Monday, March 31, 2008

Our weekend in review...

Friday night Matt coerced/guilted me in to going to a Hockey game with the family. He's been taking the kids all season and I've always found a reason to back out (look the sky is blue, I can't go). The kids got all excited and so I only bitched and moaned the entire car ride there, but was pretty good once we got there. Skyler acted like my little tour guide, telling me where to go and what to do. The verdict? It was like every other hockey game I went to when I was younger, I was bored. The kids WERE good though and I did get to catch up with my friend Jenn who I haven't seen in awhile so despite the record 5 bathroom trips Skyler had to make I did have an enjoyable time. As we walked outside, someone exclaimed "what a nice night!", it had been 85 degrees earlier, then CRASH a giant flash of lighting and the skies opened up and DUMPED rain down on us. To say it was pouring is a drastic understatement. We backtracked a bit, changed our route to get to our car via a covered surface and then RAN for it. Because it was so warm, it was actually pretty fun. We were all soaked, but laughing.

Saturday was crazy soccer day number 3, the fun part was that it was 45 degrees out. Zack had his soccer pictures at 9:15. For some reason the league chose a location that decided that the kids couldn't wear their cleats inside. So there were 100 shoeless soccer players running around the waiting area and they had to have their pictures taken that way. Craziness. Then Matt and I split up. Matt took Skyler to her game for 10:00 where she scored 6 goals and according to Daddy played very very well. I took Zack to his game for 10:30 where he also played very well. He and his teammates are learning positions and are doing great with it. The only problem is that Zack doesn't want to play defender - he wants to score. He got one goal. He has played with the same kids for four seasons and I love the way they give each other high fives when they score, and work together to pass the ball and really encourage each other. It's amazing how far they've come. Matt made it to the second half of Zack's game in time to do some sideline coaching for which all the mothers harassed him about. It was a fun and crazy morning!

Saturday night Skyler and I got to babysit sweet Baby Nate. He was adorable. We all got some snuggle time in. Mike and Amy got to have a nice quiet dinner and a movie.

Sunday was lazy day. We didn't do anything until about 1:00 when I made the extremely poor decision to bring the family grocery shopping with me. That was a roughly $80.00 mistake. What the heck was I thinking? You don't bring your kids and your husband to the grocery store. Do you know how much crap I bought that I never would have if they weren't with me? A LOT! We had family dinner with Mike and Amy later. Matt was in HEAVEN because Mike made pot roast. I think he can now die happy!

Now it's Monday and on we go...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Baby Love...

Last night we had another delightful family dinner with Mike and Amy. Skyler and Zack adore Nate and love holding him. Skyler calls him "my boy" as in "where's my boy?" and "when can I hold my boy?".

While uploading that video I found some others that were sort of fun:

Skyler making art (crazy girl). This goofy piece is still hanging in our kitchen, I crack up everytime I look at it.

Sky's first soccer game this season (she's in blue, number 14). Matt is Assistant Coach on her team. It was really windy that day.

Zack rock climbing. This was his second time, he went much higher than last time but I think he got scared at the end.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Do you Etsy?

Have you heard of Etsy? I'm addicted. Etsy is "Your place to buy & sell all things handmade". It's so super fantastic. I'm finding the most beautiful items for gifts. There are such amazing crafts people on here. It's eBay (without the bidding) for crafters.

An artist in Norway, carambatack, made this for me, it's titled "Skyler".

I gave my friend Mindi this for her birthday. Another friend of mine who is obsessed with Etsy found the shop and has given several as gifts as well. I gave Mindi an "M". There are so many pieces to drool over.

Amy gave me a lettered sign for Christmas. Isn't it sweet? It's hanging in my kitchen.

The site lets you keep a list of your favorite "shops" and your favorite items so you can go back and purchase again and again, most sellers are even happy to make custom pieces for you. I've got several crafty friends who are selling on Etsy now:

Leigh makes amazing pottery.
Katey makes tie dye clothing.
Catie makes the coolest buckets.
Yarn (that's what we call her) is just getting started but will be making delightful knitted items.

Odds are, if you've got a birthday coming up, you're getting something from Etsy. Just ask me and I'll point you to all my favorite places, this is just the tip of the iceberg. And if you make something, anything really, this is the place to sell!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Spring has Sprung!

We're seeing signs of Spring which is good timing since last Thursday was the first day of Spring! There are two trees outside my office that bring me such happiness each spring. They're so beautiful when they bloom and when the blooms fall off the trees we have two days where it looks like it's snowing.

Zack says his buddies dug his new haircut. He's keeping it for now. He's got a new goofy kid thing that he's doing... He found an old pair of my glasses and had me pop out the lenses. He wore them for two days. Kids are weird.



Saturday was warm and sunny. We had Skyler's appointment with her agent. Hee hee, Skyler has an agent. We're taking it slowly but things went well. First she's going to do a little workshop so that she can learn a few things and so that her agent can give us some feedback as to whether this is something Skyler wants and can do. It's just a couple of hours on a Sunday afternoon, a nice little step. I'm okay with little steps. After that we discuss getting pictures done for her contact sheets. After our appointment we decided it was a nice day for a drive. We went up to our favorite park in Williamsburg.
Spitting for the feeeshes.

Photobucket Swinging

King of the Mountain! See those punks in the background? We were watching them closely (because Zack was). They were about 10-11 and were fighting with each other and swearing (or cussing as it's called here). I finally couldn't take it anymore and told them to get lost.

Peepee dance!

"I'd like to thank the Academy..."

How does she look so beautiful while crying about nothing?

Later that night the kids colored eggs with Daddy - that's a Daddy thing. I take pictures.

We celebrated Spring with gifts from the Easter Bunny who left a trail of jelly beans from the kids' rooms to their baskets in the playroom. I had the personal joy of making Zack's dreams come true. He woke up telling me that he had a dream that the Easter Bunny brought him the Webkinz Snake. He was hooting and hollering when he went down and saw that he did indeed get the snake. Skyler got a new frog.
We had an indoor egg hunt with minimal fighting over who saw it first and then they played Webkinz for awhile. Daddy got up later and made a huge delicious breakfast.

The Wilkinson Family came over later for dinner and were all dressed in spring green:
Skyler was giddy with wanting to hold Nate. She just adores that little guy! I don't think I got any pictures because I hover when she's holding him.

Last pic - this is what I found in my bed when I went upstairs:
That would be the Webkinz snake wrapped around Zack's head. Oh one more picture:
When Zack was going up to bed he made his own personal red and blue Easter egg - on his head. See that bump, maybe you can't, but it's about the size of an Easter egg and has a big scratch on it. YIKES!

We hope you had a fun Easter - we didn't get out of our jammmies - was yours as relaxing?

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Grandparents, don't freak out! It's only temporary!

Zack has a new "do". I've been begging and begging him to let us cut his hair. I think he's been going for that skater boy look, see recent previous posts as evidence.

Yesterday he agreed that we could cut his hair if he could have a...


He actually looks pretty cute. We made him agree that if it's a distraction in school he has to cut it. He was pretty proud of himself. I think it's pretty funny because this is the kid that would never even let us spike his hair at all. I hope he has a good day!

Matt was a very proud Papa yesterday. I'm wavering between being proud and being angry that rules weren't followed. Matt got a call from Zack's after school program yesterday asking him to come right away that there had been another "incident". Matt was immediately fired up because we don't think there is sufficient guidance/discipline etc at this program. Matt gets there and works everything out then calls me and says "Zack's not in trouble with us I'll tell you about it when you get home".

Apparently an older child was teasing Zack and his friend David and smacked their two heads together so Zack punched him in the mouth. The kid hit the floor crying and had a bloody tooth. Matt was over the moon proud that Zack stood up for himself to an older child and knocked him to the ground and irritated with the after-school program that it got to that point. They agreed that Zack should have told them rather than punching the other child, but that he wasn't in any further trouble. Have any of you seen the meat-hooks that my child has for hands? I'm sure it hurt! We didn't have any of this proud parent discussion in front of Zack.

I asked Zack for his version of the story again. I asked him how he felt when the older child picked on him and what was going through his head when he hit him. We agreed that sometimes when you're being picked on it's hard to remember to stop and tell the teacher but that he should continue to try his best to walk away and find an adult. I asked him how he felt when the other child was hurt and he said he felt bad and even said he was sorry but that he was still angry that the bigger kid was picking on him. It was a good talk and I am proud of him, more for seeing what the problem was than for punching another child.

And Grandpa - he did get an ice cream last night ;-)

Oh one last thing, we got to see Baby Nate (see how Mike & Amy have now taken a back seat) again last night. He was such a perfect little peanut. He slept through most of dinner and then happily took his bottle without a peep. When we got back to our house Skyler couldn't wait to hold him and I pretty much monopolized him the whole time they visited. If I'm only going to see the little sweetheart twice a week I'm going to hold him the whole time - that's what Aunties do!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patricks Day!

I'm going back to being a Murphy for today! It's fun to see everyone wearing green and threatening to pinch those who aren't. The kids had fun finding something green to wear to school today. I wonder if they'll drink green milk at school??? Knowing Zack he'll think that's disgusting and will refuse to drink it. Matt and I also love St. Patrick's Day because it's sort of a marker for our Anniversary which is March 18th.

I think the highlight of our weekend was that the kids got to finally meet Baby Nate. Our Best Friends, Mike and Amy, are in the process of adopting a baby boy who was born on March 5th.


I got to meet him when they first got home but I was holding off on unleashing my wild kids on the poor unsuspecting newborn. We finally planned a family dinner and the kids got to meet Nathan Quinn. They were infatuated with him.



Photobucket Check out my new hairdo color - like it? I'm going gradually darker. Someday I will find my natural color....

Photobucket Skyler is in LOVE! She talked about Nate all the way home and as soon as she opened her eyes this morning she asked when we could see him again. She has proclaimed him "cute as a little button".

We're so thrilled for Mike and Amy and thrilled to have a baby in the family again. Hopefully they'll all be sleeping well again soon!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Am I crazy?

Wait, wait, before you just say yes... I mean more than the usual Amanda craziness.

Almost everyday someone (friend, family, neighbor, stranger) says to me that Skyler should be modeling. I'm her mother so yeah I think she's beautiful. I've hemmed and hawed over this for over a year. Is it crazy to get her involved in that lifestyle of competition over looks? Is it silly to ignore what so many people have said? Will she be disappointed later in life if I didn't take this step for her? Would encouraging this be teaching her the wrong values? Where do you even begin?

I've done a lot of research and for the most part it's hard to break into the industry living where we do, it's much easier in LA or Boston or New York. Most places that "groom" models are looking to make money from you off of classes, John Robert Powers anyone? I had somewhat written it off when I was talking to one of the other parents at soccer practice. He happened to excitedly ask if we had seen the most recent American Living (Ralph Lauren for JC Penney) commercial. Little Emma, from Skyler's soccer team was in it. She has an agent right here in Virginia Beach. Since that conversation two weeks ago, I've seen the commercial several times.

I bit the bullet and sent the agent some pictures of Skyler, now she wants to meet her. We have an appointment next week. I'm NERVOUS. I still don't know if I'm doing the right thing. I'm mostly concerned about the competitive atmosphere and the lifestyle. I have an online friend who started modeling at 12 and worked world wide. Her tales have scared me - it's a crazy industry.

I'm hoping it goes slowly and we are able to make good decisions along the way! Wish us luck!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Basketball Pics!

Check out how big Zack is!



A very nice photographer by the name of Henny Van Zyl did all of the kids' photographs for their team photos.

Earth Conscious Imaginary Characters...

This morning:

{beep beep beep}
Me: ZACK SKYLER get up - we have to get going!

Zack {shouting from his room}: Hey Mom? Did you know that the Tooth Fairy recycles?

Me: She does?

Zack: Yeah, she collects our baby teeth when we lose them and then when there's a new baby born she gives them our little baby teeth. That means that she recycles.

Me: I didn't know that. Thanks for telling me.

THIS is what pops into the heads of my children first thing in the morning. I wonder if he was dreaming of the Tooth Fairy?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Girly Girl Weekend...

Friday night my friend Christen had a Spa Party so I ditched the kids, I mean Matt took the kids to a Hockey game, and I enjoyed an evening of pampering. We did facials and salt scrubbed our hands and feet and lotioned everything up. I went home to a quiet and empty house and enjoyed some online chat time with my imaginary friends. I was starting to worry when it was close to 11pm and my crew wasn't home yet. They wandered in not long after, completely wound up after enjoying a rowdy hockey game. I ordered them each to their beds convinced they'd be a wreck for their soccer games in the morning.

We had storms and rain so the games were called off. The kids were disappointed as these were the first games of the season, but honestly I was relieved. We were going to have to rush to get Zack to his basketball game anyway and I'd just rather wait a week to start soccer.

Skyler and I made plans with my cousin Jill who has two little girls that are about Skyler's age. They were SO cute together. Jill and family have been living in Hawaii for the past five years so the kids hadn't really gotten to know each other yet. It didn't take them long to get silly playing dress up:

The rain let up for a few minutes so Alison showed Skyler how to ride her bike without training wheels. We'll be taking Skyler's off this weekend. Kathryn was an absolute riot on her bike. I'm not sure if she did it on purpose or if she just didn't care where she was driving, but she was running into everyone.

The girls are so close in size and Skyler and Alison are only 10 days apart in age so we had to weigh them all to see who was the heaviest. Skyler is 44lbs and the longest, Kathryn is 42lbs and the shortest, Alison is 41lbs and right in the middle. After lunch and some quiet time we went to cousin Brooke's School's Winter Carnival. The girls got to play games, get their faces painted, play in the bounce houses, and eat cotton candy. They were in heaven.

A great day was had by all! Oh and Zack won his last soccer game! YAHOO!

Sunday was "Amanda's Laziest Day Ever". I stayed in bed all morning. Then I got up, to pee, and went right back to bed. I caught up on six tivoed episodes of Lipstick Jungle, and several other shows. I was going to go downstairs, but I could hear Matt and the kids cleaning and they were listening so I didn't want to interfere. Skyler was a doll and delivered breakfast in bed. Matt even cleaned out my entire trash receptical/van so that he could go pick up the treadmill that Mike and Amy gave us. I'm hoping we use it for more than a clothes rack. I finally got out of bed around 7:00pm to go grocery shopping with every other person in a 10 mile radius. Did we all have the same idea? Who goes grocery shopping at 7:00 on Sunday night people? I read an entire People magazine while waiting to check-out/watching my ice cream melt. I couldn't complain - it's not like I was in a hurry to get back to bed. Dirt didn't come on until 10pm, so I had some time.

I hope you had an enjoyable weekend too!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Friday - the crazy weekend begins!

The next 20 hours should be hectic. This is the last week that winter and spring sports overlap. Skyler has soccer practice tonight. Both kids have soccer games tomorrow morning and Zack also has a basketball game. He should be completely worn out by about 2:00pm. Plus, Matt's going to bring them to the Hockey game tonight. If we can manage to get where we're supposed to be tomorrow, and have all the equipment we're supposed to have when we get there - we should be good by afternoon.
Check her out - she did that all herself. The pink part is a skirt that she layered under. The skirt happens to have shorts attached so at the very least her butt was very warm yesterday. She was sure to be fully accessorized with beads as well. I'm going to have to start saving for her wardrobe for when she's a teenager. I have a feeling we aren't going to be able to afford her.

Matt went to pick Sky up yesterday afternoon and he's gone an extra long time. They come through the front door and Sky stomps to her room. Matt comes in and gives me an "Incident Report". Apparently Skyler was playing with her girlfriends and her little friend Zachary wanted to play with her. She wasn't interested so she hit him in the eye. She and Zachary are buddies in the same class, Zachary is in LOVE with her. He's extremely persistant in his affections. Skyler only has eyes for the older boys. Matt and I grounded her while trying to keep a straight face. We've always known that she was going to be beating them off with sticks, we just didn't think it was going to be when she was five. Our Zack was completely thrilled that his sister was grounded. He WAS disappointed that it was only for two days when his are usually for a week. I had to explain that you get a light sentence the first time. In our house you get grounded from technology. Normally this wouldn't bother her in the least, but just the day before I had picked up a purple tinkerbelle mp3 player with the gift card her Aunt Jessie & Uncle Jeff (Thanks Guys) sent her for her birthday. She was more than a little upset that she couldn't listen to it.

I don't have much new news about Zack. He's plugging along doing great in First Grade. He has his next Gifted Resources test on March 17th. I'm not sure how long after that til we hear whether he's entered into the Gifted Resources program. Did I mention how proud we are? He's really into Captain Underpants and the Magic Tree House books. Most nights are too busy for reading time, but we try. He's happy to try himself too.

I'm off to start my weekend - be sure to take time to enjoy yours!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Beginning of March Babble...

I can't believe it's March 4th and I haven't posted yet. Yowza! I haven't been on the computer in three days (the internets almost collapsed without my support) because I have a massive pounding headache. Is it a sinus infection? Is it a migraine? You'd think four hours in the doctors office would tell ya, but nope, they're going to treat it as both and "come back next week"... So now I have some antibiotics, a decongestant, and some pain pills. The pain pills almost work, but they make me all loopy so I'm not taking them at work. Have I ever mentioned that I'm allergic to almost every pain medication? I'm down to one that can be taken in pill form - let's see if I develop an allergy to this one too. I'm screwed if I ever need to have surgery or break something.

We had another beautiful weekend. We've definitely got the March Winds but they're warm so the kids are playing basketball outside, digging in the dirt, and finding new ways to get into trouble.

Zack's basketball team won by 1 point in the last 5 seconds of the game on Saturday. His teammate who had been out due to surgery for tonsillitis made an awesome shot and had all the parents whooping and cheering. Who knew that six year old basketball could be so fun? Zack's team played against one of his classmates teams. They were really good natured about it though:


After the game we played at the school playground a little:
Skyler didn't really have fun.

She was a whiny grump!

Sunday we hung around the house nursing my headache. Mike and Amy came over in the afternoon. We're all holding vigil waiting for Nate. We had a nice family dinner and discovered love for a new card game.

We have been encouraging Skyler to set out her clothes for the next day the night before. This tends to make mornings easier. It has the added side effect of catching her at her most creative. This is the outfit she came up with for today:
Those aren't tights, they are a larger person's knee highs and say "Skye" on top. On her they're thigh highs. She was QUITE proud of herself.

AND if you can believe it, I snapped a pic of Zack, ALMOST smiling. I usually get the hand over his face or his tongue sticking out. I caught him this morning as he was putting his sweatshirt on.
It's not quite a smile, but I'll take it.

Last but not least, I don't think I posted all of Skyler's bday pics. I figured you'd get sick of them, but here's a little slideshow:
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