Sunday, July 27, 2008

Old MacDonald

Greetings from Charlotte! This past week has been totally nuts as I once again had to pack, clean, do laundry and a million other little things to get my family ready for a week back home in Charlotte. I couldn't say anything about it on the blog though because the reason for our visit was to celebrate my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary and the weekend of festivities as well as the guest list was all a big, wonderful surprise for them! It has been a fantastic weekend with family and more events (mostly revolving around food) than I can even remember at this point. What added to the craziness of the preparation was my volunteering to bake and transport all of the desserts for a 30 person dinner on Friday night. So this past week had quite a few late nights and early mornings in the kitchen as I pulled together a trifecta of Barefoot Contessa delicacies. It was worth it in the end . . .
Isn't that amazing to think about being married for 60 years?!?! What is even more amazing is how much they still love and adore one another. I'm incredibly blessed to have this (and other) marriage (s) as an example. Congratulations Granpa and Grandma - I love you!

Ok, but now for the funny part of this post. Lately Jake and Ainsley have reverted to their infanthood and really gotten back into the Baby MacDonald video (from the Baby Einstein collection). They are always singing Old MacDonald or The Farmer in the Dell and Ryan and I join in and sing with them. On Thursday night we drove from Clarksville to Charlotte . . . 8 hours in the car with 3 kids . . . it was a long night. When we stopped for dinner Jake got a Batman toy in his Happy Meal that fit on his hand and had a little red laser light on it. So very fun for Jake, so very annoying for the rest of his family. Somewhere in between Knoxville and Asheville and Jake shone the light into my eyes for the millionth time I told him if he did it one more time I was taking away the toy for the rest of the night. Well, Jake loves nothing more than a challenge so about 10 seconds later the light was in my eyes so I snatched it away and tossed it out of his reach. Jake sat for a second and thought then said "give it back". I said "no". He thought for another second and started to sing. The song went like this "Old MacDonald give it back, e-i-e-i-o, and on this farm he gives it back, e-i-e-i-o". Ok, so Ryan and I are dying laughing and then Jake starts to sing again so we get quiet to listen and hear "the cows gives it back, the cow gives it back, hi-ho-the-dairy-o the cow gives it back". Now we are practically rolling. I still wasn't giving it back though. But I was shocked at how clever and quickly that little mind worked. The end of the story, though, is that when Ainsley threw up all over herself and her car seat with about 2 hours left in the trip Jake did manage to retrieve the toy during the ensuing hullaballoo. I decided to turn a blind eye.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Weekend Roundup

Let me start out by saying I'm in a weird place right now - mentally that is. See, its naptime here at our house and that is a sacred time. But the UPS man just pulled up in front of my house and rang the doorbell and now Reid is crying. I'm emotionally flummoxed - one of my favorite people to see (UPS guy) ruins one of my favorite parts of the day (naptime). I think the deciding factor here has to be what it was being delivered . . . and it looks like it was a Creative Memories scrapbook I ordered for MOMS Club. I've deliberated and decided that this delivery was most certainly NOT worth the screw up in naptime. So now I'm angry at UPS man and its not a good feeling.

It was a really fun weekend. Friday we were treated to a fabulous dinner with some really special friends! They made us feel like royalty with steaks and other delicious items. Most importantly the beer was cold and flowing and as long as the right person poured the foam was manageable (wink, wink).

Saturday was mostly spent counting down until our babysitter would arrive. Finally the time came and we gave some hurried instructions (like - don't call us unless there is blood and a tourniquet won't stop the bleeding) and headed out for a real, live, actual, authentic party. There were no children, no bouncy houses, no water play and at the end of the evening no herding exhausted, stained, sobbing kiddos into car seats. We went to a luau and it was just a heavenly evening of good food, a fun theme and great friends.

Last night we wanted to keep the fun alive so we invited some friends over to cookout. What made it a particularly sweet time was that these particular friends are expecting the arrival of their firstborn child in the very near future and this was the last time we'll spend together before their world was rocked by parenthood. And it will be. Rocked that is.

So that is it. Reid seems to have fallen back asleep. When it comes to naps I am THE hammer.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Jump Zone - Danadanadadana

That was supposed to be like the music that goes with The Twilight Zone but I have no idea how you would type that. Anyway, this morning I was looking for something to do with the kids and my friend Kristen and I decided to head over and check out the new inflatable jump warehouse here in Clarksville. This thing has been highly anticipated for over a year now and today was opening day so we thought we'd check it out. Now before I get ahead of myself let me talk a bit about Go Jump. Same idea, also located nearby (but not technically in C-ville) great experience every time I've been there. They have great pricing, very friendly and laid back staff, free popcorn for the kids, a variety of jumping levels, etc. I've said that I would probably remain loyal to Go Jump even after Jump Zone opened because we've had such good experiences there.

Well, what do I do on the first day that Jump Zone is open but jump ship from the Go Jump loyalty cruise and drag my brood immediately over to the new guy in town. So, I probably on some level deserved every ounce of badness that happened today. And it was bad. I do not like Jump Zone. I do not like it on a boat, I do not like it with a goat, I will not go there on a train I will not go there in the rain. Am I clear on that?

We walked in and its VERY impressive. Six enormous inflatables most with different themes (Disney Princess, Pirate ship attacked by Giant Squid, Superman, Train). The kids were dying to get started. I've got all three of them with me and just getting there was QUITE the workout. I had to fill out the release form and then go to pay and the guy says "That'll be $15.33". What? Surely I didn't hear you right. No, I did hear him right - these guys must not know they are located in an Army town with a median income of squat. So I dig through my wallet and pull out my credit card and am informed they only take cash. OK - strike two. I did actually have $15 on me so we were safe. The kids start to play and are having fun when after 10 minutes the little referee comes over to tell me my kids need socks (I had on socks but they didn't - they can't get enough traction to climb with them). Well, I didn't bring socks which I tell him. He tells me they can't jump without them. I tell him that he can go tell his managers and have them come throw me out. Sure enough, two minutes later here comes the manager to tell me my kids have to leave because they don't have socks. Are you kidding me?!?! I start to sweat with anger and frustration. He then makes sure to tell me that he informed me we needed socks as we came in. WHAT?!? No, you did not, DUDE. Do you think I would have ignored that little tidbit of information because I relished the idea of dragging my screaming children out of a inflatable wonderland less than 10 minutes after we arrived? But they sell socks he tells me. Well, too bad because I just forked over my last $15 to get in this place and you don't take credit cards. So, I have to get my kids who are all screaming and crying and drag them out to the car. I'm crying now. And so is Kristen's daughter Avery. I was so angry and I didn't know what to do. Well, I calmed down and as much as it KILLED me asked Kristen to borrow money so I could buy socks. I wanted to give this place more money like I want a whole in my head but I couldn't stand to do this to the kids and so back in we went with my tail firmly tucked between my legs. Thank goodness Kristen went up to the counter and bought the socks for me because I couldn't bear making eye contact let alone speaking with these people any more. The rest of the morning was mostly without incident although it took the kids a good 15 minutes to calm down and enjoy themselves after being dragged in, and out, and back into the Jump Zone.

So, that was my (very long explanation of the) Jump Zone experience. I don't think we'll be returning. Instead I'll be heading down 41-A to good old Go Jump . . . and taking as many Clarksville moms and kids with me as I can!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Awwwwwww man . . .

This phrase has come out of Jake's mouth a lot this past week. Ever since we returned from our trip to Ohio and he discovered a huge Disney Store bag full of presents on the floor in our room while we were unpacking. I hit an amazing sale while we were up there (seriously, great toys for about 5 bucks each) and loaded up for his impending birthday. Ryan discovered him just as he'd peaked in the first bag . . . he was frozen in surprise, anticipation and excitment. Well, that didn't last long as Ryan pried his screaming and writhing body from the bag explaining that these were birthday presents and it wasn't yet his birthday. You can imagine how well that went over. So for the next hour we had a repeating cycle of Jake sobbing and crying on the rug by our front door, then calming down, thinking it through, coming up with a mastermind plan, making his way to the door of our room to carry out his plan (something like: "mommy, do you hear somefing in there? I fink I hear somefing in your room"), me saying "Jake, there is nothing in my room, you can't go in there right now" and Jake re-dissolving into tears and retreating back to his rug by the door.

This was all compounded by total sleep deprivation from our trip and honestly Ryan and I just laughed the whole time. Poor Jake was so distraught and rightly so. He'd had a peak into the promised land of Disney Store goodness and it was like we'd told him he had to wander in the desert for 40 years before he could get in. I know to his little mind 3 weeks sure feels like at least that long.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Great Trip

Well, we had a great time in Ohio. I'm sitting here looking through the pics and there are just way too many to pick from to post on here but I'll try.

We left straight from the HHC Company Picnic. The kids had a blast and played their hearts out. We were there for 3 hours of bouncers, playground, water play and the hot sun. I thought for sure everyone would conk out for a nap in the car but no such luck. Jake and Ainsley didn't sleep a wink the whole drive but they were great (LOVE that DVD player) and so that was fine.

We spent the first night at Ryan's brother's house to make our drive an hour shorter. The next morning we headed out to Nonny and Poppy's house. It was so chilly and drizzly it felt nothing like the 4th of July. They live in a beautiful old farmhouse out in the country complete with barn, creeks and ponds. Its just a really fun place for them. Jake particularly liked digging worms so we could fish in the pond. He wasn't so keen when Nonny would put the worms on the hook - he asked the fish to please not eat his worms. Well, they did eat those worms right off our hook so we never actually caught a fish but Jake didn't care because he had his can of worms (which I just realized is somewhere in my minivan - we put soil in and put a lid on and poked holes - and I'm freaking out a little now). The rain cleared on the 4th and after we put the little ones to bed Ryan and I went with Jared and Chyloe, their boys and Poppy to see fireworks. It was Jake's first fireworks and he was in awe. It was precious. Then we did sparklers and I think that was Jake's favorite part of the whole weekend.

The highlight of the weekend for the adults was playing Singstar on PS2. It was the most fun I've had in a long time. I must have this game for myself so now my new hobby is surfing craigslist for it!

Ainsley enjoyed the time to be the princess as she is at any amily function. She had Uncle Chad sufficiently wrapped around her little finger by the time we left. And Reid continued to be the superstar baby that he is. Giggles, laughs and coos. I think he made at least some of his aunts and uncles get that baby itch (again).

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Thursday, July 3, 2008


OK, so of all the new abbreviations out there lately "vacay" is for sure one of my favorites. It just makes going out of town seem so much more exciting when you can say "I'm taking a little vacay with the fam" . . . rather that "we are driving 8 hours to Ohio to see my in-laws". N'est pas?

So today I am taking the kids to meet Ryan on post for his company picnic and then we are heading out to drive to Columbus. We haven't been to visit his family in well over a year. Are we horrible or what? I keep telling him we need to visit more because I want my boys to grow up with that example (i.e. that you are SUPPOSED to go and visit your mama early and often). And as far as Army posts go we probably won't be moving much closer than we are now so we shouldn't wait too long.

The amount of planning it takes to pack for four people is crazy (yes, just four, Ryan is on his own). I pulled a Troy this time though and got all the clothes washed, laid out, arranged by outfit and put in suitcases two days ago. If you have met my dear friend Troy you'll know this is very much something I stole from her. If you haven't then just you wait, she was recently named Most Likely to Be A Superhero by our local chapter of MOMS Club. . . you can imagine what a superhero packing for a trip would look like.

Well, off to finish it all up . . . wish me luck :)