Friday, July 29, 2011

The difference between #1 and #4

When Caroline was Sascha's age, we were singing all kiddie songs. In fact, we had this obnoxious (but fun) CD with (seriously) like 100 all time favorite children's songs. We would bust out with classics like "I'm a Little Teapot" or "The Wheels on the Bus" or "When We All Get Together".

Sascha does know those songs. Along with some church favs like "Jesus Loves Me" and "Pat the Bible"-- but Sascha also has a 9 year old sister so she has some contemporary tunes in her repertoire as well.

Like this . . .

And not to be outdone by his younger sister, Bo threw in his own version of Beiber--part choir boy, part foreign language . . .

In the words of Larry the Cable Guy, "I don't care who ya are, that's funny right there!"

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sharing secrets

Well, this little thing we call life is keeping me busy. And to be honest, I don't hate busy. I'm a fun loving kind of gal who enjoys people and likes to feel like I am accomplishing things. Monday and Tuesday were so well organized and productive that I was pert near giddy at times.

But the rest of the real truth is that sometimes when it is too still and quiet, I find myself feeling anxious and then I over think and over analyze my life and my children and any other random thought that becomes captive in my sometimes OCD mind.

So when Wednesday rolled around and Bo was recovering from a bout of food poisoning (that was a fun, albeit quick, little episode . . . and let me just say it will be a while before I can look at watermelon the same again), anyway, yesterday was one of those days when we were home a lot with limited mobility (mommy sanctioned, he was actually fine) and my mind stayed busier than my hands.

Never a good thing my friends. I had too much time to think about things in our lives and blow them up into mountains when they are molehills (with a few hills too).

To top it all off, sweet Tru told his lifelong best friend goodbye yesterday--he (and his fam) leave for California today. Tru has been a sweet, sobbing mess. Break my heart.

SO, as I was sitting in a hot, decompressing shower last night, I turned my music to James Taylor. You may remember that I kind of enjoy him. I had it on random play and may or may not have sobbed through "You've Got a Friend" since I happened to cherish and love the family moving to Cali too. Then "The Secret of Life" came on. And in the middle of all the steam, the words washed over me and I had a little epiphany. (Or as I like to call them, a re-piphany, because it's not the first time I have thought them.)

Here are his words:

The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time 
Any fool can do it 
There ain't nothing to it 
Nobody knows how we got to 
The top of the hill 
But since we're on our way down 
We might as well enjoy the ride 

The secret of love is in opening up your heart 
It's okay to feel afraid 
But don't let that stand in your way 
'cause anyone knows that love is the only road 
And since we're only here for a while 
Might as well show some style 
Give us a smile 
[ Lyrics from: ] 
Isn't it a lovely ride 
Sliding down 
Gliding down 
Try not to try too hard 
It's just a lovely ride 

Now the thing about time is that time 
Isn't really real 
It's just your point of view 
How does it feel for you 
Einstein said he could never understand it all 
Planets spinning through space 
The smile upon your face 
Welcome to the human race 

It's not rocket science or figuring it all out or doing the things that are not scary. It's just choosing to live it well and knowing that it's all a gift. (ha, "just", it takes intention to "just choose")

Somehow that song helped bring me some peace and perspective and this morning, I turned to His word for some additional help:

"You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!" - Isaiah 26:3

"Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up." - Proverbs 12:25

I'm no fool . . . I know that there will still be moments today where I am taking a deep breath or 20, but I certainly feel less bogged down than yesterday.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

real life

hi to the blog friends who are still checking here. this week has been a busy one and we are busy living about the fun and crazy life that i write about . . . i'll try to get back soon to recap it, but don't forget about me in the meantime

Friday, July 22, 2011

I don't know what to say, I don't know what to say

Remember that line? Can you name it?!

It's from the Cosby show and the episode where Theo and Denise have a wreck with Stevie Wonder's limo and he brings them all to the studio. Anytime I say "I don't know what to say," I can hear the Huxtables in my mind and then I start singing "I just called to say I love you . . . "

Bet you wish that since I didn't know what to say, I just didn't say anything.

We are in the DOG days of summer here. But it's really too hot even for the dogs. Lucky Tate is enjoying more time inside than out. I have also uttered the phrase "It's too hot to even swim" a few times over the last couple of weeks. I didn't understand that as a kid, but I get it now.

My parents got back this week from a European cruise and we are glad to have them back in the good ole US of A. I tracked their flight over the ocean and found it a wee bit disconcerting to see nothin' but water under their large piece of steel in the air.

We have kind of enjoyed an unscheduled week. It was kind of unsettling though . . . I kept panicking and checking my calendar, absolutely certain that we had missed some appointment or camp or event because we have not had this much downtime since at least 2010--we haven't even wound down enough to be bored.

I have been sentimental about Bo this week . . . he starts pre-K in a little over a month. That just feels like the beginning of the end. He's going to be in school . . . granted it's just 2 days a week, but still. The last (almost) 5 years have gone by sooooo fast. And as I was having an almost teary moment about it, Caroline pointed out that in the same amount of time from now, she will have a learner's permit to drive.

I went from sappy to nauseous.

Lord help a world where that child can drive.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dance, dance, dance

Caroline has LOVED dancing this year! She has a performing side of her that is a natural, and she is picking up on the dance really quickly! Dancing at a competitive level has really boosted her confidence and is instilling discipline in her.

Here is her team, "My Guy", warming up before they danced Friday afternoon.

Kristen (their teacher and the owner of the studio) is an amazing woman who has done so much in Rock City's inaugural year. She has made a little dancer out of Caroline and does a great job of pushing and encouraging the girls. Originally, "My Guy" was going to perform at the Star level (easier competitive level), but once Kristen got to Branson, she believed they could hang with the Power level. It was a risk--it meant we might not place as high as usual, but she had confidence in them! And it paid off-they took 1st in musical theatre in their age group and 3rd in their age group overall!

There were 376 performances at this year's Branson competition. Of those 376, the judges chose 54 to dance in the Battle of the All Stars to be THE champions. We were so proud of Rock City for taking 9 of those spots . . . included in there was Caroline's dance!!!! Such a fun moment! They have worked hard and had fun and learned so much and this honor was a huge accomplishment!

This is the company stretching and rehearsing early Saturday morning

And here are our darling girls taking 3rd place in the 8 and under large group division. Soooo excited for them--many had not competed before this year and some were only in their 1st or 2nd year of dance period. It's such a testament to the talent of the staff and their ability to choreograph and teach!

We did more than dance though (not much more) . . . we ate and shopped and hung out with our great friends, the Jacksons. Maggie and Caroline are on the same dance team and Avery dances in several dances as well, 2 of which were chosen for the battle.

I have tried to tone the blog down so as not to be obnoxious . . . we were ecstatic and on cloud 9 all weekend!! I am just so glad to be a part of such a wonderful dance company--not just because of the success, but because of the tone and attitude that is set by the staff. 

Check out their website and if you are in the Central Arkansas area, you canNOT go wrong sending your kids here to dance! I have heard story upon story of girls who have been dancing for years and have grown as dancers or in confidence this year under Kristen and the girls. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Cloning and X-Ray

Friday was a tough Mommy day. I was torn between a hurt baby girl and a big girl going to dance in a national competition. It was honestly one of the harder days as a mommy I have had. Let me back up to Thursday . . .

Thursday afternoon we came back from swimming and all of the kids were starving!! We have a rule that all food MUST be eaten at the table because our little people made some new friends, the ants, downstairs when they left out their snacks in the playroom. Someone had turned the TV on and Sascha was standing in her chair trying to watch TV while she munched. Despite my repeated cautions to sit down so she didn't fall, she kept standing up and, you guessed it, she fell.

That in and of itself is NOT unusual. The child is a daredevil who jumps and shimmies and leaps and climbs and eventually falls all the time. Most of the time she hops up, brushes her hair aside, and says, "I otay." This time she hobbled over to me whimpering that her "yeg" hurt. I chalked it up to her being very tired, plopped her in my room with a blanket and a Dora video and hoped she would take a little cat nap. That was around 3:45/4:00. By 4:30, I could tell she was really hurting and was concerned when she told me that she couldn't get off the couch because her "yeg willy hurt!"

Oh. Dear. She LITERALLY doesn't complain AT ALL. For her to whimper and not be running around was a bad, bad sign. I loaded up the people and called Josh to meet us at the pediatrician's office. I called them on the way and they said we were too late in the day and would have to go to the ER instead.


Nope. Josh and I decided that the ER for a potential fracture was not in the best interest of our situation. We had a nurse friend look at it and she agreed that icing it and giving her motrin was a good plan until the peds office opened in the morning. If she woke up fine--great; if she was still in pain, appointment time.

Poor baby sat on the couch the rest of the night, wincing and moaning. It didn't look good. Meanwhile, I was trying to pack Caroline and I up for her big nationals competition in Branson. We had been looking forward to our girls' trip for a long time, but for me there was a cloud hanging over the trip--how could I leave my baby with a major booboo to go have fun? We were the last of our friends going up to Branson, so there was no one she could bum a ride with and I didn't feel right about not being there to support her at such an important competition either. UGH. CLONE ME PLEASE!!

Friday morning dawned EARLY. I hadn't slept good, tossing and turning with guilt and anxiety. I got ready and Josh and I woke up the 3 older kids and sent them to the car. With much trepidation, I went into Sascha's room and woke her up. She rolled over and said in a pitiful voice, "My yeg is hurting." My heart broke as I picked her up. She was really hurt and I was leaving her. There was no other option. I knew Josh could handle it, but you moms understand, there is nothing harder than leaving our sick or hurt babies in ANYONE else's care. 

Caroline and I were taking a rental car to Branson (details not important, but it made good sense). The entire drive to pick it up I was praying and fighting back tears and helping Josh get organized for doctor's appointments, x-rays, childcare for the boys, and oh yeah, Bo had speech therapy in the middle of it all. I begged God for a miracle for the baby girl. She had not put her right leg down in 16 hours--no weight, no pressure, no nothing.

We parted ways and not halfway to Branson, Josh sent me a video of her limping around. By the time they got to the doctor's office she was even a little better. And by the time they got her to xray, she was standing on her own as far away from the machine as she could. 

We are so thankful that there was no fracture and she has continued to get better. Today, you would never know!! We got the news that there was no fracture before Caroline danced on Friday, so I was able to really enjoy her performance . . . as were the judges, but more about that tomorrow!!

Before I post this, I want to say a HUGE thanks to Julie for watching the boys on Friday so Josh didn't have to do that alone with all 3 hooligans. That was unbelievably helpful!!

Stay tuned tomorrow, you won't want to miss the exciting weekend of dance . . . I'm serious! It was awesome!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The urge

I have the urge to purge and redecorate.

We have lived in the warm color scheme for our entire marriage. And there is anything wrong with it, I'm just wanting to venture away from the gold tones and khakis and reds and greens and see what life is like on the cooler, grayer based side of the street. My brown couch will still work if my research is correct, but there will have to be some reaccessorizing and a massive repainting around here (including the trim work) and Josh says that is a negatory until Sascha gets out of her wall coloring phase.

I thought she was out of this phase until last week when she went crazy downstairs with a dry erase marker. Then she found a purple sharpie upstairs and helped me get started with new colors in the kitchen.


I think Josh put her up to it because he is afraid of decorative change. Especially if it involves him painting.

So in the meantime, I am going to try to get our house down to the bare bones. We have sooooo much more than we need and it is on my nerves. (Quarterly spring cleaning, I guess, because remember this post?)

And to help me keep it all together, I have FINALLY treated myself to this label maker. It has actually helped Tru with cleaning up. His little mind doesn't know what to do when you say pick up, but now that the bins and drawers are all clearly labeled, he complains a whole lot less and puts them in the right place a whole lot more! YAY!

Well, I'm off to suit up the kids and try to fit a swim in between the wonderful rain showers!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Killer, aka Tate

We have a puppy dog.

Isn't he cute? This is him last week waiting for Josh to come home. He spent a while scratching at our bedroom door because he thought Josh was in there. After he got in our room and realized Josh was NOT home, he set up camp perched on the couch staring at the front door. So sweet.

It's been SOOOOOO hot here that he has been inside more during the day than usual. Tate, per the vet, is supposed to play outside because he is curious and hungry. In a Biggest Loser sort of lifestyle change several months ago, Tate had to go from a milk bone loving couch potato to an inside/outside rawhide eating active dog.

It worked quickly and he is back at a healthy weight and is happy and calmer when he is inside because he has run himself out.

Since it is so hot, I have brought him in more than usual and cuddled him more and got in his face more with that weird baby/puppy talk telling him what a good puppy dog he is oh yes he is he is. (You get the idea.) But yesterday, he broke the one rule that gets his wagging tail thrown in his crate or back outside (going in Sascha's room while she is asleep). It was looking like we might get a BIG afternoon thundershower, so I thought he should go outside and use the facilities (aka, the grass) and then I would bring him back in when it started raining--kill 2 birds with one stone--consequence and potty break.

A little while later, it started raining and I opened the back door and called for him.

No Tate.

I went on to the deck and yelled for him.

No Tate.

I started to get worried that he had found an escape hole, so I put some shoes on and went into the yard.

Still. No. Tate.

And right before I started to panic, he popped out from under the little deck by the downstairs door with . . . ugh, I am still queasy and shuddering . . . AN ANIMAL OF SOME SORT HANGING FROM HIS MOUTH!!!!!

I screamed, he ran. And for the next several minutes, I chased him around our back yard yelling "NO, TATE!! DROP IT! DROP IT!!"

Apparently, he thought I WANTED his catch for myself (I SO DID NOT) so he kept running away and would go places he knew I couldn't get to him.

It looked like a chipmunk maybe. It was too big to be a mouse. (Yay?) We have a gajillion rabbits in the neighborhood (now I really get that saying about breeding like rabbits), so maybe it was a baby rabbit. I almost don't care . . . I am just SO SO SO SO grossed out.

I could hardly look at him last night. I made him eat 2 spearmint teeth cleaning bones.


Now I am trying to figure out how to make my backyard unfriendly to all small animals and snakes so that he won't eat anything but the Beneful Playful Life I serve him twice a day (and whatever food the kids leave on their plates).

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

oh yeah

Yesterday was one of those days.

You know the kind.

When 5:30/6:00 rolled around, we needed to celebrate the fact that we were all 6 still here and relatively unscathed.

(And by celebrate, I mean there was no way in you-know-where that I was cooking for anybody!)

So I pulled out a coupon for a family restaurant (yes, Dad, you would be so proud--we choose our restaurant based on a coupon) and off we went to enjoy warm, nutritious food that I didn't cook on dishes I wouldn't have to clean.

Sounds nice, right? About 7 minutes after we were seated we remembered that budget is not the real reason we don't eat out.

This is:

Oh, how I love this bundle of yumminess. But, oh. my. goodness. She was a terror--spilt milk UNDER the table, screaming contest with Bo (no one wins there), crawling over and under booths  . . .

We'll try again someday.

And to be fair, we ate without me cooking or cleaning, so that was a plus.

And to be honest, she wasn't any different than she is at home, I just felt bad exposing other paying customers to our usual mealtime ambience.

Monday, July 11, 2011

They might as well be applying to college

This sweet, cute boy went to his first Vacation Bible School today.


He was so excited when I told him this morning that he ran around the house telling the other 3 MULTIPLE times where he was going. THEN, he went and found the little red Bible our church gives the toddlers when they graduate from Pat the Bible curriculum and INSISTED on taking it with him to his "Bible school".

When we got there, he drug me in to the large group area, tugging hard at my hand if I stopped and talked to friends. I tried to drop him off in the pre-school area, but they looked at his form and told me that he actually belonged in the Pre-K class.

(*Sniff, Sniff*)

How is that possible? I was pregnant with him Caroline's first year there. How can he be old enough to be in the PRE-K CLASS?!

(Probably because he starts Pre-K in September.)


Rip my heart out. Sascha is potty trained, Bo is starting Pre-K, Tru is about to lose his 2 front teeth, and Caroline is in 4th grade.

Seriously. The college brochures will be showing up soon.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Kids say the darndest things . . .

Maybe they are only funny to me, but I love the way my kids say things . . .

Bo: Daddy. Daddy. Daddy. I cannot go into my bed because there is a monster onto under it.

Bo: Mommy, did Shasha get skittles for going teetee in the potty?
Me: Yes. Aren't we so proud of her?!
Bo: Mommy, Mommy, I go teetee and poopoo in the potty? Aren't we so proud of me? Where are my skittles?
Me: Bo, you are already a big boy. You don't get skittles because you already know how to do it!
Bo: Awwww mant!!


Sascha: We go the fireworks? I so etcited! I yuv the fireworks! They go bang, bang, boom!

But, perhaps the kicker yesterday was what Tru DIDN'T say . . . Caroline and Tru and I were cleaning out the playroom. (Happy sigh from me . . . ). Anyway, Tru was a less than thrilled to be involved in the event and was doing a lousy job of even pretending to help. Finally, I sent him to his room to sit on his bed until either Caroline and I finished or he decided to help. After about 45 minutes he told me he was bored and I told him he was welcome to come out and work with us. He said no thanks. About 15 minutes later, he ventured into the playroom with his list of demands: he would stay and contribute if I gave him a certain number of things to pick up and then he would be finished. I denied his request and said he would be finished when the job was done. He looked at me, shrugged his shoulders, and went back to sit on his bed.

I guess that's one way to answer.

To his credit, he did FINALLY come out and work a little bit. And Caroline (my sweet, mini-me) told me she had fun cleaning out the playroom; even though it was hard work, she said it was TOTALLY worth it because "I mean, just look at this place. Ahhhhhhh!"

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

As American as Pineapple Pie

I am still in a happy haze from our all American 4th of July weekend.

Of course the best part was getting my girl back from camp!

I could NOT stop crying after I saw her sitting in the crowd! I was so anxious to get my hands on her and hear all about the week.  Then, the heart melter . . .

Awwwwww......they were both SOOOO happy to see each other and stayed attached the rest of the day.

Please go back and look through the same series of pictures and notice the little boy in the white polo shirt. That would be Tru. He was totally unaware of the happy reunion and hardly acted like he noticed his sister was back. Sibling love. You win some, you lose some.

And these darling girls from Texas loved on my baby well all week. They also made me cry with the sweet things they had to say about Caroline. We totally hearted Brookhill this week!!

Other than having Caroline home, however, the highlight of the weekend was yesterday. I love Fourth of July here. Our day looked like a slice of the kind of America Norman Rockwell painted. We took the morning easy and then met many, many friends up at one of the country club's pools to swim. The dads sat around talking and laughing while the moms sat on the edge of the pool (safely) catching rays and enjoying each other. Our kids ran around and swam and jumped off the diving board; there were water balloon tosses and watermelon relays. Just a fun, fun ideal kind of day.

Around 4:30 we all headed home and grilled with our families. Josh was excited to host his first 4th on the the new grill with my parents. And we stuffed ourselves on salmon, beef and chicken kabobs, rice, grilled corn on the cob (, a patriotic fruit salad, cookie cake decorated like a flag, ice cream, and, of course, apple pie. Except that I accidently bought a pineapple pie from the bakery. Oops. You can always count on me giving everyone a reason to giggle when I host the meal!

And then . . . the part of the night that felt so "Americana" as I told my friend, Cathy . . . around 7:30/8 we all met back together at the country club for fireworks. Picture tall pine trees, a perfectly maintained golf course, and a club house reminiscent of the one in Dirty Dancing. Now add to that lots of families standing around or sitting on blankets all over the golf course while the kids ride down a grassy hill on cardboard boxes until it gets dark enough for the fireworks to start. I was lying on our blanket last night with my kids cuddled up beside me and Josh behind me and our friends all around us watching the fireworks go off to a great sound track of American songs and I felt so content. So happy. So patriotic.

Hope y'all had a great weekend too! We are blessed to live in our country--despite gas prices and political fighting and a downturned economy, we have it so good here. God HAS blessed America! May He continue to do so.