Friday, July 30, 2010

Smaller diaper bag for me

I have finally arrived at that stage of life where I don't need a full-sized-ready-for-every-possible-scenario diaper bag with me at all times (still sometimes, but not every day). Hooray! In celebration I made myself a new medium-small bag, with places to keep baby stuff, but an eye toward it being a plain-old-regular bag in the furture. (It looks like the pillow in my family room.)

Monday, July 26, 2010


A long-standing policy in our family is that the kids are not allowed to sleep with us in our bed. It's ours. Not yours, Emmabenjoshlydiaafton, you have your own bed, so use it. Many years ago my friend, Alice, shared her clever idea to make your kid a little bed out of blankets on the floor if there is ever a need (sickness, nightmares, etc). This way you're still there close by to help them but the boundaries remain clear (so that sort of thing doesn't spiral out of control to being three or four kids away from your spouse every night--it's like letting the camel put his nose in your tent).
It's a good policy. The issue almost never even comes up. But when it does, it's Lydia. Last Friday night was one of those nights. Sometime around 2am I found Lydia by my side in tears wailing something about a scary dream and there being ants all over her. I'll admit it, I broke my own rule and went for the easy solution. I typically would have simply put her back in her own bed with reassurances a few good dream suggestions. But something about her near-hysteria let me know this approach would take more time than normal. I was too tired to fetch blankets and fix her up on the floor. In my haste to return to my own sleeping, I simply hauled her up and situated her between me and Scott (Scott the ultra heavy sleeper who always says I should wake him up at times like these, but I usually don't. I don't know why, I guess I'm just extra nice). I spent the rest of the night coming in and out of consciousness to various non-restful scenarios. First, Lydia is the thrashiest sleeper I know. She does not hold still. At all. Ever. And after settling back down to sleep for only a few minutes, she woke in tears again, still talking semi-coherently about ants (there are no ants in her bed, I promise). Sometime later I woke up to realize her foot was pressing directly against my cheek. Later still I stirred to find that Josh was laying on top of my feet. (???) I had no idea why he was there but simply kicked free and went back to sleep. Next I felt a Lydi-foot in my face again. Then Josh was saying he felt like he was going to throw up so I told him to get the sick-bowl and a blanket and lay on the floor (false alarm--he never did). By now the sun was starting to rise and I realized the folly of my choice. In my rush to get back to sleep as soon as possible, I did nothing but ensure that I would wake up every 30 minutes till morning. Lesson learned. No more making rash decisions in the middle of the night. Stick to protocol. "I love you, but you have your own bed so use it."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Virginia Creeper Trail

It was everything I hoped it would be and more. I don't know how to write about it. I don't know how to give justice to what I felt biking down the mountain. It was easy, not any work at all coasting downhill. Everything around me was perfect. I was pulling Lydia and Hale in a trailer and enjoyed hearing them chit chat with each other and with me. I enjoyed the silence when Hale fell asleep and I thought Lydia was sleeping too (turns out she was just being contemplative). I liked to listen in on Scott and Josh's conversation as they shared a tag-a-long bike. My mouth wouldn't stop smiling. My heart literally swelled. My bum was killing me by the end, but it was worth it. I was torn between wanting to go fast to feel the wind and exhilaration and wanting to go slow so I wouldn't miss a thing. I wanted to stop all the time and just sit and look and take in every detail of the beauty that was surrounding me from every single direction. I want to find a cool looking map of the trail to frame for our house. I want to go back. I want to go again with just our kids. I want to go again with more families. I want to go back with just me and Scott and go all the way to Abington (he reports the Damascus-to-Abington leg is full of an entirely different type of beauty). I want to go back in the fall. I want to go in the spring. I want to go the whole sixty-eight miles uphill and down someday.
At one point Lydia was forced to use a port-a-potty. This was not a good experience. It was however quickly remedied with the purchase of an ice cream bar. Which was great until this remedy melted chocolate all over her shirt as she ate it in the trailer. She laughed and laughed when she got out and had a good look at herself, especially the stick which had stuck to her shirt.
We stopped once to wade in the creek. Scott caught a crawdad (not pictured, it was gross).

Monday, July 12, 2010

2010 Reunion

It was a homecoming year. We've reunited together before in Colorado, and then at the beach. This year the West Coast Barbers made the trip back to the homeland early in July and we spent a few precious days together, all 33 of us. I can't say enough about how much I love reunions. There is something magical and unequaled about all of us together in one room at the same time. Everything is funnier and more wonderful and just a little bit perfect.
For some reason I only took photos of softball at the park and the Virginia Creeper (and the Creeper gets its own post...I'm in love). I guess the rest of the time I was too busy playing with kids at the sprinkler park, boating, swimming, having a whole family photo shoot, showing and watching talents, catching a movie with the girls, laughing my guts out while playing the paper game, eating great desserts and snacks, parade watching, World Cup watching, eating out, firework watching, winning it in a minute, custom crossword puzzle solving, and celebrating certain anniversaries and birthdays to remember that I had a camera.
Thanks for the good time.