Wednesday, February 29, 2012

(Mostly) Wordless Wednesday: Model Minnie

Charlotte has not always cooperated for pictures. In fact, she has caused me quite a few headaches and rescheduling of photography appointments. Recently, though, she has seemingly come out of her photography phobia. But only for one pose and only with one other person. Er, mouse. Minnie. Her favorite pose: setting Minnie on the fireplace, sitting next to her, then pointing to the camera while squealing "picture, picture!" And from that, you get these:

Monday, February 27, 2012

Half Marathon. Full Princess.

Well guys, I'm back home. Sigh.

My reign as a princess has officially come to an end. I must, however reluctantly, relinquish my crown to my own personal little princesses. I gotta say, though, I now totally get why my girls are constantly dressing up in dresses and tiaras. Being a princess is a lot of fun! I know that statement has a bit of a "duh" factor, but, man, was it a blast to be play princess this weekend. Even being one out of 20,000 other princesses. In fact, that probably made it more fun. Who wants to be a solitary princess? Even Snow White and Sleeping Beauty made it out of the woods and back to their castles eventually.

Anyway, the whole princess weekend started with a flight down to Orlando on Friday afternoon for the 2012 Disney Princess Half Marathon. Five of us ladies booked the trip together. All moms. All runners. All prepared to be princesses. 

We decided to go all-out Disney and stay at one of the Disney resorts. Not the Grand Floridian or Polynesian or anything. We're not made of money! (At least that's what my husband keeps telling me.) But, it's a once in a lifetime trip, so, we might as well, right? 

It was one of the best decisions ever. We never had to worry about transportation. We just hopped on board one of the many shuttles available to take us everywhere we needed to go. For us moms, this worry-free travel was heaven. No buckling kids into car seats, dropped sippie cups rolling on the car floor, or last-minute wails of "I can't find my jacket/backpack/blankie, Mommy!" This was a moms weekend. A moms without kids weekend. We rode in high shuttle-bus style. And, we loved it.

We explored the Expo on Saturday morning. For you non-race runners, the Expo is where you pick up your race packet with bib, shirt and various other goodies before the race starts. At big races, they have vendors selling everything running. At the Princess Run Expo, they had tons of vendors selling everything running, everything princess, and everything running princess. It was amazing. And, dangerous for the wallet. I did find some adorable Minnie Mouse Princess ears for my girls, so it was a success.

After the expo, we headed over to Epcot to check out the park. I, in the smartest decision of my life, wore flip-flops to explore the park. Or, um, perhaps it wasn't so smart. I was so excited to be in Florida and actually feel heat on my feet, that I couldn't help myself. I should've tried harder to stop myself. My feet were already tired by Saturday night. And, seeing as how we had to wake up on 2:30 to catch the shuttle to the race Sunday morning, my feet did not get much rest time. Poor things. They definitely need a pedicure to recover. Sound good, Cory?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Battle of the Bean

I am harboring a secret. It's a secret that has brought me no small amount of shame in my family. In fact, I am sure my parents are mightily embarrassed by this secret. They probably don't want me to broadcast it to the interweb. But, you know what? I'm gonna do it. I'm no longer going to hide my face in disgrace. I will admit it to all of you and prepare for the ridicule.

Here it is ...

I don't drink coffee.

There. I said it. It's out there. I feel such relief!

Now, I know some of you might not consider this a humiliating secret, but the truth is, in my family, I am in the minority. Like the only one. I'm not talking about my Lafferty family. Luckily, I was smart enough to marry another non-coffee drinker. But, amongst my family of birth, yup, I'm a lone wolf.

I'm pretty sure, if they could, my parents would drink coffee before even getting out of bed in the morning. Or, even better, hook up an IV coffee drip. In fact, in the huge remodel of their kitchen, they made sure to  add a specific spot for the coffee bar. My little brother has been drinking coffee since before he could read. Albeit back then it was a little coffee with lots of milk, but he's since graduated to straight black.

Coffee was staple in my house growing up. Even after getting through high school coffee-free, I am sure my parents thought I would finally give in while pulling all-nighters in college. But, nope. I really could not tell you how I escaped unscathed and unaddicted. (Not saying I don't love caffeine, I just prefer it in the form of a Sonic Route 44 Coke Zero with Cherry. Mmmmm. Delicious.) But, to this day, I am not a coffee drinker.

So, when I heard about this new run called Battle of the Bean, I knew it would be one I would have to run in. The whole premise is that it is Cocoa Bean vs. Coffee Bean. I mean, I love a good hot chocolate (Who doesn't? It's chocolate and warm. Yum.), so I was all aboard. And, how perfect would it be to run in it against with with my dad and brother, two of the most prolific coffee drinkers I know? We'd see who the true winner would be. I'd no longer have to cower in shame at my non-coffee-drinking status.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cherries and chicken nuggets

So, I have this really amazing friend who is raising this really amazing daughter. For her 6th birthday, she decided instead of presents, she would ask everyone to donate money to for a local horse rescue organization. She raised over $200 for this organization. For her 6th birthday! In lieu of presents!

Here she is giving her raised money to the Healing Horses organization.

I know. Amazing, right?

Well, I was relaying this story to Cory a couple weeks ago. I told him that I thought it was incredible that she would give up presents to raise money for charity. I also told him that it made me feel like a schmuck. We need to get better at teaching the girls about charity, we're bad parents, we're raising selfish children, yadda, yadda, yadda.

At which point, Molly, who always seems to be able to hear private conversations Cory and I are having, yet cannot hear when I tell her for the 15th time to put her shoes on, asked what charity was.

Ok, I thought, great teachable moment. I'm going to be this awesome mom who explains charity in such a way that my 4-and-a-half-year-old child will be so inspired that she will dedicate her life to making the world a better place for those less fortunate. My explanation is going embolden and motive her so much that she will become the Mother Teresa of the preschool set.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Charlotte the Opinionated

Dear Charlotte,

Two years ago today, I held you in my arms for the first time. I had been so nervous before you were born. I was so afraid that I wouldn't be able to love another baby as much as my first. I was afraid that I would be so relieved to be done being pregnant that I wouldn't revel in the amazing-ness that is a new baby. I was silly. Of course I was silly, I was pregnant and hormonal. I needn't have worried. The second you arrived, I was instantly overfilled with massive amounts of love. Well, that and amazement. We had no idea you were going to be almost 9 and a half pounds. I was fully expecting you to weigh in around 7ish. Oh, also, I was very grateful that the doctor didn't drop you. Because he almost did. I watched you slip-slide in his hands as he told me that he hoped I hadn't bought too many newborn clothes. Ok, so, I was full of love, amazement and gratitude. Those are pretty good things to be filled with when your baby makes her arrival, right?

These past two years sure have been crazy. Before you entered our life, your daddy and I thought we were pretty amazing parents. I mean, Molly was a really good kid. She didn't cause us too much trouble at all. She wasn't highly opinionated. She didn't throw too many tantrums. She was fairly self-reliant from an early age. We thought it was our great parenting that created such an easy-going child. Oh my goodness, how naive we were! Because, Charlotte, then came you. And then we realized, it wasn't that we were great parents, it was just the luck of the draw.

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Wow. Throwing birthday parties for kids can take it out of ya. I am sitting on the couch, with leftover birthday cake and a beer, barely able to keep my eyes open (even though the KU-MU game is on!). But, you know what? It was all worth it, because toward the end of the party, Charlotte came up to me (entirely unprovoked) gave me a hug and said, "I love you, Mommy." What?!? Too cute. And, my heart melted.

Ok, so, now, for what you're really waiting for. Details from the main event. About a month ago, when I first started thinking about Charlotte's 2nd birthday party, I had a tough time deciding on a theme. She loves Elmo, but I just wasn't sure there was that much cute, girly Elmo stuff out there. Enter Pinterest. Dun, dun, dun ...

Holy Moly, that site is addicting. I love it because it gave me such amazing ideas for C's party. But, I hated it because it gave me way TOO many great ideas for Charlotte's party. And, I felt like I had to do them all. So, maybe the party was a bit too Elmo-ish. Maybe I took on a little bit too much. Even if Charlotte barely left mine or Cory's arms the whole day, I know she had a good time. Well, I'm pretty sure she did. Let's just go with Yes, she had a good time.

Ok, so the whole theme started with working with Elmo, but doing it in girly colors. Pink, yellow, orange and red. I saw the tissue poms on Pinterest, as well as the ribbon ball and the oreo pops. What did I tell you about that site?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A conversation with breakfast foods

There is this picture making the online rounds lately:

And, it's been bugging the crap out of me.

Among some circles (OK, I don't actually have "circles." But, let's go with my friends and family), I have a bit of a reputation for being a grammar nerd. Truth be told, though, I'm much more of a usage nerd. I can't diagram a sentence to save my life, but can probably tell you if you are using the right tenses and punctuation. However, usage nerd just doesn't have the same Je ne sais quoi. And, yes, I'm insinuating that being a grammar nerd is cool.

Anyway, I get calls, emails and texts from people who want to know the correct punctuation for papers, Christmas letters, their student's reports, etc. I try to help them out as best I can. But, I'm not going to tell you that I'm right 100 percent of the time. You know why? Because then obnoxious people get it in their minds to prove me wrong. So, if you want, go ahead, find my mistakes. I'm not going to tell you that everything I've ever written in this blog is grammatically accurate. I sometimes stretch grammatical accuracy for the sake of a story's flow. But, I will tell you, for the most part, I'm probably pretty right on. And, also, I no longer want you to be my friend if all you want to do is find my mistakes. So go away.