Monday, September 29, 2014

Little Fall Things...

We split the family into two nearly equal parts this past week:  Ryan and Kael went hunting and I stayed back with Dax & Ace to do some fall things here on the home front.  

Before we parted ways, there was some exuberant insistence on putting the pumpkins we'd grown on the front porch.  
"Is it 'Octover' yet?" Dax asked.
"Not yet, almost," I said.
But then next thing you know, the steps were full of pumpkins and I decided to go along with it.  What the heck.  Fall is here whether October is or not.
And how 'bout that pumpkin harvest, eh?  Back Pats.
So, I broke out the rubbermaid bin that contains fake fall foliage and gourds of all variety and what happened to be hidden inside?  Temporary hair color of course.  Which we promptly applied because the side bonus that it matched our new Walkie Talkies was just too serendipitous not to celebrate.
We got random pictures from the big boys who were out in the hills.  They saw and listened to lots of elk and Aunt Carrie bagged a monster bull... No kidding - state record type stuff.  Also, Kael caught two fish ALL BY HIMSELF.  Which is a total right of passage for a little man.
Kaelster got to camp in the trailer and Ry might as well have handed him the keys to the truck along with fifty bucks and said, "Go have a great time".  He was beyond thrilled.
 There was a little bit of "toddlers toting toddlers" to display massive amounts of muscle.
And toddlers in strange festive head gear because that's what you do when you're solo in the shopping cart and such an opportunity presents itself.
A couple of weeks ago the boys caught a frog.  They dutifully fed it potato bugs and flies through the air holes in it's jar and finally I convinced them to set him free.  
I mean, is it just me or does he look freakin' pissed?
Acey the sleep artist threw an epic fit about not getting a binkie at night now that he's three.  That first night sans binkie was ROUGH.  He finally turfed it on the floor of his room occasionally letting out sad, little sleepy sobs.  #toughlove
 The boys starred in our church primary program.  Dax nailed his part and then once that was over and the newness of hangin' on the stands wore off - well, as my neighbor who caught this little moment said, "Pure joy on their faces."  Ha Ha - Go Sunbeams!
And it rained and rained and rained.
And rained some more.
And there we have it.
Some little fall things we're enjoying.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

When RyGar Wants to do Anything Else...

Every year about this time, I get all "nesty" and strangely sentimental.  I think I'll call it my official "gateway to the holidays" because it's like clockwork around here.
So, logically, I book a family photo session.
Then I start to wonder why I ever thought this was a good idea, especially as I switch out shoes and shirts and search for just the right earrings. 
And on the day of?
Forget about it.
Someone will get a goose egg on their forehead, and I'll be sweating to cram tiny bums into tiny jeans and Ryan will finally try on the shirt I bought him for this occasion and proclaim that it doesn't fit.
I try to keep my neck from getting blotchy as I watch the clock creep closer to the "time to go" time we've outlined and then I'll run out the door with a last minute glance at myself as I shove lip gloss and a hair brush into my bag (like it's a cure all that will make everything just right).
Can you relate?
No lie, Ryno told me he would rather "donate an organ" than do family pictures.
Isn't he hysterical?
And then we get the disc back full of these images that make my heart stop.  And I forget about showing my lady bits to the enter world because I forgot to wear a slip.  

I certainly forget about the tantrum Ace threw moments before the first shot was taken because we wouldn't let him hold his new elephant.  

And I definitely forget about the hubs in the shirt that I didn't plan on him wearing but somehow fits perfectly with the scheme we have going on.  And I become overwhelmingly grateful.

SO dang grateful that I have a family to call my own.  Grateful that my hubs plays along and ponies up for these images that are memories of where we are right now with our little family.  Grateful that my boys are the most adorable of all the little boys in the universe.  I am lucky, lucky, lucky.
Personalities On Point Here:
Ace the Show Off
Kael the Comedian
Dax "Cool as a Cucumber" Gardner
The man, the myth, the legend... he who made these gorgeous babies.  He who I would make out with anytime, anywhere.  Who moments before this picture whispered in my ear... 
"You know I hate this, right?"
It's been noted.  A time or two.
When it comes right down to it --  
This little bunch is hands down the best thing we ever made... 
And we wouldn't want to be anywhere else. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Birthday Weekend in Review...

I mentioned that Ace had a birthday "weekend".  He's baby steppin' his way into his Dad's long upheld tradition of celebrating a "birthday week", you know.
Anyway, it started with a date with Grandma Janice and Grandpa Bob.  They took him out to Tales for Tots and then for lunch and... well, by the time they were finished with that little man, he was plum tuckered out.  Happy and Tired is a winning combination, you know. 
 Next up, we headed south to my parents' house.  The whole visit was serendipitous since Ryno and I had hired painters to cure our ailing walls (I wonder why they were so scratched and dented?) And once they started taping, we starting realizing that our three little loves + painters, paint, tape, plastic = Baaaadddddd.  So off we went to stay with Grandma.  Who took it upon herself to host a little impromptu bowling party for the soon-to-be three year old.
{Sadly they did not have stellar bowling shoes to fit the birthday boy.  Insert:  I almost walked right out.  I mean come on -- tiny bowling shoes are almost my favorite part of bowling!} 

But we stayed.  And thank goodness because they were naturals.  And they found this tasmanian devil ball in a  red hot minute.  They have a sixth sense like that.
The birthday boy brought his game face.  {I die} And they all really got into it.  Ace totally celebrated and clapped like a lunatic every time a pin fell down.  
Side bonus:  Dax got his daily weightlifting in.
When we finally made it back home and the paint had literally dried... we took the boys to a Japanese grill for dinner.  We knew they would love it and we were kind of looking for a reason to watch them enjoy the show... Ace's birthday fit the bill. 
Can you say... Captivated?
 And the grand finale?  Brace yourselves for my Martha Steward moment of the decade...
 Ace's much requested/talked about/dreamed of alligator cake complete with dollar store alligator head gear.  There are moments in motherhood when you feel like you actually exceeded their expectations.  This was one of them.  Worth every single second of effort, right there.
 May all the wishes of this little blue-eyed, kissy-cheeked, long-lashed THREE-YEAR-OLD boy of ours come true... forever and ever!
Now let's eat.  :)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

When Ace Face Turned 3...

Ace has been the baby that kept me wanting babies.  Is that how it works?  God sends you an uber sweet and snuggly little number with kissy soft cheeks and seering eyes so they can stare deep into your soul every day and have you questioning if three kids is really it for you?
I think yes.

Regardless, this little boy has gone and grown another year older and probably at least two-and-a-half years wiser on us this past year without our permission.  :)  He rides a scooter and a bike like a champ.  He's mastered the art of relieving oneself like a grown up.  He speaks in large volumes... not always in a loud voice... but always a dissertation including comparative statements and little known facts he absorbs like a sponge from Daniel Tiger or Sesame Street or Grandma or something he heard and memorized on the radio.
He surprises us with his feelings... he's either the sweetest little tot you ever laid eyes on, or he's throwing a punch at some unknowing little one who dared laid hands on his beloved dragon at Nursery.  It's your basic 50/50 shot and it's bound to flip from one to the other in mere moments.  And though that boy can go from content to a full scale vibrato in a half second... he is the best snuggler ever and will lay it on thick when his internal compass calls for such things.
Today, is his third birthday.  He's been celebrating with his grandparents and his brothers the entire weekend, and on into today with all of us here on the home front and we've whisked him from here to there to just about everywhere.  He was very well aware of the fact that today was his special day, but what did that little sweet thang do?  He made it mine -- with a simple little heartfelt statement that came out of his baby/big boy talkin' mouth, 

"Mom, you aw my best Go-ull, huh."  

It was all I could do not to burst into tears.  I scooped that little man up and kissed him straight on the face and said, "Yes, Ace.  I'm your best girl.... always".
It makes no sense at all how goofy and verbally inadequate he makes me feel... but he knows what it all means.  Something like, "I'm crazy about you and I love you so much and you're one in a million and happy, happy birthday to our one and only, Ace.
We love you, little man.  All of us.  All the way.  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Gross Reality...

Twice this week an all-out war has been waged against a sibling or a neighbor kid over a grasshopper.  You guys.  A grasshopper.  
And I'm not lying... punches have been thrown and once an entire orange Gatorade was emptied onto the dear neighbor kid's greater body mass for trying to take the grasshopper in a jar.  That one was a bit embarrassing and required immediate ninja disciplinary skills.  Good thing I possess those.  And good thing Ace a Spades goes in with full protective gear.  You don't want to be the recipient of a grasshopper jump to the face, y'all.   :)


I don't know why the sudden urgent need to capture all living things and collect them like some sort of wizard and their weird apothecary, but here it is.  In the flesh, literally.  Currently on the windowsill of the garage, lives (not thrives) two snails and a grasshopper along with some seashells from Grandma Janice and a hummingbird's nest from Grandpa Hooky.  
I just don't know that I'm prepared for this type of hoarding, is what.  A messy playroom I can at times overlook and roll with, but jars of gooey, nasty things?  Heaven help me.
Also of note is the start of another soccer season.  I'll level with you.  We aren't great -- YET.  We've scored two goals (one to each little kicker) and both have been for the other team.  But you know what?  They love to go to practice and they love socializing with their little teammates and fingers crossed - they're learning some life skills?

One thing is for certain... Ace Face has his soccer bro, ultimate fan swag goin' on.
And that's something, really.
 The other constant battle around here?  Well, that's obvious... It's who gets to sit on Daddy's lap for the story.  All three boys ALWAYS attempt to climb onto his lap at once which always leads to a short brawl but is always quickly resolved with awkward arm reach around everyone/butt shuffle/adjustment where he pulls each of them close and makes them all feel like his favorite.  When those little men get a tiny bit bigger?  Oh Boy... Batten down the hatches.
 And there you have it.  The status report from right here, right now; including the good, the bad and the ugly... and the gross.  
Life with boys.  It's a trip, I tell ya.