Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thankful Heart...

We had grand plans to travel this Thanksgiving.
And then after RyGar had to "go underground" as we call it, to meet a deadline that popped up unexpectedly, so we made the executive decision to stay close to home.
And while I'll miss the traditions of being with my own brother and sister, I'll be glad to see these little brothers catalogue more of their own.
So, after our feast of fowl with Grandma and Grandpa Gardner and Aunt Nett...
We'll hang Christmas lights, and attend a basketball game, and go to a movie and take a winter's hike.  And generally do whatever we feel like doing... which should include putzing around in our PJs on cold mornings while we Christmas-ify this joint.
Especially if the PJs look anything like these buffalo checked beauties.
 Though my restless heart aches to travel and reach for some wanderlust... and my gypsy husband will be hard-pressed to stay put for an extended weekend... it's good for us to sometimes slow down and bask in simple, and be grateful for all the little things we enjoy every day.
Like a carousel ride to celebrate no cavities after the dentist.  YAY!

Tomorrow there will be waxy crayons to color turkeys with feathers that list off all the things these little men of ours are grateful for... last night, in prayer, those things included "Dale Murphy" and "Deer with big horns".  I love that they share what they're feeling right now.  
And my prayer is that I can take all this abundant love that I feel in this phase of my life, this enthusiasm, this hunger to create, this body that yearns to nurture and stretch and see, this love for babies and toddlers, this attraction to words and pretty things and these gorgeously complex humans that make me feel alive and grateful and so loved, this world with it's vistas and seasons... all of that and more.  I hope I can make something beautiful of it every day.  

How's that for gushy gratitude... 
Let's even things out a bit, shall we?
There... Now, please pass the stuffing. 
Little turkeys...

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Cousins Come Callin'...

Let's start off by saying a big old, "Hats Off" to those of you with a half dozen kids or more.
This past week we got to host a couple of our cousins... Wyatt and Sophia.
The boys were in Heaven.  They had anticipated it for so long, however, that we were wound up into a frenzy by the time our cousins actually arrived.  And that frenzied state was a little catching.  And soon, all the little gents that typically live in my household were excitedly shouting at their cousins about all the great and many things they had in store for them during their stay.  And if their little voices could have gone any decibels louder or octaves higher... they would have, but alas, they had maxed out.

The good news is their well-laid plans started to become realities and things simmered down to just a low and manageable boil.  Don't ask me to list off the week's agenda... it's all a bit of a blur.  But I did manage to catch some highlights on camera.
In no particular order... Scheels.  AKA little outdoors men & women's field of dreams.
I'm pleased to report that all cousins rode on the Ferris Wheel and loved it.  And we didn't even receive a warning for rocking our carts or hanging precariously.  Bonus.
 Might I also mention that some of Carl Rae Hooky Albrecht's off spring received a more healthy dose of the dramatic genes than others courtesy of their grandpa.
I'll let you decide who the real drama cats might be.... with just a couple of hints.
 It should be noted that the photo ops at Scheels are a HUGE hit with the tween crowd.  Wyatt may or may not have asked for at least a half a dozen re-shots at each and every station.
And the rest of our crew?  Not nearly as meticulous... hence the deer head in moose-butt phenomenon we were experiencing.
At some point we also made it to the Children's Museum of Natural Curiosity.
I'm gonna tell you right now.... that place is awesome.  Kids love it.  I'm also gonna give you a little life hack for said museum... go to the Water Works section LAST.  If you don't heed my warnings you may or may not have some chaffed little humans.  
Like the rookies we were, we went their first.  But look how cute they are in their vinyl aprons and their galoshes?  I know, I know!
Thank goodness for the wind tunnel to get us back to "semi-dry".

The week flew by and the littles did so great playing with one another!
The sunsets were amazing.  We ate our weight in day-old duck bread.  We watched a movie with popcorn and cotton candy nearly every night of their stay.  And we played and played and played.
It ain't bad to be a cousin, is what I'm saying.
 And Ryan and I will gladly facilitate another "cousin bonding" opportunity by booking our own tickets to paradise soon!  We're givers like that, you know?  :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Oh, the "Brudders" 
They've been as sidelined as these brothers can be for the past week with lingering colds, coughs and random ickies.  Which, of course, I hate, but a tiny part of me la-la-la-LOVES because they turn into little people with normal energy levels as opposed to their typical super sonic steroidal energy levels.
And they sit.
And they lay.
And they (be still my beating heart) SNUGGLE.
And it's a little bit Heavenly, despite the germ induced way this snuggle time arrives.
(Photo credit - Kaelster.  Selfie taker with contraband phones)

Ace a'Spades has been especially amenable in his time of feeling under the weather.  He hugs and proclaims his love for all of us all day long.  He also offers to, "Hold you, Mom".  And listen, I've never passed up an opportunity to be held by any of my little lambs.
And then, just as quickly as the sicky came to our house - it left.  OK, it lingered a little longer than we would have liked, but before I knew it - they were up and at 'em.
Inventing unicorn costumes and making funny faces.
And that's more like it, to be honest.
It makes me grateful for good health and happy boys.
Especially this one... who kicked his own case of the flu after a week of bemoaning life.
You may or may not have guessed who came out on the other side unscathed....
Yep, yours truly.
Super Mom powers.  
I have them.  They're a real thing.  :)

Friday, November 14, 2014

The First Snow...

Don't you just love how little kids make everything more magical and fun?  Especially the things that we "big kids" might view as mundane?  It snowed yesterday.  The first snow of the season.  There was giggling and ecstatic rushing to put on snow gear and get outside to "taste it".  It was dreamy.
SO we did.
After preschool we drove up the canyon and let it tickle our taste buds.
We touched it... tasted it... let it freeze our fingers...tromped through it...slid in it...and then
requested hot chocolate in the middle of nowhere.
 Which made the first snow of the season feel more like the kick-off to the Holidays and a fresh page in a new chapter, than just a change in the weather pattern.  Another change of season makes us happy for winter things with slightly bigger boys.
AND a tinge of nostalgia too.
But I'm learning well, that there is a difference between having an awareness that time is fleeting and having anxiety that time is fleeting.
I often catch myself saying "They'll never be this little again.  Toddler days are nearly over."
Never.  Done.  Blah.
I'm working hard to replace those words with progressive ones...
We're growing.  Moving.  Learning.  Blooming.  And I'm basking in the gift of time and more time.
But I'll always be a sap.

I swear, just yesterday we had baby Kaelster at a snow covered cabin for the first time riding on a sleigh behind a four-wheeler.  
I swear, I saw Dax sit on Santa's lap just last week in his tiny Reindeer sweater, completely and utterly unphased as if he had done it a million and one times.
I swear I saw Ace oohing and aahing under the tree in striped Christmas colored jammies as he rocked and reached and kicked out at the lights and ornaments, just mere moments ago.
It's a change, for sure.  This "growing up into little boys" thing we're in the middle of.  But every day... without fail, I have those moments that mothers have from time-to-time, where I look at my boys and see them as independent beings.  Not just my little sons... but their own selves.  
There will be many people throughout the course of their lives that see them; alone or as a trio, that will recognize the kind, good-hearted, energetic, resilient, smart souls they are.  And those people who cross paths with these little gentlemen will know without a doubt, that at their core, these fellers like to make others feel happy.  And it just makes me smile and think, you will be so lucky to know them.  
Because they are dreamy.  
And magical... like the first snows of the season.

Monday, November 10, 2014

A Weekend Timeline...

Today the weather matches my mood of yesterday.  It's cold and windy with flutters of the slightest snowflakes flying about in the gusts.  Those little flakes are too light and airy to do anything but be tossed about in the wind so it's all very spastic and erratic looking.  

We're doing all we can to recover from our weekend which was part awesome/part hellish... as weekends go.

Enter the awesome parts in timeline format:
Friday Fun Day
Ace eats the breakfast of champs:  Rice crispy treat and chocolate milk.
Dax is stoked to have the share bag at Preschool.
Kaelster votes for bowling for our "Friday Fun Night" and he quickly receives the majority vote.
 Bowling Brothers...
And bowling shoes... on wrong feet.  :)
 Along with killer bowling form.
 Free In-N-Out Burger for dinner thanks to our "trunk or treating" 
and the weekend is off to a swell start.

Saturday Night:
The park, dinner and swimming with these hooligans.
A group cousin jump into the hotel pool.
Baths, Trains and Bedtime.
 Followed by a 2 am frantic wake up call from the croupiest hyperventilating Kaelster of all time.
I nearly panicked, packed him in the car to the ER and cried.
Instead, I loaded the two other littles together in the master bed and headed out to the trampoline with Big K to breathe in that cold night air.
And he slept.  And his breath came more easily.  And my heart rate finally slowed to a normal pace.

The next day Papa Bear finally made it home after a week away.  I had the boys with me at a baby blessing after spending all morning at InstaCare to get Kael some steroids.  And when Ryan met me at the Target parking lot to get Kael, so the rest of us could join the extended family at the luncheon, I said, "Here you go... his prescription should be ready inside.  See you at home."  It's not really WHAT I said but HOW I said it.  You know with enunciation on just the right words and syllables to infer that he left me high and dry and this was all his fault.  I know that's simply not true, but after a sleepless night and emotions running high, I said it, instead of completely losing my shit and bawling my eyes out right there in the parking lot.

We made it to the luncheon.  We came home and Kael was asleep next to Daddy-o.  Ryno got up and took Dax and Ace and I went upstairs to the warmest room I could find, wrapped myself in a quilt and slept.  Like a brick.  

Naps always make everything better.  Well, naps and drugs in this instance.  Have a good sleep and wake up and just feel the walls fall down and look at your cute kids and your husband who took the brunt of your emotional feistiness and smile that cheesy/sheepish "I'm so blessed and I'm sorry I acted as if the world was ending" smile.
And then, give three cheers for Monday.  Which NEVER happens (poor Monday).  Because Monday brings restored order... Family all home and on the mend - Check.  Warm House with stacks of laundry to do - Check.  Grocery Shopping done and dinner in the oven - Check.
It's all good.  Despite that frantic weather outside.