Dear Kind Woman who sits at the front desk at school,
    I can't imagine what you must think when I run into school with the kids, gasping for breath at their untied shoes and dragging backpacks.  You've witnessed everything from their crazy hair and unzipped pants, to me in my scrubs for work - or pajamas.  It never seems to phase you.
    I don't know all that you probably see in a day...from the most beautifully put together parents and their proper children...to well...us.  Half the time we've forgotten a lunch box or a backpack, sometimes socks or a workbook.  The kids usually look unkempt and I'm almost always frazzled. 
    What I wish I could tell you, is that mornings like these...when I wake up only to sit on a soaked toilet seat from three boys with bad aim, to then take the fastest shower possible only to get out and step into a puddle of piddle from our new puppy...these are the mornings when it takes all that we have just to get out the door.  
     When breakfast is burnt and we ran out of bread for lunches...when it takes forever to find twelve shoes, six outfits or even the keys to the car...only to fly out of the garage and ram straight into an old TV...yes...it's smashed.  This is why we look the way that we do.
     One might suggest that we wake up earlier to avoid the rush.  Today I woke up at 4 am.  Not because I wanted to, mind you...but just because I did.  It didn't matter.  We still ended up as the crazy ball of chaos that you've come to know throughout the year. 
     Between the six of us, it seems to be somewhat of a statistical improbability to hope for anything less.
     So to you dear, kind woman who sits at the front desk at school, Thank You for never giving us a judgmental glance or looking at me with annoyed glare for our wild scurry of an entrance through your doors.  
     If I ever get the chance to have enough time to get breakfast for you...or even a cup of coffee...one day I will.  Just to show my appreciation, for your understanding.  
     Until tomorrow...yours truly,
     Beatty
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    We asked our son Ethan what he wanted to do for his birthday.  Bowling?  Swimming?  Bouncy castle?
    In years past, these have been his go to responses.  This year though...he was turning nine.  Not seven, not eight...but nine.  As much as I hated to admit it, he was growing older.
    You can imagine my heart palpitations then, when our sweet little angel exploded with,  "OH!  Do you know what would be SO COOL?!  That truck that shows up with video games in it!  It ROCKS!" 
     I worked hard on keeping a straight face.  "A truck with video games?"
     "Yea Mom.  It's Totally Awesome."

     "But...what about...oh I dunno...a bouncy castle?  Those are fun too!  Remember?"
     "MoooooooOOOoooooom.  Bouncy castles are for little kids.  The truck would be so cool.  I promise."
     And there it was.  Our soon to be nine (going on nineteen) year old, was hoping for a "cool" big kid party. 
     Shooting a glance towards my husband, I whispered, "I guess balloon animals would be out of the question?" 
     I went into work that morning with mixed emotions.  Telling my friends about it, they told me about a company called, "Games to You" or GAMES2U.  The girls explained how great the company was, so I broke down and gave them a call. 
     The woman I spoke with was so wonderful, it began to make me feel a little better about the whole thing.  It sounded like it actually could turn out to be (dare I say it?) more fun than a bouncy house.
     When it was time for the party, Games2U arrived and put everything up for laser-tag and then for the game truck. 
     Holy Moly.  It was amazing.
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     The party was a blast.  The kids all seemed to have fun and Ethan had a smile as wide as the ocean. 
      When things began to wind down and everyone came in for cake, it was hard not to remember his very first one, not so long ago.  Our little man, so cute in blue...with wide eyes staring at a single candle. 
      How have eight more been added so quickly? 

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      The party came to an end and Ethan came to us, still holding onto his grin.  "Thanks mom and dad.  That was my favorite birthday ever."
      That it was little man.  That it was.  Happy Birthday to our big nine year old.  We'll Love You Always and Forever.
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     It's been a little over a week that we've had our puppy...
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    The kids named her Lilly Grace...Lilly for short.  She was properly introduced to our long time cat, Boo (who was none too happy).
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    We took Lilly to the Vet for her check-up and the Dr. watched as one, two, three then four kids walked in carrying her.  He quickly looked at us like we were crazy then laughed saying, "Were you bored?  Didn't have enough to do?"
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     Her check up went great.  It's so nice to finally have a family dog.  It's fun everyday to come home with her here waiting to play.
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        She's ridiculously addicting.  Total.  Puppy.  Love.
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     I've always wondered what it would be like to take the kids to a cooking class.  Would they love it?  Hate it?  Develop a passion for cooking or simply end up catching something on fire?
     We heard about a free local cooking class for kids and decided to give it a try. 
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      It was awesome.  A woman worked with the kids and kept their focus with the recipes.  They measured, peeled eggs, prepared sandwiches and got to sample their work. 
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      It was so nice to see the kids eat it up.  (No pun intended.)  They had fun cooking, tasting and learning.  It gave us hope that they'll grow up having fun in the kitchen, while knowing how to make more than a bowl of cereal by the time they're in middle school. 
      99.9% of that is up to us as parents in having them in the kitchen with us.  This was a neat way to add some spice to their interest though.
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     Good times were had by all...and as an added bonus...not one thing caught on fire.  : )
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    When you have three boys in a row, then finally have a little girl...your mind starts to wander.  You begin to think of all of the girl things you get to do...from dresses to bows, dolls...and even yes, birthday parties. 
    We've had dinosaur parties, football parties, soccer parties and even bug parties...but we've never been able to have a girl party with friends.  This is Lauren's first year in school so she was excited to take invitations to her class. 
     Where did she want to go for her very first party?  Where else, but "Build A Bear". 

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          Thanks to the Sweetest friends on Earth! 
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    The day is finally here.  We've never had a family dog and it's been so long since we've wanted one.  (We, being the kids and I.)
     My husband, Adam, has never wanted to get a dog.  He made me nervous, worrying that adding a puppy to our home would only make things crazier.  In his defense, we barely have enough energy at the end of the day to crawl into bed, let alone add more chaos.
     This puppy is the sweetest thing though.  I know it's too soon to assume anything, but so far, she's been a lovey and cuddly little one. 
     It was nice to bring her home, give her a bath and snuggle.  The kids are obsessed with her and even Adam has fallen for her.  He's wrapped around her little paw.
     We haven't figured out what to name her yet, but so far the front runners are Lilly or Gracie.  
     We'll see how the first night goes!  Sweet dreams sweet puppy.  We're so happy you're finally here.  
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     Lauren Elizabeth just turned five years old.  Our family was in Texas for her birthday so we didn't get to have her party with her friends yet.  It's coming this Friday.  Do you know the only thing she says that she wants for her party? 
    "All of my friends from school have their ears pierced and I want to get mine pierced too."
    -great.
    My mom is pretty old school and didn't let me get my ears pierced until I was like, 90.  I don't know that I feel too opposed to the idea however.
     Half of me thinks, if she's old enough to genuinely know what she's asking and wants to get them done...then she's ready.  The other half of me thinks...she's five.  She could genuinely want a unicorn that eats rainbow flavored cotton candy.
     I don't want her to hurt and I remember how it felt to get mine pierced.  I surely don't want her ears to get infected either.  On the other hand, is it really THAT big of a deal?  Babies have their ears pierced for Pete's sake. 
     I don't know.  We'll see how it goes and what we'll do about it.  Why do I feel like this is the first of many adventures when it comes to having a little girl?

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    Our two younger ones are playing T-ball together this year.  They missed their first practice because we were out of town, but their second practice was over the weekend. 
    When we got to the field, the sun was shining, it was a beautiful day and the smell of baseball was in the air.
    Tying their cleats and grabbing their gloves and bats, Preston and Lauren Elizabeth were ready.  They played together last year, so they were excited to get back on the field. 
     Their coaches seemed to be nice.  There were two men and one woman who we later found out were a brother/sister team.
     I had talked with the head coach a couple of times over the phone and communicated with him through e.mail and texts.  He was impressively connected
and it was nice to finally get to meet him and get the season started. 
     All went well.  There were a lot of players on the team but Lauren Elizabeth and Preston actually seemed to be a little smaller than most.  There was only one other little girl besides Lauren in the group of boys, but even she seemed a little older. 
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Lauren and Preston talking with their coach
     They all had fun.  The coaches were great, the kids were great...even the new parents we were meeting in the stands were great.  It was going to be a good year. 
     Later that night, the phone rang.  Looking at caller ID, my husband shot a worried look at me. 
     "It's their coach.  What if he's calling to say they're too small or something?"
     Handing the phone to me (thanks honey) I nervously answered.
     "Hello?"
     "Bea?"
     "Yes?  Hi Coach!"
     "Hi.  What happened today?
     I could hear a little agitation in his voice.  My stomach grew a pit and I was surprised, being that this was T-ball.
     "Well Coach, I um..."
     He continued, "We talked before and I knew you were out of town for the first practice, but what happened today?"
     The pit became larger.  Was he actually going to kick our kids off of the team?  Can you DO that in T-ball?!
     I was speechless.  I gave a look towards my husband and had no idea what to do.  The kids had so much fun and it was going to break their hearts.
     "Bea?"
     "Yes Coach?"
     "What happened?"
    
"Well, when I talked with your sister and..."
     He interrupted.  "My sister?"
     "Yes, your sister.  I know we didn't get a chance to talk with you, but when we talked with her..."
     "What do you mean my sister?"
     I suddenly became confused.  "Your sister.  At practice?"
     There was a short pause on the phone.  The coach now less annoyed questioned, "Where were you?"
     "Where?"
     "Yes.  Where."
     "We were at practice.  On field B at 12:00."
     "Bea, we weren't ON field B.  WHO did you practice with?"
     A wave of
relief and embarrassment rushed over me.  He was upset thinking that we skipped practice, when in reality, we just went to the wrong one.
     "Hey Coach?"
     "Yes."
     I smiled and said, "Don't worry.  We got all their goods.  We scouted them out really well and we'll be ready to take 'em this year."
     Busting out, he finally laughed in disbelief.  "WHO let you guys practice with them for an entire HOUR without realizing that your kids weren't on their TEAM?!"
     It was a good question.  "I don't know who they were but they took them right in as their own.  They were awesome actually but I don't even know if Preston and Lauren were at the right level to tell you the truth.  Even my husband kept saying there seemed to be a lot of kids on the team."
     The coach laughed again, "I'll bet there were!  I only wonder how many of them belonged there?"
     The next day, we told Preston and Lauren that they were going to play with a whole new group of coaches and friends at their next practice.  This confused them long enough for them to go back to their Legos and Frozen dolls. 
     I've learned now that we should never assume we're at the right place or the right practice.  Next time around, we'll try to meet the coach first, just to make sure everything's in check. 
    In the end, I know one thing as far as this year goes.  It sure is going to be embarrassing when we see that other team on the field. 
    Such is life.  Play ball!

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    I have no idea how we're going to figure out which one to choose.  We'll have until next week to decide.  They were the cutest and snuggliest puppies on earth.  We're doomed. 
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   Growing up, my Mom would always have us stand eggs up on the first day of Spring and the first day of Fall for the equinox.  It may just be an old wives tale, but it's a fun tradition to do.
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Happy First Day of Spring Flowers from the yard
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