Thursday, August 25, 2016

First and Foremost...

This post is sponsored by a series of firsts...
It's that time of year when we begin new schedules -- New routines -- New chapters of books both literally and otherwise.

This big man of ours is starting the first grade.  It's such a milestone.  Huge. 
It's the end of those Pre-k and Kinder years where there's more play than rigorous learning.  It's the start of his true education.  He is going to do so well, but man... it ain't easy sending off a piece of your heart into the world for longer stretches of time.  He chose his threads, the contents of his lunchbox, and together we snapped on a lucky rabbit's foot to the zipper of his back pack.
No surprise - he rocked it!
On day two, he brought home a certificate from his sweet teacher as proof.
This is the start of a friendship between brothers.
Boone is getting "so damn awesome" as my little Ace Face said the other day.  :)  After I snorted Diet Coke out of my nose, I smiled.  My little man who likes to push limits, try new things, and talk like one of the big boys... (sigh) will soon be coaching a little protege.
Sans language - I hope.

This is the beginning of a career doing stunts.
My little Dax Man is an X-Gamer.  He is constantly popping wheelies, riding curbs, jumping off the neighbor's ramp.  PLUS, he has started combing his own hair in this style:  It's called "dragon hair" if you ask him.  And if you ask Ace to describe it he might be inclined to say, "It's so damn awesome."
Oh Boys.

This is not the first time Boone has crawled into a tight spot... 
 Or bathed in my big sink after a particularly messy meal...

Or baffled his mama in the evening light walking around on those teeny, tiny legs of his.
This is the first time I've been asked if I've ever caught a "double grasshopper". 
"What do you mean?"  I reply.
"You know, when there are two grasshoppers stuck together?"
Oh boys.

And this is not the first time I can barely narrow down the images of our life.  Our regular days with these little humans are magical to me.  And so, so fleeting.

 "Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.  Let me learn from you, love you, bless you, before you depart.  Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.  Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so."

The first of many normal school days ahead of us. 
Lucky us.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Last Hurrah...

It's normal to want to end summer with an exclamation point, right?
We headed to Wayne to celebrate at the World's Fair.  The boys were so excited to participate in the small fry rodeo and to watch the parade -- a.k.a. catch gobs of candy.

Kael and Dax were all about riding a sheep again this year.  Ace was not.  Remember the great bloody nose of 2015?  Yeah - so does he.
Anyway, I packed the boys' bike helmets and we were sitting in the grand stands eating snow cones and nachos when the owner of the livestock came by to shoot the breeze with my Dad.  My Dad jokingly said, "You know, those are some gnarly sheep for mutton bustin' in a small fry rodeo."  To which the guy responded with a laugh and then a, "Oh yeah, they've been on straight barley for three weeks and they're so hopped up for breeding they're one giant exclamation point."
Ummm what?  Not the exclamation point I was referring to at the start of this post.  But alas, the boys were gung ho and committed and I, like a champion mom, lifted their little bodies atop the world's largest and horniest sheep and let them take off into the horizon, praying they would come back in one piece.  They did.  Sort of.
Dax took a hoof to the back of his calve muscle and Kael got one right in the gut.  They were both fighting back the tears and limping out of the arena like true cowboys.  But dangit - they're noggins were safe and sound.  Maybe we'll hang up our boots for next year.  :)  Likely not.
Ace won the stick horse race in the four-year-old division.  The kid is a speed demon and won a box of candy and a $2 bill so just color him happy.
And Boone - well he got fed one red snow cone by Grandpa - some nacho cheese by Grandma - and some dirt and rocks by his own hand.  He was one happy little dude per usual.
We hiked to check some wildlife cameras.  We tried to catch some crawdads but were getting skunked -- the delay naturally led to the world's best mud fight of all time.  We swam at the Wayne pool and rode the little red four-wheeler.
The last day was the parade.  The boys were in the zone.  We have more candy than I think we've ever had in this house and that's saying something because I have a strict "say yes to sugar" policy.  :)
 
They also caught Ping Pong balls that were numbered and one lucky ball would win a new bike.  You guys... they were convinced it would be one of them.  But alas, we won two packages of otter pops and two bats full baseball gum balls... which may have actually been better than a bike in the grand scheme of things.  You know, quantity over quality is sometimes A-OK with little dudes.
All in all, it was a fantastic way to send off summer.
And I will miss my spontaneous days of adventure with my little groms...

Until next summer, dudes.
XO

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Last Lazy Summer Mornings...

It's the last week before it begins.  Luckily this year we get to do it in stages...
Kael starts first-grade on Monday which means HOLY MOLY ALL THE FEELS!  I have a kid old enough to be in all day school.  I have legit homework to help with and lunches to pack!
And then I have exactly one week before I send another one of my sweet babies off to the same elementary school for Kindergarten!  And yes, Dax has been ready for Kindi for about a year and half, but now that it's official it seems like we should just red-shirt another year, right? 
Precisely one week after Dax marches into el ed, Ace will head to preschool for three days a week.  Last year he was gone two mornings, and I can't imagine missing his sweet face for three mornings every single week.  But that also means I get to watch his countenance recognize his mama in the pick up line and sprint like Usaine Bolt to show me his latest school work.  And that is where it's at if you didn't know.  My fave.
  So, several times each and every week as the seasons change, Booner Bear and his mama will get to be together.  I feel like God must have known I would panic with an empty house so soon after all the boys came as a litter; so he sent me an extra helping of baby - which for the record is better than an extra helping of any dessert on the planet.
All this to say - we slowed down this week.  We slept in and snuggled in the big bed in morning huddles that didn't break quickly for getting ready routines.  We watched the Olympics together at night as we grilled veggies from our garden.  We played for hours with neighbor friends in the yard.  We ran the track, packed suitcases for our last summer hurrah and forgot about everything "pending" and lived in the present together.
It was wonderful.
They are more than I deserve -- occasionally more than I can gracefully handle -- 
And everything my wishes are made of.  And they're growing up so fast, but oh, so well.
I love you, boys.
School is lucky to have you.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

In 3, 2, 1... Panic

It's happening, you guys.  I'm doing that whole, "Oh my gosh summer is almost over so let's cram everything we can possibly cram into the last full week of freedom before it's gone - long gone!"  I take it to the extreme too...I'll find a distraction, an obsession, some decision I can control to numb the pain of all that I can't - like sending TWO of my babies to elementary school in the next two weeks!
Don't get me wrong -- I do love a fresh start and the smell of a new box of crayons.  I just don't love how the season ends and the new one begins at mach speed every year.  Like BAM - summer's over and so are your days of gathering your little ducklings around you as you wish, whenever you wish, with no distractions if you wish.  So I'm gonna cram some fun into this last week like a lunatic until it's here... the first day.  When I will undoubtedly be sad and happy and sentimental all at once.
A few more quintessential snaps of a summer without hustle... probably one of the few we have left together before the boys get heavily involved in sports and big boy stuff that will keep them away from home more often.
Loving all the memories we have made together and the beautiful vistas we have soaked in together.  So many experiences.  So much time together.  So many milestones.  Quintessential indeed.
Looking forward to all that the horizon holds whilst using my death grip to squeeze the last bits of summer out of these precious days with my babies.