Missing June

Before I get into the fun we had in Montana, I neglected a few of the things we did in June this year. I normally do a post for B’s birthday, my birthday, our anniversary…and yet here we are, staring down the barrel of school starting and not a post to be seen.

In my defense, it’s been busy.

The house is coming along – you can actually see where the new walls are going to be. And with a whole new sewer line that runs through the entire house, we shouldn’t ever have to use the phrase “shitter’s full”. So there’s that.  This is all a long way of saying instead of blogging, I’ve be housing. Yes, it’s a verb. Ask anyone who has remodeled.

So, without further delay, the missing June posts.

Sweet Baylor turns Seven.

You, my gorgeous daughter, are by far the smartest, most challenging, loving and wonderful girl. Your potential will only ever be limited by your desire – you will move mountains.

I am so proud of the hard work you put into school, into making new friends, into learning to read and do math. I love your enthusiasm for swim team this summer and for your ability to conquer your fears. Your hustle for sports is growing and it’s amazing. You are so beautiful and your outer beauty is only eclipsed by your beautiful heart. Watching your faith in God grow and your kindness spread – especially to strangers in need – makes my heart happy.

Year six was a pretty amazing year. But I think seven is going to top it.

IMG_9601IMG_9603IMG_9560IMG_9504

IMG_9922

Love this kid. Gangsta face in a doughnut float.

IMG_9606

The Momma turns Thirty Something….

So this is one of those birthdays that makes me feel old. Not as much physically, but the number is a little up there. However, I really really really like my birthday. So while the number can be a little shocking, I’m always grateful for one more year to celebrate. And having good health, a happy family, fantastic friends, a good wig and the realization of a few dreams while still having time to dream up new ones? Well that’s just the icing on the cake.

IMG_4740

Also? This is the kind of old person I plan to be. Just bat shit crazy in the best way. Good news is that I think I’m already there. Check. Mark.

IMG_4816

Happy Anniversary

Every year when I bring up our anniversary, Peter argues with me about the number of years we’ve been married. He always thinks it’s less than the actual number. Which I think is better than him feeling like it’s been much much much longer.

We celebrated 11 years married and this year marks 17 together (also the other reason I’m feeling real old). We will have been together more than half my life this year, which is a nutty statistic and yet such an awesome one. It’s amazing to think how much we’ve both changed – we’ve grown up together. We’ve watched each other go from nerdy (ok, just me) teenagers, to college coeds, to young adults, graduate student, newly weds, homeowners, parents…and thankfully the list keeps growing.

The traditional 10 year anniversary gift is tin, but since we redid our pool last summer we decided the gift would be PebbleSheen. Which is not really romantic, however very enjoyable. We say “happy anniversary!” every time we slide our feet over the smooth surface of the pool.

Thankfully the traditional 11th anniversary gift is far more appropriate for us this year. As the contractors were bracing a new steel beam in our living room, I pointed and said “happy anniversary!”. Maybe 11 years is when most married couples go broke on a remodel so they made the gift steel. Makes sense to me.

Happy anniversary PW!

667967266206

 

Advertisements

Kindness Kits

Baylor’s school had the privilege of listening to Sr. Adele O’Sullivan speak about our city’s homeless. And where their school is located, they see homelessness everywhere. She spoke about how it is our duty as Catholics to care for the least among us and how we can do that. Sr. Adele is the founder of Circle the City, a respite that delivers healthcare to the homeless. In anticipation of her visit, she asked all the students to bring in hygiene items, snack foods, waters and bags. Then each class created Kindness Kits that the Circle the City volunteers hand out to those that visit the facility.

We decided that this was a great way for us to continue this stewardship at home. With a quick trip the Dollar Store and $15 later, we were able to create 6 bags full of soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, water, EmergenC packets, snacks and a few other small hygiene items. We keep them in the car and when we see a homeless person, we offer it to them. Sometimes I get worried that the person won’t want it, but we’ve yet to be turned down.

Creating the bags opened up A LOT of questions. How do people become homeless? Why are they homeless? Why do they need all this? It was a heavy conversation to have. But it opened up a lot of topics too about how blessed we are to have what we have and how we can share that with others.

 

How to Leave for School in 5 Easy Steps

We all know what a hassle it can be to get out the door in the morning. Just moving people can be tough, let alone remembering all the stuff – lunches, backpacks, water bottles – I’m ready for a cocktail just writing about it! So here are some easy steps to getting out the door in the morning:

Step 1: Wake Up Children

If your house is anything like my house, then your kids sleep like angels until 7am on weekdays and are up at 5:45am on weekends. So how do you get those little sweeties up and at ’em? I like to think of it like waking a hibernating bear. Approach with caution. Open the door a crack. Open the door some more. Gently sweep hair off of faces and whisper “good morning”. Quietly open blinds. Stomp out of the room. Turn on light. Warn in a not-so-quiet tone that we’re going to be late. Commence physically removing rag doll children from beds. Threaten them with naps if they don’t get up right freaking now. Put palm to forehead when they ask why you yell so much. Inform children that they haven’t even seen your best yelling yet.

Step 2: Breakfast

You know what I love? Those amazing Pinterest posts about creative, delicious and nutritious breakfasts for kids. So step 2 is a snap; go to Pinterest, the grocery store and then wake up extra early to create said Pinterest breakfast and then spend 20 minutes force feeding it to your kids.

Step 3: Get Dressed

I have found that giving your kids a sweet printable checklist  or adorably decorated magnets with pictures of the activities they need to complete is an excellent way to throw your money down the toilet AND it gives you another thing to scream about. Now not only can we repeatedly ask if they have their socks and shoes, but we can incorporate the checklist too! “Did you check item #3 off??” “I think there’s still a magnet on the ‘to do’ side of the board!!”. It’s an awesome way of adding a layer of difficulty to the morning.

Step 4: Gather All the Shit

Backpack – check. Lunch – check. Water bottle -check. Different water bottle – check. Uniform sweatshirt – check. Non uniform sweatshirt so we can fight about it – check. Teacher appreciation gift; roses in a vase that are sure to spill all over the front seat and my lap – check. Yet another fundraiser check – check. And after remembering all of this, you know who the freaking hero is?? Daddy. Because he forgot to take out of the car remembered the cheap, plastic bracelet for said fundraiser on the booster seat. Advantage; Daddy.

Well played, sir. Well played.

Step 5: Transport

After all of the stuff is loaded, begin the process of strapping children into the car. Do the willing ones first, that way when they change their minds and decided that they too need to find and obscure toy that might possibly be under the seat in front of their sibling, it’s too late because they’re already hog tied.

Once everyone is secure, put on what you want to listen to. They will fight about what is on the radio – even if it’s the Frozen soundtrack – anyway so might as well have a few minutes of peace.

After the extraction from the car is complete and your little angels are safely in the hands of their unsuspecting teachers, high tail it out of there. I prefer to do an arabesque on my way out the school gate. I find that it gives other parents hope that the misery that is School Morning is close to being over.

Good luck, kitties. It’s a jungle out there. Or rather in here. It’s a jungle in here.

 

Jump On the Bandwagon

Phew. It is rough to be a parent these days. It’s always been a tough job, but given the current climate of social media and an invisible force that urges you to define your parenting style  – helicopter mom, baby wearer, breast feeder, anti vaxer, free range parent – the list is endless and yet well defined.

And if I’m being honest, I think it’s amazing that so many moms are talking, sharing, posting. I constantly question my parenting method, look for new skills and sigh with relief when I read that I’m not alone. It’s all good.

Except when it’s not.

That’s right. I’m jumping on the bandwagon of posts about vaccinating your kids.

My bottom line is this: get educated. Ask questions. See more than one doctor. Read articles, posts, journals. Do whatever you have to do to reach the conclusion that vaccinating your healthy child is the right decision. And I emphasize healthy. Because those not healthy kids are the other reason we need to vaccinate our children. Herd immunity is meant to protect those that aren’t healthy enough for vaccinations, those that can’t be vaccinated for health reasons, and those too young. Choosing not to vaccinate your children out of a fear of the vaccination is not an excuse. Fear is not an excuse.

If you’re still conflicted, then think over this scenario in your head. I was sitting with Auggie in the emergency room a few months ago. He had a horrible case of croup and was in severe distress. His sweet little chest caved inward with each gasp for air because he was sucking in so hard. At some point my brain flipped into survival mode. Gone were the emotions and my only focus was to get this kid some help and fast. I realized after the storm had passed how awful it had been. How horrible it is to have the thought his oxygen levels are ok so if they have to, they could do a tracheotomy and then he could breathe.

It is not a fun when the thought of having a hole cut into your child’s throat is comforting.

The one thought that popped into my head over and over was how I could have prevented him getting so sick. And while the answer for his condition was “nothing”, that would not be the case for whooping cough. I cannot imagine the guilt of watching my beautiful little boy not be able to breathe because of my decision not to vaccinate him.

Which is why we do vaccinate our kids. When Baylor was a baby, I talked extensively about vaccinations, vaccination schedules and risk with our pediatrician. And the bottom line for me was when she said “I totally understand your concern. I do constant research about vaccinations and as a mom and a doctor, I fully vaccinate my child and that’s why I require this schedule for my healthy patients”.

That was all I needed to hear to make the decision to prevent the preventable. There’s enough unknown with our kids. Being able to check life threatening illnesses off that list? I’m in.

 

 

 

We Don’t Need No Stinking Training Wheels

So this happened this weekend…

Much to our amazement, she nailed it 5 minutes after the wheels came off! It was far less traumatic than I thought it would be. Peter gets all the credit – I wasn’t even brave enough to go to the park until I heard it was going well. She even mastered starting herself by the time we left the park. Next up, turning.

And of course the little guy had to be part of it. He decided that he too needed a push. Do you hear him say “Me two three TOO!!” Translation: say one two three and push me too! I also love his glide and look back. Such a ham.

 

Day Trip to Flagstaff

Have you ever tried to keep a two-year-old still? If not, I’m sure you can imagine what fun it is.

Before our overnight to the hospital with Auggie, we had been planning a day trip to Flagstaff. I wanted to see the leaves changing and we wanted to get out in the cool air to hike. We decided that the cool air and forced rest (strapped in car seat, strapped in hiking pack, back to car seat) might be just what the Auggie boy needed.

Saturday morning we threw some stuff in the car and took off. That’s the best part about a day trip – light packing. We didn’t need as much which made getting out the door so much easier!

Excited to get there.

IMG_7937

 

Perfect hiking weather.IMG_7950

Ready to go!

IMG_7947The destination: Red Mountain. The trail was 3 miles round trip and B walked the whole thing!

IMG_7954

Counting tree rings

IMG_7959The trees changed from Pinons to Ponderosa Pines

IMG_7957

B was really into the light layers. Notice she has two sweatshirts and a hat tied around her waist.

IMG_7958

How could he pick just ONE stick?!
IMG_7963

The trail winds through the a volcanic cinder cone. The gravel they are walking through was volcanic rock.IMG_7966 Can you see them way up in the middle?IMG_7968This might be the best picture I’ve ever taken

IMG_7970

This worked just fine on the way up. We didn’t think about how to get down….

IMG_7972

We made it!

IMG_7975IMG_7978Exploring the Hoodoos

IMG_7986

IMG_7988

IMG_7982

The hazards of baby wearingIMG_7990

Little different picture on the way home

IMG_8011We took the long way home through Sedona to catch a few more changing leaves. Totally worth the detour! Especially when a skeptical Peter declared “Slap a bumper sticker on the truck because I am a Leaf Peeper and I don’t care who knows it!”. Which was a hilarious way of saying that he was enjoying himself. I snort laughed for the next 2 miles.

IMG_8001 IMG_8008 IMG_8007

As we pulled into Phoenix, we were welcomed home with one of the most amazing sunsets. A perfect end to a great day!

IMG_8013

If you want to check it out, see the link below for directions. This was a fantastic hikes for kids – flat and lots of interesting things to keep them moving and exploring!

Red Mountain Trail #159

Auggie’s First Day

With Auggie’s first birthday came his first day at preschool. It’s been a long time coming, we’ve been visiting his classroom a few times a week since August to ease him into his first day. And thankfully he has two teachers that could double as Disney princesses. They love him and he flirts up a storm with them. Auggie also has the greatest big sister who reassuringly told him to come find her if he ever feels scared.

Walking away from the school without Auggie on my hip was the strangest feeling. I’ve never understood when a mom tells me they sat in the parking lot and cried on the first day of school. Until today. I watched him happily digging in the sandbox and realized how big he is now but how little he looked. Having munchkin free time to work is really necessary and he is going to learn so much at school, but it was a bit heartbreaking to leave him today for reasons I can’t pin down.

As I peaked around the corner at pick up today, I saw him sitting sweetly at the tiny tables eating lunch with his buddies. I’m always amazed by this preschool and how they create a calm community at meal time. I picked up his birthday crown and he carried his truck lunch box out the door and we headed home for some much needed sunggles (for me…). The report from his teachers was glowing and Wednesday is Fire Safety day which means there will be a fire truck to sit in and that it is fire themed week. He’s in heaven!

IMG_7921

He was so pumped to have his OWN lunch box. He also refused to wear sneakers. Crossing fingers for Wednesday.

IMG_7923 IMG_7924

 

Successful What?

A friend once told me that successful people do 5 things before 8am. If my kids are up every 2-3 hours at night requiring water, clothing changes (vomit), bedding changes (you don’t want to know…), rocked back to sleep, patted back to sleep, tucked in – that is way more than 5 things we’re doing before 8am. And the fact that this pattern has been happening the last 5 nights that should make us really successful. The question is what we are successful at. At being sleep deprived? At being crabby? At being zombies? PW and I have yet to determine….

February in a Nutshell

When we did get out in February, we had a great time. Here’s what we’ve been up to:

We saw the Pony Express ride into town. These gentlemen ride from Prescott to Scottsdale and deliver letters from a school there to a school here. It’s neat to see the tradition live on. And hilarious to see traffic stopped for 40 horses.

Getting out as far as she could without actually being in the street

photo 2 (40)

Pop and Auggie getting very excited

photo 1 (35)

And here they come!

photo 3 (31)

Next was the Waste Management Open. I vowed long ago that I would not go back until I could be up in a sky box and away from the drunken masses. Thankfully for me, one of Peter’s clients got sick so I got to go on Sunday morning!

photo 3 (32) photo 2 (41) photo 1 (36)

Auggie got a new tooth. And everyone knows about it because he looked like this for pretty much the entire month. He’s crying in this picture because I wouldn’t let him play with the straightener.

photo 4 (22)

We waited patiently to see Peter in the Parada Del Sol. Sadly, the Scottsdale 20/30 Men were “excused” from the parade. I’ve heard various excuses and explaination. I buy none of them.

photo 5 (12)

Baylor made me an amazing bracelet for Valentine’s Day. She put two B’s – one for her and one for me.

photo 1 (37) photo 2 (42)

And the absolute most fun part of February – Baylor started t-ball! We have been having such a good time – can’t wait for some actual games. And thanks to the Diamondbacks for the awesome uniforms! The fact that every team in the league are the Diamondbacks is a touch confusing…but making them different colors helps!

Go Red Diamondbacks!

photo 4 (23)

It’s a little tough to know who likes t-ball more – Peter or Bay. And God love him, he’s the only dad brave enough to coach the girls from the team and make them behave!

photo 5 (13)