Birth…days and days.

No matter how low-key I vow to make a birthday celebration, as in – “Hey, this is an off year, we are not doing a big party nor a week-long celebration,” I always seem to forget that promise about two days before what proves to be the next birthday extravaganza. This year was no exception. Epic fail, yet again.

I told Addie that we had a big party for her last year so this year she could invite a friend for a fun date and dinner with the family.

“But I can’t pick just ONE friend, Mom! Can I have more. Like three, or maybe four?”


So we compromised on TWO friends. Plus Emma Grace. So we landed at four girls. All Ad wanted to do was go to Color Me Mine and paint some pottery.


Oh, and then maybe dinner at Shogun.


And then maybe the friends could spend the night? And since this was all happening on Saturday, the day AFTER her birthday, we needed treats for her class on her ACTUAL birthday. And since we were signed up for snacks at choir, maybe we could just bring birthday treats to choir since it was the day BEFORE her birthday. And thus, the nearly week-long birthday celebrating our Addie was born.


Not that I’m complaining (ok, maybe I am a little), but let’s just say I’m so very happy that the weekend is over. It ended with a proclamation of “this is the best birthday ever” and big thank yous and love for her new American Girl, so it was definitely worth it.


But I think we were all just happy that it is over…for another year.


Checkin’ In.

Been one of those weeks. Just wanted to check in and let you know we are still here.


I have Crafty stuff to share and owe you a big ‘ol Garden update (and lentil salad recipe too, Elise!) too.
Here is a little taste to hold you over.


But right now I am trying to figure out how to do these cake pops…
(Anyone with any brilliant advice to offer on the art of cake pop making?)
…because you know a certain someone is turning SIX in just 2 days, right?


Growing like a…well, sunflower, I guess.

A little Addie’s garden update for you. Remember her little sunflower that she planted way back when she was a mere kindergartener? Well…take a look at it now!


We are anxiously awaiting the bloom, sooner or later it has to open up – I mean it is already 1 Daddy + 1 Addie high!


Her garden is ridiculous and pretty much just growing every which way. We had green beans for dinner tonight. We’ve had blueberries for our yogurt nearly every single day. And we almost have enough tomatoes to make a nice little caprese salad. And herbs. Holy cow, we have herbs like you wouldn’t believe. Please friends if you need something, come over and clip them from our yard…do not buy them at the market!


Every morning she takes her little basket out and wanders down the path to see what she can find.


I told her the other day that she has a very green thumb and she insisted, “No I don’t! I just washed my hands, Mama!”


My little garden girl.


Addie, Addie Quite Contrary – How Does Your Garden Grow?

With a sunflower plant started in foil, and look what it did when planted in my soil!


Look at the crazy sunflower grow – this was taken two weeks ago after ballet…


And this was yesterday…yes, after ballet again…


“It is as tall as me, Mama!”

I cannot find the pics I took of the “before” garden. But just imagine both sides of this walk lined with overgrown, left-for-dead, Camellia bushes and a termite infested, rotted pergola over the sidewalk. And now look…


Against the house and stucco wall makes a perfect backdrop and sunny spot for Ad’s kitchen garden. We have herbs, carrots (of course!), watermelon, pumpkins, peppers, beans, cucumbers, zucchini, blueberries and…sunflowers!


It makes me happy to see the great glee that Addie gets each morning when she comes back in from her scouting trip. The day the sunflower actually blooms she is going to completely lose it! After this weekend (ballet recital) she will not have any more ballet class for the summer, though. We’ll have to haul the leotard out for more update shots!

Gonna Need Another Parka.

I had my hand ON my camera on the way to the pool tonight because I was taking photos of other stuff around the house, and I decided not to take it.

Aaaarrrgghh! The head swim coach decided that it would be a great time to try Addie’s swim class in Lane 1 – where Em usually swims with the swim team. The pee-wees were overjoyed and ran down to the other side of the pool and Addison Rose was the first to jump in. Her coach asked them to swim the length of the pool…and Addie took off – her freestyle wasn’t technically perfect, but she was determined to get to the end first…and she did. And then turned around and backstroked the whole way back.


I can’t even begin to tell you how excited she was to be swimming with Emma! With the swim team! In Lane 1! In the deep end! And because I chose this night to not bring my camera, I only have crappy iPhone pics of my two fishies like this…


The coach said that Addie will be ready for the Tsunami Jr. team this summer. Although we are going to have to trade in her bombshell (cute!) swimsuit for a more practical, aerodynamic speedo suit. That might be a deal breaker for my fashionista…


Addison: “No more dead animals.”

As we are walking through the grocery store the other night, looking for something to put on our newly fixed grill, Addie spied a package of chicken legs…

A: “Ew. Mama? I don’t wanna eat no more dead animals.”

She has a friend who is a vegetarian and I’ve tried “no meat” for a time or two, so I wasn’t totally surprised and wasn’t stressed out about it.

M: “Hmmm…ok. Well, what would you like to eat? Can we put some vegetables on the grill for you?”
A:  “Mmmm…let’s have steak!”


No. I didn’t tell her where steak comes from. She’ll figure it out soon enough.

Power through – day by day.

So much for my promises to be a better blogger. I really think that my calendar is plotting against me. Perhaps in a former life I wronged it somehow? Or packed it too full one month? Whatever the case, I just open my calendar each morning and try to work through it all. One day at a time. I find myself thinking, “if I can just make it to the weekend…it will all be okay.”

Except for this weekend. This week we are just trying to get through the weekend. And trying to get everyone healthy.

We have amoxicillin cocktails all around over here since Em and Ad both found ear infections this week. Half of Em’s class was out this week, and half of Ad’s class has been in and out of school for the past two weeks. I blame it on the weather. It.Is.Cold.Here.

Of course it is all relative, I realize. But it will be 70 degrees and lovely one day, and rainy and 40 the next. Everyone is feeling a little under the weather. Even Tiger.


Amongst all the sickies, we have had a little more excitement than normal. Addie was awarded SuperCougar at school today. The character trait that they were working on this month was honesty. So apparently Mrs. F. thinks Addie exhibits honesty. Huh. Well, she definitely says what is on her mind…I guess that is honest, right?


And with that we are off.

Em has her final dress rehearsal tomorrow for her ballet performance on Sunday. And sandwiched between ballet, we are taking the Brownie troop on their first overnight. All 18 of them. God bless ‘em.

And God help us Moms. Wish us luck.

And pray we just make it through the weekend…

Firefighter Addie.

This photo is for Uncle Ken. Our little firefighter-in-training.


And this photo is for me.


I want something to point to when Addie is a famous fashion designer and I can say…”would you just look at the style she was rockin’ when she was a mere five?!”  Oh, and also…kudos to me for letting her dress herself and allow her personality to shine through.

It mostly all kinda, sort of “goes” together. And well, most days…that is just good enough for me.

My little spelling bee…


I can’t remember if I blogged about our stubborn little bee after the first report card or not but we had…uh…well…let’s just say Addie Roses had less than stellar marks in the ‘ol reading and spelling department.

Mrs. F. assured me that Addie was completely normal. And I assured Mrs. F. that Addie could sound out words and read many (little) books. But of course this whole ordeal made me a little bit crazy. I dissected it on the phone with my sister who is an educator, and talked about it ad naseum with all of my teacher friends here. Was it because I hadn’t spent enough time with the poor second child? Emma was flying through chapter books at this point in kindergarten, and I literally can’t stop her from reading every free minute she gets.

And yes, I know you cannot compare children. I’m well aware of that. But we parent them the same way – I’ve read to them every day of her lives. Surely Ad can’t be that different from Em, can she?

And then over Christmas, and pretty much for the past month or so, something clicked. I could almost see it “turn on” in Addie’s brain. And I remember Emma getting the same look in her eyes, the pride of reading a sign by herself, the confidence building within her with each finished book. And I am so happy to report that Addie is finally at that stage.

I was helping in her classroom on Friday and she just about floored me. Addie was sitting next to me writing in her journal while I helped her classmate. Addie had drawn a picture and told me what she wanted to write so I told her that I would help as soon as I was finished helping her friend. When I turned to help Addie, she said “Oh, I just sounded it out, Mama. I’m done.”  And her sentence said…

“This is a volcano.”

VOLCANO! She sounded out and correctly spelled v-o-l-c-a-n-o.

I think maybe all the worrying was for nothing. Little stinker. Apparently she can be that different from Emma. In fact, I’d say she is the exact opposite – at least in temperament.

Acorns For Sale…

Yes, acorns. Like the ones you find littering the ground under any good oak tree this time of year.

Addie was fascinated with them while we were in North Carolina because the ones she found had “little tops!” on them – the acorns we have here do not have caps on them. So she started collecting pocketfuls of them at the vineyard during rehearsal for the wedding.

And the next morning she did what any enterprising, young entrepreneur would do. She sold them for 10 cents each.

Acorns for Sale

It was very cute and I laughed as she asked everyone that came into the room if they’d like to buy some acorns. That is until I saw what she cleared…she made $5.05!

Selling acorns.

You might be wondering how she got 5 cents when the acorns were 10 cents each. No, she does not have her Mama’s poor math skills, she cut Leah a deal and sold her a tiny acorn (with no top!) for only a nickel.

I’m thinking we need to take her to our next boutique and she can sell dresses and aprons for us. I also think she might be a marketing genius.