Saturday, April 21, 2007

Lucky Me

This week I hosted a meeting for 15 of my co-workers in downtown San Diego.

Because the meeting began at 7:30 AM and didn't end until 6 PM and I would have been faced with an hour of traffic coming and going each day - I opted to stay in the fancy hotel, go out to elegant dinners where I didn't have to worry about the person sitting next to me flipping my plate on my lap or jabbing me with a fork, and sleep in a perfectly quiet environment remain downtown, instead of making the commute.

I left Tuesday morning for my meeting.

Tuesday afternoon, Charlie took the children to their first dance class. But not just any dance class ... A Mommy & Me creative dance class.

Apparently, Elizabeth did great. Carolyn and William, however, hung to his legs and wailed the entire time. Charlie cut out of the class after 20 minutes because he was wearing attire that was not conducive to remaining up, and quickly succumbed to the forces of gravity as two toddlers pulled on each leg.

Wednesday afternoon, Charlie took the children to their third pediatric dentist appointment.

Wednesday evening, the kids came down sick with the first cold they've had in several months - undoubtedly picked up while at church, this past weekend. When I called Charlie, from a major league baseball game, he didn't mention that the kids were sick - because he knew that I would have come home.

Thursday morning, Charlie cleared away all of our clutter to prepare for the cleaning women who were due to arrive later in the morning. While the women cleaned the house, Charlie took off with the kids, and hit several stores to prepare for a scavenger hunt he was secretly planning, for my birthday.

Thursday afternoon, the kids had finally settled down for a nap and were sleeping soundly - and because Charlie didn't want to disturb them - they missed an arts & crafts class I had signed them up for Thursday afternoon.

While they slept, he baked.

I returned home Thursday evening after having learned a great deal of new information and having spent some quality time with my co-workers, that I only see once a quarter.

The house was spit-spot clean, the children were fed and ready for bed - dinner was waiting on the stove.

This morning, when I woke up, Charlie handed me a birthday card. Inside was a poem he had composed full of clues ... leading me on a scavenger hunt to collect the numerous birthday presents he had strategically placed around the house.

A new book.

A new movie.

A set of tiny booties and several onesies for our baby that is due to arrive in a few months.

A new pair of Maui Jim sunglasses to replace the pair that Carolyn snapped in two. Hidden in the same location were a multitude of birthday cards and presents that had been arriving all week from friends and family.

While I was eagerly opening my cards and presents, Charlie was making breakfast, getting the kids dressed, packing a diaper bag - and preparing for a day out.

This afternoon, we had lunch at a 50's burger joint, we then took the kids to the science museum and to their first 360-degree IMAX movie. The children sat open-mouthed and completely transfixed by the experience until the huge fish came swimming out of the screen.

And then ... there was screaming.

Lots and lots of screaming.

Fortunately the tickets were free, because we only got to see the first 10 minutes of the movie before making our hasty exit. And fortunately, it was extremely dark in the theatre, so the other 200 moviegoers didn't catch the free show when William pulled my top down to my protruding navel as he scrambled on to my lap in a state of hysteria.

We drove home. In the rain. We pulled in to our neighborhood and saw the most beautiful rainbow stretch across the sky.

We all took a nap in the car, in the driveway, because we were too tired to walk the 15 feet in to the house.

Tonight, we had a spaghetti dinner and a birthday cake - brought to me by our dear friend, Virginia.

The children sang happy birthday. We ate cake. We ate ice cream.

We ate more cake - even after I accidentally flipped it upside down and it landed on the floor.

We watched the rain sputter out pea-sized hail, that coated our entire backyard. We stood outside, shivering, and questioned if we could ever live in a climate where it dropped below 50 degrees.

We got the children dressed and put them down to bed.

We hosted our small group and we talked about how God is working in our lives. We discussed that as crazy as our circumstances can be - we must always look for the good.

As is always the case on my birthday, I reflected on my life circumstances. Tonight, when I looked at my husband, I know that on this - my 36th birthday - I have been blessed beyond measure and the majority of my wishes have been far exceeded.

Now, if only we could refrain our children from disrobing us, in public...


  1. Oh I'm so glad I'm not the only one that has a child that sees fit to pull my shirt off of me - and this isn't a child that was nursed either! I have claw marks on my boobs from finger nails clawing at them trying to get my shirt off. Tell me its a toddler thing please.

    And Happy Birthday!

  2. Oh Jen, I can not believe I forgot to send you birthday wishes!!! But I didn't even call Scott until 8:30 last night. I've been so sleep deprived with all that's going on and Gator's hasn't even been home at night because he's been running emergency loads of telephone polls (yep, truck driver and real estate) to NC due to the power outages from the bad weather last week, that I have slimply not been thinking straight. And guess who is up again at 4:00am....yep Kyle! His pediatrician wants me to talk to his specialists about another medicine to help with this insomnia since we got a clean bill of health from the cardiologist on Thursday.

    Anyway....Happy Birthday Ms. American Pie! You know it's not like me to forgot y'alls birthdays.
    We love you and hope you have many more wonderful birthdays that far exceed your expectations! (That Charlie's a keeper too! LOL)

  3. Isn't it funny how quickly things can change in a year. I read your 35th birthday post and had to laugh that you "thought" you wouldn't have any more babies! What a great surprise! I posted about my 35th birthday last Saturday. It says something about feeling miserable on my 25th birthday for not being pregnant and not having a new baby. What a difference between my 25th and my 35th - two kids and lots of gray hair! Happy Birthday!

  4. That Charlie is a gem. What a nice birthday, disrobing and all.

    And HAPPY 36TH!!!!

  5. Happy Happy... ya' old lady!

  6. Sounds like a fun birthday; lucky you!

  7. Happy Birthday, JEN!!! My birthday is this month TOO! Are you trying to copy me? First, I was born 2 years before you. Then, I had triplets a year before you. Then I had a singleton boy a year and a half before you. Do you see a pattern here? LOL!

    It sounds like you had a lovely birthday week, despite all the screaming. It took awhile for my kids to warm up to the classes. Don't give up. Go back. Wear a tight belt or suspenders!

  8. >b Happy Birthday! /b<
    It seems like I was only reading about your 35th birthday 2 months ago.
    I think it is true that after 30, birthdays whiz by! LOL
    I love the idea of a present treasure hunt!
    Does Charlie have a single brother for my sister?

  9. Jen,
    Happy Birthday and thanks for the laughs...this post was too funny! What a sweet husband you have.
    I admit, I cringed at the thought of the kiddos not napping...OMG you'd be crazy in a matter of days. We just put crib tents on for our trio so they can't FALL out of their cribs. Hope you guys find a solution and get the regular naps back pronto.

    Casey in CA

  10. Happy Birthday, Jen!!!

  11. Happy Birthday! (sorry they are a tad belated). It sounds like you had the perfect day. I wish I could bottle your husband up - you are one lucky lady.

  12. Happy Belated Birthday! Glad you were able to enjoy your birthday even after the IMAX experience. (kinda gives that expression a whole new meaning -- IMAX experience, lol)

  13. I'm a few days late, but Happy Birthday! Sounds like it was an adventure!