The Help

Today was my third official day on my own with the girls. And Annie is already a month old. You do the math. That means I’ve had a sidekick for a very long time in newborn years. My mom stayed the first week, next Ryan’s mom stayed on for two weeks, and finally my new family of four made the trek to Kansas City for a long weekend.

What a lucky gal I am. Seriously, because I know it has been hard at various times for everyone. Case in point:

Carolyn + no sleep + crying baby + debates = I will destroy you.

And that’s just over whether or not the world is flat. Because clearly it is.

So let’s focus on some other things that happened… Like when Jama helped Ruthie make a father’s day present for Ryan because I let that sorta slip by….

The bar had already been set on Mother’s Day when I had to make breakfast for everyone, so I didn’t feel horribly bad.DSC_7557 DSC_7560
Or when everyone was talking on the phone to their girlfriends, except for me.

Because I don’t talk on the phone.


Or having meals delivered to us by friendly friends. This photo was taken during the first meal I actually made for everyone. Breakfast, of course. DSC_7567 Or catching sight of the future state of my living room in the mirror. Holy toys everywhere. DSC_7570 Oh yeah, and also Ruthie on her tippy toes to see the butterfly had Jama had made.

Julie was a big help. She would take care of Ruthie in the morning while I either slept or lounged on the couch, sometimes forgoing using the bathroom. She also began the never-ending the task of asking Ruth to say “No Thank You” when she’d yell NO!!!! if we asked to help her in anyway. This independence is taking over our lives. Seriously, can’t I read a book to you anymore, Ruth? You don’t even know the words but insist on babbling through book after book.

After Jama went back home, we left for Kansas City the following day. Ryan had a conference in St. Louis and so he dropped us girls off first. We left right before Ruth’s afternoon nap, envisioning a quiet car with my feet propped up, a martini in my hand, and Stephen King on Books-on-Tape.

Stephen King was about the closest we got to that dream, because these girls pulled a Jack Nicholson on me within the first 15 minutes. And I spent the rest of the time alternating between zoning out and trying to entertain. I’m driving next time, because the passenger always gets the bum deal.

We arrived in one piece and spent the evening talking in the living room. Ryan didn’t have to leave until after lunch the next day, so going to garage sales was discussed as an option in the morning. My mom and I are garage sale fanatics. It’s a sickness, but I don’t care.

Because we did end up strolling around the neighborhoods and scored.

This solid oak table and chairs.. Yep, only twenty bucks.

DSC_7575 And look behind Ruthie there… see that box? We thought for sure it was a plastic dollhouse, but after opening it up realized it was wood (which is what I was looking for.)

DSC_7589 Price, you ask?


My dad put it together to make sure everything was there. They were, including the official “Grandpa Constructing Things” face. Anyway, that baby will either be a Birthday or Christmas present.

DSC_7595 Notice that broom. It has it’s own story after arriving home.

We also got some cousin time in as well. My cousin’s little girl Kaylee is about 8 months older than Ruth, so I thought for sure they’d be best pals instantly. I spent the entire morning before she arrived prepping Ruthie for what was about to happen: who was coming over, what they would say, and what she should say.

Ruthie, guess who’s coming over?! Kaylee and Katie and Aunt Mary and Uncle Donald are coming over. They’re going to ring the doorbell and walk in and then say, Hi Ruthie!! And then you’ll say, Hi! back to them. Okay?

Rinse and repeat.

She understood her duties in the hostess world and was ready… repeating Kaylee’s name over and over and saying Hi a billion times.

The door bell rang.

The group walked in.

And there went Ruthie, screaming in the opposite direction.

By the end of the day they had warmed up to each other and were running up and down the halls.

Here are most of the girls:

DSC_7625 Annie’s other Aunt and Uncle came by for a quick visit but of course I didn’t have my camera handy. It was pretty much the same scenario. Prepping for no apparent reason. Ruthie is just a nervous nelly.

Aunt Amy and her braces got in on the fun as well.


We met up for a second time with the aunts, uncles, and cousins for Taco Tuesday. On the way there, Annie started screaming bloody murder. So my mom pulled over and she’d had an explosion that went up her back.

Mexican food still sounded good.

Dangit, Katie, and your natural beauty.

Some other events:

Ruth ran around naked and then peed on the kitchen floor.


DSC_7630 We had a pool party. Annie stayed inside and I counted down the minutes until the window would be knocked on by my dad indicating I needed to get my screaming child. DSC_7638 DSC_7640 DSC_7643 I walked into either a really cute prairie girl, or one of the twins standing at the end of the hall in The Shining. DSC_7666

Smile Ruthie, for goodness sakes.
We also went to story time at the library. Ruthie was so good at singing songs and learning new hand movements.DSC_7667 There was even a guest appearance from Jay Leno’s love child. That gray haired chic and her chin need to get a room.DSC_7670 Grandma helped with the craft…DSC_7675

We also watched my parents’ blue spruce get chopped down.
DSC_7658And it can’t be a visit unless some version of Les Miserables is watched, listened to, or sung. DSC_7682Mom and Dad also helped out a lot too. I pretty much slept in as late as I could in the morning as well as during Ruthie’s naps. So by the time I got home, I was ready to take this bull by the horn.

Speaking of getting home. We stopped off to eat at a restaurant. I asked Ruth what she’d like to eat and she yelled, Broccoli! So I ordered a side of broccoli… and you betcha, she ate it.

Who is this girl, for real. It’s so fun finding out.

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