Monday, August 26, 2013

1st day 2nd days

the night before school started i spent about 5 1/2 hours not cleaning my kitchen. i stood by the sink and slowly pushed things around while in a trance because i was so dang tired from this summer! fun and pools and activities are great and all but i think next summer we are just going to find a business that will freeze the kids for 2 months in suspended animation. then i will go to the pool and lay on a chair like a blob and not worry about anyone drowning. 

the one thing that did get accomplished the night before was backpack packing. i told reagan to put his backpack in a safe place where he could easily find it. mission accomplished.

1st day!
whenever i start something new, i always draw up a new schedule of what i would ideally like to have happen each day. i call it the "schedule of delusions of grandeur" because it never happens.  it includes things like:
  • get up really early to go running
  • prepare healthy breakfast meals for everyone
  • take positive and life-affirming first day of school pictures
  • promptly start homework and job charts after school
  • eat a healthy and filling dinner prepared by me
  • read 30 minutes aloud to the kids before bedtime

 however, this first day of school was a FIRST. we did it! i didn't oversleep, i got up and went running, which was actually not my best decision. it was during a lightning storm and i spent the majority of the running praying, "please please protect me from this stupid decision." i did have a really great pace trying to outrun the lightning. the kids weren't running around like crazies when i got back and we DID leave to school on time. (making it to school on time due to carline traffic and walking 3 blocks with both kid's backpacks on my back is another story.)

life-affirming first day of school photos!!! an unnamed child with long brown hair dropped and broke my camera a few months ago so unfortunately every crisp, clear, riveting* picture is from my iphone.) *sarcasm font has yet to be invented
we easily found classrooms, had minimal tears(only me, because i know no one will love these dum dums like me) and i drove off into the sunrise as the storms finally cleared. 

that darn blythe did wreak absolute havoc in every room of the house while the bigs were at school.

the triumphal return!

 necessary 1st grader posing:

i'm concerned because scarlett really wanted to pose like a rockstar. i really wanted her to pose like a doctor or a dentist or an actuary or a librarian or any job where they keep their clothes on.

after snacks and chit chat, we accomplished our job and homework chart! it was the twilight zone! i wrote out the list of tasks and they accomplished them with minimal fuss.
and then they played and ate dinner and we read for 30 minutes(and even affected voices for different characters!) and went to bed. i was expecting us all to wake up dead the next morning because of a gas leak or something because of how well everything went the day before. 

day 2
after such a glorious start, i needed some humbling. things were more slapdashed together but we still got basic necessities taken care of. at 1:26pm i got a phone call from the school nurse that poor reagan and just revealed the contents of his previously eaten lunch all over his desk and that i needed to get him ASAP. so, going from bad to terrible i had to wake the baby up from her nap(HORROR!) and retreive my little regurgitator. i arrived at the school and parked my broom(just a little witch humor for you) and found poor reagan huddled up in the nurses office on a chair. not even on a cot! i asked to have scarlett called to the office so we could just make a one big mass evacuation of the simpson family. reagan starts to get sick again so i hustle him out of the school so that he can barf on the bushes and not the floor. we've had a relatively mild summer, but this day it was 90+ degrees outside and a gabillion percent humidty and we are sweating like squirrels on a griddle. we wait 20 minutes in the heat(i know! i come from pioneer ancestory! let's talk about our trials!) for scarlett to be summoned. i'm not one to tell other people how to do their job, but i was about to run down to her classroom myself and just pull her out by her rockstar pigtails. i've got an 8 year old covered in hot, stinky barf and a 16 month old with a school bus fascination death wish dancing in the street as the buses pull up. let's expedite this process!

after we finally got home, reagan showered and was fine. he's got a sensitive stomach and can't handle his nerves well all the time. we did no chores, i made up no homework, we choked down something that was once frozen for convenience and i did read 30 minutes to the kids but the character voices were considerably less authentic. 

scarlett did take a few more rockstar pictures for posterity so we can claim we knew her before she was famous(or got her Phd).

Monday, August 05, 2013

the real world

i just spent 30 minutes rocking blythe to sleep and it was one of the most wonderful moments of my entire life. partially, because blythe is a delight(when she's sleeping) and partially, because i know i am doing the right thing for me. as i sat in my recliner and held my little baby tight, tears poured down my face because of the happiness and contentment i felt and i knew nothing else in this world could replicate that feeling. no accomplishment, no purchase, no experience. lately, i've wanted really wanted to get back into blogging on my personal blog on more regular basis and i was reading an article about how to maximize your blogging potential. the first tidbit of advice was to "become obsessed with your blog" and my thought was ain't nobody got time for that! i'm obsessed with my family. perhaps i can become "happily engaged during my limited free time" in my blogging endeavors and that will have to suffice for now. the phrase "joy in motherhood" came to mind over and over while i was rocking blythe and i feel like i could finally understand a little bit what that meant. from my chair, i could see an absolute mess spilling out of scarlett's room into the hallway and i could hear the two big kids playing together, barely on this side of bickering about something trivial but i felt peace. i've been blessed throughout my entire motherhood to be able to stay home and care for my children. i feel like i had that path divinely laid out in front of me and i sort of fell into it, but willingly walked along it. however, i think for many years i was hurrying along, deliberately concentrating on or even searching for rocks and roots to get tripped up on, thinking only of when these dang kids would go away and finally i could get back to me and what i wanted to do. people can always find something to be unhappy about, even if you are in your ideal setting. i would pine for the day when the kids would be at school all day and i could finally go back to the "real world". the truth is, i have been heavily entrenched in the "real world" since march 16, 2005 when i became a mother. everything i did suddenly became much more important because it was affecting not just me or thomas,(we who could make our own decisions) but a helpless little spirit who couldn't make his own decisions and was completely dependent on how we loved him and served him and taught him. this has only been compounded and expanded as we have been blessed with two more helpless(emphasis on the helpless) spirits in our family.
truthfully, i just got up and shut the door on the big kids as their argument has escalated into a pushing and shoving match of prodigious proportions. if anyone would come up to me in public during these times and tell me i will miss these moments, i would melt their face off with my laser beam eyes. but i am grateful. i'm glad that i know who i am and what God's plan for me is. i'm glad that i am blessed with enough me time to keep me sane. i am glad i am a mother. i'm glad i have a husband who supports me in being heidi and mama.

i read this jane clayson book on motherhood a few years ago and her experiences really resonated with my soul and i think of it often. i highly suggest it.


Thursday, August 01, 2013

beany thing

i hate when i go a whole month between posts. it's like i have no proof that i did any actual thinking in july 2013. i often do feel like i sometimes go hours, perhaps even days between rational, coherent thoughts. but, monthly roundup posts sound like i was just scrambling to get through each day(okay, true) and that there wasn't much room for reflection. so, here's to momentary reflection on what i felt like was a priority to do, july 2013.

july was sort of big. visitors, projects, rain, swimming, birfthdays, anniversaries

blythe became a mobile monster. nothing is safe. nothing is off limits. no holds barred.
we constantly have to have all kitchen chair lining the walls or corralled in a circle int he middle of the room, as far away from any climbing surface as is possible.


that's been a ton of fun.

i also assigned myself about a mabillion projects around the house. a few got done. cleaning out the garage was a 2 day event. i've offered this gargantuan tv to anyone who will haul it away. we've yet to have any takers.

i found this darling and sophisticated blouse from my college glory days in a box. i was a big fan of the "this shirt is waaaay too small" look popular in the late 90s early 00s.

fourth of july i pulled together the requisite strawberry/blueberry gellatine dessert/pie/sugar coma. 

and actual live kids in actual coordinating outfits!

this may just be the best pictures of the two big kids that i've ever taken.

ever. really.

for our 11th anniversary i told thomas that i wanted to work together on a landscaping project. the copious amounts of rain we've received over the last 2 months nearly washed away all the mulch and previous weed maintenance efforts we had implemented in our yard. 

we would do yard work for HOURS each saturday and then the next saturday we would go out and find this again. 

over the course of the summer we removed 5 giant, dead shrubs and put in beautiful new hostas and hydrangeas and all new super-duty weed repellant midnight black mulch. very romantic.

the couple that works together stays together. or has more to disagree on. for the record, i really like hostas while other people may not find them as lovely.

we also had my roomate from college and her brood spend the night with us one night. scarlett was over the moon ecstatic! we have a family policy of no sleepovers so she thought it was INCREDIBLE AND WONDERFUL AND MARVELOUS that we were going to have a real live slumber party! she still talks about it in reverence and awe. 

not our best picture. but it was wonderful to pick right up where we left off 11 years ago when we last lived together. i was absolutely amazed that while jessica has 5 children, she never once raised her voice at them. it was inspiring. i don't think my own kids would recognize my voice in anything but a screech.

11 years of complete and total bliss. unadulterated love in it's highest concentrate. we've never fought, we have zero flaws and we agree on absolutely everything.

we went on our annual anniversary date to the garden of olives. on the way we saw this epic rainbow. it was a sign! we will never have a year as hard as this past year(and it was a hard but glorious year). 

after our gourmet, chef prepared meal we took a stroll around a neighborhood we'd like to live in someday. and then it rained cats and dogs on us. we are so in love, we were completely unaware of anything but each other. lightning could have struck the ground next to us and i would have thought it was simply the twinkle in my lover's eyes. (isn't LOVER the most uncomfortable term of endearment in the english language?) go ahead, refer to one another as such front of your kid's friends.

AND then we saw and awesome puppet show at the library. blah blah blah. stay with me.

thomas read my mind and brought me a chipotle burrito on an especially stressful day. 

uncle steve came to visit and my kids LOVED him. LOVED him like i've never felt accepted in my own home before. he was here for a few days and we did all sorts of fun things that i never want to try and do on my own with 3 kids. 
i only remembered to take photos when we went to the children's museum. it took be a few minutes to realize the summer theme is Be Anything and not beany thing. 

uncle steve and reagan even wore matching star wars t-shirts! nerds across the age spectrum!

uncle steve was so helpful. and tirelessly fun. we are all so glad he came and scarlett went and named one of her stuffed bears "uncle steve" after he left. sometimes when i see "uncle steve" the teddy bear, i like to give him a few punches in the gut for old times sake. i still have a bit of childhood angst to work out. the nickname "hideous hide" still stings.

we started the wonderfully brutal experience of back to school shopping. reagan put this ensemble together. his favorite color is?
wait for it...
green. always and forever green.

it's rained like the dickens but we have tried to fit in as much swimming as possible when the skies are remotely clear and the toxic chemicals have disintegrated the barf in the pool. it's definitely those moments when i love science the most.

and when it rains,
wii sports has to count for actually physical activity.

i took scarlett out for a girls afternoon of shopping for dresses to wear to my brother's upcoming nuptials. we're still a few years off from enjoyable mother/daughter shopping trips. the plastic tasting frosting on mall kiosk cookies was exciting for her though. i'm glad i've mastered homemade buttercream frosting so i don't have to lie to myself and say that mall frosting was good.

further proof that our walmart is the worst:
lots of the shelves at our walmart look like this. all choices of the items i need are completely sold out. expensive brand and cheap brand. i feel like i'm in communist russia every time i go there. do they not understand capitalism? basic economics? supply and demand? basic math? we supplies get low, REORDER!

thomas celebrated his 37th birthday. he doesn't want presents, so i made him 2 different cheesecakes. oreo and dulce du leche. 
this was also his birthday breakfast. 

my other gift to him was cleaning his office. poor thing wasn't that excited for that one. lawyers have these really intricate filing systems where things that like look garbage are actually legal documents.

it sort of resembles this:
i wasn't able to actually throw anything away and i did spent a good amount of time sorting trash so that he could make the final call on the actual garbage. 

next year he may ask for a real present that i have to wrap.

this is our latest go to dessert. homemade peanut butter bars. they are divine and simple. like me.
this recipe works for us. i can only halfway follow directions and it still works out well.

the end.

no really. the end. go read your scriptures. fold some laundry.