Monday, January 30, 2006

not for the faint of heart

First you should look at the photos taken yesterday. These are the ones we managed to get with a busy 18 month old. Picture People now offer album viewing on their site so I thought I'd be lazy and share:

Photos from Grace's 18 month photos

Now, let me tell you what happened on the day the photos were taken. (Email me if you need any entry information to see the photos.) It was, ahem, "eventful". Dave and I were trying to pick the final picture packages. Dave had decided to leave the stroller in the car so Grace was sitting nicely on his lap. Jordan and William were behaving when all of a sudden a sound came from Dave and Grace's direction. It's a sound that you cannot mistake. Yes, you guessed it -- Grace threw up all over Dave and herself. To make matters worse, the photographer helping us exclaimed, "What did you feed her? It looks like chocolate malt balls." Apparently Grace had held her morning raisins in her stomach all day. They soaked in milk and looked like chocolate malt balls. Ewwwww. Poor Dave. I had a change of clothing for Grace, but not for him. So there he was in the studio bathroom trying to wash off his Sunday pants in the sink. It was a fun ride home with the windows down.

Once again I assert...the final job of getting pictures is not complete until the photos are in the mail to the grandparents. Fortunately we got some photos that show our 18 month old in her her full glory so we won't be going back for torture anytime soon. One day soon I am going to chronicle the saga of how our kids vomit at the oddest times. (Then again, when is throwing up convenient?)

For a few days we were sequestered to the house until we got whatever stomach fun under control. Lots of lysol necessary to contain the family germ spread. No one else got it so I consider that a minor miracle. But then Dave came down with a sinus and chest cold. Now I have it. I feel like walking death. Of course, little kids don't understand the "Mommy needs to lay down and die" theory so life has to go on. Needless to say, not much has gotten done this week.

I've been trying to get William's school arrangements under control for the new school year. In our area you must get in line now to finalize your spot. Georgia has taken the lottery money and financed Hope Scholarships for college students and a Pre-K program statewide. So Georgia Pre-K is held in some public schools (but not ours) and some private daycares. The curriculum is good and the teachers must be fully certified to teach the Kindergarten level work. Some daycares have both private and Georgia pre-k classes. The difference? You pay for the private. I've been shopping around trying to figure out which lists we need to be on and how their selection process will work. This is where Georgia has dropped the ball. Every other aspect of the program seems great, but the selection process is darn confusing. Some places hold lotteries for the open slots. Some do it on a 'first come, first serve' basis, and some have a Saturday morning event where people camp out through the night to guarantee a slot. Every center holds their 'event' on a different date ranging from December to April. I've had to use a spreadsheet to keep it all straight. I have one guaranteed spot at a nearby 'academy' which is an official Georgia Pre-K site. It's a decent place, but I'm trying to get more spots in hopes of finding the right place. The hours are usually from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm. The only payments necessary involve lunch and aftercare if desired. It's a great plan since William is anxiously ready to start back to school. I'll keep you updated once I figure it all out. William cannot wait for me to tell him which school is THE ONE. And he'll be thrilled with it as long as it is blue.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

don't be shocked

I updated the blog. Oh? You thought It'd be something riveting? scandalous? whacko? Nah. Maybe some other day (and more likely in my past), but not today.

We are now a Tivo family. We've wanted to have that silly box for a while, but the silly monthly fees were just too much to consider. Dave figured out a way around that problem. Tivo offers a lifetime subscription for each box for a flat fee. Pay that when you buy your box and then there is no monthly fee. But, if you've done any research you know that the fee or lifetime subscription add up to way more than the price of the hardware box required to use the service. (Welcome to the new economy.) We bought a Tivo box off of ebay which carried the transferrable lifetime subscription and ended up with a box which was a month old. Awesome. The box came on Thursday and my resident networking genius has us hooked up. We are still learning the finer points of using the service, but even the kids thought Dad was cool for setting up the Tivo. Best part is that we don't have to watch the commercials. I may Tivo the Superbowl and watch only the commercials though. (Did I see your eyes roll, my Pittsburgh friends?)

On Tuesday I had a monumental day. Why? William was a model citizen. In fact, at the end of the day I teared up as I told Dave story after story of how mature he was all day. My goodness, I think the boy is becoming -- dare I say it? -- well behaved. The highlight of the day was when he browsed through our public library so casually picking out books like he had a starbucks to enjoy. Following that he stood still I as filled out his paperwork for his very first library card and he signed his own name. (The little guy has never stopped being a hurricane long enough for me to ever do that for him.) I looked over at dinner that night and he still had the card in his 4 year old hands while eating. My heart nearly burst for him. Simple things really are the reward of parenting. That day God gave me hope for the boy that I adore.

Tomorrow, after church, we are going to get Grace's 18 month photos taken. She turned 18 months last week and I think you'll be shocked at how much that baby look has disappeared. Please think of us around 1 pm EST. We may need your prayers...and I'm not kidding. Photos are another special part of parenting. I'm not sure you can consider them a reward though. At least not until the photo is in the envelope to grandparents.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

something only a mother could love

We had to throw something out on garbage day last week. It was nothing fancy. While living in Hawaii I bought the simple stool to paint for Jordan. Time passed and we were moving back to the mainland with a toddler...and my little art project went by the wayside. The stool got used daily for toothbrushing. One day, just a few months after William was born I saw scribbles on it. It happens when you have kids around. They just can't resist drawing on some surfaces. As my frustration subsisided I realized how very sweet the drawing was. There was Jordan's 4 year old handwriting -- backwards "J" and "N". And just below that was a drawing of her with William. The big sister and her little brother. Look at his little smiling face. No amount of decorative paint I could use on that stool could compare with the love that a little graffiti artist bestowed on it. Only a mother would want a photo of it before it left our household.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

have a laugh on me

Last night I headed out to Kroger after we got the kids to bed. Jordan needed candy for a school project. Apparently they are using m&ms in an economics project this week. I had intended to pick up the package all weekend, but I kept forgetting. So, I made a last minute run to handle the purchase. I thought it would be a breeze. Dave was home with all three kids. The kids were asleep and Dave was busy cleaning the kitchen. (Bless him.) What could go wrong? (Note to self: never ask this question again.)

Kroger has their main entrance closed on the 24 hour stores and you normally enter and exit from the same door near the single cash register they keep open. As I entered the store I heard someone exclaim, "Oh no!" and then I felt a splash down my entire right side of some kind of cold liquid. The Kroger bagger had dropped a gallon of milk, it burst, and landed on me and the floor. What seemed like an eternity passed and then the cashier handed me two measly napkins to wipe off with. There I stood, dripping with milk. To make matters worse, I had showered just a few hours before hoping to get ahead of my busy morning on Tuesday. Both the customer who was purchasing the milk and the bag boy looked mortified.

Finally I got the m&ms and headed to the one checkout available to face the wonderful bag boy again. Poor kid, he was groveling, apologizing, scared to death (though I never said what I was thinking -- I promise) of me. Let's just say the my simple errand to Kroger was a little more exciting than I had anticipated. Next time I'll get photos for your enjoyment.


WILLIAM: I am going to be bigger than Daddy when I grow up. It'll take a few days, but soon I'll be as tall as Daddy and then after that I will get taller and stronger.

DAVE: Why do you want to be as tall as me William?

WILLIAM: Well, I just want to be like you because... because....because you are the best!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

question of the week

JORDAN: "Dad? What's a rumor mill?

I immediately turned my eyes to Dave for his insightful reply.

DAVE: (clearing throat) "Well a rumor mill is a figure of speech which stands for how a group of people talk at a certain work. People say things without knowing it is the truth and they spread a rumor."

JORDAN: "Ooooh, like the way people talk in a school lunchroom."

DAVE: "Yes! Exactly!"

Good job Hon. ;-)

Monday, January 09, 2006

a glimpse of our Christmas

Grace sits on the hearth with her baby doll before our annual Christmas Eve BBQ supper.

The whole gang discusses their Christmas excitement before putting out chocolate milk and cookies. William decided that Santa would prefer chocolate milk this year.

William takes a spin on one of his toys the next morning.

Grace in her speedster. (Hair bow long since discarded, but a big smile on her face.)

Jordan listening to her Disney Mix Stick (mp3 player).

Later in the day Alice and her gang dropped by to survey the damage. (l to r) Laura, Dave, Alice (Dave's sister), and Richard who was home from California.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

sibling negotiations

This morning Jordan and William were building a car with the cardboard bricks that my parents got William for Christmas. Jordan, being the older sibling, took command of the situation. Here's how the laughable moment sounded:

JORDAN: Now William, we'll take this and make it into a steering wheel so the car can be driven.
WILLIAM: Oh yeah! Let's do it! Then I can drive the car!
JORDAN: Oh well, you see I'm the oldest so I will be the one to drive the car. You have to sit in the backseat.
WILLIAM: Um, does the backseat have a DVD player?
JORDAN: Oh no, we will not have a DVD player in this car. (Hypocritically, the queen of movie memorization says.)
WILLIAM: That's bad Jordan. What will I do while you are driving?

A momentary pause in the conversation occurs, and then:

JORDAN: OK William, I've changed my mind. We will build a DVD player in the ceiling of our car. You will drive and I will sit in the backseat.
WILLIAM: Hooray! I get to drive! Oh wait -- that means I won't get to watch the DVD. Mooooom! Jordan won't let me watch the DVD in our car!

Hmmm, should I mediate issues over cardboard brick cars with pretend DVD players???

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

welcome 2006

If you are wondering why I am unable to post pictures and witty words this week I can explain it in a few bullet points:
- I am lost in the abyss of Jordan's room.
- The Christmas decorations (copious amounts of them) must be put away this week for their own safety. I am happy to report that no ornament sustained toddler or kid damage. It's a miracle!
- I've been cleaning. (don't laugh - I hear you out there making rude comments)
- I'm still fighting the crowds at the YMCA.
- Sigh, the whole rat race and schedule starts off with a bang next week when Girl Scout Cookie Sales begin.
- Did I mention that I have all three kids at home this week to entertain?

I sat down to write a wonderful recap of 2005 and state my gratefulness for making it through another busy year. But then I just sat and sighed. A year ago I was still recovering from Grace's birth. A year ago my father was in a cardiac ICU situation when his genetic heart conditioned had worsened to a critical state. A year ago I had intended to do a million things around the house. A lot has happened in a year.

The best Christmas present ever was cooking Christmas dinner two weeks ago with my father again this year in my home. He turned 70 on New Year's Eve and I know that is a true blessing for our whole family. I consider his good health nothing short of a miracle after the problems he experienced in the first five months of 2005. I'm still working on the fitness bit, but I've basically recovered from Grace's birth. Silly as it seems, that experience left me lost physically. It has taken over a year for my iron levels to return to normal and slowly, but surely, I am regaining my strength. I guess my overall goal is to lose the weight that has plagued me for years, but more than that I want to feel strong again. I've been working out at the YMCA since May and truly believe I am on the right path. No miracles have occurred, but I feel in control of the situation and able to make a difference.

I've resolved to get us organized around our house. It's a constant battle that's been made worse by moves, family illness, and babies. I'm due for a yard sale this spring to clear out all those things that we just don't need anymore. Also, it's my goal to get to the special things we own and finish the work necessary to display them within the house. There are so many personal items that I've packed away to protect during the moves and never brought out to enjoy.

And I think William has resolved that his room is to be painted BLUE soon. He asks us daily when we are going to pick up the paint. Dave went to Home Depot the other day and I thought William was going to chase him down the road. The little guy has waited patiently and now it is his turn. I think we'll be using lots of that blue tape in a month or so.

Whew, I'm tired and 2006 has just begun.

one more resolution

I forgot the one resolution that is very important to me:

- Invite more people into my home. That's one of the reasons I am cleaning and organizing. I'd like to have more time and put more effort toward extending hospitality. In all our years of marriage, our closest of friends have come from those that we welcomed into every part of our lives. There is nothing more satisfying to the soul than the laughter of a good friend. We've been in Marietta long enough that we should be able to enjoy regular guests.

Monday, January 02, 2006

comment of the day

We go out to lunch almost every Sunday. I'm sure I should be proficient at crock pot cooking or have a roast on, but this is reality. We are lucky to get to Sunday School each Sunday on time. Dave's favorite saying is stolen from Jeff Foxworthy -- "By the time I get to church, I NEED to be in church." So, we have pressed clothes, spotless faces, cram a breakfast down our throats on the way to the car and....we go out to lunch following church each Sunday because that is all we can manage. Sad, but true.

As we are headed out the parking lot yesterday the crew in the back starts saying how they are hungry and "where are we going to eat?". Dave says he'd like ribs and is planning on going to a restaurant called Smokey Bones. And then Jordan replied with the comment of the day:

"But Daaaad, they've outlawed smoking in Georgia restaurants! We can't eat smoked ribs."