Happy Birthday Grammy Kay!

Today is my mom's birthday. Hooray!

My mom is one of my favorite people in the world. She's smart, she's quirky, and she's fun.

She's so fun, in fact, we have adopted the name "Pied Piper" for her. Whenever the grandkids come to her house, they inevitably disappear into Grammy Kay's room and will inevitably reappear wearing all sorts of fun, crazy costumes. Case in point, Christmas a year ago, she had matching Disney Princess shawls and purses for all the girls. (Yes, that is Henry wearing a shawl too. Like he could resist the tempting call of the siren Pied Piper!)

Another reason to love her? She's dependable. Even before you have the baby, sometimes she'll come when you're horribly sick and pregnant and want to kill yourself, but you don't, because she comes and makes you freezer jam. She'll come again when you finally have that baby. She'll come and help and clean up and go out and buy you Christmas decorations for your new tree because she knows you don't have any money.

She's be known to throw a few awesome impromptu dance parties with her hip selection of songs on her hip iPod (that has, "Kay Smith Rocks," engraved on the back; so there's your proof -- she really is awesome).

She lets Henry cook with her. Cooking with a toddler? I can think of a million other things that are less stressful than that. She also does crazy things that give me an inordinate amount of anxiety just thinking about, like letting Henry push a chair up to the sink and pour spoonful after spoonful of soapy water onto a towel that she's strategically put there to soak up all the running water. Are you kidding? Oh man, I'm getting the chills just thinking about the mess. But that's her. The Pied Piper doesn't bat an eye at things like that.

And of course, as the nickname implies, she loves kids. The Pied Piper is truly one of the best grandmas I know. Henry loves her (and Ruby will too, just give her some time, she has trust issues, y'all) along with the rest of her 13 grandkids (soon to be 16 -- go Liz, Shelly, and Heather! Make us proud!).

Notice the similarities between that last pic and the next? My kids are about the same ages when these pictures were taken. I love that I have similar pictures of them with my mom. (Not to distract from my moving tribute to the Pied Piper, but come on Ruby, grow some hair already!)

Anyway, Happy Birthday Mom! We love you!


Bath Time Shenanigans

I'm lucky. Scott takes care of the kids' baths around here. I feel especially lucky after having a rough day with the kids. Today was one of those days.

This picture may look like a normal, fun, brotherly-love type bath experience. But oh no, today was different, my friends.

Tonight, Scott took Henry and Ruby upstairs for their bath while I cleaned up the kitchen after dinner. While Scott was changing Ruby's diaper, I heard Henry rushing around trying to get his clothes off so he could be first in the tub. About 67 seconds into the process, I heard a totally appalled and exasperated Scott say, "HENRY! Guh-ross! How would you like it if I put my bare bum on your head?!?" Poor Ruby, she's always the butt of Henry's jokes (pun intended, of course).

I couldn't help it. I just bust up laughing. Now, that was funny -- funny because Scott's "Guh-ross" totally had an unintentional Napoleon Dynamite quality to it but mostly funny because it happened on Scott's watch and not mine. Obnoxious things are so much funnier when they happen to other people, aren't they? (Especially after the day I had with Henry and his crazy antics.)

Oh Henry. (sigh)

Most days I feel like, "Can't live with him, can't live without him" was never a true statement until Henry came along.

Case in point, his harassment of poor sweet Ruby:


Inhabitants of the Frozen Tundra

This is what it's like for us.

The highest our thermometer got today was -1.

Currently, we're at a balmy -15, with a wind chill factor making it feel like -33.

We bravely ventured out to Target today and our Yaks barely made it.

I think this unbelievably freezing MLK Day was more of a Genghis Kahn type of day for me and mine.