Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Good Day... or Doughnuts Make Everything Better

So, I have been a little melancholy. With a general lack of purpose and growing sense of dread to be stuck in a town that, although nice, has nothing to offer but occasional movies and two places to eat, I have been feeling a little down. A week ago was one of those days that remind you that life if beautiful, and I wanted to share two highlights:

I normally spend every Thursday morning helping in Ethan's classroom. They have writing homework due that morning and there are about 7 that never seem to bring it back. I just sit and help them get it done.

When I went last Thursday they had a surprise: a Thank You Party for me. They had all signed a card and we got to eat doughnuts and drink orange juice while watching part of Charlotte's Web. I don't do much, but it felt nice to know I had helped them in some way and that they appreciated it. The kids were very cute, and I got lots of hugs.
Later that afternoon Ella had her class Easter party. The kids were excited and it was just fun to see the pureness of their happiness. It was a real mood booster to watch this:

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hide The Easter Eggs, Livi Is Coming...

Easter is so fun with little kids. I love watching the delight in their eyes, and the joy at the thought of all that candy (don't love the sugar highs in the afternoon so much, but at least it only lasts until they sleep it off).

Our Easter Bunny, (we've had to talk about why different families get different things from the Easter Bunny. Not such a fun conversation) brings us a scavenger hunt around the house, and then a free for all egg hunt outside (but in this case it was raining so we did it in the living room instead). Nothing really crazy or funny happened. Mostly it was just fun, and we taped the scavenger hunt for the grandparents. The only hard part was getting a decent picture of Ethan. He is less than cooperative. Finally.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

"I Twy" In Real Life

My talented sister has a unique hobby of creating whimsical scenes made out of felt. She recently posted one that hit so close to home I had to buy it and put it up in Livi's room. It shows a momma kangaroo being "helped" in the kitchen by her baby joey. I feel like she so perfectly captured my life in this little vignette.
I decided to add a little to color to my life and plant some flowers. Unfortunately, the good time of day to do this is when Livi is awake and boy did she want to "twy." In fact she tried and tried and tried so much this was the result: She LOVED the dirt. She climbed on the dirt pile, slid down the front and dug her little hands up to her elbows in it. Only towards the end did she decide it wasn't the greatest when she saw a giant bug crawling on the pile and yelled "EWWWWWWW" as loud as she could. I also noticed she kept sniffing her hands (in her best Uncle Jared impersonation) and saying "Gross." I managed to somehow get it on film:

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Spring Blues

I want a cat....or a job....or maybe a new hobby. Lately I've been feeling a real lack of purpose. I feel redundant. I know my job is an important one, no one could fill my shoes, etc. but lately it feels like any monkey with a credit card and a set of keys could contribute to my family what I do. I am just a little tired of doing laundry, picking up, and cooking.

This happens every Spring when I've been cooped up too long, and I know I will be fine after all the travel this summer, but for right now I just feel like driving down to Denver and spending myself silly, just to change the monotony. I try to feel connected by helping in the schools, participating in play groups, and reading our local paper so I can go to community events, but still I just feel lost. How do all you other mothers deal with this year after year?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Little Turkeys

Eric decided he needed yet another way to kill yet another animal, so we were "lucky" enough to get boxes full of Turkey decoys. The kids thought they were the funniest looking animals in the world, and couldn't help setting them up and laughing when the wind would move them around. They even loved using the call box, which Ethan seems to have a real talent for. Livi especially loves them, but is a little confused as to what they are. Every time we go in the garage she says "Look mommy, chickens!"

Saturday, April 9, 2011

What Is Wrong With This State?

Well, chalk one up to bad parenting. I could call it a "cultural misunderstanding" but that would be passing the buck. I should have checked it out, I should have asked, but I didn't. I did the heinous act of signing my BOY up for VOLLEYBALL. Gasp. I know, what was I thinking?

I was thinking that Volleyball is a bigger boys sport than girls in California, where we grew up. I was thinking he would enjoy a sport were people weren't running directly at him. I was thinking it would be fun for Eric and Ethan to practice together.

I sent the guys off together for Ethan's first volleyball practice. A little while later I got a text from Eric saying "He is the only boy on ANY team. What is wrong with this state?" Poor Ethan, poor Eric. Luckily Ethan is too young to be embarrassed about it and Eric just was happy to have a son to play the game with. Ethan seemed to really enjoy it, and is excited to go back again next week. Yeah, a sport he likes! I guess it is worth it to be so out of the loop if it makes him happy.On the bright side, at least he's not on one of the pink or purple teams.

ps when they got home Ethan took off his shoes and Eric noticed this in his shoes: I don't know how you don't notice walking on all of that, but it just goes to show how oblivious little boys can be.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Parental Struggles, or the Pine Wood Derby

Oh that glorious time of year when Dads and kids can get together and butt heads on what tiny $4 wooden cars should look like. This was our first year that Ethan is an actual cub, so this was the first year (of course) that Ethan really cared about what his car looked like.

Eric with enthusiasm: "There are so many cool designs we can do! Let's go look online!"
Ethan with apathy: "My leaders said I'm suppose to do it myself."
Eric with a grin and a wink: "I know, but it doesn't hurt to get ideas from other people that have won."
Ethan with a frown: "I'm suppose to do it myself."
Eric with growing frustration: "I know Bud, but why don't we..."
Ethan cutting in, with LOUD voice: "I'M SUPPOSE TO DO IT MYSELF!!!!"

Poor Eric. Ethan's design not only was not what Eric would have picked, but Ethan insisted on the least aerodynamic positioning of the car by putting it in what most of us would have deemed "backwards."

To make up for this Eric decided both girls would enter their "own" cars. While I was in Utah Eric "helped" everyone design and cut out their cars. Ella had strong feelings about hers (shocker) so "lucky" Livi got the brunt of Eric's parental helping. When I got home I found a backwards car (Ethan), a pretty regular looking car (Ella) and.... a tank.

Yep, Eric thought this child:

would like this design:
Since I have the paints and Eric didn't want to traverse into the sinkhole that is my craft area, the cars had not been painted yet. For Family Home Evening we painted the cars, and I let the older two do whatever they wanted. For Livi I stepped in before Eric could grab the green and black and start brush camo-ing our princess babies tank. This was my compromise: Purple camo. I think they were both happy.

The big day arrived and this was how my girls dressed up for the big event: Ethan got 3rd place out of the cubs (out of 5, which still shocked us, we were just hoping for a participation certificate) and Caleb even took 2nd. Go Guys!!

Ella and Livi were in the open class. There were two other little kids....and a 16 year old scout from Eric's troop. Well it is no surprise that the 16 year old blew away all the 5 and unders. Ella was doing great until she went up against him. This was the devastation that we got to deal with: Luckily Ella still got 2nd, and Livi got "Best Paint Job." (Ha ha) Being a purple tank sure looks good, but it really was NOT the fastest design. Next year I'm going to make my own, I'm thinking a stiletto on wheels!

Friday, April 1, 2011

April's Fool

I am not a fan of practical jokes. I don't like feeling foolish. Eric has been very respectful of this, so he was excited to take advantage of the kids being a little older this year and trying a small April Fools joke.
When the kids were eating breakfast Eric announced "Kids, I got a little angry last night while I was playing Mario and I threw the DS againt the wall. It broke, sorry."
There was a stunned silence in the kitchen.
Ethan looked around, trying to figure out what was going on.
Ella started bawling.
Eric said "Just kidding, April Fools."
Ethan laughed.
Ella kept bawling.
Eric tried to tell her it was all a joke.
Ella said "Why would you say something so mean?"
I guess she takes after me.