Friday, March 28, 2014

Spring Things...

Well what can I say?  I've been a lazy blogger this week.  I blame the spring sun, mingled with snow/rain/sleet/wind and three oddly crabby kiddos.  We had to search for warm sunlight & blue skies to lift our kites and our spirits.  So there you have it.  My excuse.
The good news is - it worked!  All that vitamin D, fresh air, and bike legs done pulled them out of whatever little ornery funk they'd been lingering in (maybe a "Disney is over" let down?)
And baby, we're back.
So for starters... meet the newest member of our family.  He is, of course, a boy... what else?  And he's a little slow but we love him regardless.  Introducing Curby... (see what we did there?)  
Curby is here to announce to every vehicle entering our street to SLOW DOWN!  If you don't take heed, Kaelster will enforce the law.  Just sayin'.
 You'll probably be jealous when I tell you that we have the coolest driveway in the 'hood.  It's steeper than the others (which is still not all that steep) but leads to regular visits of every bike and scooter within a mile radius racing down it at some point.  We love to be the mecca of the action, but we don't love it when cars speed around the corner into our little spring festivals.  Sooo, I'm that Mom... the nerdy, safety kid, kinda Mom.  Waving my freak flag and proud of it.
I've also become a piss-poor illustrator for any little tale that is running through their wild imaginations. This one was of Kael and Dax going to visit their cousin Zane.  They were knocking on his door with their guns and he was waving at them from the window with his gun.  Ace was half way invited and he rode his red bike to the party but was not given a gun because Zane had his, and thus, he could not enter.  You know, no weapon/no love?  When did they all become the Sons of Anarchy?
 It's a little ridiculous how much they abhor coloring but adore having me do the legwork while they prescribe pant colors and shoe colors.  Little boss hogs.
Contrary to the angelic little face above... little Ace man is anything but innocent.  We've had to take away the little red bike several times already because he ventures too far, joins the big kids at the school for kickball during recess, or just plain old runs in the other direction when his name is called.  Having two older brothers has made this kid completely fearless and wildly independent.  It's a little bit unreal.
Dax Man is the neighborhood socialite.  He yells "Hello!" to all passersby and he recruits playmates all day long.  "Hey Buddy!  You wanna come play with us?!"  I think the UPS man actually kinda wanted to hang the other day, especially when Dax handed him a bag of chips and wanted to chat about how his big brown truck didn't have a door.  All fascinating stuff, you know?
He is wholeheartedly convinced that all the older Cub Scout aged boys and teenaged girls on our street want to hang with him at any given moment.  In most cases, he is spot on.  He's just that cool as is evidenced by his mad bike and scooter skillz.
Kaelster is the big man on campus.  Just ask him.  When Kaelster is happy, there isn't a soul in the neighborhood that doesn't know it.  When he's annoyed, hurt, or tired?  There isn't a soul in the neighborhood that doesn't know it.  :)
Our little precious stones collector is still expanding his impressive collection.   And just today, while riding "Daddy's scooter" he ate it hard and started his very own "road rash collection".  Poor little dude.  
Despite their less than perky dispositions this past week, I love it all.  This whole spring thing.  The changing of the guards to a new season.  The about to open blossoms, the growing ever-taller tulips, the  forsythia turning to gold and the grass greening up.   And the way you can look down my driveway in any direction and see a framed picture -- a kite in the blue sky, smeared side-walk chalk jeans, or bubbles cascading & iridescent in the wind.

We're having a spring metamorphosis over here... and it's so good. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Some Are Dull & Some Shimmer...

Last night I went to fire up the old treadmill as per my usual post-baby-bedtime routine... and as I donned my wireless headphones and pressed play on some DVRed gem of mine I got nothin'.  Nada.  Zip.  Zilch. 

I called technical assistance (which means I went upstairs and fetched the Ryno who was packing his bag for the week) and after a quick inspection he said, "Oh man, this receiver down here went out.  You're SOL, girl.  I'll have to upgrade or switch service when I get back."  Uh Oh.
So... like a dedicated athlete, I pulled off my sneaks, cut a piece of cake, poured a glass of milk and sat next to my boyfriend on the couch.  I'm hardy like that when presented with exercise hurdles. The thing is, it was Monday.  We'd tackled a lot of good things that day... catching up with a friend who was in town for a visit, playing with Grandma, playing with friends, baking TWO cakes because there was a near war regarding chocolate or rainbow chip, and then my attempt at refreshing all the sheets in the house, finishing the laundry and wiping down walls and baseboards per my annual spring cleaning timer that's been beeping in my head incessantly.
So the late evening hours?  I opted for a pass.  And dang y'all... it felt good. A few random notes of interest from this past weekend.  Some of the dull variety, some more shimmery and some totally golden.  I'm talking "rock adjectives" per my little rock collector, Kaelster.  His favorites of the moment are golden rocks or "bark rocks" since Grandma Great gave him a piece of petrified wood for his collection and it darn near rocked his world.
Kael is getting old and wise on us.  He has gained an understanding of history and perspective.  He has been obsessing over our family blog books lately and he has favorite pictures he looks at and laughs about.  He'll say, "Mom, let's look at that picture of me when I was a baby and Daxi was a baby and I bit his finger at the zoo."  Ah the brotherly love.
Dax Man was covered with hives this past weekend.  He didn't seem to be bugged by them.  In fact, he told us he was a cheetah and he was "SUPER FAST" now.  And that's how you deal with lemons when they come your way, ladies and gents.  And as a side note - he may grow up to be the only man in the history of the world that won't suffer from the dreaded man cold?  We can only pray.  :)
Dax asked my Mom after inspecting her forearm, "Grandma are you old?"  to which she replied, "Yep, I'm kind of old.  And you're getting older!  Soon you'll be four!"  And true to form, Dax rubbed his own little forearm with soft skin and said, "No Grandma, I'm not old, I'm pretty new... See?!"
Ace has turned into a frenchman on us.  He insists on kissing both cheeks when he sees us.  I adore it and try to leave and then make an entrance about fourteen times a day so I am greeted with his dual cheek kisses.  You should do it too since he is anything but shy.
He threw a royal fit the other day and I put him in his room and told him I'd check on him in a few minutes and if he was happy he could come out.  When I went to his room and asked if he was ready to be happy he nodded his head and turned around  with the most insincere silly grin on his little face.  I burst out laughing.  He said, "See?  I make you happy, Mom!"  Indeed, little man.
Always a mild adventure in parenting and stamina over here.  Come on down... be our next guest!  Like our rock collection, we promise some moments of golden goodness and others of the dull and rough variety.
Life... it's a good little ride.

Friday, March 21, 2014


I think we can count ourselves recovered from our vacay.  Isn't it funny how long it actually takes to get all the pieces put back together?  The laundry, the putting stuff away, the cleaning of the car and the e-coli ridden car seats, sorting through the pile of mail, then removing the film of dust that landed upon all your belongings while you were away.  All this and the general "getting back into the swing of things" - it's enough to make you reconsider leaving ever again.
Fine, that was extreme.  
Because I've said it once and I'll say it again... watching my boys on vacation makes me feel so much more connected to the memories of my childhood vacations.  And I realize now, with perfect clarity, that every one of those priceless memories took effort and time and my parents' decision to load up and head out, again.  So much schlepping.  So much love.  :)  
And boy did we schlep last week.  Really, the kids were so cooperative and easy-going but we wore them out and when we returned to the hotel they were tired and would fall fast asleep in mere moments.  I'm not sure on the official formula, but I do know that when a kid falls sound asleep they automatically reverse age by at least a year, maybe two.  Yep, these quiet moments of baby boy sleep adoration gave us an opportunity to travel back to babyhood.  And lemme tell you... It was delicious.

I know these moments must accompany the more boisterous and silly ones amidst all the memory making.  I'm down with that.  Because truth be told, they were some of my favorites.
So we'll do it again.  Sooner rather than later.  Ry and I talked on the drive home amidst the chorus of snores coming from the back of the car about packing our bags and schlepping out of the house yet again for another adventure.  And we'll take pictures of all the smiles between some whining and some dozing in hopes that all these imperfect memories in the making only get better with time.

It's always worth it.  Always.  A memory my kid won't forget?  Sign me up x a zillion.
Feeling grateful, adventurous, and finally, rested and all back to normal.  :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Beach Babies...

I present to you, our first trip to the sacred chapel known as the beach.  And you know that annoying person at a party who tells the same stories over and over again?  I'm sooo gonna be her.  And one of the tales I will have on repeat will be this one... the day we took these little gents of ours to see the power and beauty of the ocean for the very first time.  It was just that good.
I'm kind of a nature gal.  I love me some snow capped mountains, some golden fields, some red dirt and some spring flowers.  Now nearing the top of my, "God does everything best" list is the beach... and seeing it's wonder through the eyes of my babies.
 These two LOVED it.
They ran into the cold water and let the waves chase them up the receding sands about a thousand times... giggling every time. 
 This one wasn't so convinced.  He would curl his little toes up and out of the cold water keeping them a safe distance from the ground and mostly keeping himself up in the safety of someone's arms.
Which was just fine by me.  They are all growing up so fast.  I'll gladly savor the babe-on-hip moments as long as they'll let me.
 I watched and snapped for hours.  Literally.  It was so, so revitalizing and we breathed in the salty air and noticed that all around us was this obvious enjoyment painted in the form of smiles on everyone's faces.  A drunk-on-life morning in the rays of the California sun.  
 Dax didn't stop from his game of "chase and be chased by the waves" the entire time we were there.  Not even an impressive pile of sand castle building supplies could sway him.  He was mesmerized.
Kael walked up and down the little beach in search of shells and sticks and critters.  And he found them.  In bulk.  He declared his collection complete only after he had gotten a few shells for every member of our extended family, his teacher and his preschool friends.  
 And little man found his comfort zone up higher on the shoreline surrounded by sugary sand and colorful toys where his feet were coated brown and his shoulders became pink.
  With the occasional quick visit out to the edge of the water just to prove to himself that he could.
I don't know, I might just become a beach kinda gal after all.  Don't be surprised if everything we own is for sale soon and we drift off into the sunset like floating gypsies.  :)
For now we find ourselves with a heap of new memories, a camera full of sunny blue pictures and a little collection of seashells and sand.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Of Magic and Mice...

Well, we did it.
We done went to the happiest place on earth and if I may, I'm going to be so bold as to say, we totally conquered the joint.  
I mean, these kids of ours were better than we ever dreamt they would be and then some.  They did a mighty fine job indeed -- car rides included.  And Ryan and I?  Fuh-get-about-it.  We pushed those strollers up and down the streets of Disney and through the crowds like rock stars.
I'm giving us all a 10.0 for sure.
Despite the "you must take this picture upon entering the gates of Disney photo-op flop" I was surrounded by these devastatingly great boy men for three days straight and ladies of all ages just kinda went gaga for them.  I get it.  I really do.
You should note the dog tags in every picture.  I was certain I'd lose a babe and though they all know their names and our names, I was just... well, terrified.  
So they wore their little Army accessories everywhere and it kind of added to their overall appeal.
This is Ace modeling his with his own version of the "blue crush" face.  'Atta way, tiger.
You should also note that the massive turkey leg was a total hit atop the giant ferris wheel which may be illegal - but no one told us.  The littles were gobbling so fast because they were certain they could see "Sharks" in the water below and they didn't want the ocean life to eat their lunch.
They mastered the art of line waiting.  The key is to talk with the characters in depth about life's biggest questions AND to snack on an endless supply of goodies while climbing on or messing about with the chains and or gates that designate line waiting.  Only once did we have to ask a little man to stop licking it... which coincidentally was when I nearly lost my lunch.  :)
They rode every ride they met the minimum height requirements on at least once.  
 And they must be living right because they got to ride Splash Mountain (Their very favorite ride) four times with NO LINE and Radiator Springs four times with fast passes and switch passes.  
When Ace couldn't ride he was a good sport and he pulled out a car or a some other little toy and entertained himself or volunteered to feed the ducks.
They watched every parade with either a churro or cotton candy in hand because their Dad is the very nicest and because they shocked us by not once even asking for a souvenir?  Like, who are they already?  I am still a little bit baffled by their gentlemanly Disney behavior.  We might go back after all.
Ace mastered the, "Gimme Five" game and added "Cut the Pickle.... Tickle Tickle" to the end like a champ.  He did it to all the little ladies he could get to and at times would climb out of his stroller to show off his latest trick.
Me?  I smiled like a loon just watching all this magic happen around me.
Seriously - it is not a lie... Disney + Kids = Magic.  
I feel like Ryan and I are living the American dream all thanks to a week in sunny California with a bunch of cartoon characters and our own little gang of toons.
Life is the strangest. 
 And the sweetest.
Don't you think?