Posts Tagged ‘kids’

Well, y’all – Christmas is over. The presents are are now unwrapped and strewn through every room in my house. The food is eaten, and I’m still feeling quite full. The Christmas music has stopped (because there’s only so much Mariah Carey, Glee & the Chipmunks that I can take).

You know what else? I no longer have to move Cookie (our Elf on the Shelf).

I know I wrote about why I love elf on the shelf, and I firmly stick to that. Watching Christian every morning looking for and finding Cookie was so sweet, and I’m absolutely going to be crushed when he no longer believes. But for now, he does, and that’s why I think it’s important.


I’m probably not going to miss waking up at 6am several mornings with a small (but very real) panic inching up my throat, hoping Christian hasn’t woken up yet because I forgot to move Cookie. At which time I would feel my way through the darkness, down the stairs and – with barely open eyes – find an interesting spot for our Elf.

I like to make you think I’m perfect, but I’m kind of a mess.

Some days were kind of boring for our Find Cookie adventures, but such is life.

And because I know you’re on the edge of your seat, dying to see photos, here are a few of our Cookie placements. (I was failblog a lot and didn’t take pictures everyday. Don’t judge me.)

Until next year, Cookie.

I hope y’all had the merriest of Christmases!


Read Full Post »

… I’ve been a horrible blogger. As in, nonexistent.

… we celebrated a special little someone’s 7th birthday with inflatables and firetrucks. But no real fireman because he didn’t show up. Or fire hats, because I forgot them in the closet where I hid them so Little Man wouldn’t find them before the party. But the cake? Amazing.

image_3 (2)


… we ate pancakes with Santa on the Actual Day of Birth (note: candle). And tracked down a friend, too.

image_2 (2)


image_1 (2)


… I found this gem. “My favorite part of Charlotte’s Web was when the last part when the rat got fat.”

image (2)


… we watched Faith play her little heart out in basketball, while we entertained ourselves with piggybacks.

photo (5)


image_4 (2)


… dude was the cutest kid in school. (Then again, when isn’t he?)

image_6 (2)


… this happened.

image_7 (2)


… I watched a little tiny baby sleep.

photo (5)


… was good.


Read Full Post »


I’m one of those people.

I move our Elf on the Shelf, Cookie (not sure if it’s a boy or girl?), every night to a new place. I try to be creative. I try to be funny.

And once Cookie is in her (his?) place for the next day, I snap an Instagram so I’ll have a bunch of pictures for our 2012 photo book. And I usually upload that photo to a few social media sites.

(Well, except for today. The picture I took was super up-close to the brick on the fireplace and the natural chips in it made the brick look dirty. And I’m certainly not going to share that with the world.)

And then I read this blog post.

She clearly never made it on Santa’s Nice list.

If you didn’t read it (because, let’s be honest, you didn’t), it basically says that she’s annoyed by the over-achieving Elf-on-the-Shelf-ers. She wants to know why we can’t all just put the little red guy on an actual shelf and call it a night. And, according to her blog title, she wants to punch us in the face.

She’s certainly not the only one. After Thanksgiving, I saw a bunch of Facebook posts that were all, “Crap, now I have to look at all your Elf-on-the-Shelf pictures for the next month.”

Yeah, well, I have to look at your face show up on my news feed all year long, so you can deal with this for thirty days, okay?

I went there.


I get that it’s most likely annoying that I (& everyone else) share our Elf photos to every. social media site. ever. I mean, I don’t particularly enjoy reading statuses about people’s kids taking a crap in the potty for the first time with a photo to boot, so I totally get the overshare factor. There’s a Hide From Timeline button for a reason.

But I don’t do Elf on the Shelf just to be able to upload photos.

I do it because every morning when Christian comes down the stairs, hair dripping wet from the shower of which he just jumped out, buttoning his pajama shirt as he walks, one of the first things he says is, “We have to find Cookie.” And then he walks from room to room, looking on the mantles, in shadowboxes, under the tree, on the tables. He asks Faith to help, and she always does.


They look together until one of them inevitably proclaims, “I found Cookie!,” and then the other runs to meet up. And when they see the silly new place and position of our little Cookie, their eyes actually light up.


Sometimes they laugh big from their bellies, and sometimes they ask how in the world did Cookie do that? Always, though, Christian is amazed that our Elf can move from one place to another, by herself, just to watch over him.

That’s why. The magic of Christmas.

There’s not a chance I’d stop these fun, silly things with the Elf and go back to just moving her from shelf to mantle to shelf to mantle, because the whole five minutes it takes to set up her nightly scene is so stinkin’ worth it. There’s not a single episode of the Kardashians that can’t be missed for this.

And you know what? In no time, these innocent little babies will grow out of their morning Find-Cookie routine. Faith already has – she just plays Big Sister. But next year? Christian might not care. So I’m soaking up every single moment I have.

You should, too.


Read Full Post »

Driving by the park last Friday after school pick-ups, I noticed the trees were bare.

Which meant summer is gone. {Sniffle.}

Which meant the leaves were on the ground (because, let’s be honest, the good workers of Huntington certainly aren’t picking them up anytime soon).

Which meant it was time to jump in huge piles of leaves!

Which is exactly what we did on the gorgeous, sunny, 70-degree fall Sunday yesterday!

First, we picked up lots of leaves.

And we kind of played …

… while Daddy did all the work.

But then we all helped. (Well, I took pictures. Somebody has to!)

Piper supervised.

Can we go now?!

Couldn’t wait any longer.

And it continued.


 Well, that’s one way to do it.

And then they just got mean.

My poor Daysie girl. She was terrified. She did the Doggy Paddle out of the leaves. (I laughed. Don’t tell her.)

Kids in the leaves…

… leaves in the air …

… leaves in the hair …

… love everywhere.

But not there. (Scrooge of picture-taking.)


Trust me. When she is trying to sit in your lap for some lovin’, she ain’t lookin’ so small.

You’re welcome for 500 pictures of leaves.

Read Full Post »

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, you’ll know that I was seriously stressing out about this Halloween party. (And if you’re not following me, click on the links and DO IT!)

I feel bad for complaining because I know it always comes together nicely in the end, no matter how stressed I get. And this time was no exception.

Christian was uber excited about this party, and even though he told his classmates it was his birthday party, no one showed up with gifts (thank goodness!!). He also wanted to know why I hadn’t decorated the house a week in advance.

Because I ain’t magic, kid. ‘Kay?

With ridiculous help from my Mom & Aunt Tarah, it all worked perfectly.

Here’s some of the decor:

And some of the food:

I’m really upset with myself for not taking a picture of the blood shots because they were a hit. And, I’m not going to lie, they were really awesome. (It was just red jello in a syringe. Minus the needle, of course.)

And some games:

Do you see the confetti busting out of those balloons? Yeah, I’m not smart.

And wrapping people in toilet paper? Always fun.

And the treat bags:

Evan said, “You’re already throwing the party. Why do you have to give them stuff, too?”

Clearly, he doesn’t understand. Again, I didn’t take a picture of the stuff inside, but (toot, toot, goes my own horn) – super cute.

Besides, these kids are too cute to NOT give them stuff:

First guests to arrive:

Christian won the Best Costume for his age group. I know the host isn’t supposed to win, but the kids voted, and, well, he won. What was I to do?

And finally, at the end of the night, we all gathered in the front yard for a little story of spookiness. It was followed by a man on the roof, a chainsaw, tubs of intestines, eyeballs and maggots, a graveyard with a scare and the inevitable piercing screams of 13 children.

Also, I sent a child home that was scared. to. death. And I felt horrible. (Fail award!)

And then everyone went home, and I sat down and thought I might cry from relief. Until we made this video, and then I cried from laughter for the next three days. Not even kidding. (Watch it ’til the end. It’s not that long.)

I get it. We’re horrible. But what is a Halloween Party without a little scare?

And, because you haven’t looked at enough photos yet, here are some other Halloween events…

Pumpkin carving:

And Trick-or-Treat (in November, thanks Hurricane Sandy!):

Holy 1 Billion Photos. I’m so sorry. Except I’m not.

Happy Thank-Goodness-Halloween-Is-Over!

Read Full Post »

Lately, in photos

I’m kind of glad it’s Monday and the weekend is over, said no one ever. Except me, just now. Because seriously – I’m exhausted. (And I didn’t even do anything.)

But, here is what I have been doing for the last few weeks.

Painting. Decorating (well, kind of). More painting. Good grief, I hate painting. My Mom was sent from Heaven to help me paint, I’m sure of it. If it weren’t for her (& some help from Evan), I wouldn’t have done anything but picked up a paint brush and cried.

And these curtains? She made them. I kind of love that woman.

Now, I won’t say the reason I decided to paint and decorate (& stress myself out to THE MAX for two weeks) was solely for the Spa party I was having, but it did light a fire under me to get it done. And, with nothing short of a miracle, I we did.

And here is Faith and her friend with the lip exfoliator at the Spa party. I had pictures of my MIL & SIL with the same stuff on, but I decided to keep those relationships on the positive and not post those. (You’re welcome, Cheryl & Cassie.)

This, I am excited about. Well, not yet. But as I find fun, pretty things to go on my bookshelves, I will be excited. For now, it’s books. And eventually, the walls will be gray. But, I’m so over painting that it simply will have to wait.

My office-in-progress.

And here’s a close-up of one of my shelves on the non-fiction side. Did your day just get awesome?

I’ve also been doing some of this, although not quite enough. At all.

It looks like I have crying-all-night eyes, but really it’s I-only-slept-3-hour eyes. Just don’t look at them. Just look at Baby Sadie and say, “Oh, how adorable!”

I mean, seriously. You just died from the cute.

Speaking of cute.

No, I haven’t thrown the harmonicas through a window yet. Mainly because the ones I purchased were made with all the notes harmonizing, so no matter what “notes” he plays, it’s actually pleasing to the ears.

Well, except when it’s at a level that actually busts your eardrums.

Then I scream politely ask him to bring it down a notch.

That’s all I have.

Read Full Post »

A Joyous Monday Morning


When I daydream about being a stay-at-home Mom / housewife, I imagine myself jumping out of bed before dawn, taking out my curlers to reveal vuluptuous hair, perfectly applying my red lipstick, and slipping on my pearls and stilettos – all before making my way downstairs to prepare a breakfast that would make my Great-Grandma Akers proud.

And then there’s tapping on my shoulder.

“Jen? Hey, Jen – wake up. Can I have breakfast?”

They expect three meals a day, these crazy people.

“Yeah, I’m awake,” I say, which is only half true. Unconsciously, I reach to my head to begin pulling out my curlers.

Wait. Where are the curlers? All I feel is … well … grease. And something else. Is that a Barbie shoe?

I literally roll out of bed and feel my way into the bathroom because, let’s be honest, it’s way too early for eyes to be open.

After washing my face and confirming that my adult acne is, in fact, still a reality, I pull on my high-school sweat pants and drag my body downstairs to the kitchen.

Although it’s no gourmet meal, breakfast isn’t too shabby. At least it’s healthy, which is important to one child with ADHD and another who clearly has crack running through his veins.

Maybe today will be successful, after all.

All hope is diminished, though, when I open the door to Piper’s room. Apparently, her late-night snack of a WORK GLOVE must have upset her stomach. Is that vomit? Or, oh dear God, please don’t let that be diarrhea.

Unable to conclude on the state of the matter, I carefully take her bed downstairs to the washer and make a mental note to run an empty cycle no less than 37 times before doing another load of laundry.

Back upstairs, Piper is whining to be let outside.

Ya think?

Realizing the necessity, I put on a very strong pot of coffee.

I continue getting ready, which really consists of finding something as comfortable as pajamas, but less publicly-offensive. I unsuccessfully attempt to cover up my wounds adult acne, shed a few tears of embarrassment, punch myself in the face (which really only makes the redness worse) and finally decide I don’t care. Or at least pretend not to.

When I check my phone for the time, I know we can make it to school before the tardy bell – if I skip all the stop signs and average my speed at 83 mph. Doable.

I’m frantic at this point, praying I won’t have to get out of my car between drop-off and the return home because my bedhead and hungry breath are enough to drop ya dead.

Five minutes later, I’m still standing at the bottom of the steps with my purse and keys in hand, waiting for Faith. Do I know where her flip flops are, she asks, to which I return a resounding “no,” offering zero help in locating them.

I tend to lean toward the Tough Love method of {step}parenting, so when I asked you to get every single thing ready that you needed to walk out the door for school, I assumed you weren’t going barefooted.

Eventually, we make it to school in record time (adhering to traffic laws and everything!) and no tears are shed by adult nor child, which makes this morning an absolute success.

Until I receive this text: “Glasses.”

And then I cry a little.

So I drive to the opposite side of town to Christian’s school, practially push him out of the car, screaming, “Run to class! Forget the rules, RUN!”

And that’s just because I want to avoid going into the office to sign him in for being late. You know, the hair. The breath. All that.

So then I make my way back to the opposite side of town to Faith’s school. I go into the office (there is no choice at this point), and say, “These glasses need to get to Faith W.”

The lady replies, “Does she go to school here?”

I stare at her. Partly because her eyes are going in two different directions and I’m not entirely sure she’s talking to me, but partly because WHAT DO YOU MEAN DOES SHE GO TO SCHOOL HERE?

“Yes, she does,” I finally say to the lady and her mustache, and leave before she smells my breath.

At last, I’m alone in my car with my coffee, talk radio, and the peaceful foggy August morning.

I raise my Marshall travel mug to my lips and notice something on my hand. Is that dog vomit?

Or possibly dog diarrhea? I’ll never know.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: