Friday, November 1, 2013

Bummed little guy

I was up and typing on the downstairs computer when a ruffled haired Hudson woke up and came to crawl into my lap.

"Hi, Buster!" I said.  To which he responded with a sleepy, muffled "hi, mommy".  "Did you sleep well?" I asked.  "Yup" he said.  "Did you dream about candy last night?" "Nope" he said.

"I dreamed grandma came home."

Of all the kids, he's the one who vocalizes the fact that none of this makes any sense the most.  At dinner one day after the funeral, half way through our meal, he popped his head up from his corn dog.  "Where's Grandma?!?  Why isn't she here?!?" Every time we go to grandma and papa's house now I think he's still waiting for us to wheel her out on trusty Walter.

"Do you know where grandma is?" I asked him.  "She's at grandma and papa's church." he replied.  "Well, Buster.  You know what? She's in heaven.  With Father in Heaven and Jesus." I said.

And he got very still and quiet for a second.

I asked him "What do you think about that?"  "So she died?  She's dead?" he asked.  "She is." I said.

And my more fuzzy than curly haired guy cuddled tighter and buried his head into my chest.

After a moment of quiet I asked him again "What do you think about that, Buster?".

And my little Hudson, who is more cartoon character than little boy, said so quietly "I think.... I think....  I miss her".

And I didn't go back to work for quite awhile that morning.  Funny how a morning cuddle is sometimes the only thing that can ease the ache.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dem's some gooooood genes!

We were recently gifted with some previously undiscovered pictures of my dad as a little. It was a treasure trove of things to tease him about. Love that. But, when we found these little gems, it was the inspiration I needed to let the Jebbarber win the war of the haircuts.

If you couldn't see those awesome classic cars in the background, and if my dad's barber was as cute as our Kortni, I bet you couldn't tell these two boys apart! It looks like the Fluffy is more like his Papa than I thought! I see a tiny motorcycle in my baby's future.

It's too bad my dad already has a twin brother. I think Holden could give that guy a run for his money. Right? Tell me you see it, too!

My Fluffy looks cuter like this, I think. Although he does work a mean pigtails. Hey! Another thing he and Johnny Baby have in common! I'll have to work on getting a picture of grandpa in those to compare and contrast.

And more oldies but goodies. These two. The new trouble twins. Now I see why Fluffy is such a handful. He's full of Johnny Baby!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Strength of Samson

For some strange reason I have yet to figure out, I don't like to have the boys get their hair cut. I know. Weird. Usually we cut it really short, and then I let it grow until it gets unruly, and then let it grow some more. And then it goes past that awkward "growing out" phase, and then I start to wonder what we should do with it. And, as I wonder, it continues to grow.

I start thinking about Samson, and wondering what incredible strength these boys will lose if we cut their hair.

And then I realize that the boys don't have strength in their hair. I am the one who gets a super power from it. The power to drive their father crazy. (Here is where I begin to rub my hands together and laugh an evil laugh.)

Look at Fluffy. He's got the evil laugh, too! Why would I ever cut their hair and lose that? This is too much fun.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The fluffy tagger

I caught Fluffy engaged in his very favorite pastime again - coloring the walls of the house. On a side note, why is it that the 3 children who were born after we moved into this house are so bent on tagging it like little saggy bottom, diapered gangstas? Do they feel the need to let everybody else who lives here know that this is their territory? I wonder.

Anyway, after the requisite "No way, Jose. That is not okay" chastisements, accompanied by the mean mom mugging, it was time for a nap. Once he was all ready and given one more furrowed brow, I got the "I'm sorry" pout and cuddle. Which made me think, is there anything better than a little head snuggled into your neck, chubby arms wrapped around your shoulders, and dimpled hands patting your back? Not on this earth, there isn't. It makes graffiti removal so worth it. But don't tell that to him.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Our Friendly Neighborhood Deer

We get to have Bo come over every Wednesday night while the Jebyoungman goes to mutual. Let's hear it for church callings! After we make her clean our kitchen, make or provide our dinner, and then help put the kids to bed, she usually thinks it's time to leave. On one particular Wednesday night, after breaking free of the childrens' grips and making it out the door, she turned around and came right back inside. "Forget something?" I helpfully asked. "Nope. I can't leave. There's a deer in front of my car." So the kids flung open the front door to see the deer. And you know what? That crazy deer came right up to them! And then followed them around for the next hour, pushing it's head into their chests begging to be touched, and smashing it's nose into Hudson's for kisses. Thank goodness Leah had already fallen asleep or you would have been able to hear her scream all the way at your house.

It was the weirdest thing I have ever seen.

We kept telling Hudson not to jump or run because it would scare the poor deer off. But, being Hudson, he just couldn't help but to jump and run, and that deer seemed to love him the best. She followed the kids up and down the street, walking amongst them like she was one of the pack. We had to keep the front door closed because she kept coming up on the front porch waiting to be invited inside. See? Weird.

Hudson and the deer with the same look on their faces

The next morning she spotted my little herd on their way to school and followed them down until they reached the busy street. She caused quite the controversy in our neighborhood. It seemed half the people were frantically calling animal control or the Division of Wildlife, and the rest of us were wanting her to just be left alone. Half were saying she must be diseased or hurt to be coming up to people like that, which really didn't make sense to the other half.

A few days later someone had her visiting their backyard, and we haven't heard from her since. Too bad. It was a great experience. Maybe we should look into getting a deer of our own.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Riddle me this, Batman.

There is an oldest child around here, who shall remain nameless, who came walking upstairs ready to go to school. Ready to go to school wearing about 4 layers of shirts. A regular shirt, a long sleeved one next, a fleece hoodie, and ANOTHER fleece hoodie on top of that. I was trying to brush out her hair amidst all the hoods, and asked what in the sam hill was going on with the layers.

"It's cold at school, mom."

"Are you going to wear your coat on top of all that?"

"I'm wearing this INSTEAD of my coat. My coat is puffy".

Golly, Batman! What adjective would you use to describe 4 layers of clothes that make it so she can't put her arms down? Why, Robin (or Robyn in this case), I'd say puffy, of course! Mmm hmm. Puffy.

Next riddle. The middle boy won't wear shirts. He'll put up with them when in public, but as soon as we drive up to the house, his shirt comes off before he can even cross the threshold. "I don't wike showts" he says, and by George he means it. The riddle comes in when I notice how stinkin' cute he looks in a turtleneck when I put it on him in the morning. I again noticed it at lunch, and again when the kids came home from school. He kept the turtleneck on! So, any regular showt, long sleeved, short sleeved, comes right off. But the turtleneck he keeps on. Weirdo.

The youngest (who is not the smallest, but just the youngest. Another mystery!) has decided to say no to everything. He flies through his bowl of oatmeal and then when you say "Do you want some more?" he says "No!" But really he is saying "Please, mum. May I have some more". He'll bring you a pair of pants and you'll say "You want to put these on?" and he'll reply with "No!" and then sit himself down in prime pants putting on positioning. When he really does mean no, he'll give you the most annoying whiney grunt, ala Stewart from mad TV. It makes facing homicide charges not just a possibility, but a SUPER possibility. I'll post a link after a warning. You'll want to stop the video almost as soon as it starts, because, just as in real life, it is the most annoying sound you have ever laid ears on. Alright, go ahead and watch here. See that? If you get that response, it's a definite no, but if he's said "no" you know you're in the clear. Curious? "No!"

Little sister also has something strange about her. It may be the fact that she looks just like Mike Tyson, only instead of some swirly thing covering her face, it's a cute gray mouse. Whenever I indulge the kids on the vending machines at the grocery store, Leah always goes for the sticker/tattoos. And then she applies it directly to her face. Why? Why, I ask the cosmos?

As for Harrison? Well he's always been a riddle wrapped in a mystery, and deep fried. Kind of like a corn dog, which he likes, but he doesn't go for just the naked dogs. No way. Will I ever figure any of these kids out?

It's crazy around here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dr. Drew told us it was time.

In all of the children's hospital bassinets, placed right next to our swaddled newbie, was a binkie. Abigail's was teeny tiny and smelled like vanilla, Harrison's and Leah's were the cheapie plastic ones with the pink or blue flapping circle handle, and Hudson's had the button. But none of them took it. They would gag and choke on it until their tiny little tongues forced it out of their mouths.

But not Fluffy.

Fluffy had a love affair with the ugly, big, green silicone binkie from the start. I was amazed. We had never had a binkie baby before. He was born addicted, it seemed, and nothing made him happier than his constant companion. It was his baby binkie crack. The power that thing had over this kid was incredible. It was our friend too in those early days. We didn't go anywhere without two, three, four of mommy's little helper. He had quite the collection.

Hudson laughing at the crazy thing the baby loves.

As he got older, however, we knew we needed to stage an intervention. We began the weaning process and I'm not sure who resisted more, the addict or the dealer. I loved him having the binkie. It worked every time! Who would want to mess with that, I ask you! But, I knew it would have to come to an end sometime. We did it slowly. Just a distraction here and there and miraculously we had it down to just naps and bedtime. And then I started to procrastinate. "After our trip", I would say. "He's getting a cold! We can't take it from him when he has a cold!", and a million other reasons why I couldn't completely pull the plug (so to speak).

Fluffy was on to us, too. He began hiding his habit. He would toss his binkie under his bed before I came in to get him. Then later in the day he would pull it out, all covert like, and hide in his room to have it. That's right. He became a closet binkier. A bad sign for sure. Hudson would discover him and narc him out. "Mom! Holden has a bwinkie!" he would holler, and then Fluffy would come running. No, really. RUNNING. Like a tiny, husky Forrest Gump charging down the hall. Sometimes he would manage to find two of them, and tuck one under his arm like a short little Heisman trophy, strong arming me out of his way to keep that binkie in his mouth.

There was a bonus to him being wise to our plan, though. He would hang out in his crib until 10:00 in the morning to enjoy the time he had with his forbidden love. Did you just read that right? 10:00? Yes, yes you did. Yet another reason why I was resistant to ending the relationship.

Alas, I could put it off no longer. I had it in my head that he would be finished by his second birthday. With that day approaching us, and no illnesses circulating the house at this very moment (a sign for sure!), I put him down without one last hit. The cries from his crib confirmed that yes, indeed, I am the meanest mom on the planet. He begged, he got angry, he promised just one last time. "Mom! Mommy! MOOOOOMMMMYYYY!" was probably heard by all the neighbors around us.

And then it ended. It took only a half an hour, and then was over. Ah my you yah, as Leah would say; Hallelujah as I would say.

But then he was up before 8:00 the next morning. All good things must end, I suppose. Farewell, binkie. You have served us well.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Conversations with Leah Boo

Leah had a friend over the other day, and I overheard the conversation they were having.

Leah - "We have to be quiet because my mom is working."

Friend - "Where does your mom work?"

Leah - "Oh, she just works over there in the study. She works for a talking computer."


Monday, January 9, 2012

My 2012 Motto

I think I am going to use this for my theme this year. I've never had a "theme" before, but this one really speaks to me on a deep, personal level. Ready?

I think I'll go get some marshmallows right now!! Cover those bad boys in chocolate and you've got yourself a darn fine day, I tell you what! Excellent!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Well, this time of year always has me waxing reminiscent. I start to think back over the year that has passed, and even more over the break my monkeys just had (A solid month off! Glorious!), and it turns me into the poster child of post holiday blues. I hate sending my babies back to school. Hate, hate, hate. Those geniuses at the acronym department really had it when they said that Seasonal Affective Disorder makes you sad. Give those guys a raise, why don't you.

But, all in all we had it really good, I think. I think a corner was turned back in February when, after my lovely trip to Baltimore to hang with the 'rents, I realized that I really, really love the Jebhusband. No, like, really. That boy really tries. And although he may fall right on his face quite often, he still gets up and tries some more. Especially when he is trying for me and the kids. Gotta love him.

After that, the Fluff turned one, and my life has always changed once the babies turn one. It's like some kind of proclamation in my head that says in one of those loud, booming inspiration voices from the movies "And now you may officially be post post partum. So let it be written". And then a crack of thunder is heard and the skies clear, and some harp music starts. Crazy, right? Or should I say no more crazy, right?

And after that it's just a blur of constant motion, until we get to today. The day I send my babies back to school and they are all one year older than this time last year. I really, really hope they remember the times that I was so incredibly proud of them, and forget the times that I was mad when I shouldn't have been. I really, really hope they know that the line of people who really, really care about them ends with mom, and forget when I have told them to wait just a few more minutes to get my attention. I really, really hope that today when they get back to "real life" that they know, somewhere deep within them, that they are my "real life" and that I would move heaven and earth for them. I just really, really hope they know that I will miss them so.

So, I guess that's my new year's resolution. Just to make sure they know. And to make this a really, really good year for us all.

I found these quotes over here.

“I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.”

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.” -
Neil Gaiman

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Crappy - I Mean Crafty

If you happen to have a little sister named Tracy (which I do) and she happens to call you one day to tell you to fire up the old TV to see a Christmas craft they were doing on one of those cheesy Utah crafty shows (which she did!) you should probably just say "cute!" and then hang up right on her face (which, unfortunately, I didn't). Because once you start this craft, you'll be yelling expletives that you didn't even know you knew! Super fun! Don't worry, though. I'll spoil it right now for you - SPOILER ALERT! and all that - it ends up pretty cute. Plus it's just more added to my arsenal of why the children WILL adore me until the end of time. See what I did for you?!? You can never have enough See What I Did For Yous!

We jumped into this advent calendar thing, because I love advent calendars. Advent calendars and nativity scenes. Those, Linus, are what Christmas is all about. It was after jumping, however, that we realized the scope of this calendar. Each one takes 25 tins, as I'm sure you figured. But, times that by 5 naughty elves and that makes 125 TINS! Where on earth can you find 125 tins without cracking into the college fund piggy bank? I'll tell you! Some on Ebay, some at Michaels, some at JoAnns, some at Oriental Trading, and some that don't work at Hobby Lobby, so I'd avoid those if I were you. But then, on top of the 125 tins there are numbers, and under the 125 tins there are letters. That makes 250 punches to punch! Insert Howard Dean charging yell of excitement right here!

The Jebcarpenter made the frames himself. And then since it was cold outside we decided to paint them down in the most unventilated part of our house, which would be the unfinished part of the basement just down from the heater. Guess what happened? No, we did not blow up the house. But thanks for thinking I'd be blogging after our house blew up! No, the heater kicked on and pulled all the paint fumes from the basement and blew them all over the house. Anyone wanting a quick pick me up can come and take some deep breaths in our house for 30 seconds and you'll be feeling goooooooood. Or you might have a killer headache like mine. Either way.

The next exciting part of this project is the magnets on the backs of the tins. Considering the mass quantities of individual magnets required we opted for the cheapo solution of the rolled up magnet tape. That, I'd say, was the biggest mistake I have made in my entire life. ENTIRE LIFE! Those babies would plunge themselves to a death by tile all night long. It sounded like little Christmas kamikazes exploding as they plummeted themselves to the floor in the middle of the night. Like Christmas fireworks! Another Howard Dean yell!

Anyway, here is the finished product. And the link for the details wherein she paints a much happier picture of the process, cause I know after my description you're totally heading there to do these for all your neighbor gifts, right?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Conversations with Leah Boo

We were riding in the van on our way downtown when in the next lane we see a small truck with a fence all around the bed. Inside the fenced in bed of the truck was a small white pony with a cowboy hat on. The truck had a sign on the side that read "Party Pony! Great for birthday parties!". As we drove by that truck Leah, in the back of the van, said

"That's a boy pony. Know how I can tell?"

And I held my breath and waited for her answer.

"He's got on a cowboy hat. CowBOY. See?"

Very good, Boo. Very good.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I start to black out the dreaded winter as soon as those silly little crocuses start peaking out their early heads. When there is a taste of spring in the air, I begin to push the memories of everything cold out of my mind. But every year, with the very first snow, it all comes rushing back to me. And this year I promised myself that there would always be one thing that I never forget to remember even when bathing in the summer sunshine.

It came back to me on the night of this year's very first snowfall. The Jebdate and I wandered across the street to our favorite neighbor's house just as the storm began. In the time it took to cross the street both of us were covered in big, fluffy snowflakes. It was coming down. We then spent a few hours in the warm company of our good friends, solving the worlds mysteries and lamenting children. When we had exhausted ourselves and all lucid conversation, Jeb and I put our shoes back on and started our way back across the street. During our visiting the snow had piled a few inches and covered the grass, sidewalk, and road. As John-Erik and I made it down our neighbor's driveway, he dashed in front of me and out into the street. I thought he was just cold and couldn't take the short walk through the snow. But, no. That was when the memory of every snowstorm we have weathered together returned.

He's always walked in front of me in the snow. He does this to make footprints for me to follow in. I don't think he does it for me to notice he does it, but just because he is thoughtful like that. He knows I hate the snow. Hate, hate, hate. Especially when it gets in my shoes and clings the bottoms of my jeans. And so with every single snowstorm that we have to walk through, he jumps ahead and cuts a path for me to follow. Sweet, right?

Well, I notice. And I won't forget.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Leah's Been Pierced!

I usually don't have work on Wednesdays, so that's the day we do all our traipsing about the town. Don't act like you don't traipse. You totally do.

Anyway, on this particular Wednesday we had decided to traipse about Forever 21, because we had heard about it, but hadn't yet experienced it. If the same goes for you, let me tell you; Forever 21 is Forever overrated. What is with all the shirts that are short in the front, longer in the back, but way wider than they are long? Am I old, or is the fashion really ugly right now? I did manage to score a black sweater for 8 bucks, though. But, that's not the point of the story. I'm getting there. Swear.

After our Forever letdown experience, we enter into the vast beyond of the mall. First stop, Claire's. Leah loves Claire's, and I do too as it was the place who gave me my first job. A 16 year old girl in a jewelry store? I know, right? Meeemmmoories. Next time you're there notice how they organize the towers of earrings in a shapes, hoops, dangles manner. It's how I organize my jewelry to this very day.

As we cross the threshold of Leah's favorite place, the associate points us in the direction of the clearance section and tells us everything there is 10 for 10 bucks. Another shopping victory! Leah grabs a basket and begins the fury of filling that baby up. There were 2 other moms there and a girl who was probably 9 years old doing the same thing. Leah asks the other moms who had been digging in the treasure longer than us if they had seen any clip on earrings. They start handing her some, along with some magnetic ones, when the little girl says "You don't have your ears pierced? You should totally do it. It doesn't hurt". And one of the moms says "I pierced all my girls ears when they were babies. You could wear the real earrings then". And that's when a I saw a crack in Leah's if-you-even-touch-my-ears-I'll-have-a-freak-out-like-you-won't-believe wall. So I ask her if she wants to go and look at the desk where they do the piercing. She checks out the page of earrings and decides she wants to go for it. I immediately throw my hand up in the air and whistle the associate over. We've got a live one here and the key is to ACT FAST before she can freak herself out. The girl starts going over the spiel and I rush her through it. Let's do this thing. Except, it took awhile to get the placing right with their marker. Turns out, Leah has some funky shaped earlobes. Weird. She totally gets that from her dad.

Boo had managed to sit in the chair, holding the piercing bear, all by herself until the big moment. Then she wanted to sit in my lap, which was good because then I can pull out the mom hold of extreme still. The associates count to 3 and, "click", in go the studs. Immediately Leah starts crying. Not screaming, thank goodness, just big, fat tears crying. The girls who did her this injustice squirt on the cooling solution and hand her a mirror to help her stop crying. It was in that mirror that I could see Leah, and she could see me, and she shot me the dirtiest look of hatred that I have ever seen cross her face. Which of course makes me start laughing. A few more douses of the solution and Leah is feeling much better. I'm laughing and smiling with such joy and pride in my scaredy Boo. She did it, the poor thing.

We go back to the earrings and she trades out her clip ons and magnets for the real deal. Outside of the store we text everyone a picture of her ears with the caption "Look what Leah just did!", and then let the accolades pour back. My Boo. I was so proud of her.

Ah, another milestone. We've had a big year with my little Boo. This summer she finally braved Bo's water slide, and then managed the biggest tricks on it of all the grandkids.

She was the only one who dared stand next to Mr. Fredericksen at the Up house.

She touched the all the Halloween decorations this year and then stuck out her tongue at them with a "you can't scare me" attitude.
Her courage seems to be creeping in, very, very slowly, but I guess still surely. She is still afraid of EVERYTHING, which can be infuriating sometimes, but maybe eventually she'll cautiously grow out of that. We'll just get to watch and wait. They payoff will burst my heart, I'm sure.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Spookie Ookie

So, Halloween. It's pretty fun, right? Except the Jebgrouch didn't grow up with it, (another reason why Sweden is weird), and so he has never gotten into it. "It's creepy" is what I hear from about October 15th right on through. Oh, well. I've managed to get him dressed up as Donald Duck two years in a row now. Pictures, you ask? None, I sadly respond. He's always the one BEHIND the camera when the costume is on. It's his favorite Halloween trick.

The kids are into it, even though their father has tried to convince them otherwise. It's getting to be pretty close to the end of Abigail's Halloween career, though. Bummer. She decided to dress up as the devil this year. I said "so you're just going to wear your regular clothes then? That's no fun." She didn't think that was funny. Abigail as the devil. Unfortunate, I know.

Harrison's costume this year was surprisingly popular. We probably saw 10 other red and black ninjas at school. Which is really spooky since I bought his costume on clearance about 2 years ago. Ooooooh! Scary!

This year Leah turned Halloween into the Oscars. She had a costume change with every new treat presenter it seemed. We started off with the poodle skirt, moved onto the witch, and ended with Belle. And also threw in a few days in the house as Jasmine and Jessie. Oh, she was using the free pass on dressing up, you betcha.

Hudson also had a few wardrobe changes. It comes with being the younger brother I guess, and the beneficiary of all the hand me downs. Although he was not happy with the dragon costume for some reason. He liked his little ninja much better.

Fluffy was put in the Dumbo. All of the kids have taken their turn. It's the cutest costume known to man, and it puts them into some kind of scary zombie state. For some reason, I guess with the puffy pillow belly and the warmth of the costume, it puts them to sleep. Every single kid has fallen asleep in that costume. Ah, memories. Chubby little red cheeks passed out on the big Dumbo belly. We did have to alter it for the Fluffy and remove some of the belly stuffing. He had enough of his own stuff and fluff to fill it. No, not really, but really we could have.

Obligatory pictures!

We always have to camp out the night before at the school for the Halloween parade. The boys tolerated it fine, surprisingly.

The break neck speed at which the kids pass us by. Even though we have the conversation before school that they need to try and SLOW DOWN so we can get a picture. Glad we had that conversation.

Obligatory pre-Trick or Treating pictures! Hooray!

See? Hudson is mad at that dragon costume. It was the warmest though, so he had to suck it up for the candy. I'm a nice mom like that.

Aaaahh! The devil is coming to get Harrison! Watch out, Bubba!

And one more costume change. Harrison dressed up as Papa dressed up as a ninja, and Abigail dressed up as Papa dressed up as the devil.

Leah dressed up as Papa dressed up as Belle and Hudson dressed up as Papa dressed up as a happy dragon this time. Guess we needed to add the mustache to make it better.

And finally, the Fluff dressed up as Papa dressed up as a slightly stoned Dumbo. I guess the costume even has its effects on grandpa! Spooooooky.