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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Driving to Chicago

Packing for our trip to Chicago began the Tuesday before we left. Our plan was to head out Sunday night after Quinn's last bottle (between 5 and 6). This way, we would have Saturday and Sunday to take naps to prepare for the 12 hour drive. Sadly, naps did not seem to fit into the schedule, so when we rolled out Sunday night, I had been awake since 6am and Chris since 9am. The girls began asking "Are we there yet?" approx. 23 minutes into the drive. Quinn went right to sleep...the girls watched a couple of movies and then went to sleep too. The major snafu of the adventure happened in Tennessee. Apparently, I chose the wrong fork in the road. Instead of taking 24 to 65 (which is the way I have always gone) we should have stayed on 24 to 57 in southern Illinois. We were trying to avoid Indiana because the northern part of the state gets a lot of "lake effect snow" this time of year that often shuts down the interstate. I did not realize my navigational mistake until a little after 1am when we crossed into Indiana. Argh! So, we bought a map to find a route from 65 to 57. Success! We could take 74 out of Indianapolis to 57. Keep in mind that it had been pouring rain since Nashville and we had no idea what kind of road 74 would be like. Let me tell you - it was a pitch black road. A pitch black road with nothing but semi trucks and lots and lots of rain. As soon as we hit the Chicagoland area, it started to snow. Fun. Our 12 hour drive turned into 14 hours. 14 really, really long hours - in the rain and the dark. We were staying this time with my wonderful aunt and uncle who were ready and waiting for us when we got there. We visited for a little bit and then they took over with the kids and Chris and I slept for a few hours. Thank God.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Worth It

Even though it took 14 hours to get there and 16 hours to get home, our trip to Chicago was totally worth it. (Longer post at a later date!)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Chandler's book fair experience

The girls did extra chores around the house last weekend so that they could earn $5 to take to the book fair. We told them that they needed to buy a book. Their teacher told me about this at our parent teacher conference this week...

Chandler: Mrs. B., how much is this? (handing her a felt poster coloring set)
Mrs. B: It's $7. More than you have, and I think you need to buy a book with your money.
Chandler: *in slightly whiny voice* But all of the books that I want are posters.

Um, what????

The Nightmare Begins

We are leaving Sunday night for Chicago...and hence, the nightmare begins. Packing for 3 children is my worst enemy. I also have last minute shopping to do...errands to the house and finishing up what is left to do of my grad school work. Big sigh. I am exhausted just thinking about the next 48 hours. So much to do, so little time to do it in.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dad Update

My dad had scans last week and got the results back when he went in for chemo yesterday...

The PET scan did not show any cancer activity.

The CAT scan showed that his current tumors have been reduced in size.

This is fabulous news! He sounded great when I spoke to him, looking forward to getting #6 behind him and then be done with this for awhile...a long while, I hope. :)

It will really give us something to be thankful for when we spend next week together.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


If I haven't already sent you an email.... We had a photo session with our WONDERFUL, FABULOUS, AMAZING friend Frankie this weekend, ok, this morning, and the proofs are UP!!! You can look at them at

then scroll down until you see the Pendley gallery, click on it and you're there!

I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love, love, love these pictures!


The weekend was definitely a success! Not only did we do the usual things (laundry, grocery shopping, class) but we actually squeezed in a few other things...
1. Chris had an outing with all 3 kids to the bank, McDonald's and the bookstore.
2. We had family game night. (Operation, Guess Who and Sorry)
3. We had a photo shoot of the kids with one of our bestest friends (according to Casey she is one of her top friends), Frankie. I am soooooooo, waaaaaayyyyy, super, unbelievably excited about the pictures that she took today. I am excited about these pics like I was excited about getting back our wedding pics. Yes, that excited. I will, for sure, be posting more about this!
4. Had lunch at Chili's and shopped at Old Navy...all 5 of us!

Now, for the BUSY week ahead...The girls and I are having a day at dentist's tomorrow and taking the van in for service before the big haul to Chicago. Wednesday we have parent teacher conferences with the girls' teacher. Thursday I have professional learning after school. And then I am sure that Friday and Saturday will be jam packed with us preparing for our Sunday night departure to Chicago. God help us, we have decided to make the 12 hour drive through the middle of night while all the little ones sleep.

This is my first holiday in 12 years with my dad. I'm not really sure why it has happened that way, but it has. It is also the first time that we will be seeing my dad since his cancer diagnosis and the beginning of chemo. I am both nervous and excited. He has his 5th treatment this Wednesday and will get the results from his last scan then too. We are staying with one of my aunts and uncles so that it isn't a complete invasion at my dad's house and that he is still able to have some downtime to rest. My kids are a lot to handle even when you are not going through chemo. :) According to Dad, we will be going out for Chinese on Thanksgiving...we'll see what my stepmom has to say about that. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

More on the ABC order...

Chan: If we were to put us in ABC order by middle names, would I come before Casey?
Me: Well, what's Casey's middle name?
Casey: Lulu
Me: Really?
Casey: Ok, its Harper.
Me: So, Ha - what is the first letter?
Girls: H!
Me: So, Chan, what about you? What's your middle name?
Chandler: Batricia.
Me: No, Chan, Pa-Patricia.
Chan: With a P?
Me: yep, with a P. So would you be before or after Casey?
Chan: Well, with a P I would be after, but if we spell it with a B I would come first. I think we should use the B.


Not that I don't have a billion things to do in my life right now - raising 3 children (and ALL that entails), work, a ton of grad school stuff (I continue to be waaaaaay behind), scrapbooks (I still haven't put the first picture in of Quinn, let alone the 800 others that I have taken since he was born), trying to maintain friendships and keep in touch with family, etc...BUT, for those of you who truly know me, know this about me...I almost always have a book with me. I typically carry one in my purse. I keep one in the bathroom. Chris and I used to read before bed every night. I kept a reading log with notes and usually added 2 books a week to it. And then Quinn came along. Since he was born, I have made it through 2 books 4 months. Until this last week! We drove out to Mom's which afforded me 2 hours each way to do nothing but READ! It was pure bliss! I finally read MARLEY AND ME (Grogan), which made me both laugh and cry. If you are a dog lover, it is a definite MUST READ! I also finished FOUND (Haddix). This is a new series by the author that brought us ELLA ENCHANTED and THE SHADOW CHILDREN SERIES (fabulous, if I do say so myself). I am really excited about this new series...quite the page turner! And I am about 50 pages from the end of book 3 in THE BLUE BLOODS series. This one is another vampire series, not nearly as wonderful as TWILIGHT, but drenched in pop culture. When I am reading, I actually feel that there is a small slice of normalcy to my life...despite the fact that we have a 4 month old in the house, twins that are trying their best to keep us on our toes at every turn in the road, Chris and I are both juggling grad school and careers that follow us home every night and the hours that I have spent on the phone since the beginning of school with various friends and family members trying to deal with and make sense of my dad's cancer. Reading takes me back to a time when I didn't have all of this on my plate...a time when I was just a little girl stretched out on the floor of my walk in closet, book in hand, with my mother begging me to go outside and play.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Few Tidbits

For dinner tonight we had quesadillas and spanish rice. Here is a snip of our conversation:

Me: Casey, do you want any spicy tomatoes? (salsa)
Casey: Yes, because you know I love spicy food.
Me: Yes, I know. Do you want it on the side of your rice or on top?
Casey: On the side. You know who else loves spicy food?
Me: Who?
Casey: My best friend, Luciana. She's a Mexican.

So then we had a long conversation about if she made the assumption or if Luciana actually told her this....

In other news, Quinn is now responding to his name...but only when Chris says it. So, he is already ignoring everyone else in the house. :)

Chandler is upset because they have been lining up in ABC order in their class and she, of course, has to stand behind Casey. This is completely unfair (according to her) because she had to be born after Casey too. So, she wishes that she was named Casey so that she could at least be first in line.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


4 month check up

Quinn had his 4 month check up Friday afternoon. I am officially raising a future sumo wrestler. he weighed in at 17lbs 8 oz and is 26.5 in long. Seriously. He is more than half of the girls' height and pretty close to half their weight. The girls weighed 8lbs when they were 4 months...about 14lbs at a year. We have been given the go ahead to begin spoon feeding...hence the spoon feeding pictures. :)

The House in the cul-de-sac

We invited our friend Sally Ann to come over Friday night with her daughter Savannah to go trick-or-treating with us. It started out to be the typical Halloween night. The girls were having a great time. Sally Ann and I were having a great time chatting while walking behind the girls. Chris was home with Quinn answering the door. Everything was going quite well. Until we got to the house in the cul-de-sac. They had a fog machine. And lights. And the spooky music CD. People hanging in the windows. The graveyard in the front yard with bones coming up out of the grass and skulls. Sally Ann and I could see people hiding behind the bushes in the front of the house. Sally Ann and I had already discussed how both of us were major sissies...hate scary movies and haunted houses...I have issues with masks and such...So, it took us about ten minutes just to cross the street going towards the house...making statements like, "You don't have to go over there, girls." "It is just pretend. It is just pretend. It is just pretend." At one point, as Sally Ann and I were going to stand on the sidewalk and send the girls down the driveway by themselves, Savannah turned around and said, "Um, you're the Moms. Aren't you coming with us?" So we clutched onto each other and slowly began making our way...behind the girls, of course. The whole time we were out there debating, the people could hear us and at one point someone called out "Do not be scared." I took this as a good sign. Wrong. As we got closer, a man dressed in a suit, hunched over with a cane and a full head mask with long straggly gray hair and a skeleton face, came out from behind the bushes. The girls took of running and screaming for their lives. Sally Ann and I took off with them. It took several more normal houses for them to even get back into the swing of things. There was crying. And I warned all the other parents of small children to avoid the cul-de-sac. :)