Boys Will Be Boys

During our stay at Long Beach, Wa, my mom and I were sitting in our beach chairs chatting while the kids played in the large sandbox outside the RV. Kai snuck up behind us and snagged my mom’s Diet Coke and ran off with it.

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It was mostly water by that time so we let him think we didn’t know that he had taken it and he carried it over to show the nearly three year old neighbor girl that was playing in the sand with him.

As I watched him guzzle his prize while he squatted down by his friend I noticed he would take a big gulp and then he would strain as if he was trying to fill his diaper. I thought this was weird behavior for him as I continued to watch him for a few minutes.

Finally after a couple of minutes he erupted with the enormous belch he had been trying for.

He turned to the little girl and grinned from ear to ear.

She gave him a disgusted little snort and turned her body away from him as he let out a little chuckle.

I can only imagine the tricks he will come up with to charm the girls when he is a teenager!

An Impulsive Late Night Excursion

My mom walked with me to pick up my laundry in the laundry room one night at midnight while the kids and I were staying in Long Beach, WA with my parents. It was cold and very foggy as we walked back to the RV and we could hear the waves crashing just over the sand dunes. They sounded closer than we had heard them before.

“Those sound awfully big”, mom said.

“Wouldn’t it be neat to see?” I asked.

We looked at each other and quickly walked the rest of the way to the RV, dropped off my basket, grabbed our jackets and flashlights and headed towards the sandy trail leading to the beach.

We only saw a small circle of light from our flashlights before the light was swallowed up in the swirling fog and mist. We nervously laughed about whether there could be wild animals hiding in the tall grass that we were slowly making our way through.

As we came off the trail onto the beach I slowed down to a crawl as I listened to the deafening sound of the waves that were clearly closer to the trailhead than I had seen them before. Mom was much braver than me and grabbed my arm and pulled me out towards the sound.

“C’mon! We came all the way here, we might as well get close enough to see them.”

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I hesitantly followed as we made our way to the spot where the soft dry sand turned into hard wet sand. We could barely hear each other over the roar. I don’t think anyone was on the beach with us, but there was no moon so I can’t be sure. We aimed our lights in the same direction to get a little more light and inched our feet forward until we came to the foamy white line that marked high tide. The waves rolled in only a couple of feet beyond that.

I have a fear of being swept away into the ocean so I was more than a little jumpy and mom kept teasing me and pushing me to get a little closer.

Then mom suggested we turn off our lights and let our eyes adjust to the darkness. We lasted about thirty seconds and then I squealed and turned on my light as I could see just enough from the starlight to see the tips of the white waves rolling towards us. We laughed as we saw that the water line was about a foot closer to us than it had been.

We turned our lights off and on many times over next half hour and laughed, and shrieked, and shivered.

As we turned to go I mentioned that I sure hoped we could find our way back to the trail.

Mom laughingly stated the obvious that we could just follow our footsteps back.

I nervously giggled a couple of minutes later as I realized the footsteps we were following were too big to be either of ours and we quickened our step as we veered our path to the smaller set of footprints to the left.

I don’t have a picture or a video of that night, but the chill in the air, the darkness of the sky, the small beam of light in the fog, the deafening roar of the ocean, and the laughter and fear I shared with my mom is burned in my memory.

We went to bed very tired and cold early that morning, but I am pretty sure that, like me, mom fell asleep with a smile on her face.

(photo courtesy of Sor)

Ready For Round Two

We have been home for four days and I am ready to head back for another week of this:

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and this:

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and this: (this is only one of three awesome kites we have!)

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And I am sure there will be more messages for Brett:

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And more lantern lit goodnight self portrait pictures with the girls as we settle into our 8×8 vinyl lair.

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Next time I will take the Nikon camera, but I was rather pleased with the quality of photos I was able to get on my iphone! (And this is with no editing. I am feeling too lazy to Photoshop tonight.)

Maybe a few more days of peaceful ocean sounds and late night games of Farkle with mom, dad, and the kids will help return my desire to blog. I have hardly blogged, journaled, or so much as written a shopping list for weeks now and I need some inspiration!

Take A Look At Us Now

I found a folder full of letters that Brett and I wrote each other while we were dating, when we were engaged, and when we were newlyweds separated by business trips. Oh, the fun we used to have! Our gushy words would probably make anyone else nauseous, but it made me have butterflies all over again.

We’ve gone from living in a beautiful and exciting city we love…to living in suburbia, where we said we wouldn’t be caught dead.

Late night walks in the rain to get hot chocolate… to late night drives to the store for diapers and children’s Tylenol.

Late night talks in the dark while we lay cuddling in bed…to exhausting late nights taking turns putting kids back to bed.

Dinner at a fancy restaurant, on a Tuesday night, for no reason at all…to eating McDonald’s drive-through in the parking lot because it is too much hassle to haul the family inside.

Fun vacations for two to New York, Las Vegas, and Orlando…to 16 hour road trips in a van with bored and tired children.

Seeing movies in a THEATRE (remember those?) on a regular basis…to having four kids sprawled across us on the couches at home while we watch Smurfs and Scooby-Doo.

Cedar plank salmon, crab legs, and New York cheesecake…to macaroni and cheese with hotdogs, and popsicles.

Quiet…to never quiet.

Two…to six.

As much fun as we had…I wouldn’t go back for a second. This is what is all about. Thank you for companionship, love, laughter, fun, growth, and our babies.

Happy Father’s Day!

To My Dad

You taught me about the world.

You taught me how to trust.

You taught me the Gospel.

You taught me that my dad could also be my friend.

You taught me how to comfort…

and cherish my babies.

I love you Dad! Thank you for being my teacher, father, and friend.

Toilet Paper Tube Dolls

A few weeks ago, after listening to what felt like hours of complaints of boredom, we pulled out the craft bin and the kids and I came up with these cute toilet paper tube dolls.

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We used toilet paper tubes, sharpies, scissors, a hole puncher, yarn, hot glue gun, fabric scraps and ribbon.

Lincoln made an alien by adding many plastic googly eyes, pipe cleaner arms and legs, and pom poms. Unfortunately, his little alien friend did not survive the rough play of a six year old boy long enough for me to get a picture of it.

Next time we will try making cars out of the tubes.

The Messenger

It was a combination of little and big things that culminated to the end of a day that found me crying on the floor of my locked bathroom.

Little things like hair that wouldn’t cooperate and ended up in a messy ponytail all day, kids bickering, annoying allergies, guilt from $30 spent at a drive through because I felt too worn out to pull together a good dinner.

Bigger things, like a headache from a nap I never should have taken, another rainy and dreary May day, the never ending messes that need cleaned up, my daughter being ten minutes late to kindergarten roundup because I didn’t get organized in time.

The sassy words that my daughter said to me in front of one of the kid’s teachers and a friend were the climax of my bad day. They were words that stung and embarrassed me, and made me feel guilty and made me doubt my parenting. All the way to the car I prepared my lecture about respect and honoring our parents, but just as I started delivering it I burst into tears. This caused her to burst into tears for making me cry, which caused me to feel guilty and cry harder.

Four hours, and many little things later I locked myself in the bathroom and cried. And cried. And finally prayed for some help to get control of myself.

I finally pulled myself together, somewhat, and walked out into my bedroom and to the pile of clean laundry on my bed that needed folded and put away. (Which, thanks to a sweet husband, meant we HAD clean clothes to wear tomorrow.)

I sat on the bed and started to fold.

“Can I help you?” A sweet little voice said.

I turned to see my six year old son Lincoln walking through my bedroom door. His hair was a little disheveled and his eyes looked tired.

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“Sure!” I squeaked, as the tears started again and he hopped up on the other side of the bed and started folding.

We folded in silence for a few minutes while I tried to discreetly wipe away those darn tears that wouldn’t stop.

“When I am done folding with you I will help you put it all away. I could tell you were sad when you tucked me in and I wanted to help you.”

(more silent tears)

After we finished putting away the laundry I told him he could sleep in my bed until Brett and I went to bed. I curled up with him to cuddle for a bit before heading downstairs.

We laid under the covers and snuggled and chatted.

Then Lincoln asked, “Are you wearing slippers?”

“Just slipper socks, why?”

“I just wondered what you were wearing on your feet because I thought I would rub them and I want to make sure you can feel it.”

He then hopped down to my feet and pulled off my socks and rubbed my feet for fifteen minutes while we giggled and chatted.

When I finally left him so he could sleep my heart felt much lighter than it had all day.

Lincoln almost always falls asleep within a couple of minutes of laying down. Heavenly Father gave me a tender mercy by helping him stay awake for a good twenty minutes while I had my pity party in the locked bathroom.

I am always grateful for these reminders to count my blessings, and I am amazed how many times they are delivered by children, who I have decided are some of God’s best messengers.

Some Birthday Funnies

— Earlier today after running errands Lincoln asked if we could go to the Dollar Store. I told him no, we had to go home and have some quiet time. I hear this terrible “life is so unfair!” groan from the backseat.

“But Moooooooom, it is your BIRTHDAY. We are supposed to do fun stuff when it is your birthday!”

Exactly. Which is why I did not take four kids to the dollar store and we went home and had quiet time.

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— Luca gave me a darling handmade card that she made for me last night. Inside it said:

“At least you’re not turning 100 because you would be very old! Since your not turning 100 you might as well let the kids pick where to eat and let us not go to school.

p.s. It took me a while to make this card so you better like it!” (I can so hear her tone of voice as she wrote that.)

— While waiting in the car in front of the pizza parlor I hear a pounding on my window and I look out to see Luca’s red angry face.

“Dad didn’t get the breadsticks I like. This is supposed to a birthday dinner and I don’t even like the parmesan kind!”

I had to stop and process that for a minute. I’m pretty sure we were there to pick up my birthday dinner. The breadsticks were my request!

— As I was driving Luca to piano lessons today she asked me what I wanted for my birthday. In typical mom fashion I told that when we got home I wanted the kids to clean the house for me without fighting. These were their responses:

Luca: Oh. I thought you would want a Webkinz.

Lincoln: You can’t have whatever you want just because it is your birthday, ya know.

Anna: (with much enthusiasm) Okay! When we get home I am going to go right in and clean the house!

I think Anna might get ice cream for breakfast after the other kids go to school in the morning.

— For my birthday Kai wrestled with me on the living room floor. I had to laugh as he growled and charged my head as I lay helpless on the floor. I didn’t laugh, however, as he grabbed hair from each side of my head and pulled with all of his might. I could hear popping as the hair detached from my scalp. I could feel the stinging and the burn as he filled his chubby little hands with L’Oreal Ash Blonde colored curls.

The good news. A lot of what he grabbed was pinned back in a barrette, so what didn’t come out of my head broke off at the barrette instead.

Kai’s gift to me: A new “signature Kai” layered hairdo.

(photo courtesy of Jessica N. Diamond)

Who Needs A Doctor? My Kids Will Do.

A few weeks ago Luca received the news that a teacher at school that she adores was diagnosed with breast cancer. The school has been keeping the students and parents updated on her recovery progress and they have started selling bracelets and t-shirts to raise money for her.

This has brought up many questions at our house about cancer. I sat down with the kids and explained as best I could what cancer is and some of the different types of cancer people can get. I have an aunt that passed away from cancer when I was a child and they have had a lot of questions about her and her family.

Today we were at Costco eating dinner and Luca was trying to tell me something.

“What?” I asked.

“I like Taylor’s nseed umph graunge.”

“You like Taylor’s inside garage?”

“NOOOO, I like Taylor’s grnph grouse.”

“You like Taylor’s green grass?”

“NO Mom!! I like this cheese pizza!” (Not even close to what I thought she was trying to say.)

“Oh.”

“Mom, I think you need one of those things in your ear.”

Then a worried look passed over her face.

“Or maybe you have ear cancer!”

I assured her that I do not have ear cancer, I just wasn’t hearing her clearly over the noise around us.

Later on in the store I had to go back yet again to get something I had forgotten.

Lincoln looked at me strangely and said, “Mom, do you have brain cancer or something?”

I think in our support and talks about Luca’s teacher and cancer my kids have become a bit obsessed with the topic! I think another, more light-hearted, talk is in order.