Monday, July 27, 2009

Say Cheese!

The last time I took the kids to get pictures together was about 2 years ago. I had taken Ben when he turned two, but they were way overdue to get pictures. Call it nesting, call it checking things off my mental to-do list, but I knew if I didn't take them before the baby came it would not happen.

I know Emily will get school ones done, but I can't count on them to turn out nice nor would I get any of her and Ben. So, I needed to head to Sears. In this small town, it's Sears or Walmart or a professional studio that is out of our price range.

I dread doing this, from the outfits to the hair to their shoes, it raises my blood pressure 20 points just thinking about it. I had a rough night, a really rough night. I was up by 1:00 with some pains under my rib cage, maybe it was muscles stretching or a foot, in any case I was up for over 4 hours in pain. Then, right when I was about to fall asleep one of the dogs went diarrhea all over the bedroom carpet. David had gotten coerced to sleep with Emily which is normally fine by me as I sleep better if I can have all my pillows lined up on each side. But, when the dog has an accident and I'm in pain, the last thing I wanted to be doing at 5 AM is steam cleaning the carpets. Of course, David lectured me that I should've woke him up, but I didn't. He came in at 6 right as I was finishing up and pretty much at my wits end. He called in sick today. Luckily that meant he got to help me with the kids pictures.

We get there and I quickly find out the trainee is taking our pictures and the manager is helping the previous customers. Oh no. This always happens. We get the newbie and nothing ever comes out right. After about 10 minutes, she had snapped the camera twice. Then she asked the kids what they wanted to do and she told them to say "cheese" followed by a "please". I'm thinking this is not going to work. My blood pressure went up another 20 points. Luckily, the manager finished up and came in to rescue the photo shoot.

The kids went from this:


To this:


The rest of the pictures were great and luckily David whisked the kids off to the play area in the mall while I sifted through pictures. Two hours later, we left happy.

Here are some of my favorites:






This is Ben's normal expression:



Thursday, July 23, 2009

That's Love

Have I mentioned how wonderful my husband is? It's true. I can reach my toes, but not well enough to paint them. He did a pretty good job. I was a little scared at first when he said, "I just dab and pull it towards me?" I guess a guy doesn't instinctively know how to paint fingernails. He's hired though for the next 2 months.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Who Needs A Gym?

This is David's new nightly biceps and triceps workout.

video

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Name Game

We have a little more than 2 months left before the arrival of this little guy and we still don't have a name picked out. It's not that we don't agree on names, but it's just nothing is popping out.

With Emily, I liked Emma and Ella. David wanted more traditional and we went with Emily. Then, I told my Aunt Rosie the name who suggested that Rose would be a nice middle name. We loved it right away. All set. If Emily had been a boy, we would've named her Noah Michael.

I don't remember who suggested Benjamin for our little man, but we both agreed on that. His middle name is David for obvious reasons. I realize for me, names are attached to people I've known. Noah was this hunky tall drink of water on All My Children in the early 90's. I thought he was hot and a bit of a bad boy, so I like the name because it reminds me of him. Same thing with Ben, the unattainable guy on the show Felicity that I used to watch. Sometimes I hear a name and think oh no, I knew a girl/boy in school with that name and they smelled like feet or whatever. It's funny how names become so synonymous with a particular person.

If the baby in my belly were a girl, we were going to name her Allison Elizabeth. Allison was (and is) this wonderfully fun cute girl that was on cheer with me. Elizabeth was my best childhood friend who died after I finished high school. It was simple. Until we found out the baby in my belly has a penis.

We still like Noah after almost 6 years, but it's not giving us the wow factor because it's been on the back burner for 6 years. We've gone over a few other names...Samuel, Luke, Jacob... I'm a stickler on what the shortened version is as I know that always happens. I know in this small country town Jacob will turn into Jake. Not that there is anything wrong with Jake, but we like Jacob. I've never called my husband Dave, but we'll meet people and within a minute, he goes from David to Dave. I'm pretty sure at this point that we will stick with Noah. It says something that we still like it after all this time. However, we are leaning towards Gregory for a middle name after David's maternal grandfather.

We also have a difficult last name. It doesn't flow with everything. Also, I'm not about to do a difficult first name paired with a difficult last name. We always have to pronounce and spell it for everyone. So, we need something simple for a fist name that is clear cut.

We aren't into weird spellings or gender neutral names either. I met a lady who told me her daughter was also Emily, but spelled Emmaleigh. Are you kidding me? Then, Emily wanted me to paint her nails because Teegan wears blue nail polish. I thought what Mom is painting her sons fingernails. Teegan is a girl. Didn't know that. In any case, we are traditional and won't come up with anything too crazy.

Speaking of, I ran into a Mom and her son in Walmart the other day. Her son was in Emily and Ben's gymnastics class. We chatted for a minute when she said we should exchange numbers to keep in touch and try to get the kids in the same class. She's friendly enough, so that was fine. I programmed her number in my cell and told her I'd call her. We hadn't exchanged names at that point, so we got that formality over with. We finished chatting and said goodbye when she said, "Bye Ruby, it was great to see you." Ruby? My name is Ruby? I didn't correct her though because I kind of liked it. To me the name Ruby conjures up an image. Ruby is fun. Ruby is beautiful. Ruby is the life of the party. I long to be Ruby one day after I deliver this baby.

It proves that a name means a lot. Now if only we could come up with one...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pirates

One of Emily and Ben's favorite things to do is play pirates. They gather treasure and use a cardboard paper towel roll as a telescope. They were playing pirates in the living room tonight and David and I were watching So You Think You Can Dance.

We hear Ben cry. We know the difference between she took my toy and I'm seriously hurt cry. We were off the sofa in about a second. Ben is holding the side of his face by his eye. We ask Emily what happened and she said he fell and hit his face. We can tell when she is lying. They needed another telescope, so they got the hose attachment from the vacuum cleaner. They do this sometimes, but a fight must have broken out over it and she whacked him.

She admitted what she did and was sent to her room (with a spanking to follow). She won't be doing that again anytime soon. Ben had a welt across his forehead and by his eye along with a little cut above his eyebrow. She clocked him good.

While David was "tending" to Emily, I was consoling Ben. He stopped his sobs for a moment, lifted his head off my shoulder, with tears streaming down his face and pooling in his eyes he said, "We need to make Mymy (his name for her) walk the plank!"

Captain Jack Sparrow would be proud.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Big Kid

Monday night we went to a neighbors house that lives a block away. They are one of those fun neighbors that everyone wishes they had. We actually lucked out and have them. They do fun parties and spontaneous get togethers. I actually had to go to one of their parties to meet some of my neighbors that live on my own block. I don't know how they know everyone, but they do. Actually, I do know...he's a pediatric dentist, they have 4 kids, the kids play sports, it's a small town, they are super friendly... Anyway, it was no surprise when I got a call Sunday night inviting us to celebrate national ice cream month the following night at their house. Friends, ice cream, I'm in.

The kids had a blast. They dug out a huge hole, so their trampoline is flush with the grass. That ought to cut down on injuries and it makes it more fun to not have to climb on top of it all the time. They also had this great horse swing made from tires that Emily just could not get enough of. There were kids everywhere, laughing, sweaty, sticky from ice cream and in the middle of all the kids playing is my husband. He's taken up a game of soccer with Josh, a friend of ours 7 year old boy. David couldn't get enough.

Tonight (well last night, I'm writing at 4 AM more on that in another post), we went to the clubhouse pool after dinner. It's small and cold, but it's better than nothing. We met up with our friends and us Mom's are gabbing a mile a minute. Emily is swimming around with her friend Alanah. Ben is sitting in the hot tub preparing for his role on the Bachelor season 47. That kid loves a hot tub. We have to make him get out every few minutes because he looks like he's about to fall asleep.

Then, I hear the kids...a big group of 8 of them yelling, "David, throw it here." And I turn to get a glimpse of this kid David when I realize it's my husband. He's on one side of the pool playing ball with 8 kids. This went on for a good 30 minutes until Josh was leaving and had to take his ball with him.

David has always been very hands on with our kids, but I don't think I ever realized that he is just a big kid himself. Just another thing to love about him...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Today's Favorite

Last night we played musical beds. Emily has caught a wicked cold and we are calling her "Wheezy" because she makes noise whenever she inhales. We are thinking this is what Ben had (just not as bad) and why his ear hurt last weekend. Emily wanted to sleep with her Dad last night and really anything goes when your babies aren't feeling well, including letting her have ice cream for lunch.

David walked into our room at 1:00 in the morning with Ben saying he was calling me and coughing. So, now Ben is in my bed and David goes into Ben's bed trying to get a break from Wheezy. She was on to him and came to find him and drag him back to her bed within an hour.

Then, the dog wanted out at 4:30. Mind you I've gotten up about 5 times during the last 6 hours just to go to the bathroom. And that was it for me, I couldn't go back to sleep. The baby in my belly is so active and I swear he will be a boxer (over my dead body) or maybe he'll be the next star of Riverdance. That won't mess up his pretty face. I'm signing him up for clogging now.

The sun had just started to come up, so I laid there and watched Ben sleep. His eyes were closed of course, but he has the sweetest eye lashes. Yeah, I know they look just like mine, but I've never seen my lashes closed. His are also thicker and darker, so they really stand out.

My favorite thing today is Ben's eyes.

Seriously, click on the picture and look at his right eye (the one that's in focus). Those are some unbelievable lashes. It's almost a shame that they will never see mascara, at least I hope not.

To complete our musical beds, David went for a walk with the dogs at 6:00 and Emily came into the bed with Ben and I. Of course, I was just starting to fall asleep. Wheezy wiggled for 30 minutes until I finally got up and put her on the sofa and turned on the TV. Then, I went to bed for an hour before David woke me up because he was leaving for work.

Ben kept sleeping in my bed, so I sat with Wheezy on the sofa while she watched TV and slept for an hour. I think all in all, I may have managed 7 hours of sleep, it just took 10-11 hours to do it. See, I'm all ready for a newborn.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bootylicious

My favorite thing today... my daughter in a unitard all ready for gymanstics. Beyonce has nothing on my girl!

Co-Author

Yesterday I took the kids to the library. They love going to the library. It seems they pick out the same books over and over, whatever is on the third row which is eye level for them. A whole new world of books will get opened up when the new library is finished in a few months and they have all different books on the third row, that and when they grow to see the fourth row.

They love the TV show Arthur. It's on PBS and about a groundhog or prairie dog or I really don't know what he is, but the kids like him and he's not completely annoying like the purple dinosaur. The series of Arthur books are located on the third row, so we always come home with at least one Arthur book.

Last night after dinner, I was doing the dishes and David and Emily were sitting at the dining room table reading the new Arthur book she checked out. It's about Arthur's little sister, D.W., and manners. So, I'm half listening to David read the story..

"When I sneeze, burp or fart, I say "excuse me, please".

I'm laughing to myself thinking that will be a hit at playgroup next time.

Then, David reads, "At bedtime, instead of being a pain and saying I'm not tired, I read books - even though I can't read yet. And I always stay in my room. And I never come out to wake up my Mommy and Daddy..."

I'm thinking this is a fantastic book for Emily when I realize that David is hesitating a little while he thinks up more lines to add to the book to fit Emily's bedtime situation.

And you know what?

She stayed in her room all night and didn't come out once. I knew my husband was a genius.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Impressive

I sent an e-mail regarding the great flood to the City of Prescott Valley on Monday but didn't get a response. I sent the same e-mail to a code enforcer person for the city this morning. I got a response within 20 minutes that the land belonged to the school district. I forwarded them the same e-mail this morning thinking I'll hear back in a few weeks.

Guess who just knocked on my door? The superintendent of the school district. He was with 2 worker guys who wanted to see the backyard. They advised me of a drainage issue that was never finished up. Basically, the grading in that field all slopes toward our backyard. Usually, this would fall back on the home developer. But, they went out of business.

They assured me they are going to work with who owns the land to make sure it gets graded properly and that a faulty drainage cap gets taken care of.

I'm utterly shocked. This is the first time that anything in this town didn't fall on "country time", which is basically whenever someone gets around to it.

I needed this good news to pick me up after doing something this afternoon that I rather forget. The only thing worse than your dog having diarrhea on the carpet is having it happen when your husband isn't home. Her first "batch" was this morning and David got the joy of waking up to that. I got the second batch. Oh, and being 7 months pregnant and super sensitive to smells isn't a good thing either. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Fourth and Flood of July

We had a wonderful weekend. The fourth was a great day. We went swimming at our clubhouse pool now that it's finally warm enough. We ate some lunch and everybody took a nap on the sofa. Well, I think Ben just watched TV, but it was so nice to have peace and quiet for an hour.

Then the thunderstorms of all thunderstorms hit. It rained for about an hour. We had never seen so much rain fall in such a short amount of time. So much rain that our backyard was flooded. The water usually runs off and drains in a few hours. After the rain stopped, we noticed the flood in the backyard was increasing.

Here's why:
video

video

We have a field behind us that was meant for a Jr. High School, but due to all the economy stuff, it's been put on hold. Apparently, there is a little irrigation issue back there. It took over 5 hours for the water to stop draining through our fence. That can't be good. Another few storms like that and we won't have a fence.
The storm passed quickly and we headed off to a friends house for a barbecue. The kids had so much fun and didn't stop playing for 4 hours.

This is Ben having fun.


This is Ben eating popcorn. What is it with popcorn and french fries? You can't eat just one at a time.


This is why you shouldn't tell your kids that they have to smile for the camera before they can go play.


We left the barbecue in time to come home, get the kids in the bath and feed them. I don't know why they never eat at parties. I guess they are playing too hard. The food is always one of the best parts. Their loss. Then, we watched fireworks from our backyard. It's nice that we can see them so well without having to go anywhere or fight any crowds.

Now the long weekend is over. It was wonderful. Today, I have to call the Dr. because Ben seems to have gotten an earache from swimming on Saturday. And I need to contact the city to find out who exactly owns the land behind us, so I can contact them about grading it properly so it drains somewhere other than our backyard.

Reality stinks sometimes.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hiding in the Jungle

Almost every evening, I go through our jungle of a garden. I use a stick as there are too many creepy crawlies and I move leaves around to see if anything is growing.

Last night before the thunderstorm hit (which lightening from that storm also hit our motherboard on our computer and did something wacky to both of our air condtioning units, we have a techy friend that helped with the computer and the AC units just turned back on after an hour of not working, weird), I went outside with one of the kids' golf clubs and began poking around.

Look what we are having for dinner tonight:


No, not the children.

I knew we had a few green beans, but who knew there were this many! We call Emily the "green bean girl", so she was thrilled to help me gather all of these. She loves green beans.


I hadn't even seen this big guy growing. He's huge. I'm talking about the zucchini not my son, but I do think he hit a growth spurt lately too.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Tuckered Out

Today was a busy day. Such a busy day that I didn't get to take my afternoon nap. Yes, I, not the kids, nap every day. They watch TV and terrorize the house and I get to rest for an hour. Since nothing catches on fire, I think it's a win/win.

We went to the summer movie at our local Harkins Theatre, which we do every Wednesday. 10 movies for $7, can't beat it.

Then my cousin Denise, who lives in Chino Valley (which is about 20 minutes from here), invited us to their public pool. It was such a wonderful day. We are so used to the indoor pool at the YMCA that it was a nice change to lather on the sunscreen and soak up some sunshine.

I think the kids enjoyed themselves.





So much so that on the way home, this was their reaction. This is VERY unusual. I have to say I did a great job at tiring them out.


Then, we ordered pizza for dinner because who wants to cook after all of that?

Now, it is pouring rain and has been for over 2 hours. I love an evening thunderstorm. This means I will have zucchini the size of baseball bats in a week!

It was a glorious day.