Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mommy's helper

Ollie "folded" all this laundry for me today. He loves to be my helper, and I need to remember to let him! It might be easier to let him watch as much "Max and Ruby" as his heart desires while I get things done, but well, what is that teaching him? (besides how to all get the last word with your bossy older sibling? :). Whenever he helps me with a task he gets an extra little hop of confidence in his step.

That kid is so precious to me.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Keepin’ It Real Wednesday

With all the lovely pictures I have been seeing of kids frolicking among the orange-hued fields of pumpkins and meandering through corn mazes, I thought I would share our family’s trip to the local “pumpkin patch” …….IMGP1139



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(complete with a trip down the ice cream aisle, to make the trip a little more worth it for Mom and Dad)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Instagrams from this week

Indoor soccer league
Trying to show you her first teeth - came through on Monday!
Carina waiting for Chad to join us to go to Gabe's parent-teacher conference.  She got to hear lots of good things about her Gabe.
I don't care about clothes for myself that much anymore - I just want stuff like this for Carina!
Dinnerplate Dahlias are in full bloom again.  They are such shameless show-offs but I forgive them because they take no effort on my part.
Chad thinks teasing Carina is great fun.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Zumbathon with Sabina!


Some of you may know that my sister-in-law Sabina is now a Zumba instructor.  I am very lucky to be able to attend her classes on occasion, and I wish I could every day.  Her classes are so much fun that you don’t realize you are working out until you wake up sore the next day!  I can’t think of a way I would rather work out. 

This weekend I will attending  a Zumbathon that she is team teaching at Club Fitness.  I am so excited!  I would really love to get a big group of Sabina supporters together.  You don’t need to be a Club Fitness member and all donations benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  Here is the information:



Sunday, October 16, 2011

Gabe’s Harry Potter party

  I love Harry Potter.  I always liked the books, but after reading them with my boys at night (we have read as far as Prisoner of Azkaban), I now love love love them.  I wanted to throw Colin a Harry Potter party for his 8th birthday, but as you may well remember, I was due with Carina on his birthday and I had a feeling that I really shouldn’t plan something big – a feeling that was validated when I had an eight day old baby to take care of on his birthday. 

So here it is, Gabe’s birthday, and I got to use my creative side, which is normally pretty untapped.  I had such a good time getting ready for it.  My top secret project, which was accomplished over several nights the week before the party?


I made a wand for every kid – our own little Ollivander’s.  This may sound like bragging, and maybe it is, but this picture doesn’t even come close to capturing how cool these wands were.  I really wish I had taken the time to make sure I got a better picture because I was so tickled with how well they turned out.   I used this tutorial, and while I wouldn’t say it was super easy, it was super do-able.  I am definitely not an artist, and it was not hard for me to make each one look pretty cool.  All you have to use is paper, Elmer’s glue, a hot glue gun (a project for you Roy!) and paint.  I added a wooden dowel  inside each one to make them a little sturdier but it isn’t necessary.   I would definitely make these again if the occasion arose.  They were well worth the effort.  Gabe didn’t see them until the party, and since he has been wanting a wand for a really long time, he was a happy guy.  Anyway, here are tons of pictures, because I love these things. 

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I know that is not the most flattering picture of Mr. Ollivander, but I had to show you platform 9 3/4 right behind him….the kids walked through there to get inside Hogwarts.

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Now for the second big surprise of the evening, brought to the kids by my wonderfully creative mom.  I gave her a plain witch’s hat a couple of weeks ago and asked her if she could turn it into a sorting hat.  I told her it just needed to look old and beat up, but I should have known she would go way beyond that.  Here is what she came up with!



This was her real gift to Gabe!  A labor of love.  Isn’t it awesome?

Each kid got to take turns being “sorted.”  The plan was to tape my phone inside and have my brother Bobby call it and talk into the ear of each student.  At the last minute the tape unstuck and the kids were getting really restless so we threw the phone under the stool.  In retrospect, at that point we should have just used a baby monitor because it would have been louder.  Ahhh, oh well. 

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The kids mostly loved it – I had asked the parents if anyone had house preferences beforehand. However, I wrote Nolan’s down wrong (even through I knew long ago that he is a die-hard Hufflepuff and Levi reminded me – and see his scarf?) so he was disappointed when he was sorted into Griffyndor. The hat ended up saying he had made a mistake and switching him.  They I noticed that my birthday boy was sobbing because he was the only boy in Slytherin, and his cousin Santi (who I could just hug forever for this) kindly said he would switch from Ravenclaw to be in Slytherin with Gabe, so the hat switched him as well. Whew. It was intense. By the way, Bobby was awesome as the sorting hat – he has all the Harry Potter lingo down and knew what each house is known for.

The rest of the party we just pretty much let them play and eat pizza.  I tried to make butterbeer but it wasn’t that great due to not knowing where to shop for cream soda. Three stores didn’t have anything but IBC and I wasn’t about to use that for all 13 kids because it is so expensive, so we used a little cream soda, with butterscotch topping mixed in, with a lot of root beer and then whipped cream mixed with butterscotch on top.

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We had a fire outside, the kids had a good time and we sent them with little goodie bags:

Chocolate frogs, licorice wands, and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans (Jelly Bellies)


It was good, but I think it was a little too much for Gabe.  It was one of those “it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to” type of nights.  Hopefully he won’t remember the good of it. I was exhausted by the end.  Preparing for the party was fun, but actually executing it made me appreciate the merits of slapping down a bunch of money to let Chuck-E do the work for you.


Just in case you are dying to know, Carina got Griffyndor :o) She was pretty pumped about it.IMGP0326

Friday, October 14, 2011

Gabriel’s birthday


Today was a perfect fall day – very much like the one six years ago when I gave birth to our Gabe.  Ollie, Carina and I brought lunch to Gabe at his school ( and let me mention really quickly that their new school is so gorgeous). 

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Gabe was happy to have us there, and his little sister got a lot of attention.  It was very nice to see Gabe in his school setting and to set how relaxed and comfortable he seemed.  We had lunch with Colin too, and his lunch was before Gabe’s (doesn’t make sense, I know), so Ollie was pretty over the whole thing by then. 


I picked the boys up from school and we headed over to California Pizza Kitchen.  I know, I know…Red Robin is usually the Coleman birthday tradition, but they haven’t been bringing birthday sundaes lately, and we just haven’t been super happy with them, so we decided to try something new.  CPK gives a free kid’s meal and sundae for birthdays.  They didn’t sing when they brought the sundae, but Gabe was sure okay with that.


        Chad met us there straight from work and the boys had a good time “sitting “by the fountain while we waited.

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Gabe was really happy with CPK.  He rated it above Red Robin and Golden Corral but right below Dragon Buffet (his all-time favorite).  We went home and did presents, which he also loved.  I could tell he had a really great birthday because he kept spontaneously hugging me, which is Gabe’s way of saying he is just as happy as could be.  We sure love this kid.

Tomorrow is his Harry Potter birthday party – stay tuned!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What I am up to today

Attempting potty training with a cute little three year old.

Making a super secret project for my almost six year old.

Getting my six month old used to sleeping in a crib (yes, a crib!)