Friday, July 31, 2009

There's A Difference

One of the reasons why I am excited to move to Utah is for the opportunity to be so completely normal. I'll go to the store and everyone else there will have a million kids (okay, three, but some days it feels like a million) following them around or all stuck tight inside of a shopping cart. I'll no longer be the woman with all the little kids judged because my girls are tempted to touch items on every single row. (Can we forget Macey in the cupcake aisle?) Heaven.

For Garry, however, it will be a demotion. When he takes the girls out while I teach piano, he is approached by women amazed by his bravery and strength. "You're alone with all your kids? My husband would never do that!". "Wow! You have your hands full!"

When he goes out, people look at him like he is a hero among men. When I go out with all three girls, people look at me like they would like to give me some birth control advice, if only there was a way to bring it up in polite conversation.

Ah, Utah. It'll be bliss.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Phone Calls

I am not a big fan of phone calls. It's just not my thing. It's not what I do. It's not how I roll. And that's talking to adults. So you can imagine how much I really do not like talking to kids on the phone. You cannot understand them; they cannot understand you. To me, it's painful.

Macey, on the other hand, really enjoys the phone. And, luckily for her, her Grammy calls her several times a week. They do not talk for more than 60 seconds, but it means something to Macey. I did not realize how much until Saturday. Grammy had not called for a few days and I had not noticed -- but Macey did! She called on Saturday morning and when Macey was done talking to her she bounced over to me and shouted: Grammy is back! She came back! She came back, Momma!

So sweet what kids notice and take in.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Eight Months of Mollyiciousness

Today Molly turns eight months old! What fun! This month has been a great one as she has become a really fast crawler, is trying new food, is trying to stand, and is already fighting with her sisters over Princess toys. This month Garry had to lower her crib because she is now standing at the bars and waiting ever so (im)patiently for her Momma to come get her OUT! She's a petite little thing, probably just 14 pounds now, but is so strong. She loves her sisters, baths, and getting into anything that she shouldn't (especially bathrooms and dishwashers). I'm sad that all of her grandparents have only seen her once -- they are missing out on some great Mollyiciousness!

Here are some highlights from the month:

Mario Kart, anyone?
Loving some mashed potatoes!

Smiling and happy in Rochester.

On a bench in the Sacred Grove.

Favorie toy -- Jumperoo!

Somebody give me a Y!

Monday, July 27, 2009

I Nearly Forgot The Best Part!

In blogging about the bike ride below I forgot to mention the best part! Since it was only Macey's second time on a bike, I stayed really close to her. Before she hit the wall and became a crying, mutinying mess, around Mile #2, I heard her singing to herself. She was singing one of the songs from Yo Gabba Gabba:

"Keep trying! Keep trying! Don't give up. Never give up." Over and over. Too cute.

I should put that song on my IPOD for the gym.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Cunningham Family Bike Ride!

We did it! We finally got everyone on their bikes and hit the Indian Head Rail Trail. The girls were on their bikes and little Molly rode in the trailer behind Garry's bike. There were lots of stops for drinks. Even Molly had a drink break -- check her out with her little bottle.
Garry led the way and I stayed with Macey. It was only her second time on a bike. We started off strong but slow -- a jogger passed us. That was a low moment.

This was our turn-around point -- two miles down the trail. I had to pull up my pants because they kept getting caught in the chain. This is where the smiles ended. We just pushed it too far and on Mile 3 and Mile 4 Emma and Macey mutinied and got off their bikes, saying they were done. Well, we're on a trail . . .you've got to keep going until we get to the van! Molly screamed and screamed (she hated the trailer) and Emma caught a second wind and joined another family who were setting a better pace for her!
That left me with Macey, screaming and crying as she pedaled. Her legs hurt. Her tummy hurt. I may have told my three-year-old to push on through the pain -- I can't remember, it's all a blur. But, we made it! And after she was done and in the van, Macey said she had a great time!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

ONI Family Day!

Once a year the employees hide all of their classified stuff and families are invited onto the compound! It's ONI Family Day! Families can take tours, meet coworkers, it's great fun. Afterward, there is lunch and games on the grounds. It looks like a small carnival. Garry had a coworker whose son thought that this was what his Dad went to work at everyday. After lunch Emma tried the. . .the. . .I have no idea what this is called. We'll just call it the crazy bouncy thing. I had a woman ask me how old Emma was. I told her that she was four. She thought that Emma was very brave to try this out so young!
Emma bouncing.

Pony rides! The girls favorites! This year they rode by themselves -- no Mom and Dad walking next to them! They're big girls!

Emma on her pony. Garry's office building is behind her.

They also had a moon bounce. Macey had a great time!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Figuring It All Out

Oh, how I love this girl.
Molly is trying to figure out human behavior. It's very interesting to watch how quickly she is figuring it all out. She is starting to wave at people when they come up to her. Too cute. Also, when I pick her up from her crib, to soothe my crying baby babe I hug her close and pat her back. She has started the adorable habit of patting my back. I guess she thinks that's just what you do!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What's Next?

Molly, my seven month wunderkind has decided that crawling is SOOOOO last week. She has started crawling over to furniture and pulling herself up. She's standing!
Here's Miss Molly crawling. Oh, the good old times. . .

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ballerina Camp!

On Monday night Garry signed the girls up for Ballerina Camp! That gave me just a few hours to prepare. I was very nervous having not spent any time in the world of dance, and it is its own world. What should they wear? And what shoes? And their hair! So after storytime at the library I fed my girls lunch and started the process of turning them into ballerinas! Luckily Emma had a leotard from a cousin. And I just put tights on her. The shoes look right in the picture, but they are actually just church shoes.
I did not have a leotard for Macey, and so I just tried to make her look as girly as possible.

But luckily my friend Deidre had an extra leotard and so I was able to change her really quick, and she was very excited to have a leotard like Emma.

They were very excited to be at Dance Camp. I am not sure about Macey, but Emma has been waiting for this moment her whole life.

They played games, made princess crowns, ate snacks, and learned a little dance that Emma still does in the living room. What fun!
As we think about moving to Utah, this is a big plus. We are taking Emma to the land of dance studios!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

. . . But Maybe Not

When I was young I was reading an article on keeping the Sabbath Day holy. It told the story of a family that chose to attend church and refrain from shopping and various other extracurricular activities on Sunday. The Dad promised his young family that as they lived this commandment that they would find happiness as a family.

One day, on the way to church, they saw their neighbor leaving with his family, pulling their boat behind their truck, laughing and having a great time as they headed for the lake. The little son told his Dad, "Yes, Dad, they look absolutely miserable."

Good thing that life is an endurance race and not a sprint.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine made a decision I really did not agree with. As Garry and Stephanie can testify to, I became very upset and fixated upon this friend and her decision. We have not spoken since, and in my mind I pictured her continue to wrestle with her decision, internally still torn, trying to find a way to unmake her horrible mistake. I pictured her sad. Maybe crying? Walking the halls at night? Restless inside and out?

I had that mental picture for 20 days until she posted pictures on Facebook. She looked like she was really happy. A big old grin glued on her face. Living the life. Living her life.

And I realized, I really should just live my life and let other people live theirs because they are so much better at it then I am.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Lost Weekend

On the way home from Rochester we had great hopes for the weekend. Bikerides? Trip to the park? Instead. . .

. . .instead I got Macey's cold. Ugh. Nothing can quite take out a weekend like a cold. Friday night I fell asleep on the couch. I think that Garry watched a movie.

Saturday we cleaned the church and then I hit the couch. Again. I think that Garry watched another movie. Australia? He gave it mixed reviews.

Sunday we went to church and watched the clock. Emma and Molly had both gotten my cold and we waited to see how early we could put them to bed without them being suspicious. Oh, the joys of not being able to tell time! The Cranky Pants Gang finally went to sleep around 7:00 except for Molly who hung out with us for a few more hours.

Now I'm just trying to ensure that the lost weekend does not turn into the lost week.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Palmyra Trip: Day Four: Rochester!

After one last trip to the pool, we said goodbye to my sister and her family and headed off to Rochester's National Museum of Play! The museum had everything! A carousel, a miniature grocery store for them to shop and ring up their own groceries, a Sesame Street room . . .everything! Each section had a craft corner for the kids to make something and a stage for kids to play dress up and put on a play. They also had book recommendations for each themed room. Fabulous.
All four Cunningham gals riding the train. Choo! Choo!
This was one of my favorite toys when I was little. I used to ride on top of it in the basement. Loved, loved it.

Here's Macey putting on her own play in the Storybook section. It took her forever to get dressed. She wanted to get it just right.

On the second floor of the Museum in a Toy Hall of Fame. Here's an originial cootie game from the 60's. On the main floor they also had an arcade with all of the old favorites: PacMan, Ms. PanMan, Space Invaders, Frogger. Garry spent a lot of time in that room.

Here's Emma at the Hall of Fame. She's actually really good.

Before we left we took one last ride on the carousel. Molly was happy to be included in the ride.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Palmyra Trip: Day Three: Niagra Falls!

We woke up on Wednesday and headed for Niagra! Of course we wanted to see the Candian side, and so we ventured out for the border. Garry and I had the worst luck at the border! We got the agent who was 19 and really into his job. "Where are you going?" "Where are you from?" "How long are you going to be there?" "Why are you going there?" "Ever been there before?" My sister Rachelle and her family picked another line and got through about 10 minutes faster. Ugh. But we made it! Niagra Falls!
After we parked, we ate a quick lunch. Garry had a Canadian Bacon sandwich. I just had a hamburger. Go figure, hamburgers are better in the United States. After we were done, we headed for Maid of the Mist boat tour. Here's my sister's family, getting ready to get wet.

Oh, Molly looked adorable in her baby-sized poncho. She was not a fan of the mist. Or the noise.

Garry and Emma on the boat. A little wet after a close encounter with the Horseshoe Falls.

After the boat trip, Uncle Brett got all the kids ice cream. Here's Emma with the falls behind her.

One last picture at the falls!

Palmyra Trip: Day Two: Hill Cumorah!

We started our adventure by meeting up with my sister and her family in downtown Palmyra! Our first stop was the publication place for the Book of Mormon. We saw a video, took a tour of the office and store, and went to the third floor to see how the printing process was done.
After a quick stop to Mark's Pizzaria, we went to the Smith farm. Here we are in front of Joseph Smith's boyhood home. Zach broke his arm at Scout Camp and had his arm in a bright green cast. Emma was very confused as to why we were going to a house where no one lived anymore. She kept thinking that we were going to meet Joseph Smith and asked about him at every stop. Surely he had to be around here somewhere. . .

Rachelle and me in front of the Palmyra temple.

The Cunningham Family in the Sacred Grove. The cousins had a great time running the paths and finding and picking raspberries and blackberries.

Emma, Macey and Chloe at the Palmyra temple.

Getting ready for the Hill Cumorah pageant! Blankets? Check! Snacks? Check! This was Garry's favorite part of the entire trip. Emma and Macey sat on his lap the whole time and asked questions -- who is talking? What is happening now? For them, it was better than any movie.

Palmyra Trip: Day One

On Monday we headed out and up to Rochester, New York. We were going to leave when Garry got home from work, and it was my responsibility to get the last-minute items packed, gathered up, and ready to go. I also had to clean the house in case a potential buyer came to look at it while we were gone. Again, cleaning and packing are not my favorites.

We were out the door by 3:30 and promptly hit DC traffic. Followed by Baltimore traffic. Followed by Harrisburg traffic. Alright, 3:30 was not the best time to leave.

For the girls, we treated this long van trip like an airplane trip. They had their little backpacks full of coloring books, picture books, their own DVD players and movies. For part of the trip I sat in the middle of the van, next to Molly, with the girls in the back. That way I could easily hand over snacks and juice boxes. I realized, though, that my girls had me constantly giving them or handing them something. . .anything. . .and so I moved back up to the front where I could pretend not to hear them.

The one casualty on the trip was Molly's car seat. She had a blow out, and when we stopped at McDonalds I tried to clean it up. The faucet in the bathroom was a light spray that timed out every 10 seconds. So it took a little while. Scrub, spray, hit the button again. Scrub, spray, hit the button again. Argh! Finally it was clean, and I could stand next to the hand dryers to get it to dry out. This was the best part of the trip. I couldn't hear a single kid cry or a request for a juice box!

We finally made it to the hotel late that night. So excited for the adventures to come!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Vote With Your Feet

This week Molly has fully mastered (or at least is getting pretty good at) crawling. She amazes me daily with how far she can go and how strong she is. We went to the doctor for a well visit this week and she is only 13 pounds. She's petite for seven months -- but strong! She can crawl and sit, sit and crawl.

Now that she can crawl she can finally go and see all the things around the room she always wanted to explore, but never got close enough to really see. I constantly catch her with my Guitar Hero guitars. And over by the wall vent.

The biggest surprise was last night. Garry was finally home from Florida and Emma & Macey were upstairs in the bath. Garry and I were in the living room with Molly. You would think that she would love the alone time and crawl over to us, but instead she crawled over to the stairs, staring them down, trying to figure them out so that she could get to her sisters.

Deep down, I know she loves me. Deep, deep down.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


When I was at BYU, I worked a few hours a week for Sears. I was in this HUGE call center where I would schedule repairs for people who called. It was awful! They were already mad that their appliance was broken and then I had to tell them how long it would be before it could be fixed and then try to sell them laundry detergent! Oh, it was not fun.

And then for several horrible weeks from when I passed the Virginia bar to when I started another job, I worked several temp jobs. One awful temp job was in Washington, D.C. where the company I was working for tried to stir up grass-roots action on several legislative items. It was my job to call small business owners and try to get them to sign a statement of support for a bill under consideration by Congress. Ugh. It was horrible.

I swore after those jobs that I would try to be nice to people that called because you just never knew who you were talking to and why they had that job.

And then there was yesterday. . .

A telemarketer has been calling the house every other day for about two weeks now. He always asks to talk to Garry. And I always tell him that (surprise! surprise!) Garry is not home at noon. He has a very very heavy Middle Eastern accent and so usually I do not understand everything he says. But yesterday he started his discussion by telling me that his name was Roger.

Whoa. Did you just claim that your name was Roger?

Holding on to my previous commitment, it took all the strength I had to hold my tongue and say that there was no way on Allah's green earth that his name was Roger. As it was, I may have guffawed. Loudly.

I make no promises for being so disciplined when he calls tomorrow. Roger.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My Theory. . .

Yesterday my "news feed" on Facebook was all a-twitter with comments on Michael Jackson. Did he deserve all of the attention? Did his funeral need to be covered by all major networks? Was the media milking the situation? And, on that same line of thought, was the family milking the situation?

Garry and I were in California when we heard that Michael Jackson died. Garry was on his way back to San Diego and they had broken the news on the radio. We thought about driving to his star in Hollywood to be a part of the spectacle. I mean to be a part of history. And we entertained that idea for all of 45 seconds.

My theory on all of the hoopla? Is it possible, just perhaps a little possible, that we treated him so well upon his passing with a memorial service covered on all major networks because we did not treat him well while he was here?

I think that he was abused while he was here, especially by his father. I hope that he did not become an abuser. I hope that he has found peace. And I hope that when I turn on the Today show tomorrow morning he will not be the lead story.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Overwhelmed By The Small Stuff

Yesterday I got overwhelmed by all the small stuff.

I got overwhelmed by trying to make a doctors appointment. (There are no endocrinologists in the county that accept insurance.)

I got overwhelmed arguing with my eye doctor. (Evil America's Best).

I got overwhelmed trying to do math at the bank with Molly screaming in the back seat. (It's hard to carry the two if you can't think).

I got overwhelmed at the gym. (Molly screams her head off the minute we walk in the door. Usually I get two laps in on the treadmill before they ask me to come get her).

I got really overwhelmed with the laundry. (No explanation necessary).

I got UNDERwhelmed by two students who do not practice but I still have to fill up the time. . . with what?

And then I saw my second cousin's profile picture on Facebook. She lost her Dad a few days before Christmas, and her profile picture is of her hugging him.

And I thought, "Silly small stuff."

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Play Hard, Crash Hard

What a week!

Last Sunday Miss Molly turned seven months old. She is a happier baby now that she has some mobility. She is the queen of rolling over and has tried scooting and standing. Soon I would like her to master hair-growing!
This was the first week that I plopped Molly into the pool! Our community pool has a very slow grade and so we can sit in about two inches of water and splash and splash. Great fun!
Wednesday was my birthday! The girls and I have a tradition of going to Borders and everyone gets to buy a book. Macey picked out a Disney book, Emma picked out a book on horses, and I bought The Elegance of the Hedgehog.
After we went to the bookstore the Moores threw me a party at their house -- with a poster and streamers and dessert and everything! So nice! Garry met me there and picked up the kids and I went to go get my hair cut.
After so much bad luck with hair cuts (see multiple previous blogs) so I took Tina's advice, flat ironed it, told them not to wash it -- just cut straight across. It was not a horrible experience.
I came home and Garry had decorated the house with chocolate hugs and kisses. The girls gave me cards and chocolate and Garry gave me a Bose IPOD dock. I laughed when I saw the box. I expected the one that cost $69.99. I'm pretty sure that the Bose one cost a little more than that.
For dinner we headed to Mimi's Cafe. Since it was my birthday I got this great chocolate mousse dessert with a little candle. Wow! It was nice but not nearly as nice as the chocolate masterpiece Garry made for me when we got home. Great day!
On Thursday we took the girls on the Indian Head Rail Trail. Macey learned to ride a bike! She did so well. The first 25 feet were painful because she kept putting on the brakes. But once she figured out how to pedal, she did really well. She went an entire mile on her first trip out!
Thursday night I went out with the girls to The Proposal. Though it has a similar feel of While You Were Sleeping, I really liked it.

On Friday we met up with the Moore's and hit Kings Dominion! They had fireworks that night and so we had the girls dress for the occasion.

Today was the first day Macey tried out the Swinging Boat. Notice the total look of fear. I had to promise her a quarter for her to give it a try. I had to pay up first. Where's the trust?

Before the fireworks, the kids went to the Scooby Doo Haunted Mansion, one of their favorites.

On the Fourth of July we had a great barbeque at the Moore's and then headed off to the National Mall.

We met up with friends at the base of the Washington Memorial. Over my 11 years here in DC, I've watched them from the Washington Memorial (twice), the Lincoln, the Capitol, Iwa Jima, and near the White House.

It's always beautiful and always an adventure getting home. Luckily we were with friends and so the misery of being stuck in the metro for 40 minutes became something that we could laugh about.

After that adventure of a week, what did we do today? We NAPPED!