Saturday, July 25, 2015

Chinese Lanterns: Lesson learned

The night was perfect for a Hot Air Balloon festival. 

Although the fairgrounds charged $5 for parking, my grandpa's house butts right up to the parking lot. There is even a hinged gate to unlock for entrance.

Free parking- score!

Swarms of people crowded in to see various shape and size balloons take flight as the announcer told who they were and where they were from. 

The line for elephant ears was 45 minutes long. We did not partake in one, much to the disappointment of my kids.

The Chinese lantern launch was scheduled for 9:30 pm, but as the clock rolled towards ten fifteen, Tessa was getting sleepy. Hot Air Balloon baskets still had to be hauled off the center field, and we did not know how much longer that would take.

We decided to launch the lanterns in my grandpa's backyard before heading home.

We unpacked the first lantern and watched as the center combustible pad started burning.

Josh gave it a gentle push toward the sky and we all gazed in amazement as it started rising over his house. 

"That is going to get stuck Grandpa's antenna," I heard my dad say.
The lantern tipped to the side, flames bursting out the bottom, as it lodged itself into the antenna atop his house.

(antenna - you can even see on google earth how HUGE it is)

Calamity ensued as my mom went running for the hose, my dad pondered calling the fire department, and Josh hoisted me up on the roof to try to retrieve it.

Josh would like it noted that he thought lanterns were a bad idea. 

Josh was right.

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Who came up with this holiday?

Whoever coined the term "Mother's Day", I want to throat punch them.

As I was talking to my friends today, the consensus was that every last one of us hated Mother's Day. And I dare bet, dear reader with multiple kids, you might too.

Before I get too far, let me just say that I have the absolute best mom in the world. Worthy of every praise and honor bestowed upon her. I am deeply grateful for her, and deeply grateful that I have been blessed with kids to call me mom on Mother's Day. 

As we started comparing stories, a few things were present for each of us.


Preparing food.

Creative presents.

Pressure for our kids to be on their best behavior.


Packing clothes.


No naps.

Did I mention running?

I propose that much of my hatred comes from a misrepresentation of the words Mother's Day. After all, I am a mother. So this day should be about celebrating me, right?

Like most moms, I would do anything for my kids. Just last night, I fell asleep in my daughter's toddler bed because she was afraid and couldn't go to sleep. It didn't matter that I woke up with a barbie doll shoe imprint in my cheek; she needing comforting and I was there.

Baseball, basketball, oh! the meals we prepare that are met immediately with "I don't like this", screaming at the grocery store because we won't back down and buy them candy, the discipline, the hours of homework.

You get it.

Mother's are givers.

We give and give and give. Then we run out, and give some more.

So this one day, I feel like it would be nice to be celebrated.

Be MY day.

In my head, this generally includes me sitting curled up on the couch, reading a book while my children wait on me hand and foot with all sorts of delicious baked goods.

I lounge in my chair as they tell me how appreciative they are for the 51 hours of labor I endured to bring them into the world.

Actually, scratch that.

All I really want is a day of no fighting. Would that be too much to ask?

I digress.

There is no scenario that consists of me spending hours running, with thoughtful and creative home made gifts and plates of brownies and canned corn side dishes, to our various families.

A few years ago, I finally finished getting ready for Mother's Day at four am.

The presents were wrapped, the food was made, our yearly foot print garden stones were completed (see above), our baptism gift was set aside (because heaven only knows there is always a baptism or two thrown in on the craziest day ever), the kid's church clothes were picked out, the second set of play clothes were packed, diapers and wipes and bottles and pacifiers were in another bag. My father-in-laws birthday present was also wrapped and ready, along with pajamas for the kids since we wouldn't get back until bed time.

Before it even started, I was exhausted.

You know what never happens on Mother's Day? A nap.

It is the one day of the year, without fail, my kids will.not.nap. There is no sneaking a nap in with them, either. By the time lunch is finished and presents are opened, it's time to pack up kids, bottles, bags, presents, canned corn, brownies, and move on to the next house.

I guess more than anything, I need to change my thinking. Stop attaching the notion that it is a day for me to relax. I need to refocus and celebrate the fact that I have an awesome mom to celebrate. I have beautiful and healthy children that I adore and call me mom.

Please tell me I am not alone in this, though? Anyone?

PS- Don't send me any stories of you eating chocolate covered strawberries while taking a nap or I might need to throat punch you, too.