Honouring my Husband

>> Monday, June 25, 2007

After reading my cousin Tammy's blog, I decided to join her and numerous other women in the 30-day Honour Your Husband Challenge. I think The Bushman is an awesome husband and father and I've often wondered how I could make it obvious to him that I think so. Not that I have any more brilliant ideas now than I did all the times I thought about it, but now that I'm putting this in writing for anyone to read, I'm hoping it'll help me keep it in the foreground of my mind this upcoming month.

My goals for the next 30 days are to:

  • Make at least TWO conscientiously spontaneous decisions to do something he'd like to do, like invite friends over for supper last-minute, or pack up and head to the lake for the afternoon and supper -- without weeks of advance planning! Bushman is a very spontaneous person and I'm JUST NOT, which I know is a source of frustration for him. Two things isn't a lot, I know, but it's two things in a month that wouldn't likely happen AT ALL otherwise -- at least not without a bit of friction.
  • Spend at least one evening a week actually doing something together -- not just watching TV. We've often said that after the girls are in bed, we should go outside and play horseshoes or Bocce or drink hot chocolate while enjoying a cozy fire or even work in the garden together, but somehow those things just never happen.
  • Match his efforts at not being lazy anymore. Since coming back from his 2-month job up north, Bushman's been a different person. ("NEW Bushman," I like to call him!) Where he used to come home, eat supper, and plunk himself down in front of the TV, now he more often than not, goes back outside with the girls, or after they're in bed, mows lawn or putters around the yard -- he even hoes my garden to keep busy!! I, on the other hand, am incredibly lazy, and I'd like there to be a "New ValleyGirl," too. "New Bushman" is showing "OLD ValleyGirl" up way too often and I feel nowadays that he must think I'm not really doing my share of the work around here anymore (and quite likely, rightly so), so my plan is to make sure that I know I have done my share on any given day, that I have done all I can to be a good homemaker, and that we can both feel good about relaxing and enjoying our accomplishments together after we've worked hard.
  • Pray for him every day -- and not just that he'll drive and come home safely -- and let him know that I'm praying for him.
  • Cook his favourite meals more often.This one I'm stealing from Pam's list of ideas, but our husbands have much the same ideas regarding food. She and I like to try new things, Bushman and Con would like to have some of the good ones on a regular basis. So I'm going to make sure we have an 'old favourite' at least twice a week for the next 4 weeks.

Some of these goals will require an awful lot of will-power on my behalf because they involve attempting to change my personality and/or bad habits. I'm notoriously low on motivation and determination, so this will definitely challenge me in more ways than one.


Yay, the kitties are back!

>> Friday, June 22, 2007

As you may or may not know, our cat, Ice, had kittens -- literally right before our very eyes -- on Mothers Day. Two weeks ago today, she decided to move them to the hayloft in one of our barns. We were quite disappointed, especially the girls, but tried to console ourselves by saying the kittens were probably better off being a little wild and not growing up thinking the vehicles were cool climbing structures. (our last batch of 5 kittens was virtually decimated during one bleak 24-hr period last October exactly because of this)

This afternoon, for whatever reason, Ice decided to move her young 'uns back into the lean-to shed. Just as Bushman was driving away to leave for work, I saw her tumble out of the hayloft with what I thought was a rat in her mouth. I was horrified until I realized it was a kitten. Bushman hopped out of the Explorer and we all checked the lean-to. Sure enough, 3 had already been relocated back to the box where we'd watched them come into the world.

Yay, we have our kitties back!! I can't believe how much they've changed in 2 short weeks. They're fully mobile now and they spent the entire afternoon frolicking just outside the lean-to door and getting to know their 'Aunt' Whiskie, our Rottweiler, who has a rather unnaturally close relationship with their mother. And, of course, reacquainting themselves with Peanut and Punkin.


Another Wild Weekend

But this time with MY parents. They came up last Friday night (which was Punkin's birthday) and again, Bushman was working. It didn't work out for dad to join Bushman in the evening like it had when his parents were out, but dad had just as much fun playing with Peanut and Punkin. I love watching him play with them. We often joke that we get completely ingnored while the girls are awake because they have his complete and undivided attention. It's like we don't even exist until after the girls are in bed!! I love it though, because it gives me a great picture of how he was with me when I was a little girl. My parents never even went out in the evenings when I was a kid -- not because they were too cheap to hire a babysitter, but because dad didn't want to be away from 'his little ValleyGirl.' Isn't that cute?! (I just found that out this weekend.)

ANYWAY... Saturday started out beautiful and Bushman and I raced to get the lawn mowed because it hadn't been done since the previous weekend. It's always either been raining or too wet due to recent rain, so it was high time again. Mom washed the brunch dishes and dad played with the girls on their play structure and in the sandbox. Unfortunately, by the time that was done and dad and Bushman had wandered around the yard slaughtering magpie families, it was starting to rain again, so we were house-bound the rest of the day.

Sunday was Fathers Day, of course, and the church service was largely devoted to tributes to fathers. Afterwards, my parents took us to Chen's for lunch and unlike Mothers Day, when there was a 2-hr wait by the time we got there, we got a table right away. Mmmmmmmm, Chen's has the most awesome Chinese food!!!! We'd heard there was a car show of sorts at A&W as well, so we headed over there to check it out. I'm sorry I didn't have my camera with me. There were only about 25 cars, but most were antiques of sorts and some very nicely restored. It was just a fun social event. And everyone got free rootbeer, so that was a huge perk as well!!

In the evening, mom and dad went to my cousin's place for supper, so we had the house to ourselves for a few hours. And then before we knew it, the weekend was over. At 6:30 Monday morning, dad and Bushman left on a trip to The Pas and despite unloading in a torrential downpour, they were back for lunch and then it was time to say goodbye. Hmm, now that I look at all I've written, we really did do a fair bit this weekend, even though it felt like we had to be inside all the time!

My cutey-pants THREE year old!
(who actually only ate the whipped cream off the top of her Oreo mini-cheesecake! And I use the term 'ate' quite loosely -- as you can see, most of it stayed on her face!!!)


Redneck Goddess

>> Thursday, June 21, 2007

Man, I am such a redneck. I kissed my trucker husband (redneck point #1) goodbye at 7 this evening because he and another guy are temporarily sharing a trailer and have to take turns with it. He's stuck with the single nighttime run tonight. Afterwards, the girls and I decided to go for a little walk down our mile road because Peanut was upset that I'd been for my 2-mile walk without them today. It was a beautiful evening, so I figured why not.

We were only about a 1/4 mile down the road when Whiskie (haha, point #2 -- dog named after moonshine) and Bear -- the neighbour dog -- both shot off into the long grass in the ditch with Bear barking his fool head off. Great, I thought, another skunk. They're generally silent when they pounce on gophers -- one of which Whiskie amazingly actually managed to catch just moments earlier. Sure enough, after much commotion, Whiskie stumbled back onto the road, sneezing, shaking her head, and frothing at the mouth. Perfect. Bear seemed perfectly content to keep the skunk in one spot (he's WAY smarter than Whiskie), so as fast as I could get the girls to go, we sped back to the house to get the van and the .22.

Now here's where the redneck part really kicks in: not only was I traveling in a vehicle with 2 unrestrained children (#3), but there was an UNconcealed weapon (#4) in the FRONT seat along with a box of bullets. (#5) Haha, at least I got OUT of the van to do the shooting! (dad GUM, lost me a redneck point there -- back down to 4!) That would really have sealed my reputation as a redneck for sure. I'm right proud to be able to say I dropped the varmint with only one shot, though. My aim is definitely improving!!

So anyhoo... dinner anyone?!

Yessss, back up to 5 points -- Ah am truly a

Darn Tootin!'
Ooops, I just remembered the .22 is REGISTERED. I no longer qualify as a redneck wannabe, let alone a goddess. Oh wait, maybe that's a good thing. The city-girl in me must be almost buried by now -- because I can't decide!



>> Monday, June 18, 2007

I think that has to be one of the dearest words in the English language. There's just something about it. You even hear grown men and women still calling their fathers 'daddy,' but you pretty much never hear the word 'mommy' from anyone who isn't still a child. Why is that?

My guess is that fathers play such a vastly different role than mothers do, and likely, because mothers are more of a constant, the relationship gets taken for granted a little easier. This is not to say that fathers are never a constant in their childrens' lives, but certainly for myself, for my kids now, and for many children, the reality is that fathers simply aren't around as much as mothers. This makes time with fathers extra special. (and this is why so many dads don't think their kids are half as annoying as their moms think they are!!) Daddy time is a very special time because it simply doesn't happen as often as mommy time, and certainly for not as long. It's a treat -- a precious commodity -- especially for my girls, whose daddy works 12-14 hours a day when he's working locally, and has been gone for up to 2 months driving long-distance.

I sometimes feel a little left out when daddy's around. The girls always want him to read them a bedtime story and make a really big deal out of it. They always want him to put them to bed or play outside with them -- especially if the quad is out! They even rather want him to bathe them and brush their hair afterwards if he's around for bath day. I sometimes have to remind myself that time with him is kind of a novelty and that it isn't that they love him more, they just don't get to see him enough.

I'm so blessed to have a wonderful husband who's also an awesome daddy to my girls. I love watching them together, how they respond to him and how he dotes on them. Sure, he gets frustrated with them too, but spending time with them is obviously very special to him, and he tries very hard to make sure his limited time with them truly is quality time. I think he does a wonderful job of it.


The Freedom in Seeking Help

>> Wednesday, June 13, 2007

In light of several recent conversations with a few friends, I feel I need to make a public plug for Christian counselling services, and share something very personal.

Ten years ago, I'd been married for less than a year, and I applied for a 6-week stress leave of absence from my job.

It seemed like The Bushman and I fought all the time, I was constantly critical of him, and I feared our marriage had been a huge mistake. At home, I was having trouble adjusting to living in a 700-sq. ft. house on 25'X88' lot with sparse furniture and a black/white/grey decor, coming from my parents' well-furnished, spacious house, and large, beautiful yard. At work, I was discontent with my job, loathing the people I worked with with few exceptions, and resenting the office politics. I knew I was ready to snap and decided eliminating the job factor, at least temporarily, would help me sort things out.

One of the stipulations of my stress leave from work was that I seek counselling, either through an in-house psychologist or one of my choosing. Being a Christian, I chose to locate a Christian counselor from Cornerstone Christian Counseling Group in Winnipeg. A wonderful woman by the name of Hildi Boge changed my life.

Initially, I was afraid that she'd do what so many pyschologists seem to do -- find someone or something in my past to blame everything on. I was especially afraid, for some reason, that she'd blame my dad for my problems. Like, that I was screwed up because my dad spanked me as a 2-yr old or something.

Hildi, it turned out, came from a Mennonite background, like I do, and instantly there was a rapport between us because we could joke about some of the crazy traditions, exchange Menno jokes, and most importantly, she understood the cultural contexts in which I and my parents had been raised. Through the joking and exchanging of stories about our pasts, she gently helped me see that I was indeed a product of my parents' parenting style, which was a direct result of their upbringing, but that my issues were not something that could be blamed on that.

My biggest issues seemed to stem from my own perfectionism and my expectations that everyone should be meeting my standards of 'perfection,' including The Bushman. Obviously, you can imagine how this might not have been working out for me! We're simply all different and have our own interpretations of perfection. Hildi helped me see that likely, my drive for perfection was a result of my dad never expressing to me that he was proud of me and my subsequent constant efforts to pry it out of him. I know my dad was always very proud of me and that he loved me very much, but it hurt that I always heard it from other people instead of him.

What I selfishly never considered though, was that his lack of emotional communication was a result of the cultural norm that existed during his growing-up years. For fear of children becoming too proud, parents -- and fathers especially -- just didn't praise their children. It would certainly lead to self-worship, which is decidedly anti-scriptural. But with help, I began to see my dad's lack of praise as an inability to express himself rather than something he was specifically withholding from me. Having my own children now, I think that must have felt like a prison to him. Being so proud your buttons are busting, but having come from an era where you just DO NOT voice that to your children for fear they'd become a little too proud of themselves.

As for my expectations of perfection in other people, though I knew it was ridiculous, Hildi helped me see that that was indeed what I was doing. I was constantly measuring other people by my own personal standards and would be disappointed, angry, and even embarrassed when they'd fall short. I remember enlisting the help of a friend of mine some years earlier, to design some youth retreat posters for our chuch youth group. I spent hours designing and crafting my 2 posters and when I saw that hers appeared to have been done in 3 minutes by a 5-yr old, I suddenly decided that we only needed 2 posters, not four like I'd originally planned.

Similarly, I was expecting The Bushman to be exactly what I wanted him to be, not who he actually was. The things I'd found so endearing while dating were becoming a problem for me after we got married. This is something so many newly married couples struggle with. And again, though I knew it was wrong and incredibly ungrateful to resent his efforts to please me, Hildi helped me see that I needed to relax my expectations and enjoy my life, rather than be picky about how Bushman vaccuumed the house. "Be thankful he's doing anything," she said, "and that he's not of the opinion that the housework is completely your responsibility, despite the fact that you both work outside the home full-time. Or that he's not out getting drunk somewhere and you have no idea when he'll be home or how he'll treat you."

So I learned that I needed to relax, take life a little less seriously, and be less concerned with HOW things got done and rather just that they did. (Now that I've had kids, I think I could use a refresher in that area!)

As for my discontent with my house and my possessions, again, I knew it had taken my parents YEARS to amass their monetary worth and possessions and that it was unreasonable to expect that I would instantly have what took them 30 years to achieve and accumulate, but that didn't change how I felt about my new home with The Bushman. I don't remember Hildi addressing this specifically, but I very vividly remember fixing my attitude about my home by buying a used orange loveseat, lovingly paying to have it cleaned and repaired, and a wall-paper border with the same orange, as well as the navy that matched our other couch. Additionally, I made 6 throw pillows -- 2 navy, 2 orange, and 2 tiger-striped -- to tie it all together. (Hey, this is a story of my personal journey, not a designer portfolio!!) Though I'm generally not a sentimental person, I'm determined to hang onto that couch and those pillows forever because they were the beginning of my new ownership and appreciation of my life. Who knew a dirty, second-hand, orange velour loveseat could have that kind of power!!!

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: if you have a problem with bouts of depression, and especially if they seem to be happening with increasing frequency,

allow yourself the freedom that asking for help will bring you.

I understand for some, money might be an issue, but think about how often you use your mind every day and how many days you expect your life will still include. Is a couple hundred bucks too much to spend to make sure your mind serves you well for the rest of your life?

I've never regretted going to see a counselor and the 3 sessions I had with Hildi way back in the fall of 1997 have indeed changed my life. I still have 'dark' days here and there, but I'm infinitely better at recognizing the source of the depression, and understanding how to address the source, rather than merely treating the symptoms.

Hildi, wherever you are, I hope you're still doing for others what you did for me. I am forever in your debt.

And dad, if you're reading this, I don't in any way hold it against you that couldn't bring yourself to voice your pride in me directly to me. I understand that not only is it tougher for a man to express emotion, period, but also that you just weren't raised that way. I love you so much and it's been such an honour and a blessing to have a dad like you. Since Peanut and Punkin came along, I've been given a beautiful glimpse of how you were with me as a child when I watch you with them. I can only hope I will be half the parent to them that you've been to me.

As for the spankings, I'm so glad you cared enough about the impact I'd have in and on my future and the people around me, to firmly teach me right from wrong.


5-Question Interview for YOU

>> Tuesday, June 12, 2007

One of the reasons why it took me so long to decide I wanted to do the 5-question interview was that I didn't want the chore of thinking up 5 questions that I might have to ask someone else. I didn't think I'd be able to come up with any clever questions to ask. Now I've come up with what I think are some really good ones, but no one's asking for an interview!! So just for the heck of it, I'm going to post them here. I started off with a couple of easy ones and then a few that you might have to think a little more for. I really like the last one. Obviously, you can answer if you like, whichever ones you like, or not at all.

  • What is your favourite number? Why?
  • If you had a day all to yourself in which you could be completely narcissistic and not feel guilty about it, and if money wasn't an issue, how would you spend your day?
  • Other than marriage, the birth of children, or a decision of faith, was there a significant event in your past that changed your life?
  • Not including any past financial decisions, what's your biggest regret?
  • If you really believed you could change the world, where would you start?

I like this last one so much because we're all told we can change the world, and to some extent we see how it might be possible, but how many of us truly believe it -- or more importantly, LIVE like we believe it? It's a good self-examination question. Something it might behoove all of us to maintain in the forefront of our minds...


Help, I'm addicted to Facebook!!!

>> Thursday, June 7, 2007

Seriously. (First Nutella, then Blogger, now this!) Have you checked out this site? Facebook It's incredible. You know the first couple of times I dabbled in it, I thought it was neat but that was it. Then I set up my own profile, added some pictures, started adding some 'friends' and suddenly, I'm in touch with several people I haven't seen since high school and earlier. It's wild.

What I'm really noticing though, is something I'd observed in the past but has now been really driven home. There is no greater equalizer for high school students than the real world. Do you remember high school? What 'clique' were you a part of? I was a relative unknown who somehow managed to have a bunch of friends who were the popular sort. I stayed on the fringes of that group and therefore managed to have friends from a few different groups, including the 'bangers' (for those of you who are too young to know what that means, those were the 'head-bangers' who lived and breathed and dressed 80's heavy metal music), the goths/punkers (you know, the ones all dressed in black with their faces powdered white, but an abundance of black eye-liner and lipstick and outlandish -- often dangerously pointy -- hairstyles), the grease monkeys, the arsty-fartsy types, and the jocks.

Back then, I ACHED to be a part of the popular group, but didn't want to do the weekend drinking orgies and didn't really even want to hang out with most of my high school friends outside the confines of the school itself. Plus, back then I was kind of shy and certainly not self-assertive. (I know, I can hardly believe that either!) I suspect that's why I never really achieved what some would call success in climbing the social ladder.

But you know, I look back on those years now, and not only am I happy that I could be a friend to anyone, regardless of what 'class' they were in or which group they were associated with, but I've discovered that none of that matters now anyway. We're all on equal ground now somehow. Now that the protective microcosm of our high school life no longer exists, we find ourselves equals.

I'm astounded that someone who, without exaggeration, didn't speak more than 5 words to me those 3 years we spent in the same school, is now hoping I remember her! Of course, I remember her. She was one of the popular girls who breezed past me in the hallways like I wasn't even there. And now she's complimenting me on my beautiful daughters and telling me her fiance would die for a yard like mine and how happy she is to reaquaint herself with me.

Reacquaint? Who are we kidding?! She's just finally getting to know me for the first time. And while I sound faintly sarcastic and resentful, I'm really not. Five years out of high school I might have been; might have simply ignored her or even openly rejected the idea of becoming her friend. But now I find myself loving that another adult with whom I share a part of my past wants me to know about her life and is asking me about mine. I'm basking in the fact that she wishes she had something I do!! If she only knew how badly I wanted what she had in high school!

And then there's a second observation; a much sadder one. Of the people I've reconnected with or have checked out and likely will reconnect with, half seem to have already experienced the pain and heartbreak of divorce and the other half still lives like desperate teenagers, embracing whatever will make them temporarily happy. I'm astounded at how many of them sound exactly the way they did in high school, wondering where the next round of drinks will be, who can out-drink the other, or who hasn't been laid in way too long. My heart breaks for these old friends who don't seem to have matured, or who still don't seem to have found something really worth believing in.

The most widely used phrases on my profile page are, "You LOOK happy" or "it SOUNDS like you have a great life." Obviously, that's the goal for all of us and interestingly, those who have it -- like myself, apparently -- don't necessarily seem to recognize it. This rekindles my desire like nothing else in the recent past to truly be thankful for what I have.

I have a wonderful husband whom I trust implicitly and who is doing his darndest to provide for me and our girls so that I can stay home with them. I have 2 beautiful little girls, who make me laugh, cry, yell, and who stretch my patience and yet whom I love with all my heart. I can't imagine my life without them. I have a wonderful yard and miles of wide open space where I can walk my dog without a leash and where I can breathe, truly enjoy the sky and the landscape, and think and pray without distraction. I have my best friend living only 7 miles away. I really am blessed.

I look forward to connecting and reconnecting with many more old school friends via Facebook. I'm so curious to know what they've all been up to. Life has a way of bringing people together for short, intense periods of time, and then breaking them apart again, but through the marvel of the Internet, we can at least re-establish and maintain contact relatively easily even if we never do become close friends again -- or for the first time. Mostly, I'm just so excited to know that no one cares anymore that I don't wear cool clothes or the right brand name shoes!! Thank goodness the constraints of high school trends don't affect me or my relationships anymore.

And I know, there are a couple of you conspiracy theorists out there who check me out from time to time and I know you think the millions who log onto Facebook every day are now under the oppressive and ever-watchful eye of the dark forces of the evil U.S. government and have surely subscribed to an Orwellian future. The future might prove you right, but one of the things in my life that I am most thankful for -- the thing that truly makes my life complete -- is that I belong to and believe in an all-seeing, all-knowing God who loves me, who died to make it possible for me to spend eternity with Him in heaven, and who will look after me here on earth, no matter what the future holds.


Wild Outlaw Weekend

>> Wednesday, June 6, 2007

(Whether you take this to mean The Bushman's parents are wild or that we had a wild weekend together with them is up to you!! Haha!)

We just finished spending an awesome weekend with my in-laws on Monday. I have the most awesome in-laws. It's hard to get used to having a second set of parents, the way they do things, and I think it's often difficult to feel close to a set of parents that makes a claim on your life when you're already an adult, you already have your own parents, and you're used to doing things the way your parents influenced you to do them. I'm so lucky though. I really do have a great relationship with Bushman's parents and I love it when they come to visit. And of course, my girls and their dad love it too!

The Bushman worked a long, late day on Friday and was a little unimpressed that he'd miss their arrival, but they ended up being a little behind schedule, so it worked out perfectly that they met him on the highway just outside Swan. His dad hopped into the semi with him and they took Bushman's second load up to The Pas together while his mom continued to our place. Of course, I'd cooked supper with at least 3 adults in mind, so there were tons of leftovers, but that's always a good thing.

Saturday was HOT and we spent pretty much the entire day outside in the yard. The Bushman and I both had 2 hours of mowing to do (man, the grass grows fast this time of year! I have to mow almost every other day -- and did you catch that it takes me almost TWO WHOLE HOURS each time??!!!!), but after that we just hung out.

In the evening, we had an early birthday supper for Punkin followed by gift-opening, of course. She was delighted to find a VERY cute little outfit and a magnet book about colours, but you should have seen her face when she realized at the bottom of the box, under the other things, was her very own The Incredibles DVD!! It's far and away her favourite movie and every time we go to rent some, that's always the one she wants.

Sunday was warm, but cloudy and we didn't end up spending a whole lot of time outside because once the girls' rest time was over, it suddenly got windy and cooled off in a hurry, but we did manage to squeeze in a couple games of horseshoes first. By the time we were on our way into Swan for supper it had started to rain. (if you're ever up this way, you HAVE to eat at Chen's!! They have the best Chinese food around and it doesn't cost any more than eating at A&W -- but you get WAY more food!)

Monday was cool as well, but that didn't stop the girls, grandma and grandpa and daddy from wandering around the yard, poisoning ants, inspecting the evergreens Bushman planted a couple of years ago that don't seem to be making any progress, etc. The Bushman had to haul only one load up to The Pas, so he only had to leave right after they did, which was nice.

And suddenly, another great weekend was over. Always a little too quickly and yet it's nice to have the house to ourselves again, too. They're coming up to 'camp' on our yard for the July long weekend again, and with my parents coming up in between for Punkin's birthday and Fathers Day weekend, June is shaping up to be a VERY busy month.

(Huh, looks like it might have been a good idea NOT to procrastinate quite so much with the school work! Speaking of which, maybe I should get back to it...)


Nursery School Graduation!

>> Friday, June 1, 2007

I'm going to join the club and post pix of Peanut's Nursery school graduation last night. You know, I'm generally not what I'd call a sentimental person, but I almost teared up there during the ceremony. I think the only reason I didn't was because Punkin screamed the entire time because she couldn't have a balloon!! It's amazing I managed to snap a few pictures at all, really.

Here's my li'l graduate getting ready to line up with her classmates before the ceremony.

Best friend Holden Cross and sitting on stage with the graduating class.

Peanut isn't impressed that Dana TerHorst won't be her teacher all through school. I've tried to explain that every year she'll have different teachers, but it's very hard for her to let go of someone whom she adores that much. I'm so glad Peanut had a great pre-school experience this year and I'm sure much of that is thanks to "Mrs. T."

We actually had a little 'adventure' before the ceremony, too. At the Christmas program, we were there 20 minutes ahead of time and couldn't get a seat, so I decided this time to be a little earlier. We got to the high school half an hour early and there was NO ONE there yet, so I decided to head to The Bargain Store to see if I could find Punkin some new dressier sandals. I keep buying them when she's not along and so I've had to return 2 pairs already because either they don't fit right or they're just plain the wrong size. (Why the heck can't kids shoes have universal sizing like adults do??!!) I figured this was the perfect opportunity.

So we get to the store, try on a few pairs of shoes, select one, and pay for it and as we're heading out of the store with 15 minutes until the ceremony is supposed to start, Punkin gasps and says, "Mommy, I'm poopy!" (it always seems to surprise her a little) I realized at that moment, that I'd forgotten to bring pull-ups and wipes with me in my great haste to get out the door a few mintues earlier. Great.

Fortunately, The Bargain Store has a little bit of pretty much everything and I raced over to the diapers, grabbed some wipes and the ONE REMAINING packaged of pull-ups, ran back to the till, dragged the girls back out to the van, threw Punkin down on the floor in the back, whipped off her dirty pull-up, cleaned her up, actually managed to find an empty grocery bag under the back seat to seal up the mess (I knew there was a good reason for not cleaning out the van!), ran over to the nearest dumpster to toss the offensive bundle, buckled the girls in and sped off back to the high school.

We got there with about 5 minutes to spare -- and still managed to find seats in the 3rd row!!


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