Friday, June 29, 2012

Bragging and Udates

Yesterday, after three weeks of swim lessons, where Charlotte told me that her tummy hurt every day before class, she had a breakthrough.  She jumped into the pool by herself and then, wait for it, 
SHE FLOATED ON HER BACK ALL BY HERSELF FOR AT LEAST 20 SECONDS!    I don't know how else to show what a big deal this is.  She is a floater!  It is awesome.
 Lee has taken a shine to Greg.  He already loves this kid and you can see in the photo below.
 Also he loves to stretch.  And wear this outfit.  How can I tell he likes this outfit?  Firstly, he looks so cute in it.  Secondly it's about the only thing I've put him in that he hasn't immediately spit up on or pooped on in a while.  I take that as a, "I like this thing Mom," sort of message.
 Again, he loves his brother.
 Earlier this week I decided to do a little bit of education time, you know, like I used to do before.  Turns out you don't need a whole lot of prep time, or energy to pull off a pretty fun afternoon for your kids.  What you need is sequins and glue: (We decided to do the letter I)
 I didn't take a photo of the mazes and dot-to-dot exercises I printed off the computer, but I did include Kool-aid:
 That we made into Iced Kool-aid (The kids were out of their minds with excitement once I explained what Kool-aid was and after Charlotte got over what she considered a stinky smell coming from the packet):
 And then I gave them a huge block of Ice that had some "treasures" frozen in it.  I gave them some butter knives and the hacked away at that thing for about an hour.  Then it got light enough to throw into the pool and melted that way.  They kept asking me if they could keep the treasures.  I guess they must have forgotten the small toys I dug out of the bottom of the toy bins downstairs.
Also, and this isn't pictured, Dan has decided to try to purchase a 1953(I think) willy's wagon from Denver instead of Tucson.  Much easier logistically to get it here.  He called the seller to set up a time for my sister and her husband (in Denver) to go check it out.  The seller said that it was just his grandpa puttering around car and it was time for him to not have it anymore.  The humor wasn't lost on me that my husband is seeking out to buy a "grandpa puttering around car."  He is such an old man at times!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

One Day, One Hug, One Smile

After that last post I thought I'd better remind myself of some of the things that have brought me unbelievable happiness, joy, and quiet.

Although the dishes aren't my favorite, something that is my favorite is the view out of my kitchen window.  I live in a beautiful country.  Doing the dishes the other night, when it was quiet, after bedtime, I had the chance to watch the sun set beyond the corn farms and my soul gave thanks for the beauty that surrounds me every day.

My daughter loves to listen to stories.  There was an afternoon last week when Greg, exhausted from the week, managed a nap and Lee was asleep at the same time.  Charlotte and I got to snuggle and read together.  Love, right there.

Greg has decided to give "tight hugs" as part of our bedtime routine and it feels like a shot of love going right to my bones.  In fact, the entire bedtime routine, with the not listening to reading scriptures, sucking on the toothbrush brushing teeth, and small wrestling match hugs and kisses does tend to warm my heart.  It was designed to calm kids down but usually it feels a bit more like controlled chaos.  And I love it.

Saturday we went to the beach of a little man made lake.  The sky was overcast, the weather was threatening rain, and the kids had goose bumps.  But you know what?  It didn't slow the kids down one bit and together with our friends, we were the only ones there.  They frolicked in the water, dug in the sand, and ate lunch on the blanket I packed.  We had a blast, came back covered in sand and smiles.

And there is nothing better than the smiles of my children.  They motivate me to work hard, love long, and enjoy what I'm doing.  I am amazed by the strong feelings I get when my kids smile at me.  They are much beyond my abilities to communicate to anyone else.

So, no, we're not picture perfect right now.  We are rough around the edges and maybe a little bit sticky in spots, but we are also full of love, peace, joy and happiness.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

How Do You Do It?

You know how sometimes people ask stay at home moms that have a large family, "How do you do it?" when really they mean, "You are totally nutso!"

That is not what I mean here.  Right now I've spent the last week literally working myself as hard as I can and still haven't reached what I would consider a satisfactory level of success with kids, husband or home and I don't even have what some would consider a large family.  And I'm not saying that my level of satisfaction is high by any means.  Mostly I would just love to spend a day, a whole day, not losing my cool with any member of my amazing and wonderful family.  Also, it would be nice if the counter weren't sticky with who knows what and if we could stinking find a cup when we need one, oh! and I didn't step in my son's urine when he accidentally didn't make it into the potty.  Yeah, that last one would be really nice.

Now I know the first thing people are going to tell me.  Don't sweat the small stuff, just love them and everything else will work out.  Here's the thing, it's a lot easier to love them when they're not hungry, or asking me 10 million times where their other shoe is.  It's hard to calmly help them look for it when I want to say, "I don't know!  Put the thing in your closet and then you'll always know where it is!"

I keep running thinking that this phase will pass.  The baby will grow up and I will be able to find more time, but I'm starting to wonder if that's just a lie people tell you as well.  Because here's the thing.  Yes, the baby grows up, but so do the other children.  And then they're in kindergarten, and dance, and swimming, and what not.  And you're getting ready and cleaning up and driving them to each of those things.

So here's the question for all those moms out there, how do you do it?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Falling Behind

My mother will laugh and laugh and laugh.

Each of my children, in the last week, has exhibited behavior choices that mirror myself at that age.

 This daughter of mine has her swim teacher's bamboozled.  She has decided that she likes to feel special and in order to feel special she elicits extra help from her teachers by being "too scared" to jump into the pool.  This is the part of the pool where she knows full well she can touch the bottom.  She told me, "Mom, my swim teachers are so nice to me!"
 Younger brother that he is my son has found the one sound that will get on everyone's nerves and do it whenever he doesn't get his way.  Partly I'm annoyed, partly I'm impressed by his survival skills.  Also, I thought I'd put this photo up to show everyone how awesome of a mom that I am because I let my three year old run around with long sticks.  Way to go me.  (But he did love that stick so very much.)

Mostly I just put these two photos up to show you all how much he's grown.  I took the top one, when was it, last week?  and then the bottom one today.  Neither of them are great photos, but they do show one awesome detail.  Do you see that roll on his thigh?  So cute!
This photo is just funny to me.  He still looks great with drool all down the front of his shirt.  Not everyone can pull this look off.

Also this son of mine still insists on being held much of his awake time.  Luckily for me he is also a pretty solid sleeper.  When he is held though he usually likes to lean way out away from me.  I did the same thing to my mom until I was finally old enough to understand her telling me to cuddle on into her.  I think he's just trying to get me to multitask.  This way I can hold him and work on my arm and core strength at the same time!  I never knew I would have a personal trainer.

My kids are so very much like me.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Once Upon A Time

There was a boy.

And a Jeep.

And the boy loved the Jeep very much.  And the Jeep loved the boy.

The boy took very good care of the Jeep.

He even spent $700 on a stereo system for the Jeep the same week he got married.

And then the boy accidentally blew up the Jeep.

And the insurance company declared the Jeep totaled.

And the boy was heartbroken.

Then the boy grew up a bit.

But the boy still loved the Jeep.

He also loved his family.

And so the boy decided to own much more family friendly vehicles.

Including a minivan.

But in his heart he still wanted a Jeep.

So almost seven years later, when he noticed his neighbor's lovely blue Jeep, his love resurfaced during his hobby of browsing Craigslist.

His wife, who loved him very much, told him that she didn't care what vehicle he used to drive to work.

The only stipulation was that it couldn't cost them more than the price of selling his current car.

And the boy's heart rose with hope and a serious browsing of Internet sellers commenced.

And the wife got nervous, but she tried to keep her faith in him and remember that he has always considered the needs of his family.  (Including the basement of the house that has yet to be fixed.)

He confirmed that her faith was correct when he told her that he would wait until his projects were finished.

But then he found the vehicle he wanted.

And it was in Tucson, AZ.

And it was orange.

And it was a Jeep.

And he was in love.

Friday, June 08, 2012

My Guys

Here are a couple of awesome guys:
 Do you see how long those toes are?  They make me laugh because he probably got them from me.
If Charlotte has her daddy's eyes Greg has his mommy's. 

I hope everyone has a great weekend!  

PS. We are one week closer to having our good friends here with us!