Saturday, February 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Miss Muffit!

Another year has vanished in the blink of an eye. We all wonder where the years go but there is nothing like watching a child grow to remind you of just how fast time flies. My baby is a preschooler now and reminds me daily that she is NOT a baby anymore. Those little hands are evidence that that may not be entirely true just yet though. I look at the little dimples and think back to the days when I stared at a little picture and couldn't wait to hold and kiss those little dimpled fists.

Four years ago today a beautiful little girl was born. She was a tiny bundle of potential and hope and she was a fighter. We will likely never know the circumstances that surrounded that day yet we do know that a great joy entered the world. What a different place our home would be without her laughter! Every smile she brings to my face brings another to my heart.

Paige is 'officially' no longer a toddler. She is able to run, jump and skip. She pedals her tricycle, tries out the scooters and follows her brothers everywhere. At school she has learned to cut on a line, color inside the lines and stand in line. She loves Sponge Bob but only barely tolerates Ni Hao Kai Lan. Noodles and rice are always a favorite while beans are just not happening!

Paige is a kick in the pants and regularly kicks my behind. She'll turn whatever hair I have left gray before I'm 40 no doubt. And I can't imagine our lives without her. What a quiet place this would be and so boring! We have been so very blessed to have Paige for a daughter. God certainly knew what he was doing by placing her in our family!

And finally, I would be remiss to not mention Paige's first mother on this day. Unfortunately Paige's birthdays will always be clouded with a sadness for the mother who couldn't raise her. Whether she was unable to or unwilling is irrelevant because there is little chance that this day passes without her wondering what happened to her daughter. I wish she could see the happy, healthy, precious child she is growing into. Paige will never be fully mine. I will always share her heart with a mother she never knew. I only hope I can raise her to make us both proud!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Beautiful Days!

We are getting Spring fever around here! 60 degree days with blue skies and sunshine - what's not to like? The kids have been outside everyday playing with the neighbors. Caden got a wild hair to dig a hole in the backyard. Fortunately we have just the place for him to dig. So he and a couple of the neighbor girls spent the entire weekend digging away. They disrupted more than a few worm homes with their fun but not to worry, Paige gave them all a nice home in her dirt filled planter pots. By the time they were done, the hole was so big that it looked like maybe they intended to bury someone back there!

Trace was around all weekend too, but he wasn't doing anything cute enough to warrant picture taking! I have a suspicion that will be the case more often than not in the coming future. He did venture outside quite a bit more than he usually does though which was good.

Now we are back to another week. Busy as usual. Paige's birthday at preschool is Thursday, Caden's last basketball game is Saturday, Sunday is the basketball party and Paige's birthday. I have more than a few things to keep straight and try to get done! What else is new though?

As soon as basketball is over Spring soccer starts for the boys. It looks like I may be coaching Caden's team but we don't know for sure yet. There is also a possibility of me working full time in the near future (well 8:15-2:00 which is full time to me!). Life is about change isn't it?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Water, swimsuits and tatoos - oh my!

Well, we finally bit the bullet (no, not Caden's stuffed dog Bullet - read the previous post) and took the kids to Great Wolf Lodge. For those who are unaware of what this means let me explain. GWL is a kids paradise. Something like 100,000 gallons of water (most of it moving), awesome bunk beds, magic wands that make the wall art and more come to life and again, water. It's an indoor water park and resort seemingly made entirely for kids. As we walked through the door Trace came to a complete stop as he looked around in amazement at just the lobby. We were immediately transported out of reality and into a wonderland. Getting into our room and choosing up bunks was the next thrilling adventure. The kids had their own little cabin built into our room and complete with a t.v. of their own (boy was that nice when they were all awake before 7am!).
Everyone got swimsuits and wrist bands on so we could head to the water.
So down we went to the second floor - where much of the excitement is. The elevator opens to the arcade (what better way to milk a few extra dollars from parents?) and just around the corner is the Cub Club which is essentially a preschool room. The sweet shop and Pizza Hut Express also line the path to the water park. In the entire 5 minute walk from our room to the pool we were dodging kids running around with magic wands. Pointing them at trees makes them talk to you, treasure chests open and gems light up. At $14 a whack the hotel is making a small fortune on those wands alone! Walking into the water area is pretty amazing. You enter from the second floor which gives you a magnificent view of the entire area right from the start. Giddiness was definitely in the air!

And we were off to become waterlogged and pruned! Paige happily floated in the kiddy play area with Rick or I close by and the boys ran amok with the other of parent trailing along behind. Rick hiked the stairs to the water slides several times before it was my turn. I had no idea I'd be hiking up 5 long flights of stairs! After my second trip my heart was pounding so hard in my chest I could feel it in my head and I could hardly catch my breath! Oh-yeah, I'm in pretty bad shape. The slide back down was worth it though and as far as the boys were concerned it was worth it enough to occupy nearly all of their time. I'm curious to see if they'll still think it was worth it when they can't walk tomorrow!

Sitting in the kiddy pool does give one time to do plenty of people watching. And were there ever people to watch in this place! Let's start with the kids... Babies(!) they were everywhere! Why would you pay good money to sit in a chair holding a tiny baby while your family plays and has fun? Not me thank you. Then there were the toddlers in their swim diapers and life jackets. One little guy was such a fish that he literally rolled down the extra wide slide and came up sputtering over and over again! The bigger kids were far less obnoxious than I expected. Maybe it is because we were there mid week, I don't know, but I really didn't run into any kids behaving badly.

Then there were the adults. Oh man were there the adults! I have to say my whole trip was made as I sat there making my mental observations and came to the realization that going to a family resort meant that almost every woman there had at least one child. How did that make my trip? Let's just say WOW, I look good! To be fair, there were a couple of women skinnier than myself, but the vast majority were more than just a little bit bigger. And either poured into or falling out of their swimsuits too. One women literally looked like she was going to pop out the top of her suit any second and another had on a semi string bikini/one piece thing and she clearly couldn't pull it off. I'm sorry but if your you-know-whats are half way to your bellybutton you do not belong in a bikini or any other low cut suit. Is there anything that looks worse than a woman trying to look younger than she is by wearing teenager's clothes (or in this case swimsuit)? Well, um, apparently there is. That would be a teenager who thinks she is hot when clearly she is not. Just because you are young does not qualify you as someone who looks good in a skimpy suit. And if you do have a few extra pounds please do yourself a favor and spend a little extra money on a decent suit that actually holds everything where it is supposed to be! Oh-my-goodness - how can anyone say we have problems with self esteem in this country? They most certainly have not visited a water park recently! I guess the rule of thumb is that if it comes in your size then it will look good on you. Uh-hmmmm. Seriously folks, it's kinda scary.
The only thing worse than the swimsuits were the tattoos. I guess we are terribly out-of-it since we don't have any. According to the news Portland is now the tattoo capital of the country. Apparently nearly everyone at the Great Wolf Lodge this week traveled North to get there.

We made it home in time for bed tonight. Trace is bruised and battered and Caden's back looks like he was whipped but they are all sound asleep in their own warm beds dreaming of water...

Friday, February 05, 2010

Let there be peace!

Just not at our house. Nope, no peace-lovin', war-hatin', hippies in this house. We've got rifles, pistols, bow and arrows, swords, light-sabers and just about every Nerf gun there is. They shoot caps, Nerf bullets, water and marshmallows. There is ammo everywhere and we had to upgrade to a larger storage container this last Christmas. In the summer it's our boys who haul out the weapons for all the neighborhood to enjoy. (For all I know their peace-lovin' parents hate us for it would like to show us how to love not hate.) The rules of engagement? There are none as long as you don't hurt someone. Although I did attempt to set a few rules I have found they are hard to enforce when Dad is the main one breaking them! So, at any given time of any given day it could be all out mayhem and war in our house. It does get loud. And my little girl (you know, the girly-girl) is right there in the middle of it.

So, clearly the NRA would be welcome in our house. Although they might have to duck some foam bullets. I do get a kick out of parents who refuse to allow their boys any weapons. Admittedly I was one of them for a very short time. Didn't want to be politically incorrect you know. But I got over it. Clearly.

There are moments that make me cringe though. I guess, being the mom, that is my job. Like the other night in the bathtub when Paige is slapping the bubbles and saying, "kill the bubbles, kill 'um!" Uh-huh. Or when Rick is pelting the boys so fast that they can't hardly keep up - what an example!

So, if you should ever find yourself in need of a weapon you know where to go. Water is a particularly good ammo for hot days or misbehaving cats and marshmallows work great against siblings (keeps them out of your hair as they search for the free snack). Nerf has a wide range of uses including, but not limited to, shooting super balls and sticky frogs out of high, unreachable window sills and getting rid of pesky annoyances like cats and little sisters. Multiple weapons, multiple types of ammo and definitely multiple uses!