Snapshots of Winter Days at Home

One year old details.  Little white onesies and drool.  Confession: One morning I buckled him into his booster seat and fed him a lollipop just so I could clean the kitchen. Win-win!

Conrad's newest trick that we keep getting after him for: climbing on top of the table!  He likes to swipe leftover dry cereal from Jed's breakfast bowl and claim it for himself.  Then he hides in this corner next to the couch to eat his treat.  Never a dull moment!

Each morning at 11:30AM, we don our shoes and coats to take Levi to the bus stop.  When the weather permits, Conrad enjoys exploring and playing in the yard.  His favorite spot?  The dog run.  Fortunately, Tyke doesn't poop in there anymore.  He's free to roam the yard at will on his wireless fence and uses it as an entrance to the garage to get out of the weather.  Conrad is absolutely fascinated with that opening!   

On a quiet afternoon as the sun shone through the windows and the boys were enthralled in the tail end of their Harry Potter movie, I couldn't help grabbing my camera to practice some freelensing.  Just an ordinary day and ordinary moments made into magical (to me) photographs.    

That time Conrad walked around with laundry over his head.  He made us all laugh.  I always have a lot of laundry sitting on the couch waiting to be folded these days.  A family of five is no joke on the laundry scene!  I especially struggle getting it folded because it seems that as soon as I sit down to work on it, I am needed somewhere else by someone.  (Why are you bleeding?!?)  I've pretty much given up.  Instead, Bron has begun folding in the evenings as he watches tv.  I seriously don't know what I'd do without that man's help.  

The weather teased us with Spring temps for a couple of weeks!  One 60 degree evening, the whole family went for a bike ride.  It was such a fun thing to do together!  It filled my happy bucket to overflowing. 

There are many phrases I never thought I'd have to say to my children.  "Please don't lick the floor," isn't one of them though.  I think it kind of comes with boy mom territory.

There's a story behind this picture, obviously.  Levi was signing his Valentine's cards when he purposefully wrote his name backwards.  Little manipulative stink wanted some candy all for himself!  So, of course, I relented and let him eat a sugary Fun Dip... which he spilled onto the floor.  When I asked him to clean it up, this was the method he chose.  Haha.  Whatever.  It got the job done?

Conrad is such a little tease!  He knows his feet aren't supposed to be on the table.  Just like his big brothers, he likes getting attention and a rise from me.

One of my favorite faces in the whole wide world on Valentine's Day, even if it is messy and covered in chocolate.  I keep coming back to this photo.  It's that baby face not so baby anymore. Conrad is growing into a little boy right before my eyes!

The boys had a fantastic Valentine's Day.  Honestly, if it weren't for their enthusiasm about cards and candy to give to their classmates, I think I would have forgotten the holiday entirely.  We keep V-Day low key at our house, but I did find myself getting really excited about the little surprises I had in store for all four of my men that morning: pink pancakes, bacon, strawberries, and chocolate candies.  Yes, the way to their hearts (and admittedly mine) is through good food.  Bring on the love!

That afternoon, I ran a cake walk at Jed's class party.  They had soda and cotton candy and sugar galore!  I couldn't believe it.  Why do we center our holidays around so much sugar?  But the kids had a blast.  Jed and Levi were both in a sugar coma by dinner time.  Haha.  They only have one childhood, right?  Let them be little.

The BEAUTIFUL flowers Bron bought me for Valentine's Day.  I said that's all I wanted: live flowers that would last longer than a week.  Well, it looks as if they won't last much longer than two weeks!  Boo.  So, so sad.  I truly do have a black thumb.  Though I've given my flowers the sunniest place in the house and plenty to drink, its leaves are turning yellow.  Send help.  What am I doing wrong?!

I'm severely outnumbered here, but I love being a boy mom. They might be harder to keep alive, but at least the drama is kept to a minimum, most days anyway.  Wrestling is a near daily occurrence at our house.  And these boys have the best daddy to beat on them.  Lucky kids.

When I give Jed and Levi something productive to do (like clean their room), they'd rather run laps around the couch with a baby toy in tow and tackle each other.

We're right smack in the middle of our bedroom remodel.  I'm looking forward to the day when we move them over to their new room and I can organize (aka get rid of half) their toys and clothes.  Until then, I've taken the boys' desk and toy box away and hidden them in the garage.  They stink at cleaning their room and I am fed up with the clutter and trash!  I doubt they'll ever learn until they have a place of their own.  

My miniature laundry helper.  He likes putting the wet clothes into the dryer.  I like the fact that he has to stand on his toes to do it!  Keep killing me with cuteness, Conrad.

Conrad has really started catching on to how things operate around here.  He jabbers and hands me my pillows as I'm making the bed.  He knows when I say, "Let's go change your bum," to head to his room.  Smart kid is so enthusiastic to help and it is so much fun!  Too bad the enthusiasm wanes just as he actually becomes helpful.  

Speaking of work, I read something from one of my favorite adventure photographers, Jimmy Chin, in an article that really resonated with me.  He says, "I learned that there’s no way around hard work and putting in time and practicing. ... I’ve had a lot of people help me along the way … but I also believe that you don’t find your mentors, they find you.  People might not understand that.  When people want advice, often times the intention is, “What’s the shortcut?  How can I get where you are without putting in the work?”  I’d like to think that I was putting in the work and the time, and that’s what Conrad and some of the other mentors I’ve had in my life recognized in me.  It all goes back to my father’s kung fu stories.  You have to spend years sweeping the front door before the grand masters will let you in." 

I don't ever expect fame or to rub shoulders with "the great ones".  No, no, no.  But I understand this point of view.  I don't think I'm a natural at anything I enjoy doing.  Instead, I've just been determined.  My talents are a product of years of consistent effort.

Sunday best with my trio of boys.  

We've been living in an ice box for a couple of weeks now.  The temperature refuses to break freezing and there's more snow and icy temperatures in the forecast.  Ugh.  I struggle with the winter blues every February.  I've been trying to keep my spirits up with exercise, staying busy, and being kind to myself, but living in the cold day after day just about brings me to tears sometimes.  I can't decide if I napped everyday this week because I'm physically or emotionally exhausted.  Maybe both?  And I am so done with Jed's homework.  It's only February but I am more than ready to move on to the next thing.  Spring.  Where are you?!?   

However, these three sweet boys help me by showing their unconditional love.  I am the person they come flocking to first thing in the morning.  They like their cheeks kissed as I send them out the door.  And when Conrad wraps his tiny arms around my neck, I become a puddle on the floor.  Every afternoon, the boys are eager to tell me all about their time at school.  And they all compete for my time and attention.  My boys make me feel so needed.  Jed, Levi, and Conrad are my happy place.  I feel so blessed to be their mother.

In other news, I officially began coaching the Magic Valley High School Women's Lacrosse team this week.  (Yes, on top of volunteering my time on Saturday mornings with the youth orchestra!  But that's done in two weeks.)  I had no idea the amount of work and organization it takes to run a league.  Fortunately, I'm not doing this alone.  At all.  I was the one recruited to help.  It's going to be a learning curve for me as I change the way I see the sport--from a player to a coach--but I'm already having a blast with these girls.  We've been practicing in the gym at Canyon Ridge High School to gear up for the jamboree in Boise this weekend.  The girls have so much potential.  I can see it!  I'm nervous about parents during games and team drama, but I'll be trying my best and hoping it's all worth while by the end of the season because I thiiiink I would love to coach next year if possible.  It just makes me happy.  Lacrosse is SUCH an AWESOME sport!  I really can't believe this opportunity landed in my lap.        

1 comment

  1. WOW! CAN YOU GET ANY BUSIER? All kidding aside I am so proud of you and all you set out to accomplish. Go girl. Also I am always so grateful for all the pictures you post. It gives me my grandson rush whenever I look at your blog. I love those little smiles. Also thanks for the bike riding picture. I love it that you guys all love to ride together.


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