Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pushing 30

This past weekend was our annual trip to Shepherd of the Ozarks in Arkansas. We go every year for Levi's birthday, a tradition that started when he was 16 by his mom and grandmother. I was invited along for the first time when I was just a Junior in high school and have been Levi's four wheeling partner ever since. Now I would not have ever thought I would be the type of girl that would enjoy a vacation that consisted of mud, bugs, four wheeling, hiking, no makeup, no Internet, no phones, no tv, and no beach, but aside from my home, Shepherd of the Ozarks (SOTO) is my favorite place in the world. I know Levi feels the same way and we both are so grateful that we can share it with our children. Now that the kids accompany us, our regular daily schedule of eat, four wheel for hours, eat, four wheel for hours, eat, sleep has turned into eat, potty, nap, potty, four wheel maybe an hour, potty, eat, potty, nap, potty, play by the creek and maybe four wheel, potty, eat, potty, sleep. We spent a lot more time in our cabin this year than normal, partly due to the wonderfully drizzly weather and partly because we had a 10 month old who was a trooper despite the running nose. I am a little disappointed because I didn't take as many pictures as I normally do on our trips but I was enjoying our time so much that I rarely thought to grab the camera. But I did get a few...

Levi got off to take the picture but all four of us rode on the four wheeler together. In fact, it is one of my favorite parts of the whole trip because I get to just hug and kiss on my family the whole time we are riding.

This is Bufford the buffalo. We are fond of Bufford because we have had past run ins with him before he was put behind a fence. Levi's quick four wheeling skills saved our lives one year when Bufford charged us. All is forgiven though and Jack loves to visit him.

Addie fell asleep on the four wheeler while we were riding. It is pretty obvious that she feels very safe in her Daddy's arms.

We couldn't get her to wake up. She was sound asleep.

There she is starting to open her eyes but still completely relaxed in Daddy's arms.

Jack and Levi played in the cold creek. There are several deep swimming areas with lots of cool rocks to jump from. The boys had lots of fun.

Addie enjoyed picking up the rocks and trying to sneak them into her mouth.

What can I say? This picture was taken by Daddy so I have no idea why Jack is wearing goggles, standing on the table and holding onto the gun light fixture. But it makes for a cute picture.

There is a great little playground there that the kids enjoyed playing on while Levi had to do some four wheeler repairs.

Levi's 82 year old Nannie crossing the creek like a pro.

Last year Jack, Karalu, and Levi started the tradition of Splash Wars. Levi is the champion once again this year. Poor Karalu gets soaked because Jack isn't able to throw very far quite yet and all his splashes end up getting her.

On our last night in Arkansas Addie was apparently attacked by a mosquito and had little red spots all over her face. But once again she was a trooper and it never seemed to faze her.
Just because he's cute.

Happy birthday my love. I feel so honored that you have chosen me to grow old with...and with 30 only being a year away your almost there! ;)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Rolling with the punches

I have been needing to hire some more help at the store but I have been putting it off because frankly, I hate the interview process. You would not believe how many interviews I have to go through before landing on someone worthy of working a cash register and stocking shelves! I actually had one applicant explain to me that she worshiped some planet god, could bring people and horses back to life (as if waking dead people wasn't weird enough she had to throw in the horses too) and that her daughter was from the future. I don't know what it is about the health food industry but man it seems to bring out the crazies. So fortunately for me I procrastinated long enough for my brother to get a good school schedule that would allow him to help me out at the store. Friday was his first day and even though he had worked there as a kid, I still needed to train him on products and refresh his memory on the basics. So as always I took my two spastic kids with me to our very small store. They were good for the most part...until I got the phone call.... Our very small store was packed to capacity with me, Matthew, Jack, Addie, Levi (who had gotten off work early and come up to the store to eat left over pizza), and 4 customers. I was helping a fairly aggressive woman when Levi hands me my cell phone. It is the alarm company. The woman on the phone explains that our silent alarm had been sounded and the police were on their way. JAAAAAAAAAACK!!!!!! That's right, Jack has just been going to town pushing the little silent alarm button over and over and over. While I am still on the phone with the alarm company the store phone rings and Matt picks it up. The conversations goes something like this...
MATT: "Health Food Store"
DISPATCHER: "This is the police department. We show that your silent alarm has been set off."
MATT: "Oh yeah, that was my nephew. It was an accident. Everything is fine."
DISPATCHER: "Sir, what are you wearing."
MATT: "Ummm, green shirt and khakis."
DISPATCHER: "Sir, we need you to come out the front door of the store with you hands where they can be seen."
So poor Matt walks outside with his hands held above his head holding the phone and is surrounded by three police officers. Levi followed him out and explained the situation. I was still trying to help my demanding customer but I managed to convince Jack that he needed to go apologize to the police officers. Everyone was very understanding and we all had a good laugh afterwards. Matt was super wonderful about the whole thing and didn't seem to mind that his nephew almost got him arrested on his first day at the Sunshine Shoppe. Thanks Matt for rolling with the punches!
We literally spent the rest of the weekend shopping. Saturday and Sunday were the least relaxing days we had all week. I think Levi was ready to go back to work after Sunday. At this time of year I always freak out because the weather is getting cooler and my kids have no cool weather clothes that fit. Plus we are leaving for our annual trip to Arkansas this week and it is always chilly there. So I felt compelled to at least buy the kids enough clothes to get us through the trip. Labor day sales rocked and I managed to fill both kids closets. My favorite finds of the day were Addie's skinny jeans and these adorable little pink moccasins with fuzz on the inside. Levi was such a champ all day because he entertained Jack while Addie and I would go into each store and shop. We make a pretty good shopping team but I know I enjoy it much more than the rest of my teammates. Sunday we went to Canton and barely survived the heat. But it was completely worth it because one of my favorite booths had a half off sale going on and I found Addie some really adorable outfits. I was hoping to find some neat decorations for Addie's party but didn't fall in love with anything, but I did buy Ad's birthday tutu and cupcake top while I was there. I also got her a pretty little vintage rod iron maniquin for her bedroom to display her tutus on. I'm so please with how cute it is in her room that I think I'll get a couple more in different sizes. Even though I got a lot of really great things at Canton, the best part of the day was lunch. We had a late lunch and were starving, tired and hot. We had seen a place called Dairy Palace on the way to Canton that had a sign boasting of world famous burgers. We decided that we deserved a world famous burger and OH MY GOSH, it was sooooo amazing! We drove home full, exhausted, and broke. Now I have a whole four weeks to save up for the next Canton shopping trip and Dairy Palace burger! ;)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

First Day of School...Again

So school has begun for us and although I thought it would cause life to feel less hectic, it has had the opposite effect. I felt like during the summer we lacked structure and routine and the school year would get us back into that. But I am having a hard time with it. Jack goes to preschool on Tuesday and Thursday and this Tuesday was his first day. I was so prepared. The night before I packed his backpack with extra clothes, his lunch box with a healthy, yummy lunch along with my signature "I love you" napkin, and put them by the door along with his napmat and folder. I also went ahead and packed Addie's and my bags for the day as well because we were going to be going into work after dropping Jack off. So I went to bed feeling good about myself and confident that the next day would go smoothly. STUPID STUPID STUPID. The next morning I am almost done getting the three of us ready to walk out the door to take pictures when I realize Jack has once again pooped in his underwear!!!!! So I strip him down and stick him in the bath 20 minutes before we should be loading up in the car. I rush and get him ready and make him pose outside for some pics of him with his backpack and lunch box looking like the cutest big boy ever. I drive like a maniac to school so that I can get pictures with Jack and his cousin Rylan. We make it, get all the pictures, and then Jack just runs into his classroom without even kissing me or saying "Bye Mom, I love you. I will miss you. You are the best mommy ever and when we are apart I think about how much I love you. I'm going to be tough and go to school like a big boy but I can't wait until you come pick me up." Nothing! Not even a wave! HEART BREAK! The day gets better and Jack got a sticker at school with no potty accidents. YAY! Got home, stuck the camera card in the computer to download the pictures and apparently got distracted because I never actually got to the downloading part. But then at dinner I pulled it out because Addie was being so silly with her spaghetti and I just had to get a picture. Later I went to download the pictures once again and realized that all of Jack's pictures from his very important first day of school were GONE!!!

So today is Thursday, day two of school but I decided to try and recreate "the first day of school" day. The day promised to be good because my hair looked decent enough for public viewing after only brushing it a couple of times. This was truly amazing because 99% of the time I look in the mirror in the morning and my hair is bigger than me! Levi always says I'm the most beautiful first thing in the morning except for my hair. But for some reason I got a break today. So I got to spend less time on hair and actually straighten my house before we walked out the door to once again take pictures. We take pictures and I load the kids into the car and run back inside for my coffee and all our bags. As I am walking back out the door Jack is walking to me. That booger crawled out of his seat, locked the doors, got out, and shut the doors, with the keys and Addie inside the car!!! Panic hit and I called Levi freaking out because I thought he had the only spare key. He tells me there is one in the junk drawer and to look there. Well I can't even get that darn drawer to open all the way and all of a sudden I turn all my frustration on to Levi for stuffing his random wires, screws, hammers, tape, and other man stuff into the already full drawer. Really I was feeling really guilty for leaving keys in the car with the kids inside and was trying to turn the blame on Levi, an innocent victim of my wrath. But after pulling out several tools and empty boxes I was able to open the drawer and locate the key. All was well and Addie was only in the car by herself for 3 minutes max.

Due to the craziness of the morning I managed to forget Addie's lunch so I stuck a sticker on the door of the store explaining I would be right back and we walked over to Subway. I thought that the nice Subway people would give me a little thing of some black olives but they said they would have to charge me for a full salad. So I got Addie some pickles, olives, and turkey and paid over five bucks. She hated all of it! But I got some cute pictures from it so I think it was worth the $5.

As much as I was looking forward to it, I'm really glad our school/work week is over. I'm beginning to think I'm not as structured as I thought I was. It seems like regardless of how much I prepare, chaos always follows me where ever I go...his name is Jack. ;)