Thursday, May 31, 2012

Random Dandom...

This weekend we spent time at our secret hideaway with my entire family. The boys were in Heaven. On the rare occasion when they couldn't actually convince an adult to take them on a four wheeler ride they simply imagined they were riding the trails on their own as they sat atop the wheelers in the comfort of the shaded man cave. It was adorably boyish and I smile just thinking about it.

 I love my family... My little one and my big one. I love talking with my parents and brother and sister. I love talking to uncles and aunts and I love the perspective that talking with different people brings. Ry and I got to take a post baby bed time walk and we laughed about how wild it is to see other couples' relationships and how they divvy life's responsibilities and balance parenting and communicate in their own style. It is interesting to me... Like a science project... A dash more humor there. A tad more empathy here. A healthy dose of sarcasm there... and you get significantly different products by way of relationships. And sleep deprivation? That brings on a whole new onslaught of experimentation... I'll get back to that in a moment.

I think that is one of the most important facets of family. From the get go, a family teaches us about different personalities and skill sets other than our own, and we immediately learn to work with and love those family members despite our differences. And that is kind of a big deal... Learning that not everyone is like you but that they are awesome anyway. And that maybe just maybe you could learn a little about their awesomeness and end up multiplying your own. And you should know one of my favorite toddler phrases of the moment is "That's so awesome!". Anyway before I dive too deep into introspective-ville I shall share another favorite and possibly overused phrase around here... we are up to a lot of "I do it by Yosef" lately.

Everyone is insisting they can be fiercely independent and we vacuum and dig and spray and go potty and army crawl (yep bring on the gates, little Ace is mobile) and drag stools hither and thither to climb to the sprinkle stash or the kitchen aid. It is a bit of a mad dash from sun up to sun down and don't even get me started on my littles wild adventure to the neighborhood park on their own. It makes me frantic. I might be a helicopter mama til they're eighteen because I hate not knowing for a minute where they are. I don't have the gut for it. And in the meantime, I am giving away the Bumbo chair and the bouncer seat and telling myself not to tear up because it's time. My baby season came fast and furious and now, already, parts of it are coming to an end. It feels wild. Period.

I guess the theme of this little disorganized mush of thoughts is that I am learning and just like the littles... it is exhausting to process so much that is new. I am learning to see things from other peoples vantage points including little tiny ones. I am learning that my formulaic approach to the day is sometimes better tossed to the wind for a more spontaneous and exciting adventure. I am itching to try new things with my "few good men" but I'm nervous to let go. Trying to soak it all in and be present and plan for the future. You know... Your standard growing pains? The cure for all this thinking and analyzing? There are three... Take your pick. In no particular order...

1. A good laugh courtesy of Kaelster who during our weekend adventure stashed a Dr. Pepper in his bottom bunk bed and after being tucked in and thinking the coast was clear, he pierced it with his pearly whites for a late night tottie. Oddly enough, big boy could not/would not simmer down until nearly midnight. He has a virgin stomach to caffeine and it's effects. He was WiReD and after I shook my head in disbelief I had to laugh.

2. A sweet little unprovoked comment from Daximus who told me today in the hallway that I was vacuuming, just as he pulled the plug from the wall, "I wuv you aw the way". See those puddles? They are my melting heart. That boy is either sneaky or sweet and either way it is extreme. I reel over at the sweet little somethins he comes up with at the most perfect moments.

3. Bubble your troubles away. I did this last night with my little bath buddy, Ace. That rose petal soft skin, those pudgy pink cheeks, the way his eyes light up when he kicks and sends water splashing every which way. There is something incredibly soothing and peaceful about sharing some prime wind down time with one of your own. And to literally soak him in... Every little detail from new jagged-edged teeth to pudgy little fingers. Pure Heaven.

Hmmmm so how's that for a mid-week overview? Isn't this one of least evocative and completely random-dandom blogs I've written in a while? Sheesh. Good thing there are a few pictures to keep you from getting entirely drowsy. Someone needs to pour something sparkling and catch up on DVR and get the heck outta her head, eh? As the "Arnold once said, "I'll be back."


Thursday, May 24, 2012

For Real...

I can't even tell you how out of touch I have felt for the past few days without my trusty Mac in working order.  We were just installing the new Operating System and backing up the hard drive and getting new RAM - but geez, I felt computer impaired... for real.
Moving on...

I can NOT believe that one of my favorite dudes on Swamp people died.  It makes me sad.  Especially for his poor brother who is now all alone on the Bayou.  But what I REALLY can't believe is that brotha was only 48 years old.  WHAT?  In all seriousness - promise me you'll take me out to the swamp and shoot me if at the age of 48 I look like I'm 72... for real.

As an addendum - don't you think that Dax could be the mini, skinnier and much cuter version of Bruce when he sports his little duds?  

No?  Maybe Kaelster?  For real, right?!   

They even have their trusty yellow lab Cooper as their sidekicks and I'm gonna have to buy them some Crocs I guess.  Ha Ha.  And if you have no clue what I'm talking about... tune into the History channel.  For Real.

I can't believe that Ace is 8-Months old.  Wha-What?  He is getting so stinkin' big and independent.  He would rather sit/scooch/roll around up in the playroom with the big boys than chill with me.  He uses my bod as a jungle gym to hang on and climb and twist around on.  He is standing like a champ and I'm certain he'll be walking by like, next week.  Sheesh...  I am soon gonna be out of babies and fully into toddlers.  Never thought that would happen so fast... for real.

I can't believe how badly I suck at spray painting.  The other day I took on the TINIEST project of all time and thought I'd spray paint a little rooster I found at a thrift shop.  Well, I came in and caught a glance in the mirror and was in shock.  How did I get so sunburned so fast?  Turns out... NOT a sunburn. And those red highlights in my hair?  Spray paint.  I kinda liked 'em.  For real.  But seriously, mama can not spray paint in even the slightest summer breeze or disaster strikes.

I can't believe my two, two-year-olds are both nearly fully potty trained and in their big boy beds.  I also can't believe how much I miss their cribs.  WHY do they have to learn to climb out of those things?  Why do they get totally crazy with bedroom freedom?  They have zero toys in their rooms by design and so what do they discover?  That it's wicked cool to roll yourself up like a burrito in your rug or that emptying clothes from drawers is just as fun as breaking open a pinata.  Did I mention I miss the cribs?  For real.

I read a hair blog the other day and there was a post about "No Pooers".  Apparently there is a group of people that prefer to stick with nature when it comes to cleansing their locks.  Yep, they abstain from using shampoo, and "wash" their hair with water alone; hence the term, "No Poo".  If you think for a second that is a good idea, you are banned from staying at my house.  Seriously?  I have a thing with folks who ignore modern science and hygiene.  Gross!  For Real.

I kind of can't get over how big Kaelster is these days.  I also can not get over how obsessed he is with "Grandpa's red house".  Last night he talked about it prior to drifting off to dreamland for over an hour.  He says things like, "And ride the red moto-cycle?"  "The keys will work."  "Kael will open it garage and ride the black one."  "No the red one."  "And catch a fish" "And get candy from Sherie"  "And Grandma Gail will come"  "And Daddy"  and on and on and on.... It's cute and annoying all wrapped up into one adorable little blonde headed package... for real.

I can't even tell you how stoked I am about watching the Olympics.  I'll be the first to admit I turn into a raving, flag waving, patriotic sports lunatic when the its time for the games.  You could sell me anything red white or blue and I'd buy.  I LOVE them... I'm pretty sure Kate and William should invite me over to their pad to watch a few key events.  I'm good company and I would even steep their tea... for real.

Speaking of getting "sold".  I seriously bought that miracle cleaning solution from the door-to-door salesman from Detroit that says stuff like, "Oh, Mama... let me take care of that rust stain on your porch with this stuff. You got babies?  Let me clean some milk outta your carpet."  You know the ones.  Yep... I bought it.  And I love it.  No lie - it really does work well.  The way to my heart is through the Olympics or cleaning supplies.  Ok, or chocolate or babies.... particularly baby boys.  For real.

And back to baby boys... you should know that Ace is in love with the door stop things.  Like... a full hour or so of entertainment at a time... just boing - boing - boing-ing to his heart's content.  I could look at those fat little knee rolls he gets when he's folded over his favorite toys forever.  
They are delicious... for real.

And that... is a wrap.  
My eyelids are shutting involuntarily and unless I find some toothpicks to prop these suckers up... I gotta jet.

For Real.


Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I got Dax Man's Two-Year-Old Pictures back and prep yourself for some pretty dang delicious little bites of our adorable man. I know I'm fully sporting my Mommy goggles as I peruse through the proofs, but seriously, it can't just be my bias... he is adorable.  That is a fact.

Also a fact...
That kid LOVES him some limelight.  It's nice to have a little ham during photoshoots...

It doesn't hurt that he got to do something he adores which led to natural dimple showing smiles... I heard ALL morning long, "Drive, Drive, Drive!" complete with actions.

And no, I am not the brightest girl in the class, but I think I'm onto something here...  Future photo shoot locations will likely include:
Candy Store
Swimming Pool
Atop a Four Wheeler

You get the picture.

I would do almost anything or go almost anywhere to get more of these.

We love you little Daximus.  You rock our socks off.

You're TWO, TOO Much!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mulch Much Better...

Hi - Remember me?  I used to frequent this little spot in cyberville but of late, we have been bustin' tail around here... hence our absence from the satellites in the sky. And I gotta say me and the littles (and of course, The Big) can seriously rock out some manual labor. 

More on that briefly, but our stint shovelin' got me thinking of the summers of my junior and senior years when I worked construction. Serious construction... Like pouring concrete, humpin' forms, using my float, laying pipe...serious work. 

My dad thought it was an awesome idea to make me so flippin' tired I wouldn't have the energy to make trouble with "da boys" (lets face it - he was partially right). My mom thought I would lose all femininity and fry my ovaries (lets face it - she may have been partially right).  My friends thought I was cra-crazy. (Right again) And me? I considered all the other summer job options in my teeny tiny town and concluded that construction would a) get me a great tan b) give me the biggest pay check and c) tone my arm muscles. Sidebar... I was really into GI Jane during this phase of my life and getting stronger and tougher were pretty high on my list of important things to do. 

One summer my nickname was Pocahontas because my blond braids were always hanging out of my hard hat. The next summer I was called cookie because my mama dutifully packed a Granny Bs pink number in my lunch every day to keep the calorie count up to sustain my life. Ah, an endless supply of Granny Bs... and an overall weight loss?  Those were the days!  :)  

Anywho... I learned lots those summers of "ball bustin'" work. I learned that men are gross but usually harmlessly so. They have a dirty little joke about any and every little thing and very few of the phrases in the dirty old men's joke book surprise me now... and if I'm being totally honest, some of them make me giggle.  I also learned that men are protectors by nature. They always asked if I was ok, if I needed a drink if I wanted to be the one to drive for supplies. It was sweet coming from whisker-covered sweat bags that talked like sailors and worked like dogs.  And I learned of my fierce independence and my crazy drive to pull my own weight and not be a "softy".  I discovered that I am capable of a lot. My muscle memory is good and my coordination is healthy.  I'm witty enough to play with the big boys and not take it all too seriously. I know how to use a level, a drill, a float, a hammer, a chalk line, a shovel and I can build and stack forms like a champ. It still makes me proud to reflect on those long summer days of sweat and grit. In fact, as a memorial to my first summer of construction, a water tank stands on the hillside in a little town called, Aurora, and I will always be able to say, "I built that" when I see it. That is kinda freakin' cool, no? 

And that "rush" you get when you tackle physical labor head on only to then stand back with sore muscles and sweat mixed with dirt at a finished job... yep, that one?  The littles totally ate it up this week.  I mean, they really got it.  As we repeatedly hauled truckloads of mulch home to spread about the yard, they talked about the tractor that "dumped dirt in our white truck".  And after observing me shoveling for just a few minutes, they grabbed their little red shovels out of the garage and dutifully wrestled them into our mountain of mulch just to turn around and heave the contents into the wheelbarrow.  They would struggle, dig, dump and repeat.  It was so fetchin' cute; I was taken.  They would congratulate themselves and each other after especially large shovelfuls were transported saying things like, "Wow!"  and "Good Job!"  I was grinning like a supremely proud mama/construction laborer.  They totally felt empowered using their own brute strength to get the job done... my duo of two-year-olds... rockin' it out like champs.

When we would finish a truck load we let our feet dangle off the tailgate and their little grimy faces would smile as they enjoyed a Popsicle... or six.  Hey, manual labor merits sweet rewards and Mama didn't have any Granny Bs.  :)

And this weekend as we were wrapping up the spring yard work, they acted like seasoned vets.  It was fun for them to show off to Daddy-o.  It was fun for me to watch three of my four boys makin' mama proud with their shovel skills.  It is even more fun for all of us to hit the sheets at night and immediately fall into deep, delicious sleep.  The kind you get after a mixture of sun and shovels.

And the littlest little of all?  That boys gonna start walking/mowing/shoveling all at once.  He loves to look from his perch on my back out in the yard to see what his little monster brothers are up to.  He observes and stores it all away for a later date like a tiny CIA Agent.  But at present, the constant hum of the mower must be music to his little ears... cause buster just can't quite keep those eyes open for the duration. 

And that is just how it should be.  Since my big littles thing they're SO big, I want my little little to stay... little... for a little while longer.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Big Mouth...

I am pretty sure that one of Ryan's favorite things about me is my big mouth.
If you thought that was racy in any way - you better get your mind outta the gutter...

Not literally... I don't think I can fit my fist in my mouth... please hold, while I try.
Nope. No luck. So my big mouth is just figurative.
(And my lipstick is incredible here - along with my invisible pores.... LOL)

Anyway, for as long as I've known my RyGar he says to me daily, "Tell me a story". And nine times outta ten I can totally perform for the guy on the spot. Fact or Fiction. First-Person or Third. I am a story teller. Even when Ry is traveling I write little key words down so I remember to tell him all about X.

Well, some other little people, are following in my footsteps.

 It is kind of adorable to ask Kaelster what he dreamed about and get a firm response in return, like "Granpa's red house and catch a fish with Daddy."

It's equally fun to have Dax Man's little hand cup my cheek while he confirms twelve times upon waking that yes, indeed, we are going to "Mow ma Mawn TaDay" or "Mow the Lawn, Today" and he happily breathes out his affirmation of choice, "Oooo Kay".

Ace a' Spades is officially speaking gibberish or Russian and he cracks himself up at his hilarious little inside jokes which he expectorates at ear-splitting volumes.

And I'm gonna roll with it.

Because all that "constant narration" stuff they tell you when you have babies has sure paid off for us (or begun to bite us in the butt... depends on the scenario... and me and my big mouth will get to that shortly).  We cannot drive/walk/or gleefully skip (that's Ryan's favorite travel mode... ha ha) anywhere without getting commentary on green trees, yewow tractors, big trucks, wittow doggies, nice grandmas, big rocks, and on and on and on...

The flip side is that we're starting to hear the ghosts of our phrases past.  Like, the other day the littles got put in time out against the wall for something or other and Big K said to me, "Mama not be wude!"  And so of course Daximus then echoed, "Mama, that's so wude!"  We've also heard, "You so cwazy" and  "Whoa-dee Bee, Guys" which was the imitation of some elderly person trapped in a thirty-year-old woman's body who exclaimed in exasperation, "Lordy Bee, You Guys"...
Did I ever mention I'm from the country?

So that be all.
I gotta watch my big mouth.
Wish me luck... for that is no tiny task ya'll...
Fist Bumps... Out.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The Birth of a Mama...

It's Mother's Day.
A day I used to look forward to so I could shower my own incredible Mama with all the love I could muster up in the form of homemade cards and treats.  That is, until I graduated to cheap store bought stuff that somehow became equivalent to fine perfumes and Tiffany jewelry thanks to my Mama's gracious self.  

And now, it's a day that I get to actively participate in.
I am a Mama.
When I breathe that sentence out and utter those words... I smile.
I never ever take that fact for granted... 
Because Motherhood is a gift that was hard fought for me.
And it's worth every battle scar. 

I don't think I'll ever come out and type about our painful journey of starting a family here on Le blog... it's too personal and sacred and extensive and covers more emotions than I ever knew I was capable of feeling.  What started with wanting, craving, wishing, praying and being baffled, evolved into envy, emptiness, anger and loss with a hint of public indifference.  And then miraculously it turned into peace, openness, total faith and assurance and finally.... finally.... complete elation, joy, love and what I want to describe as "being in tandem with Heaven".
Does that make any sense?  

I would not wish struggles with fertility upon my worst enemy.  I would do anything in my power to lift that challenge for perfect strangers.  I know the cloudiness that it can bring to some one's life, and yet, I am so very proud of Ryan and me for the way in which we tackled this beast.  It was a journey that we were on, not by choice, and somehow we didn't let it consume or define us; though I can definitely see how it has the power to do so, and I cast no judgement on couples that get caught up and splintered in it's stormy path.  I feel more aware and I have more perspective as I take on motherhood and the challenges that being a Mama presents, having gone through our rocky history of building a family.  And maybe that was the point... 

I feel so blessed to have given birth to insight about being a mama before I ever carried a babe in my womb.  I feel infinitely blessed to have been given the gift of being a reverent bystander to watch the miracle of the birth of one of His children by one of His choice daughters and to take it all in and celebrate that moment of our first born son's initial breath.  To literally see our family begin, right there in front of me, is one of my most cherished memories.  And I instantly became a mother in love with all the motherly instincts that come with the title.

I feel incredibly blessed to have been able to carry not one but two babies in my own body and to experience the metamorphosis those nine months bring.  And to feel the presence of my boys long before I got to see their little faces.  And to physically labor to bring them into this world, until finally, their arrival brought that euphoria all over again.  And there it was, surrounding me, emanating from me... that instantaneous, indescribable, fierce love of a mother.


And just as those pink babies have stretched and made their first cries out to the world, my heart, in those moments, swelled beyond capacity.... and right then.... when I felt that my chest would burst open, I became a mama.... A partner with God, whomever He is to you, who accepts a vow to keep and care for one of His children in the best way possible with His divine inspiration.

I can honestly say that no matter the method, the story, the biology of it all - Birth is an act of Heaven.  It is something that trumps all other life experiences that I have witnessed or probably ever will.  It is deep and rich and overpowering.  And I got to soak it all in and feel it's textures and hear it's sounds and bask in it, as not only were my babies born... but a Mama was delivered as well.

It's Mother's Day.

Mamas all over... I salute you.
I learn so much from you.
I love you.
And just by the virtue of "being" what I so long hoped to be, I am more aware, more present, more alive, more in love, and more happy.
I am a Mama.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Insta Gratification...

I love Instagram.
I only know a smidgeon of what it can do.
But I love it.
Because when you lay down with a teething babe and he crashes on your bed.
You can pull your phone out of your back pocket and capture this.
And you get to keep that little glimpse forever.

Thanks to Instagram.
And your $100+ dollar a month phone bill.
And your IPhone.
But who is counting....

Happy Weekend... Especially to the Mamas in my life.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Shawty and the Shmop...

It's summer.
I love it.
BUT, it makes me feel like taking short cuts or "shawt cuts" in my housekeeping duties.
You know, still gettin 'er done, but in the least amount of time so I can head out and soak up the sun with the little monsters?

Cue Photos of the little dirt magnets....

SO, I'm going to tell ya'll, my besties fo sho...  (Just keepin' the rap speak continuous here)
What my latest and greatest shawty-cut is in my world of cleaning.

Meet my shmop.

I don't really know why it's called that except that it differentiates it just enough from my mop and it sounds funner.  Let's not zero in on my language skills... you knew exactly what I meant.

So, the shmop is my new BFF because every day I find some wall in my home that from three feet on down looks like it has survived World War III.  There are Dirt/Popsicle/Cheetos prints that make me CRA-Cra-Crazy.  I used to use Clorox wipes to rectify this situation.  But I found myself going through an insane number of wipe canisters and I was buying them like a fiend at Costco.

Now thanks to the shmop (which is made of "Sham Wow" material - no lie) I spray with my favorite household cleaner (which for me lately includes Vinegar because I've turned into a Quasi-hippie because said Monsters lick any and every surface) and I shmop the whole entire wall in mere moments and TADA... grubbiness be gone, no Tendinitis for me (threw that one in for you, Ash)!

So, now that we're sharing tricks like gals around a table at Chili's enjoying Queso and Diet Cokes (sounds DELISH)... spill it.  I NEED your summer "Shawty Cuts" asap.  Pretty Please?  Come on, let's dish, then we can "Pawty like its our Birthday and we can drink Bacardi like its our Birthday."  Stop singing there.  You know the next line to that song is capital T, TeRribLe!

P.S. "Shawty" means a hot girl in a rap song.  I just googled it to be sure I wasn't using something totally nasty...

AND I'm gonna tell RyGar to call me "Shawty" today since I'm sporting my red denim.  Seems fitting, right?


Monday, May 7, 2012

Revved Up...

On Saturday we celebrated the second Anniversary of the birth of our Dax Man... 

And we did it Car style.  
I mean really, how else would we do such a thing for our little motor head?


And little man loved it.  
By Sunday evening after a week of festivities, he was singing Happy Birthday and reciting who was in attendance at his big bash and showing us all his new cars and motorcycles and cars and cars and cars.


Kael drank birthday juice and ate cake to ring in Daxi's new year.  Like, roughly fifteen servings of juice and cake over the course of two days.  Atta Boy, Big Man.  And then like any dutiful big brother, he "tested" the toys.  To ensure safety we're sure.  :)

Ace got his first tatoo and sprouted his first tooth in honor of his big brother.  It's finally up for good we think and his tongue rubs over the jaggedy surface all day long.  Which makes his cheeks all the more chipmunk-y.

Everyone sported their Tow Mater teeth like good sports.

Oh Whoops - those are just Grandpa's normal chicklet teeth.  How did we get that confused? :)

Grandpa Great was especially infatuated with his tasty adult binkie.  

Isn't it hysterical how as a general rule, the cheap after thought party favor from the dollar store becomes the hit at every party?

Daddy-o assembled Dax's first Harley, or HAWG as I'm told the cool kids say.  And he manned the grill like a pro even seamlessly pulling out his emergency back up Propane tank without skipping a beat.

And I decorated like a fiend the night before to create a little moment for my Dax Man to store away in his memory bank.  Then I watched and smiled and savored it all with our families as it all unfolded better than I even expected.

Grandma Gail tending to the babies - who will be two next week the way time is whizzing by.
PS have you ever seen someone so easily manage two babes?
Gail is the baby whisperer.

And you know that I couldn't possibly write about a two-year old birthday without commenting on how downright crazy ridiculous it is that our Daximus is two... ALREADY.  I remember the day I first met him.  He was so tiny and perfect and new.  And now he's less tiny and still absolutely perfect and he is learning new things at light speed.  It baffles me.  Time is my enemy.

And Little D... you are like a classic sports car.  You're fast and sleek and oh so good lookin'.  And I could expound on this analogy but it might get weird, so I'll stop.

Look at my little safety kid - not too sure that sparklers indoors is a good idea.
And yes, I just sang the chorus of "Safety Kids" a la my first grade school program out loud.

We love you "All the Way" and we can't wait to see where you zoom off to in this life.  Because, boy, with you, it's gonna be one heckuva fun ride.

 Smooches you little two-year-old, you!
And go easy on us this year, eh?!