Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas fun!!

Our Christmas started in the best possible way... SNOW on the last day of school before vacation!! We got out of school early and had time for a play date with S's sweet friend A-M before the snow got too deep...

The girls were thrilled beyond words with the 7 inches we got! That's a lot around here!!

We also enjoyed a Snow Fun birthday party that weekend for R's buddy D...

We spent our first few days of vacation visiting with great old and new friends on the 23rd and getting our house ready for company... B's entire family was here for lunch on Christmas Eve (16 people!!) and we still had major work to do to get everything put away from the remodeling projects. Lunch was successful and it was great to have the whole family together!! This was the first Christmas in many years that EVERYONE was here and B said it was just like he remembered as a little boy- craziness and people everywhere!!
One of S's first gifts... not exactly her favorite of the day, but so cute!! I need to remember to do this sometimes myself...!!
R's pride and joy... her dollhouse from Nana!! This was a gift of sanity for Mommy and also a gift of peace & quiet for S... S has had her own similar dollhouse for a couple of years and we often have major drama over R rearranging S's Barbies. Now (hopefully) there will be no more arguing!!!
Christmas Eve ended with tracking Santa on the NORAD site and sprinkling reindeer food in the snow!! Our first white Christmas!!!
Christmas morning brought gifts from Santa and Mommy & Daddy... the favorites were a Nintendo DS for S and a Leapster for R. We headed to my Grandma & Grandpa's for breakfast and more presents, then home for a rest before dinnner at my parents (Grammy & Bumpy).
Here's R opening her 5th Eiffel Tower related gift of the holiday... she's obsessed with the Eiffel Tower!!! I love her style!!
S was so excited about her PINK razor scooter!! Such a girlie girl- love that, too!!!
Both girls got an American Girl doll from Grammy & Bumpy... Kit for S and her bff Ruthie for R. They were thrilled!!
At the end of the day, the girls wanted to sing happy birthday to Jesus. I was proud that they were able to remember the real reason for the season! We also got to visit with our NYC friends who dropped by after the girls were in bed- so great to see them again!!
We hope you had a holly jolly Christmas!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

ebay Alert!

I am getting myself motivated and trying to start listing some outgrown little girl clothes on ebay. Most are 3T or close to it. Check us out- the seller id name is benmere415. Happy week before Christmas!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

SO excited about this...

... We have a new bathroom!!! We have been in the process of having our master bath remodeled since about Halloween, so I am beyond excited to have it DONE, finally!! The previous owners of our house did a pretty crappy job of putting in a teeny corner shower, peel n stick floor "tile", brass lights and fixtures, etc... There was water damage behind the shower wall and in the floor, so it all had to be taken out and started over from scratch!

Here's a Before shot...

And another... with the shower doors already removed and a bunch of B's work stuff inside...

And here's a picture of the lovely During process... nothing but studs and plywood...

With one wall and a Hollywood light fixture left behind...

During all the work, B and I moved into the girls' bathroom. It was a little tight with 4 people and all our stuff!

We also moved out of our bedroom during Thanksgiving in order to take up the carpet and have hardwoods put down. Here are B and his bff E working hard on the floor...

The bedroom with new floors, but still without furniture...

We had to put our bed mattress on top of the sleeper sofa mattress in the living room and have been sleeping there for 3 weeks! Our bedroom furniture is scattered throughout the living room and office/computer room...

Imagine how cozy we all were in our living/bed room over Thanksgiving when some old friends who now live in NYC dropped by to catch up!! Where to sit??

I have had a really hard time with the displacement of all this. We couldn't get to our Christmas stuff to decorate because of all the furniture and everything else scattered everywhere. We finally now have our tree up and the house somewhat decorated, but I am still not in the Christmas spirit like I usually am when my house is a wreck and only halfway decorated!!

Here is what the bathroom looked like about a week ago...

Ready to see the After photos???

TA DA...

LOVE my giraffe towels- thank you, TJMaxx!!! Still need to go back for some accessories...
This picture does not do the shower justice- it is huge!! We have 2 shower sprayers in there so you are never cold!! The shower door is ordered and should be here the 21st. We also have ordered a new bed that should be here by Tuesday. Hopefully by Christmas we will be back to normal!!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Yes, I am...

Still here and breathing and all of that. I have just been taking a little bloggy break. I still come and lurk around reading what people are up to and comment here and there occasionally, but just haven't felt the NEED to post. Since the last post, we have driven from NC to Kansas and back, survived a 3 day mountain trip with S's first grade, wrote a grant, did placements and paperwork for 60 K-2nd graders in my program, and opened the pool (part of the way). I have also gained about 8 pounds and when you are 5'4" that is A LOT. I should be getting on the elliptical right now so off I go! Maybe I will put some trip pictures on soon, but I doubt there is anyone actually reading this anyway!!!!! Hope the pollen doesn't get you!

Sunday, March 15, 2009


This is what I learned today:

My 3 year old can tell time on a REAL clock (learned this while helping the oldest with her math homework).

My 6 year old understands what w-i-n-e spells- BUSTED!

It is pointless to wash the insides of the Crocs with the fur. They come out just as gray and mulch-covered as when they went in.

The dirty Croc insides are worth it when your daughters sing this song: She had the baggy purple pants, Crocs with the fur, the whole playground was lookin at her... nice little ladies, huh?

What did you learn this weekend?

Friday, March 6, 2009

I love...

Saw this on one of your blogs...

List 7 things I love:

1. sleeping

2. eating (if I didn't cook)

3. dvr'd tv shows that I can fast forward through the commercials

4. compliments about my children

5. sweet hugs and kisses from the girls

6. hearing the garage door opening when B gets home from work

7. finding the perfect shopping item

There are way too many more that I could list.
Now I tag:



and any other 5 of you who are actually reading (if there are really that many???).
Happy Friday!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Hello snow

This is what has happened in our yard in the last 36 minutes. I'm thinking we will not be celebrating Dr. Suess's birthday at school tomorrow. Works for me!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Wishful Thinking

Right now it is 40 degrees outside, windy, and raining. We are under a winter storm watch for 4 inches of snow tomorrow.

Right now my girls are running around the house in their bathing suits. They are playing "pool"- jumping into a pretend swimming pool, blowing the pretend lifeguard's whistle, and buying pretend popsicles.

Do you think they are ready for spring?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

A little bit fabulous

Tonight before bedtime, the girls and I settled in on the couch for a little star gazing. At the Oscars, that is. Yes, I exposed my innocent little darlings to Hollywood's finest and they loved it. They really just wanted to see Zac Effron and Vanessa Hudgens. I enjoyed their well-timed fashion comments... Why is her dress so big? (Anne Hathaway). Mommy, look at all those bracelets!! (Heidi Klum). After they were tucked in, I watched the end of the red carpet and a little bit of the awards. However, as soon as SJP came on stage to present, I had an over whelming urge to watch Sex and the City. I really miss the 11pm nightly episodes on TBS. So I popped the dvd in, poured some merlot, and here I sit enjoying the fabulosity. How weird would it be to move the family to NYC for a year or so??? Just kidding, I think...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day...from a teacher's perspective

If you ask around at any school, you will find some teachers who HATE holidays and special days, and then you will find those like myself who LOVE them. The haters have a hard time dealing with their schedule being uprooted, their students being hyper, and their classroom being cluttered. They must be those type-A personalities. Those who are like me, a spontaneous type who enjoys diversion from the ordinary, enjoy the holidays/special days for the simple joy of getting to experience these days like a kid again. I LOVE the cupcakes, Valentine cards, and shows of "love" between classmates. When you force every kid to bring a Valentine for every kid in the class, you actually end up with them being nice to each other, even if it's just for a little while. How sweet!!! Now that I do not have my own classroom anymore, I get to go up the hall to S's class and help with their parties. I get to be THE room mom- how fun is that? And that's where I'm heading right now- to eat a cupcake with my girl! Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Busy little Bs

That's what we have been lately in the Tiaras house. We are working hard on our home overhaul every spare minute we get. We are slowly making decorating decisions for the family room (pillows and artwork purchased this week, curtains to come). Our back door entrance is complete. It (from garage to kitchen) has gone from this...

To this...
I am in LOVE with these hooks and cubbies!!! My wonderful hubby and his dad did this all by themselves. I also adore the new green walls.

A couple of weeks ago, R went to a birthday tea party for one of her best little friends. Keep in mind that they are 3, turning 4, so there was an ettiquette lesson, finger sandwiches, Cinderella story time, dress up, etc... R enjoyed herself!

S had her first real sleepover at our house that same weekend with her sweet friend, also S. These two get along famously and there was not a bit of the dreaded girl drama. A very easy night for mommy...

****For some reason, Blogger will not allow me to put spaces between the paragraphs, so I apologize for the rumbled up mess below...****

This past week was just like any other: Busy. I've been very addicted to Facebook lately, which explains the blogging break. We've all been uploading the most hilarious and incriminating old photos we can find- college, high school, middle school, and beyond. It is truly the best way to catch up and the best waste of time!
Monday was a regular day- I work at my *other* school and rely on a friend to bring S home. She is always WILD when I pick her up after playing with my friend's 2 daughters.
Tuesday, school was closed for a snow day. This sounds fantastic, except that our part of the county had no snow. Not even a flake! But, a day off is a day off and I enjoyed every minute.
Wednesday, we had a teacher meeting after school in my old classroom. It is now inhabited by Meg, who took my place in the 5th grade team. I dearly love her, and we are very much alike in our teaching style and tv show choices (Sex and the City) but we are as different in some ways as night and day. Take this for example... In my former classroom, which used to be totally organized, of course kid friendly, but also decorated all in lime green with splashes of pink, there is now a lizard and a corn snake! If you know me, you know I am a poster child for The Indoor Girl. No snakes were ever allowed into that room when it was mine! Part of our staff meeting was getting to take a look at Meg's room, and she showed us a video of her corn snake eating a live mouse. Gross!!! After the meeting, I hightailed it out of there and we made it just in time for S's gymnastics. S is still doing great in the gym and loving her coach, which makes me so glad that she has found her *thing*. She is best on the balance beam, of all things, and taught herself a round off the other day. Back handspring buildups are next!
Thursday is R's gymnastics day. She is taking lessons here in town at the local (ie: po-dunk) YMCA. Her teacher is one of the cheerleaders at the high school who also goes to our church- very sweet, but not much of a teacher. It is more like exercise for the 3 year olds, but R has perfected her consecutive forward rolls, and is working on cartwheels and backward rolls. She loves it, but it's just another place for me to be each week...
Friday I had the day off!!!!! I took S to a dr's appointment that morning (more on that in another post, but we are working on getting to the bottom of her attention issues). We ate lunch with one of my oldest and dearest friends (Kristen) and spent the afternoon shopping. It was a really great day, and so nice for me to be able to spend some quality time with S. She needs it!
Saturday we were pretty lazy in the a.m. I did about 10 loads of laundry and just picked up around the house. The girls spent Sat. night with my parents, so B & I had date night with some friends. We saw the movie Taken- it kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time- I would highly recommend it. If you watch 24, it was kind of like Jack Bauer Goes to Paris. Great film! Dinner followed, Japanese, which was of course delish! I had the fillet and shrimp, yum!
Today, we did make it to church, and then I took the girls to a cheerleading competition. One of my favorite former cheerleaders was competing with her all star gym. Her mom works with me at school and is one of my lunch buddies. The girls (well, S) were really in awe of the cheerleaders. R watched about the first 20 minutes and then spent the rest of the time climbing up and down the bleachers. S said it looked like fun and she would like to try it. I said, we'll see! All stars could be the answer to our yearly dance/gymnastics delimma, since it combines both aspects, but it is so time consuming, not to mention expensive. Tryouts are not until May, so we have time to ponder it...
Tonight, B (aka Project King) helped S with her 100th day project. She decided to make a giant goldfish out of 100 Goldfish crackers. Cute!
This week will be just as crazy as ever, though without the snow day. It was 69 degrees here today and I was loving it- bring on the spring!!!! Tomorrow night I have my teacher sorority meeting, which is always a great, fattening meal. Tuesday after school I am attending an information session with a nearby university that is offering a cohort for a Masters in Reading Specialist. I am seriously considering it, if only for the pay increase. Wed, S's gymnastics. Thurs, R's gymnastics. It never seems to end! As for now, I'll just continue to enjoy my little snack of Cold Stone cake batter ice cream and chardonnay~ nice combo, right?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

25 Random Things

I was tagged for this on Facebook, so thought I would post 25 random things about me here...

1. I plan to go to bed at 10 every night but really don't get there until 11. I am tired a lot!

2. I hit the snooze button at least 4 times every morning before getting up at 5:47.

3. I am always late and I know this is not a good thing. I *think* about being on time but it never happens. I *should* get up at 5:37.

4. I went to the grocery store earlier for baby wipes, wine, and ice cream. Important stuff.

5. I am still friends with the people I went to preschool with!

6. I have uncooperative hair.

7. I love reality tv. I do not like stressful tv shows like B watches (24, CSI, PrisonBreak). I prefer crap like Girls Next Door, Real Housewives, The Bachelor, etc.

8. I love to look at houses and house plans. I used to want to be an architect, but I am not artistic enough. I would like to be a real estate agent or senator (to fix education) when I grow up.

9. I am really good at getting children to behave, all except for my own!

10. I really like my car (Pacifica)!

11. I have a serious addiction to caffeine- coffee and Coke Zero are almost all I drink. I can drink it at bedtime and still sleep like a log.

12. I LOVE to travel, except for the packing. My favorite place in the world is Washington, DC.

13. My family eats at El Corona about once a week. The waiters know our first names, birthdays, and we get automatic drinks. My children ask for leche instead of milk and cucharra instead of a spoon.

14. I have bunjee jumped twice (at Myrtle Beach senior week) and have ridden in an airplane being flown by my husband.

15. My favorite restaurants are Harper's (at Friendly, not the car wash) and Carmine's.

16. I love little girls with big hair bows. I know this will not last forever so I'm enjoying it now.

17. I had tubes in my ears twice as a child and two c-sections as an adult. The first one was a scary emergency, the second was planned ahead and really easy.

18. I like the beach, but I do not like the sand, salt water, or sunscreen. I prefer pools.

19. I would love to live in a huge city just once, for a while. I would also like to live somewhere REALLY cold and snowy just once. I wouldn't mind living in Florida. Obviously, I am open-minded!

20. I have learned the importance of sunscreen- I had a freckle removed from my lip that was not cancerous, but could have been. Wear sunscreen, people!!!!!

21. I married my best friend.

22. Besides my husband, dad, and brother, my Grandpa is my hero. I married a man who is just like him.

23. I do not like to plan meals. I would rather eat out than make the decision, or clean up instead of cook.

24. I have a shopping problem. I am creating a mini-shop-aholic (R).

25. I do not like to call people on the phone, but I will talk to you all day if you call me!

Your turn.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Paint colors- please help!!!

I need suggestions... I'm trying to pick out a wall color for our family room. B and I cannot agree at this point- he wants brown, just brown. I want something with a little more color. We both want something that will "go" with our new light wood floors, dark white couches (yes, with little kids in the house), and espresso-ish dark brown tables and tv console. Right now the walls are a light taupe shade that is way too blah. There is a big window so the room gets pretty good light. Any suggestions???

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Funny little kids

In honor of yesterday's inauguration, I thought I should share this little story with you...

Last week, our music teacher was teaching a first grade class about different musical instruments. She held up some maracas and asked the students to tell her what they were called.

The little boy who raised his hand said it was a "Marack Obama".

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Scenes from a (sort of) snow day

We had a "dusting" - at least that's what the weather guys called it- of snow here in NC today, and of course school was called off. I was more than happy to stay home and clean up from the floor fiasco of the weekend (more on that later). I guess we'll be back to reality tomorrow...
On another note, I had not been terribly excited in the days leading up to today about watching the inauguration, just because I did not think I would be able to while teaching other teachers' classes. So the snow day also gave me a chance to sit down and watch a little history with my girls. B is a total republican and still a little bitter about McCain losing, so he was avoiding watching at all costs, but I think I (who should probably be registered as an independent) made a very valid point when I said to him, Today is a huge day no matter who you voted for- that doesn't really matter anymore. As they say in High School Musical, we're all in this together.

Monday, January 19, 2009


Right now I am doing a little snow dance- it's starting to fall a little but we only have a Winter Weather Advisory. That doesn't usually amount to much in NC! I could really use another day off- we put in hardwood floors this weekend and accomplished NOTHING but hardwood floors. I need a snow day!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Almost (a little bit) famous

I received a message the other day via Facebook from a girl who went to my same high school (a few years younger). She works at the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History and helped me plan our visit when I went to DC with the 5th grade back in November. The Smithsonian is getting ready to create new promotional materials for the museums (brocures, I guess?) and needs a teacher to be featured with a picture and quote. Guess who they asked to do it? I'm sure none of you will be reading any Smithsonian brocures any time soon, but someone will and there I'll be!

We are looking forward to a fun weekend in the Tiaras house. B's bff from Orlando is coming in tonight with his fabulous wife and their 2 year old boy. They are the ones we stay with every year when we take the girls to Disney and are some of our favorite people. They are honestly just so easy to be around and don't mind at all when my girls pretend to be little Nicolas's moms. I'm sure he will be dressed in poufy skirts, princess heels, and tiaras at some point this weekend. Jeff and B will be stripping up the carpet and putting down hardwoods in our family room while Jodi and I entertain the kids. Did I mention the temps are supposed to be in the low 30s all weekend? We'll be thinking of ways to entertain the kids INDOORS.

Happy (long) weekend!!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


This is a site I check almost daily, but today they are not my friend. The forecasted low for tomorrow morning here in North Carolina is projected to be 10. Yes, 10 degrees. And what will I be doing tomorrow morning while it's 10 degrees outside? Standing on a concrete sidewalk for 30 minutes opening car doors for children who are fully capable of opening their own doors. My 3 year old can do it if the child locks are off, but I will be ensuring the safety of 400 5 - 11 year olds in the frigid-ness tomorrow morning. And Friday? Not much better. The low is supposed to be 12. Want to switch jobs with me tomorrow?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Slumber party hangover

Who doesn't remember the major drama of sleepovers? S had a big night last night- she went to a birthday party for one of her best little friends. They had makeovers at Libby Lu, dinner at Longhorn, and spent the night at the birthday girl's house. I was a little worried about possible girl drama and here's why. There were only 5 girls total and S gets along great with all but 1 of them. The 1 that is a bit of a problem (I'll call her Drama Girl) plays with S all the time- her mom is also a teacher at our school so the 2 of them hang out in the afternoons while waiting to go home. They want to play together every day but end up not being able to get along. They have been in the same class for the last 2 years and are "friends" but they fuss and fight like crazy. All week this week S has been telling me that Drama Girl has been mean to her on the playground, saying "you can't play with me, I'm not your friend..."

My mom's advice to me about these things was always to Kill Them With Kindness, so I keep telling S to just make sure she is always the nicest person in the room. She usually has no problem getting along, so I know that Drama Girl is probably the source of most of the problems- it's mostly the "you're not my friend, are you my friend" crap- S is just not into that stuff yet. Last night was apparently no exception. Birthday girl's mom had to separate S and Drama Girl at bedtime b/c Drama Girl kept whining, complaining, and being difficult, while S and the others were doing great. They were up past midnight so I have a cranky girl who will be going to bed early. I just can't believe that it is starting this early- I know there was no drama like this in my life at age 6 1/2~ I think we were at least 9 or 10!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Hooked on Fridays: mindless TV

Before you read this, let me explain that I really am an intelligent person.

Now, let me explain what I am hooked on: mindless reality TV.

I'm not sure exactly why I so love the Real Housewives, the Girls Next Door, and the like. Maybe I would like to experience some of their private jets and huge bling? Maybe not. I really do like my life most of the time.

One of my new favorites this week is the Bachelor. Jason was my choice from last season on the Bachelorette and think it is ridiculous that they let DeAnna come back this season- she made her bed and now she should have to lay in it!!! Right now I would love for him to choose Melissa (loved her on Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team) or Stephanie (mature single mom). I also watched True Beauty, which came on after the Bachelor Monday night. This was mindless-ness at its finest. 10 people who think they are the most beautiful people on the planet all wanting to win a spot in People magazine's Most Beautiful issue. They are actually being judged on their inner beauty. Yeah, right.

I know I should expand my mind and watch more CSI or CNN. I do watch Grey's Anatomy, so maybe the medical terms could count as educational? I spend all day involved in education so when I have time to actually sit and watch something on TV I do not want to be stressed out while watching!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Here's what is going on this week:

~ I could NOT sleep Sunday night but the first day back yesterday was not bad. Just getting up and getting there on time was the biggest challenge.

~ S is sick today with a sore throat, so we are home today and going to the dr. in a little while for a strep test. Yuck. Just when I had trained my brain to the idea of working again...

~ R was very clingy last night. I think she missed me yesterday :)

~ B has been working super hard in our house. He has painted the kitchen and the girls' hallway, hung a new light over the kitchen table, and moved furniture in the bedroom. The contractor is coming this week to start working on our bed/bath transformation. NOT looking forward to the dust and mess.

~ It is raining and 40 degrees today. Why could it not be just 8 degrees lower? Snow days are so much more fun than sick days.

~ I am in love with my new Wii Fit. It really really works. I'm convinced that I will have killer abs by summer if I just keep at it...

More later!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


I've been putting off going back to work for as long as possible, but tomorrow is the day. I think the back to school after Christmas dread is why New Year's is my least favorite holiday. I prolonged my vacation an extra day by taking annual leave on Friday instead of going in for the teacher workday. I made extra sure that I was ready for this week when I left school before Christmas.

It really won't be that bad- Monday's are actually nice this year. I work at my "other" school and share a room with one of my good friends. The children are sweet and the classes go by fast. The hardest part will be the getting up at 5:30 am when I've been sleeping until 8:30 or 9 for the past 2 weeks (I've been blessed with late sleeping children). Oh, and I'll really miss my girls, too. I've been searching online for higher paying jobs for B so I can be a stay at home mom... anyone know someone who needs an experienced loan officer/bank manager??

Friday, January 2, 2009

Hooked on Fridays: Shark

I picked up this little idea from Julia at Hooked on Houses- Hooked on Fridays. Right now I am totally hooked on this Shark 2 in 1 Stick Vacuum. I got mine on Black Friday for $10 at Target, and picked one up for part of my mom's Christmas for $20. I promise that I really use it every day. My cleaning used to consist of DustBusting every day and vacuuming every week with the huge Rainbow (how I hate, hate, hate dumping that water). No more dying charges or nasty water with the Shark.

The other day we made chocolate dipped peanut butter crackers and let R decorate the tops with left over Christmas cookie sprinkles. The Shark picked up every one of the million or so sprinkles that ended up on my kitchen floor and I was pretty happy that I did not have to get down there with the broom and dust pan. If you have messy children or husbands, get yourself hooked on the Shark!!