Friday, November 28, 2014

Oh Thanksgiving

Quite a few weeks ago, Josh's office had them sign up for half day shifts on the holidays. A process I generally despise, but is a necessary evil. So Josh asked me which parts of the holidays I'd like him to work. Christmas morning or evening or eve? Thanksgiving day or Black Friday? New Years? Most of these were fairly easy to answer. But picking a 6 hour chunk out of the holidays to spend at work still bites.

He signed up for the necessary number of shifts and since he was one of only a few who were willing to sign up right away, he felt confident that he'd get his pick.

And then the schedules came out and Josh was working ALL DAY on ALL of the holidays AND the Eves. Know why? Because they fall on his regularly scheduled work days. Because nobody had signed up, they just assigned everybody their normal shifts and Josh (and all of the Wednesday/Thursday people got the very short end of the stick. He came home and told me and I said something that wasn't really G-rated and whined and cried about the injustice of it all. That once again we'd be celebrating without him.

Then I asked him if he could work his Josh-magic. He has this magic quality. It means that all he has to do is THINK about asking people for what he wants and they say "Oh hey, can I give that to you please? It would really help me out. And for that privilege I'd be glad to pay you." Then, like a seasoned pro, Josh thinks about it. And they up their bid. And he gets everything he ever wanted with an ice cream cone to go with it.
Not that I'm bitter....just that I'm observant.

Anyway, he went in to work and whined and now he's not working ON any actual holidays this year. He's working all the eves, and most of the afters, but none of the real days. So, obviously we're excited.

This year we went to the Reilley's for Thanksgiving, which was going to be all awesome and fun, and stress-free because Lori's arm is broken and she can't really do much and I don't think she dared ask anybody to help with something as monumental as Thanksgiving dinner. So we had a delicious meal prepared by Harmon's and it was fabulous.

We were especially excited because our year coincided with Misty & Ryan's year and most of the family was going to be there. We were bummed we wouldn't get to see Caleb because he's in Missouri being all Marine-y. So imagine my surprise when I was sitting on the sofa and saw his marine self walking up the front lawn. I screamed (like a girl) and ran out to give him a hug and then felt like an idiot because I was the wrong person to be all stoked and excited and thrilled and mind-blown by his arrival. We hadn't seen Lori yet, and she was back getting ready. Frank was out with the boys and Josh in the kitchen and I was screaming like an idiot because CALEB WAS HOME!!!  He made a huge effort to make sure it was a surprise, (including a 4 hour walk to the airport) and it was probably the best Thanksgiving surprise ever. But I'm afraid his grand arrival was wasted on me adn should've been for someone closer to him. But really, the image of Caleb walking up with his marine haircut and his big old duffle bag slung over his back (is that really what it's called?) was just kindof surreal.

We had a great time at dinner and playing some games and looking through black Friday ads. Which is how we found a replacement computer for ours that just bit the dust. Which is why Josh went to Office Depot at 6pm on Thanksgiving. He was miraculously successful, everybody napped, everybody played, everybody won. The kids did that annoying kid thing where 2 hours after the biggest meal of anybody's life they were both hungry again. So we had sandwiches for dinner and everybody slept hard. Easily the best kind of holiday we have around here.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Snowball Score

I hardly want to tell this story because now it's just embarrassing.

I had been planning the trip up the canyon for weeks. And in my early e-mails to Aundrea I even mentioned specifically how I would use this trip to even the score for the epic first snowball of the season battle.

I thought about it all morning.

I thought about if I should get the kids out of the car first so I could use them as sheilds, or if I should play offensive and just go for the kill as soon as the car slowed to an almost stop. I was glad he was driving because obviously that would give me the advantage. And as we drove up the canyon I made sure to discuss the beautiful snow just the right amount. Cooly and nonchallantly so he wouldn't know I was avoiding it, but also wouldn't have his attention drawn to it so much that he remembered. Because clearly I was the only one who could remember something like this. 

So you see, this is a cautionary tale of pride.

Because sometime after entering the parking lot and Josh stopping the car I totally forgot about the snow, the snowballs, the contest, the strategy, the planning and all of the other things.

And that's why I was still sitting the car, like a sucker, seat belted and everything when he pegged me with the first snowball of the year.

But the worst part is, when I got him back (within 2 minutes, because of my exceptional speed and excessive skill) John was standing right under him and the breakaway snow from my perfectly formed ball showered John all the way down and he cried and now he hates me.

I think Josh won this year. Again. I wish I could post the score (no I don't) but I can't seem to find last year's post, which I probably skipped, because now this is just plain embarrassing.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

On Snowballs & Swimming

Last week we spent a day with my dear friend Aundrea at her time share up the canyon. It was a welcome break from Josh's schedule conflicting with mine and our family never ever ever being together.

It was a beautifully snowy day and we could hardly wait to get there and start the fun.

Tommy and John went last year so that Aundrea could babysit them and they remembered swimming, and m&m's with movies. Which perfectly sums up the beauty of Aundrea, except the swimming. She hates swimming.

First order of business when we got there was to go swimming. Obviously. Because what else do you do in the snow? Oh wait, did I not mention? Snowbird's pool is outside.

As soon as they discovered that the snow melted when they threw it in the pool, and that the grownups giggled (aka: laughed out loud. hysterically. head thrown back.) with every snowball they threw, there was no other game to play at the pool. We all swam until our fingers were at least 30 minutes past pruney then shivered the whole way back to the room.

Obviously the only thing to do when we got there was snuggle up with a blanket, hot popcorn and really great Disney movie(s). (Hello Disney sing-a-long. Nice to meet you!)

The whole day was fantastic. Just what we needed to get away.

And then they screamed and cried and whined and kicked and whined and whimpered the whole drive home. Because that's how we end fabulous moments around here. With open weeping.

Sunday, November 16, 2014


Last night we went to Grandma Huggie's 90th birthday party.


Grandma Huggie (Huggy? I still have no idea how we spell that...) is my mom's dear friend who everybody naturally loves. She is an extraordinary woman full of generosity and kindness and so much joy. I just love her and it was great to be invited to celebrate with her.

She was born in 1924 and so the party was (beautifully) 20's themed. There was some really awesome parked on the front lawn at the church, and balloons, and photos and family history and what Grandma called "food from the 20's bread & jam". (But not just any bread - it was delicious.) And the table decorations had boas and man-hats and fun party things. There was a small band playing music that had even me wanting to dance. It was a lovely event.

And then I sat down at the table to chat with my family (and stuff my face will delicious food) and I realized....if I threw a similar party when I turned 90, it would be an 80's party.

Suddenly the magic was over.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Month with all the Birthdays

The boys have always shared a birthday party because their mother is party-lazy and also tired. Also they've never had a friend party. Because they've never had friends independent of my friends' kids. But then we moved into The Neighborhood of Wonder and Joy and our kids had more friends in 5 minutes than I've had in all of my adult life. But they also have grandparents and cousins and aunts and uncles who love them. So obviously we had to have a friend party AND a family party.

But neither of those days could fall on their actual birthdays - because although it happened the first time, the world does not actually stop on their birthdays every year.

That means 2 birthday parties and 2 actual birthdays. 4 days of attempted celebration. For this wonder mom that feels like a lot.

But with a solid plan of attack and a bunkbed surprise I was sure they'd be satisfied.

On the 8th the bunkbeds came. They were way more excited than they looked.

On the 9th I realized that I had no clue what to do for Tommy's actual birthday. So I asked him what he wanted for breakfast and it was cereal. I have never loved him more than I did in that moment. I asked him what he wanted for dinner and he took 2 hours to tell me he didn't want anything and I waited in the Wendy's drive thru line at 7pm for at least 20 minutes to wait for nuggets. Birthday dinner fail.

On the 10th Josh built the bunkbeds, Tommy jumped up and down on his mattress on the floor and shouted "holy smokes mom! we can everybody have THEIR OWN BED." Though I was glad he was excited, there was a tiny bit of shame for making them share a bed/floor for the last little while.

That weekend I was busy with Togetherness stuff. 

On the 13th we had a birthday party with the family. Cousins, aunts, uncles, grandmas. Costco cake. It was awesome. 

On the 23rd we had a friend birthday party. And wow. I was ill equipped for that. I asked Tommy & John more than a month ago what kind of party they wanted. Tommy wanted Wolverine and John wanted Batman. So I panicked and tried to think of EASY party ideas. Not pinterest ideas because that was likely to be more crafty than I have in me. 

When I found super hero masks that the kids could decorate I was thrilled. Then I thought I'd make capes out of t-shirts and let them decorate those too. Which was cool - except t-shirts are expensive! So I stressed. 

When I realized I could shop at DI for a bunch of cheap shirts, all my problems were solved and I got all cocky about how easy this party would be. 

But then I had a dozen small children in my backyard (holy beautiful fall! It's been so warm and beautiful outside I couldn't keep them inside.) and I realized (again) what a pain birthdays are. So we did all the birthday party stuff and had a great time, and I was feeling really great about it and looked at my watch and still had 30 minutes to fill. 

Though I wish they would, only 2 or 3 of the kids grasped the concept of playing night games and everybody was bored well before time to be bored. 

No matter, the kids thought it was a fun party, and nobody was irreparably damaged, but I did learn that for me a) friend birthday parties aren't that fun and b) they shouldn't be longer than 90 minutes. 



I am not a cake decorator....

kids opening presents sporting their awesome masks

Josh helped Little John decorate his. It stands for Super Little John - but don't tell John the L is on there....

Finally on the 31st it was Little John's birthday and I was thrilled to be done with birthdays for another year. We let him choose breakfast (pancakes) and had a great time celebrating.

So with 5 solid days of birthday celebrations just for the boys, I am ready to slim down the celebrations for next year. And none of that is even counting the OTHER birthdays around here in October. Aunt Cami and their friends Bronson & Cody also had birthdays (or at least parties) this month and I'm not sure they'll ever be used to just regular old non-birthday days anymore. 

My favorite part of this year is that both boys think that Halloween is the entire month of October. So when asked for their birthdays you'll get the following responses:
Little John: mine bowff-day on hallo-weeeen the last one!
Tommy: October, Halloween, ninth. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Facebook vs. The Real Life

A good friend of mine - the kind who knows it isn't always sunshine and rainbows asked me how I was doing a few weeks ago. She said "I mean, I know what's up on facebook - but what's really up?" and I said something stupid about how facebook is real life - because I never lie on facebook. Ever.

Then this morning, in the quiet of the morning Tommy sweetly came into my room and asked if I would please build a marble run with him. Of course I would, and we did. I was impressed with his problem solving and precision. I enjoyed the moment and we ran and ran and ran all the marbles through all the pieces. And my heart took a picture. and so did my camera. And I posted it on facebook because the moment was lovely.

Then Little John woke up and the moment continued to be lovely. They played together and Tommy patiently showed him some of the tricks we learned and they said adorable things.

About 30 seconds after posting about my fabulously successful Saturday morning, John asked a question which Tommy deemed stupid and they both destroyed the marble run and screamed like banshees and threw things and yelled at each other and whined and cried for the next 2 hours. I made them clean up their toys and they whined and whined and whined. And after the 10 millionth time I was patient, I told them they had exactly 5 minutes to put away anything they cared about because when I got down there everything else was going int he DI box. I came down and took away Tommy's backpack, 2 pair of shoes, about a million toys, army guys, miscellaneous game pieces and various other "treasures" while my children totally lost it. I gathered it all up and stuck it in the garage explaining that if they care about their stuff they have to take care of it.

Later I let Tommy do chores to get his shoes and backpack out of the box.

So you see, the truth is on facebook - it's just that the truth doesn't last very long around here.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Dear John: a subtle hint

Dear John,

I expect that 20 years from now you'll be making plans for my 50th birthday (which is in just 6 months! Plan away little one!!) so I thought I'd give you a hint. I want you and Logan to re-create this picture this year. That's all. And maybe blow it up so it's life-sized and I can display it at the epic birthday party you'll be throwing for me. The one where we'll all sit around eating Costco cake and telling stories about your awesomeness. 

You're welcome for this excellent birthday gift hint. Tell your dad I'm still waiting for a piano bench.

Your ever low maintenance Mom

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

How old ARE those guys anyway?

On our first Sunday in our new ward I forgot how old my kid was. I insisted that he was already 3, and when they tried to tell me that meant he was a sunbeam I was totally baffled, because he's NOT. And correlation makes sure that Sunbeams begins for all the babies in all the lands at the same(ish) age and I couldn't figure out why our last ward was so confused and held him back in nursey. At the same time I couldn't figure out why our new ward advanced kids to nursery before they were old enough. At the same time I was excited for Little John to be a real live sunBEAM!

I suppose that says something about my insistence that I am NEVER wrong, or my parenting, or my lack of involvement, ability to keep time, or retain important information, or my extreme nerves in meeting the people who will be caring for my child, or my general brainlessness, or something.

When Josh corrected me and saved me from having to back to the nursery to admit my foolishness and beg forgiveness for not knowing my own child's age I was thankful. But then I picked up Little John and had to hang my head in shame anyway. Ya win some, ya lose some.

Anyhow, all of that is water under bridge now because Little John (or "I NOT A BABY!" as he prefers to be called) is 3 now. For real.

Hard to believe isn't it? 3 years.

And even harder to believe that he is the younger brother and there is a giant roaming around here claiming to be the same Thomas who named John "Diddo Yawn" 3-and-a-half years ago. This memory of this boy as a baby blows my mind, because he makes such a great big kid. The pants that fit him last week are now shorts and he cannot find a pair of shoes comfortable enough to wear more than once, but when we get it right, that smile just kills me.

Share |