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Sweet Mariah.

Poor, sweet, toothless Mariah.

(is she primed for tickling in this pose or what!)

Friday night, her little friend from school called and asked if she wanted to go to Sea World with her and her family.

Mariah was thrilled!
"Thrilled" doesn't even seem like the right word, but it's the best I can come up with. Her face lit up brighter than Christmas morning, as she begged me if she could go.

I, however, spent an entire hour sitting & staring into space,
anxiously debating wether we should let her go or not. We don't know the parents very much at all, and sea world? I hardly trust myself to keep track of my own kids at places like that!
In my mind I saw the headlines: "sweet little girl with a passion for ham...missing from Sea World, what was her mother thinking???"

But after an hour of going through all those headlines and living the fear as if it had actually happened, I talked to the girl's mother for a bit and I didn't get any horrible sinking feelings, so me & Jesse decided she could go.
(Aside from the fear and anxiety, the conversation between Jesse & I was pretty funny. I kept worrying about whether to entrust these people with my precious middle child....Jesse kept fretting over the money we'd have to send with her.) =)

We told her we decided she could go, and now she was beyond thrilled!

But then I moved on to the next item(s) to worry about.

Where are our passes?
Should we drive down to SeaWorld right now and have them print new ones?
How much money do I send?
What should she wear? Shorts? Pants? It's been hot, but it's usually chilly down there.
Do I send a bathing suit? There's water rides.
What if her feet get tired and she complains after a few hours?
What if the sunscreen wears off after 2 hours and she gets burnt to a crisp?
What if what if what if.

Well, we found the passes.
The mom said they would be having a picnic, so not to worry about money or food. I decided I'd send a $20 bill with her just in case. (Jesse cringed)
I decided to put her in a bathing suit, with shorts and a t-shirt over it. And a small backpack containing a change of clothes (pants, long sleeve shirt, undies, and jacket). I figured even if they kept it in the car, at least she'd have it. We'd spray her down with sunscreen (spf 50!) and send the bottle with her in her backpack.

So we were set! And she couldn't have been more excited.

Then Friday at 9:00 the mother called to say that her other daughter still had a cough so they weren't going to go Saturday, they'd go Sunday instead. I said that'd be fine. At least I'd have another 24 hours to find more things to worry about. :o)

Mariah was asleep and I tried to wake her and tell her but she was out cold.

So when she woke up at 6:00 ready to get dressed, I told her.

She was dissappointed, but ok.

Then came Sunday.

Again, up at 6:00 am.

Swimsuit on. Sunscreen on. Cute lil shorts and t-shirt on. Bag packed. Bright ribbons in hair (so in case she wandered away, the parents could spot her fairly luggage in the airport!). Phone number memorized and repeated, no talking to strangers rule understood. Refresher course in manners completed. "YOU'RE NOT MY MOMMY!!!" scream, as well as when to use it, practiced and perfected.

Pre-event pictures taken:



And from then, for the next hour, this little girl sat on the couch and stared out the window.

But no one came.

Mariah called them but no one was there so she left a message.
(sweet wee little voice):
"Hi, it's me Mariah....I just wanted to know if we were still going to seaworld....I'm all dressed and ready. Bye."

So sad.

By 1:00 even Mariah was convinced that it wasn't going to happen. And then the tears came.

Poor sweet girl.

I don't begrudge the parents, since we don't know what happened. It even could have been a misunderstanding I suppose. But I still felt so bad for Mariah.

So we dried her tears, took off the shorts & t-shirt, and went outside to play in the sprinklers in our bathing suits. And her sad day turned happy. :o) Hallelujah.



"open wide"....

On Thursday I left work early, M&M left school early.

Not cause anyone was sick...

Not for a special spur-of-the-moment trip to the beach (we would've brought Arissa for that, of course!)...

We had our (their) first encounter with:

dunh dunh dunnnnnnnnnn....

the dentist

(picture that said in a deep, scary voice, and the text in a big green slimey font)


We waited a long time before we were seen. So long in fact, that I had just gotten up to walk out and change dentists when they finally called our names. But then they were super nice and gentle with the girls, so my anger dissipated.

Nana came along:


When the dentist walked in and looked at what was waiting for him in his patient chair, he said "I'm good, but I'm not that good"...


Guess he wasn't up to two patients at once. :o) Maybe if he WAS, the wait time would be shorter!

Anyways, yes this was M&M first dentist appt, and yes they should have gone in much sooner.

But insurance companies being what they are, it didn't happen till now.

The girls were excited. I was scared. They have very low pain-tolerance levels.
If brushing their hair causes screams of pain and torture, how well could a trip to the dentist go?
Especially when the free dental screening at school had revealed that Mallory had 8 possible cavaties in that little sassy mouth of hers.

But! Never ceasing to amaze me, they loved it.
They loved it, and they got glowing reviews from Mr. Dentist.
Mariah = 0 cavaties.
Mallory = 1.
None and only 1! I was so glad.

Mallory, however, was dissappointed. She was so looking forward to getting lots of "metals" on her teeth like her friends. :o)

Mariah thought the "chair that went up to the sky" was awesome (and quite comfortable):


Mallory was fearless (I should have known better than to worry about her).

Here she is telling Mr. Make-Us-Wait-Forever: "Come on, dentist, hit me with your best shot!":


Mallory, show Mama how pretty the dentist made your teeth:


starting 'em young...

Guess what Mariah's new favorite thing to do is?









She likes to text.

Of course there's only Daddy to send the messages to, but she still has fun.


And the other day (can u guess what day it was, by the shirt she's wearing??) she sent one that made me giggle and I had to capture it in a photo.

(typed all on her own):


my little meastro

edited: yep, I'm aware that a "meastro" isn't someone who plays clarinet. I was hurtin' for titles, what can I say. :o)


Last week, Arissa performed at her first clarinet concert.

She was so excited!

And just a little nervous. :o)

(75% excited, 5% nervous, 20% annoyed with mom for taking so many pictures!)

Posing in her black & white "concert attire":


We got there extra early:


(I just noticed her hair in this picture is kind of wonky...there must have been a gust of wind or something right at the exact moment I took it, because her hair didn't look static-y like that before or after! Hm.)

Anyways.....Arissa did great!

The whole group did. I wasn't sure what exactly to expect from this concert. After all, they are only in 4th grade and maybe there'd be a lot of sqeaks and whistles and general out-of-tune-ness (which still would have been cute in it's own way). But the group sounded really really good. There were a lot of kids and they did harmonies and stayed in time and it was not only cute to see but totally enjoyable too. Can't wait for the next one!


(Where's Nana looking in that picture??) :o)

everything looks better with glitter

I saw a template for a paper Eiffel Tower online and I said oo oo OO I wanna make that!

So I got some cardstock, the template, some mod podge, and a whole lotta glitter, and went to town:


Isn't she pretty??

I put it on display on my to what is I guess becoming my Eiffel Tower 'collection'.

(The other big one I picked up on sale, the little tiny one I got in Paris, and it's all next to the photo of me at the top of the tower in 1997):


M&M wanted to make one too....but I had a feeling they were more interested in the glitter than in the Eiffel Tower itself. So we got out some wood cut-outs I had picked up at JoAnn's months ago....slathered on some mod podge and glittered the heck out of them.


Everything looks better with glitter.

Including our kitchen table and our fingertips and clothes. :o)

Our "lucky" day


We had a scaled back, simple St Patrick's Day this year.

I made the girls little shamrock appliques, and got some $2 shirts at the thrift store to put them on.


After they were put together, I didn't like the way Arissa's looked so we changed her up.

Instead, she wore this other shirt which was a much prettier shade of green than the one I had intended to put the applique on:


But because of the printing on the front, I couldn't really use the applique at all.
(It says La Jolla Beach & Tennis Club on I told her to act classy. :o) )

So instead we made her piece de resistance her hair.

I took the pin that she (and the rest of the drill team and all the other participants too, I think) got for being in the St. Patrick's Day parade on glued it to a french clip, et voila:
cute little hair thing.


M&M wore the shirts w/ the appliques:


They just happen to match, head to toe. I think the outfits kinda looked like school uniforms (except the big old shamrock, of course).



For past St. Patty's Days, we've had "green cuisine". But last year the green mashed potatoes and green colored milk were a little unsettling. Some things just shouldn't be green. So how's a meatless family supposed to celebrate during dinnertime, when the thought of corn beef hash makes them a little sick?

We had salad. It's green! And it also worked out cause it was 120 degrees outside, so it was a nice refreshing meal. Actually it was probably only 78 degrees, but it felt hotter.

After dinner, Arissa danced an Irish jig for us:


Then it was time for the festivities (all of which I planned during the hour I left early from work)!

We had a shamrock scavenger hunt.

I took these various sized shamrocks:


And wrote the clues on the back:

(I tried to make them was difficult)


At the end of the hunt would be a little something waiting for them:


Just a little activity book, a glittery (green) visor, and a (green) dollar.

Mallory was hoping it'd be a pot of gold. :o)

The girls each took turns reading the clues and finding the next one:




Big sisters were happy to help 'lil sister who needed some help with hers:


And in the end, they found their little goodies in the dryer. :o)


For what it's worth, that is David's (our neighbor) side of the garage. Ours is completely organized and pristine. =)

To finish things off, we needed a snack. All we'd had for dinner, after all, was salad.

It may not have been green, and it may not have been technically a "dessert" (although with the sugar content and that list of ingredients, shouldn't it be?), but it was tasty & St.-Patrick-y nonetheless:

Frosted Lucky Charms. :o)

parades, playgrounds, friends, and movies

Saturday, the drill team performed at the St. Patrick's Day parade, so we all tagged along for the fun.


During the 2 hours we had to wait until it started, M&M took the opportunity to share their cuteness with (or harrass, depending on how you looked at it) some of the other parents.



That photo was taken right before Mariah took a dive onto the curb.

I was opening the door for them to come out so they wouldn't destroy the Flow's car, but Mariah thought I was closing the door so she leaned on it. She tumbled out onto the curb, hitting her head and leg and arms and stomach along the way. :O( Poor girl.

Finally she stopped crying, the parade started, and we took our seats.



We waited and waited and finally these cute girlies marched our way:


Smiling and sparkling and awesome as ever!
Naturally, they won 1st place. :o)

M&M shared a cotton candy.

Mallory really enjoyed it.


We stopped in the carnival area for a quick ride:


Then, as a reward for waiting all morning and running down the 2(?) mile parade route, I gave them what they'd been asking for since we first got there.

10 minutes on the playground!





It was fun, but we were exhausted. All 5 of us.

We went home and flopped down, relaxed for a few hours, then headed back out.

We went with our good friends:

Photobucket see:

Photobucket 3D.
Fun fun fun! We haven't been to the movies since....I don't know when. I honestly can't remember. Going to the movies used to be a way to kill time, now it's a rare and special treat!
Arissa said the movie wasn't what she expected, which makes perfect sense since she's so used to the original Disney version, and doesn't know what to expect from a "Tim Burton" movie. But she enjoyed it nonetheless. Me, I enjoyed being out of the house, hanging out with friends, and eating movie theatre popcorn. Doesn't get much better than that!

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