Excuse me whilst I brag on my oldest.

April 4th, 2011

I know that every parent says that they have the best kids, blah blah blah.  I DO have the best kids, depending on when you asked me.  Right now I’d say I’m about to put my youngest in a cardboard box and send her to go live in the wild.  I hate teething.  The wailing, the gnashing.  She turned from this sweet little baby into this howling little beast overnight.  But enough about her.  We’re here today to talk about Aidan and his awesomeness.  Because he is not teething.  I like this about him.

Each month every teacher at Aidan’s elementary school chooses one child in their class to receive a character award.  Last month Aidan was chosen to receive the character award for honesty.  We were so proud of him!  Aidan IS very honest, except for the 5 minutes after I read the letter that he was to get the award.  He had goldfish cracker breath and swore he hadn’t eaten any, even though I could see him hiding cracker crumbs in his cheeks.  Very timely and amusing to me.  But even with that, he tries very hard to be honest and to be a good friend to everyone.  He’s just a great kid all around.

Aidan is not the most sporty guy.  I have listed every sport in the world trying to get him excited about playing at least one of them and NADA.  But he loves to sing and he loves to put on plays so during spring break we enrolled him in a week-long theater camp.  HE LOVED IT.  It was so fun to see him come home every day excited about it.  The instructor (who is also my friend) said that he just blossomed in there, which made me super happy.  I get tired from worrying about him.  No one told me before I had kids that I would worry about them this much.  I do not really care for it.

They put on “Scenes from the Wizard of Oz” and he was a Munchkin Soldier, which is nice because he kinda sounds like a Munchkin and is Munchkin sized, especially compared to the other kids in theater camp.  Ha.  Isn’t he cute?  (He’s on the right)

He did such a great job and it was so nice to see him do something that he really enjoyed.  I’m so proud of the kid he’s turning into.  He never ceases to amaze me.

It’s been one whole gigantic year.

March 24th, 2011

There is a kid walking home from school by way of the large field behind my house.  The field was plowed a million times last fall and is one big expanse of mud.  I wonder how muddy the kid’s shoes will be by the time he gets home.  Right now he’s slippin’ and a slidin’.  I’m guessing there’s at least 2 inches stuck to the bottoms.  Sometimes kids are kinda dumb.

Sorry.  Just a little tangent there.

I said I would write and it’s been forever and I haven’t really written.  I have sat down to write a million times and every time I either get distracted or fed up trying to be all creative and literary.  It’s just not coming these days and I’m not sure what’s up with that.  Sometimes I feel like my brain is like the field behind my house.  One big expanse of mud.  Is it the baby?  Having a million things to do?  The fact that I am out of practice?  I am not sure.  But I do know that yes, my brain is mud.  And also I have laundry.

My baby girl turned one on Sunday.  One!  I have no idea where this year has gone.  And she is cute, people.  Cute!  She has these blue eyes that just twinkle and she smiles huge smiles at anyone that will look. And there is eyelash batting.  She crawls around the house yelling “Mas-uh!  Ai-duh!”  Who would have known that she would love her brothers so much.  Her first word was Aidan.  How cute is that.

She is seriously the most happy baby I’ve seen.   One weird freakish thing though?  She hates fruits and vegetables.  What baby hates fruit?  I give her a banana and she gags.  She drops peas one by one off her little tray.  I gave her a pear and you would have thought i was trying to poison her with the look she gave me.  The only fruit/veggie that she loves is steamed green beans.  She has been known to eat 1-2 cups of green beans at a time.  So. weird.  I think it’s the texture.  And the taste.  She is super picky.  Hopefully this is just a stage because I do not like it.

What kid doesn’t love birthday cake?  She ate a tiny bit and then just politely poked at it until we took it away.

Mason was almost 5 when Jillian was born.  It was a little weird going back into baby mode after such a long break from diapers and no midnight feedings.  I wanted her so much it hurt, but two weeks before she was born I was crying every night thinking about everything I was about to give up.  I’m a fan of sleep.  And doing stuff on MY time.  I hate being a slave to naptime.  And I like being able to go to the store by myself.  I knew that life was about to change and it scared the crud out of me.

This past year has been tiring.  We had a baby, sold our house, moved, built a house, moved again.  I took my kids to three different schools and ran around like a chicken.  But this baby?  It hasn’t really been the hardest part.  Probably because it’s been the most rewarding part.  I pick her up and she lays her head on my shoulder and sucks her thumb, a habit that I gave up trying to rid her of months ago.  She says “Mamamama! ” and gives me wet kisses.  Every time I am overcome with feelings of love.  My heart is full for this little girl.  Heavenly Father knew what he was doing when he put her with us.  We needed her as much or as more than she needs us.

Love my Jilly Bean.

Summer ‘O’ Fun

February 4th, 2011

So in THIS POST I went on and on about the virtues of living in a small space like the apartment we were about to move into.  I was totally going to have a good attitude about moving there.  It was going to be amazing.  We were going to thrive!  It would be super easy to clean and we would just be all cozy and friendly living there.

I’ll be honest with you.  We hated it.  It wasn’t very fun at all.

I started to write this long post about all the reasons that we hated it but realized that I sounded whiny and ungrateful.  So I will just sum up:  It was cramped.  Harder to keep clean because there was no where to put anything.  We were constantly on the kids about being loud.  I hated being such a meany and they hated it too.   After we moved out our neighbor got arrested for tying up his wife then stabbing his own mother to death.  Glad we didn’t piss him off.  Glad we didn’t hear or see any of that when we lived there.  And glad we aren’t there anymore.

Apartment living rocked for a couple of reasons.  One, it made us get out and actually do things.  Usually in the summer we are busy with yardwork or want to be indoors out of the heat.  We did not want to be indoors this summer, since we only had one couch and not enough room for all of us to be on it.  So at the beginning of the summer we made a list of things we wanted to do and places we wanted to go.  I’m happy to say we did 97% of what was on that list.  I called it the “Summer ‘O’ Fun”.  We went to parks, went on nature walks, went to the zoo, water parks, swimming, a family reunion/camping trip to Utah, Sun Valley, Shoshone Falls, picnics, out for ice cream, etc.  It was awesome.

One of my very favorite things was going to Kathryn Albertson Park.  It’s this super cool nature park here in Boise and is just amazing.  We walked around the trails and looked at all the different animals and plants.  We stopped at the pond and watched the ducks and tried to skip rocks.  It is such a beautiful, serene place.  I can’t believe I have lived in the Boise area for 7 years and have never been there.  I loved it.  It was one of those “perfect days” with my kids where they acted all nice and sweet and didn’t wail and gnash teeth.

See?  Aren’t they the cutest ever?  (Not pictured:  Jillian.  She spent the entire summer napping it up in her car seat stroller.  Good thing she was so portable! )

We spent a lot of time away from the apartment.  When school started the kids would come home, we’d do homework and I’d make dinner.  Greg would come home, we would eat and then leave somewhere until bedtime.  Every. Night.  Usually we’d go check out the progress on our house.  Now that we’ve moved in, we hardly leave.  We love it here!

I found this quote and loved it:

“It is literally true, as the thankless say, that they have nothing to be thankful for.  He who sits by the fire, thankless for the fire, is just as if he had no fire.  Nothing is possessed save in appreciation, of which thankfulness is the indispensable ingredient.  But a thankful heart hath a continual feast.”  ~W.J. Cameron

As much as we hated living there, it was good for us.  We felt grateful that we were able to build such a great house, but living in such a small space made us really realize how blessed we really are.  We really, really are.

This is it. Don’t get scared now.

January 30th, 2011

A few weeks ago I went through some old blog posts about my kids.  I sat there for an hour or so, just reading old posts and chuckling to myself.  There were so many things I had forgotten.  So many things I would have never remembered if I hadn’t blogged about it.  Then I started thinking about how I don’t really blog anymore. *sigh*  I don’t really have any record of the past couple of years and that is so sad to me!  I want these memories.  I don’t want them to fade off into nothing.  I feel like I owe it to myself and I owe it to my kids.  So, I have a new resolve.

I shall blog.

So I sat down to blog.  But so many things have happened since my last post!  I want to tell you about all of them!  Like what we did last summer.  And how we survived the apartment.  And how the new house turned out.  And how I feel about moving.  And I want to tell you every detail about my cute baby Jillian.  And tell you all about how Aidan loves piano.  And how Mason steals my heart.  And a million, bajillion other things.  But darn it, every time I think about it I get overwhelmed.  So. Much. To say.  I feel totally overwhelmed.

So this is me, making an effort.  I want to do this.  But I can’t put so much pressure on myself.  I’ll blog about one thing at a time, once a week or so.  I will not feel guilty for not writing about everything.  And I will not feel guilty about actually taking the time to blog.  That was a HUGE reason I stopped.  I was feeling like there were so many other things to do that were better than this.  But I realized the past couple of weeks that this really IS important.  And not so much for others to read it, but for me.  I want this for me.

Let’s do this thing.

The Yellow Door Closes

July 2nd, 2010

Late Sunday night I drove back to our old house to do a little cleaning.  It had been a busy couple of days and I needed some time to myself.  The house quiet inside, like it was finally resting from housing a baby, two rambuncious children and two parents who ocassionally yelled at said rambuncious children.  Poor house.  I went from room to room, wiping baseboards and walls.  Dusting blinds.  Vacuuming.  Remembering.

This was the room where I rocked my first baby.  It took me six months to be able to put him in his own room in his own bed, away from me.  We covered the windows with heavy blankets after he was born so we wouldn’t have to wake up with the sun.  We cried and held each other in this room, scared that we would lose him.  The blankets came off.  He came home.

This is the floor that we put him on when he got to come home from the hospital, 30 days after he was born.  He looked so small and tiny in this great big room.  We marveled at his size and couldn’t imagine a time where we would be more content and happy.

This is where Greg was sitting when I told him we were having #2.  We both laughed and hugged and laughed some more.

This is where I puked my guts out. 

This is where we watched the boys play together.  They became best friends here.

This is where my sister lived.  She had been gone for a while and I had missed her.  This is where we found each other again.

Mason would fall asleep next to this door at night.  When I would go to check on him, little fingers would be sticking out from underneath it. I wouldn’t be able to open the door because his body would be pressed against it.  Silly kid. 

This is where we hosted lots of family dinners.  We always had too much food.  We ate until we were stuffed, then ate some more.  We didn’t save room for dessert, but we packed it in anyway.  I have about 26 pie tins from Marie Callendar’s to prove it.

This is where I kept my Scentsy.  Each scent is a memory for me.  People, places, emotions.

My running shoes were lined up here.  Four pairs of the exact same brand and style, different colors.  I miss running and using my body.

This is where we discussed Greg changing jobs.  He did and I’ve never seen him happier about going to work.

This is where Aidan hung his artwork.  And here and here and here.  This is where Mason ignored the whole “draw only on paper” thing and went all Picasso on the wall.

This is where I struggled with my faith. Why do I have to be one who questions every little thing?

 This is where I found my faith again.

This porch is where I sat waiting for the bus to drop off my little preschooler Mason.  He always, always had a smile on his face.

This is where I was sitting when he said his first real full sentence to me.  I cried.

This is where they threw their backpacks when they got home from school.  I’m not sure they ever put them where they belonged without me asking first.  Punks. 

This is where Greg showed the boys Nintendo.  This is where I watched hesitantly, as they fell in love with All Things Mario.

This is where we had that Family Night that went on and on and on.  The one where Aidan drew a picture of the earth with arms folded in prayer.  “If the whole world prayed, Heavenly Father would still hear us all”.   

This is where we talked about having a third.  And talked and talked and talked. 

This is where Greg would sang to our babies and made me fall in love with him all over again.

I rocked my baby Jillian right next to this window.  Waking up at night doesn’t seem so bad when you spend it nursing your little baby girl, looking out at the stillness and quiet of the street at 3 am.  Contentment.

Thank you, Green House with the Yellow Door.  We will miss you.

Because Having a Newborn Just Wasn’t Enough

June 20th, 2010

The time has come.  It is here.  We’ve talked about it for about 3 years now and next week we will finally make it official.  We are moving.

The Plan was to put our house on the market and start building a new one.  The plan was that we would have 2 or 3 months to sell our house, then we’d move into the new one when it was finished.  This was a most excellent plan, what with the timelines and all.  So we got busy taking out half of the furniture in our house.  We painted.  We decluttered.  We took 90% of the kids’s toys and chucked them in a storage unit.  We sold a lot of crap for 25 cents in our neighborhood yard sale.  We made it look like we aren’t squished, even though we totally are.  Love the house, don’t love the lack of storage space.

So two weeks after we put the house on the market we got an offer.  (I know, crazy!)  They wanted to be IN the house in less than 3 weeks.  (I KNOW!!!)  So we said okay and next weekend we are moving to a 1000 square foot apartment for the next 3-4 months until our house is built.  With three kids.  The living room will not fit our furniture.  Or our gargantuan Sony Wega TV from the year 2000.  Greg doesn’t seem to sad about that and informed me it would be best if we just went ahead and bought a newer, flatter tv.  You know, to save space and stuff.  We can probably fit the couch with some sort of wild finangling.  This is where Greg’s engineering skillz will come in handy I guess.

So three months of a second floor apartment with neighbors below us that hopefully don’t hate little boys and all the noise that comes along with little boys.  The apartment will have its advantages though.

  • It has a bigger kitchen than my current house.  (I KNOW!!!)
  • It is smaller and therefore easier to clean.
  • I won’t have to yell to be heard, although I’m not promising that yelling won’t occur.
  • My washer and dryer will be in the kitchen so I can fold laundry AND do the breakfast dishes at the exact same time.  I’m cool like that.
  • Our power bill will be super small.
  • I won’t freeze off my bits because of a crappy heating/air conditioning setup (Just Say No to two-story family rooms!)
  • We will be completely and totally debt free for 3-4 months. (I KNOW!!!)
  • We won’t have to do any yard work.  We can spend the summer loafing around and being super lazy.
  • I will really, really appreciate our new house when we move in.  Lots of space.  Bigger yard.  Bigger inside.  I will do The Dance of Joy in every room, a la Balki Bartokomous.  Greg will be required to do it with me, if we are still speaking after living in such close proximity for three months.

A refresher for all those that can’t remember what the heck The Dance of Joy is  (Soooooo wrong of you, by the way):

The Dance of Joy

You’ll have to click on it cause I can’t remember how to embed it and Greg is sleeping so I can’t make him figure it out for me.  (He’s tired.  He was mumbling something about moving and lifting heavy things and stuff before he drifted off.) 

Wish us luck this week.  Saturday is the Big Day!