Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Day at the Ballpark

We took Big D and Miss M to Busch Stadium on Sunday for the Founders Day activities. (Of course, Mr. H tagged along.) The tickets were given to my husband at work. Admission included free concession items, clubhouse and dugout tours, discounted retail items, and fun for the kids at the Family Pavilion. The team was playing in Chicago that day, but we got to watch the game on the JumboTron.

We took a walk on the warning track around the whole field. The kids took turns slamming themselves into the outfield wall to see what it really feels like to steal a home run from the opposing team.

They also got to sit in the Cardinals dugout. It was so exciting to sit in the same place the team sits when we see them on TV!

We ate our (free) hot dogs and nachos in the front sections of the stadium, where the seats are nice and padded. We told the kids not to get used to that.

They had an area with an inflatable slide, a bouncer and an obstacle course. They also had batting cages and a place to throw a ball to see how fast you can pitch. Hubby didn’t do too badly – 65 mph.

It was a gorgeous day to spend at the ballpark.

And, as you can tell by the smiles, we had a great time.

Monday, September 22, 2008

A New Smile

I'm short on time today, but I wanted to post this shot of Mr. H.

His two bottom teeth came in a few weeks ago, and now he has a brand new smile!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Hearts at Home

Last week I made hotel reservations for a single night’s stay in Bloomington, Illinois in March. Why did I make reservations to stay in a small town for one night more than six months in advance? Because I will be attending the annual Hearts at Home National Conference again, and hotels in the area fill up early. In fact, I had very few choices when making reservations this year. However, it was better than last year when I waited until January to look into hotel rooms. I suppose I should make reservations for 2010 when we check out in March.

This will be my sixth year attending the Mom’s Conference, as I usually refer to it. It is such a wonderful experience that I recommend it to every mom who will listen. Not only are the workshops inspiring and informative, but I also enjoy the car rides with my sister-in-laws and girlfriends. Not to mention the lovely dinner out we routinely treat ourselves to. I look forward to this trip all year long.

Every mom I know who has been to the conference feels the same way I do upon returning. Being in the same room with thousands of other moms makes us feel more than validated in our positions as mothers. The workshops provide us with a renewed sense of purpose and energy in our jobs. I always find that I come home with a little more patience and at least a few practical parenting ideas. And it’s nice to have a break from my everyday routine once in a while, too.

If you are a mom, I highly suggest looking into any of the upcoming Hearts at Home conferences.

October 3-4, 2008 Grand Rapids, Michigan
November 7-8, 2008 Rochester, Minnesota
March 13-14, 2009 Bloomington, Illinois

If you don’t live close enough to drive to a conference, and hopping on a plane isn’t an option, you can also order a Home Conference Packet which gives you the conference via CD. Check out the Hearts at Home website for more information!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Banana’s Big Boo-Boo

I spent a couple of hours in the Emergency Room yesterday. My little Banana had to get her head stitched up. She ran smack into the edge of the deck around my sister-in-law’s pool. It just happened to be forehead height, and she hit it hard. I didn’t know that foreheads could bleed so much!

It was a pretty deep cut, but I’m not sure I would have been so quick to go to the hospital if we hadn’t been at my sister-in-law’s. Being a nurse she could tell right away that it was going to need some stitches. It was sure nice of my daughter to split her head open at a nurse’s house. Check out her version of a Banana split. (Get it? The Banana split her head open? Ha!)

After the initial crying, Banana was just as pleasant as can be. You would never know that she had such a bad boo-boo if there hadn’t been a giant bandage on her head.

She answered all the questions she was asked at the Emergency Room and used her very best manners. She charmed her way into the hearts of the entire E.R. staff, even saying “Thank you, Doctor” when her head was successfully stitched.

Banana really seemed to enjoy her stay there, just happy to be getting all that attention. Not to mention the treats! My sister-in-law gave her a bag of cookies for the ride to the hospital, and the E.R. nurse gave her a popsicle to suck on while the anesthesia soaked into her boo-boo. Later that day she got a new toy from one grandma and an ice cream treat from the other. Her glowing account of the whole E.R. experience makes me wonder if the other kids might start getting hurt on purpose!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

“We Will Never Forget”

Looking back, I feel very self-centered about the events of our day seven years ago. We were in the process of looking for a bigger house. We had applied for and been approved for the adoption of our second child and decided we’d like to spread out. On the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001 we had an early appointment at a real estate office to put a contract on a house we had fallen in love with the night before. My husband, my four-year-old daughter and I were in the car. My daughter was clutching the Blue’s Clues videotape she planned to watch in the TV/VCR combo they kept at the real estate office while Mom and Dad signed their lives away.

We switched on the radio and we heard the DJ's saying that the president had been moved to an undisclosed location, but we had just missed the disclosure of the circumstances. We listened closely to try to get more information, but we still had no clue what was going on by the time we arrived at the office. When we walked in, every person in that office was gathered around that tiny TV/VCR combo. We knew that Blue’s Clues was out of the question. That was a given for my husband and me, but it was a tough lesson for a four-year-old little girl.

Our agent helped us through the paperwork, but we were in a daze, and feeling like the new house we so desired was no longer important. Considering what was happening in the world, I can only describe our real estate proceedings that morning as petty. I don’t know why we didn’t just give it up and go home, but we continued despite our reservations. We left and went immediately to my husband’s parent’s house, knowing we needed to be with family.

My husband decided that he would not be going in to work that day. My daughter was supposed to go to pre-school, and I didn’t want her to go either. I didn’t want her to be out of my arms, much less out of my sight. We spent the whole day with my in-laws glued to their television set, still in the daze that had begun early that morning. We stayed until well after dinner, just wanting to be with loved ones all day long.

Despite the daze, I remember some things. I remember calling my mom at work and hearing the anxiety in her voice as she talked about trying to get through to my grandma and other relatives out of state. I remember bawling while watching the members of Congress singing "God Bless America" on the steps of the Capitol building. I remember an overwhelming mix of emotions – confusion, fear, anger, sadness – and the realization that we have so little control over our lives. But I also remember hope for the future. I remember the beginning of a new and determined patriotism; one that I still see today, but that lacks the vigor it had seven years ago. Our memory of that day will keep our patriotism strong. As a country, we really must never forget.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Mr. H's First Real Food

If you call extra runny rice cereal real food. He took to the spoon really well.

But he's not so sure about the gushy stuff that was on it.

Still thinking.....

It must be pretty good.
But I think he likes his foot better!