Thursday, September 29, 2016

Tuesdays and Thursdays with Beck

Beck might act like he wants to be one of the big kids and drag a backpack as big as he is around, but he loves coming home from our after drop off walk/run around the hood to a whole house full or possibilities. All of Rad's stuffed animals! ALL of Rhett's drawers loaded with trinkets/crap to peruse! Mom's lap ALL to himself while his furry brother takes his morning nap!

^^^An errands run made me erroneously think that tossing my aaalllmost empty tube of concealer would appease the grumpy toddler. Turns out almost empty means quite a bit of damage can still be done when you're Beck.     

The goodest life.

Or as Beck would say, "dee" or maybe, "bah" or if he's feeling generous, "ma"

Syllables rule, words drool.

And if we're up for an adventure we might go hang out in the front yard and wave at passing cars.

Here Beck is saying one of his favorite monosyllabics, "cheeeeeee"

He's going through the "most exasperating but most endearing" child phase - also known as, "being 18 months old" but he's also so happy to just puppy dog around and say 3-4 grunt/word phrases that I do not understand, but pretend that I do.

A few of his favorite time passers when his brothers are away:

+ The carwash...he is obsessed and simultaneously hyperventilates and lights up like a little bulb every time he sees the entry.

+ Pushing his umbrella stroller around the house on his tippy toes veryyyyyyyy fast....very funny.

+ When he's not pushing the stroller around the house, he is equally thrilled to be on the receiving end and loves long walks around the neighborhood. And to get the mail. I let him hold the junk mail and he feels all kinds of adult-ish.

+ Backing up his diapered bottom to sit squarely on Ben (usually who is deep asleep) and the proceed to kiss and cherish Ben to death. Ben is usually unfazed.

+ Maybe Ben is unfazed by Beck's grandiose gestures of affection because he knows if he tolerates it long enough, Beck will sneak feed him toothpaste right from the tube. You'd think the 31 year old mother would learn where to hide the toothpaste so that the 18 month old doesn't find it but...he does...every time.

+ Has been borderline obsessed with hunting down leaves and sticks in our yard (rain or shine) lately.

+ Confess that he has a great unadulterated love of throwing all things sacred into the garbage can. The remote, shoes, mom's sport's bras, the nail clippers, toys, bottles of salad dressing etc. Me thinks the apple doesn't fall from the tree, I also love to declutter and toss stuff, but it's too soon to tell.

+ Sir Beck would also like to confess that his new favorite trick is to insist (non-verbal grunt style) on wearing Rad's clothes and only Rad's clothes from head to toe even if it means slowly d-r-o-w-n-i-n-g his thunders in his brother's shorts because he knows he'll freak. He learned from the best: his nemesbrother.

+ He has also picked up (or seems to) that Jake and I are somewhat concerned about his lack of a vocabulary and we frequently prompt him to say simple words like, "yes"  "no" "mama" "dada"...the toddler essentials. He is usually unamused and responds with side eye and blowing a raspberry. But! If he's feeling generous and succeeds with repeating the prompt he claps for himself and awards himself a high-pitched giggle -scream.

^^^ He's going through his mullet phase. I can't figure out how/when to cut all the wisps. I'm half tempted to shave it all off but then Jake brings up a valid point that it might take another 18 months for any hair to grow back. fell asleep?
You don't like hearing about other people's baby's tricks? ;)

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Friday, September 16, 2016

the lemonade stand

I've tried lots of kid-fun activities (I see you, Pinterest) that always look so great but usually don't either a. hold the boy's interest for enough time to make it worth it or b. never end up happening because my ambitious goals to launch myself to mother of the century fall victim to reality.

But the truth is that all the boys need is love and something to DO.

So last Saturday, Rhett, Rad and their friends Everett and Breckie experienced that rite of passage in childhood by doing a lemonade stand.

The little entrepreneurs. They had big dreams of all the childhood luxuries they would buy with the 8,371 monies (Rhett's estimation) they earned until philanthropic mom made signs that said FREE. Although I'm sure our prime retail location, streamlined lemonade making (Crystal light packets and water bottles. Styrofoam cups...ain't nobody want to deal with that) and our awesome treat selection (bags of chips, rice crispy treats and Dum Dums) would have brought in the big bucks, I didn't really want to deal with making change etc. Plus this was a great opportunity to teach them about service, kindness, yada yada.

We set up shop and I FB'd and texted anyone in our neighborhood who might want to take time out of their weekend to hit us up and low and behold after about 15 minutes of quite and Rhett frantically waving down slash chasing cars that passed us by, the masses descended on us. We even had four random Good Samaritans drive by and stop to get refreshments. Bless these Good Samaritans hearts, they we're quite literally mobbed by all the kids who were offering all their wares. One fine gentleman had a rice crispy treat hail Mary'd into his truck by a very eager child. The kids, both those running the stand and those coming for food and beverage (well that's kind of a blurry line since the entrepreneurs where very liberal with helping themselves to their products), had a GREAT time (truly!) and the whole event lasted about two hours. Which was an hour and fifty minutes more than I anticipated.    

^^^The very early stages of the lemonade mixer. Ben became the involuntary mascot, but he wasn't complaining. Even though everyone thought he was a girl. Fluffy white dog problems.

The folks and friends in our neighborhood are nothing short of the kindest crowd. They were beyond supportive, and with their help it was a great morning.

And the best part, for this serial photographer at least, was discovering this gem when I zoomed in on a pic from the day.

I so appreciate your optimism + rosy outlook on life boys. So appreciate it. 

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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

rhett and rad chat: religious edition

Usually these posts are a popurri of random thoughts (verbal outbursts) from the boys, but this time I'm tailoring it more to some of their religious musings as of late...proving that we are doing a very fine job raising good and Godly children.

After Rad offered me a bite of his dinner, but I declined because we hadn't blessed the food yet:

Rad: Why you don't want my food?
Julia: Wellll... (terrible explanation ensues)
Rad: (leans in and whispers) "Welllll, I won't tell Jesus if you have just one bite."

Looking through some old baby pictures:

Rhett: When I was in born, everyone said I looked just like baby Jesus right?

During a Family Home Evening lesson:

Jake:... and then God said
Rad: wait wait wait WAIT who is God?!

Standing up from this chalk drawing:

Rhett: Hey...I look like Jesus when he died...but happier.

In a moment of angry, volatile, disagreement:

Rad: RHETT!!!
Rad: You are badder than SATAN!!!

When I said no:

Rhett: Can I have karate lessons, some roller blades and go to Chick-fil-a?
Julia: No.
Rhett: Fine. (walks away and shrugs) I'll just go ask Jesus.

He seems to be Jesus's spokesperson:

Julia: (coming into the kitchen riiiight after waking up) Hey boys.
Boys: Hi mom.
Rhett: Nice Jesus hair mom.
Rhett: I bet He like's that you're trying to be like Him.

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Sunday, September 11, 2016


(Last) Sunday was Jake's big 31st hurrah! (read: birthday) and he (along with many, many others born that fine day - I'm sure) deserves to be recognized on his big day. Or at least as close to his birthday as his wife can pull it together on the interwebs. 

Not that I'm ever not around here, but I'm going to be honest and admit that I have become a terrible (terrible!!) last minuter when it comes to birthdays and holidays. Terrible. I can hide behind the, "oh, the kids!" for a few more special life events, but I really have to get my act together.

I also should making document special life events a priority because the only (cringe) picture I got of Jake's special day is the one gracing your screen. High quality documentation right there. But! The lack of pictures makes me think that bullet points are totally appropriate and I love pounding out a bullet point post. 

+ Jake is a fantastic hand's on dad, but my subconscious wife-alarm thought that he would probably love spending most of the day (on Saturday even though Sunday was officially the big day) without the out crazy angels. 

+ So I got a morning babysitter for a brunch (so much fancy!) and a little strollin around the area. Gotta let all that syrup settle. 

+ We came home and I grabbed the wolf pack and took them to get Jake's birthday presents (last minute McGee over here) and gave the birthday boy several hours of alone time. It took several hours because Rad kept sneaking toys into the cart to "give" to Jake. We are raising such generous boys.

+ When we got back and after a mega hasty wrap job, per Rhett's request, we played the hot-cold game to make Jake work for his very exciting birthday gifts of three work shirts and some kettle bells. Bless Jake's heart, he was genuinely excited about his paltry gifts.   

+ Up next on the birthday docket was leaving the kids with another sitter (we have the best babysitters...we owe them way more than we pay them, they are fantastic) and left the Tyrell and Jake #2 to eat copious amounts of chips and salsa at a local Mexican restaurant. Jake offered for he and I to share the nachos and queso which was a HUGE indication that he is growing up because he never wants to share food with me. So I always have to sneak it when I want to sample his meal. This was progress. 

+ Post chip consumption we went to watch the Jason Bourne movie and when we got home the boys were in bed. Always the best way to end a date night.

Despite the lack of stellar birthday gifting Jake said he loved the date time. 

Jake: That was a GREAT birthday
Julia: Well that make me really happy.
Jake: (ballading to the tune of It Must Have Been Love) But it's OVER NAW

So happy birthday Mr 31! Welcome to the big leagues. Thank you for being the most outstanding husband to your crazy wife, the best dad to the craziest kids, and so devoted to trying to make everyone happy all while never even missing a beat. We are the luckiest clan in all of the land to have you as our head honcho. 

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Thursday, September 1, 2016

first weeks of school

Rad cracks me up on the daily (over the weekend at Costco: " hey why dey say you have your hands full?! You just pushing the cart mom!") and I'm constantly surprised by the mature side of Rhett when I find him entertaining Beck or reading a book to Rad. They cause me to stress eat a lot of semi-sweets but they're good little eggs to have around most of the time. However! I have to admit that after I drop them off at 1st grade and preschool I may just dance-walk away to the tune of freedom even with Beck still sitting in the car seat.

God bless glorified and highly educational daycare. I really couldn't do it without you.

Behold the newest first graders among the thousands that flooded their respective schools this month. Everett and Rhett have different teachers this year but still manage to spend all other waking hours of the day together. The picture on the left is from last year, the evening before Kindergarten and the one on the right from right before this school year...all of those middle of the night growing pains paid off.

The third week of school Rhett was the star student and got share exciting tidbits about himself with the class. I love this tradition, I'm sure teachers hear some of the most delightful lines from the youngsters. (Like the email I got from his teacher last year mentioning that Rhett had asked her why dad calls mom babe when mom doesn't wear diapers...) Because you know that nothing is more more interesting to a six year old then themselves. Nothing.

Because Rhett has never lacked for confidence (I hope to be more like him when I grow up) he was so exited share his poster and talents each day.

For my memory bank, from Rhett's star student week:

Favorite place to go: Sea World and the beach
Favorite animal: Mountain Lion
Favorite food: Pizza
Favorite color: Blue
Favorite thing to do: Go to Chick fil a with my friends Everett and Breckie and practice my tricks
When I grow up I want to be: A solider
If I had one wish, I would wish for: A robot monkey
And the talent shared: His ninja moves. Obviously.

And let's talk about preschool! I didn't really do a great job prepping him for the big day, it was more of a wake up and "yay it's time for preschool!!" But the milestone day arrived and it was miles better than expected once Rad understood he got to take Rhett's old R2D2 backpack with him... because we all know how Rad feels about anything that can further enable his hoarding (treasure) habit. When prepping his backpack one morning I found it stuffed full of all of his collection of bouncy balls, Rhett's dirty socks and part of my chapstick collection. The most prepared preschooler award goes to Rad Aaron Miller.

He hearts preschool to the max. I half expected the stereotypical knee clinging/sobbing/dramatic goodbye from him, but nope he's good to jump out the van and run in solo, so next time I think I'll just stay in bed because clearly he is ready for his first cubicle in the workforce. When asked, his favorite part of preschool is "me!" (himself) and so long as he loves going we'll indulge his little narcissistic heart.

Beck is king of the castle for about 10 hours of the week as spends a good part of that time carrying a glorified backpack/tote around while waving. He also really likes to put random treasures in his bag (monkey see, monkey do) and when we're missing the lint roller, there's a good chance that it's in the bag. He's starting to talk monosyllabic shouts and now that Rhett's gone all day, I can see the beginnings of a beautiful friendship forming between him and Rad. No, that's a stretch - Rad still barely acknowledges Beck's existence, but I know they'll buddy up. At least, that's my hope.

So now that I have just Beck at home all day, every day I am feeling p-r-e-t-t-y footloose and fancy-free. And more importantly the boys are learning, thriving and are beyond thrilled with the mini art show of their projects that are on our fridge. Winning for everyone.

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