Wednesday, November 16, 2011

First Day of School Fairy

I have decided to start a new start of school tradition. The night before the first day of school, we will have a little visitor called, 'The first day of school fairy'. Lane totally ratted me out to the boys so they have a pretty good idea that it wasn't a fairy who put goodies in their backpacks. How rude! ;) That's okay, it's still going to be titled and gifted from 'The first day of school fairy!'
Porter and Grady put their backpacks outside their door to awaken to a full backpack of fun filled items!

Porter's loot.

Smiling...because that is what I have taught him since out of the womb.

Grady's loot.

Enjoying checking out his surprises. I had to make this truly exciting and so I went again my better judgment and put mini marshmallows in his new snack cup. Guaranteed, he loved it!

Porter's first interview with his teacher a few days before school.

This is what we brought her as a ice breaker-get to know you-my child is the coolest, treat. "With you as my teacher, I am going to be one smart cookie!"

And here it is! The grande finale! Porter's first day of school with year 2 of brotherly goodbyes and loves. They were both having excellent hair days as well. I know I will enjoy pictures like these more with each wrinkle I get. Love savoring my crazy dudes.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Porter has a birthday! August

Porter turned 6 in August with 'full day school' looming before us. I had a really hard time transitioning into motherhood when Porter was born. My Mom told me that 'time would fly by', but by the time he was six months old, I practically chastised her and claimed they were lies, saying that was the longest six months of my life!
Well, as it turns out, she was right. His six years of life have flown by and now I want them to slow down. I love that my kids are kids and love me unconditionally and truly wake up each morning with the attitude that it's a new day. When he turned 6, all of a sudden I was thinking, 'he's almost 8 which means he gets baptized...people who have 8 year olds are the 'old-young', and he's half way to 12 which is a teenager and so on and so forth.
Well, lets leave my girly, wishy, washy emotions aside for a moment to talk about his rockin' awesome birthday party. He really wanted to invite his whole kindergarten class for a party. Quite a few kids in his class had rented out community rooms and invited the whole class for their parties. He really loved his class and his teacher and so there was pull there BUT he also wanted to go go-karting. I told him he had to pick one because we couldn't take his whole kindergarten class go-karting. If he wanted to choose go-karting, only four friends could come and then we could race and go-kart. Go-karting won the day.
There was a re-do of the 'The Little Rascals', in the early 1990s. It is a new favorite of Porter's. One of the main plots climaxes is when Alfalfa wins the go-kart race. Porter is already inclined to anything with wheels, fast, race, etc. because of Lane but go-karting is the perfect kid way to do all of it.
Kind of embarrassing BUT last year, Porter had a dinosaur Porter and the invite said, 'Come for a Roarin' good time.' Clearly I am not too creative in the puns but on his invitation this year, it was printed on a tire that said, 'Come for a Roarin' good time.' Same word, different...noun...object? I didn't realize that until after. I guess 'roarin' is just so versatile, I couldn't help myself...again. It's really not limiting myself, it's just using what works...;)

First of all, these speed racer children needed to know I meant business with a fancy shmancy finish line Happy Birthday banner! Oh yah!

Of course, driver and vehicle must be well hydrated to perform at optimum levels.

Oh my word, Porter was in heaven. In large signs across the fence were warnings of 'no bumping'. Lane thought it would be hilarious to tell Porter the game was to bump everyone else. Porter, the poor guy, thinking he could actually trust his parent to lead him true, was bumping every kid in the party and whatever stranger happened to be on the track with them. The teenage kid running the track was yelling, 'no bumping!' and Lane was cheering him on. I won't elaborate other than to say, TYPICAL!!!
I learned a lot about go-karting this day. I set aside an hour for it. 10-15 minutes of driving there, two- 5 minute drives each, 10-15 minutes back. Well, the line ups, the ten thousand other children, the wait times, we were pushing it at trying to leave after two hours. My gosh! The night before I had made Lane make a car ramp so the kids could race hot wheel cars in the backyard, and I also made a red light/green light sign to play in the field behind our house. We will save those for a rainy day somewhere in the obscure future. We got home, scarfed down some car cake, opened presents and bid farewell to Porter's peeps.
The beauty of it is, nobody but the adults present knew any different. The kids LOVED the party. The go-karting was a huge hit! Everyone was so happy and content. Though it didn't go on without a flaw, it felt like it did because five, 6 year old reactions thinking this was 'so cool!' made it flawless.

Here's Porter's car cake that my friend Erin made for Porter. The desirable object on the car to receive on one's plate were the oreo wheels. Good thing we had extra oreos!

AND, what's a party without presents. Here's him, his doting brother Grady, and four of his buddies looking at the very exciting, boy toys. Transformers, monster trucks, lego, etc.

Everything must be themed, I say! Race car hot dogs! You accessorize your hot dog to look like a car, take a picture and then immediately dis-assemble. Pointless but I get points for awesome. The pointless and points come neck in neck sometimes.

Here are where my puns are redeemed! You're 'Wheelie' cool! And all the kids really were. Porter had a great time. I had fun putting it together and was only stressed during the party, as per usual...which means I had a good time in my own way. It went down in history for Porter and that could not make me any happier! Wa-hoo!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Just for Fun

Well, you know, I try to keep things "fresh". The tv can be an enticing friend for me and my two little men but keeping the home life 'spicy'...maybe that's not what I was going for, keeping things more engaging than Diego and updating my worldly opinions is fun to do. I want Grady and Porter to have a good relationship with each other and a large selection of good memories with me because why not? Too many reasons.
Here are some crafts that we did. Porter is more in the crafting age. Grady is more in the coloring on the wall stage so there are pictures of Porter doing crafts and none of Grady napping during this time. ;)

I took light corn syrup and separated it into different glasses. Each glass was a different color and got about 10 drops of food coloring. You let it dry for a day and then it turns into this cool, shiny, plastic looking art work.
Spring doesn't really have a distinctive menu but Summer, Fall, and Winter can. Everyone has heartwarming memories of seasonal foods. For example, fall is all about pumpkin everything, squash and turkey. Winter could be about Christmas baking, cranberries, nuts, and warm drinks. Summer is watermelon, corn, blueberries, divine peaches, etc. We wanted to have some summer food lovin'. This is a smore chocolate milkshake! We had Lane's brother's family over for dinner and this was dessert. It is essentially a chocolate ice cream milkshake, garnished with crushed graham cruckers, chocolate chips, toasted mini marshmellows (done in the oven on a baking sheet with tin foil and pam) and though it is not pictured in this beauty, we added a two piece chunk of a jersey milk chocolate bar. Summer drink perfection.

This was Lane's father's day gift. He is a hero in our home and in his work life. It came in this box and then he opened it up to his favorite treats, labeled with the supernatural abilities each product provided. They're real by the way.

I can't help it, this present makes me smile every time I glance at it. I made this for Porter's kindergarten teacher as an end of the year present. I just added a bow and Porter gave it to her. All of the Mom's came over to get a look, telling me how beautiful it was, how touching, just amazing, etc. I should've said, 'no, no, it's nothing really. You're too kind', but I had a smile from ear to ear and just accepted the praise. I didn't expect the response because I've seen this project around before but nobody else in Porter's class had seen anything like it. It was a hit and though Lane mocked me a little, it was fun to soak up the praise.

I was asked to teach a class on container gardening this spring. I don't know a thing about container gardening (let alone gardening. It's amazing how chores like weeding are somehow blocked out) but I love doing research so I put together a four page user friendly handout, with some cool pictures, easy tips, and step by step processes. I became converted to it in the process of researching about it. With all of the knowledge we can acquire on any kind of broad subject base, in the end, what does it matter if there's an emergency and we don't even have the basic knowledge on how to feed ourselves? It's easy to get involved with as an individual or family and you can use any space, big or small. This is how I got Porter involved. I bought him a pot he could decorate and he could choose what to be planted. It was his responsibility to water it and take of it.
That's all for now. I really enjoy enriching my kid's lives, my life, my family's life with things that add just a little more joy to the regular Alphaghetti and bill paying.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

To My Little Man

I am having a difficult time coming to terms with Porter going into Gr. 1. There are some superficial reasons and some emotional, love inspired reasons. As for superficial, I do not want to take away my 6 year streak AND hard trained work of having children who sleep in gone to waste. I'm sorry but school starting at 8:30 am is still sleepy, sleepy time for me. This need to sleep in the am, I believe has been years of conditioning since my own infancy. My mother was a single Mom when I was a baby and we slept in and slept together. I picture a cozy team. Then my Mom put me in afternoon kindergarten...strategically for sleeping in. Habits of staying up late and waking up at the last minute remained my entire life even through university (I only had one class that ever started before 9 am). Don't think I am lazy, just don't even tantalize that idea. I work hard until the wee hours at night. It's hard to change a lifestyle from the pm to the am and honestly I have not put forth a reasonable effort to conquer it. What desire would I have to wake up earlier anyway? I taught my children the same thing, the only thing poor ol'me ever knew.
Second superficial reason: rush hour traffic. This is short and self explanatory. Makes me shudder with disgust.
Here's my love inspired reasons for not wanting to part with Porter to a stranger (also known as teacher) who does not love him nearly as much as I do, who tries to have his best interests at heart but can't possibly know him as well with 20 other 6 year olds competing for their attention and a salary with thank you cards for every special holiday behind it all. You start kindergarten knowing your child needs it and is ready though you have to internalize the idea your child is growing up and reaching new milestones. On the other hand, Gr. 1 is 8 hours out of the day where I have no influence or ability to teach principles that are important and valuable to my own child. I don't think people can really appreciate this unless you're going through it. At one point their babies, next they're toddlers (glorified babies), directly after that they are 4 and five and starting school. They are too young to be away from their home for the majority of their day. Porter will come home to homework, supper and sleep.
With a gospel perspective my Aunt once pointed out to me that we have the responsibility and possibility of having our homes a place where the Spirit can dwell. Outside of our home, we cannot control the things that are seen or heard. That is where temptation and harmful influences lie, BUT not in our homes. She counseled me that once my children are in school for 8 hours a day and then have extracurricular activities, friends and whatever else comes their to pull on their time, so theoretically 8-10 hours a day, starting from the age of 6, they are out in the world on Satan's time. What will I do with the two hours of time I have with them at home? What are the things I will say or teach or how will I behave to make our home distinctly different from what they are exposed to outside of our home?
On top of that, he's not that old and developed and mature. He's still a small child that says hilarious things and is bluntly honest. There's no evolved conflict resolution with peers yet! He's still at the age where his blunt honesty can catch you off guard and then instantly develops into hilarity (fast forward another 6 years and it would be rude but now it's funny and true to a child).
To be realistic, there are days where I think, 'Okay, when is school starting?!' Porter and Grady together are dynamite (think of a literal picture). The options include with each other, to my house, to my nerves, etc. It's not skipping down the sidewalk with ice cream all the time but it's the love behind it that makes parenthood the great motivator through the difficult.
I DON'T WANT HIM TO GO. I am pregnant, low energy, sick, I used to be organized (in my own way) but now am scatter brained. I need to feel better and then have more time to enjoy. I'm not asking for the lottery win (although I'll take it if it's offered), I am just asking for time.
Here are some pictures of my awesome dude to show how creative and imaginative and completely awesome he is. Give him supplies and he makes his own fun. He's inspired by the things he sees and then creates it for himself.He watched a tv show that had a robot in it so he decided to make a costume and pretend to be a robot.

Experimenting with head gear.

He took pillows, blankets, and toy boxes to get the perfect angle. One of his favorite movies right now is called, 'Down and Derby'. It's all about a cub car derby. He was building a track to race his 'derby cars'. The only set back to his design was the blanket ramp had a little too much friction for accuracy or speed.

He made popsicle race car puppets! I know! He's a genius. If only I was good at playing pretend or coming up with puppet story lines. It really is a weak spot of mine.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Back from the Unintentioned Blogging Hiatus

It has been a while since I have been chillin' in the blogging world. I am almost 15 weeks pregnant and I feel like in those past 15 weeks, I am a person who roams the world wishing to sleep. Not lazy, tired! Oh so, tired. I feel like it sounds quite substantial to say, 'Hello, yes, I am pregnant with my third. Why yes again, I have two very active boys (one borders on maniac... a well intentioned but defiant, maniac).'I've had friends describe such children as 'curious, little scientists, problem solvers, exciting human beings', I need to angle my perspective more to appreciating my little scientist's experiments, as opposed to silently thinking, 'please calm down. Why, why did you just rip that book and head butt your brother? Why did you bang my two nail polish bottles over my cream carpet stairs leaving them stained orange (deep red fades to orange)? Why do you continue to spit everywhere after I ask you not to? Why do you take a bite of food, chew it a few times and spit it out on the floor? Why do I not have a dog to eat your half masticated food that was spit on the floor? Why are you so cute and melt my heart directly after I want to pull out my hair?'
People used to tell me that Porter was easy. I felt there was certainly a level of difficulty to my task as a parent for sure BUT was always bewildered by their children. I have since lost my bewilderment. Now I look at people with quiet, well behaved children and am happy for them but kind of feel perturbed. My thoughts have on occasion gone like this, 'You don't really know what it's like. You don't know how I suffer during sacrament meeting. Nobody in this room can sympathize with me. You just can't know when your 2 year old sits there with a peaceful, almost spiritual zen-like smile on their face. What do you know?!' I actually don't think these things maliciously, it's more with air of 'oh, please, you probably think the scenarios in Robert Munsch books are actually exaggerations.'

Super Cute! I say, 'EEEEEEeee', and he scrunches up his face and does this really adorable cabbage patch kid look.

I had just given the boys each some sort of kitchen utensil to lick delicious chocolate cake batter off of.

Grady looked at his spatula with 'curiosity' and wiped it all over the counter. He then preceded to lick it off the counter instead. No one can deny that if you ignore the logistics of having to clean it up, that's quality funny right there.

I just thought this was a funny picture of his body language displaying whining, mixed in with demanding something, topped off with his cute gap-y teeth.

The day of INFAMY! That was a bad day. I stumbled upon a brand new bottle of deep red, Opi nail polish smashed on the stairs. This picture does not do it justice because they were puddles that couldn't absorb due to already being over saturated. Hours and hours of scrubbing, carpet cleaner, nail polish, oxy clean, lysol, acetone, etc. He was very sweet for the rest of the day.
To make a short story, really long, I have been unmotivated and tired which has resulted in a lack of blog posts; however, I still cruise the blogging scene, indulging on others blogging.
I wanted to say thanks to my cousin Krymsen for re-designing my blog. She has talent oozing out of every finger and finger nail. A new and different talent for each appendage. She said, 'Can I pretty, pretty, please, please, design your blog?' Why, twist my arm and beautify my blog! It is so much fun! Now I just need to move forward and fill up all of my cool tabs she created.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Little Projects

I really enjoy giving out little gifts. I know it makes people feel great to be thought of and in a sense, it's a form of service to be thinking of others. Any kind of holiday or random project is fun either to do on my own or to get the two mr.handsomes to help along.
Sometimes I still find it odd because six or seven years ago, this was not in my personal repertoire but now I hope that one day doing the 'little things' or going just a little above and beyond the norm, or doing something pleasantly unexpected for others will be something that my kids will remember and carry on. By golly, I think I'm fleshing out part of my legacy to pass on! Well, I'll be darned. ;) Although to clarify, my Mom did try to teach me to write thank you cards and be a good guest but I'll admit when the world truly revolved around me, I wasn't consistent at these acts. Now I try to do that and more.

People, who does not love a cheesy play on words? As much as people mock puns and combo words, everyone secretly has an initial little laugh. Just let it out. They're almost sort of funny! 'Smeeps' is funny and a cheery delivery around Easter time. I got this idea off of eighteen25.

A birthday present I gave to my friend. I got the idea off of House of Smith.

This was just a fun project for thing 1 and thing 2 (I think that's what I'm going to dress them up as for Halloween! It's so me.) Porter and Grady's lives revolve around cars, more especially the ones that look fast. They got to paint their own and for almost a whole day, they loved to play with them. Porter was very particular with his. He really wants a race car with blue wheels. He always talks about being a race car driver that drives a car with blue wheels. In addition to this desire, he told his kindergarten teacher his name is 'Speed'. He has already told me this many times but now he's trying to make official in his social circles. Last year his name was to be McQueen but now he claims McQueen is for babies and he is Speed Racer who is faster than McQueen. As humorous as this all is, never laugh because he is dead serious. ;)

Monday, May 2, 2011

My Hairy Concern

Grady really needs a haircut! It's so long right now. If he puts on a hat, the poor dude turns into Cousin It Jr. (but with more texture of course!). The dilemma is thus: when I get his hair cut it goes straight for about a month and once it gets longer, it returns to my satisfaction level of large/voluminous and curvy/curly. I want to get family pictures done BUT if I get it cut now, that means I risk losing the curl...but he needs it shorter.
This may not be an epic decision like those determining to go to war but I, in my little homey, small world am torn by his hair. His hair is near and dear to me. I'm getting 1/4 of an inch cut off today...Maybe this less is more approach will work.

Here is Grady shortly after a haircut (with his mouth full. He really gets a kick out of showing people his food. I have many pictures under the category: Grady's seafood):

Here is my baby after it is grown out:

AND, Just for FUN!
These pictures were taken back in January. I could not stop laughing that day. I did his hair in what I felt was style: un chic mobster. I'm sure I gave him a complex because every time I looked him in the face I burst out laughing. Picture how you would feel if every time someone looked at you they started laughing! Still, I indulged myself. We were on our way to Church and Lane claimed Grady was not his son that day. That's cool. It was all worth it, sadly to say, for my own entertainment. My justification is he is incredibly adorable and can work that ponytail!
p.s. Inspired by my cousin Sarah who did it to her son first. The idea was a keeper and I followed likewise. It would've been even better if we could've gone to Church together with both our boys in such spectacular and might I say, fashion forward, hair statements.

Friday, March 25, 2011

They're Magically Delicious!

So I found a fun pattern for leprechaun ears on my good blog 'friend', makeandtakes. You know, I loved it when I saw it but I couldn't put my finger on what was a little off. They are hilarious. So check. They were a big hit with the recipients. Check. Ah-hah, the culprit is the fact that leprechauns may wear green, St. Patty's day is characterized by green BUT are leprechauns green? As far as I know in regards to mythical characters (they should be real though. I would be a pot of gold hunter), they are NOT GREEN. They're Irish! Who is green? Yoda. These are the perfect Yoda ears.
Get this! Porter was detailing out the 'Lucky Charms' box and whoever is in charge of advertising did not do their research! Where are his pointy ears? Porter was like, 'He (referring to Lucky) doesn't have pointy ears'. Well, one more thing to add to the pile of things that don't make sense in the world! I told him that there are two species of leprechauns. One type has pointy ears and the other type don't. Now that I write this out, I can't believe I told him that. I should've fully laid the blame on General Mills. ;)

I wanted to give Grady a reward for keeping the ears on for so long (a solid three minutes, which in our terms is likened unto an eternity). I think he is grasping the fact that Mommy wants a picture and then he can dip them in water and tear them to shreds. He humors me. What a good son.

They're so cute! I feel like the dreaded aunt that pinches cheeks but it's worse because I'm their mother! Their cuteness never tires for me. The aggravating whining tires me but the faces the whining comes from does not tire me.

Surprise! Happy St. Patrick's Day! As a side note, I have always been baffled that 'Lucky Charms' does not sell extra bags of just their dehydrated marshmallows. Everyone would buy them! Anyone who eats a box wants to pick out more marshmallows, only to pay for it during the next bowl when the findings are scarce. I would always buy extras to put in my cereal. I would add it to other cereal. If only the right people knew how smart I was! I would let them know they are losing out on a serious money maker. Am I right or am I right?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Oh, Valentine's...and a short monologue.

I like blogging for three reasons:
1)It's a journal of my family. My life.
2)It's a more personal way to keep updated on friends and family...well, more personal than a facebook status. You're able to read what's happening right from the horses' mouth (here's a two part question, where did that ridiculous saying come from and am I even saying it right?)
3)People, mostly women, have turned blogging into a livelihood. There's creative genius' online and I get to browse their blogs and better myself (become more awesome). Getting ideas and sharing them again with someone else has practically turned into a hobby. As a bonus, I like to be able to admire and support women with ideas and ambitions.
My life story p.o.v. on this is, I actually used to pride myself on not being crafty and not having well honed domestic skills but I have had a turnaround in the many moons since then. The phrase, 'necessity is the mother of invention', comes into play and it kind of took off from there. It’s rewarding to make life fun and fulfilling with what you have to work with. Don’t get me wrong, if anyone wants to share some millions I wouldn’t turn it down but as for now, this is a way for me to look at the glass half full instead of half empty. I can create what I need instead of being sad about not being able to buy it. I can make a food item I’m craving. I mean hello, store bought muffins are nasty and oily. Frankly, most of the things I make, or can make, I like better anyway. So there cruel world!

This post relates more to item #3 on my list. I pretty much want to show off.
We did a couple of fun things in honor of the day of love so consider this idea sharing. The pay if forward of blogging. Ah, sweet.

This is what I started out with for Porter's Valentines to hand out at school. Wait for it, it gets AWESOME!

Ta-Da! Trick of the eyes! It looks like he's holding a 3D sucker and guess what? It's real, no illusion!

25 Valentines later.

Buttermilk syrup. It was good. Like really good.

Red Velvet Heart Pancakes. Yet again, really good.

Chocolate dipped fortune cookies prepared for a punny result.

The goods inside the Chinese food box.

Almost there.

Hah! 'I am so fortunate to have you for a teacher!' Punny and sweet. This was for Porter's kindergarten teacher for Valentines. Porter often expresses his wishes for Mrs. Havens to come over for a play date. Teachers mean the world to kids.