Friday's Errand


There is something about the feed store. I just love it there. I love the musty smell. The handle-bar mustaches with the pearl button shirts and wranglers. I love the retired Border Collie chillin in the cool AC (that my girls are terrified of). He has probably herded enough cows or sheep in his lifetime and earned this great pleasure of life in the feed store.

I love watching the feed sift through the girls' fingertips and that the 2 of them mix the parrot and parakeet feed together. The lady doesn't even blink about it. I love all the weird farm animal toys that are covered in dust and have price tags from the 80's on them. I love the potions for horse hooves and shampoos that you can use on humans which will make your hair "Shiny" and "Manageable."

I love that the lady talks to me about my chickens and gives me advice on keeping them cool and happy. It's like she cares. I'm surprised that in actuality she really does care about me and my 4 dumb chickens.

I like that she cares and I think that:

I too should care more about people and their stupid chickens. I should take my time. I should listen. I should work hard to earn a right to chill in the cool AC. I should wear my handlebar mustache proudly. I should not care about little girls messing up my bird feed.

Important life lessons are learned at the feed store. Maybe that's why I love it so much.


Meet my new best friend.


Just a little something that we've been waiting for and wanting. Too bad it's hot as hell outside standing next to a grill.

Carne Asada from Trader Joe's. FANtastic!

Just a late Mother's/Father's Day gift to us. I get to grill. He gets to eat.



Since I'm ready to hit this summer grilling I propose we do something fun.

your favorite summer recipes in the next week or so to: gardinerh(at)gmail.com

I'll put them all together and create a post for us to share in the goodness of summer!

(please include a pic if you can)

MMMmmm. The more the better!


Little things

make the big things seem more manageable:


Camping with Dad


Hanging with Grandpa

The "big things" being another test I have tonight.

Photobucket Photobucket

Finals spread over 4 weeks is a killer.
Especially when all I want to do is play with these two and their daddy



Last friday the girls and I took off for a Target adventure. We needed paper for the printer and somehow I spent almost $100. How does that happen?

Anyway, I promised them a treat if they stayed in the cart and were good girls. They stayed.

I bought them ICEEs and since it was almost lunch time I also got them each a hot dog. I felt a sudden craving for a hot dog myself, broke down and bought one. It came with a fountain drink.

I haven't had caffeine since January 1. I made a goal back then - no caffeine. I assessed my options (in nursing school you learn how to really assess a situation).

I could have:

a. Diet Lemonade
b. Fruit Punch
c. Sprite

Nope. Nope. Nope.

What is this? Dr. Pepper? Hmmm, I thought to myself, I like Dr. Pepper. I then justified, Hays, you have a big final today and are totally going to need some caffeine to keep ya goin. Yeah, you need this Dr. Pepper. Remember how good it was?
That was all I needed and my cup was filled.

Off we went.

We got home and devoured all the disgusting food that was just purchased. The girls grinning ear to ear sucking down the blue and red ICEE's. I drank the evil Dr. Pepper and felt a pang in my stomach (remember how good I was at resisting temptation with the ultrasound last week?). It didn't even taste that great. Plus the bun on my cool hot dog was dry and hard.

But, I flew for the rest of the day (caffeine has that effect when you haven't had it in months) and crashed just before my test.

Freaking caffeine! No mas! I can't have it!!

I'm sticking to my goal for 6 more months. End of story.

Update: I wrote this before Saturday when I had my 12 hr clinical at the hospital. I was dragging my arms on the floor at about noon when lunch came. A Pepsi called my name. I remembered the day before. How crappy I felt, but also how I flew. I drank the Pepsi and made it through the rest of the day.

Here is the new rule: No caffeine. (except when my lip is dragging on the floor at clinical)





What are yours?


a healthy baby...

You are dying to know if little Three here is a boy or girl, right?

First thing, she asked if we wanted to know the sex. I looked at my man sitting in the corner. His eyes secretly wishing I'd tell her yes - that we wanted to know. I considered it for half a second, but then looked away from the temptation and said it.


I was strong. He was silent. We stuck to the plan.

That was that.

We proceeded to marvel at the 6 oz miracle in my womb. Fingers. Toes. Spine. A strong heart. Another beautiful creation. Another miracle.

Come October we'll all find out the sex. Together.

And if it happens to be a little boy - I'll be sending someone to the store.


3rd Week in May

Three saying hello.

I have an extremely busy week ahead of me. Good busy. Fun busy. Except a final.

Trying to take it one day at a time. I actually made a list!

I called my mom and she said how she wished she could come down to help. I wish the same.

Here is the plan:

Clean yard and house. Party here. Kids to Nelly's. Ultrasound (19 weeks). Maybe park day. Study. Mini care plan due. Pharmacology final. Breathe. Kent here. Make fun movies. Easy half-day Fridays start. Clinical. Sharing time.






I should have been more specific...

Last night I was making Rachelle's Peanut Chicken with naan. The girls love to help.


I called Easy to pick up some ginger. I only needed a tablespoon worth and he bought a piece the size of my face.

Anyone have a good recipe that requires ginger?


School's OUT!

I guess school's out only out until Saturday, which is the day I start 12 hour clinicals at the hospital. I'm not so stoked about 12 hours, but love that I don't have to go back to the long term care facility.

I feel like I'm losing my mind a little lately. Wait. I actually think I lost it long ago. You know, back when I got pregnant during my first block of nursing school. That is for sure when it happened.

I think I have broken 3 bowls, 2 cups, and a plate since then. My lost mind is moving faster then my body. And not to mention that I broke the glass to my blender. I'm smoothie-less and suffering. Luckily a new one is in the mail! Woot!

Speaking of Three. I forget about the poor babe often. I'm so busy that I feel like this pregnancy is flying by without me. Busy and forgetful. Clumsy. Tired. An expanding uterus. A little heartburn. Late-night nudges. Okay, I'm totally aware of it. I guess I'm just not soaking it all in like I want to. Like I loved doing with the first two.

School being out this week has been a blessing from heaven. The girls and I have spent the whole week in the water and have almost gone through 2 quarts of bubbles. With our suits on and without. MaeMae's been more or less nakie the whole week (she thinks she is ready to potty-train and I'm...well...not so ready).

And they have worked out that whole sleeping schedule since we are so exhausted from the sun and water.


The girls have been sharing a room since our move. Last night Mae cried until I put her in bed with Blondie and then immediately crashed. She's growing up too fast. I miss my baby Bear, but loved witnessing their late night spooning. They are so lucky to have each other.

And I'm so lucky to spend the next two nights with my loves instead of in class.


Off Schedule


It was always the worst morning job for any of my 6 brothers...to help wake sleeping Hayley.

I still hear about it. On my wedding day I think Easy heard more than one time something similar to, "Good luck with her in the mornings" or "Oh honey, just don't try to get her up before 9."

I assumed it would change with maturity. That somehow I would magically wake up at 6am with a huge grin on my face, bounce down the hall in a pink fluffy robe, and make my 12 kids a bounteous breakfast only fit for a king.

I was wrong. I'm still at my very worst before 8am. I am a grump. I can't even lift my eyelids. I drag myself to the bathroom, sleep through Mae's diaper change, and haphazardly pour cereal and milk.

I think around 9am I actually speak my first coherent word.

So, lately the girls' schedule has been totally off. They are staying up late (10:30pm) and waking up as usual...early (6:30am). It's killing me. I need my nights back to enjoy with E.

Mornings will always be mornings. I think I will despise them forever, but I NEED my nights.




Most people that meet my mother will agree that
She is too amazing to forget
Everything she does is for her family
She works exceptionally hard, she is devout in her faith, she sacrifices, she nurtures
All for her us
We are her life
The perfect example of what a mother should be
and I am so grateful

p.s. my dad looks pretty awesome





Hola Amigos!


Yesterday morning I gave Easy a list of last minute items to pick up at the store including a pinata, mexican soda, and syrup for the fried ice cream. I had gone to the store previously in search of a pinata, but only found ones themed after Cars, Spiderman, or Dora. E told me he was going to Food City in search of the last of the goods. If a place was going to have a great pinata it would be Food City.

When he walked in the front door at 5:30 with a 3 foot donkey pinata I couldn't help but smile and kiss him. It was just what I wanted. The girls squealed with delight as we looked over the beautiful ass (you know I had to).

All 12 kids swam, played in the bubbles, chased the chickens, and finally stuffed themselves only to play in the water a little more. The adults pretty much just stuffed themselves with all the homemade goodness and sat around chatting and laughing. I asked our friend Juan if we were pretty authentic and he assured me that everything was.

Even down to the Sierra's Pico de Gallo Seasoning:


Monica's Chipotle Pork:

1 pork butt or shoulder trimmed and cut into chunks to fit in crockpot
1, 2, 3, or 4 chipotle peppers (canned in sauce) I can only handle 2 :)
Water to cover, salt and pepper, and a dash of liquid smoke
Cook on low for 8 hours high for 6 (the longer the better)

Fried Ice Cream:

3 cups crushed corn flakes sprinkled with 1 tsp cinnamon
3 egg whites
Half gallon vanilla ice cream

Scoop ice cream into balls, dip in egg whites then roll into cinnamon. Transfer to cookie sheet and freeze until rock hard (a couple hours at least). Deep fry in oil for 10-15 seconds then top with chocolate syrup, honey, or maple syrup. Mmmmm...



plans and pitfalls

Did you know that Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more widely in the United States than it is in Mexico?

Good thing - I don't feel as awkward planning a party for a Mexican holiday now. Easy is always good to let me in on the facts. He does research. I don't. I think he knows about everything - and if I think I know better then him - I'm usually wrong. And being wrong all the time sucks.

I love that yesterday while making my shopping list for the party Blondie created one of her own using a Pooh story book.


Makes me wonder what she was planning on getting at the store. Honey? Carrots? Pork?


I asked her why she wasn't writing her letters the right way. She said she wanted to write it like I was.

Did you notice that her other wrist is bandaged now?

Her mom forgets that 3 year old's are less capable than 26 year old's and doesn't expect her to do things like trip on the concrete while carrying her dish in from a picnic. No worries. The mom learned her lesson and Blondie refuses to clear the table of anything other then plastic. After a bloody tragedy you learn these things.

I have fried ice cream to prepare and chipotle pork to get into the crockpot. I love a good party! Especially when it involves Mexican food...



Happy Monday! Well, I hope it's happy for you. We slept in a little this morning - so it is happy for me. Yes folks, that's all it takes.

These girls. They crack me up! They are constantly entertaining each other these days with their silliness. They still let me in on their little jokes, which is nice. I hope that they always will. It kinda make me sick that they are growing up so fast. I wish I could keep them this way forever. Yes, I'll even take the messy faces and the occasional fit.

The chickens are also growing at astronomical rates and they are getting a little messy (and freaky looking). We have decided to get rid of two of them. I don't want them to be butchered though - at least not right away. I guess it's the mother in me. When I open the back door they all run over to me and follow me around unless I distract them with grain. Blondie reminds me every time, "Mommy, they think you are their mommy!" with a giggle.

I also have romaine lettuce coming out my ears, inappropriate looking baby zucchini, and hundreds of beautiful green tomatoes cluttering my bushes. I have such pride in my first garden and have loved sharing my lettuce with friends and neighbors (we could never eat it all). Who knew organic could be so cheap?

So, Happy Monday! I'm off to mother my young - all of them.
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