Quote of the Week

"We Must be Willing to Give Up the Life We Have Planned, So As to Have the Life that is Waiting for Us."
-Joseph Campbell
Week of Aug 12, 2013

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

When it Rains it Pours ... er...Drips

So, yes, I completed the 5K - blah blah blah, yada yada yada - I'll post about that later.

I'm here to vent a bit.

So, we needed some house repairs. And decided to refinance, because that's what you do. We were quite excited at the prospect of taking care of things - and maybe even having some left over for Christmas.

And God laughed.

First priority: the car I drive. We have a brand new minivan - and decided to take care of all the ailments in this other car to make it last for awhile. (We had just refinanced it, too.) We thought ailments meant new tires, new tire thingy in wheel that made a sensor come on and yell at you in the car, inspection...that sort of thing.

And God laughed.
As the refinance was going through we learned it needed the transmission rebuilt. And I could tell - damn thing was really fond of going in reverse when it was in drive. Quite fun. Reminded me of driving a stick shift. Which I've really only done once in my life - and that was a bad deal (crashed into a parked car and mailbox. as a teen. at a boy's house where I wasn't supposed to be. anyway....) So, we take it in. Transmission fixed. Good to go.

And God laughed.
Place tells us a wheel bearing is broken and it's not fit to drive. That would explain the shaking steering wheel. I just pretended I was a NASCAR driver and held on tight. Nope. So, we take it to our tire place. Get those tires replaced, new wheel bearing .. and of course, it's not COMPLETELY fixed -- but we had to stop the $$ bleeding.

Plus - we've been trying to get a new dishwasher FOR-EV-ER...but we kept buying them and they kept not fitting. (A whole different pain is the arse.) We finally bought one - it's all space age and lovely.

But we didn't get a chance to be all pleased with ourselves.During this time we noticed a crack in the windshield in the brand new minivan. Lovely. There's also a crack in the windshield of the non-kid car. Mother trucker!! They've moved down the priority list.

So, we also have a broken garage door. On the list of things to fix - the wire pulley thingy has completely broken off and it won't go up. And the bottom panel of the door is rotting. We were going to replace both doors with steel. It was on the list.

I should mentioned we also did an "Extreme Home Makeover" in Jack's room. Nick has moved in with Kyle and now Jack has his own room. We completely re-painted, got him a cool new bed and dresser - right now it's the coolest room in the house.

Since that work is finally complete, aside from the two crack windshields and the extra work we'll need to do on the non-kid car -- we were finally feeling more "settled" and considering our next moves. I was thinking today how I could get this bedding set that I really like - it's really time for a new set. Ryan was looking at the money that was left and thinking he could call the garage door people.

And God laughed.
Ryan went into the garage this morning and noticed big puddles. Then saw a huge wet spot on the ceiling. Something is leaking. It appears to be the toilet in the main bathroom. He was hoping if he jiggled a few things here and there it would stop dripping by the time I got up. Nope, I discovered it before seeing his note because of the loud dripping. It's still doing it now. Drip. Drip. Drip. The wall behind the toilet is damp. That just can't be good.

A plumber is coming tomorrow. Good bye bedding set. Garage door will wait. And we'll pray this won't be some huge big thing. God, please don't laugh here. We get it. We're very grateful for all that you have given us. Now please, go laugh at someone else.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tales from the Bus Stop: A Gerding Dramady

Those of you who follow my Facebook posts have seen comments here and there about some "issues" at the kids' bus stop on our street.

Well, those issues have now escalated into blog-worthy hilarity.

Sometimes I wonder if my family has been cast in a sitcom ... problem more of a dramady...the likes of the Truman Show; where the world is watching and laughing (or crying) and we're just plugging away at juggling this stuff - none the wiser.

So to bring you up to speed: (Seriously - the stuff in the middle in kinda boring - but the end is worth it - so hang in!)
The bus stop has been an annoying issue for the parents who've been standing out there with the kids. Luckily, to keep our lives from being a full on CSI drama - I get to sleep in during that time. The previous bus stop was basically directly across the street to our house, then one house over. A family of girls live there. Seen that movie "Mean Girls?" Yeah, not even close. I won't go into full on characterization - you get the idea.

Well, the frustration for the parents is that the bus pulls up -- but the door to get on the bus is on OUR side of the street. So - kids all cross the street to get to the bus stop, then cross the street AGAIN to get on the bus. Then throw in some mean girls. Usually all the kids and the 2 or 3 adults all stand at the home across the street - then walk up to the actual stop when the bus arrives and goes from there. God forbid they get too close too soon -- then the nasty comes out...example;l the girls telling the kids "DON'T TOUCH OUR SNOW." Yeah.

So, over the summer .. at various gatherings .. moms vented. And wondered what we'd do. To me the solution was simple: Everyone just stand in our driveway. What's the driver gonna do? Not pick them up?

One neighbor was so fed up, she contacted the District Transportation department and asked about getting the bus stop moved. The district lady said 'sure, just fill out a form and mail it back to us.' Well when this form arrived - our neighbor was so aghast she immediately went door to door to show it to us. It was funny, I was sitting in my living room facing the stairs..and her kids came in - not unusual, the kids were all playing together. I was greeting each of them as they came up the stairs. "Hey kid 1, whatcha up to?" "Hey kid 2, aw, you got a haircut, so cute!" And then to my surprise, "Hey....uh, Mom 1 , oh, uh, hey??"

She brought me the "form". It was like 6 pages long - front AND back. And it required the drawing of diagrams! I thought that was ridiculous .. and at our last gathering before school started, we all agreed the best thing to do would be to just "make our own" bus stop. We'd all gather at our driveway, and just see what happens. Logic would have you believe the bus would stop at the place with 13 children. As opposed the one w/2. And that's where you are wrong.

So, first day of school. It's a big day for the Gerdings -- our LAST kid is going to school. The big kindergarten. My baby, my shadow - off on his own. We gather in my driveway - lots of kids, and all the parents. We have coffee and doughnuts. And we wait.

Here comes the bus. And it stops -- at our house. We take pictures, the kids pile on. Across the street, and a house over, the two girls stand there. One acts like she's going to cross, but her MOTHER tells her no. I watch. It's a standoff. The bus driver honks the horn and waves them over. The mothers hold the two girls back. At this point, it's no longer "my baby is going to kindergarten, waah!" It's - what the HELL is this? Finally, after a long delay of just standing there, the girls cross to get on, and the one mom comes over as well -- boards the bus and starts to give the bus driver Hell. The poor guy, (he's like a grandpa), keeps saying "What about the kindergartners??" And her argument is simply, "You have to stop at the designated bus stop."

At this point, one of the dads gets involved - and I step in. The bus driver takes this as his chance to exit - and off he goes. We stand there and bicker. The two moms claim because their children come home to empty homes the stop has to be where it is. Or that they can't see their kids if they aren't at that bus stop. We basically challenge how silly that is, especially since we have 2-3 adults outside standing with the kids every morning watching them - -THEY are never out. I do manage to get in a "hey, let's be honest, these kids don't want to stand by your daughters - they're mean." Yeah, I had reached 'mad.' Odd thing was she didn't deny it - she actually said something like "I think you'll see that's better this year." Interesting. Anyway, as we debated, I bottom lined it for her; "Basically, all this boils down to is, you want it at your house. So here's the deal. We're not moving. Our kids will wait in this driveway 'til the bus comes, then we'll walk one house up and board on the side where the door opens. Period."
(She does call the bus barn and scream at them, and the next day the bus stops one house up. And the poor driver even admits it's crazy, but he has to stop at the designated stop. So we stick w/our plan. Stay on our side of the street, and just move one house up to board.)

As things broke up, I turned to Mom 1 and told her to get me the forms - we're doin' this. I was pissed. The "moment" for my kindergartner was gone - I didn't even get to cry. And it was because 2 other moms were just being mean girls, 20 years older. Neither of these other two moms had made decent arguments - and I did listen to see if they had anything valid. Nope. I went to town. I used Google maps. I measured the length in distance the change would be (13 yards.) And as luck would have it, on the first day of school, the district sent home a school bus safety diagram - showing safe places to stand and "danger zones." Guess what? Original bus stop = danger zone. Our preferred stop? Safe zone. That's right. The door opens on our side of the street, duh! So, yes, I used the district's OWN diagram to make our case. After filling out all the paperwork with supporting arguments, and diagrams I double and triple checked over it. It was solid. Mom1 was kind enough to get signatures from our 7 families with 13 kids (most of which were K - 2nd grade.) We mailed it in and waited.

Soon, notice arrived, on official transportation letterhead - we won. The bus stop was now to "officially" be at our house. Hurrah! I was so pleased all the work I had done paid off and benefited so many people. The letter even said something like "after reviewing the documentation"! Yeah baby!

So yesterday was the big move. I was actually out there. I noticed mean mom come out. But we all played it cool. Let's not make a big deal. Mean girls looked a bit confused, but got on the bus - no drama, no problem. End of that.


Ok, at this point - I don't know the rest of the story. I wasn't out there this morning. I just know a couple details. But the details I know are killer. You'll love it.

So, apparently mean mom emailed a flamer to the head transportation lady with the district. So, this morning, head transportation lady with the district actually CAME to our bus stop to watch what was going on. I think she was expecting a showdown with fireworks. I'm sure what she actually found was several SANE families all out with their kids, at the proper stop, waiting for the bus like normal people. My husband says she even seemed annoyed at crazy mom. But here's the punch line. The thing I will laugh about all day. The part of the sitcom where you think they've jumped the shark.

Apparently, crazy mom told the district lady that the bus stop can't change because .. .wait for it...............................................................................:

You read that right. And again, I don't know the whole deal - I just got a brief , terse email from the hubby. But that's enough really.

Trying to decide if I should be concerned about these WILD CATS that apparently only go after mean girls (yes!) and seriously, have to be invisible. And the attacking? Is that happening, when? When they pop out of their house JUST as the bus arrives? Is it in the Bermuda triangle of the extra 13 yards they have to walk?

Yeah, that's just too good not to share.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

This Day.

We remember heroes. We hold each other tighter. And we get misty at seeing the flag.

I also remember my hero. Popaw, who died years later on this same day.

Never forget.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Well, that blows.
Just attempted Week 3, Day 1 (W3D1) of Couch to 5k. I couldn't even finish the 1st run stage, which was the length I had ALREADY been running. What's up with that??? Something was wrong today. Things hurt - like right away. I did about 1:00 of the first 1:30 run - a run I've been able to complete. Then I did about 2:00 of the 3 minute run. There's a small victory. But when it was back to the 1:30 run again, I had to stop with 40 seconds left...and walked through the next 3:00 run. Crap. My legs were KILLING me. Even just walking. My ankles, and right hip. What gives? Is it because I ran in the morning instead of night? In which case, better fix that, because this 5K is at 7-freaking-30 in the morning. I had the right mindset. I even had the right song to get started - Eminem "Prove Yourself" ... started as a motivator, then it mocked me. Dang. I will try again. I hope today that my body was just off kilter. Of course, that makes me worry it could do that on 5K day. Not good.

Oh, and by the way, I found two syringes on the sidewalk that is outside our division where everyone jogs. WTF?

And speaking of WTF? Anyone see that Notre Dame piece on Game Day this morning? Gag. And Lee Corso can bite me. I hope the Boilermakers drop a rock on those Irish. Get over it people, they're done!!! (Corso - who btw was a former IU coach- said "I'd pick a rock before I'd pick Purdue to win." )

I really wasn't ready to give up summer - and I do hope we get a trip to the pool in this weekend - but I am SO GLAD football is back. Freaking love it. Doesn't matter what game is on - it's soothing to my soul. Aaaaah. Foooooootball.

Speaking of which - 5 minutes to kick off.
M- I - Z-!!!!!!!!


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sure - leave comments here!~

Many of you pop over from Twitter or Facebook - it's ok to post your comments here! All are welcome. Thanks.

Many, Many Heartfelt Thanks.

Last week was painful. We lost the "foundation" of Ryan's mom's family. Sunday, we knew she wasn't doing well, and went to visit. But, for the most part, she seemed like herself - just very tired. She looked at pictures with us from our vacation ... and made jokes. We had asked if we could move her to her bed for a nap when we left ... and she said, "No, someone's job is to hold this chair down, and I'm doing great at it." (As she playfully grasped the sides of the chair.) I'll always remember, that as she looked through the pictures - she pointed out to me, "You have a beautiful smile." That was one of the last things she ever said to me. But it was SHE who had the beautiful smile. Seriously.

The very next day, she dressed herself, and went to breakfast - stunning the staff. But on the way back, she stumbled...

Ryan decided to stay with her, and was holding her hand and stroking her hair when she peacefully left this world.

At that point our world came to an abrupt stop. I think some of us were in denial, instead thinking that this tough lady would once again rebound - and be with us forever. We were in denial, that this person, who attended every single event in our lives ... wouldn't be there anymore. Smiling.

Ryan was tasked with compiling a video of pictures of her life. And he threw himself into it. Hundreds and hundreds of pictures...with different children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and friends. But one thing was always the same. That smile.

Ryan spoke at her funeral: talking about how everything was her "favorite." She was always happy with whatever she was doing at that moment - and even happier if she was surrounded by people. So, yeah, that's what I take away - the smile. She always said she "never remembered the bad stuff." I like that. That lends itself to easily always having a smile on her face.

And through the pain of that miserable week - while there may have been tears on my face, there was a smile in my heart. So many people stepped up to help us out. I want to thank them out loud.

When I called my mom, to say what was happening, she literally dropped everything (seriously, I heard things hit the floor) to drive from Indiana to our home to help with kids and routines and folding laundry. This was a tremendous, incredible, huge help. She helped keep the balls in the air, and the household in movement. Thank you, thank you.

Our neighbors also came through. It was very difficult not to burst into tears, when Arturo (and yes, he looks as big & burly as the name suggests) came to our door with armloads of food and a card all our neighbors had signed. Everyone had pitched in. Only moments before I was thinking to myself: "I wonder if the kids would notice if we didnt feed them dinner tonight." That food helped so much. We seriously ate only that for the next few days - in fact, Ryan's mom stopped by around lunch time, and we convinced her to eat something .. and we were able to easily offer up a nice plate, thanks to the food that had been dropped off. Seriously, it HELPED. And the gesture meant so much, thank you, thank you.

Our neighbors also took in kids on various days. Someone ate dinner at one house one night, another spent the night...and the Wrights were simply assigned "Kyle duty" the day of the funeral - and ferried him around to football and soccer. Huge help. They also supplied us with another night of food. Thank you, thank you.

And my work people were helpful - just with their words. Yes, I said work people. In the past, that would not have seemed possible ... but things have changed. I appreciate that when I kept sending emails concerned about loose ends, that my boss finally just replied: "We got it. Go be with your family." Small gesture, big impact. Another boss cried with me on the phone. Helped me put things into perspective. Thanks.

And my kids. Bless their sweet little hearts. I'll never, ever, ever, ever, forget the looks on their faces when we told them. Or how each of them handled their it in their own way - fit for their personality.
Nick, after running to his room to cry in to a pillow recovered and turned into "helper." He kept trying to find me bookmarks as I went through albums to find pictures. Then he remembered he had his own album in his room. With a picture of her. With a grand smile. Nick then insisted that I get her a flower, like the one she wore as a corsage in that picture. Pink. And he told me, "Momma, I want to get a flower like that one, and put it on her rock." Sweet boy.

So I did. I got a flower like that one. And it only came in a package of three. One for each boy. And I left it with her rock. And I'm sure that made her smile.

No, Mamoo, YOU have a beautiful smile. And it's what I'll always remember.

Thank you.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Couch to 5Kick My Ass

I'm not a quitter.
I'm not a "can't".
I'm not a cryer.

Yet a few days ago I cried when I completed the first full workout in my "Couch to 5K" program. Happy tears. Tears of disbelief.

Today I cried again at the end of my workout. Because I didn't finish it. Because it's not coming easy. Because there's no instant gratification. No instant pay off. I've been working out pretty consistently for a week now - compared to practically nothing before. And this morning I weighed MORE. And this morning I couldn't finish two runs. And because this is a lonely process.

As I was dejectedly walking the "cool down" - or as I call it "the only way to get home because no one is going to come pick your sorry ass up" - I felt sorry for myself. I groused over that this was just the "way it was going to be." Life had two courses:

Course One: the course I believed I was on: Career, ladder climber, see how far I could go, no kids, and excellent physical shape. I used to run for FUN. I used to TEACH aerobics and gymnastics and constantly be moving. Catch: Lonely. Only a career to show for your life.

Course Two: Meet someone. Settle down. Have kids. Pick one city and call it home. Pick one job and do whatever you have to do to make it work. Have something to show for your life, and a core group around you. Catch: Be overweight/out of shape, sedentary and have non-stop stress that kicks into higher gear just THINKING about work. (And stress is known to cause weight gain.)

Now that my heart is no longer pounding in my ears, and I've caught my breath and wiped my stupid tears ... and feel sweat still dripping off my back, I know those are the thoughts of a pouting baby. An angry pouting baby who was ready to quit.

Let's be clear. I'm still ready to quit. It's easy to find excuses. I counted on my husband for support, and enjoyed when he ran with me. But last night - when I asked him twice about running and he didn't want to, and I suggested I'd run by myself, then his brain kicked into gear and he insisted on running. Screw you. I didn't run. Mostly because I was mad and didn't want to be around he-who-is-so-stupid-he-doesn't-know-the-answer-is-ALWAYS-yes-if-to-asked-to-run!! And mostly because that anger and annoyance gave me an "out."

But that's another thing. It's not about him. It's not about kids, who I used as "I can't do anything, I've got kids at home." It's not about time. I'm home now in the mornings. With time. It's not about being "too tired." I'm getting to bed at a reasonable time. There are no excuses. None that make any sense.

It's about me. And it has to be about me. For me. I am responsible for my own self. And right now, 80% of my 'self' wants to quit. 20% is tired of being the lone voice of GET OFF YOUR ASS AND MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Quitting is easy. It provides instant gratification, no pain, and less sweat.

I remember being probably about 8 or 10 and climbing one of the tallest mountains in New York with my dad. It's an all day climb with steep terrain. It's hard on adults, much less kids. At one point my dad saw me huffing and puffing and asked if we should turn back. I told him we had made it halfway, and there's no way I wanted to go back now. That used to be me: 100%.
Now, as I mentioned, that drive in me is only at 20% - but fighting to make a comeback.

Never quit.

So, I'm going to channel my anger and frustration and keep trying. No - doing.

I'm going to do it.
There will probably be more tears, and more "quitting" points.
But I'm going to do it.

For me.

COUNTDOWN TO 5K: 57 days.

Friday, May 21, 2010

For reals.

Let's see, it's been since MARCH that I've updated this thing. Well, if you count the non-stop twitter feed, then heck, I've been updating daily -- and rather regularly.

What does that say? I really don't have time to sit down and pound out anything relevant that's more than 140 characters. But limit me to 140 characters of random musings - and I'm all over it.

So, this blog will be a collection of random; indulging on more than that 140 character restriction. First, how annoying that I could be leaving work right now -- this very second -- but instead, for some reason, I've logged on here and decided to dive in. Is this really the best use of my time? Meh. I'll type fast.

Age has been on my mind a lot lately. The people I work with seem to be getting younger - I make jokes based on cultural references, then have to explain. Someone "brags" about being in the business for 7 years ... and I snort....I've been working here in KC for longer than that, and made several other stops before getting here. Ouch!

I used to eat cake at the retirement parties of journalists who'd put in the long haul at one place and think "Why would you EVER stay in one place that long?? That'll never be me." Hm. I'm getting pretty close to a 10 year anniversary. Wow. I'm gonna blame that on kids. Not a bad thing, I suppose. There's something to be said for longevity (knock on wood. no seriously, knock on it RIGHT NOW.)

I'm finding more gray hairs in the once tiny gray hair farm in one spot of my head. Not a fan. I have actually made myself late to things because I've been playing "catch the gray hair w/tweezers" at my mirror. Nothing's worse than noticing one in the car - and trying to pull it with my fingers only spiral it up like curling ribbon....taking it from blendable to a wiry spring coming out of the top of my head.

I could go on about the age thing, but I've suddenly grown bored with that. Again - another reason Twitter & it's 140 rule is good for me. I'm easily distracted. Short attention span.

Anyhoo...I'm really looking forward to the trip we're taking Memorial Day weekend. We're going to ... wait for it ... Arkansas! Did you just wrinkle up your nose? Stop that. Seriously. I wanted to hit the road. I'm made to travel - and it had been too long - so I INSISTED we take SOME sort of trip over the holiday weekend. We got a touristy-flyer-type thing in the paper begging folks to SEE ARKANSAS! And I checked it out ... and thought: perfect road trip. We won't waste too much time in the car .. but still get far enough away to feel...well, away.

And that's the thing. I'm really looking forward to that "away" part. We're gonna stay in a cabin in the woods. So, seriously AWAY. No plans for all sorts of activities and events etc etc that normal family vacations entail. We just go and be. Go and be. You know, just go there and HANG. Not rush to this thing and that and must see this and that. Nope, just be.

I am seriously considering leaving my cell phone at home. Correction: freakin' awesome iPhone that totally feeds my short attention span. Just typing about it right now makes me want to pick it up and mess. But - it comes with the drawbacks of work emails. Dong! Another email is in. Dong! Look, a red number on top of email icon envelop counting how many emails are sitting here. Waiting to be read. Dong! Could it be the boss making big changes? Dong! Could it be someone with a question only I can answer? Dong! Some email just landed about someone misunderstanding something and when you read it it'll put you in a bad mood and hang over you 'til you return to work. Dong! Yeah...that's not a good thing when you're TRULY trying to be on vacation.

Ok. Seriously I should go home now. Hm. Maybe if I took my phone w/me on vacation I could blog from there....complete with pictures of us relaxing. And then I could foursquare every move we make. I could be mayor of some tiny coffee shop in a tiny Arkansas town.

For reals.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Who's Counting?

Funny car conversation tonight.

Kids were asking random questions. And eventually Kyle asks, "Why do grownups get to use cuss words and bad words?"

Long pause. Um, ah, well ... I answered with, "Well, when you're grown up you just get to do stuff that kids don't get to do. And not all of it is really good stuff."

Kyle says, "Well one of you used the s-word like 10 times."

Me, "What? When? Was it Daddy?"

All 3 kids then say, "No Momma it was YOU! When you were trying to fix Nick's drawer!'

Someone pipes up, "Yeah, we were counting. And you used the d-word - and - "

I interupt, "Ok ok ok I get it."

And then I punch Ryan in the arm - who is howling, and practically driving off the road.

So, I've turned into my father. He mastered the art of cussing - kind of like the dad on Christmas Story .. you know, making stuff up as he goes. I remember one time he was working on the house and yelled out "JEE--SUS, JOSEPH AND MARY!" We found it funny that he'd go for the tri-fecta. But even better was when he'd make stuff up. I still remember giggling with my brother after a string of obscenities with some brand new words that ended with "piss-ant printer!" Dad eventually heard us giggling - -which, timed wrong, could mean trouble - but lucky for us, got him giggling too.

I don't think I've quite evolved into creative cussing. Though, after stubbing my toe pretty badly, I did string together a pretty wild combination of every word I could think of. Ryan still laughs about that one. Thankfully - kids weren't around to count..and call me on it later.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Beeping, Cussing and Not Laughing

Had to share this story.

The other night, at about 2:30 in the morning, I woke up to the hall light coming on -- and beeping. I soon realized the beeping was probably a smoke detector - and that my husband was already up trying to make it stop.

I laid there and listened as he removed one detector. Then heard the beeping continue. I listened as he removed another dectector. The beeping continued - and now he was cussing.
I am now laying there, wide awake, kind of shaking my head. I'm thinking "the sound is coming from the HALL." But I don't move. He's mad, and frankly, I was entertained. How many is he going to take down? How many times will I hear it be removed from the ceiling, hear a beep, then hear cussing? Comedy.

Then he comes to the doorway, "I don't know what the @#$!^& is wrong." I don't say anything. He storms off for the basement. (Checking detectors down there.) Yes, I'm thinking he's a moron.

I get up. I'm certain the beeping is in the hall. I stand in the hall. The beep is so loud it hurts my ears. I get the stool he's been using in every room and grab the carbon monoxide detector. It beeps as I hold it in my hand. My *first try at solving the beeping mystery.

He's now coming up the stairs. I walk over to him - and hand him the device, "It's the carbon monoxide detector." (To myself: YOU DIPWEED!)

I turn around and head back for bed. Soon he crawls in too. I stifle giggles. I figure he's so mad, giggling would get me in trouble.

I bring it up the next day: "So....you haven't said anything about the 'detector incident' last night?" He laughs. I tell him about hiding my giggles when he came to bed. Turns out, he too, was hiding giggles -- thinking I was annoyed and it would tick ME off.

Too bad. It would have been nice to have laughed together at that one.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I scrapped!

I had not scrapped ANYTHING since the first weekend of January - LAST YEAR.

Lots of excuses, no time, picture issues, etc etc.

Well, as you saw in the post below - my oldest turned 10 recently. And I REALLY wanted to do a layout of him w/his cakes over all the years leading up to 10. And I wanted to have it up for his birthday. So -- I cranked out this layout:

That got my juices flowing ... so I decided to try to do more. I grabbed an envelope of photos and told myself - no matter what, I'm going to scrap something in this envelope. Turns out, the envelope had a bunch of mostly blurry shots of the kids -- taken with an underwater camera. But I stuck to my guns -- and completed this:(shot is a bit dark - pic is from my phone)
I'm also nearly done w/another layout from that same envelope! Yeah! I'm scrappin' again!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Birthday Mania

Almost done.
Birthday mania.
We kick it off with Nick -- his birthday is Dec. 22nd -- yep, RIGHT before Christmas. Then we do Christmas and move in to the January month of celebration. Nick had a "puppy/spiderman/Mizzou" party. We make a grand effort to keep Christmas out of it. No Christmas wrapping paper, everyone wears MIZZOU stuff...we open presents in a different room away from the tree. (That's also because the tree usually swallows up the room we normally do that in.) My hope is for him to never say "My birthday is at Christmas and that stinks." So far so good. We'll see how long that lasts.

Kyle turned 7 on the 10th. He wanted a "Ben 10" Party. And like his older brother, he really, really wanted a sleepover. Note: boys have sleepovers. GIRLS have slumber parties. Just an important piece of trivia for you. Important. Anyway - we usually let them pick -- some party at some place, or a sleep over with a limited number of guests. At first, we thought WE were getting the good deal not having to pay for some elaborate party at some venue ... but now I'm not so sure which is REALLY the better deal. The boys LOVE the sleepover. And Kyle was VERY excited to have his first one this year. I think it was also a first for some of the boys he invited - and they too were quite excited. We had the traditional ice cream sundae bar with tons of toppings and the (gross) spraying of whip cream straight into the mouth.
The next day we then had family over for more celebrating.

Jack turned 10 on the 17th. That's right, their birthdays are exactly 7 days a part. So yes, we had BACK TO BACK sleepovers + family night parties. Yep. Insane. Jack wanted a "basketball" themed party...and he started the ice cream sundae bar tradition and kept it going. He always invites the 3 boys who live on our street - and they now expect the big sundae bar. They too had quite a great time. Lots of Wii games. (Check out the video on our family website here.) Both parties were quite loud and both kept us up late. Though I think the 9-10 year olds were more "disgusting." (Louder burps and more potty talk to reign in.)

Can you believe we have a 10 year old? We can't. We have a kid who has a word to describe how long he's been around: a decade. We've been parents for a DECADE. Wow.
That freaked us out. So imagine how it's gonna feel in 2013 when we have a TEENAGER *AND* a "DECADE" kid! Ack!

Did you think I was done talking about birthdays? Um, no. My dad's birthday was January 12th. As far as I know, he did not have a theme party. Unless it was "TVs" or "politics." So, his bday is certainly lower-maintenance.

And this week is Ryan's birthday. And believe me, by the time we get to his birthday, we've had the whole family over like 3 times... plus 2 other parties in the house...and well, Ryan has very little interest in "partying." He's ready to chill. We're actually kind of excited because I have the day off and all 3 kids will be in school. We will go to lunch, maybe a movie - and not have to worry about sitters or anything. Just chill.

Birthday mania. Nearly complete. And actually, pretty fun.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010