summer readiness

Yes, you have to prepare for summer. With my little boys, they thrive on schedules and routine. Whenever I leave things up to them or allow them to just wing it and do whatever they want, they just fight, get angry, watch more TV, whine, ask to play more video games …. in short – it’s a mess. So, I have spent the better part of the day and a little of yesterday gathering ideas and plans and making a summer chart.

The chart just has their daily tasks on there and then there will be things we do once a week. Those are the small squares. I will laminate the charts, then laminate the squares and use sticky tack to attach the squares on different days of the week, depending on the activities for the week. I also made a list (which will also be laminated) of physical activities for the boys to pick from. All of their daily tasks will be things they can do on their own, things they know how to do and where to go to do them, except for the physical activities, hence the idea list.

I’ve also compiled a summer reading log/chart and collected a TON of ideas for science and art experiments to do all summer on one of my pinterest boards here. I had to post this because …. I spent all day on it and I feel like I have nothing to really show for it, unless I show it to someone. So there. Summer fun, done. Got it covered :)

christmas in june

It was a crazy morning. It’s not always like that around here, but the before school rush can be a bear and this morning it was. It finished with me waiting and yelling from the car for Liam to get in the car so we wouldn’t be late to his last day of preschool and him running out of the house saying, “Mommy! I have a surprise for you!” As a mom, you have to always be excited about their surprises and in my mind, I thought, “This will turn things around this morning.” Then Liam held out the above pictured dirty sock wrapped in crumpled paper and started laughing hysterically. I told him to get in the car and off we went.

Man, I love my little boys, but sometimes they drive me crazy. And the end of the school year is such  wild time. I was talking to Les about this. The end of the year feels like Christmas time. Too much to do. In December there are gifts and parties and the calendar is packed, we’re usually packing to go visit someone …. it’s nuts and hard to enjoy “the season”. The end of the year, in June, is crazy too! There are presents for teachers – and not just anything, you want to give a heartfelt, meaningful, timeless gift that’s not food, but tells the teacher how much they have meant in your child’s life …. then there’s end of the year parties and helping in the classroom, making treats, turning the house upside down for the lost library books Noah will have to pay for now, Field Day, End of the year Picnics to attend, graduation parties. Oh geez, it’s stressing me out just writing it all.

Yesterday it took me all day to blog about Ray and his birthday, but I wanted to have it documented, or it doesn’t happen. I still have so much to blog about: Noah’s choir concert at school and Gammie came to visit! But last night, as I was desperately trying to finish up the post about Ray, I was kind of putting off dinner and making any decisions about it. I think I was secretly hoping that if I didn’t do anything about it, maybe something would magically appear on the table, or maybe Daniel would just take over. No such luck. I ended up doing it all – making salmon, rice and salad and finishing the cupcakes for Ray’s birthday and doing it all form scratch. I made the dressing for the salad, frosting for the cupcakes and sauce for the salmon all from scratch because I didn’t have anything else or anyone else to pick up the slack. Stuff had to get done, people had to eat and I had to do it.

I woke up this morning with the same feeling – just wishing that all responsibilities would somehow dissipate if I slowed down or didn’t step in to do it. Sadly, motherhood doesn’t work that way, it just makes things worse. Kids are late to school, stuff doesn’t get cleaned and people don’t eat food. I guess it will be lazy summer days soon enough and it’s all about endurance, but man, I wish it would slow down.

I’ve got 45 minutes before I need to pick up Liam, then it’s off to the races again – playdate at my house after preschool, the boys’ laundry (it’s getting bad, no socks – thank heavens they can wear flip flops now), sweeping the kitchen floor, Ray’s afternoon nap, cleaning the bathroom, food shopping, preparing for the Activity Day Girls’ party tomorrow, MY laundry …. sigh. I will not get a shower, I haven’t eaten breakfast and working out? haha, that’s not happening. I’m drowning in housework, end of the year work and forget about all those OTHER plans I have for “spare time”, like preparing a summer routine for the boys complete with learning activities and outings and playdates – or finishing the “organize your house” plan I came up with after the Relief Society lesson I went to last week – or going through and purging stuff in the boys’ closet and under my bed and in the basement. I have lofty goals and plans, but it seems like I’ll never get it done.

I guess I need to focus. One day, one activity at a time and enjoy it. For instance, I am going to post this, then walk into the kitchen and eat breakfast, then get in the car and watch Liam graduate from preschool and I will feel proud of myself for getting the gifts done for Liam’s teachers already. I have to say, it was beautiful to see Liam walking down the hallway of his preschool with a jar of roses in each hand. That reminds me, I wanted to write a special note to Mrs. Yessler …. here it goes …

The roses and cards in my center console on the way to preschool.

just eating cake

Yes, there needed to b a post solely dedicated to Ray eating his first taste of cake. It was mini carrot cake cupcakes with butter frosting.

Ray was just testing the waters at first …. he’d delicately touch the frosting, then back away, then try again. Here’s the progression of things:


And then this was his face after he tasted it:

He seemed a little disgusted …. but he got into it:

Double fisting it.

Then I asked the big brothers to come over for a picture with the birthday boy. In the next picture, guess who’s enjoying the hug more than the other?

Total joy on Liam’s face and total anger on Ray’s. LOL.


Ray is one!

He’s been doing this little “o” face for a week now. Sooooo beautiful.

Ray is one. Wow, that went fast … and slow, at different parts. But what does a one year old do on their birthday you might ask. Well, this is what you do:

You wake up peacefully, in your own room, with the blinds drawn and waves from a sound machine crashing (that sounds nice, right?). Then you start babbling and smacking things, you pretty much do whatever you want and then suddenly your mom shows up at your bedroom door with warm milk for you and sings “happy birthday” to you all soft and happy. While you drink away, she changes your diaper and puts you in cute jeans and a t-shirt (and awesome socks). When you’re done sucking down 8 oz of milk, you fling the cup out of your way and sit up. Today begins!

You eat bananas and bread for breakfast, you get carried into the car and you go to the gym play area. You crawl around, find an awesome and huge tub of large sized legos that only you get to play with. You keep your blanket nearby while at the gym, just for extra support. After the gym, you’re getting tired, so your mom brings you home and snuggles you into your crib with your favorite blanket, she shuts the blinds and turns on your waves. You then drift off to sleep pretty quickly (hey, you had quite a morning!) and take a 3 hour nap. It’s awesome to be one.

We’re not making a huge deal out of Ray’s first birthday, meaning, no huge party, no friends coming over, no presents really. Well, my mom is sending $50 and we’re going to put it in Ray’s savings account – thanks mom and dad!!!! We’re just trying to let Ray do things he likes to do and eat food he likes to eat and then tonight as a family we’ll sing and have him blow out his candle and dive into a carrot cake cupcake. simple. And Ray seems pretty pleased with the day so far.

Here’s the rundown on what he’s up to lately:

– he crawls like a maniac and he’s fast.

– he seems to have absolutely no interest in pulling himself up to his feet and walking. In fact, he seems scared of this. Yesterday, Daniel helped Ray to his feet and then let go to see how long he could balance. It lasted about 1-2 seconds and then Daniel and I applauded his efforts. Ray burst into tears. Daniel tried setting him up on his feet again and Ray was shaky and whimpering. It was sad to watch. So we stopped. No need to develop …. just yet.

– he loves me the most. He cries whenever I walk out of the room, or pass by him. On Sunday, I stood up from the dinner table (Ray was in his highchair) and walked over to the kitchen sink (5 feet away) to wash my hands. Ray burst into tears. He’s a tender soul.

– his happy sounds are this, “sh-sh-sh” or “sss-sss-sss”, with a big grin on his little face.

– he’s not good with change and doesn’t like to try new things, like new foods.

– he’s got a great set of little pinchers and good eyes. He can spot the tiniest piece of hair, fuzzy, piece of paper or string and once he spots it, he turns and plops down in a sitting position and gets out his forefinger and thumb to swipe it up. Once it’s in his hands, he continues to crawl around with his treasure gripped tightly in his palm. I’ll pick him up and open his sweaty little fist to find all sorts of garbage. It makes me think I need to vacuum more.

– he thinks Noah is hilarious.

– he loves his fuzzy, striped blue blanket. We bought it before we had Noah and all three have used it, but none have latched onto it like Ray has. He gets the fuzzy soft side of the blanket and rubs it against his lips.

– he has trust issues and even gives Daniel a sidelong glance if Daniel comes into a room where I am holding Ray. I think he watches Daniel closely to make sure Daniel doesn’t try to take him out of my arms. It’s funny.

– he laughs at big banging sounds.

– he’s not a snuggler and when I hold him in my arms, he has to be facing out. If I try to put him on my hip, he twists his body so that he’s facing out and leans forward. It’s very awkward.

– he has curly lips and an adorable clefted chin.

– interesting note? Ray’s cousin, Devyn Ray (Mina’s little girl), shares the same birthday. June 4th. Both Ray and Devyn Ray were named after our Grandpa Ray.

Here are pictures of Ray on his first birthday – HAPPY BIRTHDAY RAY!

I know a few of these were fuzzy, but they were cute. Had to post them.

Les is leaving

My good friend, Leslie, is leaving. She’s moving to southern California. And on Sunday, she returned a jar full of some peonies from her backyard (she has the most ridiculously enviable backyard, full of flowers and plants and trees that are usually cultivated over years, but she just inherited them all. Anyway, it’s awesome).

Everyone keeps asking if I’m all bummed out that she’s leaving and to be honest, I just don’t really think about it. I might be terribly sad in 3 weeks, but for now, I keep looking at these gorgeous, fluffy flowers on my aqua table and it brings total bliss to my heart.