Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Princesses & The Pea...

Here are our 2 lovely princesses......Ariel & Snow White (for all you Disney impaired folk).

And our little pea. This costume goes down in history as my best bargain purchase ever!! I bought it during one of my garage saling days the summer before Reese was born. Since she was due Oct. 25th I didn't want to spend mucho dollars on a costume just in case she was still swimming around inside me come Halloween. But I went ahead and "splurged" on this costume for 50 cents. All 3 of our kids have worn it and I believe it will definitely be one of my keepsakes for life.

A new dimension to the "pea in the pod" experience this time around was that Tate rather enjoyed pulling off the nerf ball peas and eating them. (Reese and Drue were 2 weeks old and 1 month old respectively when they were "the pea".)

Desperate times call for creative measures. I am a procrastinator at heart and when 3 kids are added to the equation, things are often done at the last minute or not at all. We didn't make it to the pumpkin patch until this past Sunday. And we never quite found the time since then to carve our pumpkins. Since I didn't want to win the "lamest porch on the block award" for not having any cool jack-o-lanterns displayed, I quickly threw together this snowman using chocolate chips for the eyes and mouth.

Last night was a beautiful evening and I even ran to the grocery store in my shorts. But of course, as is the curse of Halloween, it was FREEZING tonight!! Last year Reese's little hands were so frozen by the time we got home she couldn't even open her candy. (Which wasn't altogether a bad thing...oh, come on, they thawed out eventually). This year I broke the bad news to Reese that she would have to wear pants under her mermaid costume. (A few tears and minimal pouting ensued).

"Whoever heard of a princess wearing tights and pants?!", she sarcastically inquired.

"I'll bet the ones who live in Alaska do!", I quickly retorted.

I do remember what a bummer it was to spend so much time deciding on, and making the coolest Halloween costume, only to have to cover it up with a boring winter jacket. (I was one of those kids who usually opted to layer as many clothes as I could underneath so as not to take away from my creation. I probably ended up getting a lot less candy that way because the people whose houses I went to didn't want to encourage my "obesity" by giving me too much).

David and I originally planned to take turns taking the girls around the neighborhood while the other one camped out at the homestead to watch Tate and eat, I mean, pass out our candy. (Funny, David volunteered mighty quickly to take the first shift of staying home). I bundled the girls up with mittens and coats and off we went.

Drue actually got the hang of trick-or-treating pretty quickly and it was so cute to hear her say "Twick-or-Tweat" and "Fank you" at every house. I ended up holding her bucket for awhile and sometimes she wouldn't see them put candy in it, so she would keep standing there saying "Trick-or-Treat" until I would finally convince her that, yes, indeed, some candy had been dropped into her bucket. Reese only took a few spills as she is prone to do and you would have thought she was carrying a load of diamonds the way she would dive to the ground collecting all her fallen pieces of candy with an urgency in her voice, "Help me Mommy! Help me!!".

Right after we finished at the first house, Reese began plotting her plan to ring the doorbell at our house and surprise her daddy. She was more excited to do that anything else. After each house she would say, "Now we can go ring our doorbell?".

I seriously doubt that I will ever be one of those magically prepared mothers. You know the ones...they pack their diaper bags the night before rather than scrambling around stuffing random outfits into it and snatching "one more diaper" on their way out the door. They anticipate that their children will inevitably become "starving" before the first errand is complete, so they pack some healthy snacks into those neat little plastic containers, rather than presenting them with a few stray fries from yesterday's trip to McDonalds that managed to stow away in their carseats. And the kicker, they always manage to whip out a hankie just at the exact moment their little one raises their head back to begin a sneeze. So, why, oh, why, knowing that on any given day between the beginning of September through the end of February, at least one of my children will have the sniffles, did I leave on our jaunt without any kleenex?! Drue sneezed no less than 17 times while we were out. When the first sneeze occurred, I stupidly looked around like there might actually be something available in the great outdoors for me to use. My bewildered eyes finally landed on...you guessed it....the super soft sleeve of my fleece jacket. (Here's the beauty of it though, it actually wasn't my jacket, I had borrowed David's). By the time we returned home, I kid you not, (well, maybe just a little) I had to wring my sleeve out before we headed in the door. I'm sure it could have filled one of those rain gauge thingies.....

Of course it wouldn't be a complete night out with my girls without one of them innocently saying something embarrassing. We walked up to a house that has the same floorplan as ours and they had piles upon piles of junk in the living room and dining room. Thankfully, Reese waited until we started to walk away before she said, "Mommy, are they having a garage sale?". "What do you mean," I laughed. "Well, they sure do have a lot of stuff out."

We finally made it back to our house and the girls were content to call it quits for the night. Reese said she had no idea trick-or-treating would be so fun. It's neat to think these little memories will stay with her for her entire lifetime. With Daddy's prompting, they poured out all their loot on the living room floor and picked a few pieces to eat. They looked over all the chocolates, starbursts, etc. then ran to the kitchen and asked if they could have a piece of cheese! Well, I guess so...just this once girls....

They both enjoyed running to the door when the other kids came by our house. I was priding myself on how smart my little Drue was figuring out this whole Halloween deal so quickly when I heard her saying "Twick-or-Tweat" to the kids at our door, and standing there expecting them to give her some of their candy. Would you believe they all looked at her like she was off her rocker and not one of the little selfish things gave her any?

It was a fun night...I'm exhausted...Tate is still trying to figure out what is up with this whole time change mess...and why he is not in his cozy crib as soon as darkness falls. So good night all you little ghosts and goblins....

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Out on the Town

Last month David and I went to an evening wedding for a friend of his. For some reason, I didn't plan out at all what I was going to wear until about an hour beforehand. The invitations mentioned something about "evening wear". Evening wear? To me, "evening wear" means pajama bottoms and one of David's shirts. I deduced that attire would be frowned upon at a formal function. I ended up grabbing the only dress that fit me, a long, brown, sleeveless floral number with a beige linen jacket. I thought I looked halfway decent until we actually got to the wedding and I saw all the ladies dressed in evening gowns and cute little cocktail dresses.

I just sat there feeling frumpy and old. I have never scored too high on fashion sense, but this was the last straw. I mulled it over for a few days before bringing it up with David. "I just looked plain frumpy at that wedding." I approached him one evening. He really is the sweetest little thing sometimes and responded with, "You know honey...why don't you go out and buy 2 really nice outfits you can wear out on the town. One for summertime, and for wintertime." How sweet. Of course, I had to read between the lines and exclaim, "So you thought I looked frumpy too!!".

I chalked my poor outfit choice up to my inexperience with picking evening wear and vowed to find something suitable to wear out on the town to make me look suave and sophisticated, not like a tired 30 year old mother of 3. That was going to be hard for me.

After weeks of hinting to David that I am a neglected housewife, he finally announced that he was taking me out on a date this weekend. WOO HOO! I am so psyched. (Is that still a word people use? Or did that, like most of my wardrobe, go out with the eighties?). In anticipation of our upcoming night out, I decided it was as good a time as any to buy one of my new hip outfits. David gave me just one instruction...."Don't go to any of the stores you usually go to either. Go to a nice store that I would pick for my clothes."

I was only gone a short while this evening when I found a great little black number that's really fancy looking. (If I'm brave, I may post pictures after this weekend). I went back and forth between 2 sizes in the dressing room. The medium was a tad snug, but the large was a bit loose, so hoping that my weight doesn't go in the upward direction again any time soon, I went ahead and got the medium.

I wanted to wait and "WOW" David on our date night. But I went ahead and tried it on for him when I got home for a second opinion so I would have time to exchange it if need be. The girls both followed me upstairs to watch me try on my "pretty" (as they call dresses, nightgowns, etc.). As soon as I put it on, they both started exclaiming how beautiful it was. "Let me marry you," Drue kept repeating, "Let me marry you."

David's reaction wasn't quite what I was hoping for. In my mind I envisioned his jaw dropping to the floor, awed and speechless at the beauty he beheld. Not quite. He looked up, and because he could sense that he needed to say something, he simply said, "Yeah, honey, that looks nice. Turn around."

"It's a tad tight," I said and went on to explain my rationale for getting the medium. "I'll have to get something to hold everything in down there," pointing to my stomach region. "Well, let me see," he said. "Relax yourself and stand as you normally would." "I CAN'T RELAX MYSELF!! IF I DO, IT LOOKS LIKE 2 HIPPOS ARE FIGHTING UNDER MY DRESS!!!". (Changing up the words to the Steel Magnolias quote about the lady who wasn't wearing a girdle and looked like 2 pigs were fighting under a blanket). I stormed upstairs to take it off.

Reese followed me into our bedroom and said in her sweet little encouraging tone, "Mommy, the dress looks fine. There aren't 2 hippos under there....it's just your belly."

Great....that makes me feel SO much better.

Monday, October 23, 2006

My Guardian Angel Totaled Her Car Today...

Well, I feel horrible but extremely thankful at the same time. I piled the kids into the van this morning and headed out to run some errands. First the dry cleaners, then Target. One of my pet peeves is slow drivers who have nowhere to be at any certain time, and sit lurking in the shadows until they see my van start to back out of the driveway, before all deciding to come out on the road at once.

Driving in our town can make me absolutely crazy sometimes because there are certain traffic lights that only stay green for 3.5 seconds before turning red again for 8 minutes. So, on occasion, I have been known to speed up a tad through the yellow lights in my haste to get around town and finish my errands before the kids reach their "tolerable behavior" limit (which can vary anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour at a time).

So, this morning as we approached an intersection to turn left, I was delighted to see the light was staying green. "Life is good," I was thinking to myself when all of a sudden, the car in front of me stopped. "What are you doing?" I yelled. I quickly glanced up at the sign to make sure it wasn't a "left turn signal only" deal and saw that the sign plainly read, "left turn yield on green". It appeared there were no oncoming cars to yield to, so I sternly instructed the driver to "GO!". (Of course there was no way for her to hear me shouting but she did go ahead and pull out anyway).

Just as she turned into the intersection, I saw the front end of a car coming straight from the other direction. The view from our vantage point was blocked by a huge SUV that was trying to turn left coming the opposite way. As is the case with most horrific experiences, the next set of events happened in slow motion. The lady in front of me kept going as the squeal of tires from the oncoming car filled the air, obviously as a result of him slamming on his brakes. The force of the collision smashed her back end and his front end to smithereens and spun her car completely around in the opposite direction. Shattered taillights reflected the sunlight as they lay scattered across the road.

My heart stopped beating for a full 5 seconds before the beats began to come faster and faster. I wasn't quite sure what I should do. The guy jumped out of his car and immediately got on his cell phone. I didn't want to get out of the van and leave all the kids in there by themselves for fear another car would come by not paying attention and slam into the back of it. Thankfully another lady who witnessed the whole thing jumped out of her car and ran to check on the lady who had been in front of me to see if she was ok. Out climbed this white haired little old lady seemingly without a scratch on her.

We went ahead and pulled slowly passed them, which I felt awful doing, but, again, there was not much I could do with all the kids in the van. I turned the radio off and tried to absorb what we had just seen. In near misses such as these, it is easy to recount all the "what ifs" that, had they occurred, would have all added up to us being right in the middle of that wreck. What if Drue had put her socks on the first time I told her to and we had left the house 30 seconds earlier? What if that lady had stopped midway into the intersection when she saw the other car and he had slammed into her front end thus sending her spinning back around toward our van?

Certainly I feel incredibly guilty for yelling at her for stopping initially when the light was green, and I can't help but wonder if God sent her to do just that. Otherwise, she would have already made her turn, and I would have followed behind her, not being able to see that other car myself. Calculating that he would have hit my van in the same spot he hit her car, that would have been right where Tate and Drue were sitting!

As we drove down the road in silence, I told Reese to say thank you to Jesus for keeping us safe in our car as I offered up many prayers of thanks myself. I've always wondered what my guardian angel looked like. After this mornings' events, I believe she must look a lot like a little old white haired lady.....

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Embracing the 21st Century

With each new modern technological advance that makes its' debut, my mom always says, "My Grandpa would roll over in his grave...". Cell phones, DVD players, etc. have all elicited this response from her.

Last night David and I communicated with each other in a prime example of modern day technology in the 21st century. Earlier in the afternoon, before he left work, he e-mailed me asking if we'd be able to pop into his friends' open house this Saturday.

I didn't check my e-mail until after we had put Drue and Tate down for the night. David was downstairs on the computer in the basement and I sat down at the laptop in our living room. I saw his message and wrote him back saying we might be able to pop in for a bit but reminded him that we had also planned to take the kids to a Fall Festival that same night at a local college.

As we were getting ready for bed David said, "I got your message about this weekend." We couldn't help but laugh as we recapped how that whole conversation had taken place. He e-mailed me from work, I checked it in our living room, then e-mailed him back, and since he was logged into his work account, he received my reply while he was one floor beneath me in the basement!

Along these same lines of modern day communication, David used to put all his appointments (work related and family related) on his computer calendar at work. (He recently got a new phone which has this same feature). Prior to getting his phone, however, on more than one occasion, we would be sitting in our living room and I would remind him of an upcoming obligation we had. Rather than take the time to discuss it and imprint the date and time onto his brain, he would say, "It's not on my calendar." So I would call his voicemail at work (while he was sitting 2 feet away from me on the couch), and leave him a message to add that event to his calendar the next morning when he got to work!

Who says communication is a problem in marriages today....?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Happy Birthday Boo!

Reese is 4 years old today! She came into the world at almost the exact time I am sitting down the write this....9:15pm to be specific. She was actually due on the 25th, so I told my boss at the nursing home where I worked (and still work) that my last day there would be the 18th. My friends planned a going away luncheon for me on the 17th.

WARNING: Graphic pregnancy related talk to follow. If you are easily embarrassed about that sort of thing just skip the rest of this post and scroll down to her cute little picture.

I got up that morning and there was a little bit of water coming out where it doesn't normally just flow out of. I used the restroom and took a shower and it was still coming out. I told David I thought my water had broken. (In my defense, I wasn't really sure it had. I thought it would gush out, not trickle). He said, "Wow, really, well, let's call the doctor, I'll call work and tell them I won't be in today..."

"Whoa, whoa, whoa, hold your horses," I instructed. "They are having my going away lunch today and I haven't even had a contraction yet, plus I still have a lot to get organized at work for my replacement. I'm going to go on in to work."

Of course, he thought I was crazy (and rightfully so) but there's no arguing with a full term hormonal pregnant lady, so he let me go on in to work and he went to work as well. I got to work and my dear friend, who also happens to be a nurse and mother of 3 herself, could tell something wasn't quite right with me. She followed me into the hall and cornered me so I told her what was going on. She grabbed me by the shoulders and calmly said, "Kristen, your water has broken, you need to call your doctor and go to the hospital."

I called my doctor, then sheepishly called David and told him to meet me back at home because we had to go to the hospital. (It was only 8am in the morning). I was still in denial for some reason and as we went up to the desk at the entrance I gave them my name and said, "My doctor just wants me to get checked out." The lady behind the desk called back to the nursing desk and said, "Mrs. Hollaway is here and she's in labor." "I DIDN'T SAY THAT!!!" I corrected her.

It was a loooonnnngggg day after we got settled in our room. It all seemed so surreal to me. I couldn't believe in a matter of hours I was going to be meeting my precious little girl face to face. (David and I found out we were having a girl months before, but decided to wait and let our friends and family be surprised. At first we weren't going to find out what we were having, but we had our sonogram tech write it down on a slip of paper and put it in an envelope in case we wanted to know later. "Later" was all of about an hour. We looked as soon as we got home that day.)

That night, Reese made her way into the world as a tiny 6lb 6oz bundle. While the nurse was assessing her my doctor said "Wow, you had a velamentous cord insertion", and called all the other medical staff in the room over to look at the spot where the umbilical cord connected to the placenta. I had no idea what that was and actually put it in the back of my mind until my sister, who is a labor and delivery room nurse, came to visit. David mentioned it to her and she had the same reaction as the doctor saying, "Wow...I've only seen one other of those in my 9 years as a nurse." So, of course, when I got home, I looked it up on the internet and after reading about it, I realized what an even bigger miracle had happened that day.

As we headed home from the hospital, David was driving like a little old man and was barely going 50 down the freeway as well as being extra cautious with merging, turning, etc. He said it was because of the new little bundle we were carrying in the backseat. "She's been with us the past 9 months, inside of me, and you've never driven like this before," I reminded him. "I know, but I didn't actually see her before so it was different," he explained.

We talked about how for the first time, it really hit home about how much God must truly love us, to be able to sacrifice His only child for our sins. David and I were so amazed that we had only had our little girl for 3 days and our love for her was already indescribable.

Parenthood is an exhausting, trying, 24/7 job but we wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. The rewards of eskimo kisses, watching your little girls dress up in your clothes, and feeling tiny little hands clasped around your neck in a good night hug far outweigh any other experience this world has to offer.

Happy Birthday Sweetie!

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Never Send a Man to do a Woman's Job

Back in August Tate graduated to sleeping in his crib at night. We haven't used a baby monitor since Reese was tiny because they pick up every last whimper, sigh, etc. which made me sit bolt upright in bed trying to discern if that "whimper" was really an intruder trying to sneak her out of her crib. Alas, after the 14th time I went to check on her one night, we decided to do away with the baby monitor. The nursery is just across the hall from our room, so we can easily hear their cries when they wake up to chow.

As I've written before, we've become quite a bit more relaxed at this Parenting Deal with each child. One thing I'll never give up doing, however, is checking on them while they sleep before I retire for the evening. A few days after Tate began sleeping in his own room, I sent David in there to check on him while we were getting ready for bed, thinking that was an easy task to give him, there's no way he can mess that up.

He popped his head in the nursery quickly, then returned to bed.

"Um.....is he ok?", I asked.

"Yep. He's fine.", he stated casually as he began fluffing his pillow to settle down.

"That was awfully quick. How could you even tell anything by just popping your head in the door?", I probed.

"What do you mean? You told me to check on him. I opened the door...and there he was...still in his crib.", he explained.

"But did you happen to check to see if he was still BREATHING?", I asked as I jumped out of bed and ran across the hall. I creeped over to the side of his crib and peered down. Since my eyes hadn't quited adjusted to the dark yet, I bent closer and put my hand on his little chest. Letting out a huge sigh of relief, I felt the familiar rise and fall of his soft pajamas.

I headed back to bed to an unsuspecting David who had already started to drift off.

"You mean to tell me.....that for the past 4 years since we started having babies, everytime I have sent you in to check on them, all you have been doing is popping your head in and making sure they were still in their crib?!" I asked, horrified.

"Well, yeah. I thought that was checking on them. Making sure they were still in their crib and hadn't escaped." he said, defending himself.

Astonished, I asked, "Just how in the world, do you think a 2 month old baby, who can barely hold up the weight of his own head, is going to miraculously pull himself up over the side of the crib rail and disappear into some deep dark crevice of his nursery? All this time, I have been sending you in there to make sure they still have respirations, and all these years, I have been going to sleep with a false sense of security going on your simple statement of 'They're fine'. "

From now on I am either more direct with my questions for David, "Did you check on Tate? Is he still breathing?" or I just do it myself. (Which, actually, I think was David's plan all along so he could hop into his nice warm cozy bed a little bit quicker).

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Random Funnies

David and I bravely attempted, and somewhat successfully accomplished, taking the kids out to eat with us the other night at Outback. I could write a whole entire post about that trip, but I will just highlight one of the amusing parts. (A lady at the table next to us was celebrating a birthday so Drue kept looking over her way saying, "Cake, cake. I want some cake".) We always get the girls some sort of chicken finger basket to share when we go out. Drue gobbles her entire meal up and starts grabbing food from David's plate also. Reese gobbles up her fries, but needs a little coaxing to eat her chicken. She doesn't like the fried part so she peels it off and just eats the chicken. And she only likes plain fries, if they have so much as a speck of cheese on them, she won't eat them. So, it never really looks like she ate much in the end because there is so much left on her plate. After we all got finished I asked Reese, "Did you get enough to eat? Did your tummy get full?", to which she replied, "Yep. But not the dessert part."

Many times during lunch it's just Drue and I at the table eating because Reese has inhaled her standard spoonful of peanut butter and is off on her merry way. Today, Drue and I sat down to enjoy some corndogs. I recently started putting a splat of ketchup on her plate to go with it. She hasn't quite gotten down the idea of dipping her corndog into the ketchup. She just eats the ketchup by itself with her fork. Something Drue does at every mealtime is inspect everyone else's plate to make sure she isn't missing out on anything, and that we all have the same food on our plates. Today she looked over at the mustard splat on my plate and said, "Some of dat" (meaning "Can I have some of that). "It's just mustard, honey, " I explained. She looked up at me forlornly and said, " Where's my lellow?" (meaning "Where's my yellow?"). She quickly got a splat of "lellow" all her own......

The other day I had a harried visit to the doctors' office with all the kids in tow for Drue's 2 year checkup, which included her getting a shot I wasn't prepared for, a fussy Tate who wanted out of his stroller, and Reese who was whining the entire time because she wasn't getting a checkup. (Incidentally, we found out that Drue is on track to grow to be 5'11"!!). So, after our exhausting ordeal, I wearily shuffled them all back to the van to head home. We have automatic doors that you can either open with a remote, or simply tug on the handle, and they easily slide open. So I tugged. Nothing happened. So I tugged again. Nothing. I thought the handle felt a little strange so I finally looked up and discovered that our van was in the next parking spot over! Thank goodness, the van I was inadevertently trying to break into was unoccupied at the time. Reese takes in and remembers every little thing. So of course she wanted to know why we couldn't get the door open and why we were walking away. I sheepishly explained to her that it wasn't our van. Now, everytime we finish an errand and we head back out to the parking lot, she says, "Mommy, is this our van?" "Yes, dear, it's our van." "Are you sure it's our van?". Argh.

How we spent our morning

We spent a "haunting" morning decorating a Halloween gingerbread house, while listening to Halloween tunes such as Monster Mash. (I know, I know, a far cry from Away in a Manger). I asked Reese on the sly the other day if she wanted to include Drue or just decorate the house with me after Drue went down for a nap, fully expecting her to pick the latter choice. She surprised me, however, and wanted Drue to help.

Of course, more than half the fun of making a gingerbread house was eating the supplies...so I will probably have some very wound up little girls for the rest of the morning. But they actually were able to part with a few of the precious sugary treasures and decorate the house itself.

And just so Tate doesn't grow up with a complex looking back on these pictures when he's older thinking I just stuck him in a closet somewhere while they girls and I played, here he is....Halloween bib and all. (Once a theme is decided, I like to go all out).

The finished product. Enjoy it while you can kids, before the beagles find a way to get it (like they did our gingerbread house last Christmas).

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Monday, October 09, 2006

We Wish you a Merry Christmas....

It is Fall. It is October. Specifically, it is October 9th and the Hollaway household has been listening to Christmas music already for the past 2 days!! Now, I'm a big fan of the radio stations who play nonstop Christmas music beginning the day after Thanksgiving until Christmas Day. But the past few years, they have actually started playing it before Thanksgiving. Not a big fan of this, but once I hear a few bars of Silver Bells I just can't turn back....I'm hooked.

Anyway, our premature yuletide celebration began innocently enough. Friday night David sent me out clothes shopping by myself and there was nothing good playing on the radio. So, I fumbled around for my CD case to pop something in. Our CD collection has made quite a transformation over the past couple years. Our relaxing classical selections such as Pavarotti, Enya, etc. have been replaced by Veggie Tales, Children's Bible songs, and the like.

I happened to come across a Christmas CD we actually bought in the $1 bin at Target last year. It ended up being the girls' favorite one to listen to when we bought it. So, on a whim, I popped it into the CD player so I could reflect on all the happy memories of last Christmas. And that's all she wrote. I forgot to take it out before running errands with the kids the next day. They can't get enough of it.

The only slight problem is that they prefer 2 songs on it over all the others. One is an African Carol/Go Tell it on the Mountain and the other is Away in a Manger. How sweet. Well, the first 100 times you hear it anyway. We have been switching back between those TWO songs since Saturday. We will put one of them on repeat for awhile and then switch and put the other one on repeat for awhile. Heaven help us if we try and sneakily switch it to something else. The van is filled with chants for, "MANGER, MOMMY, MANGER!!".

The girls get so wrapped up in their carols, they forget to fight with each other or whine. It will be a small price to pay to listen to Christmas music for the rest of the year if it means getting to run errands in peace.....

Friday, October 06, 2006

Challenge Accepted...

David learned long ago to think about the way he phrases a question or statement to me before he says it. For instance, he used to convey his "helpful" suggestions by starting out, "Hey honey, you know what you should do....."....which automatically put me on the defense and got my blood boiling as I sarcastically thought, "Oh please, oh please, oh wise one....enlighten me with what I should do by instructing me in the only correct way, your way, since I have not been blessed with such an astute mind and advanced problem solving skills as yourself. And since I am just lying around on the couch all day eating bon bons and having myself fanned, I welcome any suggestions on errands/chores you may have in mind for me to do in order to break up my relaxing day at home with our children."

Of course, it took a few times before he finally figured out that with a simple wording change, he could detour around my bad attitude and actually get me to do what he was suggesting. (Wait a minute, I thought I had finally trained him, but it sounds like he's the one who has learned to train me.) BLAST!

Case in point...the other day I got an e-mail from him while he was at work saying, "Here's a challenge for my highly creative wife....I have a picture of the girls lying on their tummies. Can you get a similar picture of all three kids doing this?" Well I jumped at the "challenge" and the fruit of my labor is published below.

Now, had that e-mail read, "Honey, you know what you should do....take a cute picture of our children lying on their tummies for me to take to work".....he would be sleeping in the doghouse that night because I would have been in a huff that he actually assumed I had an extra 5 minutes in my busy day of doing laundry, scrubbing toilets, diapering children, and making supper to sit and pose them for a picture!

**Just a sidenote....this was actually the "first try" picture and I can't belive all three munchkins are: (a) looking at the camera (b) smiling and (c) not pulling each other's hair, kicking each other, or trying to smother poor little Tate with kisses. (When I pose them all for a picture I usually end up taking about 20 just to get 1 that looks presentable). Posted by Picasa

Monday, October 02, 2006

Sleep in heavenly peace?

I. Love. Sleep. Plain & simple. I've always loved to sleep. My mom can function (and be friendly and content) on just 5 hours sleep a night! I actually used to be afraid I would inherit this trait from her. Doesn't look like it though. However, having small children and getting a good night's rest aren't two phrases that are used in the same sentence too often. So, like 99.9% of moms out there, I have learned to function on quite a bit less sleep than I was used to.....I haven't quite gotten down the "being friendly and content" part yet.

Last night, I just had to laugh at our sleep drama. There have been plenty of times that I will start off sleeping in our bed, but will end up waking up in another bed in the house. Last night I do believe we set a Hollaway Family record in the game of "Musical Beds". Here's how it played out:

Tate and Drue were peacefully asleep in their beds by 8:30ish.

(Reese and Drue share a room right now because our 4th bedroom is in the basement, and none of the kids are old enough to stay down there yet. Of course, when we decided to put the girls together I imagined them being cozily tucked into their beds, whispering about their days, and getting along as well as the girls on the Brady Bunch who all three had to share a room. Quite the opposite. We usually wait until we are sure Drue is good and asleep before we sneak Reese in for bedtime. Otherwise, they squeal, carry on, and sneak out into the hallway until after 10pm some nights. Another problem with their room sharing is that Drue is an early riser and Reese likes to sleep in little bit. So, Drue wakes Reese up in the morning and they both come find me to start the day. Drue can't open the door by herself yet, so when she is in her room alone, she is content just to stay in her bed until someone opens the door to get her.)

We put Reese down about 9:15 and David and I settled into our bed to watch an episode of The Office on DVD. We turned the TV off at 10pm. I had just settled into my cozy spot when we heard the door across the hall creak open and Reese appeared in our doorway with her pillow. Her night light had gone off and she was too scared to go back into her room. So, she crawled into our bed and played with my hair. This arrangement lasted about 5 minutes. David falls asleep faster than any person I know and had already started snoring. I kept shushing him and Reese would echo me and shush him also. All to no avail. I couldn't reach him to beat him awake the way I usually do because Reese was in the way. So, when she fell asleep I slid out of our bed and went to sleep in hers.

12:35am- Tate woke up to eat. His cries woke Drue up also and I tried to creep quietly out of her room to get him but she saw me. Just as I sat down with him in the rocking chair, Drue went ballistic and started crying and somehow navigated her way through the dark hallway into Tate's room. David got up by this time, so he came in and got her and laid down with her in her bed.

After I fed Tate, I crept back into our room and crawled into David's side of the bed. But, after Drue went back to sleep, I heard David coming back to our room. I shot up quickly for fear he would plop down on top of me and accusingly asked, "Are you coming back in here to sleep?!". "Ummm....I thought I was. I don't have to. What time is it?", he asked. "1:00am. I am going back to Reese's bed to sleep," and off I stomped. I'm sure I confused him when I said back because he probably never even noticed that I had left the bed the first time.

After this last move, I think we all finally got a few hours' sleep. Drue has a naturally loud voice and I discovered that she doesn't just talk in her sleep....she screams out. It scared the bejeebies out of me a few times. Tate woke up again around 4:30am and thankfully, this time, I didn't have a crying little follower.

I was still not quite ready to face the day at 7:20 when Drue sat up in bed, looked over at Reese's bed, and happily (& restfully) said, "Hi Mommy".

Maybe I could take the bedroom in the basement......

Sunday, October 01, 2006


- A few weeks ago the girls and I were searching the pantry for an afternoon snack. Reese pulled out a huge can of honey roasted peanuts left over from my Bunco night. "Mommy, how about these?", she asked. So I said, "Sure, honey. I had no idea you liked those." To which she responded, "Sure I do. I like them because they have peanut butter in them."

- A friend David knew from work invited us to her wedding last weekend. Reese loves playing "wedding". David has given her away a countless number of times in our living room. So, we thought it would be fun to take her along to see her first real wedding. I starting talking to Reese about the wedding weeks beforehand to get her excited about going and give her something to look forward to. One day, about a week before the anticipated date, I said, "And remember Reese, Daddy and I are taking to you a wedding next weekend." "I remember", she said. Then she got a confused look on her face as she asked, "But....just who exactly am I going to be marrying?".

- I've written before about Reese's love of princesses. Add fairies to that mix as well. We picked up some fairy wings at a garage sale awhile back and every now and then she'll drag them out and instantly transform herself into a fairy princess. The other day, all the kids were with me in the girls' room and out came the wings. "Look at me Mommy,". "Very pretty", I appropriately responded as I tried to balance Tate on one hip while plopping down to read Drue a story. She got my full attention, however, with her next statement. She took off her wings and held them against Tates' back. "And look Mommy, Buddy (Tate's nickname) is a fairy!". Of course I started laughing and sent her into our room to spread the good news to her father. I laughed some more as I heard her innocent little voice excitedly telling David, "Daddy! Daddy! Buddy is a fairy!".....and his response...."WHAT!?!? Ummm.....let's play a different game.....one where Buddy is a manly warrior."

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