Thursday, August 28, 2008

  Beach Bash Birthday Blast

Yes, it has been almost two weeks since Sweetpea's birthday party. But first there was Fay, then there was all the Vicodin following my gum surgery. A post while on Vicodin could have been interesting. My children have told me I was "loopy". Then again, it could have been incoherent.

Anywho, Sweetpea is now 11 years old. That is very difficult for me to even comprehend. How did I get a child that old? I can't possibly even be old enough to have an 11 year old child.

Sweetpea suggested having her birthday party at the beach this year. My in-laws have a sweet friend who owns a condo at the beach. He lets us use his condo whenever we want, provided no one else is already there, of course. So, we asked if we could use it for the birthday bash. Sweetpea invited 3 friends, and we let the Princess invite one friend so she wouldn't be left out of all the fun. And so she wouldn't bug the heck out of her big sister or count on Mommy and Daddy as her sole source of entertainment.

The only problem was the timing. Sweetpea's birthday is always right about the time school starts. We had the condo from Thursday through Sunday. BUT, although each of her friends goes to a different school, all the schools in this area were having their "Meet the Teacher Day" on Friday afternoon. That meant we would go out on Thursday, drive back on Friday to meet our girls' teachers, pick up the party guests from three different locations, drop Little Man off with his Nana, drive back to the beach, PARTY, drive three of the four girls back home on Saturday afternoon, pick the Little Man up from his Nana, drive back to the beach, try to relax a little, get up Sunday, clean the condo, drive back to Nana's for Sweetpea's family birthday dinner, take the last birthday guest home, go home, try to get to bed a decent hour because the first day of school was the very next day! There...I got tired just typing it!

The kids and I went out to the beach late Thursday afternoon. It had been a rushed, hectic day, trying to get everyone packed. Packing for a baby is not an easy task. I also took the girls to Justice Just for Girls to get new outfits for the first day of school. By the time we got to the beach, I was tired, hot, sweaty and cranky. This is what I saw after we walked out on the beach:

I could physically feel my self relaxing.

We went to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants that night, then I fell asleep watching the Olympics on TV. I just happened to wake up in time to see this:

Then I went back to sleep.

Friday morning, Little Man got his first experience in the pool. He LOVED it.

We went to Meet the Teacher on Friday and were pleased with the teachers our girls got. Then we gathered up our crew and went back to the beach for the party to begin. They all had a great time aside from a few hurt feelings having to do with who wanted to hear ghost stories and who did not. In the end, everyone made up. Sweetpea got her Vera Bradley backpack she had begged for. Plus another Vera bag that her mother may steal from her. She also got enough bath and body products to keep her smelling sweet (read: overwhelming migraine inducing stink) until her next birthday.

Even the little girls had fun.

But, what kind of person packs duct tape for a slumber party anyway?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

  A Very Blustery Day

Or "The Rain, Rain, Rain Came Down, Down, Down". Or some other reference to "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh".

I've got a little catching up to do. I need to post about Sweetpea's birthday weekend and about the first day of school, but at this point all of that has been overshadowed by Fay.

Tropical Storm Fay, that is. She has been called the most unpredictable tropical storm in history. One meteorologist called her the laziest tropical storm ever. Unpredictable and lazy.....sounds a little like some kids I know. The beginning of Fay, for me at least, was a lot of waiting. She parked herself off the coast and just decided to hang out for a while. I guess she was enjoying the view. When she finally made her move inland, she took her sweet time, which meant wind for a long period of time, and rain for even longer.

We had sustained winds of 49 mph with gusts to 60 mph. Sixty mile per hour wind gusts sound like they are ripping my roof off. It's rather difficult to get good pictures of wind. The aftermath of wind is a different story:

Luckily, that one didn't do any damage.

This on the other hand caused much distress:

Our satellite went out. Much drama ensued because that was the night of the Cheetah Girls: One World premier on Disney Channel. I braved the wind and rain and the memory of the snake I saw slither in that general direction a month ago, and used the broom to remove the stick from the dish. After I re-set the box inside the house, we could still only get one local channel. A channel that was running coverage of Fay all day. The fact that Disney will re-run the Cheetah girls until each and every member of most households in the world know the words to all the songs didn't seem to comfort the drama queens who live in my house.

The only thing that distracted them was the tornado warning. There is only one room in our house that doesn't have a window. That's the closet in our toyroom. While there are no windows, there are shelves with stuff on them. Lots of stuff. Stuff that needs to go away. Stuff that, if it fell on your head in a tornado, would knock you unconscious. So we built a bunker in the corner of our toyroom. We propped a mattress in the corner, put pillows and blankets behind it and made plans to hide behind it in case of an impending tornado. The Princess was a bit disappointed that we didn't have a tornado. She said, "I would have liked to experience that." I think she really just wanted to experience hiding behind a mattress.

The winds have finally subsided, the threat of tornadoes seems to have passed, but the rain is still here.

We are so thankful that God protected us through this storm. Over 100,000 people in our area lost power. We never did. At least 10 deaths in the state of Florida have been attributed to Fay. Everyone we know is safe and sound. We are thrilled that Fay has finally left us alone. Unfortunately, she has moved on toward Georgia where our family and friends are. We are still praying for their safety.

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,

and he brought them out of their distress.

He stilled the storm to a whisper;

the waves of the sea were hushed.

They were glad when it grew calm,

and he guided them to their desired haven.

Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love

and his wonderful deeds for men.

Pslam 107:28-31

Thursday, August 7, 2008

  A Week Of Firsts

First, the Little Man rolled over (on Grandma's birthday):

Yes, the above pictures were staged because apparently he only planned to roll over the one time. He hates tummy time, so when he realized that's where rolling over gets you, he looked at us, smiled, and flipped right on over to his back again.

Next came the first bite of rice cereal:

I can't be certain, but I'm pretty sure he was thinking something along the lines of, "Seriously? You people eat ALL DAY and this is what it's like? I was expecting something a little more like the Cool Whip my Uncle Dev put on my paci last month. Where is he anyway? Because this stuff is NASTY!"

Then E was looking out the back window saying, "Mommy, come look." Now, if I stopped what I was doing every time she said this, I would never accomplish anything, and I would have looked at approximately 985,632 lizards over the past few years. This time she insisted I come look. And this is what I saw on top of our water slide:

Monday, August 4, 2008

  I Wish That I Was Jessie's Girl

I turned 40 back in January. Exactly 50 days before giving birth to the Little Man. Needless to say, I wasn't in any condition to go out and celebrate. Now, I've said before that God allowed me to have a baby at 40 for many reasons. I believe this weekend was one of those reasons. If I had been able to celebrate my birthday in January, my sister never would have planned this weekend.

When I was about 14, I was in L-O-V-E, love with Rick Springfield. I had the albums (yes, actual vinyl albums), listened to them all. the. time., and Jolee, one of my bff's, and I went to our very first concert when he was performing in a nearby town. Her daddy dropped us off, then picked us up after the concert was over. It was a little taste of freedom for us, and we loved every minute of it. We rushed the stage, and stood there wanting, more than anything, just to be touched by Rick. There was a barrier built about five feet from the actual stage. Body guards paced to and fro in the space between the stage and the barrier. Obviously, Rick was in fear for his life, afraid of the thundering herd of teenage girls that was baring down on me and Jolee, pressing us against that barrier. We were glued to our spots and wouldn't have moved for any amount of cash money. We did not, however, get to touch Rick.

Flash forward 25 years. My sister called me months ago and asked what I would be doing the weekend of August 1st. Knowing that is in fact her anniversary, I wasn't sure how to answer. Was her next question going to involve a fantastic weekend get-a-way while I watched her three kids? Trying to keep an escape route open, I said, "I'm not sure." When she said she was asking because RICK SPRINGFIELD would be performing at the Frederick Brown, Jr. Amphitheater, a/k/a The Fred, in Peachtree City, a mere hour and a half from her house, and she wanted to take me as a belated celebration of my birthday, I said, "OH, I am so there."

I have been looking forward to this weekend for months now. I planned to lose my baby weight before seeing Rick. Hey, a girl can dream, right? I spent a few hours in the mall with Little Man in tow trying to find the perfect outfit for an outdoor concert in Georgia in August. An outfit that would be cool and comfortable and yet still hide the baby weight that I didn't really even attempt to lose and yet not make me appear to still be six months pregnant. An outfit that was perfectly priced (read extremely deeply discounted extra percentage off the clearance price). I was beside myself. Not only would I get to go to see my sisters new house...GORGEOUS, by the way...I would get to see Rick again. So, I packed up my girls, left the Little Man with his Daddy and his Nana (Daddy had to work most of the weekend, so Nana got the bulk of the baby care duties) and drove the six hours to my sister's house. In the rain. At night. On a road I hate.

Saturday arrived, and after at least half an hour with my flat iron, putting on our carefully chosen outfits, and kissing our kids goodbye as two of them whined that they didn't want their mommies to leave them, we left my sister's house, drove to Peachtree City and had dinner at Carrabba's. With no kids. A treat all by itself.
I also had an Italian Wedding Cake Martini, which was dee-vine.

We had decided to stop somewhere for a bottle of wine and some cheese and crackers to munch on during the concert. For those of you who have never been to Peachtree City, they have a sign ordinance of some sort prohibiting businesses from, you know, actually advertising their location. In other words, if you don't know where it is, you're probably not going to find it.

We got directions to the Super Wal~Mart from the Carrabba's manager. He was apparently directionally challenged. We stopped at a convenience store, where we got directions to Publix, complete with my pointing and saying, "You mean go that way?", and agreement from the clerk that that was, in fact, where he meant for us to go. No luck. Finally, we took a left turn for no other reason than it looked like something had to be over that hill, and we found the Super Wal~Mart. As soon as we turned into the parking lot, we saw very dark ominous clouds heading our way. Knowing that umbrellas aren't allowed at The Fred, we decided it would be a good idea to purchase rain ponchos to go with our wine, and lucked into finding two that matched our carefully chosen outfits. I, of course, was horrified that my hair was going to curl. We managed to get back into the car right before the heavy rain started. Lightening was popping all around us.

I was terrified that they would cancel the concert, so I called Pajama Mama, my own personal meteorologist, who assured me that the system would pass rather quickly. Now, had we not been wandering aimlessly looking for a bottle of wine, we would have arrived at The Fred on time, been caught in the downpour without ponchos that matched our outfits, ended the night drippy wet and curly headed. Never question the little annoyances in your life. You don't see the big picture. Another God thing?

By the time we arrived at The Fred and found a parking spot, the lightening had basically moved away from us, and the rain had stopped. We found out from our new friend, Brad, the policeman that they had made everyone take cover for a while during the worst of the weather, but that they were in the process of drying off the seats and the show would go on. Cue huge sigh of relief. When we asked Brad if the opening act was any good, his response was, "Well, let me ask you this. How much did you have to drink before you got here?"

Once we found our seats, which weren't exactly dry, but we had our handy dandy outfit matching ponchos to sit on, we broke out the wine, and "enjoyed" the opening act, a group of four lawyers from Peachtree City who sponsor The Fred and are therefore allowed to perform. Once the lawyers finished their four or five song set, Rick's stage people started getting set up. It seemed to take f-o-r-e-v-e-r. I had been waiting months for this, and I really didn't think I could take another second. Once the show started, it was well worth the wait.

Worth the fear of being struck dead by all the lightening.

Worth the sad faces on the two kids who didn't want to be left behind.

Worth the half hour with the flat iron.

Worth the hours in the mall looking for just the right outfit.

Worth the six hour drive in the rain at night on the road I hate.

Worth missing my baby and the fear that he would sprout teeth, roll over, learn to talk, run a marathon and write a novel over the three days I was away from him.

Even worth turning 40.

Rick is no longer set apart from his fans by a barricade and pacing body guards. Nope, now he jumps right down into the audience. I guess that's the difference in having teenage fans and having 40something fans. He jumped from table to table. He sampled someone's fondue. He took pictures with fans (even though the rules of The Fred state that cameras aren't allowed and therefore I didn't have one!). He tried to borrow a cell phone and call someone's friend (no good cell service at The Fred). He accepted water bottles from his fans. He strummed his guitar with roses, creating showers of petals. He pulled a 7 year old girl up on stage to sing "Don't Talk To Strangers". He made fun of himself. He teased his fans. And to top it all off, he looks like this......... 58!

Makes being 40 seem pretty ok. Even if I still didn't get to actually touch him! Yet!