Wednesday, August 27, 2008

check ya later!

We're on our way to Seattle! All you Kansas and Austin folk, don't be too jealous at the awesome temperatures we'll be enjoying while up there. You can be sure I'll take too many pictures and I'll post them all when we get back.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

summer wedding

Last night my friend Megan got married. I have pictures of Megan, Joanna, Katie and I together at the Small Wheels Rodeo when we were 3 or 4. We went to church together through elementary school, middle school, high school, then we went to K-State. . .Megan and I have known eachother for quite a while. We don't always keep in touch, but every time we see eachother it is so fun. She's a great girl and I'm so happy I was able to see her on her very important night.

My mom and I were talking about how Megan has always had great taste (I copied her outfits when we were in high school, but now she lives in Kansas City so that makes it a little more difficult). Her wedding did not disappoint. Here is she is, walking down the aisle to a song from the "Princess Bride." Great choice in music, too!
Megan and her hubby Robert smiling and being cute:

Hubby acting irritated that I'm taking another picture:

G acquiescing to the fact that I like to take lots of pictures:

Little Missy waiting for the wedding to begin and fully enjoying the fact that I like to take lots of pictures:
We didn't get to stay for the reception. G hadn't taken a nap, and while usually that's okay, last night he was pretty cranky. One thing Hubby and I have learned is that cranky kid + wedding reception=lot's of frustration for everyone. So we left and I was a little sad. Then we found this at our car: We drive the gold Intrepid. We were there first, no car parked behind us, and apparently this driver doesn't know how to park his big ol' SUV. Our bumper was actually dented. So I called the non-emergency line for the police to find out what to do; we didn't want to pull somebody out of the wedding reception, but we didn't want to not be able to file an insurance claim. As I was on the phone Hubby noticed that the dent was slowly popping out, so we just decided to let it go. But I do have lots of pictures of their car, our car, their license plate, so if we decide to file a claim we should have all the info.

To celebrate not having a dented car and to alleviate my sadness at not getting a free glass of wine at Megan's reception we got cheap ice cream at McDonald's:

Saturday, August 23, 2008

we be crafty

In an effort to bring more structure to our lives I have instituted Thursday Craft Days. Whimsy Girl is giving me most of my ideas, and Jessica Jones may help me out as well.

Thursday we made "color cakes." First we had to get some sustenance and energy for the craft-time ahead so we walked downtown to the Red Brick Deli for some delish ice cream.

Then we came home and peeled crayons.

Then we snapped them into little pieces.

Then placed them in muffin tins. (Apparently, non-stick tins work the best, but I sprayed a little bit of cooking spray in mine.) After this I placed them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. But watch them closely.
Then the kids made a mess.
Again, don't leave your children alone with shredded crayon paper. You will think their squeals and laughter are cute when you're in the other room, but you will come back to find this:
Here are the color cakes straight out of the oven. Whimsy Girl suggested putting them in the freezer to let them harden so they'd pop right out.
Well, only three popped right out. The others barely made it . They survived but are a little rough around the edges.
Some just couldn't handle the snapping and the cooking and the freezing. But they gave it their all, they really did.
Then Little Missy stacked hers.
Before giving in and coloring.
G jumped right in with his new art tools.
Next time I do this (and I will, I have a whole batch of crayons already peeled) I will line the muffin tin with paper and spray a little cooking spray in them. Then I'll add a lot of crayons. Whimsy Girl filled her tins almost to the top and we barely lined the bottom of ours. I'm thinking more crayons may be the trick. Also, if you guys have any fun/easy/cheap craft ideas please send them my way!

Friday, August 22, 2008

to all my first-time mommy friends

When I was pregnant with G I didn't read a whole lot of books. I tried in the beginning, but I read one week-by-week book that told me everything that could possibly go wrong with the developing baby, things that you couldn't possibly change, so I THREW that one aside. I always checked and to find out what the little baby was developing that week--fingernails, eyelashes, things that make mommies happy--but the only book I read from cover to cover was The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy. So when little G was finally born I was completely unprepared. I'm not sure that would have been any different if I had actually read some of those books, but anyway, that's where I was.

I was over the moon when I found out I was pregnant. I would stand in the shower and rub my belly before I had the pregnant pooch, I would talk to the baby inside so that he'd know my voice when he was born. Then, finally, my little sweetie was born. They put him on my chest and as I talked to him he'd quiet down, squinting at me, searching for where my voice came. He was beautiful and perfect. But I didn't feel the butterflies. Don't get me wrong, I was incredibly protective over him, I loved him, but he was incredibly foreign to me. I thought I should know everything about him when he was born because he was my son, he grew inside me, but I didn't even know what he looked like. I had to study his face, his toes, his hands; I had to be patient and learn his personality. It was so surprising to me that I could be handed a little baby that was mine, the product of a wonderful love between me and my husband, but still not know anything about him.

In the recovery room I couldn't get him to stop crying. I would hold him and he would cry. But then my mother and my mother-in-law would hold him and he would be at peace. Shouldn't he only be happy when he was with me? I was his mother, after all. That made me scared to hold him. I felt guilty holding a sweet, crying baby, when I couldn't comfort him. I also had decided that I was going to breastfeed. Because all the studies said that was best for the baby, short-term and long-term. Well newborns eat every 2 hours, so that meant I was up every two hours to feed him. Every two hours for a few weeks. Exhausting does not begin to describe it. One day I laid on the couch the entire day, snuggling with my baby and watching every expression that crossed his face. That was all the energy I had. But I was blessed because Hubby is/was an amazing father, jumping in and doing everything that needed to be done, but an awesome husband couldn't take away the pressure I put on myself.

Eventually G began to be comforted by me and seek me out. Then, 12 weeks into it, little G finally smiled. This little boy, who was so needy and never said "thank you" for all my hard work and sleepless nights, smiled at me. And then he smiled all the time. A few weeks later I was in the living room when I heard the most beautiful giggling coming from his bedroom. Hubby was changing his diaper, blowing G's bottom dry before putting the new diaper on, and G was cracking up. G's first laugh was an all out giggle-fest. And my heart soared.

Over time I grew to understand him, I was able to anticipate what he would do next, and he relied on me. He sought me out in a room full of people because I was the one who comforted him. I finally felt like a Mom. And I had butterflies every time I looked at him.

Things still aren't perfect. On this blog I only talk about the happy things that happen around here, because on those bad days that I've snapped at my children and yelled at them because of my short temper, the times when I can barely face my husband and tell him what I've done, I'm certainly not going to get on here and tell all of you about it. But what has helped me is realizing that I am not perfect, and no other mom is, either. All of us moms are trying to figure it out, stumbling around and confused. Most importantly, I pray every single day that God give me His patience and His love to share with my children, that God take them and smooth out the rough edges. And He blesses me and gives me patience and steps in and calms me down when I feel my anger rising. He gives me more love to give them than I could ever find in myself.

What I most want to say is: Ask For Help. In the beginning I refused to ask for help because I didn't want to admit that I wasn't capable of doing it all on my own. But the truth is that no one is capable of doing it on their own. Only in these modern times do we mothers live in our own houses, with our husbands at work and family far away. We are supposed to live in tight little communities where our families, filled with mothers, aunts and older sisters are there to help us day and night. So please, Ask For Help. It will make you stronger.


Here's what we've been doing lately:

Little Missy carried her baby on her shoulders (a la Daddy) into Exploration Place.
G made a new friend.
G and Little Missy riding the horses at the castle.

Daddy bought baseball gloves off eBay, so they took them outside Wednesday night to play catch.
Little Missy, looking cute and waiting for instructions.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

does this outfit make my need-for-approval look big?

We are leaving for Seattle in a week to visit our dear family who moved away. Hooray! Last night, in preparation for our trip, I sat down next to Hubby and started making a list of outfits to pack. I believe this tradition started in high school when, before family vacations, I would make a list of cute outfits to bring so that I would look snazzy for the locals that I would never see again. I don't want to look Midwestern among all those on-trend (or even pre-trend) Seattle-types who wear their American Apparel with etsy earrings and buyolympia handbags.

A few weeks ago I was eating dinner with my friend Greta (who is also sister to Amanda that we're going to visit) and as I told her about my plan to buy a new Forever 21 outfit for Seattle she said that Seattle-ans (-ites?) are casual, jeans and t-shirts types of people. Hmm. So no fancy dress with fancy earrings. Got it.

So back to last night. I sat down on the couch next to Hubby and started making my list. Mr. Casual-At-All-Costs was worried.

"So, what are you planning on wearing?"

"Mm, I don't know. Nothing too fancy after what Greta said."

"Yeah, I think you should just wear jeans. You know, when you wear nice jeans, it makes everything just look nice. Nice and simple. That's what you should wear."

I put down my list and looked at him. "Are you afraid that I will overdress???" I could see his mind going, filled with visions of me wearing a skirt for the first month-and-a-half of our courtship, which lead to him wondering if I had a religious reason for not wearing pants. (I didn't.) My natural tendency may be to overdress and be a little fancier than others, but his concern made me giggle.

"Um. . .no. . .I just think you should try to wear jeans. Nice, simple, jeans."

So I'll try to stick with jeans. But I'll probably have to put a dress on top. And maybe throw in some fancy earrings.


Yesterday we had a preschool playdate for G. It was a time for the kids to play in their new room for an hour, meet their teachers, all while the parents were there, too, to make the transition easier.

G was very nervous at first. He wouldn't shake the director's hand, and when we made it to the classroom to get his "magic picture" taken he didn't want to let go of my hand. But then we found some books and he was at home. The above picture is when they all had to stand on dots and listen to the teacher. He did a very good job listening to the teacher! Then we headed to the playroom and played with cars where a little boy kept trying to take G's cars. G brought this up in the car on the way home so we discussed ways to deal with problems similar to that that will no doubt arise in the future. Ah, interpersonal relations!

As we were leaving the preschool, walking to the car, G says "Mommy, I'm glad you came with me this morning because I was a little shy at first." Too cute.

Monday, August 18, 2008

gone fishin'

On Sunday night Hubby took the kids to his family farm for a little fishing while I stayed home and worked on a project.

Before they left Little Missy was upset at leaving her new Barbie bicycle.

A handsome boy trekking from the driveable dirt road to the pond.
Little Missy with the proper appreciation of a slimy, smelly fish.
Checking in with Mommy.
Checking out the land.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

givin' in

It wasn't until after Hubby and I got married that he realized all of my father's family is from Arkansas. Hubby was a little worried that our children would be born with a twang or those billy bob hilly-billy teeth. Luckily our children came out beautiful and have stayed so. But the other day we were outside and Little Missy was getting her pretty pink dress so dirty in the sidewalk chalk that I took off her dress to prevent any further staining. We gave in to our Arkansas/white trash history.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

make-your-own-pizza night

Last night G helped me make dinner. His plan was to make a "big, BIG" pizza for Daddy and then a little pizza for himself. The kid has seen his daddy eat.

After I pressed the dough onto the sheet G jumped right up to spoon the sauce
Uh-oh, the first party foul.

Little Missy contemplates helping.

We're making pizza, Daddy! Boy, making pizza sure makes a kid thirsty. Get out of here, paparazzo!

Look, it's beautiful!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

please help my brother-in-law!

He wants to be a guest on Larry King Live. Click on Todd on my blogroll and follow his directions. Thanks, friends!

Monday, August 11, 2008

lovin' this weather

Yesterday was another beautiful day in Kansas land! Hubby took the day off work. It was a perfect day to enjoy the respite from the oppressive heat. Heat and I don't get along; my poor children have been stuck indoors ever since it got over 90 degrees, because I cannot handle the heat and the humidity. Ick.

So with Hubby home we toured Augusta: first we went to the park and had a picnic, then played at the park, then went to the library and read books and played a puzzle, then off to Sonic for half-priced drinks, then home and off on a walk, and then the kids played in the rocks and I blogged on the porch. So fun! It was great to have Hubby home and all of us outside in the great temperatures. I'm sure by next week we'll be back inside, in the air conditioning, hiding from the Kansas heat once again. But for now, some pictures!

Notice how we didn't even pretend to put real food in front of Little Missy. Have I talked with you all about how poor an eater she is? She ate a banana before we left the house and oatmeal when we got home. But hotdogs, that delicious, nitrate-filled staple of childhood, she won't touch.

Hubby, handing out the food.

Little Missy, headed for the "house."

G and Little Missy in the "house," otherwise known as the announcer's box for Little League games.

G on the slide.

Look! Sometimes he does smile on command! Please ignore the ketchup stain on his cheek.
G and Little Missy watching their Daddy hunt for crawdads.

Back to the car.