Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

My little cold-blooded lover

And my warm-blooded creature snuggler

The hippo was happy to see us :)

A rare shot with mama's favorite flowers (not his favorite scent)

Sloth kisses <3

Pork's favorite exhibit of the zoo

my very special presents :)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

change of plans (and scenery)

I am adult enough to understand that sometimes, things change without a moment's notice. Like today for example... Hubby got sent out on the road. With his hours being so short lately, we all need to be grateful for the extra time. Unfortunately, that extra time means that he wasn't here for lunch (or dinner), something that really upsets SweetPea and PorkChop. It also means that Punk's appointment had to be rescheduled until the end of this month. Right after track ends, in fact. Punk is insisting that while he is upset that he has another eleven days in his cast, that he is ok with missing all but the last two soccer games. He is not so cool with not getting to compete in any more track meets though. I wish that I could do something more for him.

New favorite activity... feeding the geese
To make up daddy being gone for lunch with the littles, I organized a trip to the park to feed the wildlife. Pork was REALLY excited and even managed to say "ducks" and "geek" (geese). I am totally enamored with his growing vocabulary. And while its still very lacking, each and every new word is like a song to my soul. It makes my heart grow bigger and a smile just as wide to cross my face. SweetPea enjoyed getting to bring a picnic lunch with us and shared more of her sandwich with the ants than she did with her own stomach.

Another treat since daddy was gone... I hooked up and ran the sprinkler for the first time this year. Last year, Pork was ok with looking at it but this year, he had fun filling his little water can and proceeding to dump it on his unsuspecting siblings. SweetPea and Peanut still lack the finesse of truly playing in the water.... preferring to run along the very edges and barely get their legs wet. Punk even joined in for a bit, complete with a plastic bag over his cast to keep it protected.

Dinner was our third treat. Knowing that meal times are always eaten around the family table, I decided to host a dinner a la fresco style in the backyard. Punk ate at the picnic table, Pickle decided to use the clubhouse and the three youngest ones took to various spots in the yard, moving whenever their "wolf pack" became threatened by a mom with a camera.

It might not have been the way the day had been planned to go, but it was sure a great bit nicer than all of us moping around the house for different reasons.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

one more for the road

One last picture, we hope. Tomorrow, Punk goes back to the orthopedic surgeon to see if his wrist is healed enough to take the cast off. I know that he is more than ready and so am I. With soccer and track seasons approaching the midway mark, I know that he is itching to resume play on the fields. Not that I can blame him one bit either. Its been a LONG year of injuries for him and I don't even have to imagine that he is ready for a break (and a chance to see his arm again).

one last picture
If all goes well, tomorrow afternoon, he will be cast free and heading off to his track meet. I really hope that we don't have a repeat of last time. I seriously don't see how we could since this break was an "easier" one than the first and since it took us a week to cast it (and it should only need to be cast two to three weeks).

I miss watching Punk play soccer. I miss watching him participate in track (even if I only got to see the one meet). I know that the warm weather is coming and with that, swimming and beach time. I know that he is ready for that.

I will breathe easier tomorrow after this is over. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Our first visit from the Tooth Fairy

Literally, our first visit from the tooth fairy. As a young toddler, Peanut was terrified of the idea of people/creatures entering her house while she was sleeping. There was nothing magical about Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, the Easter Bunny, etc. Those induced panic that I have never seen her such a young child. So we nixed them. I figured that telling a lie, even in good spirits and then having to deal with them coming to the truth wasn't something that I wanted to do anyway. I try to always be as honest as possible with my children, so why should I create magical beings when I try my hardest to incorporate magic into our every day life?
Easy... because this little face chose to believe in the tooth fairy all on her own. No one had to tell her that she exists, she just does. And while I could have sat SweetPea down and told her the truth and crushed her imaginative spirit, instead I took the time to explain things that we see with our eyes and those that we see with our hearts. The tooth fairy is one that we see with our hearts. As long as we believe, the magic is there. Once we stop believing, the magic ends. Amazingly enough, SweetPea agreed. And not just a "If I nod my head, my mama will stop talking" agreed but an honest "Like Santa Claus and the North Pole?" Yes, baby girl, just like that.

Someone got a very special visit during the night!
SweetPea was very impressed by her five dollars in bills and change awaiting for her under her pillow when she woke this morning. Even more impressed when mama said yes to paying for her own brownie from the local bakery. Daddy and mama didn't want the tooth fairy to get all the credit (because yes, we are selfish people and want some of that adoration as well) so we kept the tradition that I started and allowed SweetPea to "pick a prize" for losing her first tooth. Her choice? A mermaid Loopsie. Wonderful. So now I am on a mission to find Coral Sea Shells in the "big size".

Now that the magic of losing that first tooth has wore off, SweetPea has already started wiggling her second. Yikes! Thankfully, its not quite ready to pop out yet which is good for me. I am not ready for my baby girl to be toothless yet.

Monday, May 6, 2013

My baby girl is growing up!

I was really excited to share today about SweetPea's dance pictures. I even debated sharing some pictures of her in her costumes, all dolled up in her dance finery with her hair curled and that sweet smile of her's adorning her face.

Instead, I forgot to grab a single picture of her in costume. Totally unlike me. But I called it! While sitting in the parking lot of the dance studio, waiting for our time to go in and get SweetPea ready for her pictures, this happened....
Notice anything different?
Ahhhh!!! Wasn't she just born yesterday? Didn't those sweet baby teeth just make their appearance!? I knew it though. Once she showed me her wiggly tooth about a week ago, I just KNEW that she would lose it during her dance pictures. Actually, I had some very bad dreams about her literally losing it during her pictures, the gum bleeding and staining her costume and SweetPea losing her head. Instead, though, it popped out while she was having a snack while waiting for her pictures. No bleeding, no tears, just *pop* and her little tooth laid there in her hand.

She is beyond words excited for this momentous event. I really wasn't sure how we would proceed but she informed us that the tooth fairy was going to be paying her a visit tonight. Ok then, that solved if we were going to go down that route or not.

I am still in shock though. Punk lost his first tooth about a week before his seventh birthday. Peanut was about 6.5 years old when she lost her first. SweetPea blew them both out of the water by losing her first at just shy of 4 years and 3 months! Wow!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Cinco de huh?!

Today was definitely a first. And hopefully a last. I am not sure that my feelings have ever been so hurt by one of my children before in my life. I am aware that that is saying a lot and not much at all in the grand scheme of things. Honestly, if my children only stab at my heart the one time in their childhoods, its really not that much. But being my first born son and knowing how much effort I put into today.... yeah, it stung.

You see, this beautiful little boy pictured below? He was not the birthday boy. But I felt it a bit inappropriate to take a picture of an empty yard and share that. But I should have. That's pretty much how it felt when Punk stood everyone up today and failed to show at his own birthday party.
not the birthday boy
After biking yesterday and then an impromptu bbq with our friends, which was followed up by s'mores around the bonfire, we got home late late! And I knew that I still had a ton of prep work for today to get done. Cupcakes to get baked (two different kinds... chocolate cupcakes with cookie dough frosting especially picked by the celebrated child and vanilla bean cupcakes with a chai  frosting for those of us unable to have dairy at the party), potato salad to prepare, a house to clean, a yard to get in order, etc. So the hubby and I stayed up WAY too late getting what we could done and then I got up WAY too early to finish. But we worked together and we got it done. Every single thing that we had on our to-do list, we accomplished.

So we got a few minutes to sit back and relax before people started arriving. Family arrived, friends arrived... my good friend drove across the state to come and celebrate with us. And yet, birthday boy himself didn't show. I called his dad's house, no answer. I left voice messages.... no response. Hubby fired up the bbq and we began feeding our guests. Still waiting.

Finally, three hours after the party began, Punk returned my call. And cried because he had to leave his dad's house to come to his own birthday party. So I hung up. Hung up and had to tell everyone that the birthday boy wouldn't be in attendance. Do you know how low it is to be stood up by your own son? People came to help honor his thirteen years on the planet and he couldn't be bothered to leave his video games and come home.

People left cards on the table for him. Family took their cards home with the message that when he has time to fit them in his life again, they will give him their wishes. Dishes were done, food put away. We settled down with those remaining and enjoyed the last bit of cool breezes and late afternoon sunshine.

Punk did finally come home... two hours before bedtime. With a sheepish grin, expecting us to be happy to see him. I will say, he went to bed disappointed.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

and away we go!

Our first big ride of the year with friends.... Our last big ride of the year with said friends. lol The joys of expanding your family during the summer months. Take it from someone who has birthed twice (technically) in the summer, once in the spring and once in the winter... Spring and winter babies are the best if you love outdoor activities. And depending on what those activities are, winter babies might be the best. Ok, winter babies are the best for me since one of my favorite things to do is our family bike rides. And bike riding while pretty pregnant just isn't always the most fun thing to do.

Riding around for almost 20 miles with your pregnant buddy, both your husbands and both your toddler boys makes for some fun times. And some really stressful, annoying ones too. But I tend to try to focus on the good times. Who cares how fast someone went when its all said and done? Who cares how many times you had to stop and try to find a decent bathroom (and might I add that they don't really exist at huge state parks!) because really? Asking for a clean bathroom with doors might be asking for too much.

What makes it worth it is accomplishing your goals and spending the time outdoors with friends....
Biker Buddies (the young edition)
I can only imagine that those two little faces really didn't care about much other than the fact that they got to play at the park. They had a blast going up and down hills that left all the adults panting, sweating and sometimes, stopping and throwing their hands up in momentary defeat. Watching these two little boys go up and down the slides, attempt to "walk" across the plank bridge, make music on the giant organ... those things are what is worth remembering.

I know that not all our rides this spring/summer will end up like today. I know that some will be much more physically challenging while the majority will be a cakewalk of a ride. I know that we won't get to go out with our riding buddies again until next year when both them and ourselves will have a matching set of littles (just differing ages), stowing behind in the trailers. But for a first (and last) ride of the season, today was perfect!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

its a dirty job, but someone has to do it

Having a large family, I try my hardest to teach my children the importance of being kind to the Earth. I know that large families leave a large carbon foot print so I feel extra responsible for raising green-conscientious children. I try to buy more "real" food than processed food (although I am far from perfect), I look for the least packaging that I can get with our produce. We recycle everything and anything that our city will take back (which is actually a fair-ish number of items). We use our yard waste, instead of disposing of it through the yard waste removal program. Most years, we garden (sadly, it looks like its just not going to happen this year due to money issues). And now, we are getting more serious about composting.

Start them young and make it a habit
For some reason, composting is one thing that kind of worried me. I have had no problem making my own laundry soap for the past three years. I love our cloth in the bathroom and for diapering needs. We don't buy paper plates, cups, napkins, etc even when bbq'ing.... we just make sure that we are prepared for the onslaught of dirty dishes. But for some reason, the thought of using every piece of fruit core, every single egg shell, every scrap of peeled veggies just made me.... I don't know? Feel like I was leaving a mess instead of cleaning it up? Turning our backyard into a dumping ground? Giving the dogs something else to dig up and eat?

But in actuality, its easy. Most of the kids don't even mind helping with the turning, digging, raking, watering.... They volunteer to take the scraps out and are actually pretty impressed by the subtle color changes in the dirt that we have already seen this past year. I am pretty impressed that after the first few times, the dogs have learned that the compost area doesn't contain meat, hence there is not a single thing of interest to them. And most importantly, it hasn't seemed to attract the local wildlife that I was worried would be invading our yard for an easy meal.

I won't say that I am an expert on this, because I am far from it. I won't even say that I am really a novice since I am totally learning as I go. But I will say that I am proud to be the parent of child that asks if waste can go in the compost, recycling or if its ready for the garbage. And I am VERY proud that for a family of seven people, four pets and a wild life, that we only throw out maybe three garbage bags a week (and that's mainly because when the rabbits' cage gets changed/cleaned out, the garbage bag goes out too, full or not).

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

back to The Rink, we go

Out of the blue, SweetPea reminded me last night about preschool skate. I honestly thought after it fizzling out last year (unless we had friends attending with us) that she wouldn't think about going back this year. Well, then, someone in her dance class mentioned skating and she was hooked yet again. So of course, that's where we spent our morning... skating (and running) around the rink.

Look at her go!
I cannot believe that next year at this time, I will be chasing TWO around in skates. I may be doing that before the end of summer as it is. Pork is just so coordinated that I think that if I bought him some toddler skates, that I could have him join in the fun. And I know that it would definitely become more fun for SweetPea since she was pretty bummed again today that there were only five little ones there, two of them being her and her brother.

I am half tempted to hold off and wait until the summer break to try again. But our Wednesdays are so busy during those months since we do the library reading club. And I KNOW that she adores those trips. *sigh*

Part of me wishes that Peanut and/or Punk were younger so they could join this with her. Or that Porker was just a tad bit older so he could join in (not that I want him to grow up any faster than he is!!) Maybe once we get those toddler skates, I will strap on a pair and join them. Of course, I may need to invent some butt protector pillows first.