Thursday, July 31, 2008

Learning to Color Between the Lines Has Paid Off

My bathroom walls are bare. I need something for that room, and I can't figure out what I want to do. Well, I saw this project in a magazine, that I can't for the life of me remember which one, it was for silhouettes. I love silhouettes. They are classy, fun, and simple. So I thought I could use some of the photos I have sitting on my hard drive, that I know I will never print, but still like to look at, for this project.

Well, when it was finished, I was pleased with the final product, but it just wasn't working for me. I mean, the bathroom just wasn't right for this one. So, I moved them because I also had a bare wall in the toy room, and well, these were a perfect fit for the kid's toy room.

(Pretend the the photo is straight)

The Little Man on his tricycle:

Remember this picture:

Some bubble fun we had when The Little Man was still little:

The Girl and her athletic talents:

It was a fun and easy way to spend the afternoon...The kids love to watch as well.

Oh, and my bathroom walls...they are still bare...

Monday, July 28, 2008

This Is Why I Never Get Anything Done

I'm a sentimental type. I really like holding onto certain things just for the fact that one day I'll find it again and relive the memory of whatever it was that took place. I guess that is why I so love photography. It's just a snip-it of time, captured forever. You can go back and look at the picture and remember sounds, smells, as well as all that was going on that day. I just love that.

I also take a lot of video. I can't help it. I just love watching home movies. Listening to the way that my babies sounded when they were first learning how to talk brings tears to my eyes. I smile and giggle the whole way through videos, reliving the moment as if it were taking place right now.

I love it when you come across a picture or a video of something that you have completely forgotten all about. I get so happy re-playing it and thinking to myself, "I am so happy I have this!" Had video not been invented, there would be so much I think I would simply forget. Some things that I swore I would never forget, would just slip my mind due to the busyness of my day to day life.

As I was looking for a particular photo tonight, I got totally wrapped up in some video that I found along with it. Thankfully, the kids also love watching video, particularly when it is of themselves. What was supposed to be a 5 minute chore turned into an hour and a half of pure entertainment as we all walked down memory lane.

Just think if I had missed capturing the day my sweet boy needed help because he was trying to play outside on a warm and muggy day. He needed help because the goggles he was wearing (some things never change) got all fogged up and he couldn't see anymore. I remember laughing about that for a couple of days, yet as I pulled up the video to see what it was, I couldn't remember right off hand. As I watched it again, I laughed, then I marveled at how far he has come in one short year in his speaking capabilities. He talks so much now that I can barely get a word in edgewise, and I had long forgotten the days when only one word conveyed everything he was trying to say. And this...this helps me to remember the times I thought he wouldn't walk until he was two. All the trips to physical therapy, and extra work at home finally paid off. Looking at him now, watching him climb all over like a little monkey, ride his bike, and run circles around his sister, you'd never know it...I might have even forgotten it.

Then there is The Girl. She has started Champ Camp again this summer. I found these little gems as I was going through last years photos. Her first attempt at a push-up should have clued me into all of the athletic prowess we were about to encounter for the week. I was not disappointed one bit when they pulled out the soccer balls. She always has a good time though, and could hardly wait to get back there this year. I am happy to say there has been some improvement (you'll be happy to know later this week I will have a post concerning Champ Camp and how far we've come).

Although I would say that I tend to go a bit overboard in "capturing the memory", I hope one day my kids will love going through all of the pictures and video as much as I do. I hope they will never say, "Look at all this junk!", but instead will sit and pour over it with as much enthusiasm as I do every time I go through it. I hope it brings their childhood back into their memory and helps them to remember things that were once forgotten. I know all the pictures and video of my childhood help me to remember just like it was yesterday. I'm glad I come by my sentimental behaviors honestly, and I am thankful for it too every time I get a chance to flip through my baby photo albums that were stuffed full all those years ago.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Little of This and That

There have been a few things here and there going on that I wanted to blog about, but were of no real sustenance so I just kept them to myself. Now I have a big ol' list of stuff that still has no real interest to anyone except for maybe me, but I thought I would share anyways because, let's be honest, isn't that what I have been doing for the past 10 or so months? Why stop now?

1. I think I can officially say that The Little Man is potty trained. Because I have just typed that out, I can pretty much guarantee that I will be doing nothing but changing his clothing all day due to accidents, but I am willing to risk it. Don't be fooled. Just because he is using the potty now doesn't mean we are mess free around here. We are still working on the aim and, oh my, do we have our work cut out for us. I am determined to have a son who will not drive any future wife he has insane with being a bad shot in the bathroom.

2. We have started school shopping. AAACCKKK! I can't believe it is already here! First, my baby is way too little to start Kindergarten. Secondly, where did the summer go? Seriously, my favorite time of the year has flown by with barely a blink of an eye. Before long I will be back in jeans and sweaters and grumbling about the snow and cold.

I just got the heeby jeebies typing that out.

Have mercy.

Along with that, we have to buy school uniforms. I feel very blessed in the fact that The Girl will be going to a school that requires uniforms, and they are very strict with their uniforms. My feelings on this could be a whole other post, and that isn't the point of this blog, so I will just say when we were trying on pants, my baby girl fit into a size 6! A SIX! Do you know how big that is? It is such a far cry from her little baby onesie that she came home from the hospital in, that I was nearly in tears.

I should be totally fine on her first day of school...

3. Going along with the school thing, The Girl has had some "summer homework". It has been just shy of a nightmare to get her to complete it. Seriously, if this is what it is going to look like for the next 12 years, then we are in trouble. The thing is, what she has to do is so super easy for her, I cannot for the life of me figure out why she spends ALL MORNING on it. Before I get ugly here, that's all I am going to say. I am sure there will be a whole new category to this blog in the near future called "Homework Nightmares".

4. Since watching all six of the Star Wars episodes, my son has a new fascination for "Lipe Sabers", sword fighting, killing people, dying, and chopping off heads. I'm very proud. Everything can be a "Lipe Saber" from the forks we eat with to a random branch he finds on the ground. Instead of saying "Hey Wanie, you want to pway Mommy and Baby and I'll be da baby?" he says, "Hey Wanie, you want to fight me? Pretend I will cut off your head and you will die."


In defense of my parenting skills (or lack there of) he was kind of already doing a lot of these things before we let him watch Star Wars. It's like an innate thing for the male species to want to sword fight and shoot stuff. Now he just has names for things, and is mastering specific moves and techniques.

5. Along with Good Guys and Bad Guys theme, The Little Man is also very into Super Heroes. Specifically he likes Superman and Batman. I don't know how he even knows about these guys except for some really good marketing in the toy department at Super T. Tonight he asked me, "Momma, can you sign me up for Superman camp?" I started laughing and said, "Buddy, you are so silly!" He replied with wide eyes and an embarrassed look on his face, "Just joking, mom! I just being silly!" Then there was a long pause after we caught our breaths between giggles. "If dere is Superman camp, can I go?" I said he could because, let's face it, if there was a Super Man camp, it would be so totally awesome for a three year old.

6. I have been on a major soap box lately. This time I am going nutso about food. I can't get over how expensive it is to feed our family and do so healthfully. I am so sick of being penalized in the pocketbook because I don't want my family to eat junk. Hubby is being patient with me as I work out what is and is not allowed in our home any longer. After grocery shopping today he said he did have to put his foot down. He was angry at the bread I brought home. He said, "I understand that you don't want us to eat food made out of junk, but this is where I draw the line. I can't eat peanut butter toast on this kind of bread!" (It was a whole wheat organic bread).

"Really?" I came back with. "Why not?"

"Because, it is just too heavy and it takes forever for it to digest. I just want normal bread, and I won't eat this stuff...Sorry you'll just have to go back and get our regular stuff."

All explanation to him from me was lost. He wanted to hear nothing of it. He ended the conversation with, "Hon, there's a reason why people buy so much food with junk in it....It just tastes better. I like to eat junk."

There you have it. He no longer has any argument or basis when trying to complain about my cooking.

7. Speaking of the Hubby, we just celebrated our eighth wedding anniversary. I cannot believe he has put up with me this long. I feel like the luckiest woman in the world.

Hon, you are such a great husband. You are a generous, trustworthy, funny, spontaneous, hardworking, crazy-wild, smart, God-fearing man. I am so thankful to have you as a husband and as the father of my children. Thank you for eight great years. I can't wait to see what the next eight has in store.

That is a little of what's been going on in our part of the world.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

It's More Than Just a Place to Put Your Money

Ask your kids where they would like to go if they could go anywhere in the whole world, and you would get a bunch of really fun responses. You might hear the park, a favorite restaurant, Disney World, the beach, the pool, a birthday party, the zoo, and this list could go on and on. Some kids probably would have several places they would like to go if the chance were to fall upon them where they were able to choose without any restrictions.

You want to know where The Little Man would like to go? He's been begging for the past week everyday, and for some reason, today, he would. not. stop. with. the. begging. And all that begging? It's because he is DYING to go to the bank.

Yup, that's no typo.

He wants to go to the bank.

Everyday for the last week it's, "Momma, is it da day we go to the bank?" "When can we go to da bank?" and, "I wanna go to da bank, Momma, PWEEEEESE!"

I keep telling him, "No. You have to have money to go to the bank."

This just results in tears and a smallish tantrum.

I'm sure you all know why he wants to go to the bank, but just in case you've missed any of the posts that talk about my son's rather large sweet tooth, I'll just tell you; it's for the sucker.

The kid is dying to go to the bank so he can have a sucker.

Disney World has NOTHING on receiving a Dum Dum just for sitting in the back seat of your mom's car.

Don't worry, I am currently working on how I can use this to my advantage.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

It's Not Just Your Neck You Should Protect

As the summer rolls along, the kids are getting better and better at swimming. Somehow, between yesterday and today, The Girl has figured out how to use her arms and legs at the same time in what, some may say, resembled a pretty good looking freestyle stroke. She has also learned how to swim in a straight line, where previously she was all over the place. Also, she can touch the bottom of the pool at the 7 foot end and then push herself up. Finally, at the end of her lesson today, she was learning how to dive off the side of the pool.

The Little Man let go of me today and swam to the side. He went maybe 3-4 feet, but he wasn't holding onto me. He went by himself and was happy to do so. I was thrilled to feel his white knuckle grip let go of me as he confidently navigated his way back to the side of the pool. I thought I would see how far I could take his bravery today and asked him if I could take off his water wings to see if he wanted to try to swim to the side without them. He looked at me like I was crazy and said, "No Momma! If I take off my wings, I won't fwoat!"

I will take what I can get and be happy with it.

As I went over to the deep end to see how The Girl was doing, I noticed that she was crying a little. Once she saw me coming over to her, the crying a little, turned into full on wailing. (There's something about knowing your mom is on her way after you've been hurt that just makes you want to turn on the drama.) As I leaned over the edge of the pool to see what was going on, she continued to wail and cry even louder.

me: What's going on?
Lanie: (holding onto the front of her upper thigh) I hurt myself, Momma!
me: What did you do?
Lanie: When I was trying to dive into the pool, I hit my leg and broke my hamstring.
me: (trying not to laugh) Your hamstring? Really? How did that happen?
Lanie: When I was diving into the pool my leg hit the side of the pool and cracked open my hamstring. Now...I can barely move it (more wailing).
me: Hmmmm...sounds like you better get out and let me take a look at it.

She proceeded to swim over to the ladder and climb out. As I looked at her "hamstring" she said she was too cold to just stand there and needed her towel. She then ran over to our chair and grabbed her towel.

It feels safe to say with the swimming, climbing the ladder, and then running to her towel, the "hamstring" is in fine shape.

Also, I am still in deep confusion as to how one hurts their "hamstring" while trying to dive into a pool.

I guess that some things will remain a mystery.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wuv, Sweet Wuv

The Little Man has been learning how to say his nighttime prayer all by himself. He loves to do it, but still wants Mommy or Daddy to go first, you know, so he can get some fresh ideas as to what to say. Tonight's prayer went like this:

"Dear God and Jesus,
Thank you for dis day. Thank you for letting me go to da pool. God, please help me 'cause I just wuv my mommy. Help me to sweep tonight.

In Jesus' name,

Lord, help me too. I love that little boy more than my heart can stand.

Thank you for loving him even more than I do.

Monday, July 21, 2008

We Won't Call it Camping, But We Went to the Mountians

Approximately 25 mosquito Bites (or Horsefly bites)

About 14 S'mores

1 Hike

1 Waterfall

1 semi-Four-wheel trek in the Hummer

4 hours of no power during crucial breakfast hours

1 small mountain town city fair

1 high altitude, uphill, against the wind run

1 set of sunscreen burned eyes

Approximately 2 scratches/scrapes per awake hour

Too many laughs to count

More fun than can be measured

The Blessing of spending time with family and it feeling like you're with your closest friends...priceless.

Yup, I did it...I copied the MasterCard signature commercial and risked being cheesy so I could quickly share how much fun we had.

Thank You Other Wright's for such a wonderful time!

Paxton in the stream:

Despite the tears, my kids had a blast at the waterfall:

The Cousins after making it to the waterfall:

The Fam:

S'mores anyone?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

She's Working on Becoming a Food Critic

I know I mentioned it before, but I (and the kids) really like the restaurant Sweet Tomatoes. Besides being good taste wise, it is also very easy to be good there and leave feeling like you have conquered the whole eating out equals eating nutritional garbage battle. Also, for some reason, when we eat there, my kids will try anything. You should see how many beets they eat when they are there. I promise, if I were to break out the beets at home, nary a one would be touched.

Same goes for kidney beans, banana squash, green olives, and tuna casserole.

It's a weird phenomenon, and I just take it and go with it.

Tonight, The Girl and The Little Man thought they would try something new. They thought they would like to try honeydew melon. I know you all think that it's nuts that a five and a half year old has not tried honeydew up until now, but I don't like melon and Hubby doesn't like fruit at all, ergo no honeydew.

After taking a bite I asked The Girl, "Do you like it? Is it nice and sweet?"

She replied, "Well, it definitely tastes a lot more like dew than I thought."

"What?" I came back with confused.

"I guess, I mean, I thought it would have more of a honey taste than it does. But nope it's definitely more of a dew taste. I think it would be better if it tasted more like honey, you know, much sweeter."

I just came back with the only thing I could think of for a comment like that, "Well, I'm just glad you tried something new."

I guess I am going to have to take dew off the menu for next week. Apparently, it's not her favorite flavor.

Monday, July 14, 2008

When She Sings, I Listen

While driving in the car the other day, The Girl and I were silent. The music on the radio was the only thing making any noise. I don't know what she was thinking about, but I was wrestling with God over some things that had been bothering me for a number of weeks now. I was praying that somehow He would remind me of His sufficiency for me. I need not look elsewhere. He was more than enough this time, last time, and for many times still to come. I needed to be reminded of just how big He is and who He is.

As I sat and wrestled, the beginning of a popular song came on the radio. After just the first few notes played, The Girl broke her silence, "Oh Momma! I just LOVE this song!"

This caught me off guard. If The Little Man said this, I would not have thought twice about it. He's my music kid. He loves to dance, and can remember lyrics to songs he has only heard just a few times. Often, he is in the back seat of the car singing right along with me. The Girl, on the other hand, not so much. Sure she sings along to a few songs, but that's about it. Also, I have never seen her break out a dance move that wasn't prompted by someone else asking for it, or encouraged because she was watching someone else get their groove on. She's just not that into music. So it was odd to hear her say that she LOVED a song. Odd enough to make me stop wrestling, and listen to what exactly was on the radio at the time.

After listening for a second, I realized that it was Mercy Me's newest song He Reigns. I too love that song, and have sang to it numerous times. As I responded back to her, "Really? You like this song?" I looked back into the rear view mirror to see her sitting in her seat, head back, eyes closed, and a big smile on her face as she soaked in the truth of the lyrics. There was no question in my mind that she did indeed LOVE that song.

At first, I was so happy to hear that she loved a song. Then happy that it was this song, one that I liked as well, and one that was so full of truth. Then, as I sang the lyrics, I realized it was just the reminder I was searching for. A reminder that it is Him who has been here all along. It's Him that is big enough, loves enough, and is more than enough for any need I have.

Here are the lyrics:
Even before there was a drop in the ocean even before there was a star in the sky even before
the world was put in motion You were on Your throne You were on Your throne.

You reign glory in the highest You reign let creation testify by Your name every knee will bow
and every tongue proclaim that Jesus reigns.

Even before Your hand made the heavens even before the breath of all mankind even before we
had to be forgiven You were on Your throne You were on Your throne. [back to chorus]

Yesterday, today and forever You are God who was, and is and is to come. [back to chorus]

Just what I needed, right when I needed it.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I'm Thinking of Bottling it Up and Selling It as a Fine Cologne

Today was laundry day. It was the first big laundry day since moving back in last week. Since we had the luxury of staying with my In-Laws while our house was being worked on, I was able to come home with all of our clothes CLEAN. I found this fabulous. I only packed enough clothing for one week, and then just kept washing stuff as needed. The Little Man, he didn't really care about my easy way around having to pack a ton of clothing, except for one thing. He noticed something was different with his Baboo.

Baboo is The Little Man's security blanket. Both of my kids have/had one. Whether they knew it or not, I was forcing a lovey on them from their first day of life. It made my life that much easier when they had something besides myself to get comfort from. The Little Man has several Baboos. He gets a new clean one each night before bed so they don't get too dirty. This is where we ran into trouble.

Part of the deal with Baboo, is that he has a certain smell. That smell would be the laundry detergent and fabric softener I use. Nothing too special just a little Purex and Bounce. Apparently Pax just loves it. So much so that he threw all his Baboos in the dirty clothes that last week at Grandma's house. He told me it was because they were all dirty. When I told him that I had just cleaned them all, and they were fresh he looked very confused and said, "No, they are not fresh. They are smelly!"

They were not smelly at all, but Grandma uses a different kind of detergent, and The Little Man's nose was very sensitive to this slight difference. He didn't care if the shirt he put on that morning smelled different or the PJ's he put on that night had a slightly different aroma to them, but when he put that Baboo up to his nose, something was amiss. I had to convince him all week that the Baboos were clean, and everyday I had to pull them out of our dirty clothes bin. Thankfully, they were still folded up so I could tell which ones were still clean.

Tonight, as I was putting the kids to bed, Pax pulled out a new Baboo. I washed ALL of them today so that he would stop with the insanity. I never mentioned it to him that they were all getting a washing, but I didn't need to. As he pulled out a fresh Baboo from his dresser and put it up to his nose, he smiled from ear to ear.

"Momma! My Baboo! He smells so perfect! He's clean and fresh again! Thank you Momma! Thank you for my new fresh Baboos!"

With that he ran to bed and snuggled that blanket like he hasn't seen him for a week.

For what it's worth, I thought the detergent we used at my In-Laws was just fine...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I'm In BIG Trouble

I know she is my daughter and all, but I am absolutely smitten with her. She is the most beautiful little girl I have ever laid my eyes on, and I have proof. Look at these:

A little back lighting:

My favorite Weeping Willow:

Loving the sun flare:

Here's a B&W just for fun:

I was trying to re-create last year's shoot, kind of like a "One Year Later" type thing. We had such a great time together. The Girl loves to model, and I was having a ball with all the different types of lighting. I think we'll do this every year...for as long as she lets me. Don't be surprised if one day you get her senior picture, and it is from this location...

Thanks for the perfect dress Grandma!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Good With Names, He is Not

Right now as I type, the kids and The Hubby are watching Star Wars. Scott has decided that it is really important to start introducing the entire series to our offspring so that they can come to love it as much as he does. I find it convenient that this revelation comes on the heals of getting a new TV.

Whatever the reason is, I am fine with it. I don't really have a love for Episodes 1-6 (I know, I am weird. I also don't care for Lord of the Rings either), so I get to zone out for a little while. Actually for a long while, since there are SIX EPISODES!

Good Grief.

Anyway, Scott is making them watch them in a certain order as well. I think they are going to do good just to follow along through the first movie. Tying them altogether, may take a force all of it's own.

What I can't stop laughing at is the interaction going on between the three of them. First of all, Scott is watching this movie like its the first time he's ever seen it. Telling the kids to, "Quiet down," and then repeating the lines to show off his memorization skills. I told him that he was going to have to do a narration of sorts through the movie to A) keep their interest, and B) to help them understand what was going on. That means they are going to ask questions, and he is going to have to talk during his movie. Secondly, and on a more precious note, they are all piled up on one chair. Forget the fact that we have a love seat and a sofa in that same room. They are all piled on top of each other in one chair (sigh). Lastly, and what I find the funniest, is The Little Man's recollection of all the names in the movie. He has called Darth Vader: Black Vader, Blacky, Dark Bader, and of course Mean Guy. Chewbacca has been: Chewy, Chew HooHoo, and Chew Caca just to name a few.

Scott corrects him every single time, yet the next time he has a question concerning those characters, or one of those characters enters the scene, he's all, "Hey! There's Chew Hoo Caca, Daddy!" and then Scott's all, "Pax, buddy, its CHEWBACCA". Then Pax comes back with, "I know, Daddy, that's what I said, It's Choo Choo Vaca!" Small pause then, "Daddy? When is Black Bader coming on?"

They may see this marathon of movies as an Adventure Series. I think its more of a comedy.

Monday, July 7, 2008

It's Been Like Moving In All Over Again

We're back home! I am so happy to be back to my own domain. Like I have said many times in the past few weeks, the In-Laws digs were not bad. Not bad at all; but something about your own space really makes you feels good.

Plus, due to some packing and unpacking in a hurry several times, I had to get pretty creative with stuff because I would forget things. Like no skewers for shrimp kabobs. Sautéed shrimp it was. I forgot loveys for both kids a few times making nap and bed time just that much more challenging. I didn't have my round brush one night, and of course it was Girls Night Out, and also I forgot a strapless undergarment which completely ruined an outfit. I made due though and really all those things are pretty small and required very little creativity (if any at all) on my part to remedy.

Our floors look GREAT. I am really excited about them. So excited that I have decided that the whole area (kitchen/living area) needed a whole new look. So, we are not just enjoying new floors, but an all new area. Scott wasn't too thrilled to hear that I was going to re-decorate. He thinks that I do these things out of boredom. I have so much time to be bored. Also, it adds cost to the project.

I am happy to say, that because of a good friend ,who has a great eye for decorating, I was able to use most of my own stuff in a new way. My Mother-In-Law also had a bunch of stuff that she was willing to share with me. And as if that weren't enough, I also had coupon for Michael's this week for 40% off of one item and another for 20% off of your entire purchase. Oh yea, then I found out that Hobby Lobby had their lamps and all wall decor on sale for 50% off! I mean, come on, I would have to be crazy to not re-decorate!

Scott still wasn't all that sure. Then something happened. The new place for the TV just happened to be a place that would be better suited if there were a flat screen in it instead of our old tube dinosaur that used to be in it's place.

He came around really quickly to the whole re-decorating idea.

And guess who came out on the other side spending less money?

It was a no brainer.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Boy Likes to Eat

I love the 4th of July. All the eating, games, fun times with family and friends, and don't forget, it's all done in the warmth of summer. I do love the summer time. The holiday always makes for a very long day, with tons of activities planned all the way to, and then way past bedtime. Hopefully, you don't have a full day the next day, because you have to have some time to recover.

The Little Man and The Girl stayed up WAY past their bedtimes.

And they were allowed to skip nap time yesterday so that they could play with cousins.

It was like hand making a Perfect Storm.

From scratch.

Somewhere in all the chaos, tantrums, and screaming that turned into bedtime, I figured out part of what was making The Little Man so upset. After attending a picnic, where he ate too much sugar and was now coming down off his high, we had told him we were going to watch fireworks.

Let me clarify a little, sometimes we said "Fireworks", and sometimes we said "Firecrackers."

He enjoyed the fireworks show that our town put together, but when it was done he was feeling little empty handed. That's when the chaos began. He wasn't ready to leave or go to bed until he had experienced the "firecrackers."

me: Son, we already saw the firecrackers. Remember, they were up in the sky? All the different colors?
Pax: Yea, the fireworks, but now I want firecrackers!
me: (totally confused) Son, I just told you, we saw the fireworks. That's it! That's all there was! We saw them, and now it's time for bed.
Pax: NO MOMMY! I want to eat some crackers with fire! Firecrackers? I want some of those for snack before bed!

I guess when you are only three, you should not be tempted with words that sound like food when you are completely sleep deprived.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I Think a Drama Class is in Her Future

Thankfully, there is some progress on our home improvement project that has now lasted much longer than we thought. Actually, we both (Scott and I) knew from the beginning that we would be very lucky if they completed the project on time. So even though we thought we would be back at our home for more than just quick pop-ins and check-ups, we also knew that the possibility of staying longer with my In-Laws was going to be pretty high. The kids are still having a ball, and are totally treating it as though they are on vacation.

Tonight was a special night. Grandma and Grandpa have a very large and very nice hot tub. Because I am one of "those" parents, I totally used it to my advantage tonight, and bribed them with it. The Girl and The Little Man were able to keep themselves together for the most part as we ran a number of errands after dinner tonight. Since they were well behaved we said they could get in with us tonight.

They were thrilled beyond all belief. The Little Man stayed on the step, and only moved if someone would hold onto him. That was no surprise seeing as how his swimming lessons last week didn't go so swimmingly due to an extreme fear of deeper water that I had no idea he had. The Girl, on the other hand, well, she thought it was the best swimming pool ever. She was trying to jump and dive all around. Going under water and swimming back and forth, she was proud she could hold her breath the whole way (which was about 4 feet). She even asked me if I could run inside and grab her goggles for her.

It was hard because holding a swim team tryout was just what I had in mind for the night, but I had to say no.

Finally, after getting splashed in the face one too many times and getting kicked, I had to draw the line. I attempted to explain to her that hot tubs are for floating and relaxing in. She wanted to hear no part of that. As she continued her horse play, I told her that if she didn't sit still, she was no longer going to be welcomed in the hot tub.

Daddy, decided to help out with my explanation of the sequence of events that were going to take place if the rules of comfortably floating were not followed. He ended with, "And if you don't settle down, out you go! You'll be done for the night."

A very grumpy and mad Delanie folded her arms and scowled as she walked to the other side of the tub and sat with a big splash and a thud. Then under her breath she uttered, "At first I thought this was going to be the best day of my life. Then it turned into the worst day of my life. I never thought I would have a chance to get to be in the hot tub, and now I finally do, and it's the best thing ever. Then, my dad had to ruin it! He had to just go and bust me. Now it's the worst day ever!"

I sat and laughed.

I never knew how important the hot tub was. Now that I know it's power, I might use it for other parenting things.