The title works well since I am excited it's Friday and also because. . .

Last night we had a send off for my girl friend Shanna at TGI Friday's. She's pregnant and was craving one of the desserts, so she got to pick. Anyway, I am SO dang bummed that she's moving. Shanna is one of the most amazing people you'll ever meet. She is so funny and AMAZINGLY talented/creative if you can't tell by her funny little good-bye gift. She's just great to hang out with and always throws the best parties. I will definitely miss her and baby Brody. Thanks for last night girls, and Shanna -- visit often.

Today was Dr. Seuss Day at school, so Ellie got to wear her PJs and bring her pillow to school. Always a fun day when they get to wear something other than red, white and blue. They had moms and dads come in all day and read Dr. Seuss books to the class, so I ran in in my PJs and red "Are You My Mother?" All I had to do was use some strange voices and the kids were like play-do in my hands. Sometimes I really miss teaching :( What's your favorite Dr. Seuss book?

Nate has had an AWESOME Friday if you ask me, although he probably thinks it has been marred by nap time. Remember how I had to buy those Reeses Puffs because they had NASCAR on the front? Well inside the box was a matchbox car with the Cheerioes theme on. It was actually really cute and Nate loved it. He slept with it, ate with it. . basically carried the thing around everywhere. On the back it showed the 5 different types of cars you could collect and he kept telling us he was going to get them all. He was bordering on obsession. The only problem was, he was continually losing it everywhere he went. I was sick of searching for the dang car! One night he lost it before bed and cried himself to sleep, so Dustin ran to Fry's to see if he could find any more boxes of cereal with those cars inside. Couldn't find one box. Happily, I found the car in the middle of the night when he got up to use the bathroom.

Last night I finally took the kids back to Target to see if I could find any more. Checked the cereal aisle -- none. And trust me, I was digging through the boxes looking. Then I checked the end caps. Nada. Finally as we're about to check out, I see a display of cereal and I dig through it. There are SIX boxes of Cheerioes with the NASCAR promotion. I bought them all up.

This morning I opened the first one. Luckily the cars were outside the bag of cereal so I didn't have to dig through all the cereal to find the prize. First one has a Golden Grahams car. Open the second box -- Reeses Puffs car. Third box -- Fruity Cheerioes car. Fourth box -- Cinnamon Toast Crunch car. So basically in 5 boxes, I got all 5 cars. Does that ever happen? I am still in shock.

Am I the only mom in the world crazy enough to do this? Have you ever collected an entire series for your kids? Also, I have a lot of Cheerioes if anyone needs any.

So Nate's morning consisted of playing with his new cars, playgroup, lunch with friends at McD's and then he had his preliminary speech evaluation. Basically she didn't think he was that bad and may not qualify for anything until Kindergarten. It put my mind at ease a little bit more. Maybe he's not as bad as I thought.

And in 3 hours, date night begins! What are you plans for this sunny Friday?



I'm taking a break from some deep cleaning right now. I actually feel like I am always deep cleaning. Am I the only one? When did it get to the point that a little bit of cleaning every day no longer sufficed and everyday involves toxic fumes and rubber gloves?

Anyway, the cleaning is BAD since I wasn't really home at all last week/weekend and my kids were raised in a barn apparently.

Some highlights and by that I mean things I actually have pictures for:

Blue & Gold -- The best part of being Primary President is that I get to go to all these fun events that normally I wouldn't be invited to. Not that I won't have my fill of Blue and Golds in about 5 years! The theme was Chinese New Year and since it was the Year of the Rat, the boys had some fun decorating their cake for the cake contest.

Funky hair -- Ellie and I both had some funky hair this week. I filled in last minute for a play for Enrichment where I played the part of Amy Brown Lyman. She was RS President during World War II, so Janel was sweet enough to do my hair all 4o's style. It looked AWESOME! She is so stinking talented. The girl can do everything.

Ellie is obsessed with curly hair, so this weekend I did her hair in little curls. She thought she was so fancy.

Birthdays -- Brynley had a little birthday party on Saturday, where Nate got to put the moves on her.

And Molly had a birthday yesterday, so I had a great excuse to try birthday cupcakes again. They turned out much cuter and Mer gave me the tip to try the Cake Doctor cook book to try some funkier flavors. Has anyone heard of this? The premise sounds pretty neat -- you start with a basic cake mix and add ingredients to fancy it up. Let me know the good recipes too if you've ever used it.

Deliciousness -- While Ellie was in dance on Monday, Nate and I went to Target where I let him pick out a cereal as a treat. Of course he picks out the cereal that has a NASCAR car on the front which turned out to be Reese's Puff Cereal. OH MY GOSH! It is delicious!!!! It tastes like dessert. Usually we stick to oatmeal, cheerioes and for a treat: frosted mini wheats or Life. But that sugar-packed cereal is so good! Am I missing out on any disgustingly sugary cereal that I must try?


Pretend it's Monday

Happy Memorial Day. Uhhhh, I mean President's Day.

OK, so in reality Monday was a sad day. We had to say good bye to Lola and Kyle. BOO HOO!

But not without the traditional Mangum family send off.
And after that we were all very sad. Especially Nate.
The weekend was AWESOME though. We ate a lot of gross food, got pedicures, played Webkinz, made cake balls, visited family, played some board games, and rocked out to Rock Band. We were pretty awesome. And by awesome I mean Dustin, Kathleen and Kyle were good and they let me sing vocals on easy the entire time. And I didn't know any lyrics. But I think we all knew that already. Other than that I was AWESOME.
The other highlight had to be when Sadie threw up all over me. Twice. The first time was disgusting, but I showered and got all cleaned up, only to sit back down and be puked all over AGAIN. The second time it happened made me want to vomit.

Luckily she's all better now and loving the little package that came in the mail for her birthday from Grandma R. Thank you!! And please note that she's dressed! The pictures above in PJs can all be excuse since I think they were taken at 7 or 8 in the morning. No one should have to put clothes on before noon on a holiday!


Top 5 reasons to love today

IN case no one noticed, I made a goal to post all 5 times this week and I did it. Yeay me. Now you won't hear from me for another month ;D. Anyway, the last installment of 5:

Top 5 Reasons to love Today

5. Awesome Valentine's last night. We went in for an hour massage and then out to dinner. I guess all the neighborhood kids had a play date with all the babysitters.

4. Ran to Target today to pick up some stuff and happened upon the 5o% off Valentine's Day sale. I got a cute wreath, some stuff for Ellie's birthday party, placemats, kitchen towels. . . I put them all out as soon as I got home, so it's still Valentine's Day here.

3. Long weekend! Woo hoo! Sleeping in, no homework, no one to dress. . . Dustin even picked the girls up from school for me today so I didn't have to wait in line.

2. Since it rained we stayed in the rest of the day and cleaned house and did laundry. The house is just the way I like it. Every single room.

And. . .
#1. . .

My sister is on her way into town as I type this. One more hour and she'll be here!
My kids think she's coming in tomorrow morning, but they are so excited. Ellie's making a book right now and Nate keeps crying, "I want Lola to come to my house RIGHT NOW."


5 reasons to love Sadie

V-day has been a little wild here. Heart shaped pancakes for breakfast, Valentines for the kids form us, school for Ellie, the gym for Sadie, Nate and me. Then I ran home and got Nate ready for a party and me ready to do Ellie's class thing. Got home and found that Sadie had systematically destroyed the house while I was gone. That cute little green and yellow pot is usually full of 3o or 4o pink daisies. Not today.

So in honor of all the things crazy things she's done this week, here are 5 more reasons to love Sadie.

1. Sadie loves the piano. She loves to play it, but mostly she prefers to climb on it.

2. Sadie also loves shoes, especially pulling all of them out of the closets and shoes cupboards. While most babies Sadie age are just learning to walk, Sadie has mastered walking in my high heels. Her best trick is opening the cupboard under the sink by the garage door and then putting all of the shoes in front it so that it is impossible to get in from the garage.

3. She is also really great at climbing on the furniture and trying to jump off of it. The other day she thought maybe she should try to get off the couch by going over the arm of it. Once she was hanging there, she decided that it was a little bit too far of a drop and spent the next 5 minutes trying to swing herself back onto the couch. She was successful!

4. Another talent of Sadie's is climbing onto the bathroom counter.
The bathroom door must be shut at all times because Sadie will go get a stool, put it up to the toilet, climb on the seat of the toilet, then climb onto the back of the toilet and cross over onto the counter. She has also figured out how to turn on the water in the sink. Usually we can keep her out of harms way, but sometimes Nate will go to the bathroom and I won't even know and sure enough -- the door is left open.

5. And last but not least. . . Because Sadie knows just where to go when Mom is cleaning. For the last week I kept finding little brownish red streaks on the floor. I would mop and later in the day they would appear again. Basically I was mopping twice a day to get rid of these weird streaks. I checked everyone's shoes, the bottoms of Nate's cars and trains. . . could not figure out what was making these darn streaks appear. So finally one day I'm mopping and I turn around to find fresh streaks where I had just mopped. The only thing following along beside me -- Sadie. So I pick her up to look at the bottom of her feet. Her big toes each had little cracks on them and were bleeding, poor baby! Everywhere she went, she was leaving little streaks of blood. A little intensive lotion therapy and some socks and I no longer have to mop the floor multiple times a day.

And in case you're wondering Sadie just wears PJs all day, the answer is no. I get her dressed about 1 in the afternoon. And then we strip her down at night because she insists on feeding herself.


Valentine's 5 fun activities -- plus some

Since tomorrow is the big day and I've had 2 parties to plan, I thought I would share some of the activities we've been up to!

Lollipop flowers

I just used flat heart shaped suckers in the back, di-cut some flowers and added ribbon. For Nate's buddies we left it at that, but for Ellie's school party we're sticking them in cellophane bags with little hearts that the kids are going to make into coupons like: free cuddle, read one book, clean my room, make my bed. . .

Making and decorating cookiesToday *and* tomorrow.

Broken heartsThis is for Ellie's class tomorrow. Hand out half of a heart to each kid in the class and then they have to find their match.

Hot Heart
Basically Hot Potato but with a stuffed heart. If the heart lands on you, everyone has to say something nice about you. Awww, so sweet.

Conversation heart cards
These were for the little boys to do. Basically I drew a heart and they glued the little hearts in the card. At least what they didn't eat.

Steal My Heart
This is a game for Ellie's class using more conversation hearts. You put a bunch in a bowl and the kids have to use a chopstick to see how many they can get out in an alloted time.

Heart Finger Puppets

Left is how they *should* turn out, and to the right are the boys. Remember they're only 3. And boys. They were more interested in sticking their fingers through the holes than decorating them OR taking a picture. I couldn't even get Nate to turn his around to show me.

Valentine totesBasically just two paper plates, some shapes and ribbon. The gluing was the most fun for them. These were for them to stick all their lollipops, crafts and Valentines in.

And yes, Chelsea-- that's Nate in his PJ bottoms. I knew you could relate. I forgot to get him dressed while I was running around getting ready for the party.

2/14 -- Dang it! I have some super cute picture, including Ellie and her crush, but I decided I'd better not put them up since I don't really know their parents all that well. So here are the 3 pictures I have where you can't really see anyone else's face.We missed Her teacher's b-day, so we had a little surprise party at the end. I made a flower pen for each kid to give her and then we sand and had cake. You can tell Ellie thought the surprise was so much fun.
I think every kid in the school wore red today. Ellie had to wear her boots of course.


I'll be back later today with a Valentine post, but I just wanted to highlight some cool links I added. One is my sister's blog for everyone who knows her:

The other is this awesome baking blog I found. Now we all know I can't bake, but I like to try and this stuff is so cute and looks semi-doable: Bakerella I want to try those cake balls so badly. It's on tap for this weekend when my sister comes. And I thought the rose cupcakes would be easy to do with fruit by the foots with your little kids.

And American Idol was awesome last night.

OK, I'm off to do a V-day party for the boys.


TV top 5

So the Writer's Strike is ending and most of the TV shows will have new episodes airing in April/May. Part of me is really excited, but then I can't quite figure out what I'm missing so much. Some of my all time favorite shows are on right now. I pretty much don't watch any shows live just because the kids are awake and we're busy doing family things, but these 5 shows get watched as soon as the kids are in bed. Oh, and there will be spoilers ahead.


I have watched every season of this show and I still love it. I am so happy to see Ozzy and Yao Man back on. And how awesome was it that the Fans kicked the Favorites butts in the first episode? I loved it!! Maybe they shouldn't be so cocky after all. Plus it got rid of Johnny Fairplay. This season will be so much better without him.


I was mad that they made us wait almost a whole year before new episodes aired and I wasn't even all that crazy about watching the first episode until I finally sat down and did it. Now I'm hooked all over again. I think you have to be a masochist to watch this show because they never answer any questions! Every week I just have more. Why do I do this to myself? What 6 are the Oceanic 6? Why were the 4 sent to the island. Why do they want Ben? What is up with the freaky cabin in the woods? ANSWER ME!!!


This airs on PBS on Sunday nights in case you have no idea what I'm talking about. Right now they are playing movies of all Jane Austen's works. So every Sunday there is some sappy romance on. I love it. Right now they are in the middle of the A&E version of Pride and Prejudice. Watching anything Jane Austen makes me giddy, and who isn't in love with Mr. Darcy?

Project Runway
Make it work! This show wouldn't work without Tim Gunn, so he'd better never leave. My favorite designer has to be Chris March. I am so glad they brought him back. He just seems so nice and fun. The models play a smaller role every season it seems. Why not just get rid of them all together? This season they haven't even modeled that much.

And last but not least. . .
American Idol
Hollywood Week starts tonight. Finally! I like the auditions, but they seemed to last forever this year. Last weeks' show made me mad because they weren't even all from one place, just a compilation of stuff not good enough to make the first round of audition shows. Lame! I can't wait for tonight to get down to the nitty gritty and see the talent. And of course play in Brett's most awesome AIFL! Anyone else planned their evening around this?

Maddy Out!



Boo hoo -- I was feeling sorry for myself last night. Now I'm embarrassed that I even shared it. Thanks for the support everyone who caught it. Love ya! Maddy

Weekend Top 5

The 5 highlights of my weekend:

1. Getting bit by a dog. Hey, I didn't say they were *good* highlights. I had a school project to work on for Ellie's class and a couple of the moms expressed that they would like to help, so we met for a play date on Saturday at Ellie's friend's house.

I should have known I was going to get bitten when I heard the yippee dog from behind the door. Right as we walked in I got bit! OUCH! Needless to say, it has only deepened my disdain for dogs -- sorry Beth and Kerry. The pain is gone, but I still have a big old bruise.

2. Dinner at Doug's. Dustin has a brother who lives out in Maricopa. Embarrassingly enough, we only see him 3-4 times a year, so we thought we'd trek out there and give the kids their Christmas gifts. It was fun and I can never figure out why we don't do it more often. Anyone else live close to a relation they never see or is it just us?

Doug made a great dinner, the kids played, Ellie kicked butt at Wii bowling and golf. . . Cody did not take that well.

3. Getting birth certificates. Janel was sweet enough to drive with me into the ghetto, uh, I mean downtown Phoenix, to get our kids their birth certificates. I got Ellie's right before registering her for school, so I hit a record with Sadie and Nate by getting theirs at the tender age of 3 and 1. At least I beat Janel -- she had to get Cooper's. We got talking and missed our turn so Dayton and Nate got a lovely tour of the junk heaps and train tracks. Nate loved every second of it.

4. 8 is Great! We had our baptism preview last night and it was so much fun. Of course I started crying when the moms started talking about their kids. 8 seems so grown up and Ellie is going to be there in just a few short years :(

5. Date night with some friends. We went up to see Jesterz, leaving time to eat beforehand. However, due to the 1o1 closing, a huge accident on the 2o2, and the stop-and-go traffic/lack of food making one first trimester pregnant friend sick to her stomach, we stopped to eat at this pit of a BBQ joint. At least the company was good.



Yuck -- do you just have one of those days when you're so frustrated? That is today for me. First off, it doesn't help that the house I spent days cleaning is already messy and the laundry is piled up -- AGAIN. It is so frustrating to do the same things again and again every single day.

<--- Major source of frustration right there. She can tear apart the house faster than I can clean up and today she didn't nap, so I had no time to try and mitigate her destruction. She even wears out the day care people at the gym. Every time I pick her up I have to hear what she climbed on or what she destroyed.

Another frustration -- I'm getting old. The other day Dustin and I were watching American Idol and he says, "Hey look, that person's as OLD as you are." Not "as young as" or "the same age as" . . . like somehow an AI contestant must be ancient if they're the same age as I am. Then at Amy's shower she said I was like her BIG sister. And I'm getting wrinkles. And gray hair.

Today I decided to make these cute cupcakes in a jar I had heard about on etsy. I thought they would make cute birthday gifts for neighbors/friends or little Valentine's Day gifts. So I dragged the kids to the store, bought all the stuff and it just didn't turn out as cute as I had hoped.

The first one I made ended up with frosting all over the side, the next one I didn't put enough frosting in to make it look appealing. . . so the right is my third attempt. The left is the cuteness it's suppose to resemble. I didn't have any Valentine-y paper so I just grabbed some of Ellie's dollar spot cards. Hopefully if I got get some cute paper and make some fun toppers I'll like them better. And Dustin suggested piping the frosting in, so there might be hope yet.

Frustrated with Tuesdays results. Just a tiny bit since Obama still has a chance, butt I'm bummed about Huckabee and McCain. What is wrong with people?
**Sorry** When I wrote this I had been watching a show where they were discussing the idea that Huckabee and McCain had some sort of underhanded side deal going to keep votes from Romney. I didn't mean that I had any problem with people who actually VOTED for McCain, just frustrated at the idea that something like that ad taken place. Sorry if it came across that I thought anyone who voted for McCain had anything wrong with them.

Anyway, enough whining. Off to pick up Ellie and have a fun play date at my girlfriend's house. Ciao for now.


Don't forget to vote!

If you live in a Super Tuesday state go vote! It's so easy and fast, just take a minute to run out and do it.

Nate and I ran over this morning and cast our vote for Barak Obama, despite Ellie wanting me to vote for Hillary Clinton because "she's a girl." I was going to vote for him anyway, but for the last few days I've gotten 2 or 3 calls a day from his camp which made me like him even more. Hillary didn't even bother to call me. She must have known I was a lost cause. Anyone else get any calls?

I'm so excited to watch the results come in tonight. I'm rooting for Mitt and Obama to do well.

The neighborhood playgroup was here yesterday. My secret weapon: puzzles.

I tried to put a pony in Sadie's hair for Church on Sunday. She pulled it out in the middle of her nap and had Alphalfa hair for the next 2 days.

I forgot to add this little gem:
Last night Ellie got into a little trouble before bed. When I was heading into our room later during the night, I found this little note shoved out from under her door. It says: I am not perfect. What I love is that her arms are crossed in the picture, and steam is coming out of her ears. But maybe I will be a little more relaxed for a few days.


Saturday fun!

The last few weekends have been really busy and I've left my kids with a babysitter a little too much -- so much so that they groan when I say the word "babysitter" -- so we decided to take Saturday off. I was the only one with any commitments for the day, so the rest of the time we could all work. I am in the best mood because we were all so stinking productive!

Car -- cleaned! Inside AND out. Dustin even rearranged the car seats for me and Sadie is now facing forward!

Office -- spotless! The office turns into a pit since Dustin works from home and it drives me crazy to look in there. Usually it gets a good cleaning when he's out of town, but since the kids were sick last time he was gone, it got even worse. Now I actually know where everything is.

Dishes, laundry, dusting, floors, cleaning kids' rooms, organizing junk baskets and drawers. . . done.

Valentine's -- finished. I gave Ellie the choice of making them or buying them and she picked making them. I made a few samples of do-able Valentine's and let her pick what she wanted to do and then I spent one night last week cutting all the pieces for her to put together. She thought it was fun for about 5 minutes before she started complaining how boring it was to do the same thing over and over. Next year we're buying them!

Baby gifts -- wrapped and ready. Isn't everyone pregnant? Well now I've got all their gifts are ready to go thanks to the fact that everyone is having a boy and Target had these really cute stacking boxes on clearance. They are perfect to put presents in. Now I just need something creative for Mer since she's actually having a girl.

Garage -- cleaned! Dustin has been listening to me nag about the garage for months now, so I appreciate him spending the afternoon out there while I spent an hour socializing when I was out "picking something up."

So after all our hard work there was a knock at the door and my neighbor wanted to know if my kids could come out and play in the snow. Her husband had gone snow camping this weekend and brought back a truck load of snow. it wasn't long before the whole neighborhood was out for a massive snowball fight. I was surprised Nate got into it as much as he did, but he LOVED it. This is the way to do snow I tell you! A big fat pile in the 6o degree weather. PERFECT ending to a perfect day. Does it make me a sick person if cleaning and organizing can make me this happy?