Thursday, May 30, 2013

Clap out

It's the first official day of summer which means that my baby boy completed his Elementary school years.  It's tradition at Willowdale for the whole school, along with parents and siblings, to line up outside the 5th grade classrooms all the way out the doors of the building.  Once the bell rings on that last day of school, we join together clapping the 5th graders out for the last time.  I cry every frickn' year and I don't even know those kids.  Until this year.  I was completely prepared to bawl my eyes out but I was surprisingly very composed.  It's probably because I'm buried in the middle of recital week (consisting of 7 rehearsals and 7 shows).   I haven't had time to let it sink in that he's now a middle schooler.  I cringe at that thought. 

Sammy and his BF Aaron aka "A-a-ron"

The last week was filled with fun, sending his class out with a bang.  Starting with human health and development videos.  Mercy.

Sorry about that kids.  Now who wants to go to the YMCA for a party?

Clever, I must say.

After the 5th grade farewell party at the Y, they had a super fun field day and hilarious wax museum. What's a 5th grade wax museum you ask?  Twist my arm.  I'll tell you.

They were required to research a historical character, dress up like them, pose like a wax version of that character, and rattle off their speech when civilians (parents) walk by at the "museum" AKA school lobby.  Sam chose Jackie Robinson. 

Don't let the stance fool you.  This was the most frozen I saw this kid the entire time.  It lasted about .4 seconds.  He DID memorize his speech though.  The wax musuem was very educational!

crushing a sponge at field day

I guess it's not time to be sad about his Elementary years being over.  I mean it IS summer.  There is never time for sadness in summer.  Check back with me when August rolls in and the reality hits.  Even though it doesn't feel real, I have myself a middle schooler.

Now grab your zit cream and let the awkward years begin.  

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Inside the Circus: Part Two

I promised an update and here you have it.  The eleven ring circus.  The sister wives and brother husbands.  Home of the twin cousins.  We're the house with 4 cars in the driveway and a giant bounce house in the backyard.  Anyone is welcome to stop by but try to avoid trash days for obvious reasons.

We have gotten pretty good at being a blended family.  One mom is in charge of grocery shopping, meal planning and cooking (me) while the other is in charge of laundry organizing, washing, and folding (mandy).  Neither task is easy or enjoyable but much less overwhelming when you only have to head up one of them.   The kitchen and laundry room have good days and bad days.  All children eat everyday and all members of both families have clean clothes everyday.  What more can you ask for? 

Some days it looks like this:

And some days it looks like this:

For the curious, we have groceries down to an every two week art.  Our bi-weekly Costco trips consist of 36 chicken breast, 15 dozen eggs, 7 gallons of milk, 4 loaves of bread, and 2 giant carts full of various snacks and frozen fish.  The dishwasher runs twice a day IF we use paper plates.  The older kids take Mayzie's dairy allergy very seriously and Mayzie does not.  The kid will eat anything in sight weather it's edible or not.  So hide your apple cores, contruction paper, tiny rocks, and chewed gum.  It all goes down the same.

The kids seem to really be pulling their weight around here also.  Even though it's not in the ways we had planned.  For example, Holly has taught Melrose how to read.  No one saw that coming.  They play school everyday and it wasn't until a few weeks ago that we all found out Holly gives her a "pre-test" every Monday and a final test every Friday.  Mel can now read, add, subtract and is currently working on multiplication with her teacher, Miss Cobb.  I have also witnessed Mayzie washing Stella's hair in the bath and Stella feeding Minnie Jo.  Again, not planned but also not shocking.

I have nothing negative to report.  Just tons of funny crap.  I laugh every day when I think about these kids.  As high maintenance as they all tend to be, they are even more funny.  We have nightly dance parties that bring out the actress in Melrose, the teacher in Holly, and the inner puppy in Marlow.  In fact, Beans is often our house pet and she LOVES to be scratched behind the ears.  We are swimming in little girls around here and I'm not going to know what to do with myself when it goes back to me and my only child during the day.  Thankfully we are 2 short weeks from summer vacation where we move our dance party to grandma and grandpa's backyard! 

I believe the only downfall that could come of this is that our kids will miss each other terribly when they are no longer in a 24/7 earshot of each other.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Happy 2nd birthday, Stella!

Today my baby turns 2.  I forgot what a fun age this is.  As her personality comes through more each day, I fall deeper in love with her.  She's the funniest OCD, perfectionist, clean freak, mature little toddler I've ever seen.  She loves to laugh (especially at "Zizi" - that's what she calls Mayzie) but she is not often the one doing the entertaining.  Ironically enough, I am HIGHLY entertained by her quiet lonesome form of play.  She doesn't seem to miss a beat, even though she is a gal of few words.  She likes to tell me to "bucko" (buckle) if I forget to put my seat belt on and is quite a joy to watch eat.  As long as you have PLEN-TY of time to do it.  She don't like to rush. She is so great.

It's been a while since I've blogged about Stella so I feel like there is so much I could say about her.  First of all, she loves her siblings and her cousins an equal amount.  Mandy's kids feel like siblings to mine and I am already nervous for the Mayzie withdrawal Stella will endure we when move.  She doesn't even like to take a nap without her.  They are both talking so much now and their convo's are perfectly hilarious.  Each and every one.  Mayzie is a clown and Stella is her best audience.  Stella is a miniature mother and Mayzie likes to be her baby.  They are peas and carrots.

For the last 2 years, Stella has done nothing but fill our lives with even more joy.  She is so special to us and we are all obsessed with her.   Holly laughs at her all the time and Sammy LIVES to teach her new "tricks."  She pretty much has Gage wrapped around her finger and she is more than I ever prayed for.  In the best way possible. 

She insisted on this buddy shot with her favorite child.  Although I had matching bows for her sleeves, she HATED them on her shirt and wanted them in Elmo's "hair" instead.  What birthday girl wants, birthday girl gets. 
But only today.

Walking through the tall grass was quite a stretch for this girly chic.

The best way to describe Stella's personality is through this series of pictures that were taken for her "cake smash."  I put those words in quotes because that cake was far from smashed.  I don't know why I was surprised....

SOOO excited to see her cake

Until we told her she could put her finger in it

She wasn't a fan of the mess

We convinced her it was okay and told her to pick it up (such a good listener)

After she requested a utensil, we told her to just take bite without a "poon" (spoon)

See Stells?  Mother knows best.  I'ts frosting.  Told ya.

Going in for another

And promptly telling us she was done.  The #2 still perfectly in tact.
 Did that series not properly illustrate my little angel?  Perhaps this next one will...

My genius idea (stolen from Pinterest) of taping balloons to the wall:

She LOVED the balloon wall and didn't try once to take them down.  She appreciated their beauty

Until I sprinkled confetti on the ground and awoken her OCD

She kindly asked me to remove the "parkles" (sparkles)

When I told her it was okay, she was not as easily convinced as she was with the frosting.  At least the frosting tasted good.  There is NOTHING cool about tiny things being stuck to your bare feet.

She was straight up disgusted.  I mean, look at those hands!

And the toes!  Trying so hard not to touch the "parkles."  I was dying.

Way to ruin a fun photo shoot, mom

So I put the Diva on her magic carpet per her request

Oh, Stella.  Be still my heart.

Stella Rose-

Today is your 2nd birthday!  Two years ago you were born on 5/6 and you weighted 5lb 6oz.  Nothing is a coincidence, little one.  God did that.  He knit you together in my womb and planned out your entire life before that day.  He knows how many hairs on your head and has had more thoughts about you than the grains of sand in the whole world.  He knew that your precious personality would bless me personally and that you being a "daddy's girl" had changed your daddy forever.  He knew Holly desperately wanted a sister and that Sammy would take such pride in teaching you new things.  He blessed you with a best friend for life in Mayzie and purposely created you two to compliment each other in all the right ways.  The last 2 years of my life have been some of the greatest ever.  I love watching you grow up and can't wait to find out all that God has in store for your amazing life!  Happiest of all days, Stella girl!

Love, Mommy