i've been counting down since last Dec 26 ... are you ready? me neither!!

Thursday, May 31, 2007

what is that fiery ball in the sky?!

Yesterday we had the first real heat of the year and were forced to find a place to cool down!! Mukilteo Beach, right near the ferry dock, wasn't too crowded. We spent just about 45 minutes but the 3 biggest children got soaked and sandy! I foresee many more of these activities coming our way!!

ShawWright, as if ...

Hooray for camping! We (the Shaws and Wrights) took our 7 children (all under 7 years old) and had a grand time of it ... until it rained. As a general rule, Seattleite Washingtonians do just about everything in the rain -- if we don't do it in the rain ... we just don't do it! But we were no match for the mud. It was too enticing and we didn't bring enough changes of clothes to keep the mud out of our tents, short of stripping them down and locking them inside!
Friday for the Shaws began with a field trip to the Woodland Park Zoo - with Elyssa's Preschool class. I forgot to bring my camera along - big bummer! It was a good time had by all and when we got home it was quiet time/naps for the kids and scramble to pack for mom! I managed to get everything ready to be loaded into the trailer before Andy came home from work. While he packed I made a last minute run to the grocery store and Costco. The original plan was to meet up with the Wrights in Lake Stevens, have Alfy's pizza and then caravan to our campsite. True to form, we were behind schedule and decided to grab food on the way and make our own way to Cascade Park (the LDS Church property). We arrived about an hour behind the Wrights and just before sundown. We had just enough time to set up camp before it got too dark. We celebrated our arrival and anticipated fabulous weekend with S'mores! We all slept well and woke up with the sun.
Saturday was filled with sand, swings, buried 'treasure' (in the form of Bandit Abi's dog), throwing rocks in the river, taking a ride on the 'mule', Granite Falls, reading, relaxing, and fun! We celebrated a sucessful day with s'more S'mores and early bed for all sleepy kids. The grown ups didn't last too much longer than the kids and we were all in our bags by about 11:00.
We were awaked Sunday morning with the pitter patter sound of rain on the tent. We scrambled to get the things that needed protection from the rain covered and climbed back in the tent to catch a few more winks. Everybody was awake by about 8:00 and it was time to make the decision to stick it out or pack it in ...
We said, 'Let's stick it out!' We rigged up a makeshift shelter and made breakfast amidst the drizzle. French toast and bacon, yum! The rain picked up and backed off several times and the kids played in the mud ... There was no hiding from it. Trav made the comment that 'if we stick it out we will grow closer as family and friends because we will have gone through adversity together' ... hee hee.
It wasn't meant to be, we were ill-equipped and not up to the challenge. We packed it in and stripped our children and headed back to shelter, showers and civilization. Since we had all the makings of Sunday dinner we gathered at the Wrights after hosing ourselves off and having a bit of a nap and ate yummy chicken and BBQ corn on the cob with strawberry shortcake dessert! The kids were occupied with "The Wild" and we played Spades.
All in all it was a GREAT time had by all and we decided that 1) this will be tradition - ShawWright Memorial Day Weekend Campout, 2) we will head east of the mountains next year(!) and 3) we will be camping it up quite a bit this summer!

PS. Monday turned out to be a BEAUTIFUL day and we wished we had been better prepared for the weather! Oh well ... there's always next time.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

where am i going to find a trash bag big enough!?

It's looking more and more like we will be selling our townhome and buying a house in the not so distant future. We have located the house we want and taken steps toward purchase ... now we have the daunting task of making our home presentable and desireable to those looking to buy a townhome. We had a real estate agent friend over to give us some pointers ... the recurring theme was 'get the junk out'. Basically we have to empty our house of everything that's not vitally essential, in an effort to 'stage' the house and make it look and feel bigger than it is. Truth be told - it already feels big ... we have just filled it up with a cluttery, disorderly, untidiness that FlyLady calls C.H.A.O.S. (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome).I am convinced that it's plain and simple - we have TOO MUCH STUFF. I am going to take this opportunity to clear out. This is a difficult thing for me to do. I come from a long line of pack rats. My dad's mantra is "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." I also grew up knowing that "if dad can't fix it - it ain't broke." It's part of my nature. I need to break the cycle!

Quite frankly, I find it liberating to throw out stuff. In fact, I spent several hours on Saturday organizing my scrapbook stuff and weeding out the junk. I want our house to be organized. I want to develop a habit of keeping things tidy. I want my mantra to be 'everything has a place and everything in it's place.' I think I may be forced to tie up my little mess makers ... For now I'm emptying my house of all non-essentials and filling my garage with boxes and furniture.

What habits help you to keep your homes tidy?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

piece de resistance

We finally finished it and I can park in my garage again!! Whaduyathink?

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

tell me I'm not the only one ...

I go about my busy day running here and there, cleaning this and that, and I have a sporadically recurring thought "Who are these children and why are they calling me Mom?!"
I look around my home and there are definitely more than just two adults living here. Sticky fingerprints on everything, toys strewn about and the walls have a curious grimy film about 3 1/2 feet from the floor. The carpet on the stairs is matted down on just the fronts and have a strange blue tint to them from the short people that take the FunWayDown from upstairs in their jeans (bet you didn't know they slide the best).
I know that I am a mother ... of 4 very busy children, but sometimes I just don't feel like it. I have insecurities and issues. Mostly about what other moms must think ... as I march up to the school to collect Abi from kindergarten in my capri sweats, dirty t-shirt and baseball cap - the exact same outfit I've was wearing when I dropped her off and oddly the same outfit I was wearing yesterday when I walked her to and from school. I feel like I'm still 18 ... young and hip and cute. Then I catch a glimpse of my reflection in the window of my FilthyStinkin'RottenDirty minivan as I open it for Abi to climb in and pray that the other moms won't see the CrumbToyPaperCrayonMenagerie that's grown to nearly 6 inches deep AGAIN!! Wow... welcome to motherhood - I suddenly feel rather dejected and not so young or hip and very NOT cute.
But then I have a moment like when my littlest boy who is 8 months old doesn't want anybody to hold him but Mom, or when my 2 year old HolyTerror sees me come in the door and yells "MOM!" as he bee-lines to me for a little bit of Mommy lovin', or when my 5 year old takes my hand and tickles her neck with my fingernails and shrugs her shoulders for me to continue on my own, or when my 6 year old draws a picture of me and writes "I heart Mom" folds it over and writes "Frum Abi To Mom" and then brings it to me with a proud look on her face and waits for me to read it and then give her a hug and tell her "I heart you too".
Who cares what I look like or what I ate for breakfast (even if it was a handful of peanut butter M&Ms and a Carnation Instant Breakfast) I am a Mom and that's all I've ever wanted to be!

Are you having any moments? Please share!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

is there anything better than good friends!?

I have been waiting to have pictures to post this blog ... but I just can't wait any longer!!
April 19th was Thursday, the day we eat dinner at my in-laws. While I was helping get dinner on the table I noticed "watch Andy's kids 3:30" written on the 20th ... I went upstairs and asked Andy what he was planning. The sneaky look on his face gave him away! He said something to the effect of 'dang-that-calendar-and-my-mom-for-writing-everything-down!!' and then told me that I couldn't ask any questions. The rest of the day I speculated about what he was up to ...
Friday morning my curiosity was overflowing when he told me to get stuff ready for Easton and myself for the weekend. "Do I need to pack stuff for you too?"
"No Questions!"
"OK but do you need stuff?"
"Sure that would be great ..."
Then he said to be at his mom's house at 3:30.
I could not stop myself from thinking about the weekend and how romantic it was that he was surprising me! I dressed, fed, and drove the girls to school ... floated around the house getting things ready and reflecting on how wonderful he is. Alicia called and we chatted (I didn't tell her that I had this surprise coming ... I didn't want to gloat) then Nicki called and wanted to make plans for the weekend ... I spilled to her and she wondered if Trav knew the secret ... I told her to call Andy and find out more details! She said that she wouldn't ruin the surprise! I told her that I'd call her when I found out what he had planned!
I collected the girls from school, fed them lunch ... quiet time was a wash ... I was too excited! Finally it was 3:00, I threw my stuff in the van and headed to Grandma Shaw's house. When we arrived the girls and Ammon jumped out ... Marie asked where we were going ... (she obviously hadn't been filled in either. ) Andy came out of the house with a blindfold, he told his mom he'd be in touch, we got in the car, he blindfolded me. He told me to relax and enjoy the ride - 'it's gonna be kinda long, do you want to lay down in the back?'
We were off ... I held his hand and we laughed about what other people must be thinking seeing me blindfolded and about talking to Nicki, he asked me if I'd talked to Jenny lately and what I heard from Tiff - just general small talk. My phone rang, Andy said it was Alicia and I could call her back later.
I'm pretty good with directions and thought that I knew where we were going ... south on I-5 then onto south 405 ... then south 267? I was lost when we got off the freeway. We drove for a while and then he stopped the car, and helped me out. He guided me up a few steps and I recognized the smell ... it smelled like ... I know that smell ... he started to take off the blindfold and SURPRISE!! We were in Nicki's kitchen (I knew I recognized that scent). From behind the island popped Alicia, Nicki, Tiffany and JENNY!!
This was NOT a romantic getaway with the BestHusbandOfTheYear. The girls had planned a weekend getaway for my birthday!! (They had enlisted Andy's help and he was obliged to since he hadn't planned anything!)
We had "Wright House Melting Pot" for dinner and talked and ate and laughed and watched 'The Bachelor' and talked and laughed and talked and ate! Saturday we shopped and talked and ate and laughed some more!
I was so happy to see Jenny - she flew in from Idaho!! Tiff drove 4 hours from Long Beach!! Alicia and Nicki planned the whole thing and kept it from me for more than 2 months! They are SO sneaky!! I told Alicia 'truth be told, I was getting a little jealous of all the time you were spending with Nicki ...' They admitted to role playing what to say if I called to tell them ... and when I didn't tell Alicia she was worried the plan was falling apart and practically forced Nicki to call me! (I guess Nicki's no good at lying and was nervous to call me!) I have NEVER been so surprised! It was the BEST!!

I almost forgot to mention the Man/SuperDad that made it all possible ... Trav. He volunteered to take his little brood of boys on a mini 'FathersAndSons' overnight camping trip to free up the house for our gaggle of girls retreat! ThankYouThankYouThankYou

Sunday, May 6, 2007

look what i learned how to do!

i saw alicia's blog and had to try it out! LOVE IT!

Thursday, May 3, 2007

"there's a first time for everything"

This morning as I watch my second son/fourth child, crawl/scoot across my wood floor, I am reminded of firsts. He has had a bunch of firsts in the last few weeks including finally being able to lift his-heavy-self up to actual crawling stance, french fries, and a top tooth. He can spot a piece of paper from 30 yards and now make his way to it, our little human-vacuum - who needs a Dyson!?

Another first, my near-perfectly organized husband, who tries to maintain order and control, carries the same things on his person at all times. He has his keys in the right hand pocket along with loose change and Bally's card, receipts and cash in the left, flashlight and leatherman in the holster on his belt at his left hip and his cell phone case on the right. If I (or anyone) borrow his flashlight for some reason he watches me like a hawk until I am finished and then he places it back where it belongs. He HATES to lose things and therefore puts things back where they go. This being the case, it's not hard to believe that he has never (as long as we have been married) locked himself out of the car with his keys inside ... until today! He called me and said, "You'll never guess what I just did ... should I call AAA or can you come?" I dragged Easton out of a sound-sleeping nap, packed up the kids and headed down the road in a hurry to rescue my handsome, stranded, and now normal husband.

Which brings us to my own little first ... As I hurried down the road I was not focused on the speed limit. I had to rescue Andy and be back in time to pick up Abi at school - clearly not concentrating on driving - my 5 and 2 year old fighting about "who was touching who and keep your hands off my stuff" in the back and my 8 month old hollering about being stuck in the car seat again and knowing that if I am late to get Abi she will tell me that this is the 6th time and I will officially be awarded the TerribleMotherOfTheYear Award - who can focus on driving!? Then in my rear view mirror ... red and blue lights - o crap.

I pulled over, the officer came up to my window and said that he had me on radar going 48 in a 35 and asked for my license. I said that I had no idea that I was going that fast, "I'm sorry." He took my license and said he'd be right back. Now for the part that is the 'first' - HE LET ME OFF WITH A WARNING!! Hooray! Thank you Mr. Officer Sir. I will be more careful and watch my speed (even if only until I can't see you anymore)!!

Needless to say firsts are exciting ... what are some of your memorable ones??