Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Ah... Peace and quiet at last...

Yes, the 4th hasn't even gotten here and yet I'm exhausted. It's a good exhausted though, born of busy, hectic, loud, crazy days with houseguests. I love having Mary come to visit. I do have to admit to a feeling of relief though when they leave and I have my house back.

If I'm exhausted, then my kids are downright pooped. Especially the littlest one, who didn't get her nap today because we packed up 5 kids to head to the beach. Poor little thing - she conked out on the way home so I let her sleep in her carseat while we ate dinner and I kept an eye on her through the screen door into the garage. Waking up a cranky baby to try to get some food into her tummy before bed wasn't a fun experience though. Neither was washing sand and sunscreen off of 5 kids after chasing and wrangling them all afternoon. And next year it'll be 6 kids since Mary's expecting her 3rd in January (on Becca's birthday no less). I think we'll skip the beach next year though.

All in all it was a good extended weekend though. They got here at dinnertime on Saturday. After church on Sunday, Mary and I took off for our kid-free trip to the awesome 'Art in the Park/Village Craft Market' at Summer Celebration in Muskegon. And yes, I spent money that we don't have on the absolutely coolest hair gizmo I've ever owned. Your basic 'butterfly' style clasp, hand worked in bronze and it holds my thick hair better than anything else I've ever tried. And it's beautiful too. We walked around the new WalMart in Muskegon afterward and I was absolutely amazed and disgusted by how much less groceries are there than we're paying at Meijer in Grand Rapids. Yes, I know - it's WalMart. And as a (former) city planner, I hate it with a passion. But as a frantic mom with little money to spend, I have to admit that I shop there. And would buy groceries there too if there was a darn supercenter in Grand Rapids! I spent $27 on Sunday at WalMart and I estimate that the same exact items would've cost me at least $10 more here . I wonder if it would be worth the gas to drive to Muskegon or Holland to grocery shop. Probably not - besides we have a hard time finding time to shop at the Meijer down the street much less driving 20-30 miles away.

So, yesterday we had our friend Kristi's son Noah's 5th birthday party. As a lucky mom of a child with a summer birthday (he turns 5 tomorrow on July 4th actually), she has done pool parties most years but this year did his party at Frog Hollow Park which is a local park that we've actually never been to before. The kids had a blast. And although I had to chase Becca part of the time (she inevitably heads to the tallest ladder/platform she can find), there were a lot of things she could safely play on as well. Other than the horrendously loud whistles in the goody bags it was a good time. And wore the kids out very well. Today, Mary and I actually enjoyed a quiet morning relaxing with just Becca upstairs as all 4 of the older kids played downstairs in the basement - without fighting once. I am absolutely flabbergasted. Usually Mary's kids are the culprits - but on this visit mine were the instigators in most cases. Abby spent yesterday whining and bursting into tears at the drop of a hat. Hannah has gotten time-outs for let's see - spitting at her sister, hitting her sister, not taking turns with her sister, shoving her sister, need I go on? I think my kids need a break from each other. Or school. Or both, as they'll get this fall. If we survive that long anyway.

So I'm heading to bed for some much-needed sleep. Good-night and happy July 4th!

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