Friday, September 7, 2012

And the Journey Continues

Mia has had a lot of first's lately.  First tooth, first day of kindergarten, first bus ride, first broken arm - and if God smiles on us the last broken bone she will ever have.  Today we celebrate the first day of her next year.  She is six. 

This personality packed little girl is growing up.  She no longer oozes baby cuteness, her round tummy, cheeks and hands are growing stronger and longer.  She is all elbows and knees and her face is blossoming into beauty instead of cuteness.  She still lisps, but has slowly stopped some of her baby way of saying things.  "Wipe" is now "white".  "Drame" is  now "drain".  "Hangaber" is now "hamburger". 

And then she will do something that reminds me we have many many years to go, like looking at me with complete frankness talking about Leprachaun traps and that this is a journey together that doesn't end.  It changes and grows.  I once thought when Jac was first born, "how is it possible that I love this little person so much?"  I know now that the love you feel for your child when they are born is just the tip of the iceberg.  As crazy as it seems at the time, that love grows and swells as you truly fall in love with them and get to know their personality. 

Mia I love you.  I love it when you cross your legs.  I love it when you growl for Stella.  I love it when you negotiate the wrong way.  I love it when you "read" me a story that you have written.  I love it when teach yourself how to do things.  I love it when you tell ghost stories. I love it when you try to whistle.  I love it when you remind me that Stella just wants to be a big girl.  I love it when you get mad because you can't do something yourself.  I love it when you cheat at games.  I love it when you snuggle with me.

You told me before Kindergarten started, that you thought "I'm probably the oldest, I'm probably the tallest, I may be the fastest, and I know that I am the smartest."  For confidence you are not lacking.  But in my book you are all of those things and more.  You have so much potential, but I love who you are right here in this moment.  More than you can possibly imagine.

Monday, September 3, 2012

As you sleep

Mia, as you sleep, I am tracing butterflies for your birthday party. I hope your dreams are filled with fairies, princesses and unicorns. Oh, and of course, butterflies.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Sleep In

In protest of the final hour of the trip, she decides to pass out. Right after we cross the river.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Beach Baby


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Putt Putt

We went to play mini golf last night. Jac and Mia had fun, Jeff and I got exercise keeping Stella out of the water traps and Stella -did I mention the water traps?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

We Drove All Night

We are in Wisconsin with the Carey clan. Jeff and I have figured out the secret of traveling with kids. Drive while they are sleeping. The only problem with this is when you arrive you are tired and they are ready to go. I took a nap with Stella, Jeff just crashed and burned after dinner. But all in all we got where we were going with only one stop and literally no screaming, I repeat - no screaming.

Friday, July 13, 2012

40 is the New 25

Wow - 40.  If that doesn't say "adult" I don't know what does.  I don't pretend that I always understand my husband or know what he is thinking.  But this once (let's be real, we women are ALWAYS assuming we know what is going on in those heads) I am going to assert what is in that beautiful head of his. 

On this Friday the 13th, 40 years from his entry into this world - is he thinking, I've done a lot!  I have a house and a couple of cars and a family and a wife and friends and a job that I like and the trappings that come with all of that?  I have accomplished what I came here for.

I don't think so.  Knowing him a little better than the next person, I think it is more of  - what have I done in this 40 years?  What mark have I made, legacy have I created?  Did I enjoy my youth, did I make the most of every moment?  Is this where I would still be if I had chosen a different path?  If I had been more motivated, worked harder, made better decisions, been luckier?

I want to say  - maybe none of those things go through his head.  (I hope that isn't true because I could have with one blog post driven him into a complete depression!)  But I think that we all have those insecurities about what I have done with my time on this planet.

Here are just a few of my favorite things that he has done - maybe not all defining moments.  But certainly when amassed make up an amazing life.  I am sure you have many others that you could share too.
  • Drove to Winslow, Arizona without planning after hearing that song.
  • Moved across the country for a job with a company that no one had ever heard of
  • Immediately got a job with a company that EVERYONE had heard of
  • Picked himself up from defeat and remade his career
  • Created his own definition of the job he wanted to do and then sold the company on him doing it
  • Bonded with his brothers
  • Created Camp Austin and wonderful memories with his nieces and nephews
  • Loved a dog named Trooper
  • Built a beautiful home in Texas and then just as quickly sold it
  • Cried at my baptism
  • Cried at our wedding
  • Talked to three sweet babies after they were born to help them into this world
  • Helped a very confused older lady find her lost car
  • Weathered the storm
  • Ordered Johnny Walker Blue Label at a bar in Rome
  • Spent $400 on a dinner in Quebec
  • Learned how to play Euchre and beat me
  • Took dance lessons
  • Invented the "lawn mower" and the "motorcycle" dance moves
  • Created ASCRT
  • Drew countless maps of the US
  • Loved me
Happy Birthday Baby -

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Little stinker

An entire roll of toilet paper will fit into a pot barely- I found this when I rescued Stella from the bathroom after she had shut herself in.

Escalator of Joy

Nothing like fun on the escalator. Stella makes Macy's a lot of fun. She was a little creeped out by the headless mannequins.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Charmed Life

My husband truly leads a charmed life. 

Evidently, while I was tucking in children...Well actually, it was more than likely after that, much later than that, my DH was on a rooftop bar in the lovely city of Chicago entertaining clients at the "Internet Retailer" conference.  His job is very stressful you see.

As the group was entertaining, a photographer shows up with a group of "models" to take pictures for a magazine or a brochure that the bar/restaurant were going to be featured in.  An area has been roped off for them and they go about their business.

I guess the four women were either stood up by their male model counterpart or the person who booked the shoot just counted on free male talent to be out there, because (yes you know where this is going) the photographer comes straight up to Jeff and asks if he will be in some of the picutres.

My obliging husband of course says yes and proceeds to have a photo shoot with the four "models".  I put the word "models" in quotes because after he had used that word very loosely in retelling the story; I guess he feels that he is getting the stink eye from me because he says, 'well, "models" may be a poor choice of words.'  I asked him what would be a better word, and he didn't  have one off the top of his head. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Our Gardening This Year


Chicken Seed

"I need you guys to help me plant some flower seed," I say.
"OK, what kind of seeds are we going to plant?" Jac asks. 

We were coming home from Bandanas BarBQue - perfectly normal conversation. 

"Sunflowers and Zinnias, I don't think I have any Marigolds," I say.

This whole time Mia has been quiet.  We are all unloading out of the car.  I'm almost to the garage, Jac is trailing, Mia is just getting out.

"Hah, you should plants some chicken seed," from my DH.

And the punch line, wait for it wait for it!

Mia says, "Daddy you're silly.  Chicken doesn't come from comes from Cows!"  And she giggles at how silly daddy is.

Friday, May 18, 2012

My big 7 Year Old

Seven is a good age.  Jac has found some independence and a lot of success this year.  I see the independence when he wants to ride his bike by himself, or when he pulls his hand away when I try and hold it.  I cheer a little for him when he does these things.  I love that he is a boy at heart.  Even when he sasses back a bit, I cheer him (just a tiny bit).

Wow - what a smartie pants.  I think that I need to get used to awards ceremonies.  Jac had three pieces of artwork at the the all district art fair, his science fair project won a blue ribbon at the All St Louis Science Fair, he won second place for a MLK Essay and poster at the district level and 3rd place at the state level.  Sheesh!  It was really a huge conficence boost for him.

But better than that, this little seven year old amazes us every day with things like how he helps his little sisters, how he draws a city on the driveway everyday, how he has written whole novels and just for being Jac. 

We had a great time this year at a "destination" birthday at Vetta sports.  It was nice because they do it all for you and then you walk away and don't clean up a thing!  It was a lot of fun to be able to celebrate with his friends and still have his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins there too. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Mia's Trip

Mia went on a trip with Gee Gee and Papa recently.  They went to Arizona and saw lots of things. What they saw and where they went seem less important than the fact that Mia is five and a half and truly becoming a big girl.  It was long, 9 days without her.  It was far away, I was a bit freaked and wanted to know the exact itinerary at all times.  She had a very good time, but I think the timing was a little bad because I had just started work and we were in the midst of hiring a nanny. 

I freaked out a bit when she wouldn't talk to me on the phone.  We would have daily phone calls, and there was one day - her second I believe that she refused to say anything.  We finally figured out that if we put her speaker phone and she could have the phone sitting on the table she did much better.  She could talk and Gee Gee and Papa could help with the conversation too.  Sheesh - talk about stress!

From her perspective - she registered for kindergarten, she went on a long trip with her grandparents, her mommy started work and she is now being taken care of during the day by a nanny.  Wow - each in and of itself could cause problems but all together she was a bit of a wreck for awhile.  My Mia who has no problem sleeping through the night was waking up.  She was rebelling on me working.  She was talking about not going to school full time next year, she would prefer half days. 

So you know all of these things were weighing on her.  I missed her terribly while she was gone.  Jeff traveled for a good deal during that time and between the two of them being gone I was a bit lost. 

The good news is that she seems to have adjusted.  It took her quite a while, although actually all of the kiddos adjusted quicker than I thought they would.  Stella very fast, Jac in about 4 weeks and Mia now after 8 weeks seems to be herself.  Mommy still has a ways to go, sigh.

Here are some pics:

Yes, I believe she is sitting at a bar.

She has prominent ears to begin with but this is ridiculous!

 My parents, Mia and my sister, Heather.

I love this pic, the hat could be adjusted just a touch, don't you think?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Saturday, February 4, 2012

She Loves Shoes


This child truly loves shoes.  I apologize in advance to her future husband.  It is innate and she was basically born with it.  She insists on putting on shoes, and prefers the shiny ones, as soon as she wakes up from nap or night-night.  She just grunts at you, but the meaning is not lost when she plops down on her booth and thrusts shoes in your face. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Kindy Registration


This was a big week for Mia.  She got registered for Kindergarten.  In terms of actual excitement it was pretty low on the scale.  Of course her baby sister stole the show and made several scenes.  But Mia was very proud anytime someone would ask her if she was registered for Kindergarten.  She has been saying things like, "I am going to half day Kindergarten".  Then I have to remind her that there is no half day Kindergarten any longer.  She also has been waking up a lot at night and 'needing' me, I think this Kindergarten stuff is weighing on her.  She was very pleased to hear that she would be riding the same bus as Jac next year!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

To a New Year

Jeff and I took time over New Year's and went to Cancun, Mexico and wait for it - just the two of us!  It was fantastic.  I have to say that four days all alone with my husband was fantastic and everyone should do it.  It really makes you remember all the reasons you love them! 

Some key takeaways from Mexico:

  • The ocean is beautiful, for some reason I was expecting some level of pollution if not in the ocean than in the intercoastal waterway.  It was all crystal clear and beautiful.
  • Gulf seafood is awesome.
  • Mexicans are amazingly friendly (both tourists and people in the service industry) and much more industrious than 99% of Americans.
This may be controversial, but I think we should evict Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama from the union and bring in Mexico!  They seriously have more in common with a Wall Street Financial Analyst than someone from Jackson, Mississippi.  They work so hard and never seem to rest or go slow.  We would be strolling along and all of the Mexicans who were heading to work or already at work would be zipping around us.

Here are scenes from our balcony.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Good Times Turned Bad

Who wouldn't be mad?  She was trapped in the bathroom, so after the entertainment of unrolling the toilet paper was over and shutting the door, she was ready to come out.  I heard muffled cries and some banging, ignored it for awhile and then decided to check it out. 

This is her mad face.