28 April 2007

You know your daughter loves you when...

she hands you a piece of paper and says, "This is for you, Mommy. I drew you eating Poo-Poo!"

Thank you. That's a memory I'll cherish forever, sweet girl.

And, the fascination continues...

27 April 2007

Speaking Pictures

They say, A picture is worth a thousand words. So, I guess I'll let these do most of the talking writing...

Libby likes to ride her bus around the house saying, "Weeeee, weeeee, weeeee!"

Bruster's Ice Cream Shop field trip

Addi and Ally enjoying their "dirt" sundaes.

26 April 2007

The mind of a preschooler

Addi: "Mommy, if someone tells Ms. Teresa, or Ms. Joanne, or Ms. Tracie, 'Ms. Teresa, or Ms. Joanne, or Ms. Tracie, Mackenzie tattled again!', is that tattling?"

25 April 2007

Addi's supper

Last night I pulled out this cookbook and let Addi pick what we ate for supper. After about 2 minutes of perusal, she pointed out a recipe for Cheddar Corn Bread Wedges. That's it. Just corn bread for supper.

After a little more prompting, she added Macaroni and Cheese, Oven-baked Carrot Fries and Cinnamon and Sugar Swirls.

The only complaint came from Bryan. Is this all we're eating??...carrots and macaroni and cheese??!!

Addi enjoyed helping in the meal preparation and I enjoyed spending time with her and letting her do things I normally don't.

And, no, I didn't get any pictures. I know you want pictures and I know that was the perfect opportunity, but...I didn't. Next time...

24 April 2007

At 20 months

Dear Libby Lu,

You are so precious to me. If you are awake, odds are that you're in my arms. Or, holding onto my legs. Or, insisting that I sit within a foot of you to watch you play. You say "Uv Eww" now when I tell you that I love you which melts my heart. Occasionally you wrap your little arms around my neck and squeeze. That is almost always followed by a serious look, then a pucker, then a smooch, and then a giggle.

Your sister loves to say that you are "happy to tears". She is very right. You test us with your emotions. Sometimes I have to fight back a chuckle when I see you work so hard to get a tear after I've told you "No". Usually though, your tears come quickly and easily and, if they are genuine, the laughter soon follows. It is when you are trying to get your own way that they last a while. Part of that is your age...you're testing your boundaries. Part of that is your personality.

You are fiercely independent. I feel certain with that independence will come loyalty. You want things on your terms and I forsee that as being something we will battle over for a long time. You come by your stubborness naturally. It will make you feel at home around the rest of your family as we all seem to have inherited the stubborn gene.

Your vocabulary is exploding and your activity level is, well, active. You like to be moving...walking, marching, dancing, twirling, climbing, crawling, rolling, riding, bouncing...all the "-ings". You don't subscribe to the "I-can't-do-that-because-I'm-small" philosophy. While you stick close to me in the house, you like to roam the minute we head outside. Lately you've been grabbing my hand and pulling me to the door saying, "Outside, OUTSIDE!" You say "no", "mine", "Addi", "Mommy", "Daddy", "Zo", "dog", "eye", "nose", "please", "head", "hair", "shoe", and "weee" daily. This morning you started saying, "Where Addi? Addi?" over and over again. When I took you upstairs to see Addi, your face lit up as you exclaimed, "Addi!"

I love watching you. Watching you do things and concentrate on things. Watching you copy your sister. Sometimes I can get you to do something by asking Addi to do it first.

You pay attention to everything. I could sneak things like cookies by your sister pretty easily. That is just not the case with you.

I love my time with you before your naptime and when I put you to bed. We read a book, then I hand you your monkey (with an "Ee-Ee, Oh-Oh" and a kiss, kiss, kiss on your cheek) and your blanket, you lay your head on my shoulder and I sing to you. Sometimes you "sing" with me and sometimes you interrupt me to point out my "eye", "nose", "mouth", "head", "hair", and "ear". Other times you look up at me and tickle my neck. I love it when you just lay your head on my shoulder and pat my arm. After two songs, I say prayers with you and lay you down. You almost always smile at me as I shut the door. I cherish those few minutes every day.

I cherish being your mother. You are an "unknown" for me...a second-born in a family of first-borns. I pray for God's guidance and wisdom in raising you. I pray that you will have a passionate, intimate relationship with Christ. And, I pray that I will be used to help mold you into a person that the Lord can use for His service. You are a blessing and I am so thankful for the gift of YOU.

Love you,

23 April 2007

a Monday Sunday story (9)

He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven."
Matthew 18:2-4

Last night, a sweet friend of mine called to ask if I was watching Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Which I wasn't...until she told me to turn it on because the family they were featuring lived in Lawton, Oklahoma. I didn't see much more than the big reveal, but I did see that the father was a soldier who had lost the use of his legs. Addi also noticed him in a wheelchair. As I took her to bed, she mentioned the daddy in the wheelchair and I told her that he couldn't walk because he got hurt. She, without hesitation, said, "Well, Jesus can make him better."

Her simple words made my heart ache. Not because I doubted them, but because her first thought when she saw someone with a physical handicap was to look to Jesus. How often do I try to "deal" with things by myself? How often do I not even think to pray until I'm stressed out? And, how often do I look at things with my "worldly" eyes? My precious Addison Grace reminded me of the faith I am called to have.

I was hoping in watching some of the show, we would get a glimpse of what Lawton looks like today, almost 3 1/2 years after we lived there. We spent our first married years together in Lawton as Bryan was stationed at Fort Sill. Our first child was born at Reynolds Army Community Hospital on post. I became a wife, a cook, a housekeeper, a gardener, a homeowner, an FRG meeting attender, a Coffee Group member, a Commissary shopper, an "expert" on Field Artillery, a mother, and, for a while, a single mother in that Army town. And all that without the luxury of a Target.

We lived on the North East side of town in a modest 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom brick home on a corner lot. Before we moved, we painted every room (at least once), "re-landscaped" the yards, and had new flooring put in throughout the house (which, actually wasn't really by choice...another story...one of those "what-can-go-wrong-when-your-husband-deploys-will" stories). We celebrated some holidays and birthdays, but no wedding anniversaries in that house...another all too common occurrence for military spouses. I spent endless hours pacing the floors with a crying infant. I spent endless hours trying to get a sleepy, underweight infant to nurse. I spent endless hours dreaming of the day I would greet my husband again. Bryan spent endless hours playing with Zoe in our large backyard and across the street at the creek. All at that house. Our first home.

I wasn't ready to leave when it came time. Our house sold fairly quickly and I think I cried every night until we closed because no one would love that house like I did. Then I cried every other night after we moved here because I wanted to go back to that house I loved so. Or, at least to a neighborhood that looked familiar to me. I missed the brick houses, the big lots, the single stories, the fenced-in backyards, and the "assumed" double-car garages.

We've lived in 2 houses since that one and I no longer long to move back. (Even for Patrick!) I've finally adjusted to Raleigh and will probably be just as sad when it is time to leave. I have a feeling I won't be the only one shedding some tears when that time comes.

21 April 2007

NC Museum of Life and Science*

We spent some time at the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science today. It was so great. The highlight for me was the butterfly house (or birdfly as Addi says). Bryan liked spending time with our family. Addi loved the train ride and Libby liked it all from lunch to her nap on the car ride back home. If you ever get a chance to visit, I highly recommend it.

*click on the title to go to the ncmls website

19 April 2007

Daddy, you're so strong!

Addi's reaction after she saw Bryan pick me up was, "Daddy, how are you possibly so strong to pick up Mommy?!"

I don't have time to post anything else since I, apparently, need to spend the rest of the night exercising!

18 April 2007

More proof that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree

Well, I love a rainy night
I love a rainy night
I love to hear the thunder
Watch the lightning
When it lights up the sky
You know it makes me feel good
I wish I was really techie and knew how to have that song playing right now. I'm not, so you'll have to sing those lyrics over and over, unless, of course, you know the rest of the song.
I was driving all alone this evening, which is exciting in and of itself for me, when what came on the radio but Eddie Rabbitt's little tune. I was taken back to a dance recital where I performed to this song.
We wore baby blue leotards and held baby blue unbrellas. I thought I was H-O-T Stuff. The best part for me was the worst part for my dad. I can still remember him complaining about the rump-shaking move his young daughter would perform on stage. We began the dance with our backs facing the audience and as the music began we twirled our umbrellas and shook our booties.
What I would give for a picture of me in that costume! Or, better than that, the video of that recital...talk about entertainment!
I know a little girl who would love that video. She would love the costume. She would love the umbrella. She would love the moves. Addi would think I was the coolest mom ever if she could see my 8-year old self dancing away while holding an umbrella.
Undoubtedly, Addi will have a few memories like this one in 25 years. I'll have to hang on to those videos :)

17 April 2007

a (delayed) Sunday story (8)

I was less than anxious to do a Story on Sunday and thought I would take a break. These are really only of interest to us and maybe really only 20 years from now. I'm sure this blog will still be going strong in 2027. You'll still be reading, right?

As I was laying in bed last night listening to my husband make his sleeping noises, I was inspired. And, who am I to fight inspiration?! On to the story...

One Spring Thursday night, I was out with my friends. We had experienced a fairly uneventful night of dancing here. Until...someone spotted a group of young men who looked just like what we'd been searching for....short Corps haircuts, but not too short...certainly not Fish-cuts. After all, we were mature sophomores and juniors. We weren't looking for Freshman.

We made our way through the crowded dance floor and slyly began dancing smack next to those guys. It wasn't long until we were noticed. My roommate leaned over to tell me that the guy to my left kept looking at me. You may think I decided to check this guy out. You'd be wrong...I was sly...like a fox. No way could I risk letting some strange guy think I was the least bit interested in him. A few songs later, "left-side guy" approached me (with the help of a friend, right, Joel? :) and asked me to dance with him.

That is when it all began. "Left-side guy" and I talked and laughed. I remember he was sweating like he'd just run a marathon, but it wasn't gross (even though that sounds really gross). There was something so genuine about him. He told me he was nervous, but at the same time he exuded confidence.

I'm sure you've guessed (or hoped) "left-side guy" was Bryan. And, actually at this point in the story you would know more than me. I couldn't really hear him when he told me his name. I knew it was either "Bryan" or "Ryan"...surely you can understand the confusion. Ryan, errr, uhh, Bryan asked if I would dance with him again later. I wanted to shout, "Later?! Why not right now?! And for the rest of the night?!" Instead I said something vague like "Sure".

So, I waited and waited and waited. I watched him dance with other girls. I turned down dances with other boys. (I'm telling you I was committed from day 1) My friends all left, except for my wonderful roommates. Finally, he approached me again. And we danced and talked and laughed for the rest of the night, which wasn't long because of all the time he wasted with the other girls. He introduced me to his friends and I introduced him to mine. We walked out together and then he said, "Welp, see you later."

See me later? When, exactly, will you see me, later?

See, there was no way for him to let me know when and where we should meet up again because he had no contact information for me. If I'd had a self-esteem issue, I might have gotten the idea that he didn't really want to see me again. Ever.

About 3 weeks later, we happened (and I really mean, I didn't plan it) to be near each other on the exact same dance floor. Good thing I didn't have any self-esteem issues because once I spotted him it only took about 3 tries before I walked right up and grabbed his arm. He turned around, gave me the best smile and said, "Ginny!"

We were side by side for the rest of the night. We saw each other almost everyday for the next week and then probably every day for the rest of the semester. That was 10 years ago.

I was inspired last night because as my sweet husband slept next to me so peacefully, I remembered how much I like him. It's easy to let the kids, bills, home repairs, car repairs, jobs, and other responsibilities get in the way of looking at your spouse the way you did "back then". Even though my SIL likes to say that I remind her of Debra on Everybody Loves Raymond, I really do adore my husband. He is my best friend. He is loyal and faithful and immature at times. He is logical and straightforward and silly. He is a great father and an example of a Christian husband for our girls. He is my partner and I knew from that first dance that he was someone worth waiting for.

16 April 2007

Passing it down

Dress-up has been a long time favorite play activity for Addi. Recently, Libby has really started enjoying all the glamour and now I'm not sure who's name to call out when I hear the clunking on my wood floors :)

(Addi just a few months older than Libby)

15 April 2007

Horses and Dogs and Boy! Oh, My!

The girls and I went horseback riding with some friends the other day. I should clarify by saying that Addi was actually the only one of the 3 of us to ride a horse. She had a blast and acted like she'd been around horses her whole life.

It was, to say the least, an interesting place. Our friends live in a little town outside of Raleigh and happen to see a homemade sign advertising horseback rides for $5. The ride consisted of the owner walking the horse in laps around her "front yard". Addi got to ride with her friend, Salina, which made it that much more fun for them. The family had 6 dogs that were let out during the middle of Addi and Salina's ride. A couple of them made me a little nervous. They weren't dogs that had necessary had their shots. Ever.

When Addi and Salina finished their ride, it was time for Rosalea's and that left the younger 2 to play with Hunter, the owner's little boy. He was a sweet little boy starved for playmates. Hunter picked flowers for Addi and pushed both girls on his little rolling horse. He took them to play on his swingset in the "side yard" and tried to take them to the "back yard" to see his tractor. When I told Addi she needed to stay in the front, he began pleading with Diane and me to not "take the kids away"...bless his heart!

After all the riding, the kids got to feed Fina the horse sugar cubes. Again, Addi surprised me by not hesitating at all before grabbing a sugar cube and sticking her hand out. Even Hunter was scared to let the horse lick a sugar cube from his hand, but not my girl! Well, not my eldest...Libby wouldn't even unclench her fists to pet the horse :)

Had to throw in this last one of Lu in her overalls. You can't see, but Addi's jeans are some that belonged to me when I was her age and on the back pocket it says "Daddy's Little Filly"...nothing like dressing them for the part :)

13 April 2007

Sugar and Spice...

They say that's what little girls are made of. Being a mom of two little girls, I would have to agree. Although, I'd say one of mine has a little extra sugar and the other has a little extra spice.

Addi is such a little sweetheart. She's always been a sweetheart. When she hit the 2-year mark and started all that Terrible Two stuff, it really wasn't that terrible. Don't get me wrong, I have some stories of absurd tantrums she threw and emotions run awry...she's a child and she's a girl. Those are both par for the course. Mostly though, Addi is just sweet. She loves to snuggle and give hugs and kisses.

Libby is sweet, in her own way. She has "moments of sweetness". She hasn't yet turned 2, but throws fits to rival any Addi has ever thrown. Recently Libby has begun wrapping her arms around my neck to give me an unsolicited hug and kiss. She will occasionally do the same to Bryan or Addi, but I am most likely the recipient of her affections. Spicy would certainly be a more accurate term for her personality. She is passionate and demanding. Addi likes to say Libby is "happy to tears", meaning she goes from happy to sad (or laughs to tears) in a flash. And, she's does. But, she also adds so much excitement to our lives.

How blessed am I to have such complimentary daughters?! In many ways they are so similar... one just has a little extra spice and one has a little extra sugar :)

This first picture shows Addi and Libby playing together ever so sweetly. The next one I took just after Little Miss Spice kicked over Miss Sugar's tower.

12 April 2007

The Caterpillar

This evening we found several caterpillars crawling on our house. I expected Addi to freak out when I showed them to her. She is, after all, such a girly-girl. Instead she let one crawl all over her. She even named it Twirly and tried to "keep" it by bringing it inside the house. That is where I drew the line. Libby liked looking at it. She started to reach out and touch Twirly, but quickly recoiled. I expect her to pull caterpillars apart by the time she is Addi's age. Really, who knows though...I never would've expected Addi to react to a caterpillar the way she did.

update (4-13-07): We spent the day discussing what we thought Twirly the Caterpillar was doing at that exact moment. I finally convinced Addi that Twirly had probably gone into his cocoon and was on his way to becoming a beautiful butterfly. Then, we had to guess what color butterfly he was going to be...over and over again :)

11 April 2007

Is this justice?

This, of course, is big news here in NC. In fact, all afternoon regular programming was interrupted for coverage of it. Honestly, I questioned the allegations from the start, about a year ago. But, man the media really grabbed on to the story and prosecuted those young men. Today, it's again all the media can talk about. Only this time, they're prosecuting Nifong, the District Attorney...not that I believe he shouldn't be.

What really bothers me about the whole thing is this woman will not be charged with anything. Nothing. Nada.

She made up a horrible story and turned countless lives upside down and will not be held accountable for her actions. She made a mockery of a judicial system. I don't even want to think about how much taxpayer money was wasted in the past year. And, in my mind, what is just as bad as what she did to those lacrosse players was the doubt she placed in people's minds. The doubt that will be there the next time they hear of a woman crying "rape!"

I don't think there can be any happy endings for a story like this. I fear that these men will carry this ordeal with them long after the rest of us even remember that Duke has a lacrosse team. And, this woman obviously has a lot of issues. She also has 3 children...what a legacy for those poor babies. And, Mike Nifong, well, as "rogue-ish" as he may have acted, would he have had any material had this woman not come forward with a lie?

No, she was the beginning of the entire case and she should be the end. Justice should be served. I believe she most certainly should have to face some consequences.

10 April 2007

Easter 2007

Easter egg hunt at church

Easter egg hunt at home - *Warning: This video would really only be of any interest to someone devoted to these children, ie. parents and grandparents. It does contain plenty of shaky camera work and dull narration (both skills performed (but not excelled at) by me...that is, I performed and did not excel at the camera work and narration...hence the shakiness and dullness).

09 April 2007

Just when I thought I was running out of material

You can always count on your kids to give you good stories. Our youngest provided just that this evening.

Libby and Addi were splashing around in my bathtub while Bryan and I talked. There's a little confusion as to exactly how it happened since I was looking toward Bryan and he was talking to me from our bedroom. All Addi said was something to the effect of, "I didn't put my leg there!" I do have little doubt that Libby was standing up in the tub though. She and I battle over that every time I bathe her.

We do know she hit her mouth on the side of the tub. I grabbed her and saw a little piece of Dove soap on her lip which I quickly brushed off. About that time, I realized her tooth had been chipped. Her top, front tooth...and that wasn't soap...that was part of her tooth! Somehow I managed to find that pearly white on our white tile.

She cried for about 30 seconds and then wanted back in the tub.

At that point, I thought of all the years of pictures I will have of my beautiful, snaggle-tooth daughter. When I mentioned that to Bryan, he laughed and said he thought it fit Libby Lu's personality perfectly.

Then, he suggested we give her Tylenol since she may be in pain stating something about "possible exposed nerves" and I almost came unglued. I generally remain calm. I don't panic when I see a busted lip or a fall or, even, vomit. For some reason, this was too much for me.

Bryan pulled out all our books and couldn't find anything about chipped teeth.

So, I called our friendly, personal dentist, Steve. I've known Steve since high school and he's not really our personal dentist, but he probably thinks I ask him enough dental questions to start us an account and get our billing information. Anyway, Steve calmed my fears. (Thanks, Steve, and I didn't find any pink! Oh, and, it wasn't as bad of a chip as I told you...call it exaggerated Momma panic, if you will.)

Just in case, I gave little Libby a dose of Tylenol before bed. She's sleeping soundly and, not to disappoint Addi, who is positive "this fairy comes and gives you something for your teeth, even part of a tooth", I will be leaving a little treat somewhere for Libby. Addi believes in all the other stuff...why not the Tooth Fairy?! And, can you really start brainwashing them for "You better be good or [fill in imaginary creature] won't bring you any presents" too early? Uhh, not that we employ that parenting strategy or anything.

I tried to get some pictures of our rough-and-tumble girl. She let me take pictures, but wasn't so in to smiling. Nevertheless, I know you're only here for the pics!

Just had to get one with the shirt!

You can kind of see it below...if you squint. Well, maybe not :)
Trying to copy Addi's funny face.

Horrible, blurry pic of the tooth chip next to a red sprinkle.

08 April 2007

a (different kind of) Sunday story

Luke 24 - New International Version

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' " Then they remembered his words.

When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; but they were kept from recognizing him.

He asked them, "What are you discussing together as you walk along?"
They stood still, their faces downcast.

One of them, named Cleopas, asked him, "Are you only a visitor to Jerusalem and do not know the things that have happened there in these days?"

"What things?" he asked.

"About Jesus of Nazareth," they replied. "He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning but didn't find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see."

He said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?" And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. But they urged him strongly, "Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over." So he went in to stay with them.

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"

They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, "It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon." Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.

While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you."

They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have."

When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, "Do you have anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.

He said to them, "This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms."

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, "This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high."

When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.

07 April 2007

Can you guess what this is?

Here's a hint:

Do you see it?


It's the window tint from my car.

I'm slighty irritated.

You see, I tried to have my car inspected last week...twice. Once at the same place that inspected it last year and once at the Honda dealership (while it was in being serviced). The inspector at the first place told me he wouldn't be able to pass it because the window tint was too dark. We went back and forth as I explained to him that we bought the car brand new with the tint and it was passed last year at his place of business. He wouldn't budge. I dubbed him an over-anxious newbie.

On Wednesday, I took my car in to have it serviced and inspected. Honestly, I was hoping if the first guy was correct then the Honda people would overlook it because of the obscene amount of money they were charging me on preventative maintenance.

My hope failed. And, they charged me all but the sticker price of the inspection.

They helpfully referred us to a tint place that would kindly remove the tint for us. Surely for close to the obscene amount Honda likes to charge.

However, my handy husband got out in the garage with a razor blade today and Ta-Da. He also tried to console me by saying that in a few weeks I wouldn't even remember what it was like with the tint.

I had to remind him that in a few weeks we would not be experiencing the 40-degree weather we are now. I'll have to wear my sun hat and 50 SPF to drive to the grocery store.

While there is so much more I'd like to write on the topic, I should refrain. If you can't say anything nice, blah, blah, blah...

Oh, one last little tidbit...we researched state window tint laws on the internet and found out that not only is every state different in what they allow, some states will/can ticket out-of-state residents for driving in their state with "too-dark" tint. Absurd, I say!

And to top it all off, we bought 'em $30 dresses!

Even though this past week was our Spring Break, Addi managed to pick up a stomach bug. She first got sick yesterday morning and is still feeling miserably. Looks like our church's Easter services and egg hunt will be off, for her anyway.

She actually seemed much better by last night...holding down liquids and crackers...even jumping all over pop packaging. She came in our room especially early this morning begging for breakfast. I rolled myself out of bed planning on returning to its inviting coziness as soon as I'd prepared her breakfast. We got downstairs and then I saw it. The I-don't-feel-quite-right face. She tried so hard to deny it, but I've had enough experiences with my children vomiting to know that face.

So, I made a bed for her in the playroom and started a movie per her request. I headed back upstairs and told Bryan she threw up again. Bryan's first response was something about how he was sure Libby would also have this bug by tomorrow. His second response quickly followed. "And, we spent $30 apiece on their dresses!"

I almost laughed out loud.

Now, I will admit, I am a Target mom. Most of the time I'm even a Target-on sale mom, but I "splurged" for Easter. With the help of Ebay, I was able to purchase NWT* Strasburg dresses at probably 1/3, if not 1/4 of their retail prices. Yes, you read correctly...of their retail prices...meaning I would have easily spent between $90 and $120 at the store.

As if you had any questions, now you know which one of us shops for clothes and which one of us has never looked at a price tag in his life!

Happy Easter, y'all. And, Happy (snowy) Easter Eve to all our family and friends in Texas. Craziness!!

Here are the girls in their pricey Easter dresses that might not see the light of day tomorrow. At least, I ran them in to have their picture made with the bunnies.**

*For those of you unfamiliar with Ebay, "NWT" stands for New With Tags, not Not White Trash as my husband believed.

** I just scanned these pictures in and didn't take the time to fix up the borders. You get the idea. Precious, if I do say so myself :)

06 April 2007

You don't have to come up with a gimmick to sell me somethin'

Yesterday evening I had a 6:30 session here which meant I needed to have supper on the table by 5:45. Since I was cooking a "30 Minute Meal", I didn't start until 4:45...(Her meals always take me longer than 30 minutes). Everything was going well and smelling good. Bryan even came home early to ensure my night would be a stress-free success.

He also had to bury Zoe's victim. Addison helped him and then talked him into swinging her. Once Libby saw that, she had to be outside. I put a jacket on her and ran out the back door with intentions of quickly passing her off to Daddy before my bacon started to burn.

But, my neighbor caught me. She started telling me some misfortunes and I kept trying to insert, "I have supper cooking and I really need to get back in to it" without any luck.

Then, I heard the beeping. The smoke alarm!

I ran in and expected to see flames shooting up from the skillet from all the smoke filling up my house. I turned the stove off, moved the skillet, opened up doors, turned on fans and checked on Logan who happened to be quite contentedly playing with some toys on the floor. She didn't seem to even notice the screeching sound piercing through our home.

At that point it was really too late to start again, so the pizza delivery guy got a tip we weren't expecting to give and I headed off to my session smelling of burnt food.

And, that, my friends, was just what the chefs were counting on to sell me 6 more entrees!

Don't worry, Bryan. I didn't really buy any more than I'd planned, but I did think on the drive how I would seem to be their perfect customer as soon as they smelled me walk in the door.

05 April 2007

Visit to the pediatrician + visit to Target = 3 hours??

I wouldn't believe it myself if I hadn't experienced it this morning. I'm remembering why I'm exhausted all the time. And, why I Never get Anything accomplished. Here's how it all went down...Believe me, I know y'all are at the edge of your seats for this one. Don't worry, Bryan (and Mom), there's a picture...maybe not one you're were dying to see, but it's there all right.

My day started out so nicely...up well before the girls. There is a little nip in the air today, so I brewed some coffee. Which is a rarity for me. We usually have coffee on the weekends since Bryan is home. He makes it and whew, is it strong! I have to add lots of sugar and milk to even get down half a cup.

But, that really has little, if anything to do with this tale. Back on point...

I had a little prayer and devotional time sitting with my warm cup in my comfy chair. Then, right before I walked upstairs to wake the girls, I checked my calendar to make sure I knew what time Libby's appointment was today. Of course, I had it all wrong. Somehow, I got 11:45 etched in my brain when really the appointment was at 10:00. We needed to be on fast forward and that, if you have children, is next to impossible.

So, I woke the girls, threw clothes at Addi (amazingly she didn't whine about the clothes I grabbed), dressed Libby, brushed teeth (Libby's and mine while Addi did her own), did hair (all 3...mine was still wet from the shower an hour and half earlier), fed Logan a bottle, fed the girls breakfast, doled out medicine, strapped all 3 kids into their carseats and backed out of my garage at 9:30...plenty of time if I hit all green lights and sped.

Yes, it takes us entirely too long to get to our pediatricians' office, however, our old house was much closer. Coming from a background of socialized medicine (ie, military medicine), our civilian doctors and their parent-patient friendly practices suit us fine. There are two pediatric practices within 5 minutes from our house, but we are loyal to the first doctors and nurses who treated us so well. Not that there is anything wrong with the doctors and nurses in military hospitals. Rather there is something wrong, quite a lot wrong, with "the way things are done" in those military hospitals.

Again, nothing to do with the tale at hand. Back on point...

Fortunately, I set my watch just a few minutes fast and the clock on my dash about 8 minutes fast and, apparently, our pediatricians set their office clock about 3 minutes slow. In short, we pranced in that office (huffing and puffing from the uphill hike through the parking lot pushing 45 pounds in a double stroller) right on time. Just how I like it :)

We settled into our chairs in the waiting room about the time we heard, "Reagan". Back into the stroller went Libby, back onto the shelf went Addi's book, and back to the exam room went the 4 of us, plus the nurse.

I must say the nurse was an angel...Again not really pertinent to the story. Addi told me she had to go to the bathroom as we followed Nurse Angel down the hall. I told the nurse we would be in the bathroom for the next few minutes if the doctor came looking for us. She said she would watch Libby and Logan while I took Addi. What! Oh, no! I wasn't trying to rope you into my duties...wait, would you mind?! Thanks so much! We'll hurry. And we were back well before the doctor even knew he had a patient waiting on him.

Waaaayy before. We sat in that itty bitty room for 30 minutes. I sat in that itty bitty room with a 4-year old who searched for every book we read every time we're at the doctor's while her little sister insisted on having a different book read to her while sitting by herself in the one of the two chairs not occupied by the 4-year old and the baby, who was perfectly content for about 5 minutes, decided to start screaming, just for fun, mind you, and throwing toys. For. 30. Minutes.

Good news, though. Libby is fine. So glad I broke my rule about never doing follow-up appointments for ear infections since "I would know if their ear is still hurting them!" Otherwise, I wouldn't have been able to experience the insanity of 3 children and 1 parent at a doctor's appointment. Again.

About the time I was going to steer my car toward an exit leading to Super Target, I realized in the hustle and bustle of the morning, I left my list at home. Normally I can't remember a thing off my list. This morning I might have ended up screaming in the produce section from the sharp pain that would have been my brain trying to remember something, anything from my list. Instead we headed home. And, good thing since Addi needed to use the bathroom. Again.

My game plan was to pull into the garage, turn off the car, but leave the key in so the music could play, shut the garage door and run inside for my list while Addi ran in to potty. I told her to hurry and come back to the car when she finished. We waited and waited and waited. I impatiently honked my horn (something I am so ashamed to admit since I have been the object of a horn-honking many a Sunday morning by my less-than-patient husband). Then I walked inside and yelled her name. She yelled back that she was going poo-poo and "do not come in here, Mommy! It is stiiiinnnkyyy!"

Thank you for the warning. I'll just be waiting in the car with the two little ones who are more than sick of being strapped to their seats.

We finally made it to Super Target. Wouldn't you know from my short list of 13 items, they'd be out of something?! I'm making chicken burgers from this tonight (thanks, Becky!), so I had to run to another store for the chicken. That amounts to me getting 3 kids out of their carseats and putting 3 kids back into their carseats one more time.

We pulled back into our garge and I felt my tummy rumble. Lunch time. We left the house at 9:30 and got back at 12:30. All I could think about was the laundry I needed to catch up on and how much time was wasted from my day. Well, until I looked out the window to see what Zoe was barking at and saw something dead. More correctly, I should say, something Zoe killed. Yuck...perfect end to an imperfect morning.

So, without further ado, and because I have already wasted enough "laundry time", I present to you the photo of Zoe's kill.

And he, like the mouse, will be waiting for the Mister to return from work so he can be properly disposed of.

04 April 2007

Callin' all pollen: Please, Go Away!

Addi has seasonal allergies. I do too, and so does Bryan. I'll be surprised if Libby doesn't start sniffing and scratching soon also. When we lived in Texas and Oklahoma, I had to take medicine pretty much year round, but since we've lived here, I mainly have issues in the Spring. Bryan, on the other hand has had a harder time here. We blame the pollen.

Well, the pollen is out in full force and has been for about a week. Everything outside is coated in a thick yellow powder. You can see it being kicked up as you walk through the grass. My front porch looks like the girls got after it with yellow sidewalk chalk because I decided to rinse it off while I was watering yesterday. It just pooled around the doormat and now we have a marbled-effect on the concrete...and a new layer of yellow powder all over the porch.

But, it is Spring Break here and the weather is glorious. How can we be expected to sit indoors all week?! Yesterday evening we met Bryan at a neat park and played for about an hour.

And, then at 2:26 this morning, I was awakened by Addi asking me to sing her a song. What?! Are you crazy?! I was dead asleep and you want me to sing you a song?! You're 4, sing yourself a song?! was what I wanted to say to her. But, instead I told her it was the middle of the night and mommy was sleepy. I took her back to her bed and layed down with her for a few minutes. In my sleepy haze I noticed she was clawing her eyeballs out and tried to scan my brain for some medicine we had that I could give her. It was really just too much for me. She takes Zyrtec and I couldn't remember what, if anything, I could give her with Zyrtec. I did think of some over-the-counter eyedrops we have, but vividly (and, believe me, this was the only vivid thing about last night) remembered her reaction when she was given eyedrops to dialate her eyes...not something I wanted to encounter ever again, much less at 2:30 in the morning. She was almost asleep, so I got up to leave and she asked me to sing her a song again.

Now, this seems so ridiculous to me thinking back on it, but I felt that I needed to stand my ground on this song thing. You know that whole "pick your battles" saying? Well, apparently last night I thought this was a battle worth waging. And, you can ask Bryan (and my parents) about how stubborn I am when I really want to win a battle :)

Of course, I told her no and she started to make herself cry, a trait at which she has excelled. At this point I felt ignoring her would be my best option, so back to bed I dragged...and layed there listening to her cry...and wondered if I should shut Libby's door before I had two crying kids and a grumpy husband. Why, on earth, I didn't just walk back into Addi's room and sing her a song, I will never know! But, I didn't and after a couple minutes, my grumpy sleepy husband woke and wanted to know what the crying was about. Now is when I really should have backed down and walked into that crying baby's room, but, you guessed it, I didn't. The longer this went on, the more important I felt it was to win.

Bryan huffed out of bed, stomped through the hall, mumbled something to Addison and shut her door. The crying stopped and we all went back to sleep.

That is why God created 2 parents...one balances out the other.

Nevertheless, Addison woke up this morning with bright red, swollen eyes. Not so much from the crying - it was a fairly weak, forced cry, after all. Her eyes are itchy and watery. In fact, this morning she asked me to give her eye medicine and was totally fine when I put drops in her eyes. (Thanks to Grandpa for that. She later told me that Grandpa put drops in her eyes the last time we were in Texas...baffles my mind how that all went down. It sure made my life easier today though)

Normally, red, itchy eyes would be a bit of a nuisance to her. Today, I panicked slightly because the girls had an appointment to have their picture made with real bunnies. Why does Easter have to fall during pollen-floating-around season?! The pictures went well and I'm sure there'll be some cute ones. The girls had a tea party with two bunnies, so they didn't actually look at the camera. The photograher did take a few of the girls smiling at the camera. Maybe the red won't show up or maybe I can get those in black and white.

I guess this is the price you pay for living in an area with lots of trees. Well, this and lots of leaves, sweet gum balls, needles and pine cones in your gutters and yard. I think a few weeks of scratching, coughing, blowing, sneezing, wheezing and redness are well worth the shade though!

03 April 2007

Easter Egg Mania

We went to an Easter party this morning. Of course, all the kids loved hunting the eggs and eating the bunny cake. Now, we have more Easter candy at our house. The girls had already had two Easter parties a piece which included egg hunts. Don't get me wrong...I am all for a little fun and sweets around different holidays, but I really would like my children to be focused on more than candy and bunnies for this holiday.

As a Christian, this is it. I mean, there is Christmas in which we celebrate Christ's birth, but Christ's death, burial and resurrection is what being a Christian is all about. We should "...fix our eyes upon Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:12) He is life and he gives life to those who accept.

So, lest you think me an Easter scrooge, I'll gladly take my girls to have their picture made with a real, live bunny tomorrow and we will participate in at least two more egg hunts and I'll allow the Easter bunny to shower my children with gifts, but I will be making sure they hear more about the real reason for the Easter celebration from me. After all, that is my job.

I know y'all only care about the pictures, so here are a few from the party. I also took a few of some eggs one the girls brought home from one of the parties. Now, keep in mind, I sent my daughters to preschool with their designated six eggs each filled with...what else, jelly beans...about 4 in each egg. Not over the top, but not stingy...I thought.

Oh, and please don't get me wrong. I am so thankful for our dear friends and the wonderful preschool my girls attend. Without them, we certainly would have less candy around here, but we also would missing out on such meaningful relationships.


What a cute egg stuffer!

Wow, ambitious...candy and stickers!

A little lazy, but I'm not above buying these...

Are you kidding me?! I know they're just kids, but leftover candy corn and the mint you still had in your pocket from the last time you ate at Johnny Carinos? Oh, and yes, also the mints left from the last afternoon wedding you attended. I would say that is lazy!