Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mall Musings

Today I took my entire brood (and my mom) and went to the mall. Now, there are several reasons why some might have considered this silly insane. A. I have 4 children. (more about what that's done for my shopping habit later) and

B. The weather today. We were (according to someone with radar or something goofy like that) under all sorts of weather warnings-in relation to Tropical Storm (or hurricane?) Alex. Whatever. I've let the weather dictate my comings and goings a few times. And it never is as bad as they say it's going to be. Oh, I know I should take it seriously. I know that Hurricanes can be very scary. And tornadoes? They are no fun to be around. And flooding? Very dangerous. But I get terribly sick of letting that kind of stuff dictate when I can and cannot go somewhere. (We won't even talk about how I feel about snow and ice and not being able to go anywhere...thankfully that's a non-issue where I live!) My mom was *slightly* concerned but I told her to turn off her tv (with it's dire predictions) and get ready if she wanted to go. I guess she wanted to go. And you know what? No tornadoes. No flooding. Just some rain. A little heavy at times but nothing that wouldn't be considered just rain. I'm fully aware that it could've turned out very differently...but let's face it, the mall is prob'ly much sturdier than my house, right? And if, while we were in said mall, something happened to blow on my van and destroy it...well, I have "gap" insurance. I'd get a new van...for a lower payment. Win win for me! :)

The 4 children thing. Now, there's a problem. (with shopping that is-because I love my children dearly and would never consider them a "problem"). The "new" mall (completely redone-which was why I wanted to go in the first place) is very nice! It has tons of neat stores in it...but none that an 8 year old boy likes. Hmmm. Why? Oh yeah. Because it's clothing. So, being bored like he was, he decided to do some kind of stunt and jump (as in bound like Tigger) up onto a bench in Aeropostle. The whack he gave his shin...was heard 'round the...well, the mall at least. (The kind of pain that you can only words will come. Especially if you are only 8 and don't know the words that most people might say when faced with that pain. He also (to my brother, not to me) commented on the Victoria's Secret poster..."Nice" he said. Oy vey.
My 10 year old girl. She loves her some mall-time. But wants only to go in Justice (for girls). Thankfully, at this point at least, we share the same basic thoughts on modesty and such. Her biggest concern is COMFORT.
Haley...she was still just Haley. But actually she did pretty well. Other than the expected sudden neeeeed to go potty in the middle of a store that didn't have one. No biggie.
Nathan. He's heavy. And the sling helps but he's still H-E-A-V-Y. And he prefers his nap in a crib. Not in the sling. Or in the stroller.
I told my husband (while petitioning for my 3rd child) that it would curb my shopping habit. He didn't believe me (and truthfully, neither did just sounded good). But little did either of us know that it was true. And when the 4th came along as our little pretty much KILLED my shopping habit. But it's okay.
I'm their mom and that's better than shopping any day! (Very easy to say when they're all tucked neatly in their beds. Smelling of baby soap. Well, the little ones smell like baby soap. But you knew that.)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Our Vacation

I've tried several times to write/post this...and haven't yet come up with something I'm happy enough with. Let's try one more time.
The plan was to go to Disney World this year for vacation. We were going to go in late February (or early, early March) because that's when most of the world is in school...and it's not hotter than Hades. Then, my kids asked to go see my grandma and grandpa instead. Wow. What great kids I have. They traded Disney World and Florida for time with family! So, rather than Florida in February we started planning for Kansas City (MO) in April. You see, I'm not dumb enough to travel to Missouri in February. Or March. Snow happens in those months. It does. (We got snowed in in Kansas City on Spring Break my 8th grade year! It was awful!)
We were so excited. Immediately I started finding things for us to do there. Fun things. For the kids-ha ha! (I laugh because at the end of it all I reflected and realized the kids would've been happy to play outdoors at my aunt's house and swim in the hotel pool. We totally could've saved hundreds of dollars!)
There is so much to do in the Kansas City area that we couldn't have done it all if we had 3 weeks and endless finances. And we had neither.
Just a few of the things we found to do:
1. Union Station (which hosts Science City and an IMAX type theater)

2. Museums galore! Steamboat Arabia Museum as well as many dedicated to the Westward Movement (much of which "started" in Independence MO).I think this stuff (the pioneer stuff) was of more interest to Lindsay and me than anyone else. She, like me, loves Little House on the Prarie.

3. Penguin Park-I loved this park when I was a kid!

4. The Kansas City Zoo

5. Kaleidescope (which I have no idea how to spell apparently) I went there as a kid on field trips with school though. It's a very cool place for kids who like to create art without "instructions"...I'm much better with patterns and instructions. My kids? They are more..."free-spirited"!

6. Bass Pro Shop

And those are just some of the things we actually did! There are so many more: Worlds of Fun,Deanna Rose Farmstead, Paradise Park, tons of culture at Crown Center and all around it,
Coco Key Water Resort, shopping and tons more!

But, lest this sound like a travel brochure for the State of Missouri or the Kansas City area...the best part of the whole trip was this:

Don't mind that I appear to be an Oompah Loompah. I almost didn't put up that oh-so-unflattering picture of myself. But then I decided it was a precious memory...fat or not.
and my only regret? That we spent time and money trying to do as many things as possible...when we could've spent more time just being with family. The kids would've been just as happy to hang out and play more of the time.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Notes to Self

About a year and a half ago I was at my mom's house and saw a picture of myself. It was a picture of my much younger self. I was 18. I was preparing for graduation. I had a boyfriend. I had a job. I had plans. I knew stuff. Almost everything. I was ready.

That picture started me thinking about what I wish I had known then. The things I've learned I've since the school of hard-knocks. Things I've learned by hurting others. By being hurt by others.

It's now 16 years later. I'm...not 18. The building where my graduation ceremony was held is in the process of being torn down. The boyfriend is now my husband. I have a job-but I don't get paid in money. Plans? What plans? I "plan" to make it through today! I know nothing. Almost nothing.

As corny and cheesy as it sounds I started thinking "What would I tell that girl if I had the chance to talk to her?" I would tell that girl a lot of things. The thing is, she wouldn't listen. She would have to learn things on her own. Like most young people. Like my children. I wish I could take all the life's lessons I've learned since I walked into an auditorium to the tune of Pomp and Circumstance with hundreds of other kids just like me who knew everything and put them in a book for my children. But my life experiences wouldn't be the same as theirs. And if they listened, they would look at me in the way that someone looks at someone they feel sorry for "You poor, poor, dear fool. If only you knew that I would never fall prey to the pitfalls you fell to. I know everything."

So, some things I've learned since those days.
1. Bad things happen to good people. It's okay. There isn't some profound reason for everything that happens to you. I had a miscarriage. I searched for the "whys"...what had I done to "deserve" this BAD thing? The answer? Nothing. Bad things just happen. And I'm so glad we don't always get what we deserve. **shudder**
2. Life isn't "fair". And that's okay too.
3. This too shall pass. If you're going through a bad will, most likely, pass. And you'll go through other bad times too, but stuffed in the middle of the bad times will be lots and lots of good times.
4. No one can complete you. You have to be complete. Just you and God. And you have to be willing to let it be just you and God. If you depend on someone else to fulfill you they will be overwhelmed. And you will be disappointed.
5. Enjoy every stage of your life. I know I spent every year before I was married (which wasn't too many) wishing I was. Then I spent my newlywed days wishing I could be pregnant. Then I spent my pregnancies wishing I had my babies, and so on and so forth. Enjoy each stage. The good, the bad and the ugly.
6. Do NOT judge others. Unless you want to be judged in the same way. You don't know where someone is coming from in life. They may not have had the advantages you've had (even if you've had very few, you have had more than someone out there).
7. Do not assume you cannot fall. You can. And if you have been under the (wrong) impression that you can't...the fall will be HARD. It will hurt. Badly. And you will be embarrassed-even if no one saw.
8. Thin/pretty/athletic....should not be "who" you are. All of those things can (and probably will) fade. I used to be thin. Really. I know it's hard to believe now, but I did. But if you let that define who you are...what happens when you aren't?
9. Enjoy life. But only to the extent that you can be comfortable with how you enjoy it. And your right to enjoy life ends where someone else's life begins. If that makes sense. Your "enjoyment" cannot be at someone else's expense. This is especially true if it hurts your family. And super-duper especially true if it hurts your children. They didn't ask to be here.
10. Don't worry so much about what others think (other than the hurting others thing). If you live your life crippled by what others might think of you you'll miss out on a lot. Only to find out that really others don't think about you (or notice you) nearly as much as you think they do.

And I'll leave you with some words of wisdom...
Congratulations! Today is your day. You're off to Great Places! You're off and away!
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. and you know what you know. And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go. ...
and when things start to happen, don't worry. Don't stew...
I'm sorry to say so but, sadly, it's true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you....

Dr. Seuss! Oh, The Places You'll Go

Friday, June 11, 2010


There has to be a blonde joke in here somewhere. Can you just picture it? A blonde spraying this pepper spray on her chest to prevent cancer?
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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Just A Swingin'

Nathan, like all of my children have, loves to be outside! The other day it dawned on us to hang the baby/toddler swing out in the tree again. He loves it! (Thankfully daddy likes to be outside, this mama is more in like with air conditioning most of the time-which means I get a double benefit! If daddy and all 4 kids are outside...inside is QUIET! And quiet is a precious commodity!)

We are at a stage with Nathan right now where things are happening all too quickly. Out with bouncers

In with the walker and independent sitting

Out with the cradle and sleeping in mama's bed

In with sharing a room with big brother and sleeping in his big crib.

We are shocked at the sudden changes. It seems like you go along forever with a tiny, helpless baby and then all of a sudden he starts to grow and change in tremendous ways. I think he's shocked too!

What a difference a year makes. This time last year I was barely pregnant. Just beginning to think of the implications of another baby in our life. Making lists of baby equipment that we needed, etc. Now? I have a little guy that brightens even the dreariest day. (And all that baby equipment? It's flying out of the house at amazing speed!) And he sits up, he has a tooth, he hugs and kisses me. He goes to sleep on his own (most of the time), he moves about the house by scooting or in his walker...he's just amazing. I'm so thankful God saw fit to bless us with this little guy.

Monday, June 7, 2010

He's Mobile!

I do not understand why some people don't like walkers. I do not understand how some governments have outlawed them. Seriously? My kid, my rules. The thing is, it's parents who use these types of toys irresponsibly that ruin it for everyone. Ummmmmm. Of course you must still watch your child. It's not a babysitter. It's a toy. Yeah, you don't leave them near hot things (we don't burn our children til a little later in life). And don't leave them near the stairs (thank goodness we don't have any-for multiple reasons). And don't let your preschooler-or older children-push them through the house like a little Mario Andretti. And don't leave the dishwasher open with knives in it...because they can reach it. But you know what? Those are things you shouldn't do with your little one whether he is in a walker or not. Right?
The walker actually helps me a little. There are often small objects on my floor that I can't find (but the baby can). The walker keeps these away from him.
Oh, and thus far my children's development has never been negatively impacted by this device. 2 of my first 3 children used walkers (we didn't have one with Haley because we were GIVEN an exersaucer! Can't get better than that!) and all 3 children crawled at 7 mos and walked at 10 mos. Not bad.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

What a Girl Wants

Lots of swinging in the backyard and sparkly shoes in which to swing!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A New Baby!

Did I startle you just a little? No? Not even a tiny? Well, this is our new baby


She is the tiniest, cutest thing! Her name is S'mores. Her mama's name is Marshmallow (lovingly called Marshie and Marshieminnow). We let her be in some of the pictures. We are only assuming this baby is a girl. We tried to tell, but you know, it's a really difficult thing.
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