Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Chez Moi Real Time

Right now, dear friend and devoted reader, there are eight children in bed at my house.

I use the term "in bed" and not "asleep" because not one of them is actually sleeping. I understand. My four children have four of their cousins over for a sleepover and it's extra-special fun.

Except that my niece and nephews are going to be here until Saturday, so there will be plenty of time to play. Now is the time for sleep. Who's with me? Anyone? I know eight people who are not on board with me and they all have the same last name.

Let's say, for argument's sake, that these children do eventually go to sleep and live to see tomorrow. Do you think I am scared? That I'm concerned about my sanity? That I don't know how I'll get through another bedtime routine of hearing myself repeat, "Go to sleep" approximately 567 times in 30 minutes?

Oh, no, dear friend and devoted reader. Mother Nature is my friend. I just checked the weather for tomorrow and it's going to be 89 degrees. These children love to swim and they love to do it together. My sister-in-law and I tested this theory a couple of weeks ago. Here's the proof:

Yes, tomorrow we'll be heading to the pool as soon as it opens and staying until these children are so tired from the sun and water that they are begging to be allowed to go to sleep!

Wish me luck.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

For Girls from One to Ninety-one

This Spring, when it came time for our church's annual Father and Son Camp Out, I had a genius idea as to how we girls could spend our Daddy- and Buddy-less time: family sleepover!

That's right; I invited four generations of Sechrist girls chez moi for a night o' silly girlie fun. The youngest attendee was my niece, Emmaline, who was a mere 12 months old. The "most experienced" attendee was my grandmother, just one month shy of her 91st birthday.

We had a pizza dinner and plenty of junk food. Before our guests arrived, I took my girls to the store and we each picked a treat to share during the festivities. My girls thought they had died and gone to heaven that (a) they could eat endless amounts of candy and (b) they could do it in a carpeted area of our home!

As is always the case in our family, cousin love was free-flowing between all the girls.

We opted to watch The Parent Trap which seemed to hold almost everyone's attention. Well, Grandma said she liked the show but her eyelids sure looked heavy!

Maia was able to get her sillies out with this ridiculous ensemble:

That girl is a nut, I tell you.

Another of my daughters might have been slightly more than little bit giddy to have her Aunt Amber over for a slumber party.

Somehow, we managed to divide up all the girls (there were 12 of us total) all over the house and get everyone to sleep. I think the night was a success and look forward to next year's Second Annual Sechrist Girls Sleepover!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Then and Now

"Then and Now" is my clever little way of saying, "Post That Should Have Been a Flashback Friday Last Friday But We All Know I Was Off the Blogging Wagon Last Week So That Didn't Happen."

I didn't want this little gem to sit unseen on the hard drive for another year, so I'm breaking it out anyway. A little late.

Obviously, this is my little family on the 4th of July. The year is 2005. My Michael looks handsome, if a little unshaven. Maia looks adorable with her various teeth missing; Mason looks like a virtual fetus; Marlee looks like a chubby-faced toddler. Mackenna looks entirely too comfortable in the womb and I look remarkably cheerful for a woman whose fourth baby had been due eight days prior to this photo being taken. (Fun Fact: Mackenna was born 9 hours and 13 minutes after this photo was taken.)

Shopping for our annual 4th of July shirts that year, I, of course, purchased a teeny tiny one for my baby. But the rascal never came. I joked that I was going to safety pin the infant tee to the belly of my shirt, but I refrained. I think I ended up giving it to the Salvation Army with the tags still on it.

This year, I went with the "rainbow" look and grabbed shirts of all different colors for our family to wear on my Michael's favorite holiday. Here we are, four years later, in all our glory:

Look at my Michael! He's as handsome as ever. And look at Maia. Wow! She's really getting tall and grown up, isn't she? Speaking of grown up--check out Mason. Did I mention that he wears a men's size 8.5 shoe? How crazy is that? And my Teensy. She's just a beautiful little girl; there's no sign of a toddler in her. Mackenna is out of the womb, but still as close to her mama as she can get. That's my baby!
As for me, I'm trying not to dwell on the fact that I looked thinner when I was 41+ weeks pregnant than I do today. How is that even possible!?!?!?!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Happy Birthday, Baby Doll!

There's nothing like your baby's birthday to force you back into the blogging world. Thank you for missing me; I've missed you, too.

Since I've been gone, my baby (BABY!) turned four. Four is most definitely
not a baby. It's not even a toddler. But I can handle that.

Excuse me while I go into my closet and curl up in the fetal position for a moment.

Okay. I feel much better. I know I must embrace each new stage of motherhood and not lament the stages that are gone. It's just easier said than done, if you know what I mean.

Last night at the fireworks, I sat in my camp chair with my Kenna coiled in my lap and wondered how many more 4th of July's I would watch with a child on my lap. Thank goodness I have my Kenna Rose to prolong these sweet moments in my life.

For her birthday this year, Mackenna's number one wish umbrella. Don't you love that? So cute. Her original request was for a Dora umbrella but Mommy had a little trouble procuring one of those. Eventually, I made the executive decision to get a Tinkerbell umbrella instead. (How can you go wrong with Ms. Bell? Especially when said fairy umbrella was manufactured in a certain would-be four-year-old's favorite color of purple?) Needless to say, it was a huge hit!

Mackenna also enjoyed two new sundresses (her daily wardrobe choice), some Dora bath toys, new paints and Dora paintbrushes and an Ariel Polly Pocket-ish toy.

When I sat Mackenna next to me on the couch for her birthday interview, this is what
she said:

What was the best part about being three?
Buying the candle
(A shopping trip for birthday supplies yielded at giant "4" candle; it's been a hit, apparently the highlight of her entire year.)

What do you think is going to be the best part of turning four?
Having a starfish cake, painting at preschool

What are your favorite activities?
Playing with my teddy bears, playing with my friends

What kinds of things do you play with your friends?


Which outdoor activities are your favorites?

Trying my umbrella, doing (sidewalk) chalk

Tell me some things about your room:
I like the pink walls and I like the pink flowers on our bed

What was your favorite birthday present:
All of them
(My, she seems easy-going in this interview)

What is your favorite thing to hear Mom say?
"Come here, Kennie Bear"

What is your favorite food?
Every vegetable
(This is breaking news in the Hunter household, to be sure.)

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Super Girl

What is your favorite book?
Every book

But if we were going to Grandma's house to spend the night and you could only take one book, which book would you take?
Dora's Color Adventure

What is your favorite movie?
(By this she means Prince Caspian. Hey, I'm just as baffled as you are, but this child loves that movie. Really, she's a big fan of Lucy.)

What is your favorite thing about your mom?
Reading books to me

What is your favorite thing about your dad?
Playing with him, doing funny stuff with him

Why do you keep getting bigger?
Because I grow a lot

This fall, Mackenna and I will be home alone. I haven't had one child alone with me for nine years! I think that Mackenna's more easy-going side will really shine when all of my attention is for her alone; she seems to have that kind of personality. I am looking forward to all the one-on-one time we will share.

Quotation of the Month

There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.

-Jill Churchill