Thursday, October 29, 2009

Kamikaze Acorns

"Ready, set, GO!" I yell from the safety of my doorway. The kids, who were huddled around my legs, dash down the steps and run full speed to the van. They have already decided that McKenzie will slide the door open - - - this makes sense because her long legs make it inevitable that she will reach the door first. As they jump into the van, I glance down one last time at Miles, kicking in his car-seat, and pull the sunshade over his little body. Picking up the diaper bag, my car keys and the heavy car-seat, I step out onto the first step, close the door behind me, duck my head, and clumsily wobble to the car as fast as I can with my heavy load.

I breathe a sigh of relief as I slide into the drivers-seat and bask for a moment in our victory. *plunk* The moment is brief, however, for after a few passing seconds, *plunk* the sound of acorns hitting the top of the van, fills our ears. *plunk........plunk plunk*

Kamikaze Acorns.


It's windy. Brian and I are just about to plop into bed when a strong gust of wind blows through the trees outside sending sheets of acorns down on our house. It sounds like heavy rain on a tin roof as they hit, then like rolling marbles on a tile floor as they roll down to the roof's edge, and then like mad, wrestling squirrels as they fall into the crunchy leaves below.

We stand there, in the middle of our room staring wordlessly into each others wide, surprised eyes. "I don't remember this happening last year," I say anxiously.
"Me neither," he replies.
"Do you think we were supposed to, like, treat the trees with some sort of something that might make them not produce so many acorns?" (After several 'we're-supposed-to-do-what' moments concerning home ownership over the last year, it was an honest, legit question.)
"Nah," he says reassuringly, "I remember an article from CNN last year about how there was an eerily low supply of acorns last fall. Maybe this is normal and last year was abnormal." It becomes clear to me at this point that I have married a nerd. He actually read an article about acorns...and remembered it a year later. After laughing at him for a few minutes, he pulls up the actual article and, sure enough, there apparently was a shortage of acorns last year.


Yes, they may be small and look like harmless little squirrel snacks, but trust me, when you hear those acorns free-falling from 75 feet in the air, you'd better take cover...

...and hope that next year will bring about the same eerie deficit in acorns as the last.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Simple Love

It didn't take long for Carson to figure out that eating bar-soap is actually a pretty bad idea.

While Carson was bathing, Miles and I entertained ourselves by talking to the mirror and snapping pictures of ourselves.

Such a simple afternoon - it's quite remarkable how these two sweet boys can make even the dullest of days seem beautiful.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pop Quiz

To blog about our Disney World vacation, I decided to present this little quiz. It's a matching quiz, with each option corresponding to how one member of the family felt about Disney World (me, Brian, McKenzie, Carson, and Miles) . . . each answer can only be used once, and no cheating! Actually, I don't really care if you cheat - but you'll miss out on the fun.

Disney World is . . . . . . .

a) The Place Where Dreams Come True.
b) The Place to Fall in Love.
c) The Place Where Dreams Cost a Fortune.
d) Nothing More Special Than a Day at Home
e) Happiness to the Point of Tears

While you're finishing up your guesses, I just want to mention how much I love having my parents back from Thailand. They were able to meet us in Orlando and made our vacation so much fun. We loved having them join us and make our great experience even better!

Answer key:


The Place Where Dreams Come True:

This picture was taken on 'It's a Small World', folks. IT'S A SMALL WORLD!!! Now, can you imagine her excitement on the big rides?

It just so happens that McKenzie is a 5 year old wanna-be princess, so Disney World was completely magical for her! All the hype now-a-days is about dressing your little princess up and having her spend the entire day in Disney World as a true princess. For a meager $250 (TWO FIVE ZERO!!!) you can have her transformed into a real princess at the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique where they'll do her hair and makeup and dress her in her very own brand-new princess dress.

Well, spending that much money for one day of dress-up wasn't even a temptation for me...even though those little girls coming out of the boutique were exceptionally cute. Instead, we packed our own princess dress, did her hair in a 'princess bun and braids' and let her have free access to my lip gloss for the whole day. Let me tell you, she felt every bit as beautiful as if we'd have spent a fortune on her. "Everyone keeps telling me how beautiful I am."

Dressing as a princess set the tone for the whole day...and once we added the big roller coasters, the electrical light parade and the fireworks at the end of the day, she was full and overflowing with the fulfillment of her dreams.


The Place to Fall in Love:

"Mom, is dat a WEAL pwincess?"
"She is beautif-o"
Oh, my son... my son, my son, my son. Already his little three-year-old heart is smitten by beautiful women. He couldn't take his eyes off of Cinderella, and turned all bashful and sheepish when she came down close to him for a picture. She kissed his cheek, and he's still talking about it. Just yesterday, he pointed to a picture of Sleeping Beauty and said, "She's not duh one dat kissed my chweek." It's been three weeks.

Thankfully, his heart is capable of falling in love with more than just beautiful women. Candy will work, too...and this lollipop was a huge, huge hit. When the day was over, we decided that this lollipop was the single thing that kept Carson moving and happy through the long, hot, tiring day. It was faithfully waiting for him at the end of each ride, protected by a disgustingly gooey, sticky ziplock baggie, and lasting for hours. He ate every single bit of it.


The Place Where Dreams Cost a Fortune:

We both, technically, fall into this category - - - but the correct answer would be Brian. I had prepared myself thoroughly for the extreme over-pricing that runs rampant through the whole park ($15 for a sandwich?!? It doesn't come with fries?!?). Thankfully, we were able to pack in our own lunches, dinners, and snacks.


Nothing More than a Day at Home:

Some napping, some eating, some learning about things he'd never seen before...just another day in the life of Miles.


Happiness to the Point of Tears

Yeah, I know. I probably cry a little too easily. But there were a few 'happy mommy moments' sprinkled throughout our day that had me choking back tears. The first one happened as I watched my kids with the princesses - McKenzie was awed, Carson was smitten, and I was wishing they could stay little and innocent forever. But, the happiest moment of the entire trip came at the very end. As we all stood to leave after watching the magical fireworks, in a sea of people, my less-than-affectionate daughter quietly opened her arms and wrapped them around each one of us in turn - first my mom, then my dad, then me, and finally Brian - in a hug so warm and honest that my heart exploded and flooded my eyes. I watched her embrace Brian and whispered, "This makes every penny worth it."
"It sure does," my dad replied.

It sure does.


Anyone get 100%?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Almost there... allllmoooost theeeerrrrrre...

All those years! - - - all those years of trying valiantly (and mostly unsuccessfully) to keep that blasted tenth commandment. Don't worry, I haven't been coveting my neighbors wife, or his house, or his donkey...

...but, his camera.

It seems as if those big, black, beautiful chunks of SLR wonderfulness are popping up around the necks of all my friends. I watch those friends as they press the shutter-button, and I try to funnel a bit of that magical shutter sound into my own ears.

You know, Brian has actually had a paying job for over a year now, and we've been saving those scarce extra pennies any time we get the chance. And, last month, as I transferred some more funds into our savings account I thought to myself, "It's time." Time to do something completely selfish - - - indulge one of my fantasies and cradle my very own SLR camera.


In addition to my new camera, I decided to splurge just a bit more and take a photography class at the community college in town. Again, completely and indulgently selfish. I admit that I have no true ambition to become a professional photographer...nor will I ever aspire to make every shot perfect. I love my point-and-shoot camera, and I'm sure it will continue to live in my purse (okay, okay...diaper bag - - - I have no purse) and snap the majority of my pictures. But I utterly long to have a camera capable of taking breathtaking pictures. Scenery, flowers, my babies, my family... oh! the daydreams are endless!

And then...

Last week, Brian came in from mowing the lawn and said, "Linds, our yard smells like crap. Literally." Sure enough, one step outside and a whiff later, I realized that something was terribly, grotesquely wrong with our septic system. The amount of money forked out so that the septic people could rip up my beautiful lawn ended up throwing out the idea of a camera and photography classes for a while.

Excitement quickly turned into tearful disappointment.

But, then again, there are some good things about this situation, I suppose. It's a good thing I'd been saving up money in the first place so we could actually afford to pay the septic guys (and believe me, they deserve the money! Watching them muck around in our 'crappy' water for an afternoon was enough to make me want to offer them a nice, hot shower and some clean clothes and boots afterward!)... And it's a good thing that it was just a moderate problem, or we would have had to pay thousands more... And it's a good thing we don't have to threaten the kids with their lives anymore NOT to play in the fun, stinky mud puddle... And it's a good thing I love my point-and-shoot so much, and that I can still get really good pictures out of it... And it's a good thing that our bellies are always full and our beds are always dry, and our 'waste' has somewhere to go, because I guess that's more important than being able to take awesome pictures, anyway...

So, here's to working septic systems... and a few more months of waiting.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wildkids and Wildberries

Have you ever glanced out your window to find your kids doing something that, had they asked, you would have said 'no' to? And then, you see their faces in the middle of this obviously awesome activity and try to convince yourself that you're a great mom for letting kids be kids...even though you didn't really 'let' more like, didn't stop them once they had started. Then you hear them giggle and you start to think about how you really should say 'yes' more often and try to change your fear of messes into a gratitude for your washing machine, your hose, your bathtub, and your happy, smiling kids.

Just wondering...'cause that never happens to me...

Who knew a bunch of purple berries could be so much fun?