Back to school 2014

I waiver between “Damn it, summer is over,” and “Yay, thank God they are gone again!” Mostly I feel the first emotion because, let’s be honest, I love summer and HATE getting up before 7:00 if I can help it. Cora is also currently walking around and whining. It’s going to be a big transition to have her ‘my Simon’ gone all day.

Related: I just pulled Kit-Kat’s head out of the cat box. I just can’t wait to deal with her all day!

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Simon is going into 5th grade and his final year at Deerfield. His teacher is Ms. Heart. Bennett is going into 1st grade and his teacher is Mrs. Bland. It’s so hard to wrap my mind around these facts. Weren’t we just starting kindergarten with Simon? How is this possible?

Regardless, have a great day at school boys! I will see you in 7 hours while my kitchen stays spotless and not a single child yells at another.

Previous back to school: 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009.


Home again, home again. Jiggety-jig

We had the best time together on our 10 year anniversary trip. We ate, slept, read, snorkeled, people watched, shopped, and laughed together.

He is my favorite person and, oh boy, did we have fun. Spoiler alert: the kids had fun at Grandma’s too. We all survived!

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More words (and pictures) soon. I know y’all are just dying to see our vacation pictures. I can feel the excitement oozing through the computer screen.

Until then, happy Monday, friends.

Whoa blog

Oh, hi Blog. Nice to see you again after a 3 week vacation. Let’s see what have we been up to while taking this little blogging break? Well, we went on a road trip to Omaha, the boys both went to Grandma’s house (Can I get a witness? Hallelujah and amen), we joined the County Club (hallelujah and amen again), I almost died of pleurisy (okay, so I didn’t almost die but I felt like it. In fact, a week of medication and it still hurts to cough or laugh), and I’ve still managed to work part-time (something I haven’t done since I taught summer school when Simon was a wee-child) (insert feelings of pity here) (working is not my jam).

Meanwhile, Simon’s played baseball, Bennett’s been to gymnastics and starts swimming lessons next week, and Matt is taking 9 hours of summer school through KU. Cora has been her regular (slightly annoying and naughty) toddler self who tries to keep up with the big boys. We are thinking of potty learning with her because eh? Why not?

Summer time and the living is easy. Or incredibly busy.

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But it doesn’t matter how busy we are because I am with my people and this is my most favorite season of the year even it does take me 3 weeks to sit down and blog.

I love them, almost as much as I love summertime.

Excuse me while I cry

Memory Lane is a tricky place to find yourself stuck, especially when it is 12:15 at night. I was going to post some thoughts about Mother’s Day. Instead I got caught up in looking at old photographs of my babies.


I think every Mother feels like her children are the best. But seriously guys? I OUTDID MYSELF.

I mean, seriously.

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It pains me to look at these pictures. A serious stab to the heart.

Beautiful, wonderful, lovely babies of mine.

Love letters

Dear Bennett,

Thank you for the Valentine card that Daddy and I received in the mail yesterday. It was so sweet of you (and your preschool teachers) to create such a wonderful and thoughtful card. For the record, I am never, ever going to throw it away. Sometimes I trash your artwork when you aren’t looking, the artwork that you create at the art center preschool that you love so much, the artwork you create at the preschool that you attend THREE mornings a week because you cried at EVERY SINGLE DROP OFF LAST YEAR.

This little card is not going in the trash, no sir. This one, Sweet Boy, is a keeper.

Just opened the mail to find this Valentine from Bennett.

You will thank me later, I’m sure!


Ps: Mama always knows best, Pumpkin!


Dear Simon,

I love you so much. I know that sometimes I am a yeller and sometimes I lose my patience with your endless bouncing and stories. I know that I sometimes scream when I have to remind you to PICK UP YOUR SHOES AND BRUSH YOUR TEETH AND GO MAKE YOUR BED I’VE ALREADY TOLD YOU TWICE. Also? I AM NOT THE MAID. I’m sorry, Simon. I am wrong to yell. How can I make it better?

The ability to ask for forgiveness and really mean it is a trait that will serve you well. You should always remember to accept responsiblity and say you are sorry when you wrong someone.

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In fact, I can even forgive you for finding this picture on the Internet and setting it as MY contact picture on YOUR phone. I can see how it was an easy mishap and how you thought it might slightly resemble my disposition. You were wrong. It’s okay because it was a mistake. You can make it better by deleting this picture and finding another one. Maybe a picture with little pink hearts and rainbows?


PS. I was shouting just then because it is true. I LOVE YOU, kid. I LOVE YOU SO VERY VERY VERY VERY MUCH.


Dear Cora Jane,

When you grow up, the boys will say that “Cora got away with everything.” They will probably be right. You should use this to your advantage and continue to do the rotten things you do- like climbing onto the counter to turn on the water and scribbling with a permanent marker under the bathroom sink.

You’re only (almost) two once, girl.

Well played, January. #noshoes #theweatherisconfused #vscocam

Rock on with your naughty self,


Dear Matty,

This year is our 10th year of marriage. Can you believe it’s been ten years? You work so hard to provide for our family and have done so since the beginning. How many men can claim that they put down an ENTIRE hardwood floor, tiled a bathroom, and tiled a laundry room all by themselves and with minimal help? Not very many, that is for sure.

It took many FULL MOONS to get the job completed but BABY GOT BACK, MAN. You completed the job.

Translated in Germany to mean "builder's/mansoner's cleavage." In other news, the laundry floor is being finished today! #yay! #plumbersbutt #babygotback #truestory

I’m so proud of you,
Audrey Lynne

PS. I hope to celebrate another 10 years of bliss and grow very old together so just remember that crack kills, okay?

PPS. Have you seen my pencil? I have misplaced it.


Dear Readers,

Thank you for coming to read my words. Thank you for the comments you leave and for the notes on Facebook. Thank you for following me along from my move off Livejournal. Blogging is fun because you are here. Y’all are the best, seriously.

Don’t be afraid to share the link,

PS. Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope the person who loves you the most writes you a love letter as well.

PPS. No pressure, Matt.

PPPS. Maybe if you do find my pencil, Matt, you could use it to write me a love letter? Just a thought. Maybe it could be like Bennett’s card only better?

Big news {updated}

She usually wakes up around midnight and slips into my bed. She snuggles down and sticks her bum up into the air. There is no crying. There is no nursing. Just sweet, sweet sleep.

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I thought for sure that she would start eating food better now that the 24/7 Boobie Bar is closed for business from 8-5. So far, no such luck. She takes her milk (from the tap) during the day and fasts from food until I leave for work in the afternoon and evenings. Girlfriend is a smart cookie. Why eat when she can manipulate Mom for milk?

For the record, I try to feed her solid food. I really do.

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It’s a darn good thing she’s cute.


PS. A friend recently asked me why (with raised eyebrows and a slightly suggestive tone) I changed my blog name to House of Pool and away from Pool, Party of 5. Why? Because I wasn’t crazy about that blog name. No, there is no Pool, Party of 6 announcement to be had. Will there be some day? I have no idea. I know that some women have that DONE feeling.

I don’t have that yet.

I do have adorable children that all sleep through the night and that, my friends, makes me feel like I could do the newborn thing all over again is the best feeling in the world.

Family pictures

A few weeks ago, we had family pictures taken. If you are looking for a photographer in the Lawrence, Kansas region, I highly recommend checking out Nicole Bobey Photography.  She was pretty darn awesome to work with and captured some amazing photographs of my children. 

We went out at 8:15 in the morning and traipsed through a broken barn and some random (but beautiful!) woody areas. It was COOOOLD outside but we had fun nonetheless. The pink cheeks and noses give us character, no? 

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I sure do love those kids and that man. A lot. 


Make it your goal to use the word traipsed today when conversing with your children. Great vocabularies are built through talking. This moment brought to you by your favorite parent educator, yours truly, and spurred after a conversation with one of my closest friend and fellow educator. 

Happy (almost) Christmas, friends. 

Another post written by Simon

I am proud to live in Kansas because…

"Kansas is a cool plase to live. Sunflowers are rilly big and rilly cool. I like all my frinds in Kansas. I like my scool. and my home and my town. and my sister and my brother and my Mom and my Dad. I like the jayhawks to."

We all love the Jayhawks, Simon. KU certainly is the best school in the state and Lawrence the best place to raise a family. DUH. With all the hippies and the Liberals and the free family activities- why wouldn't anyone want to live here?

Rock Chalk Jayhawk! Go KU!

I love how you said Mom before Dad too. Don't worry- I won't point out this fact or rub it in to Daddy. I promise. We know that would be silly and I am way too mature for that. You should be proud of me. I am proud of you.

I didn't even lose my temper make a face act sad when you refused to get in the picture with Baby Jay.  Progress, son. Progress.

It must be because we live in Lawrence. It is the best town after all.