Accomplishment

This is a pile of accomplishment. Kudos to my husband for taking a very detailed food order for seven selective eaters and two frenzied adults. He got everything right. He delivered fast, too!

Miss C invited some friends over after the last day of school, and it’s morphed into a sleepover.

Though he appreciates the attention from all the young ladies in our house at the moment, my son realized the 6:1 ratio was a bit overwhelming. Best to hang out with Mom and Dad, watching cartoons and playing with the camera phone.

After playing outside on the water slide, eating dinner, and then helping them build a blanket fort (all while trying to keep up with their conversation), he came in the family room (where we’re hiding), crawled in my lap, and let out the biggest sigh we’ve ever heard him make. I asked him, “Are you tired, buddy?”

And he goes, “Shhhh …. I just wanna be quiet. Watch TV.”

The Sleepover Gang

May 2, 2014, 5:30 p.m. – At the moment there is one dog, two cats, one two-year-old, one five-year-old, three 10-year-olds (with one more 10-year-old on the way over) and a “pink fluffy unicorn dancing on rainbows” song on repeat over the speakers. Tonight, my oldest is hosting her first big slumber party. And I admit, I’ve abandoned Martin. I’m locked in my bedroom with my laptop under the guise of finishing my telework report for the day, but the truth?

I may not leave this space … Continue reading

The Tooth and Nothing But the Tooth

My girl lost her first tooth yesterday. My birthday was wrapping up, and as the girls were getting ready for bed, Lola came up to me, grinning ear to ear about something. For whatever reason, that’s when I noticed her lower tooth looked a little … different.

I knew it was loose, but only mildly so. Unlike her older sister, who actively attempted to lose her teeth once she learned about the Tooth Fairy, my Lola seemed to be pretty nonchalant about it. When I asked if I could check her tooth, she obliged, not really thinking anything of it. Continue reading

Good Life: Don’t Count the Minutes, Count the Laughs

 

I’ve been counting a lot lately.

I’ve been counting the number of winter storms, the amount of ice and snow dumped upon us each round, the number of snow days and delays from work and school, the hours trying to keep three kids and three pets entertained and active, and the number of weeks left until spring and summer.

At first, the snow days were awesome. Sledding. Hot cocoa. The sweet excitement of falling snowflakes. More time to clean up the house. More time with the kids. Yet a dozen winter weather events one right after the other can really kill the buzz.

As I wrote last week, we’re done with the snow. Yet as I type this, DC is getting another six inches of snow and ice dumped on us.

Throughout all these winter storms, it quickly — very, very quickly — became obvious that any attempt to clean or organize this house was a colossal waste of time because three children cooped up so many hours for so many days eventually evolve into a explosive whirlwind of energy that disrupts and destroys any order around them.

So what are two frustrated, winter-weary parents to do?

 

Over the weekend, we pulled out the gorilla suit.

Our first floor is laid out like a loop through the kitchen, the dining room, and the living room. While we normally don’t allow the kids to run around, we’ve laxed the rule lately and have jumped into the ruckus ourselves.

Usually, I assume the role of Monster, chasing them and grabbing them into a brief tickle fight before letting them go. More times than not, I sound more like a dinosaur than a monster, but just as long as I’m loud and pop out from various corners, the kids  get a good laugh.

Over the weekend, though, as I made a lap, I tapped Martin on the back as he sat working on the computer. I didn’t say anything, but just pointed to the kids who were rounding the corner up ahead of me.

No words needed. Martin got up and slipped down into the basement. I grabbed my cell phone as I passed it in the kitchen.

By the time the kids rounded the corner again chasing me, a huge gorilla leaped out at them, beating his chest and lumbering toward them.

It was hysterical.

Miss C dropped to her knees, laughing. Lola froze in place, unsure of her next move, and began to scream. Jaz, who was carrying a vacuum attachment as a sword, immediately ran into my arms, screaming as well.

Meanwhile, Martin jumped around, waving his arms and grunting like a primate.

The girls quickly recovered from the surprise, and cautiously approached their Dad, assuming gorilla behavior themselves. After a few reassurances from me, Jaz pried himself loose from my legs, and carefully swung out his sword in front of him, protecting the both of us from the advances of the monkey crew.

It was so much fun! For the next hour or so, it was us against the gorilla. And while outside it was raining and cold,  we were laughing and playing all the way up to the kids’ later-than-normal bedtime.

The gorilla made an appearance a few more times over the weekend, too, even sneaking up on an unsuspecting Ashley as she made a sandwich in the kitchen.

One of the recommendations on the Good Life poster is not to count the minutes, but count the laughs. To me, this means to focus on the quality of the time one spends together, to not focus on the clock or calendar so much.

Of course, I’ve still got my sights set on spring and summer, and the promise of sun and Vitamin D, grass, warm temperatures, humidity — yes, humidity.

But I’m also really, really trying to appreciate that this is all time for us to be together, and to use it well. It’s a good reminder to shift my perspective and think of the ways I want my kids to remember this time. Hopefully, the kids won’t notice that this house is a wreck, and their parents are stressed by the lack of order and routine.

Instead, I hope they will remember that their father took them out in the snow at every opportunity to shovel and build forts, and their mother let them rent every animated movie they ever wanted to see.

And that we spent evenings chasing a gorilla.

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Rosy cheeks from helping her dad shovel the driveway. Six inches over ice. Niiiice.

 

Chasing Monsters

The kids and I were chasing each other around our first floor last night.

I was the monster while Lola and Jaz chased me with swords made from the vacuum cleaner attachments. As they were battling me, this giant gorilla jumps out of nowhere and started chasing THEM!

I am an awful parent for thinking their reactions were HILARIOUS, but it took just 10 seconds or so for them to recover and turn into gorillas themselves.

Except for Superman. He kept them all at bay.

Good Life: Reminisce About the Good Old Days, But Look With Optimism to the Future

My young lady.

 

Both my girls love to hear about the time when they were babies.

Lola likes to hear how the doctor was squishing her cheeks when he lifted her over the curtain to show her off to us. Miss C cracks up when I tell her she sounded like a little dinosaur when she was hungry. Or I share the horror stories from their toddlerhood, about epic messes at the dining table or hilarious anecdotes of them outsmarting Martin and me in their quests for independence.

They love hearing about a time they can’t remember.

I love talking about a time that seems like only yesterday. Continue reading

No Open Letter Needed. Just Conversation.

My news and social media feeds have been alive and well these days with chatter about Miley Cyrus’s performance at the Video Music Awards.

On both traditional and social media sites, it’s been all about the former Disney child star gone bad. I don’t need to link to it. If you’re reading this, you’ve been online. You’ve seen it.

Her name became a trending topic, and it busted previously held social media records, according to this and this. It’s been days since the awards show, and it’s still making headlines today. Continue reading

Hat of the Day

My son never leaves the house without a hat.

So we keep a collection of them near the front door for him. This was his pick this morning, my ol’ Air Force blues hat. I think he wanted to keep the theme of his shirt going.

*****

Yup, I remember where I was two years ago when the DC earthquake happened!

I was in a hospital bed with my newborn baby boy. Martin and Miss C had *just* walked into my room when the whole building started to violently shake. I was still delirious from all the pain/anti-nausea meds, and thought it was pretty funny. Martin was concerned because all the hospital personnel were gone, but I was attached to my bed with IVs and wires, and still couldn’t walk after the surgery.

He and the other new dads were standing out by the empty nurses station like, “Umm … do we evacuate our wives and babies now? Was that … real? Shouldn’t somebody be here to tell us what to do?”

Incredible

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I confirmed today that Martin and I will have another intern staying with us!

Last month, I posted about the fall internship with the news desk side of my office, and I said even those outside the DC area should consider it because it’s a good opportunity, and if it’s meant to happen, Martin and I can surely help find a couch to crash on … wink, wink.

Well, after seeing that post, my Air Force friend and colleague Tanya in Washington state thought of the young lady who worked with her at Keesler AFB in Mississippi, forwarded the info to her, Ashley responded and I sent her resume onward with the note that anyone who has interned for the Air Force and passed muster with the likes of Tanya had to pretty solid.

After that, I didn’t hear anything about it until the news desk folks invited me to listen in on the phone call to Ashley today. After numerous interviews and review, they offered the position to her. Listening to her response to that was SUCH an awesome moment! 🙂

Martin and I are so excited to have Ashley the Intern join our circus, and I’m looking forward to a new commuting buddy!

Ten Years in Six Minutes & Best Day Ever


Her birthday in 2006. I took the photos & the video, as seen HERE.
 

It’s here.

It’s her birthday today.

A full decade of life, love, laughs, and so many precious memories.

For her fifth birthday, I did a photo montage that played in the background at her birthday party.

Yet after creating Lola’s birthday video two years ago, I realized how much better video captured personality because of the action and voices, and decided I was going to do that for the other kids, too, and their birthdays. Not every year, but certainly, a double-digit birthday warranted such a multimedia project.

So, I spent my evenings (and some early mornings) last week diving into my video files.

No small task. I have 11 years worth of them. Continue reading

Public Behavior

Martin, the kids, and I were out shopping just now for some t-shirts, and it was clear that Lola and Jaz did NOT take naps this afternoon. They were irritable and generally uncooperative, much to our exasperation.

However, every time Lola started raising her voice in protest of something, Miss C — who was behaving — would sternly say, “Lola?” and then Lola would fall silent.

After this happened a few times, I thought, “Wow! The way Lola looks up to her big sister is pretty incredible. She really listens to Miss C. So awesome.” But then, just as I moved to go point it out to Martin, Lola started to protest, Miss C spoke up, and that’s when I saw it.

With the flick of her hand every time Lola started acting up, Miss C was flashing her sister a dollar bill, which was rewarded to Lola when we left the store in peace.

The thing about it, though, is that Martin and I were with the kids THE WHOLE TIME. For the life of me, I can’t recall where/when those two had a moment to talk together and come up with this agreement. Clearly, this wasn’t the first time. And it makes me wonder what else they’ve done — or have agreed to do — in certain situations. Makes me look back at the times I congratulated myself for their excellent public behavior! LOL