Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sweet L

I had the camera out to take pictures for my previous post and L asked if I would take pictures of her. These were my three favorite!

We're Officially White Trash

The other day I noticed some water on the tank of our toilet; it was streaming down the side. As I looked closer, I saw a crack in the tank. How in the world did our tank get cracked? I have no idea to this day but it was cracked and there is no way to fix it.

So today S bought us a new toilet. Now before you think that we wasted money on a whole new toilet when we really could have just bought the tank, our toilet was a very old model, a brand that hasn't been around for years. Since our house is relatively new, the contractors must have gotten a really good deal on them. Plus, the cost of a tank is only about $25 more than a whole new toilet. Hence, our decision to replace the whole thing.

We did decide to get a plumber to put in the new toilet since it's something that S isn't very familiar with and we wanted it to be done right. S did most of the removal last night so all the plumber had to was take out the old one and put the new one in.

What, you may ask, did we do with the old one?

Monday, August 27, 2007

Tales from Toilet-Training

So, brace yourself people, it's going to be a bumpy story. Well, sort of. Anyway, I was being a good little housewife and attempting to get the laundry done. You see, if I don't do laundry every other day, it gets piled up in a huge mound that I have to dig through and then becomes overwhelming and then I don't feel like doing it. And this is only a family of five where most of the clothes are relatively small. Imagine my sister-in-law with 8 kids, 3 of whom are teenagers! My laundry amounts pale in comparison. But on with the original story.

I went in the laundry room to begin the initial sort. H has his own laundry basket, as do we, but the girls just put their own things in the big basket in the laundry room because their bedroom is right next to the laundry room so there's no need for one. As long as I remind them to put dirty laundry in the laundry room, they are pretty good about doing it. As I was sorting things, I noticed a kind of funky smell coming from the big basket. I wasn't really sure what it was but figured I would find it eventually. With L still potty-training, there are accidents every now and then. Usually, she tells me about such accidents, with her predominant problem being the more potent form of waste. I'll just leave it at that.

I put the first clean load in the dryer and began picking things to go in load number two when I ran across a pair of L's underwear. They are very cute; pink paisley! Anyway, I noticed that when I picked them up, they seemed a little, well, heavy for a pair of size 3T underwear. I peered inside only to find the source of the sour smell. That's right, people! There was "poo" in the underwear. And I don't mean little streaks that all kids seem to get but an actual pile of it. I know, it's gross. I very gingerly carried it to the bathroom and flushed it and, sadly, tossed the underwear.

I washed my hands for a good long while after that mess. I must say that's not my worst experience with potty-training gone awry but that's another story for another day. One "poo" story is enough for now.

Ah, the joys of motherhood!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Just Chillin'

We have been told by many people that H looks just like his father. Well, he seems to have his father's personality as well, the Eeyore, "Oh, bother" mentality. As you can see from the picture, he was just propped up in his father's hand. When I looked over, H's eyes were at half-mast. That's when we knew it was bed time! And yes, that is an Auburn University pacifier holder. One must start them early!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Long, Glorious Hair

I'm losing my hair. It's a sad state to be in. It's not due to tearing my hair out from being Mama to three small children (and one big one) but due to giving birth nearly four months ago. After 9 months of the "pregnant glow" and wonderfully thick, flowing hair, you give birth to a gorgeous baby. And then the zits come back and the hair falls out. This has happened with every child I've had. Around said child's four-month birthday, my hair starts falling out. And I don't mean just a few hairs, I mean clumps constantly falling from my head. This time it seems to be worse and started earlier than it did with the girls. I think it seems worse because I have longer hair now than I did after I had the girls. Does that make sense? I'm just rambling, I know.

This phenomenon is not uncommon. Several of my friends have experienced the same thing and both of my sisters-in-law told me of this terrible fate when I announced I was pregnant with K. I was very thankful for the warning because I would have been horrified at the amount of hair lost after K was born. Then, some of the hair grows back and you end up with this halo of really short hairs around your no longer glowing face. Oh, it's a sad day, my friends. It's a sad day, indeed.

I think this is why so many women chop their hair off after they have kids. It has nothing to do with being easier to deal with but more because your hair is going to fall out anyway, might as well get a cute new 'do. And hair is important to us Southern girls. If you don't believe me, read this post. And the follow-up here. I'm not alone in the importance of hair to the esteem of a woman. Of course, if you saw my hair right now, you would think I really didn't care about what it looks like. Well, I do care. I just don't have time to care as much as I would like to care. Again, still rambling but this is a subject near and dear to my heart.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Another Sleeping Beauty

Let's recall the last 36 hours:
  • wake up early
  • go to school for the very first time
  • come home to play
  • go to volleyball with Daddy and K
  • get up early, again
  • play at inflatable gym
  • play on indoor playground at chicken restaurant
  • play dress-up with K when she gets home from school
  • collapse in large heap in the middle of bedroom floor

I'm pretty sure the picture says it all...

Monday, August 20, 2007

First Day of School

Well, my baby is officially in kindergarten. I have so been looking forward to the first day of school, ever since the last day of the 2006-2007 school year. Don't get me wrong, I do love my girls but they crave structure and I couldn't offer that this summer with H and his wacky schedule. I found myself a bit broken up at orientation, knowing that she is now in real school. It's quite bittersweet.

K was so excited to go to school this morning that she barely ate breakfast. L was the same way. They just couldn't wait to get there. I managed to get pictures of both of them outside the school but K wouldn't let me get any of her in her classroom. So we'll have to wait for another day for those pictures. She actually was nervous and wouldn't let go of my leg. When the bell rang, I had to get the teacher's assistance to get out the door. I know she's fine now.

L, on the other hand, ran straight to her classroom, sat down in her seat and said, "Bye, Mom!" She did let me kiss her goodbye.

And this picture is of H and his reaction to his sisters going to school.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Party of Three

Anyone who has multiple children knows how hard it is to get them all in one spot to get a picture. Well, I attempted to get my kids together for a picture this morning and was able to get one decent picture of all three of them among the 20 or so crazy ones. Thank goodness for digital cameras!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Not Moving!

Well, I guess my gut was wrong this time. I usually have good intuition about how things will go. For example, I just knew that L was going to be a girl and H was going to be a boy. I had mixed feelings about K until the last two weeks of my pregnancy and knew, without a doubt, that she was a girl. I also had a feeling, the entire pregnancy, that H was going to be early. I figured I would go into labor around Memorial day, about 3 weeks early. I was a little off (4 weeks!) but he was early. Again with the digressing.

My husband has taken a new job that will not require us to move. While I'm grateful that I don't have to go to the middle of nowhere, I was looking forward to the newness that moving brings. It's fun to have a new house, a new car (which we need as we are bursting at the seams in our current family vehicle), a new (much larger) city that would bring new shopping options (has anyone heard of that Old Navy store?) and, more importantly, new restaurants. We do like to eat in this family.

The new job will, however, require S to do a lot of traveling. I'm not so happy about that but it's obviously what God has for us at this time. Every other door closed with an overwhelming slam so stay put it is! This is good for us because we have roots here, friends here, memories here. It won't be easy for S to be gone a lot but I have an incredible support system here. My family, while not here, can get here easily and visit often. S's family is here now and they are a wonderful support for us. And I have some incredible friends, ones that I would have hated to leave had I been moving.

You're not getting rid of us yet!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

How Great Thou Art

May 2, 2007 is one of those dates that I will always remember. Yes, it was the night H was born but it was also one of the scariest nights in my life. Again, I don't want to go into details now; that's another post for another day. As we were waiting for the ambulance to come take me to the hospital so H could be rescued, S heard the sirens and ran out front to flag them down. That left me in the bathroom by myself, in a very dire situation. When I'm nervous or scared or even happy, I sing. It's just who I am. Well, I was scared beyond belief that night and the one song that came to mind was the hymn, "How Great Thou Art." After I finished singing the first verse, the paramedics arrived and then I lost consciousness so I don't remember everything. But I do remember the great sense of peace I had as that hymn ran through my mind.

Today at church, we sang "How Great Thou Art." I stood there, holding H, looking at the words on the screen through tears in my eyes. I made it through most of the song but stumbled on verse three:

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing
He bled and died to take away my sin

God sent His son to die so that I might live, so that my son was spared and is bringing me joy on a daily basis. God truly worked a miracle that night and I will never, ever, forget those words that the Holy Spirit impressed upon my heart:

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

Friday, August 10, 2007

The One In Which I Have Nothing To Talk About

Now that I'm done with my "series" of blogs on places I've lived, I have little to write about. The summer is winding down and I can't wait to get the kids back into school and into a routine. The only routine we've had this summer is that there isn't one. And now it's so oppresively hot outside that I can't send the girls out there unless it's for water fun which, frankly, I don't enjoy because I have to be out there and I'm hot. Honestly, the heat is somewhere between ghastly and completely unbearable. These are the days I wish we had a pool.

As a side note, I just saw a commercial for a credit card showing lots and lots of fabulous snow. If only!

I would love to post some pictures but I haven't taken any with our digital camera. I have taken some with my cell phone but I still have no idea how to get them from my phone to my computer. I was told that emailing them to myself was an option but I tried it and it didn't work. Bummer.

So, if you need something to read or find my babbling totally unbearable, I suggest you check out my friend, BooMama. It's a quite often hilarious and touching look at motherhood and life in general for a good Southern girl. It's one of my daily reads. Plus, she often has giveaways and who doesn't like free stuff? If you want a guaranteed laugh, read this post. Every time I think about it I laugh out loud, or LOL as you kids call it. I'm to old to have to learn that. I've just now gotten me one of these fancy blogs. I can't be expected to learn it all in one day!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Where We've Lived: Philadelphia

After New Orleans, we made our way up north to Philadelphia. While New Orleans was the furthest west I've ever lived, Philly was, by far, the furthest north I've ever lived. I've joked with my husband many times that every time we move, it seems to be in the wrong season. We moved to Charleston in winter, to New Orleans just as summer was getting really hot, and to Philly as the weather was turning cold. We have impeccable timing. So we packed up and set of just in front of Hurricane Isidore. We slowly made our way up north, stopping to see both sets of parents and show off our new baby.

S found us an apartment in Doylestown, about an hour north of Philadelphia's center city. I loved the area but it prevented me from really exploring the downtown area. Plus, I had a small baby and it was winter. Not a good combo. We did find some wonderful restaurants, though. Are you seeing a pattern here? We like to eat good food. Our favorite treat, by far, was going to Los Sarapes. It's an authentic Mexican restaurant with the best food you can imagine. Their mole sauce is unbelievable and is quite unexpected in that area of Pennsylvania. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised because another favorite was Cafe America in downtown Doylestown. It's a great Mexican/American cafe.

When I set out to write about Philadelphia and all its fabulousness, I realized I couldn't talk much about the city itself because I don't have very much personal experience with it. There is a ton of American history in Philly and lots of wonderful places to visit. It just didn't happen while we were there. What did happen is that we made some wonderful friends. Obviously, I made friends in Charleston and New Orleans although we weren't in either place very long. But in Philly, even though we only lived there for a few months, I made friends to last a lifetime.

Our first Sunday in church in Willow Grove, we met a young couple with a new baby, about the same age as K. I got to know Lisa and her daughter, Ginny, very well. We had play dates and joined a women's bible study together. She was my first real "mom" friend and Ginny was K's first little friend. We were able to laugh together, cry together, encourage one another and vent about all the little mommy things in life. That was something I really needed! S and I were also able to join a bible study in our church that enabled us to get to know other couples in the church. Again, what we needed!

We moved from Philly in April 2003 to the city where we currently live. I'll talk about that lovely city when we eventually move on. We were only supposed to live here for 6 months and we have lived here for over 4 years.

When we left Philly, I cried. I hadn't done that for the previous cities. Sure, I was sad to be leaving them but I didn't have the relationship investment that I did in Philadelphia. I'm thankful for that investment even though I don't get to see my friend every day, or even talk to her every day, though we do stay in touch. God knew what I needed at that time, as He always does.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Where We've Lived: New Orleans

The next stop for us was New Orleans. We had to move there for my husband's job a mere 4 months after moving to Charleston. Neither of us really wanted to go but knew that it would only be for a short time. Remember that I'm now about 18 weeks pregnant with our first child so moving around a lot isn't exactly my cup of tea. I told S that I wasn't moving again until we had the baby!

We found a corporate apartment in the Warehouse District in downtown New Orleans. It was one of several old warehouses that had been made into apartments. They were really cool. I wish I could explain it better but we didn't have any outside windows. All of our windows opened up to an indoor atrium. Again, it's one of those things you just have to see. I'm not a very eloquent writer.

Most of what we loved about New Orleans was the food. Our apartment was literally one block from Emeril's restaurant. There were several other places we loved to go including Elizabeth's, Cafe Rani, Warehouse District Pizza, Teddy's (for the best po-boys you can eat), and Dick & Jenny's. One place we always wanted to try, but never got the chance, was The Chicken Box. It boasted that its chicken was "slap yo' mama good." Again, never got to eat there but I'm sure it's tasty. If you ever find yourself going to New Orleans, let me know because I'll be happy to supply a list of fabulous restaurants.

With S working and me at home by myself, I learned to wander around without getting too lost. Magazine Street is the best place for this. One of my favorite shops, Pippen Lane, is a children's shop. They have adorable clothes and a fabulous sale at the end of each season.

When my mom came for a visit, we took the trolley down St. Charles to look at all the old homes. It was absolutely gorgeous. Very much the old southern town I had heard about so often. We also explored the French Quarter but not for the reasons that most visitors do. We went in search of Blue Dog. I'm not much of an art person but if I were independently wealthy, I would own an original Blue Dog painting. They are fun, whimsical, down-right cute.

On July 7, we welcomed K into our family after a mere 20 hours of labor and only 11 minutes of pushing. We were so blessed to have her as a part of our family. And what a surprise to find that we had a little girl! Everyone had told me they thought it was a boy.

We left just a couple of months later for our next destination. As we drove out, we were just ahead of Hurricane Isidore. We left in pouring rain and high winds with a trailer attached to our truck and a brand new baby in the back seat. You should ask S about the white-knuckle driving he did on the Mississippi interstate. It was a tense 4 hours.

Our time in New Orleans was short, a mere 7 months but had experiences to last a lifetime. One of our last stops was Commander's Palace, a New Orleans landmark restaurant. They are famous for their Turtle Soup and their Bread Pudding Souffle with Bourbon Cream Sauce. OH MY WORD it is tasty stuff. They had, at the time, 25-cent martinis at lunch. And the ladies at the table next to us were taking full advantage of that!
New Orleans will always hold a special place in my heart because it's where my first child was born, even if I have no desire to live there again. We had a great time while we were there and have lots of fun memories to share!

Next Stop: Philadelphia

Thursday, August 2, 2007

H is 3 months old!

Some day I'll get around to posting about the night H was born. For now, we'll settle for celebrating his 3-month birthday. He's doing great, looking more like a baby and less like a newborn every day. He has started smiling which brings great joy to my heart. He's also trying to talk, making the wonderful cooing sounds that all babies do. There's even the beginnings of a laugh. He's also started rolling over but I really think that's much more of an accident than on purpose. We have so much to look forward to!

Where We've Lived: Charleston

Our second home as a couple was in Charleston, South Carolina. I was absolutely thrilled when I found out that we were moving to Charleston. I had never been there but knew that it was a beautiful city and I couldn't wait to get to explore it.

Due to the nature of my husband's job, we ended up living in a Residence Inn for the first month we were in Charleston. That was not exactly how I pictured living in an old southern town but that's what we had. So the month of October was spent at the Residence Inn in North Charleston. The one good thing about that is that it's close to the mall and lots of other shopping so I found plenty to do during the day.

We moved to an apartment on Daniel Island on November 1. Two days later, I found out I was pregnant with our first child. I told my husband by buying him a baby name book, giving it to him when he came home from work that night. He didn't get it. He said, "Sure, we might need this at some point in the future." I told him that I thought we might need it soon. He said, "Yeah, you know if in four or five months we find out we need then that's great." I replied, "I think we're going to need it in the next nine months. I took a pregnancy test this morning and I'm pregnant." He was giddy with excitement and if you know my husband, you know he doesn't get giddy.

We did our fair share of exploring the Charleston area as well as downtown. Of course, we found some fabulous places to eat. One of our favorites is Hank's. They have wonderful seafood, of course, and my favorite was a low country staple, shrimp and grits. It truly is the best and if you've never tried shrimp and grits, you're in for a real treat.

Downtown Charleston is absolutely beautiful with all the old homes and architecture. I could have wandered around for hours just looking at old houses and the waterfront. It's truly a beautiful city.

Another treat was the South Carolina Aquarium. I remember standing in line with a bunch of children and seeing the aquarium through their eyes, thinking about bringing my own child there someday. There are a lot of animals to see there. My favorite, of course, was the North American River Otter. So cute, lots of fun to watch. I knew we were at the otter exhibit because there were lots of kids crowded around it. They are just fun animals to watch; very playful.

For our anniversary, we spent the weekend in Myrtle Beach which isn't too far from Charleston. It was a lovely weekend although we didn't spend too much time on the beach because it was too cold. It was February, after all!

Right after we got back from our anniversary weekend, we found out we were being sent to New Orleans. This was a mere four months after we had moved to Charleston. Needless to say, I didn't want to go but knew that it was what God had planned for us. We had to pack our things very quickly and be out of the apartment within the week. I was quite sad to leave Charleston as I felt I was just getting to know the city. I would love to go back!

Next Stop: New Orleans