Monday, September 22, 2014

Catching Up

This is bound to be the most confusing blog post in history, but I have lots of thoughts and updates swirling around in my had that I need to put onto this virtual paper.

It's Monday again!  The weather is crisp and the wind is blowing at just the right speed so that there's no doubt it is autumn here in northern Virginia.  I love it.  And just like last Monday, here I sit, blogging and eating candy corn (the last of it) while Ford naps and the girls are at preschool.  I planned to go to the gym (I even made a childcare reservation!), but Ford seemed really tired and in need of a good crib nap (as opposed to a short carseat nap), and the house looks like it imploded, so I decided to stay home and get caught up.

We all seemed out of sync this morning and were almost late to school, which is probably why my bed's not made, why there's still applesauce smeared all over the kitchen table from breakfast, and why there are two adult-sized sleeping bags, among other "treasures," littering the floor upstairs.  Random, right?  Lorelei is the queen of random, and of Making Messes, and of Rearranging the House, and when left to her own devices, is usually the main culprit responsible for an imploded house on a Monday morning.  Or any morning, really.

Anyway, one reason we may be so out of sync is because, last weekend, Chet started a prep course that will get him ready to take the Professional Engineer exam at the end of October.  The class convenes every Saturday and Sunday, for five weeks.  ALL day Saturday (9 a.m. - 6 p.m.) and most of the day on Sunday (8 a.m. - 3 p.m.).  This means, quite obviously, that we don't have much of a weekend.  In fact, Saturday is the longest day of the week for us, because Chet doesn't get home until nearly 7:00 p.m. after class, whereas he is usually home from work around 5:30 p.m. during the week.  "Yikes" is one word you could use to describe the situation.


I'm glad he's taking the course, but let's just say that two Saturdays in a row of taking three kids to the grocery store is not exactly my idea of a good time.  Although, this past Saturday's trip was a minor success, in that Sydney spotted "flutes" for sale on a grocery store aisle (you know how they have random items hanging from the middle of the shelves? like straws or oven mitts or devices that will make your sandwiches in the shape of a heart? that's where the flutes were displayed).  By the way, they weren't real flutes, they were cheap plastic recorders.  But Sydney has been saying for weeks that she wants a flute for her birthday, and I wasn't sure how to go about dealing with that.  But she solved the problem herself when she spotted those "flutes," and I'll be a monkey's uncle if those puppies (flutes) didn't only cost $2.88 and are the sole reason for Sydney's and Lorelei's immaculate behavior for the rest of the shopping trip.  No matter that the recorders were bright yellow with Spongebob Squarepants painted on them; they were an answer to prayers I didn't even know I was praying.

My plan was to update you with some pictures from our TX trip and talk about Chet's and my trip to Myrtle Beach a couple of weeks ago, but I really need to get to it.  And by that I mean I need to get busy stuffing sleeping bags back into their tiny little cases so that no one (me) breaks their neck tripping over them.

Happy Monday!

Monday, September 15, 2014

This shall be short...

...maybe.  I really need to get laundry going, dishes washed, and I have big plans to make several peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the freezer (something I've never done before), because I think the bread's about to turn.

But I digress (already).

The house is quiet, because the girls are at school, and Ford just went down for a nap.  During these quiet moments I find myself relishing the semi-eerie silence.  I never turn on music, the TV, a podcast, etc. because the silence is so delicious.

Almost as delicious as the candy corn I bought at Target yesterday and am currently eating as I type this.  I always buy the "Autumn Mix," which is a mixture of regular candy corn, chocolate candy corn, and the pumpkins.  Any flavors or shapes other than the three I just mentioned are too new-fangled for me.

I also bought pumpkin spice M&Ms (haven't tried them yet) and caramel apple pops.  I noticed that there are several brands of caramel apple pops these days, but I like the ones made by "Tootsie" (as in Tootsie Roll).  I told myself when I bought all this candy that it would mainly serve as fall decoration, but let's not kid ourselves.

Speaking of candy corn, I think Ford may be a piece of candy corn for Halloween.  We shall see.

And speaking of candy corn again, my original plan for this morning was to go to the gym instead of eating said candy corn.  But as soon as I started scaling the mountain (also known as a "street" here in northern Virginia) on our way to school this morning, with 17-ish pounds strapped to me in the front (Ford), and pushing 60+ pounds ahead of me in the form of a stroller and two daughters, I changed my mind.  There's always tomorrow.

I ran out of random thoughts momentarily, so I'll go ahead and wrap this up, leaving you with a few pictures.

Ford and Didi matched the other day (more on why Didi was in town later); Ford was, obviously, not in a photographic mood (still cute though).

Lorelei singing to Ford.  "You WILL listen to me sing!"  And always wearing a bathing suit.

Sydney is physically able and willing to push the double stroller, much to my delight (seriously).  And cat ears only make her that much stronger.

Chewing on keys and wearing a dinosaur hat.

At dance class the girls always get to dress up in a costume at the very end and come out and show us.  It thrills every last one of them.

Bathing suit again, this times with doctor glasses for good measure.

You don't watch TV at 7 p.m. while wearing sunglasses?  Huh.

Sitting in the buggy for the first time.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Never Forget

As always, today is a somber day, remembering the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

This morning I attended a women's Bible study at our church (it was the first day of this particular Bible study, a 9-week Beth Moore series about 1 and 2 Thessalonians).  As an ice-breaker, we quickly took turns recounting our personal experiences of 9/11/01; no one will ever forget exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news.

It was especially interesting to hear the stories from people who were in the DC-area (which was most of the women in the room) at the time of the attacks.  We live quite close to The Pentagon, and many people could feel their homes or offices shake when the plane hit.  It's hard for me to imagine being so close to the site of any of the attacks.  Looking back, I was sheltered from fear and feelings of imminent danger that day, perhaps because my home in Humble, TX was thousands of miles from the closest attack, and probably mostly because my school did not deviate from its normal routine.  I didn't know much about the Twin Towers as a high school senior, so, although I knew things were bad, I didn't immediately grasp the magnitude of lives lost and how such terrorism would launch a war.

It is hard to believe that we are 13 years removed from 9/11/01.  Those hijacked planes instantly changed us as a nation.  This anniversary will hopefully continue to serve as a compass of sorts, guiding us as Americans to carry out our important role as a great and God-fearing nation in this world.  May we never let a September 11th pass without commemorating the atrocities that cost thousands of American lives; may we never forget.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Since I'm on a roll...

...why not see if I can post every day in September?

Remember the series of photos of Lorelei dancing?  I've taken many a good series of her lately (in my opinion).  Here are two more:

I was trying to capture a good picture of her in her LSU dress to send to my dad, but I didn't want her to make a crazy picture face.  Having her talk is pretty much the only way she won't make such a face.  Here she is giving me a long, complicated explanation of who knows what:
Listening to my "talking prompt"

And here's another series.  Chet and I were both busy trying to get us all out the door to go somewhere, so he gave Bubby to Lorelei to "babysit" (she was watching "Go, Diego, Go" at the time).

At first she seemed excited about her task (as was Bubby):

Then she remembered she was watching a show, but she was still fairly engaged in her job since she was holding his foot (which I thought was kind of adorable):

The show must have gotten more interesting, because she needed to direct the foot-holding attention back to the TV:

Fully immersed in the show again (Bubby doesn't seem to mind being abandoned by his babysitter though):

Ford realized there was a show on TV, and this picture makes it look like I'm letting them watch "The Shining" or something, based on their matching semi-horrified expressions:

I can't believe the little stinker is going to be 3-years old next month.

And here is a picture of Syd, for good measure:

Happy Wednesday!  Syd and Lor start school tomorrow!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

In which she eats her own words...

Remember all that fashion mumbo jumbo I spouted off yesterday? All of it went out the window today when I didn't even attempt to deny the girls' requests to wear bathing suits out in public. (Lorelei often makes such ridiculous requests; Sydney knows better, but also knows when to ride her sister's coattails.)

Why, yes, Lorelei. You may wear a watermelon bathing suit and a summer skirt.
(They seemed embarrassed once we were actually out in public. Not.)

Why not, Sydney? Go ahead and wear that Hello Kitty tankini top with those pink gaucho pants.

In our defense, I think September 2nd has been the hottest day of 2014. And the only item on today's agenda was to make a return at Target.

Thankfully Bubby kept us from completely ruining our image by wearing a season-neutral Superman onesie.

Ragamuffins, I tell you.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Welcome, September!

I don't know about you, but I am thrilled each year when September 1st rolls around.  So long, August -- you are the LONGEST month of the year (to me).  In my opinion, August's only redeeming quality is that our oldest nephew has an August birthday, and even that is hard for us to fully appreciate because we rarely get to see him on his special day.  And even though September is usually just as hot as August, I am at least filled with hope that cool weather is just around the corner (even when I have to wait until November for said cooler weather -- although I don't think I'll have to wait that long this year now that we live in Virginia).

September 1st is doubly good this year, because it is also Labor Day, the unofficial end of summer.  (Happy Labor Day, by the way!) This means that I can immediately say "Sayonara!" to summer and begin embracing all things pumpkin  (on years when Labor Day is a few days after September 1st, I feel like summer is simply overstaying its welcome).  FYI, I am super old-fashioned, and refuse to wear white jeans and carry white purses or wear white pumps (none of which I actually own) after Labor Day (or before Easter).  Even though those antiquated fashion rules are basically obsolete these days, I continue to adhere to them, and make sure that the rest of my family also adheres (Chet is sad to put away his white jeans each year...kidding!).  I think this makes me a bit of a fashion snob, which is laughable because my fashion sense is quite limited, but I sleep better at night knowing that all of the summery clothes are folded safely away in diaper boxes, and that my children's closets are mostly filled with dark, muted colors.

I promise I won't judge you if you continue to wear your white jeans though -- it only proves that you have more fashion sense than I do, and that you are probably a more flexible, change-embracing person in general.

Also, God forbid we end up getting stationed in southern California or Hawaii or Guam someday.  I may have to flush my own rules down the commode in that scenario.

On that note (not really), here is a series of photos of Lorelei dancing.  We have been having dance parties in the living room lately, because it's the easiest way to get energy out, and it thoroughly entertains Bubby.  Lorelei really gets into the dancing, and her unbridled passion pretty much mirrors the way I feel about the beginning of September:

 And this is Bubby watching:

It is great entertainment for all.

Happy September!