Our family likes to participate in the Race for the Cure in honor of Aunt Cathy, and so this year before swim lessons, we headed off to enjoy the kids fun run.  We had a blast and got to honor some amazing survivors, like Mama’s friend Ms. Mindy!  Abby was reluctant to race, preferring the bounce house– Emma Grace was beyond excited and ran at least 4 times and Lilly was a bit confused by the whole thing…

FamilyRace4Cure AbbyStormy GraceMustache GracewinsRace LillyRace

Family Beach week

Our family went to the beach this week and it was awesome!  It was a great chance to see Uncle Mike before he and Aunt Mary Bess move to Austin, and to get in some boat rides, wave jumping and fishing, of course.  Abby caught her first fish, which was very exciting!  Lilly worked on jumping waves (prompting the grown up she was with “ready, jump”– this may or may not have coincided with actual wave jumping) and showed us that she LOVES the water, just like her big sisters.  Now we’ve just got to figure out when we’ll get back down to the beach!

girls in sunglasses and life jackets

Lilly and Abby are ready for their boat ride!

Mama, Abby, Grace and Lilly dug a 'bath tub' and enjoyed playing in the sand

Mama, Abby, Grace and Lilly dug a ‘bath tub’ and enjoyed playing in the sand

Sitting on the dock dipping our toes in

Grace is the wave riding champ!


At the roller rink!

To celebrate how well the scouts did at their cookie sales, Grace’s troop decided to go to Innerskate for Girl Scout Day!  She had a great time skating around (and fell down less than Mama did!).  Her favorite part was the bounce house that they had set up in the middle of the floor, I think.  As you can see, she had a pretty good time (although I think that she was tired of me taking pictures) with her girl scout friends!

Skating Skating1

Girl Scout Cookie time!

So one of the great things about Emma Grace being a girl scout is that she’ll be selling cookies!  She and her friends got to go to Artistic Gymnastics and enjoy some cookies and get totally pumped about the cookie sale!  Mama’s a bit worried about selling cookies to everyone she knows, but Grace is just excited.  Abby’s pretty jealous that she doesn’t get to be a girl scout (yet) and sell cookies, but for now, it’s going to be a wild (fun!) ride!

Troop 4399 at cookie rally

Santa Train

We love going to Pullen Park for the annual Holiday Express– it’s fun to see Santa (unless you ask Lilly who did NOT think that part was fun AT ALL), to do all kinds of arts and crafts, to get to play in the ‘snow’– (Daddy was the hardest to get away from the sledding activity) and to enjoy Pullen Park all decorated for Christmas!  While Mama took about 100 pictures, of everyone doing the fun stuff, we’ll stick to just one of the whole family….family photo with family in frame with Christmas lights attached

Christmas parade!

I’m not sure if I mentioned that recently Emma Grace joined a girl scout troop– well she did!  I wanted to add a quick picture of Emma Grace with her friend Seraphena at the Garner Christmas Parade representing their Daisy troop.  It was a little rainy, so the other troop members didn’t come, but Emma Grace and Seraphena had a blast throwing candy and waving to the town folk (almost all of Garner comes out for the Christmas parade).  Of special note was the joy with which Abby & Lilly greeted Grace as she walked by– she’s our own super star as far as they are concerned!Daisy girl scouts holding sign

Emma Grace started taking karate lessons in September, and they had a professional photographer come recently to photograph our girl in action– check it out!Girl in karate uniform kicking

Kid Grid

As Marbles members, we get a taste of the new Kid Grid before it’s open to the public — Grace and Abby think that it’s great fun, and Lilly thinks that the “energy” (disks with pictures for wind, coal, etc.) tastes great!

KidGrid KidGrid1

Getting prepared!

The girls are excited about the upcoming dance recital (May 18th at 5:30).  Today in class, they got to try on their costumes, and Abby was willing to stand still for a milisecond so that I could capture her cuteness.  Now we just have to hope that she’ll actually do some of the steps to the dance this year… 🙂


Never, ever.


Based on responsibilities at different locations, I took Grace to school while Erin took Abby and Lilly to Day Care.  Grace and I were leaving a few moments before them.  Erin was nursing Lilly.  Grace and I completed the departure ritual — don’t forget the backpack with lunch, got in the car.  In the meantime, Abby watched us leaving without realizing that she was heading to Day Care with her Mom.

In a soft and sincere voice:  “Daddy, please don’t forget me….”

I smiled knowing that no matter what, I won’t.


The girls had such a good time visiting Cousin Mary Bedford at Davidson.  She and her accapella group, the Deliah’s were singing, and the girls loved having a front row seat!  Uncle Greg also loved seeing his old stomping grounds and showing the girls where he lived.  We also got to have an awesome brunch at Toast Cafe!

We can’t wait to visit again!


What’s reasonable?

“Daddy, did you know that I’m the smartest one in the family?”

“How do you figure that, Grace?”

“Well, Mommy is just a little stupid.”

“Huh? Why’s that?”

“Cause she doesn’t always agree with me.”

“Ohhh, I gotcha.  Anything more?”

“You’re medium stupid.”   [I then wondered if I should be happy or sad with that comment?]  …”Abby is mostly stupid.”  [I need not ask for additional clarification.]  — Lilly is the most stupid.  She can’t even talk.”

“Well, Grace, I think Lilly talks in her own way.  She cries when she’s hungry, or she’s scared, or frustrated, or wet, or sleepy, or lonely, right?  — Maybe it’s Lilly who’s the “smartest,” and we just can’t understand her?”

“Daddy, I think that’s a dumb idea.  Anyway, that just leaves me, so I’m the smartest!”

After she quickly turned to play with dolls, I thought for a moment.  Do I have a better argument?  Something more rational, valid, or logically derived?  Nah, I got nothing today.  But does that make me stupid?

Good Priorities

To Grace:  “Honey, could you please help me find that bowl of melted ice-cream?”

To Daddy: “Sure Daddy, but isn’t finding Abby more important?”

It’s Pajama Day!

Unfortunately, Abby’s sick, so she needs prescription meds.

As you well know, it’s hectic when you get two girls into Day Care.  Abby first said that she lost her shoes — an impossibility considering that I saw them go into the car.  I looked in the floor, beside her seat and on the other side.  Then, I found them on Lilly’s feet.  Strange, but logical.   Abby out-thinks her Dad sometimes.

Abby, having again refused to put her shoes on top of her PJs footies, demanded a carry in.  I wasn’t confident about carrying both, so I callously abandoned our youngest with a thick, well-situated blanket.  I then threw Lilly’s bottle strap and diaper containers over my shoulder.  I placed Abby’s Nystatin in my coat pocket.  Yeah, don’t forget the official box.  Couldn’t find the original cap of the new med.  Although the box was crushed and contained an imposter from a previous prescription (Grace’s name was scratched off before Abby’s name was taped over it.), I rolled with it.

The tube was smaller.  The lid and box were there, so I know we fooled them.  Or at least it qualified as legitimate.

“Bye, Lilly.  Just keep crying until Daddy comes back.  It’ll keep you warm and distracted.”

Abby started yelling and asking where Erin was. — “Honey, I’m the best we have right now.”  [thought:  Just be lucky I’m not making you wear your footies on the 33 degree pavement and desperately guess the entrance combination while I softly stroll and quietly smile, child.]

Having no confidence that she’d agree to walk herself, I swiftly carried Abby in to drop Abby to Amanda with her coat on.  “Be right back, Amanda!”

Got Lilly from under her thick, thick blanket.  I thought, “You don’t mouth off — yet.”  Dropped her off with Diana.  Be right back.

Went back to Amanda.  Explained need to treat Abby’s yeast infection.  Something I don’t identify with personally or actually quite understand.  “Know Wacky Wednesday, Amanda?”  Of course she did.  I explained that Abby absolutely insisted that today was the day that shoes don’t match.  Only it’s not Wednesday — it’s Tuesday.  Twisted Tuesday?  Alliteration is tougher here, isn’t it?  I quickly tried to catch Amanda’s eyes.  Though not a parent herself, she’d been around kids enough to understand irrational demands.  She flashed a look of understanding.  It was one of humorous acknowledgement rather than bitter judgment.  After all, isn’t it a plausible cover-up for a lazy, confused, and sleep deprived parent?  Surprisingly, it was an intentional mismatch.  Seriously.

I documented the need to apply twice today.  (the fraction of 4x since we’d treat the infection before/after).  She confirmed protocol with April, the veteran from Toddlers, who’d hosted (tolerated?) our first two kids.  April definitely knows what’s on the horizon with Lilly.  Anyway, like a good soldier, Amanda explained that I needed to lock the medicine up front with Nadima, the admin.  — Nope, she wasn’t there.  The Director wasn’t there.  Does anybody else have the key?  Do I really have to ask that…?  I hope you wouldn’t.

In the meantime, I left the Nystatin imposter with Amanda.  I can only comply to a reasonable extent while my smile drained from my face.  I went back into the infants where I’d stashed Lilly on the supervised boppy before rushing back to have that yeasty conversation in Twos.  Assembled cloth diapers correctly.  Put milk in fridge.  Directed Diana to use the blue bottle first.  Bothered to explain that medical treatment.  Why?  I have no idea.  Filled out written daily.  Made up the numbers.

Went back to Nadima’s desk  She’s there, in pajamas of course.  She explained that she still needed written doctor signatures.  Sure, that makes sense.  Glad that such regulations exist.  Could I facilitate this?  Let’s see.

  1. Find number.  Knew name.  Wait, why does “Raleigh Pediatrics” have a branch in Garner?  Whatever.
  2. Looked up number on my phone.  Called fax number.  Stupid me realized that I need the *phone* # in order to tell them my yeasty situation Got phone tree.  Messed up extension.  Not medical records.  Not X.  Not Y.  Not Z. Wondered why this isn’t more clearly articulated.  Although I admire their efficiency, I hate phone trees.  At least design one well.
  3. After the fourth screwup (noting that it takes two damn long to listen to all the wrong choices.  Who would call Raleigh Pediatrics for a medical emergency?  Isn’t 911 a bit more obvious?  I feel sorry for the poor soul who inspired that for illness, yet I express disdain against legal services, if that’s the source of inclusion.  — Okay, back to this phone tree that’s pissed me off.  I wonder if Raleigh Pediatrics treats parental ADD.  
  4. Drop the responsible participation and hit the operator.  Regret that I didn’t do that the first time.  
  5. I had to explain twice to the (admittedly kind admin who rescued me from this phone tree).  “I’m the parent.  I’m at Day Care.  I need a doc signature.  I have the form.  May I fax it to X for medical acknowledgement? — one would think that the original (correct, but imposter) packaging would confirm proper treatment.  Maybe that’s an interpretation from a bitter parent who could never get a yeast infection.  I digress in ADD fashion.
  6. After scattering some random humor to lighten the regulatory obstacles, I explain with patent detail what’s about to hit her fax machine.   She understood, and I glimpse accomplishment.


Went back to Twos.  Explained the situation.  Filled out Daily.  Made up the numbers.  Better guesses here though.  Amanda asked when Lilly should receive those two treatments.  I thought, whenever.  Yeah, that infection is going to be angry *whenever* you throw that calibrated jello at it.  I asked her advice in order to invite her into this brisk discussion.  She said based on potty training.  — Gosh, I hope I don’t fall into that situation myself.  Decades from now, my advanced age might make me qualify for such questions.  At least I won’t have a yeast infection. 

Went back to Nadima.  Confirmed that all was in order.  Won’t have to do anything else but sign the form tonight.  She added, ” Don’t forget to pick up the Nystatin as well.  It’s not like you have more of that at home.”  — I smiled knowing that this day may return.  At least I know to streamline and circumvent the phone tree.  We’ll be quite mindful to keep all the Nystatins that enter our house. 

Go back to kiss Lilly.  Does she know who I am yet?  Hope so.  I’m making the same noises every time I tickle her belly.  I figure very few other males do that regularly. 

Exit and walk down the hall.  Abby, kiss me, Sweetheart.  I’m escaping this dreadful situation.  I do like those pajamas though.

Snowy Day

Today all schools were closed and so everyone was at home to enjoy the snowfall.  Lilly was non-plussed but did attempt to make a snow angel before calling it a day.  Grace and Abby enjoyed tasting snow, making snow angels and of course, knocking lots of snow off of everything they could touch.  Add to that hot cocoa when they got back inside, and a good day was had by all.

Grace's snow angel

Grace’s snow angel

Lilly's snow angel (she was not a fan)

Lilly’s snow angel (she was not a fan)

Sisters in the snow

Sisters in the snow