Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Let's Play Catch-Up

I know.  I suck.  I have great intentions to keep my tiny corner of the internet interesting and up to date.  Currently, that's just not going so well for me.  So instead of several thoughtful, well written posts, here are the quick and dirty versions of what could have been several great posts over the past few weeks.

1. Father's Day
Guys, I picked THE BEST guy to have babies with.  He gets a serious A+ on the parenting report card.  He has never shied away from any responsibility (except clipping nails- somehow we've been at this parenting thing for 6 1/2 years and he has yet to clip a fingernail), and he's just as great at the fun stuff.  You know what part of the day our kids LIVE for?  The fifteen minutes of playtime with Daddy just before bed.  They would give up just about anything in order to ensure they get that time.  And even though some days he's tired from a long and stressful day at the office, he always musters up the energy to play the monster that chases the little ones around and finds them in their hiding spots.  The giant belly laughs that come out of the kiddos during this time melts me.  
2. Back To School
Can we take a minute to process this?  The nugget is in first gradeFIRST GRADE.  And he didn't even want me to walk him into class on the first day.  He was so ready to go back to school.  As a first grader, he is getting a bedtime extension, allowing him an extra 30 minutes to read to himself before lights out.  And he has told us that since he's now in first grade, he'll be able to read chapter books all by himself (he can totally already do this, he just lacks a little confidence).  He got off the bus that first day excited to show me his agenda and get to work on his homework.  (Seriously- he has an agenda.  Next thing you know he'll be carrying a briefcase.)  The first few days of first grade  have been a success.

3. The Pacifier
I decided to take it away.  I think that may be the last tiny remnant of baby life my littlest lady had left, and I took it away.  Her little front teeth are really starting to suffer the consequences of the "fire," as she called it.  The pediatrician told me six months ago that her time was up, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  Until now.  Even though the damage is probably already done, I don't want to prolong her years in orthodontia just because I'm desperate to hang onto the baby years.  Which I totally am.  If you need me, you can find me curled up in the fetal position over there in the corner, sobbing.   

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Best Week of the Year

Vacation Week!

I'm pretty sure that I say this just about every year, but this year's vacation was the best one yet.

We had SUCH a great time, y'all.  We returned to our beloved house at Surfside Beach, SC.  This was our 5th time renting the same house there.  It feels familiar by now, the kids remember it, and it holds lots of fun memories.  We've started calling it "The 'Cation House," taking on the adorable kid wording that Gabe created.  He catches and corrects himself most of the time now, but every once in awhile he talks about going on "the cation."

Grammy and Grampy were there, of course, along with Aunt Laura and Uncle Scott.  This year, Grandma and Grandpa joined us for a few days, too!  (Have I mentioned before how amazing it is that both sides of the family get along so well?)  Gabe said it was the most special vacation ever because Grandma and Grandpa got to come, too.

My three little fishies barely got out of the pool.  The girls conquered some of their fear, and left the pool stairs (in their Puddle Jumpers, of course).  They kicked and splashed and jumped all around the pool.  Gabe could finally stand in the shallow end with his head above water this year.  He had a BLAST swimming, jumping in, doing flips and handstands, and having tea parties under water.  If they could have slept in the pool, I think they would have.

We ate at our favorite restaurants.  Gabe declared that Bubba's has the second best corn dogs of any restaurant, anywhere.  Margot discovered hush puppies, and sneaked more and more every time she thought no one was looking.  There were many popsicles consumed.  Also lots of beer. 

We played euchre and Cards Against Humanity.  We dug holes in the sand and splashed in the ocean.  We took the kids to play putt putt.  We flew a kite on the beach.  We took the kids to the playground up the street.  We walked to the ice cream parlor.  We spent so much quality time together as one big family.

I am so lucky to have all these wonderful people in my life.  Family that I enjoy spending time with.  So many people that adore on my children.  So much love.

My soul is rested, relaxed, and rejuvenated.  I can't wait until we can do it again next year.

PS- We pretty much sucked at taking pictures this year.  Obviously we think our kids swimming in the pool are adorable.I promise, our other beloved family were there.  There's just no photographic evidence.


    

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Vacay Mode

I'm out of the office this week.  I meant to post a warning that you'd be missing my witty commentary, but I was incredibly busy momming.  Preparing a family of five to be away from home for a week is not a task for the faint of heart.  But we made it here, and are enjoying a truly glorious week at the beach with family.  We're all in our happy place.

Catch y'all next week.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Pirate House

A mile down the country road that our neighborhood sits off of, there is a house that we refer to as "The Pirate House."  We call it this because they fly the Jolly Roger flag on the tall flag pole in their front yard.

Let me just start by saying that this house is not exactly what I'd call the lap of luxury.  As a matter of fact, I'd call it a crap hole.  It sits on a very large lot, which is also a crap hole.  I seriously have the urge to sneak over there with the dumpster in the middle of the night, just to get rid of the garbage.

The fun part of The Pirate House, though, is the literal menagerie of animals that live there.  I kid you not when I say it changes on a daily basis!  I wish that the house didn't sit on a dangerous S curve in the road, because I want more than a quick glance into the backyard each time I pass by.

When we first moved here 2 1/2 years ago, there were the goats.  One brown and one white.  For funsies, we like to name the animals.  I'm sure by we, you'd assume me and my children, but you'd be wrong here.  J, my sister Laura and I are the masterminds behind the names.  We call the goats Rhonda and Wyatt.  We loved to see them standing on top of whatever crap was laying around the yard.

Then Junior arrived.  Junior is a mini horse.  Next came Dale, a pot-bellied pig.

When winter came, the we never saw the animals anymore.  Laura joked that they were probably in the house for the season.  Absurd, right??  Except come Spring, they were all back.

Junior, by some sort of luck, moved to the cow pasture at a neighboring farm.  I guess he didn't fit inside the house.  He's living the good life in the green fields now, with all of his cow friends.  Every once in awhile, I see him standing at the fence right up at the road, seemingly having a lovely conversation with a horse standing at his fence at the horse farm on the other side of the street.

The chickens arrived that Spring.  I have no idea how many.  They escape the fence frequently.  A few have met untimely deaths from passing vehicles.

Another winter passed.  The animals disappeared, then returned come Spring.

We can't keep up with the names of all of our animal neighbors anymore.  A couple of months ago, my mom told me that she saw a big pink pig at The Pirate House.  Weeks went by and I never saw such a pig.  But with all the crap laying around that yard, it's easy to miss things.  Yes, even giant pigs.  I finally saw the giant pink pig we named Gert walking around with Dale.  Only since then, I discovered that it wasn't Dale, but another big black pig.  As yet unnamed.

The kicker came last week, guys.  As I was coming around that S curve, glancing as I always do into the crap hole, I couldn't believe my eyes, and I seriously couldn't wait to get home to share the news.

"J!  You're NEVER going to believe what I saw at The Pirate House today.  They got a YAK.  I don't think I'm going crazy.  I don't know what else that thing could be.  I swear, it's a YAK!"

A few days later, I drove by again, and realized that they hadn't gotten a yak.  They'd gotten TWO yaks!
(I have since done some googling, and I realize that yaks aren't exactly domesticated animals.  I believe they are actually highland cattle.  But I'm going to keep calling them yaks and come up with some good yak names for them.  Laura- put your thinking cap on.)

Please believe me when I say that although it is a large lot of land I'm talking about, it is in no way a farm.  It's a big ass yard, littered with God only knows what.  Garbage, toys, broken down household appliances, old furniture, and what must certainly be a huge amount of feces.  Guys, I don't know why the pirates down the street need all these animals, but they are an endless source of amusement for me. 

My guess is that they don't want to cut their grass or clean up after themselves.  The yaks will probably take care of the lawn maintenance, and the goats and pigs will probably eat all kinds of junk from the yard.  The chickens just might be dinner.

Yo ho ho, mateys.



Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Moving On Up

The speed at which time can fly never ceases to amaze me.

It seems like yesterday, we were here.
And yet tomorrow is the last day of the school year for my boy.  Kindergarten-done.

Yesterday Gabe's class performed a musical.  It was based on Mister Roger's Neighborhood, and it was adorable.  For weeks, Gabe has been practicing the songs.  I'd hear him building with Legos or drawing a picture, just singing his little heart out while he worked.

I told him that I was so excited to see the show that he's been practicing so hard for.  His response: "I'm so excited to share it with you!"

This is a big deal for my shy boy, who has come so very, very far.  When he was three, he managed to kick a ball into a net while playing a carnival game, so we clapped and cheered for him.  He lost it, crying inconsolably for a good half hour.  When he was four, his class learned a few songs for Thanksgiving.  He held the whole class up because he didn't want to put on his paper bag pilgrim costume and feather headband on and stand up in front of all of the parents.  When he was five, he "performed" a few songs during his preschool graduation.  And by "performed" I mean stood, lips pursed, body still, not singing a single word or making a single movement.   

Yesterday was a big day for my kid.  He sang every word, moved every movement, and was serious about putting on a good show.  He smiled while he was on stage.  Lots of applause during the curtain call didn't phase him.
So proud.

And while I think this is amazing, I'm even more proud of the year he's had in the classroom.  He was respectful to his teachers, kind to his classmates, an eager learner.  He is reading incredibly well, constantly tells us scientific facts that he's learned, and figures out math that I wouldn't have guessed he could do.  He's such a smart boy.

My first baby is most definitely growing up, and he's turning into such a cool kid.  Part of me wants to beg and plead for time to slow down, but the other part of me is so excited to see what a good man this boy is destined to become.
Bring on first grade! 

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Pool Play Gone Wrong

Would you believe that this sweet face is capable of ruining my day?
One lovely morning I took my girls to a pool.  Margot had a swim lesson, and Charlotte was happy to splash and play in the meantime.  For awhile, we were the only people there.  The sun was shining, I was with my girls, and all was right with the world.

Soon after, a kind stranger arrived with her son, who is close to Charlotte's age.  We sat on the edge of the pool chatting while the two little ones played.  A carefree summer morning.  Until the kind stranger pointed to the water and said "Uh-oh, what's that?"

I looked to the water and my heart immediately sank.  Yep, my kid definitely pooped in the pool.

A word of warning: reusable swim diapers are not all they're cracked up to be.  Cute?  Yes.  Kind to the environment?  You bet.  Functional?  Apparently, not so much.

Guys, I panicked.  I didn't even know what to do.  Let me just say that what we were dealing with wasn't the most solid substance you would hope for in this situation.  I immediately scooped Charlotte out of the pool, but as the water poured out of her diaper, so did its other contents.

I ran her to the bathroom to clean her up.  By now, she is of course losing her little mind.  Not only did I interrupt her fun, but now I was undressing her in a strange bathroom and wiping her down in a frenzy.  Luckily, kind stranger brought me some wipes and replacement swimwear.  When we finally emerged, kind stranger had also scooped out the pool and assured me that this is why pools are heavily chlorinated, and that these things happen.  (THANK YOU, kind stranger!)

While Charlotte went back to playing (thankfully, with an empty colon), I used about a million paper towels to clean up the concrete around the pool, all the way to the bathroom, and inside the stall.

Seriously, I could STILL die of embarrassment, and this happened (<redacted>) days ago!

The takeaway of the morning?  To double- nay, triple- the swim diapers is always the best course of action.  Also, multiple oranges in a day isn't easy on my Charlotte's tummy.

And finally, shit happens.  Literally.




Friday, June 2, 2017

Help Me Understand

Can we please talk about Lululemon?

In my search for the perfect post-surgery compression wear, I've been researching leggings.  They seem like the most sensible option for me- and let's be honest, I wear leggings almost every day, anyway.

I came across a review that mentioned how extra snug the Lululemon leggings are.  This sounded dreamy to me, because right now, extra tight feels extra good.

I decided to hop over to the Lululemon website to check out my options.
Tight Stuff Tight from lululemon.com
HOLY. SHIT.

Guys, I've reached the point in my life, financially, where I'm willing to pay a little bit more for a higher quality product.  And by this, I mean I buy Bounty paper towels instead of the Target brand.  I do not mean that I'm willing to spend $148 on a pair of leggings!

What type of voodoo magic do these leggings contain?  Are there diamonds sewn into the fancy pocket somewhere?  Are they hemmed with the golden thread that Rumplestiltskin spun from straw?  I can't fathom paying that much for a pair of pants otherwise.

Who out there owns these pants, and what makes them so superior to my Old Navy leggings that are about a quarter of the cost?  I NEED TO KNOW!    



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