Life is Good?

June 22, 2007

We returned this morning (at six am) from a beach trip with Adam's family. It was great to see all of the kids playing together. Lots of fun family moments on the beach, around the puzzle, and just hanging out together. Unfortunatedly our return trip home was not quite as pleasant. LAX is a not a fun place to fly out of at 10:30pm with two beach worn kiddos. The lines were crazy, the people weren't friendly or helpful, our reservations were screwed up, and by the time we got to the gate we only had a little time before boarding (although we arrived three hours early!).

As we are sitting there waiting to board, I felt a warm sensation on my belly. It quickly dawned on me that Camille was peeing on me! And not just a little bit. We were both soaked with urine (guess that diaper change thing got overlooked in the stress of checking in). Camille had already used up her spare set of clothing after spilling an entire bottle of water on herself in the car. And I didn't bring any extra clothes for myself. Adam quickly jumped into fix-it mode. He stripped Camille of her wet clothes, took his shirt off in the middle of the airport, handed me his undershirt, and directed me to the nearest restroom so I could change into his undershirt and dry Camille's clothes under the hand drier. Good idea except the bathrooms at LAX don't have hand driers! I then made a mad dash to the nearby shops praying there might be one with children/baby clothes. Luck was with me! I was able to run back to the gate (in my urine soaked jeans...could have been worse...I think vomit smells worse than urine) with a new romper for Camille. The front of the romper printed with the words "Life is Good"...a message from the universe? from urine comes happiness and the realization that it is the simple things in life like clean clothes and dry bottoms that make life good. Traveling with kids is never dull! And speaking of travel. We will load up the van tomorrow morning, drive five hours, and spend another beach week with family. This time with my family in Navarre. Stay posted for that trip...I am sure there will be some stories to share.

Fun and Games

In addition to all of the beach time we also spent time playing an addictive board game called Blokus, compled a doozy of a puzzle (no border and five extra pieces), and we spent a day at Legoland! We also had fun visiting with Summer, Karl, Sophie, and Matt....thanks for making the trip to see us.

We were all impressed by the lego creations throughout the park. Millions of legos, millions of possibilities. Noah and Brooke were inspired and made some pretty cool creations of their own when we got home.

California Beach Week

A fun week in the sun with Adam's family

Baby Oliver's first beach trip and first dip in the Pacific ocean!

Adam and Noah boogie boarding (I even rode some waves in one day thanks to a full body suit...I am spoiled by the bathwater of the Gulf.)

Taking morning walks on the beach, building big sea creatures, discovering sand crabs, watching beautiful sunsets and falling asleep to the sounds of the ocean. All good stuff.


June 10, 2007

We met up with our local adoption group today to enjoy some baseball. We were all very hot, very sweaty, and had lots of fun. Adam was proud of me because I did not embarrass him like I did when we attended a Seattle Mariner's game seven years ago. Not being a huge sports fan, I brought a book and much to Adam's horror I pulled it out halfway through the game. Today I did not pull out any books!

At the end of the game the kids were allowed to run the bases. Noah did it twice (including an "illegal" run onto the pitchers mound. He loved it and announced we should turn our back yard into a ball field so he could race around the bases everyday. Might not such a bad idea since he does have a lot of energy to burn off each day!

From the mouth of a four year old

June 9, 2007

Noah has had a bad cough this week which we think is caused by allergies. This morning I had this little conversation with him:

Me: "I wonder if the house is making you sick" (thinking dust or mold?)
Noah: "Yes, I am homesick"
Me: "What do you mean?"
Noah: "Remember the other day when you were car sick? Well, now I am homesick"

Language is a funny thing. Four year old minds are sharp. And this poor mama can barely keep up. How come I never made that connection between those two words before?

A few other words that Noah uses which I love (and haven't corrected yet)

"Dribbling" instead of drizzling
"Joggling" instead of jogging
"Tie-laces" instead of shoe laces

Four years old also speak very candidly. Last month Noah told a friend of ours "my daddy has a very furry penis".

100 Words

June 7, 2007

Do you know all of these words? I think I need to go back to high school!


Got up this morning ready to face a new day (including the mounds of laundry) only to discover that the floors need to be mopped again. When I walked into the kitchen, I was greeted by stickiness. The floor I mopped yesterday is sticky and full of prints. It made me wonder "is it better to have a sticky, clean floor or a crusty one?". Very frustrating. I mopped it with vinegar and water followed by the spray recommended by the floor guy. I don't usually do both at the same time so I guess the combo was a bad decision. Adam has been teasing me about my recent attempts to clean our house using more "green" less toxic products. When he walks into the house, he asks what I am pickling because many of the recipes from "Clean House, Clean Planet" call for vinegar. Some scented oils are on my list to disguise the vinegar smell. But back to the topic of toxic stuff, I can't get over the huge number of poison trucks (that's what Noah and I call them) that seem to be on every corner of every street. Poison for the grass. Poison for the house. When we take neighborhood walks, I am always having to warn Noah to stay away from the yards with those lovely little signs proudly announcing their yard was sprayed with poisons today. Is this happening every where in the States or just in Florida? I don't remember seeing these lovely toxic vehicles in such huge numbers before living overseas. And I am now starting to develop a fear of having a collision with one of these poison trucks...not a pretty image and considering our luck with the local drivers it is a scary possibility. Ok enough ranting.

What's in the garden?

June 6, 2007

This popped into bloom today. It grew up out of the ivy area we fondly call "snake heaven". I don't know what it is but it is a wonderful suprise. Anyone know the name of this? And with all of the recent rain other things are starting to bloom like this "Irish Eyes" Black-eyed Susan. Note the green center instead of the typical black-eye. I really need to clear out a patch to plant zinnias. It just doesn't feel like summer to me without zinnias in bloom. And I can't wait until we get some tomatoes. Is there anything better than home-grown tomatoes? This afternoon our four o'clocks opened for the first time...heavenly smell bringing me back to hot Louisiana afternoons . Can't wait to show the kids how to make necklaces and crowns with the four o'clocks (which really do open every afternoon like clockwork).
The blanket flowers we got from a free plant fair are still going strong.And the larkspur from Aunt Janet is still blooming (she gave me some baby plants in December that really adjusted well despite the long car trip and being smashed in a box with diapers and toys)

Calling for back-up

Why are all children hard wired to go beserk while their parent is on the phone? Today explains why my phone conversations these days are so disjointed. My one goal for today was to get the floors mopped. I know better than to try to set my goals too high each day! All was going well. I cleared the furniture out, swept (several times since my helpers love to stomp on dust bunnies), and started to mop. While mopping I started to think about my friend Jessica who is in the midst of selling their home. I was marveling at how she keeps it clean each day for showings while also living their two kiddos under three. So I decide to call her. My kids were happily occupied both doing their own thing in the family room. As soon as I got on the phone their radars went off and they attack. Camille runs into the kitchen wiping out on the wet floor. While I was picking her up, Noah decides to mop the carpet in the family room. All the while I am still trying to have a conversation with Jess. Camille refuses to be put down and starts hitting me to get her hands on the phone. Noah starts drumming and yodeling. I finally get a small break when I find the other phone and give that to Camille. And after getting off the phone I discover why Noah suddenly got quiet...yes, those are his feet on the kitchen table. When I got off the phone to explore the reason for the eery quiet, Noah proudly showed me his dance moves on his "stage". The good news is I finally did get some of those crusty spots off of the floor and the kitchen table is now extra clean since the early afternoon "performance".

And here is a really random phone experience. A telemarketer called recently to update my college alumni directory (and to sell one to me at the low cost of $99!). As I gave him my full name. He commented on my married name by saying "wow, that's my family name". After a little exchange of information and a brief conversation with Adam, it turns out that he is Adam's second cousin! How often does that happen? I still didn't buy the $99 directory.

Drawing Conclusions

June 5, 2007

A few months ago I was starting to get worried because Noah refused to draw saying he wasn't "good at it". But recently he has begun drawing again with more enthusiasm. His favorite "medium" right now is the magnadoodle. I think he likes how things can be changed so quickly. He has been requesting that I photograph images before he erases them. Here are two of his recent drawings:
American Flag

His resistance to drawing got me thinking about how much I "wanted" him to draw because that was something I loved to do as a child. It has been interesting to see how having children has brought out a nostalgic desire for my children to experience and love the same things I did as a child. I think the whole art thing has added weight with my family history as if it should just be a normal part of his genetic make-up. One of my favorite parenting books is "Young at Art" (if you are a parent or a teacher and haven't read this to your nearest library!). I revisited that book, got advice from my parents,made plenty of supplies available and waited.And surprise, surprise without my pressure or "desire" he has returned to drawing. It shouldn't be a surprise to me, but it did make me stop and think. Before having kids I think we all have pre-conceived ideas of what those children will be like and also what we will be like as parents, but then reality happens. I don't know if Noah will have the same love of drawing or Adam's gift for singing but I sure hope I can see Noah for who he is and not just that image in my head. And I really hope I don't turn into one of those insane soccer moms! or even worse one of those pageant moms in "Little Miss Sunshine" (there should be more parenting movies like that)!

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