Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Let's learn.

Back in the day I used to stay up late and plan what the girls and I were going to do the next day.  Every morning they'd come into my bedroom all excited and would ask "Whatarewegoingtodotoday???"  We seriously had the best times, making, baking, reading, inventing.

I used to sit down and actually TEACH them things.   Hayley knew a hundred words in sign language by the time she was 2. She memorized the pledge of allegiance when she was barely 3.  She could recognize and name every single state in the U.S. when she was 5.
I read books about the body to Tia and she could identify most of the body parts AND tell me what  they each were responsible for.  Her favorite topic was Red and white blood cells.

I don't know what happened, but it seems like over time, this Mom has become LAZY.  I haven't sat down and 'taught' them anything in forever.  When Hayley asks me what we're going to do the next day I say ,  "I have no idea."  Then she asks me if she can play wii.  Sad.  

So yesterday I sat down with the girls and the computer and said "Guys, think about something that you've always wondered about...ANY question that you have, and we are going to find out the answer right now."  They were all excited and you could see their wheels starting to turn.

"I have ALWAYS wondered, how a caterpillar makes a cocoon,"  Tia said.  "I want to see one hatch!"  So we pulled up a couple videos on youtube and watched the entire process.  She was amazed.

"I have always wondered how tornadoes happen," Hayley said.  (Does that one surprise anybody?)
Really she didn't want to know how they were made, she just wanted to watch a video of one.  So we watched one.  And then another and then another.  She was all freaked out by the end.

Then Tia wanted to watch a bird hatch from an egg.
Hayley wanted to watch a video of an earthquake.
Tia wanted to see cool rainbows.
Hayley wanted to see a tsunami.
In the middle of the Indonesian tsunami video, tears were forming in my eyes, and Hayley got all upset that I was  crying, and was sad because of the video, and in the end, I realized that none of us really LEARNED anything through all of that, we all just became super paranoid.  Next time I think I'll take a different approach.

One thing I know, is that I'm done being 'lazy mom'.  Time to step it up a notch and resurrect 'awesome mom.'  My kids will know the periodic table inside and out before this summer is over.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mudman cont'd

I know you're probably all tired of hearing about this by now...but here are just a few more pictures from our mud run, for your viewing pleasure.

Right before we got shocked.  That's me under the bridge getting ready to make a run for it.

 This was the final obstacle.  I don't know if you can tell, but it's wet and soapy.  There was a random girl who kept trying to make it up on her own, but couldn't quite get there, so she asked Jordan if he would give her a hand.
And a HAND he did give.  Right on her tooshie.
Uh, don't think I didn't notice that one, Babe.  And now we have proof, forever.

That's me.

This is where I could have used some of that upper body strength.
 Eventually J  had to give my leg a little boost so I could climb the rest of the way up.

That's J up on the right.  There was a slide on the other side into a water pit.

Those dirty dirty bandits.

This is where we 'washed off.'  When we got in, J said "Oh good, I can finally pee."  Hahaha.

This is the start of a new stage of life for J.  Can you see it in his eyes?
He's looking into doing a Tough Mudder run in the fall.  It's a 10-12 mile race and is a hundred times more intense.  I will be on the sidelines for that one. ;)


I think since I've talked enough about the 'upcoming MudManX' that I owe you a summary of what went down today.
Since the team name that we decided on was "Dirty Bandits" We chose to wear bandanas with our all-black running attire.  Black is fierce, obviously...and the bandanas...seriously don't even get me started on the process we went through in choosing the perfect bandana.    You would have thought we were picking out bridesmaid dresses for the amount of time we put into it.

By the time we got to the race location, we were already sweating a LOT.  That's just how it goes out here on the East Coast.  You sweat the minute you get out of the shower.  We are a sweaty, stinky people.

We registered...snapped some photos, and waited for our wave time to roll around.  While we waited, J and I stood by the electric shock obstacle, and watched people from the previous wave get zapped, and yell, and swear as they tried to run through.
A few of them got half way through and exited the obstacle because they couldn't take it.
The nervousness was starting to set in for me at that point.

In the beginning there were a couple of small, easy obstacles to get you all muddied up...people yelling at us to hurry and such...then, there was a lot of running through the woods.  Up and down hills....occasional mud pits, jumping on top of boats...climbing little nets..crawling under boards and through tunnels...but mostly a lot of running.  It wasn't until the last 2 miles that the more exciting, extra muddy, and more difficult obstacles came in.  There was one that I was pretty bummed to not have mastered.  It was this one:

Looks like it would be easy, right?  That's what I thought.  I tried it with gloves at first, and my gloves started to fall off.  Tried it with my hands, and they just couldn't hang on.  The drop down was a long way, with nothing but dirt underneath.  Luckily, J was acting as my spotter just in case, and caught me on my way down.  I saw at least 10 people in a row fall off once they got 1/4 of the way across...a lot of them hit the ground pretty hard.  I felt like a failure and hung my head low for a minute...but got over it pretty quick.

Obviously the most memorable obstacle was the electrical wires.
I don't think there's really a way to prepare your body for that kind of sensation.  When you hit a live wire, it literally shoots through your entire body, making it impossible to move for a second..and all you can do is yell.  Fortunately out of all of those wires, I was only hit twice, but oy did those hurt.  The thing I didn't expect also, is that you can feel the effects of the electrocution for a few minutes afterward.  Your whole body tingles.  

The last obstacle was a fun one.  You had to run up a slippery slope and grab onto a rope to pull yourself up the rest of the way..then you slid down the other side into a big pool of water.  Refreshing. 
At the end we had mud caked in our our ears, in our pants and everywhere in between.  Our shirts stuck to us like suction cups...we were scratched and bruised, and my hair was out of control.  It was awesome.

 As SOON as we finished our wave, we found ourselves in the middle of a crazy downpour.  Then the Thunder and lightning came and I started to fear for our lives.  It's not like we had anywhere to go.  Our choices were to either hide under the trees, or hide under booth tents held up by metal poles.  Instead of standing in line to wait for a bus to take us back to the parking lot, we opted to walk a mile...much of it in the rain, to get back to the car.  

My overall assessment of the run was that it was really FUN, but not necessarily the challenge I had hoped for.  I had actually really  hoped to have been forced to face a few more of my fears, such as jumping off of a cliff into the lake, and climbing upside down on a rope across the water, etc.   My suggestion for them would be "Make it harder!"  

After the run, our group went out to eat at one of Bobby Flay's restaurants....a burger joint called "Bobby's Burger Palace."   I got a bleu cheese Burger Salad and it was out of this world.  Anything probably would have been 'out of this world' at that moment because I was starving.  
Here are some pictures from today.  My friend Becci was there cheering on her husband and snapping photos of the rest of us every chance she got.

Great time today.  Can't wait for the next one.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Summer update

At a pioneer day activity the other night we had a watermelon eating contest.  We each got a slice of watermelon, and a partner to hold the slice steady for us.  The first one to eat all the way to the rind won.  My partner was Hayley, and I think I got a pretty good glimpse of how she's going to be on the sidelines of her childrens' soccer games someday.
 The poor kids.

She was brutal.  After the 'go-ahead' I took my first few bites of the watermelon and started to chew.
HURRY MOM. GO!  she screamed.
I was going, couldn't she see that?
GO!  DON'T CHEW, just HURRY!!!
My mouth was full, but as she advised I bit off a few more pieces.  Watermelon juice was dribbling down my face and neck.  It was awful. She kept yelling at me not to chew.  How do you not chew?
She then shoved the watermelon INto my face, and yelled.  "MOM STOP CHEWING JUST GO I DON'T CARE!"
The "I don't care" statement came out more as a growl.  A fierce, threatening, crazy person growl.

Who was this child, and seriously...what is wrong with her?
I didn't even come CLOSE to winning.  Pretty sure that I was in last place actually.  I was drooling, and sticky, and scared of this child I had given birth to.

You can see why I'm feeling the pressure to perform well at the MudManX run coming up this Saturday.  If I don't, I will be the loser parent of the century.

 I have been sore continuously for the past 27 days as a result of my race prep.  I've been running, jumping, lifting, squatting, pushing up, climbing, crossing monkey bars,  and balancing on balls in ways I didn't know a body could balance on a ball.

I still don't have a bicep to call my own, but I'm convinced some people are just born without those things.  
And really, who needs them anyway.

My strategy is to pretend like I'm a completely different person altogether....a woman, but equal to Jack Bauer in strength, agility, sneakiness, intelligence, ability to dodge a million bullets but able to kill with only one.  I can deal with pain.  I can deal with torture.  Plus I have rock hard abs. ;

J and I are really excited for this weekend.  We'll definitely be posting some pictures!

Just a few updates  on our kids.  I've been feeling pretty guilty lately about not writing things down like I used to.

Ty is seriously the most entertaining and charming child.  He knows how to work a crowd, and I have no idea where that came from.  His expressions seem practiced, his smile is outrageously bright, his sense of humor seems years older than he is.  His dances are ridiculously funny and he can feel the beat in any kind of music at any time of day.   He folds his arms and squints his eyes for prayer.  He's big into cuddling, and makes sweet little sounds as he lays his head on your chest.  He hits us sometimes, and his scream is piercing.  He also is starting to say "Nah!"  which means 'no.' We're trying to teach him to be soft..and to not scream when he wants something.  J gets after me for laughing when he does these things.  I need to set the kid straight!  But everything he does is adorable to me, even when he's being very bad.  Obviously someone has someone else wrapped around their finger.

Tia and Hayley were watching "Johnny Lingo" for the first time yesterday.  After the movie was over, J asked the girls, "So, what did you learn from that?"
Tia said,  " I learned that if you're ugly when you're a kid, you aren't always ugly when you grow up."
Wow.  That wasn't the moral of the story at ALL, but good try girly.  I always love hearing what she has to say. She has a unique perspective on just about everything.  Today she invented frozen bubbles.  Put some liquid soap at the bottom of a cup and fill the cup with water so the bubbles are sitting on top.  Stick it in the freezer for a 1/2 hour and the bubbles are frozen on top.  It was the coolest thing.  She uses huge words every chance she gets, even if she doesn't know what they mean.  She recently had tubes put in her ears which has helped clear out that fluid.  The surgery took about 10 seconds but we'll be paying for it for months.  You've got to love how that works.

Hayley is just such a funny girl. She is lovestruck at the moment, as I mentioned in a previous post with her permission.  I asked her today if I could talk about this on my blog and she just shrugged her shoulders and said yes.  We joke a lot about it, and she's such a good sport, jumping right in and joking about it too.  Once  I asked her to show me the smile she gives to this little boy when he's around...and she flashes me this super over the top scrunched face smile.  Then she giggled and said  "He probably is like 'whoa she's creepy.'"
hahaha.  Creepy is the word.
She had a play date scheduled with him today, so she sprayed some perfume on her shirt beforehand.  The smell was so strong I had to make her go change, and told her that deoderant would be good enough.
She loves her friends, playing legos, and creating things.  And I think she is so beautiful.
A few weeks ago when I told her so, she said, "I know I'm beautiful but I don't like people telling me that I am."
I love her personality.

 July is flying by, I can't believe it.
More updates coming soon.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

10 years

Jordan's parents are out here visiting for a week, so yesterday we thought we'd introduce them to the greatest place on earth...Shady Maple Smorgasbord.  
 We gave Ty a bowl full of blueberries, and he started shoving them in his mouth so fast I couldn't believe it.  It was like he hadn't eaten in months.  
When he was too full to take another bite, he started sticking all of the food we gave him into the crack of the table....just like at home, the little sneak.
 On the way there, I heard Tia say to Grandma, "I love Shady Maple because my mom never tells us to stop."  It's true that I let them eat as much of what they want when we go, because in my opinion that is what a smorgasbord is all about.  Here are a couple of girls showing off their slushies...for breakfast.  They also had ice cream.  Shame on their mother, whoever she is.

But that wasn't the only buffet that J and I went to yesterday
The other one was aboard this beautiful cruise ship, in celebration of our Anniversary!

10 fantastic years with this guy.

We boarded the Spirit of Philadelphia at 7 pm
and had a fabulous meal, at a table for 2.

J kept trying to get fresh with me under the table, and was all staring at me with these eyes.
I told him I'm not that kind of girl so stop it.

Our table was right above the dance floor. We were provided with live entertainment while we ate our meal.  Our waiters and waitresses were the talent, and some of them were surprisingly amazing.
These are a few of the waiters dancing.

After our meal we walked out to the boat deck and let the wind blow through our hair.  It was a gorgeous night.

A sideways picture of our dessert.

This is Sheena, our waitress, singing as part of the show. 
She called us 'Jordan and Christina' and the staff on the boat kept wishing us a happy anniversary throughout the night.  

Then they had an audience contest.  The best entertainer won a free drink.
After the contest they opened up the dance floor....and I don't think I need to tell you what happened next.

It was awesome.
We were so sweaty from dancing that we had to take a little break and head outside for some air.

Look at all these handsome pictures of J on the boat....

aaaaand then there's this one of me.

We literally danced the night away and threw all inhibition to the wind.  It was the best night I think we've had...ever.

This is me feeling like a lucky lucky lady.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

This is the kind of fun we have at Walmart.

And this is the kind of fun we have at the JCC Membership appreciation barbecue.

I'm telling you,
He just cannot resist.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Family Photos

Photo shoots are so much fun.  But I must admit, out of everything in the world, being in front of the camera is what I am LEAST good at. In fact my unphotogenic-ness and inability to act 'natural' in front of a camera has been a little joke between J and I pretty much since we've been married.  It is what it is...I deal with it. This is why I am glad I have such darling children who always look great in the spotlight...and who take the focus off of me.

Our photographer was so great.  She was really patient, and laid back, and had a knack for capturing the sweetest moments.   I wish I could have her follow us around all of the time.
Here are a few of our favorites from our 4th of July photo shoot.

I really love what she did with this one.  The blurred flowers...the colors...awesome.

I love the following picture because of how spontaneous it was. The kids were off playing on the playground while J and I were doing some poses.  They all walked back over to us when they decided they were ready to be done, and Ty plopped down on my belly with a very content sigh...  This, to me is the most natural of them all and captures the real happiness that exists within our family.  


I really love this one.

Ok, so we totally had to laugh at this one because J's kiss looks more like he's giving me a giant zerbert.
The girls wouldn't stop laughing and he got all mad.  They also were making fun of my very serious face.
What.  You all know I don't do sexy.
A closer look at the juicy zerbert.
 We both agreed that we need to practice our romantic/kissy faces before our next shoot.


I cropped this from the original picture to put the focus all on him.
Heartbreaker and a half.

Many thanks to
for these priceless photos.

Now to go buy some frames...