Thursday, March 29, 2012

The little men in my life.

Are pretty cute. Tonight after dinner we took a short hike to some rocks where we sat and watched the sun set. I carried Jack in the baby bijorn and Duke came along. While we were there we continued a conversation about goals. At dinner I mentioned that I wanted them to think of some goals that they would like to reach.

Luke, ever his fathers child quickly quipped that, "we should just join a soccer team, get a goal then we would have reached our goals."

Chad beamed.

Back to our conversation on the rocks. We were sitting there with the sky a brilliant pinkish color talking about goals, what they are and why it's important to have them. We talked about short and long term goals as well. It should be interesting to see what they come up with. Luke rambled on the entire walk about his goal of defeating some level on Skylanders for his personal goal. At the end he threw in doing good in school so he doesn't have to do first grade over again.

Then perfectly timed, Lily shouted out, "BORING."

--some pics from this week:

Jack and more Jack and the boys worshiping my homemade bread.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

This is not another post about mountains.

Well, only kind of.

Putting your oxygen mask on first is an excellent metaphor for being able to give others and yourself your best. Every Saturday morning I nurse Jack to sleep and race out my door to go for a hike. Sometimes I go with a friend (remember Jenny?!!!!) or just with my iPod. These hours fill me up. I appreciate Chad so much during these times for making it a priority to give me this time.
I come home invigorated; ready to get chilly waters, do deep compression massages with Jack, make my man a panni, whatever! This little time, while not at a very convenient time is so important to me. This time of life that I am in right now is wonderful but challenging. Everyone needs me but I also have my needs to. If I neglect my interests and things that fill me up I am not as good for my family. I'm more irritated, short tempered and not my usual wonderful self. ;)

I have demands on me and my time coming in from all around. Which is wonderful to be so needed but for me its important to not give everything away. These days it's important to be able to say no. Things are hectic and crazy most days so what I choose to spend my time on generally means I am so no to something else. Keeping this in mind when I'm asked to do something or even things I plan for myself helps me to prioritize.

Happy days are here. Multiple times a day I look around and reflect on the beauty of my life.

--pics from a hike I took the kids on at Pappago park a few weeks ago.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Lily's musings


Four year olds are cool, except when they are pure evil; which is hardly ever. . .have you met the wonder that is Lily?

e-Nemember is Lily's way of saying remember. Her other words I adore are:

--Burger (she practically purrs this word), "mom, can we go to Donalds and get a buuuuurrrrgggggeeerrr."

--TD, (this is in place of TV), "mom, can you turn on the TD, I wanna watch Peppa Pig?"

--People's house, (this is asking for a friend to play with), " mom I wanna go to people's house!!!!"

--Told dew, (told you), "told dew I gonna go to people's house Luke-y."

--Jackie; she only refers to Jack as Jackie. I want to burn into my memory the sounds of her talking to him. "Ohhhh, baby Jackie wloves me."

She stands next to his crib on our rocking dog and talks to him. She does this every opportunity. The second Jacks wakes she finds her way back and coos at him.

--ha ha ha ha ha, (she is big into mocking, but doesn't understand when or where it is appropriate, so she just mocks liberally), "ha ha ha ha ha."

I stand by in these moments and feel immense pride.

--Awkward, (this a new one and she never gets it in the right context), Luke: "Owen, you want to go outside and get the mail together?" Lily: "Awkward."

On a daily basis I find photographs like this on my phone. I've said it a million times but I just can't say it enough to properly communicate this; I love this girl.

That is all.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The first snake

Almost a year to the day we found our first snake. Chad and Lily found it dead on the dirt road. Upon hearing the news Luke raced out to inspect for himself. I went along to document. I imagined that he'd poke it around a bit and then leave it be.

Naw. He picked that baby right up and brought it home to stare at it. Not a moments hesitate to touch it. I put a brave smile on so as to encourage his fearlessness. Personally, I do not possess that kind of fearlessness, but I love it in my boy.

He and Lily wiled away a lovely Saturday examining that bad boy from top to bottom. Luke wanted to keep it as a pet. FYI, we still just have one pet.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

If you ask me to hang out the windows,

I'd probably say yes.

That's the kind of gal I am. I was driving home with the kids today from Albertsons picking up some missing ingredients from our lettuce wraps (which were gross, btw-two hours wasted) and inspiration hit.

While I am far from perfect, I like who I am. As a mom it's easy to get down on yourself. To look at all the ways that you're messing up and things you should have done better. Those quiet hours in the evening where you reflect on all the different ways you stunk at your job today. How you were SO close to an A+ mothering day and in the final hour you lost it and then put them to bed with no story.

But those times are not what this is about. This is about the awesome parts. The times like today where we have the music pumping, windows down and the bag of goldfish that Luke and Lily talked me into flying along side the car as we drive. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses; things that come naturally to you. Maybe yours is that you're super organized and you never run out of t.p. or that you have mad skills at keeping your children safe and they've never had a single stitch <-----not my specialty.

My specialty is fun.

Want to turn up the music once we hit our street and open the sunroof and dance? I've got the perfect song for that. Need me to listen to the list of supplies you need for a project; fine, but I'll only listen if you dance while telling me what's on your list. Nice moves! K, let's go. Have a hankering for something sweet? I'll get the butter, you grab the chocolate chips and brown sugar.

My hope here in writing this is that someday when my children are grown, maybe they'll come across this and see the most important part; I tried my best.

That I lived this life I was given with passion and joy. Sure, I could friggin blow my top with the best of them but we are LIVING, people! See that mountain over there? Let's see how quick we can get up it. Why? Why the he** not is a better question.

As a kid you falsely think everything is about you. A huge moment of clarity for me was realizing that some disappointments you have in other people really have nothing to do with you. Everyone has their different stuff that they are working through. Different weaknesses. You'll swear up and down that you'll never do that; rest assured you'll do other stuff that will be equally heartbreaking to your children.

Plan on that; but also plan to be surprised. Surprised at how much patience you have grown in the last ten years (or whatever it is that you are lacking in). Take stock of the good stuff that you're doing. Focus on that every once in awhile. Think of what your strengths are, where you find fulfillment and joy. Do those things more often. Make your strong things even stronger. Your weaknesses probably will never be your strengths. Crush it with the strengths.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Can I ask you a question?

Fifteen years ago if I would have known you, sat next to you in class or seen you across a football field I would have asked you this;

"do you think there will be tulips on temple square in March?"

Hundreds of people were polled; varying answers resulted. The day came, March 14th 1997 and there wasn't a single tulip on temple square. Nada. Mr. Mead being the wonderful man he is takes this day now and fills my life with tulips. Fifteen years have passed; we have good times, bad times and downright wonderful times.

The mister and I have been through a lot together and laughed more than anybody could hope for. Our courtship was marked by us sitting on the couch or one of our twin beds (oh la la) talking late into the night. Three days after we met we sat on a couch and talked for twelve hours straight. Communicators we are!

I couldn't hope for a better partner to file my days away with. He's not prefect and I certainly am not but we don't focus on what isn't (learned that a long time ago). We both try to emphasize and concentrate on the good and let go of the rest. I count myself a lucky girl that I managed to "ensnare him with my sweet sweet trickery"--actual words from his proposal.

From our first kiss while watching Dumb and Dumber to him giving Lily a bath two days ago (equally sexy) this man has my love.

Friday, March 16, 2012

No matter how I awesome I think I am. . .

Here I am looking all sassy; it's 1:30 and I'm out of my workout clothes. I stay in them until I get my workout in; which most days mean I stay in them all day. . . you do the math. But today!, today I got's my stuff together. Lily and I did yoga on the patio, Jack looked on and gave encouraging grunts. Which he had totally better, because he's the reason I'm so fat after all. I didn't want to eat my way to a sixty pound weight gain, it was all a tremendous sacrifice.

There is a little problem though; I cannot fool everybody, there will always be Jenny who knows the score. And everybody I tell because the story is just too good not to share. Consider it my contribution to you feeling better about yourself today. Sit back and enjoy my personal humiliation.

As I have expounded upon at length, we live on a mountain. Daily I kick all the children out into the desert to go and play. There is nothing I despise more than TV/video game coma children. So, a few weeks ago the children were frolicking outside as they do. Luke was at a friends house and Owen had a friend over. Lily was tagging along with Owen, until, she wasn't. . .

Owen and Jake decided that they were sick of her and told her to go home. Tiny problem was they were halfway up the mountain and she didn't know what way was home. Now there are about eight house in the area where we live; which would probably include, I don't know, around a hundred acres (I'm not a great estimator).

So, there is Lily, our perfectly darling baby girl, lost. Alone, wandering around, not seeing "mommy's house."

About an hour has past at this point and I still think they are all together; having yet another delightful childhood day. It's 5:45 and it's nearing the time that we need to be leaving for a scout activity. I go out and yell to round the children up. My voice booms across the landscape and draws no reaction.


I shout again, and nothing.

All of a sudden I feel panic; where are they, I wonder.

With great relief I hear Owen say, "coming." Satisfied I go inside to get last minute things complete before we all load up. Ten more minutes go by. I'm annoyed.

"OWEN!!!!!!!," I yell.

"yeah" he replies (like our previous conversation hadn't happened)

. . ."get over here, NOW!!" I say in an I'm not effing around tone.

A begrudging, "I'm coming," reply comes from the distance. But, the tone ignites terror within me. I know my boy and I know something is not right. With Jack in my arms I race out to the desert to find him. I come upon Owen and Jake looking at the ground. I have a moment of frantic realization. Lily is not with them. They were stalling, trying to find her themselves.


"Um, I don't know, I mean, she wasn't with us, remember?" Owen offers.

Thoroughly terrified; my voice cracks as adrenaline surges through me. "Tell me the truth, and tell it quick."

. . ."well, she was following us and she couldn't hike with us cause she had those ballet slippers on. . ."

I cut them off and scream out, "she's just a baby! She can't be on the mountain by herself. Owen, how could you! GO, GO both of you race to where you saw her last, shout, scream, we have to find her. It will be dark in thirty minutes."

They tear off back up the trail and I race back home, hoping and praying that she is playing sweetly in the toy room. I race through the entire house in four minutes flat. I am panicked. I quickly call our neighbors the LeSueur's to enlist them in the search. He answers on the second ring and four of them race out to help.

Screaming rings throughout the fading light. Jack cries out in fear with each intense shout I make. I hear distant voices of the others; LILY echos. Twenty more minutes pass, shouts ahead communicating something different. I can't understand though. Communication back and forth, but I still haven't heard definitively.

Hope. It's maybe fifteen more minutes till dark.

I shout forward, "do you have her?"

Mumbles return; they are too far, out of ear shot. I'm racing forward with Jack in my arms (this sounds really dramatic, but IT WAS).

"What? Scream yes if you've found her."


Hundred of different horrible scenarios flood out of me. She is okay, we know where she is.

I finally reach her. She had wandered onto someone's property and their dog's barking had alerted them to her presence. They brought her inside and tried to coax her name out. She refused because, "mama sayws not talk swangers." She then proceeded to jabber their ears off for an hour and half; everything except her name, because "dem de rweulls."

We chat for a few minutes and they offer to drive us home, (we're quite a ways away). I cancel our plans for the evening. I feel like I've aged seven months, Chad pulls in the driveway a few moments later and I sob to him.

Daily life continues as it always does. Days pass, probably at a much slower pace for a certain person (he was a wee desperate for human contact (two weeks to be exact)). A week passes and I notice a red bump growing at the base of Jack's incision. Great. A call to the surgeon and an appointment was made. I took Lily with me and left the boys home. I anticipated being gone for maybe an hour, tops.

Upon arrival at the office they immediately direct us the the ER. Staph infection, not good. We went over, my general laid back approach provided me much comfort. Things are under control, some medicine, we'll be home soon. They ran a blood tests, and made plans to drain the now marble sized puss ball. I called home to check in on the boys, things were fine. Another hour passes, I call the LeSueurs again to see if the boys could come over for dinner.

Sure! Send em over. . .

I call back and give them the news, they're very excited! So excited that they. . .go to the wrong house. Fancy a guess which house the ended up at? Yeah, that's the house. I get a call at the ER but it's right at the moment that they are trying to start Jack's IV. A voice mail message alert goes off. A few minutes later once Jack is settled I listen.

. . ."His Jamie, this is Jenny Newenguard, we met briefly last week when we found Lily, um, your boys just showed up here and said that they were here for dinner. Um, can you give me a call and let me know what's going on? Yeah, they said that they haven't eaten, um, just give me a call."

Just shoot me, in the face, please.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Before and After

The night before Jacks surgery I took some photos of his little body before he got in a knife fight with a surgeon.

waiving to his adoring fans

This is taken nine days after his surgery.

Here he is today; the final scab finally fell off during his bath last night. He is doing amazingly well too. Babies heal SOOO quickly. A little hiccup as you can see, the very bottom of his incision is infected and we're going into the surgeon today to get that all taken care of. Otherwise, all is well! All of the medications but one has been weaned off. He takes two naps a day and is awake about nine hours during the day. What a change! He is hungrier these days, I started giving him rice cereal and baby food. He loves it, but you can't give it to him when he's too hungry otherwise he gets frustrated at the pace.!!

He loves his walker and the kids love to pull him into their rooms for some time with the boy. Nobody can resist doing a stop and chat with Jack. I think it is pretty much impossible to walk by; Owen, Luke, Lily, Chad--everyone wants their time with the most popular member of our family.

Friday, March 2, 2012

This baby.

Is growing up.

I was watching a couple of her baby videos last week and it feels like just yesterday she was cruising around the house in her walker. Now she telling jokes and making her own sandwiches.

For those of you who haven't had the privilege of her telling you a joke I will try to demonstrate.

Lily-- "Mom, wanna hear a joke?"
Me-- "Sure."
Lily--"Ah nus and das an hust sa en dis okay and did hus lske gal sf ahe ha ha ha ha. . .weird."
Me--"Ha ha ha ha ha, very good joke Rubby."

**you always know it is your turn to laugh once you hear the cue word, 'weird'.

Lily--"Wanna hear a joke?"

. . .she tells lots of jokes these days.