Monday, July 27, 2009

first steps

At 91/2 months, Hadley is officially a stepper. She's not yet a walker. She first put 2 steps together on Saturday, 3 on Sunday, and 5 today. If you're wondering...yes, this is far advanced for her age. Hadley's always been athletic.

A new tradition

So I've implemented a new "daddy/daughter" tradition: Sat AM breakfasts at McD's.
We've realized that - out of necessity - we are always doing things with the girls together. You know, seeking economies of scale. Streamling efforts.
So we're trying to intentionalize getting some solo time with each of the girls. My new thing is to designate every early Sat morning for a McD's run with one of the girls.
My first companion was my eldest daughter, Mia. She was so proud to be going in Daddy's car and spending time with me on our little date. It was a blast!

50 hours.

fifty. 5-0. a half centinniel. that's the time we spent round-trip in the minivan traveling to the family's lake house in Virginia AND to an impromptu family wedding on the coast of North Carolina.

We survived, sometimes thrived, and sometimes everyone was really mad at everyone else. Here are some highlights and deep thoughts from the 8-day epic tour:

* Did you know that anything over 80 mph’s in Wytheville, VA is considered “reckless driving”? I should consider myself lucky, I was told, that Deputy MD Smith shaved off two mph’s and let me off with a $135 ticket.

*When would a mini-van ever qualify for reckless driving?

* I punctured my left foot jumping off a dock and became addicted to soaking my feet in warm water and Epson salt for the rest of the trip.

* Brianna really likes boys. Cousins or otherwise.

    * I watched the entire British Open on Sunday because...I could. Watson's last putt had me in a funk for the rest of the trip. I was ready to throw him a parade down the plaza. Maybe we still should.

    * At its zenith, there were 31 family members and 4 dogs at this Lake House. We were literally on top of each other.

* Family. Godlove’em.

    * We drove 5 hours to the wedding where I sang and helped Mia pick flowers during the homily. At the reception, I ate fish taco’s on the pier, ate a cupcake, administered communion to the bride and groom, then drove 10 hours.

* Fish Tacos + Cupcakes + 10 hours of driving = bad.

* We about decimated the Comfort Inn in Huntington, W. Virginia. The continental breakfast room will never look the same after Elise left me alone with the girls to go pack the car.

* Next time, I will pack the car.

* Next time, I will send Elise in to explain to the Comfort Inn manager that Hadley had "pooped out" and that while she didn't crawl across the entire surface area of their carpeted breakfast room, she did cover some serious ground. And, no, I could not remember exactly where she had crawled.

* Mia was magnificent the whole trip.

* Hadley, we have discovered, will only sleep on her stomach.

* They should make car seats for people like Hadley.

* They should also make DVD players that allow for Dad to simultaneously listen to all of the NPR shows that he meticulously burned for the trip while his daughters watch Dora the Explorer, Boz, and other shows on repeat.

* You can drive a long ways on Mountain Dew and sunflower seeds.

* We lived our own “Supersize Me” experiment – eating at a McDonald’s about every 3 hours. For once, I craved vegetables.

* I brought just one book to read on the trip. It was a big book; a fun book; a book about golf. Turns out, I had already read that book a couple of years ago. Then I decided that, as a spiritual discipline, I would read it again. But I couldn’t do it. Just didn’t feel productive enough. It scored low on my accomplishment scale. There was no way I could impress my friends about the new book I’ve read if I had already read it. It just wouldn’t do anyone any good. So I read “How Married Do You Want To Be?” instead. A lot, as it turns out.

* Returned home Wednesday morning just after midnight. Woke up, discovered there was a flat tire on my car, that the Royals were still the same team, took Brianna to doctor, then to Children’s Mercy, then walked to mechanic’s to pick up car.

* The mini-van now smells really really bad.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

the adventure has begun....

...and it hasn't even technically begun. Just hours before leaving for our red-eye, 24 hr mini-van trek, Bri fell out of bed & hurt her foot. Children's Mercy gave her this klunky boot and said - after x-rays - that she was probably fine but that she would need it as a precaution.
good grief. please pray.

too cool for shades

Saturday, July 4, 2009

I'm fine with it. Really. I am.

We had some friends over to celebrate the 4th with us. One of them was Miles. Miles is five and he's impressive. He's tall. He's kind. He's smart. He's handsome. And he's an older man. So I was very curious to see how the d.daughters would respond, Brianna in particular. The answer is not so well.

Exhibit A: in the below footage, you'll notice (a) how aware Bri is of Miles' every move (2) her giggle (daddynote: it was so fake. her giggles for me are so much better. she was just pumping his ego. How did she learn this?) (3) her shoulder tuck (4) her blue steel and then (5) her penetrating stare. Scary.

Exhibit B: project-bonding.

Exhibit C: play-bonding. What guy isn't looking for a little buddy time?

Exhibit D: prayer-bonding. Up until today, Bri would only hold my hand during our meal-time prayer. She would not hold her sisters and she would not hold her Moms. But today, she seemed to have little difficulty reaching for the 5-year old's hand. This is just classic, textbook Christian seduction.

Exhibit E: this was no prayer, I assure you.

Exhibit F: they were even great in the kitchen together. Miles made her tea and even did the dishes, the little devil.

Exhibit G: the girls are very insistent that we all sit in our respective seats. I, for example, am always to sit at the head of the table. Until today, that is. We were all informed that Miles is to now sit at the head of the table.

Exhibit H: as he was coming down the stairs to leave, Miles grabbed Brianna's hand to assist her down as well. This was quite chivalrous and I appreciated it - knowing that my daughter is still a little shaky on the stairs. I did not, however, think she'd have any difficulty from the bottom step on, but apparently so. Brianna held Miles' hand all the way into the kitchen.

I'm fine with it. Really. I am.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Bye Bye Cribs

So call us crazy but the girls moved into big girl beds on Monday.

Here is the chronology of events that lead up to the girls sleeping in their big girls beds Monday night.

1.) Two months ago: Mommy takes table from Nana for girls bedroom

2.) One month ago: Mommy rips trim off the table and repositions it on other side of table. Mommy paints table: 2 coats plus one coat of polyurethane

3.) Last Wednesday: Handyman Bill cuts hole in wall and moves heating cooling vent. Patches hole back in and begins mudding process. Girls favorite saying "No Touch" wall

4.) Thursday: mud too wet to do anything. Girls "No Touch" wall

5.) Friday: Bill puts second coat of mud on wall. Girls "No Touch" wall

6.) Saturday: Bill puts third coat of mud on wall. Girls "No Touch" wall

7.) Sunday: Bill sands wall

8.) Sunday night: Mommy puts one coat of primer and one coat of paint on patched wall. Girls "No Touch" wall

9.) Monday Morning: Girls Say "Bye Bye" to Cribs

10.) Daddy takes care of girls

11.) Mommy patches holes, tapes and paints two walls in girls' room

12.) Mommy takes down cribs

13.) Mommy sets up beds and hauls mattresses in from Hadley's trundle bed

14.) Monday well past nap time: Mommy and Daddy show girls new "Big Beds" and put girls "Down" for nap

15.) Daddy has meltdown. Doesn't know how Mommy does it.

16.) Mommy removes two car seats from van.

17.) Daddy empties out other stuff in mommy's trunk: bags of gravel and double stroller

18.) Daddy goes to Costco to buy new mattresses

19.) Mommy hears thuds from room above. Goes into room. Brianna's baby having tea at table and Brianna is standing with her refrigerator door open. Mia in her bed. Discipline Bri. Put Bri back into bed and explain that they will get into trouble if they get out of bed again.

20.) Mommy goes into room and Brianna is cooking food at the stove. Mia caught trying to scramble back into her bed. Discipline both girls. Put both girls back into bed and explain that they will get into trouble if they get out of bed again.

21.) Mommy goes in and both girls are standing at their table drinking water. Discipline both girls. Put both girls back into bed and explain that they will get into trouble if they get out of bed again.

22.) Mommy goes in and girls are crawling back and forth between their beds. Mommy tells girls they have to stay in their own beds and puts them back in bed.

23.) Mommy goes in and both girls are sitting on top of the table between their beds reading books. Mommy calls nap time quits and doesn't even bother with discipline. Clearly NOT Working.

24.) Daddy gets home from Costco with new mattresses.

25.) Mommy runs to Home Depot to buy new roller shade for girls window. (previous roller shade barely hanging in plaster wall from oldest daughter playing with it).

26.) Monday right before bedtime: Mommy installs new blind. Mommy decides that room configuration is NOT going to work. Mommy hauls out table that girls like to sit on during nap time. Mommy hauls out one bookshelf. Mommy moves beds around. Mommy near melt down because vent no longer EVER needed to be moved and table was taken from Nana and changed and painted.

27.) Monday at bedtime: Mommy and Daddy put girls down to bed. Remind girls that have to stay in beds and can call for Mommy and Daddy to get them in morning.

28.) All seems quiet.. Mommy comments to daddy that new bed location is .key and that girls have already adjusted. Daddy says don't speak too soon. Instantly noise begins. Steady flow of girls laughing heads off.

29.) Mommy and Daddy haul in new mattress from van. Leave in kitchen

30.) Mommy decides to ignore sounds from upstairs and goes out to water flowers and grass.

29.) Daddy leaves for work thing

30.) Mommy notices from backyard the source of giggling. Girls playing with brand new roller shade on window. Girls proceed to laugh and giggle for almost one hour. Mommy finally goes into room and tells girls not to play with blind. Roller shade plastic piece on bottom of shad already snapped in half from playing. Notices foul odor in room. Discovers wipes case empty. Puts oldest daughter on floor and tells her to wait for Mommy. Mommy goes downstairs and gets wipes. Mommy comes back up. Shocked to see daughter obeyed. Mommy changes diaper. Puts both girls back in bed. Exhausted girls finally fall asleep

30.) Mommy does dishes and cleans up house

31.) Mommy re installs car seats in car. Mommy turns on lights in car in order to see what she is doing. Reminds herself NOT to forget to turn light off.

32.) Daddy gets home

33.) Mommy and Daddy haul table from living room to basement

34.) Mommy and Daddy drop from exhaustion

Epilogue: Tuesday night: Mommy and Daddy jump start dead battery in Mommy's car

Pictures from Original Bed Location and Girls PRETENDING TO BE ASLEEP:

Hadley's 1st Snack Cup

My Three Girls