Save the drama for your Mama

Hello? Anybody there? I couldn’t even remember my password to get in this space, so I’m doubtful that any of my 10 or so faithful readers are still here. My apologies. I haven’t forgotten about this space, despite my lack of postings, it’s just that I haven’t trusted myself to write.

You see, I’ll be brutally honest and say that lots has been going in my work life. You’ll understand when I say I can’t really talk about it, yes? Things are better now and (hopefully) FOR THE LOVE OF GOD everything has calmed down. I don’t like conflict, so just know that I am happier now. It was a hard couple of months and I am looking forward to the future. Everyone was sad, stressed, and anxious. I really do love my job though.

This now shall end my discussion of work. I don’t want to talk any more about it. I can guarantee that Matt, my co-workers, family and my closest friends can all agree. I will now shut up. THE END.

So speaking of looking forward, who is ready for Spring? Soccer games, swimming pools, and summer flowers are all calling my name. It just feels like winter has dragged on and on around here.

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I found these pictures of Bennett and Cora  after one of our massive snowstorms. The Polar Vortex can kindly see itself out now. I don’t want to talk another minute about wind chills, snow boots, or snowfall totals. I am also tired of arguing with my boys about wearing shorts. We made a house rule that if the temperature is above 50 degrees, you may wear shorts. #pantsoptional. However, if the temp is below 50 degrees then long pants are required.

Much like the drama with my job, I am done with all that nonsense.




Two pounds of candy in a one pound sack

My Dad used to always say that my sisters and I were “two pounds of candy in a one pound sack.” I know exactly what he means. Cora Jane is simply too much. She’s funny, ridiculous, opinionated, begs for vitamins, loves to read books, and wants to watch the same movie (Ice Age) every single day.

She says excuse me, bless you, and thank you without prompting. If you ask her a yes/no question, she’ll respond loudly with “sure!” And is she a princess? “Yup, I am,” is how she will respond.

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She always wants to do what her brothers are doing, even if that means throwing snowballs at her Mama.

God, we got so very lucky with her and her brothers. I’m pretty confident that my Dad would agree.

Soft as Cloud Dough

I saw this recipe floating around on Facebook the other day and decided to make some for Cora. She LOVES “maydough” and will spend hours rolling, squashing, and dropping pieces all over my dining room floor. The amount of time spent playing ALMOST equals the same amount of time I have to spend cleaning it all up. So, basically, a win for me.

To make:
Mix 1 part hair conditioner
2 parts corn flour/starch
A few drops food coloring

I ended up using a bunch of left over hotel conditioner samples until I found the right consistency. The great thing about this dough is that it smells great! Of course it had to be pink because it’s her favorite color.

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She loved it so much that I bought another bottle of the CHEAPEST conditioner ($1.59 at Target) that I could find. I’m sure we’ll be making more of this as the winter progresses!

Bennett’s bedroom

Something that we have been talking about recently is finally finishing the basement. We have three bedrooms upstairs and Cora’s crib is still in our bedroom. Does she actually sleep in her crib? Of course not. It is really just a receptacle for stuffed animals and baby dolls. She much prefers to sleep in our bed.

Ideally, both boys will go downstairs to the basement. Cora will move into Simon’s room and Bennett’s room will become the spot for Baby Pool #4. (Disclaimer: No, I am not pregnant. No, we are not trying. I just like to plan ahead. Also? I have a 2-year-old in my bed still. I have no idea if we will really try for one more baby or not. Our family is pretty sweet. End Disclaimer.) Regardless, I want Cora out of our room. Girlfriend needs her own space.

Since I figure it will only take approximately 3924 months for the basement to be finished because we are going to do (most of) the work ourselves and use cash only, I decided it was time to update Bennett’s room.

You can see Bennett’s old room here.

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I decided to not nail his name letters to the wall. It takes MANY nail holes to get the job done, so for now they are just balanced on top of the ridiculously old pictures. I might change my mind later about nailing them up. As the Mama, I reserve this right at any time. Some day I might even update his pictures too. He’s hardly that wee little baby any more. (Single tear.)

Baby steps, folks. Baby steps.

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Resources: the paint is Classic Silver by Behr, quilt is Pottery Barn Kids, and the bed is Restoration Hardware Baby and Child.

Cora’s pretty pony

While at my sister’s house over the holidays, we jokingly pointed out that Cora got a princess bike, a puppy, and her very own pony all for Christmas. Yes, I know. EXCESSIVE. (Please note that the princess bike is the only thing she actually got to keep.)

The thing she talked about the most, however, was the pony. We asked her repeatedly if she wanted to go ride and she insisted that she wanted on the pony. Imagine her asking “Go ride pony?” on repeat. Before going outside, I would have bet $100 that she wouldn’t actually do it. Cora talks a big talk, but rarely follows through. Once we got into the arena, I was completely amazed at her willingness to climb up and go.

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It’s a good thing we don’t actually live closer, or else Cora would want to ride every single day. Spoiled little girls get whatever they want, apparently.

Christmas recap 2013

So Christmas was, what, two weeks ago? My bad. Does anybody expect anything less? I can hardly keep up with the piles of laundry around here, let alone sharing pictures on this blog.

We ended up traveling 10 hours to my sister’s house in Northern Colorado and had a wonderful time. No, really we did. Everyone got along and nobody yelled! It’s a Christmas miracle. Susannah recently moved into a bigger house and it’s pretty damn glorious. I liked my house until I saw hers, for real. We jokingly refer to it as The Ski Lodge. If you had two sets of twin boys, you would need a ski lodge too.

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It’s almost unbearable for me to look at these pictures. The boys (especially the older ones) get along and love each other so much. It’s so hard to not be near family. Simon, Roan, and Rowdy got the bright idea to set an alarm and wake up at 3:15 AM Christmas morning. THREE FIFTEEN AM. Grandpa heard the giggling and the running and sent them promptly back to bed.

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Santa brought everything the kids were hoping for, of course. Santa even managed to deliver TWO bicycles and a highly coveted Playstation game to Colorado. (Did I mention we were 10 hours from home? Well done, Santa.) Other notable gifts: more Nike apparel because one can never have too many workout clothes (Hint: that wasn’t a gift for me), rolls of duct tape (why not?), an American Girl Doll, tennis racquets, Legos, books, Rainbow Loom Bands (Lord help me), wooden play food, and more clothes.

Some might call it tacky to share Christmas gifts. I share only in the interest of preserving history. One might look back and laugh some day at the Christmas gifts of ’13. If only this blog post could count as Thank you cards too. Thanks, family, for all the gifts. You guys rock.Christmas 2013 118

The gift we almost brought back with us was a puppy. Somebody dumped a dog (who immediately was pregnant) and my nephews ended up raising the puppies. Susannah managed to sell all of Rosie’s 11 puppies, except for their favorite three. While she really wanted us to take Opal, I liked the big boy Jasper. He was the calmest of the bunch and most well-behaved. We had Jasper loaded up in the van to begin the trek back to Kansas and were 5 miles down the road, when broken-hearted Rowdy texted that he wanted his puppy back.

We probably ended up dodging a bullet with that one, especially a working dog designed to herd cattle. Lord knows we didn’t need another mouth to feed, puddles to clean off the floor, and a puppy to train. And really it’s all good because Jasper will have plenty of company with four wild boys, five dogs, a barn full of kittens, cattle, and more horses than I can count.

He lives at a freaking Ski Lodge, remember?

The not-Christmas card

I totally planned to send out a holiday card this year but never managed to get the job completed. I could bore you with super lame excuses like:

1.) Working sucks and takes up all my “free” time.
2.) Matt had a major abdominal surgery.
3.) I have poor time management skills, especially at bedtime when the kids are asleep.
4.) We didn’t have time (or money) to pay an actual photographer to take quality pictures.
5.) I have a good 10 lbs. that I would like to lose. If Mama doesn’t look good, why send out a card? Also? I needed a hair cut in these pictures.

I know, excuses.

So let’s just pretend that I did use these photos for an actual holiday card, yes?

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While we are pretending, look at that nicely written font that says “HAPPY HOLIDAYS!”

Love (for reals),
Matt, Audrey, Simon, Bennett, and Cora Jane

PS. We took pictures like this last year: here and here. (Seriously, Big Mama in the house compared to last year!)

Stolen kisses

A certain one of my babies got moved to the “naughty list” this weekend. I came down into the kitchen and found tiny teeth marks in the top of 1/2 a dozen Peanut Butter Blossoms.

Guess which of my children just got moved to the naughty list? Hint: name rhymes with mora pain.

I’ll give you a hint on to who is the guilty party: their names rhymes with Mora Pain.

‘Cause (today anyways) s/he is totally mora pain than anything.

Favorite view

One benefit of my job is that I am able to do a lot of my paperwork from home. Thus, I find myself sitting at the dining room table typing reports through out the day (or late at night after everyone has gone to bed.) One of my favorite household views is that of my kitchen. I like it neat, clean, and crumb free. It doesn’t hurt my view to watch a child or two at the counter either.December 2013 317December 2013 282

What makes an even better picture is that of a child doing artwork and not begging for food. I like my kitchen neat and clean.