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Monday, June 28, 2010

Our Sunday Adventure....

We are always reading about these amazing places to visit in Southern Living.....and since it isn't that easy to just pack up three kids and head to Charleston (although I'd like to do that TOO) we decided on something more reasonable.  Sunday morning rolled around and the husband mentions, "Hey, why don't we go swim in the Frio today?"  and I said yes because I'm crazy.  It takes a lot of junk to get this train rolling, but we managed to do it in a pretty decent amount of time.
We stopped in Castroville at the world's nicest Dairy Queen for lunch...
....and the baby had to get out of her carseat (which is seeing it's last days...sniff) and sit at the table where she now wants to be part of the action.....and eat tiny pieces of other people's food.
We drove and drove (did it ALWAYS take this long to get to Concan or does it just seem longer when you have to pull over twelve times to break up spitting fights in the back seat?)
And we finally arrived at this:

A nice little swimming hole on the frio.  My first two thoughts were:
1.  That's a long way to have to carry all this junk.  (I was right....Cale walked down there just fine but Hayden cried the whole way like she was on "Survivor: Concan")
2.  Why do all these people have to be everywhere?  Why can't I just enjoy the beauty of Texas with my family at our own private oasis?  

Sissy jumped right in with her daddy, and wanted to swim out to that big rock and jump off it like the big (drunk) kids.  Shawn put her on the first little ledge (about eight inches out of the water) and let her jump to him. Let's be honest, if I hadn't been there, he would have probably let her climb up to the top of it and have her jump to him.  Maybe.  I don't want to think about that....anyway, moving on....
Cale went in the water, but preferred sitting right there in the shallows where you first walk in.  I told him I wanted heart shaped rocks, so I ended up with two lawn chairs piled high with every variety of rock indigenous to the planet Earth.  He was so cute...."Look, Mommy!  This one looks like a chicken finger!"  and "Look!  This one is interesting!!"  I helped him, but stopped when I picked up what I thought was a pink rock that turned out to be an old gummy bear.  While he played geologist and Hayden was being encouraged in her daredevil-ness, I was busy trying to keep the baby out of the sun and happy.  Luckily, she is the easiest baby that ever lived, so as long as she was in the shade and could see us, she mostly babbled and looked around.  She started fussing after a while and we knew it was time to head back home.  After the copious amounts of sunscreen applied to my kids, they still looked like they were getting a tiny bit of color, so that was the final decider!
Some final pictures to prove we were there.....and a few more comments from me:
1.  No, she is not THAT much taller than him.  He is standing down further in the water.  She IS taller, but she doesn't look two years older than him.
2.  What is she doing?  Not waving, like you might think.  Nope, she was smacking her own stomach in frustration at having to pose for pictures. What-EV.
3.  Guy in cowboy hat was there for his wedding reception/celebration.  Just a comment.  I'm not judging.  I'm just saying....nope.  Not going to even go there.
Hunky husband posing with boy child. 
Hey!  I AM related to these people!  

Friday, June 25, 2010

They're here!

I just got these in the mail.....
and can't wait to see what kind of business they generate.  All of my business so far has been word of mouth or via Facebook.  (See?  That site IS good for something besides a huge waste of time!:)
I love how they turned out....they look so professional, and so cute in a big stack.  Let's hope they are just as impressive when NOT in a giant stack, and when you aren't genetically related to the model on the the card. :)


Who thinks it's a good idea to kick a 32 ounce glass of ice water over UNDER your desk, saturating all your power cords?  No one?  Anyone?  Okay, I guess it's just me then.
I am not sure why I put my ice water on the floor next to me while sewing this morning, but I did.  This ranks right up there with some of my most brilliant ideas (i.e. getting another dog when we were first married to "keep the other one" company, driving across the state in the middle of the night in college...)

So I kicked the water over.  It gushed straight to the pile of power cords, and amidst some four letter expletives on my part, it was immediately soaked up with a towel I grabbed out of my "things to monogram" basket.  (which might still get monogrammed.....I didn't kick over a big red, people!)
Of course, my bag full of camera equipment was on the floor right next to the ocean of spilled water and THAT was my first priority....luckily it is unscathed.  As far as the power cords and computer, nothing has popped or burst into flames yet so that's a good sign.

All of this is rambling irrelevance, I know.  It just seems like a fitting thing to happen after the last twenty four hours.
I got called "mean mommy" and asked "why are you so mean to me?" complete with watery, pathetic eyes.....and then I did what no mom should EVER do....I collapsed internally.  Seriously?  MEAN MOMMY?  Child, have you SEEN what carrying you did to my stomach??  Do you know how hard it is for me to go day after day with no naptime for myself?  (If you are smirking at that comment, you clearly have very little understanding of my near medical need for daily sleep.  It's true.)
So holding your child to some kind of standard, following through, requiring obedience the first (as opposed to 487th) time I ask is some kind of torture equivalent to water boarding.  I'm the Kim Jon Il of stay at home parenting.....
After Shawn got home twelve seconds before I literally exploded, I ranted on how I can see where people get to the point where they don't discipline their kids.  It's easier.  WAY easier.  So what that they are running around a Mexican restaurant while other diners try in vain to remove their own eyeballs with a fork?  Who cares?  Actually making them obey you and sit would require follow through, which in itself is akin to waterboarding.  It makes me tired, it makes all of us tired, and to those parents in a Mexican restaurant with screaming banshees for offspring, I get it.  I know how you got to where you're at.  I KNOW how you got to the point where you've given up.  I see the path....I'm just not going to go down it.  I refuse to.
And that is why I was almost in a fetal position yesterday when he got home.  I refuse to give in and let them go down that path that ends in me getting dirty looks from other people in public...and standing up against two three year olds is tiring.  I don't need a marathon to test my endurance.  I just need a day alone with these two adorable creatures I made with my own body.
Let's be clear on this:  I want them to obey and behave for reasons vastly greater than avoidance of public humiliation, but anyone that acts like that doesn't bother them is lying just a little.
Last night there was some discussion with the husband about not giving in and staying the course...blah, blah, blah.  Mainly it was words coming out of my own mouth to reassure myself that I am not ruining their lives or making them hate me....which made me feel a tiny bit better.  Throw in a few "What the hell is WRONG with them???" comments and you get a pretty good picture of our discussion.

Cut to our discussion at bed time.
Me:  "Sis, when Mommy got upset earlier, did I scare you?"
Sis: "Yeah."
Me: "Well, Mommy was upset that you weren't obeying and I got angry and I am sorry for that.  Mommies make mistakes too, and I didn't mean to scare you."
Sis: "That's okay Mommy.  I'm not mad at you anymore."
Hmmm.  Okay.
When did she turn sixteen, exactly?
So all was settled with some snuggling and her requests for some "baby stories"....
Which closed the door on THAT horrible day and left me almost feeling ready to start fresh and REALLY do it right the next day.  REALLY discipline lovingly and patiently and not holler just because it DOES get a reaction after being ignored for twelve straight requests.
So we are off to a much better start to the morning......
that is, if I can manage NOT to burn our house down.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wearing a borrowed swimsuit, eating Cheerios off the patio, and other awesome ideas

Today we had a little playdate at Caleb and Sadie's house.  Their mommy is one of my oldest and dearest friends, and we are enjoying that our kids are so close in age....Caleb is three like the twins, and baby Sadie is just a little older than Livi so it works out great!  This morning they enjoyed swimming in Caleb's swimsuits.....someone's mommy that will remain unnamed may or may not have forgotten their swimsuits after being told to bring them.....and this isn't the first time this has happened.  Luckily, he had some extras so we were good to go!  They loved the little pool, and the sand play table, and the gummies for snack.  The babies were so interested in another little person their own age, and they had a great time eating Cheerios off the patio together.  The big kids could have gone all day, but the two little girls got cranky and let us mommies know it was naptime.
Such a fun way to spend a summer morning....we are trying to do lots of playdates like these, and enjoy having nowhere where we are required to be.  Mother's Day Out starts in August, and I think they will start a little activity in the fall (gymnastics, maybe?) so the days of these babies being mine alone are numbered.  Pretty soon they will have places to be and classes to go days like this are sweet.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Baby Livi at 11 months

Sweetest baby Livi,
You are almost eleven months old, and that BLOWS your mommy's mind.  Your tiny body has been on this earth for such a short time, but it has been long enough that we are all totally smitten by you!  You are the happiest baby alive; always smiling, dancing and doing your tricks for us.
You bounce up and down (dance) whenever we sing to you or you hear music.  When we clap for you, you clap your chubby little starfish hands right along with us and say "YEAH!!!"  You are the BEST eater:  you love your bottles (1/4 organic whole milk mixed in with formula now) and your baby food.  You will try anything, but your favorites are all the fruits.  You just started eating tiny bits of "real" food, although you would rather mommy put them in your mouth than you do it yourself.  (Even though you can do it well.)
You are such a fast crawler now, and can pull up on anything....even a flat wall!  In no time at all, I am sure you will be walking!  You have started letting go of things for a minute, testing out your weight on your chubby little legs for just a second before you crash onto your hiney.  You LOVE chasing your big brother and sister everywhere, and you are constantly following them into the playroom.  We have to check all day for "tiny things" that you could put in your mouth.  You mostly leave toys alone, but tried to eat a dried up doodle bug the other day, and got VERY angry when your Mimi took it away.  (Sorry)
You are a wonderful sleeper and love your naps!  You still take two big ones a day, and sleep ten hours at night, although you must be going through a growth spurt because you have been calling for your morning bottle earlier than normal.  Either that, or you've just found your voice and figured out you can make us run around getting things for you!  You babble ALL. THE. TIME.  You say "Uh-oh!", "Dada", "Mama", "Duh-duh" for "doggie", "Hi!" and "Yeah!"  You understand everything we say to you, and we are amazed at the little connections you are making everyday!  When we tell you "No no!" you shake your little head back and forth at us and grin like you think it's funny.
You have four tiny teeth:  two on the bottom and two on the top, although none of them have grown in all the way yet.  You are drooling all the time, and always have your fingers stuck in the back of your mouth, so I am sure there are some other teeth trying to come in back there, too.  You still have hardly any hair at all, but that is fine with your mommy because it means you are still a baby and not a big girl yet.  You look adorable in headbands, but you don't like them at all!  You pull them down around your neck all the time so whenever we get to where we are going, you look like you are wearing a bowtie!
You still look mostly like Mommy's baby pictures, but with Daddy's eyes.  We think you are the prettiest baby that ever lived, but we might be biased.  :)
We have loved every minute, every second of your little life so far and can't wait to see what lies ahead for you.....

Sunday, June 20, 2010

New family pics....

We have to get updated pictures when we can.....we are too crazy busy to schedule a shoot with a photographer, so when I met Kelly and Ronny to do their maternity pics, I brought along my whole family and made her take our pictures.  She doesn't think she knows what she is doing, but she got some really cute ones.  That's the bonus of shooting your best friend and her don't feel bad making her take your own family pictures at the same time!
I hate feeling pressed to take family pictures....I wish I was one of those moms that spontaneously took pictures of my kids' day to day lives and ended up with a ton of cute pictures of them licking the cake bowl or doing something equally adorable around our house.  The fact is, with this many tiny kids, I often forget to take pictures of the life we're living, because I am too busy trying to live (survive) it.  I need to get better at taking more pictures of life....not just ones where my kids are wearing coordinating outfits and saying "Cheese!".  I feel the need to set up these photo ops because it is all speeding by so minute Livi was a tiny newborn and the next she was hollering "Dada!" at Shawn and waving "Hi" to all the other diners in restaurants.  Before long, she'll be the three year old, and like it was with the twins, I'll forget how she sounded as a tiny baby and how her little bald head looked from the back.  I know these pictures don't slow anything down....but I'll love to look at them Sissy spontaneously put her arm around Livi while I was photographing all three.  (You don't know how big a deal this is, but trust me: it is.)  I'll remember how Hayden kept asking if she was going to get a treat for being "good" during pictures......and how she wanted to match me so I had to take off half my bracelets and let her wear them during the shoot....(she was so can see her looking at the bracelets left on my arm!) and how baby Livi still had huge baby cheeks.....and how Cale still smiled in a way that was so genuine and unselfconscious.  (I know a day will come when he will want to look much tougher in pictures.)  I just love this phase (no matter how tiring it is) and want to do my best to document it.  (Even though writing this post makes me want to go get in bed with them and enjoy their tininess!)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Beach weekend!

I learned a few things on this trip...
1.  "Vacation" is a term that should be loosely used when referring to a trip taken with three small children. "Field Trip" is actually a more appropriate term.
2.  Babies do not sleep well in a rented condo.
3.  My children could play on the beach for 24 straight hours if we let them.
4.  Babies like to eat sand.
5.  92 degrees feels like 145 degrees when you factor in coastal humidity.  Buckling three people into car seats in that weather makes it feel more like 160 degrees.
6.  Going to the coast is so much more fun with little kids than it was in college.  Seriously.
7.  My third child has NO FEAR of the ocean.  She crawls face first into waves and only hesitates a second when they crash into her.
8.  My first born is a daredevil as well.  Loved, LOVED jumping the waves and wanted to go out as deep as she could.  That scared her mommy.
9.  Gratefully, my second child is a little more sensible when it comes to ocean adventure.  Whew.
We only went for a short trip this time, but we LOVED it.  The McGinnis' went with us, and we so loved having them on our vacation, which is a nice sentiment to have after being with someone besides your own family for 72 hours. The babies loved our condo, loved having another three year old around, loved the beach, loved touching all the breakable souveniers in the shops, loved the all it was a fun, fun trip.  Relaxing, no.  Fun, yes!  Can't wait to take them again!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Flying by the seat of my pants

I talked real big today.  Promising a trip to the swimming pool after I got home from my doctor's appointment.  (No flu, yippee!)  I came home, got three babies dressed and ready for the pool, packed a pool bag that looked like a carry on for a backpacking trip through Europe, and loaded everyone up.  As we drove into the pool parking lot, my mom makes a very astute observation.  "Are they even open?"  Me: "Of course!  Look at the kids in there!"  Um, the kids were swim team kids, and seeing as my kids can't even float, much less swim, we weren't going to blend in.  They informed us that the pool didn't open during the week until school lets out next week.  Clearly, they didn't see the size of the bag I had to pack, or the fact that we had three kids three and under with us.  We headed dejectedly to the car, and I promised to get out their slip-n-slide.  They were pacified (even though they had no idea what a slip-n-slide was)  We got home, put out the slip-n-slide, and mommy got ready to demonstrate.  Let's just say I didn't slide far.  If I had implants they might have exploded.  Luckily, my kiddos don't judge!  They were just excited to play in the water.  We sat outside for about an hour, watching the antics....they slipped, they slid, they drank out of the slip-n-slide, they had popsicles, they painted each other with popsicles....we topped off all the fun with a "bath" using the hose.  (We DID use body wash)