Tuesday, August 31, 2010

this moment

it was really nothing out of the ordinary tonight.
we were having dinner.
we have dinner every night.
but something was different tonight.
as i looked at my plate with fresh, tasty ingredients,
and as i looked around the table with pete & my boys eating & talking with all of their "dinner guests" (will's stuffed monkey & sam's 2 dozen stuffed friends joined us for dinner tonight),
i realized how important these moments are.
i believe these are the moments i will take with me...
the flavors of our food,
the way the light shines in the window every night at dinner,
the way sam & will set the table with glasses half full of water and forks hidden almost anywhere,
the way will picks over his food looking mostly for chicken, cheese or noodles in every dish,
the way sam eats everything on his plate and the way he always asks pete when he is going to start liking tomatoes,
the way we talk about our day,
the way we all talk about how happy we are will has his highchair to sit in so he won't wander around,
and just the way we enjoy each other.
i know our meal time isn't always perfect.
many nights kids are grumpy,
things get spilled,
the food isn't wonderful,
and our dishes aren't fancy,
but tonight this moment was perfect.

"enjoy the little things in life for one day you'll look back and realize they were the big things."

Monday, August 30, 2010

date night

i relish the time that i get to take each of my boys on their own separate "mom date".
today was that day.
they both use this opportunity to be themselves,
not the lost in routine or in the shadow of a sibling self,
and i love getting that reminder of who they really are.
both dates with each of them were fun,
but will really stuck with me this time around.
we went to keva juice and great harvest and then to the park.
he wanted to sit out front and enjoy our food.
he really let loose there.
with hip hop type music playing over the loud speaker,
he couldn't contain himself.
he just started dancing and couldn't stop.
he had some great moves,
especially his break dancing type moves.
i didn't get to see all of them.
when he realized i was watching he asked me to stop to looking at him.
thankfully i had the camera in my purse and was able to catch a short secret video.
i love this kid.
i hope he is always so free to move how he's feeling.

Friday, August 27, 2010

friday book review: llama llama red pajama

by anna dewdney
suggested reading level: 3-8

a sweet rendering of the trials of bedtime & separation anxiety,
a familiar theme with younger children.
after baby llama gets all tucked in he gets worried after his mama leaves.
when he calls her and she doesn't come immediately he begins to wail.
mama llama has to reassure him that she's always near even if she's not right here.
this story has a simple rhyme scheme and boldly colored pictures.

we love this book!
it is a great representation of what happens at bedtime often around here.
both of my boys enjoy reading it over & over.
it's one i like reading, too.
we talk often about why this baby llama is scared;
that gives my boys the chance to substitute what they are really scared about at night.
it's also a sweet reminder that i am always here for them, too, and that it's ok to go to sleep.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

that's what cousins are for...

cousins are great for lots of things.
a guaranteed play date,
someone to paint jungle animal faces with,
being willing to lock you in the bathroom when you had an accident in your pants to help you get cleaned up before anyone even found out.

cousins are also great to teach you important life lessons.
i caught one of these lessons today.
sam & emi were in the shower together today,
and i happened to walk by just at the right time to hear emi say this:
"sam, how come it's not ok to pee in your shower?"
to which sam responded:
"it's just not ok."
now really, who would teach you this lesson if you didn't have a best friend cousin?

this is sure a great group of cousins we've got.
i hope they continue to know that they will always have a friend in their cousins.
at the rate these guys are going,
i think they will always know that.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

keeping it real

every room in my house looks as if a tornado has hit.
breakfast, lunch, snack, & dinner messes are still on the counter, table, & sink.
i have 2 baskets full of clean clothes, a load in the dryer & a load in the washer.
my garbage cans still need to be taken to the curb for garbage day tomorrow.
not to mention that i think every garbage can in my house needs to be emptied.
my floors are so sticky that i think of my grandpa complaining about floors being so sticky that it pulled his socks off walking across them.
oh, and the bathroom.
i did clean that yesterday,
but you wouldn't know that today.
my laundry/sewing room looks like i've done 9 projects without cleaning up once.
you get the point.

time management has never been my strongest skill.
hence, blogging instead of cleaning.
i'm wondering if that's why things never get done around here.
or maybe it's because i have 3 kids ages 4 & under.
(i know there are many who have more and who know how to do it better)
but for me i have to remember that this is what life is like for me for almost a year after having a baby.
i'm thinking i will just go to bed without worrying about it tonight.

don't worry, this is not a complaint about my life.
it is just a reality check,
a reality check that i will appreciate if i have another child and find myself in the same spot again.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

17 minute mile

sam loves running.
he has wanted to run in a real race for the last 9 months.
we promised we would find a kid race in oregon this summer.
it didn't happen.
his dream came true yesterday.
he got to run a kid race.
it was a little longer than a little kid race.
it was just over 1 mile.
but he did it!
in only 17 minutes.
he is a competitive little thing.
he won 2nd place.
a close 2nd to 10-year-old boy.
i'm glad we came prepared.
i brought one of pete's medals to award him.
he was certain he would win a medal.
there were no official prizes,
but the finish line race worker was kind enough to award him the medal we brought.
he was so happy;
i thought he would cry.
he was proud, too,
and he is still proud.
i think the medal has only been off of him for 6 hours since he "won" it.
if it's not around his neck,
then it's hanging by his bed.
i've caught him laying and staring at it on several occasions.

i'm proud of him, too.
i think it's quite an accomplishment.
i have a feeling running could really be his thing;
mother's bias aside, he has some real natural talent.
i'm grateful he has had this confidence building experience,
but i'm more grateful to hear him talk about how everyone that started the race was a winner.
that's the most important lesson i hope he always carries with him.
i hope he knows he can always be a winner at everything he attempts.
i hope he knows that he is not more of a winner because of someone else's loss.
he will always be a winner for trying.

p.s. sam asked me last night if i would write on the blog about this. he wanted me to write that his dream finally came true.

a few other thoughts...
*he asked me the day before if i would say a prayer to help him with his race. will said the dinner prayer the night before. just as he was finishing up, sam interrupted him in a whisper asking him to say to help in his race at "sugar" park. will didn't understand, so he kept whispering back "at sugar park?" it was so touching! he finally understood the request and sent it in.
*i got him a new pair of "racing" socks with lightening bolts on them. i also got him a racing shirt that said "born to be awesome". after the race he thanked me for the shirt because it helped him run AWESOME.
*he wanted to take some pre-race photos with his race number on his shirt. he immediately posed himself in a running pose and a starting pose. :)

will's race

will wanted a race, too.
he was a little too small for a mile,
but we let him run a short distance with pete through the finish line.
that was just perfect.
he was proud, too.
and so were we.
he was perfectly prepared with his new running socks and flip flops.
he knows he won the 3-year-old division.
i'm glad he got the spotlight, too.

Friday, August 20, 2010

alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day

we read lots of books around here.
i love the story they tell of how we spend our time around here.
i always enjoy re-reading book review posts that i've made in the past.
it has a way of taking me back in time to that stage,
the stage that always passes so quickly.
i'm going to start a friday children's book post from a recent favorite,
and i know i will be grateful for the reminder in 10 years when i re-read all these old posts.

the book that was hot on the list this week was alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day by judith viorst.
it is a story about a little boy who has such a bad day he just wants to move to australia.
every thing was going wrong for him
like gum in his hair, tripping on his skateboard, dropping his sweater in the sink, lima beans for dinner, and kissing on TV.
it makes you think about what you would do on a day like that
and if it's really worth moving to australia.

this book seemed to fit the kind of week we were having around here.
nothing seemed to go quite right the majority of the time.
i think we all wanted to go away at one point.
it provided us a great opportunity to talk about how to handle situations when things don't go our way.
sam really was into the book;
i think it is best suited for 4-6 year olds.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

burn out

perhaps i'm tired.
perhaps i'm out of good ideas.
perhaps i have no patience.
or perhaps being a mother to 3 kids under the age of 5 is hard work.
what has been making it exceptionally hard is my lack of personal space.
sam ALWAYS has to be around me.
he doesn't want to do anything by himself,
including playing.
he doesn't play.
he follows me around all day asking what we should do now.
i never even want to start anything that needs to be done because he is always there.
now will is starting to copy him,
until he realizes it's far more fun to do his own thing,
like PLAY.
i used to love this,
all the time together.
perhaps i will miss it when it all ends,
or perhaps i will like it again when i feel like a person again.
i'm really not that fun to be around,
and i'm definitely out of ideas of how to entertain them when they are under my feet
and out of ideas on how to redirect them.
i hate to admit it,
but it has felt like a burden.
this burden has grown into frustration.
and then into guilt.
and then tonight it has grown into a new appreciation.
i have spent the last hour re-reading old posts from this time last year,
and it gave me a new perspective,
a reminder.
my boys love me,
and sam in particular shows that through his time & gestures.
i read so many things about them bringing me flowers, cooking with me, snuggling with me, and many kind stories and words.
i was touched by how much i used to relish that.
shame a little on me for becoming so burned out by the excessive attention and affection.
it was just the reminder i needed to soften to it now.
however, there still needs to be some realistic boundaries.
i love my sister's idea of creating a personal space for everyone in the family and teaching how to respect that space when someone needs to go there for a break.
perhaps it could work.
i'm willing to give it a try.
i think i know just where my space is going to be...
my bed.
i always feel less overwhelmed by this issue when i'm not tired.
perhaps i could sleep it off.
and they could play. :)
or more likely crawl in bed with me.
and in the end what does it really matter.
i just hope they always like me.
and that they can learn to still like me even though they aren't following my every move.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

house dresses and memories

i love this story.
a few days ago i was talking to a friend about her mother.
she has always had a terrific relationship with her mom.
i wanted to find out what her mom did that was so great.
in my attempt i asked if there was anything her mom did that she didn't like or swore that she would never do herself.
the only thing she could come up with was house dresses.
she said her mother always wore a house dress at home.
the second they got home she changed her clothes into a house dress.
i about died laughing!!
of all the things a mother ever does,
and all she could think of was the house dress.

it sure got me wondering about what my kids will remember about me or about what life was like in their home.
while i don't wear house dresses (thank goodness, and no offense to those of you who do),
i know i do other things,
some of which may be annoying.
i wish i could see it now.
will they remember how they always had to check the dryer when they need some clean clothes because of how much i hate folding laundry?
or how every time i see a spider i say that i'm certain it must be poisonous?
or will they remember our saturday morning tradition of yard sales and a donut at our local bakery?
or how often we eat cheese tortillas for lunch with the tortillas from costco that you cook yourself and "quackamole" & homemade salsa?
or will they remember friday morning pancake breakfasts where they get to choose the shapes of the pancakes?
or how often i like to sing silly children songs especially madeline's "naughty, naughty boy" song?
will they have crazy memories of me on the phone all the time with my sisters?
or how often i say "excuse me?" when they are being sassy or rude?
or making trains out of kitchen chairs every time i wash the kitchen floors?
or how often i read stories to them on my bed during the day for a book rest?
or how many times they got to have a "special night" and sleep in our bed sometimes?

it's hard to say what they will remember.
hopefully i'm not doing something like wearing a house dress and don't realize it.
hey, but maybe, aren't all parents supposed to do a few weird things?
afterall, isn't that the fun in being a parent?

Monday, August 16, 2010

sibling rivalry

i have 2 brothers in my house that don't always get along.
i know this is very normal,
but it's still upsetting to me.
i think i'm reaching my limit in this department.
i don't know how to teach them to love each other more,
enjoy each other more,
or want to play with each other more.
apparently my tactics aren't working.
i am desperately searching for new tactics.
i think i just put 15 books on hold at the library.
hopefully i can teach some new skills so i don't have to hear this conversation again:

sam and will were in the tub,
and pete and i were across the hall.
there had been conflict over will having sam's toy.
we reached a compromise.
when will gave it back to sam after his time was up,
sam said "thank you, will. thank you for sharing."
to which will responded,
"why don't you share with me?"

it was seriously so sad!
will has definitely been at the receiving end.
it is not tolerated,
and hopefully will change soon.
any tips from those having gone through it successfully would be helpful.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

miss mag

we lost our camera a few weeks ago.
we had some cute pics of maggie practicing her new rolling over skills on the camera.
thank goodness i found it today.
of course it was in a place that i've looked 100 times.
i'm just glad to have it back.

maggie has been rolling over since july 12.
she was just over 3 months.
within days of rolling from back to stomach,
she started rolling from stomach to back.
we thought it was a fluke until she rolled across the floor.
she does it constantly.
she even sleeps on her stomach now.
she's so much stronger now we don't worry about that one like we did.

i can't believe she is growing so fast.
she is so proud of her new developments.
every time she rolls over she pushes herself up and smiles.
still loving our happy baby.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


we are no longer worried about will not breathing at night.
the cause of his sleep apnea was his huge tonsils.
he had his tonsils & adenoids removed yesterday.
it was such a smooth operation.
no crying, no fear, and no resisting from will or me.
he was exceptionally brave.
he seemed so grown up walking away down the hall with the anesthesiologist.
he had his baby doll & basketball blanket in one hand,
the other in his new friend's hand,
the friend that was going to put a bubblegum smelling mask on his face.
the surgery was quick.
his recovery was quick.
his at home recovery has been non-existent.
he hasn't complained, seemed sick, or been much different.
except that i let him eat unlimited amounts of popsicles, watch lots of tv, and sleep with me at night.
but hey, what's a mom to do?
i'm all about the best recovery possible.
i'm just grateful it's done.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

rain or shine

rain isn't enough to stop a determined 4-year-old boy from doing a lemonade stand that he has planned for days.
we found that out yesterday when sam hosted a lemonade stand at our house.
just as we were setting up at 4:00 the sky darkened and it was easy to see that rain was on the way.
the wind picked up, too.
i love the optimist in sam.
his response was,
"we sure picked the perfect day for this. it's not too windy or rainy."
i think that was his way of saying "it could be worse."

we had to press on because sam had delivered handmade invitations for his friends and our neighborhood a few days before.
the invite stated we would start at 4:00;
sam was afraid we would miss them if we didn't follow through.

it was a tender moment for a mom who wants desperately for her children to feel success.
as the wind was blowing our sign down and our cups away,
i was desperately hoping that one car driving by would understand the attempt and stop.
just one.
even though it wasn't ideal lemonade stand weather,
please someone just stop.
no one was convinced.
however, not 10 minutes had passed before the neighborhood started rolling out to support the street's youngest entrepreneur.
gwen was 1st.
she bought 2 glasses of lemonade: one pink & one yellow.
sam was so proud as to not forget any of the rehearsed steps:

1. would you like ice?
2. would you like pink or yellow?
3. would you like a lemon in that?
4. that will be $0.25 please.

it was greatly executed.
gwen left a 50 cent tip.
i was so proud i could've cried.
then norma.
then the fishers.
it was raining by this point.
ed's comment as he approached with his umbrella was...
"my throat is so dry on this hot day. thank goodness there's a lemonade stand here."
sam felt purpose in that moment,
you could just tell by the smile on his face.
then grandma jane and grandpa dennis pulled up,
umbrella and all.
we had a full stand.
i'm sure the passerbys were curious about what made this lemonade so great in the rain.
it's too bad they never found out.

after the crowd broke up i convinced sam to pack up and try again on a sunny day.
he was concerned about calling his friends that didn't show up who he had made invites for.
i loved his message to them
"i'm closing up and will try on a sun day. i mean a sunny day."

it was a success.
he made $4.50.
but even more than the money success,
there was success of accomplishment, support and friendship.

Monday, August 2, 2010

9 years and counting

pete & i have been married 9 years today.
we have always said that we haven't changed at all since we have been married.
i've spent time today thinking about how we were way back then.
what a silly thought to think that we haven't changed a bit!
in fact, i found it difficult to find things that were still the same.
i think a more accurate way to say it is that we have changed together.
we have been fortunate to have grown closer as we've changed instead of apart.
he & i both have found the space & given the freedom to grow, develop, & change.
and that has been one of the best things about our marriage...
the freedom to be who we have needed to be as an individual and yet having it work so perfectly as a couple.

just for kicks i have made a list of some of the things that have changed over the last 9 years and some of the things that are still the same.
we actually worked on this list together,
and it made us laugh.

*our weight: pete has gained 30 lbs. (even though you would never tell), and i have gained 10 (but if you subtract the 7 lbs. of baby weight left to lose it's only 3; not bad for 9 years.)
*our hair: pete no longer has the short, post mission cut; it's a long curl do now (which i love). mine is no longer a textured blond weave; it's solid brown and blunt.
*our cars are different; pete no longer is rolling in his pimped out toyota tacoma, and i no longer have my honda accord coupe. instead we've moved on to bigger and better... now instead of 1 honda we now are the proud owners of a honda odyssey and a honda cr-v.
*i don't say 'delightful' all the time anymore. yes, this was a problem in the beginning of our marriage.
*our bank account went from having no money in it to having a little money in it.
*we are no longer in college. hey, so what that just ended 8 months ago.
*we now have 3 college degrees between the 2 of us.
*pete has had a career change from a construction professional to a teacher, and i have worked in 3 salons since the beginning and am now at home.
*we aren't the trendy couple that we used to be. ok, trendy may be pushing it a little, but hey we don't even have that going for us anymore! we look like uncool 30 somethings now!
*pete now has an artificial device implanted in him to protect him from another near death experience.
*the best difference has been that we are now the proud parents of 3 amazing children, and our lives revolve more around them than almost anything else.
*oh, and we no longer need a tripod to snap photos of ourselves; we now have a 4-year-old to do it. :)

*our kitchen knife set hasn't changed. or our upstairs tv.
*i still make eggplant & goat cheese sandwiches.
*some of our clothes are still the same, and that is not a plus.
*we still argue over who is the funniest out of the 2 of us. we still haven't been able to decide who should be the president of our funny club.
*our location is still the same. we haven't even moved far enough away for our ward to change. we're still a little unsettled about this one.
*we still overanalyze every decision we make to the point that it is hard to make decisions about anything.
*we're still tightwads.
*my sisters still worry if pete likes them. (well, maybe not so much, but pete wanted to add that to the list. i guess some things never change. :)
*we still choose experiences over things. hence, our crazy vacations and dumpy house.

i almost put our love on the list.
we have always loved each other so much that i thought this would be something i could put on the 'same' list.
however, i realize that even that belongs on the list of things that are different.
the depth of our love for each other has changed.
we are even better friends than we were before,
and we understand each more, too.
even though we were great together 9 years ago,
i'm happy to say that 9 years together have made us even better.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

sunday naps

i always think about having a nap on sunday.
unfortunately, the routine of sunday rarely allows that.
for some reason my wheels seem to spin faster on sunday,
but yet it seems like the day i move the slowest.
and there's always at least 1 child that won't go to sleep at their normal time which prevents me from having a nap.
today that person was maggie.
as pete napped with will,
and sam played paper dolls on my bed,
i tried all the tricks to get maggie asleep.
it didn't happen.
when pete got up,
he got her to sleep within minutes.
while i'm always grateful he can do that,
i'm also always frustrated that i don't have the same touch.
i was expressing this frustration to him,
the frustration that no one goes to sleep for me like they do for him.
thank goodness for sam's insight.
he said,
"we all just love you too much that we always want to be around you."

now that's something i can feel good about.
i will try to remember this the next time no one will sleep for me.

now i must get.
pete is practicing his skills on me by trying to get me to sleep.
he took sam on a motorcycle ride while the other children are sleeping as a favor to me.
i'm grateful.
and afraid i will be that child that just won't go to sleep. :(
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