Tuesday, June 30, 2009

24 Hours With the Grandparents

The other half of the fabulous weekend was the kids' time with PaPaw and GrandPam. Obviously I wasn't there to see the fun firsthand, but I think the pictures tell a pretty good story themselves.

This is from their visit to the Atlanta Children's Museum:

And then they scooted over to Centennial Park to play in the fountain:

Of course no Lewis child can pass up a good meal...

And barricading PaPaw in his bedroom was more fun than they could stand (although I'd be willing to bet PaPaw enjoyed the quiet time even more than they enjoyed what they thought was playtime!)

Aunt Bok (that's Josh's sister, Rebekah, to the rest of us) was kind enough to take a picture of the four little ones all together for me.

Speaking of little ones, Ayda is six months old and is already crawling and pulling herself up to stand. In case you're keeping score, she hit those milestones at about half the age of Isabel! If that trend sticks around, she'll be walking at eight months old (as opposed to Izzy's almost sixteen months old).

I guess it's true that little ones just do things when they're ready. (I'm just glad Izzy decided she's finally ready). :-)

Monday, June 29, 2009

And The Award Goes To...

There was a time in my sweet husband's life when his dream would have been to pack up everything he owned, move to Boston, and play baseball for the Red Sox. Actually, if he hadn't made the team, he would have probably been content to be the water boy. Anything to be a part of the Fenway/Sox experience.

Thankfully, he's no longer obsessed with the Greatest Baseball Team in the World...but he's still got a big soft spot for the Red Sox. So you can imagine his joy when he opened his birthday gift from Rebekah and Kevin back in March, and it was two tickets to the Red Sox and Braves game in Atlanta for this past weekend. (And if you can, imagine my reaction when he saw the tickets and immediately exclaimed, "Awesome! Who am I going with?")

I still give him a hard time about that one. Obviously.

Now I'm not much of a baseball fan. If the Red Sox are playing, I'll cheer for them over anyone else, but I probably wouldn't sit down to watch a game on TV just for the fun of it. With that said, though, the Red Sox do hold a little sentimental spot in my heart because of this...

That's us in Fenway Park back in August 2004. You see, I, too, gave Josh Red Sox tickets for his birthday...only the circumstances were a little bit different. The tickets were for his 26th birthday, and we were making a full-blown Boston vacation out of it. But most importantly, about 24 hours after opening his gift, we received a gift far better than anything we could have bought...

We found out we were expecting Abigail!!! I was about six months pregnant with her when we made the trip, and it was such a special time for us. Now fast-forward almost five years, and here we are for last Saturday's game between the Red Sox and the Braves.

Our seats were fantastic. The temperature that day was in the high 90s (with a heat index into the 100s), but our seats were about 10 rows back under the level above, so we were in the shade the whole day. Here's the view from our seats...

And here it is from a slightly different vantage point...

The team's really nothing like it used to be when we saw them last. So-and-so's been traded here, what's-his-name left to go there...but there was still one familiar face out there in a Red Sox uniform.

And it didn't take long for me to remember one of David Ortiz's trademark characteristics...which brings me to my first award of the day.

The award for the Slowest Runner in Professional Baseball goes to DAVID ORTIZ.

I mean, seriously, he was in an all-out "sprint", but he looked like he was running through a field of super-glue. Of course, he's not a little man, and I can imagine it takes a lot to really get a big boy going.

The second award goes to the player with the World's Weirdest Batting Stance. And the winner is...

Is he getting ready to hit the ball or is he trying not to tee-tee in his pants?

The Braves Permanent Fixture award goes to CHIPPER JONES...

...while the Four Players' Combined Age award goes to BOBBY COX.

This next award is for the gentleman who can do very strange things with his body. Pitcher TIM WAKEFIELD wins the Bendy Man Award.

Not to be underappreciated, the award for Tandem Dirt-Scraping/Exceptional Pattern-Making goes to the TURNER FIELD GROUNDS CREW.

And the final award for the Red Sox game is for the Fastest Photo Taken at Center Field Before Being Asked to Leave the Permit-Only Area, and it goes to ME!

I would be remiss if I didn't make note of a few other rewards that were given out during the weekend as well. The Junior Bendy award goes to ISABEL LEWIS for her exceptional interpretation of "If You're Happy and You Know It" in which she uses her feet to point out that her "Face is Surely Showing It" (all while buckled into a five-point harness car seat).

And the Planet's Worst Traffic goes to the entire city of ATLANTA (although Mary Crouch is sure to argue that Highway 280 has I-75 beat).

The award for the Happiest Little Ones to See Mommy Again goes to these guys...

(Josh and I stayed downtown after the game and enjoyed a fantastic dinner out and a quiet night with no baby monitors. He let me sleep in the next morning while he picked the kids up and brought them to the hotel. I clearly had the shutter speed WAY TOO SLOW for these pictures, but I think you catch the idea!)

And a very important award goes to GRANDPAM and PAPAW for keeping our little ones safe and happy (very happy!) during their overnight stay.

As we're rounding out the awards, we have one for the Easiest Traveling Baby, but the jury is hung in regards to who the recipient should be. The nominees are shown below. All votes are welcomed and encouraged.

And finally, the award for the Most Pooped Little One is a three-way tie.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

It's a Good Thing They're on Our Side

When we first helped plant the Church at The Well, we were a group of young couples, married just a few years at most. We had cool clothes, date nights, and extra money at the end of the month.

Then I got pregnant with Abigail. And less than five years later, the three original member families of The Well went from childless and carefree to this:

Did you do a head count? Well you might have missed someone, so take a look at this version:

That's right. 3 moms and 8 little ones under the age of 5 (with 2 more on the way!) It's so fun watching these guys play together. They've known each other since birth, and they're literally growing up with one another before our eyes.

Although there are definitely some unique challenges to having this many little ones, not a one of us would trade this season for anything in the world (including a return to those carefree days). Because for every morning of showering and drying our hair in our "former lives", we have the new joy of being showered by a zebra who spews water from his big, blue mouth.

And it's not even like the absence of our own showers has been replaced by the bathing of small, slippery humans. Because they're self-cleaning!

Gone are the days of watering our own gardens...

...but long live the days of cutting-edge fashion!

And besides, it's much more enjoyable watching the little ones exercise than doing it ourselves like we did in the days of old (and I've been told that it's equally as beneficial also).

I have to run now. There are diapers to be changed, mouths to be fed, and 32 loads of laundry to be done. But more importantly, there are bellies to tickle, cheeks to kiss, and cuddles to be had by all!!

"Children are a blessing from the Lord." Psalm 127:3

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

DaddyDay's Not Over Yet

As you saw here, the first part of DaddyDay was a bit of a gamble, but I think it really paid off (minus the hiney incident). When it was time to leave the art museum, we didn't want the fun to end. But before we could move on for another fun adventure, we needed to take care of feeding the vultures circling overhead (actually, they were strapped into their car seats, but they were ravenous nonetheless).

Since Josh no longer works in downtown Birmingham, we're a little out of the loop as to what's around there these days. So we ended up heading over to Qdoba, which is where we used to meet Josh for lunch when he was working 12-14 hour days at Enterprise. (The main purpose of our lunch dates back then was so the kids could remember what their Daddy looked like. Of course I'm just kidding...sort of.)

The girls sat quietly (albeit goofy-acting at times) and ate their quesadillas...

...while Jack spent 30 seconds of every four minutes squealing like a school-girl. Because what I didn't mention is that Qdoba is located directly across the street from the UAB emergency room, so ambulances came through every few minutes with the full lights and sirens going. He was nothing short of giddy with excitement!

While we were downtown, we decided to jump on over to the McWane Center for some more fun and learning. No trip to the McWane Center would be complete without stopping by the gigantic "ball maze" just inside the entrance to the museum. Our kids could stay there for hours watching the balls move around inside the intricate contraption.

Some sweet ladies were standing behind me telling me how cute our little ones are. I thanked them and told them we were so proud of them.

Then Jack did this:

That's right, ladies. I said proud.

The kids found lots of fun things to do...

...but it wasn't until we were about to leave that we stumbled upon one of their old favorites....THE WALKING PIANO!

Then it was on to the World's Largest Lite-Brite.

Izzy still had a lot of spunk in her, but Jack started to fade.

But as soon as he saw some kids "playing drums", he perked back up and was ready to play himself. I don't know if he enjoyed it quite as much as he thought he would, though. After all, waving your hand around aimlessly in the air isn't nearly as much fun as actually banging on a drum set (although getting tossed around in Daddy's arms can't be beat)!

After playing the air-drums for awhile, we took it back to the house for naptime. While the littlest two were sleeping, Abby helped me make Josh a cake for Father's Day.

We were doing really well until the spatula handle came off (and left the rest of the spatula inside the cake!)

We fished the spatula out of the cake (and licked it clean, of course!), and then we filled the baby pool up for some pre-dinner splashing fun.

When the nappers woke up, they hopped right in, but the water was a bit colder than Isabel had expected, so she hopped right back out.

Instead, she opted for intermittent waving at Daddy as he mowed the grass and crashing on the deck for a little rest.

DaddyDays are always fun, but as you can see from the truckload of pictures, we had an extra-special DaddyDay this weekend. And the icing on the cake (the figurative one...not the one we made Josh) was...

The whole day only cost us $18 (and that was for a five-person lunch at Qdoba...we had coupons). Man, that makes me happy!! (And so does this picture of Izzy's gorgeous eyes.)

Oh, and I have one more little piece of business to tend to. Good morning Hayley, Hannah, Hillary, and Holly. :-)