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Just enjoy it…..

A cooler packed for a picnic was my co captain.
Miles was snoring in the back seat and I played eenie meenie minie mo with the canyons.

It’s been a rough week for the two of us
(let’s be honest, it’s been a rough month, YEAR. Spotted with highlights but still, ROUGH.)

We just needed to get away. I realized as I hoped on the freeway how lucky we ate that we have SO much to choose from here. At the prompting of a friend I reached for my phone and turned it OFF.
I can count on one hand the amount of times my phone has physically been turned off. (don’t worry, I lived to tell the tale.)
Icurved into the canyon, and maybe said a little (tiny) swear word as I noticed I was behind a dirty dump truck that already had its flashers on. I looked to the left and to the right trying desperately to find a way to pass him. When something said as clear as day, “Just enjoy it.”

So I did.
20 miles up Big Cotton Wood Canyon. Only reaching 25mph ONCE. On a hill. He offered to let me pass 5 times. I didn’t. I saw a family of deer. Rushing streams. Cute little water falls. Trees. Sky. I just enjoyed it. Until we both turned off the road in opposite directions at the same time.

I spent the next 3 hours pushing a 30 pound toddler, in a stroller, around Silver Lake TWO AND A HALF TIMES. (in inappropriate footwear.) We stopped to play, feed the squirrels and we narrowly escaped being eaten by a family of ducks.
(I’m slightly (A LOT) afraid of living poultry. Not all birds. Just the ones people routinely eat. Chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys, and recently discovered Quails. See? Just poultry.)
We ate our lunch on a log by the lake. (I packed a salad for myself and no fork. That was fun.) We fed most of our pretzels to the squirrels. We ran over and under and around fallen trees. We had a blast.

I don’t think he even noticed I wasn’t on my phone. I’m sure he didn’t. (because I kept shoving it in his face for pictures. (it was on airplane mode at that time.))

But I noticed.
We didn’t fight, we didn’t argue.

We just enjoyed it.

There is no right answer..

I sit at the table and try to have a quiet lunch while scrolling, scrolling, scrolling through Pinterest. We’re having a conversation about a girl in his church “class” and how much he likes her and if I can call her mom right now so she can come over and slide on his slide. He’s standing on his cooler at the kitchen counter, shaking (what I can only assume will end up to be) and entire salt shaker into a bowl.

Just moments ago he was sitting at the table with me. My phone was put away and he was painting a section of concrete that he took out of the driveway. We talked about how beautiful he was making it and he asked for more purple paint. His paper plate is an inch thick with paint he’s swirled all together but I open the purple and squirt another dollop on top of the huge mess.

Later he’ll walk into my room and want to see the new humidifier. A word he can actually say clearly that reminds me he’s not a baby anymore. He’ll drag a chair over to my dresser, stand on it to turn the humidifier on full speed and dance under the fog of wet air. But when that gets old he’ll take the water reservoir off, set it on my dresser, spilling water everywhere and watch the water dance. As it splashes EVERYTHING in sight. I’ll calmly go get him a towel and he’ll get down to get a box of tissues.  One by one he’ll put the tissues into the water (at which point I will turn off and unplug the humidifier) he’ll empty almost a whole box of tissues into the water then take some out to “clean” the dresser. I’ll sit on the bed and we’ll keep talking about the fun things he did this week. Then when he is bored with that, I’ll throw away the tissues and wipe up the water with the towel before tossing it into the laundry hamper.

He asked for spaghetti and hotdogs for breakfast. It was the first thing he said to me that morning. So after a little cuddle time in bed I got up, got the leftover spaghetti, warmed it up. Along with a hotdog  at 8am. He ate every bite and thanked me as he ran off to his next adventure.

I’m getting impatient wanting him to get dressed so we can leave the house. He asks if he can please wear his jammies, Justin Beiber coat and ladybug boots today. It isn’t exactly what I had picked out but we aren’t going to a beauty pageant today.

Tonight as I go to bed I’ll set out a piece of bread in a baggie. His honey and a plastic knife neatly on a paper towel. When he wakes up in the morning he’ll go make himself a honey sandwich then climb into bed next to me as I bleary eyed turn the tv on.  It’ll already be on PBS because that’ll be the last thing I do before going to sleep. One last thing I have to think about. His cup of milk is on the bottom shelf of the fridge, if he gets thirsty, he’ll go get it. And while I’ll this is going on, I’ll steal a few more moments of sleep.  Whatever mess happens because of those two things can be cleaned up later, I remind myself.

But then it’ll get too quiet so I’ll walk into the kitchen. See the sugar, butter, cinnamon and bread out on the counter. Riddick (the dog) sitting eagerly at his feet. I sneak around the corner and hear him explaining to the dog how to make cinnamon toast. I smile and walk to the linen closet where I get out a  dish cloth. Wet it in the sink then help him clean up all the spilled sugar. We laugh about how silly it is.

I’ve learned a lot about myself as a parent lately. It seems like all my peers with kids the same age are in a constant battle of how to do this parenting thing better. Constantly struggling and most importantly, fighting a lot. It seems it’s the topic of every mom gathering lately. Whether at play groups or just a bunch of us standing in the hall at church.

My conclusion: I don’t fight.

Unless something is life threatening, I don’t make a big deal about it. I pick my battles with him. I don’t have the energy, or patience or attitude to be able to correct him all day. He’s learning. I let him learn then take a few extra moments to clean up WITH him.

Isn’t he spoiled because he “gets away with anything he want too?” I would say no. He is polite. He says excuse me as he walks through a crowd. He says please and thank you when even I forget. I would say he’s BETTER behaved because he doesn’t have to try to get away with things.  He doesn’t try to push boundaries, because there aren’t many boundaries he can push.  He’s smart. He’s experienced a lot and had the best memory of anyone I’ve ever met. He follows instructions when he’s asked to pick something up or let the dogs out. He eats better than ANY toddler I know. He’ll choose broccoli over chocolate cake everyday. He rarely eats “junk” food. But can drink an entire bottle of pickle juice



He’s a 3 year old. A BRAND new 3 year old, who was just 2 a month ago.  He’ll still grab a toy out of another child hand and take of running  the other direction. He’ll still scream that something is “MINE” if he wants to play with it. And he’ll demand that someone buy him a toy when we’re at the store. I have nights (and days) I am so frustrated with him. Days when everything seems like a battle  and we both end up in tears. It isn’t always perfect. Nothing is.

What works for me, and for us may not work for anyone else.

Parenting is HARD. Finding something that works is HARD. It takes matching the personality of your child (or children) with yours and finding something that works. Some parents have time and energy to fight, some children NEED boundaries.  I GET THAT.

But TO ME, I dont care if he throws food to the dogs, becasue he eats well. If he didn’t, my perspective may change.
I don’t care if he stands on chairs, sits on the kitchen table, or climbs up on the counter. He knows how to handle himself in those situations. If he didn’t, my perspective may change.
I don’t care if he empties the entire bin of wooden track all of the floor. We’ll just pick it up later.

We’re learning and growing together. And having a whole lot of fun at the same time.

We’re all doing the best we can with what we have. We all deserve pats on the back, and to be a little gentler with ourselves.


It takes a villiage..

It takes a village.

When my parents called to say they were thinking of moving to Utah, my mind starting reeling.
“What if we got one big house and all lived in it. We could each have one floor and our ‘separate houses.’ doesn’t that sound fun?” I’d try to convince my parents, almost daily.

I would dream about it. We were busting at the seams of our firstlittle house. My parents already missed so much of their only grandsons life. It would be PERFECT. right?

Our dreams quickly became a reality, that just as quickly became a nightmare.

We found the PERFECT house. (actually 1 of 2 perfect houses, but we chose this one.) We found a wonderful tenant for our home and prepared to move in.

My parents prepared to leave their home and searched for jobs in Utah.

The day we moved in and my parents left California. I lost my job.
(Remember, my husband lost his job in 09 and has been at home with Miles while I worked.)

We were now 4 adults, 1 toddler, 3 dogs and 2 kittens moving into a brand new home with NO INCOME.

No jobs between any of us.

It took the breath out of me. For some reason, I was the only one concerned.

Needless to say, we survived. We are all SO blessed. My parents found fantastic jobs quickly and we (Aaron and I) are doing okay also.

We all live cohesively. My parents (their dogs and cats) live down stairs. They have the perfect area that fits them so well. A little basket on the wall at the top of the stairs for their mail. And a sign that hangs over the stairs that reads  “If Grandma says no, ask Grandpa.” they joke about adding an address to say 1/2. Miles refers to it as “Going to Papa’s house whenever he wants to go downstairs. He doesn’t know any different. Probably never will.

I think they’re happy.

We have the perfect area upstairs just for us.

We’re happy.

But most of all. We are a village. And this village raises a 2 year old. It takes all 4 adults most days.

And even then, sometimes we barely survive.

Sometimes I crawl into bed at night, breath a HUGE sigh of relief and think “How??? How in the world would we do this alone?” what if it were just my husband and I? I can. Not. Even. Imagine.

Sounds dramatic, but seriously.

This child takes a village, and I am so so happy we happen to have one under our roof.

It may not be the ideal situation for everyone, but it’s our situation and I’m so glad it is.

I am a mother

I love my archives.

HECK, I love archives PERIOD! I spend hours getting lost in her archives, and thinking, “Wow, I remember when Racecar and Ariel we’re that little. I’ve been reading that long?”

The other night, I probably spent 6 HOURS mesmerized by her archives. Re-reading her birthstory for maybe the 5th time.


And I love getting lost in my own.

This time i took a tour around my draft posts. Those post I start, but they just don’t end up in the direction I intend them to go, so I just hit save and close out the window.

Sometimes there is something in there that get’s me..

Like this..

Written almost exactly one year ago:

I have been a mother for 14 months 6 days and 4 hours.
But that doesn’t mean much. I almost want to start over.
Today. Today I became a mother. Today was the first time I have ever readied myself and Miles to leave the house, and left alone. Today was the first time I have ever spent ALL DAY just the two of us. No helping hands, no one to get a diaper for me, or remember the diaper bag when we left the house.
I got us up, got us fed, showered, dressed and both of us went to work. We came home, we made dinner, ate dinner and did bathtime. All by ourselves. Bedtime, well that’s another story, but we’re still trying.

Does the feeling of wanting to start over ever go away?? I still feel like that and I’ve been a mother now for 25 months, 11 days and 6 minutes.

I think that passage I wrote in February of last year hit me so hard because I remember that girl so well.

For HER to get HER baby out of the house and do an entire day solo was A MIRACLE.

Truth: I have only done that 1 time since.

There have only been 2 times in 2 years, 1 months, 11 days and 6 minutes that I have EVER gotten Miles and Myself dressed and out of the house in the morning. SOLO.


I am HIS mother, and I think today, I actually appreciate that. THAT girl, up there, didn’t.

OH MY baby Miles!!!!! I wish the me that was then, could see him now…

Friday Night Pump..

One of my good friends (That I don’t *really* know) does this thing called Friday Morning Coffee, and well, Since I’m not really awake on Friday morning and don’t drink coffee, I thought maybe I’d do a Friday Night Pump post. What else do I have to do on Friday night while I’m pumping, but talk to you? (and possible try to create the LONGEST sentence ever.. what is that, first sentence? Geez..)

Today I am so grateful.

It’s just been one of those days when my heart has been full of smiles and my heart full of gratitude. EVERYTHING worked out today, and worked out well.

The kitchen still has dirty dishes, the Christmas decorations and strewn all over the floor and IF YOU COULD SEE our dirty clothes hamper. WOW! Picture if you will; it’s in the corner of the room. We just keep piling clothes in it. The pile now reaches over 2/3 up the wall. SOOO not kidding. I’ll take a picture if you really want..

But that’s not why I’m here. Those things don’t matter to me because today has been full of so much good!

Somedays I am so tired and bored of this no working thing, but other days I realize it’s Friday, and I get to spend the whole day with my two favorite boys. And then everything is perfect again.

A sneak peak of our family pictures taken at FotoFly yesterday! I love them so much. Even though I don’t love myself as much as I should right now.. (but I’m working on it..)

I had decided not to do Christmas cards this year, but last night I loaded all the pictures to my computer, opened up photoshop. And it just happened. In less than an hour the PERFECT card was made and sent to the printer. I got them today and they are everything I never knew I always wanted! So we have Christmas cards. I can’t wait for you all to see them.