Tuesday, November 9, 2010

5K's for Dummies

Several years ago, a dear friend talked us into doing a 5K with her. "This will be great! We're gonna have so much fun! We'll take ALL of our kids to a 5K!"At the time we only had 4 of the 7 children that we now have  collectively but they were 2,3,4, and 6. What were we thinking?!

The race (The Dino Dash) that started at 8:30am was at Fair Park in Dallas, benefitting The Science Place. So, we loaded up the children, car seats, strollers, diaper bags, and anything else we could imagine we might need for our brood and headed out at about 5:45am. As  I mentioned in an earlier post, we nearly always have to stop for a potty break fairly soon after starting our journeys. We did make it to Dallas before the first tee tee call came but that did it, everyone HAD to go. So, we quickly make a call to our dear friend in the car ahead of us and have her pull over for a quick (yeah right) stop. Not only does she pick McDonald's (now everyone is of course hungry again even though we just had donuts), she chose one in a very iffy part of town. (This happened to be an area I grew up in and was very aware of the fact that 3 white chicks and their 5 little kids should NOT be wondering around in the neighborhood. Especially before daylight.)

We finally arrived to the chaotic hustle and bustle that accompanies any event at Fair Park. After unloading ALL of the children, strollers, diaper bags, and whatever other luggage we thought necessary to haul around with us, we got our little paper numbers and got ready to race. Keep in mind that our dear friend, whose idea this was, keeps in pretty good shape and running races is somewhat of a hobby for her. Us, not so much. The race starts and we take off like we are actually going to get anywhere with 4 kids and a couple of strollers. About 20 minutes into this we start wondering if we were even going to make it to the finish line today. It took a lot of effort and I'm pretty sure we were almost the last people to finish but we did it. The kids all got little medals and were so excited that they had "won" the race.

The rest of the day was spent enjoying face painting, bounce houses, and then time in The Science Place and Aquarium. All race contestants received free admission for the day so we couldn't miss out on the exhibits. We roamed and we roamed and we chased kids and then we roamed some more. If you've never been to The Science Place and Aquarium at Fair Park, well that place is HUGE. Especially after just doing a 5K with 4 kids who at this point have been up since the butt crack of dawn and have not had a nap. The kids had the time of their life. We ended our time at Fair Park with a quick ride on the swan paddle boats. Guess what? When you are out in a paddle boat with a bunch of kids, you are going to be the only one paddling. Just so you know.

Of course, we still had to make the LONG drive home after stopping for dinner. We, of course, thought El Fenix would be the place to dine. I mean how bad could it be with 4 small children who've had no nap and 2 exhausted and sweaty moms?

We finally arrived home after the trip back and a stop at Wal-Mart (yes we are that stupid) thinking, How did we get ourselves into this?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Why did we bring the kids again?

For some reason we always think it will be a good idea to go out into public with ALL of our children. Usually we quickly discover it really wasn't. I don't know how we forget from one time to the next but apparently our children have memory erasing capabilities that we were never warned about. The memories of screaming kids, fighting, and hundreds of potty breaks (at the worst times) tend to hide away in the background somewhere until they usually resurface very quickly as soon as we are too far away from home to turn back.

The first time we ever took our crew out together we decided to go shopping. Now at the time there were only 4 of them (Eli & Faith weren't even thought of yet and Alex was gone to his mother's) so how bad could it be? REALLY, how bad could this be? Going shopping with a  6 year old, 4 year old, 3 year old, and a 2 year old...This is gonna be GREAT!! Before we even got to Terrell (only 20 minutes or so from home) it began. "I have to potty, MOM, I really have to potty!" CJ started what we found was a never ending domino effect of potty breaks. We made our first stop, I ran CJ in real quick and get back outside to discover someone else "has to go potty." This quick stop has now taken probably 30 minutes give or take. We finally made it to our destination of Old Navy and proceeded to try to shop. If you've ever thought that it would be a fun and productive shopping trip with 4 children under the age of 7, well let me tell you, IT'S NOT! I can't tell you if we ended up with any cool purchases or great finds but what I can tell you is, it was madness. Screaming, fighting, running, and peeing are mostly what I remember from the event. Yes, peeing. Grace, 2 at the time, stood right in the middle of Old Navy and just pee'd all over the floor. So, I guess there was at least one purchase because Sarah had to buy her some clothes to put on. Of course, why would we think to put in the extra clothes for the potty training 2 year old? That would be too easy.

After the fiasco at Old Navy we of course needed to feed the munchkins, they need energy to keep us on our toes like they do. So, of course, we head to old faithful, McDonald's. What better than an indoor playground to calm the nerves? The experience at Mickey Dee's was fairly uneventful (as uneventful as these things go with 4 hyperactive children). It only got real interesting when it was time to go and we are attempting to gather these rather sly escape artists. Who knew there were so many places to hide in those oversized gerbil toys? We never looked so stupid as we did running around that playground hollering "J.C, C.J!!...C.J,J.C!!...J.C., CJ!!get your butts down here now!!" I'm sure all of the other patrons thought we were either dyslexic, very unoriginal, or just plane stupid screaming the letters J.C and C.J. back to back like that. They probably thought we didn't know our own kids name. Or, that we named them like that so we'd never really get it wrong.

By the end of the night we were ALL exhausted (Sarah and I more than the kids) and all that we could think was..."How did we get ourselves into this?"

Friday, October 8, 2010

How did it all begin...

The first of our adventures began on the way home from a Women of Faith conference in Shreveport . I left my phone in the hotel room so of course we had to stop and get it. The only problem was, well, we didn't stay at the same hotel and I couldn't really remember where the hotel was I had stayed. We knew it was on the interstate and that it was a Holiday Inn. So, we stopped at every Holiday Inn until we found the right one. Once we had my phone we were on our way. Of course neither of us remembered the fact that more than once Sarah had mentioned "we should get gas before we leave town." So off we went . (I might add here that this is something that happens to us regularly) We were chatting away and having a grand old time when Sarah realizes we hadn't gotten gas, of course there is NOTHING in site. I mean NOTHING!! I am still not sure exactly where we were on I-20 when we saw the exit and weren't sure what we'd find we just took it. I am pretty sure that the only reason we made it into that station (that was not directly on the service road by the way) was because it was down a big hill and no cars were coming through the stop sign that we coasted through. Maybe one day we'll figure it out but until then we'll continue to wonder, "How did we get ourselves into this?"

Do these things happen to anyone else?

For anyone that knows Sarah and I, you know that we get ourselves into situations that well, even amaze us. Anytime we go anywhere it seems to turn into an all out adventure of some kind. Things tend to just happen to us. Together we are some sort of magnet for anything peculiar or down right weird to happen. I know that I never hear of these kinds of things happening to other people. And so I wonder, what on earth could these things be occurring for other than to bring a smile to the faces of our friends and family. So, this is our story. The modern day Lucy and Ethel. There will be danger, hysterics, chickens, and down right lunacy. (Yes, I said chickens!). Who knows what else lies in store, because really "How did we get ourselves into this?" 

Please know we both love our children dearly. Anything said here is all in good fun but sometimes you just have to step back and say, really was this a good idea? In retelling our stories to others we find more and more that these things really don't seem to happen to other people so we feel we must share the crazy antics of our children and family.