Friday, July 31, 2009

Mah Little Planner...

I just informed my big kids that we're going to take a little trip to Omaha next week. Just to get out of town and see something new. So far, our plans include the zoo and the children's museum. And a hotel.

My six-year-old daughter is sitting across the table from me making a list of things to pack. The following are excerpts of our conversation:

Do we need to pack blankets or will the hotel have them?

***

Are we taking a plane? Please tell me we're taking a plane.

No plane. It only takes about three hours to drive there. But you can take some movies to watch in the car.

Okay. Should we take three? Or maybe just two. Probably just two. And we can stop for gas if we need to. Right? We'll probably need to stop for gas two times. Maybe three times. Wait here! I have to go get the United States map puzzle to see where we're going. To see how far we're going. Stay here.

***

Do we need to take soap, conditioner and towels?

The hotel has that stuff, baby. Remember the little shampoos that Daddy brings home when he goes out of town? They have that at all hotels.

Awesome!!!

***
I'm going to put "balls" on the list for the babies. Do they have silverware at the hotel?

***

This is going to be a long five days...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Open Letter To My Reader From Earlier This Evening

Hello there. You. Yes, you. The one who reached my blog by searching via Google. The one whose search term was "is having four children crazy?".

Yes.

Good luck with that.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Twenty Years, Friends, A Reunion and A Smidgen of Self-Discovery

Back in February, I volunteered to organize my 20 year high school reunion. In hindsight, I have no earthly idea why. But I did.

People wanted it to be held in the summertime so I frantically began planning and trying to track down 325 people on the internet. The planning process was stressful and created much anxiety for me. I took every "no" RSVP as a personal affront. Stupid, I know.

So, two weekends ago was reunion weekend. The turnout was pretty good. And those who did attend appeared to have a great time. I was amazed at a few things.


First - I have only truly kept up with three people from high school. The rest of my high school friends, I haven't really seen in about 20 years. And, at least for one weekend, I really enjoyed seeing those old friends and we all fell immediately back into a comfortable friendship despite the years. That shared history - however long ago - was enough. Even when the topic of conversation wasn't "remember when...". It was nice.

Second - the "cool kids" still hung out with the "cool kids" even after 20 years. But they didn't seem that cool anymore. Just as normal (or abnormal) as the rest of us. Time is the great equalizer. (Oh, I'm not saying that all of them were particularly friendly - but then, we weren't friends to begin with, so why would they be, I guess.)


Third - I love my BFF. I wish she lived here in town. That's us in the pic - 1989 and 2009.

And fourth - I've got some issues to work out. I've really just been able to acknowledge that I have a latent inferiority complex. I know, I know. There's no good reason. I was a smart kid. I played sports. I was yearbook editor. I had friends. I remember high school fondly actually. I graduated from college with honors. I went to and graduated from one of the top 20 law schools in the country. I passed two bar exams on the first try. I was made partner at my law firm. I launched a freelance writing business last year that I can barely keep up with. I run a local website that gets more traffic than I could have ever imagined was possible. I have a happy marriage and four awesome kids - the happiness and awesomeness of which are, at least in part, attributable to my efforts.

And yet, I persisted in thinking that no one from high school knew or remembered me. That no one knew who I was when I started emailing the heck out of them about reunion tickets. That the response was slow because I commanded no nostalgic attention. I speculated that I subconsciously volunteered to plan so that I would have something to do other than socialize.

I can't say that I resolved any of this during the reunion weekend. If anything, it makes less sense now than before. But I never stopped to think about it before. To think about how it has affected my life path - and it has. In innumerable ways. Boys, friends, school, career. Choices in each of those areas have been colored by this inexplicable feeling of inadequacy.

I don't think I can begin to digest it all and regurgitate it here. To explain the extent to which this self-discovery now bothers me. And, yet, it doesn't.

Because the reunion was fantastic and fun. When it was over, I felt happy and loved. But still "less than" in some way...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Guest Post by My Husband

My husband doesn't blog. Doesn't really understand what a blog is. But I took some video footage of the little guys today and he just put together this perfect picture of life with C and H...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Like Mother, Like Daughter

Over the years, I have come to realize that I express myself better on paper or in email than in person. This is true in daily conversation to some extent but it is very true when I'm angry or upset. I can collect my thoughts and say what I really mean.

And, I think, it allows my husband to consider my perspective in a similarly contemplative manner before responding. Our most constructive disagreements often involve an exchange of emails.

I found this on my husband's desk this evening. The big kids had been playing on his computer earlier in the day. Apparently, big brother wasn't giving little sister her way.



There was no written response from G to be found. My guess? He probably just ignored her drama, hoping that it would pass. Like father, like son? :)

Monday, July 13, 2009

I Love This Kid



The only one of my four who touched the salsa. He had his own bowl. Which had to be refilled before dinner was over.

This is, of course, the same kid who eats Buffalo Chicken Dip with Frank's Hot Sauce...

(sorry for the poor photo quality - phone pic in dark restaurant...)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Diamonds

M is on a really good softball team. Not good insofar as talent - they're just six, so we can't exactly judge talent yet. But a good group of good girls from good families. We haven't always been so lucky with sports teams (specifically G's various sports teams over the years).

This one though? Is a good one. Kinda sad to see this season end actually. Which means a lot coming from me - I'm not exactly the sports parent who is overly excited to watch and practice and coach, etc.








Thursday, July 9, 2009

This Is What I Woke Up To Today



My children in their pajamas* playing poker with my husband at the kitchen table. With betting.

I'm not even sure what to say about that. Except that it made me laugh and get the camera. They're obsessed.


*G is wearing long flannel pajamas. It is July in Kansas. I have no idea what that's all about. It makes me sweaty just to look at him.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sometimes It's the Unplanned Fun That's Best

I took my big kids to Union Station today to see the Narnia exhibit. I posted about the exhibit over at KCKidsFun - click here to see some cute video of the kids.

We had lunch at the Harvey House Diner, with milkshakes of course. Then we walked The Link from Union Station to Crown Center to see the LEGO exhibit, which was pretty cool (though smaller than I expected).

And then we stopped at the toy store. Didn't buy anything but I enjoyed watching them roam the store more than anything else we did all day.






Saturday, July 4, 2009

Nature (in My House)

About a week or so ago, my two older kids and I went for a walk. It was mostly just to kill time and get out of the house before bed. I grabbed my camera and asked the kids to tell what to take pictures of. There wasn't much happening on our wooded walking trail that evening, so we got lots of pics of flowers and foliage.

And we brought some daisies home with us and deposited them into a bud vase and a tall shot glass on the kitchen windowsill.










A few days later, I noticed we brought home a little bit more than plant matter. A tiny green inchworm had taken up residence on one of the daisies. I showed him to G - who promptly adopted the little creature. And named him Mark.




Mark is dead now. But he was a good worm. We will miss him.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Procrastination

I owe some people some writing. Two different clients. My business partner. My own blogs. But somehow Facebook, Twitter, my email, my Google Reader and the news all seem so much more important. Except they're not and I'm just constantly making my life more difficult by procrastinating. It's my way.

So, I owe you people a post. I've got some pictures I could throw up here. I can't take the time though - I'll just tease you with this: I have a tiny green inchworm living on some fresh-picked wildflowers on my kitchen counter right now. His name is Mark. He is apparently our new family pet. More on Mark later.

Give me a few days. I'll post some photos. And I've got a post ruminating in my noggin about my upcoming high school reunion. Twenty years, folks. Holy crap. And I'm the idiot who agreed to organize the thing.

More later. Much to write...