Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Best of 2013: #1-5

The best Big and Small moments of our year.
(In no particular order.)

1. Family Trip to Florida.
My most favorite moments: Searching for sand dollars with The Kid and Quincy, holding the alligators, eating swordfish during a sunset dinner and watching the cousins (and broders) love each other.

2. 2013 was The Year The Kid FINALLY Got It.  After many years of Coach's suffering, his son began to listen to his gentle advice and used what the good Lord gave him and actually tried at athletics.  And by golly... It worked!!

3. Sweetbreads and Warhol married.
The day will forever be known as the day it rained more inches than any where on the planet, ever in the history of ever... except during those 10 beautiful minutes they said their vows.
(It will also secretly be known as the day a few of us ladies began to re-think our fashion choices... Not Sweetbreads... she was beautiful.)

(Great picture)
4. I remembered why I liked Coach.  This year, our children became old enough to wipe their own butts and take care of basic hygiene needs... apparently both are accomplishments which helped two parents slowly climb out of Baby Zone and back into a place where we remembered we were our own people. (I'm not talking about dirty stuff, perverts...)
For example, having more opportunities to chat, laugh and remember why we like each other.  (So there you have it... I like my husband... hopefully this declaration doesn't jinx anything and 2014 is not the year Coach Jacked Up our Good Roll.)

5. Coco's hair grew, her freckles popped and she became Breath.taKing.

But she still screamed during the Annual Shelbyville picture... keeping up her tradition of being Coco difficult.

The Best of 2013: #6-10

The very best Big and Little Moments of our year.
(In no particular order...)
6. Coco's Sweet Shop Opens!
Providing it's namesake with many, many trips uptown for mint candies.

7. The Rock of Ages Dance event.
We know so many great people, who (for some reason) are always willing to help with our crazy ideas!

 Our Next Relay for Life Dance is "Friends in Low Places" on January 25th.

8. Engagements and Engagement Parties.
We celebrated (really celebrated) the upcoming wedding of Sweetbreads and Warhol earlier in 2013.

And the happy recent engagement of Flag Girl and Chili D (wedding coming soon!!).  I also captured the best Photo Bomb on top of a Photo Bomb. (Photo Bomb squared)

9. Tinkerbell flies..
My middle became a Big Girl version of her little girl body.  Practicing and perfecting her cheering, piano lessons, reading, Tball and general adorable awesomeness.

10. A Cubs Game Couple Style and The Cubs Game crowning Coach the Greatest Dad ever...

 In July, Coach and I spent a great Saturday night in Chicago.  Rooftop game with friends, great hotel stay and the perfect quiet Sunday morning walking the city and lunching on deep dish pizza.
 A few weeks later, Coach was offered 4 tickets to another game and within hours threw together an amazing evening for him and his kids.  He honestly refers to it as one of his best Dad nights ever.
** This is also one of the best pictures ever taken of our babies.  It so perfectly captures each personality.

A pretty great year!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Our Christmas.

It felt a little as if our Five Family was the most over-scheduled it has ever been, over the last five weeks.  As a result, around mid-night on December 23rd I declared "Enough.  I'm exhausted and stressed.  We have yet to just really relax and enjoy our children..."
We hunkered down and spent a few extra hours more than usual, just being in our home.
First a little Christmas Eve cookie decorating.

The girls were gifted (not by us!) a make-up set from one of our many Christmas parties.  Coco took it upon herself to model every shade of eye shadow... Looks like she needs another lesson on 'Less is More'.  Unless maybe she's nervous about being mistaken for a boy, like her mother.

Matching Christmas jammies.

 It was a Frozen Christmas from their parents.  Unfortunately, the Elsa dolls sold out before I got to the mall.. Maybe that's why people start shopping before December 17th.

 Coco's Santa present:  She asked for this Pony doll.. over and over and over and over... And over.

The Kid had an electronic Christmas. Booooooring.
And Tink receive her HUGE bag filled with ten pairs of jammies.  Have you ever seen a child so excited and in love with pajamas?
Though admittedly, ten pairs of pajamas costs WAY more than one may realize....

The best part of our Christmas morning:
we gathered around the tree and listened to Tink play Jingle Bells and We Wish You a Merry Christmas.  As a non-music player, it is amazing to see her tiny fingers dance over the keys.

I hope everyone in blog world felt as lucky as we did.

Monday, December 23, 2013


There is a great photographer who takes pictures at local sporting events.  People should always take advantage of his talents because it is such a gift to keep shots like these:
Some of you may have heard, Coach is taking a break from coaching.  He has been coaching as long as the girls have been alive. We decided it would be nice if Coach had the opportunity to simply be a fan.
All of that said, it hasn't stopped Coach from volunteering several hours on The Kid's team and many many hours working with the youth program.  And I fully support his contributions to that program because I believe he is the best example for great sportsmanship.
Honestly though, Coach misses the action in seriously competitive ball.  This weekend, Jake captured one of my new favorite pictures of our Coach.
You'll notice him, dressed in green, sitting alone just behind the team's bench.
I added the following caption:

"Hey guys!!  It's me... Coach!  Hey... I still really love basketball.. I really do.. I'll be back soon, my dumb wife and kids can't keep me down for good... Guys!!  Boys!! It's me.. up here!  Do you see me?? Guys, do you want me to jump in the huddle??  Do you need me to give a solid high-five or butt smack??  Maybe I could play for a couple minutes??  I have a pair of gym shorts hidden under my jeans!  Guys... can you hear me??  I'm up here.. It's me, Coach..."

I'm almost positive those are his thoughts verbatim, directly from inside his head.

Monday, December 16, 2013


Warhol sent a mass text message which simply read:

July 13th.

Can anyone guess what that meant?!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Three Reasons why we love Tink.

In just 24 hours, Tink proved three times, why this blog was originally written with her as the inspiration.
1.  Her School Christmas Pageant:
She was asked to wear plain black leggins and a plain green or red shirt.  To match the other elves in her grade.  We put on the required outfit but then, Tink says "You know... Elves like tall socks.. and you know, Elves like sparkle socks and probably sparkle shoes.. Elves would REALLY like that.. really" And then looked me square in the eye to emphasize her point.
So she wore sparkle leg warmers.
 (Do you like my garbage bag tree skirt??)

2. Yesterday, while practicing for the Church Christmas Pageant... Tink was front and center, with two of her other mini First Grade Friends.  Each child is standing sweetly in their spot.  On the large, Catholic alter... then, while calmly singing Silent Night as a group, Tink suddenly rocked out the Air Guitar: on her LEG.
Moments later, she head-banged during Joy to the World. (I mean.. that makes a little more sense than a Silent Night leg Air Guitar...)
The actual program during Mass on Saturday, may get reeeeal interesting. Gramma G- Maybe you'd better stay home.  Or at the very least, cross yourself a few extra times for your grand-daughter's soul.

3. Just hours after the air guitar... we gathered at the kitchen table to write letters to Santa.  Each child is allowed to ask Santa for one important (yet reasonable) gift.
Below, is Tink's actual letter.

Tink is asking Santa for One giant box, filled with 10 pairs of pajamas.  Tru Story.  You may also notice the (1.) in the upper right corner... she snuck that in at the last second, before the letters went into the envelope.  She wrote that, to make sure Santa read her letter before reading her sister's letter.
I honestly can not make Tink's stories up.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

An Elf Sex Change.

After two years of constant "Why can't we have a girl Elf??" complaints, we decided to give our boy Elf a lil Sex Change.  When I presented the idea to Coach, he barely reacted with surprise and simply responded "We're doing WHAT with the Elf??"
We're performing a Sex Change.
Because nothing actually changed on our Elf (I'm certainly not shelling out the cash to purchase a whole new Elf kit)... I decided what we needed was a back story.  First the girls woke up to a note on the kitchen table, which read:
Oh... Elves can't write or read good... funny little uneducated elves...
See, it makes sense the Elf looks the same, because they are brother and sister.  Get it?!  Next, I decided to name the Elf myself.  I thought both names should start with an F.  And because this house is Tinkerbell crazy, I choose 'FiFibell' as the new name.
I asked Coach: What do you think of FiFibell?  Is it too much or just right?

Coach: Doesn't matter to me... I'm still just gonna call it The Elf.

Coach is fun and festive.
Next, I set the scene.
I decided the little sister would want to arrive with more flair than her very boring big brother.  I dressed her in the new skirt, posed her sweetly, threw marshmallows every where and sprinkled glitter all over her.

I became nervous this was not convincing.  I worried this idea could blow up in my face and actually cause the girls to realize this whole elf thing is a scam.  I started questioning Coach "Is this enough?  Should she wear a Barbie tank top?  What else can we do??"

Coach pretty much ignored me.
Me: You're really not helping at all?  You could at least offer a suggestion or pretend to listen as I bounce ideas off you...

Coach: I don't know what to tell you!  I've never given a doll a sex change before!

Me: Me either!
Me: Well... I guess that's not true.  I once cut off all my Barbie's hair to try and turn her into a Ken doll.  It didn't really work.

Remembering that Ken mistake did nothing to help my anxiety.
It went perfectly!
We smiled and played dumb.  Pretending to be just as excited and surprised as the girls.  (well... Coach at least raised his eyebrows a couple times..) I'm not sure why I worried.  We live in a fairly liberal and LGBT sympathetic home.  Our children are cool with change.  No biggie.
I figure, I'll place FiFibell in a few overly girlie situations over the next couple nights.  And then ease into ignoring her, just as much as her big brother.
Holiday cheer and all that...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Inside the Parent with an Elf

It's been too long since I posted.
Maybe we've been insanely busy.
Maybe I've been waiting to see if any body else would wish The Kid a Happy Birthday... (only 4 comments?)
Maybe we go to basketball games every night and hosted Thanksgiving and etc.
The show must go on.

The Elf on the Bleepin Shelf:
We purchased our elf years ago.  We were one of the first families to jump on this trend.  Our Elf is a boy and The (young) Kid named him Flash (because he's so fast yada yada...) Way back when this trend began, The Elf was meant to be a Mall Santa within your own home.  Watching daily to see if your child has been naughty or nice.
Now Elves are causing mischief and decorating rooms, gathering other toys.. How does the Elf have time for this?? Isn't he flying to and from the North Pole? Our Elf can barely remember to jump from one shelf to another only feet away.
I was browsing The Net the other evening and showed this idea to Coach:
He looked and immediately started shaking his head: No. Nope. I don't like that.  That makes my belly hurt.
Me (laughing): What do you mean?!
Coach: I don't know... it just makes my belly feel funny.  The floating goldfish.. it's not right.  I don't like it.
Me (really laughing now): Why?  You know, no one is going to make you eat those floating fish?!
Coach (not laughing, he's totally serious): No.  I don't know that.  That water is too blue.  The fish look weird.  We're not doing that.
After The Kid learned 'The Truth' we (gladly) gifted him two important holiday season jobs.  1. He is the Elf Checker.  He checks each morning to see if we have forgotten to move the Elf, if we have forgotten (which happens often) he gets to move it.  2. The Kid is the Santa cookie eater, milk drinker. Thankfully, because I am NOT eating one more cookie that a grimy little girl has touched.
Any way... where is this rant headed??
Well.... tonight, our Elf is undergoing a Sex Change. Tru Story.
The girls have been bummed for years that they have a Boy Elf when everyone in their whole world has a girl.  This weekend, while in Target, I spontaneously purchased Elf skirts.  And declared to Coach, We're giving our Elf a sex change.
As you can imagine, his reaction was priceless.
Turn in tomorrow, to read the entire process.