Monday, June 30, 2008
Well, one day, I got real balls and decided I wanted to explore further. I don't know where my parents were that I had such gall to give this a try, but they were apparently a safe enough distance away that all commen sense was able to flee my scrawny body and lead me into the way of stupidity - a common ailment of youth. I tentatively tiptoed down this stretch of roof, past my brother's window and followed the roof up to the right where it got really steep and really high. My goal was to make it to the chimney and survey the land around me, then go back to my room, victorious. My plan would have been fool proof had it not been for the nest of horse flies that I stepped in on my ascent. Suddenly swarm by giant, hungry creatures, their kaleidescope eyes surveying their next meal, my brain screamed, "abort, abort!" Biting my lip to keep from calling out and bringing undo attention to myself, I made a hasty retreat, nearly sliding off the roof to a certain hospital visit. Luckily, I caught myself and managed to get back into my room in one, albeit slightly swollen from the bites of about 500 flies (okay maybe not that many...) piece. I'm not sure if my mom and dad ever heard that story so if this is the first time, uhhhh sorry I did that?
Aaaanyway, my point is that today as I was watering my plants and Sloan was supposed to be having rest time, I suddenly look over and the little Houdini is standing in the landscaping outside his window all proud and beaming. He figured out how to unlock his window, push it open, push up the screen and climb out. Thankfully, we live in a ranch so this is not that big of a deal, save for the fact that I have no doubt he will do this again, and likely at a time when we are not watching because doggonit if the kid isn't just like me! And if we ever move into a house with second story bedrooms, you better believe there will be some kind of alarm attached to it because I know a little too much about what Sloan is thinking in that adorable little head of his. Of course, I've no doubt he will outsmart me at some point and that someday he will probably share a story with me of the dumb things he did as a child while I unknowingly went through my day thinking my little angel was in his room reading. What goes around comes around huh?
Friday, June 27, 2008
Getting ready to run the relay. They had to run through a sprinkler, climb the ladder and rescue a cat from the swingset (tear off a picture of a cat).
Some of the kids waiting oh so patiently. The relay ran much smoother in my mind. They were all a little too young to understand the concept. They just mosied along - it took forever!
Taking a swing at the pinata.
Playing in the sprinkler
Well, I did it. I hosted the biggest birthday party EVER! Seriously, I'm still getting the hang of these party things. I think next year will be much smaller, and Chuck E Cheese will host. All in all, though, things went well. No major injuries, only a few tears, and a lot of fun! At least for the kids. I think they all had fun. They seemed to. I had fun too, but not in a "Woohoo this is so great wish I could do this every day," way. More in a, "Man I'm so glad my son is having a blast at his birthday party even though I'm enormously overwhelmed and dog tired," way. It was sweet to watch Sloan get so excited and have so much fun with all his friends. We have great friends. God has really blessed us. Sloan got a bunch of super fun presents that will excite him for about three days, at which point he'll likely return to wallowing in boredom. But those three days will be bliss. Aaaanyhoo. Tomorrow is Ballwin Days, Sunday we have another birthday party, Monday is packing day and Tuesday we head to Florida. I can't believe it's already here! Oh, and the cake, though not a work of art, was indeed delicious. Thank you Betty Crocker - the world is truly a better place thanks to you!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
"Mom, I don't think I can clean up today. Sorry. My knee hurts, and it's telling my tummy to hurt a little bit too and I think my heart is also a little bit hurting so I just think that I can't help you clean up today. I think I will just go play outside and ride my bike and you can clean."
Me: "Well, if you have that many things that are hurting you, I don't think you should go outside. You should probably just lie in your bed all day."
S: "Weeelllll...it's just hurting me to clean, not to play."
Later, when Lee and the kids were wrestling, Lee gave Sloan a good shove. He fell over laughing, shook his head and said, "That's phenobulous." What a kid.
Monday, June 23, 2008
"Not too bad," you say. Well, thanks, but the picture doesn't do it justice - there was a crapload (pardon my french) of dirt and that was just the kitchen pile. That was not the piles from the other three rooms I swept and I didn't even get to the bathrooms or our bedroom. Combine all the dirt in our house together and I think we could re-landscape the front yard.
What were the kids doing while I swept? Well, the older two were actually, miraculously, playing together in the basement. Although Tia ended up wetting her pants for the umpteenth time. I think she's digressing in potty training. Landon sat in his high chair and screamed his head off as I frantically swept, feeling like crying the whole time myself.
Lee, trying to be so helpful, got a bunch of laundry out and started folding and putting it all away. What I really wanted him to do was hold Landon so he would stop crying. But that's the difference between men and women isn't it? A crying baby does not phase Lee. He just tunes it out. I, however, literally feel like I'm going insane. I ended up grabbing Landon and holding him while I ran the vacuum through the house, at least getting some of that nasty dirt up off the floor. But then I couldn't get the vaccuum back into the closet because it looked like this: So I just left it sitting in the hallway.
I ended up with a massive migraine. I think my brain was swelling in an attempt to break away from the craziness of overload. So I went to bed early with visions of dirty floors plaguing me all night long. And now I am awake, still with a headache and still with dirty floors. What will I do today? Probably go somewhere to escape the mess. Out of sight out of mind right? In other news, we've had tons of fun the last few days, though that's what's contributed to my messy house and headache. Lots of playtime at the park with friends, plus a trip to Six Flags water park for me and the big kids (so fun!), plus a trip to the Zoo yesterday, combined with Lee being out of town for the weekend makes for one tired mama. So, I'm off to start another day, but I think it shall be a little more low key because I need a break from all the fun!
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Last night, Lee and I dropped our kids off at my parents house and headed out for an evening away. This, however, would not be the ordinary, boring, gogetsomedinnerthenseeamovie type of date. Oh no. We had something much more interesting and random set up. We drove to the set of a low budget film (veeeeery low budget) shooting in the St. Louis area and for the evening, we were peasants in Rome circa A.D.411. The shoot started at 8:00 last night. It ended at 3:30 in the morning. We're tired. Let me tell you a little about what it's like to be a movie star.
We arrive to the park where the shoot is to take place. It's in an area of St. Louis that I would classify as slightly scary. We drive all the way to the back of this park, which was beautiful, and pull into a river overlook with a large monument built in honor of Louis and Clark. It's an impressive structure and becomes the focal point of the funeral scene which we will shoot. We immediately get fitted for our costumes. We are "upper class" peasants. I know, I found that description a little random myself. Lee's costume was actually really cool. I wish I had a picture but we weren't aloud to bring cameras. He looked quite authentic. He even got to carry a sword, which he thought was super cool. I, however, looked like the wicked witch from the West on crack. The clothes themselves were not horrible, but the wig they put on me was horrendous. They oooh'd and aaah'd about how cool I looked, but I didn't buy it. I looked really frightening. Next was makeup - there wasn't much needed. They just dabbed foundation all over us to make us look tan and dirty.
Anyway, we were dressed and ready by 8:30. We started the actual filming at 11:00. Whew. This movie business is tough. There were a lot of interesting characters there. Many who were self professed "actors" and took it very seriously. There were a few children, who impressed the socks off me. They had awesome attitudes and were angels throughout the whole thing. I got to thinking of bringing my own kids on a shoot like this and shuddered at the horror of it.
The confirmation of my awful hair came when the director was placing us in different spots and looked at me and said, "Your hair is suspicious." I replied (in my best Monica Gellar voice) "I Know!" Alas, no one told me to take the monstrosity off my head, so I found a piece of wire and tied it back a little, crudly taming the beast. Sigh. Finally, after all night of shooting and reshooting the same scene over and over, they called that's a wrap and Lee and I jetted home and fell exhausted into bed. All in all our acting debut was fairly fun. I mean, the two of us really rocked our roles. We were stellar. We were filming the funeral of the king and let me tell you, we will move you to tears. It was worthy of an Oscar. Now all we have to do is sit back with a cold drink and wait for Speilberg to call...should be aaaaaaany minute now...
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
My host family bought my train ticket to Prague and assured me that it was an express train that would deliver me to Prague in 12 hours. They were wrong. Just in case you're wondering, there is no such thing as an express train in Ukraine or Russia for that matter. After a fairly decent night's sleep on the rocking train, I packed my stuff up and looked out the window, only to feel my heart plummet. The signs at the station we were stopped at were in Ukrainian. This was when I began to suspect I was in for a long trip. I stopped the conductor, a very jovial fellow with rosy Ukrainian cheeks and asked him how long until we got to Prague. He informed me that it was actually a 36 hour train ride. I had not brought any toiletries with me, figuring I'd just borrow Wanida's and I had no snacks and was now completely famished. To make matters worse, they put a young Iranian man in the small compartment with me and he kept trying to get me to sleep with him. Literally, all he could say in English was "I love you," and "Will you sleep with me?" Oh and "Kelli, come down please," which he said over and over in the hopes that maybe I would change my mind and hop in bed with him. Creepy little man. After fighting off his wandering hands for about an hour, I climbed up onto the top bunk and parked my butt there and did not get down for another 8 hours when I thought my bladder would bust. When we finally arrived in Prague he tried to kiss me. I managed to turn my head fast enough to only get a bunch of slobber on my cheek. Then began the adventure of finding Wanida and her group. I had no way of contacting her. But first things first, I had to buy some food, toothpaste and shampoo. I purchased the items and went into the bathroom of a Kentucky Fried Chicken in the heart of Prague and washed my hair in the sink. I've never felt better! Long story short (or shorter, at least) I finally found the group after a full day of wandering, being accosted twice more by foreign men, one who forcefully grabbed my butt (jeez!) and had the time of my life running through that magnificent city for a week. The train ride back was less eventful as the woman in charge of my car was more sympathetic and let me have the room to myself the whole time.
After that semester, Wanida did not come back to Baylor. At least not for school, she did come to visit. But God had a different path for her. And now, she is on another journey with her husband of four years and I am so in awe of what they are doing - that's why I've shared all this - well, that and I've been reminiscing. Wanida and Joe left the US in Feburary and have been travelling the globe, searching their hearts, feeding their minds, chasing their dreams and pursuing God. They have now settled down for a little while in Amman, Jordan. You can read about their journey on their blog, In The Company of Humanity. I would encourage you to visit it and be blessed. It's really cool what they are doing. Wanida, I'm so grateful that the Lord gave us precious times together. I can't wait to see you again someday and hear first hand all the things you are learning!
Monday, June 16, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
And of course, to my own dad, who spent his share of time rubbing my arms in church as I grew up (and who recently has started rubbing Tia's arms for her - seriously, if you want to get on her good side, rub her arms!). How grateful I am for such a wonderful father who poured into me as a child, who was always there, cheering me on, building me up, laughing with me and loving on me. He is a man of honor - a man of God who loves my mom and has no problem showing emotion toward any of us. My dad is a giver and has given so much to so many over the years. What an example he is to me! My dad was my role model for what kind of husband to find and he was a most excellent model. He is still a voice of wisdom and grace in my life and in Lee's life and I'm grateful for him every day!
And then there's my father-in-law, another amazing man to whom I am indebted to as he himself raised three godly young men, his middle one being my dear husband. I love sitting and talking with Herb and listening to his wisdom and knoweldge. He is a blessing in my life.
And finally, a big Happy Birthday to my nephew Cade who turns eight today! Cade was born just four weeks before Lee and I got married, so he holds a special place in our hearts. What a fine young boy he is turning out to be - smart, helpful, funny and a sports nut! We love you Cade. Glad you had fun at your party! Enjoy the day everyone!
Friday, June 13, 2008
So last night, after Russian school, he came out with a very sour look on his face. When I asked him what was wrong, he said his teacher, Miss Katya, was "bad" to him. Apparently, she had to get on to him for some reason, but he would not tell me why. Sloan does not handle other grown ups telling him no very well. He gets very offended, which is good in the sense that it usually shapes him up pretty quickly. But bad in the sense that he makes such a big deal about it that whoever told him no feels terrible about it. This is what our coversation went like in the car on the way home:
Me: Sloan, what happened?
S: Miss Katya got mad at me.
Me: Why? What did you do?
S: I didn't do anything!
Me: Honey, Miss Katya would not get mad at you for nothing. What happened?
Me: Were you not paying attention.
S: I was paying attention. I was listening and everything.
Me: Were you not trying to speak in russian?
S: Yes! I said all my russian words and even sang the songs.
Me: Sloan, something must have happened. I need you to tell me.
S: Nothing happened. She was just bad to me.
Me: Sloan, either you tell me what happened or I'm calling Miss Katya to ask her.
S: Well, you might get mad.
Me: I'm not going to get mad. I just need the truth.
S: Well, I didn't do anything. I didn't push anybody.
Me: Ohhh. Who did you push?
S: No one. Not Bolya.
Me: Why did you push Bolya?
S: I didn't!
Me: Are you telling the truth?
S: No. I pushed Bolya. But it was an accident! I was just playing.
Anyway, it went on and on like the the whole way home. I finally got the story out that he was being a little too wild and pushed Bolya and made him fall down and Miss Katya got on to him to calm down. We went through the same song and dance when we got home too as he explained it to Lee. Lee and I finally told him that we were not mad at him, just disappointed that he was not paying attention in class and we wanted to know if he learned a lesson. His answer: "Yeah - don't push so hard." Hmmm...close. How about don't push at all. Anyway, we also told him that he needs to be truthful with us and have trust in us. So we're now working on learning to tell the truth. One more life lesson for the little man!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Thing's I'd like to fling:
- Landon spitting up on me right as I walk into the gym. And not just any old spit up. He yacked his prunes all down my white shirt - prunes he'd eaten two hours earlier. Nice. Luckily I had a tank top on underneath - a female wife beater. I was lovely.
- Sloan's "quiet" rest time, which he's supposed to be having right now. Everytime he drops one of his cars on the hard wood floor, it sounds like a gunshot through the house and sends waves of frustration up my spine. His idea of quiet and mine are very different. We're working on a comprimise.
- The hole in our roof that's been there since the ice storm of January 2007! Birds have nested in it and had babies now. But we just don't want to shell out the money to get it fixed.
- People who pick their noses while driving their cars. Uhhh, I can still see you!
- The stench in our basement that I keep trying to ignore because whatever is causing it will probably cost money to fix.
Stuff I'd like to keep around:
- Landon's wet, sloppy kisses and the way he thinks it's funny to suck on my chin. Only when there aren't regurgitated prunes in his mouth, that is.
- The way Tia is saying new words every day and it's about the sweetest thing I've ever heard. My favorite is the way that she says Sloan's name. "Hol." When she says it she sounds like a little bird cooing. The other day Sloan spit at her and she placed a prissy hand on her hip and said, "Hol, don piss." (translation: Sloan, don't spit) Awesome!
- The pride on Sloan's face when he manages to get himself going on his bike all by himself. Priceless.
- Ingrid Michaelson. I just love her coffee shop feel and her breezy voice. It makes me smile and bob my head like a fool.
- This tea. I drink it almost every night and a lot of mornings. It's the best tea I've had in a long time and it makes me feel all girly and sophisticated, even if I'm sitting in my pajamas with psychotic bed head. It needs no additives. Simply add hot water and enjoy!
- My husband, who is just awesome and so much help around the house. Last night he could tell I was exhausted so he made dinner, then cleaned it up and helped get the house in order and pretty much did everything. He rocks! And babe, just so you know, Brad Pitt's got nothin' on you (wink).
Okay, those are the things I'd like to fling and the things I'm crazy about. What about you? Do share!
Monday, June 9, 2008
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Seriously, where else in the world would you be able to go to a movie theater and also shop for straw woven purses, tacky head scarves and other worthless and meaningless trinkets that likely litter a majority of the landfills in our state? Oh, and while there you can also hear a little history told by a creepy looking statue of an old man who speaks with a weird southern accent. And before you leave the theater, don't forget to check your weight on a large scale which likely displays the number in letters bright enough for all to see - ummmm...I'll pass thanks. And then, of course, you can sit on The Love Throne and measure your ability for affection. Good times.
We also attended a show which was very fun. But you know you're slightly out of place when the MC starts asking if anyone's celebrating a special occasion and the guy sitting at your table says he's there to celebrate his 80th birthday. He was followed by two people celebrating their 50th birthdays, one celebrating 55, and two couples celebrating 50 years of marriage. Barbara looked over at Becke and I with her eyebrows raised, wondering if we wanted her to announce our birthdays. We both hastily, and perhaps a little too loudly, said that's okay. We're good. The show did turn out to be good, though. I was a little worried at first because the MC was a ball of cheese who was apparently vying (sp?) for a Ryan Seacrest actalike trophy. We kept waiting for him to say, "This...is Ammmmericann Idol."
The best part of the weekend was, naturally, the shopping. So many stores! And while I could have spent pretty much every penny we have, I was good and restrained myself, but thank God for birthday money! Shopping's a lot more fun when you can actually leave with a bag in hand, rather than wallowing through each store lusting over items you'll never get to own. Me likes to shop and really likes to buy!
To top off the great weekend, I came home and Lee had done several loads of laundry, changed the sheets on all the beds, done the dishes and ordered pizza for dinner. What a guy! Did it matter that the kids were playing outside in nothing but their underwear? No. It did not. At least they weren't naked. We have more class than that. Just slightly more apparently. Seeing what a great job he did made me realize that I can, and probably should, go out of town more often. What a great bonding time for him and the kids. I'm just sayin'.
Anyway, it was a really fun weekend, although a little too short. It was nice to get away and have some girl time and do fun girly things and not feel rushed or guilty. Thanks Barbara and Becke for such a fun time!
Thursday, June 5, 2008
One night a week, Sloan attends the Russian American school here in St. Louis. This is his second year at the school and I am just so proud of how well he is doing. He is by no means fluent in the language, but obviously that's because he doesn't hear it every day. I try to speak to him when I can, but my language skills are just not what they used to be. For those who don't know, I minored in russian in college and have spent a fairly significant amount of time in Russian and Ukraine, both studying and travelling. The semester I studied there I was about 90% fluent. I would now put my flency at about 70%. I'm kind of like a dog. I understand pretty much all that's said but I can't speak that well. Anyway, when I found out a school was opening here in St. Louis, I though I'd enroll Sloan. He is doing great. He understands a lot - probably 70-75% of what they say, he can read short three-four letter words (he actually reads better in russian than in English because I work on it with him) and he knows a lot of songs. Tonight was their summer concert called Hello Summer! It was conducted in typical russian form - shove as many people into as tiny of a room you can and for two hours have different kids come up and do their thing. Super cute, but it was hotter than Hades in there so we left a little early. Sloan had a blast - Landon and Tia, not so much. The kids did little skits, recited poems and sang songs. Even Sloan's teacher said at the end that she was so proud of how well he did. He is the only child in the whole program that doesn't have at least one russian parent, so he's at a major disadvantage. Anyway, here's a couple of pictures. I got some cute video and tried to download it but blogger was being weird. Next week I'll put it on YouTube and then post it so you can see his awesomeness! I'm off tomorrow to Branson for a girl's weekend with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. I'm looking forward to some R&R and retail therapy.
At the end was a puppet show and Sloan was the main character. That's the video I tried to post. It's a long story, but they all had a little part to sing and Sloan got to destroy the house at the end. Right up his alley!
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Huh. I guess I am getting old. Ten years ago I believe I was thinking "WOOOHOOO! Just one more year till I can officially drink," and "I wonder if Lee will propose to me this year," and "How many papers do I have to write this week?" Oh, and "Daddy, can I have a little more money?" Hmmmm...Time's a-changin'.
*ammendment: Ten years ago I had just met Lee and was quite smitten with him. He did not propose until the next year however. Sorry. Apparently when you get old your memory fades...
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Monday, June 2, 2008
Last night, we celebrated my own little milestone...turning the big 3-0. Actually, my birthday isn't until Wednesday, but Lee had a party for me last night. It was so much fun. What a blessing to be able to celebrate with people who mean so much to me. The weather was perfect and the kids did awesome. That's another thing...a 30th birthday, when you have kids, is almost like a 5th birthday. There were toys everywhere, a coloring and play-doh table - I even debated getting a pinata for them, but decided that I didn't want to clean up that kind of mess after my own birthday party. My mom got tons and tons of food and it was all so awesome and delicious - just FYI, Dierbergs makes a killer birthday cake! Thanks mom for all the work you put into it!
Turning 30 is not that big of a deal to me. My dad always says that the older to get, the younger old looks. Boy is that true. When I was in high school, and even college, I thought 30 seemed soooooooooo old. Like, ancient. But I don't feel old. Of course, I do still have two days to go. Maybe I'll feel old on Wednesday. I'll let you know. But when you have three kids, turning 30 is just not that big of a deal. It's actually kind of nice because now I won't get those looks of pity when people ask how old I am and see me with a baby on my hip and two more hanging on my legs. I had my first at 25 - that's not exactly colonial. So, in two days, I will officially be able to say I'm a grown up. I'll finish this post with a picture from last night. It shows the extreme fun the kids were having. I think I counted 34 for of them! That's a lot of kids. But they all did awesome! Thanks to those of you who came. It was ver special for me to have that time with all of you. I am blessed indeed. Oh, and Happy Birthday to my sister-in-law, Becke, who turns 31 today! Thanks for paving the way for me! Love you. Sorry this post has been so scattered. Tia is running around like a little hellion getting into everything. I need to get off the computer now before the house is destroyed.