Thursday, July 31, 2008

School and the Smack Down

So with school getting ready to start, I've decided to implement lots of changes in the Burden Household. I've decided that I'm no longer a maid and constant nanny to the three little people (and one big person) in this house. Although they will all be in school, I'm NOT going to spend my days cleaning this house so they can destroy it when they come home. Plus, I think they think they are entitled to a carefree lifestyle, but I think a little responsibility would do them all good.

After much pondering and thought, I sat Tyler and Abbe down tonight for dinner and we talked about the upcoming changes. We've really had a very relaxed summer. Lazy days usually start around 10 am when the last of the three rolls out of bed. We've had lots of swimming, movies, play dates and Pump-It Up. Since school is starting the adjustment will be hard, but here are some of the things we talked about:

1. No TV while eating breakfast or dinner. We've gotten into a bad habit from living in the apartment.

2. Tyler will have to fix his own breakfast. Granted it will be a bowl of cereal or a pop-tart, but he's in the third grade for crying out loud.

3. Both kids need to clean up their table settings when finished eating. Just bring it to the sink and I'll take it from there.

4. When the get home from school, we will go straight to homework. Once homework is done, we'll do chores, then dinner. No TV until after dinner as long as we do not have extra curricular activities that day. This is going to kill me the most I think cause Oprah comes on at 4 in Nashville and she's about the only thing I watch during the day. But I must be a good role model, right?

Speaking of activities, the girls will do dance again. Tyler wants to play the guitar. We've got to get over to the music spot and check out the lessons and guitar prices. I'm not sure he understands the time dedication this requires. We'll keep you updated on that.

5. After school chores are simple, girls pick up toys and garbage off the floors downstairs and Tyler does upstairs. They need to put away their clothes and bring any dirty ones to the laundry room. Sounds simple right? I bet it will take hours.

6. Finally, no TV after 8 pm. It's best for them to wind down and either read a book or go straight to bed. They are still little and needs lots of sleep. Especially since they have to be at school at 7:00 am!!

So is this feasible? Or am I nuts? I'm just tired of doing it all by myself. Oh, and I did tell Jason that he has some chores too....I'm tired of picking up his dirty clothes off of the floor.

Funky Shirts & Fires

At a Boy Scout function a few Saturday's ago, the kids had the chance to tie-dye shirts. As I was trying to drag them out of the tub tonight, I had a lightbulb idea! Let's sleep in our new tie-dye shirts! They were thrilled so here they are in all their glory. BTW: Tyler doesn't like how his turned out so he didn't want it on.

I know I said Boy Scouts, but this troop is very family friendly for their activities. The meetings are strictly Scouts, but the activities are fun and games for all.

And while we were getting baths, Tyler and Jason were sitting outside by the nice, built-in, custom, newly finished fire pit on our patio making S'mores. I can't wait for fall when it's actually not a 100 degrees outside and we'll have a reason to have the fire going!

Sallie and O'Harold joined us last night for a late night fire, the first one in the pit, but we got rained out shortly after we got our wet wood to burn. They weren't out tonight and poor Jason was lonely so he's sitting out there with his laptop.


Tyler starts school tomorrow. A) Why do they start them on a Friday? B) Why do they only go for two hours? C) Why don't they go back until August 11th?

Makes no sense.

Abbe starts at the end of August. Olivia's open house is August 14th and she starts the following Tuesday.

Here's my big problem. These kids will sleep until 10 am if I let them. They are LAZY. They do not like to get up early. It's going to be a tough next few weeks. But I can't wait for there little asses to be in school! WOOOO HOOO!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Goodie Bags

Tonight we sat down and worked on goodie bags for Abbe's party. We needed to get them done cause we are busy the next few days. I had it all planned out, almost perfectly. I had between 12 and 14 each of the following items:

picture frame craft
small fake camera
various stickers and tattoos
sun glasses
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

We have a few small kids coming to the party, so I wanted to make special bags for them. But by the time I was finished, I was completely lost as to what happened and where things ended up. I had help. LOTS OF HELP. Olivia and Abbe help. The type of help that just takes over and I lose complete control of the situation. The last bag, I ended up with NO Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, three frisbees, 1/2 a sticker and opened bubbles.

On another note, I still need to order the cake. She wants Jonas Brothers and I can't find one. Girls!!

Da Nooga

Dang, it feels like forever since I've blogged! I've missed it so this may be a long one. I usually don't like to go more than three paragraphs per post for fear I'd lose your interest so I'll try to keep it semi-brief.

Jason had a "business trip" in Chattanooga this week so we decided to tag along for some swimming and touristy stuff. Chattanooga is about 2.5 hours east of Nashville right on the Georgia border. We stayed at the Choo-Choo Hotel so the kids could enjoy the trains and pools (all three of them).

When we arrived on Sunday, we got settled, toured the hotel and swam some.

Monday when Jason went to work, the kids and I took the free electric car downtown to tour. We ate, played, shopped and walked the day away. We met up with Jason and ate at Sticky Fingers for dinner. It was YUMMY and way better than Dave's - a million times better. Went back to the hotel and swam some more. Until 10-damn-o'clock at night. The kids were exhausted.

Tuesday was a little rough for Olivia. I think she was overwhelmed by the activities the day before and the heat. It was damn hot. We took the electric bus over the bridge to the park that has the water fountains. They were having a great time but Olivia started complaining that her ear hurt so we had to cut out early. I didn't mind cause it was a billion degrees outside. We went back to the hotel, shopped, had ice cream, napped and then when Jason came home they swam some more. I'm so tired of swimming.

Today we visited the TN Aquarium and it was awesome. I don't know who enjoyed it more, me or them. They were SO well behaved. I must say that as they get older, it gets SO much easier. There was a petting area for small sharks and kids that we spent a lot of time at. A little girl that was Tyler's age fell in, keep in mind it was only about three feet deep. She was okay, just wet and scared, but the first thing Tyler says to me was, "Aren't you glad it wasn't me goofing off??" All could do was smile with pride that it wasn't my kid! Abbe loved the butterflies or as she calls them the mariposas. Olivia was infatuated with the sharks. She even chose a shark lollipop as a treat. All she wanted was to eat his head off.

Here are a TON of pictures. There are a few things I need to point out:

1. I do not know why my kids pose like they do. They all have their standard poses with the faces and the fingers in the air. I don't get it.

2. I know I have three kids, but Abbe was just toooooo cute with her conductor hat that Daddy bought for her. Hence the 20 shots dedicated to her. Oh, and did I mention he bought them train whistles? Yeah, you buy other people's kids train whistles chump - NOT your kids!

3. I'm working on learning how to take pictures with my Rebel. It's hard to carry that around and the kids, but I'm getting the hang of it.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tyler's Maine Trip

I haven't had the chance to update y'all on Tyler's trip. He had a great time and I think he really bonded with Aunt Charlotte. He's talked non-stop about her since he got home. When he got of the airplane, I was there and he seemed like he'd grown a whole year. He told me all the scoop about the happenings in Bath. He said:

-There was a fire at the yard where Uncle Danny works, but it was on a crane.

-Vanessa is working 40 hours a week, but once school starts she'll go to 20. She got to leave early one day because she didn't get her break.

-There was a meth bust. BIG news in Bath.

-There was a storm that killed two people up in Portland.

-Aunt Debby falls asleep when she watches movies.

-He got to ring the bell on the trolley.

-Grandpa Mike is the Uno Champion, although Tyler beat him in 30-something games.

-Vanessa is going to college soon. He's very intrigued by this cause apparently when she's gone, Charlotte and Danny will travel and "might" come here. He's already planning this.

-He made some friends up there, Elizabeth and her brother made a great impression on him.

Here are a few pictures.

Sorry I haven't posted in a while

Just a lot going on. I mentioned earlier that I applied for a Manager position at a local hospital - well I got it. I went through the entire interview process only (which included six directors and the entire A-team) to have to turn it down. It was the perfect opportunity, with a great team but just the wrong time. I was VERY sad. Very sad cause I really, really wanted it to work out. Such is my life.

Anyhow, we have been busy here. We are going to Chattanooga for a few days this week. More swimming, the aquarium, and some other fun stuff lined up there. Because we moved into the house this year, we've really been focusing on getting things done around here and no vacation time, so this is a nice break. Then Tyler has an "orientation day" at school this Friday. He starts on August 11th. Abbe Mae's birthday party is at Pump-It Up on August 4th. All of her friends are coming and she's thrilled!! Finally, Olivia is getting tubes in her ears on August 5th. We have a ton going on and have continued to do our daily outings such as swimming, swimming, lunch play dates and more swimming. We swam so long on Thursday that everyone came home and slept, which NEVER happens.

So that is the update from me.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Jason Burden For President!!

My brother sent me this. I love it!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Tyler's coming home!!

We've missed him! I'll post the details tomorrow once I pick him up.

Meanwhile, here's a picture of the girls with their new goggles.


No, I'm not talking about Jason's arms.

Let me set the scene. 100 degrees in Nashville. High noon. Jason and I are outside digging up the ROCK in the front yard to fix what the builder called "landscaping". This is our second day in a row working on this project and we are tired and hot. More than tired and hot - plain old exhausted.

Out of no where - Jason screams, "SNAKE, SHIT - A SNAKE!!" He'll deny the fact that he screamed like a woman by saying the rototiller was on, but he did scream. A high-pitched scream. Because I was suffering from heat dementia, I wasn't sure if he was serious or not. Surly there is not a snake in my yard, where my kids play, where I walk, near my new house. But the fear in his voice got my attention and I'll admit, I screamed when I saw it. I believe it is the first snake I've seen in the wild. I mean I've seen them in glass cases at the pet store or the zoo. Whatever the case, I did scream too. Just cause it was so big and slithery. And it's tongue was out, darting back and forth. It looked like it wanted to attack us.

The snake is now somewhere in our yard. I'm not liking the country any more. I don't know how we will sleep tonight knowing that python is loose. I'll be listening for the rattler. I grabbed my camera and got a shot of it before it took off.

Okay - KIDDING! Here it is though, for real:

Friday, July 18, 2008

So tired.

Screaming girls. Yard work. More screaming from the girls. More yard work.

It's also a billion degrees outside.

Screaming girls.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


This year, I've been a red head, a blondie and am now back to as close as my natural color as one can guess. Long, straight, curly, short or frizzy - I just don't know what I want to be. Guess it was time for a change.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Singles Club

Jason and our neighbor, Mr. Harold, A.K.A. "PUP", A.K.A. O'Harold, are like two peas-in-a-pod. They like to build, talk about tools, the dump and give Ted a hard time. If Mr. Harold doesn't come outside for a few days, Jason starts to worry. He'll purposely go outside and mess around in the man-shed to see if he can get a peep from Pup. Sometimes when Jason calls home, he'll say, "Has Harold been outside today? What is he doing?" Mr. Harold is loved by Abbe and Olivia. The girls call him O'Harold, and he responds. When the girls see O'Harold outside, they run up to him and start yapping and tattle tailing on each other - O'Harold just nods and smiles at them.

Mr. Harold helped Jason build his man-shed. They were out side from sunup to sundown in the blistering summer heat building that thing while Ted sat underneath the man-made tarp thing and watched. Jason said Pup is always welcome in the singles shed and they all have big football plans out there. Here I am thinking a shed was for storage and tools? Apparently I'm wrong. It's for men and sports.

Tonight we were outside talking to Mr. Harold's wife, Sallie, when Jason and Harold decided it would be fun to drive their tractors over to Ted's house and stir some shit up. Mr. Harold took his tractor out of his shed and the boys raced over there. They literally raced. Poor Ted was just out there digging a garden, minding his own business. Look at what we have to deal with here on Cobblestone. I wonder what the people that build around us will think....

Lazy Summer Dayz

We met up with Tisha and Kriston for some Nashville Shores fun today. I'll admit, I'm beat. Today was the second day in a row that we went to Nashville Shores. All the fun is wearing on me. The girls had a great time, they always do. But what is funny, is every time I break out the camera - Abbe has a pose. The kid cracks me up!

Nashville Shores

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Tyler's been gone since last Thursday. It seems like such a long time! He's having fun up there, although today when I talked to Grandpa Mike, he seemed off. He said Tyler didn't want to eat his cheeseburger Grammy cooked cause it had yellow cheese and not orange. He said Tyler fell asleep for two hours and when he woke up (which is unsual for him to nap), he immediately wanted to go to Aunt Charlotte's. Grandpa Mike felt that Tyler was bored today. I began to worry thinking that the trip was too long and that Tyler was homesick. The thing about Tyler, or most 8 year old boys, is that he constantly wants to go. GO all the time. It drives me nuts! I hung up and called Aunt Charlotte to talk to Tyler and he said he had a great time at Grandpa Mike's! He said they played Uno all day and he won every single game (Tyler's such a cheater and Grandpa Mike let's him get away with it). And Tyler said the reason he didn't eat the cheeseburger is cause Grammy's cat jumped on it. Grandpa Mike also thought Tyler wanted to spend time with Vanessa today. He kept asking what time it was cause Vanessa got off of work at 3:30. I had to laugh cause Vanessa is an only child and I bet jabber-mouth is keeping her busy. Poor girl's head is probably spinning with him around.

I'm glad he's having a great trip. He comes home Sunday and I can't wait!

Meanwhile, we went to Nashville Shores again today. The girls are such swimmers! It blows my mind how fearless they are now, compared to the beginning of the summer. We played mini-golf, followed by some swimming pool action, then some snacks at the snack bar and finished up the day with floating around in the lake. We are supposed to go again tomorrow with some friends. I'll take pictures of the crazy girls!!

Monday, July 14, 2008


M had some great directions on how to make korker bows on her website. I thought I've put them off long enough and should give them a try.

Very cute and easy to make, just pretty time-consuming. I may have to stick to the standard bow. Maybe I didn't have enough wooden dowels (I had 12)?? Here are some pictures of the finished product and my sweet model!

Robyn said she is working on getting some fresh theme bow instructions. I look forward to it!


My husband built this shed from the ground up. He did a fantastic job even if on the first morning of the project, this happened. I'm not sure of the size but it's 90% finished. He has a few finishing touches that need to be done such as painting, caulking and trim work, but isn't it cute? Jason moved some plants in front of it yesterday. He wants to put an air conditioner in there so he can hang out with Harold and my dad in the "singles club". He'll have to fight Abbe, she thinks it's her club house.

Special shout out to Bill, who came over one afternoon and practically did the entire roof by himself. He's a superstar. I ordered him a sandwich from up the street as compensation. He's cheap labor. Oh, and I wanted to mention that my dad held a tarp for a few

Once I find the other camera card, I'll post pictures of the entire process.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Catching Up

This is my family. I love them even though they are completely crazy. Had you been in that car on the way to the fire works that night, you know what I'm talking about. Pure drama.

Abbe did not like the fireworks so we left early. It seemed like they were really long any ole' way.

Today I was inspired to craft again. Partly cause school is starting and I have to make some cute bows for Abbe and partly cause I have nothing else to do. So here is the early stages of a project the girls helped me with today. And I use the term HELP very loosely. These were taken by my good ole' point-n-shoot.

Finally, I had some help with the laundry this evening. Jason and I were talking today about how big our baby is getting. She's wearing "2" now, which is her term for ponytails. So sassy.

Finally, Abbe Mae had to get in on the action.


Do your kids want to watch the same thing over and over again? I remember when Tyler was little, he loved Bob the Builder. He had about four tapes he'd watch over and over again. It wasn't bad cause they were about thirty minutes long and he'd at least switch them up.

Olivia, on the other hand, will only watch High School Musical all day - EVERY DAY. I think we've watched it four times today. We are watching it right now....again. We've watched it so much that she knows most of the words to the movies. She plays right along with them. Jason and I have had about all we can take of Troy and Gabriella. It's pretty annoying. But little Olivia, she loves it.

Busy Weekend

Friday night we decided to do some planting. My uncle dug up the area around my fence for me to plant some flowers, so we decided to fill it in. Abbe and Olivia were great helps. We put in some pretty perennials and it was a lot of work.

I guess we were inspired cause Saturday we got up, went back to the Depot and dropped some more cash to do the front areas of the house. The builder really cut corners in landscaping our yard, so it will be a work in progress. Jason spent most of the today moving stuff from the front of the house to the back. He's sunburned pretty bad cause he, of course, didn't wear any sunblock out.

One thing I wanted to mention is we have a huge FLY problem. Yeah, big, black nasty ones. They are every where. Any ideas on what to plant or use to deter them from my yard and house??

Tyler's in Maine...

He's on his first ever solo trip to Maine to visit family. The day of departure, I was a nervous wreck. Mostly because the whole airport experience was such a joke. We get there an hour and 20 minutes before the flight leaves. Because he's flying alone, they put us in the "special needs" line. There are about 30 people in front of me with one slow agent working. After waiting there 40 minutes, I go up to one of the line workers and express my concern about how slow things are moving, "Oh, you'll be fine" she says. Ten more minutes I say something again. Ten more minutes I ask for a manager who tells me they are moving us as fast as they can. I'm not pissed they put us in line with people with huge families that travel with 4 car seats, or people that need wheel chairs, or people that are bringing strange things on the planes - I was LIVID they had only one agent up there getting us checked in. I finally get up there get him checked in and the agent tells me that if we miss this plane, he'll have to take the one tomorrow because there is only one direct flight up there. I almost jumped over the counter at her. We get in the security line and the plane leaves in FIVE minutes. I ask everyone if I can cut, they let me so as soon as we made it through security, I tell Tyler, "Don't even put your shoes on - just run." Of course, we are at the last gate in the terminal - GATE 35. As we are running up, they are shutting the door. I yell, "WAIT!!!" So he made it, but barely. Poor kid, I hoped he wasn't as nervous as I was. I HATE being rushed.

He made it okay and has had a good time. He's been swimming, beading, and of course playing UNO with Grandpa Mike. I'm sure he's in the hole a few bucks, but he'll be a cheapie like his Dad and pretend to forget what he owes. He also hit Grammy up for some new Legos. He comes home a week from today, early in the morning. The girls miss him terribly. So do we.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

It's raining, it's pouring!

We need it!

Jason is home again today with his hand. I think it bothers him more than he'll admit too.

We met up with Robyn, Elijah and Sarah for some fun at Chik-Fila. It was good to get the kids out. My kids played but barely ate, so of course the first thing they said when we got home was....."I'm hungry!" Nothing burns me more than that. We were originally going to go to the water park this morning, but it was rumbling then so opted for a little lunch instead. Jason joined us which was a nice change. Next week it's Doug's turn..... :)

I'm getting Tyler's stuff packed for his trip tomorrow. I'm nervous and worried, although I know he will be fine.

Took Olivia to the doctor yesterday in the afternoon for her ears again. She has some pressure issues with them that is causing her a lot of pain. We are going to schedule her for some tubes this week. It's just been a trying month for me with medical issues.

Abbe turns 4 on August 4th! I just realized it's golden birthday!! I wasn't going to do any thing special, however, Robyn told me that Pump It Up has a birthday special going on in July and August. I called and it sounds like a go! Poor girl needs a party but we don't have a whole of friends her age.

Jason and I had someone come give us a pool estimate. It was cheaper than we thought, but more than he wants to spend so we are tossing around ideas on it.

I went on a job interview yesterday. It's a full-time Manager position so we will see what happens, if anything, with it. I was there two hours just talking to VP and I think it went well. The problem is not me finding a job, that's the easy part, the problem is my family life at home and how they will adjust. But I'm a bit worn out here so I think it may be time. Tyler and Abbe both start school next month. Olivia is signed up to go to pre-school two days a week just to get her away from mommy for a while, but can go four days a week if needed. So I have nothing to do when they are all gone. Jason thinks I'll be okay here by myself, I of course, disagree. Jason does not want me to work. My mom says it's the Cleaver Syndrome.

So that's a quick update from me. Nothing witty, nothing funny, just plain ole' life this week!

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Sorry we've been MIA. My aunt, uncle and cousins were in town since Wednesday and just left this morning. Then my brother arrived on Friday so we've been going non-stop ever since.

It's always good to have my family around. My aunt Kathy is one of the people in the world I'm closest too. I always feel a bit empty when they leave. It's quite sad. So when they left this morning, I just shut my bedroom door and crawled back into bed so I wouldn't have to say the dreaded goodbyes. Then I saw it in my girls this morning and the house was back to just us. "Where's T'immy? Where's T'icole?" Abbe asked as she searched her empty room looking for Kimmy and Nicole.

My brother will be here until Wednesday. Then Tyler leaves on Thursday. This is going to be a tough week.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Anyone else disgusted by song lyrics lately? Maybe it's cause my kids are into singing what's on the radio, maybe it's cause I'm getting old-er but I'm over it. If Lollipop comes on when my kids are in the car - I'm going to flip out! The kids love to listen to 107.5 which is a pop station here in Nashville. They play a mix of Jonas Brothers, Taylor Swift, Usher, etc. But some of the stuff is just plain nasty. Remember the Superman? Right, I don't think so - not my kids, not this young. Maybe I need to start to listen to country music instead, but isn't it all about divorce? Any ideas?