Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bunnies, Squirrels, and Kittens - Oh My!

A year or so ago, my in-laws' dog brought into our yard in her mouth the tiniest baby bunny I have ever seen.  (At one time I had pictures, but for the life of me I couldn't find them for this post.)  Our girls were immediately enthralled with this tiny bunny.  Of course, they wanted to keep it as a pet, but we knew that is was far too young to leave its mother and that, in order for it to survive, it would need some specialized care that we were not ready to give it.  It was late in the afternoon on a Saturday, so there was really nobody to call for help.  Finally, after many futile phone calls and some internet searches, we found a wildlife rehab organization and a phone number for a kind woman who was trained to care for tiny wild animals, such as our bunny.  At 8:00 at night, through pouring rain, and with three girls in pajamas in the minivan, we drove across town to meet her in a Home Depot parking lot.  We handed over the bunny.  The girls cried.  David and I "laughed" as we considered what our lives had become.

Since then, we have had a handful of "squirrel" incidents.  Our dog, Sophie, is a two year old border collie and she is super fast.  Not only does she chase squirrels, but sometimes she actually catches them.  I have personally removed 2 squirrels from our yard that were either dead or perilously close to dead.  My hubby has removed another couple of them as well.  (Not to mentions her encounter with Mr. Skunk.)   

Then, yesterday, after I brought the girls home from school, Megan went outside to ride her bike.  Within seconds, she came running back into the house.  "Mommy, Mommy!  There's another bunny or something in the yard.  It's crying!  Come look!!"  Immediately, Rachel, my animal loving future zoologist, sprang to her feet and ran out the door.  I dutifully followed cautiously anticipating what I might find.  What I found was this:

Not a great pic, but that's my hand to give you an idea of the kitten's size.

It was a tiny, fairly newborn kitten.  It's eyes weren't even open yet.  Again, the girls were immediately in awe.  "We have to save it Mommy!" So, we wrapped the kitten in a blanket and brought into the house.  Once again, I got on the phone hopeful that, being a weekday this time, I could find a vet's office or Humane Society volunteer to take the kitten.  After an hour on the phone, and calls to about 6 different veterinary offices, I was beginning to lose hope.  So, I asked, "If I have to keep it until tomorrow, what would I need to do?"  A nurse gave me instructions that included buying special kitten formula and giving it to the kitten with a medicine dropper, feeding it every 2-3 hours just like a newborn child, and massaging it's genital area to stimulate excrement after each feeding (Not kidding!) Honestly, that was just more than I was willing to do.  But, obviously, I couldn't just throw it back outside.  So, I got on the computer and continued making calls.  I finally contacted a woman - again a wildlife rescue volunteer - who was willing to take the kitten and nurse it until it was old enough to  be adopted.  We drove to meet her - only halfway across town this time and no rain.  From the moment we arrived at the meeting spot, Rachel sobbed.  As we handed off the little kitty, Rachel sobbed.  For another 20 minutes as we headed back toward home, Rachel sobbed.  For the rest of the evening, Rachel gave me the silent treatment (post forthcoming on that one) and, still today, she is obviously peeved and doing anything possible to avoid me (the kids are out of school for a Teacher Workday).  I've tried to help her understand that, since I/we are not trained to care for the kitten properly, giving it to someone who is trained is the most responsible thing we could have done.  This has not appeased her, however.

By the way, did I mention that during this whole fiasco, my hubby was out of town, my little one had a dance class to get to, and my oldest had gymnastics, too.  My kids didn't get dinner until almost 8:00.  Oh yeah - right in the middle of it all a friend texted me to see if I was interested in taking two stray dogs she had found!!!  (Love you TS!!)

Oh well!  Hopefully, the kitten will be fine, Rachel will get over it, and our dog WILL NOT bring us anymore gifts from nature!!!!!!

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Friday, October 26, 2012


Motherhood is full of emotions.  This is true for all mothers, but the fact that I have three girls makes it especially true for me.  I am constantly surrounded by varying emotions.  Some of them are good; some of them are bad.  Some of them are my own; some of them are my kids'.  Here's a rundown of all the emotions that surrounded me and ran through my home in one afternoon.

anger - from my middle one when I reminded her of her impending dental appointment
joy - from my little one who actually loves going to the dentist and also had an appointment
relief - from all when the dental appointments were completed
panic - from me when I realized I had forgotten to assemble the meatloaf I had planned for dinner and realized that it surely would not be ready in time.
annoyance - from me as everyone suddenly became very needy while I was trying desperately to throw together the fastest meatloaf ever
jubilation - from me when the meatloaf was assembled in record time and in the oven with two minutes to spare! (Yay me!!!!)
pride - from me when Rachel actually asked ME to help her with her math homework
frustration - from Rachel over her math homework
relief - from Rachel and me when the homework was finished (or so we thought)
disappointment- when we realized there was another math sheet
frustration - from me as I listened to my hubby try to explain a new math concept to Rachel
frustration - from Rachel as she listened to my hubby try to explain a new math concept
satisfaction - when the homework was finished and dinner was on the table
happiness and contentment - as we sat together around the table (lasted about 15 minutes)
gratification - when Rachel came to me to discuss an issue that was on her mind 
tension - as I rushed to get everyone bathed and ready for bed
contentment, love, joy, and pride - as I read to my littlest, listened to my middlest, and talked with my biggest
relief - once everyone was settled under their covers
anger and sadness - from the little one over a band-aid that quickly turned into a full-blown tantrum
exasperation - from me as I waited out the tantrum
despair and exhaustion - when I saw the dishes that still needed to be washed, the lunch boxes waiting to be packed, and the laundry that still needed to be folded
bliss - when I finally made it under the covers myself!

Now I admit that not every day is an emotional roller coaster quite like this (Thank Goodness!!!).  However, life is full of emotions.  Some are good.  Some are not so good.  On the worst of days, we can get so caught up in the roller coaster ride that it can be hard to find any of the good feelings.  But they are in there - somewhere along the way.  On those days, we have to hold on the happy just a little bit tighter and remember the old sayings that "this too shall pass" and "the sun'll come out tomorrow."  As my girls continue to grow (and get more hormonal - yikes!), I know there will certainly be emotion-filled days.  Hopefully, I can remember my own advice and cling to the tidbits of joy on those days and let the rest just melt away!

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Monday, October 22, 2012

Book Review - I'm So Excited to tell you about this book!!!

Since I started my blog, I have begun to follow several other blogs.  One of my all-time favorites is a blog called Pink Dryer Lint.  Although I've never met Robin Kramer, the author, I feel we have a lot in common - including the fact that we each have three daughters.  Robin's blog motto is "Embracing ordinary moments in motherhood and life" and she does just that beautifully.

Being a big fan of her blog, I was very excited when Robin announced that she was writing a book.  I was even more excited when she emailed me and asked if I would be willing to preview the book and write a review.  Of course I said yes and I was not disappointed.  

In her book, Then I Became a Mother, Robin shares and reflects upon her own experiences as she first became a mother.  She uses these personal experiences to impart wisdom, advice, and comfort to others who are entering into or still experiencing the struggles that often come with first time motherhood.  

Because Robin openly and eloquently shares her personal struggles and joys as a mother, the book feels very genuine and very honest; almost like you are sitting down to commiserate with a girlfriend over a cup of coffee.  Robin recounts moments when she was exhausted and emotional; moments when she made mistakes; and moments when she was embarrassed.  She writes about how she had to redefine herself and her sense of accomplishment as a mother.  And she describes how she got through it all and what she has learned.  I assure you, this is not just another "What to Expect . . ." type of book.  This book is about the real emotional, psychological, and lifestyle changes that occur when a woman becomes a mother written from an insightful, Christian perspective.

As I read, the book triggered my own memories of early motherhood - the good, the bad, and the ugly - and gave me the opportunity to see my struggles through a new perspective.  It reminded me how tough it can be to become a new mother and how much those new mothers need support, empathy, and love.  

For a bit more insight and intrigue, here are some of my favorite quotes form the book:
"My emotional fortitude had been left in the delivery room."
"Supervision is constant, engagement is continual, and guidance is ongoing."
"Bad mothering sometimes happens to good mothers."
"When I'm at my worst, I remember that God loves his kids despite our snot."

I would absolutely recommend this book to ANY mother.  If you are an expectant mother, you should read it and take notes.  If you are a new mother, you should read it and take comfort.  If you are a "seasoned" mother, you should read it, take a walk down memory lane and, then, take action to help other mothers you encounter.

After this glowing review, I can't imagine that you would need additional convincing.  But, just in case you do, check out Robin's blog, Pink Dryer Lint, for a glimpse into her writing style.  If you like it, you are guaranteed to enjoy the book!!  If you are interested in purchasing the book, you can do so through Amazon

I am so excited for my blog friend, Robin, and I really hope you will take a look at her book.  I enjoyed it tremendously and I'm sure you will, too!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Christmas Toys 2012

Can you believe that Christmas is only 10 weeks away?!?!?!  That's right. TEN WEEKS. 10!  I started doing some research this week to get some ideas for Christmas lists.  I found out that many retailers publish a "Hottest Toys for Christmas 2012" list in September!  Since I wasted spent so much time looking over these lists, I thought I would share my findings with you.  I kind of took all the online lists I looked at and compiled them into a slightly more succinct Top 10 list.  So according to, Target, Kmart, Walmart, and, here are the 10 toys that every kid is going to want for Christmas this year. (And the ones you and your kids will likely be seeing advertised every time you turn on Disney or Nickelodeon for the next 2 months!)

1) Furby - Remember these things?  Apparently, they're back! Seriously! It's basically the same toy it used to be, just re-introduced.  Believe it or not, this is the only toy that was on every. single. list!  If you think your child is going to want one, you better shop early.  If they are popular as predicted, they will be hard to find by Thanksgiving!  They retail for $70.

This is the MEEP! tablet.
2) Tablets - O.K. Tablets were actually on every list, too, just different ones on different lists.  I have lumped them all in together.  There are tablets for all ages.  The LeapPad seems to be a pretty popular item for preschoolers (suggested ages start at 3 or 4).  It is typically compared to the InnoTab by Vtech.  The LeapPad retails for around $100 and the InnoTab is slightly less at about $80.  Both require cartridges for games.  There is also a new product called a MEEP! tablet.  It is made by Oregon Scientific and is supposed to be somewhere between the more toddler-like toys and the expensive adult tablets.  It is listed for ages 6+, runs on an Android platform, and is wi-fi enabled.  There are parental controls that make it child-friendly, but it uses "apps" and does not require the "cartridges" that some of the preschool tablets use.  It retails for $149.99.  Of course, there is always the full-fledged iPad that will set you back about $500!

3) Legos - This one is a classic!  Although, these days it's not quite as simple as it used to be.  The lists I reviewed touted the Ninjago and Minecraft Lego sets.  Lego has also developed a product line called Lego Friends that is geared toward girls.  So, whether you have boys or girls in your house (or both), Legos will probably be on your list!

4) Nintendo DS - This one has been on the list for quite a few years and is apparently still very popular.  Not much has changed about this handheld gaming toy and it will cost you $100-150 depending on which model you buy.  You also have to purchase games that will cost $20-40 EACH!  Ouch!

5) Action Figures -  Superheroes are always popular and this year will be no different.  Spiderman, Batman, Toy Story, Star Wars, or any Avengers character in the form of an action figurine will be a hit!

6) Crayola Digital Light Designer - This is a nifty new toy developed by the toy and art geniuses at Crayola.  Kids draw on the dome with the included stylus and their drawings light up.  Kids can add special effects or save their drawings to display again later.  It also has a game mode to keep kids entertained.  It sells for around $60.

7) Twister Dance -  This one sounds like fun.  Imagine the game of Twister set to music.  While the music console plays a tune, you step on colored discs as you follow the lights.  It comes with 5 songs, but can also connect to an Mp3 player so you can dance to your own favorite music.  It is recommended for ages 8-10 (according to Toys R Us) and retails for $35.
8) Disney Princesses - Dolls, dress-up, kitchen sets, board games, ride-on toys, jewelry sets - you name it.  If it's got a Disney Princess on it, there's a little girl somewhere that wants it!  (Since Disney recently re-rleased the Cinderella movie, Cinderella toys are predicted to be particularly popular.)

9) Wii U - I hadn't heard of this one until I did this research.  From what I gather, if the Wii and the Nintendo DS had a baby, this would be it.  It is a handheld device that works with your existing Wii console and is compatible with all Wii games.  Instead of playing them on the t.v. screen, however, you can now pay them on this handheld console.  It won't actually be available for purchase until November 18, 2012, but you can pre-order it through most retail websites or the nintendo website.  The basic version is $299.99 and the deluxe version is $349.99.

10) Remote Control Toys - There were several different remote control/robotic items on the lists I reviewed including hexbugs, an Air Hogs helicopter, and hot wheels vehicles.

Although that rounds out my top ten compilation, here are a few additional toys that I think deserve an honorable mention:
  • Jake and the Neverland Pirates toys (A popular Disney Jr. character)
  • Doc McStuffins toys (Another popular Disney Jr. character)
  • Monster High Dolls - (These were on several lists as well.  I refused to mention them in my top ten based on principle.  Personally, I think the concept - scantily clad high school monster girls -  is a bit ridiculous and far from lady-like.  But, that's just my opinion.  If you have a daughter or female relative who enjoys them, you are certainly not alone. )
  • Lalaloopsy dolls - (I don't get the hype with these and my girls have never shown any interest in them.  But, they were on a few of the lists and, again, if your child likes them, you are not alone!)
  • Ride-ons - Bikes, Razor scooters, skateboards, and powered ride on toys are always popular.
  • Master Moves Mickey - (Think Tickle Me Elmo - except it's Mickey Mouse and it dances.)

There you have it - my very unofficial "Top Ten Hottest Toys for Christmas 2012 List."  Ironically, after all that "research," I only see two items on this list that might actually make it to a spot under the tree at our house this year.  So, here are a couple more that will likely be on my kids' lists, but were not mentioned in any of the online lists:
  • iTikes - These are toys from Little Tikes - a piano, a map, and a canvas - that are compatible with your iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad.  You download a free app, dock the device on the toy, and they interact.  For example, the piano app claims to teach kids to read music notes, recognize which keys go with each note, etc.  It can also be played alone, without the "iDevice" connected.   Because these are so new, there are very few customer reviews available.  However they are very reasonably priced running $40-60 depending on which one you choose.
  • Wrapstar microphone - My daughters saw this one on TV and thought it was cool.  Basically, it is a bendable, portable microphone.  It is made by First Act and runs about $20.  It also comes in 4 colors (blue/green, yellow/red, purple/pink, and pink/green). 
  • Laser Pegs - Think Legos with colored lights inside!  (These are actually NOT associated with the Legos brand.)  There are several different Laser Pegs building sets that range in price from $20-70.  Each set comes with diagrams that will help kids build multiple objects.  These just look super cool.  However, due to the small parts, they would be most appropriate for older children (manufacturer says 5+, but I think even older) and they are only available at Target.
So, what do you think?  Will any of these toys on these lists be on your kids' Christmas lists?  Are there others that I missed?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Nothing to write about . . .

I've struggled to find time for blogging lately.  Today, I actually had a little free time, so I dat down with my computer and . . . . . NOTHING!  I suppose this is what's called writer's block.  I just couldn't think of anything interesting to write about.  I follow some blogs where the authors write at least 3-5 times a week.  Their posts are always interesting, but for the life of me I can't figure out where they find the time or the topics!

Attempting to remedy my blockage, I browsed through several other mommy-type blogs to see what others were writing about.  Then, I did what any reasonable person in this age of technology would do - I searched Google.  I typed in "how to find something to blog about."  There were a couple things that seemed to be repeated suggested:

1) Re-posting old posts (Just did that here - at least I'm doing something right!)
2) Daily topics - Things such as Wordless Wednesday, Friday week-in-review posts, etc.
3) Answering reader questions/finding out what others want to read about.

So, here is where I combine those last two suggestions:  What would you, lovely readers, like to read about?  What are some of your favorite posts that I have written?  Do you like the daily topics (i.e. same topic every Thursday) or do you find that overdone & boring?  Do you have questions you would like me to answer?  What do you like or dislike about my blog (be honest, it's o.k.)?

I'd love to hear from you!  Seriously.  I need some help here!  Leave me a comment and help me get past the writer's block!  Thanks bunches!!!!!

Friday, October 12, 2012


This week has been good, but long.  Hubby has been on the west coast all week and it is truly amazing what a difference a three hour time swing can make.  It 's hard to even find a few minutes to talk on the phone.  When we are getting up and out the door (7:30am) he is still sleeping (4:30am).  When we are home in the afternoons (4:00pm) he is working, meeting, or having lunch with customers (1:00pm).  When I am putting the kids to bed (8:00pm) he is finishing up his day (5:00pm).  And, when I am heading to bed (9:30pm) he is heading to dinner (6:30pm).  During weeks like these, we go through the motions and I'm glad I have my girls to keep me company, but we will all be glad to have Daddy home!!  TGIF!!

Another TGIF moment - I won't have to get the girls out of bed and out the door at any particular time tomorrow morning.  Overall, our routine is going great.  Emily is still having a little trouble waking up and, most mornings, I dress her rag doll-like body while she is still half asleep.  In general, though, we are making it work.  This morning, everyone did great, but it felt like we had some of the most ridiculous conversations this morning.  Emily was not happy when she woke up enough to realize I had dressed her in pants - gasp!!!  Not jeans or anything, but some soft yoga-type pants that were still pink and matched the shirt with pink ballet shoes on it I had also put on her.  I spent a good many brain cells trying to convince her to wear them without putting a skirt on over them.  I had to reason with Megan regarding the necessity of brushing your hair before leaving the house.  Then, realizing that Emily needed an object starting with "A" for show and tell and that nothing but some sort of stuffed animal would do,  I spent a few more brain cells trying to figure out 1) how amongst the hundreds of stuffed animals in this house it could be possible that not a single one is a creature that starts with "A" and 2) how I could pick one of the animals available and somehow associate it with somehting that starts with "A".  That led to an "argument" with Rachel, my resident animal expert, over whether polar bears live in Antarctica or the Artic.  After I realized the ridiculousness of the moment, I assured Rachel that the kindergarteners in Emily's class would not be concerned with the accuracy of Emily's presentation when she shows her polar bear for letter  "A" show and tell and that, either way - Arctic or Antarctica - THEY BOTH STILL START WITH A!!!!!!!

Now, it's almost 10:00am and I have accomplished a whole lot of nothing!  Where do these mornings go?!?!

Are you glad it's Friday??  What was you TIGF moment today???

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

School Pictures

Today was picture day at the girls' elementary school.  Last night, we carefully picked out each girl's outfit and, this morning, we gave their hair a little extra attention.  (In Rachel's case, A LOT of extra attention because she wanted it straight for the picture.  That involved a process that began last night with a shampoo, straightening product, and blow drying.  This morning we finished with a flat iron.)

In general, I don't like school pictures.  They are prescribed, predictable, and unnaturally posed.  However, every year, I dutifully order at least a small package of pictures for each girl.  This morning after dropping the girls off at school, I decided to look back through some of their old school pictures and I discovered something I actually do like - the consistency of them.  This consistency - the same pose, similar backgrounds, etc. - really puts the emphasis on the child which, in turn, makes the changes exceptionally observable.

Let's take a little stroll down memory lane, shall we??

This, of course, is Rachel, beginning with her kindergarten picture and going through last year's 4th grade portrait.  Look at the Kindergarten picture - she looks so childlike.  And those curls - sigh.  In second grade, she had (finally) lost some teeth.  Fast forward to 4th grade when she kept her mouth closed to conceal her braces, had her hair super long and as straight as it could get without serious assistance.  Also, when I used to pick her picture day clothes with little to no input from her, there was color!!  Now, just gray.  (She wore a gray shirt again today, in fact.)  What a change.  Some days I enjoy the young lady she is becoming and some days I want my little curly girl back!!!

Here's my Megan.  The first one is from her 4 year old preschool year.  Then, kindergarten and last year's 1st grade photo.  To me, there's a huge difference in her 4 year old to 1st grade pictures.  (Besides the hair!)  She just looks so much older.  Unlike Rachel, Megan is always colorful and has a big smile!

Last but not least, my sweet Emily.  Of course, she is in kindergarten this year, so these are all from her preschool.  In the first one, she was only 2 - look at how little hair she had!  In the middle one, she was 3 and the last one was last year when she was 4.  It will certainly be interesting to compare her kindergarten pictures to these pictures of the "Littlest Spoon!"

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Friday, October 5, 2012


This is Sophie.

She is our 2 year old border collie.  She is a great dog.  Like most border collies, she is very energetic, but we have 10 acres on which she cam romp around and she is quite content most of the time.  We bring her in the house and crate her at night, but during the day, she spends most of her time outside (unless it is unbearably hot/cold or raining).  The kids love her and she is great with them.  She and Rachel have a particularly strong and special bond.

The only "bad' thing about Sophie is that she tends to be a bit mischievous.  She loves to chase squirrels and she actually catches them sometimes.  (Yes, she is VERY fast.)  More than once, she has delivered pieces of a deer carcass to our front porch.  She likes to rough house with the neighbor's dog on occasion and my in-laws' cat.  Yesterday morning, however, her mischievousness soared to new heights.

I followed my usual morning routine - get up, get dressed, coffee pot on, alarm off, and dog out.  Then, I scurried about getting the girls up, dressed, fed, etc.  Shortly before we were ready to leave, the two oldest pointed out some "white stuff" on the front porch.  It looked like spit - white, bubbly spit (Sorry - gross, I know.)  I had no idea what it was until I opened the door.  I was immediately overwhelmed by the worst odor I think I have ever smelled.  I quickly recognized it as a familiar scent, only intensified tenfold.  That's when I knew - Sophie had been skunked!!

Since we live out in the country, it is not unusual to get a faint whiff of lingering skunk odor in the early morning hours.  Obviously, there is a resident skunk that lives in the woods around our house.  Skunks are nocturnal, so we have never actually seen it (although my mother in law saw it in her backyard one evening a couple months ago), but sometimes, in the mornings, the "fragrance" remains.  Since it was still a little dark this morning when I let Sophie out, I guess Mr. Skunk wasn't finished with his skunkly endeavors and he did not take kindly to being disturbed by a curious border collie.

For the record, you may think you have experienced skunk odor because you have passed by a skunk that tragically succumbed to hazards of crossing a road in the dark.  However, I assure you that you have not fully experienced skunk odor until you, your house, or your pet have been sprayed.  Imagine that roadkill aroma multiplied and intensified tenfold.  After 12+ hours, several candles, and copious amounts of Febreeze, the scent has mostly dissipated from inside the house.  After two shampoos with a special "Skunk Odor Removing" shampoo, one shampoo with a baking soda/hydrogen peroxide/dish detergent concoction recommended  on the internet, and one shampoo with a deodorizing dog shampoo (Yes - that's 4 shampoos) Sophie almost doesn't stink anymore.  If she did still stink, I don't think I would smell it because I believe all the olfactory senses inside my nose have been permanently damaged - burned beyond function.  

I can honestly say I have a renewed respect for the wondrous variety of God's creatures.  However, I sincerely hope that, in the future, I only experience skunks and their distinctive aroma from a distance - a BIG distance!  I also hope that, should our naughty dog ever encounter another skunk, she will remember vividly the misery of being skunked and run as fast as she can in the other direction!!!!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A post full of re-posts

I've been a little blog MIA for the past week.  There are a couple reasons for that. For one thing, I've just been busy. We've had house projects going on, I've had meetings, and, of course, extracurriculars are in full swing.  I haven't had time to sit and type up a post until now.  Secondly, I've been lacking inspiration for blog topics.  You see, parenthood can be rather repetitive (which I'm sure you know) and it seems the things that have been on my mind lately are things that I have posted about previously.  I don't want to bore my loyal readers, but I do have some new readers and, maybe, some of  loyal followers have missed a post or two.  There's also the possibility that someone will have some new insight to share on an old topic.  So, I decided to post some links to older posts and share briefly why these topics are on my mind again.  You can click on the highlighted links to read the posts or just refresh your memory.  I would definitely love some new comments!

First of all, it's fall!!!  The start of any new season in a house full of girls can only mean one thing - shopping.  Now, I love to shop - or myself, that is.  Shopping for these girls can be quite a different story, though.  I have posted about shopping before here and here.  Not much has changed.  Rachel is still impossible and has gotten even more picky, I think.  No jeans, no pink, no patterns.  It's maddening.  Megan on the other hand, is easily persuaded into buying (or not buying) just about anything.  She is easy to please, but shopping with her requires a lot of energy!  Emily likes to shop which is a problem since she has a closet full of hand-me downs and doesn't really need to shop.  She sees her sisters getting new things and, understandably, wants some new goodies, too!  I get so exhausted shopping for/with them that I don't have energy left to shop for myself (well, almost no energy) and my fall wardrobe is in  serious need of a facelift as well.  Shopping, shopping, shopping.  It seems we've done a lot of it lately.

Also with fall comes the reintroduction of some of my favorite comfort foods to the weekly menus.  Yesterday, October began with a chilly, drizzly day that was perfect for Chicken and Dumplings.  That's what we had for supper last night and it was YUMMY!!!  (Click here to see a list of other recipes.)

We are now in our sixth week of school and we are finally settling into the routine.  At first, Emily was just exhausted.  She is doing better, but is still a little slow moving in the mornings and sometimes in the afternoons as well.  I frequently have to remind myself of this post.  She was only 3 when I wrote it, but not much has changed.  Emily moves at her own pace and simply does not know the meaning of the word "hurry."  At times, this can be frustrating, but I try really hard to remember to appreciate it and embrace it.  Although we have places to go and things to do, I certainly don't want to hurry through my precious time with these girls!

Back in July, I wrote this post  about Megan's tummy troubles.  She had another couple episodes in early August and then again last week.  The one last week required an early pick up from school and included nausea.  I have made an appointment to take her to an allergy doctor for testing at the end of October.  Maybe that will give us an answer.  If not, at least we can cross one more thing off the list of possibilities.

Finally, do you realize that Christmas is 12 weeks away!!!  Yikes, right???  Last year, I wrote here about my frustration with trying to make a Christmas list.  I am trying to start planning earlier this year in hopes of avoiding that frustration.  (Plus, Megan has a birthday in December!)  I already have a couple ideas.  Have you started thinking about Christmas lists yet???  If so, I would love to hear what items you are adding.

Well, there you have it - all the things that are on my mind again!  This week's schedule promises to keep me just as busy as last week, so I'm not sure if I will have a chance for any additional posts.  If not, I hope this list of past posts will hold you over as you anxiously await my return!!!  (HaHa!)

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