Tuesday, February 27, 2007

My new white shirt

There is little I like better than to put on a crisp, new, white shirt. I go through several every spring and summer. I never spend much money on one because they are practically disposable with five kids hanging around me, but with their versatility and comfort, I see them as a wardrobe requirement.

I recently bought the nicest white, long-sleeved t-shirt at Target. It is a maternity shirt that is the necessary crisp and white and I proudly paid the $4.99 clearance price to bring it home.

I brought it out of my closet this morning, ironed it, and donned it for the dreaded doctor's appointment I mentioned in my post below. I was careful not to touch it with smudged hands, not to press against any dirty surfaces and to lean way over as I ate or drank.

As the day progressed, however, I noticed my shirt getting dirtier and dirtier. First, there was a tiny butter and jelly speck (but I didn't eat breakfast as I was getting weighed, remember?). Then I noticed a few toothpaste spots (I'm not an errant spitter.) Later I discovered what looked like chocolate right near the other spots and began to get very frustrated. What was happening?!

About that time Landon jumped into my lap:

Landon: "What's my baby stister doing?" (Yes, he said "stister.")

Mom: "Oh, not much...she's being very quiet right now."

Landon: "My baby stister is a grill, not a boy wike me." (Yes, he said grill.)

Landon: (as he threw his body forward and kissed my belly hard and fast): I love my baby stister and I wike to kiss her."

There it was; my answer. All those marks and specks and smudges on my new, crisp, white shirt were big brother kisses, a trail of all things left on those sweet lips just before he showed baby "stister" his unconditional love.

So I'll take my new, crisp, almost white shirt and bleach it tonight. I won't be upset that I might have waisted my $5.00; just thankful to have such a loving toddler, eager to show his love to someone he can't yet see, but confident his little sister knows he's here and he already adores her.

Baby fat

Such a sweet title when referring to a new little one; such a frustrating state of being as I head off to my 31 week appointment today. I'm tempted to stand backwards, facing away from the scale as I'm weighed this morning. I'll just have them tell me if all is okay.

Yet, I know I'll look and I'll attempt to not tear up at the sight of those monstrous numbers sure to be glaring back at me, taunting me in their own perverse way and reminding me that while I have been so good to exercise, I really shouldn't have had all those sweets the past few weeks.

I will try to remember that this will be nothing compared the weight-gain surge I have to look forward to those last few weeks of pregnancy, and hopefully I can ignore any disapproving looks Dr. Wai (yes, his name really is pronounced "weigh"...no kidding!) might have in store for me.

Dr. Wai was kind even though I had gained 6(!) pounds. He reminded me that I never get very big when I'm pregnant, that much of it is water weight and "there's nothing you can do about that" so I shouldn't worry.

I figured kissing him in front of my husband would have been inappropriate so I didn't...but I could have!

Monday, February 26, 2007

Duplicating the Duggars

Our family is nowhere near as large as the Duggars (and won't be!), but we have learned a great deal from watching documentaries highlighting this amazing family of 16 children with #17 due next summer.

Religious beliefs and politics aside, we are impressed that this mother and father have set up a system in which every child has a buddy and a jurisdiction of which they are responsible. Our own children watch the shows and are amazed, delighted and somewhat inspired by the maturity the Duggar children exhibit.

Our same children haven't been as amazed and delighted the past few weeks as we have slowly begun to incorporate some new responsibilities into their oft self-centered world. They were all up extra early this morning to work on laundry and making sure their rooms were clean before they left for school. The older girls are also helping with the ironing as well as ensuring younger siblings have what they need to begin their days. At mealtime no one sits to eat until everyone else has their silverware, water, napkins, etc. Even Landon helps clear the table when we finish eating, though we do have to check the trash for the odd plate or fork that often gets deposited there in a moment of excitement.

All-in-all things are going extremely well. My quality of life has improved dramatically as small shifts in responsibility move toward the "biggers" and we have raised our expectations of what the "youngers" can do.

Michelle Duggar, the mom, makes a good point when she says that our goal as parents is to teach our children in such a way that we work ourselves right out of this job. It's sad but true; we succeed when they no longer have to have us, simply being wanted and needed emotionally has to be enough for us. I truly believe that our goal is to send our children into the world capable of caring for themselves, yet knowledgeable enough and willing to care for others.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sesame Street Live

Jimmy and I were practically drawing straws to see who would have to go with the boys to this show. The girls were so very thankful we hadn't included tickets for them as they planned a big night of movie-watching as an alternative. In the end Jimmy and I both got to enjoy watching the boys. The show was okay, but observing our children's reactions is usually worth the price of admission.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Track star

Sutton has decided to run track this year, her junior year, and was able to participate in her first meet last night. She placed 2nd in the long jump and 2nd in the high jump. Pretty good for a devout volleyball player who joined track on a whim. She says she does it to stay in shape, but winning a few medals doesn't hurt her motivation.

She left this morning at 6:45 to work a volleyball tournament at her club. She'll work late into the night and return to duty again tomorrow after church. We paid for her car and insurance but she has to pay for her own gas. Keeps a girl busy!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Whoever said boys have to be tough all the time...

...was obviously a man who never had the pleasure of watching "Cinderella 3" with a princess blanket and a baton. Even older brother enjoys getting in touch periodically with his feminine side.

Dollar Day and no uniforms!

They couldn't be happier.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

I'm a human balloon

No, this is not me but yes, I am trying to convince myself that I am not this big. Tough to do when I feel big as a house, there's a baby human doing somersaults in my abdomen, my feet have disappeared and I still have over two months left.

So I will just continue to embrace these moments knowing that in the end I'll be very happy Baby Girl is here, yet conscience that the empty feeling I'll have when she arrives is not just a vacant, flabby belly, but the loss of the time she and I, alone, have shared.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Park play with Dad

The weather was beautiful and the park beckoned. Landon and Daddy fed the ducks and played and played, creating quite the worn-out boy. Mommy got to reap the benefit of all that outside fun...a snuggly nap with her favorite three year old.

(Grandparents: Click on this picture. It makes it huge but sooooooo sweet!)

Monday, February 19, 2007

The girls and I can't stop giggling

I'm a member of a mommy board where other moms sell their outgrown/unused kids clothes. I was thrilled last week to come across these adorable bathing suits and a matching sundress.

They are a size 3-6 months, but you can't appreciate how tiny they are until you see them in real life. I opened the package they came in and started laughing out loud. The girls joined in and now we snicker every time we look at them. We've even gone in my closet to take a peek just to giggle a little more.

Jimmy reminded me that those suits will probably never get near the water as baby girl will be so little this summer and I completely agree. However, I guarantee you she will be the cutest little baby poolside in her itsy bitsy bright orange bikini.

Daddy and the boys just don't get it.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

She looked so beautiful...

...I just couldn't pare down the number of photos in this post.

Last night was the grand finale of Reagan's six-week long cotillion. The night's theme was "Formal" and weeks of preparation went into making sure she looked just right.

She's wearing her first fancy dress (50% off at Dillard's) and her first pair of high healed shoes (75% off at Macy's) which she's practiced walking in for about 6 days. She accessorized with a lovely fake crystal headband, a glistening pair of fake crystal earrings, and a stunning fake crystal necklace. She even allowed Sutton to apply a little makeup to complete her look.

However, there was nothing cut-rate or artificial about the elegance and style she embodied on this very special night.

We all accompanied her to the event just long enough to snap a few pictures...

(notice Landon being grabbed by a well-meaning sister)

...and to impart some parental advice during goodbye hugs and kisses:

Mom: "Okay, stand up straight, walk slowly, and smile."

Dad (louder than necessary): "Stay away from the boys, keep your hiney in and remember not to toot!"

Reagan (as she walked away sighing under her breath, shaking her head and rolling her eyes): "Oh, my goodness."

I'm sure she was more than thrilled to see us all leave.

Fun for all ages

Hayden's kindergarten class visited a local nursing home to sing and mingle. Jimmy and Landon tagged along so Landon would have an outing. The children were all so sweet and kind to the residents who seemed to enjoy their little visitors.

Hayden couldn't have been more sincere with his affection had these lovely people been his own relatives.

We may just have to take him back to visit his new-found friends.

Friday, February 16, 2007

My Valentine gave me these...

They are beautiful and smell heavenly.

A few years back this same sweet man had seven (7!) dozen roses delivered to my work. Each dozen was a different color and had seven different cards explaining the meaning of the colors and how it pertained to our relationship. They were brought in one dozen at a time creating a menagerie of color and a bouquet of fragrance that wafted down the halls.

The people in that community still speak of that day. The women refer to me as the woman who got "all those flowers," while the men complain to my father often about Jimmy's display, making my sweetie one of the most hated men in town.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A few more Cotillion candids

Best buds

Mom came too!

Kindergarten class

Dude, you crack me up!

You can't be prim and proper ALL day


One last dance

Dance fever

Keaton and her girlfriends shake a leg.

Hayden and Mackenzie

Daddy/daughter dance

Even little brothers were invited

Daddy's airplane arrived from California just in time

Valentine hotdogs were delish!

The girls' table


I was pretty good, wasn't I?

Daddy/daughter/little brother dancing

Can we do this again tomorrow?!