Wednesday, July 23, 2014

sunglasses for three, please

We were in San Francisco recently on a family vacation, and the first thing the boys bought with their souvenir  money were these sunglasses.  First Alex bought his, and then younger brothers A.J. and Andrew copied him, because that's what little brothers do.  At first Alex was a bit perturbed that they copied him, but after he thought about it he decided not to be angry but instead have fun with it (see above photo of an example of him having fun with it)

The thing about my boys is that they don't stay mad at each other for long, and nothing is ever a big deal.  So you are fourteen and you have the same sunglasses as your eleven and seven year old brothers --  No. Big. Deal.

It would not be the same with my girls.  My girls would rather die than wear things that matched or looked the same as their younger sister.  And if one sister "copies" the other?  Oh, that would cause an argument.  There would be lots of whining.  I'd have to be the referee and decide what's fair and who gets to wear what, and no matter what my decision, no one is ever happy.

But my boys?  Nope.  They don't really care about things like that.  They are easy this way.  Hard in other ways,  but for sure easy in this way!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Halfway to old

When each of my kids turns nine years old, I always say the same thing.

"Gee, half of your childhood is over!"

Then they look at me all puzzled-like, "Huh? What do you mean..."

"Well, you're an adult once you reach the age of 18.  And you are nine years old today.  Half of 18 is nine.  So, half of your childhood is over."  And then I wait for a reaction.

All but one of my kids smiled when I told them that.   I've even had a few who got excited and said, "Cool!" because to them, being 18 and an "adult" is something to look forward to.  

But not my Alex.  When I told him that, he looked at me with an expression on his face that said, "OH MY GOD what are you saying?"  Then he started crying.  Yes, crying. So I did my best to cheer him up, but you can't unsay what you said, so his mind was already going with the idea and there was no stopping it.  He just kept saying, "But I don't want my childhood to be over!"  Poor kid.  I traumatized him on his birthday.  Bad Mommy. But that was a few years ago. Today, at age 14, he's doing much better with it. Puberty has kicked in, he's looking forward to getting his driver's license and shaving, and all is well with this thing called growing up.

But I have to tell you that today -- on my 45th Birthday -- I'm feeling a little something similar to what Alex felt.  Because here I am at an age that when you double it you get the number 90.  


I'm halfway to ninety!!  

That means half of my youth is over.  Damn.  That was quick.

In just five more years I will be fifty.  But fifty doesn't bother me.  And sixty doesn't scare me, either.  My own mother is in her 60's and seeing how youthful and active and attractive she still is, how can sixty scare me?  It doesn't.  In fact, my mother isn't all that far away from seventy, so seventy doesn't really scare me, either.  Now I'll admit that eighty is pushing it.  I see eighty as old, but doable.  I think eighty these days might be the new seventy.  People live well into their 80's, and you see it more and more.  But ninety?  Hmmm.  I don't know about those 90's.  When you reach your 90's people start congratulating you as if you won a race or something.

"Ninety, huh?  Well, good for you!"

"You're ninety?  Wow, that's amazing!"

When people start calling you "amazing" just for reaching an age, then I feel you have officially arrived at old. 

I can't believe I am halfway to old.  Halfway!

Well, whatever.  It is what it is.  Besides, this little guy of mine keeps me feeling young.  

That is, until I start thinking about how when he is my age...I will be pushing ninety.  Ninety!  Okay, now I feel old again.


Happy Birthday to me, and all of you out there who share my birthday!!   July 14th ROCKS!!

And if you are turning ninety today.....well then, good for you!  You are amazing!

Friday, June 6, 2014

June is here!

June.  Such an exhausting month.  June is the wrap-up month of school for our district, and this makes the month very chaotic.  In these last few weeks all the major school projects are due; the science fair projects and the writing projects. This is also when they all take their class field trips. All of the library books are collected, and it seems that all grades do some sort of end-of-the-year class performance of some kind. There are plays and singing performances, violin concerts and end-of-the-year class parties. All this times six kids in six different grades.  My calendar explodes during the month of June.   I can hardly keep up with it all.  Truth be told, I don't keep up with it all.  There is always something that I forget to do, to bring, to send to school.  Luckily, the most important things - like showing up for a performance - are never forgotten.

Yea, June is a crazy month.   To top it off, the kids have a much harder time waking up these June mornings because they are just so over school already.  They can sense that summer is right around the corner, and their brain starts their summer vacations early.  June 24th is our last day of school, and I'm telling you it just can come soon enough. We are ready for summer!

Hey, how about this picture!  They are ALL here!
This doesn't happen often.  Afton is home from college, Audriana wasn't working on this day, and Anthony was hanging out with us during his break from work.  I love when all ten are "home" -- so, I forced them to gather together for this quick photo.  Seriously, some of them gave me such grief.  Like this is asking too much?  Of course when I say "some of them" I mean Afton.  

We have some family news.  Very exciting news!  No, it's not another baby.  Relax yourself about that.We are done at 10, remember?  We are!  Why don't people ever believe me?  Anyway, the BIG NEWS is that we are putting in a swimming pool this summer!  Construction on this begins July 1st.  We are very excited!  I will be posting the pool construction progress on my blog,  so make sure you subscribe to my feed so you don't miss the the excavation or the pouring of the concrete or the installation of the heating system -- I mean, each step is so darn exciting, how could you stand to miss any of it?

Here's the plan for the pool.
There will be a rock slide for the kids, and the pool equipment will be hidden behind the rock structure.The big circle is the jacuzzi and the smaller circle is the raised fire pit with a sitting wall.  There is a baja shelf (aka Shamu shelf) in the shallow end, with smaller steps coming off of it. And there are three bench seats in the deep end.  To the left of the pool will be a 15x15 BBQ structure with a tile roof and bar stool seating, but that will be built after the pool is done.  First things first...because we want to start swimming before summer is over! They say that once the project starts (estimated to be July 1st) the pool will be ready to swim in within 6 weeks.  So that puts us into the second week of August.  IF all goes as planned.  I'm not kidding myself; I know things happen that cause delays.  But if we could be swimming in it by late August, well that would make me happy.  August, September and October are usually our warmest months of the year.

June 3rd was a very special day here in our home.  Our baby boy turned ONE!

Yes, Aiden is an official toddler now.  No longer an infant.  And my heart breaks just a little bit about this. My last baby is growing up way too quickly for my liking.  I just want to put everything on slow motion and drag these baby years out as long as I can.  Having a baby in the house is so much fun.

He is doing new things and making us laugh every single day.  I am so thankful for our #10. 
When he smiles, his eyes practically disappear.  He's got his mama's squint. 
His first word was "ball" but he just doesn't say it once.  He repeats it over and over until he has the ball in his hand, so it sounds something like this: "Ball! Ball, ball, ball, ball, ball...."  and it could drive a person batty, hearing that all day. But you know, I never tire of it.  He has the sweetest, raspiest little voice ever.
During his birthday party, I helped him open up his presents.  

He got a lot of things: a truck, three balls, a toy doggy, and lots of size 18-24 months clothes.
The day after his birthday, I did what I've never done before.  I packed up his outgrown baby clothes and sent them off to the donation site.
Normally I don't do this.  I usually pack up the outgrown clothing and store it away for the "next" baby.  But not this time.  I won't even go into the emotions that flowed through me as I did this.   Let's just say it wasn't an easy task for me.

Happy 1st Birthday to my sweet boy!