Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Like a kid at Christmas.


Tomorrow night, Walter will be driving me to Kansas City, and Friday morning, I will be boarding a train with my good friend Bobbi, for a seven hour ride to Chicago. By the end of the day Friday, I will be hanging out with twelve of my closest friends. The kicker is that I have never met most of these women.

It all started six years ago, when I was pregnant with Max and reading everything I could find. I ended up on BabyCenter.com, which automatically puts you into a "club" based on your due date, in this case December 2008.

My introduction post. Feels like so long ago. (Yogurt = gender. Just a little inside joke.)
At the time the website had switched board formats, and many of the users did not like the changes, so an alternate board was created and many of us found our way to the new board. By the time the babies were born, the group had dwindled down, and six years later, there are about twenty of us who have consistently stayed in touch, pretty much daily. We compared cravings and weight gain, partnered up for baby countdowns and updates, and seen each other through subsequent babies, family hardships, moves, jobs, you name it. My board moms were the first to know I was pregnant with Caroline, even before Walter. I need to say it before I said it, so to speak.

Over 12,000 posts since I joined.

These women have been an incredible support to me as I learned how to be a mom. I don't know what I would do without them.

In the beginning, we always joked about a five year reunion, and now it's here, and it's happening, and it's so surreal. I'm literally giddy and nervous, but I am so thrilled that my family  has allowed me this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

It's always a little strange trying to describe our relationship, since we haven't really met, but I just call them my "mom board" and most of the people in my life know about them. I can't wait!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Baseball pictures

Max's last baseball game was a couple weekends ago. He still couldn't play because of his fingers, but they passed out his pictures. I think Max looks adorable in his group photo (front row, all the way to the right). His team was kind of the bad news bears. LOL


 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Funny story.

I need to put this here before I forget. I didn't actually see the incident, and Walter won't write for the blog, so I'll just do it.

Walter takes the kids outside to play often, because 1) I have been working on homework a lot lately, and 2) I don't really like outside.

Anyway, the kids and Walter were out back, and Walter was picking up some paver stones to move them and apparently underneath one was a tiny mole. (Yes, our yard has lovely moles. They found a dead one a month or so ago, and gave it a proper burial in our yard, complete with a mini American flag headstone, and a dead worm neighbor.)

Max, of course, was way into it and wanted to see it, while Caroline wasn't really sure, and backed away from it. Max had the hose and turned the water to spray the mole, which then ran toward Caroline, and over her foot. That's when all hell broke loose, and Caroline LOST. HER. MIND. I'm sorry, but I DIED when I heard this story. Poor Caroline was traumatized, but Max and Walter (and eventually I) got a good laugh out of it.

Now, she talks about the mole running on her foot, but half the time she says, "that's so silly!" and, "Isn't that funny?" And the other half of the time, she says, "I cried!"

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Blog Changes

I have decided to set this blog to "private" in order to protect who is seeing these posts about the kids.

Our family and friends will still be able to read the blog, but you will need to "log in" to see the posts. Please leave your email address in the blog comments if you want to still see the posts.

I think you may also still be able to get new posts in your email if you put your email address in the "Subscribe" box at the right.

I will leave it public for about a week, to give anyone a chance to let me know that you want access.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Our not-so-great end to the weekend.

Saturday morning, we left Hepler pretty early to get to Tulsa for a Busch family reunion. The drive was long, but uneventful. The kids slept most of the way, so it was nice.

The reunion was nice, and it is always a great time when we get to hang out with the family. I really could not have been blessed with a better family to marry into. I am so thankful every day for that. Besides the reunion, it was a pretty low-key weekend in Tulsa. We didn't really have much else planned, so we just hung out.

We usually like to leave town right after lunch, so that we get home before dark, and we have some time to decompress from the weekend. This trip home turned out to be anything but usual, though.

Around 3:00, we were passing a semi and heard kind of a pop noise. It really wasn't loud, but it was enough that we both kind of looked around and Walter said, "Was that us? Or the semi?" The car felt fine, so we shrugged it off, and as we were pulling back into the right lane, it became obvious that it was us. So Walter immediately pulls over to the shoulder, which happened to be on a bridge, so there was no room to actually change a tire. We noticed that at the end of the bridge, about fifty yards away, there was an access road leading toward a gate, so we slowly drive and turn onto that little road to assess the damage. I will continue to be so thankful that we were on that road, and now the shoulder.

It's done for.

To be honest, we weren't really all that panicked about the situation, like we might normally be. It's actually very unusual for us (or me) to be that calm. That should have been my first clue. Walter shut off the car, so it wouldn't overheat. There was a nice breeze, so we just rolled down all the windows. We unpacked our full truck to get out the spare and Walter put on the donut. We repacked the trunk and talked out our plans of finding a new tire. Then we get back in the car, ready to go, and the car doesn't start. We were annoyed, but again, not panicking, because this actually happened on Thursday. The car wouldn't start, and we had to clean off the battery connectors, and were fine to go. But this time, nothing worked. We made calls to various family, and then to our road side assistance. They kept dropping our call or not answering at all, so finally had to have my mom call, and give them our number. They set up a tow to come try to jump or pull us. He would be there in three hours. THREE. HOURS. On the side of the interstate. With my two small children. In July.
 
My view. For many hours.
 
I thank God for the continual breeze. And that little side road. An hour into our wait, we get a text that our tow canceled. They would try to find someone else. And then radio silence. At this point, Walter's grandpa is on his way. He thinks he can find that road and come try to jump us through the gate. We broke down a mile before the Adair exit, and of course we are on the longest stretch of road between exits, so anyone trying to get to us has to backtrack 30 miles to get on at Claremore. 

Unfortunately, there was another gate before the gate we were at, so Grandpa still had to drive all the way out and get on the turnpike.

He finally reaches us, at I don't know what time, because the time just sorted of drug on. The kids and I got in the air conditioned vehicle for some much needed cooling down. I think around this time, my insurance sent us another tow with an ETA of 7:40 pm. Grandpa forgot his jumper cables, and our car didn't have any (I don't know why!), so we called the Highway Patrol, and waited some more. An officer eventually showed up, and we tried to jump the car with no success. He told us he could get us a wrecker quicker than insurance, so he talked us into canceling ours and using his. He made the call and left for another call. The kids were kind of going stir crazy. Luckily we had snacks and candy to occupy them with, but my goodness, I was kind of over it at one point.

Trying to keep the mood light. We were all a little stir-crazy.

At 7:30 PM the tow truck pulls up and starts hooking up my car. At this point, Grandpa is on the phone with AAA to see if they would cover the cost. He was on the phone when the guy was ready to go, so Walter told him to wait just a second, and this is when the guy gets super pissy, talking about how he doesn't have time to wait around, he has another call. And then it gets really awkward because Grandpa starts putting him in his place, the guy talking about how he's going to drop my car and leave, or put it in his impound lot, and THIS is my breaking point. I pretty much lose it in the car. Basically, the guy makes more money if it's NOT through insurance, so he's just being an ass and taking advantage of our desperate situation. 

At any rate, it's 8:00PM, and we are finally pulling off the interstate, and I could not be happier. The nasty tow truck driver refuses to take my car to Grandpa's house, so we take it to the Adair police station parking lot. OF COURSE the guy doesn't have any change, even though he's a cash only business. He does offer to wait for us to go get change somewhere. I guess his other job can wait now. 

We make it to Grandma and Grandpa's house, and they so graciously fed us and let us borrow their car to make it home. 

Walter drove back the next day, for an equally bad-luck day in fixing the car. I really did marry into the world's unluckiest-car problems family. 

So, if you didn't count it up already, that was FIVE HOURS on the side of the Oklahoma turnpike and not one person stopped to see if we needed anything. I did end up with a slight sunburn on my right leg and right arm from hanging out the door.

But, I am going to focus on the positive: when our tire blew, we did not swerve under the wheels of a semi truck, we found a nice safe place OFF the shoulder of the highway, and there was a consistent breeze, so we didn't swelter too much. I'm also so thankful for an incredible family we have.

July 4th

The next morning, July 4th, I was up pretty early, unfortunately. My kids kind-of slept in, but I was awake. We fixed breakfast and got around for the parade.


Papa Jeff let Max (and Walter) ride in the firetruck during the parade, which Max was really excited about. (Side note: Walter slammed his toe in the truck door, and days later, his big toes is black and we think he might lose the nail. OUCH!)

Grandma, Brazos, Caroline, and I rode the four-wheeler down to our spot, and that ride was interesting! Ha!


LOVE Caroline's face in this one.
The parade finally started and the kids quickly figured out this candy business. Caroline became a pro pretty quickly.


Walter trying to point us out to Max

Papa Jeff!


Love!

And the front view! Stolen from Uncle Jason



Of course we had to take our now-annual cousins picture in our red, white, and blue. We're missing a few, though. :(


Caroline was obsessed with baby Beckett! She just loved kissing him and holding his hands.


After lunch, Caroline and I took a much-needed nap while the boys headed to the games. The second night was pretty much the same as the first. We watched the rodeo, and visited with a lot of people. Then we got to watch Dustin's fireworks, which were awesome. My camera has the coolest firework setting so I got some cool pictures.









After the fireworks, we came back to the house to finish off what fireworks we had. Dustin had a few that didn't go off during the show, so we got our own personal show. It was funny to me, because one house a couple blocks away shot off some regular fireworks, then another house a few blocks away shot off some bigger ones, and then we had these giant professional ones. It was like a contest. That we totally won. ;)



Ha! Sorry baby!


Caroline riding Boston. Ha!! At least she's not scared any more.
The weekend was good, but I always think it's going to be more fun than it is. To be honest, it's just not the same when you have small kids, and everyone is so busy, that we don't even really get to hang out as much as I would like. I keep saying that "next year" we might do something else, but I haven't pulled that trigger yet. I've just, literally, never done anything else, so it would be so weird to miss it.

July 3rd

Like we do every year, we headed to Hepler for the 3rd and 4th. The holiday fell on a Thursday-Friday this year, which seemed really nice. I only had to take off a half day on Thursday, and Walter took the whole day off.

My Patriotic cuties on Sunday before the 4th. I'm lovin' her popped toe.

Thursday morning I worked, and the kids went to daycare (it was swim day!) so Walter spent the morning running errands and picking up the house. :) Eventually we got everything ready and grabbed some fireworks on the way out of town.

At the house, we chatted with Aunt Meme and Uncle Dustin for awhile and just kind of hung out. The kids had fun doing some of our daytime fireworks. Some favorites were the parachutes (we had a super cool paratrooper), the pooping dog, and the chicken that laid an egg. Poppers were a hit too.


Of course we had to grab some food when we first got to the rodeo grounds. I can't miss my annual nacho chili pie! The weather was actually so perfect this day. In fact, it was almost chilly after dark. Loved it!! Sadly, Max's broken finger prevented him from riding sheep, which I was so sad about. I feel like this could have been his year!




During the "calf scramble" Caroline saw all the kids run into the arena, so she thought she wanted to go too. She ended up getting help from a rodeo clown, who carried her around the arena, until the end when he brought her back and she was sobbing. LOL


After the rodeo, instead of hitting the street dance, we came home to do some fireworks with the kids. I love taking pictures of the kids with sparklers, I think they are just so fun.




We shot of a few more night-time ones, and then BED. It was a long day. At least there were no scares like last year.

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