Saturday, November 30, 2013

Our Thanksgiving...

And now, I present to you, our Turkey Day.

Our family is getting fairly good at these big, messy, loud, cousin-infested affairs.  Which is so, so good for all of us... to schlep babies into bunk beds and lounge around late at night talking and laughing, and then to make light of lots of work with many hands.  It's the best kind of chaos and we're creating our own well-oiled holiday machine of sorts.

Of course we traveled to the much-loved "Red House" where it was a whopping one degree out the morning of Turkey day.  But the temperature didn't matter much because the day was all about food and family.  And let me tell you... there was both -- in bulk.  The spread my mama is able to put on will just about bowl you over with goodness.  And the accessories were appreciated too, because everyone loves a good table accessory.

What I love most about holidays, though, is the fact that we're together for days... 

And this family wastes no time with a million activities despite what the thermometer might say.  We were out in the snow in Grandpa's ice fishing sled mere moments after dinner was devoured and cleaned up, for an afternoon of sledding unlike any other.  Grandpa made five hundred and twenty-seven laps around the yard {give or take a couple} and to say it was a hit would be the understatement of the century.  I would try to further convince you, but I'll just let these pictures do the talking.

There was a plethora of games, an immense amount of food, a snow bunny, some bunny hunting, movies, an all-adult male / all day bird hunt aaaannnd mandatory cousin photo shoots taken by what we'll call the "mamarazzi".  Plus more sledding.

THEN there was some sledding.  Have I mentioned we went sledding?  Did I say something overly exaggerated but bordering on truth like, "My kids like sledding almost as much as they enjoy breathing?"  Because, you know... if the shoe fits.

Have I shown you a couple of my favorite down-hill sledding shots of all time?
Well, allow me...

I do believe their faces say it all... 
#Human Brakes #Brake Failure #Toe Plows
Yes, we hit that tumble weed at an impressive speed.

I barely survived.

And after sledding there were "horsey rides".  I'll be straight with you... If Ace would have asked me for a pony as he grinned atop that moving mammal I would have had no choice but to buy old Chip right out from under my brother.  Have you ever seen a kid smile using every cell in his entire body?  Well, now you have.

Don't think I didn't google "horse drawn sleds" just now to see if maybe a random one was for sale on Amazon for a killer deal.  We do have my brother's family for Christmas this year.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have holiday magic to evoke, trees to decorate and halls to deck.  But don't think for a moment, that this week of thanksgiving was anything but...
I mean, how could a girl not be thankful for these little snow men?

Who are complete angels...
At least a good 10% of the time.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

So Thankful...

I am thankful...

Thankful that Dax's teacher taught him what it means to be thankful and he declared his gratitude for her, his very first teacher.  And she reported the whole thing back to me crying.

Thankful that Kael says, "I just yove you, Mom... all the day yong."  Every.Single.Time.

Thankful that Ace doesn't just say "Thank you," but "Tank you SOoo much, Mommy".
What else would you like little man?

Thankful for Ryan.  Who is it for me.  I mean really, that guy, he's the start of it all and the reason I have so much to be grateful for.

Thankful for my ears that can hear the sweetest & funniest declarations known to mankind courtesy of my little comedians...

Dax:  "Mom is this the three-way (freeway)?  We need to drive on a four-way for Kael because he's four now."

Dax:  "I'm kinda sick."
Kael:  "No you're just tired little buddy."

Ace:  "Daxi don't yell please!  Acey's talkin' on the phone!"

Dax:  "Mom... you are so fun to me!"

Kael:  "I just don't yike cookies.  I only yike cupcakes.  So... I'm a cupcake monster!"

Ace:  "Uh-Oh Mommy, you sit at the wall right now!"

Kael:  "Oh Yord.  Somebody banged our house!  Did you hear that?"

Dax:  Mom, did you know Ashton was Dark Mater (Darth Vader) for Halloween?"

Kael:  "Mom, watch me jump," as he jumps from every piece of furniture in this house.  Followed 100% of the time with, "Did I touch the roof?"

Thankful to be wearing apple pie perfume today and making pilgrim hats and pinecone turkeys with cousins and grandparents.  Thankful to understand the scope of our good fortune compared to a world where pain and suffering is an everyday reality.  And praying that my babies will recognize their blessings and do something good -- give back, make changes, help & inspire.  

Thankful to be listening to "thank you" roll off my little mens' tongues so effortlessly in response to others' kindness.  Someday soon I will teach these boys to spell "thank you" and they will write it themselves in a card that they will send to grandmas & grandpas & friends.  

But for now I will bask in this day with my greatest blessings, where we dwell on our sweet life over sweet slices of pie and hold on to hugs a little bit longer.

And I'm thankful for silver spray paint.  Which may just make it's way onto every decoration we own this Christmas.  Just sayin'.

Monday, November 25, 2013

It Never Fails...

These little elves of ours have been spreading Christmas cheer like it's their business.  We pulled out their little Christmas trees that go in their rooms on Friday and since then, I've been whistling Christmas carols and planning neighbor gifts and drinking hot chocolate and any other number of whimsical holiday things... because, that's the effect they have on me.

And you know, I'm probably going to abuse them and their exuberant outlook on all things mundane, holiday or otherwise, for the rest of their lives.  I'll be that old woman who hangs their stockings from the mantle the day after Thanksgiving then firmly suggests that Ryan snuggles on the couch with me under a Tartan plaid blanket with the fire dancing to watch Rudolph on the ABC holiday special with a cup of cider all in the name of "doing it for the kids".  Which is reason number four hundred thousand and twenty-one that I'm so-so glad I get to be a mama.

Today we escorted Santa to his house.  No joke, they wouldn't leave his side.  In fact, they beat him to his front step and went right on into his temporary cottage like they owned the place.  They were waiting on his overstuffed chair by the fireplace before he even got in and hung up his jingle bells.  And you know what I say?  Kudos kiddos... serious, king-sized kudos.

Never in my life have I seen little ones more chillaxed around Santa and I love it more than I can say.  They told him all about decorating their little trees in their rooms and singing Jingle Bells in the car and going to the red house for Thanksgiving and then they even remembered to mention the fact that they would like a truck with a trailer and a four-wheeler for Christmas and finally he had to offer them a little coloring book to move on to his next anxious clients. 

I watch this whole process completely amazed that these little men are mine.  And I just cheer from the sidelines as they converse and explore and go, go, go.  They are cautious but so brave.  And maybe it's power in numbers and the security of having little friends in their brothers, but they just push limits... their own, and those around them, and they kind of lead the pack with their fearless natures.  Suddenly, behind them, there was a slew of kids who watched and saw that visiting with the Big Man ain't no big thang, and they too were ready to give it a go.  

And so, we'll continue our holiday rampage.  But rampage makes it sound too crazy... how about our holiday buffet?  I'll work on finding the right word there, but seriously, isn't having family, specifically little kids, the very best part of the holidays?  I can barely stifle my goofy grin...   

Or my own adoration of the Big Guy in Red for making this the most magical time of year.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Time Out...

So, I called a time out earlier today.  

The play room had been completely disassembled thanks to an epic hunt for the "doctor ear checker thingie" that was direly needed for a game of Doc McStuffins. Acey had a couple of whopping diapers which left the entire house in a state of unbearable stench.  And I was tired from going to the late, late showing of the Hunger Games II with the RyGar... I know, I know, how dare I complain, but we all know what an incredible late night owl I am these days.

Anyway, the hubs called to check in on his little fam-damily at home as he sometimes does and I just sort of lost it at him.  I told him about the literal shit that was going down, emphasis on the four-letter word, because I'm sure he's always so impressed when I talk like a lady... and he just laughed.  Which was risky because that could go either way with me during one of those moments...
{But this time it worked.}

"It's not funny,"  I said.
"It's a little funny," He said.  "You know you've always wanted this.  You wished for little trouble-making boys for years and here it all is... your heart's wishes come true.  And you love it.  And they're good boys."

And the thing is, I DO love it and they ARE good boys and this is nothing short of a wish come true.  But I'm allowed that moment every now and again, yeah?  I'm also going to allow myself to take a little reminder from a good man who can shift my eyes to a slightly different view of the exact same situation and let gratitude enter the scene.
{Where did I find him?}

Or him?

So, the next scene?  Oh yes, a Time Out.  We raided the Halloween stock pile of the chocolate variety.  Shoved toys aside to create a little clearing and shared swigs of a Diet Coke.  We fueled up and cleaned the disaster zone.  Finally found the damn Febreeze which we sprayed generously throughout the house. Went on a walk to collect the mail.  Found the little blue ear checker thing in the mailbox... {Who even knows?} Then I laid on the couch with my feet up for an entire twenty minutes while I got a full physical including a thorough examination of my ear, nose, throat situation courtesy of the medical staff here... who collectively, by the way, happen to have the most stellar bedside manner.

And now it's Friday night, baby.  And my mood is right.

Happy Weekend... And... May the Odds be Ever in Your Favor.  :) 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sleeping "Longer"...

Our kids wake up every morning and come bounding into our room with one goal in mind... To find out if they "slept yonger or early".  If it's prior to 7 am, it's early.  If it's after 7 am, it's longer.  And they're SO proud of themselves when they sleep longer... but not nearly as proud as their Mom & Daddy-o are.  :)

Well, yesterday morning Dax Man slept early.  He snuggled in at the hellacious hour of 5am but then  *we thought* he went back to sleep.  Fast forward to 1 pm when Kael was at preschool and Ace was asleep and Dax said he didn't want a nap but he was "freezing cold" aka tired.  I told him to go lie down on his bed in his blankets and I'd be right there to lay by him but "NOT NAP", you know.

And then I found this.  Daximus!  Good gravy, he is it these days.

How sweet is that three-and-a-half year old, sound asleep all "storybook style" propped on a pillow with his little hands clasped?  I'd like to think it has something to do with me and my sleep artist ways, but we have to simply call it what it is... My kid is rad.  

 He makes it easy.  He still has the best lashes to ever walk the planet earth and, well, he's kind of just painstakingly adorable is what he is.

And that's all I got... sleep envy of my little middle man and wishes to everyone for an afternoon or morning of "sleeping yonger".

Monday, November 18, 2013

Navy Seals in Training...

Ry & I recently got to listen to a speech given by a former member of the elite Seal Team Six.  It was amazing.  We then bought his book and learned more about the insane hours of training and the jargon and the attention paid to the littlest of details that is overlooked by the bulk of civilians.  I am continually impressed with members of our military.

Anyway, we came home and realized, we have a few Seal Team Six members in training right here under our own roof.  They are building their skill sets each day in a variety of ways, including:

Covert Climbing...  In Camo no less.  Did I mention the fact that Dax can climb the fence?  The slick, no grip, vinyl fence?  And that he then got the bright idea to move the dog kennel closer to the fence so his brothers could scale the chain link kennel walls and climb out of the yard with him.  Thank you for that idea, Dax.  Genius though it be - I'm grumbling about it a little bit.

Did I also fail to mention the fact that Dax can climb out of windows?  Why yes, yes he can.  Grandma learned that while we were away, but luckily he outed himself and came back politely ringing the doorbell roughly 49 times to be let back in and tell his tale.  :)

Drownproofing... I mean, we didn't tie a weight to their ankles or cover their mouths in cheese cloth, but they are in the initial stages.

Weather Watching... Every day, All the time.
When it snowed on Saturday we must have gotten the gleeful report at least 27 times.

They also keep careful track of the moon and report its phases dutifully, "OH, It's a half moon!" or "WOW, a full moon!"  Last night we went on a moon walk and you would have thought we went to Disneyland.

The special attention that is paid to footwear.  And only footwear.

The need for speed...  

And nice wheels...

And patrolling the neighborhood.

Their special attention to rations.  When they chow down, it's impressive.

Their die-hard brotherly love.

Sure, they have their moments when they yell or hit or make one another cry.  But by and large, they are so sweet to one another.  They look out for each other.  They are almost co-dependent little souls.  And you better believe when there is trouble to be made, they're all in it together like three peas in a pod.  So, they have a head start in the, "Ready to Lead, Ready to Follow" department.