Monday, July 27, 2009

Happy Anniversary Baby!

Thirteen years. It doesn't seem as though we've been married that long. The feeling is more like...five or six-ish. Maybe seven? I suppose that's what I get for marrying the only person who I can stand being around every single day. The only person who doesn't bug the fire out of me eventually. The only person I loved enough to entrust my heart to. (yes, yes, "to" is a preposition, but I'm too tired to worry about my grammar right now) Of course there are the hours/days/weeks where we drive each other crazy, but I really don't mind because it is you. If I'm really honest, you're probably the only person who can stand being around me for a significant amount of time. Regardless, Life moves too quickly when it isn't frustrating and I don't want to miss anything that's going on with you. I don't want to get the kids off to college and look at you and have to either reintroduce myself or say "so. Let's pick up where we left off, shall we? It was 2004 and our first kid was just born and how have you been?".

So I'm calling a Date Night. Front porch. Bring beer. Or ice cream. Both are perfect.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

It Was Actually Pleasant

We were on the road for nearly 11 hours yesterday and only had 15 minutes of freakout. Total. And Lizzy was the only one who did and it was at the very end. I would look back and she would be just staring at me. That kid can give some looks and she was frosted. Regardless, John and I are still in thankful shock and wish we could find out who invented the portable DVD player and take that person out for dinner.

My only tip (and it's hardly original) for traveling with wee ones - designated McDonald's play land socks that can be tossed. I learned my lesson from two years ago when a pair of Ainsley's was forever darkened by the crud that grows on the inside of the tunnels, floors, and walls of that place. That reminds me - I never posted about our return trip from Gulf Shores...

And the only entertaining part of the trip is that sweet Ainsley needed a potty stop 20 minutes away from our destination. This is just what happens with 4-year-olds. For the record, she did like the restroom of the restaurant we ran in. "Mom! This is a VERY nice bathroom! I really like it." Well, good.

We're in the land of Skyline Chili, Graeter's Ice Cream and Heggy's, although I'm pretty sure there isn't a Graeter's anywhere near us. Bummer.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Glimpse

Like lots of other children, all of our kidlets like to wear everyone else's shoes. Lizzy was clomping around in one of mine the other day and ended up standing at the door for a good while, looking out. My heart stumbled a bit, because I had a brief vision of her in 15 or so years. My little girl, dressed up in heels that actually fit, waiting for a boy. Please let this sweet and crazy time pass slowly.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saved The Day

Our neighbor's son made me laugh the other day and brought me back to sanity. For a few days, the kids had been utterly ridiculous and there's nothing like 4 crying kids clawing and scratching each other to get in your arms, with nothing capable of making them happy, to start a mom's downward spiral into anxiety. Add to the fact that I backed into a truck while leaving my driveway the day before (just not cool at all) and I was seriously considering job hunting.

I broke during the triplets' dinner Thursday night. There had just been too much crying, too much whining, and too many other fires to put out that day. The dishtowel was thrown down, I stomped up the stairs, slammed the bedroom door (I am not a slammer, so it was probably just shut firmly. But it seemed like I slammed it.), and cried. The crying didn't really help that much. I returned to kids who were still being kids and my mood was still foul until...the neighbor boy saved the day.

I think I was carrying an equally annoyed child to the changing table when I glanced outside and noticed Max (not his real name) running up their driveway. He sort of scurried around a bit and the next thing I knew he had partially dropped trou and was relieving himself on his parents' driveway. He immediately realized that would not to go over well with his dad, who was only 20 feet away, so he about faced and continued urinating on our yard. I called John over because I think these sorts of events are hilarious and it was then that Max looked up and saw us waving and smiling at him. To his credit, he didn't flinch, finished his business and then, grinning, ran inside. Made my day.

Thanks, buddy. I can't wait until my kids are old enough to tell them the story of how someone peeing on our lawn kept The Mommy from having a total breakdown.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Baby Jail, Part II

Sweet Lil' Lizzy is a piece of work. Most of the time she gives the appearance of just floating along in this world, but I'm beginning to believe it is a ruse to get more one-on-one time. Every once in awhile she slips up and shows us that she really is paying attention - even more than her siblings sometimes.

We had the unusual foresight to fence in the rest of the yard last Fall, knowing two things:
1. I would go insane if we did not have the outside option for a daily distraction
2. I would be running around like a border collie trying to keep my little flock of sheep from running into the street if we did not.

We put a double gate across the driveway, thinking that the latch-thingy was tricky enough contain them. Lizzy, my not-biting-nearly-as-often-Lizzy, figured out last week how to open the driveway gate, which led to an escape attempt by 2 of our inmates: Lizzy (of course) and Gracie. Both took off down the driveway, neck and neck, before they heard me coming after them and then they divided in an attempt to conquer. No chance, ladies.

John was out doing guy-errands with The Boy, so he got an immediate phone call to pick up a lock. We are now secure, but Lizzy still heads over there all the time to wiggle the latch. Points for persistence.

The gate.

As I was getting a close-up of the lock, a wee little hand reached up in front of the camera.

Politely demonstrating how to work the latches.

So terribly proud of herself. Funny little girl.

The very first Baby Jail is here.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Silly Happy

My new running shoes arrived yesterday and I am beside myself. Very few things make me as happy as new kicks and I am a freak about them. I love the new shoe smell and the shiny white laces and I hate to get them unnecessarily dirty the first couple weeks - going out of my way to run around puddles to avoid the splatter.

Of the 25 years I have been running, I still think about my favorite pairs of shoes: the many Nikes I had in high school, the Sauconys I bought for $25 at an outlet mall and hated to part with, the first and now second pair of Addidas I'm currently attached to.

The biggest reason why my heart rate picks up a bit and I get a silly grin with new shoes is because, just for a little while, they make me feel fast. I haven't been speedy-quick for many years now, but when I'm putting those first few miles on new shoes I feel like I'm flying. My body betrays me eventually, but the memory of earlier years of joy is still there.

My new very best, non-human, friends:

They are so pretty.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Fear Not! (Vacation Bible School)

I helped out with our our church's vacation bible school (the program was called "Crocodile Dock") a couple weeks ago and it was surprisingly fun. Little kids aren't my forte (yes, yes, I know I have some - but it's different when they are yours), but here's the deal: when a child is baptized in our church, the congregation promises to help the parents raise their child in the faith. I suppose you could always say "no thanks, I'd rather not", but that would be ridiculous. Anyway, I take this promise seriously, and even when it is my turn to help in the nursery, I show up. Oh I complain about it, but there is cold soda for the volunteers and all sort of fun kid snacks like animal crackers. I'm all about the snacks.

Helping with vbs was one of those things I thought I should do and it was good. I was able to be Ainsley's crew leader, which basically meant I was a glorified line leader, bathroom escort (especially the hand-washing part), band-aid applier...I was a mom. The difference is, I was not really in charge. I got to do the fun mom-things and play and I was able to do them with Ainsley. She doesn't see the fun-mom stuff as often because of three obvious reasons and it was great to be like that again.

The wee ones had to tolerate the nursery every day and sometimes gave the poor volunteers a bit of grief, but everyone survived.

Some pics:

Johnny and his buddy, Mr. Jim. He was pretty much glued to him all week. Not sure what that other kid was squinting about.

Our friend, Bean, with the girls.

My little crew. They were absolutely hilarious and all of 4 and 5 years-old. So precocious. My 2 helpers (the girls in the back) were simply awesome.

Oh - and the "Fear Not!" bit was part of the program. The week was about how we have nothing to be scared of because God has taken care of everything and the kids were always shouting "fear not!". It was sweet, especially Ainsley's little friend, Will, who yelled it so loud and everyone heard him, all the time.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hi, Dad here. My first post, can you believe it? Our boy is quickly developing a reputation for his ability to cut a rug. The little dude has some moves. Check out the short vid below for a sample.

P.S. Happy birthday Fooz!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th!

Lizzy, Johnny, and Gracie

My camera battery died before I could get a picture of Ainsley. It will have to do for this year...

John and Ainsley went with some friends to a local parade today. Fortunately he took some pics w/his phone because it was killing me to not be there. It poured all morning and the parade was delayed an hour, making it questionable for bringing the wee ones. Next year, guys.

A in her pretty purple raincoat.

And it wouldn't be a parade around here without these guys. I love this place! (video a bit fuzzy because it's from the phone. still worth it.)