Friday, June 27, 2014

Daily Life

We really are "that family"...
Fruits of the boys gardening labor. 
Sunshine on my pretty flowers. 
(that I like to think is Grandpa Neds way of saying "hi" from Heaven)

Naughty kid school. 
Naughty kid school honor student. 
Naughty kid school A+ assignment, rip rear windshield wiper from moms van. 

Naughty kid school assignment #2, decapitate sisters fairy barbie. 

Extra points received for level of tantrum caused by said decapitation...

Naughty kid school students opt out of credit however because, as is customary, nobody did it. 
(notice the look of shock on Nates face, and confilcting finger pointing in the background)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The Truth About Parenting

"Everybody knows how to raise children, 
except the people who have them." 
P. J. O'Rourke

That statement is so very true, don't you agree? Some parents do an amazing job, some don't, but no matter which side of the fence you live on- you never feel like you know what you're doing. 
Parents are famous for telling parents of young children to "enjoy it while it lasts" or "things will get easier as they get older" or "once they're grown and gone, you're going to miss this!" 
I don't think any of that is true, but at the same time- My heart tells me that it's all the most accurate truth I will ever know. Those with older children look at the new parents with diapers and such, as say "oh this is the easy part, just wait until they're teenagers!" And you know what, they're right! But, only half right, because while they're correct in saying that teenagers can be difficult, babies aren't always a walk in the park. Babies are cute and sweet and they bring such happiness, but boy are they work. And it's my opinion that nothing can bring a mother down more while she's knee deep in the baby trenches than telling her that these are the best years of her life. It never becomes easy, the challenges just shift. We elect to take on a job that will be serious hard work from the moment we learn there is a beating heart, until the moment that we cease to exist in this life as we know it. 
And thus lies the contradiction of being a parent. It's the most challenging and important role you will ever have in your whole lifetime on this earth. It provides one with the greatest joy, the worst heartache, the most fulfillment, and the most heavy regret. Millions of people do it every single day, as they have for thousands of years- and yet- there is no one "right way". There is no one who can tell you for a fact what will work, and what won't. It is ever evolving and dependant on a million factors that are out of your control. All children are different, even within the same family, with the same genes. How can it be that they all require different techniques, none of which can truly be taught. The good news is that each child comes with his or her own ideas of what they want so along with having no idea what you're doing, and no set of directions, you're fighting an uphill battle against the will of another independent human being- whether they are 2 yrs old or 20. 
Yet most of us do this, and most of us love this, and most of us will look back at these years as the very best of our lives. A shocking reality I find myself faced with given the state of the house I currently sit in- but something I know to be true nonetheless. 
That is the truth that I will let carry me through the days like these when I doubt every decision I make and every word I speak as I do my best to raise these kiddos, both young and old. 
The only thing that I do have faith in right now is that we do what we do out of love. What I would not give for someone to be able to tell me yes or no, yes this is right, no that is not. Simple, definitive, black and white answers. No multiple choice, no essay questions- just yes or no. But since that doesn't exist in the world of parenting all we can do it trust our instincts. Trust that the instincts we have were formed from experiences that out children have not had yet. Trust that the love that we have will guide or decisions and our children through these rough times. 
It's a crazy thought isn't it, that the most challenging and important role you will ever have in your whole lifetime on this earth is usually handled with a cross your fingers and hope for the best approach, mistakes be damned- but if we do the best that we can and if we do it out of love, then that's all that we can ask from ourselves. That has to be good enough. 

See others at here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Tuesday Morning Rant On Technology

Have you heard about these?
I saw an article about them yesterday and immediately thought... 
As if computers and phones and texting and instagram and snap chatting all wasn't enough, now we have a way to try and live the lie that technology creates. Technology is obiously not all bad, unless of course you exist in a constant state of submersion like so many of our teenagers do these days. 
Don't these just perpetuate that?
Why do we need to be able to communicate 24hrs a day?
Why do we need to have a whole worlds worth of information at our fingertips?
(Disclaimer- I am just as gulity as anyone)
Why do we need to enhance every photo taken because it's not good enough in its natural state?
Our world is stunning. 

Don't you think so?

Why is just normal everyday life not good enough anymore. 
We need Bigger. Faster. Brighter. Louder. Enhanced.
A line from the article I read asked the question 
"is your world looking a little dull these days?"

Maybe, if it is looking dull, then the problem is more so with you and not with the world. 
And maybe the answer to the problem lies more with fixing the eyes that are doing the seeing instead of the view that is being seen. Maybe learn to be happy and satisfied with the way things are, instead of changing them to fit how you believe they should be. 
Because I don't know about you, but I certainly can't find a problem with what I see. 

For you or I, it may not be an issue. 
What's the big deal right?
But what about them? What about the little minds that we are all responsible for, who are growing up in a world where 
was always the norm?
How many more years do we have where they will continue to look out of the window and be satisfied with what they see? 
Or in the mirror.
What must it be like to grow up in a world where you can be almost whatever you want to be with some cropping and a filter?
Common sense tells me that that sounds like disapointment- when the face to face can't compete with the created. 

My husband and I have had many (MAAAAANY) conversations about our kids and video games and iPads. On the days when it is just plain hard, when the kids are bored and fighting, and we just wish to the high heavens for some peace- we think- let's just do it! Let's give in and just get them something, anything that will keep them busy. 
But for whatever reason (usually cost because we have so many kids) we don't do it.... and know what?
We live to see another day. 
See being the operative word. 
Our kids still see what is around them. They still go out and experience things. Now, video games and computers in moderation would certainly not destroy that- but it opens the door. A door that will inevitably be opened whether we give them the keys or not. If I can keep that door shut for just a little bit longer, give them just a little more time to see with eyes that haven't been clouded by what the entire world is flashing in front of them.... then that's what I'm going to do. 

And maybe the wonder will last just a teensy bit longer. 

(Disclaimer #2, I am not a video game fan, but a huge reason for that is the fighting it will create with 5 kids and turn taking and such- I do not think they are entirely bad- but it will create for us more chaos then they're worth!I have zero judgment for those who make them work in their homes-just jealousy!)

See others here.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

True Love

When you're a mom (or dad as the case may be), true love means...

That you make birthday cakes yourself (even though it would be WAY easier to buy) because your kids think store bought cakes taste weird. 

True love means that
 you are able to stifle the urge to strangle your kids for leaving crayons around for a certain 2 year old to create with. 

True love means that
 you take the time to make homemade waffles 
(complete with bananas, vanilla, cinnamon, walnuts, and such) 
and are blessed with compliments like 
"Thanks mom, these are pretty good, almost as good as those frozen ones in the garage!"

True love means that
(see above comment regarding crayon usage.) 

True love means that sometimes you're able to understand that "clean your room" is understood to mean "go play" by the average 4yr old. 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

These Boys

It all started with a nice peaceful moment, if you can believe it. 
Which, well, you have to... because here's the proof- 
they were calm and reading together
Now, I would say that this lasted about 10 seconds before a fight errupted or someone tried to pick someones nose or something... but that would just be a plain lie. 
The truth, if you really want to know, is that this serene moment of brotherly bliss lasted for a good 4.2 seconds before Nate began to do what Nates do best. 
So poke he did. 
You know that saying that all moms say when they have big boys and not so big boys- the one that goes something like
 "you know, one day he's gonna be bigger than you and then you'll really be sorry!" 
Well, it's safe to say that Nate has been sorry for about a year now. 
One would think that that would deter him from poking, but one would be wrong if one made that assumption because for whatever reason that continues to elude me... he carries on. And every single time, without fail, he ends up losing and thus crying with the bright red face of I just got beat up by my little brother shame. 
For as small as Sean is, he is not to be messed with. 
And so friends, 
I bring to you the all mighty and ever present 
Birth of a Fight. 
Behold...What you see before you is the initial poke. The moment that the temper starts to flare ever so slightly. There's still time for this fuse to burn itself out. 

Fortuntely for all of you that was not to be the case in this such instance. The poke continued and Sean smoldered with a steaming irritation that was not to be extinguished. Nate of course is oblivious to said irritation as he is blinded by the extreme satsfaction gained by stoking the fires of Seans temper. 

As angry and he can be, Sean is a fair fighter. He takes his time, calculates his moves, and doesn't take cheap shots. 
Here we see him flash the look of 
I'm coming for you, it's now or never
Knock it off now and I shall spare you. 
As you can tell from the smile that is still plastered all over my dear Nate's face, he has yet to aknowledge the storm that is headed his way. 
And then just like that, in the blink of an eye, he's got him! 
Like a snake striking its prey, he reaches out that skinny little arm and grabs him, locking Nate in where he will be forced to endure the wrath that he has foolishly brought down upon himself. 

Sean does not mean to play at this point, but instead to inflict a punishment only fit for an annoying older brother who refuses to relinquish his duties as professional instigator. Warnings were given, chances were wasted. It is all out go time and Sean is prepared to fight this battle to defend the honor of the chance to peacefully admire his baseball sticker book sans older brother. 
Nate begins to prepare for his ride on the pain train...
But wait... 
Sean needs just one more look before he proceeds because he finally got one of the shiny stickers that he had been waiting for. 

And this is where the photographic journey ends because I had to get up and break them apart to avoid 7 year old boy carnage on my white living room rug. 
That, my lovelies, is a mere glimpse into a moment spent with boys. It happens every hour of every day that they are together. Add in some yucky noises and some even yuckier smells and you just about have it.
 Oh....and the hugs....they're pretty good at those too. 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Conversations with Danny

A conversation had with Danny while tucking him in for his nap.

"Mama, me has 1 more question, who is dat?" (pointing to an astronaut decal on his wall)
"That's an astronaut."
"Ohhh. But him needs a rocket ship. What is hims wearin? How does him gets into space?"
"He's wearing his space suit, he rides a rocket up there and then just floats."
"Ohhh..hims was in a rocket ship. Where's space?"
"Up in the sky."
"Where up in da sky?"
"Way way up in the sky."
"In dis sky?" (points to the window)
"Yes, that sky."
"Ohhh, it's up in da sky by grandpa Ned's house."
"Yes it is."
"Is space in grandpa Ned's house?"
"It's by his house I guess."
"Ohhh, maybe it's by da potty. How did hims die?"
"He was old."
"Ohhh, and the mean monster in the scary costume cut hims up?" (holy crap)
"No buddy, nobody cut him, he just got old and it was time for him to go to Heaven."
"Ohhh, up by space and Santa?"
"Ohhh....Mama, somepin is wrong with my butt."

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Summer is here! 
And that means that I have a ton of kids to entertain (and feed) all day long. So far, they have done a pretty good job at keeping busy with minimal damage to the house (usually my main goal.) 

They have found themselves in doors. 

And perfected the cute picture pose. 

They have given (and received) lessons in beauty...
while dressed as a "pink hair cutter fairy"

Made huge improvements to their baseball game- 
Like having 5 hits in a row!

Practiced new and exciting ways to cause massive bodily harm. "Just look away" is my mantra. 
Just look away. Just look away. Just look away. 

Enjoyed the art of communal lunch. 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

My Kate

Look at my baby and her sweet face. 
It had been a long day and things were finally calming as the kids and I settled down to watch a movie before bed (we opted for Diary Of A Wimpy Kid for those of you inclinded to wonder). 
Kate was so precious and quiet and I just stared at her hoping she would never move. I had my phone sitting next to me so I grabbed it to take a few pictures in hopes of capturng this sweet moment. 
And it's a good thing I did because....

a second later she did this. 

Timing really is everything.