Monday, February 25, 2013

Super Powers

Gunner likes to read a few books in his bed sometimes after we put him to bed, to help him settle down. Tonight, he decided to read every book in his bookcase, for an hour. He was obviously not ready to go to bed earlier. Anyway, he finally told me he was ready for me to turn his light off. I had to clear a mountain of books off his bed to make room for him to lie down. While I did this, he found an unread book. Then we had this conversation:

G: I'm just going to read this one last book.
Me: I am going to turn the light off soon, so you should probably read that tomorrow.
G: It's okay, I can read in it in the dark.
Me: Hmmm, I'm not sure about that.
G: Yes, I can. I have x-ray vision.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Boop Bap

So, I decided today that I am not a stay-at-home-mom.  I am, in fact, running a circus.  I'll explain.

The boys and I have not had the best of weeks.  There has been a whole lot of naughty from the boys, and whole lot of grumpy from me.  We took a "home day" on Monday where we stayed in our jammies all day and attempted to clean the house.  Very little of the house got clean between all of the fighting, crying and whining that happened all day.  The reason for all of this nonsense, I think, is that it is the end of February.  It's cold outside (it was 5 degrees yesterday), so no one wants to be outside.  The snow is old, and no one wants to play in it.  We have cabin fever, and so we are naughty and grumpy...and miserable.

Examples of naughtiness/general reasons for mom to be grumpy:
1.  My visiting teachers came for a visit, and Gunner went wild with excitement!  Wild!  I tried to get him to calm down, and he repeated refused to obey for a full hour and fifteen minutes.  He caused quite the scene, and he is now grounded from all beloved things (Ipad time, movies, dessert/candy/gum) for a week.

2.  Hobbes has become very opinionated about his clothing.  He changed his clothes at least five times a day.  His preferred clothing is pajamas, specifically a pair of green Summer jammies (short sleeve, short pants) with a Monkey rowing a boat that is shaped like a banana.  When he finds these pajamas (in his drawer, in my bedroom, in the dryer, anywhere at all), he insists on putting them on.  He refuses to wear a coat or long pants if he is wearing these jams and we are going outside (see comment about it being 5 degrees).  He refuses to wear socks unless he chooses them.  We have had hour long fights trying to get this kid dressed.  In fact, we fight about it almost every time we get him dressed these days, and extra awesome when he hides in a corner afterwards and takes everything off again.  It's exhausting.

So, after our miserable home day on Monday, I had a full day out of the house planned for Tuesday.  We got ourselves dressed for the day (this included four changes of clothing for Hobbes.  Four!!!  By 9:30 a.m.), and got out to the van, only to discover that the kids' car seats were in Spiff's car.  Spiff would be at work until 7 p.m.  Our day, and our hopes for fun and general happiness, were shot.  I felt so defeated as I realized that I would be alone with the kids again, all day. 

That's when the messages went out to my friend.  We're stuck at home.  Please come over!  Thankfully they did.

And then there was today.  It started off with a fight to get Hobbes to wear clothes.  He compromised by carrying his pajamas around like a blankie to cuddle in the car on the way to the doctor for a well-child check for Hobbsie.  It is the first time we have been to this doctor's office, so it took a long time.  Like two hours.  Ugh.  Papers to fill out, questions to answer, kids to entertain, more papers to fill out, more questions to re-answer, hand-outs to juggle, bored kids to calm down.  Two hours!  It's way worse than making it through sacrament meeting.

And then there was Hobbes who was instructed to be in just a diaper for his exam.  This kid who is so particular about his clothing is supposed to be naked for two hours.  I juggled all of the above while he tried every sneaky tactic to put his clothes back on.  But then by the time it was actually time to get his clothes on before the shots, he was too tired and hungry to cooperate, so we got to have another little fight.  Awesome.  Then the shots are always a joy.  Poor little guy.

When we were finally done at the doctor's office, I rewarded the kids for their patience with a trip to the library.  While we were there, Hobbes messed his diaper.  Upon changing it, I discovered a massive blowout.  Sigh.  Anyone who has changed a 2-year-old blowout on a public bathroom changing table can sympathize with me about the horrors of juggling flailing hands, kicking legs, travel wipes, and messy clothing.  Oh, so hard.  Oh, and then it is 8 degrees outside, so we're all wearing coats and boots.  But it's not cold inside, and it gets especially warm while I'm wrestling my kid while wearing my coat.  So hot!  So hot and so so so hard!

And here is little Hobbes, who hates getting dressed on a good day, being forced out of his clothes for the third time of the day, and wondering what has happened to his pants!  The best I could do was put his pooped-on onesie and pants in a plastic bag, put his shirt and coat on him, and get us on our way.

So there we are, making our little way out of the library, by way of the book check-out (imagine me juggling the boys who are wandering every direction while I desperately try to check out books with super-speed), with my little son in nothing but a coat, diaper, bare legs and boots.  Oh, the looks we got!

Good thing I had Hobbsie there to clarify things for people.  He explained to every passer-by why he didn't have any pants.  "Boop, Bap!" (I pooped in my pants!)

And that, my friends, is why I have decided to open a circus.  I'll call it Spiff & Minty's Circus Extravaganza!  It's happening anyway.  We're putting on an amazing show for people.  I may as well charge admission.  I'll make a fortune.  If you come, you can be Wowed by my juggling skillz.

Monday, February 18, 2013


It's a woman's prerogative never to be satisfied with her age.

Here's a post about aging.  I just turned 33, and I'm finding it to be emotionally harder on me than 30 was.  Turning 30 was no big deal for me.  I felt ready for it, even a bit excited to be joining my siblings in their fabulous thirties.  The strangest thing for me was to admit that I didn't know all the things I expected my 30-year-old self to know.  I was still calling my mom to ask her how to cook a turkey and how to make gravy.  A 30-year-old should know that stuff, I thought.  But beyond that, I liked it.  I felt confident, settled and happy with my life choices.  I had a baby, then trained for a marathon and was in the best shape of my life, much more than any training I had ever done as a teenager or in my 20s.  The 30s were way better than 20s, in my book.

Then I started hearing things from my sister.  She's just three years older than me, and she started saying things like, "I'm not getting any younger." Or, "I'm not as young as I used to be." Or, "This old body is not going to hold blah blah."

I thought she was being ridiculous.  We're in our all-powerful 30's!  We're invincible!

Well then I had a conversation with some other mommies the other day.  We were chatting about our educational histories, where we went to college, what we studied, etc., and some numbers came out.  When they asked when we graduated college, I discovered that I am 4-6 years older than they are.  When I said out loud that I graduated college one year before they graduated high school, I felt old.

When they had shocked looks on their faces, I felt old.

When I realized that they are all still enjoying having babies in their mid-20s, I felt old. 

When I realized that I had an entire extra chapter in my life than they do, I felt old.

I think that it's the Chapters that make me feel my age.  I know I'm not old.  Not anywhere close.  I'm young, healthy, and have a full life ahead of me.  But let's throw some numbers out here:
I graduated high school in 1998.  15 years ago.
I graduated college in 2002.  11 years ago.
I met and married Spiff in 2004.  9 years ago.
I graduated from graduate school in 2005.  8 years ago.

My most impressionable, footloose, and liberated chapters in my life are over.  I loved those chapters, and they still feel so close to my heart that they don't feel so far away.  But when someone new asks me what I do (for a living), I have to admit that I don't do much other than take care of my kids.  And then I think back on those chapters when I was learning and doing wonderful things, meeting fabulous and talented friends, and going on adventures, I start feeling sentimental, and I miss it.  Putting numbers to it and realizing that it has been eight years since I really played the piano makes me wonder what I have been doing with all of that time, since there was a time that Piano was all I was doing.

Wow, I'm really waxing nostalgic here.  Also, I have some great stories from those chapters to share, so stay tuned.

But anyway, my transition to my mid-thirties is a little rough.  I'm not taking it nearly so gracefully as I would like.  I don't really like being older than my other mommy friends.  I don't really like thinking of my childhood as a quarter of a century ago.  Ah, well.

All of this reminds me of a conversation I had with Spiff's Grammy one time.  She was an avid scrap-booker.  One time, she was telling me about some of her pictures when she said, "Oh, that was when we went to (someplace).  It was just a few years ago.  Wait, was that 1987?  That was twenty years ago?!  How has it been twenty years?"

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Humdrum

I feel productive this week.  I always feel like I have won a gold medal when I feel this way.  I sat down on Sunday evening and planned out my meals and to-do lists for the week.  On Monday, I cleaned my bathrooms, did my laundry (washed, folded and put away all five loads), vacuumed my floors, sent emails for my calling, went to Costco and the grocery store AND gave Spiff a hair cut.  Yesterday, took the kids to a playgroup, hosted a lunch, babysat some kids and rehearsed an upcoming musical number.  I have also managed to get the kids to help me clean up their toys for three days in a row.  I'm impressive, I know.  You should be amazed at me, especially since we all know that this kind of order and productivity doesn't usually happen in these parts.

Besides all that awesomeness, my favorite moment of the week was when I showed up at Costco and couldn't find my grocery list in my bag.  I knew I had put it in my bag when I left the house.  Where could it be?!  Then I remembered that I had made a quick stop at our neighborhood mailbox...and I realized that I dropped my grocery list in the little mail slot along with some letters.  Happy Valentines Week, Lucky Postman!  Now you will know what is on our menu for the week!  I felt so silly as I marched around the store desperately trying to remember all of the things I had carefully written on my mile-long list.

And also, I have an awesome postman.  I found my grocery list sitting in my mailbox today with my bills.  Good thing, too, because then I remembered that I needed to buy yogurt for dinner tonight.

This post is sounding like it could be an entry in my personal journal.  My life of taking care of my kids is so commonplace; these are the kinds of things I get excited about.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Because you need more proof...

That I live with a Human Tornado...

During my birthday party the other night, Hobbes sneaked into the office and did this:

Wowzah!  How are we going to survive this kid?!

Sunday, February 03, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me!

I had a great birthday this year.  I was very spoiled by family and friends.  Lots of love given from people far and wide.  I do feel so very loved.  Thank you to one and all.

Here are the flower cupcakes I made.  I wanted something girlie. :)

I was especially aware of the little gifts given to me by my boys that day:
I received a Happy Birthday wish whispered into my ear first thing in the morning by Gunner, who also told me that he hoped I would have a lovely day.

Hobbes slept in so that I could take a shower in peace.

With a smile from ear to ear, Gunner handed the Ipad to me like a platter, playing the John McCutcheon Happy Birthday song.

My boys played happily with friends so that I could have a pleasant morning with a friend.

Hobbes was so very excited for present-opening time.  He was beyond tired by the time we did present time at the end of the day, and he just couldn't handle standing by and watching mommy open presents (which he inexplicably calls "boing boings").  So he helped me.  He made sure that each present was opened vigorously.  With love.

Gunner decorated the cupcakes in the front of this picture.  He cut out hearts from Fondant (pronounced Fahn-Dahnt, the way Cake Boss would say it).  He chose hearts "for love" because he loves me that much.  

I am blessed.
I am loved.
I am so very grateful.

The Windows

 We seem to have bad luck with windows in the apartments and houses we rent.  
Remember these?
There was enough air blowing through the windows to bow the protective plastic out like a balloon.

 Here's what happens to our windows when it's really cold outside here.
The frost creeps out onto the crank, like it's coming to get us.
I'm almost certain that it will.

I especially like this one.  The frost is made of large, fuzzy crystals,
and the curtain is actually frozen to the end of the crank.

This is what our last week has looked like.  It has been oh, so cold.
I'm cold.  The kind of cold where I cannot warm up, no matter what I do.
I'm dreaming of warm days playing in the park.

But for now, Brrrrrrrr! I need to go make some more hot chocolate.