Monday, January 31, 2011

Once upon a time...

There were three litle Walker boys who all dearly loved each other, and loved doing things that they could all do together. Even if it's doing something that only the youngest little Walker boy could do well, which is watching Baby Einstein before bedtime....

This has become the new favorite thing for my boys to do with Mitchell before he goes to bed, or anytime really that I need their help entertaining him. Mitchell's room was the toy room before he came, and Russ had hung up an older tv on the wall in there - along with his play station so they could just watch movies in there occasionally. Well, Mitch has never been much of a tv watcher...UNTIL his brothers introduced him to the Elmo couch that can be placed on the floor, propped with pillows galore, his blanket, where he can suck on his wrist to his hearts desire, and drift off to Baby Einstein heaven. In fact, the other night, Russ and Jackson and Max were out later because of Jackson's basketball practice, and I was putting Mitchell to bed before they got home. I walked into his room, turned on his music that we play for him all night, put him in his bed and kissed him good night. He immediately burst into tears, crying "Ein-tein! Ein-tein!" Sure enough, that smart little stinker (once I lifted him out of his bed) went and dragged the Elmo couch to the spot that his brothers always put it, cried and reached for his pillow that is in his crib, and pulled his blanket through the slats of the crib...plopped himself down on the couch, and looked at me, pointing to the tv and said "Ein-tein!" What's a mom supposed to do, besides giggle, go grab my own blanket and pillow, and cuddle up next to him? No way would I pass up the chance of cuddling up next to my baby, even if it's only to watch a few minutes of Baby Einstein.

Never again...

Is what my husband would say to this post. I on the other hand, would have labled it, "Pretty Pink Party!"

Let's back up a little bit. Our sweet friend, Ashley Reynolds quickly got pregnant after marrying our favorite single friend, Miles. And when they found out they were having a girl, I knew that we needed to throw her a fun shower. (selfishly, maybe I really wanted to actually see some PINK in my house - even for just a minute!) I'm not used to hosting parties, showers, or anything that includes more than a few people. I don't have the space for it in our little townhome, I don't have a bunch of fancy decorations or fun dishes that are excitig for me to pull out and use, and I tend to let things consume me more than is necessary...which is why my husband would say "never again." But I was excited to do it for Ash, and I was excited to host something at my own house, instead of being the one to always offer to help.

With only have a few mishaps during the shower, I tried to only focus on enjoying myself - which meant NOT being the stress case like I usually am, enjoying the women that came and supported her from my old ward that I don't get to see as often as I would like, getting to know her sweet mom and sisters that came from Utah to support her, and I was excited that she got some really fun things! I had TONS of support from the women that offered up help, and I have to give an extra big thank you to Lisa, Kelly, and Miranda, who all helped me enormously by donating their darling pink decor to make things looks just right for the shower and for all their help before. I am excited for Ash and Miles for their little princess to come soon!

Mouthy Mitch

I love, love, love the age that Mitch is right now. He's funny, he's clever, he's figuring things out for himself, he's a sponge - and learns everything quicker than I'm ready to have him learn. And because he's the third boy around here, there's not a moment to waste being the small guy in the group. He wants to be a big boy just like his brothers. However, with this new found independence comes a LOT of attitude too. So as much as I love this age, it can also be extremely frustating. He wants to run away from us - which is usually into danger, his new favorite word is NO, and he knows that all he has to do to get attention is scream at the top of his lungs...good or bad. He picks up on little words all the time, but really, that's all it is. One word here or there. Well, not the other night. We had gone to Jackson's game, and they had passed out crackers at the end of the game, which of course our munch mouth threw a fit about getting as well. Luckily they had an extra one for him to take, and he was thrilled. We loaded into the car to go home, Mitch clutching his crackers, and Jackson went to reach for a cracker out of his bag, when all of a sudden - clear as day - Mitch screams, "Don't touch it!!" Lesson learned. Don't mess with a one year old's food.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

And THIS is my life

This post could not be titled anything else really. As I've been downloading pictures from my camera to my computer, these are the only fitting words that keep coming to mind. Anyone with all boys can probably totally relate. Would I change it if I could? I doubt it. Do I wish there were occasional days that could be filled with playing dress up, barbies, or painting fingernails? Maybe sometimes.

We are starting the year off with a bang. Did I not write in my last post that I wanted to simplify my life? Yes. So why is one boy playing soccer and one boy playing basketball, with their practices on the same night, and probably their games on the same day? The answer to that question is THAT'S the difference between dads and moms. While moms don't NEED their boys to play these things, I will not deny the proud moments that may come while watching that "little boy" grow...seeing the determination and pride in his eyes from accomplishing something that he wasn't sure he could do. I realized a long time ago, from watching my own father with his many boys, and my mom totally frazzled from trying to keep up with her nights, being filled with who was going to which practice at what time and where...that there was no changing the boy inside the father. And so I will be thankful that I also have a husband who is proud of his sons, who is encouraging them to be active and to just TRY, and who is 100% supportive of what (he!) thinks they will love eventually and be good at!

Max has been SO excited to play soccer since Russ mentioned it weeks ago, telling him he was going to be on (Jackson's friend) Courtney's team, which made him feel older. He was BEAMING when he got his soccer jersey, with WALKER across the back of it, and he was thrilled when Russ took him shopping for brand new cleats, shin guards, and soccer shorts because we have no idea where all of those items went that we did have from Jackson years ago. So why my sweet little five year old cries every time he has to go to practice, or play in his first game is beyond my desire to keep making him do so. But whatever. He actually really is coordinated enough to be good at it, and I hope that "encouraging" him to keep trying will not backfire on us.
I don't have many pictures yet, since he's only played in one game, but this is him playing goalie. He later told Russ and I that he did NOT want to play goalie anymore because it was "too boring. His team is too good and they were always at the other end of the field, so there was nothing to do..." Yes, that was unfortunately true.

Better to ask for forgiveness than permission, is the rule that Mitch lives by right now. What would life be without our very busy one year old? This was what happens when you think you're on top of your game in the morning! Jackson and Mitchell were both dressed and ready for the day by 7:30, I had told Max he could hop in the bath for a minute, and I was heading downstairs to make their breakfast. And then I hear, "Mom! Help! Oh no, Mitch!" And I run into the bathroom, just in time to see Mitch diving head first into the bath with his brother. I remember Max doing this when he was probably about this age, but the difference was I had told him he could take a bath, and had started up the water for him. I left to go grab something, came back, and there he was, fully clothed, taking the bath that I had promised. Mitch well understands "bath time," so this was no accident. He wanted to take a bath, and he didn't want to hear the words NO come out of his mom's mouth. So he took matters into his own hands.
And last, but certainly not least...a child after my own heart, probably a little more sad for him than he even knows at this point. Jackson is such a perfectionist, a pleaser, determined to succeed in everything that he can. He loves school and everything about school. Even his homework. He's smart. He has great teachers, and he does everything he can to make those teachers proud of him. So it comes as no surprise to Russ or me that he was one out of two children in his class to get straight A's thus far. They did a small awards ceremony with two of the first grade classes, and both of the teachers said such sweet things about him. I just hope and pray he can be easier on himself than I was/am on myself.
And this was the final touch this week to realizing that all THIS really is my life...the joke that every little boy will laugh at over and over again, no matter how many times it is told: Why did the pirates pee their pants?......Because they wanted to name their ship "Pirates of the Cari-peein!" Ahhh, yes. This is MY life. And I wouldn't want it any other way.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Year, New Look, New Dedication

Yes, it's that time again. As I've been blog hopping, (something I RARELY do) I've noticed that I'm not the only one that hasn't kept up with good intentions, such as blogging. I'll be honest. Blogging is for me, for my journal upkeep, since journal writing does not come naturally to me, and it's for my children to look back on and laugh at, and maybe realize why their mother was as crazy as she was while they were growing up. So I'm not offended if no one else reads what I have to write! I wish I was a great writer, an uplifting writer like a few of my friends that I look up to are...but bottom line is my blog is what it is, and I'm okay with that.

I decided to "give" Russ the only surprise for Christmas that I could, (if you know Russ at all, surprising him does NOT work, since whatever I would buy for this man, he would later inform me that he could have gotten the same thing for a MUCH cheaper price!) and update my blog from when I fell off the blogging world, and bite the bullet and print out the blurb books that I only have heard about from others who have done them. Only since it was a surprise, I couldn't do it online. So I worked for hours on end...the second Russ would walk out the door until the minute he would walk back in the door, there I was. On the computer, working so hard on catching up on all the things I had missed writing about. It wasn't a pretty few weeks. My poor children wondered why the computer had all of a sudden replaced the game time with them that I try to make during the day or reading them stories, why I wasn't out running our normal errands, why the house was a disaster and it wasn't bothering me, or why even fixing their food was such a distraction! Luckily they survived, and so did I. And even though the books that I printed for the last few years don't necessarily mean much to anyone else, I'm proud of them. Russ was sweet, shocked and so appreciative of my efforts, and probably a little relieved to find a reason for my ongoing lack of motherhood responsibilities. And my sweet Max finally was able to see that he really is a part of our family because he was in a REAL book, not just living here in our home. (Sad but true story: I was dedicated to scrap booking when Jackson was an only child, and I have his first year and a half well documented. So when his book is pulled out, and Max is going through it, the questions always remain the same, though he's been given the same response every time: "is this me? Is this one me? Am I in this picture? Where am I then? How come I'm not in here?") It's very sad, and when this happens, Russ gives me "the look." The one that says "hey, this is your job, not mine. You're responsible for him feeling left out of this family! Maybe you should do something about it!"

So here we go. A much better way to publish your writing...if it's done on a semi-regular basis, NOT months and years later. An effort that will hopefully not be left in vain again.

As a side note, if anyone does happen to glance at my blog and realize that I may actually post something once in awhile, and your blog is no longer linked to mine, please know that this is because you went private, and I no longer have access to your blog! So for all of you "private" people, link us back up again! Add my email address to your "approved viewers!"

Our New Years this year was actually not much different from any other night, which was okay with me. We have such a whirlwind December month, with not only Christmas - but getting to celebrate two birthdays as well, so a low-key New Years was perfect. We went to dinner with some of our friends, who helped us laugh over the past year a little bit, toasted this year OUT and welcomed in higher hopes for most of us in the upcoming new year, and then stopped in at a party thrown at the fantastic Jones' home for a bit. We were home in bed before midnight, with me watching the amazing fireweork show on the strip from my own bed, and my sweet husband snoring beside me. As uneventful as it may have seemed, it also helped me do my own reflecting on what is really important in my life RIGHT now, and what I need to focus on more, and what I need to do to simplify my life even more. And that's my New Years resolution in a nut shell. Simplify, simplify, simplify. Make life more meaningful with the ones I love. Show my children how much I love them, instead of just telling them. Make the most out of each day, and be more fogiving of myself when the most isn't what I wish it was sometimes. To do the things that I need to do everyday with a smile, and remember that I would pick this craziness over leaving my children in someone else's care if the choice had to be made. Silly, and maybe a little redundant, but that's okay. I've learned more about myself and who I am and what I want to become as a mother, a wife, and a friend in the past few years than I probably have in my whole life, and though not all lessons are the ones I would have chosen to have, I know that they have helped shape me and mold me into who I'm still becoming and hope to become. Oh, and one more resolution that's on my top of priorities? To kiss my husband more! To welcome him home, instead of anxiously looking at the clock, counting down the seconds until he comes home to help me out with all the craziness. I'm a lucky woman to have the men in my life that I do, (starting with my own father) that work hard to provide for their families, but who are also so involved in what is going on at home, who don't look at coming home and helping out as a chore. I don't take these dear men for granted! They are such good examples to me.

Anyway, here's the few pictures of New Years that I actually remembered to capture, as well as my cute boys waking up to the first and probably only snowfall that Las Vegas will have this year. Since we had just gone up to Utah, seeing the snow wasn't such a novelty to them, but you would have thought it was, by the way they were glued to the window, watching it come down. Too bad it melted quicker than they could go play in it, but it was still a beautiful white wonderland for a minute.

And's our ever-growing "baby", if you could call him that. He honestly keeps us laughing every minute of every day...except for when he doesn't because he's throwing those fun "2 year old" tantrums. (How is it that those happen at one again?!) But he really is so much fun, and we could snap pictures of his faces everyday, or video every little thing that he says right now, because he understands everything you tell him, and he tries repeating everything you say. His latest one right now is clenching his fists and his jaw and shaking when anyone says "cold." We had DeEtte and Alan Young here the other night, and I asked Mitch if he could say "baby Cole's name," and instead of trying to say it, he shook his fists and thought I was saying COLD again. What a nut!