Thursday, August 26, 2010

In my head

God must really get a kick out of me.

I have this apparently unbreakable habit of creating in my head perfect visions of how things will be. When I started staying home, I imagined a sparkling house, laundry always caught up, quality time reading and playing with the kids, and having time to volunteer regularly. I was sure the last two summers would be an organized montage of library events, summer excursions and water play. I'm pretty sure I don't have to paint the picture of how NOT any of those things my time has been.

Abby and Ethan are in school now. Ever since I knew we would be having Aaron in May, I've been imagining this time when both of the others would be gone all day and I would have hour upon hour home, alone, with my baby. I could clean house! I could play pattycake and organize the kids' clothes and clean out the pantry! I could take long walks pushing the stroller and meet the school bus every day and be holding the baby in one arm and dinner in the other each night!

See what I mean about God? He must think I'm hysterical.

So far, Ethan has missed 1 day of school for fever and Abby has come home early and then missed 2 days for a virus. Today, in theory, I will be alone with Aaron. I'm pretty sure that things will be a bit more survival mode than Martha mode, though. At least for a while. I'm not as concerned with getting the laundry done as I am getting to take a shower. Not as concerned with making dinner as I am with getting to eat lunch with both hands. Not as concerned with meeting the school bus as not being asleep on the couch when it gets here.

It's okay though! It's only August. I'm sure that by October Ill have found my stride and things will be great. By then I should be able to work on the kids' scrapbooks for at least half an hour each day.

Shhh. Do you hear somone laughing?

Saturday, August 21, 2010


A couple of weeks ago Matt took the day off of work so that we could take Abby and Ethan on a "daycation." (I made that up. Or at least I think I did--if you've ever heard someone else say it, please don't tell me.) We left Aaron with our friends Chad and Marla and their 3 girls and headed to Tulsa. We went to the Oklahoma Aquarium (surprisingly great for a water-themed destination in the middle of the landlocked heartland), Cheesecake Factory for lunch (worth the trip alone) and Kaliedoscope Children's Museum (no extra comment here, but the parentheses seemed necessary for consistency). I think my photos tell the story of the day best, so here we go:

You can feed stingrays at the aquarium. I have to admit, they freak me out a little after the Croc Hunter thing. Also, the food you give them it totally gross. A and E loved it though.

Proof that a shark could indeed eat both of my children whole, and that contrary to popular belief A and E do NOT have the biggest mouths on the planet. Note that I did not pose for comparison myself.

They fed some turtles too. Much less threatening animals, and the food was only carrots.

Warm fuzzies in the tropical room.

More warm fuzzies in my happy place, The Cheesecake Factory.

While perhaps totally irrelevant to the story, I want to record for posterity how ridiculously good my food looked. It tasted even better.

The best strawberry shortcake I have ever had. Yes, I was at the Cheesecake Factory and I did not get cheesecake. Back off.

The kids' museum was great. There was tons of stuff to do, but what our kids seemed to enjoy most was the little town they had with all these rooms where the kids could do grownup stuff. They had a post office, restaurant, grocery store, salon, doctor's office--you get the idea. This first picture is funny because I don't know that Ethan has ever seen anyone do this--he was just following my prompts.

This was Abby's process to diagnose my stomach pains.

Abby loved to play the busy grocery shopper. Here she's the doctor on her way home from work.

Ethan made an excellent checker. Matt's purchase cost "two hundred and fifty nine seventy fourteen."

Abby in her other favorite role, injured elderly citizen.

At the salon they had several mannequin heads for kids to work on. They were mostly fine, but one was downright creepy. I took its picture and someone must have noticed, because less than 5 minutes later an employee replaced it with a much more normal head.

The kids went ballistic when they found the jail. They marched us in, laughing maniacally the whole time. We tried to convince them to leave us there, but it didn't work.

We had a great day and were worn out when we got home. It wasn't the beach or Disneyworld, but it was more than sufficient.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Things I Could Live Without...

...but would prefer not to:

(in no particular order)

1. Diet Dr. Pepper, preferably from Sonic

2. My TV shows

3. My pillow

4. My cell phone

5. Paul Mitchell styling glaze

6. Wal Mart

7. Marketplace's chicken berry salad

8. Yellow Box sandals

9. The remote opening doors on my minivan

10. Spider Solitaire on the computer

11. Facebook

12. Houndstooth Razorback t-shirts

13. Cherry Chapstick

14. People Magazine

I'm sure there are more. I'll add as they occur to me. What are yours?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Countdown to quiet

A week from today Ethan starts pre-K. Three days after that, Abby starts 2nd grade. And thus will begin a phase of my life in which I will be home all day, every day with a tiny baby who can't talk back, throw toys or ask for a snack every 25 minutes. Can you sense the joy in the words I type?

Actually, and I can't believe (I mean REALLY can't believe) I am saying this, but I will kind of miss this summer. Back in April, when I was hugely pregnant and the kids were in school all day, the prospect of week after week of being at home with 3 kids, two of which I knew to be a little high maintenance and one whose maintenance level was yet to be determined (but let's be honest, anyone who requires being fed and having their bottom wiped clean can be classified as high maintenance) was straight up terrifying. And I have surely had my moments when I wanted to hide under the bed and cry.

But there have also been the other times--teaching the kids how to hold Aaron without breaking his neck, playing marathon games of Sorry and Candy Land, successfully convincing Ethan that only very cool and brave 4 year olds can help with laundry--when I found myself quite content and even entertained.

I'm sure that the school year will pass by in a flash. Then I'll be facing next summer, when instead of two kids and a baby, I will have two kids and a toddler. I need to start storing up on Prozac now.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Turns out you DO know a place

Wow. This little blog got a BIG surprise yesterday.

I was at home, feeding Aaron and playing Chutes and Ladders with Ethan (yes, at the same time)(no, it's not easy) when my phone rang. I didn't recognize the area code or number, but I forget my own kids' names these days, so I answered anyway. You know who was on the phone?

A lady named Angela from Cracker Barrel's corporate office.

OH my goodness! She explained that Cracker Barrel is sent an alert when their company name shows up online, and she had read my blog about our church's little incident with a CB manager last weekend and wanted to let me know they regret what happened. I immediately pleaded with her not to let my blog get the guy in trouble--none of us were really mad about what happened, we just thought it was funny. I blogged about it because I thought the 7 people who read my blog would also find it amusing. She promised me he would be spared any wrath.

I also promised her that we understood that what happened was most likely the result of a guy having a bad day, and that we know CB is not an anti-rummage sale company. She was very gracious, sweet, and exactly what you'd expect someone who works for CB to be--the epitome of southern hospitality.

That reminds me--in my original blog post, I said that CB's headquarters are in NYC. I said this because when our church rented the space we use, we had to notify all adjacent property owners (conditional use permit--you don't want an explanation, trust me), and I had to send a letter to CB. The address I had to use was in NYC. However, Angela was calling me from Lebanon, Tennessee, which is the location of the headquarters as listed on their website. So I don't know if they just have an office in NYC, or if I mistakenly sent that letter to some random barrel company in New York, but either way I made a dig there that was unwarranted. They are nothing if not authentic.

As I said, Angela was wonderful to talk with and didn't even seem mad at me for the jokes I made about CB. Hopefully she realized that they were said in jest (does anyone even say "in jest" any more?) and that I am a big CB fan. Their hash brown casserole is the stuff dreams are made of. To even further show the value CB places on community relations, Angela told me that our church pre-school program is to recieve a CB rocking chair as a donation. Now THAT is a cool thing. If you have never experienced a CB rocking chair, you don't know what you're missing. We'll all be fighting over it. In fact, I bet anything Chad will want to start preaching from it.

I have said many times before that a company that messes up but works hard to fix it has a more loyal fan in me than one that never messes up at all. In this situation, CB didn't really even mess up--they just had an employee that had an off day. But Angela's phone call and the rocking chair proved to me that CB is a first class company. This is a huge relief, for two reasons: 1) You like to know that there are people and companies still like that out there, and 2) I can go eat some pot roast tonight.