Tuesday, May 26, 2009

baptism photos

Because I know you just can't get enough of the matching outfits.

Monday, May 25, 2009

The funnest day ever

This is Carolyn's synopsis after a trip to .... Meijer!

And it was the funnest day ever. It was the kind of day I always get about two days after a vacation. We've had enough time to rest. The girls have played with all their toys. We're just about back in our groove and, suddenly, the girls turn into complete angels.

So on a trip to Meijer, when I got everything on my list but apple juice, and we learned Meijer had brought back both the free cookies and the free horsey ride, well, that indeed was something to be celebrated.

So we did. With ice cream bars, a good old-fashioned driveway car washin' and some sprinkler time.

Funnest day ever!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Doin' da butt

My mother-in-law is right — my kids spend way too much time talking about their butts.

I guess part of the problem is that Steve and I find butt jokes infinitely funny. Yes, we are adults. No, we never progressed past fourth grade humor. Whatever. Don't tell me you laugh the tiniest bit during a good fart scene in a sophomoric Seth Rogen movie.

Just saying the word "butt" is enough to send the girls into hysterics. They love to do the "shake your butt" dance. And the problem is coupled by the inside, family joke of spanking. It's used to substitute for any other word, such as, "I love you," becoming "I love spanking," or asking "What do you want for lunch," and receiving the answer, "Spanking."

This is all well and good until we visit grandma's house. Or until Carolyn starts kindergarten and tells her teacher daddy is always spanking her.

And when this happens, I'll just blame Steve. After all, it is pretty much all his {spanking}. Trust me. It's funny.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Home at last

We just returned from a week-long trip to Tulsa. It was kind of a crazy trip because I ran my first half marathon (2:16:47, which isn't super fast but was faster than I had expected to run). We finally got the girls baptized. Steve and I celebrated our 8th anniversary with a night at the casino, where I won $100!

But what really sticks out is the fiasco.

That's right. What Gardner family trip doesn't end in fiasco? It would actually be kind of disappointing if everything went perfectly. Well, maybe not disappointing, but shocking to the point of suspecting a slip in the time/space continuum.

Anyway, we stayed in St. Louis last night. It wasn't like the 11-hour ride to Tulsa wasn't super fun, what with the sibling fighting and all, but we thought we'd break up the trip home. And, just to set the record straight, the girls were very well behaved and delightful for most of the trip.

So we decided to take the girls to the hotel pool this morning. Our hotel pool is a closed outdoor pool but there was another Sheraton on the property with an indoor pool that we could use. We opted to drive because it was kind of far away.

Fiasco starter #1: I misunderstood the lady at the desk and thought the pool was only open from 7 until 10 a.m. Turns out she meant 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. We were sort of rushing over there around 9, not wanting the girls to miss out on valuable swimming time because, obviously, they didn't get enough of that at grandma's house, with her pool.

Fiasco starter #2 : Steve hits a curb and took out a huge portion of our tire. It wasn't flat or leaking, but the 180-mile trip home made is sort of worrisome.

Fiasco starter #3: The first dealer we took it to said they could get the $300 tire, but it wouldn't be ready until the next day and they would charge us $100 "overnight delivery fee." On top of another night hotel. And dinner. And tequila.

We decided to ride home on the spare.

But... I did finally find another dealer who found us an equally good tire. Total bill: $114. Thank you.

Fiasco ender #4: I left our iPod cord at the hotel so we had to take one last stop to pick up the cord. It's not huge fiasco or anything, but after 6 hours of getting a single tire fixed, it was not not something we felt like doing.

But we're home. The girls are in bed. We turned the air on.

Trips are fun. But nothing beats coming home, especially when after learning ants had not invaded the kitchen and our basement was not flooded. It's the best!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

It's come to my attention (thanks Steve) that my last blog was, well, on the sad side. You might have grinned, or even laughed a little, but it was probably out of pity.

But today I'm returned to gleefully lament that I have the best kids ever. Steve took the girls to the mall yesterday to pick out my Mother's Day. When he asked Carolyn what she wanted to get me, she said, "Something for her running. Maybe a running wallet."

A running wallet! It's genius. I'm always trying to figure out ways to carry stuff with me on my run (which nearly totaled 12 miles today. Go me!) Gu. A credit card. Bus money. And though I've never mentioned needing something like that, she must have really paid attention to what I've been saying and came up with the idea. Just that she thought I might like some new running stuff is enough to make me feel extra warm and fuzzy.

Apparently, she's alone. They went into every running store in the mall and nobody carried anything like that. Sounds like maybe we've got an inventor in the making. Anyway, since there were no running wallets, she settled on buying me hand soap. It smells really nice.

One out of two isn't bad. Penny, on the other hand, got candies for us to "share." She practically yanked the the package out of my hands as I tried to open it this morning.

They were tasty.

Here's an old picture of my girls. My favorite...

Saturday, May 09, 2009

The graduating class of 2021

That's Carolyn. I'll pause if you need a tissue. No? Well, I never thought I'd need one either, but I about lost it when I learned this little tidbit from her new principal.

Because, it just dawned on me at that moment, now I guess she has a principal. And a school mascot. And she needs to know how to open her own milk carton and tie her own shoes. I can't even listen to the White Stripes song, "We're Going to be Friends," without resorting to a sort of blubbering that should be reserved for real problems like death, divorce and "Steel Magnolias."

It never dawned on me that I'd be tired from all this growing up crap.

Initally, I really went into this kindergarten registration thing excited. I'm excited because Carolyn is excited. She really wants to go to school, which I guess is awesome. But at some point Thursday, everything turned around on itself.

Like when Principal Shaw said our tiny little 5-year-olds will be so happy when we walk them to class and help them with their backpacks and put them in their little seats. They'll be happy on that first day, he said. In fact, they'll be happy for about a week until they realize it's better to do it by themselves. Finally they'll say, "Mom... Stop holding my hand in the hallway."

Not only that, but it got way worse for me when she did a stupid little craft at school and the teaching assistant wrote on a little piece of paper, "Carolyn: Struggled with cutting along the lines." Are you kidding me! She's already stigmatized and she hasn't actually started school yet. It's probably nothing, but what parent doesn't think their kid is the best. The best at everything.

I do. After all, she started as a lump in my belly, evolving into a totally helpless blob of person that couldn't do anything. And now she can write her name and swing across the monkey bars and ride (sort of) her bike. It's totally a miracle.

Pretty soon, it won't matter that I think everything she does is pure gold. It just crushes me to think it's starting to matter what other people think. People that don't even know her and her perfectness. It's not enough that she'll join swim team this summer and probably come in last at every race, now she's in a race of who can read the best, or who can sing the best, or who can cut the best, most accurate lines with kiddy scissors.

I'm sorry, but that's just too much for me to think about. Thank goodness none of this matters to her, at least for now. She's just excited about school. About a new teacher and friends and carrying her own lunch box.

So I'll hold her hand to class until she decides she's rather walk alone. And she'll go to her classroom. And I'll go home and cry in the bathroom, if I can make it to the bathroom. God please let me make it to the bathroom.

Because I guess that's the way it's supposed to be.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Please don't call child protective services

Carolyn is going through a bit of an injury phase right now. She's so bruised and hurt other moms are starting to comment on the injuries.

Let's review.

There's the horrible bruise, smack in the middle of her chest. This happened when she wiped out on her bike a few days ago. This is by far the worst injury, and the worst looking. I'm not even sure how she did it, other than that she was going really fast, talking (of course) and looking back at me. My dad used to tell me "It's a long way from your heart" whenever I hurt myself and came crying to him. I would have said this, because I sort of love it, but it was actually dangerously close to her heart. And lungs. And other very vital organs.

Speaking of bike injuries, there was the falling off the bike injury today that will surely result in a black eye. Hopefully, it'll be gone before she's baptized in a week and a half. (Yeah!!! The girls are finally getting baptized. Take that... eternal damnation.)

Later in the morning, she scratched up the side of her face.

Just before school, she was under her bed and re-injured her back by scraping the exact same spot she hurt a few weeks ago at the playground.

Let's just say there are a number of other bumps and bruises throughout. Thankfully, today when she was playing monster tag with her friend at the playground, there was no noticeable injury when she ran smack into a metal pole.

"No bruising? No bleeding? You're totally fine. Go play."

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Why sisters are great

Today at the playground, there was this group of very annoying tweens. Actually, they were about 8 and 9, but they were real jerks. I'd also like to make fun of their physical appearance, but it just doesn't feel right to go quite that low.

Anyway, they wouldn't move for Carolyn to get through and this was making Carolyn very upset. After asking for them to move several times, with no results, she just stood there and stared at them. At one point, the girls started calling each other weird.

Carolyn misunderstood and thought they had called Penny weird.

"Don't call my sister weird," she yelled. She was ready to throw down with these jerky bullies. I was so proud.

And Penny... Sweet lying Penny. That girl doesn't know how to tell the truth.

She spills milk. "It spilled itself." She kicks Fife. "He walked into my foot." She hits Carolyn, three times, IN FRONT of Steve. "No I didn't."

It's so weird because I don't think Carolyn has ever lied. Ever. She just doesn't know how. And now there's Penny, the chronic liar. Like I've said... Sometimes this stuff comes down to hard wiring.

Either that or Penny has already learned, from Carolyn, that telling the truth just doesn't pay.