Friday, July 31, 2009

Mommy Day with Macy

Jon and Kate plus 8 gave me the idea of taking each girl somewhere special for a "Mommy Day". While we don't have 8 kids, it is difficult to give each girl the attention they deserve. When I broached the subject with the girls, they were pretty pumped.

Macy was first, because she is the oldest--of course, since everything has to have a reason.

Our day started at the dentist, where they put sealants on her back molars to avoid getting cavities. The whole procedure took about 20 minutes, and she watched part of of High School Musical 2. I read a current People magazine in the lobby, and they brought her out with smiles galore. Glad she still likes the dentist, because I HATE going.

For weeks, she talked about going to Panera for soup on her Mommy Day. As we walked out of the dentist office, she decided to go to McDonalds so she could get a toy. Since I tried really hard to say lots of yes's on Mommy Day (with reason), I agreed, although I really wanted Panera.

I gave her lots of options as to what we could, and she wanted to go to Worlds of Fun to ride all the big rides, and not "the baby ones with Kaylin". Usually when we go to WOF, Bobby rides with Macy and I end up with Kaylin. So while WOF isn't that special for her, riding with me and doing whatever she wanted was special.

Here we are in the car, about to go in.

Macy in line for the TimberWolf. This was a big sacrifice for me, because I am not fond of the TimberWolf. This was the longest line we had to wait in also.

The two of us in the backseat of the Prowler. Now that is a ride I can ride again and again! The line was really short, so after we rode in the back, we raced around to the front and rode again in the front side. I LOVED LOVED LOVED LOVED the front seat of the Prowler! It was sweet.

The two of us on the Octopus...

And on the Viking Voyager...

Here we are in the parking lot going home, after riding only the big rides several times. I let her pick what order we did things, and said yes even if it meant walking across the park and back again. I even wasted $5 on a game I knew she wouldn't win, and bought her a little Worlds of Fun bear on a clearance rack.

We really had a fun day! I tried hard to make her feel special by letting her choose what we did, even if it meant walking from the Mamba to the Timberwolf over to the Prower. So many times she has to do things to appease Kaylin, and I wanted her to have a special day!

And a friend called to see if we wanted to meet them at WOF after 4 so they could get the Twilight price. I rushed to Mom and Dad's to get Kaylin and back to WOF, where we closed down the park at 10. With a small break for dinner and to get Kaylin, Macy and I spent the entire day at WOF!

I'll tell you what--if you've never taken 4 little girls to Worlds of Fun, you're missing out. Lots of running and screaming and squealing.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Just so you know...

Just so you know is a phrase repeated over and over at our house. The girls have acquired the phrase from Bobby, not the other way around. I don't think I say it, although I might. In that spirit, here are things just so you know..

Just so you know, Macy comes up to my shoulder. At 7 1/2.
Just so you know, Kaylin wore Macy's shoes on Saturday.
Just so you know, I have 6 mosquito bites on my feet.
Just so you know, our house is a mess and I really don't care.
Just so you know, I checked Twitter and prayed constantly today, worried about baby Stellan and MckMama.
Just so you know, this has been a really great summer.
Just so you know, I have received address labels from my alma mater, the Humane Society, the American Heart Association, a cancer research center, and the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society, all in the last two weeks. I'm all set for Christmas cards!
And Just so you know, this is how Kaylin fell asleep last night.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sleep tight!

I did several loads of laundry today, and at bedtime, just didn't feel like putting them away. I piled them on the floor in Kaylin's room.

After the girls went to bed, I took a shower. When I got out of the shower, I checked on the girls. Couldn't find Kaylin in her bed. Here she was:

Yesterday she had on a new shirt, and I tried so hard to videotape her discreetly as she pranced around the living room, running her hands all over her new shirt, fixing the bottom, playing with her hair, etc. She looked excatly like a 16-year-old about to go out on a date.

She's a funny little thing is all I have to say.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Goodbye, Iowa City!

In a couple hours I will be getting on a wonderful yellow school bus heading home. Can't wait to see my little girls and husband. Thoughts on the week up here:

University of Iowa is a gorgeous campus. Good thing it's a Big Ten school instead of Big 12, or I would feel bad saying that. It's a hilly campus, though. And our hotel was at the bottom.

When students are met with a college cafeteria of endless food options, they will take advantage of it and eat like they have been deprived of food for a month.

In that cafeteria, there are four places to get drinks. All four have the same choices. Students will all go to the first one and stand in line, leaving the other three completely open.

I love that the cafeteria and vending machines here have Coke Zero, my ultimate favorite. I was not looking forward to week of withdrawals, and I didn't have to!

I am terrible at Ping Pong and Foosball.

We trespassed onto railroad tracks. And a student took pictures.

Whitey's is the best ice-cream around, hands down.

Much like days of old, students will still do self-piercings. However, instead of only ears, they will pierce the little web under their tongue. And take pictures.

One of the things I love about my job is the influence I can have with them. Some of them are in that adolescence-hate-their-parents-and-everything-they-say-phase. If that same advice comes from me, it doesn't sound as preachy as their parents. I just try to give the students a positive adult role model. Sometimes not so positive, but to be someone they can reach out to.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Drug phones

Pardon the dust while I work on my blog. Having some issues. :)

Still in Iowa City, Iowa for a journalism camp. It's been raining for two days, which makes for miserable high school students, which makes for a miserable adviser. Really, they haven't been that bad.

The night we got here, I went for a run while the kids were in class. Beautiful campus, beautiful night to run along the river. Checked the time on my cell phone, and dropped it. It's been broken for a while, but still useable. This drop shattered it in two pieces and made it completly unusable. I was not happy. I am here with 8 high school students who text and call me constantly through the day, and they count on being able to reach me. Not having a phone would not be a good thing.

So Monday morning the yearbook adviser and I walk all over downtown Iowa City trying to find a cheap cell phone that would work with my sim card. Walmart was too far away, and we didn't have a car. It wasn't looking pretty. Finally, we stop at the T-Mobile counter (I use AT&T, which is non-existent in Iowa City) to explain the problem and ask for advice.

First, he tried to fix it but said it wasn't repairable. We talked about options for a while, then he says he has a brand-new cell phone in his truck he was going to sell on e-bay. Once the box has been opened, T-Mobile can't sell them, but the workers can. Pretty lucrative little side-gig. So he tried my SIM card, it worked, and he pocketed $20 from me.

Later, I noticed he had used the phone once or twice. He and somebody named Taylor texted back and forth, and there was a name entry "Love Brad". I call it his drug phone, and therefore my drug phone. :)

I'm ready to go home tomorrow!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

More camping...

"Update!" the fans yell. And I can't let the masses down.

Finished Girl Scout camp on Friday. I was dreading camp, but it turned out to be fun and I'm glad I helped. What else was I going to do with my time? It's important to me to be involved with my kids, and I know it meant a lot to them that I was there. I was with Kaylin's group, and checked it on Macy quite a bit. Our group was really good and we had fun. Weather was PERFECT.

Friday night Macy camped with the rest of her troop, and had a great time. There was a DJ with a disco ball under the trees, and they danced to all their favorite Hannah Montana and Taylor Swift and HSM songs until 11 pm. Kaylin and I left before that madness started, and went camping with Bobby and some friends from church at a state park. Kaylin was so tired she fell asleep on Bobby around the campfire.

Saturday we picked up Macy and went back to the camp. We spent the day with friends playing, riding bikes and scooters, taking hikes, having a water balloon fight, eating, and having a good time.

I won't bore you with the story about me not wanting to go to the bathroom for fear of being attacked by raccoons, or the story of how I used the hand dryer in the bathroom to dry the girls hair after their shower.

Sunday we left early to take the girls to Mom and Dad's before church. Boy were they crabby! Bobby went to work, and I boarded a school bus to Iowa City, Iowa for journalism camp. Many stories there, and I will share those later. Right now, need a nap.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Swim Lessons!

The girls have just finished two weeks of swim lessons. Both girls made huge strides and improvement.

Kaylin was in Level Two, and due to an error on my part,should have been in Level One. But there were about 15 kids in Level One, so her teacher said she could stay in Level Two because she worked so hard. She was the youngest in her group and was a little goofier than the others, but she really did work hard and try. She is so light--barely 40 pounds at age 5 1/2 that she has a hard time holding her body down in the water to swim. Wish I had that problem!

Macy was in Level Three, and couldn't swim as well as the others in her group, but by the end she was doing great. Last summer she had a cast on her arm during swim lessons and couldn't do the proper arm movement. This year she totally rocked the front crawl (with face full in the water), can do the backstroke (but needs some improvement) and learned the whip kick, dolphin kick, and something other kick. Last night she had a breakdown because she was embarrassed that she couldn't swim as well as the others, but today she did her best on all the tests. I'm very proud of her--she put herself out there and tried her best. That's all I can ask.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Happy (late) anniversary

Happy anniversary to the love of my life...

my hate-to-have his picture taken,



perfect smilin',

tire swingin'

family adorin'

firefighting devoted

run-to-get-children's-Tylenol-at-1:15 am

husband of mine. Happy (late) anniversary Bobby!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Don't rock the boat

This weekend was the second annual canoe and camping trip with a group of friends. There were five couples, and we had a great time hanging out. The girls went with Mom and Dad for the weekend, and I think they all had a good time.

Friday night Bobby made his world-famous hamburgers, and we played about 8 rounds of Catch Phrase. I think the boys won, unfortunately.

Saturday we did a 13 mile canoe trip. The first 7 miles was perfect--hardly any other canoes, and there were some difficult manuevers, which makes it challenging and fun. A couple of the guys enjoyed finding some rope swings and swinging into the water. At one point we found a ledge that was high in the air, and about five or six people jumped off into the water. Then it was decided by someone (not me) that all the women needed to jump. Once I got up there, I got a little freaked out. Now I know why Macy has problems with jumping into water. :) One of the other women held my hand like a little baby, and I did it! With pictures to prove it. We took our time on this stretch of the river and it was very nice.

After the peaceful and tranquil first 7 miles, the next 6 were not fun. Tons and tons of drunk people on huge blue rafts clogging up the river. It was like a gauntlet trying to get through. They weren't belligerent at least, but really lacking in common courtesy. They would stop in the middle of the river, or swim right in front of our canoe, or pull out in front of us, etc. We did the best we could to get through them quickly, but it took a while. We did those 6 miles in about 2 hours!

Once we floated back to camp, we got our chairs and sat on the sandbar across from our camp to watch all those people float in. Quite entertaining.

Dinner was fixed, and it started raining. We all piled under a canopy until it started raining sideways. Then we piled in one couple's tent and played Catch Phrase again--in much closer quarters this time!

When it finally stopped raining, it dumped an inch and a half in about an hour or two. Two of the couples tents got pretty wet, along with their sleeping stuff, so with the threat of more rain on the horizon, they had to pack up and leave. We hated to lose them, but no one wants to sleep in a wet tent on a wet sleeping bag! The rest of us stayed, ate smores and just talked. The weather after the storm was perfect, and it was wonderful sleeping outside weather.

Sunday morning we packed up and headed home. It was a great weekend, and I can't wait to do it again next year! I'm already planning a trip to take the girls canoeing with us on a separate trip next year.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Perfect summer day

Perfect Summer Day for a child:

Swim lessons in the morning, Mom and Dad both there to watch.
Lunch at aunt's house with cousin; play in her pool all afternoon
Hot dogs for dinner
Another pool with a babysitter for three hours
Spending all day in your swimsuit!!

Kids are amazing. Simply amazing. Bobby and I can't get Macy to jump into the pool, to go down the slides at Oceans of Fun, nothing. She likes to swim and swims underwater, but freaks out about going down the slides and jumping in. Kaylin will barely jump from the diving board that is a mere six inches off the water at swim lessons. They are progressing in their swimming, though, just won't jump in.

Enter Emily, their favorite babysitter for three years. She's leaving for Drake University in about a month (she got a full ride!) She takes them to her country club pool tonight while Bobby and I go out to eat for our anniversary. She has them for three hours. When we come back, they are jumping from the low and HIGH dive. Unassisted. As in, Emily is standing at the side of the pool talking to us, and they jump in and swim to the side. I never thought I would see the day Macy would jump from the high dive.

She accomplished in no time what Bobby and I would probably never accomplish. We bought ice cream for everyone, including Emily, before we left. Just another example of why I would never home school my children: they do so much with other people than they do with me!!!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Down to earth

As women, we have days where we feel good about ourselves and days where we feel terrible about ourselves. It might be a special dress that makes us feel fabulous, or maybe our out-of-control hair makes us want to put on a baseball cap and hide from the world.

Bad hair days outside, I've been feeling pretty good about myself the last few weeks. Thanks to my walking/running (which is now more emphasis on running than walking) I've lost about 7 pounds and my clothes feel looser. Always a great thing to keep you motivated in working out.

Until Child #1 opens her mouth.

She was walking behind me at Oceans of Fun today. She steps up next to me, takes my hand, and says,

"Mom, your bottom isn't getting any smaller."

Thank you, Macy for bringing me back down to earth.

And if that wasn't enough, later in what we call the "snakey pool", I had my arms up on the side of the pool. Macy then says,

"Mom, you have hair growing in your armpit."

Thank you, Macy for that! I discreetly checked to make sure I had shaved this morning (I had) and I'm not sure what initiated that statement. But now I was paranoid, and kept my arms down from then on.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Not Me Monday

New logo from MckMama, same concept! CHeck out MckMama's blog for more Not Me Monday fun.

I did not wear my shirt wrong-side-out to Worlds of Fun last week, and Bobby did not tell me about it until we had been there an hour, probably. Thanks.

I do not hide cheese sticks in the fridge from my kids. When I want to eat one, I do not sneak upstairs with one hidden in my hand. No, I share all food with my kids.

This afternoon, when the girls were playing on a water slide at a neighbor's house, I did not stay behind to take a nap. I was not annoyed when Macy had got a nose bleed--not because I was worried for her, but because I had to wake up and go get her.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Dear Macy

Oh, my sweet, sweet tender-hearted girl. One day I hope you will realize how much Kaylin adores you and looks up to you.

Right now you see her as the annoying tag-along who I make you and your friends play with when you'd rather play alone.

Right now you see her as someone you have to share your makeup with when you'd rather use it all yourself.

Right now you see her as the baby who gets in your way when you want something.

Right now you don't understand that when you are snotty to her, she will be snotty back to you. Funny how that works, huh?

Right now you don't understand that when you hit her, she's going to hit back. Funny how that works again, huh?

But I see a different story.

I see a little girl who desperately wants to be just like her big sister, and wants to be accepted by her big sister and her friends.

I see a little girl who sees big sister putting on makeup, and she just wants to be as beautiful as that big sister.

I see a little girl who doesn't want to be left behind when big sister gets something.

I see a little girl who has learned to defend herself by being snotty back, and learning to give what she has received.

I see a little girl, seated next to her big sister at a picnic table, say something funny and look up at her with such adoration, such a need for acceptance, such a look of admiration and I wish she saw that too.

Oh, my sweet, sweet tender-hearted Macy. One day I hope you will realize how much Kaylin adores you and looks up to you. One day I hope you will realize what a role model you are for Kaylin and learn to set a good example. One day I hope you two become best friends.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Outdoor nudity and pet birds

Tonight at Kaylin's t-ball game, I witnessed two grand shows of nudity. First, I glanced over my shoulder to see a mom holding her two, maybe three, year old daughter in the air, pants around her ankles. They weren't five feet behind their chairs, and parallel with my chair off the side! I had a front row seat. I'm guessing she was trying to get the daughter to go to the bathroom, but I stopped watching so I have no idea if she succeeded. Macy, on the other hand, was staring.

Then this boy, maybe seven or eight, ran down by the creek to pee. Except he didn't go far, and stopped right by the edge of the trees. I glanced over my shoulder again, and hello! Big white butt staring up over at me. Then he stared screaming "a raccoon! a raccoon!" and running away from the creek, right towards me, trying to pull his pants up and run at the same time. He wasn't succeeding.

I have been known to let our kids pee outside if necessary, but for their own privacy, I make sure they are away from other people.

And finally, we have a pet bird. This bird likes to hop around the driveway while we are outside playing, and does not seem to be scared of us. The girls attempted to feed him Pringles, which he did not care for. He will hop right up to one of the girls, stare at her for a while, then hop off. He doesn't seem to be fond of flying, although he can fly. He also likes to hop inside our garage, climb around on the cooler and the trash bags. No amount of trying to herd him out of the garage will work; he will leave on his own time. He did stay in the garage the entire time we were at t-ball, because he was sitting on the skateboard when we needed to leave. When we came home, he hopped on out. Surprisingly, the girls have not named him. And I use the terms "he/him" generically--I have no interest in determing the sex of the bird.

Last day of summer school tomorrow. I'm not sure if I am sad or happy...