little moments not to be forgotten

street performer // dress up // driving // a mid morning nap 
a first coconut // sass // 100 days of school // tickles

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The Four Friends

I thought about titling this posting "my tribe", but we are known as the four friends by so many. Our group text is even titled four friends. It's how I even refer to ourselves when I tell Ian we are getting together. Even my kids know who the four friends are. So really, the four friends is fitting. I mean, we named a market after our friend status! 

You guys, this is actually the first time the four of us have been together since our last market in October. That's embarrassing. We used to not go like a day without all being together. Ok, it may have been more like 2 or 3, but still. But 13 kids among us seems to keep us busy these days. Especially with school. Once school started for our oldest children, our time together greatly diminished. Unfortunately. 

But that's not what this is about. This is about the fact we got together on Saturday. We went to breakfast. We caught up. We took a watercolor class...which I may or may not have NO talent for whatsoever. And I may or may not have offered anyone in the class $10 to drink my paint water. I am not the most mature and probably not the best to take into refined settings! When I am uncomfortable, I use my sarcasm and jokes to cope. I was uncomfortable in the watercolor class with my lack of any talent for painting. You can imagine what sitting with me was like! 

Now that baby number 13 is born and settled and we are all recovered from the last market, we are on the hunt for our next location. We were hoping for a spring market, but that just isn't realistic at this point. So, we are crossing our fingers and toes for a fall market. Our fall markets are always a big hit anyway.

Even without the market, these girls are still among my favorites to hang out with. There's always plenty of laughs, plenty of real life and plenty of sarcasm. Now that's my type of company!

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The Reno Life

Ian has made mention in past home renovations that I become on edge and seem stressed out. And I'm like, I don't know what you are talking about!!! (insert sarcasm here) What's there to be stressed about?! I mean who cares not knowing exactly when people are coming and going from your house? People that don't seem to care about locking the door, and shutting said door seems optional at times. Then there is the mess. The mess that seems to make it to every inch of the house. And let us not forget the keeping the kids out of the way. That's like the hardest one when the construction area is like a piece of candy drawing the kids in. And I can kiss nap time goodbye! 

I actually found a plunger sitting right next to our bed the other day. Our bed. The place where we lay our heads at night to sleep. The place that is supposed to be a refuge. And, I must not leave out that they set said plunger not just next to our bed, but on our WOOL RUG without anything between said rug and dirty plunger. Face palm. Puke face. I shouldn't even have to mention this, but you just know it was a man that placed the plunger there. I certainly wouldn't and wouldn't think most women would. But I am sure my husband is reading this right now thinking, "What's the big deal Jess?!" Which, for his sake, I should be sure to point out it was one of the construction guys that put it there, not Ian.

But it will all be worth it in the end. Right? It always is. But my goodness it is stressful, messy and difficult while going on. Not to mention we have never tackled a project of this size and money so I feel all anxious about every decision, fearing I may hate it in the end. Oh house projects, I love you, but I totally hate you. Frenemies. We must be frenemies. 

So lets look back at my room, when there wasn't a plunger sitting next to my bed...don't worry, it didn't sit there over night. You can see the bedside lights Ian got me for Christmas. And get a glimpse of said defiled rug that I still love...because it's grey and huge and pretty. And my newest house plant baby right next to my bed. 

In a few short weeks (hopefully!) I will be staring at a pretty new bathroom attached to my room and not thinking about dirty plungers next to my bed.  Also, I now realize we have an oddly large amount of pictures of ourselves in our room. I guess there's no mistaking who the inhabitants of the room are!

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Callum's First Haircut

After more than two years, Callum finally got his first haircut. The kid didn't have much hair to begin with, but really could have used a haircut for at least the past month. But you know, life, holidays, anything and everything got in the way. But Sunday was the day and he finally got it done. Like the total nerd that I am, I wanted it done with Ian there so one of us could take pictures and the other could help with Callum. We took him to one of those places that has a car for him to sit in. 

Callum was super jazzed about the car. That is, until we went to buckle him into it. Then it was no longer cool. He started crying and trying to get out. Thankfully, he calmed down as long as one of us was holding his hand. He actually did pretty dang good during the haircut...I mean, for a two year old. 

Here's a little before to remind you of what we were starting with:

^^ the first snip...yes, I kept the first snip of hair, even if Ian thinks I am weird for doing so. 

And the after:

And just because I'm me, here's to looking back at Connor and Isla's first haircuts. Connor's was at 7 months old and Isla's at three years old. Both kids had so much more hair than Callum as babies. But I'm pretty sure Connor didn't really need to start getting haircuts at 7 months old, but #firsttimeparents.

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My Parenting Mantra

A long time ago, I heard a story about some siblings at their mom's funeral finding out that she told all of them they were her favorite. And they each believed it. I heard that before I even had kids. I didn't really have any preconceived notions about motherhood, but one thing I knew I wanted was that I wanted each of my children to truly believe they were my favorite. Sure there are different seasons where different children require more or less time/attention/money/etc. But I always want each of my children to truly feel like they are my favorite. 

Another thing I think about are the teen years. Those years scare me. Probably because of how I was. How much I found myself searching for an identity and screwing up along the way. I can remember being so fearful of how my parents would react when I screwed up. I can remember testing the boundaries and even asking about their love for me. As a parent, I now get the depth of their love. As a child, I did not. 

I know my children will also search for who they are. I know they will make mistakes, both intentional and unintentional. Mistakes that come with natural consequences and ones without. But one thing I want to make sure they know is that we are in this together. I also know that this type of relationship between parent and child doesn't just start in the teen years. It is something that is built and grows over the years. 

For the past while now, I have a saying that I say to the kids from time to time...

Nothing you do or say will make me stop loving you. 

It's one I say when they are having good days. But also one I say to them when they are struggling. I may whisper it in their ear, or say it out loud to the car load of them. It's one I mean and I hope they grow to understand that I truly mean it. I want them to know I am a safe spot in this chaotic world. No, this doesn't mean that they never get in trouble from me for things they have or will do. What it means is, my love is NOT based on their actions. My love is NOT based on their mood. My love is NOT based on how well they are doing in school. My love is always there. NO. MATTER. WHAT. And no matter what happens, they do not need to fear me or fear loosing my love. We are in this together and will figure it out. 

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Discovery Cube LA

My parents were going to take the kids to Knotts Berry Farm for one of their christmas presents. As luck would have it, it was pouring down rain on the days we could go. So we decided to do something indoors instead. The kids had so much fun at the discovery cube last year and always ask to go back when we are in LA. So, I told my parents they would love it. As a HUGE bonus, all the schools were back from christmas break in LA, so we literally had the place to ourselves. 

Last year when we were there, they had a lego exhibit going on. This time it was doc mcstuffin. It did not disappoint. It was set up like a hospital and their attention to detail was amazing. Not to mention it was well manned and people made sure there were dolls on all the beds, babies in all the basinets and all the tools were replaced constantly. Isla had so much fun following the directions and treating the patients. Callum had fun playing with the balls that were in the veterinarian section. 

Like a cool person, I kept playing this trash sorting game they had and winning. Callum was enthralled with the helicopter tour, in fact probably the most still I have ever seen him awake. And Connor loved the house you go through and the LA Kings interactive exhibit. 

I wish there was cool stuff like this for kids nearer to where we live. We have to drive like an hour and a half in any direction to get to something of such. Sigh. 

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