Friday, April 25, 2008

Holy Cradle Robbers Batman!

Sixteen years today.

Exciting plans to celebrate? Well, the words "Lowe's" and "landscaping stuff" came up. Hmmmmm - I can see we have need to continue working on that. I am pretty certain the 16th Anniversary is not the Home & Garden Anniversary.

Him: "Look honey - I got you an econo pack of lawn and leaf bags!" Me: "Oh you romantic devil you!"

Yeah, definitely need to work on that . . . :0)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Happy 5th Birthday Sadie Rose!

In true Diva style - this little girl picked her own birthday (scheduled csection date just not good enough for her - thank you very much!) The tale of her birth involves a long anxious car ride made longer by a gridlock traffic jam with 3 minute apart contractions and eventually an armed escort at the hospital. After all that kerfuffle, are we surprised by the red curly hair and the sass to match?

It all goes by much too fast . . .

Jessica & Sadie April 2003

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Dress

It was antique white. The softest cotton sateen you have ever felt in your life. The type of fabric that has wonderful drape and you just want to wrap yourself up in from head to toe. The type of fabric that if you bought it made into bed sheets would be marked "Luxury". Which is precisely what it was - luxurious and heavenly. The Peter Pan collar with matching bow and sash were a soft rose color in the same fabric. I could hardly refrain from petting it - stroking the fabric over and over, thinking that this was how my babies felt after a bath, fresh and powdered - so soft and smooth. Along the bottom of the skirt was a scenic panorama of Paris - drawn with spots of color here and there in the palest of pinks and roses. The Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe - other buildings - a little cafe, a museum. Just . . . gorgeous. The style was simple - slightly high waisted, full gathered skirt, straight bodice with cap sleeves. The little collar and sash with bow were not elaborate either - but still, the dress was elegant in its simplicity; sweet and innocent in presentation, heirloom reminiscent - perfect for my little girl, and the size was just right. I splurged. The dress wasn't terribly expensive - it costs me more to fill my gas tank even just once. Still, I did hesitate the slightest bit, and then because it was her birthday the following week, I chose to bring it home. When my little girl saw it for the first time - her mouth opened in a round "O". She brought her hand up hesitantly at first, but then touched the dress, unable to resist. Running her hand down the skirt she said "Oh - it's a Paris dress!" She has never been to Paris except via her Madeline books and videos. Still, to her, Paris meant this dress was something special.

Since it was a dressy dress - I let her wear it the Sunday before her birthday. Her older sister helped dress her in it. My little girl looked so perfect it made me cry. My oldest daughter had pulled just the front part of her little sister's curly strawberry blond hair back and caught it with a ruffled satin bow barrett. She wore the dress with a little pointelle knit sweater, tights and burgandy velvet shoes with satin bows on the toes - a little purse to finish the outfit off and voila! Just perfect, absolutely picture perfect - though, because we were in a hurry to get out the door to church on time, I didn't grab the camera. After all, I figured there was plenty of time later for pictures - because the dress was ours.

The day wore on. Church was over. I stayed - choir, a youth activity, Matt brought the children home. Jessica had planned a special Tea Party for her and Sadie. They wore their dresses - Jessica took a few pictures. A nice little "outing" - though I missed it.

Sometime after the Tea Party ended, Sadie and two of her brothers found their way into a craft project Jessica had been working on. One that involved black craft paint. None of them had changed out of their church clothes. I asked for the dress - Sadie had changed out of it by then, but upon verifying verbally that she had indeed been wearing it during the black craft paint catastrophe - I had a horrible sick feeling. Jessica brought me the dress. She had tried to clean the paint off. She attempted this using bleach. I imagine she must have been absolutely horrified when the rose sateen began to turn a horrible and spotty shade of orange. She was not the only one who shed tears upon surveying the wreckage. Garrett's and Adam's clothing were also affected - though only with the paint. Their dress shirts, Adam's pants and a sweater covered with splotches of black paint. Their disarray did not provoke emotion on the same level as the state of the dress however.

I am hoping to salvage it somehow. The bulk of the dress was white - so the bleach didn't affect the color too adversely there. I think with a little effort gently applied, the black spots of paint will come off. The sash and collar are completely ruined. Fortunately I am possessed of some sewing ability and I think I can replace the collar and sash with something else. Though, of course it won't be the same - I doubt I will be able to find the same sateen fabric in the perfect shade of soft rose.

I am grateful Jessica took pictures during their tea party. However, upon looking at the few she took, realized that I do not have one shot of the dress in its entirety.

Here it is - all I have of the dress in its former glory. For the rest however, I will have to rely upon my memory only of a perfect little curly haired girl in the perfect dress.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

"Honey, did you remember to round up two zebras for the ark?"

Rain is a season in Missouri - this is a fact I have been aware of for several years now. I actually like rain - though I am kind of strange that way. I also like snow. We're not talking about the white stuff today though. We can accumulate a significant amount of rainfall rather quickly - this season started off with a bang - 13 inches in a 3 day period of time! That was the grand kickoff to rain and flood season a couple weeks ago. When you dump that much rain that fast right off the bat, the next 2 months of rain have no where to go but up.

Imagine our shock to find that today's forecast predicted - you guessed it - lots of rain. I got the older kids up for school and there was a lull in the downpour, so they headed out to the bus stop. Shortly after leaving out the door - a flash and loud crack and down comes the rain! Garrett arrived back inside first. Jessi said the lightening flash and then thunder made him jump. He stuck around until the rain started coming down and then she reported he just took off, running with arms flapping up and down screaming "ahhh! ahhh! ahhh! ahhh!" all the way home. Jess arrived shortly thereafter. She also said that Trent just stood there for a moment, a sad look on his face as he looked upward contemplating the sky and then he continued to the bus stop. That's my boy!

The kids arrival back home presented a new set of issues - one of which being they now needed alternate transportation to school. Jess said she was out of money for cab fare (something about us not giving them allowance) so that meant I had to play chauffeur. Now, it doesn't sound that hard does it? Sure, throw the kids in the car and just drive to school. Well - first, there is the matter of the 3 sleeping children and second, the fact that I am still in my jammies. Sadie has prek on Thursdays, but not until 9. I need to get the older kids to school by 8. Time that Garrett and Jessica returned to our not so sunny doorstep - 7:28 am. Half an hour sounds ample - sure, except for throwing in the tiny detail of them attending two different schools halfway across town from each other and did I mention the 3 sleeping children? Much like Patton mobilizing the troops for battle - though with significantly less precision and organization, okay, not at all like Patton or the troops, and there were definitely no inspirational speeches - except for the large group of people, the similarity still holds there - wait, where was I? Oh yeah - I woke and dressed 3 children who were less than amused at being ripped from their blissful slumber and protested loudly. Changed two diapers, made a bottle for the baby. Located one missing shoe, brushed my teeth and hair and got dressed. Strapped the baby into his car seat. Strapped the preschooler into her booster. Strapped the pre-preschooler into his car seat. Located the booster for the 1st grader, put it back in the van and let him strap himself in. Grabbed umbrella. Dropped Jess off at the middle school and got Garrett to the elementary school by 8:12 am. Slightly late - but fortunate that the downpour had delayed a bus or two. When the buses are late - as long as you get there before them, no tardies. Whew. I was pretty impressed with myself (and my little bit of luck of not having to sign Garrett in for being late). Ahhhhh, hubris - but we'll get back to that a little later. Drove to the prek for Sadie and then sat there reading my book that I thought to grab on the way out while we waited 40 minutes for her school to start. Just call me Wonder Woman! (Again, the hubris thing - not much longer now . . .) There was no way I was unloading and reloading the kids after already having done so once in less than an hour, so I figured we would just park and wait and I came prepared. The rain continued to pour down. At last, after passing the time by answering Sadie's question "Is it time yet?" every five minutes, it was time to get out and take Sadie into her class. Except - it is still dumping rain and the wind is blowing so hard that is practically coming down sideways. Dilemma - do I spend several minutes with my fanny hanging out of the car in the rain unstrapping the boys and then carrying them and an umbrella with a preschooler in tow in the rain to the building and back, or do I do the bad mommy thing? Shhhhh - don't tell anyone, I left the boys in the car and ran Sadie to the school and then ran back to the car. Now, lest you feel I was going to get away with something devious or being consumed in my pride - let me assure you I was promptly put in my place by the fates or karma or more accurately, Mother Nature. (Completely off the subject here - but why do they call it Mother Nature? Surely a fellow mother would not be so cruel to a compatriot in arms - again with the military comparisons) I hopped back into the car, closed up the umbrella and pulled it into the car across my front to put on the floor beside me. BIG mistake. No, make that huge, colossal, even a monumental mistake (did I miss any synonyms there?). Though I am certain I had adequately returned the umbrella to it's closed and locked position, for some inexplicable reason just as I drew it across my lap it started to open - yes, right there in the front seat, in my lap, between me and the steering wheel. Now - this is not some lightweight, compact stow in your back pocket umbrella - oh no! I got the mega huge, walking stick when closed fit your whole family and a herd of sheep under it when open sized umbrella - and a very wet mega huge, etc etc umbrella at that. Now, as all of you are well aware - umbrellas don't open slowly, no, they open with a quick POP! and there you go. So, my mega huge mega wet wonder umbrella pops open in my lap and rain water flies everywhere. I wrestle with the beast, trying to close it, trying to minimize the water damage to little avail. My front is now completely soaked from shoulders to knees.

I drive home, very wet and very cold and feeling rather humbled. By the time I pulled into the garage - the rain had stopped.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Spring has Sprang

The rains stopped. The grass was almost instantly greener and we came home one day, pulling into our driveway and noticed flowers. Lots and lots of yellow daffodils. We stopped midway into the driveway and admired them.

About an hour after we arrived home, Sadie burst into the house with a fistful of yellow flowers. "Look mama! The flowers have springed!"

Now we admire the dark green foliage as we drive into our driveway. I was pleased however, to see a new daffodil pop open after the last bit of rain we had this week.

So, there you have it folks - the lone daffodil of spring!

This week found me recently bemoaning the fact I never had a hairy baby - this came about in a conversation Matt and I were having about getting older. I have forever and always wanted a baby with a headful of hair, coming home from the hospital with a mohawk or ponytails - one of those kids people stop you and say "Look at all that hair!". First thing I asked, every delivery - "do they have any hair?" Hopeful, ever hopeful. Always, always disappointed - at least hair wise. I made the comment that I felt certain we could have six more children and every single one of them would be just as bald as the first six. Apparently Matt's selective hearing was on, because he heard " blah, blah . . . certain . . have six more children . . . blah, blah, blah". He can jump surprisingly high for an old guy. He breathed a great sigh of relief when I assured him I had no intention of testing that particular theory out . . . (though, I did mention hearing loss as a possible sign of advanced age.)

Adam has been very similar to his older brothers in that up to now, he hasn't been much of a talker. Around the age of three they seem to suddenly develop the ability of speech and begin talking in full sentences. Always a switch to go from grunts and pointing one day to complete and coherent sentences the next. Garrett held out the longest - so much so that we actually had him evaluated by a speech therapist. She laughed merrily when my heretofore mute child suddenly launched into a dissertation on chalkboards. I found it slightly less amusing and was tempted to smack my head against the floor. Trent's primary babysitter as a toddler use to tell us when we would come home "He doesn't talk very much, does he?" Several months later this same babysitter was telling us "He doesn't ever stop talking, does he?!" So, it was no real surprise when Adam went from gesticulation and grunting for communicating, to sentences coming up on his third birthday. His first real sentence? Not so much a statement as a question or expression of disbelief - "What the heck??!!"

And that pretty much sums up how I feel most days:

"What the heck??!!"