Saturday, March 31, 2012


Last weekend we took our second sports trip of 2012 (the first being to Disneyworld in Jan.). I think this was like our sixth trip to Memphis for soccer/baseball. We didn't leave until after Brady's 6pm soccer game Friday night so we didn't arrive in Memphis until after 11:30pm. Our hotel was really nice and each room had a full-size refrigerator and stove, but the beds were tiny. Scott and Cate slept on the floor the first night and Ben the second night. Hotel rooms are never large-family friendly.

The tournament was a college showcase (how can our boys be that old??) and Carter's team played some very tough competition in each game. One team was the #2 ranked team in Mississippi and one was an Olympic Developmental team from Kentucky...but we held our own and the boys played awesome. Carter scored a great goal during the second game and received a yellow card for an illegal tackle. What a badass. Ha!

This picture makes me laugh. Can you tell which player has been trained in the picture taking department? Bottom row, first from left. Yes, Carter knows what to do when I have a camera :)

Cate was in her own world during all three games. She must have been telling all kinds of stories because she was gesturing with her arms and swaying those hips...I love her imagination!

Presenting Coach Paz with a plaque in honor of his father who passed away a few weeks ago. They had a brick engraved at the entrance to the GC sports complex.
Pool time!Carter's Saturday games were early which meant we had plenty of time to hit Beale Street Saturday night. We ate at Blues City Cafe and we all gave it a 5-star rating. Delish!Carter and the Deyong boys :)
Brady loved watching "the flippers" on Beale Street. I could just see the wheels turning in his head 'all they have to do is flip down the street and people fill their buckets full of money'. It was no surprise that he spent Sunday night perfecting his back flips on our trampoline! Guess he's already over being an ice skating Prince!
The weather was absolutely perfect the entire weekend. Cate finally found herself some shade :)We left as soon as the game was over and decided to stop at the Commissary for lunch. It was an excellent little bbq place in Germantown...cute little town where the churches look like real churches. I loved the small-town feel and the tree lined streets. Once our bellies were filled, we hit the road for home. All four kids slept the entire way from Memphis to Arnold, MO...meaning we had four full hours of peace and quiet. I tried to doze off too while Scott was able to turn on a sports channel and listen to spring training games. Life is good :)
I'm so glad we were able to make the trip as a family...we originally decided I would take Carter and Cate and Scott would stay back to go to Ben's basketball game and Brady's baseball games on Sunday, but in the end we just figured our time would be better spent if all six of us could enjoy a weekend together and not rushing all over the place. It was a good choice because we really did have a lot of fun. Next in Kansas City. Or maybe Kentucky/Indiana. I can't remember. Somewhere...soon!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Science Fair Project

4th grade at Worthen = Science Fair. I sooo wanted to just switch up the pictures from Carter's 8th grade (A+) project, but Honest Ben just rolled his eyes at my suggestion. And it's not shocking that out of the 80 suggested topics, he chose the one that involved baseball.
(the excessive glue on this paper makes me cringe, but I had to remind myself it's not my project!)
Ten baseballs...

Record results......
Create board.....Bennett really enjoyed doing this project and he was excited to present his board in front of his class today. I think it turned out great!!!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Disney On Ice

On Thursday, I made a last minute decision to take Cate to Disney on Ice. She has been watching the promos on the Disney website for the last four weeks but had no idea it was in town. It was only in StL Thurs-Sunday and since we were going to Memphis for the weekend, I wasn't sure that we'd be back by the final 5pm show on Sunday. However, I really really really did not want to go Thursday. I was so tired, had a million things to do before we left Friday, and it was the only day in forever that we didn't have anything on the calendar. I mean, I REALLY did not want to go. But sometimes you gotta take one for the team. Bottom line is, there are few days when Cate is not dragged to a sports practice or game and she always goes without complaint, so putting everything on hold to give her a magical night would be well worth it :)
It was 5:00 before I decided we would go for it and the show was at 7:00, so I had to call the box office to make sure they still had tickets available. I asked Ben if he wanted to go- "thanks, but no thanks" and then I asked Brady- "Not really, but I think Cate will enjoy it more if I'm there". Exactly how I thought that was going to go. I then text Scott and told him we were heading to D. O. I....and because nothing I do shocks him anymore he answered me with a simple "have fun and take pictures". Are we a good team or what?! I sent Carter the same text and he answered "who is going to feed me?" Exactly how I thought that was going to go too :)
I was a little nervous about taking this on by myself. I'd never bought tickets at a box office before and the whole parking situation had me worried. We left at 5:30 and thankfully were some of the first ones there. I was able to get a parking spot in the garage...street level...directly in front of the exit....AND I backed in to my spot. I have never been so impressed with myself (except for the time I drove to the zoo the week after I got my license and parallel parked on my first try in the tightest spot ever. That moment will live with me forever!) I was really bummed that Brady didn't appreciate my mad parking! With a huge grin plastered to my face, we walked to the box office. I was willing to pay top dollar for the best available seats because what's the point of taking young kids to a show that they can't see?? The lady showed me the best available...dead center stage, twenty rows off ice. Yes, please! Ticket price? $13.50 each. Opening night special...holla!
Turns out the seats were handicap seats that didn't sell, so they released them to the very lucky few who made last minute decisions :)
Cate was in heaven. She squealed and giggled throughout the entire two hour show. And as with everything Disney, it was a great performance! This D.O.I was the story of Tiana, Cinderella, and Rapunzel, although all of the princesses were in it along with some Disney characters. Cate knew all of the story lines and followed along great and even shouted out what would happen next "the Fairy Godmother is coming!" "it's almost midnight!" "don't kiss the frog!". Brady really loved it too and is thinking of becoming a skating Prince rather than a paramedic when he's grown up.
We ran into some friends and the usher let them sit with us...Brady thought it was cool to sit with Mikey and Dylan! Because of my rockstar parking, it only took us 14 minutes to get from the exit door to our driveway. And y'all know I don't break any speed limits. I just hit all the green light and traffic free lanes. When we arrived home, I told Scott the night was so perfect that I'm pretty sure the world was going to end! When all was said and done, I was double exhausted, had twice as much to do in half the amount of time but was so happy that I decided to go for it....I know it's a night we won't soon forget. Making memories people, that's what it's all about!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Highschool Baseball

I think I mentioned before that Carter decided to try out for the highschool baseball team the day of try-outs. He went back and forth over the decision all winter. He hasn't played ball in over two years and I think he was worried about not being able to keep up with the kids who have been playing select forever...not to mention the fact that he's literally the smallest kid in school. In the end, he was more worried about letting Scott down, so he decided to give it a go. He made the team and has loved every minute of it! I'm so grateful for this, because I really thought he'd get on the team and then not really want to play and complain about practice six days a week, etc. But, I should have known better. Carter is so social and loves to be part of a team and he probably thinks it's a lot better to hang out with friends after school than with his crazy mom :) He really enjoys the guys on his team and he loves his coaches...Coach Harris and his ridiculous jokes/sayings leaves Carter laughing long after practice has finished.
They've only had two practice games so far. One vs. the JV team (which Scott coaches) and the other was a 100 inning fundraiser. Coaches pitched that game and each player came up to bat with two strikes already so they really only got one swing of the bat (to keep the game moving). Carter did really great...he had a few hits and did really well at 2nd base. Well, he did great until varsity Coach Moad started throwing him nasty curve balls because I'm beating him in the NCAA basketball bracket...and saying things to embarrass him like "Caaarrtteerrr, say hi to mommy. Wave to mommy so she can take your picture". Carter did not find this funny...the downside to having a dad that coaches. Ha! And FYI, Moad and I are currently tied for first in the basketball pool...WOOHOO!

It was fun to watch Scott (aka Uni.bomber look-a-like with the hoodie/sunglasses) coach first while Carter was playing. Just like Little League...the good ole' days!

Highschool baseball season is also Bennett and Brady's favorite time of year. They love going to the practices and games and hanging out on the bench with the team. On days when they do not have their own practices, I drop them off at the highschool field and they stay with Scott during practice. They absolutely love this. The boys on the team are so good to them and include them in everything they do.

HOWEVER, the teams are filled with highschool boys and we all know how they are. So, not only are Bennett and Brady improving their baseball skills, they're also improving their vocabulary. Ahem. Not so good. The other night, Bennett mentioned to me and Scott that someone was a "douchebag" and Brady told me to "suck this" last night. Both were mortified when they realized what they were saying was completely inappropriate and I think Scott will be having a little talk about dugout language. Boys are so much fun, right?!

As fun as baseball season is for the boys, it's rather long for Cate. Games with no time limits=having to come up with ways to entertain yourself. Cate has always been really good at this and I help as much as I can by packing her a bag filled with goodies and toys and we sometimes take her scooter so she can ride around. She's usually on the hunt for dirt to dig in or something to climb...and her imagination is always buzzing. I love to watch her tell stories and play make-believe when she thinks no one is watching :)


Monday, March 19, 2012

"Good Fwiends"

Cate and Hadley are becoming such good friends! Now that "Haddie" is super mobile, they are able to play together a lot more...and they both love to be outside! Last week, she took five steps across my living room..she's getting so close to walking :)

Because I babysit Hadley five days a week, 8.5 hours a day, we run a lot of errands together. Obviously, Hadley looks nothing like my kids...and people comment on this ALL the time. A bus driver at Cate's school once honked and flagged me down and asked me "What is wrong with that baby? She doesn't look anything like your blond kids". How rude! Another time a check-out lady at Schnucks said "Wait a minute! I saw this baby with another woman over the weekend". Um, yeah, that was her mother. Most of the time I just ignore the comments, but I do find it funny when Cate gets frustrated and answers "She's not my sister, she's just my good fwiend"!!!!!!!!!

This next statement is 100% true and my friend Candi can attest to the 7 months I have been watching Hadley (remember..5 days a week), she has NEVER worn the same outfit twice. N.E.V.E.R. Crazy, I know!
So much fun to have little girls to hang out with all day!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Why Do I Even Bother?

Two recent conversations that left me feeling a bit defeated.....

Yesterday while Hadley was napping, Cate and I sat on the floor of her room and played with her Cinderella castle. All of a sudden she jumped up, grabbed a glass of water off her nightstand, and slowly poured it onto the ground. Seriously.

Cate: "When I do that, it sounds like a waterfall and I love the sound waterfalls make"
Me: shocked silence followed by a surprisingly calm come-to-Jesus talk. I won't bore you with my lecture, but thankfully Hadley was sleeping or else it would have been loud enough for the entire neighborhood to hear
Cate: "well....."
Me: "Cate, I am very disappointed with the decisions you've been making these last few days. You need to be a better listener"
Cate: "Buuuutttt Mommy, I am a very good listener. I listen to every word you say all of the time. I just don't do what you tell me to do because it doesn't make me happy and I only want to do things that (emphasizing each word by tapping her hand to her chest) MAKE.ME.HAPPY. Waterfalls make me happy. Doesn't that make sense to you?"*

*Her new favorite phrase is "make sense". "Does this make sense?" "Bennett, you're not making any sense". It was humorous the first few times, but now she's using it more like she thinks we're too stupid to understand something and she's trying to explain it in the simplest way possible. Totally annoying.

I have a feeling that Cate's 4's are going to be more challenging than her 2's and 3's combined. Lord help us.

Words that Cate lives by :)
Last night, after a very long day, Brady added another page to my "Why Do I Even Bother" parenting journal with this conversation....

Brady: "Mom, when do you think the world is going to end?"
Me: Crap. It's 9:00 and I just want to finish this 1.6 mile drive home in silence (which we all know is not possible with Brady)
Brady: "I mean, I just don't want anybody in our family to die. It makes me sad to think about"
Me: trying to summons up the last bit of energy I have to pull some words together that will both ease his mind and maybe inspire him. It went something like this... "Brady, everybody dies. I know it's sad, but it's just the way it is. That's why it is important that we spend all of the time we can with our family and friends to make memories that will continue to make us happy long after they're gone. Each day you should work to be the very best person you can be and live the best life possible because it will bring you happiness even when sad things happen."

I literally drove off the road because I was laughing so hard. So much for my inspiring words to live by. I was probably better off just telling him "death sucks and shit happens."

Just a bunch of crap if you ask Brady :)

Long after the kids had gone to bed last night, Scott and I had a good laugh over both conversations and then we devised a plan to get the upper hand on Cate's behavior. Then we had another good laugh because we both realize that's probably never going to happen.....

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I am ALWAYS looking for ways to make things easier for myself and recently I've stumbled upon two different products that have changed my life in the two areas of parenting that I hate most...laundry and scheduling. Cue the angels singing

First up...TIDE PODS. Detergent, stain remover, and brightener all rolled up into one squishy little gel pack. Brilliant, I tell you. I just throw one in the bottom of the drum before each wash and I'm done. Holla! No more measuring messy liquids and buying three different products. And the best part is that they come in a cute little bowl dispenser thing with a pop-up lid and I can tell exactly how many more loads I can do before I have to buy more.

I realize I'm probably late to the game with this next product, but I was recently introduced to the Google calendar and it has definitely already changed my life in the three short days since I started using it. Our spring (and fall) schedules are a nightmare and for the last nine years I've stuck to a very "old school" way of figuring things out...a paper calendar. Lame, I know. Although it's a very efficient way to display our schedule, I was unable to access it from anywhere other than the kitchen which was a bit inconvenient, to say the least. Another soccer parent suggested Google Calendar and showed me how to get started....cue the angels singing. I still use our trusty calendar, but I then input the information into the Google calendar on my desktop and it syncs to my phone...and Scott's. So now, no matter where we are, we can check what's going on or update as needed. And we can subscribe our family members to the link and they can get the updates too....because you know the Smallie sporting events are a family affair!

From this.....

To this.......
To this.....
Love. It's especially nice that Scott can be up-to-date on our whereabouts since he's sort of out of the loop during baseball season. Oh, and if you think my calendar looks a bit bare, that's because I didn't bother writing in Carter or Scott's 6 baseball practices a week. And I was going to show this demonstration using my April calendar, but it's so depressing that I literally tear up when I look at it.....imagine TWICE as much stuff written

So there ya have endorsement of two products that are helping to keep me sane (as if that were possible). Now if I could just figure out a way to control the socks situation in our house, I'd be one very happy mom!