Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Happy Retirement Mom!

On Memorial Day weekend, we had a surprise retirement party for my mom. My mom has been a nurse since she was about 12 years old, or at least that what if feels like to her. She's spent the last 22 years at Mountain Home Public Schools, making sure kids were immunized, dealing with sour bellies, "she hit me on the playground", and (this is the kicker for me) the possibility of a kid coming to see her and throwing up everywhere OR being called to the playground and seeing a broken bone. I'm a nurse, and I can handle some C-R-A-Z-Y gross stuff. Wounds, poop, shots, bring it on. Broken bones and puking not in a toilet or bucket-not my thing. Go mom! She was crazy good at her job, but it was time to hang up the nurse's hat and put on the golfing, hiking, vacationing, and sitting on the porch reading a book hat.

We all went to Mtn. Home under the ruse of wanting to hang out for a nice holiday weekend, do a little sprinkler action, shopping, and MAYBE (if we had time) a picnic at the lake.

Anthony taking on the dare to walk slowly through the sprinkler

Nice Papa, going through the sprinkler with Rylan

A good shot of my nephew, Anthony, by his 3 year old sister. She loves a good camera.

One of my new fave pics of Ry. He badly wants to jump. Its his newest endeavor, and someday he'll get it. This is his pre-jump pose.

So, on Sunday, we sent Rob and my brother-in-law, Clay, out to the lake to "secure" a picnic table. Little did Mom know that we'd already reserved the giant pavilion. Really, Clay and Rob were buying last minute items at Dollar Tree and tying balloons to the side of the pavilion. So, we get out to the park, and Clay and Rob are sitting at this awful picnic table next to the lake bathrooms, and Mom is all trying to be nice, since they had spent two hours "holding" a table for us, but she's all "why aren't they at that vacant table with the pretty view of the lake, those bathrooms kinda smell." SURPRISE! We turned her around and she had a big pavilion and friends and balloons and a SUH-WEET cake.

The grill-meister

Cute little Zoe Jane
Somehow, children are able to spot the baby whisperer, grandma types. Ry was all over it. Check out how pitiful he's being here. He won't sit in our lap long enough to read a Dr. Suess book, he sat in Cindy's lap for like, an hour.

A close up of the cake. Everything on it was edible. I've done two posts in a row of crazy good cakes, and keep in mind that I'm pregnant and cake is yummy. But, I am in awe of this art. And, in another life, like when I don't have grubby hands #1 in the house and grubby hands #2 on the way, I'd like to try my hand at it. My coworker did this cake. Rob and I dragged in from Little Rock in 100 degree heat, then we snuck it out to a friend's house to hide it, then they brought it 30 miles out to the lake for us. Its amazing it still looked good.
Group pic (notice pitiful baby is still on Cindy's lap, with drink and balloon)

And the night was capped off with some excellent firefly catching. Ry didn't know what the heck they were doing so he just chased Anthony and Zoe around and had a great time doing that.
A little cuddling amongst the cousins. Ry was trying to "share" (read: steal) Zoe's blanket. She has a firm grasp though.

PS-a little sidenote about my abilities as a writer: spellcheck has informed me that I don't know how to spell the word Surprise or Pavilion. Maybe I need to go back to the spelling bee......

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

More pics of our fabulous May

Back to blogging the good times.

Okay, so, in our last post we had a playdate, a kid that loves a Tupperware container and a one year old's party where Rylan stole the cake. Next up, we went to Fayetteville to celebrate our oldest niece's graduation from high school. Thanks for making us feel like a couple of old farts, Devin. Devin is a preciously funny gal that I have loved from the minute I met her 12 year old self years ago.

So, before you look at the pictures, please keep in mind that it was about 150 degrees and 190% humidity this day. Plus, Rylan was allergic to something in the yard and his eye wouldn't stop running, and Rob's belly had an adverse reaction to some chicken nuggets. Plus I'm pregnant. So I had a lot on my mind while snapping shots. Apparently so much on my mind that I didn't really get shots of the graduate, the graduate with her parents (Rob's sis and brother-in-law), the graduate with her cake, or the graduate with her siblings. Sorry.
A little known fact about Rob and I, is that sometimes on our little Saturday trips out of town, we stop at my old stomping ground of Conway and partake in Ed's Bakery. This particular morn, Ed's was all out of plain doughnut holes, so us dummy's got Rylan some chocolate dipped doughnut holes, then got back in the car.
I won't say they did wonders for his attitude.
I did manage to snap awesome pics of Devin's cake. My coworker makes cakes (more on this later) and I wanted to get pics to show her the awesome flip flop out of Nutter Butters.
I totally got a piece WITH Nutter Butters. The heat didn't get to my head THAT much!
Rylan's was having ouchy eye issues
LOOK!!! A picture of the graduate! Here she is taking a whack at the pinata.
Ry and Aunt Tam, my sister, that came with us. So fun
Ry and Naomi.
Mom helped Rylan capture some pinata treasures.

We also had a few trips to the zoo. For some time, we were going at least once a week, thanks to the season passes Rob got me for my birthday. Its good fun for Rylan and good exercise for mama. But, in the words of my friend, it is hot as blue blazes right now and the zoo is going to have to wait until there is at least a light breeze.

This is my wonderful friend, Kristi and her little girl Aubrey. Kristi and I "trade kids" one day a week. She takes Rylan and I go to work, or stay home and clean my house. Then visa versa. Its almost better to have Aubrey at my house, because she and Rylan get along so well, AND knowing she's coming makes me clean!

Rylan was the Prairie Dog Whisperer. I didn't catch it, but he started jabbering and prairie dogs popped out of each of these holes. It was so precious.

Look how close I let my kid get to a big ole' bear.
This is Madeline from Ry's playgroup. She's a happy camper.
Here is a "bird show" we went to. I put the words bird show in quotations, because they lured us there under the pretense of it being a show of BIRDS. But you wanna know what else they had in the show? The one thing that scares me most in this world. The thing that makes me suddenly turn into a fit Kenyan runner when I see one. They haunt my dreams and I can turn any stick, shoelace, or blade of grass into one in my mind. SNAKES!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah, and after the "bird show" the kids got to go up to the stage and pet the snake. That is, every kid but Rylan. Sorry, Rylan, you'll have to take your dad for that on.

Illness and lost internet connections

I apologize for no posts. It has been a mess at our house for the last two weeks. For one thing, our internet went down. And Rylan got this awful virus that's going around where the poor child gets a fever and cries but has no other symptoms. Its awful to watch, you know it must be painful. We are also dealing with the fact that I have already started having contractions. The good news is that it isn't preterm labor. Yet. I've been trying to lie low, rest when possible, and teach Rylan things we can do indoors and without the help of a playgroup to entertain us, like coloring (he eats the crayons, but we're working on it), cars, reading, blocks, and play-dough (which he also eats).

I was hit last week by some of the worst pain I've ever dealt with. A trip to the hospital, and four doctor's visits later, it has been decided that I had 1. a kidney stone, 2. dehydration, and 3. a gross UTI. I am also having what the doctor referred to as "horrible round ligament stretching." Its like a really bad pulled muscle in my uterus, except that the pulled muscle is the size of a cantelope and has a kicking baby inside it. My mom and dad came and took care of me, then took our little bambino home with them for four days, while I simultaneoulsy writhed in pain, moaned, and looked up possible diagnoses for my mystery illnesses.

The first night he was gone, Rob brought us some take out, and we watched a movie, free of anybody stealing our food, turning off the TV or throwing a fit on the floor. After that first night, we kind of stared at each other wondering what to do with ourselves. Its amazing how much your life changes to revolve around a little, babbling, ball thrower.

I am happy to say that my kidney stone, UTI, and dehydration have (knock on wood) left the building, and all that remains is the "horrible round ligament pain." We have our baby back with us. Oh how I love that kid, with his surfer dude hair and sudden obsession with apples (aaaa-pull). Unfortunantly, I still can't lift him, or have him on my lap anywhere in the vicinity of the right side of my body. So, Rylan is spending today, and possibly a few more days at his old stomping grounds, Tiny Town. He'll have lots of kids to play with, they have an awesome playground and they have his first ever girlfriend: Ms. Amy. Apparently Rylan is now old enough to go to the next room, but she says he's staying with her. I can understand her love for him.

So, we are borrowing a computer for now, and as soon as I download some pics, you'll get some awesome pics from my Mom's retirement party and more Rylan cuteness.

****We are now 24 weeks pregnant! Yay baby. Still no name. And we still have another baby in the crib. But, we're getting there. We have a double stroller, and a huge stash of newborn and size 1 diapers. And, I'm not anemic!!!! This time last pregnancy I was all sludgy and bruised looking. I think its my new fondness for Special K with Strawberries. That stuff is GOOD! And, each bowl has 45% of your daily iron needs. So, in a day, I'm taking in 90% iron just from Special K. Yeah!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Warning: extremely long post of adorable pics of cute kids

Its been a busy month!!!! With Crawfish Boils, Graduations, finding out Shim II's sex, and a (shhhhh) surprise Retirement Party for my Mama, the 3.5 Qualls fam has been some traveling, hosting, food making, secret party planning, and ouchie ultrasound getting fools lately. I'll start with some super fun playdates Rylan and I have been on.

Rylan and I hosted our first ever playdate, cutely titled Pancakes and pj's. Everyone brought breakfast foods and was supposed to wear their pjs. I have learned the hard way, that if I actually wear pjs, I'm the only one, so I chose to put Rylan and I in regular clothes. Well, I actually put Rylan in a super cute romper my mom got him, but anyway.

Rylan was OBSESSED with baby Karsyn. Can you see she's excited about all the attention?
This is Keegan, the supercute son of my playgroup's fearless leader. He sang tunes for the gang all morning.
Lily and Madeline checking out boy-type toys.

All in all, our first playgroup hosting experience went well. I have to say, that you just can't prepare yourself for a gaggle of children at your house. I cleaned and cleaned. I got down on hands and knees checking for stuff that children might eat. I mopped, vacuumed, dusted and repeated. But, those kids, they found STUFF. Like one got into Rylan's albuterol stash that was hidden behind his changing table. All the albuterol was inside another toy with the exception of the one that the little girl was trying to eat. Another found a screw that shimmied out of our wall socket. Another was trying to eat the white knobby thing on the door jam. Its no wonder Kate Gosselin was a crazy b&(*^h. This is everyday life for her!

Next I have some pics of my cute kid. They always say you don't need toys, get them boxes and old shoes. And its the truth. Rylan has been carrying around the container for his leggos for a week now and the thing brings him pure joy.

We also went to a birthday party for Rylan's friend Harper. We met Harper and her ma, Krystal through our playgroup and they are so fun. Krystal and I are both nurses and our children love each other to the point of holding hands from their separate strollers, so we have lots of fun with them.

Cutest cake for the big girl
Rylan's friend, Lily. She has obviously not seen the pink ball behind her. According to her mom, she is a ball klepto.
It was one of those super hot days where even the kids weren't so sure they wanted to be out playing.

So, all was going well, the super cute b-day girl was eating her cake. Then HE came. The hunter/gatherer named Rylan, that doesn't want to eat the cake his mom is giving him. The boy that would rather stick two hands in his girlfriend's cake. You know, the one made especially for the birthday girl. Luckily it made Harper giddy with delight and everyone laugh. It made me laugh too, like a nervous hyena that wanted to leave immediately.

Yeah, embarrassing. You know all the other moms were saying "thank God its not my kid."
"oh, you caught me!"

I feel my post has been long enough. More to come later this week. Look forward to Devin grad party, mom's retirement party and a zootastic good life.