Monday, April 29, 2013

Bye, Bye Miss American Pie

Bye, Bye, Miss American Pie.
Drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry.
Them good old boys drinking whisky and rye,
singing this will be the day that I die......

This song has been stuck in my head for a couple of weeks.  Every time I looked out my family room window and saw my little blue shaved ice trailer with a wily pirate octopus on the side, I'd start humming the words to American Pie.  We all know I'm a bit dramatic, but it just felt like the song fit.  Americana at it's finest, that little summer business of ours.  But, Shavy was leaving, going to a new home, and I was sad.  We were all sad.


@shavyjones @willie_petersen. Yummy shaved ice tonight.



You see, it wasn't going to work out anymore, selling shaved ice during the summer.  We just didn't have the time, the energy, the employees, or we found out, our really great location.  So, in February, Ross listed the business and the trailer for sale.  In two months we had so much interest, a dozen or more people come to see the trailer, and a couple of solid offers that fell through.

Me?  I just wanted to keep the trailer dormant for a summer and try it again next year when we knew that things would be a little bit slower because Ross wouldn't have a demanding summer work project and we wouldn't have a baby sucking up all our time.  But, Ross wanted to sell, be done, and move on....and use the money to buy a new truck.  So, we listed and waited.  We dropped the price a bit.  And we waited some more.

Finally, a couple of weeks ago, it felt like the right people came along, they made us an offer, we collected our second round of earnest money and we gave them time to get their  cash together to buy the trailer outright.  Honestly, we didn't think much about it all until last Thursday, the day that Shavy was leaving our house forever.  

That morning, about 15 minutes before we needed to leave for school, Elliott was super emotional and I couldn't figure out why.  Finally after some prodding, and an outburst of the saddest tears and sobs he's ever shed he said, "I don't want dad to sell Shavy Jones".  Man, my eyes well up with tears just thinking about it.  I told that sweet boy of mine that I didn't want dad to sell Shavy either, but that sometimes we have to do things that we don't want to do, because they are for the best.  And, I made a promise that I hope to keep, that one day, we'll have another shaved ice trailer that he can spend his summers working at.

Because, you see, that trailer meant a lot to us.  We spent four of the greatest summers of our lives eating shaved ice as a family, with our family on the patio of Mt. Mike's pizza.  It became a gathering place for family and friends.  Something fun to do on a hot summer day.  A place we could always count on finding Uncle Willie or Cousin Parker to hang out with for a little while.  And, if Uncle Willie was there, it was a safe bet that grandma and grandpa would be along shortly, too.  It gave us a  place to laugh and run and have fun.  A place to make our tongues green or purple.  In four summers, I've easily got a hundred or so pictures of us and everyone else on that patio eating shaved ice.  It had become a summer tradition that we all so wanted to maintain forever.  But, forever isn't really an option with most things in life.  It was time to move on.

So on Thursday, the nice guy who bought the trailer came, notebook in hand, for a two hour training session in our driveway.  Ross showed him the ropes, how to shave ice, how the trailer works and then, when it was time to take the trailer away, I pulled the boys into the house.  I don't know if it was going to be more sad for them or for me (okay, more sad for me because I shed a few tears sitting at the kitchen table listening to Elliott read his homework), but I just didn't think that we could watch the trailer drive off into the sunset.  When she was gone, and Ross came into the house, all he could say was, "Well, that was a bummer".

Yes, it was.  It will all be fine, and we're pretty much over it but oh my, a bummer it was.

Bye bye shavy jones.  Elliott cried this morning.   Im crying tonight.  Best 4 summers of our lives spent eating pizza and shleping shaved ice.  The trailer is going to a good home but it's silly how hard it is to see her go.

Quinner, I'm so sorry you missed out on this experience.   One day we will do ot again.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Goings on...

For as much as I don't think that we have too much going on, it seems like we have a lot going on.  Or maybe not.  I'm tired, but that could be for lots of reasons.   Mostly, maybe because I stay up late watching "The Mindy Project" on Hulu.  Or it could be my insane allergies.

Anyway - here's a glimpse of our goings on for those of you who aren't using instagram.

Elliott started baseball. He's had three freezing cold games, of which Quinn and I have only made it to half of one. I love my big boy and his sweet skills, but not at the cost of my already boogery baby.

Oh my how we've changed
Ross and I "celebrated" our anniversary. We had plans for Saturday morning but they fell through (two kids with baseball practice and kid birthday parties to attend blew things up pretty quickly). We ended up just going to dinner and walking around the mall. LAME-O, right? We actually postponed our plans for a couple of weeks from now when we don't think that there will be quite as much going on.

Told you over the top.  You see my husband adheres to the adage #gobigorgohome
Ross did though give me this giant bouquet of flowers for our anniversary and he came home from work a little bit early. They are beautiful and still going strong a week later.

Grandma's chillins
On Sunday, Grandma Judy wanted an updated picture of all the cousins. They cooperated as best as they could except that now that our little Jackity Jack can walk he will not hold still. This was the only picture he wasn't a blur. You should have seen what his grandma and mother had to do to get him to freeze, even if just for a second.

My grandpa's front porch #ilovethisplace
We visited with my grandpa on Sunday. His tulips are beautiful.

Big boy playing all by himself

This little fat rat is getting so much better at sitting up and playing with toys. He's even proven himself sturdy enough for him to have a couple baths in the big bath tub. I have an irrational fear of supervised baby drowning so I've still been giving him a bath in the teeny tiny bathtub but I think he's ready for the move.

Zoo fieldtrip was kind of lame...

Yesterday, we all went on a field trip with the kindergarten to the zoo. It was freezing butt cold and the field trip was pretty lame. We didn't stay together as a school group, it was just a free for all when the parents showed up. Oh well, Elliott still got to ride on a bus, which he thought was pretty awesome.

No need to go to paris because I just finished making my own chocolate macarons and they are straight from heaven. My technique needs work as does my patience with ganache but I feel awesome! @codileighs I'm going to make these for your bake sale.

Yesterday, I made French Macarons, like the ones Ross brought me back from Paris in March. They were absolutely delicious and I was pretty proud of myself. They weren't as hard as I thought they would be, though they were pretty labor intensive and the taste. Almost better than the Parisian original. I'll definitely be making more to perfect my technique and to test some new flavors.

Can you read it? "Dad please don't eat. Wyatt".  He put this on the box of doughnuts so his dad won't eat his.  Not bad for a three year old who wouldn't even write a "w" last Fall
Wyatt's first t-ball game of the season was last night. If he didn't cry, he got to have a doughnut. He didn't cry and got super nervous before bedtime that his dad would eat the extra doughnut with sprinkles. So, he wrote a note to his dad. I was pretty impressed. Can you read what it says?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Ten Years

Ten years ago today I married, as my mom would say, the only boy crazy enough and stubborn enough to marry me.  The two of us were (and are) a match made in strong willed, opinionated heaven.  It was a beautiful spring day, the Saturday before Easter, ten years ago.  All of our family and friends celebrated with us as far as I can remember it was a perfect day. 

So much has happened in 10 years that there is no way to even begin to try and summarize or wrap it all up into a cute package.  I do know though, that I love my husband very much.  As much as I did on April 19, 2003 and probably a little bit more.  Okay, a lot more.  When I think about where we started and where we are now, it gets me excited for where the future will lead.

I am a lucky girl to have married such a good guy.

Happy Anniversary to us.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Major Award

My kid got his first ever award at school today.  #proud

Last week, on Monday, when Elliott got in the car after school he told me that he had something special to show me.

"What is it?" I asked.
"You'll just have to wait and see..." he said.  "It's a special award!" he said immediately after.
"A special award?  What did you do?" I replied.
"I wrote a good leprechaun book" he told me back.

We got home and he emptied the contents of his backpack, saving his major award for last.

My good boy had received the Principals Pride award.  I asked if any other kids in his class got the award.  He said no, that the principal brought it to his teacher just for him.  I was proud.  I wasn't quite sure I understood the what or why, but I was so proud of him.  The award was a certificate, stapled to a bunch of free stuff that he was excited about, and included the leprechaun story he had written in class about a leprechaun named Max whose favorite color was gold.

We immediately called dad to tell him the exciting news and sent him a picture of the award.

That night, after dinner, Elliott rushed to me in the kitchen.

"Mom, I almost forgot.  I got this important letter in my bag and I need to give it to you."

I opened that important letter.   It was a form letter, with the previous Friday's date, from the principal, telling Elliott's parents that he was going to be receiving an award in a special ceremony on Monday morning before school in the library.  Parents and grandparents, and their cameras were invited to attend.  The kids would be honored by the principal, have their picture taken, and get a treat.

We obviously missed the ceremony.

Maybe next time.

But, we are very very proud of this kid and all his accomplishments.  Kindergarten is almost over and he will only have a three week break before his life changes and he becomes a first grader, going to school all day long.

Man alive, this kid is growing up fast.

Goodbye California.   We had a great time. #sotired #feethurtfordays

It's only his second day off track and he's already doing school work all inn his own.

at least it happened on a saturday

Sunday at 1 pm and I'm still wearing the same clothes I put on yesterday at 2.  Being sick is a horrible thing and today I feel like I got hit by a mac truc k.  Thank heaven's for husbands and dad's and @willie_petersen44 sharing some of his pepto stash.

I ditched church today, but for good reason.

Yesterday morning, around 3:00 am I got up to help Ross with Quinn.  Changed the diaper, sucked the boogers and sent them and a bottle on their way.  I however, didn't feel so hot.  I came downstairs to check my blood sugar, a little high for the middle of the night, and got a drink of chocolate milk, my midnight snack of choice.  I then marched back upstairs and put my giant butt back into bed, only I noticed something wasn't right.  My tummy wasn't happy.

But, I fell asleep to wake at 6:00 am to a jabbering baby and a tired husband in bed with me.  After about 3 minutes I knew I was in trouble and headed downstairs to the bathroom.  I spent the next two hours in the bathroom and when I finally thought I was okay it was time to shower, put some finishing touches on some cupcakes I'd make for my cousin's baby shower and head to my sister's to car pool to Roy.

I should have realized when I got on the scale after the shower and it said I'd lost 9 whole pounds in two hours that I was in for trouble.  Instead, I grabbed a sprite zero and some crackers and headed out the door.  The 45 minute drive was okay until the last 10 minutes or so when things started to get a little sketchy and lets just say I barely made it to my aunts house in time.

Thank heavens she has a bathroom in the basement tucked away from all civility.

After a few minutes (maybe 15?) I thought I was okay (again) and marched upstairs to ask my aunt for a diet coke.  She had ONE.  She told me it was over a month old and they were saving it for an emergency.  I declared I was the emergency, popped the top and found a seat.  After about 3 sips I knew that this time I was in trouble and that this time, the trouble wouldn't have me sitting on the toilet, but kneeling at the porcelain throne instead.

I rushed back to that downstairs bathroom.  Set my drink on the counter.  Hurriedly took off my jacket and got the toilet seat up just in time for the flood gates to open.  And, open they did.  Honestly, it was the most sick I'd been in 4 years - when I got cafe rio food poisoning - and it was bad.  You should have seen my flushed face and smeared make-up once it was all over.  And, as if it was just for me, there was a giant bottle of mouth wash in that bathroom and after I fixed up my face with some tissues, I gargled my puke away and headed back upstairs.

There were no more incidents during the shower and as soon as the last present was opened my sister and her kids and I left.  We stopped for a drink and then she flew me home.  Ross was kept up-to-date on my situation the entire afternoon and was waiting for me....from a distance...when I returned home.  Immediately I ran upstairs, took off my nice clothes, threw on a grubby t-shirt and climbed into bed.  Where I slept for about 2 hours until around 4:30, it all started again.  The most violent and horrendous sickness maybe of my entire life.  I couldn't catch my breath.  I couldn't open my eyes.  I was puking and crying and moaning.  I slammed my head onto the open toilet seats.

It was awful.

I spent the entire day in bed, sleeping most of the afternoon and evening away.  Ross took such good care of the boys while I was on my death bed.  Around 6:00 pm, after 12 hours of being being brutally sick I told him that I though I needed to go to the emergency room.  Before that though - I contacted the resident nurse, and texted my mom, who was on a plane from New Orleans a pathetic and sad text.  After my phone calls, and a lot of dry heaving in the bathroom, I decided that it was best to wait it out at home, but have my dad come to help Ross give me a blessing.

I couldn't sit up in the chair, and don't remember what was said, but I believe in blessings.  I don't ask for them often, if ever...only when I've been having babies...but last night I needed one.  After, my good dad stayed to entertain the big boys while Ross got the baby to sleep.

I remember nothing else from the evening except that at 4:00 am I woke up, brushed my teeth and washed my face.

Today, my body feels like it does the day after a c-section when my babies have been born.  Completely broken.  But, I've eaten, and drinken (I know, not a real word) and just a little bit ago, showered and put on new clothes.

No idea what I got zapped with, or why it picked me.  I'm just happy that I didn't die, and that it happened on a Saturday.

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Quinner: 7 months

Alrighty Mister, a few days late but you are a whole 7 months old this week.  My oh my how time is flying by.  I keep posting pictures to instagram with the hashtag #mybabyisgrowingtofast and man oh man is it true.  You my boy are a mighty soul with a wild spirit and I love you oh so much.
Let's see, where to begin.
In the last four weeks you've flown round-trip on an airplane.
You survived Disneyland and sleeping in a hotel room cramed with noisy brothers, a mom that gets up to go to the bathroom and a dad that sometimes snores. 
You learned how to roll over and are such a mover and shaker that your chubby wubby left elbow is covered with carpet burns.  Watching you roll over is pretty funny, it's like what I would imagine a rhinocerous looks like rolling over, but you can heft that weight around pretty well.

Three minutes ago this baby was in the center of the rug. #mybabyisgrowingtoofast
You have started to nap a little bit better - taking at least one full hour nap a day.  But, getting you to take that nap is a work out.  It's strange, but unlike your brothers who were dependent upon blankies and binkies, you don't have any item to pacify and soothe you.  For the first 6 months of your life it was me, good old mom, but now that were not doing that anymore, you've yet to find your thing.  You don't rock to sleep and you don't fall asleep drinking a bottle.  The only thing at this point that works is motion in the form of a stroller.  So, every afternoon when you hit the wall, I put you in your car seat, hook the car seat into the stroller adapter and spend the next 10 minutes pushing you around the kitchen island in the stroller.  Sometimes we venture into the dining room, but the wood floor is easier and faster.  Once you're out, I've got hopefully one hour, maybe a little bit more, to do everything I need to get done in the entire day.  It's a rush for certain.

That look?   He just found out he is the little brother.   He's in shock

You are eating #2 baby foods and are finally taking a little bit of a break and going sometimes 4 hours between eating.  That is pretty amazing to me, I didn't think you'd every get off the every two hours "feed me" routine.  And, I introduced little cereal puffs and watered down apple juice this week.  You love the puffs but aren't to sure about the juice.  Maybe you want it straight up?

Watered down apple juice and cereal puffs.  This kid is full of firsts.

You laugh a lot, fake cough a lot, and have learned how to spit.  You cry if I take something out of your hand and finally have stopped leaning forward when I hold you on my hip.  You are very cute and handsome and have the bluest eyes in the whole family.  In fact at Disneyland several times and even at target the other day, people have been commenting to me about your baby blues.
When you meet someone new, or want to tell us that you love us, you touch out faces.  Just a light rub of the cheek, or you'll trace your hand along a jaw line.  It's pretty funny, but definitely seems to be your method of communication.  You do it to me and Grandma Judy the most.  Grandma says it means you love her and I agree.

As always you adore your brothers and they love you right back.  I think every single day they love you more.  That make my heart super happy.

10 min. w/o tipping over and going strong  #mybabyisgrowingtoofast

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Disneyland Leftovers

The only camera I took was my phone.  I don't even own a functioning compact camera anymore and it seems to suit me just fine.  Though I instagrammed a lot of photos (follow me on instagram "annieh") I took a bunch more that are worth sharing. 

Before we get to that though, I have a funny story.  Want to hear it?

As mentioned previously, we flew to Long Beach, rented a car on Thursday and drove to San Diego.  We stayed at a cool old hotel right in the heart of San Diego, the Lafayette and on Friday morning got up and drove to Escondido to visit the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.  We arrived right at 9 am along with all the other tourists in black socks and sandals and parked our car, as directed.

Jambo!  Every employee in the whole stinkin' park shouted Jambo at us all day long.  I'm a spaz and when my kids asked what Jambo meant, I started to say it was "African for hello", you know, because African is a language.

Told you, Spaz!

Anyway, while we were waiting to pay for parking, the Quinner started to do his car seat grunt routine which only means one thing.

Diaper change.

So, while I was getting the boys out of the mini van and situating all our crap, Ross was changing the diaper on the floor in the middle section of the van.  That's when I heard a small yell.  I walked around the corner and there I saw it.

The fecal matter that required the diaper change was on the ground.

The ASSphalt, to be specific.  (Ross wanted me to make sure that I got that joke in there.  You know, poop on the asphalt....ha!)

You see, the baby in the family, upon the removal of one soiled diaper kicked his legs triumphantly and kicked that diaper out of the van and onto the ground, open end down.  Oops.

The mini argument between the parents in our family was probably comical had anyone been watching.  One of us, (him) wanted to just leave the giant baby turd on the ground and the other of us, (Me) felt the need to pick it up and put it back in the diaper to throw away in a trash can. 

In the end (another bum joke) I won.  My argument?  If pet owners have to pick up their dog's crap off the street, then surely a baby's refuse should be picked up as well.  Right?  Ross wanted me, upon picking it up with a hand protected by 17 wet wipes, to throw it in the bushes by our car but I did not.  I put it back in the diaper, folded it up and threw it in the garbage.  And, at the first bathroom near the entrance to the park, I washed my hands vigorously.

Ah, the joys of parenthood.

Now, for the remainder of the pictures.






This is Willie's picture, but it might be my most favorite of the whole trip.








Friday, April 05, 2013

Disneyland! Hooray for Disneyland!

This little person has had a helluva day.  #doesnt travelwell

We're back.  Did you miss us?  Did you even know we were gone?

We'll we were.


Now we're back.

We went to Disneyland, the happiest place on Earth and had a great little vacation with my parental units, my brother, my sister and her family, and my aunt, uncle and cousin Parkie Warkie.

Pushed a stroller behinc these cute boys all day

We left on Thursday and returned home on Tuesday.  My little family added a night in San Diego and a trip to Escondido to visit the San Diego Zoo Safari Park at the beginning of the trip.  Ross and I didn't fight once, though we had plenty of opportunity to do so.

To spare the travelog, here are some of the highlights....

*everywhere is crowded, all the time.
*standing in line with a lot of people is more fun than standing in line with a few people.
*my brother is a good uncle.
*whoever invented the fast pass was a genius.
*if the line is more than 20 minutes and you don't have a fast pass, the ride probably isn't worth it.
*though it is SO HARD to get a family of 5 up, dressed, fed, and standing at the shuttle stop at 7:40 in the morning, three mornings in a row (one morning up at out at 6:40), it is so worth it to ride the rides and feel like the park is empty and having disneyland all to yourself.

Dumbest ride ever. #smallworldisbetter

*the ocean is fantastic.
*humidity makes the heart grow fonder for the desert.
*my mom learned the definition of "prairie doggin'"
*sunscreen is imperative for 7 month old babies.  But, the sunburn that 7 month old babies get on their fat little faces because their mom forgot the sunscreen is really cute.

*disneyland is now the land of the jazzy scooter.  be they old, young, morbidly obese, casted, unhealthy, having MS, or any other cause, the jazzy rules the park.  Watch out, because your toes are not safe.

*tired feet

Cool man

*captain eo is so totally awesome.

*entire families who all go through the exit to get on the ride with grandma in her jazzy really suck.  I promise that grandma doesn't want to ride space mountain.  Wait in line like the rest of us.  And you, girl who was carrying your crutches until you got in sight of a ride worker and then started fake hobbiling on them....shame on you!

*disney has the most beautiful flower beds.  I'm completely envious.
*my mom is a wonderful mother to treat us all to such a vacation.
Happiest place on earth.  If it werent for all the jazzy scooters.

Big boy ordering his own lunch

*watching my 7 year old try and grab the 3D images in the muppet movie is pretty funny
*my children are brave and rode just about everything their dad drug them on: space mountain, indiana jones, splash mountain.  Wyatt insisted that he wanted to try California Screamin' - the roller coaster - but alas he was not tall enough.  Good thing.  I didn't want him to do it.

*The baby center in each park is the best kept secret in disneyland with the kindest employees in the parks.

*cars land is pretty cute.  Just like the movie.  The cars land rides?  Over-rated.
*churros.  churros.  churros.

* my boys were super well behaved with minimal meltdowns on the entire vacation.  I was so proud of them.  They had so much fun.

*sharing a queen sized bed with my husband is....well...cozy?

*no matter how tired, small children are re-energized when it gets dark at disneyland.  And when you feed them lots of churros.

This is what the final few hours at dizzy land look like.   Everyone tired.   @willie_petersen44 waiting for his girlfriend to come so he can hold her hand.  #lategram #disneylandorbust #Disneylandisexhausting

*Ross brought his glasses so he could see at night.  His glasses broke the first night of our trip (Conspiracy?) so I had all night time baby duty, something that I don't normally do and regularly struggle with.  We survived.

*We ate everywhere Ross wanted to eat the entire trip and I didn't complain once.  That was my souvenir for him.

*the long beach airport RULES!

Honestly though, it was a great trip.  I had such a good time.  I got to talk to my mom and my dad and my sister and my brother at length, something that just never happens as much as I'd like it to anymore. I got to watch my children experience pure joy.  That is priceless.  I got to stand in line for rides with my husband and lean my head on his shoulder because lets face it, sometimes my head is too heavy.

There are people who mock disneyland as being a pansy amusement park, too expensive, not really a lot of fun.  I spit in their general direction.  The disney tradition is alive and well in my family.  It's about having fun and spending time together just as much (or even more so) as it is about riding rides.  It makes my heart happy.

My ffavorite disney flower bed

I had such a great time.


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