little moments not to be forgotten

fistfuls of noodles // still small enough to sit on his legs // preschool dad party // bath time // quiet play time // helping with the laundry // her version of posing with her craft // sink baths are fun 

Like many out there, I am guilty of always looking forward to and placing more emphasis on the big events in life. The vacations, day trips, school parties, gatherings of family or friends. But, the reality is, the bulk of our life is spent in the everyday mundane. And really, those everyday calm moments (because, in the sincerity of being honest, the chaotic ones make for a great story, but are usually pretty dang stressful) are just as important to me.

I want to remember how Isla put earrings on her craft she made at school, but said she doesn't want them until she is a "redult" because "they hurt". I want to remember how much Callum loved sink baths and throws water all over, but it makes him ridiculously happy, so I just let it happen. I want to remember how at seven years old, Connor is still small enough to sit on his legs in the chair at the table. I want to remember what it looks like to walk past my kids rooms and see them quietly playing. I want to remember how Callum loves playing in the laundry and dumping it over his back.

Though I will have, and want, plenty of big memories with the kids, it's the small ones I really want to remember. Because those moments, really end up being the most beautiful.

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A Valentines Comparison

^^ This face is what has earned him the name "cheeky monkey" lately. Especially when we tell him no. He tends to give us this look and goes right back to what we said no about.

Callum got his lunch all over his shirt on valentines day. And, in an effort to not look like a slob, I decided to change his shirt before we picked Connor up from school. At the bottom of the shirt pile, I found this valentines shirt I had forgotten about. It had been Connor's, and I had never even put it on Callum. So, I threw it on...and since the gnome hat matched and it brings me such joy, it went on as well.

I decided to go back and look for some pictures of Connor wearing the same shirt. Alas, the only ones I could find were cell phone shots...and iphone cameras have come a long way since then! Still, you can see little Connor in it. Connor, who would only be 3 weeks older than Callum, yet had multiple haircuts by this point, and still a head full of thick hair. Connor, who had already been walking for 5.5 months at this point. Speaking of that, I can't believe how much more grown up babies look in pictures when they are walking vs sitting. Either way, cheeky Callum is blazing his own trail in this family. And lucky for him, my picture taking skills have gotten better, so the opposite is true for the cliche about the youngest having no pictures of themselves. We have the most of him!

^^ Can you believe I had hair not that long ago that was long enough for me to pull back?! Sometimes I kind of miss that convenience. 

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Differing Personalities

One of the fun things about having more than one kid is watching their personalities shine through when they are both in the same situation. I was really struck by this when the kids were playing astronauts the other day. Connor is very literal and wants to look like a real astronaut. He wants to study real astronaut photos and make sure he looks just like them. He even told someone that came over all about his mission to space and when they asked if he went to space with his mom, he responded, "No, stranger astronauts." Isla, on the other hand, is my entertainer. She wants to make people laugh and found it so funny that people couldn't tell who she was when she covered her face with the hat inside the astronaut helmet. She actually said, "people can't tell if I'm a boy or a girl...hahahah" (that's her laughing, not me). I decided not to let her in on the fact that we could see her hair ;)

Speaking of that entertaining personality, last week Isla brought her USED qtips to show and tell. I made her bring a second item in the car with her, thinking that she would perhaps change her mind. But she didn't. I feared show and tell would go horribly, but it did not. Apparently a crowd of 4 & 5 year olds find earwax covered qtips hysterical. When I went to pick her up, one of the teachers said, "Well, Isla got what she wanted, everyone laughed." And sure enough, we hadn't even made it to the car before Isla was excitedly telling me how everyone thought the qtips were so funny. Back when Connor had show and tell, it was all business for him. In fact, we were told it was a first for his school when he brought a smoke detector to show and tell with him.

I just love watching their little personalities shine through. Sometimes I get nervous that they will get rejected by their peers, but they don't. Then I remember, they are dealing with other kids their own age, not jaded adults. Oh, my babies, I wish you never become jaded and self conscious. Be who you are meant to be. Let your beautiful hearts and personalities always shine through. 

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** Just to get it out there, we literally laughed when 3 out of 4 of us showed up wearing scarves. Apparently that's what mom's do when they go out...wear scarves and take bathroom selfies. 

It's crazy to think how my relationships with friends have changed over the years. And I'm not even talking about relationships with specific friends, but relationships in general. 

The other day I was in a conversation with a mom who had a high schooler and it got me reminiscing. I remember how it was literally the end of my life it I had to be home for more than, say, 15 minutes. These days, the thought of leaving the house can feel daunting at times. Taking three kids to the mall just to relax and browse...well I would rather stab a pencil in my eye and relax at the hospital than do that. Yeah, slight exaggeration, but you get the point. At the end of a long day, after making numerous meals and snacks, doing school runs up the wazoo, changing diapers and keeping the house in a semi orderly state, the last thing I want to do is go out with friends. Because of this, my relationships have suffered. 

Friendships require effort. And just like marriages, they require sacrifice. Sometimes that sacrifice is staying out of my pjs for a couple hours longer and filling my soul by laughing my head off with good friends. Good friends are really worth their weight in gold.

Besides attempting to be a better friend through sending notes, reaching out, helping, etc, one thing I want to do this year is actually go out and enjoy myself more with my friends. Because, let's be honest, a play date with 13 kids and 4 moms is hardly relaxing! Yeah, all my friends have a crap load of kids. No, one and done happening here in Modesto!

And here's what's ironic. I never ever wish I had just stayed home. I am always glad I went out...even if I regret it the next morning. But even then, there are the group texts with us all whining together about being tired and comradery is always a good thing.

So here's to a year of dating my friends. Of staying out of my pjs a little bit longer and laughing hysterically together. Of finding people to watch our kids so we can bare our souls to each other over coffee. Because, my tribe, you really are worth it.

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Snow Day

While everyone else was gathered around tv sets watching the super bowl, we were up in the mountains enjoying some snow play. I actually joked to my brother the day before that we were going to spend several hours in the car for 20 minutes of snow play. Thankfully, it went better than that!

^^ Somehow, in a way only Isla can do, she ended up going down the hill backwards...when she started out going down the right way. 

When we got to the snow, the kids really did only manage about 20 or 30 minutes of play before starting to complain. I was thinking that I couldn't believe my joke was actually becoming a reality. But, we went back to the car and filled up their bellies with food and they were then ready for round two. On round two, I wore Callum on my back, which made things much easier for all of us. Also, we walked down to the frozen lake to play, which was super fun. Connor enjoyed riding all the little ice hills and the kids just had fun with how much more slippery the lake was. This time, we actually had to force them to leave.  It ended up being quite the good and fun day.

Speaking of the frozen lake, I've never been on one before. I was pretty paranoid about the whole thing. The ice was several inches thick, but I still felt paranoid. I actually jumped up and down on it a few times to make sure it was safe for the kids. And, I certainly didn't want to wonder all the way across it like some people were doing. You know, just in case. It felt a bit like a bucket list item. One I had never even thought of before, but was super cool doing.

And because this is my new obsession, here is a little video from our day.


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Our Dining Room

^^ Those shadows on the ground literally make me giddy. Plus, house new obsession. 

^^ The view of the dining room from the kitchen.

I never knew I could love a dining room so much until we moved into this house. The way the sunlight fills this room for so much of the day constantly draws me in. I find myself enjoying sitting in here to read the paper, chat with friends, color with Isla and more. I don't know if I will ever stop being giddy at the shadows of the pane windows on the ground. It really is one of my favorite things.

Our dining room is off the front of the house, connected to the kitchen. In our old house, you essentially had to walk through the dining room to get anywhere in the house. So it became a dumping grounds and I hated that. Plus, it was small and we realistically couldn't seat more than our family to eat, so it made it really difficult to have people over. Well, all that has changed here. And in the seven months that we have lived here, we have probably had more people over for dinner than in the five years we lived at our last house. No joke. Not only is our dining room much larger, but we also now have a nine foot long dining room table. Sure, we don't own enough chairs for it, but it just allows those Ikea folding chairs we bought when we first got married to get some use! I work hard at keeping the table from being a catch all. Even though it collects things, I try to make sure it's cleared off daily.

Since buying the house, we took the doors off the dining room that essentially closed the dining room off from the entryway of our house. I'm not huge on interior doors, plus they took up a lot of room when open. We did leave the door on between the kitchen and dining room, though I have never actually shut it for any other reason than to block Callum. We also painted over the olive green paint that made the room look like a dark dungeon and painted it the same grey as the rest of the house. And it got baseboards, like the rest of the house. I replaced the curtains that were hanging in there, but kept the sheer curtains they had up because I like the privacy they give. We replaced the light fixture as well. They had a shell chandelier up. Not my style at all...and really not the style of almost anyone that saw it. One of my good friends totally dug it though. That cracked me up. Ian actually picked out the light we went with. Everything else is from our old house - the lockers, wine glass shelves (they were in our old kitchen), etc. I got the house plant for in here at the same time as the one in our bedroom. I need to get a proper stand for it, but for the time being, it gets to rest upon an antique toddler chair. I now realize I never took a picture of the corner opposite of the house plant, but all it houses is Callum's high chair...and the reality is that corner is the most used corner in the room because the boy likes to eat!

So there you have it, our dining room. Want to come over and use, err, I mean see it? Offer to bring dinner and I'll totally let you ;)

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Meet Gilly...our new pet

I'm not sure how I get wrangled into these types of things. Actually, I am. I am a total sucker for anything sort of educational that I think the kids will enjoy. I didn't expect them to be SO into Gilly...yeah, they named him Gilly. Connor picked it. Gilly is our tadpole, our "grow a frog". Some sort of frog that is made in a laboratory and only lives in water. He arrived in the mail, in a bag full of water. Poor guy seemed traumatized too. We have the privilege of watching/nursing him through metamorphosis. And apparently when he is a froglet (which Connor has informed me means when his tail is less than 1/8" long) we can start feeding him pieces of earthworms. It was about then that I asked myself for the twenty-third time, WHAT DID I GET MYSELF IN TO?! But they will learn, right? And it isn't a dog gnawing on my furniture or a cat who's litter I have to deal with. Wow, I am such a buzz kill when it comes to pets. Baby steps though. Connor reminded me that we once had a goldfish. First a goldfish, now a grow a frog. What next?

I really am warming up to the idea of a small with little poops, that doesn't shed. Not that I'm picky or anything. 

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