the dissection of a family photo.

Tomorrow is my birthday so today after church we decided to blow all plans of cleaning+organizing and hit the road. The day was gorgeous and I had a PLAN to use it!

We headed to Grafton, IL… a sweet little town on the Mississippi River about 45 minutes or so (maybe an hour?) outside of St. Louis. My plan was to ride the ferries and go to the pumpkin patch. Of course we did neither.

Mainly because on the way, just 30 minutes outside Grafton (ok maybe it was over an hour drive now that I think about it) we saw a brand new state park we just HAD to stop to see! It’s right at the exact confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers which I thought was super cool!

Basically it’s this 150ft. tower with three levels you pay to go up so you can see the actual confluence. It also has really cool fountains and a neat (tiny) museum.

The coolest thing in my opinion is that this 6 million dollar park was built solely by a town just outside of this area consisting of just 1500 people! They raised the money themselves and built this thing! Pretty awesome is you ask me. And the views were spectacular!

Anyway, after this pit stop we knew we had missed our time to hit the pumpkin patch so we headed to the restaurant at the heart of this journey, The Fin Inn. It’s a restaurant where all the walls are aquariums holding native MO River fish (some are HUGE!) that has been around since I was a kid. It used to be one of my very favorite places to go! Hush puppies and fried food galore it was worth the 45 minute wait to eat! The kids LOVED the fish, ate tons of food and had a blast! What did we do for that 45 minute wait in LINE? C stayed in line while me and the kids crossed the road/highway to look at the water…

Or I looked at the water and they sat on a curb in the parking lot of a bikers bar reading a book, staring off into space and…

digging in the dirt finding old cigarette butts. Lovely.

Wondering if the fact that 30 minutes after getting in bed Bailey puked everywhere is from too much fried food, the ice cream we topped her off with, too many late nights or the germs from that dirt. Either way, my day OFF tomorrow for my birthday will now be spent with my three kids praying no one else pukes.

But on to the point of this post. The dissection of a family snap shot taken by the tour guide at the confluence monument/museum/park/thingy…

1. I should have sucked in the gut Gray’s leg is digging into

2. Make-up might have helped the exhausted look to my face

3. Chris needs to shave more often

4. My smaller jeans that “feel” tight actually look kind of baggy and frumpy

5. Grayson is throwing just another fit… 5 minutes doesn’t go by without one of these lovely things.

6. We all (minus C) need hair cuts desperately

7. Loving that Bailey and Parker will now smile on demand without someone having to act goofy

8. C’s hand looks as big as PJ’s head for some reason

All in all it’s fine for what it is… a moment captured by a total stranger holding a camera she couldn’t figure out how to use even though I had the settings set and everything ready for her.

Have to add I just ran upstairs b/c I heard a THUD and it was Bailey, sound asleep on the floor! She fell out of bed! Oh man I hope this isn’t a long night!

Check back tomorrow… Chris wrote a birthday blog for me!

the hours in a day.

Why do hours seem to slip by these days? I swear the second I hit the pillow I’m waking up and the minute I drop Bailey off to school in the morning I’m turning around and picking her back up and the moments between my daily fixes of caffeine seem to be getting closer together.

The last part is definitely true.. I’m drinking an insane amount of soda right now to keep up and it’s making every f-ing hill I trudge up worthless I’m sure b/c of the calories involved in my beloved 32 ouncer.

But it’s the only way I don’t fall asleep between everything and keep up the pace. Because already I am always telling myself to HURRY THE HELL UP. To get ready in the morning and to get work done and to get emails answered and to get blogs written and to get photos edited and to get meals prepared and to get packing finished and to get the move settled and to get to the grocery store and UGH! I can’t hurry anymore! And I’m afraid with a little less soda I won’t keep up.

Anyway.

Today I did craft. With Grayson. Who would rather throw a ball or run around hitting things with his bat than sit and paint so lets just say it was less than successful. However, it was successful in showing me I don’t need to feel as guilty that I don’t have arts and crafts time every day with my kids anymore b/c he could CARE LESS. And the girls get art projects at school everyday so I’m golden.

But I do have some good ideas and will share them soon… I just couldn’t take the time needed to pick up my camera and click off a shot before Gray had paint on the paper, the counter, his clothes and body. Totally photo worthy of course, just happened too damn fast for me to do anything about it!

So I’ll try again tomorrow, with a GIRL, since Bails has early dismissal when PJ gets out. But I might also wait and try it Friday with my friend Adrienne and her kiddos at Parker’s first scheduled play date. If I’m feeling adventurous. Or crazy. So we’ll see.

Now?

Now it’s time to get back to my Law and Order SVU, my organic Trader Joe’s blue corn tortilla chips, my fresh fountain dew and a whole heap of edits I promised I’d have to Kim tonight! Peace out!

if sleep can’t be my bitch i had to find a new one.

Because everyone needs a bitch and although I’d LOVE sleep to succumb to me, it just won’t. Tonight it’s because I’m choosing to blog, edit and watch Martha on Oprah instead of sleep. But well, work calls and so does Oprah, And Martha. Duh.

But anyway, I was feeling defeated lately between no sleep and sick kids (everyone seems better now knock on wood!) and moving and working two jobs and so I decided if sleep wouldn’t be my bitch I’d need to find one. But WHO KNEW it would end up being the hills surrounding our new digs! Tomorrow I will try to take photos b/c you will DIE when you see the hills. If Tina or Kim or my mom or my sister or ANYONE that has ever been to Bill and Terri’s house is reading PLEASE leave a comment telling people how HUGE these hills are!

So I set out on my run and was not super into it because when I ran here for the first time on Sunday I almost called Chris to come pick me up at the bottom of the hill and ultimately ended my run 5 minutes short. It was HARD. But tonight I tried a different route and about 10 minutes in,  when I wasn’t sure I could make it anymore (but still had 22 minutes to go!), I got an idea and I got so excited I didn’t realize the run was nearly over! I went the full 32 minutes and hardly felt it at all! It wasn’t a running high, by any means, but it was a crafting high! I can’t wait to run to Hobby Lobby tomorrow, try my idea and share it with all of you! Because DUDE has it been FOREVER since I posted a craft project! And I know you’ve all been on pins and needles waiting for me to craft right? Right. HA!

And speaking of crafts… next week I’m going to try to post ONE HALLOWEEN CRAFT A DAY! Oh yes I am! I hope my kids are ready for this! If you want to join in… press some pretty fall leaves in your old dictionary or something for a few days to prepare! Just a heads up!

AND since this blog should be more about my kids than me… here are some pics from soccer practice last week!

This is Gray yelling at Kelsey that this is HIS ball! Oh man that kid is trouble! Look at her little face! She’s like WTH kid? SHARE!

I love that the coaches make them to push-ups! HA!

Balls. This kid was born to play with balls.

GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF THE GUTTER PEOPLE!

Of course the day I bring the camera Bailey doesn’t do any big kicking but her BFF Kate sure did! Love that kid!

She is loving soccer this year and I’m glad we decided to let her play!

SO… check back for my super duper running inspired (having nothing to do with running) craft tomorrow and get ready for some Halloween crafts next week!

last night i was going to write about how grateful i’ve been feeling to be a mother but i was too tired.

And now this morning, after the 7th SUCK ASS night of sleep in a row, I DON’T WANT TO.

It’s amazing to me how SLEEP can rule your world when you aren’t getting any. How the first thing out of your mouth, like every five seconds, it talking about how tired you are. And how you go through your day just waiting to get to your next fountain soda fix. How your eyes feel like sand paper and your legs are filled with lead. How your patience level is non-existent and your brain moves slower than your three year old buckling herself in the car. And how at night, after a long day of true exhaustion you sit up, in a quiet house, watching your shows and putzing around on the internet WAY too late just because that alone time is so awesome at that moment you don’t care you’re staying up too late. Until 2am when the first kid wakes up and you can just tell it’s going to be a late night so you might as well figure you’ve gotten 3 hours of sleep and to call it a night. THEN you curse Project Runway and wish you’d gone to bed when you were dozing off at 9pm!

It’s just amazing to me that SLEEP clouds your entire outlook on life.

Today Chris and I are dropping the kids off at my parent’s house at 8am and have the entire day to clean and finish packing our old house. So it’s going to be a kid-free day but a big time physically demanding day. And emotional day in some respects too. And if I had more than 3 hours of sleep I’d be up and raring to get started. But right now I would pay every dime we have for someone else to do it so C and I can drop those damn kids off and run back here to hide in bed all day.

It doesn’t help that I have one killer of a cold either. Or that Bailey was up with a high fever and doesn’t feel well. Or that Grayson has one of the worst diaper rashes I’ve seen on one of my kids and won’t sit down straight.

And the guilt of having to take them to my mom’s with one sick kid and three SUPER tired and crabby kids knowing she’s without my dad most of the day is tough too. Because if we didn’t have to clean+pack that house we’d be here having an “at home” day watching movies, taking long naps and just surviving together. But now my mom has to do that by herself.

SLEEP.

I swear this blog could be a sleep study in itself I’ve talked about sleep so much over the years. And I kept telling myself, back when I had three under three and didn’t even know what sleep was anymore, that I could survive THAT time b/c EVENTUALLY they’d sleep. I’d tell myself that no kid goes to kindergarten and doesn’t sleep through the night. And mostly Bailey does sleep, unless she’s sick of course. So if my kindergartener sleeps that means I have 3 more years of nights like this before they are truly behind me I guess. Unless my other two children are freaks and decide the all-night parties they like to throw together should last until second or third grade.

You know what I realized this morning?

I’m sleep’s bitch.

before i go move a little boy from my side of the bed…

where he’s cuddling with Daddy (or started off that way since they are both now sound asleep!) I had to get this cuteness up on the blog!

Fake smile and all!

This week was APPLE week in Bail’s kindergarten class so I asked, totally last minute, Alison from Initially Yours, to make me three apple shirts and I am OBSESSED with them! Talk about a cute overload! I’m hoping to go apple/pumpkin picking this Sunday and if we do I’ll capture all three together in their shirts b/c you’ll die!

More to come but right now? BED!

Happy weekending!