Saturday, March 26, 2011

Aquarium fun

 This child has NEVER slept in a motor vehicle for more than 30 minutes....he was so tired that he slept for two and and a half hours. A record in the Speidel house.  He snored so loud the entire bus could hear him.
 Look at these lovely purple blooming hanging flowers....I was told their name by a Georgian friend, but alas I have forgotten. I don't care, they're flowers and they're blooming.

 "Are these real, mom?"
 This is probably the highlight of this child's life thus far. He got to touch a sting ray, anemone, hammer head shark, starfish and horse shoe crab.....all in one day. He hasn't stopped talking about it. He has changed his ambition in life from Paleontologist to marine biologist.

I HIGHLY recommend that if you get a chance to see the Georgia Aquarium to do so. It was beautiful and the kids (my two plus a few college kids) had a blast.

On a positive side note: I am feeling a wee bit better. Antibiotics seem to be working, now all I could use is a good night sleep...whatever that is.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Pay it forward: Atlanta style

Flowers, sunshine, warm temps and strep. The short one decided to share his germies with his mom just in time for our vacation. 

We begin our story at hotel in Atlanta Georgia, last night with 1. an air conditioning that sounded as if it was going to take flight in the middle of the night 2. A congested three year old who was trying to one up his father in the snoring department and 3. A tiny sore throat...tiny.

Enter stage right: Tiny sore throat turned raging strep.

I've had strep so many times I can tell I'm getting it days before and luckily worked out an agreement with our doctor that if I get it while on vacation, he would phone in a prescription for some antibiotics.  Which he did (and my tonsils thank you for that)

*Play sad and somewhat scary stage music here*

Since we're at the mercy of our charter bus driver (who is awesome, I might add) and 43 college track athletes who had to be at a meet this afternoon, I couldn't think of a more awesome time to get sick.


They dropped me off at a pharmacy hoping that this would be a short visit to pick up some much needed antibiotics.  (I was beginning to drool a little at the Georgia Aquarium this morning) since we all know modern medicine is amazing but definitely not speedy when you want it to be, I ended up being left to fend for myself. When I say fend for myself, I mean get back to the hotel in an hour. There are a few things you should know about me.....

1. I am a big wussy in large cities
2. I have never ridden in a taxi let alone called one.
3. I felt like death and just wanted to cry.
3.5 I'm from a small town in Iowa. Emphasis on small.
4. I am a big wussy.

*Enter extremely nice stranger to save the day*

She heard me say to my mom (yes, I call my mom when I'm being wussy) that I was a wee bit terrified to get a cab in a strange city and try to direct them back to our hotel. I know, I know...wussy!  Apparently strep makes you do strange things.

So this very kind lady, Britt, offered to take me (the sick strep stranger) back to my hotel.  I wanted to hug her but refrained.

Turns out that she is a children's book author and illustrator and has written a series called Stinkykids.  They're actually pretty cool and you should check out her website if you have time.  I know her act of kindness may have not seemed like much, but it was a big deal to me. This is only a small way to say thank you to her for giving me a ride.  

Someone paid it forward to me, now I get to have the pleasure of paying it forward to someone else! 

Hoping the antibiotics will kick in soon and we can resume vacation time!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

There is a Savior...and it's not you.

Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.  I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.
Phil. 4:11-12

Treasure what God has given you NOW. 

Treasure where God has placed you NOW. 

Value your time. 

Value your family. 

Value your life. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Interview with a monkey and a dinosaur fanatic: Take one.

Name: Baylor
Age: 5 1/2
What do you want your birthday cake to look like: I want to put...HEY STOP IT BRODY.....I want it to be a....BRODY STOP IT.......I want my birthday cake to have African animals on it.
Favorite toys: Velociraptors
Favorite book:  Dinosaur bones book
Favorite color: Shiny red
Favorite food: Mac and cheese
Favorite thing to do: Go to the park
Favorite song: Tractor, Tractor (Andrew Peterson)
What do you want to be when you grow up? Paleontologist
Least favorite food: Broccoli
What do you want to do this summer: Go camping with daddy

Name: Brody
Age: 3.5
Birthday cake wish: Florida (Me: Really?) Brody: YUP.
Favorite toy:, no blocks.
Favorite food: Chicken nuggets and ketchup
Favorite color: Red red red, I choose red
Favorite thing to do: Eat food.
What do you want to be when you grow up? Sell popcorn
What do you want to do this summer? Go on the diving board
Least favorite food: Poop. (Me: Poop is not a food) Oh yea. Ummmm, bananas they're dirty.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Friday, March 11, 2011

Vacation? Say, What?

The word VACATION hasn't been in the Speidel vocabulary for a long time.  For obvious reasons....birthing children, feeding children, taking care of children, finances after taking care of children......we haven't really taken an official family vacation yet. Feeding pigs and eating fried things on a stick does not count as a family vacation.  So in a few weeks the entire Speidel family....and 35 co-eds...what? Oh, that's right...I forgot to tell you that we're taking the entire Cornell team with us.  Actually they're letting us tag along for entertainment purposes. We'll be headed to Atlanta for a few days and then sunny and warm (it had better be sunny and warm!) Florida.  The team will be competing at a few meets and the boys, myself and the bus driver are hitting the beach, aquarium and zoo. You won't be able to miss us....we'll be the completely translucent family that looks really out of place.  

Avert your eyes!   

The boys are so excited they can hardly contain themselves.  Every morning they wake up and ask if today is the day we go to Florida.  In fact, Baylor has been researching (I'm not kidding) different species of animals native to Florida and Georgia.  He's also a little freaked out by all of the Tsunami talk, but we've managed to calm his fears for the most part.  I splurged and bought the boys two suitcases because well....since we don't travel....Wal-mart sacks were just not going to cut it.  They have been rolling them (and sleeping with them) all over the house.  Only a child of mine can get excited about a piece of luggage. 

Wait, there's more

After our 11 days stretch down south, we come home for a few weeks and then the boys and I take off for Arkansas.  (Insert banjo music here) My parents, my brother and sister-in-law, the boys and I are renting a cabin on a lake near the Ozarks.  We will fish till we turn blue.  I am stoked.  Unfortunately, my husband doesn't get to come with us because of his super busy track schedule.  Fortunately, he has volunteered to stay home and scrub the house down from top to bottom, do all of the laundry, wash all of the floors, clean up the yard and finish any uncompleted house projects....isn't that nice of him? That's what I thought. What a man.  We will miss him severely! 

So be prepared for hundreds of photos, stories and updates. 

I am now taking any tips on traveling with children....ready, set, go. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

And you thought lamp shades were just for shading light....

They most certainly are not.  In fact, they can be used for a multitude of things....just make sure to ask your mom before you rip one off of the existing light because it "looks cool."  

I kid you not.  

The nickname DESTROYER doesn't even begin to do him justice.  
I mean c'mon, who wouldn't want to scream at the top of your lungs wearing nothing but a lampshade? 

Okay, he has clothes on (which is a minor miracle within itself)
Meh, no. 

I can do a mean CHEESE though. 
I can also spin and dance like a sweet fairy princess....just don't tell my dad. 
You want to dance with me? 
Also very useful if your child has the tendency to lick, chew, scratch or bite themselves.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Truthful Tuesday: Things I stink at

I'm not one to point out other peoples flaws....well, at least not to their face....but I have no problem pin pointing my very long list of faults.  So I would like to take this opportunity to enlighten you on the things that I stink at.

1. Writing structured coherent papers with good sentence structure, punctuation and flow.  Sure, I can write a blog post like it's my job, but most of these posts have lack of structure, poor punctuation and they're all over the place.

Kind of like me.

All over the place.

(on a side note: never ask a significant other to proof read if you want to sleep in the same bed that night)

2. Folding laundry.  In fact, I don't really fold...I pile....but let me tell you, I am a fantastic piler (google auto-correct has informed me that piler is not a is now)  My philosophy is that if it gets hung up it doesn't need to be folded.  There is also a certain male member of the household that is slightly anal about his clothes (i.e socks must be folded not rolled....found that out the first week of marriage Hangers must go in a certain direction) Dear Lord.

3. Updating resumes, cover letters and getting letters of recommendations.  I don't think my future employer will count a letter from my five year old son stating that his mom is good at Mac and Cheese, legos and reenacting certain Star Wars scenes.  I don't know about you but I'd hire and art teacher who can do a mean Yoda.

4. Giving up sugar.  I tried it for two days and after ten hours I wanted to hurt someone.  There is sugar in everything! I have however, limited my sugar intake to small amounts...mostly in chocolate.

5. Wanting to fit in.  I just like being me, okay? Okay. The older I get, the less I want to go with the flow.  I refuse to give in to conformity.  Maybe it's the artistic side of me....maybe not. Jesus still loves me.

6.  Letting others take the lead. A wee bit of a control problem perhaps.  Perhaps.

7. Snapping. Dude, I can't snap...don't judge.

8. Directions.  You say North. I look up.  I get lost in my hometown.

9. Massages (says my husband) It went something like this......"Hey honey, name something I stink at"
Husband: "Oh, you stink at massages!"

I got small hands and ADD....sorry.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Hot wings

This kid will eat anything.  

Friday, March 4, 2011

Kids in the air

 (or on their brother)

Can you tell we're ready to get OUTSIDE?!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sick day

My poor little guy is home today with strep throat.  He's never had it before and I almost didn't believe him this morning when he said his throat hurt.  Thankfully I got him in to the Dr and we're good to go. He was more upset that he missed school today than actually being sick.  Looks like it's popcicles for dinner!

 His school has a slurry of illnesses going through it....mono, strep and both influenzas.  I thought we were beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel for sickness! Apparently not.

Excuse me while I go sanitize EVERYTHING in my house......

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mmmm, yes.

Chocolate covered espresso beans.  Heaven in a jar. 
 Does this look like fun to you?