Thursday, June 12, 2008

My heart goes out to my fellow Kansans who suffered far greater than I from last night's tornadic weather.

I sat down to write this post last night, and was interrupted by storms that just kept coming. We suffered no loss, save a few leaves on the trees. Others not so far away lost livestock, entire wheat crops, homes, businesses and saw an old and beautiful college campus crumble.

I share these pictures with you, not to make drama out of our situation, but mostly so that someday Tucker can remember how we spent the day before his first birthday.
























We had purchased this ball for Tucker on Tuesday after we left the Ear Nose and Throat doctor and scheduled an appointment to have tubes put in his ears. He loves balls, and he is ecstatic about this one. He didn't put it down for almost 24 hours.

















Sensing Noah needed some special attention, we finger painted on Wednesday afternoon. Actually, we started sponge painting the numbers 1, 2 and 3. She ended up painting everything within reach.
























Shortly after bath time, the tornado sirens went off. This was a first for the kids and I. Noah and Tucker had lots of fun playing in the closet under the stairs. Noah played "house." Tucker played "bang on stuff."
























With the kids playing safely downstairs, Brent and I stepped out the back door to watch these eerie clouds forming just at the north edge of town.

















The third storm that came through brought us this lovely gift - hail. There is a quarter to the right of the hail stone. We were awfully lucky considering the size of the hail.

There is nothing like the feeling of being helpless against Mother Nature. My heart goes out to everyone who experienced loss last night.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Have you ever found yourself arguing with a two-year-old? I have. All too often lately. It's futile. Infuriating. Exhausting.

And so I ordered this book a few weeks ago online.

Because my daughter didn't come with an owner's manual. Because she leaves me perplexed. Baffled. Fearful that I am creating a spit fire, unruly child.

I have just started the book, and already I feel more composed during the day when I see she has found my brand new, expensive nail polish and commenced to painting her leg, her new shirt, and the couch.

According to the author, you cannot determine your child's "love language" until they are the age of five. I disagree, and I am taking his advice and applying to my young children. Seems to me so much of their personality is already in place. Why wait until they are five to figure out how to best understand and communicate with them?

If you are reading or have read this book, I would love to hear your reaction.

Until then, I am going to keep reading and I am going to keep (well, I am really, really going to try) my composure as my two-year-old tornado rips through my house every day.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

One, two, three, floor!

Tucker's birthday is just about one week away. As Brent was putting him in the bathtub this evening, he reminisced, "Wasn't life easier when there was just one of them?"

My first thought was of that last several weeks of pregnancy you-know-what. No, I thought, I am glad he's out here in the real world.

And then my thoughts turned to all the wonderful things Tucker has brought into our life. His chubby smile, his easy laugh, his kisses and all his snuggles.

Sure, life may have been a bit easier. But how I love the extra large dose of love Tucker has added to our family.

Yesterday, as we were playing in the kiddie pool in the backyard, Tucker took his first few steps. He was standing outside of the pool, holding on to the edge. He let go and wobbled two or three steps to his wagon.

Of course, he has been in intensive training ever since. Brent and I guide him in walking four of five feet between us as we sit on the floor. He is so proud of himself! He starts to clap in mid-walk and sends his body weight crashing forward. He gets up and crawls to the nearest parent for a big hug. (I think he loves the reward at the end as much as the walking itself.)

Like most mommy's, I just don't know how this year went by so fast.

And I have come to believe that birthday's are also a silent celebration for mommy's. Especially the first birthday. While everyone laughs as your baby eats cake, you silently celebrate inside, giving thanks for your beautiful baby and realizing you have accomplished the feat of rearing a baby through his first year of life.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Haven...

Last Thursday, in the middle of "daddy's gone to camp" week, my favorite gal pals and I redeemed our Mother's Day gifts from our husbands- a massage at the Rock Haven Day Spa.

The mere stress of getting out the door made me tense from head to toe. Daddy was gone, remember? So I had to find a babysitter to watch my kids for what turned out to be a nine hour outing. Which means, I had to clean my house and organize snacks, drinks and meals for the majority of the day and explain to a fourteen year old girl how to specifically care for my two children.

I don't know if I've ever been so relieved to leave the house.

I volunteered to drive my mini-van and haul my five friends and to our westerly destination. It is with relief I can say that I will never have to drive again. In all the stress of leaving for the day, I didn't eat much lunch. Just after we pulled on to the highway, I reached for a bag of snacks. Apparently, I reached too far and the van swerved hard to the right. No one was hurt. I was ribbed sufficiently...and I will never have to drive again. Which is just fine by me. I prefer napping, reading magazines, and doing my nails in the car anyway.

We arrived to the spa, and they sent us up to the bungalow. The climb up the over-sized limestone rocks left us winded. And the luxury we stepped into completely took our breath away.

We each had a private dressing room, complete with toiletries, a robe, and a blow dryer. We changed into our swimming suits and we went to the whirlpool. We were served peach champagne, cheese and crackers, grapes and muffins. If the day had ended right there, I would have been just fine.

But there was more to come.

And they were running behind. An hour and a half behind.

The two and half bottles of peach champagne they provided us were gone in 30 minutes. We don't mess around.

We finally headed down for our massage. As we waited for our massage therapist, I watched this girl as she just finished her massage. She looked like she had just awoke from a three day nap. I silently panicked.

Other than the fact Michelle and I had to share a massage room - which meant we had to remove our robe and slip under the sheets oh-so discreetly - that massage felt like a three day nap. I let my mind wander to my happiest memories, while my body was relieved and rejuvenated. I left a part of me on that massage table. The part of me that has neglected to take care of myself, and more importantly, to take time for myself. I walked out of that room feeling woozy, yet determined to uncover those parts of myself that I have let go.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, during our massage, they dried our swimming suits for us. Can you believe that? I'm sure some of you regular spa-goers out there are laughing at my naivety.

It gets better. They then took us to the steam shower; after we dressed, of course. We sat in this rock walled shower as it filled with hot, hot steam. And, we then scrubbed away rough skin with this cooling, tingling scrub. We showered and even washed our hair. Yes, naivety.

Thinking back, I cannot recall I day where I have ever felt so good, in body and soul. My physical aches were relieved. My soul connected with good friends.

It was the best Mother's Day gift I have ever received...this being my third. The standard has been set, dear husband. I simply can't wait for next year!