Saturday, December 20, 2008

i won!

i won! i won! i won! i won! i never win. but i won! kristen over at we are THAT family
had a random drawing for an i caught santa picture. go check it out. it's cute. and believable.

thanks kristen!

merry christmas!


Friday, December 5, 2008


as i go through my life day to day, i have been mentally taking notes about how i want to i want to get back to what is really important in life. my friend debbie over at Three Weddings recently wrote a very interesting post that really hit home. she makes a good point about cell phone use in our lives today. i'd like to give you an opportunity to read it...maybe it will spark something in your mind that will put you on the path to simplification.

thanks deb! you're so smart.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

what's on my tree wednesday 12/03/08

What's On My Tree Wednesdays

welcome to what's on my tree wednesday. you can click on the button to learn more about WOMTW or visit katie's blog and check out her family.

for this week's selection, i have again chosen a group of ornaments. when we were kids, we would go to my maternal grandpa's house on Christmas in the evening. my grandma made us ornaments every year. they're tattered and torn and some of them are completely pathetic, but they serve as great reminders of our childhood Christmas traditions.

what's on your tree?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

what's on my tree wednesday 11/26/08

What's On My Tree Wednesdays

welcome to what's on my tree wednesday. you can click on the button to learn more about WOMTW or visit katie's blog and check out her family.

and now introducing my ornament of the week. well, actually, it's ornaments of the week. each year we take a day and make ornaments with pictures of the kids in them to give to grandmas and grandpas. it's a nice little gift and an awesome way to see the changes in our kids every year.

what's on your tree?

Thursday, November 20, 2008


our little family has begun a journey towards simplification . so the first step was admitting we have a problem ...of being over-scheduled, over-worked, over-indulged, and surrounded by too many things. the next step is action. we've been working on getting rid of the extra...the extra running around...the extra junk...the extra non-necessities in our lives.

so, we have spent the past few weekends purging...from our closets...from the basement...from all of the nooks and crannies where treasures go to hide. we have taken about 6 ginormous loads to various agencies where we live. there's still more to do, but that was a great start. and i feel good about it. we have started cleaning out what the past twenty years have brought in and other people will benefit from our purging. it's a win-win situation.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

you may have noticed

What's On My Tree Wednesdays

this huge button on my sidebar. it's from a fellow blogger, katie. she's hosting a carnival that starts next wednesday (the day before thanksgiving) and runs through Epiphany. i think it sounds fun. i can't wait to see what other people have on their tree. i'm going to try to do it every wednesday...because it is something i will enjoy doing.

have a good evening.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

under pressure

i've been doing a lot of talking with my girlfriends lately and the main theme of our conversations is this: we are overloaded...overwhelmed...overworked...overtired...and spread WAY too thin. as you may (or may not) know, i'm working on simplifying our lives. you can read my epiphany here .

i've decided to start raising funds so we can research this problem extensively. just kidding. but, i would like to talk about it. now, i will admit that some of my angst is self-induced. i have over-scheduled myself and our kids in an effort to keep us busy and allow less time for whining. we had a great summer...probably just the right amount of activities. however, it left me feeling out of breath and struggling to catch up on daily life. captain adventure was in an all boys gymnastics class at the Y at the end of the summer. he LOVED it. it was great for him. for me the only problem was the timing...every wednesday from 4:30-5:15. little mother hen gets out of school at 3:40...we get home by 3:50 and she only has a few minutes to catch her breath, do her homework, and grab a quick snack before we leave at 4:15. i know -- it was only once a week, but sometimes that is enough to throw a kink into the smooth running machine that is our life.

i joke with my friend jill that we are less like stay-at-home-moms and more like live-in-the-car-moms. i'm tired. i'm tired of the constant power struggle with our kids. i'm tired of so much running and so many activities. they're tired too. all they want to do is melt into the couch and stare at the tv (which is an entirely different post). they don't want to be constantly running between here and there any more than i do.

another part of the problem is that i have put WAY TOO MUCH PRESSURE on myself to be
the perfect bake, to craft, to haul, to enjoy, to never yell, to always cook, to always be calm and collected, to do it all and have it all. i have set myself up for failure by setting totally unrealistic expectations. so, i suppose i need to revamp my expectations for myself and the expectations that i have for our family. we need to re-prioritize as part of our simplification plan. that's cool. i can do that.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

sunday confessional 11/9/08

confession: i was a really good mom before i had kids

before i had kids i wasn't sleep deprived. i didn't feel like i was being pulled in a hundred different directions every single minute of every single day. i was patient. i did nice things for other people on a regular basis. i did nice things for myself on a regular basis. i had an entire list of all the things my kids would NEVER do. i had an even bigger list of the mom i would NEVER be.

i grew up as one of the oldest in a large extended family. there were always babies around. i started babysitting when i was 11. the kids i sat for were 9 and 7. (yeah, that sounds safe, doesn't it) also, i am a registered nurse. i mean, what could else could i possibly need to know?
then we had our first child and reality hit. real quick like.

i knew absolutely nothing. in fact, i knew less than nothing. if you put my husband and i together and added up everything we knew, we still knew less than nothing. sadly, we found this out after we'd been home for approximately 72 hours with our newborn baby girl. that day has been burned into my brain. she cried. the. whole. entire. day. by mid-afternoon i was crying and i think my husband was only minutes away from cracking up. i remember calling my mom and in between the sobs saying, "what were we thinking? we're complete idiots. we don't know what to do with a baby."

i always thought i'd breastfeed (which i did) exclusively (which i didn't). i was sure that our children would never have pacifiers (which they did). they would also never: pick and eat their own boogers, use a sassy mouth, throw themselves into a heap on the floor of walmart, , stomp like a dinosaur in the middle of a crowded restaurant (they have done all of these). i would never spank (which i have on occasion). i would host arts and crafts hour on a regular basis (occasionally is more like it). i would cook healthy at least semi-homemade meals daily and would involve our kids in cooking (we're working on this one). we would NEVER go out in public wearing our pajamas (oh. yes. we. have.)

i could go on for hours. days, even. but, here's the thing - none of it matters. what matters is that i love our kids. i do my very best to be present. sometimes this is easier said than done. i'm working on this with our
simplification plan. and the truth is that maybe i was a really good mom before i had kids. but that mom was a figment of my imagination. she wasn't real. but i am. i'm human. i make mistakes. and i can live with that knowing that every day i am trying to do my very best.

Friday, November 7, 2008

happy birthday

happy birthday to the love of my life. you are my best friend. you are my partner in life. you are my life. and i'm yours.

i love you,

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

it is what it is

for example, i won't lie and say that i'm happy about america's choice for the 44th president of our great nation. john mccain gave an eloquent concession speech and although he didn't actually say the words, i can read between the lines...he agrees with me -- it is what it is. let's not be partisan. let's not be shrill. instead, let us move forward. let us all keep plugging along to help make our country better.

the truth is that although i did not vote for obama, i do not want to see him fail as our president. because if he fails, we all fail. i hope that he can lead our country in the right direction. i hope that he is able to stand up for what he believes is in the best interest of our country even if it goes against the talking heads of the democratic party. because at the very least, he owes us his very best.

i hope that he can reach the bar he has set for himself during this campaign. he is a spectacularly charismatic speaker. he has the amazing ability to evoke very strong emotions from the people he speaks to. he was able to gain the support of millions and millions of people. it is within the realm of possibility that this man has the potential to become a great do what he has promised to make our country fight the good fight for the people of this great nation.

to be sure, there will be changes in our country when he takes office. but, they have the potential to be changes for the betterment of our country. and, in the end, that is what truly matters. we all love our country and want it to be great.

if you don't like the end result of the election, get involved in local government. call your representatives and let them know how you feel on the issues that are important to you. if you aren't part of the solution then you are part of the problem.

it is what it is. no more. no less.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

sunday confessional 11/2/08

*this has nothing to do with politics, so check your tude at the door. please.

confession: i am VERY bothered by people who say that sarah palin shouldn't be running for office because she is a mom and her kids need her.

shucks pa, i didn't know we were living in walnut grove. first of all, (and i think this is a pretty obvious question) but what role do you think her husband should have in raising THEIR children? obviously they've been making it work. and before you bring up their pregnant teen, are you telling me that moms who don't work outside the home don't have sexually active teens? because you're full of crap. or delusional. you pick.

and what about that precious baby? who's taking care of their special needs baby? give me a break. i know several parents of special needs children. they aren't any different from parents of typically developing children...they do what they have to do to take care of their children. (duh!) they survey the situation and make a judgment call about what they think is best for their family. (novel idea, huh?)

it is offensive to me that there are people who are trying to substitute THEIR judgment for that of the palins. only the palins can know what is best for their family. i'd be super pissed if you came to my house and tried to substitute your judgment for ours. i'd probably exclude you from our Christmas card list.

get off your high horse. instead of worrying about what the palins are doing and how they are doing it, focus your energy on your own family. you'd better go check on your kids before your teenager winds up a teen parent and everyone is looking at you and talking about how it's all your fault because you weren't "there" enough. go ahead. i'll wait.

hugs and kisses,

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

wordless wednesday

little mother hen's first halloween

just a quick thought...

i was watching CBS morning news...trying to get a little local news before the talking heads took over (i was too late)...and a CBS News director of polls (i forget her title...but she's the one who goes over the giant united states map to discuss which states are voting red and which are voting blue on a daily basis).

i digress...anywho, this lady stated that barack obama is outspending mccain almost 3:1 in most of the swing states for advertising. let me spell that out for you.

barack obama is spending other peoples' money almost 3 times faster than john mccain. and he's only running for president now...with money that people have willingly given him. i wonder what he'll do when he's using everybody's money if he becomes president.

he's super good at spending other peoples' money.

i'm just sayin.

Monday, October 27, 2008

i'm inspired

i don't know about you, but lately i have had an overwhelming urge to life, our home, our schedules. there are too many chefs in our kitchen and i need to take control. along with my urge to simplify was my feeling of being completely overwhelmed by such a thought. i mean, where to begin? well i'll tell you where.

Kristen over at
we are THAT family is one smart sweet-tea-loving woman. she recently wrote a post that was instrumental in pushing me into action. now, we're not doing anything drastic like shutting off cable *GASP*. but i'm putting a plan together. baby steps people. baby steps.

i know you'll be waiting with bells (or goofy ass shoes) on, so i'll be sure to keep you abreast of anything pertinent.

hugs and kisses to all,

the queen

Sunday, October 26, 2008

sunday confessional 10/26/08

confession: sometimes i want to use utensils to seriously mame people.

ok, so you know how when people are searching for an answer about something or an opinion on a specific topic and they ask you because of what they perceive to be your expertise in a given you give them your very best information in good faith...then they look at you and say, "no, i'm pretty sure you're wrong. i looked it up on the internet and you're waaay off"? well, that makes me want to stab a fork in their eyes.

seriously, what is it with people? i mean, don't waste your breath asking me a question if you're just going to immediately pull out your citation list (that's three pages long) so you can attempt to prove me wrong. what is the point of this exercise? don't ask me a question that you already know the answer to. i have one word for you -- shenanigans.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

100 things you may or may not know

can you believe that this is my 100th post? well, can you? anywho, in honor of my 100th post, i wanted you to know some things. i mean, we've been dating long enough now, there are some things that you should know about me before we take our relationship any further. without further ado...

1. i am freakishly afraid of balloons. well, actually i'm afraid of them popping in my face or in the faces of my kids. i cringe whenever the kids get balloons

2. i love little house on the prairie. i wish it was still on. it is way better than the crap that's on tv now for our kids.

3. i smoked for 3 months of my life. when i turned 18. i never inhaled. not really

4. i have never smoked pot. not even once. not even a little.

5. i had a wine cooler when i was 14. i didn't drink alcohol after than until i was 20

6. i dated a boy named mike in middle school and high school. he was the best man when i married mr. husband. i'm not kidding

7. i love to watch our kids sleep. i wonder what they're dreaming about. they look so peaceful.

8. i am a registered nurse.

9. i retired 2 years ago to stay home with our kids.

10. 3 months later i found out i was pregnant with baby #3.

11. i have never traveled to a foreign country.

12. i have never been outside the continental united states.

13. when i was little i used to sneak drinks of my grandma's tab.

14. i tried tab again a few years ago. it tastes like toilets.

15. i can remember my other grandma coming into my bedroom to tell my sister and i that we had a new baby sister.

16. i refuse to go to a male OBGYN.

17. i know that some people think that's weird.

18. i don't care.

19. i took my uncle for show and tell to my preschool class. he is very tall.

20. i have a very cool husband.

21. i am a dog person.

22. i tolerate some cats.

23. i had two goldfish when i was little.

24. i named them after my parents.

25. i overfed them and they died.

26. our oldest weighed 10 pounds 15 ounces when she was born. she was 11 days overdue.

27. our second child weighed 8 pounds 1 ounce when he was born. he was 2

weeks early.

28. our third child weighed 6 pounds 12 ounces when he was born. he was 4 week early

29. i have breastfed all three of our children.

30. some people in our family think i'm weird for doing that. (and, before you ask, they were all weaned by 12 months of age)

31. i don’t care.

32. i have had 3 c-sections.

33. i hound my husband every day to quit smoking.

34. i am a toilet paper coming over the top of the roll kind of girl.

35. if i could have all of the free time i wanted to do anything i wanted, i'd spend most of it being with my family taking pictures and scrapbooking for our kids.

36. my all-time favorite dessert is my grandma's chocolate pie. she cheats on the crust, but the rest is entirely from scratch. yum!

37. when i was first born, my parents had a poodle named boo boo.

38. i was allergic to her so they gave her to my grandparents.

39. when i was 6, our parents gave us a black lab puppy named smokey for Christmas.

40. soon after that, they sent him to live on a farm because they thought he would get too big.

41. when i was 10, we had a cocker spaniel puppy named sidney.

42. he ate through the back door.

43. a few days later, he moved to a farm.

44. we were really mad at our parents.

45. when i was 12, my dad brought a yellow lab mix puppy home.

46. we named her maggie. she lived with us until we had to put her to sleep 6 years ago.

47. when maggie was still living, we got a chocolate lab puppy.

48. her name is bailey and my kids love her.

49. i was named after my grandma.

50. she was named after her grandma.

49. it took me ten years to perfect my grandma's recipe for oatmeal cookies and make them like she did.

50. we still have the swingset that my sisters and i used as kids. my kids swing on it now. that’s cool.

51. i remember lying bed with my parents the morning the phone rang with a police man on the other end telling my mom that her sister had been killed in a drunk driving accident.

52. i was 6.

53. she was cool. she used to pick me up in her VW beetle and we'd go get ice cream or go play in the park.

54. i have plantars warts.

55. my husband rubs my feet anyway.

56. i drool in my sleep.

57. sometimes i wake up in a pool of drool.

58. even i think it's gross.

59. i do not sleep on my back.

60. i do not sleep on my stomach.

61. i sleep hanging from the ceiling like a bat.

62. just kidding. i sleep on my side.

63. i like chocolate chip cookies.

64. without the chocolate chips.

65. i cannot sleep with the tv on.

66. my husband hates this about me.

67. i am a morning person.

68. my husband hates this about me also.

69. i don't usually eat breakfast.

70. unless i'm going out with my breakfast club.

71. my mom is my mentor and my friend.

72. i would rather have a handful of close friends who would drop whatever they are doing if i need them without hesitation than to have 100 people i know who are always too busy for me.

73. i love burn notice on USA.

74. i run like a girl but throw like a guy.

75. i am allergic to 5 kinds of grass.

76. i didn't know that there were even 5 kinds of grass to be allergic to.

77. i keep lots of things. just in case.

78. i drive the speed limit +5.

79. i used to listen to angry music.

80. i have to have a fan on to sleep.

81. i have known my friend erin since we were 3 years old. she will forever hold a grudge because in preschool i was in the tall club and we wouldn't let her join because she wasn't tall enough.

82. i feel insignificant and unimportant when i'm with my in-laws.

83. my sisters and i created a book of our childhood memories and gave it to our grandmas last Christmas.

84. it was the coolest present we could have ever given them.

85. i keep a stash of 3 musketeers in the freezer that i break into when the kids are getting the best of me. (hey! it's better than a pitcher of margaritas.)

86. i am Catholic.

87. i haven't been to church in a very long time.

88. i'm working on that.

89. Christmas is my favorite holiday by far.

90. i do not like the taste of beer.

91. when i'm pregnant i crave beer. (and, no before you ask, i don't drink when i'm pregnant)

92. i do not have time in my life for inconsiderate people who do nothing but suck my will to live from me.

93. i am a Boston fan by marriage.

94. i am constantly worried that i’m doing it wrong.

95. i secretly want to take ballroom dancing lessons with mr. husband.

96. a year ago i told mr. husband that i’d rather have no presents at all than to have presents just for the sake of having presents.

97. a few months later, he surprised me with a plane ticket to see my friend kim for my birthday.

98. he gets me.

99. i love lima beans.

100. i am thankful for the family and friends who are a part of my life. the ones who actually participate in my life and make their presence known. the ones who care and show their love and kindness. the ones who don’t suck the life out of me. thank you. you know who you are.