Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Just Another Monday

Mr. Busy Pants, over here. He is just so mischievous these days!  William has been so much fun lately. He loves playing "chase" and laughs hysterically the entire time you are crawling after him.  Yesterday during family night, he kept flinging his arms over his head as he looped around couches and furniture, yelling and then laughing to himself.  
Now when we pray, he'll bow his little head, but he'll still be watching everyone.  It's cute.
This morning, he grounded me to the confines of the couch again while he ran away and ran back again like a cute little baby yo-yo. He is so funny.

I told Johnny to smile for a picture and the smiliest boy I know really pulled through for me. ;/ Stinker.
Yesterday, running errands, he was so funny.  When we pulled up to the first place he said, "Mom! Look! There is a garbage truck, I want to give it a hug!" I asked him to clarify if he meant the garbage man and he said, "No, the truck! Like this!" Then he hugged a truck in the parking lot...right as the owner came up. Johnny just smiled and said, "Your car is so cuddly! HAHAHA!" (Fake laughing as he walked away.) 
Then, since he ate like a half a watermelon this morning, he had to use the little boys room about four times while we were out, like, desperately had to go.  He had to run and jump up and down the aisles going "Ho! HO! HO!"  A stranger said, "Wow, you are a good runner!" 
And Johnny replied, "No! I just have to go peep!" Then would be back to jump-running back and forth. 

Our neighbors made this doll for Caity and it her favorite. Her name is Meebee.

William also likes her.

Caity is pretty dang protective though!
My favorite part of the day is picking up Caity from school.  I love hearing about everything.  Since we have a half a mile walk home, I get to hear all sorts of details. 
Today, when I told Caity she could wear any shoes she wanted she said, "I'm going to wear tennis shoes so I can play soccer with Brooke."  This is a big deal. Her friend, Brooke, plays soccer every day before school and Caity has been too nervous to jump in and play and it has caused a lot of turmoil in my kindergarteners' life. I have been trying to get her to play, but she would say, "I don't want to lose." or "What if I kick the ball the wrong way?" 
I was so proud of her as I could see her suppressing her nerves. We drove to school yesterday and she told me I could drop her off in lane rather than walk her (another huge deal for Caity.) I watched her hop out of the car and square her little 6 year old shoulders and walk with brisk determination toward the play ground. She didn't look back once she was so focused.
I was so proud of her. I knew what was going through her mind and she was so determined. I drove away eventually because I didn't want to raise an intruder alert or something, because yes- I sat there that long! Caity is just growing up.
Turns out she didn't play though because Brooke said, "I'm not playing with you today because you left school early on Friday." Kindergarten can be harsh! So Caity had to find a new best friend for the day. Good thing Lindsey and Tayley were close!  They played tag and did monkey bars and it all turned out all right.
At dinner, we had a good time laughing about things that had happened to all of us during the day.  We all go around and say what our favorite part of the day was. Caity always says having her family all together at dinner. She is so sweet. 

For family night treat, Johnny and I made caramel apples. They were yummmmy!

Then we moved to the living room so William could crawl all over me.
We went on a walk and enjoyed the post-rain temperature and fall foliage. 

It was a good day and I am grateful for this family of mine.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Why Kids Are Fun

This morning I rolled out of bed with John when he went to go play basketball. I spotted Johnny curled up on the couch.  He probably had a bad dream and sought comfort in the kitchen nightlight. Sweet Johnny Boy.  I sat down and started on homework, knowing today wasn't going to allow much time to get it all done.  I heard Johnny creak by me and assumed he moved back to his bed.  A few minutes later, I heard giggles the next room over. I peeked into Caity's room to hear them telling each other about their dreams and giggling. 
Johnny: "Dreams are like shows I watch when I am sleeping! My dream wasn't scary but there were mean ghosts (hand gestures) that were still friends with me and I was like, 'are you a stinker?'" 
Caity: "I had a bad dream but then I woke up and was going to get mom, but I just rubbed my eyes and boom, it went away and I went back to sleep!"
I turned on the light and they were startled, and they smiled big despite their sleepy eyes and it is one of my favorite things.  I love sleepy kid faces with messy hair and morning breath that they seemingly are completely unaware of!

Please tell me I am not the only one whose child pretends to be a dog. Furthermore, insists you call him "Doggie."  At the store he was crawling around and I said, "Johnny"
"No, Mom, Doggie!"
(Whispered) "Ok, Doggie- let's go!"
"Louder, Mommy!"
"OK Doggie, let's go!"
Lady who didn't hear him asking me looks at me like I am strange. 
Clearly, she doesn't have a lot of experience with three year old boys who insist they are really four.

Off we walked to school yesterday with my little doggie-child in tow.
When we are running late picking up Caity, we cut through the park that connects our culdesac with other culdesacs and Caity's school. The kids love when we go that way because there are really fun play grounds we will stop at and play for a while, so I try to go that way as often as I can.
But...do you see that grass?
Seriously, part of American Ninja Warrior should include a segment of pushing a stroller through thick, bumpy grass. It is awesome showing up sweaty to pick up Caity.

She doesn't seem to mind. :)
When she came home from school, she grabbed her new umbrella, her make-shift Elsa dress and begged to watch Frozen, by Frozen, I mean skip to the "Let it Go" song. Then repeat. Over and over and over.  Then skip to the Spanish version at the end and repita previous scenario in Spanish. "Libre soy! Libre soy!'  The first time Caity heard it she thought it meant Soy milk.  (Her teacher was lactose intolerant at the time) Caity would sing, "I drink Soy! I drink Soy!" It made me laugh so hard, every time! It broke my heart when she figured it out.  
It reminds me of the other day when the kids realized the fast food restaurant, Old McDonalds was actually just plain McDonalds, and that the clown in the pictures on the window really didn't have a farm, ee yi ee yi oh.

Guess what? 
I know you have all lost sleep over my William's- eating problem.  Homeboy ate an entire sloppy joe yesterday.  Of all things!
He kept pointing to me and I would touch fingers with him (ET style) and he would smile and be all beside himself and it just warmed this evil heart of mine that was forcing her kids to finish their dinner before they could play.
He brings so much joy with that smile of his!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Mojave Lovin' December 2012!

Well, hello Throwback Thursday! How convenient for you to stop in at the very moment I am reminiscing. 
Do you all remember two years ago when we went camping in December? 
Oh-what? I never blogged about it? That's right, I didn't. What was I thinking? 
Well, lucky for you, I have a handy dandy time machine right here! Hop on in! 
(John keep reading this is where the sci-fi stops...promise.)
We'll travel back to December 2012.
John mentioned he wanted to drive through the Mojave Trail now that we had a big ole four wheel drive vehicle that fit the four of us.  I asked him more about it and he explained it was an old postal route and had been a large part of what we envision as the wild, wild, west.  Think desert and cowboys and indians.  The only way to ride this particular trail, you had to have four wheel drive, so as you can imagine, it was my husband's dream vacation. And mine too. (Just kidding, but I figured it would make a good Christmas present if I pretended! :) ) 
Long story short: we took the plunge and did it! 
I was proud of myself, I was really weary of the prospect at first, but I let it grow on me and through a lot prayer and stored up love for that man of mine- I kept a smile on my face and we had a good time.
It was SO much fun.
We were heading down to San Diego for Jordan and Kristen's wedding so it just kind of worked out perfectly.
It is recommended that you take about 5 days to get through it all.  We did it in two! That is just how we roll.
Standing in front of the AZ sign like good tourists!

We decided to make a pit stop at the Hoover Dam. It was magnificent! After a long drive, the kids danced and ran and we enjoyed the Nevada sunset.

By the time we reached the desert it was pitch black, which was kind of a bummer because we missed a lot of the historical sights at the beginning.  We did manage to see an old homestead that looked mighty freaky by the light of our head lights.  The windmill creaked and the girl from The Ring came out of the well. Except not really. Except it wouldn't have surprised me. Apparently this was where the last recorded shoot out was! Cool, right?  We had a lot of fun. The terrain was pretty crazy. We used our little guide to read off coordinates, type it in the GPS and drive a half mile, only to do it again.  We went this way all night. It was kind of cool. 
looking up coordinates

Johnny was excited!
Around midnight, we stopped driving to set up camp. When stepped out of the car, we were bombarded with millions of stars!  It was breath taking.  We set up the tent and after about thirty minutes of all of us shivering in the snow, we opted to keep going (So we'd make lousy pioneers! No news to me!)  Apparently deserts aren't ALWAYS warm.  
We pulled over at 4:00am and tried to get some sleep. I watched the sun rise over the desert and while everyone slept, I got my first real look at the desert.  It was spectacular. God is great, let me tell you. 
By the time everyone woke up we realized we took a short cut by accident and missed about 90% of the sites we were aiming to see.  Whoops. We couldn't help but laugh at that. And hit the steering wheel. 
We got outside to explore a little:
Cute Caity.

Johnny wanted to rock climb with his dad.

There is the flag pole with a ceramic frog garden and mail box we drove by, it was kind of cool and so we took like a really flattering picture.
(of all of us!) :)

Sally! She did so good on this trip!

The kids thought it was the funnest adventure ever.

We pulled over and decided to make a fire and have some breakfast and play a little bit. This was my favorite part.  John was so busy with finals and everything, it was so nice to take a step back and enjoy time with just the four of us for a little bit, completely away from the world in the middle of no where. And come to think of it, William was there too! Only he wasn't much more than a little peanut- heck, I didn't even know he was there yet!  So exciting.

Caity flying a kite

This mud was trick-y! From all our research, there was a very likely chance we would get stuck on this last stretch we were nervous but it was one of those, "Can't go under it, can't go around it, gotta go through it" sort of moments.  So on our last tank of a gas and a prayer we dug in through that mud, and oh my word- we survived!

The kids climbing rocks

At the end in the California entrance there is this big puddle you have to drive through.  John had Caity drive through it on his lap, this is the picture- you can't see her, but you can use your imagination!

We made it! 
Two years later, it is one of my very favorite memories. 
It took 15.00 of quarters to get all the mud out from under Sally! We had that much fun!

We got into La Jolla, California and stayed at the really nice hotel John's parents booked for us.  It was so nice to relax and sleep in the warmth of our room.  We walked the beach the next day and enjoyed beautiful California weather.

Then we got to go to Jordan and Kristen's wedding!

Johnny was pretty enamored by Kristen and to this day she is probably his favorite person to see!

I love this picture of the siblings!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Here Comes the Sun

I wrote earlier today about my frustration of a bad day.  
I also want you to know that I know those days come and those days go, but one truth remains steadfast: I feel so blessed to be a mother.  
It is a hard endeavor some days, but I know it is a worthy endeavor every day.  I know that the time and effort I put into my role as their mother is the best possible thing I can be doing with my life. 
I do feel fulfilled as I make it my priority.
Though in this role I feel pulled in multiple directions at times, when stripped down to the basics- I know I am lucky to be called "Mom." (Even if it is followed by "William is playing in the toilet again.")
In the last six years I have felt God's influence in my life more than I realized was possible. I'm in over my head, that I know; but He lifts me to be the woman these children need.
It is a crazy world.  A good world, but at times a confused one.  I look at these innocent children and feel the magnitude of what I am called to bear in preparing them for the lives God needs them to lead.
Being a mother is no small role.
It gets overwhelming.
Thank goodness there is prayer. And chocolate.

Letting Go

Yesterday I called John on his way home from work and kindly said: "WHERE ARE YOU? I QUIT! I'm getting a job tomorrow and I'm going to make money and these little crazy people who live with me are going to day care. All day. And I'm going to request over time,"  And even though I knew deep down I wasn't serious, I sure wished I could be.  I was burnt out. Depleted. Weary. Tired.

Why does Johnny have to jump off everything and land into everything fragile?  Why does he have to yell at the top of his lungs the entire time he is doing said activities?

Where in the world did Caity get that whiney voice? "Joooohnnnyyyyy!" Does she not realize she taunts Johnny and it is only in response he snatches her beloved Meebe?

And William. Why don't you eat? You cry all day long because you're hungry, yet I can't get you to eat anything.

I realize I am just complaining about the very things I thank God for every day...it's complicated some days.

I feel like a helicopter cleaning room after room then starting over again, room after room. Socks, balls, jump rope, doll, batman, socks, ball, jump rope, doll, batman, peach smashed into the floor. Sure the kids help...but I am little OCD and for whatever annoying reason feel the need to go and fix their cleaning.

Then I lose my mind and hole up in my room while my kids are enriching their minds in front of the television.  Yes, I know: parenting fail. But really, it is survival instincts, people. I sit in my room and wallow in my deficiency as a mother yet I don't have the energy or motivation to fix it.

Yesterday I "hit a wall" and I yelled, I cried, I slammed stuff and did all sorts of other things to show I what a calm and collected mother I was.
I was just lovely, yesterday.
I felt frustrated.  I know what I would tell someone else, yet sometimes it is hard to tell it to myself. Are you with me on this one?
I don't have to do everything.
I don't have to do it perfect.
How do you let go of expectations you have yourself? I know I'm the one that sets that unrealistic bar...but how do I even go about making it realistic and right? By "right" I refer to the many priorities that battle each other.  I would list them, but I know to someone else they sound silly.  I guess I have this image of who I want to be and it is dang frustrating that it just doesn't come to me overnight despite how hard I try. So, I blamed the world and let it out on the dishes in the sink, as in- thank goodness they weren't glass dishes!

Such was the emotional mess John came home to yesterday. Bless. His. Heart.  Even in my deepest, most stubborn dark holes I can create, in he waltzes with a big hug and some annoying way to make me laugh.
John was holding William when I went in for a hug and William looked at me with a glare and pushed me away, I tried again and he pushed me away again.  He must have noticed I didn't pick him up despite his protests as I stormed around the house throwing my tantrum.
When it was time for Family Night, John started singing my family night song: "Hey everybody it's family night we're gonna have a really good time- YEAH!" (don't hate) to gather everyone. But because I was feeling pretty melancholy he sang in a sad, monotone voice and despite myself, I laughed.
The kids came in the room and Caity had tears streaming down her face because I had snapped at her for tattling. I apologized and hated myself more for being so self centered.
When I told her it was her turn to conduct Family Night, she swallowed her sobs and in between post-crying hiccups, she stood on the fireplace proudly saying "Welcome to the (hiccup) BEST family night EVER!" Then gave a big proud smile and we all clapped and it was the sweetest thing.  We played red rover and decorated cookies and learned about finding Jesus in the world around us.  It was good, quality time.
After the kids went to bed, John and I talked about a lot of things. I got a blessing and today I am determined to make it work.
I just have to let some notions go.
One thing my blessing said was that more than anything else my kids need to feel my love and they will cherish it their whole lives.
I realized that needed to be my number one.
So, today I have tried to put that first. I wanted to clean my kitchen's breakfast remains, but played on the floor with William instead. I left my house looking like....well....we'll skip that part and hope none of you saw me at Walmart today.   I let the kids hide behind the diaper boxes at Walmart. We (finally) went to Toys R Us so Caity could spend her birthday money. (She bought and umbrella.)  I carried William while pushing a cart full of stuff. I let the kids stop and play with the Thomas the Train display for a good twenty minutes.  I hugged instead of snapped when Johnny threw a tantrum.
I feel better today.
A little emotionally hung over.
A little embarrassed at my irrational behavior.
But I am feeling on the up.
Sometimes you just have to downsize back to the basics.  Sometimes I have to let myself be vulnerable and let it go, then rely more fully on my Savior.
\I think I'll make it another day. Thanks for listening.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Ice Riders!

Friday, John rode his bike to work.
He got lost and got into work a little late.
To say the least, he was more than on board when I offered to come pick him up so we could play.  He parked our car at Whole Foods and after throwing some mystery items in the trunk, we were on our way.  We drove around the hills outside Boise and enjoyed some pretty breathtaking scenery. I assumed John had planned a hike and picnic and was wondering why he wouldn't just pull over so we could get started.  We drove around some more and stopped in front of a huge grass hill called the Simplot Hill.  I went to open the trunk to get what I thought was food, only to find four blocks of ice! Oh, I was excited! 
We were going Ice-Blocking. 
(It's kind of like sledding in the summer, you ride the ice down the hill.)
I was interested to see how this would pan out. I mean, it's no secret we aren't the most coordinated family in the world. Like, some people in our family have been known to trip on air, kind of uncoordinated...throw in some ice...hmm.
We fared alright, though.  It was such a fun was way to spend Friday evening.
(I could have downsized on pictures...I mean, that would have been the practical thing to do, but each one takes me back and I just didn't have it in me to do it.)

We had a good time and walked away like we owned that hill- even though it looked like we all wet our pants. (Apparently, ice melts.)

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