Sunday, April 29, 2012


You know that old song that says,
"Sugar in the Mornin'
Sugar in the Evenin'
Sugar at Supper Time."

I don't really either.  That's the only part I know.  I don't know the name of the insightful artist even.
But I think I learned it from my Dad.
Who is the prior generation to me of sugar lovers.

You see, I come from a long line of sugar connoisseurs on both sides.

Grandpa Wood, my Mama's Daddy, would help us start our day off with waffles and four different types of syrup including:
And Blueberry

We would also devour toast with heaps of jam because he had at least half a dozen flavors at all times.

A pre-lunch snack?  Sure, that equals a trip to Seven-Eleven for a soda or Slurpee and candy OR a handful of cookies from the always full jar OR several leaves of lettuce with.... yep, sugar on them.
Try it - it's yum-o.

And we ALWAYS made a treat for our evening Poker or Uno games at Grandpa's house.  We pulled honey candy or old fashioned taffy or made Mother Goose Popcorn.  It smelled like a virtual candy shop at Grandpa's house.

Grandma Albrecht, my Daddy's Mama, would offer any of the following treats in the course of a day...
Strawberries and sugar and cream
Tomato Slices and sugar
Grapefruit and sugar
Frosted mini wheats with cream and sugar

Grandma always gave us a couple of dollars for performing super important but really shotty chores like sweeping the front porch or going to collect the mail.  THAT was ours to spend at Jensen's store where I might have single-handedly started the whole, "If you find a star on your Tootsie Pop wrapper you get a free one" rumor because the Jensens ALWAYS gave me another.  I think I was like sixteen when I realized that was just the Jensens.  Sweet folks.

And before bed?  Butter mints by the handful or Werthers candies galore.  My brother and I would "sneak" handfuls all day long and put them in our nightstand drawers to eat all night long.  You're welcome Dr. Christensen, we paid for your kids' college thanks to all those post-brushing binges at Grandma's house.

OK, so there you have it.  I didn't stand a chance at being the picture of health when it comes to eating.  I was raised on the fine granulated stuff and I'll never deny myself of it's deliciousness.

But you know what that means now that I'm in my third decade of life?  Dang it... more time on the pavement.  Which I haven't been doing faithfully at all for the past couple of years that have been fully consumed with babies.  But since I have vowed to carry on a longstanding tradition of sugar affinity, I must make it a habit once again.  And it's actually good.  Good like a loose tooth good.  Like, a little painful, but mostly good, good.  You know?

So that was a long and drawn out way of saying,
"Sugar in the Mornin'
Along with a little run
Sugar at Supper Time."

See, you barely noticed those little edits I made.  Sneaky, Sneaky.  :)  And I'm off.  To pound the pavement, followed by a little taste of sugar.

Friday, April 27, 2012

MJ o' Jumpin...

He is the Michael Jordan of the Johnny Jumper... 
As is evidenced by the strategic placery of his little tongue. 

 He could set records, be inducted into the Hall of Fame and earn title rings and gold medals for his very serious mad jumping skills. 

In less than one hundred days he will view his first Olympic Games - 
Probably from the comfort of his jumping chair. 

Me thinks that's a good omen.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Big Fish...

Yesterday I wanted to kiss my husband all over.  And I did and I'm gonna for days to come.  But that is way too much information for this type of family blog.  Thus, I shall tell you the reasoning for my outpouring of physical affection toward Big Fish...  Brace yourselves... you're gonna want to snatch him up as your own... but he's taken... HAPPILY taken, by me.  Here goes... prepare to drool.

On Monday evening RyGar came home from work and asked me how my day was.  I recounted my "to-done" list in loads of laundry and mowed lawns and blah diggity blah.  And he wrapped his arms around me and said, "How 'bout a massage tomorrow?"  

"Um, Yes Please." I said sarcastically at him.  

"And how about a facial and one of those foot things too."  He smiled.  (He is a man's man and he doesn't know big girly words like 'pedicure').

"Are you for real?"  I asked.  "Because let's not toy with my emotions after the past week of traveling circus."  I warned.

And then my heart melted when he uttered the most "Mister Wonderful-esque" lines of love... "You need one, babe.  You deserve one.  I've made all the arrangements and you have a spa day scheduled tomorrow morning and the kids are taken care of."

Will someone please pick up my jaw?  It seems to have fallen like a ton of bricks to the ground below me with an exceptional force of gravity.  Pinch me.  RIGHT NOW.  Pinch me.  Or slap me.  Seriously, just pull me out of this delirious state of happiness before I realize it's all a cruel joke.

But it was confirmed as the truth a half dozen times and like a skitzo skeptic I asked if he was feeling guilty about anything (LOL) before I drifted off to sleep and had sweet dreams of peppermint oil and steaming towels.  

And then I drove my happy heiny to the spa.  Oh, the spa.  Where I was pampered and made so relaxed that I sounded like a drunk leaving a bar upon my complete rub down.  I literally could barely move my jaws to speak I was so relaxed and I fell asleep at least twice that I know of.  I was wasted on happiness.  And every part of me felt swaddled and smooth.  And... mmmm... who wants to go tomorrow?  :)

So there you have it.  My husband, the trashy romance novel hero.  The man who pulled one out of left field and gave me a spa day for no reason in particular.  The man who should give a seminar to other men about the way a woman reacts when you go out of your way to do something LOVEly for her on a random day.  Holy McDreamy, I am stickin' with you.  Of all the fish in the sea.... I'll take you, Big Fish.


Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Great Roadtrip...

We just returned from our very first long and drawn out road trip with our littles. 

And had you asked me in the beginning or even the mid-point of our little adventure how it was going, I would say that our boys were built for the road.

And that I could envision them in a VW van making their way across the western states together creating their own most excellent adventure in the near future. They exceeded all my expectations during the first half of our vacay (which admittedly were not set high).


The second half.... mmmm, let's just keep it simple and say that toddlers and babies thrive on routine, familiarity, and sleep.... none of which were all too present near the home stretch there.  I was beginning to question my sanity.  RyGar was beginning to question life in general.  We were all tired and ornery combined with that inexplicable exhaustion that comes with life's lovely sun/water combo.  Ugh.  We were a hot mess.

But let's not focus on that, shall we?

The details are as follows:
1 State spanned
600+ miles traveled
3 Cities (or Tiny Towns in some Cases) Visited
Hundreds of Stinky Cows
Thousands of Sheep
Six Motorcycles (which are actually four wheelers but, hey)
Three Dozen Popsicles
Three Boy Blue Roller Bags
Two Sandboxes
Two Pack n' Plays
Ten Bottles
Eight Sippy Cups
Two Strollers
Six Blankets
Two Baby Backpacks
One Swimming Pool
SEVEN Nights
And a Partridge in a Pear Tree  :)

I sincerely apologize to all fellow restroom patrons who repeatedly got a play by play of the bathroom events going on in our stall.  There were times when me and my four little travel companions were all crammed into one normal stall because the handicapped version was occupied.  I aim not to be offensive, but let me tell you... that scenario equals one massive handicap.

 I also wholly beg forgiveness of pool buddies who heard "Cannon Baw" five hundred and twelve times or more and endured the obligatory splashes that come from said Cannon Balls thanks to our two little water babies.

I pray that those who were loved upon with sticky fingers unknowingly will find joy in the power of Tide and will consider them "love marks".

I loathe all gas stations at the moment and the way they strategically place candy displays at eye level or lower for little hands to have free access to.  Let's not even touch on their gas prices, eh?

I love my husband who somehow saved me from having to pack up/clean up today and did it all himself.  Now you know why I hang out with him.  Among other things he's exceptionally good at, (Wink, Wink, Catch my drift...)  He is good at detecting when I'm about to lose my shiz.

But now, "WEEEeee'RRRRe BBAAAAAaaaaacccckkkKKK!"  Hallelujah, Praise Jesus.  We survived and we're home.  And like having a baby, I'm sure we'll forget the pain and get a wild hair and plan some other trip that will find all of us in tears at some point.  And smiles at a lot of other points.  And now that I review these little phone photos, I do see that smiles somehow abounded through the chaos.  

Dang those road trips... sneaky little buggers. :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

If I were you...

If I were you I would bug our home or at least my kiddos' personalized little blue suitcases so you could laugh your Heiny off at the things I've learned these past few days with my traveling circus...

For example...

- "Stinky cows need wipes."
- "Our horsey needs a sucka AND an apple." (And while we're sharing suckers let's feed the chicks one too - oops)
- "Shhhh the Llamas are hiding from us." (Can you blame them?)
- And oh the potty talk... "Baby's poop is green", "Kael toots", "Daxi peed". "Uh Oh my wiener's broken." I was warned about little boys and toilet trash talking but wow... The fascination starts early.

Much more to come from our travels to far away exotic lands. You know, places like Bicknell and Richfield and coming soon, St. George. ;). Until next time, may the pack n' play Gods smile upon us.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

On Certain Days...

Some days I brag shamelessly about my chilluns' on this blog.  And other days, I feel the need to hide behind the nearest large object hoping that no one will know I am the woman that mothers these little terrors of the streets.  Do you know what I mean?  My sons... the little cuties, the little shits, the rascals, the sweeties, the tasmanian devils the little loves of my life.  They test me these little guys.  And most days I find I am up for the challenge.  But occassionally.... wow.

And of course at this point, I'm mostly talking about the twiblings... Because did you know we're about to embark on three months of our lives where we will be blessed with TWO two-year-olds at once?    Aren't we lucky?  :)

And Acer's is an angel.  No really, I couldn't do our life right now without this perfect little happy baby who entertains himself with his toes if he can't locate a toy that he can roll himself over to.  Have you ever heard of such a thing?  He is a gem.  Ry and I joke every night as we're winding down, "Guess who won the 'good boy' prize today?"  And every day, it's Ace.  Someday he'll be two and there might actually be a contest... We'll see.  But for now... Muah, Muah, Muah Ace a'Spades.  

Anywho... My boys are non-stop busy... busy, busy little legs they have.  Ask anyone that is an acquaintance and especially anyone that sits near us at church.  I come prepared with all kinds of magical distractions and they work.  For nearly .7 seconds.  And then, like a cartoon, stuff is flying from my bag o' tricks as they hover over it quickly perusing the contents and discarding and then wondering what they should do next.  They wrangle, wrestle, eat, play, run, destroy, sleep (out of sheer exhaustion), guzzle, splash, giggle, guffaw, YELL, spin and do it all again, and again, and again.  I pray every day that they are blessed with little balls of energy of their own so that they will come back to me, one day in the distant future, with bags under their eyes and their running shoes on wondering how on earth I did it.  And I will say, "Mmmmm, Karma's a bitch."  Just kidding.  Sort of.  ;)

So, as I was saying, these little boys of mine have a lot of energy.  It's not always a bad thing.  I am amazed at their courageous little selves.  They are fearless, friendly, confident, head-strong, stubborn, smart as whips, cuter than should be allowed, and they live life full throttle all the time.  I love them so much and I admire their enthusiasm and the way they literally let their feelings out.... LOUDly.  Which really must be so good for the soul, right?

And shmooshed in amongst our high energy bouts they are sweet and they share cuddles & kisses.  And if you ever want to see loyalty in action - know that theirs is unmatched.  They are certain that daddy can fix anything and that my kisses will cure the world's ailments.  They ALWAYS ask for treats for one another and they scurry to deliver toys to baby when they hear him fuss or cry. It is adorable.

And all of that for this....
(Cue a Therapy Moment)
I just need to list a few of my favorite things about the little charmers at the moment because today was a day where I did not focus on my favorite things.  And I'm hoping that by doing so tonight, the positive thoughts will flow into the coming days.  Which are forecasted to be cold and rain filled and we'll be spending A LOT of time indoors.  (HOORAY)

Favorite Things... Take ONE...

- The way Dax still likes to sneak a therapeutic suck of a binkie now and then.  He's like an old addict.  He just needs a little taste and then he giggles and smiles and most of the time gives it back to the baby.

- The way Kael needs a "Bwoo Bwank" every time we consider sleeping.  Not a specific one - just ANY soft, snuggly blue blanket.  I say "consider" because Mister Big Shot thinks he no longer needs naps.  YAY for us.

Take TWO...

- How Dax shouts of his independence by proclaiming, "I can do it, by yo-sef (yourself)." He learned that from Barney, whom he adores, (again, YAY for us), and he has a knack for using Barney song phrases at the correct moments of life right in context like he's one of those child extras on Barney or something who has memorized the script.  It's kills me.  

- How Kael is constantly disciplining Coop.  I heard Dax scream in the backyard yesterday so I looked out the window and I got an exact rundown of what happened thanks to Kael's parenting of the dog, "NO, NO, NO, Coopa!  Sit at Waw (wall).  Coopa no eat Daxi's cookie.  Bad, Bad.  Kennew (kennel) Coop.  Nicely Done little man.

Oh I could go on and on with little silly antics and moments where I see that their depth and breadth exceeds what I give them credit for... but we'll save some additional takes for future scenes here on the family journal.

And so, to my big littles and to my baby love... Always be good boys.  Share your love and your talent and your amazing spirits with all that you encounter.  Be grateful for what we have because we are so blessed and so incredibly lucky.  Learn new things all the time.  Drink up every new fact and skill you can because you are capable of mastering oh so much.  Smile when it is raining and laugh instead of waiting for the skies to fall.  You are amazing.  And I love you always and forever...

Even on those certain days....

Sunday, April 8, 2012

An Outline...

It is spring.  

Our trees are popping popcorn even as I type.  The bees are humming wildly in the sweet pink blossoms.  My kids are running around barefoot.  The sun is shining and the Easter bunny has made his magic. 

Is it not kind of amazing that seasons change?  There were days I questioned whether or not winter would end and here it is... coming to a sweet close. 

There is lots to type about... but nothing too out of the ordinary.... so I shall be brief and summative and present life's current outline...

A.  That Certain Song.
Strange as it may seem, my boys will smile and dance at the drop of a hat when they hear the tune, "Don't Stop Let It Rock."  I don't even know who sings it, and I don't care.  It is my secret weapon.  Our reset button.  Our smile maker for photos.  Our jam.  We love it.

And we love to make out to it.  :)

And as previously discussed... the matching jammies are just for me.  But really, can you blame me?
Hello Costco... meet Amber, who will buy all matching PJs that come in the appropriate sizes.

B.  Flying.
But not flying solo... Flying with Daddy.  

It is one of Ace's great loves.  He cannot stop those cheeks from grinning when he is in the air.

Or when he lands softly next to scruffy whiskers.
Neither can my big boy...

C.  Dirt.
Get dirty much?  Yeah, neither do we.  Unless you count this...

or This...

Sweet little grubby man.  I will never understand the affinity little boys have for dirt.  But I do understand why IFA can still sell overalls to mama's with boys.  We put 'em on, we take 'em off, we repeat.  At least a half dozen times a day.  They love to "Mow ma Mown" and "Pway dirt" in their "key pants".

D.  Owies.
This is a brand new concept this week.  We learned about them first hand when Kael bit Dax and left a mean red mark.  So we had a sit down about how we don't hurt people and that biting leaves owies that hurt.  It was a revelation for our little chomper for which we are very glad and he was so very apologetic and sweet.  Dax Man, though, he is a tough little hombre.  He did not fuss much at the bite nor did he notice the little red footprints he was leaving yesterday after scuffing up his piggies.  We did and we told him he had to come in to wash up his owies.  Here he is noticing them for the first time under those sweeping lashes of his.

We offered a Band Aid to which he replied, "Eww Icky.  Get it Off".  It was a Cars Band Aid no less.    And that is another example of the fundamental difference between boys and girls.  And a prime example that our Daximus is tough as nails.

E.  A Two-fer... Easter Baskets & Egg Hunts...
We talked about seeing the Easter Bunny Waddit... and we talked about how he brings baskets of treats and toys to good boys.  This morning it all clicked.  They likee this whole Easter basket idea.

 And I love how little man can sit up and get in on the action too.

And thanks to Grandma & Grandpa Gardner and Aunt Nett, they likee Egg hunts.  Dax was an animal busily scouting out the bright colored "balls" and running them back to his basket.   

Kaelster was into it too until he found a large petrified wood boulder and had to show us all the laws of physics and his potential in the World's Strongest Man contest by heaving it across the yard.  That pretty much sums up their little personalities.  Speedy and Sly .vs. Strong and Showy. 

And then we have Sweet and Steady here... 

How lucky are we?

Insert preferred word that means TONS... perhaps gazillions, heaps, infinity...
There.  You've got it.
Outline Complete.
We're seriously lucky.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Bunny Waddit...

We visited the Easter "Bunny Waddit" today.  It was as I expected... two little big boys that didn't have a care in the world and one tiny little man that wanted to rip those shiny specs from the Bunny's face.  No tears... just a recurring question for the fuzzy guy, "Sucka?"

Bunny Waddit didn't put out.  
Not even a plastic egg in sight.  
I suppose he's saving his goods for Easter morning.

So, now I'm trying to conjure up the strength to dye Easter Eggs with the little misters.  But mostly, I'm terrified of what the outcome of that little activity may be.  I'm thinking Ry and I might dye eggs tonight for our romantic "Friday Night Experience" after bedtime and we'll serve up a boiled blue and green number for breakfast tomorrow?  What?  Won't that suffice until they're about 16?

Hope your holiday weekend is colorful... but not the kind of colorful we'll have if we actually get brave enough to dye "Easter Bunny Waddit Eggs".  Whew...  

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

No Peeking...

My spoiled little boys got another unsolicited gift from their honorary neighborhood Grandma, "Nan".  Sure, they don't share the same genes, but as we know first hand, genes are just a small part of what makes a group of people a family and where there is love to share.... there is a family.  Besides, they have picked up on the fact that Grandma Nan is "punny"and that she has some spunk. Everyone in the hood knows that about her... she is funny and spunky with a whole lotta sweet mixed in.  Just how I like 'em.

I digress... Grandma Nan delivered fuzzy little Easter chicks to all three of our little men just because she is adorable and the boys have her fooled into thinking that they are too and I can only guess that maybe she wanted a little dose of crazy?  And here is the scene she walked in to...

- One little man in arms smiling at her from his drool drenched shirt as the door opened.
- Two little undie clad toddlers sporting knit hats and "loin clothes" and that be all... sitting at the tot-sized picnic table enjoying a lunch of Costco pizza and strawberries.
- One wet yard she traversed through to get to said toddlers.  Wet from water you ask?  No No... too predictable.  Wet from gas.  Yes, gasoline.  Long story but we felt the need to empty the gas can that resides in the shed next to our favorite man tool, the lawnmower.  I'm SURE we were just trying to help and not to cause arson.  I'm sure they worked like feverish little ants to get that important work all done before mama returned to actually mow the lawn two minutes later.  And yes, you can be sure that is why they were only wearing their undies at that point.  Amazing.
- One barefoot mama who had just mopped the floor to enjoy it for all of a millisecond and likely had a few hairs out of place and an embarrassing bat in the cave or something similar.  (Also known as cliff hangers or "boogs" if you're my kiddos)
- Additional noteworthy items... five stacks of laundry on the kitchen table, two Starburst wrappers from an earlier treat, and I'm guessing a dozen infant toys strewn about a baby quilt on the living room floor.


She's lucky she made it outta here without me throwing a child or a vacuum at her.  :)

Bottom line... sometimes I'm embarrassed to open the door to let other people in.  Because that means they might see some version of inclimate weather here at the Gardner residence and I will have to admit that not always do we have polished wood furniture and smudge free glass.  But really, if the sun was always shining (or in this little analogy, my house) I wouldn't appreciate the rain or the rainbows, right?  So I'm told...

AND... people like Grandma Nan.... they don't bat an eye.  They just drop off Easter chicks and tell you what a good job you're doing and how cute your kids are then they make you laugh and carry on their merry way.

Damn she's good.  Smooches to Grandma Nan, for the gifts, for the visit and for reminding me that all too soon, I'll have a perfect quiet house and I'll miss this chaos so much I'll deliver gifts to cute little neighbor kids just for a peek at crazy.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Something Old, Something New...

This weekend RyGar and I escaped to the blooming desert with just one babe in tow. 

We RSVPed for a little party at my parents new place... for just the three of us.
It was a little "to do" to celebrate the 1/2 Birthday of our baby boy, Ace a' Spades.  

We left a twibling each with a set of loving Grandparents and off we went to chillax with one another and to bask in the cheeky grins of our littlest fish man.

And we did nothing of importance.... a golf course was involved, some shopping, some inspiring words from General Conference, some ice cream and even a nap and yet it felt like the deep life-sustaining breath that we needed to gulp in after emerging from deep waters having held our breath for a long, long time.  We needed some one-on-one time to talk and laugh and plan and dream and we needed to soak in the littlest man and give him our full attention for a couple of days.  And of course, he didn't disappoint.

We stopped in to see Ryan's Grandpa & Grandma.  

For the record this one was doing windmills and singing Good Morning greetings when I first met her.  
I aspire to do windmills and sing when my grandkids have gathered.

Ace has already met his Great Grandpa once, but this time he really greeted him as if they were old friends.  Ryan's grandpa is now confined to a bed and is in the sunset of his long life and Ace just grabbed his hand and held tight as if he was making sure that Grandpa Great knew that he had just come from the Heavens and that it was OK for Grandpa to make his way back home... a new life and an old life sharing their sweet glimpses into the Eternities.
Little Bear Cub Paw Meet Great Papa Bear Paw

It was a sweet full circle moment.

I'm sure the toddlers gave a couple sets of Grandparents a run for their money.  But the progress reports that we got went something like this, "Oh he was so sweet."  "He did so good!"  "We had so much fun."  "Anytime we can help..."  
What amazing families we have... and what suave liars they are!

And so, now, I work to restock an empty fridge and plan a new week and run load after load of laundry and again, I tell myself...  All the work to pack and travel with toddlers and babes was worth it.
For that breath.  For that momentary reprieve.  For a chance to recharge waning batteries before we must power them up for another six months of non-stop action courtesy of our little family.

So that covers our weekend... Someone old, someone new, something borrowed and little boys blue.