Monday, May 20, 2013

did i mention?

 it's time for another random jumble of photos. for example, belated mother's day pictures.
 John made me my favorite breakfast: poached eggs on buttered toast sprinkled with sea salt. and orange juice, please don't forget that orange juice. or the cute flower. it was DELICIOUS
 this is photographic evidence of two things: 1. that fact that he likes to take off his zipper pajamas (on the right side of the picture) and 2. the fact that he is adorable
 i don't care if two is technically a toddler. he is still my baby
 Madsy went to a strawberry farm for her first official elementary school field trip. they got to pick their own strawberries and bring them home. they were amazing. wow, so good.
 i hate carpool, but I love seeing the happy face of my girl when I show up. also, really wish my van had a fancy "open itself" door like everyone else in the carpool line. instead I do it the old fashioned way where I run out and open it and load Maddy up and run back because the door is a little heavy for her to always be able to open. Even though I would like the easy van door, I like not having a car payment better than gadgets. :)
 John and I took a date a while ago. there are always long periods of time between our dates (because we are cheap/broke). but we wanted to see the tom cruise action movie. i'm such a boy, i love action movies.  and here is John in his happy place: aka him with a giant bucket of theater popcorn. us fisk kids were never allowed to get movie theater treats growing up (the few times we went) because it was so expensive. my mom made us sneak in fruit snacks ha! I remember how shocked i was when John bought a huge bucket of popcorn and a soda the first time I went on a movie date with him. now I make sure he does it every time because he never buys himself anything and that is his one splurge. it's endearing to me.
 this is also endearing to me.

poor guy, the things I make him do. when Maddy saw this picture on my phone she could not stop laughing.
 beans from kindergarten

 grant helped me smash the ritz cracker topping with his plastic hammer. it worked great and he was one happy camper let me tell you.
Some chalkboard art that Maddy made me
 Mr. G being cute
 sometimes I feel like baking. but I will tell you that I never feel like doing the dishes. funny thing that.
also, in case you were curious, I made pita bread (a first) and it turned out pretty good, but not so amazing that I wouldn't buy them in future.
 you may have heard we are under contract for a house. I thought about posting some images from the listing photos, but I read somewhere that images are searchable and people can find your address that way. so here I am being safe and giving you a drive by picture of the outside.
 notice the awesome walkway to the front door. raise your hand if you can picture little trick or treaters coming up and down that walkway (or more likely cutting across the grass). me! also, red front door. :) also, big trees. also, happy.
 we took the kids to a frozen yogurt place to get out of the house on the weekend (it's one of those that you can regulate how much goes in the cup and they weigh it). so we gave them a little bit of yogurt and then they load on their favorite toppings, which is really a kid's favorite part anyway, right? good, cheap fun. on a sidenote, whose eyes are bigger in this picture, Maddy's or the frogs?? ha I still get told all the time how pretty and big her eyes are.
 here is Grant, who sat on Dad's lap for approximately five seconds. and then got back down on the concrete floor pretending to be a puppy again. someday maybe I won't shudder to think of the grossness of him on all fours on a public floor. two year olds are complicated dirty little folks.
but did I mention cute? oh yes, the cutest.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

it's in the details

He loves carrots dipped in ranch (anything dipped in ranch). He hates having his face wiped and people cutting his food for him. He always--without fail--asks the same two questions every morning when I get him out of his crib, "Where Daddy? Where Maddy is?" He wishes he could live outdoors except that he is really afraid of bugs. He is only a really loud tantrumer in the library (all other tantrums seem to be normal volume). He has his own language of made up words--his binky is called Nana (short for Num Num or Yum Yum), and his blankie is called Gull (short for Snuggle). He has a gap toothy smile. He loves to hit stuff with his BoomBoom (his play hammer). He wants to watch Cars 2 fifty times a day but doesn't like to play with cars all that much. He is our snuggler baby, much snugglier than his sister ever was, but he doesn't want to be snuggled at any other time than when he just wakes up. He loves to shoot Nerf guns, keeps trying to potty train himself, and loves helping me in the kitchen. He is very convinced that he can crack eggs by himself if I would only give him a chance. He unzips zipper footy pajamas and strips them off during the night every.single.time. He had stitches by the time he was a year old. He loves to chase his sister and play hide and seek.

She seems to lose teeth in pairs within days of each other. She loves to bird watch and tries to tell me every bird is a "Spotted Warbler" (a bird mentioned on a Max and Ruby television show). She loves dinosaur museums, non-fiction books, and HORSES (still). She is particular about her clothes now and yet does not understand the concept of matching. She calmly lets me brush and style her hair, but always requests a bun if given the choice. She wants to be in dance class and karate and hates thunder and lightening. She has an infectious adorable giggle that makes us laugh when she finds something really funny. She doesn't like most breakfast foods except bacon and sometimes pancakes. She comes home from school hot and sweaty from running around at the playground hard every day. She LOVES other people--can't get enough of other kids and finds them endlessly entertaining. She is a friend to all (unless you twist her hand, and then all bets are off). She admires my jewelry and has started her own collection of heart shaped necklaces. She loves boxes with locks and miniature keys, ice cream that have bright colors, and used to pronounce flamingos "fallingos." She is very smart and a terrible liar (and thankfully hardly ever even tries to lie as she also happens to be amazingly obedient). She has one of the most tender and sweet hearts of any child I've ever met. She tolerates her little brother, but said for her birthday she would like to send him to ballet class so that she could get a minute to herself.

these are my children in a very tiny nutshell.

no one could know them the way that I do, or love them in quite the same way (although daddy certainly loves them as much as I do), but still, even then it is not in the same exact way. i am here with them day after day, hour after hour. I worry over them almost constantly, like a humming sound in the background of my life that I am almost unaware of and yet can't shake. I worry about their eating habits, their amount of hours slept, whether they have friends or not. I wonder if I am disciplining them enough or too much. I lie awake laughing at something they say. I lie awake crying over something they muttered. I hug them, kiss them, shelter them, get mad at them, run to them when they are hurt and crying. I play the rolls of tough cop, mean mom, jailer, banker, teacher, counselor, and chef. I mess up every single day. And every single day they show me that despite those mess ups, they love me anyhow and are turning out just fine despite it all. my love for them is in the million little things I have learned about them and from them and by having them. it comes from all of those tiny details.

its impossible to really express what being a mother can do to a woman. i wish i could write it better. all I know is it is by far the most difficult thing I have ever done.  i try to remember, when the moments get tough, that though the hours are long, the years are getting shorter. these moments become more and more precious. and if I had it all to do again, I wouldn't hesitate for a moment.

Happy mother's day to all of you. and to my children, i love you.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

the things that are most excellent

in case you are wondering at the title of my post, here is an excerpt from the poem I am quoting:

In faultless rhythm the ocean rolls,
A rapturous silence thrills the skies;
And on this earth are lovely souls,
That softly look with aidful eyes.
Though dark, O God, Thy course and track,
I think Thou must at least have meant
That nought which lives should wholly lack
The things that are more excellent.

I can't help that sometimes when I am thinking about things in my life, poetry comes to mind. Does anyone even read poetry besides dorks like me anymore? Probably not.

The poem, in a nutshell, says that there's lots of things that seem to be important in life, but really the things that matter most are the simple things--nature, love of family, friendship, etc.

This is on my mind because today I had sort of one of those difficult days that come upon me every now and again. It's kind of been a rough week honestly. I've been in quite a bit of physical pain and I've felt lonely. I talked to my Mom on the phone and I cried and felt sort of pathetic and pitiful. And then I feel bad for making her worry about me. Mom, if you're reading this, don't worry about me. I'll be okay. Some days are just hard. And when you have a two year old, a lot of days are hard. (sorry to those friends that think this is a mean thing to say about my two year old. I used to think moms who said stuff like that were jerks and didn't love their kids. Now I know that moms who can admit it are very much in love with their kids, just honest and worn out and, hello, they have a two year old).

So my mom tried to give me advice--honest to goodness some of the worst advice she has ever given me. It was so bad I burst out laughing and then she did too. She told me to do a cheerleading routine, "go meeee!!!" whenever I feel bad. She was in the middle of her self esteem cheerleading when I couldn't hold it in anymore and just started laughing. what would I ever do without her cheesy advice (most of which is actually really good and helpful) but some of which includes telling people that sticks and stones may break your bones sort of stuff. :) I know the day will come when I will be lost for words and I will find the exact same thing come out of my mouth. I know because it has already happened many other times. things like, "because i'm the mom." and when asked what we're having for dinner, "I'm making food." what kind of food?? "good food." What kind of good food? "Good food for dinner." ha I hated when she used to do that and now I do it to torture my kids.

but I digress, my Mom followed the bad cheerleading advice with good advice. she told me that since I had listed a bunch of bad things, now it was time to list the good things. and suddenly that poem was in my head. the things that are more excellent. and here are the things that I should have said (but had a hard time getting out over the lump in my throat):

my really lovely daughter who is one of the kindest funniest five year olds i've ever met

that two year old I talked about earlier who also happens to say please and thank you automatically and who thinks that jumping on my back and covering my cheek in kisses is really fun

my husband who puts up with a lot and does the dishes and has never been one of those dads who was on the sidelines of this parenting gig. he is the dad that can handle his kids at home and out in public and in the grocery store and everywhere in between. John is my number one most excellent thing.

health (when I have it). a stable job for my husband. a safe home. food. laundry machine. health insurance. church (even though I had to teach nursery today ha). my cool siblings. encouraging friends (they may live far away, but I know they are out there). and let us not forget bagels.

these are my things most excellent. and sunday feels like a good day to remember them.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

caramel frosting and how's the old house search coming?

 First, I feel it necessary to tell the world about this frosting. My Mom made it for my StepDad Gordon for his birthday while we were up there for Easter and it was amazing. I'm not always a huge lover of cake and I kept going back for piece after piece. My Mom got the recipe from a lady she met at some sort of bee keeping or soap making meeting (or any of the other hundred crafty things she and Gordon do meetings).  It's simple but delicious.
 CARAMEL ICING: Melt 1/2 cup butter in a 2 to 3 quart pan. Add 1 cup firmly packed brown sugar and 1/3 cup half and half or whipping cream. Quickly bring to full boil; boil, stirring for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool until lukewarm. Add 2 cups powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
 This is what it looks like after adding powdered sugar. If it's a bit too thick pour just a little bit of half and half into it until it thins to perfect spreading consistency. (it sorta looks like peanut butter in this picture, but the color is lighter than it is showing).
The recipe makes plenty of frosting, so be sure to put it on nice and thick. We use a spice cake box mix and it tastes amazing. Tonight we are watching a church friend's little boy and they each had a small slice of cake before bed. He was nervous when he thought we called it "spicy cake" but he ended up liking it. (another crazy note, this same friend had her baby at her house unexpectedly! The baby came so fast they couldn't make it to the hospital! I hear about that happening to people, but have never known someone personally! crazy!)

on the home search front, well there are too many thoughts to recount. above is the cool fort that was in the AMAZING yard at a house we looked at. we probably talked for three hours last night about this house. it's a short sale, but it was really kind of big (five bedrooms) and towards the top of what we are hoping to pay. We were really talking ourselves in circles about it because the yard was gorgeous, the house was filthy (and probably needed new a/c units) but overall it was a really great house. In the end we decided we want to error on the side of conservative rather than too big on our next house. but it sorta kills me to walk away from that yard.  but i know that waiting for the right house to come along will be worth the wait. and we have plenty of time, so I'm forcing myself (it's not working yet, but one can hope) to be patient. are you sick of me talking about houses yet? me toooooo. :)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

the rundown of the week

 i apologize if i have already posted some of these photos. i am off of my blogging groove so I can't recall what if some of these are repeats. it's been another week at our house and things are starting to go back to normal. grant steals an ipad and manages to watch something/play something
 we take the kids to play on a playground in a neighborhood we are considering
 maddy brings home an art project. john's guess was that she had crafted Beaker from the muppets. the real answer was he is an owl.
 john's car broke down. yeah, the one we just got in november (yes we have a warranty) hope it covers what it needs to cover
 went to a garage sale in the neighborhood we are considering (we are thorough ha) and found Maddy some skates. she has been begging for skates for months. new skates are expensive! yay for garage sales!
 apparently this is why she needed them? j/k she actually skated later
 grant working on fixing some popcorn on his tool table

 oh my little cutes
 making forts out of pillows
 riding our trikes with gusto
 making caramel frosting from scratch to put on spice cakes (this was a while ago, need to do it again, it was GOOD)
 being crazy
 fortune telling?
 making messes while mom is sweeping in the kitchen
 somehow hurting our heads (running into someone/thing no doubt)
 having sleep studies that require gross stuff in your hair
 eating muffins and being adorably 2 years old

 his feet are still small, thus he is still my baby
 still loving the libary
 good report card sonic slushies (happy hour means half off woo hoo)
 question: why does disney have snow white selling apples now? this still makes me laugh
 a house we looked at this past week had this little tiny courtyard type thing (no that is not my child, it's my realtor's child).
 eagles can fly, but even they need a break every once in a while
cutest snuggle buddies ever. and i'm sorry to say that's all i've got because i'm feeling a bit under the weather. here's to an even better week to come!