Saturday, November 30, 2013

More zoo pictures?


Because yesterday we went.  And Daddy came with us, too.  And this time we saw some animals that were hiding last time.  And also there are some pictures of me.  

We got to see the jaguar pace around his cage.

I was walking holding hands with the boys and they were happy and smiling and I thought, you know, I really want this moment captured.

So I made us stop walking.  I gave Brice the camera.  I made him walk about fifty paces ahead of us.  I made the boys KEEP holding my hand.  They started to whine, since this was taking a while, and of course was no longer natural and fun.  But by gosh, I didn't care.  I forced them to act happy with threats of leaving the zoo right then.  So yeah. 

We got to see the rhino this time.  He peed.  And then licked it up.

And then made this face at us, as if to say, "How do you like them apples?"

We only stayed at the zoo about an hour and a half since it was pretty chilly and we didn't bring water or snacks or anything really.  The last place we went to was the kid area, where they have the otters.  The otters have been MIA like the last five times we've been.  But this time they were not.  

And they were a delight.

I think they were really bored with the fact that there was no one at the zoo, so when they saw us they immediately perked up.

They even played with the boys.  It was pretty awesome.  They have a tunnel that goes through their display where you can see them swimming around you and above you.  Jace and Cam would run to the tunnel and see the otters, and then they would run back to the outside and the otters would go meet them there.  Then the otters would dive back in the water and the boys would race back into the tunnel.  I feel as though the boys AND the otters loved it.

Otters are pretty dang cute.  Almost so cute you might think about touching them.  But they had signs all around the cage warning against that.  This lady who came up with her kids as we were leaving said she saw a kid reach his hand over the display, and true to the message on the glass, the otter bit him.

But look at that little face. . . I took this picture as he was watching the boys leave.  Seriously  How cute is that?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Livvy is a great cuddler.  At bedtime, she will drink her "baba" and then she will lay on me like this.  She does the same squirms every night.  She looks at my face and pats it.  Sometimes she gives me kisses.  Then she squirms again and lays her head back down. I love it.

I wrote a poem for Jace the night before he turned one year old.

One year ago I held in you swaddled in my arms so tight,
Today I try to cuddle you, you squirm and screech and fight.
One year ago I lay you down, you couldn’t move around,
Today I put you on the floor, now you can’t be found.

One year ago I fed you, huddled close against my chest,
Today you throw your food and grin, you make a monstrous mess.
One year ago you couldn’t hold your head up, laugh, or smile,
Today you chase the pup and squeal, giggling all the while.

One year ago you held my finger, with your tiny little hand,
Today you wave hello, good-bye— you crawl, you even stand.
One year ago you ate and slept and oh, if I could know,
How fast this year would come and go, how quickly you would grow.

One year ago I would have held you longer in the night.
Today I creep into your room and think that I just might,
Pick you up and rock you till the sun comes shining through
Remembering one year ago when you were so very new. 
One year ago today you were a brand new baby boy,
So small and sweet and innocent you filled our home with joy.
Today I remember when, one year ago you came,
You changed my life and changed my heart, I will never be the same. 

One year ago I loved you, today I love you still.
One year ago I loved you, and forever I always will.

I think about the fourth section every time I cuddle with Livvy.  I so wish I could go back in time to when my baby boys were that age and rock them one more time.  But I can't.  And so since I can't, I try very hard to not rush my night time cuddles with Liv.  I try to not think about all the things I will get to do now that all the kids are finally asleep.  I try not to play with my phone.  I try to just sit and rock with her, longer in the night.

I can't believe she is already almost one.  Time just goes way too fast. 

(also I was trying to rock Cameron last night when I woke him up to give him a breathing treatment aaaaaaand he farted on me.  Soooooo not as sweet as it used to be)

So Brice got a nice sized buck on Saturday.  The boys (especially Cameron) thought it was pretty cool.  Cameron was not concerned at all about getting right up in that deer's business.  

I am not a huge fan of dead animals.  The other day Andy had killed a rabbit in our yard.  Or maybe it died of fright.  There was nothing outwardly wrong with it except for that it was dead.  I discovered it up against the fence in the morning and I knew that if I didn't dispose of it there would be dead rabbit flesh flung around the yard, courtesy of a bored dog.  So I had to get rid of it.

I'm sure if any  neighbors were watching me get rid of it, they got a show. I have a pretty weak stomach for that stuff.  

But I guess I better get on board with this deer, because he will be mounted on a wall in our house soon, I imagine. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

I love that we moved the boys to the front of the house.  This room is bigger, brighter, and more inviting to play in.  This is where we spend a lot of the day while Jace is in school.

When we're not eating.  Or watching TV.

It's not always just fun and games and playing well with each other.  But for the most part, it's very pleasant.  In fact, as long as I'm in the room with them, the two littles will play by themselves (or sometimes Cameron will play with Livvy, using her as the giant baby monster the bad guys go to when they're captured) and I can just sit and observe.  Sometimes I play with them.  But there is only so much deep voiced power ranger talking I can do.  So sometimes I play on the ipad.  Or read.  Or fold laundry.  Or practice my not-really-new-but-rekindled crochet skills.

And so, in case you've been wondering why I haven't had any new lots of random pictures of Liv, here you go.  Livvy with her new hat that I made her.

(and yes, I did take away the large choking hazard she was trying to stuff down her throat) 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Hopefully in writing this down I can reign in some of my craziness.  Dial it down to just carousel craziness instead of roller coaster craziness.

Today was the primary program at church.  I woke up this morning at 7:00 in a good mood, excited (for once) to actually get up and begin the wrestle that is Sunday morning.

Flash forward five hours later and I am leaving the chapel holding Livvy, obviously on the verge of tears, and dragging Jace and Cameron behind me.  Driving home through blankets of tears.  Putting children down for naps through blankets of tears.  And now sitting at this computer, red eyed and boogery.

And now I'm trying to figure out just what exactly caused the roller coaster to pick up such crazy speed, and then derail.  And here is what I have concluded:

Sundays, for me, are hard.  There is no spiritual enlightenment at all.  From the time I wake up in the morning to the time I drive away from the church, I am in a constant craze of battling with children.  Brice is always gone early Sunday morning (and also, P.S., I know a lot of women in the church have husbands who are gone Sunday morning and handle it well.  I do not.  I never will.  I hate it.  And if that makes me a wussy mormon wife, then so be it.  I don't care) so I am left to get the kids and myself ready for church alone.  

We're usually late.  I'm always frazzled.  The kids are extra rowdy Sunday mornings.  This morning outside was basically a swimming pool because it had rained alllllllll night.  We actually were ready to leave the house twenty minutes before ten but when I opened the door and saw the wading pool of a yard we would have to cross to make it to the van, all hopes of a smooth exit to church vanished.  

In order to get the boys safely (and dry) to the van I had to carry them one at a time.  Then I had to get Livvy there.  But when I got to the van I realized her car seat was still in the house.  Swearing occurred.  By the time we were all ready and buckled in my feet and bottom of my skirt were soaking wet and patience had long since vanished.  And I still had to wrestle with kids for the next three hours (one hour in sacrament and two more hours in the nursery).

But today was the primary program.  And I was excited.  I feel like the primary program is the one Sunday a year when mothers of young, difficult children--such as myself-- can sit back and feel the reward of their struggles.  A time to see your sweet child singing his heart out from the stand, looking at you with a smile, so proud of himself.  It's the one Sunday out of the year that you actually feel like it's worth it to go to church.

Jace practiced his lines.  He memorized them all.  He knew part of all the songs, and some of them he knew really well. He was singing them around the house when he got home from the practice yesterday.  I couldn't wait to see my sweet little boy smiling at me proudly from the stand.  To make me feel like a good mom, for once.  To make me feel like going to church on Sunday is not just a waste of time.

But, like most things, if you set yourself up with high expectations, you are sure to be disappointed.  Jace didn't say his lines like I knew he could.  He waited for them to be whispered to him. That's okay, though, no big deal.

But then he also did not sing a single song.  He stood there with a blank look on his face, his mouth firmly closed.  I mouthed at him from the audience, "SING".  He did not. I gave him my scary teacher eyes and mouthed it again.  Nothing.  He would not sing.

And for some reason that crushed my soul a little bit.  First there was rage.  And I wanted to march up there and shake him and yell, "SING DAMMIT SING"  Then disappointment came pouring in and I suddenly felt like I was going to burst into tears right there in front of everyone.  After the first four songs of not even attempting to sing, I just wished that it would hurry up and be over.  Because disappointment kept crashing in harder and harder.  And then the guilt came, because why did I care so much?  Why was I feeling so mad at him for not singing?  What kind of a mother wants to say to her five year old when he comes off the stand, "What the heck was that?  That sucked big time."

Is that crazy? Yes.  I know it is.  But the heart feels what it feels.  Sometimes it feels what it feels magnified because of stupid hormones.  But it doesn't make what it feels any less real.  And right  now my heart feels sad that my little boy would not sing lovely primary songs in his primary program.  And also sad at the way I let it bother me. And also sad because it has never hit me more fully that no matter how hard I try, how much instruction I give, how many scary eyed threats I issue, Jace will do what he wants to do.  And sometimes his choices are going to be disappointing.  And sometimes they're going to make my heart cry just a little bit.  And I know that this really isn't a big deal.  Probably even in just a few hours I will feel better and wonder what I was so upset about.  But someday it will be something else that disappoints me and makes my heart hurt.  And I don't know if I'm ready for that.  How do parents handle it?  I am not doing so well at this little, insignificant thing.  How will I handle real stuff?

Even though three year old are like little terrors, I think maybe I wish my kids could all stay three forever.

I tried explaining to him why I feel disappointed and sad, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't get it or even care.  Which is fine.  Because he's five.  And there will be plenty of other primary programs.  And  you better believe I will be threatening him with a beating if he does not sing, or even pretend to sing, at the next one.

I went in to tell him to lay down and rest and he said to me, "Why are your eyes so red."

"Because I've been crying."

"Well, you look like a monster, kinda."


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Look at those three beautiful children.  Don't they look like angels?  So sweet.  So pretty.  So well behaved.


This morning Brice and I were awakened at 5:00 a.m. to the sound of a child yelling for "MOOOOOMMMMMYYYYYYY!"

After I stumbled out of bed, found my glasses, and staggered to the boys' room, I was told two things.

"Mom, I peed in my bed," from one child.

And, "Mom, I threw up," from the other child.


I feel like there was probably a conversation like this two minutes prior to that point.  It went like this:

"Hey, are you awake, I think I'm gonna throw up."

"Yeah, I'm awake.  I have to pee."

"I know, how about you pee, and I'll throw up, at the same time.  And then we'll tell, Mom."

"Yeah, sounds good."

Brice sometimes gives me a hard time for taking waaaaay more pictures of her than the other two.  But I think it's probably obvious why.  She will stay in one place.  She will smile and laugh and make cute noises.  She doesn't throw sticks at me.  Or ignore me when I say "stop running away".  She doesn't pull her pants down to try to show me her butt and then laugh hhysterically like it's the funniest thing ever.  And until she starts doing those things, she will get to have more pictures.

Needless to say, after our rocky start this morning, things didn't get much better.  We showered the boys off and turned on the TV.  No sense in going back to bed.

It was one of those mornings when I kept checking the clock hoping it was time to take Jace to school.

I've read a lot of stuff on other blogs and mommy websites about the challenge to "not yell".  I just don't know how that is done.  I always think, maybe it's my evident stress and anxiety that gets the boys all worked up to yelling and jumping and flinging themselves around and hitting and poking and screaming. . . But even when I stifle back every scream and speak in hush tones with a calm and quiet manner, I am trampled by noise and yelling and insanity.

The only way to gain control of the situation is to yell loud enough to be heard above the other yelling.  Right?  Either that or ignore the situation completely and take Livvy to my room and LOCK the door.

I've tried both.  The end result is usually the same.

Oh well.  These pictures are good, at least.

I know Jace and Cameron were both annoyed with me and ready to take my camera and beat me with it.

I should have said, "Don't worry about it, boys.  It's pay back for how you will wake me up in two days."