Friday, May 28, 2010

Girl's Week

Have you ever swam across the Mississippi River to St. Louis? I have. Ok, so not really but that is what we called it as my Great Aunt Mary (more fondly known as Grandma Mary) loaded us girls up on rafts and life-jackets and swam us across a section of the lake. It's one the memories so strongly burned into my brain that I can pull it up at will. In fact, many of my most favorite childhood memories involve my Grandma Mary.

I'm bringing this up because we buried her today. My beautiful Grandma Mary went to be with Jesus and I have spent the last few days reminiscing on such a beautiful lady. I can still feel the warm slate on my feet as we climbed down to the lake. The slight fishy, muddy smell of the water and the buzz of the chattering kids; the taste of freshly churned vanilla ice cream with strawberries is on the tip of my tongue. I will never forget tent city and Grandma Mary marching all of us kids down to the lake to "bathe." She taught us to play dominoes. Her words always guided us gently in the right direction. I will forever love peanut butter on apples and treasure the quilt she made me that now adorns my daughters bed. My favorite afghan was made by her as well. I can see her smile without even closing my eyes and hear her voice with little effort. Every summer, she opened her home only to the girls; no boys allowed. Girl's week was a highlight of my summer. I'm sure we looked so silly wearing those ponchos but we sure didn't mind. Climbing Sugar Loaf Mountain is something I can't wait to share with my own children.

As I drove to Clinton today, flashes of memory popped up readily making me smile, causing giggles and bringing up tears. Mourning is a part of losing a loved one but I know that I will see her again, in heaven.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

5 must-have fashionable pieces to pack for every weekend trip

As Memorial Day approaches, people are dusting off their suitcases and preparing for the travel season. I don't know about you but the thing I like least about trips, long or short, is figuring out what to pack. I am a notorious over-packer (or maybe "weekend bags" are just way to small). I'm trying to get better but there 5 things I always take with me:

1. A great pair of jeans! Right now, I'm totally in love with my Old Navy Boyfriend jeans. I can put them on with a t-shirt and sneakers or cuff them with a cute top and heels so, no matter what I do, I have it covered!

2. An A-line sundress. I like this line because travel doesn't always agree with my stomach. A-line sundresses are flattering even if I'm bloated. PLUS, during the day, I can wear it as is or with a little tank. Evening, add a jacket or shrug and Voila!

3. JEWELRY! Nothing makes an outfit like the accessories you put with it. I put my big, chunky bracelets and necklaces in a tupperware container. It may sound odd but the large jewelry trend doesn't knot up like small chains do so it really works great at containing and protecting them.

4. A tailored, waist length jacket. Mine is khaki, 3/4 sleeve with super cute pockets. I throw it over my sundress or a fitted t-shirt to totally change my look.

5. A hat. My stand by is my Cubs baseball cap but, in the summer, it can switch to a fun color bucket hat or a large brim sun hat. Trips can be exhausting and I never know what the water is going is going to be like. A hat helps me not to have to worry much about what my hair is going to do. In addition, summer sun does a number on your face and a hat is a great way to protect it.

Over-packer or under-packer, feel free to borrow my tips for your next trip!

“I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Gap Outlet blogging program to be eligible to win a $20 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Spring has Sprung into Summer

The temperature reached into the upper 80's today. The windows are closed, air is on and the kids wadding pool is inflated. Keegan tells me, "Mom, it's still spring." and technically he is right but I'm announcing the start of summer anyway.

Who says we have to wait for the calendar to tell us to fire up the grill, slather on the sunscreen and break out the popsicles? I say it's time to touch up the paint on the corn-hole boards and fill up the beer coolers.

I don't know about you but I'm ready for the beach, pending that there is one left after they finally stop the oil leak. I MEAN SERIOUSLY! Oh, I could get so political right now but I'll save that for another blog. The fact is, oil is flooding into our gulf at an alarming rate (in my opinion, any oil flooding into our gulf is alarming) killing off the natural ecosystem firmly planted there. No matter which way you try to spin it, that is bad and BP should be held responsible!!! I'll move on now.

Anyway, back to my summer time day dreams. I hope to take the kids to as many Natural's baseball games as we can, live in swim suits, pitch the tent in the backyard and grill so as not to heat up the kitchen. I plan on making very little use of the T.V. and lots of use of the patio furniture. Not so much use of the supermarket produce and tons more use of the farmer's market. Less inside, more aquatic center. Bring on SUMMER!


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

DIY Overboard!

If you read my blog about our recent mold problem, you already know of my affinity for going overboard on household projects. This weekend was no exception.

The kids bathroom, which also serves as our guest bathroom, is actually one of the most popular rooms in the house. Between bath time, toothbrushing and potty training, a great deal of our time is spent there. It was a pretty average bathroom; long, skinny, builders grade cabinet, sink, tub, light fixture. Nice enough but it hadn't been upgraded since it was built in 1994. When you put 3 people in there (Keegan, Kendall and myself) it gets rather crowded. Add in Murphy and it is down right claustrophobic. I had to make a change.

We didn't need the storage of the overly large cabinet as we also have a linen closet right outside the room and the kids hooded towels hang on the wall. The counter top continually became cluttered with children's toys, drink cups and various asundery, wreaking havoc on my slight OCD. My original plan was to pull the old eyesore out and replace it with a pedestal sink, remove the large, plain mirror that ran the length of said cabinet and replace it with a smaller, framed version, replace the light fixture and paint the walls. Here we go...

At my request, my dad had drilled holes in the cabinet during the great mold cleaning of 2010 to ensure that there was tile under the cabinet and wall behind it. There was; GREAT! The whole thing came out rather easily too. The counter top was glued on but, after 16 years of use, the seal was not hard to break and the particle board cabinet unit was very light considering its size. The unfortunate part was that, in the process, some of the dry wall broke, not completely, but enough to need some plaster. We also had to take the door off of the bathroom in order to get the cabinet out. So far, not so bad. Unfortunately, once the cabinet came out, we were greeted by linoleum. I know what you are thinking; "You said you checked and there was tile." We did, at the front of the unit, not the back. Just shy of 1/2 way, they stopped tiling. Why in the world would you go that far and stop?? Dumbfounded? Me too. Lowe's trip #2.

Keegan, Murphy and I loaded up in the van and headed to Lowe's to match tile and buy adhesive and grout. Here's the thing, even though the previous homeowner's had been thoughtful enough to leave an extra tile, it was 16 years old; good luck finding 5 more just like it. The boys and I wandered up and down the tile isle, checking and rechecking, trying to find the closest match possible while a lady, who was probably my mom's age, looked around, I'm assuming, gathering ideas and prices. Keegan, lately, has been quoting movies, making up his own little lines and making himself giggle with "humor". Today was no exception as he sat in the basket of the cart, chattering to himself. I was asking Murphy his drooling opinion on a tile when I heard it... the first curse word to knowingly escape my oldest son's mouth. He was whispering, that childlike, loud whisper in which everyone around them can hear what they are saying when he said "da*#it". Now, I'm not going to kid myself in saying that he probably heard it on the radio or T.V.; I'm sure he heard it straight out of my mouth in the exact same whisper he was currently using. Guilty as charged. I couldn't help but giggle a little but then I froze in my tracks; had the lady heard him? Did she realize what he said? Was she thinking I was a horrible mother? I, very sternly, asked him what he had said. Of course he knew he wasn't suppose to say that word so he replied, with his most innocent "I've been caught" face and said, "I don't know, it wasn't a bad word." (You have love little kid ability to incriminate themselves) I, in the same loud whisper he had been using, trying to use my best motherly tone, explained that I couldn't be sure he had said what I thought he had but, "I better not hear that word come of out your mouth again, young man. Do you understand me?" Thank our Heavenly Father I didn't have to remind him to say "yes, ma'am", and I quickly checked to make sure the lady was gawking at us before I continue my tile hunt.

Back at home, construction continued. It only took 3 more trips to Lowe's a Hobby Lobby adventure to finish up the bathroom and I must say, it looks great. The large mirror was glued to the wall and as a DIYer, I was not going to be able to get it off, so, instead, it is now framed out. The walls are milk chocolate brown with white trim and ceiling and shiny silver accessories. The shower curtain has large navy, light blue and green dots. I painted a metal, three picture, frame with coat hooks to match as a towel rack. I still plan on getting a small silver and glass shelf to hang over the toilet and I need to decide on a rug but, otherwise, its done!

Of course, the story can't end there; I haven't gone overboard enough. While working on the kids bathroom makeover, I also wallpaper the largest wall in the dining area. With a 120 foot vault at the top of this wall, it was no easy task but, I must say, it looks FABULOUS! I also decided to renovate the master bathroom. I have plenty of the milk chocolate paint left and think I will use all black and white accessories. I have already started pulling down wall paper border. I'm debating with myself on pulling that cabinet out as well. I wouldn't put a pedestal sink in there but, maybe, a smaller cabinet unit. It is suppose to start raining this afternoon so I'm sure I will make leaps and bounds on that project. I'm thinking of adding some of the same wallpaper from the dining area to the kitchen but I'll finish the master bath first. Once the wall around the fireplace is fixed, it will be chocolate brown as well as an accent to the khaki walls surrounding it. I also took the mirror out of a very old, very heavy, full length, wall mirror. It is now white, has coat hooks and is hanging sideways in the front hall. Oh, and one more. When we next get to my parents house, I'm going to harvest some of dad's scrap wood and build a bunch of small birdhouses. I'm going to paint them all sorts of bright colors to hang on the fence behind the garden. I'm also going to get some of his wire to tie around mason jars, place sand and candles in them and hang them around the yard for lighting. SO EXCITED! Hopefully, in the next couple of weeks, my projects will be done. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ten Tips for being Fashionable on a Budget

Even mom's deserve to look good. Not only for yourself, but the confidence you emit when you know you look good passes on to your children. Unfortunately, time and budget often jump their ugly, bulky bodies right in our way. Here are 10 things I do to stay up to date...

1. Trends come and go so this is not the place to splurge. On the other hand, classic pieces can be added to and subtracted from for years to come. This is where you should be willing spend a little extra cash to get the good stuff. The classic black dress, lined trousers that lay just right, etc.

2. Change the accessories, change the look. Add a summer scarf for a casual day look then change your eye make and add a great big bangle necklace for a night out with the girls. Accessories are a great place to save money. Shop the sales, check out stores like Target and Wal Mart and never underestimate the things you can find at yard sales.

3. Don't look down on the second hand store especially if you are into brands. Places like Plato's Closet, Hut 8 and The Daisy Exchange are great for buying, selling and trading your gently used clothing but have some time to browse through the wracks; this isn't your average boutique. You might have to do some searching but snagging a pair of $200 jeans for $50 is well worth the work! Plus, accepting in house credit over cash for selling items gives you more money to spend but bare in mind that you have to spend it at that store.

4. Shoes also run the gamete of classic and trendy. Stores like Payless are great but be sure to think about how much you will be on your feet in them. Department stores have great end of the season sales on name brand shoes that might be worth the wait. If you have small feet, check out the kids department, especially on sneakers. They often have the exact same shoes for a fraction of the cost.

5. Host a clothing swap play date. We pass around kids clothes, why not our own? Every mom brings a few pieces that she is tired of having in rotation and everyone trades. You get different clothes FOR FREE!

6. Read the labels and follow the washing directions. Nothing wears clothes out faster than not taking care of them. Treat spots as soon as possible, turn printed shirts inside out, hang dry as much as possible and for goodness sake, don't wash your jeans and delicates in the same load.

7. Try clothes on before you leave the store. Even within the same brand there can be differences in sizing and fit. It takes more time to return an item to a store than to try it on. Ill fitting clothes are more likely to sit in your closet taking up funds for clothes you can actually wear than to be returned to the store.

8. Sign up for e-mail updates from your favorite stores. Retailers e-mail out information on upcoming sales and often offer discounts not otherwise advertised.

9. Really want the latest trend? Look for it at stores like Target, Old Navy, Kohl's and JC Penney. You spend half the cash for the same look and, when trend passes with the season, you don't have to feel guilty.

10. Only buy something you know you will wear. Let's face it, you find a great price on an uber trendy top but it really doesn't fit your style. PASS IT BY! If it is just going to sit in your closet, it isn't worth the money, no matter the discount. Cute jeans on sale but they are a size to small... it isn't incentive to loose weight, it is a waste of your limited fashion funds. Just walk away.

Above all of these tips, be confident in yourself. Confidence makes any outfit look fashionable, no matter the price!

To read more tips from other moms, check out Twittermoms

I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Gap Outlet blogging program to be eligible to win a $20 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

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When life gives you lemons

...hand them to your children to start a lemonade stand. Maybe they will make enough change to buy that Thomas the Train they have been bugging you for.

We currently have a hole above our fireplace. I'm not exaggerating, it is a large area (probably 4 feet across) of missing dry wall, ceiling and insulation. Right after we bought the house, 5 years ago, our first homeowner issue was a leak above the fireplace. It wasn't big, just enough to notice the wet spot forming when it rained. Joey's dad came over to help us out with our inexperience. The solution seemed rather simple, the caulk around the bottom of the chimney had worn out; something we were informed happens every few years. Who Knew?? Well, apparently, the problem had been there for a while becoming a sloth-like thorn in our roofs side. It seems that the earth refreshing, sleep inducing rain had seeped under the shingles adjoining the chimney. After we caulked, the leak had been repaired but the water's entrance to it's new hangout had gone unnoticed. The newest rain speakeasy remained open for business, all the while growing and weakening roof boards underfoot. As anyone in the south knows, rain is not our only party goer. Humidity causes mold on our shingles leaving "beautiful" streak like marks on the cover of our homes. It joined the party as well setting up an all you can eat buffet for the mold that learned the password for the speakeasy club. Yep, mold.

So, now you are thinking, "how in the world did you figure that out? Didn't you say you fixed the leak?" Oh, I did. We fixed the original leak but the rain and mold sneaking under the shingles began to wear down the floor of its party room and slowly move into the insulation, down the 2x4's and, finally, into the drywall paper; all of which are some of mold's favorite snacks. This fall/winter, we all started getting sick. At first, I didn't think much of it. Joey had just returned from Germany and long trips can wear down the immune system. Keegan, Kendall and I all suffer from seasonal allergies and anyone who lives in NWA knows that there is ALWAYS something blooming. Our climate allows for 24/7, 365 blooming season, an allergy sufferers nightmare! Plus, fall and winter is cold and flu season. Heres the thing... we couldn't get better. Joey, whom rarely gets sick and, when he does, recovers quickly, had a cough that wouldn't go away. Keegan and Kendall continued to stay ill, Keegan, especially, continually getting worse. I got sinus infection after sinus infection with no relief from my Neti-Pot, vitamin C or allergy medication. It got to the point that Keegan was even diagnosed with allergy induced asthma. As I was about to give in to the thought of visiting an allergist, Murphy was due for a well baby visit. My WONDERFUL pediatrician noticed that poor Murphy STILL had a runny nose. His short little life (he was 6 months at the time) had not had enough environmental exposure to suffer from seasonal allergies. Dr. Lovell asked me if we had recently added a pet to our family unit; nope, not even a goldfish. Had we recently made a major change to our diet; nope, if anything, Keegan had been becoming a picky eater, removing things from his diet. Well, what's left? Dust and Mold.

Now, I HATE to dust but I also hate to look at it so I do it. I consider myself a pretty decent house cleaner and hadn't noticed mold anywhere. The Dr. asked if we had had a leak anywhere... well, yes, we had, but we had fixed it, right? When I got home, I looked around the house, out of mind that something in our home was making my family sick. Then I noticed it, the slight discoloration where the wall met the ceiling above our chimney. I had repainted that area and, yet, the discoloration had returned. I gathered my wits, a step stool and a plaster blade, took a deep breath and touched the ceiling with the blade. My thinking was that I would scrape away some of the popcorn to see if the dark color got any darker under it. Simply touching the popcorn made a large chunk of it fall and the color did, indeed, continue and get darker. When I touched the wall, it bent easily under slight pressure. I didn't want to investigate any further, I knew I had found the problem. Panicking, I called my parents who agreed to come up that weekend. When Joey got home, he cut a small hole in the wall to reveal the thick black mold living behind it. I had a rush of relief, panic, disgust and guilt all at once. We had found the source of our troubles but how had I, as mom, the one in charge of taking care of the family and keeping our home clean and livable, not known it was there? The days following the discovery consisted of MAJOR scrubbing, cleaning and purging. Every piece of furniture was moved, cleaned and cleaned under, including kitchen appliances. Every window was bleached, every window covering, blanket and bedspread washed. Every pillow and stuffed animal baked in the drier. The carpet in the kids rooms was steam cleaned and the walls washed (we have hard wood or tile everywhere else). That weekend, Joey, his brother Matt and my dad removed the section of offending wall and ceiling and scrubbed the wood. My mom helped me finish up the cleaning. My mother-in-law even got in the act by scrubbing the bathrooms from top to bottom for me. We were all breathing a little easier, literally.

Within two days, Keegan was barely coughing and wheezing, Joey felt great, Murphy and Kendall no longer had runny noses and I woke up without the sinus pressure that had been plaguing me for months. Allergy shiners were GONE! In the week that followed, we got an Ionic Air Filter from Honeywell, a new 3M allergy air filter for the heating/air vent return and swapped 99% of our cleaning products to natural versions. Did I go overboard? Probably. Is my family better? You betcha! The kids are sleeping better and Keegan is regaining his youthful energy. Murphy's boogers are clear and easily attributed to his teething status. Yes, we still have outdoor allergies and as spring continues the blooming process, grass is cut and outdoor play takes over we still have to use our Claritin but not daily. Keegan no longer takes his asthma medicine and I have not had a single infection!

Now, back to that hole. It's still there. We left it open to ensure it was no longer leaking and it is a good thing we did. It took just over a week for God to offer up rain again but, when he did, we had a puddle. Due to the activities of daily life, work schedules and continuing rain spurts, we haven't been able to get the leak fixed. Joey has been talking about having someone look at it for about a week now but, so far, it is still just talk. I've decided that I will just frame the eyesore, scribble some illegible name on it and mark the value of the house at least $65,000 higher due to the "one of the kind art work" it holds. Hence, the lemonade. The hole has inspired Joey to let me re-due the kids bathroom. Maybe I'll get my bathroom done next. Who knows just how far this hole might take me but right now, I'm shooting for the stars and keeping my lemonade stand going as long as possible.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Pay Per Post

I'm trying out a new thing called Paid for Posting (you can try it out too). Since I will be writing continually, I figure I might as well try to get paid it. Why not exploit myself ;) I'm posting this for two reasons:

1. I want to let anyone reading this know that I will, on occasion, be accepting payment for my opinions. I will be giving truthful commentary that will follow my heartfelt ways on anything I accept. I'm not going to try to sell you something I don't believe in and I will always let you know, within the post, that I am being paid for that particular one. Wish me luck!

2. I have to post this random statement in order to "claim" my blog as my own. The luck arches the closing ozone.

There is an Alligator in my living room!

I have recently noticed, as in noticed this morning, that there is a phenomenon occurring once a year that has nothing to do with our Lord and Savior. I will, hence forth, call it the Mother's Day Worm Hole. The day was wonderful. Keegan, at school, planted a purple pansy and put his hand prints on a sweet poem for me. I also received beautiful pink roses, a Sugarland CD, my favorite German Chocolate and multi-colored Swedish Fish (do you know how hard it is find multi-colored fish, not just the red ones but all the colors, I LOVE THEM). Joey made me French toast and granola with yogurt. He got the kids up (we had been out late the night before so they were sleeping in) and got them dressed for church. Keegan even signed his own name to my card. After Mass, we watched my nephews get Baptized which is such a beautiful reminder of God's gift to mothers. We then had a big 'ol shindig to celebrate. After the festivities, we all took a nap (I wish this was an every Sunday tradition). I actually slept so hard that, when I woke up, I looked at the clock and was beyond confused as to why it was light outside at 3:30 am; it was 3:30 pm. We played outside, got Market Place's spinach queso to add to our super, went for a walk and, after the kids went to bed, Joey and I had a "chocolate mess" from Market Place, played Wii, drank wine and listened to classic songs from our high school and college days courtesy of the Bing Top 100 app. My children were amazing all day. I only remember utilizing "time out" once, they played well together, they ate supper without complaint, they had obviously been abducted and replaced by aliens.

I tell you all of this so that you can truly appreciate the worm hole...

At 12:15 am, Murphy woke up. I thought that I had settled him back into a peaceful snooze only to have him begin to scream again the very second my head hit the pillow. I returned, changed his diaper and fed him thinking "surely he will sleep now" and he did... for an hour. We continued our game of cat and mouse for several hours, finally resorting to bringing him to the bed with me. Peace began to resume its sleep inducing comfort only to be rudely interrupted by Kendall's blood curdling night terror screams. That was at 5:45 and she has yet to fall back to sleep causing her to be an exaggerated form of her usually loud and demanding self. Keegan and Kendall have yet to be within 3 feet of each other without screaming, hitting, crying or tattling and even my silent sufferer, Murphy, has not been enjoying his play time so that mommy can type. Maybe Mother's Day allows us to view the world through rose colored glasses but I attribute it all to the "Mother's Day Worm Hole".


Friday, May 7, 2010

Pump, Pump, Pump it Up

Answers.com defines "pumps" as:

n. A machine or device raising, compressing or transferring fluids.
v. To raise or cause to flow; draw, deliver or put forth.

It continues to go through various meanings including the heart, lifting weights, getting excited, pumping gas, etc. The very last one is: n. A woman's shoe that has medium or high heels and no fastenings. I have always thought it a fun way to describe high heels but never, really, understood who started it or why. "Pumps" allows me to envision Donna Reed prancing around in her puffed out skirt and pearls, each and every hair exactly where it should be, small, frilly apron tied around her tiny waist line, mothering her all but perfect children whom never had any issue that couldn't be solved in 30 minutes or less. We all know that the Reed's are a rather skewed version of reality and yet, somewhere in the back of our mind, we all aspire to join their ranking. (at least I do)

I wonder what the "modern" Donna might look like. She might have a cute pixie cut, a flouncy, flowing top and cuffed, khaki 3" shorts. Maybe she would have on an Ed Hardy t-shirt and Citizens Jeans with shoulder length, straight ironed hair. Skinny jeans and a tunic top, a floor length hippie dress and summer scarf, ripped up hipsters and a tank top... ? Who knows but one thing is for sure, she wouldn't be wearing pumps, she would be wearing stilettos. How sexy does that word sound? Stilettos! Come on, say it out loud. It automatically lifts you MUCH closer to MILF status to wear them. I have a friend who is so set in her stiletto ways that she even wore them through the birth of her son. No, I didn't say to, I said through, as in she never took them off. Talk about hard core!

I wish I had the energy and the time to "dress" every day. I have to admit that I get a little green with envy when I see the modern day Donna's at the grocery store, park, or school drop off and I'm in my yoga pants, and old t-shirt with baby spit up (that I haven't discovered yet) or breast milk covering, in desperate need of a shower. I would much rather be in my "cute clothes" with clean hair, fun jewelry and smell of perfume covering the smell of breast milk. My days don't always afford me that luxury. I'm crossing my fingers that, when Murphy takes his nap, Keegan will entertain Kendall long enough for me to jump in the shower and maybe even blow dry my hair. I wonder if Donna ever stayed in her PJ's all day, dirty hair plastered to her head?

Some day, the children will be grown. Real trucks will replace match box ones, Victoria's Secret will fill in for training panties and learning to crawl will turn into track practice. I don't long for those days to come any faster than they already are but I know when they do get here, I'll have plenty of time to dress every day. I wonder if I will?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Lunch Time

I'm typing this as I'm trying to convince my 2 year old to finish her lunch and spoon feeding my 7 month old green beans. Obviously, I'm multitasking. It will soon be time to pick Keegan up from school and make a trip to Target. He has reached the point in his little life in which he is able to move on from a car seat to a booster and he is SUPER excited. Keegan has gathered 8 coins (I believe he has about 68 cents) in which to pick out his booster seat. He even placed them in his back pack this morning so as not to forget them this afternoon. He knows his mommy's tendency to forget things all too well.

The back yard is only half cut because of Kendall's new found hatred of the lawn mower. This hatred extends to the vacuum as well. I discovered this yesterday as we (the kids and I) were cleaning the van after our long weekend galavant. When I turned the vacuum on, she began to scream bloody murder as tears and snot ran down her little face. I turned the vacuum off several times to ask if she wanted out of the car; she was "cleaning" the windows with a baby wipe. Each time she, very plainly, told me no and each time she returned to her tantrum as the machine began to whir. I had hoped this was a single incident; I was mistaken. Today, as Murphy napped, Kendall and I went into the back yard. She had several books to look at and perched herself on a patio chair, under the umbrella, ready to enjoy the morning. I told her that I was going to start mowing, giving her fair warning of the noise that would ensue. With the first growl of the engine, she covered her ears and let out a cry of shear terror. I made it a bit under half way before I could torture her no longer and gave in to the cries of a 2 year old.

The yard still needs to be finished and will most likely remain that way until tomorrow. Laundry in the drier is begging to be folded and the rug needs to be vacuumed (though that might have to wait for Kendall to go to bed). Dust is collecting on the china cabinet and dishes piling in the sink. Murphy is done eating and Kendall is begging to go outside. Life goes on. Hopefully, I will be able to get a run in at some point today. Not holding my breath.