Monday, August 31

a ramble, with no pictures

Guys. I cannot wrap my mind around the fact that Alexis goes to school EVERY DAY (well, Mon-Fri)! EVERY DAY! Maybe it's because everything she's ever done (dance, soccer, gymnastics, preschool) has always been once a week, or at most, twice a week. This school stuff seems too good to be true. I know I'm not the only mom that's felt like this, right? I'll tell you though, I do miss her. More than missing her actual physical presence, I miss what life used to be like 5 short days ago. All of a sudden she's got a whole other world that I know very little about. Does that seem fair to anyone else? It doesn't seem fair to me! And a schedule! I'd forgotten what it was like to live by a schedule. But it's been so good for all of us. She's been playing nicer with Tyler, she asks more questions ( that a good thing?), I have more patience, she has more patience, and she is actually washing her hands after going to the bathroom without me even reminding her! Don't ask me how that's related to school, I'll just take it.

Hmm, I don't know where this blog post is going. I was going to talk about the weekend, but now I'm not so sure I have much to say about it. Oh, except this. Saturday was an almost perfect day. The only bad part about it was that Jeremy had to work for a few hours in the morning. But Alexis had a soccer game, which was fun. Then both kids and I napped which meant Jeremy got some quiet, and then we did something Alexis had been begging us to do. Once upon a time several months ago we went geocaching. Do you know what that is? I'm not going to explain it, so read this wikipedia article if you are interested. Anyway, Jeremy had a GPS that he got from work (somebody left it in a car and never ever claimed it--this is also how we've acquired half the movies we own), and thought geocaching sounded interesting. The one we went to first was incredibly easy because it was for kids and it had a box of toys, so the kids left an item and took a new-to-them item out of the box. Anyway, Alexis wanted to do that again on Saturday, so Jeremy looked up some local caches and we took off after naps to find them. Turns out these were not for kids, and were harder, but it was still so fun! I think it's a great family activity, so if you have a GPS go try it. If you don't, look in the lost and found box everywhere you go and maybe you'll get lucky! However, at times I had flashbacks to when I was a teenager and my mom and dad would make us pick blackberries off the side of busy roads, which of course embarrassed me. So maybe if you have sensitive teenagers, don't go geocaching. Sorry mom and dad, I was a dumb teenager!

After geocaching was over we picked up some food and came home to watch "Meet the Robinson's" (see above paragraph if you wonder where we got that movie) while having a picnic on the living room floor. It was a perfect family day!

Unfortunately ever since then Tyler has been a bit monstrous, mostly because he seems to think sleeping is overrated. I wish I agreed.

And tomorrow is September--for once I am welcoming it. But here's something weird. During the summer I hang most of my laundry out on the line to dry, because, why not? It saves a bit on electricity I'm sure (I haven't done the math), but it is more work. As I was realizing that it'll get cold before I know it, I got sad about not being able to hang my laundry on the line anymore. Someone please explain this to me, because I thought about it and thought about it, and it doesn't make any sense.

First I have to set the timer during a load of wash to make sure I add the fabric softener at the right time. Then I have to load a basket full of wet clothes, which is heavy and carry it to the backyard, and while I'm out there fight off about 100 wasps. Then I have to bend down over and over again to pick up more clothes and clothespins. And then I have to take all those clothespins off later, drop them in the bucket, just to pick them up again when the next load is ready. And on top of it all my clothes usually are a little crunchy. Yet, I'm going to miss it because for some reason I really and truly enjoy hanging my clothes on the line. Someone PLEASE explain that to me.

Alright, clearly I'm rambling. I need to go shower and go to bed, because all too soon it'll be 6:30 a.m., Jeremy will be waking me up and I'll be cursing him in my head.

Thursday, August 27

the big day

Do you hear that?

Listen closely?

Try again...

THAT is the sound of silence! Alexis started kindergarten today, and Tyler is napping, so my house is so quiet it's eerie. Alexis didn't do preschool last year, so it's been a long while since I've had this kind of quiet time to myself consistently (at least I hope it'll be consistent--as long as Ty-guy keeps napping)! What will I do with my time? I could nap! I could sew! I could watch TV! I can do anything I want within the walls of my home! Oh, the possibilities!
We've been waiting for this day for awhile, but today I started to panic. What if I haven't taught her enough? What if she picks her nose? What if she doesn't wash her hands after she uses the bathroom? What if she doesn't say please and thank-you? What if she's that kid that is always telling the teacher all sorts of random unrelated stuff (she will be)? What if she's rude, or doesn't listen? What if she cries and whines? Seriously, what have I been doing these last five years? And why did I think cramming all those instructions into her head this morning would do any good. It won't. I just need to remind myself that she is a good kid, she does listen to others, and she has more kindness in her little body than most people do in their big old bodies. So I should stop worrying already! I know she looks so relaxed in this picture, but she was a little nervous. She hadn't told me that until lunch today, but I could see it in her demeanor. I think it's good to be a little nervous, it'll keep her subdued and alert. So we had a chat and I told her everything I knew about how her day would go (which wasn't much), and she seemed a little better. By the time she was lined up with her class she seemed relaxed and ready to go.
And I've yet to I cried last night as I watched her sit on a chair, so reverently under her dad's hands, while he gave her a father's blessing, with the power of the Priesthood. Her little eyelids, fluttering as she tried to keep them closed, was more sweetness than my heart could take and I cried, just a little bit. But thinking about it now is bringing back the tears, so lets talk about something funny.

Have you ever watched a little kid try to blow up a balloon? It's pretty funny.

Did I mention that along the walk to school Alexis picked TWO dandelions for her teacher? I hope that teacher is ready for Alexis.
p.s. yes, she got a haircut!

Monday, August 24

fun v. funny

A few weeks ago I went out to dinner with two friends, and we started discussing how some people are fun, and some people are funny. Let me tell you, I am not a fun person. I'm way to cautious for that--I consider all possible end results before acting. I am not spontaneous, I don't enjoy dancing much, and I think way too often before speaking. Therefore I do not act silly, stupid, or crazy, which generally makes a person fun. Also, because I'm so cautious I have no embarrassing moments that I can recall. See? Not necessarily fun.

But, I *can* be funny--if I'm comfortable enough, and in a group that is not too large. And I'm okay with that. If I could choose, I'd choose to be funny over fun. Mostly because I make myself laugh more than I make anyone else laugh, so at least I keep myself entertained.

What about you?

be fun
be funny?

Thursday, August 20

birthday recap

Alexis' birthday came and went. She loves being 5, though I think she's disappointed that she isn't magically 2 feet taller and knows how to ride a 2-wheeler (both things she thought just happened when you're 5). She woke up the morning of her birthday to a bed full of balloons, streamers hanging in her doorway, and her favorite stool (the one that wiggles) decorated for her to eat breakfast on. She spent the morning playing at the park with friends, telling everyone it was her birthday, and wondering where her presents were. Then in the afternoon we went to a local water park, just the four of us. The water park was pretty fun, but the water in the slides was cold, so we spent most of the afternoon going around the lazy river. Alexis was tall enough to walk in the river, if she tilted her head up and stood on her tiptoes, so I got to follow her around it hundreds of times making sure she didn't get smashed against the wall, pushed under by all the other kids, or swept away when the current got stronger. It was lots of fun! After that we had cake and ice cream and opened presents, then off to her very first soccer practice.

This year, Alexis wasn't the only one excited about her presents. The resident Barbies were pretty thrilled as well, since they ended up with a few new friends, including one of the male persuasion! Not only that, but they received some new sleeping arrangements. They were so excited that I was even able to persuade them to get dressed for the occasion (I don't expect this to happen again).There's only 4 sleeping bags, so not everyone can camp at once. The girls sleep inside,while Ken sleeps outside. To protect them from bears, naturally.
However, the bears don't seem too intimidated by a man in a purple paisley sleeping bag.
Poor Ken, he wasn't even around long enough to play naked, like everyone else.

Wednesday, August 19

Monday, August 17

that, this

It's 1:30 A.M. and I just had another run-in with Alexis. It's the whining that gets me, you know? Despite our attempts to teach her to ask first, before a whining tone ever enters her voice, she hasn't learned. Rarely does she ask us to do anything without first whining or crying, and I just can't handle that. So tonight in my half asleep, irritable state I lost it. I was unable to deal with her, Jeremy had to get up and I wanted nothing more than to hang a punching bag in my garage and have at it. Instead I just lay in bed crying out of sheer frustration and anger. I wanted to blame her for our encounter, but I knew that wasn't fair. All the questions I had about her I had to turn on myself. Why am I the way I am? Why do I have to be stubborn? Why do I have to make things difficult? Why can't I just let it go? And those questions lead to more. Why do I fall short so often? Why is parenthood so hard for me? Why is it so, so hard? As I questioned myself my thoughts turned to comparing my emotions of tonight, and my emotions of this same time 5 years ago.

Five years ago I was expecting my first child, my first little girl. I was past my due date, which means I was miserable, excited, uncomfortable, excited, curious, anxious and excited. I could not wait to meet the child I had been carrying for 9 months! At the time it never crossed my mind that I would have any kind of challenges as a mother. I'm sure it never occurred to me that the task I was about to be given would be the hardest and most humbling thing I'd ever be given.

Before having Alexis, I never gave much thought to the kind of person she would be--I'm sure I just figured she would be like me. Well, in a way, she is like me. She is all the parts of me that I don't yet understand--she is my stubbornness that I never knew I had, and she is my emotional side, the one I've tried to claim I don't have. As I struggle tonight with these parts of her, and of me, I remember the love I had for her 5 years ago. There's no doubt that I loved her then, despite having never seen her, heard her, or held her, but that love was naive and untested. That love was just a baby compared to what it is now.

5 years with Alexis has allowed me to feel the whole gamut of emotions. I'm unable to even express what 5 years with her has been like, what 5 years with her has done to my mind, my body, and my heart. Some days I'm not sure if I will survive another 5 years with her, but I know she's worth it. I know that I am the most blessed person out there for getting to call Alexis my daughter. She has the power to change minds, change hearts and change people. She has made me better in many ways, either by her example, by her sheer force, or by simply showing me my weaknesses. The love I started out with 5 years ago has been tested and is no longer a baby love. It's an experienced love that makes me get up and try again, day after day. It's a love that pushes the walls of my heart to bursting. It's a love that encourages me to do better, to answer those hard questions about myself so that I can be better, for her. In the words of Collin Raye, that {love} was a river, this {love} is an ocean. That never carried this much emotion.

And it's that love that will take me into her room now, to kiss her sleeping head. It's that love that has pushed away the anger and frustration that was in my heart. After all, I get to wake up to this:

A joyful creature who is brimming with creativity, curiosity, tenderness and love. More so than anyone else I have ever met.

Friday, August 14

some tidbits

I'm pretty sure this is my new favorite blog. The stuff this lady makes is so fun to look at! I don't get jealous much, but I'm pretty sure I'm jealous of her talent. You should go check it out.


I don't know where this came from, but lately Tyler has been singing "Christmas carol full of jolly, fa la la la la..." to the tune of "Deck the Halls". It's incredibly cute.

And an Alexis quotable. In Primary on Sunday she got the coveted CBR (Caught Being Reverent) that only 2 kids get each week. After I congratulated her on it she said, "Yeah, I was so reverent I couldn't even stop myself from being reverent!" She kills me! Almost quite literally, because we got kindergarten info yesterday, and the whole school thing is suddenly very real.

Monday, August 10

what a 10 days so far!

It's a little unusual for me to go over a week without posting, but I promise I have plenty of valid excuses. So here's a recap of August so far. all 10 days of it.

This first picture I just thought was cute. They were watching a show together, lying like that. I LOVE IT!

Remember last year when we went camping with Jeremy's family and my kids got sick? Well, last week we went camping with his family again, but instead of waiting for our kids to get sick while we were there, we just saved some time and brought them already sick. Aren't we awesome parents? We actually left home a day later than planned which cut out the Rhino'ing part of the trip. We were both pretty disappointed about that, but I suppose these are the sacrifices you make when you have children. Tyler had been running fevers and had a bad cough caused by his excess of snot, which means we hadn't been getting a lot of sleep.

So let's see...

Sick child + tired mom + a tent = super fun camping trip

But wait, it gets even better. We got to Bear Lake Wed. afternoon and everyone set about setting up camp. About 8 pm, as I was getting ready to put Tyler to bed, a huge windstorm starts up. And I mean it when I say HUGE. I was standing by my kids and my nephew when the wind got to the point of serious, Jeremy was trying to hold down our tent, so I tried to rush our crying kids to the car. My poor nephew was screaming about his tent, but I didn't have time to figure out what he was talking about, I just needed to get them in the car. After getting them situated I went back to help Jeremy when my brother-in-law passes me and mentions that his other sister's tent blew away. Completely BLEW AWAY! The wind pulled it's stakes out of the ground, ripped some of it and carried it over these huge trees, down the beach towards the lake. Everyone else was busy collecting stuff/holding things down, and my sister-in-law was in the car and didn't even know her tent had blown away, so I ran after it. As I started to run down the beach I noticed a group of 10 year old boys cheering the tent on! I caught up with the tent about 10 feet before it hit the water and just waited for someone to come help me. The wind was so strong that it would literally pick me up with the tent and move me forward a little bit before I could dig my feet into the ground again. After a few other people came to help we carried the tent back up and broke down the poles on everything and waited in the car. Several of us broke or had bent poles after that, and one canopy was pretty well destroyed.

After that we moved our tent down to the beach where it had a little more protection from some trees, but the next night the wind picked up out of no where again and was just as bad. Tyler woke up coughing, but then panicked when he saw the walls of the tent practically collapsing on us, so he and I moved to the car to sleep. That was probably the longest night of my life because I didn't get much sleep. He had coughing fits about every 30 minutes, that, even if I was comfortable enough to fall asleep, would wake me up.
So now...

Sick child + tired mom + a tent + INSANE wind + uncomfortable cold car = NO THANK YOU!

The next night we bagged the camping and went and stayed at my in-laws house where we were all sheltered and somehow I got lucky enough to have the most comfortable bed in the house.

Other than the wind we had a lot of fun, but I don't have a whole ton of pictures. Here's what I do have.

On our way up to Bear Lake we stopped and let Alexis use her new fishing pole. And these are the "marshmallows" she picked out for the fish.

Have you ever seen a cuter fisherwoman?

Tyler, laughing at his funny grandpa on the beach

A real beach beauty

see my tired eyes? And my dirty hair that's been tousled by sandy wind? and my sister in laws cute swimsuit there in the background?

Alexis got an early birthday present from grandma and grandpa. She loves the skirt and headband, but this Barbie has not left her clutches for 3 days!

So that's August so far. Next up, a five year old, soccer, and school! Now I need to catch up on "So You Think You Can Dance". Don't tell me who wins!

Saturday, August 1

the parking lot

Remember when you were a kid and you had that favorite little spot in your house or your yard that was perfect for playing in? You would store your toys or books there, maybe create little towns for your dolls, or just sit there and look at the world from your cozy little spot? Well lately, for our kids, their cozy little spot has been on the stairs, which is super convenient for me. I love stepping over toys every time I go up or downstairs. They have a playroom, they have a bedroom, but yet their favorite place to play is on the stairs. Since we live in a town home, halfway up the stairs turn, so there's almost a little landing where they, Alexis especially, love to play. They'll put blankets and chairs, dolls and dress-ups and a million other little things and play for hours.

But a few steps down from there, this has been set up for weeks:
I used to take them all upstairs at night after he was asleep, but first thing in the morning he'd bring them back down--so I gave up. These are all of Tyler's favorite trucks, trailers, cars, 4-wheelers (or 4-weers if you're Ty-guy), and they all have a specific spot on the stair. Neither of my kids have shown many obvious tendencies towards organization or order, but every now and then I'll notice Tyler lining up his toys, or having specific places for everything. He gets that from his dad, because while I appreciate order I definitely don't know how to achieve it. But these cars are part of the order he does have, and if I move any during the night he notices and asks why I dared to move one.

Yesterday while Alexis was playing at a friends, Tyler and I were sitting on the stairs, next to his parking lot, reading books. After we finished one he would head up the stairs, warn me that I better not touch his cars, and then get a new book. The first time I moved the motorcycle into the back of his truck, and put the firetruck next to the big blue truck. He found this slightly funny, but quickly put everything back into it's place, which only encouraged me. The second time he went upstairs, I made a few other small changes, but when he came back down it wasn't at all funny, and there may have been a stern reprimand given. The third time I sat there waiting for him, telling myself that I better not move any because I knew what the result would be. However, I couldn't resist. When he came back down the stairs this time, he looked at the cars first thing, dropped his book on the ground and cried. Really cried. Just because I moved some cars. Why am I so mean? I promised him I wouldn't do it anymore after that, but a few things came to mind after that experience.

1. The golden rule--Do unto others has you would have them do unto you.

2. Maybe that's why I have such a hard time getting my kids to listen to me!