Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The brothers h on weddings...

From our road trip to Virginia over the summer (more to come, unless I get distracted)...

This summer I drove the boys to Virginia to see family and friends and spend time in the woods.  We also got to see their first baby sitter get married.  David was planning on marrying her when he was three because she could make popcorn.  Jessie was beautiful.  The wedding was perfect.  The brothers now have firm opinions on weddings...

The Brothers H on Weddings

  1. You get to wear grown up clothes.  (They're weird in this way.  They love to dress up.  I think it's because we've only ever gone to casual churches.)
  2. You get to play tag.  (There was a herd of boys at the wedding, and a fenced field just outside the reception area.)
  3. There is an open bar.  It took them a while to wrap their minds around the concept of unlimited Coke. They kept asking me in a tentative, please don't give me a lecture about greediness voice, "Can I get another Coke?"  
  4. With a very nice bartender who adds three cherries per coke.

The brothers announced that this was the best party ever.  Jacob plans to have his wedding at a swimming pool where he will wear his fanciest swimsuit.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Chris and I were discussing the definition of hypocrite today.  I'm still trying to flesh out my thoughts on that, but I'm pretty sure that toddler is an antonym.  A toddler is utterly without pretense.  What he feels is on his face.  And the Lord made him this cute so you won't sell him on ebay when he

throws a hissy fit because you took his donut out of the bag.  That's right, I bought him a donut.  I didn't even pretend to take a bite of it.  But I took it out of the bag, and, apparently, that was RIDICULOUS.


My big boys are on their way to the A&M game.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Not the hill to die on...

Parenting changes so much from kid 1 to kid 4.  Some of that is due to parental maturity and some to laziness.  Poor David, we nearly gave ourselves heart attacks trying to keep his 2-year-old body in a twin bed.  Jacob had arrived a few months before, so David got booted on up to a bunk bed.  Putting him to bed was a nightmare.  We did everything Super Nanny said we should, plus a lot of other stuff.  Poor little guy.  The solution was so simple, but at that point in my parenting career, it never occurred to me.  Fifty bucks on Craigslist would have solved everything.  Based on that experience, Bryan and Jacob stayed in cribs until they could talk in paragraphs about why it was time for a big boy bed.  Unfortunately, the Brothers H crib didn't last until Rand was speaking at that level.  It started falling apart.  Remembering the experience with David, though, I put it back together with zip ties.  Finally, Chris intervened.

Chris:  (in that voice you use with crazy people who haven't flipped out yet)  I'm concerned for Rand's safety.  I think we need to throw away the crib and set up the twin bed for him. 
Me:  I'll give it a week.  If it's interfering with my life, we're buying a crib on Craigslist for our 2 and a half year old 4th and final child. 
Chris:  (doing a mental expected value problem, a possible cost of $50 vs. a certain fight)  Okay.

Rand slept well in his big boy bed for a few weeks.  For the past few months, however, he has insisted on going to bed on the floor.
Rand:  (tone implies, "I am not to be trifled with.") I sleep floor. 
Me:  Don't you want to sleep on your bed? 
Rand:  (tone implies, "You fool.")  No, dinosaurs eat me. 
Me:  Dinosaurs won't eat you in the bed.  They live under the bed.  They'll eat you if you lay on the floor. 
Rand:  (tone implies, "You do not want to throw down with me over this.")  No, I sleep bed, dinosaurs eat me.  I sleep floor. 
Me:  (internal monologue)  That sounds so uncomfortable, but how much do I really care?  Let's see if he still sleeps until his normal time in the morning.
He slept normally that night, so now and then I make a feeble attempt to convince him to sleep in his bed, and he unfailingly shoots me down.  Tonight he upped the ante.  He insisted on sleeping on the floor in a plastic top hat.  I figured the hat would work itself out.  He eventually decided he could live with clutching the hat instead of wearing it.  It was a moral victory.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Be jealous...

When I brag, I like to be subtle-ish about it: "I'm very concerned that Child X won't learn true repentance since he's never lied to us," or "I wish Chris would stop buying me red roses every week when he brings home flowers.  He should branch out and try something new."  This time, however, I'm going with all-out, in-your-face bragging.

My husband rocked out my birthday this year.  That, along with the fact that he freely offered a guiltless sick day on Labor Day, when I had a nasty, nasty stomach bug but no vomiting (That's actually an important detail.  I require vomit-evidence to grant more than 2 hours sympathy to him.) that ended with all the dishes done and the house cleaned up, has awarded him my goodwill for at least year.

Chris had me get a babysitter for the day for my birthday.  That morning I opened my birthday present and found 6 envelopes labelled with times throughout the day.

He kissed me, told me to open each envelope at the given time and left for work.  I settled the kids in with a sitter and sent him a picture of myself leaving for my amazing day.
I wanted to send plenty of evidence that this sitter for a day on your birthday thing is a great idea.  I opened my first envelope at 8:00.  His note sent me to Barnes and Noble with a giftcard to "Buy some books for your trip and drink some coffee.  You're going to have a busy day."  I wandered the book store for a glorious hour and left with these.

I opened the next envelope at 10:30.  I was a little concerned when I read "Relax and give it a shot" followed by an address.  Tattoo?  Body piercing?  No, he'd gotten me a massage.  When I left the massage glowing with relaxation, I found Chris waiting outside.  The 12:00 envelope was for lunch with him at one of my favorite restaurants.
One of my very favorite people, Janet, picked me up after lunch.  The 2:00 envelope announced pedicures for Janet and me - the fancy kind I never get for myself.
After.  The cute little feet are Janet's.  The clodhoppers are mine.
The 3:30 envelope sent Janet and me with a gift card to a tea room to drink tea and buy some fancy tea and a new tea cup to take home.  The For a Lady is my favorite, and the tea cup has changed my life. It has a built-in strainer for loose leaf tea.*
The 6:30 envelope sent me to his office parking lot where these two handsome guys knocked on my window.

Chris got us box seats to see The Lion King.  He had gone home and picked up my two big boys so they could join us.  The show was amazing.  The seats were awesome.  I felt like a celebrity.
At the end of the night I felt loved, appreciated, known and my toes were pretty.

So, amazing as he his, Chris does occasionally piss me off.  For the past 12 years, I've had a little routine I go through when he really upsets me.**  When I start running through the mental list that ends in, "He's a jerk.  He doesn't love me," I try to stop and run through the things he has done that show he loves me and he's a good man.  Here's a sampling from the list...
  1. He asked first before he kissed you for the first time.
  2. He always tells you the truth.
  3. When you have hard and embarrassing things to tell him, he doesn't shame you and responds with grace.***
  4. After you lost Caleb, he checked the mail every day so he could get rid of the baby mail before you saw it.
  5. He gave you a Valentine's Day card in Spanish.****
  6. He goes out of his way to be nice to your grandmother.
  7. He's a great dad.
  8. He rocked out your 36th birthday.  Seriously, it was better than 21, and that's impressive.
"But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you..."  W.B. Yeats

* I realize that sentence puts me in very special nerd category.
** Actually this is the more mature later phase of that routine.  I'm leaving off the childishness and selfishness that precedes this.
*** He does, however, shame me over my sense of direction and capacity for insanity.  See this and this.
**** I don't speak Spanish, which made what would have been a cheesy Valentine's card into something truly entertaining.  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Jacob, when you read this someday and notice that your birthday post was over two months late (bless your poor middle child heart), just remember that it was eventually posted and that it was my first post after a month long hiatus.

Things I Love About Jacob...
  1. He wanted the entire world to come to his birthday party.  In the weeks before his party, he harassed me into inviting every stranger his age we met at the park, the zoo, the pool, ...
  2. He named his ukulele Gold-headed Beauty and his pick Green Star Picker.
  3. He makes up really elaborate games.  This one is called Checker Chess.  You play with all the chess pieces, one row of checker pieces and 6 checkers off the board.  These are the rules:
    1. The chess pieces move as usual except the rooks are called lookout towers, the pawns are called guards, and the bishops are called king's guards.
    2. Checker pieces can either jump or land on the same space to capture something.
    3. Guards (pawns) capture like kings.
    4. Three of the extra checkers are doctors.  They can each be used 3 times to revive any previously captured piece.  That piece then moves to its starting position.
    5. The other 3 extra checkers are meteors.  They can fall from the sky and kill any piece.  They can each be used twice.
    6. The game is over when one player's king and queen have been killed.
  4. He loves people.  He's never met a kid he didn't want to befriend.  He has loved every teacher and coach he's had so far.
  5. He loves to play the piano and read and is enormously proud of the fact that he can belch like David.
  6. We were at a playground last year and there was a kid being mean to Bryan.  Jacob stood up for his brother.  The next time we went back to that playground, Jacob said, "I hope that kid in the blue shirt won't be there.  He's a really hard fighter and I might have to protect Bryan again."
  7. He makes up poems.
    If I Had One Wish 
    If I had one wish
    My wish would be
    Let me think
    O, it's candy!
  8. And, this is what he made me for my birthday.  Love this guy.

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