Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Birthday (and also Halloween)

Remember when I was scared that Tommy was gonna be born on Halloween and I was legitimately anti-Halloween baby? That's the reason Katy (my sister) busted a gut laughing at me when she remembered that John really was born on Halloween. It's funny because it's so so painfully true.

But the truth is that (now) I don't care when my babies are born. I am simply thrilled that they are born. And that we celebrate birthdays with them.

But the other truth is that I have no idea how to celebrate a baby's birthday and a holiday at the same time, and right now I'm extra paranoid that John doesn't know how much I love him. So I'm making today primarily a John holiday and Halloween will be an afterthought. Except for the costumes, the parties, the cousins, the trick-or-treating, the.....

So this morning I was thrilled when John woke up before Tommy (not usually the case) and I got to snuggle him in my bed and tell him how much I love him and how glad I am that he's mine.

It's not terribly easy to tell, but his eyes are squinty because he's smiling through his milk. Not because he's stoned.
So we snuggled, I made pancakes, Tommy woke up just in time to help me sing happy birthday, which was awesome because I could take a picture while Tommy protected Little John from the flame. Which John hated.

He has opinions.

It's only 10:45, but so far I'm calling this day successful. And hoping and praying that I can somehow teach this boy in a way he will never never forget that I love him more than anything. Ever. Because that's the real truth.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Hired Help

Yesterday we woke up to a mild blizzard in our backyard. The snow was going sideways and up and down and Tommy couldn't be pulled away from the window to bother with such insignificant things as breakfast.

He stood at the window repeating a million times over "mom! mom! LOOOOK! It's winter out there. Come on mom, get out there!"

So we bundled all up and "got out there".

We had been outside for roughly .2 seconds and I was busy snapping pictures of the magic and wonder of my backyard covered in snow.....

when suddenly....

The Boy threw the first snowball of the year! Fortunately John and I recovered giving Tommy something to run for. And we all lived happily ever after.

Josh swears up and down that he never said anything to him, but I know I saw Dad pay Tommy in M&Ms after bedtime. However, because The Children are not invited to our eternal snowball war, it doesn't matter how fast the hit man is.

In other news: that night after Josh got home from work and I had put the kids in bed, he smuggled a small snowball into the house and pegged me with it right in the living room giggling like a school girl the entire time.

2012 score:
Josh: 5 (no matter how you count it) Amy: 3

Thursday, October 25, 2012

cramming: years of fun

Here's what's funny.

For Christmas last year I gave Josh a year's worth of monthly pre-planned pre-paid dates because we never EVER had time to do anything by ourselves and when we did it was always something responsible or productive and rarely just relaxing and fun.

We were having a blast using the dates and going out once a month. It was dang hard to plan time to go find an evening a month, but we did it. Sans children.

Until Josh got another job, and we moved, and we didn't have a place to live, and we found a new place to live and we moved again and we needed to buy a car (kids not invited on test drives thankyouverymuch) and now all of a sudden we have 3 dates to go on before the end of the month we've more than maxed out all of our local babysitters and there is this thing about  Halloween and we're not likely to go on even 1 much less all 3 of these dates before the end of the month. (I know I know...white girl problems.) But when we do they're gonna be AWEsome! In the meantime I'm planning next year's dates, any great ideas?

On that same note Josh is (for the first time in like 6 years) not going to school and working only one job. Which is awesome no matter what, but this job has him working 3 12-hour days. Which means the man is home FOUR DAYS EACH WEEK. And until the weather got all cold and snowy this week, that meant he was actively trying to cram all the fun he's missed out on while he was in school to what was left of "summer".

We went wave running. We were out on the lake for 4 hours and only saw 1 fishing boat and 1 kayak the whole time. We seriously had the WHOLE lake to ourselves - and it turns out it's a beautiful lake.

And we've spent nearly as much time up the canyon as we have at home.

So now in addition to pretending summer lasts through October, we have a lot of dating to do before the holidays and family parties set in. Lovely. I am unreasonably excited.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It's a Birthday Par-tee!

Because (a) my boys were kind enough to arrive in the same month and (b) they're both too young to remember their birthdays and (c) their mother is sortof lazy and not a party planner and stressed out beyond all reason this year, we combined the birthdays for one big party of awesomeness and joy!

I couldn't think of any good themes* so about a month ago I asked Tommy what he wanted to have at his birthday party hoping for some inspiration.

"A cake!" He whispered in his most excited whisper voice.
".....and a party!!!!!"

So the theme was "it is my kids' birthday. have some cake." Go ahead, pin away.
The cake came from Costco.

This party marked some important firsts though.

1. John's "first" bite of cake. Ha ha ha ha! That is SO far from true it makes me blush just thinking about writing it. On Tommy's birthday it was his real first bite of cake. We put a cupcake in front of him and watched him smell it for like 5 straight minutes before he licked it and finally took a bite. John had devoured half of the cake before we had even set it down. He knew it was a mile away and wasn't gonna take any chances we wouldn't let him finish it. But he cried when he got to the ice cream because it froze his gizzard. Poor gizzard. Poor boy. 

2. Tommy quit being a Baby and has become my Son. You can tell because we spent the afternoon playing guys with the new superheros (or villains? I don't really know...) he told me over and over again that "I KEEEEL you Batman. I'm a super-guy with a willy willy dangerous! Now you dead. Pew pew pew!" and then my daddy taught him that a "willy willy dangerous" is technically called a super-duper-laser-blammer and the whole game changed. "I'm gonna super-duper-willy-willy-dangerous-blammer-weapon-laser-super-duper you mom!" he says in his most evil voice which naturally requires a furrowed brow. I don't know if there are words for how much I love this man-child of mine. Or how glad I am that he like laser-blammers more than kitchen toys and dress-ups.
In other news, the reign of the Boy Relatives Who Give Annoying Talking Hero-Guys As Gifts (BRWGATHAG pronounced burg-a-thag) has begun. It's been nearly a week and we have all started saying "The Bat Signal! We're out of time." and "crime never sleeps" in our sleep. Thank you Hunter Boys.

Tommy also wanted balloons. So I blew some up. Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head. He (and others) went a little nutso.

 We sang Happy Birthday to Tommy, and he even blew out all his candles (with great effort!)

Tommy's big present from us was this trike we got for $8 at D.I. He LOVES it and every time anybody mentions going outside he runs for the garage and demands we "ridea MY new bike!" The back container thing dumps and he fills it with apples from the backyard, and sidewalk chalk, and sippie cups, and small children and......

John's "big" present from us was one of these things. He likes turning it upsidedown and dumping it. He doesn't like anything else about it though. Tommy however likes to snatch it from Little John and play with I guess in terms of creating fights over toys it was wildly successful.

Stella came clear from Salt Lake for the party and I may or may not have cried when I watched these two hug goodbye. You can't tell here, but they really do love each other. Plus I could sit and talk with Ash until the end of time and still not be caught up with her. So they are lucky they get along so well.

As usual we are overwhelmed by how loved our kids are. We think they're adorable and lovely and wonderful, but we certainly don't expect everyone to love them that much. But it sure seems like they do. These boys have 3 lovely sets of grandparents, roughly a million cousins aunts & uncles, and dear friends who may as well be family who are always supportive, kind, loving and extraordinarily generous.

We are certainly happy to celebrate the two little cuties.

[insert heart melting adorable picture of the two brothers hugging with giant smiles on their faces in front of some festive party decorations here]

Or maybe this will do.

*I sortof thought a "we survived" theme would be awesome because it is probably a miracle that any of us survived the first year of John's life and in fact we all survived. But a real theme sounded like a lot of work....and us survivors? We're tired.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Clean Kitchen

Going to bed with a clean* kitchen gives me an unreasonable sense of satisfaction in life.

I don't craft or sing or dance, but I do know where all the pots and pans and silverware belong. So.....

PS check out the kitchen in our new place, not bad eh? Maybe someday I'll get my act together enough to take you on a photo tour, but let's be honest, that's not likely to happen soon. But I do know where my dishes go!

*My new definition of clean excludes spare birthday balloons - because that is a battle I may never win.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Girls Night

One of my favorite things about living in Foxboro was being surrounded by people my age and in the same stage of life. Because we had so much in common I have friends there who I love dearly and to whom my children likely owe their lives.

So a girl's night was all about crafts that we all thought were adorable, or doing some baby-related activity. And there was never a gathering in which the conversation did not eventually evolve to pregnancy and birth stories.

But this week my mom invited me to HER girls' night. She had an extra ticket to hear Louis Lowry speak and get some books signed. I secretly think she invited me knowing that I had no books to sign and would take her extras. Not one to turn down awesome opportunities like that, I gladly took her up on the offer. I jumped in the minivan with her friends and buckled in for a lovely evening.

The conversation revolved around hospitals - but not giving birth. What? People go to hospitals for things other than birth? Wha?!?! "Sister So-and-so just broke both of her hips it's almost impossible to recover from that!" and "What about Brother Jones, he just got out of the hospital again for <insert common old person ailment here>" which quickly switched over to visiting teaching. Did you know that even grown ups don't always love visiting teaching? The messages? The companions? The guilt? The reporting? It will likely always be hard. Who knew?! 

The good news is that I picked the coolest old ladies (which I call them with respect and love) I know to break me in to hanging out with people who are not EXACTLY my age.

Sister Hamilton, Sister Olsen, Gramma Fugal, a crazy young person who literally can't keep her mouth shut

Not to mention a sweet event. I mean really, is there a person alive who didn't read at least one of Louis Lowry's books (the only books I know that EVERYBODY has read but are not required reading) and much more likely many of them. Hearing her speak made me love her (and her books) even more, and having her sign a copy of The Giver for my boys is something they'll likely never appreciate because in a world where paper doesn't matter an autographed book is either extraordinarily valuable (but their mean mom will never let them sell it) or worthless.

Either way, the company was delightful, the seats were awesome (thank you library friends!) the speaker was enlightening and thought-provoking (do you think that technology broke child imaginations?), and the party favor will always be my first "I got the autograph" book.

I hate to say it, but this girls' night made me temporarily forget that I miss my friends so bad it hurts.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

You won't believe me....

But before this month is over (barely) my baby will be 1.

As in...years old.


To celebrate I let him spend the afternoon eating grass in his pajamas.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Sunday was our first day in the new ward.

To say we were welcomed with open arms would be an understatement. Our church is just around the corner, and on our walk there we met a neighbor and 3 of her 8 kids. The older kids were already there, she only had the younger ones with her. Before we made it into the chapel 2 or 3 more people introduced themselves and welcomed us to the ward. After finding a pew we ran into our neighbors who told us how glad they were to see us at church. Yet another person came up to introduce herself and already knew who we were. I've already forgotten most of their names, but not their faces and certainly not their kindness.

The only name I'm positive I know and will not forget is that of Maxwell. He's something of a celebrity from what I can tell, and we were sitting just 2 rows in front of him. The little boy in front of us was very excited to see him and "hi Maxwell"'d loudly until he was properly acknowledged. Someone across the chapel followed suit and the two drowned out the organist's prelude shouting their greetings. Later an adult walked by and waved and greeted many people as he passed - but stopped for an especially long time to say hi to Maxwell. Maxwell can't be more than 5 years old and is just about the cutest little boy I know (but nowhere near as cute as my own). It makes sense that the whole ward is in love with him, but it makes me giggle just a bit.

I wonder what it takes to get Maxwell to say "hi" back? This might be my new mission in life.

Farewell Redbox

Last week Josh finally did what I honestly thought he'd never do. He quit working for Redbox.

He started there when we were engaged because the job fell into his lap and he wanted us to have health insurance. He was one of 3 employees in Utah then and he covered all of the machines from Payson to Salt Lake, Tooele to Heber. He LOVED it. And they loved him. There was a lot of freedom, some awesome benefits and when he had to work late he'd take me with him - which was awesome.

The bigger Redbox got the less he loved it. They had more rules and less flexibility. He still liked it, but before long he knew everything there was to know about a Redbox and he was bored AND restricted. Deadly combination.

It was always a job "just to get through school" so when he finally graduated this spring I got excited about the reign of Redbox ending. Always always on call.

But then we had to wait for him to find a job.

So when he found a job I (like an idiot) thought that he'd quit is existing full-time job in favor of the new full-time position in the correct career that came with a significant pay increase. But when he told his old boss that he got a new job, all they discussed was a new schedule working around his new job hours. So Josh worked 2 full-time jobs. (duh. What else would he do?)

I tease him a lot, but the truth is: that man is hard-working. And although I often say I'd rather have him home I can certainly appreciate the hard work he was putting in at both places.

After moving to Utah County though he was finished. He has been doing way too many way too long days and he was through, so he finally gave them a quit date and he stuck to it.

He handed over the car, the computer and the freebies and gladly exchanged it for life at home again!

It has all miraculously worked out - turns out moving is expensive and both incomes were greatly appreciated for that month or two. And now that we're here he's busy helping with the house and the moving and everything that comes with it and he hasn't even noticed that he sometimes has a day off.

So, while we both loved him working for Redbox, we are thrilled to finally say farewell. For real.

When we're old and gray we'll sit on the front porch playing "remember when" and joke about The Redbox Years.
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