Monday, May 29, 2017

Boy Howdy Turns 5

Oh, how this boy has my heart. He is an intense little boy. If he sets expectations that are then not met, he has the hardest of times recovering from his disappointment. But, when he is happy, he is pure exuberance. His thoughtfulness often amazes me, especially to those whom he loves dearly. He is so smart, is constantly thinking about life and how things work, and is so very curious. He LOVES to be silly, to cuddle and be just like his dad. I love this little boy so much! What joy and life lessons he gives me daily.

Boy Howdy has been planning his birthday since sometime last fall, maybe even before that. He started compiling his Amazon wishlist and looking on Pinterest for what kind of cake he wanted. At first it was chocolate. But then, after Matthew went off chocolate, he decided to change his choice to something in favor of his daddy. 

After several choices, he finally landed on strawberry lemonade cupcakes! Hooray pinterest for inspiring my child to pick something I had absolutely no hesitation making. He was also super particular about how he wanted his candy arranged. Funny boy.

I should say, that true to a child's natural inclination, he and his sister opted to eat only the candy and strawberry frosting, leaving the lemon cupcake (with lemon curd filling) to sit lonely in its wrapper. What tragedy.

On the day of his birthday (Memorial Day) we had hoped to go to our ward's barbecue and then out for a hike. Sadly, a bad cold got the better of all of us, so we tried to make the most of the day at home. Boy Howdy got a joke book, some super hero capes and masks, remote controlled bumper cars, the game Guess Who and a lego set and fold out fire truck car set thingy from either set of grandparents. Since we really couldn't go anywhere we did the best we could with playing with all his new toys, watching the LEGO Batman movie and indulging his every whim for the day. I think he had fun.

The next day, we took two of his friends to a local bounce house place. I brought cupcakes for everyone, and just as Boy Howdy and Cheeks had done the day before, every single child only wanted the top portion of their cupcake. Sigh.

I keep telling him to stop growing, but he refuses. Now that he's five, I'm afraid he is just too big to stay home with me every day. He is just going to have to go to kindergarten since he won't comply with my stay-little request. Oh cute boy. How I adore your little spirit.

Boy Howdy's 5-Year Old Interview

What is your name? Boy Howdy Marler
How old are you? 5
What is your favorite thing to do? Play legos
What do you want to be when you grow up? A daddy (same as last year! I still LOVE this answer!!)
What is your favorite food? Watermelon (different fruit from last year, but still healthy! Yay!!)
Who do you like to spend time with? Charlotte ane Eric.
What do you do really well? I'm really good at building legos
What makes you laugh? (Same as last year!) Going bla la bla la (making silly faces with his tongue. This kid loves to be silly and to have others know just how silly he can be).
What is the best time of the day? Playing outside with Eric and Charlotte in the sun (although I'm not sure we've ever had this friend combo over for a playdate).
What are you afraid of? Big Dragon Monsters.
Who is your best friend? Charlotte and Eric.
What do you like to do with your family? Play games like bumper cars.
What do you love to learn about? X-Rays. With X-Rays you can see your bones.
Where you like to go? I like to go to Super Bounce.
What is your favorite book? The Jokes (he got a joke book for his birthday).
What is your favorite show? Tumbleleaf (this changes on a weekly basis).
What is your favorite movie? The Lego Movie
If you had one wish what would it be? It would be to have a remote control helicopter.
What is your favorite thing about turning 5? I get to be tall. And I get to be bigger than Quinn (the neighbor girl) and Cheeks
What are you most excited to do now that you are 5? I get to be the same age as Adam and Charlotte
Is there anything else you'd like to add? Uh . . . No thanks.

Monday, May 22, 2017

I Heart the Coast

We as Oregonians don't go to the beach, we go to the coast. The ocean is really not even a factor of the day, except as lovely ambient noise, given it's FRIGID temperature. And really, the temperature, at least in May, doesn't merit anything but sweaters (except for children who never seem to care). But if it's sunny and at all warmish, we go. Everything about it does my heart and soul good. And what makes it even better are the dear women in my ward who agree to make it a fun playdate. The children play wonderfully together, the mamas chat and everyone gets a day out of the house. I am so glad it is only an hour away from us.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Great Garden Experiment 2017

This is the second year we've had a garden. Last year we learned a few things that we wanted to incorporate into our experiment for this year. Namely, we learned that tomatoes take up A LOT of space and basically need their own box. So I bought another box and we finally had a sunny day to plant. Yay to a second year of growing and reaping where we sowed!

This year we planted, snap peas, pumpkin, cucumber, corn, watermelon, tomatoes, and peppers. I picked a few things and let the kids pick three plants of their own choosing.

This year, as last year, I am grateful we have the means to provide for ourselves so that our garden is a fun experiment and not the means for eating for the summer and into the winter. I'm just not prepared for that work nor that stress. Let the Great Experiment Begin!!

Edit to add: Our watermelon and two-thirds of our peas have already passed on, so I had to replace them with a new watermelon plant and a cantaloupe.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Cheeks is Clever

Today I had a doctor's appointment. A GYN appointment. Matthew was gone and my very kind visiting teacher agreed to watch my babies for me. I dropped them off just before 3 and planned to pick them up sometime before dinner. With food coming so shortly for them I ordered them VERY specifically not to inquire after snacks. They were not to ask, not to mention their hunger in ANY way. I allowed them the ability to accept proffered nourishment but not to ask.

When I arrived to pick them up, they had most definitely been eating, and probably had the whole time. When I asked my darling friend if they had asked for food, giving my firm instructions to the contrary, she chuckled and made mention that my daughter's question made much more sense now.

Apparently, some time after I dropped them off, Cheeks turned to her and asked, "Are you planning to offer us snacks?" My friend was taken aback by her wording and showed her the snack drawer to which Cheeks gladly helped herself. When I made my inquiry, it all became clear. Funny girl. She may not know her letters or numbers, but she is a first-rate problem solver. She got what she wanted while still, in her mind, obeying my orders. Heaven help us all.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Courtside Reunion - Chicago 2017

Every time I visit with these ladies I am always surprised at how much I love them. This trip, I was worried about how it was all going to go. Somehow I was unofficially designated to organize it, but it seemed no one wanted to be organized. Flights weren't being booked, people didn't want to commit to an itinerary. I wasn't sure if anyone would actually show up. It didn't help that after a series of setbacks no one was ready to pick me up from the airport and I was left to wait by myself for almost an hour. Not a big deal, but it didn't help my concerns for the weekend. But those were shortly laid to rest as soon as I saw these lovely ladies that do so much to fill my cup. We shopped, got pedicures, went running, saw a play, went out to eat (which included allowing our waitress to order our entire completely yummy meal for us), went on a boat tour of the city, got roped into a street performance which included people jumping over us, sped visited an art museum, went to church, saw my friend's son's baseball game and laughed and loved and renewed souls. I loved my trip and I love these women I have known for almost 20 years. Holy Smokes. 

Outside the Chicago Temple with Lins and Jen.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Disney World 2017

Disney World with a 3 and 4 year old was pretty awesome. They were still small enough that a stroller made sense, which meant a lot less whining about being tired, but they were old enough to be able to do the vast majority of rides Matthew and I wanted to do. We spent a solid amount of time in each park doing fun things, but also got to spend quality time in the pool and laying in bed.

Side note, the suite we stayed in had a bedroom and living room with pull out couch. The kids slept on the pull out couch which every night and morning brought renewed joy as we made the "magic happen" by setting it up and putting it back. Grandpa Marler assured the babes that they have a similar "magic couch" at their house that they can sleep on when they come to visit. Oooh and Aaah.

Back to the parks. Going at the beginning of May was wonderful. Much better than the July that usually accompanies Marler family vacations as it was a touch cooler and less crowded. But what was extra nice this trip was the unforeseen opportunity of doing fun alternative rides with the kids. We don't normally do the Buzz Lightyear ride, the 3-D Muppets show, the Bug's Life show, or countless other attractions at Disney World. Before babies, those didn't even cross our radar, but this time, we availed ourselves of them and we were happily surprised. The kids LOVED it. They often asked if what they were seeing was real and were awesome troopers through it all. 

The first day we got there, Boy Howdy kept saying, "Ooh weee, it's HOT!" And by Thursday, he started complaining that the Florida sun was just too bright! But by and large, the kids did wonderfully. For being 3 and 4, I could not have asked for better children.

Definitely a different experience than what Matthew and I are used to, but probably more fun because of it.

A few pictures:

 Cheeks' and Matthew's score on the Buzz Lightyear ride. I think he quadrupled my score, so we wanted to make sure we captured the honor.

Boy Howdy and I nestled happily in our car.

The children posing as pirates while we waited for the Pirates of the Caribbean ride.

Mother Marler and Cheeks on the Winnie the Pooh ride.

Each day we picked a special treat. Cheeks has long been dreaming of cotton candy so we were happy we could make it finally come true.