i'm in love

and her name is #14 and you can find her at ulta.

i've been on a search for the perfect lipstain, and i have finally found it! super easy to apply with one of those little foam applicator things (for some reason easier for me than the pens), it is shiny but oh so not sticky when it goes on, and here's the best part: it does not suck all the moitsure out of your lips as it dries! i think it actually moisturizes! i can't speak to the other colors, but #14 smells and tastes like cherry, a nice cherry, not the obnoxious super fake smelling kind. and honestly, it lasts a good 6 hours or better.

better hurry and buy some, since i found something i love and wear every day, they'll probably discontinue it!


it's happened to me

holy funnelcakes. i never thought i would have to utter theses words, but it's true; i am addicted to a computer game. i totally never understood how this could happen to people. until this week. i started playing wizard 101 with oldest go-go-gadget-girl this week and now i can't stop. seriously. we spent all day yesterday - a beautiful sunny day - on the computer playing this game. 

although we don't have any type of gaming system, i'm not totally adverse to them; and i am a product of the 80's so of course i played pac man, ms. pac man, frogger, etc. but they were just something fun to do occasionally. but this game has just sucked me in. i think it's because the more you play, the 'stronger' you get and the harder your quests become. there is some mental aspect because you can fiddle around with your clothes and objects to increase power, health, shields, etc to some degree. but mostly, it's just about running around these 4 worlds (still don't know what the 4th is) collecting items and fighting  characters within the realm with spell cards. i know. i know. but i can't help it. i want to level up. i want to get the next spell card or training point. i want my pet to grow. sigh. i'm sure i'll grow out of it soon, i mean really, with 3 go-go-gadget-girls at home who could spend every day doing this? but, if you're ever in krakatopia, make sure to look for rowan pixiepants!


the unexpected

is not always bad! sometimes i forget that. but today i had a great reminder of this oft overlooked fact; in the mail, there was a funny envelope from a prize distribution center. cripes, what kind of junk mail is this, i thought. good thing i looked, because inside was a $25 gift card from safeway! earlier this summer i played one of their summer sweepstakes games and won the g.c. i was supposed to get an email to verify my address. it never came. i forgot all about it. until today. when i opened my mail. maybe i should go buy a lottery ticket.......


why is it

that people put their kids in the wrong level when they sign them up for classes? the go-go-gadget girls have been in swimming lessons on and off for probably 3 years now. 2 of them are going great guns, the other not so much - she is still in level 1 after several classes. 

this summer we ventured into a new realm: the local outdoor pool - which is only open for 3 months. i like the concept of every day for a half hour classes for 2 weeks (and because we're residents, it's a bit cheaper than the other localish lessons we've done). it's worked really well so far. even the smallest g-g-g-g is enjoying herself and actually frustrated (for the 1st time) because she hasn't moved out of level 1, and mom is getting a respectable tan. 

anyway, the point of my story is this: parents either totally over estimate their children's skill level, or they just pick the lesson time that is convenient to them. this is especially evident in oldest g-g-g-g's lesson. she is at the level where they are perfecting their strokes; or they should be. there is one little girl in her class who can barely do the crawl; she does maybe 3 very shaky strokes and then starts to flounder and dog paddle. the instructor always has to grab her, hold on to her, and walk her the rest of the way down and back. it. is. very. time. consuming. it is the same with all the strokes. it takes a lot of time away from the other 4 students. trust me, i get that it is all a learning curve (remember, littlest g-g-g-g has been in level 1 for at least 7 sessions) but that is what the other levels are for! why put a kid in a level they can't possibly succeed in? i would imagine it would be frustrating not only for the instructor, but especially the child in question. 

so who's responsibility is it in these situations? should the parents take the kid out? are they being selfish if they don't? should the facility step in and move her to the appropriate class? it's been 2 days and i'm not hopeful either way.



i didn't win the silhouette....did you?


even MORE

chances to win! i am determined to do everything possible to win the coveted-by-me silhouette. and since i am such a giver, i thought you might like 2 more chances to win as well! head on over to Mom Advice and A Soft Place to Land for your chance. while you're there, make sure to poke around the sites. i've been a fan of soft place for a while, and while it was my first trip to mom advice, i found it quite enjoyable. ttfn!


2 more chances

i REALLY want to win a silhouette, how about you? here are two more opportunities for all of us, check out dollar store crafts and sugardoodle for your chance to enter. of course, while you're there look around and maybe do some subscribing!


i REALLY want one!

yet another place for a chance to win the tool i want so bad but can't afford: check out the idea room for your chance. and while you're there, make sure to look around, her blog is aptly titled, there are a ton of great ideas!

holy cow

another chance to win one of the tools of my dreams! tidy mom has a give-a-way going, and the prize? the much drooled-over-by-me silhouette! i'd tell you to head over there and enter, but i'm selfish and want to win! oh, ok, you can enter too; but be warned, i'm going to win! - however there are a couple of pretty good promos for the silhouette there as well. and while you're entering, make sure to check out the blog, it's pretty fantastic!


do you want a silhouette?

i do. but, with another child's orthodontia looming, school shopping for 3, swimming lessons, golf camps, bills to pay, food to buy, birthday's to celebrate, trust me the list goes on and on - i just can't justify the money. ever. there's always something else more pressing. i know, wah, wah, wah. the point, however, is this: every chance i get to possibly (no matter how remote) get one for free, i take. thought you might like to enter yourselves. so go check out Little Birdie Secrets for your chance to win one and while you're there, check out the blog it's chock full of great craftiness!



is it too late for me to become a marine biologist?


i've been busy

ha. not really. it's been a lazy weekend. i did do this tho :)

katie petite notebook edge mask no5, cc love two word art, digmandy paper


ooo, aaaah

nope, not fireworks....yet. i made another layout. i know, shocking, 2 in 2 days. apparently i a) have too much time on my hands or b) don't really care about all the chores i really should be doing. (hint: if you chose 'a' you're probably not right) i found another cute (free) template over here at digi scrap obsession. actually i found it at color with caryn's blog which sent me to dso. i thought what the heck, i like the template, i like the yummy kit for playing, it's all good! go check them out, i bet you'll be happy you did.


why do i agonize?

i'm crafty. let's rephrase, i like to craft, and that includes scrapbooking. i've found myself in a slump for quite a while now, not even wanting to do crafts; of any sort. sure i've still been reading my crafting blogs and oohing and aaahing in my head over all the creations, and within the past few days, the bug has hit again. today i sat down to do some digiscrapping. and then it hit me, why i've been avoiding anything in the crafty realm: i agonize. endlessly. i agonize over color scheme. over elements. over placement. over journaling. over everything.

case in point, this
it's ok. nothing spectacular, pretty basic, and it took like 3 hours. with a template. it should not have taken anywhere close to 3 hours, if only for the fact that i used a template. a great template (you can get yours from jennifer fox designs). i did alter it a bit: i only had 3 pictures i wanted to use and i just wasn't feeling the flowers today, but really those are minimal changes and it still took three hours. sigh. i'm not even a perfectionist. why do i sabotage myself by over thinking every little thing? i guess i'll keep plodding away with my little projects and maybe in time i'll whittle my creative process down.

credits: slurpeegirl13, songbirdavenue port auprince collection,  jennifer fox, templatesandmore, gina cabrera, amy hutchinson for after 5 designs

should i or shouldn't i

my go-go-gadget-girls, like most kids i imagine, love to bake. or maybe it's genetic. i love to bake. i loved to bake when i was a kid oh so many years ago. before bike helmets, seat belts, car seats, and the fear of licking the bowl or eating raw dough. i vividly remember that being one of the highlights of baking. sometimes i liked the raw state more than the cooked state - and believe me when i tell you, i loved (and still do) the cooked state! back to now. go-go-gadget-girl #1 and i made orange and cranberry muffins yesterday; go-go-gadget-girl #3 and i made blueberry muffins this morning. 
i let no one lick the bowl. 
except me. 
when they weren't looking. 
that got me thinking, i don't think i'm any worse for wear for doing so. i've never contracted salmonella or some other horrible disease and died and i've been bowl cleaning for nigh on 40 years. am i being over protective by denying them one of life's greatest little pleasures? do you?


ah, quiet

so today is #1 go-go-gadget-girl's 9th birthday and the house is blessedly empty. why? the 3 go-go-gadget-girls and mr. fast lane went to the bike shop for a basket for gggg's new bike! isn't it cute? it's the one she wanted, a good little cruiser, just like moms - except mom's is bigger, blue,  and has 21 speeds. 
anyway, back to the quiet house. it seems fitting for moms to get little perks on birthdays, after al,l they did all the work, the kid just showed up; i used to send flowers to mr. fast-lanes mom on his birthday, and even did it a few times to my own family - which they thought was weird. what do you think?


my baby

sadly, i don't remember it as clearly any more, but 9 years ago on this date i was ensconced in a birthing suite at the local hospital. 
we had been there since about 10 am for an induction. #1 go-go-gadget-girl technically had a due date of 7/4, which would have been great, but my mid-wife was leaving for a trip back home to s. dakota near that time and didn't want to risk me cooking the kid longer than that because she wanted to be there for the birth of this child; we had been through so much together she and i, both with this high risk pregnancy and a previous pregnancy that didn't end so well, and this truly caring, compassionate woman wanted to be there. maybe even needed to be there. so, we planned an induction. 
as these things go, 10:00 came and went and another of her mothers delivered, so we, naturally had to wait. we finally got the ball started around 1:00. i was nervous, excited, and did i mention nervous? if memory serves, i think about this time i was in a tub of extremely hot water trying to ease the pains of labor (yeah, it didn't work so much). mr. fast lane was watching a mariners game. nice. i won't bore you with the details, suffice it to say that 13 hours later, a healthy 8lb 3oz baby girl came screaming into our world (and hasn't stopped talking since!)
i am, and forever will be, grateful to ms. L for all she did for us, not only for #1ggg, but also through the birth of our twins; while she couldn't be my 'doc' for this even higher risk pregnancy, she kept in contact, advised and listened, and even drove me to the nicu in seattle when i couldn't drive because of the c-section.
so while i'm early for the actual birthday, i thinks i have good enough reason to celebrate right now. happy almost birthday to my 9 year old go-go-gadget girl!



go-go gadget girl #1 will be NINE on sunday. for some reason i'm having a hard time getting my mind wrapped around that. technically, i could really have a 10 year old son, but that's a story for a different time. so anyway, nine and no party. we had to cancel her sleepover because she did something so heinous (ok, she wrote that her sisters were stupid....no, not in her diary, but in her sister's writing book) that the only way to impact upon her how serious this was, was to cancel her party. trust me, it was hard. secretly, i was not to unhappy with the prospect of not having 300 million 9 year old girls up half the night in our basement - not to mention the expense we dodged. however, we were still doing the family party (with extended 'family'). now, come to find out the they're not coming! they are on vacation. now. they never go on vacation. never told me they weren't coming. and they are #1 child's godparents! i'm a bit miffed. i think that normally i would be alright with this, but while we still faithfully attend every birthday celebration for their clan, they have been missing ours for various reasons. it's not like we don't do other things together, we have dinners, celebrate holiday's etc., what's up with birthdays? is it because i change things up and let the girls invite other friends as well (they always have only a family party with the same people and the same food)? is it the food (they are picky eaters and i let the girls pick the menu)? or have we just about come to the conclusion of our friendship. that would make me sad as this family has been one of the constants in our girls life. i'm not really sure what to think.


day one

summer that is. today is the first day for us to be lazy and sleep in. wouldn't you know, i'm up at 6:00! yuck. i'm going to try and be strict this summer: chores before play; but i'm not always so good at that. nothing major planned, hopefully a lot of friends over for play and trips to the parks, 1 vbs, golf camp for one and swimming lessons for all. other than that, we'll be winging it and playing it totally by ear! hold up your coffee cup, give a little toast and welcome summer!

survived day 1.....may start drinking ;)


grateful today

i am in such awe for single mothers (i've had to do it for shortish periods before due to work & medical stuff) and it is HARD! i'm so grateful that mr. fast lane is not simply a sperm donor, but is quite hands on with the 3 little laners - i would be a screaming mimi without him. happy father's day.


what's with this weather?

2 days ago we had a sunny, beautiful, northwest weekend (& i have a tan to prove it). don't laugh, we get them. really. normally i would say we perpetuate the stereotype that it rains - a lot - to keep the tourists down to a minimum. we already have enough traffic headaches. ok, in the winter, it does get dreary and rainy, but really, doesn't it do that just about everywhere that's not, say, arizona or florida? but today, i'm actually falling for our own hype. it's grey, overcast, and we'll be lucky to hit 65. lucky to hit a high that would normally be a low for this time of year. the worst part? the creeping chest crud is going around our house (and school) and now my oldest has it. she says she feels bad, and i have to believe her because the first 2 days i had it i. felt. like. garbage. garbage that had been sitting for a while. so, she feels bad, and she stayed home from school today. yay.


what now?

i'm bored. i don't want to do housework (big surprise) although i am currently running the diswasher AND the washing machine. i don't want to cook dinner - or really even think about it. i don't want to go up to school and watch the kids participate in field day. i don't really even want to read, do sudoku, or online puzzle games. i don't want to go to the pta meeting tonight. i've got the blahs. i should be cleaning, weeding, running errands, or a myriad of other things and i. just. don't. want. to. so make me.


it's friday

but it seems like saturday. the little laners have the day off today (and monday as well of course) so while i got up even earlier than normal (RATS!) it will be a slow day full of pajamas, no schedules, and hopefully no drama (almost impossible with 3 girls!) oh, and it's raining, so no park or outside play for us. boo.



is one of those things that makes me want to go back to school and become a marine biologist!


feeling creative?

Scrapbooks etc. would like to help you out. they have a free kit right now, you can download the whole thing, or just certain pieces - which i like, because while i like free, i rarely like or need an entire kit, only 1 or 2 pieces. go check it out!


i'm sick

not mentally deranged or anything, but literally sick. my throat hurts. my head hurts. i'm exhausted. and i have to suck it up and just keep going. why? well mr. fast lane's heart surgery trumps all. it was 2 weeks ago today. but because of that, the burden of everything falls on my shoulders. all the cooking. all the cleaning. all the yard work. all the kid stuff. all the errands and driving. it's really no surprise that i got sick, my system is waaaaaay down. let's compound all the above with the fact that we have a family member visiting which means that another family member (who lives here) will be here all weekend as well. don't get me wrong, i love both of these f.ms dearly but of course, there is much more to the story.


it's our day

happy mom's day to us! i'm quite enjoying mine right now. the house, is quiet. only happens in the morning here. ok, it happens at night too but by then i'm too tired to care. while i'm mentally making my list of things for the kids to do today, let me direct your over to blonde mom blog. why? she's having a give-a-way for a peacelovemom t-shirt that i would love to have, but every time i contemplate buying one, even on mother's day, i get the guilts and think of a myriad of other things i could/should spend the money on. so.....i'm trying to win one. or maybe you will. good luck. oh yeah, enjoy your 'quiet' today!


it feels like sunday

everything is 'off' with mr. fast lane being home from the surgery and all, but compound that with the fact the fact that all 3 kidlets were home yesterday because of a teacher in service day, and it is the perfect recipe for day confusion. even though i kept forgetting it was actually friday, it was a glorious day; if it hadn't been for a breeze, it may have actually edged over into hot. as it was, it was pretty warm, or maybe it was because i was actually being physical and weeding the front flower bed.  as a kid, weeding would be a punishment, and because of that, i despise weeding. it's too bad, because i love flowers and would love to have one of those gardens you see overflowing with flowers and plants, all meticulously weeded. it doesn't help that mr. fast lane is very utilitarian with the yard work. he mows, but rarely edges or weed eats, so the grass has slowly creeped into the flower beds. i want to get some of those concrete edger things, but every time i think of them, i can find something better to do with the money. ironically, we are not the eyesore yard of the neighborhood. will see if have time for more today, between the FOUR birthday parties and t-ball game.


i've been thinking

with everything that has gone on with mr. fast lane's surgery, i've come to a few conclusions, and i'm going to share them - chances are, other people feel the same way, i'm just stupid enough to voice them, because trust me, i know how this sounds.

while flowers are nice, and i in particular adore them, i may never send them again; don't get me wrong, i totally understand the caring behind the sending of flowers - i've been an avid flower sender myself - but frankly, mr. fast lane really doesn't care if he gets flowers, balloons either for that matter (i, myself, am not a fan of the balloon bouquet), and things that remind him how he can't be in the fast lane and won't be for quite a while seem a bit cruel. the most appreciated? grocery cards and meals. let's face facts, surgery=no work=no money, so gift cards to grocery stores? GENIUS! and even though it's mr. fast lane who had the surgery, the whole family 'had' the surgery with mrs. slow lane taking the brunt of it (except for the whole pain part). petulant, yes, petty, maybe, but i am in effect a single parent (with an extra kid) for at least a month. the simple act of bringing a meal to someone in a situation like ours is an absolute sanity saver. a big thank you to everyone who sent flowers, balloons, etc, but to those of you who brought meals or grocery cards? i am nominating you for saint hood.

conclusion #2: you can tell the true character of a person by how they act/respond/behave in a situation like this. which are you, the person who says 'let me know if you need anything' or the person that mows the grass, makes a meal, brings the kids home from school - without being asked?


mama's day

it's coming up isn't it? i've been poking around the internet looking for my mom - haven't seen her in 23-24 years. there are times i've missed her. my wedding. the birth of my first daughter. the birth of my twins. these are times a mom should be around.....at least. i look at my own girls and wonder how she could be absent for so long. does she think about me? does she care? i pray that the relationship i have with my girls lasts a lifetime - i want to be there for all the big things of course, but it's the little things that mean the most to me right now. the monkey hugs; the 'massages' i get from my oldest at night - granted, she just wants to stay up later, but i cherish those intimate times with her; walking hand in hand to school; even yelling at telling them to clean up their rooms is a gift, one i wouldn't trade for anything.

speaking of gifts, have you heard of lisa leonard designs? she's a fabulous jewelry designer. i've been lucky enough to get some of her stuff for mother's day before. it's not in the cards this year, what with mr. fast lane's surgery and him being off work for so long, we simply can't afford extras right now; something about a roof over our head and food in our tummies seems much more important. however, maybe i can win something - or maybe you could. one of the blogs i read is i should be folding laundry, and right now she has a give-a-way for the fabulous lisa leonard. head over, check them out, it could be your lucky day....i know it's mine.


is anyone sleeping?

me, not so much. i'm exhausted at night and fall asleep easily (yay!) but it's restless and i've been waking up earlier and earlier. today was 5 am. i realize that some may think i'm a slacker because i normally sleep until 7:30 - for many, the wee hours is when things get done: exercise, laundry, bills, cleaning, etc. but, since the most exercise i get is walking the kids to and from school, laundry is never ending here (come on, 3 girls, you do the math) and i'm not a spic-and-span type of mom, i would really rather sleep during those wee hours thank you very much. i'm sure it stems from my anxiety over mr. fast lane's upcoming surgery - who wouldn't be nervous about open heart? two daysto go. i'll make it with the help of these guys
aren't they adorable? there's actually 4 of them in this family, but like any kids, try and get them to pose for a picture. i go to a nearby pond nearly every night (i've been going for almost a year now) to feed and watch the ducks. it's paid off! they're pretty used to me and so feel ok bringing the babes around. the food (cracked corn) doesn't hurt either. there is another family with two ducklings that comes around too. nature's valium.


not so slow anymore

so much has happened and is still happening. here are the highlights: our district took the full time kindergarten out of our home school, and for several reasons i won't get into, we felt for our girls would not really benefit from 1/2 day kindy so we challenged them into 1st grade (before you get all up in arms, they turned 6 in october). just like any decision you may make for your child, you wonder, you question yourself, you doubt. in the end, it was the absolute right thing to do. they are flourishing! doing better even than many of the kids that WENT to kindy. we have a great school and great teachers. miss m has the best 3rd grade teacher anyone could ask for and still likes school (yay!). with the house empty for the first time in 9 years, i did a lot of dancing around naked. no, not really, but it was different being home alone; so i became a para-ed sub in our district. technically, i can work at any of the schools in the district, but so far i've only had jobs at our home school. i went into it to earn a few extra dollars (VERY few) from a part-time gig, but it turns out i really enjoy it. don't be looking for me to go back to school to get my teaching certificate however!

what else.....oh, this past winter, miss c started to have what turned out to be seizures (5 so far). lots of testing. lots of stress. but in the end, she is fine, there is nothing physically/organically wrong. they could have been triggered by a myriad of things, and we may never know what. we've decided to take the watch and wait approach. 

it's mr. fast lane's turn to be the center of the medical spotlight. this friday he is having open heart surgery. yes, my incredibly healthy 51 year old husband who used to run marathons but now bikes instead (he did the STP last summer btw) has to have heart surgery. 2 things: 1) his is having his mitral valve repaired; he currently has severe regurgitation and his heart has enlarged because of it; this has led to 2) he is experiencing bouts of a fib. they are going to do a 'maze' procedure on him to block the extra electrical pathways causing of the a fib. the worst part for him? he hasn't been able to run or bike since march - and that people, is his stress release. the worst part for the rest of us? he'll be in the hospital for 5 or 6 days - he is my stress release. i'm going to be a single parent for a little bit. yikes, how am i going to do it? i guess it's just like anything else, you just do it and you get through it.

good news this week though. we found out that one of our favorite nieces (who lives in MN) is coming here for college! double yay! another of our nieces (who lives in IA) had her baby! 2 gentle reminders that we need to focus on the good things.