Tuesday, February 18, 2014

SNOW DAZE......2014

Last week, one glorious morning we looked out our windows and it felt like we heard angels singing....there it was. THE SNOW. It had been talked about, predicted, unpredicted, schools delayed, run-to-Walmart-buy-milk-and-bread-frenzied (still not sure why we Southerners feel a life threatening need for those items in a storm)....and there it was in all its glory. Cohen (age 3) ran into the room and threw open the blinds and said in his excited little voice, "LOOK MOMMY!!!!". There was no rolling back over and going to sleep...nosireeee....everyone get dressed immediately! We are going out to build a snowman!!! ONE HOUR LATER...we were fed and dressed, yes, it took that long...(I had no idea where the warm winter hats,gloves, boots, coats and other various layers were....need I remind you it NEVER snows here...) and we were out the door. The neighborhood kids had already congregated two yards down and across the street and were in the throes of constructing a Goliath-sized snowman with the help of one of the Dads. Poor Stewart stayed behind in bed, as he wasn't feeling well. After maybe 45 minutes of "fun" Rylie trudged back up the street, back to the sanctuary of our warm home. To be fair, she was being pelted by snowballs from 6 boys and only had one other girl as her ally. Not soon after, Cohen was ready to follow suit. So we bailed and headed in for hot cocoa and the snow melted in its entirety by that afternoon. DAY 2: No school. No snow. Not even any ice. I went to run errands after a while, and Stewart went to the Dr.  because it was way too wet outside for him to work and he was getting worse, sick-wise. We were all getting a bit stir crazy, but there was nothing much to do but watch movies and eat. Eat and watch movies. Play a few games which finally ended in "YOUAREN"TPLAYINGFAIRGIVEMETHATBACK....MOOOOOOOOOM!!!!!
DAY 3: It was official. Stewart had the flu. It had been confirmed at his appointment the day before. But today, was unlike any other day...THE SNOW WAS AWESOME!!!! There was so much wonderful beautiful white snow everywhere!!! It started the night before and many of our neighbors had been out until midnight playing in it. Meanwhile, our house had become an incubation station for the plague apparently. We were all hacking and coughing, but come heck or high water, we were going sledding in this wondrous white loveliness. By George, we were joining the masses. Stewart loaded up the sleds in his truck and mustered up his strength....we drug ourselves out to the truck like the walking dead and loaded our chipper little behinds up to go have fun, by golly. We made it to the awesome (no sarcasm here, it really was awesome) lot in our neighborhood that looked like a miniature ski slope and jumped in line with all the rosy-cheeked, bright eyed folks enjoying the slopes. By the time I extracted my phone (camera or phone?!! Do I use my camera or phone?!?!?!) from my down-filled jacket with the tiny pockets with my gloves on, then off, I managed to get a few pics of the back of Stewart's head, a bajillion miles away, with one or more of our children in his lap (but -you- can't -see -them- because- his- back- is- to- me-use-your-imagination-peeps) and then they were done. Off to the truck with Rylie and Stewart, and then Stewart slowly made his way back over. I had just mustered up enough willpower to make my way down the hill the first time (all the while envisioning mowing down the innocent children flying in front of me) when Stewart prodded me to go. So I went. I made my way back up the hill, sweating inside my too-many-layers, and Cohen was there ready to go. We loaded up and made it down, turning backwards on the way. As I threw snow at the neighbor boys passing by, I got up a bit quickly and kneed Cohen in the face.....cut to what felt like EVERY person on the hillside staring at me as I fruitlessly tried to stop the wailing (and I do mean wailing) while wiping snot away as it stuck to my glove. He was o.k., so we started up the hill, the walk of shame, as I am sure I earned parent of the year with that lovely move. We were over it...we loaded up and went for some "Fox" fun, doing doughnuts and slipping sideways in Stewart's truck, much to the chagrin of many passers-by. We made it back home, and Stewart retired to his dark/abyss/realm of Tamiflu, or the room formerly known as our bedroom. I hit the shower and when I got out.......I LOOKED around the house. As my head moved in slow motion from side to side, I saw food EVERYWHERE. Furniture was moved around, every stuffed animal in the house was visually displayed in our living room, DISHES were piled so high in the sink they WERE TOUCHING the faucet, there were trails of socks, hats, clothing, as far as the eye could see. THERE WERE CUPS EVERYWHERE>>>>WHY???? WHY???? WHY can't anyone re-use the same cup twice????!!!! SWEET MOTHER THERESA!!!!! The lyrics began in my head ...."yall gone make me loose my mind, up in here, up in here, yall gone make me act the fool up in here, up in here"...(thank you DMX for your clean radio version). WHHHHYYYYYYYY?!!!!!  Three days in and I snapped. I would never make it on Naked and Afraid. (If you haven't seen this, you should. OR maybe you shouldn't...it is kind of like a train wreck you can't look away from. Just when I thought I couldn't take anymore, I opened the washing machine and not ONE, but TWO pull ups had made it into the wash, releasing their TRILLIONS of micro minions disguised as pee-catching matter loose on my clean laundry. If you have TONS of time on your hands and think you are the calmest most patient person in the world, then please, I dare you on a warm sunny summer day when you haven't been cooped in the house for what seems like a millennium to throw just one of those bad boys (pull ups, that is) into a washer full of dark clothing. It would make the POPE curse a little. ANYHOOOO......
DAY 4: School is back in session and not a moment too soon.Today is Valentine's Day and I have managed to scrape together enough Valentines for both their classes, although I forgot to get the teachers anything...I know, terrible, right?!? They are lucky I know what day it is at this point. As I am ready to hire the exterminators to come and bomb our house or just move away and call it condemned, I drag myself to the Dr., as I too have succumbed to the bubonic black lung cough going around. First the Nurse Practitioner came in and told me I probably had the flu, even though I had the flu shot. I asked her if I could be tested to be sure. The nurse came in, who had recently had eye surgery and looked a bit like the love child of Tinkerbell and Captain Jack sparrow with her pink bedazzled home-made eye patch over one eye. Now, I am not making fun, I am just giving you a visual for what is to come. After taking my temp, blood pressure etc. She left the room and returned with one of those foot long qtips aimed at left nostril, saying "Now bear with me my depth perception is off......". Perfect ending to the SNOW DAZE;)

Prologue: No I did not have the flu...just some "virus" in which I spent the next two days in bed. Stewart and I spent Valentines night huddled in separate chairs sipping hot tea and watching Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart in "Sabrina" by the fire, with our kiddos tucked in bed. It was the "perfect" Valentine date with my sweetheart:) I am so thankful to our Heavenly Father for these little blessings, the memories,  AND the beautiful snow;)

Sunday, August 25, 2013

People of Walmart

Today we went on a family outing....to WALMART. Now, those of you who know me probably have made fun of me at some point because of my couponing and thrift store perusing, but I must admit.....I am a bit of a grocery store snob. I love Publix and most always buy my groceries there. I get the deals and I know the layout of the store except for those wonderful times marketing consultants come in and remap the store so that you cant find the thing you were going to buy in its normal spot and end up buying 27 more items you didn't come in for while searching for its new location. Anyhoo....my dear hubby hates it when I buy groceries because I don't do a lot of "convenience" foods and as I said before, I tend to be thrifty with my shopping. So today we went as a family to Walmart, even bringing one of Rylie's friends along who came over after church. Ahhh, Walmart. The trip began with all three kids jumping into the shopping cart, thus mandating me to acquire a second cart for our groceries. As I began to shop the fresh produce, my husband and the kids disappeared faster then you can say "watch for falling prices". I soon caught up with them in the frozen food section where the kids had been ejected to make room for corn dogs and Little Debbies. As I rolled up beside the shorties, Rylie's friend Emma said, "Um, that is the healthy cart and this is the junk food cart." I 'll let you guess whose was whose. So we went our separate ways again. A bit later I was finished with the "health food" items and went to catch up with them in toiletries. As I got closer I heard the distinctive wail of my 3 year old son. I got  closer and saw my husband frantically wheeling them out of the sporting good section with a sheepish grin, mumbling under his breath "we gotta get outta here...". The crying had subsided, and Rylie was saying "Mom, Cohen smells like dead fish..." as Stewart wheeled them towards the register. All I could smell was Tahitian Vanilla and asked them why they smelled like an air freshener. After $$$ at the register (that is what happens when my junk food bandits are along for grocery shopping) I finally asked Stewart what really went down in there....He told me that when he was in the refrigerated section he looked over and a man was looking just past him and said "uh-oh", then he turned around to see Rylie (our 6 yr old) standing by a gallon of sweet tea that she dropped in the floor....slowly glug, glug, glugging out (his words). He quickly righted the jug and they jetted, only to make it over to the fish tanks where Cohen popped the front of one of the tanks off exposing the pumps and thus getting a lovely aromatic layer of aquarium silt on him (that explains Rylie's dead fish comment), leading to the screeching I heard. Oh, and I can't forget the unexplained Tahitian Vanilla smell....somewhere in the midst of this Cohen grabbed a vanilla air freshener and sprayed in right in his eye. Good times. Good times:)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Potty Training

Potty Training. It has been a long, daunting process but we have reached a milestone before his 3rd birthday...NO MORE DIAPERS!!! Whoo-hoo! He has been trained for about a month now, but lets reflect on this well worn road to sucess:
A few months ago it seemed that our little man finally grasped the concept. He was asking to go to the potty and had been accident free for a few days. We decided to brave it and meet some friends at the theater to see a movie. We made our trips to the potty before the movie began, and then two more times during the show. Cohen did not seem to be into "The Croods" as much as the other kids and kept running back and forth, willy nilly, much to the chagrin of the people in front of us whose seats were being bumped. Then he told me he had to go again. Really? This seemed like another ploy to go out of the movie. So we stayed. BIG MISTAKE. The next thing I knew he came over to me SOAKED. Literally. As if an entire big gulp had been dumped in his lap. Not only that, but there was a small pond around his feet. Luckily people were really into the movie at that point and I had an extra change of clothes in his bag. And LOTS of napkins.
Cut to a few weeks ago....It was a warm spring day, and the kids and I were at home while the bug man routinely treated our house and yard. He had just finished up and he and I were talking about the joys of of little boys. (His son is a year younger than Cohen). I was filling him in about how Cohen liked to peepee outside, and we were still working on #2. We had been offering him matchbox cars as prizes when he went in the toilet, but for some reason he had aversion to it at the time. So we finished chatting and David a.k.a. bugman walked to his truck. About that time, David said, "Ummmm....he is in the front yard with no pants." I rounded the house to see Cohen sans his bottom half of clothing standing in the front yard for all the world to see. As bugman got into his truck laughing, I looked around, mortified to see if any neighbors were out in the yard. That's when things got worse. Almost instantaniously, 3 things happened. 1) I realized he had gone #2 in the flowerbed in the front yard. 2)Our dog rounded the house and began to "clean it up" for me. 3) The schoolbus, half full of onlooking children passed by our house. As I tried to frantically fling myself in front of my half-naked two year old and hope against all hopes that no one saw the poo....my sweet next door neighbor started walking towards my house. At that point, I threw in the towel at any hopes of dignity as I herded Cohen into the gargage and smiled and said hello, as if nothing were out of the ordinary:)
Never a dull moment. Kids are a blessing and I wouldn't change a thing:) Thank you Lord!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My run-in with Romney

We are now 13 days away from the 2012 Presidential election, Obama vs Romney, but you would have to be living under a rock or on Jupiter to be blissfully ignorant of that fact, as well as all the passionate opinions circulating as to who will be the best leader for our hot mess of a country. I digress....this post has nothing to do with that, other than the fact that I had a close encounter with camp Romney and here is the story:
A couple of months ago, my mother-in-law suggested that we take a trip with the kids, meaning my two and my nephew John Gavin, to the zoo and a few other fun destinations. We discussed going to Atlanta, but soon decided Birmingham would be the better choice being that it was closer and that meant less car time with the youngsters. We packed our bags and set sail to the zoo, having secured our hotel reservations the night before via Priceline, you know, the William Shatner endorsed bargain site for those wishing to find comfort away from home. After a fun day of animal viewing and many doses of hand sanitizer, we loaded the weary tikes into the SUV and began our trek to the hotel. Before arriving, we decided to hit up Chic-fil-a for the kids, because we were all too tired to go to a restaurant at this point. I took the kids to the lobby of the nice establishment where we were to check in and my mother in law went to the desk to check in. We tucked into our bags of Chic-fil-a, about the time many a business person were strolling into the lobby for happy-hour wings and cheese sticks. Meanwhile, my mother-in-law was still at the desk and things were getting somewhat heated. There was a mix-up with Priceline and our hotel reservations were not for that day, but for the next week. Instead of correcting the problem in house, the hotel concierge said we would need to call Priceline. And so it went....while my MIL was on the phone sorting this out, the natives were getting restless. Suddenly everyone had to go potty and the youngest of the 3 decided it was more convenient to go #2 right there in his pants in the lobby. He at least had the courtesy to squat under the table while doing so, much to the chagrin of the white collared patrons nearby. Time drug on. And on. And on....with no changing table in sight, I resorted to the hallway, a low traffic area just around the corner from the elevators, but directly in sight of a security camera. Hey, don't judge.....the poop had to go! Clean children in tow, we headed to the parking lot, as my father-in-law had secured a hotel for us somewhere else. The "oh so helpful" concierge made her way out to the dumpster we were standing by about that time and as luck would have it, she threw a plastic juice bottle into the dumpster and it exploded on contact. Pretty sure she thought my MIL had fired off a round at her after their interaction at the front desk!
So, with new reservations, we set off to a really posh new resort, one that we would not have other wise stayed, but thanks to William Shatner and the gang, we were able to procure a last minute reservation for pennies on the dollar. Then things got weird. Upon arrival, we noticed at least four police cars out front and several uniformed men apparently being debriefed on a situation. About that time a man in a kilt came walking up playing "Amazing Grace" on his bagpipes. Those two facts were unrelated, but interesting nonetheless. Cohen and I went inside, while my mother-in-law went to park the car and meet her sister and nieces in the parking lot. As we sat in the lobby, delirium was setting in with my 2 year old and he wanted to run willy-nilly around the lobby. Did I mention he was barefoot and had a bit of chocolate smeared on his face? Yes, we were like Green Acres or Honey Boo Boo in this 5 star establishment. About that time, I realized we were being observed by a suited gentleman with a wired earpiece. He was standing formally with arms crossed and a small insignia was pined to his lapel. Having worked in the airline industry, I recognized him as secret service. What? About that time a few black SUVs arrived on the scene and more secret service began to deposit themselves around the lobby. The staff couldn't tell us who, but it was a "person of interest". As the rest of our group arrived in the lobby and we made our way to the elevators, we were discreetly followed by one of the "suits" and then he turned and went on his way. We got our swimsuits on and went to the pool. It was very cool with rock formations and was salt water. All the while, we could see the "suits" posted above us on the deck and right inside the doors. Needless to say, we felt very safe. Now, for those of you that don't know, ingesting large amounts of salt water can lead to some major colon cleansing. Most of us don't do that, but when you are two, you do a lot of things normal people don't think to do. And so it began.....I decided to take Cohen inside so we could go ahead and shower before the others came up, and imagine my surprise when I took his diaper off in the bathroom! WOAH! It was everywhere...and you must remember we were in the type of establishment that has white robes in your room, marble floors, and only glass containers. None of this conducive to clean up doody-duty! I showered him down and did the best I could. Bedtime was here and we all tried to get some sleep. Little man woke up in the middle of the night screaming loud enough to wake everyone on the floors around us, and another dirty diaper occurred! I got him cleaned up before security was called on us and we all went back to bed. Next, my nephew had to go potty, so he got up and went, but instead of coming back to bed we saw light streaming in and a door shut. About that time we realized he was in the hall! My MIL grabbed him and we tried once more to sleep. Morning came and the diaper debacle had turned into a fierce rash. I went downstairs with little man only to find that the gift shop with its Starbucks and pricey body lotions did not sell Desitin or the like. I went to the front desk, where something was a-brewing. Suits everywhere were in a formation of sorts, seemingly creating a pathway to a non-descript black SUV backed intrusively close to the front door. I hear "are we ready?" and "In position" being communicated over the headpieces, and as I approached the front desk to ask about diaper ointment, the wailing commenced from my dear toddler. I mean wailing of Banshee proportions. Luckily, God placed a sweet lady who was also a mother of a toddler at the front desk at that time. She checked for anything that would help, all the while wavering between looks of sympathy and horrified glances at the lobby. You see, we had learned that Mitt Romney was staying in the resort we were in, thus the abundance of secret service and security personnel. Just as he was preparing to regally stride through the lobby of this fine establishment, I was parading my poor little poopy-pants to the desk, front and center of all the action. Dear sweet front desk lady, I am forever in debt. She went to he purse and extracted a small container of Vaseline and told me to keep it. I promptly grabbed my precious, stinky, wailing offspring and fled to the elevators to take him to our room. I did not get to see the presidential hopeful as he made his way past us, but I feel sure he could hear us, along with everyone else that was within a 1/2 mile radius. At least no one wrestled me to the ground, falsely thinking that I was a protester or political activist. As the caravan of police escorts and tinted window SUVs made their way out of the parking lot, the scene was once again quiet. Never a dull moment....

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Fort Bed

This is the bed that Stewart recently built for Rylie! It is so cool! We found the plans at http://ana-white.com/2012/05/plans/clubhouse-bed ...she has a great blog and it was awesome of her to make the plans and share them:) Thanks, Ana!

It is really a knock-off of the Pottery Barn Eli Fort Bed $$$$.....we love it! Thank you, God for blessing my husband with the talent to build this and the resources and plans! I have been learning in my bible study lately to always give God the glory...so true. We cannot do things in and of ourselves! Thanks for the everyday blessings, Father!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Schnikies...it has been hot lately!! We were on the way to a barbeque at our church at 6:00pm last Sunday and the thermometer still read 102 degrees in our truck! With all this hot weather, we have been staying indoors more, which sometimes leads to stir-craziness and cabin fever among the wee-ones. So, a couple of days ago, we ventured outdoors around 8:30am to try to beat the heat. I had already been up almost 2 hrs and was on my second cup of coffee.....man, my kids get up early sometimes. Did I mention that I am NOT a morning person?? Don't judge me, all you 5am early birds;) Anyway, we went outside and I took my bible study material to try to catch up (I was 4 days behind!!) and settled in on the back deck, where ideally the children would run and frolic in the backyard. Not so....a few minutes later there was crying, coming from my 2 yr old who once again tried to brave the slide with no assistance (he is super independent) only to discover that it still retains its inferior design, in that it self propels children into the air at the end. No, really....who designs these play areas? The slide builds up their speed as they go down and then oh-so-slightly tilts up at the bottom, causing the child to go a bit air-borne before coming to a crash landing on their bottoms. So, after a kiss from mommy, he was on his way again. Five minutes later....."MOM!!! Cohen's head is stuck in the chair and he can't get out!!!" Since the two of them can be super dramatic about things, I meandered over to take a look. Yup. He was stuck. I tried to free his head and he started screaming. As I looked the chair over to find a solution, I saw where they were held together with mere screws, and started to wonder where a screwdriver might be, but then I tried to free him once more and after pinning his ears back and twisting, he was free. Whew! By this time it was heating up, and I had chores and errand to do, so we headed inside. We loaded up to go to the YMCA and were off. Next, a quick trip to Publix. (Yeah right:) Publix runs with the kiddos go something like this: We head for the rocket carts, you know, the ones that two kids can sit in and drive side-by-side? They always want that one, and always sit with Cohen on the right, Rylie on the left. I manage to check a few items off my list before we arrive at the bakery, where we always hit them up for free cookies. Chocolate chip of course:) I manage to round out the produce items and some juice boxes before we land at the balloon area. (I always approach this area cautiously, telling them we only get a balloon if someone happens to be standing there....I am NOT tracking someone down specifically for this. 9 out of 10 no one is nearby...) On this day, there was a smiling Publix employee, who readily offered to blow up balloons for us. (Yay).....so the next three isles I found myself referee-ing between balloons in the face and threatening to take them away as Cohen smacked them with his over sized plastic shovel that he was currently in a phase of carrying around non-stop. As we rounded the corner to grab some things from the dairy isle, Cohen started wailing at the top of his lungs. Rylie simultaneously started screaming "MOM!" loudly. I looked down to see that Cohen had placed the chip clip (attached to the balloons so the kids don't loose them) on his FACE and it was just hanging on his cheek as he screeched like a banshee! Being that I am now out in the open, with plenty of onlookers who have stopped searching through the yogurts and coffee creamers and have turned to see this garish display of bad parenting, I gingerly remove the clip from my toddler's face and massage the area, while giving him kisses on the now-purple boo-boo and whispering calming words into his tiny ear. I try not to make eye contact as I dart down the nearest aisle and glance at my list, hoping that I am almost done. I realize how haggard I must look.... in my exercise gear with no make-up.... and as I look up, I see another mommy with two kids in tow. One is climbing out the side of the cart, the other grabbing things off the shelf. She too is in her gym attire and we exchange knowing glances. We smile and laugh as we make comments about making it through the whole store and she heads off to the balloons. I regroup, then complete my list and we head home. It is only lunchtime........

P.S. I totally found a $5 off your grocery purchase coupon by the carts and added it to my stash of coupons, bringing my total of $93.00 worth of groceries down to $57.00....thank you Lord for even the smallest provisions:) And thank you for my sweet babies who bring me laughter every day:)

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Bug Themed 2nd Birthday!

 Can't believe our little man is already two!!! Time is moving so quickly...we celebrated Cohen's  2nd birthday party with a bug theme. I had a great time planning it!I made him a special "bug" t-shirt with a "2"....

 Some of the sugar cookies that have become a tradition on the kids' birthdays.....they always match the theme. Grasshoppers shown here....

 This was an idea I got from pinterest....Centipede grapes!

 More sugar cookies....butterflies, snails, and grasshoppers!

 Getting ready for some hotdogs!

 Drink station, where the little ones can have some "beetle juice"....

 The Hungry Caterpillar...(also a pinterest idea)....

 Dirt cupcakes with worms!

 A wheelbarrow full of real worms!

 They had lots of fun digging for the worms...they were huge!! I got the shovels and rakes at the dollar store....

 I got the big ants at a local cake supply store...they were lined up, heading for the cupcakes!

 So much fun for all!

 They got me with one of the fat worms....


 I got the idea to get a bunch of spray bottles (dollar store) and make them pretend bug spray (really just water) and the kids were the bugs. They put on the antannae (use pipe cleaners and plastic headbands) and sprayed each other! I cut the letters out of vinyl with my cricut!

 Spraying the "bugs"....

 Birthday boy and his buddy Tristan...

 I made "ant hills" out of ice cream, crumbling graham crackers on top and adding a plastic ant.....

 Nice day for a backyard party....

Hanging out....we had a great time and I loved the theme....only 5 months until Rylie's party...hmmmm what will her theme be this time??