Monday, December 21, 2009

Bystanders


Two of my three favorite photographic subjects waiting for the tree to crash

Monday

Reason #1 taking down large trees should not be DIY...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Oldies but Goodies

The rocking chair that was my grandparents'. It has had several different colors of paint over the years, although I only ever remember it being white. I love the way the sunlight pours over it in the mornings.

The spool bed is my favorite piece. It was my great-grandmother's and was my bed for many, many years. It's a 3/4 bed, meaning it's larger than a twin but smaller than a full. This is the first time it's been bathed in blue for a little boy.

Both of these pieces now reside in H's room.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Big Boy Room


H now has his big boy room. We took down the crib on Saturday, H even helped, so obviously he was more than ready to be in the big bed. He's done great. The first night he woke up twice but since then has done really well. And he's so proud of himself. He gets up every morning and says, "I sleep in my big boy bed, Mommy!" The room looks really good, too. Much more room in which to play. Now it just needs some finishing touches like pictures on the wall.

I must admit I cried. I didn't think I would be that emotional but when push came to shove, I lost it. I realized that the crib has been in that room since we moved into the house, except for a brief period when we moved L into K's room and she was still in the crib. And I didn't just get teary, I really cried. Oh, I was pitiful. It's just moving from one phase to another. Watching the kids grow is wonderful but I think it's important to remember what they were like when they were little, to celebrate their present accomplishments, and look forward to the next stage. That's the joy of being a mama!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Growing Up Fast

Yesterday at nap time, H told me he wanted to sleep in his big boy bed. I asked him if he wanted to sleep in his crib or his big boy bed and he said, "I sleep in big boy bed." So I got his pillow and Barkers, his favorite stuffed dog, and he laid down and went to sleep. Just like that. He did the same at bed time last night although, in the middle of the night, he fell out of the big boy bed and S put him in the crib. But at nap time today he asked to be in the big boy bed yet again and we had a successful nap sans crib.

A few weeks ago, I thought about getting the crib out of H's room and setting it up to be a "regular" bedroom. I have a vision of what I want the room to look like and the crib doesn't fit into the plan any longer. But my plan was halted when I realized that H would be able to get out of bed whenever he wanted and could possibly give up nap time. Plus I really want him to stay in his crib as long as possible. We only took L out of the crib when we needed to set up the room for H's arrival.

So when he asked to sleep in the big bed, I wasn't prepared. I thought I would be able to handle it but it's the end of an era. Once that crib comes down, it won't go back up again. It's down for good. There's no more preparing for a baby; it's now take the crib down and store it until I decide what to do with it (really don't want to sell it or give it away). While I am perfectly fine with the size of the family (I don't feel the need to have another baby; our family is complete and I know that in my heart), I hate to see the boy growing up as fast as he is.

At the same time, there's the excitement of the next stage, of no more diapers, of starting preschool, of seeing H go through the stages the girls have already long since left behind. So today I am sad to see the end of the crib era but thankful that I have the babies I do and the time I have with them now.

I'll leave you with a conversation I had with H over the Thanksgiving holiday:
Me: H, may I see your airplane?
H: No.
Me: Why not?
H: Because no.
Me: Because no?
H: Exactly.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Lest You Think...

...I have given up blogging forever, I haven't. All is fine at Mama's house, well as fine as it can be with three children. I made a pseudo-commitment to take a break from blogging. I thought it would be a two week break not a two month break. I would love to say that something wonderful was happening whilst on self-imposed break but it wasn't anything different than normal. I've driven the kids to school, gone to the gym, gone grocery shopping, worked, and driven carpool. Then there's the house keeping, cleaning, and cooking that has to be done as well. So that's what has consumed my break. See? It's not glamorous.

Here's what's happened since I last blogged:
  • L got a second cast on her wrist after they x-rayed it to make sure the bone was healing properly and discovered that she had stuck a penny in it
  • H got his first big boy hair cut
  • If K grows any more she's going to be taller than me by the time she's eight. And I'm not short.
  • S has been to the UK twice
  • We went on a very short getaway with Sporty Mama and her Hubby
  • I've watched too many AU losses although our most recent loss was one I was actually ok with. Frankly, I thought we would get our butts handed to us and we hung on until the very end. I was extremely proud of those guys for showing up and giving us a great game. WAR EAGLE!
  • I had a fabulous birthday dinner lovingly prepared by my sweet husband, complete with steak au poivre, fresh asparagus and angel food cake with strawberry sauce and fresh whipped cream
Now you're caught up. I've learned that working a part-time job is a full-time job in and of itself. The hours really are great and I still get to do things with friends when I can, I can still do field trips and class parties, I just have to make sure my job is done first. There are days when I'm happy to be there and days when I wish I were anywhere but there. That's not all that different than my job as a mom. I have those days when I wouldn't trade any of it and days when I wish I could be beamed to a quiet spa island where no one asks me for anything.

I can dream, can't I?
P.S. Not sure why H looks so worried...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Some Things Never Change

This past weekend we had the wonderful opportunity to go to Auburn for the weekend and go to the game thanks to some wonderful and very generous friends. We were able to take all 3 kids with us as the very generous friends just so happened to have five tickets to the game. They were also on the 40-yard line. Plus we got to see several dear friends, one who lives there and one who wishes she did (you know who you are). Doesn't get much better than that.
So I began composing this post in my head while I was in Auburn. It won't be nearly as eloquent now since I've forgotten most of it. We had a fabulous time. The kids were great, we stayed in a suite a couple of blocks (!) from the stadium and got to walk around my old stomping grounds. (The kids were none too pleased with the amount of walking we did.)
I must say that lots of things have changed since I've been at Auburn: there are a ton of new dorms, they've re-routed roads, there's a new arena, a new parking deck (where the old athletic complex used to be that burned down during a football game which I attended and saw smoke and flames rising just above the student section), and plenty of new buildings that house various schools and colleges. They have done a great job in keeping with the look of the campus, not putting up some hideous building that doesn't go with anything else around it. So it sort of looks the same if you ignore all the new stuff. Make sense?

Anyway, one thing that never changes is the atmosphere in Jordan-Hare Stadium. It's been four years since I've been to a football game and it felt exactly the same as it did when I was there. The scoreboard is different and they've added some seats but it's still got the same feel, the same electricity that is Auburn football. When I took S to his first Auburn/Alabama game, I knew he would never look at football the same way and it's very true. The fans are still just as passionate about their Tigers, I still love seeing Aubie and his antics (which was, by far, my kids' favorite part of being at the game), I still love watching a game in person. And it's one of those things you have to experience yourself to truly appreciate it.
I believe in Auburn and love it!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

My Brain is a Ball of Mush

It's true. These days my brain really is a ball of mush. I guess working on top of being a mom will do that to you. Well, that and a broken washing machine. It just quit on me Friday in the middle of a load. So I had to empty the water on to the back porch, wring out all the clothes and take them to my in laws' house. Let me just say that I never realized how much laundry I did until I had to take it elsewhere. Our family of five generates some dirty clothes! Praise the Lord for the in laws; otherwise I'd be going to the laundromat.

We're still getting used to the school schedule which seems to be going well but it's hard to get the kids to bed earlier. While it's nice for S and I to have a little more quiet time in the evening, losing just 30 minutes is a lot!

The job is going quite well even though I have H with me in the tiny school kitchen. It's really a pretty good deal except I'm on my feet all day. As long as there is plenty of food for him, H stays out of the way and even helps sometimes. The only issue I've had is the sweet little first and second graders who come through to heat up a lunch they've brought from home. If there are 10 kids who have to heat their lunch and I only allow them one minute to do so, that's 10 minutes that kids are standing there heating things up. And here are a few examples of the questions I hear over and over:
  1. How long do I heat this up?
  2. Do you have a plate?
  3. How does this microwave work?
  4. Do you have a spoon?
  5. Where is the trash can?
  6. This is too hot.
  7. Can you open this for me?

I honestly would love to help all of them but I can't seeing as I'm slightly busy handing out the 120 lunches that were ordered. It's craziness I tell ya! I had one 11th grader tell me that she was never again bringing something to heat up. Granted, there is more than one microwave but with the shear volume of children coming through to heat things up, it feels like there's only one.

So here's a recommendation to you parents who send lunches that need to be warmed up: don't. It makes life easier on everyone. But please know that your children are sweet even if they aren't old enough to work the microwave. Maybe I can teach a class on microwave use while I'm waiting to pick up L. Sounds good to me!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

First Day of School 2009

It has come and gone. The first day of the 2009-2010 school year, that is. K is now officially a second grader and L is a kindergartner. I was slightly choked up when L went to her classroom and began her work. She did exactly what she was supposed to do without having to be reminded. I thought I would be okay but I was a ball of mush. It doesn't get any easier with the second one.

I have found my return to work to be exhausting. It's been almost 8 years since I've worked outside the home and it's tough even though it's only a couple of hours each day. The nice thing is that the day goes by quickly with the rush of lunches and kids and teachers and kids and food and all sorts of other stuff. Last night I crashed at 9:00 and woke up at 6:00am having not moved one bit. I'm pretty sure I was tired.

I have some sweet pictures of the girls on their first day, complete with new backpacks but I haven't uploaded them from the camera. That's mainly because I'm lazy and won't go downstairs right now to get the camera so I can put pictures on the blog.

It's been well worth it, though, to be around my girls all day and to see the kids in the school. They are a great group of kids and I'm having fun getting to know them even if it's only for a moment.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

So Here's What's Going On

I have been neglecting this blog all summer long. It's hard to find the time to sit down at my own computer and write about, well, nothing. But that's why I started this: to have a record of my children's life and to get out all the things in my head. I would love to be more faithful to this blog (I feel like I've been cheating on her) but life has gotten in the way.

We got back from a trip to my hometown on Tuesday. It was wonderful and we were able to extend our stay one day because S had to work. He had too many conference calls on Monday to be able to sit in a car and try to work while 3 children were creating background noise. He went with us since he can work from just about anywhere. That was certainly a blessing for the car ride. It's always easier than being the lone adult in the car for 5 hours.

We got the chance to ride a real train while we were there. There's an antique rail not too far from my hometown so we went with Papa and PJ and rode the train. It was so much fun. There was an outdoor car and an air-conditioned indoor car. H thought it was a little loud while we were on the outdoor car so we moved inside about half-way through the trip. The air felt good since it was 90+ outside. Even with a breeze in your face, it was still really hot.

So what else is new? Well, I'm officially a working mom. I've taken a position at our school, coordinating lunches, organizing them, and handing them out. No, I'm not the lunch lady. I'm the lunch coordinator. I do get paid (not much) but I do get a really good discount on our tuition. And that makes all the difference in our economy today. Plus, whatever I make gets deducted from the tuition so we're not going to have any monthly payment. Oh, and H gets to go with me so there's no need for child care. And I get Fridays off. It's win-win. While this isn't my ideal job, it's a great way to ease back into the working world.

So that's the news from the 3m's Mama house. What's new with you?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Summer is Winding Down

As we move into these last few weeks before school starts, I must look back at what a wonderful summer we've had so far. I remember the last day of school in May, thinking that we had so much time this summer, it was going to be long and what was I going to do with three children at home all day with nothing to do?

The answer didn't come right away. We had to find things to do, take short day trips, host friends, play with family. We had several guests stay with us including Sporty Mama, had a big birthday party for L, and hosted S's sister for 2 weeks. Her four children stayed at the grandparents' house and took turns staying with us. We had a fabulous time with all of these people, ate really good food and laughed a lot.

The girls are getting excited about school starting (that will eventually fade so I'm trying to encourage it for as long as I can), especially L who will be starting Kindergarten. I know I'll be a ball of mush on the first day of school and must remember to have tissues in my purse that day. We've purchased school supplies, new backpacks and Gran surprised the girls with new lunch bags which are really cute. I think I need to have them monogrammed.

Now summer isn't totally over. We're heading North to visit Nana, Papa & PJ at the end of this week. We have a few more day trips planned, a few play dates with friends and possibly a day trip with Daddy who was gone for most of the month of June. He also went on a last minute trip a couple of weeks ago and has been holed up in his home office ever since. While he is technically home all the time, we still miss him.

I'm very thankful for the time I've had with K, L and H this summer. We've had some wonderful times and we've had some difficult times. Tempers flare a little more easily when you're together all the time. That being said, I wouldn't trade my life for anything.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Five

At five, L seems to me to be smaller than I remember K being. While L is smaller physically, she has personality to spare. She loves to be in the spotlight and puts on shows for us regularly, our living room her stage. She wants to be a rock star when she grows up.

She's feisty and fun but knows just the right time to cuddle. She still has remnants of the curls I so loved when she was around 18 months old. She gets the worst cases of bed head. She sleeps on her stomach with her arms wrapped around her pillow. She loves to play with her brother unless he has something she wants. She knows his buttons and K's too. She's athletic and can hang with the boys all the while in a princess dress. She looks just like her father.

She can do anything she puts her mind to yet she surprises me sometimes with her shyness. But she doesn't hold back too much. She told me just the other day that she liked a boy (I've spoken of him before). She said, "Mommy? I really like H." "I know you do, baby," I replied. "No, Mommy, I really like him."

I think we're in trouble.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Seven

I truly can't believe seven years have passed since K was born. While she wasn't exactly the tiny baby I had envisioned (9lbs, 12oz isn't a newborn; it's a three-month-old), she was this perfect little being for whom I was responsible. I remember picking her up out of the bassinet at the hospital. I was all alone with this precious baby, tears in my eyes experiencing a love I'd never known before (and only slightly scared).
The very first thing I noticed about K were the dimples on both cheeks just under her eyes. Those are not very common and were a completely unexpected surprise. She still has them and they make me melt every time I see them. She knows it, too.

I have watched her grow and change over this last year. She's physically much taller than she was at six, almost up to my shoulder. She has gone from looking like a little girl to looking like a young lady.

She has a very tender heart, always one to reach out to those in need. She loves to read, is quiet at school and loud at home. She looks out for H and has a lifelong friend in L. And she still finds comfort in her mother's and father's arms. May it always be that way.

It's scary in a way. We still have the 'tween and teen years to look forward to so I'm going to cherish the time I have when she still wants to hold my hand, sit in my lap, and will let me kiss her goodbye at school. She's growing up too fast but she'll always be my baby.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fruits of Summer

I have always had a love/hate relationship with summer. Summer is just plain hot and I really don't like being hot. Sweating is not something I cherish. I spent all my summers during college at a camp in Alabama so trust me when I say I know hot. And humid, too. Oh, it's humid here. We tried to have a picnic at the park today but it was just too hot to stay more than 30 minutes. The kids weren't thrilled about having to leave but Mama couldn't handle the heat any more. So we took the picnic home.

On the other hand, there are the wonderful fruits of summer that I just love. Blueberries, strawberries, plums, tomatoes, blackberries and peaches. Of those, peaches are, by far, my favorite. I have fond memories of driving down the interstate to get to the closest peach orchards. We'd stop at the farm stand and get their fresh, homemade peach ice cream. Oh, it was heavenly. And our local farmer's market always had lots of Chilton County peaches that I still prefer to any others. (I realize there is much debate about who grows the best peaches but I'm an Alabama peach fan.)

So when my in-laws stopped in South Carolina on their way down here and purchased a boat load of peaches, I happily took some of them off their hands. Oh, were they good. (Not as good as Chilton County peaches but close.) A friend of mine called them "back porch fruits" because they were so juicy that you had to eat them on the back porch to keep from making a big mess inside.
I found a recipe for a peach pie and knew these delicious fruits were destined to be baked in a pie, surrounded by caramel, encased in a buttery, flaky pie crust. I had enough peaches to make the pie with some to spare. Those were cut up and served with breakfast the next morning. There were no leftovers.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Changes

Well, it just about killed me to change the "About Me" paragraph to the right to reflect the girls' changes in age. I got teary watching K open her presents last week and laughed watching L open her presents at her birthday party. I have so much to say about each one of them. I have enjoyed getting to watch them grow and change over the last year, watching personalities blossom. Not only do the look different, they have very different personalities. They are currently happily playing with each other in their room, enjoying one of L's prizes from her party. I'll post all about the birthdays when I can access my big computer that has all the pictures on it. Hope all is well!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Case of the Delinquent Blogger

Oh, I've been so neglectful of this blog as of late. It's getting to be that season around our house where things kick into high gear. VBS was this week and I was very involved in that, mostly behind-the-scenes. I'm no teacher but organizing registration I can do. We had a great turn out even though lots of families were on vacation for the 4th of July.

Speaking of July, it is a big birthday month around here with K's one week and L's the next. Usually it isn't so stressful but this year is L's 5th birthday and that means she gets a big party with all her friends and balloons and cake and the rest of the works that come with child's birthday party. We do big parties at 5, 10, and 16 and family celebrations for the others. I got that idea from S's brother so kudos to him and his wife for sharing that with me. It seems to make the parties that much more special and is a lot less work for me.

I've been busy making arrangements for said party, reserving a large water slide for our back yard, printing and mailing invites, and just generally organizing everything. It seems to be falling into place but this week is proving to be a crazy one. I am thankful that we can do this for L but I have a feeling I'm going to crash next Saturday night.

I plan to return to regular mundane blogging at some point just not this week. Happy 4th of July everyone!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Generation Gap

Nana is visiting and gave me a much-needed break from the kids. S has been gone for most of the month of June and I needed a few moments to myself. So she told me to go get a pedicure while she bathed the kids and put them in bed.

While the kids were still in the tub, K yelled to Nana that L had said a bad word. A really bad word. Here's how the rest of the conversation went:

K: Nana, L said a really bad word. She said the S-H word.
Nana (trying to figure out where in the world L heard the S-H word): L, why did you say that?
L: I wanted H to be quiet.
Nana (breathing a bit of a sigh of relief): Oh, you said Shhhhhhh.
K: No she said the whole thing. The whole S-H-U-T-U-P.
Nana (attempting to stifle laughter so that L would know that saying the whole S-H-U-T-U-P is not a good thing [but saying it in her sweetest voice]): Well, I bet that if I let you play in the tub a little longer that you won't say that to H again.
L: Yes ma'am.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Funny H Story

While I have pictures to post and lots of fun things to share, this story is short enough to share quickly. We've been super busy over the last several weeks and I will share our goings-on over this week. For now, here's the funny H story.

Sporty Mama was here with her family last weekend for a much-needed visit. We had a great time just being together, laughing, listening, venting, eating, and drinking.

SM's hubby had a pair of black Crocs that he wore most of the time he was here. However, when he went to put them on Sunday morning, they were nowhere to be found. We asked the kids if they had seen them (of course they hadn't), checked under every piece of furniture, searched high and low. No Crocs. We even checked under every bed and in the garage. No Crocs. We searched the backyard and the front yard. No Crocs.

Monday morning, as they were preparing to depart sans Crocs, SM and I did one more sweep of the entire grounds searching for the Crocs. We just couldn't imagine where they had gone. It was as if they had legs of their own and had crawled off seeking freedom.

Then I had a stroke of genius. You see, H loves to put shoes away, especially Daddy's shoes. So when I checked S's shoe rack in our closet, there they were: one pair of black Crocs.

If only he'd do that with his toys!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I Thought Summer Was Supposed to be Lazy

Gone are those lazy summer days about which I was so excited. Our June calendar is now filled and July is slowly filling up. I keep looking at our fridge calendar to make sure I don't forget anything.

We've got two girls from a youth choir coming to spend the night tonight. My dear friend, Sporty Mama, is coming tomorrow to stay through Monday. VBS at our friend's church starts Monday and I have a girls' night planned for Monday night. Swim lessons start on the 22nd and we've got our church's VBS starting the following week. So these lazy days where nothing is happening seem to be long gone. I'm hoping July won't be as crazy.

Of course, there's L's 5th birthday party (her very first big birthday party), K's birthday, and a visit from Papa and PJ. So why am I blogging when there's much to be done? Procrastination, my favorite thing ever.

My mouth is feeling much better, thank you, after two days of soreness and sensitivity. I was still chewing funny last night and S even commented on it. I feel like such a wimp!

I will post pictures of my visit with Sporty Mama as long as I remember to actually take pictures. Have a great weekend, friends!

Monday, June 8, 2009

File This Under "Things I Do Not Recommend"

I went to the dentist today for the second time in a month. Why, you may ask? Because I had not one but two (!) cavities. I thought cavities were reserved for little kids and possibly teenagers but I am, at 32, not immune to these nasty little boogers.

So I sat in the dentist's chair and proceeded to have him stick my mouth with needles (thank heaven for numbing medicine) and then drill on two different teeth on either side of my mouth in what was possibly the longest 30-45 minutes of my life. I do not enjoy the dentist in the first place but this was just a nightmare. Don't get me wrong. My dentist is a nice guy and did a great job. He was very reassuring through the whole thing. "You're doing great," he said as he drilled deeper into my tooth, sending shock waves down to my toes.

Now that the numbing medicine has worn off (which he must have done a very good job of administering because my lower left jaw was numb until about 2:00) there is this very dull ache in my mouth. The top front tooth that was filled is very, very sensitive to hot and cold. And the back molar just plain hurts.

So here's my advice: Brush and floss, people. Brush and floss.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Up

Today was a fantastic day. Just plain fantastic. I got to sleep in a little, as did the entire family. H was the first one up at just before 8am. S cooked a wonderful pancake breakfast and I woke to the smell of freshly brewed coffee.

We have some college students visiting our church this summer as part of a campus ministry mission trip. We've "adopted" two of them and had them for lunch. They are great kids and it was fun to have some older young people in the house. Both S and I really enjoyed their company. And our "son" can eat. I love cooking for people who like to eat! We sent them home with all the leftovers we could. The one thing they don't get very much of is home cooking while down here. So they are usually pretty grateful for anything homemade.

Just after they left, we put the kids in the car and went to see "Up." (L calls it "Up the movie") It was great. They all sat there like little angels, enthralled with the movie. Even H had a good time and wasn't running all over the place. The dog truly is the best part of the movie. Just trust me.

We took our time getting home, stopping by a local ice cream parlor for a cool treat. We don't often do things like this but it really was such a nice evening. And H got a free cone since he's a little guy. Can't beat free! He ended up wearing the majority of it, trying to use his "free sample" spoon instead of licking it off the cone. It's moments like that I'm glad I'm not an OCD mom.

While I would love for every day to be like this one, I'm sure I wouldn't appreciate it as much if these days were the norm.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Lazy Summer

Here's what I love about summer days when we have nothing on the schedule: sleeping in. I have still kept up my exercise routing, trying to go to the gym 4 days a week. I still really don't enjoy the gym but I know it's good for me and good for my kids to see me do it. And when there's a class I regularly attend, someone always asks where I was, why I missed the class. Accountability, it is a good friend.

So this morning, with all my good intentions of going to the gym for Spinning, I stayed in bed. The kids slept later than normal and all ended up in my bed, snuggling up nice and cozy. And I soaked up every minute of it knowing that one day, all too soon, they'll have no desire to do that.

I actually cooked a proper breakfast this morning, eggs in a hole (bird in the nest, whatever you want to call it) and it was delicious. After a week of cereal and Pop Tarts, this was a welcome reprieve.

We went to two birthday parties yesterday afternoon, one for L's friend H and one for K's friend N. H is L's little "boyfriend." They stuck by each other for most of the party. And when L cried at the end of the party because she wanted a balloon and I told her no, H, taking care of her, immediately went to his mom and secured a balloon for L. He was not going to have her leave his party unhappy. Ah, young love.

Then it was off to N's party. Fortunately I didn't have to stay for that one as a friend agreed to bring K home. She had a blast and was so worn out that by the time she got in her PJ's and put her head on her pillow, she was out. Didn't even stay awake for me to pray with her.

While that doesn't seem so lazy, it really is for us. And with the cloudy day we have today and nothing on our calendar, I'm taking the day to enjoy my kids. They are so special and growing up so fast!
L as Super Girl, dressed for H's super hero themed party. What you can't see is that she had on K's cowgirl boots.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

End of the School Year

While the last week of school is always a whirlwind, there are some really fun things that happen. L's end of the year party was rained out so we improvised and had it at the school rather than the pool party that was planned. It was still great fun and everyone had a good time, including H.

K's end of the year party was held at a local water park. The day started off cool and overcast but the clouds broke and the sun appeared for most of the morning. It started raining as we were on our way home. Did I mention that the entire elementary school went along? Since we go to such a small school, we were able to rent out the small water park and have just our kids there. It really was fun. L was able to go, too, since our school really is family-oriented. We were all exhausted when we got home.
K got two awards on the last day of school. One was for the Headmaster's Honor Roll with Distinction, which means that she never had anything less than an A on her report card. She also won the computer technology award for first grade. That one cracked me up because up until now we haven't let her play on the computer at home. I guess she's a computer whiz at school!
From the ballet recital last weekend

I know this isn't the best picture but I really like it for some strange reason...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Whirlwind

The last two weeks of school are exactly that: a whirlwind. We've been so busy that I've needed to go to bed earlier than normal just to keep up with the pace. With something special/out-of-the-ordinary-routine going on each day, we've had no time to just be. I'm truly looking forward to not driving to school every day!

We had the girls' ballet recital last weekend and they were beautiful. K did both ballet and tap and did such a good job. And L is definitely a performer. She knew the routine better than anyone (her ballet teacher even commented on how well she did). I'll post pictures when they get downloaded. That's not an easy feat these days as S's new home office is upstairs where the computer is. And when he's finally done for the day, I'm busy with dinner and bedtime routines and don't feel like going upstairs to download pictures. Go figure. (At this point we're just happy that he has a job and has work to do. Even though it's a lot, it's work he's getting paid for.)

So what else has been going on? Let's see. L told me that her little friend (of the male persuasion), H, thinks that she's "hot." (That was her word, not mine.) H, thanks to his father, now calls pigs "bacon." Any time he sees a picture of a pig he says, "bacon." Insert exaggerated roll of the eyes here. L got promoted to Kindergarten on Tuesday night and sang loud enough that I could hear her above everyone else in her class. This dream of hers to become a singing star might actually come true. H has decided that he wants to start going on the potty. He's only made it once to the potty but we're working on it. My prayer is that we'll be done with diapers this time next year. One can dream...

That's the story of the last two weeks. My goal for the weekend is to rest and to finally get my house in order. It's a mess!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

Many years ago, when S and I first were dating, I just so happened to be graduating from Auburn. I was in DC and had to go to AU to graduate so I had a party just before I left to celebrate my achievements (really just the one). Several friends gave me Congrats cards but S's card was the most special for several reasons.

First, it was from him. Second, it was a very unexpected card: a Happy Bat Mitzvah card. See, it's really hard to find Graduation cards in December so he went with what he could find. Never mind that neither of us are Jewish. So he crossed out Bat Mitzvah and wrote "Graduation." The funny thing was that the words on the card were entirely appropriate for someone who was graduating. "You're growing up", "You're moving to the next stage" kinds of things.

Why am I telling you this in relation to Mother's Day? Well, yesterday when my sweet children and husband brought me breakfast in bed, I opened the card from the kids first. Guess what? It was a Happy Bat Mitzvah card! They picked it out with no help from S. I know why they picked it out, too. The picture on the front was a very cute cartoon girl with lots of girly colors surrounding it. It was not at all appropriate for Mother's Day but I still cherish it. I guess they're more like their father than I thought!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

A Heartfelt Thanks

Sunday afternoon while I was on the phone with Nana, I happened to glance at my trusty fridge calendar (if it's not on there, I'll forget everything that's going on) and realized that L had snack on Monday. I looked through my cabinets and found absolutely nothing that would suffice for snack. A trip to the store on Sunday at 5:00 was not what I wanted to do but it had to be done. Plus we needed eggs so I took H and off we went.

I came up with a good, homemade trail mix that I knew the kids would like, grabbed eggs and milk and went home. Now one of the things I love about our new car (the one we got last February) is the auto rear door feature. It was worth every penny the upgrade cost us. However, I was none too pleased with it when I opened the back and my 18 eggs fell to the ground. Oh, I was just devastated. 3 of them were a total loss and 6 more were cracked open but salvageable. So I had to come up with something that could be made right then other than scrambled eggs since we'd had those for breakfast.

I came up with a sour cream pound cake. It's S's favorite but we still had H's birthday cake hanging around and I didn't want two cakes in my house. What to do?

I gave it away to some very special people. The night H was born, our local fire department/EMTs were the first on the scene and really did the work to save our lives. One of them even came to see me the next morning in the ICU because he was so surprised that we'd actually survived! So I took the fresh pound cake to our local fire department with a thank you note and told the chief about the night H was born. I thanked him, from the bottom of my heart, for their quick response and doing all they could to get me the help I needed. It was a long overdue thank you! He gave me the standard "It's our job, it's what we're here for" speech but they were so much more to me that May night.

Our fire/police/EMTs are so overlooked and under appreciated. We often take them for granted until we really need them. We're certainly thankful we have them around!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Easter and Beyond

I realize Easter was almost a month ago but I have just now downloaded the pics from my camera to my computer. We've had lots of fun over the last month and here is proof positive.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Nostalgia

Tomorrow is H's 2nd birthday. In some ways it seems like it's been forever and in some ways it's flown by. All you mamas out there will understand. There are days you think will never end and there are days you turn around and your baby is two. I'm not sure if it's more difficult because he's the baby or because of the circumstances surrounding his birth. It's difficult nonetheless.

S and I were talking about that fateful night a few days ago, about what we remember happening. While it seems to still be so fresh in my mind, there are many gaps that I just can't fill in. There are times when I can talk about it freely and openly, sharing the amazing story of the night H was born, the night God did so many miracles I lost count. And then there are times when the mere thought of it all brings me to tears and I must move on to something else lest I become a puddle of mush.

H is now a beautiful two-year-old boy, thriving, a miracle in my home. Sometimes I think about what my life would be like if we'd stopped after having just one baby. Life would be simpler, I'd be freer to do more, there wouldn't be nearly as much laundry, the house would be quieter. But I remember that the reverse is also true: life would be emptier, there wouldn't be as many cute dresses that make K and L look like princesses and precious button-down shirts that make H look like a little man, and the house would be almost hollow. Those sounds of laughter, of tears, of little voices wouldn't be there. And my life wouldn't be as full.

Last year, when I put H to bed the night before his first birthday, I cuddled him, rocked him in my arms and got teary as I said goodnight to my baby boy. I know I'll do the same tonight.

Here's to H, may you have a happy birthday and try not to grow up too fast.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

You Can't Get Rid of Us That Easily

It's been way too long since I last posted and much has happened in that time. This is really the first opportunity I've had to sit down and think about what I can post. I have some sweet Easter pics to share and a few from our visit to the strawberry patch. The only issue is that they're still on the camera which is downstairs and I'm too lazy to go get it. Such is life.

Now on to what's really on my mind. I mentioned awhile back that S lost his job, got a new one, and we were going to have to move. This was not something I was thrilled about. I am willing to do it but not just super happy about it. However, we got word today that S is being moved to another contract, which means a different job that will allow him to work from home wherever that home may be. Which means we don't have to move.


I am BEYOND thrilled. The emotional roller coaster I've ridden over the last 4+ months has really taken its toll. And I've been forced to my knees, praying for God's guidance and wisdom, seeking to do His will. The journey has been rough and it's going to be another adjustment having S working from home rather than being gone all the time but it's an adjustment I'm willing to make!


A huge thank you to all of you who prayed faithfully for us. We have certainly felt it!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Coming Soon to a TV Near You

One of the benefits of living in a small town is that you get to know lots of connected people very quickly. A friend of ours sells ads for a local TV station and was filming a commercial for a new mattress company that just happens to be minutes from our house.

So when he called and asked if we had a large teddy bear that could be used for the commercial and did we have some PJ's for his daughter since his wife forgot to bring some and would K like to be in the commercial, too, I said yes. Oh, by the way, we'll be there in 10 minutes.

It turned out to be great. I happened to have two nightgowns that matched and the girls, K and her friend, N, were great little actresses. They really only had to pretend to sleep on this very large teddy bear. And they looked so sweet in their matching outfits. Of course, I forgot the camera in the haste to get out of the house!

(Consequently, we have said bear because it was a Christmas present for H. Only he's petrified of it since it's bigger than he is so the bear now lives with Gran.)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Insert Title Here

I can't seem to come up with a title for this as it's such a random post. Yesterday the kids were playing outside in the afternoon when the sprinklers came on. Instead of running inside, they decided to run in the sprinklers. In their clothes. They were having such a good time, I just couldn't make them stop. When the sprinklers went off, they were very distraught so S turned them back on for a few more minutes of fun. They were all sopping wet and immediately went into the tub. Of course I didn't have my camera and was having too much fun watching them so I have no pics to share.

S surprised me Saturday night by telling me that his boss told him to work from home this week. I cried when he said this as he's been gone for the last two months with only one week at home. Such a sweet blessing.

And I'll leave you with an L-ism:
L: Mama, do you know what?
Me: Yes, and his brother Why.
L: No, it doesn't have anything to do with H!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

It's Been Too Long

It's been too long since my last post but there's good reason for it. We celebrated spring break in what will be our new home town. S was already there working so I took the kids there on last Friday and came home Wednesday. While it was a bit of a working vacation (we looked at houses both Saturday and Monday) we were able to enjoy the pool at the hotel and visit the local zoo.

I was afraid H would be difficult to deal with at the zoo since he is so little. But he actually enjoyed it. He's not a big fan of animals but they were far enough away for him to be comfortable. His favorite thing was the train. Now he knows that a train says, "Choo-choo!" My favorite part was getting to feed the Loreys. They are beautiful birds and LOVE to be fed their special nectar. It really is a treat to them. At one point I had three birds on me, all jockeying for the nectar. The keeper told me that the best time to come is first thing in the morning when you can have 10-15 birds on you at once!

Here are a few things I learned while on the trip:
-H can unbuckle his seat belt: both the part that goes across his chest and the one that actually secures his car seat
-I have mastered the art of re-buckling a child while driving and not swerving
-3 kids in a car for more than 2 hours with only one parent isn't easy
-House-hunting with 3 kids is even worse
-L is a person who should never have bangs
-Children are very uncooperative at the end of a long day
-Actually being able to go somewhere for spring break is a blessing

And here are a few of my favorite pictures from the trip.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's Delicious But Not So Nutritious

A few weeks ago, S was making his usual lunch, a PB&J (peach preserves, to be exact). As he reached for the bread he asked, "Since when do we eat white bread?" I replied, "Since it was on sale at the grocery store for 50 cents a loaf."

I realize that white bread isn't all that nutritious and I've honestly gotten used to whole grain breads even though a PB&J still doesn't taste quite right. But I really couldn't pass up a loaf of bread for 50 cents. I bought a couple of loaves and put them in the freezer.

So this morning when I made cinnamon toast for breakfast, K exclaimed, "Yea! We get white bread! It's so yummy!" I figure a few sandwiches made with white bread isn't going to kill the kids. Plus it's a good thing they consider it to be a treat!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

If I Had a Sledgehammer...

...I'd use it on my washing machine. I'm so tired of that thing always being off balance. When we bought it, we had very little money and bought the most expensive one we could afford. Not bottom-of-the-line but pretty close. And it has served me well for many years. It still serves me well as long as there are clothes in there. But if there are sheets or towels in it, it throws it off balance. I used my trusty level and there's nothing uneven about it. It lines up nice and neat.

I'm so done with this thing it's not even funny.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Dinner For Two

Last night, S and I had the pleasure of dining at home sans children. We dropped the kids off at Gran and Granddad's where they spent the night. While we could have gone out, we opted to stay in and cook some wonderful food. On the menu:

Mixed greens salad with warm goat cheese, balsamic reduction and olive oil

Peppercorn encrusted beef tenderloin with a mushroom cognac cream sauce, served with a side of steamed asparagus


It's a good thing we didn't have anything planned for dessert!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009