Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Night Before..

James is on call. We'll see him tomorrow sometime. But in the meantime, I'm the mom. I'm the protector and the friend. I'm the only one they've got. And tonight, I was kindof glad.

Being the day before school, I told them that we could have a special sleepover in my bed. They jumped right in. We were in bed by 8:00 P.M. But our eyes did not close. We lay there. Me in the middle. William on my right and Jake on my left. We talked.
First of all, William pleaded with Jake not to wear all blue clothes. "Someone might make fun of you." Jake didn't seem to mind. He wants to match. So William went to plan B. "Jake please, oh please, wear either a yellow or a white shirt. It is going to be sooo hot tomorrow. Like 50 degrees. Right, mom?" He continued, "Jake you just can't wear a dark shirt. The sun doesn't deflect upon it." You get what he means.
Then we talked about what they were each scared of. It was so typical of their little personalities.
Jake is going to Kindergarten. He is jumping off into the sunlight on his own and when he was asked what he is scared of most, he replies, "NOTHING." Well then, what are you excited for? "EVERYTHING."
Then it is William's turn. His voice started shaking. "I'm scared I am going to get in trouble and have to go to the principal's office." What else are you scared of? "I'm scared I won't have any friends."
Then it happened. It was Jake's turn to give his brotherly advice.
"William, don't you remember dad's priesthood blessing he gave you?"
Jake remembered that his dad had blessed William to make new friends this year. Jake remembered this from yesterday. I was shocked. I didn't even know Jake was listening. Shows you what I know. William no longer needed to be worried over that one. Check.
Than it was time for William to give one last piece of advice to his younger brother.
We talked about what they each wanted in their first day of school lunch. Jake chose Chocolate Chip Muffins. William chose a PB sandwich. And than followed with this, "But Jake, chocolate chips are NOT healthy. That is not a good first day of school choice."
Jake wasn't persuaded. He will, in fact, be getting Chocolate Chip muffins for his main course tomorrow in his little blue and black insulated lunch carrier.

The conversation mainly took place around me. The boys talked over my lifeless body between them. I just listened in wonder. Happy with life. As they stopped talking, we all began singing our favorite primary songs. And as we were singing, dad called us to tell us good luck tomorrow.
A perfect ending to a perfect night.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Name the Movie...

This about sums up my day today. How bout yours?

Monday, August 23, 2010


James' sister lives in Washington D.C. Oh, how we love our families! An EXCELLENT weekend. A bit too short. But fun nonetheless.

Stacy got us a hotel with a pool. Sweet! I was in heaven. I made James, and ONLY James swim with the kids. I told him that I have been doing it all summer without him, so he could handle it for 45 minutes without me. It was amazing. I sat on a lounge chair and smiled. Perfect!

We love D.C. It had a Noodles and Company. We went twice. For dinner both nights we were there. We did some serious damage to that Mac and Cheese. We showed each bowl who was boss.
This is Stacy with her boyfriend, or friend who is a boy, we are not exactly sure, but he was awesome whatever he is. He even drove the mini-van around D.C. all night and showed us the sights. William said, "this is the best tour of Washington D.C I have ever had." (not to hurt the boyfriend or the friend who is a boy's feelings, but it was Williams only tour of D.C.) But is was EXCELLENT!

EVERYBODY wants a piece of Aunt Stacy. It made it easy for James and I to get a piece of each other. ha ha ha.

Let's not forget the 14 hours of driving in three days. We loved every minute of it. James just about lost it on the drive home, but we all managed.

Air and Space Museum

William deep in thought at something important. I'm not quite sure what it was. I wasn't as interested as he was. That's how it is. I am pretty sure he is smarter than I am.

Paper airplane contest at Air and Space.

The castle. Mooch is so protective of Nomers. I love it.

$3 ice cream bars. That makes a total of $9. It is OBVIOUS that Aunt Stacy was with us. Thier parents would have NEVER. We might have let them share 1. Oh, and Williams hand is, well, where it always is.

typical Aunt Stacy. We miss her already.

She sent us off with IHOP. James was in heaven.
Goodbye D.C. Until next time. We love you Aunt Stacy!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

"Why can't I be rich?"

This is what I asked the Gymboree sales clerk today. I really, really wanted this adorable knit dress that was on sale. Of course, they didn't have my adorable daughters size. She took me around the store and showed me all the ones that were not on sale, but of course, they had her size. I watched her hold up this darling knit dress, with the darling matching leggings and I responded, "Oh yeah, right. My husband would pee his pants. Why can't I be rich?"
And as soon as these words left my mouth, I started laughing hysterically inside of myself.
For you see, this is the exact same question my children ask me at least three times a week.

And I always answer them the same.

We are indeed, the richest people in the world.

because you see, we have each other. And that is all we need.

And my children believe me. And I wondered why today, I didn't believe myself.

and then I look at all of these pictures, and I ask myself,
"how could I ever possibly believe for one second that I am not rich?
And I think cowardly,
'Shame on Me."

besides, maybe if my mom reads this post she will go out and buy me the dress. maybe.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Second Annual Ford Kids Bake Sale

William wondered if we would do better than we did last year?
I wondered how we would know. Who even remembers how many blessed cookies/ cans of soda we sold last year.
Oh...William does. $8.
How does he remember those things?

Thanks to some seriously awesome neighbors and friends who drove near and far...we more than doubled our last year earnings.
Can you believe it?
Oh...the blessing of wonderful friends and neighbors.
If we can only be so lucky in Denver.
This year was much, much, much, much hotter.
We were all sweating and we really got off to a slow start.
We started eating our inventory.
William proved to be the best businessman.
Jake and Naomi were exellent hand wavers.
We got a few honks and a few waves.
I told the kids that those people were telling them they were doing a good job.
All of the sudden, it was almost more fun to get a honk than a purchase.
Well, let's not get crazy. NOTHING was better than a purchase.

William held out the longest.
He stayed occupied telling people that "this delicious lemonade was made with real lemons"
(it was canned minute maid. it said made with real lemons on the can)
and that the bottled water was purified.
What a salesman!
What a day!

Jake and the Mitt

Jake tried REALLY hard for every ball. And most of the time, another kid beat him to it. This is Jake screaming out one of his teammates for being a ball hog.

and this is jake in frustration after screaming out the teammate. You can't hear him, but he would often let out a loud yell every time someone else got the ball.

wow. team excitement! way to go phillies!

Jake liked t-ball. Not love.
William didn't even play.
Jake did great.
We love the Mooch.
Have I ever told you that Jake gives the best hugs?
Well, he does.
And I got one after EVERY single game.
Lucky Girl.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Life I Chose

I sat there. Middle of the playroom floor. Across the room I spotted the day old remains of a bright, slimy yellow cheesestick. I glance at the couch. Four cubes of butter greased its' soft leather seats. I see the torn open Imperial Margarine box and realize my two year old invaded my fridge...again. I first roll myself slowly onto all fours. I cautiously crawl over to retrieve the yellow pice of cheese. Luckily, there was an old wet diaper sitting there too. The one my daughter took off and then proceeded to potty on the floor. Perfect. I rolled the cheese remnant into the soiled $.30 diaper and threw it in the opposite direction of the room. I then decided to actually stand up and retrieve the baby wipes. I notice that we are painfully low on such a precious commodity. Only about 30 left. The new ones I just ordered should be here in a few days. I figure if my daughter only has a stinky diaper every other day, we should be fine. So, very cautiously, I start wiping up the margarine from the couch. One, two, three baby wipes. I am starting to get a little nervous. I decide to alternate with paper towels. We are not quite as low in inventory on the Branwny's. As I use one hand as a resting place for the four muddled, disgruntled cubes of margarine, my other hand lovingly wipes down the cushions looking for any extra scraps of butter packaging. I stand once again. I glide toward the kitchen and eye the white, plastic garbage can. I let the margarine rest in peace.
I then proceed to retrieve the cheesy diaper and decide to let that also rest in the white plastic. I than return to the playroom. I sit. I musn't trust my children alone again.
I had escaped for a few minutes to lay in my bed with a freezing cold ice pack. This awful headache won't loosen it's grip on the left side of my head. The right side is fine. It is telling me that I can go on. The left side is trying to tear me down and make my brain explode. So instead of retreat up to my room once again, I pop another excedrin and pray for it effects. No dice.
James will be home at midnight.
I lay there thinking about throwing up. Knowing I am not lucky enough to be successful. So I just lay there.
I wonder again, Is this the life I chose? Of course I didn't choose the migraine, or the husband working late, or the daughter who is obsessed with smearing butter all over my house, but I guess, yes, this is indeed the life I CHOSE. And actually, I also get to choose how I handle it.
I abruptly take Naomi upstairs and send her to bed with a sippy of milk and a very short story. Success.
I take the boys in my room and turn on an episode of Clone Wars and threaten their life if they make a peep. It was so successful, we actually just watched the next Clone Wars.
For some reason, I really, actually feel fine, now. I mean, not perfect. But tell me who in this world feels absolutely perfect? So yes, this is the life I chose. And now I choose to go upstairs, crawl right in the middle of my two sleeping boys, and wait for their dad to come home to move them into their own beds. And I choose this.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I love the Mooch

William, Jake and Naomi have all been in the other room completely laughing their heads off. Apparently, there was this certain part of Cyber Chase ( a show on pbs kids) that was so hysterically funny, that William kept rewinding it on the DVR.
Jake just came in to see me. His pants were in his hands. His bum was naked. He was still laughing his head off.
"mom, I just saw the funniest thing in my whole life and I wet my pants."
And than THAT was so funny, that he kept laughing. and laughing. and laughing.

THE Swim Test

This Summer, my ultimate, absolute goal, was to immerse (and I mean, immerse) my kids in the sport of swimming. Knowing that they have never been exposed for a continuous time to a swimming pool, I decided that this was the year. The only public, affordable pool I could find is 25 minutes each way. Worth every dollar of gas.
For four weeks this Summer, we have spent 2-4 hours each day at the pool.
This particular pool, has a few very particular rules.
1. You CANNOT hang on, climb on, or hardly touch the handrail. We have heard the whistle blow numerous times in our direction as my 5 and 2 year old swing merrily from the silver, metal bar.
2. No boogie boards. Too big. William was devastated. Oh, well.
3. No throwing your children. I have had numerous whistle blows for breaking this insane rule. I mean, it's a pool. Aren't you supposed to throw your children? It's actually the only time when it is not only legal, but also an exhilarating experience for both parent and child.
4. Oh, and the BIGGEST, BADDEST rule that must NEVER be broken. You must NEVER, and I mean NEVER go down the slide until you pass the SWIM TEST!

All Summer, we haven't even actually thought about the swim test. not this year. I mean, we just aren't there yet.

Yesterday William told me he wanted to take the swim test. I didn't think he was serious. I said, "oh, honey, we'll do that next year. it is really hard."

"No, mom. I can do it."

Alright, this SWIM TEST is swimming the length of the pool, no stopping, no touching the bottom, freestyle, perfect swimming to the other side. I didn't even know William COULD swim.

He kept begging me and I just kept blowing him off. Finally, I just figured it would be a great experience. He would try it and see how hard it was and that would be that. I figured, well, if he wants to, what the heck?

We had to wait until safety break to take the test. The pool had to be completely clear of people.
I was a nervous wreck. I seriously felt like I wanted to throw up. Holy smokes, I thought it was hard when I was nervous about doing something brave, and now, I realize, it is ten times worse when it is the love of your life, your child.
Jake, Nomers and I went around to the other side of the pool to cheer William on. I watched him slide his orange googles into place and hold the side of the pool with his scraggly, 7 year old arms. I was sick.
He started swimming. What the heck. He's actually swimming. Freestyle and all. I was in shock. He kept swimming. And swimming. He is already halfway across the pool. By this point, I am screaming wildly for my little boy to pass the test. People around me, I am sure, think that I am taking this way too seriously. I scream louder and louder. Holy smokes! His little arm reached up and grabbed the wall. Tears came to my eyes.
He pulled all 50 pounds of him out of the pool. I wrapped my arms around his little body and sqeezed him as hard as I could. I kissed him all over! "You passed. You passed!"
He grinned from ear to ear! "You really think I passed?"
"Of course you passed. You swam the whole way. You didn't touch the ground once!"
We walked over to the official 16 year old swim instructor for the final say.
"I'm sorry sweetie, but I cannot pass you. It looks like your arms didn't come completely out of the water for the last little bit. You must have just been tired."
William was crushed. He held back his dissapointment and just squuezed my hand. I squeezed it back, and then turned to the innocent 16 year old, "are you joking me? What is this, some professional swim test?"
The 16 year old didn't answer and we just walked away.
I started ranting about how cheap and unfair it was. William caught me off guard.
"don't worry mom. I'll just try again tomorrow."

And tomorrow he did. And this time...he PASSED!
I was screaming just as loud. Just as proud. And William squeeled so loud, turned to me, and gave me the best five five in the history of the world!
They put the official "wristband" on his hand, wrote his name in the official, "you can go down the slide book" and the smiles were endless.
I love the public pool. The 25 minute away public pool. I love it very much.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Definition of Motherhood

To anyone who was wondering...
What is the actual, literal definition of motherhood?
I will tell you.

You lay in your bed wondering how you are going to make it through one more day.
You close your eyes. Trying to sleep.
You find yourself repeating positive affirmations in your mind trying to calm your anxious nerves.
You finally drift off to sleep.
Only to be awakened by that never-ending, unstoppable need to use the restroom.
You see in motherhood, every child you give birth to, actually doubles your nighttime restroom visits.
I am up to six.
On the way back from the bathroom, you decide to peek your head into your children's rooms making sure no one has kidnapped them.
And you find this picture.
Your mind immediately, without any hesitation depicts the scene that might have taken place.

After threatening your child's life if he comes out of his room one more time, you picture him going to his brothers bed begging to sleep with him.
The older, stubborn brothers usually refuses this request profusely.
The older boy must have felt bad when the younger one made those sad, puppy eyes and told him how scared he was to sleep alone.
The older boy relented.
The younger boy cuddled close to his stronger, older and braver brother.
Their mother happened to catch this moment on a trip to the potty.
Tomorrow, I just might make it.
And this, is motherhood.

Let's See...

In the last two days...

Someone told me that if I get to boss him around, than it is only fair for him to be able to boss me around

Size 7 toddler feet walked right through my swept pile of grossness and tracked that very grossness into the other room

Smushed chocolate donuts were found smeared in the carpeted stairs, the leather couch and the kitchen floor

I have been given numerous wedgies...and it is funny EVERY time

I was hit in the face

A pair of little hands grabbed the front of my swimsuit exposing parts of my body that have only been seen by my husband to a few sympathetic onlookers

I have been a horse
I have been a backpacker
a baseball catcher
and a cheerleader
all in the same day

I swore I would NEVER be a cheerleader.
Than I became a mother.

What a great couple of days.

The Cat

So, we have this GREAT neighbor. You know, one of those really, really, really nice people? Well, she is not only really nice to people, she is also REALLY nice to animals. Recently, she seems to be becoming "the cat lady." Rescuing cats from irresponsible owners, using her own money to buy cat supplies for other peoples cats, neutering these creatures, and paying a cat rescue lady to take them off her hands.
Last Friday night I get a call. "Jessie. This is Josh. (her husband) Joanna found another cat and we can't get a hold of her owner. We are leaving out of town in a couple hours..." You get the point. How could I possibly say no?
I don't know a darn thing about cats. They brought over a box, kitty litter and food. James actually wanted to keep her. After kicking the cat off of our bed 100 times the night before, I happily tracked down the rightful owner and dropped the little kitty off.
Then I washed all sheets.