Thursday, July 30, 2015

utah iphone pics.

here are the iphone highlights from my phone while we were in utah. now that we've officially landed in 100-degree days, i miss the mountains even more. and i know the kids are missing the pile of cousins they had to play with...






















Tuesday, July 21, 2015

home again home again jiggity jig - colorado in iphone pics.

hi there. we are back from vacation. actually we got back over a week ago, but getting back is always...an adjustment.

i have read and said a lot of super snarky things about vacationing with young children, and there is an element of truth to some of the snark. we were gone for ten days and i probably did as many loads of laundry. they still need to be fed, bathed, corralled; fights still need to be broken up. they are usually in possession of way more sugar and way less sleep than usual, which adds a fun gauntlet to all activities.

but. there is also so much to be said for unstructured time and family togetherness. the pace of our normal lives is nutso a lot of weeks, so it is really incredible to just take however long you want to eat a sandwich or walk back to the cabin from the coffee shop. the secret for us is not over-scheduling anything. we have a basic set of things we'd like to do, and each day we talk about what those things are. and then we try to do some or all of them.

during our stint, justin had a trip to urgent care and a severe sinus infection, ek barfed two nights in a row, and hollis had fever for a couple of days. but we also saw gorgeous elk grazing on a mountain top, saw waterfalls careening down mountains, watched ek hop across rocks across a stream, fed chipmunks from our hands, saw a great fireworks display, ate homemade ice cream, met family members we'd never seen before, sat in quaint bookshops and read, watched storms roll over the rockies, got to ride in four airplanes, played riotous board games. jb got to go on a fishing trip, ek got to ride a pony, the kids discovered fruit leather. we rode an alpine slide, saw groves of aspens and cottonwoods, jumped on trampolines, and visited the most incredible children's museum ever. it was a really great trip.

we have yet to sort the nine million "real" photos from the vacation, but here are a few fun ones from my iphone and our time in CO. utah will be forthcoming.

























Monday, June 29, 2015

hollis goes potty.

so, hollis is potty trained. mostly. he had zero accidents yesterday and has been in undies for four or five days now. i'm super excited and impressed with him.

truthfully, i was planning to wait until after vacation, but...he asked, and i feel like when they ask, you say yes. so, we are stocked up on thomas the train underpants, ninja turtle underpants, spiderman underpants. and we're doing this thing.

having zero kids in diapers is liberating and also kind of the saddest thing ever.

good call.

"carrying around a list of everyone who thinks you're not good enough is exhausting." - seth godin.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

the thing about dads.

i basically lucked out in the dad department. my dad is awesome. he's quiet and funny; he's wise and a great listener; he's contemplative and morally upright (to a flaw sometimes); he is the most loyal person i have ever met. even though he's a man of few words, i probably reference something my dad has told me at least once a day. when i want to really talk about something - anything - my dad is the person i can count on to really really listen. he will weigh in if it seems appropriate, but he's also amazingly adept at knowing that sometimes what i really need is just a sounding board. my relationship with my dad is not boisterous or demonstrative...it is the type of comfortable, calm, solid relationship that comes from being a real kindred with another person.

i recently read an article where it listed many statistics of how much better kids' lives are all the way through adulthood and life when they've had a dad around - and especially a good, involved dad. i didn't need a bunch of research to tell me that.

i'm so, so grateful for my dad. i'm thankful for the dad he is to me, and for the extension of that role into his grandfathering and father-in-law-ing.

i'm also extremely grateful that the father of my own children is carrying the torch of awesome-dadding to ek and hollis. jb is different from my dad in a lot of ways, but the core of loyalty and regard for family is a fundamental part of who he is. justin is the playmate, the optimist, the it's-ok-if-they-stay-up-late-this-one-night parent. he's self-reflective and works hard to become the person and father he wants to become. he adores our children and puts our family at the forefront of all his decisions, but he still maintains his sense of self - his pursuit of his own goals. i think that's such an important example to set for the kidlets in a time when so many people become shells of their former selves in the pursuit of parenting perfection (i *may* fall into that category sometimes).

anyway. two dads in my life. and i'm super happy and lucky to know both of them. happy father's day!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

an exciting morning.

yesterday morning at 4:44 jb and i woke up to a loud, piercing beep going off in our house. basically the most annoying alarm ever.

justin attempted to dismantle any remaining smoke detectors (he's got a secret vendetta against fire detectors), but none of them were the culprit.

finally, he traced the sound to the hall closet where our furnace lives. it was our carbon monoxide detector.

we just got the CO detector about six months ago when our heater went out and the repair guy stuck it in the closet with the warning "if it ever goes off, get out of the house immediately and call 911".

so...poisonous gases are not to be trifled with. so i called 911. they dispatched me to the fire department, who asked me a few questions, then told us to get the kidlets and head outside. a few minutes after loading our sleepy littles into the stroller, the firetruck arrived and four firefighters got out.

fortunately, there was no actual CO leaking into our house. the detector must have gotten wet with all the rain we have been getting, or the humidity. the firefighters were insanely nice and told us we were the second call they had that night for that particular CO detector.

they also shamed jb a bit about the missing smoke detectors. needless to say, i've ordered a new CO detector, a fire extinguisher, and justin will be reinstalling all of our smoke alarms this weekend.

but, the kids got to see a firetruck up close and personal, so the morning wasn't a total loss...

Monday, June 15, 2015

school things.

my sweet baby first-born child starts preK in the fall. i kind of can't believe it, even though she will be five in november, it just feels so so fast. in many (most?) ways, i am crazy excited for her. she is becoming such a voracious little learner and i think she will love school the way i did. the preK program at our neighborhood elementary is really incredible, too - they go on field trips, do mindfulness work, do daily yoga and affirmations, have access to media and science resources that are super exciting...it's going to be great.

what has me on a little bit of a stress attack is the whole after-school care thing. which is going to be a thing for, like, forever. um, what? it's completely overwhelming to think about (for me, right now).

here's the deal. when you are a working parent with young (not yet school-age) children, you know that childcare costs are a given. and somewhere in your brain you think into the future, to the time of school, and for some reason, that time feels like it will offer some respite. in some ways, not all. but definitely in the financial way. or at least, this is how my brain thought about it. like: it will be so crazy because she'll be so big/old/it's going so fast BUT childcare costs will not be an issue, so that's the silver lining.

except that's not true. because kids don't go to school the same hours that you work. so you still have to pay. and it's not even really about the money (money is hard, but it's never the root issue for emotional stuff).

for us, for this preK adventure, it's about trusting that our kidlet is going to be ok - that she's going to be able to handle the load of a school day, topped with a bus ride to her after school care location and whatever she has to handle there. that it's not going to be over-the-top stressful for her or exhausting or brain-overwhelming.

anyway...this is life, i know. kids grow, we adapt to new normals and whatever the reality of whatever we're doing now entails. and this will be no different - it will even be amazing, i think! i'm just about my baby riding a bus all by herself.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

hollis says.

stethoscope = step-o-cope

mommy: "do you know how much i love you?"
hollis: "ummmm...three minutes!"

anyone: "hollis, are you a big boy?"
hollis: "no, i'm just hollis."

emme: "we're going to go to cate's house and have hot dogs! and i'm going to have a hot dog, and cate's going to have a hot dog, and hollis!"
hollis: "no! i don't want you to eat hollis! don't eat me!"





Saturday, June 13, 2015

dance recital time.

emme's dance recital was a couple weeks ago and it was so adorable. she loved dressing up and especially wearing make-up (sparkly eye shadow, blush, lip gloss). she looked like a little prima and i was so proud of her! she really followed along and did all the moves so well.



she's torn on whether she wants to take dance again next year, but i'm hoping she sticks it out another year at least. it is fun to watch her and i think she's got a knack for it.



the performance was super cute and she plowed through even though it was right in the middle of nap time. hollis made it through his sister's performance, then promptly passed out on my lap. poor duder.



my parents sent flowers the day before since they weren't able to come into town for the event - they got delivered while she was napping, so she got to discover them at the front door. it was so cute and she was super excited to get a beautiful arrangement just for her. she was devastated that they didn't live forever.


we also picked up a flower lollipop bouquet for her at the recital. she was a fan....



picture overload - so hard to edit this batch down...











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