Saturday, May 31, 2008

Just Now

We are going to a birthday party today.  It's at a karate place, and the boys have been looking forward to it for a couple of days.  I put Aidan down for an early nap, and me and Dane were having some "big boy time" while I was trying to get rid of this HORRIBLE MIGRAINE HEADACHE that is seriously threatening my party mood.

I needed a hug.  Badly.  So I requested one from Dane.  I told him I didn't feel good and he had to hug me right now or he wasn't going to the karate party.  Bad Mommy. 

I was denied.  Dane wanted to play, not cuddle.  So he went outside to play for a while, then came back inside to do arts and crafts with me at the kitchen table.  Much easier to do arts and crafts with a bad headache, than play Memory or watch annoying kids shows on TV. 

My boy is so sweet.  My head is killing me and my stomach hurts because I have eaten an embarrassing amount of blackberries over the past 24 hours.  I should be playing with him and reading with him and teaching him numbers and words and instead I just want to crawl into bed with an ice pack on my head and a bowl of blackberries (something is wrong with me, I know).  Instead I sit at the table, playing on the computer while he is coloring with his markers and being so sweet and quiet.

"Mom, look how good I am coloring."

"Dane, I am so proud of you.  I am proud of how good you are coloring and how smart you are.  Thank you for being so good behaved and so sweet today.  I love you, bubba."

My big four year old boy climbs out of his chair, over the table, and crawls into my lap and gives me a great big boy hug around my neck with lots of kisses and a head on my shoulder.

"Mom, do I get to go to the karate party now?"

5 Things

5 Things you were doing 5 years ago:

1.  Moving into our first house
2.  Telling people that we were pregnant with Dane
3.  Working as an ER nurse full-time
4.  Driving a cute little 1989 Camry
5.  Figuring out which movie we were going to see (this would be the last year that we actually saw movies at the movie theater)

5 Things you would rather be doing:

1.  Relaxing at this cute little hotel in Point Arena, CA that we went to last summer
2.  Shopping with someone else's money
3.  Telling my maid that someone else paid for, "You can stop cleaning now, the house looks perfect"
4.  Wandering around a bookstore for a couple of hours with no kids
5.  Girlfriend day consisting of pedicure, lunch, and chick-flick

5 Things on your to-do-list today:

1.  Put laundry away
2.  Try to figure out how our family is going to eat the approximately 25 pounds of fresh fruit in our house before it goes bad
3.  Take boys to a birthday party at a karate place
4.  Read
5.  Water the garden

5 Goals for the next 5 years:

1.  Pay off financial commitments
2.  Save more money for retirement
3.  Read more books that I can learn something from
4.  Be more diligent about Bible study and quiet time
5.  Take a cool family vacation that the boys will be old enough to remember

5 Things you would do with a billion dollars:

1.  Tithe big time
2.  Pay off cars
3.  Adopt like, 4 kids or so
4.  Move into another house with more than 3 bedrooms for our 6 or so kids
5.  Give it away

5 Places you have lived:

1.  Lewisville, TX
2.  Flower Mound, TX
3.  Abilene, TX
4.  Arlington, TX
5.  Houston, TX

5 Snacks you enjoy:

1.  Chips and salsa
2.  Blackberries with powdered sugar
3.  Strawberries
4.  Chips and "pink dip" (salsa mixed with cream cheese...YUM)
5.  Chocolate chip cookies

5 Jobs you have had:

1.  Mooching money from college football players on picture day
2.  Mooching money from high school seniors on graduation picture day
3.  Medical records filer at a doctor's office
4.  Microbiology lab assistant (this job consisted of making ager, which is the gooey stuff at the bottom of petri dishes.  Very glamourous.)
5.  ER nurse

P.S.  My cobbler is the height of awesomeness.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Ten on Thursday

1.  Aidan has added an extra syllable to many of his words since we arrived home from Kentucky.  For example:  "Daddy" is now "Day-yed-dee".  And so on.

2.  Brandon had created and planted a garden and had the whole house clean when we got home on Monday.  It's been 3 whole days, and the house is still clean.  And the garden is still sort-of alive.  This is definitely some kind of record.

3.  I signed the boys up for swim lessons today.  I'm a bit worried that I wasted $75 on Aidan's lessons.  He won't even play in the sprinkler because he doesn't want to get wet.  I see 2 weeks of me holding a crying little boy in a bathing suit on the edge of a pool.

4.  Dane has something like 11 Bible verses memorized now, not including the Lord's Prayer. 

5.  I triaged a lady the other day who came to the EMERGENCY ROOM for a sunburn.  And it wasn't even a bad, blistery sunburn.  She just didn't like the way it looked on her face and she wanted us to give her a shot for it.  I'm not kidding.

6.  Brandon will be in Thailand for 16 days next month and I am formulating 2 mental lists:  Things to do with the kids for 16 days so they won't notice how much they miss their Daddy, and Things for me to watch/read/do that Brandon is not interested in that I can do while he is gone.  Any suggestions?  Must be cheap and local.

7.  Tomorrow we are going to pick blackberries and strawberries and I will attempt to make my First Ever Cobbler.  I'll let you know how it turns out.

8.  The Office may be slowly becoming my favorite TV show ever.  It's neck and neck with Law and Order right now.  Sam Waterston (Waterson?) is keeping L&O in the race.  I love me some Sam.  Me and Sam have had some good times together.

9.  A few months ago I was in charge of invitations for a bridal shower I was helping with.  I was to send out 80 invitations.  I found perfect light pink and brown paper (her colors), and I decided to order matching pink envelopes online.  When the envelopes arrived, they were fluorescent neon pink.  I just could not send my pretty invitations in fluorescent neon pink envelope tackiness.  So I reordered different pink envelopes which arrived the perfect color of pink that I needed.  Only now I have 100 fluorescent neon envelopes that I am using to mail my monthly car payments.  I'm sure CarMax is very appreciative of my refusal to use boring white envelopes.

10.  The newest cousin is getting cuter by the day.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Kentucky Part 3

Greetings from the weird smiling tree face!

Friday when we were up in Kentucky, my mom and I drove around and took pictures of barns.  We also saw this gem of a tree while we were trespassing on someone's front property.  Who thinks to themselves "All that tree needs is a welcoming smile."  I wonder if they modeled the features on an actual person.  As in, "Hey, that tree looks just like Gramps!"

We also saw this cute little barn while we were running away from the owner's dog.  It's so cute it makes me want to put a barn in my backyard.  Why not?  If my next door neighbors can have a goat, why can't I have a barn?
Tom took the boys riding around on tractors this past weekend.  Aidan was very concerned about dehydration while on the tractor.  We have half a dozen pictures of him on this tractor with his Sponge Bob sippy cup.  

On Friday, the boys went with Pappy, and several other cousins to pick strawberries.  Pappy did not bring the camera.  But they did pick 27 pounds of strawberries.  And that's the half that Aidan didn't eat while he was picking.  After eating his weight in strawberries, Aidan went to my aunt's house to do a little vacuuming while eating a Moon Pie.  Some may consider this practice counterproductive, but he was simply multi-tasking.  He's a multi-tasking fool.

Several months ago, before Aidan could say the word "vacuum", he would just point to the vacuum cleaner and say "Daddy".  Okay, so I don't vacuum.  I do, however, enjoy never-ending loads of laundry.
I have several pictures just like this one, taken several years apart, of Nita, Miranda, and me.  I think we looked better a few years ago.  I did, anyways.
This marks the end of making people look at my Kentucky pictures on my blog.  I don't know what I am going to put on my blog now, since I won't be going back for another year or so.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Kentucky Part 2

My great-aunt and many of my extended family live in a beautiful part of Kentucky.  Lots of farmland, everything is very green, and this time of year, the evening weather is perfect.  I could have stayed in her backyard all weekend long, staring at her house and barns and just the land surrounding her place.  My neck of the woods has lots of neighbors and driveways and trees and fences, and I loved the open spaces.  I have lots of memories of evenings spent in her backyard, eating pot-luck dinners and home made ice cream, and catching fireflies in jars with all my cousins.  We would try to bring the jars of fireflies home to Texas with us the next morning, and were so disappointed when they died somewhere around Little Rock.  

The old men would always sit outside in the dark and talk, while the women were in the house chatting and cleaning up after dinner.  Not much has changed in that respect.  This year, Dane and Aidan ran around shirtless in the dark, catching fireflies with their cousins.  The menu was vast quantities of my grandfather's spaghetti recipe and Elgin sausage and the requisite home made ice cream with strawberries.  My 90 year old grandmother, along with my dad and a few of his cousins, stayed up till 1 am Friday night catching up on life.  (When you're as old as these people are, catching up takes a LONG time.)The boys played on this hammock all weekend long.
The boys met their cousin Kyra on this trip.  Kyra is 5, and super cute.  Her and Dane played together ALL DAY on Friday.  At one point I went down the hallway to find Dane and Kyra both tucked into my cousin Katie's bed, holding hands.  I love Aidan's face in this picture.  I think he was trying to catch some of the fireflies in his mouth.
Saturday morning, I joined some of my Texas family to go antiquing and we stopped off at a cute little tea room for lunch.  You can tell we're at a tea room because of the teacups in the background.  We leave no room for guessing.  See Andee, on the far right?  Picture her in a wedding dress.  It was her wedding we missed the weekend in March when we were all home with the plague.  See Dana, next to Andee?  Does she look pregnant?  Cuz she is!  Add one more cousin to the roster come January. 
Saturday night was the big post wedding-reunion/birthday party.  What?  Doesn't every family have those?  With matching t-shirts, no less?  The boys met lots and lots of new cousins, but Katie and Jack Alvin were a couple of favorites.  (I don't know how I managed to not get a picture of Katie.)  Jack Alvin took a turn Friday night firefly-gathering with the little kids, and at one point I hear Dane's voice in the dark, "Jack Alvin, I love you."   
More pictures to come.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Kentucky Part 1

This past weekend, the boys and I went with my parents up to western Kentucky for a family reunion.  I haven't made it up to Kentucky in 5 years (Aidan was not a great car traveler as a baby), so it was great to catch up with everyone and try to figure out who was married to who.  I actually sat across the table for 10 minutes from one of my cousins before I recognized him as a cousin, not a new husband of one of my many other cousins.  

The weekend consisted of one family reunion, one hospitalization, one milestone birthday, one wedding, countless cousins, 26+ hours in the car, and 27 pounds of fresh strawberries.  (It will take several blog posts for me to fully document this weekend.)

Grandma's 90th birthday this weekend, and we all enjoyed a slideshow complete with horrible clothing choices our parents have made for us throughout our childhoods.    (What was with the matching plaid shirts and knee-shorts?)  One of my cousins made this wicked-awesome cake for GG.  It was strawberry cake with cream cheese icing, and did I mention there were strawberries?  Holy smokes, that was some good cake.
The birthday girl is the chipper young thing seated second from the left in the sassy jacket.  Please note my cousin Johnny wearing the dashing sport coat over the bright orange "Olena is 90" t-shirt.  He's so fancy.  Just adds a whole new level of style to the ensemble. 
I had a great time catching up with all my cousins (there's about 20 or so) and meeting all the new husbands and wives that have joined the fam in the last 5 years.  I felt like some of them had been there all along.  (There's another cousin pic I wanted to put here, also, but it's not loading.)  My cousin Nita is on the left, and I haven't seen her in forever.  She has gotten married since I last saw her.  Congratulations to Fran, the cute chick in the middle.  She just finished her PhD!  I am slowly but surely becoming the dumbest person in my family...
My cousin Meagan got married Saturday, and unfortunately this is the only picture I got of the bride and groom.  (And look!  Johnny is in the background pre-orange shirt.  And I think he saw my camera.)
Many more pictures from our Kentucky trip will follow in the next several days, including lots of Dane and Aidan and some pictures of barns that my mother made me take.  Hope your Memorial Day weekend is just as eventful!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I'm Sorry Grandma

Sunday night after we got back from Dallas, I co-hosted a, um, "Personal Shower" for a dear friend of mine who is getting married this summer.  A group of us ladies were getting together to stock KiKi's (name has been changed to protect the mortified) nightstand and post-nuptual pajama drawer. 

Now, we wanted this to be a classy shower.  Tasty snacks and "no batteries required" gifts.  I was in charge of bringing dessert.

Booby cupcakes are classy, right?

Look!  I am sensitive to other cultures.  I have respect for our differences.

I just have one question...

Does this make me a bad mother?

And how much therapy will he need when he is 15 and sees this picture?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Wedding Weekend #3

This weekend, we all piled into the van and headed for Dallas for another wedding.  My mom is traveling, and my sister Lindy and her fiance, Andy, are out of town at another wedding.

I bet they're wishing they had just stayed home.

Let me explain a little:  for reasons that are just to boring and long to explain, my sister, Andy, and their two cats (yes, you read that right) are all living at my parents' house right now.  They are getting married later on this year (Lindy and Andy, not the two cats), and probably moving out.  But we love coming in town and getting to see them, and the boys will be very confused on that day when we come and it's just Pappy and MoMo.

Not wanting her cats to starve over the weekend, my sister suggested that Dane and Aidan feed and water the cats while we are here.  (She also suggested that they scoop out the litter box, but let's face it.  That's not going to happen.)

Yesterday (Friday), Brandon put Dane down for a nap in Andy's room.  It's a quiet place, and a thousand times cleaner than Lindy's room, so it seemed like a good idea at the time.  When he got up, we explained to him that "Pappy is going to give you paper money if you feed the cats and make sure they have water."  We thought he would jump at the chance to have real paper money that he can fold and put in his pocket and take home and stick in his "treasure box" that sits on top of his dresser.

Dane replied, "I already got some money from Andy's room."

Fortunately, Andy has already bought the ring, so he hopefully didn't have this nightstand pocket change earmarked for anything important.

I walked Aidan and Dane through the "cat feeding process" this morning, and, satisfied that the food was appropriately in the food bowl, I went downstairs, leaving the boys with the kitty.  When I went back upstairs, there was no more food in the bowl.  Was the kitty exceptionally hungry this morning?  No.  The boys thought it would be appropriate to pick the cat food pieces up one by one and hand-feed the cats.  What the cats chose not to directly eat out of their grimy little hands was promptly thrown all over the floor throughout two rooms.  Except for the cat food that was in Aidan's mouth.  Disgusting.  That kid was sporting the worst breath I have ever smelled on a 2 year old.  He didn't just eat the cat food.  He ate the little crab-flavored cat treats.  Then drooled cat food drool all over his bare chest.  And kissed his mommy with cat food lips.

Dane also spent some time making a "worm house" outside.  My parents have approximately one kajillion worms and roly poly bugs in their yard, and Dane could have played all day outside.  We couldn't find Aidan's shorts at the time, so he just borrowed some of Lindy's.  (Hey, Lindy, sorry about the cat food drool on your green Abercrombie shorts.)  

My sister is just not a big person, but I had no idea that my 2 year old could one day be getting her hand me downs.  I think these shorts would have been too small on Dane, as he's got more meat on his bones than Aidan does.  And apparently my 24 year old sister.

I'm a little concerned that my ADULT sister's shorts do not even come down to his knees.

I'm not sure what this blue thing is on Aidan's arm.  It's either a cat toy of some sort or something for Lindy's hair.  Aidan thought it would make a great armband, and after seeing these pictures, I'm afraid I have to agree with him.

Brandon lost one of his contact lenses near the worm house a few hours before the wedding on Saturday, and could barely read his notes for the wedding.  He did great, though, and the bride and groom were successfully wed.  I just had to chauffer us around Dallas and back home this morning, which is a real bummer when you're used to being the spoiled passenger!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Kites and Fishes

Behind our house there is a neighborhood park. It's a small park, with a playground and some walking trails around a little waterfall and pond. The trails are really muddy, because an engineer at some point did not spend enough time thinking about POND DRAINAGE. But now our subdivision can advertise "scenic walking trails" and "waterfalls". We call it "Mosquito Lake".  

Different from the big park where we go to make fire.

The other day the weather was beautiful, so we loaded the boys in to their wagon and brought along the kite we got for Kite Day at the school.

Oh, the glee. Dane and Brandon had so much fun flying the kite. Aidan was a little apprehensive, as he should be, since the kite probably weighs more than he does. He's just skinny, folks. Tall and skinny.

The tiny speck in the sky was our Lightening McQueen kite. If I ever decide to stop being a nurse, I am going to work for Disney's marketing department. Those are some busy people. There's a car on my kite. And on my son's underwear. That he wears with his Diego socks to school where he carries his Lightening McQueen lunchbox with his Lightening McQueen sippy cup inside. Good grief.
Did I mention the little pond behind our house? Check out what this guy caught in it! I'm not a fisherman, but this thing is huge! What pond-dwelling animals eat large mouth bass? Because I do NOT want to run into that thing in Mosquito Lake. Even this big burly tattooed-arm guy is keeping Mr. Bass far far away from his body.
Um, my husband is holding the bass here, and he doesn't seem quite so wary of it.  So what do bass fish eat?  Burly youth ministers, perhaps?  It looks like it's about to swallow Brandon's hand and arm whole.  It's almost as big as Dane. Look how excited he was when we asked if he wanted to touch it.  Maybe he's a tad bit smarter than his daddy...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Birthday Letter for Joel

Dear Big Boy Joel,

Happy Birthday! I can't believe that one short year ago we got our first cousin. We remember it was so much fun to visit you in the hospital when you were born. You have been such a fun cousin. You are so good at walking, you have been walking for several months now. Walking is cool, but do you know what's cooler? That's right. Wrestling. Maybe next year.

We had a great time at your crazy birthday party. The train was super fun, and we liked jumping in the big moonwalk with the other 8.2 gajillion kids that were there. Who knew Uncle Izzy had so many assorted cousins and such? One of the unexpected highlights of your party was the giant water fight spurned on by the discovery of the water guns in our goody bags. But since Daddy didn't get a goody bag, he just decided to just get a water bottle and squirt it on everyone. Our daddy is so mature, and such a good example to all the children.
One of the best part of the party for Dane was drinking no fewer than 4 Capri Sun drinks. Apparently, his Mommy and Daddy were too busy chatting and eating REALLY SPICY jalapeno hot dogs to actually watch us. Silly parents. Why yes, I would like a drink.

I am sorry that Aidan found where the pinatas were hiding in the house before it was pinata time. That kid is resourceful! Mommy was so confused when Aidan kept wandering into the kitchen with handfuls of bubblegum and Werther's candies. He had discovered that he could just reach the hole at the top of the pinata where the candy was loaded into. He was a bit perplexed when people started hitting his Loaded Lion with the big stick, and he didn't think it was too fair that he had to share his secret candy stash with the other 1.2 million children at the party.

We both also really enjoyed helping Big Boy Joel open his birthday gifts. Man, that kid got a LOT of stuff! Aidan also wanted to apologize for opening some of the presents before Joel really got a chance to. We had a lot of fun picking out the present that we gave Joel. Dane was insistent that he get shoes and a dinosaur shirt, and we also picked out a Diego ball and Lightening McQueen car that zooms on the floor. Mommy's not so sure that we understood that we were picking out gifts for someone else, because frankly, we just wanted to buy 2 of everything and keep one set for our house.

One of Aidan's favorite part of the party was when Big Boy Joel got to dig into his cake. He really knows what he's doing when it comes to cake. None of this staring at it and poking it like Dane did when he turned one. Joel dug right in, and, much to Aidan's delight, some of the icing got on the floor under the highchair. No worries! Discarded cake icing is Aidan's favorite. He found a nice comfortable spot underneath the birthday boy and had a little feast of his own. (Insert random Biblical analogy here). This was Big Boy Joel towards the end of the Cake Massacre of 2008, right before his bath. (We didn't need a bath, we just needed a good water fight with the 3.9 quadrillion other kiddos.)
Happy Birthday Big Boy Joel!

Love, Dane and Aidan

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the mommies out there.  I was just thinking today of the day I became a mother.

It was December 15, 2003.  What would eventually be a very joyous day, I spent the morning and most of the afternoon wanting to throw my obstetrician off of a roof.  Then I got the epidural, and I spent the following several hours wanting to kiss my anesthesiologist.  Dane Christopher came into the world in a very cold operating room after being ripped from my abdomen via c-section.  His reluctance to swim toward the light that day should have given me an insight into what the next several years would be like.

You hear about what that moment is like.  That moment when your whole life changes in a second and you become a parent and you get it.  You understand the love your own parents have for you and you fall in love with the naked, screaming child that your body will never fully recuperate from carrying for 9 months.  At least mine won't.

But nothing you hear about actually prepares you for that moment.  Because up until that moment, everyone else in your life has had to earn you love and affection.  Your parents provide you food and shelter, so you love them as a child.  When you are an adult, you love them because of the people they have revealed themselves to be.  Your brother and sister share your life with you for many years under the same roof so you are forced to love them, whether you want to or not.  Then you all grow up and realize that you love them anyway.  Your friends have to jump through all kinds of hoops to earn your love.  And the man you eventually marry will only earn your love after several years of dating and bathtubs full of flowers.

But this.  This child has consumed you with the first breath they take.  It's frighteningly vulnerable how quickly and easily you love this child.  To know that God has given this child to you in an instant to raise, and you can lose that child just as quickly.  It's terrifying to know that God has granted you the privilege of raising an entire person from scratch, and that at any moment a tragedy could end it.  And that even though you are the Mommy, and you would move mountains for this child, only God can truly keep him safe.  And that's so scary, because even if you trusted God completely before this baby was born, now you have to trust Him even more than you ever have before.  With something you love more than you have ever loved anything before.  How people have babies and not believe in God is beyond my understanding.

The day I married Brandon was one of the happiest days of my life.  But that day in December when I became a mother changed who I was as a person more than any singular event has thus far.

Motherhood was not something that came naturally for me.  As much as I loved Dane from that first breath he took, I was horrified during those first few days and weeks to learn that I did not love being his mother.  Between the raging hormones, sleep deprivation, and the general sense of "I am not running this show anymore", it was an ugly couple of weeks.  I very much missed being Brandon and Mandy.  I missed being able to watch TV when I wanted instead of feeling like I had to sleep now, otherwise I may not sleep at all until tomorrow.  I missed being able to go see a movie, or go out to eat without having to pack a suitcase of bottles, diapers, burp cloths, clothes, and the gigantic baby carrier.  I wanted to go the mall, dadgumit!  I missed my selfishness.  I missed being carefree and not having the responsibility of an entire person's livelihood.  I did not feel qualified for this.  I was a good nurse.  I had even figured out the wife thing.  I wasn't crazy about being given a huge job that was so easy to screw up, as parenthood was.   I did not like being a mommy.  But I loved my baby Dane more than life itself.

After a couple of weeks, the hormones settled down.  Life as I knew it was forever changed, and I adjusted accordingly.  Brandon and I became one of those boring "baby couples" who talked continuously about the adorable things the baby did that day.  Like chewing on his fist.  Fascinating stuff.  And we found that we would rather stay home and watch Dane try to roll over than see the newest movie that just came out.  

Fortunately, Dane was a ridiculously easy and happy baby, and he didn't seem to notice that his mother was an emotional wreck who cried more than he did in the beginning.  But I can't imagine life without my Dane and Aidan, and at times I look back and think of our "pre-child life" as boring and empty.  I can't imagine not having my two little Ninja Turtles, or not having Hot Brandon to raise them with. 

Then I think of vacations I want to take, and want to cry because the days of the Brandon and Mandy Vacations are quickly coming to an end, and I think I will never go on that Alaskan Cruise.

Here are the latest in the series of $513 crafts that the boys have made at their school this year:
Here is the t-shirt Dane made me.  I know it looks like disembodied-head Dane with a couple of hand prints, but look again.  It is an angel.  
Happy Mother's Day!  Enjoy the day with your own disembodied-head angels!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Guess Who's...

Gettin' married?

It's my beautiful baby sister Leetle.  

Oh, and I think Andy will be there, too.  Andy of the air compressor.

Lindy is in this picture, too.  I know it's hard to see her back there.  Blink a few times and the blinding glare from the huge sparkly ring on her finger will ease up a bit.  There.  See that grin?

Nice job, Andy.  Nice job.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Grills Gone Wild

Check out we did all by ourselves!  (And by "we", I mean Becky).  I am woman.  And I make fire.

Okay, so I didn't actually make the fire.  More like I am woman.  And I offer moral and technical support while someone who knows what "lighter fluid" is makes fire.

Wednesday we met up at the park and decided to see what those little black things were sittin' next to the picnic tables.  Turns out, they are grills!!  We cooked hotdogs without the aid of a microwave!  It was a monumental day in the history of womenkind everywhere.  Or at least at our picnic table.

Don't they look pretty?
Oooohhh!  Aaaaahhhh!
Only a few of them ended up here:
We left those for the squirrels.  Notice the cigarette butt next to the hotdogs.  A couple of weeks ago at the park, we turned around and saw a squirrel actually smoking one of these.  Okay he may have been trying to eat it.  But I think he simply forgot his Nicorette gum that day.  Or maybe he had a really stressful day at the office and just needed to relax. 

We also took our precious children to the park with us that day.  But I didn't take any pictures of them.  Just our hot dogs.  After all, they have played on the playground before.  But we have never made FIRE all by ourselves. 

Did I mention we made fire?  All by ourselves?

Please do not think I am qualified to actually do this again should the need arise, at, say, our house when company is coming over.  Oh no no.  Brandon is the backyard griller in our home.  I am only qualified to offer moral and technical support from the air conditioned kitchen table.

I know everyone is as happy as I am that my DSL is fixed for the first time ALL WEEK, and I was able to post these enthralling photos for all to enjoy.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

And This Child a book all by himself (kind of) yesterday.

...just learned how to make a swing work without someone pushing him.
...gets money for Bible verses from his GG
...regularly beats me at the Memory Game
...loves him some chocolate for breakfast
...wants to be a "daddy" when he grows up.  And work in an office with his Daddy where he does "checks on the computer" and reads his Bible all day
...or a Ninja Turtle
...likes to find bugs, as long as he doesn't get dirty in the process
...likes to have a "plan" for the day (I wonder who he gets this from...)
...Is my favorite 4 year old in the whole world.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

I'm Sorry

I had intended to post about my Dane this morning, but Blogger is being cranky and won't let me post pictures for the second day in a row.  Arrgg.  So my apologies in advance, this is just going to be a brain dump today.

Brandon is doing an activity called "30 Hour Famine" today with his youth group.  So last night the boys and I had a Slumber Party.  They got an early bath and then we all watched Toy Story in our pajamas with pillows and blankies and stuffed animals and Sprite and popcorn.  Okay, so a Slumber Party bears a striking resemblance to a Movie Party at our house, but Dane is much more excited about it when you call it a slumber party.  And since he has no idea what a slumber party actually is, I get to tell him whatever I want him to think that it is.  So far this is one of my favorite parts about being a parent:  making stuff up and telling your kids things you want them to think.  Today we have no groceries, and I'm debating on whether I would rather starve to death or take my 2 and 4 year old children to Wal Mart on a Saturday.  Starvation is looking pretty good right now.  I'll just tell the kids we're fasting because of 30-Hour Famine.  We'll call it a Hungry Party, and Dane will be all over it.

The month of May will be busy and fun.  So far on our calender?  A going away party, 2 bridal showers, a birthday party, 2 weddings, a rehearsal dinner, and a family reunion.  I'm already tired.

My children were up before 6 am this morning.  I was sleeping so peacefully when I hear a little 2 year old boy next to my bed say, "Mommy, I want to be a Ninja Turtle".  Which means "Mommy, I want my shirt off and I can't get it off!".  Some people have an alarm clock, I have Aidan, who doesn't like to wear clothes.  He also smelled mysteriously like blueberries.  When I did manage to drag myself out of bed, Dane reports to me that "Aidan got the berry soap".  Their bathtub soap right now is the squirty-foamy kind that's purple and smells like blueberries.  I guess Aidan wanted cleaner legs this morning, because he had smeared them all over himself by 6:15.  I sometimes hear rumors of children who wake up at 7:30 on Saturday mornings, go downstairs, put some cartoons of for themselves and grab a pop-tart out of the cabinet, while their parents snooze happily in their warm beds for another hour.  These are not my children.  My children have blueberry legs at the crack of dawn.

Every time I type the word 'blueberry' I am reminded of a somewhat disturbing scene in the movie Juno, which Brandon and I rented last weekend.

Does anyone know of a new Chic-Fil-A opening in the Houston area?  We are almost out of the free meal coupons Brandon earned last December when he spent the night in their parking lot before the Grand Opening.  The embarrassing part is, he got 52 coupons for free sandwich meals, and we are almost out of them.  We have eaten at Chic-Fil-A almost 52 times since last December.  It's a whole new level of cheap when you'll spend the night in a tent in a parking lot for 52 sandwich meals, people.

Our next door neighbor has a goat in their backyard.  Sometimes we get a note from our homeowner's association because they found weeds in our flower bed, and our next door neighbor has a goat.  I guess if we got a goat we wouldn't have any more weeds... 

My apologies to those of you who came to either see pictures of my children or who stumbled on this blog by accident and are looking for something insightful.  I woke up too early today for insightful.