Angie is 40! Let’s have a party!

I’m not sure if Angie will post her own account of turning 40, and this won’t be an analysis of how she has progressed through this milestone, but it’s hard to imagine that we could pass up posting something about it… so here goes. Just realize it’s from my perspective… so take that for what it is.

The actual turning of 40 seemed relatively low key, and Angie has taken it in stride. I only threw in the occasional age related jab, but given that she is a few years older than me, she get’s those periodically anyway. Maybe I have actually been preparing her with my pokes for this day such that it holds no fear for her. If that is the case, then I shall consider my job well done.

All kidding aside, she has approached, endured and triumphed over the event with grace, and with all of her beauty, which defies her age. Not that 40 is really old anyway.

We had to celebrate though and coming up with something worthy was actually more difficult than it may seem on the surface. Keeping it a secret was even harder. The hardest part though, might have been finding ways to get in touch with some of Angie’s friends, whom I’ve never had independent contact with. Those people who I assumed would, and eventually did, provide enough surprise to ensure she was ‘really” overwhelmed.

We had the cover of Calen’s 2nd birthday to help in some ways. I was able to invite the family without it being too suspicious. Angie’s Dad and Kat weren’t able to make it, and were sorely missed, but we have the opportunity to celebrate with them this coming weekend. Having the family here to celebrate was great but it also afforded some quality “doers” on the day of the surprise party… Ah… did I forget to mention the surprise party?

I’ll spare you too many of the details, but the celebrations began on Friday night when we went out to eat with family at Carrabbas. I had some earrings in the car for Angie, and so when she went to the bathroom with the kids, I ran out to the car to get them. The owner stopped by the table and asked if I wanted them to bring them out with dessert. So at the end of dinner, out comes a plate with tiramisu, a candle and her present. It was quite a surprise.

Saturday morning we had a very small celebration for Calen’s birthday… a sports theme. He can now play basketball, soccer, golf or ride a scooter… and he has been doing all of the above!

The kids went down for a nap and around 3:00, Angie and I left for the 2nd part of her birthday surprise… a hot air balloon ride. Angie’s mom and Kylie came with us to take pictures, while the rest of the family worked their tails off to pull the house into party mode (which was made more difficult than expected with the 2yr old party that morning… While we were off floating over Williamson County, a LOT of work was taking place… setting up tables, wine, beer, cooking some food, putting out trays of cheese, veggies, fruit, etc, hanging decorations and everything else that goes with getting the house ready for a good party. They did a great job and everyone showed up around 6:30… just as we were packing up and heading back to Arrington Vineyards (where we took off from).

I’ll stop here to say that the flight was amazing, and the crew made it even better. I can’t speak to other balloon crews (3 took off that afternoon, including ours), but I would absolutely recommend Ace High Ballooning. They were well prepared, and made the whole event fun from beginning to end.

We took some great pictures while we were up there, which are included in the web albums.

When we got back, we headed home, and I called ahead to let everyone know that we were coming… The family parked in the bottom of the driveway so we would be forced to come in the front door, and everyone else (40-ish people) parked one street over to as to not spoil the surprise.

When we came in the front door, the people Angie expected to see (family and a couple friends) were there to say surprise… but then people started popping out in the back and there was a good 5 minutes of Angie being “re” surprised by new faces she hadn’t seen in a while. The party went off great and I think Angie got to spend some time with everyone. It as a psuedo-80’s theme, with posters from the 80’s hanging along side picture of her from years past. Pictures of the party are also on the site. We had someone there to help serve wine and keep an eye on everything, which along with family still helping out made clean up fairly easy and the house was in good shape before everyone went to bed that night.

So, THANK YOU!!!! to all of our family and friends who helped to set up, plan, clean up, store stuff, and mislead Angie. It was officially her first surprise party.

Today Angie is still hearing from friends and coworkers who couldn’t make it. It’s amazing to think of how many people you really are connected to when you start putting them down on paper. I know I missed some people in the invitations, despite trying very hard to pull from all her circles of friends, but I think we did well, and I hope that the celebration helps to express to her how much I, and everyone else, regardless of whether they were able to make it, love and care about her. She is a fantastic wife, mother, friend, daughter, family member, coworker and boss, and deserving of every bit of celebration we can muster.

Sickness, sickness, everywhere. . .

Mal and Cal have been sick off and on for the past couple weeks. Cal started it with a sinus infection, but then he started throwing up, and for 4 days essentially ate nothing. Luckily he could keep some liquids down. We finally got him something called in for the nausea and it seems to have subsided. Halfway through though, they changed his antibiotics and so we are still working through the 10 days.

Mallory then picked up a fever, though you wouldn’t know it by her attitude. She seems un-phased, but is scorching if you touch her. We are alternating Tylenol and Ibuprofen, which seems to keep it under control mostly. She came down to our room this morning after having thrown up in her bed. It looks like it was more of a gag than a purge (thankfully). Comforter and sheets are in the wash and she’s chilling in front of the TV right now.

Angie has something that she thought initially might be shingles. It’s remained pretty localized though and may be some sort of poison ivy or similar type irritation. It’s right at her waste-band though, so it’s driving her crazy.

Me? So far so good, but it wouldn’t surprise me if tomorrow I wake up with a sinus infection and a rash, throwing up in my bed!

BTW… we are back on P90X. There will be no public pictures (unless I get ridiculously ripped, which won’t happen, because I’m not very good at keeping the ridiculous diet.) More on this soon I’m sure.

Life Never Slows Down

Funny how life never slows down… I’m always waiting for that chance to catch my breath… and in as many years as I can remember, it hasn’t come.

Kylie’s home for the summer. She’s working at American Eagle and doing some side design work on the internet. It’s good to have her home.

Mallory’s Birthday is Sunday. We’re having a party on Sunday at the house with a bounce castle. She’s getting a remote control dog (but keep that between you and me ok?) I actually got a present for her birthday as well… a new camera is on it’s way… should be delivered on Friday so I can take some snazzy new pictures and maybe even upload them.

Calen has been under the weather a little and finally had enough tonight and barfed his guts out… He seemed to feel better afterwards, but Angie is going to take him to the doctor tomorrow to see whats up.

Angie just got back from Boston on a business trip. The kids and I picked her up from the airport after work. Faye came in to visit and to be here for Mallory’s birthday, so I wasn’t on my own with the kids. My wife loves me… or my mother in law does… or both.

I think that’s it for now… not creative or funny… but at least I posted!

We’re Not in Kansas Anymore

A tornado (or “potato” for those of you that have been with us for a while) has come through my house!! That is the only explanation for my life passing before my eyes. Where does time go? And how do I get it back? Just 5 years ago, we gained a silly teenager that wore a Mighty Mouse t-shirt, no makeup and a ponytail 24/7. My baby girl carries on adult conversations and starts school in a year and a half. And my baby boy is…well, a boy…with attitude, I might add.
Kylie came home over the weekend, and we stayed up until 1:00 am just talking. I was so tired at church…but I didn’t care. I would sacrifice many hours of sleep for the real conversation we had. It was awesome! She and I are so different that sometimes we just don’t see eye to eye. But there are those times where I realize I love her so much that I could just burst and my heart could just break for her. And then there are times (like right this second) where I realize how much patience she has with me. I can’t imagine what life will be like when she only comes home for holidays and such.
Calen is my teddy bear. I hope and pray that he wants to cuddle with us until…I guess, until it just gets weird. His little smile and laugh make me want to squeeze the stuffing out him. He is such a lovable child. But he is also the most stubborn child (I have no idea where he gets that). He is refusing to talk. That’s right! Refusing! He’ll say “ball”, “block” and “book”. Hand him an empty cup and a bubble wand, and he will dip that wand in that cup and walk around saying “bubble” for hours. If he wants to slide, he’ll point and say “slide”. Pick up something and hand to him, he’ll even say “thanks”. But ask him say “dada”, “mama”, “milk”, “eat”, “more”, “up”, ANYTHING, and you get a head turn and a “mm…mm”, as in “no way, Jose”. Knowing what we know, that he can actually talk, we have tried to force the issue. He will be standing there, crying his eyes out, reaching for the cup of milk and all he has to do is say anything that remotely sounds like “milk”!…heck, even give me the sign that is merely a hand squeeze!…and the child will walk away empty-handed. Seriously? Yep. He would rather do without than ask for it. Now before you judge (you know you were), we don’t let him starve. We just pick our battles.
Now, where to start with Mallory? She is at “that” age. That age where you cannot believe what just came out of her mouth.
“You stepped on my foot, Mallory.” “I’m sorry, Mommy. I didn’t realize your foot was there.”
“What’s going on, Mallory?” “Well, apparently….”
“Daddy, I know it all cause I’m a smart cookie.”
But tonight, she took the cake. We were having a particularly bad night with her. She was overly tired and Calen just wasn’t doing exactly what she wanted (that never goes over well for some reason). So she was whisked off to her room for throwing a fit. I went in to say good night, and she started asking about our small group that we host in our home.
“Mommy, when are my friends coming over again.” “Tomorrow night.” “Why?” “Because they always come over on Tuesday night.” “Well, I miss you when you go upstairs.” “Well, honey, we adults go upstairs to do a bible study and learn about God while you play with your friends. Isn’t that fun?” At this point, she started getting tears in her eyes and puckered lips like when you’re trying really hard not to cry and says, “But mommy, when you guys go upstairs and leave me downstairs with my friends, I really miss you. I love you guys and I like to be with you.” And she reached out to Johnathan with one hand and put the other one around my neck and hugged me really tightly. Oh my. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to laugh or cry. I looked at Johnathan, and he said, “Yeah, I’m just going to sleep up here tonight.” Wow. I think I’m going to quit my job tomorrow.
The second part was really funny. Somehow she decided to ask us to teach her how to drive a car. I said, “Well, you’re not quite big enough to reach the pedals and see over the dashboard at the same time yet. When you are, we’ll teach you to drive.” “Mommy, how are you guys going to teach me to drive?” “With a lot of patience.” She put her hands over her mouth and started laughing, “Don’t tell me that!” Which really meant “don’t say that!”
There are tons of cute things that just aren’t coming to mind right now, but I’m sure when I wake up tomorrow, I’ll have some great stuff to talk about…like a good conversation with Mallory and/or Calen while they were home from college…and some cute things that my grandkids from Kylie are saying.

The 3 S’s: Sickness, Staples and Sad

So I’m not up for going into a lot of detail, but I want to remember this stuff down the road.

Angie had a trip for work scheduled to Vegas (for a conference). We talked about me tagging along, but decided against it. Instead, I would play Mr. Mom… The week before, Calen got sick on Thursday and stayed home (with me) on Friday. His fever was gone Sunday morning, so I took him to Daycare on Monday. They sent out a note saying that a lot of kids were sick and please don’t bring them in if they are. I thought I’d do them a favor and tell them that it had come and gone with Calen and share some symptoms.

So about 15 minutes later I get a call saying “Well, Calen is actually still sick”… hmmm, ok, well I’ll come get him (and while I’m there I might as well get Mallory too. So I pick them both up and bring them home. Fifteen minutes later, I hear Mallory say, “DADDY! WE HAVE A MESS HERE!” So I wander into the kitchen to find that she’s had an accident (of the stinky variety) and that it’s escaped onto the floor… Well, gross, but I can do this. And so begins the next 3 days of Mallory being sick out one end, Calen spitting up out the other. The only saving grace was that they took turns and that Mallory made it to the bathroom 4 out of 7 times that first day.

Angie got home from her trip on Wednesday night (just as the kids were feeling better) and they went back to Daycare on Thursday. Friday Daycare was closed, so she stayed home with them.

Then on Saturday Mallory got a fever that lasted a couple days, and on Sunday Calen got the same fever, but his didn’t go way. In fact, it got up to 105 and we went to the doctor. There they decided to prick his finger and take some blood (I offered my finger instead, but they said it didn’t work that way). His blood count came back high, so they wanted to do a catheter and get some “clean urine”. (I did not offer myself for this procedure). After what was a traumatic event for both he and I, the results came back clean. They did decide to put him on an antibiotic just in case though given the high white count. A few days later he was good again and went back to school.

Fast forward to yesterday, when Daycare calls and says “Calen swallowed a staple”… Now I’m not going to go into the “how does a 11 month old get hold of a staple in a daycare class rant” but not knowing what else to do we called the Dr. again, and Angie took him over for an x-ray. Sure enough, an open staple in his stomach. The doctors sent him home with orders to check his poop for the staple for the next few days and if we saw blood to take him to the Vanderbilt ER. (That’s not comforting). I checked this morning (what a fun process) and indeed there was a staple. I was glad to see it out of him with not apparent damage, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t hope secretly that the daycare had to search his poop today.

Which brings me to the trip to Daycare this morning where Mallory offered me half of a slimy fruit snack. I politely declined but praised her for her willingness to share. She said “I thought you wanted a fruit snack Daddy”. I said “Well, I wanted a whole fruit snack, but I don’t really want half of one”… She said “Are you sad Daddy?” “No, why honey?” . . . she said “Because you are talking slow”. I never would have phrased it that way but it makes perfect sense that she would characterize slower speech as sad. Just caught me a little funny.

Speaking of catching me… a few nights ago she prayed that Kylie would have the “opportunity to come home and see us”… Something magical about praying with your kids I think. Kylie is home and we are glad for it. Calen’s birthday celebration is tomorrow even though his birthday isn’t until the 11th. I’m glad Kylie go to be there for that and I”m hoping to have her car fixed in time for her to drive it back to school. She seems to really be enjoying Interior Design. I hope that she continues to enjoy it or if not that she finds something she can really enjoy doing.

Ok… enough for now. I intended to be short.

Out of the mouth of babes…well, our babe

Mallory is at that age where you wish you had a tape recorder tied to her at all times.  You just never know what’s going to pop out of that little mouth.  And the biggest problem is that you know she gets it from you.  Of course, Johnathan taught her stuff like, “See this elbow.  Right in your forehead, baby.  Bam, Bam, Bam, Bam.”  And the ever popular, “It’s time to crack some skulls, baby.”  But then, there is the occasional thing that you have no idea where it came from like, “Fine, mom.  Fine.” (yes, she’s only three)  I thought I would share some recent excerpts.

Just today, Johnathan was taking the kids to school.  Mallory likes to talk so he was asking her if she was going to have fun at school.  She said, “No.  I’m going to be shy.”  “Why are you going to be shy?”  “Cause when I’m shy, the teachers hold me.”  (I knew it!!!  Stinkin’ kid!)  “I’m going to be shy for 30 minutes.  Want me to count to 30, daddy?”  “Sure.”  “1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 30.”  (Impatient too.  That’s my girl!)

Tonight, she asked if we could eat dinner while we watched Tinkerbell.  We agreed that was fine since we had said no last night.  The only problem is that she is her father’s child.  She gets fixated on the TV.  I mean, fully engulfed.  (I have carried on one-sided conversations with Johnathan for several minutes.)  She wasn’t paying attention to her food so Johnathan kept pushing pause to make her take a big bite.  She expressed her displeasure by saying, “Aaahhh.  Do we have to keep doing this?!”

I think my favorite though was one day when I picked her up from school.  She always gets a fruit snack for the ride home…provided she kept her pants dry all day.  This particular day, she finished it before we go to the red light, which was very fast.  I said, “Wow!  You ate that fast!”  She said, “Yeah…I’m an inja.”  (Those of you that know Johnathan well, will know exactly where that originated.)

Maybe we should homeschool?

The Helena Public School system is considering a comprehensive plan for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. It includes teaching first graders that people can be attracted to the same gender. In second grade students are instructed to avoid gay slurs and by the time students turn 10 years old they are taught about various types of intercourse.

According to the draft proposal obtained by FOX News Radio, fifth graders should “understand that sexual intercourse includes but is not limited to vaginal, oral, or anal penetration.”