Friday, October 31, 2008


This morning Catherine told me that she wanted to be a "buyer" when she grew up.

I told her she probably would be a buyer, because everytime I go to Target, I'm a buyer too.

Ella was playing with the shopping cart and Catherine got all excited saying that she was going to be a buyer and help Ella. I told her, that yes, there are people who help people shop and find things they like. I was envisioning a personal shopper at one of those fancy shmancy stores and what a cool job that would be.

Then she asked for her buyer thingie do (her newest word to describe everything!) so she could be a buyer. What? It took a couple explanations for me to realize that she meant her cash register!

Oh, so her dream job at the moment is to work a cash register! Even though I hope her dreams get a little bigger, it was so cute to hear her talking about growing up and thinking about the endless opportunities that await her!

Happy Halloween! Check back this weekend for pictures and a recap of our Halloween events as well as a flashback to one of my not so fun Halloween memories that apparently still has an effect on.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Chicken for dinner!

I'm freezing. The weather has gotten quite cold in the last day and the chill in our house has me convinced that I won't feel warm again until March, possibly April. A bit dramatic I know, considering the forecast will be back up to 60 degrees by Friday. Anyway, Matt's laptop always gives off a lot of heat so it gives me an excuse to blog while I warm myself up.

What's on my mind tonight? Chicken!

Chicken was on sale this week. Any ideas for healthier recipes? I'm kind of sick of the usuals, and haven't seen anything lately that interests me. Last night was chicken pot pie and later in the week we're having chicken enchiladas and on Halloween some yummy homemade vegetable beef soup (a break from chicken).

Also I like making chicken salads with the precooked/grilled chicken you buy in those little packs (I am having a mental block on the various brands so I hope someone knows what I'm talking about). I bought some extra chicken and would love to be able to get a similar taste on my own and save some money at the same time. Any ideas or suggestions on how to cook it or at least attempt to cook so it is flavorful and not too dry? The key being not dry. It's boneless skinless chicken breast - I don't have high expectations on flavor. I add it to a salad of mixed greens, craisins, pecans and feta cheese and top with a little raspberry pecan vinegarette - so that takes care of the flavor!

I really doubt anyone will be interested in my thoughts on chicken. I really did have some other thoughts when I initially sat down. I give you no excuses but just throwing it out there that I was watching The Mentalist (anyone, anyone?) while I typed this and had to concentrate so I wasn't up to my usual multi-tasking ability.

To make up for a rather mundane post (as opposed to my typical posts which are just BURSTING WITH EXCITEMENT) I will share you the latest favorite chicken (surprise!) recipe. It's yummy, not too hard, but also it can be kind of fancy and good for impressing dinner guests!

Stuffed Tomato Basil Chicken from Allrecipes

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 bottle garlic herb marinade
16 fresh basil leaves
1 large tomato, thinly sliced
4 slices provolone cheese
12 slices bacon
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Place chicken breasts on a cutting board. With a sharp knife, slice chicken breasts horizontally, without slicing them completely in half. Open the chicken breasts like a book. Place chicken and marinade into a large resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C).
Place opened chicken breasts on a broiler pan. Place 4 basil leaves on the bottom half of each chicken breast. Top each with 2 or 3 tomato slices and 1 slice of cheese, and fold over top half of chicken (if necessary, fasten with toothpicks). Wrap 3 slices bacon around each chicken breast.
Cook in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Turn chicken, and cook 15 minutes more. Remove from oven, and sprinkle chicken with Parmesan. Return to oven, and cook until cheese is melted, about 2 to 3 minutes.

Ok, the first time I made this chicken I used the bacon and it was delicious. BUT, I don't feel that it' necessary and since then I haven't added the bacon and haven't missed it at all. Just a simple way to make it a bit healthier. Or just use turkey bacon.

The great thing about this recipe is it's versatility. I've made it using mozarella, provolone (per the recipe) and this time around I'm trying feta. Many many options and combinations and the garlic herb marinade (I used a store brand) added good flavor but wasn't overpowering.

Well I'm all warmed up, thanks in part to the heated corn bag at my feet. Now I need to go pick out a bathroom vanity combination so in two weeks we might almost have our bathroom back to normal. I promise pictures eventually!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

What I did with my day

Since you all know the kids were away Saturday and Saturday night I figured you would be interested in what I did with 24 (and a few) hours without my girls. Surprisingly, or probably not so surprisingly,

I grabbed a Chai Tea Latte from Starbucks (I like my Stash version better- their's was waaaay too sweet) and headed to the mall to check out the Disney Store. Last year I was able to get some amazing deals because I just happened to be there on a weekend when they had some amazing sales (hence the amazing deals) and figured it wouldn't hurt to stop in occasionally to see if I could do it again this year. Their Halloween costumes were 50% off so I got Ella a beautiful Bell dress up costume with shoes for her birthday - so great to have that out of the way a month in advance. Of course after I left I realized I could have stocked up on birthday gifts with some items that were marked way down.

After the mall it was on to the church where I had consigned bins and bins of clothing for Kids' Sale. I was hopeful that I would make some money that I could put towards Christmas gifts and clear out a ton of space in the attic. I felt like I priced stuff really reasonable and even on the low side, but there was so much inventory overall that it seemed like it would have been hard to pick through the piles. So I brought a lot of stuff home and left some stuff there to donate.

It was a dreary rainy day so I was seriously tempted to veg on the couch, but I decided to organize the closet/wardrobe units that Matt had installed for me in our room. To make it more fun I watched episodes of Ugly Betty while I purged piles of underwear and socks. I know none of this sounds exciting, but it definitely needed to get done and would not have happened it the girls were around. It is physically impossible for them to see piles of clothing, be it socks, underwear, bridesmaid dresses and especially shoes, without wearing it in weird combinations and then discarding it all over the house.

While I was busy with my stuff, Matt was busy doing this

This is where I was going to put a picture of our bathroom that he spent all Saturday demolishing. But part of the demolishing involved cutting the electricity in the room so when I went to take a picture tonight I realized that it was kind of pointless, even with a flash.

He hooked the sink back up to the plumbing because I complained that it wasn't sanitary to not be able to wash our hands after going to the bathroom (yes, I know we could have used the tub...but, really, who wants to do that!?). The mirror and all our toiletries are stored in Ella's room. She knows about the mirror - kind of hard to miss, but she doesn't know about the toiletries, three drawers full of creams and soaps and shampoos, and, because the mirror is in their so is all my makeup. I'm in trouble when she figures it out.

The bathroom project is something I'm really excited about because it's going to give us more space and a double sink vanity. Also, I am hoping and praying that everything works out for us to get radiant floor heating. Swoon! No cool feet during middle of the night bathroom trips or in in the early morning before the heat kicks on. This could be just the thing to make me a morning person!

After I was done with the closet I worked on a modge podge project for the girls' rooms. I always admire other people's creativity and feel like I've somewhat stifled mine and convinced myself that I can't do anything crafty or creative. Someone in my mom's group was encouraging me during a project we were doing (and yes, it involved modge podge t00, so that doesn't make me very creative) and I figured I had to start somewhere. Not sure if I like the results but I can always start over.

Then we headed out to dinner. We went Outback last night. Read that last sentence to the tune of the commercial - it fits perfectly! Enjoyed yummy food and good conversation. Drove home in a monsoon and worried that our newly demolished bathroom was flooded because the window was left wide open.

I know, not a very exciting day, but a good day. It felt good to accomplish some tasks and I love opening my wardrobe drawers and seeing my clothes nicely folded and my socks all matched up and shoes lined up. I'm glad Matt got started on the bathroom, even though I have no idea when it will be finished. When I ask for an estimation of completion he told me I watch too many home improvement shows where they finish these thing in two days. Hmmm....makes me think I'll be using a flashlight when I brush my teeth for awhile now.

We were thankful to have Rose, Renee's mom, watching the kids for the day and night. I think they wore her out and I know that Catherine was a little cranky, as she tends to be when she's out of her comfort zone. Catherine was so exhausted and grumpy after church and wanted to go to sleep in the car. We live two minutes from our church so I told her she couldn't go to sleep in the car, we were going home and she could be in her bed. To which she wailed "but Rose let's me sleep in the car!" Ella kept referring to her as Nana Rose or Grandma Rose and she was upset because she wanted to make her Halloween costume with Rose. Rose generously sewed a top and bottom in Dalmation print for Ella, but I guess Ella wanted in on the action. I think they loved their time away and I'm sure I'll be hearing stories about it all week. The thing that cracked me up the most, is when Renee's dad Joe told me that he was surprised when he started the bath for them and they both started ripping off their clothes. What can I say, they love their bathtime!

Well, I'm going to catch the end of the Phillies game and hope to have something to cheer about after that depressing Steeler's game. See ya later

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Fall Fest and more

This past Saturday was our Fall Fest gathering. We ended up having a beautiful sunny day to get ready and do the final preparations in the yard, set up tables and chairs, figure out where we wanted to put all the food, get the fire circles ready and argue with Matt over where he was going to put the giant goards that looked like boa constrictors (not even kidding). At one point he was using them as a centerpiece on the table (again, not kidding). All of this was in addition to the cooking and cleaning I was doing inside. Needless to say, the kids were a bit antsy all day and at one point Ella started crying because she wanted her friends to be here NOW. So I shipped them down to the basement to watch Ariel's Beginning's and all was well!

I made the roast beef that Crafty P recommended just to have something different and found that it tasted remarkably similar to the roast beef I made the year before, but I liked the Italian seasonings that added a slight kick (not spicy) to it, so it is definitely a keeper! I also made the corn chowder that I mentioned in my previous post. My Aunt Lynne left me a message the other day and told me that I should make the same thing and have it be a tradition - I think I'm going to run with that and make it easy on myself next year. In addition to that I also made a big pan of Mac-n-Cheese for the kids and a hot spinach artichoke dip. To go with the dip I sliced some pocketless pitas into wedges and lightly brushed them with olive oil, salted them and put them in the oven for about 10 minutes. They were so yummy - I only wish there was a way to keep them warmer longer - they are best fresh out of the oven! I have another bag left and I'm dreaming of what I can use them with. I may just eat them plain.

We had the grill going to cook brats and hotdogs, both of which were popular with both kids and adults. In addition we also had (provided by friends) a spicy pumpkin soup and a parmesan pancetta torte. Hungry yet?

Most people brought desserts and our dessert table was literally overflowing with baked goods. Pumpkin was the flavor of the night, we had pumpkin whoopie pies (Every time Matt ate one he remarked about the name and wondered if it meant he would be having a good night - again, not kidding.), pumpkin roll, pumpkin cupcakes, pumpkin bread and pumpkin cookies. Along with that were two apple crisps and the most delicious carmel apples and Snicker's surprise cookies. If you weren't hungry before, you have to be now!

It was a great night. Everyone ate and talked and mingled. The kids ran around non stop for 3 hours. It was cute to see how the guys matched up with each other and the girls did the same. Most of these kids didn't know each other too well and some of them were meeting for the first time but that didn't stop them from having a blast together. Of course I totally forgot about the bag of glow sticks that I had as well - it probably would have helped because it was so dark back by our swingset. Around 8:30 (people got there at 5) Ella started to meltdown. By 8:45 she was passed out in bed, which should tell how hard she had played because she is one who will stay up as late as we'll let her.

My favorite thing about Fall Fest is that we invite a ton of people from our various circles of friends and even though a lot of them don't know each other, everyone enjoys talking and hanging out for the evening. We missed having some of our good friends there, but had fun hanging out with some couples for the first time outside of more formal situations (church, mom's groups).

I know, you're waiting for the pictures. I'm sorry to say that I have none. I was so busy for the first hour or so, moving food down and directing people where to put their stuff that by the time I took a breath it was dark out. I can tell you that on the tables I put pumpkins with flowers in them, along with candles and little tiny tins with candy corn in it. Someone told me that the pumpkins were very Martha Stewart. I can't pretend that it was even close to something Martha would do. At the very least Martha would have washed the pumpkins so they were nice and shiny and not dirty BEFORE SHE PUT THEM ON A TABLE. Oh well, it was dark and no one seemed to notice.

So that was Fall Fest.

Other stuff going on this week;

I am tagging tagging tagging clothes to consign in a kid's sale this weekend. I am hoping to make some money to help with Christmas expenses this year. I have to tell you that I am having a hard time letting go of some of the clothing. There are certain outfits I can picture so clearly on both girls and I would rather pass them along to friend's than say good bye forever! Could all this reminiscing be the reason I went to bed the other night with the strongest desire to have another baby that I've had in years?

Ella has a playdate this Friday with a little boy from her class. First time she's gone to a boy's house from a playdate and I'm feeling a little nervous about it, even though I feel like I know the mom well enough since the kids were in class together last year. Ella told me that this boy is the nicest boy in class, even though Matt told me he was also the wildest. Ella doesn't usually like the wild boys (Pray that this stays true for all her life!! actually Matt may have been considered one of the wild boys at one point so perhaps I'll have to to amend that prayer at some time.) and she tells me that they play Prince and Princess on the playground. Should be interesting!

Finally, the girls are going away for a day and a night this weekend. Renee's mom is taking them Saturday morning and is going to entertain them with a day full of fun activities and then they'll sleep there and I'll see them in church on Sunday. I don't know what I'll do with myself for a whole day without kids. Matt will be busy demolitioning our bathroom, something I am glad not to be a part of. I know we'll go out to dinner that night, but any suggestions for the rest of the day?

Demolitioning our bathroom is one of a couple projects we have going on around here. I promise to put up pictures of the last project we were working on - it has proven to be a success and so far has made my life easier. The bathroom project coincides with getting rid of the closet in our room and passing my dresser along to Ella so we could have install a wall to wall warddrobe/closet combination. All my clothes have been piled on the ground for a few weeks now. I dig through a trash bag to find socks in the morning. I regularly see the girls wearing various items of clothing, usually lingerie, because how can they resist the big piles of dress up clothes!?

Ok, that's enough for now. I'm sure I've spilled way too much info and you need to take a break anyway!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Modern Irish ballad

My parents went to Ireland this past June and enjoyed a 10-day tour visiting the castles, cliffs, beautiful countryside and the cities. One of my mom's favorite parts was visiting the local pub where there was always someone up front singing Irish songs and the crowd would often join in and sing along. It was during this trip when she saw the statue of Molly Malone and heard the song, which is supposedly the unofficial anthem of Dublin. Here are the lyrics;
In Dublin's fair city, where the girls are so pretty
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone
As she wheeled her wheelbarrow through streets broad and narrow
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!
A-live a-live O! A-live a-live O!
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!
She was a fishmonger and sure it was no wonder
For so were her father and mother before
And they both wheeled their barrows through streets broad and narrow
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!
A-live a-live O! A-live a-live O!
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!
She died of a fever and no one could save her
And that was the end of sweet Molly Malone
Now her ghost wheels her barrow through streets broad and narrow
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!
A-live a-live O! A-live a-live O!
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!
A-live a-live O! A-live a-live
O!Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!
She bought a CD of an Irish woman who they heard performing and of course, Molly Malone was one of the songs on it. A few months later Ella visited my parents for a week and my mom gave her some gifts from Ireland and taught her some new Irish songs. Can ya guess which one Ella just fell in love with? Yup, the rather depressing one about a woman who dies in the end and haunts the streets of Dublin with her wheelbarrow. Ella wanted to have it sung to her a lot after first learning it (Matt was so baffled when he went to put her to bed one night and she was demanding him sing Molly Malone.) and now has the whole song memorized.
We haven't heard much about Molly Malone in the past few weeks. In fact tonight, I think Ella has moved on to the point that she has developed her own Irish ballad, which she performed tonight in the bath tub.

It goes like this (I promise I am not making this up - I wish I wrote it down right away so I would have it verbatim);
I had a friend Marina, I loved her and then she died
I had a friend Marina, I loved her and then she died
I had a friend Marina, I loved her and then she died....
No more Marina.
No more Marina,
No more Marina,
No more Marina...
She died of the fever.
There you have it, the unofficial ballad of the deMontaigne household. I am just thankful that she didn't put cockles and mussles alive, alive-O, in there! And no, she does not have any friends named Marina - thank goodness!

Monday, October 13, 2008

I want to be a part of it.....New York....

This weekend our friends Shannon and Greg were gracious enough to host us at their home for a night and take us for our first trip as a family to New York City. It's something I've wanted to do with the girls for awhile now and this weekend was a great pick because we had gorgeous fall weather. Matt and I are not city people and while I think we could have done fine with just the four of us, it was so much more fun to be there with good friends who just happen to live close enough to be pretty familar with the city and how to navigate through it.

I looked through all the pictures and I realize we don't have any amazing NYC pictures - the ones that just shout out - "hey, look we're in NY". That's mainly because we didn't get the camera out while in Times Square or the mega Toys R Us (because a certain giraffe was there and we were too busy calming the girls). We had a great day - Ferry Ride, Bus ride, Subway ride - I think the kids were most excited by the various forms of transportation they got to try out. Ella actually starting through a fit when we got off the bus because there was so much traffic it was easier to walk. She was loving looking out the windows and checking out the sites. Most of the pictures are from the Central Park Zoo. I think I could have spent all day walking in Central Park -and people watching. After a long day and LOTS of walking we were all exhausted and the kids passed out during the car ride home. I think they had fun and were so interested in all the different off beat attractions that are so common in New York City. In fact, Ella told us her favorite part were seeing the Statue of Liberties. That's right, plural. At two different points we passed street mimes fully dressed as Lady Liberty and she found that fascinating -go figure! But we're scared of Geoffrey the Giraffe??

And now the pictures. There's a bunch so enjoy!

Ella and Jack on the Ferry ride from Weehawken

Catherine wasn't so sure about the boat ride at first, but she warmed up to it
Catherine, Ella and Jack enjoying the Sea Lions at the Zoo. For those of you who know Catherine, you'll realize what a breakthrough this is - for the last year she's been very scared of animals - her interest in the animals this weekend was so surprising.

Super cool Polar Bear. He would swim on his back right over to where we were standing and then use his feet to push off against the glass and go back.
Ok, here is a progression of pictures that I found entertaining. We want a picture of the four kids under the eagle. Cade wasn't having it and tried to escape.
Good grab Catherine- not gonna let him get away...

Ella's helping out. Meanwhile Jack is chillin with his water bottle...

The girls are working hard to get Cade in the picture. They think this is great. Jack, still chillin...
If you look closely, it seems like Catherine is scolding Cade. Jack's still waiting for us to take the picture. After the scolding Cade took off for good so this was as close as we got with all the kids together.

Ella in a turtle shell

Catherine on the stone bunny

On the ferry ride home, exhausted after a long day.

The real Statue of Liberty is over there in the distance...

The view from New Jersey. I love the NYC skyline at night. It made me want to take another boat across and join in the nightlife. Instead I was asleep by 10:30!
The reason for the title (besides the obvious) is that I kept singing the song "Start spreading the news... "for Ella since it's part of Madagascar which she loves and there were buses promoting the 2nd Madagascar all over so it was in my head. On Sunday she kept singing/saying "New York, I want to be part of it." over and over -in a totally different tune. I honestly had no idea what she was talking about when she asked me "why does he want to be part of it?"
It's too hard for me to put into words, but I know I liked being a part of it, if only for a day!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Fun Festive Fall Ideas

I'll give you a second to recover from the shock of seeing TWO POSTS in one day.

Moving along now...

I read your blogs and I know what creative people you are. Whether it's cooking, crafting, entertaining, you name it - I have a lot of talented bloggy (and non bloggy) friends out there. I need your help! For the past three years Matt and I have hosted an event called Fall Fest - it's basically a fun night to get together with a bunch of friends and basically tailgate in our backyard. We have tons of food, music, a fire pit to roast s'mores or cook hotdogs, hot cider and cold adult beverages (oooh - typing that I just imagined how yummy it would be to have some warm spiced wine/punch as well). Everyone is encouraged to bring their favorite fall dish to share and I usually make two or three things because the thought that there might not be enough real food makes me get all twitchy.

Last year I made a a big batch of a simple crock pot roast beef that we used for sandwiches as well as a big batch of my favorite
corn chowder. I did some other easy things like spiced cider and mac-n-cheese for the kids and I plan on doing those again this year. But for some reason it goes against my nature to just make the same stuff two years in a row. It would be easy and I might end up doing it, but I am looking for some good ideas from you guys. I like the idea of hearty things and I don't want to have two soups because that gets hard logistically (you can manage one soup bowl and a plate of other food, but two soup bowls and a plate? that's pushing it!). I love the corn chowder so much that there's a good chance I'll make it again. Unless you guys inspire me that much! Something on the grill is also an option so please don't feel limited to crock pot ideas. Put on your thinking caps and send me some suggestions. A full recipe isn't needed - if you sell it enough in the comments I'll hunt you down to get the details.

I also am going to make a hot spinach artichoke dip served with warmed pita slices. Mmmmmm...I might have to make a practice batch of that ahead of time!

Second way I need help. I want do some type of table decoration - something simple and not too time consuming. I like the idea of using mini pumpkins, but obviously there has to be more than just plopping a mini pumpkin down on a (round) table. I am not super crafty - I have a tendency to get set on an idea that ends up taking forever and I drive Matt crazy with it, because I can't stop once I've started. I know some of you are more crafty in this way than others (you know who you are -both ways!) - I want ideas from all levels of craftiness. The ambitious to the simple - or maybe something that looks ambitious but is really simple. I went
HERE and saw a few cute ideas. If you have a second, check them out and let me know what you think.

I'll give you the rest of the week to think and come up with some great recipes and ideas! And who knows I may never use them because there's always the chance it will rain and we'll have to postpone/cancel/move indoors - who knows!

Some I have to pass along...if you're in need of a laugh, check out Angie's blog to read the top ten winners of her funny kid story contest. I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes - probably because ALL of them hit waaaay to close to home. Angie's blog is a beautiful balance of laughter and sorrow and hopefully you'll be able to check out more than just the most recent post. Seriously - head back to January and start reading her story. Her honesty throughout her family's heartbreaking ordeal is so moving and your faith will be stretched and strengthened and challenged just by reading. If you're not in the mood for all that though, at least go check out today's post!


This morning I was laying in bed with Ella and Catherine, enjoying a few minutes of snuggle time before starting the day.

I told Ella to get up so she could start getting ready for her school field trip to the firehouse. Before she could, Catherine wrapped her arms around her and said "no, no I want to keep her."

I responded with "Catherine, Ella has to go to school."

She continued "I want to keep her!"

After once again telling Catherine that Ella had school today, Catherine responded with "We can just make a school at home!"

Hmmm....I think I've heard of that concept before. Not so sure I could swing it, but it was cute to here Catherine come up with it on her own!

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Catching up on the week!

Sorry that you've had to check in and see that lovely post about Snow White for over a week now. I've had a busy, but uneventful week. You know, the kind when you are constantly on the go and doing things, but nothing that makes you stop everything so you can sit down and blog about it.

Anyway, just for fun I'll give you a fun down of the week.

Matt's day off so we took the girls apple picking at a giant farm/orchard about 45 minutes from us. The whole way there Ella complained that this wasn't the closest apple orchard and she'd seen people picking apples along the road as we drove. Hmmm??? Sidenote - I used google maps for directions because I sometimes have issues with mapquest. Google maps actually directed us to drive five miles further on the blue route, turn around and drive north on the highway and get off at the correct exit. What on earth??? Thankfully I noticed it seconds before we passed the exit we needed to take.

As for the apple picking, it was fun, great weather, tasty apples and a wonderful store full of delicious jellies, jams, butters and baked goods. They had a cool park and a place called Pumpkin Land but there was a giant boy and girl figure stuffed with hay displayed there (when I say giant, they were 30 feet tall) and it scared Ella away. Go figure. After the apple picking we rushed home to take Ella to a dentist appointment and I was spared the trip because she requested her father accompany her.

That night my mom arrived to visit for a few days.

School for both the girls. Today was Catherine's special day so that meant I went in as the helper and brought snack (mini blueberry muffins and grapes). My mom came as well so she could see the girls' preschool. It was a fun morning, but wow, the teachers' have their hands full with this class. The boys are sweet and behave well (unlike Ella's 3yr old class last year) but they have 2 or 3 girls that are really difficult. One especially that wants to rule the classroom and never wants to wait for her turn (sometimes we physically had to pry her hands off things) and after 2 hours of struggling to be the boss she melted down in tears and screaming for mom. Lovely. Catherine was so cute and just held my hand and walked me around to the various play areas. Completely different than Ella who ran in and played on her own and would touch base with me occasionally.

That afternoon the Berenstain Bears came for a visit to the church where the preschool is, promoting the new faith based series that Mike Berenstain is doing. Ella refused to go, knowing the the "bears" would be there. My mom took Catherine, who was pretty excited about it. They only last 1/2 an hour - when the bears came out in costume Catherine started crying and they came home. Right away she told me, "they were so so big". I was proud of her for going and trying- hopefully one of these days we'll get over our fears.

That night was such a yummy dinner I have to share it. Homemade lasagna, salad and warm bread followed by homemade apple pie, ice cream and caramel sauce. Too good!

Once a month I help out a friend who watches kids whose moms are a part of a leadership team at a church were I do MOPS and Bible Study. I didn't want to go because my mom and I were all set to take Catherine (while Ella was at school) to Kohl's to use our discount coupons (I got 30%!!! Does anyone else get extremely excited when they get 30%? I always call Matt and he gets excited with me - we like Kohls.) Unfortunately my replacement fell through so I had to go and then rush to pick up Ella and we all went to Kohls. Shopping with both Ella and Catherine is....not fun. Ella doesn't have the patience for it and if I leave them in the double stroller/cart that Kohl's offers, her legs are long enough that she can push the cart all over while I'm not looking. Thankfully, no displays have been knocked over, but I have turned around from the picture frames or whatever I'm looking at to find them about 10 feet away and laughing hysterically. Because I had the girls with me I ended up throwing stuff in the bag to try on at home and now I have to go back and return a bunch of things - I still can use my 30% coupon so I'm not complaining!

Then we rushed home to get Ella to swim lessons. I decided to let Catherine skip hers so she could take a nap because she kept announcing "I'm sleepy. I want my bed!". Again, Ella told me she wanted me to stay home and daddy and Nama to come with her. Not gonna argue with her! My mom said that five minutes into the drive she said "I'm starting to miss mommy already!".

Picture day at school! And a brunch with the moms from Ella's class! I signed up to bring an egg casserole - of course!
To to a few complications that morning we got to school a little late so I walked the girls in and Catherine was a little weepy - which was unusual. The teacher took her right away to read a book and although she looked sad, she seemed alright.
I rushed home, brushed my hair, grabbed my casserole and headed to the brunch. Chatted with moms, had a nice time, left after an hour to rush home and work with my mom on the "project" that I have been referring to lately. She was leaving that afternoon so it was now or never! Then back to school to get the girls. When I arrived at Catherine's door they handed me the envelope with the picture money and gave me a sad look saying "she didn't do the pictures". Apparently she cried when the photographer came and I was able to figure out that it was because he was a man and another of Catherine's fears are boys/men that she doesn't know. I was bummed because she looked so cute and I would have loved to at least have her in a class picture. We faked the individual picture by holding a blanket behind her and having her say cheese.
The rest of the day was work work work on the "project". By the end of the day I was exhausted, but I had gotten control of the complete chaos I had created and things were looking good. I laid on the couch and barely moved the rest of the night!

In order to take some pressure off Matt's busy week I offered to go to Costco and buy all the food needed for our church's picnic this Sunday. Somehow I thought I could buy burgers, dogs, buns and condiments for approximately 200 people by myself (and the girls). Common sense took hold and I called a friend to help me. I don't think I could have managed my stir crazy children and two carts full of food without help!

Matt let me sleep in! Best husband in the world!!!! Today I am overwhelmed with all the things I would like to do and the day is passing me by quickly.

Of course I thought this would be a short post. I am not blessed with the gift of brevity and I realize I could have made each day it's individual post. Oh well! Thanks for sticking with me through me week!

At some point I hope to expand on and explain the project we've been working and even post some pictures! As of now I'm just happy to replace Snow White and have something new to look at.

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