Run Team Olivia!

This past Saturday marked our second run as part of Team Olivia in the Children’s Cancer Network’s Run to Fight Children’s Cancer. I’m always excited to sign up, but the morning of the run Peter and I say to each other at least three times “let’s not do this next year” as we try to wake, feed, dress and load the kids by 6am along with their snacks, waters, joggers, sweatshirt and contingency gear.

But once we get there, we realize why we go. After the run, there is a survivor walk. As we followed our friends, the B family, I realized how amazing it must feel to know that just a few years ago, they were pulling sweet Olivia in a wagon because she was too weak to make the quarter mile walk. And this year, she was the horn blower to start the walk and then ran the entire track.

It’s hard not to get teary as you walk and realize how amazingly lucky and blessed we are to have two healthy kiddos. And for those that aren’t healthy, it’s worth the effort to run for them.

Team Wand ran the 5k in 33 minutes trading off pushing a 100 lbs jogger. Not to shabby. BTW, check out how much this team has grown since last year!

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B got in on the running action

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Post run celebrationphoto 3 (36) photo 2 (47)Auggie was slightly less enthused about the whole thing. We also learned he is terrified of mascots. The Sun’s Gorilla, Howler the Coyote and the Grand Canyon University Antelope all scared the bejesus out of him. Note to self.

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Buddies ready to take on the obstical course

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There was tons of media coverage – I love how easy the Team Olivia shirts are to see! Check out the honoree herself getting caped up for the survivor walk.

http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/story/24923482/2014/03/08/run-to-fight-cancer-child-survivors-given-cancer-fighting-capes

 

Don’t Wake Me Up

I really love the song Don’t Wake Me Up – it’s really resonates with me and where life is at right now. If this is all a dream – don’t wake me up. It’s too good to stop dreaming it now.

I’m not saying that there aren’t some things that aren’t perfect – but those things are minimal compared to the great things. The frustration that comes with trying to secure / entertain two kids and a puppy in order to take a 10 minute shower are totally out weighed by Auggie padding around the corner in footy jammies carrying his sister’s necklace. The smile on his face is one of defiance and victory and it is priceless. Then watching him “run” as fast as his little legs can carry him, defying all the laws of balance, trying to get away from Baylor who is hot on his trail to her her necklace back is hysterical.

I almost always respond when someone asks how it’s going with “crazy! but good crazy” and I mean it. This life is nutty, overwhelming, frustrating, perfect, hilarious, imperfect, fuzzy, soft, smelly, gross, warm, snuggly and I wouldn’t trade any of it.

I read a great article on the Huffington Post about parenting twins. It’s hilarious how the dad describes the madness of caring for two babies – I can’t tell you how much I relate to the insanity. But he goes on to describe the freedom that comes with parenting:

“I can tell you that what people say about “losing your freedom” is bull crap. We’ve got a pathetically shallow notion of freedom in this country, and that’s perfectly reflected by this common claim that you lose it when you have kids. Sure, if “freedom” is merely “the ability to go places and do things with minimal hassle,” then, yeah, you’ve lost that. You haven’t lost it permanently, but for a good long while. This is a flimsy, flat, flaccid view of freedom. I believe there’s more to being “free” than vacations and financial flexibility. I’ve seen both sides of this; I lived completely alone for the first half of my twenties, so I know about this sort of freedom. I know about it, and I can honestly tell you that I feel more free now than I ever have before. If I didn’t have a family, I could go on a cruise, or move to Vegas, or see Paris if I so desired. In fact, I could go pretty much anywhere on the globe. But I’d only be “free” to travel laterally. Now, I can travel deeper. I’m free to go deeper into human existence and experience things that are much more life-changing, enriching, transformative and exciting than a thousand vacations to a thousand exotic locations. The greatest freedom we have as human beings is the freedom to change. I’m not talking about changing the scenery, I’m talking about changing ourselves. Having children is TRULY life changing; having free time is not. This is not meant to be an attack on people without kids and spouses; I’m just clarifying a point. They are not more free than you.”

The bolded section is the best way I could ever describe being a parent. Yes you give up the freedom to run out the door at any time, grab a drink with a friend on the fly, stay out late without an exhausting process of getting a babysitter, getting ready for said sitter and then actually getting out the door. But the freedom to really know what the best parts of life are through the craziness of being a parent is amazing.

So thank you my little banshees. You make me crazy and also crazy happy.

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Uh Oh…

As of Monday, the Wands have a new member of the family.  Name, details and more ridiculously cute pictures to come.

My sanity is SO overrated.

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Little Foot

Bay and I like to take a good half hour after Auggie goes to bed and snuggle. We like to watch Gilmore Girls because it makes us think of Mamie and because Baylor has always loved the opening song.

She remarked the other night “look! My legs are almost as long as yours! My feet are almost as long as yours!”. I realized how long her legs really were and how big those feet were getting.

Don’t grow up too fast little lady. I need my snuggle buddy to fit on my lap a bit longer.

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California Love

This past weekend marked our 30th something pilgrimage to Coronado, CA. It was as lovely as ever, always a family affair and always so much fun.

This guy capital L LOVED the ocean. We could not keep him out of it. Wave to the face? No biggie. Freezing cold? Not a problem.

IMG_5632 IMG_5627 IMG_5617Our view from the beach

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The only place this guy looks small

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Baylor is equally crazy for the ocean and sand castles. I love the urgency on her face to get the water to her sand castle.

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Mason looking a little afraid. Rightly so.IMG_5559

We ran into her buddy Tessa – you would have thought they hadn’t seen each other in years…

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If this isn’t the perfect “big sister little brother” picture

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Auntie Ali, Uncle Gary and Mason looking crabby

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The Noni

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PW took nap shift one afternoon which left me alone. On the beach. With trashy magazines. And boat drinks. HEAVEN.

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The view from our room. Noni goes to great lengths to get joined rooms, beach side, with patios. It is worth every ounce of effort!

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The Del at night

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Spying on the spectacular beach wedding

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This wedding was spectacular. They had chandeliers hanging from the structure and table skirts that looked like beautiful seaweed. It was stunning.IMG_5588

Amazing sunsetIMG_5587After a full day running on the beach, playing in the waves THEN hitting the pool, Baylor rolled over and asked what I was looking at on my phone. I turned to answer her and found this:

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So here’s to the end of summer, another great vacation and many many more!

Hoodwinked

We’ve been had. Swindled. Conned. Tricked. Duped.

And all by a four year old.

It all started a few weeks ago. Baylor started getting up 2-3 times a night to go to the bathroom. She would come into our room and go into our bathroom. I didn’t think anything of it until the number started growing to 6-7 times a night. And then requiring a tuck in. Or a glass of water. Or to sleep in our bed. It was clustered over about 2 hours each night. Just as soon as I would decide that something had to be done, she would sleep through the night. She’s always been a sleep terrorist, but at this age, it’s unacceptable.

During a particularly ugly argument, B broke down crying and said “Mommy please. I just have to go to the bathroom”. It’s not the crying that gets me, it’s the good manners. I decided to take her to the doctor, convinced that there was something physically wrong.

After an examination, the doctor asked Baylor to describe what she does at night. Bay went into great detail about how she gets out of bed, walks by the kitchen, across the carpet in our room into our bathroom, turns on the light, closes the door….all the while the doctor is looking at me with a face that says “yeah, you’re kid’s fine. She’s just trouble”. His suggestion was to tell her that she was not to use our bathroom but rather she needed to use her own bathroom. And she did just that – six times in one night. And left the light on and the door open causing her brother to wake up at 4:45am confused about what he was supposed to be doing. Awake? Asleep? Hungry? He didn’t know. He just knew he was pissed that he was awake and everyone else would be awake too, except B who slept through it all.

After a subsequent conversation with our doctor family friend, I finally agreed that it was behavioral and not physical. But no amount of threats, attention or conversations was stopping the behavior. And my overall appearance is sketchy at best, let alone with little sleep. I was getting desperate.

While at the mall shopping for a birthday gift, Baylor fell in love with everything at the Disney store. And that’s when I settled on bribery. I told her that if she could go four nights without getting up more than once and without waking anyone up, she could pick out anything in the Disney store. She agreed and was excited. We drew out four Mickey Mouse heads on the chalkboard for her to circle each morning that she did what she was asked.

The first night went horribly. She was up multiple times and a fight broke out at 1am trying to get her back to her own bed. But the next three nights went swimmingly. Which is when it dawned on me – we’ve been had. We just bribed a kid to do what she has been doing for years and is perfectly capable of doing. We’re rewarding her for sleeping like she has always done.

And to her, I say well played Baylor. Well played.

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