Saturday, March 30, 2013


Yesterday, Trent was running a fever and threw up a few times.  Today, Trent is running a fever and threw up ON ME a few times.  Moving the wrong direction, I tell you!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Way Out West

My travels this week find me in Lubbock, Texas. I've never been to Lubbock, so I'm always excited to see someplace new. Being a music nerd, I mostly know Lubbock as Buddy Holly's home town. (And yes, I already drove by the house.)

This morning as I boarded my flight, it had already started snowing quite heavily in Indy. I rushed onto the plane and threw myself in my seat, thinking about all of the Buddy Holly sites I might see in Lubbock.

As I looked out my snow covered window, I took note of a heavy set Texan sitting across from me, as well as a Latino kid in front of me. Another glance out the window at the snowy tarmac, and I suddenly wasn't as excited to take off.

In the end, I made it to Lubbock in one piece, and hopefully in the next couple of days, I'll get the chance to hear Peggy Sue and Everyday at least a few times in the rental car.

Vacation: low key

Ice cream sundaes followed by kid wii tournament at the resort... Grant and Grace are having fun despite the coldest spring break ever!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Prep Work

Spring break is around the corner, and while Bret will be wandering around Texas on business, the kids and I, with Grandma in tow, are heading on a week long trip.  It's nowhere special, but we'll be staying in a great place with a great pool and a variety of other things to do around town.  I am going to let you in on a secret: I can vacation more cheaply than anyone else I know.  That's right:  I will squeeze four vacations out of the same amount of money that people spend on one.  Other people have public speaking skills.  Some are crafty.  Some gals have beautifully decorated homes.  Me: I'm an expert at cheap vacations.  Someone has got to be good at it... and that someone... is me.

But, there's a lot of prep work that goes into a successful, low key, and cheap vacation.  The first step is making sure your condo has proper toy capabilities.  So, this morning, I packed up the kids' toy boxes.  They each get a shoe sized plastic tote, and all of their toys for the week must fit inside.  If you ever wanted to know what 6-year-old boys and almost 5-year-old girls are playing with, look no further:

Grant's box:
Hot Wheels
Various Super Hero/Ninja Turtle/Power Ranger action figures
Several bouncy balls
Hex bugs
Star War Pods
A weapon (every boy needs one [or 500])
A magnetic play scene (this one: knights and castles)
And subtraction book (okay, that one is me, but seriously, you should consider buying these great little books)

Grace's box:
pop beads
Magnetic princess dress up
Sewing laces
My Little Ponies
Aqua Doodle
Various ballerinas/fairy dolls
Small stuffed animal
Dress-up Cinderella doll
Addition book

There's lots more prep work to do (packing for four, including an infant), hunting down meds, toiletries  goggles, pool goodies, snacks and such... and prepping the car (complete with ipods, mobi gos, loads of books, books on cd, activity books and much, much more).

In the end, we'll make another memory, have another experience, and do it all without breaking the bank--which is the best kind of fun for this mommy!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Breakfast of Champions

Don't come between a boy and his burger!  This is his absolute FAVORITE breakfast!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mammoth Cave

Last week I was scheduled to do five solid days of training in the great state of Alabama.  I generally like visiting Alabama.  I have relatives there, and they generally don't keep a very good eye on their stuff.  It's usually a win for me.

I took the family with me, as I thought the kids would enjoy getting to see their cousins, and Erin would enjoy regaining some of her ability to converse with adults.  So we packed into the minivan on Friday and headed for the deep south.

We spent Friday night just south of Louisville, and in my usual fashion, we chose to eat at Hammerheads.  The food was decent, but we weren't necessarily as enthusiastic as the reviews we read online.  Plus their website looks circa-1994.

On Saturday, we ventured on down to Mammoth Cave National Park.  Erin has been suffering from what I will call "small space induced anxiety."  I have tried to convince her repeatedly that she is just getting old and insane, but she insists she has a real affliction.

So as we pulled up to Mammoth Cave, I continued to disregard her notion that she would be unable to go down into the cave. So as we got off the bus, I could tell Erin was not ok. She insisted on going at the end of the line, so I took Grant and Grace on ahead.

As we descended into the cave, Grace became highly concerned that I was taking her into a situation that her mother obviously had deemed unsafe. So she started screaming. A lot. For many minutes. Loudly.

Eventually we reached the first stopping point. As I tried to speak reason into Grace ("Mommy isn't here yet because she's nuts, not because the cave isn't safe."), a ranger asked the group "Where is Bret Hawkins?" I thought, "Well isn't it obvious that it's the guy with the screaming daughter and the missing mother?"

"Sir, your wife didn't make it. "

"Yeah, no real shock there. I take 2 out of 3 kids,  and she conveniently loses her mind."

I went on with the 2 kids, but they obviously don't trust me over their mother.  From that point on, both kids were quiet, obviously convinced that they would be spending their remaining days eating cave crickets and living in the cave.

After we ascended from the cave and were reunited with mommy, I was summarily blamed for the entire situation.  "I told you I didn't want to go... You never listen to blah blah blah."

We ended the trip with some pictures in front of the Mammoth Cave sign. I declared it Epic Fail National Park and agreed to get Erin an anti anxiety Pez dispenser when we got home.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Birmingham rocks!

Between swimming with cousins, watching baseball games, or visiting a great science museum (complete with lying on a bed of nails), we are having a blast!