Thursday, April 28, 2011

An apple a day

Ten years ago I'd be completely disgusted if I had a fruit bowl where one piece had been previously "sampled."  

Today, I just turned that apple around so I didn't have to look at the bite. What a difference a few kids make.

Friday, April 22, 2011

A classic tale

I have always joked that Addi is our boy-crazy daughter.  But now that is not the case (you know, because she's FIVE) so Samantha has taken on that role in our family.  And she takes it very, VERY seriously. 

Forget the boys at school.  I mean, please, those boys are just so... available.  When one ran up to her the other day and kissed her goodbye, she brushed him off with an ease that was spooky.  No, those boys just won't do.

Instead, Sam has fallen in love with Jack.  Seven year old, thinks girls are yucky and would rather ride a dirt bike Jack from across the street.  She started with a simple wave here and there or a shy smile when he looked her way.  Next, she asked to go across the street to see Jack, but once we were there she'd hide between my legs and refuse to look at him.

Last week, things took a dramatic turn down Lovers Lane.  Mainly when I made a classic parenting mistake.  I told Sam that no, she could NOT see Jack.  Not because he's, as I mentioned, way too old for her or even not the slightest bit interested in a two year old, but because it was bedtime. 

I should have known better.  I've watched Lifetime television for Women and Gays... I know how this story ends.  Instead I stuck to my guns and two minutes later, Juliet Sam was clinging to the door, sobbing for her beloved Romeo Jack.

I finally gave in after 10 minutes and took Sam to see her true love.  Once there she promptly buried her face in my shoulder and refused to look up, while Jack played basketball and completely ignored her.

First loves.  Aren't they a treat.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Sam is wrapping up her year in Red Room and the amount of things she has learned just keep growing. 

Her newest skill... Writing the letter "A".  It's one of her favorite things to show off and she keeps practicing.

Aside from them all being upside down, we are pretty impressed.  Great job, Sam!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

9. Support a Charity

A few years ago I was guilted into asked to join an Easter Seals team with some co-workers.  I begrudgedly agreed, thinking I'd sell a few raffle tickets and be done with it.  Instead, I was hooked by the need to raise money and with my friends Jenny and Laura have hosted two scrapbook events.

I still belong to the original team and this year we were asked to host the live auction at the annual Black and Blue ball.  The items up for grabs were pieces of pottery painted by Easter Seals families, so the day after Addi's birthday my mom, Renee and I headed to Fired Up to help out.  Needless to say, it was extremely rewarding for all involved.

A few weeks later Jenny and I spent an evening, sans kids, and enjoyed the Black and Blue Ball.  The "Black" part is black tie, and the "Blue" part is blue jeans.  I think it's a pretty unique idea, and essentially the vibe was a happy hour that went all night.  Jenny's team was in charge of the silent auction part and was busy with that, and our team was all in place, ready to raise some serious cash.

When it came time to auction off the pottery, we were majorly successful.  Who wouldn't want one of these awesome pieces of art???

We raised over $30,000.... So I definitely feel good about checking #9 off my list!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Plan C

We are no strangers to sleep issues. I honestly can’t remember a time where we weren’t struggling in one way or another in this area, but I’d say the majority of the issues have always been with Addison. Samantha has her moments but usually, it only takes a day or two to get her back on track.

After several days of Sam only going to sleep if I was in bed with her, Jay and I decided to try a new plan. According to Jay, the girls are both much easier to put to sleep when I’m not around, so Plan B was for me to take Addi to dance class and Jay to stay home with Sam and get her to sleep. Then, Addi and I would get home around 7:30 and put her to bed. Game on.

We got to dance class and Addi was thrilled to see that she and Jill were wearing matching outfits. How cute are they? Then, I crossed my fingers that Jay would get Sam straightened out and all would be right in the Ralph house.

 Well, things didn’t go quite as planned for Jay and Sam.  First, I got a text from Jay saying “STALL!”, so Addi and I headed to Panera for dinner after class.  We had a GREAT time… We talked, made friends with some old lady, and just enjoyed each other.  

Once we got home Jay was downstairs, Sam was asleep, and we breathed a sigh of relief that Plan B seemed to work. He did have to lay with her for a bit but didn’t get stuck in there like I seem to, so we deemed the mission “successful.”

Until morning, that is. Because I quickly found out, a Sam who doesn’t fall asleep with mommy makes up for lost time with her by Not. Letting. Her. Out. Of. Her. Sight. Not even to pee.

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to blow dry your hair while holding a 26 lb two year old??

On to Plan C.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Toys R Us has nothing on us

The girls love bathtime.  They have a tub full of toys, but forget about shopping at Toys R Us... They prefer to shop in my kitchen.  Good times.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Getting into a "Routine"

When we had Addison, we still traveled a LOT.  So, we never got her into a bedtime routine, and that has ended SO well.  Or, not.  So when Samantha came around, we tried to build some basics.  Bedtime is still iffy but when it comes to our weekly schedule, we definitely have our set ways.

Each Saturday, Jay heads to get groceries.  He goes to Sam's Club, picks up the necessities (diapers, gum, and fruit), then goes to Walmart or HiVee for the rest.  And sometimes, he takes the kids with him, which is a HUGE treat for Samantha.  He always comes home to tell me how much both girls, but especially Sam, love Sam's Club. Sure, whatever, I think to myself.  How much can one kid really love a store that doesn't have a candy or toy aisle?  But I haven't grocery shopped in years so I smile, nod, and move on.

Last Saturday, Sam and I headed out for a Mommy/Sami date.  Easter dresses were on the agenda, with a quick stop at Sam's for fruit and yogurt.  After we left Kohls I told Sam that Mommy wanted to go home.  She said, "No! Sam's Club!"  I argued with her that I didn't feel great and she said, "Sam's Club will make you feel better."

So, of course we went to Sam's Club.  And I saw first hand the love this little girl has for her namesake store.  Toys and candy... whatever.  This store has SAMPLES.  And Sam knew where every. single. one. would be.  As she stuffed her mouth with shrimp, she'd say, "that way Mommy, there's one there!" and sure enough, a cheese sample was just beyond the bulk wine.  Beyond that, pizza. 

Look at this face.  True love at it's best.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spring cleaning: Part 2

Our girls are lucky - they have a lot of cousins.  Part of having 11 girl cousins is the chance to get hand me downs and pass others along as well.

During my attempt at spring cleaning - which really ended up being me looking at all the junk in my house, having a panic attack, and doing absolutely nothing with any of it except moving some toys to the basement - I realized that we have not one, but two full tubs of girls shoes. 

Exhibit A - Sam's closet

Once I started digging through the box, I found a pair of shoes that Sam wore for dress up but that were too big last summer.  She went to put them on and one fit, but one didn't. 

Exhibit B - Pink Not-Crocs

The only thing that makes sense is that one seems cleaner than the other, so maybe we washed one and it shrunk?  But, unless one of the girls' cousins has two drastically different sized feet, these won't make it to the hand-me-down box.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


While checking out my blog to make sure my last post looked ok.... I realized that the last two pictures include Sam wearing halloween and christmas pjs. I would never have let that happen with Addi... And I really don't care.  :)

A hard day's work

Who knew going to Disney would take months of preparation. The kids and Jay are hard at work planning our trip.  It should be fun... If we survive the pre-work.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A whale of a time

We all know the girls love to eat.  But sometimes I really think they enjoy playing with their food even more than putting it in their bellies.  On any given day I find napkins laid out on the table with a snack for their "kids", usually just moments before the snacks end up on the floor.

Ah, the dream of new carpet...

Anyway, a few weeks ago Sam adopted a new pet.  Meet Whaley the Whale.  He's quiet, clean and takes up very little space.  Perfect.  I couldn't have been happier.

 Well, until I saw the home Sam made for Whaley.
A trash can full of the new package of goldfish crackers.  The new package Sam threw a giant fit in Krogers to get and would most likely throw another fit the next time she wanted some to eat.  I do NOT enjoy wasted food.

Hmm.... I guess I SHOULD just be grateful they didn't end up on the carpet.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

It's official

This girl is registered for kindergarten. 
Starting August 17. Wow. Time flies WAY too fast.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Spring cleaning

Like nesting, once or twice a year a primal urge hits me like the urge to pee hits when you see the ½ mile long line at a concert.  It starts innocently enough, getting annoyed when you trip over a pair of snow boots.  You push those aside, hang up your coat, and four others fall down off the hook because there are so many.  You go to hang up one in the hall closet and along with coats, a vacuum and three scarves you find a new home for two Barbies and a doll bed.  And then the urge takes over.  The urge to purge.

Wish me luck… This could get ugly.
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