Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Moments of Madness

It's been a really crazy few weeks. Month? I don't even know anymore. There's more than I can possibly sum up, so I'll try to get the highlights. Also, make sure to scroll on down for the rest of the posts I finally got up today. If I get lucky, I'll even get some details about Chloe's birthday slideshow written down.

I did flowers for 4 weddings in 3 weeks. It was fun, for the most part, but more than anything has made me grateful that I don't have to work outside the home. I love that I have a skill I can use to help support my family that doesn't take me away from them. It gives me a taste of how hard it must be for moms who can't stay home. I'm still trying to get caught up on everything else that needs doing around my house. Check out my floral blog for more pictures of what I've been up to. I also have all my contact info on that page.

In the midst of that craziness, I got two important post cards in the mail. One told me that I had not been selected as a contestant for Who Wants to be a Millionaire movie week. The other told me that I was in the contestant pool for the regular episodes of the show! It doesn't guarantee that I will be on the show, but it means I'm one step closer. Keep your fingers crossed for me, not only that I will be selected, but that if so, I will actually know the answers to the questions. Remember, the more I win, the more likely I will share with you:).

Especially since the first thing I wanted to buy with my winnings was a minivan. I no longer need to set aside money for that (beyond a standard monthly payment). When we first moved into our house, we planned to buy a new car within the first month or so. Then reality set in, and we decided to postpone those plans until the Explorer needed some sort of repair. I'm grateful for the additional year we got out of our 16 year old car, but in the last couple weeks, the brakes have abandoned their duties. We spent some time Friday and Saturday checking out our options, and on Saturday came home with a 2006 Toyota Sienna! I'm so excited. Forget coolness--I'm just thrilled with all the convenience. I am totally enamored of our new car, and it's 15+ cup holders. That is not an exaggeration. In our 8 seat car (we opted for the model with a removable 8th seat that can also be adjusted farther forward for easy access when we next need an infant seat) there are cupholders in each of the 4 doors, one on the front console, 4 in the flip down console, with another optional one in the storage area, 3 on the backseat, 2 more in the back of the folddown center seat, and 2 round indentions in the backs of the other 2 second row seats. When you add in the 2 cupholders on Chloe's booster seat, the one on Addie's seat, and the 6 in our double stroller, it's a bit ridiculous. Things have sure changed since they made our Explorer with its one shallow cupholder that didn't actually hold a cup upright. As soon as we got home with the new car, I immedately began cleaning our Mazda, and washing the carseat covers. I couldn't believe how dirty and gross everything else we have is when compared with the new car.

We drove down on Saturday to show Bracken's parents the car, and for an excuse to drive it some more. His dad had to go to church (he's Catholic and goes on Saturday nights to "beat the rush"), so we asked Janeth if she would like to go to Costco with us. She and Jack spend most of their time taking care of Syrus, Bracken's sister's son, and she doesn't get out often. When we got to the store, I found one of those electric carts for her since she doesn't get around very well. She was a bit apprehensive at first, but as soon as she got the hang of it, she was off. She zipped around Costco, enjoying her freedom. It honestly gave me a little thrill to see her having such a good time. I hope it's the first of many trips out for her now that she can handle the scooter.

Chloe has been in wedding heaven. She loves seeing all the "Princesses" and eating fondant. At one wedding, the cake layers were all edged in fondant balls, and she excitedly ate all of those. In the picture above she had speared the fondant layer off her piece of cake. A moment later, she had shoved the entire thing in her mouth. That's okay, though, since I only stopped shoveling delicious cheese into my mouth long enough to take the picture. Here's a cute picture from another wedding.

A couple weeks ago, I took her in for her 3 year old well child check. I made sure she was clean and well dressed so I could look like a good parent for at least a few minutes. Oh, but my hopes were dashed. The nurse asked me to take off all her clothes but her panties, and put a paper robe on her. Chloe took off her shirt, then started to pull down her shorts. She stopped, paused, looked inside, pulled them back up, looked inside again, then said, "Mom, no panties!" Great. I made sure all her outside was clean, but never considered that during one of her bathroom visits she might not put her underwear back on.

Lately she's been going to the bathroom entirely by herself, usually with a slam of the door and a "I do it myself!" I didn't think the need for privacy began quite this early, but she sure feels it. Most of the time, she does like to wear her underwear, though. She identifies them by the picture on them, telling me she wants to wear Tinkerbell, or Little Mermaid, or whatever. The other day, she reached in the drawer and said, "Tinkerbell, no, Joshie!" Her friend Josh wears training pants with contrasting trim, and lately she has been wanting to match him, at least in the underwear department. So now all her training pants are called "Joshie."

I had my largest mess ever courtesy of Chloe this week. At Bracken's second birthday party, we had a few friends over, and left them unsupervised in the backyard for a while while the adults played a game inside. They were later discovered scooping sand into the pool. Buckets of sand. Into my pool. Need I mention I was seeing red? First thing the next morning, I was in the pool, trying to vacuum all the sand out. When I stopped for a moment to throw a shock treatment in, I discovered that these little gremlins had also emptied all the bags of grass clippings over my RV area. I later found a freshly picked pumpkin as well. And do I need to mention all the sand that missed the pool and was dusting my plants and the ground all around? Four pool filters and 2 days later, and the water was mostly clear again. And my vision was back to around pink. I honestly don't know when I've been so angry and frustrated and tired.

But I have to give props to my sweet friend Ashley who showed up the next morning with hot chocolate and pastries and her little gremlin in tow to help clean up. (He insisted that they hadn't done anything with grass clippings, but they had fun playing with "hay.") I can't tell you how much that meant, or how much I treasure her friendship.

Addie just wants to be everywhere and do everything her sister does, even if I can't make head or tails of what Chloe is doing (see above for reference). This includes wanting to feed herself. She wants to hold the spoon herself, so you have to scoop up the food, hand the spoon to her, then stand back. She's actually more adept at getting it in there than I expect, but it's still a slow, messy endeavor. And she really prefers a spoon to her fingers, I think.

Addie has started standing occasionally, though I would be shocked if she actually took steps before her birthday. My friend Katie was over this week, and tried to encourage Addie in her walking. She picked Addie up and tried to put her feet on the ground to take some steps with her. Addie just held her feet off the ground, and couldn't be persuaded to try. She'll do it in her own time.

Lately I swear I'm hearing words out of her mouth, but I just can't quite believe it. She is just such a little charmer, though. Chloe has always kept more to herself, and been a little shy, but Addie will work a room. She just cruises along the furniture, grinning at everyone and babbling. We attended Katie's baby's blessing this weekend, and Addie kept everyone around us entertained (that's a nicer word than distracted, right?)


Missy Jurgens said...

I've said it before, Ashley totally rocks! Addie is getting so BIG! I can't believe she'll be ONE! Where does the time go?? Any chance I get to play in your new van? I sure miss you!

Sandy said...

Your flowers are gorgeous! I'm so impressed! However did you learn to do that? Probably just a further manifestation of your natural artsiness, but I'm still impressed:)

Your van sounds awesome! Now the question is...you have all those cupholders, but will you actually let the children bring drinks into your nice, new CLEAN van?:) I had grand hopes for our van when we got it a couple years ago. Now it smells like a wet dog (or wet kids, you can never be sure) and has enough snacks covering the floors to make a party mix.

LINDSAY said...

congrats on the van--aren't they the greatest??! I love Siennas--that is what I was really hoping on getting, but we ended up getting a really good deal on our odyssey. oh, well--I'm sure we will end up having more than one van in our life! But I hear you about all the cup holders...and sliding doors--I just LOVE them! Now you have an excuse for a road trip to UT--to break in your new van :)

Becca and Peter said...

Dang, Ruth. I knew you were cool, but Who Wants to be a Millionaire, gorgeous flowers, and a new car?! Wow. And I second the motion that you need to road trip to Utah to break in your new van.

Ruth Mannion said...

For anyone wondering, I am desperate to break in the van with a trip to Utah. Just give me a good excuse.