Saturday, June 25, 2011

Raging Waters and a Sleepover

Dan and Marty are at a baseball tournament in Colorado. 
Dying to do something fun with the other kids and wanting to do something on our summer list (Nick's got quite a bucket list this summer -- I have to admit I spurred him on a bit) we decided to go to Raging Waters in the evening.

Chris and Nick both brought friends and Courtney's friends couldn't come so we had each other. It was the perfect amount of time to do everything and there were no lines. Everyone had a great time! 

By the time we got home, everyone was exhausted. Nick put himself to sleep and Chris and his buddy didn't even complain when I said they needed to turn off the TV at 10:00.
They were asleep in seconds. 

Just as I was heading upstairs, barely able to keep my eyes open, Courtney came home and said, "Let's watch a movie!" So we jumped in my bed, brushed our teeth and said our prayers, then turned on a movie (Notting Hill -- I'm in a Hugh Grant/British accent phase) and after the movie she slept over in my bed in Dan's spot.  

I remember about 10 years ago I wondered if she'd ever sleep in her own bed. How fast time flies... And now I was excited for her to sleep with me again!  Nick even wandered in just as we were starting our movie. We made a bed for him on the couch.

I love my daughter!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Perfect Summer Night

Family dinner tonight with everyone there -- hasn't happened in a while and won't happen again until mid-July. That's kind of weird to think about.

After dinner Courtney went off this evening to play her first softball game.
Dan, Christopher and Marty went golfing--Christopher's Father's Day gift to his dad.
Nicholas got invited to a friend's house.
I was left alone with my book, my comfy outdoor orange couches, perfect weather and the longest daylight of the year.
And the dinner dishes waited til dark.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Well, hello. Where did you come from?


It always surprises me how easy it is not to notice a St. Patrick's Day shamrock is still hanging in the bathroom three months later.

Reminded me that I still need to take down the snowman garland hanging over the kitchen window. And put the snow hat hooked rug away too.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Back East Trip

A LOT of time spent researching hotels/things to do/maps/driving directions/back roads traveling/best sites to see/hours of operation/hotel reviews/compare rates/ticket prices for this summer's trip back east. Sooo Excited!

But the best part of today was going to Color-Me-Mine with Nicholas. You know he loved it!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Thanksgiving Point

To be added to my favorites is Thanksgiving Point.
(And BBC Radio -- not for the music, just for the DJ's accents,
Car Detailing, my iPhone, and something else I thought of last night
but now am forgetting. Should have written it down!) 

Enjoying the expansive lawns, gardens and peace in this majestic space
is definitely my favorite summer activity.
Tonight, after dropping Marty off at Space Camp,
Dan, Nick, Jaxon and I spent an hour picnicking and playing on the lawn.
Not another person in sight until closing time when we could see two other couples
strolling on the other side of the waterfalls. 
Heavenly.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Lonely Carrot

Tonight it was just Me, Dan and Christopher for dinner. 
Courtney is out of town. Marty was at baseball practice. Nicholas was at the park with a friend and had dinner with their family.

Christopher ate pretty fast. He told us his Highs and Lows and then wanted to be excused to play outside with a friend. That's what summer's for. Great nights outside.

A few minutes later Dan reminded me it was time for him to go to Young Men's. 

Suddenly, without warning, I found myself sitting at the kitchen table finishing my dinner alone. 
It was weird. It wasn't a good alone. It was a lonely alone. 
The carrot understood. So I took a picture.

But about two minutes later Nicholas walked in the door. 
And then Christopher and his friend ran in and they were wanting 
to call more friends and then things got back to normal.

Monday, June 13, 2011

When You Don't Have A Sister

I can't imagine what it would be like not to have any sisters. 
Don't want to imagine it. 
Except that my only daughter didn't get any.

We haven't had any wars over clothes or brawls over best friends in our home. 
Fortunately Courtney has lots of girl friends to help with hair and fashion -- and aunts in the know too. We've brought friends on family trips and traveled with families whose kids match-up in ages ever since our first Disney Cruise when we caught Courtney sitting in the room 2-days in a row watching Hannah Montana because she didn't have anyone to hang out with. 

And while she doesn't have sisters, she does have three brothers.
And siblings are wonderful.

So, we've done our best and then again,
what you don't know, you don't necessarily miss. 
But still, a sister knows you. She's known you forever
and will be with you until the end. 
And understands about being a girl. And a mom. And a wife. 
And whatever comes next. And likes to talk and to share and to reminisce.

So fortunately, amazingly, Courtney has the next best thing to a sister.  
Her cousin--Kay. Who is only two years older. And is the oldest in her family. 
And has four little brothers but no sisters. 
And Kay's mom has 7 sisters.
So Kay's mom feels the same way I do about sisters. 
And so does Courtney's Gram, E.C.
And Courtney's Aunt, Jo Ellen, understands what it's like to be Courtney and Kay.  
Jo was the only girl with three brothers. 
And Gram was blessed with a sister, but her only sister died over 20 years ago. 

So this week Courtney is on her annual summer trip with Gram and Kay. 
This year Jo Ellen went too. They have a packed schedule seeing Chicago.
I'm sure there will be lots of laughs.





Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Favorite Things

I was just reading through my profile and noticing that some of my favorite things from 2006 when I started my blog are not necessarily my favorite things anymore. I still like many of them, but for instance, I haven't shopped with Amazon Grocery for quite some time. And yes, while that was a favorite thing when I had a baby and was PTA President and couldn't make it to the grocery store so had to rely on Winder Dairy delivery and Amazon Grocery to deliver food for my family, now I'm not so dependent on food delivery and therefore don't feel quite the same gratitude for Amazon Grocery as I did back then. I still think it's a convenient option, but I don't think it's a favorite anymore.

And the last few times I've gone swimming, I've gotten water in my ears -- in spite of wearing ear plugs -- and it's stayed there for a week. And it's so frustrating that I have no desire to go swimming again, ever.  I wonder if I'll ever like swimming again?

And I really like The Office. But I LOVE Modern Family (enough so that I added it to my profile just now).  And I haven't played Ms. Pac Man in a long time.  I really, really like Thai Siam and Bombay House...but are they my favorites?  Do I have a favorite restaurant? I think it disturbs me that I don't.  I need a favorite.

I do love riding my bike. I hope to love it even more now that I can breathe again. And I hope to love running again. And I think I do love Real Simple magazine, although I let my subscription expire. I also love the mag "Clean Eating." I don't think I love it more than Real Simple though.

I think I'm falling in love with Shellac nails. I had a dream that the polish chipped and peeled off just like every other manicure and I was pretty disappointed.  But so happy when I woke up and realized it was just a dream!

I will have to think about my favorites this week and decide what my new favorites are.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Good Day

Rachel at her wedding shower. Isn't she gorgeous?

Christopher and friends saving a baby bird from a dog.

Dinner out with Dan.
Beautiful evening.
Kids playing in yard.
Movie at home so big kids can go out with friends.
Marty's team won both baseball games today.
Time with Marge, Rachel, Rebekah, Sheree, Katie, Jax, Lucy and Matt.
Good Day.

Pullin' The Wool Over Her Eyes

Found this in Chris' backpack a few weeks ago.
Do you think the bus driver fell for it?

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Projects of the Day

My project was to speed out to the airport and pick up RACHEL! Yea! She's here for the weekend!  First item of business was to get our nails and toes done. Luckily my little sister is up on all the latest and greatest so we had our nails Shellac'd. Supposed to last with no chipping and cracking for two weeks...

Rachel's project was to finish her wedding invitations -- rounding corners, printing envelopes, cutting photos and paper down to size, stamping, etc.  My contribution was to format and print her envelopes and cut the vellum the wrong size. But only got a few cut before she caught and corrected me. Phew!

Nicholas has a new stuffed animal dog and really wanted to build a dog house. He was having a tough time getting the construction paper to stand up straight. I remembered I'd saved many cardboard inserts and gave him the stack. Before we knew it, he'd created this doghouse all by himself!

Courtney climbed to the top of Mt. Olympus today. Made it to the saddle and there was snow the rest of the way up! Way to go, Courtney!

Marty watched Psycho tonight with friends and wasn't even scared. Yea, we'll see if he takes a shower any time soon.

Christopher cleaned Chub's hamster cage all by himself.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Pumpkin

Courtney and I went searching for Pioneer clothes for Trek. She found a perfect skirt and blouse at DI. "Ugh, I look like a pioneer." Actually, a really cute pioneer.

Then we went to White Elegance that sells pioneer clothes especially for Treks. I liked the bright orange skirt and apron. It had a lot of personality. But pair that full skirt, elastic waistband and bloomers underneath and it simply is not flattering. And the view from behind is even worse.

Oh, wow. I look like a pioneer. Courtney's comment: "Mom, you look like a pumpkin." Yes, I do.  I opted for the green skirt which was more subdued and somehow better.  That elastic waistband is comfortable, no one can deny that.

Also considering clothes styles today were Nicholas and his buddy, Luke. I got this photo texted from my friend who had the boys at the grocery store.  She said they said they were trying to be nerds.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

2nd Summer Night, 2nd BBQ

Last night was Courtney's soccer team BBQ. Tonight was the Young Men's/Young Women's BBQ. That makes two nights of not having to make dinner. LOVE IT!

Considering having 1 night a week "potluck night." Everyone could come and play in the yard, we'd all have a break from making dinner and we'd enjoy everyone's company and visiting. Do you think people would come?

In our ward in California every summer Tuesday was Beach Day. We'd all spend the day at the beach. We'd bring a picnic lunch, the kids would play -- Marty even took "a beach nap" when he was little. So did Chris. Mom's would line up our chairs and visit, share snacks, help everyone's kids, enjoy the sun and laugh.

Thursday evenings in the summer both wards would meet up behind the church at the ball fields and park and have a potluck BBQ. Dan was gone most evenings -- in fact, most of the young husbands were -- so the kids would play, the women would visit and we'd all enjoy a night off. I looked forward to those nights. I miss those nights and those friends! Think I'll send everyone a Facebook shout out right now.

Summer nights are always wonderful, but made even better with friends. Christopher has a couple friends sleeping over tonight. Marty has one sleeping over and Courtney's are out playing volleyball--it's turning out to be a nightly ritual. And those rituals make for wonderful memories!

Monday, June 06, 2011

Books and Lunch

Oh, how happy I was that all the kids agreed to continue our tradition of shopping for books and going to lunch on the first day of summer!

Everyone browsed the bookshelves, read covers, found favorite authors and picked out a four new books. We made a quick stop at the Sports shop for cleats for Marty and Target for necessities for Courtney and Me -- cute paper for notes, popsicle sticks and straws, a cute ring for Courtney and bathing suit cover-up -- you know, necessities. (Marty and Christopher walked over to GameStop so they were happy.) We had lunch at Paradise Bakery and were done in time to get Nicholas to Basketball Camp. Oh Happy Day! Summer is Here!

This evening we hosted Courtney's soccer team for a final Hurrah. I am going to MISS carpooling these girls around!! None of them are playing comp soccer next year so it's the end of their team. They won their last game of the season, so it was a great way to end!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Is He Really 14?










Fourteen years and one day ago I was 5 days past my due date telling my midwife I needed to have this baby soon! It was a Wednesday and the movers were coming on Monday! I needed to have a baby and pack up my apartment and had only 4 more days to do it!
She agreed to strip my membranes (is there a cuter way to put that for blogging?) and hopefully that would get things moving.

Sure enough, I woke up Thursday morning in labor. My mom came in town that day and took Courtney to the park. They were gone all day and my mom spent their precious alone time together telling Courtney how great it was that she was part of a Family. Mom, Dad, Big Sister and Little Brother. Family was the big talk and my mom knows just how to explain things to kids and Courtney Ate It Up! She was a great big sister from Day 1--owing in part to her personality and in part to Grandma convincing her it was the greatest thing EVER!

Dan and I walked that morning hoping to get things moving. That afternoon I sat on the couch concentrating on labor and my mom said, "Do you want to talk? Or do you just want me to talk to you?" I just wanted her to talk so she started telling me about every member of our family. She talked. I listened. And it took my mind off of laboring.

By 4:00 p.m. we decided to head to the hospital. I thought it was a bit premature because I was feeling pretty good. But Dan convinced me. When I got there I could still walk up the stairs -- just needed to stop every few minutes and breathe through a contraction. Then we kept on walking. They sent me to triage and, Lucky Me, said I was dilated to a 6 and sent me straight to my room with my midwives!

When we got to the room I was still feeling good. "Should I walk around?" I wondered?
"Uhhhh, no. Because you're about to have a baby."
"I don't feel like it's going to happen soon."
"It is," they said.

And sure enough a few minutes later it was time and 30 minutes after stepping foot into that hospital, at 5:05 p.m. Marty was born.

He was such a GOOD baby! He slept well from the beginning. He didn't mind laying on the floor and watching the world all around! He loved being in his crib to sleep! That summer we took a trip to Florida. Each night at bedtime I'd nurse Marty and then put him in his crib and Courtney, Dan and I watched a movie. One night Dan said, "He's awake."
"What?!" I couldn't believe that a baby would lay in his crib awake and then put himself to sleep. It was a little miracle. Especially since living in New York Dad would never be home and I was worried about bedtime. But Marty made it EASY!

When he got older and he'd wake up in his crib, he would call out happily, "Mama! Mama!" while jumping up and down holding on to the crib rail. He was delightful!

When he turned 1 he was finished absorbing life in the city and wanted to be a part of it. That kid was on the move! And since he didn't have the language to express his thoughts, he started screaming to get my attention. Oh Wow! Those are stories for another time!

For now, I'm so grateful for My Marty! He's always loved giving and getting hugs and was a cuddler. He's a great big brother. Yes, he likes to tease. But he's also sensitive and helpful to Christopher and Nicholas. He's a good example and isn't afraid to work hard. He mows the lawn without complaining (that's a lot of lawn), has become so responsible with his violin practicing and is always willing to do his duty in Young Men's. I'm very proud of him. He's also great at baseball and I'll concede, even talented at video games. He's got a fun group of friends and a fun sense of humor. Love this kid!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Summer Begins!

Whether the weather is ready or not, summer has begun!
For the first time ever I did not hang about the school getting last minute certificates to the principal, observing the awards assembly, handing out teacher and staff gifts, and waiting for class lists to post.
Instead I had my second trachea dilation.
Originally I chose not to have the second surgery my doctor recommended because what mom misses the last day of school and all the festivities? But then last week I rode my bike hard and heard a little wheeze. Couldn't get home fast enough to get on the phone and see if they could still fit me in the surgery schedule. They could and I did and now I'm in recovery mode.
Feeling pretty good. A bit tired and not much voice.

Courtney played with friends all week since not many teachers were taking roll. However, she did have a Mr. Felt final. Had to come in early last night to finish studying for SAT Subject Tests. She was bummed.

Marty had a party on Thursday afternoon, won his baseball championship in the evening and went to X-Men, the movie, at midnight. Friday was more friends, slip 'n slide and soapy trampoline with garbage bags and a late night party of about 200 at Rasch's.

Christopher got the teacher he hoped for, had a swim party after school with friends, watched the 4th grade baseball championship in the evening and finished the night with nightgames at a different friend's.

Nicholas was picked up from school by a friend at 10:30. They all switched to another friend at 3:00 and then to another friends at 4:00. We got him home about 6:00 and what did he say? "Can I play with a friend? I haven't had enough friend time today!" So he rode his bike to Lucy's to pick her up and they played until 9:00.

All the while I stayed in my bed sleeping, reading and occasionally walking downstairs to say hi to kids and watch them have fun out the window.
So glad school's out! We're ready for summer!