Friday, July 31, 2009

come fly with me

Because I'm a crazy person.
That's why I did it.

That's why I decided that flying with 2 kids under 3 would be a good idea.

That's why I decided that flying with 2 kids under 3 by myself would be a good idea.

Flying to Dallas seemed like a much easier option than driving 8 + hours alone.
How bad could it be? Right?

Let's review exactly how bad it could be.

First, David and I drove 2 hours to the LIttle Rock airport at midnight because the flights were cheaper from there. We arrived at a hotel at 2 am and slept for exactly 4 hours before driving to the airport to catch my flight.

The word "tired" and possibly "exhausted" comes to mind.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by this lovely lady.

Why is she life sized?
Just wonderin'.

After checking the bags, we headed to visit my dear, dear friend.

Hello, My Sweet. Come to Momma.

Avery had a little Wake Up Juice too.

Until I drank my coffee, I literally couldn't open my eyes.
Not figuratively.

Then, we pushed Charlie and Avery to the Security Checkpoint where we were greeted by this lovely red-vested gentleman.

Actually, I think that he may have been larger than life-sized.

Moving on...

When we arrived at the Security Area, we saw a large bin of footies.
As soon as she saw the fancy shoes, Avery insisted on putting some on.

The (clearly) heartless Security Man informed me that we couldn't take my life-sustaining liquid through the checkpoint, so we stopped so that I could chug the rest.

Shortly after my caffeineation, David said "Goodbye".
That's when the real fun began.

People are surprisingly sympathetic when you have 2 small children to take care of at the airport.
A really nice gentleman helped me fold up the stroller and put Charlie's infant seat through the x-ray thingy. 'Cause there was just no way that I was going to get that done on my own.

With Charlie on one hip, I hoisted Avery on my other hip as we prepared to walk through the metal detector.

Just before we walked through, one of the Security people noticed Avery's teeny tiny Little Mermaid doll and said, "Honey, I have to put that through my special machine so that I can make sure her insides are O.K.".

Imagine, if you will, the response that a 2.5 year old might give to such a request.
Then magnify the volume of that response by 1.5 million decibels.

I was forced to pry the doll from her white-knuckled grip and throw it toward the belt area. As Avery shreiked at an ungodly volume and flailed like a crazy lady, I busted it to the metal detector.
Laughing, I might add.
Because that was all I could do at that point.

The Security People helped me take the gear off the belt and I finally got everybody settled in the stroller again.

As we prepared to board the plane, I tried to prepare Avery as best I could for the events that were about to transpire.
"Avery, we're going to go down a big ramp and get on a big plane.
Then we're going to sit in a seat and the plane will go high in the air. We will go up into the clouds.
You might hear a loud sound, but it will be o.k.
It might be a little bumpy, but I will be here.
It will be fun."

Evidently, I'm a HUGE liar.
Because it was anything but fun.

I managed to maneuver the kids onto the plane by myself. Thank-you-very-much.

As I entered the plane with a kid on each hip, I said (out loud), "Who's the lucky person who gets to sit next to me?"
I got a few chuckles...but only a few.

We were traveling Southwest, so we got to choose our own seats. I headed toward the back (as far away from normal people as I could get) and settled everyone in.

At first things went well.
Avery was excited.

Then, the Flight Attendant told me that she would have to sit in her own seat.
With a seat belt on.
Evidently, Avery considered that unacceptable.

Commence shreiking.
And weeping.
And gnashing of teeth.

She was totally petrified and a.n.g.r.y. that I couldn't hold her.
Charlie, true to his sweet laid-back nature, just watched his uncontrollable sister from his seat in my lap.

We had about 10 minutes of time during the flight where Avery stopped screaming and calmed down.
That's when I decided to document the experience with a few photos.
If I document the happy moments, maybe that's what I'll remember.

The Flight Attendants served Avery a Sprite - her favorite treat.
After she had a couple of sips, I tried to put it on the tray.
Again, a totally unacceptable move.

She kept saying, "it's going to fall off! it's going to fall off! hold it, mommy!"
So, I did.
And Charlie.
And my drink.
And what was left of my sanity.
Which wasn't much at that point.

Then, randomly, the screaming started up again. I tried to tell her that I couldn't hold her. That it was just like when we ride in the car and she has a seat belt on.
In other words, I tried to reason with a two year old.
Because I'm not quite right in the head.

As a result, I'm pretty sure that my hearing is permanently damaged.
And that the lady in front of me has a death wish out for me now.

We finally arrived and were met by my parents at the gate. The entire flight was only an hour or so long, yet it felt like an absolute eternity. I've never been more excited to see them in my entire life.

I made it. I did it.
I hope to never have to do it alone again.

But at least I have pictures of the 10 happy minutes, right?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

a little update

I have had quite the past couple of weeks.

First, there was VBS preparation at our church.
I'm not quite sure how I got wrapped up in it all, but I definitely did. I was up to my eyeballs in paper trees and cardboard cabins.

VBS landed the same weekend as my weekend to host a children's clothing home show at my house.
Hosting a Home Show meant doing some serious cleaning and other busyness.

Then, in the midst of VBS and my Home Show preparation, I received some very sad news.
My cousin, Tripp, was killed in a motorcycle accident.

Everything was put on hold as I scrambled to make arrangements to travel to Texas for his funeral.

Death is something that shouldn't surprise you. It's inevitable. Yet the news of someone's death always feels like a punch in the gut. Especially when that someone played an important role in your life.

Honestly, I can't understand why Tripp was taken at such a young age. I struggle with why God would decide to take him home now - when he was getting his life together...when things were going better than they've ever gone for him. I can't see what God has planned through this. But I know one thing: My cousin is with His Savior. And he's unbelievably happy.

Christians like to say that funerals are a "celebration" of a homecoming. A "celebration" of a life.
Usually, the "celebration" is kinda depressing.
Sad music.
Sad pictures.

Tripp's funeral was the only funeral I have ever been to that was truly a celebration of life.

My Aunt, Uncle, and cousins chose 2 songs for his funeral:
Big House by Audio Adrenaline and I'll Fly Away by Johnny Cash.
The pictures they chose for his video reflected his goofy personality. I love that the photo next to his casket was of him acting crazy and jumping into a swimming pool.
My favorite thing, though, was the overwhelming pride and love I felt for my family as I listened to each and every member stand up on the stage and share funny, warm, real, loving, stories of Tripp's life.

Christ was honored through Tripp's funeral. Christ was glorified through his death. God's grace and love covered my family and his peace was reflected in each one of their faces. I've never been more proud to be part of my family than I was on that day.

My cousin Hunter, Tripp's sister, said, "We don't know what God has planned through this, but if one person can come to know Him through Tripp's death, then it's all worth it. But we want to know who that one person is."

Me too.

I leave you with Tripp's obituary: a sweet honorarium of a man who was very, very loved.

Thomas Kendrick McGehee III

Thomas Kendrick "Tripp" Born July 26, 1983 in Bethesda, MD; died (clean and sober) as a result of a single motorcycle accident on July 12, 2009 in Plantation, FL. Tripp's life was not full of worldly degrees and honors (though he had some such rewards). Rather, his life was full of what really matters: the love of family, the love of friends (both old and new), and the love of a special godly young woman and her family. His humor, his intelligence, his wit, his ear for listening, his acts of kindness, and even his battle with drug and alcohol addiction were all uniquely wrapped up in a glorious soul that most importantly, had learned to completely trust his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Tripp graduated from Plano Senior High School in 2002 where he played starting offense and defense for the Wildcats football team. He attended Baylor University on partial scholarship. He moved one year ago to Fort Lauderdale, FL where he found strength and victory at The Recovery Place and at Calvary Chapel. He is survived by his parents, Tom and Elaine McGehee, of Plano, TX; sister Erin McGehee Strain and husband Duke of Frisco; sister Hunter McGehee of Plano; and brother Billy McGehee of Plano. He is also survived by grandmother Frances Hunter of Plano; aunt Phil Cudahy of Chapel Hill, NC; and uncle and aunt Chip and Janet Hunter of Germantown, TN, along with numerous cousins. He also leaves behind Raissa Lynn Hughes of Plantation, FL - his one true love. Tripp worked at Starbucks in Ft. Lauderdale, and most recently, as a credit consolidation counselor - both jobs he loved because they served people. Our hearts both grieve and rejoice. He is with his Jesus. Visitation on Thursday, July 16th at Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow in Allen, TX from 7 to 9pm. Service at Prestonwood Baptist Church chapel on Friday, July 17th at 2pm. In lieu of flowers, donations to The Recovery Place, 3100 East Commercial Blvd. Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33308 and designated for the Tripp Fund.

John 11:25-26 - I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me will live, even if he dies, and the one who lives and believes in Me will never die forever.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

brown and pink banner

My friend Breanne, asked me to make a banner for a brown and pink themed baby shower. Here's what I came up with:

I used the Mini Monograms cartridge with my Cricut to cut the double scallops onto cardstock.

Then I cut circles out of coordinating brown and pink scrapbook papers and glued them on top of the scalloped circles.

After that, I found a chipboard glittery letter set to put the baby's name on the banner.
Finally, I punched the holes, added 2 kinds of ribbon, and a couple of cute little flowers.
Banners are so fun!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

my girl likes to potty all the time

I know. I know. I've been a little absent lately.
No time for writing blog entries.
No time for reading blog entries.
No time for commenting on my friend's blog entries.

No time for anything but chillin' with a precocious 2.5 year old, a sweet-as-pie baby boy, and this:




and cleaning a lot of this:

Between Potty Training and the ill-fated Dave Ramsey Diapers, my couch will never be the same.

Avery's new-found independence has launched an absolute barage of I Can Do It Myself-isms.

Let me help you put on your shirt: I can do it myself
Let me help you wash your hands: I can do it myself
Let's put on your shoes: I can do it myself.
You want some lotion? I can do it myself.

(It puts the lotion on)

Not only can she potty by herself, wash her hands by herself, put on her shoes by herself, and get gobs and gobs of lotion by herself... but she can also get her own dinner. By herself.

Just in case you were wondering, Avery's idea of dinner is a generous portion of marshmallows followed by a side of fresh... marshmallows.

This potty training thing been all- consuming. Tiring. Exhausting. Frustrating. and more frustrating.

The one beautifully satisfying thing about my potty training experience has been the fact that I've used NO treats, sticker charts, bribery, or begging to achieve Avery's non-diaper status.

Before embarking on our potty training adventure, there were a couple of things that I was totally dreading. One was the whole constantly cleaning up excrement thing, and the other was the sticker chart/rewards thing. That's probably why I whined and whined about it for months before actually gettin' down to business.

I gotta tell you, I just don't get it: Treats for pooping? Seriously?

Listen, I'm not judging...If poop-treats are your thing, that's cool. In fact, I have a ton of intelligent, lovely friends who've gone that route and had success with it. It just isn't for me.

Aside from the fact that I think we live in a world that rewards kids for things for every little thing imaginable, I guess my thinking is: how does one determine the stopping point for poop-treat giving... and how do you explain that you won't be giving continuous treats for pooping? Call me crazy, but I have no intention of giving my 14 year-old a treat because she stayed dry all night.

Thankfully, Potty Training may be the only thing in life that actually works better if you procrastinate.
Turns out the longer you wait to potty train your child, the more likely they are to actually be ready to be potty trained.
No bribing necessary. I love it.

As you can tell from this post, the main reason for my bloggy absence is that all I have to write about is poop. NO one wants to read about the daily musings of a potty training mommy. No one is googling "lady who is stuck at home while potty training her kid". And if they are, I don't want to meet them. Ever.

I'll be back when I have something intelligent to say.
Hopefully it won't be too much longer.

Friday, July 10, 2009

daveisms part deux

Hey, what time do you think Michael's opens?

Um. I've pretty much structured my entire life to avoid knowing the answer to that question. But if I had to guess, I'd say 10.

Friday, July 3, 2009

pretty little thing

I made this letter for my friend, Kris.

I'm going to go ahead and say that I have a little crush on it. The paper was kind of cute on it's own, but it looks so much cuter on the letter. Funny how that happens.

It may be my favorite yet. I think I'm going to have to make one for myself one of these days.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

she said...

"When I get bigger I will get a Hannah Tannah (Hannah Montana) car.
And I will have a lootle (little) baby named Bay Pencer (Baby Spencer).
When I get a lootle bigger.
But not yet.
I'm not ready yet.
When I get my car I be so 'cited.
I will love it.
I will drive ever I want to.
I will go to the left and right.
Like Mommy.
I will drive to the park.
And to Target.
And Hobby Lobby.
Yes. Yes. Mommy.
I'm still not ready.
When I get a lootle bigger.
I will be 6.
I will got to Hobby Lobby and I will go to Target."

All of this was said - I'm not kidding you - in like one breath.
It was so darn cute, I had to grab the first available thing I could find to scribble it down right away.

Those are the moments that I want to hold in my heart forever. Oh...
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