Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pinterest style

Warning: this party is ghetto.

Chad had a birthday. I can't remember how old he is. 38? I don't know, or really care very much. Is that bad?

But, we did have a party!! And, it was pretty awesome. I tried to think; what would Chad like, what would he want, what decorations would he like? Then it came to me! Chad likes saving money (boooring) so that's just what we'll do. The kids got home from school at 2:30 and I told them that we couldn't use any lights because it was dad's birthday and daddy likes saving electricity. So, we seriously didn't use lights (the kids immediately knew dad would love this one).

Next, decorations, I told them that again, dad wouldn't want to spend money on decorations so we came up with a ghetto party idea. Toilet paper! Owen, Lily and Garron took charge of this one(Luke was busy crying on the couch in the kitchen. I told him that he was too old to not know how to tie his own shoes and that he couldn't get up from the couch until he had learned). And, yes, I already know, I'm a bad person.

They hung T.P from the ceiling and wrote Dad is awesome on paper and then taped it to their shirts. I made beef stew (one of his favorites), bought him a bundt cake (and even gave a slice to a friend who stopped by and needed a slice).  We kept a lookout for his car and ran to hide then we jumped up and shouted happy birthday when he walked through the door.

He was happy. He felt loved. Mission accomplished.

And yes, we even re-used the T.P.

Happy birthday, indeed.

Friday, October 19, 2012

First day of school

For the first day of school I decided to start a tradition. Have the kids pose next to what they wanted to be when they grew up.

Lily, "I want to be a big girl!"  (she's probably thinking duh mom)

Luke, "I want to be a cashier." Later when asked why it was because he thought he'd be rich that way since that's where a lot of money is at.

Owen, "I want to be a pie." Um, no explanation necessary here people.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

We know how to do back to school.

The day before school started we had a back to school party. It was a blast! I decided to have some games and teams (usually I just leave the kids to their own devices). We had three teams: Venezuela, Mexico and Michigan. These teams were chosen because Chad happened to have shirts that represented these countries/states (except Mexico was represented by a Spongebob shirt). Obviously.

We had quite the competition but Venezuela managed to bring home a first place finish (and no, dealing drugs, being dirty or anything to do with large insects wasn't even part of the competition)! I know! It was probably a wash for who had more fun; the kids or the mama's (we also know how to party).

A genius party tip: make it a competition for clean up. We had over 200 water balloons dead bodies to be picked up. Chad and Owen managed to part with their chess trophies (see. . .win/win) and some medals to those who gathered the most water balloon bodies. Clean up? Done in ten minutes. Bam.

Back to school--good good times.

Antelope Canyon.

Continuing July's outdoors theme on our way to Utah we stayed for two days in Lake Powell. While there we went to Antelope Canyon. Antelope Canyon is on an Indian reservation so they only let you go there with a tour guide.

My great Grandma Ella was a Shoshone Indian, I have her nose, cheekbones and temper. Being that I'm pretty much one of them  I feel like I can share stereotypes without being offensive. Right?

Right. Well we had a swell time. I've never been in any kind of slot canyons and the boys thought it was really cool. It was lost on Lily. Oh yeah, and our tour guide was drunk. And it was eight in the morning on a Sunday.

All true.

Monday, October 15, 2012


Ridiculously cute, right?! The first day Jack really started crawling he worked his way under his crib. It was quite funny, Owen was put in charge of finding him and could hear him (he was playing with his baby monitor) but couldn't see him.

Owen: "MOM!! I can hear Jack in the kitchen (where the receiver for the baby monitor is) but he isn't anywhere!!! I checked the whole house and I can't find him!!!"

He was quite stressed but once he figured it out--he about died of laughter.

Jackie's going to keep us on our toes. Yay!

Ear phones, for sanity.

Here I am. Somewhere in Idaho. That's about fifteen hours from my lovely home in the Arizona desert. How did I manage with my four kids and no husband. A few essential items, the most valuable being my earphones.

Used not only for talking on the phone and rocking out but also for noise dampening. Yes. Sometimes, hours into the drive, upon the upteenth fruit snack request--these bad boys go in and irritations and stress dissipate. You see, many demands and requests from children are simply passing impulses or loosely felt desires. Often if it becomes necessary to expend even ten percent more energy for the aforementioned fruit snack; they give up and go back to whatever it is they do back there (I don't really know, except for all the evidence I collect while cleaning out the car--which is a lot. On second thought, I know precisely what goes on back there; a lot of snacking.)

On these long drives I try to be super prepared: snacks and drinks at the ready. Potty--freshly used. Baby--just nursed (speaking of nursing--I just nursed Jackie for the last time last Wednesday---sniff sniff. He's the sweetest little baby and now he's thirteen months old and on his own! He was ready but I'll miss our peaceful moments together. Single tear.) Gas? Full. DVD player--burning the place up (with new and exciting movies to boot).

I entertain myself with stimulating conversations with my mom, Chad or friends. When they fail me I go to my audiobook (Watership Down--highly recommend) and when I need to mix it up some fresh tunes.

I love taking the kids on these adventures in the summer months (and escaping horrid heat) and these are my tricks of the trade. Bam.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


As evidence by the last photo, the Meads clearly cannot take a bad photo. Ahem, moving on. As part of our nonstop tour de fun we ventured northward to Yellowstone/Island Park this past July. We hung out with our cousins and even our faraway friends from Singapore! Rode four wheelers, ate an obscene amount of smores and had ridiculous levels of fun.

My ability to 'go with the flow of motherhood' grew exponentially on this trip. Highlighted by the following experience; a late afternoon four wheel ride took us to a bridge where the beauty of the river below beckoned to the children. Hearing their wishes with my mothers heart we stopped. Shoes were kicked off as the children waded into the water. I sat by on the bank enjoying their play immensely, my feet dangled contently in the cool water.

The thought, "this is a perfect moment," was just to form into a full fledged feeling when it began. Horse flies. For those of you who aren't lucky enough to know exactly what the meaning and implication those little buggers carry, let me fill you in. A horse fly will not only land on you, but, once they do so, they try to BORE INTO you. Clothing? No matter, they just bite their way through that little barrier, no prob blem o.

Pinch yourself. As hard as you can and that will give you an idea of the tiny beast, the horse fly.

So, there I was, being assaulted by one of mother nature's cronies and I had a choice to make: stay and suffer for the sake of my children's fun or leave. Neither option suited me so I did what any awesome person would do (jealous of my self-esteem?) I jumped into that river with all of my clothes on. The children had all by this point managed to "fall" in as well. Shocker.

I leaned back on my elbows, tilted my head back into the river, enjoyed the feeling of my hair moving with the gentle current, looked up at the sky and picked right back off where my thought had left off, "this is the perfect moment."

Going with the flow and loving every minute. Well, maybe not the ten minute ride back to the cabin while soaking wet but those two previous hours, yeah, those were pretty awesome.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

July, the month of the great outdoors.

If we were doing anything in July it was outdoors.

We kicked the month off with a bang, beginning with a visit from our good Texas friends the Saddlers. Man I miss that family!! We floated the Salt River (which also served to be quite informative for the children: "see children this is what happens if you don't go to school." "and this is what you look like if you go ahead and get that tattoo on your forehead." "this is why it's important to know how deep of water you're diving into." "don't litter or your mother will hunt you down and kill you." "stupid is as stupid does." "paralization lasts forever." "these people obviously didn't read for twenty minutes per day growing up." "don't use those words, or those or those ones either." "they talk like that because they aren't smart enough to come up with other ways of expressing; excitement, fear, joy, terror, encouragement, etc." "dumb lasts forever.")

We floated down to Phon D Sutton where there is great fun to be had; (and the feasting ground for all those life lessons previously outlined) a natural lazy river, rope swing, and jumping off safely from a boulder into deep water. The crowd here was sketchy but Ashley and I managed to immerse ourselves quite naturally into loser culture (shocker). This was my first time to the river and being as it was only fifteen minutes from my house that was a shame. The river was beautiful! Fun rapids at parts, wild horses, beautiful scenery and its cool welcoming current was dreamy.

I have since rectified my absence from the river with weekly paddle boarding trips on Fridays with my hommies. See, the river has rubbed off on me, my verbiage is well, affected.

The following day we went up to Payson to escape desperate heat. To my surprise Payson was an hour away, door to door!! And it was beautifully green mountains. Like, the kind with trees all over them. Holy crap! Told you it rubbed off on me. Moments after we sat down next to the picturesque lake a bald eagle swooped down from it's nest in a tree and caught a fish. I AM NOT EFFING AROUND HERE, A FREAKIN BALD EAGLE!! Cereal. We fished and caught only guppies but with Ash and gang there we had a great time.

We sent the Saddlers home on Independence day and can't wait for their yearly trip out west next summer. Love you guys!