Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snow Day!

I know this won't thrill most of you, but to us, it's a miracle. Cool

It wasn't snowing when the triplets left for school. They said it might, but we all know what that usually means...so off they went. But by the time D (10) was ready to leave, I told him he could stay. The Big Kids went on, because missing school would mean they would miss the band concert tonight. So D. and I stayed home and lit a fire and were just hanging out...waiting.

We couldn't believe when it started to stick! Wow!












So I went to get the little ones from school. I had to go to the store anyway, and I couldn't bear the thought of them missing SNOW!

I didn't go to the High School, because of the band concert. I just didn't think of them at all.

The kids jumped right out of the van without even taking their book bags off! Mary made a snow angel right away.








When their things got wet, they came in to toss them into the dryer for another run. I still haven't found all the gloves! In between, they ate Puppy Chow and drank hot chocolate. What a great day.

Of course it ended pretty soon after they got home, and the rest of the day was spent going nuts. I don't know how Northerners do this so often!

But the day did not end completely happily. When A got home, he said they had cancelled the concert in the morning. "Why didn't you come get me?" Well, of course I didn't know it had been cancelled. Why didn't you call me? "I'm not allowed to use the phone at school". So he got a quick lesson in going into a bathroom stall if he needs to text me for something. His older brother does it all the time! LOL! I know there was nothing else I could have done, because even my saying he had to go to the doctor would have made him miss the concert. The rule is NO participation if you check out for any reason. But Mommy guilt is a real bummer! Hopefully he will get another chance this winter.

I must say there is nothing to get one into the holiday spirit like making cookies while watching the snow and listening to Christmas carols! Who knew? :P

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tis the Season

I admit I am having a super-de-duper rough time getting in the mood for Christmas this year. We had our Thanksgiving trip last week, and it went fairly well, if you don't count the fact that anything and everything (and nothing) was causing me to burst into spontaneous tears every five minutes. The cousins had a great time and the Hogs won the football game (sorry, honey.). On Sunday we checked out of the condo and Hubby took the 5 youngest kids home. Big Kid and I stayed in Hot Springs to hang out for the day, and embark on a couple of campus tours before heading home.

The big news is it SNOWED while we were there! Yeah, real snow! If you count "melting as soon as it touches anything" as "real", anyway. We were in a coffee shop across from the National Park and I swear almost every adult in there went outside at least once to wave their hands in the air, take pictures and stand with their face pointed up, mouth open to catch a flake.

So, long story short, we hung out on Sunday, toured a campus in Arkansas on Monday, and one in Louisiana on Tuesday. We think he made a firm choice for the LA one, but he wasn't ready to commit to me buying the "Campus Mom" coffee mug, so that will have to wait! it was FUN hanging out with him, talking about stuff (topics ranged from politics to religion to music to "nothing") and just enjoying spending time with this beautiful person God gave me to raise.

We got home and I went back into my funk. Everything reminds me of Mom, from the music to the decorations to the food. It seems like every adult woman in town is out shopping with their mother. I'm supposed to locate the stockings and the Advent calendar today at the very least. I am not in the mood to decorate and there is a lot less time left because of the late Thanksgiving. Yes, I know I need to pull myself together for the kids, and I am trying, and in the end I will. But it's HARD, dammit! Will it be easier in January? I sure hope so.

Ending this on a better note: I discovered the "Cake Wrecks" blog about a month ago and it has been my daily smile. I was feeling particularly down this morning (rain and PMS don't help when you already feel like crap!) and I was laughing my head off after reading today's entry. Now maybe I am ready to face the attic and get going on my junk. Hope you enjoy!

Here is Actual Snow, Southern Style :P

video

On Monday night, we witnessed the "frowny face moon". We were out in the absolute pitch-blackest middle of nowhere, so I stopped to try to get a picture even though I didn't think it would take. But look!!

This is the original, untouched shot:


And here it is, cropped and flipped into a face:


Super cool! :)

Friday, November 21, 2008

Hit the Road

I'm supposed to be packing for our trip, but it's time for a coffee break. Yeah, that's it. Laughing

This trip is going to be way different than usual, that's for sure. The most obvious reason is Mom won't be there. I know - she'll be there in spirit, right? She left us these annual trips as a legacy. We all plan to keep it up every year. So that's a really good thing. But it's going to be really hard. We used to cook together, and chat, and remind each other when it was time for Happy Hour.

It's going to be hard. I'm used to doing hard things. I know exactly how it works. You stew over how hard something will be, and worry. I know better than to worry, of course. One of my favorite Bible verses is this, from Matthew 6:

Quote:
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? .... Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


This was especially meaningful to me when I was expecting triplets. I realized pretty quick that worrying about what life would be like with THREE BABIES Shocked was likely to send me into premature labor...so I physically gave up my worry - gave it to God - and took one day at a time.

Another big thing I've learned about doing hard stuff is that just when I need it, I get the strength to do it. It has to be a God thing, because you don't have it one minute longer than you need it. To those who say they could never handle triplets, I say this - if you had them, you would! It's that simple. Any parent should know what I am talking about here - when you were doing midnight feedings, your body adjusted somewhat. But try to pull an all-nighter after they sleep through the night, it's a lot harder!! You don't need that strength anymore, so you don't have it.

I always say I couldn't have handled baby triplets without Mom. But the truth is I know that if I had to, I would have. So I know that God will give me what I need now, too. He knows what I need, even if I don't.

I have a lot of extra things to deal with, for this trip. I had to call the kennel for the dogs (turns out Mom had already called). The Big Kid and I are staying up in Arkansas to visit two campuses...Mom is the one who would have taken care of my other kids while I'm gone. So I have to arrange for them to get up and dressed (hubby can't miss work after vacation), get the other Kid a ride to school (Big Kid drives him, so he can't just hop on a bus without prior notice), and take care of the little ones after school (luckily there is now an aftercare, so I just have to arrange today for them to drop in for 2 days!). Projects are due, fees are due. I need to plan food for my Dad, who is on a very strict vegan diet because of his cancer - no sugar, no flour, and he believes soy is evil... LOL, you try cooking like that. Surprised This may come as a surprise to some of you (Razz) but I just not that organized. Somehow it's all coming together, though.

One thing we're doing next week is the burial. We're using a National cemetery in Arkansas, so we decided to do it when we're all there anyway. I will be glad to have that final step done, to get through the party my Arkansas brother is going to have afterwards ("no crying! It's all about fun!").

OK, now to lighten things up...here is what I wrote last year at this time.

Holiday Ramblings

'Twas the night before vacation, when out in the van,
We were packed to the gills, tons of stuff for each man.

The suitcases crammed with essentials therein:
Stuffed duckies, Hot Wheels, toothbrushes, gin (hey, it rhymes. Rolling Eyes)...

The children were snuggled together on the couch,
lest we forget them in the morning when we moved out.

Daddy snoring softly, I lay awake
wondering what've we forgotten to pack up to take?

The inside of my brain worked overtime
mentally going over the list and checking off each line.

"I think we're all ready. Take a chill pill."
I said it would be ok, but I'm not sure it will.

See, when we go on vacation it always seems
We forget so much stuff and end up at Walgreens

Replacing and spending our vacation change
when we have it at home all neatly arranged!

Instead of a Duck Tour we spend money on
Shampoo, tennis balls, and bottles of calgon!

So I lay awake restless, thinking about stuff
I can cram into the spaces when it's time to get up.

Oh, toothpaste! Oh, Advil! Oh, big coffee cup!
Now, Xbox! Now, iPod! Now, Book of the Month!

To the suitcase, to the garage, to the driveway near the wall

Pack it up! Pack it up! Pack it up, all!

As dry heaves that on the curvy scenic route fly,
When you hand them the trashcan, and say close your eyes,

As the cry "Mom, he poked me!" floats through the air...
And the Leapster games inevitably get dropped off the chair...

Soft drinks spill in car seats,
Chips get ground into the rug,
Dad hits a bump and coffee gets spilled from the mug.

Still there are road games to play and maps to peruse.
New DVDs to watch and markers to use.

So on to the condo the big red van flew.
With a load of kids, parents, and all their stuff, too.

Over the hills far, we drove through the day
"Are we there yet?" always a moment away.
Suddenly almost before we knew
We were really there, at a quarter to two!

Grandad and Grandma came out of their door.
Cousins were playing happily on the floor.
Sweet smells coming from the condo down yonder
Hugs and photo ops and family news to ponder.

Thanksgiving again, time for vacation
To the condo we go, from all around the nation.
Family and friends, old and young
getting together and having fun!

Thankful for family, our love is strong.
Even when we don't always get along! Laughing

Count your blessings, big and small, and don't you forget it!
Contentment is yours, if only you'll let it. Smile

OK....Coffee is cold now...back to work!

Edit: Omigosh!!! I almost forgot the Cajun Eggnog! That was a close one Shocked

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mother's Day Story 2008

My Mom loved reading my blog. I have a few - my first one that got me started is on a fansite where no one can see it that isn't a member, so then I started another one so family and friends could see it, then started this one too because I love the idea of a public blog but didn't want the family one with all its names and places etc. available to the entire world. Most times I write one piece and post it to all 3, LOL. Every once in awhile I do different ones, depending on the subject. Anyway, I've decided to go ahead and post my Mother's Day piece on here. I'll put Dad's up later.

I added the part just below when I posted this on the fansite blog.

This is the Reader's Digest (condensed) version of my Mom's Mother's Day gift. I've been meaning to write one of these for years. I got the idea from Dear Abby, who suggested it as a gift for the person who has everything, and that it would be very meaningful to the recipient. That was sure true! Mom was moved to tears, then asked me to print it out for her. Smile

Not sure why I just never got around to doing this before. My Dad's cancer has reminded me that life is short and uncertain, so rather than have to look back with regret, I went ahead with it now! I'm working on one for my Dad too but will not wait for Father's Day (even though he is doing well. Just why wait?). I did Mom's first since it was Mother's Day. Anyway, enough rambling! I removed some personal info and pics but other than that, here it is. Cool

I never in a million years would have dreamed Mom would be gone by the end of the year. We've been so worried about Dad. Anyway I am SO SO glad I wrote this. I highly recommend doing this!

******************************

I am blessed to have the bestest Mom in the entire Universe, and for Mother's Day I would like to share a little about her.

Mom grew up in North Dakota. She really DID have to walk to school in a blizzard! Laughing

Here is Mom as a girl with her sister on the left. Grampa made that dollhouse. I have it now, and Mary will get it on her next birthday.


My Mom is the prettiest Mom in the world. She has blue eyes and red hair. Look at that hair. That comes from God, not a bottle!


Mom couldn't wait to have babies. I am her second baby, but her first and only girl. Yep, that's Baby Me in the picture, and my Grandad.

I must have been fun to raise! Mom tells me now that if I had been her first child I would have been her last! Laughing But I never knew that then. She loved me so much she had two other babies. Luckily, they were normal. Razz Here I am in the front with my cast. I had to wear it for a long time, way past time for me to be walking. Oh, what fun that must have been! Confused


Mom stayed home with her children. She always did fun things with us. She gave up a lot to be with us and to provide for us. She used to work for Time Magazine! She made pretty dresses for me and always made sure I looked cute and my hair was combed. She was my Brownie leader and made sure I could go to Horse Camp even though they really didn't have the money to send me. She planned fun vacations for us to take. We got to go to Yellowstone and Maine, and lots of summers at the Lake in Minnesota. We never got a new dining room set, because she wanted to make sure we got to travel instead. Like I would be writing about a dining room set all these years later! Smart Mom! Idea

Mom always liked my friends, or if she didn't, she didn't tell me at the time. Once I was grown up she told me some of the friends and boyfriends she hadn't really liked. Most of them, I was really surprised to hear that. But she always supported me and trusted me, at least that was her story, even if she didn't trust anyone else. Razz She took me and my friends places, and let me have them over, even if I DID have to keep my door open when a boy was there to practice for band. Wink

Mom taught me skills to survive when I went out into the world. Balancing a checkbook, doing laundry, cooking, and such. I thought she was just trying to make me do more work, but she was really teaching me important life lessons! Mom didn't nag me (too much) about my choice for college. She got me ready and bought me a big basket of supplies to take with me. She didn't cry until after I left. She talked to me on the phone from school when I was scared because a tornado was coming and I didn't know what to do. She held my hand when I broke up with boyfriends or got a bad grade or just was being a whiny, ultra-dramatic girly-girl (although I'm positive I don't remember that ever happening! Embarassed )

Some of my friends' Moms were not strict enough, and some of them were TOO strict. Mine was just right! She was always fair, even if I didn't always agree with her back then. I was a pushy one, but she always knew how to handle me.

My Mom always talked to me, but more than that she always listened to me. Now that I'm a Mom I know how busy she was, and how easy it would be to not listen, but she always did. And sometimes, after listening to my side, she would change her mind on stuff! Like I said, she was always fair!

My Mom was always there, for me and my brothers. I think she went to every ball game, every band concert, every recital. And now she is there for my kids, too. We are so blessed to live 5 miles away so she can do that. I think she goes to more stuff than I do sometimes.

My Mom was there when I had all my babies, and she was there when I was having triplets, taking care of my kids and my house and making sure we were OK.

My kids have the best Grandma in the world! She takes them on trips and to dinner and to the pool and to plays and movies. She has them sleep over whether one or several at a time. She pays attention to what they like and treats them as individuals.

Some pics of Grandma with her grandkids:







When I was growing up, my Mom was never my friend. She was always my Mom, and for that I am grateful, because now we are free to be real friends, and my Mom is my BEST friend. While I don't think it's possible, I hope I am half as good a Mom as my Mom is.

I love you, Mom!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Missing Grandma

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It's been a long month.

The day I wrote that last entry, my Mom was not feeling well. The next day, she was in so much pain that I talked her into calling the doctor - who sent her to the hospital ER. One month ago today, my Mom walked out of her house for the last time, pulling the door shut behind her, and drove with Dad to the hospital.

Dad was the sick one, really. We have been taking care of his cancer, using alternative methods, since last Easter. Mom was still having some issues with her arm which she'd broken in 2007 - she was still having to take pain meds for that - but as much as I rack my brain I can't remember her complaining about anything else.

I wonder how bad the pain had gotten before she complained. I wonder if the meds for her arm were just masking it. What if? What if? What if....???

Once in the hospital, she complained they weren't DOING anything. I actually felt bad at first for talking her into it. They did run some tests, and on Wednesday did a laparoscopy. Everything pointed to nothing major, so I went on to my annual retreat that weekend.

But Monday morning I went up early to catch the doctor and try to find out why we hadn't found anything out yet. That morning is still a blur, I guess it will always be a blur, as I stood at the nurses' station and heard the words "cancer...nothing we can do....call Hospice". In a fog of shock I did what minimally had to be done, calling my brothers. If I recall correctly, which I probably don't, I couldn't do much else but cry.

I was swept back to the ay my Dad was diagnosed in March. Mom and I stood in the hall and wept like children. We vowed to each other that we would do our best to be strong in front of Dad, but that we would make no such effort when together. That was a huge help, really, to be allowed to break down! But this day I was lost. She had always been there to hold me up when I broke down.

The thought crossed my mind that maybe she would get better, like Dad had. But I didn't really think so. For one, the word HOSPICE slapped me in the face. For another, I had only to look at her and how far she had deteriorated in a few days time, even since the day before.

Why she didn't come home till Friday I don't really know. All my brothers came in, her sister came in. What goes through someone's mind when they're in a hospital bed with all the family gathered round? You must just think to yourself "It's the end". I sat with her during the days when the kids were in school. At one point I broke down at her side. She squeezed my hand and said "Oh Kari, it will be all right".

On Friday she was brought to my house. Hospice brought in equipment, a bed, all that stuff. We set up the music room for her. That day she was alert and awake. It was Halloween. She laughed at the kids in their costumes, feigned fright as they jumped from behind the door with fake vampire smiles. It really seemed like she was better.

But she wasn't better. For a week she deteriorated, rallying a bit on Tuesday, A's 15th birthday. She was trying to talk, but couldn't seem to move her tongue. Had she had a stroke? Maybe...probably. She tried so hard, even trying to sing when we sang Happy Birthday in the room. After that day, it was all downhill, with us just trying to control her pain.

She died on Saturday, November 8. Ten days ago.

Mom was my best friend. We spoke to each other almost every day...saw each other often. They had dinner at our house every Sunday, unless they were out of town. This didn't bother my hubby - in fact, it was his idea! Family is important to him, too, and his Mom lives far away. Mom and I had a running joke - every once in awhile she would suggest she was being too in-our-faces and they should hang back for awhile, in order to be a good mother-in-law...I would remind her it was HIS idea, and she would accuse me of not wanting her around. Then we would laugh and go out for coffee.

After Dad got sick I decided there was no time like the present to tell them how I felt about them. So for Mother's Day I wrote a long entry, with pics, in my family blog. I did the same for Dad on Father's Day. Well, Mom was so proud. She printed the whole thing out - I guess it was five pages or so - and carried it around to show people. It is still in her purse right now. I was so glad I had done it - more so now, of course. Anyone reading this - please tell the ones you love how you feel! You never know when it may be too late.....

It's only been 10 days. Only 3 since all the rest of the family and guests have gone away. I don't expect it to be easy right now. But I wonder if there will ever come a day when I don't have sudden tears? Will there ever be a time I can JUST smile at a memory? WIll there be a time when I can wrote something like this and not be blinded by tears as I am right now?

I am a Christian, so I believe I will see her again one day. My grief is for ME, not her...she was almost 82 years old. She and Dad were married almost 49 years. She has 12 grandchildren, 6 of which are mine, and those 6 she saw all the time and was a treasured part of their lives. I miss her, we all miss her, so we grieve - not for her, but for us. We were going to have a shopping day soon. We were going to get pedicures. We were going to take Mary out for ice cream on a "Girls' Day". I know we have to move on. I'm not ready to move on, not ready to write this, yet I felt I had to. She was the best Mom, and the best Grandma.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

iGoogle issues

Anyone else use iGoogle? I do, and I love it - or I did, till the past few days. They've made some changes, against the advice of their community of testers who HATED the changes, AND given us no option to continue using the old format.

Old format (just the side of the page with the mail gadget):


New format:


I realize it's a free service (at least it is to me, though there is a pay option), and I don't have to use it, but that just doesn't seem like good business to me. Plus, a lot of the members who are complaining DO pay for the service!

THE main problem (to me) is the new version of the Gmail gadget. Used to be it would show you when you have new messages, by simply putting the number of messages there. You could choose whether you wanted to show a preview of the messages, or you could choose to hide the preview. I never really thought too much about that. I don't like a cluttered page (that to-do list is there on a trial basis Razz) and I also don't need anyone else in my family seeing the first few sentences of my mail when they bring up the Google page. Not that there's anything bad in my mail, LOL! I just don't choose to use the preview feature. But people who use iGoogle in their workplace DO have a problem with the fact that it is now no longer an option -- if you have the iGoogle page up, and the mail gadget on the page, there WILL be a preview of your e-mails - any number you choose, from 1 to 10, note that zero is NOT an option. It's a serious privacy issue. One would think it was just a bug, but it made it through testing and all its complaints.

I don't like the new page for other reasons, but the mail is the biggie for me. In the new one, they also moved the Home tab to the left, which many are also complaining about. I can live with that. I don't care what it LOOKS like. But they changed the way the mail functions. Gmail was easy to use -- No longer. It's more complicated now just to read the mail, much less reply and add attachments. It's a serious pain! I confess I am set in my ways and don't like a lot of changes, but why fix what wasn't broken? Better still - why FORCE it on people? Let those who want it, choose it. Let those of us who like it the old way, keep that. It's done all the time when "improvements" are made.

I found a Google discussion group and discovered a temporary fix for the problem - I set my home page to the Canadian version of iGoogle. Cool See, this "improvement" is only for those of us in the US, for now. But it won't last forever. Quote:

The Official Google Blog :
Not in the U.S.? Don't worry. We'll also be rolling out this updated version in other countries very soon.

Great! I know my Canadian friend can't wait. *rolling eyes*

And here's what the Google rep in the Help Group had to say:

Quote:
Canvas view of gadgets (and its accompanying left-side navigation) is
an important new iGoogle feature, so the old look is being retired.

-Paul
iGoogle Guide


Well, Paul - important to whom? Not to your members, apparently, who have posted 10 pages of complaints on your Help Group? Not to the testers who begged Google to NOT make the changes? And apparently the customer is not important to Google. Suck it up and learn to like it, eh? Nice business model, I wonder if they also sell futons? Confused

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Getting Down and Dirty

I don't watch Regis and Kelly, but yesterday I caught this clip on YouTube.



I still don't watch Jon and Kate Plus Eight (I know. I seem to have a lot to say about stuff I never watch. LOL), but I can no longer say I never have. I've watched a couple of episodes. I loved them. They were so cute, and I could totally relate to the chaos and stress. If I were a TV watcher, I could see myself putting the show on my list.

But -- me liking the show doesn't negate what I said in my other post. I still believe they are being negatively affected and that there should be laws to protect them from the constant exposure. Me being a voyeur is my own problem. Photobucket

Back to topic...

Here is the dialogue between Kelly and Mark before the family came out:

  • Kelly: What I want to know is, why do their children never look dirty? Why?
  • Mark: they're a very clean family.
  • Kelly: But i swear they always look well dressed, their hair is always combed, we can't get our kids to put shoes on. What's wrong with us?
  • Mark: We're bad parents.

This post is not about the Gosselins. It's about kids in general. Here is a fact about kids:

They get dirty.

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I know; that's a shocker to some people. My own Grandmother used to buy little white dresses for me when I was a toddler - white, smocked, dry-clean only dresses. Seriously! Who buys that stuff?? Rather, who buys that stuff and expects it to stay cute?

My own Mom didn't dress me in that stuff, or else she would put me in it when my Grandmother came to visit. She passed on some things to me for my own kids. Sweet little boy sailor outfits with 27-year-old tags still on them. So I did what IMO any normal mother would do - I put it on my son. And when it got dirty, I washed it (I don't do dry clean for my own stuff. Dry cleaning for kids - ain't gonna happen.). If it was still usable after that, I put him in it again. What good is an outfit you can't wear? What, I'm gonna pass it on to my kids with the tags still on? Or donate it to a museum maybe. LOL.

I am not a huge fan of messes. I never did allow much playdough in my house. At times I felt I was cheating them, being a bad Mommy by not allowing playdough. But having to sweep up minute pieces of dough from everywhere in the house once or twice changed my mind. We tried the kitchen, we tried outside. It just wasn't worth the stress. So I can definitely relate to not doing certain things because of the mess.

Eventually they went to preschool, anyway, and got to play with playdough to their little hearts' content. They don't even remember that their mean Mommy took away all the Playdough and hid it in a very safe place. No future therapy bills - from this, anyway. Photobucket

I am torn on markers. Of course you can easily get washable ones. My biggest problem with markers is they inevitably get up and walk from the art cabinet in the kitchen, and end up in the living room, on the carpet, with the top off. Then, when they can't find their washable ones (because I'll be honest - I throw out any marker I find in the living room, on the carpet, with the top off! No questions asked), they get the stepladder and get my Sharpies out of the high cabinet. That explains the nice, long, straight lines drawn on the new, cream colored dining room carpet on the first day we moved in here (but hey, I'm not bitter or anything!) and the little marks on the kitchen table that give it such....character. Yeah, that's the word. Photobucket

I'm not against picking and choosing how your kids will get dirty. But I do think kids ARE being cheated if they are never allowed to do so.

The thing is, kids are messy. Life is messy. That's why we have soap. Seriously. I haven't found much that soap won't get out. Even cheap soap. If it doesn't - voila, new paint shirt! Photobucket

Another obvious benefit to having pre-stained clothing is that when you're going somewhere you KNOW will be messy, you can just dress the kids in clothes you don't care about. Remember your own childhood? I'll bet we all had different classes of clothing: church clothes, school clothes, play clothes. After church or school, we would change into the play clothes. We would not have worn church clothes to the Crayola Factory or the Bakery. We do not wear our nicest things to play in the sandbox, or finger paint, or even just play on the swingset in the back yard.

I never understood parents who won't let their kids get dirty. We have friends we used to camp with. I was expecting my first, so of course anything I had to say about kids was crap since I didn't actually have kids yet. Our friends' daughter was at the early crawling stage. They spread a huge tarp on the ground for her to crawl on, and put some toys in the middle. But she didn't want to stay in the middle with the toys, oh no. Well, of course not! You're a baby, newly mobile, and you're in this cool new place with neat new things to explore. So our friends spent the entire weekend trying to keep the baby in the middle of the tarp, even to the point of yelling at her. And any time she did manage to get off the tarp, they would whisk her away, bathe her and change her into a new frilly (spotless) outfit.

They didn't enjoy a single moment of the trip from what I could tell. And frankly, neither did I. It isn't fun for me to listen to people yell at their kids for any reason, much less for just being kids. Subtracting from the fun was the yelling at me that I don't know jack since I didn't have kids yet. But it would have been un-fun enough without that part, as I found out once I did have kids.

Judgment of their parenting aside - why did they even go camping? It's one thing if you expect your kids to stay clean around your house. Why go to a primitive tent camping area if you don't like dirt? Why not bring a playpen for the baby? There are places you can go and expect to get dirty, and camping is one of them. If you don't want to get dirty, don't go; problem solved. Photobucket

I dunno. Photobucket Personal opinion alert: I think parents who expect their kids to never get dirty have serious issues. I'm guessing Mark and Kelly were joking about being bad parents. I sure hope so. What I would like to say to them is, you are normal parents. And I'm with you on the shoes, girlfriend! Photobucket