Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sometimes I'm a cool mom

I have mixed feelings about summer coming to an end. I love the structure we keep during the school year. I love laying out clothes the night before, getting to bed on time, packing lunches, and just being on a schedule. But during the summer I also love having the freedom to let the kids stay up and watch one more episode of Jimmy Neutron (which by the way, is the most awesome cartoon in the whole wide world!), counting swimming as bath time and eating chips, dip, and chocolate chip cookies for dinner. But alas, here we are back to structure and schedules. So I thought I would let the kids have one last real good summer day without worrying about naptime, staying clean, eating healthy and just have FUN! I suggested that the kids go play in the mud. Jack thought this was the coolest idea ever. Don't get me wrong, he has played in the mud plenty of times but never at Mom's suggestion so this was extra cool mud time. Addie was just excited because Jack was excited and ran around the house yelling, "Addie! Mud! Addie! Mud!" So we get into our bathing suits, turn on the sprinkler, and I just wait for the mud throwing to begin. But it doesn't...

Both of the kids just tip toe around as if the mud is going to explode at any moment. Addie tasted a little but then was done with it. Jack was so worried about getting his swim trunks muddy. SERIOUSLY???? Are these my kids? I don't know if it was because the whole thing was my suggestion that threw them off or what but they were not feeling it...yet.

So I had to do the only thing any good parent would do when their kids need a little encouragement. I picked up a huge glob of mud and threw it right into Jack's perfectly clean swim trunks. Then smeared it all over Addie. That got them motivated and by the end of the afternoon we were covered. Everywhere. Literally. But it was soooooo worth the hour long group shower because Jack came and gave me a big disgusting hug not caring that he was rubbing his face into the mud on my tummy and said, "Momma, I just love you. " That little boy just melts my heart!

Friday, August 20, 2010

My Important List

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A while back I was washing dishes and I noticed this sweet little message written in the sand. We had brought a plastic bottle full of Destin sand home and it had moisture in it so I had poured it into a bowl and sat it in the widow to dry out. Levi was in Arizona when I saw his handiwork and it made my day. I was smiling like an idiot all day long. Which then got me thinking. I seem to take for granted so many of the beautiful blessings God has for me because I am too busy to stop and read the writing in the sand. So I started making a list of all the things that make me happy. Here is what I have so far, in no particular order...
1. Sweet messages that Levi leaves around the house. I have a lipstick "I love you" on the mirror in the bathroom that I refuse to clean away. It is probably stained there by now anyways.
2. Coloring with Addie.
3.Touching foots with Jack
4.When Levi calls me Beautiful or Darling (sounds more like Darlin).
5. When Levi calls Addie Beautiful or Darling.
6. Family dinner nights at my Dad's with my siblings.
7. When Jack tells me he loves me bunches and bunches and bunches.
8. Addie's perfect little mouth.
9. Waking up during the night and feeling Levi's foot always touching mine.
10. Every time I pull into work and Mom's giant black truck is waiting in the parking lot to help me bring in the kids and our loads of stuff.
11. Netflix
12. Levi, Jack and Addie's puffy eyes in the morning.
13. Text messages from Levi
14. Talking on the phone to Stef while our kids tear our houses apart in the background.
15. Cooking
16. The 23 minutes of complete "me time" during an episode of Wonderpets.
17. Watching Addie in ballet class.
18. Reading back through my prayer journal
19.Going for long drives with Levi.
20.When Jack holds Addie's hand.
21. Sitting in our big chair with a good book and hot green tea.
22. Jack's laugh.
23. Addie's laugh.
24. When Levi tells me about his day and tries to dummy down the programming speak so that I can understand.
25. Coffee with my sister.
26. My planner.
27. When my Mimi passes down her magazines.
28. When Jack says, "That's amazing!" about anything.
29. The way Addie says, "No." It almost comes out as two syllables and ends with her lips in a pucker.
30. The way Addie says, "Cockadoodledoo."
31. Jack's super hero moves.
32. When the kids are napping and the house has been put back together.
33. My store.
34. My "I love you" mug that mom gave me when I moved out.
35. Our home.
36. Putting together big puzzles with Jack.
37. Going out to eat for breakfast.
38. Uncle Matt.
39. Painting Addie's toenails.
40. Playing hide and go seek.
41. Getting mail.
42. Jack's hair.
43. Running.
44. Date nights that aren't over until the next day.
45. Addie's blue eyes.
46. Soup
47. The chalkboard in my kitchen.
48. Doing laundry while watching a movie.
49. When Levi kisses my forehead or my temple.
50. Jack's imagination.
51. The movie "Nothing to Lose."
52. The perfect smell of the mountains in summer.
53. Levi's grilled cheese sandwiches.
54. Anyone with the last name of Lawson
55. Listening to Jack tell anybody who will listen that his JoJo has a baby in her tummy and he is going to see the baby when the doctor takes him out at the hospital.
56. Coffee with cream and sugar.
57. Living next door to my parents.
58. Getting cuddly with Jack.
59. Addie's Cuddles
60. My every day dishes.
61. Addie's curls.
62. Cut flowers in the bud vases from Levi's Nannie's house.
This could go on and on but I have to say that making this short little list helps me keep my priorities in check. When I start to freak out because I feel like I have no clothes in my closet that is in fact full of clothes or when I grind my teeth every time my stupid check engine light comes on in my very old yet paid for Montero I just think about this list and remember that these are the things that are important. These things bring true happiness. These things are my world.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Little Ballerina

Addie started ballet last week and it was the CUTEST THING EVER!!!!! She is a little young (it is a 2 year old class and Addie doesn't turn 2 until the very end of October) but she did soooo good! I knew she would love it because she is always dancing, clapping, twirling, singing, and hopping but I was worried that she would be nervous to leave me and go to her class since the only time we are apart is for less than an hour on Sunday mornings. But she couldn't have cared less about leaving me. She just turned and followed all of the very cute and teeny ballerinas right into their studio. Ms. Ashli asked that we not watch from the window because it may be distracting so all of us proud parents gathered around the tv in the lobby keeping our fingers crossed that our little girls would do the moves and not go running for the door the minute they realized Mommy was no where to be seen. Jack was with me and every time it would be Addie's turn to point her toes, hop, walk with the princess wand, or twirl, he would get so excited for her. He was such a proud big brother. I thought my heart would explode out of my chest because I just love the way Jack dotes on his little sis. But who wouldn't really? She is absolutely the most adorable little ballerina ever! (At least we think so.)
I tried to snap a few pictures before we left for ballet class but she was so excited I only got a couple.
Here she is showing us her moves.
Jack snapped one of me and my little dancer.
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There she goes walking to her class like a big girl.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Not exactly the best vacation ever.

Levi is working is Arizona for a while and so to break up the long distance the kids and I flew back with him to spend a week. I had pictured a nice relaxing week of sleeping in late, watching cartoons, playing the Wii, shopping, swimming in the hotel pool, site seeing and most importantly being with my husband. But I was mistaken...

The trip started at 5am. So right there I should have known this couldn't go well. But the kids were so excited once we got to the airport, especially Jack. I on the other hand was not too thrilled with my role as a mule. WE HAD SO MUCH LUGGAGE! We brought one big suitcase, one smaller suitcase, a large duffel bag, a large tote, Addie's car seat and Jack's booster, plus this huge backpack filled with laptops from Levi's work. We had a lot of time to blow at the airport and I was nervous that the kids would get antsy but they LOVED watching the airplanes.
I'm sure it took a whole bottle of Windex to clean all their little nose smudges and finger prints off the windows. Oh well.
Jack kept asking to do the slide thing. I didn't understand until he showed me in the "just in case we crash" manual and inside is the picture of the emergency exit with a man sliding down the inflatable slide. I tired to explain that he really didn't want to have to go down the slide but he wasn't convinced.
Back to my story...we arrive in Arizona, drive for 1.5 hours and end up in Sierra Vista. We get checked into our hotel and soon discover that there is no cartoon network, the Internet is SLOW, and the Wii that added 5 pounds to my luggage cannot be hooked up to the dinosaur of a TV. Okay, I can handle this. No biggie. We will just go to the pool.

We are swimming for maybe 10 minutes before Jack announces he's had a poopoo accident. WHAT?!?!?! This was the first introduction to "THE WEEK OF DIARRHEA." Dun dun daaaaaaa!
Let's just say that in 3 days we had gone through every pair of underwear and shorts that I had packed for Jack. Every time we would go do something such as play at the park, we would get 10 minutes into it and then all of a sudden the PooPoo monster would attack. So the kids and I spent 3 hours of the third day in the hotel's laundry room. This was not fun considering I had to wash Addie's Cuddles because she got ketchup on her. This was the longest hour and a half of my life. It didn't matter what I tried, Addie stayed right by the washer and dryer crying, "CUCAH!" (She can say Cuddles but she still calls her Cucah.)

We spent a large part of every day in the room napping. Levi would get up and go to work sometimes as early as 4:30am and therefore the rest of us were awake at 4:30am as well. So our days started very early which meant nap time was a must.
The kids had to share a bed and I was a little nervous that they would kick and wake each other up but it didn't matter how much they tossed and turned they both slept soundly.

I thought this was soooo cute!

The best part of the whole trip was the times we got to spend with Levi. We actually got to eat dinner together every night which was sooooo nice!

By the 4th day the kids and I were getting a little stir crazy. We had already visited the mall, which was a half step up from Crossroads and only because it had a Dillards. The park had lost it appeal due to the lack of necessary bathrooms. So I thought that this would be a great day to pick up lunch and have a picnic by the pool and then go for a swim. After ordering our $20 sandwiches from the hotel restaurant, putting on bathing suits, packing towels, blowing up floaties, applying sunblock, searching for everyone's sunglasses and then one more potty break we went down to the pool only to discover caution tape all around it. Not that I would have gotten in that pool without it because it was pretty obvious that the water was far from clean. (Apparently there had been a party by the pool the night before and I don't even want to know what made the pool the foggy mess that it was.)
So plan B...I get us all dressed and we head for Tombstone. We had quite a drive to get there but despite the fact that it is just souvenir shop after souvenir shop filled with overpriced breakable items my kids would just love to get their clumsy little hands on, we still had a pretty good time. We stopped into one of the fudge shops and the kids got to try the different flavors, even bubble gum. We went to a petting zoo and got to see goats, donkeys, horses (which Addie continued to yell, "MOO!" at) and an emu. So not that impressive. We were really hoping for a Gila monster or roadrunner since we were in the desert but at this point we would take what entertainment we could get.

We got to take a ride in the stage coach and although the kids didn't care one bit what the driver was describing about the tour they had a great time!

They didn't want to sit on the same seat as me so they moved to their own. So grown up.

I know! Weird picture right? This is only one of the many crazy things that makes me believe that Arizona has some issues. I mean, who rakes their rocks? And for that matter, why not have grass? I know the answer is because it is the desert but don't you see grass in this picture? So it is possible.

Stef, this picture is for you. I thought you would get a good laugh at Jack's long body and short shirt.

The absolute best part of the whole trip was our drive up in the mountains. we drove up for two hours and still didn't get to the top. But we did get some really beautiful pictures. It is sad that the camera doesn't really show how high up we were but if you look closely you can see a rainbow. It was so pretty!

Oh, okay. So here is another thing that is kind of off about Arizona. I understand that it is close to the border and all but do they really stick the illegals in that sad little stray dog carrier thing on the bed of the truck? Get a van border patrol.

Once we drove as high as our rental Corolla could go we got out and started to hike. This was fun for the first hour...

Then it started to rain. Should have figured.

Jack hurt his foot and couldn't walk the rest of the way back so for the hour back we had to carry the kids. I took Jack even though he is the heavier one because Addie is much harder to carry because she is sooooo squirmy.

Back in the Corolla, wet but happy.
So even though it wasn't the best trip ever it was still better than the alternative, which is what I am enduring at this moment and that is missing my guy. He only has two weeks left and I am flying up this weekend for a romantic spa getaway (SO EXCITED) so I just keep counting down the days.
Sidenote: For all you killers and crazys, my giant super strong dad lives next door to me and he will so kill you if you even think about bothering me and the kids while Levi is gone. Seriously, don't even go there. You WILL end up dead. Just letting you know.