Monday, June 10, 2013

summer storms, birthday disasters and other random happenings

This post is going to be a catch-all. The junk drawer, if you will. A compilation of several pictures over the last couple of months that have no other place to land but here. So here we go.

I'm not sure how I got these next two photos to happen but I absolutely adore them. I'm sure there was some bribing involved. There usually is if everyone is smiling at the camera. I know I'm their mom but I can't take the cuteness.

Bennett had been begging me to buy cherries for a while so I did. And then I took his picture because cherries are cute. He lost interest in them after a couple helpings. And turns out I'm allergic to them. Boo. (Along with raw apples, sugar snap peas, weird all of these adult allergies I keep gaining. Anyone else??) So we're over cherries.

One night, driving home from my in-law's, the clouds were the most breathtaking thing I'd ever seen in Iowa. I put the boys to bed when I got home and I kept running out of the house to snap more photos as the sun was setting. This was the sky from every angle. I am sort of obsessed with sky- the moon, clouds, sunsets, all of it. It just never ceases to amaze  me. I'm thankful that even in the most un-scenic flatlands of Iowa, we still get to enjoy jaw-dropping beauty from our creator in the sky. (P.S. I just realized the East and South are mixed up. But I'm up too late and not going to go back and edit. Just had to point that out before my husband did ;)
Of course the boys weren't staying in bed and followed me outside. I promise you I did not tell them to reach their hands longingly toward the heavens. That dynamite pose was all them. You're welcome. I should slap some Bible verse on there and it could make big bucks in the art department of a Christian bookstore.

 I also didn't tell them to hug. Goodness gracious, they can be so sweet.

And then Bennett went ahead and turned six on me. Serious heartbreaker, that one. In my mind, that's the official "kid" age. We've left all the adorable baby, preschooler and kindergartner ages behind and now he's just a kid. A wild and crazy kid who thinks potty humor is the most compelling dinner conversation and who now officially has a "crush" on a girl. I remember walking past the big boy clothing department in Von Maur a few years ago. It made me so sad and I thought to myself, "I don't ever want to have a boy who fits into those clothes". Welp, like it or not we have outgrown every size that Baby Gap carries. We were hanging on by a thread with their shoes but no more. Big boy department for life. (I'm not ever actually going to have a son that shops in the men's department, am I? Please don't tell me that's actually going to happen.) 
Birthday week started out with the anticipated trip to the grocery store for the cereal of his choice. I love this tradition since it just stretches the whole celebration out longer. 
His actual birthday was on Thursday. I had visions of last year's perfect day in my mind. I love to do stuff to make that day feel special, since his party wasn't until Saturday. Well, real life intervened and it ended up being a total bomb. It started the night before when I was up til 2am. (Dawson had a horrible cough and couldn't sleep until I finally drugged him up out of sleep-deprived desperation.) I let the boys watch TV that morning so I could sleep in a little bit. I was already behind on sleep and knew I couldn't function on 5 hours (I know...I'm a wuss about my sleep.) So at 9am I came down to this: 
Dawson threw half a bag of Craisins around the room (birthday confetti??) and dumped the remains of Bennett's cereal bowl on the table and rubbed that around for good measure. (me: "Why did you have your bowl of cereal in the living room???" Bennett: "Because it's my birthday and I wanted to eat it on the couch!" me: .... Whatever.) Oh, and Dawson ate about a dozen hershey kisses and half a container of that store bought cotton candy. Why the H - E - double hockey sticks we still had that in our pantry is beyond me.

So literally our entire morning was spent cleaning that up. I suppose I could have quickly cleaned the entire mess up myself and just marked another tally in the "parenting fail" category (what's one more, really??) but in the moment I thought it was more important to have Dawson clean up the mess he made. And if you've never had a strong-willed child, then you probably won't be able to fathom the fun that was.

My mother-in-law had agreed to come watch the little ones while I took Bennett out for something fun, just the two of us. We got off to a late start and only had a couple hours. He really wanted pizza and I was wracking my brain to come up with a fun activity to do together and decided to take him to an arcade. Well, I drove out to my favorite pizza place near our huge mall and it was out of business. I drove him to a restaurant nearby and tried to talk him into something different but he insisted on pizza. Ok, Plan C....mall food court. At least I can eat Chick-fil-A. He got a meal deal with mac & cheese on the side and blue Gatorade. I gritted my teeth and said, "sure! Eat all the crap you want! Its your birthday!". (I didn't really say that.) He was thrilled :) Side note, Bennett's had a dairy allergy for a long time (used to give him terrible eczema and now usually gives him diarrhea if he has too much at once). I let him splurge occasionally and we just go with the flow. Sorry. That was gross.

So we hit the arcade after lunch. Genius mom didn't think about the fact that you need cash for an arcade. I had none. I also don't know the pin number to my debit card. We had to drive all the way to the nearest Target and make a purchase so I could take cash out.
Then back to the arcade we went, with about 15 minutes left to spare. The first game we tried was a two player game but one of the guns wasn't working. Bennett was yelling at me to shoot something and I was trying to tell him my gun wasn't working and then the machine was asking for more money and I put more in and then Bennett was yelling at me again and crying and I was trying to calm him down and it was madness. First born son is a bit competitive and was NOT happy he couldn't shoot the skeleton in the pirate ship. So 30 seconds and $2 later, we moved on to a couple more games. Well, Bennett was already so upset, I'm pretty sure those other two games ended in tears too. I'm not sure what he expected but it wasn't THAT. So in order to rectify a disastrous birthday date, we ran to Cold Stone for ice cream, asked a random teenage girl to take our picture and then sped home to relieve Judie. We should have just gone mini golfing. I could have at least let him beat me.

That night before bed he threw up. Happy, birthday, son. Your mom tried. 

We made up for it the next day. Jon took the day off work, Nana had the little boys and we went to our local amusement park, just the three of us. There were no tears and no barfing, so it was a success. 

Bennett rode his very first upside-down roller coaster! My heart swelled with pride :) I'm a roller coaster junkie but didn't even do an upside-down one til I was 11 or 12!
 This looks like more fun than it actually was:  
 Doing some kind of jig over the bridge:
 Free arcade games that didn't involve skeletons in pirate ships:
 Boys and their guns. Seriously serious business:

And that's a wrap. Party post coming soon.


  1. Oh my word. I love your blog! The pizza and macaroni and cheese killed me...why do kids have iron stomachs? Well, I guess technically Bennett doesn't LOL! So glad you survived the big kid birthday and had a great day redeeming it later! Oh, and I still die a little inside shopping in the 'big kids' department. I'm so sick of seeing skulls and crossbones on everything. Thankfully Ethan just wants a plain ol' t-shirt...for now.

  2. Fun birthday! :) I LOVE that picture of you and Bennett on the ride. And I can totally relate to the weird adult allergies. Mine are mostly fruits weird.

  3. Such cute photos! That spinning ride disclaimer made me laugh. Funny how photography can make things look better/more fun! Your boys are so handsome :)

  4. Those pics of your boys at the beginning of this post are pure love!

  5. Love your blog. So happy I stumbled upon it. And. We are soul sisters, in case you didn't know. I too am allergic to all sorts of (sigh) delicious raw fruit. Such a bummer. My kids actually feel sorry for me on that one, and will, on a regular basis when they are thoroughly enjoying that beautifully ripe watermelon.... Are you awwwrgic to dis too, mama?

    1. Ali- not sure you'll ever see this but thanks so much for your sweet comment! Means the world to me when people tell me they love my blog! I read a couple posts on your old blog just to get to know you a little bit. And the fruit allergy is the worst, isn't it? Why couldn't we be allergic to stuff that's gross and unhealthy??? :)


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