Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Super Heroes and Incredible Friends

Today was one of those days. You all know exactly what I mean; it's the kind of day when nothing goes according to plan, your house is a mess, you lose your temper and make your kids cry.

Or maybe you ate too much, none of your clothes fit right, your hair looks greasy, you didn't get any sleep, your kid pours soup all over the floor, and you won't see your husband for three to five more days.

I could go on and on, but the particulars don't really matter. It's just that type of day when you wonder aloud, "Why in the world did I ever think I was qualified to be a parent?"

So you spend the day moping, groaning, gorging on a bowl of ice cream (temporary satisfaction). You may yell at your kids a little more, wonder why nothing around the house ever gets done, and then settle on the couch to watch some trashy TV.

Luckily for me, my day turned around just before bed time. A little package came in the mail that contained three literal bundles of joy.

My friend Jen is Incredible with a capital I. In fact, she's the entire Incredible Family rolled into one tiny person.

She sent two specialized capes and an awesome photo book of her visit to D.C. Jen turned my kids into Super Heroes AND saved the day. See, I told you. She's Incredible.

Jen, you have no idea how perfectly timed your package was. Not only are you uber-talented and thoughtful, but because of your gift I was able to send my children to bed with smiles on their faces. Thank you a million times over! I laughed and cried (reliving the zoo hike) as I read the photo book to my children. I'm so lucky, blessed and grateful to have a friend like you!

Here are some shots of my kids enjoying their surprise presents:

Laynie totally got into Super Sister mode and stripped down to her pull-up. Check out her face. That's the don't-mess-with-me look.

Super Gavin! He flew around the house for about thirty minutes until I could convince him to put on his pajamas. I'm totally going to have to sneak into his room to take the cape off while he's sleeping.

It's got the Obama campaign symbol on one side. You may not have known, but my little boy thinks President Obama is pretty much the bomb.com. Gavin gets so excited every time we see him on TV. "Look Mom! That's President Obama!" And he loves to visit the President Obama House (not the White House) when we're in D.C. No matter your political affiliation, you have to admit it's pretty cute that my little boy knows the president's name.

Laynie's cape has a princess crown on one side.

And the Super Man S on the other.

Don't worry, Gavin won't be sporting his lefty-love when we head back to Texas to visit. Jen had that covered too. She put a Super Man sign on the red side of his cape. Although if you ask Gavin he thinks it's Prince Phillip's cape and the S is for "Sleeping Beauty."

As I've been writing this post, I've had a few seconds to think about the other awesome, creative, wonderful people in my life. Even though I had the kind of day you don't want to relive, at least I have friends and family who love me even in my failures.
Love you guys!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

No matter how hard you try, something will always slip through the cracks

A lot is going on in the Wallace Household. In addition to the regular stuff--the monotonous Mom stuff you can never, ever escape--this weekend is the VIP Luncheon and Open House for our new church building.

I'm going crazy, like near-panic attack crazy, worrying about representing the LDS church and the primary organization appropriately. To illustrate my point, let me tell you some of the things I've been thinking about today:
  1. Is the movie (yep, I made a movie about primary) okay? Are people going to understand it? Are they going to ask me questions about it? What are they going to ask? What am I going to say?
  2. What should I wear? My forehead sweats when I talk to people. Should I wear my hair up? If I wear my hair up are people going to think Mormons are polygamists? Don't polygamist women always wear their hair up? Maybe I should wear it down, but if I sweat it will stick to my face.
  3. I'm going to be at the church from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. I better have comfortable shoes. If I wear comfortable shoes, are the VIPs going to think I'm frumpy and as a result think all Mormon women are frumpy? I better wear heels even if it hurts. But if my heels are too tall is that going to give people a bad opinion of me? Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, what am I going to put on my feet?
  4. I can't wear sandals. I don't have a pedicure. Aren't open-toed shoes inappropriate? Are they? Is it frumpy of me to think that? Am I frumpy? Oh my gosh, I'm frumpy!!
  5. Are all the displays going to be ready? Can I get everything set up by myself? Where are all the pictures of Christ people promised? Are there going to be enough? Am I going to need to go buy easels?
  6. What am I going to do with my kids for 6.5 hours? Will my friends still love me if they are stuck with my children for that long?

I wouldn't be so worried if Jamie was going to be around. But he's not. He's going to be in Europe.

Obviously, I need to find some balance. I tried to give myself a break last night and host writer's group at my house.

Gavin won't sleep if he knows someone is having fun at our house and he isn't involved. So I put him in my bed and put a movie on hoping (against all odds) that he would: 1) fall asleep with the movie on or 2) at least give my writer's group a little peace while we worked.

Things didn't exactly go according to plan.

Yep, he fell asleep...but not in my bed. Sometime while we were meeting (I'm not exactly sure when; he's a stealthy little creature), Gavin snuck to the living room, flopped over the chair and fell asleep. How can anyone sleep like that?
I honestly didn't even notice he was there until I got up from my computer to shut off all the lights. I have a serious case of Mom Guilt. My poor baby! I didn't even think about him! I could hear the movie playing, so I assumed he was watching it.
The lesson I've learned today: no matter how hard you try, you can't worry about everything. Something is going to slip through the cracks.
This very instant I just realized I don't know if I have the right length table cloths for the primary tables. Oh crap. I guess I better find out...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The Fruits of our Labor

Can you handle it if I boast for a minute about something other than my children?
Look what I grew in our garden!

On Sunday Jamie went out to check, and sure enough we had strawberries ready to harvest!

I bundled up the kids (I know, harvesting fruit in winter coats is a pretty ridiculous concept), but then I realized it was colder inside the house than it was outside.

The kids didn't complain, they thought picking strawberries was awesome.
I felt so domestic that I ALMOST made strawberry jam. Then I realized that it had been 12+ years since I've done anything jam-related.
So we ate them for breakfast. Yum!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mother's Day Dance at Chantilly Academy

Can you say, "Best Mother's Day Ever"?
I can!
Gavin's school hosted an awesome Mother's Day Dance. We had a blast.

The kids made us crowns and jewelry, sang songs and taught us dances. Each mom became Queen for the Day!

Here's the awesome picture Gavin took of me in all my royal finery!

And here's the stunning shot I got of the two of us together!

My friend Debbie and her son Austin are some of our closest friends here in Virginia. We are so sad they are moving in a couple of months :(

After the dance, we went back to Gav's classroom and he showed me his favorite book and gave me MORE incredible Mother's Day Gifts.

Like this cute packet. I personally love that Gavin thinks I'm 56 years old, have blond hair and that my favorite food is fries from McDonalds.

Here's his beautiful art work. I'm the person with the "big eyes."

Is any Mother's Day complete without a handprint? I'm going to have to save this one.

Thanks Gav for all your hard work! Today really was the best Mother's Day I've had so far. Love you!

Soccer Stud Returns

Every athlete has off days. Chuck Knoblauch was the second baseman for the Yankees back in late '90s. If anyone who reads this blog knows what the yips are, then maybe you'll also remember that poor "Blauchead" had a serious case. One day he woke up and could no longer throw to first base. He overthrew, underthrew and bounced balls to the first baseman (including a throw that went into the opposing team's dugout). He never recovered and was traded to the KC Royals and then released.

A couple Saturdays ago, Gavin had his own case of the yips. For some inexplicable reason he decided that he "hated soccer." I kid-you-not, no bribery, pleading or promises for punishment could get him to step onto the soccer field. He spent 30 minutes standing on the endline crying. Finally I told him, "You WILL stay here. I am going home. I have better things to do then watch you stand around."

He didn't believe me. So, I left (Jamie stayed of course). Strangely, my love-and-logic parenting actually worked. Five minutes after I walked down the street Jamie went onto the field to participate in some particular exercise and Gavin decided to play along.

This Saturday, Gavin had a blast at soccer. He listened, participated and even demonstrated some skills for the rest of the team.

My point: If you don't know what the yips are, you should look it up. They really exist.

The proof is posted below:

Gavin listening to Coach Michelle.

Gavin showing his "awesome soccer muscles" because Coach Michelle asked him too.

Gavin listening to his ball "talk". Apparently Coach Michelle said that if you listen close enough the ball will tell you exactly what to do, how it wants to be kicked, and who you should pass it to.

The Yips are gone. Our Soccer-loving Gavin is back. Thank Heavens.