Broken record...

The things I said at least 10 times today or more:

You need to be quiet/reverant.
Sit still.
What did you say?
Shut the door.
Turn off the lights.
Please talk nicer to your siblings.
I love you.
Please stop.
I'm sorry.
What do you want to eat?
Do you need to go to the bathroom?
Did you toot?
Can you clean up ______?
Are you ready to get out of the bath?
How about now?
Maybe now?
Why are our kids so wild?
Are you buckled?
Where's your helmet?
Do you know where Luna is?
Where are your shoes?


Coffee table and other pre-weekend ramblings...

Tables go through lots of transformations around here... paint and required function are changed almost yearly it seems.

First dining table = current art table (which is now located on the back deck) and is slowly morphing into canning table/eat-something-messy-go-outside-table

Second dining table  = current Lego table

And then there is our coffee table - I picked it up at a garage sale in AZ for $10 where it had a nice southwest white and green crackle scheme. It served well previous to no kids as a cute living room centerpiece complete with quilted runner and clay pottery. Then we had Paisley and after she cracked her eye open on it I went all 1st-time-mom and painted it white and upholstered the top with batting and vinyl - soft and wipeable - a mom win. Once we moved to Idaho and sold our two lovesacs in exchange for grown-up furniture, our couch set came with an ottoman. Our last house had a small living room so the coffee table and ottotman could not co-exist in the same room so the table got booted to the front porch (I couldn't stand to part with it) until Blake turned it into our first Lego table by taking off my upholstery and adding molding. I painted the whole thing light tan because that was the color I had in the garage. 

It floated from the girl's room to the toy room until we moved. Here the table found a home in the Lego room until I got our 3rd (and hopefully final) dining room table so it got replaced by a larger and farther out of toddler reach table. So it was living kind of homelessly in the living room corner where it collected random toys. Since Blake had added the lip I couldn't help but see it inlaid with some barnwood and yesterday a magical trip to our shop turned up some old fence posts I saved from the garbage man that I have been stashing that were the perfect thickness.

I love my new (but oh so very old) table that has re-earned it's spot back as coffee table.

And yes - those are dinosaurs hashing it out on The Book of Mormon.

In other news, I picked the last 3 gallons of plums and gave them away which officially means our fruit trees are done - hallelujah. Now just walnuts, grapes, and late tomatoes to go... I see the end of produce season... just in time for raking season to start. I wish I had logged everything we canned/freeze-d/dried this year - our fruit trees were crazy loaded this year. I am really starting to question why my husband deemed it necessary to plant 8 more fruit trees - yes, 8... he is a lunatic. I am thinking it might be time to consider opening a produce stand each summer.

Ummm, I also volunteered to be the scrapbook coordinator for Fielding's class. I don't know why I am waffling on my "let school be school" stance. First class rep for Cosie's class due to the salesman of a PTA president we have and now this. But it was really fun to be a part of his Teddy Bear picnic - I wish I could post the pages I did but I don't have the parental permission to. But here is my cute kid - no permission needed:

Fielding is rocking kindergarten. It has been so good for him - socially, mentally, holding-still-and-focusing-ly. I love all that he is learning and seeing his excitement each day.

Well I hear the bus' brakes screeching so I better go attempt to hear 3 kids tell me about their day simultaneously!

In Luna's words, "ARrrrrRRReee you ready for the weekend?"

WE ARE!!!!


Luna helps make cookies...

 The second to last thing that I say to Blake each night before bed (the last being I love you) is "Isn't Luna cute?"

And she is - so stinkin' cute!


Old Friend from Far Away...

I'm reading a book on memoir writing... it wasn't what I thought it would be. It is basically over 100 in-depth writing props that I have slowly been trying to make my way through. I force myself to do all of them even if they include topics such as coffee which I absolutely have nothing to contribute on the subject. Usually they are hastily scribbled in my shabby 3-ring notebook never to see the light of a reader's eyes (unless my snoopy Jaci happens upon them after my death). But today I am trying hard to be good and put my feet up for a few minutes (due to a reoccurring foot injury that needs to go away so I can move on with my life... I have no patience for pain). 

So for your reading enjoyment today's writing exercises are going to be spilled out here - 

Prompt #1:
I had never heard the word memoir until after I read one and I was like, "What genre was that? That was fantastic!" I had never wanted to write a memoir until after I had an experience that was so large that it could not be contained inside me. The first time I knew memoir had to be the book I had to write was after reading "An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination." The book changed my life - I know people say that all the time but it truly did. I did not know my role in how I should mourn Talmage but the book helped me understand that there is no role and no rules - just grief and the only way you learn how to do it is by doing it. To read something so real at a time when everything felt surreal was like finally being able to breath through a snorkel instead of a semi-submerged straw. I sucked in the life-giving air and knew I needed to put my story to paper. 

I know I need to write a memoir every time I celebrate the convoluted dates of my sons' death and my sons' birth. The memories of those three days haunt me. Every year, I spend the first half of January with them clinging to me as they pull me back into the fog that surrounded that time of my life. Remembering is all I have and I want it written into neat little paragraphs so that even I can see them from a safer distance.

I know I need to write a memoir every time I have to explain the genre to people. No... memoirs are not autobiographies. In fact every memoir that starts with someone recounting the facts about their childhood, I have hated. I would never feel compelled or vain enough to think that an autobiography should be written about me or anyone else for that matter. There is no desire in me to hear the whats and whens and wheres of life - what I need is the whos and the whys that dealt with the complexities that come with living. Memoirs give life to our desperate messy memories and I want that - I want to write that and I want to read that.

Prompt #2:
Bikes. Ugh - I hate them. I was 8. My brother and I were riding our bikes to school for the first time. Something was causing my bike to make a clicking sound (even at a young age the OCD in me could not handle it). I noticed that when I kicked my front wheel it would stop. So that was how I proceeded to school. CLICK... CLICK...CLICK... KICK... silence. But the noise always started back up. I was growing increasingly impatient with this so I decided I was really going to show that front tire who was boss. This decision was poorly timed as it formed in my brain at the same moment that I began my decent down the largest hill on 99th Street. I kicked, missed my rim, lodged my foot in my front spokes and immediately stopped all forward motion of my bike. What resulted was a front flip over the handlebars, my teeth not clearing them and getting chipped in route, strait onto my rear with both elbows skidding down for some gnarly road rash. I sat there in the middle of the road, alternately looking at my brother who proceeded to school unfazed by his screeching little sister and my bike, trying to determine which one I felt more betrayed by.

Prompt #3:
You asked about coffee and I could tell you nothing.

You now ask about ice cream and I could tell you everything.

 I could tell you that you should never let it melt then refreeze in the carton. I could tell you to not be deceived by the cheap containers marked Frozen Dairy Dessert. I could tell you homemade should always be eaten fresh - the whole canister - no matter the willpower it might take. I could tell you that vanilla must be served with hot cookies, chocolate cake, or warm brownies. I could tell you chocolate never gets old as long as you have a banana and crushed waffle cone pieces to add to it. I could tell you first dates, and first anniversaries, and first time peeing in the potty all call for it (But also ordinary Tuesdays as well). I could tell you homemade hot fudge should always be blended before use. I could tell you whipped cream on ice cream makes everyday ice cream seem fancy... also sprinkles... crushed cookies... and sugar cones (please never cake cones). I could tell you the best way to use birthday B1G1 coupons at Coldstone is to get the Gotta Have It sizes and ask for 4 extra bowls and spoons. I could tell you ice crystals form in the carton if not eaten fast enough so please eat it fast enough.  I could tell you that Tillamook is the best.I could tell you ice cream cakes are suitable stand-alone Valentine's Days presents. I could tell you cup+ice cream+milk+stirred=instant milkshake. I could tell you milkshakes are the most underrated beverage out there. I could tell you that if the aid station at mile 22 was handing out milkshakes at marathons, I would run more marathons. I could tell you nuts should never be allowed into the flavors... also peanut butter... raisins... and bubble gum. I could tell you that every 70+ male entering Baskin Robbins will order Butter Pecan and every 70+ female Pistachio. I could tell you that there was once a time you could buy half gallons at Smiths for 10/$10 and Blake and I would buy 20 at a time. I could tell you kids will always ask you to pre-mix it and if you don't than they will use their saliva to help facilitate the process. I could tell you soft serve and fro-yo, while having a few redeeming qualities, will never be on the same caliber as hand-scooped. I could tell you being pregnant and unable to locate a "real ice cream shop" is cause for tears. I could tell you eating over 2 quarts in one sitting will significantly lower your body temperature. I could tell you mint chocolate chip will always be deemed the most refreshing. I could tell you...

Prompt #4:
I remember my mom in the car. We were always driving somewhere. For you see, I was the youngest of eight children and that equates to being taken all sorts of places not suitable for young children. Our car was often silent. Well, we were not silent, but the car was. No radio ever and I always wondered why that was. I also wondered why when the older kids were finally dropped off that mom was silent. She had this look of "Don't talk to me." So I didn't.  The other day, I sat at a traffic light in my silent but not silent vehicle and caught a glimpse of my face in the rearview mirror... I looked just like her.

Prompt #5:
Tell me what you will miss when you die: Blake


Boy's room...

It took Thursday to Thursday but got it painted and semi-put back together.

The chalkboard is a hit.

Still got a few decor items on my list to get - like a rusty ol' hubcap for this wall.

A hook for the red star hanger that was missing one.

A curtain for the naked window.

And a large print of the boys for here (to encourage brotherly love).

Like this adorable one from Jake's wedding:
(never mind it disappeared from cyber-land but trust me they were cute and looked like the actually like each other)

The boys room was really sad since we moved in. The rumor from the neighbors is that the previous owners didn't get along so the wife lived upstairs and the husband downstairs. From the looks of the boys room - I think it was were they fought their battles - neutral ground perhaps. It has been fun to actually give them a room that looks like a little bit of thought went into it and fresh paint to hide all the battle wounds.

Luna feeds the chickens...

Rice sensory boxes don't last long around here - especially if Luna is involved.


Fun things from my phone...

I am considering installing one of these in my bathroom.

Old-school-after-school snacks.

Perry and Luna went down for simultaneous naps, a phenomenon that has not occurred in over 6 months. I celebrated with hot cookies, milk, and a book.

 Overzealous painting... Am I the only one who wakes up Thursday morning and decides today sounds good to paint their son's room three different colors, complete with a trimmed-out chalkboard? We will see if it ever gets finished.

Don't ask me "How do you do it all?" The answer is "I peel my potatoes outside (while the kids ride bikes) and leave the skins all over the sidewalk to shrivel up in the sun." But hey at least I got the much requested mashed potatoes on the table for dinner.

I made lots of promises of "Yes we can do that once school starts" so I am going down the list. Homemade gummy Legos sure put a smile on this boy's face since he got the molds back in July for his birthday and has been asking for them ever since.

A bunch of books I requested from the library came in so I have been reading lots. This is from Roald Dahl's memoir Boy. I can't get the underlined part out of my head... 

Planning for our springtime trip to Boston and New York... I mapped everything out based on where I want to eat (recommendations courtesy of Jim Gaffigan). Not pictured is also every street vendor that catches my eye. Blake keeps reminding me we are only going to be there for 4 meals - I think he may have forgotten second breakfast, elevenses, supper, and afternoon tea.