Dinosaurs are chasing us!

I do not write many blogs but some moments are worth it. I am very thankful Julie asked for this blog as an avenue of keeping a family time capsule.

Bennett gave me a compliment this morning that has kept my heart melted all day.

Back story…Bennett has found a love for dinosaurs lately. He loves so many things about them; there are so many different kinds, some fly, some swim, there are omnivores, there are meat-eaters, and he especially loves their names. One morning, a few weeks back, he was being a funny guy by making up fake dinosaur names. So on the way to school I started saying everything was a dinosaur. Some even chased us. A treeasaurus, a dogceratops, etc. His laughter was non-stop and he played along. But now, there is no doubt this is his game. Not mine, not Julie, no one. He asks for this every morning on the way to school and other times of us as well. Julie and I happily play along. It’s evolved a little too. E.g. we can download any dinosaur we may need for any situation using the dinosaur downloader (my garage door opener) and shoot bad ones down with the missile launcher (my orange egg-looking chapstick). He always gets the downloader and I usually get the missile launcher. He also has made up the most powerful dinosaur which he can download to solve any of the tricky situations we get into. It’s called a Treepadactlysaurus.

Julie and Bennett found five dinosaur books at the library Tuesday night. Bennett rarely doesn’t have one these books. They have pronunciation guides for each dinosaur and little factoids he can read. He’s also started to write the names of the dinosaurs on white paper he can get from my office without asking. Sometimes he’ll even add a drawing.

Dino book example

Dino book example

Bennett's papers

Bennett’s papers

A couple days ago, on the way to school, he and I discussed a dinosaur called a Maiasaura. The name does not end in an ‘s’ because it was considered more womanly in nature than manly. It’s name has a meaning which means “Good Mother”. Hearing this, he asked to call mom, who was already at work, and then told her she was a Maiasaura because she is a good mother. Pretty sweet, no doubt.

Good Mother

Good Mother

Yesterday, as I was about to shower, Bennett made up a new dinosaur he called a Triceraptor. He loves the raptor dinos and liked the new name. He asked me if we could spell it. We worked through the letters. He then said he would draw a picture of it while I showered. We discussed that tri means it should have three of something and he was off and I was showering! He ended up giving it three spikes. On the way to school a triceraptor chased us. Bennett decided I needed to shoot it down with my missiles but it can pop my missiles with its spikes. So we had to download a treepadactylsaurus which broke off the spikes one by one. When all three were broken off, I was then allowed to shoot it down with my missiles.



Which brings me to today and why I actually wrote a blog. Benny had a bit of an upset tummy this morning. It could be poop, it could be something else. Regardless, we hugged for like 5 minutes straight. It was awesome. Then he was better and ready to go to school. On the way to school, after we were fully armed with downloader and missile launcher, I asked if a triceraptor was going to chase us and he said no, they were good dinosaurs. Then he said: “Did you know triceraptor says Good Father?” I asked what he meant. He said “like maiasaura says Good Mother, triceraptor says Good Father. And do you know why?” I asked why and he replied “Because you are triceraptor and you’re a Good Father.” I mean….heart melted.

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Downtown Murphys

The sun was projected to be shining and there was a chance we could frolic outside without heavy coats.  I was pumped.  (Yes, I’m fully aware that I’m being dramatic, but those two weeks of winter had made me think I would never see the sun again!)

When Bauer’s soccer game got canceled due to insanely wet fields, I was looking at an entire Saturday without plans.  I really can’t remember the last time this has happened.

I happened to land on a blog of a blog that listed free things to do in Dallas this weekend and on of the entries was “Spring Break Kickoff in the Dallas Arts District”.  Free entry to all the museums.

I threw the idea out to my better half and he was less than thrilled as he had been reffing hockey all weekend and still had two games to go that afternoon.  For some reason, I was feeling extra confident I felt like I could handle all 3b’s at art museums downtown alone.  I’m telling you the sun gives me superpowers.

So we headed out.  Luckily Phineas and Ferb (the latest favorite cartoon of the older b’s) had  visited an art museum in the morning’s episode so it seemed like a “cool” thing to do.

Oh and Bree has wanted to be an artist when she grows up for as long as I can remember.   So it was probably about time I exposed her to some of the best art in Dallas.   Probably good for me to get some culture too….I think it was my travels to Europe that involved art museums in my life over a decade ago.

As is my newest approach with outings with the b’s (especially solo ones), I put no expectations on our day.  If we made it to the parking garage downtown, it would be a win.  If we made it to one museum, it would be a win.  If we ate some food, it would be a win.  If one kid said at least one positive thing about the experience, it would be a win.  If I returned to Plano with all 3 kids and my purse, it would be a win.

Overall, this approach was the key to this day and it turned out better than I could have ever hoped!  We ended up downtown for almost 6 hours and explored two museums and played at Klyde Warren.  I even fed the kids in the midst of it all.  And while I was exhausted last night, I didn’t feel the need to chug wine.

We explored the Dallas Museum of Art, the Nasher (my new favorite place on earth…why did I not get married here?!!!) and played at Klyde Warren.   Both museums had so many kid activities.  I was kinda in awe.

The Nasher had a scavenger hunt to find particular exhibits (Bree was in love), story time with a fabulous librarian (Bennett’s favorite), art projects, a real life artist working with clay and explaining his craft, and so much more.

The DMA had this whole area set up for hands on kids’ art projects.  We made creations with tickets (like those long rolls of tickets you get at the fair), took turns drawing a piece of artwork, created masks and again more we never got to.

In the midst of it all, we actually looked at the art pieces.  We figured out how to read the signs that have the artist, art piece’s name and what the piece is made from.  We talked about impressionist art (my favorite) and each of the kids got to tell me what they saw in the pictures.  The interpretations were so different for each kid and for me.  Bree brought her notebook and actually walked around the Nasher taking notes on so many of the pieces.  I have no idea what prompted this, but I assume they talked about it in art class at school.  She wrote down her impressions and just ideas on what each piece represented to her.  Some other museum guests kept coming up to me asking how old she was and saying how cool that she was taking notes and enjoying the art so much!  After I picked my jaw up off the ground, I told them I couldn’t agree more!

After so much “learning”, we headed to eat and play at Klyde Warren.  Every time we go to this park, I remember I totally should  bring an extra set of clothes due to the fountains.  But since we had a snow day in the 20s two days ago, I didn’t even think the kids would venture into the water.  I’M ALWAYS WRONG.  The kids (especially Bauer) just ran through the fountains like it was a summer day…along with the other million kids who were enjoying this sun being back.

I just let it go and knew that wet or dry, we would survive!

After such a tough few weeks in Murphyland with respect issues and just being cooped up in the house with the weather, this was just a much needed adventure.

Here is our adventure in pictures:

2015-03-07 10.47.11Great photo Bauer

2015-03-07 10.45.44Budding artist and proud mom

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All 3 b’s loved having a chance to draw this piece of art at the DMA….and not surprising all their interpretations were so completely different.  I loved Bennett’s attempt the best :)
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Ticket mustache and creations!  Bree told us over and over again yesterday that everything is art!2015-03-07 15.51.48 2015-03-07 16.07.48

The Nasher is just a little piece of heaven on earth!  Visor and sunglasses courtesy of the Spring Break event!2015-03-07 10.57.04 2015-03-07 11.02.39 2015-03-07 11.09.40 2015-03-07 11.11.55 2015-03-07 11.18.10

Making treasure boxes at the Nasher2015-03-07 11.24.24 2015-03-07 11.32.18 2015-03-07 11.38.38

Bree read the words in this piece below and said without skipping a beat that it was not true.  She said she creates art all the time that never sells, but it is creative and wonderful.  Cue heart melting. 

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The artist is at work….2015-03-07 12.29.442015-03-07 12.10.17 2015-03-07 12.07.53 2015-03-07 12.30.352015-03-07 12.31.372015-03-07 12.35.54

Her impression of Picasso’s work :) 2015-03-07 12.37.352015-03-07 12.38.54

The boys loved these stairs while Bree explored the art!2015-03-07 11.52.032015-03-07 11.46.46

Story time with the boys!
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The Murphy crew…2015-03-07 12.59.11

Lunch is served…biggest hotdog ever!2015-03-07 13.27.16 2015-03-07 13.27.03

Mom dominated in checkers!
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The timid approach did not last….
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Bennett’s first photo bomb…we really had no idea he was there!2015-03-07 14.15.34

The art journal Bree made out of an amazon box…this is where she wrote down all her “art” thoughts throughout the day.2015-03-07 14.47.04 2015-03-07 14.47.19 2015-03-07 14.49.45

When the day ends like this, you know it was a day well spent!

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Thanks Dallas – we will be back sooner rather than later!

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Nope I’m not singing over here!  I’m just trying to find some respect in my  own house from these three little munchkins I’ve been given the joy of raising.

Somewhere in the last month, we (and we includes everyone with a name starting with B), have started thinking they were in charge of this little thing we call the Murphy world.  Multiple requests have been met with “no”, questions have just been ignored, lying has been discovered on more than one occasion.  Tantrums galore have been infused everywhere in between.  The oldest has mastered slamming her door and stomping her feet.  It’s been a frustrating month to say the least.

Don’t get me wrong, all three have done these things through a solo mission or twenty in the past.  I have a favorite kid daily.  It is always the one who doesn’t make me the yell for the longest period of time that day.  They definitely seem to get that if one kid is being particularly bad, it is the perfect time to act normal and you will probably be given a gold star or a lego set.  But the past few weeks, they have all united in their dislike for anything mom and dad have to say.

I called my mom on Wednesday to complain about a particularly bad night with Bree and somehow in the course of the conversation we ended up talking about just the chaos of the morning and evenings in our house.  That same week Bree couldn’t find her tennis shoes before school.  We let her go with boots knowing she would have to sit out of PE.  Bauer went to school when it was 34 degrees sans a jacket.  Couldn’t find it.  And one morning Bree just refused to get dressed for school and ended up chasing the minivan down the driveway to jump in.  Daddy doesn’t play.

I told my mom that I didn’t understand why the older b’s (especially Bree who is almost done with her 3rd year of real school) can’t remember the morning routine from day to day.  I was also frustrated that our bedtime kept getting pushed further and further back to almost 9pm some nights.  Selfishly, I just need my kids to go to sleep earlier so I can be away from them and the house can be quiet.  I love my quiet house and I get angry when those couple hours of “me” time was getting eaten away by whiny kids who forgot to brush their teeth or go potty or feed the fish (those poor fish…not sure how they are still alive).

My mom asked if we ever wrote the routine down and really went through what we wanted the kids to do.  Why is she the smartest women ever?  I told her I was more the lead by example and yelling type of parent :)  I showed them what to do a couple times and from then on I figured it was pretty easy.  I would just yell reminders until they left each morning in a rush and in a panic.  Future leaders of the world, people.

I complain to Sean all the time how we are late EVERYWHERE.  He says that is just who we are.  And we are raising kids to be like that.  I can’t accept it.  I just won’t have them blaming being late everyone on me in the therapist office too.  There will be too many other things already.

So I hung up with my mom and knowing that most great ideas have already been developed, I went to Pinterest.

There were a million and one ways I could make a chart of things to do each morning and night.  Glad we are 8 years into this parenting thing….

So I picked one I hoped would work with all three kids.  One that I had most of the supplies for (working in an office is really helpful for supplies…thanks UTD).  One that Bree could help me assemble.  One that may sustain the wear and tear of kids for at least a month or so.  I knew the charts wouldn’t be exactly the same for each kid so it had to be easily adjustable as well!  I am pretty high maintenance apparently!

This is the ingenious idea I decided to replicate….thank you random brilliant pinterest mom that not only makes awesome stuff, but has figured out how to share it.  Not naming any names, but I’ve heard it’s hard to pin your own pins onto pinterest :)


I got to thinking of things I wanted my kids to accomplish each morning and night without me telling them….and came up with 6 things for each of them in the morning and 6 for Bennett at night and 8 for Bree and Bauer.

So simple, yet so hard (apparently):

For Benny (AM) – Get dressed (he needs some help still), make his bed, eat some breakfast, brush his teeth (help also needed), find his shoes and jacket and feed the dogs (he has way more time in the morning than the others).

For Bree and Bauer (AM) – Get dressed, make your bed, eat some breakfast, acquire lunch and snack (if needed), brush teeth, and find your shoes and jackets (preferably put them on).

Once all these things are done, the magical TV can be turned on :)

At night (well after we get home from school), the tasks are obviously a little different!

For Benny (PM) – Read for 15 minutes, pick up room, bath/pjs, brush teeth, potty and prayers.

For Bauer (PM) – Read for 15 minutes, pick up room, shower/pjs, lay out clothes for the next day, feed dogs, brush teeth, potty, and prayers

For Bree (PM) – Homework, pick up room, read 15 minutes, shower/pjs, lay out clothes for next day, brush teeth, feed fish, and prayers

Night-time magical tv can be turned on after the the kids complete everything but brushing teeth and prayers.

We had two successful night time routines so far.  The kids love to switch their tasks to “DONE”.  It’s magnetic on both ends so it is pretty fun how it almost clicks into place.

Due to the unexpected snow day, we really had our first test of the morning system today.  Bree ran in last night and asked that she and Bauer be woken up 30 minutes early so they could get their chart done.  OKAY (she says skeptically imagining her sleepy grumpy morning children)…

I woke them up and then laid back down since I didn’t need 30 more minutes to do my chart.  I walked into the the kitchen about 15 minutes later (they are super loud creatures) and found Bauer making his lunch (like the food was in ziploc bags and everything) and Bree asking if she could have the last apple for her snack.  I almost fainted.  I never really envisioned them doing this chart thing and never in a million years thought that my kids could make their own lunches.  I’m so dumb.  I always complain to Sean about making the lunches hoping he will do it….I should have passed this task onto the kids months ago.

They watched their magical tv show and left the house with clean teeth and no screaming reminders from mom.  No chasing the van down the driveway, no lack of tennis shoes or jacket, no cramming in spelling word practice that morning bc Bree forgot she had a test, no mom feeling horrible on the way to work for the last thing they remembered was her screaming they were going to be late.  WOW.

I’m blogging about this now because I realize that this may be the only morning that this works.

But boy was it worth “borrowing” those file folders from work….

Who knew that all I had to do was just write down what they needed to do….

Oh yeah, my mom!

Thanks mom!

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Unknown milestones

We sat in the front row during the Ash Wednesday service at church this past week.  We includes all three kids.  The sign outside the sanctuary said to “Enter in silence.”  When I read those words, my anxiety peaked a little but we kept walking in regardless.  Bree HAD to sit in the front row.  Cool, I thought, when this experiment fails, at least everyone can witness it and pray for us.

I had brought some paper and extra pencils for the kids, but that was my only plan B.  I just hoped the service would be short and quick and interesting enough for the kids to at least pay a little attention.  We had never come to a weekday service before due to the kids – we knew that was asking a lot on a week night after school all day.  But for some reason, I felt like this year, we should just try.  We have also been talking a lot about Lent and what it means.  I figured it was time to help them see how Christians start Lent.

Fast forward lots of colored pictures and 5 ash covered foreheads later, we left the sancturay.   I wasn’t exhausted or mad or dramatic about how we were never going back, I was in a state of complete SHOCK.  We had just sat through a church service together as a family that was not kid focused (aka Christmas) and it was successful.

Sure Bauer had stated very loudly that his ashes were itchy, there was the escapee pencil  or two and Bennett started saying the letters in the alphabet halfway through the service, but we survived.  I actually listened to the message and I think I even said a few prayers.

This is one of those milestones they don’t write about in baby books because it would have to be chapter 840 after they get through all the “how to keep the baby alive” first year advice.  But it is huge nonetheless.

I remember going to church when Sean and I just had one kid (those long 18 months) and we would sit in the cry room and just count down the minutes til the torture and wrangling was over.  One of us would take her out and tag team back and forth until we completed our obligatory church presence.  Every week we threatened to never go back.  Once we had two, it got even worse and most of the time, we left church mad at each other probably because we blamed the other for the idea of having kids in the first place.  We spent most of those first 5 years wondering if we would ever get anything out of church again.  We spent most of those first 5 years comparing our children to the others in the cry  room hoping to be reminded that it could always be worse – our kids weren’t that bad.   We spent most of those first 5 years with a spotty church attendance record.

Once we moved to Plano and started going to our current church we were able to put the kids in Sunday school and go to the services and our own Sunday school class alone.  Sunday mornings began to resemble what they had looked like pre-kids.  At first it was almost hard to focus because you become so used to being interrupted every 4 seconds.

While the guarantee of 2 solid hours of free childcare is what gets me to church most Sundays, I still watch the families who sit as a unit in church.  I wondered when our time would come.

It still hasn’t completely.  Today, in the service, there were lots of interruptions from my 3 b’s – coloring pictures, bending pipecleaners, laying in our laps , bathroom trips, needs for the water fountain (60 minutes is just so long) – but it was so much better than it has ever been.  They were excited to go to the service with mom and dad and see what we got to see each week.  This may become a special treat until we finally transition completely.

I introduced myself to the family in front of us and asked how old their two children were – 14 and 10.  I told them I was looking into the future seeing them sit so still during the service.  The mom just gave me those sympathetic eyes saying this too will pass, but I also sensed a bit of longing in her for those little kid moments again.  You always want what you don’t have I guess.

Regardless, I feel like we are making progress and I’m excited to share CHURCH with my kids.  My mom did such an amazing job of never allowing church to be negotiable.  There was no reason – sports, vacations, or sleeping in – that could ever keep you from a Sunday service.  We were there early, dressed up and ready to participate.   The Murphys are definitely still working on the early and dressed up part.   But we are there more than we are not.  And for now that has to be good enough.

In between getting a drink of water and then laying in my lap this morning, Bauer heard the pastor say “And they wandered around the desert for 40 years…”.  He looked at me with incredulous eyes and said “40 years?? That’s a long time.  What were they looking for?”  He is starting to listen and to me that is a milestone I didn’t even know I was waiting for….

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Who’s idea was this…version 843!

I’m not going to try and backtrack over the past 6 months I’ve been absent from this blog.  That is life.  It has happened before.  It will happen again.  I wrote about a lot of things over the past 6 months….most were papers for my doctorate program and cover letters to get a new job.  Both worthy pursuits, but not much help for this poor little blog!  I did pass all my classes and got a new job!  So I’ll gladly take a round of applause!

But alas, 2015 is here and maybe I’ll get a few entries recorded so my adult children can be reminded what an awesome mom I was!

Or I can read them and remember how awesome I was when I have a momentary lapse of confidence when my adult kids call me after they leave their therapists office.

Okay back to the blog….

So this past weekend, we hit another milestone in the parenting department.  Just in case you think I’m going to say we are all pooping and peeing in the proper place, don’t get ahead of yourself!  We are close, but not there yet.  Nope, completely different.

We survived our very first sleepover birthday party!

I had this great idea about 3 months ago that I thought would cut the crazy birthday party costs that typically happen with our birthday parties of late.  I try to be so frugal but then the credit card bill comes and I have suddenly spent over $200 and can’t remember how.  Well, maybe oriental trading or target are the answer.  Whatever.

Bree announced in the car one day that she wanted to have a bowling party for her whole class.  30 kids came to her party last year.  $$$$$ start running through my brain and I blurt out maybe we could just invite a few of your closest girl friends to go bowling and then they can spend the night.  This statement and what this party ended up being could not have been further apart in my vision.

She of course was ecstatic.  We made the list of her best friends and made the invitations (I told you I was frugal).  I told her 5 friends, then she fought for number 6 and then she made the point that 7 friends plus her would make 8 party guests AND she was turning 8!  How could I argue.

2015-01-02 16.21.16bowling pin and a pillow invite

We did most of the planning (I thought) over the holiday break and then with going back to school  and work after the break, the party really snuck up on us.  I’d get texts every now and then from fellow moms asking me if “I was ready” for this party.  I know now there is NO WAY to be ready.

I was searching through Pinterest the weekend before for some ideas and I found this blog that basically said her sleepover with 8 year olds was hell and that her only piece of advice was to just cancel the thing if there was still time.  That was a gut check. It made me a little nervous, but of course the things she described would never happen to me.  She was a little dramatic, but she nailed some aspects spot on.

Let me just preface the recap by saying, Bree is only drawn to best friends that have strong personalities and that the morning after the sleepover, girls were all crying that the party had to end.  They apparently  have no long term or short term memory about the drama, the tears and ridiculousness that transpired the night before. They are best friends forever and that is all that matters!

Here’s the recap:  We did actually start with bowling and Bree now owns her very own bowling pin which was truthfully probably the whole motivation to have a bowling party in the first place :)

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As with any good bowling party, we had to have a cake that matched.  While I offered to make a cake in the shape of a giant “8″ for her birthday, Bree wasn’t having that.  It had to be a bowling themed cake eaten at the bowling alley.  Alrightly then.  After I got done sulking about my “8″ idea being shot down, we ended up having a really good time making the a bowling cake!  Bree made all the bowling pins herself from scrapbook paper and Popsicle sticks.  Then I remembered how much she liked cakeballs from Starbucks so that became the ball.  We used m&ms for the gutters and she fell in love with those candy letters (circa 1950) at the grocery store so those went on as well!

2015-01-24 11.25.56Once at Allen Bowl, the girls bowled pretty well for about 45 minutes and then announced they were starving.  It was 4pm.  They kept eating the m&ms off the cake so by the time we actually sang happy birthday the cake was a bit of a mess.  Glad I had already taken a picture.  The one girl that was starving the most then told me she didn’t eat cake.  This should have been a sign of things to come.  #needy8yearolds

There was cake eating and present upwrapping and then a few more frames of bowling!

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The drama started when it was time to leave the bowling alley.  We had to bring three cars to get everyone there and the girls that did not ride with Bree on the way there wanted their turn to sit and ride with Bree on the way back.  Instant tears and claims of “that’s unfair” were uttered.  Bree was speechless.  She wanted to sit by everyone too.  I eventually just told people where to sit and by the time we were on the road, I had decided we would pull names out of a hat for who would sit by Bree at dinner.

It was a good thing I had come up with that idea bc two girls refused to make their own pizzas (our next activity) because they could not sit next to Bree.  Sean had to force them into the kitchen.  It never occurred to me that 8 year olds would opt out of mandatory activities.

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Luckily we got everyone to the table to eat once the pizzas were cooked and the pizzas seemed to be tasty although one girl said the cheese (mozzarella) tasted funny and she could not eat any of it.  Okay, be hungry!

At this point my mom and I were drinking wine and just laughing at the insanity.  Thank goodness for Grammy…she was a lifesaver.

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Nails were the thing Bree was most looking forward to at her party (besides the bowling pin).  Our babysitter had recently given her a huge thing of nail polish and Bree was excited to share with her friends.  Only 4 of the girls wanted to participate in nail painting.  Who are these girls? But after lots of nail polish remover and requests for patterns on the nails, the 4 were very happy with their beautiful nails.

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Ice cream sundaes were requested after nails.  This was actually the one activity EVERYONE was excited about.  I gave out icecream, put toppings on the table and let them have at it.  NOVICE MOVE!  They used all the toppings I put out….like whole bags of m&ms and chocolate chips.  They ended up creating huge bowls of ice cream soup that no one even ate.  At least they were having fun, but all my sweet tooth could see was so much wasted yumminess!

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At this point, I was out of patience (I had exceeded my normal amount by quite a bit so I was impressed with myself) so I made Sean organize the Minute to Win it games.  These were really fun but ended in disaster because I had only bought 4 prizes and there were six girls.  Buck up kids, this isn’t a trophy for everyone house.

The tears kept flowing when I had to reprimand Bree’s bestest friend for being mean to her in her own room.  The other girls kept coming up to me to tell me K was crying and it was my fault.  I quickly corrected them and said, “No it was K’s fault for being mean.”  I’m apparently an 8 year old as well.

Then there were tears about so and so not playing with me and tears about so and so stepping on my sleeping bag and tears about stubbing my toe and tears about needing to go to bed by 8pm (it was 8:45 and a sleepover) and tears because not everyone wanted to play dance party or school or Clue or dolls.

So I threw out the olive branch aka glow sticks and popcorn, begged them to watch Frozen and prayed for time to start fast forwarding.  They played, argued, played, argued, cried, played and screamed for the next 3.5 hours.  I finally told them the party was over at 12:15am.  They begged to whisper.  I reminded them they don’t know how to whisper.  And by 12:30 they were passed out.

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7:15am came early but I had donuts to keep everyone occupied and slowly one by one, the bffs left our house.  Each time the door closed, I felt a piece of my soul return.  By the time there were only my 3 b’s left, it felt like the most quiet house I had ever experienced.  Three kids seemed like a vacation on the beach.  It was beautiful.  Angels were truly singing.

I laid down in my bed to enjoy the quiet and was about to doze off for a nap, when Bree whispered in my ear, “That was the best party ever Mommy, I want to have a sleepover for every birthday party ever!”



Posted in Bree, Kid Adventures, Motherhood, Parenthood | Leave a comment

Up, Up and Away

 You know its going to be a good day at Reunion Tower when you husband forgets to wear his shirt!!!

sean without shirt

 Oh wait, there it is!

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Gotta love technology….but wait I’m getting ahead of myself!

Sean took the boys to the zoo one afternoon a few months ago and as they were driving to or fro (I’m not sure which), Bauer started asking questions about that building with the ball on top.  Sean went on to tell him how he had been up there to eat at the restaurant a few times and how you could take an elevator to the top to look at the whole city!  From that point on Bauer has been “patiently” waiting to go up in Reunion Tower.

As with many of the adventures we think would be fun to go on with our kids, life sometimes gets in the way.  The reality is with three kids that have sports to play, friend’s birthday parties to go to, etc. and Sean and I both working jobs that sometimes require weekend hours, we rarely have a free day.  Today was one of those rare afternoons that we had nothing on the docket.  Truthfully, I had envisioned a glorious nap for myself, but I knew that was a bit of a stretch.

While we were eating lunch at the mall after church, it dawned on Sean that this afternoon would be the perfect time to take Bauer to Reunion Tower.  It would be an extra special birthday treat!  So we hit the Tollway and got ready to be tourists in Big D!

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This star is so fun you would never know it is part of a fence that lines the parking garage under the Hyatt Hotel connected to Reunion Tower.  This is one of my favorite pics of the day. Bauer loves to hug his older sister and sometimes, just sometimes Bree hugs back.

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Sean’s master plan was to go up to the revolving restaurant in Reunion Tower and have some dessert for Bauer’s birthday.  After some fact-finding, we discovered that you can’t just go up and eat anymore without buying a ticket.  Those Reunion Tower folks have finally gotten so smart!  TOURIST TRAP!  The ticket guy wanted to charge us $51 dollars for our tickets, but I mentioned being here at Bauer’s request for his birthday and he gave us a huge discount only charging us $30.  If you go, designate someone to have a birthday!

After purchasing our tickets and taking the awesome pics posted at the beginning of this blog, we were finally in the elevator for the long climb to the observation deck!  The attendant asked where everyone was traveling from.  The other two groups said Houston and Denmark (yep the country).  We said Plano…lol!

Bauer was impressed from the start!  The whole observation deck has these amazing touch screen computers that the kids immediately knew how to use (thanks ipad).  They played games, saw all the designs that the ball has on it during the year, pointed out landmarks of Dallas, etc.  I watched a great story about the assassination of JFK.  Pretty cool stuff!!!  I mean at least for our $30 bucks, we got a picture and some education.

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Next, we headed outside to walk around and look through the telescopes!  Bauer was a tad too short to look through them and see anything but the sky so Sean and I took turns lifting him up!  It was amazing how many Dallas landmarks we were able to point out to the kids because they had actually been there.  Sean and I walked away thinking we were pretty good parents :)

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After a bunch of telescoping, we headed upstairs to the Cloud 9 cafe for the highly anticipated chocolate chip cookies and ice-cream.   Much to the birthday boy’s dismay, the cookie ended up coming a la mode so he only had a bite of cookie that was untouched by the ice-cream, but everyone else was in heaven.

Our big six year old in the sky!
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We stayed long enough in the restaurant to rotate in a complete circle.  The kids were just amazed that the restaurant actually moved.  What a concept??!!!!2014-07-27 14.58.06

Bree kept trying to stand in one spot and not let the floor move her…here she is about to lose her balance!2014-07-27 15.04.45

Despite his initial trepidation (because he says no to EVERYTHING) to have fun with the family going up in a tower, Bennett ended up loving Reunion Tower and even gave me a bunch of kisses to prove it!2014-07-27 15.06.22

Bennett may have eaten the most cookie and icecream out of all us…oh wait, no, that was Sean!2014-07-27 15.14.36

But Bennett definitely got the most cookie on his shirt…just call him Cookie Monster!2014-07-27 15.19.05

Only the Murphy boys wrestle in Reunion Tower…

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The wait staff were really chill at the restaurant.  The kids just kinda did their thing and Sean and I really got to enjoy the view.  The clouds were just amazing today…perfect day for looking at the city from inside an air conditioned rotating restaurant :)

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After our healthy dose of cookies and ice-cream we headed to the stairwell to climb a few more flights to the top of the tower.  There were some really cool paintings along the way!2014-07-27 15.39.08 2014-07-27 15.39.16

You can’t go outside at the top, but the B’s loved that they were at the top regardless!
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Our trip to just get a quick dessert ended up being a little over 2.5 hours of fun in Reunion Tower.  Like most adventures we take, it surpassed our expectations.

The best part, we still got to ride the elevator down!

2014-07-27 15.57.11One more pic by that awesome star with mom this time and these tourists were ready to hit the road for that long trip back home to Plano!

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Posted in Bauer, Bennett, Bree, Kid Adventures | Leave a comment

Can you karate chop an angry bird?

I have no idea.  But if I were going to find out it would have been today at Bauer’s angry bird karate birthday party!

We decided to mix things up a little this year after two years of swim birthday parties and try out a party at the place Bauer takes karate, Impact America.  He was all over the idea after spying on another karate party earlier this year.

About a week ago, I asked him what the theme of his party was going to be?  He stared at me with blank eyes that showed me he is obviously not on Pinterest.  I named a few of his favorite things and angry birds came out the big winner.

Luckily, Target is clearing out all their angry bird toys and party goods at the store near us.  I assume this is just because they love me.  So between clearance items at Target, the office printer and Pinterest, this theme came together like a dream.

We actually started the day off early up at Impact America with Bauer’s belt test.  He scored an awesome new “coffee” colored striped belt to wear to his birthday party!

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We then headed home to frost and taste test some cupcakes!  I’m so glad in the past year Bauer has embraced the yumminess of cupcakes.  I thought for a few weeks I was going to have to figure out how to make a candle stand up using Oreos…his favorite sweet!

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A couple hours later, we headed back to Impact America to get our party on.  The final decorations turned out better than I had envisioned.  Pinterest never fails to give me way too many ideas!

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All Bauer’s favorite food/drink:  yellow lemonade, grapes, strawberries, cheese puffs, cool ranch Doritos and regular Doritos!

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This just makes me laugh…it’s a giant yellow angry bird!

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Favor bags complete with hand clappers, dinosaur airplane gliders, angry bird pencils, tiny coloring books, angry bird stickers and plastic spiders!  All picked out by Bauer!

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Those tasty cupcakes – I don’t think I remember Bauer eating one :)

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Talking angry birds telling us about Bauer!  This was all Bree’s idea!

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Mr. Justin, Bauer’s karate teacher, took over from there!  He did a short karate lesson and then Bauer got to pick and help lead all the games for over an hour.  This was a middle kid’s dream come true.  Everything was his idea!  It was really fun to watch!

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Then it was time to blow out some candles…

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And get our grub on…

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Oh an there were those noise makers that the kids LOVED!

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This guy has done wonders for Bauer through karate…it was great to celebrate another milestone with him!  We love Mr. Justin!

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As always, I couldn’t have pulled off the party without these amazing party helpers!  Jennifer, Grammy and Audrey

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And we can’t forget, Bauer’s self proclaimed favorite memory of the party! PRESENTS! Angry birds and Legos galore.  This kid is in heaven!

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Such a great group of friends came to celebrate our red headed wonder boy!

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Hey grown up Bauer, where did  you come from??!!!!

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He definitely continues to complete this family in a way that is just impossible to describe!  Love that his shirt is practically falling off in this pic!

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What an incredible afternoon celebrating our Bauer!

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Posted in Bauer, Kid Adventures, Parenthood | Leave a comment