Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Avoiding the Sweat

Have I mentioned it’s been hot around here lately? Well, it has been. Like in the 90’s just about every day in June with about a million percent humidity. It’s been kind of miserable. For me especially, because y’all, I don’t like to be hot. I hate to sweat. I mean… HATE TO SWEAT. I think it has something to do with the fact that when I sweat, I sweat. I don’t glisten. Or lightly perspire. I sweat. Especially my head, because you know I have like three times the normal amount of hair on my head. And all that hair really holds the heat in. And all that hair gets really big and frizzy when it gets sweaty too.

As a side note, I think that’s the real reason there’s so much big hair in the south. Humidity + Hair = Big. I think a lot of women just got tired of fighting it and embraced the humidity-pumped big hair. I can see it. I’ve almost been there myself.

Anyway, in an attempt to avoid sweat and the ensuing big hair, I’ve employed two main tactics this summer. Stay inside as much as possible, and when we must be outside, make sure there is a pool in close proximity.

Monday morning was one of those times when we really needed to get out of the house, but it was already in the 80’s by 9:00. So, we went swimming. Now Abby, after two years of lessons, is a swimmer. She loves any pool and swims all over it. Grayson is a sitter. Not even a wader, just a sitter. He never leaves the steps. He’ll wear some floaties (maybe) if I make him, but it doesn’t really matter because he’s not going to leave the steps.

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There’s Abby swimming…

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And Grayson sitting on the steps.

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Abby swimming…

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And Grayson sitting. At least they’re both happy. And I’m not sweating.

The Cow Goes Moo

Saturday morning I got up itching to go somewhere. It didn’t really matter where, I just wanted to go. We had planned to take the kids swimming that afternoon, but the skies were overcast and it looked like the bottom might drop out any minute. So, I thought it was a great day to mark one of our “summer of fun destinations” off our list. It was 90+ degrees outside and ice cream sounded wonderful. Off to the dairy farm we go!

We skipped naps and headed off to Wright Dairy in Alexandria. Incidentally, as soon as we got in the car to go, the clouds parted and the sun came out. It was a sign from heaven that it was a great day to eat some ice cream! Abby only asked if we were there yet about 547 times, so I consider that a success.

Abby was all excited to see the cows. Why? I’m not exactly sure, since she can see cows just by looking out our front door. But, who am I to squelch her excitement. She did get to see some calves, and then we headed to the store for our main goal. Ice Cream.

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Am I the only mother who finds it nearly impossible to get both kids to look at the camera and smile at the same time? Here, Abby has a case of the squints and God only knows what Grayson is looking at. There was only one take for this shot because we were all anxious for the ice cream. And oh, it was worth the wait! Seriously, it is the best ice cream I have ever eaten and I have put away some ice cream in my life. We also bought a gallon of chocolate milk and some cheese named Wanda. Yes, the name of the cheese was Wanda. And it was good. The chocolate milk, however, was in a league of its own. Abby has taken to calling it the “ice cream” milk because it tastes like melted chocolate ice cream. So good! So good, in fact I would drive to the dairy just to buy chocolate milk. But of course, if we were there, we might as well get some more ice cream too. I think the kids would approve.

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Abby and Grayson both got chocolate ice cream, hence the chocolate mustache on the Abster.

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This picture does not do justice to the amount of chocolate Grayson had on him by the time we got home. He literally had it from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet.

I highly recommend stopping by Wright Dairy if you’re ever in the area. And if you do, let me know ‘cause I might want you to pick me up a gallon of chocolate milk.

For the record, Wright Dairy did not give me free ice cream, cheese or chocolate milk. They did not ask me to write this. They have no idea who I am. We just really had a good time, and the chocolate milk is just that good.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Weekend in Review

The Lane family had another pretty full weekend, or at least I did. I’m pretty sure Burge was glad to go back to work this morning after having the kids by himself not once, but twice this weekend. God bless him for being a hands-on dad and being so willing to spend time alone with his kids, because goodness knows I needed a little time away.

Friday night, I got my scrapbook on with my girls. I love to scrapbook! I also like to eat and spend a lot of time talking and looking at other people’s scrapbooks. Which is why I love to go to crops…all that fun and no kids! Anyway, I finished Abby’s kindergarten year in her school scrapbook, which is a good thing since she starts first grade in a little over a month.

Saturday, Burge mowed the grass, while the kids and I watched cartoons in the air-conditioned house. I’m just a good wife like that. We were going to go swimming, but it was very overcast, and we figured about the time we got to the pool the bottom would fall out and it would storm (wow, how’s that for a run-on sentence?). So, we decided to take a road trip to a dairy farm instead (more on that later). Great fun and good eats ensued. Burge grilled us some pork chops for supper, which are Abby’s favorite. That girl can put away some pork chops. Then after the kids went to bed, Burge and I played Phase 10 and learned it is much easier to get through all ten phases when there’s just two people playing. I won, not to rub it in or anything.

Sunday included church, a blessed nap (why are naps soooooo much better on Sunday afternoons?), and a two hour choir practice. I finished off the weekend by watching New Moon again, while Burge kept the kids again. I feel like I must get prepared for the premiere this week of Eclipse (it is this week, right?), even though I hold no illusions that I will see it before it comes out on DVD.

So, in a nutshell, Burge did a lot of work this weekend, and I did a lot of goofing off. I love that man!

Friday, June 25, 2010

To Infinity & Beyond…or Just the Drive-In

The summer family fun continues! Last night Burge and I took the kids to see Toy Story 3 at the drive-in! What could be more fun than that? We totally buy in to the marketing machine that is Disney, so when the previews started last fall for the newest installment of Buzz and Woody we knew we wanted to take the kids to see it. It was to be Grayson’s first movie on the big screen.

We went back and forth on whether we should see it in the theatre or at the drive-in. Cons for the drive-in included the heat, mosquitoes and other biting/stinging insects, the heat, late night, and did I mention it’s been in the upper 90’s around here lately? Pros for the drive-in were it’s cheaper (and I’m all about the cheap), can legally bring our own snacks (back to the cheap), Grayson would be less likely to disturb those around us which would mean I might actually get to watch some of the movie. Since the pros clearly outweighed the cons (cheap really trumps heat any day), we hit the drive-in.

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We really tried to stack the cards in our favor by letting the kids wear their pajamas and bringing Grayson’s couch for optimum comfort in movie watching.

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We also stopped by Sonic on the way for some liquid refreshment in the form of vanilla Cokes… a rare treat for the kids, a staple in my diet.

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It was not crowded at all, clearly. And thankfully.

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Burge made the comment that you would not want to come watch Children of the Corn here, since it is completely surrounded by corn fields. Let me assure you, I would not want to watch Children of the Corn anywhere.

We had a great time! The kids loved the movie, although they did abandon the plush media room we had set up in the back of the car about halfway through the movie, which was great, by the way. When setting that up, we did not take into account that I did not know how to turn off the interior lights in the car. Those little suckers really heated up the inside of the car since it was already 90 degrees outside. Oh well, you live and learn…

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Y-Y-Yes to V-V-VBS

We wrapped up vacation Bible school at our church a few weeks ago. Saddle Ridge Ranch was closed down. Cowboy hats and bandanas were discarded, and we’ve regained the majority of our hearing after listening to hundreds of kids yell and holler for 5 days straight. But there’s one part of VBS we just can’t seem to let go in our house. It’s the music.

Both Abby and Grayson love music. It’s in their genes since Burge and I both love music. And really, the marketing people at Lifeway could work for Disney, they do that good of a job ingraining their message in your head. Granted, Lifeway’s message is more along the lines of “Jesus loves you” while Disney’s is more like “How much money can we make off of you?”. Anyway, the songs, they stick in your head like you would not believe. I’ve even caught myself singing them. Of course, I have listened to them for no less than 8 hours a day for the last 3 weeks. And on a more random basis for weeks prior to that.

Abby sang them leading up to VBS because she was learning them for the VBS musical.

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She sang them in the musical…

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She sang them in Bible school…

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And then she let them go. However, that’s when Grayson picked them up. He has a few favorites. He likes the Saddle Ridge Ranch theme song, only he refers to it as simply “Fiddle”, because it has fiddle music in it and you’re supposed to act like you’re playing a fiddle in the beginning. He also likes “I Am”, whose chorus says “I am who the Great I Am says I am, I am one of His greatest creations.” But when Grayson sings it, he says “I am great, I am.” Takes on a whole different meaning, no?

But his favorite, by far, is “Yes to VBS”. He sings “Y-E-S V-B-S” all the blessed time. He loves it like no other.

A few notes about the video… It’s poor quality because I have no idea what I’m doing using the video camera. It’s a poor edit because I have even less of an idea how to edit a video, which is evidenced by the fact that it took me over an hour to (very poorly) edit and upload this (very poorly shot) 2 minute video. Grayson was in Abby’s room at the time, and while I would like to say that it’s not usually that messy, that would not be completely truthful. And I have no idea why Grayson had his hand in the back of his diaper. So there you go, it’s taken me longer to explain this video than it did to watch it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sit down in the thinking chair…

Let me start this by saying, yes, we let our kids watch television. Not all the time, not in place of playing outside or reading, but they do watch some television. Usually Nick, Playhouse Disney or Nick Jr.

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Grayson goes through phases where he likes different cartoons. For a while, he was all about Team Umizoomi. He asked all the time if he could watch “Zoomi-Zoomi” and went around singing “Pattern Power”.

There was a slight obsession with Yo Gabba Gabba. I don’t quite understand that one, but it does have some good lessons. You know, don’t bite your friends, eat your vegetables…”There’s a party in my tummy, so yummy, so yummy!”… and possibly most important, how to do the robot.

Then it was Max and Ruby. He still loves him some Max and Ruby. Frankly, this is the most disturbing one. Why is Ruby in charge of her little brother, Max? Where are their parents? Why is Ruby the one who has to give Max a bath and put him to bed at night? Do they live in that house alone? There’s a grandma, but no mom and dad? Seriously, these are the questions that keep me up at night.

Right now, he is completely enthralled with Blue’s Clues. Completely. If I sing the “Think, think, think” song from it once a day, I sing it 50 times. He loves it! He talks to Steve, or Joe depending on the episode, like he’s in the room with him. He even cuts bath time short because he does not want to risk missing one minute of his beloved Blue’s Clues. He sings the songs and does the sign language with them. That’s awesome. You know what’s not so awesome? Grayson has also learned jazz hands. And goes around doing it all the time. And likes it. It’s cute, because let’s face it, just about anything a 2 year old does is cute. But it’s also just a wee bit disturbing.

“Cause when we use our minds and take a step at a time, we can do anything…”

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“…that we wanna do.”

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Weekend in Review

We have had a pretty packed weekend. It started Friday morning with a pool party play date (gotta love alliteration!) with my MOPS group. At 9:30 in the morning, it was only 125 degrees, with 180% humidity, so it was completely bearable.

After a long and much needed nap, we shipped the kids over to my parents for the night, while Burge and I headed to Game Night with our Sunday School class. And oh, the fun that was had. Seriously, there is no end to the fun when you put 15 adults in a room and let them loose with Catchphrase. We played women against men, and the women whipped the men. I mean, handed them their hineys on a platter. The men refused to play anymore after our 3rd win in a row. My personal accomplishment was getting the women to say “scrimshaw” when I didn’t even know what it was. Women do have a distinct advantage in that game because for some reason, we can speak a sort of shorthand language that only other women can understand. The guys were continually amazed at how we could get the right word after only one or two obscure clues. It’s a gift, really.

A gift that apparently also translates into drawing, because next we played Pictionary and the women won again. After that the guys refused to play anymore “women vs. men” games, so we moved on to dominoes. ‘Cause you know, we’re 80 years old. To be honest though, those senior citizens know how to have a good time. I could play dominoes all night long. I’m just cool like that.

Saturday morning, we picked the kids up from my parents’ house and began grandparent detox. Only before the detox could be completed, we met my parents again for a late lunch/early dinner (would that be called linner? Dunch? How about lupper?) at the kids’ favorite restaurant, Cracker Barrel. Yeah, we don’t get out much. Anyway, Grayson was a holy terror when we got seated at our table. I had to take him out, screaming. He was screaming, not me. Although I wanted to. Or maybe cry. Or maybe cry while screaming. We did manage to get through the meal and a trip to Academy to get Abby soccer shoes and shin guards for her upcoming inaugural soccer season. For the record, she did not get her desire to play sports from me.

On Sunday, we had church and a lazy afternoon at home. We closed out Father’s Day weekend with some chips and salsa from the Mexican restaurant and HGTV’s Design Star and The Next Food Network Star. It just doesn’t get much better than Mexican food and reality TV. What a way to start a new week!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Hello, have we met?

Did y’all know I had a blog? No? Well, apparently, neither did I. So, what’s been going on in my rather small world as of late? Here’s a rundown in the ever-popular list format…

1. Since January, I have lost 35 pounds. I finally buckled down and got rid of the “baby weight” that I’ve been carrying since Abby and Grayson were born. And yes, Abby is 6 years old and Grayson is 2, so I really couldn’t use that “I’ve just had a baby” excuse anymore. How did I do it? It’s not rocket science, peeps. I cut out regular soda, eat smaller portions and work-out 4 or 5 days a week on an elliptical for 30 minutes. Here’s some pictorial proof…April 2009 062

Me and the kids at the Birmingham Zoo last spring when I weighed hmmmmmmmpppphhhh *said with hand over mouth*

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And here we are at the Birmingham Zoo this past May when I am 35 pounds lighter. As a side note, why does Abby looked scared in both pictures? And wow, Grayson grew a lot in a year.

2. I did not blog American Idol this year because frankly, the beginning of the season bored me. We really got into it the week Casey James sang Huey Lewis and the News’ “Power of Love” and everyone was hating on it. ‘Cause Burge and I? We love us some Huey Lewis. So, we became Casey James’ fans. But by that time, half the season was over and I just couldn’t start in the middle of the season. Oh, and I had forgotten I had a blog.

3. I would be remiss if I didn’t throw something in here about the Bachelorette. I am a Chris L. fan, which surely means he will not win Ali’s heart. Because anyone I pull for on a reality TV show is destined to lose. See above #2 for example. Anyway, what’s up with all the singing this season? And not good singing, mind you. Cringe-worthy comes to mind. Makes me want to fast-forward comes to mind. But like watching a train wreck, I can’t turn away.

4. My first-born, Abby, graduated from kindergarten and is now officially a first grader. It seems like just yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital. That I was reading her bedtime stories and singing her to sleep. Now, she’s reading to me…

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Here she is, taking her walk down the red carpet…

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Sitting with her class…

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And showing off her trophy after the graduation…

5. Grayson is finally speaking English, and as I suspected, we cannot shut him up. He talks every minute he’s awake and some of the ones when he’s asleep. And there’s no tuning him out. If he does not receive the response he is expecting promptly, he continues to say the same thing louder and louder and louder until we answer him. In other words, he likes to yell. A lot. And loud.

We are enjoying a summer filled with swimming, fun little day trips, and trying not to melt in the 150 degree heat with 250% humidity that is summer in Alabama. So, that’s what’s been going on around here. What have you been up to?