Monday, March 14, 2011

"I LOVE This Place!"

We did it.  All four of us survived the weekend with each other, though it did not start out on the best foot.  I left work on Friday and went to pick up Jacob and Gracie.  When I arrived at their house (Grammy stayed at their house) I was greeted by a very enthusiastic Springer Spaniel named Sam. Who is very cute.  See?

I think he thought I was his mommy because he was HYSTERICAL and out. of. control. (My sister usually runs him every day.)  He had a bone in his mouth and was trying to put his paws on my shoulders and shaking his head and the bone all at the same time.  Grammy Helen told me, "he wants you to take the bone then throw it."  So I tried but I couldn't get the bone because he was HYSTERICAL.  Jacob finally jumped in and wrestled the bone and threw it as hard as he could - straight into my mouth.  

Holy crow did that hurt.  Ever been hit by a rawhide bone projected at only god knows how many miles per hour straight into your mouth?  The immediate result was that it made my bottom lip swell and my two lower middle teeth were loose. (But I knew that if you let them be, they will reattach, and they did.).  Alrighty then.  I immediately felt like a 'real' mom because there was no time to deal with my own aches and pains because I had these kids.  Once I got home I iced the lip while I fed the kids dinner (and Mr. Helen tried very hard not to bust out laughing every time he glanced my way) and by the next day, most of the swelling was gone and I only had a bit of redness with a nice purple bruise right under my bottom lip.

(photo courtesy of Amazing Gracie)
(when I asked her to try again, this is the photo we got)
So now you know what my shirt looked like...

Mr. Helen and I immediately discovered Friday night that we suck at getting kids to bed.  In fact, we suck so bad that I'm not sure how I EVER did it.  Jacob had to be up early to go to his skiing team and be ready to leave at 7:20 AM.  I know kids need their sleep.  But, like I said, we suck.  I think they fell asleep around 10...

Saturday morning dawned bright and early and of course, as soon as Jacob woke up, Amazing Gracie wanted to get up too.  The thing is, Jacob is a great getter upper.  He wakes up smiling and happy and ready to eat.  Her majesty, not so much.  Or as Mr. Helen said, "She's just like you.  She needs her coffee."  Or in her case, warm chocolate milk.  But even then she hadn't had enough sleep so she kept telling me we couldn't go to groceries that she was too sick and needed to stay home.  Eventually I got her up and going by bribing her, of course.  Ever since she was a teensy baby, she has always been fascinated by my finger nails.  I have proof:

See how she's holding my hand?  Well, she kept grabbing my hand on Saturday morning and running her finger across my nails, so I told her if she would get dressed and come sit in the kitchen while I made pancakes ("I don't want pancakes!" "OK"), I would polish her nails.  A successful bribe and by the time I finished the pancakes, she wanted one.

Amazing Gracie's Finger Saturday!

So we were able to go run errands.  Of course in the grocery store she talked me into buying her juice boxes and yogurt raisins, neither of which were on sale.  Yes, that receipt has been hidden from Mr. Helen.  She also asked me if she was very, very good in the "groceries" could she please have a toy.  See, here's the difference between mommy and aunt.

Mommy:  No, I expect you to be good anyway.
Aunt:  Of course you can darling!

After groceries we went to BJ's to pick up a few things, where she made up her own lunch consisting of food from the sample ladies.  And I proceeded to buy her $40 worth of stuff.  Sigh.  You see, there was a really cute bathing suit ensemble consisting of a bathing suit with a cover up skirt.  Then we saw the most adorable Dora nightgown ensemble with matching slippers and headband!  And, of course, the promised toy.  She picked out an American Girl cat named Ginger that came with a book.

As soon as we got home, she wanted to take off her clothes and put on the nightgown.  Tired much sweetie?

But then Mr. Helen made her get dressed again because angel that he is, he took her out to run errands with him so I could have a couple hours by myself before Jacob got home from skiing.  Now, at this point, I haven't had a run yet but peeps, I gotta tell you, I was already pooped.  So I made a sandwich and sat down and watched Real Housewives re-runs and read the newspaper for the next two hours.  

Jacob got home from skiing and he was so excited... because he won a medal!  He got second place in the boys division for skiing a marathon - he had to ski 26 laps.  The thing that makes this so awesome?  He beat kids that were 4 and 5 years older than him!  So proud of him.

Of course, he was really tired too, and I was glad he made it back before Amazing Gracie because he got to just sit with me and play on his DS and unwind before the tornado came back.  As we sat quietly he said, "Aunt Helen? Know what the best thing about skiing is?" "No buddy, what's best?"  "Taking off those boots!"

Then Mr. Helen got back home and her majesty came sweeping into the room to announce that she made a craft.  Excuse me?  Mr. Helen looked all embarrassed and said he'd gone to AC Moore to pick up supplies for Jacob's school project and there just happened to be a craft thing for kids and how could he not let her.... yep, been there!  Here is her version of Thomas the Train.

Jacob had to create a Leprochaun trap for his school project and the plan they came up with involved spray paint, glue and glitter so I begged asked them to do it outside in the garage. (Thankfully we had a pretty nice day - 45ish degrees and sunny.) Gracie, of course, needed to go outside with them to snoopervise.  This was a very nice thing because it gave me another 40 minutes alone our plan was to tire them out as much as possible so bedtime wouldn't be so difficult again.

Of course soon enough Gracie annoyed the heck out of the guys got tired of all that business and wanted to come inside.  Which is when I got the brilliant idea that I would have her do the exercise I was not getting myself.  I showed her how to do crunches on the ball, and lift weights!

(Ha! This how I look when I left weights too!)

Then Jacob came in and said, "Aunt Helen, would you like to see something I can do for karate that is very unusual for boys?" (Where does he get that vocabulary?  Unusual.  It's unusual for a 7 year old to say unusual)

Holy splits Batman!  How much do I wish I had that flexibility.   I bet Mr. Helen wishes I had that flexibility too...

We got dinner together and enjoyed a family style meal sitting at the table.  If you're not doing that with your kids, you're missing out.  After dinner, pajamas on and then a movie to calm everybody down before bed.

Of course, the clocks were moving ahead so once we watched the movie, it was 9:30 'new' time.  Mr. Helen and I decided that maybe we'd all just go upstairs to bed at the same time.  Maybe knowing that we were up there with them would help them to simmer down and go to sleep.  Besides, I was looking forward to having the first shower I'd had in 2 days.  Up we go, stories read, everyone quiet down!  Everyone quiet down!  No more talking!  Stop it Grace, leave your brother alone!  Jacob, don't take her stuffed animals away!  Everyone quiet down it's time for bed!  I think the last, "you'd better stop talking" was at 11:00 p.m.  Sigh.

Sunday morning, of course we had to wake them because they were overtired. As were we.  But off to Sunday School and back to Grammy Helen they went.  As I drove them to church, I said, "Gracie, did you have a good time with Aunt Helen and Uncle Helen this weekend?"  "No, not really.  But that was only acause  I missed my momma!"

She's fibbing.  She had a great time.  And so did we (even though it may take a week to recover).  We found out we suck at discipline, bedtime and evidently nutrition (why yes, you may have a 10th cookie!), but we are great at love.  I know this because when the 7 year old, sitting at the dinner table, spontaneously raises both hands in the air and exclaims, "Oh man!  I LOVE this place!" it can't be all wrong.



  1. What an awesome weekend. I am sure they LOVE your place and Yooz Guys too.
    I am exhausted from my weekend and reading this.

  2. Yeah - I'm exhausted reading it too. I kept thinking "better them than us!" Sounds like you ALL had a blast.

  3. Such a great but tiring weekend :) I bet you and Mr. Helen went to bed early yesterday evening :)

    I can feel your pain as the lovely miss Bella jumped up yesterday and hit me full under my chin which made my teeth hit each other. Man that hurts.

    I don't have kids but we always sit down at the dinner table for dinner together. For us that's the moment to talk about our day.

  4. You survived and so did the little ones! Sounds like you did a great job and I was exhausted just reading about it.

    I love the tiny lady lifter, too :D

  5. Yup you are right :)

    What a weekend... kids can be tiring can't they. Loved reading about it.

  6. Oh man, I am sooo glad the aunt debby days are over. But I loved it when they were here.

    And that last comment? Priceless.

  7. That's why I can't believe people my age are just starting families in their 40's - I wouldn't have the energy either!

    I love that Gracie loves to "snoopervise" and they will have great memories to look back on. And as the Aunt and Uncle, I don't think you have to have any rules! :D

    Glad you had a great/busy/tiring weekend - hope you make up on the sleep this week!

  8. I'm tired just reading this! What a weekend! But it sounds like it'll be something the kids will remember. I bet you do too. ;-)

    I'm sorry but I did laugh reading about the rawhide bone projectile. Not the best way to start the weekend.

    Glad you all survived. Now time to relax a little.
    BTW, nice shirt. :D

  9. AWWW!!! What a fun post. The kids are adorable, as is the dog. Sorry you took a bone to the lip though! Have a great week.

  10. You are the most fantastically fabulous babysitter I've ever heard of. I love it. You can watch my guys any time. <3

  11. I want a weekend at your place!!! What fun - and yes, Gracie was totally fibbing - she'll be telling her mom all about the fun times she had with you and Bobby. Jacob is too cute - love the boots comment. That was always my best part of skiing, too - guess they haven't improved the boots much in *cough* 30 years (or so, egads!).

    Major ouchies on the mouth boo boo - I swear, nothing hurts more than getting hit in the mouth or nose. Nice shirt, btw.

    And I cracked up at seeing the Real Housewives logo on the TV screen as Jacob was doing the splits...glad that you managed to get some "me time" in during that crazy day!

  12. Oh Helen that was a fun re-cap of the weekend. A great time was had by all! The kids are adorable and you and Mr Helen are awesome with them!

    Hope you relax and recover this week! Kids are a lot of work.

  13. Oh my God I would need a month to recover.

  14. oh love
    the pics
    the tinytiny nails painted pink made my heart squee.
    the fact you had such a great weekend.

    all of it.


  15. Love the photos, Helen. You are one tough lady, smiling through that obvious pain. (I seriously did not know that teeth would reattach if left alone - really?) You may have just saved me a trip to the dentist at some point in my life. My dog is flinging those rawhides all the time! Feel better!

  16. So cute. I love having fun with the little ones. You do soon discover why children are for the young. They are alot of work!

    Ouch on the swollen lip. Bet that hurt. Or at the very least got your attention!

    Thanks for your always thoughtful comments. They are appreciated!