Monday, August 6, 2012

Washington DC

After years of begging, Jake's sister decided to move back to Utah from DC. I like to think that we were the reason she moved but I know that is not the case. It was simply the right time. Whatever the reason, she is back and we are thrilled. Even more thrilling was that Jake and I along with Curtis, Jake's brother, were able to fly out to help her with the move. Of course, that meant we got to vacation in DC and visit all the sites I had seen in my history books. It was something that I did not expect but an opportunity I would never change. I was bowled over by the spirit that I felt in these places. It was a testimony to me that God had a strong in hand in the making of this country. I have learned it. I have read about it. Now I have seen it. And I hope to see it again one day.

                            I just thought this picture was funny. Its not a picture vital to history
                            but it will certainly be a part of my history in my blog book!

                     The national mall was huge! We walked the whole thing on a July day
                   with the humidity. Yeah- it was a bit hot. Please notice Curtis' face though.
                    He could be sitting in a fire pit with a hair dryer blowing in his face at
                    the center of the sun and he would still tell you he is having the time of his
                    life. That is just Curtis.

                                And finally.... the reason this country was established.....
                             So the true gospel could be restored.
It was a wonderful vacation. Thank you Sundee for hosting us and giving us an experience only a true native could provide. We are happy you made it safely back. I am happy you all arrived alive from a 2000 mile trip in a Uhaul. I am happy you did not kill eachother. But most of all, we are happy you are home!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

No sense!

                                         Exhibit A: Dark brown eyes
 Exhibit B: Darker brown eyes (hehe... that is only funny if you know that Jake and I have a continuous argument about who's eyes are darker.)
Exhibit C: Baby blue eyes!

This makes absolutely no sense to me. I was always taught that A+B=C. Not in this case. Please spare me the lectures on genetics. I have heard them all. I get it- it is possible for Jake and I to have a blue eyed baby. Both of us have a blue eyed parent. I know... I know. I just thought it was highly improbable. My whole life I have heard about how the dark gene dominates. I had this idea in my head about dark hair, dark eyed, olive skinned babies. I am losing the battle. I am yet to have any dark haired babies.Their skin is still up in the air. And now I have a blue eyed baby. My genes are weak... WEAK! What does this say about me? I must admit that I love having a blue eyed boy. It makes him unique. Maybe the next baby will be a toe head. At the rate I am going, I would not be at all surprised!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Bear Lake

 The kids and I took our annual trip to Bear Lake last week. This time we were joined by my two sisters and their babies. Jody and Kit are always so gracious to let us come and play. I often joke with my cousins that they need to send me a bill for the babysitting service because I feel like I walk through the door on Monday and I don't see my kids again until we are packing in the car to leave. Brad, Natalie, Kimmy, and Tyler are all so great to rush them from the pool to the park, park to the beach, beach to the scooters, and scooters back to the pool. Thank you Curtis family. We love it more and more each year.

An entertaining story from Bear Lake of course comes from Mason. Mason does not have many fears but dogs and water are the most prominent. I wasn't worried about a stray poodle jumping out of the bushes at Bear Lake but I was worried about the swimming pool. For a few years now Mason will just skirt around the edge of the pool but never get in. He might stick his feet in but that is if he is handcuffed to me and the key is in his pocket. Ok- I am exaggerating but you get my point. Day one- Tylie jumps out of the car and immediately starts tearing our bag apart trying to find her swimsuit. Mason acts like he has never heard of a swimming suit. A few hours in, Mason is convinced to at least put on the swimming suit and hang out on the side of the pool. After some bribing- Brad gets him in the pool, off the steps as long as he feels that Brad maintains his death tight grip. Day two- I hear Brad and Tyler trying to convince Mason to go down the slide. He continues to resist. I decide that it is time to conquer my own fears of wearing a swimming suit in order to help my son overcome his. So with that, we marched down to the pool with Mason not realizing what his mother was about to do to him. I understand that kids have fears but water will not be one of them. Not my kids. I don't want them to find themselves in a situation and panic and end up drowning themselves unnecessarily. I knew that Mason felt comfortable with Brad so I let him spend the first 30 minutes with him floating around and feeling secure. Then came time to take control. I grabbed him, told him he was going to jump off the edge to me, and threw him out of the water. That is when the tears started and I thought he was going to turn that pool into a salt water pool. He could not pull himself together. No matter how high I held me arms, how many treats I offered, or how many times I counted to three- he was not going to do it. As a side note- please understand that I am not a horrible mother. Mason had so many floatation devices strapped on that the kid could practically walk on water. He had a life vest, arm floaties, a noodle, and a ring. RIDICULOUS! I was starting to wonder if he would go any deeper than his toes when he actually did jump. After so much pleading I had enough. "Brad- Just go shove him in." Brad studies my face to see if I'm serious. "Really???" "Yup- Shove him. I am his mom. He has to forgive me. Do it!" Brad nonchalantly climbs out of the pool. Suddenly Mason is flying through the air with enough terror on his face to satisfy any horror film junkie. About half way down he got a big grin on his face. When he hit the water and figured out that I actually would catch him- he immediately jumped out to do it again. Then came the slide- over and over again. Finally sticking his face in the water and floating around all by himself. It was a sense of freedom he had not experienced and he was so proud. I was so proud. Finally. Maybe next year will be the dogs. Brad- see what you can do about getting a huge pit bull to sit outside the condo. After all- you said it yourself. "Why not- you only live once!" Thanks Curtis's. We had a blast. Love you.

Friday, May 25, 2012


Today Tylie brought home a paper from school requesting that every parent get online and take a parenting survey for the school psychologist. Tylie was adamant that I get on ASAP because the class with the most surveys taken gets a rootbeer float party on the last day of school. Great. Add it to the "to-do" list. While both the boys were sleeping on snuck downstairs to take the survey. I wanted to make sure that I wasn't the parent that stopped the kids from ending their school year on a major sugar high.
I looked over the paper that was sent home and it was very clear that they wanted the questions answered on an individual basis. They wanted to know specifically about the child that attends the school. OK- Whatever. I thought this was all little overly dramatic. As the survey began I was slightly shocked. I thought it would be something about how I felt the school year went and where I believe Tylie to be on a progressive scale. This was not at all the case. It was a survey all about me and my parenting style. It was asking questions about what type of parent I believe myself to be. Authoritarian, authoritative, passive, etc. It asked what I do when my child throws a tantrum in public. It questioned how often I react without thinking or on impulse and how often I felt bad after I disciplined my child. With each question that I answered I couldn't help but think "I am so grateful this survey is about Tylie and not Mason!" I shutter to think about answering those questions honestly about Mason. I would probably have DCFS knocking on my door within 24 hours. I realize how different of a parent I am with Tylie vs. Mason. Tylie allows me to think through things before I react. Her problems are usually sneaky or after the fact. Tylie tattles on herself more often than not and it allows me to go back and fix things. Mason requires me to react like an A bomb. For example... Today after lunch I was sitting on the couch as Tylie showed me all of her end of the year project she got to bring home. Mason was supposed to be finishing his lunch and Cade was munching on his fruit puffs. Suddenly I hear a gagging sound and Mason reprimanding Cade for not eating his lunch. As I whipped around I see Mason shoving an entire chicken nugget in Cade's mouth and getting mad because Cade was trying to launch it back out. Did I act calmly and give Mason a warning to stop? NO! Did I gently guide him to the steps and tell him actions were inappropriate? Absolutely not. I snatched him before he even realized I had gotten off the couch. I swept out Cade's mouth to ensure he would be alive when I got back and marched Mason right to the stairs. I threw him on those stairs and walked away so I could gather my strength before beating him. OK, not really. But I had to walk away because I wanted to throw him out the door and deadbolt it. I get so frustrated, mostly because we have talked about him not feeding Cade everyday for about 4 months now and the thick-skull won't let it sink in. There must be something missing in the part of his brain that retains information. It is the same place that is supposed to hold the information about not going in the road or running in front of cars. That seems to get lost overnight no matter how many times he is grounded from his bike. I imagine that one day when I am dead and gone, my kids will be sitting around and genuinely start to wonder if the really had the same mom because I have to parent them so differently. My hope is that Tylie will look back and appreciate all those talks we had. She may even be able to recall a few. And I hope that Mason is sitting there with her. That means he made it or that he won the battle and I just died first. Either way- he will be there. I know that I will still love him then, I just have to make sure he knows it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kelsey, you win!

Ok Kelsey. You win. Both the boys are alseep. Tylie is playing with a friend. My phone is set on silent and the office door is closed so I can't see the mess I am ignoring in the family room. I am sitting down at my computer and I am updating this dang blog. You are right. My book is going to be really small this year. I can't help it. My days seem to slip away from me lately. Just when I think I have a few moments to myself the Mason is bounding back from preschool and it is a short day for Tylie and she is home at 11:45. I can't claim that Cade is the problem. He is such an easy going baby. If I can't just keep Mason out of his face, he is as quiet as can be. I don't want to commit to being better about updating because I know what is ahead of me. Summer. Kids home ALL day and me trying to keep everyone happy ALL day. I will do my best though and I can promise the highlights. Our trip to D.C. will definately be on here. Bear Lake, Lagoon, Vegas, the Red Rock Relay ( 19 miles- what am I thinking?!), and Cade's cute face as often as I get it on here.
Tylie and Mason "graduated" this week. I can't believe that Tylie is done with Kindergarten. It feels like just yesterday that I was holding back tears as she was jumping on the bus for the first time. Mason "graduated" from preschool. He did joy school this year with some of the kids in the neighborhood. As happy as I was that he graduated, I was more relieved to see all of the other kids graduating with him. That was a sign that he didn't kill them and they were all still alive to be standing next to him. It was the best thing in the world for him. He loved it and it really got him passed the anxiety of being away from me. I have learned so much about Mason this year. I have learned that no matter how much of a demon I think he is, he really is just a boy. A little crazy but a boy all the same. I have come to a firm belief that he really doesn't want to kill me, he just wants me to loosen up a bit and let him explore. I have learned that no activity that I can give him indoors will dull the innate desire he has to be outside. He just wants to walk around. I hate it because he doesn't understand boundaries so I am looking like a crazed psycho searching for him everytime I hear my front door click. I swear the kid has rocket boosters hidden in his butt! He can make incredible distance in the time it takes me to load one more plate in the diswasher and run after him. It is going to be a long summer.
As a side note. I am thinking of making my blog private. After years of Jake hounding me about it, I think it is time. I went to a PTA convention a few weeks ago and I realized how incredibly easy it is for people to find information on your kids. I have forced myself not to go too extreme and throw every computer we have away but I do think private is a good idea. As much as I don't think there are any creepy people stalking my kids, I just don't want to make it easy for them if they do. So... here comes the cliche phrase. Send me your email. I will make it official soon. Please do not feel shy about it. I have felt weird sometimes and not sent some friends my email and now I am sad because I can't keep up with them. I love you. I love that you want to read what is going on in our world. I love to hear from you. I just don't want to hear from George in the state penitentiary. You get my drift. This will make Jake happy. This will make my kids safe, and so I will be happy. I hope to hear from you soon.
In the meantime... here are some shots from "graduation". 

Friday, April 13, 2012

It is moments like this that stop me in my tracks and remind me how much I love being a mom.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Valentine's Day

I hate to join the thousands of other pessimists throughout the nation but I must for just a moment. I have to say it. I am not a fan of Valentine's Day. I know this is somewhat strange because I am happily married with a husband that loves me and makes sure that I know it. I think my objections with the holiday stem from feelings that have stayed with me from growing up. I just remember the immense pressure that came with the holiday. Allow me to take you back to Monte Vista elementary with me to some of my earliest memories of this stressful holiday.
I remember every February our teacher would stand up and announce that we had to make a Valentine box and bring to school for the Valentine party. It was always a big deal to try to come up with an idea that hadn't been done before. My brother Chad would always come up with these fantastic boxes and I would be left at the table amid construction paper, pipe cleaner, and pom poms with not an idea in the world. My mom would eventually have pity on me and come to the rescue. I specifically remember making a box that looked like a gum ball machine. Incidentially the idea came from Chad because my mom had forced him to sit down and help me. We toiled over it and by the time it was done I was as proud as a grandma at a preschool program. I was so excited to show all my friends that I had finally come up with something worth putting their cute little cards in. When I got to school some idiot kid pushed me getting off the bus and my box smashed into the railing. It was all crumpled and although I tried to fix it, it was permanently scarred. Really not a big deal but to my elementary mind- the world had ended.
Then came the pressure about who got the card saying "Have a rockin' Valentines" versus the card that said "You rock my world!" I would spend hours in my room trying to decide what boys had to get the "gross" cards and pray that they did not read too far into the message. I couldn't stand the fact that they might think that I loved them. DISGUSTING! I wish I would have known that boys that age probably did not even realize that card was from me. The most attention they gave my card was long enough to rip off the sucker that was attached and throw the rest away. This was very UNLIKE me because I would absorb every message on every card and go to school the next day sure that every boy in class was in love with me. PRESSURE.
Fast forward to South Jordan Middle School and the introduction of candy grams and roses delivered to your home room class. This was a whole new set of stresses. The beginning of February the class officers would sell the silly love sentiments every lunch hour. I would always stress about if I should send one to my friend just in case she didn't get one. I didn't want her to feel bad. But then what about my other friend. And the other one. Where would I draw the line. By the end I was trying to convince my mom to take out a second mortgage on the home so I could make sure all of my friends felt loved. And then what about me? What it nobody sent me one? Or what if they did? And what if it was from and actual boy? And what if he actually liked me? AGHHHH. By the time the day came I would sit in home room class like I was sitting on a family of porcupines. I was so nervous that I would be the only loser that didn't get one. I was nervous that I would get one from a boy and then never be able to walk down the hall where his locker was again! PRESSURE!
Moving on to high school and the introduction of dating. And I thought the candy grams were pressure. They didn't touch this dating crap. At my school the Valentines dance was always girls choice. I hated this because I didn't like putting myself out there to be rejected. It did take the anxiety of not being asked away but I still would cringe at the thought of asking a boy and finding out the he had already been asked a few hours before. This was torture. It got a bit better when I had a boyfriend and it was just assumed that I would ask him. But that security could only last a time and so the rest of high school found me floundering every stinking February. PRESSURE!
And finally- the post high school years. I thought I would like these years because it afforded me the ability to hide out in my house and nobody would ever know that I spent Valentines eating my mom's sugar cookies and watching "The Commish" with my dad. But then I would get asked out. Great! Right? NO! When you are out of school and you are asked out on Valentines- it suddenly means something. Jake was on his mission and I was hoping him to return and still kind of like me so I was not really looking for a Valentine's date. I would struggle with the choice of going as to not make him feel bad or not go and make things awkward. What it really came down to was that it was going to be awakward no matter what road I took. PRESSURE!
So here I am. Married with three kids and I still have a distaste for Valentines day. Jake was cute and brought me a little gift and my all time favorite choclate covered cinnamon bears. The pressure returned when I realized that my little box of goodies that I got him did not measure up to his token of love to me.
As I reflect on this dreadful day, I have come to a few conclusions. First- I was far too concerned about what everybody thought about me when I was growing up. I needed to chill. Thank the heavens that I don't ever have to go back to those years. Second- Jake doesn't need a grand gift to know that I love him- a steak dinner will do the trick. And third- I look to Jake's dad for this. He always says that he doesn't need a special day to tell his wife he loves her and he doesn't need society telling him that he had to say it on a certain day. I agree. It means so much more when I am sitting at home and Jake calls just because he saw an ad on his computer that reminded him of me. It is nice when it comes "just because" and not "just because I was forced to."
To all you lovers out there- hope you had a great lover's day. I will continue to work on my adverse feelings toward the holiday and I will be better and telling Jake I love him the other 364 days of the year.