Thursday, May 28, 2009

Our darling boy

Samuel is 14 today. I have no idea where the years have gone, but they have been amazing ones with this kid in our lives.

Here are some of his greatest hits:
  • He came three weeks early, on a Sunday morning, making his pastor daddy scramble to find a fill-in preacher.
  • He was a precocious toddler, completely at ease with adults.
  • Between the ages of 3 and 6 (more or less), he loved to tell a joke before bed each night, often making up his own.
  • He once wanted to be a paleontologist truck driver preacher.
  • He has loved Legos since he first discovered them at the age of 5.
  • Several of his Halloween costumes have been book characters: Martin of Redwall, Basil Stag Hare of Redwall, Harry Potter and Ford Prefect of Hitchiker's Guide. He was also a very convincing Albert Einstein one year.
  • His adoration of lemurs is well-known.
  • He loves a good woodchuck joke.
  • He is a fount of trivia knowledge. (I did check to see if font was the better word to use here...apparently either one can work. *grin*)
  • He has loved US presidents trivia, civil war and other history facts, Redwall, Lord of the Rings, Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms.
  • He dotes on his littlest sisters and is a wonderful babysitter; he's known as Bubby.
  • He is funny, sensitive, garrulous at times, friendly, bright, a great reader, outgoing, a hard worker and a kid with a huge heart.
I cannot believe sometimes how very blessed we are with him our lives.
What a gift we received 14 years ago.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Egads

I haven't written anything in quite a while! Sorry! Things are hectic and busy and, well, chaotic.

My mom's surgery went well. She was healing right along, last I spoke with her.

Moriah's team has had a series of losses, but she's had pretty decent games (a double tonight!) and has had very decent pitching. The biggest problem her team is with their pitching 'bench', which isn't deep at all. Three kids can get it across the plate very well, but with the limits the league puts on the kids, they can only pitch a max of 40 pitches and then they have to sit out a game and have a day of rest. There is a whole formula for who can pitch how many and when. That means that kids who don't pitch as well end up having to pitch. Drives Moriah crazy to have to sit out and it's so hard to watch the other teams score runs from base on balls after base on balls after base on balls (up to the 5 run rule).

If you've been wondering about the deal with Samuel, here is the I-intended-to-write-a-short version. He was passed over for getting the 8th Grader of the Year award. Surprised and hurt him quite a bit, considering all he'd done as student council president this year and in other capacities and how very little the rest of the 8th grade class did for the school (including the girl who got the award). I ended up talking with the jr. high teachers and found out that he was actually their first choice, but something happened along the way to derail it and that was the bitter pill we all had to swallow. I think knowing he was the first choice helped with his disappointment. The jr. high teachers did acknowledge that they should have given two awards this year (like they did last year, duh), so that helped a little too. All in all, it was a good lesson in humility and knowing that he would have done all the same work and volunteering award or no award, being who he is. It was very hard for his parents to watch his disappointment, so it was a good lesson for us to speak up for our kid while also trying to keep things in perspective.

School ended last Thursday, I finished mostly on Friday and we had a lovely Memorial Day weekend (more on that in another post soon, I promise). I officially 'signed out' from school today, so I'm completely ready to dive into summer!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Quick news and important news

We've been busy with baseball and the end of school and I've also debated about posting about something regarding Samuel (nothing bad, don't worry), so I haven't written anything new lately. I'll work on that soon, I promise!

The short story on baseball is that Moriah's team has lost their last two games. sniffle. More on those later.

The short story on Samuel is that he was overlooked for an award yesterday that made us all kinda sad. sniffle. More on that later, too.

Now, onto the really important thing: my mom is having knee replacement surgery in a few short hours...3:30 AK time to be exact. So I wanted to give her a shout out (this is my 100th post, after all...what better subject than my mommy?!).

Love you Mom! I'm praying for a surgery that gives you more mobility! I'm praying for a skilled doctor, skilled nurses, minimal pain and fast recovery (and no drainage tubes left in there anywhere!).

May your knew knee be everything you kneed it to be!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Baseball fever

Moriah had a great game tonight. She pitched first and struck out three out of the first five batters. She struck out two in the second inning as well. Woot! Moriah also got a single in the third inning and had an RBI.

Her whole team did well and a couple of kids got excellent hits--one was an in-field home run and the other was a great triple. It was a very lopsided game (24-2). The other team's pitchers weren't that accurate and most of their runs were brought in because of the many many walks. But in the third inning our kids finally got a few good shots and gave the other team something to field.

I kept the stats again and learned a couple of new abbreviations: HBP and F1. Know what those mean? Hit By Pitch and Fly out caught by the pitcher. Good job if you knew that!

Tomorrow is another game, in Anchorage. Then Thursday back in Girdwood. I think Moriah has to wait to pitch until Thursday because of the league's rules about number of pitches thrown and resting the kids' arms. I'm sure she'll be anxious to get back on the mound.

Monday, May 18, 2009

This and that

I have video of Moriah and Susannah playing at their piano recital on Friday night. Both are over 90 seconds, I think, and I am not sure if I can upload videos that long here...gotta do some research before attempting that. Anyway...both girls did really well and played beautifully. I'll have to ask them what they played (I just can't remember right now) and edit it in later. Moriah played blank and Susannah played blank.

Three more days of school for the kids, four for me. Then we hit the ground running on our room switcharoo. Move Samuel out of his room and all the way downstairs (as much stuff as we can), paint his (old) room a lovely soft yellow, move babies upstairs into their new room, paint the babies' (old) room some as-yet-to-be-determined-shade-of-blue and move Samuel into his new room. All of this before our best friends come on the night of the 28th. It'll be a busy week!

Oh! Samuel is now employed. Well, almost. As of the 28th he will be, when he turns 14. He'll be working at The o> Shop (remember, the word 'Ice Cream' is represented by an ice cream cone) and will be strengthening his wrist muscles and developing basic barista skills (or would he be a baristo?). The girls are already wondering if there's a family discount (no) and Jim is angling to get Samuel to make him lattes at home (maybe).

Moriah has her second game tomorrow night. She's not sure she'll be pitching because she said she didn't do well at practice today. Too many coaches giving too many tips, I think, and she's now a little confused. We'll see.

Random baby cuteness:
Abigail was naked from the waist down at naptime today. I kept hearing playful sounds after laying them down for nap so I went to check on them. She pulled her blanket aside a little and there was her bare bum. Thankfully she consented to put the diaper back on. Could have been messy otherwise (we experienced that with Samuel...he'd probably like it if you asked him about it someday. really!). But she did keep her pants off. She's the kid who likes less clothes. Maybe she'll be a streaker someday.

Bethany LOVES to swing. LOVES it. The other day while at Little Bears, the little kids had gone to the ball field to play and then walked over to the playground. The entire walk over Bethany was beside herself, almost chanting the same words over and over. Blue swing. Blue swing. Blue swing. (I'm guessing it really sounded more like bwoo fwing. bwoo fwing. bwoo fwing.) Her caregiver wasn't quite sure what she was all riled up about because she wasn't sure if she understood Bethany correctly...until they got to the toddler area and Bethany raced over to the blue swing, making sure to have the first turn.

Today we went out and played in our tiny little yard (where the snow is all melted!). The babes had a blast blowing bubbles. And are fairly good at it. Bethany got the hang of blowing long enough to get several bubbles to come out of the wand. Abigail was more of a spitter, but did get some bubbles to appear. Bethany is showing more and more that she may be a leftie, holding the wand in her left hand, dipping it alllllll the way into the bottle (gotta get those fingertips soapy too!) and then trailing bubble solution over her right arm as she blew the bubbles. Lots of solution. All over her arm. A slimy, soapy mess. Perfect on a warm (almost) summer day. :)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Play ball!

That phrase is what often pops into my head whenever I hear the pledge of allegiance. But it's also what 14 Girdwood kids did this afternoon, at Moriah's Little League game.

Moriah had the option of trying out for Girdwood's majors team but didn't feel ready to move up. So she stayed in minors and is one of the oldest on the team. I think it's great that she'll have another year to hone her skills (definitely improved since last year) and she'll have the chance to be one of the leaders on her team, which has a lot of younger kids this year. She's such a great kid and I can already see that she will shine this year in baseball.

We left babies home with Samuel and Susannah (at their offer!) and Jim and I took Moriah in for the opening game of the season. Because I didn't have two two-year-olds to chase, I was able to be one of the statisticians. If you haven't had the pleasure of keeping tabs on strikes, balls, who got to which base, runs and pitch counts you haven't really experienced a baseball game. It was a lot of fun and it forced me to watch the game with a different perspective. Plus I always knew the score, something I don't usually pay much attention to.

As on most teams, there are stronger players and developing players and Girdwood's team is no different. We had pretty solid pitching, especially from one player who threw a lot of strikes. Moriah was really hoping to pitch but hurt her arm on Thursday on the playground at school. Her coach (and her daddy) wanted to be sure not to hurt it again so he kept her at first.

Moriah got to first base on a walk her first at-bat and hit a solid single her second at-bat. Samuel had just called me so he got an earful of my excited screaming as she hustled to first. I think he heard the 'ping' of the bat when she made contact, too.

Moriah also had a good play at first. The batter hit a grounder to her, she scooped it up and beat him to the bag. A similar opportunity happened later but she missed getting the runner out by a little bit. She was pretty jazzed about her performance over all, and with good reason.

Girdwood ended up winning 7-6. A wonderful start to their short season. Great kids, great weather, great hits, great plays, great game.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Second night

Tonight went well too, I think. I was backstage wrangling energetic cast members and thanking God (literally) for a freshman who appeared out of nowhere and watched the little girls all night. (yep you read that right...the entire night...thank you Hannah!)

The kids are sad to see it done but so happy they did well. Every one of those kids should be very proud of the production they put on.

Now...on to the next community production. Anyone have any suggestions? :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

School play

King Artie and the Knights of the Rad Table was a huge success tonight. The kids did really well, with three true stand outs. Yes, I mean our three oldest kids. They were the best, you see. Really. No one else even came close. Nope, not joking. Everyone was talking about the Doepken kids. The audience didn't even notice the other actors.

Ha! Yeah, right. :)

Seriously, Samuel, Moriah and Susannah did do very well, but so did the rest of the cast.

Samuel was Merlin and was a funny combination of befuddled and hapless. And he had a huge fluffy white beard and wig ensemble that looked like a fuzzy animal had died on his face. It was kinda awful. And apparently it got moist, which is even more awful (and probably too much information?). But even with the beard handicap, he shined.

Moriah was the town crier, who announced the "Sword in the Stone" competition and had a solo. She wore a tidy little mustache on her face and watched as three 'contestants' tried to remove Excalibur from the stone. At one point Moriah had to dodge out of the way when a disgruntled thug tried to squish her with a rock.

Susannah was a dragon who delighted in tea. She was 'mean' and had damsels in distress in her cave, but was really more interested in tea. Two of the knights even joined her for a 'spot of tea' as she sang about her love of tea and danced around. She also fought and defeated the knights of the Rad Table but was undone by the damsels who were frantic to get to Lancelot.

The whole play was very cute and the kids had great energy. I was the parent who attended tonight while Jim stayed with babies. Tomorrow night Jim gets to watch and I...I will be keeping kids corralled backstage while managing babies. Whoo hoo! What I won't do for my older kids. :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Glorious sun

Oh, my, have we had a couple of beautiful weeks. Sunny, mid-50s to low-60s and gorgeous. No one being in Girdwood on days like this would ever want to live anywhere else, I promise you.

The little girls have (re)discovered our little swing and have spent lots of time in it lately. Abigail has enjoyed digging in and sweeping the small pile of snow left in our yard (it is almost gone, though!!). Bethany seems rather addicted to the swing, preferring that to everything else. She sat in it for a good 20 minutes last night, happily swinging and waiting patiently for another push.

I scored an outdoor toy at the recent community rummage sale--it is the Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Learning Home that I seriously considered buying them for Christmas (until Toys'RUs increased the price by $10...bah humbug). It's not in perfect shape by any means--lost pieces, one broken part--but it'll be great for a porch toy and it was a great price...free! No one else had bought it by the end of the sale so I was able to take it home.

I sat outside for a couple of hours today, in the sun, enjoying a new book (Pope Joan, if you must know...really good historical fiction). It took a bit for the little girls to settle for nap for some reason; I had to keep going in to manage their issues (grrrrrr). But I finally got my uninterrupted reading time and a little sun on my arms! Woot!

I could get very used to this. Oh, yes.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

whoda thunk?

When we got a call after my 20 week ultrasound that it appeared both babies had club feet, we were a little shell shocked and began our search for information immediately. We figured out that we wanted to pursue the Ponseti method for non-surgical correction of their feet and we got as many ducks in a row as possible before the babes were born.

In the moments after the babies were born, we didn't even think to ask about their feet and were happy to learn that Abigail did not have club feet after all. Bethany definitely did and so we embarked on the Ponseti journey that has given her 'normal' feet. She is currently wearing her brace 12 hours a day, while she sleeps, and will continue to wear it until she is four.

I sort of wished at one point that both babies had club feet so that they could share in the experience, especially once they got a little older and might start fighting about wearing a brace every day. Bethany's had moments of resisting putting on her 'sleepy shoes' but for the most part she's very compliant. I figure there might come a time that Bethany will look at Abigail and say "why not her? why me?" But, who woulda thought that it might well be the reverse....

We just got a new pair of shoes for Bethany's bar and they are huge, compared to the ones she was wearing. When I pulled them out of the box, Abigail wanted to put them on. (Hmmm...really?) Her feet are a good two to three sizes bigger than Bethany's, and the new shoes were just right for Abigail's feet. I strapped her into them and she happily marched around in them for quite a while. She even asked for the bar to put between them. (silly) Bethany put on her smaller shoes and happily walked around with her sister.

I didn't think too much about it until bedtime, when Abigail wanted to wear her own 'sleepy shoes'. (what?) She thought they were hers. (oops.) Wearers keepers? Didn't occur to me in the least that she would assume that. I assumed she'd know they belonged to Bethany. (oops.) She was a very unhappy bedtime girl who just didn't understand that she didn't need sleepy shoes and that they really belonged to her sister. The compromise? Allowing her to wear a pair of canvas mary janes we got at Kohl's last week as her 'sleepy shoes'. And yes, she's been wearing them ever since.

Whoda thunk the non-brace girl would want to wear a brace. huh.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Doing the happy dance

He's home, he's home, he's really really home.

Yay!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

whoo hoo!

I just got off the phone with my honey. He's about an hour out from boarding the last leg of his trip home. Whoo hoo!

*contented sigh*

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Cranky pants

That was what Bethany wanted to wear this morning, apparently. In the midst of trying to get the little girls ready to go to Little Bears today, she got upset that I didn't put diaper rash cream on Abigail's bottom. Yes, I meant Abigail. In the hallowed toddler tradition of fixating on owies, Bethany had become fixated on an 'owie' her sister had...on her bum. Abigail has gotten past needing cream but that didn't stop Bethany from wailing "Abidale weam, Abidale weam!"

This wailing led to the next cranky pants moment, when Bethany wouldn't allow me to take off her club foot brace. Attempting to take off the brace when the wearer is kicking is foolish and painful. Attempting to take it off anyway because you are now running late for work/school is foolish, painful and necessary. Moriah graciously helped me out by taking off one of her shoes. I got two of the three straps undone before the heaviest kicking started and Moriah undid the final one. This sent Bethany into new hysterics of "Mommy do it! Mommy do it!" (are you kidding me, kid?) Normally I do not give into something like this and have them just deal with their misery but I had to get to work and the kids had to get to school so I caved. I buckled that last strap again so that Mommy could unbuckle it...instant compliance and the cranky pants were traded for happy pants.

I borrowed those cranky pants for a little while as we rushed out to the car...where Bethany forcibly took them back because she was placed into the wrong car seat. I requested that she relinquish the pants when we dropped her and her sister off because I thought it was my turn to wear them for a while. And wear them I did.

I had an off day today...and the cranky pants fit a little too well. I was nice to my classes, but I felt all unsettled under the surface. I miss Jim. I don't like single parenting (but do love and respect single parents!). I am ready for school to be done. I'm tired of feeling like I'm on a hamster wheel. I'm tired. I'm cranky. I want to hide so no one can find me (well, maybe except Jim). I even sort of want a drink to dull my senses a bit...and I don't drink.

The cherry on the top of my cranky sundae came via a phone call from our wonderful Admin Assistant at school. Samuel had gotten light-headed, possibly blacked out very briefly and fell forward into a metal heating unit. My first thoughts were of rushing him to town to get checked out, which would have taken a lot of finagling. Turned out he chipped three teeth and had a huge fat lower lip. And boy did he hurt right afterward. A quick call to our dentist revealed he was heading out of town, but we had a good conversation about what to do and what to look for and we determined that he was probably okay for now--no nerves seemed exposed and his teeth didn't seem to be dangerously loose (one seems a little loose). Tonight he seems to be fine, thankfully, and I've allowed myself to hope his teeth will all be fine. I also called our pedi's office about the light-headedness and the nurse and I decided together that Samuel was probably fine (he was playing a computer game by that time). He will be getting a yearly check up in the next couple of weeks anyway, so we'll bring this issue up with the doc then.

I'm ready to hang up my cranky pants for a while. I want to resume wearing my normal 'content' pants tomorrow. I sure want to shake out of this blah. Blah.

Because I really should be in bed...

I thought I'd upload a short little video of Bethany walking in her brace. I apologize in advance for my voice (no offense will be taken if you utilize your mute button)...it sounds incredibly high-pitched to me and may cause dogs and small children to turn toward your computer in alarm.


video

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

blog ponderings

When I started this blog, it really was to inform family and friends about our little family. Since I started writing and found I enjoy blogging, I've often wondered how many folks are actually reading and if they enjoy what they read. My mom has given me sweet verbal feedback (thanks, Mom) and my mother-in-law has commented several times (thanks, Betsy), but otherwise I don't have much idea what anyone thinks (and thanks to those who have left comments!).

I briefly considered putting a counter on this site...but what if it showed only 1 person every other day? What if the traffic on this witty, charming blog about my witty, charming family was almost non-existent? Could my fragile psyche handle that?

Then I started wondering why I was worrying about blog traffic and comments. It's most likely because I've gotten pulled into reading several popular family blogs and I'm just conceited enough to want some of the same popularity. I'm not sure I'm up for the extra stuff those blogs often do like the Not Me Mondays or Thankful Thursdays. They are fun and I really enjoy reading the posts...but do I have much to offer in that capacity? Would anyone else care what I have to say? Would it change the tenor of the blog too much? Is this post too far outside my original intent? Am I asking too many questions?

The Blogosphere has become a remarkable place, where you can stumble across blogs covering myriad subjects. I tend toward library or family-oriented ones. I have learned internet tricks, I have found some neat online lesson ideas, I have laughed about the antics of kids who will never play with mine, I have prayed for sick children who are facing horrible odds, and I have cried over tragic losses and family struggles of people I'll never meet face-to-face.

The connection I have felt has been surprising and not a little curious. And it makes me wonder if I've touched anyone in the same kind of way. Has anyone stumbled on this little blog and gotten an unexpected chuckle? Has anyone read an post and thought "oh yeah, that sounds familiar"? I hope so. That isn't my reason for blogging, but it would be a nice byproduct of having a blog. That unexpected connection that might blossom into something more. The possibilities are intriguing.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Odds and ends

I keep thinking I should post about the little girls' latest antics (no, not more tantrums, thankfully) and other odds and ends. As I was about to start the post, our Jim's attention-starved dog jumped into my lap. Guess I should type fast so I can get to petting the poor pooch.

Both babes have shown a small streak of talent when it comes to song and dance. Whenever they wear a skirt/dress of any kind, it prompts them to act out a song they learned on a Wiggles DVD. It's very cute to see them go down onto one knee as they sing "Shalom" (stand on 'sha', drop to the knee on 'lom') and then alternate to the other knee.

The Alphabet Song, Baa Baa Black Sheep and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star are still favorites. And on their way to being mastered. Abigail seems to be the one who enjoys singing other songs and will break out in song fairly often. On Friday, she was singing 'Three Blind Mice', as far as I could tell. But after the first two lines (and she even put her hand up above her eyes for 'see how they run'), the song included something about a sneeze because she ended it with "achoo!" Hmmm...gotta ask at Little Bears (day care) what version they teach. Bethany has latched onto We Will Rock You as her favorite bedtime lullaby, as mentioned in a previous post. Her bum bum chh is very cute.

Both are really trying to say all kinds of new words, especially Bethany. They typically repeat phrases after you and usually come pretty close to the correct pronunciation. I learned just how accurate Bethany can be when she repeated my "shut up" I directed at Hurley the other night*. oops. I meant "be quiet, Hurley". Bethany likes to ask "what's this" so she can practice new (and old) words, and I imagine "why" is just around the corner.

I know they have a lot of colors mastered now. While at Target yesterday, I distracted Abigail from a small fit by asking her to name the colors of polka dots on a box I saw. She correctly pointed to about six different colors when I asked "where's the pink dot", "where's the green dot", etc. Bethany has a high success rate, too, and both girls are now occasionally using colors to describe what they want. Like today, both girls used either blue or red to communicate which swing they wanted to use.

Going outside is a huge deal anymore, too. Swinging and sliding and playing in the dirt (not at our house, yet). Ahhh, simple joys. We were at the park today and they never stopped moving. Well, Abigail did for a little while after she did a face plant off one of the 'baby' swings. It's one of those chair-like ones that have no buckles and that have always made me a little nervous. Now I can say 'and rightly so'. Straight down onto her face, scratches on her nose, upper lip and chin, lots of blood and quite a divot in her lower lip where it met one of her teeth. Her two older sister were galvanized into action when they saw her fall and ran to get paper towels and ice. I was impressed with their care and speed.

Abigail continues on her quest for independence whenever possible, making me a little nuts now and then. She loves her books, enjoys 'cooking' in their little playhouse, and has to have a crib full of stuffed animals. She also loves to hug (when it's on her terms of course)...she'll wrap her arms around your neck, wind her hands into your hair, nestle into your shoulder and just snuggle. *contented sigh*

Bethany seems to be our comedian, knowing how to make us chuckle and reveling in the laughter. She also loves books and snuggling and has flashes of independence insistence like her sister. She's more tentative about new things but loves to exclaim "I did it!" after accomplishments, even if it's getting her pants on. Her wild curls make for some goofy hair most days.

That's a tiny glimpse into our youngest two. I'll try to get some photos uploaded in the next couple of days. Then you can see how cute they really are. Not that I'm biased or anything.

(Took too long typing this--he gave up on me. No petting for the pooch tonight.)

*in my weak defense, he was barking at nothing, creating annoying background noise while I was filming the little girls singing.

Loooong day (and long post)

I had this brilliant plan, hatched after contemplating a trip to town. I needed to get more groceries. Moriah and Susannah wanted to look for outfits for their upcoming piano recital. Moriah needed cleats and pants for Little League. Samuel needed I thought Samuel needed some nice shorts for church and possibly a second pair of shoes.

What kind of plan could encompass all of these shopping necessities? Why, heading all the way to the far side of Anchorage to Kohl's and Target of course. But! The brilliance wasn't that I chose a beautiful Saturday to make my kids sit in a car for part of the day (ha). Or that I was actually taking all five kids on this multiple-stop shopping excursion (snort). The true brilliance was to plan to drive during the little girls' nap time. The secondary brilliance was to work our way back to Sports Authority, Costco and Carrs, ending with my shopping for the last few groceries while the kids ate dinner at the little 'dining area' in Carrs.

The first part of the plan worked like a charm. We left home after lunch and Abigail drifted right off. Bethany (who had a rough night's sleep last night, as did I) slept too, but did a lot of head bobbing first. The second part worked okay...especially because the new Sports Authority had opened between Kohl's and Target. But (and you knew there had to be a but) we ended up spending a little too much time at the first two stores. I know. Big surprise.

I don't know how it happens. I actually set a time limit in my head...but any sort of time keeping just fades when I'm in either of those stores. It didn't help that I had such divergent interests all over Kohl's and had to wait for kids to try on clothing. It also didn't help that I had to go to customer service about a pair of pants Moriah really liked but that didn't have a tag and no other identifying numbers. Eventually I was helped by the right person who was willing to sell them to me for a fair price. Whoo hoo!

Anyway, the long day day ended up going longer at Sports Authority (but Moriah's nifty blue cleats were worth it) and I had to skip Costco (no lemon cookies for me, sniffle). I think it's nuts that they close early on Saturdays. We eventually did do the last part of my plan: dinner at Carrs. Except I ended up eating with the kids and not shopping without them and the babies wouldn't stay put in the high chairs that had broken seat belts (surprise!). So I found one of the cute car shopping carts (and waited several minutes for a new container of antiseptic wipes because I'm a bit of a freak and grossed out about how dirty shared plastic baby items are) and the little girls had a blast 'driving' all over the store. We did find you had to keep moving or Abigail would climb out (yes, yet another broken seat belt) and Bethany would attempt to unbuckle to follow her sister.

We got home after nine...Abigail and Samuel fell asleep on the way home. Abigail even graced us with her silly smile that she gives whenever she's falling asleep in the car and you try to keep her awake. If you call her name, she'll give this goofy smile with her eyes still closed. It's like she knows you want her to resist the pull to sleep but she's gotten to the point where she really can't. Or maybe doesn't care enough to resist. Either way it's an adorable little smile.

Overall, we had a good day and I packed enough diapers and snacks to keep babies happy. Ironically, it was the three older kids (esp. the oldest) who became the cranky ones. I actually think my day would have been a little less stressful if it had just been me and the babes. Huh.