Friday, May 31, 2013

Sometimes You Just Know...

You know how you're plugging along through life and you're just sort of equal parts happy & content and tired & striving to check things off of your to-do list all while attempting to be present and soak in the days with your babies and then you just get caught off guard by something?  In a good way?

Yes.  This is a post about that.

Tuesday was full of rain clouds around these parts.  And a tiny bit of thunder and a lot of rain.  The world smelled downright Heavenly, but my kiddos... who acclimate more quickly to playing outside ALL day long than any other human beings on the face of the planet... were a little thrown off.  "What?  We get wet and cold when we go out there?  What EVER will we do?"  You know - one of life's biggest quandary's.

So needless to say, playing hard blossomed to negotiating hard and we fumbled a bit through the day reverting to winter time Play-Doh rituals and other clumsy little indoor activities.  It was weird.  We were just off.  The day felt long and sort of gray.  

When RyGar got home we ate dinner and while he did dishes (I know, the dreamiest!) I bathed and bejammied the kiddos and then we all climbed the stairs to the playroom to drink up chocolate milk and get in our last good play of the day.  And Ryno... oh man, he hit a grand slam with this girl...

"Guys, kiss your mama good night because she's got to go for a run in the rain.  It's a little weird that she likes it so much, but she does."

I positively beamed.  I mean, granted, I'm pretty predictable and apparently a lot loquacious about what makes me tick not to mention my tendency towards exaggeration... but the fact that big man paid attention to what was most certainly one of my "I eat rainbows for breakfast" shpills about running in the rain and feeling so intensely alive and hearing my heart beat in my chest while the thunder rolls around me in the valley"....  AND he chose that moment to  pull it out of the old filing cabinet entitled, "My wifey's weird, but I still like to make her happy"???
Who IS He?

Well, you don't have to ask me twice.  I was dressed and laced up approximately 1.2 minutes later and out the door for a run that yes, made me feel alive & strong & so, so appreciative, and when I came back through the door, I was positively soaking wet and beaming.  

"Was it awesome?"  He asked from the couch flashing me his little dimple... teasing.
"Freakin' awesome."  I said, still smiling.
And it was one of those moments, when out of the blue, you get a massive reminder that someone still has a little crush on you and wants to make you happy on a random rainy day.  And you just know you're loved.  Which feels like, well, it feels a lot like eating rainbows for breakfast, y'all.  :)

I swear, I must be making extra pheromones or something right now, but dang, I wanna just french kiss him recounting this whole thing.  Dead sexy charmer is what he is. 

And on that note... Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Hell On Wheels...

Aside from looking like an outdoor sweat shop that took advantage of child labor this holiday weekend, (that's right, mulch hauling/flower planting/mowing/edging/weeding/ETC) we also took an epic family bike ride.  OK, we really did more stuff than that (so don't cry for our kids, Argentina) including Splash Parks and BBQs and Kite Flying... but this one stands out.  

Why?  Because it was epic in the fact that neither RyGar nor myself posed as a three ring circus like we did last summer... (one kid in bike seat and two kids in bike trailer and shaky rubber thighs upon arrival back home)... Oh no, we looked like a family of bad-to-the-bone little bikers...

I know, I know.  Those images right there will send your uterus into a tailspin. 

The only little dude to be lugged around without powering his own way was Acers.  And lets face it - he was NOT happy about it.  This is what it looks like to realize you are the only member of the family without a bike.  Holy drama Batman.

Anyway, like all good things around here, the prep work to actually get out riding was mind blowing.  Tightening bolts and pumping tires and helmeting every little head took close to a bazillion years, but this little "fixer-upper process" is actually one of the favorite parts of any good activity for these little boys who just came out of the womb wearing tool belts and a feeling a dire need to be "handy helpers."

Would you believe that there was only one little crash along the way?  Kind of incredible all things considered... and don't you fret, it was minor and Big K hopped right back on at the mention of icecream.  No harm, no foul.

And there we be.  Hell on wheels.  Riding off into the sunset.  

We have arrived at neighborhood bike riding dignity y'all.
High fives and fist bumps all around!

Monday, May 27, 2013

We Are...

You know that tear-jerker of a football movie, "We are Marshall?"
Um, duh, of course you do... Sir McConaughey himself starred in it.
Are you familiar with the cheer they use at Marshall U?
OK, Then... do that cheer with the next lines you read... Ready?

"WE ARE.... 


Listen, sometimes in the waning hours of the sun, I take stock of what is going on around me and I positively laugh out loud and there is not a thing to do but own it.  Yesterday was one of those days.  We looked a far cry from a polished family of little gentlemen in the burbs...

And let me really 'fess up now... I dug it.

I present to you, in pictures...  An afternoon trip to collect the mail and play at the park.  Brought to you by the Little Gaggle of peck-baring Gardner Guys & Their Mama (fully clothed).

Does it balance the scales at all if I tell you we were fully hydrated and lathered in sunscreen? 

You Talkin' to ME?

Didn't think so... but a girl can try.
And - You're welcome for the gun show.

Thursday, May 23, 2013


So, it happened.
My littles got a little bit bigger on me this past month and pulled a big boy maneuver.  I don't know exactly what sparked it, but those little men of mine ganged up on me one afternoon and told me,
"Mommy, we wanna sweep in the same room!"

I immediately poo-pooed the idea mumbling something like, "When pigs fly, gents... I already went down that road, remember?"  And when that didn't work I just stalled... "Maybe. You guys didn't love it the last time we tried, so we'll have to see how things go today."

Well, long-story short, the issue did not dissipate as I expected it would.  There were not so subtle hints (please note the head lamps above) along with unsolicited promises of rule abiding and an extreme show of manners unlike ever before.  So, out came the old blow up mattress which we made up all warm and snuggly and in went two little boys dressed for sleep into the big basement guest room... happy as clams and cute as could be.

After I threatened their general health and longevity if they came out of the room - I camped outside the door secretly listening to them talk and giggle and tell stories from the day.  Then I heard it.  The magical sound of brotherhood, wafting through the airwaves to tickle my eardrums...

"Daxi, you want me to read you a story?"
"Yes, I do."
"OK, This is the story of the Cat in the Hat," Big K said, and on he went, talking about the bored little twosome whose afternoon was interrupted by that naughty cat who caused trouble and, "OH MAN HE MAKES A MESS!"  Followed by a frantic chant of "HURRY!  HURRY!  That Mom is comin' and she will be so mad 'OUT' you!"

I sat there on the couch, smiling and begging the tears pooled in my eyes to not spill out over the brims as I lamely held out my phone trying to capture the audio of angels coming from the room next to me and I just felt overwhelming happy & proud with an undertone of sadness.  How did they get so grown up so fast?  I mean, not even once did a little foot wander out for a late night adventure?

So, we've made it their home.  
And we've made it all about cars and "super bery awesome colors" and "yots of tools" for our little motor heads per their request.  

And we're trying to figure out just how to fit one more matching bed in the big room for the third little piglet.  You know, Just in case.  :)

And just tonight, as I was typing up this little saga, I heard this...
"It's OK, Buddy.  Don't worry.  You're wif Dax."

Holy Heavens I LURRRVE them!
Sheer Amazingness, you know?
(Gushing is almost over... hang tight)

And I just love that they want to be near one another.  I love that they "read" to one another.  I love that they recount the details of their days together and drift off to dreamland together.  And, really, would it be too much to ask that they love each other this much for all the days of their boyhood lives and right on into adulthood?

It's just a TINY request Big Man... Thanks in advance.  :)

P.S. - All you room sharing proponents were right on the money.  
Just thought I'd send out that satisfaction to y'all.
Room sharing of tiny boys = MAGIC.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

And Then...

I just killed over & died of happiness.

At Walmart of all Places....
Who Woulda Thunk It?

P.S. Love and Prayers being sent in bulk to Oklahoma...

Monday, May 20, 2013

Daddy's Boy...

Lately, Little Man Friday, can not get enough of his Papa Bear.
See that blotchy, red, tear-stained little face of his?
That is a sad, sad bi-product of standing at the door crying "DAD-DY!" for nearly an entire minute.

Until RyGar's heart was nearly ripped right out of his chest to the point that he caved and came rushing in to rescue his tiny buddy.

And there little man stayed, nestled into the big, broad shoulders of the guy that has all the answers and can do wrong for the moment.

Only he has the soothing powers for this little babe.  Only he can feed him "baby bird" style as he leans in to pluck food right from his Papa's pinched fingers.  Only he can deliver those peace-inducing hugs that solve all the world's woes from the eyes of an eighteen-month-old.

Enjoy it, RyGar...
You've earned it... and really, it's no surprise.  You know what they say... babies and dogs are the best judges of character.  And this one, Ryno, the hubs extraordinaire, he's had the whole...
 "still your soul - comfort bit" down for years.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

You Are My Sunshine...

Earlier this afternoon I listened to the steady little snores of two three-year-old boys and the happy babbling of one little eighteen-month-old from the back of my car.  And I just felt overwhelmingly grateful.  I don't know what it is about these three... they have something you just can't put into words... my trio of magic makers.

And today, they worked like dedicated little soldiers in the yard with their mama.  So much so, that a quick trip in the car proved to be too much and their lashes greeted their little sun kissed cheeks for a late afternoon rest.

I am just so proud of them.  And I am proud of their fervent devotion to the outside.  They innately find simple pleasure working alongside me beneath the warm sun as they point out birds, rocks, trees and flowers and swing around treasures in the form of blue willow sticks and fallen blossoms.

I want this for them.  I want their muscles to be hard, their work ethic to be solid and their appreciation of the earth to be religious.  Because this life presents things I fear and things I hope -- for all of them.  And though they may have to live an urban life... a life far from this home in the mountains that they were born into... little pieces of bucolic bliss can be found every single day if they use their keen senses to find them.

That love affair with Mother Nature was inevitable, you know.  They come from a long line of "outsiders"...  and I want them to know that.  My mama was a desert girl.  She spent her days alternating between the farm on a horse and on the lake atop waterskis as a sun goddess in action.  My dad was a mountain boy.  He spent his days fishing hidden lakes atop the Boulder Mountain or hunting deer alongside his brothers.  I got the best of both of them.  And even if it is simply mowing the lawn... I far prefer to work outside than in.  So when it comes time to scrub toilets, you better believe that every window in the house is open in an attempt to "Tom Sawyer" the breeze to come in and join me.

Yes, we need that outside air.  We need to fill our lungs with the scent of pine trees and breathe out the worries of the world that are all around us.  We need to kick our legs in fresh waters and crunch fallen leaves beneath our boots.  We need to stain our toes green with freshly mowed grass and feel the red sands of home between our fingers.  And we've learned through experience, that it is all the more enjoyable when we do it together... and almost out of this world when you include the hose.  :)

The world is resilient and beautiful and surprising and it offers so much.  Just like my baby boys.  


And my wish for them is this:  that they often look for the simple, grounding beauty of nature.  That they sometimes make great effort to behold a breathtaking vista.  And that they always, always be the Sunshine of life.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Emergency Evacuation Plan #327...

Last night, while I played a little evening game of three on one, I exercised one of my best laid out emergency plans.  I have a binder full of these suckers mulling around in my brain.  This one is the emergency evac plan for... Stealth Poops in Tub.

I know.  It's the dooziest.
SO - here goes.

He was posing.

Showing me all his "BIG Caws"

Looking so sweet and innocent.

When, approximately one minute after I snapped this picture... I put down the camera.  I turned around to get his hooded towel & gather up my tiger cub and... (insert screeching sound of choice here)

Well, let's just say it like it is -- errr, was...
"Holy Shit."

*Mama started shower.
*Mama did a strip tease.
*Mama swooped baby out of toxic tub and into shower.
*Mama explained the entire situation to little visitors that came running into the bathroom at the sound of water only to then comment on poop an insane number of times.
*Mama proceeded to wash, scrub, rewash and scrub some more.
*Mama diapered baby. (KEY STEP)
*Mama robed herself.
*Mama emptied an entire jug of Clorox into tub & scrubbed it to an inch of its life.

Meanwhile, back on the ranch... the big littles called everyone they know to tell them about Acey's big "Uh Oh."
In great detail...

Pretty sure that was just what Grandpa Hooky wanted to hear about.

Then they had an acrobatic show that was unlike any other.  
The flying Gardner Brothers... complete with uniforms of PJs and Rain Boots.
I mean, what else?

They tucked their favorite tractors in tight.

Performed the finale with the entire trio on their favorite stage...

And called it a night.

And I gave the evening the old stink-eye...
Then had a bite or seven of chocolate.
Happy to have survived yet another Mama-mergency.