Saturday, May 14, 2016

Lessons from a funeral...saying yes

Last weekend Jeff and I attended the funeral for our Brother-in-laws father. We left A and a with Jeff’s parents, put on our dressy, dark clothing and went to the church where the services were held. (Do you ever feel like the only time you REALLY dress up any more is for funerals and weddings?)
We were there to support our Brother-in-law. We had only spoken to his father a few times and when we met him he was already in very poor health. His funeral however made me really think about what kind of a parent I am and what kind of a parent I want to be.
During the service his 3 children spoke about him as a father, their funny, favorite memories of being with him.  Mostly all of the stories were about fun memories from their childhoods. All the stories were about the fun exciting times they had had with their father. They were about the impromptu road trip or the crazy, completely impractical gift, fun dress-up and silly games.  None of the stories were about when the house was perfectly clean or when the yardwork and chores were completed.
It gets to be so hard as a mom to find a balance. You want to be the Pinterest perfect wife and mother who crafts, cleans and bakes; whose house is perfectly clean, whose meals are all homemade, who has an amazing d├ęcor theme for every holiday. You think the kids will love this, this will mean something to them. It doesn’t. They don’t care if there is no clutter, they don’t care if their cute outfit was handcrafted or from target, they would rather have a happy meal than the gourmet meal you worked on all day. They want you to say yes. They want to ask you to play dress-up and have you say YES and grab a Storm Trooper helmet instead of No and vacuum.
About a year ago early on a Sunday morning when Jeff and I were lounging in late and we had no plans when A and A cam e running in and pounced on our bed… “Can we go to Chuck e. Cheese? Please!!! It looks So AWESOME! (They had seen a commercial during a Disney show.) Without taking a moment to think too hard about why I should say no I went “Yea, let’s do it! After breakfast we will go!” They FREAKED out. We had said YES! We went (we had never been before) and the kids ha a FANTASTIC time. It was WAY nicer than Jeff and I thought it’d be and it was pretty in expensive too. It’s now a fun time staple at our house. To this day A and A will talk about that awesome morning when Mom and Dad just said yes to Chuck E. Cheese.
So I’m trying to be more of a YES mom. I’m trying to not knee-jerk say no. I’m trying to be a little more okay with a couple dishes in the sink so I can play Go Fish. I’m trying to be more why- not when the kids come up with a suggestion on what to do.
At my funeral I want my kids to have tons of stories about the fun times we have because they don’t care how Pinterest-worthy their Mom is.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Happy Birthday!!....Chespin?

Big A recently had some minor surgery and was given a stuffed Pokemon character as a get well present from Ma and Pa. Not to leave out little a they got one for her too, a crazy little brown character with a green hat named Chespin. I thought she would not really care about it since she is not into Pokemon like her brother is. I was totally wrong. That little guy has become her favorite snuggle buddy who she sleeps with every night.

One night little a announced that "Tomorrow is Chespin's Birthday! He wants a Batman vs Superman cake and decorations and I HAVE to get him a present!" She was so excited for this and had so thought out the planning of the "party" that I decided to just go with it and have a Birthday party for Chespin! Big A asked me "Mom, are we REALLY gonna do this? It's so lame."

We went to Smiths (local Grocery Store) and found Batman vs Superman cupcakes for Chespin and some perfect presents (clearance Easter candy! 75% off!). Big A had a batman party last year so I dug out the banner and leftover plates and napkins (my decoration hoarding came into use!).  Little A wrapped the "presents" and made Chespin a sign and invited Ma and Pa (who brought Chespin a gift! (fruit snacks!).

It was a crazy fun Party and little a was so happy and she told us Chespin was "Super, SUPER Happy!". As the party was winding down Big A came over to me all sheepishly... "Mom, I think Pikichu's birthday is in a couple of days!"

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Big fun with Little A

Our little a is a summer baby. She is a summer girl through and through, she loves to swim and bike and would way rather be running around outside then cooped up at a video game. Being a summer birthday it gives us the choice of when to start her in school, she can either be the youngest in her class (just barely 5 when she starts Kindergarten) or the oldest (already 6 when she starts).

 It has been a real conundrum for us on when to have her start. We have had so much advice on the subject and all of it conflicting. Some people warn that she will have real problems being the baby in the class, everyone will be dating, driving, etc before she can. Other people say it is wonderful to start her early, giving her a leg up on her education. For us one of the factors is Big A. If she starts early they will have one year together in both Jr. High and High school, if she starts late they won’t have any time in the same school once they are out of elementary (until maybe college …. Go UTES!) 

After lots of soul searching we decided to start little a early. She is so smart and has such a good base already (she knows her ABCS, starting to read and write words, basic addition and subtraction). From going through kindergarten with big A she is really more than ready to start. Socially she is doing great. She has lots of friends and gets along well with kids. She quickly makes new ”friends” at any playground we visit. She is ready. 

Her momma on the other hand is not. I am so sad that I am “losing” my buddy a year before I thought I would. I know lots of Mommas are very excited for school to start, to get their “me” time back. I get where they are coming from but that is not me. I love my time with my little ones and I hate sending them off to school. Now with big A in first grade I feel like I barely get to see him. Between school, homework and sports our time has been whittled down to nothing. I am so sad that little a will be headed out this fall. I am selfish in this. Since she is headed to kindergarten a year earlier I am not sending her out to pre-school this year. I am doing home school pre-school with her. This way she is still getting a start on her school but I get to spend more time with her.
While we are working on her school we are also having lots of fun.

 I cherish every breakfast I get “just us girls”. Every fun outing we have. Little a is such an amazing little girl, full of energy and conversation. She will talk your ear off if you let her! As much as I know she will love school, I dread losing my little companion. I guess I just need to make the most of these next few months.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Disney's Zootopia Fun for ALL

Disney has done the impossible. They have come up with a way to give us an insightful social commentary on racism housed in an entertaining, fast paced cop show. Oh, and did I mention the cop is a bunny rabbit and her partner is a fox?
Disney’s Zootopia completely succeeds at the one thing that makes an animated film great, it addresses both the kids in the audience as well as their Parents. A and a absolutely loved the movie. The fun antics of the Bunny and Fox tracking down a rabid Otter were a huge hit. The subtle (and not so subtle) references to Breaking Bad, The Godfather, and numerous other adult programs kept Jeff and I rolling with laughter. Definitely 2 thumbs up (or as A and A say… 10 thumbs up!)
The opinions are all my own, I received no compensation for this post

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

"Spring" in Utah

       Spring in Utah is a funny thing. One thing to love about Utah is that you really get to experience all four seasons. We get snowy cold winters, hot sunny summers and crisp clear falls. Springtime in Utah though is a tricky thing. It seems like Mother Nature has a hard time deciding when to switch over from fall. One day it will be snowy and freezing, the next sunny and warm, then back to snow a few days later. We can be swinging at the playground in shirtsleeves on Saturday and building snowmen on Sunday. This last weekend we were able to indulge in some sunny spring weather. The kids raced and climbed through an amazing playground, soaking up the sunny spring weather. The next day we were braving slick snowy streets on the drive to work… “Spring” in Utah.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

(belated) Valentines Date

Jeff and I are so lucky to have such amazing helpful parents that we are afforded the luxury of the kids having a “sleep-over” at Grandma’s so that we can have a grown-up Valentines night. A few days late but I actually prefer that so the crowds aren’t crazy (I can’t stand to sit waiting for HOURS for a table at a restaurant!)
  We decided to go ultra-traditional date-night… dinner and a movie.
We started off the evening at a hip new eatery called “The Porch.” I had seen it featured in Salt Lake Magazine and thought it looked really interesting so then when I saw a deal on a gift certificate on one of those flash deals site I jumped on it. The food was amazing, the atmosphere was very cosmopolitan and “grown-up” (they do not have a kids menu!). We tried the Brick Chicken and Meatloaf and neither dish disappointed our foodie hopes! Maybe we just watch too much “Top Chef” but we really appreciate awesome, inventive food with new and intriguing flavors. I didn’t even special order anything (this speaks volumes to those who know me, I’m definitely a “sally” when it comes to ordering!) 

Brick Chicken
Banana Pudding

We left our meal full and happy after spending a long dinner service joking and talking without having to “parent”. We headed over to the Megaplex  and caught an Imax showing of “Deadpool.” When I first told Jeff that was what I wanted to see for Valentines he laughed and said “ That’s not very romantic!” I told him he should feel very lucky that I wasn’t dragging him to a Nicholas Sparks weeper like most women. The show was perfect! Ryan Reynolds totally nailed Deadpool and low and behold there was a ”romantic” element to the show! LOVED it!
All and all a PERFECT Valentines Date with my sweetheart (our 17th Valentines together!!!)