I disappeared there for a bit. Where did I go? I went into the iphone black hole. I got my first smartphone.
Actually, I’ve been around, just not here. I don’t really like sitting at the laptop now that I have this handy from-the-future toy. I bought a used phone and am using a value service, so if we get rid of our land line, I’m on track to actually save us money every month! I didn’t think that would be possible with an iphone, but there you go.
I’ve signed up for instagram and vine, and I’ve been having fun taking little photos and videos. If you would like to follow me, I’m ameliastudio on instagram, and I’m Amy Harding on vine. I suppose I should have made those the same, and actually I thought I did, but I don’t know — I’m new at this.
I’m already starting to get a case of texting thumb, which is apparently possible even if you don’t really text and can only type about two words per minute.
We are planning on doing some camping this summer, so we recently purchased a tent! Our old tent was ruined in the great flood of 2010, and it wouldn’t have held five people anyway.
We were all pretty excited about the tent, so we decided to do a test run in the living room. We moved the couches out of the way, but it was too big. We were whacking walls and windows and pictures with the poles. It’s giant. So, no tent in the living room. It caused great disappointment among the littles when we decided to wait and set it up outside the next morning.
The evening after we set up the tent, a big storm came in. The tent was subjected to lots of rain and strong winds, and it didn’t leak or tear! So I guess it is a pretty good tent for our purposes. (It’s the Coleman Montana 8 if you are wondering.)
I’ve been soliciting advice from friends and family about camping with kids, and everyone has been so helpful. Besides the usual kid-craziness, I think our biggest problem may be how to get all of our equipment in and on our car, which isn’t huge. I’m looking at either the Sherpak or the Rightline Saddlebag. I’ve even toyed with the idea of getting both.
Looking at camping equipment is so fun! It reminds me of Girl Scout camp, which I only attended once and was plagued by shyness the entire time. But the equipment? The canteens? The little metal cups? The name tags in your shirts? That stuff was great. (Can you tell I’m a camping novice?)
Do you have any camping tips?
Last weekend the girls and I worked on a giant pile of homemade valentines for their classmates. We made 73 valentines! I asked them if they wanted to use store-bought cards this year, but they picked homemade. I was thinking our days of homemade valentines were nearly over with my oldest, but her crafty instincts are strong.
This year the girls picked the printable butterfly valentines from Cindy of Skip to My Lou. I did the printing and cutting; they did the stickers and writing. I bought googly eyes that already had adhesive on them in order to avoid a glue mess. The larger eyes seemed to work better on the lollipops — they had more surface area of stickiness.
The girls were a little concerned by the butterflies’ lack of antennae or mouths, but these were quite enough for them to handle without those things! They turned out really cute
I just noticed the little note on one of these that says “Books rool.” That’s my girl.
I hope you have a good Valentine’s Day!
This weekend we took advantage of a rainy day and set up a much-needed bunk bed. My youngest has been climbing out of the crib for at least a month, and my middle child barely fit in the toddler bed anymore. So it was time for the big switch. I was a little sad to see the crib go after more than seven years. No more babies. Which is fine. And good. And best. But still.
The children are thrilled with the bunk bed. They were out-of-control monkeys in the mattress store. Thankfully we were the only customers in there, so we got out of there in record time. Then Chris assembled the bed with what he calls his “twice-as-long crew” of three girls, a dog and three American Girl dolls. They were so helpful.
So far, the bunk bed excitement has not necessitated any trips to the emergency room. Yet. Knock on wood. The rule is: you horse around, you sleep on the floor.
The rain cleared out for Sunday so we could take our annual trip to the Louisburg Cider Mill. I got my yearly watchin’-the-doughnuts photo of the kids. I think next year we need to start buying 1.5 dozen cider doughnuts. One dozen doesn’t do it for this family anymore. We need to be able to eat until we’re sick, you see. That’s what cider day is for: too many doughnuts.
My children spend a great deal of their time in their pajamas. Playing outside? Pajamas. Fourth of July fireworks? Pajamas. Visiting Gram and Grandpa? Pajamas. I’m not sure why I don’t just buy them an entire wardrobe of pajamas.
Anyway, here are the girls inspecting the fairy garden that Gram has started for them. As soon as the temperatures cool off, we want to visit the fairy houses exhibit at Powell Gardens. Gram has a good start with a fairy door, a little couch, some steps, and a river of magic dewdrops.
We had a relaxing evening at Gram’s tonight, and the weather even cooperated with her broken air conditioner. Tomorrow will be busy though. Both older girls had small accidents over the weekend that will require doctor visits: one fell on her face while dancing and knocked a permanent tooth a little loose, and one was accidentally bitten by my mom’s dog, who likes to bite splashing water (but got the foot doing the splashing). So tomorrow will be x-rays and antibiotics. And pajamas.
My mother-in-law, sister-in-law and niece all came out to visit us for a long weekend. So I’ve been away, relaxing with them, making and eating peach crisp and chocolate chip cookies, swimming, going to the movies (“Brave”: so good!), hanging out on the deck, and catching fireflies. (You can see the firefly catchers above. I was playing around with Instagram on Chris’s iPod.) This year we can’t afford plane tickets to anywhere, so we’re grateful for visiting family. The girls were pretty bummed last night when everyone went home, especially poor Charlotte. She’s our sensitive girl. We’re all getting back to normal today: sunscreen, swim lessons, PBJ on the pool’s picnic tables, laundry. (Laundry that I should really be folding right now.)
Elise had a birthday party for her seventh birthday yesterday. We put together a premiere party for her first short film “The Mommy, The Daddy, and The Baby,” complete with a red-carpet entrance and popcorn. It’s short, so there were several encore presentations. Chris helped Elise out with the technical parts of this — she wrote it and really made all of the directorial decisions herself! I didn’t get to see it until the day of the premiere. What fun!
One of the cool things about living in the city where I grew up is being able to take my kids to some of the same places I loved as a child. Some places aren’t the same. Leawood City Park used to be so much more awesome. Today’s playgrounds can’t hold a candle to the playgrounds of the ’70s. What, no giant mountain with a volcano ladder coming up the middle and slide down the side? No, just the same old playground equipment you find at every playground. Boo. But some places are just as fun as I remember, like Antioch Park.
I remember how fun it was — but also a little bit scary — to walk over the stepping stones across the pond. I watch the girls hesitate and start to walk a little more slowly across the stones, and I know just what they are feeling. I watch them run through the little old western town buildings, and I know what games they are playing.
The giant rocket ship slide may be gone, but most of the park is still intact, and I love taking them there. I’m glad they love it, too.
Yesterday was our 11th anniversary, so Mom and Lloyd offered to watch the kids while Chris and I went out to dinner. The girls were so excited, they started packing giant suitcases of random stuff as soon as they woke up in the morning. Chris and I went for coffee, did some shop wandering and went out for sushi. I got a girly drink: vodka, sake and juice. The girls played with the water and ate fluorescent cupcakes as the sun set. Isn’t the evening light pretty at my mom’s house?
Let’s take a moment for me to make fun of myself. OK? Let’s go!
Mommy Blogger pats herself on the back for her beautiful row of hydrangea bushes, heavy with electric blue blossoms (though the credit for the bushes most certainly belongs to the phenomenon of climate change).
Real Mommy spent so much time fussing with garden paths and repotting a gardenia, she allowed the monument to laundry to be built on her bed.
Mommy Blogger gets her kids to cheerfully help clean off the outdoor table for a fun picnic outside on the nice, clean deck!
Real Mommy cannot get her children to take responsibility for their own space, so they destroy their playroom in mere hours. (Yes, they even tore the curtains off the walls.)
Mommy Blogger would like to end things on a nice, pretty note: Mother’s Day flowers (and Spider Man!).