It Builds Character

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

We all survived!

Well, it was a busy weekend, but we lived to tell about it. Here's a little recap of the weekend.

Saturday, (my birthday) I got up and gave Lauren a bath and got her dressed, etc. She got a manicure and everything! Then I started trying to get the house cleaned up and get all of our stuff packed up to stay overnight at the Grandparent's house. Packing is one of my most hated jobs. I was packing for the kids, Jason, and me. The weather had been nice, but what would it be like the next day? So for an overnight stay, I had to pack clothes for warm weather, as well as be prepared for cooler weather. I was trying to do all of this in a reasonable amount of time so that we could get to my Dad's house before midnight, and that can get a little stressful. The house was such a pit! It didn't help that Alex and Lauren brought their tea party inside when Lauren spotted a bug outside. She had her little plastic plateful of crackers that she kept dropping all over the wood floor, and then stepping in them. So I'm running through the house like a crazy person, and new messes are popping up all around me. I was so crabby! My poor kids. Catherine was smart and got out early. She was at her friend's house. Here's a picture of the tea party before it was crashed by the uninvited bug.

After we got on the road, I was able to calm down a bit and relax. We got down to my Dad's house, and right away, the kids spotted the plastic colored eggs all over the yard. So the Easter egg hunt ensued! They all had a great time. Before we got to my Dad's, we stopped to pick up my Grandparents and brought them along for the birthday celebrations. We had a great meal, and it was a beautiful day, so we spent a good portion of it outside.

Sunday was Easter, as well as Lauren's 3rd birthday, and we spent the day at my Mom's house. It rained and rained and rained, but we had a delicious meal, so who really cared? We did have to move the Easter egg hunt indoors, but it was a success anyway! Lauren opened her gifts, and was in heaven all day afterwards. Two words--Princess Dress.

The first thing she said when she opened it up was, "Where's my crown?" A true princess at heart. She wore it all day long, with the exception of mealtime. She was actually agreeable to taking it off to eat, because she didn't want to get it dirty. She got another Fairy Dress today from Sharkey & JP, along with a feather boa, but I need to exchange the dress, as it had a little rip in it. I'll be sure to post some pictures of it when I get a new one. The boa is too much!

So basically, we had a good weekend, happy birthdays were had by all, and we ate WAY too much! Easter candy, birthday cake, cupcakes, ice cream. No wonder I weighed 3 pounds more on Monday morning! Below is a picture of Catherine and some of the candy they got for Easter. This is only Alex & Catherine's share of it. Lauren's is still in another bag! The candy is in a HUGE Tupperware bowl, and I have to totally heap it on to fit it all in. There are like 12 Cadbury eggs in there calling my name. I'm trying really hard to tune them out. Wish me luck!

On a totally separate note, I have to tell about a cute thing that Lauren said tonight as I was putting her to bed. Tomorrow is Jason's day off, so he will keep Lauren home with him and they'll spend the day together. I told her, "Be good for Dad tomorrow!" She said, "I won't hit him, or kick him, or pinch him, or poke his eye!" What more can a parent ask for?

Friday, April 14, 2006

Hoppy Easter!

Not only Happy Easter, but Happy Birthday, Happy Anniversary, and Happy Birthday! Wow, it's going to be a busy weekend! Tomorrow is my birthday, and I'll be 34 years old. For a couple of reasons, it really doesn't even seem like it's tomorrow already. The first reason is that I'm getting older, and birthdays just aren't the big deal that they used to be. The second reason being that the next day is Lauren's birthday. She was apparently hell-bent on not sharing with me, because 3 years ago when I was induced on my birthday at about 8am, nothing happened all day long. Most boring birthday ever! At 3:13am the next day, she finally decided we'd waited long enough, and made her first appearance. So because our birthdays are only a day apart, I'm thinking more about hers than mine, which, I would have to believe, is pretty typical for a mom.

On April 15, 2000, my 28th birthday, Sharkey and JP made it official. They had a beautiful wedding ceremony that we were all a part of. I was the Matron of Honor (I hate the word "matron", it makes me sound old and fat), Alex was the cutest ring bearer alive, and Jason was an usher. Catherine was just 13 months at the time, so her required part was to sit and be quiet during the ceremony. If I remember correctly, she took direction well. I wish I had a picture of Alex at the reception in digital form (or had a scanner that worked) because, let me tell you, that kid danced his butt off that night. I have a picture somewhere of him totally sweaty and red-faced and sucking down a Sprite that he had gotten from a newly made friend--a 60-ish lady who was a server there. She doted on him all night and kept bringing him whatever he wanted. By the end of the night, he was totally spent, but was ready to keep going anyway. I was holding him, and finally I said, "Alex, lay your head down on my shoulder." He laid it down, and was immediately O-U-T! Apparently, he thought he needed an invitation to stop moving and give in to the exhaustion. He got to be too heavy pretty quickly, so we set 2 chairs next to each other and laid him down on them so he could sleep more comfortably. He had a great night!

So anyway, that's what's going on this weekend, in addition to Easter. I'll leave you with a photo of the present that I got from some friends at work. They gave me all the crappy Easter candy that I love. It seems that all of the items in the basket are things that either you love or you hate, and I love them all. Peeps are best if you slash the wrapper and allow them to dry out overnight. Chewy and tough--that's how I like 'em. Cadbury Creme Eggs--YUM! (Spell-check wanted me to change "Cadbury" to "Cadaver"--Ewww!) There's also a bag of Brach's Chicks and Rabbits, which are like the orange Circus Peanuts that you can buy, except these are shaped like...well, you know, chicks and rabbits. There are also some Starburst jellybeans littered along the bottom of the basket. Who could ask for more?

Monday, April 10, 2006

People and their critters

Is it just me, or does this seem odd to anyone else?

And check out this cat. It looks like he's trying to give someone the finger.

A rabbit in a sweater. I just can't get over that one.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

The 1st grill of the season

One of the best things about living in Minnesota is enjoying the way the seasons change. Sometimes it takes a cold, crappy winter to appreciate the warm-ish weather that comes along in the spring. Yesterday was a beautiful day here. I'd say it got into the mid-50's, and it was sunny. The sun is the key factor here. When the weather starts to get nice like this, it automatically puts me in a good mood, the same way that the first snow of the season does. So anyway, it was beautiful outside, and we decided that it was time to bring the grill out of hibernation from the backyard shed.

We invited our friends and their 2 kids over for dinner, and then had cake and ice cream--an early birthday celebration for Lauren and me. My birthday is Saturday the 15th, and Lauren's is Sunday the 16th. Being that they fall on Easter weekend this year, we figured that if we were going to celebrate, it was now or never. The dinner was nothing fancy or exotic, but being that it was the first grill of the season, it was the best meal I'd had in a long long time. Burgers with the standard: cheese, ketchup, mustard, onions, pickles and tomatoes. We also had some yummy potato salad, fresh pineapple, strawberries, and grapes. Michelle and I shared a bottle of wine while the guys enjoyed their beer that had been shipped in from Germany. Let me tell ya, there is just nothing else like it. The leftover burgers that the kids and I had tonight were a yummy encore. But tell me, does the following story make me a bad mom?

There were 4 burgers left over from last night. Jason was at work this evening, so it was just me & the 3 kids for dinner. At first, I was just going to heat up 3 of the burgers--1 for each kid. They had all agreed earlier that leftovers sounded good. At the last minute, I decided to reheat all 4 of them, and I'd have one myself. When it came time to sit down and eat, I looked and saw that Alex had 2 buns laid out on his plate, and was happily decorating them with ketchup and mustard. (I think the kid is obsessed with money, as he had drawn a "$" in mustard on his bun.) Seeing that he had his eyes on 2 of the 4 burgers, I realized that I would not be having a burger at this meal. I said, "You're having 2 burgers, huh Al?" "Yep" was his reply. Oh well, I'll have cereal or something, I thought. Then Lauren started whining, "I don't want a burger!" I saw this as my opportunity. If she didn't want the one I made for her, I could make it my own! Now, I'm not a completely horrible parent, practically taking food from my kid's mouth. I did ask her 2 or 3 times after that, "Lauren, do you want a burger to eat or not?" Her response was "No" each time. Okay then. I ate the extra burger, and it might have been even better than it was last night, if that's possible. And what did Lauren end up eating? She was very happy with her potato salad, slice of tomato, and empty bun. Apparently they nicely complemented the 1/2 pound of purple grapes that she ate shortly before dinner. So, yes, she had a dinner that didn't have a ton of nutritional content, but I guess she's eaten worse. But I knew that if I forced a burger onto her plate, she'd eat 1 bite and the rest would go into the garbage. So to give her crap for dinner and eat her burger myself was really my only choice, right? Yeah, I think so too. And not only that, it did not end up being a big battle. So in a way, any points I might have lost for eating her dinner, I actually gained back by avoiding a power struggle. At least that's how I like to look at it.