soft white sand and warm water!
  • Seafood - fish sandwiches, shrimp, etc! Yum!
  • Yuengling Beer (that is one of D's favorite things about going back)
  • Granny's home cooking - especially the desserts!
  • Friends with great condos on the beach
  • Aunt E's Newfoundlands - Moose and Yogi (L loved seeing them - S not so much!)
  • Fishing, although we didn't get a chance to this time
  • Mickey Store at the Orlando Airport

Thanks everyone for making our trip back so much fun! Now for some pictures ... I will upload some more in another post ... Enjoy! Chatty and cousin J

The little cousins - Bia and A - two little drama queens!

Granny (my grandmother) and 4 of her great grand kids. She is the one who makes all of the fabulous comfort foods ... cornbread, green beans, banana pudding, cobbler, etc!

Bia riding the rocking horse

Mam-ma (my grandmother) and her little buddies!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Blogging at The Beach

We made it - we are in FL! Our flight went smoothly and the girls did fabulous! We were so excited to get here. We headed straight from the airport to my Aunt and Uncle's house. My cousin, his wife and two kids (ages 5 & 2) and my Granny were all there. Good food and company - what a welcome! After dinner we met my other Aunt (E) to pick up the key to the condo. Quick stop at Walmart and Publix and then off to the condo. It is so spacious - a little 80's retro decor but other than that, wonderful. There are two twin beds in the second bedroom which is perfect for the girls. This morning our cousins came over for some beach and pool time. Bia is napping now and I am chillin' on the balcony with a cold beverage enjoying the perfect weather (gentle breeze) and listening to the waves crash against the shore - heaven! When Bia gets up back to my Aunt and Uncle's for more good food and company. Granny asked us if we wanted homemade banana pudding or peach cobbler for dessert (last night it was strawberry/pretzel salad - YUM!), since they are both favs of mine (especially when Granny makes them) I asked if we could have both - we'll see! That's what vacation is for!
Bia and Cousin A playing in the sand
The view from our living room and balcony

Chatty Cathy on the balcony this morning in her pjs

Chatty Cathy playing in the water


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Kindergarten Assessment and Packing

Only 2 days until we leave on vacation - back to my hometown - Daytona Beach! My aunt's friend has a condo on the beach (New Smyrna for those of you familiar with the area) and we are staying in a 2 bedroom condo with an ocean front view for a killer deal! I don't have many hook-ups but this is a great one and Mr. ESPN and I can't wait (now I need to think of a thank you gift for him and his wife .... any suggestions? He loves to cook and bake ... )! I will take tons of pics and will try to post some next week, that is if I'm not chillin at the beach or pool or enjoying a beverage with my family!

Chatty Cathy had her Kindergarten assessment this morning - the teacher said she did fabulous. Not sure if she says that to all of the parents, but Chatty Cathy is more than ready (my aunt is a retired teacher/administrator and I have two teacher/administrators that live across the street that attest to this) for Kindergarten and is getting pretty excited for it - she starts August 17! I can't believe she is that big now - wow!

One more day of work ... then we are heading over to our neighbors (the ones we vacationed in Cali with) for steaks and swimming tomorrow night! Nice send-off huh? I was thinking we would order takeout Chinese or pizza and she called tonight and said she was going to pick up some steaks and chicken ... I volunteered to make salad, Mac n Cheese and brownies!

One last thing. I was reading a blog I follow (not sure how I started following it) and she was blogging about the health care issues Congress is debating right now. The funny thing was my family was discussing this last weekend at dinner ... even more ironic was another blogger I started following through Casey, Froggity, had some great comments on the post. After reading her comments, I posted some comments. It just goes to show you it is a small world and there are people out there with similar opinions as you!

Anyway on that note - I better sign off and finish packing ... hope you all had a great week and good weekend, I'll be thinking of you as I listen to the waves crashing against the shore when I go home to FL!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tuesday Ramblings

Don't have much to report just a few random things ....

  • I think I lost employee of the year today. When I got home from the gym and walked in the door, Mr. ESPN says "Your boss just called". I am think "Oh Crap" what did I forget to do (it is month end close at work). So I call my boss and low and behold I forgot to make a journal entry and they can't close the books (and it was 6:00 p.m.). So much for that employee of the year award! Anyway I made my entry and then come to find out my friend (co-worker) forgot to make one too so I didn't feel too dumb! That's why I always tell my boss he shouldn't let tax people like me do REAL accounting work - yes believe me there is a difference, that's why my degree is in Finance and Entrepreneurship and not Accounting!

  • Chatty Cathy - Her belly button is healing nicely - yeah! Chatty Cathy is always talking (hence the blog name) and more importantly she always has to tell Mr. ESPN and/or I something. Below is an example of a typical daily conversation with Chatty Cathy.

    • Me - "Chatty Cathy please go do -------- (insert anything you would normally ask your child to do, i.e. brush your teeth, wash your hands for dinner, get dressed, go to the bathroom, etc.)"
    • Chatty - "But Mom I HAVE to tell you something"
    • Me - "It isn't an emergency, you can tell me after you have finished doing what I asked you to do"
    • Chatty - "But it IS an EMERGENCY, I HAVE to TELL you NOW!"
    • Me - "OK Chatty, what is it that you have to tell me now?"
    • Chatty - "My friend at school wore a GO CATs shirt today" (or insert any other random - i.e. non emergency - event that occurred during the day)
    • Me - "UGH - GO DO ------- NOW!"

  • Bia - She is her usual stubborn self (I have no idea where she gets it from - LOL). Every morning (for the past couple weeks) after Mr. ESPN gets her dressed she walks into the master bathroom pushing her purple grocery cart filled with her lovies (Puppy, Monkey & Gorilla) and blankies (big one & little one). She is very adamant about this routine so there is no use discouraging it unless you want Princess Whiny Pants in the house at 6:15 am! I am not sure what started it and if I was more awake and in a better mood at 6:15 I might actually take a picture - but we all know that probably won't happen anytime soon!
  • Mr. ESPN - I asked him to start pulling out his clothes last weekend for our trip to Florida - which of course he didn't get around to. Yes, I pack every one's clothes. If I didn't the other members of my family would be wearing wrinkled clothes the entire vacation and may or may not match. Tonight I decided to pull out some shirts for him to take and folded them so they are ready to put in the suitcase. He is at the gym right now so we'll see what he says when he gets home. He likes to pick out his own stuff, although I have been known to switch it out to something I prefer when he isn't looking!

That's the exciting stuff around here, I warned you at the beginning that I didn't have much!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Weekend Recap

Wow, where did the weekend go? The weekends seem to fly by. Chatty Cathy is feeling pretty well, although she complains about her belly hurting some. Mr. ESPN and I both think it looks super sore and are surprised she hasn't complained more. Dinner with my BFF's family last night was fun. It is so nice having friends where we all enjoy each other's company - kids, husbands, wives. I know that is rare for some - they are his or her friends, but we are lucky enough to have several couples where we get along great with both spouses and the kids get along great too. Today we went school clothes shopping. I can't believe Chatty Cathy is a size 7 now?! No more Carter's clothes and now she is kind of in between sizes, so it is a little hard to find stuff. I found a couple great deals at The Children's Place and some decent deals at Old Navy. Chatty Cathy talked nonstop the entire 3 hours we shopped - it was a little insane for me!

Our exciting news of the weekend is my good friend A (I mentioned her engagement a few posts ago) sent Chatty Cathy the cutest flower girl cookie and a note asking her to be a flower girl in her wedding in January. She was pretty excited and then got nervous when I told her she had to walk down the aisle. I pulled down our wedding album and showed her our flower girl K (good family friend who will be a sophomore in college this coming year) and told her all about it. She asked if the ring bearer would be her age, I think she is already scoping out a new love interest! She is too funny! I am excited and nervous to see how she will do. A will be in town in 3 weeks and we are going to try on flower girl dresses ... fun stuff! My BFF (aka Aunt B) said she would keep Bia while we are in Tampa for the wedding. She is the best! I think Chatty Cathy is excited to take a trip without her little sister.

Our future flower girl and her cookie

See the temperature on my car ... 110 - it was a hot one!

Bia enjoying a pizzookie (pizza cookie) with her Aunt B

4 of the 5 kids at dinner last night - Chatty Cathy, LOB, Bia and DJB