Wednesday, April 26, 2006

the flower beds

I just spent Monday and Tuesday tending to our primary flower beds in the front yard. Now that the frost danger has passed I felt like I could get things ready for the summer. Last May I expanded the planting area in our front yard to include a piano noble type shape (s-curved bed) and it turned into a bigger job than I had expected. Thought that bed doesn't look very large it can actually hold a boatload of plants. It was very gratifying this year when the Stella d'Oro daylillies, purple cane, and salvia came back up with the daffodils. They are the first sign of spring and just seeing them gave me ideas for what plants to add into the bed. Somehow the job didn't seem quite as big this year.

I weeded and cleaned the bed, then went to the plant nursery on Monday with ALL THREE KIDS. (Do I get a medal of honor?) They didn't kick us out even though Grace was howling about wanting to get out of the stroller by the time we got to the cashier's stand. By the time we arrived home I was unable to do anything but eat the take out that Dave offered to bring home. (Hanging my head in shame...there goes that domestic goddess of the year award I wanted so badly.) We made all our regular appointments on Tuesday morning. After putting Grace down for her nap I was ready to plant all the new flowers. I made great progress as I moved through the process. By the time I stopped to pick up Jordan from Chorus practice (3:30) I had moved through most of the larger plants and chosen the slots for the smaller flowers. When we returned from Jordan's school I then had everyone awake and busy....really busy. After about 30 minutes trying to plant the same plant I realized that I had to call in the calvary. I picked up the phone and called Dave's Dad. Pop-pop was here within ten minutes (Hooray!) and he did the kid wrangling while I planted at a fenzied pace. Two hours later I was done.

See all those little red flowers on the left side? There are actually 144 of them. Add that to the other flowers and I put 155 plants in the ground on Tuesday. I needed motrin that night...and the next morning. There is a lot more to be done, but at least I've gotten a headstart. In fact, I added that hosta near the tree so I'd have one more plant come up next spring. Every little bit helps!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

happiness is...

holding a new cousin. Here is Jordan with Baby Lydia who was born on April 12th to my sister and her husband. We got to visit them this weekend and enjoy some family time with everyone.

More happiness...having your 92 year old Great-Grandmother hold and adore you while you nap in her lap.

Monday, April 17, 2006

the influence of grandparents

Everyone complained that the Easter Bunny had not brought Peeps this year. So, today I purchased them at Walgreens for 75% off. I handed Grace a piece of one to know, my little 21 month old child. A mere baby. As soon as the confection touched her mouth she said, "Marshmellow!"

Who on this Earth would feed a baby marshmellows? Grandparents, that's who. ;-)

Sunday, April 16, 2006

easter weekend

I have some rather big family sister Julie gave birth to her third child -- Lydia Annabelle -- on Wednesday. Lest you think I'm a loser aunt for not posting the news sooner let me explain that I had wanted to post a photo first. I'm dying to see her and hope my sister has emailed me a photo or two by then so I show you. I think they'll be a busy family from now on...I've had some experience in this arena. She has a son who is six and a daughter who is a month older than Grace. Because we have been sick at our house I decided to make our family trip to see the baby next week. I can hardly wait to hold her. Welcome to the world Lydia!

Today was the neighborhood egg hunt. It started by 9:00 am and was over by and furious. The kids had a great time. Here is Grace gathering her eggs:

William talking with his friend Jackson after they collected their eggs:

All three in a photo on the front porch...have I mentioned how difficult it is to get three people under the age of 9 to be still in a photo? I'll keep trying.

Did I mention how much William is talking lately? Is this just a trait of being 4 years old? He can hold a conversation with himself -- and he does.

Grace looking at the salvia which just came up in our front yard.

Jordan attended her gymnastics class today and then started in a new volleyball league this afternoon. It's an elementary league at the YMCA, mostly girls, grades up to 5th grade. I am AMAZED at the range of height and size in those girls. I have already braced myself for the growth spurt to come prepuberty, but seeing a 5th grader side by side with Jordan was quite a shock. There was literally a foot difference in some cases...and Jordan is at 85th percentile for height. (Gulp.) It was great fun to see the kids enjoy the games.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

vacation recovery

I need a vacation from my vacation. It's an over used phrase, but sometimes true. We've been going through the normal events that occur after vacation, but it seems my crew is still recovering from their illnesses. I think I alluded to it in the last post. William caught the croup on Thursday night -- technically on Friday morning at 1 AM he came into our bedroom gasping for breath. It was a very scary night. By Saturday Grace had begun to catch a little of the same. Now they have both progressed to stomach irritation from all the fluids created by the virus. Perhaps TMI, but now you know why I haven't been posting for a few days. (UPDATE: Jordan got sick with some kind of stomach flu last night. I have three at home in varying stages of sickness.)

Here's a recap of our getaway. Hilton Head Island was beautiful and very laid back. We had no real agenda other than to relax and have fun...perhaps the best kind of vacation. It's one we all needed.

SATURDAY: We got out of town later than planned due to the Pre-K fiasco. I had stayed up all night packing and Dave had been camping out in the back of the explorer to nab William's spot. We headed out of town in the early afternoon, fought some mysterious traffic on our way south of Atlanta, and then finally felt like we were getting somewhere when we saw our first glimpses of spanish moss. Hilton Head Island is between Savannah and Charleston on the coastline so it falls into the "Lowcountry" region. We were thrilled with our condo upon arrival. We had a 2 bedroom/2 bath -- and that made the whole week so much better. Having a space for everyone to hang out comfortably was paradise. We backed up to some wetlands (think alligators, turtles, and raccoons -- luckily we were on the 4th floor) and had three pools at our disposal on the property. The beach was exactly two blocks away. Needless to say, we slept well that night after unpacking the car.

SUNDAY: We headed to church together and it was a great way to start the week. We made a wrong turn getting to the church and saw an alligator and three turtles sunning right next to where we turned around. William is still talking about Zaccheus and the Sycamore Tree. We spent an afternoon in the heated pool and then headed out for a great meal at The Crazy Crab. Grace fell asleep in Dave's arms during dinner.

MONDAY: We spent the day at the beach. People were rolling out of our development on bicycles with their beach towel and book. The beach was literally seconds away using that method...unfortunately we had too much parphanalia to do that. Because of that we drove and set up at the beach for the whole day using a cabana, packed lunch, and every sand toy ever invented. It just amazes me how busy the kids stay at the beach with little need. Jordan did her thing inspecting starfish, catching a jellyfish in a bucket (!), and collecting shells. William jumped every wave he could and made friends up and down the beach -- including a cute set of six year old twin girls who lived five minutes away from us in Roswell, GA. I expected Grace to be a crazy toddler at the beach, but she was so content and happy digging in the sand and strolling with me.

TUESDAY: Coastal Discovery Museum; Lunch at a Greek Restaurant; Putt-Putt golf; Dinner at Harbor Town in Sea Pines; Ice Cream to end the day

WEDNESDAY: Dolphin Cruise along the waterways. We did see dolphins, but because they are not baiting them towards the boats now we didn't have one come up to the edge of the boat. The practice is much better for the environment and dolphin population though. The kids enjoyed watching the boat crew cast a net for shrimp as we trolled along the water's edge. It was fun to see the huge vacation homes and beautiful residences along the waterway. Apparently Ron Howard has a home somewhere in Sea Pines. Dave took Jordan and William to another pool in our complex for an afternoon swim while I got dressed. We traded babysitting with some friends who were at the condo. Dave and I took advantage of our night by eating at a delicious restaurant called Red Fish and then heading to The Jazz Corner for dessert and coffee. It was an awesome and special night out together.

THURSDAY: We spent all day at the beach again. The weather was wonderful for our entire stay and we took full advantage of it. That night was our night to babysit for our friend and her mother so they could enjoy a peaceful meal out. We cooked steaks and hot dogs and enjoyed getting to know our 3 year old visitor. It was actually a very fun night.

FRIDAY: We spent the whole day recovering from William's croup scare, getting medication, and beginning to pack. That night we decided to take a chance and go to The Salty Dog Cafe with the kids. We bought a ton of cool t-shirts, talked to the beautiful exotic birds, and enjoyed the whole casual environment eating seafood. She Crab Soup is simply the best delicacy ever invented, by the way. It was a great way to end the vacation.

SATURDAY: Our checkout was at 10 am so we had to boogie to get it all out of the room, but we made it. Don't ask Dave how close we came...he might have to re-live it. ;-) We hit the rain on the way back into Atlanta, but apparently we didn't get the worst of the storm. We were cracking up at the stream of people leaving Hilton Head (like us) and the new stream of people heading in for their vacation week. Truly a resort town. I made Dave stop at the Jeff Foxworthy Outlet store on the way back into Atlanta for some laughs. We ended up buying the kid's Easter outfits at Strasburg Children and The Children's Place.

Here are some photos for you to enjoy:

Saturday, April 08, 2006

we're back

Hilton Head was awesome. We had a wonderful week filled with time together. No deadlines other than the dolphin trip I scheduled on Wednesday. Grace started saying, "Go beach!" a lot and we spent some fun times swimming, playing putt-putt, and catching up on reading.

William DID get into the preschool of our choice! Thankfully that is over and now we can concentrate on enjoying the school year. I started the shift at noon on Friday and then Dave did the marathon stretch while I finished packing for our trip that night. During that night he caught up on 10 episodes from the first season of "Lost". I was so jealous that I set that as my selfish goal during this vacation. I've made it through 8 episodes thus far by sneaking in time while the kids were napping or after bedtime. Perhaps not the most academic goal, but I'm happy that I understand the series more now.

William caught the croup and had a scary breathing episode on Thursday night. He's doing better now.

We have a mountain of things to catch up on. I'll try to post more details tomorrow.