Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Mi Amiga's... My Friends.. My Light and My Three Way Mirror!

Why should we stand around in lonely shadows when there is so much light around us…. Friends are so often that light.   My FRIENDS are the light in my life that shines for me when I feel like I’ll be stuck in the dark forever. They’re the voices behind me encouraging me with arms outstretched ready to catch me in case I fall.  They’re the shoulder I continue to lean on when I feel like crumbling to the floor. They’re the back bone I need when my spine is limp. They are the voice of reason when I reach for a not so flattering clothing item.

They don’t get mad when my Michael Jackson dance moves nearly break their fingers (I’m still really Sorry, Meg). They are the ones I run to when I am nearly bursting with excitement and I have to tell someone. They can turn a simple restaurant into the most magical place on Earth. They don’t laugh when I repeat the phrase “Oopsie Daisies” five times in a row. They turn the channel when the orphaned puppy commercials come on to save me from tears. They are the ones I can play Chubby Bunny Oreo style with. They are the ones who, when my heart is broken, help me pick up the pieces while trash talking the jerk who broke it.  They make an average pair of shoes into PRICELESS Pink Stiletto’s. They are each different and they are an amazing reminder of how LUCKY I am.  

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Don't blink......

Is it me, or has life suddenly become increasingly more busy as each day goes past?  It seems like just yesterday I was searching my storage shed for winter coats and now I’m packing the kids’ summer gear into plastic sterilite containers.

I’m walking the aisles in grocery stores and department stores and instead of seeing beach balls and swimming attire, I see pumpkins, ghosts, and Santa Claus. Yes… I did indeed say Santa Claus.  As much as Halloween thrills and excites me… I feel a little left in the dust.

Where did Summer go? Am I the only one who feels like life is whooshing past me?   

Elementary School Robbery...

My little "Kingergartner"

The Third Grade Hunk
 Someone alert the authorities.. my babies have been stolen…. At least that’s the story I’m sticking to instead of facing the fact that, as Caler so innocently put it, I don’t have any more little boys.. they’re big boys now. Because every mom should know that that is what Kindergarten means…. No more little boys. As these big boys’ momma I feel robbed. 

The car ride to the Elementary was a rough one (and it wasn’t because of my admitted lack of driving skills).  I had a mix of emotions ranging from pride to paranoia. As the car came to a stop, my realization that this is the very last moment I have with a non-kindergartner. After today he will have started school and I will have let him off into the world.  I’m thankful, though, that in Caler’s world, momma kisses still fix any owie and a kiss on the cheek is still not embarrassing. 

I couldn’t help but reflect on the  happenings of the night before, after a tearful escape from the pool where his little mischievous and naughty side shined through he was whisked home in the arms of his momma while his arms flailed wildly. He, tearless and donned in Phineus and Ferb whitey tighties, stood on the toilet seat to see in the mirror as he brushed his hair after his bath, he stole a  sideways glance my way before returning his beaming face to his reflection saying “Look how big I am getting Momma!”  He smiled as he slipped on his jamma-jammies. He smiled. He smiled with his baby teeth sparkling from the sponge-bob tooth paste he had just used. He smiled with his baby blue eyes glimmering. He smiled with his baby chub cheeks dimpled and all. He smiled. As his Momma, I’m used to his smile melting my heart and sometimes my patience… but this smile was different. This smile was that of an excited and nervous almost-kindergartner.  This was the smile of a baby boy growing up. This smile not only melted my heart but made it smile as well.  

We got out of the car and walked toward the front steps of his Elementary School. He was so proud of his homework tucked safely in his crisp new Phineus & Ferb “pack-pack” and his new dragon shirt with black shorts his Myna bought for him in preparation of this new adventure. He walked with shoulders back and his curly haired head held high. He reached the sidewalk turned and looked back at me and BAM…. My baby boy is growing up and I had just then realized it.

Transformer shirt = check, new Keds with lime green laces = check, Starkiller-like(Star Wars character… a member of the Sith; Darth Vadars secret apprentice) backpack = check…. Looks like all the preparations for Third grade are complete.  Third grade. 

Let me repeat that…third grade. I am the mother of a child who attends the THIRD GRADE! This can’t be possible, I remember my own third grade year and it doesn’t seem that long ago. Ayden is starting a new elementary and that means meeting new friends. He’s such an amazing kid that I can’t imagine anyone not wanting to be friends with my all-knowing, Star Wars-fanatic little man. I worry though, that with his fear of other kids and with his shy and humble personality he will sit alone at the lunch table. I know I have no reason to be a worried little momma… but a worried little momma I am.  This third grader is so tender hearted. 

As the crowd of kindergartners loomed in front of us,  Caler and his little kindergarten nerves got the better of him, he let out little bits of worry with questions that nearly shattered my heart.  “What if no one likes me?”  and “What if they push me?”.  Ayden looked at his little brother acknowledging the worries he no doubt felt himself… he put his arm around his best friend and little sidekick and said “Don’t worry, I’ll protect you.” With tears in my eyes I couldn’t help but let out a little “awww” as I stared in awe of the amazing person Ayden is growing into.  He got embarrassed as he realized I had heard.  His dimples appeared on his reddish cheeks. It was my turn to put my arm around him and tell him how proud I am of the person he is.

 From a robbed Momma, to a worried Momma...to a VERY PROUD MOMMA!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Frankenstein goes to Kindergarten

Photo by: The amazazingly talented Jenn Koontz ( Jennkoontzphotography.blogspot.com )
My baby. My baby is going to KINDERGARTEN. Folks, I can't believe this! It seems like it was yesterday that he lovingly and longingly gazed after his older brother wanting nothing more than to be able to crawl after Ayden and the tonka truck but being stuck in his bouncy seat. He hasn't stopped the longing he feels to be as big as his older brother. He hasn't stopped chasing after him, and I have no doubt it's a matter of time when Caler is going to be the protector. The warrior. The fearless leader.

He found solace in blankets. All kind of blankets. He'd hold it in his hands and rub it on his chin. He still does this and I lub it! As he grows, I find my own solace in the things that keep him...him. I can't take my eyes away from his intense stare as he searches for bugs and his lightening fast reach snatching up the little creature. I love our Momma nuggles every Saturday morning before Ayden wakes.

My advice for Kindergarten Little Man is this.... stay true to your sweet 5 (almost 6, I know) year old heart. It's perfect. Every piece of you, my sweet feisty little bug.... is perfect! And I, personally, adore your fashion sense. Ties go with everything... including chicken, bug, or shark uniforms. (Wouldn't want to upset the US Government, now would we?)

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Summertime and the living is easy....

Summertime. Blissful. Hot. Lazy. And completely fantastic.

I often find myself gazing dreamily into the distance with visions of barbeque's, Sno Cones, family get-togethers, the cool crisp blue water filling our swimming pool, bike rides, and hiking. I can't help but dream about the ability to stay out late reading on my balcony, letting the summer moon shine on the words lighting the way to my temporary escape.

The kiddo's and I had an adventure with sidewalk chalk. We lived in a fantastic fantasy world, albeit brief, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Dinosaurs roamed and butterflies fluttered around circling airplanes. Where chirping birds flocked around their families and two little boys' imaginations grew wildly.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Absent with no parental excuse...

Well wait a minute... I'm a momma so may I write my own excuse note? Pretty please? With a cherry on top? And (as Caler would put it) whoop cream?

I've been absent lately. Not only with my blog, but also with writing in general. With basically, a lot of things <dramatically sighs as my chin falls to my open palm and a breath escapes my lips to blow the overgrown bangs out of my eyes>.

I promise to get back to my self and my writing soon... until then...

Please excuse Kristal from present-mindedness. And as for the actual excuse... I'm betting Caler or Lola ate it.

X's & O's,

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

To even out the odds a bit...

If for no other reason than Girls Rule and boys drool (in my house, quite literally). She's a little sweetheart! Our sweet mellow Lola! Who races to the door forgetting the shoe lace she was attacking as soon as she hears us approach.

We love her and her incredible tolerance to being handled and carted around by Caler man. Truth is, she loves it! When she's reached her limit she'll politely meow and if he still won't release her ... she'll let him have it and will live up to her original name "Jaws" or claws rather...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Lego Darth Vader is to Ayden what Wilson was to Chuck Noland...


                              If found please contact Ayden
                                                    (801) ***-****

“He’s not just a toy, he’s my best friend and I loved him. That’s why I’m crying, Momma.” – Ayden during the car trip home after Mr. Vader disappeared.
Description of the missing: two inches tall with a black cape covering a scarred plastic face. Black clothes to support the dark side he tends to lead. May attach himself to other plastic pieces using the circles on the bottom of his feet. Operates a Death Star vehicle when traveling. Red light saber may or may not be in his possession. Use extreme caution when approaching. Do not be alarmed if he suggests he's your father...Last seen using the force to light the sky on the 4th of July with fireworks.  If found: please contact a very perturbed and altogether worried Ayden.  
He’s lost. Nowhere to be found. I’m deemed “The worst Momma EVER!” because I refused to drive back to dive through an obscene crowd gathered at Jordan high school and search the large span of grass where Ayden last held onto his little lego Vader.
I am a desperate momma in search of a replacement best friend. Luckily, I am in close proximity to a Toys-R-Us and not stranded on a deserted island watching my 8 year old's 'best friend' drift away to sea. My heart broke when between the tears, Ayden looked up at me and managed to explain to me the reason he was so sad. Between gasps of air, he said the words that tore every heart string attached to my heart ..." There is no replacement momma, he was my best friend..." He was my best friend. BAM! If ever my heart has ripped in half, it was that moment. He was my best friend.
Don't you fret... posters have been made and are ready for posting. So if you happen to find yourself walking on the green grassy hill sprawling out in front of Jordan High School and stumble across a Lego best friend, please keep him in safe keeping.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Spider & a Centipede-3 to Momma-0

This guy managed to escape...barely

It was a tough battle and one that left me defeated, although, I am happy to report that I wasn’t subjected to centipede poison (or is it centipede venom? I’ll have to confer with Ayden). Shocking enough, neither was Caler despite how roughly he handled the stupid (excuse me, I mean the s word) bug. I have yet to understand why Caler is so fascinated by creepy crawly creatures who (I’m almost certain) have it out for his Momma! He knows the power he possesses when he’s holding something as detestable as a worm or a spider (one of his recent favorite creature's to catch in Myna's garden).  He knows all he has to do his creep up to his momma with a proud yet mischievous glint in his eye and open his hand to expose the nightmare within and he’ll see his momma run as fast as she can knocking over lawn chairs and small orphaned puppies out of the way to escape the terror. Nothing sends him into a fit of giggles as much as this scene does.  Which is why he does this as often as he can.  He can spot an ant from a mile away. He runs over to it and stares moving rocks or any other object that might block the ants path while it moves over the bumpy cement. Caler’s eyes are glued.  He wants to pick them up , put them in a mason jar, and keep them as “best-friend-pets”.  His record so far: 12 snails all of whom he named Best Friend, he put them in his mason jar and made sure to add grass for their dinner. He was the proud pet owner of Best Friends and checked on them as often as he could. Those little buddies went anywhere he went (I’m guessing here, but I’m sure they were the first snails accompanying humans to the grocery store and to the Children’s Place). At night, he kept them on the shelf above his bed and made sure a bed time story was read to them each night. Momma allowed them to stay in the house for a few days before their own Momma called and asked that her babies be returned to her.

 We can’t leave Myna’s house with a stone left un-turned, disheveled dirt piles, or a scream from a Momma being chased by something slimy. After my heart stops pounding and the goosebumps have disappeared, the way the boy cares for his bugs is quite cute and I am proud of him. Caler’s cute Myna is sweet enough to leave the stones where Caler left them. Unable to put them back into place, he leans them in a row on the storage shed.

This may be one of my biggest fears, but it  is Caler’s solace. It's what he thinks about. It’s where he goes. It’s his hobby and after a day of hard work at the US Government, he's earned this I suppose.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I've got a little Mayberry in ME...

I miss the Mayberry days of my childhood. The days when I would wake up at 7:00, stretch my arms clear to the ceiling as I sat up on the top bed of the bunk I shared with my younger sister. Stepping down from the ladder to the carpet below,  the smell of pancakes and homemade maple syrup wafting through the summer air would draw me to the source. I loved opening the 1950’s style refrigerator, pouring an ice cold glass of milk and sit at the breakfast table. The days when I wouldn’t think twice about wearing spandex shorts and a t-shirt, and ride my bike from sun up until sun down. When the only problem I considered was… What on Earth am I going to do today? I long for those days when I stepped out onto my porch with a can of my dad's Coca-Cola and I knew that the world was there for me to mold into whatever it was that I wanted.  The possibilities seemed endless. I had time to read a chapter book cover to cover as I swung on the porch swing in the back yard sipping on an ice cold Coke or a glass of Kool-Aid we were bound to have on hand at any given time.  The days were sometimes spent organizing our candy sale with profits going toward our Lagoon fund.  I long for the nights when the sound of children's sneakers slapped against the pavement as quietly as we could manage in an effort to not be found by the person titled ‘it’. The terror we felt when we passed the neighborhood “grump” sitting outside to let us know it was not ok to hide in his perfectly manicured lawn (no matter how many amazing hiding spots were littered throughout his maze of bushes). I enjoyed myself and worried less. I made lists (yes, I’m one of those types) of my favorite things to do and what I wanted to be when I grew up. I made lists of the things I wanted to accomplish, some were realistic and some were… well let’s just say I’m probably not going to marry Joey McIntyre of New Kids on the Block (and I’ve finally stopped crying about this.)

It’s not healthy to divulge into something so completely that you simply forget the extra’s we have available in life. Don’t consume yourself with one thing so much so that you lose focus on what makes you happy. It’s easy to fall into the daily grind of a career, to arrive home from work take a deep breath finally acknowledging your fatigue and assuming you need more sleep, go to bed early and wake up feeling just as, if not more, exhausted than the day before. Take a look further into what’s causing the feeling of not being completely happy and figure out what it is making you feel so tired and not-yourself.  Do something that is fun for you.  I recently asked a friend what she liked to do for fun. 30 seconds pass with her “umm-ing” and “hmm-ing, before she looked back at me with a small giggle escaping and said “I forgot.” Her answer was the same as mine before I stopped and contemplated on just where it was that I had disappeared to.  We both recognized that feeling of losing ourselves in our children, work, children, bills, and cleaning up after our children. It was this unknown answer that woke something up in me. I made a list of some of the things that made me me. I am Ayden and Caler’s Momma, I’m a bill-payer, a housekeeper, sometimes a laundry-doer,& an employee. But I’m also Kristal. At times it’s hard to remember that I love to write, sketch, run, jump on bubble wrap, read, I get embarrassed easily and blush so often I wonder if it’s just my natural skin color, I love thunder storms, I have to sleep with one foot uncovered, my car is a mess and although I may vow to clean it out one day…. I probably won’t, I bake cakes when I’m stressed (Mr. Elliot, our next door neighbor, is often the recipient of such cakes), I blow dry my hair upside down, I giggle, I love chick flicks, and Dr Reid from Criminal Minds makes my heart flutter…. There are so many quirks that make me Kristal and not just a mom but a momma.

I know that the world is there for me to mold it into whatever it is that I want.  All I need to do is take a step back now and then and do something to remember that I’m still here and not buried under the mountain of laundry that, I’m sad to say, has returned .

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sugar and Spice and Snips and Snails... OH! and Flour...

And who says Boy's can't Bake?

Why is it that after a long day, a short day, a bad day, or a good day Sweets just always sound so amazing?

The boys and I decided it was imperative to make Cinnamon rolls. Cooking with the boys is always a pleasure even with an over-crowded kitchen, and this time was no different. Ayden was proudly in charge of reading the ingredient list out loud and he made sure I retrieved each item and placed them in order on the counter in front of the large mixing bowl. Ayden also enjoyed measuring the ingredients (note: this can be a great way to interactively introduce and practice fractions. No need to mention who was the student and who was the teacher for our fraction lesson...)  Caler loved to help "cwack the silly eggs". The way his cute little smile lit up when he heard the first hint of the shell snapping makes my heart smile and I hope he always finds joy in the simple things. Ayden thought this was a great time to explain to his little brother that the "silly eggs" can lead to a number of diseases and poisonings (accurately explained I might add, I googled!). By the time Ayden was done explaining every possible problematic outcome from handling raw eggs Caler's eyes had nearly glazed over completely. He was a good sport when listening to Ayden's professor-like speech, but looked right at him defiantly and said "Well then, Ayden, you don't have to cwack these silly eggs. You won't get smanenella seasoning (aka: Salmonella Poisoning) if you don't touch them now will you?." I started to laugh so hard the milk I had just taken a drink of, came out of my nose (which hurts by the way). Ayden couldn't have giggled harder, and in true Ayden fashion.. he randomly reminds me of  'the-time-you-were-laughing-so-hard-the-milk-came-out-your-nose' which is always followed by his cute little snicker and "that was so funny!"

The cinnamon rolls came out a bit dry, not too entirely surprising, seeing as Caler thought they needed an extra handful of the white stuff.... and the handful wasn't really because he wanted a white hand to make a Caler print on the side of Momma's face, shirt, Caler's shirt, Ayden's shirt or any other surface within his reach, this handful was the handful that launched the biggest flour fight in the history of flour fights. Laughter, smiles, and handfuls of flour were tossed around the kitchen for quite some time. Hand prints of white were plastered on cupboards. The flour fell down around us like snowflakes. Our little flour war was the most fun I've had in awhile, and as much as I'd like to claim victorious... the congratulations should be awarded to the two giggly little munchkins who cornered their Momma and lovingly dumped the entire bag of flour on her head.

** not pictured: A kitchen swimming in Flour, two smiling kidlets with bleached flour eyelashes, two flour kisses for each face,  one white powdered Momma **

Who doesn't love a good flour fight? I don't care if you are 5 or 95... flour fights are fun! I know it isn't going to be the last one in our household.

A kiss on each powder-covered forehead, a broom, a little bit of Mr. Clean lavender-vanilla cleaner, a mop, a bubble bath, and memories I hope the boys will cherish as much as I do, are well worth the time spent cleaning up after a war with refined grounds of carbohydrates.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Glimpse...

Things happen. It's a simple fact of life. You can't change them, they just happen. The air in your tire is sucked out on your drive to work leaving you stranded with a dead cell phone in the pouring rain, you step on a lego and cry for a week about it (not that I'm admitting anything...), Rent becomes due before a paycheck is received, or your life gets ripped upside down by choices your ex made. At this turning point, I believe, there are two options... two paths you can choose from. The fork in your road has come and left or right must be chosen.

My fork, came up not-so-unexpectedly, at 6pm on one specific day and left me facing a daunting choice. Words and bruises in between punches threatened to take the hope I protectively tucked in my battered arms. The choice was chosen at 6 am when hope was now dangling by a frail thread, my desperate screams were answered by a determined pounding on the door. My shaking fingers managed to unlatch the lock that held me in that house. The antagonist who was my husband was apprehended. The night had ended. The morning was beautiful and fresh. I gasped inhaling the air through the rusty taste of blood drying on my lips, my first step toward my chosen path had just been taken.

It would be a lie to say that I made my choice and haven't looked back. That night has been thrown in my face, tormented my dreams, and followed me for years and years. As hard as it has been some days, I am a better person because of it. My strength, faith, and frankly, my sanity have been put to the ultimate test. I face another fork in the road daily. I can choose the path down self pity and sorrow. I can think those self destructive thoughts such as 'Why me?'.  I, instead, choose to take another path.

The path of Gratitude. No, I'm not thankful for that night. I am ,however, thankful for the qualities I learned I had within me. The qualities I hope to share with my children through example. I am thankful for the new perspective I gained as I inhaled the fresh morning air that day I stepped out of that house and into a new life. The gratitude I felt toward another day I had been granted.

So when that Glimpse of the wrong path creeps it's ugly head my way, I hold my head high. I inhale another fresh breath of air. And. I stare that path in the face with the strength I found in my heart that night. That path can be quite the stubborn Brass Bowl and I can't deny there are times I nearly surrender to the depression and sadness that trods along that road. I am a lucky momma though, I have the ultimate antidotes. I have the gift of a loving and forgiving heart. I have the gift of a strong soul. I have the gift of self preservation (unless you count the times I step on legos and cry about it, but, again, I am not admitting to anything.). I have the gift of a beautiful surrounding of loved ones. Most importantly, I have the gift of  my two boys. They need me almost as much as I need them.

When life pushes you down, and Heaven knows it will, there are two choices. You can A.) Choose to sit down, give up, cry, wallow in self pity, and think those self destructive thoughts. Or B.) Choose to pick up your beans. Flip the bad finger (ok, not really, but you know you'd at least give it a good thought before declining). Stare it in the face and let it know you're not one to back down. Push past the thorns, and though they may draw blood.... YOU CAN AND WILL MAKE IT THROUGH.

SO.... Mr. X.... I survived you! What's up now?

Monday, May 23, 2011

I'm sorry can you repeat that... or better yet can I have a do-over?

Why is it that we think we’re being bad parents if we don’t scrapbook? When I ask if someone scrapbooks, often times the response I hear is this: ‘I wish I did, I’m such a bad mom. I just am not that creative. My poor kids.’ Really? REALLY? This answer astounds me. I cannot for the life of me understand. Since when did "scrapbooking" become something other than preserving life? When did memory making become a competition for who's page is the best, who used the best paper or the newest products to decorate?  The act of scrapbooking isn’t what is important. It’s life that’s important. It’s creating memories with your children and family.

I choose to  chase bubbles with the boys and snap a photo here and there, instead of standing behind the lens and watch the magic of my kids’ childhood unfold with one eye closed, with half  my brain concentrating on the kids, while the other side is correcting my composition for the perfect photograph.  The definition of the perfect photograph is, in my opinion, quite distorted.  The make-up of a perfect photograph is not whether the lighting was exact,or if the composition was impeccable, nor is it the perfect posing of subjects. The perfect make-up of the perfect photo is whether the essence of the moment is captured even if there is chocolate or boogers streaming down my sons face as he’s laughing in the sunshine because his older brother is chasing him with a worm or some other creature. This ‘imperfect’ photo would transport me and I would be taken back to that day at that time when I was there experiencing life. I don’t want to remember the perfect technicalities of the photo, I want to remember the sound of his giggle, the sound his tiny pigeon-toed feet make as they glide across the green grass, the magic I felt in my heart as the happiness dripped from the hands of my 8 year old who holds a soggy worm discovered after the recent rainstorm. Snap photo's while you are enjoying living life, but don't worry about having the perfect photo so much so that you forget about being present. Trust me, they notice!

There was a time when I was so wrapped up in the art of memory making that I forgot to see the reason behind the art. I had the perfect scrapbook area set-up complete with a baby gate to keep little baby hands away from the supplies. There were times I would tell him just a few more minutes, I was almost caught up. There was a time when I was too busy concentrating on how many photographs I was snapping and how I would arrange them on my colored card stock, which patterned papers I would match them with, the font I would journal with, and the amount of accessories I would adorn the page with.  You know what though, the time came when I would sit down to journal about said event. The words that escaped through my pen, were generic. “ We had a great time at the park.  Ayden really enjoyed the swing. Caler sat quietly in his car seat observing his older brother with awe.”  Yes, it is what happened, but it’s not what happened.  If I had truly been there...been 100% present, I would have written about the changing expressions that appeared on Ayden’s face as he soared higher and higher. The way he leaped excitedly from the swing to land safely in his momma’s awaiting arms.  I would have been able to write about the way Caler gazed after his brother longing to be running alongside him. I would have written about the way my heart pounded as Ayden climbed the ladder nearly reaching the clouds.

Please, I'm begging you take the time you have been presented with and use it wisely. Choose to be there instead of half-way there. Choose to play hide and seek instead of watching from the sidelines. Choose to LIVE LIFE and as you LIVE IT ... OBSERVE IT IN ACTION. 

This way... you won't need a do-over.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

You're the MEANEST Momma! Expletive!

It started today at about 5:45 am. I am ripped from the blissful serenity of sleep by a blood curdling, glass breaking scream. I throw off the blanket and rush to the source of the shriek. There sat Caler. His eyes could have easily been mistaken for lasers. He was glaring at Ayden with a look that expressed he was beyond livid. "What in the world is going on you two?" I asked trying to push the rage, I myself was feeling, away from my mind and concentrate on taking care of business. "Ayden took my light saber!" Caler managed to spit out through clenched teeth. Ayden's smirk confirmed this. I asked Ayden to give it back. Ayden did as he was told and graciously released his death grip from the space sword. Caler snatched the toy from his brother with pure disdain. Then as quickly as I managed to turn my heels and head back to my room... SMAAAAACK.....AAAOOOOOOWWWW!  I didn't have to turn around to know what crime had just been committed. "Caler D! Why on Earth did you think it was alright to hit your brother?" It was mostly meant as a rhetorical question but I got an answer anyway..."Because he deserved it." Period. End of discussion. I couldn't believe the matter-of-fact attitude that fell upon this child. He truly believed his brother had deserved to be smacked on the head with the light saber for his bad decision. Maybe it was the early hour, or the tiredness that seeped through from my head to my toes, but no matter how hard I tried... my brain could not muster up any kind of response. I ushered Ayden (who was still rubbing a growing lump on the top of his head) out of the room. I turned to the frowning little boy with folded arms and angry sulking eyes, "Caler, you need to stay in your bed and think about the family rule you have broken." I closed the door to screeching and tears. I was doing the same inside.

I went out to discuss the value and importance of sharing with Ayden who stared at me with blank eyes, clearly thinking "but I wanted it and therefore I took it. Duh Momma!" I asked him how he felt about sharing, the sound that came out of his mouth sounded like an agonized mumble of the term  uh huh.  I was too exhausted to call out his bluff. I sank to the couch defeated. The shouts from the kids' room grew overwhelmingly loud. The banging began, which meant he was kicking the wall and the frames were about to fall. The millisecond that thought crossed my mind, the first frame fell and so did my patience. It crumbled. I walked to the room, opened the door, and faced this yowler of a child. I looked him in the eye and told him he needed to pick up the frame and return to his room where he would stay for the remainder of the day.

The term  If Looks Could Kill doesn't even begin to describe the change his eyes made as he learned his fate. The screaming didn't stop as I walked back out of his room in search of my journal (aka: solace).  It was as I was passing his closed door that I heard it. I heard the words that snap a parents heart in two. My sensitive heart shattered. " I HATE YOU MOMMA!" I choked back the lump that had settled in my throat threatening another bombardment of waterworks and replied " Well, my darling boy, I most certainly LOVE you." He apparently wasn't convinced " You're the MEANEST Momma EVVVVVEEEEEERRRRRR!!!" I wasn't sure I could reply. Just as a snake can sense fear, my Caler can sense when I am close to a breaking point. It's not that he revels in it, no, he just knows that this is the time for him to test his limits. He does.... and he tests them well. So well, in fact, that the next phrase out of the mouth of my FIVE year old was a word that rhymes with Brass Bowl. An expletive. An expletive from the mouth that still uses bubble gum tooth paste and a light up Batman tooth brush.

If there was any doubt in his mind that I was the meanest momma before, it was confirmed when he had to brush the bad words out of his mouth with the hot toothpaste that Momma uses.

So there you have it.... Confessions from the MEANEST MOMMA EVVVEEERRRR!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I love being a Baby Momma

Timing never has been my strong suit… so there is no surprise that I’m a few days late posting about Motherhood. But, better late than not at all. 
I decided to list 10 out of a million reasons why I love being a momma:
  • After a long day there is nothing like “nuggles” from my babies
  • In the eyes of my children there are no better dancers, singers, or all around performers than their Momma (and you can’t argue with the kids… )
  • My refrigerator is never plain or boring… it has AMAZING pieces of their Art glittered all over the doors and sides
  • The way their faces light up on Friday afternoons when I tell them the next two days are ours to spend with each other.
  • Building blanket forts in the living room and extending them into the dining room.
  • Who doesn’t love a game of Candyland?
  • The daily laughs I get from listening to them converse… my kids are SO hilarious!
  • I imagine at some point there will be a reward for allowing my 5 year old to work for the US government….
  • All those math lessons I ignored in school…. I get a second chance by being instructed from my 8 year old how to apply fractions and what pi is.
  • They’ve taught me a new dimension of unconditional love…. They can wake me up every hour on the hour starting at 2 am, They can puke on me,  they can turn my freshly cleaned house upside down and I will still love them with all my heart 3- Ever and Ever!
Speaking of 3-Ever and Ever, I can go on listing all the wonderful wonders of Motherhood 3-Ever and ever….
Being a momma wasn’t on my list of things I wanted to accomplish by the time I turned 18, but it certainly is on the list for my proudest accomplishments. I am thankful for the opportunity I was given to be a momma no matter the age I started. The joy most definitely outweighs the frustrations. That’s not to say that at times I don't feel defeated and overwhelmed. The two boys I’ve been blessed with, though, have this magic ability to turn my frowns upside down (no matter how hard I try keep those frown in place). How can I possibly put into words the love and joy I feel when I hear their giggles and see their smiles? In short… I’m one lucky momma! 
I have so many amazing women in my life that need to be celebrated.
My own Momma.... for the example you gave me to take hold of my challenges and stare them straight in the eyes. I celebrate your strength.
My sisters... Jen and Britt you are beautiful mothers. The very proof of how amazing you two truly are lies in the sparkle of your children. The happiness is evident on their sparkling faces. I celebrate your beauty and the nurturing eminence you show your babies.
And to all Mothers.. You are caring, selfless, and loving. I celebrate you... 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Can I please be grounded?

I promise I won't talk on the phone, or do anything but sit on my bed.... I might even fall asleep early!

See, I really deserve to be grounded...

My Wednesday is Woeful…. Woeful Wednesday… I am full of Woe. I had a break down last night. On my un-mopped kitchen floor. I quite literally broke down into shoulder shaking sobs on the dirty kitchen floor after listening to Ayden repeat the word Mom increasing the octave and volume by the second, after a night of only 4 hours of sleep, after opening 5 unexpected bills, after walking into a living room full of cluttered craft supplies reminding me of the unfinished Teacher Appreciation gift that needs to be completed by Thursday, and after I broke my new favorite baby blue display dish holding banana’s (banana's that might as well have been bricks ).  It was the snap of the porcelain that snapped the floodgates and my tears flowed freely.

The Tuesday night Tear Jerker...

Momma's can sometimes have Temper Tantrums. And I did.  My head was throbbing. My feet were killing. My ears were ringing. I was forcing a smile I didn't feel. I was having a momma melt down.  In several moments of selfish thinking and relishing in self pity … I was cursing (or at least spelling out curse words in my overwhelmed brain) at my seemingly infinite problems.

How easy it is to fall victim to our own thoughts. How easy it is to give in to collapsing knees and sink to the floor with thoughts of how horrible life is. How easy it is to think that life is unfair. How easy it is to think that you are the only person suffering. It was that last thought that stopped my shuddering shoulders and slowed the water escaping down my cheeks in a steady stream.  I sat there, on the floor, for several minutes longer fighting the urge to ignore the voice suggesting the audacious idea it was going to be alright. Telling me to take a deep breath and grab my Gratitude journal.

Ten minutes went by and I was still fighting. I stood up, grabbed my journal and took a long hard look at line after line of extraordinary gifts I was blatantly ignoring in the name of Self-Woe. But really WHOA,  a sense of awe at all I've been given chased away the majority of what I was feeling. I literally pushed up my sleeves and stood to face my challenges. I checked on the boys who were now sleeping peacefully. I added a few calls to my To-Do List for the next day. I finished painting Ayden's teachers' gift (thinking to myself that his teacher is the true gift). The porcelain dish can and will be fixed. The crack I will see when I reach for a piece of fruit displayed amidst the baby blue will remind me of the moment I fought back the feeling of woe and replaced it, with whoa.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I'm a hot babe out jogging.....(this is a lie, I despise jogging!)

I'm out making sure this...stays a ten, when you drive by. You're checkin out my awesome headband, when.... oops (or Oopsie Daisies, in my case).

As much as I love this commercial, I don’t love the reminder that I’m lounging instead of making sure I stay…. Well, that I stay in shape enough to be able to chase my kidlets around.
I go through different phases when it comes to my outlook on working out… I can be super proactive about the importance of staying fit and I'll work out religiously. Then I can feel like I want to eat a gallon of cookie dough ice cream with Oreo’s and a giant Dr. Pepper in the gym parking lot.   

I ate a cheeseburger last night and as I took the first bite... the thought that popped into my head was not "Oh man, this is going to be amazing" it was, instead, " Oh man, this is going to go straight to my hips, I'll have to work out for three days to rid myself of how many calories are in this thing... I should just put it down. I can't eat this. I shouldn't eat this. Why am I eating this. I am going to regret this."

Guess what World? I didn't regret it. The cheeseburger was delicious.

I've decided I don't want to spend another second drooling over the pair of size 2 jeans I would have to starve myself  just to dream of fitting into. I will, instead, spend the time I've been given enjoying the curves I have, the curves that I happen to love.  I have spent too many hours worrying incessantly about what size I fit into or if I'll ever look as good as the girl across the street with the amazing stiletto's and legs that are as tall as skyscrapers and stick skinny.

I am not suggesting to throw away all vegetables only to replace them with Oreo's and deep fried Twinkies.

I sincerely believe in being healthy. My idea of being healthy though, most definitely includes loving myself the way I am.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Guess who didn't do laundry?....

This Girl!

A glimpse of my minor housekeeping infraction

And…. I also have a sink full to the brim with dirty dishes (rinsed, but not yet washed).  I’m surprisingly calm as I search and search for clothes I know are in the heaping pile consuming a good 75% of my laundry room.  Caler is, however, quite perturbed. He can’t seem to find his “bug” costume and swears it has been buried.  I try to console him as best I can. He looks up and says “But I can’t work for the Government today without my bug costume. I neeeeeeeeeeeeeeed it!” Stifling back a giggle, I tell him that I’ll find it and make sure it’s clean for the next day of important US Government business.  Accepting this as a reasonable offer, he scampers away to save the world one dragon and government disaster at a time.

I often find myself pondering the importance of such tasks as laundry and dishes. I’ve come to the conclusion that although they are important and will continue to reproduce at the rate of rabbits until I get around to them, there are two little boys growing at an even faster rate that simply cannot be put out of sight until I "get around" to watching them.  The piles of everything will be there in 5 minutes, but the precious questions, sayings, hugs, giggles, and smiles from these two growing boys won’t.  I don’t want to miss out on another adventure in the life of Special Agent Captain America President Caler D (his new name, so I’ve been informed) nor do I want to miss another fact or figure from the mystifying mind of Ayden the Great! I will 3-Ever put household chores on hold while I busy myself being Momma to the two greatest people I know.

I still get frustrated watching the piles of clothes and dishes accumulate. It’s almost as if I can feel their stare when I reach for my book instead of the detergent. I can hear them whispering words of betrayal while I take a minute (or 60) after the boys fall asleep quieting the silence that takes over my normally rowdy home. They don’t have to stare or whisper for long though, I do actually manage to get them finished without any mold infestation or the stench of dirty laundry seeping from under the laundry room door. 

I have also learned to multi-task… I will have Ayden and Caler sit up to the counter and while they work on homework (ABC’s and Numbers for Mr. Caler man after his US Government work has been completed, of course.) I can rinse and load dishes while keeping an open ear as the kids tell me all about their days, and also be readily available for homework help. ( Although, I can honestly say, when it comes to math questions… I’m usually the student while Ayden quite literally “dumbs it down” for his momma!)

It’s often mentioned children grow too fast and the importance of parents stopping to enjoy their children is necessary, but I don’t think it’s advice that is adhered to enough by parents. It’s easy to succumb to the busy and hectic world.  Life is busy and it’s messy. It’s that simple.  I think priorities have shifted too much to things that won’t matter in the end. My choice is easy and always will be. I choose my sons. I will always choose to listen to Caler’s adventures trudging through the tough work of the US Government or the latest light saber move Ayden has mastered with speed and slightly less grace, over dishes and laundry or whatever else. 

So I had a busy day and my sink is still full of dishes and I'm 99% sure there is a sock monster growing in the laundry pile… so what?  My kids have been fed, they have been read to, snuggled with, wrestled with, they feel cared for and most importantly… they feel safe and LOVED.

Monday, April 18, 2011

KT + AT + CT = LOVE 3ver and ever and ever

The 3 Muskakeers...

3ever and ever ...

and ever!

I was in bed reading last night when I heard the quiet tip-toeing of little toes inching their way to the edge of my bed. They stood there, tipped their heads to the side with pouted lips and tiny voices whispered in unison the words that get to the heart of all parents..."We had bad dreams and we're scared." Caler managed to squeak out, "Yeah, the monsters are in the shadows! We need Monster Spray Momma...the new kind." I walked the sleepy little dudes back into their room and sprayed half a bottle of Monster Spray around their room making sure to spray a heavy dose under their beds. We sang a song, I kissed them goodnight, and I walked out of the room confident the "new" Monster Spray would hold against the devious creatures hiding in shadows and under beds.

It's no mystery that had I taken chemistry in school, I would've failed. The New and Improved 24-hour Monster Spray I worked so diligently on, was a bust. Not 15 minutes later, the sound of my door squealing open alerted me to two scared little boys in need of their Momma.

It was my turn to tip my head to the side, and I smiled at them. Looking relieved, they ran and climbed onto my bed. They dived into the covers, tucking the blankets clear up to their chins. I asked them if they wanted to read to take their minds off of the bad dreams they'd had. They lept up in reply and stopped just short of the dark hall looming in front of them. Turning to me, I could see the question before they spoke it. "Umm Momma, will you get our books for us please?"

We had been reading and escaping monster-filled nightmares for about fifteen minutes when I stopped reading. I closed my book and turned my eyes to my two little boys. Ayden was reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid  out loud to Caler, in a big brother voice.  As much as I didn't want to interrupt, I couldn't let the moment pass by. "Do you know how much I love you two? Because it's a lot... I mean it's a whole lot." I said. They turned to me and smiled. Not a silly smile, it was a smile that told my heart that they felt the same. Caler nodded and laid his head on his big brother's chest.

"Yeah Mom, we're like the 3 Musketeers!" Ayden said acknowledging Caler's affection by gently rubbing his back {Caler's favorite thing in the world!}. I smiled and said "Yeah, we are! We'll be 3 Musketeers Forever!".... Ayden pondered this for a minute and quietly he said "3-Ever". Not sure if I had heard is soft voice correctly I said "Hmm?" Ayden smiled and said "Instead of forever it's 3-ever because there are three of us. We're the 3 Musketeers, 3-ever!" With an excited twinkle in Caler's eye, he yelled out "The 3 Muskakeer's 3 Ever!"

Indeed there are 3 of us my wise young ones and you're right.... we'll always be the 3 MUSKAKEERS 3-EVER and ever and ever!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Hundred Dresses

I can’t remember the person that gave this book to me when I was about 9 or 10. If I did, I would have to thank them not only for the book, but also for providing me with the single instrument that opened my eyes to the GIFT of reading. I have always loved this story. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that I adored dresses as a child {I downright refused to wear anything but dresses, dance leotards and tutu’s}. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that the story spoke to me. I was often the one getting picked on for my baby fat still accompanying me, along with a unique sense of style {I still love knee high tube socks, however, I no longer wear them in public other than a quick run down to the mail box}. Whatever the reason may have been, it remains to this day as my top favorite children's book.

I wasn’t looking for it while rummaging through the magical place known as Barnes and Noble. I just happened to glance down and see the familiar and colorful cover. I quickly lifted the last copy off the display table. Once I held it I couldn’t put it down. In a way it felt like if I had been able to set this book back down onto the table, I would have left a piece of my childhood behind.

I can admit that when I first learned to read, I hated it. It didn’t help that my first grade teacher, however cool he was, would rather us sit in a circle singing along to his guitar than for us to pick up a book. I had trouble comprehending what I was reading because I was racing through the words as fast I could in order to be finished. It was when I opened the cover and began to read the first paragraph of The Hundred Dresses that I truly began to accept reading as the true gift it is. I noticed the beautiful drawings of dresses hung up on a wall and I was intrigued. I wanted to know how the drawings came to be and why they were hanging on the wall. I wanted to know at who’s hands were these pieces of beauty created. I WANTED to read.

I Love that I have been able to provide this example to my boys. There is nothing I love more than coming home after a long day and snuggling up with my two He-Men and diving into a book. To my dismay, they don't quite appreciate The Hundred Dresses, as much as I do. They do, however, Love the series Diary of a Wimpy Kid, How To Train Your Dragon {According to Caler, this area is typically handled only by the U.S. Government's Special Agents, something he has personal experience with...}and the book that has recently peaked Ayden's interest? The Lord of the Rings! {Yes, you read that right and yes he's 8. That won't stop him from reading it though.}

Saturday, April 16, 2011


It's officially official.... Ayden's Aydenism's have lead us down the path to Asperger's Syndrome testing. It was confirmed on Thursday that Ayden does, in fact, have Aspergers. We finished the first round of testing earlier last week, and will continue with the second testing in the near future. The first round was to basically confirm the presence of Asperger's Syndrome. The second round will be more extensive and will determine the severity. He was a trooper and even enjoyed some parts of the assesment.

I have had a plethera of emotions since learning the reason behind some of Ayden's eccentricities that made me go hmm. At first I was worried that he wouldn't be accepted. I was scared that I wouldn't be able to be everything he needs. Along with those emotions I know I will do nothing less than my best and though it's bound to have it's share of hard times I am ready to be there for Ayden 100 million percent.I am reminded of a quote from one of my favorite books... "She had a way of turning OBSTACLES into OPPORTUNITIES"...She  by: Compendium, That's exactly what I intend to do. With some people considering this an Obstacle, I view it as an Opportunity. An opportunity to be the very best Momma I can be. An opportunity to learn and grow stronger. An opportunity to prove not only to myself but especially to Ayden that no matter what life throws at you, and no matter how overwhelming life can be, you can PREVAIL and FLOURISH.

And he will... he will prevail! I have no doubt. I understand that Life is bound to throw situations his way that he won't understand and will sometimes hurt, but I know he'll hold his beautiful head high and smile his Ayden bear smile knowing that he is Ayden. Ayden is all he can be and AYDEN is pretty dang AWESOME.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Multi-tasking...not as awesome as it sounds, being Random is!

Not entirely sure THIS is worth....

THIS! I think I just had a panic attack!

While the cake was baking and dinner was simmering...

I finally got around to hanging up some photo's and such in frames I bought and spruced up a year ago...

{Yes.... I know they aren't completely level, but not too shabby for just using what my mama gave me. I think I'll try this out for a week to see if I'm completely satisfied. I think I'll probably end up switching it up a bit.}

Today, I was motivated. I cleaned, did a few loads of laundry {only had enough laundry detergent for 3 loads. Random thought: Why is laundry detergent the one thing I ALWAYS forget when I ask myself if I forgot anything at the end of a grocery shopping adventure? Probably, because I'm too focused on how bad my feet hurt in the stiletto's I'm wearing. I'll never learn to keep flats in the car at all times!}, I organized the printed photo's I have, sorted through my mountains of books {discovered I purchased two copies of the same book a week apart from one another ....seriously Kristal? Seriously?}, reminded the kiddo's to clean their room several times {I got nothing but blank stares in return by the way.}, babysat my nephew,  tried out my new and improved recipe for Thunder Cake {despite the nice weather, Ayden and I decided we NEEDED to make this cake. I made a caramel and chocolate frosting and topped it off with some caramel chocolate chips in lieu of the traditional chocolate frosting with strawberries}, cooked an awesome chicken Parmesan, and even.... ran 4 miles on the treadmill.  Tonight, I am EXHAUSTED and considering to ignore Motivation next time it decides to poke it's nose into my relaxing weekend! Looking forward to laying in my comfy bed surrounded by the thought-ambiance of circus life as I read "Water for Elephants".

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Momma's favorite Clock has a run in with a tennis ball

Caler's Gun Show

An Unfortunate "Oopsie Daisies"

My clock... my poor poor clock didn't stand a chance when it went up against Caler and his arm. I imagine the clock shuddered at the mere sight of my little tennis-ball-throwing Special Agent, knowing it held a doomed fate at the hands of a 5  year old.  The sound of shattering glass followed by "Tell Mom it was an accident!" are words a mother never really wants to hear at any time. At  6:00 am, however, it's particularly rough on ones outlook for the day. Ayden then said "That was momma's favorite." I know now that it wasn't a shattered window or picture frame...it's my clock. Panic stricken, I rushed to make sure all appendages and tactile members attached to said appendages were still intact. To my relief... they were. No blood or tears were present either, and as I stood to face these clock wrecking savages, their eyes took on those of Puss in Boots from "Shrek". Caler spoke to me first ..."But, Moaoom it was just an Oopsie Daisies. I proamisse <eyelashes batting and a grin to boot>". At this point, I felt a number of emotions. I felt sadness over the clock, frustration that our family rule 'No throwing in the house' was broken , and sympathy for the two little boys who have been stuck inside our tiny apartment all Winter long. The clock was broken. It was 6:00am. I was tired.... so after a stern talk and a review of our family rules we went along with our morning and Momma's favorite clock is chalked up as a loss.

And To a worried Caler I promised I wouldn't mention any of this to his superiors at the U.S. Government. . .

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

LOVE... and Monster Spray

Ayden Travis {3 months}

Caler D {8 months}
Ok I dare you....no DOUBLE dare you to not smile at these two cheek-pinchable babies at their babiest!
The first photo is baby Ayden. The night that photo was taken Ayden was beyond grumpy {thank you Dad, for capturing this moment....even though I was less than grateful toward you and your invading camera}! My child had had enough and wasn't satisfied until he finished telling me all about how difficult it was to be 3 months old. I was barely 19 years old and had no real idea how to care for a baby, and yet, I did and I loved it.

There was something else that was born the day Ayden was. It was Love. Love. Love for ten tiny fingers and toes. Love for a head of pitch black hair. Love for the smile he gave me as they laid my perfect little man into my arms for the first time {even if the smile was only gas related, and yes, he LOVES this story now that he's 8!) Love for two endless eyes gazing at me soaking me in and while I soaked back. I knew I could never love anyone more than I Loved him. . .

Then came my mister Caler D... that sly, mischievous, and carefree little boy. He opened my eyes and gave me a new meaning for the expression bouncing baby boy. He arrived and my Love grew bigger.... His cute little squished face was quite the opposite of the smiling newborn Ayden. I realized then that I had been wrong... I could, in fact, Love someone as much as I loved Ayden. Love for his cute little squishy old man face. Love for his teeny tiny feet. Love for his two endless eyes gazing at me soaking me in while I soaked back.

The Love that I have for these two very different little boys grows deeper and fuller every day. We're faced with challenges everyday (even as I'm typing.... there seems to be a monster lurking under Caler's bed. I'm contemplating on how to proceed with inventing a new and improved 24 hour Monster Spray. Caler is under the impression that our Monster Spray lasts for an unimpressive 10 minutes. How's that for a challenge?). And yet.... we manage to strum along day to day. I'm certain that the LOVE we have for eachother is what guides us to find the courage and strength to meet our challenges with a brave face and a full supply of Challenge Spray (the 24 hour kind!)....

Now this Superhero Momma is off to find the magic 24 hour formula to keep Monsters, Bad Guys, Vampires, Werewolves, Tigers, Bears, and Girls (for at least 25 more years) at bay.....

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A birthday party, 3 boys, a bounce house.... and I made it out alive!

We were invited to Caler's friend Brian's birthday party today. I was a little apprehensive about attending, because I had not only my two boys but I had my friend's little man with us also. But, like any superhero... I viewed this as a challenge. And Super hero's never turn away from challenge.

We were met by a HUGE bounce house with an attached slide. The boys nearly ripped clothing in order to get out of the car. I wrestled with my own door in order to remind the trio to greet and thank the birthday boy before anything else.

Us parents stood by with hands close to our hearts and gasped at each kid collision that we swore was going to end in broken bones, tears or both. We nervously giggled as the kids poked their smiling faces up from behind the plastic barriers to say "MOM, that was SO cool, did you see that?"...( Yes dear, we saw that and we'll get back to you about how cool that was when our hearts jump back out of our stomach. )

As much fun as we had while we were there (which was a ton!) we were met with a few battles throughout...

Battle #1: Momma: "Please don't take your pointy edged transformer into the bounce house, it could pop the house and you could suffocate." Caler, with glazed eyes looks as if I just spoke Chinese, recovers quickly by saying: "But Mooaooom, this is my favorite toy ever!" You parents all know that line. It can be interpretted as "I don't have a valid argument, but you're crazy if you think I'll give in this easily to your mean request <sticks out tongue>".  Momma: " Well, the choice is yours, but just know that if you take that toy into the bounce house, I will climb in after you and catch you. And when I catch you, you will lose the privilege of playing in this bounce house."  Caler remembers just then, that it's not in fact his favorite toy and hands over his pointy edged bounce house destroyer. Victory is tasting sweet!

Battle #2: Ayden (from the top of the slide, holds his arm): "Mooaooom, Caler kicked me." I can see it in his puppy dog eyes that he's not really hurt, but looking for an excuse to get his little bro into trouble and thrown out of the bounce house. Momma: "Are you bleeding?" Ayden: "But Mooaooom, he really kicked me." My thoughts confirmed, Momma replies: "I'm sure it was an accident, and I'm sorry you were kicked. Go play." Ayden: "I don't really think it was an accident." He's not going to let this go... Momma: "Caler? Did you kick Ayden?" Caler pops his cute chubby cheeked face up from the bottom of the slide: "Huh?" Ayden: "Well, I thought he kicked me when he went down the slide." He retreats then, knowing that his attempts at being mean have been squashed. 

Battle #3: Momma: "Please clean up your area, make sure that your finished plates make their way to the garbage ok?" A & C nod their heads and jump up from their seats tossing their plates in the direction of the garbage can...but missing it by a mile! Momma: "Ummm, not even close folks. Let's try that again." Ayden: "Oh, Oopsie Daisies can you pick it up? Thanks." Even though deep down I loved that he said my signature phrase...Oopsie Daisies wasn't going to pick up any plates. Momma: "Nice try, you guys get back here and put your plates where they belong. Caler: "But Mooaooom (Caler's signature phrase), please can you just do it for us?" Momma: "It took you longer to complain than it would have to pick up the plates in the first place, now please march your bums back here and pick up the plates. Please." With a heavy hesitation and low whiny murmers the plates were put into the garbage can.

Yes, Victory is sweet.... however, each Victory comes with a few defeats. Sometimes willpower is no match to shining bright smiles from my two favorite dudes. Those two favorite little dudes each got 5 extra minutes of playtime and an extra cup cake before we headed home.

I was certain the kidlets would be tuckered out and would succomb to watching a movie with popcorn on the couch without a peep. Not a chance!!!! It is now 9:31pm (an hour past the two little stinkers' beditime) and only 1 is out cold.  Luck happens to be on my side, however, and the little one who's met his rough-housing-boyness quota for the day is Caler Man!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nn390XuenMw  (This video is not of the kids, but this it reminded me of our bounce house adventure.)