Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas with the Cranks

So I haven't posted in a quite a while.

I had some plastic surgery over the break and wasn't able to sit up and read the computer. I now look 30 instead of 36. OK, not true.

We went to Banff Canada for a family skiing trip. We snowboarded some black diamonds. Also, not true.

The reality is that we really didn't have a great Christmas. I got sick. Kyle got sicker. It all started on Christmas Eve and lasted for 4 or 5 days!

I mean, don't get me wrong, Santa made it to our house. He brought the kids exactly what they asked for! Shocking how Santa knew what they wanted since they wouldn't have anything to do with him.

Lainey got the white board (dry-erase) that she was dying to have. (It is like her teacher's board). We are just waiting for Bo to get a hold of the markers and destroy some lovely piece of fabric around here.

Rhody only wanted a kicking tee for his football. Thank God he got it! That $5 orange rubber kick off tee is such a life-saver! For weeks, people (mainly Mommy) have been holding the football for him or helping him build make-shift tees--usually involving empty toilet paper rolls.

Bo was just as thrilled to open the gifts as he was to see what was in the gift. He was happy to play with whatever toy his siblings were playing with. They always handled with grace and kindness. Because that is how we roll over here.

Just an ear update--I am still cleaning snot-like stuff out of his ear about 6-8 times a day. Good times. I am worried that it might be brain matter leaking now. Brother Bo can't stand to lose any important brain fluids! (j/k about the brain matter--just in case a grandmother reads this)

We went to Texarkana and the kids loved it as usual! They love Gobby and Diddy Daddy and Casey (and the dog Molly). They get a ton of attention and get loved on 24/7. How could they not love it?

The reason Christmas wasn't so great was because I was sick and had a really bad attitude about the whole thing.

I don't want to bore you with the details of my self-centered, pity party that I had instead of enjoying the Christmas season. Let's hope for a better one next year!

I might need to make a resolution about something like having a better attitude. Putting others needs before my own. Having an eternal perspective. You know, things like that.

I hope you have a Happy New Year's Eve! I am sure I will be in bed well before midnight!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Just One Day Out of Life

Somebody recently learned how to post videos on her blog!

I know it is Christmas Eve and I should be talking about the "reason for the season." I hopefully will tomorrow. If you want a great post about Christmas, go read Big Mama's blog today. (look over to the right and click Big Mama).

But the other day I was listening to some 80s music--classic, I know--and realized what my favorite holiday song is. I found it on YouTube so I posted it for you to enjoy.

I have to admit that I don't really remember this video. I recommend just playing it and enjoying the music. It will make you dance and sing a long!

See what I mean about the video? I could do those dance moves with only one year of Kitty Carter Dance Studio training under my belt. It is soooo Desperately Seeking Susan!

Merry Christmas Eve!

For some great Christmas tunes, come to Watermark Community Church for services today!

PS. Still cleaning snot out of two ears now!

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Importance of Girlfriends

This is totally a "chick youtube flick." I think of all my girlfriends and especially my Bible study girls. Erin and Jenny--this is right up your "sappy" alley!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Glamorous Life

It is Sunday morning around 10:00 am and I can't believe I have 12 more hours before I go to bed! It has been one of those mornings.

It actually started last night. Rhody threw up around 10:45 pm. As throw up goes, it wasn't too bad. It got in his bed but not the carpet. Then he made it to the potty for the rest.

We made a pallet for him and he slept the rest of the night in there. No more vomit! Yee Haw.

But the night was not done. I moved to the couch because Rhody was snoring too loud for me!

Not long after I fell asleep, Bo woke up. The first of like 4 times he woke up. It was about every 30-45 minutes or so. Can you say "brutal?" That is not a normal occurrence for Bo and I was so done with him. On the 3rd or 4th time awake, Kyle asked him what was wrong and he said his ear hurts.

I didn't think to ask him what was wrong. I thought he just knew mommy was asleep right outside of his room and that as soon as I drifted off, it was his job to wake me up again.

Kyle left for church around 6:30 am. Bo and I have been up since right after then. I did my best to lay in bed still--pretending like I was sleeping--but not actually sleeping.

So far this morning, I have cleaned out a draining ear 3 times (looks like snot coming out of his ear), fixed 3 bowls of cereal, put sprite in a cup for Rhody, then gave him some banana bread, washed dirty sheets (but not all the regular laundry waiting for me), washed a possibly infected wound on Rhody's foot and discovered he has a real hatred for band aids and hydrogen peroxide, got snacks for all the kids and of course, changed a dirty diaper.

To top it all off, I opened the door to the garage to put the dirty diaper in there and something little and fast ran out from under my car. Ahhhhhh!!!!

I am going to go brush my teeth and put a bra on. That way I will feel as if I accomplished something today!!!

The reality of motherhood.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Making the Cut

So I was visiting with a friend tonight--ok, it was Jenny. I could keep her identity private--but why? I like to throw her under the bus too.

This was the topic of conversation (a conversation that we had after a run, the run was after I ate a hamburger and fries for dinner which made my run a little shorter with a side cramp): So I really can't eat whatever I want and stay at a good, healthy weight? Really? So consuming pints of Ben & Jerry's and loaves of bread does impact my body composition? Even if I exercise somewhat regularly? Really? Really.

I have known this truth for about 20 years now. But I don't really believe it. I think of myself as a somewhat intelligent and reasonable human being. But not when it comes to food and exercise and the cause and effect.

I always wanted to be that girl that you might overhear something like this coming out of her mouth, "I can just eat whatever I want. My metabolism is like it was when I was 17 years old! I don't even exercise much. blah blah blah blah."

Really, I hate that girl. So maybe I don't want to be that girl because I would have no friends. But I have to be honest, my metabolism didn't work like that when I was 17. I have no "glory days" to look back fondly on.

But I often want things to work out--with out the work. Make sense? I seriously want to eat what I want to eat when I want to eat it with absolutely no consequences. Sound like something my 2, 3 or 5 year old might think? Totally. Wow, that is embarrassingly true.

I am not sure where I am going with this. Just wanted to throw it out there to my blog audience. (Jenny and 2 other people)

I did recently get the Jillian Michael's book Making the Cut. It is about "getting ripped" and losing those last few pounds and most importantly, being able to confidently "run while wearing a bikini."

Really? Run while wearing a bikini? Can you imagine anything more disturbing? Where exactly would I be running? Why? Plus, I am not sure that Santa is going to bring me a bikini (see previous post about Lainey's letter to Santa).

I haven't really read the book yet but I plan to glance through it. I will let you know what I think. I plan to do something about getting to my ideal weight/size/shape--whatever you call it. Please stay tuned.

I guess I shouldn't go eat that Peppermint ice cream. Mainly because I am really not that hungry. And it might give me some reflux. What am I 82 years old?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I Miss Katie

Katie Couric that is. I watched her every morning on the Today show. I was with her when she started the Today show and she was very pregnant with daughter, Ellie (that is where I got the idea that Ellie is such a cute nick name for Eleanor--ie. Ellie Beller). Then a few years later, she had her second child Carrie. And I was heart-broken for her when she lost her husband to cancer and returned to the show only a couple of months later.

She was my link to the world every morning. I know much of what I know because of the Today show. A bit dramatic but totally true.

Her liberalism bugged me but I liked her so much that I let that go. I watched her host the Olympics, the Macy's Day parade and the Tonight Show one time.

And of course, I was with her through all the hair styles. When I say I was with her, I mean I was watching her sometimes with admiration and sometimes with confusion.

She is so cute that it is hard to take that away from her with a questionable hair style.

All that to say that I was flipping through tv yesterday and saw that she had chopped her hair off! My first thought was that I had no idea that my friend Katie had cut her hair! I had no idea when she had done it, why, did she like it! I am so out of the loop.

It just reminded me that I miss seeing her every morning. Her life is going on without me.

I like Meredith Viera enough. She is just not Katie.

Click here to go see her new look. (because I can't seem to figure out how to get a pic from the web on to my blog.)

Enough about some total stranger that I called a friend. I need to go address Christmas cards. I can't believe how behind I am this year!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Shopping sprees, marathons and hugging the porcelain potty

Go Team Pink! Today we ran the relay of the White Rock Marathon. It was a fun experience! Running in 40 mph wind gusts around the lake--not so much fun. Spending the day with friends was fun. All the girls did a great job! Jenny organized us and took care of all the details. Even getting the cute pink shirts that we got so many compliments on! Thanks Jenny!

Waiting for Jenny's leg of the race!

Lacey ran Emily to the hand off to Jenny. Lacey ran me in too! Plus, Lacey ran 15 miles of the race--just for fun. Then Lacey and I had a big ole burger and fries to celebrate the race.

Emily finished her leg! We then headed downtown to find the finish and Jenny. We literally got stuck in traffic because of the race. Keeley and Emily got out of the car and directed all the other cars to back up so we could take an alternate route. Way to go girls!

I am proud of all of you. Thanks for running with me!


Lainey woke up at 2 am on Saturday morning and threw up. She was up again at 6:00 am sick. So I went ahead and got up and went to Albertson's to get the essentials. Sprite, Gatorade, crackers, etc. The sky was so beautiful. I stopped to take a pic.

So the iPhone doesn't really capture the pink sky but I tried! I was the only shopper in Albertson's that early!

About Lainey, she was so great during the stomach bug she got. She made it to the potty every time. She was concerned about waking up her brothers in the middle of the night. She was unusually cooperative while feeling really bad. I thought to myself, maybe she is maturing and can handle pain and discomfort a little better than a young child.

However, this afternoon she fell down and scraped up her knee. Seriously, you would have thought that someone had amputated her leg. She couldn't walk. She cried hysterically. She need immediate medical attention. I guess I will need to wait a little longer for that maturity while in pain or discomfort.

Later that morning, Kyle's parents drove in to Dallas to help take care of the kids for the day. Little did Sherry know that she was actually going to have nurse duty that day. She and Lainey stayed in the "sick room" while Diddy Daddy and the boys and aunt Casey played elsewhere!

Kyle and I were busy at the mall at the annual Thomas family Christmas shopping spree! Every year we all meet at the mall and my parents give us envelopes with some cold, hard cash in it! We get two hours to spend the money on us! Not gifts, not for the kids, no bills--just things for us. We meet for lunch and show off what we got!

We look so forward to it every year. It is so fun to spend time with my siblings and sibling-in-laws without our children! That never happens!

Some people go and scout out the mall to plan their shopping out. Some just wing it. Some just go and buy a pair of shoes and a sweater.

I did pretty well. Ann Taylor Loft was having a big sale. Buy one and get the second item free! Nic and Haley and I spent a lot of time in there. Nic went a little crazy on this shopping spree. She bought things with color, cream colored pants and skinny jeans! The fashionista has arrived!

Haley is always fun. First, we had to convince her that she could not use most of her money to buy a juicer. Or fuzzy Crocs. She got some great stuff. She even found stuff for her mom to get her for Christmas and for Rob to get her. (otherwise known as going over what we got in the envelope!)

Here I am with Haley trying on hats. We didn't get them. This was after lunch when we made Rob go back and exchange the ill-fitting jeans he bought at the Gap. He found some that were a lot better.

Here are some pics of my nieces and their new outfits from Forever 21. Can you believe how precious my nieces are? They are getting so big!

Thank you so much Mom and Dad. We always have such a great time. We look forward to it for months leading up to Christmas. You guys are always so generous with your children. I love you!

Friday, December 12, 2008

All Ye Faithful from Igniter Media on Vimeo.

Here is one of Rob's latest Igniter Media video shorts. You will recognize a couple of people in the video. Kyle and my niece Elle! You all did a great job singing and producing the video!

I am sure to be in the next one. Actually, we watched the video a few times this morning. Each time it got to the last singer, Bo shouted, "Mommy singing!" He is brilliant. That is Sasha from Watermark not Mommy. If only I could sing like her!

Dear Santa

Lainey has been having a great time at school talking about Christmas. They wrote letters to Santa and they drew pictures of what they wanted for Christmas. In her illustrations of what she wanted (she also had to write the word of the item next to it), she asked for a dress, a coat, a necklace, a calendar, a white board (like her teachers) and a couple of other things.

Yes, she did ask for a coat. Like the kids on the Angel Tree might have asked for. Another proud moment for Mom.

Anyway, here is a snippet of her letter to Santa. I will use her spelling as well.

Dear Santa,

I been good this year Santa. . . I wut (want) a camru. My mom wuts a bathen soot. . .

Love, Lainey

We don't know why all the sudden she can't spell want! But more importantly, what up with her asking for a bathing suit for me?

So, this morning we talked about it. She brought it up. She said, "did you know that I asked Santa for a bathing suit for you?"

Me, "Yes I did. (laughing) Why did you ask Santa for a bathing suit for me?"

Lainey, "Because your bathing suits are too small."

Why else would one ask for a bathing suit?

Merry Christmas to Mommy.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hair today, gone tomorrow!

We had a hair emergency in our family. My niece Charly cut her own hair. I think butchered would be a better word for what she did. Her sweet brother Ridge also fell victim to Charly's budding cosmetology career.

I was going to post a lot of pics of the before and after but. . .Haley did instead! Please go to their fun blog to see the last two posts about Charly and her scissors. She ended up looking adorable. It is a tough consequence for a 3 1/2 year old. She is not crazy about her short hair.

Speaking of emergencies, I definitely had one yesterday. A fashion emergency. Or something like that. I took the boys to Forever 21 yesterday. I know, bad choice for Mommy. Stay with me. I saw some cute tops that were only $8.50! And they were really fun, festive colors. I grabbed a couple and some other things and headed to the dressing room. Bo was in the stroller and Rhody was walking around in his cowboy boots. (boots are not necessary to the story, just kind of funny that he is so into boots)

Another mistake, I was wearing a sports bra. Never a good idea to go shopping in athletic gear.

Then I grabbed a shirt and put it on. I could quickly tell something was terribly wrong. It didn't quite go over my shoulders as smoothly as one might hope. Once I got it halfway on, it got stuck. It wasn't going anywhere. I seriously could not get it off. I could barely move my arms. I felt like I might get a cramp in my shoulder. (I got a cramp once by reaching back in the car for something to pacify a child. It doesn't feel good.)

I was standing there with a shirt at my chest with a sports bra on and trying not to panic. Rhody was crawling in and out of dressing rooms. Bo was strapped in and laughing at Mommy. I asked Rhody to come in and help me. He didn't obey right away (shocker) and wouldn't come in the room. I almost lost my cool (as if I ever had it) trying to get him in the room. I needed his help. I needed him to pull the shirt up and off my head.

What luck. I am stuck in a shirt in the dressing room with only Rhody to help me. He is almost 4 yrs old. He possibly could help me. But this is the kid who can barely do anything for himself. He is happy to get a sock on his foot (not socks, just a sock).

I tried to explain that mommy needed help. He was already mad at me for making him obey. He gently grabbed the shirt and said, "I can't do it mommy." I strongly suggested he try again. He then exerted only slightly more energy to no avail. I was panicking thinking of going out into the store with a sports bra on and a shirt stuck on my chest asking some 19 year old to help me.

I tried one or ten more times and eventually got that thing off. Did I mention that I put on the wrong size without knowing? In no way am I a small at Forever 21!

Don't worry. I am ok. No physical harm was done. Maybe some slight emotional damage but nothing that a fun night with girlfriends couldn't cure.

Good thing that is what I did last night. A great night with my bible study girls and a delicious dinner. Love you girls.

On a totally random and weird note. For anyone that watches Oprah, you know Dr. Oz. My mom hates Dr. Oz. Why? Because he wear scrubs with no undershirts. He just seems a little dirty. Wisdom from Martha.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Fun Weekend

We had a great weekend!

On Friday night we went to grab some hot chocolate with the Bindras at Starbucks. I just want to apologize to everyone in that Starbucks for the noise and chaos that we brought with us! We drove to see Christmas lights and the twelve days of Christmas! Somehow Jenny and I ended up in a van with just Lainey and Lily. The Dads got the 4 youngest and loudest ones. It was a lot of fun!

Saturday, Lainey and I went to go see The Nutcracker with Nancy and Gracie Pigeon and Lacey and Addie Bone. The girls got dressed up in their Christmas dresses for the occasion. We grabbed lunch before and then headed to the Dallas Ballet Center's performance. It was a great show! Lainey's favorite part was the mice! Thanks Nancy for organizing this for us.

Today, Gobby and Diddy Daddy came for a short visit! I didn't tell the kids about it so it would be a surprise. Then about 3 minutes before they got here I was talking to Rob on the phone and said, "Dennis and Sherry are coming in a minute." Then I heard Rhody say, "Bo! Gobby and Diddy Daddy are coming!!!" Oh well! The kids were so excited to see their grandparents!

We played lots of football outside. The boys were in heaven! Gobby was all about the tackling. Here she is with her boys!

Rhody's football face! Watch out Steelers!

Seriously. She is MY daughter too. Seriously.
Church was great today too. That was my "high" for today. The pastor spoke about God's plan for family. It was encouraging and convicting. If you ever want to hear great biblical teaching, please go to to download some messages.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

iPhone pictures and more

It's been a while since I posted. I didn't have my computer for a little while. Rob helped me save my computer! I bought a hard drive and Rob moved some of my files. I ran out of room on my laptop and I couldn't download any pictures! Plus, it started shutting down applications that took too much memory to run. All that to say. . .I am back online. It feels good to be back!

I really love my iPhone. During the time without use of my computer, I could at least check email from my phone. I still felt connected to the world. I was even able to get online to find a dress I saw at the store and email a friend with more details about said dress! All is right in the world.

So now that I have my computer and my iPhone, I downloaded some pics from the phone to the computer. This a random assortment of photos with no connection to anything!

I went to Target a few weeks ago. They had several really cute and fun coats. Lightweight and stylish. I tried to take a picture of myself wearing one, but this is all I could get. Not a great picture of me or the jacket! Oh well, you will just have to trust me.

Today Jenny and I met at the Galleria. With no kids. It's Thursday! We went into Forever 21. You know the store where the clothes make you remember that it's been forever since you were 21? But it is just so cheap. It's hard to resist!

Let me be clear, this was just a funny outfit that I put on to make Jenny laugh!. The heels are literally 5 inches tall! I couldn't move. Just so you know, they are selling turtlenecks for $9.50 there! I got one last year that I wore all the time. Now I haven't checked my closet to see if it still exists or just spontaneously combusted. (is that a word?)

This is poor Bo 2 weeks ago when he got soooo sick. He got a stomach bug that just knocked him out. He literally just laid down on a towel in his room. He fell asleep there a lot. He didn't want in his bed or anywhere! Just the floor or our arms.

Here is Bo in happier times! This is Bo and his second cousin "Baby Sarah." Bo loves Sarah! He wants to hold her all the time. We happened to run into Sarah and her family at Mariano's tonight. What fun for all of our kids! Sarah has 3 older brothers and sisters that Lainey and Rhody love to play with too. Don't you love Lake Highlands? I just happened to run into my cousin Will and family at dinner tonight! It was a treat. Maybe not so much for the tables around ours. We had 7 children at our table. Enough said.

The next pic is a new favorite product of ours. It's Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day.

My friend Jenny got it for me to try. We love it. It smells like Lemon Verbena. I am not sure what that is exactly but it smells fresh and clean!

Speaking of Jenny, she loved the product so much that she sent out this informative and entertaining email about it. If she had a blog, she would have totally posted this. But she doesn't so I will. From Jenny. . .

Hello friends!
As requested, I have come up with another new favorite house-hold thing!
Read on...
As many of you know, I love to clean house. Wait- scratch that. What I MEANT to type was "I love a clean house." Very different than "I love TO clean house." In reality, I don't really mind cleaning all that a perfect world: no children around, proper cleaning tools, plenty of time, rainy weather, no children around, '80's music playing loudly in the background (preferably INXS)...However, these perfect conditions rarely (if ever) occur. And when they do, generally the last thing I want to do is clean. So, um, I guess maybe I don't really even LIKE to clean house. bummer.

I remember when we had a housekeeper... (pause to allow the dream sequence music to begin) It was my favorite day of the month. I would come home from work almost giddy with the anticipation of how our house would smell deliciously and perfectly clean. Like Pine-sol, Windex, and love. Honestly, I don't really remember our house ever being dirty when I was working- really, who was there to make it dirty?? But, I still loved the feel and smell of a clean house.

Fast forward 5 years and 3 children later. My house is rarely clean. In fact, it rarely even smells clean. Oh, I can occasionally fake it with a candle or by throwing things in closets. But woe to the person who comes to our home at 5pm or just after Kylie has delivered her latest "present." In fact, my new reality is this: my house will be clean when my kids go to school (yes, I know, all of you with school-aged children are chuckling at my naivete- "silly, hopeful woman not driving carpool, doing homework, and spending time at the elementary school"). But this is what I have to tell myself to get through the days of dried leaf and sand flower arrangements, cushion and blanket forts, babies and strollers and various baby clothes and laundry that needs to be washed and laundry that needs to be put away. And did I mention the love that my girls have for accessories? And God forbid we have rice or grated cheese for almost makes me want to get a dog. (almost, Missy)

So, I have found a new cleaning product that gives me the illusion that my house is clean. And I can walk around in a blissful haze of Lemon Verbena, all while tripping over couch cushions and introducing my girls as they put on another "show." This magical product is called: Mrs Myer's Clean Day Countertop Spray. It is heavenly and makes your whole house (ok, really just your kitchen, but isn't that enough?) sparkle and shine and smell really really great. Sadly, you cannot find it at your local Wal-Mart. Thus far, I have found it only at Central Market or Whole Foods (some of you have stopped reading, I know- but I promise- I will pick it up for you!!). It is good for the environment, cleans like you did before you had children, and is not tested on animals or small children (ok, I just made that part up about not being tested on small children, but I am sure that it is not).

So, drop your mop! Throw your dust-rag in to the closet! Grab a bottle of Mrs. Myer's Clean Day Countertop Spray! And, as Keeley and I gushed about it last night, she mentioned that the refill bottle that you buy after you've used your first bottle is a mere fraction of the cost and lasts decades. (maybe not decades, but months, for sure). Oh happy day!


Monday, December 1, 2008

Wow! I just ate a really HOT hot tamale! Every once in a while you just get one that will burn the hair off your throat. I am not sure we actually have hair on our throats. I am guessing no.

So, I just have some random thoughts (again).

You other moms might understand this. Once Lainey could walk, actually crawl, I get NO privacy in the bathroom. I mean none. For some reason the kids think that when I walk to the bathroom, they must drop everything they are doing to come follow me. Lainey doesn't really do that anymore but Bo definitely does. I figure it is just part of life now. Not my favorite part. I do sneak back there occasionally to get some privacy. I could talk about it more but I am thinking no one wants to hear anymore about the bathroom.

So Lainey looks just like her dad. I hear that at least 5 times a week! So funny. I think people are in awe that there is nothing of me in her appearance. But she really is a combo of us. Really. We do "highs/lows" before bed each night. On Wednesday night, her two "highs" were: Getting to go to Nana's to see the tables decorated for Thanksgiving (that part is me) and getting to clean up and organize her desk by herself (that would be Kyle).

I took Bo to the doctor today. Actually, we saw the Nurse Practitioner. We like her and can get in a lot easier to be seen by her. Bo has tubes in his ears and they have been draining for a week. (This could be the grossest post ever) I called today and they said to bring him in. He has an infection in both ears! Way to go Mommy! They asked if he had a fever (no), if he was not sleeping (sleeping fine), or any other symptoms (just the snot coming out of his ears). Oh, and he has been just plain awful for a week. I mean the kind of awful where Kyle and I just stare at each other and wonder where he came from. (since this child looks just like a Thomas, we know where he came from). The nurse said maybe it was his ears. I will be sure to let you know in 10 days after we finish the antibiotic. Cross your fingers that it is the ear infection and not a permanent personality shift.

Rhody is precious. He still loves sports. Asks to watch football on the weekends. Wants a kicking tee for Christmas--and that's all. He is unashamedly scared of Santa--has no interest in seeing him. A 2 year old girl made him cry today. He cries over a lot of things. Yet, that same sensitive boy is the one who wants to make sure everyone wins. If he makes a touchdown, he makes sure that Bo makes one too. He is so proud of all his accomplishments. Like putting his socks on by himself. Or blowing his nose. He gets a grin from ear to ear to tell me of the puzzle he did or the points he scored. It is so cute. I can see him looking to the stands to see all of us smiling at him when he plays well! He is totally that kid!

I have more random thoughts but I am going to go watch tv instead!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to all

Here was our little Thanksgiving gathering. All 48 of us.

Here is the beautiful table with all the cousins (minus Nicole). I think we got to sit down all together for about 2.3 minutes. We are going for 5 minutes next time.

Here are the cousins again. Our more serious side.

The Thomas family pic. What up with Pops in black while the rest of us are in navy? He thought it was navy!

The Richardson family! We could not get everyone looking and smiling at the camera at the same time. I won't even mention the poor photography skills we had to deal with here. (hint: he wore black)

We were so lucky to have such great weather on Thanksgiving day. All the kids got to play outside a lot of Thursday.
We had such a good time. I love my cousins and their families. I love getting to see them as parents and watching their children grow and grow! My Mom is the best hostess ever--truly the Hostess with the Mostess. She did a great job in her "new" house. It all went so well. (Except that there were no sweet potato leftovers) Thanks Mom!

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Thanksgiving Moment

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. This is a great video short starring my youngest brother Blair and produced by my other brother Rob. All the kids are either my children or my nieces and nephews. They have grown so much since this video was shot 2 years ago. Enjoy!

I am so ahead of my time

I have been known to remember a few things in my life. Or remember almost everything. But several random things really stick out in my memory. I specifically remember certain outfits I wore throughout my childhood.

I remember the navy and white striped boat-necked knit shirt and matching capris I wore to the Monkey's concert in the 9th grade. To top off the cool outfit, I crimped my hair and wore some crazy makeup. It was 1986, I am sure it was pretty crazy.

I remember the first day of high school so well. I wore a mauve henley top with an acid washed denim skirt and brown belt. I had on strappy, Egyptian sandals (that's what I called them). More importantly, I met one of my best friend's from high school, Missy James, in Mrs. Williams Algebra II class.

I also remember an outfit from junior high school. You know those type of outfits that you are really excited to wear for the first time? This was that kind of outfit. I think I felt that way because it was a trendy outfit and I thought I would look cool (or more time-appropriate, I would look rad). What is really weird is that I went to a friend's house for a party or gathering in this outfit--they lived on Spring Branch. Fast forward 10 years, that could totally be Lainey!

See the shirt on the left? My shirt for the junior high party was similar but about 3 sizes larger and with sleeves. It was the 80's and everything was oversized! Plus, the shirt didn't have buttons--it had velcro closures!! So cool!
I wore it with black stirrup leggings. Like the ones pictured here. To finish off the look, I wore some Converse hi tops. I know, it is high fashion we are talking about.

My point is that all of that stuff (minus the velcro closures) is available at trendy stores now. Who knew I was so ahead of my time?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Just some stuff to whine about

Here are my thoughts today--in no particular order.

1. I hate vomit. I hate vomiting or cleaning vomit or smelling it or anything.
(Poor Bo has a little bug. Sorry if you are finding this out and you had some contact with Bo lately. We saw about 52 kids in the last few days so I just couldn't bring myself to notify everyone. On a different note, I just ran into an old YL girl and she has never ever in her whole life thrown up! Shut up!)

2. The parking garage at the Galleria near Banana, Gap and ON is one of Satan's tools to steal my joy. Ok. A bit overly dramatic but none the less, true. Who designed that thing? An Aggie? (or insert your favorite people group to make fun of--I don't really have one and I went to UT so I defaulted to Aggies) I went to the Galleria tonight with L & R. I needed to go to ON and I wanted to leave the house once today. They have no elevators, I literally had to carry the double stroller up 2 flights of stairs.

You may be wondering a few things right now. Why in the heck did I have a double stroller with my 5 yr old and 3 1/2 yr old? They said they wanted to ride and not walk so I accommodated them thinking that would help in the long lines at ON. It did help there. Not so much in the tiny Forever 21 where I strolled over several peoples' UGG's and pulled down a pair of $7 earrings.

3. I saw a 50 lb (or more) toddler girl at the mall. You know, Oprah or 48 hours or Dateline or someone just recently did a special on that problem. I didn't see it, just the preview for it. Let me tell you that seeing a 50 lb little girl drinking milk from a bottle is a little disturbing--on several levels. I have nothing more to say about that.

4. Speaking of disturbing. . . I am on the hunt for . . . wait for it. . . the hunt for skinny jeans. I never thought I would say that or then blog about it. There is something so wrong with me searching for skinny jeans. But I have a pair of boots that I think would look cute with jeans tucked in. I really don't want to spend more than $25 on these jeans. I am thinking that the denim quality you get when you spend so little on jeans is going to be awesome!

5. Let me be clear about something. I am all talk about a lot of things. Yes, I do Mommy Makeovers. No, I am not actually that fashionable. This is what I think I bring to the table in the fashion/beauty area--I am honest, I think I can tell what style, cut and silhouette looks best on women, and I can do hair pretty well.

If you see me on a daily basis, I don't always look put together. (that is slightly an understatement) I know how to put myself together but sometimes life and laziness get in my way. Yes, I still like to talk to other women about their style, fashion, hair and overall self-image. No, I don't think looking good is the goal. Yes, it is nice to know how to look your best and to feel attractive and not just be a good nose-wiper, snack-getter, whining-receiver, blog-checker, Sonic-drinker, book-reader, church-goer, etc. (you get my point).

I see the Mommy Makeovers as an opportunity to spend time with someone and figure out together what they feel great in. Also, figuring out how they can care for themselves well and honor their husband too. It is just a whole lot of fun. Yes, if you are interested let me know! No, you can't nominate someone else unless they want to be nominated.

Yes, I am going to mop my kitchen floor at 9:30 on a Saturday night. Wow, am I cool.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

What up with my lack of posting?

So I have really dropped the ball lately with the blog. Seriously, I often think of the blog throughout the day. When something crazy or silly or really disastrous happens, I often think of how to communicate it on the blog. My younger brother often thinks of his life experiences through the lens of a movie script--how it would make a great scene in a movie. Preferably starring Bruce Willis of course.

But somehow my thoughts throughout the day rarely make it to the blog. You know things get in the way--laundry, playing with kids, exercising, cleaning (sometimes), the mall, friends, sleeping, and did I mention laundry? I have 4 loads waiting for me right now!

Anyway, I am going to try to get a little better about posting. I mean I know all 4 of you will be happier if there are new posts to read when you blog hop around!

Wouldn't you agree that kids say the darnedest things?

Sunday night, Lainey and Kyle were driving past Mi Cocina when Kyle sang in a operatic, high-pitched voice, "Guess who ate there today?"

Lainey replied in the same operatic, high-pitched voice, "You did! That's why your breath stinks!"

Kids really know how to put you in your place.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Picture time!

Today we gathered all 11 Thomas grandchildren for a Christmas card picture for Nana! It takes a lot to get that picture that will go on her Christmas card! Picking out cute outfits, buying 11 different outfits with accessories, exchanging for the right sizes and then finding a date where all 4 families can get together for a photo session. Of course, trying to get 11 kids to smile at the same time is quite a feat!

I didn't have the official camera so I think Rob's photos probably came out a little better than mine. But I just wanted to give my readers a sneak peak of the pic. Don't worry Mom, I don't think any of your friends are blogging these days--the pic will still be a surprise to them!

Rhody and Sam are definitely the biggest laughers in the group. Rob was doing all sorts of stuff to get the littles to smile but not a lot of luck! R & S thought every single funny face and random animal sound was the most hysterical thing they had ever heard.

Lainey and Charly with their matching outfits. They always love matching and getting to color together. We took Charly with us to Fudd's with Nana and Pops and the Cullers family. Then Pops took Charly and Rhody to Cobb's soccer game. Rhody and Charly had a great time together at the game. Thanks Pops!

One of the most entertaining parts of these photo sessions are the adults not the kids. Here were are trying to help Rob get the perfect picture while attempting to get the kids to smile. It's always a bit of a circus! So much fun! We love you Nana & Pops!

Sunday, November 9, 2008


I just played in my last soccer game of the season. I was a mid-season replacement for the Ruffians--the Mighty Ruffians to be exact.

Cynthia "tia" Culver recruited me for the team. I have to admit that I was hesitant to ask Kyle about playing on the team about two weeks after completing the triathlon. He had already done so much for our family during training this summer but I asked anyway. Of course, he agreed. He did ask why I wanted to play.

I used to play soccer. I mean 18 years ago I played soccer. I always loved soccer--except for the 7th grade when I quit for a season because I thought my social life was hampered by my excessive amount of soccer playing. I took it back up in the 8th grade due to a lack of social life not caused by soccer.

Anyway, I have wanted to play for the last several years but have either been pregnant or had a newborn. I wanted to play with my friend Anne because she also played soccer as a kid and it's always fun to play with Anne! But she is pregnant--so she was out.

So I only got to play in four games. One of the games I got injured within the first 10 minutes and sat out the rest of the game. My 36 year old body just does not move like my 18 year old body. My mind still thinks it should but I just can't get there as fast as I think I should be able to!

All that to say, I had such a great time. I remembered why I loved playing soccer for all of those years. I really enjoyed meeting all the women on my team! I got to spend time with Tia. And of course, we won all of our games--that is fun too. I did score one goal!

Thanks Tia for inviting me to the team.

I know, we look hot!

Monday, November 3, 2008

1986 is calling. . .

On Saturday, I was able to use a skill that I learned in the 8th grade.

No, it wasn't anything that I learned in Mrs. Ballard's Algebra I class--I am waiting to use the "cleaning an entire overhead with your own spit and fingers" one day. It also wasn't anything that involved taking broken wings and learning to fly again-learn to live so free.

It was a simple fashion skill that I acquired from Tyler Goldberg. Nobody could tight-roll their jeans better than Tyler. He is an orthopedic doctor now--maybe the tight-rolled jeans in junior high set his course for success. (It also could be that his dad was an orthopedic doctor as well).

He could get those acid-washed jeans tight and rolled that they would never fall down. He did that of course, to properly display his pastel colored Zodiac shoes. For my younger audience, you may not be as familiar with Zodiacs. They were like a cross between a moccasin and a loafer--sort of. They started making them in multiple colors--I mean one shoe had multiple colors. It was the 80s--the more color, the better.

Back to my point. I was able to take what I learned in the 8th grade and apply it to today. I had on flowy yoga type pants today. Not a good mix with a day of cleaning floors and kitchens and bathrooms. I thought, "Why change pants when I can adjust the ones I have to work for me?" And so I did.

I tight-rolled those black yoga pants really well. They never fell down. They sort of looked like knickers or Hammer pants but it worked. This same skill would have been helpful on Thursday night. (Please see blog post about my glamorous life for details). In the chaos that ensued after the "poop issue" I had on those same flowy pants. I was freaking out about whether or not my wide-legged pants would inadvertently swipe the poop, so I just took them off and cleaned the carpet with just my scivies. Not a pretty picture--for all sorts of reasons.

Just thinking I could have used that tight roll on Thursday night.

If you learned a valuable life lesson in the 8th grade, please feel free to share it with us!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Halloween Fun

Here is a re-cap of our day with pictures.

It is a slight miracle that Rhody got into his costume. He is a baseball player (on steroids). Below you will see him playing a catcher. That is as close to a mask as he will get. But he went to the kindergarten parade and did great!

Bo and Mary Elizabeth waiting for their big sisters. Bo was Superman. It was a little too small for him but he loved it! He ran around with him arms in the air like he was flying.

Lainey during the kindergarten parade of costumes. She got to wear Lily B.'s cute Lady Bug costume for school. Lainey said she got nervous right before they walked out but then had a really good time!
Fancy Nancy, Police Officer Rex and Lainey. They sang songs and recited a pumpkin poem. All the kids looked adorable.

Later that day, we went to Mom's for hot dogs and pictures before trick or treating. Here is a picture of the new dining room! Isn't is awesome? All the kids sat together at the table to eat and giggle at each other. We love the new kitchen and dining room!

All the cousins that could make it to Nana's house. Rob's kids, Will's kids, Deni's kids and mine. Actually, Catie wasn't there because she was doing a college visit to A&M. Yes, I said college visit. My baby niece is a junior in high school!
We then went back to our neighborhood for trick or treating. Our first stop--Mrs. Barnes house. How great that Lainey's teacher invited all the kids to come by for candy. Lainey would not have missed it. We ran into one of Lainey's classmates, Reese--Hannah Montana!

Happy Halloween! The Bindra Girls and The Richardson kids! If you are wondering what Lainey is dressed like, she decided she wanted to be a bridesmaid. She specifically told me that she did not want to be a bride, the one in white, she wanted to be one of her friends at the wedding--the one in blue. There you have it. At least I know how to do bridesmaid's hair!
Lily and Lainey are getting so big! Pretty girls.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Mommy Makeover #2

Welcome to the Second Ever Mommy Makeover!

Once again, I had such a good time. Shopping, hair, make up, visiting with friends--how could it not be fun?

The next Makeover client is . . . .(drum roll please). . . Sunny Carroum!

Sunny lives in my neighborhood and we have kids in the same preschool. She has two beautiful twin girls that are friends with Lily Bindra. I really got to know Sunny a little better at the gym. We would work out and visit--my favorite. We have a lot of common interests: American Idol, So You Think You Can Dance, and other fine television shows like that. It was fun to spend more time with Sunny for the makeover!

Sunny Before
Why did you want to do a Mommy Makeover? Since being a mom I have found myself comfortable with the minimalist of fashion, and I wanted to put some kick into my wardrobe. Plus, I'm a little compulsive of a shopper and just buy off the cuff, not thinking of the overall picture and if the thing really fits my style or my wardrobe.

Sunny was great about the makeover. She said she was up for anything--specifically concerning her hair. She has great hair. It is thick, healthy and has a lot of body. We did some highlights with some copper pieces. It adds movement and some interest.

She took several inches off and added some layering. The stylist also did some texturizing to it--that helps with all the volume. Sunny doesn't really have what people might call wash-n-go hair--I don't know many people who do. (If you are wondering if you do, the answer is probably no. However, that doesn't mean that we don't actually wash-n-go anyway!) Her hair definitely looks best with some products and a good blow-dry! She also invested in a straightening iron and velcro rollers. So when she goes to bank functions or on a date with her husband, she has some new tools to help get pretty!

Sunny's beautiful hair! After.

Sunny was also great with shopping. She was up for trying on anything to find what styles and colors fit her best. She then went to Chicago the next week and did some more shopping with some of the tips and techniques we learned. She got some great stuff!

Below Sunny is wearing a top she got from Forever 21 (right?). It is flowy and fun--that is what Sunny likes. You should definitely buy things you really like. If you are drawn to the flowy, ethnic look--pair it with something more simple and structured. Like a dark pair of jeans and cute flats--as Sunny did! Now that it is getting cooler, a great thing to add to any wardrobe is a fitted, structured jacket. They are all over the place right now! Check out these jackets.

We went to Target to get Sunny some makeup. She has great skin and just needs some good powder for foundation. We updated her tired ole' makeup bag with some new products! We spent very little to help give her a new fresh look with more updated color palette.

What are a few new things you learned or will incorporate into your beauty regimen? I really should buy in outfits and bring a friend for reference. Also I learned it's worth spending time & money on a hair cut and color, for that will help you look better everyday no matter how much (or less) you fix your hair.

Sunny needed some new shoes. She likes to keep it simple--flip flops, running shoes and a few others. I think we all need some cute flats that look good with jeans. Sunny got these at Target. I think she did a great job. Target has a lot of great shoes right now. Check these out.

Here is Sunny and her precious girls. They have been so sweet about Mommy's new hair and makeup. They think she looks beautiful!
More bits of info from Sunny.

Favorite TV show of all times? The Office (NBC) & The Wire (HBO)

Books you would recommend to others. I'm a big reader, so....My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picult; Amazing Grace by Johnathan Kozel; The Other Boleyn Sister by Phillipa Gregory; and The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls.

I have to admit I haven't read a single one of these books! I am not much of a reader--unless you count magazines and I can barely get through some of those.

Sunny, it was a privilege to get to spend time with you. You were tough and fun and let me tell you my real thoughts about some of your clothes and makeup. It was fun. I hope you got some info that will help you. And most importantly, that you feel just a little bit better and more confident about yourself and have some clothes to wear when you go out!