Monday, October 28, 2013

To my Scarlett, on her 5th Birthday

Oh Scarlett, my Scarlett, sunshine of my happy I am to call you mine.  You're like this little impish fairy, fluttering along through life.  You really do bring joy and gaiety with you wherever you go.  One of your favorite primary songs is Jesus Said Love Everyone and I couldn't pick a better theme song for you if I tried.  For those of you not in the know, here are the lyrics:

Jesus said love everyone;
treat them kindly too.
When your heart is filled with love
others will love you.

See what I mean?  You insisted a few months back that everyone is the world loved you...because you loved everyone in the world .  Isn't that the truth, though?  People love you, Scarli-girl, because you love people.  I can't tell you how often I see you chatting up a stranger, old and young, making new friends wherever we go.  You radiate a warmth that people are drawn to and you really, truly love everyone.

I've gotta admit, though, it's not all giggles and curls with you, Little Miss.  You've always had a bit of a naughty streak and it's gotten significantly bigger in the last half-year or so.  It's been creeping up slowly on us for a while, but you just have a way of flying your misdeeds under the radar.  It's 'cause you do all that naughtiness with a smile on your face.  You'll blatantly be ignoring something we're telling you to do, but since you're doing it while dancing and prancing, it's not quite as noticeable.  And then there's Ezra...oh, there's you drive that poor boy crazy.  You two are like oil and water...and you know it.  You're like nails on a chalkboard to him and you enjoy every second of it.  You sing and poke and chatter...and drive him up the wall.  In fact, you are the sole reason we've instated a No Singing At The Table rule.  You little naughty imp.

You really do love your siblings, though.  You're kind of the one that bridges them all together.  It doesn't matter which of them needs a friend, you're always willing.  I love that about you.  It's hard on you to have the older 2 gone at school all day, you definitely get lonely, but then you just play with Oak instead.  You and Oak are the best of frienemies.  You two can never quite decide if you're playing or fighting as you chase each other around the house.  You are the best little helper with Fischer.  You love to hold him and tell me you "look just like a little mommy!"  You will tell anyone who'll listen that "the doctor says he looks just like [me]!"  Which he does.  I love to see your little pixie-ish features mirrored on his little face.  I can't wait to watch you all grow up together.  I know you'll be the glue that holds you five together...if Ezra doesn't kill you first ;)

You, my dear, are still all girl from the top of your curly brown head down to the tips of your painted toenails.  You love playing with dolls and dress-ups, pretending you're a mom (you even love to wear cardigans because you insist it makes you look like a mommy).  You just got an American Girl Doll for your birthday and you couldn't be more thrilled for another little baby to mother.  You, Miss S, are constantly performing, insisting I watch the multiple new song and dance routines you make up daily.  You love to sing and dance to Katy Perry's Roar, What Did The Fox Say, and anything by Fun, mixed in with lots of church songs, like (the aforementioned) Jesus Said Love Everyone, "Give," Said The Little Stream, and Praise to The Man.  You hold a lot of personality in that tiny little body of yours.

You're such a little ray of sunshine, Miss Scarlett.  You really are my most easy-going kid.  I botched up your (Georgia's old) flapper costume a few days before the first Halloween event this year and you didn't hesitate to agree to be a princess when I explained the situation.  With 3 other hard-nosed siblings around, it's certainly nice to have a slightly-more flexible one in the brood.  That doesn't mean you don't have your stubborn streak, however.  You'll latch onto an idea (like a request for more candy :P) and just don't let go.  Auntie Stephie calls it your Chinese water torture because you'll just whine and plead and beg and whine some more in that high-pitched little voice of yours until I crack.  That's ok, though, I can't really complain.  You're such a joyful little soul so much of the time that it makes up for the bouts of whining.

I love you, Scarlett Caroline so. darn. much.  You are such a special little soul who I believe, with every fiber of my being, was sent to this family to bring us light and joy.  You are pure sunshine.  Your line for this year's primary program is, "I love that I get to be here to learn, grow, and enjoy my life on earth."  I'm not sure if they gave that part to you intentionally or not, but it might have well been.  You really do live everyday to its fullest, learning, growing, and enjoying every step of the way.  I'll often ask you and your siblings what the best and worst part of your day was and you usually insist that there were no worst parts.  Ezra always tries to explain to you that there is always a worst part, even if that means a least-best part, but you, ever the optimist, insist that you can have a completely worst-free day.  I hope you never lose those rose-tinted glasses of yours, Little Miss.  They suit you oh-so-well.

I love you, Scarli-girl...with my whole heart and soul.  I'm am so very, very blessed that you chose me to be your mama.  It's made me the luckiest girl in the world.

Happy 5th Birthday Miss Scarlett Caroline!

Friday, October 25, 2013

my own schooling rant

I get so tired of anti-public school rants.  I think I'm a little sensitive right now because I've seen the Matt Walsh article pop up all over my facebook newsfeed.  I'm just so tired of feeling attacked and like I send my kids to school because I don't care about them.  I'm sorry, but I truly, genuinely believe in the public school system.  Will they learn crap that we don't believe in?  Yes...but that's my job, as a parent, to explain to them WHAT we believe in.  In fact, radical thought that it might be, I'm GLAD that they are taught differences of opinions.  Maybe, just maybe, my opinion isn't right on some things.  I want my kids to learn lots of different things and then sort through them to form their own opinions, with me there guiding them.  That's what turns people into well-rounded adults with thought-out opinions.

I want to help fill my local school with kids that have a parent who loves them, teaches them good morals, and tries to teach them to be all-around polite, good kids.  I love it when other parents feel the same.  I realize there will be mean kids in schools...but you know what, there's mean adults too.  How great is it that my kids are learning how to deal with good and bad social situations on a smaller, supervised level, with me and teachers right there to address concerns and hurt feelings as they come up?

I have met educator, after educator, who love my children and truly want the best for them.  Will the school system address their every educational need?  No, it's impossible to teach every child everything at their level...but that is what I am here for.  To fill those gaps for that over-worked, under-paid teacher.  Is every teacher and school a great one?  No...but you know what, neither is every homeschooler.  No system (public, homeschool, unschool, etc.) is perfect.  That's just the nature of the beast.

I'm glad we all can choose what to do what we feel is best for our kids.  I try really, really hard not to attack people for their parenting choices.  I just really wish I didn't feel so attacked myself.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

To my Ezra, on his 8th Birthday

Oh Ezra, my little-big boy, I can't even believe you're a big 8 years old.  Eight, Ezra! Eight! You're smack in the middle between big and little.  You're almost on the downhill slide of childhood. It won't be long before you'll be an even bigger kid, then teenager, then an adult.  For the moment, though, I'm still going to hug your little body, breathe your dirty, sweaty little boy smell in deep, and just be glad you still give me a kiss and a hug before bed.

Ezra, you are ridiculously smart.  I'm sure this comes as no shock to you; heaven knows you don't lack any in confidence.  You spout facts like a fountain.  Sharks, lizards, natural disasters, finance, minerals and rocks...your lust for knowledge knows no boundaries. Cobras and komodo dragons are your current favorite animals.  Your second grade teacher, Mrs. Chiles, absolutely adores you. I had a parent-teacher conference with her last week and she couldn't stop talking about how you're such a wonderful student.  It warms my mama heart right up to hear other people gush about you.  I often joke that some of your aspie traits that make my life harder, make your teachers' lives easier.  I always knew you would thrive in such a structured, learning-oriented setting.

The older you get, the more you settle into your older brother role.  I know dealing with the insanity of younger siblings isn't something that comes naturally to you...but every year you get a little bit better at it.  You have a soft spot for babies in particular (especially if they're too young to wreck your legos ;)  You don't always pay enough attention to the world around you to hear when Fischer is crying, but when you do notice or I ask you to, you're always willing to stop what you're doing and hold Fisch for a while.  You're actually really good at settling him down too, bouncing him and holding him just right.  I love to see that side of you come out.  Oh goodness, how your sisters drive you crazy.  You even claim you don't like 'em all that much all too often.  I know you love them, though.  They're just so much a part of you that you take them for granted, like an arm or an ear.  Remember to take care of them and be nice to them Ezra.  You'll miss them when they're no longer there to drive you crazy every second of the day.

Oh Ezzie-boy, you know no fear.  You climb every tree and hike every mountain you find.  We'll be hiking and all of the sudden you'll leave the trail and go climb up the face of a mountain by yourself.  It drives me crazy, scares me to death, and even makes me a little bit proud.  I've even had random by-standers comment on your natural ability and courage.  Whenever we're in Utah, your Uncle Eric (who you absolutely adore) makes it a point to follow you around and keep you out of trouble, since your confidence is a lot higher than your skill-level.  Heaven knows someone has to.  crazy boy.

Your best friend is Liam, who lives right up the road from us.  You guys spend most afternoons and Saturdays attached at the hip.  I love it.  I love that you have someone that so fully accepts you with your endless quirks and sees you for the loyal friend that you are.  He puts up with you when you throw a fit over silly things or tune him out while watching Popular Mechanics for Kids (your movie du jour). Every boy needs a bestie like that.

 Oh Ezra, my Ezra, how I love you so.  You were the baby that made a mama.  You were a hard baby and a hard toddler and a hard preschooler.  You definitely pushed me into the deep end of the mommyhood pool.  You know what, though?  I feel like I'm reaping some of the rewards from those hard years.  The independence that made you such a ridiculously difficult 3 year old makes you a helpful and self-sufficient 8 year old.  You make me so happy, Ez.  Everyday, you make me happy.  I love you, my first baby, so darn much.

Happy 8th Birthday Ezra Emil!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


I was driving to the library yesterday with the 3 youngest in tow and the Lumineers "Ho Hey" song was on. Scarlett was singing along, Oak was screaming, "Mama, turn up! Turn UP!!" at the top of his lungs...and the world was perfect.  It struck me how much the chorus reminded me of my 5 babies.

I belong with you, you belong with me, you're my sweetheart
I belong with you, you belong with me, you're my sweet

'cause they are and they do.

I know I whine a lot about the mowglis and this crazy ride called Mamahood, but I really do love it and I really do love them.

At the end of the day, we were made for each other.

I belong with them, they belong with me.

So, this is dedicated to you, my little ones.

Monday, October 14, 2013

random musings and be-lated labor day

Sorry I haven't posted in so long.  My life has been a little...fuzzy of late.  A lot of sleep deprivation, hormonal fluctuations, trying to get back into the swing of things with school, coupled with just being October (which happens to be the busiest month of the year for me).  I just haven't felt like myself (which is usually a sure sign I need to up my medication :P).  I look at my blog and something feels off, because I just don't think I'm really coming through anymore.  I've played catch-up for so long that it just seems like a parade of pictures.  Don't get me are great, pictures are grand, pictures are what make the blogosphere go 'round...but pictures aren't the only reason I blog.  I also blog so I have a place to let Me come through.  Once I became a mom, it became so hard for me to feel like I had much of a personality anymore.  I felt like my kids just kind of sucked it out of me, leaving me with just the shell leftover who only cares about nursing, messes, and homework.  Blogging reminds me of who I am...the funny me, creative me, snarky me, happy me.  I need that.  Hopefully, as I gear up for the picture-parade, holiday-filled posts of the next few months, I'll be able to recapture that Me-ness that is this blog.  That's the plan, anyway :)

And of course...a picture parade before the holiday season completely overruns the place :)

Fischer after his very first bath (about a week and a half old)
Thanks Great-Grandma Blanchard for his super-cozy hooded towel!

We went and hung out at Lake Lenexa for a labor day weenie-roast.  The kids loved playing down at the water and feeding all the mini-fish that hung out at the edges.  The mowglis threw hotdog bun pieces in the water at them, which they swarmed to.  Oak discovered he could get similar results by throwing in grass, leaving the bread for him to eat.
smart kid, that one.

Sorry if I was a little bit of a downer this post.  Hopefully I'll perk up a bit next time.  Considering I'm gearing up for Halloween and birthday festivities, fun posts are a-comin'! :)