"experience is what you get when you didn't get what you wanted." -randy pausch

Thursday, January 8, 2015

letters to Beth {christmas surprises!!!}

dearest beth,

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! how was your christmas!? i am missing you immensely today! i was scanning through all of your recent art on facebook this morning and my heart was yearning to be with you, and i knew i just HAD to write you a letter to soothe my missing you heart! i want to hear your voice and listen to your laugh. you are just one of my favorite people on this entire planet, and i wish we were here in my kitchen this morning, with you showing me all of your art, and me feeding you bacon and cottage cheese on a buttered and toasted english muffins. this is my favorite college breakfast i made up in the dorms at chico state. i've got ALL three of my kids hooked on it now. so proud:) i love filling up their bellies and sending them off to school and playdates, knowing that they've been nutritiously well fed. i just love to feed people. it is one of my biggest joys. you know this, and you get this:)

we are back into the swing of things around here. school has been back in session for almost an entire week. brennan told me this morning that he misses eating lunch with the kids and i at home. this coming from the boy that counted down the days from the beginning of kindergarten until he could eat lunch at school. i've got to say, it made me really happy. i told him that's how life is sometimes. you look forward to something for so long, and then you wish you could go back to the good old days. then i told him that's why we always have to enjoy where we are right at this very minute, which is sometimes just plain old hard to do! because one day it will be gone and in the past and we will miss it, and maybe wish we would have enjoyed this more. so often i have felt this way about times in my life! so soak it all in, that's what i told him. he told me that will be hard for him because he's really been looking forward to being 7, but that he will try "super duper" hard to enjoy 6 AND A HALF a little bit more because "i'll never be this age ever again," and then he told me he never wants to grow up to be a man and get married because then he will have to live in his own house, and he just wants to live with me forever in my house {i was bursting with love and joy b/c i KNEW right then and there that he was having a great childhood moment. one of security and joy and happiness, and THAT is why i do everything i do every single day.} so, i told him "let's not worry about that right now. let's just practice our spelling bee words, eat breakfast together, and think of exciting things to pack in your school lunches. we can worry about growing up another time." he was satisfied, and my heart was happy. i just love these little kids. if my body would hold out, i would have babies forever. my moods are the happiest when i'm pregnant...which...by the way...i can't wait another second to tell you...
which is one of the reasons why this christmas was extra thrilling for us this year! we kept it a secret until christmas day from everyone! i was 15 weeks along on christmas day, and this is a feat i have never accomplished before! i usually can't keep a baby a secret because i'm just too sick and needing help from everyone around me, but this time i wasn't too sick, just REALLY REALLY REALLY tired {like i had to nap EVERY day, and go to bed early EVERY night--NO exceptions or i'd spend the ENTIRE night barfing, which is what i did the night before christmas eve and all christmas eve day because we stayed up late wrapping presents and preparing for christmas day. i was SO glad we got to go to bed early on christmas eve night so i wasn't sick and barfing all of christmas day.} i also had to eat all of the time {or i would barf--even if i just waited too long to eat, after i would eat--i'd BARF. i've barfed more with this baby than with any of the others, but not from nausea, just from this awesome gag reflex that likes be fed all the time in frequent interval. i've been SO blessed in this aspect because i was SO worried about how i was going to get brennan off to school being sick and pregnant, but i've been perfectly fine the entire time! it's truly a blessing and a miracle i tell you.}. i'm so relieved and grateful that we didn't let our fears of these things keep us from having another baby because our hearts were just SCREAMING to have another baby!!! have you ever done something you were so terrified to do, not knowing how you were ever going to do it, with everything on paper saying you shouldn't do it, but you followed your heart because you KNEW you had to do it, and it worked out in the most amazing ways you could have never even imagined?! well that has been this pregnancy every step of the way. I STAND ALL AMAZED:) i truly, truly do. 

since it was fall, and not summer at the pool with all the family, and the hustle and bustle of school was upon us, it was really easy to keep it hidden. also, i got really good at putting my phone calls on mute and barfing really fast, and making excuses that someone had pooped and i had to run, and things like that. i have never kept a secret or a pregnancy hidden this long in my life! at the end i started to feel really guilty about lying to everyone for so long, so i was SO happy to finally have it all be out in the open. we fooled everyone, and it was a grand surprise on christmas morning! we told the kids very first after they opened all of their santa gifts. this was the present i was MOST excited about giving to the kids during the upcoming weeks before christmas. i almost couldn't sleep i was so excited. wait, that's not true, i can sleep on cue at any time right now:) it's amazing. this pregnancy so far has been almost IDENTICAL to my pregnancy with max, which is why i'm thinking it must be a girl. we will find out next week i think??? i will be most happy either way as long as we have a healthy baby! i just won't believe the ultra sound tech if they tell me it's a boy because i was SO sick with the boys, an insomniac, and never felt well, and also i had to survive off of taco bell for the first 20 weeks. like every day. it's so much more enjoyable when you can eat normal and not feel sick all of the time, and that is how i felt with max, and that is how i'm feeling with this baby. what a gift this pregnancy has been so far! so anyway, sean and i had wrapped a box with my 10 week ultra sound photo {from back in the middle of november} inside the night before, with a tag that said "#4" on it. 
me: what does the tag say?
brennan: i don't know.
me: what number is it?
brennan: 4.
me: how many kids do we have in our family right now?
max: 5!
me: nooooope, but there are 5 people in our family right now......count how many KIDS we have in our family right now.
brennan: 3.
me: yes!!! {i'm clapping all excited because now it's going how it played out in my head}. now if we had one more kid in our family, how many kids would we have in our family?
max: 5!
brennan: this is so BORING, can we open something else?!?????
me: {to sean, behind the video camera getting ALL of this on video tape of course, i said,} "this was not how i saw this going {and we were laughing at ourselves and thinking, yep, this is life with kids, and so then i was just all,} "oh, just open the box already!"
{max opens the box and throws the picture and all of the tissue paper over her head behind her, and both kids look devastated that the box is empty. chase is playing with toys because he was never interested in this ever, and he of course has no idea what's going on anyway.}
me: get that picture! {i yelled in a frantic state of hoping this was all going to come together.}
brennan: moooooom, when can we open something eeeeeelllllsssseeeee?????
me: ok ok ok, just tell me what's this picture?! {i'm losing them! this is what i'm thinking.}
brennan: that's a baby in someone's belly.
sean: who's belly do you think that baby's in?
brennan: {and then all of a sudden brennan takes a deep gasp in, and points his arm right at me all excited and yells out,} "IT'S YOU MOM!!!!!!!! THAT BABY'S IN YOU!!!!!!

and that's how we let the cat out the bag, and it was JUST SO FUN:) max started clapping and cheering, and saying she was really hoping for a girl baby, and brennan told her "there's too many girls in this place already! we need more boys around here!"
and then i think they got in a fight about it, and we told them to get more presents to distract them, and got on with christmas day as usual. as our family called and came over throughout the day, we told them one by one. i LOVED seeing everyone's reactions and the shock and joy on their faces, ESPECIALLY my mom because she had been around me so much the entire time and didn't have a clue. {she told me last night when we were at her house for dinner that she never knew i was such a good liar, and i was all, "that's because i didn't live with you in high school." doh! true story.} by the end of the day on christmas we got to almost all of the immediate family, but it was harder to get ahold of everyone than we thought with the craziness that is christmas day, so it took us almost an entire week to really tell everyone one by one. it was so SO so fun, and i wouldn't have wanted to do it any other way.

the other most magical part of christmas day, that i will always remember, is that we didn't have ANY snow the entire year. like my grass was never fully covered the two times it pathetically TRIED to snow during november. it was pitiful. BUT on christmas morning ALL WAS FORGIVEN because we woke up to a blanket of fresh snow that had fallen overnight!!! and then it snowed all day long like a snow globe encircling our house, and almost the entire next day after. it also snowed another time during christmas break, big huge flakes all day, while we were sledding and playing in the snow, and it was wonderful! i forgave the weather for everything i ever said about it all november and december long because it gave us the greatest white christmas we will always always remember! this will forever be the year we remember as the one where it didn't snow AT ALL until christmas day. it was MAGIC!

things that have not been so fun:

1. well, the barfing.
but like i said, it's just that gag reflex, no nausea, so i'm SO grateful for that. i just can't tell you what a relief it's been to not have that this time, and also that i've been able to really get along with life as normal almost the entire time.

2. the migraines have been worse this time.
like i got three in one week in the beginning there, and i went through half a bottle of peppermint oil to get me through it, and lots of coke from mcdonald's bc really, their blend is just far superior to anything else. like, it's better than actual coke from the can or bottle. how do they do this i ask you? i just don't know, but it's amazing.

3. the compression tights {actually, they're AWESOME once i strangle them onto my body every morning AND they pretty much work like spanx, so i can still button my regular pants and everything. insert angel choir singing here.} why did i not wear these when i was pregnant with chase??? this is what i keep asking myself every single day i battle them on. they are LIFE SAVING for those of us with varicose veins. i never knew they could keep the pain so at bay. we shall see how they do their work at the end when i am heavy with child. i am kicking myself for not wearing them last time. i found footless ones in a variety of colors on amazon. right now i currently own navy and black, {and when i just owned the navy to try out the sizes every church outfit i wore revolved around navy compression tights--harder than you'd think}, but i'm so looking forward to the spring when i will be ordering all of the pretty pastel colors, and OH the vibrant turquoise! and such to wear with skirts until the baby comes in JUNE.

my mom made dinner for us at our house christmas night and we ate all of our favorite appetizers throughout the day until then. sean said my breakfast egg casserole that his mom always made when he was little was the best i'd ever made it. i felt so accomplished. i think i might finally have that recipe down. it took us 2 weeks to clean up the house and get everything back in order, donating old toys, and finding new places for the treasures that santa had brought them. i'm still finding ornaments and odds and ends that need to be put with the christmas bins.
where did you spend christmas?
what did you make?
how have you been?
tell me your stories. i have so missed them!
i absolutely HAVE TO HAVE this picture that you drew.
i feel like it personifies my life right now to the T, and there's nothing more beautiful i'd rather be doing and celebrating! sometimes i am overwhelmed when i say my prayers at night that i get to live this life i am living, even with all of the barfing, and pooping, leaking diapers, fighting, but especially the hugging, loving, and cuddling that are a part of my life right now. i don't want it to ever end. i would like more sleep though...how do i order a print? can you make it for me in a big size to frame on my wall?
your talents never cease to amaze me.
i am blessed to have you in my life.
i love you!
i miss you!

i give you christmas eve...
brennan's shepherd staff broke right before i took this. he was devastated.
and then grandpa bill went into the garage and solved all of brennan's woes with this:
i give you christmas morning...
he even wrote them back:)
and then we literally collapsed.
god bless my mother for cleaning up the kitchen,
because after she went home, toting half of our boxes and wrapping paper for her garbage cans for us, sean and i laid on the couch and cleaned nothing.
we sat there like zombies and finally decided we were better off just going to bed.
so we dragged our tired bodies upstairs, and left the house in it's christmas day form,
turned out the lights,
and went to sleep.
christmas with little kids is the most exciting, exhilarating, most worth while, and exhausting thing i have ever done in my entire life.
i wouldn't trade it for the world.
the end.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


sometime right in the middle of july i find myself coming down the stairs in the morning,
or really late at night.
with the air conditioner blasting,
and the hot summer air looming outside,
and i fantasize about seeing my christmas tree with its lights glowing in front of my front window.
and for a minute i can almost smell the fresh scent of christmas tree in my house.
once i closed my eyes and always fell down the entire darn staircase.
man was i glad no one saw that except me.
but right now,
every time i come down the stairs,
i'm basking in that big open space,
and all of the hard work it took to put it all away,
and how satisfying it is to see everything back in its place for the routine life of the rest of the year.
with no needles anywhere.
not even in the cracks of the front entry tiles or in the crooks of the bottom banister.
just a toy bin, and newly arranged christmas toys that are being loved with novelty of childhood.
i love that fresh clean start of january!
now about that one word resolution everyone keeps posting.
here's mine: 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

things i've been thinking about over christmas vacation

{one day the big kids decided to potty train chase. we had no where to go, and chase was so proud walking around in undies. i let them have their fun, and then the next day they forgot about it, and i pretended underwear never happened, and we went back to our regularly scheduled, and conveniently happy, diaper baby man life. phew, that was a close one.}
things i thought about over christmas vacation...
school life is overrated {also, it's great--i'm a woman, and i get to say things like that and have them make sense}.
i don't miss carpool, or homework, or alarm clocks at all.
and i can't believe i'm saying this,
but i actually kind of liked having all of my kids home all day long.
not to worry, this feeling passed this morning when someone pooped in their pants,
someone else slapped someone in the face, and brennan spelled out the word S-H-*-T when he dropped the toilet paper roll into the potty,
he told me that he can spell it out because i do it that way,
and my eyes got all big,
and sean was laughing at me from the top of the stairs, covering his mouth, pointing at me while leaning over his belly in hysterical silent laughter, listening to all of it transpire.
whispering that i deserve this parental humiliation by my child {i MAY have been laughing too, but mostly just turning really red in the face--glutton for punishment},
and then he gave me a really responsible adult look with his most charming smirk that he does with his beautiful big brown eyes.
maybe it was more like laughing with his eyes in a funny tone because he loves all of me, even the potty mouth part of me that spells out swear words from time to time when i forget pack n plays and taking my kids to birthday parties and stuff like that {all the while thinking i was so clever by not actually SAYING the word, only spelling it out.}
that's what she said.
and that's when i thought, the kids are teaching me, not the other way around,
and then i made brennan pinky promise that he would stop spelling out swear words when the toilet paper roll falls into the toilet bowl, and in return i would stop spelling out swear words when i realize i've forgotten pack n plays and birthday parties, and other stuff like that.
and we even kissed our thumbs when we did it,
so that means it's for real.
that's what the makenzie maxine old told us.
i'm dreading monday morning, and looking forward to it all at the same time.
because as much as i don't want a schedule again, i need a schedule again.
and i'd like a schedule again.
at least i think that's what the feeling i'm feeling is telling me tonight.
or maybe it's just saying "regular bedtime for the kids."
mmmm that sounds nice:)
i'd just rather that school started around 10am, so i didn't have to set an alarm clock,
and rush anybody off to school.
or really i just like it to start at the exact time that we decide to get there each day.
kind of like the world revolving around us.
and also, i wish there was no homework and nobody fighting while i try to make dinner,
and while i'm helping someone do homework.
nope, i'd rather just sleep in, lounge half awake with a toddler cuddled up on my chest,
watching a movie with a sippy full of milk,
and a 4 yr old and 6 yr old eating cheerios at the kitchen table,
and playing on my phone and on the xbox downstairs,
until the toddler finally shoves me out of bed,
demanding pancakes {which he calls eggs}.
that's the kind of alarm clock life i'd prefer:)
just if we're ordering up life like eggs.
or pancakes, if you're chase.
then later, we can make beds,
maybe get dressed and change people's underwear and stuff,
brush teeth and roll up to school right in our very own time.
then i can go somewhere in our car with the other two.
and see some fish or a children's museum,
and not have any idea what time it is, except when someone tells you they're hungry,
and it's 2pm and you think, yep, i guess it's time for lunch isn't it?
and then we'll read some books together in the big room,
just when the afternoon sun is warming up the lazy boy recliner rocking chair by the window.
and then we'll take our naps.
and kids will just magically transport themselves home from school without the use or necessity of a carpool time frame.
and then we will go to grandma's house or bajio or culver's for dinner.
and play with cousins and stuff like that.
and not have any homework:)
i think that's called summer vacation though.
yep, it is.
and then i'm all, how do the home schooling mom's do it???
because linsey's mom was all, "if i home-schooled, my kids would have either been illiterate or dead."
and i'm always all, "yep, yep they would! which is why i send my kids to school, and set alarms and do carpools and all the jazzy stuff like that."
so tomorrow, monday morning brings us back to the grind,
and i'm happy and sad about it all at the same time.
i guess i'm ready for it after all.
'cause bedtimes ARE actually kind of great,
and school life is the only thing known to man that can force me into a normal bedtime on a regular basis.
also regular showers.
i feels kind of like the end of summer vacation.
except it's finally cold and winter out.
i think january should be 28 days and february should be 31 days.
because january is nice and all to slow everything down,
but 31 days just makes it go on for too long.
how is it that i blinked and christmas vacation was over?
it was like some magical time transport where we floated away with our cousins to the land of no responsibility and no schedule, and it was lovely.
lovely, lovely, lovely.
there's nothing like not knowing what day of the week it is or what hour of the day it is.
there's nothing like vacation breaks.
christmas report to come....
later this week....
after i scrub some potties.
which haven't been cleaned since before christmas.
it's not pretty.