Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Carrots, DNA, Styrofoam, and the Sun

It was a Science Fair marathon in our house yesterday. My house looked like a "science-meets- craft-store" explosion. Poster boards, paints, construction paper, scissors, glue sticks, sharpie markers. Three experiments. Three projects. Three boards. Leasie's Question: What do my rabbits like to eat? (An animal science project)
Here we are at 9:30pm making a giant carrot.
Madi's Question: What has more DNA: broccoli, cantaloupe, or styrofoam? Here we are at 10pm with the glorious paper cutter.

Final Product! 11:30pm. Tired but happy.

To be continued...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

18 Months

Baby C at eighteen months:
Curious. Helpful. Mischievious. Amiable.
Belly Laugh. Buddha Belly. Belly that is perfect for a tickle.
Stomping. Jumping. Running. Crashing. Somersaulting.
Dancing with elbows bent and hands in jivin' fists.
T-man's morning alarm clock, yelling from your crib: "Hi!"
Tender. Tiny dimpled hands that pat my back.
Head with soft hair that rests against my shoulder.
Arms that barely reach around my neck for a squeeze.
"Book?" "Mom?" "Again!"
Snuggling on my lap.
Tears. Tantrums. More tears. "So Sorry."
Melts even big sister's heart.
Peanut-butter sandwiches. Dum Dum lollypops. Apples eaten to the core.
Sticky kisses.
So glad you're here.
So glad we didn't stop at four.
My little partner. My little friend.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

You Know You've Lost Your Mind When...

For Baby C's 18 month milestone, I signed her up for a photo session. Since I failed to have any "professional" pictures taken of her up until now, I was determined to capture every facet of her fun, wild, stubborn, and adorable personality. I had my check list: two cute changes of clothes (check), a bright yellow flower to adorn her outfits (check), treats for bribery (check), diapers (check), even a couple of hats if the photographer wanted to get creative (check). But somehow I forgot to bring my brain (uncheck). Here was one of the cutest photos from the session. Except...notice that I grabbed the letter "E" to have next to Baby C (whose name begins with C!!) Why? Because I am a mom of five lively kids and that means, frankly, that there are times my brain is simply missing.

The funny thing is...neither I nor the photographer (who is a family friend) even noticed the wrong letter during the photo shoot. It wasn't until I was driving home, the kids quietly napping in the car, that it came to me. And I laughed. Outloud. At my mothering mistake.

When Baby C is older and asks about the picture, maybe I'll tell her I used the "E" because I think she is extraordinary, exceptional, and energetic. Or maybe, I'll tell her the truth, and we'll share a good laugh.

Monday, March 1, 2010

100,000 Miles

This weekend we said goodbye to our Dodge Caravan. It had been dying a slow, painful (expensive) death over the past few months, so it was definitely time to move on. I parted with the Dodge for 1/10 of what we bought it for, and didn't even blink. I was glad to be rid of the aging engine, the iffy transmission, and the collection of stains and spills collected over the past six years.

But as I was running the next day, I got to thinking about that good 'ol car. And can you believe, I started getting a little sentimental? I felt badly that after 100,000 miles, I had left it, parked in the dark, lost amongst the rows of Toyotas, without a proper goodbye.

So here's my goodbye:
Thank you, Dodge Caravan, for fitting four car seats comfortably. (Picture taken in 2004).
Thank you, Dodge Caravan, for getting my family safely from one side of the country to the other.
Thank you, Dodge Caravan, for the multiple trips to Myrtle Beach--and for not minding the sand that inevitably tagged along.
Thank you, Dodge Caravan, for clocking the mileage of my runs and making me feel good about even the smallest tenth-mile improvement.
Thank you for lulling the children to sleep during our all-night-long drives to Mississippi.
Thank you for the dance music--for letting us boogie from our seats.
Thank you for holding so much stuff (especially on Costco runs and Ikea shopping trips!)
Thank you for keeping us toasty warm on snowing days.
And thank you for keeping us cool as we drove home from the swimming pool in mid-August.

(Here are the twins on the floor of the Dodge right after a diaper change, 2004)
Though I won't miss the stubborn mystery stain that looks suspiciously like a McDonald's strawberry milkshake, or the crayon drawings of the sun under the back window, or the frequent trips to Mark the mechanic (we're on a first name basis), you've been good to us.

Thanks for the journey.