Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Levi Turns ONE!

You're always told when you have kids to "enjoy them...they grow up so fast." I really have tried to keep that in mind these 8+ years of being a mommy. This past year was no exception.
Sunday was Levi's, my baby's, first birthday. All of their first birthdays have crept up on me, but this time was crazy. It felt like four, maybe five months had gone by since the day we welcomed him into our family.
We spent the afternoon at the botanical gardens' water play area. It was the hottest day so far this year. Levi didn't want to hit the fountains too much, but he had a blast watching his siblings run through the area.
Oh, and he loved his first taste of birthday cake!
Sweet baby, I'm so glad you're a part of our bunch!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I have the best husband in the world. It's not a matter of opinion, it's a fact. If you knew him the way I do, you'd agree. I seriously hit the jackpot on that chilly day in October 1997 when that first handshake started it all.
We knew about the conference months ago. Greg would need to go to Washington, DC for a week to attend sessions upon sessions set up for math teachers and their supervisors. (He's so smart...can you imagine? A convention center full of math nerds?) He had the idea for me to join him for a night or two. I was nervous to leave all of the kids, something we haven't done in...well, too long. He left Sunday afternoon with his colleagues. I was to join him the next day.
Monday morning came along. I had four little backpacks all ready to go. My suitcase was packed. I dropped off Levi first, the hardest one to leave. I bawled when I got back in the car with the other kids. Half an hour later, I was on the interstate, alone in the rain, wondering if I was making the right choice leaving them for two full days.
I DID! Greg and I spent 41 hours together without anyone calling us Mommy or Daddy. With the exception of a couple of hours that first evening, the weather was beautiful. The hotel was INCREDIBLE. We ate and ate at places we could never bring the kids to. We walked hand in hand through the National Mall and a couple of Smithsonians. All by ourselves. We were able to enjoy each other all day long on a level that's just not possible when you're pushing strollers, breaking up fights, explaining your surroundings, and feeding four other people while trying to enjoy your own food.
Wednesday morning, it was nearly impossible for me to leave the hotel. I had to force myself to get in the car and drive away.
Thank goodness I have such great kids to come home to.

He gets home on Saturday. It can't come fast enough...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Do Not Attempt

Sometimes I think I forget that I have as many children as I do. Maybe it's not that. Sometimes I forget that I have a couple that are as young as they are.
For so long, I had just Emily and Kaleb, and life was simple. I had a 5 and 3 year old. We could try to do quite a bit. Sometimes I think I still can.
Like yesterday...
Emily and Greg are gone on their semi-annual father/daughter Indian Princess campout. Usually on these weekends, I am in survival mode. Recent inspiration (I'll share...maybe next post...) encouraged me to really enjoy the other kids and spoil them a bit this time around. I may have also been driven by the fact that tomorrow I leave to spend two days alone with Greg in Washington, DC...alone...alone...alone...something we haven't done in the year since Levi was born.
Anyway, I spent the evening taking a beaming six-year old Kaleb all over town, watching him light up at each surprise stop. He made me promise not to tell what we were doing; he wanted to be surprised. It was SO cute! We started at the gym. Mommy needed a little cardio and they just love the Kidzone, for whatever reason. We went to Cici's pizza. What is it about that place that kids love so much? Avery and Levi were as good as I could ever expect them to be...the place was mobbed and even I felt overstimulated. Kaleb was allowed 3 desserts.
We went to the grocery store to buy a car he's had his eye on. Doesn't sound all that excited but he was overjoyed.
Then we went to the new Regal Theater that opened up this week, just down the road from our house. They had men in tuxedos and cheerleaders welcoming people at the door. Balloons everywhere. Free popcorn and soda. Kaleb didn't know what to do with himself. We stood in our place in the concessions line, ten people from the register. This is where the fun began. Levi was in the umbrella stroller, and started to lose his patience. It was his bedtime when we got there and he wanted everyone to know it. Avery started trying to push him around. This is about when I started getting the pity looks. I was oblivious to the fact that this task may seem impossible for a bulging-bellied woman, her six year old, two year old, and almost one year old.
We finally made our way into the theater. Monsters vs. Aliens, here we come...Oh, and by the way, Avery has these weird phobias, like little jumping dogs, bugs, and...loud noises. They must have had the volume to the max. She started freaking out. The theater was small. It seemed like we were three feet from the giant screen and blasting speakers. Oh boy.
I spent the first hour of the film consoling Avery, whose screams eventually subsided to every two to three minutes. She was on one leg, insisting that I keep one arm tightly around her. My other leg and arm was busy with Levi, who decided he loved the movie and loved climbing all over me during it. We all went to the bathroom halfway through. One glace in the mirror showed me that I looked how I felt. My ponytail was just about on the side of my head.
We reentered the theater. Avery sat in the stroller and sucked her thumb. Levi fell asleep on my lap. Ten minutes of peace and the movie was over.
I can't believe it didn't send me into labor.

Kaleb said it was the best night ever.
Thank God...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Eleven more weeks...really?

So today marks 29 weeks pregnant. I still haven't posted preggo pics; they're coming...
I know I've spent the majority of the past three years pregnant (25 of the past 37 months!) but I don't remember this setting in this early...
I'm beat!
I just feel like I'm counting down the seconds until I can once again leap into bed and rest my big-bellied self.
I still have a long way to go!

Friday, April 10, 2009


A sick baby and the shock of being thrown back into reality have prevented me from a long needed post until now.
I spent four sweet days in the dry flatlands of West Texas last weekend.
Now...I need to confess that I was a bit nervous as the time grew closer. It had been YEARS since I really spent time with the girl who, in high school, was growing out of my hip (and we went to different schools!) Our communication, for the most part, has been limited to email over the past three or four years. While she has kept the same sacred place in my heart, I had to admit that a lot has changed over time.
The changing started when I left for college and she still had two years left in high school. I began a new life with all new people, halfway across the country.
Two years later, she started at that same school. Problem was, by then, I was back home. I had met my husband and life was changing. By the time I was married, she was in the throws of single college life. She had her single girls and her cute apartment full of roomates. When she graduated, I was pregnant with my second baby. The year she was married, I was considering schools for my oldest. And before I knew it, she was pregnant and off to Texas. It has seemed like we were moving along, passing each other with a quick HI here and there.
As last weekend approached, I started to wonder...do we even have anything to talk about other than old times? Could we really spend four days together and have it not seem a little weird?
My fears were put to rest the second I saw her. Everything and nothing has changed. She was exactly what I needed and hopefully my attempts to help her out were successful.
Nothing can change true friendship. I am sure of that now.

I told Greg, "It's like we're the same old friends but we have a new fresh friendship, more grown up."
After hearing our conversations in her living room, I'll bet her husband is convinced otherwise...

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I feel an ulcer coming on...

The combination of pregnancy heartburn and the excitement of the week have got me wondering if my stomach is eating away at itself...and yet here I sit with a glass of lemonade.

Today is my last day in Richmond. Tomorrow I take my trip with Levi to Texas to visit my Tina. So excited.

As I type, someone is sawing the wall out between my kitchen and dining room. I just signed for our granite slab. I will come home to a slightly more modern kitchen, and a mess, I'm quite sure.

Greg had a job interview today. Not sure if we even want it...God knows...

Holy moly...for a girl who's a bit addicted to routine, this is throwing me for a loop!
Oh, I feel the burn...ouch...