Wednesday, September 30, 2009

THE Wedding

Last month we traveled to Sacramento for Stephanie and Tyler's wedding. I was apprehensive as always about flying with all four but looking forward to being with family and celebrating with Steph and Tyler.

Everything went well on the way out. We flew out of Milwaukee because the flights were cheaper and since we were buying six tickets it really adds up. We also thought the smaller airport would be easier to navigate. Rick had printed out diagrams of the Milwaukee airport parking garages since we had a 6am flight and we wanted to get in and out quickly. Rick dropped us at the curb and I sat with the girls and all the luggage. And sat, and sat, and sat. I was starting to worry what had happened to him. He had the maps and I could see the parking garage about 50 feet from where we were waiting. He finally ran up and said he got turned around and wasn't sure exactly where he had parked but would find the car when we landed.

The girls were all awesome on the flights. At the Denver stop on the way out Rick went to grab breakfast at McDonalds and I ran to the bathroom. When I met him and the girls in line three unrelated strangers looked at me and with an expression of relief and said: "We are all glad to see you! We were worried about him traveling alone with that crew." You could tell they were trying to figure out how they could help this courageous dad.

When we landed in Sacramento and were walking to baggage Ella looked at me and asked why we got back on an airplane just to go back to the same place. She was right, SAC looked just like DIA and she thought we flew for two hours to be right back at the same place.

We had an awesome week. We stayed with Tyler's parents in their beautiful home with a pool we couldn't get the girls out of. It was like staying at an exclusive resort complete with gourmet meals fresh from Ron's garden every night. I think it was Mark Twain who said "House guests are like fish - they stink after three days". We were way past our expiration date but they made us feel so welcome all week. The girls still ask when we can go back and see Terrie and Ron.

Here are some pictures from the week:

Here's Ceci doing her patented belly flop. She's behind Ella but you can see her legs. She would just stand at the side of the pool and flop forwards then come up with a huge smile on her face. It was hysterical.

The wedding was the highlight and went off without a hitch. Sophia and Ella were the cutest flower girls I have ever seen.

Katie and Ceci looked pretty cute too:

We all had a blast at the reception. It was a fun wedding with friends and family who really loved Stephanie and Tyler. The girls loved dancing and Katie and Ceci discovered sparkling apple juice. I think they each drank a bottle. Katie looked at me at one point and said "Apple juice makes me haaaappppyyy!"

Here I am dancing with Katie. She's "raising the roof"

I love this picture from the end of the night. It reminds me of the fraternity party pics from the end of a formal. It cracks me up to see Ceci in the background cruising around solo drinking apple juice from a champagne flute. They just kept going up to the bar asking for refills.

After the wedding we took a day trip to San Francisco with grandma and grandpa. The girls did A LOT of walking and were awesome. Here are some pics:

A reward for all their walking with minimal whining was a trip to Ghiradelli's for sundaes:

We were all exhausted at the end of the week but the girls did an awesome job on the trip home. Actually, we all held it together until we got to the airport and remembered that Rick didn't know where the car was parked. This time it wasn't just Rick running through the parking lot alone. It was Rick, Sarah, Sophia, Ella, Kate and Ceci and a stroller, carry ons, car seats and a luggage cart stacked perilously high full of bags. We started out wandering aimlessly through the rental car area. I told Rick that this didn't look like somewhere he could have parked but he kept plowing ahead. It looked like the circus had come to the Milwaukee parking garage. At one point I turned around and at the end of our line was a strange woman dragging one of our roller bags. She must have just felt sorry for us and joined the caravan when Sophia dropped her bag. We finally realized we needed to be on the upper level...why Rick didn't at least remember an elevator I don't know. Inside the elevator the entire luggage mountain tipped and we were all six madly trying to restack in the elevator while the alarm was going off. Then inside the garage the luggage toppled again. A guy who looked a bit unstable was having a smoke and suddenly sprinted away from us at top speed. A nice couple witnessed this yard sale around us and Forrest Gump running the opposite way and asked if we needed some help. I looked at them and said very seriously "what would make you think we need help?' and then started laughing hysterically. Like clinically insane person hysterically. Rick joined in and we now both looked like lunatics. They tried to gingerly put some of our bags back on the useless cart and we were laughing too hard to even speak. They slowly backed away. Forrest Gump returned with another cart for us. I tried to pull the cart and push the stroller which was not working at all.

Rick had the bright idea that I wish we'd thought of in the terminal to leave us to wait while he found the car. He walked around pressing the alarm button on the key fob until he heard it and we all started cheering. The girls were all sound asleep the minute they hit their seats.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Bead

We hit a milestone Tuesday. First trip to the emergency room for a foreign object inserted into a nostril.

We were parked in the driveway after school pickup and Ceci started crying LOUDLY. I asked Sophia what was wrong.

"Ceci put a bead in her nose but don't worry because I'm getting it out."

I turn around to see Sophia's finger in Ceci's nose.

"OOps...I can't see it anymore."

She stuck it in deeper and I couldn't see it when I looked so we headed to the hospital. I called our pediatrican who said we really needed to go to the ER because they didn't have the tools in their office.

So all five of us spent 2 hours sitting in a crowded emergency room without any toys, crayons or anything to occupy the girls. They were surprisingly good. The people watching was exceptional and the tv was tuned to the WB which was showing something that was totally inappropriate for the girls to be watching which meant they were transfixed by it. I just sat there counting the minutes until Rick got home from work to pick up Sophia, Ella and Katie.

We finally got called back to a room which meant even better people watching as this was where the really sick people were and a couple crazies accompanied by police escorts. The nurses kept telling Sophia and Ella to stick their heads back into our room.

Finally a practitioner came to see us. Apparently the method for extracting a bead that works "95% of the time" did not work for us. Ceci had picked a clover shaped bead to lodge into her nose that we could not blow out. Finally the ER doctor came and used long tweezers to pull it out.

While this was happening the nurse asked Sophia to be a big girl and watch her sisters outside the door. She didn't realize that Sophia turns into Joan Crawford when you put her in charge. We all started laughing when she said to Katie "Get back into that chair or...I'll shove a bead into your nose!"

By this time it's 5:50 and Rick gets home at 5:05. I figured he'd be here at 5:25 at the latest. I left my phone in the car and since he couldn't get in touch with me he decided to clean the basement. REALLY!?!?! CLEAN THE BASEMENT??? He knew I had had all four girls at the hospital since 3:30 when I called him on the way in a panic. I was freaking out worried that Ceci would suck the bead into her throat and choke which the woman who checked us in smugly assured me is not possible. I guess that's something I should have learned in 8th grade biology. Rick decided after a HALF HOUR hanging out at home that maybe he should head over to the hospital to see how we're doing. When he didn't come immediately I had this vision of him going for a run and was rehearsing the major meltdown I was going to have when I saw him in his workout clothes "cooling down".

Here is Ceci posing with the bead:

That's Katie standing next to her about to hit me in the head with a giant level. Don't ask.

The upside is that the girls were so traumatized by our stint at the hosptial that I don't think anyone will stick anything in their noses.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Our House....even better

Last year we purchased a watercolor of our house at a charity auction. It came out so great and the artist posted it on her website. She did a nice job of beefing up my flower box and making the crab apple tree look much more lovely than it does in person.

I thought I'd paste it here so the girls can see the house they lived in when they were young in case Rick's master plan to sell everything we own and buy a Winnebago actually happens after I suffer a tragic laundry accident and kill the part of my brain containing common sense.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

School Supply Shopping

Since Sophia started at a new school this year I wasn't in the loop on how the school supply list worked. I knew there was a prepackaged box of school supplies that I thought I'd purchased as part of the fees I paid for registration. I learned during the orientation on the day before school that the ordering was separate and had occurred in the Spring. I asked her teacher what was necessary for her to have the next day because I was certain that it was going to be challenging dragging all four exhausted girls to Office Depot that afternoon when we'd traveled home from California the night before.

I have romantic memories of school supply shopping with my mom at the local store picking out just the right Trapper Keepers. This experience was pretty much the exact opposite.

Three out of four girls were sound asleep in their car seats during the 5 min drive to Office Depot. Two year olds don't wake up cheery when they've fallen asleep in their seats. Actually, my girls wake up pretty hard. I thought about just turning around and going home and shopping that evening alone but that memory of skipping down the aisles deciding between the puppy and the kitten folder cropped into my brain and I said out loud "we're going to do this!". I would not deprive my eldest daughter of this special experience.

Ella sat in the cart and Katie and Ceci held onto the sides while Sophia checked her list for the items. We were a wide load knocking down end caps and displays but I just kept moving. Guess what was the ONE thing they didn't have. C R A Y O N S. I was wishing I hadn't asked and Sophia hadn't heard that the only necessary item to start First Grade was a box of 48 crayons.

Sophia kept begging me to find more employees to ask if maybe somewhere they had a box of 48 crayons. I promised her we'd check somewhere else.

As I was checking out in a full sweat Katie looks up and me and says "I pooped". I looked around as casually as I could to see who heard in this line full of moms and kids. Katie thought I hadn't heard her since I didn't immediately freak out like I do when she poops in her underwear so she yelled "I POOPED!" Then just to make sure the guy back in the toner department knew, Sophia and Ella yelled "MOM....Katie pooped...IN HER UNDERWEAR!" I saw the 18yr old check-out girl swallow. I think she threw up in her mouth a little bit. I asked where the bathrooms were while everyone watched us do the walk of shame to the back of the store. One thing they had in the Office Depot bathroom that I'd never seen before was disposable gloves. I cleaned Katie up and stuffed her underwear into one of those gloves.

Not exactly the school supply shopping trip of my youth but memorable nonetheless.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

MIchigan part two

We had an amazing week on the beach with all the cousins together.

Here they all are eating dinner on the porch:
Lots of beach time:The seagull patrol was in full effect:
Our friends the van Heukelums came over for a beach cookout. More s'mores and Ella got to spend time with her future husband (I'm not kidding) Luke. They were practicing their poses for the engagement photo:
Here's one of Rick's candids of the group:and a couple more from the evening:
Sophia and her bff Maddy:We attempted to take a Christmas card photo on the front deck that was less than successful:
We spent a morning at Captain Mike's go-carts/miniature golf/arcade. They had something for everyone. This was our first time golfing and I was pleased that no one got a putter in the face. Katie kept yelling "I WIN! I WIN!" every time she got the ball in the hole.
Captain Mike is in the back super-sanitizing those balls after each use, right?
Sophia and Ella drove the junior go-carts:
And Katie and Ceci seemed to get over not being old enough when they saw the big plastic horse that rocks: