Thursday, April 26, 2012

My big little brother...

One of my earliest memories is of my parents telling me that I was going to have a baby brother or sister, although in my memory it was all my idea.
As I remember it the conversation went something like this...

Mom: What should we do tonight?
2 year old Chrissy: I think we should have another baby...
Mom and Dad: Okay, that's a good idea.

And a week later I had a brother, I thought that was awfully clever of me. Things went just swimmingly for the first two or three years until my brother learned to speak and think for himself. Then we hit a rough patch for awhile, we'll just call it our childhood.

 Actually I have lots of good memories of fun times when we weren't fighting:

 Building blanket forts in the summer

Going to the "beach" in the winter
(We'd put on our swimming suits and lay out on that brown Star Wars(Trek?) blanket in a square of sunshine. Hey, whatever happened to that blanket?) 

Putting on plays in the backyard

 That game we invented with the fifty or so big bouncy balls from mom's exercise class

Night games

 Scavenging change from the cars and couch cushions and riding our bikes to the store to buy candy

Cooking dinner for mom and dad and dressing up like waiters to serve them

Holiday traditions
(My personal favorite being the Christmas Morning contract stating what time we could get up and start opening presents that you would negotiate and make Mom and Dad sign.)

Playing Nintendo

Making you read through all the movies while we tried to agree on a show to watch

Cheeto sword fights!

That time my friends and I toilet papered your room... 

When we got older we didn't always have the same interests or as much time to hang out, but I always knew I could count on you when it really mattered.

You slept on the floor of my room for a week after we watched a scary movie and I was so freaked out

You carried me to bed that time I got accidentally high
(Long story involving oil based paint, glitter, mosquitoes and paint thinner, I promise it really was an accident!)

You talked me into giving Brian another chance when he stood me up for our second date

You wrote me beautiful and meaningful letters while you were on your mission

You literally had my back while I was in labor with Jake 

The beautiful family pictures you took for me the last time you were home

And possibly my favorite thing in the world, 


Enough said. :)

 What I'm really trying to say is that I am so glad thirty one years ago I had the bright idea to have a little brother, because you've turned out to be a pretty great one...

Happy Birthday, Josh

I love you.

P.S. Yes, I totally stole that picture of you off your facebook page.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Snapshot

This one is for you Terrie. 

A quick recap of the past couple of weeks, we've all been quite busy:

Brian- Work, work, and more work. He's also gone to physical therapy after work one day a week. We got the hand controls installed in the Highlander, so he's been busy organizing that. 

Chrissy- Between teaching knitting and heading up the committee over the costumes for Jake's class opera there is a lot on my plate as well, in addition to the regular dishes, laundry, and taxi service I run around here. 

Jake- He's working hard in school and playing hard at home. He was the only scout in his troop to sell all his tickets for the Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser next week! He was pleasantly surprised because we left it to the last moment (as usual) and we were all sure that most people would have already bought their tickets. 

Evie- She is learning to read really well and practices by reading to Lila whenever Lila can be persuaded to hold still long enough. She is also continuing to be our little artist and can most often be found drawing and coloring. She loves school and wants to do her homework the second she gets home, even before she has lunch!

Lila- Oh Lila. Busy would better describe her personality than a week from her life. She certainly keeps us on our toes! She is a child of extremes right now and can be the sweetest thing in the world, giving everyone hugs and kisses, one minute and pulling a teenage attitude the next. She enjoys pushing boundaries, buttons and limits, and hates to be told "no"!  So basically, she's your typical three year old. :)

We got to all go and see the musical South Pacific last night. (Pa Dave and one of his brothers, Robert, are in the show.) It was a lot of fun and the kids did really well, especially after Lila fell asleep for the last twenty minutes of the show. Jake especially enjoys going to the theater and I love that he enjoys it and is getting old enough to really pay attention to the whole story line of the show and not just the song and dance numbers.

We've had a couple of game nights with Dinee and Tay and their girls, and it's been a lot of fun to just hang out and play with them. 

We are getting ready to clean up the yard and garage for the spring and so that when ever we get to start work on the house we'll be ready. (Still no news from Voc Rehab, we're just praying hard and trying to be patient.)

May is shaping up to be even crazier and busier for us, but for good reasons. We are also really looking forward to the weather getting warmer so we can spend more time outside, especially going for picnics and playing at parks, and most especially for Pa Dave to open the pool! We can't wait to start swimming!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Date night

I got to go out with a really cute guy tonight.

We talked about our childhood memories and Disneyland over Mexican food.

He held my hand as we walked into the movie theater.

He told me about his hobbies and showed me which were the "cool" Lego sets.

I helped him tie his new shoes...

and marveled that he is now wearing a size six!

When we got home he kissed me on the cheek, thanked me for the night, and asked when we could do it again.

I hope he never gets too big for a date night with mom.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Phineas and Ferb-isms

I gave Lila a big hug and called her my love muffin. 
Jake was sitting by me and without missing a beat he said, "She's your League Of Villainous Evildoers Manically United For Frightening Investments in Naughtiness? Well... that does sound like her."

Oh man. I love that show...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Two new cars in two weeks... seems a little excessive.

Whew, what a roller coaster couple of weeks this has been!

I'm pretty sure one of the nine circles of hell is being in a car dealership with small children.

Two weeks ago, after about a month of shopping around, Brian found his van. It's a 2010 Honda Odyssey, and definitely the nicest and newest car we've ever owned. In fact it's so nice that we have this pathological need to explain to people that it wasn't our idea to buy such a fancy vehicle, but that we have to have this nice of a car because the state told us too. Basically, our choices were limited to two options and they both have to be fairly top of the line to have the right electrical system to have the ramp installed. I don't think people are really judging us, or even care all that much, but I still feel I have to tell them that left to our own devices we would have gone with something less expensive. I'll tell you what though, it is a sweet ride. Power everything. I've been trying not to be pouty over the fact that it will be Brian's full time and not mine...

The original plan was to just have me take over driving the Accord, but one day of running errands was enough to see that it wasn't going to work. My kids have never fought over who was in who's space in the car before, and Jake has to climb over someone in a booster seat and kept smacking them upside the head with his huge backpack. Plus every. single. time I would get in or out I would smack my knee on the hand control and have to bite my tongue to keep from saying really un-lady like things. Also I happened to mention to Brian (strictly in the course of working through some emotions related to yet more changes in our life) that I was struggling with feeling like less of a mom without my minivan. I know, I know. I didn't say they made sense, but sometimes feelings don't make sense. 

But being a guy and therefore a "fixer", Bri was on a mission to find me a car that would be more practical and help me feel like a mom again. He's sweet like that. After awhile I agreed that it would probably be a smart move to find a car that would help us lower our monthly payments. So one week later we were out car shopping again. I'll tell you, you get some funny looks when you drive onto a car lot in a fancy new van with a temporary registration still on. Once we explained what we were looking for and why we got a lot of friendly help, but still... if I never have to go car shopping again it will be too soon!

We finally found the car that fit all of our requirements yesterday. And believe you me, we had a lot of requirements. (We really made the poor salesman earn that commission...)

It's a 2004 Toyota Highlander.
 Brian says it fits my personality. Not being a car person, I'm not sure if that's a compliment or not. 
Either way I love my new car! It's definitely more of a plain Jane, not so many frills kind of gal, but I don't care. Truthfully, she's really more my speed. It even has a tape deck! I can listen to my old mixed tapes again! Yay!
 (Don't tell Brian, but I'm even thinking of getting a bumper sticker for her... you know, really customize her.)

Today we drove out to meet Brian after work and pick up my new car. There are a lot of logistical headaches with changing cars, getting the hand controls pulled and re-installed, since Bri can't drive without them. Thankfully the place where we have that done is right down the street from Brian's work and he has some great co-workers who've been so kind as to give him rides after he's dropped off the cars.

On the way to the dealership from the mobility place, Brian (with all three kids in the van) hit a dog that ran out into the road. I was right behind him and saw the whole thing. It was mildly traumatizing. Fortunately the dog was tiny (either a lab puppy or a min pin) and was only hit by the bumper and rolled between the tires. He jumped up onto his back paws and waved his front paws in the air at our van (which I am pretty sure was the canine equivalent of flipping Brian the bird...) then ran off. We followed the direction he ran into a trailer park, but couldn't ever find him. Brian stopped and talked to a couple who were watering their front lawn and saw the whole thing. They knew the neighbor whose dog it was and told Brian not to worry, they'd let them know that there was nothing Brian could have done to avoid hitting the dog and that he'd come back to try and apologize. They thought the dog would be sore, but there wasn't any permanent damage. That helped the kids calm down a lot. 

Then it was off to the car dealership, where we spent over two hours on paperwork and such while our kids ran riot. Again. I know. You'd think we'd learn. Really, though there was no one available to babysit. At one point I excused myself from where we were filling out forms to go check what all the screaming was about. Jake was dragging Lila across the floor by one leg trying to make her come back and sit on the waiting area couch. The mental picture gets even better when I tell you that she was wearing a little sun dress and her cowboy boots today, so all you could see was one booted foot thrashing around trying to kick Jake in the shins while her dress was covering her head where it had ridden up while she was being drug around. It's moments like that that just make you want to exclaim loudly, "Whose children are these?!" as you run the other way...

We finally got home around 10:30 pm, and I think Evie summed it up the best. As I was tucking her in bed she said, "Getting a new car is fun, but car shopping is no fun at all!" Good thing that the next time we have to shop for a car our children should be old enough to be out of the house! Or at least not need a babysitter...

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter 2012

We had a lovely Easter Sunday.

Modeling our new Easter outfits, don't we look so springy?

After church we went to Pa Dave's where that sneaky Easter Bunny had hidden our baskets!

They weren't too easy to find this year.

But we found them all!

Then we went egg hunting in Pa Dave's front yard.

Unfortunately the ants found the candy first! 
(After the first one Lila wouldn't pick up any more candy, she would only point it out and tell me to pick it up for her...)

Happy Easter!