Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Up To Our Waists In It...

Hey, have I ever told you about the time Coach and I sea kayaked through a Belizean rainforest?

Oh sure we did. We were on a cruise; people make silly decisions when they are on a cruise.

And remember how I told you Coach is not a small man? And remember how I reminded you that most men who hail from Central American are small men?

Let me just say, sometimes size does indeed matter. A. LOT.

The weight limit for a Belizean sea kayak was somewhere around 330 pounds- per kayak, not per person... You see where I'm going don't you?




Here we are leaving the post where we started. I'm taking pictures and not paddling, a trend that continued for a bit until Coach got a little guiled...something about having to do all the work and this was vacation.

We were all instructed to paddle around this little area, make sure we knew how to navigate the kayak, blah, blah, blah. So we're good; well, I'm good- Coach is still guiled



Here I am, still not paddling and still taking pictures. What you can't see because my arms aren't long enough is that we are sea kayaking in waist deep water because we exceeded the weight limit...as did many of the kayakers.



Notice please how tight the quarters were in this little rainforest.

Our guide told us to start watching for jaguars, crazy lizards that can run on the water, all manner of birds, and of course, snakes...in the water...the water that Coach and I were currently waist deep in.

I'm pretty sure the purpose of the kayak is to keep the kayakers ABOVE the water, but ours failed us bigger than I failed Mrs. McMillan's Geometry tests



It was about here that I thought to ask the guide about pirahnas.

His response? A smile and a little giggle, and then he just started paddling again.

(Coach did tell me later...MUCH LATER... that pirahnas were in South America, NOT Central America and I needed to calm down. My response to him was, "It's close enough, all it takes is some renegade pirahna to lead a bunch of idiot pirahnas upstream a bit and we're lunch." Coach, who is also a Biology and Anatomy teacher and self-proclaimed animal expert, generally does not enjoy when I joke about the habitats of jungle wildlife. He also does not enjoy it when I say things like "I don't know why you get so upset when you lose, it's JUST a game." - but that's a story for another day.)

Then I started to wonder what else could be in this God-forsaken water.

This is where the fun ended for me.

Until we were out in the open water, away from the overhanging foliage that I felt sure was teeming with snakes, lizards, and jaguars lying in wait. I felt a little better, and realized too, that if I positioned myself in some sort of upright fetal position closer to the front of the kayak, I could get myself out of the water. No such luck for Coach.

So, now I'm dry, my legs are shaking uncontrollably from trying to hold a ridiculously uncomfortable position, and I threw a cramp in my rear-end.

Awesome.

Little Guide Man just did his smile and giggle thing again- I decided at this point to pinch his head clean off his shoulders when we returned.

Then I looked over and saw a snake slithering on the water and I said, "Oh look, a little snake!"

Little Guide Man stopped smiling and giggling...told everyone in a very weird voice to start paddling now and we'd head back for lunch.

Well, I am no jungle idiot.

I knew he was trying not to scare us, and I also noticed that he was the first one paddling away with all of us behind him.

And there Coach and I sat. Me all cramped up, sweaty, and scared out of my wits, and Coach still waist deep in a river in the Belizean jungle.

I had a choice to make.

I could either remain in my upright fetal position and leave Coach to fend for himself against what apparently is some sort of Belizean death snake. Or, I could put my big girl britches on and get back in paddling position, pray for the best, and paddle my brains out to get away from the thing.

Being that it was our honeymoon, and we had only been married for four days at this point, I figured manning up was probably the way to go.

And there was a kayak with two women in their 50's who were drunk and a little over the weight limit themselves, and they had already flipped their kayak once, run into the bank two or fifty times, and they cackled and wailed all the way through the trip.

I figured Coach and I could out paddle them, the Belizean death snake would feast on the two screaming biddies, and we'd be heroes.

Turns out, we did beat them through the jungle. They laughed and screamed the entire way. Coach laughed and I repeated "I will not cry in the jungle on my honeymoon" over and over until we made it back.



...to here. The wonderful swimming pool we spent the rest of the day at before returning to the ship. I have to be honest, I prefer my water chlorinated and in a man-made pool



And I prefer to view the wildlife like this...where sweet girls walk around with the creatures crawling around their shoulders so you can pet them. And then she looks at you and says, "Can I get you a beverage? Rum punch? Wine? Coca Cola?

Why yes...yes you can.



And I don't mind encountering this type of wildlife either; I have to confess...I have no idea what it is,

but I know it's not a snake, and that is all I need to know.

See y'all tomorrow!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Smoky Mountain High

Monday night some friends called and said they had an extra bedroom in the cabin they had rented in the mountains and they asked us if we wanted to come up for a few days.

Ummmmm - YEAH.

So we loaded up the girls as G was at the beach for Centrifuge last week. 3 hours and a few thousand feet of elevation later we were in heaven.

We tubed down the Little River, soaked in the hot tub, hung out with friends, and enjoyed the lack of heat and humidity,

But most importantly I settled the go-kart score with Coach by beating him definitively 3 times- yes, 3 times. (Thanks Mom, I knew the driving lessons would come in handy one day- I wove in and out of those karts in a way only you can appreciate with AC yelling at doo-yah-yays all the way)

To celebrate my win we took the girls into Knoxville and went into the football practice facility to view the National Championship trophies, all the bowl game trophies they've won over the years, pictures of my Peyton (we'll talk about him when football starts up), and to stand in awe at the entrance of Neyland Stadium.

So, I'm still a little high from the experience.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Irony is Palpable

Ummm, so is it weird that I had both a faux-version of the Michael Jackson leather jacket and the Farrah Fawcett hair at approximately the same time?

The 80's were dubious years, dubious years indeed.

I turned 13 in 1984. I started high school in the fall of 1985 and I graduated in 1989. During those years I had my hair cut like Farrah Fawcett, Olivia Newton John (circa the "Physical" video), Madonna (circa the "Lucky Star" video), like Lisa Hartman from Knots Landing- or was it Dynasty?- and finally grew it out so I could emulate Christie Brinkley.

Clearly, I forged a path of independence and orignality through that decade like no one had ever seen.

Don't even get me started on the fashion- parachute pants, jelly shoes, neon, fishnet, Members Only jackets, Panama Jack, O.P.,

ummmmm, and let's not forget jazz shoes. Because nothing looks better with jeans than some flesh toned dance shoes.

It was a decade I have tried hard to forget...

Until yesterday.

Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett both dead in one day. Two figures from my adolescence that influenced my behavior and my fashion choices, as unfashionable as they were. Of course, there were many, many others. As a matter of fact, my mom would be very quick to tell you about an argument we got in on Thanksgiving because I wanted to dress like Cyndi Lauper, and she was having none of it. None. Of. It.

Anyway, I knew Farrah would die soon, it was sad but expected.

But Michael Jackson? The King of Pop? I guess I thought he would live forever.

I remember when the Thriller album came out- yes I did, in fact, say album. And I remember going to the mall with my dad to get it. And I remember spending hours with my BFF Julie trying to memorize the dance. I remember getting down at the skating rink to "PYT" and "Beat It." And who can forget "Billie Jean?"

He was something to behold.

But last night watching the montages of his videos, concerts, performances, and interviews, all I could see was a wounded boy. A wounded boy who had never known peace.

So, I hope beyond all probability that he finally found some peace yesterday.

Meanwhile, in Momsense news AC and V were watching the "We Are the World" video today and were so excited that Pink was in it.

Until they found out it wasn't Pink, it was Cyndi Lauper.

AC love, love, loved her clothes and hair.

"Yeah, well, if you ever try to pull that particular ensemble off, you'd better not let Neme see you, because she'll have none of it."

None. Of. It.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Family Reunion!

We're back from a great family reunion in Joseph, UT! We stayed at this cool old church that had like 7 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms (a few families stayed in a nearby hotel) -- it was great because the kids could get their naps or go to bed early and we could still PARTY ON with relative friends (I mean that as "friends who are relatives", of course, not "people who are friends relative to everyone else").

Quartz says one of his favorite parts was getting to drive a boat on Fish Lake. This was actually a pretty nice boat (especially considering we rented it sight-unseen), seating about 10 people on comfy seats. That's Captain Melissa looking over his shoulder, BTW. Sapphire liked the boat just fine, but it was nap time, and that means she can't really think about anything else. Onyx was a little worried, but in the end he took a turn driving too and had fun. We saw lots of these big white birds that looked a little like pelicans, but with narrower beaks. Not sure what they were, but the weather was great, everything was green, and nobody fell overboard!

We also had a fun hike at Bullion Canyon trying to find the elusive waterfall -- some groups made it up, but after going on the wrong trail and back we were kinda too tired (and hungry) to finish the journey. It was a great hike, though, with wildflowers and a stream and pine trees everywhere.

We also did a lot of fun crafts -- perler beads, soap-making, and my boys' favorite -- marshmallow guns. The kids had a giant marshmallow fight one night on the lawn -- very fun! We also got to play Rock Band and Dance Dance Revolution and sing karaoke (Wes joined me and my cousin Christina for some great harmony in the Cranberries' "Dream").

For Friday night, we did a scavenger hunt in the park. Then we had rented the Richfield Pool for our large group -- the big kids dove off the diving board and the little kids went down the small slide and splashed around. Luckily my parents were there to help our 3 little non-swimmers have fun without drowning. :-)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

When Technology Attacks

Well, we still have no internet because of the lightning. We’ve had two service calls and still no success.


But, a lot has happened in the last few days.


A. LOT.


First, Coach and I got new phones. It all started with a vacation debacle where my phone wouldn’t work the entire time we were in Florida.


Honestly, I think it was because we took a vacation back in time to approximately 1986, because the entire time we were there we encountered people dressed in neon bikinis and matching fingernail polish, Bike coaching shorts, tube socks complete with stripes, OP bathing suits, and more music by Ozzy Ozbourne, Journey, Chicago, Spandau Ballet, and A-ha than even the most nostalgic of people can handle.


But I blame that on the tiki-bar…


THAT WAS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.


The general public, well the general public that frequents tiki-bars at the beach, can be a harrowing and fashion-challenged group. There was, however, a cute little wedding that took place the Friday night before we left. The wedding was actually at the beach, but they had a reception at the tiki-bar.


The bar manager told the bride he would set up tables with flowers on one side of the bar for her guests. And I overheard that there would be live music paid for by the bride’s parents.


I cannot even tell you what a blessing that was. The “live music”, and I use that term in the most loose sense of the word, that the bar had employed for the week was horrible at best. The injustice this man did to Jimmy Buffet, Christopher Cross, Dan Fogelberg, and John Denver was blasphemous. When he put on a black wig and sang Ozzy Ozbourne’s "Crazy Train" complete with the sound effects we had to draw the line, you can only listen to the music from your past being slaughtered for so long.


Anyway, back to the wedding reception. I was disappointed to see that the bar manager’s idea of decorated tables for the reception consisted of two picnic tables covered with white sheets. In the center of each table was a flower arrangement, again, a VERY loose interpretation of arrangement, made of Mason jars and grocery store bouquets.


Now, this could have been gorgeous. Seriously, if he had put a few white votive candles around them, AND BOTHERED TO CUT THE STEMS. But, he just took the cellophane off the arrangements, stuck them in Mason jars and dumped some water in with them and stuck them on the table.


I convulsed for a bit, contemplated asking for some scissors so I could doctor the poor girl’s “arrangements” before she arrived, and then just figured she’d be fine, after all- she’s getting married. Who cares if the flower arrangements are 3 feet too tall for the jars? It’s all good.


Then the live music began. Surprisingly, it was wonderful. A breeze was blowing, the kids were playing in the pool, I was reading a book, the sun was about to set. It was perfect.


Then the wedding party arrived. The bride seemed totally fine with the whole picnic table/funky flower arrangement thing. They all had beer, which I guess is a good sign- although it may be more of that Southern breeding of mine, but it just seems wrong to be in a wedding dress holding a bottle of Budweiser, but who am I to judge? I brought my children to a resort with a tiki bar open to the public.


All was going well, and the couple danced their first dance…to "A Pirate Looks at Forty" by Jimmy Buffett. It was beautiful. Here is this sweet couple dancing to this slowish-beach song at the beach. The breeze gently blowing the bride’s hair as she glances up at the groom and smiles just as the band sings….


Now I have been drunk now for over two weeks…” and then I thought, you know "A Pirate Looks at Forty" might not have been the best song for the dance, unless of course, they have been drunk now for over two weeks, which would explain a lot, especially why no one was upset about the flower arrangements, but I digress.


All of that was to say that my phone didn’t work while we were there. When we returned my phone started to work again, but the phone refused to accept the number 4. It’s hard to use a phone that won’t recognize a “4” or the letters “g,” “h,” or “i.” It’s hard to text without clearance from the Verizon to utilize all 26 letters of the alphabet.


And much to his horror, G’s phone stopped working. Well, he could text, he just didn’t have a speaker, so he could make phone calls, but he couldn’t hear what anyone was saying, which I guess defeats the purpose of having a phone.


So, Coach and I, or shall I say Papaw and Ma-maw, went to the Verizon store and got our service upgraded, had G’s phone replaced, and we both got ourselves some new-fangled techno-phones with e-mail, and internet, and GPS, and television, and I think there might be a butler in there somewhere, but I’m pretty sure there’s a charge for that.


We spent almost 3 hours in the Verizon store getting programmed, switched over, and set up. And we were off.


I walked into the door on my way out because I was so enthralled with mine, and Coach nearly killed us on more than one occasion trying to drive and dial.


And then Coach was all “Call me.”


And I was all “Why do I need to call you, you’re sitting right by me”


And then he was all “Just call me”


So I did. He answered. He couldn’t hear me. I could hear him, he couldn’t hear me. So we tried again:


Coach: “Hello”


Me: “Can you hear me now?” (I couldn’t resist – you know like the old commercial where the guy walked all over going “Can you hear me now?”) (Pause for you to get the joke and laugh)


He couldn’t hear me. And we took trip number #3 to Verizon THAT DAY (I saved you the banality of the switched number debacle.)


Turns out- if you turn on your Bluetooth device, but don’t put it in your ear, and then just try to answer your phone- well, you can’t hear.


Who’d have thunk?


So, maybe it’s better that the Information Super Highway isn’t blazing a path through our home this week.


Apparently Coach and I are more suited for a long walk on the short pier of nostalgia.


Now, back to my Dan Fogelberg. “The Leader of the Band” is calling my name.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

S.O.S.

So, it's been a while.

There are more reasons than you can count as to why, but the main reason...

Lightning.

In one fail swoop it took out the internet modem (which of course will be out until sometime between 3:00 and 6:00 this evening) and the television in the bedroom.

You need to know that the internet and a couple or ten uninterrupted hours of television viewing after everyone has fallen asleep are what keep me sane.

IT HAS BEEN ALMOST THREE DAYS.

I had to break down and run over to school to catch up on all my blog reading, e-mail responding, and general surfing.

Now I have to get over to pick the kiddos up from VBS, but I'll be back this evening after the cable guy fixes our modem!

Happy Thursday!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Southern Girls with the Way They Talk...

When I was in high school I drove over to visit my grandparents one Saturday around lunch time (they kept a freezer full of every kind of frozen treat you could imagine and a stash of candy that would make a concession stand look sparse).

When I got there my grandmother was in a twit (really the only way I know to describe it) and I must tell you she NEVER ever got into a twit when any of us were around- well unless the Vols didn't play well on Saturday.

It was the reason she was in a twit that I have never forgotten. She was researching the family history because she was trying to get membership into the Daughters of the Confederacy. She had to be able to trace our lineage back for a certain number of generations and prove we were, in fact, Southern (by the grace of God of course).

Much to her dismay, while doing the research, she found that we weren't true southerners.

Oh the horror!

She discovered a direct descendant who was the first casualty at the Battle of Bunker Hill, and we subsequently have a fort named after us in Kittering, Maine. AND, it also turns out that another descendant was tried as a witch during the time of the Salem Witch Trials.

Now, I have to tell you that I was fascinated by these tidbits of family history.

Not her.

Nope, she was just disappointed that we weren't "true" Southerners.

I got a talking to about breeding and being a lady and something about no one ever finding out the truth, and that if anyone ever asked- our people hailed from Alabama.

Which reminds me of the time I watched Gone With the Wind with my parents when I was young- you know the time when there were only 3 television stations, and on the one day of the summer when it rains cats and dogs the only thing on is the Little League World Series, billiards, and Gone With the Wind.

To my surprise, I really loved the movie.

And apparently I wore my parents out with questions about the Civil War and big huge hoop dresses and why they were calling a very large African-American woman Mammy. At some point during the picnic scene I started talking about how cool it would be to live back then and wear those big dresses and go to picnics and have a Mammy.

To which my mother replied, "Traci, if we lived back then we would NOT be having picnics in hoop dresses with a Mammy, we'd be the poor white trash living by the river."

Now, she was not talking about me specifically- she was just giving me my first lesson in the Southern caste system. The up and coming middle class was neither up nor coming during the Civil War apparently, and one's lot in life was either "Southern Aristocrat" or "Poor White Trash."

So, I told you all of that to ask a simple question and perhaps give away more about my family than you ever cared to know.

I have to do a video blog submission for another blog in August. It's a group of women from California that have a national mommy blog. Apparently they are fascinated with us southern girls.

So, the question I have to answer in a video is: "What is life like in the South?"

Any thoughts you want to send my way would be great so I can try to make a statement about the South and not just my tiny little parcel of it. Pictures are good too- if you could e-mail me those that would be great! I'm planning on doing a montage type video with text and pictures and music. The best way to send the pictures is by e-mail- just send them to totalmomsense@comcast.net (or you can click on the E-mail Momsense button at the top of the page.

Looking forward to hearing from y'all!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Builders, Builders!


Onyx still loves to play with trains, though Quartz doesn't care for it as much. They usually have constant fights over blocking each other's trains and trains going too slow and stopping for water and blocking the other person's train. :-/

My favorite thing about Onyx these days is when anything bad happens, he runs to me and says, "Wanna huhmom!" which means, "I want a hug, mom!" If I try and give him a shoddy one-armed hug (usually because I'm also holding Sapphire), he'll shout, "Both hands!"


Quartz entered the LEGO Jr. Builder contest. The idea was to build some sort of plane and send in a picture of you and your LEGO vehicle. So here it is!

Here's a joke from the boys: "What do you call a lifting vehicle in a bacon factory?" "A porklift!"

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Eye of the Tiger

So we're back from the beach, and aside from an unsightly rash and an overindulgence in overpriced fried seafood, all is well.


We had big fun. Huge fun.



And now Coach and I have to get serious about this weight loss thing. My 20 year reunion is coming up, and, well- you know what that means.



Anyhoo, I told you that we saw Coach's college roommate while we were passing through Mobile.



Well, we had to get another baby fix on our way out, and apparently Coach's roomie had gotten him some "exercise pants" while they were in Brazil. (Roomie's wife is from Rio and they visit there fairly often- well, as often as two doctors trying to finish residency can- which is totally beside the point)



So, back to the pants. Well, just take a look:

Coach is not a small man- and I don't mean he's obese- he's just not small. He certainly wouldn't pass for someone of Latin descent.

It's a bit reminiscent of when we took the cruise for our honeymoon and Coach forgot khaki pants. After 3 nights of looking "like a tool" (his words NOT mine) in suit pants and golf shirts, he decided to look for khaki pants...

In Mexico...

Where he is practically a giant.

And he wore a bright purple LSU baseball shirt with the word "Tigers" emblazoned on the front. So we spent all day at the marketplace in Cozumel with little Mexican men yelling out "Hey Tiger, you wanna see what I got?"

And they weren't talking to me.

But back to the pants. Why no picture of the front? Well, the picture doesn't really do the snugness of the fit justice.

Let's just say that posting a picture with Coach facing the camera would teeter heavily on the line of legality.

"But Babe" he says, "these are Capoeira pants (pronounced kapowara)- they're Brazilian Dance Fighting Pants. These babies are bad."

Whatever dude, they're yoga pants, but you call them what you want.

And tomorrow we'll begin our exercise regime- me in yoga pants and Coach in his...

yoga pants.

See y'all!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Privilege and an Honor

Today is D-Day.

Yep- the day we had to come home from vacation.

Oh- I'm just kidding. Today is the 65th anniversary of D-Day. There were over 10,000 casualties that day, of those were 6603 American soldiers who either died or suffered major injury.

I have to be honest. Until last weekend I had a difficult time really grasping the whole war concept. I get the basic premise- shoot at the bad guy until he stops shooting back. Easy enough right?

Not really. Last Saturday we went to see the USS Alabama and the USS Drum in Mobile on our way to the beach. Seeing the living conditions of the men who were stationed on those vessels was almost more than I could stand.

2500 men lived, worked, and fought on this ship. It took us 2 hours just to take the self-guided tour.






I have to tell you- about the time we got to the very depths of the bowels of the ship my claustrophobia kicked in and I had myself a little bit of an episode- nothing major, just a little flashback to a very unfortunate "caving" incident when I was eight years old.

All I'll say is I'm glad there were no bats on the ship. (And for my parents- the Mammoth Cave trip was nothing compared to the panic I felt while in this thing)

Coach was totally impressed with the fact that Bob Feller (a famous pitcher I'm told) was on this ship. Truthfully, I was impressed and refreshed to see a public figure take the responsibility of the country's freedom so seriously. You just don't see our "heroes" and public figures take civic duty so seriously anymore. (I better stop- I'm about to start preaching.)

I have space issues- I don't like to be crowded, I don't like people to be close to me for any amount of time. I'm not a touchy-feely person.


Naval ships are not my thing. And I'm sure there were more than a few soldiers who would have preferred a little more space than this.



Generally, I prefer not to sleep where I eat, or over where I eat, but it could just be me.


And I definitely prefer not to sleep atop missiles.


We saw the post office, the barber shop, the laundry room, the brig, the soda shop (seriously), and all the guns. There were guns, missiles, bombs, and all manner of WWII explosives- EVERYWHERE.


Every single inch of that ship and the submarine were used. Every.Single.Inch. If a human could possibly fit, there was a bed. In hallways, over missiles, in the post office. EVERYWHERE.
Then we went aboard the USS Drum- a submarine that was based in Pearl Harbor and did missions in the South Pacific during WWII. I saw the most heart-wrenching and lonely thing I've ever seen:
This is the menu for the men on the USS Drum for Christmas Day, 1944. It's hard to read from my photo, but they had turkey, rolls, ham, dressing, pumpkin pie- all the traditional holiday fare...

And they were 600 miles from Tokyo and 300 feet UNDER THE OCEAN. ON CHRISTMAS! There was a picture of the men that day- every one of them smiling and arms around each other.
Well, the tears started at that point. To be honest- I do think the fact that I was once again shut in a very small space with no windows - but that menu did it for me. Imagining sons, husbands, brothers, friends under water at Christmas praying that they lived to see another one with their families was more than I could take.
I got myself together, we walked off the submarine and rounded a corner to find this ceremony taking place:
These are WWII submarine veterans. The man with the very attractive headwear is reading the names of all the deceased veterans who were stationed on submarines during WWII. You see most of the seats are empty...
the list he was reading was long...very long. He was not only reading the names of those killed in action, but also those who had died since the war. Sadly, 65 years later we don't have many of these guys around anymore.
So, when we got to meet Colonel Glenn D. Frazier, a survivor of the Bataan Death March, I almost cried again. We talked to him for a bit, the kids got their picture made with him, and we bought his book Hell's Guest about his experiences during the War.
As we were leaving Coach shook his hand and told him it was an honor and a privilege to meet him. (Coach always knows just what to say, whereas I stand there looking like a complete cad with a goofy grin on my face like I'm meeting the President or something, except this man was so much more impressive than the President- this man truly did sacrifice himself for change in our country, but again, I digress a bit)
Anyway, I teared up again and realized I had just met one of thousands of truly great men who sacrificed greatly so that I could live the way I do.
And honestly, for the first time in my life, I really understood the sacrifice the soldiers and the families of the US military made and continue to make on my behalf.
For that I am grateful.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

First, here's Sapphire engaged in her #1 past-time -- looking cute. :-)

The boys started swimming lessons this week at the city pool -- they have been doing really well! Onyx even follows the class most of the time, and Quartz is always showing his teachers what he can do.

Onyx has a fascination with the washing machine. He will help me put the clothes in, and then sit up there watching it fill up, then watching the clothes spin, for fifteen minutes or more -- usually until it gets to the part of the cycle where you have to close the lid.














We had a No Particular Reason party on Monday, with cupcakes and a few presents, and the kids got their own tent (hopefully for use on future camping adventures). Of course they wanted to set it up right away and sleep in it, so we set it up in Sapphire's room with sleeping bags and everything, and the boys played in it all evening. They were going to sleep in it, but decided not to at the last minute.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Girly Things

Hey! Do you like girly things? You know ruffled, floral, decorative, pretty things?

Yep- me too. As a matter of fact, Coach and I had a little tussle last week in the garden because I insisted on an entire flagstone patio area in front of the herb garden. I had pictured a cute little bistro table painted some really bright color with a little pot of sweetness growing on top.

Coach had pictured, and was well on his way to laying a geriatric "walkway" of individual stones leading directly to the herb garden and then he was going to be done. Yuck.

Suffice it to say that as of this moment there is neither a geriatric walkway nor a patio. But I'm believing God to change Coach's heart on that (and hey- if any of you want to gently encourage him by commenting on the blog- please feel free.).

Anyway- why don't you go over here to Living in the Moment to see Brittany's awesome giveaway. She's giving four wonderful prizes away.

Who couldn't use a monogrammed mousepad and Vera Bradley post-its. (Personally, I love everything Vera Bradley.) And one can never have enough coffee mugs or Jillian Michaels. If you aren't currently "shredding" then you will. Trust me- it's only a matter of time before we guilt you into it- it's only 20 minutes- you know you want to.

So- go see Brittany. Congratulate her on her 101st post and hang out there a bit.

Now, it's back to the beach for me!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Tastes Like Chicken

What life is really like with Ms. Momsense and Coach.

We took the kids to the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola today because G and V got burned on our first day out and frankly, Coach was about to have a small stroke to see all the jets.

So, we drive the 5 minutes to the museum, drive through the checkpoint at which point we were asked if we had any weapons in the car.

That poor officer. He had no idea what a loaded question that was. No, we didn't have any firearms, but weapons? All a matter of opinion. If you believe that tired, hungry, sunburned children aren't weapons, let me send my three your way.

Anyway, we entered the wonderfully over-air conditioned museum and this is what conspired:

Volunteer: Hello. Welcome to the Naval Aviation Museum...blah blah blah. The Blue Angels will be practicing tomorrow at 8:30 am (at which point Coach became useless as he was too excited to breathe)...blah blah blah...there are guided tours if you are interested...blah blah blah...but if you want to just wander around that's good too.

Coach: I think we'll just wander around and then go to the IMAX movie.

Volunteer: Good choice. Just be sure to go over there and sign the guestbook and get the kids some wings before you start your visit.

The kids all become ecstatic at this point, even G in all his pubescent wonder.

And then we found out why...

G: Yes! Mom, are they buffalo flavored wings?

And at the very same time...

V: What flavor wings Dad?

Which got me thinking, we've had ourselves sort of a fowl vacation so far.

It all started on Saturday at lunch when we met Coach's college roommate, wife, and the cutest baby ever. We went to the The Original Oyster House in Mobile and while we were waiting we covertly ordered alligator bites for the kids to try.

Oh yes we did. And we told the kids they were chicken nuggets.

G noticed that the meat was a little darker than the regular chicken nugget so I told him they used the dark meat for more flavor. V ate half the basket. G took one bite and politely moved on the fried cheese. AC ate one, shrugged her shoulders and said she preferred McDonalds nuggets.

Of course she does.

As you can see below. They all lived, but I have to tell you that I laughed so hard at G's face when he found out he ate alligator that I am still sore.




Then we arrived at the hotel and the kids and Coach decided to play chicken.


G and AC formed a team. This is the pre-fight photo. They are pumped and ready to go.



They are faced off and ready to go. It appears at first that the teams are outmatched- but don't you worry...


They have been taught to lose graciously. It's a skill we've worked on for a long time with all three of them. Sportsmanship is of utmost importance to us at the Momsense home.



Clearly, not everyone has totally bought into the Momsense Sportsmanship Program. But we're working on it.


Have a great day where you are- it's another day in paradise for me and my clan!