Some Things You Can't Predict

This Memorial Day we celebrated with some neighbors - standard 'Merica style - barbeque, beer, baby jeggings, YARD GAMES, a few illegal fireworks, you know, the usual.

Nora Kate had a particular affinity for this swing hanging from a tree in the neighbor's backyard. She must have swung on it for upward of thirty minutes, to the delight of everyone as she giggled the whole time she was up there. She only relinquished her position because Nate requested a turn. He took his turn and they both lost interest and continued running and playing whilst the adults sat down to eat.

Not 10 minutes late, one of our neighbors (who is 17) hopped on the swing and the branch holding the swing snapped and came crashing down, landing on no one, which was a small miracle as there was a table full of people and a standing toddler beneath the very same tree. The branch (literally) landed like six inches from Nora Kate. It happened so fast that no one could move and nothing could have been done. She barely noticed the commotion. All was well and everyone breathed a sigh of relief. I'm pretty sure in the aftermath every adult there picked her up or patted her on the head or arm or SOMEHOW, SOMEWAY touched her, just to reassure themselves and her she was unharmed.

To be honest, I don't think the reality of the could-have-been hit me until I woke up in the middle of the night having a mild anxiety attack about the whole thing. I don't often write about these incidents (several trips to the ER with Nate, one worse than the other two and one when Nora Kate was a month old and I couldn't even go.). I just sometimes can't get over the fact that no matter how much you plan, or how laid back or uptight you are, no matter how many books you read or how perfectly you strap in your car seat EVERY. SINGLE. TIME., something, somewhere, somehow can still hurt your precious little babies.

Mostly, I try not to be an anxious mama but. please believe I have rocked that sweet girl to bed every night since. Hope you all had a wonderful (and safe!) holiday weekend.  Back to it, yes?  With less falling trees!


Sometimes It's the Littlest of Things


Like, last week he had to use a fork to open the cabinet doors.

This week, not so much.  Am I only the only one who feels a little pinprick to the heart when realizing silly little things like this? 

Life = WARP SPEED.  


The Beach :: It Was Freezing

Our vacation was fantastic - well, as fantastic as vacation gets with a four year old and a one year old.

It was not quite the days of lounging on the sand slathered in sunscreen, napping and reading...but, at this point, those days feel pretty far in the past, so it's not quite as shocking to us anymore when the chorus of 'When can we go to the pool?' or 'Can I go down the water slide again' or OR the ever present 'SNACK! SNACK!' starts up!

Hellllooo vacation.

It's nice to see you. Nate's first ocean experience was pretty fantastic - much jumping in the surf, running in the sand and general FREAKING OUT. Glorious.

My parents, who came with us and are CLEARLY veterans of this whole take-the-kids-on-vaca thing booked us all a hotel not only with heated pools and a small kitchen but also with (wait for it) an indoor water park - slides, lazy river, more heated pools. It was basically our vacation saving grace as the beach was spent more for walking and observing and the occasional sand castle.

Three story tall water slide? Not a problem for this kid. He will start at 9 a.m. and go until lunch. I think one day he climbed up it a solid 60 times. (Notably, the amount of food he ate on this vacation terrified me for his teenage years.) 

Thankfully, we didn't just do slides (though we met some very nice parents with the same vacation plans as us at the bottom of each slide). 

We will see your waterslides, children, and raise you some putt putt (which some people apparently call mini-golf but, now that I have typed it out and said it in my head putt putt seems like a ridiculous term for grown people to say.  Is there a difference AND WHY DO I CARE?)  

Nora Kate was a fan. And that's saying a lot because, my friends, she was not a fan of much this vacation. I think she might be our homebody baby. In her defense, it was quite cold and windy every time we hit the beach and even the heated pools weren't for the faint of heart so perhaps she's just more of a summertime and sunshine girl like myself? (She LOVES water but she clearly said 'COLD MOMMY! COLD!' every time she saw the ocean.)

We also brought Stachy to the beach - Stachy gets passed around my extended family every year at Christmas ala Flat Stanly style and this year she is staying with my parents.  Stachy has been photographed A LOT of places...now adding South Carolina to the list!

We made a VERY sad attempt at some beach photos - I had some sweet beach outfits for everyone and IT WAS ALL GOING TO BE PERFECT until everyone refused to go except Nora Kate (because she doesn't speak in sentences). I dragged her down to the water anyway.

This is the best shot I got. I think the wind is actually whipping her poor dress off her body. We both lasted about three minutes. FINE. THEY WERE RIGHT. It wasn't worth it. 

We did manage to take a few photos on our beach walk the next day - Karl broke my cardinal rule of family photos - NO SUNGLASSES.  (I ask you DOES IT LOOK SUNNY OUT THERE KARL!? NO!) and I am wearing a skull and crossbones t-shirt made up of small stick figures dying in various ways. We are really classy!

Natey was not a fan of posing and invented his own moves. Nora Kate thought they were pretty rad. Clearly.

That, friends, is us - keeping vacation REAL in 2013.

Let's go baaaaaaack.


babies on a plane

This will not be a tips and tricks to keep your children happy on a plane (or four) post. This will be a GLEEFUL, ridiculous post about how relieved (RELIEVED!) I was to make it through four (FOUR!) flights with both the babes. Honestly, I wasn't that worked up about flying at all until a child that looked to be about the same age as Nora projectile vomited on the first flight we were on and another right behind us screamed his head off. For a long time.

Thankfully, this was more the look of my children.

I'm not going to lie, even though I know (I KNOW!) it was sheer dumb luck, I had an insane moment of my parenting must CLEARLY be superior to every other parent who has ever flown on any flight ever in the whole existence of airplanes. (I know. My next travel-plans-with-children is now karmically cursed!)

Because that is the thing I have learned about parenting - you seriously just never know. Nate could have freaked out upon take off (instead he was quietly and adorably counting down to BLAST OFF). Nora Kate could have opted to not snuggle in (well, more like sprawl out across us all as she is still eligible to ride on my lap) and sleep on several flights and instead attempt to breakout and roam the plane. (Trust me, there was still quite a bit of squirming.) Karl could have set off that bomb in his shoe.  (Sir, you can't say bomb on an airplane.) (That's not funny; I'm sorry.)

And then, just like that, we were there. Amazing. Two adults, two children, two suitcases, one carseat, one robot backpack and one (very large) purse, all ready for one week at the beach!