Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Heart Break Crew...

It's practically February.
Can you even believe it?  I always go into January with such a crappy attitude, like, "Ugh, January.  Here we go the month of an eternally gray horizon,"  I'm optimistic like that.  But you see, therein lies my pleasant surprise that January has already ended.  Like, whoa, I was expecting a marathon of darkness and freezing and we've already arrived at chocolate covered strawberries?  Count me in.

Plus, I've been putting seasonal garb on these cute little men of mine with little touches of red (one of my favs) and taking pictures of them in the snow covered world we live in on our way home from Diet Coke runs, for no greater reason than, A. I can, and B. To spread the love to y'all. 
(And C. To create the world's longest run on thought/sentence)

Try not to melt into a puddle... OK?

Kaelster, "The Heartbreak Kid", wishing you a month full of sugary surprises.
And candy.  Epic amounts of candy from our sweet-toothed big love.

Daximus... the little sneak.
Because, you know, "All is fair in love and war" 
This one will punch your lights out.

Ace a'Spades... Showing you his best poker face and his mad style.
"What's shakin' bacon?"
I'll have a side of that with heart-shaped pancakes, please.

And so,
From the original Heart break crew...
Happy almost February.  And congrats on surviving another January.
It was kinda all right in my book.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Counter Productive...

The other day my kids had a healthy dose of Satan in them.  I'm not kidding.  So I made them all lay down for naps and I just about got all of them to succumb to their own tired little selves... I was THIS close.  Alas, there was one hold-out, of course, but he turned on the sugar and all was well.

Until they woke up.

Holy crud.  It was a lose/lose kinda day for me, I guess.  Acey let loose a little upchuck since he's had a cough and doesn't quite know how to be a man and spit a loogie.  Is that TMI?  Sorry.  Then Daximus, who had been snoring in the guest bedroom woke and to say he had wet the bed would be like calling a river a creek.  It was SATURATED - clear down to the mattress pad.  

So, of course, when I stripped the bed and began the task of making it all up again, I got bombarded.  

There are at least a dozen fitting sassy captions I could spew out for each of the following pictures -- but I'll let you fill in the blanks on your own.  It's a fun little game, try it.

By now you may know my life's motto,
"If you can't beat 'em, at least sit back and take pictures of them and eventually you'll smile."
Works every darn time.

I got a lot accomplished that afternoon.
(She said in Sarcastic font)

Friday, January 24, 2014

L-to the-OVE Paint...

Is it just me or is the dollar store knockin' it outta the park lately?  I often go there to stock up on things for my "bag o' tricks" a.k.a. the church bag.  Stuff that normally the littles don't get to play with so it becomes immeasurably fascinating during an hour of quiet time... you know the type.
Anyway, during our last visit these lame little figurines caught my eye and I just knew they would be a hit with my man crew during a quiet moment.

Not to brag, but I totally have E.S.P. because I pulled these babies out this week and it was as if my childrens' quiet, pleasant, artistic alter egos came out to play for an hour.  AN HOUR!  

No one broke anything.  No one spilled - and even if they had I was PRE-to the-PARED with the table all covered in freezer paper and the tiny misters stripped down to their skivvies.  It was kind of dreamy.

When the morning sun is streaming in through my windows and my kids have a hushed determination I kind of just fall in love with them and this place I call home all over again.  It's basically THE only place I'd like to be in the entire Universe.

And for a mama of three boys who have a knack for getting into trouble and a growing repertoire of "naughty" words accompanied ALWAYS with loud laughter & silly antics... 
That's really sayin' something. 

Who am I kidding?  I'm a trained Ninja Warrior when it comes to crazy little boy syndrome and I embrace rather than fight.  These three?  Whether quiet & intense or loud & wild... how should I say it? L-to the-OVE little men of mine... you ain't half as bad as you sometimes paint yourselves to be.  :)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Winter Snippets...

So, January... listen, no hard feelings, OK?  I sincerely take back all the nasty things I've ever said about you -- Because, friend, you are rocking so hard right now.

Seriously, these blue skies and cool but manageable afternoon temps are enough to make me swoon.  So I do - every single day - Diet Coke in hand, and little flocks of neighborhood ducklings waddling around my yard.  It's the best surprise gift on recent record in my collection of winter tales.

Winter Snippets to Share:

From the bed of a truck,
With Friends.

Silly String,
Irrigation Duties,
& Bike Riding...

Bird Watching,
Puddle Jumping...

And Relaxing...

Just to get up and do it all over again once our hands are "woim" aka warm.
We love winter.  Fine, we love all seasons almost equally... but winter is gaining, just sayin'.

Monday, January 20, 2014


Being a mom is simultaneously the most wonderful, enlightening, terrifying, stressful, labor intensive and joyful thing I have ever done.  How is that possible?  Some days I wake up wracked with anxiety because, oh my gosh, there are three little men I'm trying to mold into decent, kind and upstanding human beings while encouraging them to become themselves and find their own paths and keep it appropriate (much the opposite of taking a leak in the front yard because breaking from play time would take WAY too much time... sigh).  It reminds me daily - nope, hourly, of my obligations as a mother, my short-comings as a human being and my inadequacies as a woman.

Especially on days like Saturday.  Guys, I'll come clean, I was overdue a little me time with Ryno having been gone all week and then working late into the night on Friday too.  Week days I can usually handle no sweat, but when work spills over into weekends?  Ugh.  It ain't pretty.  My least favorite hours are comprised of weekend evenings stolen by my grinchy feelings because the hubs is working.  It should be illegal is all - and he was definitely in a lose-lose situation - work at work all hours of the day and then work at home too because I'm damn tired of it.  Bless his heart.

Anyway, on Saturday afternoon - blessed Saturday, I stole away for a tiny break.  I went grocery shopping by myself and perused a couple of boutiques.  I ate Cafe Rio solo in a parking lot full of seagulls while I listened to the radio, because that's JUST how cool I am these days -- wait, photographic evidence -- BAM.  

And the whole time, wouldn't you know it -- I thought of my little crew... "I'm so glad that RyGar and I are in the business of growing strong little men together - just look at my cart full of groceries - how blessed I am that he is a good Daddy-o and provider."  And "I wish the boys were here to feed the seagulls the tortilla strips from my salad... they'd LOVE it!"  And "Their favorite song... I wish they were all in the car right now to jam to Katy Perry's, ROAR with me."

And that's how I know; I am a mom of the infinitely blessed variety.  I can remember the yearning desire I had to be a mother for years - I wanted it so much I could taste it.  And now, I am the luckiest mother in the Universe and being a mother is a part of everything I am and everything I do and the desire to do right by my children and my husband is the same yearning that helps me see even in my darkest hours that there is beauty in all of it... wiping noses, reading stories, picking up toys for the millionth time and making just one more pot of macaroni on a "grumpy Friday evening without the hubs"... because no one does it better.  It's exhaustingly good and physical and challenging and it'll make a diamond of me yet.

All the parts of me are so interconnected now, they're almost indistinguishable.   I'll take that lump o' Amber and run with it.  She's not just one thing anymore, she's a great mix of many things and it's the kind of deliciously complex... so long as there is a little tiny bit of time to sharpen the personal saw every so often.  Amen.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Ride Hard...

During out last "staycation" we were all bundled up in hotel beds together and we were talking about goals.  New year - New resolutions - New goals.  We told the little thriving ball of humans wrapped in our bed sheets that goals are things you want to work hard to accomplish and a new year is a good time to do it.  We mentioned at some point that goals are usually kind of hard and you have to keep trying to achieve them and sometimes after all that work, it's good to reward yourself.  When we asked our little pack of boys what things they might want to work toward this year (and announced that Acey would be working on being a man and becoming potty trained) the big littles decided that they should learn to ride their bikes without training wheels.  Perfect... onto the family goal sheet it was written and if I had to guess I would have said that MAYBE ten percent of what we said was actually heard.

Enter the whole, "Disneyland conversation".  Now, before I go too much farther let me first bemoan whatever kid it is that sits in Preschool and talks about all his/her trips to Disneyland non-stop.  Up until preschool this year, we had no idea Disneyland even existed and we were happy as clams in our ignorance.  NOW, thanks to this kid and cousins who just got back from the happiest place ever, we are   ALL about Disney.  SO... when we mentioned "rewards for goal achievement" it was a no-brainer... the reward of choice was so clearly a trip to Disneyland to see Lightning and Mater, of course.  Since the hubs and I had been thinking about a vacay to Walt's hood anyway, we sort of just nodded and went with it.

And now that you're all caught up on the development of the story to this point, we arrive at Tuesday of this week.  I was vacuuming the house and told the boys to find a project to do or a game to play.  When I finished I walked out to the garage to find Kaelster and Dax Man hunched over their bikes with a small collection of Dad's tools at their feet.  "What are you guys doing?"  I asked.  And after they shot me pathetic looks like, "Poor girl, isn't it obvious?" they patiently explained that they were taking their training wheels off.  "Cool," I said, and I let them carry on like the little men on a mission that they were.

And then, well, I don't even know what.  It all happened at lightning speed and while I'd like to take even a smidgen of credit for it - I can't.  These little creatures of coordination that live with us, lifted the garage door, saddled up and rode off into the sunset.  I mean, I think I said something in there like, "if you start to lose your balance just put your feet down and walk along side your bike" or something equally obvious, but the truth of the matter is, they just decided they were going to ride their bikes and BAM - they did it.


Kaelster was first.  He took off at the top of the driveway and let gravity take him to the bottom and out onto the street and at first his little legs just hung on either side of his blue & yellow "gravel blaster" but eventually those fireman rain boots were pumpin' the pedals and there he be.... My little bike ridin' fool.  He asked me to take a video "to show Daddy!" and then he rode back up to me, dismounted, and said clear as day, "OK, Let's go to Disneyland!"  And come on, what's left to say at that point?

So, like a chicken I said, well now Dax needs to ride his bike.  And like a good brother, Kaelster was there,  "Come on, Daxi - you can do it!  It's not hard.  You just get on your bike and you just start pedaling and then you're riding your bike with no training wheels like me."

Dax was a little bit more cautious.  He watched Kael a few more times and then asked me to hold onto the back of his seat.  He was riding his bike solo the very first trek down the driveway, but he wanted a little security hold just in case.  We did several runs where he rode partially with my grip and partially without and then he took a self-imposed time out and said he would try again tomorrow.  It's like that little man knew his subconscious would work out the last few details overnight because Wednesday?  Well, it was a sweet repeat of the day before and Daximus was all about it, just riding and singing and acting like he'd been doing it his whole life.

There's just something about the way these little men handle life's challenges that inspires me every single day.  They don't over think things, they just do it.  They have fun while they do it.  They are loose and care-free and not afraid to make mistakes and, holy moly, if they don't surprise me nine out of ten times how well it all comes together in what is probably the very fashion they imagined it would.

So, if you were out in the hood these past few days, I apologize profusely for the insane amount of jazz hands and "WAHOOs" and running through the street with the cell phone in hand.  These milestones just seem to be achieved at warp speed around here and I'm doing my best to do my high kicks and celebrations before I'm running to catch up to their next victory.

So, yeah.  Goal achievement.
Here we come, I guess?!  :)