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Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Good Bones...

Absolutely heartbroken today in the aftermath of the senseless tragedy that occurred in Manchester last night. 
Trump finally got something right... monsters isn't a term these people deserve to call themselves, they'd like that too much. Evil losers is more like it.

How anyone could be heartless enough to want to harm a bunch of children at a pop singer's concert is beyond me. My heart breaks for the people that were affected, the families still searching for their daughters, missing in the chaos. And it breaks for my own children and everyone just trying to live their lives. It's heavy for the realization of what the world has become. Events like this make me want to pick up everyone I love and move to the middle of the woods, free of technology and terrorists and somewhat protected from the sickos who exist in society.

But we can't do that so we have to keep truckin' on, hoping we don't find our loved ones or ourselves in the wrong place at the wrong time. Because that's really what it's come to. The sad reality that you're never completely safe, but knowing you can't live your life in fear. 

Hug everyone a little tighter today. The world could use more of that.

Good Bones
by Maggie Smith

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

Monday, May 15, 2017

My most important job...

Mother's Day has quickly become one of my favorite holidays and this year was no exception. I've said in the past that Mother's Day is so special because it's the only holiday I had to earn. And lately, with work requiring the hubs to travel pretty much every week, leaving me in single mom mode a lot of the time, I feel as though I really earned it this year!

I'm by no means saying that I don't have help. I am extremely fortunate with the daily support system I have around me - an amazing nanny whom I have an open and honest relationship with, a mother-in-law who takes her role as grandma very seriously (and does an A+ job at it) and a hands-on husband who, when he is in town, is able to be flexible and available, allowing me to experience moments in all of the kids' lives I might otherwise not be able to experience being tied down with three kids. Whoever said "It takes a village" wasn't lying - and without these three things being constants in my life every week, I'd be struggling to keep my head above the water for sure.
This Mother's Day was extra special because the boys are finally at an age where they kind of get it. Well, Hayes at least does and Greyson follows suit to whatever Hayes does, so in this case, that was a bonus. Hayes made me not one, not two, but three cards, telling me how much he loved his "Mome" (how he spells Mommy - my heart explodes) and drawing the cutest little pictures of upside down hearts that looked like bums. He also gave me an adorable handmade picture frame, which he insisted we find a picture of the whole family for, including Henny Bear. It's now sitting on my desk at work and provides something nice and new to look at. Greyson also made me a card, filled with stickers and "scribble scrabble", which he's convinced himself is the only thing he knows how to do. Both of them humored me yesterday and wore shirts with collars - they took my breath away when I saw how nicely they cleaned up and our waitress at The Lobster, where we go every year for Mother's Day brunch, even remarked that our table won for best looking family. Ha!
We followed up brunch with our annual ride on the ferris wheel at the Santa Monica Pier, then Hayes and I took a couple spins on the roller coaster. He claims he had a good time, even though he told me his penis hurt the entire first time and then I captured him on video saying he felt like he "was going to barf" the second time around, but I thought it was a hoot. After ice cream and a failed attempt at winning a Pokemon pikachu in one of those impossible carnival games, we headed home and Grant was on daddy duty as I slipped away for my annual mother's day mani/pedi. 
What more could a girl want?!
I know how lucky I am to have what I have, but Mother's Day always makes me a little extra nostalgic and is a good reminder to stop and soak it all in. I spend my life in a constant struggle - the mundane every day tasks can be exhausting with three kids under the age of six and it's easy to wish these years away, reassuring yourself that easier times lie ahead. But then I also panic that it's all going by too fast and before I know it, my babies aren't going to want to have anything to do with me - and that scares the living hell out of me. I want to freeze time, hold onto these moments and soak in every second of being needed and wanted. But I'm also human.

I read a great quote the other day, from a book I actually gave a few moms in my life for Mother's Day... "You are always a mom. But you aren't only a mom." It's a hard thing to do, find that balance between what is without a doubt the most important job I will ever have, but also trying to maintain my own identity and life outside of motherhood. I try to do that - I think it's important for them and for me. And as my kids get a little bit older, I'm finding it easier to do, which is a relief. 
At the end of the day, what matters is that I'm doing my best. I hope my kids will look back on their childhoods and remember my current state as a mother as more than me just yelling at them to put their shoes on and clean up their toys. I want to create experiences that are rewarding for both of us, individual relationships with each of my kids that are meaningful and have depth. For at the end of the day, no matter what else is going on in my life, these kids are my world and I would do literally anything for them.

This post is littered with snapshots from when we're all dressed up and ready to pose in front of the camera, but pictures like the one below, which Hayes actually captured a few months ago, is what being a mother is really about...
Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms out there who are doing their best. You are appreciated more than you know and I hope you felt even a tiny ounce of that on your special day.
Me and my mom, circa 1984.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Around here lately...

It's been a bit since I last posted and sadly I don't have any amazingly funny stories to regale you with, or vacation photos to make you green with envy.

This month has been completely average - just getting back into the routine of the every day, single-mom-moding it more than I care to admit during the weekdays (Grant's travel schedule has been INSANE this year) and dealing with a whole new round of sicknesses in the house (both boys had strep throat - Hayes was out of school for an entire WEEK!!) since getting back from Hawaii.

But my little humans are constantly changing and evolving and in the spirit of not wanting to forget a single thing, I thought it might be a good time to check in...
Easter, 2017
Hayes, 6 years
As I mentioned, he was out of school for an entire week with a high fever and strep throat. I felt so bad for the little guy, who was just so sick and missing out on so much at school, but when I asked him if he missed his friends and school at all, he told me he liked being home because he could watch TV all day. He recently had a homework assignment and had to talk about his favorite place, which he quickly confirmed was "10707 Esther" - such a homebody that one is! I've been practicing his reading with him this week, which can be a painfully slow process but it's so magical to see someone learn such an important life skill that it gives me such great satisfaction. He's also recently started baseball; he's by far the worst player on the team (chalk it up to zero experience) but he's so into anything having to do with a uniform that he's still pretty enthusiastic about it and is such a good sport about playing. He even insisted on wearing his helmet while I practiced with him the other day, telling me he was using it as a hat for the sun and being pretty stoked on the decision after I accidentally threw the ball directly at his head.
How Hayes ate dinner last night... kid LOVES a good costume!
Greyson, 3.5 years
His current obsession is anything Moana. I've never seen the movie, but know every word to every song since it's constantly blaring from youtube on my iphone as Greyson walks around, performing. Grant's going to SLC next Friday night for a Screaming Eagles game and we plan on having a movie night so Hayes and I can finally see it. He's also super into the Lego Batman song, which is probably the most intense mosh-pit kid music I've ever heard. He gets so into it, literally screaming with rage alongside the lyrics. Slightly terrifying, but also very amusing. He's dressing himself every morning and picks out some pretty unique outfits. Even Hayes this morning chuckled as he mused about what Greyson was going to pick out to wear today. But he rocks it with a confidence I have to give him props for. I'm not sure if he's finally come out of his challenging phase or maybe we just adjusted our expectations a bit and are better able to brush off the irrationality of him insisting he can't eat bananas unless they're cut a certain way, but he's an easier kid to be around lately and I'm thoroughly enjoying this stage he's in. He makes me laugh out loud on a daily basis and he's an amazingly entertaining little human who I just can't get enough of.
Oversized spidey tee, too-small Canes shorts and some tall dress socks - a typical outfit chosen by Grey Grey... He'll often go out with mismatching shoes too. We're picking our battles.
Posing in front of the door I co-decorated for Teacher Appreciation at Grey's preschool...
Henley, 15 months
She has changed so much in the last three months and just seems like such a toddler now. She's cut 5 teeth since March so her gummy smile is no more. I thought I would be sad, but her little teeth are so dang cute. She loves to dance - girl can't hear a beat without bopping along to it. She's become a little more opinionated, expressing her disdain with loud screams and fist pounds on the floor. She loves to flop on the couch and is very generous with the air kisses, breathing in and out heavily as she puts her whole hand over her face and pokes her fingers in her eyes. And the other day, she took her very first steps, which I tried so hard to capture on video, but failed miserably. She was so pleased with herself and I was so excited for her until I realized that was it - that was the last time one of my babies was going to walk for the very first time and my excitement turned into a bittersweet mourning of her babyhood in a blink of an eye. Ah, it's a vicious cycle!

And this... gah!
As for Grant and I, we're just chugging along, keeping all the balls in the air as best we can, while also trying to make some time for ourselves every once in awhile. Grant's been traveling like a mad man, NYC, Idaho, SF, Vegas, SLC... there's even been talks of Shanghai coming up. It never ends. But I've got the single mom thing pretty much down now; Henley still goes to bed around 7p and once I am down one child, it's a lot easier. Hayes truly does take his "man of the house" duties seriously when Grant's gone, helping me turn off all of the lights in the house at night and putting the alarm on before we go to bed. I think he gets a bit of FOMO when Grant returns, which has resulted in some sleeping issues (who would have thought it would be our 6 year old who would be giving us issues?! Always someone!) but I'm not above bribes and these Lego Batman blind bags might prove to be the $5 I've ever spent 😉

Anyways, that's the 30,000 foot view of what's going on in our hood lately. 
Hard to believe summer is going to be here so soon... where has the year gone?!
Henley's first popsicle!