26 May 2014


This jolly barnacle is built like a 1930s boxer, and walks like Frankenstein's monster.  The things that make him most happy are still being held, tickled, giving zerberts, and EATING. 

Besides a hefty load of "DADADADADA" he walks around saying, "I DID IT!" all the time.  Sometimes it's obvious what he just did; he got ahold of the ___ he wanted, pushed himself up, gave Jude a zerbert, but sometimes he just says it and we assume he must be talking about blinking his eyes or breathing in and out.  This nearly omnipresent phrase is cute, and mixed in at times with "I NEED THAT!" or "I GOT IT!

He takes a 2-3 hour nap, and has yet to give me the witching hours in the afternoon that are so prevalent in little runts.

He calls me "Nonny" most of the time, sometimes "Momma." 

He's in that phase where he is such a klutz and a complete and total danger to himself.  He gets a new bruise or scrape before the last one has a chance to heal.  You can see the shiner he got from the bathtub -- I promise I was holding onto him!  I just pray he keeps his teeth. 

He loves to arrange and with just a teensy amount of guidance, he will clean up toys in their proper place, and loves to throw away trash.  Or anything into the trash.  I have fished several non-garbage items out of the trash can, and a bottle of Aquaphor I saw him walking around with is still MIA.  I suspect I shall never see it again.

I spend so much time kissing his poofy cheeks; he's still the dreamiest Graham of them all.

20 May 2014

Just a shower

This morning I sent the following text message to Jeff:

"Remind me to rant tonight about how we need a new showering routine for me."

It was followed by several fire breathing emoticons.

Unless I leap out of bed at 6:00 in the morning when Jude wakes up and comes to snuggle, and before Grahamykins is awake, it rarely ends up happening until after everyone's eaten brek, and Jeff is out the door on his way to his office.  Jude would probably be content to stay downstairs and watch tv while I cleansed, but I don't trust a) him alone with Graham, because he tends to lay down quite an axe for minor infractions like toy stealing, and b) Graham likes to climb onto the couch and lean over the arm to try to play with the back yard light switch, which resulted in a goose egg a few weeks ago. 

So they all have to come upstairs with me.  I shut the bedroom door, shut the closet door, shut the door to the toilet room so G won't try to splash (which he adores for some reason -- Jude never did so this is new to me), and I have child locks on the cabinets with cleaning supplies.  I set up Jude with the iPad and Graham with some toys.

This is what happened this morning while I took a 5 minute shower (and essentially what happens every single time they come with me):

I hop in the shower.
I can hear Graham yelling for joy and banging on the sliding closet doors (which he has knocked off its rollers plenty of times).
Jude yells, "No yelling, Graham!!!"  (eye roll)
Graham comes into the bathroom, turns on the bath water.
Jude follows 30 seconds behind, starts to squish a squealing Graham away from the faucet because he knows I don't want to waste water.  I say, "It's ok, Jude, I'd rather have the water on than you hurting him!"
After a few more nudges, Jude stops squishing (I get the sneaking suspicion it has nothing to do with my scolding, he is just bored of it and knows he'll have ample opportunities later for additional squishing/body slamming). 
I realize I left my face wash at the sink and dart out of the shower to grab it.  Water is spilt on the floor.
Graham starts wiping the water all around.
Jude pretends he's a dog and starts crawl-hopping all around, growl/biting at and chasing G who thinks it's a lovely game.
As they travel back toward the bedroom they come across a snag in the carpet and start to pull on it.
"STOP!!!!"  They only stop when they hear me turn the water off.
As soon as I step out of the shower they think it's about time I pick them up, so before I can even reach for my moisturizer I have 4 little hands tugging on my towel, my tangled hair is dripping all over them and the floor, I'm freezing, AND I keep thinking, "JUDE IS TOO OLD TO BE IN HERE!!!"  HMPHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As I go to pick out clothes they continue to find ways to destroy our room.  The internet wiring in the closet looks fun.  My tub of maternity clothes has a broken lid that is fun to open.  They found a cufflink on the floor.  Oh -- look at that!  The sock drawer!!

And all the while I'm fuming and thinking, "I'M JUST TRYING TO LIVE MY LIFE!"

Now I have to go rant to Jeff about this.


13 May 2014

Out of the mouth of Jude

  • "I'm dancing a little bit.  Just a little bit."  (He was walking in a circle at medium speed.)
  • "I make this for you, mommy.  It makes you happy."  (It was a blanket molded into a "cupcake.")
  • "I just kissed your nose.  YOUR BIG NOSE!"
  • While Graham was crying on the way home from the pool: "I know, Graham, I know [dripping patronization in his voice].  We just can't go to the pool anymore today.  Maybe -- maybe next time."
  • While I cleaned the bathroom today, "Oh, I LOVE it!" copying my voice inflection from when I praise one of his artistic creations.
He sings a song about how Jesus Christ loves the very hungry caterpillar.
He calls the guitar a "pitard," tomatoes "pomatoes" and a cocoon (hungry caterpillar obsession again) a "pacoon". 
Love of my life.

11 May 2014

Mother's Day 2014

High 5 for Mother's Day!  I've felt pretty worn out for the last couple of weeks, so today felt awesome. 

I slept in (as much as one can when you have church that begins at 9am), came downstairs to a place setting of vanilla pudding in a tea cup, a frosty can of Diet Coke next to a goblet with ice, a card that Jude colored for me, and a half pound of bridge mix next to that.  Charming!

It's either hilarious or terrible that in this phase of raising young children, on Mother's Day all I want is to be excused from doing a lot of my mothering duties.  I'm sure in another season of life I will not feel this way, but this year, I absolutely was stoked to wave goodbye to my 3 boys while they wheeled off to the park, I loved not doing the dishes after dinner, and all the motherly accolades that they threw at us at church were music to mine ears.

I'm lucky to have the people in my life that made this day special and relaxing for me, and I'm lucky to have mothers in my life that inspire me and make me want to be a better mother. Cheers!

06 May 2014

Copenhagen Part I

Sunday evening, Jeff and I took off in a big, shiny airplane for Copenhagen.  I had been looking forward to the flight; last time I flew to Europe it was a blast.  Plus, I usually highly value the time I get to sit still and undisturbed.  However, I didn't sleep on the plane for some reason (maybe the smelly Euro guy next to me), but the benefit here was seeing the Fiords out the window.  They looked like big, white mushy blobs from the plane.  I was totally 3 sheets to the wind by the time we landed, but by that point we were all hopped up on second windedness and adrenaline for actually being there. 

After dropping off our bags at the hotel, we picked up a snack (Fanta for Jeff, Coke Lite for me, and some chocolate), and went off to the Strogat.  It was St. Patrick's Day, so we caught the end of a bagpiping parade, which was appropriate because back at home it was my Dad's bday.  We learned quickly that everyone speaks English, so I didn't even have to try out my Danish (which is nice, because I don't have any Danish to try), but because of Jeff's amazing light blonde hair everyone initially assumed we were locals.  I love Jeff's hair.
The city was very clean, very tall, old buildings lining the streets, and oh, the cobble stone. 

Of course I was very observant of the mothers and children and kept imagining what it would be like to live there in my current phase of life (not that we have any plans to go abroad).  I already knew that you basically get a bomb "Motherhood Package" from the government, and maternity leave that makes America's seem like a long weekend.  Maybe that is why there were babies EVERYWHERE.  Especially compared to Amsterdam.  If I had a nickel for every bassinet on 4 wheels I saw, I would have a lot of nickels.  2013 actually posted the lowest birthrate in decades, and they launched a campaign to get people having babies, which is all really surprising to me.  Again, babies EVERYWHERE.  And they were all so well behaved.  I only once saw a mother leaning over to shush her fussing child.  I would also like to add that the babies stayed in the bassinet much longer than they do here in the Estados Unidos -- I'd see babies that had to be about 1 year old relaxing obligingly in the stroller. We saw several day care groups where there were about 2 children to every adult.  They were out and about at museums, parks, all bundled up in beanies and puffer outfits, and all very blonde.  To me, in all the little boys I saw my nephew Max, and in every little girl I saw my quasi-niece Juniper.

Lots of Nikes, lots of boots, lots of black clothing. 

So many bikes.  Some of the bikes had huge cargo buckets on the front or back for their kids to sit in.  Really, the improvisational elements to these bikes were impressive.  I can see how they were turning bikes and strollers into their minivans.

Everything is so dang expensive. 
Tuesday morning we got an early start, and shoved a loaf of cinnamon bread down our gullets.  We were so hungry!  Hunger was basically omnipresent during this trip because we walked so much.  Anyway, we went immediately over to The Church of Our Lady (Vor Frue Kirke) to see the Christus and the statues of the 12 Apostles.  Why is everything in Europe so beautiful and detailed beyond belief?  I tried so hard to let everything soak in nice and deep, because I know that even though pictures are nice, they can't ever even compare to the feeling of being there and seeing it live. I loved seeing the original Christus -- we Mormons are very familiar with the statue, but the one in Copenhagen was even fancier and more beautiful.  From there we walked over to the Mermaid statue, and I'll now segue over to some visual aids:

We were off the Metro and walking to our hotel! 

The guy on the left with the accordion was playing Time to Say Goodbye on the Strogat this fine evening.

I looked down just in time to notice this Imagine Dragons poster!  Crazy that the same Dan Reynolds who, as a 17 year old,  ordered me to choose between getting a wedgie or my nose picked, has a fan base and presence in Denmark.
Cinnamon bread or Kanestang that was inhaled 

I just always liked Peter best.

Absolutely incredible.  The nice priest came and said hello to us after the service.  It can't be an easy job he's got!

A little chilled by the water!

Just a random forgotten door -- you're killing me with the details!

The Little Mermaid -- not quite as happy as the Disney version with its excessive sunshine blowing!  Read about Hans Christian Anderson's original version -- it's completely depressing.

When I saw this in one of the museums I gasped -- this bust looks JUST like my nephew Rower, but with hair!

My pizza-esque dinner on our first night...

And my lover boy's dinner on the first night there.

"Yoo halooo!"

Coke Lite is maybe a major draw in leaving my mother country.

They do sell these licorice candies in los estados, but you know they don't taste as good!

And proof that me and my faithful husband were at the Christus statue!

At Fredricksborg Castle

Crazy beautiful flag blowing in the crisp Denmark air.  (More Fredricksborg Castle)

Seeing this park that my boys would die over made me miss them just a little bit.  But the sand was wet, so that might have bothered the very tactile Jude.

Creeping on a Day Care group -- look at those little buddies!