Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter, there are many pictures

You know what's so fun about having us as neighbors? It's the way my kids like get all loaded up on chocolate then spill into the front yard at 7 AM on a holiday weekend to throw cascarones at each other. We were throwing the cascarones inside, but the massive amounts of confetti that were getting ground into the carpet were making even ME twitch. This is why it's a good idea to always wear pants to family celebrations (cough James cough), even if you don't have anyone visiting.


Here's a pleasant suburban tableau: A house. A minivan. A basketball goal. A shamefully unkempt garden. A kid winding up to throw a confetti-filled egg directly at my head.


You know what goes well with chocolate is more chocolate, that's what I always say, says James. Also, cascarones and no pants in the front yard. And watching the sun come up.


Later we stuffed them into fancy clothes and took them to church, where Charlie was struggling to overcome a disappointment that occurred right as we left the house. A sweet, smiling picture of the three boys was not to be had.


This one breaks my heart.


This was a little disappointing to me because LOOK HOW STINKING CUTE THOSE TINY LITTLE TIES ARE!! Fortunately after church he said "Could we maybe take another picture? Now that I'm not feeling so grumpy?" So we did!


Can you believe there will be a cute little thing in a real live DRESS in these pictures next year? MADNESS!

We managed a respectable family shot.


Wes appeared in the Gap Kids catalog.


Then we went to my parents' for lunch, where there were tons of fun things for the kids to do and lots of yummy food for everyone. And also big cousins to entertain the little ones. A great time.

They made ice cream!


And decorated cakes!



We all ran onto the porch to watch a really cool hailstorm.


And then we tried to take another family picture. The ties were long gone by this point. So was any desire to stand in one place for more than ten seconds. Everyone enjoyed the Charlie and Wes show, however.



This will be our Christmas card. Sorry, new baby, maybe you'll make next year's.


James fell into a ham and mac and cheese coma on the way home then slept on the couch for over an hour despite the whole family talking and Rossby barking around him. He eventually slid off the couch and onto the floor and woke up, but he went to bed almost on time around 7:30 with no trouble. Probably because we were having so much freaking fun this weekend we couldn't possibly stop to let him take a nap. Poor baby J.


So, a belated Happy Easter to you! I better go vacuum some confetti out of the rug.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Panic Attack

Now that you know about the anticipated La Nina 2013...

I can once again FREAK THE FREAK OUT on here about everything that has to be done before then.  And explain why I am so eager for her to get here because from where I stand childbirth and the first few weeks of life look EASY in comparison to the work situation that I am facing this summer.  I mean, I've DONE that before.  Ain't no thang!  OK, I'll be tired!  OK, it can be frustrating!  OK, I'll have four children in my home looking to me for entertainment slash food, but honestly all I have to do is fire up the TV, sprinkle some Teddy Grahams on the coffee table, hook the baby on, and I can lay back and nap all day.  If it gets really bad one phone call will make someone magically appear at my house to help me!

In comparison:

I was awarded an internal grant to perform research this summer and serve as a mentor for two undergraduates.  Which, YAY!  This is exactly the kind of thing I've been dreaming about!  However.  This project involves a ten-day trip to another city followed by six weeks of nearly full-time research during which time I will be expected to NOT BE A TOTAL MORON.  That is pressure, my friends.  Exciting pressure that is a great opportunity and a well-timed professional challenge, but still, NOT SLEEPING VERY WELL RIGHT NOW.

I am also attending a teaching workshop in early June that will have me out of town for another week.  I do not enjoy thinking about how this is going to work, though I am looking forward to the workshop.

So, to summarize:

Things I have done before: birthin' babies
Things I have not done before: led a research project, behaved like a professional non-idiot for prolonged periods of time

The good news is that I have largely figured out the childcare situation.  The bad news is that I will be spending less time sitting in the shallow end of the Y pool than I would like.  Less time making PB&Js and going to the library and chasing the kids around the front yard with a cardboard bull.

It will be a good experiment in working (almost) full time, since choosing whether or not to pursue that option is a question I ask myself almost daily (Ryan is SO excited that we get to have that conversation so often!).  Or it might be a disaster.  I might miss the whole summer AND be a complete failure at work(I GOT MY HAND STUCK IN THE BOOK RETURN) .  Or it could be AWESOME and I could somehow, magically, do a great job and it could lead to great things!  Stay tuned!!!!!!

Friday, March 22, 2013

When Stupid Attacks

I was so proud of myself for gathering all the library books together and putting them in my car the other day.  Now, all I had to do was find a few spare moments to drop them off at their two respective libraries (university and city) and I would be a model of efficiency and organization!  Then, yesterday, we were actually running about twenty minutes EARLY for swim lessons which is right down the street from the library.  BAM.  I win motherhood.

So I pulled the van into the alley behind the library where the drive through book drop is located and parked the car.  I hefted the huge Boat and Tote out of the passenger seat, carefully checked that I was returning the right books to the right library, mentally patted myself on the back, and opened the door of the book return.

When I put the eight or so books in the drawer and tried to close it, it jammed, presumably because I was trying to cram eight large children's books in at once.  A normal person, or maybe someone else who has a Ph.D. in engineering, would have removed some of the larger items and put them through the book drop in batches.  This is probably what I should have done, but then who would write the blog posts that make you feel good about your own practical skills?

Since the door wouldn't close with the eight books stacked up like they were, I slid my hand in and sort of pushed the books down toward the back of the drawer where they (I'm assuming) fall into the inside of the library or something.

As I slid the top books down, the door began to close.

Oh!  It's working!  I thought.  Great!

So I pushed the next few books down the back of the drawer until it seemed like I would be able to close the whole thing and drive off into the swim lessons sunset.

So I tried to get my hand out of the drawer so I could close it all the way.

And it was stuck.

Very, very, very stuck.

Books were preventing the other side of the drawer from coming up, which meant MY side of the drawer would not come DOWN.  Which meant my hand was stuck.

I tried to wiggle it out.  This made more of the books slip into the opening on the other side, which meant the door got tighter.

I stood there like a moron in the open door of my running car, two kids in the back, blocking the entire alley, with my freaking hand stuck in the freaking bookdrop like a freaking moron wondering what in the HELL I was going to do?

No one else was around.  This was both a good and a bad thing.

I pulled.  Nothing.  I pulled harder.  Still nothing.  I looked up at the surveillance camera and wondered how may people were gathered around the display laughing at me.

Finally I decided I'd rather lose the hand than have another person find me standing there like an idiot so I gritted my teeth and pulled with all my might.

Verrrry slowly, I started to make some progress.  It felt like my hand was being run over by a car, but at least my hand was moving (in the right direction this time).  The bones on the top of my hand briefly got hung up on the lip on the top of the drawer but there was NO TURNING BACK.  This HAD to HAPPEN.

Some more slow tugging and wiggling and the bones popped free and I was liberated.  "Bones popping free" feels exactly like it sounds.  Crushing pain followed by the sweet, sweet relief of fresh air on my skin and the fact that I did not have to involve Ryan or the fire department.  Scratched up and bruised and feeling like a huge idiot, but thankfully no longer trapped, I got in the car and we went to swimming like nothing unusual had happened.

Thank goodness I wasn't wearing a watch.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Crime Doesn't Pay

The other night while my sister and I were downtown partying with a bunch of SXSW groupies seeing a band we came across a poster on a light pole advertising a band called "PAPA" (presumably this is a band and not a cult, I have no idea). It may have been the late hour, or the fact that I'd been wearing a too-tight strapless bra since lunch, or it may have been all those free "mocktails" I downed in the VIP lounge (driving slash parenting in the morning), but my sister and I thought it would be HI-LARIOUS to bring the poster home to Ryan, whom the kids call "Papa," and ripped the poster off the pole without a moment's hesitation.

There was a lot of "woo-girl" style giggling and clumsy attempts to saw through the plastic tape with a car key. It all felt very sneaky and wrong, being out on the street defacing a light pole as we were, but I was wearing a sequined tube top and if that's not already a crime against humanity, then surely this wasn't either.

Just as I suspected, Ryan loves it so much he wants to frame it and hang it in the kitchen.

Charlie, the only one of the children who can read, also thinks it's hilarious. He also made me question my choices from the night before in a way typically reserved only for evenings which involve alcohol.

"Hey, that's awesome! Where did you get it?"

"Um, I found it. Downtown. When I was out with Aunt K last night." (I tried to sound breezy. I may have tossed my hair.)

"Like someone was giving it away?"

"Ummmm, no? But it was out on a light pole for anyone who wanted it to have. No big deal, really. Would you please find your shoes? It's almost time for family camp." (divert divert divert)

"Why are the edges ripped?"

"Because I was trying to get it down fast and be sneaky." (oh the tangled webs we weave)


"Errrmmmm, so no one else would 'borrow' it first?" (and also because I thought maybe I saw an Authority Figure nearby. It was the doorman at a hotel, but he was wearing a uniform)

He looked dubious. I felt like I was in big trouble. I hoped he wouldn't take my car keys.

That might have been the end of it, except that next week is Pirate Week and Charlie would like to take that possibly offensive poster for Show and Tell. So I should probably do some digging and find out, for example, "is that an upside down cross on the hat or some kind of ancient symbol whose meaning is magically an appropriate conversation topic for a group of six year olds?" And figure out if this is some kind of Pope-related political statement. And figure out his teacher's stance on stolen property as Show and Tell items.

I should really just make it disappear like a normal person, but it makes Ryan so happy. He thinks it will keep the kids in line when he can't be at dinner.

UPDATED: De*vil wor*shipping cult. It is in the outside trash now. Where I took it at three o'clock in the morning because I couldn't sleep with it in the house anymore. Photo edited accordingly.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Family Camp: Where I would like to live full time

I absolutely love how can I be partying with these fabulous ladies one night (in a VIP backstage lounge ten feet from a concert stage, wearing a sequined top and skinny jeans and (gasp) mascara):


And thirty-six hours later be hanging out with with these fabulous men (in the middle of the Frio River, wearing shorts and a tshirt and wet hair (after a certain six-year-old convinced me to go swimming. It was not warm)) at our church's family retreat:


You may remember family camp from last year (couple of thought on that post: The kids look younger, I look skinner, the van looks cleaner, all true statements). Last year the theme was par-tay all night. Fortunately for everyone, the kids learned to sleep this year. We all went to bed around ten and woke up around 7:30, just in time for breakfast, and there were no shenanigans after lights out. This made a huge difference in everyone's general mood and fun-level. I mean, Wes melted into a puddle of woe on the floor during the sing-a-long because someone dared offer him a premade s'more instead of (in addition to?) letting him make his own, but at least *I* was well rested, which meant I didn't spend Sunday morning threatening them with bodily harm while the rest of our friends lovingly sang "We Gather Together" in the outdoor chapel.

Speaking of s'mores, they were delicious as always. Even more delicious when eaten around a campfire and singing, which was/is my absolute favorite part of the retreat (in addition to all the delicious food, which goes without saying).


The other best part (They are all best parts) is that the kids had a TON of freedom, which menas they had a TON of FUN. Wes spent the entire forty-eight hours on his scooter, making zippy laps around the Lodge, for example. Charlie divided his time between scootering, collecting rocks, and writing in the journal he brought along. And all that time I was SITTING IN A CHAIR DRINKING ICED TEA AND TALKING TO MY FRIENDS (and reminding James to stay close, naturally). You guys, it was a vacation that was actually a vacation. COOL IDEA.


We have wonderful friends. Friends who play with James so we can sit down, friends who made a secret pot of Starbucks coffee and topped off my cup whenever it was low at breakfast, friends who go swimming in freezing water, friends who will sit in the sun and talk while the babies nap, friends who laugh, friends who sing. That, is the real "best part", if I had to choose just one.

There was also very little pressure to maintain even the most basic standards of personal hygiene, so you KNOW I was all over that.

We slammed head-on back into the real world tonight. Wes took a twenty minute power-nap in the car and now can't fall asleep for the night, Ryan is replacing the brakes on the van, which started making a funky noise while we were away, and the laundry has reached Biblical proportions. So I should probably go do something about that. While I daydream about next year.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Getting all Montessouri up in here

Still on a high from the great time we had in San Antonio, Sunday night I suggested we each pick a country to learn about on one of the days of Spring Break. Charlie chose Mexico for Monday, then he and Wes together came up with Ancient Rome for Tuesday. I made things much harder for myself by asking them if they meant "Rome, the city in Italy" (i.e. let's play soccer and eat pizza!) or if they meant "Rome the ANCIENT EMPIRE!!" You can imagine which one peaked their interest more. Wednesday was to be Spain (tapas!), James chose India for Thursday (he may have had some help, I do love Indian food), and for Friday, Ryan chose Germany, because we will be driving through a town with a great German restaurant that day.

Monday, the first day of Project Fun and Enriching Childhood Activities I came down with James's GI virus, which was not, as it turns out, caused by post-nasal drip. Needless to say, we had the traditional Mexican meal of chicken broth sipped very slowly out of a mug with a side of dry toast. Kind of a letdown after the huge platter of enchiladas I had planned. Onward!

Tuesday started out well enough with a calm, happy trip to the library to check out books on Ancient Rome. Could we have used the internet? Of course. But it seemed more fun to cajole three unwilling children into pants and shoes and into the car. We found lots of great books there and enjoyed ourselves and ultimately I was glad we had gone. But similar to Ancient Rome, the real trouble started once we got into the car to drive to the fancy grocery store to eat lunch and buy Roman provisions. The complaining and bickering almost made me turn around several times, but I kept going because only one kid was causing the problem and I knew he would probably perk up if I gave him food. We pressed on.

Lunch was nice and shopping uneventful and then we spent thirty minutes on the playground and THEN, the kiss of death, James fell asleep in the car twenty-five minutes from home. Twenty-five minutes is outside the "transfer window" of five to twenty minutes. This meant I had to shave five minutes off my travel time if there was any hope of him taking a real nap. I would have done better to just drive around the city for the next hour and a half because I did NOT make it and he did NOT nap. Instead, he antagonized his brothers for the rest of the afternoon. Biting! Poking! Scratching! Screaming! SO FUN!

But this was Rome Day, dammit, and I'd already bought a huge thing of hummus, so we were doing this whether or not anyone enjoyed it. Naturally, since everyone was fighting with each other, I dressed them in togas and sent them into the yard with swords.


This was fun, for a little while. Especially for my neighbors.


And then, predictably, things began to get out of control.


I stood by helplessly reminding them of our agreement. "NOTHING ABOVE THE SHOULDERS! NOT THE FACE! STOP THAT!"


Things were tense for a while, but then Ryan came home and they were eager to put their togas back on for our Roman dinner of homemade flatbread, hummmus, tabouleh, cheese, and fruit. With some trepidation, I returned their swords for the picture.


It was very very good when they went to bed. Daylight Saving Time makes for some crabby Romans.

Spain day proved much more relaxing and we had a friend join us, my sister came by with my niece to show us pictures of my sister's semester in Spain. The kids happily made soccer jerseys with fabric markers and then played soccer in the yard. My sister and I drank mango iced tea on the porch. The way spring "break" should be.

Later, because I could not interest the children in paging through a book of Dali's works (did not even try), we tied on red sashes and chased each other with a cardboard bull.


My sister suggested, for authenticity's sake, that we pelt them with tomatoes as they ran. I did have some overripe bell peppers, but ultimately decided against it since I didn't want my neighbors to think I'd been day drinking. And their jerseys came out really cute.

You should really get your own cardboard bull. I plan to keep ours forever and get it out whenever we need to burn off some energy. Or possibly to use when I need to sneak upstairs and scare some little kids back into their beds after lights out. It was the best game of tag EVER. And it lasted for hours.


Dinner was tasty, but kind of a bust. I made paella that somehow morphed into jambalaya because I can't keep my hands off the chili powder and didn't feel like buying "mussels, squid, and shrimp", so I substituted a little extra sausage and some white beans, which it turns out was exactly what the Cajuns were thinking when they invented jambalaya. I made flan for dessert, which was delicious but came out of the oven with a real live beating heart and a molten core. It was so fascinating to watch it breathe and hiss and pop that I made a video of it to show Ryan (I will spare you, but imagine that picture down there combined with Yellowstone and you'll get the idea).


Appetizing! Fortunately you flip it over before serving.

India tomorrow means we learn how to play cricket and eat take-out for dinner.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Spring BREAK

Yesterday morning we were cleaning up breakfast and musing about how bad we both wanted to go on an adventure that day, so I went online and told Ryan if I found a hotel with a good rate near the Riverwalk in San Antonio that I was going to take it. Ten minutes later we had a four star room at a Hyatt an eighth of a mile from the Alamo for a hundred and thirty bucks. Within an hour we had loaded a suitcase, our swimsuits, and some completely clueless kids into the car and were on our way.

First step of discount hotel shopping, don't tell them how many people you are traveling with. In true spring break style, we crammed five people into a room with one king bed. We carefully avoided the front desk area as we carried our sleeping bags and James's sleeping tent through the lobby, but I think the housekeeping staff might have been on to our game.


We also watched a lot of Sponge Bob because we are classy.

The other great thing about the hotel was the unlimited lemonade in the lobby. Ryan thinks that, given the touristy nature of our location, we drank about sixty dollars worth of lemonade. Cha-CHING!

We headed to the Alamo...


...where it just happened to be the weekend they have all the Battle of the Alamo reenactors demonstrating what life was like around the time of the Texas Revolution and also shooting off cannons. And asking for helpers from the audience. Like Charlie.


Wes and I were long gone by this point, because he was not able to cover his ears from the loud noise and suck his thumb at the same time, but Ryan stuck around because Charlie, the kid who won't eat chicken because it makes him so sad, was totally enthralled by the artillery.

Here he is just hanging around after packing the cannon with explosives. Like he's done it a thousand times.


Getting comfy with the twelve-pound gun.


He will not let us wash this "powder burn" off his face. Fortunately, the hotel pillowcase did most of the job.


After another lemonade break, we went for an informative boat tour.



It was so relaxing that Wes fell asleep with his head in my lap so we walked back to the hotel to have some lemonade and rest before dinner (Mexican food, naturally) and this delightful family picture (Thanks for that, Wes!).


James went to bed sort of on time and the rest of us watched a movie (we slid his tent into the vestibule by the door which was kind of away from the TV, then again he's kind of used to getting left out of movie night because he's not so into TV right now). The kids were happy in their sleeping bags, although Wes kept mumbling "I miss home" as he dropped off to sleep, which, yes, if I was sleeping in a sleeping bag on a hotel floor instead of in my cozy bed and soft mattress I'd probably miss home too. Then again there's almost never fresh squeezed lemonade in our house, let alone an unlimited supply, soooo, enjoy the sleeping bag, kiddo.

They heralded the morning bright and early at 6:30 (old time) by turning on the radio, opening the curtains, turning on the bathroom lights, and slamming the toilet seat. So restful! Ryan ran out for bagels because we were nowhere near ready to take the show on the road.


All of the kids spent a significant amount of time standing in front of this window with almost nothing on. I'm sure the fancy hotels just LOVE The Priceline people.

We spent the rest of the morning herding everyone through the Alamo (had been too crowded the day before) and attempting (unsuccessfully) to get them to be quiet and reverent through the tour before giving up and taking them to lunch and then HOME. There are no pictures because it was CUH-RAZY. Everyone but Ryan slept the whole way home.

Friday, March 8, 2013

A Joyful Noise

The VBS CD always manages to pull them out of the witching hour funk.

Available for Easter Sunday services in the greater Central Texas area!

(And because someone is going to make a comment, we were sitting in the driveway, which is why Charlie is not belted in.)


So many thoughts go through your head when your kid horks in the preschool parking lot.  None of them is something the good mothers would admit to.  I, for example, thought about five different things before I got to "Poor baby!"

Like, "I'm going to miss Texas Day at the elementary school and Charlie is going to be so mad!"

and "I was going to do the last edits on that paper I've been trying to get out for half my life!"

and "Ew ew ew ew ew it's all over the car!"

and "Was that real throw-up or did he just gag from the postnasal drip?  Because it could totally just be postnasal drip, right?  He can still go to school, right?"


So that happened.  I cleaned him up as best I could with wipes, asked a friend to come get Wes so I didn't have to handle the puke bomb any more than necessary take James inside where he could get other children sick, and decided right then and there that I deserved caffeine and transfats, i.e. Dunkin Donuts.

I was still clinging to the postnasal drip theory until I was almost home, when I noticed that he was fast asleep, which is not normal for this time of day.  So I guess he is really sick.  And also officially quarantined, because NEXT WEEK IS SPRING BREAK and if the whole house gets overtaken by a stomach virus so help me I'm going to join my parents in Mexico and leave Ryan in charge.  Gross.

And he's still asleep so I guess I should actually do some of those things I had hoped to get done today, you know, now that I'm off the hook for Texas Day.  When he's awake he's getting a very long warm bath and some jammies.  And some bananas-rice-applesauce-toast.  And a SARS mask.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Nerd Disney

Every year the big university near us has a huge open house where the students in each department have activities for the general public to teach them about what they do. It is Nerd Disneyworld (So, OUR Disneyworld). So naturally we arrived a completely over-zealous hour before it started so we could spend some time acquainting ourselves with the schedule and getting into position for our first activity. We were twenty minutes early for the tour of Aerospace Engineering's aircraft design lab, but fortunately someone had scattered little balloons all over the hallway outside that the kids immediately began rubbing on their hair and sticking to the walls and ceiling. Even James got in on it. He may be practically non-verbal, but his intuition for electrical charge is quite astute. Sadly, we did not get a picture of James, but here is one of Wes.


The kids sat through a thirty-minute talk about airplane design given by three graduate students. Just as I was starting to wonder if they were getting bored (I thought it would be more hands on), Charlie and Wes started asking questions. So many questions. Some made more sense than others. I tried to encourage them to wait until the end, but the students took them in stride and soon Charlie and Wes were competing with a middle school boy for question-asking time. The grad students did not know what to do but the kids loved it. I told Charlie he couldn't have his lunch yesterday until he told me the four forces that affect aircraft movement. With only a few hints he rattled off "Lift, Drag, Thrust, and Weight."

The rocket-building activity we'd planned to attend next was full, so we went outside and had our picnic and sat in the solar-powered race car then played with these robots that play soccer.

I call this one "Little Kid, Huge Controller."

Then we went inside to build circuits out of playdoh. They asked the kids to find a buddy to work with and Wes and Charlie claimed each other quickly. (By the way, is there anything more hilarious than little kids sitting in a lecture hall? Somebody get those kids a Red Bull and a five o'clock shadow!)


Charlie was right at home. For a kid who often feels out of place at school because of his love for science and learning (updated to add: his friends all love Star Wars and Minecraft, which he has never been exposed to, so he often complains of feeling left out "because I like science more", which is so sad), being surrounded by hundreds of other kids who love science and lots of grown up grad student kids who have chosen science as a career was a wonderful experience. He took the little pre-activity lecture very seriously. Good little student.


Wes was also an eager little student.


So was Ryan, who kept trying to guess the direction of the experiment and then pass along little nuggets of information to the kids. Like, "Put those side by side, like this Wes. See? Capacitance!"

It wasn't all sunshine and capacitance, though!


Later we moved across the hall for a motor-building class where we met the nicest college kid in the universe who helped James wind the coils for his motor so patiently and kindly that James followed him around talking to him for the whole time we were there. The kid briefly tried to help Charlie and Wes but then James took him gently by the hand and led him back to "their" table. Funny story: the student went to the same high school as me and grew up in the same neighborhood. He was majoring in Electrical Engineering and looked like a younger Ryan. Ryan stopped me before I could invite him over for dinner.


Next we went up on the roof of the astronomy building to look at the telescope (this was one of my favorites... the view from the 17th floor was beautiful), then we went to see the portable planetarium, which was a huge hit for Charlie and Wes. James fell asleep in the stroller a few minutes before the show.

And then we hurried to watch a rehearsal of the marching band. On the way there we had to walk up a huge long hill. It was the end of the day and the kids were wiped out, so I was worried about coaxing them up the hill. Little did I know that they would find an even BIGGER hill to run up (and roll down) for several minutes.


When we arrived at the practice field I was so excited to learn that we would be PART of the band, out on the field. The kids picked up the commands quickly and soon were going through attention (CALL 2!), parade rest (they yelled "BOOM!" but I'm not sure what the rest of the band was yelling), horns up, horns down, mark time, and march. We practiced our 8-5 strides forward and backward (I've still got it!), then marched for ten yards while the band played the fight song. It would be hard to tell who was having a better time, me or the kids.


James did not have fun until he'd convinced Ryan to join them out there.


But Charlie was the happiest kid in the UNIVERSE when we got to march back to our car with the band.

Note that his feet are not touching the ground.

This is his game face.


We stopped for dinner on the way home where I commented to Ryan about how awesome the kids had behaved all day and how tired they must be. "I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop," I said, foolishly. Sure enough, ten minutes later someone slighted someone else and soon everyone was screaming at top volume and trying to hit each other. Ryan ushered them all out the door while I quickly cleared the table and then we drove home where the kids went to bed at 6:15. When we went up to bed later there was a thank you note on our bed that said "Dear Mom and Papa, Thank you for fun. I love you." Next to it was a motor they made out of pipe cleaners.