Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Oh, to be Three!

Three years. That is approximately 1,095 days of being your Mama. Where has the time gone? Though three years may not seem like a very long time to some people, three years has been a lifetime for you. Three years ago I learned what it really meant to live, to love, and to give of myself completely. Three years ago I felt defeat as Dr. Woodall, bless his heart, confirmed that I would indeed be having you via c-section. Three years ago I felt terrified at the thought of a c-section, but much more terrified at the thought that something could happen to you if I did not put on my big-girl panties and head to the operating room. Three years ago, my heart ceased to reside in my chest and instead took up residence in all that is you. 
Your young life has been atypical, especially compared to most children your age. You have lived in one house for nearly all of your life, but in several different states and cities. You may wake up in North Dakota, Utah, Texas, or Wyoming, but you almost always go to bed in the same room. Through all of the travels and the changes, you have thrived. You know that as long as you are with Mama and Daddy everything is fine, which is just as it should be.
You are determined, defiant, kind, pesky, loving, irritating, generous, loud, well-spoken, intelligent, inquisitive, a know-it-all, a wonderer, and a bit dangerous if left to your own devices (think….mascara and baby gas medicine….). You are all of the things that a preschooler should be.
You are NOT mean, unkind, angry, spiteful, or rude. You have a good heart and a kind soul. You are a joy, but you also know how to test one’s patience. You are so mature in some ways that it makes it hard to remember that you are still only three.
At this point in your life you LOVE your cars, you adore your brother, and you could spend all day every day swimming. You squabble with Kaleb here and there, but you are the first to rush to his aide if you think he is hurt or in trouble. This is especially funny if he is in trouble with Mama or Daddy (mostly because he is getting into the dog water dish); you tell me, with all the conviction you can muster, “Don’t tell MY brother NO” or “Leave my brother alone!” This is even funnier when Kaleb is not in trouble at all, but you want to make sure that he is protected. I hope and pray that you always carry that protective spirit, not only for your brother, but also for those who cannot stand up for themselves for whatever reason. It takes moxy to stand up for others, but in doing so you show that you are willing to step out of the bounds of comfort to come to the aide of another. That, my boy, is a fine quality and one to be proud of.
As much as it exhausts your Mama and Daddy to be riddled with billions (and yes, I really do mean billions) of questions every day, I absolutely LOVE that you really do want to know everything about everything. I adore that, even at three, you are not satisfied with simple answers meant for children your age. I am often frustrated with myself because I feel so unprepared for all of these questions; you expect me to have all of the answers! I am honored that you have that much confidence in me, but at the same time, I cannot wait until you are old enough to help me look up the answers. I pray you never loose that inner drive to know more, learn more, and be more.
Three years. 1,095 days and counting. An absolute lifetime. I can vaguely remember my life before you came into this world, back when I could sleep in as late as I wanted on a day off and never EVER had to clean up throw-up. Back when all I needed in order to go somewhere was my purse and a set of keys, and back when I spoke to grown-ups all day long. I will tell you a few secrets Kyle! First, while I love sleep and love sleeping IN even more, I do not miss a single moment of the snooze time I have missed out on since you were born. Second, throw-up is yucky and not fun at all, but I will do anything in my power to take away your hurts and sickies, puke cleanup included. Third, who needs to go somewhere at the drop of a hat? It is very overrated. Fourth, grown-ups are not as interesting as they are cracked up to be for the most part. The things you say and the silliness that is you is often more entertaining than a barrel of monkeys with ADD. Who needs grownups!? My life was made more complete when you were born and you fill my life with joy (and the occasional…ok, sometimes more than occasional…frustration) on a daily basis. I am so proud to be your Mama.
While watching you grow up gives me terrible pangs of sadness, I am also filled with great anticipation as I watch you growing and learning. I am very excited to see who you will become and know that we have a lot more wonderful memories to make along the way. I love you, dear sweet boy. I love you to the moon and back, which is a very long way.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Whole Year of You


Kaleb, you are now officially a one-year-old. I am so excited for you to grow and so sad that every day you are that much further away from being my baby. It is hard to believe I only really met you a year ago; I feel as if I have known you for the entirety of my existence. While I was pregnant with you you gave us a big scare, so on your birthday I was so happy to meet you I would not have given a snit if you had been green with four eyes. You are far from green with four eyes, my boy. You are indescribably pure and an undeniable miracle.


In the last year you have hit all of the milestones ‘they’ say you should, but you did them in your own time. That is one quality that I admire about you; you are not in a rush to grow up. I hope that never changes. I hope you really take the time to be a child. I pray that your Daddy and I provide you with the best childhood you could ask for as well.


While you are certainly a ‘good’ baby, you are becoming more confident and more of a troublemaker as you get older. You pull your brother’s hair and downright bully him whenever you can. You are not being mean, you are just a rough and tumble boy. That surprises me because you have always been laid-back and cuddly. I guess the more mobile you are the more you are going to test the waters of trouble. Just do me a favor- do not jump into the water entirely!


In your first year you have been quite a few places. You were born in Salt Lake, then we moved to Rawlins Wyoming. After that we went to Layton, UT, then on to Blanding, UT. Back up to Ogden, UT we went after that, and finally back to Salt Lake. When you were about 9 months old Daddy changed jobs and we came all the way to Ross, ND. Through all of our travels and all of our scenery changes, you have been a trooper. You rarely complain and are generally OK with anything. What an awesome quality!


You have been a booby-baby for all of your first year. You are currently in the process of giving it up and that makes me a bit sad. I never thought it would, but I love having that time with you, holding you, examining your soft face, touching your baby-fine hair (that, admittedly, there is not much of).


Now the mushy gushy stuff. Kaleb, you are an absolute treasure of a boy. You have made our family more wonderful and more fun than we could imagine. Your big brother adores you and would do anything for you. He even shares his hot chocolate with you willingly! You have Grandmas and Grandpas and Aunts and Uncles and Cousins and friends that think you are wonderful. You exude a light and a sense of joy wherever you go. You are so very uniquely you, and this Mama would not have it any other way. We love you Silly Bean. To the moon and back, which is a very long way.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

10 Days

Kaleb Joseph, did you know that in a mere 10 days we will be celebrating the fact that you came into this world and that God blessed us with your splendidness? When I say splendidness, you may think that I am being sarcastic, but believe me when I say that I am not being sarcastic. You are absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, splendid. True, you are starting to voice your opinions. True, they are not always our opinions. True, you are at a point where you do not have the words to express how you are feeling and more often than not voice your opinions with a screech. No matter; you are still simply splendid.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thankful for the Small Stuff

Today, as Kyle sat on the couch next to Daddy, Daddy reached over and tickled his back. After he was done, Kyle promptly told Daddy, "Thank you for the tickle Daddy." It is nice to see he can be thankful for the small stuff.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Looking Back

It is amazing how one small decision can create a snowball effect that takes your life off of one path and onto another in a nanosecond. We often get so wrapped up in the big decisions that we forget that lives are probably changed more drastically by the small decisions. We forget that our past helped to shape our present, as well as our future.

Today I was able to reminisce a bit, my memories leading me down paths covered with dust and littered with cobwebs. Paths that I seldom walk anymore, not for lack of wanting, but instead for lack of time. When I do pull out the broom and dust off those paths I can see that they are well traveled. It becomes obvious that they are beaconing me to visit once more and are more than willing to embrace me while I am there. The further down the paths I travel the more hazy the memory, victims of time and space. Sweeter memories remain bright, as do more solemn memories. The memories that seem to escape me are the small ones, the ones that seemed so insignificant at the time and for months after their occurrence. At some point those memories jump out at me, begging to be seen, desperately wanting me to understand that they were, indeed, significant in their own way.

My walk down memory lane today was triggered by a chat with an old friend. An old friend who happens to be a boy. An old boyfriend. Well, actually, he is a young friend. He is younger than me, and the only person I ever dated that was younger than me. But, prior to holding the esteemed title of my boyfriend, we were simply friends. We belonged to a group that is now scattered in the wind, a group that once spent great deals of time together, and has since gone on with our respective lives. We keep in touch here and there, but not the way we probably should. But just enough to help us remember.

Through this conversation, via Facebook Chat, I felt a well-known tug in my stomach. This tug was not that of nerves or of anticipation, nor was it the tug of despair. No, instead it was the tug of the familiar. It was the physical reaction to a mental waterfall of memories, emotions, and feelings. It was laughing at a shared experience that, at the time, seemed like the most embarrassing thing in existence. It was a small smile creeping onto my face at the knowledge that I made an impact in his life just as much as he did in mine. It was marveling at how, after feeling that he has hated me for so long, I feel as if we are friends again in the truest sense of the word, if not necessarily the most active sense. It was understanding that it is perfectly alright to look back at your past and not regret a single thing, and honestly feel in your heart that you do not regret it. I pray that he knows no regrets and that he experiences the glorious freedom of living a life with no regret. I will concede that the tug I felt did have a few attachments to my heart, and it would be silly and a bit immature of me to deny that. I loved this person for several years with all of my being. I expected to build a life with this person, have children with this person, and grow old beside this person. Even after we went our separate ways, part of me hoped against hope that we would find our way back to each other and that the barriers to our relationship would suddenly fall. I do not believe that our hearts are at all capable of loving someone and then unloving someone in a lifetime. Instead, I feel that our hearts have boundless capacity for love and that we should savor every ounce of love we can give or receive. Our hearts remember what our minds choose to forget. While you may no longer be in love with someone does not mean that you are incapable of feeling some variation of love toward that person. Admitting this does not make you any less in love with your husband or wife. It only demonstrates the depth and breadth of the human heart.

I am thankful for my life. I am unworthy of my husband. I am entirely, utterly, madly beyond indebted to God for our children, as they are my soul and my meaning. I would not go back and change a single day of my life, a single moment, a single second, if that meant the possibility of altering my present. There are few things in this life that I know for certain, but that is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, one of them. I feel that with my whole being, leading me to believe in the validity of that feeling.

That being said, I am continually thankful for every experience, every person, every wrong turn or misstep, every left that should have been a right, every mistake and every success. I am thankful for those who were a part of my life, and who remain a part of my life if only in memory. I am thankful every time I reconnect with someone who knew me ‘then’, who knew me before I became who I am today, who helped me become who I am today, each in their own special way. Some days I want nothing more than the opportunity to sit down with my old group of friends and relive our shared past in a way that can only happen through togetherness. I envy those who never left home, who have the ability to relive the past on a daily basis. At the same time, I mourn them for the simple reason that I worry they will never fully appreciate what the past means to the present. I long for a coffee date, or a drive through the old neighborhood, or a siesta complete with a few beers, so long as old friends are included. I desire this not for impure reasons, not because I am unhappy, and not because I want to recreate something that no longer exists. I desire this so deeply because I have come to the point in my life that I wish only to dust off memory lane, remove the cobwebs in my mind, and remember how things used to be alongside those who lived it with me. Perhaps time will bring us back together for just such an event. One can only hope. Until then, I will try my best to remember how thankful I am, how much love I have given and received, and how much more I have to look forward to.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I have not posted anything for a while, and with good reason. Even though I am a mere 3 weeks into the Fall semester, I am feeling more than just a bit overwhelmed on most days. I am finding that this is definately more difficult to handle with 2 kids instead of 1, with an infant AND a toddler instead of just a toddler. Kyle has given up naps and replaced them with frustration. Kaleb is just to the point where he is getting into everything. While Kaleb still takes one or two naps per day, I still have to take care of dishes and dinner and everyday chores. I find myself staying up until midnight or 1 o'clock just to get things done for school and then having less patience and energy the next day. I know I have to find the balance, I know I can do it, but this is the first time I have truly had to struggle with managing it all.

I will now pull on my big-girl panties and just suck it up.

How can admitting I am not superwoman make me feel so much better?

I do not know.

But it does.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bugs on a Rug

For the past few weeks Larabee has been working nights. It has really thrown off everyone’s schedule and it is just plain strange. Larabee is not built to work nights; he is a morning person to the core. Sleeping in until 11 or 12 is so against his nature that he almost does not know what to do. Kyle does not like saying goodbye to Daddy at the time of day we are usually saying hello to Daddy. My entire schedule is shifted since I am now cooking Larabee’s dinner when I should be doing the dishes, am doing the dishes when I should be making dinner, am eating my big meal at lunch, leaving me starving at 10 PM because I am not hungry when I should be eating dinner. Kaleb, well, he is just Kaleb. He is cool with anything.

One bright spot amidst all the chaos is the fact that I get real quality time with the boys in the evening. Since I am not obligated to make a big dinner and I already have the dishes done, I have ‘free time’. This evening I sat on the floor and read books to the boys Librarian Style- both boys sat in front of me and I held the book over my shoulder and read. I tried to hold it on my lap and read it upside down but Kaleb was too drawn to the pages and could not sit still for want of touching them. So over the shoulder it was. It was so heartwarming to see both of our boys sitting side by side on the floor, eagerly listening to the story and looking at the book with interest and awe. It was one of those moments that makes all the dirty diapers and timeouts and sleepless nights completely and utterly worth it.

After our story time Kyle and I played dog-pile on the floor, with a bit of tickling and laughter involved. Kaleb, who had happily been playing in the toy box- standing against it and pulling toys out left and right to be exact- decided that we were having so much fun that he needed to join us. Over he came, and on me he climbed. It was so much fun to just play with the boys. I love that Kaleb is big enough now to be involved and I am excited for all the fun times that are still to come.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Great-Grandma’s House

  DSCN2935I remember going to Grandma’s house when I was little. For me, Grandma’s house was home. Since we traveled all of the time with my Dad’s job, Grandma’s house became my grounding place. It was where I came from, it was where I always knew I would go back to. I could always count on the fact that Grandma’s house would be a constant in my world of change. Grandma’s house is to me what “Grandma’s House” should be.


A place where you are always accepted for who you are.

A place where you are loved without any strings attached.

A place where you are comfortable, no matter the situation.

A place where you are safe from the world.

A place where you hope your own children will experience the same acceptance, love, comfort, and safety.


I am very happy that our children have been able to know not only all of their Grandparents, but that they have also been blessed to be around MY Grandparents. These particular Great-Grandparents are young enough to be involved with their Great-Grandchildren yet old enough to know that feeding them chocolate for breakfast is not the end of the world. They spoil with little gifts, but most importantly, with endless and effortless love. They take great joy in the little things that the boys do and are able to simply relish in their company. 

They worked hard to raise their own children, had a hand in raising me, and now are able to stand free of any and all parental-type duties and just enjoy.

No worries about the cost of diapers or baby food.

No late nights full of crying and sick babies.

No interrupted sleep.

No holding a child while the nurse administers shots.

No fretting over the billions of ways you can screw up a child, promising a future full of sarcasm and therapy.

No crying over the fact that, well, everyone else is crying so you might as well join in.

No counting to 10 simply to keep your cool because your toddler just spilled milk on the floor again. For the second time in an hour. The whole cup.

No worries over the ‘right’ form of discipline. Face it. By the time you are Great-Grandparents the child could burn the house down and you would just thrill in how much fun it looked like they were having in the process. “How cute!” “Isn’t that clever!?!”



Basically, they have been there and done that more times than I ever will and darn it they deserve a break.


They are more than happy to allow me all of the aforementioned worries and stresses. They know that I, like my parents before me and they before my parents, have to pay my dues.


I am fairly accepting of the ‘no rules’ rule at Grandma’s house.


Actually, I take that back.

I do have ONE rule at Grandma’s house.


Calories do not exist………DSCN2936

Monday, July 12, 2010

Love, Hugs, and Kisses Galore



“What Kyle?'”

“I love you.”

“I love you too, Kyle.”

Kyle and I have this conversation at least 15 times per day. He just likes to let me know how he feels. It sure is nice to hear.

He has also been excessively cuddly lately. In saying he is excessively cuddly, I mean excessively cuddly for him. Usually he is going 90 miles an hour every which way, so to see him take the time to sit down and snuggle is very sweet. He just wants to be with us, even though he is always with us. Silly boy.

Also, we have a nightly routine when he is going to bed. He climbs in bed after telling Daddy goodnight and Mama tucks him in. He gets his blanket and waits for his kisses.

Oh, the kisses.

It started out with a ‘real’ kiss, which is on the lips, and one on the forehead. Now he gets an Eskimo kiss, a ‘cat’ kiss (where we rub cheeks), a ‘real’ kiss, a kiss on each eye, and a forehead kiss. It is quite the production.

Apparently, this is no longer enough.

In the last week he has tried to slip in an ear kiss, a chin kiss, a hand kiss, and a hair kiss. You would think that this kid does not get enough kisses or something. It is something else.

I guess I should take all I can get before he turns 3 or 4 or 5 and no longer wants any kisses from Mommy because it is icky.

Oh, he had better never do that. I will simply not allow it.

New conversation to have 15 times per day:


“Will you always give your Mama kisses?”




I am going to hold you to that Kiddo!


Happiness and Bliss, Wrapped in Cuteness



Kaleb, you are such a blessing and a joy. You radiate happiness and turn even the gloomiest day into a wonderland. How can I even begin to express how you have made our family better than ever?

For a little guy you are a big thinker. I watch you taking in all of the goings-on around you and I can tell that you are focused on figuring out the how and why of it. It amazes me that you have the ability to really watch and learn at your young age.

Your personality is an absolute wonder. I think you are a lot like your Mama. That makes me happy because I feel that we will always have that connection, no matter what. You are surfer-dude laid back and most of the time you do not think anything is a big deal. Well, unless your meal is late- that, to you, is a big deal. You do not blow anything out of proportion. If you get upset you let us know and then you get over it. You are content 90% of the time and even in the 10% of time you are not, it still is not that bad.

You recently learned how to sit up. Actually, that is not true. You recently decided you wanted to sit up. You have been able to do it for a while, you simply did not want to. That is pretty much how you are. You do things in your own time. You cannot crawl just yet… or perhaps you just do not want to. You ‘seal’ crawl, which is very cute and it gets you from point A to point B. With this newfound mobility you are exploring the world around you in a whole new way. I imagine that you will be into everything sooner rather than later, so I am truly enjoying not having to tell you no every 5 minutes.

We cannot wait to see how you grow and learn and change, but part of me wants you to stay one bundle of happiness and bliss, wrapped in cuteness forever.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I made my own blog background!

See the background that my blog is rocking?

I am proud to say that I designed it :)

It is my first, so there are still some kinks to work out, but otherwise, I love it!

Just had to share my new little fun, time-wasting hobby!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father’s Day, 2010

We had a pretty low-key Father’s Day. I got up early (8:15….hey, any time Kyle is still in bed it can still be considered EARLY) and made Larabee breakfast. He was treated to French Toast and Sausage Links.

I capitalize those because they were SO good.

They deserve to be capitalized.

Anyhow, after our yummy breakfast we headed out for adventure and fun.

First we drove down to Bluff to look at some petroglyphs. They were neat, but we are hard to please, so we did not hang out there for very long.

Next, we drove to Hovenweep National Monument. It was really neat. Basically, it was a grouping of ancient Pueblo ruins from about 700 years ago. There is a small canyon and these ruins are located in various places around the rim of the canyon. We only went to a few of them because Kyle was hot and Kaleb was ready for a nap. A nice couple volunteered to take a picture of all of us, and here is a rare look at…

Wait for it…..

Wait for it….

Our entire family!

Pay no attention to the horrid white shirt I am wearing… I would have dressed the part had I known I would actually be in one of the pictures rather than simply taking the pictures!DSCN24951 After we went home so the kids could nap and we could vegetate and eat dinner regroup, we went out to the Butler Wash Ruins, which are cliff dwellings that are over 800 years old. It was a very pretty hike to get to the dwellings. Once we were there we were able to hike up and around the ruins, but not actually get close. If we did not have kids with us we could have done it, but there are simply some things that you cannot do with a 2 year old and a 7 month old.

Scaling vertical cliffs is one of them.

Sorry kids, we value your lives.

We did walk from the area where this picture was taken over to the star above the alcove. We walked to the right, across a natural bridge, under which was a massive cavern for water flow, and along the area where the small stars are. It was pretty high off the ground down into the canyon!

Kyle did not want to hold my hand.

Again, sorry Kyle, we value your life.

bwr On the way home from Butler Wash Ruins we stopped at Little Cottonwood Canyon Recreation Area so that Daddy could gather some ‘prospect’ soil from the riverbed. There was not any flowing water, but in the large pools of the riverbed there were hundreds, if not thousands, of tadpoles. Kyle knew right away that they were baby frogs, which I was certainly impressed with. We even had to catch a couple of them so that Kyle could touch them. It was so cute!

All in all, we had a wonderful day. I was so happy to be able to spend the day with my fantastic husband. Kyle and Kaleb were thrilled to spend the day with Daddy too! Even if Larabee is ‘not into’ Father’s Day, we will still tell him how wonderful he is and how loved he is every year!

Happy Father’s Day Daddy! We love you!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Blanding Utah

We have been in Blanding Utah for a couple of weeks now. It is a very small town, which is both good and bad. We are over an hour away from any cheap grocery stores, so groceries can get ridiculous here. Most places, grocery store included, are closed on Sundays, which can be irritating. There are, however, many things to go see.
The number one thing down here are the Pueblo Indian Cliff Dwellings. They are everywhere, and in varying condition. We have gone out to a few that are within about a half hour of the house. It is very neat to know that something created so very long ago (hundreds and hundreds of years) has survived the tests of time, weather, and nature in general. Seeing how these people lived has also given me a new appreciation for shoes, air conditioning, soft cotton clothes, and grocery stores. It is amazing how they made the most of where they were.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

An old friend

How do you express in words the feeling of seeing one of your oldest and dearest friends looking so poorly that you are overcome with shock? How do you muddle through the feelings of regret, sadness, fear, guilt, pain, and utter grief?

My (original) main man, Captain, is the same age as me: 25. That is getting up there in horse years. Most say that the life expectancy of a horse is between 20 and 30 years, so that puts this guy right in the thick of it.

To say the least, Cap did not winter very well. He lost a great deal of weight, which was not at all apparent until he began to shed his winter hair. If there is one thing this horse knows how to do, it is to grow hair. I swear he puffs up like a big brown marshmallow in the winter. His hair is so long that he is barely recognizable. Anyhow, once all of that hair began coming off it was obvious that he had lost more weight than he ever has in the past.

We took a weekend trip up to GV to visit the family a few weeks ago. Before we got there I had been warned that Cap did not look so good. I thought it was being blown out of proportion, but boy was I wrong. I had Kaleb with me when I went out to the field to see him. I got about 10 feet away from him and had to turn back. I was crying before I got out of the pasture. Old habits die hard: when I was graduating from high school the mere mention of selling this horse would start the water works, and I have never been overly emotional.

Reality hit.

I had a revelation.

My. Horse. Got. Old.

I was told long ago by our vet that he was so healthy that he could easily live into his 30's. I took that 'knowledge' for granted. I assumed that he would be around to teach our kids about horses. I assumed that he would never be anything but a stunning example of equine flesh. I guess that is what I got for assuming.

I set up an appointment to take him to the vet, an appointment that required me to drive back up to GV about 10 days later. I was taking him in to get his teeth floated. If you do not know what 'floating' a horses' teeth means, it is basically grinding them down with power tools. Horses, like rabbits, have teeth that never stop growing. Depending on how quickly they grow, how the horse eats, and the age of the horse, their teeth must be filed down to eliminate any sharp or overgrown edges. The purpose of this is to allow the teeth to properly grind the food, making the nutrients in the food available for absorption during the digestive process.

See how smart I just sounded. It is almost as if I intended to be a vet once upon a time or something.

Anyhow, his teeth did need floated. Fortunately for us, he still has all of his teeth and none are loose or rotted. That is excellent news, especially for his age. He is now on a super high calorie diet and will be until he gains back enough weight to be considered 'fat and sassy' again. He is definitely still sassy, but would only be considered fat in the world of high fashion super models.

I do not think that he minds getting a bucket full of grain and senior feed while all of the other horses salivated over the fence. I think that, in a cruel and twisted way, he rather enjoys their suffering. It is all part of being top dog.

I know for certain that this man of mine will be more maintenance than he ever has been, but that is fine by me. He was my best friend, my playmate, my babysitter, and my dream come true. He is the one horse I would trust around our kids and the one horse I am willing to exert the cost and effort of 'older horse maintenance' for. He was my world as a teenager. Nobody will ever convince me that a greater horse has ever existed.

Trigger does not hold a candle to my Captain.

Even from this angle.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

How to keep a kid busy in the car

We had a long car ride back from Idaho today. About an hour away from home Kyle started to get sort of antsy. I had to do something, but what?!?

I decided to have him tell me what color the trucks were that we were passing on the freeway. That was great.

Next I decided that I would tell him I saw a truck that was a certain color and see if he could find it. That was even better.

Finally I decided that I would pick a color and tell him he had to find one truck that was that specific color before he could 'find' another truck that was a different color. He loved it!

Red, white, and blue are fairly easy to find: I am pretty sure the bulk of trucks on the road are one of these three colors. Green was moderately difficult. Orange, black, purple, yellow, and all the other colors out there were definitely the most difficult. We looked for an orange truck for over 10 minutes. The amazing thing about that 10 minute time-span? Kyle never forgot what color of truck he was looking for. He amused himself by naming off the other colors of trucks going by, so I thought he had forgotten what color we were looking for. No! When I asked him if he remembered he quickly said, "Orange!" Yay Kyle!

After he got a bit bored with the colors of trucks I started asking him to find random things, such as tractors. He would look around and say "is that a tractor? Noooo! That is a ____(<-insert whatever object he was talking about here)." It was so cute to listen to that I turned the radio off completely. He is such a little smartie!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Rekindled hobby...

So, Tiffany (Darn her) talked to me a bit about digiscrapping a few days ago. I told her that you could use GIMP, a free program, to do it.
"Yay" said Tiffany. "You can teach me."
*rolling on the floor laughing*
Considering the fact that I had not used the program to do much of anything in over a year I figured I should brush up on some stuff.
Well, all that did was reawaken my need to be creative.
But here is what I did the other day. I tend to get too busy and make the pages too crowded, so I was trying for the opposite here.
What do you guys think?

Monday, April 19, 2010

This Boy of Ours

When this boy was born I was so full of love for him I thought my heart would burst.

When this boy turned a year old, I thought there was no way I could love more than I did at that point.

When this boy became a big brother with so much grace and joy, I was certain I loved him as much as a mother could love.

When this boy showed me what a great big brother he was capable of being, I figured my heart was as full as it could get.

When this boy looks at me, talks to me, hugs me, snuggles with me, or tells me he loves me, I am simply a goner.

Today I think I will never be able to love him more than I do today.

And then I will wake up tomorrow.

And I will love him more than I did today.

I guess that is what I get for thinking.

You're Gonna Be

Sometimes a song comes along that is a complete snapshot of your life, a song that simply had to be written specifically for you and the circumstances you are in. There are times that said song is not new, not trendy, and not one that you have heard lately. Sometimes you hear a song that you think is pretty or sweet, but it does not apply to your current situation so it is somewhat dismissed. I found one of those songs today.

Reba McEntire has a song called "You're Gonna Be", which is a heartfelt song from mother to her child, or even a father to his child. Having been blessed with the role of Mama twice now, I feel that this song says some of the things I want to be able to tell our boys. Songs can say things so much better than we can at times, and this is one of them. There is so much truth written in such a nice, neat package that I cannot help but love it. If you have never heard the song (which is beautiful by the way), here are the lyrics.

6 pounds and 9 ounces lookin' up at me
Like I have all the answers
I hope I have the ones you need
I've never really done this
Now I know what scared is.

Sometimes I'll protect you from everything that's wrong
Other times I'll let you just find out on your own
But that's when you'll be growin'
And the whole time I'll be knowin'

You're gonna fly with every dream you chase
You're gonna cry, but know that that's okay
Sometimes life's not fair, but if you hang in there
You're gonna see that sometimes bad is good
We just have to believe things work out like they should
Life has no guarantees, but always loved by me
You're gonna be

I'm afraid you'll have to suffer
Through some of my mistakes
Lord knows I'll be trying to give you what it takes
What it takes to know the difference
Between getting by and livin'


Just reading these lyrics makes me want to cuddle with my babies. This makes me want to kiss them all over their precious faces. It makes me want to be the best Mama those boys could ever ask for, which makes me feel as if I am falling short every day. I suppose the only thing I can do is wake up tomorrow and strive to do the best I can do again, over and over.

It also makes me want 5 more babies, but that is a post for another day!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Parenting Class

Parenting is pretty much a trial and error process. We have hundreds upon hundreds of books, classes, television shows, and websites that can help us throughout the process. With all of that information we are either enlightened by a grand idea that will surly work for our child or completely and inexplicably confused beyond all dimension of reality. I know for me, it is usually that latter.

I know that there are parenting skills and styles that come with age, those that are fairly common sense, and those that you happen to stumble upon. There are, however, some things that you do not ever think you will have to learn in life, as a parent or otherwise.

Are you confused?

Do you think I am crazy?

Do you have no idea what I am talking about?

Well, let me give you a sample of the things I am talking about.

1. I never thought I would have to learn how to hold a 2 year old boy still while I used tweezers to get a small, round sticker out of his left nostril. WAY up inside of his left nostril.

2. I never thought I would need the skill to turn a slinky back into a slinky. 2 year old boys have an uncanny ability to turn a slinky into a twistyslinkeryknotteryroundishsortainaknotandIcannotfigureitout-y. Yeah, it is that fun. Especially when the boy is hovering so close that you do not know where you end and where he begins. No pressure Mama!

3. I never thought I would have long discussions regarding where poo goes. I never realized how the word poo can send a 2 year old boy into fits of giggles. Boys are, I swear, gross.

4. I never thought I would have to know how to continue nursing a baby while I take a 2 year old to the potty. That is a great skill to have, though one I would not attempt in public. Or private, unless absolutely necessary.

5. I never thought I would need to cross my legs to keep from peeing because my child just said the funniest thing I ever heard. The funny comment was emphasized by the fact that he said it with an entirely straight face, and was completely serious about it.

6. I never thought I would know how to function through an entire day on about 4 hours of sleep. Maybe I am not functioning, maybe I just 'am'. Food for thought. Very deep.

7. I never thought I would need to know how to be a matchbox car mechanic. Does anyone know where I can purchase a tiny little matchbox car garage, complete with all necessary micro-mini tools? I have a feeling that, with two boys, I might need to invest in one.

8. I never thought I would need to know how to wash dishes, usually a two-handed process, while holding a baby. Perhaps I should re-wash those dishes: surly I did not do an exemplary job. Oh well, we will just use them tonight and they will need washed again anyway.

9. Last, but not least, I never thought that my main goal at any time in my life would be to convince a 2 year old boy that pooping on the toilet would be the greatest gift he could ever give me. At this point, I would be fully willing to accept this gift as my Mother's Day gift. Please! I beg you!

Parenting is quite a journey, quite the learning experience, and quite the stressful endeavor.

Parenting is also a blessing, a joy, and the greatest purpose my life will ever have.

I cannot wait to learn more of those things I never thought I would have to know.

An Evening in the Park

Last night Wayne, Tiffany, and Livie went to the park with us. We were going to feed the ducks and play at the playground, as well as to give Mama some much needed exercise.

Kyle walked, so Livie wanted to walk too! It was a riot to watch these two.

See this big gnarly tree? They were playing peek-a-boo around it for a little while, which was adorable and hilarious. I love watching my little man grow up and learn new things, even if I want him to do it a bit slower now and then. Now, at this point in time I feel that they were likely conspiring against the parental units. Sort of a "you go this way, I will go that way, we meet back here at 2300 hours to reconvene. Ready, break." Or something like that. They probably realized that the Moms had pulled out the cameras and were discussing the best way to avoid having pictures taken. The little turkeys.
Part of me cannot wait until Kaleb is big enough to run after his big brother, but the rest of me is screaming "NO!" Since Kyle started walking at 10 months, Kaleb could easily be an early walker as well. If he starts at 10 months, that means I only have 5 months left until I have two walkers.
I better go buy some good, comfortable running shoes.
Or leashes.


I love spring.

It makes me happy.

It makes my heart soar.

It makes me sunburned...but that is OK. It does not take much to make a freckly redhead sunburned. Spring is just wonderful, especially after you have wintered in Rawlins, Wyoming!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Spring Semester 2010

Spring semester is slowly coming to an end. I have a list in front of me with all the assignments I have to do before the end of the semester. Every time I get to cross something off I feel a great sense of joy and relief.

I love school. I really do. I enjoy learning new things and the satisfaction of earning 100% on an assignment or an exam. I enjoy being busy because I am much more efficient when I have more to do. I love knowing that I am doing something useful with my time instead of just surfing the Internet, though I do a lot of that as well.

I am, however, tiring of the classes that I have. I feel an overwhelming sense of monotony this semester, which I did not feel last semester. Perhaps it is because I was distracted with preparations for a new baby, or perhaps I have cabin fever from a long winter in Wyoming. Whatever it is, I am ready to be done.

I plan on taking two classes this summer, so it is not as if I will have an entire summer to be wild and free. It will be nice to focus on one class at a time though.

One more year and I will be done. I am so ready, yet I am not ready at all. Why, oh why, must I be so contradictory?

Precious Moments

Precious Moments

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Best Day

I just listened to Taylor Swift's song "The Best Day".

It will never be a number one hit.

It will never be revered as an artistically perfect contribution to the world of music.

It will never be a crossover hit.

But I can tell you what it will be.

It will always make her mother proud.

It will always make her mother feel special.

It will always make her mother feel loved.

It will always make this mother's eyes well up.

I just wish I had the artistic talent to let the people in my life know how deeply I love them and how important every moment with them has meant to me and my life.

Maybe I should work on honing that talent, however little it is.


This is why God makes Dads: I have been over to Wayne and Tiffany's house a lot and I never thought of putting my 4 month old on this rocking....butterfly. When we went over there for Easter, we were not there 5 minutes and Larabee not only had him on it, but he was rocking away.

What could be cuter?

Oh wait, I know!

BOTH of our boys rocking on the butterfly. Aww.

I am so glad that Tiffany had her camera close at hand, because this is simply precious!
I can only imagine what these two have in store for us in the future. I am sure there will be a ton of wonderful memories made, but I am POSITIVE there will be a ton of grey hairs earned as well.
Boys, Mama and Daddy love you very much. We always have and we always will. Even when you are in trouble, which I am hoping will not be a lot but am realistic in the fact that it will probably be quite a bit, we love you. Very much.

Easter 2010

We were very happy to have friends to spend Easter with this year, especially since Tiffany graciously offered to do all of the cooking.

I did not let her do it all- I brought the green bean casserole. Mainly because I am a control freak, but also because I wanted to add a bunch of yummy mushrooms to it!

Kyle and Livie had a great time searching for eggs at our Easter egg hunt. I think the Dads...I mean, the Easter bunny, had a great time hiding the eggs.

Woohoo! I even considered hiding them all again just because I know how fun it was for the kids to find them. It was really funny for the parents to watch Livie walk right over the eggs. Tiffany says she is a 'little blonde', but I think she was just acting like she did not see them so that she could make us laugh. Good job Livie!

On Saturday morning we went to the Aerospace Museum because they were doing an egg hunt. Everyone was sectioned off into age groups, so that was nice. There were so many eggs that Kyle filled his basked without having to go far at all. Much better than last year, let me tell you.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bounce Much?

I set up Kyle's old bouncer for Kaleb the other day. As you can see, he loved it. The only problem is the fact that he is still too small for it. Even a phone book under his tootsies did not do the trick. He will grow into it soon enough though.
And that makes me sad.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Frontier Prison

Today I took the boys to the Wyoming Frontier Prison here in Rawlins. We bundled up with lots of layers. It was about 45 degrees outside, so it was bound to be colder inside of the stone prison. It was. Kyle thought it was great fun to try out the bed on cell block C.
And apparently solitary confinement was great fun as well.
I specifically told him that this is the ONLY time that he should ever be in a prison cell. Ever. I will kick your bum otherwise, you punk.

This dandy cell is 12'x12' and housed 3 men. That is more people in less of a space than we have in our RV. And we actually like each other. I bet that was a comfortable living situation.

This cell housed 2 inmates and was a whopping 8'x12'. This is how prisons today should be. No more pampered prisoners.

This was the 'sunny side' of the prison, the hot spot, the place to be. If you were incarcerated. I guess one has to strive for the best in any situation.

See this guy? Every time he got arrested he would give the local judge a different name so that he would not be labeled a habitual offender. The sole purpose of this was to make sure he only got the minimum sentence each time he was caught. His ruse worked until he was brought back to this prison for a second time and the warden knew who he was. Gotchas sucker!

This is quite the building. Very neat looking. Very big. Probably scary as heck at night.

Kyle thought it was pretty darn spiffy. Does he know what spiffy is? Would he use it he did. So many questions.

All in all, the tour was informative with quite a few great stories thrown in. If you ever happen to be in Rawlins Wyoming, check it out!