"experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." -randy pausch

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

marvelous max {the girl who doesn't TURN OFF.}

she doesn't turn off.
send reinforcements.
i totally took brennan and his tv watching for granted.
this is also something i've always loved about max. that she's never been too interested.
but mostly that's b/c she doesn't like it, 
and i just love that i don't ever feel that awful guilty mother feeling 
about my child watching days of television like i ALWAYS felt with brennan, 
because when she does watch it, i know she's not going to over do it. 
and so it's just this fun little 5 minute thing. 
and i love her for that.
but every once in awhile, i would go without sleep and water for 3 days straight,
JUST to have her turn off for one full length movie.
just one.
i will always remember this about max.
my puzzle doing,
playing toys,
book reading,
baby wipe stealing {for barbie bed sheets--which i find all over the house},
bathroom flooding,
coffee table "bed making,"
chess pieces all over the house,
activity bin diver
MAX.
also,
i will remember to do afternoon kindergarten next year.
as that will be the best thing for this little miss max;)
{above--first day of preschool: just when i think i have little miss max figured out,
she hopped out of the car without a single tear for her first day of Pre-K. 
this was a downright christmas miracle in august, and i was just so very proud!}
{studying her scriptures with me--be still my soul.}
{ariel the snail. she told me HE was going to live in her room. when i told her he needed to sleep on the back porch, she put him outside, washed her hands, and then checked on HIM for an hour straight to make sure HE was safe and still there. then she forgot about ariel and hasn't looked for him since. i'm still holding my breath for when she realizes he's gone.}
{he really was the cutest little baby snail.}
{her "hearing aids like cassie." cade's older sister cassie is deaf and wears hearing implants. 
she and max sit next to each other every day on the way home from carpool pick up in the afternoons. one day she put my hair clips on each side of her head, right where cassie's implants go, and told me she could hear me better now with her hearing implants "JUST like cassie." my heart has never been so full as it was in the moment, except maybe it was more full when cassie was BEAMING the next day, telling me her mom told her that max was wearing implants to be JUST like her. that pretty much topped my cake with every topping known to man. 
for sure THE PEAK of my day two days in a row.}
{note: baby wipes=barbie or any doll blankets.}
{i've had to limit her to a 5 a day ration folks, but let's be honest,
as long as she's happy, i'm all "who's counting anyway."} 
oh max,
i love you SO SO SO very much.
especially how you want to do everything with me all day long.
at my heels with every step.
i'm really going to miss that when this phase is gone and over.
and i'm just so glad that i took the time to sit down and remember that today.
because i was having a hard time remembering before just now.
that i will MISS these things about you someday.
xoxo,
MOM.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

hand shadow bird puppets

tonight, over a riveting meal 
of sloppy joe stackers,
brennan taught his siblings the art of hand shadow bird puppets, 
just as the sun was setting to the west.
everyone was very VERY impressed.
there's nothing i love more than dinner time at the table with my crew.
sometimes it lasts 2 minutes. sometimes it lasts 10 minutes.
sometimes chase cries through the entire meal,
sometimes max will have to go pee three times,
and each time she gets down, chase follows her 
{which means that by the time we coax chase back to the table, 
she is usually getting down again to go for the next time, 
and chase is getting back down to follow.
again.}
BUT regardless of all of that,
they are my very favorite minutes of my entire day.
and it's worth all of the work to get us all there,
just to be there together,
talking and eating at the table.
and i'm going to fight my hardest to keep doing this as my family gets older,
because there's just nothing else i'd rather be doing on a wednesday night than this:).
{missing: daddy. it must be wednesday night.}

i will go and do the things which the raspberry jam hath commanded. {pectin free canning recipe!}

once upon a time i tried a jam recipe that didn't call for pectin 
because i liked the picture on the pinterest pin for that recipe the best.
i am a marketers dream come true i tell you.
they had me a "free labels" basically.
also, despite having two freezers, 
the thought of making room 
or dedicating room to jam in plastic jam jars 
which might i add, i do NOT own, 
just overwhelms me.
anything to not have to leave my house folks.
ANYTHING.
this is why the freezer jam was nixed.
and so i sweat out the anxiety of not knowing 
if i was wasting 10 cups of fresh raspberries from costco 
on my stove this afternoon. 
i bottled them up,
processed them,
found their wrath on my shirt and in my hair, as every good canner does,
and then i waited.
and guys,
IT WORKED:)
raspberry jam recipe
{pectin free & for canning}

ingredients:
10 cups ripe raspberries
5 cups sugar 
{let's throw on a bonus cup of sugar here, 
and make it 6 cups of sugar or 7. whichever. 
just for those of us that are daring with our sweet teeth. 
yes, yes we should. But you go ahead and decide. 
i won't judge either way.}

directions:
{get your jars, rings, and water bath warming}
{click HERE for a canning "how to"}

1. 10 cups raspberries into pot, smash with potato masher.
2. add 5 cups sugar. mix well.
3. heat on high heat for 5 minutes. then heat on medium heat for another 30 minutes, 
stirring constantly.
put a netflix show on your phone, call your mom or your grandma,
but see here,
don't stop stirring that pot for more than a minute or two 
or it will burn and cake the bottom.
4. fill your jars, wipe your lids, put your lids and rings on, and process in a water bath for 15 minutes at sea level, 
and 25 minutes for those of us who like our air 
a little bit more thin out here in utah.

so basically tomorrow i'm going to drive to my friend's house to pick all of her raspberries,
as clearly i will go broke buying them from costco at this 10 cups for 3 pints rate.
nevertheless,
i will go and do the things which the raspberry jam hath commanded!
also, learn to spell rasberry raspberry.
amen.
{click here for the original pinterest recipe and "free labels" that had me at hello.}

Monday, August 25, 2014

letters to BETH, letters to Emily, and letters back to BETH {carseats, jet lag, OREOS, german speaking, and carpool ghost town}

dear beth,
are you home safe and sound? i have THE BEST letter to write you. can't wait. it will make you soooo happy!!! i almost died when it happened. like i wanted to PINCH myself because i couldn't believe that i actually got to be in the presence of it. you will laugh and feel so proud. also, i forgot about the car seats. 
love em

Dearest Emiline,
the carseats are at the taylor's. i told them you would probably pick them up this week. i wasn't sure. anyway, how are you? i love being back. i cleaned all my cupboards out in my kitchen and reorganized them. it was a blast. we got some gelato and ate some felafel...ummmmmm no better food on earth, and have been organizing and cleaning since we got home. i want to face plant into my keyboard and snooze away right now, but i'm not going to!!! i will stay strong and FIGHT jet lag if it's the last thing i do! ha ha. anyway, love you and miss you.
beth

BETHY BETHY BETHY!!!!
jet lag is the worst. i depise it. i spent my entire childhood in it, which i'm sure is the best time of life to experience it, as you don't require as much sleep as an adult to feel normal AND you don't have any real life things to attend to. people just let you nap, catch up, and drink cokes with pillows in the bathtub and stuff like that. have i ever told you about that story? that's what my mom would let me do when i was jet lagged in a foreign country. i wasn't allowed to stay up in the bedroom part of the hotel room and keep her up, but i was allowed to take over the bathroom, so one time i just brought the bedroom into the bathtub with me, and topped it off with a good old fashioned coca-cola just for kicks. ya know, since i wasn't going to be sleeping at normal hours anyway. of course this was before cell phones, dvd players, ipods, and other such material and my ADD brain just wasn't in love with reading back then, but i did have my gameboy. OH MY GAMEBOY:) super mario brothers, tetris, and then sonic on the sega genisis. the good old days. so if you find yourself awake at the wrong time of the night, and you don't want to wake bryce up in bed, bring your pillow and blankets into the bathroom and haul up in the tub with them all and a good book. heaven. i swear to you. at least it was at age 10:). 

ok, now here is my most happy thing ever that i get to share with you. crazy CRAZY crazy, like i couldn't even believe my eyes when i saw it. are you ready? get ready. 
wait for it.....


waaaaaaaiiiiittttt fooooorrrrr iiiiiitttt......

makenzie maxine....

my milk loving offspring....

whom i have trained in the ways most honorable of OREO
straight
up
dipped
her
oreo
in
a
cup
of
water
by
her
own
free
choice
and
will.
i swear to you, i was thrilled that she has this in common with you, and dumbfounded at how on earth another human being could find this as an acceptable way to eat an oreo.
but nevertheless my friend, you have someone else in the world like you.
who dips their oreos in water.
i can't even believe it.
you are kindred.
that i CAN believe.
you are YA-YA's.
and i just LOOOOOOVE IT!!!!!
i don't understand it, but i love it!
can you believe it?!
i know, thrilling:)

love you,
emiline

P.S.
brennan is LOVING german!!!! i have prayed and prayed AND PRAYED that he would love it, and click into it and low and behold HE HAS!!! every day he comes home telling me about 10 new words he has learned today. like today, he said "mom, raise your hand," and then he will say, "now i will say it in german." and then he will say the phrase in german. it as amazing. eyes, shoulders, head, knees, seven, eight, nine, no, yes, up, down, and so on and so forth. he tells me all of the tricks his teacher is teaching them about how to remember the new german word. i have never heard anything so darling in my entire life. he will be speaking circles around the natives in no time, i just know it. he told me that his favorite thing about school is his german teacher "frau weser" {did i spell frau right??}, and how she only speaks german to him in german class. i could cry i'm so elated. prayers answered from heaven my friend. ANSWERED FROM HEAVEN! never have i ever felt so strongly that we were led to this specific school, this specific class, and the specific program and teacher than i have right now. this is changing his life, and i feel so blessed to be able to watch it. oh how i have missed our letters, but oh how i miss being able to have you in my kitchen in front of me! i truly TREASURE you my friend. xoxo, E.
{brennan on the first day of 1st grade}
{the socks beth. i can't stop laughing about THE SOCKS.}

P.P.S.
the first day of school it took an HOUR AND A HALF of waiting in line to pick up brennan and our carpool from school, which i was not bothered about because i just can't tell you how much i love this school, BUT to avoid maybe not liking it on day 2, i made the educated decision to come 30 minutes after school got out and head off the crowd, so that i would only have to wait for maybe half an hour instead of an hour and a half. Welp, to my surprise, when i showed up 30 minutes after school got out, the place was EMPTY. we are talking a BONE-KNEE-FIED GHOST TOWN beth. GHOST TOWN!!! not a car in sight on the road to the school. not a car in the 4 lane pick up zone when i entered campus. i was a tid bid panicked i will admit. it was friday wasn't it? yes it was. i knew it was. and friday was early out. friday was INDEED early out. after checking my clock 4 times, i determined that yes i was there on the right day and at the right half an hour late time i had determined to go, but where were all of the 700 cars that were here at this same time yesterday? this is what i was asking myself. well, when i finally came around the corner i found a cluster of about 25 kids left on the front lawn, at which point my mouth dropped open, which i covered with my hand, as all ladies do, and rolled down my windows spewing apologies, as one should do when they are half an hour late to pick up the carpool. the lovely woman in charge was SO SO SO LOVELY because she replied with, "no, you are not late. you are JUST fine. this always happens on the second day. we plan for it, and we expect it. you are RIGHT on time." not annoyance in her voice, no condescension, to agitation. just a big smile on her face. it was amazing. then the kids got in and told me how long they had been waiting on the lawn, and how late i was, and again this LOVELY woman repeated in the most LOVELY voice {i just want you to know i am not being sarcastic, she was just so wonderful!!! i loved her!}, "no kids, she is not late, she is right on time." Nodding her head and giving me smiles of approval. never have i EVER imagined something so amazing. And this beth, is yet another reason why i just love brennan's new school:). they are organized, and LOVELY. the end. 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

brennan THE 1st grader.

things brennan told me when i woke him up 
for his first day of 1st grade this morning:
1. i'm not going to school.
2. i want to sleep in.
3. i am NOT going.
4. here's the deal: if you let me play video games, i will go later.
5. what are you thinking waking me up this early? {it was 7:15am--we have to leave by 7:45am}
6. why do i have to go to school every day all day?
7. i am not hungry and i'm NOT eating breakfast {he's not my morning person. i can't blame him. i don't fancy mornings much either. today was my exception as i was in a particular uppity mood. it will pass.}
{at which point i told him he could play computer games for half an hour when he got HOME from school if he would get up quietly and go downstairs for breakfast without waking max up in her bed 4 feet away.}
8. ok, ok, i will go eat breakfast.
then he said he didn't want to wear the light blue shirt he picked out the night before,
so i ran back up for the white.
at which point i learned that it would be best if we dressed him AFTER breakfast instead of before,
as i found myself going back upstairs for a second white shirt because the first white shirt was covered in peanut butter and jelly, and i just felt like even though you don't need to come home with a clean shirt, you should at least start the first day of school with a clean shirt.
then he asked me why would they pick a bad day for the first day of school.
good days are "sunny!"
and it was cloudy, and it might rain,
and so he needs to wear pants not shorts.
{pants that are literally 3 inches too long that i surely haven't had hemmed b/c ya know IT'S AUGUST AND ALL, and normally that means 90's and sunny, so i was really trying to build up the shorts that are too big at the waist--i bought big in an attempt for economical, which basically means he'll most likely be swimming in his school clothes until about january. also, i think it means i need to buy him a belt. one size too big sounded like such a good deal when i was online ordering three weeks ago...it still does, it's just that well, it's big. which was the idea. you know what i'm saying.} 
i teared up watching him walk into the door of his 1st grade classroom,
but as i am HORRIFIED and downright AGAINST ever 
being emotionally predictable in these of this nature,
i refused to let myself cry.
this is silly, yes, but it is who i am and always have been.
BUT
let me tell you,
i will never forget watching him walk through his 1st grade classroom door with white socks up to his shorts,
Mario backpack on, and gorgeous thick brown sun-steaked hair.
he didn't look back,
and i knew this was my typical brennan,
who has never needed me to walk him into anywhere.
so safe and secure that he doesn't ever bother to worry that it will ever be anything other than that.
{completely opposite of max might i add, who still cries when i drop her off to play at a friend's house.}
note: we need some ankle socks STAT.
MEANWHILE BACK AT HOME...
.
.
. 
max dressed chase up in her favorite pink tutu while i was cleaning up breakfast downstairs.
she said they were playing princess mermaid sleepover.
full of pink sparkle and fairy unicorns i was told.
i still can't believe she got him into that getup all on her own.
her own red headed barbie.
every girl's dream come true.
i have never laughed so hard then when he came around 
the corner ready for ballet this morning in my kitchen.
the first thing i thought was,
"oh you lucky dog you, stuck at home with all of the girls."
and then my friends,
there was the REAL highlight of my day,
and that is
AFTERNOON CARPOOL:)
 things i learned while driving afternoon carpool.
1. they're gonna need a stoplight off the main road.
2. don't be on time. ever. 
i was about 300 in line, with about 300 more behind me. 
these are the hilarious escapades of going to a school that is almost all drive in kids.
with that being said,
might i add that i was laughing my head off the entire time?
well, i was.
first of all, this hour and a half was made possible by a babysitter,
who i so smartly left max and chase with back at home.
this would have been a horrible experience without the wonderful babysitter.
god bless her.
i sure hope no one in this neighborhood ever wants to go anywhere from 3-4pm ever again monday thru thurs and 1-2pm on fridays. my favorite part was watching all of the construction workers trying to figure out what was going on. you wanted to get your cement mixer in right now? NOT GONNA HAPPEN.
cars that were there by accident kept trying to turn around, drive down the wrong side of the road,
and finally the police started helping out.
one mom just ended up parking her car and straight up walking it in.
that was a highlight for me.
i was just so happy that i had the good sense to go pee before i got into the car to go pick all of the kids up.
phew.
so what did i do for this hour and half?
well, i turned on all of my favorite songs of summer,
and i imagined myself swimming in the pool,
goggles on,
with my feet shoved into the kiddie flippers halfway,
and my hair braided to one side, with non compliant pieces swaying in the water on my shoulders.
 also, i texted my friends and family this crazy scene b/c i just couldn't believe how long it was taking.
pleast note: i was not stressed or mad. it was more just awe and amazement.
also they told us the first day was going to be awful, and to expect it.
it gets better every day as the students, teachers, and parent drivers get better at being fast and efficient.
in two weeks i'm hoping we will be zipping in and out without the gridlock traffic.
i've been told it will happen.
and since i'm such an optimist, i will believe.
I BELIEVE!!!
{the best part being that all children are held and supervised until you get there, so let's just say the school is more motivated than normal to get this efficiency whipped into shape and fast:)}
i've seen my fair share of principals over the years when i was interning, student teaching, aiding, being a classroom teacher in one state and then another, observing at schools, interviewing for jobs, etc. etc.
and let me tell you, this gal is one of my favs.
i have never seen a principal with so much dedication to be involved.
she was standing at the front of all of our 1000 cars,
reading name cards off over a microphone that called the kids up to the sidewalk loaders on the front lawn,
telling all of us thank you for our patience, the first day is the worst,
and please know it will get better,
all the while with a friendly smile on her face that you just knew was genuine.
i didn't even mind waiting i loved her so much.
not that i'd want to wait that long every day.
just saying, it wasn't twisting me up today. 
for the rest of the night i lured brennan in with cookies and snacks, and "will you help me's" so that i could get every detail possible from his day out of him.
this is what i gathered:
1. two girls were mean to cade and one girl bumped into brennan.
2. the best part of the day was playing on the playground at BOTH recesses.
3. eating home lunch in the cafeteria was a close second.
4. he likes both of his teachers a lot.
5. they counted to 5 in german, but he can't remember the words now.
6. "nine" means no. they also learned yes, which he told me the word for, but i forget what it is now.
7. and he remembers her telling him the word for stand "up," but he forgets what the word was afterall.
8. they read two "no david" stories about david going to school.
9. he drew a picture of his face. it's at school for later.
10. he thought about me once because he said "he was looking forward to giving me a hug," 
but that he was a happy guy all day long and was never sad about not being with us. 
{this was my favorite thing he told me about his day.}
11. he made two new friends. one from class and one from cade's soccer team. 
{knowing brennan there are 10 more that he can't remember their names. my social butterfly.}
12. in his words "school is WAY easier with pills." 
{we haven't gotten into that yet on here. that's for another day.}
13. and last but not least, "could {i} please pack a lunch that is less messy tomorrow", which ended up turning into "can i just have school lunch one day?" and could that day please be tomorrow?
oh to be at your first day of 1st grade.
when i was a semester away from graduating from college,
i was doing my student teaching in a first grade classroom in rexburg, idaho.
i hated it.
i didn't like that they couldn't read,
i didn't like that they couldn't write.
i didn't like that they didn't get my jokes.
i knew i wasn't made for teaching 1st grade.
but the one thing that i did love was that they were the cutest little tiny humans on the planet.
i loved them!
i loved reading to them.
and all i remember thinking that entire semester was how i just wanted to be a mom.
and i wanted to have a 1st grader of my own.
i have a first grader of my own.
and i'm going to bask in it the entire year.
oh happy day!!!
brennan THE 1st grader.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

despite waiting in line for carpool pickups {why ya gotta be so ruuuuude}

"Love looks not with eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind."
-William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream
...

now tell me,
where did summer go?
if i close my eyes it all feels like one short dream.
the kind you have right before you wake up suddenly, 
in the early hours of the morning.
where you've just had the best sleep of your life,
and you can't think of anything else you'd rather do, 
than go back to sleep and pick up in your dream right where you left off.
i have never put off everything enjoyed anything like i did with this summer.
my house was a mess the entire time.
because we weren't inside of it,
and when we were, we were rushing for baths and bed,
and the waiting slumbers of our pillows.
i went weeks without going to the grocery store,
{my record was 2 and a half. weeks guys. weeks.},
which always made dinner a creative and ingenious process,
and winder milk to my door an absolute NECESSITY.
i did laundry only when we ran out of swimming suits and towels,
and i cleaned my house on a "we can't live in this filth" basis.
which might i add, 
always made it feel cleaner than it ever has been before for about 3 hours after i finished cleaning it.
amazing.
i felt like we were a step behind the entire time, 
but in THE BEST of ways, if you can even imagine it.
i spent more time outdoors than in.
never have i ever craved the outdoor air like i did this year.
we went through sunscreen bottles like beetles on my tomato plants,
and my pumpkin plants went on strike.
{still only one growing out there folks. i could cry.}
as i've been driving my kids to school and orientations this week,
and when our "summer songs" that we will always remember 
as our favorites from this year come on the radio, 
i can almost feel the pool water going through my water wrinkled fingers,
with my feet shoved into the kid flippers that swam me around like i was in the middle of the deep blue sea, 
swimming across the afternoon shaded pool,
where i can feel my goggles leaving marks around my eyes, 
and my hair that's escaping the braid i tried to trap it in, 
insisting on dancing in the water on the surface at my shoulders.
and if i listen close enough i can almost hear my kids splashing on the stairs in the water beside me.
i don't have one single care in the world, knowing that chase is napping in his crib in grandma's basement,
and the only thing on our agenda for the rest of the day is pineapple popsicles and take out,
with the music blaring over the gazebo speakers.
and when i'm scooting my kids out the door in the mornings this week and the next to come,
waiting for the leaves to start turning colors,
and those summer songs come on the radio,
i'll remember those days in the pool,
with my feet shoved into the kiddie flippers,
and those summer songs will take me back there.
so that just for a minute i won't have a care in the entire world.
dreaming of pineapple popsicles and those summer songs on the radio.
despite waiting in line for carpool pick ups.
sing it with me,
"why ya gotta be sooooo ruuuuuude?"
{"i'm wearing these boobs tonight." -max}