Monday, June 30, 2008

We could be fish.

We are a water loving family, and we have the pictures to prove it!



















At least one of us does like some lounge time though... :)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

It was all going so well...

Dread:
The feeling that I had when I woke up this morning to no power and torrential rains...AGAIN.

It's our first day back to "normal".

Grammie's Vacation Club for Granddaughter's has closed for the season.

I know we're going to have a "detox" period. I know we're going to test mom's limits again. I know I'm going to have to get used to the noise level of LOUD once again. Knowing this, I decided last night as I lay in bed, that we needed distraction today. Daddy's working late tonight, which will make this day even longer. Last night our options were many...go to a park, go to a pool, stay home and play outside much of the day...This morning our options were gone.

I wanted to cry this morning, when faced with 12 hours of whining, fussing, picking, screaming, fighting, crying, and complaining.

I really didn't think my children wanted me to behave like that.

So I researched my indoor activity options. They were few. I decided on Kung Fu Panda, since, well, it really was my only option.

This was my first attempt at taking all three kids to a movie by myself. Before we've gone with friends, or daddy, or grammie. But I've never done it alone. Hoping that Austin would make it through the movie, we headed out.

I'm doing this! I thought, as I drove to the theatre, I finally scraped up the courage to tackle this by myself!

I was actually kind of excited as we arrived, We can do this!

We made it into the theatre, after a potty stop, and a popcorn stop, and found some good seats that gave us easy access to the exit, just in case. We got settled just in time for the lights to dim, and the previews to start. Soon the movie started, and to my delight, all three kids seemed happy and calm. After twenty minutes or so, Austin got a little more active, but was still manageable. After another twenty minutes he settled down again, and I was pretty sure we were home free for the rest of the movie. And then...

SCREEECH!

That's the imaginary sound I heard as the movie disappeared and the emergency lights went on. At first we stayed put, assuming they'd fix the technical difficulties and we'd get on with the show.

Or not.

25 minutes later we were back in the car with our "rain checks". Apparently there was a large power outage, and there was no telling how long the theatre would be closed.

Really.

Seriously!

I mean, what are the odds? My first attempt, and it was going so well!

So we're home again. Fighting and screaming and picking...

We may attempt "take two" tonight.

If I can muster up the courage!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fun and Games

Quiet.

It is quiet at my house this week.

Well, quieter.

You see, my girls are at Grammie's this week for vacation bible school.

SHOUT OUT FOR GRAMMIE!!!

So during the day, it's just me, and Austin.

After reading Jen's post the other day, I've really been trying to play with my sweet son more.

We've played stack the blocks.

Well, really for Austin it's a game called...Mommy stacks the blocks so I can knock them to kingdom come.

We've played catch.

Or as Austin calls it...Let me see how far I can make mommy have to go to get the ball I just threw.

Or...

Let me see how hard I can throw this ball at mommy's head!

We've played outside in the baby pool.

Austin likes the game of...Let's see how many faces mommy can make when I put this yummy rain water in my mouth.

Also...Watch mommy scream as I dump my bucket of water in her lap!

These are some seriously fun games.

Don't you want to come over and play with us?

Wingman!

Here are some pics of Wingman! We love him SO much already!


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Three.

Families come in all shapes and sizes.

Some are complete without children.

For some, one child is enough.

For others two is perfect.

Some are even complete with four!

I wanted three.

My great-grandmother, Grandma Rena (pronounced Reenee), was a quilt maker. She sat for hours every day piecing quilts. Even as her eye sight failed, she pieced quilt tops. She would have us pick out the materials we wanted, and put them together, so the quilts would look good even though she couldn't see the colors anymore. She did it all by hand, by touch, by feel. It still amazes me today.

She made my baby blanket when I was born. It was a soft quilt in very seventies colors, browns and oranges. I carried it with me everywhere. By the time I was five, it was tattered and old, and my mom put it away for safe keeping. When I was a teenager she gave it back to me, and I displayed it in my room. It was and still is very special to me, it is my blankie.

When Jason and I were dating, Grandma Rena made baby quilts for me and my cousins, for our future children. I had her make me three. I wanted three. I didn't know what the future held for me, but I knew I needed three.

After Annie was born, Jason felt our family was complete. Two was enough, he said, the world revolves around families of four. For me though, it wasn't right. I knew we weren't complete. I wanted number three.

Even I was surprised though, when Annie was just 16 months old, to find out we were pregnant. The decision was taken out of our hands, we were having another child. I worried that Jason would be upset, but he was wonderful. He was my rock when I was scared out of my wits at the thought of another baby so soon!

And so, I got my three. Three baby quilts, three babies.

The first time I saw a picture of our family of five, it just seemed right. It was whole, it was perfect.

When I got to visit Janelle the other day, she kept saying the same thing. Her families picture came up on their computer, and she said it finally looked right. It hadn't looked right to her before.

They needed three.

I am so excited to have a friend with three, like me. I am so excited for Janelle and Skip that their family is complete! Little Wingman is here! And let me tell you, he is BEAUTIFUL!

I mean, HANDSOME! (Sorry Skip!)

Three isn't easy. In fact it can be really hard sometimes, as Janelle knows from witnessing my crazy life! But it is SO worth it. There are days when my three just about send me into the nut house. But when I see a picture of our family, our family of five, it looks perfect. It's the way it was meant to be.

Grandma Rena went to heaven shortly after Jason and I were married. She never knew any of my babies. But I think she's watching, and smiling, maybe even laughing sometimes at my crazy life. And I think she's happy knowing that she made a baby quilt for each of my babies.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

My boy.

He smells like wood chips and ranch dressing.

Austin spent the morning playing his heart out, like he does everyday. He has so much zest for life, so much determination, it amazes me.

He's different, this boy of mine, much different than his sisters. I am loving being a mama to a boy. He's almost 21 months old, he weighs 31 pounds, and he can out run both his sisters...but he's still my baby.

This morning our activities included playing with Nana inside for two hours, then going outside to play in the dog's house (hence the wood chip smell), play in the kiddie pool, play backyard t-ball, and play with the dog.

After that we had a bath! Want to know how many hair washings it took to get all the wood chips out of his hair?

A LOT! :)

Then we had lunch, pizza and carrots with ranch dressing to dip them in. He loves to dip things, including his hair!

I just layed my tuckered out boy down to sleep. As I held him and sang to him he cuddled up to me and let his sweet body relax. I love these times, when he's still my baby, they melt my mama heart.

I nuzzled my face in his hair, kissing his head, and smiled when I realized he smelled like wood chips and ranch dressing.


Perfect.

Monday, June 16, 2008

And they danced...

THEY ACTUALLY DANCED!

After the last couple of months at practice, when we had...

Tantrums over shoes. (Ellie)
Fits over being tired. (Both girls)
Refusal to even go in the studio. (Annie)
Meltdowns over what color Maracas we got. (Ellie)
"Practice" performances when we wouldn't dance. (Annie)
Lectures from our teachers. (Both girls)
Threats from mommy. (Both girls)
Removal from the studio after threats didn't work. (Both girls)
Almost losing her mind. (Mommy)

THEY ACTUALLY DANCED!

It's been two weeks and I think I'm still in shock.

Our dance studio, which is owned by a very good friend of mine, does a BIG recital every two years. This was the year. I was originally excited to have both girls in dance in a "recital" year, but as the year wore on, my excitement turned to dread. Neither of my girls was the "dancer" I'd hoped she'd be. I had nightmares of both girls refusing to dance in their expensive recital costumes. My dread lightened on the day before the BIG recital, when we had rehearsal at the venue that we would be at the next day.

My girls were seriously impressed with the BIG stage. Both made it through rehearsals like champions, and I had reason to hope! The next day they arrived ready (but late!) to dance their little hearts out. I was so proud of both of them! The recital was 3 hours long, and they both watched fairly patiently. When it came time for their dances, they did FANTASTIC! I was most nervous about Annie, but apparently all she's needed this whole time was a BIG stage and a BIG audience! I wonder what that bodes for her future?!

Time will tell weather we do this again. Two months ago I was saying NEVER again! Now, well, we'll see. I am not one of those moms who just LOVES the dance world. The costumes, make-up, pictures...it all just stressed me out. But who knows, if someone begs to dance again, I might just cave in.

If they sign a contract never to complain again!

Some pictures...

Ellie's clogging class! She's five kids in to the left.


Annie's ballet class, they were french maids! She's in the middle, with good friends Tessa on the left and Celeste's daughter Elle on the right.

Annie's tap class. They were Panda Bears! This time Elle's on the left, and Tessa's on the right.



So now the costumes are packed away. Annie will never again wear a size seven (the smallest we could find) ballet shoe. Her tiny tap shoes won't fit if she dances again. Ellie won't ever have to wear the too tight clogging shoes again. And I won't have to battle her to get them on! Hallelujah!

Just before the recital my friend Sheri took these pics.


Goodness they were cute!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Feet

These are the feet of a 100% BOY!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Two weeks ago...

It's crazy how time flies by me. I was just commenting to Michelle yesterday, that summer is already zooming past! Or at least it feels like it. In reality, it's only been two weeks.

Two weeks since Ellie finished kindergarten.

Two weeks since the BIG dance recital.

Two weeks since Janelle's baby shower.

Two weeks that I've been meaning to blog about all of the above!

I'll start with the first one today...

She's a kindergarten graduate! I never thought I'd see the day...


Oh, I kid! I was nervous though, when Ellie started kindergarten last fall. I wasn't emotional, or even all that sentimental, just nervous. She's a unique girl, with many great qualities, and many difficult qualities. I feared for her, her teacher, her classmates, and myself. I prayed that she would get the teacher she needed, that she would learn how to handle herself better.

And you know what? She did! She got a teacher who managed her well. A teacher with a quiet voice, but enough firmness to keep Ellie on track. We had a few rough patches, but nothing that lasted.

After spring break the real change occurred, and it seemed like a switch flipped in Ellie. She seemed able to catch herself before a meltdown happened. I was able to reason with her. She seemed happier and more at peace with herself. The reason for the flip? She accepted Christ! I have never seen such a tangible change in someone before. Ellie started asking deep, pointed questions just after Easter. We began having some talks, and she said she wanted to be a Christian. I, however, questioned her. Did she really understand? Was she ready? She's only six! But as I prayed, and did a little online research, I realized that she DID understand, as much as a six year old can and should, and who was I to hold her back. So we prayed, and she asked Jesus to live in her heart, forgive her of her sins, and to help her grow into a strong Christian girl! I am so proud of her, so excited for her! Since that day we prayed, she has been happier. Happier with herself, with me, with life. Not perfect of course, far from it. She still makes bad choices sometimes, still loses her temper, still gets very frustrated with me and her daddy and her siblings. But the anger she had, the extreme anger, is gone. And in it's place is a Peace! One week from tomorrow she plans to be baptized at our church, in the big swimming pool outside. Unconventional? Yes! But OH so special!

Life with our strong willed girl is still not easy, but it is much easier. I have always known that she needs to grow into her personality, and now it seems like she is starting to. We are leaps and bounds ahead of where we were just a few months ago. I am excited about first grade! Not nervous! Okay, a little nervous, but a good nervous.

She's a work in progress, my Ellie, as we all are!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Austin's Antics, part 2.

Ya know how I often refer to Austin as "active" or "crazy"?

Well, I took this video of Austin a couple of weeks ago.

You be the judge.

video

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Simplicity is sometimes best.

A one word meme. This is doable, so I am doing it.

1. Where is your cell phone? Purse.
2. Your significant other? Sleeping.
3. Your hair? Ponytail.
4. Your mother? Fun.
5. Your father? Caring.
6. Your favorite thing? Quietness!
7. Your dream last night? Non-existent.
8. Your favorite drink? Coca-Cola.
9. Your dream/goal? Fit!
10. The room you are in? Office.
11. Your hobby? Blogging.
12. Your fear? Ridicule.
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Here!
14. Where were you last night? Friends!
15. What you are not? Sensitive.
16. Muffins? Yes!
17. The last thing you did? Laundry.
18. What are you wearing? Make-up.
19. Something you are not wearing? Bra.
20. Your mood? Satisfied.
21. Your summer? Unpredictable.
22. Person you tag? Pressure!

Thank you, and good night!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Welcome summer.

Picture this...

There's this mom. She's at the pool with her three kids. She's in the deeper water, because her oldest child, a six year old, wants her help swimming. She has a three year old clinging in fear to one hip, and a one year old trying to squirm free on the other hip. Her legs are being used as a way to shove off for the six year old, and her swim suit top keeps inching down, because all three children are using it to hold on to. Soon the frazzled mom climbs out, and settles her children down with a snack. A man arrives, he appears to be the husband and father. The mom is pleased to have help, and starts to relax. Just as the mom leans her tired head on the chair, taking a brief rest, she hears a dreaded sound. Gagging. It's coming from the baby. She jumps to her feet, and he loses his lunch. He's covered, his stroller is covered, and there's a nice pile on the ground. You watch in fascinated horror as she mops everything up with beach towels. The father helps by standing back and saying... Gross.

I am that mom.

Those are my kids.

That is my husband.

Welcome summer.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Graduate!

My beautiful cousin (and favorite babysitter!) Lane, just graduated from college!!! We are SO proud of you Laney!!!



There's nothing like a cute pair of shoes to drown out the screaming...

Well it seems it's time for the great Bloggy Flip Flop Carnival!

Which seems fitting, this being our first Monday of Summer Break!

Whoo Hoooooooo.

Really.

Can you catch the sarcasm? It's hard to type sarcasm.

I really am excited that summer is finally here, it's just that as I type this, the girls are screaming at each other, and I'm already tired. Which isn't good considering it's 10:08 am.

But it's going to be okay. Really. I just keep telling myself that.

On to the cute flip flops!

First, Thank you Alana, for hosting this fun little swap!

I was thrilled when I received mine! I had purchased my pair to send, but hadn't sent them yet when mine arrived. I wasn't sure what was in the box the babysitter found on my front porch, but decided to open it anyway, even though I was running late. I figured it was some random part for something my husband had ordered. I had all but forgotten that I'd be receiving some flip flops. So when I opened the box and saw some of the cutest flip flops I'd ever seen, I squealed with delight! Along with the shoes was an adorable card. Look closely and you can see that the card has a beach bag with flip flops, a book, and a towell sticking out, HOW CUTE!


Thank you to Denise, my flip flop swap partner! I hope you like yours! You have an adorable blog that I plan on reading more, now that summer is here! (if the screaming ever ends!) I was blessed by your thoughtfulness in choosing such a cute pair of flip flops.

Here are some close ups...


Thanks again!!!