Friday, September 30, 2016

Status Update...

When Boone goes down for a nap he doesn't think he's ready to go down for, I retreat to the basement office.  The furthest point away where I can still here him, but I don't really HEAR him enough to be tempted to go rescue him from his temporary discomfort.
And that's when I stare at a computer screen and think.  You know, after I add some money to Kael's school lunch account, and email Dax's soccer team about the game tonight, and look on Amazon for the 13th time for a T-Rex costume for an adamant five-year-old. 
I'm in it you guys.  The thickest part of motherhood.  Where it's still physically demanding and I have to literally feed the hungry and clothe the naked to some extent.  For Boone, it's everything.  I do it all.  I am his lifeline.  His internal clock and physical needs are the tick tock of my every day.   And for the others it's tying shoes and helping wrestle on an unyielding shin guard and packing a lunch.  It is exhausting, and my mind is outside of myself nearly every moment of every day -- and I LOVE IT.
I sleep like a rock.  I wake with a to-do list a mile long.  I know I'll never tackle it all but it makes me feel motivated and needed and important in my own way.  And Diet Coke fuels me through it.
I make dinner.  I clean rooms.  I bake cupcakes.  I stumble over toy tanks and animals.  I sweep the floor an insane number of times every day and I do multiple loads of laundry each day of the week.  I pick up friends from school and soccer and Itty Bitty ball.  I holler out the car window things like, "I love you!" and "You're awesome!" and "Be nice!"
I go through folders in backpacks and work through homework.  I practice spelling words and I read story problems.  I hang their artwork from a string with clothespins and schedule parent teacher conferences.  I organize clothes, fold up things they've grown out of and store them for the next brother in line.  I make peach jam.  I have something simmering in the crock pot while I'm out mowing the lawn with a baby on my back.
The introductory chapter of my parenting book is over.  And the never-ending work of the middle chapters is upon us.  I have little time or space to myself.  To get it I have to wake up earlier or stay up later.  I have the tiniest smidge of "extra" to give to RyGar, who is also working tirelessly.  Our time together is concise and often late at night as we sit on the couch almost comatose.   But in those moments our solemn truce of love and partnership is present even if it's just holding his gaze a little longer as we eat a bowl of cereal and watch Jimmy Kimmel together.  
I have put hobbies on the back burner.  I  know I have a name besides, "Mom"... but right now, that title that I fought long and hard for... it's ever present.  And I'm so grateful for this demanding, tiring, infinitely beautiful spot that I'm in.  I hope it lasts as long as it seems to on those certain marathon days...  

The longest of days and the shortest of seasons.  Let me see these regular days for the gifts that they truly are.  And so much gratitude to the Man upstairs for letting me experience it.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Fall-ish Things...

In the quest of being completely truthful (yet still optimistic to a T) I must say that my personal transition from summer to fall has been a B to the East.
It was largely impacted by some home reno projects.
But also, it was like BAM!
 Homework x3.
Soccer x3.
Practice x3.
Field trips x3.
Daddy's travel and workload x 1 Million.
Mama's sense of calm and "having her shiz together" was at an astounding -150.
But I'm happy to say we're doing it!
We may be treading water most days but we're officially making it through.
Gracefully?  Hell to the no.
There are these little moments of tranquility.  These glimpses of "everything is A-OK" in the midst of our literal saw dust and piles of homework and our stinky shin guards.
And I'm clinging to them however small and fleeting they may be.  And I'm realizing that downtime with four boys is sparse.  To say the least.

SO - fall "glimpses" of A-OK to keep us all celebrating the little victories:
 Mowing + Nap Time = Multitasking at it's finest.
 Soccer.  All three of these boys have scored GOALS this season so far!  It's fun to watch the "Gold Medals", the "Red Lava Monsters", and the "Green Raptors". 
The birthday boy celebrating at the jump house with his buddies.
And playing archeologist with one of his favorite gifts.
Boone, the world's most patient & dedicated soccer fan - pre-game with Coach Ryno.
 And Boone post blow-out at the end of another soccer game.  :)
My Peach jam makin' buddy.
 Feeling all the "fall-out" of a fall reno... doing what the rest of us wish we were doing.
 And then walking around the house like a little boss.  Eight months.
He's going to be walking next week.  No joke.

Somehow I would like to cleverly tie this all up with a bow and say something like, 
"We may not have it all together, but together we have it all."
But I'm too tired and we have more things to check off our to-do list before Ryno goes hunting.
Anyone going to Hawaii soon who needs an exhausted travel companion?
Count me in.  :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Happy Birthday, Tiger...

Ace Face is FIVE today!
This adventurous, loud, happy, imaginative, athletic, funny kiddo
is without a doubt one of my favorite parts of being a mama.  
He has his own STRONG opinions and wills of steel - but he is also the snuggliest, sweetest little love of all the land.  Just be sure to catch him during one of his good moments -- which thankfully out weight the others.  :)
At five years old, Ace is obsessed with all things "big jungle cats".
If it has to do with a tiger, a lion or a cheetah - color him happy.  We're going on over a year with this obsession and now that I've seen him in his element - I hope it never ends.
His favorite color is "tiger colors".
He loves soccer, wrestling, parades, lizards, and sharks.
And he wants to be a T-Rex OR a tiger for Halloween.
And a "baby tiger feeder" OR a "wrestler" when he grows up.

Ace loves to play.  He has lots of friends and his brothers adore being with him.  He even asks the older boys in the hood "if they want to play with him" on a regular basis... 
Bless their 12-year-old patient hearts. 
 Ace loves carrots and strawberries and avocado toast and macaroni and cheese.  He will also settle for a chocolate chip cookie or a cookie with frosting if there aren't any veggies in the house.  He does not like anything cold.  No ice cream or popsicles for this dude.
 Acey loves school and seeing his friends at Miss Amy's.  He is a quick learner and an amazing little artist.  He writes with both his left and his right hands so when he writes as a lefty, he writes his name backwards... E-C-A.  When he writes as a righty, he writes it A-C-E.  
 We adore this fiery little rascal who is sometimes too smart for his own good.  He adds an element of surprise to our every day, and you never know who he has been "paying a visit" to in the neighborhood or if he even knocked on their door.  ;)
High FIVE to the cutest five-year-old in the Universe.  Love you, Ace.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Flesh Colored...

Ace is REALLY into coloring.  Probably the most artistically inclined of any of our kiddos - although, Kael has a cool modern art vibe he loves where he paints an entire page with muted colors then cuts pieces of that page to make art.  Think puzzle pieces that he has created by his own hand.

Anyway, the other day at church, Ace Face was distraught that he couldn't find the flesh colored crayon to complete his coloring page.
"Just use orange!" I suggested quietly.
"NOOOO!" he rebuffed NOT so quietly.  "Look at me, is my face orange?  It's SKIN colored and so I neeeeed that 'flesh' colored crayon."
I secretly giggle at them when they're hell bent on showing me they know the actual terminology for something.  It cracks me up.  Like when Dax prays for a little girl we know of with leukemia, he says "Please bless everyone that is sick or has the 'lukini'..."  What a love.

Anyway, all this to say... I'm with Ace on this one.  Orange is not an acceptable substitute for FLESH colored skin.  Case in point... My little readers in their neon above...
& Booner Bear -- in the "flesh" below.
 I'm dead on the floor little man.  
Let my head stone read, "Died of SO MUCH LOVE for that little dimpled heiny.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Falling out of Chaos...

I won't lie to you... 
All the creative/fun/adventurous juices that typically percolate in my soul have been nearly snuffed out as of late.  I've been in survival mode. 
We tackled a little home reno.
We did it with four kids.
During the first couple weeks of school.
With a baby who is mobile.
We did it during one of the busiest months of Ryan's working life.
We did it when three out of four kids and two parents had colds.
And just to add a little cherry on top of our messy life cake - we threw in family pictures, some extra obligations for me and a sprinkling of last minute travel for RyGar.

That's the sound of the last of my "fun mom" self imploding -
 With all the organization left in our home.

Our home is nearly back to it's clean and cozy state.
And with it, my personal well being made a rebound.
I see us creeping back, just like I see the reds and oranges of fall making their presence more widely known on the mountains around us.
And you know what that means?
a.  Happy Husband - Hunting & Football & Fingers crossed less work - oh my.
b.  Happy Boys who are back in their rooms and fully immersed in soccer & school.
c.  A mama who is googling ALL the pumpkin everything recipes as she munches on peaches, carmel apples and pine nuts.
And of course, a trip up the canyon to catch the earliest glimpses of fall's colors.
We were early - but the view didn't suck nonetheless.
It's become one of my favorite traditions to take an afternoon and trek outside to take it all in with my fellas.  I hear them gush out "my lines" and it makes me smile like a loon.
"Do you guys smell this air?"  they say.  "Mmmm it smells so fresh and crisp!"
"Oh my goodness that tree looks like it's on FIRE!  The reds and oranges are my favorite."
They collect the leaves.  They pile little gold doubloons from the aspen and miniature red flames from the maples and they pack them up to share with their classmates.
This year they were pretty cute to share the "fall vibes" with Boone too.  It was sweet to watch them scamper around to, "Find him a red one!" and then proudly hand it to him like a gift from a Wise man to the wee Babe and giggle when he immediately put it into his mouth.
It's clear the red & gold ones taste better too - in case you were wondering.
We are shifting seasons and starting to think about staying in more with the onset of fall.
Actually, scratch that... even new floors at home doesn't compare to scenes like this.
Gimme all the boys, all the leaf strewn trails, and all the mountains.
 That is where it's at.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

King of Kindergarten & Prince of Preschool...

A few more firsts over here.  
Dax Man is an official card carrying Kindergartner.
He was SO ready.
He was SO cool.
He found out one of his best friends from Preschool was in his class.
He walked right in like a boss and hasn't batted an eye since.
So happy for our little King of Kindergarten.
Ace Face started Preschool.
This is his second year with Miss Amy and he LOVES every moment.
He "is good at art". 
He "is a good friend and everyone wants to play with him".
Etzi likes his hair when he combs it up.
And snack time is his favorite when people bring "berries or vegetables".
So happy for our Prince of Preschool.
Boone Doggle has been growing.  Crawling.  Standing.  Getting himself into trouble.
I think every one of his eight front teeth will come in all at once, poor dude.
I even researched "Baltic Amber Teething Necklaces" online and we're trying one out because his mouth feels that rotten.
I think he looks like a little surfer dude.
Ryno isn't convinced.  :)

Somehow I HAVE convinced Ryan of some home improvements... 
And a new family picture.... Which he begrudgingly obliged to.
 Yay for a sneak peek!
And yay for our messy, loud, chaotic, fun life
With these cute little gents of ours in all their phases of life.