Sunday, June 28, 2009

Shark tanks and bear dung

One of my favorite things about motherhood is this: nothing is normal. Sure, I spend my days climbing mountains of laundry and cooking for my little army--items on my list that are only checked off for minutes at a time before they require redoing. That's normal. That never ends.

But on the other hand, I drive a Batmobile, not a van. A Cougar Batmobile, actually, thanks to our trip to my alma mater, BYU. It has wings and can fly. It can also "do" Supersonic, but only if you yell loud enough.

Thanks to a Discovery-channel-loving Daddy, we don't eat regular food. We eat grubworms, not mac and cheese. Goat milk, slugs, potato bugs, and even bear dung are on the menu sometimes.

Every once in a while, my kids are here, but usually it's some sort of baby animal (koala, cougar, shark). A lot of the time it's Kung Fu masters. Most of the time their names are Jackson, Tommy, Max or Jewel.

I don't give my kids baths-- I monitor the shark tank. It's where the baby sharks dive. They also like to splash. A lot. However, they know that shark tank time is over if it gets out of hand. Good thing I have the smart kind of baby sharks.

So, for anyone out there who thinks being a not-getting-paid-for-her-work mom is dull and "normal", don't tell it to me. I'm Elasti-Girl. And I drive a Batmobile.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Eating My Words

How dare I even think that my sweet husband is not fully capable of running this household? I will say [pause and clear my throat], I fully admit that he did an amazing job during my 6 days in Vegas. Actually, truth be told, I was a little irritated.

I try to be a generally nice person, truly I do. But, there was a little mean part of me deep inside that wanted him to have to struggle with juggling all I do. Just to appreciate me a little bit more. Otherwise, what will I have to complain about? What excuse will I have to "need" a girls night out? Or a back massage? That little mean part of me wanted him to call me, almost crying with gratitude for the phenomenal job that I do everyday, because, seriously, he had no idea that I took care of so much, and wow is it ever hard, because the laundry itself is almost enough to merit live-in help and all this running to get to school on time, keeping messes picked up enough to not look like the place was ransacked, feeding everyone multiple times a do I do it all?

Instead I got:
--Girlie successfully carted to and from school, including the early day with the Wake Up Dad Morning, for which he single-handedly arranged child care for Sammy.
--Some landscaping done in the backyard.
--The crib fixed.
--All laundry washed, dried, folded, sorted, put away.
--Various entertaining stories and pictures from fun events, including Girlie's school Field Day, emailed to me regularly.
--The house cleaned from top to bottom, including bathrooms.
--A picture straightened (I had procrastinated it because it involved getting it off the wall, opening up the back, re-taping it to the mat with archival tape, and then redoing everything).
--Both cars cleaned inside and out.

Also, their activities included:
--Baking with the Easy Bake oven.
--Going to the store for ingredients. To make trail mix together. For their hike. At Stevens Lake.
--Going to our Dodge dealership for free lunch.
--Taking walks.
--Reading books.
--Eating carrot sticks every time I called.
--Playing outside together.
--Setting up the tent and 'camping' in our bedroom.

And all this whilst he was working from home.

I mean, seriously. [insert a little snort of jealous disgust]
Here's to you, lover. Happy Father's Day, J! We love you so much! You're one amazing daddy and husband. And you make it look so easy.
(PS: I might be going back to Vegas for another week...)
(PPS: We're still not getting a motorcycle.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

My Glass--1/2 Full

I'm not going to lie to you, I'm nervous. Not so nervous about leaving my big kids and flying with a 1 year old to Las Vegas (via Dallas, TX) as I am that I'm just leaving my J. With my big kids. Alone. As much I'm looking forward to this welcome break from the everyday, to hang out with my mom and sisters, there's a good bit of me that fears for what will happen in my absence. I have to simply look at this situation with optimism. Isn't that what it's all about anyway? The glass 1/2 full or 1/2 empty? So here goes.

Glass 1/2 full-- My kids will eat.

Glass 1/2 empty--There's really no telling exactly what they'll eat. I stocked the fridge chock full of fresh fruits and veggies, in hopes that since they were, simply, there that they'd be eaten. "Don't worry, they'll be gone by the time you get back," J assured me. Then, under his breath "One way or another, they'll be gone." He assures me that he is fully capable of feeding our kids in an acceptable manner. This, from a man who thinks that there's nothing wrong with cold cereal 3X a day. I shudder to hear whispers of 'frozen pizza' and other {gasp} prepared food. In the days preceeding my trip I tried my best to preemptively pump them full of fruit smoothies, salad, and veggie trays.

Glass 1/2 full--My kids will be clothed. Probably.

Glass 1/2 empty--"Dressed" is a loose term. Sammy will probably wear his new shark swimsuit all week. Girlie will probably pick some fashion forward outfit like a jeans-skirt combo topped with a dressy sweater (oh, it's something to behold). They have established their own little nudist colony in the backyard lately, so...all bets are off.

Glass 1/2 full--My kids will get sleep.

Glass also 1/2 full--I know for sure this will happen. In fact, bedtime will get earlier and earlier as J tries to manage the madness. He might even put up black out shades and change the time on the clocks. Who knows?

Well, the basics are covered and I'm headed to sunny Las Vegas. I have to admit, though, that as "Groundhog's Day" as life is sometimes, the pit in my stomach that I feel when I think about leaving my little ones lets me know that I spend my days exactly where I truly want to be.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Another Northwest Adventure

We spent Memorial Day on the beach with a bunch of our friends going CLAMMING!! We didn't even know there was such a thing, and we had a blast doing it.

It's that time of year again--for low tide, that is. When huge expanses of rocky beach are left exposed, you can gather with shovels and pails and dig for clams. The kids loved looking at all the ocean life that was stranded by the low tide--crabs, starfish, sea urchins, sea worms.

The kids loved gathering shells and sand dollars.

Here is J, being the hunter and gathering dinner. Steamer clams can be dug up pretty easily, if you can find them. Horse clams are HUGE. You look for tiny oval holes in the sand and start digging. As soon as you put your shovel in, the clams spit water at you and start burrowing down into the sand. It's a mad race to get them because they are FAST, and a lot of times they get away. Who knew a clam could even move???

We took our clams home and had some delicious clam chowder!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Some Things For Which My Kids Need to Develop Alternative Activities

1. Stamp balls (see above).

2. Gluing things to the table.

3. Marker tattoos.

4. Streaking in the backyard (and by streaking, I don't mean going really fast).

5. Trying to stop the other one from looking out of 'their' window in the car.

6. Deciding that your name is "Max" and telling the Fred Meyer daycare lady, who then eyes me with suspicion when I refer to you by the name that I gave you.

7. Playing "Wear Shoes That Don't Match" when we go to church. It discounts me as a mom, as well as a designer.

8. Making up their own naughty words like "booshie" and "pupid"--do you see the genius? It sounds even worse than a real bad word, but they've got me on a technicality because it's not actually a word at all.
Other than that, we're good.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Happy 6th, Sweet Girlie!!

On with the barrage of May birthdays! Okay, so I don't know if two really counts as a 'barrage' per say, but it feels like it when you're planning parties 6 days apart.

I try not to brag about my kids, but in this case it's a potent combination of her birthday and my blog--I can't help myself. My sweet Girlie is one of the most awesome kids I've ever met, and I'm not just saying that because I'm her mom. This little girl has delighted me from Day 1, and I continue to fall in love with her every day.

She was born with a tender heart full of love and compassion. Even as a toddler, she'd cry when I read the part in Lion King where Mufasa dies, and I'd have to fast forward Cinderella when the stepsisters rip the dress. She is the most compassionate person I know. Always taking care of her little brothers. She is a sweet peacemaker--always sharing and thinking of others. Sammy doesn't know how lucky he is! She is helpful, obedient, and really, really hilarious.

She makes me laugh every day. Just yesterday, for instance. Her new hobby is making books. She writes them, illustrates them, staples them, and then reads them over and over to us. J pointed to the back of her book where there were little lines at the bottom. Do you know what this is? A bar code! So we can buy them! She informed me that they were $2.00 each, which I thought was a steal since Sammy charges $45.00. A bar code!!

She is a sweet friend and kind to all around her. She is very obedient and a huge helper to me. J and I have often commented that we don't have to actually "parent" her. We give her guidelines, and she raises herself. One of my joys is throwing birthday parties for her--a silly way of mine to say 'thank you for being such a terrific kid.'

This year's theme was a luau. It was really a blast.

The kids put their gifts into the volcano. At one point, J and I talked about shooting the water hose out of the top to make it 'explode'. Then we thought of the mess. And 15 wet kids.

Her tropical island birthday cake. I would have liked to find tiny tiki torch-shaped candles...

We did limbo, a cake walk, and digging for shells on our sandy "beach".

All the kids "hanging loose".

We love and adore this lovely little light in our lives! She's one awesome kid!!!