Sunday, July 17, 2011

Climbing Shoes

I love it when I happen upon a good deal. It just excites me. Such excitement came the other day when I found a cute pair of pink converse sneakers in Elizabeth’s size at the local Salvation Army store for only a couple bucks. Liz wasn’t with me at the time but I knew she’d be thrilled with them when I got them home. Much to my disappointment she didn’t find them as interesting as I did and even went as far as showing no interest, actually even disinterest, in the new bargain shoes. I didn’t make a big deal about it because that generally just makes things worse.

Later that day we were going somewhere and it just so happened the sneakers matched perfectly with what she was wearing. I gave her the option between the pink sneakers and her white sandals. She wasn’t thrilled with either choice however at some point, I have no idea when, she claimed that these new shoes were her climbing shoes!

Not sure where she got the idea from but with these pink sneakers on she could now apparently climb high up into the trees. These shoes were not the average everyday shoes; they had special climbing abilities that could make tree climbing a cinch! I wondered for a minute if the picture in her mind was as dramatic as she made it seem. I felt as though the pink sneakers should have come with some kind of cape so as she stood proud at the top of the trees it could blow in the wind to show what the sneakers had allowed this wonder woman to accomplish. Whatever her visions were I was very happy the shoes had become her new favorites in just a matter of seconds.

The first day she wore them we didn’t have any trees to climb; same story on the second day. But she was diligent to look for any tree that the climbing shoes could help her climb. On Friday we went out to Tuterville and I was sure there would be the perfect climbing tree for Elizabeth and the sneakers to take on. The entire day went by without a word about tree climbing until we gathered our things to leave.
“Mom!” Liz exclaimed “We have to find a tree!” I couldn’t let her down this time. Tree climbing was on the agenda for the day and the perfect climbing tree we would find. I also thought that at 29 weeks pregnant I probably should not be the main one assisting with the climb. Grandaddy would make the perfect climbing partner and was available and willing to take part in the Great Tree Climb so off they went to find the perfect climbing tree.
The pink sneakers did their job to perfection and up, up, up she went.

Katherine was having none of this staying on the ground business. So as soon as Liz came down she began to make the climb up in her own version of climbing shoes. I think Grandaddy made the magic happen in Kate’s shoes and she was as happy as could be climbing with Grandaddy!

It brought a smile to my face as the girls were filled with such happiness and wonder at the accomplishment of the Great Tree Climb! These simple joys are things I don't want to let pass by as I spend day after day mothering my children. It's so easy to overlook them. My kids find such happiness in the small things. A lesson we can all be reminded of from time to time.

What brings a small smile to your face today? Be aware of the simple things and count it all joy!

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Dreaded Appointment

I am well into my 28th week of pregnancy! Wow! Besides being a bit more tired than I remember and besides eating as much ice as I can possibly get my hands on I have been feeling pretty good. Feeling very pregnant but I guess that is how I am supposed to feel at this point. J My little man is pretty active in there and I love it!

My last appointment with the midwife was an appointment I dread each and every pregnancy. It includes my glucose test and a shot that I have to take because of my blood type.

The glucose test includes drinking 8oz of cold liquid sugar in two minutes and then having your blood drawn one hour later. This drink pretty much taste like a very very very sweet flat sprite. It causes me to think nothing even remotely sweet will ever touch my lips again. This thought is always changed though in a couple days as a delicious chocolate treat is bound to show up eventually that I just can’t resist. J (Although right now I crave ice OVER chocolate!)

The first time I took this test things didn’t go so well and as soon as the blood draw was over I couldn’t keep the sugar drink, or my breakfast down, any longer. Yeah, it was unpleasant. The other times I’ve done the test I have managed to keep things down…barely. I have to fan myself as waves of nausea rush over me. Blah, no fun!

And then the shot. Oh, the shot. I love the medical field. I enjoy giving shots to other people. But I despise getting a shot myself. It’s always worse in my mind before it actually happens but …oh, how I dread it.

This time around the nurse walks in to give me my shot. Now, this shot is not your average little stick in the arm. Oh no, this shot is given in the “you know where”. Ok, actually it is given in the hip but it seems more dramatic to say the “you know where” and getting a shot is always a dramatic event for me so it is only appropriate to call it as such.

So the nurse comes in. I let out a small groan and ask with hesitation and dread in my voice “are you good at this?” She says “Well, this is a big shot…”

WOAH there woman. Watch your language! Big and shot should never be in the same sentence before striking your victim. Furthermore in response to the question “are you good at this?”!!!  Your confidence overwhelms me.

She kindly goes on to explain that the reason they give this shot in the “you know where” is because it is too big to go into the arm.  

Fortunately the event was a normal, worse in my mind that in reality, and the correct answer for “are you good at this” would have been yes. She did a great job and even gave me a little pep talk during the poking process about how I was being the best mommy by getting my shot. And she even gave official “Doctors orders” for Brandon to treat me to something special since I had done my part for OUR baby now he was to do his. Reasonable don’t you think? I thought so too.

(psst-Brandon…that’s your que! J)

I’ve survived the dreaded appointment once again. As always…it was a close call.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Because I Laughed Until I Cried

Meet Katherine -also known as Kate or Katie or Katie-Kate. She is my second born. She adds…spice in my life. She snuggles sweetly and laughs contagiously. She is strong willed and independent…most of the time. She reminds me constantly that I will not survive parenting her without Jesus. Her blessed little personality makes me run to the foot of the cross often as I ask for wisdom and patience, patience, patience.

Notice her ornery expression.

She loves playing in the dirt before returning to her proper princess state!

Even when washed on a regular basis most often you will find Katherine's face looking something like this.

One of the things I love most about my sweet Kate is the way she makes us laugh. Rather with an expression or comment she brings laughter into our home.
Now, to fully appreciate the comedy of this situation you first need a little back ground for the terminology used in our house hold concerning a certain subject matter. When I was a little girl one of my aunts had a friend from Canada visiting. We hit it off with this friend and one night during her visit she was at my house. At some point during the course of that evening she said asked this six year old little girl “Did you fluff?” I giggled and asked what she meant. It was at that moment I introduced to the word fluff as a substitute for any other optional word for flatulence.  Are you feeling awkward here? Don’t. Flatulence is a normal part of life. The term fluff stuck around my family and I have done my duty to pass it on to my children. It is great because most people have no idea what you are referring to so when in the grocery store my two year old proudly and loudly exclaims that she just fluffed. People don’t giggle or stop and stare. Let’s face the reality that kids don’t generally say words like flatulence or “I passed gas”. We all know the terms that have brought many children (or adults) laughter for years on this, for whatever reason hilarious natural bodily function. Until my kids learn a bit more discretion I’d rather them be using the term fluff…that’s all I’m saying here.

Ok, now that we are all on the same page let’s get to the good part.
Last Saturday morning, our little family was having a great weekend breakfast of pancakes, bacon, and eggs. We had sat down together at the table and the giggles and laughter began to flow as Brandon started to make up songs about the girls. I don’t recall what brought about these lyrics exactly but to the tune of "Frere Jaques" (you do not want to know how long it took me to figure out how to spell that!) Brandon began to sing:

Who’s a fluff face?
Who’s a fluff face?
Katherine is! Katherine is!
Katherine is a fluff face, Katherine is a fluff face.
Yes, she is. Yes, she is!
This song of course brought about lots of laughter especially by Elizabeth…until it was her name inserted into the song. “Nooooo! I’m not a fluff face!!” This brought about rebutting arguments from the girls “Daddy is a fluff face!”  The songs and giggles continued  well into our morning meal. Soon we finished our breakfast and went on to other things.

Kate still in a happy mood and full of joy came running up to Brandon to tell him something of great importance to her. In mid-sentence out of her two year old princess body came this unexpected man-sized burp. It caught her off guard. Brandon cracked a smile as he said “Whoa! What was that!”

Without hesitation, or even a second thought Katie-Kate wisely declared “It was my Fluff Face!”

Bahahahahaha!!!!!! I would have enjoyed seeing her two year old little brain process that information as she came to that rather logical conclusion! I laughed so hard I was crying!
I quite like Kate. I am beginning to think I’ll keep her around.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Just Go With the Flow!

There is this friend that I have that always does a great job of getting the kids out of the house to beat the heat or cold with some kind of fun activity. Often times I talk about great ideas but let all the household chores, which never seem to end, keep me from actually putting things in motion and getting out there and doing these things. So I am grateful when this friend calls and actually puts things on the calendar with me and we get out there and have an adventure.

Friday was one of those very days. We originally had plans to take our crew of kiddos, there are five among the two of us…soon to be seven, to sulfur/turner falls area. However, in an effort to save some gas and car time we changed the plans to head out to a local lake. To me spending the day on the beach letting the kids play their hearts out while I ate an entire ice chest full of ice sounded delightful. (Been craving LOTS of ice…yes I am taking steps to improve my iron levels.)

So, the plan was made and Friday morning set into motion. It started out the way most of our planned days do with one of us calling the other informing her we will be late. Neither of us minds though because we’ve both been there and completely understands. J As a matter of fact I think in my mind the “I’m late” phone call is actually an unspoken part of the plan. It works out better that way.

I made a last minute stop to borrow a few things from my parents-in-love. They are always great to loan me stuff that they keep in the garage that I just don’t have space for. I love them. Anyways, while we were there Dad informs me that the lake we planned on going to had closed its beaches because of a bad e-coli breakout after the 4th of July.  Good information to have before I drove to Edmond! After a few phone calls we confirmed Dad’s words to be true. Although, they did still have one beach opened. Which, apparently I don’t understand how that germ spreads cuz that didn’t make much since to me. Regardless, as pregnant mother’s we decided it wasn’t worth the risk for us or our children being sick.

So with both of us sitting in parking lots on opposite sides of the city, in swim attire, with children looking forward to the swim also in swim attire, we started calculating at a rapid speed another plan.

Plan B fell through.

Plan C fell through.

Plan D,E, and F all flopped.

Continue through the alphabet until you reach Plan Z. Now, Plan Z was a winner! It actually began to be comical to me as nothing seemed to be falling into place. I was so grateful though to be able to discover the flawed plans through simple phone calls though rather than millions of gas miles and broken hearts of little ones expectations. It was bad enough to pull the lake plans from their hearts.

So, plan z was to go to the zoo, which was free due to my friends zoo pass. I laughed as Kate said her bed time prayers pretty much summing up the amount of animals we saw at the zoo - “Jesus, thank you for the bugs.” Truth be told we really weren’t there for the animals. It was a good place for lunch and we killed several hours letting the kids play in the little stream in the children’s area. Also, don’t forget the attire we were in. The zoo was one of the only places we would probably be accepted. J We had prepared to go to the lake…and we looked the part.  Unfortunately while the kids stayed plenty cool the mommy’s were still quite warm. For some reason I couldn’t get my entire ice chest of ice carried into the zoo. L So, in the afternoon we headed out for part B of plan Z which was swimming in Uncle Cecil’s pool.

So, all in all, the day was great fun! Not at all what we expected as we headed out that morning but equally as fun and now we have something else to do on another one of these hot summer days! J

When at all possible just go with the flow. It’s much more enjoyable that way! J

Thanks friend for a great day of fun!


P.S. – there are no pictures of the day because while I did remember to bring my camera the first time I pulled it out to capture some moments I discovered I had not put my memory card back into my camera. Upon that discovery I had to chuckle because it only seemed fitting for the day. J

Thursday, July 07, 2011

The Parking Lot Adventure

Our 4th of July weekend was splendid! After a week of Falls Creek we hit the ground running with our annual church 4th celebration taking place the day after our arrival at home. It was well worth the hard work though and fighting through the sleep deprivation for an awesome and exciting time of worship and teaching with other believers followed by several baptisms! Praise the Lord! We met with a few other local churches in a school gym and had a pool on site for baptisms. There is nothing better than watching the Lord move in people’s lives and hearts and seeing the captive set free!
Sunday night my family headed out to Tuterville, our 4th of July tradition, to get some r&r and enjoy the holiday. I went to bed early, slept in late and then had a good nap the next day as well. I was more exhausted than I even realized. The rest was wonderful and by the time we headed home on Tuesday afternoon I felt I was back on track ready to get back into the swing of things. It was wonderful.

On Monday night the women folk took the older kiddos to a 4th of July celebration at UCO. We got there about 3 ½ hours before the fireworks were set to begin and enjoyed some of the festivities. We got a parking place near the exit of a lot close to the main street. I figured we could head out quickly after the show. What was I thinking!!!!

The kiddos enjoyed the inflatables and the firework display.

They loved photographing the fireworks. Their pictures looked something like this...only about two hundred more shots. I decided to only upload two. Your welcome. :)

After all the great fun here’s how things went down. We had four children with us. The fact of the matter is that we can’t load the car as fast as some people. It was 10:45p.m. when my reverse lights came on. Certainly one of the cars would let me out of my parking place. Again, what was I thinking!!!

Slowly I would back out. Maybe if my intentions were made known to the cars, because my reverse lights obviously weren’t stating my intention of backing my little self out and joining the flow of traffic with enough clarity for these blessed American people, then maybe my movement toward their car would. I thought wrong yet again. Do you know what they did? Do you know what these cars did!? Well, let me just tell you.

The car pictured here apparently wanted to practice his freedom of selfishness  one this great american holiday by not letting me out when he could have.
This car here moved so close to the car in front of it you couldn’t have even slid a piece of paper between their bumpers. How rude! Where are the kind souls in America!?! I looked and looked but there was none.

Now, this truck...this truck. Mmm-mmm. Oh, the shame. This truck had every opportunity to let me out of my space. But no. This caused me to have a flash of the movie, The Grinch, run through my head. Remember the scene? "Hate you, Hate you, Hate you, LOATHE ENTIRELY!!!"

It was about this time.
I was still in this gear, going this speed.

When this child (photo taken earlier in the day) starts claiming she needs to do business in the bathroom. Serious business. She is two years old and can only hold it for so long. Come on people, where are the good hearted Americans!?!!! I just need to back out of my parking space.

The thought crossed my mind of waddling out of the vehicle to inform people I was having contractions. This wouldn’t have been totally untrue. Braxton hicks are technically contractions. But then again, where are the good ole Americans? If no one else was to show good character, I would. (Queue patriotic music here.)  
I would not be angered that no one was being kind. I would simply take action.

Those actions consisted of putting a pull-up on the poor child in need of a potty pronto. A preventative measure I was sure I would not regret.
Action #2 was to open the camera app on my phone and document this moment for your enjoyment. And so that when, if ever, some kind soul was to let me out of that blasted parking space that I could publicly recognize their kindness. 
Let it be known that this was the kind soul! What do you know…there are still American’s in this country that care!

Let us learn a lesson here. Have you ever heard of the phrase “Each one, Reach one”? Well in the parking lot that simply translates into “Each one, let one out”! Haven’t you people heard of the zipper method!? Let’s lay down our selfishness, yield some of our stinking rights, and all play nicely!
It was this time...
...When I got to slide the gear shift into this gear.

Next time you are sitting in a parking lot that is backed up consider my situation and think to yourself, I could be that one. I could be the kind hearted American this person needs to see right now. Think about the fact that the children in that car could in fact need to potty pronto and may not be able to hold it. Furthermore, not all mothers carry extra pull-ups. You do the math. The results of your kindness could be monumental.   
(Queue quiver in bottom lip. Visualize the whites of my eyes glass over as the tear ducts begin to swell. Hear my voice begin speaking softly before moving to a desperate sob only to return to the quiet sniffles as I end the challenge.)
Will you be the one? Please? PLEASE!? PLEEEEEAAAASSSSE! *sniff* I just want to back out of my parking space.
The end.

As my children say,
Happy Birthday Fourth of July, America!