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Monday, June 27, 2011

Edit on the update

I know I can edit the last post but I feel like it deserves its own post.

We took the kids to a movie yesterday in the theater, Lottie's second movie and Dallas's first.  I realized that they're growing up and getting older, which may be silly because it's just a movie, right?  I started thinking about missing the fact that Lottie and Dallas aren't babies anymore, but that's not really what I miss.  I don't necessarily miss getting up at all hours of the night or not understanding the little baby cries.  I'm still changing Dally's diapers, so I haven't had a chance to miss diapers yet.

What I am dreading is the day the kids don't need me anymore.  In my heart, I know that they'll always need me.  I mean, I'm 38 years old, and I still need my mom.  But there will come a day when the kids think they don't need me, and that's gonna kill me.  I do everything for them right now: feed them, clothe them, play with them, laugh with them, scold them, hug them, soothe boo-boos, read to them, exclaim over their drawings, break up their fights, watch them dress up in silly outfits, and tuck them in at night.  I'm there for them; I'm ALWAYS there for them.

Someday, and I know it will be sooner than I think, they're going to think they can do it all themselves.  I'm going to have to let them think that and do what they need to do because that's the whole point of raising kids, to make them independent.  But where does that leave me?  I'll be a chauffeur, but I hope that's not my only role.  I don't want to be left behind, especially when I am giving so much now to make them into responsible, loving, caring adults.  I just hope they continue to come to me their whole lives and know that even though I get frustrated (a lot), I would do it all again for them.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I'm (sort of) back!

Here I am, a little less than a week after surgery.  Some of the days have been a bit hazy, but I'll update you on what I remember.

The alarm clock went off at 5:30 Tuesday morning.  WAAAAAAAY too early.  Actually, I went back to sleep for fifteen minutes, and then I had to rush to get ready to leave.  Trevor's parents arrived at 6:00, and T and I left for Bluegrass Orthopedics.  I didn't have to wait too long once I was there: I was the first surgery of the morning.  I filled out some paperwork, changed into a lovely gown, paper slippers, and a hairnet.  Apparently, I'm a total doofus because I didn't know until I was already nattily dressed for surgery that I would be under general anesthesia.  I knew I would be getting a nerve block, but I thought for sure that my doctor had said I would be awake but out of it during the surgery.  Wrong.  Totally wrong.  Trevor knew the whole time I would have the general anesthetic, and he had been making jokes about it for weeks.  I just thought he was messing with me, as usual, so I ignored him.  So you can imagine that I was a teeny bit stunned when I had to sign a paper acknowledging the risks of the general anesthesia.  Luckily, I didn't have too much time to be nervous.  Soon after signing the paper, they hooked me up to an IV and gave me something to "relax" me.  I remember nothing after that.  Not a thing.  Since then, I have been in a sling and trying to rest my shoulder.  Ha.  Resting.  Funny.  Nicole has been a HUGE help; she has come every morning to play with the kids, so my duties have been confined to the afternoon.  Trevor has really stepped up, too, and I'm grateful.  My shoulder has been feeling better every day.  My follow-up appointment with my doctor is Wednesday morning, and I'm really hoping I get the go-ahead to drive.  I'm feeling a little bit housebound, but I'm also trying to keep in mind that Caroline Ingalls would have never complained about being stuck at home, at least, not out loud.

We had a pretty good weekend chez Wells.  On Saturday, Trevor and Lottie went to swim lessons, and Dallas and I went to the flower stand on the corner.  I wanted to keep him away from the pool and get myself out of the house.  Score!  We got some new hanging baskets and two peppermint sticks.  Random, I know.  Trevor had to work Saturday afternoon, so I hung out with the kids in the backyard.  I did some work with one arm, and the kids played in the sprinkler.  As usual, they were nude in the backyard.  My kids just really like to be nekkid.

This morning, Sunday morning, we did a family run to the grocery.  We had to bribe the kids to be good because they didn't want to go.  However, Trevor had to take me since I couldn't push the cart or I'm not allowed to drive yet, and I didn't trust Trevor to go alone.  The grocery bags would have been filled with spicy mustard, hot peppers, walnuts, and Doritos.  Both kids pushed their own little carts.  It was adorable but painful, especially when Dallas slammed into the back of my ankle with his cart.  Watch it, kid.

 Trevor and I decided to punish ourselves further by taking the kids to the movies this afternoon.  The theater experience started out badly.  I mean, we hadn't even left home yet.  Really?  Dallas decided to take a nap today, and I knew that waking him up was going to be an arduous task for everyone involved.  The minute I kissed him awake, he was mad.  Angry.  Honked off.  He said he wasn't going to go downstairs with me, eat a snack, or go to the movies.  Sigh.  We all tried to talk to Dallas about his decision, even Lottie, but every one of us was met with resistance and screaming.  I didn't particularly care about the movie, but I knew Dal would hear Lottie and Trevor leave and then lose his mind about not being able to go.  Bingo, mama.  The front door shut, Dallas came downstairs and wailed, "I want to go to the movies!"  Luckily, there was a lot of traffic and T hadn't made it out of the driveway.  I ran out the door like a madwoman, waving my sling in the air, and T came back for us.  We saw _Rio_ and the kids were both fantastic.  Dallas pretty much stared at the movie screen while he shoved piece after piece of (brought from home) popcorn into his face, while Lottie sucked down a fruit punch and alternately  laughed and clutched my arm out of fear for the hero bird's fate.  There is something bittersweet about our first movie as a family.  It's exciting to know that this will be a fun activity for us as a family, but it's a little sad to know that the kids are old enough to do this now.  They're not babies anymore, and sometimes, I miss my babies.

Monday, June 20, 2011

WWCID

Some people live their lives with the thought "What would Jesus do?" always in their minds.  I prefer to think, "What would Caroline Ingalls do?"  I'm a huge fan of all things Little House on the Prairie.  HUGE.  I have all the books in hardback, thanks to Tiffany Myers, and I own the entire TV series on DVD, thanks to my fabulous husband.  I dream of visiting all of the sites described in the books, and I really hope some day Lottie loves the books as much as I do. I have devoured everything I could find about Laura Ingalls Wilder and her family, and until recently, I have identified with Laura.  As I get older, I tend to think of myself as Caroline Ingalls, Ma to Mary, Laura, Carrie, and Grace.  (There was no Albert in real life, you know.  He didn't kill Mary and Adam's baby by accidentally burning down the blind school or become addicted to morphine.  Sorry to burst your bubble.)

Ma was the perfect prairie wife and mother.  She supported Pa when he needed to head West to get away from the growing crowds of settlers, and she was a patient mother to her girls.  Caroline cooked, cleaned, took care of livestock, dealt with famine and locusts, and even helped Charles build their homes.  During one of her stints as a carpenter, a huge log fell on Ma's leg and hobbled her.  She soaked her leg in scalding hot water, wrapped it up tightly with rags, and went about her business.  She still cooked, cleaned, cared for the children, and did all the usual prairie woman stuff.  I'm sure she probably managed to fit in a bit of mending as well.  And she did this all with no Tylenol, no Percocet...not even Bayer aspirin.

This particular scene is on my mind because I'm having my surgery tomorrow, and I'll be hobbled, too. Well, perhaps I won't be exactly hobbled, but my right arm will be in a sling for a while.  I wonder if I'll be as industrious as Ma was.  I have a feeling I'll be too doped up and sore to do much other than lie on the couch or recliner and catch up on all the "Real Housewives of..." episodes that are on the DVR. And I'll be doing that in my brick home with plenty of bedrooms, real mattresses, and air conditioning.  Of course, I'll also have Trevor playing the role of Pa, but he's definitely an enlightened Pa.  He'll fluff my pillows, bring me soup, and put my needs before his.  I hope I can even convince him to wash my hair when I'm allowed to shower.

So, I doubt I'll be twisting a lot of sticks of hay, grinding wheat to make bread, making buttonholes, or gently admonishing my children in the next few days.  I also know I won't be typing, either, but if Caroline Ingalls could survive without a MacBook Pro, so can I.  For a few days, at least.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Mama don't like smug


Today wasn’t Dallas’s best day.  He became a swim lesson drop out, and he took an ill-fated trip to the barbershop.  Lately, he hasn’t minded getting his hair cut too much because he gets to go to Berkshire Trains afterwards and play with all the cool Thomas toys.  He loves that place so much that he whispers its name with pure joy.  His face lights up and he’ll say, “Mommy, Daddy is taking me to the…train store.”  I don’t know why he feels the need to use hushed tones, but he’s not screaming, so I’m happy.  Apparently, the scene at the barbershop pre-train store was like one out of the bowels of hell.  There was a lot of crying, struggling, hitting, and overall unpleasantness.  As a result, Dallas’s haircut wasn’t quite finished: it’s really short in the back and long in the front.  I guess it’s kind of a reverse mullet, and that’s quite a look.

On the swim lesson front, things weren’t much better.  Last weekend, Dallas clung to me in the pool like a spider monkey.  I knew he would never be a star pupil in the class, but I was pleased he had gotten in the water with me to try it out.  This week, he wouldn’t even get in the water.  He just sat at the edge of the pool and told me he wasn’t going to go in.  I was in a swimsuit in front of a bunch of skinny, young, blond moms – one of them in a BIKINI- so I was not pleased that Dallas had chosen this particular moment to really stand his ground.  I found myself becoming increasingly more frustrated with the whole issue, and I couldn’t figure out why.  I really don’t give a hoot if Dallas wants to swim or not.  He’s two years old, and I imagine the pool looks pretty deep to him even at a depth of four feet.   The only reason we even started the lessons was because he said he wanted to try it after watching Lottie fling herself into the pool week after week at her swim lessons.  I tried a few half-hearted attempts to get him into the water with no success, and then I declared our pool time over for the day. 

After the whole thing was over, it finally hit me why I was upset: the other mothers.  These other women in the pool with their six-month-old babies were smiling at me when Dallas refused to get into the water, but the smiles weren’t ones of sympathy.  Well, they were faux-sympathetic, and that’s what really ticked me off.  The other mothers were in the water with their perfect little babies who didn’t yet have the verbal ability to scream, “Get me out of here!”  These Smuggy McSmugsters were probably inwardly congratulating themselves for not having difficult children, children who didn’t listen and who refused to do as they were told.  Children who had opinions and expressed them.  They smiled at me as if to say, “Gee, you must be embarrassed that your hoss of a kid is too scared to go into a pool with a bunch of babies.”  Seeing those smug smiles on their smug faces made me want to scream.  I wanted to say, “Just wait until your kid is two years old, and then we’ll see who’s smug.”  I wanted them to understand that maybe my boy didn’t want to swim, but he could speak and sing circles around other kids his age.  I wanted them to know that he has memorized the majority of the books in our house and can “read” them back to me at any moment.  So maybe my son won’t be an athlete, but he’s smart, funny, stubborn, and curious.  I wanted to tell all of this to the Queens of Smugville, but instead, I took Dallas’s hand and led him into the locker room where I promised him that he wouldn’t have to go back in the water until he was good and ready.  He hugged me and said, “You’re the best woman I ever had, Mommy.”  Take that, Smugsteronies.  

Monday, June 13, 2011

Three thousand words

Here are some pictures of my kidlets in all their randomness.


This was on movie and popcorn night.  Strike that.  It was really movie and popcorn afternoon because both kids were super-crabby and I doubted they would make it long enough past bedtime to watch a movie.  This ultimate in treats happened because Trevor was out of town for the night, and we were celebrating being out from under his tyranny.  KIDDING.  It's just a fun thing to do when the routine gets all shook up.  I love that they chose to sit together to watch the movie and share popcorn.  Note who holds the food, though.  He's not giving that up for anyone.


Lottie helped me bake today - obvi.  My dad and his buddies are in town golfing, and it has become a tradition that I send over a pineapple upside down cake every year when they visit.  This time, there are more golfers, so I made two cakes.  While I was cracking the eggs into the batter, Dallas, who had wandered in for a moment before returning to whatever solitary game he was enjoying, said, "I can't have eggs."  He looked sad for a moment before lighting up with a smile and saying, "But Lottie can have eggs!  She can eat that cake!"  After I picked up the teeny pieces of my heart that had fallen to the floor, I decided that my boy needed a baked good, too.  So, an egg- and dairy-free banana bread was soon in the oven.  Lottie had been a great helper and begging to lick the beaters, so I let her go at it.  Apparently the beater wasn't enough, so she stuck her whole head into the bowl.  That's my girl, fire hat and all.


This was taken last week when it was dreadfully, horribly, insanely, disgustingly HOT.  Dallas wrapped a beach towel around himself and said, "Look, Mommy.  I'm Jesus."  'Nuff said.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

K. C. Wells, author

On a whim a few weeks ago, I submitted an essay about being a stay-at-home mom to Blogstar.  When I sent the email, I told the editor, Sarah Bryden-Brown, that I eagerly awaited her rejection.  I had pretty much written it off and chalked the whole thing up to good experience.  So you can imagine my shock when I got an email from her on Friday saying that my essay was going to be published in an ebook.  I read the email about five times to make certain she really meant to send it to me.  ME.  Then I got another email, a group email, to all of us whose essays had been accepted.  Yep, there was my email address again.  It was real.

SQUEEEEEEEEEE!!  I'm going to be published!!!!  I don't know too many details yet, but the book should be ready around the first of July.  As soon as I know more, I'll pass along the information.

I haven't stopped smiling in days.  (Well, there may have been that one time when Dallas napped in the afternoon then refused to go to bed until 11:30 that evening...)

Friday, June 10, 2011

The apple doesn't fall far from the snark



Lottie has really been testing my mettle lately.  Anytime I tell her something, she always answers, "I know" with exaggerated patience.  As a matter of fact, she always has to answer everything.

Me: "Lottie, get your socks."
Lottie: "I AM, Mom."

Me: "Lottie, don't scream in the car.  It's very distracting."
Lottie: (Incoherent mumbling in the back seat.)
Me: "What did you say?"
Lottie: "Nooooothing."


Me: "Lottie, let's put some sunscreen on before we go outside."
Lottie: "I know that, Mommy.  Remind Dallas; don't remind me."

See what I'm saying?  Ms. Smarty Pants is already acting like a teenager.  A know-it-all teenager.  This morning on the way to Monkey Joe's, she made a comment about my driving.  She claimed I wasn't planning to stop for a stop sign when I was obviously slowing down.  I reminded her that I had been driving for 22 years, and I was a pretty good driver at that.  She muttered something under her breath, and I instantly had the desire to make a snappy comment back to her.  That's when it hit me.  With dawning horror, I realized something: Lottie. is. exactly. like. me.

She always wants to have the last word, she doesn't like being told what to do, she's very sensitive and emotional, she's insanely verbal, she's wily, and she's usually considering someone else's feelings before her own.  She often flies off the handle for no apparent reason and then immediately feels bad about it.  She takes care of Dallas like it has been her job since she was born.  She sort of swishes the water around in her mouth when she takes a drink before she swallows it.  She can be quite snarky if she's in a mood.  She loves books and movies, especially ones with happy endings.  When Lottie is embarrassed, she likes to be left alone for a few minutes to collect herself, and she often returns smiling, like nothing ever happened.  She plays with different kids at the park all the time, and all of them instantly become her new best friends.  She loves to lie in my bed in the morning and have a "snuggle party" before breakfast.  She gets a little nuts when she's tired and has a really hard time winding down.  She tends to waste energy worrying about things that will never come to pass.  When Dallas cries, she cries.  Her heart is truly full of love.

It's humbling and weird to see oneself reflected so wholly in another person.  I get to see my best and my worst qualities played out in my daughter.  I find that the times I am most frustrated by her are the times she is basically mimicking what she has seen me do, and sometimes that's a bit of a smack in the face.  (Figuratively, of course.  No children chez Wells are smacked.)  I'm sure this isn't a new revelation and that all parents go through this, but it's new to me.  It's funny to have a Mini-Me, and it's also breathtakingly scary.   She's watching and listening more closely than I ever imagined, so I need to essentially be the woman I want her to be someday.  No pressure there.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Queries

Last night, I worried about the upcoming surgery.  A lot.  But this morning was another day, so I have tried to put the majority of worries behind me.  I am left with a lot of questions, though.  Oh, sure, I asked the doctor the usual questions like "How long will the recovery take?" and "When can I drive?"  But the questions that I still don't have answered are the important ones.  With my right arm, my dominant arm, in a sling, I think I'll have some issues.

*How will I do my makeup in the mornings?
*How will I put on a bra?
*How will I wash my hair?
*How will I play with my iPhone?
*How will I type on the computer?


Yes, I know those are all superficial issues, but they're important to me.  So there.  I do have other concerns that are serious, though.

*How will I take care of the kids?  Get them dressed?  Feed them?  Cuddle them?
*How will I sleep?
*Will I be totally squinky when I see what's under the bandage?
*Will I go completely nuts after six weeks in a sling?
*Will the surgery fix the problem?
*Will I become increasingly more neurotic in the next twelve days?

Methinks the answer to that last question is a resounding YES.  Poor Trevor.  I hope he's prepared.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Surgery a-go-go

I got the verdict today: the surgery is a-comin'. It's scheduled for Tuesday, June 21. Major yuck. I'm not looking forward to it. Blah. I wonder if they'll make me a pink, sparkly sling?


This one is pretty cool!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Hope, thy name is Z-Pak

As previously mentioned, Trevor and I have been hit with some nasty sinus issues.  We both got appointments with our respective doctors today, and we both got Z-Paks.  Very romantique, no?  This is the hope I need that the gross yuck will be leaving S. Ashland Ave. soon.

Today was a pretty good day.  I took the kids to the Y, and they hung out in the Kids' Corner with their buddy Eli while his mom and I did our exercise things.  All of the kids did well and there were no tears: I may have to rent Eli for the summer so I can continue to get to the Y on non-sitter days.  After the Kids' Corner stint, we all went to the pool for lunch and fun in the 95 degree heat.  Going to the pool necessitated a huge packing job at home before we left.  I spent the morning filling bags with towels, the kids' swimsuits, my swimsuit, extra clothes for everyone, swim diapers, regular diapers, wipes, lunch, snacks, drinks, my sweet Olivia Newton-John-esque sweatband, and my Ipod.  Getting ready for an activity or event is sometimes an all-day job.  Lottie and Eli hung out with Elizabeth, Eli's mom, in the "deep" end of the pool.  It's actually not deep at all; Lottie and Eli could both stand up with half of their chests above the water.  I really think Lottie would have stayed in the pool until sundown had I let her; that girl loves to swim.  Dallas chose to hang out with me at the edge of the zero-entry pool, and by hang with me, I mean sit on my lap while I sat in the pool.  The kid is like a spider monkey in a Little Swimmers diaper.  He did get brave after about 90 minutes and wade into chest-deep water.  Then he wanted me to hold him.  I tried to explain that my shoulder couldn't really handle hefting an extra 38 pounds or so, but he didn't seem to get it.  All in all, it was a good time with good friends.  I hope that spending some time in the pool today will encourage Dallas to give swim lessons a try when we start on Saturday.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Phlegm, phlegm go away

The Great Cold of 2011 has swooped into our home.  Trevor and I have wicked colds, and Lottie seems to be getting it, too.  So far, only Dallas is exempt, but I have a feeling that will change.  Due to the complete and utter fatigue, this is going to be a short update.

We were supposed to start swimming lessons for Lottie and Dallas on Saturday.  When we got there, there was no one in the pool.  No one.  When I asked what was up at the front desk, I was told the lessons didn't start until next Saturday.  Uh huh.  The website said June 4.  Apparently June 4 means June 11 in YMCA-land.  Trevor and I took the kids in the pool anyway; Lottie, fearless as always, jumped in with no regard to safety and Dallas was just a teensy, weensy bit hesitant.  He clung to me like a spider monkey.  After about ten minutes, he said he wanted a snack.  Granola bars beat swimming any day.

And for today's random confession of the day, we have Ms. Lottie Wells.  She got very serious at lunch today and told me she had to tell me something.  She claims that she swallowed a penny...almost three months ago.  I just stared at her as she tearfully promised never to do it again.  I have no idea if it's true or not.  If it is true, why did she wait so long to tell me?  If it isn't true, where did she even get the idea?  I really had nothing to say, so I just told her that it was dangerous and gross.  End of discussion.  Well, end of THAT discussion because Lottie didn't stop talking today.  All.  Day.  Long.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Justice for all

I want to take a break from the usual family hoo-ha chez Wells and write about something that occupies my thoughts and my heart every day.

I follow quite a few writers via their blogs on the Internet.  Over a year ago, I stumbled upon Katie Granju, someone with whom I felt an immediate kinship.  She writes about her job and her life, but she is first and foremost known for writing about her family.  I feel like I know her and everyone she has written about, like they’re old friends I haven’t seen in a while.  I was shocked and saddened last spring when she wrote about her first-born, her son, her Henry.  You see, Katie had been harboring a terrible secret for a long time: she was the mother of a drug addict.  At the time, I was heartbroken for her but thought for sure that Henry would be able to fight the good fight and kick his habit.  Unfortunately, Henry lost his fight.

By April 2010, Henry had been through two rehabs and tried to stop the drug use himself.  He didn’t want to be an addict; he didn’t want the pain.  He had a loving family who did everything they could to help him: everything.  But as we all know, addiction is a terrible beast, and sometimes even love can’t slay it.  On April 26, 2010, Henry was assaulted and beaten with a tire iron.  He was then picked up by two adults who proceeded to take him to their home, give him a dose of methadone, and then watch him begin to die.  They watched him foam at the mouth, they watched him turn blue, they watched him choke on his own vomit, and they didn’t do a damn thing to help him.

Henry didn’t die that night; it was a much longer and more painful struggle. After rallying from a comatose state and even speaking, Henry died of hypoxic brain injury on May 31, 2010. 

Over a year later, there have been no arrests in the case.  None.  The Knox County District Attorney’s office wants Katie to go away; she’s like a pesky fly to them who needs to be swatted.  The detective assigned to Henry’s case said he was an “unattractive victim.”  The authorities even said that the two adults who gave Henry the methadone were Good Samaritans who had simply tried to help.

The truth is that these so-called Good Samaritans are drug dealers and pimps.  When Henry was able to speak after the brutal attack, he admitted to his mother that these people had preyed on his addiction and weakness by pimping him out to other men.  Katie informed the authorities in Knox County, and still nothing was done.  It is all beyond my realm of understanding.

Let’s set aside a moment the fact that Henry was a drug addict.  If he were any other kid who had been beaten to a pulp in a park, the authorities would have investigated it.  Let’s also set aside the fact that Henry was legally an adult at 18 years old.  Being 18 may be the legal definition of an adult in our country, but an 18 year old is simply not an adult, not mentally, not emotionally.  18-year-old kids are graduating from high school, starting jobs, maybe even starting families, but they are not capable of making truly adult decisions.  (And, anyway, 18 is still a TEEN.  Eight-TEEN.  How can someone be a teenager and an adult??)  If Henry had been 17 years old, would that have made a difference?  What if it had been alcohol and not drugs? 

Henry’s family has never denied his drug use and addiction.  He made some bad choices and ended up in some wrong places.  Who hasn’t?  Henry’s drug use should be beside the point.  He was beaten, he was given drugs illegally, and he was prostituted.  Not one of these things is okay.  I have always had faith in the American justice system, but now I’m not so sure.  Apparently the only people who deserve justice are perfect and have never done anything wrong in their lives.  As a mother, my greatest hopes and dreams and fears lie with my children.  Will they be kind and compassionate?  Will they fall in love?  Will they go down the wrong path, and if so, how do I stop them?  I’m sure these are the same things Katie thought about Henry and her other children as well.  People hurt her baby, and she wants justice.  She wants to ensure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else’s baby; it may be too late for Henry, but it’s not too late to save someone else, maybe even someone you love.  Because drug addiction doesn't discriminate: this could happen to your son or daughter, your sister or brother, your mom or dad, or even you.  Isn't it time we said NO MORE to the drug dealers who are on every corner in every town?  Isn't it time to make them stop stealing the people we care about?  

Henry Louis Granju was a son, a brother, a grandson, a nephew, a cousin, and a friend.  He played the guitar and wrote funny stories.  He loved monkeys and he loved his family.  He didn’t deserve to die, but he does deserve justice.  He mattered. 



To read Katie’s blog, click here.

To read Justice for Henry, click here.

To sign the petition to support Katie’s fight for Henry, click here.

To read about and donate to Henry’s Fund, a scholarship fund for addiction treatment, click here.  

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

General update

We had a fun and busy long weekend.  I'll share some of the bullet-point activities.

Friday
*Fun at Boyd's Orchard with Lottie's class for a last hurrah before summer break.  Luckily, my dad came with us because I was spot-on when I guessed that keeping track of Lottie and Dallas by myself would be impossible.  Lottie played on the playground with her friends, had a donut snack, and took a hayride with Pop Pop.  Dallas skipped the hayride in favor of playing on the pirate ship play set.  He also skipped the donut but not by choice.
*Lunch at McDonald's and more playing at the play place there.
*NAPS!  Naps for EVERYONE!  This may not seem like a big deal to you, but my kids haven't consistently napped for months.  Because they both napped, I got to nap.  Nap = happy mommy.

Saturday
*We did a family jaunt to the grocery store, otherwise known to us as "family grosh."  After that, Trevor and I split up some of the household jobs.  I mowed and trimmed while he worked some magic on the back pergola with the power sprayer.  The kids played in the yard and got HOT.  They wore sweatshirts to the orchard on Friday and practically nothing on Saturday.  Gotta love global warming.
*Dinner on the patio at Mimi and Pop Pop's.  My parents' condo has a big water feature just steps from the front door, and it's a huge draw for the kids.  I have learned to pack extra clothing because someone (usually Lottie) ends up soaking wet.

Sunday
*My parents and Trevor's Uncle Hardy came over for a cookout.  Trevor grilled brats and made a green bean and potato dish in the crock pot.  My mom brought a salad and a delicious fruit pizza.  I made vegan banana chocolate chip cookies that were a bit overdone but still tasty.  Good food and good conversation.
*After lunch, we all went outside and watched the kids play in the sprinkler.  It wasn't too long before they had both stripped down to nothing.  Dallas was climbing the rock wall in his birthday suit.  So, so bizarre.
*Trevor and I took turns going to the gym.  I got to watch the beginning of _The Fugitive_ on the TV while I did the stair climber.  That kept my heart rate up!

Monday
*Trevor worked in the morning while I hung out with the kids.  It was still horribly hot, but that doesn't seem to stop Lottie and Dallas from playing hard.  At some point they had a popsicle treat outside and helped Trevor finish the power washing.
*We were lucky enough to snag Nicole to babysit so the adults to go out to dinner.  Trevor, my parents, and I went out to Sal's Chophouse and had an insanely delicious meal.  It was great to have good food and adult conversation, though we talked about the kids a lot.  :)

Tuesday and Wednesday have brought more sprinkler playing, preschool nudity, and the summer debut of the plastic elephant pool.  Both kids were nude for about four hours this afternoon in the yard.  It's very strange, but it's definitely not worth a battle.  Tonight will be the first night Trevor and I will go to the summer classic movie series atthe Kentucky Theater in downtown Lexington.  Every Wednesday afternoon and evening in the summer, there is a classic movie shown along with a serial beforehand.  Last year, the serial was Flash Gordon: total comedy!

Tomorrow is the kids' last day of school.  If you don't hear from me, send help.