Finding calm in the chaos

Finding calm in the chaos

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

F is for FAIR!!

Last Friday, we decided to put on our big girl panties and brave the Nez Perce County Fair. Prior to this year, the fair has seemed a) expensive and b) exhausting, but Sam has been talking about the fair for about 3 weeks now nonstop. Every day we'd see the fair being set up and the carnival rides unfolding as we drove to daycare. "F" is their letter of the week at preschool..."which means FAIR, you know, Mom", as Sam informed me. So, we planned to do it all: view the exhibits, visit the animals, listen to some music, ride the rides and eat some fair food.
There were quite a few politicians campaigning at the Fair. Senator Dan was one of them. My fellow Democrats didn't get a lot of love from the fairgoers, so Sam and I stopped to see "President Obama" and offered him some of our caramel corn. Later, Sam said, "You know, he wasn't real...right, Mom?". Right, kiddo.

We dropped $80 on wristbands for our entire family. I decided I would ignore the carnival's rule that pregnant riders were not allowed...otherwise, ND wouldn't have anyone to ride with. It's not like we were riding the Zipper or anything.  I wore a loose shirt and tried to look "fat" and not "pregnant". It worked...no one kicked me off the rides. (I did practice saying, "No! I'm not pregnant!" indignantly at home before we left).

Sam LOVED the petting zoo. He petted and hugged every animal there. ND HATED the petting zoo--except for the tortoise and the camel.

ND driving a car. I was surprised she would ride any rides by herself since she can be anxious about new situations, but she had a great time on the rides. Sam, of course, loved every single ride. There was no ride to scary or fast for him...which made his Dad ready to puke by the end of the day.

Sam wanted to be a cowboy going to the fair and dressed accordingly. ND picked out her own outfit, too, and no amount of reasoning could tell her that tights and a sweater were probably not a good idea for a hot September day...and her white dress shoes would soon be black at the fair. Another lesson in picking my battles with that girl.

This picture is entitled "Cheap Crap You Waste Your Money on at the Fair". That's a light saber for Sam and a light up binky for ND. (Thanks, Lala). Their bedrooms look like a disco. I take a little consolation in the fact that the light saber is already broken in half and I am sure the batteries in the binky will only last a few more days.

We had a great time at the fair and arrived home dirty and exhausted. Joe and I put the kids to bed and then immediately climbed into bed ourselves, eager to rest our aching old bodies. Next year we're hiring spry young teenagers to take our children on the carnival rides while we gorge ourselves on fair food.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

9 years of wedded bliss

Today is our ninth wedding anniversary. Nine years ago, we were two lovestruck youngsters who giggled when our priest mentioned that marital teamwork involved changing diapers and washing dishes. Now, we are two much wiser and older people...who are drowning in diapers and dirty dishes. So, amidst the chaos of our daily life, we decided to celebrate our anniversary with a lunch date to Red Lobster.

I, as usual, was running late at work, so I texted Joe with my order and met him there about 15 minutes late. We chowed down our food parent-style: silent shoveling it in as fast as you can. I realized we were done eating in about 15 minutes.

Jen: Now what are we going to do?
Joe: Well, I suppose we could talk.

(Yes, this is how dates go these days...)

My phone rang and I ignored it, seeing it was Lala. Never one to be put off by voicemail, Lala then texted me. "R u at lunch?"

Wanting to put a quick stop to the phone and get back to my date with Joe, I texted her back. "Yes. Date w/ Joe. Anniversary today."

Lala: Forgot. Head congestion and asthma. Congrats.

Me: Thx.

Lala: Where r u?

Me: Red Lobster. But we r almost done. It's a date.

Phone silence for a few minutes. Joe and I chitchat for awhile.

Lala: Coming.

Two minutes later, Lala shows up, smiling and happy to crash our lunch date, eat my leftovers, and prattle on about how these last 9 years have flown by.

Since we've moved back to Lewiston, sometimes it's like we have three people in our marriage.

Happy anniversary, Joe...and Lala.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Kaufman kid campout

It's been a pretty crappy summer for our family between me growing a baby and Joe taking care of everything else. So, when I got the feeding tube out, Joe and I thought we'd squeeze in a last single bit of summer fun for our kids with a Labor Day camp out. We thought we'd manage one single night of camping at the Poxleitners' pond in Keuterville. We packed juice boxes, snacks and sandwiches because it was too dry to have a campfire...and besides, who wants to worry about babies falling in the campfire all weekend?
 
Joe did 99.9% of the packing, loading and planning. I put on the one pair of leggings that fit and told him I was ready to go. Lampie makes me super heated so I was pretty sure leggings, a Tshirt and a sweatshirt would suffice. Turns out it's really, really cold on the prairie and NO amount of pregnant can keep you warm at night.
I didn't feel so hot, so I mainly sat in this chair and ate snacks.

ND climbed in and out of the back of the Pilot about 500 times.

Sam was EXCITED! TO! GO! CAMPING!

He picked up EVERY! STICK! AND! ROCK! in a 1/2 mile radius and hauled them back to our campsite. THIS IS A SHIELD!

Lampie and I napped for a while and tried to coax ND into a nap. She mainly just wanted to try out her cot and climb in and out...in and out...in and out.

THIS IS A STUMP! OR A TABLE! OR A JUMPING PLACE! I LOVE CAMPING!

It started to cool down pretty quickly towards dusk, so Sam put on his all time favorite hoody. Lala bought it. It's supposed to be some sort of flight suit w/ mask deal, but really, he looks like a creepy WWF wrestler. He loves the thing. And, it kept him warm.

Pretty view

Sweet girl was excited and ready for bed. I was happy because I was ready for bed, too. Turns out ND didn't really want to sleep anywhere but her own crib. It was a LONG cold night of wrestling Baby Girl into her sleeping bag, our sleeping bag, kicking Joe out of bed onto ND's cot, inviting Joe back to our bed to warm us up in the cold, putting on ND's hat because she was cold and crying, wrestling her back into the sleeping bag.

Morning finally arrived, cold and bright. I stayed in bed while Joe made hot cocoa for the troops.

A happier ND in the daytime.

The kids' favorite part of the entire camping trip was riding in a little rowboat the Poxleitners keep at the pond. I rowed Sam around for a bit, but it turns out Joe (who seems to have a natural talent for most things) was better at it. I sat with the benched child on shore and snapped a few pictures. Both kids got a turn paddling and loved it!

After we packed up, we headed to the Calamity Cafe in Winchester for lunch and lemon meringue pie...yum!

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

stuff my kid says

We have a portable DVD player in the car, but our rule is we can only use it for long trips, not for short trips around town. We'd gone to Spokane recently and I kept forgetting to take the DVD player out of the car.

Day 1:
Sam: Mom, you keep forgetting to take out the movie! Why do you keep forgetting to take out the movie?
Me: (sigh). I don't know, Sam.
Sam: (pause). I know.
Me: Why?
Sam: Because you're a busy mom and you have a lot of things to do.

I smile because, well, this is true.

Day 2:
Sam: Mom, you forgot the movie again! Why did you forget the movie AGAIN/
Me: (sigh). I don't know, Sam.
Sam: (thinks for awhile). Is it because you have a slow brain?

I laughed out loud...because, unfortunately, this is also true.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Sunday, September 02, 2012

The reception (part 5...the final episode)

The reception was held at Marc's grandparents house. Let me say this: these people really know how to host a party! Marc & Lauren arranged for shuttles to take people from the beach back to the hotel, which was nice because a) the drive was long and b) if I weren't pregnant, I would have gotten a little boozy and wanted a ride home. There were so many thoughtful touches in this backyard reception...I'm thinking about hiring Marc's grandma if we have any other weddings in the future.


Those Crazy Eddys...and their fat, fat baby. This was the most we saw of Ellie all night. The Filipinos passed her around constantly.

The Cool Kids' Table. Lauren told us herself this is where she sat her young married friends with kids. I'm sure she meant we were the Cool Kids...not all her young single friends who partied it up next to the DJ.

A picture frame for guests to sign.

There was lots of wine and beer. LOTS. It might have equaled out to a bottle of wine per guest.

First dance.

Daddy-daughter dance. (I was trying a different setting on my camera; it was a flop).

Mother-son dance. During the dances, they had slideshows of their childhood pictures playing in the background...another tearjerker...except the pictures of Lauren when she thought she was a dog named Butch. That was a long childhood phase for her. Seeing those pictures just made all the sisins laugh. I'm glad she grew out of that and became a productive member of society.

Again with the thoughtful touches: Marc's grandma set up a playhouse with dolls and trucks and had a special kids' table with a lollipop centerpiece, coloring books, and other kid goodies.

Cake...

...in the face.

Noah had a rough time after dinner when he got stung by a bee right in the middle of his forehead (the next day, he looked like a prize fighter and could barely open his eyes), but recovered and made up for lost time by dancing with all the single ladies.

Catching the bouquet!
 (Doesn't Lauren look lovely? Again, can you believe she used to think she was a dog?? Seriously...she would carry things in her mouth and walk on all fours. I digress... :)

The garter toss "winner"