Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Little Big Things

There are many times during my days with the boys that I just want to remember certain little things. Little things that really are the big things. The things that just make me fall farther in love with these incredible little boys that call me mom.

  • Gray's word lately is "happy." He says it over and over and over again and scrunches up his nose in a cheesy little smile. I love that scrunchy little nose. I love how he smiles with his eyes. I love that his hair sticks straight up and makes his entire person look genuinely happy. Like his body can't contain all that joy. 
  • Whenever I go in to get them in the mornings or after naps they jump up as soon as they see me and start running and jumping in place against the front of their cribs. I love starting the day with that much excitement! They are a riot. I try to switch off who I get out of the crib first and give them a huge smushy kiss on the cheek. Without fail, the next stop is to look out the window and greet the big green tree. And then we all trek downstairs for breakfast together. 
  • Nash is a chatterbox. He is learning more and more words. His favorite one right now is "whoa whoa!" He likes to experience and explore everything. And when he really likes something his reaction is "whoa whoa!"
  • The words the boys know right now are whoa, daddy, ball, apple, yummy, mommy, happy, help, all done, love you (sometimes!), papa, hello, and hi!
  • Phones are a favorite right now. Anything can become a phone. And whenever I ask who they are talking to, it is either daddy or papa. Or they just say "hello!" again. I love seeing their little elbows and hands with the "phone" curled behind their head. 
  • Gray says "daddy" with such articulation, he almost sounds British. I love it. Da-tty! Da-tty! 
  • The boys are such major fans of Dad. He is already their hero through and through. Whenever he comes home from school they run to the door. If I tell them he's home and he hasn't come through the door yet, they climb up on the couch as fast as they can to try to catch a glimpse of him through the window. And seeing them run into his arms before he even has the chance to put his bags down makes my heart soar. 
  • Cars, trucks, trains, anything with wheels is at the top of their list right now. I worked out the other day while the boys were awake and they each picked a train and drove it along every surface they could find. Walls, couches, chairs, doors, the ottoman, the floor. They chased each other around with their train and I got a 40 minute workout all to myself! The same goes for church. A car or truck with occupy them for longer than almost anything else. 
  • I love watching Granger learn about the things around him. He turns anything with wheels over and spins each wheel with his finger. He is so focused and intent on whatever he is studying at the time. He reminds me a lot of Cameron that way. 
  • Granger also has my freckles. They have just started showing up underneath his left eye. I'm sure it has a lot to do with us being out in the sunshine so much lately, but I love finding anything on him that comes from me! 
  • When we put the boys to bed we tickle them like crazy. They laugh and laugh and laugh and snort! (just like me.) I love that they go to bed happy. When the boys are happy, I am so happy. 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Sweet Freedom

Things are a little tight at our house right now. We chose our place because it had 3 bedrooms, was cheap, wasn't old, and had a yard. All major perks. There is also a train that goes by a few times a day. And for a few moments, we stand in silent awe as the cars rumble by. However, right before the train tracks is a ditch. And this ditch is full of water. Also, our backyard has this fabulous tree that shades the entire yard and gives support to the fabulous caterpillar swing. Water + shade in the summertime in Dallas, however, means the bugs are out of control.

I can hardly load the boys in the car without getting eaten alive. And according to a very helpful radio broadcast one day, the mosquitos this year have mutated and are larger than normal, which apparently means that bug spray is less effective on them.

I have never before known the agony that is staying up from 1-3 scratching chigger bites. Do you know what a chigger is? It is smaller than the size of a period at the end of this sentence. It hides on your skin and then puts its jaws into you and kills all the skin around it to feed on for days. And you itch like mad. I begged for mosquito bites the day I learned what a chigger bite felt like.

The way you get rid of them is by taking a bleach bath [no lie.] and then covering each bite with clear nail polish to suffocate the little jerks. Our tub is sparkly white. How's that for a silver lining? haha.

We have battled the bugs by staying inside most of the time or going on outings to the pool, splash pad, or park. [Though the boys got chigger bites at the park, too.] Unfortunately, my garden is in this pest-infested yard and I do not value it high enough to be bitten on a daily basis. It is intentionally neglected.

Just this past week, though, Cameron found chigger repellant! And I found a $3 bottle of something called Chigger-rid. He tested it and grilled burgers for us in shorts. [Brave man.] He came inside without a single bite!

So today, when the clouds opened up and rained down right after dinner, I sprayed the boys with the repellant and turned them outside to play in the rain. And oh sweet freedom! I love watching them explore, run, be boys.

I sat at the kitchen table eating sweet cherries, listening to the rain, and snapping pictures.

And my heart was full.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Staycation....Sort Of

Yesterday, our house was hot. The temperature just kept climbing and climbing. By the time Cameron came home it was 84 inside. Our air conditioning was busted. So we got out of the house. The problem with that is when we get out of the house we tend to spend money we don't have. But the trimester is over in just over a month. And we decided to help ourselves feel better a little bit. We've been under a lot of stress.

We went to Costco to pick up a prescription and ended up buying some sweet cherries and flip-flops for me, since I hadn't had a new pair in over 2 years. The boys were ready for bed at this point, but it was too hot at our house. We just wanted to be in the car where the air worked. And then Cam's mom called. They had reserved us a hotel room about a mile away. Oh, it completely saved us! We ran home to pack up our overnight bags and headed to Bahama Buck's for a treat. I was hoping the drive would put the boys to sleep, but they were pretty wired.

We got to the hotel and tracked down a couple pack and plays for the boys. Luckily, the hotel had them for us. I drew them a bath to help calm them down and Cam set up the beds. We put one in the bathroom and one in the hallway so they would have a bit of their own space and hopefully sleep pretty deep.

They went wild after we had family prayer and put them to bed! It was like they were having a sleep over. They were laughing and talking and jumping around. It was so fun to listen to! After about 20 minutes they calmed down and nodded off to sleep, sweet boys. In the meantime, I caught up on a few business emails and played a game on the ipad. Cameron snuck out to Chili's in the parking lot for some unnecessary but delicious food. When he got back we shared queso, buffalo chicken salad, and egg rolls on the bed while watching Suits together.

It almost felt like we had no responsibility in the world.

And the next morning, everyone slept in until 9:30 thanks to the blackout curtains.

The boys were ecstatic again. Running around, exploring everywhere. It broke my heart that we didn't have somewhere awesome to go that day! I wish we were headed to Disneyland or Sea World or ANYTHING instead of back to our house.

Someday, boys. Someday, we will road trip with you to somewhere amazing and that hotel room excitement will be better than ever.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

4th of July!

Since we went and did Kaboom town the night before, we decided not to do fireworks again. Cameron had worked so hard to be able to take the entire day off with us, though, that we slept in together, got up and ready and spent the entire day as a red, white and blue family.

That morning was a ward breakfast at the park by our house. Cameron really wanted to go, but since we were all out and up so late the night before everyone slept through the alarm! We hustled to get ready and headed over to the park to catch the last bit of the food. We really have the best ward. The boys can run wild because there are kids and other friends happy to watch them and play with them. It makes it feel a little more like home.

After breakfast, we headed to do some shopping for a bbq later that night. I believe in holidays. I believe in making a fuss over them. And I believe in treats. So we bought a half gallon of chocolate milk to fill the boys' sippy cups with and matching blue ball caps. And we picked up the stuff to make homemade rootbeer and stuffed burgers. And then we all came home for a major nap.

I love that about having little kids. They remind you to slow down and take care of yourself. And oh that sleep felt great!

We invited our friends the Petersens to come swimming with us and have a bbq and watch Harry Potter with us. They had been at Kaboom town too and weren't up for fireworks again either. I am so grateful for good friends! We ended up going swimming at their pool and then meeting up again at our place for food. The root beer came out clear instead of brown (that's what we get for buying the cheap extract!) but tasted great! The boys went to bed early. And we watched Harry Potter and heard the faint booming of the city fireworks outside.

Sometimes the best memories come from getting rid of all the "supposed to's" and doing what makes your family happy. And sometimes that means sleep and british actors on Independence Day.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Kaboom Town

The city of Addison puts on a free fireworks show every July 3rd. We had plans to meet up with a few other Chiropractic families, but the 3rd is not a holiday, so we would be picking Cameron up from school and heading straight there. I was so proud of myself for getting the boys and I ready in patriotic outfits and out the door on time, with camping chairs and a cooler of food packed! 

We swung by the school to pick Cameron up and then hit in-n-out for dinner. We ordered the boys burgers of their own and just handed them to them to see how they would do. Granger ate right through it! Right down to the wrapper, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and all. Nash, on the other hand, pulled it apart and threw away everything but the patty. Big boys. 

It was a little hectic finding a place to park, especially because they limit the number of people that can go inside the park! We managed to score a spot in a free parking garage and met up with our group who had been saving us a spot for a couple hours. It was perfect! Lots of space for the boys to walk around and explore, Cam grabbed a corn dog, we had treats, good friends, and a great show! They started with live music and then airplanes started doing all these flips and tricks above us in the sky. It started to get dark and the planes did a few low arcs over the crowd and shot fireworks right off the plane! I've never seen anything like that before!

Granger made friends with the ladies next to us and flirted his way into some watermelon and a little american flag. Nash kept trying to steal the alcoholic beverages in the chairs nearby, but I don't think he actually consumed any. Ha. 

Nash was sitting on my lap when the fireworks started to go off. It started with a huge shower of sparks trailing across the sky from the plane engine. He would point at the plane and follow it across the sky "Wow wow wow!" 

I don't know what it is about the 4th of July. But I absolutely love it. I feel like there is so much history and legacy tied into its celebration and it makes me feel incredible to share that with my own children. Seeing the current state of our government, and our beloved country, I have never before been so grateful to see so many patriotic people all in one place. As the patriotic music came on, I got a little choked up, singing along to "Proud to be an American." I don't know what this land will be like when my children have children, and I think that's what scares me the most. 

But seeing the wonder on Nash and Granger's faces as sparks lit up the sky, I didn't have a fear in the world. 

After the fireworks show, we loaded up as quickly as possible and headed for our car. We got out of the garage faster than I expected, and then sat in traffic for much longer than I expected. It probably felt longer than it was because Nash was exhausted and inconsolable. We couldn't figure out what was wrong with him! I held a towel up to block his face from the bright brake lights of the cars ahead of us and that calmed him for a bit, but he just kept pulling his blanket back and forth across his lap and throwing it. He was so angry he would steal Gray's blanket and throw it just to make him miserable! I felt his legs and they were freezing. The air was on pretty high back there. I tucked his blanket tight around him and rubbed his legs while I just talked to him. "Oh my sweet Nash, cold toes are the worst. My mama used to rub my legs when I was a little girl to help me relax and fall asleep..." He nodded off almost immediately. It is a major confidence boost to watch my child fall asleep to the sound of my voice. That I don't even need to hold and cuddle him to calm him down. That just being near him is enough. That just hearing me is enough. 

And Cameron and I enjoyed the thick quiet air for the rest of the drive home and talked about the things I can only imagine my parents talked about while I listened to the muffled sounds of their voices and nodded off to sleep in the back of our van so many years ago.