Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Friday, May 27, 2011

girls' day out

Last Saturday, we put Joe & Kevin on kid-wrangling duty and Amy & I set off for a girls' day out. We started the morning with a quick stop for a laser hair treatment with Tancie. (Tancie and I bought these groupons for 6 laser hair sessions for $99, so it gives me an excuse to head up to Spokane once in awhile). Then Amy and I took for a long-awaited workshop on...

...CLOGGING!

If you've known me since high school, you know what clogging is. If not, watch this video.

Amy found a group of cloggers in Spokane and joins them for an evening of clogging on Thursdays whenever her schedules allow. Once a year, they have a guest instructor come for an all-day clogging lesson. So, I ordered some clogging shoes, sweet-talked our husbands, and got ready for a day of dancing.

I haven't danced for about 10 years, so I was a little bit rusty, but we had a great time. We stayed for the whole thing, even surviving the afternoon of intermediate-advanced clogging with Buck and Canadian steps (more intricate styles with more steps per beat). It was so fun to dance with Amy. We were, by far, the youngest people there. Most of the cloggers in Amy's group are in their 60s and each of them welcomed me with the same grandparently fondness they already have for Amy.

Being twins has its advantages. Our style of dance is pretty identical, so even without any practice, we match up like a precision team. This was kind of impressive for some of the other attendees and we found ourselves with an invitation to compete on a team in Colville! (We declined, though, due to our busy mom lives).

Five hours later, we had danced our toes off. We drove downtown straight from the workshop in our sweaty clogging clothes, where we met Tancie at Wild Sage. We started with some delicious drinks (Amy: lavendar infused vodka cocktail; Tancie: cucumber martini; me: spicy lemonade with sage and jalapenos). Then, we had some appetizers to share: white cheddar fondue, poblano-artichoke dip, and Amy's favorite--Yukon taquitos. We split two salads. And then, we had a strawberry shortcake and huckleberry-caramel streusel for dessert. Yum!

By the end of dinner, the five hours of dancing had settled into our bones and we were pretty stiff so it was a challenge to climb off our tall chairs!

I say we make this an annual tradition. Thanks, Joe & Kevin, for being such good husbands and letting us have girl times like this!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sam's birthday Part Three: horsefarm

On Sunday last week, we awoke feeling refreshed because Andie finally cleared her ear infection and slept through the night for the third or fourth time in her life. (Don't worry, she's been tugging at her ears and returning to her bad-sleepin' baby ways this week, so we aren't getting TOO much sleep). So, we headed up to Keuterville to visit Glen & Loretta's Horse Farm (named so by Kate & Glory).

Loretta did a nice job blogging about our adventures, so you can read about them here and here and here. But, I'll share a few of my pictures, too.



Five men and a little lady.Ellea and Ben



Nicole, holding one big bottle! Sam watches in amazement as the calf guzzles down his milk. Kate (blue coat) and Glory (pink coat) are pretty impressed with the water bucket.Glory riding a horse.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Sam's birthday Part Two: presents and cake

After our Tour of Trucks, we headed home for a BBQ, followed by cake and presents. The kids had hot-dog-and-tater-tot kebabs with ketchup for dipping (don't worry, they had apple slices and spinach, too!) while us grown-ups had burgers and salad.

Then, it was pinata time! One of my coworkers made this pinata and I filled with tons of annoying dollar store toys for the Eddy children to take home to their parents. It took quite a bit of whacking for that thing to bust open, but when it did, everyone scrambled to fill their bags with goodies.

Sam had lots of help opening his presents. He still doesn't understand that whatever the box says, it doesn't necessarily mean that's what his present is. His first present was wrapped in an old Pull-Up box and as he ripped off the paper, he yelled, "Pull-Ups! I got Pull-Ups!". (Amy said, "I've never seen a kid so excited about Pull-Ups." Fortunately, it was a sleeping bag from Andie. We're ready for some camping this summer.)

Next, a box of Huggies, holding a bike helmet and knee pads from Lala.
Then, (drumroll, please), a bike!






The Stroscheins and Mary Kate showed up for the after-party and brought some awesome presents and...(drumroll, please) a trike! Now, Sam has two sets of wheels to ride. What a lucky birthday boy.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sam's birthday Part One: farm trucks

For Sam's birthday party, I wanted to take all the Co-op Kids to the library because the libary was holding Truck Day, an annual event where kids get to climb in and out of all sorts of big trucks. Alas, Truck Day only went from 2-4p and we were scheduled to have church pictures taken at 4p, so I nixed that plan.

Fortunately, being married to a farm kid has its upsides. We loaded up the kids and headed over to Papa Kaufman's shop to try out all the farm trucks there.

The riding lawn mower was pretty fun.

All the kids liked the excavator.

Throw in an old fishing boat.

And the fun just continues...stay tuned.




Monday, May 23, 2011

all aboard the cousin train!

Team Eddy was down for Sam's birthday and Noah had the brilliant idea of hooking up all the riding toys and creating a train. Some of the Middles and Little had trouble riding and hanging on, so Ninang had to join the train to keep it together.



Andie can ride, too!


Friday, May 20, 2011

Easter eggs

Andie awoke from her nap on the grumpy side. I think I might, too, if I'd been sleeping peacefully and my mom shuttled me upstairs to greet 25 new faces. But, she finally perked up when we started hunting Easter eggs. Wendi would find the eggs, collect them in her basket, and throw them on the ground just in front of Andie. Andie would smile with delight and snatch that egg up.
Sam, on the other hand, took off after those eggs with a vengeance. He recruited Papa and Jeff to help him with the hard to reach ones.



Some Easter-egg-hunters preferred a more leisurely outlook on egg hunting.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Easter

We continued our Easter celebration the next day by taking Andie & Sam to Easter Sunday Mass. I spent the entire Mass earning my place in Heaven by wrangling Daughter. She was a challenge. She kept trying to throw a tantrum on the altar and even managed to escape once due to her super-slick Easter dress. A long-time family friend was sitting across from us at church and came by at the end to shake her head and say, "You certainly have your hands full."

We ran into a couple of choir members at the grocery store, who commented on Andie's precocious temper tantrum-throwing ability. I bit my tongue and decided just to smile and say, "Yes, she's very advanced for her age."

And, then, we were off to the Kaufmans' for our annual Easter celebration. Lots of good food, fairly nice weather, music, and Easter eggs to hunt (see next post).


Aunt Teenie and Ellea let Andie join their card game.

Hal and Glen, enjoying the nice weather. (It was still snowing on the prairie).



Phil & the PK fan club played some form of stickball with a plastic shovel.


The boys made some music.


Ellea and Ben


Ellea, Loretta, and Wendi snuggle with Ben.

Andie added Nicole to the list of "People Andie Likes".

Terri, John, Nicole and Fred stuff Easter eggs.


Those Kaufman cousins and their matching binkies.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

happy third birthday, Sam!

Dear Sam,


Happy third birthday! Three years ago, you joined our little family (you can see Sam's birth story here and here). You've grown from a tiny little baby into a rough and tumble, energetic, happy three year old.

You are fiercely physical kid. You give great big bear hugs. You JUMP! You RUN! You TACKLE! Mostly, we enjoy this exuberance. Sometimes, though, it lands you into time out when your friends find they don't like being tackled or hit. Being hurt or hit does little to slow you down, though; on Easter, you got hit in the head twice with a croquet ball, but instantly stopped crying and said, "All better" when I advised you to take a break from playing and put ice on your head.


Your top interests include anything to do with farming, monster trucks, and tractors. Your favorite songs are "Jingle Bells" and "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer". What you lack in musicality, you make up for with sheer enthusiasm and volume. You also frequently request songs to be made up on the fly about whatever topic currently holds your fancy, such as vampires (thanks, Scooby-Doo) or big guns.

You're a good big brother to Andie. Most mornings, you sit on the couch and pat beside you, saying, "She loves to sit by me" and hold her hand. You always ask her why she's crying and try to make it better. You share your toys with her when asked. You've started to say, "I love you, Mom", unprompted, which melts my heart.


You love to play and laugh. You have a fantastic imagination and are developing more complex stories about your toys. We can typically talk you into doing anything as long as we make it a game or get you laughing. On the other hand, demanding you do something has little effect.


Potty-training still eludes us, but I'm hopeful it will happen sometime soon.


You are a joy to have as a son. You add so much to our family and we are so thankful to be your mom and dad.


Love,

Mom and Dad

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Easter Vigil

Whew! I'm really behind...I need to catch up on Easter pictures still. So, welcome to a 3-part series that recaps our Easter celebration.

We started by attending Easter Vigil. Aunt Teenie joined the Church, so all the Kaufmans (minus Sam & Andie--it was WAY past their bedtime) got to enjoy the 3 hour long Mass. I haven't been to Easter Vigil since I was in college; it's too late and too long for our babies. But, Ben was his usual smiley self. He particularly liked ringing the bells during church.

And, here's the one nice picture I got of Steve and Christina. She picked Elizabeth Ann Seton as her confirmation saint.









Monday, May 16, 2011

off in Lala-land

My job has been a little trying lately and I've been a little whiny at home lately. The other night, I was feeling crabby and was extraordinarly irritated by the fact that instead of coming to bed with me, Joe was up visiting with my mother.


Me: When you do things like that, I feel like my mom's a whole lot more interesting than me.

Joe: No, of course she's not. (soothe, placate, etc., etc.)


The following night, Joe & I were sipping hot cocoa on the couch, getting ready to go to bed, when my mother waltzes in the door. (She keeps ridiculously late hours, coming home at 9 or 10pm...at least they seem ridiculously late for the parents of two young children!).

Lala: Wait! Before you go to bed, I need you to help me pick out a costume for the Chatauqua. Dan and I are supposed to hand out programs.

Me: How long is this going to take? We need to go to sleep. Andie's going to be up soon, you know.

Lala: Oh, just a few minutes.


So, she proceeds to try on several period-costumes. After the second or third costume, I start giggling and can't stop.


Joe: What? What?

Me: You know what? My mom IS more interesting than me!

balloon swords

Sam's been WAY into pirates lately. He watched a particularly riveting episode of Backyardigans and can't stop saying, "You must walk the plank!". So, when Art Under the Elms featured a balloon animal artist, we quickly requested a balloon sword.

Andie settled for her own version of a sword: a long pink balloon.

And then, the sword fighting started!