People tell me quite a bit that Tyler looks like me, especially people that know me better than Joey (my family, friends, etc). I think to a great extent that is true. He got my eye color and I think my hair (a little naturally curly). He seems to have my straight teeth. But I think he also looks a lot like my husband sometimes. We took this last picture over the weekend and to me...it looked like Joey all the way. I need to do that "look-a-like" meter one of these days and see what the experts say. What do you think?
Well - happy to report we are now done with tonsils! At least for our kids for now. Tyler had his out in May and healed well. He hasn't had any problems since then, but I think this coming winter will tell the real story of how successful the surgery was. Kelley just had hers out two weeks ago and has recovered really well. She seemed to do better than Tyler and didn't take the pain medication as long. She was so brave going into her surgery and was a great little patient. It was kind of fun for her to have her little friend Tessa there also getting her tonsils out. Kelley really helped Tessa be able to calm down before going in. She's so good with that kind of thing. I'm really lucky to have such a sweetie pie!
If you read my facebook post you will also know that one of her OR Techs was Corbin Allred. He's an LDS actor best known for his starring role in Saints and Soldiers. He was also on a TV show in the late 90s called Teen Angel. He's actually going to school at SUU. He was really cute with Kelley and will make a great doctor one day. I felt a little silly asking if he had been in a movie, but he was happy to talk about it. Small world...
Tyler is Batman lately. He's really funny about it and keeps reminding me that is who he is. So this morning I had closed his door to his bedroom because he was still asleep when daycare kids started coming. I heard him in there talking and assumed both the kids were awake I walked in and he was standing there 100% naked in front of his dresser looking for something to wear and apparently talking to himself (Kelley was still asleep). He looks at me and says:
"I want to be batman and sing a song, a cool song, go away". Ok....
I closed the door and indeed heard him singing something. He came out a few minutes later totally dressed and ready to be batman.
(Above picture is Tyler and his cousin Remington, who is just three months older than him. They are great pals. We thought it was funny they ended up in "matching" outfits this day...)
This is what my backyard looked like in February. Granted it was the middle of winter and so the grass wasn't always that yellow, but pretty much it was always thin, unhealthy, ugly. And I HATED the rocks. If you are considering putting a set up like this in...DON'T! It probably isn't as bad if you put in curbing or something, combined with a little more interesting set up than this...but it was TERRIBLE for the daycare kids.
So Joey literally spent almost all of his free time for MONTHS working on the backyard. I helped as much as I could, but with most of my time taken up by the house and daycare, he ended up doing the majority of the hard labor. I got to help put the "icing on the cake" as he likes to put it...helped lay the sod and the patio, that type of thing. Anyway, with no further ado...
THE BIG REVEAL:
We have a large canvas where everyone can draw their dreams and more. Hopefully there will one day be a lovely backdrop of flowers next to the house. I've planted a few things, but they aren't quite thriving yet (OK so they are barely surviving, probably due to my procrastination issues!) You can also see we now have a place next to the house for the dog. So I can lock her up (much less damage to the garden) and don't have to nag Joey if he doesn't clean up the poop (much less damage to the relationship :)
We have a really cool hill. My dad asked "where's the tombstone?" and my sister calls it the "franken-hill" due to some issues with the sod (this got leftover pieces from other parts of the yard and therefore still has some holes...one day it will be fixed). BUT I'll tell you what...the kids LOVE it and it's great for climbing, rolling, sliding down in the wagon....
You can also see I got my garden! I planted it late, so it's not thriving like I really wanted it too, but it's better than nothing and next year, I'm going to get on the ball and get it done in say May, instead of the middle of June!
You'll also notice that where we had that slope with the tiny rocks against the back fence, Joey has constructed a great looking rock wall. The kids kept sliding down the rocks and dirt before (for lack of anything else interesting out there) and it kept making gaps under our fence (big no no for licensing). I'm very happy with the way this turned out.
I also love that we now have THREE trees. Joey didn't want to plant trees because he figures we're are just going to move in a few years. And hopefully we will, but I didn't want to not plan them and then have something happen and here we are, without trees. We have a Maple (which I love and am NOT allergic too :), a braeburn apple and a weeping pussy willow. So fun. Anyway, I love my backyard and ADORE my hubby for everything he did for me back there. Isn't he the best? Now we have to plan that backyard party we've been talking about...
So my friend Kate wrote a post on her blog about visiting an old hot spot that brought back some great memories. It got me thinking about this experience I had in college. We drove down to Vegas to hang out one night. I don't gamble, never have, never will. But you know, back in the day Vegas was fairly family friendly. We went down to look at the Bellagio Gardens and Fountains, M & M factory, etc. Anyway, we walked into one of the casinos and the strangest feeling of nostaligia swept over me. It took me a minute to recognize it. My grandparents live about an hour outside of Wendover. We spent a lot of time with them growing up. My grandpa liked to gamble, but also would often take us out to eat in the casinos. He actually died right after I graduated high school and I probably hadn't been in a casino for at least a year or more at that point. Now, cigarette smoke really just makes me sick...I HATE it! But walking into the casino on that trip after I hadn't been in one in a while and the smell, the lights, whatever it was made me think of my grandpa. It made me smile and laugh all at the same time. Who would have thought? :)
I've been very caught up lately in the mundane. I feel bogged down by the condition of my house (a constant mess) and the mundane routines (changing diapers, cooking, washing hands, laundry, not getting enough sleep). I've been very just BLAH lately. This afternoon was so REFRESHING! I threw swimsuits on all the kids I had left this afternoon, slathered on sunscreen and we headed outside. The original plan was to get out the water balloons, but I wasn't prepared for that and it would have taken too long. So we went out to the sandbox. The kids cleared out all the toys and were going to make rivers. But they don't quite get it that they have to build them from high to low, or they don't flow well. So I suggested they make a big mountain and put a lake in it, having rivers flow down from there. They were excited about that, but weren't quite sure how to accomplish that goal. So instead of trying to just direct traffic, I jumped in the sandbox and we all built the mountain together. Then we spent the next twenty minutes making lakes, watching the mountain erode. It was so fun. I wasn't worried about them making a big mess, or splashing in the mud puddles. We just played together and had a grand time. Tomorrow, maybe we can pull out the water balloons!!!!
OK - so my opinion on the whole friend thing...first of all...I'm a little jealous, it sounds like many of your children are content to be home with family. Kelley is all about her friends. I mean, she loves us too, don't get me wrong. But it is amazing to me. She can have kids running around here ALL DAY, she even has friends her age here...and as soon as they leave: "Can I go play with so and so?" Oh some days it drives me crazy. Mostly because I get so exhausted by the end of the day that I am no so very excited about having more kids over here. (Although, I should note that Kelley's now to the age where it's sometime more helpful than not to have someone for her to play with...she stays entertained and is big enough to *clean up* most of her mess). That being said...I have never felt really comfortable with calling someone up and saying "Kelley wants to play...can she come over?" Perhaps it's because of how I feel at the end of the day, but I figure if people (moms) want to have Kelley over, they will call me. I have one, maybe two friends I feel like I can actually call and ask if Kelley can play over there, but I usually don't anyway. It just seems a little presumptive to invite yourself (or in this case: your child) over. The reason I've been thinking about this more though is that there are a few kids in the neighborhood that call and/or come over and want to play over here ALL THE TIME. Now I have mixed feelings about this. I would actually rather have kids over here to play, if I had the energy. I heard too many horror stories while working at DCFS and if they kids are over here at least I know what's going on and know they are being supervised. But the energy is the key. I'm just plain pooped at the end of the day.
Joey doesn't think it's a big deal to just call and ask to go over. I was considering possibly changing my mind as well because there's at least three families around here that are more than willing to let their kids run all over and invite themselves into people's homes. But after hearing your opinions on the matter, I think I'm going to stick with my rule. Kelley can invite friends over (when I can muster the courage) or can go over when invited. But I just can't get over the fact that it's a little annoying to me to just have kids showing up on your doorstep all day long ready to come in and play. It seems safer and more courteous to me.
And another thing...now do I not only have kids wanting to play with my kids over here...I've got my daycare kids' friends wanting to come over and play. I feel like a monster, but when I've got 12, 13, 14, 15 kids running around....I just can't handle any more craziness! I let them in when I can, because they probably could use the safe place to hang out, but sometimes I just have to say NO. If only I were more Christlike...perhaps I could be a more positive influence on these kids, but I'm not their mom, nor their sitter and some days, just can't do it!