Wednesday, July 30, 2008

5 things I learned at Zoo Camp

1. The zoo knew what it was doing when it took the 3-4 year olds out of regular camp, moved them to "Sprout Camp" in the Botanical Gardens, and required parental involvement. Cruel but smart.

2. In the U.S., Venus flytraps are indigenous only to North and South Carolina. Never knew that.

3. All turtles have exactly 13 scales on their shell.

4. My 3 year old was the only kid who firmly believed that finger painting should be a full body experience.

5. My 5 year old flirts with boys. I saw her. I watched helplessly from the pick-up line while it all went down in slow motion. She used the head-tilt-shoulder-shrug-look-at-one-boy-while-whacking-another-boy-on-the-head-with-a-paper-towel-tube move. Both boys giggled. Shoot me now.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Beach Week

















The initial plan for this past week involved only my Mom and her sister, Betty, enjoying a nice, quiet, relaxing week at the beach. Booooooring. They don't need relaxing, they need grandchildren screaming in their face. So, we made it happen...

Eileen and Betty were joined by two of Betty's kids - Dan, his wife Ginny, and their daughter Malia, and Kristen with her sons Tyler and Johnny. I also joined the crowd, but first I made my Mom take 2/3 of her grandkids down with her and I didn't show up with the remaining 1/3 of her grandkids until 3 days later. Jay also showed up mid-week so by then we had a full house and it was a blast.


Beach, pool, beach, pool, eat, eat, eat, eat, eat, then watch Spongebob or Disney channel at a volume level that makes your ears bleed. There is also a water park in Charleston that was so much fun, I highly recommend it. We had kids from age 1 to 11 with us, and it was perfect for everyone. I also recommend Wii (especially guitar hero) as it completely entertained the group of kids (and Jay) post-beach, giving the grown-ups time to relax a bit and get supper together.


Gary came down Friday to help celebrate my Mom's birthday. A day on the beach, followed by dinner outside at the Beach Club. There was a wonderful reggae band, the kids were dancing and swimming, grown-ups were drinking grown-up drinks... The evening ended back at the house with cupcakes, presents, and more grown-up drinks.


It is always sad to see the Bickell/Welch clan leave. But I think Amanda finally understands that "JohnnyTyler" is in fact TWO separate boys, one Johnny, and one Tyler. Before this trip, she referred to both boys as "JohhnyTyler" whether they were together or separate. This time, it took her about half of the week to stop referring to Johnny as "JohnnyTyler" and to Tyler as "the other one." Next time she should have it perfected and address each cousin by his real name!


All we were missing were some Averys and some Dowds...

How Cute is Malia?



So cute that when Jack and I finally got to the beach, Elizabeth said "you should have been here to meet Malia. If Jack sees Malia he will fall in love and his eyes will turn into hearts like on Spongebob."


That would have been cool.


We were too late to see Malia, but Jack did get to spend the entire week with Tyler and Johnny. Boy cousins are definitely fun, especially when they leave behind their Spiderman goggles. The girls also loved hanging out with the boys; they learned how to play guitar hero and mastered all things Spongebob.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Baby Book Bye-Bye



I really thought it would be more difficult to give away my collection of newborn baby books. As I gathered them, neatly stacked them, photographed them, I realized... I was celebrating! Jack then joined me and we took turns knocking the books over and re-stacking them. He had no idea why Mommy was having so much fun. When I opened the front door and asked him if he wanted to help me drop kick them just to see how far they would go he was like "whoah Mom, I think you're getting a little carried away."

Actually, these books were tremendously helpful and I would highly recommend them for any first time parents. They were all read/referenced/studied when Elizabeth was born and we would have been clueless without them. I know I looked back through many of them after Amanda was born. With Jack, I only went back to read about what those mean doctors were going to do to him right after he was born.


After having three babies in five years, it does feel strange to stop saving everything "for the next one." Strange, but not difficult. In fact, after I brought the books to the car, Jack and I did a happy dance.

Tomorrow Jack gets to ride to the beach in a forward facing car seat. I can't wait!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Colored Pencil Band

Morning "Arting"





"The Great Valley" by Elizabeth


















"Tinkerbell on the Disneyworld Ice"
by Amanda














"Okay, now I'm ready" by Nikki

Monday, July 14, 2008

Yellow



Okay, so the planning was better than the execution. Elizabeth and Amanda decided today was yellow day and I went with it. Turns out it was all just a bumblebee conspiracy.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Fat Cats Don't Run

Hey birds, sorry to wake you, but have you seen our good-for-nothing cat?


Yeah, he went that way.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

You're Funny, Southern Boy!

Some funny southern sayings I first heard from Jay. Just a few of the many reasons I fell in love with him...

On being bow-legged:
Couldn't catch a hog in a ditch

On having buck teeth:
Could eat corn through a chain link fence

On being long-winded:
Ask him for the time and he'll tell you how to build a watch

On making things difficult:
That's like reaching up a pig's bum (except not G rated) for a ham sandwich

And perhaps one of the funniest sayings I've heard came from Paula Deen in the opening line of one of her cooking shows:
Y'all, I've been busier than a cat trying to cover it up.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Da Beach - Just Jack






Da Beach






Poor Jack. This beach trip, no one brought a camera. We all assumed someone else would remember, and who really needs 5 cameras? So there were none.


We had to buy disposable (gasp) cameras and try our best to explain to the kids why they couldn't see the digital image on the back of the camera. It was like the olden days.


Still not one picture of Jack playing in the waves. And he really did go nuts for the waves. He also ate his weight in sand. That part did not turn out so well. Poor Jack.


Who You Are (by your ipod)

My Mom just gave me an iPod Shuffle that she won in a golf tournament. Go Eileen! Keep the loot coming.

Although this quiz was clearly written by a teenager, I did get it from another Mom blogger and it made me laugh. Put your ipod on shuffle and hit next to get each answer. No skipping, no cheating. I'm not sure I should have "autofilled" the ipod with random songs, but it did make for some varied answers. I almost cheated once, but decided to keep it real and just insert an astric to make myself feel better.

So who are you?

IF SOMEONE SAYS “IS THIS OKAY” YOU SAY?
I Feel Love…Blue Man Group

WHAT WOULD BEST DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONALITY?
Tree to Tree…Backyardigans

WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL?
There was a Crooked Man…Classic Nursery Rhymes (yikes!)

HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY?
Carol of Bells…Mannheim Steamroller (I want to feel like this everyday!)

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE’S PURPOSE?
Vogue…Madonna (yikes again)

WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO?
Sweet Sundown…Kelly Willis

WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU?
We’re all in this Together…High School Musical

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR PARENTS?
Angels all Around…Butterfly Kisses & Bedtime Prayers

WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN?
Sugar…Imperial Teen (No idea where this song came from, but embarrassingly perfect answer)

WHAT IS 2+2?
Rocket Queen…Guns-n-Roses

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND?
Going on a Berry Hunt…Dora the Explorer

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
What a Wonderful World…Louis Armstrong

WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY?
How Deep…Shannon Harris, Sovereign Grace Music

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
Inner Land…Deepak Chopra

WHAT DO YOU THINK WHEN YOU SEE THE PERSON YOU LIKE?
American Tune…Eva Cassidy

WHAT DO YOUR PARENTS THINK OF YOU?
All Shook Up…Elvis

WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING?
Love is a Many Splendor Thing…Nat King Cole (how cool. Actually, we danced to I Could Write a Book by Harry Connick, Jr.)

WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL?
Cold Hard B*%$#…Jet

WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST?
Winding Road…Bonnie Summerville

WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET?
Clay Pigeons…John Prine

WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS?
Silent Night, Holy Night…Johnny Mathis

WHAT SHOULD YOU POST THIS AS?
In Spite of All the Damage…The Be Good Tanyas

Monday, July 7, 2008

On the Matter of Manipulation



Mom (noticing Amanda in the freezer): Amanda, get out of the freezer.

Amanda (clearly frightened by Ninja Mom): But ahhhhhh, ughhhh, uhhhhh!

Mom: Amanda, close the freezer. Now!

Amanda (closing freezer, regaining composure): Mommy, are you mad at me?

Mom: No honey, I don't want you in the freezer.

Amanda: But are you mad at me?

Mom (laughing): No. Why do you keep asking me that?

Amanda (realizing her success): I guess I just love you.

Mom: Give me a kiss.

{kiss}

Amanda: Can I have a popsicle?

{silence; Mom shaking head and wondering where Elizabeth is hiding the real Amanda}

Amanda: please?