Friday, February 8, 2013

The Freedom To Catch Up

I honestly don't know where to begin :)

I wrote a few blogs that I never just said SUMMER IS SO AWESOME!

So I guess that is how and why I haven't blogged lately. Life has just been AWESOME! and BUSY! We couldn't be doing too much better...well okay we could. Yet I am not complaining at all.

The beauties have been rockstars and growing so fast. I love documenting it all. Sometimes when I blog I turn into too much of a journal about how I feel in the moment to moment of life and forget to take in the big picture. I also forget to come back to say how things have changed or how I may have been wrong about things that I felt before. I think I have discovered so much about myself, my husband, and the kids over the last few years. Mostly, what I have discovered is that it is all temporary unless you work at it. The bad. The good. The in between. So I have been working on not letting the bad overtake my heart. Allowing the good to flow so fiercely that my fingertips tingle. And finally enjoy the peace of the in between.

It would be nice I guess to catch you all up on the girls playing football. But I am still exhausted from being a football mama. So much time and love went into this past season. I can report...there will be a next season for the beauties. AJ took home a Super Bowl trophy and wants more. Grayce won an academic award and was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Baby Dru was an amazing little cheerleader for her sisters. That Handsome Pilot learned how the game worked. Tim got more of a farmers tan than he ever dreamed he would need. And I...well I just was so proud of the young ladies I am raising. They are forever divas and forever ladies, but no longer carry the fear of the world in front of them. So much was learned about themselves as individuals, about what it means to be on a team, about failure, about success, and most of all about what it means to have 'family' that you weren't born into. Some forever friendships were created for them and for daddy and I too.

School for them has been better than ever this year! But that is a blog of a whole other story. I am just so proud to watch them bloom academically and socially. There have been so many field trips this year, which is a welcomed change. How amazing they are does not surprise me...but it does not stop being a delight.

My job? Well I took some time off last year. Time to focus on the kids and the family...all of the important things. I did a few little things here and there...I just did not actively seek out work. Sometimes when your heart and mind are so intensely rooted with your children...then a pause on everything else is necessary. I allowed myself to not be angry or worried without the constant flow of work. I allowed myself to focus in on the girls individually and as a whole. I allowed myself to evaluate my marriage and work at being a better wife to a man I love deeply. I must say it was good for me, great for the girls and a blessing on my marriage. Now the jobs are slowly coming back and I am once again going to begin to seek them out. I am finding new roads to take and new paths to get lost on in this Hollywood...and the journey is teaching me so much. I may not be perfectly settled into a career, yet I feel that I am in the right place.

I lost my Grandmother last year before the rush of the holidays. I was blessed to have held her fragile little hand before she slipped away into the firm grasp of the God she loved and served all of her life. I am thankful for that time and selfish enough to wish there would be just one more moment to tell her how much she meant to me. I haven't spoken of my grief much since her passing. I don't really want too. I saw her pain and I feel like a tantrumed child for wanting her back anyway. So I whisper a prayer to her from time to time knowing in my heart she is at peace and that she misses me too.

As far as remembering to blog. Well I may never get that right. I may always from here on out be worried about what I share with the world. I will remember that my own words will be changed. They will be twisted. They will be misunderstood. I just hope that everyone remembers that from time to time we all feel things in a simple moment. We don't have to carry them around in anger. I am allowed to feel them, then say them, then let go of them. It is not only a freedom to speak, but a freedom to feel.

I am going to say my prayer,  Lord knows we need too. I am going to post this. Then I am going to sleep. In the morning it will be a fresh day that God granted to me and my family, it will be different from today. Moving forward is the only direction I am headed...the rising of the sun is my reminder. Let it be yours.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Busy? Who me?

I think most people have a life that is busy, especially if you are parents and even more if you are working parents. By working that could mean a job or in college or BOTH! Funny thing is being a parent IS a job. If you don't do it then you have to pay someone to do the same job you would if you were home...keep the babies safe and love them! I seek a balance to do both. Work, educate myself, be myself, and raise my beauties. I feel restricted in my options these days in how to make it all work smoothly and with my job it can definitely be difficult. The opportunities I turn down every week could have propelled my career into some AMAZING directions rather quickly. My priorities are not with my career...they are not with my personal dreams and goals. My number one priority is the three beauties that need me, depend on me and look to me for an example. So I stick to the philosophy that SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE!

The film industry is a difficult race. I work on both sides of the camera, or at least I aspire to be on both sides. For now I work in production...what does that mean? Well, it is an umbrella term for making the impossible--possible. I have 'produced' in the broad term that everyone understand--taking something from page to screen-start to finish. Mostly small projects like tv pilots, web shorts, etc. But there are so many types of producers in film and tv. Executive Producers, Creative Producers, Co-Producers, Associate Producers, Line Producers, Production Managers (the last two are close to the same thing) and so many other production jobs that are all in production. These are some of the ones I thought were widely recognized on screen credits. Granted I am not a fancy Hollywood producer...not even close. I am often a Unit Production Manager or Production Coordinator for non-union tv commercials. I haven't done a feature film since Dru was born.

All that was basically NOT a great explanation...but I don't think I could define my job other than saying it is whatever is needed for the sake of getting that project 'in the can' at that moment. Whether that is hiring crew, figuring out lunch for 100 people, booking an actor a plane ticket, talking to the nice Korean lady next door over tea and kissing her butt so she doesn't complain to the film permit office, finding ways to save money, saying no to spending money, creating and taking care of the budget, basically just getting it all figured out so they can roll that camera and I can relax until they need something again.

Anyhow sometimes its fun, sometimes gratifying, and sometimes it's just work. My true love is performing. I love it. Acting is the best creative outlet I have found in my lifetime. Living here is a constant reminder of how much I love it. I am surrounded by people just like me. Which is good and bad. As you watch television you see my peers, colleagues and dearest friends on the television right in front of you. It's not strange to me and never really has been. Thankfully I don't get starstruck or spin out of control when I meet a celeb, because if I did it would have really put a wrench on set with Ashton Kutcher all day. Freaking out at Trader Joe's with a Jonas Brother in line in front of me would be awkward and I would want to drop grapes everywhere. True panic setting in while walking down my neighborhood streets would also make living downstairs from many celeb an exhausting experience.

Instead, I use all of these people I am surrounded with everyday and in every place as a reminder that the things I want are not out of reach. The question is am I reaching in the right direction?

I am definitely at a crossroad in my time here in Hollywood. I really need to make a final push towards my career and the direction I would like to head. I have cracked many doors to take a peek at what is inside. I have jumped on most every opportunity that came my way. I have carried a steady pace through this town. Always giving a vague answer as to what I do and where I want to be. This last bit of time here has been 2 full years now and 2012 marks the FIFTH year since I originally landed. For anyone that doesn't live here just have to TRUST ME 5 years is a landmark. FIVE YEARS is like this magic random numerical value given to the amount of time for you to actually start making a living in this town. Most people I talk to can say amazing things about their 5th year in Hollywood. Granted I took quite a bit of time off and left for a short I am allowing a buffer of time. BUT it's year 5 and it is magical!

As I stand at the crossroad of decisions I am looking in a few directions...STAY? GO? ACT? PRODUCE? STAY ON SAME COURSE? I will tell you all of them seem appealing at different times of the day. I am allowing myself some time to reflect and get through some very personal and challenging times. Who knows? I guess I still have the rest of year 5 to see if the magic will work for me...but let me tell you the MAGIC is only proportional to the amount of work you put into yourself and your goals.

For now The Beauties and I are going to keep calm and carry on...slow but steady.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Ever Changing Prayers Stay The Same

I used to be a woman who welcomed change and adventure. Not saying that I no longer do...but more these days I am a little slower to warm up to change. With all certainty it has been the addition of each beauty that has made me this way. Once you have a full house it is important to have routine and schedule of day to day activities, but somehow you lose all sense of organization! So strange how that works out.

Around our home has been a busy time getting settled a new home and a new schedule! New routes to school, new obstacles out the door, new rules, new new new!

Yet there are MANY things that remain the same in HollyHome! Kids thrive on knowing what to expect (unless it involves ice cream or roller coasters) keeping the little ones in a solid routine great reduces fits, attitude and confusion. In return making happier and healthier children (so said the girls first pediatrician). Taking that advice and applying it has helped me tremendously as a mother. Bed time got easier, potty training was a breeze, dinner time went smoothly and all around makes us happy. The handsome pilot and I have found these tools to be beneficial in our lifestyle. We relocate for work. We both have ever changing work schedules. We can be know to change directions with a shift in weather. We confidently know that our children will easily adapt because the core of what we do and who we are as a family does not change.

Recently, I have seen how these intangible gifts are even ever changing...we can introduce new routines and new traditions without a huge disruption in their lives. WELL ALMOST! Some changes are out of our control and we do not give up our efforts of healing the uneasy parts of life.

In prayer lies the core of our routine. Every night we say prayer. I have mentioned this before in previous posts and when I say EVERY I mean MOST. There have been some spans of time where our routine was so fast paced at bed time that 'prayer' was a God bless you said on the way to the bedroom. Followed by me sneaking in later to make the sign of the cross on their foreheads whispering to them each individual prayers that I wrote after G was born. Other nights we just all pass out watching a movie or having the Sing It Karaoke Championships. The through line is that we don't forget God at bed time no matter how busy we get and no matter what has changed around us in life. Sometimes it's me saying prayer...sometimes it's Daddy...sometimes Tim. On lucky enough summer nights Grandma G is with them and it is a collection of songs to include 'Amazing Grace'...and that is her special gift to them. They love it and look forward to every visit because of that special time.

After our recent move it has been more important than ever to stick to our beloved bed time routine, as extra assurance that this is home!

A few nights ago as I put the beauties to bed to say prayer they all decided that they would be sleeping in the same bed. Dru in her chosen spot crunched up tightly in the middle of her big sisters. All three pillow pets squeezed in a straight line across the top of the twin bed. Two empty beds stripped of stuffed animals and beloved blankets. One mommy moved to tears at the sight of three beautiful faces with eyes closed gently, hands clasped tightly so God could hear them, and gentle whispers of The Lord's Prayer filling the room. I would give anything for a photograph of that moment! Any thought I had of moving them to their own beds after drifting off to sleep were removed and for the first time since we moved I felt completely and sincerely at HOME once again!

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in taking photos of events and fun times that I lose track of the TIME I am having. I forget to be involved in those moments. Don't get me wrong...I took a hiatus from extreme attachment to my camera for that reason...I know it's important to have those photographs. I sometimes wish I had more photographs, but there are so many moments that I am lucky enough to always close my eyes and go back to immediately. Having moments like that make life worth living.

Our family has finally found a rhythm again. We all know what is going to happen. How long it takes to drive to school. Which days we need to pack an extra snack for the car. Most importantly we have learned that while the world CAN and WILL change around us, we will remain the same. I am proud that we as parents never took the word FAMILY lightly. The Lord knows that with separation and time our family could have lost full sight of what we built our home on from the beginning...LOVE and FAITH. Coming back together again has in no way been easy, but it has not been a challenge either.

Amazing what providing consistency can do for children and for a whole family. Being consistent and having a routine does not mean that things never change, it simply means take some things with you when it does. Enjoy every moment you are given in this lifetime. Take photographs of the great moments. Always remember to be a part of the amazing moments. Know your family has faith in all that you choose to be. Most of all say your Prayers and brush your teeth before you go to sleep!

Mother's Day 2012--Asked & Answered

Mother's Day this year was fantastic :) Couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather or more beautiful people to spend it with.

Saturday night my girlfriend and her family were here after a fun filled afternoon at the park. The guys pulled together to make us an amazing steak dinner. Even served it to us while we kept our feet up. Sunday morning I woke up to the beauties whispering, giggling and conspiring. I pretended to be asleep, mostly because laying there just felt nice. Grayce cooked my eggs, AJ prepared yogurt and an orange she peeled all by herself while Dru and Daddy made my steak. I am certain her contribution to it was just sitting there saying 'staaake' over and over again. Then I got my cards, gifts they made at school and breakfast in bed. Such a sweet morning...wish they could all be that sweet :)

I will have to post a picture of the cards I received later, but for now an explanation will have to do.

Grayce drew a lovely picture of her and I ... but the first sentence read something like "I promise I will be better." Followed by some bits about how wonderful I am as her mother. To be honest my heart sank a little bit when I read first thought was "what am I doing as her mother that thinks she is not good enough?" My mind started racing back to recent events in the house...

1. TV and video game suspension until further notice due to too much of it recently. Which was something they had worked so hard to gain back after last year.
2. Bickering amongst the girls had lead to ONE full day of NOT being allowed to play with each other. Which lasted about 3 hours and my mission of showing them how lucky they are to have 'friends God gave them'.
3. Overdose of Grayce's homework meant AJ was having all the fun with the TV and Grayce was getting a bit resentful.
4. Hearing many lectures from mommy about all the above topics, plus how we need to be more grateful for the things that we have and worry less about what we don't have.

As a Mommy to 3 GIRLS I tend to worry about the WOMEN they will become someday. While I want them to be mostly like me...I still have hopes they will be better. That things will come easier. That lessons can be learned along the way early on rather than painful later. I am a mommy. I tend to worry about things most wouldn't bother themselves with worrying about. In the last 2 years I feel I have balanced my worrying out with confidence that I am making good choices for them. I am setting good examples for them. I am at least doing something right if I am able to evaluate the job I am doing and question my own methods from time to time. Sometimes I look at how things are going and take out what is not working, leave what does work, then try something new all together.

For my sweet Grayce I have learned that for all the sweet independence and confidence that she oozes out into this world; there is also this quirky, honest, and unsure girl inside. She needs the most reassurance out of all my girls, yet is the only one that never asks for it on a daily basis. After talking to her later I discovered that the lack of confidence was NOT coming from home or from me or from any of the above mentioned occurrences. And for the first time in a few years I looked at her and saw MYSELF. Everyone always tries to convince me she is just like her daddy with the way she is...I have argued this before and was never quite heard. She heart and soul is just like her mother!

Every bit of what I questioned before I had answered...I know just what she needs!

Being a mommy is rarely easy, yet ALWAYS worth it.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Your Fearful Leader


April came and went without a published blog. No worries I was still writing and will get them all posted soon enough. I have been busy with some personal things and wading through some professional things.

I feel like my professional life needs a twist. Not sure what that is just yet, but since I finished the conservatory program at The Second City Hollywood in December, I don't know what to do. What I am feeling is NOT a rut...more of a fork in the road. A big piece of me wants to begin writing again. Continue improvising, but let go of acting. Stop production altogether. YET there is another piece of me that wants to do the opposite of each part of that I just said before.

I knocked down walls to create open doors for me and I feel as if though professionally I am still sitting in the waiting room finishing up an article in US Weekly even after my name was called. Knowing that if I don't get up and move then I will miss my chance and have to reschedule my appointment...with destiny. I spent the better part of two years building my resume. Which involved interning, training and ultimately creating a better foundation to build my dreams upon. Now what do I build? The actor? The improvisor? The writer? The producer? --The one thing I can tell you is that constructing all four is wearing me out!

I know I don't want to leave the entertainment world. I know that I have to drive my focus into a solid direction. I have just been such a free spirit when it comes to my career--living the freelance lifestyle and going where the work would take me. Now I feel like I have taken a big chunk out of each part of my creative mind and really know myself better than before. So why is this so difficult? Maybe because I am now ready to move out of the box in which lied so much uncertainty and move on to all the things I worked my ass off to achieve. The fork is difficult. I almost wish there was fear to stop me--because at least my decision would be made already!

Less than 1/2 of the year is behind me and I wish to celebrate 2012 already. As a year I have moved forward with fear always in my back pocket, knowledge in my brain and forgiveness in my heart. I never leave the house without a touch of fear...for fear can drive you to do things you otherwise would never attempt. Fear can lead the way to success if you allow it to do so. Fear is not what I desire to overtake me, but what I allow to fuel me. I tell the beauties everyday 'it is all the things you fear that will be the most worthwhile!'

And with that...I step forward.

"...I took the one less traveled by...and that has made all the difference."

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Just Like My Mom...Only Better!

From our Saturday Visit
Finally! A week were no one was sick or tossing cookies away in the toilet or getting their noggin stapled back together! Geez I was really starting to worry my gang was literally falling apart!

We had sometime to spend with each other and to spend with friends. The big girls were out of school on Friday. Saturday was busy busy and Sunday was lazy lazy. Just the way we need it sometimes :)

Thursday we were supposed to meet some friends at Disneyland to celebrate Grayce's staple removal that afternoon. For some very Hollywood reasons they were going to be unable to make it. Although I hadn't told the girls yet I had my heart set and my plans made to go after the doctors visit! That's just what I did...making Thursday quite a full day for this mama. The Handsome Pilot was laughing at me by the time I went to sleep/went into full body and mind failure just like the Sunday previously.

 A not so quick journey.... Thursday morning I was up with the roosters getting dressed and ready to see my adoring fans who awaited Ms. Starr's reading of One Fish Two Fish at the Green Eggs and Ham breakfast for Dr. Seuss's birthday celebration. Followed by a round of reading various books to various classrooms school wide. Interrupted by a plan to go pick up a nice piece of wooden furniture for the baby's new playroom. Back to the school to help clean up (a little) and to enjoy the 8th grade improvised play of The Cat In The Hat. Then off to the doctor...

NOW A SMALL INTERJECTION of how much I do NOT enjoy the girls doctor. We have seen him a few times now and he is just not a fit for us. He is a young doctor and full of one line of opinions. He will probably not stay in pediatrics seeing as though I am not the only parent that feels this way. I will blog more on this experience later! Anyhow he was not in the office that day and we got the pleasure of seeing another doctor at the office. Grayce really enjoyed him, more importantly he seemed to actually like kids and connected with me as a parent.

Then we left the office certain she was fine and that she had lost none of her smarts after the head injury fiasco of NEMO 2012! Headed home made snacks to take with us...seeing as though I was the one that ate my way through DL the first time through. Got some lunch. Packed our bags headed out. The beauties&I rolled into The Happiest Place On Earth 4 deep! WITHOUT A STROLLER. WITHOUT A DADDY. WITHOUT STAPLES. WITHOUT FEAR.

Tearing Into a Turkey
A few times I was offered a ride switch pass. Which if you don't know it is what they give out to people there with kiddos that can't ride. This pass allows one parent to sit with the child that can't ride...THEN they can go on the ride without waiting in the long line. I respectfully declined seeing as though there was no one for me to switch with. BUT a few of those happy Disney workers were persistent...after I expressed that I was the only parent there I got a response of 'YOUR BRAVE'!

HUH? I am not 'brave' I am their MOTHER!

Now we don't have much of a problem on 90% of the rides because they have few height restrictions. On one ride Grayce rode in the plane behind me with a nice Mom who got outed of her own kids plane because she wanted to ride with her cousins. So it all worked out :) Other than that the girls really wanted to go on the Star Tours ride. I didn't know what that entailed so we hopped in line to find out. Baby was too small and after a 30 minute wait I wasn't going to not let them go...thank goodness I did...apparently it is AH-AH-AHHHH-MAZING! The ride is a simulator that takes you on a 3D voyage through Star Wars planets and such. The beauties enjoyed it while baby and I waited so impatiently on the other side with other kiddos not tall enough. Through out the day I got some 'Your Crazy'...'Ohh I'm Sorry'... and a pretty overwhelming number of GASPS. Don't get me started on the 'where's your stroller?' because that is a blog of a different color. I may be crazy. You may be sorry. Yes, I am breathtaking. But really all never imagined I was alone because I was so calmly enjoying myself with my THREE beauties. Laughing, dancing, and chasing Pinocchio. I only TOLD you the scenario because you were inquiring about my vacation while we stood in line together and you felt the need to talk to me while your kid narrowly escaped staples in the head.

I am uncertain if I am lucky to be their mother or if me being a good mother is the cause of such perfection in my girls. I won't say that they never melt down. They do. I won't say that they have never been rude. They have. I won't say being a mother is easy. It is not. I WILL say I am a good one. I am. I can't say though that I am a perfect one. I am NOT. I wouldn't even say anyone else is a bad one. You aren't. We merely catch glimpses into one anothers time as parents. I do try to avoid attempts in judging the parent of a melting down kiddo, Lord knows that has been me before.

What I will say is that their Dad and I knew what kind of children we wanted before they were born. With time patience and the practice of three we slowly figured out how to get our children to handle any given situation that may come up.

Grayce 6mos
Mostly, we wanted happy, healthy, and secure children.  To be independent while still knowing they could depend on us. Wanting to allow them to be children with all the fun and wild that comes with it, but we wanted to be able to take them into public. We didn't want to give up our dinners out, fishing trips, camping, travel, pick up and go, stay home and keep it low...ya know our 'lifestyle'! We wanted those things. So we raised our children in a way we could do all of that. Grayce first went fishing with us when she was 2 months old! AJ was sitting in college classes with me the day after we got out of the hospital from her birth! Dru and I climbed a waterfall in Oregon (600+ feet up) about 9 days after she was born! I have taken road trips alone with them. Daddy has done so as well...nearly all the way across the country. We are blessed with children that 'go with the flow' because they are confident that they have parents that will tend to their every need along the way. I guess it helps we have never forgotten them anywhere--I am looking at you Grandma 'Stones' (The Garage Sale Fiasco of 1982). Hope I haven't spoken to soon...better do a head count before I go to bed!

Most simply put... 

We wanted children like us, but better.

We wanted to be parents like our own, but better.

Granted we have slowed down a bit with the addition of each child...but the girls weren't the main cause of that. Our careers are in a full swing upwards and it makes for a really busy time. Two of them are in school so it makes it harder to just pick up and go. BUT man oh man when it is GO TIME we hit it head on!

Camping Summer 2007
I must admit there was a panic when the Handsome Pilot and I separated for some time and I was a true single mom. A small period of time we stayed very close to home. Not at home...but never too far! I was not sure how I would handle a meltdown from AJ, boredom whining from Grayce and breastfeeding an infant all at the same time! A vision in my head of running topless through Hollywood trying to catch a screaming kindergartener and an emotional 7 year old while forgetting where I set down the baby had crossed my mind. Sounds crazy, but HEY with 3 girls at very different ages of development and temperaments you never know! I give AJ the most credit in the transistion. Up until Dru she was the baby...she was breastfeed longer than Grayce. AJ demanded more attention than Grayce (even true today). AJ was at home with me longer. Just overall Ava Jo was a very different experience than all the laid back that Grayce was and still is. AJ demanded to be held...demanded to sleep with me. Even still sleeps with her sister. Thinking back on her now it was like she was born a middle child. Sometimes she can challenge me to no ends, but the way she loves and needs love is so genuine. I have caught slack for 'spoiling her' from other people. I let that get to me a few times and tried to adjust the way I parented because of that idea. In the end it just didn't feel natural...AJ needs what AJ needs. Attending to those needs has made her more and more confident, secure, and yes...INDEPENDENT! Makes me wish I could take back all that time I tried to force that independence on her. Why would her needy attitude bother someone else? Why would I let that it did bother me? I don't know the answer to either one of those questions. I do in fact know that neither one of those bothered me for long and has helped me with all 3 of the beauties today.

Living and learning I know now is the key to being a better parent.

Besides people I didn't go to Disneyland ALONE...I was there with THREE girls. My crew. My gang. My family. My TEAM! We rolled in 4 deep...we took your parents rolling around strollers with melting down kids and made them look like chumps! As the park closed we rolled out hand in in the sling still awake and clingy to the Meme Mouse from the previous trip. We were all a little tired, yet not melted away. We were all happy at the short lines for rides. We were all ready to see Daddy. WE WERE ALL IN A GREAT MOOD!

Sleepy Dru
Oh and don't think it was because I bought them a million things or bribed them with prizes for good behavior. WE DIDN'T SPEND A DIME! AJ came close to one bout of tears. Grayce and I talked her off that calmly and easily. I didn't lecture once. I didn't lose anyone. Mostly, I didn't think anything of it at first. I only think about going 'alone' now because it was mentioned so many times through the day. Their daddy didn't really think much of it either. For me or for himself. I only said I couldn't see him wanting to do it because he would have to skip some of his favorite rides...not because he couldn't handle the kids. Our parents survived us. We certainly will survive these three.

My mother taught me to be unafraid when it came to motherhood. She told me as long as those babies are coming first then everything else will make sense. So between their daddy and me everything is making sense. His mother didn't let kiddos slow her down...she was active and always on the go with kids right next to her. His father traveled with them a lot never questioning if he should be doing that alone. My parents were so young they had such few choices but to tote me and my bro around everywhere. My Mama K often wrangled five of us at a time PLUS our cousins, I can not recall a time that being with ALL of us stressed her out. With all of that watching and learning from our parents we grew into the kind of active parents that they were. Trust me this little story in comparison to what my own parents and my in-laws did with us will make me look like the chump!

What are we doing better than our parents? Probably nothing at all. But we are still their kids...which makes us more right than them! HA

I am in forever debt to our parents for raising us well and always supportive in the raising of ours. I know a parents job is never done. For that I am thankful because my heart breaks a little to think that my beauties would ever not need us to guide them. Even if the guidance comes from a childhood of memories. Watch and learn baby girls. One day you are gonna have to do generations of good parenting...only better!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Someone Call A Mickey Medic...

Wowza! This house has been busy and lazy at the same time. So much to little time...and the stomach flu trying to take over us all! Good things came out of all the down time spent on the couch with a beauty or two on my snuggles and blogging! I got to be in the kitchen for a few hours with Dru (who luckily never really got sick) and with either big girl well enough to join me :) I made so much Homemade Chicken Noodle that there is still some in the fridge. Not a drop of the Fresh Tomato Soup left though. Having the kids home prolonged some of the half finished projects that I had wanted to tackle last week. Somehow I am okay with that was some time well used in between trips to the bathroom and naps and convincing them that the only way they would have strength to heal is to get a little something in their tummies even if it comes up hours later. AJ was back to school Thursday, but G got to school and had to come back home. By Friday it was almost like it never happened. Which was amazing...considering our plans for the weekend!

For the last several years the Handsome Pilot and I had talked of trips to Disneyland. Considering that when we moved here in 2007 it was about 10 minutes away from our house and every consecutive year we promised ourselves that THIS WOULD BE THE YEAR...but never went. I think that because him and I had NEVER been we always had the experience built up in our heads of what we wanted it to be like the first time. Things like 'what if we only go one time in our lives? are the girls old enough to enjoy it? old enough to remember it? let's do a cruise! let's make a week of it like tourists! let's wait until we have this unmentioned perfect amount of spending money! when will we have the time? we must take the kids together...even if we are not together! '

Party Don't Start Until I Wake Up
Holy cow we had so many reasons to go and not to the end I think that we just wanted it to be a perfect experience for the girls. We had no idea what that 'perfect' was though. We had been invited tons of times by friends that had annual passes and we could not even fathom that idea...go to Disneyland whenever you want after 30+ years of never have been! 2012 though...we were not going to say no! Last summer we decided that come what may we would together take the beauties to was time! When Christmas came we had it all set...Spring Break was to be the big time! Handsome Pilot was going to take vacation and away we would go 28 miles down the road to the Happiest Place On Earth!

Well...until we got an invite from a preschool friend of Grayce and Ava's to go at the end of February for his 9th Birthday! Seemed perfect...while we at first did not want our first time to be with another family we could not say no to the two families we would share the day with! The kids all together are amazing. They get along. So well behaved. They are all like my own children and I enjoy each of those three smiles as much as I enjoy seeing my own children happy. Their mothers are my BFF's and well a certain hubs in the bunch will carry heavy stuff! We are blessed to know them and blessed to have shared those days with them all :)

So Saturday morning the beauties thought we would be going to the birthday boy's house... I had pinned fairy wings on their wall and wrote them a note letting them know there was a change in plans for the day...they would need the wings...and follow the pink, red and white confetti down the stairs for more clues. Daddy had perfected cutting out Mickey Mouses (or would it be Mickey Mice?? NO...ok.) and they found gifts like Mickey Mouse watch with a notes that said "Do you know what time it is?" Mickey sunglasses with a note "Your day is looking bright!" Greeted by a trail of MORE Mickey notes that said...'We are going...' 'To the Happiest Place On Earth!' Leading them to Minnie Mouse plates with Mickey shaped toast (because I wasn't going to test their newly recovered tummies with much else). Then I brought out Mickey Mouse shirts...and outfits telling them they would need these where we were going! YOU COULD HEAR CRICKETS....chirp chirp clueless.

New Walking Shoes
I then informed them that we would NOT be going to their friends house...OOPS! There was almost mutiny... I assured them we would be meeting him somewhere else instead! Daddy and I both asked if they knew the hints all over the which AJ yells CHUCK E CHEESE! I then asked when did we ever tell a lie in this house 'NEVER' they replied loudly and with sad and confusion! Ok...when do we keep a secret...'NEVER' .. but that time they replied like I was just asking ridiculous questions to distract from what I wanted to tell them! The Handsome Pilot and I were just staring at each other while they stared at us! We were smothered in EVERYTHING MICKEY! As parents we had disappointed with NOT going to friends house...NOT going to Chuck E Cheese...for sometime they thought I had NOT set out outfits for them...they were NOT hungry and requested that I NOT finish making the Mickey breakfast...they had NOT been able to sleep in due to a teething sister waking everyone up at full screams by 6:30 AM. I tried to whisper it to Dru who knew what I was talking about and she smiled. I gave more clues...I whispered to Dru again and she squealed! BUT GRAYCE OVERHEARD and very confused said it outloud...probably so scared it was something else we would NOT be doing! I laugh now at the thought of how many MORE hints they would have the moment I just screamed 'WE ARE GOING TO DISNEYLAND!'

Breakfast Diva
Then they were all screaming...Grayce stopped and just stared at Dru who was still so excited and said 'I love her happy screams!' I am tearing up now at that moment and I had tears when it happened. They all cheered...AJ had since begun to bail to put on her new outfit...and Grayce just enjoyed Dru's excitement for a half moment longer. I was showered with hugs and then it hit me 'WE ARE GOING TO DISNEYLAND!' As a family...a WHOLE family. Something the Handsome Pilot and I waited our whole lives to do...and so had they :)

No lie...a bit of madness took place in the preparation to get out of the house. Especially since the plan of me getting up before them to prep had been put aside when baby woke up super early! I thought I would fall to the ground and lose my brains before we even got out the door OR spin in circles and holla from excitement...LOL! Never the less we remembered everything we needed and made it out on time! The best part about our friends is that they make us look like early birds! I will never dislike them for that one reason :)

Let's Do This
Once we found our way to the Happiest Parking Lot On Earth the excitement that nearly kept us from getting out the door had drown down to full on determination to see that big castle. Okay so most of the excitement I talk about was my the time we got there nothing mattered. The we got there...if any of us had ever been there long the hint giving that morning took...what we were wearing...NOTHING BUT THE EXCITEMENT of enjoying Grayce's birthday coming to a final celebration promise and her friend enjoying his actual birthday surrounded by his friends since preschool and Mickey Mouse! The long wait of getting our passes in order seems long forgotten now as I write.
Happiest Mama On Earth

We fully enjoyed the day until about 6pm when it all went the opposite direction... Gracye whom up until the moment in line for the Finding Nemo ride had never been injured in her lifetime. Yes, she did have her appendix rupture and fought through the surgery. She spent most of her infancy ill and her first Christmas in the ER with trouble breathing. But aside from one or two scrapes from normal kiddo falls she had never been injured so badly she bleed more than a drop of blood. Saturday changed all of that for her making Disneyland an extra memorable experience!

The Handsome Pilot & The Beauties
Grayce had stumbled in an attempt to join every other child at the park in sitting on the railing in line and went right around dropping flat on the back of her head. The ground shook, she jumped up and started to run out of line. I was not in it kinda freaked me out to see Grayce so upset (which is an understatement) and her Daddy looking a bit shocked carrying baby Dru who was pointing at her sister crying saying 'FAW DOWN FAW DOWN'. Daddy looked at me and said calmly 'Uh. She bumped her head.' Alrighty well calm down. I didn't see anything wrong and at that moment of seeing me she calmed for a second. I hugged her tight and Daddy whispered 'she's bleeding.' When I looked just under the hair line Grayce went into a panic and cried and screamed. Sure enough there was a hair full of blood! An ER Doctor actually stepped out of line and looked at her head. I was going to call for the park medic mostly to be able to pull her out of the masses of the park to be looked at in hopes of calming her a bit. I took baby. Daddy took Grayce and stepped aside. The nurse who arrived from the park and the ER doctor said that she appeared to be okay, but suggested Urgent Care or ER for some staples.

How we rode Dumbo
AJ stayed behind with our friends after a quick meeting of the minds. Leaving our concerned friends and happy to stay AJ at the park the 4 of us headed off to see the doctor. Grayce was going between calm and upset on the way out of the park. Daddy even took a quick picture of her in front of the castle as we had to pause our walk out of the park for a passing parade. The story from there was simple. Found the Urgent Care very easily thanks to the list provided by Disneyland. Even got to see other victims of the Mouse House getting patched up from their dangerous journey of Tea Cups and Mountains. Once we got back to be seen Dru explained what happened to the doctor several times...yelled at him for touching her sisters Boo Boo...sang with me to Grayce as her head was stapled and she ended with a long finale of OUCH in tune with Twinkle Twinkle! We were out of there by 8:05pm. Momentarily G said lets go back to the park after I teased we could still make it for the fireworks. Followed by...I want to throw up AND I need to lay in a bed right now!!! Every little bump in the car hurt her head. She fought back the crying like earlier, yet couldn't stop those fat crocodile tears from rolling like rapids down her cheeks.

We knew she was not going to make the short drive back home without getting sick. She knew her friends and sister were still at the park. She knew they were all sleeping at the hotel. I KNEW that this was not supposed to be how this day ended. There was supposed to be Mickey ears! BBQ dinner with friends! A parade! Space Mountain! Fireworks! Another day spent at California Adventure! I don't know what hurt me more right then? Her broken head or her broken heart? Daddy and I didn't know that she would be able to go to the park the next day. While the doctor was certain all the nausea and shakes and dizziness was from a mix of anxiety, shock and adrenaline we still had to watch her very carefully! Neither one of us as parents assumed much sleep would be in our evening plans. Dru had passed out right on time for normal bed time 8:05pm and had her very own long day cutting those 2 year molars. So we checked into the hotel thanks to hotel rewards points we got a great deal where everyone was staying! Daddy rocked Dru back to sleep as she talked about Meme Mouse and fought off sleep for an additional 2.5 minutes. I took Grayce in to the warm bath tub. We washed her hair out. Talked about how much fun we did have even though it ended quickly and that Disneyland would be there probably another 50 years for a return visit! When we got out Dru and Daddy were cuddled up in the chair. I convinced her to let me braid her hair down both sides. Found her the only thing she wanted to eat for dinner OREOS and MILK.
Final Score
The Mouse-1   Grayce-3

She did not make it past one Oreo. She called Tim to tell him what had happened. I called my Mommy and Daddy to let them know what they already knew...G is hard headed like her mother! Then Daddy and I detoxed for a while watching her sleep thinking and talking back on all the times we had been scared as new parents. Also how lucky we are that while Grayce was the one with staples this time she was not often prone to accidents and injuries! Once again thankful for dainty little girls...well for now the teen years are certain to bring us to our knees begging in prayer!

Ava convinced my girlfriend and her grandma to stay and ride Small World with her when all the other kids bailed and headed back to the hotel with the other family that joined us. At one point my girlfriend sent me a text of AJ watching the fireworks and that beautiful expression on awe on her face drew me to tears. She was happy. I love seeing joy on my baby's face. Anyhow, they rolled in just after 11pm. AJ inquired about Grayce wanting to know all the details. Then she just faded away to sleepyland with a smile on her face and a flashy light up necklace around her neck wrapped in the 'same' princess blanket she has had since birth.

By morning Grayce was good to go. We woke her a couple of times in the night and then by 7:30am she sprung out of bed and was ready to go again. When her friends asked her about it she casually said "well it feels like staples in my head. not a big deal ya know." UH OKAY now she's calm. After breakfast and getting 10 people organized, which is actually pretty easy if we can get ONE OF US to pre-iron all of the days outfits before leaving on a trip...UH UMM no names to be mentioned someone :)-

My Gang minus one little man
Spent the next day at California Adventure which is Disneyland, but with more height requirements! Grayce got to ride most of the rides. We DID NOT allow any roller coaster or jerky ride. That was easy because her friends are to scared for the few coasters and the rest of the rides are just that...a ride through a fairytale. We saw shows. We ate. We stopped at some shops. We talked to Minnie Mouse. We had a great time and look forward to going back very soon.

That was kinda it...our last few weeks are summed up to equal this-- I have a few unfinished projects waiting for me, several completed. We are all finally healthy. We made a lifetime of memories. We learned why you can't play in line for rides at themeparks (the hard way). We learned how true our friends really are and how lucky we are to have met.

Most of all we learned that no matter what you think something might might just get more instead :)

*I will add more pics this weekend...seeing as though my computer disagrees with me using a card reader :) These were some of what I had on my phone!
They woke up and asked...When did we get McDonalds??

*I will add more pics this weekend...seeing as though my computer disagrees with me using a card reader :) These were some of what I had on my phone!