Splish Splash Afternoon Bath


I think we BOTH had fun killing some time and energy on this dreary winter day.  I hope I'm not the only momtog out there who entertains herself with a camera while her child entertains himself.  It's a win-win in my opinion.

No; I change my mind.  I definitely get the better end of the deal.  Splashing brings us both joy in different ways.  But I get extra amusement when I see that cute teeny tushy.    

Our Saturday Morning Snowshoe Adventure to Ross Falls


We loaded up into the truck Saturday morning and as we headed down the road towards the South Hills, I couldn't help but grab Bron's hand as I looked around at what we'd brought with us: 3 boys in the backseat (one ornery child complaining about his mittens), 2 dogs hanging their heads out of the bed of the truck, and what feels like a ton of gear.

"Look at this chaos we've created!" I exclaimed.

"Why did we do it to ourselves?" Bron replied grumpily.  But underneath he had a smile.

"Well, we can't take it back.  I kind of love it."

It's true.  This chaos we call family has steadily grown over the last 12 years.  There is more of everything these days.  More clothes to wash.  More whining.  More messes.  More noise.  More food for the table.  More moments when I feel overwhelmed by it all.  There's also more teasing.  More laughter.  More hugs.  More "I'm sorry."  More "I love you."  More teaching.  More learning.  More purpose.  More prayer.  But most of all, more joy.

Everything has its opposite.  I'll take the lows any day for the highs that erase their memory.

I turned 34 years old a little less than a month ago.  I don't make a big deal of my birthday here on the blog because I feel like being somewhere in my 30's just isn't noteworthy.  It's just another year on the planet.  Looking around, however, I am really proud of what Bron and I have accomplished thus far together.  A loving husband, three healthy kids, two crazy dogs, and a house out in the country may seem very boring and ordinary, but it's actually a very beautiful life.  Sometimes it hits me hard just how lucky I am!  I have so much to be grateful for.

So Saturday morning, feeling a little extra nostalgic about being the lucky wife and mom to these boys I get to call mine, we forged our own trail up to Ross Falls.  I have never seen the snow so deep!  As we reached the top, I just kind of slid into a hole created by the creek bed.  Two minutes later, the kids were in there with me.  It was really incredible to be down there surrounded by walls of snow!  We had a blast but had to head back down the trail quickly once Conrad soaked himself in the creek.  No worries.  Conrad was all right.  Bron stripped him down and got him warmed up in the truck.  I hope my little boys know how much spending time with them and making memories with them means to me!

February: Ironically the Longest Month of the Year


^^Big brother playing Conrad's favorite game after school: Peel the Apple.  It's a type of tickling game that gets everyone laughing.^^

There are only 28 days in February.  It's the shortest month of the year.  Why then does it always feel so neverending?

This year, we are living in an ice box: a place where the snow just keeps coming down, it never melts, and the roads are icy.  Winter arrived in all its fury this February and is refusing to go away!

Okay.  Okay.  So it's really pretty.  And being "snowed in" makes justifying staying home in my sweat pants and watching too much TV kind of sweetly satisfying.  But I, a self-proclaimed sun worshiper, will never truly embrace winter no matter how hard I try.  Nope.  I'm ready to hop on my bike or hit up the park with my little sidekick!  Spring.  Where are you?!?

All this cold has spurred on some nasty illness statewide.  The actual flu virus swept through our home last week.  Jed and Levi had a wrestling tournament in Jerome on February 9th.  I'm 98% positive that's where the bug came from.

By the way, the boys wrestled well.  Even though they didn't win any trophies, they made us proud.  Jed is a scrappy thing with some grit!  And Levi just needs some more time on the mats to really figure out the sport.  The morning was a good experience for everyone and we celebrated by taking the kids out to lunch.

That evening, while Bron and I were out on a date, we got a phone call from Levi around 8:45pm saying that Jed had thrown up everywhere and that we needed to come home fast.  (Poor traumatized babysitter!)  We arrived home to find that Jed had indeed thrown up everywhere and was lying on the bathroom floor with a fever.  Poor kid.  By 10pm, everything was cleaned up and under control again.  By 8am the next day, Jed was acting like nothing had happened!  He's our chronic puker, after all.  (Meaning, when he gets upset or overtired, he throws up!)  I wasn't quite sure what to think.  And so with church canceled Sunday morning (due to winter roads), I went ahead and let him join the neighborhood kids playing in the fresh snow outside.

Sledding Idaho Style in a Winter Wonderland


There was so much snow on Sunday that church was canceled.  So we played in it... Idaho style!  We really do have the best neighbors and neighborhood.  A big thank you to Ty for entertaining the kids all afternoon!  The boys had a blast.

No further explanations needed.  The pictures tell the story...

Tips and Tricks on How to Potty Train a Boy


Potty training has been in full swing over here for over a week.  And I gotta say, just for the record, that it's a lot of work but I know it's worth it.  All those claims about having your child potty trained in three days is a load of crap.  Three days is the point of no return!  It's when he "gets it" and I as the parent am obligated to live the next few weeks or months of my life centered around a toilet.  Need I mention the accidents?  Nah.  That's a given, right?

Anyway, it's been a super exciting week here for Conrad.  I am so proud of him.  Conrad was just ready to tackle it!  We are officially moving out of the baby stage and on to bigger things.  It's so bitter sweet, especially since Bron and I are discussing that Conrad should probably be our last child.  (But that's a whole other topic for another day.)

Conrad is my third boy to potty train.  I feel like I'm kind of a veteran in the arena.  I've been asked a few times about how to potty train boys.  While I've never had any experience potty training a girl, I believe that potty training any child is pretty universal in its tactics... boys just have a hose attached.

Everyone has an opinion on potty training.  Everyone is probably right.  Every child is different and every mother is different too.  So please take these next suggestions with a grain of salt.  Pick what might be useful for you and your child and discard the rest.  This is what has worked for us.

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