Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Over the Weekend...

You know one thing Utah does completely right?  July 24th.
Now let's be clear, there was no Pioneering in any way shape or form done at the Gardner household to celebrate the day our State became... but, a sweet Americana weekend complete with fireworks and BBQ and family?  Yep, I can get on board with that.
And so we did.
Starting with my husband, the fireworks connoisseur and general life of the party.  He's clearly one of those, "Do as I say not what I do" kind of Dads, but he looks adorable so I let these things slide.  :)
Moving on to sparklers the size of the tots... CHECK.
And let's crescendo with three boys eating Fat Boys in the back of the truck to celebrate Utah's statehood as Fireworks exploded all around them.  See what I mean?  Why not have a double play of our favorite summer holiday?
And then this mama raised her own gypsy flag and begged for a little outing and the mister complied because, "Happy wife, happy life" I guess.   Bonus... cute festive shoes. 
Off we went to Park City to ride the Alpine slides.  Listen, this idea had Amber written all over it because when we got there we realized that all our littles were, well, too little, to ride without an adult.  Soooo, we found ourselves in a bit of a conundrum.  I am nothing if not a thorough planner.  Oops.  And then good old Richfield came through (as it always does) and presented a fellow Richfield-ite in the distance with his family of bigger boys.  They generously lent us one of theirs and off we went on our merry way down the mountainside, bobsled style.  {Thanks Terry family!}
Celebratory snow cones were in order as was a thorough investigation of the Dippin' Dots cart since a squirrel had been spotted and needed to be dealt with in a manly fashion.  It should be noted that Dax asked for, "A sword or some sort of weapon or something" to get the little bugger.
It was a proud moment for the Ryno.
Top the weekend off with some swimming, a movie, and a little trip to Foam Days, and we have ourselves a wrap.  
July is nearly over but we will salute it as our favorite month of the summer.  In large part due to its over achievement in the holiday weekend department.  Way to go, July!

Monday, July 28, 2014

A Story of The Great Bambino Who is 5...

Today is our Kaelster's 5th Birthday.
You guys... FIVE!
Before I burst into tears on this, the anniversary of our big boy making us parents, let me share with you a bit of information about Kael, and his name, trivial pursuit style...
When we were deciding on names for Kael, along side his birth mom, we put "Cael" on the list knowing only one guy (by name and reputation) that was completely rad and had this name that we loved.  As you know when some one has had an ill experience in their life with a person who bears the name they are considering for their first born, it merits an immediate "scratch off the list".  Naming people is HARD.  And Kael is one we consider to be masculine, not common but not unknown, and it leaves a good taste in your mouth.  :)
Cael Sanderson is the most decorated collegiate wrestler of all time.  He was Utah born and small town raised and he went on to win gold in the Olympics.  Sports Illustrated named his undefeated wrestling record as the number two most impressive achievement in collegiate sports.  The guy's a machine is what we're trying to get across, and sports has played a big role in Ryan's life and my life; so a sports figure as a role model for our first fearless son seemed fitting.
Also of note, are my parents names, Carl & Gail.  Now listen, everybody loves their parents, but I stand firm in saying that Carl and Gail deserve a namesake if anyone ever did.  So "Cael" seemed like a nice way to honor them, as well as to pass along to our son their work ethic, their positive energy, their vigor and all the good that they stand for.  And boy-howdy does he love them.
Finally, we landed at "Kael" with Lindsay, Kael's biological mother.  We changed the spelling to a K, we ended it with an L, which is obvious, but also gives a nod to his birth mama.  And the short strong nature of the name is similar to her dad's, who is one of the world's finest, and BAM... We had ourselves THE name to call our little ball of fire.  And we've never looked back since.
Why do I bring this up?  Because sometimes you reminisce about something and it all just hits you, all at once, in the best possible way.  This little man, who is growing older at mach speed, embodies all those forces from all those exceptional people whom we considered when we were searching for his name...
He is strong and determined and he is SUCH a hard worker.  If you research "Kael" you will find that it is a masculine Celtic name meaning "Mighty Warrior".  If you need a job done - just ask our little warrior, Kael, to do it.  This boy will work circles around people.  He LOVES to be busy and productive and he refuses to be discouraged by the amount of effort necessary to achieve something.  
He is funny.  Ridiculously loud and hilariously mischievous and vocal and quick to laugh and FUN-NY!  His jokes right now are of the typical boy/toilet variety, but he's also in a phase where he likes to call people by something other than their actual name (Face for Ace or Tax for Dax) and he just basically cracks himself up with his wit lately. It's something that keeps us smiling and rolling our eyes at our little comedian.
He has moments where his insight will bowl you over.  The questions he asks!  The concern he has about things you never ever thought he noticed or paid attention to.  The love he has for his brothers, albeit sometimes displayed in an overly physical fashion; he cares deeply for his family and friends.  He has a way of looking for and pointing out simple truths that help us all see the mark more clearly.
He is all the best of everyone who had a part in shaping his name and then some.  And having him in our family has been the start of so much good and love.  So, now you know just a few of the reasons that Kael, our mighty warrior with the multiple namesakes, and the world's biggest five-year-old heart, captured ours five short years ago.

Kael/Kaelster/Big K/Horsepower... It's been five years... not long -- but long enough to know, that you are everything we ever wanted in our eldest son and our first baby love.  To be your mama is one of my greatest blessings and we wish you the happiest birthday a boy could ever have!
We're celebrating YOU today, Big Guy...
Love you forever & always.

Friday, July 25, 2014

More Splashy Things...

The splash pad is an easy solution for hot kids that need to burn a wee bit more energy before the evening hours.  It doesn't take much prep and the water, splashing, sun & fun combination ends in predictable results.
That is, until the splash pad ceases to splash.  Every hour there is a ten minute stop, which was probably some genius' way of urging the general public to take a restroom break.   But every time, it is painful.  We have ourselves a real world problem...  As you can see.
I do believe their faces say it all.
And I do believe real men wear floral.  Just sayin'.
But oh, when that water starts up again?  It's perfection.  
And they're all smiles.
For exactly fifty minutes.
 And then, Repeat.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Of Ditches...

My kids have had a healthy dose of the devil in them lately.  It's the lethal summer combination of too much sun, too many long days, too few naps and not enough structure to their schedules.
I get it.  I don't like it.  But I do get it.
I'm about to share with you some medicinal concoction for a case of the crazy summer days...
Ditches + some sort of flotation device to chase down the current.
Ya heard me... I said, ditches.  I walked my trio of havoc makers to the ditch a neighborhood over and there I sat in the sun/shade for the next two hours listening to the giddy little sounds of boys exploring, splashing and catching pontoon planes.
 I don't know why it took me so long?  It's basically a nature infused splash park... Mother Earth's actual lazy river... and in our case, the added bonus of rocks to collect and splash makes it better than any manmade version.
Plus there were tunnels.
That's how I was informed of the out-of-this-world feature this ditch possessed in multiples.
We're teaching them all about the finer things in life, you know.  In fact, there may or may not have been a couple of stealth bathroom breaks during our stint at the ditch.
We're really good parents like that.
Suddenly my little holy terrors seemed less terrible.
Dare I say Big K looks almost cherubic in this picture?  Yep, that's the power of the ditch, y'all.
We'll be back.
Otherwise, Dax Man will probably make a run for it on his own and never come back.
Not kidding.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Miscellaneous File...

I officially can't keep up.
Don't get me wrong, we're living our summer days to their fullest and it feels so good; but documenting them is getting harder and harder to do.  Mainly because come eight o'clock each evening we're all ready to wind down and rest up from another long hard day of playing.  That's the beauty of having three little monsters that go at two speeds: fast & faster.... they flop down into their little beds at night and drift off to dreamland before the sun sets.
I guess we'll start with the Bees Game.  The Albrecht fam met for dinner and a baseball game this past weekend and it was chaotic and sweaty and perfect in every way.  Here is Grandma and her crew meeting the Salamander?  We were en route to the train ride and we had already met the balloon lady (clearly).  This was pre-cotton candy so you can imagine the blurry picture we would have if we snapped it after the pink and blue fluff.  :)
Kaelster didn't entirely trust the mascot... Keep an eye on him, Tiger.
The twonagers clung to Grandpa Hooky at dinner like little monkeys.  I think it had something to do with his extra side of mashed potatoes.  But really, these two are all about Grandpa.  It's kind of a foreign situation for Grandma Gail.
Speaking of food, we totally scored on free Chik-fil-a day.  Yours truly dressed the littles up like cows and collected free kids meals for all of them.  Listen, I'll do a lot for free stuff and a break from making and cleaning up a meal.  Plus, those are some cute little calves.
I've been trying (and mostly failing) to keep up our school skills this summer.  On this particular evening we traced little bodies and then they drew their faces, hair, and clothes so Daddy could "see them" when he made it home from a work trip.  They were sure it would be tricky for him to determine who was who... turns out, Daddy has a gift.
Anndd my kids look like "Buddy" from The Goonies.
 One afternoon I held ski school at the house.  Ryno and I watched a few videos on YouTube about helping young kids learn how to water ski.  A lot of folks actually pulled their tots on their skis in the comfort of their own yard.  So, on a 97 degree day I decided that ski school should commence.  #heatstroke
Wasn't the best timing, but man, did they love it.  Hopefully their skills will translate to the water.  
 Just a typical potty break off the back roads that could NOT be avoided.  What would I do if I had little girls?  This is obviously one of the coolest parts of being a boy, right?
Somewhere along the line we went to the rodeo where we got rained on but "Manned Up" and watched the entire thing anyway.  We had a water balloon fight complete with homemade Popsicles and cousins AND we have been harvesting our garden and mass producing zucchini bread. 
My Mom, the educator, tells me that play is work for little ones.
It's a rough job, but some one's gotta do it.
I'm feeling like one lucky {tired & sometimes insane} LUCKY mama this summer.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Acey Loo Who...

I don't know how I haven't made mention of this next bit o' news.  Especially considering the grandeur of it all.  Guess what?

Acey's potty trained!
That little love bug only crapped his pants about a dozen times -- {TMI?  Listen, that's pretty dang rad in my book} and here we are... at full faculty control.  It's kind of a big deal.

He's been about a month as a big boy now and he's got the Buzz Lightyear to prove it.  Sure, I still put him in pull ups at night and he wears pull ups to nursery too, since ain't nobody gots time to take someone else's kid to the loo... but details, shmetails.
The multi-talented Ace Face, Ladies and Gentlemen.
WAHOO little man!