letty's first race!

Letty has been asking to join me on a 5k for awhile now... I never agreed to it because I didn't know how she would do or if she would complain the entire time? I like my races whine-free. One day she came home from school with a sign up for a Run for Fitness, where the kindergartners from across the district would run a quarter of a mile (the bigger kids run longer distances). I instantly signed her up. This was perfect! Free and short and with her little friends. A great toe dip into the great wide world of running! 

The day before the race a few moms from the neighborhood and I (never thought I would type that, literally never) took them to the track to do a practice lap and wow.... Letty is speeeeedy. Maybe she has inherited her father's affinity to track and field? Who knows.

So the day of brought rain. Not a drenching rain, thankfully. The boys, Matt, my dad, Lena and my sister all stood at the foot of the bleachers to cheer her on. The kindergarten girls went first. We saw a girl gain the lead before the first bend in the track and we were like... is that Letty? Nah... Can't be Letty. Is it? By the time she was on the second bend I was pretty sure she was making the older Cross Country student run faster than she intended and we were pretty certain that that was in fact Letty. She WON! So stinking proud of that girl it's borderline silly. She couldn't stop smiling and showing off her first place ribbon.
I know that this is such a little thing in the scheme of very big things in life, but we are parents and so we are supposed to beam with pride, small or no. I'm just so glad that she tried her very best and on top of that had fun. To win is just icing on the cake.

And now we get to go to the county championship race this very weekend where she will run against the top five kindergarten girls from each district. Lace up, little one. 


also file under why do i even bother

My kids have been working through some stuff lately. I give Letty a bad rap but she's pretty much the best of the three minus her attitude, which is a constant battle. Then there is David who is still somehow controlling meal time even after all this time of "don't eat if you aren't hungry but we aren't making you anything special so go ahead and starve" schtick that we have been enforcing since the middle of August. Most mealtimes are ruined for us all because of him. Finally there is Dominic. A boy with a man-sized temper and no words to help his case. So he takes to screaming. A lot. With a short and unreliable fuse. Plus aggressiveness. Also add into the equation that Dom and David fight over every toy. Every time. No matter what.

So why do I continue to go out? Take them anywhere? Do nice things with them? Every now and again they have slivers of good moments and I think oh maybe today will be a good day! Maybe if I ask them nicely enough to help me out the bigger two will be good as gold while I deal with Dom? Maybe that day is today?

But this day, last weekend, was not that day.

We have hit up this local greenhouses's Fall Fest every year now for as long as I have known about it and I normally love it! This year though I took the kids to a different location and I don't know if that's why it was sort of a bust or if it was the kids behavior (major influence obviously) or if they are just cutting back across the board. The Lititz location has a free hayride which this one did not... and normally pumpkin painting is free but this year it was not so... Who knows?

Anyways we went and please don't let these photos deceive you, there was a lot of screaming happening. Mainly from Dominic about a certain corn table and a certain digger or dump truck and then a little from David about having to share and let me just say I HATE corn tables. They always bring the worst out in my boys. I know that they love them but it's always an issue. So in between embarrassing rounds of screams I took these photos. Held back a few tears, and debated removing them all even if they all didn't deserve it at that given moment? What does one do? Let one kid ruin it for all? Deep thoughts. If Matt was there one of us would have just taken Dom to the car but he was home knee deep in bathroom painting. I know I know. Another room. We can't help ourselves. I digress.

I did however get to enjoy seeing my two cute nieces scamper about playing. They always bring joy to a room let me tell you what.
Some of these are by my sister-in-law as you know by now.

They have it again this weekend. Will I try it again at Lititz? Oh. We shall see (We all know I probably will).

Last year's Fall Fest here. Before that here


from picture frame to farmhouse chalkboard sign

One of the things I think every "farmhouse" style room needs is some kind of chalkboard. I personally think any room needs a chalkboard. I have oh....five or six chalkboards I've made lying around. They are my favorite. So. We are almost near the end of finishing up our dining room (which is a joke really because a room is never truly "done" is it?) and the room needed a chalkboard sign. I didn't want to spend money on it though. So I started searching through old frames I have lying around in the basement or under beds and in closets. I do actually have quite a few. This one didn't have glass so it obviously couldn't do much in the photo sense. It was the perfect size but definitely not the perfect frame style.
I started my spray paint addiction that day.

I took the backing off and spray painted the entire frame white. Just your average plain Jane white. While that was drying I went back inside and started painting the backing with my chalkboard paint. It was a good strong cardboard back and I knew it would work perfectly. I did a total of three coats on that, switching the direction of my brush strokes with each coat. 
Once the frame was dry I used a rag and our scratch cover from Old English for dark woods (that I literally use on everything) and I lightly rubbed down the entire frame, wiping off as much as I thought I wanted. Just enough to make it look more off white than stark white. I left more on the frame around the edges and the corners to give it a more naturally aged look.
Once it was dry I hung it up. Three days later I "primed" the board which basically means covering the entire thing in chalk, using the length of a stick of chalk. Then erase that before writing. 
I used this same spray paint and scratch cover routine on any number of things after this. Urns. Picture frames. The little pot that those Ikea plants come in.... Oh yeah. If it isn't nailed down I'm pretty sure I considered painting it.

Still might, come to think of it.


a day in the life

It's been a hot minute since I've done one of these but I thought that since we sort of have our back-to-school routine down (for now, ask me in a month I bet it will be totally different) it might be fun to do an updated day in the life back to school edition. School days are b-a-n-a-n-a-s. This was last Friday.

5:30 am: I had just fallen back asleep when my "wake up and run" alarm went off. Dom had woken up at 3:30 which he never does and complained for a bit. Followed immediately by Letty waking up to use the bathroom slash discuss a new booboo on her finger. She went right back down but I was restless for a bit. Anyways the alarm went off at the perfect time. I get dressed and go down to run for 45 minutes. 
6:30 am: After I work out I shower and do my makeup before it's time to wake Letty. My alarm to get her goes off at 6:40 and I am usually dragging her physically out of bed. She makes her bed and heads downstairs to get dressed... I have all the kids clothes ready and waiting on the kitchen table. I get dressed as well and head down to help get her out the door. Matt has already given her breakfast which we have to remind her to eat 76 times.  I water my flowers and get her water bottle to her back pack and an ice pack into her lunch that I had packed yesterday. Oh and I have a coffee. Sometimes I fold laundry from the night before. 
7:30 am: Letty has been wanting a "pattern" in who drives her to school in the morning. Today was my day. I still hate seeing her walk away from me! So so so so much. But at least I don't cry? Matt's home with the boys where he has given them breakfast. When I get back I get them dressed and do their hair and teeth routine and then they play. Read: make a mess. 
8:30 am: We will leave for David's drop off here shortly but for now I need a second cup. With creamer. We also clean up the destroyed playroom and get on the whole shoe and bathroom routine. 
9:30 am: David has been successfully dropped off at school after about twenty hugs and kisses, which I mean, I'm not complaining. Then we go back to my house where my mom is waiting for us so we can go to this local farm that is just so freaking adorable and dripping all things fall for some more white pumpkins. They have goats and horses and cows and chickens and Dom just loves it. They even have a donkey named Dominic so you know I'm loving that. And I got my super affordable white pumpkins and this wood ladder thing for our dining room.
10:30 am: My father kindly gifted his old laptop (right?! He is so good to her/us) to Letty, who is over the moon excited. It just sounds so grown up right? So I was working on setting up an account for her and of course setting up every single parental control I could get my fingers on. And giving her pink windows, because, Letty.
11:30 am: Dom and I run out to pick up David from school. We wait in the hall and like to watch the kids come in from the playground. They are always in a line, walking, with their hands behind their back and their cheeks puffed up because they are over-exaggerating keeping their mouths shut and quiet. Once he gets his backpack he comes running out into the hallway with a big smile and a hug! We come home and I throw together a quick lunch for the three of us. Lots of peanut butter all around!
12:30 pm: The boys are playing (fighting) and I am sort of a one woman jungle gym for Dom. He is a rough and tough kid for sure. He goes down for his nap at 1. And I probably escaped with no bruises.
1:30 pm: During Dom's naps I try and do whatever David wants to do. Try. Because sometimes I just want to read. But! Today David chose the basement. He doesn't go down there alone because his sister told him there were dinosaurs there or something. And it is easier to be down there when Dom isn't potentially eating all the Legos... So basement it was! Lots of train time and trampolines and the like.
2:30 pm: It's school bus time! Our district doesn't allow the elementary kids off the bus unless a parent or designated adult is there so I have to be there every day. Which is super easy as it is two houses down... Then it's unpack Letty's backpack time. This would be when I would repack tomorrow's lunch and snack but as it is the weekend I just throw all her stuff into the dishwasher instead. All I learn from her about her day is that a kid in her class got yogurt all over her. Hair. Shorts. Shirt. Etc. And I had to ask for a hug.
3:30 pm: My little computer geek! Here I thought I would have to demonstrate how to use the touch pad or close a window and nope! She's got this! Where did she learn it? Don't know. But she knows. She checks out all the games that came with the computer and then plays ABC Mouse for awhile.
4:30 pm: We are having dinner at my parent's house tonight. Now that school is in session we don't get to see our Fitzs every Friday... more like every other. Which is sad but we get it... Stuff is crazy now! Matt and I pour a glass of wine and we gird our loins for the misbehavioral children that normally act out even more at night time. 
5:30 pm: Dom has eaten and he is done. He wants nothing to do with sitting patiently at the table until we are finished and Matt and I (and my parents, most likely) don't want anything to do with hearing him complain so... he's free to go play. Dinner of course was a mess because David wouldn't say nice things like thank you or I'm sorry so we had some conversations about that. Feedback, as it were.
6:30 pm: Letty has her first birthday party at a place called Go N' Bananas. Which is just what the name claims to be. So we leave my parent's early in order to get there for the start time. She dons her socks and off she goes to party with a whole bunch of her friends. And I discover that most of them live in our development. Where do I live? Under a rock. Apparently. And thanks to Miley Cirus all the other parents and I were singing "Wrecking Ball" as our girls swung back and forth. Sigh. Miley. Sigh.
7:30 pm: The girls have pizza and cake and then they sing happy birthday and the birthday girl opens her gifts, all of which are Shopkins related, no wonder Letty and her are friends! And then they are off again running around just going b-a-n-a-n-a-s.
8:30 pm: They have bowled by now which was basically just throwing the bowling ball onto the lane and hoping for the best all to rounds of screams by their friends. Then it's off to the bumper car area where the music is loud and the squeals are louder. I'm yawning at this point but Letty is still going strong. Then they hand out $5 worth of games to each kid and to the arcade we go...
9:30 pm: We were invited back to one of the party guest's houses who, you guessed it, lives in our development and so we went home to drop off the car and her disgusting socks before walking up the street. I grabbed a sippy cup (yes, my hospital mug from when I had Dom) of wine because after that night..... well every night, it was necessary.
10:30 pm: These girls have the energy of the bunny himself. Playing the piano at 10:30? Sure! Why ever not? I convinced Letty very shortly after this that it was time to head home where she got a quick shower and was sent straight to bed. And I followed very quickly after her. 
Ask me if she slept in the next morning??? Go ahead. I dare you.