Thursday, July 29, 2010

Go ahead and smile.

It's been a good week around here. Lots of smiling. Bunches of laughs. And even the time that I started crying in the middle of my Pilates class (I was feeling blue about my mom and then a sappy song by Carrie Underwood came on about visiting her mom's grave) made me laugh. Who cries during Pilates?

Steve and I got to go to a really nice wedding reception on Saturday. We've had lots of friends get married. We've been to some nice receptions. But this was at a whole other level of niceness. They even had a photo booth to take your picture in. You got to keep one and you put one in a wedding album for the bride and groom. So fun. And yes. We did it. We also had a very nice london broil. I *may* have even had two pieces of cake.

The kids have made me smile this week.

They have played together nicely. Obeyed well. Even pitched in around the house. WITHOUT. BEING. ASKED.

Turner just makes me smile all the time. Who is this kid? He looks like an 80 year old grandpa stuck in a 2 year old body.

I'm going to a party tonight for Mommy Bloggers. The Ultimate Mom's Night Out is co-hosted by my friend Jenny and a blog (wish she was my friend in real life) friend, Kate, and another friend of theirs, Tricia. There will be fun friends, food, giveaways. Yay for me.

And then tomorrow we are off to Toledo. Saturday is my 20th high school reunion. Thanks to Facebook, I've reconnected with a ton of girls and am really looking forward to reuniting with my old *group.* Lots to smile about.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Time flies when you're having a family

How do you go from this?

To this?

To this in one short year?

Yesterday, July 26th, we celebrated our one year anniversary of meeting Quinn. In the adoption circles, this is known as Gotcha Day.

How do you go from this scared little boy who only wanted to be held by daddy the first 36 hours we knew him?

To this?

And how do you ever get to this? (Or maybe the better question is WHY ever get to this? :)

Then there were these shoes waiting to be filled in China.

Now there are converse shoes filled with 2 little pudgy Fred Flinstone feet. And silly bands to boot. (Quinn's trying to set a new trend by wearing HIS on his ankle. Silly boy.)

He's gone from this.

To this. And I quite like it.

We celebrated being a complete family with food from the nearby Chinese Buffet (gross but good when you have kids) and cupcakes.

We also watched the video of us meeting Quinn. It didn't go quite as expected. He seemed to get a bit upset while he watched (tears actually welled up in his eyes as he saw the images of a crying little Quinn) and threw a tantrum when we went to shut it off. He yelled, "I want to see the rest of it. Don't turn it off." So, maybe we'll hold back on that one until he's a little older. I had no idea!

All in all, it was a great day to celebrate the year that it has been.

The only damper was thinking of my mom and wishing she could have been here for this day. She loved and celebrated our adoption nearly as much as Steve and I did. And although I know she didn't miss out on a thing yesterday as she bopped around heaven, I missed having her gush about the day.

So this post is dedicated to the memory of Bebe, who loved and adored and prayed for her little Quinn A LOT. We even asked Jesus to give her an extra hug yesterday in celebration of US being HIS adopted sons and daughters. I'm not sure of a better way to round out our first anniversary of Gotcha Day.

Monday, July 26, 2010

We're not a bunch of morons, really!

I didn't think it would take me so long to do another NJ shore post. But I guess doing it this way extends my 2 night/3 day vacy just a wee bit more. And I could choose just to move on, but oh there are so many characters I want to introduce you to from my visit to NJ.

Take for instance, CarolAnn. She is the Inkeeper at the B&B we stayed at. If you can imagine the thickest NJ accent you've ever heard trapped in the tannest 60something body you've ever seen, then you have officially met CarolAnn.

As soon as we walked through the front door of the Inn (pictured behind us) we met CarolAnn. She's loud and bubbly and a TALKER. We learned that straight away. She wanted to know our whole life stories upon arrival. We decided to give her a nutshell version. Which seemed good enough for CarolAnn. Plus it allowed her more time to talk.

When she found out I was from Ohio her eyes got all big and round and appeared thrilled to meet a *real live mid-westerner.* She gave us the low down on our rooms, the inn and how every thing worked. Then she got all hush hush and kinda leaned in to us. Then she said to both of us but her eyes were directed to me,
"Now, Elizabeth, because you're from Ohio and all, I'm going to give you a tip. When you come down for breakfast in the morning, you're gonna want to grab yourselves one of those beach towels." She motioned over to a basket containing... wait for it... beach towels.
"They're gonna go fast." "Also because you're not from New Jersey, I'll tell you something else. We've had guests here before who will grab three towels. You know, one for their feet, one to sit on, one to dry off with. You're just gonna want to take one towel, you know, so there are enough for everyone."

Ummm, thanks for the tip, CarolAnn. We here folk from U-hio, we dunno to much 'bout how yer spose to go to the beach 'n all. So I'll jist go 'head 'n take one of them there towels.
After a long day at the beach (in which I got by with only one towel. Allllll day. How did I ever do it?) Lisa and I decided to treat ourselves to a lovely meal.

We found this amazing restaurant in Asbury Park, which was the town next door. I wish I had gotten a picture of the outside of the place. It was four stories all with wrap around porch seating. We got there late, with no reservation, which meant an hour and a half wait. OR we could be seated immediately at the bar of the 4th floor. Sold!

When we got there, there was another couple on the other side of the wrap around bar. They left about 10 minutes after we arrived. We had a delightful meal and a fun conversation. About 20 minutes before we headed out, a new couple joined us at the bar. And much like their Russian predecessors, they opted to sit elbow to elbow with Lisa. AND THEN they struck up a conversation.

Again, when they found out I was from Ohio they were thrilled. "Welcome to New Jersey." Blah blah blah. And then the lady says, "See, we're not all a bunch of f**$**g a** h***s!" Wow. I've never had a complete stranger use the f word with me. And yep, she certainly helped clear that stereotype right up. Then they continued to tell us about how we should go "straight away after dinner to the local gay bar. You would get a real hoot out of it." yada yada. I explained how they may not allow me back in the state of Ohio if we did. You know, 'cuz we don't have gay
people here and all.

Let's just say, Lisa and I high tailed it outta there and opted out of the gay bar scene and called it a night at the local ice cream parlor.

I have to say, New Jersey sure has its share of characters. Especially for us country bumpkins from U-hio!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

My dirty little secret

I watch the Bachelorette. It's true. And I can't help myself. Even though it makes me mad and I talk to the tv and I want to crawl under the couch out of embarrassment for someone every week- I love to hate it.

I didn't get sucked into the Bachelor/Bachelorette vortex until last season. (I swear!) I used to judge people who watched *that trash.* But truth be told, the real reason I never got sucked in before "On the Wings of Love " was that I had a meeting every Monday night for years that I had to be at for work during the show. My schedule changed a bit this past school year and I found myself at home, kids in bed, Steve out at least every other Monday, if not more. So I *accidentally* took a peak during the season premier of Jake's season. WELL... you know I had to tune in the following week to see who stuck around. Thus, the vortex had me.

I, much like the rest of the American trash watchers, fell in love with Alli. So, naturally, when I heard she was the Bachelorette this summer... I was in. Overall, I've been pretty disappointed. She hasn't endeared me nearly as much as she did when she was just one of the women vying for the Control Freak Jake (I mean, did you SEE that interview with Jake and Vienna?? Oye Vey. She certainly didn't come off smelling like a rose either.) Goodness.

Here's my point (should I have a point when it comes to a post about the Bachelorette? Don't know. But I have one anyway.) If you did happen to see this past week, we watched Frank (my personal fav) *realize* he's actually in love with his ex-girlfriend. So, he flies ALL THE WAY to Tahiti (and judging from the tan he had during the episode he also got to have a little personal retreat), to lower the boom in person. They cry. They were devastated. Boo hoo. Yada Yada. Personally, I thought she was going to pick Frank and the reason she was devastated was that he didn't fall in love back. She was all bunged up about him realizing he didn't love her.. how dare he etc. Man, I just wanted her to be honest and tell us, "But I wanted to marry him." Of course, she didn't. Because what would that mean for the guy who does propose and then watches the season? Yikers.

Hello HYPOCRITE!! She decides she wants to go through with the rose ceremony even though there are only 2 guys left so that she can be certain that these two guys are in it for love... for her. So she won't get her heart broken.

I'm sitting there yelling at the tv, "WHAT? You want a guarantee from a guy who will then turn around and get sent home? The exact same way Frank let you down and now you're all mad and calling him selfish?" I don't get it! Seriously, I don't. I guess when you're *in control* you lose sight of perspective. Yowzers.

I guess that's what makes it good tv. When your blood pressure gets all high and you want to choke someone through the tube. As for me, I think both of her choices are now dullsville. But then again, so is she.

Here's hoping The Bachelor Pad delivers enough blood pressure raising excitement to put me in the hospital. See you August 3rd.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Home is where the ocean is, unless you live in Ohio. Then it's just vacation.

I made it back alive, refreshed and a bit tanner than I started. I was gone a total of 72 hours, but it might as well have been a month.
There's nothing a little salt air won't cure.
Except a bad contact lens. I spent the entire weekend wearing one contact b/c apparently I either got hot sauce on my contact or had a non-detectable rip in it. Either way, I wanted to scratch my eyeball out of the socket. Not good. I nearly went blind trying to read on the beach the first day. But hey, a girl can't wear glasses at the beach. Especially since 5 minutes into my first swim in the ocean, I lost my favorite Banana Republic sun glasses. But I digress.

You know what else will cure anything? A good girlfriend!

Lisa and I go back to the fall of 1999. We were both foreign students in China. And I'll tell 'ya what. Nothing brings you together with someone more than living in a crappy Chinese dorm room and failing some basic language classes together. Somehow, we've managed to not only stay in touch, but to remain soul sisters! It's a miracle actually. We've only lived on the same side of the world for three out of the eleven years we've been friends. We've been in e/o's weddings. She was even there on our Gotcha Day with Quinn last July 26th (Lisa's birthday!) All in all, life is happier when Lisa is around.

Needless to say, it was a very happy weekend.
Hard not to be when this is the view from your Bed & Breakfast window. (Even if it was on the 4th floor of a non-air conditioned beach house.) But hey, its all about the adventure. Even if its a sweaty one.
Both mornings we awoke to the smell of bacon frying and coffee brewing. For real! I swear to you, I only thought that happened in novels. But I lived it this weekend.
Coffee on our porch, over looking the ocean. Then breakfast prepared by someone else. Yes please.
By 9:30 we were here. I am convinced I could live by the ocean for the rest of my life and die a happy women. I guess that's why I live in Dayton, Ohio.
Lisa and I were some of the first people at the shore on Saturday. Our B&B provided towels and beach chairs but we had to rent a beach umbrella. I'm pretty sure the UV index was 22 or something close to it.
This was my view by noon. Seriously? This Russian family came and set up shop IN OUR LAPS! I'm not kidding when I say I wanted to yell at the top of my lungs, "They are 22 years late, but the Russians have done it. They've finally invaded!" I thought it might be taken as a racial slur and opted not. They even came equipped with a blow up kiddie pool. What the? Do you SEE how close we are to the water? And they needed a pool? Weird.

I don't know how many posts will come from my vacay. But I'm pretty sure I've got some good posts ahead. I certainly don't want to get annoying (anyone wanna come over and see my slides?) But every time something funny (and let me tell 'ya... we were at the Jersey shore, so there was plenty of funny) I'd just smile and say, "Blog worthy!"

Hey, if you can't be at the ocean, at least you can blog about it. Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

It just sneaks up on 'ya

Grief is a funny little devil.

Lately, I've been asked the same question by different people at different times. "How's your grief process going?" The question has been a hard one to answer. Some, because I'm not exactly sure *how it's going.* Nor am I sure what the process is suppose to look like. And before you go there, I know, I know... its not the same for everyone. There is no textbook answer. There's not even a way to prepare for it. And by it, I mean losing your mom. The one lady on the planet whom I NEVER had to explain anything to. And yet spent so much of my day explaining EVERYTHING. She was one person who wanted to know every gory detail of my day and would even ask follow up questions. Just when you thought you'd squeezed the lemon dry!

Most days, I truly am doing "fine" (although *fine* usually seems like the easiest way to answer when you're not really sure how much detail someone wants to know about how you are doing over the loss of your mother.) Fine for me means I'm not spending my day laying in bed with the covers up to my face bawling my eyes out. Fine means I am going about life as normal. Fine *might* mean I just finished off a carton of UDF Carmel Cone ice cream, oops. But all in all I think fine is just fine.

Except yesterday. I took the kids to the pool. It was perfect. Not too hot. Not too crowded. The kids all now have rings to float with and don't seem to need me as much. Olivia grabbed her ring and didn't look back. She found a "friend" she swam with a week or two back. They both had rings and I didn't see her until the next rest period. The boys were doing their thing and my heart swooned. It was so delightful to see my kids be people. Non-needy people (even if it was just for 30 minutes.) Then the thought occurred to me, "I wish I could go and call my mom. This is the kind of story we would have turned into a long conversation."

Later that day, I told Steve about the kids' independence. I told him about O's little friend. I even told him about how I choked up watching them. He listened. He delighted. But he couldn't be my mom. Nor should he.

Sometimes there's a thought that runs though my head, "I'm sad she's missing this." But then Truth rings forth. She's not missing a thing. And not because she's standing at some porthole of heaven spying on us (I just don't buy into that kind of thinking.) She's not missing out because she has EVERYTHING she needs in heaven and in Jesus.

And that's not some pat, Christian answer. I believe that with all my being. I'm the one missing out. I'm missing out on the phone call. I'm missing out on her delighting in my kids. And the million questions and ooos and ahhhs that would follow. And for that I grieve. But when I think of all the years of physical pain, loneliness and depression that she went through and how now all of that is relieved. Me? I'm fine.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I have all the symptoms

Friday morning, I (as in by myself, no other parties, just me) will be climbing aboard an airplane headed for Philly. Yep, Philly. It might not *sound* all that exotic, but trust me, it is!

You see, months before my birthday rolled around, and especially long before I knew my birthday would fall 2 days after my mom's memorial service, I had informed Steve that ALL I wanted for my birthday was a getaway- just for me. Something I have not done in 5 years.

Steve would like to catch me on a technicality; but he can't. You see, there was this little trip to NYC about 2 1/2 years ago. Granted, he didn't go. But I did take Turner. I had to. He was 5 months old and I was nursing him day and night. My good friend Laura was having a Martha Stewart wedding (literally. Laura used to work at the Living magazine. Martha was there. Her wedding was in the the Weddings magazine. I pumped milk in the bathroom at the reception. Classy.) In no way shape or form do I consider that trip *by myself*. Although, it was a great trip and super fun to see friends.

Enough about that. This year, I wanted an actual trip by myself to meet up with my best friend, Lisa. Who happens to live right outside of Philly, in NJ. Originally, we had planned to both fly somewhere super fun and warm, preferably near water. But as the time got closer and the writing was on the wall in regards to my mom's situation, we decided it was best for me to fly her way and we'd stay in a bed and breakfast in a quaint shore town.

So that is exactly what we are doing. And I have all the signs of a woman ready to jet!

Little plane size toiletries? Check (I'll be darned if I'm paying $30 to check a bag for 2 nights.)
Chick Lit? Check (Because I don't have to talk to or entertain ANYONE on 4 whole flights.)
Laundry clean and ready to be packed? Check (I know its 2 days in advance, I just can't help it.)
Fridge stocked so dad doesn't have to think too much? Check ('nough said.)
Unable to sleep at night because I'm so excited? Check

There you have it. I know it's only 2 nights away, but still. You can't blame a girl for a little enthusiasm. Happy Birthday to me!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It's official, I'm a fossil

I've mentioned it before and I'll say it again, I'm such a technical laggard. I remember learning that term in high school and thought, "How lame!" Well, hello lame. I mean, look at my blog. There are so many super cute blogs out there. I've got the *house blog.* You know, the cheapest, most generic blog available. (Side note: I had to train Steve to order the *house wine* when we are out. He used to say, "Yeah, can I get your cheapest glass of Merlot? It would embarrass me to no end. That was just a bonus for 'ya. You're welcome.)

Back to my *house blog*: It's mostly because I'm not creative, partly because I'm too cheap to pay to have someone design it and slightly because I wouldn't even know WHERE to begin re-designing it. Plus I like to live by a simple little motto which states, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

I was reading some blogs today and I came across one that encouraged me to join SwagBucks. I've seen it on my friends' Facebook pages for months now. Someone sent me an invite a while ago and it intimidated me and so I didn't look into it.

Call it boredom. Call it a whim. Call it a rainy/stormy day getting the best of me. Whatever its called, I signed up for SwagBucks this afternoon. Now, I'm pretty sure there is a way I can promote it here on this blog and get some extra *bucks* but honestly, I don't know how. Nor am I sure you want to get a commercial from me. Perhaps once I *start* I won't be able to stop. I guess I haven't officially started yet, then, 'cuz I don't feel super committed.

I mean I've got coupons to clip, a blog to write, a house to clean, Facebook to keep up on. Oh and then there's those kids who live here and need parented. Do I really need *one more thing* to obsess over? Well, here goes.

If you have any SwagBucks advice you would like to pass along, I'm all ears. In the meantime, I've got to go tune up my Walkman and dust off the VCR; It's gonna be a long rainy day.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Anyone have a hammer I can borrow?

Because that's what I'm bringin' 'round here! A hammer. The kids who live with me, yep, they're totally out of control. I realize I've brought most of it on myself. With my mom's situation and all; let's just say discipline hasn't been the #1 most important thing lately. And boy, aren't kids smart? They sure can smell an opportunity when it's upon them. Manipulator's R Us. That's what this house should be called.

So, in an attempt to get things under control, I have armed myself with several books. First thing first, I got myself a copy of The 5 Love Languages for Kids. I'll get to that one of these days. Second, I did a bit of a re-skim of Boundaries with Kids (one of my personal favs)... but need to give myself a *pep talk* from it every once in a while. Third and perhaps most importantly, a book that I'm quite sure God led me to *accidentally.* It's called "Have a New Kid by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman. What can I say? It was $5 at the check out at the book store and I was all, "Heck yeah, I 'd like a new kid by Friday." So, I bought it.

Oh. My. Word! It's just what the doctor ordered.

I can't put it down. I just keep shaking my head in agreement with all the stuff that he's saying. And it's really do-able stuff. The problem is: I can't read it fast enough. Not to mention, I've got to get Steve to read it so that we are on the same page- discipline wise (I'm sure no one else EVER has that problem.) But so far, I like what I've read.

Here's the thing... this parenting thing, it's hard work! I realize I can't just read a book and poof my three kids step in line. I need to be consistent. Loving. Encouraging. Firm. And most importantly, forgiving of them and myself. That, my friends, is hard work.

Well, I'm off to read a few more pages before nap time is over. Here's hoping that Friday comes quickly, 'cuz I need me some new kids.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

In My Sleep

Remember how once upon a time I used to live in NYC? Yep. I was a 23 year old whipper snapper, running around Manhattan like I owned it. And I loved it. I worked at NYU doing college ministry with a Christian organization. It was *challenging* to say the least. My first year it was me and this freshman boy from Texas. We met weekly to pray for the campus. He left the following year. Guess he couldn't hack it. He headed back to the Lone Start State. But the following year we un-earthed about 6 or so Jesus followers. It was good times.

Well, the year prior to my getting there, a guy named Allen Wolf graduated from NYU film school was involved with our group and attended my church, Redeemer Presbyterian. He was a strong believer and a talented guy. From what I heard. He was, in fact, a legend. It was all, "Too bad Allen's not still here" that whole time it was me and the freshman Texan. Yeah, really too bad! You know what else is funny, the guy's from Dayton. Who knew. My life has now officially come full circle.

OK, so fast forward a (ackhem) few years to last night. (Yep, we're talking a 14 few years.) Steve and I went to a Dayton area showing of Allen's new film "In My Sleep." It was a film featured at the Cannes Film Festival. And it was good. And it had some cool spiritual themes with out being a cheesy *Christian* movie. In fact, some Christians might not be super happy with the subject matter; I for one thought it was brilliantly done.

After the film was over, Allen did a Q&A time. It was rather insightful. Again, some may not have been happy because he didn't use his platform to "share the Gospel." I thought he was spot on. I love that there is someone in the film world, grounded in his faith (from what I hear) and yet making good movies. Not cheesy. Not in your face. But subtle. I was going to introduce myself after the Q&A, but it looked like I was going to have to stand in line behind every 4th grade classmate and 70 year old Sunday school teacher who was in attendance. All so I could say, "Hi Allen, I'm Elizabeth and I used to work at NYU." Stupid. So I skipped it.

If you're in Dayton and looking for something to do this weekend, I'd recommend hitting it before it leaves town. It's out at the Greene and you can check the Internet for show times. You can also go to the movie's face book page and see if its coming to your town soon.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Getaway part two

I'm finally getting around to posting the second half of our Grandma getaway. What can I say? That Jake/Vienna interview took a lot out of me on Monday. I'm still a bit behind!

Are we the only ones who like to wash their car on vacation? Do we know how to party or what? I guess it IS a party when you let your kids do the work for you. Shhh.. don't tell Children Services.

Steve's parents live right across the street from Lake Erie. Which is nice. It makes me feel like we are on a real vacation. With water and sand and stuff.

Mostly my kids threw rocks into the water.

I'm not really sure why any of them had those rings. Not one of them went in.

In fact, this guy didn't even get near the water. But hey, it's better to be safe then sorry.

And if a tsunami happened, by golly, he would have been ready!

On Saturday, the 3rd, we headed into Cleveland to see Steve's sister's new apartment. *Luckily* she lives across the street from Crocker Park, a really cool shopping town that was having a blow out 4th of July festival complete with face painting, pony rides and a live band.

I know I'm biased, but isn't she one of the prettiest girls you've ever seen?! Wow.

And she loves her some face paint (or in this case, wrist paint.)

Did I mention people on stilts? 'Cuz they had that too!

Although the pony rides were a $5 per kid rip off, we splurged and did it (mostly b/c I knew it would be a good blog pic!) I'm sick, I know.

Here is the one picture of the one kid who smiled one time for my $15 investment.

Because then, the smiles stopped.

I'm not sure who is more unhappy looking, Olivia or the pony.

I'm going with the pony.

And Turner? At least he wasn't crying!

And I think I can read Quinn's mind from here, "They sure never made me do THIS at the orphanage!"

The happiest part of this picture? The DSW in the background.

The rest of the day was spent running around the shopping town in 95 degree heat, trying to track down *sparkly* silly bands. To no avail.

Happy 9th of July to you and yours.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

What's up doc

Did you ever have one of those days where it just felt like your life got hijacked?

Welcome to my day.

Poor Turner. He's just an accident/boo boo waiting to happen.

Our family has battled MRSA for a few years now. If you don't know what MRSA is, thank your lucky stars. Its a staph infection that is impervious to antibiotics.

We usually know someone around here has it when a nasty boil somewhere on the skin appears. Then we know it's going to get passed around for a few weeks. And I'll tell you one thing about those boils... they hurt!

We noticed one last week on Turner's belly. Below his belly button but under is diaper line. Let's just say, not a good place to have a boil. There's really no good place to have a boil. But this is a REALLY not good place. Especially when you still wear a diaper.

After nearly a week off of workouts, I was looking forward to a kick-butt spinning class. The writing was on the wall, however, when we got up and the boil was still nasty looking so I got him in at the pediatrician.

I know I've *mentioned* my slight irritations with my pediatrician and his poorly managed office before. Well, today didn't help build his case. After sitting for a nice long while, he came in, gave it a quick look over and decided it was too big of a situation for him to handle, so he made us an appointment over at Dayton's Children's Hospital in their outpatient surgery office.

At 2:00 (right in the middle of nap time) all 4 of us headed over to be told there really wasn't much they could do surgically today. Come back Friday if it doesn't look better.

This is what the crew looked like on the way back from the hospital.

I basically looked the same way. But 40 minutes after arriving home, Olivia and I had to head back out for an appointment with her counselor. I've been taking O to see a Christian Counselor since April to help her over come some anxiety issues. Today was the day I intended to *break up* with Dr. Ruth (yep, that's what she asks to be called!) And if you were around at all in the 80's and remember trying to steal a listen to the Dr. Ruth call-in show, you'll know why I can barely call her that with out snickering. Mature, I know.
For a bunch of reasons, including the fact that I got in trouble last time we were there for my boys being *too loud* in the lobby for the hour we had to wait for O to talk to her, I've decided enough is enough. Needless to say, I wasn't exactly looking forward to the conversation. And yep, I got talked into coming at least one more time. We'll take it from there.
All in all, I spent WAY too much time in Dr.'s offices today. Tomorrow... I don't care who's sick around here. They are on their own!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Getaway part one


Summertime doesn't get any better than a trip to Grandma's when COUSINS are going to be there.

And there was plenty of fun to be had by all up in Ashtabula this past week.

Geneva on the Lake (an old school *resort* that is now a touch dumpy but perfect for our kids' ages) has become a family favorite. Rides, fair food, and games.

What a difference a year makes with this kind of stuff. Last year Olivia rode the bumper boats but kind of hated it. This year, she LOVED it.

As did I. Lucky me. Since Quinn wimped out at the last minute, I got to ride kid-free. I had so much fun slamming into my family. Pent up frustrations? Oops.

One night (right before bed) we let the kids frost cookies and decorate them.

I confess, it was all my idea.

Mostly because the tub of frosting called my name as we strolled through Giant Eagle that afternoon. What can I say? It was vacation and my defenses were down.

After the decorating session was over, the sugar buzz was palpable.

But it didn't really matter anyways. There was little sleep to be had at grandma's house this past week.

All three of our kids were in the same room and that is a recipe for noise (and heaps of fun.) I could listen to them enjoy themselves for awhile.
Then, I lay down the law.

The girls invented a game of store in grandma's bushes.

But they needed customers. Thankfully, grandma is always game for a newly invented game.

A new water table awaited our arrival. The kids really had fun with this table. Of course we have a pool and sprinkler at home that they are already bored with but they wouldn't leave this thing alone. Naturally, we came home with it at the end of the week. What are the chances it will go by the pool/sprinkler wayside in about 6 days?!

One thing we did NOT come home with was this Barbie Princess car (praise the Lord!). But the kids had soooo much fun driving this thing in circles around the driveway. This is another thing that has really changed in the past year.

Last year, Olivia would ride in it but would not drive.

This year, her brothers were lucky to get a turn. See how happy Turner was once he did?!

All in all, its good to have cousins. But its even better when you get to spend time with them!

We love and miss you Natalie and Carter.