Saturday, April 30, 2011



In preparation for the big "sleep out" that is taking place in our backyard as I type we grilled out with the neighbors and topped off the night with a little roasting of s'mores.  It is so nice to just throw a last minute cookout together, we all raid our pantrys, freezers and cabinets and throw together something edible and at the end of the meal it doesn't matter what we ate, because we had a great time just hanging out.


It was fun watching Olivia, Zack and Avery roast their marshmellows, I was amazed the only ones we had to extinguish were Brad and Molly's, the kiddos did spectaular.

Olivia's First Camping Experience

Brad and the girls set up the tent this afternoon and the girls thought it was such a hoot to play inside, we'll see how long Olivia lasts in it tonight. I told Brad I would be surprised if she was still outside at 10pm, but he thinks she will be in it for the long haul.  He clearly forgets that she has Leigh-Blood pumping through those veins, I don't think I made it through a single camping trip without calling my Dad to make him come pick me up...until I was at least 21 years old. HA!

Sweet Avery

Turner Crew

Zack enjoying his "camping treat"

Avery kicked back

Olivia all tucked in...wish her luck. (and Brad)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

First Freebie

So I ventured into the wide world of couponing tonight. I wanted to start small and I sure did, about as small as they come.

I purchased 3 Sample Size Degree deodorants for a total of .97.  I had a $1.00 off one, and a $1.00 off two, so I could have walked away with 1 and not paid a single red cent, but I thought I would use the other coupon as well, so I ended up paying .97 for 3. I also used two $5.00 off a Merona Clothing Purchase of $25 or more, so I ended up saying $10 on my clothing purchases as well.  Not an amazing deal, but still, I was impressed I actually brought the coupons with me, didn't leave them in the car and actually remembered to use them.  Baby Steps.  I will get there. My goal is to NEVER buy things we won't use or won't need JUST because they are a good deal, UNLESS they are free and I can donate them. 

I had to share this, Olivia's teacher Ms. Teresa made these for all the kids for Easter. Isn't it precious? She made it out of a milk carton. And she included a bag of cheese balls with green tissue paper at the top in the shape of a carrot, cute as a button.  Pre-School Teacher Craft Skills are over the top!!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Camping They Will Go...

And by they...I mean Brad & Olivia. Brad has been talking to Olivia about "camping out" in a tent for the last several weeks and he's been telling her that when it warms up they will camp out together. Well the child is no dummy, she's caught onto the fact that its much warmer out so she has started to ask when they are going. And by going, I mean to pitch the tent in the backyard and sleep inside it.

Brad came home with this cute little pink sleeping bag for Olivia tonight, she was over the moon about it. Why is it that when you do something nice for your children they somehow ruin it for you and make you NOT want to give it to them, or make you NOT want to take them someplace fun?  It is almost like they know you've gone out of your way to do something special for them, or get them a surprise and their "nails on a chalkboard, I don't like anything and all I do is whine" voice comes out full force.

Brad has been dealing with the girls for the last 24 hours, outside of me getting up with Avery this morning at 5am and making dinner.  I just don't have the patience to be fussing at them 24 hours a day for putting stickers on the cabinets or the walls, or covering themselves from head to toe in Dora foam soap while they are fully dressed, but just recently bathed.  I wish I could.  Tonight I took a different approach, I didn't say a word, and of course my blood was boiling, but at least I didn't fuss at them every two minutes. Husband/Dad Points go to Brad for taking the time to stop at Dicks and pick up the Sleeping Bag for Olivia, she absolutely loves it. 

Need an Opinion: When we dropped Avery off this morning "C" (a little boy in her class) was sitting with Ms. Carolyn, his Mom had just dropped him off and he had a fever of 101.4.  The trigger to call a Parent is 101, so they took him upstairs to call his Mom.  When Brad picked the girls up today Ms. Carolyn mentioned that "C" had been at school all day, the Mom came but wouldn't take him home, said he was fine and he ran a fever of 103 all day.  As a parent of a child in that class I am furious at his dare she subject all of our children to whatever he has going on, how dare she put the teachers in such a tough spot, because you know when your child has a fever of 103 they feel miserable and just want to be held, not an easy task with 12 two year olds running around.  So I need some advice, I was going to talk to the Director about it tomorrow. I don't know how the conversation went, I clearly wasn't there, but I can't believe a Mother would say "Sorry, I am not going to pick up my super sick child, I am going to leave him there to infect all the other children" but to some degree it sounds like that is what happened.  Don't you feel like the school should have "forced" the issue with her? We all sign contracts saying 101 fever means the child has go to home and has to be fever free for 24 hours before returning.  It will be interesting to see if he is there tomorrow what do ya'll think? Should I mind my own business? Should I inquire about their policy and see how they handle a situation when a parent won't pick up their child? Almost feels like neglect to me...maybe I am being dramatic, and I am probably not putting myself in the Mom's shoes as much as I should, maybe she needs to work and can't take time off, maybe she is afraid she will lose her job and is a single Mom providing for her child.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

90 Degree Easter Sunday

Doesn't everyone get dressed up and play with the water hose on Easter Sunday? That is how we roll in good ol' Newby's Mill when the Dad's are on supervision duty...

Dad's on Duty

Daughter's at Play

"Look Mom, we're all wet"

"Mom, watch me dance"

"Alright Campbell, you just stand right there, I will show you how its done" - Avery, 2 years old

Did someone give this child a blue Ring Pop or what?

This photo was taken BEFORE Riley chewed/scratch the new French Doors in the Home might not see another picture of him for a very long time.

Easter Egg Hunt 2011

Olivia's Loot

Avery was in a mood, spent the first 10 minutes screaming her face off inside and missed the majority of the hunt...its been a less than Easterly day at the Turner Residence. Then to make matters worse, Olivia was sassing me at dinner, so I put her on the stairs at Brian and Molly's house...and she fell down them. Mom of the Year...out the window for the second time this week! Don't worry, she is fine. I think it scared me more than it scared her.

Side Note about Riley: We had been hoping that one day we would be able to get rid of his crate, so when we know we are only going to be gone for an hour or so, we leave him in his crate, but we don't shut his crate door, we just shut the French Doors in the Home Office, well today it didn't go so well.  I walked into the Home Office to find white pieces of wood scattered all over the floor, sure enough, he chewed/scratched the inside of the door...awesome!

Great Friday

Brad had Good Friday off so I thought it would be a great day to take off and spend some time and organizing the newly created downstairs home office.  The room has been finished since January, but we haven't spent a lick of time in here putting it together or cleaning it out and even after spending several hours on Friday cleaning it out, it still isn't "finished", I have some decorating to do, but I am far from complaining about that, that is my favorite part.

Friday Morning I had a facial and a massage at Salon del Sol. The facial was very relaxing, but the massage felt like physical therapy, he worked my neck to death, and while I can take some responsibility for calling out that my neck is a trouble area, I didn't mean I ONLY wanted him to work on my neck...serves me right, I am going to keep my mouth shut next time and let them do their thing. Brad rode downtown for a few hours and when we were both finished we had lunch together at La Milpa, an authentic Mexican market/restaurant that has gotten great reviews in Richmond Magazine..honestly, not sure who wrote those reviews...but we won't be going back...unless its a quick stop to pick up a glass bottle of SQUIRT (love me some Squirt)

I wish I had taken some shots of the Home Office in a "before" state, but the thought escaped me until it was too late. But here it is, in its "after" glory.

The view from the French Doors

Notice Riley's Doggie Condo on the takes up 1/4 of the room

Other side of the room

Look how clean/empty everything is...time to DECORATE!

I believe we have decided that we are going to work in Navy and Lime as accent colors and keep the walls the putty color that they are today.  I am debating between Lime and Chartreuse, we'll see where we land, but one of the first projects is going to be hanging a drum lamp shade above the computer area to add some light to the room, I can't wait to see how it turns out! Wish us luck!

"Happy Easter Baskets"

Our Easter Morning started bright and early, we made it to the 8:30am Church Service, enjoyed a delicious breakfast at Friendly's (Kids Eat Free - All Day on Easter - what a great surprise!), and attempted to take some Family Photos when we got home.  We should have left the girls at Church, we joked that with their attitudes they could have used a double dose of Jesus today!

We colored eggs as a family last night, and clearly forgot to clean the girls faces after their pasta dinner, because you can see the leftovers on their face in the photos!

The girls found their Easter Baskets this morning on our way out the door for Church and didn't really get a chance to sit down and go through all their goodies until after we got home and changed into our "play outside, its hot out" clothes.  It is going to hit 90 here today, so as I type I am wearing shorts and a tank top!

No idea why its so blurry, when I look at the photo in Picasa its crystal clear...odd.

While the girls "peacefully" (that's what I tell myself) played in the Nursery this morning at Church I quietly spent the hour praying for some wisdom...of the mothering kind.  I have had some less than proud moments as a mother, some of which I am ashamed of myself and others in which I am hurt by my children's behavior and wonder what I have done as a mother to cause them to be so ugly. I want so badly for them to be polite, sweet and have a kind heart, but there are days where I wonder if someone picked up my child at school by mistake and left me with a little monster whose favorite words are "no", "mine" or "stop it".  I am hoping that wisdom I prayed for will hit me smack in the phase, or at the very least will be replaced with some patience. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Circus & Sickness

Poor Avery...the little darling has what the Doctor thinks is a sinus infection. She has a nasty cough that makes me cringe and a fever that won't quit, but her lungs sound perfect and her ears are infection-free, so Dr. G chalks the fever up to a sinus infection, lets see if the Z-Pack works its magic on her, if so, she should be good to go by tomorrow evening, that stuff is lightening quick.

Brad and his two favorite girls...

I believe you are all aware that I just recently was disqualified from the Mom of the Year contest (in my dreams - HA)...and since I had nothing to lose, I thought I would just keep pushing the limits, and did what I can imagine all Mothers have done at one point in their lives...I brought a sick child, into a very public place because we had already promised her a fun filled day, and frankly, because we had already bought the to the Circus the Turner Family went.

These two brothers were amazing.  Together they weigh close to 700 pounds and consume 15,000 calories a day, yet they can swing each other around like they were tossing a rag doll into the sky, their strength is amazing.

They happen to be one of those acts that likely only adults can truly appreciate due to how insanely difficult it is to achieve some of the lifts they did.

Our little sicko

I think my favorite acts, outside of Avery peeing on Brad's lap, which btw, was quite amusing, was probably either the horses or the tigers. I am easily amused by animals that do coordinated things, probably because my dog can't seem to even scratch himself standing up without toppling over and causes our entire house to shutter. The horses were incredible, they were dancing on their hind legs, the tigers were hoping around like Kangaroos.  We kept our hands close to the girls eyes just in case any of those tigers were rogue, they didn't look all that friendly to me and the last thing we wanted was our girls to witness something that would rival Sigfried & Roy's dramatic performance.

We had great seats, about 5 rows from the floor, the girls did really well, outside of Olivia having to go to the bathroom 4+ times (I felt bad for the people down the row from us that had to stand up and let us by all 4 times).  Brad is a sucker for his little girls. He took Olivia to the bathroom, came back with enough food to feed a small army, a pink wand thing that lights up and spins around that we basically had to dip into Olivia's college fund to pay for, and he didn't stop there. I happen to adore that he spoils the girls...but that pink wand thing HURTS :) 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

School Photos Spring 2011

Here they are, in all their glory, the famous school photos that as a child I avoided and dreaded and even went so far as to hide in the bathroom when my class was taken, no wonder I am missing from one of the yearbooks - HA.

Our first born & Thumper

Our second born who screamed "off, off, off" when they tried to place Thumper on her lap

The two darlings in mismatched outfits because Avery's picture day was rescheduled at the last minute

School Photos are HIGHWAY ROBBERY. You get 4 sheets for $45 smackers. I'm sorry, but I was not willing to drop $45 X 3 to buy their packages, BUT it is so hard to know that already printed photos of your babies are just going to get thrown out. Why is the world so cruel? We ended up buying their class photos too, I love those and I loved as an adult looking back at mine, I hope they find the same humor/joy in that many years from now.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Until July...

No, this isn't Olivia, but this is EXACTLY what she looked like last night when it was time to say goodbye to YaYa & GaGa. Her tears and emotion brought me to tears, it is difficult to watch your little one struggle with such real emotion. This is the first time in her short 3.5 years of life that she gets it, she gets that YaYa won't be back until her Birthday and for Olivia that is forever away.

She even woke up crying for her YaYa this morning.  I was telling her last night how very lucky she is to have such great relationships with her YaYa and her Bina and how when I was a little girl I so very badly wanted to have a close relationship with my Grandparents. Of course I was in tears telling her how much everyone loves her and she was wiping my tears away, lets hope she picked up what I was laying down.

Side Note: Avery walked into the van door this morning as it was closing and has a huge black and blue streak down the middle of her forehead...and someone in Avery's class thought they would sample her forearm so she has a huge bite mark on her left wrist area, the poor thing had a rough, rough day.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Little Things...

Often times it is the little things in life that bring me peace and make me super happy.  You might be thinking this is going to be a really deep post, about all the little things, like freshly bathed little ones, laughter and sharing an ice cream cone with your daughter, but no such luck, its about:

An organized-by-color closet

A clean set of sheets and a freshly made bed

I get that it might sound silly to some, but being organized and having everything put together just makes my world spin smoother.  When the bed is a mess or my closet looks like Avery just tried on every single pair of shoes I own my heart starts to beat a little faster and I just feel a little off kilter.  Don't get me wrong, since having children I have come to appreciate a messy bed if that means more time with the little ones, but if I can squeeze some organizing in during nap time or after they have gone off to dream-land, you bet your bottom dollar I will!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Thirsty Thursday

Olivia is spending the night at my Mom's, trying to squeeze in as much YaYa time as possible before they head North early next week and Avery is in dream land, so this is what my world looks like right about now.  A glass of Chateau Morrissette Chardonnay and in a few short minutes I am going to kick my feet up and attempt to get through an episode of Coming Home without hysterical sobbing. I am a blubbering mess for the entire 60 minutes that show is on, I am barely able to form a sentence.  And Army Wives...oh boy. Army Wives has been a doozie so far this season. Those Sunday Night shows really do me in.  BUT, there is a bright spot on my TV watching horizon....tomorrow night....Friday Night Lights is back in action.

I caught up with Allison, one of my best girlfriends, today at work for about 45 minutes and I'll tell ya what, there is nothing better than sitting back and just shooting the breeze with a girl who you feel like has known you for years.  I love that she is someone I can talk to about work, because she gets it, and honestly, I don't really talk about work at home, it is far too confusing to try and explain to people that don't live and breath the Capital One world just how things work, so it is very refreshing to get together with Allison and just let it fly. Allison and I lived together for 3 years in college and have remained close ever since, she is "Aunt Allison" to the girls and Olivia asks about her all the time.

Love my "T" wine glasses

Olivia is a bit under the weather, but its hard to tell what is going on.  She had a fever last night during the night so she spent the day at my Mom's and will spend the day there tomorrow as well because she was still running a fever this afternoon, but she acts fine. She does have a slight cough, but isn't congested. I am keeping my eye on the wheeze, but so far it doesn't sound too bad at all. I am hoping she can kick this before Saturday Afternoon because she is looking forward to Isaac's 4th Birthday Party...I would hate for her to miss it.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Movie Night with YaYa

Brad was out of town all weekend so Saturday Night my Mom came over and spent some quality time with the girls while I cleaned out the Coat Closet and purged all the winter accessories, not sad to see them packed away...see ya never! (In reality, I know I will see them December)

When I was done cleaning/organizing we all plopped down on our respective couches and snuggled in to watch Charlotte's Web. My Mom brought the movie over for the girls and I think my Mom and I enjoyed it more than they did. It was adorable and hilarious at the very same time.  We laughed out loud several times...and yes, we do need to get out more, but it was precious!  The girls did pretty well, oddly enough Avery sat still better than Olivia did, but being that it wasn't animated I thought they both did very well.

The girls cherish the time they spend with my Mom and it makes me sad to think that in just a week she will be fly North for the Spring, Summer and Fall.  While we all are happy to say "catch ya later" to Winter, we wish that it didn't mean YaYa had to leave as well.  We all love our Winter Months with YaYa and we (just me at this point, we haven't told the girls yet) are sad to see her go.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


Olivia has always had the best laugh, she has a laugh to rival the best laugh-ers out there.  I can't help but laugh when I hear her laugh.  And since I use this blog to capture our memories and to tell our story, I wanted to share this video of her laughter and to also remind me how thankful I am that Olivia & Avery have each other...

"Halla-lu-ya" & "Again"

Here is our little whipper-snapper belting out one of her favorite tunes...

And here is our youngest offspring...her laugh cracks me up, and I love that when Olivia wacks her, her only response is "Again" my Mom says in the video...what a gluten for punishment.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

10 Simple Rules For My Girls

10 Rules to Live By...

1) Do your very best
2) Do not tattletale
3) Play nice and share
4) Do not whine or complain
5) Be kind to others
6) Say please and thank you
7) If you borrow it, return it
8) Always tell the truth
9) Be grateful for what you have
10) Say your prayers

10 Extra rules to follow if you want to live to see age 4
(written by a Mommy who was up at 5:30am, whose husband is out of town all weekend and who is a wee bit short on patience)

1) Don't peel the crayon wrappers off crayons and leave them all over the house
2) Don't walk/step on your toys! Pick them up and put them back where you got them (See #7 above, it is similar)
3) Stickers do NOT belong on the hardwood floors
4) Always ask before you take something that doesn't belong to you, including but not limited to: Mommy's Rice Krispie Treat from Noodles & Company
5) Use the bathroom before you go to bed and empty your bladder, getting up several times within the first 5 minutes of hitting the hay gets on my last nerve
6) When Mommy asks you if you want to go to Timeout, the correct answer is "No Ma'am, I'm sorry", not "Yup", at the very least, remove that grin when you say "Yup"
7) When Mommy is folding clothes and is sorting them into neat piles, it isn't an opportune time to throw them all into one big pile and jump on them like they are a pile of leaves in the backyard.
8) Eat your vegetables, don't feed them to Riley
9) Use your words, not your fist, teeth or feet
10) When Mommy is sad or in a bad mood, offering her Ice Cream is a solid strategy (throw in sprinkles and she just might share)

The Turner Party: Family of Four

Here we are, in all our glory...our simple, happy little family.  I am so thankful for cameras and their power and for photographers and their god given talent.  The memories capture and the stages in life that pass so quickly.  I look at the girls and I think back to when they were in Size 1 Diapers (the day they came home from the hospital). I close my eyes real tight, trying hard to remember the smell of their newborn heads, to recall what their sweet little feet looked like when they were wee little things. It was just 3+ years ago that Olivia joined our family, yet it feels as though she has been a part of us for as long as we have been an us. 

We had a mini-lifestyle session with Kristi Williams Photography a few weekends ago, and it just so happened to be a beautiful day, perfect for a photo shoot. I cherish our photographs, they are displayed all over our home, I can't seem to get enough, I can't wait to choose my favorites from this session.  We didn't have Avery's 2 year photos taken so this session doubled as a family shoot as well as her 2 year session. Thank You Kristi for capturing the girls and our family...we can't wait until your next visit!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

If I had a million dollars...

I would shop here:

And here:

I find it amusing that the clothing lines I would choose to drop a small fortune on are, in relative terms not crazy expensive, but to me they are highway robbery. If I could afford it, I would likely order one of everything from the Vineyard Vines catalog, but it makes my stomach hurt to think about spending that insane amount of money on a simple dress or skirt.  And the same goes for Boden, I got their catalog today and I could have dog-eared every other page, I love the tunics and all the dresses, but seriously, I can't imagine spending $100 on a shirt. I rarely am wearing $100 worth of clothing in my entire outfit and that usually includes my shoes. I am what you would call...a bargain shopper. I spend my days walking through Target chest bumping other Mom's who just scored 2 pairs of cute as can be earrings for $4.99, not figuring out which organ I would have to sell to fund the purchase of 1 Boden Dress. 

I actually said to my work-twin Ashley the other day that I loved a few of the dresses Target has out right now but that I wouldn't spend $27.99 on a casual dress from Target, and low and behold they are on sale this week for $17.99, I just might have to take a trip to the good ol' Target before the sale ends.  And I actually catch myself saying things like that often...but just a few short years ago, I would have dropped $100 on a dress and not given it a second, how my priorities and income have changed.  But ya know what? I actually like my bargain shopping self. I like that I scour the racks at Target for the next cute outfit, or that I send my fashionista friend Allison links to dresses I like from Wal-Mart while we are busy solving the big problems at work.  (We're girls, we can multi-task)

Cute dress right? Guess where I found it....Wal-Mart...and guess how much it is? $16 clams. What a steal! And the reviews just back up the fact that it looks like it walked right out of a JCrew Catalog shoot.

And for the record, if I really did have a million dollars, the very LAST thing I would spend it on would be clothes, its just an expression :)