Friday, August 30, 2013

Right Now Ramblings...

Ramble #1.
Right now I'm sitting here while ALL my kids nap.  This rarely happens anymore so you can see why I'm all befuddled about what to do with myself.  Cleaning out kitchen cupboards just sounds so dang responsible and I guess I'm feeling rebellious, so here I sit scoping out the Internet.

Completely Unrelated Ramble #2.
Did I tell you my boys started soccer?  It is the darnedest thing when they start to participate in actual kid stuff.  Like, soccer and school and play time?  Oh my.  They can barely bend their knees with their too big - teeny, tiny shin guards, but somehow that adds to the cuteness level exponentially.  I can't even wait for their first game.  I'll probably tear up because... I don't know, it seems to be what I do at all these new crossroads these days.

Ramble #3.
Did you know that I flipped through a little fashion/style site or two here online and all I see is animal prints worked in as part of every outfit every where?  I may have a problem with this.  It's something about my blond hair and the leopard print in any shade that makes me feel like Beth, who is Dog the Bounty Hunter's voluptuous wife.  In the event you are unfamiliar with Beth... um, well, I'll just say I don't necessarily want to look reminiscent of her.  I am missing TWO key items to actually pull off a direct buxom Beth comparison so the point is actually moot, but even so, I'll probably not be embracing this trend come fall unless I can get over this odd hurdle.

I guess I could just do what Acey does and ditch the pants entirely?  So confining these rules of society!

Ramble #4
The rain is making me all giddy and excited for cooler temperatures and fall comfort foods.  Just last night I whipped up my first crock pot soup in a good long while.  It was Heaven.  Plus, I wrapped up the night with freshly sliced peaches with a sprinkling of sugar, and if that isn't the best dang thing about late summer/early fall I just don't know what is.  P.S.  My neighbor has Lemon Elberta peaches and I want to rob her tree every single night.  You may want to invest in a gate lock, Steph.

Final Ramble #5
I kind of just want to be three or four again.  Yesterday they went to the storage room and just found an embarrassing litany of riches in the form of flashlights, otter pops AND monster costumes!  There it was, the makings of an entire day using basically zero brain cells and almost no planning.  That's the life I tell you.  Or maybe I'm living the life... just randomly blogging on a quiet afternoon at home surrounded by drooling, dozing toddlers.  Living on the wild side I tell you!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

School x 2...

I can't believe I almost have TWO preschoolers.

Preschool is new to me... I shouldn't have to be doing it in bulk.  I don't know all the deets yet, you know?  I don't know if I'm really doing it right or selecting the right teachers or the right programs.

In fact, all I know in my overwhelming state of, "I don't know what the hell I'm doing," is to love like it's my job.  Work hard and then even harder.  And gently but firmly push my kids to try new things, explore the world, meet new people, and be adventurous.  Because right now when they thrive, I thrive.  And they can do so much more than I ever give them credit for.

I love seeing their brains become fully drenched with information.  I love hearing the after effects of such a delightful soaking in the form of stories recited in their bedroom at night, or the sweet singing of a newly learned song.  And their conversations with one another are becoming so much more detailed and in depth.  They are learning SO much and they will learn exponentially more this year in Preschool.

This is year one for Dax.  And this three-year-old is thrilled to be going to Ms. Cindy's Country Preschool "just like Kael did".  He is prepared; and that is a fringe benefit of having an older brother.  He knows Ms. Cindy's house and that I'll be back to pick him up.  He knows to take off his shoes and hang up his back pack and to check out the hamster (duh).  And Dax Man is a social little bug.  He excels in groups and laughs easily and often.  He's gonna rule the roost at Preschool.

This is year two for Kael.  He will be attending Ms. Amy's Four-Year-Old Class at Little Learner's Preschool.  Kael told me he only wanted to go to Ms. Cindy's.  That is so typical for Kaelster, "Hello, I have that shtick down - let's not rock the boat, you know?"  And it will last for a day, maybe two, and then our big boy will be rockin' it.  Kael sucks in all details like a vacuum and can then recite them all back at you in your exact intonation.  So, once he memorizes the new faces and terrain, Big K, our cautious one, will become Big K, the class leader/clown.

Ace a' Spades will stay with his mama... thank the Heavens above.

And me?  You might think I'll be doing a little happy dance a few days a week for a couple of hours, but actually, having children and loving them so desperately turns you inside out.  Like, when did I go from being a first-time mom, all pinching myself because I got to wear a Baby Bjorn with a kid in it, to a mom of three kids, doing book order forms and planning a trio of Halloween costumes?

Big sap gets sappier on preschool open house day.   

But big sap loves watching her littles soar.  So I'm equal parts sap and happy.  Which is different than slap happy, just to clarify.

Love you big learners of mine... Happy New School Year!
Be nice.  Wash Your Hands.  Be a friend.
.XO times a Million.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Cave Men...

Sometimes I get an idea and I think it is totally the best idea ever until the idea is actually reality.  Do you know what I'm saying?  Let's take for example, my reservation for a Saturday afternoon hike with the fam to Timpanogos Cave.

Beginning with two nappers who were SOUND asleep and had to be roused, shooed and buckled into car seats in a total state of zonk.  Yes, great start.

Followed by a speech from the welcoming park ranger about not collecting anything on the trail as it is all protected, yadda yadda, and not touching ANYTHING in the cave.  GULP.  Have you seen our hiking companions lady?  Thoughts of returning home that very minute were prevailing, is all.

And lastly, there was the ominous sky... filled with rain clouds and pending doom and gloom.

It was your basic recipe for disaster and yet, I put on that, "Oh it's gonna be so fun!" act and hiked forward up the trail.  As did RyGar who was doing the whole, shake his head from side-to-side and breathe heavy disapproving breaths... but I digress.

We started with the dozers in the back packs which lasted for about two switchbacks and Dax flipped out from his perch on high certain that I was going to toss him off my back and down the face of the cliffs.  So, out he came and up the two big littles hiked ALL BY THEMSELVES.  It did require constant encouragement, frequent water stops and a bribe with a piece of gum and a headlamp near the end.  But miracle of all miracles... they did it!  As they would say, "I'm walking SO HARD."  I'm not gonna lie - it makes a mama proud to see her little hike-a-toddlers climbing to the summit.

We arrived way ahead of schedule somehow, which is not good.  We wait terribly... zero patience here.  As is shown by Acey's complete discombobulation outside the cave entrance.  Longest ten minutes of my life.

But then we lucked into an earlier cave tour... Hallelujah.  The little men were SERIOUS about not touching anything and when Ry and I had to duck to get past stalactites they were sure to remind us to "GET DOWN and DON'T TOUCH!"  Who are these little rule abiders?

Long story short... we did it.  And it rained and thundered the entire time we were inside the cave and was sunny and cool the second we emerged.  Livin' Right?  Only occasionally, but if it continues to work in our favor like that... we'll keep it up.

This is how my kids pose for the camera when they can't see my, 
"I'm serious you better look at me and smile eyes"...  

All in All - I'd totally do it again.  And so would the little misters.  They already built a cave today with the couch cushions and pillows and told me they were going into the cave like "Mountain Boys".

Victory Pose, right here.
Good Job Gardner Gang.

Friday, August 23, 2013

He Skis...

We took the boat out again this past weekend.
It was a better day as far as water conditions and I got some decent skiing in.
But in the scope and sequence of the day, who cares?  Because the biggest news?
Kael skiied.

Actually, he slashed it up on the wake board between Daddy-o's legs, but if you ask him, 
"I can ski!"

The rest of the afternoon when anyone else was in the water trying to ski or wakeboard, he dutifully shouted out helpful hints, 
All in his most drill sargeant-esque voice.  Such a pro.

Meanwhile, back on the boat, Daximus sang every word of his favorite song by Mister Cash himself, "Ring of Fire" and or "Get the Rhythm" Also known as "Get a Woman".
As far as boat entertainment goes, that ranks right up there at about a 10.

Do not be surprised if you see Dax at the Grand Old Opry soon... the boy is an old hillbilly rock star and Johnny would be proud.

And check out our ever so scruffy captain who was looking especially pirate-like that day.  Everyone knows that pirates tend to brings out the nasty gal in all of us.  TROUBLE.

I gotta say, these little boating buddies are pretty rad to hang out with. 

Summer... don't go!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Mean Spiders & Prom Wear & Puppy Dogs...

Could that title be any longer?
Back story... That title represents a laundry list of stuff that mid-project, mid-thought, mid-vacuuming has cracked me up, or made me smile, and that's something, you know?

I have that "pre-school" urgency right now.  Like, do we have some jeans without holes in the left knee?  Do we have backpacks?  Is the laundry folded and put away and the blinds are free of dust?  You know, "world peace" kind of stuff.  I'll probably have it all together the night before school begins, just in time to burst into tears and have a mini meltdown at the fact that I'm a mama to TWO of the cutest pre-schoolers in the Universe.  GULP.

Anyway, in the meantime, a glimpse into our little life with our little superheroes.  Who, totally don't get "Spiderman" and instead pretend to be "mean spiders" all day long, sneaking up and biting me to pronounce me dead or missing a limb.  They are so sweet.

And when you temporarily misplace your spider man gloves and all emotions are bursting out of a tiny body, you dive into the old prom wear.  Thank goodness for the satin gloves of Jr. Prom and thank goodness my mama purged her house of all high school formalwear on, like, the day after I got married?  That woman is the opposite of a hoarder.

And whilst your brothers crawl about the house like crazy arachnids, the smartie pants of the group snags an entire package of Oreos and does his thang.  I've come to expect him in this position.  He is a cookie monster from waaayyyy back.  You know, all the way back to 2011.

This one got a date with his Daddy-o at the Ballpark.  I got a text that said, "He downed a cheeseburger  and found the cotton candy salesman... we're having a blast."  It's hard sharing RyGar... but for that face?  I suppose I'll do it... for the rest of my life.  :)

Which left me at home with only two little pups.  You would think the amount of bathwater outside the tub would be at least one-third less considering we were missing a bare bum, but NO.  I've never claimed to excel at math, but fractions were kind of my jam in that horrific department... and alas, we were a full floor wet as usual.  Mind boggling.

And lets end on a sweet note, shall we?  This one is testing me in new ways.  Good thing he pulls this little face.  Oddly, it's a self preservation method designed by evil toddlers who enjoy taunting their parents.  It's one of those, "Oh the naughtiness... the sass!" but it cracks you right up at the same time?

I shall not let it destroy me.  I shall not let it destroy me.
Do join me in my chant for inner peace, yeah?
And a happy hump day to you too.

Monday, August 19, 2013

In Pictures... Dressing Ones Own Self...

Can be a tricky job...

For little sweet cheeks.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Zoo's Who...

What exactly can one say about the zoo?
It's stinky.  It's hot.  It's oddly thrilling?

If I'm being honest, sometimes I do stuff "for the kids" but really I kinda get a rise out of it, too.
The zoo... not one of those things.
That was truly a gesture "just for the kids".  Some might call me a Saint.  :)

Kaelster rose before the sun the morning of our zoo trip and had a whopper of a cold sore and a summer cold to match.  He was... basically miserable most of the trip with the exception of those Dum Dum filled moments.  Sorry, bud.

Daximus loved it.  But not the, "Oh hey, look a Giraffe!" kind of love.  More of the giggle fest, run like a Banchee, goof around with your cousin kind of love.  Which is even better for obvious reasons.

Ace a' Spades was the best animal spotter/lover/poser of the day.  And in typical "kid at the zoo" fashion, the top moment for him was the "chicken" otherwise known as a magpie that was waiting for some decadent crumbs at the picnic area.  Forget the elephants, you know... who needs 'em?

The highlight reel must include the polar bear, that played peek-a-boo with the boys.  

Once he popped out of the water so close and so quickly that the hand-in-hand cousins toppled backwards off the viewing ledge in a fit of surprised laughter.

And I won't lie to you - I squealed with delight like a toddler myself.

The tiger was actually pacing methodically in that net above our heads, salivating.
I think I might prefer him lying in the shade looking dead?

And, of course, the carousel, knocked our socks off.  Some sweet lady was a zoo member and she volunteered to let our kids ride free, not once, but TWICE.  Some people, you know?  So, so, nice.

I heard a little rumor that around these parts, kiddos go to the zoo on a field trip in the first-grade.
SO... I figure I'm off the hook until then, right?  RIGHT?!  :)

Thanks to my la-DIEZ... Grandma Janice, Aunt Nett & Aunt Michele, and of course the older cousins, for the morning at the zoo.  I couldn't have managed my own little WILD animals without you!
And I'm off to have a soda and a cookie, because surely, I deserve it.