Saturday, May 30, 2015

Sign of the times

Patrick was awarded the "Sparkly" award at school - their mascot is Sparky the yearling, so it was a cute play on words - but the award was for the Friendliest Kid in First Grade. WOW! He is a super-friendly kid, so it wasn't terribly surprising that he stood out for it, but out of the whole first grade? Yessss! The kids who received awards got their names personalized on street signs. Now... to figure out how to hang this bad-boy up...

Spring Fever

It has been quite the spring this year! Rainstorm after rainstorm after massive rainstorm, and the temperatures have been so cool I regret daily that I put away 90% of my winter clothes - I also decide daily that I'm too lazy to get under the bed and pull those winter clothes out. I'll just tough it out one more day, SURELY spring temperatures are just around the corner.... right?

Well, it's finally warmed up just in time for my kids to get spring fever! That is to say, a nasty fever during the first lovely days of spring.

Eli got a low-grade fever, never over 101, and effectively slept for 48 hours. There was a lovely stretch in there where he didn't leave him room for 27 hours - he watched one movie and got up twice to go to the bathroom, and HE SLEPT the other 25 hours! I expected him to sleep, he was sleepy in the womb, sleepy when he was a baby, and has always slept when he felt under the weather, but even this was taking it to a new level and I got worried enough I thought about dragging his sleeping body to Urgent Care! Short of that, calling the pediatrician about his sleeping body (which I also thought about and didn't do). In the end I decided the doctors might find that much sleep alarming and dig for a deeper meaning with bloodwork and tests, while I trusted my mom-gut to know that it's Eli's sick style to sleep and I should just leave him to it (checking up on him frequently, of course). Sure enough, he popped out of bed, fever gone, appetite back, and big smiles on his face. During those 27 hours of being Eli-less I paused to imagine life without Eli, and it just seemed LESS. Less fun. Less rowdy. Less noise. Less snuggling. I'm certainly glad it turned out to be nothing serious because I would be less than happy to lose our awesome Ooly-Kadooly!

Caroline got the fever and took the opposite approach - she went to bed with a touch of heat but by 11 p.m. her fever spiked to 105 (105! I took is 3 times because I couldn't believe it). I gave her ibuprofen and cooled her forehead with a wet washcloth and figured I would sit by her while she slept until her fever came down, but I stayed in there for an hour and she talked to me the whole time. Totally unable to sleep in the middle of the night with her insanely high fever! She was feverish the next evening too but it was gone by midnight, so her entire sick spell ran hot and burned itself out quickly.

So far so good on the other boys, they've avoided the fever and enjoyed the sunshine (although Patrick did NOT enjoy that he had to go to school while Eli got all those sick days at home. Pouting fits happened.) And that about brings us up to date on the kids!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Thursday, May 21, 2015

crafty crafty crafty

Well you know us, we're always good for a random project... Just recently I got fed up with my craft corner in our basement. It was overstuffed, ugly, and not very functional. Form follows function, and both were missing in a big way! So I drew up some plans to remove the existing wall shelf and install base cabinets with a countertop and then some upper cabinets and open shelves. It'll be awesome! First things first: make a mess.
Good! That's done
Second, patch the drywall where the thoughtful owners prior just hung the wall cabinets over a gaping hole in the drywall rather than patch it. Projects (not partying) are such sweet sorrow...
 Ok! Patch is on it's way. Third, obtain cabinets for free from a nice neighbor who is remodeling her kitchen. This step leads to further steps because people don't often get rid of beautiful installation-ready cabinets for free... These outdated re-faces cabinets needed some love.
Step four - the inevitable step- hit pinterest, then hit the hardware store! Headboard wallpaper, craft sticks, and high-bonding primer will whip these cabinets into shape in no time.
 So there you have the progress so far. A messy basement, some half-finished cabinet doors, and some big dreams. It's gonna be EPIC.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Today's dose of humor

Eli was singing "the ants go marching" and he got to five and couldn't remember what the ants were supposed to do. I was making suggestions (anything I remember ants doing while marching while I was growing up) but he insisted those we NOT the words he had learned in preschool. Unable to find just the right lyrics he went on to six, where the "ants go marching six by six, the little one stops to play and jix." Jix,,Eli? Are you sure? "Yes, jix! It's a kind of dance!" Jix, Eli? Are you SURE you're sure?? "Yes, we learned that in preschool!" So he keeps singing along, going back to one, and when he gets back to five he remembered, "oh yeah! The ants go marching five by five the little one stops to play and JIVE!'s a kind of dance. We learned that in preschool." So, apparently, if you replace the first letter of any number with a "j" it is a dance, as they teach you in preschool.

Ethan and Avery were (#shockingnotshocking) NOT getting along today. I split them up and as Avery walked away she lectured Ethan, "you a bad baby!" I corrected her and said, "Ethan is not a bad baby," but as she kept walking she muttered under her breath, "Ethan not a good baby..."

Monday, May 11, 2015


The thing we will miss most about having the Phelps as our neighbors are having our kids be best friends.  And there's just no getting around that change, not really any silver lining of growth that I see, so we adults are feeling sad for that loss.

Apparently the kids are feeling it, too, and we will catch them at odd moments talking about the move. Joe drove around with Eli for a bit last night - my car battery had died so he was recharging it and driving around had to include a Loaf N' Jug stop for hot chocolate - and while they were cruising Eli was being very quiet and just looking out the window. Joe asked what he was thinking about, and he replied "I'm just thinking about Amelia moving." Just having a quiet moment to be serious about the big change :(

Today Caroline and Addilyn were eating their gourmet lunch of Ramen noodles and Caroline said, "I am sad I'm going to forget about you." AHH! My heart! That is the biggest thing we have felt sad about, that the kids are still so young they will barely remember, or not remember at all, that we shared these years together. Caroline is right! She probably WILL forget! Addilyn responded, "I don't like moving," to which Caroline suggested she come live with us! She has space in her room for another bed and they could share the room and live happily ever after. "But," Caroline admonished, "we need to ask your mom. She would be sad if she didn't know where you were." They both agreed.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Thoughts on Departing Neighbors

Kari and Jonathan are moving. If you know me well, or are friends with Kari on Facebook, you probably already knew this. Delivering the basic information isn't what I'm here for, though, I'm here to delve into the deeper meaning of it all so that when I look back I can say, "what the heck was I thinking? And why did I type that? And look at those spelling errors in spite of autocorrect..."

So when the opportunity came up for Jonathan to take over as manager of the Parker store it was news, but not BIG news. Nope. The moment we decided to move to Pueblo we knew it would not be big news for either of our families to move AWAY from Pueblo - Kari and Jonathan had been hoping to relocate for some time already, and we have never planned on Pueblo as our Forever Town (if you can plan such a thing. We hear it often happens accidentally). We had big talks before Joe took the job here at the Target DC that we were moving here for us, it was good for OUR family, and anything above ad beyond that was icing on the cake. Live in the same town? Icing. Live in the same PART of town? Very thick, chocolate icing. Live RIGHT NEXT DOOR? A scoop of ice cream on top! But no matter what, we are here for us. And really, we will be anywhere for us, and know that as Joe works toward a promotion to Senior Group Leader he is most likely working toward relocation. And that's ok! The only thing that truly matters to me is that we will be together as a family... the rest is just icing!

Similarly for Kari and Jonathan, when they were deciding to put an offer on the house next door we had big talks that we wanted them to buy the house for them. They were already house-hunting, looking for extra bedrooms and a different layout and more recently built, and that house fit all the criteria PLUS was a bargain, plus (icing!) came with way cool neighbors, but it needed to be what was good for their family. We didn't want them to buy the house if it was going to be financial strain to then rent their old home, or if the new one needed mass renovations they couldn't afford, or if they really didn't WANT to live next to us, but in the end it worked out!

And we agreed from day one that it was temporary.

In order to make the most of our temporary situation we hung out basically at the exclusion of the rest of the world. We ate lunch together nearly every single day, cooked our Double Dinners twice a week, hosted parties together, stayed up late scrapbooking together, bought the trampoline that broke Caroline's arm together, and it was wonderful! Even the broken arm.

So while the current situation provided wonderful opportunities, I see opportunities on the horizon for growth. When we weren't close to family in Thornton I had very close friends who became my family - they supported me in big and small ways! I called them for and about everything! They were there at the drop of a hat! And although we have great friends here I have not taken full advantage and strengthened those friendships in the same way because I didn't HAVE to, I always had Kari. Now is an opportunity to grow relationships. Here, Kari was always happy (or at least willing) to watch my kids while I ran errands so that I didn't have to take them or do it when Joe was home. Now will be a time to rely on Joe more regularly for having my back when I've got things I need to get done, because heck knows I have seen the light and I am not grocery shopping with 4 kids ever again if I can help it.

The only growth that I will miss will be my kids growing up with their cousins, and there is no replacement for that. SAD. But in spite of their lack of everyday interaction we can assure their growth of friendship in years to come as we plan family reunions and cousin summertime stay-overs and holiday gatherings and random get-togethers because the Rockies tickets were on crazy sale. Plus, then there's the novelty of seeing those cousins we haven't seen in so long :)

I will always always ALWAYS be thankful for the time we were able to spend together in Pueblo. There will never be another situation like it, and I like to think we squeezed the most out of it! But just because something good is gone doesn't mean there aren't more good things to come... and I look forward to them, whatever they may be.

War of Words

Ethan and Avery, only 6 months apart, 2.5 and 2 years old respectively, love to hate each other. They get along really well about once a month, and that day is GLORIOUS and the angels sing and mothers rejoice! But every other day there is much weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth and finally giving up and going home to separate the two.

Just recently these two stinkers have taken it up a notch from simple stealing-your-toy-and-running-away or pushing-you-off-the-chair-I-wanted and now they are ARGUING. It it both maddening and hilarious!

I was curling my hair one morning and I warned the kids not to touch the curling iron. Avery will repeat whatever you say to her as a command to Ethan (even if it is Avery that I'm lecturing) so she turned to Ethan and told him, "don't touch, it's warm!" Ethan heard a decidedly different phrase and argued back, "it's NOT a worm!" Every: "It's warm!" Ethan: "it's NOT a worm!" After I finished laughing I had to intervene and explain to them both (after which Avery had to repeat what I said as a command to Ethan) that they were both right, they just hadn't understood what the other person was saying.

Phew! Crisis averted. For 2 second. They immediately began fighting over the bathroom door; Ethan wanted it open and Avery wanted it closed. I told them both to stop it, so Avery lectured Ethan, "you stop it!" Ethan screamed back, "I NOT stupid!" (sounding like "stop-id"). Avery: "you stop it!" Ethan: "I NOT stop-id!"

If you don't laugh, you'll cry...