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Monday confessional - the missing memory


Today I took a fun and nostalgic trip down memory lane while cleaning out and organizing my hope chest - the one my beloved Papa made me for my 18th birthday - and that has been stuffed with every single item of sentimental value to me ever since. 

That's a lot of stuff, people.

(And yes, we do exciting things around here on national holidays.)

I got completely caught up going through love notes from Russell, my wedding planning binder, old cards, LOTS of photos, the diary I wrote in from 1991-93 (age 12 to 13 1/2 - which seems to have been a very boy-crazy time for me...), my "friendship book" from Junior High, and my yearly calendars from 1995-98 that detailed every.single.thing.I.ever.did.and.with.whom. Complete with smiley faces, hearts, and multiple exclamation points.

Good golly, I was thorough!

December 1995
August 1996
April 1997
August 1998
Reading through them brought back so many memories; it was amazing how many little details I could recall once my mind was triggered. 

Like this night in October, 1996. I remember the entire evening, including the moment when one of the guys accidentally kicked over their empty drink bottle at the back of the theater and it went rolling loudly alllllll the way down to the front of the theater. We about died laughing. (Until we did die, from fright, because sheesh, those lions made us jump!)

Or this night in November, 1997, where I tried Persian food for the first, and hopefully last time in my life.

Some moments were very easy to recall...
October 1995 - licensed to drive!
September 1997
December 1998
But one thing I noticed was a bit alarming. 

Over a period of two years, it appears that I cleaned for a lady named Molly on an almost weekly basis. This surprised me, mostly because no memory was triggered. None whatsoever. In fact, not only do I have zero recollection of this job, I have no idea who Molly is. 

WHAT THE HECK?!! What kind of memory issues do I have going on here? I can remember almost all of the movies I saw each year (and there were a ton, like 3-5 a month!), but not a two-year steady job and employer? I am concerned, people!

So concerned in fact, that I've eaten 1/4 of a bag of white chocolate chips while pondering this mystery.

Send help.

A guide to rainy day activities


By Kendall, Cooper and Blake.

If you've had a rainy spring like we have, and have had to find things to do indoors besides watching TV, playing the Wii, your DS, or computer games because your mother doesn't want you to turn into couch potatoes... we have some ideas for you!

Option #1: Ask repeatedly to watch TV, play the Wii, your DS or on the computer because you "forgot" you'd already reached your time limit. You just never know if you'll get an absent-minded "yes" in response  - especially if Mom is busy!

Option #2: Take as many blankets as you can find, and every single bag clip from the kitchen (including the ones holding the chips and cereal bags closed because surely your mother won't mind), and build a fort out of your bunk beds.

Option #3: Dress up your youngest sibling in as many layers as possible, turning him into some sort of gypsy momma (you can be as vague as you want about that part), and lead him around the house in a parade.

Option #4: Draw some fine art to impress your parents and family members.

Copied from my favorite stuffed animal (Cooper)
Copied from daddy's head mount on the wall (Cooper)
Option #5: Create new Barbie fashions out of play-doh.

Option #6: Drive your Mom batty by incessantly asking her to take pictures of you with random toys.

And last but certainly not least...

Option #7: ask if you can have a snack EVERY FIVE MINUTES. When you're told no, ask if you can have a cheese stick, or baby carrots, or an apple, because moms love it when you want something healthy! If all else fails ask if you can have gum. Or candy. Or what about just a sucker?

And that's all we have for you today!

Next time we'll cover activities that require massive amounts of space and set up and only hold your interest for approximately 3 minutes once you start playing them. Moms love those ones!

Love K, C & B

Any green thumbs out there?


Question: What do I do with a poinsettia that has hung on for dear life since Christmas and refuses to die? 

In fact, not only has it refused to die, it is still in full red bloom. At the end of May. In it's pot with the gold wrapper that does NOT look like it belongs anywhere in the house two days before Memorial Day weekend. 

Are poinsettias supposed to last year round? If so I've missed them somehow because I don't see them anywhere. And I'd be tempted to just throw the darned thing away except that it's pretty amazing that I've kept ANY indoor plant alive this long, let alone one that seems to be beating the odds.

Such a quandary.

Now fresh cut lilacs from the garden? That is much more like it! My house smells like spring. 

You just wouldn't know it from the potted plant screaming "WINTER HOLIDAYS" sitting on my table.

(And okay, so the lilacs look a little wilty. Time to go cut some more!)

What I Wore Wednesday


It's hard to get excited about the upcoming week and the Memorial day weekend with a forecast like this:

Really, Oregon? Really? 

Although I'll take rain over tornadoes or mass flooding any day. My heart just goes out to all the victims of the recent devastation in the Midwest and South... especially after hearing personal real accounts like this one. I can not even imagine...

Thankfully we had a couple of nice days (read sunny, not necessarily warm) this past week and I broke out the casual dress/sandals combo again - a current fave of mine.

 (don't even remember what I did this day and it's only been a week - that's just sad!)
dress, cardy & sandals: Target
leggings: Walmart

new flower pin: Sariejune etsy store
necklace: Premier designs

(grocery shopping attempt #1 - got seriously sidetracked by
Old Navy & Target and ran out of time)
dress: Old Navy
belt: yard sale
sandals: Target
bracelet: Premier designs

(grocery shopping attempt #2 - success!)
dress: Goodwill
cardy: Old Navy
sandals: Payless
necklace: Bass outlet
bracelet: Walmart

and now for an extremely poor quality pic that was taken late at night...
(date night, we saw Water For Elephants - good flick!)
cardy and jeans: Target
ruffle top: Goodwill
boots: Walmart
necklace: Fred Meyers

(church, lunch out)
dress: Ross
cardy: Old Navy
leggings: Walmart
wedges: thrifted
bracelet: Premier designs
flower ring: etsy

(prayer group, errands)
sweater: Costco
tee: Shade
levi's: thrifted
sandals: rummage sale
earrings: Dress Barn
necklace: ??

(field trip with Cooper's class)
ruffle blouse & cardy: Target
levi's: Kohls
sandals: rummage sale
bracelet and necklace: Premier designs

I'm linking to 
the pleated poppy blog

At least his father was proud...


Well, after being potty trained for almost a month now, it happened. 

After school yesterday, Blake dropped his drawers on the school playground and piddled in the bark chips. Lovely. 

Kendall came running to tell me, breathless with mortification. Blake, on the other hand, was as proud as could be when I found him. "Mommy, I went potty!" 

And why wouldn't he be proud? Grandma just showed him how to go outside last week! (But in the privacy of her yard when they were gardening far from the house.) 

Some things are just tricky for a three year old to understand. Like when we were driving home from Safeway earlier in the day and he told me he had to go "weal bad!". I asked him if he could hold it and he instantly grabbed himself and held tight. 

I tried again. "No bud, I mean can you hold your muscles tight so your potty doesn't come out?"

He flexed his arms and made his he-man roar. "I'm doing it, Mom!" he grinned.

Okay, never mind. I laughed and told him good job and just prayed he'd make it. Which he did.

Next time I'll be a little more specific and pray he makes it TO A BATHROOM.

Monday confessional - worst mom award


For anyone who thinks they have had the "worst" bad-mom moment...

Once upon a time (or, almost three years ago), I was grocery shopping at Walmart with my three children - Kendall and Cooper walking beside me, and 5 month old Blake fastened in his infant car seat in the front of the cart. After an hour of staring at the ceiling from his viewpoint in the carrier, Blake began to fuss and cry and would not be consoled by either the moving of the shopping cart or his toys or bottle, he was just DONE. I was not though, I still had to hit the produce section at the front of the store and only needed about 10 more minutes... so I unlocked his baby carrier from the shopping cart's child seat and rotated it until it was sitting more upright and Blake could see forward. His carrier still rested just fine on the front of the cart - it just wasn't locked on anymore.

This quieted him down right away and I proceeded to pick my produce, walking in front of the shelves and pulling my very full cart behind me while Kendall pushed it from behind so Blake had someone to look at. When I was finished along the first row I tugged the cart to turn it around the corner but it would not budge, the carpet mats on the floor in front of the produce had raised rubber edges on them and my heavy cart wouldn't roll over the bump. I tugged again, still no budging, so I told Kendall to give the cart a good push and I tugged hard at the same time. 

Instead of rolling forward however, the cart tipped up onto it's two left wheels and Blake's baby seat was launched into the air, landing upside down on the linoleum floor. Thankfully the handle was locked up in it's carry position and Blake was still buckled in firmly, which stopped his head from hitting the ground and him falling out, but that did nothing to prevent the instant horror I felt, or Blake from screaming bloody murder, or twenty people from instantly rushing over because I was in full view of the entire front of the store. 

(Nothing like enduring your worst mom moment EVER in front of a crowd of strangers...)

The store manager was called and I was sure I was going to get in trouble for not having my baby seat properly attached. Kendall was crying and saying that Grandma was NOT going to be very happy about this, in a very accusing manner for a 6 year old, and I was holding Blake, checking him all over for injury and trying to console him. It was ten kinds of awful. 

Eventually Blake calmed down and it didn't seem as though he'd been hurt - just scared out of his wits, I made it out of the store without being reported or arrested, and I called my husband and confessed the whole horrid story. We watched Blake carefully over the next couple of days to make sure he was fine and then I was teased mercilessly that if Blake was ever asked as an adult if he was dropped on his head as a child, he would be able to answer that yes, yes he was.

Which is only funny until you discover a squishy raised bump on the side of your baby's head 3 days later, and take him to the doctor and spend two hours trying to get him to fall asleep so they can do a CT scan, all to discover that the squishy bump is fluid from a FRACTURE IN HIS SKULL. 

Yes that's right, I'm responsible for cracking my son's head. Top that bad-mom moment.

5 months old and what a chubster!
Now in case you're concerned, it was a very small fracture that healed all by itself without any treatment or procedure necessary, and Blake's head is perfectly normal to this day. We think the side of his head hit the handle of his infant car seat, which makes me so glad I gave him some baby Tylenol after we were out of the store and back in the car because poor thing must have had quite the headache. 

Sheesh, just thinking about it STILL makes me feel guilty! Lesson learned though, I never propped Blake's seat that way in a shopping cart again.

And that's the story of how I broke my baby's head and won worst-mom award. Feel free to try and top it. 

The end.  

Nothin' exciting


It's Saturday afternoon and I have nothing much to write about the last couple of days. They've just been filled with regular ol' life stuff. Grocery shopping, homemaking, watching movies with my sweet hubster, visiting with friends, walking down to the river, and the constant, never-ending, wrangling of children. 

It's not the life for everyone, but it is for me. As long as there are plenty of date nights in between. 

Tonight we're going to see Water for Elephants at the theaters.
Anyone seen it? I'm excited, although I'm not telling Russ it's set in the 30's because if there's one thing he doesn't really care for it's period-piece dramas.

I haven't sat through guy movies like The Fighter and Gran Torino for nothing though. No, Russell will go to this movie and he will like it! And truthfully, he probably will. He's pretty awesome about chick-flicks. And in return I keep going to the violence-filled action ones. 

That's part of what makes a marriage work right? A little give and take and meeting in the middle? At least, that's what works for us. Which is why Russ gets to go hunting and I get to go away on scrapbooking weekends and shop a lot. We have a good system :)

Book lover


I'm on a total reading binge right now. I've always loved reading and used to borrow or buy new books regularly, but over the last couple of years my reading has become a lot more sporadic - I can go months without picking up a single book. 

The thing is, once I do I'm immediately reminded of how much I LOVE a good book and will go on a week or two long binge of reading NON-STOP. As in, not much gets done and I stay up waaay too late. It's real fun for Russ and the kids. 

If you're not sure of what I mean by non-stop, I mean that it's Thursday and I'm about to start my fourth book THIS week. (Downloading books on my kindle is just way too convenient.) Yesterday I was finishing The Help and I'll just tell you that it's a miracle my family ate last night because I could not put it down. So we had blueberry pancakes and I read in between flipping them on the griddle. I read in the bathroom. I read into the wee hours of the night and might be a little bleary eyed this morning. That was ONE GOOD BOOK. 

Oh how I love a good book. But I'm only going to read one or two more and then I'll need a break again, if for nothing else than to win back the love and affection of my family that I've abandoned ;)

picture taken by Blake. For a three year old he's a bit of a superstar with the camera.

What I Wore Wednesday


This past week I only put effort into getting dressed 4 days out of 7. The others were spent in workout clothes and sweats, neither of which I deemed either camera worthy or attractive. 

But 4 out of 7 isn't so bad right? That's over half! 

(You gotta make yourself feel successful any way you can when you're a stay-at-home mom that stays home an awful lot.)

wrap sweater: Loft
tee: Shade
jeans & hat: Target
boots: Walmart
belt: rummage sale
necklace: Bass outlet
vest: Ross
puckered tee: Shade
jeans: Goodwill
belt: Dress Barn clearance
bracelet: Premier Designs
wedges: Kenneth Cole - Goodwill
I bought this belt for the sole purpose of being able to fasten it like this. I think it's a fun twist on the regular ol' "buckle it like normal and stick it through the loop" version. 
(Although I didn't really get how to do it until I accidentally came across a tutorial on a fashion blog. You just never know what you're going to learn on the world wide web.)

Coat: Penny's
ruffle blouse: thrifted
jeans: Target
belt: yard sale
bracelet: Premier Designs
favorite new wedges: Style & Co. - thrifted
I fell in love with this top last week at Deseret Industries because I'm all about the ruffles, and it was only $2.00, so I basically HAD to buy it.

tunic and flats: Goodwill
jeans: Old Navy
belt: rummage sale
favorite new necklace: Van Huesen outlet clearance
(my friends call it my DNA necklace :)

And that's it! Visit The Pleated Poppy for more What I Wore posts. 
And have a great Wednesday!

The Tuesday report


- I'm on day two of avoiding Facebook because I haven't watched the Survivor finale yet and I don't want to hear who won. Someone always spoils the results on Facebook. I'm watching it today for sure though because I MISS YOU FACEBOOK!

- My battle with the BFS workout continues... I'm still going every week but in all honestly I have to skip parts of it at least once a week due to pulling some muscle or another in my body. I'm like that kid in PE that always has an excuse why they can't participate - it's embarrassing.

- However, I'm happy to report that I've lost 5 pounds. It's not much, but it's a start and I'll take it!

- We are now into the final 4 weeks of school and my children are starting to show serious signs of summer-itis. I think it's my fault though because I have a major case of summer-itis and have got them counting down daily. C'mon summer!

- Russell spent Sunday evening going through all his clothes in the closet and his dresser doing a big clean sweep. Somehow during this process he took over two of my spots in the closet, which I discovered yesterday when getting dressed and immediately reclaimed. I don't think he's noticed yet but I'm on the lookout to see what happens because I think we may have just begun a closet war. Oh, it's on baby... and I can tell you right now that I will WIN!

- Last night after a yummy (and healthy!) dinner, reading together as a family, playing Pictureka with the kids and then getting them all in bed, Russ and I watched Life As We Know It - a totally cute chick flick starring Katherine Heigl and Josh Duhamel. I would call that a perfect evening.

- Russell, on the other hand, would call that a fun evening that ended with the MOST BORING CHICK FLICK OF HIS ENTIRE LIFE. So, mixed reviews of that movie in our household. (But don't listen to Russell, it's cute.)

- You guys, I just used Google to look up the name of that movie so I wouldn't have to walk across my living room and read the case because I forgot what it was called. I think it's safe to say that A LOT is going to get done around here today. 

And thus concludes the Tuesday report. As always, full of important and ground-breaking information. Or not.

Super Coop


Yesterday was an extra special day at church. Cooper was water-baptized in front of the congregation by both of his grandfathers, with a special email from his great-grandfather in New Zealand read aloud as well.

My proudest moment: watching him go through the whole thing without an ounce of shyness or stage fright. Bravo, Cooper! (This was a big step for him.)

He was beaming all day long.

After the service both Kendall and Cooper asked me if we could go eat Chinese for lunch. That sounded like an excellent plan to me so I mentioned it to Russ, and he in turn called Cooper over and told him that it was his special day and he could choose where we went to eat out (fully expecting Cooper to say Happy Family, our favorite local Chinese restaurant). 

Instead Cooper said, "Really? I want to go to McDonalds!"

Wait... what? No delicious Chinese? Darn those happy meals and their offer of a cheap plastic toy!

(And that's how I ended up eating a very so-so asian chicken salad with grilled chicken, because once I had Chinese food in my head I couldn't let it go.)

But Cooper was very happy with his decision and that was what mattered.

Dear Cooper:
You are such an amazing kid and sooo precious to me.
I'll never forget your excitement
and confidence that you showed today. 
It made me so proud. 
I love you.

p.s. I think you're quite the little stud too!

Girl time and other stuff


Editors note: this post is delayed due to blogger being down for almost 24 hours. I had this post all ready to go yesterday morning... and had no idea I was such a blog addict until I couldn't get on all day and HATED IT! But it's fixed thankfully so life can now move forward ;)

I've had my fill of girl time lately, and I'm loving it!

First off, as I already blogged about earlier this week, I spent last weekend with some of my closest friends at the WOW Getaway and we all got our girl talk ON. Seriously, there was never a lull in conversation. Or laughter.

Then, Tuesday night I took Jana out for dessert and a movie for her birthday... two of our very favorite things!
the stripes and flowers thing was not planned
We picked two desserts to share at Claim Jumpers: our old fave staple - the lemon bar brulee, and a new one for us - the warm English toffee cake. Which was AWE.SOME. We may have drank the sauce off the plate, it was that good.

Then we caught a chick flick at the theater, which we enjoyed in spite of some unnecessary language, although we thought the ending was kind of bittersweet. But I hear that it's a book and there's a sequel that continues with the same story so you can bet your patooty that I'm going to download that onto my kindle. 

(After I finish the other 4 books I've downloaded and haven't read yet.)

Finally, Wednesday I went on an adventure up into Portland with my friends Sarah, Therese, and Tricia to visit a cool resale store called Crossroads Trading. We got a little lost on the way there and even more so on the way home but the important part is that we found it and got back to school in time for pickup! And experienced shopping success!

(Even though I took a whole tote of things in to trade and they sadly only took 2 items, giving me a grand total of $7.00 to shop with. LAME-O.)
thank you stranger from the U.K. for taking our picture!
Would you care to see what I picked up?

If your answer is no, too bad. I'm excited about them...
ruffle blouse (no tag), Mossimo maxi dress, Ann Taylor LOFT skirt, Style & Co. wedges

If these don't scream my name, I don't know what do.
I also bought a really cool Calvin Klein shirt for Russ, which he wore to work yesterday or there would be a picture of that too. 

Total spent: $37.00. Not bad really, except that I was only supposed to spend what I got in trade because if you'll recall I just went on a total shopping spree at the Coast. So I was excited to give Russ his shirt, but it led to him asking how much I spent... which led to me getting myself in a leeetle bit of trouble, not really because of the money, but because "where is the respect?!"

(Good question, And if you've been through the Love & Respect series you'll know what I'm talking about.)

So then I tried to explain that shopping is my vice and sometimes I give in to temptation and just need forgiveness and understanding... and Russell said that it wasn't the same as an addiction like alcohol or something, which I of course responded with, "yes it is, they even make movies about it!” Which led to Russell stalking off and going to bed.

(Please tell me you’ve seen Confessions of a Shopoholic. It’s cute.)

So yeah, it wasn't my proudest moment and I've put myself on a spending freeze until further notice. 

And I hope I didn't make anyone uncomfortable with another episode of "Jodi spends too much money and causes upset in the marital peace of her home", but it's best if you all know that I'm not anywhere close to perfect and that my husband sometimes endures quite a lot being married to me.

Only sometimes though. Perhaps rarely is a better word... yeah, that's what I'm going with!

Anyway, of course we were fine by the next morning because that's just the way we roll, and then Russ sent me a very endearing love letter from work because he's wonderful like that.

I love him very much. Him AND my new stuff... it's a catch-22!