Friday, May 25, 2012

Swinging away

The stinkers - they are almost five. FIVE! I can't believe it. Since they got their swing set a couple of years ago, we have spent hours in the backyard - them laughing and soaring, Bub freaking out because they are going too high, and me pushing. I just stand behind them, and push one after the other. Sometimes we twist the chains up so that they can spin and spin and spin, but mostly, they swing. I push. We're at the point now that I am teaching them to "pump" themselves. Feet up when you go up; feet back when you go back. Easy, right? The problem is that every time I start to teach them, I get all choked up. Once they master this, they won't need my help on the swings anymore. And, I LOVE pushing them on the swings. What will I do with my time? Yardwork? Laundry? Those things don't involve nearly as many giggles and squeals. And, it's not just the swings - it's everything. They already need me less and less. They each can read just about anything in the world, it seems. Hell, Peanut pours his own milk from a gallon jug without making a mess (most of the time). Pretty soon, they will learn how to keep secrets, and they will share them with each other instead of with me. They will be able to bake their own cookies in just a couple of years. Who needs mommy after that? OH! And, I'm pretty sure that once school starts, I will cease to be a "mommy" and just become a regular 'ol "mom." Daggers to the heart! Will they want to go hiking or biking or horseback riding or exploring caves? Will they want to play video games, board games, solve puzzles? Of course. The question really is: will they want to do those things with me? Will they need me when they grow up? Will we be close? Will we share secrets and interests? Will they ask me about anatomy? Sex? Will they tell me that they snuck their first beer and got sick? Will they confide their crushes or first true loves? ACK! How I wish I could always be their girl. I didn't think this part through very well when I decided that I wanted to be a parent. OK - I'm going to go cry now.....

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Race For The Cure SLC 2012

This year for Race For The Cure, we were honoring our good friend and co-worker, Jill. Here she is with another survivor and co-worker, Kate.
She works for my employer at one of the security entrances, so she sees the boys and Bubba frequently as they come in to wait for me to get off work. She's watched the boys grow up from teeny babies to the almost-kindergarteners that they are today. She gives them hugs and treats and praises their every accomplishment. They adore her. She has been struggling this year with a br*east cancer diagnosis. No chemo yet, just surgery and radiation. A group of her coworkers made sure that she had dinners prepared right after her surgery, new blankets and slippers to snuggle in, and movies to watch. It was my job to organize the RFTC walk team. (Some of us, of course, didn't want to walk the entire 3.1 miles.)
We had a good turn out of Jill's friends and their families. She was our princess, so we made sure to dress her up as one.
Here's a picture of one of my favorite VPs and his wife, daughters, and daughters-in-law.
We celebrated her as she deserves. She has an appointment for the other side of her chest very soon to see what is happening there. Hopefully, it will be nothing.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Footie PJs

I love that the boys are still small enough to wear footie pajamas. I love footie PJs. I refuse to cut the feet off of their footie PJs because, let’s be honest, they have so many clothes that it’s not like we’re trying to make things last and last and last. The grandparents are ridiculously generous, and we get loads of hand-me-downs from friends. So, we don’t need PJs so badly that I would destroy perfectly good clothing. AND, I’ve always wanted some. Now, lest you believe that I was completely deprived or raised by a troupe of platypuses (platypi?), I did have some. Once. So, I wasn’t COMPLETELY deprived, but one pair just isn’t enough. And, in all fairness to my parents, there may have been more that I don’t remember, but the ONE PAIR that I do remember, I remember well. Fine. I remember them sort of well. I remember that they were footie PJs, and I loved them. I think that they were red with a zipper (instead of snaps – which, none of the footie PJs today come with snaps after the age of about six months. I find that odd.). Yeah. Zipper. What I TOTALLY remember is that they were too small. Maybe they fit nicely at one point, but I get the feeling that they did not. I think that by the time I got them, they were already too small, but I wanted some so badly that I just didn’t care. (Kind of like the cowboy boots that I got with the eagles on them. They were so bitchin’, but they were too small and HURT my feet. I did it to myself, though, so I didn’t complain – even once – and I wore them the entire year. I was older for the boot incident. The footie PJs? I was pretty young. Four? Five?) Oh, my goodness. Stick to the story, right? So, I think that I’ve mentioned that my dad wasn’t always the greatest guy. Thankfully, he has significantly mellowed in the past 15 years. He usually provided for us, and he usually supported us, and we usually knew that we were loved. (And, no – this is not a post about bashing him or making him look bad to strangers on the internet. He made some mistakes. He parents made some mistakes when raising him. He works hard, and then he plays hard. He fell in with the wrong crown as a teen – or maybe he WAS the wrong crowd. Who knows? It doesn’t really matter anymore. He’s a good dad, and he’s a good papa. I believe that he has paid for the mistakes that he made. If not, I’m sure that he will pay for them – a little bit at a time. BUT, this does have something to do with my footie PJs, I swear.) Back to those PJs…. We had a system in our neighborhood. Well, not “we,” per se – more like the women. They all looked out for my mom because, like I said, dad wasn’t always shits and giggles. We never used the front door. We always used the door that opened into the kitchen. Everyone did. So, if the porch light to the FRONT door was on, the neighbors knew that there was trouble brewing. I don’t really know what more the “system” entailed, to be honest. I know that my three older siblings were responsible to turn the light on when they got old enough to make the determination. I know that I was never that old. I don’t know if my mom sometimes turned it on, although I doubt it since she was usually trying to fend off abuse or get us out of the room and to our beds. Perhaps the women of the neighborhood send their husbands over to distract dad? Perhaps someone called Grandma and Grandpa (his parents) who just lived two-ish blocks away? Perhaps they just called the cops immediately? Like I said, I was still a bit too young, so I don’t think that I knew all of the implications and the level of concern. Anyway….. One particular night, it was the police that showed up. Of course, dad started to apologize, but it was too late, and they told him so. They even cuffed him, but they did give him a chance to tell us goodbye since he would presumably be gone for at least a day/night. It was late, and I remember being tired, but not crying in spite of the ruckus. I’m guessing that my oldest brother and my sister ignored the chance to say goodbye because their relationships with him were always really rocky. The brother just older than me probably did say goodbye, and he probably had quite a cry about it since he would have been nine or ten and very close to dad. I really only remember my goodbye. He wanted to hug me, so someone (him?) lifted me up to sit me on his lap. My legs were straddling his knee. My footie PJs were too small, remember? Well, they were tight and not long enough, so as I sat on his knee, those PJs ripped in the crotch and right down the seam to the footies on each leg. Finally, I cried. Inconsolable, I was. Any other footie PJs that I was offered from then on always had the feet cut off and were pretty well worn. I never wore them. I would rather sleep in my jeans or a starchy, ruffled, itchy dress. I wanted the PJs WITH the feet, and I was mad at him for years for tearing the only pair that I ever had WITH feet. I don’t know what all of that means, but I think about it almost every single time I put footie PJs on our own boys. And, I know that I will never cut the feet off of a pair that they have.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Little stinkers (literally)

On Wednesday morning, I got up and went for a run. When I got back, I didn’t want to jump in the shower immediately because I knew that I would wake someone up. So, I waited just a bit and ate something for breakfast. It wasn’t long before Peanut (aka King of the Sunrise) joined me. It wasn’t even 6am, but whatever. So, we looked for a good cartoon and snuggled and giggled and told each other secrets. Then, out of nowhere, he just said “Mom. Sometimes you just gotta’ fart. In fact, I just did.” I couldn’t help but laughing. Later that morning as I was taking the two of them to Papa’s house for a couple of hours, Meatball practically screamed from the backseat “Eeeewwww! What’s that smell? [Waits a couple of seconds, for effect, of course.] It’s me because I just farted!” All three of us were just cracking up. I know. I know. It’s not very polite. It smells bad. It’s, well, disgusting. But, it makes them laugh like crazy, and these days? We can’t get enough laughter. (Well, isn’t that true of any days?)

Monday, May 7, 2012

2012 Kentucky Derby hat contest

We LOVE the Derby. LOVE IT! We plan the entire day around it. We pick our horses. We yell at the TV during the race. It's awesome. We LOVE the hats, too. Half of the fun of derby day is mocking some of the hats, right? I SWEAR I saw Cruella DeVil at the Derby this year. Well, at least her dalmation hat..... Here are our 2012 Derby hats: Nana - was going for stunning. Well, yes. I was stunned. The ear flaps and the big bow make her look like a birthday present puppy:
Papa - was going for, well, I dunno. Crazy, I suppose. Maybe just half crazy since he only has one horn. Yes, that's one of the boys Canada winter hats... I wish this was in better focus!
Bubba - The bandage is so appropriate. She had twisted her ankle earlier in the week. She has a toothache. After this picture was taken, she stepped on a toy train and fell down possibly spraining her wrist. The crown of hot peppers? I have no idea. She just pulled it off of the wall and stuck it on her head. She has issues..... Nana seems to think it looks like Jesus' crown of thorns. If that is the case, then I am truly afraid of the rapture!
Me - Well, Let's be honest. I'm just a vision.
NOW, the good stuff! Meatball would NOT hold still (see his hands...) But, he still loves his chef hat. I'm convinced that he will someday be the head chef on Churchill Down's Millionaire Row during the Derby in 25 years....
Peanut would not wear ANYTHING but this shabby Cowb*ys fishing hat all weekend. (They have finally started to learn what team alignment means.) It's a good thing he is cute so that we can forgive him his horrible taste in football teams. (It's all Bub's fault...)

Ready for Kindergarten (well, the BOYS are)

We recently went to the doctor to get our last shots and exams before officially enrolling in kindergarten. The visit went well in terms of being healthy and passing their eye tests and etc. The boys are still skinny and tall. Meatball: 50th percentile for weight and 90th percentile for height Peanut: 25th percentile for weight and 90th percentile for height (The doctor asked "Does he eat?" Oh yes. Just the day before, he had a hamburger for lunch, a hamburger for dinner, a bowl of cereal before bedtime, snacks throughout the day, and a big breakfast!) They can hop on one foot. They have straight spines. They can count, read, spell. They hate shots. Two in each leg. "It's not fair!" Peanut cried. Meatball just cried. We took them for a lunch date at Del Tac*o - the one WITH the play place. All was forgiven.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

just a couple of handsome guys

We were wasting time (in the mall, of all places), and having fun. Well, 3/4 of us were. See? Here's proof:

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

soccer - it's fun, it's not fun - we can't decide

So, fall (2011) soccer was miserable. Just awful. The boys hated it. They liked practice (most of the time), but hated the games. I'm from a long line of people who finish what they start. Books, quilts, classes, clubs, jobs, marriages (well, at least at a higher percentage than the average American). It might take us a long time (like my Bachelor's degree), but we finish what we start. Bub's family is really of a different mindset. Basically, if you're unhappy, stop doing the thing that causes this unhappiness. (Maybe they're just a more evolved group of people than us back-woods hicks, slogging it out until the end?) Anyway, as parents, we've come to a tentative agreement. And, by "tentative," I mean that Bub is smart enough to know that not letting me get my way on this means that I will blather on and on and on and on and on about how we're not teaching the boys responsibility and allowing them to be quitters. So, they are going to soccer. And, they like it - mostly. Well, they like it better than last fall, that's for sure. Practice is just an exercise in driving the coach nuts. Games are an opportunity to do the same to the parents. BUT, it is still hilarious. During the first game, Meatball got to throw the ball in after some penalty. Really, isn't every move that a 4-year old makes on the soccer field a penalty? They are grabbing the ball, they are tripping each other, they are running into each other because they aren't watching where they are going, they have no sense of "formation," they spontaneously lay down in the middle of the field, they whine to the sidelines. Although I'm no expert, I'm sure that these are all penalty-worthy actions. So, back to Meatball's throw-in. After the coaches got all of the other kids in some semblance of a formation, they finally encouraged him to throw the ball in. You know, both hands on ball, feet don't leave the ground, ball behind the head, and directly onto the field. Well, he decided that he should make sure that everyone (on both teams) knew exactly when he was going to throw it, so he counted down from ten to one as loudly as he could. Then, he threw the ball UP into the air so that it came down, almost whacking the opposing coach on the head.
During the second game, we told Meatball to keep his eye on the ball. So, during the middle of the game, he crouched down and watched the ball! And, then he watched everyone kick and chase it to the other end of the field. So, yeah. Whatever. Peanut is particularly unhappy so far. This is odd because we were sure that he was going to be more into it that Meatball. He loves playing with Bub at home. It's odd. He's happy when he gets to come off of the field.
During the last game, he was so BLAH about the whole thing that he actually leaned on coach Nielsen's leg during a break. It was hard to get him (and, therefore, the coach) moving again.
We have had a great time watching them and learning more about our own children, and they are getting the interaction that we wanted them to get. They've even made a friend, Brax, who is about as interested as they are. The soccer parents - that's an interesting experience. We know none of their names. We know them as "Jaden's mom," and "Jacob's dad," and etc. They probably know us in the same way. So, Jaden's mom is blissfully happy. She manages to laugh and giggle about everything. She seems to be a really good mom, and we both enjoy her company. Jaden is the star of the team, by the way. His singular focus is to get that ball in the goal, and he follows the ball like a cat chases a light on the floor. Jacob's dad is a runner, so I like him, of course. And, he just seems to be a nice guy. Jacob is a little guy, but a sweetie. Sadie and Peyton don't come to all of the games or practices, so we don't know them very well. We do know that Peyton's mom LOVES to enunciate the "T" in her name. "Good job Pey-Ton!" It's very unnerving and out of place here in the land of the soft "T". She sounds like she is from ConnecTicut or something. Brax's mom and dad are the coaches, so we know their names. They are nice, nice people. They are separated, so we know their current other halves, too. They manage to get along very nicely for Brax's sake. Dexter's parents take the cake. We just can't figure them out. His dad is very macho for a guy in his late 30s. He doesn't have much to say to us. She likes to talk about herself - a lot. She's nice enough when she is willing to give you the time of day. (Or maybe it's just us. I'll admit that it's hard for some people to know what/when/how to talk to us. Apparently, we seem much too different from them.) She didn't speak a single word to either of us until the last fall game when I made rice crispy treats with a surprise in the middle. You would think that I had brought individual creme brulees for each kid by the way that she was going on and on. This year, she was a little more friendly as we made small talk about how she should cut her hair. (Small talk - it was torture!) The next week, she came with her new 'do (which is really flattering), and completely ignored my positive comments. Whatever. They are from somewhere in the midwest (Ohio), so I'll assume that this is acceptable behavior in that area. What I DO know is that Dex is one tough little kid. He is like a machine, and rarely cries when he gets hurt (which is all of the time since he insists on jumping off of everything). So, where was I going with this? I dunno. We'll finish out this spring season and then in August we'll figure out what the fall holds for us....

2012 photo challenge update

Go here to see my updates in the 2012 photo challenge. This has been a lot of fun even though I tend to forget until the last couple of days of the month!