Wow!! Three cat night! Well, we have 3 cat nights around here plenty!! And yes, I watched it....hilarious! So true. Smith, as you know, has irregular sleep/awake cycles, we finally figured out after many years and with help from major research projects around the country with children with Angelman Syndrome, how to get him to put himself back to sleep at night. We live in a two bedroom flat right now, soon to be three, we are moving a few streets away from here to student family housing, anyway, so Bear and Smith were sharing a room for a while and let's just say we played musical rooms for Bear or Smith to sleep in for a few months before we just decided to move Smith to our living room! And oh the glory in it!! I woke up at 4:00 am last night with out waking up to a crying child, I didn't know what to do. My body just woke up. Saying, " why have you been sleeping so long? This is weird. Wake up." But not two nights ago we were both up with Smith who was screaming all night. When Smith has a belly ache or anything is off for him, it's not about putting himself to sleep, it's about not understanding his pain. And he doesn't cry, he screams bloody murder at the top of his lungs (I am pretty sure the neighbors think we abuse him) and we just have to lay next to him (much like sweet Sean and Max) and hold his hands and maybe feed him something, or sit him up, it's still a guessing game with Smith, and most likely always will be, Bear is an avid night eater and I have been cutting back this week! It is so nice. But still, nights around here are nothing to look forward to.
And If I was living close I would come over and watch your kids so you could take a nap. Then I would give you some ice cream because my mom always says when I feel like I have had enough I probably just need a nap and some ice cream, bless her. Oh and that tilamook peanut butter chocolate ice cream I had at your birthday party was heaven. I can't wait for Bryce to try it.
As for me and my house.
Well, Bryce, a.k.a thesis Taylor is finishing up his thesis.
Bear now says, yes. no, mama, dada, sith (smith), signs please and more, will stand up free handed but still not walking yet ( I knew he would be a late walker)
Smith is enjoying his school and learning to sit up on a step! So excited. It's all about baby steps with him.
I am having fun coloring in my kids coloring books and drawing while my kids are napping...
I walked a couple miles in the snow to go grocery shopping. totally worth it.
And you have to find on of these anywhere you can.
you should try making this, since you are a food goddess
and this.
anyway life is great here and even though you aren't sleeping I bet you are still Mrs. USA, holding your bouquet of flowers with a crown on your head every day because you make motherhood look like it is so fun and easy!! I love it!
Anyway I hope you have a wonderful week.

Dear Beth,

i CANNOT believe it! not 5 minutes after i finished reading your email today there was a knock at my door. brennan was getting dropped off from preschool. 
i open the door, 
and he goes, "mom! a package!"
and i think, "what did i impulse order from amazon??? i can't remember anything, but there is most definitely an amazon box on my front porch."

and then
the return label:

"sugar mama

and i knew it was NOT an impulse amazon purchase {phew},
but a surprise package from your most wonderful mother MAMA SMAILES!!!
so i ran into the kitchen,
brennan ran to the tv.
i was in a such a great mood i let him turn it on AND have my phone to play with.
and then things got better,
which i didn't think were possible 
b/c even an empty box from your mother would have been fun.
so i opened it up,
and it was all of a sudden christmas morning as a 5 year old AND your favorite birthday you've ever had all at the very same moment.

she mailed me the last known box of seasonal peppermint joe-joe's on the face of the planet!!!!!!!
or at least the last box known to me at this very moment.
i was jumping and screaming in my kitchen looking and sounding like a crazy woman,
b/c indeed i am CRAZY for joe-joe's.
and your most amazing mother sent me a box of her own.
and i'm crazy for you!
you are the most amazing mother.
and have an amazing mother!
i am over here whining about my 3 cat night and you are having 3 cat nights all of the time.
i marvel at your ability to take care of your family!
i will make your ranch dressing recommendation for the super bowl.
i don't watch the game.
i just make the food.
eat the food.
and have joy in giving people the food.
i saw that aubrey was wanting a ranch dressing recipe and went to post your link, 
but you had already been there and posted it for her.
i wish for all smailes women to move to utah immediately to join the rest of us already present and accounted for. is laura still here??? i need to see if megan has seen the hobit yet. i will see les mis. soon.
i am not a fan of cakes with the word "german" in them in general,
and i don't particularly care for cooked apples,
but here is how i'm willing to compromise.
you fly back to my house, make it for me, and i'll try it!
perfect perfect idea:)
smith in the living room=GENIUS.
you are brilliant!
{if you are moving to student family housing, does that mean bryce got the gig??!!}
i'm all about thinking outside the box with motherhood.
you have to do what works right then and there, 
and forget about everyone and everything else.
however, i assure you i am not holding a bouquet of flowers or wearing a crown,
although sometimes i wear one to play dress up with max.
in fact, right now i am wearing a black and white striped sweater with chase's lunch smeared on my left arm, which i chose to NOT wipe off b/c things like that don't gross me out.
they just make me think, "ok good! now i don't have to wipe chase's face."
when my kids all sleep through the night on the SAME night, i wake up and think, 
"someone is dead!"
and then i sit up, shake sean's arm to wake him up, and ask him if he thinks anyone is dead.
he always grunts b/c he's still half asleep, opens one eye, and will sometimes stumble into everybody's room to check on them for me so i know everyone is alive and accounted for, 
and then we go back to sleep, and wake up in the morning, 
and laugh about how i was so worried someone was dead.
i can see you right now in my mind coloring in coloring books and eating a ham and cheese sandwich, dipping it in boysenberry jam.
melty cheese.
to make it a monte cristo sandwich!
oh MY OH MY OH MY!!! 
i completely forgot about our love for that movie until just this very minute.
Luigi: So, mi amici, I would ask who you are, but in view of your shredded clothes and the fact that the Chateau d'If is two miles away... what's the point? As for me, I am Luigi Vampa, a smuggler and a thief. My men and I have come to this island to bury alive one of our number who attempted to keep some stolen gold for himself instead of sharing it with his comrades. Interestingly enough, there are some of his more loyal friends who are insisting that I grant him mercy. Which, of course, I cannot do, or I would quickly lose control of the whole crew. 
That is why you are such a fortunate find.
Edmond: Why is that?
Luigi: You provide me with a way to show a little mercy to Jacopo - that maggot you see tied up over there - while at the same time not appearing weak. 
And as a bonus, the lads will get to see a little sport as well.
Edmond: How do I accomplish all this?
Luigi: We watch you and Jacopo fight to the death. If Jacopo wins, we welcome him back to the crew. If you win, I have given Jacopo the chance to live, even if he did not take advantage of it, 
and you can take his place on the boat.
Edmond: What if I win, and I don't want to be a smuggler?
Luigi: Then we slit your throat, and we're a bit shorthanded.
Edmond: [smiles after consideration] I find that smuggling is the life for me, 
and would be delighted to kill your friend the maggot! 

i can't wipe the smile off of my face.
this is just a fantastic fantastic fantastic day!