Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial day

Lately I am constantly overwhelmed with guilt.  Guilt that I am totally neglecting my kids.  Guilt that they have forgotten how to entertain themselves when electronics are not involved and guilt that I have forgotten how to be a good mom.  Remember those days of the "ABC's of summer", cause I don't.  I know it will all be worth it ten fold, but it's hard to ignore those glazed over zombie eyes after 8 hrs of straight tv.  I really am holding on to those moments where we actually forget that we're right in the thick of our entire world getting turned upside down, and just focus on some quality family time.  Today was one of those days. Okay, I lied, we spent all day cleaning and packing, but this evening was one of those evenings.  Hanging out by the pool eating pizza and ending the night with a family movie.  I'm clinging on by tooth and nail to these simple moments, because those are the moments that get me through the hard days.

Going out with a bang

Things have been crazy around here. We were itching for an escape from all the stress and a chance to inhale some fresh air.  We decided to do one last hurrah at the lake before putting the boat up for sale.  What was supposed to be a relaxing camping trip turned into a broken down car and getting stranded on the lake when the boat ran out of gas.  My brother is going to buy the Pilot and as we were headed up Jason was talking to him on the phone and telling him what a great car it's been.  I kid you not, right as he hung up the engine light came on, it started losing power and would vibrate when idling.  Irony can be a punch in the gut sometimes.  We decided to carry on with our plans and deal with the car the next day.  It's funny how our memory works, at the time I was so frustrated and stressed, but looking back I'm already beginning to forget how I felt and instead I'm remembering the fudge stripes smores, the lantern lit Uno game, the tin foil dinners, Ryder stripping off his pj's and throwing his diaper on my head while we're trying to sleep, a late night outhouse run with Kylie, throwing rocks, collecting clams, the boys having "man time" (as Jayden called it) alone on the lake, the water as smooth as glass in the morning, Jayden perfecting his jumps, everyone taking one last wakeboard run (I even broke my cardinal rule of not getting in the water until it's like bath temp) and watching Kylie and Jayden while they tried double wakeboarding for the first time.  Hopefully the memory of that whopping auto shop bill and the sunburned shoulders from waiting on the lake for gas will soon fade all together.

sometimes it's just impossible to get a decent picture

This boy has grown up on the lake.  It's crazy to think he was 3 weeks old the first time we took him out.  He loves going out on the "boot".  The other day when I was changing his diaper he randomly told me "daddy boot fun", glad to know thoughts of the lake occupy his mind on a regular basis.  He has found his happy place with his bankie, tag, baba, a cool breeze and not a care in the world.

As we were headed back to the dock with the sun soaking in my skin and the wind in my hair, I layed my head back, closed my eyes and wanted to remember that moment forever.  And then the boat completely died.  And then we had to flag someone down who was so nice to tow us to the side and then take Jason back to the dock to get gas.  Then I cursed irony for the second time as I spent the next half hour with four hot cranky kids.  I guess it was very fitting that we got towed away on our last lake trip, considering the exact same thing happened on our very first lake trip when the boat died in the middle of the lake.  Irony, I tell you, it's the red headed step child that nobody wants.

After spending the rest of the day figuring out the car situation and unpacking from the trip, I was so ready to escape with friends for a little weekend getaway in Scottsdale.  We ate (notice that eating is the first thing on the list, there's a reason for that), talked, laughed, slept in, shopped and filled those 24hrs with some mighty fine memories.  I don't know how I lucked out to have such amazing friends, I'm going to miss these girls. Like alot. While I was gone Jason listed the boat and it sold right away.  It was sad to come home to an empty garage and Jason sort of treated it like a loss in the family.  Ryder even cried as he saw it being towed away and keeps asking where the "boot" is.  Our last weekend on the lake could have gone smoother, but I'll take it all, the good the bad and the ugly and chalk it all up to a memory made and one that we won't forget for years to come.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mother's Day

So....Mother's day...I can't help but feel a little guilty on this holiday. Not guilty about sitting on the couch flipping through magazines while dinner is burning and the dishes are piling up in the sink, or for taking a 2 hr nap while I hear nothing but screaming downstairs. Nah, I am 100% A-ok with that. It's the guilt that maybe I don't deserve those "you're the best mom in the world!" letters, or that I fall short of the "#1 mom" trophy necklace or that I just don't quite measure up to my own expectations. Today I am grateful for kids who forgive and teach me to love unconditionally. Who wake up smiling even though I put them to bed with harsh words, who quickly forgive when I falsely accuse, and who love me regardless of my very apparent flaws. I may not be perfect, but I'd like to think that I'm perfect for them.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The haps

This is what the "haps" is looking like lately.

Paperwork up to our eyeballs. We finally have all the passports, all the medical exams, all the background checks, all the applications, and all the paperwork including copies of christmas card pictures and a detailed timeline of our marriage, all complete, all packaged up and in the mail just waiting for our visas to get approved. When we're wrestling for 3hrs with all four kids in a doctor's office, when I'm getting blood drawn for the second time and when we're spending evenings behind a stack of papers instead of zoning out in front of the tv. We're like 3 missed episodes deep in The Office. I just have to sneek a quick peek at this picture and then I'm reminded that it will all be worth it.

The kids have been in fort heaven with all the boxes.  I'm thinking that filling our toy room with boxes instead of toys in our next house is quite possibly the best idea I've had to date.

And Ryder getting his passport photo was quite possibly the cutest thing to date. I mean, just look at him...

It's just a shame that the pictures turned out more like mug shots.  Grumpy old man who said they weren't allowed to smile even though they really could, I do not heart you.

After dropping $40 on those hideous pictures, we learned that they needed 5 more copies so instead I figured out how to do them on my own and I wish I would have done that in the first place. $3 later and some pretty freaking adorable pictures of my kids, if I do say so myself.

The neighborhood had a garage sale which was perfect timing.  It was so nice to declutter and get rid of alot of stuff, including the last of our newlywed furniture.  That futon, dresser and Shopko bookshelf had long worn out their welcome.  Maybe I should have been more sentimental...oh, that's the vase you bought me on our honeymoon? Haven't used it in years, get rid of it. Oh, the stuffed animals you won for me at Circus Circus when we were dating? Way too many stuffed animals, get rid of it.

I'm just ready to get back to normal life. To have my head back again. I feel like I am so distracted with my thoughts all the time.  Like the other day I was dropping the kids off at carpool and thinking about everything I need to do and then I started driving away with the poor neighbor kid hanging halfway out the door. I have a hard time sleeping at night, my mind is racing and I keep waking up having the same train of thought as if I never slept. It's so annoying.  My poor kids have been sooooo neglected lately. Like 10 hrs of straight tv neglected.  Like I forget to change Ryder's diaper neglected.  Like when I'm at Costco and wonder why the employee is mopping up water under my cart as I'm walking away, only to realize when I get to the car that it was pee leaking out of his massively full diaper.  Sure hope that poor employee just thought it was a leaky sippy cup. Time escapes me as I'm trying to get everything accomplished and several times I look over to see Ryder like this and realize I passed naptime.

I'm just banking on lots of quality family outdoor time in New Zealand to replace all these less than stellar memories.  Even though this whole move could become a full time job, life is still happening all around us and I'm trying my best to come up for a breather and enjoy it.  Dance is winding down and after a record breaking tv marathon day it was so nice to get out as a family to watch her perform at a local school carnival then enjoy a picnic in the park.  It was food for the soul.

Jayden was quick to remind me that I have never chaperoned a single field trip in his entire school career.  The guilt set in and Jason arranged to work from home to watch the kids so I could spend the afternoon with a cute little group of boys at the natural history museum.  When I looked at my to-do list I was regretting volunteering, but that quickly dissolved once I saw the excitement in Jayden's eyes that I was there.  Most productive day I've had in a long time.

I'm really going to miss my calling as an activity day leader, it is hands-down the best calling.  We've got a huge group, but each one of those girls is so sweet and has found a place in my heart.  We took them on a little hike for one of our activities.

We dog sat our neighbor's dog for 2 weeks and the kids were in heaven.  Ryder walked around all day calling for "Zooooeeeyyy" in the cutest voice on the planet.  Still haven't heard the end of "when are we ever going to get a dog??"....

We've been spending a lot of afternoons in the pool.  It's Ryder's favorite thing to do, although he never really gets in, just likes to run around with goggles on.  And every kid needs a cliche goofy goggle picture, so now I can check that off the list.

The primary hosted a daddy/daughter dinner and dance.  Can't say enough about how much I love seeing those two spend time together. 

We are so excited that my brother Tyson got accepted to dental school down here, but are sad to be moving like a week after they move down.  At least they'll still be here for two more years after we get back. We had fun with them when they were down here house hunting, though.  John is the best baby and made me realize that maybe crazy kids aren't the norm. They were so nice to watch our kids while we continued our endless pursuit to find winter coats in a desert that is on the brink of 100 degrees.  This opposite season thing is proving very challenging to prepare for, but I finally caught a break at the outlet malls.  We got to watch John while they went out for their anniversary, and I'm thinking they got the raw end of this whole kid swapping deal.

Dawn spent the afternoon doing crap projects with Maddox.  She quickly learned that Maddox's version of crap projects is him telling you what to do then sitting back and watching while you do it because he is just too "tired".  She definately won some serious brownie points with this elephant get up.  I mean seriously....

The boys had their fathers and sons campout and considering this is the only picture I have as evidence that it really happened, then it doesn't get a whole post of its own. They look pretty happy and Maddox's cheeks are about as pinchaliscious as ever and there were no pooping issues, so it went down as a success. 

While they were gone Tyson was so nice to watch the babies while us girls went out on the town.  We introduced Dawn to the cupcakes at The Coffee Shop and we even had a 70 yr old Lady Gaga sighting in Forever 21 (Dawn, you need to text me that pic!).

We checked the kids out early from school for an "appointment" on the lake.  It was an afternoon well spent.

We also spent one morning mooching off the Power Ranch splash pad.  Ya know, just hanging out in our swimsuits then telling the kids to make a mad dash over as soon as one of the residents swiped their card to activate it.  We were pretty stealth.  So that's that.  T-minus six weeks and we'll be sitting on a plane headed to the other side of the world.  Just hoping I survive the next six weeks.