Monday, May 12, 2014

Growing Up in Moments

Molly, who is dangerously close to being done with preschool forever, has seemingly done a lot of growing up lately.  She lost her first tooth, and then another.

She swallowed them both.  But the tooth fairy still came.

She also surprised me by borrowing a bike from school and doing this:

We hadn't even gotten her a two wheeler yet, and now no training wheels! She is very proud. The preschool even insisted that we take the bike home for now, and she is everywhere. It won't be long before she is ready to take on the neighborhood with Porter (much to his slight dismay).

Everyone is changing so fast these days, not just Molly.  A traveling carnival came to town (this was news of miraculous proportions to the children of Juneau, as it only happens every ten years or so), and Cedar got this (good Lord):

And Porter rode the squirrel cages. At least that's what we used to call that crazy Ferris wheel-esque thing that goes upside down. He did look appropriately terrified afterwards though. This is the before shot, when he asked me why the rides were so rusty.

Some days I still can't believe I have three kids.  And that they are 8, 5 and 3.  But I also feel like I'm pretty dang lucky.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Happy Birthday Cedar

Now when people ask me how old my kids are, I can say 8, 5 and 3.  They are still so young, but this feels like a huge milestone to me.  I no longer have a baby or a toddler whose life I can think of in terms of months.  But I have a whole herd of kids.  Solid aged kids.  That go to school and tell me their opinions and have personalities of their own.  Today my baby, my sweet baby, turned three.  And I kind of want her to stay just like this.  Like today.  Perfect.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Cedar for the Win

Last week was spring break here in Alaska, and we had no plans.  Unlike the other half of the entire state that seems to leave for Hawaii and parts more glorious.  But I was happy to just lay low and sleep in.  It also seemed like a good time to potty train Cedar.  She's pretty much past the age that the other two were doing it, and she was excited.  After eight years of changing diapers, I'm ready to move on.  I've done this thing twice already, I'm a pro, right?  Fast forward to five days later.  Really not a single success.  That child just will not use the toilet.  Chocolate, toys, movies, walking around in wet clothes.  Wanting to be a big girl and go to preschool.  Nothing.  And by the end, I was getting kind of worried about her as she was holding it for like 12 hours at a time and getting constipated and we were all miserable.  So I gave up.  Put her back in diapers.  And I suppose as a third time mother to a toddler, I certainly haven't learned much about potty training.  But I have learned when to let it go, and I will live to fight this battle another day.

And luckily, after several days of cleaning pee off the floor and far, far too many wrestling beat downs in the living room, we got some nice weather.  And some awesome skiing.  Redemption for sure.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Normal for You

Every week I work a couple of hours in the childcare room at the gym.  It gets me a free membership, and I can bring the girls with me so it's a win all around.  We've been doing it for almost a year, and the girls (especially Molly) feel like they own the place.  Molly, in her independent nature, likes to talk to the front desk people, unlock the childcare room by herself, and ride the elevator (one of the few in town) without me.  These things I allow, because I know her and I know she knows the building and many people that work there.  Another thing she really liked to do is go downstairs and wait on the bench by the front door while I clocked out.  It takes me about five minutes, and I think she just liked to sit there and say hi to people as they came in.  I knew she wasn't going to run out the door or do anything destructive down there.  And then one day she decided that instead of sitting on the bench, she was going to get underneath it and pretend she was hiding.  I don't know why.  But she wasn't scared or lost, she was just goofing around.  At the same time, I was upstairs walking down the hallway, and Cedar ran in front of me and around the corner.  A man came walking along, stopped me and sounding super annoyed, pointed down the hallway where Cedar had gone and asked if she was mine.  Then he asked if I had an older one that got away.  And told me she was hiding under a bench by the door.  I think I just nodded, and he turned around with an exasperated sigh.  Like I was letting my obnoxious offspring run wild and unsupervised in the mostly adult athletic club.

So I grabbed Cedar, and went downstairs where Molly was still under the bench.  She wasn't doing anything awful, just giggling.  And I got kind of mad at her, and told her she wasn't allowed to wait down there anymore.  Or run ahead of me and get the key from the front desk.  It's a downer to get the judgmental parenting comments, and honestly I took it out on her.  But I've been feeling bad.  She hasn't been unsafe or bothered anyone else.  I feel okay about it, so why am I letting what other people think affect my decisions about what my children can do?  This one thing isn't that big of a deal either way, but it happens to me a lot.

Then last weekend, I ran into a mom that I know.  Her son and Porter play hockey together, and are in the same class at school.  She commented that she had eaten lunch at school with the boys the other day, and that she had tried to talk to Porter but he was so shy he wouldn't even look at her.  I just shrugged, what are you going to do?  Porter has always, always been like that, especially with adults.  It is his nature to be an introvert, and pushing him doesn't do anyone any good.  But I almost had a talk with him (one we've had before), about how you should look at adults when they speak to you.  And that you should respond.  And that if you don't, it looks like you're being rude.  But then I didn't.  Because he knows.  And he can't help it.  And what do I really care what anyone else thinks?  It's a process I guess.

Anyway, along with serious parental thoughts, I found this.  One of Porter's old learn to read books.  I got a pretty good laugh over Lad and his leaky keg and all the napping.  Right?  It's not just me.

Friday, February 14, 2014


So we took the kids to Disneyland. I have to admit that Bryce talked me into it, and I wasn't all that excited about the whole thing. It sounded exhausting and not really like a vacation for either one of us. About five minutes into our first day, I will also admit that I totally changed my mind. Seeing three little kids from Alaska completely lose their minds over princesses and roller coasters is pretty cool. And at the end of it all, completely exhausted, Bryce and I decided we had a really great time. But also that we probably weren't going to do it ever again. So here it is:

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Christmas 2013

I never get good pictures of Christmas.  They are always of washed out, unshowered people sitting in piles of what appears to be trash.  Probably blinking.  Always.  But we did have a good day.  Quiet, at home, just the five of us.  We had cinnamon rolls and a venison roast per our holiday tradition.  There were Legos and baby doll strollers and lots of chocolate.  And I give you this, the best of the bunch.  Where two out of three changed out of their pajamas at least:

Friday, January 10, 2014

Toddlers & Elbows

In early December, I added another weird medical condition to my repertoire, one that only a kid can bless you with.  I was shopping with Cedar, and she decided the floor of the mall (mall being a subjective term in Juneau) was a good place to lay down.  She was goofing off and rolling along when I decided we really had to go.  I gave her my hand to help her up, and halfway there she did that awesome toddler dead weight sack of potatoes thing.  I heard a little pop, and there was crying.  It was an action with such little force that I just couldn't believe it was an actual injury.  We got in the car, and there was more crying.  We picked Molly up from a friend's house, more crying.  We finally got home, and I realized that she wouldn't use the arm, not even to grab some coveted chocolate.  She was also pretty pathetic, and I felt horrible.

One trip to the ER later, and there it was: nursemaid's elbow.  I guess it is pretty common with kids this little, as it doesn't take much to dislocate the arm right there.

They popped it right back in, and five minutes later she was good as new and spoiled rotten by the hospital staff.

They told me when I left that once this happens, it can happen again very easily.  So I've been paying close attention to not grabbing her arms or hands.  And then the night of Porter's birthday party a couple of weeks later, she was playing with Bryce, and out it popped again.  Same pathetic scene.  I had my coat on to make another ER trip, when we thought maybe we'd try looking it up first.  Two YouTube videos later, and Bryce popped it right back in himself.  It's actually very easy, although not very fun.  Here's to hoping she grows out of it soon!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Thanksgiving Report

Thanksgiving, how I forgot ye already.  We slaughtered the turkey, thank goodness, as I was starting to feel kind of sorry for it and its best friend the mirror.  Turned out to be not too difficult (at least from what I could see behind the sliding glass door while Bryce did it).  The kids were a little sad, but not for long.  They knew what the turkey was for, and the girls were kind of scared of it in the end (turkeys get as big as toddlers).  She was 25 pounds cleaned, and made a magnificent feast.

My parents and sister's family came for the long weekend, so we had a full house.  Kids ran wild and much food was consumed.  We had plans to hire a professional photographer to get a picture of all eleven of us, but delayed flights and bad weather made sure that didn't happen.  So instead we got this slightly awkward (note to self, don't put the guys behind the couch) family photo without my mom.  Some day, right?

As a side note, it just took me 24 hours and the installation of google chrome to get this dang picture to show up.  I know I'll be glad to have this record of our life twenty years from now, but occasionally it just feels like a huge time suck during which the girls stare blankly at the iPad.  Moving on.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy Birthday Porter

January 6.  I'm a little late.  School has started again, and the seemingly month long binge of meat and cake and no exercise or discernible sleep habits is finally over!  I think I have a near toxic accumulation of sugar and booze working its way out of my system, but good times were had for sure.  So this begins my week of catch up blog posts.  And there is a lot to catch up on.  First things first:

Porter turned eight years old.  It seems fitting and crazy at the same time, and I am so grateful for where he is in his life.  It doesn't feel like that long ago where I was worried about potty training and preschool, and now he is so independent and smart and big.  I took the kids to the library the other day and while I was chasing the girls around and trying to find them books, Porter was nowhere to be seen.  But it wasn't a big deal!  I knew he didn't wander off into traffic or get lost.  He knows how to use the computer and read and find the books he's interested in.  And eventually he came back with a big stack and checked them out with his own library card.  And I saw the future!  Where I wasn't constantly checking diapers and counting heads and yelling at someone to use their inside voice.  And I just had to give him a hug.

So happy birthday Porter man.  We love you more and more every single day.

A big thanks to Mikaela for the awesome picture, and to the best group of boys ever for making Porter's birthday party so much fun.  And yes, that is a Skylanders portal of power birthday cake yo.

This has also been a season of babies amongst my friends far and wide.  Big congratulations to Lise and Emily, I am so excited for your new adventures!  And Mary, we are waiting on news any day.  Good luck girl!

And Happy New Year to all.