Sunday, July 29, 2012

I take it back-New Tricks are Great

Now that he's figured out when he wants to roll over his waking up at night has greatly decreased.  That or maybe I'm just sleeping through it.  Doubtful, but possible.

You know what a new trick that everyone enjoys is?  Lee being able to operate this guy!  He loves being upright, although he can't do it for too long.  Also he doesn't jump.  (Charlotte never used this thing to jump either.)

After taking these photos of him today I decided that we needed to trim the hair over his ears.  That hair has grown so long it is now past the bottom of his ears.  How does one cut the hair of a flopsy four month old?  It is comedic in difficulty, but I'll tell you how its done.

1. Start nursing (This is about the only time that Lee is still enough to complete the operation.  It's also when I trim his fingernails too.)
2. Have husband get the hair scissors
3. By the time the husband has found the scissors and brings them back, you have to switch sides
4. Husband works to cut the hair up and around the ears.
5. Baby thinks this is tickley.  Husband does his best to cut a smooth line.  A heroic effort really.
6. Flip baby over to try for other side.  Remember how he had already nursed this side.  With no incentive to stay still he wiggles all over the place.
7. Sit in church looking at baby's first hair cut.  Be grateful that you already got the baby photos taken of this little guy.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Now That's Love

You know what the worst time to have the AC go out on your minivan is?  Smack dab in the middle of summer.  Especially when your daughter is going to a day camp across town so you have to make that drive twice a day.  It felt a bit like we were Pillsbury Toaster Strudels and by the time we got home I was ready for the frosting to be spread across us.  We, of course, were not Pop Tarts because who ever toasts those before you eat them?

But you know what makes it great timing?  It went out the week before our planned trip across the north of the United States.  I am so, so, so glad it didn't happen during the trip.  And also? it gave Dan motivation to agree to get it fixed in a timely manner.

So anyway, we got the minivan fixed today.  By a stroke of luck Dan wasn't scheduled any patients during his clinic time this morning.  Because of that I was able to drop the Odyssey off in the morning after dropping Charlotte off at day camp.  Dan came and picked the boys and me up and drove us home.

As Greg was leaving the back of the two door civic he found a bag of treats.  In the bag was a can of sour cream and onion Pringles, a bag of sour patch kids, and a container of sour cherry straws.  Dan had purchased them for me for Christmas and then forgotten about them.  Luckily none of those things would go bad for approximately a million years.  I was thrilled to see those guys!

Dan knows what sort of treats I sure do enjoy and great timing too because it was great to start the day trying to get the minivan to the shop and ending the day eating sour cream and onion chips!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

So Fast

I realized today that we're one week from leaving on our trip to Montana.  Dan had a week vacation and really wanted to spend the time with his grandparents.  Since Lee is named after Dan's grandpa it seemed fitting to have his blessing be with said grandpa.  When we made these plans it seemed forever away and my baby would be huge.  

Well, it's a week away and my baby seems anything but huge.  It feels like as soon as I had that little guy time rocketed forward.  I can't believe he's almost four whole months old already.  And also, isn't that little bum in the air the cutest thing you've seen in a while?

Monday, July 23, 2012

A Birthday Gift

I told the kids that it was Aunt Katie's birthday and they were excited to do something special for her.  We went to the store and bought the supplies and then we made our project and then practiced and practiced and practiced.  When we figured we had it pretty great we called Aunt Katie to see if she could skype with us to enjoy and feel our love for her.  

Then she didn't answer.  We waited and had dinner.  Then we called again.  No answer.  Then Lee had to go to bed so our critical third part could not be achieved correctly.  No problem, I would have to step in to cover for Lee.  It wouldn't be as cute, but it would probably make more sense.  We called the ear doctor.  No answer.  Knowing the ear doctor, they must be doing something amazing in honor of her birthday.  Just so Aunt Katie would know our love for her we thought we'd video record our efforts.

So here is take number 237 (the best of the lot):

And this is a video that I was unaware was being taped (despite what it may say in the video, I guess I wasn't really listening to Charlotte).  I always enjoy a little bit of behind the scenes action.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

New Tricks are the Devil

Remember when Lee first learned how to roll from his tummy onto his back?  Was it last week or maybe the week before?  And then we were excited? Remember? And then how last night he perfected how to do that?  And then I was unable to sleep for longer than 40 minutes at a time?

I'm glad someone can remember that, because I might be losing my ability to remember things now that I can only sleep for 40 minutes at a go.

On the plus side, the kids are watching Word Girl right now and Captain Huggy Face is quite possibly the funniest thing on children's television.  I sort of love the part where he dances at the end.  Or maybe its just the 40 minutes getting to me.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Thank You Rain

I've been a bit over-occupied about finances lately.  We've got enough to meet our needs, but I've been feeling the weight of making wise choices.  Trying to balance the needs, wants, obligations, and desires of all our family members financially sometimes feels overwhelming.

Simultaneously we happened to be under a heat advisory here.  Every day felt hot, humid, and oppressive.  I think the kids were feeling the humidity and heat and reacting by creating a bit of heat between themselves.  

I was feeling the weight physically and mentally and probably because I always seem to feel as well, emotionally.

Then this evening the clouds rolled in.  They broke open and showered lovely, beautiful, warm and yet cooling rain on us.  I took the kids and dragged them outside.  Though I told them it was unnecessary, Charlotte was convinced they needed rain coats.  Greg, like any obedient younger brother, let her put one of her rain coats on him.

And then we played.

 And played.
 And played.
 And played
 And played

We had fun with the flowing water in the gutter and the leaves and the big, fat drops of rain.  We only came in when we were wet from head to toe.  Greg did eventually decide that the pink rain coat wasn't needed.  The cool rain seemed to wash away, at least for a moment, not only the dirt and dust and sidewalk chalk on our driveway, but also the stress of everything I'd been worrying about from my heart.

And we had fun

And it didn't cost a single cent.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Sad End to a Promising Tale

So remember that time when my husband sort of went crazy and wanted to buy an old car from some guy in Arizona?  I know you all have been waiting to hear the end of that promising tale.

But first, I have to explain a few things about the man I am married to.  I am head over heels in love with all his quirks, and here is one of them.  He hates to spend money.  It literally took this man weeks to talk himself into buying a football.  That thing cost maybe $20.  Weeks I tell you!  Then he went and bought it and I was all mad because Father's Day coming up and I was banking on him not being able to convince himself to spend the stinking $20 and I'd already bought it for him.  So then we had two footballs in our possession. That man, I tell you!  He's a tricky one.

So back to the story.  For more details the car was a 1965(ish) Willys wagon.  He liked it, but then found a 1953(ish) Willys wagon in Denver, CO.  Much more manageable location.  We had my sister and the ear doctor go check it out for us.  Then he found one in Wisconsin that also seemed like a good idea.  My head was sort of spinning because this was the man that took weeks to convince himself to spend $20 and he was serious about this purchase.  Which one will he chose?  Will he go through with it?  He spent hours looking at the photos and thinking, thinking, thinking.  I stepped out of the whole thing.  I gave my blessing to whatever decision he wanted to make.

It also felt like a science fair project to me.  Question to be answered: Will the cheapest and most practical man I know decide to make this hugely impractical and expensive decision?

Answer: He might.

He ended up calling the guy in Denver to make a serious offer, but the guy was adamant about a price point that we felt was too high for the car and too much for us to pay anyway.  So then he backed out.

Then, as if he was coming off an adrenaline high, he told me, "I just don't think we should do this right now."  There was no even considering purchasing the Wisconsin Willys.  It was as if he had been talking himself into the emotional frenzied state needed to actually jump into this purchase and he felt he could not possibly do it again.

Ah, now that's the man that I know and love.

PS. The question still remains, what is he going to do with a two wheel drive vehicle when winter hits and he has to go in to work before 4am?  I guess that can be our next experiment.

Logic Always Wins

We were getting ready to go to a work party for Dan when we sat down to eat lunch.

Me: "I think that probably it should be a new rule that nobody gets to wear clothing with holes in it to anything related to your work."

Dan: "So you're saying I have to go change."

Me: "I'm not saying it.  That's just the rule."

Then he went and changed his clothing.  It took him a while to find a shirt without a hole in it.  Maybe next time the rule should be that we only get to wear clothing with holes when working around the house.  That would mean he would need an almost entirely new set of casual clothing though and he still maintains that his clothing is fine.

New experiment: how long will it be before Dan thinks his clothing is worn out?  I bet that could win a prize at the Science Fair.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Things Getting Cut

Lee is now old enough to grab things, and never let go.  Never.  So my options were either deal with having my hair pulled, or wear it up.  If I wear it up I will a) get a head ache and b) have wet hair all day long.  It will still be totally wet when I go to bed.  I was tired of these two options so this is what happened:

And I love it.  I'm still trying to remember how to do my hair when it's this short, but in a bit I think we'll have it all figured out.

The second story happened today.  And it starts with a whole lot of mint.  Charlotte wanted to plant it in the spring because she loves mint.  I said OK, but as it turns out mint grows like crazy.  Luckily I planted it in a pot rather in a garden plot.  That whole thing would be taken over by now.  Because of our vast amounts of mint I've been trying to figure out ways of using fresh mint that I like with mixed results.  

My friend Mindy knew my predicament when she emailed me a recipe for Asian Chicken Salad she got from her sister-in-law.  I decided to try it for lunch and invite Mindy and another friend over.  

This morning I was making the salad, and trying to clean up a little.  What with Percie being inside (heat advisory) and the three kids and the craziness of our summer our house is a mess.  I was trying to cut the jalapeno, get the kids to pick up their bedroom, and get the dog into the backyard when I the knife slipped and I almost cut the tip of my thumb off.  It was surprisingly painless to begin with because the knife was so sharp.

I was pretty lucky that Dan happened to be home between call because I had him come inside from working in the backyard to help fix me.  As a side note, it's a BAD idea to cut your thumb when you are cutting jalapeno peppers.  It starts out painless, but pretty soon starts to feel funny and then it burns and then you thing that maybe it would be better if your thumb was cut entirely off because the burning is so bad.  So I ran cold water over the thumb for a while before Dan started to fix it.  He had to pull the nail back in order to get the super glue in the right place.  That hurt pretty bad and while he was putting the skin back in place I almost threw up and passed out.  I had to sit down at the table to keep myself from doing that.

So that's why the salad had half the jalapeno, the house was a mess, and I only managed to get to the biggest clumps of dog hair up before everyone showed up.  Oh well, we ended up having a good time anyway I think.

Moral of the story: Cut your hair, not your finger.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Unplanned Awesome-ness

There are so many things I try to purposefully teach my children (shut the door, shut the door, shut the door) that seem to go right over their heads.  My attitude is that they'll learn them through repetition.  (Make your bed, make your bed, make your bed)  Hopefully by number 10,000 it'll sink in.

Then I stumble on a technique as an afterthought and I am surprised about how it strikingly sticks in their minds.  The first example was with my Sunday school class.  We had a lesson last week about gratitude and I taught the story of the 10 lepers.  I can't get away with just re-telling a story with my group of 4-5 year olds.  I'll start and then a hand is raised and we are derailed by someone's dog that likes to eat ladybugs.  So to get their attention I used hole protector stickers.  Every kid got to put one on each finger to pretend each finger was a leper.  Then they took all the stickers off to pretend all 10 lepers were healed.  This week they were all able to tell me the story again.  Turns out stickers make a big impact.  When you want their attention, use stickers.

 The second situation has to do with swimming.  It took me a long time to learn to swim as a kid.  I didn't want it to take that long for Charlotte.  She took swim lessons every day for a month (2 sessions lasting 2 weeks).  She was not what I would say an energetic learner.  In fact she had to re-take level one after the first session.  Then I found out that she desperately wanted swim goggles when we walked by them in the grocery store one day.  I didn't want to buy them right then so I threw out, "You can have some when you can pick up the rings from the pool with your eyes open."  I know, that's a weird goal, which I had no way to ensure she'd achieved, but it was unexpectedly very effective.  Last Friday was the end of her swim session and she managed to pass her level 1 class.  They said she was ready for level 2.  (Though after a month of swim lessons we are all ready for a bit of a break.)  That's why she got to have these babies:
(They even have interchangeable star shapes.  The other ones are green.)

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Too Busy Living It

Yesterday was a very happy fourth of July.  All except for the part where Dan was one of SIX physicians working in the hospital.  Six.  For the whole stinking thing.  So he was working for the second fourth of July in a row.  Oh well, the guy that's in charge of call schedule said he would try to make it so he doesn't have to take call on Christmas.  I'll take that trade.

Like I was saying, we had a great fourth.  We started the day off with an outdoor breakfast at our church building and the kids riding their bikes in a children's parade around the church.  They were very cute and had loads of fun, but I forgot to take any photos whatsoever.

Then we went to a party for lunch and afternoon games.  It was here that I tried to correct that and take photos of the kids.  Grandma sewed some patriotic outfits for them and I couldn't let the day go by without showing you all how cute they are.  Here I was attempting to get a photo of the three of them seeming happy, breezy, and fun.

  They ended up looking a bit more realistic.  Hungry, sweaty, and sticky.  After this I had them put their swim suits on and go splash around in the pool, sprinkler, and slip n slide.  Also after this I put my camera in a safe spot and forgot about it for the rest of the day.  I was so grateful for all the friends we have made over the year.  Last year when we went to this party I knew nobody and spent the whole time glued to my kids.  This year there was no way I'd be able to stay glued to three kids going in three different directions.  All the other parents there were happy to keep an eye on them.  It was such a help.

At the party Greg was introduced to tug of war.  He watched three rounds and then wanted to join in a round, but the tug of war was over.  So he joined in on a relay race.  He was really cute doing it.

When Greg pulled on my arm and told me that his tummy wasn't feeling well I knew he was probably in the beginning phases of heat exhaustion (did I mention it was 100 degrees and very humid?) and thus it was time for us to leave the party.

We went and dropped a book off to Daddy and he gave the kids each a can of sprite.  They both downed the pop before we got home from the hospital.  Turns out they were super dehydrated despite my attempts to keep feeding them water.

After showers for all of us (including little Lee) because we were all salty from sweat I made everyone take naps.  An entire house sleeping in the late afternoon is a tiny miracle that made my heart happy.

After a late laid back dinner we made our way to the play field of a middle school to watch the fireworks with our good friend Mindy and her oldest boy.  We came armed with glow sticks, glow bracelets and necklaces and smarties.  With our combined efforts the two and a half hour wait actually went really smoothly and it was so much fun to watch our kids running around in the dark on a late and night friend high.  I love living in a place where my kids can run around in the dark with friends and I can sit back and watch the bouncing of their glow sticks as they play.  That was beautiful.  Then we watched the fireworks which were beautiful.

You know what else was beautiful?  We came early enough for a great parking spot and made it out of there  in no time at all.  We arrived home at 11PM and the kids were still bouncing off the walls.  Luckily when they finally stopped moving they passed out.

And fun was had by all.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

It's Summer

One day we had the letter C for our letter of the day.  I gave the kids each some coins to hide in the front yard.  Then we made a map of the front yard and went on a treasure hunt.  I told them they could have any of the coins we could find together.  
 You wouldn't think it would be so hard for them to remember where they put their coins.  We managed to find about half the coins they hid.
 On Sunday Lee found his toes.  They are quiet possibly the coolest things ever, right there at the end of his feet.

 He also really enjoyed spending some time right at the edge of the water.  We went to the little man made lake here today and he and I spent our time on the edge of it.  He loved to grab at the sand.  We couldn't stay long though because it was super hot and super sunny and do you see those white legs in the background?  We don't tolerate that sort of thing all that well.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Failure is Totally an Option

Today is our anniversary.  It's number seven, or is it 700, or didn't we just get married yesterday?

He's the love of my life.

The fixer of broken things.

The worker of small miracles.

The leaver of stinky balled up wet wash cloths.

I'm so glad that I'm married to him because he makes big deals seem small

and old things seem new

and everything doable.

And he makes me feel ok when my plans turn out to be no-so-very-do-able.

I love him because when I'm with him failure is an option and it's so much less stressful when you aren't continually worrying about having to be perfect.

I decided that this year it's my turn to plan our anniversary date because he told me on Saturday, "We do happen to have a bathroom in need of tiling again."